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Review – Portsmouth Caen Ferry with Brittany Ferries

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Sitting on the lawn in the sunshine at Gites de la Richarderie

Super relaxing French family holiday in the Loire …

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Top Tips: Puy Du Fou, the French theme …

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Llandudno to Conwy. Walking the Wales Coastal Path.

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Family Travel Guide: Swansea Bay, Gower and Mumbles, …

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Coastal Adventures: Exploring the Stunning Yorkshire Coast

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The Malverns: A Dog and Family Friendly Weekend …

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Britmums, Summer Reads by Bloggers and a Travel Award


I was really excited to be able to attend Britmums Live this year, it is a gathering of around 600 bloggers. I picked up loads of new ideas for A Residence, both from the sessions and from chatting to other bloggers.  There was less of a writing focus this year, and lots more on social media – let’s face it there are so many to keep up with these days –  but there also seems to have been a book explosion amongst my blogging friends who have been quietly working away at novel writing. So I thought today I would also share that love and let you know about some great reads written by people from the blogging community.

It was really magical to be part of the blogging community in real life for a weekend. I think it is so very important to forge connections offline. Everyone I met agreed it is a little overwhelming, but I felt this year there was lots of time for proper catching up with people whose blogs I have followed for years, as well as those who I have yet to read. People were happy to be in the moment and enjoy the chat, and in the long breaks and mingling time, I learnt as much from conversing with other bloggers as I did in the sessions.


I had a lovely lazy brunch beforehand with event sponsor Mark Warner Holidays, who also invited along some of my longest known blogging buddies, plus a couple of people I have been meaning to meet – a perfect start. Foxlow in Stoke Newington was a real find, I am seriously going to have to recreate this mouth wateringly awesome brunch on the blog, and find out how to mix a Mimosa or two…I had sweet potato hash with eggs and an avocado, lime, chilli side. Mari had a breakfast steak and eggs, and Polly from Mark Warner had Eggs Benedict.



Blogs really are an amazing launchpad for so many things. Last year with several others I spoke to the Financial Times about our blogging journeys and I led a session about my journey with blogging and WayfairUK. This year it was really inspiring to just observe, listen and soak up the atmosphere. I was so excited to see the progress my fellow bloggers have made, the amazing things they have done to change the world, the creative energy they have, and the projects they have pioneered.

We even broke a Guinness World Record for the most people wrapped up in toilet roll as mummies. A great way to get to know @zeitmygeist and @itsmostlyokay in real life!


So blogging and books, let me share some success stories!


Survival of the Ginnest

Aimee Horton and I met at Britmums two years ago, both nervously clutching a pitch to share with a Literary Agent. Having both received good feedback, we discussed setting up a facebook group to inspire Bloggers and Writers. Aimme stuck to it and wrote and published the very witty Surivial of the Ginnest. It has been lovely to hear snippets of her progress behind the scenes via the group. My book is still to be penned, (Penny pun intended), but seeing this lot inspires me to open that door again!


Survival of the Ginnest,” published by Velvet Morning Press.  It is a very witty take on new mumdom, and I love the savvy way Aimee uses facebook status updates to tell the tale. Like Bridget Jones kept score in her diary, Dottie’s struggle with facebook updates and motherhood immediately gain your affections.

Meet Dottie Harris. Dottie spent her late 20s working her way up the career ladder, but things are about to change. In this modern-day diary, Dottie, after announcing her pregnancy, turns to social networking to build a new social life. She quickly begins to rely on it—along with gin—as a way to reach out and remind herself of the funny side of the frustrations of motherhood.



Getting Over Jessie Franklin


That’s Stephanie Chapman on the right above, author of Getting Over Jesse Franklin which is on my Summer reads list, because blogger Becky, from Baby Budgeting tells me it is amazing:

Getting Over Jesse Franklin is one of those books that when you have finished reading you want all your mates to read because it’s so fab and you want to be able to chat about all the characters. Particularly the very handsome Jesse…


What happens when you find your 90’s boyband crush on Facebook, and then add him?

Years ago, Cassie loved Jesse. But he was the bass player in her favourite band and didn’t know she even existed. Fourteen years on, the band has broken up and she’s found him on Facebook, and it turns out that after finally meeting in London, he quite likes her, too. Their relationship quickly intensifies and Cassie and Jesse find themselves in a long distance relationship spanning five thousand miles. But just as she’s beginning to think all her dreams have come true, a misunderstanding tears them apart and as she tries to piece her life back together in London, Jesse is planning a way to win her back with the help of her best friend… and a ukulele.



I used to be cool…now I wee when I sneeze

Earlier in the year, I quite literally bounced into Lexy Ellis on a trampoline, high in the Tree Top Nets at Brockhole in the Lake District, which seemed fitting giving Lexy’s ability to bounce back from tough times, and her incredibly buoyant wit.

She’s won many awards for her blog writing about PND and has been pegged by The Guardian as ‘the one to watch’.  I used to be cool…now I wee when I sneeze is a new hilariously funny and deeply moving memoir about dealing with mental illness while still reeling from the magic of giving birth.  Proceeds from this go to MIND and Time to Change, so fire up your Kindle!

From accidentally breastfeeding the dog to romantic laxatives, therapy and beyond, this is an honest, very relatable and sometimes quite unsettling tale of woe, set in the wilderness of what was meant to be a year spent relaxing, with a baby.  A must read for anybody who likes laughing and also think’s they may be suffering, or have ever suffered with with Post Natal Depression. 



Coming Up Roses

Last year in Corfu I read Rachel Lucas’ first book, somehow she seems to have penned two more, highly industrious. I will be making space in my case for Coming Up Roses, as Sealed With a Kiss was the perfect chick lit recipe for me, down to earth, witty and full of delicious escapism to a Scottish Isle. I can’t wait to find out where Rachel has set Coming Up Roses.

A charming novel from the bestselling author of Sealed with a Kiss, blooming with humour and romance! Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Katie Fforde.


Brands at Britmums

It was lovely to talk travel with Mark Warner, Costa Brava Tourism and of course to catch up with the Carnival  team. We were their first funnest family and I was excited to see the team again and hear they are searching for five families to work with on their cruise holidays! Once I got past eyeing up the stripy tops, I learnt that Joules have some exciting plans to work with bloggers, and Merci Maman gave away these sweet keep sake bracelets, do check out their personalised bracelets, we reviewed one here.


One last piece of great news from Britmums, the travel site I co-edit Space in Your Case won an award.


Thanks to all at Britmums for bringing blogging to real life again for a weekend.

Picture credits – Britmums



  1. 30/06/2015 / 1:12 pm

    Ah – gorgeous post! It was a wonderful weekend! So lovely to catch up xx

  2. 30/06/2015 / 2:14 pm

    I was only there for such a short time and am so happy to have spent most of it with you guys! Lovely post and a wonderful evening xx

  3. 01/07/2015 / 8:32 am

    Great catch up post! And congrats again 🙂

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