Even deciding what to wear was a tricky task!!! I had to conquer two outfits, one to wear to the Kidspot Blogging Masterclass (which was going to be full of fabulous bloggers that I have only ever read online profiles of), and the other was a cocktail dress for the party in the evening. The last time I wore a cocktail dress was so long ago that I had to send Mr D deep into our ‘storage’ to try and find my old stash of dresses! I didn’t even know if they were going to still fit me.
I decided to wear something warm and comfy, and packed my posh frock before headed out the door. The kids were a bit confused as it’s normally Mr D going off to work, not me! “Where’s mummy going? When is she coming back?” I could hear them ask as I made a dash out the front door.
It was one of those beautiful, crisp winter days where the vast blue skies can’t help but make you smile, and I had a whole heap of butterflies in my tummy to join in too. As I pulled my wheelie bag along the road toward the bus stop I suddenly felt transported back in time to the days when I used to be dressed in my glamourous Virgin Atlantic ‘whites’, pulling my bag along to meet the crew bus ready for my next adventure. I had that very same nervous excitement that I used to get in my early flying days when I was about to meet a brand new crew and head off into the skies!
|What does one wear to their first ever blogging function????|
I arrived at the venue early (I had given myself LOADS of time to find it as I’m an expert at getting lost, especially in the city). I got out the cab, stood in front of the building and took a HUGE deep breath. ‘Here we go” I though, as I headed through the doors (with only slightly trembling hands).
It’s really quite nerve wracking standing in a room full of people who you don’t know in person and trying to think of something intelligent to say to start a conversation – especially when you know they are all amazing bloggers! Silly really when I used to work with some very well known A-list celebs at Virgin without even blinking an eyelid. But for some reason I felt so much more nervous this time!!
I spied Naomi from Not just a mummy ,who’d I’d met once before, and her big beaming smile made me relax instantly. We found a table and I sat down next to Rachel from Redcliffe Style (“OMG OMG, just act normal” I though, with my heart beating at 100 beats a minute). I wanted to tell her just how fabulous I think her blog is, but shyness took over and besides, I didn’t want her to think I was some kind of nutty stalker lady!! So we chatted about our girls instead and she was just so lovely. Also at our table was Barbs from Patchwork Cactus, Salz from Dummyspit and Karen from Yellow Dandy Dreams. All of whom were equally as lovely and I couldn’t help feeling a little overwhelmed by all the talent in the room (in a good way of course and I had to pinch myself once or twice, just to make sure I WAS actually there).
Hailey Bartholomew (award winning photographer, film maker and founder of the 365 Grateful project – amongst other things) opened the masterclass with a very emotional story about where it all began for her. She showed us a little film called ‘White picket fenced-in” that she made before she even owned a video camera, and by the end of it I could feel the tears falling down my cheeks. Not that it was a sad film at all……..it just really really struck a cord in me. It was about how she felt, as a stay at home mum, that the world was just passing her by! She managed to beautifully articulate exactly how I sometimes feel ever since becoming “mummy’ full time just over two years ago. I’m not at all an unhappy person, in fact, I think I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I love my three children dearly, but somethings I really do feel that there is something else out there – just for me, and if I’m not careful it’s going to just pass me by. Hailey, you have no idea how powerful your talk was for me, so for that I thank you for the bottom of my heart.
I don’t know where blogging is going to take me, but right now, I love it! And that is enough for me to keep going.
Hailey was followed by two other panels of speakers who performed a kind of question and answer type interview on everything you might like to know about blogging, from design, to social media and even to working with brands. To me, who is a self taught, very new blogger (with next to no experience) the value of these tips and advice were immeasurable! I was literally like a sponge, soaking it all up and furiously taking notes so not to miss anything!
These are just a few of the tips that I’ll be working on:
Later than evening, after the Masterclass, was a cocktail party to celebrate all those fantastic bloggers that were chosen as the Top 25 Australian bloggers in their category in the Kidspot Voices of 2013 competition. (You can find out more about the competition here). I didn’t make the top 25 but I was a nominee and so was invited to attend the evening. And what an honour that was – I still can’t believe that I was even nominated!!
There was a few hours between the Masterclass ending and the cocktail party starting, but not enough time for me to get all the way home, changed and then back into the city again. I wasn’t quite sure what to do, so I put a note out on twitter a few days before (yes, twitter!!!! I didn’t even know what twitter was six months ago) asking if there was anyone that could help. The lovely Amanda from A cooker and A looker replied saying that I could share her hotel room. Amazing!! She didn’t even know who I was!! Mr D wasn’t convinced by this ‘twitter’ thing! “How do you even know she’s a woman?” he asked “Anyone could be offering you a room – sounds dodgy to me!!!” Luckily I met Amanda at the Masterclass first so I knew she was the real deal, but I still had to txt Mr D ALL the details of where I was!!
