What makes a good Pinterest Pin? // My top five

What makes a good Pinterest pin? My top 5 pins

I have to admit that Pinterest is still a bit of a mystery to me. I mean, I understand it and I know it is basically a search engine, but I haven’t quite figured out how to make it drive traffic to my blog yet. It’s just another one of those things that seems to need a lot of time put into it, and at the moment that’s time I don’t have! Read more

Ten things I love // Family blogs

So I’ve been blogging here at Toby Goes Bananas for getting on for four years now. I started writing in 2013 when Toby was a few months old, and since then I have read a lot of other parenting blogs too. Some of them I’ve been reading since before Toby was born, others I have discovered more recently. Anyway, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favourite parenting and family blogs with you too…

Ten family blogs I love

What the Redhead Said

Donna’s blog was one of the very first parenting blogs that I started reading. Read more

The changing face of Instagram // Microblogging

I started writing this blog three and a half years ago. It was intended as an online journal of our lives and that’s what it still is to a degree. Although I have been trying to write more in the last few weeks I go through periods when I write very little at all. But there is another place I write, and I write there almost every day. That place is Instagram and I suppose what I do there could be called microblogging.

Instagram is a funny beast. When I first started using it, posts were shown in chronological order, the whole point was that it was ‘instant’ – people posted pictures of what they were doing right at that moment. If you were so bold as to post a picture that hadn’t been taken just then there was even the #latergram hashtag to use.

But over the last six months or so it has changed. And I have changed the way I use it too. As Instagram is owned by Facebook it didn’t take long before a similar algorithm to the one which determines what you see in your Facebook news feed was also introduced on Instagram. Instead of seeing posts in chronological order, the Instagram algorithm now uses a combination of factors such as previous content you’ve liked, engagement on posts and things or people you’ve searched for to decide what it is going to show you.

As a result fewer people are now using Instagram to post pictures of life as it happens. There are more ‘curated’ feeds that have a theme or post to a schedule. And Instagram has also become a place for brands and ‘influencers’ to make money so there are a lot more adverts and paid for posts now too.

So how have these changes affected how I use Instagram? Read more

I’m going to #BML16 with Ardo Breastpumps

You may have noticed me mention that I went away at the beginning of May to Blog On, a blogging conference in Manchester. I had a great time, mostly catching up with friends, as well as attending a few of the sessions too.

Well next weekend I’m heading to London for another blogging conference; Britmums Live (or #BML16 as it has been rebranded this year). I went to Britmums in 2014 and I really enjoyed it. At that point I’d only been blogging at Toby Goes Bananas for about 8 months and I was a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience. This time I’m older and wiser (ahem!) and I’m looking forward to meeting up with some old friends, and meeting some in person for the first time too.

This year I have been lucky enough to be sponsored to attend #BML16 by Ardo breastpumps. I reviewed an Ardo double electric pump when Gabe was first born and it was fab. It definitely helped me keep breastfeeding for longer. Although I’m no longer breastfeeding I still believe that Ardo have some great products, and their website also has lots of brilliant information and advice for breastfeeding mums.

Anyway, I thought I should probably join in the #BML16 linky and introduce myself.

Sarah (Toby Goes Bananas)

  • Is this my first blogging event? No, I went to Britmums Live in 2014 and Blog On MOSI last month.
  • I will be wearing…something comfy! Jeans probably, and a top that is clean and not covered in baby snot hopefully!
  • What I hope to gain from #BML16: A chance to catch up with friends and to be inspired to keep on blogging even when I feel like I just don’t have enough hours in the day.
  • My tips for a great conference: Choose your sessions wisely, and remember you don’t have to go to them all – spending time in the brand hub and chatting to other bloggers is just as worthwhile. Oh and stay to the end if you can!

If you see me next weekend please do come and say hi. And please accept my apologies in advance if I don’t know your name – I am rubbish at matching bloggers to their blogs!

tobygoesbananas-ardo

Blog On Ice Breaker

In just a couple of weeks I will be leaving Toby and Gabe in the capable hands of my lovely husband and heading down to Manchester for the Blog On blogging conference. I went to Britmums Live back in 2014 but I haven’t had chance to go to another blogging conference since so I’m very excited. And I am very grateful to Barry for taking on the unenviable task of looking after both boys on his own for two days!

