A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to be told that I had been chosen as a VIP blogger in this years Kidspot Voices of 2013 bloggers.
It was such a surprise! A really lovely one and a HUGE honour.
When I started blogging a few years ago I didn't even know what a blog was and now apparently I am a VIP one!
Last weekend I flew up to Sydney to join in the first Voices of 2013 Masterclass & the launch party.
It was an opportunity for the Finalists, the VIPs and the Hall of Famers to get together & meet up with new & old friends and to remind ourselves of why we blog, to celebrate what we do, to rekindle our fire and find new inspiration and to learn some new tricks.
There are lots of really great Australian blogs out there. The profiling of them like this is a GREAT way to have a look at what is going on in blogging. For a full list of the 100 Finalists go here.
I got to catch up with some of my old mates, Beth & Kim & Pip & Stacey, I missed Michelle who couldn't make it, and loved finally meeting Jodi & Lexi & Sophie & Bron- bloggers who I have had online relationships with for a while but not yet met in real life (IRL). I chatted and met lots of other lovely people too- it was super ace.
|Me (L) & Beth from BabyMac (R) - pic taken by Pippy|
For me on this day it was Hailey Bartholomew.
I have been following Hailey's gorgeous creative family ways of awesome on Instagram for some time now & am really fascinated & inspired by her.
She was the Keynote speaker at Saturday's Masterclass and she was EXACTLY what I think is needed in a keynote speaker. She set the tone for the day. It was super real and honest. A real treat.
She spoke from the heart, needing to pause from time to time as her story brought her (and all of us) to tears. It wasn't polished public speaking like you would find at a boring work conference but perfectly spot on real-life speaking of what drives her to do what she does and to live life the way she does. Absolutely appropriate in this context.
It was so powerful because she made herself totally vulnerable to all of us- mostly strangers- in that big room on that day by telling us of what is important to her. Talking of how hard it is sometimes, how there is failure along the way & self doubt but that chasing your goal is totally worth it.
For me watching Hailey speak was a reminder of what I think is the KEY behind a successful blog. It is being AUTHENTIC, being GENUINE, finding YOUR voice, your story, the one that nobody else has and of being consistently YOU.
A bit like real life really.
Hailey spoke a bit about her Finding Love project. I have been watching this project and LOVING it.
Those of you who have been reading here a while know my feelings on LOVE well.
I believe in it deeply.
I believe that LOVE is the single most important thing in life. That without it all else is meaningless.
I shared her film on my facebook page a couple of weeks ago. I know some of you saw it and shared it.
Here it is again for those of you who haven't seen it:
I totally dig this project.
It is something I wholeheartedly agree with. The idea of taking control of what you SEE. It's not a visual thing but a heart thing. But then like magic the heart lets the eyes see it too.
Live with passion. Live with love. Live with consciousness.
Thanks Hailey for affirming my beliefs by sharing yours.
It's about sharing YOU.
GOURMET GIRLFRIEND'S SUPERHERO TOASTIE:
When I was growing up our family used to go camping a LOT.
Lovely off the beaten track, in the wild type camping.
Away from it all.
My love for it has stayed with me & we now do it with our family- I wish more often.......but when we do it is definitely up there with my VERY favourite things to do.
There was always a campfire. We used it to cook.
One of the absolute faves of Camp cooking was what our family called "Tasty toasties" made in the circular (this is KEY as it seals the edges so the insides STAY inside) cast iron camping toasties that are really quite hard to find nowadays.
The circular toasty iron means you can put all manner of things inside it. Beans, leftover dinner- my kids fave a bacon and egg toasty- egg & cheese on the inside and the bacon on the outside.
Bacon on the outside I hear you ask?!
It was my mate Kirsty who on seeing one of my posts on Instagram of my 'Undies on the outside' bacon rasher toasties called it 'The Superhero'. It stuck.
And so became the Gourmet Girlfriend Superhero.
A jaffle with bacon on the outside is a revelation I tell you- it cooks the bacon till it is crispy and DELICIOUS and adds a great extra texture and super flavour to ANY toasty.
And lets face it ANYTHING with bacon is a good thing right?!
This morning I had a delicious jaffle with my friend Pip at the VERY lovely Grub Food Van with Creamed Corn, Gruyere & Eggplant jam. Oh my! I have heard of people talking of corn in a jaffle and I admit I was sceptical but this was super doop!
So the rules of a SUPERHERO are simple- put whatever you like on the inside but the Undies (Bacon) MUST be on the outside!
The one I made last week that I posted on IG was on my own #ggbreadrevolution no knead loaf = YUM and was made in a regular electric jaffle press. Here is what was in it.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 2 slices of good bread ( I used my own home made No Knead bread)
- leftover roast chicken, sliced
- ajvar (roasted Capsicum relish, available at good delis)
- 1 rasher of bacon cut into 2.
- good cheese
- good mayo
Spread the ajvar on one slice of bread then add the chicken cheese & pickles.
Pop the other slice of bread on top and spread butter on to outside of the jaffle.
Sit one bacon rasher on top and one underneath and cook as normal.
Once cooked remove & open to add the lettuce and spread a little mayo on too.
we are the love machine...there is no in between.....