mothers day guest post by andy

Hi everyone, it’s Andy (or Daddy Tries?) here. We were contacted by Tesco on the run up to Mother’s Day with some inspiration to get the kids involved in organising a lovely treat to start Reneé’s special day with.

They sent us a hamper, which contained lots of bits and bobs to help us create the perfect breakfast, without too much preparation and washing up to contend with before and after. We had a choice of three Mother’s Day menus, some arts and crafts to keep the little ones busy while I was in the kitchen, and a pretty tray to deliver the meal on.

Polly Choosing Mother's Day Flowers in Tesco

Preparations began on the Saturday with a trip to Tesco for breakfast ingredients, and a nice bunch of flowers chosen by Polly, which were given as a pre-Mother’s Day treat.

The next bit of preparation was to get agreement from all the small people in the house to give their mummy the gift of sleep. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, Reneé wasn’t getting her hopes up.

Team Mini Davis making mother's days cardsStop the Press! They slept!

Well, sort of. At least no-one woke up Reneé in the night, and the kids managed to stay quiet enough to give her a lie in until 7:30 am, which is pretty unheard of in our family. The arts and crafts in the hamper were a great help in keeping little fingers busy making cards and pictures for their mummy.

Great breakfast to start the day

Awesome smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfastOnce Reneé woke up the mini team got cracking on our chosen recipe – scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, which is her favourite.

All this led to big smiles on Mrs Tries face which, of course, was the whole point! All in all, it was the perfect start to a great Mother’s Day. 
**Huge thanks to my lovely husband and children for making Mother’s Day so special for me. It really was a great day, and the memories will last a long time.** 

Exclusive Interview with Author and Illustrator Chrissy ByersI am absolutely thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview today with Australian children’s author and illustrator Chrissy Byers. This is a must read for anyone hoping to follow in Chrissy’s footsteps and publish a book for kids, so grab yourself a cuppa (or hide in the loo!) and enjoy…     

“Written, illustrated and self-published by Chrissy Byers, ‘The Magic in Boxes’ is a 52 page children’s book, manufactured using recycled materials, and inspires children to engage in creative play using the humble cardboard box. Written in rhyming couplets, with some repetitive text, this book is bound to become a favourite with your child. Suitable for children 0-7 years. Sample pages of the book can be viewed on the official website. Free international postage available through The book depository.”

Tell us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to the write / illustrate the book

I was born in the small country town of St George in South-West Queensland, Australia where I was fortunate to spend my childhood living on my parents’ cotton farm. As a child I loved stories and would often write and illustrate little books. It has been my life-long dream to be an author and illustrator. As a teenager I was discouraged to pursue this as a career due to the competitive nature of the book industry.

Thoroughly enjoying the idea of working with young children and delighting at the chance to discover first hand from classroom experience, what works well in children’s literature, I embarked on a teaching career spanning a decade and a half. The majority of which was teaching in a North London School in the UK. As a dedicated teacher I did not have time to focus on any writing or illustrating, anything spare went on travelling Europe!

I took a break from teaching after having my boys, and once they started school I was finally presented with the opportunity to write and illustrate my first book ‘The Magic In Boxes’.


How long did it take you from conception of idea to holding the book in your hands for the first time?

The concept of the book and the photos taken for the illustrations occurred three years before publication, but most of the work was done in the last eighteen months. It was all too much of a juggle while the boys were so young.

Why did you decide to go down the self-publishing road?

After submitting mock-up booklets to several Australian publishing houses, and getting rejections, I felt I couldn’t let all my hard work sit on the shelf. I was fortunate to have some talented friends who could help me with the language edits and graphic designer details required to get the book to a professional standard.

It was important to me to keep my 52 pages and use recycled materials in the books entirety – which would never have come to fruition if a publishing house had taken me on. Being self-published provides the opportunity to make decisions based on integrity rather than the dollar sign.

The up-side of self publishing is that you get things done your way; the down-side is that you got things done your way! 

Tell us one thing that you would do the same again next time, and one thing that you would change

I’m really proud of the paper choices. I hope to have achieved a book which the reader is pleasantly surprised to discover is self-published.

I am sticking to the standard 32 page plan for the follow-up book, ‘The Magic in Dress-Ups’. Printing costs for this book were crippling, and the extra weight bumps up postage when sending it out.

