Tuesday, 28 June 2016

#BML16 Blog Post | BritMums Live with Baby and Coca Cola

Staying at The Montcalm meant that this ^ was my view the very second I exited my hotel. No time to take a deep breath - it's a case of dive straight in - but I paused from pushing the buggy to take the above pic, as you do.... I'm a blogger ... but first and foremost, as always, I'm inherently an archivist too, so it's in my blood to try to capture everything, be it in notes or photos (or pre-baby my brain, as I used to have an AMAZING memory *cries at the loss of it*).  I swear though, I must have worked in a museum as a curator in a past life.

Now that I am an Instagrammer almost more than I am a blogger, I of course also notice DETAIL so I also had to capture THIS photo (below) because of the CLOCK. 6th conference at the Brewery and it took having Instagrammer goggles to notice it. Even nerves and trying to style my way along the cobbles (who am I kidding) didn't stop my need to CAPTURE but the bloody famous Instagram's need to SQUARE things off cropped the clock out, so here is the original pic, showcasing my reason for taking it, in all of its glory (p.s. I love the picture quality from my new camera phone and its ability to capture light):
I would share a picture of me and baby/buggy taken ...
... just outside the hotel entrance
... just before these cobbles
... seconds before the moment the above captures...
... BUT the hotel porter took it and he even took two... BUT they are not at all flattering, so on my camera phone they will remain. Hey, I like to share but I do have my limits.

I was feeling very wobbly on arrival. I didn't think I was a stickler for routine or the sort of person who is thrown by something being different, but just because registration was upstairs for the first time ever and they couldn't find my name badge for the first time ever, I was just about to break down in tears. BUT an absolute bloggy angel who I've known for years came straight up to me, the gorgeous +Charlotte R.B who my very own Lottie shares a name with. Thank you gorgeous lady. She's pictured to my right. Charlotte blogs at Berice Baby.

At BritMums Lives in the past delegates have been majority "old timers", minority "newbies", so you'd literally walk around feeling like you knew, or recognised everyone at The Brewery. I've attended 6 times in a row (I know it was Britmums' 5th birthday but there was Cybermummy at the Brewery beforehand). But for the first time ever, I actually felt like the newbie and definitely us old timers were outnumbered*. Thankfully I was never more than a few metres away from a smiley face that I DID know. Also, being that Instagram's my new favourite platform, sometimes the person you know is someone you haven't met in real life before, but you feel like you see them everyday. Like Essex Kate (pictured on my left) and her precious baby Sophie for example. Kate is on Instagram here: Essex Kate which reminds me I am yet to check out her blog Counting to Ten.

*of course I do not know if the statistics back up this gut feeling.

Now the lady in this picture, Nadine from Juggle Mum, very much deserved this hug for so so so many reasons, not least of which was the fact that she single-handedly FOUND my name badge. A seeker of the badge who succeeded where so many others had failed, despite the fact she was so busy with so much to do. She's been my saviour in recent weeks too. Thanks chick you rock! She's also the BritMums.com editor so do check her out!

Even back in the days when ALL of my bloggy mates would be at BritMums Live I never did stay in a group with them all day/days, nor did I move around with them like a school of fish. I'd always break out and wander round the hub or go off to the toilet and as a result I'd always end up meeting someone new and getting absorbed in a chat that otherwise wouldn't have happened. So given that I am independent in this way, it shouldn't have been no real big shakes that a lot of my old bloggy buddies were not there, BUT sometimes it did mean I felt lonely in a crowd, a feeling made worse by the lack of sleep (I *always* get weepy when tired). One person I have sometimes been stuck like glue to at BritMums Live and Mumsnet Blogfest is Jenny and Jenny you were missed.

The night before, i.e. BML16 "eve"

I had insomnia Friday night even though I skipped Fringe drinks, so as to rest and fully enjoy The Montcalm with my lil family of 4. Also, why stay near The Brewery only to travel over and back to Camden. I couldn't face it, or the logistics of bringing Lottie or the worry of leaving her behind when breastfeeding. After leaving home at 08:30 to arrive at The Montcalm at 13:30 to meet Coca Cola at 14:30, I needed some down time prior to a busy day ahead where BritMums Live would be trying to achieve in one day what it ordinarily does in TWO.