It’s truly amazing how friendly and welcoming this online community of ‘bloggers’ are.
|A bit of fun with Amanda from ‘A cooker and a looker’ and Aleney from Boy eats world|
After a fun and exciting evening of chatting to lots of like minded and fabulous woman, I headed home with a smile on my face and a fire my belly!!! And to top it all off, I got a lift home from the fabulous Seana Smith. Her book “Sydney for under 5’s” was literally my bible in our first few months here in Sydney!!!
|Now THAT’s a goodie bag!!|
So if you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend you check out all the wonderful blogs I’ve mentioned in this post, and I’d like to especially wish Amanda from “A cooker and a looker’ and Aleney from ‘Boy Eats World’ the very best of luck in the competition.
Thank you SO much to Kidspot for this amazing opportunity and for opening my eyes to a whole new world.
Looks like you learnt lots and had a GREAT time! So wished I loved on the East coast when these things came up!
I would loved to have met you Annaleis – hopefully we will one day soon xx
Ah fantastic. So bummed I didn’t have the energy to attend after Noosa as I’d love to have met you. Amanda is great isn’t she?
I always come away from blogging events so energised and inspired.
Funny about your hubster, mine is exactly the same about Twitter.
Hahaha – yes husbands and twitter don’t really mix don’t though! I’ve been reading all about what you guys did up in Noosa – sounded like an awesome few days (and what a beautiful place too). Hopefully we’ll get to meet soon too xx
Wow. Sounds like a life changing day xx
It was awesome Amanda – I’ll tell you all about over dinner soon x
So envious, would have loved to have been there!
I’m going to my first bloggy event next week – I also just happen to be HOSTING it! The Redland Bloggers Meetup. There was nothing happening round here so hey, I invented my own! Like you, I am all nervous over WHAT TO WEAR. I’m thinking maybe THOSE purple jeans might just have to put in an appearance LOL (I’ve blogged about them so much …)
I’m looking forward to meeting you and your purple jeans Janet! x
Good on you!! I bet you will be a fabulous host and I wish I was going to get to meet you and your purple jeans too xxx
WOW – sounds like you had a fantastic time !!!! I think once we get over the nerves, everyone enjoys these events – it’s just the nerves that get to me !!
Have the best day !
It’s so daunting to start with isn’t it!! My hubby always tells me that ‘fortune favours the brave’ – so I guess we just have to go for it xxx
Hailey was inspirational wasn’t she Robyn? I’m still laughing about your husband and twitter. I didn’t tell my husband that I’d extended the invitation – I knew he wouldn’t understand! 🙂
It was great to hit the town with a partner in crime. Hope it’s not too long between catch ups! x
Hahah – I’m sure he would have though you were nuts too!!! I can’t thank you enough for being so kind and it was also really cool to meet your mum too. She was lovely. Hopefully we’ll get to hit the town again soon. I hope your babies were pleased to see you when you got home xxx
I’m another envious one! It would be amazing to meet all the people you only know or read on-line. I also would be THRILLED to meet Hailey Bartholomew. She is the inspiration and reason I started my own 365 Grateful Project. I just read Janet’s comment above. That Redlands bloggy meet up will be my first too. Now I am wondering what the heck I will wear too!! LOL
Now I’m really looking forward to hearing all about the Redlands meet up. Hope you girls have an awesome day! Hailey was just so inspiring – she is a real advocate for how possible it really is to reach your dreams if you just believe you can xxx
Looks like you had a great time 🙂 Congratulations on the nomination! “Write about what makes your soul sing” I like that tip 🙂 I will definitely keep it in mind
Thank you Shelley!! I got some great tips out of the class – now just to put them into action! xxx
Wow, it sounds like an amazing experience! I’ve never been to a bloggy event before; I’m glad you got so much out of it!
This was my first and I’m so glad I went (almost didn’t). Hopefully one day we’ll get the chance to meet at one too xx
Sounds like a wonderful learning experience 🙂
It really was! I’ve got so many notes and ideas – all I have to do it find the time now (which is not an easy feat with little kids in the house!!) xxx
Looks like it was a fantastic experience and I think you picked the right outfit – comfortable but funky 🙂
Aw thanks Michelle! I love that I’m still considered ‘funky’ xxx
I really wish I had been able to make it – but not on the cards this time around. It looks like you had a ball – and looked divine. And to meet all those lovely bloggers, very jealous! Emily – visiting via TUST!
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Happy Kids, Inc
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Love that vest! I was soooo nervous after my first bloggy meet up but now I can’t wait til the next one!Sweet goody bag! DPBC visitor X