Tuesday, 19 May 2015

They did it again...ITWBN 1st Birthday celebrations...

So this time last week I was Galway bound for the ITWBN, blogger event. I'll be honest even though I attended my first event in February, I was still nervous second time round. Even giddy with excitement as attending events with this group is liked a family gathering. Nothing pleases me more than catching up with fellow bloggers that I follow and love. ITWBN provides this platform & community for all Irish bloggers, (not just bloggers from the west, but from country wide) to help, encourage and support each other, they open and extend their arms to outsiders like me, based down south..I love these events as it's great getting to know new members, catching up with old members, and we all love nothing better than chatting like minded people who get what blogging entails.
This time it wasn't your normal blogger event, this year ITWBN were celebrating their first birthday. 
Scrumptious cake by Sweet Treats by Fiona
ITWBN organisers Sinead and Saibh, choose the venue, and what a perfect location to celebrate their birthday in none other than the swanky G Hotel, Galway, this hotel is all sorts of fabulousness, beautiful interiors designed by none other than Philip Treacy...I've been here a number of times but every time I visit the hotel, once I enter the building it's like being transported to a different world, love the glamour of the lounge and bar areas. And a very apt place for bloggers, it oozes style and creativity.
Entering the reception I bumped into some lovely bloggers, (Lorraine Pastel Pout, Lorraine from Style Boothique, Aisling from Ashnailedit to name a few)and we grabbed a table, had a quick coffee and introduced ourselves to each other, after this we hightailed it to the registration desk, where Sinead kindly gave us our table names. On entering the room, we were adorned with the sponsors showcasing their products, No7, the body shop, Debenhams, Insight haircare, Amber, and of course my favourite cotton face..I'm like a magpie when it comes to Cottonface, love all their vintage beauties, and found it hard to drag myself away from all of these stands...
Debenhams display
Vintage and jewellery from the fabulous Cotton Face
Haircare from Insight
The gorgeous No7 Skincare boots...these three nail colours and eye line pencils launched just this week.
Beautiful products from The Body Shop
Amazing Display from Amber 
It was soon announced to take our seats, I'm ambled my way across the room, no mean feat in a room full of 126 bloggers!. My table was "croagh Patrick", as it happens each table was called after different beauty spots throughout Ireland, which was a lovely touch. At these events you're always put with bloggers you haven't been sitting with at the last event. I think is a great idea, a bit nerve wrecking if your shy, but I always find it's nice as you get to know more new people. I was seated beside the lovely Olivia The Skinny Doll (Love her page and have you seen her branding, Brilliant ;-) ), she was so nice to chat too, Sue and Ellen from Su-Ellen Blog, was fun messing with these too, with my god awful attempts to take a selfie! Further up was Anna of Thyme to Eat, (Great blog on clean & healthy eating, which I need to do more off!)and Stephney from s2ubeautyblog (only wish I had more time to talk to Anna and Stephney for longer as I didn't get to chat properly until near the end)
The room was beautifully decorated and the little touches on each table were so chic, again Sweet Treats by Fiona provided yummy delectable buns, mousses and sweeties. They looked far too good to eat!
Lovely treats from the G Hotel..whats hidden inside??
Oh look...yummy Cake and Chocolate..

Sinead and Saibh, (the masterminds of ITWBN) had lined up four outstanding guests, the thing I love about these events, is that they are consistently organising inspiring guest speakers, who offer support and advise on how to improve and brand our blogs. They also give us an insight into their own personal journeys they have had, establishing their businesses/blogs, and it left me in awe and admiration for each speaker. It brings us to the realisation that success comes with will power, hard work,determination and a passion, which all us have for our blogs.
Our beautiful host Sinead (Yummy Mummy blog) above, welcoming us and introducing the speakers.
First up was Sinead Burke aka Minnie Melange, she delivered a humorous speech,  about how and why she started the blog, the way she manages to fit it in amongst her teaching career plus studying on top of it. Give that girl a medal!! She was so at ease with speaking and witty at the same time, she really had the room in hysterics (I'm speaking for myself here)  and on a serious note, taught us to be true to our blogs, keep it real and also how to handle competition,... be happy for others, "good for her not for me". She spoke about learning to be proud of our blog, believe in our blog and ourselves and what we're doing, which was really motivating and encouraging.
Next up, Dee from Castle Print , who highlighted the importance of branding and your brand name, and tag line. Something that really gave me food for thought, I'm lucky to have a brother who is a graphic designer, fortunately for me he designed my logo, but I really need to fully emerse myself in branding and re look at my website design, at the moment it needs lot of work,and although I don't have the time just yet, I did come away from the event with a focus, and project that I need to undertake on my blog page.
After Dee finished we were given a break to eat the delicious food that was served up by the G hotel, cold and hot platters and they were mouth wateringly good....my favourite were those wraps, my god I could have ate the whole plate.
We also had time to mingle, catch up with bloggers and chat to all the sponsors on display...it was so relaxed and I met lots of new bloggers just by mingling around. The energy and friendliness in the room was electric, I loved it...
After all the gossiping and browsing of the pop up shops, we headed back to our tables and our next speaker was Wayne Denner, an expert on Online Reputation, who highlighted the importance and awareness of your online reputation. His high energy presentation made us aware of how to protect our reputation, how everything you do online reflects on you as an individual even when it comes to applying for a job. Wayne spoke of, how with the flick of an 'off the cuff 'comment/picture online, your reputation can be left in ruins, and all your hard work online undone. Very interesting speaker who highlighted a lot of simple examples of what "not" to do online. .
And lastly but certainly not least, was Karen from karora cosmetics  who spoke about her determination and hard work, when establishing her successful company, front starting out with a car boot packed full of fake tan products,at the age of 19, to becoming one of the most successful tanning companies worldwide, not to mention the other products she produces. This woman was amazing, her story of how she's got to where she is now, was inspiring. 
And with that the event was finally wrapped up by the duo sinead and Saibh (Saibh Egan), founders of ITWBN, who we couldn't thank enough, they sent us on our merry way with a fabulous goodie bag(which I will be reviewing in the next few weeks so stayed tuned) but not without having a bit of fun on mezs.masquerade photo booth. 
Our generous goodie bag, thank you to all the sponsors 
Some selfie messing .as you can see my attempts are appaling!.. Sue and Ellen from Su-Ellen Blog
My old table buddies from the last event, Kerrie (Bella and Vogue) and Sandra (A blushing Cailin)love these two
Catching up with some of my favs with Sinead from Minnie Melange, Ruth The Beauty Kemple, myself, sinead, and Sandra, A modern Mommys World
Catching up with Mags (Mags Style) ,Charlene (Charlene Flanagan makeup) and Jen from (Too Dolly Makeup)..
Larking about with the props from Mez's mascarade with Lorraine from Pastel Pout ,and Richael from shelllabelle.
Also met the beautiful Ruth, from Fashion Truth by Ruth x
The fabulous Lorraine from Style Boothique, so lovely to meet you x

Oh and what I wore..Dress:Zara, Cape: Folkster, Belt:Swamp, Shoes:Asos
So guys and girls,anyone who has a blog, without question become a member of this group,ITWBN , after every event, I can honestly say I have been given knowledge, practical advise, inspiration, determination and motivation that will empower me to keep going with my blog. I leave these events with the support and encouragement I need to keep doing what I'm doing, along with some genuine friendships and a little blogger family..now what's not to love about that...so thank you ITWBN