Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Hope 30-40+ Blogger Meet (And My Blog's Third Birthday!)

I can hardly believe it, but three years ago today, I rather nervously published my first blog post. It was something I'd wanted to do for quite some time and it took a lot of courage to bite the bullet and to put myself out there. I had no specific plans for it, nor did I know how long I would do it for. It was simply a hobby born out of a passion for fashion and a love of writing. I knew nothing about web design or social media and I didn't even know how to re-size the images to fit. 

But I learned on the job and over time phrases like SEO, deep-linking and feed-burner became part of my vocabulary and gradually, very gradually, my audience grew and I began to receive lovely comments, feedback and enquiries from those that take the time and trouble to read my blog. 

With everything in life, I believe in authenticity so I write openness and honesty, so reflecting my nature. Those that have followed my blog from the start have read of some quite life-changing events that I described two years ago on my blog's first birthday and the support offered was overwhelming. It is the friendship from those readers and from fellow bloggers that is without question the most remarkable and rewarding part of blogging.

A close second comes the opportunities blogging affords me and the doors it has opened. I learn of new brands every week and get the opportunity to collaborate with them and to wear things I wouldn't ordinarily choose. To try new things. I also attend blogger events and press shows, many of which are in London, a place to which I never tire of travelling.

So it was with perfect timing that on Monday of this week I had the privilege of combining all of these things with a trip to London for the 30-40+ blogger meet  which took place at The Imperial on the Kings Road in the heart of the Chelsea Design area.

It was sponsored by Hope, a brand which despite being in its infancy, has rapidly become a highly regarded brand aimed at the 40+ woman. I've been lucky enough to collaborate with Hope on several occasions now, (my reptile print leggings and a  black cocoon dress that I wore last week) and I wore a pair of their stretch trousers to the event. I can honestly say that they remained pristine all day and did not betray the 6 hours spent on trains and the hour spent sitting in a cab. (I did however think it prudent to avoid a cooked breakfast on the way down, instead opting the far safer yogurt and granola).  I have a blog post in the pipeline dedicated to the outfit which I'll share later this week.

This is Hope founder Nayna Mackintosh. (I was wearing vertiginous wedges and I'm 5'9." Nayna who is petite was wearing flats!)

What Lizzy Loves and Nayna Mackintosh from Hope Fashion

We were welcomed at the event by a glass of Prosecco, canapes and a goody bag. There followed a choice of lunch and despite not being vegetarian, I chose the meat-free option of spiced aubergine, cashew nut cheese puree, Arabian salsa, fresh red chilli, spring onions, hazelnut dukka topped with spring baby cress. It was divine and lunch provided the perfect opportunity to catch up with the new friends I'd met earlier in the year at Blognix. 
It was also the perfect time to peruse our goody bags.

Aubergine at The Imperial, Kings Road, London

30-40 Blogger meet

After lunch event organiser, (and dear friend), Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb gave a very insightful talk about her own blogging story as well as reminders about the three most important things in blogging - Giving, Receiving and Exposing. The title was of course of humorous intent and it definitely made the key elements memorable. Catherine's talk was honest and relaxed and she invited and answered questions throughout. I'm in touch with Catherine very regularly and with her, every day is a school day and her knowledge about blogging and photography is boundless.

Catherine Summers, Not Dressed as Lamb

There was time after the talk for chatting and I took the opportunity to step outside take a few photographs of the Imperial, while the sun shone on London.

The Imperial, Kings Road, London

The Imperial, Kings Road, London

The interior is as stylish as the facade with a large well-stocked bar, statement lighting and a very impressive wine rack.

The Imperial, Kings Road, London

The Imperial, Kings Road, London

The Imperial, Kings Road, London

The Imperial, Kings Road, London

The second talk was given by Nayna who gave us a round up of her quite extra-ordinary career in retail followed by the inspiration and motivation behind Hope.

Nayna Mackintosh from Hope Fashion

Many of the garments are made in Britain from high quality fabrics and everything is cut to flatter and to drape beautifully. She explained that the whole collection is designed upon the principles of divine proportion which is found in science and nature and represents the balance of working in thirds. When dressing according to this principle, the body can appear elongated making the silhouette look taller and slimmer. In reality this would, for example, mean the top one-third of a woman in an outfit is comprised of her head and her top while the trousers down to the shoes make up the remaining two-thirds. 

Like Catherine, Nayna talked about how important it is to give back and in the most wonderful gesture, she gave each and every delegate a bright pink Merino and cashmere poncho, individually wrapped with a hand-written note attached. 

The 30-40 plus blogger meet

After her talk, we were invited to peruse the rails and to try the clothing if we so desired. Every item is universally flattering and it was great to see, as well as feel, everyone's excitement. 

Hope clothing

Hope Clothing

Hope fashion

It was wonderful to meet so many women that I had connected with via social media including Beata (Fashion Adventures at Any Age)...

30-40 Blogger meet

...and Siobhan (WellStyled).

30-40 blogger meet

It was a brilliant, brilliant day and Catherine, Fluorescent PR and Hope did an amazing job. The overwhelming feeling was one of friendship and support and those who were at their first blogger event felt comfortable and welcome. It is a very special thing to be part of this 40-plus blogging community and I feel incredibly lucky to be among women that support and celebrate each other.