BUT alas, despite going to bed at 10 p.m. I slept at 3 a.m. I couldn't even get up and make use of the time as everyone (Lottie, Aaron AND Daddy) was asleep EVEN night owl nocturnal Daddy. So, I just lay in bed vicariously following the night-out exploits of people who were story telling their fun evenings on Twitter and Instagram. Even continuing to do so into the early hours. 

I think the reason I had insomnia is I was BUZZING after a mind blowing symposium (what even is that?!?!?) with my great Sponsor for #BML16 Coca Cola that was held on the Friday afternoon. We (myself, Michelle Purple Pumpkin Blog, Mari of Mari's World, Claire of Evans Crittens, and Al from The Dad Network) even got a goodie bag as if they hadn't done enough for us already (train tickets, room in The Montcalm and ticket for #BML16).

I was supposed to wake up at 7 on the Friday but Lottie had me awake from 6 and she'd woken a lot in the night and each time she did, I stayed awake for longer than usual listening to the ballot counts from the Referendum unfold. So I knew how it was going to turn out before the world woke up. We then rather ambitiously walked to our nearest train station which with a 6 year old, a buggy, a baby and a large suitcase was perhaps a little crazy of me. But my 6th sense and psychic side won out as even though we got there 20 minutes early it was JUST BEFORE a huge downpour and we were safe and sound UNDER the train platform shelter. Hoo ha! Sometimes a plan comes together however accidental. Arriving at our next station wasn't quite as fortuitous as we then had to go down two flights of stairs to a subway and the down lift was out of order. Thankfully one angelic man helped with the buggy whilst another angel carried my heavy suitcase down (I never travel light no matter how hard I try). Luckily the UP lift was working and things began to feel more relaxed. Until I discovered that one of my angels was getting the same London bound train as me and as we strolled, he shared how the referendum result effects him personally, or more accurately 2 of his 4 sons. I could have, and nearly did, cry!!!! Anyway, he then got on a different carriage and...

... I was left to negotiate the mystery that is: where do you put a buggy on a train? 

I hadn't thought this one through, so I did THIS. Clearly this only works if you board before everyone else and literally HOG the luggage compartment. Luckily the overhead areas are so generous, people tend to avoid this shelf area as it is too far from their seat and too near to the doors. 

Had this not worked I am not quite sure what I would have done. Once the buggy was ensconced in there, which was really the only place it could go, I then had to jiggle, bounce and feed Lottie on my knee, which was easy on the way to London, but not so easy on the way home when I really wanted to have my table open. Luckily on the way home the lady who checked our tickets took pity on me and gave me complimentary "stuff".

The journey to London was easy enough, as Aaron spent it drawing on the tablet - I was so impressed with his creations. The journey back, he was watching Goosebumps on his portable DVD player. He's always been a good traveller to be fair, which gives me one less thing to worry about.

But back to the event eh!
The bottom right hand side picture of Lottie above may not be flattering but I had to include it as her blowing raspberries always at the most inappropriate of times was one of the highlights of the event. Whether it was just as someone was collecting their award, or just as I was about to burst into tears, it was a frequent and noteworthy occurrence. One of the opening keynotes was Anne-Marie Cockburn talking about the loss of her daughter when she was only 15 years of age, having been taken too soon at 5,742 days which inspired the title of her book: 5,742 days: A Mother's Journey Through Loss. Now I have been waiting for Lottie to arrive since 1989, so to hear of the loss of a young beautiful girl in her prime, when my Lottie is only 5 months, was just too much to bear. I was literally JUST about to totally unravel all over the place in a puddle, when Lottie saved me with a raspberry. Judging by the looks on the faces of those nearby, I think she helped them too. Some emotions take you to the edge of a cliff and I wasn't quite ready to fall off, not with the big bag of emotions I was already in charge of that day. Sometimes it is nice to connect with someone on Twitter, so if these words have touched you, dear reader, or are relevant in some way Anne-Marie can be found on Twitter here: 5742Days.

Pass the Parcel was a great ice breaker. At the outset the person to my right (if you are reading this, please remind me of your name as I spoke to you several times in the day) was about 4 seats away so I had to literally receive the parcel and then throw the parcel... but then lovely Kerry from Oh So Amelia joined us to my right and all was cool! Until, she got pass the parcel and we all loudly cheered only to wake Lottie up - doh!

