How it feels to be a #BiBs Finalist for the BritMums 2017 Brilliance in Blogging Awards

I’m still feeling shocked about being a finalist for the BritMums 2017 Brilliance in Blogging  Awards.  They’re a huge thing in the blogging community. Even more wonderful as I’m a finalist for the Inspire category. When I went along to the BritMums conference this time last year I certainly didn’t expect to be up for one of the awards. It still feels strange being called inspiring but here’s why I’m happy Lucky Things is doing what it aimed to do.

What’s Lucky Things all about? It’s all about inspiring you to connect confidence with your career and wellbeing. We’re all busy whether it’s as a parent, professional, creative, CEO of our household, blogger. business-owner or expert juggler of everyday stuff. I guess I want others to feel better about what they’re doing, how they are or what they’d love to do despite the curve balls life throws at us.

 

Helping others to feel more confident…Over the past year Lucky Things has been on a mini mission to help lots of people to feel more confident. Honest feedback is important to me and hearing how Lucky Things has helped people in different ways has felt inspiring –  like giving them a bit of hope as they deal with the low times, finally wearing  the new dress that makes them feel good, making a healthy career decision, juggling Mum guilt, dealing with FOMO, setting up their own blog, feeling OK about their parenting or fertility journey. Some have said they like looking at Lucky Things as it gives them a  quick positive pick me up during their week.

Working through life’s ups and downs…I don’t think life is supposed to be perfect. I started working on Lucky Things Blog when I had post-natal depression. At first I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the difficult things in life. I’m glad I started to talk more about PND, infertility, IVF, mental wellbeing (for women and men) and juggling everyday self-doubt on Lucky Things Blog. I’ve realised that it’s important to share our own stories to offer a bit of support to others.  It’s also about sharing practical tips and tricks so others can get on with everyday life despite the challenges (maybe it’s the HR bod in me). I love it that my Instagram home is known for inspiration-boosting quotes.

If you like what Lucky Things is all about, I’d of course love your vote when you have a free mo – it just takes a minute (voting ends on Sunday 2 July).

You can quickly vote by popping over to this link here.

Experiencing Lucky Things offline…People also get to experience Lucky Things blog in real life through my friendly and supportive networking events the Lucky Things Meet Ups across the UK. When I hear how others have overcome their anxiety of going to events or networking, it’s a lovely feeling. It gives them confidence to do other things too. I know exactly how they feel when it comes to moving outside of their comfort zone.

Inspiring? To be honest, I’m still getting used to being called inspiring amongst the online and offline community. Usually I’m busy promoting others who inspire me on the blog, but I’m glad Lucky Things is inspiring others on an everyday level and really does what it says on the tin. There are people out there who are doing incredible things to help others. I’m not changing the world so it still feels a bit odd being called an inspiration.

Thanks again everyone…How fab to be alongside so many incredible bloggers for the Inspire category this year. I know these opportunities for recognition don’t come up often.  I know a few people nominated me for the Inspire award and even shared their nomination words with me (they blew me away!). How will I feel if I don’t win the actual award? It sounds cheesy but it really is about the journey and the nice things that have happened along the way. It will be good to know I was a #BiBs Inspire Finalist in 2017 and how Lucky Things offers others little bursts of inspiration and confidence.

 

Mummuddlingthrough

Is there such a thing as being cool?

Whenever I see the word cool, I’m not sure what to think. We hear and read about being cool lots around social media but what does it really mean? We see what others are doing or wearing and it fits into our definition of cool. Well, I wonder if there is such a thing as being cool?

What does cool mean again?…On Google, the word cool means “fashionably attractive or impressive“. The thing I worry about this definition of cool is that it isolates a lot of people because of how they see themselves. Self-doubt affects everyone and would anyone immediately describe themselves as cool? Nope. Everyone has enough on their self-doubt plate to deal with. Growing up, I was never part of the cool gang at school. Looking back I’m glad that I wasn’t as I wouldn’t be so close to the friends I’ve treasured over the last 30 years. I’m still proud to call our little group the geeks at school. We didn’t need to advertise our coolness. As I mentioned on the lovely #coolmumsclub interview, I’m proud to be a geek myself. If I wasn’t one, maybe I wouldn’t have been organised enough to blog or run a business.

