Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My 2010 in Pictures - win a CyberMummy11 ticket

It's been quite a year for me, first CyberMummy10 and then Blogladesh and the UN with Save the Children. I wanted to say thank you for all of the help and support from you, my friends and fellow bloggers. There were some dark times - especially in Bangladesh but what we achieved is set to change the face of charity campaigning for good. You were all a part of that.

To say thank you, I'm giving away a ticket to CyberMummy11 - but you do have to work for it!

To be in with a chance of winning you need to join in the 'Your 2010 in Pictures' meme. Your entry can be a single picture that sums up 2010 for you or a montage like mine. Do your post then come back and add it to the Linky below.

Here is my 2010.....

Entry closes at midnight (GMT) on 10/01/11 and a winner will be chosen by my trusty assistant and me over a packet of biscuits and a pot of tea.
The prize is a ticket to CyberMummy11.

A spot of CyberMummy housekeeping!

I hope you all had a great Christmas:)
As many of you noticed I've had my head down and yes I finally managed to get a few days away from my computer but I'm still alive so worry not!

The big news is that you only have 2 more days to get hold of your Early Bird CyberMummy11 ticket. On the 1st January the price will go up to £100. Get your ticket here.
There are still quite a few people who are yet to pay for their CyberMummy100 Club number. Wouldn't it be great if we could get this tied up to do a New Years Day draw?
Please check the link above to see who we are waiting for.
If you need to pay please email me and I will reply with payment instructions. mummytips at gmail dot com

Thank you for all of your support this year - you have all been amazing. 
Sian. xx

Thursday, 16 December 2010

CyberMummy 100 Club - The Next Step

Hurray... all 100 numbers in the CyberMummy 100 Club have been sold. 
It was touch and go for a while there and I do apologise for turning tetchy and slightly neurotic but it seemed to do the trick. 
So the next step is getting all 100 £5's in. I do realise that this is going to be a mammoth task and I emplore you to pull out now if you think you might not be able to pay. By the very nature of the 100 club we need to get everyones money in before we make the draw.
Having mulled it over with my trusted advisors @michelloui and @secondofclarity we have decided on the two following payment options.

1. Paypal payment.
If this is how you would like to pay, please send me an email stating your 100 club number and your registered paypal address. I will then send you a funds request - you pay and you get a big red PAID mark next to your name!

2. Cheque payment.
If this is for you, pop me an email and I'll give you my postal address. If you are paying by cheque - please make sure you write your 100 club number on the reverse, or I won't know who it is from. As soon as I have your cheque you will also get a big red PAID by your name.

So your next step is to email me by clicking on the hyperlink to let me know if you will be paying by Paypal or by Cheque. When you email please use CyberMummy100 Club as the subject title and quote your 100 Club number so that I can keep a clean and tidy spreadsheet.

Now I do realise that it's Christmas and that not everyone has spare funds right now but the sooner we get the payments in the sooner we can pick our lucky winners. 
I'm going to set a payment deadline of 15/01/11 - which is one month from today. If you can't make that payment deadline please talk to me and we will work something out. The whole 100 Club relies on everyones honesty and I really don't want to resort to stropping and moaning to get the money in... I do enough of that already! 
Please leave a comment so that I know you have seen this... and don't forget to grab your 100 Club badge here, supporting our community is something to be proud of. xx
You can keep up with who has already paid here.

MummyTips and the Build a Bear's Sparkle all the way..

OMG - I cannot believe that I nearly missed this weeks Gallery.... and as it's 22mins past midnight I actually have missed it but better late than never...
Tara's theme this week is Sparkle and I was inspired by (copied) my friend Karin from Cafebebe...Please don't tell her...!!
She posted a beautiful pic of her Little Miss from a lovely day out we had courtesy of Build A Bear. My pic is a true rarity... Both of my girls in the same frame - without me having to engage even the slightest photoshop edit...
And they do truly Sparkle...

My wish for 2011 is that they learn to value, love and respect each other..... because I am fed up of their fighting!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Blogladesh reached TEDx London

This time last week - I was being pressured to ditch work for the day and join my friends and colleagues at the BMB Xmas party at St Martins in the Field. Talk about peer pressure. I relented and made my way to London, Macbook in hand..
picture credit - Jennifer howze

Then I had a call from a lovely lady called Andrea Hartley - she was presenting at TEDx London that evening and she was highlighting the success of the Blogladesh campaign. After chatting for a while I let slip that I was actually in London for the day - and somehow I ended up right there at TEDx amongst a group of amazingly talented and passionate women as I watched the Blogladesh story unfold.

It really blew me away to sit back and hear our journey told by someone else and I realised how easy it is to slip back into real life and leave the things that Eva, Josie, Liz and I experienced behind us. I wish this wasn't so - but of course daily life takes over.
As a small gesture to Blogladesh and Save the Children - and it is small I know, I have declined to send wine and goodies to my clients this Christmas. Instead they will be giving a child the gift of education.

