Parenting is a constant learning curve and I am not sure I will ever get it sussed. So this is a post I thought I would never be writing about why my 4-year-old co-sleeps with me. Ok, when all my babies were small they didn’t co-sleep […]
For the last couple of years, I have wondered what all of the hyper was about the BlogOn conferences. I have tried other conferences which I have enjoyed and met some fab fellow bloggers. Also listened to some inspiring talks and taken part in thought-provoking workshops too. But wanted to try BlogOn for myself, this is how I got on at my first BlogOnXmas
But when I have been to a couple of these people have always mentioned Blog On events. Which somehow I have always managed to miss, whether it was due to not being quick enough to get a ticket (they are like hot cakes) or not having childcare. When the date was announced for the Christmas one I jumped straight to it and booked, even though it is far too early to talk Christmas in September.
As the months passed and the date quickly approached, I doubted myself about driving all the way to Manchester to have a day at a conference where I didn’t really know anyone. The childcare was in hand, Manchester is a fair old trek so arranged to stay in Hotel Football where the event was being held.
Something crept up with work so I had to work on Saturday afternoon, so arrived late missing the Pre-Party, bummer a Southern Comfort or two would have calmed my nerves.
I arrived really really late as I decided on a last-minute surprise visit to my big sister in Cheshire on the way. There were roadworks all around Old Trafford but I found the car park. But wasn’t sure of the route from the car park to the hotel. So called the reception to ask and the receptionist came out to meet me and show me the way. Once I checked and headed straight to my room. It was lush to chill for an hour or so what a treat. A complete night of unintterrupted sleep, bliss!
The morning came with the usual worry of have I got the right outfit etc. I knew plenty of the bloggers attending were wearing Christmas jumpers. But as I have never owned one and live my life last minute, I didn’t get a chance to search the internet looking for one. Also, I thought I might not know anyone.
I braved it and headed down about 10am and got a drink and sausage bap for brekkie. I spotted the friendly face of The Cheshire Wife so it was lovely to catch up. Then we headed for the welcome and the comical keynote set the conference off to a light-hearted start.
The schedule of sessions was full of fellow bloggers that were very happy to share their expertise. Whether it be with newbies like me or established bloggers that wish to conquer their weaker area.
One of the things I had heard about BlogOn was the large range of brands that were there to meet face to face on the day. Well, what can I say but wow, the lower floor of the Hotel Football was transferred into a Marketplace. With representatives from many toy brands ready to chat to bloggers about potential Christmas collaborations. I braved it and spoke to plenty so hopefully, some work will flourish from that. There was also shoes and wine, win win!
At lunch I got to chatting with a few new faces, it is always great to meet people and hear about their blog. Laura from Tired Mummy of Two and the rest of the team were very helpful and welcoming.
The day ended with the Toy Awards a first for BlogOn. There was a huge selection of toys to choose from, all delegates were asked to vote throughout the day. Then all of the toys were raffled off to raise funds for the BlogOn Community Fund. The community fund helps bloggers when unexpected things happen in life. Throughout the whole day, The Grinch was also milling around which made tied in well with the Christmas theme.
The final part of the day was to collect our goody bags. They were bursting with a huge variety of things from candles to top trumps, shampoo to Lego tape, children’s magazines to crisps, the list goes on and on.
All in all I had a fantastic day. I have already pencilled the May date in my diary as I will definitely be returning to BlogOn in the Spring.
What does the Summer Holidays mean to our family? Lazy days, adventures, sunshine, rainy days and most important of all no routine. The holidays seem to have been way too short and flown by. Looking back on my 10,000s of pictures I thought I would […]
Even though we live about an hour and a half from Weymouth we love a day at the seaside. We often head to Weymouth as there are lots of other activities to do as well as just the beach. One of the must visit places in the town is definitely Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park.
Last week our family visited Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park, we have visited before and it has to be our favourite Sealife Centre. It has lots of other attractions as well as the aquariums. The outdoor space is fab to sit down and relax too. I thought that I would share with you what was new for 2017 and our favourite bits too.
