Our fantastic new intro video!

Adding video content to our website is something I have wanted to do for ages but I just haven’t had the time or access to the right resources. That all changed when I met Frédérick, a serial entrepreneur and also a BOKAC parent!

Frédérick Tubiermont is the founder of adsy.me, webringmaster.com and 24hWP.com. When I told him that I was looking to create an intro video for BOKAC, he said he could help. He created our video in less than a day which is amazing and I am so delighted with the result!

Frédérick is also an expert in WordPress so if you are looking for a bespoke WordPress website, get in touch with Frédérick who can do this in 24 hours and from £699! 
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Vicky’s Post: Digital Mums – The Final Hurrah

It’s true what they say – time flies when you’re having fun!  I still can’t quite believe it has been 18 weeks since I started the Advanced course with Digital Mums.

I stumbled upon Digital Mums purely by chance after being made redundant in December 2014. I had been working in the Digital Out of Home advertising business for over 10 years, a long time. I felt I could do my role as a Digital Content Manager standing on my head. Scheduling content across 1000 digital screens? No problem. Project managing a digital advert campaign? With my eyes closed. The role had see me plan my wedding (it was a LONG engagement!), get married and become pregnant with my first child. I felt settled, comfortable. Then almost a year to the day I returned back to work from maternity leave – wham! Redundancy.

To say it came as a shock was an understatement, and right before Christmas too. Although there is never really a good time to lose your job! Panic set in. What can I do? What about Beatrice? She was used to Mummy working from home. Would we have to put her in full time childcare? How would we afford it? A trillion and one questions flooded my mind.

One day when faithfully updating my LinkedIn profile I happened to stumble across Digital Mums. Reading what they had to say was my hallelujah moment. With their advanced course I would be able to retrain as a freelance social media manager. The job description fitted my skill set perfectly. It was almost as if this course had been tailor made for me. What really swung it was the fact that during my training I would work alongside a real business. Putting the theory into practise and running their social media channels. No better way to learn really.

A phone call with one of Digital Mums’ co-founders Kathryn Tyler sealed the deal.  I applied for the course and found myself signed up to the Digital Mums March cohort.

The training is broken down into: lessons, assignments, peer group support sessions and interactive sessions with your business. All of the learning is done online and can be completed at your own pace. During the training you learn all the elements you need to become a Freelance Social Media Manager. From user personas and tone of voice to creating a campaign and developing a content strategy. It’s all there.

So since March I have been working with Anna at Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea. I have to say working with Anna has been an absolute pleasure. From our first telephone meeting (which we have weekly as part of the advanced course) it was clear we were going to work well together. Throughout my training I have received Anna’s full support and encouragement. Running the #SummerTimeOut campaign has been a lot of fun. I have met and engaged with so many incredible people via Twitter and Facebook. It’s been an absolute joy and although I have found myself functioning on 4 hours of sleep on occasion from having a toddler and studying. I have loved every second of it.

Working with Anna has made me feel so valued and I can honestly say that I feel like one of the team.

As the course comes to an end, I can feel my Media Mama Mojo returning. I am so much more confident about launching myself in the big wide world of work as a Freelance Social Media professional. I am very excited about the future of flexible working and the opportunities it will bring to me and my family.

I am so grateful to Digital Mums for providing me with the tools to get my confidence back, but of course I couldn’t have done this without my business.  So a huge thanks to Anna and the team at Babysitters of Kensington & Chelsea for all their support and for believing in me.

If I ever need a babysitter next time I stay in West or South West London I know who’s number will be on speed dial…

#SummerTimeOut Pick of the week – Food glorious food! (markets)

This is our last #SummerTimeOut pick of the week post and think I have saved the best to last. The food markets dotted around London are one of my favourite things about this city. What better way is there to catch up with a friend or spend some quality time alone then to potter along rows of stalls run by independent (and usually incredibly friendly) business owners selling delicious food and drink?

There are far too many to list in one post (quick shout out to Herne Hill Market which is also great) so here are a few of our favourites:

Borough Market

Image taken from the Borough Market blog

Image taken from the Borough Market blog

It is no coincidence that our second branch, Babysitters of Southwark (opening in September) is for families in South and South East London, including those in Bermondsey where Borough Market is! This has got to be the king of food markets. Whether you’re looking for cheese, paella, curry, vegetable juices, brownies the size of your head, pulled pork sandwiches or granola – they’ve got you covered. Go hungry because it’s an excellent place to have lunch before you pick up something sweet for the journey home. Borough Market is also circled by many wonderful cafes and restaurants including Monmouth Coffee and Elliot’s Cafe (in my opinion the best burger in London but they only debut on weekdays at lunchtime).

