Reflecting on BritMums Live and what I learned from my Boots Soltan Briefing

Brit Mums Live, Boots Soltan

I wrote this post the other day about stepping out of my comfort zone and about how I was finally going to stand up and do something that even just the thought of has always made me feel extremely anxious. 

I'm always honest with my anxiety. I really see no point in ever trying to cover it. I'm not a shy person. I'm not unconfident. I'm confident in myself and will talk to anyone. People probably assume I hide my anxiety well, but I'm not hiding it. I'm going through it over and over again, but I'm also pushing my way through it. It's like half of me rows with the other half a lot of the time and whilst my anxiety is loud and sometimes can feel a little crippling, I refuse to let it rule my life. 

When I received the amazing invitation from Boots Soltan and read what my trip to London would involve, I knew that I had to take the opportunity. For various reasons really - 1. It's Boots! 2. It's BritMums Live. And 3. It was the perfect opportunity to do something I've never felt strong enough to do alone before. 

And boy am I glad I did. 

I'd been surprisingly calm during the build-up to Friday. I think being a busy Mum helps you to take your mind off of things. On Friday morning, I woke up with excitement. How lucky was I to have been offered this opportunity?! I couldn't wait to meet with Boots and the other bloggers working with them. Right on queue came the anxiety of course and getting to the train station and on to the train was hard. I don't even remember breathing on the train - in fact I was battling my head so much that the journey is just a blur. 

I met the lovely Jess at Euston station, just after I spilt my entire lunch down my top (Nice!). She had text saying she would be a bit late, but I was glad to hear it - I needed time to calm down. 

When she arrived it was great to have someone to talk to and get to the hotel with. It was the first time I'd met her and she is just lovely. 

Our hotel was amazing - I was pretty blown away and it felt amazing to have a company like Boots Soltan believing in me and my blog enough to have invited me. The trip was based around a 5★ theme because all of their Boots Soltan products are 5★ rated (which means that they give the highest level of protection against UVA.). 

We were then invited to a Soltan briefing at a stunning restaurant in Mayfair - it was lovely to finally meet the girls from Boots that I'd been chatting to via email, they were all incredibly kind and friendly. I learnt so much during the briefing and I found it so interesting. Like about how once t-shirts are wet and turn opaque they no longer offer any protection from the sun. Below are some other interesting things that I picked up during the briefing..
  • Sun damage is caused by two types of ultraviolet light, UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates deeper and is mainly responsible for ageing. 
  • The level of UVA protection a sun cream gives is shown by its star rating.
  • 3 tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body.
  • Sand, concrete and even grass all reflect UV but if any of these surfaces become wet the amount of UV reflected can double.
  • The effects of the sun are cumulative so if you burn an area of skin it may be more sensitive next year.
  • 40% of UV exposure occurs when you’re not in direct sunlight.

It was also good to learn that Boots Soltan is actually the No.1 5★ UVA sun protection brand and that they can help you to choose the best sun cream for you online via this SPF selector tool. I'm working with them again next month and so will be able to share more insight into Soltan and sun protection then. 

I spent that evening after our briefing with blogger friends Kerri-Ann, Jenny, Lucy, Katie and Clarissa, these girls are amazing and we had such a lovely meal at Wagamama. 

I met with some of the girls in the morning and we headed down to breakfast together and then off to register for the event. I was so anxious before I finally plucked up enough courage to leave my room. I find it so hard to explain, because I was having the BEST time and was so excited but I was full of anxiety and nearly cried to Kerri-Ann, bless her, when she asked if I was OK at breakfast. I was OK, I was so excited and feeling amazing, I was just overwhelmed. Girls, if you read this, thank you so much for being so lovely and supportive. You know who you are and you're all amazing friends. 