Before I go I thought I would join in with The Great Big Blog On Ice Breaker Linky and share a bit about myself, and hopefully find out a bit about some of the other bloggers who will be attending. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some of my blogging pals but it would be great to meet some new people too – so if you see me then please do come and say hi!

So, to the questions…

  1. Share a recent picture of you
    I’m usually the one behind the camera these days but this is one my husband took when we went for a walk in the woods near our house at the weekend. I think I look knackered but I reckon that’s just my face these days!
    Me looking tired in the woods
  2. If you had to describe yourself in three words…….
    Tired mother and teacher
  3. How long have you been blogging and what made you start?
    I have been blogging since 2009 but I started Toby Goes Bananas in 2013 when Toby was about three months old. I’d started reading lots of other parenting blogs during the many and long night feeds and thought I’d like to keep a record of Toby’s childhood. Since then I’ve had another baby; Gabriel who was born in August 2015.
  4. What was your favourite TV program as a child?
    Ooh, now that depends at what age. As a pre-schooler I loved King Rollo and Button Moon, when I was a bit older it was probably Byker Grove or maybe Neighbours – I’m definitely from the Jason and Kylie era!
  5. Something interesting you might not know about me is . . .
    I can tap dance, knit, play the ukulele, speak French and Spanish and say ‘there is a naked man following me everywhere with a butcher’s knife’ in Dutch!
  6. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?
    I don’t think I’ve eaten anything weird – I’m quite fussy about food, I don’t even like baked beans.
  7. What was your biggest fashion faux pas?
    Oh there are too many to mention – I grew up in the 80s and 90s! Not clothes, but I did have a straight bob with a permed fringe when I was about 10!
  8. What are you pet peeves?
    Bad driving, inconsiderate neighbours and vegetables that go off before their use by date.
  9. Who would be your 3 perfect dinner party guests (dead or alive) and why?
    Michael Mosely because I always really enjoy his documentaries and we’ve recently started following The Fast Diet that he advocates. Jojo Moyes because I love all her books and I think she would be interesting to talk to. And lastly Johnny Depp because, well, Johnny Depp.
  10. If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would play the part of you?
    Hmm, my 20s and early 30s were pretty busy – I lived and worked in France for six years on and off, and I travelled to America on my own twice. I did spend quite a lot of it drunk though so I don’t know how good a narrator I would make! And I think Carey Mulligan would play me, but mostly because I covet her hair.
  11. If you could live in any sitcom, which one would it be?
    I’d have to say Friends. I was in sixth form when it started and I remember the buzz about it. And I probably know all the scripts off by heart the amount of times I’ve seen every episode since!
  12. Name a famous person you have met
    I’ve met Tim Minchin quite a few times, I even hung out with him backstage at one of his gigs once. And I met Fatima Whitbread in MacDonalds during the Barcelona Olympics too.
  13. Which social media platform best describes your personality and why?
    Probably Twitter – always busy and I’ve forgotten what everyone has said five minutes after they say it.
  14. What picture do you have on lock screen on your phone / computer?
    This one…
    Siblings February
  15. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
    About 20? Not including various dancing shoes. And how many do I wear regularly? Three!
  16. What period of time from the past would you most like to have lived?
    1950s – mostly because I love the clothes and those 1950s dresses really suit my body shape.
  17. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    Oh this is hard. There are so many places I’d like to go… Australia and New Zealand are near the top of the list. I love America though – I’ve been three times (once to New York, once on a West Coast road trip on my own and most recently on an East Coast road trip for my honeymoon) but there is still so much of it I’d like to see. I’d love to go to South America too, especially now I can speak Spanish.
  18. What is your guilty pleasure?
    Chocolate and far too much of it.
  19. What is your favourite tipple?
    Rose wine or Southern Comfort and Coke although I don’t drink very much these days.
  20. If you had a magic lamp and a Genie, what would be your three wishes?
    I would wish that my boys grow up happy and healthy, for a cure for the common cold (then maybe I could help Gabe get rid of the one he’s had for nearly two months now) and lastly on a purely selfish note I would ask to be able to eat whatever I like without getting fat!

I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some of my blogging pals at Blog On but it would be great to meet some new people too – so if you see me then please do come and say hi!

Blogging Room 101

I was tagged by the lovely Hannah over at Budding Smiles to write about my blogging pet peeves; what would I put in a blogging Room 101?

