Tag Archives: parentdish

This ones for you Little man

3 Oct

 There was lip gloss, cleavage and killer heels. Fancy frocks, satin bags and the odd freshly pressed suit! Soho didn’t know what hit it when the mummy bloggers and one or two daddy bloggers, came to town!

 The occasion? Why, the Mad blog awards of course!

 The theme was “GLAM” and Glam it was! There was some serious hot dresses on display with shoes you longed to adopt and take home as your own.

 I spent much of Friday afternoon in the salon, where my long locks were chopped and replaced with a shorter but nicer restyle.

Then It was a mad dash to the beautiful Radisson  Edwardian Kenilworth hotel in London’s west end. It was here, I got ready for the long-awaited big night ahead. Jeans and a tee were swapped  for a floor sweeping, black satin grown, black stilettos and sparkly, shimmering makeup. With a generous spray of Jean Paul Gaultier & little black clutch in hand, I was all set!

 On arrival at the Talk Talk experience centre Soho, I was greeted by a photographer who took a couple of full length pictures before allowing me to scramble off reaching for a glass of white. It was clear on arrival that Sally and the sponsors had gone all out to create an amazing event for us bloggers.

 I met some awesome bloggers, one’s I had met before but overjoyed to meet again, others I knew from online and had wanted to meet for ages and some I was yet to discover. The atmosphere was electric, and as the wine bottles emptied the laughter grew stronger. With each award came a spectrum of reactions and emotions. There were tears, laughter, gasps & roars of applause.

 When the little gold envelope was opened and I heard the words “A boy with Aspergers” my  tummy became a flutter of butterflies and my eyes watered every so very slightly. Yes, stood there with my little glass award in one hand, a microphone in the other, all I could say was

“OMG I’VE WON”

which was followed by a muttered ,

“I don’t know what to say but thank you”

Yes, the word “Thank You” was repeated several times before I scooted off.

Louise (@bobbity666) left, Me & my lovely award centre, Jenny (@Edspire)

No, of course I hadn’t  prepared a speech, that meant I had considered myself a winner. I didn’t even want to think along that line, So with no speech I stood like a donut . There was so many things I wanted to say, they were buried in my head unable to flow out. Nonetheless I would like to think there’s a way to make up for my lack of spoken words by doing what I do best…. Sharing my thoughts and emotions through my writing!

 So, without further delay, here’s what I should have said on collection of my award for the Most inspiring blogger!

 Huge thank you to all that nominated and voted for me to win, those in cyberspace as well as my lovely family and friends You lot are truly amazing, please go about your day today knowing you made this mum and blogger smile a massive smile.

 Sally Whittle (@swhittle) I just can’t thank you enough! Not just for Friday night but the whole experience, it’s just been amazing for me! From the day I discovered I was nominated to the night I collected my winning award I’ve just had such a ball. Yourself with the help of Jen, Parentdish, Talk-Talk and all the other Mad sponsors, made me and so many others feel really special, thank you to you all for making this brilliant event possible.

The lovely Sally Whittle who made it all happen.

  Special thanks to Mothercare, the sponsor of my winning category, “Most Inspiring blogger”

 Sending a big thank you to TK Maxx, Helen (@HelenGunter) & Polly (@p_hibb) for the beautiful dress, shoes and accessories that were perfect for me and helped me to feel comfortable and confident on the night!

 Thanks to my fellow finalist, who helped create an amazing reading list, I’ve uncovered so many great blogs to read. An extra special thank you to the finalist in my category “Most Inspiring” who have all been so lovely to me, your all incredible  and I will continue to read you’re inspiring blogs.

Kylie (@kykaree) it was lovely to see you again, you looked ravishing.

 Massive Thank you to my personal sponsor OptiBac Probiotics, ( who have not only given me support and encouragement but introduced my family to their fantastic products that have been of great benefit to all, but exceptional for my son who has Asperger’s syndrome. lastly thank you OptiBac for covering my hotel expenses at the fabulous Radisson Edwardian hotel, avoiding a half cut merry mum, night busing it through London (don’t think the children would have appreciated waking to a half-drunken mum on the sofa) so thank you.

An added thank you to Soyraya who is part of the OptiBac team and is just the loveliest person you can ever wish to work with when working with a brand.

