Brit Mums Live 2016 #BML16

Hello everyone,

At the weekend I attended an event held at The Brewery in London called Brit Mums Live

If you havent heard of Brit Mums Live, the event is a conference for bloggers to attend workshops, meet other like-minded bloggers, listen to chats from inspirational  people, to gain inspiration and to connect with brands!

The event for me started on the friday evening with the fringe event – A party held at The Holiday Inn Camden Lock.

Friday Evening

The setting was amazing and the fizz was flowing though my nerves were high! I entered the room with My Hubby who I took for “moral support” As we walked in I met Susanna and Jennifer who asked us to make ourselves name badges and grab a glass of something.

There were waitresses handing out nibbles and they were delicious.

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I put my nerves to the back of my mind and after staring at people’s chests to find out who they were and where they were from I approached a couple of bloggers who I knew from following them.

I still felt very nervous even though I had spoken to a few other mums and sneaked out before the end.

Saturday Morning

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Saturday I awoke at 7.45am Registration was at 9am and it was 15 minute walk away I grabbed a shower and my breakfast bag got dressed and we still arrived by 8.45. Though I hadn’t had a cuppa.SAM_8692daddys day.jpg

When we had registered and got our badges and  were greeted by refreshments; tea, coffee, pastries and more.

It was then time to grab a seat ready to start the day.

We found a table and listened to  Susanna and Jennifer give their opening speech followed by a Poem written and read by Kirstie Pelling from Poet in Motion .

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Next up we had a very emotional and inspiring keynote from Anne-Marie Cockburn – Author of 5742 days. I had tears throughout her speech yet found it truly uplifting to thing that this lady has gone through such an awful thing to happen but has chosen to continue through the trauma and use this to inspire others!

To follow Ann-Marie must have been daunting but Julie Creffield  from the blog Too Fat To Run managed to do this with ease as she explained how she got into running from only being able to run for 20 seconds to completing several races including marathons.

After these first few speakers we had an icebreaker game of Pass the Parcel – This year was the BritMums Live 5th Birthday so the whole event was geared around that.

On our table Kate from Baby Routes won the prize, an amazing pendant from Merci Maman

 

By quarter past 10 it was time for another cuppa and a head to “The Hub” to checkout the brands and mingle with some bloggers. Through to the “MAM lounge” to listen to a talk from Nigel Camp – The Video Effect about storytelling and Storyboarding while grabbing a cake then Back upstairs for a talk about Travel Blogging from Steve Keenen – Travel Perspective, Nienke krook – The Travel Tester, Alastair McKenzie – Travel lists, Susanna Scott – Brit Mums & A Modern Mother And Cathy Wilson – Mummy Travels. 

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I found the talk interesting however I’m not sure I learnt anything relevant for me!

Just one more workshop YouTube – collaborating and Growing your audience with Kate Rushworth then it was lunch time.

Lunch was a chance again to connect with brands and catch up with fellow bloggers during this time I met up with Sally from MeetOtherMums.com – I have recently become a regular blogger on her site and she introduced me to some other regular bloggers that I knew by their blog name!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

During the lunch break I spoke to Martin Dorey – Author of The CamperVan Cookbook and star of BBC’s One man and his campervan who made me a simple tiramisu  ideal for making on camp.

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After lunch There were just two more sessions First up Creation Inspiration  with Sophia Bush – WarehouseHome, Elizabeth Sellers – Rosalilium And Anna Whitehouse – Mother Pukka.SAM_8762daddys day.jpg

I have to say Anna of Mother Pukka was amazing. Her energy and style is infectious!

 

The last session of the day was with Cherry Menlove – The Little Book Of Peace chatting to us about finding peace & power in blogging. This lady I could listen to her for ages – after having miscarriages and then her husband being diagnosed with cancer she found writing gave her the peace she needed to come through the other side of her circumstances.

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She also has boy / girl twins who are 6 so maybe that’s why I felt so in awe of her.

I’m defiantly going to buy her book.

The last speaker of the day was a chat with Cherry Healey – Author of Letters to My Fanny.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

She was very funny and had most of the audience in stitches. After she had shared some of her “woman Moments” She turned to the audience to ask if anyone had any “woman Stories” Some people really went above and beyond sharing their stories – Lets not forget the Wine Cork Story!

The last part of the day was The Bloggers Key notes some with a couple of emotional stories, a video & a parody I urge you to go and check these out!

Last part of the day was filled by the BIBs (Brilliance In Blogging) party Sponsored by Kate & Mim Mim & Asda.

