Meet Ups

Bubble Tea Meets

Hi guys! I've had a few days away from this blawg which consisted of going to a blogger meet up, completing my maid of honour duties at a hen do and finalising my plans to move house! If we chat in chronological order, a few weeks ago I tweeted that I was looking for some new blogs to read and spoke to Cara of super sweet blog Glacial Glow, where I spotted she was organising a Birmingham blogger meet up! After working so many blogger events and barely going to any recently for just myself and my own blog, I was really excited to meet some like-minded bloggers and new people. 

On Saturday I stood at New Street Station and did think the effortlessly cool girl nearby in a great coat with popping red lips may be a blogger, but I was not keen on asking a stranger if they were attending a blogger meet up if they actually weren't and thought I was crazy! It turns out it really was delightful Jess of Jessthetics and we linked up when Cara came in her enchanting doll-like, porcelain beauty, and we know how much I love girly vibes! We had a hunt for the second WHSmith in the station to bump into Elizabeth of new beauty blog MungleVille - go over and show some welcome love! Elizabeth seems the perfect candidate as a beauty blogger because she can size-up and recommend cosmetics perfectly both online and in person, and has the pretty face I certainly would like to see adorned with products I may like to purchase! We were expecting a few more people but as with many meet ups, people may be nervous or a bit flaky, so we went off to Café Chino in Arcadian for some bubble tea and cake!

Yum! If I am around town I will definitely stop by for a bubble tea, and I think I prefer mine warm without the pearls. We were all set with tea and cake and my talented friend Leah came; a blogger I've known for many years now and always a source for inspiration, wisdom and awesome charity shop finds, including some Luella jeans that looked beyond fantastic.

As we nibbled, we chatted blogging, feminism, various highlights and crazies of the Midlands, and it really is a hive of inspiring thoughts when chatting with ladies with something to share with the world. I do think surrounding yourself with different and diverse people who have goals and dreams really does enhance your own, and I'm sure we will meet again soon!

Sadly I had to rush off soon after our lunch as it was the hen night of my oldest and dear friend, where I will be a bridesmaid in November! I wish I had taken a photo of the treats I had prepared, which included some flash cards of funny questions about her, tiaras, glowsticks, wine jelly, a 'Guess the Groom' game with various celeb grooms in envelopes, a pass the parcel, VIP passes, and a selection of dares that possibly weren't appropriate for her grandma to pick out! I really enjoyed the DIY aspect as I was browsing Pinterest all week, so I will certainly look into more fun and inexpensive wedding ideas to make her day even more special.

I stayed at my nan's house but I thought I would post these photos anyway as I am loving my new Motel Rocks Folly Top in Sun, Moon, Stars, my favourite print in a while! I did actually order the Kimmy Skirt also to wear as a matching two piece but it's really slimming for some reason, maybe due to the dark colour and large print, and I didn't really look like myself! The shape of the top is really chic though, with a high neckline and strappy open back. It will be my go-to top for weekends under a few layers! I also made a quick OOTD video to see the outfit in more detail. Loving blogging and vlogging again!


#brumbloggermeet

Hello! I unconsciously took the week off the internet so I've been itching to blog! I went to a very interesting (and crazy at one point!) blog meet up for dinner with Hayley, Lil and Leah during the week where I really appreciated the lovely girly gossip and company, and also saw Harry Potter as Leah kindly invited me to go along with her and some friends; it was great! I am slightly in love with Neville Longbottom for being so awesome and Dean Thomas for what looks like many hours down the gym. On Thursday it was my first payday so I went late night shopping and ate at YO!sushi, which is my secret single shopper pleasure as you don't need to sit at a big table by yourself and the conveyor belt is so entertaining! I think I have sampled every vegetarian thing on the menu now, but that's not too hard. Then last night I went out with some of my housemates, which is always super crazy to say the least, even Pancho from Dirty Sanchez was at our house!

 

But I've absolutely loved reading all the posts about the Brum Blogger Meet organised amazingly by Fritha and Claire so it's about time I did mine! I felt super spoiled by the blog meet because along with all the freebies and goody bags, it was right on my doorstep. I headed home to Birmingham on Friday after work with a load of Motel goody bags and was so excited on Saturday morning! The blog meet was at 2pm so it was really refreshing to have lots of time to get ready and only have to travel into town. I thought I was early as I approached the Starbucks meeting place but then I walked around a big pillar and saw loads of girls looking super fabulous; it could only be a blogger meet up! I've been to lots before as my blog is such an oldie but I knew some people were nervous before it so I tried to talk to everyone and chatter away. Even throughout the whole day I didn't manage to properly speak to everyone, there were so many of us! 

