If you’ve seen my wedding portfolio, Ria, aka the pink haired bride, might look familiar to you. After working as a nanny, Ria became a teacher and is mum to a very cool and adorable little girl. She loves to be creative and I joined her at one of her Christmas workshops at a local garden centre where she was making Christmas cards and tree decorations while dressed as a crafty fox. As you do.

Meet Ria!

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What is it you do?

I work in a variety of creative roles, this work is designing and delivering creative character workshops for a local garden centre to tie in with their Christmas events and branding.

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How did you end up doing what you’re doing? 

I’ve been delivering workshops for sometime now, since Uni ( 8 years ago I think!?!) I was teaching anyway and found opportunities to present my own ideas. I get to work with a range of people with a range of abilities which I really enjoy! People really love the chance to create.. It’s great to be able to provide the opportunity.

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What did you want to do when you were growing up?

Growing up I always knew I’d do something creative but was never specific, my path has just kind of lead me here, I’ve always built on my skills and done lots of post ed learning so its great to be able to pass on what I’ve learnt and offer a platform for creativity.

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I want to continue to plan and present workshops and working on large scale community pieces.

ria - how do you do-015ria - how do you do-004What’s the best bit of advice you could offer?

The best advice… Know your worth, look for funding… Take every opportunity. Create! Enjoy!

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A huge huge thank you to Ria (and Arty Owl!) and the folks at Wyevale Northampton for letting me and my camera come along. If you’re local to Northampton, stay tuned to hear more about Ria’s upcoming  projects.

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  • Donna - Oh Ria looks like so much fun, and crafty too! What a great way to spend time – she obviously loves her workshops and the kids look like they’re loving it too xReplyCancel

I found Brummy Mummy of 2‘s blog through the Living Arrows linky and loved her sense of humour and I’m originally from Brum myself so that makes us practically family! Em is mum to two toddlers (the girl and the boy) and teaches part time. She loves Malibu, fruit pastilles, reality TV, tea and can often be found in a flowery dress, leggings and a statement necklace (when she’s not braless and in a onesie). We met up at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on one of the hottest days EVER to explore the gardens and have a picnic. Thankfully she wasn’t braless that day. Somehow we both managed to completely run out of baby wipes which is the most fun thing ever when you have 4 children with sticky ice cream hands and 2 of them still in nappies. What a pair of amateurs! The kids got on really well though and enjoyed being able to run around together like a bunch of loons.

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Meet Em!

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What’s been the biggest surprise about motherhood?

The biggest surprise about motherhood is that it has totally changed me. It’s bloomin hard work and there are some days where I feel like I could have a good old weep but generally? It has made me a lot happier. It has made me laugh lots and I really enjoy it. Prior to being a Mum I was a bit low in confidence but now I have the kids? I care a little bit less about things. And if my hair is a bit dirty? I care not! Having my girl was not planned. But with hindsight it came at the perfect time and saved me from myself (oh that’s a bit deep isn’t it?).

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What’s a typical day like for you?

Twice a week I work as a teacher in a secondary school so that is teaching RE to teens. Which I love and is hilarious and I can’t imagine doing anything else. But when I am at home? Day starts at 5.30/6ish (urgh) and then it is general mayhem till Daddy comes home at 6pm for ‘the handover’. We go out quite a lot, so visit farms or friends or soft play. My girl is starting pre-school in September so mornings she will be there and I am sure me and the boy will find something fun to do.

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What inspired you to start your blog and what do you blog about?

I was on maternity leave and SO BORED! I started to read blogs by Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter and decided that I would like to try something whilst the kiddies napped. I tried once and failed miserably so tried again at Christmas and it all started from there! When I had the girl I went back to work full time, I was head of RE so I found it hard switching to part time with no responsibility. This gives me something to do and helps to stop me being manic. Well helps a little. I like to think I try and blog about daft things that happen to us, and the real side of motherhood. I have a YouTube channel where I do vlogs of different days out and each week I host photo linky #wickedwednesdays where bloggers are encouraged to send in funny pictures.

Best blogging moment so far?

I’m really lucky to have been on Mumsnet a few times and one of those posts (10 signs you are the owner of a toddler girl) went viral. So that’s had like 19,000 views or something ridiculous. It’s one of those things that I doubt will EVER happen again. That was mental. Watching people literally all over the world reading my blog and seeing pictures of messy house and crazy child. It still makes me smile now thinking about it.

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How have you changed since having kids?

