I’ve been shortlisted in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards – Please vote for me!

Thank you so much to who ever nominated me in the BiBs2013, I’ve been shortlisted in the video category!

I was a little surprised about this, as it was my plan to really start getting into videos this year, and I didn’t feel I had embraced it properly yet.

But it’s given me a boost to do lots more, thank you!

And if there is any chance that you have a couple of seconds to vote for me, I’d be really chuffed!  (Check out the other blogs if you like and then click on the bit that says ‘vote in the 2013 BiBs’ to actually vote).

What have I done?

Here is my YouTube Channel, it’s got lots of bits and pieces on it.

I had a think about what videos I have done:

 

My kids are the stars of the show of course!:

 

My most popular is the gorgeous David Tennant!

 

Most recently there have been my Weight Loss Diary Vlogs:

 

I even embraced a Google Hangout and have several more planned for this year to get everyone healthy, fit and strong.

 

There have been lots of radio interviews in my Lifestyle correspondent role for Radio Verulam:

 

And a few BBC3 Counties Radio Interviews too:

 

I’ve even used a video to sell my book:

 

So I suppose I have done some video blogs.  But so have the others – I’m up against some tough and great competition.

So if you would like to see more of my face and the fact that I seem to have a much more noticeable lisp than I thought, then:

VOTE FOR ME!!!

Get me into the finals, I would be really chuffed!

 

 

Joe Browns makes great clothes

5 Top Tips For Going To A Blogging Conference

Joe Browns makes great clothes
Willow stole my dessert last year!

I’ve got a sponsor for BritmumsLive Yay *does a very happy dance*.

A huge thank you to Siblu, who are sponsoring me after sending my family and I out to review one of their holiday camps last summer.

 

So now for the important stuff you have to do before going to a blogging conference:

1) Panic about weight:

Tick I’ve got that under control with my new weekly weight loss vlog and plan to launch a google hangout ASAP to help anyone else needing a kick.

2) Panic about what to wear:

Tick, I’m taking the lazy option and wearing the same as last year

3) Check out the schedule and have an idea of what I want to achieve:

Tick, I aim to stalk Kirstie Allsopp as I adore her, can’t wait to hear Katie Piper.

I’m not that worried about connecting with brands,  but like the look of the story telling den and anything about photo’s or blogs.

4) Sort out the family, travel and accommodation:

Luckily Siblu are helping with this as Little Dimples still needs me at night, so the family will be in town too and seeing a few sights.  I’ll be at the Holiday Inn if anyone else is?.  Britmums have tips on their site for getting sponsorship; check them out, it never hurts to offer a company the opportunity to help out and get some great PR.

5) Panic about being Billy No Mates:

This is where you come in: WHO WANTS TO MEET UP?  Go on, someone say you fancy having a mate there?  (BTW they had ‘butterflies’ last year who helped you if you were scared).

 

 

Outfit for a blogging conference

What I am wearing to Britmums Live 2012

 

Are you worried about what to wear to a blogging conference?

 

My main tip is to remember:

There will be cooler better looking people than you.

There will be people worse dressed than you.

There will be fatter and slimmer people than you.

 

So all you have to do is:

Feel comfortable.

Be able to adapt to different weather and temperature.

Dress like you; because one of the points of a conference is that people want to meet you face to face and get to know you better.

I’m off to BritmumsLive 2012 tomorrow – fancy seeing what I’m wearing?

My outfit has been mainly given to me by the lovely Joe Browns.  Why did they give me an outfit you might ask?  Well because about a year ago I raved about a gorgeous coat they had and was seen by Best British bloggers who work with them.  They kindly sent me the coat for a competition, plus a pretty blue top as a reward for me.  This obviously got me shopping for myself for the coat!  So I asked if they fancied sending me an outfit for BritMumsLive and they said ‘yes’ – yay!  Obviously again this has inspired me to go on their site and do another shop.  I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s all a sneaky plan to make me buy even more of their stuff!

I love the Joe Browns stuff because it’s pretty without being insipid, and slightly boho, thus appealing to my tree-hugging side.  Most importantly they make lots of long tunics that cover my pear shaped bottom!

I’m not sure which order I’m going to wear things with, but I think it will be this outfit for tomorrow and the announcement of the awards:

Outfit for blogging conference

 

Plus a burgundy cardigan from last year from Monsoon, one of my many scarves (I go nowhere without one), a bag from next, old gold pumps from Sainsburies, and sparkly high heals from Next from last year.  (I actually bought the leggings and coat from Joe Browns myself, as they could only offer me £75 from their monthly budget to cover both outfits).

 

Then I think that I’ll wear this outfit on the Saturday:

Outfit for a blogging conference

 

Plus the same handbag from next, red pumps (or maybe red heals), tights if it’s cold, and not sure about a coat.  (I bought the bracelet myself)

 

What do you think of the outfit?  I’m aiming for comfy and pretty, whilst giving me a bit of confidence?