Do stop by Save the Children's Wish List - there are gift options that literally do save lives and from only £10. And as an end to the post I have just heard that I have been shortlisted in the British Mummy Bloggers 'Brilliance in Blogging' awards in the 'Bloggers who make a difference' category.
If you followed Blogladesh - pop by and vote.....

Monday, 13 December 2010

Are you supporting CyberMummy100 Club?

Despite my complaining that all 100 numbers still haven't been taken I thought I'd say a very big thank you to those people who have thus far supported the 100 club. It's a good idea. A simple idea - and one that could get you to next years CyberMummy for just £5.
If you are one of the very generous and community minded bloggers who has already pledged please feel free to grab this code and display the badge on your blog for all to see.

We have less than 30 numbers to sell. I would love to see some new faces joining in.


Friday, 10 December 2010

How to make your iPhone battery last all day!

Yesterday I was in London at the British Mummy Bloggers Christmas lunch. I'd planned to go straight back home afterwards but sometimes plans change. An amazing opportunity presented itself to me and off I went to join a truly inspirational group of women at TEDxLondon to share the success of our Blogladesh campaign with them.

One problem..... 

I wasn't planning to be out all day / night - so I didn't have my iPhone charger with me. It riles me that I put up with the fact that my battery doesn't last all day. It's like I've been totally and utterly brainwashed by the God of Apple and I'm taken back about eighteen years to mobile phones of old. But this isn't 1992, it's 2010 and your phone battery should last all day. FACT.

So there I was - unable to tweet or text from this amazing event. My phone had been as dead as a Do Do for hours. But on the train on the way home I chanced upon a gentleman with an iphone charger (I'd seriously been asking everyone I spoke to all evening). He gave me my life line but also shared the best tip I've ever heard on how to make your battery last as long as possible. I've had an iPhone since launch - yet I'd never heard this - I guess that's one of the side effects of a product that comes without a user guide....

So here it is.....

Did you know that unless you manually close the apps on your phone they remain open and so draining your battery?
When I say close the app - I don't mean hitting the home button because that doesn't actually close the app. You'll know what I mean when you try it.

Dur... it all makes perfect sense now... this is why my phone pings, dings and vibrates with Facebook messages, ebay notifications and tweets all night long.

Try this and you'll totally get it too...
1. Double click the home button and it brings up a scrolling list of all the apps you have open on your phone.

2. Press one till it jiggles and you'll see a red minus icon appears. 

3. Click it to close the app down.

Don't worry - you aren't deleting. Just closing down. 

Every single app on my phone was open. This is just a few of them...Angry Birds, email, camera, Smack Talk, Twitter, Facebook, Tube Map, Super Yum Yum, Bejewelled, Camera Bag, hipstamatic, eBay, google and the Cat in the Hat. No wonder my battery life was having a hard time...

Today - my battery lasted till 10pm and I'm so happy I could squeal.

Small things.....

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The King & I Curve Leicester review

The Curve has to be the most beautiful awe-inspiring theatre that I've ever seen. Simply stepping through its doors offers a promise of great things and Paul Kerryson's new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King & I certainly didn't disappoint.

Sumptuous costumes, simple yet stunning staging and a beautifully orchestrated score led by Musical Director Julian Kelly skilfully set the scene for this bitter sweet tale of love, honour and clashing cultures.

Janie Dee as anna is simply brilliant and her warmth, sincerity and effortless performance is matched by the entire cast. Chook Sibtain as The King gives a sensitive yet intimidating performance but it is David Needham's choreography and dancers that steal the show.

From the simplicity of the children's scenes to the sheer brilliance of the ballet of simon and Eliza - fresh, vibrant and beautiful with perfect attention to detail.

The faultless professional performances are equalled by the 18 talented local children who fought off stiff competition to win roles as the King's children.

Can you spot my girls in this pic?

If you only see one show this holiday season, make it this one.

The King & I runs till January 15th at Curve theatre, Leicester.
Want to see some more images from the show? Pop over to the Curve Facebook page.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Gallery...... White

This weeks White Gallery theme is very apt seeing as everything is coated in thick, crisp frost.
I love taking photographs but more than anything I would love to take better photographs. I have a few lenses but I would love to have the time to push myself and to get more out of myself and my camera.
This beautiful frost cobweb was taken using my macro lens.

Don't forget to stop by Tara's blog tomorrow to catch up with the rest of this weeks pics.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

CyberMummy 100 Club Numbers

Here's the list of numbers already taken. Either comment on this post or over on the original post to stake your claim on a number. Each number costs £5 and when all numbers have been sold your payment will be due.
All I ask is that you are honest and that you only take a number if you are going to pay. This 100 club relies on honesty. It only takes one person to not follow through on their pledge for the whole thing to fall apart.
Selling 100 numbers for £5 each will create a fund of £500. This will allow us to buy 6 CyberMummy tickets (at the Early Bird rate of £80) and leave £20 in the pot. I will then top the fund up by an additional £60 to secure an additional ticket. 
So the odds are 14-1
Not bad for a £5 out lay.... 

