Last weekend already feels like a lifetime ago. I am still busy trying to implement some of the many things that I learned and still feeling disappointed in myself that I did not make an effort to talk to more people.
To be fair I was only really able to talk to people in the breaks who were willing to walk in brisk circles round The Hub as I tried to get and keep Matilda asleep in the Baby Bjorn! We also spent a lot of time in the quiet/breastfeeding room where I was very grateful for the company of The Mummy Whisperer’s Willow and Nanna Bets!
My journey to Brit Mums Live was not the relaxed affair that I had planned. Instead of boarding my train at 10am I was on my way to the doctors to get a second lot of antibiotics for a second potent bout of mastitis. Ouch!
When I finally did get on the train at 1pm it was riddled with shakes and fever. I was not feeling well at all but I was determined to go.
I did not want to miss out on the experience and I did not want to let my fabulous sponsors down.
Despite my delayed start I still made it to The Brewery in time for a quick cuppa before the introductions and the fabulous Ruby Wax.
Within minutes of arriving I had been greeted with a friendly smile and a warm hug from Cafe Bebe. What a lovely lady. She totally made me feel at ease and made sure that I knew where to go with Matilda Mae.
I snuck up to the breastfeeding room before the talks began and struck up conversation with the wonderful Princess Poet.
As I walked into the large conference hall I immediately spotted a face I knew in Sarah (Sussex Mummy). I sat with her for the opening session and she gave Matilda a gorgeous little dress that I cannot wait for her to wear come the summer.
Matilda Mae seemed to cause quite a stir with all the mummies. It ws nice to have an ice breaker though I was still rubbish at making small talk. I really must try harder at the next event I attend.
There were so many people I would have loved to speak to, if only I had the nerve. Thankfully I did meet and speak with The Boy and Me who was as wonderful and kind as I knew she would be. I hope we meet again x
I loved the weekend though, the hustle, the bustle and the expertise. I have realised that I have so very much to learn about blogging. I want my blog to be a superior blog. Her Melness Speaks really struck a chord with me. I could have listened to her talk all day. I am going to follow her hints step by step to make Edspire into a superior blog.
A Superior Blog
A superior blog has a compelling reason for why it exists.
A superior blog has good content.
A superior blog is proof read and has good spelling and grammar.
To make your blog a superior blog be true to yourself, be consistent and have confidence in what you do.
A superior blog is a blog that doesn’t care what people think.
A superior blog is generous.
A superior blog is well designed – it draws people in to read what you have written.
A superior blog has an author that responds to their audience.
A superior blog has good photos.
Tell your story.
Widen your network.
Believe that your blog can be a superior blog.
On Friday night Matilda and I left after the first workshop. We were back in our hotel shortly before six and both promptly fell asleep unti almost 9pm.
We were staying at The Hoxton but I cannot tell you much about it as by this time my fever was sky high and I was feeling quite delirious. Matilda and I needed to sleep so we did.
We did get up for a little 3am dance around the room. I was amazed at how light the sky is in London in the middle of the night!?!
On Saturday after an inspirational start with Sarah Brown I went to the Beginning Blogging workshops about legal issues, SEO and tax. These were essentials that I needed to know and I thoroughly expected the sessions to be boring nitty gritty but I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the sessions while still learning a lot. I was relieved to learn from Dawnie Brown that my blog is not illegal and I do not owe loads and loads of tax. Phew!
My favourite speaker by far was Julie Hall. I enjoyed her sessions on Design Tips and her WordPress session. I learned a lot of tips and ideas that I am busy implementing on my blog. She also introduced me to Pic Monkey which is a fabulous photo editing tool. Was I the only person that did not know about this cheeky little primate?
Julie Hall‘s Blog Design Tips
Keep it simple
A clean side bar is important
Choose 3 colours and no more
Keep it consistent, make it feel cohesive
You are a brand – own it!
Put personality into your design
Put your photo on the side bar
Know who you are
Have a good header
Use full width images
Have a consistent style
I learned so much about blogging and social networking at Brit Mums Live but I also learned about me, about myself and Matilda too.
With all the hustle and bustle at home it has been hard to establish what kind of routine Matilda needs. At Brit Mums Live we seemed to have it sussed. She would sleep for as long as she needed, feed on waking and then have 45 mins to an hour of activity and play. She would then be ready to go back in the Baby Bjorn again and soon be asleep.
It was wonderful throughout the two days to sit and stare at her unashamedly without feeling guilty or thinking that I should be doing something for someone else. This was precious time for me and her. I will treasure the memories of her during that weekend for always.
Being away overnight also made me really miss Esther and William. What beautiful children I have! What bright sparks! How they make me smile, make me laugh. I really did miss them so much. I have been feeling a bit sidelined on our family of late and I am determined now to redress that balance and get more involved with Esther and William’s care. Daddy has been doing so much because of Matilda Mae needing me but I want my twinnies back.
Three products I could not have done without this weekend were the incredibly versatile Bundlebean, the super soft clothing of The Essential One and the miracle that is my Baby Bjorn! The Baby Bjorn Miracle is going to make such a difference to our family life. I have my arms back! Both my hands are free for the twins. The Baby Bjorn truly is a Miracle for a mummy like me!
I want to find my voice, improve my skills as a write and a photographer and document our life. I want to share our story. I have a great story to tell.
Brit Mums Live 2012 proved to be a weekend of reflection and learning for me as a blogger and a mummy and a person. I came away feeling rejuvenated and inspired. I cannot wait until next year!