The 10:15 break was really appreciated as it was my first chance to access the hub (the place where the tea/coffee, pastries and cakes are) and the place where you mingle with peers/brands. I hadn't spent my usual 30 minutes in there eating breakfast pre-event, as upon arrival me and buggy were shepherded to the lift as registration for the first time ever, was UPSTAIRS. ONLY TROUBLE was this break was 15 wee minutes long, which considering you've had to come downstairs from BritMums1 wasn't long enough. I don't wear a watch and it wasn't always convenient to keep getting my phone out, so I arrived at Storytelling and Storyboaring for great videos - sponsored by Mam about 15 minutes late. To be fair I walked passed the room it was in (just off the hub) a few times but I didn't realise that the door being shut meant it had already started - doh. Thankfully they DID let me in late, but the wonder that is Nigel Camp did not have a microphone and unless you were sat on his knee you could not hear him. Despite being a lounge it was standing room only so I sat on the floor to breastfeed Lottie. I was near the cupcakes though so it was sound as a pound.
11:15 saw me have a choice. I had to choose between a travel blogging session and 10 ways to tell compelling stories with photography with Charly Dove. Now everybody knows that EVERYONE is now into travel blogging which I guess is why it was held in the main "BritMums1" room hall, but the room was far from full and the energy was flat. I had so clearly chosen the wrong session and a quick glance at Twitter confirmed the same. Just as Susanna (the co-founder of BritMums) was about to speak last (why?) on the travel blogging panel, we were already out of time and the speakers for the next session were already hovering. Susanna was saying interesting things that I wanted to hear, but that was it, the session was over. The only take home point from the session (without consulting my notes) was that Facebook Live has catapulted itself above and beyond anything that G+ is doing and that people get way more (immediate) views on there than they ever do/did on YouTube. Oh and that on Pinterest, the travel pins that get the most interest are the ones about Ireland. Now that's an awful shame, as I used to go there 3 times a year and now budgets dictate that I hardly ever go, despite ALL my family being over there (yes I have about 15 relatives here in the UK but my Mum and everyone else is there). Can I take this opportunity to say how spooky it was, that given all of my family are from the West of Ireland (both on my Mum and Dad's sides of the family) that there was a chap from Shannon Airport exhibiting in the hub! You can see his banner in the collage above. ALSO, the FIRST person I met upon arriving at The Brewery and The Montcalm on Friday afternoon was Cuddle Fairy and she also lives in the West of Ireland, not only a hop and a skip from all my relatives but also near where I got married. I was naughty, I took a picture of Cuddle Fairy before even hugging her or saying hello.
The next session was Up Your Game - Innovative Ways to Make Money. By this point I was so over the whole panel format, so I only stayed in the room for monetary reasons and the fact that it involved being able to stay where I was. Now I really must go get my notes as I think I did here write some things down. Natasha Courtenay-Smith author of The Million Dollar Blog (which I had not heard of and must now buy, except it is not out until September so has to be pre-ordered) spoke about several blogs she has featured in the book including A Beautiful Mess. A Beautiful Mess is run by sisters and they earn "$2 million revenue per year". But they get revenue from "everything and anything" linked to their brand/blog but not necessarily blogging itself. They have books, are available for "speaking" and do affiliate marketing. You can quite literally (like a movie Madeleine Shaw
who does little sponsored content as her website is PURE. Honest Mum said it's not just about sponsored posts and display ads, lots of brands pay you to make videos. I hope someone has blogged this session as I am sure lots more was said but I had a bouncy baby on my knee who eventually, after a lovely cuddle with Natalie Trice (pictured centre of collage), did go to sleep.

This session started slightly late, so ended late. Unfortunate as lunch was next and I was starving. My milk supply is not great without eating and I'd not had breakfast. I became like a targeted tank, steaming through people, me and baby/buggy in an effort to get to the food by the quickest means possible. I knew I wanted to gobble it down in an inhaling type fashion so took myself off to the bar stools in the Tent lounge and ate alone so I could drool and gobble.

