I can’t believe it’s been over a week since the unimaginable happened and it STILL hasn’t quite sunk in – my teeny tiny blog with the randomest ramblings and Arjy’s lunatic antics won Best Preschool Blog in the nation’s biggest blogging awards – the MADs!
It feels so surreal and the last few weeks have been a whirlwind! I really can’t believe it! I feel so overwhelmed by all the love and support we’ve received both before the awards and after – I feel like we’ve all achieved it together as soppy as that sounds! Thank you all so much for riding this journey with me and becoming my blogging family. It means the world to me that people I only know through the blog and family and friends alike took the time out to vote for me – it really does mean so so much.
The awards night … I was feeling really apprehensive about going – a swanky red carpet event in a London hotel and I wasn’t going to be able to share our success of reaching the finals and the evening with my loved ones. We weren’t invited to take a +1 which meant I’d be going as a lone soldier! It would’ve been so lovely to have shared my achievements with my biggest supporters – my husband and my Arjy.
Being pregnant, big and tired all the time, meant I didn’t have the energy to meet up with my fellow blogging buddies beforehand but had planned to meet them there at the event. Despite coming across as confident at times, I’m a little mouse deep down and new situations freak me out! I found the whole experience a little daunting to be honest!
One of my blogging besties, Stacey, had won tickets to come and support me on the night but unfortunately was hospitalised the night before (she’s doing much better now thankfully!). I was excited that Prabs from Absolutely Prabulous, a fellow Punjabi blogger from Malta, was going to be there and I was super excited to meet her in person – since we first started talking through blogging, she became my big sister and it feels like I’ve known her for ages!
In preparation for the awards, there were complimentary hair and make up sessions available prior to the awards at the hotel, I decided to get my hair and make up done in the comfort of my home from the lovely Paven. You can check out what I wore, and my look in my blog post here.
My darling husband offered to drive me all the way to London despite feeling like absolute sh*t due to a nasty virus. I felt really bad but we both knew the chances of me making it in one piece on public transport were slim lol. I’m not very street wise when it comes to TFL! Also, I didn’t fancy prancing around on the tube dolled up. I get flustered at the best of times! We thought leaving an hour and a half would be ample time in arriving at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington but we just about made it (due to my misdirection and traffic!) for the drinks reception which started at 6.30pm.
I felt super nervous about walking in to the drinks reception but was welcomed by the warmest face of Sally Whittle, founder of Tots100 – the ones who had organised the evening, in the lift.
During the drinks reception, I got to meet some very familiar faces (thanks Instagram!) and also some new faces:
- Prabs from Absolutely Prabulous – just as hilarious in real life as online. She’s pint sized but full of life! It didn’t feel like it was the first time we’d met for real, I feel like I’ve known Prabs for years just like I thought!
- Talya from Motherhood Real Deal – there are no words. Absolutely hilarious! Talya is Prabs’ blog wife and together, they kept me in fits of laughter all night!
- Emma from Brummy Mummy of 2 – she’s a Facebook sensation with her very real posts of motherhood and oh so funny!
- Detrice Matthews who was so super friendly, lovely and instantly made me feel calm by being in the same nervous boat as me!
- Julia from Rain Beau Belle – a blogger that has managed to both break my heart through documenting her family’s journey through battling with her husband’s cancer which sadly took his life, and made me smile through her positivity and strength, what a woman. She was so down to earth and lovely in real life too.
- Alison of Complicated Gorgeousness – I’d not come across Alison’s blog before but was so glad to have met her. I instantly felt a very warm vibe from her!
I was lucky enough to be sitting with Prabs and Talya and we had lots of laughs during the evening and they also realised I’m just as potty mouthed as they are despite how “lady like” I may appear on the blog (?!). We had some lovely other bloggers at our table too and in total table 12 won 6 awards! Lucky table or what!?
We were served a yummy dinner as soon as we entered the main hall – good call! Which was then followed by the awards.
Helen Lederer of Absolutely Fabulous hosted the night. I had scoped out the others in my category a few days before and felt like I had 0 chance of winning but I was so proud to have come so far. I’d even written up my Facebook status in my notes as I was so sure I wasn’t going to win. All of those in my category were absolutely amazing with a really large following and a heavy presence.
It felt unreal seeing Baby Brain Memoirs up there on a huge screen as a finalist, I felt really proud – not something I feel often! I had a quick flashback of the last 2 years and how far I’ve come on my journey through motherhood and riding the highs and lows and how much my blog has helped me to capture the most beautiful memories. To be even sitting there as a finalist amongst bloggers that have been doing it for 5, 7, 10 years even was crazy. I almost felt undeserving!