Portobello Road

Taken from  'Shop Portobello'

Taken from ‘Shop Portobello’

If you’re not all that interested in food (in which case i’m not sure we have a lot in common) then Portobello Road will keep your foodie friends happy while you get lost amongst antiques, jewellery, leather bags, paintings, postcards, clothes, pocket watches and pretty much anything else you can think of. Portobello Road is a complete tourist hot spot and only crops up on Saturday’s (there are some food stalls open during the rest of the week though) so get there early to avoid the crowds. If your feet are aching after a long day of browsing then treat yourself to a red velvet cupcake from Hummingbird Bakery before curling up in a luxurious red velvet chair at the Electric Cinema.

Duke of York Square Market

Image from The Blimey Blog

Image from The Blimey Blog

If you’re looking for a much more serene version of Portobello Road, this little gem pops up on Duke of York Square (nestled into the King’s Road) every Saturday. One of my favourite things to do is to buy some sushi rolls from Aki Maki (in fact, I mentioned them in my interview with Sloane Square Magazine at the beginning of this year) followed by a coffee and a cannoli from Casa Cannoli to eat on the grass in front of the Saatchi Gallery (particularly nice when it’s not raining…but don’t count on this!). The Saatchi Gallery is free to enter and a wonderful place to wander around and work off those pistachio treats.

We’re only just getting in to August so with the rest of this month and September (my favourite month) still ahead, I hope you can all find some time for yourself and enjoy some #SummerTimeOut!

Thank you so much to Vicky for running such a fantastic campaign. The lucky winner of our #SummerTimeOut competition was Fiona Armstrong who has won a free BOKAC babysitting appointment – congratulations Fiona and thanks for entering!

#SummerTimeOut Pick of the week – Outdoor theatre and cinema

There is nothing like an evening at an outdoor cinema. It takes the already luxurious experience of watching a beautiful film on a huge screen with great sound and a comfy chair to a whole new level.

Pack the mother of all picnics (i.e. lots of wine and cheese), grab a rug and some blankets and you’re on your way to a very special night out!

London is full of outdoor cinema screenings as well as theatre performances and here is a rundown of some of my favourites:

Theatre: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

I first visited this theatre on a school trip to see ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and have been totally enchanted ever since. Being outdoors brings a whole new element to the play and without the help of fancy lighting or microphones, the atmosphere feels very intimate. I have been to see ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Peter Pan’ recently and both were excellent. There are bars, bbq’s and picnic benches to grab a bite to eat before the play and I would definitely recommend doing so in order to take full advantage of the evening.

How beautiful is this! (taken from 'theatrebreaks.com' )

How beautiful is this! (taken from ‘theatrebreaks.com’ )

Cinema: Somerset House

Last year I booked tickets to see Annie Hall with a group of friends and.it.poured! The fact that I am still recommending this place, even though we were draining our humous before the film even started, says a lot. Bring a thick rug as sitting on the cobbled stones for more than an hour gets a bit sore! Somerset House is absolutely beautiful and the courtyard where the screenings take place feels very secluded, despite being smack bang in Central London. True Romance is showing on the 15th August and Roman Holiday on the 16th which would be my films of choice. Book soon because tickets sell out fast!

Ice cream available throughout the performance! (image taken from Somerset House website)

Ice cream available throughout the performance! (image taken from Somerset House website)

Pop-up Screens: Various locations

If you don’t want to trek to Central London, there are loads of pop-up screens across West and South-West London. Grab your partner, a group of friends or (if you’re feeling really generous), your children and give them a go!

Here are my picks for the films left to see this summer (can you tell I like a classic rom com?!)

  • Stand By Me: Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith (14th August)
  • Dirty Dancing: Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith (15h August)
  • Grease: Bishop’s Park, Fulham (6th September)
  • The Notebook: Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith (18th September)
  • The Shawshank Redemption: Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith (20th September)

Prufrock #OfficeToday

I am writing this in one of the most trendy places I have ever been. Prufrock is not only a coffee shop come coffee academy come coffee purchasing arena but it is also home to the coolest coffee drinkers ever known (I don’t include myself in that set!). It may be close to the hustle of corporate Chancery Lane and Holborn but it is a far cry from corporate.

