As the weather gets warmer, I like to indulge in the odd fantasy where I become a cross between Nigella Lawson and Cath Kidston – effortlessly dashing off cupcakes and simple summer smocks to wear in my fragrant, tranquil garden.
Then I remember that my garden is a graveyard of discarded Little Tikes products, and I have the local pizza delivery place on speed-dial. Still, a girl can dream.
One of my favourite ways to indulge such fantasies is by reading the amazing gardening, food and photography blogs written by British parent bloggers – some of which are currently being celebrated in the MAD Blog Awards, an annual awards scheme for parent blogs, being held in association with Parentdish.
If you would like to get in the kitchen with your children and effortlessly whip up delicious meals and treats, then we recommend visiting Maison Cupcake,Eggs, Cream and Honey and Cooking, Cakes and Children. I can't promise you'll be able to match the stunning creations on any of these blogs, but the pictures are pure escapism, and the chances are you'll be inspired to make something yummy! There are also some brilliant ideas for family-friendly meals to be found at Feeding Boys, where Mum of two Katie shares tips on how she keeps her energetic tribe fed and healthy.
Once you have whipped up your feast, you'll need a garden that lives up to it! Two of our very favourite blogs about English gardens come from Tales from the Village and Carrots and Kids. These blogs are filled with gorgeous pictures and simple to follow tips on creating amazing gardens, with projects to take on with your children, as well as the odd cooking and crafting activity, thrown in for good measure.
If you're serious about creating summer home accessories, then you must visit Mary Poppins (Home Sweet Home). Mary's blog is one big celebration of things that make life prettier, with a combination of things to make, things to buy and things you'll just sigh over. Or head over to Never Plain Jane, where you can find instructions on how to make a variety of gorgeous home and garden accessories, from pots to bunting.
If you're more of a shopping girl than a sewing girl, then there are bloggers out there with an effortless sense of style and cool who pick out the very best items each season, to save you from a home décor faux-pas. Some of our very favourites include Little Stuff,Beenie Buds and Co and Violet Posy, who share dozens of gorgeous finds with us.
We hope you find these British parent blogs inspiring to look at – and maybe they'll even bring out your inner Nigella or Cath Kidston!
Next time, we'll be introducing you to some of the parents who use blogging to share the more difficult and painful parts of family life – often providing a lifeline to their readers.