Blogging Room 101

I don’t claim to be any kind of expert but I’ve been blogging in one form or another for seven years now and here at Toby Goes Bananas for two and a half years and I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of other blogs in that time so here’s a few things that annoy me when I see them on a blog, or being done by a blogger…

Poor readability

By that I mean anything in the blog design that make it hard to read the posts. The main culprits are; centred text; fancy fonts for main text; coloured text; and for me a column that is too wide makes it hard to read too. I’m also talking about really bad spelling, or using the wrong words in here too. I don’t mean the odd typo but if you insist on saying you brought a new coat instead of bought, and you don’t know the difference between there, their and they’re I will eventually stop reading your blog.

LOL

I write very much how I speak, so it’s not always grammatically correct, I start sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’ and my punctuation can be a bit haphazard at times (I put far too many things in brackets for a start) but you will never find me writing LOL in a blog post (or anywhere else for that matter). It’s not just LOLs that rub me up the wrong way, ‘haha’ at the end of a sentence will do it too, as will emoticons – keep them for your Facebook wall please people!

Bad or small photographs

I know not every blogger has a DSLR, or any desire to be a photographer but if you are going to put photos on your blog then I really think they should be big and the best quality you can manage. I sometimes put the odd slightly dodgy iPhone photo up if it’s the only picture I have of a moment I really want to capture but when it’s a photo you’ve had time to plan then I really think you should be making that the best photo you can. [Having said this I seem to be having some issues with the quality of the photos on my blog at the moment – the originals are fine but I seem to be losing quality somewhere along the editing/publishing line and I really hope I can sort it out soon].

Awkward commenting

I’m really trying to comment on other blogs more these days, especially as I’m joining in a lot more linkies now and it’s really frustrating when I have to sign up to something, or fill in loads of details when I’m trying to comment. Or even worse if your blog tries to make me comment from my Facebook account. If you want comments you’ve got to make it easy for people. It’s worth checking how easy it is to comment from a mobile too. I do a lot of my blog reading on my phone and will only comment from there if you make it super easy for me.

Over promotion

I know we all want people to read our blogs and the only way to make that happen is to promote them but it drives me crazy when I see bloggers tweeting the same post over and over and over again. I’ve definitely unfollowed people for this particular crime – which is a shame really because it means I don’t get to see any of their other posts either.

Irrelevant sponsored posts

For some bloggers their blog is their main (or only) source of income and I get that. I don’t have a problem with sponsored posts, I’ve been known to do them myself on occasion. But I do think that sponsored content should be relevant to your blog and your readers.

Vlogs

OK, now this one is a bit of a personal problem I have and I know lots of people will disagree with me….but I just don’t really get vlogging. I guess it’s because I usually read blogs while I’m feeding Gabe, or waiting until he’s properly asleep before I can but him in bed, or while I’m watching TV in the evenings, and so I don’t want to to be watching a video when I could be reading. And I definitely don’t get the phenomenon that is the ‘haul’ vlog – I’m not the only one either!

Floating icons or pop ups

This kind of falls under over promotion too I guess. I appreciate people want their readers to sign up for email updates, or follow them on social media, or read another post before leaving the blog…. but things popping up all over the place will not encourage me to do any of those things. I assume they do work for some people otherwise why would anyone use them but they just really annoy me, especially if I’m reading on my phone. Oh and don’t get me started on those social media icons that follow you down the page!

I could probably go on but I think that’s enough moaning for today! Oh and please don’t take offence if you do any of these things….remember ‘all opinions are my own’ 😉  (and even I break my own rules sometimes!)

I’m tagging the following bloggers to share what they would put in their Blogging Room 101:

Clare at Mumsy Midwife

Georgina at Spread a little luck

Sarah at The Parenting Trials

Chantele at Two Hearts One Roof

Beth at Twinderelmo

 

Being a blogger…

I was tagged by my blogging pal Donna at What the Redhead Said in this tag about being a blogger. It’s actually quite tricky to think about what being a blogger means to me but I’ll give it a go…

Being a blogger is creating a record of my life.

Being a blogger is having lots of ideas but not having the time to write about them!

Being a blogger has given me the opportunity to try out lots of fabulous products that I would never have had chance to otherwise.

Being a blogger is something I have been doing for over 6 years! I don’t update my old pre-baby blog any more but you can find it at We Must Be Bold if you ever fancy reading some of my old ramblings!

Being a blogger is something I really enjoy…but always feel I should be putting more effort into.

Being a blogger has given me lots of new friends.

Being a blogger is being part of a community, albeit one that I feel I am sometimes only on the edge of.

