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You can never quite say what you want in 240 characters on Twitter so I wanted to share my full apology on the blog today. I am so incredibly sorry to anyone who has been offended by anything that has appeared on my blog or timeline.  I would never intentionally publish anything here that I thought was going to upset anybody.  That is the furthest from what I am about or this blog. I have taken my eye off the ball and for that I’m incredibly sorry.  The post in

I’m always talking to people about starting a blog, so I thought it was about time I wrote some of it down just incase any of you were curious.    I’ve been really building my own knowledge around blogging and social media recently, and I wanted to share some of that knowledge with you.  I really hope by reading this post about setting up a blog I will make your blogging journey a lot smoother than mine was. I have often described the way that I set up my blog

Hello readers!  It’s a particularly grey day here in Nottingham today, but I wanted to share a little ray of sunshine with you all if that’s OK? On Friday I received a wonderful email telling me that I was a finalist in the Brilliance in Blogging awards. These particularly prestigious awards are run by the number 1 influencer community in the UK, Britmums, and to be announced as a finalist has literally blown me away. There is a significant amount of people writing wonderful blogs in the UK, and there

Hello lovely readers.  Well, December is in full swing now and the big day is only 3 weeks away.  Where has the year gone, hey?  I’m not going to lie, I’ve been looking forward to Christmas for months.  I think having young children at home makes it an incredibly special and memorable time of year and the girls are beyond exited already. The lovely Lou from With Love From Lou shared a Christmas Tag post just last week, and I really enjoyed reading it.  She was kind enough to tag me

Families that travel regularly can often end up being away from home for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.  Whether I am at home celebrating or I am in holiday accommodation, I still want to add some personal touches to our celebrations.  Making a fuss and ensuring that my loved ones feel special on their important day is something I really enjoy doing, and I know many of my readers out there like to make the most of their special occasions too. If you are going to be on holiday

If you had of asked me a few years ago whether I’d have been making and sharing videos on social media, I’d of said ‘get outta here!  That’s for kids’. We’ll guess what, I now make videos and share them on social media with my audience, but why do I do it.  As a creative, it’s a lot of fun being able to film clips and put a video together and say ‘I made that’.  It’s something that I really enjoy doing. Social media is accessible for everyone and we

September has bought many changes to this household, and the one that is the most exciting for me is that I finally have a home office and boy has it been a long time coming. With teen moving out to go to university, his little sisters have moved in and taken over his room (which at the moment is a blessing and a curse).  This has meant that the box room can now be used as a home office for me.  I moved in quicker than you can say ‘spare

Blogging is hard work.  It’s not an easy ride by any stretch of the imagination.  If you are a blogger reading this, you will totally understand what I mean.  We are growing our own online small business and a lot of hours go into all that it entails.  Apps like Crowdfire are essential to help us grow and save time.

Instagram is my favourite social media platform by far. Since starting Zena’s Suitcase 2 years ago I’ve discovered that I love taking photographs. I also love looking at other people’s photographs.  Instagram is the obvious social media platform for me to be on and I’ve become a little bit addicted to it.

I wanted to write a blog post that covered all the key elements to getting your blog off the ground in one handy place.  The thing with blogging is there is so much to it.  You are always learning and making tweaks to improve your blog, increase your reach and get your content writing out there to as wide an audience as possible. I do think though, that there are some key elements that provide all blogs with a solid base for success.  Firstly, I’ll make know bones about it,

Since I joined the blogging community and became a fully fledged blogger, the one thing I love the most is how interesting and diverse parent bloggers are.  Of course, we have to be different, as it would make for a very boring blogosphere if we weren’t.   All our readers would soon get very bored indeed if we were all the same. We all blog for different reasons, and they are all OK.  Our blogs are personal to us, which is what makes them very special and unique.  We share

When I visited the Mumpreneur and Female Association recently to talk to them about my life as a blogger I realised very quickly that there are a group of business women out there keen to work with us, but don’t have much of an idea of how to work with bloggers. Blogging was a new concept to me about 18 months ago, so I can completely empathise  with people who are starting up a new company and are keen to tap into this new way of exposing their business. There are two

When the opportunity arose for me to take the leap from the 9-5 to become a freelance blogger, it was a no brainer really.  With a demanding young family requiring so much of my energy having the flexibility of being able to work for myself was invaluable. Even though it was a great opportunity, it hasn’t been without it’s fear and unknowns.  I worked in an office environment for all of my career, and had reached a management position.  Leaving this behind could have been a sheer act of stupidity,

One of my very good blogging friends, recently tagged me in a fun meme, and I’m really excited about taking part.  I haven’t done one for ages, which is just pure lazy of me really!  So here I am upping my blogging game and about to answer Bex eleven questions.  If you’d like to read her post, which is awesome by the way you can catch up with it right here. If you’re new to meme’s, it’s a bit of a round robin if you like.  A blogger will nominate