 

Fritha and Claire organised such amazing sponsors that we all felt like superstars with all the goodies! Max C London gifted the huge yellow tote bags so we all felt like we were on a school trip as they were so noticeable! Lots of people asked us if they were being handed out anywhere, and we also had name tags so random people kept calling us by name! We got a Max C belt and gorgeous dusky floral top in the bag as well as a John Richard silver skull necklace, Crown and Glory hair pins personalised to our blogs (mine were hearts!) and at the meal later in the day we got to pick out an item from Clothing at Tesco and I got this soft peach dress.

There was also a whole Missguided goody bag too with nail polishes, lip glosses, a blinged up nail file, a skull scarf, Lovehearts, and a floral head garland which I forgot to picture as it's on my wall; it looks so pretty! A HUGE thank you to all these brands!

I kept reminding myself at the start of the day to take photos but I only took one! Unless you're taking photos of each other or food, there's not really many you can take at a meet as the point is talking and meeting people, but we had some lovely group ones. We broke into two groups and the one I was with headed to Forever21 and Topshop, where we were eyed suspiciously by the staff, probably due to the huge yellow bags we all had! We browsed for ages and then Lily and I got a bit lost in Selfridges and failed at spotting the yellow Max C bags as there were so many yellow Selfridges bags! After we found everyone again, we made our way up to the Mailbox (stopping at many shops along the way) for a gorgeous meal at Red Peppers, where I had my 18th birthday meal! I had a couple of starters as a main, which is a good idea when you have only so many vege dishes on a menu, and they were lovely. We couldn't fault the meal, what great service as there were loads of us! We had lots of funny challenges and competitions throughout the day and I won best dressed!!!!! I was so embarrassed and shocked but so pleased, thank you to whoever voted for me!! I won a $50 Romwe voucher, which I am having a VERY hard time deciding what to get as the site is HUGE! I also got a beautiful Lulu Guinness lipstick and lips necklace from So Charming which I'm so grateful for, I don't have any fancy jewellery and I LOVE it! It's a bit ridiculous that I don't even have a picture of my outfit and I actually had a mark on my skirt that must have appeared across the day, but I wore my coral River Island maxi skirt with a River Island knotted white cotton sleeveless shirt.

 

After a meal full of friendly chatter, we all headed off and I popped home to get my glad rags on for the night out. It consisted of a LOT of drinks, Fritha and I loosing track of time nattering in the loos (such a girly thing to do!), and dancing all night to really great music; it was such a good choice of place! All the girls looked gorgeous and it was so nice to have a proper girly night out, I really miss my girlfriends!! Living with so many boys is so different!

All the girls were SO lovely and I could write a paragraph about how superb each person was but that would make this post even longer! So here is a shout out to everyone, please do check out these fabulous blogs: 

Char (AMAZING heels and outfit!), Claire (a WONDERFUL host!), Clare (one of the first I spoke to yay), Danni (so modelesque!), Elizabeth (a fellow redhead, we both failed on our shopping bans!), Elouise (who wore a beautiful blue lace dress), Emma (we were saving each other from unwanted male attention in the club by saying we were lesbians haha!), Emma (we both headed off to an afterclub, haha what dirty stopouts!), Florrie (you must check out her blog posts of the day, they are lovely), Fritha (an absolute blogger and host goddess!), Gem (looking damn fabulous in a Motel dress in the club!), Gem (also looked so lovely that night with a hair bow to die for!), Hattie (lovely sharing cocktails and chatter over dinner with you!), Hayley (another fellow redhead and lovely train companion), Joy (we had a lovely gossip in Starbucks as Birmingham residents), Lily (fab to meet again and get lost with!), Louise (the sweetest and loveliest person), Maria (damn fabulous and looked SO good in a jumpsuit), Michelle (who I only got to speak to briefly but SUPER pretty lady!), Rebecca (what a fabulous lady and absolute babe), Sara (absolutely beautiful and thank you for the Missguided goody bag Sara!), Sarah (very, very interesting and thought-provoking conversations at the drinks stop at EAT), Selina (oh wait, that's me!) and Tasha (again only got to speak to briefly, definitely not enough!!). Thank you ladies so much for a non-stop day of fun, I am so honoured to have been a part of it!xxx

P.S. Join Hayley's genius blog map to meet bloggers in your area too!


Bloggers Galore - Part Two!

