My First Blogging Conference – BritMums Live. 

This weekend saw the biggest blogging conference in the blogging calendar, BritMums Live (or #BML16 if you’re partial to the occasional hashtag).

Sponsored by Cheeky Wipes, I took myself off to London for the day to meet fellow bloggers, network with brands, and learn a few things about blogging and social media. In black and white that all sounded pretty simple, however once I got there it was actually quite a challenge.


According to other bloggers, this year was the first year that BritMums was a one day event. Previously, it was a two day event, and I could see why. As well as several breakout sessions to pick from throughout the day; ranging from ‘The Dark Net’ to Instagram, you also had the option to network with brands, as well as the mammoth task of meeting other bloggers.


None of this is mandatory, of course, but why wouldn’t you want to try and experience everything or chat with the people you’ve been chatting to for months, if not years?

Starting my day with a 6:30 train to Farringdon, I was lucky to meet up with a few Brighton bloggers on the way – this definitely made walking into an already busy forecourt a lot easier.

The location was great. I’ve been lucky enough to visit The Brewery before with S as part of Christmas Do’s so thankfully I knew my way around.

Before the conference even began I was already recognising a few faces. This was my first challenge of the day; go up to them and say hi, or wait and save myself from looking like a fan-girl. I decided to wait, register myself, and go get (a few) pastries. This is where I met the lovely Emma and John.

After the opening talk I made my way to the “networking” room. I actually found this room to be quite overwhelming, and the majority of the brands didn’t really suit our blog, so I decided to say hello to some bloggers! This is where I met Tom, Tim, Martyn, Dave, Tony, (honestly, I didn’t just aim for the dads), Leanne, and Hannah.

In no time, the first session was about to begin so I took myself off to learn/discuss creative writing. This is where I met Lucy, which was the only plus side to the session. Maybe it was me misinterpreting the session description, but I did leave this particular breakout session feeling quite deflated. With this, I decided to miss the second breakout as I wanted to catch up with the lovely ladies from the BlogBumpClub. Chelle, Hannah, Hannah (I know, a lot of Hannah’s) and Katy were there and I had a blast chatting about (and sniffing) babies. It was hard not to become incredibly broody!


Lunch was suddenly upon us and after much deliberation I enjoyed a lamb curry with a side of nachos. I also managed to find room for some pudding.


The third breakout session was the most enjoyable as it was based around the Sketchbook Club. I’ve never done anything like this before despite always enjoying colouring-in and doodling, so it was no surprise that this session was really enjoyable. If anything, it completely took the pressure off making the conference solely about blogging! I already have a few ideas about how I can integrate sketching into the blog/Instagram.


The fourth session I attended was about Instagram and unfortunately, again, I didn’t come away feeling like I’d learnt much, which was good; without sounding arrogant, as it made me feel that I was actually doing something right!

Apart from meeting fellow bloggers, my favourite part of the day was, by far, the keynote speeches. The highlights for me were Tim and his x-factor worthy parody of ‘Pretty in Pink’ and Al’s ‘Job interview to become a Stay-at-home-dad’.

After the keynotes, the BiB (Brilliance in Blogging) awards commenced. Sadly, quite a few of my favourite blogs didn’t get the award they deserved, but I was still proud as punch to see their names up there as finalists!

The evening finished with cake, wine, and more socialising. Here I was finally able to meet a few more of my favourites; Donna and Stephanie (aka Clarke Kent!).


As you can tell, it was quite the Saturday. I still have a few reservations and criticisms of the event and, as other people have mentioned, I’d be reluctant to go again based purely on the breakout sessions – but maybe that was just me. I was, on the other hand, impressed with the variety of sessions available. 

The socialising aspect, however, was totally worth the journey and I’d like to hope I’ve made some friends this weekend.

Even if you’re new to blogging, I would recommend giving at least one conference a go. It’s a great way to find like-minded bloggers, and the gift bags are pretty sweet.

The environment is lovely, albeit busy, and the bloggers I’ve met this weekend are some of the nicest people I’ve met. I just wish I’d found time to meet more people! I’m sorry if I didn’t get round to saying hi!

Did you go to BML16? What did you enjoy/not enjoy? Any tips?

K

Cheeky Wipes: Making a Bum Job Better (Review) [AD]

I’ll start now by saying that that snappy title isn’t my doing. I saw it on the Cheeky Wipes’ website and thought it was brilliant!

Anyway.

I first started using Cheeky Wipes when T was a few months old. We should have probably used them sooner – what with the poonami’s we were encountering – but in the midst of newborn chaos, we didn’t get around to “setting it up”, which is daft as it’s hardly a difficult, or time consuming task.

If you haven’t heard of them before, Cheeky Wipes are the makers of reusable wipes.

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If you’re not a family that cloth bum, don’t worry. Neither are we. We, too, were disposable city. So when we first saw Cheeky Wipes at a Baby Show we were dubious. We didn’t think we’d get round to using them, we thought it would just add to our wash load, we thought it’d be expensive. Neither of those points have come true for us.

To use Cheeky Wipes, you have two lidded tubs. One labelled ‘Fresh’, one labelled ‘Mucky’.

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You also have two bottles of scented oils labelled the same for each tub. I’ve found that even with the lids firmly shut, you still get a nice aroma in the room once the oils have mixed with the water and remains even when the mucky bin is getting… “Mucky”.