Cool means calm…For me, cool means dealing with the ups and downs of life. I talk about wellbeing and looking after yourself heaps on Lucky Things. From dealing with mum guilt or busting your FOMO (fear of missing out), it’s cool to look after yourself. It’s also cool to worry about the right things. One thing I love about the definition of cool is that it’s about being calm or maybe gaining a little perspective. I’ve managed my own calmness over the years. Pop over to this blog for some tips on staying calm and dealing with everyday anxiety.

Cool is about being OK with who you are…What I call comparison culture can be a right pain. It affects people at different levels. So I think the better we manage any comparisons, the cooler we feel about being ourselves. It can takes years of practice though. I know I feel a bit cooler when I’m feeling good about what I’m doing or how I’m helping someone else. So it’s more about feeling cool rather than looking or coming across as cool.

Cooler with age...I used to associate the word cool with the younger generation. I’d look at my 15 year old niece and think, wow she knows about all of the cool stuff out there whether it’s what to wear or what music to listen to. Now I’m 40, I’ll admit I do feel a bit cooler with age. I basically feel a bit wiser. I don’t pretend to know everything and I’m certainly not perfect. But going through different stuff has made me who I am today.

Is being cool about the way we look? Whatever we look like, we will always feel self-conscious about something. It’s easy to think that person looks cool, especially if they’re outfits seem trendy. Sometimes the word cool equals being fashionable. I disagree. At the April’s Lucky Things Meet Up in London, we busted the myth that feeling confident in your own style is all about being fashionable. It’s just about feeling good about your own style rather than comparing yourself to others. I’m excited about talking about style and confidence with Lucy @styled_by_lucy in June where I know I just want to feel comfortable on the day rather than trying to look cool.

Cool isn’t about being in the club…We briefly chatted about cliques on my Instastories live chat last night. For me, being cool isn’t about being part of the gang, it’s about surrounding yourself with positive people. People say find your tribe or your vibe attracts your tribe. So make sure those in your tribe are nurturing rather than draining. Sometimes, I think the coolest people are the ones who just do their own thing and who are able to relate to lots of different people. So cool shouldn’t feel like an exclusive club. Anyone can join in with feeling cool.

“But what you’ve done sounds really cool?”…I’m not sure if I ever felt cool when I was DJ-ing or working in fashion. They were jobs to me and both involved a serious amount of hard work behind the scenes – from networking to build up your reputation or managing rejection when you weren’t selected for amazing opportunities. I always joke that being a DJ isn’t actually that cool; it’s actually about being a geek. You need to know your stuff and what makes other people feel happy when they hear music. If I think about what I’m doing now, yes maybe I do feel a little cool. I love bringing people together through the Lucky Things Meet Ups and Lucky Things Locals. I feel cool when I help others to feel more confident about themselves through coaching or my confidence chats. So maybe it’s about helping others find their own definition of cool that works for them?

Your definition of cool…Everyone is cool in my eyes. We’ve all done stuff or been through things that make us unique.For me, cool is about being nice to yourself and recognising your little achievements along the way. Being cool is also about where you find inspiration from whether it’s the music I love or the street art I love browsing or discovering. So it’s about finding your own definition of cool or your bits of cool. It’s about a feeling. Maybe you don’t even need or want to feel cool – that’s cool too.

What do you think about the word cool? Have you ever felt cool? Is being cool about the way we look or is it about the way we feel? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think too…

 

Top tips on accepting compliments 

Compliments. You either love them or shy away from them. Or maybe just don’t know what to do with them when they pop up. They could be rare offerings or maybe you’re bombarded with them. One thing I know is that it’s taken me a while to welcome compliments and fully accept them. So here’s some tips on how to accept compliments.

