Monday, 24 June 2013

BritMums Live 2013 and Learning Lessons that Were Not on the Agenda

You know, it was a VERY different BritMums Live for me this year and NOT just because I was speaking.



I seemed to learn lots of lessons:

*deeeep ones*
But hey! Life's all about the journey right?!?
And seeing the wood for the trees!

1. Looking good does NOT have to cost money
Michelle Twin Mum posted a pic of beautifully manicured nails on Facebook, on BritMums Live Eve and she may even have done them herself but they looked stunning!  Right then and there I looked down at the STATE of my nails/cuticles/fingers and those horrid skin tags one gets, and couldn't help but think back to last year when I had three brand new outfits (changed for the awards) and EVERYTHING was painted or pruned! My nails like Michelle's had also been bright red, rocking it BritMums Live 2012 stylie! Roll forward to this year and money was an issue so this year nothing was waxed, bought, painted or pruned.  Anyhow I was rummaging in a drawer on Friday morning and came across the below so dumped it in my bag for the train journey.  I never really thought I would do it - I never do my nails - but sure enough I did and felt 100% better for it! Nails looking good TICK!  Price: free TICK! The manicure set below (which I got cheap in Boots years ago - go to
Boots.com now if you fancy buying something at Boots online and earning this broke lass some affiliate commission) included a yoke to scoop off the skin tags (amazing what you can do DIY):

Who needs money anyhow!
2. Listening to my gut instinct
I woke up Friday morning KNOWING I was going to be staying over.  I should have trusted the feeling given how right I was about my Employment Tribunal in April.  I trusted it enough to tell the husband not to expect me home (my first night without Aaron sniff) but instead of packing a bag, I applied the brain and ignored the instinct.  I texted Anya Older Single Mum and asked if she had a room mate (bit late notice to be asking her that on Friday morning) and of course she asked "why?".  I just replied "because in case you ask me later I want to have a change of clothes with me".  Anyhow she didn't get chance to text me again, and as a direct result of that I did not pack a bag.  I will NEVER EVER EVER again ignore my gut instinct. Suffice to say I DID stay and it wasn't with Anya.  See, the gut knows, what the brain does not!

3. Realising you CAN face someone even when you have let them down.
Ages ago on Twitter I agreed to stay over at BritMums Live with Claire Lazy Girl Blog but when it came to it and I was put in charge of booking, I had not a penny in my account to do the reservation on my card, so I bailed out and being a Londoner said I would travel home.  Anyhow I got tweets from Claire on BML day saying she was looking forward to seeing me and I realised I could face her despite letting her down, and I DID end up staying with her anyhow.  Was it a biblical the Lord Provides thing? or simply a case of Chelsea giving up her room (there was a crazy amount of stairs)?  Chelsea (Ms Mummy of Two) I am so terribly sorry you did not get to stay (it meant you missed day 2 right?) but thank you so so so much for allowing us the use of your room, paid for by your sponsor Jackson Reece - we both really appreciate it (well I am speaking on behalf of Claire there but I know we do).  Despite being a maze with too many stairs, the Montcalm is a truly beautiful hotel.

From our bedroom window we could see the Brewery courtyard:


Sorry, I mean from the CLEAN window we could see the Brewery courtyard:


No, I jest, the room and the hotel itself was stunning and this is me and Claire in it:

Wearing jeans so that I can wear her dress #Friendship

Me in Claire's dress - I refused to stay otherwise as I was speaking on Day 2 and didn't want to do so in yesterday's clothes!
If you have already bought your early bird ticket for BritMums Live 2014 (yes they ARE already on sale) then THAT (The Montcalm) is THE place to stay! For a 5 star it is really reasonable.  Fall out of bed on day 2 and having breakfast at the conference is as convenient as having it in the hotel (which we did!).  I had BritMums Live porridge and being a large girl who likes her food, I had two #obviously!

Yes it LOOKED cold but it was DELICIOUSLY hot! Two bowls in this girl's belly. Yes call me Goldilocks!
Perfectly Happy Me (Peggy) below was the only one (out of 10 people I told) who trusted me, and got herself some porridge and look how good she looks on it! (She's the blonde to my left).  That's the legend that is Kate on Thin Ice next to her:


Everyone who arrived early on Saturday was looking rather perky (see photo below):

The couple on the right are the two halves of Geek Mummy
AND it must be a photo of twos...
as the couple on the left are the two halves of My Two Mums.


So all those people who say that everyone always looked shattered on day two.... errrm as the above shows, it surely aint everyone! Bright and breezy and raring to go they are!