As I said before I am just a lot happier. Not in a “hey kids you know just fufil me” kind of way but in a “I’m not bored to think about daft things” kind of way. Alas I don’t spend as much time with my friends or my husband which is a shame but I just feel a bit more content with myself.

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You have a whole day to yourself. How do you spend it?

Oh good god that would be the dream! Defo watching Real Housewives of New Jersey for a few hours in bed, whilst I eat chocolate and crisps without having to share them. Next shopping without having to control two crazy children. Then the flicks and a nice meal with my husband. Just normal everyday things you can’t do with tiny tots looming around. Would be lovely! And I would for sure sneak a nap in.

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What kind of things do you enjoy doing with the kids?

I LOVE going on days out. I do that a lot. People seem to think it costs me a lot of money? But it really doesn’t. We always take picnics and I always use vouchers. I love showing them new things and having little adventures with my little crew. With my girl I love chatting with her about daft things and my boy I love those sleepy baby cuddles he gives me. I also love dancing around with them when we have our tea. That crazy bit just before their Dad comes home. It’s brilliant!

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What advice would you give to first-time parents?

Embrace these things 1) it’s hard 2) you won’t sleep 3) it WILL get easier. Just don’t be so hard on yourself really. Being a parent is amazing and wonderful and brilliant but it comes with times where it is scary and terrifying and a bit rubbish. Do whatever it is that makes you and your little family happy. Ignore people and their daft advice you never asked for. You will make the odd mistake, and you may go out with poo on your top but at the end of the day? As long as everyone is well fed, happy and rested? It really doesn’t matter!

You can find Em all over the internets! Go and follow her – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

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  • brummymummyof2 - It was a good job I had a bra on with those boobs! I had such a lovely day and I love the photos so much I did have a little weep. They are only little for so long and this summer has been brill to be with the two of them. Lovely to meet you and we need a playdate soon or booze. Booze would be nice xxxReplyCancel

  • Heledd - Loved that post so much, you both sound like such lovely people. It’s great to get to know other bloggers like this – by meeting up and by reading more personal posts like this one. Thanks for sharing your beautiful day x

    Heledd xxReplyCancel

    • Hayley - Thank you so much, Heledd, that’s so sweet. I’m really enjoying this blog series, it’s a lot of fun xReplyCancel

  • Hayley - BrummyMummy, I’m up for that! Thanks for featuring! xxReplyCancel

  • Jenny - WOW hayley these photos are truly amazing. I love Emma and her beautiful family. She is so full of life and laughter and fun. Amazing that you got to meet up with her and have such a great time together. I am jealous! lol Great company is amazing to find especially in the kids too! You are truly talented lady. I bow to you and your photography. I wish I could do half as good. Love the blog look. I have been so bad at commenting on blogs it’s my new years resolution to do better. 🙂 Happy new Year lovely.ReplyCancel

    • Hayley - Thank you Jenny! It was a lot of fun spending time with Em and the kiddos! Would love to feature you too, we’ll have to try and organise something xReplyCancel

Who doesn’t love a Fresh Prince reference? Amirite?

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how excited I was for the summer holidays to begin….I was kind of lying a little…I adore the kids, obviously, but I was also a bit scared about spending so much time with them both and keeping them entertained! The lazy girl in me loves not having the usual morning chaos and sleeping in a little, even though that means later bed times, which I do not love. Patient and nice Mummy clocks off at 7pm and then OMFG-would-you-just-get-to-bed-now-so-I-can-eat-a-Magnum-without-you-seeing-and-watch-Netflix Mummy takes over. Mummy doesn’t share food. Or drinks. We were on a two hour car journey last week and it was sweltering, I was so hot but the little darlings had back washed into both the bottles of water I’d brought and I just couldn’t bring myself to drink it, I’d rather be dehydrated. Anyway,  I digress…

We’re just over halfway through now and I still have a fair amount of stuff planned and a birthday too –  Eeek! I reckon I can get a few days entertainment out of that? And I need to do uniform shopping and all that malarkey so there’s another day taken care of! I’m (mostly) kidding. They’ve only watched Frozen about 615 times so I’m looking forward to seeing that a few more times before school starts.

This is what we’ve been up to so far, lots of picnics, day trips, hanging out with friends and family. It’s been lovely. One of my blogging BFF’s, Lauren, came to stay for a few days with her boys. We had a blast and we were looking after the school chickens that week so that and a trip to the pick your own meant learning more about food and where it comes from. Pick your own is sooooo addictive. I don’t even like beetroot but ended up buying some anyway just because!

By the way, this is the most photos I’ve ever posted, ever. Sorry.

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