My thoughts were quickly interrupted by the lovely Amber from Goblin Child’s voice as she announced the winner…
“Baby Brain Memoirs” followed by a cheer …
My eyes almost popped out and my jaw literally dropped to the floor – you’d literally need a shovel to pick it up – “a missed Kodak” moment as described by Callum at our table! I couldn’t bl00dy believe it!
OMG, I hadn’t prepared a speech!
OMG what if this was the point that my dress split open!
OMG what if I trip!?!?
OMG my legs feel like jelly!
Prabs and Talya showed their enthusiasm loud and proper as my name was called, in a somewhat giddy state I managed to get up and somehow waddle on to stage. It felt like the longest walk ever – I couldn’t figure out if I was dreaming it or if it was really happening!?
It felt so unreal and overwhelming. I’m so grateful to have won an award for something that started off as an outlet for myself – my blog has become a lot more than what its original intent was thanks to you guys.
More than the award, like I said on Facebook (the edited status after I’d found out I won!), each message I receive from readers of the blog, are worth more than an award. If I’ve managed to help even one person feel “human” then I’m a winner.
I didn’t have a speech ready as I wasn’t expecting it at all, I was dumbstruck when my name was called out and as a result my speech was a random bunch of mumbled words and I didn’t get to mention everyone (partly because it felt weird thanking my family and friends who weren’t there to hear it!).
Thanks to the girls, I managed to get a tiny video of the whole thing (though I’m slightly cringed out by it!).
Given I didn’t get to do a proper speech, here are my “proper” thank yous! I know I haven’t won an Oscar, but I’m grateful nonetheless and like every other thing I’ve journalled through my blog, I want to journal this too!:
I am eternally grateful to God for showering me with endless blessings and for providing me with a support system even when I have been placed in tough situations. I’m a firm believer in my faith and remember God in every moment of my life.
Thank you to my wonderful son for blessing me as your mother – I think it was Kim K (sometimes she does talk sense!) that said a child chooses its parents. I count my blessings daily and feel so lucky to be able to call myself your mummy. You amaze me and fill those around you with so much love and joy – even those that haven’t ever met you. It’s been a bumpy ride because of my own internal battles, but you’ve made it so much easier by holding my hand and being my constant and for inspiring me daily.
Thank you to my husband for supporting me since the get go, for encouraging me to share my experiences, for fighting against any resistance associated with it being a taboo in our culture to talk about our struggles. Thank you for being by my side always.
Thank you to my biggest cheerleader – my mum! I remember when I published my first blog post how proud you were of me. You have always believed in me and your prayers have always helped get us through.
My dad and beloved sisters – for being a constant pillar of support, for never failing me. Goov for being my chief editor (I’ve had some pretty epic typo fails!) and creative director (lol) and Harv for always cheering me on and celebrating even the tiniest things. To the rest of my family for being so supportive and loving and getting involved!
To my amazing friends, especially Sav and Amrit who are ALWAYS there to pick me up when I fall and to celebrate when I’m on a high. I’m lucky enough to call you my sisters.
And a huge thank you to my blogging family – both fellow bloggers and blog readers for being my extended family and for carrying me through so far! To Kat from Eat Love Live and Stacey from Mummy and the Bubbas for being my soul sisters and celebrating with me from the heart; Rod from Modern Dad Pages for always supporting me both with Baby Brain Memoirs and Apparel – it was because of you I started my first linky! And to Jen from Mamazou for just being you! To my readers for sharing your experiences with me, for allowing me to be a part of your lives as well as you being a part of mine. For your words of wisdom, your love and your kindness and for your votes!
Endless love to all of you.
Sorry for making it sound like an Oscar’s acceptance speech, but for me, it is a really big honour and I’m so touched and humbled by it.
Here is a thank you message from Arjun (translates to “thank you everybody, thank you much, we won”!:
As well as my shiny little trophy, all the winners also received beautiful flowers from MoonPig – the blog sponsors and I was also lucky enough to receive a gorgeous new baby hamper from Hippy Chick who sponsored my blog category – I’ve always wanted a little wicker basket and its contents are definitely going to come in handy when baby number 2 arrives!
A huge congratulations to all the other finalists and winners. What an achievement! And a huge thank you to the Tots100 team for organising such a lovely evening!
Here are a few pictures of our celebratory dinner the next day!