The MAD awards – my blog recommendations

The blog awards season is upon  us, with nominations for both the MADs and the BiBs now open. It can be really difficult to narrow the list of bloggers down in order to nominate, and it can be difficult to know who to vote for in certain categories if they are not on your regular reading list. I have put together a list of a few of my favourite blogs in each category – it might help you work out who to vote for and it will definitely give you a list of some fantastic blogs to check out this year!

The MAD awards

The MAD (Mum and Dad) awards celebrate parent bloggers from all walks of life. There are 14 categories this year:

Blog of the Year: Quite simply, this has to be your all time favourite parenting blog, for whatever reason. My recommendations are:

  • Ghostwriter Mummy – simply inspiring, beautifully written posts with a focus on birth trauma, IUGR and HG awareness and the very popular Maternity Matters. Susanne inspires me on a daily basis, and I couldn’t possibly vote for anyone else for this award.

Best Pregnancy Blog: Celebrating the start of a brand new parenting adventure, this award is open to anyone who has blogged about pregnancy in the last year. My recommendations are:

  • The Mummy Adventure – the current award holder, Becky won Best Pregnancy Blog last year for her updates throughout her 3rd pregnancy. Now expecting her 4th, I have loved watching her bump grow again and reading her posts about planning for a home birth.
  • The Olivers Madhouse – Jaime has just given birth to her gorgeous boy Jacob. I enjoyed reading her monthly bump updates and it was lovely to see someone opening up about depression in pregnancy. 
  • Budding Smiles – Hannah is due to give birth to baby number 2 pretty soon. Her maternity fashion, pregnancy body image and keep fit posts have been a joy to read, and I really sympathised with her when she wrote about sleep deprivation and SPD recently. 

Best Baby Blog: For bloggers with a baby under 1, featuring everything from sleepless nights to first smiles. The blogs to go to for parenting advice.

  • Family Fever – I would love to be considered for this award myself. I have written monthly ‘baby watch‘ updates since Eliza was born, documenting her growth from newborn to crawling, standing boddler. It will be such a lovely thing to look back on when she is older. I also feature regular baby product reviews and have written about our experiences with reflux and postnatal depression.
  • Make, Do and Push! – One of my all time favourite blogs written by Hannah – mum to 2 gorgeous small ones. Her youngest is almost the same age as Eliza – in fact I think we were due on the same day, so I have followed her blog for a while now. As well as regular baby updates, Hannah also writes fantastic posts about having a velcro baby, breastfeeding and social anxiety.
  • Bump to Baby – Another blogger who was due at the same time as me, Alex writes beautifully about her 2 boys, and takes some absolutely gorgeous photos too! I have loved reading about their recent trip to Walt Disney World (not jealous at all…..honest) and seeing how she established a sleep routine with her youngest.

Best Pre-School Blog: For those bloggers with toddlers. Featuring everything for the pre-schoolers, from crafts and recipes to fun activities.

  • Going on an Adventure – My #TriedTested co host Colette won this award last year, and I would love to see her do the same again. She has recently written about coping with chickenpox, regularly reviews toddler products and days out, and we love the seasonal bucket lists her family works through.
  • The DADventurer – I have been reading Dave’s blog for about a year now, and have watched Baby L grow into Toddler L. The DADventurer’s posts make me laugh out loud, especially the recent ‘How to entertain a toddler while you are on the toilet’ and a post about the random thoughts you have while watching CBeebies. I think we can all relate….!
  • Odd Socks and Lollipops – Jenni writes this beautiful blog about parenting her little girl, Boo. You can find anything on here, from tips on getting your toddler to brush their teeth to her thoughts on starting nursery. Everything is accompanied by some lovely photography.

Best Schooldays Blog: Bloggers writing about children aged 4 and over fall into this category – because there is still plenty to write about when your children get to school age!