During this month they have an Octonauts attraction to become an Octoglow Explorer, so definitely worth a visit, if you have an Octonauts fan in your family. The kids get a little time to play and solve the Octoglow tasks, then they got to meet Kwazii Kitten.
My favourite new addition was the Turtle Rescue attraction. It is an interactive task for the kids to rescue, weigh, feed, hydrate and get their turtle. Once it is back to good health they can release back into the sea. The kids talked about Turtle Rescue all the way home, so was definitely a hit with them.
Also this year they have opened the pretty fantastic Caribbean Cove Playground. It is bright spacious and very child-friendly. There are parts for children of all ages from the sandpit to the climbing up the tall towers and sliding down the wriggly green slide. The area has a coffee shop, so parents can grab a cuppa while they relax and watch their children play.
There are also toilets in the area, so you really can spend a large proportion of your day in this area if the weather is fine.
Good Old Favourites
Every time I mention to the kids that we are going to Weymouth Sealife Park, the first thing they say is I hope it’s sunny so we can go in the Splash Zone. And luckily on this visit, it was very sunny after all the summer rain we have had. So they got to get soaking wet and have loads of fun in the water. There is also the larger pool too but the littlest member of our family wasn’t that keen on getting in there, so the others stayed in the splash area to play with her.
On this visit, we caught the Seal’s talks and feeding time, heard about the otters during the talk. Plus we spent awhile observing the Penguins and comparing birthdays and names.
Walking through the ocean tunnel and spotting the turtles and sharks is always great fun too.
Once we had spent a good 6 hours in the Sealife Park we headed just across the road for a paddle, before we picked up so dinner and headed home. A great family day out, with some lovely memories made. Very much worth the trek.
This September my youngest of my 5 children starts Big School. So I thought I would share the 5 emotions I have been feeling lately about her starting in reception.
When she was born, I remember saying that 2017 would be a big year. My eldest has just taken her GCSEs, awaiting results and will be off to college. My second daughter is off to secondary school and then A starts primary school to join her 2 siblings. So even though it is the start of something new for her it is the end of a long stage (16 years) of having at least one pre-schooler. I have felt every single emotion possible recently.
- Sadness – Having 5 children it would be very obvious for anyone to guess that I love babies so much. The warm and fuzzy feeling when you bring a brand new baby home from hospital can’t be beaten. Knowing that a newborn is totally dependent on you for feeds, nappy changes and being rocked to sleep. When I decided to have A it was to bring light after the sadness of my Daddy’s (the kids Grandpa’s) death. But as time went on the sadness of him never meeting her was tough and days like her first day of school that he isn’t there for are difficult too. She has grown so fast and the last 4 years have seemed to go quicker than with her older siblings, so I get sad that I have blinked and missed it. Now she will be finding her own path without me to oversee what’s going on.
- Excitement – Once all my kids have started school they have changed from the word go, so I am very excited to see her flourish. And find her feet on her own at school, see the new friendships she builds.
- Regret – I didn’t spend enough time with her in the last 4 years. Having been the only one financially providing for the kids for the last 5 years, I have had no other option than to work. I had a little bit of cover for the first few months of A’s life. But being my own boss running my business, I was never able to turn off to what’s going on. So I have been guilty of feeding her whilst replying to emails. Plonking her in front of cbeebies whilst I market my next event. Not noting down when she got to milestones, as I was so busy dividing myself in 5 or 7 if you include the house and work!!!
- Proud – I am so proud that A is ready for school and become a confident little girl. I have solo parented the kids for the majority of A’s little life so a little pat on the back that I have managed this far.
- Happiness – As I am ready for a new chapter in my book too. I have been running my business around having a pre-schoolers at home for the last 7 years. So I will hopefully have more time to devote to building my business. As kids only get more expensive as they get older, so I need to fund them. Plus as selfish as it seems I am looking forward to having some time to myself. You might even find me at the gym, well when I have finished that chocolate bar!!!
Phew now that is off my chest, I feel kind of ready, but know that there will be some tears. Pop over to my Instagram account and prepare yourself for 1st Day at School Spam.