 Lastly ( Yes, I know! Bet you’re glad I was speechless on the night, anyone would thing I’d won an Oscar) nonetheless I have to thank my three beautiful Children, especially Little Man (aka A boy with aspergers) for giving me the inspiration to write and share our story, the highs and the heartbreaking lows that have brought us to where we are now (a much better place).

Little Man (aka A boy with Aspergers)

“This Little man, this one’s for you! Happy 11th Birthday!”

 As for the “Blogger of the year” I didn’t win this, So don’t panic, I’m not about to reel of any more speeches,  though I would like to congratulate Anna Ranson (@imaginationTree) who was crowned the Mad blogger of the year for her fabulous blog, “The Imagination Tree”

 Well, done

(No hard feelings, that is unless I see you walking the streets alone 🙂 Don’t panic, It’s just a joke)

 I was also super pleased for Lisa (@MummyWhisperer) and Ruth, (@geekmummy) not only where they dressed by TK Maxx meaning I got to meet them during the run up to the awards, they are also fellow winners.

Lisa (Mummy Whisper) Sally Whittle

Ruth (Geek Mummy) collecting her award.

Huge Congratulations girls.

  A highlight to this already wonderful evening was  meeting the lovely Karen (@allaboutheboys). Gosh, Karen had the most stunning shoes, she has taste that’s for sure! Also the lovely Jenny (better known on twitter as @edspire) a real gem with great dress sense. These are two ladies who are genuinely really lovely both on and off-line!

 There are many others I had the pleasure to chat with, far to many to name.

 The rest of the night went by in a haze of excitement and alcohol, after an eventful taxi ride back to the hotel (long story) and a quick change of clothes I headed to a local bar in Covent Garden with these awesome lot, @SuperAmazingMum who was live blogging  (We finally met 3rd time lucky), @michelletwinmum (who had the best eye makeup by far), @seasiderclare (really sweet and friendly),@alforalenyna (who made me laugh so much I almost passed urine) and last but not least @bobbity666 who with Jenny I spent most the evening with and would love to meet again.

Michelle (@michelletwinmum), Clare (@seasiderclare)  (@alforalenyna)

Michelle, Louise (bobbity666)

The very lovely Super amazing mum (Live blogger) we finally meet &  so worth the wait

We had a lush few bottles of wine that we all sat and drunk into the small hours of Saturday morning, before heading for some over priced but yummy fast food (in an alcohol intoxicated kind of way) before walking back to the hotel and parting.

 As I lay on my massive double bed with luxurious velvet throw I drifted of to sleep dreaming about the full English that would greet me in a few hours time, only that didn’t go to plan!

 Waking up with a maid looking over me at 11.35 am was so not the plan!

“Oh no you sleep to late, you must check out”

For a moment I stared at her

“Who the hell are you and where the f*** am I?”

Was what first thought that came to mind, before  it hit me! I suddenly found myself doing things in fast forward (Benny Hill style) jumping up throwing belongings into bags, cat licking instead of showering and getting out of there looking rough, slightly hung over and gutted about my breakie, yet excited about seeing the kids and giving a (Not so little Man) a Happy birthday kiss.

 So, there it is! I mingled, drank, scared a maid with my sticking up Barnet and panda eyes and WON myself a Mad blog 

Not bad for one night ha?

 To see the full list of winners click HERE

Silent Sunday

2 Oct

OMG! The Mad Blog Awards are almost here!

15 Sep

In just 15 more days the Mad blog awards will announce its winners at a lavish ceremony in London’s Talk Talk experience centre Soho, and everyone is gearing up for the party!

I still can’t quite believe how far I’ve come and yes, I’ve needed to give myself a good hard pinch to remind myself that, YES, I’m in the final. I haven’t even realised that in actual fact, I’m quite bloody nervous about the whole thing.

Sally Whittle, the founder and organiser of the Mads is quite simply amazing, the organisation that has been put into this event is truly wonderful. I know this because not only has she gone all out in getting us finalist fantastic cut price accommodation at the Radisson hotel (Which my wonderful sponsor OptiBac Probiotics has so kindly covered) but she’s also arranged for some fantastic retailers to kit us out in glam evening wear for the event (John Lewis, The white stuff, M&S and TK Maxx to name a few)

So, before I go any further I would like to thank Sally for all the hard work she has put into the Mads with the help of all the wonderful sponsors of the event

“Sally your Ace”

On the 21st of September I will head to London where I will meet a few other finalist, Sally (I hope) and Polly the PR for TK Maxx, where we will shop at the London’s Knightsbridge flagship store before heading off for a spot of lunch.

