Firstly I want to personally thank you for ALL that voted for me in the 2016 UK Blog Awards the whole experience was absolutely crazy and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
When the nominations first opened, I never for a second believed much would come out of it, I had just recently started to blog again and I didn't have the huge following, brand collaborations, and all that jazz under my name. Funnily enough I entered the UK Blog Awards on the very LAST day of the nominations because I kept putting it off, making excuses, talking myself out of it. However after attending Sarah Akwisombe Blog School in East Croydon, our homework was to research and enter a Blog Award to get our name out, so I took it as a sign...I mean back in school I took my homework VERY seriously and with pride thanks to my mother so why stop now?
When the voting opened for 2 weeks in January this year I put it on my blog and social media and to see people messaging me and the words of encouragement for the UK Blog Awards was so touching, to know that people took time out of their day to vote for my blog was the best feeling ever. I felt happy like I just had 2 bottles of Prosecco (I'm a lightweight anything more than 2 bottles...I would be KO'd..out for the count...waking up the next day)
Then voting closed, on that very same evening I did one thing....I prayed. Prayed for everything that God had granted and blessed me with and for the opportunity of UK Blog Awards. On Friday 29th January I was excuse my french..shitting...bricks. You know them big doo-doo's that make you sweat, make your stomach curl, you can't sit properly and you take clothes off for like it makes ANY difference to the smackdown of the number 2 you are about to do (sorry that it's so graphic but I needed you to get my point)
I checked my emails and saw nothing so I assumed that I didn't make the shortlist but Gmail likes to play with my life so I remembered that it categorises my emails under the "Social" and "Promotions" tab. So I clicked on there and saw an email from the UK Blog Awards saying that I had been SHORTLISTED! I nearly dropped my phone in excitement, but then I remembered that I didn't have insurance! I...bumflicked...all....over....my....house in excitement then it dawned on me that I actually had to go to the awards and the reality punched me in my face.
I would have to attend the UK Blog Awards as a finalist...and buy a dress...and wear makeup...and be in the room with experienced bloggers and sit through an amazing evening.
I immediately felt scared...and unworthy. I was only blogging at this point for a few months after my hiatus, I was moving my blog onto a new website, planning my theatre play and trying to think of my next move. What had I done to deserve being at the UK Blog Awards?
I started convincing myself that I wouldn't win, looking at the others within my category and feeling insignificant and minute compared to them, I didn't write like them , talk about the same things as them, have the following like them, have written as consistently as they had, so who was I to be attending these awards grinning teeth with these UK bloggers?
Then it dawned on me that me NOT being like them was exactly why I had made the final
I had made the top 10 within the Dating category out of 78,000 votes, my readers had voted for me daily and relentlessly and stuck by my blog after 7 amazing years, it wasn't about me it was about THEM! Blogging over the last 7 years has dramatically changed, this was part of the reason why I joined the "No Bull Blog School" because as much as I had a 9-5, I missed blogging and writing and Vex In The City so I felt the need to invest in myself and bring my writing to the next level.
I decided to stop doubting myself and being negative and be excited about the Blog Awards especially because it would be a great night to celebrate achievements, make connections and have as much free champagne as I liked.
The first thing I thought about was my dress...I was going to get a simple black gown until speaking to my friends they were like:
"You are not a simple woman, so don't get a simple dress. Stand out like you're supposed to"
Through fate alone, I stumbled across Grass-fields on Instagram who specialises in african print textiles and makes both modern but elegant pieces. I saw a Tindu set and immediately fell in love with it, I knew that this was the dress for the Blog Awards.
I then sorted out my make-up as that is completely NOT my forte, I barely wear makeup unless it's a special occasion and even then it has always been mascara, eyeliner and lipstick, I don't have patience and I suck at Art so I got my friend and my guardian angel Rhoda Redd
As the tickets for the UK Blog Awards were a little pricey (£65) I decided to put everything on my Snapchat and Instagram to be my digital plus one. The evening consisted of them going through each category firstly the "Individual" entries and then the "Company" entries, they announced firstly the two "Highly Commended" blogs and then the overall winner of the category. Within my category, the two Highly Commended blogs were "30 Something London" and "Naomi Narrative", the overall winner was "Katy Red."
I wasn't even sad that I didn't win because I felt like a winner already and was so happy to be there and after seeing all the winner and Highly Commended blogs it put a fire in my stomach to keep my momentum going, to push harder, work harder and to keep doing what I was doing because this was what I truly loved!
So here's the photo diary, it's not very long because my battery was extremely low due to me not charging it like an idiot throughout the day! But the event itself was run extremely well, it was a prestigious night where I felt that they really went above and beyond to celebrate the bloggers win or lose.
After the awards they played music, gave us amazing food provided by Roast and I drank...alot...of..champagne. I was sipping and bumflicking away like I was in my bedroom listening to music on my Youtube but trying not to break my ankles in my high heels.
Before I could blink the awards ceremony was over and it was time to go home, along with my goody bags (I say bags because In my tipsyness I took two!) I left with something invaluable. I have made a decision to never doubt or put myself down again, irrespective of what you dream of becoming or what you are currently doing, if you wake up every day thinking about doing something and you doing right now as a hobby, you are still in the planning stages or like me you're making the transition to making it your career then I seriously encourage you TO KEEP GOING!
Becoming a UK Blog Awards finalist is something I am extremely proud of, but this is definitely the incentive I need to keep on going, keep networking, keep being angry, keep creating and most importantly to keep supporting others and to keep praying because this is what I was born to do!
Needless to say, I will continue to kiss and bumflick for as long as my kneecaps will allow me to and I can't wait to see what is next in store for all of us! I'm a huge believer of speaking things into existence so I would love for you ALL to write in the comment box below