Honest Mum

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.

Mumboss book launch party at The Royal Garden Hotel

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!

Mumboss book launch party at The Royal Garden Hotel

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 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.


Mumboss book launch

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.

The Royal Garden Hotel

…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 and sassy is this outfit?

Dara Ford Designs

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.

Vicki Psarias

Strike a pose!

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!

Portobello Road Gin

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.

family friends

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….

Royal Garden Hotel

1 night in an Executive Room-2 adults, 2 children (children 11 and under) and full English breakfast for all.

Reception at the Royal Garden Hotel

king size bed in a 5 star hotel


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.

eating breakfast at The Royal Garden Hotel

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promoted on Prize finderBritMumsLoquaxSuper Lucky  , UK Wins and Competition Database.


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My Mumboss Book Launch Party - Honest Mum


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347 Responses

  1. Jules Eley

    It looked great and you looked really happy. I would love to win because I have never had a night away from my children since the eldest was born 15 years ago. It would be such a treat!

  2. Theresa Cooke

    wow! congratulations, looks like you had a great time,
    I love London, so much to do and see with some fabulous restaurants, would like to stay over somewhere beautiful.

  3. Elizabeth Cooke

    The venue looks amazing, and looks like such fun! I’d love to celebrate my hubby and I’s joint birthday

  4. Kerry H

    I love when a hotel goes out of their way to make everything perfect for an event.

  5. Hollie Harvey

    Party looked amazing! I would absolutely love to win this prize in order to take my mother away to London for a break from her stressful job as a Dementia nurse. xx

  6. kimberley ryan

    sounds like you had a wonderful time and had so much fun.
    I would love to win so I can treat my family to something very special


    the venue looked fabulous, as did everyone there!! I would def have gone for the leggings and heals look :)))))) Glad it all went as well as it did.
    It would be a real treat to stay in London and explore a bit, been a good 20 years since my last visit.

  8. Rebecca Jane Meredith

    The party looked wonderful, glowing people and lovely surroundings make for lovely images, well done, looked like a lovely night.

    I’d love to win a break in London for some quality time with my mum who lives in France, I’d love to take her to see Les Mis, head to Camden for some quirky shopping and see the Tudor sites in the city as we are huge history buffs.
    Thanks for the chance, I’d be made up


    Looks like you had a fabulous day. Would love to treat my sister to a night away

  10. Debbie Preston

    Your launch party looked fab. I would love to win a stay in London as usually only go for the day so we would be able to do loads more sightseeing.

  11. Rachel Cross

    The party looks amazing. Congratulations.

    I’d love to win as I love London and never get to spend as much time as I would like to there.
    This would be a great excuse to go.

  12. Em S

    It’s always good to catch up with old friends… I’d love to win the family stay in the posh London hotel, it would be a great treat for us

  13. Kim Neville

    Looks like everyone enjoyed themselves and amazing to catch up with people in a nice place. Would love to stay with my OH and son

  14. Claire Appleton

    The parties looked amazing! Id love to win the hotel stay to have a little getaway with my other half 🙂

  15. Lorraine Kirk

    Your launch party looks fantastic and the proud look on Xander’s face says it all. We would love to stay here and visit Kew Gardens and the Natural History Museuml

  16. Vicki Weston

    Wow, looks fun! I would love a trip to London to catch up with friends 🙂

  17. Rachel Craig

    Parties look great, looks like you allow had a great time. Love visiting London, we would love the opportunity of staying at such a lovely hotel whilst making the most of our time:- By catching up with friends, sightseeing, shopping, night at the theatre,etc.

  18. Susan Hoggett

    The parties look amazing and you look like you had a fab time! I’d love to win as I’m getting married next year and I’d really like a break away to de-stress and unwind from all the hectic planning.

  19. Margaret Mccaffery

    Looks like a great time.
    Would love a night of luxury at the hotel.

  20. Sarah Mccaffery

    Looks like the party has just begun.
    I’d love to return to London to see some of the recently finished projects.

