What are the best bits of BritMums Live?

Yesterday I told you all the worst bits of my BritMums Live weekend so here goes with the really good stuff in no particular order.

Best Bits Of BritMums Live

1. I got a night away with Him Indoors whilst the little darlings went to stay with my step-daughter.  So whilst other bloggers were out to dinner, I was making the most of the hotel bedroom and remembering why we got together in the first place and hoping the walls were thick.

2. I got to meet Ruby Wax and she signed my book and spoke my name.  Be still my beating heart.  How wonderful of BritMums to put Ruby and the issues of mental health right up there at the start of the event.  A brave decision and one I applaud.

3. I started to see that there are many opportunities in blogging that I may not have quite understood before.  The future starts here and I think it may turn out to be rather marvellous.  I learned a lot from the panel session on the first day.

4.  I worked out that I want to start making proper strides in my writing.  Attending the Getting Published and E-Book sessions proved fruitful.

5. I got ever so slightly squiffy at the  Brilliance in Blogging Party and met and fell in love with  that Hayley one before she became world famous with her keynote the next day.  I am putting her autograph on ebay as we speak.

6. I did not win a Brilliance in Blogging Award which I was so pleased about as did not feel I deserved to do so having seen the other finalists.  Plus I would have tripped up the stairs in my drunken state and the pink Crocs wellies I had won.

7. I saw some of my fave bloggers and Penny Alexander and Mummy Whisperer  in particular get their awards and was very pleased for them, huge warm feelings of thrilledness.

8. I discovered Katy Hill and found her so funny, engaging and true.  She tells it like it is and I love anyone who does that particularly about the challenges of parenting.

9. I started to understand more about social media and search engine optimisation.  

10. I heard the wonderful Sarah Brown and she changed my life right there and then. 

11. Despite myself, I moderated the Blogging for the Greater Good session with what appears to be quite a degree of success.  Working with the lovely Michelle from BritMums made it that much easier.

12. I spent a lot of time over lunch with Polly Gowers from Give As You Live.  She speaks so much sense and I have that chat as one of my absolute highlights of the conference.

13. The food was amazing and sustaining as the whole event really too it out of you in terms of over-excitement, nerves and the rest.

14. I joined Ellen Arnison and Mammasaurus for the Sod the Stats!  Blogging for Happiness session.  Having survived the first speaking engagement in the morning, I felt much more chilled.  I managed to be me warts and all.  Whether that was a good or bad thing is for others to decide.

15. Although I had plenty o f wobbly moments, I pushed through them and spoke to people and did not sit shyly at the back in workshop sessions.  I also remembered that other folks would be shy too and when I spotted people who looked that way went up and spoke to them. 

16. I laughed and cried in the blogger keynote sessions with several stories resonating deeply with me particularly Karin’s about post-natal depression and Ellen’s about not slating ourselves for being bad mums when actually we do out best.

17. Someone said to me “Oh, you are one of them, aren’t you?”  Turned out they meant I was part of the BritMums team.  I am never quite sure how I managed to become part of that wonderful team but am really glad I did.  Susanna and her lovely colleagues have truly changed my life for the better and I thank them for that.

18. I met some of my blogging heros but also learned that there are a lot more out there to get to know better.

19. I felt like a somebody rather than a nobody.  It is so easy to lose sight of yourself as a mum.

20.  I hugged.  Yes, me, the most hung-up person in the world found herself fuelled by wine throwing herself on unsuspecting bloggers.  What can I say?  It was emotional.

What do you hope are you best bits of BritMums Live 2017?

 

How do I start a post when I am still a little in shock from yesterday’s events?

For those who missed it, we held a Twitter party using the hashtag #groovymums.  If you are a #groovymums you are officially on trend according to Twitter.

The original idea was to acknowledge that the Groovy Mums blog hop and online support network established in September 2011 was 6 months old.

I thought most of the participants of the groovy mums blog hop would take part and maybe a few interested observers.  I was amazed to see loads of people joining in and some very interesting debates and chats taking place.