Say thank you… When I used to receive compliments, I always used to make a joke or distract the attention away from me. I felt awkward about receiving them. If someone complimented me on my outfit, I’d always let them know if it was a bargain. This response was my tactic to shift the attention onto something else. For a long time I didn’t like or want any extra attention. I also didn’t want to be perceived as needing attention. Over the years, I’ve realised that it’s important to say thank you before anything else when someone pays you a compliment.

Respect that someone has taken the time to give you a compliment. Giving compliments is a skill in itself. I believe people who give compliments are showing a beautiful side of their own confidence. They’re able to recognise talents or nice things about others. You can also pass a compliment to the other person but thanking them for taking the time to let you know what they thought. 

Listen to the compliment… It’s easy to switch off and never wonder why somebody is giving you a compliment. Most of the time is because somebody means it. So actively listen with your eyes, your ears and your heart. Be mindful about receiving a compliment. How did it make you feel?  

Be curious...Over the years I love knowing exactly what people like (I still worry about what people don’t like or what can be better – I guess it’s the HR / performance review culture in me!). So when you receive a lovely compliment don’t be afraid to ask why they said it. A simple “thanks so much for saying that – what made you think of that about me?” let’s the compliment giver expand a bit. Use the moment of a compliment to find out more. Or if you want follow up another time. It’s all good practice for receiving feedback – something we need to be stronger at in our working lives and day to day relationships.

Enjoy it
…We sometimes avoid thinking about ourselves too much or spending time on why we’re great as individuals. Now that could come across as selfish or self-centred right? Nope. Enjoy the compliments you receive. Compliments can boost our confidence, how we feel about ourselves and in turn our mental wellbeing. Enjoy what people are saying about why they appreciate you or what they like about you. It could be a compliment about the way you are, your work, what you’re doing, how you’ve helped them or even how you look.

Jot it down
…Compliments can feel like gold dust so capture them in a way that works for you. I love keeping collections of compliments on a note on my iPhone or GoogleDocs. They’re great pick me ups if I feel the self-doubt cloud hovering over me. Reading compliments can be quite powerful. They remind you of who you are. They help you to look after your own confidence and can be confidence energisers when any self-doubt hits in. 


See a compliment as a gift
…Compliments are like words wrapped up in pretty paper. Someone is handing those words over to you. If someone gave you a wrapped up present, would you take it? So take the compliment. It’s for you and no one else.
Practice giving out compliments yourself… Do you like giving others compliments? If you don’t find this easy, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Give out a compliment and see how it felt for you. I’m hoping that it make you felt good, especially when you see the other person’s reaction. Supporting each other’s confidence is priceless and people really appreciate it. 

Give yourself a compliment! 
Yes this may feel weird but it’s actually really healthy. Tell yourself what’s great about you. Just say something nice about yourself or write it down. Jot down all of your WOW moments from last week, last month or the year gone by. You can read more about why it’s important to celebrate our small milestones here. Reminding yourself about your own achievements also helps you to manage any comparison syndrome or what I call comparison culture

I’ve received a few lovely compliments recently about the work I’ve done to help others feel confident or what people have thought of the Lucky Things Meet Up and the Lucky Things Local events. I’ve really appreciated hearing what people think as my coaching work as encouraging the right results for others is really important to me. It still takes me a moment to just accept the compliment but it’s all good practice. 

I’m also sending out a huge thank you to everyone who nominated me for the Mother-hood.com Top London Mummy Blogger Award. I’m really pleased to be the Runner-Up (it was fab being alongside so many amazing finalists). 

What do you think about compliments? Do they make you feel great or a bit awkward? Do you freeze when someone pays you a compliment as you’re not sure what to say? Let me know and leave a quick comment below. 

Oh and I’m sending you a virtual compliment for taking the time to read this blog post as I know how busy we all are, I really appreciate it and hope you enjoy Lucky Things. 

