The Mad Blog Awards, drinks and dedications

Mad Blog Award

Mad Blog Award

When I was found out I was nominated in this year’s MAD Blog Awards, my husband Roger was so pleased and proud of me, but let’s not forget he was a) a Scouser, b) a journalist and c) had a very dry sense of humour, so his reaction went a little bit like this.

‘Look Jules, you know this means I’ll have to kark it before the awards ceremony, because if you win you’ll be able to go up on stage and have a cry, and say *adopts Gwyneth at Oscars voice* ‘I’d like to thank *sniff* my husband, *sniff*, who inspired me to write this blog but who *weep* passed away before he could see me win…’

We laughed about it at the time, it was the black sense of humour that got us through some of those dark days and really what else could you do? I spent many of those months teetering on a tightrope somewhere between laughing and crying, sometimes both at the same time, but always knowing how much I loved my husband and how happy we had been together. I’ve said before that he encouraged me to write more openly when our lives took a turn and he was also so supportive and encouraging when he read my posts.

Although I didn’t win an award at the ceremony on Friday night, I did have a really excellent night and a whirlwind 24 hours for the event at London’s Royal Garden Hotel. It was the first time in so long that I was able to get dressed up, meet up with some really good blogging friends, go out and have a laugh, a drink and genuinely enjoy myself for the first time in so long. Here I am in the photo below with (l-r) Sarah, Karen and Caro.

Lunch before the Mads

I took the train down on Friday morning with Karen from Mini Travellers, who lives really near to me and who started her blog around the same time as I did. Who would have known when we had our first chat about blogging that we would be travelling down to the MAD awards a year or so later? We were both so excited to be going away for the night and to meet up with everyone, it wasn’t long before we were installed in Zizzi’s at Earl’s Court with two more of our top blogger buddies, Caro from The Twinkle Diaries and Sarah from Extraordinary Chaos.

We toasted our nominations with prosecco and spent more time that we should have over lunch, before making our way to our base for the night, which was the Collingham in South Kensington run by CityBase Apartments. We didn’t have much time to get ready before heading over to the hotel, where we met some of the other bloggers arriving for the do and had our hair and make-up done by the Powderpuff Girls.

We had such a laugh and I was put at ease by some of those I met there, including Brummy Mummy of 2 Emma, Californian Mum in London Elfa, What Katy Said Kate, and Goblin Child Amber, and I knew it was going to be a great night. After a bit of eyeliner had been expertly applied and I convinced Sarah to finish off my hair, Sarah, Karen and Caro and I went upstairs to meet Mamas VIB Bonita and Running In Lavender Heledd and had time for a quick gossip and a few (ok a lot) of photos.

These are ladies I chat to most days online, we always have such a laugh and understand each other and it was so good to finally meet them and have a great big group hug. We all went downstairs for more bubbly and mingling, and I met so many people whose blogs I admire, some new faces and some who I have loved from the start. There really are too many to mention but I loved finally meeting the very lovely Katie from Mummy Daddy Me, Jenny from Let’s Talk Mommy, The Unmumsy Mum, Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog and Katie from Hurrah for Gin, who I went up to in the ladies’ like a bit of a stalker/groupie! I don’t think she minded too much! Phew.

It was also so good to meet Steph who runs Don’t Buy Her Flowers and who was one of the first bloggers who struck a chord with me. We also looked pretty similar with our dark fringes and little black dresses (only Steph is like a far more glamorous cousin!).

As we were allowed to invite another blogger along as a plus one, I asked the super lovely Megan whose blog Truly Madly Kids is another favourite of mine. It’s great when you recognise someone straight away and we hit it off from the start, having a real laugh over dinner and at the bar afterwards! I was also sitting next to another fave of mine, Lori whose blog Wild and Grizzly is super stylish and slick, and near Fritha Tigerlilly Quinn, whose blog I would say was a real inspiration for me when I started out. I’m glad I managed to pluck up the courage to go and say hi!

The whole event was such a tonic, it was good to feel like I could laugh and be myself and be amongst so many creative and inspiring people. The wine was pretty good too, and the sambuca – which thinking about it now may have been a mistake!

I can honestly say that it was such an honour to even be nominated, and I was up there with some major blogs which have been around for a lot longer than I have and who deserved absolutely to be the winners on the night. I can’t say I wouldn’t have loved to have won, but I did have a little moment on the stage all the same, as everyone who had been nominated in the Outstanding Achievement category was invited up and given a trophy as well. The category was won by Hayley from Downs Side Up, who writes about her life as a mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome. Do have a look at her blog as it is so inspiring.

I was also nominated in the Best Writer and Blog of the Year categories, won by The Unmumsy Mum and Hurrah for Gin respectively. They are both fabulous blogs so if you don’t know them already, please go and check them out! Also, Karen won in her category Best Travel Blog and I was so, so proud of her.

Can I just say again a huge thank you to everyone who reads my blog and who has supported me and voted for me, I really do appreciate it and feel so amazed that what I started writing as a distraction has helped me – and others – so much. I know Rog would have been proud of me and given me the biggest hug when I got home had he been here. So this little trophy of mine, I will dedicate it to him, just so he can still have the last laugh…

x Julia

Group selfie at the Mads

Mads mirror selfie

Getting my make up done at the Mads

Mad Blog Awards 2015

This last photo is courtesy of MAD Blog Awards/Tom Arber – featuring of course Dr Ranj! The rest were taken by me – can you see my lovely Black and Sigi ring in the top pic?

