BLOGFEST – AN HONEST REVIEW

Sooooo Blogfest. One of the biggest, most anticipated blogging events of the year hosted by Mumsnet and offering a day of sessions, seminars and keynote speeches.

I imagine there are already a lot of reviews floating around out there and almost a week after the event you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’ve purposely tried to avoid reading anything Blogfest-related since Saturday as I was really struggling to figure out a way to put my thoughts into words. In fact to be entirely honest I’ve been struggling to know what to make of the event at all.

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So I won’t bore you with every detail but here are a few things that have been bouncing around my brain since Saturday:

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SHE LOVES HERSELF – MUM MUDDLING THROUGH

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In 10 months of blogging I’ve been lucky enough to discover a whole bunch of awesome blogs and bloggers who have made me feel completely welcome in this strange new world of online shenanigans. I quickly discovered the world of linkies, an opportunity to share and discover blog posts and so once I’d figured out how they actually worked I decided to dip my toe in with #coolmumclub, which is co-hosted by Sarah at Mum Muddling Through. Ironically, while wandering around St Pancras this Saturday (en-route to Blogfest) Sarah was also the first of my online blogger buddies that I met in actual real life.  It’s just as well she recognised me really, what with her being an international woman of mystery and all I’d struggle to recognise her from her profile pic. This week she’s very kindly offered to take part in the series and talks about the different stages of womanhood and how these have directly influenced the relationship with her body and her view on body confidence in increasingly positive ways.

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

Now this is hard, isn’t it? If you asked me to name my three worst parts it’d be easy, but what I love about this series is how it’s challenging us to embrace positivity about our bodies so here goes nothin’.

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I’M GOING TO BLOGFEST!

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So tomorrow morning a whole gaggle of excited blogger types will be alighting at King’s Cross Station for one of the biggest blogging events of the year: BLOGFEST. This year I’m more than a little bit excited to be one of them! Excited, but nervous. Luckily the monumental effort that goes into organising the rest of the family in order to allow this to happen is keeping my mind busy enough that I don’t have time to stress about it too much.

Here’s how  today is looking:

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OKIDO SUBSCRIPTION GIVEAWAY


When it comes to kids magazines we have a love/hate relationship. The kids love them, I hate them. Gone are the days where I could carefully select a magazine for its educational and developmental benefits, nowadays it’s ALL ABOUT THE FREE TAT! Who cares about the actual content when there’s (another) free fairy wand or miniature skateboard thingy on offer eh? Fair to say I’d fallen out of love with the lot of them until I was recently sent some issues of ‘OKIDO- The Arts & Science Magazine for Kids’.

This is not your average kids magazine. For starters I’m a bit jealous of just how cool it looks. The whole design and illustration is fun, modern and enticing. Spud and Flump instantly recognised the characters from the hit Cbeebies show ‘Messy Goes To OKIDO’ and couldn’t wait to get stuck into them, pouring over the pages and pages of stories, puzzles and (secretly educational- shhhhh!) fun ideas.

The usually flimsy pages are replaced with high quality heavy paper giving the magazine a more book-like feel and making the cut-out activities sturdy and durable. Usually I try to get the kids magazines into the recycling bin as soon as possible without them noticing but I’m more than happy to keep hold of these for their reading baskets.

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SHE LOVES HERSELF – FIVE LITTLE DOVES

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Those of you who know of Laura through her blog Five Little Doves, know she’s not afraid to talk openly on the issues of stillbirth, miscarriage or chronic illness. Through her writing she raises awareness on these subjects in such an honest and deeply touching way. While body image isn’t a subject that features much it’s something that has had a huge impact on Laura in the past. It’s so great to have her take part in the series to share her own experience with body issues and how having children gave her the determination to confront them.

 

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

Love is a difficult one, I struggle massively with body confidence and knew that this would be a challenge. I would say my eyes, mainly because they allow me to see my beautiful children and although I have more than a few laughter lines these days, they remind me of the fun we have had together. Am I allowed to say my womb? I am grateful every single day that it allowed me to carry five children, more than most are ever blessed with, and my heart as although it has been broken, it still loves unconditionally.

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SHE LOVES HERSELF – ROCK & ROSES MAMA

 

Another fabulous, feel-good guest post this time from Rock & Roses Mama herself, Rebecca. With her positive vibes, exercise bike and lippy she’s rockin the skin she’s in!

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Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous

This has changed over time and is not the same parts that I would have previously boasted pre pregnancy but here goes!