IVF Journey series – Kate from lifedaily.co.uk

So here’s the third story for the IVF Journey series on Lucky Things Blog. I am so grateful to those who have shared their journeys with me. Each fertility journey is so different. The below journey belongs to Kate from the lifestyle blog lifedaily.co.uk. Kate is in her mid-thirties and she’s mama to H who is 14 and C who is 8. She’s married to her best friend, soulmate and rock, Tom and they live in South East London. Kate is a social media manager for a few lovely clients and as well as running her blog, she also runs the house!

Thanks for sharing your IVF journey Kate. Let’s start with the the outcome of your fertility treatment…

None of our attempts worked sadly. Well, I say sadly, but also happily, because I wouldn’t have the gorgeous 8 year old beast that I have now if it had worked.

We got married in December and I had already come off the pill in the October, to give myself the 6 months “they” say it takes to leave your system. I then fell pregnant, naturally, with our daughter in the January. So, first baby, pretty much instantly. Second baby however? He took 6.5 years, 2.5 attempts of IVF with ICSI (I cancelled the last go because I just couldn’t face it all again) and several miscarriages.

When did you first find out you needed to do some form of fertility treatment?

Once we’d decided to try for baby no.2 we did everything we’d done the first time round, came off the pill, cut back on alcohol, ate better, but nothing happened for a good 7 months. So, we started tracking ovulation with one of those kits (nothing like taking the romance out of things!), and fell pregnant quite quickly. Sadly, we lost the baby at 6 weeks. I wanted to try again as soon as I could, but each month we were disappointed, so we decided to visit the doctor to check everything was OK. This was around a year after we had started trying, because we were constantly told we’d had one baby, we were obviously able to do it, and, doctors don’t like to rush in these situations. We were both in our 20’s, healthy, already had one baby, it sometimes felt like they thought we hadn’t been trying as long as we said!

What were the reasons for needing fertility treatment? 

In the end it turned out my husband had a very, very low sperm count and those he did have weren’t the best at swimming and I had developed (or been diagnosed with) PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). So, between us, we were very unlikely to fall pregnant naturally, even after having our honeymoon baby. Secondary infertility is a huge thing, which wasn’t really spoken about. They couldn’t tell us if my husband had always had bad sperm and our daughter was a miracle (she will tell you she is, of course!) or if something had happened in the couple of years since we’d fallen pregnant and finding out. There had been no trauma or illness so who knows?

What were one of the hardest things for you, knowing you had to go through fertility treatment? 

Feeling like a failure was my biggest issue. It seemed that literally everyone around me was simply looking at their partners and falling pregnant. There were bumps and babies EVERYWHERE. I could have put my eggs and his sperm in the washing machine on a spin cycle and they still wouldn’t have made a baby. Not that that would work, but you know what I mean.

When you found out you needed fertility treatment, do you remember how you felt? 

Shocked. Confused. And, for a while, a long while, my underlying thought was, “why us?” Selfish, self-centred, all of the bad things, but it’s how I felt. It was so unfair.

And how did your partner feel about it all? It must have been tough for him too.

I think for him, it was more of a sadness for me, if that makes sense. He wanted another baby but he was also happy with the three of us, there wasn’t a physical ache for him, as much as there was for me. We both felt like it was an unfair battle we had to go through.

What kind of fertility treatment did you go through?

We looked at Clomid, but it was decided that because of the PCOS and the lack of sperm (too many eggs, not enough swimmers) we would be better off with IVF. ICSI was added on once we had seen the specialist and he decided simple IVF wouldn’t be enough. We also did egg sharing with our treatment, I decided I had so many eggs, I should help someone else who is going through the same hell as us.

Did you know of anyone else who went through fertility treatment?

I met some amazing friends through support groups, and, strangely, another mum at my daughters nursery had gone through IVF for all three of her children, and had donated her left over embryos once she had her twins so I had lots of people who ‘got it’.

Were you scared about anything going through fertility treatment? Can you tell me a bit about this?