1. @dubaiwriter  PAID
2.  @michelletwinmum  PAID
3.  SusanKMann  PAID
4.  TJ Hughes  PAID
5.  Cara @SnoozeShade  PAID
6.  BumpWear Claire (or whatever her name is this week)  PAID
7.  Living with Kids  PAID
8.  Freckles Family  PAID
9.  Deliciousnessy  PAID
10.  Cara @SnoozeShade  PAID
11.  Maternal Dementia  PAID
12.  Living with Kids  PAID
13.  Adventures of an English Mum PAID
14.  CafeBebe  PAID
15.  Mama Mcann  PAID
16.  Lord Dodo  PAID
17.  Scribbling Mum  PAID
18.  Rosie Scribble  PAID
19.  Mummys Shoes  PAID
20.  Living with kids  PAID
21.  Red Ted Art  PAID
22.  Alexander Residence  PAID
23.  A Modern Mother  PAID
24.  Amy Lane  PAID
25.  Not Such A Yummy Mummy  PAID
26.  angels and urchins blog  PAID
27.  Northern Mum  PAID
28.  @second_time_mum  PAID
29.  Marisworld  PAID
30.  Living with kids  PAID
31.  Christine Mosler  PAID
32.  English Mum  PAID
33.  Gingerbread House  PAID
34.  The Project Lab  PAID
35.  @Kahanka  PAID
36.  Mummy's Little Monkey  PAID
37.  A Modern Mother  PAID
38.  Tales from the Village    PAID
39.  Mediocre Mum PAID
40.  Naturally Mummy   PAID
41.  Being A Mummy  PAID
42.  Liveotherwise   PAID
43.  Super Amazing Mum  PAID
44.  Amy  PAID
45.  Cara @SnoozeShade  PAID
46.  Perfectly Happy Mum  PAID
47.  Lunarossa  PAID
48.  Maison Cupcake  PAID
49.  @BethGoodLife  PAID
50.  Cara @SnoozeShade  PAID
51.  Cherished by Me  PAID
52.  New Mummy  PAID
53.  Tiddlypompom   PAID
54.  Soph4Soph          PAID
55.  Mom on a Wire  PAID
56.  Lord Dodo   PAID
57.  All About Mummy   PAID
58.  Typecast  PAID
59.  Kelly Fairy  PAID
60.  Mumra  PAID
61.  Bumbling Along  PAID
62.  Prescli mags  PAID
63.  Hello its Gemma  PAID
64.  Kelly Fairy   PAID
65.  Not SuperMum  PAID
66.  veryboredincatalunya  PAID
67.  And then all I thought about was you  PAID
68.  Mumsrock  PAID
69.  Cosmic Girlie  PAID
70.  Sandy Calico   PAID
71.  Mummy and Monkey   PAID
72.  PeaBee72  PAID
73.  Julie B  PAID
74.  Moaning Mummy  PAID
75.  Cara @SnoozeShade  PAID
76.  Artistically Nuts  PAID
77.  A Modern Mother  PAID
78.  Vicky Phillips  PAID
79.  Diary of a first child  PAID
80.  SingleMummy  PAID
81.  Tasha Goddard  PAID
82.  Blotted Copy Book  PAID
83.  Mummy Mishaps  PAID
84.  MetalMummy  PAID
85.  Typecast  PAID
86.  Muddy no sugar  PAID
87.  Manda  PAID
88.  Deliciousnessy  PAID
89.  BabyGenie  PAID
90.  Safedreams  PAID
91.  SusanKMann   PAID
92.  @babysigningmum  PAID
93.  A Modern Mother  PAID
94.  Insomniac Mummy  PAID
95.  Childcare is fun  PAID
96.  Mummy Loves  PAID
97.  Notes to self  PAID
98.  @thebabybubble  PAID
99.  Mummy Walker  PAID
100.  Cambridge Mummy  PAID

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The CyberMummy 100 Club

Last year a fellow blogger and I decided to pool resources and create a CyberMummy fund in order to give a few cash short bloggers the chance to go to CyberMummy. We both blogged and tweeted about it and lots of bloggers signed up to be in with a chance of winning a pass but only a handful of people donated. 
We were both disappointed. Our fund didn't have a set donation. We would have been happy with a couple of pounds, but it just didn't happen.

Disappointed but not deflated - here we are again. Ready to give it another go for CyberMummy11 with the CyberMummy 100 Club.

