The Annual, “I Went to Britmums Live and Here Is What I Did” Post

Its June so that means it was Britmums Live weekend again, and  I set off to London on Friday morning full of excitement to see some top bloggers, brands and the odd famous face over the two days.

I was very well behaved this year, I got to Paddington early and had lunch first (whereas last year I didn’t eat until 9pm and carnage ensued as a result) then got on the slowest Tube train, ever.

Since I’ve been going to The Brewery, due to Crossrail, you have to get on the tube at Paddington as far as Edgware Road- one stop- and then on to Moorgate. It takes about ten minutes tops.

I got on at 11.10, feeling smug I would get to Travelodge nice and early before 12pm. The tube had other ideas though, and stopped in a tunnel seconds out of Paddington for ten minutes, then changed to go straight to Moorgate. It caused quite a bit of hilarity on the tube- which was mad as no one even maintains eye contact usually, even more so when the tube became confused and kept announcing our next station was Paddington and then Edgware Road on repeat.

I finally stepped out of Moorgate station at 11.55! Madness!

I was very happy to see the Travelodge and get some fresh air at that point.

Special mention straight away goes to my roomie for the night, Kirsty of Hijacked by Twins who sorted out my Damsel in Distress lack of room at the last minute situation. Thank you for the laughs and the much needed coffee in the morning (knackered as I was after waking up wondering why I’d not heard Littlest and realising it was because I was in London).

Then it was off to All Bar One for the pre-meet up- thank you to everyone who came along and took over the pub as usual, hope you all managed to meet up with at least one blogging Buddy for the weekend.

It was very nice to see the extremely healthy these days Laura from Life Unexpected. Although she doesn’t half make me feel like a very unhealthy cake shoveller these days but actually, her healthy eating is pretty easy to follow if, unlike me, you aren’t a lazy old so and so. She looks amazing! It was also lovely to have a gossip with her as usual.

With two pm fast approaching, we walked down to the Brewery meeting more bloggers in the process, and then the doors opened- it was on!

It was lovely to see Kate from Striking Mum looking absolutely gorgeous- what an inspiration you are to us cake lovers darling- and Michelle from Mummy From the Heart.

I then saw bestie chum of mine and glowing Liska, who I had a massive and well needed hug after not seeing her for ages! You looked amazing Lis, and I am soooooo excited for the next year (she says, not saying anything else and being shifty, nudge nudge wink wink).

It was lovely to chat BlogOn and other blog related shizzle with Laura from Tired Mummy of Two (Happy Birthday for today Elizabeth!) who always has very good tips for old and tired bloggers like me.

Then we found (as its hard not to being she is six foot) Alice of Life as Alice. You know fun will always happen when Alice is around, from posing for suggestive pics to allowing my other half to flirt with her (and willy straws. Yes, really), it was a pleasure to see her mad self again. How you can drink that much and still look human, well, you are clearly a robot.

There were so many of you I loved seeing, including:

Mel, Afra, Emma (my now very healthy mate, I am keeping everything crossed you get sorted soon x), Julie, Ally, Karen, Hayley amongst others (and if you dont have a mention I am sorry but I am crap).

I have heard folk say it was slower this year with less brands but actually I think that worked well as usually you rush around to meet everyone and throw a business card their way. I liked the fact I could chat to brands for  a bit longer this year as in my experience having a friendly relaxed chin wag helps immensely more than a faceless card.

Speaking of brands, hello to the ladies at Beattie Communications who I swear now need to tell Huggies to bring out  Hipster Wipes for cleaning records (and give me millions when they see lots), Carnival (I wanted to pinch their insta cam), and Aaron Huckett from Publicasity who I wish myself, him, Laura and Alice could all live together and do a really messed up sarcastic UK version of Friends (he does, after all, work with Lindemanns and Homesense, so thats the booze and sofa sorted right there).

Yes, I was pleased Butlins were not there, but I was very pleased to see Merci Maman there instead and I love my bracelet lots.

All in all, I really enjoyed the relaxed pace, there has been one twat who has to act like a knob end (Best Buggy, taking images of people’s babies to slate them without permission and then pretending to be concerned for said babies for hits is a sham, may you be kicked to the Brewery curb next year) but we dealt with that shite pronto (us bloggers, we can be twits, but actually  we do stick up for each other when the need arises).

