What Happened At The MAD Blog Awards 2015

The 2015 MAD Blog Awards took place last Friday. Wow, what an incredible night – where to start?

There were tens of thousands of nominations and votes submitted…and I was hugely honoured to be a finalist in two categories, Best Writer and Outstanding Contribution.

Me at the MADS

Me at the MADS

My day started with a trip to the hairdressers’ for a root touch up and the creation of this really pretty hairstyle.

My pretty waterfall braids.

My pretty waterfall braids.

Gladrags were donned, make-up was applied and I was ready to get on the train to London.

All ready to go!

All ready to go!

I was pleased to bump into Ting shortly after arriving at the swanky Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and with Cathy we got the evening off to a good start with a G&T in the bar.

Next stop was a make-up and hair touch-up by the wonderful PowderPuff Girls (generously laid on for free!). I was chuffed that my lovely PowderPuff girl complimented me on my eye make-up, but I’m not very good at a base: she made my complexion look like it had been airbrushed it was so flawless, and added a bright pink lip.

The drinks reception (with Prosecco!) was great fun. Judging from other people’s photos I missed loads of things during the reception – too busy chatting! It was wonderful to meet and chat with Louise, Amber, Kate, JuliaEmily-Jane, Susanne, Heledd, Emma, Emma, Lucy, JennySteph, and so many others. There is never enough time to spend as long chatting to people as you want, and unfortunately there are always people you don’t get around to saying hi to.

Me and the wonderful Louise.

Me and the wonderful Louise.

Dinner was delicious: goats’ cheese pannacotta; chicken risotto; and chocolate fondant (I didn’t take any photos, but there are zillions that other people took if you really want to see!). There was free flowing wine (“Would you like to drink more, Madam?” “Um yes please!”) I chatted to the lovely ladies on my table – great fun Kirsty and Katie, and Lucy and Jasmine from Penguin who sponsored the Best Writer category.

I wasn’t expecting to win either category, and it’s just as well I didn’t because I was so convinced I wouldn’t win I hadn’t prepared anything to say. People had said such kind things about my writing and about Hugo I was already rather emotional, so not winning meant I avoided being a blithering idiot on stage!

Huge congratulations to Hayley for her very deserved win in the Outstanding Contribution category. I have admired Hayley since I started blogging about Hugo’s Legacy and always hope to emulate her passion that is always conveyed in a constructive, respectful, and inclusive manner – and I remain amazed she knows who I am!

Inviting all the finalists to the stage was a lovely touch, as was giving us all a trophy. Each of us works hard to help improve the lives of others through our blogs and actions.

Congratulations to the Unmumsymum for her win in the Best Writer category. I’m sorry I didn’t get an opportunity to say hello to Sarah.

All the Outstanding Contribution finalists on stage, with me demonstrating my best 'trying really hard to not cry' face. Photo credit: Tots100/Tom Arber

All the Outstanding Contribution finalists on stage, with me demonstrating my best ‘trying really hard to not cry’ face.
Photo credit: Tots100/Tom Arber

Hugs all round!

Hugs all round! Photo credit: Lucy Bishop

Susanne and me with our trophies. (Photo credit: Susanne Remic)

Susanne and me with our trophies. (Photo credit: Susanne Remic)

Susanne, Sally, and me (Photo credit: Susanne Remic)

Susanne, Sally, and me (Photo credit: Susanne Remic)

I had an absolutely brilliant night – it was laid back, friendly, good-humoured, and so much fun. Sadly it had to end and I picked up my fabulous (and unexpected!) goody bag. Kate, Jess (it was lovely to have a proper chat with her) and I got a cab back to the mainline stations of north London to make our respective journeys home.

Me and Kate

Me and Kate

Those of a (in)sensitive disposition might like to reach for a sick bucket now…because at the end of the night I felt like a winner, despite not winning either of the categories I was a finalist in.

I had been in London the day before the awards at a baby loss conference organised by the Royal College of Midwives, SANDS, and Bliss. Health professionals approached me during the breaks saying they read my blog, and that it helps them better support families they work with. When I started writing my blog, it was one of my main aims and I am so very proud people know about Hugo.

Another of my main aims was for people in general to know about HELLP syndrome. It really has surpassed my greatest expectations.

Through my blog I have met wonderful people who I am proud to call my friends, people who are comfortable talking about Hugo. Friday in particular gave me a lovely night out in a pretty dress, having fun with fabulous people, echoing Becky’s beautiful speech about friendships being the best part of blogging. The fact I felt able to let my hair down and enjoy myself was a really important step for me – on many previous occasions I have resented the fact I wasn’t home with my baby Hugo being a ‘normal’ mum.

That resentment is never going to completely disappear, not really. But with time has come a greater acceptance that there is nothing I can do about it.

My boy has made an outstanding contribution to the world, achieving more and providing more inspiration than many people do over the course of a long lifetime. The trophy is for him.

I also feel I am a winner for very serious reasons. HELLP syndrome could have taken my life, too. The emotional impact of Hugo’s death nearly led to me not being here, too. I am a winner because I am still living despite everything the past 18 months has thrown at me. With exceptions, I am thriving.

Hugo

On a not-so-serious note, I felt a winner when I arrived home in the early hours of Sunday morning because my new shoes hadn’t rubbed, and I remembered to take out my contacts before going to sleep. Yay!