This is how it works.
You buy a number for £5. When we have all 100 numbers reserved we will ask you to pay your £5. If we don't sell all the numbers we won't ask for your money and we will skulk off and moan.
If we do sell all 100 numbers we will have £500 in the pot. Enough to buy six CyberMummy tickets at the early bird rate of £80. Those math gods amongst us will realise that 6 x £80 = £480 and that there will be £20 still sitting in the pot..... so I will then donate £60 to get another blogger a ticket. 

I hope you're still following...... so you choose your number from 1 to 100 and pledge to pay £5 into the fund. When all 100 numbers are taken we will then ask you to pay your £5. 
Once everyone has paid we will pick 7 names from our 100 using a random number generator.

To stake your claim on a number please leave a comment on this post with either your twitter name or you blog name and the number you want to take.
Numbers will be allocated on a first ask basis and a list will be compiled on this post.
All we ask is that you are honest and that you promise to pay your £5. It only takes one person to not pay and the 100 club falls apart.

If you already have sponsorship or a ticket but would still like to donate... no problem... if your number is chosen you can gift your ticket or choose to have another number drawn.

So come on secure your number before someone else does......

*** I've just added a post with numbers already taken. This will be updated daily. If the number you requested has already been taken I will email / tweet or message you to ask for an alternative choice. ***

Thursday, 2 December 2010

CyberMummy Needs You!

The CyberMummy11 site is just about to go live - but before it does we need your help. We would love to feature some real comments and feedback from last years conference and each comment that we use will link back to your blog.
Want to help?

Just leave your feedback / comment on this post - with your blog link and we'll do the rest.

One day till opening night - The King & I Leicester Curve

I just came a cross this video of the King & I rehearsals. The girls are so excited. Dress rehearsal today - opening night tomorrow. Good luck to the whole Blue team - I know you will be ace!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Media request - Boost your health

Would you and your partner like to improve your health? A top glossy women's magazine is looking for a couple (in their 30s or 40s) who would like to complete a health assessment to find out about areas of their health they need to improve - and to get advice on how. You'll share your story of making some tweaks to your lifestyle and the difference it makes.

If you're interesting in finding out more, email with yours and your partner's details, a bit about your current health, your contact number, and a recent photo of you together.

Mummy-Tips Celebrates with The Gallery

A celebration of my babies.... The Gallery

Hold on to those precious pre school years.
When you look back you will miss them more than you could ever imagine. I know that I do.

Friday, 26 November 2010

To be or not to be....

I'm talking CyberMummy here of course...

Earlier this year (in the run up to CyberMummy10),  I was approached by a lovely community minded blogger who was desperate to help others raise the money they needed to get to CyberMummy.

We had a few long discussions about what we would like to achieve - we set up a donation link - we both blogged - and tweeted - like crazy.

The response was dreadful. Five people donated to the fund. I was one, she was one and we had three others.

We were both shocked and disheartened I have to say. We put a lot of time and effort into our little plan because we wanted as many bloggers as possible to have the chance to be at CyberMummy. All you had to do to be in with a chance of winning our prize fund ticket was post a comment and donate (if you wanted to.)

We had lots of people wanting to win - but only three people willing to put their hands in their pockets.

We were both sad that we only managed to scrape two blogger places to the conference - we both looked like this :(  :(

We didn't get it. It seems we are all too ready to ask, ask, ask but we're not willing to give anything in return.

So this year we are determined to make our 'mission' work and we need your feedback. Please be honest  - that is all we ask.
If we ran a 100 club would you be willing to pay £10 for a number? 
Obviously we would need to get 100 bloggers on board - but that's easy peasy.... right? We know enough bloggers to make a 200 or a 300 club ....

100 bloggers paying £10 each would enable 12 winners to go to CyberMummy. 

This is our little trial - if we don't get any takers we are both ready to skulk back to our corners of the blogosphere and retire from trying to help others.

Yes it's Christmas - but you really do have to give and take.

Comments please.....

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Black and White - The Gallery

I've been slacking of late when it comes to The Gallery. No excuse really, it's just that life really has got in the way. The girls 30 mile round trips for the King & I rehearsals are about to turn into double hell as the show starts its run. A show, every other day for seven weeks..... It tires me just to look at them now - fuelled by the thrill of taking to the stage in full regal attire..... for 7 weeks!
So... black and white...
John Lennon's memorial - taken on my ride around Central Park with @CosmicGirlie. Such a lovely setting, ruined only by the multiple tourists that Jay had to fend off in order for me to get this clear Hipstamatic shot.

On the nest bench, was this man.....

We liked his sign but really and truly didn't think he would be at all pleased if we interrupted his sodoku for love, hugs, peace or beer..
Jay this ones for you my lovely...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Dear So and So part 2

Dear Macbook,
I have loved you, cherished you and taken you around the world, yet still you diss me. What's the deal with the apple mail thingy?
It's like you get that I'm at the very cusp of throwing you from the balcony and into the garden - then you give me a glimmer of hope that all is well and I email everyone that I know to say 'LOOK IT'S WORKING'... yet deep down I know this reprise is too good to be true.
I almost don't want to go home for the fear that my from field will one again be blank and my email will be redirected, deleted, SPAM.

