When I hit ‘publish’ on my first post back in January I had very little idea what blogging actually entailed, I just knew I wanted to try something new. I’d read a few ‘Blogging For Dummies’ type articles, decided on a name and purchased a domain. After waaaaaaay too long faffing about on WordPress, Mess & Merlot was finally born.

I felt sick with nerves. What was I doing?! At this point nobody knew about the blog (including Himself until a fair while later!) I was mortified at the thought of even saying the words out loud; “Oh, I started a blog by the way” – CRINGE!!!

Luckily I discovered the world of linkies pretty early on and was blown away by the kindness of fellow bloggers, not only reading but actually commenting on my nonsense. As the weeks passed by I eventually started to remember which linkies to join on which day and who hosted them*. I soon got chatting, as you do, and as well as discovering a shed load of new blogs to explore I struck up some virtual friendships with wonderfully supportive, like minded bloggers. That support meant the world to me, honestly it’s probably the only reason I had enough faith in myself to keep up this blogging malarkey.

(* Lies. I have a shocking memory and go through the same rigmarole of checking I’ve actually tweeted the right hosts for the corresponding linky most days!! I am getting slightly better though.)



After a few months in Blogland I noticed whisperings of nominations, pleas for support and whoops of excitement from successful applicants – yes awards season was evidently upon us!

A mere spectator in the excitement of it all, even that demanded more concentration than my brain can handle most days. Oooh who’s nominated themselves? Have they made the shortlist? YES! I was hoping they’d get through. OK, voting for them, them, them…oh, there are finalists now. Am I voting again then? Hang on, I’ve definitely voted already, was that the MADS or the BiBs though, not sure.

And so I try my best to make sense of the whole voting system in the same way I endeavoured to understand the ‘First Past The Post’ system in the last election, but minus the help of David DimblebyΒ with his screen full of fancy graphics.

Of course this all culminates in the main event: Brit Mums Live 2016!

Having watched from the sidelines, from the “Eek, I’m going to #BML16” tweets to the ‘Meet my Sponsor’ posts, I have to say I am so, so sad that I will not be able to be part of the whole experience


I will not be:

  • Fretting about what to wear in the days leading up to the event,regularly checking every weather app on my phone to gauge roughly what the heck the weather has in store and if I have anything that would pass as acceptable attire.
  • Packing excitedly and jumping on a train to Fancylondontown.
  • Buzzing with excitement at the prospect of meeting all you virtual chatterboxes in the flesh.
  • Getting into the BML16 spirit with you at the Friday Fringe party.
  • Spending the next day enjoying a range of talks from an awesomeΒ line upΒ of speakers.
  • Partaking in any post-conference shenanigans with my new blogging buddies.
  • Engaging in Twitter conversations about any of the above

I am however looking forward enormously to all the follow up posts and hearing ALL the goss next week!! To all of you who are going I hope you have an amazing time, best of luck to all those up for awards and enjoy the weekend!!

P.S Don’t feel too sad for me, I’m actually in Amsterdam with the girls this weekend, so while I am gutted that it clashes with BML16 I’ll still be having fun! Every cloud eh?

Next year I shall go to the ball…

glass slipper


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  1. hehe this is similar to me too actually. I started my blog last sept and didn’t really properly get going until Feb/March. Looking fwd to reading all the post-event write ups and maybe next year for me πŸ™‚ #BloggerClubUK

  2. I started blogging 6 weeks ago and have done exactly the same things-kept it a bit secret at first and shuddered at the thought of telling people I’d started writing a blog!!

    I’m still in the faffing stage but really enjoying learning all this new stuff. Maybe I’ll see you at BML next year?! #bloggerclubuk

  3. You’re basically me. Apart from the sodding Amsterdam part, you saved that nugget for the end!! Also new, also can never remember who runs which linky, also not going to BML. Also loving it 😊 Can’t hashtag a linky as I read this off my own back for a change, consider yourself honoured 😊 X

    1. Ha ha sorry about that, could be worse I know πŸ˜„ Glad it’s not just me that gets confused. Woooo that is an honour indeed , I barely get time to read linky posts never mind anything else so I genuinely appreciate your comment x

  4. This was me last year, a newbie jealously reading about bloggers attending. Now I’m going and panicking about remembering who does which blog, let alone who does which Linky. All in all munching a space cake in the Bulldog sound much less stressful right now. Have a fab time!