1. My hair… I have always had a complicated relationship with my hair, (the ‘It’s complicated’ Facebook status should be inserted here) and until recently have just worn it up in a bun! I was “blessed” with overtly curly and thick hair that has fought against me for a long time, but I have finally found a shampoo I love, the length is what I’ve been waiting for, I’ve mastered the home dyeing process and I have an amazing hairdresser! Gorgeous locks! 2. My back… odd one I know but bear with me! I have always been very muscular for a woman since my teen years and have finally embraced that my muscular back looks pretty hot in backless dresses. 3. My lips… I have been blessed with shapely lips and find they are perfect for those dark days when only a bright lipstick can save your face!

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SHE LOVES HERSELF – THIS MUM’S LIFE

After years at dance school resulted in an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, Lucy from This Mum’s Life is on a mission to love her post baby body again. With her newfound approach to life and loving herself I’d say she’s got this…

This Mum's Life

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

I like my eyelashes-they’re naturally dark and long!

I like my hands, because they’re quite delicate-I did ballet for years, and people often say that my hands look very graceful still, when I move-I love it when people say that!

Not a body part, but I’ve always liked that I’ve got an unusual combination of features. I have red hair, but I also have really dark eyes, and skin that goes very olive with a little bit of sun. Not many red heads have that, as most are pale. My mum is half Bajan, so I ended up with her skin, with the hair coming from my dad’s side!

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*VLOG* VOGUE 73 QUESTIONS

OH. MY. VLOG.

I did it. I put my big girl pants on, figured out how to work the laptop camera and filmed my first ever vlog! It was terrifying but not a total catastrophe so I guess we’ll go with it. Thanks to Jane at Maflingo for nominating me to answer the Vogue 73 questions (you can read her answers here) and also to Helen at Just Saying Mum who’s post Come On Girls, Embrace Your Inner Vlogger! which may have just given me the little nudge I needed to go for it!

Watch on YouTube: Mess & Merlot- Vogue 72 Questions

1. What’s your favourite movie?
Clueless – I know what you’re thinking, highbrow right? What – everrrr…

2. Favourite movie in the past five years?
The BFG

3. Favourite Hitchcock film?
Psycho

4. A book you plan on reading?
Oscar Wilde Plays

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
My History of Art books!

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SHE LOVES HERSELF – BEAUTY, BABY & ME

 

Welcome back to another week of She Loves Herself, this time with Fi who blogs at Beauty, Baby & Me , a gorgeous place full of positivity and motivation (so it will come as no surprise that this is a cracker of a post!) Fi has an enviable approach to body confidence, basically, the girl’s got it sussed…

 

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?
My eyes! I think you can really read how I’m feeling in my eyes, I’m quite open and this reflects that which I’m quite proud of. Plus they are quite a striking green colour so they are a bit unique too!
My bum! It’s always been part of my body I’ve felt confident about and my husband says it’s like having his very own Kylie 🙂
My legs. Everyone on my Mother’s side of the family has lovely long legs and I’ve been very lucky to inherit that!

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SHE LOVES HERSELF – RHYMING WITH WINE


This week we’re joined by Dawn from Rhyming With Wine. If you’re not already familiar with her brilliantly funny poems please pay her a visit, guaranteed giggles inspired by motherhood and day to day life with kids!

Just a very quick one from me to thank everyone who has tweeted, read or contacted me about the series so far – I’ve been delighted to hear so many of you are enjoying the guest posts and finding them inspirational. It’s nice to be nice, to others and ourselves.

Take it away Dawn…

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

I’m quite fond of my eyes. I mean they definitely come in handy for all of the seeing and things, but they only need a bit of mascara and they change may face completely from “Just got out of bed” to “This is me!” My hair has really started to grow having done babies and breastfeeding twice now and I have one of those long styles that I can do about 100 different things with to suit my mood (and time rations of course). I never thought I’d say this but I really quite like my boobs now too! They were never anything to notice before, but they are definitely my favourite part of my “Mum” body and I can still rock a fairly low cut top when the occasion calls for it!

Share a memory of when you felt particularly good about yourself.

About 7 months after my youngest was born, “Daddy Pig” and I were lucky enough to attend our friends’ wedding at the same place that we were married in the Lake District. I was around 4 months pregnant with my first when we got married and while I managed to fit in my dress (thank goodness for a lace up back) I was definitely carrying a fair amount of “maternal storage tissue”. With each of my pregnancies I gained around 3 ½ stone and I’m sure that at least 2 stone of that went on the second I peed on a stick! Somehow though I gradually lost my baby weight both times, and by the time of my friends’ wedding I was down to a personal best as far as weight goes. I actually wore a catsuit (not exactly Michelle Pfeiffer / Catwoman style, but still – a CATSUIT!) It was something that I would never usually wear and my Mum had more or less picked it out for me on a shopping trip. After nearly 3 years of pregnancies and breast-feeding I felt good. I felt like I was still a woman and not just a mum, and I felt proud to stand with my hubby at the place where we were married knowing how much my body had been through and achieved, and that “I” was still in there.

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