BlogConf 2015 in Bristol

BlogConf Bristol 2015

BlogConf is a wonderful blogging conference aimed at bloggers of all levels and genres. It’s a new conference on the UK scene, which held its first event in Swansea during October 2014. It’s second event took place last Saturday in Bristol at the Racks Bar & Kitchen. Tickets were £45, but early bird tickets were £35, if you were able to snag one (like I did). Tickets included the full day of talks, a pen with a custom notebook for the day, lunch, the option to stay afterwards to network, and a great little goody bag from their sponsors.

This was the first blogging conference I’ve ever attended and I was a little nervous about what I might get out of the day. I’ve only been on the blogging scene for about a year, but I think it’s time to start putting a lot more effort into this space to see where it could go. So, I thought I’d cough up the cash and see what BlogConf could offer. It turns out that BlogConf was exactly the kind of event I was looking for to get equal doses of valuable information and easy networking. The full day event was filled with wonderful information from a variety of speakers with plenty of time to chat and make new friends.

Lara Watson & Lottie Stoery at BlogConf

The Bristol event took place at Racks Bar in Clifton where the staff were helpful and conscious of the fact that our event space was right next to their bustling kitchen. We arrived just before 10am, settled into one of the tables and had time to introduces ourselves to our neighbours before the first talk. There was a slight mix up with the first speaker and we were unable to have the full talk on monetizing blogs, but this didn’t put a damper on the day as it was absolutely chalk full of valuable information.

Danny T at BlogConf 2015

The Speakers

The speakers at BlogConf all had their own form of wisdom to share and style of presentation. One talk included exercises for us to do among ourselves, one was a kind of Q&A session, one had live demos, and others shared personal experiences of bloggers to help newcomers and veteran bloggers alike connect with the realities of blogging. There was range of personal and professional expertise for all us attendees to benefit from. And we did! Between each speaker we all feverishly talked about the great and interesting facts we had just learned. My little BlogConf book was a burst with notes by the end of the day.

Our talks included:

Joe Stutter – How to Improve Your Online Presence for Success

Lara Watson & Lottie Storey from Mollie Makes – Freelancing & Magazines

Danny T – Photography

Gemma M & Mel Peck from Trunki – Working with Brands

Will Guyatt from Instagram – PR & Social Media

Olivia Wellings – Vlogging

Sophie Bolton – My Blogging Story

Will Guyatt at BlogConf 2015

By the end of the day, I was completely knackered but feeling highly motivated. I was happy that I’d bought a ticket (which had completely sold out!) and committed my Saturday to BlogConf. I’m sure I’ll be able to revisit my notes again and again for guidance and inspiration.

Throughout the day BlogConf ran a competition for activity on their social media pages. I would have spent a portion of my day tweeting and instagraming interesting moments anyway, but I made an extra effort with the running competition. I was very pleasantly surprised at the end of the day when I actually won! That never happens to me! As a prize I was given a lovely gift box from Lush which I’m over the moon with as I’ve been dying to try some of their products!

Lush Box Prize at BlogConf 2015

One of the best aspects of the day was all of the amazing people I connected with. They made the day so much more enjoyable and added a lot to the experience. I met a bunch of new bloggers and business owners that were simply inspiring to talk to. I hope to have made a few new friends that I’ll be able to see regularly in Bristol!

Goody bag from BlogConf Bristol 2015

BlogConf moves around the country for its events, and the next one is already scheduled to take place in Glasgow. For more information, or to get involved as a speaker or sponsor, take a look at their website. I would highly recommend BlogConf to anyone who is looking to get their blog off of the ground and connect with like minded bloggers.

If you have any questions about my experience at BlogConf, please feel free to comment or email me!

Do you know of any other great blogging conferences or networking events? I’d love to know.

Hearts and blogger power,

Colette xx

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Focus on the Positives

Scardey Cat by Kurt Halsey

Today I’m trying to focus on the positives. Just moments ago, I wasn’t doing that. I was looking at my blog thinking, “You were picking up some traction, writing more regularly, and then you slipped -like you always do! If you want to have time, you need to make time!! Your baby blog can’t grow if you don’t nourish it!!! I’m killing my baby!!!!” Then I took a breath, and scrolled through my posts again. I noticed that I’ve consistently posted a blog a month for the last few months, then in October I posted twice. So really, that’s progress. I haven’t moved any mountains here, but that’s better than not having made any gains. It’s only November 3rd, I have tons of time to also post twice this month. Progress, that’s what’s important. Nobody builds anything amazing in a day! (Especially an amazing blog.)