 

Hopefully those of you going now know my face and my outfit, so you’ll come and say ‘hello’ and not leave me like billy no mates in a corner?

I’m helping on the panel of the discussion den for ‘online secrets and lies’ on Saturday at 12.20 – hope to see you there to hear about how to deal with ‘Twitter Terriers, Facebook Furies and Blog Bummers’.

 

Big thank you to Nickie from Typecast for inspiring me to write this blog post and play with Picassa rather than do all my To Do’s this morning!

Thank you to Joe Browns for providing me with the majority of my outfit for the two days!

Feel free to add links to your outfits below too.

 

I need five minutes of your time for an itsy bitsy vote!

Inspire Finalist

Guess What?!!!!!!!

I’ve been jumping up and down for the last couple of weeks because I’ve reached the finals in TWO, yes that’s the TWO main parent blogging competitions this year.

Thank you to everyone who nominated me!

The first is the ‘BiBs’ or Brilliance in Blogging run by Britmums.  I’m up for the ‘Inspire’ category, and thankfully just have to sit back with all my fingers and toes crossed for the next few weeks until the BritMums Live blogging conference.

 

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

But I need your help with the second!  This is for the MADs ‘Mums and Dads Blogging Awards‘ run by the Tots100 and hosted by Parentdish.

I’m defending my title as Small Business Blog and really need your votes as I’m up against some great blogs.

 

Click here to vote for me!

 

Winning last year really helped my blog take off, so winning again would be a huge bonus.  The more things like this that happen, the more I ‘get out there’ and can help Mums who aren’t enjoying their lives right now.

Plus I’ve realised that I kind of feel like last year was a fluke, but if I won this year it would be a massive confidence booster!

 

Whilst you are at it, some of you might not know many blogs, so can I give you a little hint of 3 other great blogs, and friends of mine for St Albans also up for a vote?  I wouldn’t suggest them if I didn’t think that they are great!

 

All Baby Advice – Mirka has just had a new baby and so is up for best baby blog.  I love her blog because it talks about raising bi-lingual kids

Actually Mummy – the lovely Helen writes a fab blog from the perspective of her eight year old daughter and is up for the school days blog.

Dorky Mum – Ruth is a new blogger who is unusual in that she talks about politics and is up for the best new blog

Thank you from all of us!

 

 

Why I’m so chuffed to be nominated in two blogging awards (Plus I need your votes!!!)

I’m extra mega chuffed today.

Last week I found out I’d been nominated for the BiBs (BritMums Brilliance In Blogging Awards) for ‘Inspire’ AND ‘Outstanding’; which are rather wonderful things to be nominated for. (vote here)

Now I’ve found that I’m also nominated to defend my title as ‘Best Small Business Blogger’ in the MADs (Mum And Dad Blogging Awards from Tots100 and Parentdish)  AND also as  ‘Helpful Blogger’; which again are lovely things to be nominated for. (vote here) (if you want ideas for which other blogs to vote for see here).

I’ve asked people if this is ‘greedy’ to be lucky enough to be nominated in both.  But apparently it’s not, so I’m just going to enjoy the whole ride!

So what happens next?

UK Mummy Blogging AwardsNow I nag plead request politely that you also nominate me in both.

Because what happens is that they will draw up a shortlist from the nominations, which can be voted on for the final award.

(Yes, that does mean if I’m lucky enough to hit a short list I’ll be politely requesting your assistance again – but remember how much you love me, right?).

Why have two lots of awards you might ask?  Well in fact there are even more as well, but these are the ones that I have my heart set on.

What’s lovely about having two sets of awards is that when I nominated for the Bibs, I couldn’t nominated everyone that I love, because many of my favourites were up against each other.  Having the MADs means that I can now vote for them.  So this is perfect!

So if you are in the same boat and have friends in some of the sections that I’m nominated for – no worries – vote for them in one and me in the other!!!

Does it really make a difference if you win an award.  OMG yes, I have to say that for me it made the most amazing difference last year.

In between being shortlisted for the MADs and the awards ceremony, I needed to focus on something so I wrote and published my book ‘The Mummy Whisperers Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being A Mum‘, which is only 89p, you can read it without a Kindle, and it’s been in the Top100 for Mothering on Amazon ever since.  I think it was the nomination that gave me the confidence to get my butt in gear and get my book out there.

Its also enabled me to start monetising my blog; I’m not talking millions here, I’m talking about paying for the costs of my business and therefore taking a little bit of the strain off my shoulders so that I could keep writing.

I’m planning to release the paperback version of my book in the next couple of months, plus by the end of the year ‘The Busy Mums Guide To Losing Weight Without Diets And Bootcamps’.

Winning will help loads with my books, and therefore help me help many more mums.

So please nominate me for the Bibs in their Inspire and Outstanding categories, and for the MADs in their Small Business and Helpful categories.

