parent shaped us

Hello I’m Penny, I live in Nottingham with my video game making husband, two children (b.2006 and 2008) and a retired greyhound.  I’m a passionate family lifestyle and travel writer, blogger and video maker.  For me nothing beats getting outdoors, exploring nature and having adventures, as many as possible while my family still enjoys each other’s company.

I’ve been blogging since 2010 here, and on another site which I sold to an online retailer.  Selling a blog is up there with some of my biggest adventures, including going to Africa with Davina, David Walliams and Jonathan Ross, climbing Snowdon and overcoming my fear of deep water.

Parentshaped has had several posts go viral including this one and this one. It was recently awarded Best Family Travel Blog Runner Up at the Family Traveller Awards, a massive honour which made me realise travel blogging was my thing.

You can also find me talking travel with Alison, Katie and Helen on family travel inspiration site Space in Your Case. I am also one of the founding members of Team Honk, and with Annie and Tanya have blogged with Comic Relief from Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya and raised lots of fun and money with the incredible blogging community.

Last but never least, I lost my mother to brain cancer in 2010, my blog has always been my mental filing cabinet and my place to share little legacies.

Thanks for stopping by



My family and other animals


Penny – Me. I always wanted to be a journalist or a teacher. I taught for 7 years, teaching Drama and as Head of Media and Film Studies in a secondary school. I left while pregnant with my first child. I did a diploma in creative writing from the OU and started a blog.  My blogs, and the work around them are my job now. I’m vegetarian and I’m happiest outdoors.


Mr A – Runs his own games and app company.  Off the scale ‘P’ in Myers Briggs personality test talk, very spontaneous and flexible.  I used to be off the scale the other way ‘J’, a planner and organiser who likes things settled but I’ve joined team spontaneous.  Go Team Alexander, wherever that takes us (I’ve got the babywipes, the snacks, the map…)

So very at home in Harry Potter World @universalorlando #universalmoments

Miss L – My firstborn, headstrong, determined and ten. Crazy blonde curly hair which she didn’t get from me. Freckles which she did. Loves blue, baking, art and nature.

Camp Bestival - 1

Mr G – A very imaginative, impulsive eight year old who isn’t fazed by much, loves Lego, Pokemon, Minecraft and collecting treasure, was almost certainly a pirate in a previous life. Loves the outdoors, science and history.


Max – the greyhound we adopted from Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust. Tall, dark, handsome, loyal. Loves walks, sleeping and soft toys.


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  • Reply Tatiana Segala


    My name is Tatiana Dias and I work for a Spanish marketing company called SMARTUP, nice to meet you 🙂

    I am writing you on behalf of a travel client who would like to appear in your web page by means of an advertorial. Your task would be to write and publish a post in exchange for an economic reward.

    If you are interested, please get back at me as soon as possible for further details.

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    All best wishes,

    08/02/2017 at 7:34 am
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