BML16 – My Thoughts About BritMumsLive 2016

Yesterday was BML16 – BritMums Live – except these days there’s less of the mums and more of the dads (two of which were highlights for me with their keynotes) so it’s better known as BML. I was going for the third time, so knew what to expect… though really you don’t know exactly what to expect until you’re there.
BML16 start and end

So without going into a long ramble, let’s try summarise BML16 in bullet points….

• Meeting bloggers – I finally got to meet Paula from Mummy vs Work there. Years ago BritMums did a ‘Big Sis’ type thing, where they got experienced bloggers to help out newbies. I was paired up with three bloggers, two of whom I’m still in touch with, so it was lovely to finally meet Paula and her husband Phill after all this time! I hung out for most of the day with Mary from Over 40 and Mum to One, talking wine, politics, 80s pop music and all kinds of things, and it was a fabulous day. Plans will be made to meet again and have H hang out with her boy, Monkey wherever we meet!

BML with mary drinking fizz

• The brands. I never go specifically for them, so I like being surprised by what is there. I was really impressed with the following ones…

BML16 Diary Doll pants
Diary Doll – It took me about five minutes to realise I was buying some pants from Carol Smillie. Someone (maybe a BML16 person) took a photo of me holding some pants up when I was working out which size I was (14-16 which Carol estimated when we were trying to work out my size) – and they’re SO pretty too.

BML16 Carol Smillie Diary Doll
– Bollox. I’d read up about them beforehand, and they’re a brand I want to support. Basically they have men’s undies which contribute towards male cancer charities. I bought a pair for Shaun who says they’re very comfortable – I suspect they’ll be his new running undies…
Touchnote. I really like what they offer. Basically, you download their app and are able to send postcards from wherever you are from your phone. So, say for example we’re in Disneyland Paris and H has a fabulous picture taken with Mickey Mouse. I take a photo on my phone, I can create a postcard via the app, and get it sent to Shaun’s mum in Australia. Because they have a printing facility in Australia, it gets processed there! It isn’t cheap, but I love that postage is included in the price and that they have several centres around the world. They’ve also got a new service where you can get your photos printed which isn’t cheap – BUT – they have your whole photo on there, not cropped like some services do. So I’m looking forward to using Touchnote.

BML16 touchnote laminated dress up doll
Fellowes Brands. I never thought I would want a laminator as much as I did, especially once I was making my way home. We laminated a Snow White style doll and two dresses which are now H’s latest thing, a dress up doll. We’re talking about drawing some more dresses so she can decorate them, or in H’s words “just find someone with a laminator so we can make more!” (if only it was that easy!)
I was impressed with their air purifier too – what a difference something like that would have made when we had our carbon monoxide leak.
DC Thomson. The magazine people. H now has a Jacqueline Wilson magazine and I think we may be heading in that direction with her reading… she loves watching Hetty Feather on CBBC, so this was a good match for us. Add a goodie bag with lots of things perfect for an almost seven year old, and I hope we’ll be doing more with DC Thomson over the coming months.
– The Big Little Tent Festival sounds like a great idea, though unfortunately we have a back yard – but there are still ways to join in. It runs from the 16th July until 19th September and we’re going to look into this – plus we are staying in a yurt for some of that, so then may be a good chance to dip our toes into the water! They had a lovely room at BML16 with plenty of fizz and food on offer – their tiramisu was FAB!

BML16 Merci Maman Pass the Parcel Duchess Necklace
Merci Maman. I was one of the lucky ones – at the very start we played Pass the Parcel, with one of their necklaces at the end. I’ve worn it for two days now and it’s so pretty! It was also the most expensive thing I was wearing, worth almost £80 (it’s the Duchess Necklace). I wasn’t sure if it included nickel in it, but was reliably informed it’s an EU regulation that jewellery can’t contain it any more so I should be okay. They do some very pretty jewellery too!

BML16 Clangers
The Clangers. There was a Clangers Kindness Tree where I added a kind thing I’d done (I’ve given up my seat on the bus or train several times this last couple of weeks – pregnant ladies, people on crutches, when people seem to live in their phone bubble or behind a newspaper ignoring what’s around them) and gushed a bit about how I love The Clangers and have a toy somewhere I’m refusing to let H have. Having said that, when I got home with a magazine and a whistle she’s laid claim to them immediately, so I’m hoping she’ll stay interested for a couple more years!! I grew up with The Clangers and it makes me happy that the new version keeps the spirit going so well.
• Then there’s the speakers. Anne-Marie Cockburn did the BML16 Keynote talking about her book 5,742 Days which deals with her life after her daughter died, up to her 16th birthday. She was selling copies of her book afterwards and I picked one up. I can relate to writing when grieving, I did it a lot when my dad died and found it helped me a lot although it has remained private, and while it feels wrong to say I’m looking forward to reading the book, I’m going to be reading it soon. She was amazing and inspirational.