  21. Holly brazier

    The party looks fabulous! Glad you had an amazing time! I love being London bound and we regularly head up there for day trips! Would love to recharge my batteries in the beautiful hotel. X

  22. Jane Vaughan

    Looks like you had such a great time. The Royal Garden Hotel looks beautiful.

  23. Chris Hunt

    Love the dress and the Portobello Gin. Great combo I think!

    Would love to win. Any trip to London is a treat. I am a keen photographer and that would be an opportunity too good to miss. London is a photographer’s dream city and I would love the chance to get to grips with it.

  24. Mark Mccaffery

    The party looks great.
    It’s been a few years since I was last in London, it’d be nice to return.

  25. Jo Heath

    Love the parties, you look amazing and are really rocking those outfits! I always think occasions need celebrating and remembering somehow. This is certainly one of those times. You deserve every sucess.
    I would love to win this luxury, as I like making memories, it looks amazing and is something I couldn’t justify treating us to just now. It would be super special.

  26. Julia Linsley

    Love parties the celebration and fun but mstly the planning and seeing how much everyone enjoys themselves ! I’d love to win this to treat my student daughter who has been studying in Tokyo she would love a luxuary treat she makes me so proud and she works so hard!! I’d love to really treat her!

  27. Kathrine Krogulec

    Looks fab! Great that your former colleagues and old friends supported you too. They obvs hold you in high regard 🙂

    This is THE best hotel in London and it would be amazing to take the family and re-visit our favourite attractions. Joseph adores The Natural History Museum.

  28. Vicky R

    You look like you had an amazing time! I would love to head down to london with my 6 year old daughter. She’s going to drama and musical theatre classes so i’d Love to take her to the West End!! 😊

  29. Jessica Hutton

    It looks like you had a fab time. I love a good party with my family. I would love to win so that I could take my mum xx

  30. greig spencer

    Love to win to treat my partner Leo to a special night away at this fabulous hotel to celebrate his 235th birthday coming soon

  31. Victoria Prince

    The parties sound and look incredible! I’d love to win because we could do with a change of scene after a difficult couple of months, and a bit of 5 star luxury sounds just the ticket 🙂

  32. Abigail

    That looked like a good time! My brothers would love to see London and it would be a great opportunity to take them and my mam 🙂

  33. Claire Toplis

    I love a good party with friends or family and my son is back from university soon and we are sure to have a party
    Claire Toplis recently posted…Just Blog For YourselfMy Profile

  34. Elena Kase

    I would love to win.My kids love London and what could be nicer than spending more time with lovely hotel stay for rest and recharge.

  35. Emma Fox

    Wow – it looks like you are having a fantastic time. We’d use the voucher for a fun night away 🙂

  36. cat

    It looks like you had an amazing day. After 4 years without a holiday with my husband (because of a sick child) we would really love a break away

  37. Christine Taylor

    I love a good party although I don’t get to go to many any more, but I’d love to win as it does sound like lots of fun – just what I need x
    Christine Taylor recently posted…The Head of Steam Birmingham – More than Just Beer! #ReviewMy Profile

  38. cheryl hadfield

    I would love to win, would be the perfect way to celebrate my hubbys 40th birthday and our 15year wedding anniversary this year

  39. Emma Anderson

    Looks like you guys had an awesome time! Good luck with the book!!

  40. Rebecca Beesley

    What an amazing day that was! I was so honoured to have been one of your blog winners and met up with some brilliant new friends as well as meeting an old friend there too. I was so inspired by everything you said in the Q&A and the people I met encouraged me to get on with finishing the book I’d had sat on my computer for the past two years! And just kept procrastinating over! So with their encouragement I finally got the last bits done and it is now with a friend for edits and a wonderful young talented teen who has jia himself is doing artwork for it to raise funds for juvenile arthritis research. I loved meeting your lads – they were super cute and sat behind me during the day event (I took a fave photo of you and your boys – must dig it out and send over – makes me emotional when i look at it as you are so beaming with pride about them). This would be the most awesome prize to win as I love how genuinely child friendly they are at RGH and so geared up for families.

  41. Mary H

    That looked fun. I’d love to take my boyfriend there for a weekend away.


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