Where do I start with my London book launch party?!…With the word ‘magical’, that’s where. I endlessly referred to every aspect of the day and night as magical because it felt like my wedding day (eat your heart our Meghan and Harry ;), my literary dream realised and feeling as if I was floating on air.
There was such an overwhelming outpouring of love and support with so many incredible bloggers, creatives and social media mavericks present, (sorry I wasn’t able to tag or link to everyone as it’s already taken me 3 weeks to get this live), I couldn’t have felt more grateful or humbled by the positive energy on my special day. Thank you all so much!
When I arrived at the hotel and was mid-change darlings (see sports leggings with heels), my incredibly beautiful and gifted close friend and GURU Harriet Thorpe, star of stage and screen visited me to celebrate. Here we pose together with the book before Harriet had to rush off for a matinee in the West End. Harriet features a lot in my book and her many pearls of wisdom are a joy to behold and now share within its pages.
Thank you sweetie, darling for everything!
…Every single detail on the day and night was utterly perfect from my dream team glam squad including my pal Jason Collier doing my hair, and make-up artist Michelle Courtney getting me ready to the thoughtful staff at the Royal Garden Hotel including the pastry chef who kindly surprised me with an epic book cover cake below and not forgetting Marketing Manager Sian who made ALL of it possible.
As the resident blogger at this luxury 5 star hotel, I had visualised this day before even getting a book deal. Talk about manifesting your dreams. I’d seen in my mind’s eye a book launch in that very hotel. A whole lot of hard work and determination later and my dream was realised, and it was a dream more vivid and moving than I could have ever imagined. Corny af but true and from the heart af too!
The day kicked off with breakfast tea and homemade biscuits at the Royal Garden Hotel before a Q & A with the brilliant multi-award winning Acting Deputy Editor of Marie Claire, Andrea Thompson (Mumboss was recommended in the May issue) with an audience comprised of mostly Digital Mums’ grads who had won a competition to attend.
A whole lot of honest talk and laughter later where I shared the highs and the lows of my digital career to date and of course the tears, trauma and love that went into the book made time seem to fly on wings. I could have chatted all day (which won’t surprise any of you, I’m sure). As with most public events, I was moved to tears, and touchingly, others told me they had been too. Motherhood and work-life is so emotive isn’t it, but a highlight was seeing my sons, Oliver and Alexander in the audience lapping up the day with wonder only kids can bring to proceedings.
I’m stating it again but there was a wonderfully connective magic in the air that came from everyone’s shared experiences, and the will to overcome adversity and achieve. I wish I could have bottled it to drink up on the tough days.
…Next up, it was a book signing of dreams with the images of my kids bursting with pride and Xander even signing copies of my book himself that will be imprinted on my mind forever.
My dedication in my book reads, ‘For my kids, who made me a mum and a boss’.
All this is for them after all and to share it with my little family was just the icing on the cake.
I asked Xander what his favourite part of the day was and he replied without hesitation, ‘When everyone was taking photos of me’-bahaha!
Huge thanks too to Dara Ford for my made to measure bespoke red dress and fitted jacket with vintage kimono detailing, that she kindly gifted me for publication day. An outfit I will treasure always, I felt confident and ready to seize the day in it, despite endless throat problems (I’m still enduring)- and I have Dara to thank for that.
How elegant yes sassy is this outfit?
I also want to thank my incredible manager Jack Freud, and PR Amy Storrs at IP Publicity for all the behind-the-scenes activity that went on, to ensure everything not only ran smoothly on the day and evening, but also exceeded my expectations. I’m truly honoured to be working with such pioneering, creative and vitally, caring visionaries who never fail to believe in me and my potential, and make all that I do a complete joy every single day. Who could ask for anything more?
…But back to the day’s events..