There was lots of food left over so I ate 3 pots of main meals. Actually wished I eaten even more. I also took the lunch break as a quick chance for a nappy change and got chance to chat to other Mums whilst waiting to use the disabled toilet. Actually I think this was the one chance I got to speak with Mummy Daddy Me and meet her new little boy who I see everyday on Instagram.

As you can see Lottie has a long sleeved vest under her dress so was warm in that way, but I could no longer cope with her cold legs (all rooms were air-conditioned) so I took this opportunity to do a wardrobe change :-) and get tights on her. Like myself I should have changed her for the Bibs again one more time to justify the 12 outfits I carried around all day in the nappy changing bag. Although of course you never really carry a nappy changing bag as it is just hangs on the buggy. I begun the morning with my lovely Hush Cush portable nursing pillow hanging also from the buggy but I was so embarrassed that night to see it had splatters of what looked like breastfeeding poo on it. I wracked my brain and figured they must be splashes of coffee and someone must have spilled one near me. So even though I went around thinking buggy and baby looked lovely, people were probably looking and thinking euggghhh or yukkkkkk!

Next up was Sketchbook Club which I think deserves a blog post of its own
Then two things happened - Lottie fell asleep and I went to the panel session on Instagram, knowing 3 of them very well on Instagram, I felt safe it would be good and was not disappointed.
My take home points from The Instagram session were:

  • Follow @soGoodinEveryWay on Instagram - tick!
  • Take part in #sgiew prompts (short for So Good In Every Way)
  • Check out @CoCoInMyKitchen on Instagram - tick!
  • When doing sponsored posts on IG, charge approx £100 per 10k followers - errrm that rules me out then at 2.3k followers but I only joined Instagram April 2014, it's a work in progress.
  • Diana has always been one of my fav Instagrammers @paintsewgluechew and she said she spends anything from 20-40 minutes posting, commenting and liking. She is very reciprocal in her approach and I personally know this of her. She said to be generous and genuine and that she most certainly is.
  • Maggy spoke of having a tribe. 200 people you regularly interact with. This is where I have gone wrong since 2014. I just haven't had time for that and it shows. She said on Instagram she has identified about 50 really like minded people. Which brings us to the question of lists. You can do this on Twitter but not Instagram so how do you find your favs. Hashtags that's how!
  • They also mentioned the following two great IGers: Circle of Pines and Ali Dover. But I cannot find the latter.
  • They mentioned VSCO but I do not know what that is either.
  • They discussed the very best times of day to post but I think I was distracted with Lottie at this point, but I think they said early morning and 7 p.m. and late at night work well. Midday does not.
  • I love how they operate the hashtags with guest judges etc... I can't wait to participate.
Actually looking at my note book I have found a few extra points from the making money session:
  • Get an email address that identifies your blog like I for example should have liska@newmumonline.co.uk which I do not
  • When working with a brand accept a reduced fee until they get to know you, your brand, what you can do and the standard of your work. So prove yourself capable for future projects.
  • Approach the brand with your idea as it may not be something that they have thought of doing.
This also reminds me that it was in (I think) the travel session, when someone said that P.R.s move around, so do accept a review of something small as the next time they approach you, they could be in a bigger/better agency or working for a bigger/better brand. In my years as a blogger I can't tell you how many times this has happened but it's lots.
It was then time for the Birthday Cake Break as this was the 5th BritMums Live, although now known as #BML16. I am proud to say that I have been at all five, 
no matter whether I had young Aaron 
or in utero Lottie 
or now real life Lottie.

Now it was time for a chat with Cherry Healey - I could hear that it was very funny but I was very distracted so not really listening. 

I cracked open a can of the new Coke Zero from my lovely sponsor and waited for the Bloggers' Keynotes having finally done my #BootsSoltan photo booth GIF downstairs before coming up to the main BritMums1 hall. 

It was lovely to meet Oh Little One Sweet and baby, pictured in the collage, on my way into the hall. 

I was sitting with Essex Kate so our baby girls got chance to meet once again :-) She gave me the idea of changing Lottie on the floor amidst the tables, which actually worked very well. The two girls then became SO fidgety (for the first time that day bless them they'd been sooooo very good) that I decided to put my pink blanket on the floor and let them have a little stretch and play. Lottie has never played with another baby so she didn't really know what to do bless her.

