Tags: Baby Genie. Publicity Oxford, blogging, Cybher, meet and greet
So, following the craziness of the past two years of mum blogger networking at CyberMummy, I couldn’t be more excited to be spreading my wings a little further and getting to know the world of women online – more walks of life, more personalities – food, fashion, crafting, parenting, travel, the lot. Cybher promises to be inspiring, motivating, moving and truly eye-opening for women who use the internet to communicate, educate, network and do business.
I’ll be the gal sporting the Tatty Devine Baby Genie necklace (thank you to Huggies), so if I catch you staring at my neck I’ll let you off.
So, here’s a bit about me.
Name: Catherine Warrilow
Blog: Right here – http://www.babygenie.co.uk (or if you’re looking for a PR agency my day job blog is at http://www.publicityoxford.wordpress.com and we specialise in toy, nursery, leisure and lifestyle as well as being pretty damn hot on social media).
Height: In case you can’t find me; 5ft 1 and an all important half. I’m probably obscured by a plant pot.
Notable achievements: I was a crowdsourced speaker at CyberMummy 2011 and read a post about the OCD tendencies parenting seems to bring on.
I was also a top ten winner of the Loved By Parents Blog of the Year 2011.
I’ve been on the cover of Tesco Magazine and been featured in She, The Daily Mail and a number of other women’s magazines, regional press and took part in a reality TV show called Chick Fix where I discovered a much happier me. I have also blogged for Boden and Style Nest.
Up until very recently when we finally managed to potty train our son (affectionately known as bear), I was a Huggies Mum. I am currently an ambassador for Lego Duplo.
Hair Colour: Very, very red. Sometimes sleek, sometimes a total mess. I need a re-style.
Who’s at home: Me, my devoted, tolerant but slightly forgetful husband, and our beautiful son who is three going on astrophysicist.
Five things you should know about me…
1. I have a weakness for eighties soft rock – think Mr Big, White Snake, The Scorpions.
2. I’ve been blogging since early 2009 and I never dreamed of what lay in store – 100% of it good, life changing and hilarious.
3. Getting a cleaner saved me from myself and an obsession for hoovering (refer back to ‘I was saved by a raisin’).
4. Last Friday night I, and my dinner guests stayed up until 6.30am watching music videos, singing, dancing and playing silly card games. Our three-year old woke up 20 minutes after I went to bed, but I was relived to know that I see had it in me to go the distance*
5. I love my job running a PR agency but boy is it demanding. I do sometimes dream of a tiny tea shop by the sea.
So that’s a rambling account of me and my life – the short, red-headed one wearing the blinged- up Baby Genie necklace – make sure to look in small spaces for me and introduce yourself – I like new people – good things happen when you talk to someone for the first time.
Oh, and of course there will be a video account of the day’s proceedings using small toys to re-enact events. If you missed the last one, here is CyberMummy 2011 in all it’s glory, there’s a part 2 as well – guest starring Sarah Brown (who I should add was delighted to be a red transformer rather than Lau Lau, which I purchased at her request from a car boot sale).
Looking forward to meeting you all.
* My husband generously sent me back to bed until 11am as he retired at the earlier hour of 4am.
Tags: admiration, blogging, homework, school work
Recently, my nine year old niece was asked to write about someone inspirational by her school teacher. When we last went to visit, she proudly presented me with a photocopied and lovingly ‘kept in a safe place’ piece of work for me to read.
For me this made it all worth while – sometimes the respect of a child goes far further than the admiration of any of our peers.
I am making it my mission to tell at least one person each week that I admire them. You can learn a lot from a nine year old. I may just get her to help me with my business plan – sure she’d have a valuable note or two to add about work life balance…
Tags: blogger outreach, blogging, blogging for brands, blogging for money
I just finished emailing a journalist who was asking for information on ways women can meet new friends and I talked to her about the way blogging has introduced me to people who I have gone on to class as true friends – people I tweet with, Facebook and Skype with, but more importantly talk on the phone with and arrange to meet in person regularly.
From starting Baby Genie in 2009 as a way to share details of products I liked, parenting tricks I’d learnt and places worth visiting, it’s turned into a whole lot more. I don’t like the word therapy because part of me thinks that if there’s truly something up then you should go home to your mum for advice, but it many respects a blog, as well as other social media tools are a way to reach out.
I swear I’m getting to the point.
The other aspect of blogging that I hadn’t considered was paid for writing work. I guest blog for a number of sites including Boden and Style Nest and I enjoy that role. I’m paid in different ways – some cash, some vouchers, some not at all but I enjoy the involvement with the brands.
I’ve also attended events, given ‘expert’ opinions, taken part in documentaries and been interviewed for TV and radio. I make it sound like a one-woman and baby media machine. Far from it, this remains a hobby, but that leads me to my next point – where do you draw the line?
It’s important to weigh up the benefits – will this lead to a bigger, more exciting opportunity if I take part? Will it send thousands more readers my way? If it will, are those readers going to be interested in what I have to say?
And above all, should I just ask for some money? Many brands will cover expenses incurred when taking part in an event, but if it’s an event where you’re going to be grilled on your blogging philosophy as well as presented at on what said brand has lined up for the year ahead, should you be rewarded for your input and time?