Hey lovelies! I just looked at my stats and I'm exactly 100 comments away from ten thousand comments, WOW! I've never promoted my blog or left a 'please check out my blog!' note on the end of a comment, and didn't actually get any for about the first four months of writing posts, so every one is like an unexpected gift and I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who's ever commented! I know Typepad blogs aren't as social as blogspot so I really appreciate when people take the time to leave a note. Who will be the lucky 10,000th commenter? I would run a giveaway or something but that only benefits one reader and knowing my luck it would probably be spam! I'll just try my best to keep making as many posts as possible!!:):)

Funnily enough, comments came up at the meet up last week that I wrote about yesterday! It might seem like you'd go through every detail of blogging with other actual bloggers but I always walk away thinking of loads of things I should have brought up and the conversation topics tend to be very wide, not just tech stuff! Our opinions differed from being quite happy to blog without comments to totally loving them. It's unfortunate that the bigger the blog, the more trolls there are, and nowadays I have to delete so many comments that are random things from fake designer bag or trainer sellers. We also talked about bloggers we love and would love to meet (I still haven't met Susie Bubble!!) and etiquette of dealing with (or 99% of the time turning down) companies who want to use your blog for promotion. If you're a blogger, please remember that if you're accepting freebies, consider all the environmental impact that has gone into the manufacture of the item, from crop growing, manufacturing, chemical treatments, labour, and transport, for something that you wouldn't have purchased in the first place. Consider making it a policy to see if the brand is aware of their responsibility to the environment! If you wouldn't have spent your own cash on it in the first place, will you get the use out of the item to justify its creation? Just some food for thought!

 

Kylie and Kristabel in action!

After a few hours and many cupcakes later (I so had two and most ended up on my face/in my lap haha! Ask one of the bloggers seriously, cupcakes are actually quite hard to eat IMO!), we moved onto the V&A. When I travelled around a bit this past year, museums weren't my priority at all and in fact when I went to Stockholm with my friends, they went to a museum of a boat wreckage and I went shopping! Sometimes shops are like sights themselves if they're native to the country (Hello Monki and Weekday! I miss you so!), but the V&A boasts some incredible fashion and pop culture exhibitions that leave you inspired to the max. They remind you that fashion is not just in the box of this year's high street offerings and that things being 'in' and 'out' of fashion is a clouded view. Once you look to the past you realise it is a possibility to wear other things and once upon a time it was deemed totally normal. It gives you the confidence to dress in something a bit different as it's still just part of the way society has dressed, maybe just not under today's 'norm.'

First though we took some snaps! Here was where a big divide showed because we stood around a bit sheepishly at first but Kylie had no fear and was jumping on benches and posing in a red phone box, she is what old Tyra would call fierceeee!! If you know her blog, you'll know the girl can strike a pose! Then it was Rebecca's turn and I swear it was like stepping into one of her blog posts because she is so photogenic and was pulling her perfect signature poses that I've seen so many times on her blog! Us Brits were a little more hesitant, myself because I am not photogenic and have no idea how to pull a good pose! When I stood in front of the camera I couldn't stop grinning like a bit of a loon because it was so funny! If you check out the posts from the other girls they have group shots and some funny examples of typical blogger poses, haha! See hereherehere and here. 

 

So onto the V&A, where we all abused the no photos rule! Whenever I read magazines, I fold over the corners of pages to remember or reference later, but I never do! I'd like to think they somehow influence me though and I think museums are like that, in the way that you absorb what you see on some level and it will be released as creativity somewhere else!

 

I think the bag was Tracy Emin and contrasted with the antique dress, they make quite a pair! I need some vintage patchwork in my life! Pity summer is almost over as a vintage table cloth dress would be great on a sunny day.

 

We had a right laugh at this archived velour Juicy Couture tracksuit! Actually Wildfox have some amazing slouchy hoodies but they're too damn expensive!

 

The fashion archives hosted just about the perfect items from each era, but you have to ask yourself if one of your own genuine vintage items could be displayed this way, if you own such things? I have a really, really old heavily beaded cocktail dress I got really cheap on eBay years ago that's probably worth a lot. I posted about it here in 2007 (!!!!!!!)! I just had a look at some old posts and it makes me a little bit sad as I was much happier in myself back then! Or maybe just in different ways. The internet is definitely bad for showing you loads of different looks and people, and it's easy to compare yourself against them. I need to stop looking at American girls on Tumblr and feel content in myself more! People you see online are so far away, you have to create that style and inspiration in your own real life!

 

The museum also gave me a few ideas in the accessories department. Hugely provocative costume jewellery is really appealing at the moment and I'm seriously lusting after a crystal ring. If I want to graduate uni overdraft-free, I need to stop spending though! 

 

This rings must have been for the fat fingers of huge Kings!

 

Jewellery doesn't have enough pictures on anymore! The most you'll get nowadays really is a cameo.

 

Haha this is the bottom of a dress!

 

I'd SO wear this, seriously without a doubt.

 

This was one of my favourites pieces, it's an exact replica of Kylie Minogue's dressing room on her Showgirl tour!

 

I didn't get a good picture of the whole thing but it was a room filled to the brim with clothes and gifts, looking messy and thoroughly authentic, like she'd come off-stage into it at any moment!

 

Really wanting some sort of crown!!!

 

There was a small Alice in Wonderland themed display which included this iconic Vogue shoot.