Being a blogger is something I hope I keep doing for many years to come.

What does being a blogger mean to you Hannah, Emma and Debs?

Being a blogger

Glasgow Blogger Bake Off

A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to be invited to go to Glasgow for a blogger bake off in association with Currys and Kenwood. There were around 30 bloggers of all different kinds from parent bloggers, to lifestyle, fashion and beauty, and even a few food bloggers for good measure! The event was held at The Cookery School in central Glasgow who run all sorts of different cookery courses, when they aren’t playing host to a gaggle (what is the collective noun?) of bloggers on a Sunday.

Blogger bake off

After a coffee and a chat with some of my fellow bloggers we headed through to the kitchen for the first of the day’s demonstrations from chef Danny McArdle. Now I have to admit I was hoping to stretch my baking skills a bit but the event was definitely aimed more towards the non-bakers amongst us. We were shown how to make scones, victoria sponge and cupcakes and chocolate chip muffins, none of which are particularly challenging for someone who bakes regularly. It was also a bit tricky to see the demonstrations given the number of bloggers squeezed into the main kitchen (and everyone trying to get decent blog-worthy photographs didn’t help!).

Demonstration

Having said that I did learn a few new tricks; for example using 00 flour (it’s milled twice don’t you know?) for scones makes them much lighter, and you can flavour sponge cakes by adding some well-beaten jam or marmalade. I definitely enjoyed eating one of the scones we had made and I had fun decorating my cupcakes too – I was particularly pleased with my chocolate piping skills.

Cupcakes

Due to the number of bloggers we were working in groups of three. Although this meant I didn’t get chance to do all the baking myself I did make sure I got a go on one of the beautiful Kenwood Patisser mixers! (Both the mixers were given away to two of the bloggers at the end of the day – unfortunately I didn’t win one but the lovely people at Currys and Kenwood did provide us all with an equally lovely kMix hand mixer to take home with us, along with lots of other goodies too, including my very own #currysinthekitchen apron).

currysinthekitchen

We used the mixer to make the batter for the cupcakes and you could totally tell the difference between that and the one we made by hand for the Victoria sponge. The one made in the mixer was so much lighter! I would absolutely love one of these big stand mixers but we’ve got a lot of saving up to do first…not for the mixer but so we can buy a new house with a big enough kitchen to fit one in! I would definitely recommend using a mixer or hand mixer when making cake batter though – especially for the creaming together butter and sugar stage. Unless you’ve got guns like Stallone then I just don’t think you can get it light and fluffy when you’re doing it by hand, and that’s what you need if you want a light and fluffy sponge cake.

Kenwood Patissier

It was lovely to meet so many other Scottish bloggers and I have to say a big thanks to Joe Blogs blogger network for organising the event and inviting me along. It was fantastic to have an event like this in Scotland as so many of the things I’m invited to are in London and not always very easy to get to! And even though Barry had to look after Toby for the day while I went off gallivanting again, I more than made up for it with the amount of cake I brought home!

Baked goodies

You can read more about what we got up to on the Currys website here.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

 

Blogiversary

OK, so I’m three days late but Toby Goes Bananas is now one year old! I wrote my first post on 22nd October 2013 when Toby was just over three months old, mostly as a kind of online journal and photo album of his life. I had actually been blogging since 2009 but on my other blog I mostly wrote reviews of stand-up comedy, about my various travels around the world and latterly about training to be and becoming a teacher. I had a fairly decent number of regular readers and a very active Twitter account. But when Toby was born I knew that the people who read my other blog wouldn’t really be interested in reading all about the ins and outs of life with a newborn. I had start reading more and more parenting blogs (especially during those hours spent feeding Toby in the night) and decided I would give it a go myself!

I started thinking about a name and one day Toby Goes Bananas just popped into my head as I was driving up our street. At that time we were still struggling to get Toby’s reflux under control and he did regularly go bananas. And I just thought it had a nice ring to it… I promise it’s not because I’m some massive fan of the Herbie films! I did think I might be limiting myself a bit for the future – if we have another baby then I don’t want them to be left out, but it’s OK I already have a plan for my blog should that happen.