Other brands offer goody bags and freebies, sometimes to review, sometimes just as a thank you, which could be considered as payment. I believe that in the US bloggers have to declare such gifts and pay tax on them. Or pay for them – 1 cent or so…
Do we get a little too used to received goodies in the post. So much so that it becomes a little dare I say it, overrated….?
The point of this post is, how thinly would you or have you spread yourself before saying ‘do you know what, my time is worth more than that, get your cheque book out’?
I really love to write, and as long as I enjoy writing I shall continue to pour out stuff and nonsense via my blog. I have a feeling the ‘parent blogger’ community will evolve and transition hugely this year. I also have a feeling that there will become a clearer divide between the writers and the reviewers.
Time is precious, how much of it do people deserve of it for free?
Tags: blog life balance, blogging, down time, holidays
So I’ve hit an all time low – this is a post about not wanting to write a post.
It’s only been four days but for some reason blogging has been playing heavily on my mind since the weekend. Maybe it’s because we’ve just had our summer holiday in Cyprus and a pretty wonderful three days in Devon and my priorities have been different. Blogging has seemed of insignificant importance and a sudden wave of fear came over me that I was falling out of love with my blog….it couldn’t be, could it?
Three days basking in the October sunshine lying in the sand dunes. Three days being called madam by young twinkly eyed waiters. Three days waking up in the crispest white sheets with a view across a long sandy beach complete with rock pools and surf dudes.
That’s why I haven’t really felt inclined to blog this week.
As I continued to ponder the fate of my blog this evening whilst sprinkling excessive amounts of tarragon onto chicken thighs absent-mindedly, I wondered when the love would return. And during the course of this evening I think I may have stumbled upon the answer. It came in a flash during an episode of Spooks. Nothing like a bit of conspiracy to get the mind whirring.
So, my conclusion is this. Sometimes life is just more important. And sometimes there isn’t anything particular in life that you care to divulge to the rest of the internet occupying human race.
I am perfectly sure that every other blogger who has nurtured and grown their own little piece of cyberspace has written a post similar to this. So I don’t claim to be breaking ground here, simply justifying to myself why it’s ok not to blog to schedule – a certain amount of times per week, to reach certain visitor stats or comment figures.
And I’ve done it in the only way I know how – by writing a blog post about it.
Oh god…. actually I’ve just realised something – I’ve stopped drinking – maybe that’s what’s done it?! Quick someone get me a glass of red.
Tags: about me, blogging, this is me, writing
“What is it, what’s it called, that Baby Genie thing you do?”
“I never knew you did that, what’s that all about then?”
“In the local newspaper again Miss, saw you talking about being a mum again, never out of that paper you!”
“What’s a blog?”
It’s funny really isn’t it. It’s not like I have some weird obsession or addiction that I have to keep hidden away like wine bottles or bookie receipts. It’s not as though I’m ashamed of it like habit that has to be fed or anything. If I don’t do it I don’t get the shakes or anything….yet.
So why is that when people say ‘what’s that blog of yours all about then?”, that makes you feel you have to defend it. You come over a little quivery and nervous, feeling you have to justify your hobby.
Nothing in particular prompted this post; I’d just written a little note for myself titled ‘why I blog’. I wasn’t sure why I’d written it or what for, so I started an aimless post and this is where it’s gone.
So to try and do my note justice (which like many notes, the meaning of which has vanished into a vault that makes me screw up my eyes in despair to try and recall) – here is the reason I blog.
Because I love to write as me. Every single person on this planet has an incredible life. Some of it is bring out the marching band type good. Some of it is more walk slowly in a procession type way sad. Other parts of it are fight mortal combat style aggressive and madenning to the back teeth.
All of it important enough to share with others. And worthy of support, opinion, laughter and tears.
Which brings me back to the “so what is a blog” type question.
Because maybe the reason we love to blog is because we are part of a big community that loves it too. And we all get it. We get the need to share, receive feedback and promote the value of our daily lives.
Let’s not forget that, because it’s flippin’ important to have people that get you in the grand scheme of things. Right?
Oh and I shall be vented unhindered between 9.55am and 10am on a daily basis, so can I please have a little privacy.
Tags: Blog of substance award, blogging, Elaine Scott
Not sure why French, just felt a bit frivolous and excited about my award.
And I’ve been naughtily containing my excitement for about oooh, a month – I am so, so sorry Elaine Scott, forgive me for being the crappest of crapness in accepting this award. Forgiven?! Please?!
So I’ve done the grovelling thanking and apology bit.
Now, my five word blogging philosophy, hmm here goes….
Musn’t let blog rule life
(Is musn’t a word?!)
So that’s mine, I let it come out without thinking about it too much! I love my blog, it’s my hobby – sometimes like gym goers, I get obsessed and am at it all the time, and other times I need a little break to binge on the sofa and do nothing.
Finally I have to pass it on, here you go lovely people:
Hayley at Single Mummy
Emma at Me the Man and the Baby
Vix at Vegemitevix
Off to watch the rest of Cowboy Builders, love a bit of building drama. Au revoir.