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In the green, mucky bin, place the drawstring net in the tub (there’s even neat little hooks to hold your bag in place), put 6-8 drops of the green bottle; we have teatree and lemon scent, in and then fill the tub with water.

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In the blue, fresh bin, place 6-8 drops of the blue bottle; we have lavender and chamomile in ours, fill with water up to the first line and then place enough wipes (roughly 8-12) up to the second line. Each wipe consists of a square, flannel-like, terry nappy material.

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Easy.

One flannel should deal with one nappy change by wiping, folding, wiping, folding and then potentially wiping again. I don’t think I’ve ever had to use more than one wipe, even for the messiest of changes.

Once the mucky bin is full (for us, it’s around 15 wipes or when the water is rather mucky) simply do the draw string bag up and put it in the washing machine with the rest of your whites (obviously remembering to take the whole bin down to the washing machine otherwise there’ll be drip issues).

The package we bought came with 25 white cotton terry wipes, two bottles of oil, and a travel option that consist of a mucky and clean bag in a PVC style fabric. This costs £39.99, however cost us around £35 thanks to Baby Show discount! You can also purchase microfibre or bamboo velour wipes. Wipes also come in a range of colours.

We really like using Cheeky Wipes as not only are we being Eco-friendly, but we’re saving money on wipes! Plus, no more incidents of T emptying a whole pack of baby wipes!

Cheeky Wipes also make a ‘Hands and Face‘ kit, a ‘Sanitary Pad‘ kit, and an alternative to toilet paper. Plus, they also ship worldwide!

If you’d like to try Cheeky Wipes, there’s a great deal over on their Facebook. Spend £35 and get a small double wetbag, plus 10 bamboo & minky wipes, worth £17.95 free! Plus, every Friday is ‘freebie Friday’ so keep an eye out on their page for deals.

K

Cheeky Wipes are our BML16 sponsor this year, however all thoughts and opinions are our own. We purchased our  own Cheeky Wipes package with our own cash. 

Meet My #BML16 Sponsor!

This year, I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to go to Britmums Live.

If you don’t know what #BML16 is, it’s the biggest blogging conference in the parenting bloggers calendar. I don’t class myself as a professional blogger (far from it), which is why #BML16 is perfect for me, it’s open to all (or at least I was able to slip through the net!). #BML16 is a great place to network and meet friends old and new, as well as attend workshops and talks.

BritMums

This year, the wonderful gals over at Cheeky Wipes have very kindly agreed to sponsor my trip to #BML16.

My #BML16 Sponsor!

Cheeky Wipes are home to the reusable baby wipe. Simply take a wipe from the ‘clean’ bin, use it, and then put it in the ‘mucky’ bin. Wipes can also be used at the top end – which is perfect for when breakfast is concrete weetabix. Plus, Cheeky Wipes also make cloth sanitary pads!

We’ve been using Cheeky Wipes since T was born and as well as being a great product, Cheeky wipes are a wonderful company. Based in Seaford, East Sussex (just around the corner from us!) they started their company over 7 years ago! Their creator, Helen, is a mother of four and created Cheeky Wipes following a history with eczema that was irritated by disposable wipes.

We’ll be writing a full review of cheeky wipes later this month, but I can honestly say that Cheeky Wipes were one of the best investments we made. As a family who didn’t buy into cloth diapering through fear of creating more work with extra washing, we were sceptical as to whether a) cheeky wipes would actually clean T, b) whether we would use the wipes and c) whether it would just add to our wash load, however over the past 13 months, neither factors have been a problem at all. I can honestly say that we’ve saved a lot of money on wipes by using Cheeky Wipes!

I can’t wait until BML#16 and although I hope to learn a few things whilst at the conference seminars, I’m mostly looking forward to meeting some of the bloggers I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading over the last few years. Some of which I now class as friends.

Once again, a big thank you to Cheeky Wipes!

K

I’m going to #BML16

When started this blog back in 2012 I never thought I’d ever have the desire to attend a blogging conference. I assumed they were for professional bloggers. Not me. If I’m being honest, I guffawed at the thought of sitting in a room to talk ‘blog’. I love(d) blogging, but at the time, not THAT much.

However, over the past few years, I’ve read several wonderful blogs, become friends with these wonderful bloggers, and have really got into blogging. Because of this, I’ve decided to bite the proverbial  bullet and buy a ticket to Britmums Live.

The guys at Britmums have set up a ‘I’m going to Britmums (#BML16)’ linky for attendees as bit of an Ice breaker. Here’s mine:

My name: Kate

My blog: www.lesbemums.com

Find me on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

How I look:


Is this my first blogging event: Yes! I’m excited, nervous, giddy, apprehensive, you name it. I’ve been reading blogs for years, and so the thought of meeting some of their authors has turned me into bit of a fan-girl.

I’ll be wearing: Most likely jeans, a t-shirt, and my decade old converse that have seen better days!

What I hope to gain from #BML16: Primarily friendships, but if I’m able to learn a few things then that’ll be a bonus!

My tips for a great conference: As this is my first conference, I don’t have many. However, I guess organisation is key. I’ve already started packing my conference bag. It currently contains; my phone/camera, notepad, pens, portable charger, book(s), snacks, a loaded Starbucks card!

K

Are you going to Britmums? What are you looking forward to?