For my round-up of Lucky Things’ first BritMums bloggers conference, I’ve pulled together a playlist for everyone whether you were there or not, whether you blog or just love reading them. Since my DJing days, I love putting together playlists to remind me of special occasions. Music is one of my lucky things and it’s also my way of saying thank you to everyone who I met, chatted to, had a pic with, who I approached (and happily spoke back to me!) and who I didn’t get to meet this time round.
So some of the Lucky Things crew may be wondering what is #BML16 and why do you keep talking about it Sunita? Well, BritMums Live is one of the biggest blogger conferences in the UK where over 500 bloggers come together in London town. Lucky me, as I went along to my first BritMums conference last Saturday (plus the warm up Friday Fringe drinks at Holiday Inn at Camden Lock). It was also super-cool that one of my favourite family food brands Nom Noms sponsored me for BritMums Live.
My Lucky Things followers were my stylists for the day and took part in a Twitter and Instagram vote on what I should wear. Thought I’d give them something bright to vote on last week…I also had fun at #BML16 compiling my style-round up post.
- Ain’t no mountain high enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell…BritMums founders Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze launched the day with some great words. They talked about how years ago, people didn’t have confidence in blogs and what they were capable of doing. There we were sitting in a room of 500 bloggers who are doing incredible things however many followers they have. They both reminded us to aim high and achieve lots through our blogs.We soon heard from Julie Creffield who set up Too Fat To Run. Julie laughed about how people used to she couldn’t set up her own business about running and keeping fit and guess what now she has her own book about it all! Another thing Julie mentioned is that people are always telling you can’t do stuff but you can. There was heaps more inspiration at The Up Your Game Q&A led by Vicki Psarias (Honest Mum), Natasha Courtenay and Richard Leake (Affilinet). They gave us some hot tips on making our blogs really successful. As a newbie blogger, it was nice my question kicked off their Q&A. Mumsy Mum Clare and I then jumped on stage afterwards and chatted to Vicki. She was fab and made time to chat. It was nice I could let her know how much I appreciated her comment on my recent post about what not to say to someone who’s doing IVF. Oh and then we all started chatting about shoes! So lovely to have a shout-out on your latest post Vicki.
- Show you the way to go by The Jackson Five…This song always reminds me about how friends have been there for me through lots of things. As a young Michael Jackson sang “Just put your trust in me, I’ll try not to let you down.The job is hard to do but only we can work this out“. Now people who do and don’t know me are supporting my blog. On another note, sometimes it’s important to hear what others have dealt with in their lives to give you perspective and make you feel grateful about your lucky things. At #BML16 I heard some touching and amazing stories leading to happy and sad tears. Tears appeared across the main room as we listened to Anne-Marie Cockburn’s talk about losing her teenage daughter and her work for The Forgiveness Project. She captured her memories and feelings in the book 5742 days – A mother’s journey through loss. Wise words from Anne-Marie when she told us “regardless of what life has thrown at you, you can make the most of the life you have left”.
- We are family by Sister Sledge…I read about how the blogging community is so supportive and for some an online family. My online impression was an understatement. There were lots of groups of friends at #BML16 and it was nice seeing how they’ve formed close friendships. People really made time for you and I loved that about #BML16. I knew I’d be walking into the #BML16 Friday night drinks not knowing anybody. So, about a week before the conference I dropped a line to some of my favourite bloggers (ones with huge followings and some who were also new kids on the block). I felt ok about the Saturday morning as I’d arranged to meet the Clare from Mumsy Mum at the tube and maybe Katie from There We Go. I also sent a quick note to Prabs from Absolutely Prabulous. Man, her blog really makes me laugh. Next thing I know Prabs replied to my email saying hi and let’s meet up at the Friday Fringe drinks. So it was cool knowing I could walk in, spot someone who I (kind of) knew and maybe they would introduce me to their blogger mates. Prabs was fab and next thing I know I was happily chatting to lots of bloggers.
- Happy by Pharell Williams…It’s obvious from my Instagram photos that I was really happy to be at #BML16. I was happy to have started the day off with Clare, I know we’ll keep each other motivated throughout our blogging. As I chatted to lots of bloggers I couldn’t help noticing their lovely outfits and accessories. So a #BML16 style round-up post featuring lots of bloggers will be on its way soon. Thanks to everyone who took part in my Lucky Things style adventure. Next year, I’ll make sure I ask some of the dad bloggers about their BML style too. I was indecisive about sessions on the day but I was really happy I heard Emily Leary from A Mummy Too talk about the world of Pinterest as it’s something I really need to work on. I was happy to bump into Alison Perry, Not Another Mummy Blog. We swapped some flat shoes love. Her blog was one of the first which inspired me to get one going.
- Good times by Chic…We had heaps of fun at #BML16. The photos speak for themselves. Clare and I quickly joined forces with Georgina 2Pretty Little Ladies and Amy Five in One. I bumped into Jeni from Where I Write and her buddy Zoe, so we soon had a table for the opening talks. I picked up lots of techie tips (the Google Analytics talk was pretty cool and I may get my head around most of it!) It was nice that you could also turn up to a session on your own and hang out with new people at your table. At the Google session it was cool meeting Christy from Bambella Designs as we also had fun talking about my family trip to Melbourne and Amy from A different view. During the breaks we headed to the PR area and talked to lots of friendly brands including Johnson’s, Whaoo! pancakes, Touchnote and Konditer & Cook. Obviously we all loved the PR freebies. We pretended we were at the Big Little Tent Festival. They do handy kits so you can hold a family camping festival in your own back garden! It was hard to avoid the dressing up gear at the Boots Soltan and Costa Brava stands. Bloggers could have a selfie with the male model for cancer aware underwear brand Bollox or Noddy (tough choice for some). Lots of us wrote cute mottos on the #ClangersFor Kindness tree.
