For the second year running I made it into the final of the MAD Blog Awards in the Most Innovative category. Wow! I didn’t win. I never expected to. There are so many wonderful blogs out there and to have made it into the final 75 out of 6,500 is a fantastic feat in itself, an accolade I was am more than happy with. The ladies who did win my category, My Two Mums, are absolutely lovely and very deserving of their win. They write – and video – a great blog. Well done girls 🙂
Last Friday morning, Ross and I dropped (a rather tearful) Grace off at school and made our way from Somerset to London. We arrived at the Royal Garden Hotel around 12.45ish, and Ross and I popped downstairs in the hotel to help out before I went off to a bloggy lunch in Wagamama – we needed something to line our stomachs ready for the evening!
I then went and did a spot of retail therapy. I had seen a rather lovely shiny alice band in Accessorize that I fancied for my hair (the one I had went walkies when Grace decided to ‘borrow’ it during a game of friend mums or something!). I also picked up a few gifts for the lovely people at Mark Warner following a collection by the bloggers they had sent there and, as their offices were only round the corner, I was able to drop them off in person.
Arriving back at the hotel, the ladies involved in the fabulous MAD flashmob dance – something I was involved in until my shoulder decided to prevent me – were practicing tirelessly ahead of that evening’s surprise.
I got changed downstairs making use of the room that everyone had disappeared from and went off to the lovely large lounge where the Powder Puff Girls were doing an outstanding job of all the finalists and attendees make-up and hair. It was here that I met Laura and Tia from the Little Button Diaries. They were just as lovely in real life as they are on their blog. I was so chuffed for them when they won Best Craft Blog.
When my turn came around for the makeover, the lady doing my hair decided to model me on ‘Downton Abbey’ (not the building, the era!) and I think they did a sterling job of capturing that.
To see Steph Curtis, Suzanne Whitton, Charly Dove, Sarah Wood, Emma Day, Fiona Cambouropoulos, Maddie Sinclair and so many more was wonderful. It was also brilliant to see 3 of the Mark Warner Mums again – Alison, Emily and Kara – we did want a photo together but alas, as is the way with these events, it wasn’t to be!
One of the things I loved last year – and again this – was the way the table plan is structured. You don’t know who you are sitting with and therefore, it is a great way to talk to people you don’t usually interact with. Sat the other side of the table was the Radford Family – I did not talk to them enough at all! – I was next to Katie from Mummy Daddy and Me who I have been meaning to speak to properly in forever – and did! – as well as Fritha from Tigerlily Quinn and Tom from The Future’s Rosie, all such lovely people. To my left were Alex and Blair from TalkTalk – and boy, did we! (talk, that is, just in case you don’t get my sense of humour!).
Like some sort of just married couple (!), Sally and Dr Ranj entered the room and declared the MAD Blog awards open for business. Dinner was served, and very delicious it was too. The staff were lovely, and very posh dishing up in their white gloves. A real sign of quality to me!
Following dinner the flashmob dancers were up! The girls did a sterling job, take a look below:
At this point I have to say well done to Ross who took some of the footage of the dance, filmed nost of the awards and then edited this video and the one at the bottom of my post.
Finally the awards were underway and you can find a list of the winners over on the MAD Blog Award site.
The end of the evening came far too soon and I have no idea what sort of time I left (I think it was around 1.30am). The final jewel in the crown was a fabulous goody bag full of the most useful things (definitely my favourite to date!) as well as probably the best photo of me ever taken (thanks again Tom Arber).
All in all I had a wonderful evening talking, dancing, laughing, drinking and eating. I am just crossing my fingers that I get to do it all again next year!
Massive thanks to Sally, Lindy and all the people who made this event happen. I know how hard you guys work and you did an absolutely outstanding job (shouldn’t there be an award for you?!).