Dearest Macbook, I promise never to say the words 'upgrade, Macbook Pro' all in the same sentence if only you please, please, please sort yourself out before you give me a total and utter nervous breakdown.
Love Mummy. xx

aside.... whilst looking for an image to support my post the first link that I clicked on was titled 'All the reasons you'll Love your Mac'. Hello Apple.... I have to say that if I had just one reason to love mine right now then I would be able to sleep for the first time in days.
Thanks once again to 3bedroombungalow for her fab meme.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Journalist looking for case study...

You know the score.... If you think this is you and you wold like to appear in a national magazine, leave me a comment and I will be in touch.


A top women's glossy magazine is looking for case studies of women who have
overhauled their image.

Maybe you've lost a bit of weight, changed your haircut, bought a new
wardrobe etc.

If this sounds like you, we'd love to hear from you to share your
inspirational transformation story in the magazine.

Please email with a bit about your story,
your contact details (including phone number) and a before and after photo.


A top women's glossy magazine is looking for case studies of women who have
got themselves into a significant amount of debt but managed to get back out
of it.

However you built up your debt and however you've worked your way out of it
we'd love to hear from you to share your inspirational story in the

The eBay Challenge is on!

Some days really cool things happen. Just little things. but they bring a sense of excitement, happiness and warmth. Today is one of those days.....
Today the eBay Christmas blogger challenge begins!

I love eBay. I've been buying and selling since October 2000 and I've picked up some really cool things - including all of my Blythe dolls! So can you imagine how excited I was when they asked me if I'd like to take part in their challenge??!!

So, this is it....
Five bloggers, each with £250 to spend on eBay in the run up to Christmas. We need to spend wisely, bag some bargains and pull in all the help we can from fellow eBayers in order to win the challenge.
Of course there's something in it for you too. We each get to pick our most helpful supporter who will then be rewarded with a £100 PayPal credit to spend how they please!

The challenge runs until 12th December, so if you want to be in the running for that £100 just before Christmas I need your votes and I need your gift suggestions.

  1. FunnyGirl 7 - likes dancing, fashion, drawing, painting, pandas and playing on her DSi. Really wants a Netbook. Isn't getting a NetBook.
  2. ModelGirl 8 - likes photography, drawing, fashion, shoes, the Simpsons, Sonic and Mario. Really wants a Canon SLR and a mobile phone. Isn't getting a Canon SLR or a mobile phone.
  3. TotallySonny 10 - likes Lego, MegaBloks, XBox, the Simpsons, Pokemon and swimming. Really wants a supersize Lego / MegaBloks kit - lets see what we can do.
  4. No1 son 19 - likes photography, Star Wars, movies in general, cooking and sleep. Really wants an iMac and a car. Needs to get a job if he's ever going to afford anything.
  5. Hubby likes - clothes, shoes, bags and beating me at Bust a Move. Really wants an iPhone 4. Sadly I don't think the budget is going to stretch that far.
  6. Cheryl 1 - likes stealing socks, snuggling in someones jumper and attacking the poor dog. Really wants a heated bed to keep her warm. Will always get whatever she wants.
So that's my list. If you've seen anything on eBay that you'd like to suggest to me simply click on the 'Suggest a Gift' tab over on the app.

The rules state that we can sell things to top up our pressie fund too, so watch the page as I will be listing loads of things over the next couple of weeks. Looks like I need to if I'm going to manage to buy for everyone!

I guess that I should add that two of the other bloggers taking the challenge are my CyberMummy partners Jen and Susanna. Head over to the Facebook App to get voting and suggesting ideas. You never know it could land you that £100!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Parent bloggers wanted!

I'm on the hunt for some fab parent bloggers with babies or toddlers for an exciting project that I'm working on. If you'd like to be considered please add your blog URL to the linky and we'll take a look.

MummyTips Live from the Mother and Baby Awards 2011!

So here we are again.. tonights proceedings may seem totally irrelevant to lots of you (but that's cause they are). But tonight is THE big night in the 'baby' industry. The one night that the great and the good join together to celebrate the last twelve months. There will be joy, there will be laughter and there will quite probably be tears if @RosieScribble and @Cafebebe don't manage to keep the red wine flowing.
So I apologise in advance if I completely mess up with this - as it's new! 
Last year I tweeted the whole thing and was so bombarded with questions that I didn't get drunk 'STOP PRESS - shock horror'. 
Clearly that isn't an option tonight and I'm prepared - ready and able.

To save time and sanity I have already listed the categories below. I will be updating winners live tomorrow evening - so do check back - if you are at all interested that is! If you aren't - sorry, perhaps I will write something of more interest soon. xx

And before everyone starts screaming .... I have no idea about the order in which the results will be called - so don't ask OK?!

