It’s been a busy week with all sorts of bits and bobs going on which I will recap on shortly. But there has been one absolute stand out highlight of the week and that’s the fact I got to attend Blogfest!
It’s safe to say in the days leading up to Blogfest I was shitting myself! Having missed BritMums Live earlier in the year, this was my first ever blogging conference. I speak to several bloggers on a near on daily basis and genuinely count them as friends, but to meet everyone face to face was something I was a pretty nervous about. However I needn’t have worried, cause by some lucky coincidence I bumped into some of my blogging besties at Kings Cross; Sarah from Mum Muddling Through, Talya from Motherhood The Real Deal, Ursula from Mumbelievable and Charlie from Mess and Merlot. I was so pleased especially as Sarah has been both a huge support and a huge inspiration since I started Beauty Baby and Me. She’s someone I got a lot of advice from and who I speak to a lot so to finally meet her was fantastic. I was so grateful the girls took me under their Cool Mum Club wing and my nerves started to settle as I relaxed and got to know the girls.
After a quick but soggy (bastard British weather) walk from Kings Cross to the venue, we arrived to a lovely coffee and pastry reception and a LOT of other bloggers. It was half massively exciting, half utterly terrifying. A lot of the bloggers already knew each other but I managed to introduce myself to people and get chatting which was lovely. Another massive highlight was finally meeting my gorgeous friend Laura from Five Little Doves. Laura is such a huge inspiration; she is one of the strongest people I have ever met and I am so happy to call her my friend. If you haven’t read her blog, be sure to get over and have a read.
The day kicked off with an introduction from Justine Roberts, the CEO of Mumsnet, followed by a panel called Women Online: “With more female names on bylines, blogs and bestseller lists than ever before, women’s voices are undoubtedly ‘having a moment’. But while the internet has given women – and especially mothers – an invaluable platform for self-expression, and has aided a resurgence in feminism, it’s also brought with it the challenges of online abuse, and the risk that we’re simply speaking into an echo chamber.” This talk was undoubtedly one of my favourite sessions of the day. I found it so inspiring and empowering and I enjoyed what all the speakers had to say but particularly Jess Phillips. She’s such a strong woman and I found myself cheesily nodding along to everything she said as well as laughing at her fantastic sense of humour.
Following another much needed coffee break (I was up at 4.45am to get ready and travel so I was SHATTERED) I attended the “Pitch to Publication” session. I knew I’d find this a useful session as I am very keen to write a book, but I’ll be bluntly honest; Sarah Turner AKA The Unmumsy Mum and quite frankly, my hero, was part of this speech and I had to go and girl fan her!! I cannot help it; I love everything she stands for and her refreshing and honest attitude. It was great to hear what she and the other speakers had to say, and the absolute highlight was meeting Sarah afterwards. We’d had some tweeting banter before Blogfest when I said I’d be stalking her for a selfie so we had a good laugh over my accomplished mission!
Following this me and Sarah from Mum Muddling Through, who had joined me on my stalking mission, were so buzzy and happy we went for a wonder around meeting brands and introducing ourselves to people. It was really good to do a bit of networking and I had a very exciting discussion with the reps from Aveeno skin care which hopefully I can discuss a bit more in the future. Sarah and I then decided to have lunch when we were joined, quite unexpectedly but very bloody excitingly by the one and only Anna from Mother Pukka. The three of us had a really good chat about some personal issues we’ve all been affected by and I was so touched by Annas warmth and understanding. For someone who is so influential, she had all the time in the world to talk to us and it felt like talking to a friend. Like giddy school girls we had obligatory selfies taken with Anna and I was so thrilled when she looked me up on Instagram and followed me. This was such a highlight of the day and it meant the world to both Sarah and I.
After lunch and a fantastically funny skit from the hilarious Scummy Mummies it was the Who’s Laughing Now session. This was another fantastic panel including the legendary Kate Kirby from Hurrah for Gin and I have to say I was really impressed with Kate Thornton who was hosting; she was really warm and friendly, and I adored the shirt she was wearing!!!
The final session of the day for me was a smaller session than the previous ones, it was a chat with Louise Pentland of Sprinkle of Glitter and Brummy Mummy of 2’s Emma. It was a really lovely session; very light hearted and honest and it was lovely to see Louise and hear what she had to say after many years of watching her videos.
Now, living in the deepest darkest depths of Norfolk, I actually left the day at around 4pm, and missed Davinas keynote speech which I hear was amazing. However I have to say, I didn’t leave feeling sad or that I’d missed out and I think this is because what I did experience was so inspiring and brilliant. I had such an amazing day; I met some lovely friends, people I already classed as friends but do so even more now that we’ve met, I got to hear from writers I inspire to be even a smidgen as good as, and I got to hear from some hilarious and sassy women who I’d not previously heard of and now wonder how I hadn’t! It was such a great day and well worth the 4.45am start! I can’t wait to go again next year and I think it’s encouraged me to go to Brit Mums Live in the summer too.
None of this would be possible without the simply lush Sally of Meet other Mums, who sponsored me and was my T shirt twin on the day! I’ve already given you an insight to how amazing Meet Other Mums is in this previous post and I will be writing another post shortly about the importance of the website, what it represents and does for us Mums and the importance of making friendships at such a transitional time of our lives, so please do look out for it!
So as you can tell, Blogfest fever has taken over and was the highlight of my week. But what else did you get up to I hear you ask (!) well it was actually a bit of a nightmare of a week….
- Josh nearly took ten years off my life when he broke out in a rash without warning last Monday. As I watched it quickly spread over his body I felt the blessed Mothers Instinct kick in telling my usual irrational and neurotic self not to panic. It clearly wasn’t meningitis, which is the absolute fear of Mothers everywhere when you see a rash. It looked more like when you get stung by a bunch of stinging nettles, which made me wonder if it was something he’d eaten. Sure enough between me, my friend I was with at the time (and who I love for keeping me calm) and the doctor who immediately returned my call and got us in to see her, we pinpointed it down to some fresh tomatoes Josh had at lunch. It seems cooked tomatoes don’t affect him but the raw ones really did, which is apparently a very common allergy amongst babies.
- I managed to nearly knock myself out. Some stupid mechanism on my car boot stopped working, and without me realising, when I put Josh’s buggy in the boot and stood up to get back in the car, I didn’t notice the boot hadn’t fully opened and smacked my head full force against it. Hello mild concussion. Felt like shit afterwards and couldn’t even rely on wine to numb the pain as apparently head injuries, no matter how mild, and alcohol don’t mix. Spoil sports.
Besides that, a spot of make up shopping, over indulging in Christmas decorations to dot around the house come December… or late November… it may have already started, and my ability to make a whole chocolate orange and a toblerone (WTF has happened to those by the way – piss take) disappear within the space of three days, our week really was all Blogfest excitement. It’s been brilliant and a true eye opener.
I really hope you’ve all enjoyed reading about it. I loved going, despite my heightened anxiety at going to such a huge event all alone. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.