The MADS (Mum And Dads) Blog Awards have opened nominations for this year's crop of Best Blogs in 16 categories. For most of the categories my obvious choice jumped instantly to mind. A couple of categories had me agonising between two blogs that I feel equally deserve the prize.
Seven categories eluded me. I could have gone looking for blogs to fit the descriptions but that's not in the spirit of the awards I think. In the end I had to admit that I don't read baby and pregnancy blogs as I've passed that stage. I don't happen to follow a new blog (it means new writers not just new blogs) by a UK blogger. Best Innovative Blog was all about using great technology - right over my head I'm afraid, I like an attractive design but the content grabs me more than the widgets. Fashion And Beauty - I know plenty of bloggers who look fab but don't actually write about fashion and beauty so I left it out. I love knitting but I don't read much about (or do much) crafting so the Best Craft Blog doesn't feature on my list. Lastly, Best Family Fun Blog - they're all fun.
My biggest disappointment was that some blogs I love didn't have a category to fit. On the other hand, had there been a Most Inspiring Blog, I would be agonising over that one until the ceremony in September. Here are my nominations in 9 categories out of the 16. I hope you'll take a look at some of them and enjoy them as much as I do.
MAD Blog of the Year: Helloitsgemma's Blog. Gemma has covered everything this year from being unemployed, the death of her mother, finding a suitable school for her son and settling him in, and relocating across the country. And in every major life-changing event she hit upon the real issues, the ones that make you think longer and search deeper.
Best Blog Writer: Anna from Adventures of a Middle Aged Matron. Even when she's being witty (which she doesn't actually do as her 'witty' is hilarious) she is poignant. Anna finds the irony in subjects you didn't even know were subjects.
Best Family Travel Blog: A Bavarian Sojourn. You may think it's not technically travelling if they are living abroad but Emma and her family don't just sit still in Bavaria. They're all over the place, they find the most delicious locations and Emma takes amazing photos.
Best Family Life Blog: Making It Up. You couldn't make it up. Four children (including a teenager, a toddler and a baby), home educating all of them, working from home (well you'd have to be but where do you find the time?), reading 100 books a year, running multiple blogs, decluttering for England and it never seems to end, running, and - this is my favourite - regular Tudor Re-enactment participants. I especially love Jax's Saturday Snippets every week.
Best Food Blog: We Don't Eat Anything With A Face. Vegetarian, Vegan, Mains, Desserts, food for real families and good enough to serve to guests. Lisa shows you how doable a vegetarian family is.
Best Thrifty Blog: Mortgage Free In Three. Elaine is nothing short of inspirational. And it's not just being thrifty, it's her innovative approach. I was blown away by the brilliance of her plan to clear a large mortgage. Never mind if it takes three years or more, the method is pure genius. And every step is precisely blogged whether it's about the food they eat, gifts and celebrations, income boosting, or just plain family life on a budget.
Best Schooldays Blog: Adopt and Keep Calm. The amazing story of Buster and Bonzo. In truth I think Bonzo's School deserve to share this prize but I was already incredibly impressed with Buster before Bonzo started school. And it's all written up with such wit and charm that you can't help but cheer them on.
Most Entertaining Blog: Not From Lapland. Heather is just plain funny. If you don't believe me read this. Or read anything else from this blog. I will always remember the line about trying to pour liquid children into snowsuits, and it still makes me laugh.
Best Blog Photography: Lakes Single Mum. Only Becky could make the view from her kitchen window different and exciting every time she takes it. And there's more, some of my favourite country scenes in fact. Of course it helps if you live in The Lake District but beauty has to be captured nonetheless.
NB. You have to display the MADS badge on your blog to have your nomination accepted. Good luck my team!