BritMums Live 2016: A blogger?s tips for an inspiring event

Posted on Mar 25, 2016

Book a hotel. Sort out childcare. Buy a new dress. Check train times and car parking spaces. Decide whether to wear heels or flats and which bag will match. No, this isn?t my checklist for a romantic break with my husband, but the preparation I carry out before I head off to Britmums Live, an all singing, all dancing event I love. Last year was my third year at Britmums Live, and I felt more confident than I had in the past. It?s not easy walking into a venue packed with over 500 people, most of whom you?ve never met, but this time it was OK.? I was more comfortable in my blogging skin and didn?t feel like a fraud who shouldn?t really be there. I genuinely felt that I was a part of the community, I knew what I was doing and loved that people were reading my blog. Meeting Ella Woodward AKA Deliciously Ella was pretty cool and coming away as a World Record Breaker really impressed my sons. The overall memory from the weekend however was the feeling of being totally and utterly inspired. Natalie Trice & Ella Woodward Inspired to keep writing. Inspired to be passionate about my posts. Inspired by the speakers who put themselves out there, tell their tale and bare their souls. Inspired by the blood, sweat and tears that people put into their tiny part of the Internet and the stories they tell there. Inspired to be me. Inspired to book my ticket for 2016. I am not the biggest blogger. I am not the best blogger. I don?t win awards. I?m not part of any clique or tribe. But I am passionate about blogging and I love it. It gives me a voice and a place where I can talk about my life, my struggles, my book, my charity and in a funny way, it has become the glue that keeps it all together. That said, I totally get that it?s one thing to sit typing in the safety of your office but to step into the big wide world where you are vulnerable, as we do at an event like this, is quite different. You might feel as if everyone else feels confident and knows exactly what they are doing, but you know what, most of us are just winging it and have our fair share of niggling insecurities. The first year I went I hid behind my phone, too scared to speak to anyone in case they thought my blog was rubbish. Each year it got easier and whilst I won?t arrive this year feeling uber-confident, I am already looking forward to what I know will be a great day. My tips for BritMums Live Yes, you might be worried about what to wear, scared that no one will talk to you and you won?t know anyone, but...

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The Undertaker Celebrates His 51st Birthday With Hell In A Cell Cake!

Posted on Mar 25, 2016

Health and nutrition company bakes The Phenom a caged treat. Onnit Thursday, March 24, marks the 51st birthday of Mark ?Undertaker? Calaway, the greatest WWE Superstar of all time. While Calaway is traditionally a very private man who keeps his personal life to himself for the sake of the preserving The Undertaker character?s mystique, The Phenom accepted a gracious gift from health solutions company Onnit ? a birthday cake in the shape of a wrestling ring, complete with a Hell in a Cell surrounding it and an Undertaker action figure watching from on high. The Undertaker is as synonymous with Hell in a Cell as he is with WrestleMania and WWE. He?s competed in 13 of the company?s 32 Hell in a Cell matches (including the first one, a classic contest with Shawn Michaels that saw the debut of Kane), with his 14th coming in just 10 days at WrestleMania 32. At that show, The Undertaker will put his WrestleMania career on the line against Shane McMahon, who will be vying for full control of Monday Night Raw. Onnit is an Austin-based provider of fitness equipment, supplements, and more. Touting the delivery of ?Total Human Optimization? to customers, the company has found many supporters in pro wrestling, MMA, and mainstream sports, including Diamond Dallas Page, Evan Bourne, Bode Miller, and Joe Rogan. more...

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F1?s disillusioned drivers have found their voice | 2016 F1 season

Posted on Mar 24, 2016

What is behind the Grand Prix Drivers? Association?s extraordinary statement urging changes at the heart of F1 governance? The letter published yesterday via their Twitter account did not specify exact grievances. In one sentence the drivers put everything on the table, criticising F1?s ?rule changes ? on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business directions?. It?s tempting to interpret the statement very narrowly as a reaction against F1?s most recent blunder: the farce which was the first running of the new ?elimination qualifying? on the season?s opening day of competitive action last Saturday. That this rule ever came to pass is a case study in F1?s leadership problems. It began with Bernie Ecclestone calling for some form of reverse grid system to be introduced. The teams successfully resisted that idea but agreed to a watered-down proposal which, conceived and introduced in haste, was never going to work and sure enough didn?t. Several drivers voiced their objection to the plan before it was introduced. ?I don?t think there?s a reason to change [qualifying]? said Sergio Perez during pre-season testing, foreshadowing the GPDA?s claim today that recent decisions ?do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing?. But GPDA president Alexander Wurz has indicated the announcement had been planned well before Saturday?s shambles. Dissatisfaction has been growing among the drivers for years. For some their grievances data back to the introduction of high-degradation tyres in 2011 and the slump in car performance it caused. ?As an F1 competitor, a purist and huge fan of the sport,? wrote Mark Webber in his autobiography after quitting F1 in 2013, ?I wanted a category so far ahead of any other that the drivers are intimidated and respectful of driving cars on the limits.? ?We all felt the same, even Michael [Schumacher] on his comeback, but we couldn?t talk openly about not enjoying it as much. We would meet each other at the back of the trucks during pre-season testing and laugh about where the sport was going.? At the beginning of year six of the ?designed to degrade? tyre era, have drivers finally had more than they can stand? Even Lewis Hamilton, who?s previously been wary of criticising F1, has spoken in recent days about his frustration with having to nurse his tyres among other objections. Others are eyeing other racing series, as far possible within the confines of F1?s growing calendar. Nico Hulkenberg did two World Endurance Championship races last year and won the Le Mans 24 Hours. At least two other top drivers tried to find seats in the endurance classic contested by some of the fastest cars outside F1. Why does the WEC now hold this appeal for some F1 racers? In their statement the drivers urged F1 to ?remain a sport? and provide ?a closely-fought competition between the best drivers in extraordinary machines on the coolest...