Yes and no. I read so much about every single step, I became a bit of an expert on it, it helped me to know what was happening and what was going to happen. Saying that, no amount of reading can prepare you for the emotions that you experience. The lack of control was the thing that scared me the most, I had no say in how it worked. That, and the thought of it not working, that it would all be for nothing. Oh, and the cost! I often thought that I was being a selfish person spending money we didn’t really have on something that might not work, it felt like I was throwing money away but I couldn’t not do it.

What support did you seek when going through fertility treatment?

We had counselling at the clinic due to the egg sharing, apart from that, we relied on each other, our friends and finding as much information as we could.

What support did you find helpful?

All of it helped in different ways. Comparing side effects, or feelings, with people going through it at the same time helped a lot. You feel very alone when you’re injecting different drugs into your system and having test after test, visiting London every other day – you get trapped in a bubble of infertility so it’s nice to know that other people are feeling the same way as you and you are normal!

Were you OK being open with friends and family that you were going to try fertility treatment?

Yes, I had to be. It wasn’t something I could hide away as it was such a huge part of our lives. We needed help with childcare, time off work, an excuse for the random tears that would burst out at any given moment. I don’t think I could have kept it a secret at all. I wasn’t working at the time so I was OK, my husband told his immediate boss though, so he was able to come with me to appointments.

Do you have any top tips for juggling fertility treatment and work-life/home-life?

Delegate. You need to concentrate on you as much as humanly possible. Don’t feel guilty about it, it won’t be forever and it certainly won’t do any harm. You just need to be kind to yourself and your partner while you’re going through it because it’s such a huge thing. Don’t over plan, don’t expect too much of yourself. Do what works for you.

Did you ever feel embarrassed or self-conscious about going through fertility treatment?

God no. I have never felt like that, but even less so now. If I can help one person not feel like they’re not a proper woman/man because of it, that they’re not a failure, that they’re not alone, then I’ll talk about it to anyone with ears.

What tips would you share for others going through fertility treatment?

This is a tough one, because what worked for me, might not work for you. We tried acupuncture for both relaxation and for egg production, but I spent the whole time chatting to my therapist, so it didn’t really have much effect on me. For someone else, it might the golden ticket. The one thing I can say, hand on heart, that is more important than anything else is to talk to each other. Don’t assume you know how the other person is feeling, because they might be holding it all in to protect you. The blokes will be scared that they won’t be able to do what they’ve got to do, it’s a huge amount of pressure on them, just as it is on you. Talk, talk, talk. Then cuddle and talk some more.

What support do you recommend for the partners of women going through fertility treatment?

Again, talk! Yes, she’s probably got a billion thoughts running through her mind at all times, but you’re just as important as she is. She needs you and you need her. Tell her you’re scared, she will understand. Also, no blame. Ever. It’s no one’s fault, nobody chose to go through this, you don’t blame her so don’t blame yourself either. You’re in it together.

What should people consider when they’re deciding which fertility clinic to go with?

For me, it was locality, how easy it was to get to – we had to go private because we already had our daughter, so we were in London but we were still able to drive there, a major factor when you’ve had egg retrieval or transfer – but also, how they make you feel. You need to feel like you can trust them. If you don’t like the feel of the place, find another one.

What have you learnt about yourself having gone through your fertility treatment?

That we are strong people. So much stronger than I thought we were and we can get through anything.

Looking back, what is one of the most vivid moments of your fertility treatment?

Ha! Waking up after my egg collection, because someone was calling my name, and talking absolute garbage for a few seconds, then remembering why I was there and asking how many eggs had been collected. 18! Actually, that and having to inject drugs in the middle of a soft play party, I had to hide away in the loo’s and do the stabbing. So many highlights….!

In three words, describe your fertility journey.

Scary. Emotional. Exhausting.

Anything else you’d like to share about your fertility journey?

For us, none of the treatments worked. Out of my share of eggs, only 2 were viable for transfer and neither “stuck”. The two week wait is hell on earth, you’re officially pregnant with however many embryos have been put back and it’s simply a case of waiting to see if they implant themselves.

