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!!!

 

Cake

#DoSomethingYummy – Eat Cake!

Today I had a huge pile of Mummy bloggers at my house and here is the massive pile of cake we had (in fact there was more, but I missed off some lovely biscuits!)

       

This is the advantage of living in St Albans; the Mummy Blogging capital of the world.  Lots of bloggers and lots of cake!  I think that we can potentially look a little scary when we go to an event together, but we are really very friendly – after all everyone who eats cake must be friendly!

I know that they wanted a look at each others blogs, and thought you might want to know who else hangs out around me.  So here is the list of cake eaters …

  1. Helen Redding – Crumbs and Pegs – who feels she is a newbie; I can remember what that feels like, I still feel like that myself sometimes!
  2. Annie Robb – Just Annie QPR – who brought eggs and will be my children’s heroine this weekend as they love eggs for breakfast and are loving make easter decorations.
  3. Renatka Behan – Fabulicious Food – who made the big chocolate cake and cupcakes; all I can say is yum!
  4. Penny Carr – Mrs C – the lovely Penny, always so humble about her blogs success
  5. Clare Rudd – The Veggie Experience – poor lass had to sit on a wooden step with no complaint
  6. Helen Wills – Actually Mummy –
  7. Chrissie – Mediocre Mum – so pleased to see her since her husbands accident and hear that all is OK
  8. Heidi Roberts – Kitchen Talk – brought warm banana bread, much to Chrissie’s delight
  9. Mirka – All Baby Advice – the memorable Mirka who managed to not give birth while there – phew!
  10. Me – who eats cake, and has a rubbish memory!

I admit to having help – the lovely Nanny Bets came over to keep an eye on the kids, so that we might get a chance to finish the odd sentence.  Plus the big hairy northern one sorted the crumb mountain which pretty much went from the front to the back door by the end of the morning.  He is actually going back to work next Tuesday, so I thought I should make the most of him; hope this is a confidence boost for any of you looking for jobs at the moment.  (BTW I’m just a bit behind, there will be more blogs about coping with redundancy coming soon).

 

I’ve written this post for #DoSomethingYummy #EatCake for the charity Clic Sargent (an amazing charity for families dealing with a child who has cancer).  I’ve been supporting it for the last 4 weeks with my blog posts:

Surviving Mental Health for #DoSomethingYummy – my first honest account of 3 problems I’ve experienced

#DoSomethingYummy for Half Term and Two Year Old Birthdays – guaranteed to make you smile!

#DoSomethingYummy: A Warning from my childhood: The Cinderella Complex – a serious discussion about how ‘the one’ and expecting to be able to rely on a prince, can have dangerous effects.

#DoSomethingYummy: Can you love two children the same: How I found it different but the same loving two children

If you would like to get involved then Yummy Mummy Week is from 10-18th March 2012. It is a week long fundraising event where mums are being asked to get together with friends and family and ‘do something yummy’ for CLIC Sargent.  If you would like to run an event to support the week go to www.yummymummy.org.uk and sign up for a fundraising pack.

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!).

Sparkle Tips: Photos of the Jewelry that Stella and Dot leant me for the MADs awards


I’m a big fan of jewelry, especially anything sparkly!  But when I got my TK Maxx dress, I realised that I was in trouble.  I needed something much more subtle around my neck than I would normally go for, and something more striking on my wrist.  Plus there was a little too much blue going on as well.  As the night of the MAD’s blog award got closer I panicked!

But Katie who has just started up a Stella and Dot franchise came to my rescue with some gorgeous pieces which she leant me for the night.  The great thing about the choices that she has, is that much of it is the kind of statement jewelry that I like (which brightens up an otherwise plain outfit), but they also have the more delicate options as well, unlike other companies that seem to only stick to one option.  You may well have seen some Stella and Dot statement pieces if you are a fan of Xfactor as several of the singers have worn it on the show.

I don’t normally wear brooches, but that is one of the great things about the Stella and dot teams; they don’t just give you jewellery, they also give you ideas on how to wear it.

I’ve become quite keen on the idea of brooches now!  I might have to take a look at my Mums old stuff hiding away in a box and see if I can work out how to wear some of it now, having been inspired by this piece.

Then she leant me a really subtle necklace (I’m normally much more bling), but it looked gorgeous with my dress as it was already very sparkly.  We went for small drop earings as I have shortish hair.  But then for added a touch of bling with the bracelet.

Here’s a picture of them all separately, followed by one of them on me, so that you can see what they look like  …..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A HUGE thankyou to Katie for her help and loan of the gorgeous jewellery!  I wouldn’t have felt so lovely on the night without it.

 

Photo’s of my TK Maxx outfit for the MADs blogging awards

At last I’ve managed to show you the official pictures of my gorgeous TK Maxx dress for the MAD Blog Awards.  I totally learnt two lessons from this:

1) Shop as though someone else is paying, because it made me more imaginative (it wouldn’t actually have cost me more)

2) Go shopping with friends and make the most of your money by looking for a bargain

The one on the right is as I arrived with the lovely blue fluffy thing – I’ve always wanted one of those!  I’m looking a little ‘arggh red carpets and professional camera, how scary!’