Thank you as ever to the Britmums team, and of course my wonderful sponsors Happy Monkey Drinks for making my attendance possible, now bring on Blogstock and BlogOn……

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Britmums Live 2015: The Ultimate Guide

I am ancient me. Well, not in years (I just feel ancient and look it too at the moment down to the scary grey hair), but in blogging years I am ancient.

A fair few of my contemporaries have long since hung up their blogging boots and I do miss them quite a bit. As a result of how long I’ve been knocking around, I have been to lots of meet ups and Britmums Live weekenders. So, I have a few tips for the new or the nervous.

WHAT TO BRING:

There are many things you will think you’ll need to bring, but actually, the less weight you have to lug through the streets of Moorgate the better.

Top of your list, after a change of clothes for day two is a camera, with lots of space. Also the charger.

There will be a lot of photo ops with other bloggers, companies and of course the odd Celebrity speaker. You’ll also want lots of images for your blog posts in the days after the event too. If your phone has a good camera then that’s all you’ll need.

Camera phones are handy as some brands often hold competitions over the weekend where if you post a picture at them, you may win a prize. And these prizes can be bloody impressive too- last year you could win a trip on a cruise liner, as well as food and toys.

I met Elmo last year. Best celeb meet ever.

I like to bring some snacks for day 1, its a long day and although there are cupcakes going round, there is also a lot of free wine. Its nice to share sweets with your table too. Alternatively, eat before you get there.

Business cards- every year there is a lot of discussion of whether you need these or not. I have always brought them. Whilst it’s true you can bring a pad of paper and pen (although there’s usually plenty of this on the tables in all the seminars for note taking, and Britmums also handily has a team of note taking bloggers who will upload all the details of the chats), its so much easier just to have a stack of these available to hand out.

Even if you aren’t interested in working with brands (and trust me, once you see all of them at the event you may have your arm twisted), I’m never shy of self promotion and have been known to place a pile on all the tables in the hall before the BiBs, on the tube, and in Wagamama last year too!

I recommend Moo cards (and if you click this link we both save 10%), but there are other options available that are a little cheaper. You can also sign up for Klout as most years they’ve had a free Moo card tie in where you pay for postage. Before you order though, check and double check your details as once you’ve ordered them, you’re stuck.

Bring a decent sized bag with you for all the goodies. On Saturday evening there is a kick ass, not to be missed goodie bag rammed full of bits and bobs (I basically get mugged by my kids the minute I walk through the door for mine). You also get the odd goodie from the brands too. So, its a good idea to bring a slightly larger, even if its near on empty, bag that you can put it all in and wheel along afterwards. You will be shattered so anything that makes life easier is worth doing.

Chargers too. Don’t forget them. You can bring them to the event as there are plugs and charging stations available.

WHAT YOU DON’T NEED:

You do not need clothes for a week. Seriously. Its over night, so bring a change of clothes and you’ll be fine.

You do not need lots of cash. The ladies from Britmums will feed you on Saturday with very posh food. They provide breakfast on Saturday too (not to be missed). All weekend there is tea, coffee, and water, as well as cakes and pastries. A few of us went to Wagamama last year and I think my large meal and drink came to around £15.

You don’t need lots of pens and the like, as each table has these available in plentiful supply.

You don’t need to over dress, if you don’t want to. Go for comfort. Its a long weekend, so anything you like to wear is great.

Overall, enjoy it. Its great fun, you will become firm friends with people, you will be inspired. You will probably cry at the keynotes (I do. Every year).

Make the most out of the weekend for learning, having a laugh and reminding yourself we rock.

BritMums Live Is Tomorrow- Yippee!

Calm down dears its Britmums Live tomorrow.

I am looking forward to seeing most of you there, and hopefully some of you will even pop along for the pre-meet up. 

The Annual Meet Up has gotten so big now we’ve had to move across the road to All Bar One, right opposite its previous place ofStarbucks, at the end of Chiswell Street. We will be there from around 12.30, so pop in and say hi (and for the teetotal amongst you, its OK they serve coffee and tea, we’re not going to get you drunk by force. Unless you ask us to).

Here’s how you get from Moorgate tube to the event and to the Brewery (*if you click it it gets bigger):


Here is what All Bar One looks like:



Its on City Road, or Frinsbury Pavement as its also called. Its opposite Starbucks and Natwest bank, and there are traffic crossings right outside. There, even I can find that, and I currently need a sat nav to find my way home from the local shops. 

For those asking, mine’s a Gin and Tonic. Hic.