Being at BritMums Live was great - I felt on top of the world being there and so proud of myself. Feeling overwhelmed by the number of people there, I clung to friends in the beginning, but then I slowly relaxed in to it, the anxiety cloud shifted off of me and I truly enjoyed myself. It was amazing to know that I'd finally done it alone and that this time Adam wasn't sitting in a hotel room somewhere waiting for me. 

It was amazing to spend time with some of the loveliest fellow bloggers and get to hang out with fellow Channel Mumm'er Sophie from Mumology. Sophie, if you read this, I so hope I get to spend time with you again. You have my same humour and you have no idea how much you made me laugh and helped me to relax!

Sophie and I went to a couple of sessions together. I'm not sure how I felt about the sessions this year, I didn't learn as much as I would have liked, but maybe they're more suited to newer bloggers?! It was however, amazing to see Vicki from Honest Mum talk in her session as I find her drive, honesty and kindness extremely inspiring. 

It's impossible to write about all of the little details that went in to the two days and all of the wonderful and kind people I met. But I learnt a lot about myself. Maybe it sounds silly but it's sort of like I almost finally broke chains off of myself a little. I'm eternally grateful to Boots Soltan for believing in me and for inviting me along for what turned out to be exactly what I needed. 

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  1. Glad you had a lovely time! Sounds like you had a great time with boots.

    I think I saw you a couple of times but was too much of a chicken to introduce myself to anyone :/

    1. Ahh, really?! I'm sorry you felt like that. I know it can be so overwhelming though. I would have loved to have met you, but I do understand. At least you managed to go! xxx

  2. I was hoping to see you there Alex but I didn't spot you! Glad you enjoyed it xx

    1. Ah it's a shame, but there were SO many people there weren't there??! I missed so many people, I just couldn't see everyone. I hope you had a good time too? xx

  3. Sounds like you had a lovely time Alex and you certainly did well. Reading this does give me more confidence to go next years britmums. Hopefully I meet you then :) Anxiety is one thing but I am so bad at being social. I am not a person who does small talk. I live in the complete wrong country because Irish people are too chatty lol xx

    1. I know exactly what you mean!! I'm an introvert so the small talk thing is not me either. I'd much rather be one-on-one having a deep meaningful conversation. I hope to meet you one day. xx

  4. Aah I loved reading this Alex- and good on you for facing your anxiety face on. It was so so lovely to finally meet you. I felt incredibly anxious all day really and I never come across in my best way at these types of things as I'm often too anxious and nervous to really be myself- but like you, I'm pleased I stepped out of my comfort zone and went. It was made a lot easier having Luca by my side- the little angel! I know you missed your boys terribly the whole day so i bet you were glad to get home to them xx

    1. Ah lovely, it is hard to just relax straight into it. But you were lovely, as was little Luca who was just an angel all day. He's so adorable and his little laugh in the session too!! :') It was lovely meeting you!! xx

  5. Was SO good to meet you! And well done you for going - I know how scared you were. I am sure you feel amazing now you've done it!! Thanks for meeting me at the station and for being so lovely all weekend! :) xx

  6. It sounds like, in a way, BML was just what you needed. I'm glad you had so many lovely people with you through it xx

  7. It was so so lovely to see you Alex. And I'm so pleased for you that you managed to fight back the anxiety and enjoy your time. I don't suffer from anxiety but I still find BritMums quite intense in a way that makes me half excited and half want to run away and hide. x

  8. A good read - it's great to hear that you overcame your anxiety and had a great time. Inspirational to other mums. x

  9. It was so lovely to see you and spend some time with you. I thought you did amazingly well and you should be SO proud of yourself for facing your fears! So glad you had a lovely time xx

  10. Glad to hear u had a lovely time I'm hoping to be able to go next year as I've wanted to go for awhile now.

  11. Sorry I am only just getting the chance to comment on this Alex, I have had one of those months where I just haven't been able to read as many blogs as I would like. It was so lovely spending time with you as always. I really thought you did so well considering how anxious you were. I am glad I went but I felt a bit funny this year as well, I felt really overwhelmed. xx