Vlogmas Week 2 Round-up

It’s been another busy week of filming for vlogmas in The Hippy Christian household. Click my 3 min vid embedded at the bottom of this post to see what I have been up to.

We have been present shopping, partying and had my mum and her husband down to visit last weekend which was in fact a pretty momentous occasion. It was the first time my mum has met the baby and we had a really nice weekend together. My mum has actually only been married for 3 months so it was nice getting to know her other half a bit better too. It was actually quite an emotional weekend (in a good way) and Beg absolutely loved seeing Grandma as well. I just love the bit of footage where Beg is dancing and my mum is holding the baby.

santa

We went to a party organised by our lovely baby singing group and had a lovely time. Lisa who runs it is so great with the kids and she did the whole party by herself; it was perfect for the babbas. She has been a great supporter of my blog so you will see she says “If you’re vlogging me get me on a good side.” Which just made me laugh but also brought it home that people have actually seen my vlogmas vids! So that was *awesome*! Thanks Lisa! 😉

Rich had a few days annual leave from work and so we got the majority of our Christmas present shopping for the kids done. The baby has about 20% the amount our daughter has but he won’t know will he? He’ll want to play with all the wrapping paper!

The 15th was a baby clothes haul so I haven’t included that in the highlights reel-it was a bit boring. Then the 16th was the first day I hadn’t got a video out. I had nothing prepared and I was wracking my brain thinking of talking to camera about something but what with the 15th being boring I knew I was reaching and so I left it clear. So does that mean I’ve failed the vlogmas challenge? I’m afraid I think it does, but stay tuned as I’m not quitting yet. I ain’t that easy… I gave birth twice-I’m hardcore.

Plans for next week include a collaboration with my Vlogging Bestie Ceri and of course her daughter Myah both of MyahzineTV fame! Ceri has also been a massive supporter of my blog from the get-go, giving me encouragement and tips along the way. I’m excited to be doing vlogmas with her and chatting on the vlogmas facebook page with her and we have a couple of fun videos planned with the girls which I think they will have fun filming.

What I’ve learned in week 2:

  1. Landscape filming definitely works better! (thanks Ceri!)
  2. Getting used to doing thumbnails and adding descriptions to my vids.
  3. There’s an overlay feature on my video editing timeline!
  4. Can upload straight to YouTube from my phone.

My favourite highlights of week 2:

  1. Hearing Rich making the baby laugh out of shot
  2. Baby smiling on mum’s lap
  3. Lisa asking to get her good side
  4. The way Beg says “he’s my friend” about Patch the bunny at the end.

Click the vid below for a condensed version of my YouTube channel -you lucky thing! I can’t believe Christmas is next week!

 

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#Vlogmas Week One Round-up.

I am 9 days in to #Vlogmas2016 and I’m pleased to say I have kept up and posted a video each day; even more pleased to say I have been really enjoying it.

If you don’t know what #Vlogmas is it’s a hashtag challenge to post a YouTube video every day of December in the lead up to Christmas. As you may have seen in my first Vlogmas blog post I’m brand shiny new to YouTube so I do feel I’ve taken up a challenge, but a fun one.

I’m pleased to say that I have already learned a lot. From simply navigating my way around a new social media platform – YouTube – to getting used to editing my videos it has been a great learning process. Once I put my mind to something, especially a new project, I can become quite obsessed with it quite quickly. But it’s usually because I am enjoying it so much, and this has been the way with Vlogmas too.

Some things I have learned from week one of Vlogmas are:

  1. Discovering brilliant free music on YouTube audio library
  2. Making my first day-in-the-life video
  3. Playing about with some techniques like sped-up footage
  4. Time spent editing has reduced from 3hrs to one.

Some of my video highlights for me were:

  1. My daughter calling the baby a “fuss-butt”.
  2. Rich making me laugh telling me what we were having for lunch.
  3. The sunlight streaming in through the window as I said “Kesed church”.
  4. Beg’s off the cuff “Myah from MyahzineTV” song.
  5. The baby eating/screeching at his sock on day 9’s vid
  6. A happy coincidence of a picture of my friends featuring on a screenshot of a charity.

I’ve made up a 4 min highlight reel of the first week of Vlogmas so you can get a  taster of what my YouTube channel is like. Coming up I have videos of Beg writing her Christmas wishlist, a very festive trip to the garden centre with my mum and baby’s first Christmas party (which was just the cutest thing ever), more days-in-the-life because I think they are my favourite and possibly another shopping haul. Have a look at the short highlight vid below and come over to my YouTube channel to see the rest of my Vlogmas vids.

