A couple of hours later I was on my way to London as I'd been voted as a finalist in this years MAD blog awards. This is my second time at the awards, and I have my lovely readers and friends to thank for voting me there. It's such a lovely experience.
This year I arrived a lot less frazzled. Last time I'd set off the day after moving house and at the end of a nightmare week. So it was nice to get to the lovely Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington feeling relaxed and able to take my time to get ready and chat with my plus one for the evening, Steph from Steph's Two Girls.
We arrived at the event in time for a glass of champagne and the chance to chat with all the other guests. We had our photo taken in front of a big screen and then were given the opportunity to decorate it. I tried to disguise myself as much as possible with a nice big pair of sunglasses. I know the photo will show up somewhere!
Then we were seated for our meal. I was a little further away from the stage this time but I was sat with some wonderful ladies. It was so nice to meet Hayley from Downside Up at last and also the lovely Emma from FACS. The meal was lovely, we had a goat's cheese fondant starter, chicken main and chocolate pudding with ice cream. I did take photos of my food but they were not brilliant, my phone camera does not work so well in candlelight (neither do my eyes!) If you are on Instagram though you must have seen a meal or fifty being photographed at the same time, I believe there may have been a race to be first to post.
After dinner it was time for the awards and hosting the evening was the charming Dr Ranj in his wonderful curtain suit. Well, he said he'd cut up some old curtains, but I distinctly remember my gran having a settee in that material!
You can find a full list of winners on the Tots100 site here. I didn't win in my category, I never expected to, I was up against some fabulous bloggers. It's such a privilege to be there though, winning doesn't even cross my mind. The Outstanding Contribution category is always an emotional one, such deserving bloggers that work so hard on their messages. Becky from Baby Budgeting introduced the award with a lovely speech about how blogging is all about the friends you make by writing from the heart.
I will admit, as I have done before, I'm not good at making friends. I'm not good at socialising and events like this make me feel kind of invisible. I find it difficult to introduce myself to people and when I do I'm often received with a blank stare because they have never heard of me or my blog. But I have made some really lovely friends in the blogging world and for that I am truly grateful. Becky is so right, it's not about who is the best or the most popular, it's about having a platform to express yourself and make friends, especially if that's something you find difficult to do normally. So blogging should be celebrated like this.
|Photo courtesy of Tom Arber/ Tots100|
I had a wonderful evening and I'm so thrilled to have been able to attend. Sally and the Tots 100 team work so hard to make the event a memorable one for everyone so I'd like to say a big thank you to them and also to the sponsors of the awards and of course the Royal Garden Hotel.
Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists.
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