To the event itself, I am so excited. I don’t get to be Claire again very often, I am her indoors who gets a shrug unless proffering food or beer, and Mum (or MUMMMMMYYYYY! Eddie is annoying me!), so going to Britmums is an excuse to have adult conversations with people who don’t glaze over when I chat about Blogging.

I have my business cards ready (designed by Mini- that’s how easy Moo Cards are to make), I have my bag packed and my clothes picked (no dresses this year, unless I can attach myself to the Coca Cola lot and procure a free posh lunch), and my hair dyed to not scare you all with my grey.

Come find me, I am not scary and don’t rant in public about anything other than the Tories or UKIP (best not to mention them actually), I will be wearing dark jeans, a black sequin top and a funky kimono jacket thing which is a total Chinese rip off of Zara (shhhh).

Have fun, take a deep breath, and enjoy it. You will get so much from this weekend whether you’ve been before or not.

See you there guys x

Britmums Live- Like I Wouldn’t Come Along!

This June is the annual Blog version of the holy grail of Conferences, Britmums Live at The Brewery, and as longterm readers know I’ve been going since the very start (as well as the two earlier versions under a different name). I even came along to the 2009 Zoo Meet Up.

I wasn’t sure I was going to come along this year. After all, I’m ancient, I can’t and wont learn HTML or SEO or anything else that seems more important than actual blogging these days. 

However, I did have second thoughts when some very lovely mates told me I should come along and they would miss me if I didn’t. 

That’s why I’m happy to announce I will indeed be there, and all thanks to the lovely people at Harper Collins.

Harper Collins will be linking up both with us here at Lazy Girl’s Life, and we’ll be bringing you competitions and reviews (or rather the Brats will at their Youtube Takeover channel) at Family Panel Reviews too.



We love Harper Collins books in this house so its certainly a great partnership. You can sign up at my sponsor badge top left.





I am going to join in with the Meet and Greet, although I’m sure most people will know me by now, but there are so many new faces excited about Britmums and their first year maybe there are some new people to meet too.


Here is me:

This is me with the long suffering, long written about Elder, my other half of some 14 years (I know, 14 years!) 

I blog here at Lazy Girl’s Life, at Lazy Girl Cooks and I’m Chief at Family Panel too. Well, I say Chief but most folks want to work with the Brats these days. So it can only be a matter of months before they nick the whole thing.

I am a Twitter user, and have been almost as long as I’ve been blogging (I’ve done that since 2006!). You can find me @TheLazyGirlBlog , and at Facebook too. But I don’t do much there to be fair, its more for my mates and for buying too many records on Facebook selling sites.

I also love Instagram. I’m addicted actually. I post all sorts on there- stuff I cook, stuff I love, stuff of the Brats not seen on my blog, I always have a camera in my hand. 

*What I look like:

Well, I have red hair (totally thanks to Live Colour XXL, not down to genetics), cos if I don’t it has gray and I look well old. I have green eyes. I’m pretty tall I suppose. 

I have not a clue what I’m wearing on the day, but it will probably be jeans and not the stupid shoe boots I wore until I got to the cafe last year, or the red shoes that I hadn’t realised how slippery they were until I slipped in a puddle before the BiBs and thus everyone thought I was drunk, when I actually wasn’t. 
I don’t drink very much at all. I prefer Cake. 

I will be wearing my purple specs though. I will also probably have my phone in one hand, Instagramming everything, and my actual proper camera in the other, whilst balancing my business cards and looking for peeps I know.

*What are you looking forward to most?

Oh tough one! There are some brilliant speakers this year (as ever), a proper eclectic mixture of ‘slebs, and the Old Firm of Blogging. I am most looking forward to Mel‘s words of joy and wisdom (the lady who stopped me from making this blog into a twee nondescript bore fest and told me not to follow everyone else’s expectations but to blog how I wanted), I want to go give Chelsea a big hug (as we barely had chance last year). I want to swap gossip and intrigue and Breast feeding love (sorry Mumsnet- boobies rock whether we are being feminist with them or feeding a baby) with Liska, and generally want to meet some great people, as I do every year.

*Stuff in general:

Well, I’m sarcastic, shit with names (I shall call you sweetheart, babe, darling or doll. I am crap at names, blog or otherwise. I’m not rude, I just have appalling memory down to the headaches I get), I won’t look over your shoulder for someone better to talk to, I will stalk ‘slebs in a fan girl way, I will crush on how immaculate Susanna and Jen always look (they never look frazzled despite organising a behemoth of a conference every year- how? how?). I will love you if you talk music (I love vinyl), don’t ask me about SEO (I know nix) but you can ask me a brief history of the blog world as we know it (copyright). 