Right?! Of course I’m right. So now I’m grasping onto that tiny slice of progress. That teeny little positive. Focusing on that, I feel hopeful rather than hopeless. That is the power of focusing on the positives.

The point is this: I try. And just because I didn’t make a vast transformation all at once, doesn’t mean I have to be mean to myself about it. And neither do you. Even if I hadn’t written an extra post in October, I could have seen that I am producing varied and interesting content, or that I went to my first blog event. There is almost always something positive you can focus on in a situation.

Negative thinking is all too easy to be consumed in. I’m not religious, as much as spiritual, but we all know that everyone is a sinner. For some reason we’re all too quick to see ourselves as undeserving of happiness and positivity. I promise you, there is nothing productive to come out of negative thinking and self-loathing. By indulging in a negative thought cycle you become closed to the possibilities around you, by finding something positive to focus on, you instantly become more open to better things that are coming your way.

So the next time you’re being a negative Nancy about your own failed efforts, I want you to stop yourself in your tracks. Take a breath to release the fear that is gripping you. Grab a pen and paper and write down the positives about your situation. If you truly can’t see anything in your current situation, write down anything you’ve accomplished recently, any progress you’ve made, and anything positive that has happened to you. Even small things, like making your bed, or remembering to water your plant should go on the list.

Open your eyes to the positives and hold them tightly to your heart.

What do you do when you start to feel negativity take over?

Love and hope,

Colette x

Image: http://kurthalsey.com/products/scardey-cat

Bristol Fashion Week

Bristol Fashion Week AW 2014

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending my very first blogging event at the Bristol Fashion Week’s Autumn Winter show. The week long event features 18 catwalk shows of high street fashions. It all takes place at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and is the largest fashion event in Bristol!

Bristol Fashion Week at The Mall at Cribba Causeway

I was excited to head down to the Mall at Cribbs Causeway. I had never been before, so there was the intrigue of both checking out the mall and seeing the show all in one go. The show I saw was the Live Blogging Show where you were encouraged to tweet and write about your experience. My invite to the event included a pass to a Friday evening bloggers showcase runway show, a raffle ticket for a John Lewis prize, a booklet full of tons of coupons and raffle tickets for stores located in the mall, and a goodie bag that came in a lovely cotton Bristol Fashion Week tote bag.

Colette at Bristol Fashion Week AW 2014

What I wore – Blouse: French label Cache Cache, Skirt: Club Monaco, Tights: H&M, Bag: Danier Leather (barely pictured!).

Leading into the show we were offered light refreshments, during which time I got to talk to a few cool people. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous and didn’t approach as many people as I would have liked this time. It can be a little intimidating being in the mix of little tight knit groups of blogger friends and notably established bloggers! Next time though, I will definitely be more outgoing. (I promise!)

 

John Lewis & Sunglass Hut BFWAW14

John Lewis & Sunglass Hut

The catwalk show blew me away! I have never attended a proper fashion show before, but I had not expected there to be so much acting and dancing as was involved. It was a highly entertaining event. The scenes were all thoughtfully laid out and in tune with the season. Models ranged in ages and sizes from adorable children to sophisticated older women. And my favourite, was a gent sporting a delicious little mun! (I have quite the mun obsession.)

 

Business Mun BFWAW14

Business Mun

Designers included John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Gap, River Island, Jack Wills, Next, Rayban, Vision Express, Lipsy, Clark’s, Timberland, CC/Viyella, Austin Reed,  Warehouse, Phase Eight, Oasis, and Karen Millen. And the show fabulously tied into the mall’s offerings. All of the runway pieces that can be found within the mall have “Featured in Bristol’s Fashion Week” tags on them, making it easy for fashionistas to pick up their favourite items.

