What a Great Weekend, Guys & Dolls, Mumsnet Blogfest and Jack’s Birthday/London Aquarium

A proper action packed weekend, sometimes I know how to live. The result is that I am pretty shattered, although I thought best to multi-task and blog at the same time as Strictly, X-factor and I’m a celebrity;-)

Guys & Dolls at Hawthorne Theatre – Welwyn Garden City

A girls night out with my neighbours Shelly and Lucy to be proud friends in the audience to Emma, our recently departed neighbour (moved house!) who was playing one of the lead ladies Adelaide. An ‘amdram’ production by the2015-11-20 19.01.22 Welwyn Thalians. We got the train to ensure we could all drink, we got there early enough for a pre-show bottle, and managed to get through a few more drinks. This of course resulted in laughing fits at particular scenes, i.e. the Havana scene..but also in awe of our amazing friend Emma who completely stole the show as Adelaide the forever suffering doll of Nathan the gambler. I can sing myself (I love karaoke!) and I know a good singer and I was blown away by Emma, an amazing singer and actor. The booze made us whoop extra loud at the end. We left the theatre to snow, had more drink in some dodgy welwyn garden city pub/club and got midnight train home, all very tipsy. A great night with brilliant friends.

Mumsnet Blogfest

So up at 7am to get the early train into London….bluerrrrr not feeling too hot, based on previous nights alcohol 2015-11-21 09.22.22consumption, but I power on, through the snow in my Uggs. I know there will be coffee when I get there. I find the venue, achievement 1 ticked off, I am able to locate my ticket QR code, 2nd tick and I grab a coffee, 3rd tick. It is a bit overwhelming, it is my first mumsnet blogger event, and I made the mistake of asking how many people were coming….300. Okay…300 people and I don’t have any friends here!! Obligatory selfie in the welcome foyer.

Anyways it wasn’t long before it was the intro session, and a discussion on motherhood and creativity. Brilliant women speaking on the stage..a few key point I picked up on

  •  Women do all the picking up the pieces, the play dates, the appointments, the birthday parties, as well as working. We do so much.
  • Everything we do is last minute, everything is a rush – Yes I can totes relate to that.
  • We need to compartamentalize our brains to cope with all the different ****, one part kids, one part work, one part house stuff…I need a lot of compartments.
  • And bang the drum in this country we do not get enough help with the costs of childcare!!!!! Cameron.

I skipped the next official session in favour of chatting to a few of the sponsors. Really impressed with the guys from2015-11-21 10.59.01 Unilever who were there to talk about ‘for the love of trees’ they are committed to making their products sustainably without harming our forests. Their products (Dove, Helmans, Percil, Tresemme to name a few) use 1% of the palm oil produced in the world. They plant a tree for every tree used in the production of the oil. But what about the companies using the other 99%. Companies need to act on this, I took a pledge, see the photo.

I chatted to the guys at Coca Cola and tried to guess the coke (Diet, Red, Life and Zero), gutted I got Life and Zero the wrong way around! I met the guys at Village England and designed my own handbag, and will hopefully win the handbag in their competition, had a lovely chat to the guys who founded the company (I adore handbags!). Had a really insightful chat to Charlotte Stirling-Reed (@SR_Nutrician) about my childrens eating habits and that they are not getting the government recommended vitamins. Problem solved with Arla Big Milk, with all those vitamins added. I’ve been given a few freebie vouchers so I will let you know how it goes. Its got to cheaper than vitamin drops that we should be giving until the age of 5….who knew!

2015-11-21 12.36.36I absolutely loved Think Bombs with Sandi Toksvig, David Baddiel and Val McDermid. Seriously thinking about joining the Womens Equality Party and David Baddiel made me laugh out loud.

Lunchtime I went on a mission to meet as many mummybloggers as possible….and I did well. Anyone who I vaguely recognised I rocked up and introduced myself. So glad I did this as I met so many amazing people and picked up some great tips particularly from @mrandmrsTplus3 and @youbabymemummy. And I got to meet Kalpana of @mummoneymatters, who interviewed me 3 years ago for her blog!

Brilliant afternoon breakout sessions on digital marketing for bloggers and how to win at brand relationships and then a really interesting discussion on ‘giving it away, the public stories of our private lives. And Shappi Khorsandi is hilarious. I have always liked her but seeing her live was really impressive. I shall follow on twitter and I shall deffo buy her book:-) A bit of Mumsnet awards and I was so chuffed to see @brummymummyof2 win the vlogger award as I properly love her blog and got to say hello earlier. Congrats to the other ladies who won best writer and best campaigner @hurrahforgin and @complicatedgorg. And that was the day over, I grabbed my bulging goodie bag and did a runner home. I couldn’t face the wine in plastic glasses, sorry, not after the night before!

Jacks 3rd Birthday and London Aquarium

I love the Aquarium..so I gave Jack the option 2 weeks ago, sharks or lions for birthday. The shark message was consistent every day, so off we went early this morning. Hubby was nervous about the repercussions of the Paris shooting, I am very much so carry on business as usual. And nothing was going to stop us celebrating Jacks birthday. Money saving as ever we did 2for1 days out in London with our train tickets, so all the children were free. I didn’t admit Jack was 3 today as kids are free until the age of 3;-)

I properly love the Aquarium, I have been maybe 5 times…I love the sharks, the jellyfish, the big open pool with  the rays (one of which I swear was trying to jump out today). I love the nemos, I love the giant turtle, the seahorses and 2015-11-22 10.43.49the piranhas. Basically I love it all. 2 new features, entry means walking over the shark tank, glass bottomed corridor. Jack massively freaked out. The other new feature is the penguins. It cost us £47 for 2 adults and 3 children. We also did the obligatory visit to the shop and have brought home £40 worth of sealife crap, sorry, shark, crab and penguin toys. It was their birthday money and choice to spend it;-)

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We had a stroll over Westminster bridge, checking out the awesome Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, I thought how lucky we are to live near London and to see these amazing sights. We grabbed brunch at a cafe in St Pancras station, all food was demolished. That made me happy until the bill arrived at £50. Hey ho. And back home by 3pm for more birthday present visits and 2 hours of building Lego Ninjago Snake Mountain. Suitable for age 7 to 14, but Jack so loves Ninjago I had to get it for him. He has gone to bed with Jay, Lloyd, Zugo, Kapau’rai and Chen;-). And I really enjoyed making it:-)

A super-fun weekend and I am ready to hit this week with a bang.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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