  • ChelseaMamma – Full of some fantastic days out posts, I love this blog written by Kara. She lives in Dorset and has 6 children, aged between 21 and 2. She writes about all sorts, from family travel and day out ideas to parenting milestones and returning to work.
  • Super Busy Mum – Mum of 5 children, from teens to toddlers, I think Debs fits the Schooldays bill. I have recently enjoyed reading her posts about taking children on holiday and have always loved her fantastic recipe and kid friendly craft posts. 
  • The Brick CastleJenny’s posts about her amazing daughter Elspeth, who they lost unexpectedly in 2014 are heartfelt and full of emotion. She has also had to deal with a meningitis battle in 2013, when her partner was taken ill. Despite it all she remains positive and shares some amazing blogs about Lego and Gary the Cat – the most recent addition to the family.

Best Family Travel Blog: For anyone who blogs about travelling with children, whether that is local or long haul!

  • Pod Travels – I have followed Charly and Pod for several years now, when I stumbled across her beautiful blog and spent many days swooning over the photography. Focusing on personal travel experiences, Pod Travels has some amazing posts from around the world. My personal favourites are a spa in New Zealand and a post about child friendly activities in the Isle of Wight.
  • Coombe Mill – A truly beautiful farm in the Cornish Countryside, Coombe Mill is the place to go for a South West holiday. So many bloggers have enjoyed spending time here over the years, and it is somewhere we would love to visit ourselves. There are some really informative posts about family friendly days out in the area, as well as lots of gorgeous photos of all the farm animals!
  • Mums Do Travel – Written by Greta, this family adventure blog which fills me with hope that travelling with children need not be a hassle, but can be fun and fulfilling. I have loved reading her posts about dog sledding in Alpe D’Huez and things to do in London with the kids.

Best Craft Blog: Those amazing blogs that make us want to get cutting and sticking with the kids!

  • In the Playroom – You can find everything craft related here, from printables and activity packs to fabric crafts, homemade fancy dress outfits and personalised gift ideas.
  • Let’s do something crafty – Nature crafts, creative play ideas and crochet, all beautifully photographed. This blog really makes me want to be more creative!

Best Thrifty Blog: Every penny counts once you have children, so these blogs are well worth a read!

  • Skint Dad – I love this blog for its simple tips for saving money. Nothing too dramatic, just everyday changes we could all make that would save us plenty of pennies. The recent posts about buying seasonal vegetables and mystery shopping made for interesting reading.
  • From Aldi to Harrods – With posts about how to save money on everyday items and finding the cheapest broadband deals, this blog is a really practical, easy to follow read that is packed full of useful advice.

Best Food Blog: Everything food related, from family meals and baking to high end restaurants.

  • Eats Amazing – I have followed this blog for a good while now after coming across the fantastic Bento lunch ideas. Anything that makes packed lunches more fun is a winner with both me and my children! I have also bought Bento items from the online shop there, and loved the recent Easter Nest Cupcake recipe.
  • A Mummy Too – Emily writes this award winning food blog, and her photos just make me drool. Everything looks delicious and appealing, and I can confirm that the No Bake Lemon Cheesecake really is as good as it looks!

Best Lifestyle Blog: Sharing the best of family life from food and travel to fashion and politics. Beyond the parenting.

  • What the Redhead Said – One of my all time favourite blogs, I love reading Donna’s posts, both parenting and non parenting related. My favourite reads have been ‘The Monochrome Lives of an Instagram Generation’ and ‘Luck and Good Fortune or Hard Work?’
  • Mummy Says – With everything from travel and fashion to health and parenting, The London mum has it all covered. My favourite posts from here are ‘The Last Time’ and These Mothers Look Like Us’. Kiran’s writing is incredibly powerful and has me nodding along in agreement.

Best Writer: There are some bloggers who are so obviously fantastic writers – they can paint a picture with their words.

  • Mummy Says – As above, Kiran writes an amazing blog. Her posts draw me in and make me want to read more and more – especially her parenting articles. She is articulate, passionate and emotive no matter what the topic – and she has covered some hard hitting areas.
  • Gylisa Jayne – a new blog, but already one of my absolute favourites. Gylisa had her little girl around the same time I had Eliza, and her posts have been to the point, beautifully written and on such a relevant variety of topics I haven’t been able to stop reading. She has a real way with words and can talk about anything that is happening in her life.

Best use of Photography: For those blogs who you can’t stop looking at. Their photos are just incredible.

