I have a tradition of posting my worst bits of the BritMums Live weekend on my blog. All of this is honest but also some playful points and why not?

1. Trying on dresses and my daughter telling me that one I was considering was “way too short”

2. Trying on more outfits and Him Indoors saying he liked all of them – lovely but unhelpful

3. Attempting not to spill breakfast sarnie down my dress on the way.

4. Finding out my hotel room was on the 5th floor! Have you seen my twisted ankle?

5. The cups at the Montcalm – I like the look but I always get confused and end up spilling my drink.

6. The feat of two pairs of knickers engineering required to hold up my tights. Why are tights always so short?

7. Knowing someone was blanking me – I am not without intelligence.

8. Not getting to speak to enough people – I never do!

9. Missing bloggers who were not able to be there.

10. Not recognising Deliciously Ella when I do really know what she looks like and am a huge fan

11. Not having a pen with me on arrival – unprofessional of me!

12. Not greeting Katy Hill on reception so I could show off the results of her inspiring me to lose weight

13. The pain, hobbling and tubular bandage of the twisted ankle – great timing there Kate!

14. Being assaulted behind my a certain breast friend and others

15. Forgetting my bank card and leaving my money in my suitcase

16. Not talking to brands as much as I would like or should

17. Not having met my target weight for BritMums Live – really got me down in the run-up to the weekend – stupid of me but there it is.

18. Being a good girl and remaining sober throughout in case I fell over again

19. Being known a little too well by the Carry on Camping Team!

20. Too much noise over dinner when I knew great conversations were to be had with fascinating people.

21. Introducing myself as an expert in wet knickers to Carol Smillie of Diary Doll. You really need to check out her pants and you will be ready for anything.

22. Not seeing people I wanted to connect with and seeing them from afar and not being able to get to them in time.

23. Losing my present from my giveaway winner and my BritMums Live bracelet.

24. Getting the wrong end of the stick and fearing I was about to lose a special friend.

25. Forgetting to phone home!

26. Having to accept help in view of the ankle – not a great skill of mine.

27. Not always recognising people – does anyone else struggle with this and nearly always people I am massively fond of too.

28. The usual sidelong glances to try and work out who people are without showing too much interest in their bosoms.

29. A little daunted feeling as Room 3 got fuller and fuller. Felt the fear and did it anyway.

30. Surnames and making a crass comment about psoriasis in one of my sessions. Enough said!

31. Realising I still have not written that book.

32. Wishing wine had labels on them.

33. My phone playing up

34. Being referred to as a wallflower who looked awful, a loser, worthless and wrinkly! You know who you are ladies!

35. Realising I did not look QUITE as good as Caprice.

Fear not! I do have best bits of the weekend – watch this space!

Postscript On point 34, the women who said these things are big supporters so yes in jest and also highlighting how I can be self-deprecating. The comments were said with affection and taken as such and probably would be better listed on my best bits.

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Check out what other people thought about BritMums Live and link up your posts over on BritMums.

I am delighted to interview Sarah today. She is a woman who juggles work, teaching, parenting, travel and blogging with aplomb. She shares a powerful story of a mum coming to terms with her son’s type 1 diabetes.

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Sarah

What is the striking story you have to share?

This is so hard as I don’t see myself as striking. I think it has to be supporting our family through Jack’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. It of course came out of the blue and rocked our world. We stayed strong and fought it together.

What were the joys that this experience brought your way?

Seeing Jack bloom and cope in a positive way. He made me feel so proud. His diagnosis did not tear our family apart and actually it made us so much stronger. Diabetes is part of our life and we have turned it into a positive, as it is part of Jack and who he is. I have also shared tips on Diabetes UK to help other families.

What challenges did this situation bring your way?

Making sure we all understood the implications of diabetes even Joe who was 6 at the time. Then making sure friends around us understood. I had to distance ourselves from one friend as she kept giving her son treats in front of Jack, and whilst you can’t penalize other children I though she may have shown a bit of sensitivity around the situation at least at first.

How do you ensure you get time to yourself and what do you do with that time?

Lately it has all been about blogging. I have started a little blog section with the lovely Karen from Mini Travellers as we are hunting down Me Time activities aimed at the busy Mum.

Have you ever rediscovered or reinvented yourself? How?

I think when I became a parent. We didn’t plan for a family until we had been together for nearly 10 years. We were so used to doing what we wanted when we wanted. I had to learn to be more chilled, less clean obsessed and get used to being less selfish.

Describe at least one physical feature you have that you consider to be beautiful

My eyes. I hope I look happy all the time. People who smile make me feel happy and comfortable. I hope I do this too.

What makes you stand out?

I think the fact that I appear so very confident, when if fact it is all an act. I just push myself but feel like jelly inside. That is the honest truth.

Is it important to you to support other mums?

100% as if we don’t support each other we have no chance do we?

Which mum inspires you?

