#BML16 and why I’m choosing to focus on the positives

I’m quite sure most of you who read my blog have no interest in the practical side of blogging. I can’t imagine how boring a post about a blogging conference would be to someone with no interest in the industry. But more for my own sake really, I’ve decided to write my reflections on my first one, #BML16, that I attended in London this past weekend.

So ok, I’ll be honest (as I always am) it wasn’t perfect. What event is? I could talk about how I spent some of the day wandering around alone, unable to find a familiar face or approach an unfamiliar one. I know now others were feeling exactly the same and I suggest next year giving some space over to a dedicated ‘making friends’ area. Not everyone who attends has a group to ‘hang out’ with. I’m pretty confident and even I felt I couldn’t always approach people in case they didn’t want to talk to me!

I could talk about how mixed in terms of usefulness the sessions were. The technical ones were fascinating, but waaaay too short. Other just felt like a massive ego stroking session (theirs not mine!), not really what I signed up for.

I could also talk about how I was so dismissed by the first brand I approached, that I barely spoke to another all day. I went in fully aware that, in terms of stats, I was a small fish in a big pond, but to be shot down like that so early, meant I didn’t get the network contacts I went to the conference hoping to get. My fault and not theirs I guess, but still….

But you know me. I try and focus on the positives when I can. And so I have decided to concerntrate on my personal highlights of #BML16.

image

My dress

Come on! How could I not talk about my mushroom dress? Everyone else was! I received so many wonderful compliments on the dress, it’s material and look. Which was lovely! But the best bit was totally the amount of these faces 😱🙀😮 I saw when I told people that my husband Ben had made it for me. For one it was a great icebreaker (oh my god you’re the girl with the mushroom dress /didn’t you make this or something/ btw can I just saw I love your dress etc) but everyone was soooo nice about it that it also gave me confidence in a room where I knew practically no one.

Top conference tip: wear a dress in an eyecatching fabric that someone unexpected has made for you!

Mushroom pattern dress

The mushroom frock

A good lift selfie. Gotta be done

A good lift selfie. Gotta be done. The dress looked surprisingly good with my Next pleather jacket

Friends

Blogging is a funny old sport. You get to know people you have never met in real life, sometimes quite intimately. You can talk for years before actually meeting in person. So actually getting to meet and hang out with some of what I would class as my blogging buddies was fantastic.

Me and Natalie from Diary of an Unexpectant Mum

Me and Natalie from Diary of an Unexpectant Mother. This is a bit blurry but I had just had a bottle of wine!

Me and Maria SuburbanMum

Me and Maria from Suburban Mum. Crazy lighting in the main room for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards (which I was not nominated for boohoo 😉 )

Kelley from BringingupGeorgia, when we finally got our full size Coke Zeros. Happy!

Kelly from Bringing up Georgia, when we finally got our full size Coke Zeros. Happy!

Fangirling

Getting to talk face to face to some of the bloggers I admire was an amazing, if a little disconcerting, experience. Once I got over the “oh, I know her from somewhere don’t I?” feeling, I was able to approach people to thank them for their writing or to introduce myself (although the first time I did this it came out a bit gushing “hi I’m Lisa I follow you on Instagram I love your pictures” literally without pausing. I’m not sure poor Hannah from Make, Do & Push knew what to make of me!).

The Fat Girls Guide to Running

image

I have nooooo interest in running. Never have. However, the keynote speech given by Julie Creffield from The Fat Girls Guide to Running, really touched something in me. Not to start running necessarily, but the points she made about motivation, self belief and setting goals, or as she calls them Big Fat Stupid Goals. My life is about to change. Oscar starting school is really going to shake things up around here and it feels like the time to DO something is coming. I got to talk to Julie afterwards and it was super interesting. Watch this space!

Making new friends

I’ve been joining Laura’s #effitfriday link up over at Life with Baby Kicks for a while, but we only started talking recently over Twitter. We had a great chat on Saturday. I couldn’t get over how much she reminded me of my sister in law Rachel, which may explain why I later went on to pinch her bum as I walked past. It was only afterwards that I wondered if that might have been a bit forward for someone who I’d only just met. Turns out not, when I saw this on Sunday.

image

And this really is what I went to this conference for. The human connection. Reaching out to real people. I love blogging and the space it affords me and the friends it creates online but nothing compares to real human interaction.

Yeah the conference had it flaws and if I’d gone with the sole goal of making money I think I might be feeling pretty maligned. Thankfully I got to make connections and touch someone (and I don’t just mean their arse). Conference made.

This was next door to my hotel and seemed so very apt!

This was next door to my hotel and summed up my feelings about the day.

 

I’m going to #BML16

OK, in case you don’t know, which if you’re not a blogger you would have no reason to, BritMums is an online community of what they call ‘lifestyle bloggers and social influencers’. Swish. And every year for the last five years they have held one of the biggest conferences for parent bloggers in the country BritMums Live or #BML16. Despite being in this game for a while now I’ve never had the time (or the money) to go before. But this year, I decided I’d been doing this long enough to hold my own at this sort of event, so I found the time and money. I’m stupidly excited. I get to wear a badge announcing myself as Mrssavageangel. And that makes me really happy.

So in case you bump into me at #BML16 on 25th June here’s the low down!

image

Name

My real name is Lisa. I tried ‘Her Majesty’ at home, but it didn’t fly, so Lisa will have to do.

Mrssavageangel? Really? What’s with the blog name and why doesn’t it include the word mummy somewhere?

Many years ago when I first started needing a username for online stuff I chose the name Savageangel because a) my boyfriend’s name was Ben Savage b) I was his angel (I know, I know!) and (almost worst than b) c) I thought it sounded kinda kooky and cool. Oh. Dear! However, it stuck and became my username. Then I married said boyfriend, so I changed it to Mrssavageangel. I am Mrs Savage and I guess I’m still his angel 😉. When I started the blog, it was only ever meant to be an online diary for me. I didn’t start out to write about being a mother in particular, so I didn’t feel the need to think up some clever pun on the word mummy. And when the blog took off I chose not to change it as I still think of it as a multi subject space. Yeah I’m a mother, but I’m other stuff too. I’m Mrssavageangel! What do I blog about?

I write primarily about my life, my family, what it is to be a parent today and my six stone weight loss. In the last year I’ve also been writing about my only child’s Autism diagnosis and our transition to an SEN family. I’ve been writing Mrssavageangel for three years. Seriously, I think I’ve been blogging longer than I’ve ever been in one single job. Except for motherhood, which I’ve been working at for four years!

What do I look like?

Here I am. I’m 5′ 9 with dark hair. I may or may not be wearing glasses. I’ll also be wearing a badge that says Mrssavageangel. If you see me come say hi!

image

What I’ll be wearing (for identification purposes only obvs. This isn’t some red carpet situation.)

The plan is to wear a sleeveless, fit and flare dress that my clever husband is currently making for me. It’s made of Cath Kidston Mushroom fabric and I love it. You’ll not miss me that’s for sure!

image

Let’s chat

Want to get hold of me then Twitter, Facebook or Instagram are your best bets. You can also find me on Google, Pinterest et al. I’m Mrssavageangel, wherever you go.

What I’m most looking forward to at #BML16

As this is my first blogger event, I’m looking forward to all of it. I don’t really have any preconceived ideas, I just want to experience it all. I’ve already been studying the session list and have an idea of the ones I’m most interested in. But mostly I’m looking forward to connecting with people and other bloggers I’ve only known as a thumbnail until now. Because really that’s what blogging is all about; bringing people, real people, together.

See you there!