Best Car Seat – Group 1
Gold MAXI-COSI – Pearl & FamilyFix Base
Silver KIDDY – Kiddy Energy Pro
Bronze BRITAX – KING plus
Best Car Seat – Group 1, 2, 3
Gold BRITAX – EVOLVA 1-2-3 plus
Silver RECARO UK LTD – Young Sport
Bronze KIDDY – Kiddy Guardian Pro
*NEW* Best Car Seat – Group 2, 3
Gold SUNSHINE KIDS – Monterey
Silver BRITAX – KID plus
Bronze RECARO UK LTD – Monza Seatfix
 Best Baby Carrier / Sling or Back Carrier
Gold PHIL & TEDS – Escape
Silver TOTSBOTS   – Papoozle
Bronze BUSHBABY – Premier Carrier
 Best Travel System
Gold GRACO – Symbio
Silver JANE   – Slalom R Matrix
Bronze BRITAX – B-DUAL & second seat unit & BABY-SAFE plus SHR II
 Best Pushchair
Silver GRACO – Symbio
Bronze PETITE STAR – Kurvi Match
Best Lightweight Buggy/Stroller
Gold BABY JOGGER – Baby Jogger City Mini
Silver COSATTO – Yo!
Bronze MAMAS & PAPAS – Cruise Buggy
Best Twin/Tandem
Gold BABY JOGGER – Baby Jogger City Select
Silver OUT N ABOUT – Nipper Double 360
Bronze BRITAX – B-DUAL with second seat unit
*NEW* Best Pram & Changing Bag Accessories
Gold BROTHER MAX – Brother Max Milk Powder Dispenser
Bronze NUBY UK LLP – Safari Chimes
Best Travel Product
Gold MUNCHKIN – Travel Booster Seat
Silver MY CARRY POTTY – My Carry Potty
Bronze CHEEKY RASCALS – BubbleBum
 Best Moses Basket or Crib
Gold BEDNEST LTD – bednest crib
Silver THE LITTLE GREEN SHEEP – Organic Wicker Moses Basket
Bronze NSCESSITY – BabyBay

Best Newborn Sleep Aid – 0-3 months
Silver 37 DEGREES – swaddling temperature blanket
Bronze SUMMER INFANT – SwaddleMe
Best Cot
Gold kUB – Walda Cot/Day Bed
Silver kUB – Eco Cot/ Cotbed
Bronze EAST COAST NURSERY Ltd – Anna Cot
 Best Baby Monitor
Gold TOMY UK – Digital Plus TD350 Monitor
Silver SUMMER INFANT – Baby Zoom Digital Video Monitor
Bronze MOTOROLA – MBP35 Large Screen Video Baby Monitor
Bouncy Chair/Rocker or Seat
Gold CHICCO – Relax & Play
Silver MAMAS & PAPAS – Apollo Bouncing Cradle
Bronze FISHER-PRICE – Precious Planet Bouncer
Best Nursery Product
Gold KIDDICARE – Baby Weavers Splash Changing Unit
Silver CONTENT & CALM – The Cot Canopy
Bronze AQUASOLARI – Aquasolari
Best Bathtime Product
Gold CLEVAMAMA – Splash & Wrap Baby Bath Towel
Silver SUMMER INFANT – Right Height Tub
Bronze TIPPITOES – Mini Bath
Best Safety Product
Gold BUSHBABY – minipack
Silver 37 DEGREES – Sleeping Sleepsack
Bronze CUDDLEDRY – SPF50+ Poncho Towel
 "N* Best Travel Sleep Product (including Travel Cots)
Gold MAMAS & PAPAS – Sleep Travel Cot
Silver GRO – Travel Grobag Baby Sleep Bag
Bronze KIT FOR KIDS BABY – Eucalyss Folding Travel Cot  Mattress
Best Newborn Toy – 0-6 months
Gold VTECH – VTechBaby Sing and Soothe Mobile
Silver LEAPFROG – My Pal Scout
Bronze LEAPFROG – Twinkle Twinkle Scout
Best Baby Toy – 6-12 months
Gold EARLY LEARNING CENTRE – Lights & sounds walker
Silver LEAPFROG – Learn & Groove Muscial Table
Bronze MY WONDER LTD – My Wondercube
Best Toddler Toy 12 months +
Gold MEGA BLOKS – Classic Maxi Bag 70 pc
Silver FISHER-PRICE – Little People Animal Sounds Farm
Bronze VTECH – VTech Bath Friends Turtle
*NEW* Best Toddler Toy 24 months +
Gold LEGO – LEGO DUPLO Play With Numbers
Silver LEAPFROG – LeapFrog Tag Jnr
Bronze ORCHARD TOYS – Nursery Rhyme Four in a Box
Best Product for Breastfeeding
Gold LANSINOH – Lansinoh Lanolin for Breastfeeding Mothers
Silver THERALINE – The Original Theraline Maternity & Nursing Pillow
Bronze MEDELA  – Swing Electric Breast Pump
Best Product for Bottle Feeding
Gold AVENT – Philips AVENT Digital Steam Steriliser
Silver BORNFREE – 9oz (260ml) BPA-free wide neck plastic bottle
Bronze MAM UK – MAM Hold Me Bottle 270ml
Best Baby Food Range/Product
Gold ORGANIX – Organix Goodies Organix Toddler Snack Range
Silver HIPP ORGANIC – HiPP Organic Wholesome Pots
Bronze ORGANIX – Organix Stage 2 Organic Baby Foods
Best Feeding Product for Weaning
Gold FISHER-PRICE – Healthy Care Booster Seat
Silver BROTHER MAX – Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl
Bronze MAM UK – MAM Baby’s Fork and Spoon
Best Highchair
Gold EAST COAST NURSERY LTD – Multi Height Highchair with insert cushion
Silver TRIPP TRAPP – Tripp Trapp
Bronze THE RED KITE BABY  – Feed Me Ultimo
Best Baby Wipe
Gold JACKSON REECE – Kinder by Nature Natural Herbal wipes
Silver SAINSBURYS – Sainsburys 72 ECO Sensitive baby wipes
Bronze ALDI – Baby Wipes
 Best Disposable Nappy or Nappy Brand
Gold HUGGIES – Huggies Newborn with Organic Cotton
Silver TESCO – Tesco Super Fit nappies
Bronze ALDI – Junior Nappies
Best Reusable Nappy
Gold TOTSBOTS – Bamboozle S-t-r-e-t-c-h
Silver BUMGENIUS – bumGenius All in One
Bronze CHARLIE BANANA – 2 in 1 Reusable Nappy system

