Monday 23 June 2014

My First (& Definitely Not Last) BritMums Live

This weekend I attended BritMums Live 2014:

"BritMums Live is the UK’s biggest, two-day social media conference and blogger event, where lifestyle bloggers and social influencers gather to meet and socialise, network with brands, improve their skills, and fire their creativity. BritMums Live has grown out of BritMums, the UK’s largest parent blogger community, made up of nearly 5,000 influential bloggers who create content about lifestyle, crafting, food, health, travel, education, tech, style and more." BritMums website

Here I am at the BritMums Live venue: The Brewery at Barbican, London. 

The weekend was a really fabulous experience - actually so much better than I had anticipated - full of girlie fun, lots of chatter, SO much inspiration, lots of networking with other bloggers and some big brands, and most importantly a chance for me to (finally!) spend loads of time with my wonderful friend Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts

Me and the Lovely Emma on Saturday

Over the course of the conference I attended many inspiring sessions including:
  • How To Make Your Blog Look All Beautiful by the wonderful Lucy Heath from Capture by Lucy.
  • The Do's and Don'ts of Blog Giveaways by Di Coke from Superlucky.
  • How To Be A Power Pinner by Lizzie Sibley the Marketing Manager of Pinterest UK.
  • Legal and Accounting: What you absolutely must know if you ever do reviews, receive goodies, use pictures… By Steve Keenan from Travel Perspective and Georgi Rollings from Starfish Accounting
  • Food Styling session by Jeanne Horak-Druiff from CookSister and Kerstin Rodgers from The English Can Cook/Ms Marmite Lover.
  • How To Instagram Better by Marte Marie Forsberg from MMForsberg
I especially loved the food styling session by Jeanne and Kerstin, which I found particularly useful and very inspiring. I loved the hand's on aspect of this session where we got to style our own food shoot and I took these very pretty pictures…

As well as attending these amazing and truly inspiring sessions, I also heard some incredible speakers; from the wonderful and truly hilarious Emma Freud (TV personality and long term partner of Richard Curtis), the very sweet Katy Hill (who bagged herself a BiB award on the Friday night), and the most moving speaker of the weekend: Benjamin Brooks-Dutton from the blog Life As A Widower, who spoke so beautifully about the loss of his wife when his son Jackson was just two years old and how he has learnt to deal with his own grief as well as his sons, and how he's kept his wife's memory alive. There really wasn't a dry eye in the house. I also attended a very interesting debate about building your food brand, where I met the very lovely TV Chef and healthy Indian food expert Anjum Anand. 

What a jam-packed weekend!

As well as all of the above I managed to fit in lots of nattering with some rather awesome fellow bloggers, LOTS of eating, and some networking with the brands and BritMums sponsors in the Brand Den and Hub. I also entered some fun competitions that the brands had running - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a nice win to top off my weekend. 

Silly picture of me for my entry into the Wyndham's Holiday Rentals competition! Hehe!

There was SO MUCH FOOD this weekend - amazing - what a treat, especially with all my recent calorie counting. I tried hard to relax, enjoy myself and eat yummy things without going too crazy (I still managed to lose a pound this week, so I can't have gone too mad!)

Here's a taster (not literally, sorry) of some of the food from the weekend

The weather was stunning all weekend, and we even managed to fit in some wine drinking in the courtyard among the wellies full of flowers hanging from the gazebo - pretty perfect. 

wine in the sun

flowers, wellies and loveliness. 

The conference ended with some keynote speakers, all of whom were fellow bloggers reading awesome content from their own personal blogs. I found this part of the conference particularly inspiring, and found myself dreaming of being up there myself one day!

The close of the conference saw us get a sneak peek from a new musical about to hit London called The Good Enough Mum's Club - it was a very funny and poignant take on life as a mother, and had us all roaring with laughter, and singing along to their rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and …Boobs!

sourced from The Good Enough Mum's Club website

This weekend has made me fall in love with blogging all over again. I feel clever, funny, and interesting again- the BritMums experience has reminded me that people do want to read what I have to say. It has reinforced what I am already doing, as well as giving me a ton of inspiration and ideas on how to evolve and improve my blog further. It gave me a chance to be just Lucy again instead of Mum - every mother needs a few days off every now and then, it works wonders! 

I have cemented some friendships this weekend which I know will be lifelong - a huge thanks especially to lovely Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts for allowing me to be her roomie for the weekend and for just being generally wonderful - it was just amazing to finally meet you! I also wanted to shout out to a couple of my favourite people from this weekend - fabulous Donna from Redhead Babyled, and lovely Jade from Late for Reality  - it was so great to meet you girls, thanks for being so friendly and wonderful. 

Me and Emma - posers! 


On Sunday, after my second night in the hotel, and with the conference being over I decided to embark on a morning full of my favourite things before heading back home…I pretty much walked the length and breadth of London (I needed to burn some calories from all that food!) and visited Cath Kidson's new flagship store in Piccadilly for some browsing and shopping, as well as a nice visit to a quiet coffee shop for a pot of tea and a flick through a lovely magazine in peace (any parent will know how scarce hot tea and time to read a magazine is). It was truly blissful. 

I also oogled in lots of pretty shop windows, another of my favourite things to do…

Fortnum and Mason, Hotel Chocolat, Tea and Tattle, and Bea's of Bloomsbury's stunning window displays! 

I'm shattered. But good-shattered. I missed my boys loads, but I now know how VITAL it is to get some time away from being mummy, and cultivate the other parts of my life. 

I will definitely be at BritMums Live 2015, you just try and stop me! 

Mrs B