They mainly just tugged at each other and looked amused that we'd put them down there for a couple of minutes.

Next up was the Bibs Party which I attended ever so briefly before rushing off to feed Lottie. I did get chance though to meet a Mim Mim and Fi from Coombe Mill who little did we know was about to win Reader's Choice in the Bibs Blog Awards 2016 - look at her she is literally wearing her brand on her dress. AWESOME!!!!!
I then watched the Bibs at a front table so that I could record it all...

Every single Bibs 2016 award being collected is uploaded to my You Tube channel - all 14 awards. Take a look: NewMumOnline YouTube channel.
I was lucky enough to spend the Bibs sharing a table with the Welshies :-) Kerry Norris on the RHS and Leanne Cornelius from A Slice of My Life Wales in the centre. They were so bubbly and sweet. I also made a friend in Sarah Forget Me Knit, also at the same table with us but from Bristol - she's in the bottom pic of the collage and we also sat together at the group meal in Nandos after #BML16.
There are LOTS more pictures of the weekend which I will add to a G+ album and of course there's already LOTS for you to look at on my current NewMumOnline Instagram feed too, all tagged with #BML16.

I would like to thank The Montcalm for a lovely stay - here is a partial tour of our room and Coca Cola for so generously sponsoring me (my travel, my accommodation and my #BML16 ticket). 

I've added this post to the I Was There Linky.

Liska xx

P.S. you may say "what does a 5 month old baby get from being at a bloggers' conference?" Well for one she was adored and giving heaps of attention all day. But, apart from that, she got to meet a Clanger AND Mim Mim. What could be better :-) We even had a Mim Mim in our goodie bags and The Boy and Me's son has LOVED his.

    Tuesday, 21 June 2016

    Going to BritMums Live #BML16 and Introducing My Sponsor

    I am going to BritMums Live #BML16 - I didn't think I would be as I didn't have time to think about it having birthed a new human at the end of January, but then Coca Cola came to my rescue and made my Britmums Live dreams a reality. More about those dreams later.

    For now, I am answering the below questions for the I am Going linky.

    My name:

    My blog: 
    It's here. You're on it: New Mum Online with a .co.uk

    Find me on social media:

    I don't really do bloggy Facebook...

    As you can see, there is no confusion, I am NewMumOnline everywhere :-)

    How I look:
    I spent a lifetime thinking I was 5 foot 7 and then discovered I am only 5 foot 6. I am still looking for that missing inch everywhere. It's like losing your marbles only worse, way worse.

    I am a brunette with long brown hair and a fringe which means I don't need botox. Nah, seriously, I've always had a fringe. I was born with one.

    I am 43, so yes, an older Mum. I conceived my son aged 36 but was 37 by the time I had him. I conceived my new baby aged 42, but was 43 when she was only a week old. 

    I am breastfeeding so will be bringing my lil lady, either in a sling or in the buggy or a combination of both. So that we'll be easy to spot, this is roughly what we'll look like:

    A photo posted by Liska (@newmumonline) on

    Is this my first blogging event?
    Far far from it. I went to Cybermummy in 2011 and every single BritMums Live since then. So I can celebrate five years of BritMums Live this year, knowing I was at all of them. I tend to do thorough blog posts after the conference. This is my I Was Not Alone post from 2015, as I went to the conference with my lil lady in my tummy. I'd link to all of my Britmums Live blog posts here if I wasn't so busy with baby.

    I will be wearing…
    Now, here's the thing! Eeek I have not sorted this out yet. And it HAS to be breastfeeding friendly and I need something for the Friday AND the Saturday. I haven't figured out yet if I can make it to the Friday fringe drinks. Hope to see you there.

    What I hope to gain from #BML16:
    I am hoping to enjoy being at the event with a baby bundle as this is something I have literally dreamed of for years, never having taken Aaron there as he was already walking June 2011 and it's only "babes in arms" that are allowed. I can't way to see Lottie sharing her beaming smiles with everyone. She tends to be happy, breastfeeding or sleeping, so hopefully it will go well.