    PS I and Dawn run #fartglitter 😁

    1. Aww I think everyone should be made to wear badges stating name & blog!! I mean it’s a room full of parents, our brains are frazzled at the best of times πŸ˜„ Well I can neither confirm or deny how ‘relaxing’ Amsterdam will be πŸ™Š Ha ha, funnily enough I remember you two ok!! Enjoy London baby πŸ’‚πŸ»πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸΎ

  5. Aw, Charlie Cakes! I will miss meeting you. You have a similar sense of humour to me in terms of your writing and I just love reading your posts. I want to see you there next year, hopefully as a finalist! #BloggerclubUK

  6. Maybe I will be brave enough to do something about it next year, we will see!! My blog has only really taken off this year and am enjoying it’s gradual growth! Let’s see where the year takes me πŸ™‚
    As for the linkys – I had to save them all to my iphone calendar, it’s a godsend and thankfully I now never miss one! Just a little tip! πŸ™‚ #fartglitter

  7. aww, Im not going either, and I so wish I was… but as with you, the BML coincides with something else too, *sighs* Im looking forward to hearing about though, and shall eagerly be awaiting the next one, so I can join in too! We can be newbies to the next BML together πŸ˜‰ Have fun in Amsterdam! #bloggerclubuk

  8. Oh can so relate Charlie. I feel sad that I’m not going either. I don’t even have a good excuse like you jet setting off to Amsterdam. My reason for not going is that despite blogging for over a year, I still feel too scared, like I’m not a proper serious blogger compared to some of the big guns out there. Perhaps if I get past my issues we could both go next year? I’d love to share a Merlot or two with you! #BloggerClubUK x

    1. Ahhh what a shame- you should go for it! (Still a few tickets left I believe!!) I’m pretty sure we now have a posse of people who can’t make it this year so we’ll all rock up together for #BML17 πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ»

  9. Exactly what I have been thinking. I toyed with the idea of buyin a ticket for about two seconds before I realised that I would need to probably stay over in London and finding a willing volunteer to have the mini for the weekend!

    Oh well, next year!

    Lucy Xx

  10. I’m so excited for everyone going this weekend and like you Ill be reading with interest about Al the go’s and the Goss come next week ! I only started blogging last month and didn’t even know there was such a thing as blog awards and conferences! I reckon I can only dream about going next year! #coolmumclub

  11. I can’t believe that I’ve booked a ticket to be honest – I’m only 6 months in and think I’m a tad crazy for going! But I’m sure it will be amazing and there will be lots to report back on! Sad you’re not going – come next year! But have fun with the girls! #coolmumclub

    1. Oh go for it, I’d be there with bells on if I could! Wish I could have met everyone but yes will have a lovely time I’m sure. Have fun (are we Vlogging this weekend πŸ˜‰??) x

      1. ha ha can you imagine?! Maybe ill get some clips on with a few willing mums but who knows? Have a big vlogging day planned next wednesday with come teen experts – eeek exciting! xx

  12. Me neither! I’ll be enjoying a full body massage as part of my birthday present instead! But seriously, one I can’t afford it and two, my husband has slipped a disc so can’t manage Arthur alone – who also still wakes regularly in the night and breastfeeds too so it’s just not possible for me at the moment. Wish they did remote access to watch the talks online! #coolmumclub

    1. Aww sounds like it’s definitely not a good time for you to go anyway, hopefully next year we’ll both be London bound. Yes remote talks would be fab wouldn’t they?! Enjoy your massage – happy birthday! πŸ˜‰

  13. What you wrote here described me to a T last year! I started my blog last March & was totally lost during the voting last year. I am very excited to attend this year & will be sure to keep you posted starting tomorrow morning! Thanks so much for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK x

    1. Oh my goodness I just can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for 1 year- you so deserve to be in the finals, best of luck on Saturday. Yes am looking forward to hearing all about it! Tnx for hosting and have a great weekend x #BloggerClubUK

  14. Aww fab post! I’ve been trying to go to BML for the last two years and have still yet to make it. This year was looking hopeful, until the slightly tricky conflict with one little new arrivals due date (so inconsiderate!). Theres always next year I suppose.. πŸ˜‰ Emily #coolmumclub

  15. Love your work and don’t even know how you ladies get so awesome so quickly! Well obviously because of sheer talent! I just started my blog in April and have also met some lovely and wonderful bloggers, I had no idea that the blogging world was so awesome. Love making new connections and will sit waiting patiently to hear all of this goss as well as now your incredible girls weekend. It’s okay, I will do it all with a wine in hand to feel part of it all. πŸ™‚

  16. This was me last year! I was completely planning on going this year but then life got in the way, you know, like it has a nasty habit of doing!! Next year though, next year I’ll be there #CoolMumClub

  17. This made me chuckle as I thought I was the only one not going this year!! I have been blogging for just over a year and I don’t feel like I’m established enough to enter awards or go to any events but I will do one day! πŸ™‚
    Have a great time away!!


  18. Aw me neither lovely. I’m so excited just to read all the tweets and see who picks up awards that I could literally squeak. It’s probably a good job that I won’t be there as I don’t think I could actually handle the giddiness and would probably be removed for trying to do a cartwheel across the stage or something. Have a fabulous time in Amsterdam and tell us all about it when you get back! Xx

  19. Snap. I am not going to BML16 either…because my husband has a gig that evening (which sounds way more glam than it actually is!) Gah! But next year definitely. I will put it in the diary as soon as I know the date. Re the linkies thing. I have a Word document with the first half of the tweet, complete with twitter handle and hashtag, all set up so I can just copy and paste – I live in fear of getting it all wrong! And also I think it makes the process a teeny bit faster…maybe… Eb x

  20. Ah, Charlie – you are more clued up about BML than me and I’m there in 48 hours!

    To be fair, if it was a choice between Amsterdam or BML I know where I’d be πŸ˜‰

    We’ll miss you!

    xx Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

  21. I’m not going either. I have 5 month old and think it will be too much. Plus I have never been to London and have anxiety issues in large crowds so not really the place for me. Although I would love to overcome this and go – maybe next year. xx


  22. I went a few years ago but since then have become very disabled so it’s just not something I could do, it would be inaccessible for me, but it’s fun to join along with the tweets and things, in fact sometimes it’s more fun I think.

