Today I meet the lovely Donna from What the Redhead Said. Thanks so much for taking part Donna ๐
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi, I'm Donna. I've known my Husband, David, for over eleven years and we've been married for nearly 7. We have two children – Athena and Troy – who really do light up our life. We live in Camberley, Surrey and spend as much time as possible going here, there and everywhere on little adventures. Our life is busy, no two days are the same but we wouldn't have it any other way.
What do you like doing to be you, when you are not parenting, working (if you do), or blogging?
Up until about a year or so ago my life was full of children, work and blogging and I didn't have much time for anything else but then I started running and try to go two or three times a week just for half an hour or so. It's great to get out in the fresh air, listen to music and have time to think. I love it.
I also make time for regular spa days with friends. There's nothing like spending quality time with your best friends, especially now that we're all parents and spa days are a great way of doing this – relax, unwind and have quality time together too.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Am I allowed to say the children? They are something I am so proud of. Apart from them, it would be owning our first home by the time I was 22 and the blog. What the Redhead said has taken so much time and effort over the last few years and that won't change any time soon but it is something I love and something that is truly mine. I love blogging and do see my little space online as such a great achievement.
From your own experiences, what do you find the hardest part of parenting and what is the easiest/most rewarding part?
The hardest part for me is when the children are sick. It happens when you least expect it, often so suddenly, and most of the time there is nothing you can do apart from hug them a little tighter and do all you can to comfort them.
The most rewarding part is watching them learn. The way they soak up information, learn something new and then repeat everything they have learnt is incredible to watch – and so, so rewarding.
Parenting in itself is no mean feat; how do you juggle everything you need to in order to get everything done on a daily basis?
I have no idea. Hubby works shifts, I work part time and I have the blog as well as Athena being at school… Then there's the house, food shopping and cooking and everything else that needs organising. I think lists are important – a meal plan, a shopping list – and I have delegated the weekly online food shop to Hubby, I just don't have the time anymore. We both do the household chores and we know who is doing the school run each day. I think forward planning and lots and lots of lists are key. So far all the plates are still spinning so something is definitely working!
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I started blogging when Athena was 7 months old as I realised not many people were doing Baby Led Weaning like we were and there wasn't much information about it online. It was still such a new things and I wanted to document our BLW journey.
Tell me a bit about your blog?
What the Redhead said is a family lifestyle blog that has a bit of an ecclectic feel – I write about reviews, giveaways, days out, family life, food – a bit of everything. I started blogging as Redhead Babyled and rebranded to What the Redhead said a year ago as I felt I'd outgrown the baby in the name. It now feels like home, a more grown up version of my original blog.
What do you write about, do you feature guests or run linkys?
I write about pretty much anything! I do have a weekly Beginning of Us series where people can share a guest post of how they met their partner and it's been going on and off for a couple of years now.
What do you want your blog to achieve and where do you hope to see it go as it grows?
I think What the Redhead said has achieved more than I ever expected it to. We have worked with some great brands, been nominated for awards and it has turned into a part time job for me too. That is all incredible considering I only started to write about my daughter's weaning journey!
I guess I'd love for it to just keep going in the same direction. If I can make a full time income from it one day that would be amazing but I'm happy with how things are at the moment.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
Work out why you want to start blogging. If you want to blog to document something – pregnancy, baby days, family life, travel, your home recipes – then that is fantastic – go write! But, if you are starting a blog to get 'free stuff' then really think long and hard about it. It takes bloggers hours and hours of work each and every week to get to the point where they are sent products to review and if you are doing it just for that reason the fun will go out of it very quickly. You have to really love blogging to persevere with it. Go start a blog but make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Ooooh toughie! There are so many incredible people that I would love to chat to. Prince Harry because I think he is just so normal for a royal, plus he's my age so I can relate to him – although not the royalty part! Erm… Michael Jackson because we had tickets to his upcoming tour when he died – dinner with him would obviously be the next best thing. Lastly, Robin Williams. I think he would have been awesome to have dinner with and it's so, so sad that he is no longer around.
Tell me three random facts about you
Ooooh ok then.
1. I had an operation on my right eye when I was 18 months old as I had a squint. After that I had to wear a patch over my left eye for months and then wore glasses – I dream of one day having perfect vision but it will never happen!
2. I did a sky dive when I was 19
3. I can do the alphabet in sign language.
Thanks for having me Lisa!