What would your top tip for aspiring writers / illustrators be?

Surround yourself with positive and supportive friends! There will be enough knock backs and disappointments along the way, but if this is something that you really, really want then the only thing holding you back is you! If this is your dream, then you will make it happen if you want it desperately enough.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us Chrissy, I can relate to a lot of what you’ve said here. From the juggle of small children, to making decisions based on integrity and surrounding yourself with wonderful friends… 

We love your awesome book in my house and cannot recommend it highly enough. To learn more about this wonderful lady, visit her website Books by Chrissy Byers. You can buy the book directly, or through The Book Depository with free international postage.  

…to Dad Blog UK for a guest post.

Happy New Year folks!

Hope its a fab one.

Reneé 😘

Whilst I take a little blog break I thought it would be nice to continue my series sharing the blog love, and have scheduled guest posts for you from some of my favourite bloggers. Hope you enjoy them 🙂

Potty Mouthed Mummy

SianDescribe your blog in a tweet

A moderately technical blogger who loves sharing tips and tricks with others and is always happy to help. “Trying” to keep an honest happy outlook on life and blogging.

Tell us three goals you’d like to tick off your bucket list before your next big birthday

1. Pass my driving tests
2. Drop 2 dress sizes
3. Be more accepting of me

What is your ultimate three course meal?

Scallops with cauliflower purée and crispy pancetta, followed by fillet steak with creamed spinach and goose fat chips, then lemon tart.

Who was your first crush?

Leonardo Dicaprio – I was a young teen around the Romeo and Juliet/Titanic era. Standard.

Tell us about your three favourite posts

Bully – this was a really tough one to write but the response was overwhelming and amazing (truly made me see how amazing the blog world can be)

Surviving Business Travel – I had a bit of a breakdown on a business trip but a week later I was able to see the funny side and how I must have appeared to others around me!! Not my finest hour.

Reasons I want to live in Peppa Pigs town – I think a big part of parenting a toddler is spending too much time over thinking their TV shows, hence how this post was born!!

About Potty Mouthed Mummy

I’m Sian, 30 something living in Berkshire. Mummy to a toddler (H) and wife to the hub. My blog is my creative outlet, something beyond being a mummy, something beyond earning pennies and something that let me feels like me. I adore stationery, nautical things, Harry Potter and cooking. Oh and red wine. Um and gin.

Pop over and say hi

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Whilst I take a little blog break I thought it would be nice to continue my series sharing the blog love, and have scheduled guest posts for you from some of my favourite bloggers. Hope you enjoy them 🙂

The Spirited Puddle Jumper

beckyDescribe your blog in a tweet

I’m a vintage homeware store owner, blogging about interiors, crafts and family life in South East London.

Tell us three goals you’d like to tick off your bucket list by your next big birthday

Travel to Thailand with the children, write a book and get married. Doing the latter end of June, eek!

What’s your ultimate three course meal?

Parma Ham and goats cheese with figs to start, a really good Thai Green chicken curry for main, followed by Lemon Meringue Pie. Oh, and with a really good, chilled, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc on the side!

Who was your first crush?

Mark Owen from Take That- I was 9 and had his posters on the wall by my bunk bed. I used to flick through the Argos catalogue and plan what furniture we’d buy together for our house. What a saddo (but maybe shows my love for interiors started early)!

Tell us about your three favourite posts

When Breastfeeding goes, ahem, tits up

Sasha’s bedroom tour (my most popular one on Pintrest)

10 Ways to gain Confidence Blogging

About The Spirited Puddle Jumper

Hi! I’m Becky, lover of one, mother of Freddie (4) and Sasha (3), blogger, vintage homeware owner, social media manager, coffee convert and general life enthusiast, living in South-East London. Expect to find lots about parenting, interiors, crafts, food, family life, fashion, photo projects, reviews, travel with children…I like to talk about stuff I love! I was a broadcast journalist in a former life, and now I’m a freelance social media manager who blogs on the side. I also own ‘What Would Irene Do?’ an Etsy store focusing on mid-century homeware. Best thing I’ve ever done (aside from my children!).



The What Would Irene Do? – Open for business since 19th May 2014! Visit to find out more
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