On the left is me meeting up with the gorgeous Softthistle, who I have talked to loads on twitter.  So you get to see the dress without the fluffy coat thing.

My problem when going to blogging events is that I know their twitter or blog names so well, that it just feels wrong to call people by their ‘real’ names.  So ‘softthistle’ will always be ‘softthistle’ to me, I was just surprised that she didn’t have that surprised look on her face like her twitter avatar ;o)

 

 

 

 

  I was so chuffed to get to meet the wonderful Violet Posy, because she is the fab blog designer who came to my aid when I moved from wordpress.com to self-hosted with wordpress.org.  We hadn’t even spoken on the phone or anything, so I was really chuffed to get to talk to her.

I did eventually manage to stop blubbing enough to give a garbled thank you when I got the award!

 

Thank you again for all your votes, and to TK Maxx for my dress, Parent Dish for sponsoring the event, Talk Talk for hosting it at their customer experience centre and sponsoring my category, Sally Whittle for being the organiser of the MADs and her fabulous team for a wonderful night.  Oh and all the mummy bloggers I got to talk to or not talk to on the night, it was great being in a room with you all, slightly crazy mummy (and a couple of daddy) bloggers.

 

I promise to do a proper blog for pictures of the jewelry next week as well!

Video Wed: How Music Reminds Us Of Lovely Places; Wild fitness, Mummy Blogger awards

I was listening to a piece of music yesterday and was instantly sitting on a roof at sunset in Kenya, surrounded by big hairy rugby/hockey players, meditating.  Obviously!  Music is amazing isn’t it, the way it can transport us back in time to places.  It was a really magical holiday.

We have no idea how we ended up on this holiday, but it was called ‘Wild Fitness’, and we were in the first group to ever go on it.  It was part exercise, part relaxation and part learning about taking care of ourselves.  The most important aspect being this sense of ‘wildness’ to the holiday, and the melding of fitness with our surroundings, rather than being in a gym.  I learnt so much, and suspect that a huge amount of what I talk about here started out with what I learnt on that holiday.  I keep nagging them to do a family version, but until then I’m not likely to be making it back.  However, imagine my surprise when I was at the MADs award, to find out that the lovely Bangs And A Bun who was our MC for the night, had just been on their new weekend trip to the Isle of Wight.  So here is a quick picture of one the the oldest and newest Wildfitness recruits (more pictures on the way of my dress I promise).

And a video for you to chill out to for a moment … (for my Kindle readers, check out Groove Armada on YouTube).

(This is an unsponsored blog post)

What blogs my readers read: Sex, Decluttering, David Tennant and School Problems

Did I mention I’m a finalist for the MAD Blogger awards in their Small Business Category, LoL?  Really, you didn’t hear me shouting about it and jumping up and down in an excited and bouncy way?!  If not, then read here … and vote for me, and then TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW to vote for me.  Ok, so maybe that’s a bit extreme, but seriously, some of the blogs I’m up against have a massive readership, so I need all the help I can get!

As part of all this, I have to send in an example of which represent me the best.  Of course, it’s a bit confusing, because there is a difference between my regular readers, and the people who find me via google and all sorts of dubious search terms.  But I’m really surprised by what’s most popular!

At the moment the choice seems to be between ..

So basically, to improve my stats I need more video messages from sexy men?  I can see how that might be a priority, and will get working on it immediately!  But you also want your houses decluttered?  Only then do you want to have sex with your husbands, and if you have a bit of time left then you might try to sort out your kids problems at school?

I suspect, that it’s actually a bit counter-intuitive, and that what is going on is that the stress of worrying about our kids, sends us to watch sexy actors and try to control our lives by decluttering.  The whole sex with the husband thing, is basically a ‘gotta do’ in order to maintain a relationship, and so when that is out of the way, we can manage to think about the newest worries of the day and what new challenges our kids are facing.

You guys do seem to like the Weekly Weight Loss tips a bit, especially the one with the webinar.  And I get a lot of feedback about the weekly Exhaustion Tips on twitter.  I’m thinking that those are probably more of a hit with my regulars, as is the Video Wednesday short posts?  Surprisingly in an era of recession, not many people are going for a free 30mins of my time with the Question Corner yet; don’t forget you can do it anonymously by emailing me at Lisa at MummyWhisperer dot com.  All the stuff I wrote about Affairs is popular, but I suspect that is from general internet searches.  But it does surprise me that it comes about affairs more than bullying.

Over time I’ve written nearly 150 posts and had nearly 1000 comments (but at least 50% was spam!) and my first post was 2 years ago on the 9th of May, just as I was also falling pregnant with Little Dimples.  Did you have a favourite?

So, I’ve loved blogging, and it looks like all my hard work and plans for world domination could be actually beginning to pay off!  I hope that I’ve helped lots of Mums out there with my posts, that’s certainly my plan, because with a blog I can reach more Mums than with my 1to1’s and programs.   I’m hoping that it’s onwards and upwards, and that soon the message that all Mums are fabulous and deserve to have sparkly in their lives will spread further.