Best Skincare Range/Product
Gold ASDA – Little Angels Skincare Range
Silver NATURE BABYCARE – Eco Skincare Range
Bronze SAINSBURYS – Sainsbury’s Little Ones Baby Toiletries Range

Best New Innovation (judged by Mother & Baby panel)
Gold PHILIPPE LARA LTD – Hamster Buggy Bags
Silver YOOMI – Self Warming Baby Bottle
Bronze AVENT – Philips AVENT Combined Steamer Blender

Best Health Product (reader nominated)
Gold CALPOL – McNeil Healthcare UK
Silver SUDOCREM – Forest Laboratories UK
Bronze BABY NUROFEN – Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare UK

Nursery Retailer of the Year (reader nominated)
Bronze BOOTS

Online Retailer of the Year (reader nominated)
Bronze ARGOS

Supermarket of the Year (reader nominated)
Silver ASDA

Britain’s Bravest Mum – Lynsey Fuorvito

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Little Mummy's guide to getting a CyberMummy sponsor

This is new for me - my very first guest post! I'm handing my blog over to Erica from Little Mummy who is sharing her tips on how to bag a CyberMummy sponsor.

Hello! Sian has asked me to put together some tips on getting a sponsor for Cybermummy. So here are my tips based on what I did.

Writing Your Pitch

1. Explain briefly why you're writing your pitch and what you're looking for sponsorship for.

2. Be specific about how much you need and what the money will be spent on.

3. Describe what you will offer the potential sponsor using bullet points. These should be specific points of value not 'I'm an awarded winning blogger', because although that is very impressive it doesn't say in business terms what benefits that will bring to your potential sponsor.

4. Remember that the point of sponsorship is that it's a mutually beneficial deal, nobody is doing anyone a favour so to speak. Ensure that the value of what you're offering meets the cash value you're asking for, or preferably exceeds it a bit. This way sponsors can be sure that even if you've accidently over-valued one aspect of the deal that overall it balances up.

5. Where possible assign a value to each service you'll provide, however don't just make values up. My own values were based on what I would charge for each service and where the value was unknown I said so.

6. Keep the pitch brief and to the point, professional but friendly.

Here's my pitch feel free to copy whatever bits you want from it. I do draw the line at you using the title 'Join Team Littlemummy' though ;)

Promoting Your Pitch

1. Post your pitch on your blog and promote via your usual channels (twitter and facebook etc..)

2. Contact any PR's or companies that you have worked with in the past along with any that you're currently working with. Do not go into detail about the sponsorship, mention you're looking for sponsorship and direct them to your post. If they're interested they'll read the pitch post!

Negotiating the Sponsorship Deal

1. Be prepared to negotiate the specifics. If the sponsor doesn't want a banner ad and would rather an additional blog feature then that's a fair compromise in my opinion. If they start asking for Granny's china then perhaps not :)

2. Be ready to demonstrate the value of your offering. This is your chance to mention that award you won, your top ten place and how many twitter followers you have.

