Blogging Good Reads, featuring Claire Kirby from ‘Life, Love and Dirty Dishes’.
Welcome to the second instalment of my new series, ‘Blogging Good Reads’, where I invite fellow bloggers to tell me about their favourite blog posts (their own and those written by others). In doing so, I hope it creates a wonderful ready-made reading list for you all, saving you the job of hunting for fabulous things to read yourselves.
It is my hope that Blogging Good Reads will introduce you to some brilliant writers and blog posts, too. With so many blogs waiting to be discovered, it’s hard to know where to start. Before I started blogging, I didn’t read many blogs and I certainly didn’t think of looking for blog posts if I fancied something to read. However, in the last 18 months, I’ve been blown-away by the quality and diversity of the blogs I’ve read. There are some truly gifted writers out there and I’ve laughed, cried and cheered in equal measure.
Claire Kirby: Life, Love and Dirty Dishes.
For my next Blogging Good Reads, I’m delighted to be featuring Claire Kirby, a who blogs at ‘Life, Love and Dirty Dishes.’ Claire writes about ‘the funny side of parenting. Mostly.’ Her wonderful wit, together with her warmth and humour never cease to delight and engage me as she offers her hilarious take on life and parenting. Her posts often have me hooting with laughter, whilst nodding vigorously in agreement about the trials and tribulations of being a mum, wife, blogger and human being.
Claire, together with Emma from Island Living 365 and Lucy from R is for Hoppit host the fabulous #FridayFrolics linky, which is another great place to link up your funny blog posts or discover some new ones.
So, without further ado, may I present Claire Kirby and her Blogging Good Reads.
Blogging Good Reads: Life, Love and Dirty Dishes.
1. Tell us about your blog using Twitter’s 140 character limit.
Amusing tales from the parenting frontline. If you’ve ever been wedged in the rollers at soft play, you, my friend, are not alone!
2. If your blog were a cake, which 5 blog posts would best represent the key ingredients?
I think the keep ingredients of my blog are humour, love and honesty. There are also a few rants and a bit of shopping thrown in. That’s why I’ve selected these five posts. In case you are wondering, it would definitely be a chocolate cake!
1 How to Deal With Nits in 8 Easy Steps
2 Seeing The Sunshine Through The Rain
3 10 Simple Rules For Being a Good Mother
4 Why The Elf is Not Welcome on my Shelf!
3. What’s your most popular blog post and why do you think it’s successful?
The Top 5 Misdemeanours of Topsy & Tim. I think it’s popular for two reasons. Firstly because parents love to hate it. I mean seriously who deals with nits that calmly without any tears from anyone! Secondly, people ask google a lot of questions about Topsy & Tim, such as, ‘is Topsy’s hair a wig?’, and, ‘are Topsy and Tim really twins?’ Google very kindly sends them to this post. In fact, I even wrote a post just about the questions people asked about Topsy & Tim because there were so many!
4. What type of blog posts are most popular with your readers and why do you think that is?
It depends on how you define popular. In terms of views, my light-hearted posts are more popular. But in terms of engagement, it is the very honest posts that get a lot of comments. This year I blogged about my really low self-esteem and weight issues, and I blogged about my youngest son’s speech delay. The response I got was amazing and so supportive. It really did make me realise that I am not alone, and all you need to do is reach out to people, rather than suffer in silence.
5. Have any of your posts ‘gone viral’ (or viral compared to your usual page views). Tell us about some of them and how and why you think it happened.
I’ve had three posts go viral and all for very different reasons. The first was We Are Not Rivals, which went viral over on Huffpost and was their 12th most read post of 2015. I think it just resonated with mums about not judging each other, and Huffpost being such a huge platform for it.
The second was my parody of Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, The Toddler-O. It did well when I first published it, but a year later my stats went through the roof because it had been shared by someone on facebook. I still have no idea who that was!
The third one was a case of timing. A statement from a new mum had gone viral on facebook about how being a mum is basically easy and most mums are lazy. The statement made me so angry. I was angry on behalf of all the new mums who maybe weren’t coping with this huge life change and finding it hard, and how crappy the statement would have made them feel. And did the mother of a two-week-old baby really have the right to comment on how toddlers behave? I rattled off a response and hit publish without really thinking about it. It turns out a lot of people agreed with me. To The New Mum Who Has it Nailed After two Weeks And Thinks The Rest of us Are Lazy.
6. What post has been your most controversial in terms of the reaction it’s received and why?
My post about the Elf not being welcome on my shelf caused a bit of controversy over on Netmums. People feel really strongly about that elf! I was called a fun stopper!
One of my really early posts, that makes me cringe now, had a few people irate on facebook. It was about people who always turn up late for school with their kids. I guess the people who always turn up late for school with their kids didn’t like it!
7. Which of your posts do you wish had received more attention and why?
How Many Hands Does it Take to Change a Nappy? I had a lot of fun writing it.
8. List your three favourite blog posts and tell us why they’ve made your top three.
That’s like asking me to choose a favourite child!
3 The Rules For Playing Cars With a Toddler
I think the only reason I can give is that I loved writing them, and they hold memories of my kids for me.
9. What’s your favourite blog post title (from those you’ve written) and why?
‘To The New Mum Who Has it Nailed After Two Weeks And Thinks The Rest of us are lazy.’ Because as far as SEO goes its way too long, and just plain wrong! Yet it’s one of my most popular posts. I know SEO is important, but it’s nice every once in a while, to think I can do it without nailing the SEO! I beat the system!
