Saturday, 31 May 2014

Blogtacular 2014





All images above courtesy of Mollie Makes

Now that I'm back from my days in the book promotion wilderness, I've got a lot of catching up to do. So much has happened these past few weeks, not least of which was Blogtacular.

Oh em gee, it truly was BLOGTACULAR!

A highlight for me was Kat Molesworth (one of the two Kat-monikered powerhouses behind Blogtacular) in her closing speech, swallowing back the tears as she told the audience of a dream she had - an actual asleep dream - back in May 2013 about an awesome blog conference called Blogtacular. When she woke, she was furious for days that it wasn't real. So, she called t'other Kat, suggested they make it real, and Kat agreed. How amazing are those two women? I find myself constantly impressed and taken aback by their chutzpah, dedication, and hard work. They are an inspiration.

To the weekend itself - well, what blogger wouldn't want to be in a room with 200 other bloggers, all of whom know the truly rewarding and life changing power of self-publishing? It felt like a life-changing moment; that energy was palpable. A highlight was Anne Ditmeyer of Pret-a-Voyager confirming something I knew all along when she said 'bloggers are awesome. If they don’t know how to do something they’ll learn it.' THAT x a million.

The other highlight was hanging out with my Mollie Makes ladies. We shared a dorm room and it felt just like a school trip; we had the best fun. Here we are hanging out with Joy Cho of Oh Joy!

(Thanks to Mollie Makes for the image)




Oh, and how could I forget Xanthe Berkeley's photo walk? Who knew that all it would take was bloggers, balloons, and Mayfair to completely change the way I take photographs forever? The colours were something else.




Yep. Blogtacular, alright.

Have a look at the highlights video below for a taste of what happened, and sign up for a virtual conference ticket here where you can view all but three of the workshops and speakers.



Blogtacular 2014 from Kat Molesworth on Vimeo.
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Friday, 30 May 2014

A little distracted....



Three whole weeks have passed by without me writing here. The reason? The book I co-wrote was published at the beginning of this month, and it's been non-stop. I'm not sure I've talked that much here about the book - The Mount Athos Diet - before, so here's the lowdown.

Back in 2008, we three authors (Sue Todd, who I first met when she edited the BBC Food website and I was a researcher; Richard Storey, my father, who has been going to Mount Athos as a pilgrim for around 13 years now; and I) developed The Mount Athos Diet. Based on a centuries old way of eating, the diet consists of three different eating patterns over the course of a week: Fast Days - virtually fat-free, vegan (x3 days); Moderation Days - classic low-fat Mediterranean diet (x3 days); and a Feast Day - eat whatever you want.

The monks of Mount Athos are an exceptionally healthy population; researchers have studied their diet and lifestyle to find out what causes the inhabitants of this monastic state in Halkidiki to live such long lives, with rarely any instances of cancer or dementia. A combination of regular, traditional Greek Orthodox fasts, a lack of processed foods, plenty of fresh air and exercise, plus the peaceful life of the monastery are all contributing factors, and it is this combination that forms the basis of our diet book. Of course, life isn't quite as peaceful for the rest of us, but the idea is to incorporate as much of the good stuff into our Western lives as possible.

It has taken six years of research, writing, perseverance, hard work, and determination to get to this point, where our book is on sale, and I couldn't be more proud. Always an ambition to have my name on a book, the novelty hasn't yet worn off.

And, since the beginning of May, we've spotted the book in quite a few magazines and newspapers, and have appeared on local radio. So it's all a bit exciting, really. And here's hoping I'll get back to more regular blogging soon.

If you'd like to find out more about the book, head over to Amazon or Hive, or like our page on Facebook.

I really must get myself to Greece someday soon...

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

A room of one's own

Image from here
We live in a two-bedroomed house that, with two growing boys, is beginning to feel a little cramped. The kids share their bedroom and we've noticed that they don't always get on so well. With that in mind, we're thinking of converting the attic into two bedrooms - one for each boy - and a shower room.

Whenever I begin to hatch an interiors plan, I head straight to Pinterest for inspiration. Of course, there is a huge amount of incredible images over there, and I've collected some in this attic board:






However the rooms turn out (eventually!), I know they will feature VELUX® windows - perfect for the first rays of light each morning; for listening to the rain pour down when you're safe and warm inside; and on clear, dark nights, telescope directed to the sky, for star-gazing.

Visit the VELUX shop for more ideas.


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Thursday, 8 May 2014

18/52



Another bank holiday weekend came and went, in a flurry of weather forecasts and picnics and family get togethers. We headed west, over that space age bridge, to Wales; Caerphilly for castle fun. Before we left, the boys dressed as knights (or in Ted's case, an odd hybrid combining Superman, a flashing pirate cut less, and medieval shield), and defined roles: the boys were both brave knights; Ben was King Daddy; and I was deemed a princess. Hmm. I had to confirm that I was, perhaps, a bad ass princess, or maybe an evil queen. Even a dragon would do. But no, they insisted it was Princess Mummy (vom), a nickname that has endured all week. Think it means we need to introduce a few more Mighty Girls into this house.

Been super quiet round here recently, just so busy with all kinds of work and stuff and things. But tomorrow, I'm off to Blogtacular for two whole days (and nights) of wall-to-wall bloggery. Cannot wait! Come say hi if you're going.
Joining in with Jodi's 52 project

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Introducing: Nanos




The kind people at Nanos, a Spanish clothes brand for kids, sent some t-shirts and shorts over for the boys, plus this giant pink fluffy cuddly toy, which has rapidly become THE favourite toy in the house.

I hadn't heard of Nanos before, but I'm glad they're now on my radar. Today, a Nanos flash sale - with prices at 50-70% off RRP - will pop up on vente-privee UK opening at 6am with very limited stock.

If you're already a member of vente-privee, head here to shop the sale. Not yet a member? Registration is super quick and easy here.

vente-privee is the biggest flash sale shopping club in Europe with over 20 million members and more than 2,500 designer brands. This week alone, I've been browsing a Camper shoes sale, and one of Paul and Joe Sister. Uh oh, this could get dangerous!

Thanks to Nanos and vente-privee for sending clothes and toys. All words and thoughts are my own.
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