 

Next Children, River Island, Lipsy, Claire's BFWAW14

Next Children, River Island, Lipsy, Claire’s

 

Warehouse, Timberland BFWAW14

Warehouse, Timberland

Tickling My Fancy: I enjoyed the amount of capes and oversized shalls that were being showcased for both women and men. I am also a sucker for coloured stockings, so the bright red, royal blue, burgundy, and silver sparkly tights were great to see on the catwalk. Over the knee socks are another look that I’ve been enjoying for quite some time, but I’m planning to up my game on that front this season. Also, hats. I love hats, but I want to branch out from the slouchy berets and beanies I’m prone to wearing.

Jack Wills, John Lewis BFWAW14

Jack Wills, John Lewis

 

Bristol Fashion Week Blogger Show Finale 2014

The Big Finale!

Hot Trends: Mixing prints and fabrics will be a huge trend, as well as flat clunky and metallic loafers. Lace in all forms is still good to go into autumn/winter 2014. There were a lot of 1970s inspired designs, though the last scene of the show was dedicated to the 60s. And if you’re thinking about your next coat purchase you’re good to go in any kind of parka, faux fur, or brightly coloured coat.

 

John Lewis BFWAW14

John Lewis

 

Phase Eight BFWAW14

Phase Eight

Another highlight of the show were styling tips from fashion stylist Mark Heyes, and hair tips from celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton. Including this one I tweeted. I was happy to hear that statement hair accessories like facinators and rhinestone hairbands are continuing trends. I’m dying to get my hands on the perfect sparkly hair statement piece… some kitty ears perhaps!

 

Fashion Stylist Mark Heyes BFWAW14

Fashion Stylist Mark Heyes

 

Celebrity Hairdresser Andrew Barton BFWAW14

Celebrity Hairdresser Andrew Barton & a gorgeous hair accessory from John Lewis!

Well there you have it, my first fashion and blogging event experience! Are there are any autumn winter trends that you are looking forward to testing out? Anything from your personal style that you see creeping into the high street? I’d love to know!

 

Thigh high socks and fashion muns,

Colette xx

 

 

I Finally Have Instagram!

@polka.dot.heart on Instagram@polka.dot.heart on Instagram @polka.dot.heart on Instagram YAY! I’ve been dying to get on Instagram. Until recently I sadly had a very old phone that couldn’t support it. (Yay for getting a smart phone too!) I love snapping photos, so it’s great to finally have a tool that lets me share them with friends, family and curious on lookers.

If you’d like to see snippets of my personal style, day to day adventures, and tons of my fluffy pup, then please don’t hesitate to follow @polka.dot.heart on Instagram!

The link: http://instagram.com/polka.dot.heart

Street style and autumn comforts!

Colette xx

Step by Step

Everyone gets buried by responsibility sometimes. I’ve been missing for too long now, and I need to get back to this creaky machine of a blog. It brings me joy to create in this little space I’ve cut out for myself and I’ve let other priorities steal it from me.

I was feeling as if it was my duty to pay less attention to the little things while I worked on the big things. But in truth, taking away my little pleasures seems to have a less than desirable effect on my productivity levels in all areas. I’ve realized now that I need to continue giving myself at least a bit of leeway to focus on small things that make me feel happy and whole in order to be my best in other areas of my life.

So I will see you again soon, my friends. Hope you are all taking time to do the little things that make you feel good.

Letty xx

Womp Womp…

So much for a post a day. It’s insane how easily one day missed turns into many. But the truth is sometime the pressures of work deadlines are more pressing than personal deadlines. I’ve also been spending most of my blog allocated time to trying to figure out how to install a new framework for a theme makeover. I know, I know, a few posts in and I’m already working on an overhaul. But this theme just isn’t quite what I envisioned and I intend on going full tilt this time around.

Anyway, I’m not a techy person at all, which means there’s a steep learning curve for me here and I’m not doing so well yet. But I WILL GET THERE. And then you can all be like “oooh, ahhh! what a shiny new site you have!” right? And I’ll get to smile with a cuppa and pretend we’re all having tea together. Won’t that be nice?

What projects have you been getting hung up on lately?

Anything proving to be a more difficult climb than you expected?

Let me know and I’ll be a little source of encouragement.

Love,

Letty x

Welcome

Hello Stranger,

This space is soon to be filled with all my musings, adventures and endeavours. From recipes and tips to style posts and general things of interests, it will all be here for you to peruse and contribute to, like a little treasure chest.

Grab a cuppa and have a read!

Love,

Colette x