TK Maxx and Sally have both removed the worry of (a) finding an outfit and b) the cost of having to buy one! Wow, that makes this mum and finalist one grateful woman so again a massive thank you.

Things have been a little tough this past few years and I’ve shared the good and the bad via my blog! It seems strange because at the time when I was writing some of them really emotional posts and rants I never thought for one minute, by doing that I’d end up a finalist of the Mad blog awards, looking forward to this fantastic event that is taking place on the 30th.

I saw a tweet on twitter from Sally that asked, “Has anyone written a speech” my answer was, “But that would me we thought we had a chance of winning” Seriously, I hadn’t even thought about speeches, the event seems to have arrived so quickly, one minute we were in June and now it’s September.

Being a finalist has helped me to discover some awesome reading material within some great blogs. It has made me blog with more confidence and gain some fantastic new friends.

The Mad awards helped me to discover a great brand, ‘OptiBac probiotics’ who have been lovely enough to support me as my sponsor while introducing me and the children to their brilliant range of probiotics that are really helping little man with his digestive health while reducing anxiety.

The awards are not even over yet and already I can say I’ve gain lots of awesome moments through being a part of it (which is of course all down to those lovely lot who voted for me)

I’m still hoping my readers enjoy my post about life with three children one on the autism spectrum, what with less educational drama happening in my life, I’ve blogged less and less about discrimination, a self harming ten year old and the special educational needs system, and more about the joyful and at times seemingly averageness that is our day to day life!

Then we have the children! Three angels that often convert to little terrors, what do they think about mummy banging on about the Mad blog awards?

Well, my 8 year old daughter, (going on 30) quite opening highlighted when visiting my mother, that, “Beware, Mum may talk about the Mad blog Awards…..” Oh yes, Sarcasm a speciality of hers which I’m convinced is something of a talent! Alice-Sara has informed me that, “Mum your more excited than a child” Well, she has a point!

Little Harley (Aka, ‘Little H’) at 21 months old he doesn’t have a clue what I’m banging on about, which is most fortunate for him!

So… What about Little man (Aka, The boy with Aspergers)? Well, get this for a giggle! His claimed that he should be the one in the final! When asked why? I got,

“If I didn’t have Aspergers Syndrome there would be no blog called, A boy with Aspergers”

No, this is not sarcasm this is just rigid thinking, bless him.

Well, if those three kiddiwinks think they have heard the last of it then they are mistaken, BIG TIME! With every passing day I have a new knot in my tummy. Is it over the outcome of the night? I think it’s the whole thing with a rich coating of excitement.

So, there you have it!

I’ll be dead sad when it’s all over!

Readers you’re amazing, every single one of you!

those that want to follow whats happening before, during and most likely after the awards then add the hash tag #MadBlogAwrds to your tweeter timeline. I will be sure to post to the A boy with Aspergers facebook page during the course of the evening

Please check out my blog sponsor, “OptiBac Probiotics” (Probiotics are great for digestive health in children with autism and aspergers.

I’ve finally gone Mad & proud of it

21 May

Stop it, I know I’m not the full ticket, but that’s not here nor there!

This really isn’t about putting the milk in the washing machine nor falling asleep while stood at the kitchen sink attempting the washing up! This is a different kinda ‘Mad’ altogether!


Do you remember around a month or so ago, when I wrote my shameless, ‘SOS’, post that mostly consisted of a load of begging and up-front pleading form me? Well, I’m here to deliver my second dose of classy begging as last time your kindness resulted in me reaching the finals! Yes, I’ll repeat that incase you missed it! “I’VE MADE IT TO THE FINAL!” and the final I’m referring to that of the, ‘Mad blog awards 2011‘, in which I’m shortlisted in the category, ‘Most Inspiring Mad blogger‘, sponsored by ‘Mothecare’. I’m really chuffed to be shortlisted alongside such talent.

But hang on in there tiger! That’s not it! Hell yer there’s more! I also made it onto the shortlist for the ‘ Mad Blogger Of The Year 2011’ sponsored by the fabulous ‘Parentdish‘ this sees me placed alongside five other very talented parent bloggers, who have some fantastic blogs! This category is not decided by the public but instead a judging panel.