If you haven’t already heard it’s #BritMumsLive this weekend.  If this had escaped your attention, then where on earth have you been?  Does your life not evolve around knowing what I’m going to be wearing, how many drinks I’ve stashed into my suitcase and whether I’ll be spending the entire time in the brand den 😉 No?  What do you mean?  There are actually other things going on in the world.  Oh right!  I see.  However, in a bloggers calendar, this has to be the biggest event of the year,

Vlogging was something that I’d wanted to get into for a while, but while I had my hands full with Little Pudding at home full time, with her boisterous sister joining her 2 days in the week it seemed like the impossible task.  Then something happened that forced my hand.  I was absolutely blown away to be selected to work on the Barclays Lifeskills Diary Of A Parent campaign.  I honestly thought, they will never pick me, so when they did, I was absolutely delighted to be given this amazing

First off, your reader has seen your search result, been hooked by the headline and clicked through to your post.  It grabbed their attention from the outset, and helped them with how to tackle the problem they came to your blog for.  Awesome! Then they thought, I wonder if she’s ever written anything on (insert reader problem 2), and bang your reader is searching your posts quicker than you can say SEO.  Not only is your reader enjoying your blog, but Google has noticed your reader is enjoying your blog

Britmums 2015 is next month, and I am so excited.  It’s a major blogging and social media conference and getting to go is a huge deal in the blogging world.  I’ve got to give a huge shout out to my sponsor, Burble Baby, for making it possible for me to attend.  You can read more about my sponsor right here. Because there is so many people going, some familiar faces and some new ones there’s a little meme going round for us bloggers to take part in, so not wanting to

OK, I’ve had a channel on YouTube for quite a while, but I couldn’t really call myself a vlogger.  Well folks, all that is about to change and as you already read my blog, I thought you might be interested in what’s going to be happening with Zena’s Suitcase over on YouTube. Firstly, there’s going to be some exciting video diaries in partnership with Barclays Lifeskills about exploring how us parents can help our kids with preparing for work or work experience.   If, like me, you are worried about

I have just got back from my second #blogcampuk hosted by the fabulous Tots100 team and their partners, Frank PR and Cow & Gate.  120 bloggers swarmed to The Studio in Birmingham for an awesome hangout  and bucket loads of coffee.  Just as well as my blogging bestie, Kaz from Ickle Pickle was up at 3am to get to the venue on time!  Now that’s dedication for you. It was amazing to feel the energy of having so many creative folk hanging out in one place with an appetite for

To be honest, I really don’t know the answer to that question, but you might!  Blogging is something that I have found by complete accident at a time when I really needed a distraction in my life from some sad stuff I had going on.  I have come to really appreciate all the layers it has to it. I love being able to express myself and dabble in design, flare up my creative side and explore the world of photography.  All these aspects are completely new to me, and my

Being active on Twitter is essential if you want to make it in the world of social influence.  You’ve signed up, you’ve sent your first tweet, but how do you make twitter a successful part of your blogging strategy? Twitter is probably the most effective way to drive traffic to your well crafted posts and let your potential readers know you exist.  So where do you start, I’ll give you a clue there blogging friend, start at the very beginning. #1 Your Twitter Profile Help your audience out by making

I am absolutely honoured and delighted to introduce Burble Baby as my main sponsor for Britmums Live 2015.  When Karen, Mumpreneur and Business Owner contacted me to discuss a sponsorship arrangement between Zena’s Suitcase and Burble Baby I knew this was a brand I really wanted to work with. Karen launched her quality gift brand in September 2014, and is rapidly going from strength to strength.  I love supporting new ventures on Zena’s Suitcase and I’m really excited to be working with Karen over the coming months. It was obvious

Thanks so much to the lovely Renee at one of my favourite blogs, Mummy Tries for the New Year’s tag.  This is a fab little meme that even I have got time to take part in!  It suits my new approach to New Year’s Resolutions perfectly, where reflection is a huge part of moving forward. It’s a short and sweet one for all my lovely readers, so I hope you enjoy looking back at my year with me and finding out what’s coming up in the year ahead.

Before I started writing Zena’s Suitcase I literally had no idea about blogging and what it was all about.  Mine has been a very accidental journey but I’m so glad I started it, because as all bloggers know, blogging totally rocks.  It’s a pretty influential medium now, and it’s only going to get bigger.  PR’s will have to stop saying ‘we have no budget’, as blogging opportunities become the most successful way to get their brand in front of their target audience. Now that I’ve travelled down this path somewhat

One day my world changed.  It still looked the same from the outside, I had my amazing husband, my wonderful children and one on the way but something was different and it was never going to go back how it was. Things should have been rosy shouldn’t they.  My glass was very much half full and some.  But still,  I was left with a hole that needed filling somehow.  I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it.  I was fragile in my hormonal and pregnant state

Thank you to Kate at Musings of a 21st Century Stay at Home Mum for nominating me for a Liebster Award!  It was such a lovely surprise. For those not in the know, a Liebster Award is an award for bloggers to give to other bloggers.  It’s a way to say, “Hey, I like your blog!” It’s a bit like a chain letter, I answer 11 questions and then nominate more bloggers with less than 500 followers to answer my 11 questions.  So here’s my answers first off… 1)For you, what makes

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