Category Archives: Getting to know the Author


September Favourites

September Favourites

So I am a few days behind, but as I’ve done them for the past few months, I like to continue.
September saw the children returning to school. New uniforms, new adventures. It’s been lovely. Mini begun her school journey, with only half days during the month of September.

I was nervous about her starting, but she is so far loving it.

We joined Moo Music for a couple of weeks, which baby loved, it was nice to go. But due to my new hours I’ve decided not to continue, I definitely recommend it though.


Carnival season begun here too. As I type we’ve done South Petherton, Frome and Wellington. Coming 1st at Frome and 2nd at Wellington, the troupe are very pleased with that.
They’ve three more to go. Carnivals for me are the first steps to counting down until Christmas, it used to be that I’d always get the children new coats ready for carnival night, as it was so cold, now they barely need a jumper (well of course they don’t as they’re displaying!). Bit if they were watching…

Working Mum

I’ve agreed to extra hours at work, which has led to making arrangements with grandparents to have baby, and placing her into Nursery. That’s only happened very very recently, so only time will tell to whether it’ll work out.
I did have a good cry about her going. But we try and make the most of our days together, usually by having lots of squishes or moments out a day about.

Month ahead.

Writing here has become more frequent too, with a couple of affiliates lined up, I’m looking forward to the month ahead.
Don’t forget to find the posts I’ve written during September,including my cheerful lists, and Christmas talk.

Have a lovely October.

The Red Head Diaries.


Why Do I Blog?

Sometimes I have absolutely no idea why. More often or not I am not even sure if they’re ever being read.


I began my internet blogging journey five years ago writing about the start of my pregnancy after the loss of Melody. I’d already written using pen and paper Melody’s pregnancy, birth and life. I had spent so much time behind a computer screen speaking to people on forums and Facebook groups, it felt at the time like an extension, or at least something to compliment what I was already in discussions about.

Having a pregnancy after the loss of an infant was terrifying, coupled with HG made everything so isolating, which left me alone. Due to the pregnancy being so close to the loss of Melody my words of terror during pregnancy actually turned into words about the grief for her.

October 2012 I took part in my very first grief project (Capture Your Grief); it was here I fell in love with the idea of documenting my relationship with grief, living with it. I knew then it was something I needed to do, whether it was read by people, which was a different matter, if the posts were read then even better. For me it meant that I was hopefully helping someone, whether they had their own grief, or just struggled to understand mine.

For a long time I focused solely on this blog, it became my niche, I felt confident about talking about her, it has helped me so much.


I made a decision to share family life too, as a way of making memories, and I guess to compliment Melody and Me in a way that parenting after loss is very, very different to that of how parenting was before.

I love, love writing, and most of the time it is probably crap, sometimes I try to be funny…I’m not.

I just would like to be read, the blogging community is huge, and to be a small part of that is great, I do know I have a lot more to learn and a lot of confidence building.

Some things will be changing (again – sorry) over the next couple of months, but that is simply because I really am learning on the job, which is what I hope this will become one day.


Thank you for sticking by my month of prompts; although I did schedule some of them ahead of the days, I have enjoyed taking part.

I hope you have enjoyed reading them, and getting to know your author that little bit more.

Maybe I will do another soon.


Julz – The Red Head Diaries


I do have some very exciting news coming in the Next 24 hours for both of these blogs. I am just hoping I have made the right decision… Eek!

Instagram @theredhead_diaries

Twitter @theredhead35

And Facebook The Read Head Diaries – Blogs



What is in my Messy Cupboard?

I have already mentioned my vast collection of reusable bags, but I also have a slight stationery addiction too.

There are many notebooks and bits of paper in here, full of stories and ideas which I am working on.

I like to write my very first drafts of things I write with old fashioned pen and paper, I am not overly sure why; maybe it is because I can sometimes get more done, especially with an incredibly clingy toddler, or in the car when Mr Red is driving.


I think I buy a new notebook at every opportunity I can, I also receive them often too, each one has its own topic, easy for me to remember where and what I have written, far easier to get my head around than trying to work out spreadsheets.

A couple of the books have endless random lists. Does anyone else love list writing? I’m actually at a loss as I have no lists to compile at the moment.

As well as many pieces of written work, I have charity work things in there too.

Luckily the doors are fairly stiff so the youngest one can’t open it easily.


The Red Head Diaries.


Where I have traveled to.

The only place I have been abroad is Dublin, I am not even sure I can include that as having been abroad…

If I am honest, it doesn’t interest me massively either, as I mentioned on day 16. I’m happy with that. Of course I would love to travel to Disney Land, because I am a big child, but there is so much to see here.

I haven’t really travelled much here either…yet. Growing up with vintage rallies there was some traveling about; we’d stay in Wales and Cumbria quite a lot.

I love where we live in Somerset, not necessarily the town itself but the area is pretty amazing.

We camped in Nottingham last year; I am definitely a country girl; we’ve recently camped in the Cotswolds too, paying a visit to Oxford where I’d have loved to had spent more time there.

We are National Trust members and do love visiting the properties, having children in the Majorettes gives us an opportunity to travel around Devon and Somerset too.

One of my favourite places is Saunton Sands in North Devon – which we have nicknamed Melody’s beach; it is clean and so peaceful.

Apologies for the less exciting travels, but this is how I like it, it’s perfect for us, for me.