And I will love you forever!!!

 

Discussion Arguing

When Is Discussion Healthy or Unhealthy?

Discussion ArguingI’m trying to work out whether I’m a fan of discussion or not.  I like a good old chinwag, and brainstorm.  But discussion?  There is a strong tendency in me to want ‘efficiency’;  So a part of me kicks in with ‘seriously, isn’t it obvious?’, but clearly it really often isn’t!

A ‘healthy’ discussion to me is where both sides learn things; either to understand other perspectives, or to shift theirs a little.  It’s where all parties are confident enough in themselves to be open to new ideas, and to not need to convince other people of their ‘right-itude’ (you know what I mean – the fact that they are more right than anyone else in the conversation).

To me an ‘unhealthy’ discussion is where no one hears each other, everyone is stuck in their ‘right-itude’ so it starts to descend quickly into a personal attack.

But I’m seeing as I write this that if there’s to be discussion, there is bound to be a bit of both ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ in it.  I wonder whether my concern over this has sometimes limited my blog, because I’ll often cover all aspects, rather than leave it to be discussed in the comments?

There have been a lot of incidents over the past few months that have got me thinking, in particular about discussion amongst Mums:

There was a big spat when someone called ‘Real Mum’ (great right-itude name) had a go at one of the newer bloggers, Mammasaurus.  It was just plain old nasty ‘Mums judging Mums’ stuff, quickly descended into bullied victim + persecutor scenario.  But if we all learnt to control our outbursts, would the mummy blogging community literally get bored?

There’s bitching behind the scenes in the mummy blogging community about ‘blagger’s as well.   A number of people commented on a post I wrote called ‘I’m a blagger blogger, fancy joining me‘, without actually reading it, just desperate to not be associated with the term; so not much discussion there.

It’s not just Mummy Bloggers, celeb Mums love to have a good go to; Sally Bercow insulted Kirstie Allsopp in the Daily Mail: which to me felt like a complete waste of time.  Plus publicly slagging off another mother, in a society where Mums aren’t regarded with deep respect anyway, is surely going to just make matters worse?

Twitter is full of spats between celeb mums taking umbrage at someone else using a different parenting technique.  Half of them ended up in the big brother house together, where they realised surprise surprise ‘she’s actually quite nice’!  Perhaps the short written word like Twitter, Facebook or blogs isn’t ideal for discussion?

There’s been some neighbourhood incidents where Mums bitterly fell out mainly due to a lack of empathy for different scenarios, ages, relationship lengths, no’s of children and financial situations.  There was absolutely no discussion which is probably why it went all tits up.  Perhaps ‘pastures new’ will be good for the Mums though?

Whereas there was another little spat in the blogging community back on Mammasaurus’s blog (she must be the lucky one heh!), which seemed to be respectfully resolved in the whole discussion/commenting process between the parties, with the slagging off commenting well controlled.  Perhaps that was a good example of where it’s wise to get things out in the open and discuss them, otherwise it could have become really gruesome in a few months time?

I experienced being involved in a blogging community discussion after launching my ‘Mums Standing Up Together‘ campaign.  I’d approached all the mummy blogging communities, but was more obviously supported by Britmums in their blogging prompts.  Blimey do these women know how to press buttons and get the discussion going.  Initially I was disconcerted (not upset) by the feeling that there were people writing about what I’d said and misunderstanding it.  After lots of tea I decided it had been useful to ensure that I was really clear about what I meant.

At home there are plenty of ‘discussions’ between me and the hubby.  Over 22yrs I’ve tried all sorts of things, like raising issues every couple of months (a bit like the big blow ups in the blogging community), or just compromising and keeping my opinions to myself which isn’t so good for my own identity.  A constant regular stream of little discussions before they blow up seems like the best compromise for us.  It’s unrealistic to not expect misunderstandings between the southern cheeriness of me and the hairy northernness of him.

Finally I saw a conversation on twitter where a mum took umbrage at Kelly Rose Bradford’s article in the Daily Mail and was pulled up for publicly criticising her (the joy of twitter!).  Kelly didn’t reply to all the nasty comments on the Daily Mail and said that ‘I wrote it purely to spark a debate‘, plus that all her family and friends understood her job.  This was a HUGE eye opener to me, because she saw the debate as the objective, whereas I see the resulting consensus or agreement to differ as the objective.  This is potentially where I’ve often been going ‘wrong’.  She didn’t feel the worry that I had about being misunderstood.  What a huge revelation!

I blogged recently about setting Life Priorities for the chinese new year, maybe I need clear ‘people priorities’, so that I can be clear on who it matters understand me?

Oh and it definitely convinced me that photo’s are massively important, because that is one bad photo of you Kelly!  Anyone fancy doing a photo shoot for me in return for a blog post, because mine looks a bit too ‘nice’ (back to the blagging!).