At some point in the party and yes I was sober but my head was still spinning, people started to tell me that #groovymums was trending at number 2 on Twitter.  This still seems very surreal to me but does at least show the power of mums when we get together and tell our stories.

Topics covered included ..

How to combat the isolation many mums feel

How to still have your own identity when you become a mum

How powerful or powerless mums are in society

How peer support can help mums move forwards in their lives

How media images and the celebrity culture affect how mums feel about themselves

What things get left behind when you become a mum and whether you can recover some of them

The hopes, dreams and aspirations of mums

How to increase energy levels and feel better physically

How to tackle mental health issues including post-natal depression and where to access support

Mums’ self-image

How to get involved in volunteering and how it might benefit mums

How to get back to work or into self-employment

How to get involved in learning

How mums can carve out me time and what mechanisms help them to do so

Whether partners and children can benefit when a mum puts herself first sometimes.

As you can see, it was an awful lot to get through in one hour.

I would like to thank so many people but if feels like the Oscars where I could end up writing for ages as so many people helped.  Particular thanks go to the parenting and blogging networks (Tots 100, Britmums, Love All Blogs, Mumsnet, Netmums).  None of this would have happened without those women in the last 6 months who have joined in with the Groovy Mums blog hop.  Personally, huge thanks go to Hayley, Louise, Caroline and Kat who are always there to put me back together again when I need it.  Finally, to each and every person who promoted or took part in or get in touch about the Groovy Mums Twitter Party.

Now for some more questions so please leave a comment, contact me on kateonthinice@gmail.com or tweet me @kateonthinice

1. Should we have another party or regular parties?  If so how often and what time suits people best?

2. Do you have any particular topics you would like to see covered via Groovy Mums?

3. Do you think you might link up blog posts to the Groovy Mums blog hop?

4. Would you like to take on a new role with Groovy Mums?  It will be unpaid but might be rewarding in other ways or enhance your blog profile.  If you are interested in this, please email me and I will be in touch by the end of the week with more information.

5. If you are an organisation or business, would you like to link up or partner with Groovy Mums in some way?  I am very open to ideas so drop me an email.  It would be lovely, for example, to see some prizes offered to participants at the next party.

Groovy Mums continues to evolve so all ideas and feedback are most welcome.

In them meantime, if you have a blog or website, you are most welcome to use the Groovy Mums badge which you will find in the sidebar.

If you think that the party was inspiring, changed things and/or stood out, you might want to consider voting in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards using the bright pink buttons on the right.  Thank you.

 

Having set up this bit of fun yesterday, one of the people I tagged who is Caroline at http://itshowlifeis.blogspot.com has challenged me to answer the questions myself. So here goes and this is what I have to do.

1) Answer the 10 questions and consider the mission.
2) Tag a blogger or two or more to do the same
3) Come back to my original blog post and tell me you have done the questions and answers.

I have tried to make the questions Ok for those who watch the television programme and those that don’t.

1. What one thing about being a parent makes you scream “Get me out of here!”

One thing! That is a bit limiting. I think it varies too according to what age your children are. Right now, the squabbling between me boys drives me insane so let’s stick with that one but I can give you more if you ask nicely, lots more …

2. What skills, if any, do you have that would be useful in the jungle?

I can cook. I would probably make people laugh even when things got bleak.

3. How are you likely to annoy people in your were stuck with them for 3 weeks?

Probably over-analysing things and talking too much. Or if I got in one of my dark days, that would be a pain in the arse to them I am sure.

4. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten?

Spinach and walnut soup. I knew I had entered an alien universe when I went to Cambridge University but the soup pretty much confirmed it.

5. What luxury item would you take into the jungle with you?

My laptop as would need to blog for sanity’s sake.

