Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Personal Development – Here’s my card… the importance of networking

Welcome to the weekend everyone! It’s time for me to remind you about work on Monday morning and let you know what you can do right now to help you achieve your career goals. After all (I’ve seen this quote literally everywhere last month) ‘dreams don’t work unless you do’. Okay, I know you just want one day off but I promise it’ll be worth it if you do a little hustling on the weekends too. Here’s why it’s good to network and what you can do today to get started:how-to-network-like-a-proIt’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Honestly, most of the best opportunities I’ve worked on have come from knowing the right people. Okay, maybe I didn’t know that they were the ‘right’ people when I met them, but when the time came for them to commission a new project, I was the girl they called! Am I just lucky, being in the right place at the right time? No! I actually had to get up, go to events, meet people, chat in real life and maintain those relationships. Thankfully for me, it’s not a chore; I love finding like-minded souls and catching up with them on a regular basis, because the life of a self-employed gal can be quite a lonely one. Having that human connection makes me happy and, honestly, most of the people who started out as business acquaintances are now good friends.tips-and-hacks-how-to-network-like-a-pro-things-you-need-for-networking

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My amazing night at the National Blog Awards

Have you ever spent years dreaming about an event, months working towards it, weeks planning your movements, days deliberating your outfits, hours getting ready, only to find yourself minutes before the big moment with your heart pounding, palms sweating, wishing that you’d stayed at home hidden under the duvet? This pretty much sums up my experience of the National Blog Awards except that seconds later it became the greatest night of my life!

I know I’ve made you wait two days, and I’m three hours late publishing my daily post after uploading all the photos, but I can’t keep it to myself any longer;  I won the Highly Commended Award for Retail & Fashion at the National Blog Awards 2014!!! Scream!

Cassiefairy National Blog Awards 2014 Highly Commended in Retail & Fashion category

I hope you can imagine what an unbelievable, surreal and shocking moment it was for me – a girl who works alone, spends 12 hours a day writing and has dedicated the last 3 years of her life to creating (soon-to-be) 1000 blog posts – to be judged by the best in the business, to have industry professionals reading my blog and to be recognised by editors and marketeers as being top 2 in the country in my sector. shakes head in disbelief. Amazing.

I’ve put together some galleries of the goings-on at the National Blog Awards event at The Grange Hotel, St Pauls, London so that you can get a flavour of the evening and meet some of the fabulous bloggers I encountered at the big event. My husband was my official photographer so there are lots of photos of me, I’m afraid! We arrived at the very swish Grange Hotel and were whisked off in the glass elevator to the Wren Suite for the big event. I posed for a snap beside the glowing column with rotating National Blog Awards logo and grabbed a glass of bubbly on the way in. After checking whether my bestie Jenna from Glitter Daze blog had arrived, my husband and I had our photo taken in our his ‘n’ hers Joules outfits before heading into the glamorous hall, where we were amazed by the scale of the event.

A real red carpet had been laid and Oscars statues stood either side of the stage (of course I posed on the red carpet in my New Look dress & accessories!), and in true Hollywood style there was even a popcorn and candy floss stall for us to snack on during the ceremony! We chatted to lots of other lovely bloggers and enjoyed the canapés that came past us on regular intervals throughout the evening before heading to the Luma touch-screens to make my own ‘Glitter is my favourite colour’ canvas bag.

After my pal and fellow finalist Jenna arrived, we grabbed a couple more glasses of champagne before getting stuck into a graffiti session on the huge Luma ‘YrWall’. We used real spray cans to digitally tag our ‘Glitter Daze hearts Cassiefairy’ wall and the kind folk at Luma even printed the design onto a bag for each of us! As we stepped away from the wall, some gorgeous (and delicious) cupcakes were offered in our direction so we took our dessert to enjoy while we checked out the competition in our awards programme. We made our predictions and I’m pleased to say that my chosen winner did come out on top in the awards, but more of that later! The seats started to fill up with bloggers and guests so after a quick touch-up with my new make up (from Click Fragrance) we settled in for the awards ceremony, hosted by the fabulously funny founder of MediaCoach, Alan Stevens. After a lovely welcome by Gemma Pear and Becki Cross, the organisers of the National Blog Awards – who snapped an Oscars-esque selfie on stage! – and a captivating talk by sponsors Content Click, the awards ceremony commenced.

Hubby was particularly excited when the original Stig from Top Gear, Perry McCarthy presented the award in the Automotive category to Danny Hewitt from Motortrades Insight and I was delighted when the first award in the Arts & Culture category went to a lovely blogger that I chatted with during the evening Hayley Flynn from Skyliner. All the winners and highly commended awards can be found on the UK National Blog Awards website so please have a look and check out all the fabulous finalists! When the time came for the Retail & Fashion awards I was excited but not too scared because I’d already looked at all of my competitors’ amazing blogs and knew that my chances were slim (especially when compared with the perpetually fabulous Bambella Blog – my predicted winner). Hubby filmed the announcement and when my blog photo was beamed onto the big screen as the Highly Commended blog in this category you can hear the loudest gasp from me! I couldn’t believe my blog had made it into the top 2, it was so unexpected but will certainly go down as one of the best moments of my life.

I was equally delighted when Alex from Bambella Blog – a fantastic fashion blog that I’ve been reading ever since discovering her at the Company Blog Awards last year – was announced as the winner and I couldn’t wait to congratulate her and grab her for a photo with our awards. That’s the lovely thing about bloggers; they are always so happy for and proud of each other’s achievements and just being together at an amazing event like this – one that celebrates blogging talent & shares our private efforts with the world – is magical. I just can’t wait for next year’s blog awards now!

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