So on the 15th, myself and Bicky attended our first Blog Awards Ireland Blog Awards, this year being held in Dún Laoghaire in Duffy's Circus tent and hosted by Littlewoods Ireland. See previous posts here and here and here.
It was an amazing night, and I'm not just saying that. I honestly don't think I can think of one criticism. It was causal yet professionally organised, quick entrance with sturdy wrist bands, the street food was so delicious and catered to all dietary requirements -I had the falafel from Eathos. So good! The wrist bands had pull off tabs that worked as tokens -one for food, three drinks, and one for a snack (popcorn or candyfloss).
Beginning at 6.30pm, the drink reception was held outside the front of the tent prior to the beginning of the awards ceremony at 8pm. The open layout of the pier gave to a festival feel, with food trucks, drink stalls and picnic table seating for those needing to sit down. It was nice having time to mingle prior to the show, and the weather being mild was an added bonus (although I don't think I we can give credit to Blog Awards Ireland for that one, ha).
I suppose the one criticism, the one thing all outdoor events fail on -toilets! Now I'm no stranger to festivals and so no stranger to portaloos. But these ones were in a van, so had a few steps up. As you know I'm sure, women's toilets always have a queue, and it was a tight squeeze in and out of the toilet door -up the steps which had a rather lose rail. This was a bit of an issue for someone like me with mobility problems. I'm sure the other lady contestants may have had other issues with them, but all-in-all they were pretty good for toilets at an outdoor event. Lights and all, of course. I didn't trip down (or up) the steps so a plus from me, LOL.
The circus tent itself was large and the seating not as uncomfortable as I had expected it would be... Although it has been about 20 years since I have been in a circus tent so really was surprised. It was very pretty and magical.
I met several bloggers throughout the night including the lovely Avril from a Paler Shade of Beauty -who came third in our category of Health and Well-being! I didn't win of course (obviously that would be the first thing I would have mentioned, lol) but I would have been far too nervous to win (going up there to the mic... vom!). In the future I will 100% feel different, but I'm still really new to all this stuff and I'm happy to sit back and enjoy the ride first. Saying that, I am still very proud and honored to have made it to the finalists list, especially in my first year of running. I'm not even sure how that happened to be honest... Avril, we didn't even get a selfie with each other!? We should not even be allowed to blog, haha!
A big hello to Nicci from LadyNicci.com, Fiona from FionaGrowsFood.com and Caroline from Bibliocook.com -Great meeting you guys! And everyone else I was chatting to, who I either didn't get names from/ can't recall at the min!
Massive congrats to the third, second and first place in my category (click on logos for their sites and check em out):
-You can clearly see how this blogger fits under the Health and Well-Being category. From the blog awards site description:
The Category Conundrum
As you know from reading my blog, this is not me really... I write about health, kinda, well "unhealth" would probably be more of an appropriate term. I'm realistic perhaps, and quite candid about my illnesses with little sugar coating -and so not so much positivity as you would expect under such a heading. I like to stay healthy with my food when I can cook/ fit to move, but generally within the realms of science and facts -I'm open minded but shine away from most woo. I generally eat vegan, I juice ...But again, that really isn't me, I don't fit under this category. I know "super foods" aren't real and coconut gets an unfair amount of praise. I'm simple when it comes to health -healthy food is healthy. Juicing is healthy and I like the taste but know its boundaries/ the word detox is a myth. I can't do yoga or Pilates, I don't have any coordination and simply dislocate, haha... And there is nothing wrong with these belief systems and lifestyles, at all (I sooo wish I could do proper yoga, for one!) apart from the annoying click bait sites of course, which have unfortunately leeched on to these topics.