So, come say hi!

I may be doing the cafe pre-meet up, but after seeing Annie and pals having a boozy time across the road last year, I may just join you. I may actually go and grab some pie and mash from Arments first (so I can Facebook a pc and annoy Elder), so stay tuned.


Thank you so much Harper Collins!

Say you in June guys x


(Oh and if you’d like to nominate me for Keynote speech feel free!)

The Annual "I Went to Britmums Live" Post- 2013 Edition

Wow guys!

I have to say, I have been to around 5 conferences over the years I’ve been blogging (at the first ever Britmums meet up at London Zoo, I only had one blog), from Cybermummy, to Blog Camp and then to Britmums Live. However, I have never, ever known one to be so, well, emotional.



I cried so much Saturday, I gave myself a stonking headache. I cried my darn make up off. (Apologies if I scared anyone).

I want to say though, it was OK to cry. It was what so many of us needed. Friend’s of the never forgotten Kerry and Matilda-Mae. Those who had met them, those who had merely heard about their passing and felt empathy, emotion and feeling for their families.

The strength of support over the weekend, well, I do say sometimes that blogging can be a bit of a mindfield, friendship and angry moments wise, but not this weekend. We hugged, we laughed at certain bits. We were there for every single one of each other.

I have a few thank you’s:


To Chelsea (the gorgeous MS Mummy of Two), I am so gutted you had to go home (and shame on the hotel for not putting you near the lift), but it was an utter pleasure to meet you, and your lovely other half. I am so jealous of your tats by the way, and sorry my phone was unhearable due to noise before you left so I could have given you a hug. I hope you’re feeling better x

To Liska ( the sublimely talented New Mum Online), thanks for keeping me company, for laughing, for the gossip. You looked lovely in my dress (!) and your speech at the seminar was thought provoking and heartfelt. I hope you are not emotionally drained, and you are so right, Kerry would have told us all off for crying like a mad bunch, and ordered us to drink wine and jump around like loonies.

To Susanna and Jen- how you guys do it every year is amazing and astonishing, it must have been terribly hard this year with the sheer upset everyone has felt these past few months. But, hats off, you did it. I’m my opinion, wiping the floor with all the others. I look forward to next year. Now go get some rest! (Oh and Jen, I still giggle when you say y’all).

To Kylie and Annie (The wonderful ladies behind Not Even a Bag of Sugar and Mammasaurus) thanks for sharing such personal experiences with us all. It takes guts to read and say what you do, and I’m humbled.

To Jennie (From the amazing Edspire). Just because it must have been overwhelming, intimidating, hard beyond belief. But you are so strong, so admirable. I personally don’t feel I’d have the strength to leave the house, but you did it. You came, and you let us hug you, and cry with you. I pray that life gets better for you, more hopeful, and the darkness lifts x

To Kate (From the great blog Kate on Thin Ice) I hope your poor feet have recovered from the stairs! You make me laugh all the time, and it’s a pleasure to have been in your company again.

To Pippa (Come on, we know where Pips from, right?), I love you to bits. Don’t go changing ya mad thing!

So, what of the rest of the conference?

I met the humbling and beautiful in equal measures Katie Piper, who deserves a medal in the triumph over adversity stakes. I am working towards organising a little project for her Foundation. It was a privilege to chat to someone who I have admired from the first TV show I accidentally stumbled upon. 

I found Katie Hill hilarious. I didn’t expect to, but my God she’s one of us. Over sharing as an art form, funny, witty and just plain normal as a Mummy like the rest of us. I hope to bump into you again soon.

Kirsty Allsopp was a pleasure to listen to, she was exactly how I thought she’d be, funny, in a flap, and lovely to be around.

On Friday, we went for dinner right near The Brewery and were there from 8.30 until gone 11pm. Our waiter was like Manuel from Fawlty Towers, the food was delish, and I’m sure their are Instagrams around of what we ate! Monika– well done for finding such a posh place and dictating what we’d pay! Let’s do it again next year, with bells on!

Saturday saw me being hugged by a Lion, eating more lovely food, and seeing more lovely people, friend’s old and new. I cried, I danced to Katy Perry (Kerry, only you could get me singing a pop song from after 1995). I met some amazing new bloggers, and proved I’m actually quite a nice person (cheers Liska!).