There was also a chance to sample the birthday cake made by Konditor & Cook. This was delicious.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Then The BIBs Awards presented by Carol Smilie.  There were lots of wine however a lot of bloggers seemed to leave before this I assume to catch trains and get home to their little ones. The full list of winners can be found here.

The Day ended with dinner  that had been organised by one of the bloggers

We went to Pizza Express – this was a great chance to get to know some other bloggers a little better.

I would just like to say thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome over the weekend.

I am looking forward to the next event so I can meet more of you!

 

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Divorcing the eu! 

As we wake up an independent nation. I can feel the bubbles of anxiety creeping. I look at my children who have no idea what has just happened or what it means for them and their future.

The world is a scary place when your a mum. The uncertainty of what’s going to happen now is scary. 

All we can do now is sit and wait to see the consequences of yesterday! 

I wonder .. 

Wonder about the plan to move to Lanzarote. 

Wonder what kind of Britain my children are going to grown up in now!

Wonder what is going to happen to our pound. 

Time will tell. 

But for now. I need to go and get ready to catch my train to Brit Mums Live. 

Catch you next time. 

Nina. 

Happy Fathers Day!

Good Morning and Happy Fathers Day to all the daddies out there! 20160619_090904daddys day.jpg

Last Night My Hubby came back from a week of working away and although he came back jet lagged & groggy he still made time to make dens for the kids before bed! He still made time to ask me how I had been. He still made time to give out gifts from his week of traveling the USA & Canada! 999511_10151802244903828_1923311636_n

This morning he is having a sleep in!

So while he is sleeping in and the kids are playing in their rooms I thought I would take this time to say thanks for being our children’s daddy10505569_10152553459793828_6604749057464206252_n.972335_10151846278943828_151736935_n

Thanks for the times you made me a cuppa before rushing of to work while I fed our baby twins.

Thank you for all the dens you have built.

 

Thanks for all the times you have given up your shoulders. 1656272_10152812896198828_5544181405921626329_n

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Thank you for the Sunday evenings that you spend watching films with the kids while I take a bath.IMG_5353
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Thank you for being my calm!

Thank you for being you!

Thank you for making me realise what family is! We love you with all of our hearts.

Thank you daddy!

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Items In the featured Image

MODERN GENT’S ACTIVIST FRAGRANCE KIT – Body Shop

Succulent Copper Bowl – Tesco in store

Daddy Small Hanging sign – Local gift shop

Mug – Home Bargains

Wish List Wednesday – #BML16

Good Morning, next week is Brit Mums Live so I thought this week I would do something a little different.

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I thought I would give you my top 5 wishes for the day and what i hope to get out from attending Brit Mums Live

1.

I am attending with my husband yes I’m that nervous he is coming along with me.
But I am hoping to meet other bloggers and hopefully make new friends so that next time I attend I can meet up and know I have someone to talk to.

2.

I keep looking at the agenda to see which of the sessions I would like to do & this is my plan .

I would like to come away from the event with a better knowledge of these topics and hopefully this will help me continue to grow my blog!

3.

There are a few brands at the event that I wouldn’t mind chatting with and finding out about so that possibly in the future I can connect up with brands and start writing sponsored posts.

4.

I hope to come home with inspiration for my blog & YouTube channel and some new fresh ideas.

5.

Most of all I wish for an amazing weekend one filled with fun and to have had an amazing time with some amazing people!

 

Thanks for joining me for this wishlist Wednesday even though it has been a little different to normal

If your going to BML16 hopefully I’ll see you there!

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Confessions from a Mum on the Edge

I don’t know how to break it to you but …

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Wait go get a cuppa and a snack…

Done?

Good.

Here goes…..

I am so lost and overwhelmed by this parenting / housewifing job that I have sought the help of a Mummy Life Coach.

Yep there I said it.

My home is not a home – it’s a cluttered mess of kids’ toys, shoes, clothes, bits of paper, and just generally too much stuff.

I’m so unorganized I never manage to finish my to do list.

I shout! A lot!

I have no inner peace no matter how many “Me time” moments I give myself (maybe I give my self too many and that’s why I never finish anything).

Anyway, I digress

As I said, I am having help from a Mummy Life Coach who says she can turn me from shouty mum to calm mum. A better version of myself!

I have only had her a week but my first task was to write down my perfect average day.

So a general school run day but one that’s the best it can be. How it makes me feel. What I’ve done to make it so.

I have to tell you that I started writing it today and ended up stressed that I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to into my day.

I think I’ve slumped that far into my rut that this it is going to be hard to get out!

After 4 attempts and 2 emails to my Coach I managed it!

The perfect average day task is meant to empower you and get you excited that in a years’ time it will be your perfect average day for real. You are meant to be able to feel the feelings of a years’ time and be able to transport yourself there almost.

