I’m not the best at keeping exciting secrets. Note to friends: don’t tell me anything super duper awesome but private i.e. you’re pregnant, engaged or you’ve won the lotto. I’ll have to tell someone. Sorry.
I’ve been keeping some unbelievable blog news secret since late last month that I wasn’t allowed to reveal to the world. It has been so hard to keep to myself, but now that everything is announced I can finally announce it online. Last month I was nominated for the Kidspot Voices of 2014 competition – an Australian wide search for the best and brightest new bloggers. Now I thought a nomination was brilliant (thank you anonymous soul who I still haven’t discovered), but when I received an email from Kidspot stating I’d been chosen as a finalist for the Top 40 of the Beauty and Lifestyle category I was in utter shock.
And that was the real reason E & I jetted off to Sydney for the weekend – I went back to school for the Voices Of 2014 Blogger’s Masterclass. Luckily my birthday fell on the weekend so I could ‘pretend’ the trip was a sporadic birthday pressie to myself (and in a way it was), but the real reason for jetting off for a mini break involved some of Australia’s best bloggers and the future of the blog world congregating at Megan Morton’s The School in Rosebury, Sydney (fantastic space by the way) for an afternoon of insight, wisdom and advice from some very successful and intelligent ladies and gentleman. I was in blogger heaven (even though I felt extremely zombie-like after a red eye flight and three hours sleep total – sorry to the girls I sat with, I could barely construct a sentence).
The venue was set up just like a real school. Rows of wooden desks and chairs filled the room and gorgeous bouquets of fresh flowers added a touch of feminine beauty to the already stunning space. Being a social media event mobile phone and tablet use was encouraged, with an Instagram and Twitter feed providing live coverage of the hashtag – #voicesof2014. Basically every time a blogger posted anything with the event hashtag it would appear on the projector screen – just like magic and a fantastic idea. By the end of the conference our hashtag was “trending” in Sydney on Twitter. Exactly what I like to see!
The afternoon progressed with fantastic ‘classes’ focused on how Facebook can help assist you in the blogging world, avoiding the over-share online (since I’m a very casual, honest person I probably should have taken more notes in this lecture) and a panel devoted to innovation and where blogging can take you in the future. A brilliant afternoon all round!
My personal highlights of the day included meeting the charismatic, fellow quirky girl and Voices editor Pip Lincolne of Meet Me At Mikes (who also writes for Frankie Magazine – OMG) and hearing she’d read my blog and really liked it… fan girl moment. The hilarious banter of Kayte Murphy and Beth Macdonald at the online over share panel had everyone in stitches and it was just so interesting to just sit back and take it all in. I loved every second of it.
If I had to sum up the day in one word it would be inspiring. I’d like to thank Kidspot, Ford, The School and everybody else involved for a brilliant day, and an excuse to take a mini break to Sydney! And of course my family and friends for their support, E for putting up with me talking blog all day everyday and my followers. You are all beautiful and the reason I love what I do so much. Sappy Oscar speech over.
What happens now? I wait for the judges to go through my blog with a fine tooth comb and just keep blogging. And I’ll probably keep my fingers and toes crossed for the next few months.
PS – Check out the Kidspot website for all the finalists – perhaps you’ll discover a new favourite blog, or two!