All Mums inspire me! We cope with so much on a day to day basis. All that multi tasking, selflessness, juggling so many hats at one time is so hard some days. We never pat ourselves on the back. Why? Because it is what we expect of ourselves. Us Mums are a very special community.

What would you like the Government to do to improve the lives of mums?

I would like to see all Mums get more access to education. There are so many Mums that don’t get access to education because of adult learner fees. It is a shame. Unless you fall into a certain bracket you are excluded because of funding and forced to pay extortionate fees.

You can find Sarah on her blog at Extraordinary Chaos

It takes a lot for the women I feature to share their stories so openly so please do hit one or more of the sharing is caring buttons below.

Last week, I blogged about how I was walking back to happiness. I am struck by the irony that on Monday I fell on a slippery slope (Kate on very thin ice) and twisted my ankle badly. We were a mile away from the car so there was no real choice except to hobble back crying, screaming and moaning all the way. It reminded me a little of childbirth as despite being the quiet time in moments of crisis and excitement, I am known for being vocal.

family camp

I had such plans for this week but they do say God laughs when we make such things and it seems she may have a point.

Anyway, as we know there is always some light at the end of the tubular bandage so here goes …

1. I will get better. Recent news stories remind us to be very grateful for our health and wellbeing. It can be taken away in an instant and in far worse ways that a sprained ankle.

2. My enforced rest has shown just what the children are quite capable of doing for themselves. Valuable lesson learned right there.

3. My husband and children clearly hated seeing me suffering and offered help in various ways. My teenager brought me a chocolate orange to cheer me up. I just had 4 slices and let him have the rest which may well have being his plan from the start but it was still a lovely gesture.

4. I have finally managed to try some outfits on for BritMums Live today. I am not decided yet but am narrowing things down a bit.

5. I got a book on home education. Sometimes I feel I need my hand holding a bit in this adventure of ours.

6. I have eaten really well this week. The weighing scales are jumping around insanely so I am just going to carry on eating for health and taking my measurements until they fix themselves or wake up to the new me.

7. I have had my spotty nurse to give me amazing cuddles.

8. I am going camping this weekend. I must be mad in my current state but I want the family to have some fun so I cam camping our way back to happiness. Let’s see how that turns out.

Time is running out to join in the BritMums Live linky not to mention grabbing your ticket for the social media and blogging event of the year.

Here is my little introduction.

me

• Kate Holmes

• Striking Mum formerly Kate on Thin Ice formerly Giggling at it all and formerly a blog we don’t talk about

• @kateonthinice

• 5 feet and five inches

• Brown hair with a little help from my hairdresser. Short and hopefully sassy too.

• Brown eyes behind purple glasses

•I have attended BritMums LIve as a speaker in 2013 and as a room facilitator for the last two years.

• I am attending both days

• Connecting with online friends old and new

• I have not decided what I am wearing yet. I am thinking dresses but was going to have a huge trying on session and then I twisted my ankle so am waiting to feel better before making my final selections.

•What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2015?

Lots of learning. I hope to make more contacts this year. I also am very much looking forward to spending time at the Montcalm

These are some of my tips for getting the most out of the event.

Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Feel the fear if you any and talk to someone you don’t know. They probably feel more like you than you know.

Make sure you eat in between talking and drinking. There is lots of lovely food available.

Pick the sessions that will be of most use to you and your blog carefully.

Ask stupid questions – there are no stupid questions and speakers love to answer and someone else in the room will be wondering the same thing as you are.

Celebrities are human too – don’t shy away from them but also respect that they are people and not just autograph or selfie material.

Do it your way – if that means taking a break or grabbing yourself some quiet time, so be it.

Be prepared for generous goody bags.

Be yourself – that way if someone likes you, you know they really do and you can move on to a great friendship.

This blackberry jelly is sweet and wobbly. You can also eat it as a savoury dessert with a thick piece of crumbly English cheese.

blackberry jelly recipe

So fruity!

Makes approximately 1 kg

1 kg of blackberries
450 g (16oz) cooking apples, cored and finely chopped
4 bay leaves, washed and torn
Preserving jam sugar

Method

1. Wash the blackberries and apples. Place all the fruit and bay leaves into a preserving pan with 600ml/1 pint water

2. Cook over a low heat gently for about 30 minutes until soft and very mushy

3. Strain the pulp through a nylon sieve set over a bowl.

4. Measure the resulting liquid and return it to the pan, adding 500g of sugar for each 500ml of liquor

5. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring regularly for 40-60 minutes.

6. Check the bubbling mixture is ready by drawing a wooden spoon across the bottom of the preserving pan leaving a clean line.

7. As soon as it is ready, pour the hot jelly into sterlised small jars, cover with waxed discs and seal. Skim away any scum from the top of the jelly and fill the jam jars to the brim. Cover, seal and label.

8. Store in a cool, dark place until required.

9. Alternatively pour the mixture into a greased mould that can be turned out for presentation. The blackberry jelly is best served with a few sliced of Lancashire cheese or cold, sliced roast beef.

Discover more tempting recipes at Seasonal Berries.

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