Carole Smiley loved talking to us about her pants. Basically about her clever Daisy Doll pants which are gorgeous but practical for some embarrassing situations! Then onto some real-life embarrassing situations. A major highlight was hearing BBC’s Cherry Healey talk where some bloggers dared to share their funny stories with 500 of us. We all laughed so much. I then sneaked in a selfie with I’m Magical Maggie. Next thing we all knew, it was time for more Konditor & Cook cake to celebrate BritMums’ 5th birthday.
- Rappers delight by The Sugarhill Gang…I love this tune as it’s also about being different but still one of the gang. There are millions of us parenting and lifestyle bloggers but all of our blogs remain unique. “Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn…” this tune will now remind me of the #BML’s Friday Fringe drinks at Camden Lock’s Holiday Inn. Arriving at Saturday’s conference was great as there were a few hellos from the peeps I met the night before. After seeing Prabs, the second person I chatted to at the Friday night drinks was Sarah from RunJumpScrap (glowing with her lovely bump) and then ‘you’d never know she was jet-lagged’ Becky From CuddleFairy. I politely hovered around another group and Jennifer Howze, one of the BritMums founders, heard that I was a newbie. She said “Don’t worry Sunita you’ll meet loads of people tomorrow, we’ll put you on the under-30s table”. I then had to declare I was not as young as she thought! Lovely lovely compliment though. Selina from the furniture brand Wayfair started chatting to me and next thing I know I’m sharing stories about my love of Berlin. We then chatted to Chloe, Head of PR for Holiday Inn, where I shared stories about my love of Melbourne! Emma from Island Living 365 asked me what my blog was about and I managed to reel off my blog-elevator pitch out on the third attempt! At least we all had a good giggle about it. I soon spotted Hannah from TheDiaryOfAnOrdinaryMum and Kirsty from Something Crunchy Mummy. I’d joined their blog post linky party the other day and loved reading their latest posts, so thought I might as well introduce myself. Later on, Kirsty and I had a lovely chat about confidence. I met Jeni from Where I Write and her sidekick from Worthing, Zoe from Life of a Mum. We also had a good giggle about all kinds of things. I met Talya from Motherhood The Real Deal and we soon started talking about my IVF journey. There’s something very liberating being able to share your own stories with approachable people who you have just met. So within an hour, as everyone was so lovely, I went from not knowing anyone to nearly half of the room. Moving back onto the bloggers I met on Saturday, the Rappers Delight tune goes out to Anna Whitehouse AKA Mother Pukka. When I entered the world of blogging I didn’t realise I’d come across another mummy who loved 90s hip-hop. Check out my favourite 90s hip hop Mother Pukka vlog here. Ha ha maybe one day we’ll collab on a 90s hip hop mummy vlog and do the running man. At #BML16 Anna was happy to pose for a photo with me although it took quite a few shots to get a good one as we got the giggles!
- Outstanding by The Gap Band…My favourite thing about #BML16 has to be meeting the people behind so many inspiring blogs. I’d come across one blogger earlier that week and spotted that we had something in common (ah the power of Twitter). We both have a close member of our family suffering from the same everyday illness. My heart went out to this blogger without knowing much about her. So I sent her a private message on Twitter and she was cool about meeting up at the conference. We shared heartfelt stories as well as tears. Meeting her was one of the highlights of my day. We both started our blogs at the same time and so felt lucky we have our creative outlets. Thank you for catching up with me when you could have been drinking prosecco; your determination is outstanding (you know who you are). We all then gathered together for the Brilliance in Blogging awards ceremony. Although a lot of us were pretty tired, we were excited to see bloggers pick up their awards. I was super-chuffed for the winners and some of my all-time blog favourites, Mother Pukka, Not Another Mummy Blog, Mum in Brum (below) Absolutely Prabulous, Mummy of Boy Girl Twins and Honest Mum who also left with the Outstanding BiBs award (respect ladies!) Lucky me as I managed to chat to all of them on the day, so yeah that was pretty cool.
What a day! All I can say is if you’re a newbie blogger and haven’t been to BML before, it’s so worth going next year despite the nerves. It doesn’t matter that you may not know anyone, everyone is pretty friendly. Also it doesn’t matter if you want to go around on your own too.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my musical themed round up of my first #BML. Enjoy listening to the first Lucky Things playlist Celebrating #BML16 on Spotify here. If you need to sign up to Spotify (it’s free!), click here. Oh and I’ve added Beyonce’s Single Ladies to remind us of Slouching Towards Thatcham’s musical performances for #BML16.
If you want to take a peek… Click here to view my Instagram mini-video capturing some moments of #BML16.
Keep in touch, leave a message and see you again at #BML17. Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tune that makes you happy! If you get a chance, check out the links to others’ blogs in this post, they’re all pretty amazing.
Leaving you with a big shout-out to the BritMums crew and bloggers.
Enjoy lucky things.
<a href=”http://honestmum.com/category/brilliant-blog-posts/”><img style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; display: block;” src=”http://i.imgur.com/fJzNWoE.jpg” alt=”Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com” width=”301″ height=”189″ /></a>