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  • Reply
    sarah christie
    September 21, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Oh Julia Roger would have been so incredibly proud of you, it was so wonderful to spend such an incredible experience with all these lovely ladies it felt so special xxx
    sarah christie recently posted…What We Loved About Magic KingdomMy Profile

  • Reply
    Colin Moneypenny
    September 21, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Sounds like a great do and a good laugh Jules – you deserved a big night out and a chance to let your hair down after your year. Roger would be made up for you and tell you to have another go and win it next year…Colin

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkles Mama
    September 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I am SO proud to have shared such an amazing evening with you and our blogging besties.
    Rog would be so, so proud of you Jubarb. I’m so grateful for the friendships we’ve forged and when I go to events like the one on Friday, it makes me so proud and happy to be part of this fabulous blogging community. Love you lots xxxx
    Caro | The Twinkles Mama recently posted…131 weeks and 6 days | How to make a beach hut birdhouseMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maria Noell
    September 22, 2015 at 12:19 am

    You look absolutely beautiful in these pics Lady and you truly deserved a night out on the town with some of the ladies that love you. You absolutely suit a bit of glitz and glamour…your blog is beautiful. I’m still in awe of how strong you are and proud of how far you have come xoxo
    Maria Noell recently posted…Lulworth Cove, Family Camping Trip Pt.3My Profile

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Congrats, Julia, you look so nice in those pics! Glad you had a fab time! Jenn
    Jenn recently posted…Three strong mothers who inspire meMy Profile

  • Reply
    Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations
    September 22, 2015 at 5:10 am

    A lovely summary of what sounds like a fabulous night. Such an achievement to be
    Claire @ Clarina’s Contemplations recently posted…10 Lovely Little Girl Hairstyles…My Profile

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    September 22, 2015 at 6:23 am

    It was just brilliant to spend that time with you and I’m gutted you didn’t get to make your Gwenyth Paltrow type speech! Bet Rog was cross about that too!! Such a fab weekend. Still paying for it now though! Getting old!
    Mini Travellers recently posted…London Town for the 2015 Mad Blog AwardsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Tessa Roberts
    September 22, 2015 at 7:04 am

    So glad you had a well deserved goodnight out. Love reading your blogsxxxx

  • Reply
    Beth Twinderelmo
    September 22, 2015 at 7:36 am

    You all look so glam! Looks like you really enjoyed your trip and I love Rogs sense of humour. Sure he raised a glass on Friday too xxx
    Beth Twinderelmo recently posted…Potty Training with Thomas GiveawayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    September 22, 2015 at 8:44 am

    A lovely round up of a lovely night! Great to meet you, and wish we’d had longer to chat. Glad you enjoyed the do, you deserve it xxx
    Leigh – Headspace Perspective recently posted…How I Got My New Profile PhotosMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 8:48 am

    how very gracious of you Julia and what a lovely post. Just to have reached the final stages is an honour you thoroughly deserve. I’ve been so touched by your story and I’m sure your time will come. x

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I was following all the MADS action online and it seemed like a great evening! What an amazingly supportive thing the blogger community is, and how lovely that you had the opportunity to spend an evening with these inspiring people! I have only just discovered your blog, and so only just learned of your husband’s passing. My, how proud he would have been x

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Looked such fab fun – and what a great night. Your blog has come so far since you started it, and Rog would have been super proud of you. So gutted you didn’t win (or got to make a speech) but you’re a winner to us all. LOVE you and your blog πŸ™‚ Jess xxx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Wooden toy loveMy Profile

  • Reply
    Hayley Smith @hayleyfromhome
    September 22, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I was grinning away reading this, it makes me so happy that you went and had a fantastic night with the girls! Lovely to see you having fun and I bet Rog would be so happy that you went. Looking very glam as well and although I’m a little sad you didn’t win, the time spent with blogging friends is always the best xxx
    Hayley Smith @hayleyfromhome recently posted…Living Arrows {38/52}My Profile

  • Reply
    Megan - truly madly kids
    September 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Twas a fabulous night! Thank you so much for asking me along, I felt very honoured! I definitely see you soon, and you were an absolute winner. I’m sure Rog is sniggering away about your award ….! XXX
    Megan – truly madly kids recently posted…Image of the Week – BreakfastMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Fantastic to meet you and chat about Ilkley. Glad you had a great night and I look forward to bumping into you again sometime! kx

  • Reply
    Everything Mummy
    September 22, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Roger really would be so proud of you, looked like a fantastic night glad you had a good time x
    Everything Mummy recently posted…A/W with JoJo Maman BeBeMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I’m sure that somewhere Roger is smiling. Your nomination was so well deserved and it was a great idea to have all the Outstanding Contribution finalists on stage together and receiving their own awards. A cliche, I know, but you’re all winners and equally inspiring in your own right.
    Tim recently posted…Danger Mouse review: Saving the world for a new generationMy Profile

  • Reply
    Our Seaside Baby
    September 23, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Congratulations on being nominated & being part of the awards ceremony. It looks like a great fun night. Lovely that you dedicate the award to Roger even if he was laughing about it, it sounds like he was so proud of what you have achieved in a short space of time πŸ™‚ xx
    Our Seaside Baby recently posted…The Perfect Vegetarian BurgerMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Sounds like you had a fab adn well deserved time Julia.I’m so glad you were able to relax and laugh and enjoy yourself. Rog would certainly have been extremely proud of you, from what I’ve read of him.
    Fionnuala from
    Fionnuala recently posted…Making Homemade Elderberry Syrup and JellyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Hayley - Downs Side Up
    September 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    So lovely to meet you at the event and thank you to all of you who helped get to the bottom of my phone saga. The outstanding Category really is one that is impossible to judge and I was proud to stand alongside so many women doing so much to change the world with their words.
    Hayley – Downs Side Up recently posted…When Blogging Comes Full Circle – The greatest GiftMy Profile

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