A huge thank you to the Tots100 team for a fabulous night.

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28 Comments on What Happened At The MAD Blog Awards 2015

    • Leigh
      October 11, 2015 at 6:19 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you darling, so sorry you couldn’t be there – you were missed! xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      October 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm (1 year ago)

      You’re very welcome lovely, and thank you for your kind comment too xxx

      Reply
  1. Potty Mouthed Mummy
    October 2, 2015 at 10:40 am (1 year ago)

    I was watching the updates at home and I was so desperate for you to win, but the truth is – you already are a winner in so many ways. Your blog and writing are up with my faves and I just cannot help but be amazed by all you have done for Hugo’s Legacy. Lots of love xx
    Potty Mouthed Mummy recently posted…Cat in the Hat, Tacos & Holiday Time #littlelovesMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      October 3, 2015 at 11:16 am (1 year ago)

      Thank you lovely, that’s so kind. I wasn’t expecting to win, but appreciate all the lovely support xxx

      Reply
  2. Hayley - Downs Side Up
    September 28, 2015 at 11:22 am (1 year ago)

    Leigh, you are beautiful inside and out, a true star. I felt I have known you for ages since we first chatted at Blogfest. Your love and passion for positive change eminates from you and it was a real privilege to stand with you (my tipped winner as it happens) on that stage that evening. Your ability to turn adversity into support is inspiring. Proud to know you.
    Hayley – Downs Side Up recently posted…When Blogging Comes Full Circle – The greatest GiftMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm (1 year ago)

      What a lovely comment, Hayley thank you. I felt an instant connection with you when we first met nearly a year ago. I’m so proud to know you! I’m blown away you expected me to win – you were my tip, and very well deserved it is too xxx

      Reply
  3. Jenny
    September 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm (1 year ago)

    It was so lovely to meet you and so glad you had such a lovely night hunny. Well done. Love the photos. 🙂
    Jenny recently posted…Becoming a school mom (mum)My Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm (1 year ago)

      You too Jenny, thanks so much – and congratulations again on your win! xx

      Reply
  4. Kat
    September 24, 2015 at 1:49 am (2 years ago)

    Such an uplifting and detailed post, I just about felt as if I was there! Glad you had a such a wonderful few days with a nice mix of productivity, fun and fashion xx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 24, 2015 at 7:32 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you darling xxx

      Reply
  5. Katie / Pouting In Heels
    September 23, 2015 at 5:26 pm (2 years ago)

    So glad you had a wonderful evening Leigh! And again huge congratulations on being a finalist in not just one but two incredible categories. You deserve every success and will always be a winner in my eyes. 🙂 xxx

    P.S you looked sensational too!
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…#WISDOMINHEELS – ANAIS NINMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you so much Katie! xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm (2 years ago)

      It really was, Tim – on both counts! x

      Reply
  6. Helen at Casa Costello
    September 23, 2015 at 10:33 am (2 years ago)

    What a great post – so many congratulations on your nomination. Well deserved – I have been a quiet reader for a few months and love your writing style. That hairdo is so pretty too!
    Helen at Casa Costello recently posted…Becoming Friends of Sylvanian FamiliesMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Helen! I really appreciate it. I was so chuffed with the hairdo, too! xxx

      Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks, and likewise lovely Katy! xxx

      Reply
  7. Ting at My Travel Monkey
    September 23, 2015 at 8:08 am (2 years ago)

    Leigh, it was truly an honour to spend time with you on Friday. I’m sorry I got a bit emotional but I meant ever word and in my eyes you truly are a winner. Hugo’s legacy is something that has touched so many of our hearts and continues to do so because you are such a giving, intelligent person who campaigns tirelessly to bring HELLP to light. You looked fabulous and I look forward to seeing you soon xxxx
    Ting at My Travel Monkey recently posted…Reviewed: Airbnb Apartment in Malasaña, MadridMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm (2 years ago)

      Likewise, Ting! You’re a lovely lady full of positive energy. No need at all to apologise, I am truly touched that Hugo has touched so many lives. Looking forward to seeing you again soon, at Blogfest hopefully? xxx

      Reply
  8. Hannah Budding Smiles
    September 22, 2015 at 9:07 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s absolutely wonderful that you were a finalist in two categories that I would definitely use to describe you and your blog. I’m so pleased you had a great time and also that the previous day you had more people telling you what a difference your words and Hugo’s Legacy has made to them as professionals and to their patients xxx
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…Happy Second Anniversary Hubby!My Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you lovely Hannah, knowing Hugo’s legacy is making a difference really does mean the world to me xxx

      Reply
  9. Kirsty
    September 22, 2015 at 8:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey lady, fab to meet you, loving checking out your blog. kx

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Kirsty, fab to meet you too, thanks for having a read! xx

      Reply
  10. Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    September 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm (2 years ago)

    It was so good to finally meet you Leigh, you really did look stunning and such a beauty when you walked in! I am so glad to read that you have a good night, i thought the atmosphere was great too and everyone was so friendly. Hopefully see you again very soon lovely! xxx
    Julia @ Rainbeaubelle recently posted…The Mad Blog Awards, drinks and dedicationsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Leigh
      September 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Aw thank you so much Julia, you looked beautiful. It was fabulous to meet you at last. Wasn’t it a great night? Glad you enjoyed it too. See you soon I hope my lovely! xxx

      Reply

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