Once I had a name I set up my blog on free WordPress and also set up a new email address, Twitter account and Facebook page. I knew it would be easier down the line if everything had the same name (and that would be one of my top tips for anyone starting with blogging). Within a month or so I knew I was really enjoying my new blog and so I registered my own domain name, although I still stuck with free WordPress for a while. Another month or so down the line and I decided to go self-hosted (I wrote a few posts about why and how at the time – you can read the first one here if you’re interested). I also redesigned my blog when I went self-hosted and made myself a new header to go with my new home.

Over the last year I have written about all sorts of things from cloth nappies to the time I was worried for my mental health. I posted monthly updates about Toby from four to twelve months, and I’ve taken part in some fabulous linkies (my favourites have to be The Ordinary Moments, which I haven’t done for ages but will get back to one of these days, and Living Arrows which I’m proud to say I have managed to do every week of 2014 so far). I’ve posted recipes and craft posts, I’ve written about weight-loss and weaning and I’ve had so many fantastic opportunities to review products and attend events which I never would have imagined a year ago. I was delighted to be a Munchkin Lindam blogger this year, as well as a Konfidence Swimologist. It’s been brilliant working with such lovely brands and getting to try so many of their great products!

The blogging highlight of my year has to have been going to Britmums Live back in June. Not only did I get to attend lots of really useful sessions I also got to meet lots of my favourite bloggers in real life too. I’ve made some great friends through blogging and for me it has to be one of the best things to come from starting Toby Goes Bananas.

I haven’t been as active on the blog since the summer but I’m settling into being back at work now and starting to feel like I’m getting my blog-spiration back so hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot more from me in the next few months and hopefully for years to come – I may have times when I don’t post much but I’m not planning on stopping blogging altogether for a long time to come!

Lastly, I just want to thank all of you have read and commented on Toby Goes Bananas over the last year. I really do appreciate it so please keep coming back!

My Britmums Live experience

So it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that this weekend 700 bloggers descended on The Brewery in London for the year’s biggest blogging conference, and I was lucky enough to be one of them! Lots of people have already written about their experiences at Britmums Live and Britmums have gathered them all together in one handy linky.

I’ve been home a few days now and I’ve been struggling to shape my thoughts about the weekend into a coherent blog post. In fact, although I thought I would come home raring to go with my blog I haven’t put fingertip to keyboard since I came back on Sunday. Don’t get me wrong here though, I had a fantastic weekend meeting lots of lovely people and getting lots of ideas and inspiration on how to make Toby Goes Bananas more of the blog I want it to be. I think the problem might be that I have so many ideas that I don’t know where to start! But also (and from reading some of the other posts I know I’m not the only one feeling this way) going to Britmums Live has actually made me realise that perhaps taking a little step back from my blog, realising that the stats don’t really matter, trying to find a better blog/ life balance and appreciating that my blog doesn’t have to be all consuming wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I’ve sat in front of the laptop a few nights this week but the words just weren’t coming and rather than trying to force it I decided just to wait until I was feeling more inspired.

And so, here it is, my Britmums Live Experience…

My Britmums Live experience

The weekend itself was amazing, if very tiring! I had to get up at 5am on the Friday morning to catch my flight from Edinburgh to London City airport. A quick ride on the DLR and I was on the tube heading to Euston. This was because Ed’s Easy Diner had sent me an email for a free birthday milkshake! They send me one every year and I never normally get to use it but seeing as I was in London with a bit of time to kill I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So after scrambled eggs on toast (my third breakfast of the day, if you count a banana at home and rubbish cooked breakfast on the plane) and a vanilla malt to take away I was back on the tube to Old Street and making my way to my hotel.

I was so pleased there was a room ready so I got an early check in and a 45 minute power snooze before meeting up with the first bloggers of my weekend; Donna from Redhead Babyled (who I had met before at the Munchkin Lindam event) and Kate from Family Fever (whose linky, Tried & Tested, I join in with most weeks). I also met Emma from The Mini Mes and Me and Jade from Late for Reality. We made our way from the hotel to The Brewery where the main event was to be held. As promised by Britmums we were greeted by bowler-hatted doormen, we then waited in the covered outdoor courtyard area for the doors to open. Here I got chance to say hello to a few more people including Mummy Muncher from Life With Munchers and Vicki from Ellie Bear Babi, both of whom I had spoken to online before, as well as Rebecca from Mrs Mumsie and Karen from Let Kids Be Kids.

