Monday, 23 September 2013

The 2013 MAD Blog Awards – my top 5 highlights

Now it could be said that bloggers don’t get out much – and that’s why you’ll find them tippy tapping on their keyboards late into the night. Well, let me tell you that is a misconception. MAD (Mummy and Daddy) bloggers can party – I know, because I’ve seen faces being licked and ladies with red petticoats ‘surfboarding’ well past Cinderella’s bedtime. Yes, I was lucky enough to be at the 2013 MAD Blog Awards ceremony. It was quite some night – and here’s why:

 

I got to meet a CBeebies celeb

When I prized open my mascara-caked eyes on Saturday morning, I had the ultimate trophy for my kids; a picture of me and Dr Ranj from Get Well Soon.  Dr Singh is actually a real-life paediatrician, and a bloody good live presenter too – he wasn’t flummoxed by the autocue when it went too fast (or stopped completely), missing presenters or even when he said ‘breast’ instead of ‘best in a room that was 95% female. Oh how we laughed. He even let me take a selfie with him. And when I showed my disbelieving youngest the snap she said ‘He has the same smile as on TV, and now I’m smiling too’. Awwwwww.

The doctor will see you now...
 
There were some shit hot bloggers there
I enjoy writing my blog, and some kind people have told me they enjoy reading it. The finalists (and the winners natch) in the MAD Blog Awards however, take it up to a level I can barely dream of. They run web sites that inspire, educate, entertain, help and support other parents. I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Hannah Smith from Mama Bear With Me in the lift. She was a finalist in the Most Entertaining Blog category and writes about her life with her two small boys. Like me she has a poor sense of direction (instead of going to the basement we ended up on the 9thfloor) – I can only hope she got home okay! Then there was the rather stunning Louise Turner from All The Camping Gear, who was up for the Best Family Travel Blog, and the powerhouse that is Fi Star-Stone of Childcare is Fun, who picked up an Award for Outstanding Contribution.  And finally I had a brief, but entertaining, exchange with Annie from Mammasaurus, who won the Most Innovative Blog Award. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me ladies.
Where the best of the bloggers come to meet
 

There was an awesome goody bag!
The event had some serious sponsorship – companies like JohnLewis, Mothercare, Puffin Books, TK Maxx and HomeAway sponsored individual awards, while some of the lovely frocks bloggers were rocking were supplied by WishWantWear. And then there was Mr Mozzarella – from Just Eat. A little bit strange, but hey, everyone loves a takeaway! But when all’s said and done, nothing, but nothing, replaces the thrill of a goody bag – and what a goody bag it was – full of lovely treats to dish out to my long-suffering hubby and neglected kiddos. A Horrid Henry book, sparkly Kids Stuff bubble bath, Brabantia stickers, badges, magnets and mirrors from Camaloon, chocolate From Seagate UK, Start-rite vouchers and Oriflame lippy – all presented in a lovely Parentdish (the headline sponsors) tote. Riffling through it gave me something to do on the train home too!

I met the Tots100 Team
I got to help out at the MADs courtesy of Tots100, the UK’s network for Mum and Dad bloggers, which has more than 5,000 members. It produces a directory of parent blogs, and analyses and ranks all of the blogs in its community, measuring popularity, engagement and influence. And boy, do the people from the Tots team work hard at the MADs! Scurrying around, setting things up, taking things down, ushering peeps to make up, running a live blog to cover the event, taking photos, operating a surf simulator, making sure the presenters, finalists and winners are all where they should be and generally putting everyone at ease. Imagine life without the MADs. Hats off to them (and particularly Sally Whittle, the founder of the MAD Blog Awards and Tots100, who I hope is under a large gin somewhere)!

I spent the evening at a plush London hotel
The awards took place in Kensington’s fabulous (and family-friendly) Royal Garden Hotel. The night kicked off with a drinks reception (I do like to be offered bubbly from a shiny tray) and was followed by a scrumptious three-course dinner (I sat next to the dewy-complexioned Yolanda Barker from Totz2teens). They even made a swan out of chocolate. I’m not sure how. And I got to do all this 5-star wining and dining without having to load the dishwasher afterwards. That, my dear friends, is a true treat. Thank you Tots100!
A chocolate swan - but how????
 
What's the most fabulous event you've been to? And did you get a snap with a celeb? Let me know in the comment box below!

18 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed the evening as much as I did! Did you brave the evil surf board? I totally missed the chocolate swan - me thinks someone on the table must have schnaffled it before I could get my mitts on it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - thanks for commenting! Sadly I didn't mount the surfboard, I did eat some petit fours though (as well as the previous 3 courses...) and felt there was a real chance I might vomit if I was swung around too much...

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a great party - love the look of that chocolate swan and petit fours...almost makes me want to start a blog but then I wouldn't qualify for the MADs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you could lie? There's a chance no one would find out!!

      Delete
  3. Oooh you were on the 9th floor and you didn't knock! Lovely post - wasn't that hotel amazing!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corridors all look the same to me...I'm not sure I should be allowed out on my own really!! Your dress - and your onesie - looked great! Thanks for commenting. x

      Delete
  4. So glad you had a fab time :-) Wasn't it a great night? xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I must work hard & ensure I get to the MADs 2014!! But who could top Dr Ranj????

      Delete
  5. It was such an incredible night - I'm working hard to get back next year too and requesting Mr Bloom appears ;) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if his courgette looks as impressive in real life?? ;-D

      Delete
  6. Can't help but wonder what Mr H got from the goody bag! ;0) Sounds like it was a fun night! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The glittery bubble bath?! Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  7. It was lovely to meet you Vanessa. Maybe next year we will both surf!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You too! Eat & drink less, surf more? Not sure I can promise that!!!!!

      Delete
  8. awww what a lovely resume of the night. oh and I blush at the dewy complexioned bit LOL It certainly was an experience and great to meet you xxxxxx Will get round to doing my post but still getting over the weekend (takes me a while)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! We had a good table didn't we? Thanks for commenting & I look forward to your post!

      Delete
  9. It was a great evening wasn't it? We bloggers know how to party! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes on both counts!! For people that spend a lot of time in front of a screen, bloggers party surprisingly well...

      Delete