    My tips for a great conference:

    1. If there are people you long to meet make sure you arrange to meet beforehand, or if not possible, tweet them early on in the conference, so as to hook up.
    2. With that in mind, have your notifications switched on so that you don't miss their tweets.
    3. Be open minded to meeting NEW people, not just those you already know online. Your new best friend could be waiting for you; don't pass them by.
    4. Try and get on to the Brewery's Wifi as your battery (and data) will last longer if you do.
    5. Don't get too stressed about missing sessions that clash with your chosen ones, as some people blog their notes, like I did in 2013: Notes from BritMums Live 2013 and some people even vlog sessions.
    6. And actually don't worry if you miss a complete session as some people swear by this approach as it is a great time to chill with a mate, or get to speak to the brands while the hub is quiet. Be sure to visit Coca Cola as they have a stand :-) and they're my wonderful sponsor making it possible for me to attend.
    7. There's cake, pastries, water and tea/coffee in plentiful supply at BritMums Live so you don't need a travel cup or sneaky snacks in your handbag :-)
    8. Your phone will die, so ensure you have a spare charger or AC. I only ever have the AC, but am going to try and be organised to bring my Tommee Tippee charger pack.
    9. Take lots of photos as people always regret not doing this. The year I took lots, they were wonderful to look back on BritMums Live 2013
    10. Keep an eye on Twitter during the day, using #BML16 as there's always a great stream of reactions, comps and gossip on there. Many of the brands will ask you to do a tweet to enter a giveaway especially for those attending.
    11. People at home follow the event virtually, using the hashtag, so don't be surprised to have excited replies to your tweets from people wanting to know all the goss!
    12. In recent years The Brewery have provided outdoor space. I always forget to go out there but on a nice day it is a brilliant way to escape from it all for a breather.
    13. If you see someone in the exact same outfit as you embrace it :-)
    14. If you are a finalist for the Bibs, I wish you the very best of luck. I've recorded and uploaded it before. 2014 Bibs here. 2015 part one Bibs. 2015 part two Bibs.
    15. Aby has very helpfully blogged 10 things all first-timers at the conference need to know.
    16. If you are staying the night before and leaving straight after, bringing your suitcase to The Brewery is absolutely no bother as there is a *huge* cloakroom with ULTRA FRIENDLY assistants manning it.
    17. You may need a suitcase just for your goodie bag by the way. Don't kill your shoulder carrying freebies around all day as you can add things to your cloakroom luggage.
    18. PLEASE say hello. I'll be the one with a baby girl probably looking a bit overwhelmed as I try to mingle, breastfeed and be in more than one place at once.
    In 2013 I got my name on a bottle with Coca Cola so it is wonderful now being sponsored by them :-)

    Back to those dreams I mentioned at the outset of this blog post. I've dreamed for years of attending BritMums Live with a baby. Recently, I realised I have the baby but not a #BML16 ticket. Now, regular readers will know, I believe in cosmic ordering and the power of prayer, but what happened quite literally blew me away. Being a very busy new mum I haven't had chance to contact brands about sponsorship. A couple of months ago I made the decision to save up. I was faced with a choice. Save up for a birthday party for Aaron or save up to be able to afford BritMums Live. I love my baby boy, not so much the baby as the party was to celebrate turning six years of age. So, with my complete adoration for my boy and the fact he so badly wanted a soft play birthday party, I booked it. But here's the funny thing. I booked it on Saturday 11th June knowing we were there for a party the next day and that I could collect the invites Sunday to hand to school mates Monday. I was cutting it very fine as his birthday was Wednesday 15th June and the party would be Sunday 19th June. You can't get this venue for a weekend birthday party at this short notice, but with it being Father's Day I did. It also meant that only his closest friends came, which means I had the exact amount I'd paid for and didn't have the expense of extras. Here's the spooky bit. As I read out my card number to pay for the party, BritMums Live flashed through my mind followed by the words "ah well you have to speculate to accumulate". My mind was thinking "how can it go wrong when I am doing something so right" (for my son). Wow, the Gods are good as on the Monday 13th June, I got the email from Coca Cola. It means I can stay at my favourite BritMums hotel too - the Montcalm, which with a new baby in tow is much much much appreciated. So dreams REALLY can come TRUE.