BML16 Fat Girls Guide to Running
• Julie Creffield was a proper kick up the backside inspiration. She has the blog Too Fat to Run – the Fat Girl’s Guide to Running, which started because people told her she wouldn’t be able to do something, couldn’t do this, and so on. So she decided she would, and now runs marathons, and has a fabulous motto in life – set Big Fat Stupid Goals, as well as encouraging fat girls to run. She forgot to mention a new campaign which is encouraging more women to run – Julie’s target is to get 1 million women running by 2020, and this one is to get 10,000 women running on the 31st July. We’re on holiday then so while running might be out of the question, I know we’ll be doing a lot of walking so I’m going to try and make this work for me!

charly dove bml16 summary
• Charly Dove had a brill BML16 photography session. I love her photos, and know I’m more the take the snap and make it better kind of person – whereas she thinks a lot more about the picture. So I had some handy hints in this session.

bml16 cherry healey
• Cherry Healey was funny. I bought her book today.
• The BML16 Bloggers Keynote – big shout outs to the two dad bloggers who made me laugh and smile – Tim Liew’s Pretty in Pink was FABULOUS and Al from The Dad Network’s video was so funny too.

Did I enjoy BML16? Absolutely. The one day format works for me, even though I was shattered by the end of it all. If BritMums Live were ever to go back to two days again, please give the option of buying a one-day ticket.
I forgot my business cards! Typical.
I managed to catch up with everyone I wanted to, and met lots of new bloggers too, and put a lot of names to faces.
I even stayed for the BiBs – I don’t normally stick around for awards, but I was having too much fun.

Will I go next year? Well it depends on the format and price. I felt like I got my money’s worth. Thank you Susanna and Jen and the BritMums team for organising such a fab event!


I’m Going to BML16

It’s a funny old world. Back when I first became a parent in 2009 and started my original blog not long afterwards, which eventually became The Adequate Parent and had my pregnancy blog merged into it, I had no idea networks existed for bloggers.

But then BOOM! BritMums appeared, although I think it was called British Mummy Bloggers back then. I followed a few bloggers but didn’t make any friends. Somewhere along the way I persuaded some friends to be bloggers and met some mums locally who were too, and three years ago we all headed to BritMums Live (as it was then known). It was loads of fun and I got to know and meet loads of other bloggers. So much, that I went the following year – although that didn’t go so well as I had big back problems and left early.


So here’s 2016. This year I’m on my own. No bloggers with me, just meeting others there. It’s quite a big step for me – in the past year my anxieties have really started to come out more – if I get too stressed or anxious about something I will have a hot flash – and they last for quite a long time and I get a bit embarrassed about it too (the joys of getting older). So why am I going on my own then?

I have no idea. But I am. So if you see a mum with a bright red face and chest, it’s just me. Do say hello!

So, there’s some questions to answer. Let’s go then…

My name: Jo
My blog: My first proper blog is Sweetfoolthemouth which dates back to around 2003. I was on LiveJournal for a few years until eventually doing my parent blog about H (my almost seven year old daughter) and then starting Mum Friendly. I have a few others, but since the price of domains has gone up I’m going to be getting rid of a few.
Find me on social media at: @MumFriendlyJo @Schmindieblogs on Twitter (least active social network though I do use it), MumFriendlyJo on Instagram (pretty active), Jo Adams on Facebook (most active).
How I look: Tall, long dark hair, bad roots (currently, hoping to get that sorted by Saturday). Indie. Glasses.
Is this my first blogging event? No, I’ve been to BritMums Live twice, plus several others.
I will be wearing… not sure yet. Something I will feel comfortable in though.
What I hope to gain from #BML16: I’m not sure. Inspiration.
My tips for a great conference: Plan which things you want to go to and stick to it. I missed almost everything at the last BritMums through a lack of planning and horrible back pain. There will be a lot of people there and a lot of people = a lot of noise, so choose an area with your friends will be so you know roughly where to look when you’re trying to find them. Have business cards ready too, even if you don’t give any out. Everyone else is probably as nervous as you.

See you there….