I chose to stay as rested as I possibly could for those two weeks, I didn’t want to risk anything getting in the way of it working but sadly, George and Mildred weren’t to be. But! There is a happy ending, because after we stopped all treatment and decided to be happy as a family of three, I magically, naturally and completely surprisingly, fell pregnant. We had been told it would probably never happen for us, but it did. I won’t say it happened because we relaxed and stopped thinking about it, because anyone who’s been through infertility will have heard those words a million times or more, but something worked for us, even in the face of everything and we had a gorgeous, healthy baby boy after all those years of heartache.

Infertility, no matter what stage you’re at, makes us all feel the same emotions. We all feel like failures at one point or another. We’re all terrified, angry, tired and we all want a crystal ball to tell us that this round, this treatment, will work and we will have a baby at the end of it. All of that hard work and all of those tears will be worth it.

We don’t ever get that magic answer, we just keep going, we keep fighting. Whatever way we know best. But you’re never alone, just reach out to someone. Your partner, friend, parent, colleague, an online group. You will be surprised how many people are going through the same thing at the same time. And it will help more than you realise.

Thanks again to Kate for sharing their IVF journey. You can also follow her blog on Instagram at @kateag or over on Facebook.

If you would like to read other IVF Journeys in this series, please see below…

Faye’s IVF Journey

Suzy’s IVF Journey

Our IVF Journey

Top tips for going to events on your own

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, many of us can feel a bit nervous or unsure about going to events on our own. They may be events where ten other people are going or maybe hundreds will be there. What I call event anxiety is a very normal feeling. If you haven’t already seen it, don’t forget to check out my blog on top tips on networking. I’ve had to attend events on my own for lots of different reasons. Through my own experience of attending a variety of events in my media, corporate or freelance careers I’ve picked up a few tricks about going to events over the past 20 years. So here seven top tips about going to events on your own…

What do you need to know before the event? Research is queen! What would really you love to know about this event? What kind of things do you like to know about an event? What’s the venue like? What time will it finish? Who else is going? Is there an agenda? Is there feedback on previous events? So, work out what info and will make you more comfortable about going to an event. Don’t be afraid to ask the event organiser questions about the event and before you decide to buy a ticket.

Think about your event intentions…What is it that you want to get out of this event? It’s OK to have your own intentions. We rarely just go to events to hang about. Is it that you want to learn something, maybe be inspired, meet people, network, talk about what you do or just be social? If you keep reminding yourself why you’re going to an event and how you’ll benefit from it, this distracts you from any pre-event nerves and event anxiety on the day.

Connect online beforehand…These days, many events or conferences have email bulletins or Facebook groups to prepare people for different events. Join in online as it’s a way to get to know other attendees. Events may also have Twitter or Instagram pages. Check them out as they may help to boost your event confidence a bit.

Ask others who go to events on their own about their top tips…Do you know someone who often goes to events and seems to enjoy them? Ask them about what they might feel nervous about? What do they least enjoy and how do they get through it? What do they really enjoy about going to events on their own? How do they interact with people? I never underestimate how people feel when they come to the Lucky Things Meet Ups. Lots of people come to these events on their own. Even if people have been to one before, they may still have a bit of event anxiety.

Think of your conversation starter…This doesn’t have to be a cliche. Think of a question you can ask people when you first speak to them. Open questions are fab like “What interested you in this event?”. Closed ones are helpful too – “Have you been to an event like this before?”. Asking gentle questions shows an interest in others. Or perhaps it’s just a simple “hello, I’m…” and let the other person lead the conversation.

Enjoy your own space…Remember that not all events are about full-on networking, constant chatting or swapping business cards. Again, come back to your event intentions. If you’d prefer to keep a low profile that’s fine too. Just remember that people may come up and speak to you so be ready for that interaction. If there’s a talk in a room, sit in a space where you feel most comfortable.

Everyone suffers from event anxiety…Yes, even the most outwardly confident-looking people suffer from some level of what I call event anxiety. Will anyone speak to me? Will I see anyone I know? Will it be easy to mingle? Will there be a break? You can guarantee there will be many others at the event with similar questions or worries. Oh and what to wear? Talking of what to wear, always make sure you wear something you’re comfortable in or maybe something that makes you feel a bit more confident. My last tip is to think about what will make you feel better about walking through the door or into the room at an event? You might be able to arrange to meet someone else who’s going so you can literally meet at the entrance and stroll in together. These little things all make a difference.