But my blog, my writings simply don't fit under this heading. I'm not exactly a beach bunny, and I certainly don't have enough healthy recipes on my blog for them to even count. I'm ok with "negativity" when it's real and serves a purpose, and I am in no way spiritual/ religious... I know I don't really fit into this category but chronic illness bloggers are considered under this all the time, so I went with that one. Perhaps I am actually more suited to be in the team of Lifestyle bloggers? After all, I write on various topics. Some of my stuff is just pure opinion pieces unrelated to health, I even have the odd review, recipe, sometimes just some photography. This is the criteria for Lifestyle (in these awards, anyway), have a read and see what you think:
It generally covers everything. So what do my regular readers think? I'm a proud chronic illness blogger of course and that is what I define myself as (I'm in various Facebook groups and online communities under such heading), but alas, such category never exists in the realm of awards. What would you classify me as? For those unsure, check out the main awards site for a full list of categories -scroll down for categories (these are generally used/ little variation from one awards organisation to the next). I would be interested in what you guys think, so comment below this post.
Oh and yes, clothes! Well the theme was circus (as if I haven't blabbed on about that enough, sorry) and the fancy dress was really left up to the individual. Go full circus, slightly, or not at all. It really wasn't a big deal. Loads of people love to dress up in costume while others are more comfortable in casual clothes, and of course some have probably chosen their outfit months ago -10 inch heals, designer dress, the whole shebang.
I wanted comfort as to last the night, and I can't wear heals anyway, but also wanted to incorporate some circus elements.
I took inspiration from old clown prints, the girly ones you may remember having as a child from the 1980's particularly. The idea of the sad girl clown, with heart shaped, pale face and small red lips. I love the idea of the freak show, more so than circus, so felt taking in some dark, creepy elements would be fun too -mixing the two together into a cute, creepy, clown doll I guess. See my inspiration boards here:
#LWIBloggies2016: Circus theme inspiration boards
I also wished to incorporate the style of the trapeze artist in certain elements -elegant, long, pink ballet pumps that strap up the legs around colourful tights. Long, comfortable pink boots helped with this look. I actually bought these not too long ago from Schuh, down from like some insane price (can't remember exactly, but over €100) to only 20 quid -I thought they were unusual, comfy looking and funky but didn't know where I could get the use from them. I thought they were a bit out there but they actually received loads of compliments on the night and I could not have been comfier. I checked the Schuh site in case anyone reading this wanted to buy them but unfortunately they are all gone, snapped up at that price.
I paired with a skirt I also bought a while ago, a tutu style from Boohoo.com (nude colour). It went great with the boots and will probably team these two again in the future. The skirt is so comfortable too. Perfect for outdoor events where shorter, flowy skirts fail in the slightest breeze. No embarrassing moments for me, ha. It's really pretty and goes with so many things and for so many occasions.
To achieve the slight creepy/ circus freak element I spoke of earlier, I wore a cardigan from one of my faveourite brands Hell Bunny. I picked up this cute cat skull cardigan from Ebay, a lovely piece that I've been meaning to get for ages. Thought I should at least buy something new for the occasion, and I know it's a piece that I will wear time and time again -I've been meaning to buy it for so long now!
Underneath I wore a simple mint, silk like camisole top which I bought a couple of years ago from Top Shop. I wanted my curls to look a bit wild and messy, so tied them up and used a large, rose flower crown from Claire's Accessories to exaggerate the lift and size.
I wore some basic costume jewelry, mostly bronze in colour... And that's about it really! Well and my red cane, lol. I should say, this was plan B -Plan A (a simple, circus theme dress ordered online) didn't arrive on time! I kept it pretty plain and comfy and lasted the whole night of the awards.
Enough of that utter self indulgence! Ha.
As promised, the acts were not animal related in any way, all human performances. During breaks in giving out awards we were kept at the edge of our seats through the dancers/ acrobats/ trapeze artists dangerous stunts. Below is some photos.
I honestly cannot wait until next year!!! The organisers deserve a big round of applause, but so do all the attending bloggers. There was an air about the place that was really just lovely -everyone chatting, mingling, excited and happy. Everyone I met was so sweet and genuine and just in such good form that it really elevated the event to another level entirely. Thanks for the vibes! I feel proud to call myself a blogger and be in great company with such amazing people.