The Blogosphere Christmas Festival

Last weekend I hot-footed it to the big-smoke to my very first blogger event, the Blogosphere Christmas Festival.

For those of you unfamiliar with the blogging community, Blogosphere magazine is a quarterly independent publication, featuring bloggers and influencers of all sizes. It also covers advice and tips for bloggers, as well as interviewing inspirational influencers.

The event, held in Shoreditch, promised panels from your favourite bloggers as well as a brand presence and the opportunity to pick up some additional Christmas shopping!

As soon as I arrived I was welcomed by Alice, the editor of Blogosphere magazine, who made sure I had a drink in my hand and after a little chat I had look around.

The first talk was due to start within the next 10 minutes so I took the opportunity to grab a seat and settle in.

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The first panel ‘Sharing Your Personal Style with the World’ featured 4 fabulous bloggers, including Siobhan (@justauniform) who I’ve chatted to over the past year or so and I was excited to finally meet. Also speaking, Steph Yeboah, Jamie Windust and Paige Calvert, a very inspiring bunch to listen to. The confidence these people have is wonderful!

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After this panel, and a cheeky picture with Siobhan and Steph, I had a look around the stands and spoke with some of the brands.

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Deliciously Ella’s brand provided the food

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Then there was a table of lovely Kusmi teas – I tried a Christmas blend which was lovely and refreshing.

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So..? were there promoting their latest fragrance range, including some new Eau de Parfum – gorgeous and inexpensive gift sets too!

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OGX were also there giving out free samples of their shampoo and conditioners.

I’m not the most comfortable in social situations but I met a few lovely bloggers who were kind enough to chat to me, though no doubt I was super-awkward!

And then it was time for the next panel!

This time ‘Finding your Authentic Voice Online’ featuring Vix Meldrew, Brogan Tate, Jess Ayton and Tom Cox.

I was most interested in seeing Brogan speak as I follow her YouTube channel, but it was great to hear Vix and Tom speak about their experiences with staying authentic in what can be a cut-throat environment when you’re a full-time influencer.

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At this point in the day I needed to leave to get to my next appointment, so I grabbed Alice and thanked her for a lovely event.

It wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d thought it could have been. Everyone was so friendly, and I didn’t feel out of place.

Back home I was able to have a look through the goodie bag.

Here’s what So…?’s bag contained.

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I’m looking forward to giving these a go.

The Blogosphere bag contained this lovely lot:

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And, I am most excited about trying these Booja Booja truffles which were also in the goodie bag. For the longest time I’ve loved their chocolates, and didn’t even know they were dairy free until recently, when it became relevant to me!

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Thanks to Blogosphere Magazine for throwing a fabulous and inspiring shindig. I’ll definitely be at the next one!

Here Comes The Sun

This week has been glorious! The sun has come out, the wind has died down and it puts everyone in a good mood. What’s also put me in a good mood has been spending time with friends this week.

On Thursday I had a visit from a friend that I worked with for a short period of time before moving on to my current job. We really bonded on a spiritual level and this week I invited her over to see my new house and have a cuppa. She brought some amazing Gu pudding which might be my new favourite indulgence. We had a few hours of wonderful conversation and I know I want to make it a regular thing. So nice to have found another kindred spirit.

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On Friday after work I headed to Willen Lake to meet a friend for a run. Sarah is training for the Race For Life and we’ll be running together with a bunch of other friend. She hasn’t been running for long but we did a gentle jog around the smaller of the two lakes and after a little rest did another loop, with one small jog back on ourselves to complete a 5k run. The weather was amazing and it was great to get out and stretch the legs again, since I haven’t been running as often since completing the half marathon.

Yesterday my Mum and Dad came over, all kitted up, to help Gary and I tackle our overgrown garden. They’d been over not too long before but what with the humid wet weather we’ve had it was hugely overgrown again. Gary mowed the lawn and I hid from the grass pollen in the conservatory, de-moulding the inside – it’s a hack job of a conservatory and needs a lot of work doing on it! We also think we saw (and killed) a mock widow spider in there! Scary!

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Mum and Dad did a great job! I also recently got a load of my photos printed and put into frames and Mum brought some picture wire over so I was able to hang them at last. The living room looks much more welcoming and homely now with things on the walls and I’m really pleased with how good my prints look in the frames. It’s inspiring me to take more photos too, which I need!

Today, after a little lie-in watching The Great Manchester Run on tv, we headed over to the MK Dons Stadium for a quick look around Collectormania. We saw a couple of the Dr Who Doctors which was cool. After lunch I put a new crock-pot recipe into action and the smells coming from the kitchen as I type are amazing, It’s sticky honey soy chicken which I’ll serve with rice and green beans. I love how easy slow cookers are and how they don’t heat up the kitchen at all, which is perfect for today. Some light house work completed I was really to welcome another friend to my new home for the first time.

I met Helen via a Buffy The Vampire Slayer message board. A group of us would meet regularly but Helen’s the only one who I’ve kept in good contact with. Since the garden was all pretty I put up the camping chairs (we haven’t bought garden furniture yet!) and we sat and chatted in the garden for a few hours. It was beautiful and relaxing out there and the company was wonderful!

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So for the rest of my weekend I have a few more chores to do and then I can’t wait to get stuck into dinner which is making us both rather hungry since it’s smelling so good. It’s been a great week of friends and family and the weather helped things along! Let’s hope this is a sign of a good summer – fingers crossed!

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