What are your top tips for going to events? Are you going to any events over the coming months? What do you enjoy about going to events, meet ups, workshops or conferences? Let me know what you think too and leave a comment below. 

Please pop over to the Lucky Things Events Hub for more info on the sell-out social, networking and personal development events the Lucky Things Meet Ups and Lucky Things Locals.

 

I’d love your support with nominating Lucky Things blog for the Inspire BiBs Brilliance in Blogging 2017 award…

What can I say, I’d really appreciate it if you can spare a few minutes to nominate Lucky Things for this #BiBs2017 Inspire award. Lucky Things is all about inspiring you to connect confidence with your career, life and wellbeing.  Pop to section 6 on this link for the Inspire category and complete the brief online form by Wednesday 7 June 2017 11pm UK time. It doesn’t take long, promise.

To nominate Lucky Things blog, you’ll just need this info:

Blog URL: http://www.luckythings.co.uk/

Blogger’s Twitter ID: @luckythingsblog

Blogger’s email: sunita@luckythings.co.uk

If you have the time to do this, sending you a huge thank you and Lucky Things hi-five!

More about the Inspire category from www.britmums.com….The content, the voice, the infectious enthusiasm of these bloggers encourages everyone around them, whether it’s about a charitable cause, personal challenges or simply rising to the demands of daily life. These bloggers are leaders in their field and their inspiration reverberates through the community.

The Pramshed

How I really feel about speaking at Blogtacular?

This time next week, I’ll be in the swing of things at Blogtacular, one of the well-known blogger conferences in the UK. In their own words, “Blogtacular is the place for people whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire.” What can I say, it’s going to be epic. I love meeting new (and old) people, I love sharing info and I love soaking up inspiration. During the week of my 40th birthday, I received an email from Kat and Kelly from the Blogtacular crew asking if I’d like to be part of a panel. They have a serious pitch process and as my blog has only been around for about a year, it was quite a WOW moment for me. So how do I really feel about speaking at Blogtacular?

Is this really happening? Yes, I really am doing this. I have to keep checking in with myself as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a little while. My name is up there on the speakers list – it’s real. When sitting in the big auditorium at another conference last year, I realised that one of the things I’d love to do is actually speak at a blogger conference. This kind of thing is honestly way more important to me than how many followers I have or other numbers that are easy to focus on. For me, it’s more about the opportunities and collaborations that my blog encourages. It’s really about who my followers are and who I’m collaborating with. Continue reading

Top tips for returning to work after maternity or paternity leave

Taking time off to bond, look after and nurture your children is an incredible thing. But for many, at some point we have to think about heading back to work after maternity, paternity or shared parental leave. People return to work for many reasons. It can be for career-focused or financially-driven reasons. We go through all kinds of emotions when need to focus more on work again. Here’s seven top tips for helping you to return to work… Continue reading

Will my daughters wonder why they look different to their mummy?

I know kids are never going to be spitting images of their parents (well some are). For some reason, I always imagined our kids to be mini-mes. As my daughters are mixed-raced, I wonder if they will think about why we all look so different as a little family? Daddy is English-Brummy and Mummy’s family is from Mauritius. It’s an easy explanation but will our daughters get it?  So will my daughters question why they look different to mummy or the other way around? Continue reading

Seven things I’ve learnt from Julianna Margulies  from The Good Wife

I learnt so much from the blogger conference Mom 2.0. The summit officially kicked off with a keynote conversation between actress and producer Julianna Margulies, well known for her leading roles in ER and The Good Wife, and Dove’s #realbeauty Ambassador Jess Weiner. Hearing two incredible and down-to-earth women speak helped to wash away my jet-lag.  Here’s seven things I learnt from Julianna that morning… Continue reading