When friendships that start off virtually become real, it's wonderful and my day out in London was the best blogging birthday present I could have wished for.

Love Liz x

Outfit details:
*The cotton stretch ankle grazer in chalk, Hope Fashion £95
Pink pussy bow blouse, Closet at Aspire Style £29
Pink strappy wedge sandals, LKBennett, past season.
Double star ring in matt gold (also available in silver) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
T-bar heart and freshwater pearl bracelet, £49, Danon at Lizzy O
(sign up to my monthly newsletter in the right hand sidebar of my blog for exclusive discounts for Lizzy O).


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27 comments

  1. Looks like you had a lovely time! Gorgeous outfit as always! xxx

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    1. It was fabulous Bee, a really great day. Thank you! xxxx

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  2. Happy blog birthday! It was lovely to meet you on Monday :)

    Emma xxx
    www.style-splash.com

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    1. Thank you so much Emma. Lovely to meet you too. You're just as beautiful in real life as I expected! xxxxx

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  3. So wonderful, I'm sad I was away so couldn't make it but I want to make the next one. Catherine is an amazing lady and friend to me, I would love to meet you too Lizzy, we have to sort a Yorkshire meet. You all look gorgeous as does Hope. Happy blogiversary and here's to many, many more years x

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    1. Aw, thank you so much lovely. Yes, I'd love to meet you. There are so many Harrogate/Ilkley based bloggers who I'm sure would be very interested in a Yorkshire meet. And I couldn't agree more about Catherine xxxxx

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  4. What a great write up of a brilliant day. It was so nice to meet you.
    Julie X
    www.thatagestyle.com

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    1. Thank you Julie. It was fabulous wasn't it and so lovely to meet you too xxxxx

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  5. Lizzy I love the bracelet in the goody bag - I've posted a picture on Instagram (finally got my dog to pose for me). Thank you - and for showing off those trousers which unfortunately didn't fit me. Growngals.com

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    1. Thank you Avril. I saw the picture- thank you so much. Your dog is gorgeous and a very good model!!! Oh, that's a shame that the trousers didn't fit. I've already washed and worn mine again since then!! xxxxx

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  6. Liz what a fabulous, fabulous write up - you're such a star, thank you for all those kind words!! I'm so pleased with how it went, the feedback from everyone has been overwhelming, I'm still in a bit of a spin to be honest!

    You looked incredible in those white jeans (le sigh...) and the blush pink top - Hope have hit the jackpot with you modelling their clothes for them!!

    Thank you for all your support and feedback *before* the event as well - can't tell you how much I appreciate your friendship and love!!!!!!!!!

    Great big MUAH to you,
    Catherine x
    http://notdressedaslamb.com

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    1. You did such a great job of organising and every bit of positivee feedback and praise is well-deserved. I'm still buzzing too and am already looking forward to the next one!!!

      Thank you for the lovely compliment about the trousers. They are cut so beautifully and the fabric does a marvellous job of smoothing the silhouette. I have already washed and worn them again since the event!

      Thank you for all of your support. You have been a mentor in many ways a d I have learned so much from you. It's a privilege to know you xxxxxxx

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  7. Even though you already know, I want to tell you again that I think you are a very lovely lady. Very genuine and kind. Love to have met you. And I agree with the others, you looked stunning in those white trousers.
    Greetje

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    1. Oh Greetje, that's such a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much. It was lovely to meet you too and I hope it won't be too long until we meet again xxxxxxxxxx

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  8. I love your comment that with Catherine, every day is a school day! That is for sure; we learn so much from her. I was so pleased to finally see Hope clothes in person (and of course, I want every silver and sparkly thing!). It was a lovely day, and I'm so pleased it fell on your blogiversary! xx

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    1. Thank you Lisa. The Hope clothing is gorgeous isn't it. Like you I was taken with the silver things xxxxxx

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  9. What a day, looks an amazing venue and great to get inspiration and ideas. Happy blog anniversary and here's too many more X #brilliantblogposts

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    1. Thank you Sam. It was a great day and I came back full of inspiration as you said. Thank you too re blog anniversary! xxx

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  10. Thank your for sharing your experience ! I have started one year ago. I have no commercial goal but blogging gives me the opportunity to converse, share and laugh a lot ... (And exercise my English) so I just have one thing to say : go for it ... It is such a rewarding experience

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    1. It is definitely a very rewarding hobby and a great way of meeting like-minded people both virtually and in real life. Good luck! xxxx

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  11. Wow ... I see Beata, Greetje, Catherine, you! This Yankee would've loved to have been there!
    Thanks for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday!
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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    1. Next time Dawn Lucy!!! We'd love to meet you! xxxxxx

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  12. It was a superb meeting wasn't it? I learned so much and had a brilliant time.
    Congratulations on you blog's third birthday, I'm looking forward to the next 30 years of Lizzy loveliness!
    Michelle xx
    http://www.thebarefacedchic.co.uk

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  13. Blogging is a hobby for me but It is really about sharing and chatting and laughing a lot ... Thank you for sharing what you experiment every day ...

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  14. I hadn't read your post about the 3040 Blogger meet yet. Shame on me. It is lovely. I can look forward to the next one.
    Greetje

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I love receiving your comments. Thank you so much for taking the time, Lizzy xxx

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