4. Realising you still get generosity from people even if you have let them down.
I kind of did this point during point 3... moving on! No, actually, not moving on.  I covered the generosity of the room share above, but there was also the generosity of Claire lending me her dress (lucky she had two choices of clothes for day 2).  I got LOADS of compliments on that dress on day 2, which gave me the inner confidence to be part of a panel and speak at 14:10 in room 4.  If you can call it speaking considering how much I was crying - talking about blogging from the heart and our beautiful Kerry (#Healing4Kerry etc..)

5. Realising that bringing the camera that helped make me £300 overdrawn without its camera case (which Aaron has lost despite it only being just over a week old) is not a problem if you put it in a sock! Yes an ordinary out of the sock drawer sock!
Boy oh boy oh boy did I get many a strange look every time my camera went in or out of its sock, but as you can see above, it takes darn good photos! Yeah? But I also learned that when you use a sock as a camera case, er, you ought not to use a white one.  Was a tad grubby and embarassing by the end of day two and as you know already this girl did not go home <<< dirty stop out!

6. Back to gut instinct again
I have TWO dresses. One I was planning to wear for day 1 and one for day 2.  Once it was clear I had not packed a bag, I had to decide which to wear.  Gut instinct said: "wear the best!", BUT I ignored my gut instinct for the second time in one morning (which I never normally do), and saved the best for day 2 when I would be speaking.... However (1) it meant I did not get to wear dress 2 as above and (2) wouldn't it have been great to wear my best dress Friday AND follow it by wearing Claire's best dress Saturday and (3) it would have avoided THIS happening:

When two ladies laugh about the fact that they are wearing the same M&S dress but can say cheers! and smile on! That's our wonderful #Cbias community manager over there >>>>>>
7. I've got a big but and I cannot lie
It would have also avoided THIS happening:

The stripes seem to go on forever right? But boy would I like a kitchen like this Panasonic one.
Shameless #BritMumsLive I want to be a Panasonic Brand Ambassador plug ^^^

Oh and after writing this post I discovered a business card in my handbag that says:
Find your pictures from the evening and more about our products at:

www.panasonic.co.uk/PanasonicMums
WOW and as if by magic there we are (from the above link):

Panasonic Lumix G BritMums Live 2013 photos

8. I also learned that I am strong now
If you man handle me and say "Excuse me Liska!" to put me in my place, I don't crumble.  I just get stronger.  Bullying no longer has an effect on me! Ha! Big blogger or not, it's immaterial. I have to like you to care what you think, but then I did used to, but hey, you win some you lose some, and for one lost there was 499 more! Ha!

9. Friends are what's important.
Me and Treading On Lego (AKA Jenny) on Friday:


Me and Claire (Friday):


Me and Treading On Lego (Jenny) Saturday:


Me in THAT borrowed dress and Older Mum:


Me and the newest friend I made (in All Bar One on Saturday night) Mary Ryan from Asturian Diary.com


That last lady taught me

10. My final point. Point ten.  Which is that you CAN meet someone and like them immediately.  She also taught me, (and I am not bothering with a point 11) that sometimes it is worth selling up, leaving the country and putting joy and life as a higher priority than running on a treadmill in London, forgetting what's important about life, while youth goes and grey hairs arrive!

She's in Spain, living life in a meaningful way, like we all need to do more of!  I had a deep and meaningful with her in All Bar One Saturday night, as thought provoking as the one I had with Mutliple Mummy this time last year, and boy if her blog is anything like her, it'll be worth a visit.  I just had a peek at Asturian Diary and the photography is stunning. Take a break in Spain without leaving your desk/computer!

Anyway this isn't my usual post conference post.  I know you want to see my notes typed up, as I always do, but I need to recover first.  I am SHATTERED. In fact I did not realise that it is after midnight now, so off I trot to bed.

Luckily, thanks to my #BritMumsLive sponsor, my overdraft has not got any worse, despite some indulging over the weekend.  Thank you alexandalexa

Oh and if you ever get yourself off to #BritMumsLive you'll discover that people are really as beautiful IRL (means in real life apparently) as they are on the blog. So despite all the photo editing one hears about continuously, these below photos and all of the above, have had no touch ups whatsoever - I really would not know how!

Oh I tell a lie.  The one of me and Jenny in the sponsor room, has had my bingo wings cropped off by yours truly - sorry Argos, your banner would have been (and was) visible, but I had to cut the fat!



It's Lucy from Dear Beautiful Boy who gave birth to Dear Beautiful (+girl).

And I wasn't joking about the sock:



NO, Thank YOU +BritMums !!!!