3. You may be asked for stats. Be ready to provide what you have and just be honest when you don't have the stats they're asking for (try and demonstrate your value in other ways)

More Than One Sponsor Offer

I found myself in the fortunate position of having two potential sponsors. If this happens to you, you need to decide whether you're going to adopt the 'show me the money' or the 'first come first served' strategy.

1. Show Me The Money

First one to pay closes the deal. The easiest way but you may end up alienating one party and destroying future chances of sponsorhip or advertising with that party.

2. First Come First Served

You honour your first approach until they've made a decision. More difficult to manage without potentially losing both deals. On the plus side you maintain good relationships.

What I did...

I used the second strategy. On receiving a second sponsor I went back to my first approach and informed them that I'd had another approach and that please could I have a decision by 6pm.

I ended up going with my second approach but I also emailed my other approach to inform them politely of the situation. I was careful to keep the door open for future opportunies and I also mentioned that if they still wanted to sponsor someone for Cybermummy then I'd be happy to put them in touch with another blogger.

I think this approach turned out to be the best one as not only do I have a fantastic sponsor in Next Day Appliances but I've also left the door open for future opportunities with the other party and the chance that I may be able to secure sponsorship for someonelse.

This was a little more work but it resulted in a win-win all round.

Closing the Deal

1. Once you've gone through the specifics it's time to close the deal. My advice is to ask for the full amount up front by cheque or paypal.

2. Be very efficient in honouring your end of the bargain. Not doing so will only hamper your chances of getting sponsorship for future events and for everyonelse in the community.

Ok, I think that's all. I hope that didn't sound too preachy, just what I learned throughout the process.

Good Luck and I'll see you at Cybermummy!

Erica Douglas

Monday, 15 November 2010

Brand looking for London based blogger

CyberMummy - Sponsor a blogger call out!!!

I have a brand looking to be paired with a London blogger who has a child or children aged between 2 and 4 years.

If this sounds like you, please leave me a comment with your Twitter id or email and I will be in touch to get some more info from you.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The King & I dates

So many people have been asking me which dates the girls are performing in The King & I and we finally have their schedule through.
I thought it would be easier to list them here than have to continually reel them off! Tickets have already sold out on quite a few shows - so if you'll need to get in fast. Book here.

Friday 3rd December - Evening 
Saturday 4th December - Evening
Monday 6th December - Evening
Tuesday 7th December - Evening
Thursday 9th December - Evening
Saturday 11th December - Evening
Wednesday 15th December - Matinee
Friday 17th December - Evening
Monday 20th December - Evening
Wednesday 22nd December - Evening
Friday 24th December - Matinee
Tuesday 28th December - Evening
Thursday 30th December - Evening
Saturday 1st January - Evening
Wednesday 5th January - Evening
Saturday 8th January - Matinee
Wednesday 12th January - Matinee
Saturday 14th January - Evening

As you can see I will be spending a lot of time in my new adopted office (aka, The Curve bar) over the coming weeks!

Friday, 12 November 2010

For the love of Blythe

I'm not even really sure how we met, Blythe and I. I think I stumbled upon her online around the same time that Yan sent me an email entitled 'Some freaky dolls you will love'....
You see - I don't really like dolls. In fact those old Victorian china dolls completely and utterly F-R-E-A-K me out.
But not Blythe. I'm not sure what it is about her that drew me in but from the moment I set my eyes on her I was hooked. Perhaps her individuality, her freakiness or just that she came from 1972?
But one thing is for sure - and that's that I was hooked.
Amy Lee sits on my blog header, a Christmas gift from my hubby. The second best thing that he has bought me - EVER (I had my kitty Cheryl for my birthday last year and even though I did actually technically buy her myself..... it's a close cut thing).

Then our Blythe family began to grow - my girls who have never been ones for playing with dolls got in on the act too. They treat their dolls with the upmost respect. No dodgy outfits or being left out for the dog to chew. Their girls are loved, dressed, photographed and put away safely in their cabinet at night. Our collection grew to 13 full size Blythe's and 4 Petit Blythe's.

Then a few weeks ago I discovered that Hasbro (who own the Blythe trademark) had launched a collection of Littlest Pet Shop Blythe's. I have to say I was slightly dubious but they are totally on a par with the Petit dolls that Takara produce. I don't think that anyone but a hardened Blythe nut would be able to tell them apart.
Takara Blythe left, Littlest Pet Shop right.
There are four Littlest Pet Shop Blythe set's to collect and at £9.72 from ToysRus they are an absolute steal and a perfect addition to a girls (or her mummy's) Christmas stocking.
Anna (all Blythe's need a name you know), now resides in nick-nack corner on my desk!
Thank you once again to Toys R Us for choosing us to be TRU Toyologists. We love it!
I will be holding a Mega Toys R Us giveaway next week - so stay tuned!


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