From Prufrock's website

From Prufrock’s website

My latte was exactly the way I like it. Smooth, creamy, nutty and served in duck egg blue china (i’m a sucker for trendy). It was £3.30 (would have been £3 if I had had cash) which is pretty punchy but not as punchy as the sausage rolls retailing for £5.50 each (served with leaves).

Come to mamma

Come to mamma

I arrived at 2.15pm on a Wednesday to kill an hour before a meeting in Farringdon. I liked the atmosphere and my latte really was spot on but I wouldn’t come back here to work, mainly because it is SO noisy! Music is blasted at full volume (yes I am aware of how like my mother I sound) and the floors, tables, chairs and counters are all wooden which means nothing is soaked up.

Also, I couldn’t see any plug sockets so make sure you come with your laptop on full charge if you do plan to get some work done.

BOKAC Prufrock

This is a great place to meet a friend for coffee (i’d stick to lunch from the market outside on Leather Lane) or if you’re the type who likes a lot of noise to concentrate.

I’d also be very keen to come back and try one of the coffee classes as i’d love to know how to make the perfect latte at home.

  • Coffee: 8/10
  • Ambience: 7/10
  • Price: 6/10
  • Good place to work: 5/10
  • Overall: 6.5/10

Vicky’s Post: Chill out Summer Mama (5 of 5)

So on reflection, I think that I have my very own unique, chilled out Summer Mama kind of vibe. Okay so it’s completely different to what it was pre-toddler days but it’s definitely there all the same.

Follow these handy rules and we are all in for a wonderful summer!

  • Relax
  • Stay safe in the sun and around water – that goes for Mummies and Daddies as well as toddlers!
  • Be prepared for anything
  • Everything in moderation (including ice cream for the kids and rosé wine for Summer Mamas!)

Vicky is BOKAC’s Digital Mum in Training. You can read my recent post about her and Digital Mum’s here.

Read Vicky’s first post ‘Summer Mama’ here

Read Vicky’s second post ‘Everyone’s free (to wear sunscreen)’ here

Read Vicky’s third post ‘Ice Ice Baby’ here

Reach Vicky’s fourth post ‘Twisting by the pool’ here

#SummerTimeOut Pick of the Week (and it’s free!)

If I am feeling stressed, anxious, overloaded or an important decision needs to be made, I will instantly suggest a walk. There is no better way to clear my head and I find it so much easier talking to someone when you are walking side by side.

The beautiful serpentine lake has solved many of my problems!

The beautiful serpentine lake has solved many of my problems!

Even when there isn’t something on my mind, a walk is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon, especially when there is a treat in store at the end of it. One of my favourite places to walk is through Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park, across the bridge to the Serpentine, around the pond (a quick pit stop at the end for an ice cream) and back again. In the sunshine, you’re surrounded by families picnic’ing, couples sunbathing in the long grass, teenagers messing about on the pedalos and masses of dogs running around having the best day ever.

In the winter, the lack of activity makes it peaceful and the fresh air really blows the cobwebs away (but let’s not think about winter just yet)..

The view from the bridge in Hyde Park

The view from the bridge in Hyde Park

If you’re looking for a longer walk, I highly recommend the route from Hammersmith to Richmond. You can follow The Thames Path which hugs the river through Barnes, Putney, North Sheen and Richmond and there are parts where you can barely believe you’re still so close to the city.

When you get to Richmond, walk the extra 25minutes on to Petersham Nurseries and the full trip will take around 2 hours. If that sounds a bit much, you could always start at Barnes Station (roughly half way).

Image from

Image from GQ magazine

Petersham Nurseries will probably be familiar to many of you but if you haven’t heard of it or haven’t been before, GO! There is a beautiful teahouse selling delicious cakes, tea and coffee (well deserved after the walk). If it’s a really special occasion, book in to the Michelin starred cafe which is more than worth every penny. The food is delicious and the setting makes for a truly special meal.

Image from 'Great Cake Places' (so they would know!)

Image from ‘Great Cake Places’ (so they would know!)

Now i’d love to say I would then set off on the walk back to Hammersmith but let’s not be too virtuous, especially when the District Line from Richmond will have you back to High Street Kensington in under 40 minutes. Blissful day!

Vicky’s Post: Twisting by the Pool (4 of 5)

There’s nothing better than cooling off in a swimming pool during hot weather. My toddler definitely agrees and is obsessed with water: the sea, the local duck pond, swimming pool, paddling pool, she’s even happy with a tray of water for splashing in. Before she turned two I had a certain level of anxiety of her being around water and funnily enough also to dirt, food, animals, paint (the list is endless).