  23. I also had no clue how it worked. I actually thought American bloggers were not included, then heard a blogger from the USA was going.. I guess I need to figure it all out a bit more. Maybe we should have a virtual toasting drink to all the other bloggers going.. #glassslippers 2017 #goingtotheball2017 #hopetoseeyouin2017 πŸ˜‰ #coolmumclub x

  24. Love that shoe!!!! I want a pair and I’ll meet you next year and have champagne and maybe some cake? It’s been great crossing blog paths with you!

  25. I’ve never taken my blog seriously enough to even contemplate Brit Mums Live. I still find it amusing that after a year, people still read it! Yesterday I was made redundant and as of Monday I am officially unemployed for the first time in 16 years. I’ve realised this little blog I started over a year ago is actually really important to me. Who knows maybe next year we’ll both be there? #FabFridayPost x

    1. Oh no, really sorry to hear about your redundancy, hope it wasn’t out of the blue? Sending you all the good vibes for your blog, who knows what lies ahead, hopefully this will be an opportunity in disguise. Thanks for stopping by x

  26. I’m also sad that I’m not going to BML2016. I started blogging in February and like you watched from afar all the chatter about awards, sponsor or how to get a sponsor, what are you wearing comments. But, like you will be following from a far and looking forward to reading the follow up posts, hoping to learn a thing or two. Enjoy Amsterday, my weekend is two birthday parties and a husband on late shifts! X #PicknMix

  27. Oh how funny, the reason I’m NOT at BML2016 is because my husband is in Amsterdam for the weekend so there was no-one to have the kids! Selfish thing that he is! have a wonderful weekend, if you see a bunch of stags acting the fool that’s probably my husband and his mates, give them a wide berth!! #PicknMix

      1. Did you see one in a gimp mask, collar and lead? I’m pretty sure if you did you’d have known about it. Gaz is just about recovered although claims to have a “stomach bug” today. BML17 is mine, see you there?!! Xx

  28. Yes!! See you at BML17!! I’m the same, started blogging a couple of months ago and so annoyed that didn’t get into it earlier! But, everyone in blog land is so amazing at sharing, I’m looking forward to lots of great posts!!x

  29. I could have written this post! I also started in January and had no idea what BML was until recently. I was very sad not to go and meet all these lovely bloggers that I have been chatting too. However, I hope you had a nice time in Amsterdam and see you next year! I will not be missing out in 2017 that is for sure. Will be nice to meet you πŸ™‚ #BloggerClubUK

    1. Hee hee – so much to learn in the first few months isn’t there (although to be honest I still feel a bit clueless!) I had a lovely weekend thanks, yes looks like we already have a huge posse for BML17 πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading x

  30. Love this! I’m not going to the ball either. πŸ™ After such excitement, but I hope you’ll have a great time with your girl in Amsterdam. πŸ™‚ Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost Xx

  31. We went last year (first time) and didn’t go this year and actually we didn’t really miss it! If anything we were glad we saved the money πŸ˜‰ There are lots of fab reviews already online, so reading them makes us feel like we were there! #BloggerClubUK #FabFridayPost

    1. That’s really interesting actually, I haven’t caught up on loads of the feedback but did notice a few people saying they didn’t enjoy it πŸ™ or that it was a bit cliquey? Oh well, horses for courses and all that. Thanks for popping in x

  32. It was my first year at Britmums and whilst I loved it – mainly for meeting a lot of bloggers I have been talking to for 18 months at last ha, it so can’t compete with a girls weekend πŸ˜‰ Hope you had a great time. Thanks for linking up lovely,

    Stevie x #PicknMix

    1. Yes I think most people feel the same, all about the people which is lovely given how isolated the nature of blogging can be sometimes. Faces to blogs and all that. I did have a great time thank you, thanks for hosting x

  33. I didn’t go this year either as I had to meet a deadline but loved it last year and will aim to go next – it does help focus the mind in terms of direction… #picknmix

  34. I like the thought of going to one of the big blogging get together’s and meeting many of the bloggers I’ve got to know since I started blogging, but not being a lover of big crowds I’d be a bit worried it would be too much for me. Never, say never though. I may see you there one year!


  35. Funny post! It really hit home. I started blogging earlier this year about wine and this upcoming weekend is the Wine Bloggers Conference, a mere hour from my home. Good news/bad news: it’s my Dad’s 80th birthday weekend, people flying in from all over the U.S. Can’t make it. Feeling regretful but your article set me straight. Thanks! PS – check out our wine country blog: http://www.topochinesvino.com.

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