10. What’s your funniest post?
I try to be funny most of the time, so that’s a hard one. Whether or not I achieve it is a different story. I am going to go for my post about nits. Mainly because it’s something we all have to deal with as parents yet it’s so taboo, and I like laughing about taboo things.
11. Which blog post means the most to you and why?
I think The Toddler-o. I worked really hard on it and people loved it. When I went to my first blogging conference last year it was what people knew me for. So I’m quite proud of that one.
12. What post was the hardest for you to write and why?
Definitely, my post about my son’s speech delay, seeing the sunshine through the rain. It has been such a difficult, worrying and stressful time. It was very cathartic to write, but really difficult to see the keyboard through my tears. I also felt like I was failing as a mum and that’s hard to admit and put out there.
Blogging Good Reads: Other bloggers.
13. List your 5 favourite blogs (not blog posts) and why you like them.
I like this bit! Although I could go on for days. Ok in no particular order…
Brummy Mummy of 2. Emma’s blog is one of the first blogs I started reading. She’s fabulously real and hilarious too. It was her blog that inspired me to start mine. I met her last year and she is really lovely in the flesh too!
Five Little Doves. Laura is such an amazing writer. I love reading posts that either make me laugh, or make me cry. Laura can do both in a single post.
Absolutely Prabulous. Prabs writes a brilliant blog and really memorable posts. She does that laugh and cry thing too. We’ve also become really good blogging friends. She gets me!
This Mum’s Life. I feel like I’m saying the same thing, but again I love Lucy’s blog for her humour and her honesty. She’s another brilliant writer.
Big Trouble in Little Nappies. I love everything Yvette writes. We started blogging at a similar time, and she is brilliant with all the words.
14. List up to 5 of your favourite blog posts by other bloggers.
I am a Bad Brownie By Island Living. I love everything Emma writes, but this one took me on a trip down memory lane too.
If (A rewrite of the Rudyard Kipling classic) By Life is Knutts. Gemma’s version of this brilliant poem is brilliant and funny. I love it.
A Transcript From a Night Out With The Cbeebies Presenters By The Dadventurer. I can just picture this is my head so clearly. It really made me laugh to imagine it.
An Open Letter to my High School Bully By Sparkles and Stretchmarks. Such a brave and honest post from Hayley. It’s in my favourites because it’s one of those posts that really stayed with me.
What Did You Do All Day By What Mum Should Have Told Me. This one made me laugh and gave me the warm and fuzzies. I just love it.
15. If someone is new to reading blogs, which 3 blogs (not blog posts) should they be reading right now, and why?
Toby and Roo. When you are having a shit day Harriet will put things in perspective and make you feel like you are not alone.
Life with Baby Kicks. Laura’s blog is always honest and relevant. There’s such a mix of humour, advice and talking about her style of parenting that there is always something to read.
Muma on the Edge. It’s like sitting down with a friend and putting the world to rights over a glass of wine.
16. Tell us about blog posts which have made you:
I’m going to cite the third amendment on this one. Mainly because I host the Friday Frolics linky which is for funny posts, so I read a lot of humour. It wouldn’t be fair, or quite frankly possible for me to pick just one!
This much have been such an incredibly painful post for Laura to write, but will help those who need it. I sobbed reading this. The Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Lost My Baby By Five Little Doves
New Decking and Transforming Our Garden By Mummy of Boy Girl Twins. Jess really makes me think about style! And it’s not something I normally think about. But her amazing photography and posts about interiors really inspire me to make changes to my home.
18. Finally, which Maflingo blog post is your favourite and why?
I have two that I couldn’t decide between. Firstly your post about retro children’s birthday parties. I am so with you on this one.
When I was a kid there was only one winner in ‘Pass the parcel’! Who started this ridiculous nonsense about putting a present inside each layer? Who decided we needed to wrap the parcel in enough layers to give every child a chance to unwrap it when the music miraculously stops in front of them?
It’s so stressful!
My other favourite is your room 101 post. I will never un-see that first picture!!!
Thanks for having me Jane and allowing me to ramble on your blog.
Thanks to Claire for sharing her Blogging Good Reads.
I’m a big fan of some of the other bloggers mentioned in Claire’s lists and can thoroughly recommend them, too. So, if you’re looking for some fabulous blog posts to read and enjoy, Claire’s Blogging Good Reads are a great place to start.
Thanks for featuring me. It was fun to look back. Gives you a sense of achievement too.
You’re so right! It really does make you realise how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved. I looked back over some of mine a while back and it was like an out of body experience! I thought ‘did I write that?!! Its not half bad!’ Thanks for taking part! I love your choices!
Right I’m back on the blog (ha ha trying to be anyway!) after the summer hols. Sooooo chuffed to be included in this by a blogger on whom I’ve had a crush since the first post of hers that I read. I also consider it a real HUGE compliment on a personal level given how shy (by her own admission) can be that she feels I get her and counts me as a friend. Real honour. That just made my day so much so I told the Hubster! And doubly chuffed that this feature is on the site of another blogger I admire. Thank you to two lovely ladies x
Aw, thanks for your lovely comment, Prabs. Claire is such a funny and engaging writer! Would love to feature you!