You can read Part One here.
On Friday morning, slightly bleary-eyed, I woke up with the excited realisation that today was the day I had come here for; I was going to the Bupa Blog Awards!
To give you an idea of how excited I was, I was dressed, make-up and hair done and purse packed and ready an hour and a half before I needed to leave, and my goodness, was I impatient! I decided that as I had a spare ticket, I would invite one of the other hostel guests to be my plus one, and luckily for me, Mitch, the American (who to my extreme jealousy was going to see Ben Folds live at the freaking Opera House that night!) had just purchased some clean duds to wear to such an event, and just happened to be free.
It was a much sunnier day on the Friday than the Thursday, so unfortunately my make-up mostly sweated off on the walk from the train station (and my acne had not quite yet subsided), but after getting slightly confused by the numbers on George St and realising that the place was hidden from the street, we arrived at the Ivy to a room filled with green and white, and buzzing with the other excited bloggers.
I was so incredibly nervous about this party – I mean, what is networking anyway? I felt odd just going up to and introducing myself to strangers, even if we had this one thing in common; what would I have to say that would interest them? I tried not to let my head get the better of me; all I could think was how beautiful and well-dressed everyone looked, how lovely their posing for Instagram was and how stupid my hair looked (just being honest).
Mitch encouraged me to take my photo in front of the Bupa wall and to then sit down to talk to someone (anyone). With a deep breath I took a seat opposite Cate from the blog All Cats Are Grey At Night. While we didn’t chat for too long, she was lovely, and my nerves seemed to settle down a bit from the interaction.
I had probably told Mitch about 8 times at this point how excited I was to be in the same room as Lee Holmes. For those of you who don’t know who she is, Lee Holmes has her own blog, Supercharged Food, where she too shares recipes, but I discovered her on a bookshelf in Myer a couple of years ago. Her cookbook, Supercharged Food, was unlike any other cookbook I had come across, in fact, it was exactly the kind of cookbook I had always dreamed of writing myself! It was beautifully shot, with simple recipes full of flavour and healthy to boot! Not only was it endorsed by Sarah Wilson, but the philosophy behind it was to eat real food, which for Lee herself, had helped her get off her medications for an autoimmune disorder by improving her condition with food. Food as medicine in action people – that is what its all about!
So here I was kind of FANGIRLING LIKE CRAZY (in the most subtle and civilised way of course) as we walked into the dining room, and there she was, standing right in front of me. I introduced myself, and told Lee how much I loved her book and we chatted. For the rest of the day we were sitting on the same table (also on said table was the lovely and bubbly Brenda from http://brendajanschek.com/ and the winner of the category I was in, Johanna from http://lifestylefifty.com/ – she reminded me a lot of twiggy = rad!) and so I got to sit on a table of amazing and inspirational women. Quite frankly its something that I felt I really needed. I’ve only been doing this for 2 years. These women have been doing it for far longer. Not only do they walk the talk, but they love what they do and are so supportive of one another.
This is one of things I love most about women. When you really know and love yourself there is no room for jealousy or pettiness, just support, fun and interest in one another; all the other crap fades away.
The awards were a fantastic experience to be a part of. I met so many fabulous women and heard so many inspiring stories, but most of all, the feeling of being amongst people who could understand what it is I love so much about this blogging caper was the boost I needed to realise that all the hard parts I am working through are more than worth it.
After the awards were announced (and the delicious food was eaten), a few of us headed to the bar with the pool and HOLY WOW I was disappointed I didn’t have my bikini in my purse! That place is beautiful! We lounged around and enjoyed the sunshine before Mitch and I headed back to the hostel (and he went off to Ben Folds while I promptly died of jealousy).
The rest of my night was fairly quiet while I sipped tea and chatted to all the backpackers before they went out. The lovely Con and I made plans for Bondi the following day and I went to bed sleeping incredibly soundly for someone sleeping on the top bunk of a hostel bunk bed.