And then the doors opened and the madness began. There was a huge scrabble to collect badges and then everyone piled into The Hub where all the brands had their stands. Despite me professing my lack of nerves before I went I have to admit this part was a little bit overwhelming! There were people everywhere. There were squeals from every direction as bloggers recognised one another and people seemed to be running round grabbing every freebie they could get their hands on! And, jeez, it was LOUD! 700 excited bloggers in one place make a lot of noise. If I have a tip for those attending Britmums Live for the first time it would be to just take your time at the beginning, have a look around and take it all in, but you don’t need to talk to all the brands and sign up on all their lists in the first 5 minutes. They’ll be there all weekend and you’ll have plenty of time to talk to them when things have quietened down a bit. On that note, I would also recommend trying to find a bit of time on your own to talk to any brands you’re really interested in working with – I found it much easier to chat in a bit more depth to brands on my own than when I was with other people.

I hadn’t really made a plan of which sessions I wanted to go to before I went and that wasn’t really a problem. I will say though, if there is a session you don’t want to miss then try to get there a bit early (easier said than done when you are dashing between sessions) as some of the rooms are quite small and fill up quickly for popular sessions. I’m not going to go into loads of detail about the sessions but there are a few that deserve a mention; The Dos and Don’ts of Blog Giveaways by Di Coke (SuperLucky.co.uk) was very useful, as was the session on Google+ by James Dearsley from The Digital Marketing Bureau – I actually have a vague understanding of how Google+ works now which is a massive improvement! One thing about the sessions is that it’s hard to know from the brief description in the programme what level they will be pitched at – for example I found the blog design tips, SEO and tech knowledge sessions interesting but they didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know, in hindsight my time could perhaps have been spent better elsewhere.

I have to say I found the BiBs party on Friday night a bit underwhelming somehow. By that point everyone was tired and hungry (food, or lack of seems to be one area that a lot of people think could be improved for next year) and the whole thing seemed to be over in a bit of a rush. There was also a bit of controversy as Katy Hill, who was presenting the awards, also won in the Fresh Voice category. I admit I have never read her blog but it does seem a bit off somehow. And anyway, that award should definitely have gone to Katie at Hurrah for Gin, who I also met and she was absolutely lovely!

Saturday was definitely a day for tissues with a very moving and inspiring keynote speech from Benjamin Brooks-Dutton (Life As A Widower) in the morning and the blogger keynotes at the end of the day. I not one for crying usually but even I found myself welling up listening to these brave bloggers standing up in a room full of their peers and speaking out loud some of their most personal blog posts. It was a good job that the event rounded off with a performance from the Good Enough Mums Club giving everyone a good laugh and able to leave with a smile on their face.

After the event I headed, laden with goodies, to my brother’s house in Essex for a relaxing evening of pizza and cider then a good night’s sleep. I spent the day there on Sunday and finally made it home at about midnight. Toby, who had been sleeping through all weekend, woke up as I came in the door, which was a great excuse for a lovely cuddle before bed!

I have to also mention some of the other people I met; it was lovely to see some of my fellow Munchkin Lindam bloggers again – Munchies and Munchkins and Debs from Super Busy Mum. It was also great to meet Emma from Me, The Man & The Baby (baby included!), Lucinda from Teacher 2 Mummy, Donna from The London Mum, Sara from mumturnedmom (over all the way from America!), Aby from You Baby Me Mummy and to get to say a quick hello to Katie from Mummy Daddy Me, Emma from Brummymummyof2, Just a Normal Mummy, and Wry Mummy. I’m sure I’ve missed some (I didn’t write anyone’s names down, or take any photos!) so please accept my apologies if I’ve missed you off. Also, sorry if I confused any of you with my surprisingly very red hair!

Last but not least a quick mention to a few of the brands I spoke to over the weekend; firstly it was fab to see the Munchkin guys again and the lovely ladies from Norton & Co. Thanks to Parragon Books for the very tasty cupcake, to Coca-Cola for my personalised Coke bottle, to Butlins for the chocolate (I may have taken more than one bar!) and to Heinz Baby for the goodies for Toby and for the lovely, and much needed massage.

So there you have it – that was my Britmums Live experience. It was pretty much everything I expected (although I didn’t end up getting drunk like I thought I might!). I think it’ll take a few weeks before I really digest it all and start putting some of my ideas into practice though. I would definitely recommend going if you get the chance and hopefully I’ll be able to go again sometime in the future, although with my return to work fast approaching I’m holding off buying my ticket for 2015 just yet!

P.S. I was really rubbish at taking photos during the weekend hence the lack of pictures in this post – sorry!