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Super Formula ?best possible? preparation for 2017 ? Vandoorne | 2016 F1 season

Posted on Mar 24, 2016

McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne says he believes the Japanese Super Formula series is his best possible option for this season as he eyes an F1 race seat for 2017. As the reigning champion, Vandoornge cannot return to GP2 this season. He will instead race in Japan for the Honda-powered Docomo Dandelion team. ?Unfortunately I?m not allowed to do GP2 again this year, so we had to look for a different option,? says Vandoorne. ?Super Formula came to be the best possible option for me this year to prepare for 2017. Obviously after winning GP2 I really wanted to be in F1. But sometimes that?s just how it is. There?s no places available and I think having a racing programme in Japan with Honda will be a really good opportunity for me to build a relationship with Honda and prepare for 2017.? Vandoorne attended last weekend?s race in AustraliaThe Super Formula field includes many former Formula One drivers such as Kamui Kobayashi, Kazuki Nakajima, Andre Lotterer and Narain Karthikeyan. The Dallara SF14 chassis and 2.0-litre turbo engines used in the series produce some of the fastest lap times seen outside F1, getting within five seconds of current grand prix cars at Suzuka. ?The cars are very physically demanding as well,? explains Vandoorne. ?The cornering speeds especially are very high. I think they?re even higher than an F1 car. So you have to be very fit. It?s a long distance as well. Nearly a 90 minute race, like F1. It?s going to be even harder than what I?ve done over the last couple of years, so it?s going to be very good preparation for Formula One.? As McLaren?s reserve driver for 2016, Vandoorne will also attend the majority of this season?s 21 grands prix with the team and says he?s ready to race should he ever be called into action. ?My role at the races will be to assist Jenson [Button] and Fernando [Alonso] at the weekends. Listening to all the technical briefings, doing some media work as well. It?ll be busy race weekends for me. ?Obviously I spend a lot of time in the simulator over the winter and before every grand prix. That?s basically the best way for me to keep in good shape. My racing programme in Japan as well will help me keep race-sharp. I will be one-hundred percent ready to jump in the car.? The 2017 Super Formula season will begin on April 24th at Suzuka. 2016 F1 season Browse all 2016 F1 season articles External Link to...

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Drivers urge overhaul of ?obsolete? F1 governance | 2016 F1 season

Posted on Mar 24, 2016

The Grand Prix Drivers? Association has called for root-and-branch changes to how Formula One is run in a statement issued on Wednesday. The GPDA claims recent sporting, technical and business changes to F1 ?do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success?. The focus of their complaint is F1?s governance structure, which it describes as ?obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made?. The drivers called for the sport to adopt a ?clear master plan? which should ?re?ect the principles and core values of Formula One?. Although the statement is signed ?on behalf of the Grand Prix drivers?, not all F1 drivers are members of the GPDA. GPDA statement, March 23rd 2016 Driver Position Statement Dear Formula 1 stakeholders. followers and fans, The Grand Prix drivers would like to state our following position: We drivers love our sport! Since childhood, we dreamed of racing the fastest race cars from the top teams on the coolest tracks against the best drivers in the world. We seek competition and love F1 almost unconditionally, which makes us most probably the people with the purest interest for Formula 1, beside our fans. Formula 1 is currently challenged by a dif?cult global economic environment, a swift change in fan and consumer behaviour. and a decisive shift in the TV and media landscape. This makes it fundamental that the sport?s leaders make smart and well considered adjustments. We feel that some recent rule changes ? on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business directions ? are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success. We know that among the leaders of the sport ? be it the owners, their representatives, the governing body, the teams or other stakeholders ? every individual acts with the very best intentions. Therefore, the drivers have come to the conclusion that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made, indeed, it can sometimes lead to just the opposite, a gridlock. This reflects negatively on our sport, prevents it being fit for the next generation of fans and compromises further global growth. We would like to request and urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula 1 to consider restructuring its own governance. The future directions and decisions of F1, be they short or long term, sporting, technical or business orientated should be based on a clear master plan. Such plan should re?ect the principles and core values of Formula 1. We need to ensure that F1 remains a sport, a closely-fought competition between the best drivers in extraordinary machines on the coolest race tracks. F1 should be home only to the best teams, drivers and circuits, with partners and suppliers fit for such an elite championship. Formula 1...

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