Wednesday 27 June 2012

Oh What A Night... and #britmumslive!

Oh what a night and phew what a week! I can't let the passing of my 40th go unmentioned - thanks to all my buddies for joining me at a crazy Abba show and then boogying for as long as our legs would let us....

Something tickled me today - in the car on the way home from school, I suggested having one of the boys from Sasha's class back for a playdate (at her request) and Tamsin screamed 'no! no boys!' but then quicly followed it up with 'Sasha and *insert boy's name* sitting in a tree, K*I*S*S*I*N*G!' (can you tell she's just got to THAT age?!). 

Slightly amusing but it was Sasha's response that made me giggle - 'no way, hose-ay' she quickly replied! This from a girl who hasn't yet really mastered the English language to the extent of her peers (although I think her Spanish is better than most... thanks Dora!). Even more amusingly, she followed it up with 'easy peazy lemon squeezy' when I told her she was funny!

Anyhow there's so much I'd like to blog about but really I've just popped on to do a quick post about my Britmums Live! experience.

This is the conference held last Friday and Saturday in central London for lots of 'bloggers' - people like me, writing about all sorts of stuff from food, to crafts to parenting etc. There were over 500 of us there! Before I went, I was most looking forward to hearing the two 'big' names speak - Ruby Wax and Sarah Brown. Neither disappointed, but the session I enjoyed the most was the one called 'Crossing The Chasm - How to bring your blog to the next level'.

This was hosted by five bloggers who have all amassed big followings - Nickie from Typecast, Jane from Northern Mum, Melinda from Her Melness Speaks, Michelle from Mummy From The Heart, and Maggy from Red Ted Art. I knew and loved all these blogs before we went to conference, so it was great to see them in 'RL' (real life!). Plus, Nickie and I went to primary school together, but have not seen each other for over (gulp) 28 years, so it was amazing to be able to give her a hug again.

In short, deep breath, this panel's advice was:
  • Back it up!
  • Make people laugh or cry to get your post shared
  • Have a reason for the blog to exist
  • Have good content
  • Grammar and spelling are very important
  • Be truthful to yourself
  • Be consistent
  • Be confident about your own blog and your own voice
  • Don't care about the divas
  • Blog design is important
  • Be generous - help and encourage other bloggers
  • Evoke reactions - create discussion
  • Don't be a groupie!
  • Accept not everyone is walking in the same direction
  • Be an individual
  • Think 'I Can Do This'
  • Stay true to yourself
  • Have conviction
  • Realise everyone is different
  • Appreciate it's not all about trail-blazing
  • Widen your network (social media/non-parent bloggers)
  • Inspire people
  • Be passionate
  • Build community by showing personality
  • Use good photos
 Last, but not least, probably my favourite comment was 'Mix it up a little and let it grow'.

It's all common sense, but sometimes it's difficult to find the time to sit still and think it for yourself. So I found it really helped having these inspiring ladies spell it out, and boy am I glad I wrote it all down! I think a post on 'confidence' may follow shortly.... but I'm sure I will refer back to all of the above comments continually throughout my blogging life.

I'd like to make one last mention though, and that is to a special lady who helped make the conference a fabulous experience for me. Her name is also Steph (handy for being able to introduce ourselves as 'the two Stephs'!), and she agreed to meet me beforehand as neither of us had met any other bloggers previously. 

Steph blogs over at Was This In The Plan? ( and I'd urge you to go and read her blog. During the conference she spoke passionately about wanting to help the Children's Hospices which do such an amazing job for so many. I hope I can help her with that in the future too. For now, I'm leaving her with this memory of our short but fab time together:

A massive 'Thank You' to these lovely ladies who let me tag along for some noodles on the Friday night, despite only having just met me and not knowing if I was a complete loony.... Renata who blogs at Just Bring The Chocolate, Hayley from Downs Side Up, Jenny from Cheetahs In My Shoes, Ren from Fabulicious Food. I only wish I could have been there at the close on Saturday to hear Hayley read her brilliant blog post What to Say When a Baby is Born with Down's Syndrome which I know caused a few watery eyes.....


  1. And here I am writing up my Britmums Blog post too and about to give you a namecheck!!! So fab to hook up with you, it really made it for me to have a comrade in arms! And happy 40th - I just didn't click it was that weekend! - doh! xx

    1. I know, I didn't look a day over 39 ;) look forward to your post! x

  2. Glad to see you had a great time on your 40th! Thanks for sharing the tips, very helpful for those of us who couldn't be there

    1. Doh. See I knew I'd forget to put something in my post... Wanted to say a big thanks to you guys for letting me tag along with you for food too!! Was such a pleasure to meet you all. Been a whirlwind since - similar at yours I'm guessing?? x

  3. We haven't changed a bit!!

    It was so good to see you properly again, albeit too brief. Really glad you enjoyed the session I was leading too.

    1. Yep, maybe I'll be up for the 'proper' partying next time ;) good to see you too. Come stay if you ever fancy a trip to London, we're really near!! x

  4. Happy Birthday!! I saw you whizz past me at one point but you were going for a massage and didn't want to stick my head underneath the chair thingie to say hello! I missed the Friday but loved Saturday!

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes - and oh wow, that massage was the best thing ever!! Wish I could've booked that lady on a permanent basis! Catch you next time I hope x

  5. Don't think we met, but I love your recap of the workshop "taking your blog to the next level" - I think I need to print it out as my bloggy manifesto and stick it up by my laptop!

    1. We probably passed like 'ships in the night'!!! Next time let's make a date ;)

  6. Glad you had a lovely time. Its a great way to meet new people and get new ideas

  7. Happy 40th Steph and glad to read you had a great time at Britmums. Thanks for sharing those tips from the panel; they are really fab and I will come back to these as I have some improvements to do, blog design for one. Deb x

    1. Yep, design on my list too - that's the fun bit. But time consuming!

  8. Happy Birthday and this is the best round up of advice from BritMums that I've seen, thank you. Am tempted to print out and stick on the fridge!

    1. Thank you. I can't take credit for the words sadly :-) but it was all good advice. Look forward to meeting you at the overseas one ;)

  9. Just wondering, could I reblog that list of advice on my blog, with a link to you of course. Its such a fab list. Deb xx


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