6. What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

It depends what you mean by daring. Physically, it would be when I walked on hot coals. Despite being a total wimp really, I do seem to have taken on some challenges. These might include going to an Oxbridge college as a working class kid, taking on challenging jobs and taking on step-parenting without really knowing what it would entail not to mention parenting itself.

7. Who would you miss most if you went into the jungle with a bunch of strangers?

My family. I have felt much less lonely since I moved in with my Dad. Despite the fact Him Indoors drives me to distraction, I miss him by about 10pm on the nights I am away from home. The children I think, no absolutely the children, the good bits.

8. What celebrity alive or dead would you like to have with you in the jungle?

Freddie Mercury to really question him about his philosophies on life

9. What would scare you about being in the jungle?

All the frightening animals. Knowing me, I would also be terrified of not saying the right thing and not being liked.

10. After leaving the jungle, you go to a luxury hotel. What would be the first thing you did on reaching your hotel?

Read the newspapers to find out what people were saying about me.

11th mission should you choose to accept it is to tell us why the person who tagged you is a star. (For the uninitiated, stars play a big party in the television programme)

Oh, now I get why darling step-daughter tagged me. She wants me to say nice things about her. Now to be serious I met this girl when she was 14. Despite her circumstances which were far from ideal, she had a ladylike quality about her and sort of glided like a swan through all the shit surrounding her. in fact, an awful lot of the time she reclined on a sofa as if she was on some chaise longue in Downton Abbey. She had style and poise despite the fag hanging out of her mouth.
Although me coming into her life sort of meant she would lose her Daddy’s attention in some ways, she did do all she could to encourage the relationship appearing to genuinely feel that I would make her Dad happy. I once heard her telling her little sister “Look, Dad loves Kate, that is what you have got to understand and that is a good thing”.
When the relationship had early hiccups, she would ring me up and try to get things back on track.
I loved cooking with her, being creative and she does not know it but there is a huge part of me that would like her to be my own daugher. I sort of get her and I think she gets me too.
She has gone on to create a family unit coming through some really awful challenges along the way with not enough support offered from people who should have known better. That is a huge achievement of which she should be really proud. So these days she is a wife and mother and karma has also delivered her to status of stepmum too which wickedly amuses me no end. She is now about the age I was when we met so realizes that her telling me it was great I dressed young at the grand old age of 29 was going to bite her on the bum one day.
She listens, she stops me feeling isolated and she is a friend, a different sort of friend but a friend all the same.
She is a warm-hearted, ready to help others even when she has her own troubles, very forgiving, highly intelligent and does a fine line in Baileys in coffees when he going gets tough.
Oh and she promised me a night on cocktails if I said all these nice things and I can’t think what sort of wicked stepmama she got these sort of habits from …

Now, let’s tag 10 bloggers and ask them to join in with their own answers.

1. http://pinkoddy.wordpress.com
2. http://funkywelliesrandomthought.com
3. http://butwhymummywhy.wordpress.com
4. http://myprincesskingdom.wordpress.com
5. http://mum2four.co.uk
6. http://reluctanthousedad.com
7. http://adventuresofamiddle-agedmatron.blogspot.com
8. http://katetakes5.blogspot.com
9. http://daddacool.co.uk
10. http://mishmashmum.com

The rather wonderful Caroline Flack who blogs anonymously as MishMashMum has tagged me asking 10 deep and meaningful questions.

She tells me these are the rules of the game.

1) Answer the 10 questions
2) Tag someone to do the same
3) Come back to my original blog post and comment that you have done so in order for us to find out who has been tagged and therefore find out more about our fellow bloggers!

1: Describe yourself in seven words:

Shy, warm-hearted, passionate, moody, driven, creative, witty

2: What keeps you awake at night?

As a teenager, it was listening to my radio under the covers. At college and in my twenties, it was lustful thoughts of various crushes. Since becoming a Mum, it is children. Even though I am way past the babies and toddlers stage, my children do like their cuddles. I enjoy them too so have no problem if they creep into bed with me (don’t tell the parenting police!) It is fine unless two get on either side of me and fall asleep at which point I end up crushed in the middle. Him Indoors also keeps me awake when he puts on the light to read in the middle of the night or when he snores. Sexual shenanigans.