I think most of us are guilty of carving out a groove in our life and then getting stuck in it. So much so even if we are not loving life, we either wouldn’t know were to start or fear what would happen if we made a change.

However, I have got to get out of my groove otherwise something is going to snap! Be that my sanity (already teetering on the edge) or my husband’s (again on the edge)!

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So my average day includes

  • Getting up early
  • Being organized
  • Making time for yoga, swimming, running
  • Preparing healthy meals and snacks
  • Spending more time as a family
  • Getting us all to pitch in with household chores
  • Spending time with friends
  • Working from home, earning a small income from my job

This sounds like a simple plan when written down – it’s just finding out which bits I need to tackle in order to get there.

What would be in you average day?

Would you seek guidance from a coach?

Have you already? Can you give me any advice?

 

See you all soon

Nina

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This post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com

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Mummy Worries!

Last week I took the children for their first swimming lesson at the local swimming pool.

63961_10152812831478828_292065996094397559_nIt’s the first time they have been in the pool with only an instructor and other learners.

I had a lot of anxiety sat behind a window watching them fool around in the water. I swim, I love swimming and I know they need to learn but it doesn’t stop me worrying!

The teacher gets in the water with them. they seemed to enjoy their lesson I think it helped that a school friend of theirs was there too.  Talking to the school friends mum helped take my mind off of my anxiety.

I know that in the long run I will feel better knowing they can swim and get out of difficulty especially as we holiday on a small island and love our beach days.

I think the only thing we can do is teach our children how to respond to difficult situations and try to teach ourselves too!

Swimming is just one of the things I worry about as a mum.

Sat behind the window I could feel my heart leap every time they looked like they were falling. But do you know what they stayed upright.

I’m sure I’m never going to stop worrying about them and even if I get over the swimming worry there will be something else to worry about!

My anxiety doesn’t just stop at the children’s wellbeing I also worry about my own health! 

My heart often leaps when I find a new symptom and then I worry I worry its something worse than it is. I worry that if I go to the Drs I will be wasting their time! 

I think I’ve always had a little bit of anxiety, however when my children came it became more apparent. The responsibility of looking after them lies solely with me. Ok my husband has a responsibility too but I think as mothers we are the first call when things go wrong.

I have found some ways of coping with my anxiety and not letting it get me too down but sometime there is a blip! 

To give my self a reminder that I need to live in the moment is through another blog I created Living In The Here and Now – It’s somewhere I post when I find something useful or need a reminder of how to not get caught in the dips! 

 

Thanks for listening

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My Precious Moments #TasteLikeThisFeels

So Channel Mum & Cadbury are running a competition with a chance to win a one of 5 digital cameras and a box of Cadbury’s dairy buttons.

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Here is my top precious moments.

  1. I love having a snuggle in bed with my twins and then when they have fell asleep the feeling I get when I pick them up to move them and they put their arms around me tightly and snuggle in. Then I lay them in their own bed and they say Thank you Mummy I love you.
  2. Being lost in my children’s world even if only for the moment. Getting down to their level and playing with toys or doing some drawing. I totally forget the to do list and my worries and we just play. I follow their imagination and they help me regain mine! I just love it.IMG_8675
  3. I have recently joined you tube and one of the reasons is my stepson – Although we don’t have as many special moments we have found something that is a common ground for us! He is a teenager so often doesn’t interact with anyone let alone me! So If I ask him for help with something to do with cameras or YouTube related it often gives us a shared moment!
  4. Our twins are constantly growing up and witnessing a proud moment with my husband really connects us! It can be that Jake has been given an award at school or that Melody has just learnt to spell a couple of words. I Know I look at him and he looks at me with pride. Proud that we made those children together!
  5. Finally we have a brilliant group of friends that we only met after we had our children so our friendship is only 3 years old. However in this time we have shared  many moments together from us girls all going camping together to watching all four of our children playing together without squabbling!

 

These moments I’ve mentioned above often hit me by surprise and bring me to tears! Other times they don’t register until afterwards.

They are moments that build who we are as a family and moments that I hope my children will remember fondly.

They are definitely moments I want to treasure forever – Children don’t stay that way long and we have to make the most of these precious moments because before too long we wont be able to pick up our sleeping child from our bed and I’m sure they wont hug as tightly.

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This post is shared by Ready For A Cuppa As part of the channel Mum & Cadbury competition. 

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“I’ll be there for you Cause you’re there for me too”

I’ve never been very good making friends, however I have picked up a few along the way.

