11.17.2015

The Craziest Week of my life! #NEBloggerAwards


It still hasn't sunk in...

I am still literally in a state of elated shock, so I apologise if I waffle but little old me just won Best Parenting Blog 2015 at the North East Blogger Awards organised by OPR. Now obviously any blogger would be totally delighted to win this award but let me tell you why it has put an actual crack in my universe....

When I was a little girl I was too tall, I had too many freckles and I would but my clothes on inside out and back to front; to my Mums total horror, I also didn't even notice or care.  This was the start of how I was diagnosed
with Dyslexia. From then I struggled on every level at school even sports,I couldn't tell the time, I had no skin on my knees for a decade straight because I couldn't walk without falling over, I still don't really know my left and right and I wasn't able to go to the same school as my brothers because I didn't pass the entrance exam and was called "Remedial" by the Head. Despite my amazing Daddy telling me, before he sadly passed away when I was 12, "To never forget I could be ANYTHING I wanted to be if I worked hard" Its still fair to say I didn't have a lot of confidence growing up. This wasn't helped in anyway when I spoke to the career councillor after seeing the famous Author Jacqueline Wilson do a talk at our school. I told her I was determined I now wanted to be a writer. "People with Dyslexia cant be writer's really..." she said, "I would pick something less.. Academic..." I admit at the time I was torn between a Journalist and making a Recipe Book but this was still a blow!

So I pushed it to the back of my mind and got on with being a teenager. I just managed to scrape 3 A levels but not grades high enough to go to University, I could have possibly gone through clearing but as I said the confidence wasn't there, neither was the finance and I definitely did not want all the debt from a degree I didn't think I could or would complete. So I did what I loved and became a full time Beauty Therapist, I did that for a few years loving the Salon life and working with people. By then I had met and moved in with 'The Husband' who works offshore and anyone in Salons knows the hours can be tough and we weren't seeing much of each other at all. So I then decided to try and get a more 9-5 job working for big company but who also made Beauty Products; again I loved it, the job and my team. It was all going great for a few years but then we decided we had to have the babies....now I know all the working mothers in fact parents full stop out there are nodding along instantly. You get me. Right? Its a BIG game changer. As much as I adore my boys everything just becomes X10 harder, getting out the house to go to work suddenly takes two thirds longer than actually driving to work. 

After having Oscar and realising I was spending more time of my life finding matching shoes for everyone than anything else I knew I was in trouble. Fate has a funny way of intervening though and my department was being moved so we were made redundant and fate kept going to the next month when The Husband was transferred to Texas with his work. Now this was all very exciting and I know I am incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to be a SAHM but it wasn't really in my hands and being a busy bee like me I knew I had to have something to keep my mind active as well. Now I had always loved to bake and if you follow my blog you will now know I'm brutally honest about being a mum, my kids are lush....but its hard graft and all this was being well received on my Facebook page. A few people said I MUST start a blog but again my demons kicked, "Could someone with Dyslexia have a blog?"....Well only one way to find out. So I googled it...no joke I had not a clue and neither did anyone I knew, in fact I still get relatives and friends asking "So what IS a blog?!" I picked 'Blogger' because it looked easier to navigate and I haven't regretted it yet. As I'm totally addicted to sweet things, love to bake but also always in a mad dash I came up with my name and so 'Sugar Rushed' was born. 

I put a disclaimer on not to expect too much from the grammar, in fact I still do, I know its making some of you twitch he he but what can I say except... sorry I literally don't notice. It hasn't seemed to cause too much trouble though and I bashed on doing recipes and tales of what we were up to; which was great to keep in touch as well while we were in Houston. It became a life line actually to share and vent because I wont beat around, but being a mum can be really isolating too. I honestly give major claps to all the Mummas out there BEFORE the Internet, seriously how did you know what to do at 2am with a baby who wont stop crying, or is teething or will not poop?!....trust me I didn't think I would ever have any interest in those things either or become completely obsessed with SLEEP, but you do. Anyway I was happy with my little blog and my group of #keepingitrealclub as I call it on my page. 



This was me last year, I had been blogging for over a year but still very much considered my self an amateur and I was just delighted to be attending the awards and meet some of the "Big Dawgs" as I said. I went by myself and I didn't know anyone so I introduced myself to Sam from North East Family Fun whose blog I read. It was strange to see someone in the flesh but Sam was super friendly and deservedly went on to win North East Blogger of the Year that night. Watching her video and some of the other winners too I felt really inspired to maybe take my blog to the next level or just blog more. Which I did start but then I hit a bit of snag earlier in the year when I had a blog troll and a few negative comments, it really knocked me because they weren't that bad, it was more the hint that by being honest or saying it how it is I was a bad mother. I have never expected anyone to like my blog never mind love it but in equal measure I didn't think there was anything controversial or to dislike. So I stopped for a few months and I really had to think about it because it came totally out of the blue, I had only ever had positive messages from people like "thank god its not just me" or "I read your blog at 3am and realised I'm not alone". So did I stick with my "KIR Club" and stay true to myself or give up in case people thought I was being a bad Mam?... 

Well as you can guess, I decided I KNOW the truth, I might want to strangle them sometimes but my boys are my absolute world. So instead of stopping I promised myself for 6mths to give it my all, continue my 'warts and all' adventures and share my ideas instead of fearing I was showing off; basically quiet those negative voices in my head. That was 3mths ago....In that time I have had more interaction, shares and messages with incredible lovely people than ever before. Then without even knowing I had been nominated I was short listed for "The Best Parenting Blog 2015" fighting off hundreds of other blogs to the final 3, at the NE Blogger awards where just a year ago I had stood in awe. Then a few days before the awards ceremony I decided to share an idea I do every Christmas and it just went a bit bonkers from there really. Ironically my new blogger pal Sam shared it first, it then got picked up by several people, then 'The Parent Feed' page, then it went really crazy and the figures were in the millions...including Santa ha ha. Really!. On the day of the awards I swear on my life I didn't think I was going to win at all but I was already on cloud 9 just to have been nominated and how well my blog was being received...it had reached 7 million in 4 days by then.