Let me know if you are doing vlogmas too in the comments below so I can come and check you out and which kind of video you enjoy watching the most or what you would like to see me do a video about? Days in the life? Hauls? Let me know. 🙂

The Hippy Christian Mum Does YouTube

Throughout the month of December you can find me over on YouTube as The Hippy Christian Mum. I have taken up the challenge to post a vlog a day (a video log) in the run up to Christmas. So that’s a video every day including Christmas!

I have never really vlogged before but posted a little video of me ‘unboxing’ the Smiggle goody bag I received at their event and got a bit carried away and bought a video editing suite program! So I thought I’d better put it to some use and I saw the #Vlogmas tag floating about and thought I’d give it a bash.

It’s actually been really fun. I have been filming nearly every day and already am 100% better at editing the film than I was even 3 days ago when I began. I pre-recorded a couple of vids to give myself a head start and so far have not been lost for content. I have also been chatting with and following along other blogger/vlogger’s vlogmas vids and it has been great to see all the different styles of videos. I even got my friend on board at MyahzineTV and she is joining in too.

We are currently on day 3 of vlogmas 2016 and so far I have posted a shopping haul video, where I just show a few things I bought at the shops which doesn’t sound very exciting until you watch one and surprise yourself just how nosy you are (well, if you’re anything like me that is)! Day 2 was a 3 min mash up of us putting up our Christmas tree set to music, made quickly on an app on my phone. On the first day I was talking to camera explaining vlogmas and what vids to expect from me.

It’s surprisingly fun and Beg absolutely loves it, elbowing me out of shot whenever she possibly can. In fact I keep promising her I will set her up with her own channel as she’s always recording vlogs from the back of the car. She is born for the stage I think. I reckon even Rich is secretly enjoying it. He is always right behind me 100% in whatever I do though. The best thing about it though is that it is giving me a great excuse to capture Beb’s first Christmas on camera. It’s really getting me in the Christmas spirit as well, I’m feeling very festive already and it’s only the beginning of December.

Coming up there will be a Christmas car-pool karaoke James Corden sty-lee (I can’t wait for that one, Beg will find it hilarious). Some follow my day type recording as we do advent at church (these are called day-in-the-life I’m learning the lingo!). And hopefully more Christmassy family days out.

There is a Media qualification hidden somewhere in my murky past and while that doesn’t make me any good it does reveal a penchant for this kind of thing.  Apparantly YouTube is the place to be at the moment but I am still in love with blogging and whilst I am having fun messing about filming and editing I think I might stick to the written word after Vlogmas2016.

So if  you’ve ever wondered what my voice sounds like (Welshy) or how my face moves (currently crowd-funding for botox) it’s a limited time offer so click below and have a watch!

Let me know if you are doing #Vlogmas2016 in the comments below and I will come and check out your channel.

Run Jump Scrap!

 

Always Remember the 5th of November. (How could I forget).

I was always a big fan of fireworks night. When I was little my mum would take me to the local leisure centre and  I remember sitting in the stands wrapped up warm in hat and scarf and ear muffs (a must when you have serial ear infections) and just being awed by the fireworks. As a teenager my big sister and her cool boyfriend who drove took me along with them to a display & bonfire at the local pub. When I became independent I would plan a week’s worth of Firework displays around Bonfire night, visiting as many as I could.

Fireworks

 

My husband does not share my zeal for fireworks and would only agree to attend one display annually (a grumpy approach which turns out, spans more than just Bonfire night) and when we had children it became even more of a mission to convince him it was a good idea. Needless to say he was right as always and our attempt at a family night out to watch the fireworks went abysmally.

It began with me getting slightly over excited which never ends well. Thankfully alcohol was out of the question so that was a saving grace really. We had thoughtfully decided to go to one at a local rugby club in a little village nearby in the hope that the crowds would be manageable. Beg was 4 and it was her first proper display. We had done some little ones in the garden for her the year before – the quiet pack ones – but nothing big. I was so excited to show her proper fireworks. I thought ahead and bought us a pack of sparklers and a packet of glo sticks in case sparklers weren’t allowed. I wrapped me and Beg up in layers and hats and gloves and off we went.