After a quick rock ‘n’ roll rest upstairs in my dressing down and a visit from girl crush, columnist and author Polly Vernon (and Jason Collier’s client), it was time to change into the most divine blue DHELA dress I’ve ever set eyes on, oh and Christian Louboutin heels sent to me (ooh lala, indeed). Told you it was basically my wedding day! My stunning crushed velvet silver clutch was c/o of Dara Ford.
Strike a pose!
Below are my best friend and hairstylist, Jason Collier, epic make up artist, Michelle Court, pal Libby, honorary Big Sis Maria and my stylist and friend Lauren.
What a dress!
Posing done, it was party time with a speech to thank everyone first, and a chance to hang out with literally hundreds of readers, colleagues, friends and members of press for a night to remember at Mahiki Kensington who kindly hosted the party complimentary from drinks to the venue and staff. I couldn’t be more grateful to theirs, and the Royal Garden Hotel’s kindness.
Huge thanks too to Portobello gin for the finest gin in town on the night too. Cheers!
Pics taken, a zillion books signed and sold (love you guys), it was time to shake my booty before my throat conked out at 10pm and my bed was calling. I lasted all day from 7am and most of the evening at least without pain (yay) and felt enveloped in a blanket of love and goodwill.
Here are some of the pro pics I was sent from the press on the night too (I ended up being in the Sun three times that week then on Good Morning Britain not long after about the Royal Wedding and later a debate on parenting where I mentioned my book).
P.S. So sorry if your pic isn’t here and you came, these were the ones sent to me.
Sergie from Dad Lab.
My pal, blogger Bianca.
Glorious gorgeous honorary little sis, red headed Lucy and her best pal!
The lovely Kirsten O’Brien.
Fellow Leeds queen Nell McAndrew.
My best Daddy blogger pal John from Dad Blog UK.
My amazingly talented movie and tv star actress friend (and the inspiration behind my Wonderful Women feature as I asked her to kick it off in the first place) Manjinder Virk.
Natasha Courtenay-Smith, the bestselling author of Million Dollar Blog (with my quote on the cover) and fab friend!
Glorious supportive creative pals, all! Photo left to right Joanne, Kelly, Charlotte, Amancay, Michelle, Jo, Kat, Sharmin and Sally.
Blogger Jo and Olympian, yes Olympian Michelle!
This one: the love of my life.
Another love of my life, one of my besties Caroline who came all the way from Leeds with her hilarious husband Jonathon. Couldn’t love those two more!
Amancay, the one who encouraged me to start Honest Mum to begin with and whom I will forever be indebted to. I love you lady!
Sharmin, my sister from another mister whom I met at uni and who flew in all the way from Amsterdam especially for my day. My babe.
One of my oldest pals, gorgeous Julie who I met aged 14 and who has been there with her folks, for all my biggest milestones. Thank you.
Here with the inspirational bestselling author Shola Kaye who is quoted in my book.
My oldest blogging pals. The A Team. Picture left to right: Uju, Mirka, Zaz, Michelle, Jacqui and Nomita. My queens.
Papa G who couldn’t quite believe how many people recognised him on the day, and who ADORED being told he was famous! Had to remind him we’re only Z list! He’s only waited his whole life for that-bahaha!
Below my Dad gets his pose on with family friends Christine and Libby.
So many of my former film colleagues also came out to play as did friends I’ve not seen since I was 19. How special is that?!
More than anything, the reviews and response to Mumboss from people I’m not related to or know (ha!) have blown me the heck away.
To know my words are helping mobilise mums and dads to carve out a career that works for them and their families, is the single reason I wrote it. WOW!
Thank you all so much, I couldn’t have done any of this without your support.
Now, as always, I’m a giver baby as are the Royal Garden Hotel so look what you can luckily win….
1 night in an Executive Room-2 adults, 2 children (children 11 and under) and full English breakfast for all.
To be redeemed within 12 months.
Value is £450.
You can use it any day of the week, for 12 months, subject to availability and blackout dates will apply. No cash alternative.
UK only or you need to be in the UK when redeeming the prize and no travel expenses are offered.
Ends 26th June 2018.