ONE : PHOTOWALK
I love snapping away on my phone but there's always a paranoid gremlin on my shoulder when I'm out on my own and want to stop dead to take a picture of my yellow shoes on a beautiful tiled floor or capture the pretty flowers along a roadside. So being given the chance to join a group of people on a walk dedicated to taking photographs around one of my favourite parts of London was AMAZING!
For me (and many others I imagine), it was a pure treat to be able to wander through the streets of Shoreditch with lots of other like-minded and brightly dressed folk. With everyone taking photos of beautiful, coloured walls, floors, food, flowers and everything in-between, it was nice to feel part of a crowd and share the odd looks from passers-by.
Check out the Blogtacular hashtags for an explosion of colour and fabulous shots from all of the photo and video walks on the Friday afternoon: #blogtacular #blogtacularphotowalkeast #blogtacularphotowalkwest #blogtacularvideowalk
TWO: CAT CAFE
I'm not sure I really need to explain why a Cat Cafe is one of my treats but this was totally unexpected, unplanned and the best mini diversion EVER! I was thrilled to meet the very lovely Kirsty and Natalie on the Photowalk and after it finished we had some time to kill before the West Elm party that evening. Initially I tagged along in search of beer but as we walked back we passed the London Cat Village, which I somehow missed on the walk itself.
With us all being big cat lovers, and the cafe just happening to have space for us we couldn't resist. Spending an hour with a cold beverage, new friends and being surrounded by an incredible mix of exotic breeds of kitties was THE BEST! Don't take my word for it though... just look at these furry faces and check out London Cat Village on Instagram to meet them ALL!
THREE : CHEESE FOR BREAKFAST
Not only did the giant balloons spelling Blogtacular blow me away when we walked in the venue on Saturday morning but we were greeted with an incredible breakfast spread. From pastries and fruit to cold meats and CHEESE, there was so much choice to go with the tea and coffee on tap! And... well... you know me, I was there with the cheese and meats faster than you could say "coffee".
To be fair, the food in general was spectacular! At the West Elm party on the Friday night there were amazing trays full of nibbles and wine flowing all evening to compliment the buzz of creativity and networking in the wonderful store.
And on Saturday the lunch.. OH MY! It was all so. damn. good! I'm pretty sure nobody was left feeling hungry, especially with sweet treats and fruit bought out during the scheduled breaks too! FOOD HEAVEN!
Ooh and I can't go on about the food without mentioning the amazing Wahaca feast that I was thrilled to be invited to after the event on Saturday. I bloody love Wahaca and to enjoy tasty treats from the menu while surrounded by lovely faces and new friends from the event was the perfect way to end the weekend!
FOUR: SWAPSIES and GOODIES
So I have already gushed about the amazing Blogtacular goodie bag in my last post - it really was incredible! But I started opening and using lots of the bits inside mine before I even thought about photographing it all nicely (oops!) but just look at this beautiful shot Cat (Twin Pines Creative) took, it captures many of the goodies included and hopefully helps explain why I couldn't wait to get involved and open everything as soon as I got on the train home...
Photo credit : Twin Pines Creative
As well as feeling like I'd won all the prizes at the fair with the goodie bag swag, I was over the moon to come away with some AMAZING swapsies too! I'd packed up a few of my little black cat enamel pins to take with me for the weekend - mainly as thank you gifts for a few faces I knew I'd see but it turned out that lots of people had bought pins and gifts along too which meant SWAPSIES!
I love a good swap and after doing a few pin swaps online it was ace to be able to trade pretties in real life. Here are some of the lovely makers (and their goodies) who I had the pleasure of swapping treats with...
Photo credit : Nikki McWilliams
Photo credit : Finest Imaginary
Photo credit : helloDODO
Photo credit : onrshop
And I also have the very lovely Zoe of Too Cute to Quit to thank for my beautiful, yellow heart name badge, which I wore with pride all weekend...
Thank you Cat for taking this lovely photo of all my flair!
FIVE : FRIENDS
Without sounding like a super fanny, one of the BEST treats for me was getting to travel, eat, drink, cat cafe, network and get inspired with some of my favourite faces.
Travelling with Claire (claireabellemakes) and Kate (Daphne Rosa) on the way to Blogtacular was so much fun and helped to calm my nerves no end - mainly due to the rock hard doughnuts Claire was scammed with at her local garage... sorry Claire but it was too funny not to mention! Not only was it nice to spend more time with both Claire and Kate, it meant a lot to me because with Hannah too I actually realised I had found new friends in Cambridge - something I was terrified of never doing when I first moved here! Sorry ladies... you may be stuck with me now...
Cambridge Crew : Hannah, Kate, Claire and Me
Knowing that I was meeting Cat (Twin Pines Creative) at the venue to share our first Blogtacular together made me super happy too. Without Cat my Sunshine business wouldn't have the beautiful logo and branding I dreamed of, plus we have been friends for aaaaages now so it was the best excuse to hang out again!
As well as people I had already met in real life and was excited about spending time with, there were many others who I was excited about meeting/catching up with after many moons of online interaction (stalking).
To name a few (but by no means all!) here are some of the wonderful insta-friends I was thrilled to spend time with over the weekend, some who I'd met before and others who I met for the very first time...
Angharad (@elenangharad.co) Kirsty (@homebykirsty) Natalie (@_natalierowley_) Nikki (@nikkimcwilliams) Kim (@finestimaginary) Rachel (@onrshop) Kelly (@Sunjellies) Leanne (@FredandBell) Nicky (@little_dut @molliemakes) Kate (@MadebyMrsM) Ali & Jam (@hellohelloDODO) Zoe (@toocutetoquit) Zeena (@heartzeena) Lisa (@lisacongdon) Enid (@Eeeeenid) and of course Kat (@thatKat) and Kelly (@Kellyfairy)
Photo credit : Claireabellemakes
If you don't already recognise some of those names, click the links, go give them all a stalk and be prepared to smile at their gorgeous instafeeds and possibly empty your purse along the way!
So there you have it, what I regard as my Top 5 TREATS from my first Blogtacular, I could have selected so many more moments from the Friday and Saturday as it was all so brilliant. However for the sake of keeping this blog post a reasonable length and to stop you going cross-eyed, I thought I'd limit myself and hope you enjoyed the selection.
Now... I'm off to cuddle my kitties as I still feel guilty for cheating on Toby and Pegs at the Cat Village and I may also go and find a small snack as treat number 3 has made me peckish...
Have a lovely day!