Mummy V's Blogger Interviews - Emily From International Elf Service
For today's interview I'm delighted to welcome Emily from International Elf Service.
'Emily has a magical secret… she works for Father Christmas at The International Elf Service. She is also a Registered Osteopath and a Mum to three children, including a wonderful little boy who has Down’s syndrome.'
Why did you start blogging?
When I started my little business in September 2014, Amee D'Souza, one of the mum's at school who helped me with the website and drawings for Elfie's Christmas Letters, suggested I have a 'news' page on my website. That was all very well but I realised very quickly that I wasn't the type of person to be posting about Christmas all year round, much as I love it! I've always been really big on knowledge share and have found it incredibly helpful to read other people's posts on all sorts of topics. You can learn SO much from others and there are so many lovely people out there who just want to help where they can. We have a couple of interesting things going on in our family - a child with Down Syndrome, free-from diets, healthcare (I'm an Osteopath) and Kids. So, I decided I'd write about all of that and hope that I could contribute into the pot of helpfulness and learn a thing or two! I also use my blog as my own recipe book and information source to refer back to!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of starting a blog?
Do it! Don't worry about 'getting it wrong.' Just write about what interests you and what you feel compelled to say. Your opinions and views are just as valid as anyone else's and your life is just as interesting! Writing, just like anything, takes practice and we're all still learning, well I certainly am. I would say work on the optics a bit though - yellow text on an orangey background might not be the best look. Oh and make sure you have good photos (still working on that one!). Most of all I'd say be YOU. Write in your natural style and enjoy!
Fantastic advice, I agree! Who designed your header and why did you go for that particular design?
My blog is physically attached to the business so it has the International Elf Service Stamp 'logo' at the top. I drew out the kind of logo that I wanted and Amee made it happen. I love it! I should move my blog to somewhere else really, but I'm not sure I could cope with even more browsers open at once than I already have!
How has blogging enhanced your life?
I've 'met' so many lovely bloggers and have learnt so much about all sorts of things. I genuinely feel much richer for it and feel very proud to be part of such a wonderful blogging community. I had no idea what the extent of it was until I started blogging. There's always someone who can point you in the right direction, laugh or cry with you, or give you direct advice. I'm bowled over with the sheer talent of bloggers out there.
Do you follow a plan when you're writing a blog post or do you let the words guide you?
I start off with a subject I want to write about and then do a 'brain dump' and write any old thing down to make sure I've included everything I want to say. Some ideas I have before I start writing and others just appear in my train of thought while I'm tip tapping away. Then I go in and edit it and make sure that I've actually said what I think I've said! I usually have to crop 1/3 of it away so it isn't as long as the M4. Oh and I reluctantly take out jokes that only I'll find funny. Such a shame.
Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why?
Oooh I'm not sure... I think at a push it would be 'Carry On Self-Catering' because it's just SO typical of all our holidays that it's become a bit of a family joke. The photos are ropey because the lighting was so appalling. I could write a post like this after every holiday we've ever had! Do you think I should? http://
internationalelfservice.co.uk/ international-elf-service/ carry-on-self-catering/ .
I definitely think you should, it's always good to look back on funny memories!
If you could travel anywhere in the world to do research for a blog post where would it be?
Mmm. It would have to be somewhere with the kids because actually without them there would be no blog. They're the reason it's there in the first place really and they provide about 90% of the material! It would definitely have to be somewhere warm and sunny with both amazing and funny things to 'write home' about. The first thing that springs to mind is going on some kind of action adventure holiday and doing something different, like riding donkeys into the Valley of the Kings, or staying in the Ice Hotel in Lapland or something (with our own Free From Chef of course).
Sweet or savoury?
Both! I can't be left alone with sweets or crisps. MOST of the time I'm more of a savoury person but I do find the more sugar I eat, the more I want. It's addictive stuff! Every now and then I go on a total ban and after about 10 days I stop thinking about it altogether….for a while ;)
Hot or cold?
Hot. I'm always cold, mainly because I spend far too much time huddling in a corner with my computer. I prefer to eat and drink hot things so I don't need to be embarrassing and clutch a hot water bottle while I'm pretending to be professional in my corner of the cafe where I write… It's just occurred to me this question might NOT actually be about food or drink #onetrackmind but actually it stands true for holidays too. I'd much rather be somewhere warm and sunny than go skiing. One of the reasons I struggle with public swimming pools is that I get SO cold in them when swimming (mostly hovering about) with the kids. I even have an electric blanket. Gosh I sound like an old lady don't I??
Any last words for your readers?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please come and say hello on Facebook or Twitter!
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If you are a blogger and would like to be interviewed on V Family Fun please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply with some questions.