The One Where I Say Thanks a Lot.

Last night was the third annual MAD Blog Awards in London, which saw 120 or so bloggers dress up in their finest to celebrate the very best in British parent blogging.

We’ll be posting official pictures, video and updates in the days to come, but I wanted to say thanks to some of the people who generously shared their time and skills with us to help the evening run smoothly.

We were lucky to have a fab venue – the staff at the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel went out of their way to make sure we had a special evening, and everything ran more or less like clockwork.

Our finalists were treated to complimentary hair and make-up services from Arbonne and Regis UK, with the appointments organised by Jen, demonstrating the kind of planning skills that would make a military general jealous. Jen was also the mastermind who helped more than 30 of our finalists find outfits to wear to the awards ceremony – and those ladies looked GLAM, let me tell you.

Kate and Lindy did a brilliant job of looking after photos and video on the day, including a last-minute dash to an electrical store in the minutes before the event kicked off. Special mention to the wonderful Lindy, who did an emergency drive across the North of England on Thursday night when an urgent parcel was delivered to some random, wrong address. Mention should also be made of Gav, otherwise known as Mr Me the Man and the Baby, who spent Friday afternoon dashing across London to move a big orange sofa. As you do.

Pippa, Vic and Kelly did a wonderful job of live Tweeting during the evening, ensuring that bloggers and family members at home could keep up with the news from the ceremony. Kelly proved herself the kind of minion you can only dream of – helping with everything from packing gift bags to cutting out tiny circles of orange paper to decorate the tables.

Special mention goes to The Boy and Me for helping out during a moment of crisis when I was at risk of having a complete technology meltdown, and to our first presenter of the evening, TV personality and parenting coach Sue Atkins, who has been a wonderful support ever since the first MAD Blog Awards back in 2010 – thanks for being a part of our evening, Sue.

Myleene Klass, who was representing Start-Rite, charmed the entire room, posing for photos and sharing stories on everything from nail art to her work with Save the Children.

This year, we have had the most wonderful sponsors for the awards. Our finalists enjoyed review products, parties on yachts, lunch and shopping trips, and a whole host of special treats. Brabantia, Asus and Skoda ran fab competitions on the evening of the ceremony, too, which helped make the night extra special. Parentdish gets a special mention for rallying the whole team on Friday morning to prove that yes, you can fit 2 women, 3 banners and 100 gift bags into a mid-sized people carrier.

Most of all though, thanks to everyone who took part in the awards this year – I think they were our best yet. Everyone who nominated, and voted, and Tweeted and dressed up and celebrated was a big part of that success, and so a HUGE thanks to you all.

No hugging, though. That would just be taking it too far.



[Edited to add: I sincerely apologise to Merry, for what I said to her at breakfast this morning. Even though it was 8am, and I’d had less than 10 hours sleep in 72 hours, there’s no excuse for bad language in response to the question “Can you explain why my Tots100 score changed two months ago?”]

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