The Red Head Diaries


What I look forward to


I am such a big child when it comes to Christmas, I love everything about it. I am of course very conscience that we have a little person missing, I know many struggle for this reason. But I needed to make the one thing I have always loved extra special. We can’t afford lavish holidays, or the festive days out over Christmas, but we do keep traditions as much as we can. I did blog a Christmas adventure with a cuddly toy, which I ended up indie publishing for a bit of a giggle.

We just really try to have a wonderful time. For the past few years I have managed to get to a couple of the Christmas Markets, will repeat this again this year. Mr Red and I may even have a second attempt at Christmas shopping, it was a disaster last year, with weather and only managing to get Child Care for a limited amount of time.

Butterfly Awards 2017.

As I write this I am also looking forward to The Butterfly Awards, we went last year and it was amazing, I didn’t win, but I did get to have a lovely night away with my husband. This year I get to meet a lady who lost her little boy a year after Melody, we have spoken online, but never met, this year we will.


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My Favourite Recipe – Pork and Rice


I don’t really do much in the way of cooking, I am quite hopeless at it, lucky for me I married a chef.

This is a recipe from The Hairy Dieters Cookbook – Eat for Life. I love these guys.

All-In-One Spicy Pork and Rice



2tsp Olive Oil

1 medium onion, sliced into thin wedges

500g pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices

50g chorizo sausage, skinned and cut into 5mm slices

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red and 1 orange pepper, deseeded and sliced

100g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp hot chilli powder

150g easy-cook long-grain rice

750ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube

Flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Serves 4

Prep 15 minutes

Cooking time about 30 minutes

We used mild chilli powder and gluten free sausages too.


Heat the oil in a large, non-stick deep frying pan or sauté pan. Fry the onion wedges over medium-high heat for 3 minutes until they’re softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.

Season the pork with salt and black pepper, then add it to the pan and stir-fry with onion for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chorizo, garlic, peppers and beans and stir-fry together for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with spices and stir in the rice, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the liquid had been absorbed and the rice and pork are both lovely and tender.


Source: The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life Recipe Book, page 71.



An Old Photo of Me

Well, luckily for me and for you I have no baby or childhood photos of me; at least not that I can get hold of.

I most recently have found it very difficult to accept being in photos, I hate, hate having my photo taken.

As per an earlier post, I struggle with what I see before me in the mirror.

So a short one from me today, this is one taken early on in my relationship with my now husband.20864283_10155545232002310_1871618320_n

The Red Head Diaries


Blogs I Read

I try and read as many as I can, particularly as a blogger I like mine to be appreciated too.

There are a few new ones which I am enjoying; I say new, I mean new to me.

I’m not sure if I can include these as I contribute, but as I am not alone in contributing to them, I will add them.

Loss Through The Looking Glass, put together by some incredible women.

Still Standing Magazine, I have been in awe of the articles that have appeared over the years, they have helped me so much.

The Hairy Dadders

Life by The Dreams

Whinge Whinge Wine

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Write like No-one’s Watching


Just to name a few.

I love reading blogs, I am maybe a little nosey. But often I really am in awe of how people manage to maintain such popular blogs, and keep tidy houses!!

I am shit at planning, and parenting at times…I really should keep to set times for things, but I over flow then time runs away with me.

One Day I will get better organised.

But for now I will carry on enjoying both reading and writing.


The Red Head Diaries


Favourite Childhood Books

My Dad was a big reader, and tried his best to get us to love them too, however it wasn’t until I reached adulthood did I find my real love of books.

I couldn’t pick just one favourite.

One of my favourites was The Hodgeheg by Dick King Smith, it is about a Hedgehog family’s adventures in crossing the road, anyone who knows me, will know I love hedgehogs.

Another is Alice In Wonderland

The adventures, the mysteries this book takes you. So many different characters, worlds within worlds, I personally think it is an incredibly unique book; it is probably why it is so well loved.

The Christmas Carol, I have no idea why I love this book so much, it fascinates me all the different film versions of the book too. I try and encourage my children to read this book, although Harry Potter and The Hobbit are heavily encouraged here too.

Books, are wonderful to get lost in, to take your mind off real life troubles.

The Red Head Diaries



Dream Job

Everything I thought I wanted to be changed when I met my husband. I’ve said before I had always loved writing, but I never took it seriously; that was until I met my husband who has the same love.
Before we met I thought the next step would be a nursing career, I’d worked in care for such a long time, it was the next natural progression, it was difficult due to child care, so I paused my course with full intention of starting again one day; I loved my job at the hospital. Then I lost my job, I worked in agency for a while after I remarried. But as my pregnancy with Melody progressed I was too ill to carry on. Once again I planned to return after my maternity, I was looking forward to it.
Then she died.

Every single thing from before changed. From very early on in our grief journey I decided I would never want to work in the care profession again.

I tinkered about working from home, odd writing jobs here and there, I began writing for a hobby and the blog dedicated to Melody, found a new love for blogging and writing in a separate blog too.

So I guess my absolute dream job would to be a full time writer.

I am incredibly grateful to have such a supportive husband and actually I do have a few supportive friends and family too.

All else fails, I really love my day job, I am a midday supervisor – Dinner Lady –I never in a million years thought it would be something I would love, but I really, really do.


The Red Head Diaries