About Me

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Hello there. I’m Jules, otherwise known as Chiswick Mum. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I write about the small things and big things that make up family life as we navigate through this crazy city of ours, in the leafy edge of the Big Smoke. That includes days in, days out and days further afield.

I started my blog in the summer of 2012. It was a good time. It was warm, London was hosting the Olympics and the city buzzed with an air of possibility. Day after day we watched athletes achieve the seemingly impossible, through true grit, tears and determination,

 And it was the summer I got an iPad and realised that I could type from any room in the house, with a small child asleep on me. Suddenly a world of renewed freedom and creativity was opened up to me.

Since then my blog (and my child) has grown a little. But the reasons behind my blog have stayed the same. I strive for truly present, authentic, juicy parenting and living. I like to record the things that help us live London family life 150% – lest the days just slip by in a sea of lunch boxes, PE kits and violin cases, rainy day commutes and office life, late nights and bleary eyes.

5 things about me

  • I grew up in the North (okay, the Midlands really).
  • I read English at Oxford.
  • I’ve lived in seven different boroughs of London, in eight different places! But I’ve fallen in love with West London and continue to fall in love with it every day and weekend I spend exploring it.
  • I’m an award-winning public speaker.
  • I’m a musical comedy improviser and cabaret compere. 

Get in touch

I love to hear from people who read my blog, so please do say hi. I also love to hear about any ideas for fun things to do or visit.  I’m happy to hear from PR companies or brands. (See disclosure / review policy, below.)


Review policy and disclosure 

I’m lucky enough to get sent products, tickets and invites to events and days out. This is an amazing by product of blogging and one I never cease to appreciate. I still squeal when I open a package I’ve been sent. And get a thrill when I mark a blogger event up on the wall planner, and tell my son where we’re going. Blogging is a family activity.

These days, blogging is a minefield – for bloggers, and particularly for blog readers. It’s really important that everyone knows where they stand, so here’s some really important information about how I write about stuff on my blog.

REVIEWS AND WRITING ABOUT BRANDS

  • I write about all the stuff we do in life and at weekends, and mention lots of places / restaurants / activities / objects. Unless I say that something has been received as a gift, or for us to write about, then assume it’s just something we’ve done and paid for ourselves.
  • If I write about something that was a PR gift, but it’s just part of a weekly round up rather than a separate stand-alone review, then I’ll say so directly in the copy. I’ll say something like ‘x sent us x as a gift’, or ‘x invited us along to try out x’.  From March 2017, I will also put an asterisk next to the brand name the first time I mention it, as I think it’s a nice, clear way of showing it’s a freebie without breaking up the copy too much.
  • If I devote a full review to something as a separate article, I’ll make it clear in the copy that it was a gift / review ticket. I’ll also write clearly at the end of the piece to say that this was a review.
  • I use ‘no follow’ links for anything I’ve been given free (that’s a link where google doesn’t count the link towards the company’s page ranking. No I don’t quite understand it all either,  but that’s the modern world for you.)
  • I’m always independent in my thoughts and views… free to write what I wish, and will give an honest opinion. Although I often ramble!

 

AFFILIATE  LINKS

After several years of blogging without using affiliate schemes, in 2017 I made the decision to start using selected affiliate links on my blog. I’m quite happy to click on affiliate links in other blogs, or on MoneySavingExpert etc, so I hope you don’t mind that I’ve decided to include them on my blog.

  • I only use affiliate links to companies or products that I’ve used myself, or would use myself.

They’re generally part of a weekly round up, when I’m talking about stuff that we’ve done or used.

  • I will also use them if I do a bit of a special top 10 feature (eg my Top 10 books for 9 year old boys) .
  • If you do click on one of these links, then thank you very much –  it will offset some of my blog hosting costs etc.

Rest assured, you’ll never find a plug for a gambling site, or money lending site on my blog. Life should be fun, people!

 

SPONSORED POSTS

These are posts where a company or PR firm asks me to write about a topic, usually linking to their web page (using a ‘no follow’ link, see above.)

  • I like these type of posts as they’re really transparent, and I get to write about something fun, rather than just reviewing a product. For example, I could do a sponsored post from a sofa company but write about my top 10 things I do on a sofa. (This is not a real example, thankfully.)
  • For these type of posts, everything is written by me. The company doesn’t get to approve what I’ve written before I publish.
  • I will always put a paragraph at the end in bold italics, stating clearly that this is a sponsored or collaborative post.
  • Money I get from sponsored posts goes into a separate holiday and adventure fund.

Most importantly of all, I juggle full time work in an office, with blogging and mothering and partnering, so I may mess up occasionally! If I do, let me know and I’ll put it right straight away.

 

Insider info on my blog

Purely because I love this type of info on other blogs, here’s a bit about how mine is run:

  • I write everything myself, apart from guest blogs and interviews. I’ve upgraded from an iPad to a  MacBook Pro, although still use the iPad to draft on the go.
  • I take all my photos on an iPhone 5s, although I’m keen to purchase a proper camera, not least so I can stop desperately trying to delete apps when my phone gets too full to take photos!
  • My blog is on WordPress.org, and is hosted by SiteGround, who have been fine so far and I’d recommend them. (That’s why it’s an affiliate link!)

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