ear-muffs

All excited in the car, we look out at the night sky busy with fireworks already and point them out to each other. As a surprise for Beg I thought I’d open the glo-sticks early. The instructions say snap to illuminate. Easy. Snap. Neon plastic stuff spits straight into my eyes! I completely freak out, shouting at Rich “It’s in my eyes, it’s in my eyes!” He laughs his head off and chucks a bottle of water at me which I use to rinse out my eyes and it’s all OK.  So they get stuffed in the car door. We arrive and park easily. Phew. We have to walk a little but the queue isn’t too  bad as we arrived early. It’s really muddy but me and Beg have our boots on. Score mummy. We have a look at the big bonfire but Rich doesn’t come because his trainers are getting stinking so we get bored of that pretty quickly. The bar is packed by now so we don’t even try to brave it for a coke and I’m feeling sick at this point anyway. I soon realise it’s because the tights I’m wearing under my jeans are far too tight and so half an hour later of toilet queuing and I’m feeling much better for getting rid of them. We go outside to pick a spot and wander up the hill away from the crowd to a bench Rich has spied. Unfortunately the wind picks up and now we’re freezing on the hill. Never mind, the fireworks are due to start soon. As always they start late. By now Beg is freezing cold despite the layers and all three of us are tired and hungry. We watch the first few, Beg is non-plussed and when we ask if she’d like to go home half way through it’s the most excited she has gotten all evening. Feeling rubbish, we head home; the only bonus being we miss the traffic queues on the way out.

mserable-fireworks
Thrilled

So we get home, all have a hot chocolate and vow to not venture out next year! Overall a bit of a miserable family night out, in spite of all my pre-planning. I think maybe it’s just not for us and we are better off sticking to a few hotdogs and sparklers in the garden at home. Baby Beb can enjoy them through the window then too!

How about you, do you love or loathe Bonfire night? Do you go to an ‘official’ display every year or prefer a family party at home? What are your plans this year?

Putting on a show

If you’d asked me do I feel I ever put on a façade for others I would have answered categorically no, definitely not. That was until I found myself plumping the sofa cushions today.

A new mum friend was coming to visit, someone I don’t know very well, so I’d tidied the house ready. When she popped round to offer her apologies –she couldn’t come after all her babba was unwell- I thought oh well the house is sorted now at least. As I switched the plug in off I thought “Oh how funny, I must have had that on expressly for her visit.” Then I went round and did a few other things, I opened the window, I made a cuppa, I realised actually there were a few things I had done in order to present myself in a certain way to this person I didn’t know very well. I thought that was really interesting.

In college I failed my psychology A-Level and a couple of others too (cough cough) but I remember learning about conformity. Zimbardo did this awesome albeit completely unethical experiment in 1971 called The Stanford Prison Experiment which I see on TV quite regularly in varying forms. He basically pitted two groups of people – volunteers – against each other as prisoners and prison guards and the surprising results were not just how horrible the guards became with the prisoners but how compliant the volunteer prisoners became.

There are different ways people conform to things. Basically what I like to think of as the wishy washy and the true die hards. I fall into the true die hards camp. If I agree with something I take it on fully. Balls to the wall, no holds barred, I’m in or I’m out. This is probably why I was smoking 20 a day by the time I was 21. As I’ve gotten older I can see that most of life is a massive grey area and therein lies the beauty (turns out there are many societal factors that play in behaviour like smoking so not quite so rebellious after all) but I am still prone to strong opinions and I am still prone to not really caring what people think of me. To be honest, I think it was what Rich found so attractive about me. It certainly wasn’t the smokers cough.

I’m an informed decision kind of person. It doesn’t matter to me if all my friends are doing the cry-it-out method, if there is a good reason I don’t want to then I won’t. I read and research things, I go my own way when I have to because I know that ultimately it’s me who has to be happy with the consequences of my decisions. That’s not to say that some of my decisions are not sacrificial. I love hearing people’s opinions and I love it when my thinking is challenged. In fact let me just take this moment to say those people are my favourite. The ones who can discuss without arguing, who present me with a totally different viewpoint and go but what if…? And it makes my mind open like a flower.

flowerAnyway I would never in a million years have thought that I was the type of person who does something, anything just because it’s what other people do. Until today when I plumped those pillows and considered waiting to use the loo in case someone knocked my door. Did I want her to think my home was lovely? Yes. Had I decided the best way to show her that was to have a nicely presented orderly house? Yes. That was somewhere in my consciousness. Did I want her to think my house smells nice? Yes. That’s just a funny I like nice smells too, I sometimes spray air freshener even when no-one has done a poo. When I get to the root of it, what essentially is the point of all that? I wanted her to like me. I turned that plug in off and all this came running through my mind -and now you have had the pleasure of coming on this mini journey with me- and I thought “Oh.” ” I wonder what other strange little ‘please like me’ things I have been doing all this time.” Perhaps I would have been a lot more compliant in that experiment than I ever realised.