    Thank you so much Coca Cola.
    I have enjoyed a few of the UEFA Euro 2016 matches and we are trying to get our avid footballer Aaron to watch, so that he learns more about the beautiful game. BUT I am cross it means I don't get my normal fix of Coronation Street and Eastenders - I was gutted to miss them last night. I did just stumble across this Coca Cola UEFA Euro 2016  in numbers infographic which has got me more interested in the game. Like the referendum, it makes more sense when you know the facts ha ha.

    See you there - this is us today at the park after school. Bless her she loves watching her brother no matter what he is doing.

    Sunday, 19 June 2016

    My Sunday Photo Father's Day Special

    Well in a few moments it will be Father's Day. The pic I have picked for #MySundayPhoto does have Daddy in it but as a reflection in the glass. Love this clever (accidental) capture...
    It was Aaron's sixth birthday on Wednesday (hence the stickers above on our window) and his birthday party is on Father's Day. So with that in mind I really ought to be in bed. Very tired tonight.

    Morph Suits sent me an email the other day, with a quiz: What Superhero is your Dad most Like? We did it straight away and it came out as the Hulk. That's Aaron's Dad not mine.

    Anyway, we are now reviewing one of their Morph Suits and with it being Aaron's birthday they sent it immediately - so nice. It's an Astronaut one as below.

    I've ended up with a pic very similar to last week's My Sunday Photo:
    As you can see below the Morph Suit covers the whole body head and all!
    The costume does include feet but he's wearing shoes here just to protect the Morph Suit from the great outdoors :-)
    Back to Father's Day. I ordered two cards from Moonpig.com this one for Daddy and this one for Granddad and they both love them. You can't beat a personalised photo card.

    I have a #WBFathersDay easy to enter giveaway going on, where you can win 5 DVDs for Daddy this Father's Day if you follow me on Twitter @NewMumOnline and retweet this tweet:

    Night night I am shattered, Liska x


    Wednesday, 15 June 2016

    Father's Day #WBFathersDay with Warner Bros

    We had the pleasure of celebrating Father's Day during the half term. Daddy and I had a date night despite Lottie only being 4 months old at the time. What a result. We left her (and Aaron) with Grandma and two of our nieces. She couldn't have been happier and didn't bat an eyelid as I left. WAY less clingy than Aaron ever was.

    Wasn't brave enough to do that when Aaron was that age. Nervous over protective first time parents and all that. 
    It was so so so much fun walking around the streets of London with Daddy, spotting red buses and black taxis, feeling like a grown up :-) Getting something to eat on the way home.

    We got to see Creed on the big screen in Warner Bros Head Office and despite it being perceived as a man's film, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would watch it again in a heartbeat. Beautiful romantic storyline and pulling on all of my Rocky movie nostalgic memories of which I have many. I actually watched them on the big screen as a child. Hubby and I worked out we saw one of  them in the same cinema on the same day before we got together (we have been together since 1988 so we had that convo back then). I was a big boxing watcher as a child thanks to being a baby of the 1970s and having a step Dad who was big into boxing. Actually watched a lot of snooker too.

    Yesterday I ordered Father's Day personalised cards online and thankfully remembered not just to buy one for our Daddy but also for my Daddy. Love the Granddad one, so cute. Both of them I got personalised with beautiful photos. Speaking of Granddad he'd popped round while we were out, giving Lottie and Aaron both presents and chocolate for us. So it was a very Father's Day centric day, despite it being early. Even as I type this Father's Day in the UK isn't till this Sunday. But us bloggers we are always ahead of the game, like celebrating Christmas in July for example!
    In the collage above you will spy a Warner Bros bag as we were gifted a goody bag of movie DVDs that Daddy loves.

    If you would like to win your very own bag of DVDs for your Daddy or the Daddy of the house (your baby daddy ;-)) then stay tuned. Enter below:

    To Enter:
    Retweet this tweet linked to below and follow @NewMumOnline

    Terms and conditions:
    RT this Tweet to Enter

    • Entrants must be 18 years +
    • UK residents only please.
    • One entry per person.
    • One Prize for One winner is 5 DVDs. The must-see films are Mad Max Anthology, Horrible Bosses 2, Vacation, Live Die Repeat and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as you see pictured above.
    • No cash alternatives.
    • Closing date for retweet and follow is Monday 20th June 2016 at 23.59.
    • The tweet that must be retweeted is linked to above. You must also follow @NewMumOnline.
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    • The promoter of this competition is Fetch Dynamic Ltd.