Wow! I have to say that I feel truly honoured and thank everyone who put me there in both categories. You’ve helped me achieve this big fat cheesy smile that’s currently spread across my chops. Gosh it’s gonna take a hell of a lot to burst this mummy’s bubble. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about anything which is why I’m holding onto this feeling with both hands.

Well, given that it worked last time it only seems logical to do it again, “begging that is” which is pretty much made up of…

“PLEASE, PLEASE, LOOK I’M ON MY HANDS AND KNEES!” or “PLEASE VOTE FOR ME, I’LL LOVE YOU ALL FOREVER AND EVER!”

On a more serious note (though the above was no joke), I would like to state that what really touched me is the fact my readers took them two minutes or so out their day to vote for little old me! I really mean it when I say you guys are totally ace.

I remember when I first embanked on my blogging journey, becoming part of the mummy blogging gang. Of course I didn’t see myself as part of anything at that time, I purely found comfort in writing down my thoughts, fears and hopes. In all honesty I never really considered it being of interest to anyone but me! After all, Who want’s to know? Then you get that very first comment! I remember mine clearly, a fellow mother who had a child & hubby on the autism spectrum! She reached out and without actually knowing so, she reassured me, “I wasn’t alone & showed me that,Yes people were interested in the blog”

As for the diagnosis, its like a roller-coaster of emotions! You don’t only learn a lot about yourself but those around you. Some become closer but some of the closest disappear.

There was a point at the time of diagnosis and that leading up to it, when Little man would not attend school (full on school refusal). This wasn’t dealt with by offering some form of support, but instead by taking me to court. It’s ironic really given my son has been school-less for the past 7 months due to mainstream no longer meeting his needs & no other school willing to take him on. The school attendance officer had written in a formal letter to our CAMH’S practitioner,“I can’t see why she would cry! Her son has a cousin with autism” This was in response to a letter the practitioner had written informing her that he considered it likely that Little man was on the autism spectrum possibly with Aspergers syndrome (which he went on to be formal diagnosed with just over a year later) He wanted the school attendance officer to know this alongside my reaction to the news, stating that they should reconsider court action, instead offering support wherever needed. Her comment was a great example of ignorance in its boldest form, sadly there was plenty more to come.

What I’m trying to get across to you all is that this blog came about in one off our darkest hours! Amazingly though its now become a real positive platform that also opened so many doors, one being to the wider community of mummy bloggers (with or without children on the spectrum).

Although a large number of us have faced some laborious situations, hurdles with a string of challenges to over come, and those constant battles to obtain the basics, such basics that without your child having ever received a diagnosis you would properly never have believed such necessities could be restricted from any child’s reach. You find out what really lies behind the school gates, you sit in the head-teachers office at your child’s school more often then you did your own when you were a child. Nonetheless I hope this blog shows that no matter how hard things become, you do get through it, and do so that bit wiser, stronger and if anything more determined.

What started as just my own personal diary changed over time. Although I still blog about the day-to-day life of parenting three children, one with Aspergers, I wanted to be sure to share anything of use, hear what others had to say and offer support where possible. It became my aim to reach out to parents of diagnosed children, especially those of newly diagnosed children as I was quite aware of that feeling of isolation that nearly always accompanies a diagnosis of autism. I also wanted to connect with those on the spectrum, and anyone else willing to listen. Importantly I wanted to try and remove some of the stereotype views & stigma surrounding autism & aspergers, that often lies with those who don’t have the privilege of knowing someone on the spectrum.

I want my writing to empowered other parents to speak out or to simply see that a diagnosis of autism doesn’t have to be a bad thing (after all that diagnosis entitles your child to services that were previously beyond their reach) If my story has helped just the one family, that’s an achievement itself.

Someone once told me “To beg is not classy” Now when did you ever hear me say I was classy? I’ve thrown all caution to the wind by deciding to get fully involved in the awards, “which I must add are totally amazing” If this involves getting down and dirty with the self-promotion then so be it! After all I’m proud of my little space and if sharing it makes it that bit bolder. That can only be a good thing.

So please If you fancy making this mummy’s day then please visit, ‘The Mad blog Awards 2011’ and Vote 4 me Aka, ‘A boy with Asperger’s as the ‘Most Inspiring Mad Blogger’


Lots of love Claire


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