“…in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Teresa.

What Does a Doula Do?

Doulas are awesome and amazing magical women scattered throughout the world quietly going about the business of supporting women to plan and experience a positive birth.

A common misconception is that doulas only attend home-births but as doulas are concerned with empowering women they usually attend all types of birth, home-birth, hospital birth, elective c-section and any others.

There are different types of doula roles, this post is about birth doulas.

Doula Profile

How do I hire a doula?

If you are in the U.K. you can go to Doula U.K. and search Doula profiles to find one that is in or willing to travel to your location. Lots of doulas are willing to travel. You can view doula profiles and see if there is anyone in particular you think you would get along with before making initial enquiries.

Get asking around, sometimes word of mouth recommendations come from where you least expect them.

What Does a Doula do Practically?

  • Ante natal support & information.
  • Opens space for any questions birth partners may have in confidence.
  • Provides time to just talk/think about baby as a family (especially useful if 2nd or more baby)
  • Be on call (usually) 2 weeks before & after due date.
  • Attend in birth however you need. Can make drinks, set birth space, words of affirmation, support birth partner, massage.
  • More likely to be aware of your birth plan & wishes and gently encourage everyone to follow it.
  • Post natal visit. Debrief about birth.
  • Post natal care visits to help with caring for baby if pre-arranged.

How Much Does it Cost?

On average from £400+ can expect up to £1,000. Depends on location, (London prices likely to be higher for example) services offered, (a doula may include things like book buying or mileage in their costs) and the individual. Being a doula is a vocation but for the majority, it is also their business and you can expect to find a wide variation in how people price the skills and support they offer.

One thing is for certain though, you may expect them to be clear about their cost from the outset so you are able to make a good decision. Some doulas are happy to split the cost into payments over the pregnancy some prefer upfront payment, as long as it is clear. Be sure to check what you are agreeing to before signing the contract between you and your doula and that you are happy with what is being agreed upon regarding services and pricing, and when payment is due.

How Will I Know Which Doula to Choose?

Meet a couple and then decide taking all factors into account. All good doulas would expect you to do this to see who you connect with and will be used to inital meetings with prospective clients. They are in it to support birth not to make excess cash so want you to be comfortable with them.

Jot down some ideas before your first meeting of what you think would be some of the most important things to happen at your birth. Would you like a calm and peaceful atmosphere, where would you like to give birth, what kind of things may help to make you feel safe and in control. A good ice breaker is to talk about why you sought a doula.

What a Doula Isn’t.

A medical professional. A doula is there in a supportive capacity. Even if they happen to have a medical background, the support of a doula cannot replace the advice and expertise of a qualified midwife.

Infallible! Most doulas will stay with you throughout your labour and birth but doulas also have their own families and commitments. Check your doula has a contingency plan in place should she not be able to attend you due to emergency or illness. A lot of doulas on the doula UK website know each other locally and will ‘back-up’ for one another in this (uncommon) instance.

I would really recommend seeking out a doula to support you in birth, whatever type of birth you would like to plan for yourself. Before the birth the cost of a doula seems expensive, after the birth it doesn’t seem anywhere near enough.

Church Macmillan Coffee Morning

After having a lovely time at Bloggers Meet for Macmillan I wanted to host a coffee morning myself at our church. We always have teas and coffees and a chat after church so cake is an added bonus.

SAMSUNG CSC

I signed up on the Macmillan website and they sent me a free coffee morning hosting pack in the post within the week. At church Beg and I set up a little table and put the cakes out, there were loads of decorations in the pack to make it eye-catching. The bunting was my favourite bit. Beg wrote out the cake labels they looked really cute in her handwriting.  I had a feeling my #churchfam would be receptive to the idea and I was right, everyone was very generous and in total we raised £73.96!

Macmillan’s Coffee Morning seems to be gaining momentum and I was really pleased to be a part of this year’s event and completely surprised we raised so much. It was a lovely morning, I knew I could rely on my church family to support such an amazing cause.

If you would like to get involved, it’s not too late to join in as there’s loads of free downloads and ideas on the Macmillan website to help you host your own.

If you live in Newport or nearby and are looking for a friendly bunch of people to call your own #churchfam you’re welcome to come and check us out at Faith Church

Thank you to everyone who donated! 🙂