I came home tired, drained and happy.

I did pitch my book idea but, well, not to be negative, but the session made me a bit cross. The lady I spoke to is obviously knowledgeable, but trying to convince me to turn a book for young kids with a special purpose into a dark tale of ghouls and children who talk to walls perhaps made me glaze over. Onwards and upwards and perhaps to self publishing?

I just want to sign off by saying I am going again next year! I dare those who didn’t come to come next time, as it was such a great event, yet again, for so many different reasons. At times it was hard, for the most part we had a giggle.

What more could this old timer blogger ask for?


The Pre-Conference "What the Feck Do I Wear/Do/Bring?" Post

Yippee! At this time tomorrow, Britmums (and a few Dads) will be on the doorstep of The Brewery, Chiswell Street, for the first Britmums Live, ever.


Now, me being an old timer (cough) in the blogging sense (I’m only 30, so definitely only in the blogging sense), I have been to a few of these meets and conferences before. In fact, it was my third Blogversary on the 19th at this address, but all together I’ve blogged since 2006.


Every year, I’ve done a countdown type post, its a bit later than usual this year but then my brain has decided to fail me the last few months (hence I’m off to a Neurologist next week to find out why, finally).


So, here we have the “What The Feck Do I” post:



WHAT THE FECK DO I WEAR?


Simple, keep it simple guys. There’s no need to glam up to epic proportions, just make sure its clean clothes with no baby sick/egg/food stains, clean hair, clean teeth and be comfy. Be yourself. Yes, the BiBs are in the evening, but, if you’re not a finalist bring a bit of extra lippy to slick on and you’re sorted. If you are a finalist, I suggest a pair of heels to slip into.


If you usually wear jeans, then wear jeans. If you fancy wearing a dress as you haven’t had a chance for a while, do that (just shave your legs first). If it feels good and makes you feel confident then that’s exactly what to do- if you feel self conscious, it will wreck your whole day.


Here’s what I’m wearing:


WHAT THE FECK DO I DO?

Are you nervous, or maybe worried about walking into a room full of people you barely know? Well, I thought there may be a few people feeling this way.

Once you’re in the conference venue, you’ll be so busy you’ll forget your nerves, and, of course, there will be the Britmums Butterflies to sort out the really nervy amongst you.

However, sometimes just getting to the stage of being comfy walking in is a struggle. Worry no more, just get yourself to Starbucks near Moorgate tube station as I’ll be there from 12.45 to meet anyone who wants a helping hand to walk in. There are quite a few meeting here between 12.45 and 1.45, so don’t be shy!

That way, a big group of us can wander along, safe in the knowledge that all day we’ll already have met earlier- takes the scare factor out of all those faces!

As a guide, I’ll be going on the Circle Line from Paddington (heads up, if anyone wants to meet here let me know), to Moorgate tube, and then you head north in a straight line to Starbucks. Turn North out the station, past Ropemaker Street, and the Starbucks is on Finsbury Pavement with Marks and Spencers opposite.

If you can’t meet up, then chin up. Its fine, really, you wont be the only nervous person there, just jump in on a conversation, say hi, introduce yourself and get chatting!

WHAT THE FECK DO I BRING?

Again, something which causes confusion is what one needs to bring.

I suggest a notebook and pen, for jotting down, erm, notes obviously, not to mention to take down numbers or other info like blog addresses on the day.

Also bring some spare make up– not lots, just a lippy and a bit of powder, its a long old day.

Business Cards are optional but I find these handy if you want to find out more from the sponsors after the event. Its also nice to hand them out to other bloggers.

Sweets. These are for me only, obviously, and should be given over on seeing me at any point over the two days. Only kidding. Its nice to have some though, we shared some during the keynotes last year.

Chargers for your tech stuff. It sucks when you run out of battery. There are charging points this year which is brilliant.

Camera– well, there are ‘slebs there. You want to show off to your non-blogging “blogging is for geeks” mates on Facebook afterwards. Think also of the posts you’ll want to write on Sunday too.

Tissues. Those keynote speeches are notorious for making you first cry laughing, then blub at sad posts, then cry again. 

Overall……

Have a great two days, eat cakes, come say hi to as many people as you can. If you are nervous, come find me, I’m happy to guide you, give you a hug and steal your sweets at any time during Friday and Saturday.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!