39 comments:

  1. Great post! Hope you had a good time. By the sounds of it you did and it was great to say hello, even briefly.

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    1. Thank you I LOVED your talk. Your comrades were a little too polished and academic for me, but you did your bit for keeping it real #Heart
      Liska xx

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    2. Oh an P.S. well done Spencer on your #Bibs award. You did not know that you hadn't seen the back of your bibs days did you. Ha ha x

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  2. Great post. Was great to finally meet you. Love that pic :)

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    1. I'll have to share it with you when things calm down xx

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  3. I love reading everyone's write ups of the event. It's all so crazy busy at the time that you just miss so much of what goes on. It was lovely to see you and I'm glad you had a great time, we did too. And thank-you, for taking a photo of me and my girly and for saying we looked lovely, it was so lovely to have my little blog baby there to enjoy the event. x

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    1. Great to see you again. Thanks for stopping by the blog x

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  4. Haha oh my that ms a proper sock!! :) it sounds like you had a really brilliant time. I am sorry I never came and got to meet you but maybe next year?

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    1. Definitely 2014 tickets are already on sale! xx

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  5. Good to know about socks. Seriously though - one of these days/years I really must get to a blogging conference. It looks fab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, come in 2014. Early bird tickets went on sale on Friday at £65.

      THAT sock stopped my brand new baby (new camera) from getting scratched - look how much better my photography is though :-)

      Still yet to find the camera case LOL

      Liska x

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  6. It was so great to see you. I wish I'd done my nails -- yours look gorgeous.

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    1. You and Susanna looked stunning yet you are telling me you did not do your nails - OMG!!!
      Shocked ;-)
      Liska xx
      P.S. thank you for stopping by (and signing me in at reception on the speakers desk) x

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  7. You are so welcome sweetie. I learnt so much over the weekend, some due to your lovely self. It was nice to learn that friendships forged on the net become riotous laughs and hugs and tears over two days. The dress, well you worked it girl! You are amazing. Manhandlers aside (karma is a bitch I feel, for arse lickers and those they lick) it was a rollercoaster, we did Kerry proud my lovely x

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    1. Was lovely spending quality time with you x

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  8. It was lovely to meet you again Liska and it was an honour to speak alongside you in the Blogging with Heart Session. You are an amazing blogger and friend.
    H x

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    1. You need a TV career honey as you are a natural public speaker
      x

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  9. Sounds like you had an absolutely amazing weekend!! I'm sorry we didn't get to chat properly (and that I randonly said hello right at the beginning, forgetting to tell you who I even was - how long can you blame baby brain?) Maybe next year we can have a proper chat? So glad you got to stay overnight! I wondered why I didn't see Chelsea on day 2, how sweet of her to let you have her room :)

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    Replies
    1. sorry about that - let's talk properly next year
      xxx

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  10. Glad you had a great time Liska| Maybe next year for me. I would love the opportunity to meet some faces from the blogging world epsecially yours :)

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    1. Get an early bird ticket for 2014 please!!!
      L x

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  11. Thanks for including some photos of us - we look so good! I've already booked my ticket for next year :)

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    1. We are getting more confident aren't we - being able to KNOW when we look good! LOL! and so we should.
      I ought to get the 2014 ticket toooo!
      L x

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  12. What a lovely post Liska and thanks so much for your kind words. I really enjoyed meeting you - kind of a shame it was right at the end of it all, but there's always next year! In the meantime I'll have to keep up with your goings on right here xxx

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    1. No harm in it being at the end given some people don't manage to find each other in the crowds at all.
      I really think we were meant to meet.
      L xx

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  13. Lovely post Liska - and I agree on Mary - she is amazeballs!

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    1. Oh hello hello hello never expected to see you in these 'ere parts

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  14. What a super post, it was lovely to see you again, sit with you and get stupidly excited about stationery ;) xx

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    1. You, your blog and the stationery will get a mention in my next #BritMumsLive blog post :-)
      Coming to a computer near you soon
      x

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  15. So glad you had such a good time Liska, Claire's dress looked beautiful on you.

    and yes I did my nails myself, no manicures in these parts!

    Mich x

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    1. Ha ha thank you.
      So glad you managed to come in and amidst moving house.
      Don't know how you and that Sophie pulled that off.
      I couldn't xx

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  16. This was such a great round up Liska, and it was so great to see you again! That's a great picture of me and thee. I am so sorry I wasn't in your session, blogging from the heart, I spent most of the afternoon prepping myself for the reading at the Key Note. What an incredible weekend. I am defo going again next year! X.

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    1. You spoke so so well - the singing of Happy Birthday sent a shiver down my spine x

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  17. Can't believe we hardly got a chance to chat at all! Hopefully there will be a chance before next year!

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    1. Such a shame but then there's always MumsNet BlogFest xx

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  18. What a fabulous post! I gave a little 'squeeze' to you on one of the days - peered at your breasts (to see your badge, you understand!) as I recognised your face. It was lovely to meet you and I agree that the Montcalm looks amazing - next year! One thing I learnt is to take more photos next year...loving yours :)

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