In case you missed it "Hot Chocolate Station"





In true "Us" fashion Oscar somehow developed a septic toe so I spent most the day in A and E and after a pit stop to the Golden Archs had 25mins to get ready but I work better under pressure ha ha. The night was totally amazing at Bonbar, yummy canap├ęs, some Therapist's from Savannah giving out massages, FaceBooth which was loads of fun, a few glasses of fizz and a chat with some of my favourite bloggers I was just so happy. I truly didn't mind about the results because both competitors Janine and Karen were so good. To be honest I had a tiny panic because I had forgotten about the 'Audition tape' they show before the award so I was busy cringing about that to care to much. I have to admit when Sarah from Tommee Tippee said "The Blog that has made it to the top of the Parenting class is...." my heart started to pound and when she said my name I actually froze. The husband took a little video which is on my page and you don't see me go to the stage for a bit because I was totally in shock. I'm so pleased I didn't have to speak because I literally had nothing prepared. I think the nicest thing for me was like me last year some people had come alone so when they collected their award there was a nice round of applause. However I've since been lucky enough to become friends with a lovely gang of blogger's and it was clear when the room errupted as my name was announced; so kind they are genuinely happy for me. It has absolutely made my year to be "Best Parenting Blog 2015" ...who would have thought?! Thank you to OPR, Tommee Tippe and Bonbar for such a fab night.

Only my nails done sat in Mc Donalds less
 than an hour before the awards!


Thank the loooord for back coming and a bit of lippy....








Back to normality!



The next day our local paper the Chronicle got in touch to ask if they could do a story and take a picture. Naturally I was in the middle of making a 6 tier Cake for my cousin...as you do, when the Photographer arrived, got to keep it real though ha ha. I thought they were going to take one quick picture but he did a little video, an interview and took several shots including an outfit change...because I had icing sugar everywhere! I even made him my famous "Hot Chocolate. I was in London at the weekend with, said cake at a fantastic party when my friend text me the news paper link. I had been out of signal all day and it was so cool...it wasn't until I looked closer that I realised it actually was The Daily Mail a national newspaper as well as our local one. If I had tried I couldn't have possibly made this week up. 
A girl with dyslexia and no degree just won an award for writing and a few week's ago I was going to give up but this week 7 million people have seen my blog and I'm in a national news paper. Its madness. 


Reading this back it sounds a bit like a sob story, X factor worthy maybe but that is not my intention at all. I only want to tell people, if you want something just go for it and of course not just blogging, it could be anything. I did this on my own, against quite a bit of adversity. Not to be mean to my family and friends but most of them didn't understand what a blog is or "Get it" and even the husband apologised because when he saw me taking pictures making the now viral "Hot Chocolate Station" he questioned who would "like that?". Its kind of like being on a diet when your'e doing your best but the scale wont budge, you still keep going though and you drop like 5lbs in a week. Its truly hard to have blind faith sometimes but if you are sure of something do not compromise yourself because you are all you have got. As Nike famously said "Just do it!" Ive been asked tonnes "What now?" but in truth just more of the same, if this little slice of Kissmet turns into something bigger great and if it doesn't it wont matter to me because I will still be blogging and I know I proved all the Negative voices wrong..... 

                         

I would like to Thank in no particular order.

My Daddy Cool who told me "I could be anything I wanted" and who I love and miss like crazy.

My hilarious gorgeous boys Archie and Oscar, without whom the blog wouldn't be.

My Husband who puts up with my at times OCD ways and hasn't eaten anything in the last few years before I have taken a photograph first.

My GG and Grandad who have my back all the time, push me constantly in the right direction and I adore the bones of.

My brother Phil who keeps my feet on the ground noticing things like my grey hair and for babysitting on the night.

My Mam and Step Mum who always champion me and make me feel special.

My girls, they know who they are and why.

Finally my family friends and followers or anyone who has ever 
liked or shared my blog I appreciate it all so much.

xox

LINKS

If you would like to follow me well thanks! You can below.

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The viral blog


My blogging crew who went wild when I won, 
seriously follow these guys.






6 comments:

  1. Ashlie, this post has literally made me cry. I've got dyslexia too and was told pretty much my whole life the same thing. I'm so happy you carried on blogging, won the award and went pretty much world famous in the space of a few days. Even my Mam said she'd seen you in the paper! Love your #keepingitrealclub. Your Dad was so right. You can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard. Something everyone should be told. Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see you're next invention. Love Katie. Xxxxx (ps being dyslexic rocks)

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    1. Aw babe that's so nice thank you didnt mean to make you cry I just bashed it out. You are lush and thanks for being there on the night!! xxx

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  2. OK I am a big sap but this made me cry!!! Why are children told they can't do things?! It's so sad :( As you say, anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it and I'm so so proud of you for working so hard at doing something you love. You're writing is fantastic, you have such a way with words!

    I'm so happy and proud that you are getting the recognition you deserve, it's all up from here .. just remember us all when you're mega famous!

    Chloe X
    newgirlintoon.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Chloe that means a lot coming from you and knowing how fab and way more professional your blog is than mine. I agree no one should be told they cant because my reply would be "Watch me" xxx

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  3. Yes - remember us when you're mega famous - you could be the next Operah!! Haha! Ah so proud of you xxxx

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  4. Love it well done! Thinking about starting a blog, been thinking about it for yrs actually and your post gives me confidence to start. Thanks, well done, and you look drop dead gorgeous!:)

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