 

And lastly check out Kylie's belt/bag that matched her dress perfectly! How cool is that?! I have a dress JUST like hers too, I just need to take it up! Maybe we should go around London like twins haha!

 

After all that awing and ahhhing, we hit Oxford Street and had some scrumptious dinner, before sadly the day was over and eventually it was Winnie and me gossiping all the way home! What a fantastic meet with some amazing ladies xxxx


Bloggers Galore - Part One!

 

Sorry for not being around recently, it hasn't been a very good few weeks and rather than the usual reasons of being busy or tired, I just haven't felt like being enthusiastic about anything. But a total exception to this was a fantastic day in London on Monday for a meet up with some fabulous bloggers! Blog meet ups aren't really about meeting just because you have a website, it's about meeting people with whom you've developed a friendship with online and really want to have a real conversation with! Also you want to have a real impression rather than a 2D image on a screen and a voice rather than a font. I'm sure if you're reading this, you've most likely read the blog of at least one of the lovely ladies at the day and they all have much better photos (see here, here, here and here!). I have no photos of myself on my camera but there are many in their posts, including a fun poke at some classic blogger poses and a jumping gif! It was a cloudy but stuffy day and London is stuffy most of the time so it was hard to know what to wear, but I've found that when going to blog meets it's best not to make any extra effort at all! It might be different if you were going to an organised event where there were people you didn't know but if the blogger you will see is a good online friend and reader, they already know your style! Wear something comfortable and really others are focusing on your personality because they've never seen it before! Maybe that's easy for me to say though because all the bloggers I've met looked beauuutiful! I wore my favourite ever vintage dress which is probably about three years old! I knew I'd be comfortable in it all day and wouldn't need to think about it, but I did have semi-fake tan dramas and wore tights so I wouldn't need to deal! 

I got the train to London with Winnie of Diamond Canopy as we've met a few times before and we're both Birmingham bloggers! We were chatting all day about the possibility of a Birmingham meet or visit to the Forever 21 opening, which we'll have to discuss more as an open meet is a bit more of a networking, introduction thing. I do read a lot of blogs (subscribed to 328 at this very moment in time!) but there must be a gazillion more out there, and that's not including some that I can't subscribe to on googlereader and have to check when I remember! Anyway, if you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Winnie or can call her a friend then you are very, very lucky because she is the definition of kind-hearted and lovely. She also has one of my favourite blogs. In fact everyone at this meet has one of my favourite blogs! It was a pleasure to travel with Winnie, her style is a great example of being accessible by mere mortals (quite uncommon in the blogosphere!) but she has loads of quirky bits from other countries or unique brands. Meeting people you don't necessarily know in real life means you discuss things rather than just gossip!

Soon we were in London and we hopped on the tube to South Kensington and saw Kristabel of I Want You To Know in the station distance. Winnie and I both had met Kristabel before for some cupcake and shopping action and her blog is a really rich read because she has just spent a term interning in New York! I'm so impressed by her knitting skills as that's her degree field and throughout the day she was noting cool fabric patterns and techniques. Kristabel is a pleasure to be with as she's full of chatter and positivity totally radiates from her! Could this be due to her gorgeous skin? Possibly! Getting fabulous glowing skin is my current obsession.

The meet came about because infamous Rebecca of The Clothes Horse (omg, I feel like that should be in capitals or something because it's The Clothes Horse!!!) is visiting Europe this summer with her sister and she contacted us about a meet. I've been reading TCH almost from the very beginning and remember when outfit shots were in dorms rather than forests! But what an amazing opportunity to meet a blogger that creates posts that make you go woooow every single day! Unlike many of us, Rebecca goes into detail about her fashion and art loves on her blog but will not natter about random things, so meeting her felt really special because I didn't totally know what to expect!  We came out the station and were right away all face to face, which is surreal for a few minutes but soon seems very normal! Rebecca is every bit as sweet, eloquent and warm-hearted as you'd expect from her lovely blog posts, and it was really cool to heard about some of her amazing trips. The American blogging world has evolved in different ways than here in the UK and it was interesting to discuss and debate comments and freebies and endorsements.

We decided on the Hummingbird Bakery as the perfect place to sample cupcakes and chat, and were very shortly joined by Kylie of Nice and Shiny! Kylie is in London for some time all the way from Canada to live the London life for a while, how cool is that! We discussed meeting last summer when she first came so when this opportunity arose she had to be there! She's one of my nicest commenters and we have loads of random things in common, like her cool and quirky love of British pop music and my childish love of British pop music! Haha OK we all know Girls Aloud and The Saturdays are the best but she was a fellow teen McFly fan and she has an amazing confidence to pull the fiercest poses and wear the coolest clothes. So pleased we met! She inspires me so much!

OK this is already a super epic post and I haven't even got into what we did all day! Rather than continuing this tomorrow, I'll post this up now and do part two tomorrow! There are loads more photos and details xx