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I have friends now and they are the most valuable group of friends I’ve ever had.
There are friends that I met in school and although we don’t talk or see each other every day I know they are there and they know I am here if we need each other.
There are friends I made after school the ones I made through work the ones that helped me in tough times and have seen me at my worst but yet still let me be a part of their lives.
There are friends I’ve really only just met but yet have been through so much together, hope we will be friends for a very long time to come.
There are friends that I’ve not yet met or maybe I’ve already met but we just don’t know we are friends yet (this has happened in the past)
And there is one friend who I’ve known most of my life and who I’m now married to.IMG_6772
Friendships aren’t always easy. There are tough times. There are times when you are close to hating each other.
But friendships are so important.
Here are my top 5 of friendship
1. Tough times – I’ve been though some unpleasant times (Anxiety, depression, grief, jealousy.) My friends have listened, hugged, cried with me, and brought me tissues and flowers to cheer me up.
2. Good times – You remember that time when….. Those times when I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried my friends were with me! Hey  of them is even the cause of the laughter.
3. Confidence – Some of the friends I have and have had made me feel like I could do anything. They have given me the confidence to try new things, to go to new places and to be the person I want to be.
4. Advice – As parents sometimes we struggle with day-to-day I often turn to my friends for help when I’m struggling with something.
5. Be there. – Friendship also means I am there for my friends when they need me. I don’t judge don’t mock and can also be there with the tissues and hugs and flowers if need be!  I can also make copious amounts of tea.

I have lost friends along the way too. Some times it’s for the best. Sometimes we have friends that can be harmful to our self-esteem.


I know there are going to be more tough times in our lives, that’s life but I have friends now who I can turn to in those times and who can make the good times great so the bad times don’t seem so bad.

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Thank you to all of my friends for joining me in my life and letting me into theirs.

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They Weren’t all toned size 6!

On Thursday The kids went to holiday club, I headed to Bannatynes Gym and I joined for a months trial.

Have you seen the Miranda episode when she try’s to quit the Gym?

Well it felt a little like that.

I may have only signed for a month but if I don’t give a months written notice from the first of the month then they will continue your membership and take the next month payment out! (I had joined on the second so already I’m past the cut off date to hand in my notice – So I decided to see how I go and write out my letter for July so in effect I will be having a 2 month trial) It may be I don’t need to cancel and that I will continue for a full 12 months.

Anyway, I’ve joined I’m now a member of a proper gym! 

I have to say it wasnt as bad as I thought It wasnt full of toned size 6’s or even 10’s There were normal people like me and you (I’m Not saying you’re not a size 6 -10) (Or in fact that your normal?!)

I only had time for a swim that day but next week I’m going to check out the running machines & Sign up for a zumba lesson.

I really love zumba and I can really tell a difference in not just my anxiety but also my fitness! 

After my swim I spotted a scales The type that take your hight weight Calculate your BMI & Check your fat percentage.

I thought New month New gym Lets take a reading today and check again after a month to see if it has made a difference. 

So here are my stats For June.

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Check back Next month to see how I get on 

In the meantime If you have been thinking about joining a gym why not have a tour and maybe sign up to a months trial or even a day pass – but just check those terms and conditions. :-/ 

It’s not a scary though as I thought it was going to be! 

 

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Bank Holiday Monday- Butterflies, Tapas & Tiredness

In a bid to save my sanity I created a plan for this holidays

So this Monday with that plan in mind we got up had breakfast and headed out the door for a trip to the zoo.20160530_113957.jpg

We set off to The Tropical Butterfly House and when we arrived the car park was already nearly full!

We thought it might be busy thus creating stress but when we got in I was surprised although it was busy its well spread out and there was plenty of room for everyone.

They have also introduced a new catering facility. which minimises “Hangery Stress”

There is so much more than butterflies here and in fact the park belongs to The British & Irish Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums (BIAZA)

The children really enjoyed the animals and asked about them!SAMSUNG CSC

They also enjoyed the Play area 😉 Well it cant just be about the animals can it!SAMSUNG CSC

The staff are friendly and the facilities are clean I would recommend it as a day out if you live near – We travelled around half an hour and will definitely come again!

Throughout the day there are different animal experience , From Meerkat feeding to a parrot displaySAMSUNG CSC
You can even pay extra for a VIP experience where you can get exclusive access to some of the animal enclosures.

Afterwards we decided to go to Meadowhall for dinner (It is a 20 min drive away)

We enjoyed a Spanish vibe at Tapas Revolution  Its great here most of the staff are Spanish its great for people like me who want to practice Spanish or learn a little.

We had a great Bank Holiday Monday What did you get up to?

I have not been rewarded for this post and all of the opinions are my own!

This week is BIAZA Love your zoo week What zoos have you been to in the holidays?

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Thanks for joining today

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