BOKAC twisting by the pool

Pretty accurate depiction for when a toddler and a paddling pool are nearby

I’ve learned to relax, breathe and go with the mothering flow these days.  So what if she decides to splash and soak herself and anyone within a 100 yard radius? As she pointed out to me recently “it’s only water mummy” and she’s right.  As long as she is safe around water at all times, I don’t want her to ever be scared to play and express herself playing with the wet stuff. I’ve learnt to take a deep breath and always carry a spare set of clothes around with me for us both.

Vicky is BOKAC’s Digital Mum in Training. You can read my recent post about her and Digital Mum’s here.

Read Vicky’s first post ‘Summer Mama’ here

Read Vicky’s second post ‘Everyone’s free (to wear sunscreen)’ here

Read Vicky’s third post ‘Ice Ice Baby’ here

#SummerTimeOut Pick of the week – The pub!

Hurrah, the sun has made an appearance! I don’t mean to panic you, but as we can’t be sure how long it will stick around for, I’m going to start planning some al fresco drinks and meals asap!

Living in West or South West London means being spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs with beautiful outdoor spaces. Below are some of my favourite spots for a glass of Pimms over the weekend or a cheeky mid-week burger:

The Devonshire Arms (Kensington)

Image from 'Fancy A Pint'

Image from ‘Fancy A Pint’

Since it’s slightly away from the madness of High Street Kensington, you might describe this place as a hidden gem if it weren’t for the pretty substantial beer garden at the front which entices passers-by. Monday’s are ‘beer and burger’ night (£10 for a pint and a burger) and the inside is cool and airy (they recently redecorated) in case you can’t nab a table outside. Find out more here or visit 37 Marloes Rd, London W8 6LA (between High Street Kensington or Earl’s Court tube stations)

The Windsor Castle (Notting Hill)

Image from 'Londontown' (looks much better in real life)

Image from ‘Londontown’ (looks much better in real life)

This pub has the seasonal X-Factor in that it is popular all year round. In Winter, the low doorways, cosy nooks and rustic furniture make the place feel snug and cosy. In Summer however, the garden is where it’s at. A gigantic (by Central London standards) area at the back complete with its own bar (sometimes). The food is also very good and it’s a favourite with the locals of Notting Hill. Find out more here or visit 114 Campden Hill Road, London, W8 7AR (between High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate tube stations).

The Queen Adelaide (Putney)

Take from The Queen Adelaide website

Take from The Queen Adelaide website

I rarely make the trip to Putney but when I do, it’s usually to come to The Queen Adelaide. This place really sings in Summer thanks to their humongous garden and fantastic Sunday roasts. Book a table and get there at the beginning of lunchtime because I have been known to wait over an hour for my food. However, the crisp white wine and Bloody Mary’s more than help to pass the time! Find out more here or visit 35 Putney Bridge Road, London, SW18 1NP (between East Putney tube or Wandsworth Town station).

I know everyone will have their personal favourites when it comes to the Great British past time of whiling away the afternoon in a pub so I’d love to know where your hot spots are?

Vicky’s Post: Ice Ice Baby (3 of 5)

There is such a temptation to race to the freezer on hot sunny days for a cold sugary ice cream treat.  I’m not adverse to a 99 cone myself, but these days I feel there seems to be so much more pressure on parents to ply their children with ice cream at every opportunity during the summer.

BOKAC ice cream

Side note: Who remembers when 99’s were actually 99p?!

Out and about there is a frequent sight of an Ice Cream Van whirring away in every park. Blaring out their annoying chime-music at the most inappropriate times (usually around 7pm toddler bedtime). I have to be honest and put my hands up to say that I’ve actually told my toddler that when the ice cream man plays his jingly jangly tune it means that he has run out of ice cream. When she looked at me puzzled I explained further: “he plays it to let everyone know he has to go back to the factory for more ice cream”. She bought it. I am just waiting for her to tell the same story to a stranger on a packed train/bus, highlighting me as an uber strict mum who doesn’t allow her child any sugary delights.

You see, I do allow my toddler ice cream. But at the times I feel it’s appropriate.  It’s classed as a treat and not an everyday occurrence. I’m quite a fan of cliches so my mantra is “everything in moderation” and I always try to remember “a little bit of what you fancy does you good”.

Vicky is BOKAC’s Digital Mum in Training. You can read my recent post about her and Digital Mum’s here.

Read Vicky’s first post ‘Summer Mama’ here

Read Vicky’s second post ‘Everyone’s free (to wear sunscreen)’ here