  • Oh So Amelia – Another blog I read all the time, Kerry write some brilliant posts about family life, as well as sharing some great blogging tips. But by far my favourite thing about her site is the beautiful imagery – all her photos are stunning. Whether she is taking pictures of her 2 little cuties or sharing photos of her home, everything looks just so, and I really love her monochrome style.
  • Mummy, Daddy, Me – I just love this blog, it makes me all warm inside. The photos of Katie’s recent pregnancy, their family holiday to Caribbean and her daily pictures of her gorgeous girls in their amazing outfits always make me smile.

Best New Blog: New blogs less than 12 months old.

  • Midwife and Life – Featuring posts about parenting, pregnancy, birth and home, I love this blog by midwife Jenny. Her post ‘You Know you are a midwife on call’ had me laughing all the way through, and she has some great informative posts about newborns too. 
  • A Moment with Franca – A blog I recently came across when it was linked up to #TriedTested, and now read a lot. It looks great, with good web styling, the posts are interesting and informative and the reviews are really in depth and have beautiful photos.
  • Hello Beautiful Bear – A lovely family centred blog with a focus on babies, this blog makes me smile. I love the craft and review posts, and really enjoyed the recent blog growth tips and Lucy’s tale of PCOS and conception.


  1. March 27, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    Oh my this has really made my day. Thank you thank you thank you so much for your lively kind words. And your support, it means so much! Lots of wonderful blogs out there, and it’s so hard to narrow it down. You know you have my vote too lovely xxxx

    • kate
      March 27, 2016 / 7:21 pm

      You are so very welcome. Your blog is my go to for everything parenting related, and you do such a good job of raising awareness.
      It is really hard to narrow it down, there are so many awesome blogs these days! Thank you for your vote, that means a lot!

    • kate
      March 27, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      Thank you, and you too!

  2. March 27, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    aww thank you millions Kate, this made me quite emotional … thank you lovely xx

    • kate
      March 27, 2016 / 7:20 pm

      You are very welcome indeed, you know I love your blog!

  3. March 27, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    Wow, I am so shocked that you have added me in this list, thank you SO much! Mucho appreciated Kate and I hope you guys all have a great Easter! xx

  4. March 27, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    This has made my day, honestly, I’ve been feeling so low these past few hours and you’ve pulled me back up with this – thank you Kate 🙂
    I’m so pleased that you read the blog and your comments about it are lovely, thank you my dear
    X x

  5. March 27, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Thanks so much for including me Kate. You have put together some great recommendations, most are blogs I read regularly – and the others I haven’t heard of so will check out x
    Donna recently posted…Looking Back – The Ordinary MomentsMy Profile

  6. March 27, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    I love your whole list and there are some blogs here that are new to me I’m off to take a look at like Gylisa Jayne and Midwife and Life. Absolutey thrilled to have a mention too, that has really made my Easter and I really hope you will come and see us one day. I love your blog, try to join your fab Tried and Tested linky each week and will be rooting for you as one of this year’s stars at the MADS. xx

  7. March 27, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    I once made it to the finals of the BiBs with my old blog, Mamacook which was a massive shock and delight. Nowadays I’ve just given up. Part of it is I’m not self hosted, I don’t do giveaways, I don’t do sponsored posts etc and basically I don’t treat it like a job because it’s not for me. It’s only a hobby for me and although it does take up lots of my time, I do it because I enjoy it. Because of all that, I don’t have the followers nor the ratings to get enough votes so there’s no chance I will get a look in whether my content is good enough or not (and I’m honest enough with myself to admit I probably could do better at times.)

    I’m not singling people out in saying this because I think we all do this at times but often some of the most popular blogs I find a bit boring. I find it sad when I start reading an article, (sometimes you can even tell before you start to read) that the opinions are formed more by the fact the blog post has been sponsored rather than the experience itself.

    I like reading words which have come from passionate writers who write what they know and love. Success doesn’t always follow that (or perhaps I’m just bitter!)

  8. March 27, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    I am in shock that you included me in this list alongside these amazing blogs. It is an honour to be recommended by you, a blog that I read all the time!! I’m incredibly flattered!! Thank you so much Kate for your kinds words. It really means a lot!! 🙂 xxx
    A Moment with Franca recently posted…Easter Eggstravaganza at Willows Activity FarmMy Profile

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