    Saturday, 11 June 2016

    My Sunday Photo

    It's far too long since I joined in with #MySundayPhoto and even longer since I did a linky at all so here goes. It wasn't as warm today as this past week, but that was actually a relief as it has been so so incredibly hot/humid all week and it's been tricky for the baby. She wakes frequently at night, I think due to thirst. The Gro Egg tells me it is 24 degrees in the bedroom. 

    So today we enjoyed drop in temperature (after it had rained heavy all night) and spent the afternoon in the garden.

    I'll share a few pics but THIS is my official #MySundayPhoto
    Aaron adores that he now has a bigger audience, what with having a little Sister who can't take her eyes off him
    He already loves every little move or sound she makes so I hope and pray he is still as interested when she becomes really interesting. He'll be SIX on Wednesday and it's not the ideal age gap as there will come a time when he's out (not even with me) when he's kind of outgrown her. I don't want that and kind of hope that although he'll be too old (in his teens for example) to PLAY with her, that he'll still take an active interest in her. I kind of think it is possible when I look at half term where my niece (God Daughter) took a huge interest in Lottie despite the age gap. All I need is for Aaron to be like that and judging by their affection for each other I am quietly optimistic :-)
    I actually cut his hair today. It's been long for over a week but we've lost my hair scissors. I have #PampersBabyDry to thank for this cut as the scissors they have sent us in the set are sharp enough to cut hair so today, that I did. Must be the fifth time I've cut it this year. It seems like a lifetime ago when I look at his hair pre short back and sides. And you know what, it is a lifetime ago! Lottie's life! As he still had a full head of curls when she was born. It's like having a baby released him from his obligation to be my baby and I felt able to cut his hair. When he was my one and only, I thought he was so so little, I couldn't possibly have done it or said goodbye to his curls. Now, on the flipside I look at his hair pre haircuts and think oh my God it is so so long! You couldn't have told me that then though. Oh no, you would have got a tongue lashing for your trouble. My boy WAS his curls. But now, no! I can see my boy above and beyond his curls and the token ones on top are enough for me and for him. We both love his new hairstyle and of course so does Daddy given that it's a mirror image of his own, not that I cut his. Funny as for years he's been holding down Aaron's curls on the side, saying "let me see your face" and "how would you look without your afro?" Well now we know. Very handsome I think!
    In fact hairloss seems to be a theme with the three of us. Aaron's having his cut by me but the same can't be said of Lottie and I. With her, every time she loses a bit of cradle cap there is always a curl attached to it. The cradle cap is now the size of a 50 pence piece so now that is the only long glossy black curly birth hair she is left with. My view of her, watching him (again from the garden today):
    I am having post partum hair loss and it's been a couple of weeks now. When my hair is in a pony tail it is about a third of the circumference it used to be. It had thickened SO much in pregnancy but now it's quite the opposite. I lose handfulls in the shower and again handfulls more when combing it. It's awful and I am wondering will I be needing a wig in a couple of weeks. The Dyson is FULL of it and I always have a couple of spare hairs tickling each arm and as I start to breastfeed there are always a couple in her way that I have to move in case she's swallow them. Having a hair in your mouth is bad enough as an adult when you can deal with it and tell people what's wrong. I am taking supplements so I don't know the reason for it other than I have just had a baby. I remember having it with Aaron and can't remember when and if it stops. I eventually thickened up my hair again that time with Chinese Herbs but I'd say there won't be a budget for them this time.

    So Aaron's had a haircut and the two ladies of the house are losing ours. Ah well. 

    He's COVERED the sitting room floor in toys, somehow, despite us spending so long in the garden and I can't face picking them all up. They're both asleep and we have a birthday party early tomorrow. I really should get off this computer and try to face them. Tidying..... pah!

    I'm just back 23:45 for the third time breastfeeding her back to sleep whilst typing this post and they've only been in bed since 21:15. The Gro Egg says the room is 24 degrees even though it was cooler today. I think also though, that she senses I am not up there in the bed beside the cot so I think I'll call it a night.

    So Goodnight from me and goodnight from these two lil folk...