3. Who would you like to be?

A confident version of me with a meaningful role in life. An author that can write well about issues of concern to women.

4: What are you wearing now?

Jeans and a glittery top under a black jumper. Trainers. Knickers unlike many mums tagged apparently. And a duvet when I have finished this post.

5: What scares you?

The idea of losing a child or children.
It also frightens me how you can be really close to someone and not know them at all and be very badly let down. This has happened to me twice or maybe three times and leaves me with issues around trust.
I am not great with mice, rats and snakes.
Public Speaking is a bit of a fear although I have got over that to an extent.
I also worry about not fulfilling my potential although a big part of me probably thinks it is too late now. I really don’t want my epitaph to be “She was mediocre”.

6: What is the best and the worst thing about blogging?

Blogging is a sanctuary where I can be myself, warts and all. My blog always accepts me as I am and the great thing is that an awful lot of people out there seem to like what they see too. For someone very lacking in confidence, that is a real boost and has changed my life for the better.

The worst thing about blogging is that it distracts me from pursuing other writing and trying to make money from my skills (assuming I have some)

7: What was the last website you looked at?

Netmums where I was looking at the Nearly New boards and arranging a collection of something rather lovely which I am sure I will reveal in a future post.

8: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

7 weeks ago I would have said to lose weight but hey, that journey is a successful work in progress with one and a half stones gone already. What I would love to have is charisma and more confidence.

9: Slankets Yes or No!?

Yes as you might have guessed from a previous answer.

10: Tell us something about the person who tagged you?

Mishmashmum is a blogger who tells it like it is. She is a thinker and a feeler. She listens, she questions and she challenges. Like many of us, sometimes she struggles and sometimes she celebrates. She is all that and Olly should consider himself a very lucky man. Her blog is rather superb so give it a visit http://mishmashmum.com/

Right, time to pass on the baton to

http://ourpeagreenpod.blogspot.com

http://www.chickenruby.com

http://theramblingpages.blogspot.com

http://mrsshortiesmind.wordpress.com

http://mummyplum.blogspot.com/

Will leave it at 5 so that there are others left to tag.

Well, what about my answers? Did you like them?

Welcome to a Listography where we don’t have to think. This is great news as last week was a tough challenge thinking up 5 dates never mind 5 disastrous ones at that.

1. Halloween Carrot Cupcakes – I guess from this we can take it that I have lots of foodie readers and that I like to keep my blog topical when it comes to food if nowt else.

2. Savoury Dutch Pancake Recipe – Well, this goes to show my blog can be savoury as well as sweet. I quite like that idea.

3. Lincolnshire Hot Pot – more food. Is it any wonder I am weighing in stones overweight? Quite nice to see Hot Pot in the week where we lost the wonderful actress and singer, Betty Driver. She played Betty Turpin the long-suffering barmaid and cook at the Rover’s Return in Coronation Street.

4. Blog Hop Tuesday – this pleases me as will hopefully mean more people get interested in joining in with the Getting Your Groove back blog hop I launch every Tuesday. It is all about mums getting a sense of self in the midst of juggling work, parenting and the rest. If you have lost your va-va voom or never quite found it, if you want to rediscover or reinvent yourself, this is the blog hop for you. The good news is there are others on the same journey more than willing to offer support and ideas.

5. Get thin Freshers – Well, I guess I am on a journey to get to a reasonable size again even if not thin exactly. The Freshers bit means I went to university and have blogged about it. After all, way back in those days, I was a size 8 and thought I was fat. Oh to be so fat again.

So there are my 5. Have a go at Listography over on the Kate Takes 5 blog yourself.

You have a choice now. You can join the grooving mums some of whom are trying to get fit and healthy or you can think blogger it and indulge in the recipes for the lovely dishes outlined above. Which will it be?