Can it really be the last day of February already? Are any of you brave ladies going to propose to their man on this leap year day?
One woman that did just that is my blogging colleague and friend Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb. Having met her lovely husband, I can say that it was a good decision on her part and they recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.
She and I were among a group of around 70 bloggers from all genres who attended the Blognix Retreat over the weekend at the Hellidon Lakes Hotel in Northamptonshire.
It was a weekend of learning, of inspiration and of sharing new ideas and networking. The primary focus of the retreat was business and well-being and the workshops were the best I've ever attended. Some were quite specific to the blogosphere and some more generic and applicable to anyone in business. I have reams of notes to read through and assimilate and I will share these in blog posts over the next month or so.
After registration on Saturday morning, we attended four presentations, punctuated by coffee breaks and a wonderful buffet lunch.
Following the afternoon sessions, I checked into my room which was spacious with a very comfy bed.
Despite being among fellow bloggers all day, I forgot to get a photograph taken of the outfit I wore during the day, so a mirror selfie must suffice. I wore my colour block shift dress with nude tights and flat Mary Janes, accessorised perfectly, I think you'll agree, with my conference lanyard. (previously, I wore this Great Plains shift dress with black opaque tights and high heeled black ankle boots).
I had a little time to get ready for dinner, which in itself was rather blissful.
We ate in a function room and were seated on given tables which meant we met and chatted with new friends.
One of the biggest and loveliest things about the blogging world is how very supportive it is. Most of us here are working mothers with several income streams so juggling is the norm. Most had connected previously via social media but to meet these wonderful and like-minded women, all aged 40 plus, in person was just wonderful.
From left to right:
Lisa: The Sequinist
Annette: Lady of Style
Michelle: The Bare-Faced Chic
Catherine: Not Dressed as Lamb
Lorraine: Her blog is in the pipeline
Nikki: Midlife Chic
This lovely lady is Leigh and we were thrilled to be seated at the same table after meeting on Instagram a few months ago. She is author of the blog Headspace Perspective in which she writes about life after losing her baby son. She is a beautiful and remarkable woman and I was honoured to meet her.
On Sunday morning, there were three more presentations and workshops which again, proved to be invaluable.
We said our final goodbyes at lunchtime, Catherine took a group selfie and then I headed home back to my children and to iron the school uniforms!
If you are a blogger, I cannot recommend Blognix highly enough. I'll definitely attend any future retreats. It's made me even more determined to succeed as a woman in (a very very tiny) business and to strive to make my blog the best it can be. I am full of ideas and enthusiasm and I hope to implement a lot of new things over the next month or so, some overt and some behind the scenes. I take my hat off to Blognix founders Elizabeth Sellers and Raj Dhokia who organised the event.
In fact I did one thing yesterday which was to open a separate Instagram account for my online jewellery business Lizzy O. If you are on Instagram I would be very very grateful if you would follow me.
Love Liz x
Art Class Colourblock Shift Dress, Great Plains £65
In the first group picture:
Dipped hem, zipped front printed dress, Mint Velvet AW15
Black suede high heeled ankle boots, Clarks, several years ago.
In the last group photo:
Pink embellished collar top, Dickins & Jones at House of Fraser
Boyfriend jeans, Next