One of the lovely little perks about being a blogger is that you get invited to some pretty awesome events along the way. Not too shabby for someone who started blogging with a quite a narrow little mind set. I say this because I had no idea of the amazing opportunities that would one day, after lots of hard work (and many soul-baring posts), be presented to me to explore.
I remember the day I opened my WordPress account. I had one aim in mind and that was to get my thoughts down and share them with others. I wanted to write to make sense of all the things I had gone through, I wanted to feel connected to other women who were going through something similar. I wanted to offer hope to others in the midst of such pain, knowing I had come out relatively unscathed on the other side.
And I did. I shared my heart, I put it out there, every feeling and struggle I had endured. I wrote about how I was robbed of the first 9 months of motherhood after a birth complication, which saw me in and out of hospital for 9 months. YES, Another 9 months on top of pregnancy! I wrote. And it proved to be a healing and therapeutic process. (You can read that full story here if you are up for it)
It helped me in the months where I found myself too deep in the trenches of motherhood to know who I was anymore, where everyday felt like it morphed into another, no beginning or end.
Then I began using it as a platform to record and document my children lives, the everyday miracles but also the every-so-often frustrations.
I wrote down those words and it made me feel better knowing others were listening. Even if in those early days it was just my mom and a handful girlfriends. There was no promoting of posts to get traffic or desperately hoping my post would make it to the Huffington Post or be shared across the seas. I wrote it for me. Because I was desperate to get those words out. Because if I didn’t I would suffocate.
I did it for the love and joy of it.
Since those early infant stages, I have grown my little space on the web enough to now be considered an influencer where brands take the time to notice me and find value in working with me. It’s nice. It makes me feel all kinds of special and important.
But here’s the thing, most events make you feel just that. They give you a temporary feeling of importance with very little feeling of substance or value when you walk away.
The Kids emporium bloggers breakfast that I attended with some of the most incredible mom, beauty and lifestyle bloggers was without a doubt an event with a difference. And after meeting Lauren de Swardt, the founder of Kids Emporium you immediately know why.
When you hear the way Lauren talks about her â€˜baby’ Kids Emporium you straight away understand why it has been such a huge success and why her customers believe in her product. It boils down to this: she not only followed her heart by launching her brand into the market (with a fair amount of guts and balls too!) but has pursued it with her heart every day since.
Every thing about the way she talks about her brand is personal and heart-felt. She had an idea: to change mothers lives by bringing beautiful and fashionable goods to our shores, in a market that was saturated with old-fashioned and bland baby products. And that is exactly what she did and continues to do as her business and brand keeps expanding around the country.
Hearing the gorgeous Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp speak about how we can empower each other as women and how we essentially hold the power to DO rather that just talk the talk, was another thing that spoke directly to me on my own journey as a blogger and modern-day mother. While I may not DO as much as most of the women in the room (I mean I was surrounded by drama teachers, events coordinators, content managers for big online magazines, social media experts and IT and computer geniuses!) and may have felt just a little out of my depth, it was a lesson for every single one us. Its taken me a long time to realise I have a voice and that i need to use it well.
As a TV and radio personality, a mother, step mother, wife, ambassador, and wine maker (to name but a few: I know right?) it’s impossible to not be inspired by Elana and feel your heart being stirred for more. She made us all feel like we were old girlfriends from hight school which says so much about the type of person she is.
The morning was just so special and we all felt so connected sharing a bit of our hearts with each other. It was intimate and tailor-made for each of us there. In my gift bag I found cars for my boys to paint and decorate, a boys pee potty for potty training, a diary and two awesome new on the go coffee mugs amongst other things!
The other thing we all received was The Yellow Plate (from the same folk that brought us Elf On The shelf?) It looks like an amazing tradition that involves celebrating milestones, achievements, good behavior and anything else your family thinks will allow someone the right to eat of The Yellow Plate at dinner times. I can’t wait. I also secretly hope ours doest break in its first week. I can just see my kids fighting over it (for good behavior you know?) and it boomeranging its way across our living room. *I see a blog post in my future.
I’m going to end with some of the sentiment shared my Elana. (Please don’t quote me word for word!) She said something pretty straightforward but deeply profound: That we are all doing and we all have voices and opinions, ones that people actually listen to, ones that people trust. That’s quite an amazing thing!
It made me proud thinking that I have grown a little audience who always come back to hear what I have to say. They read my stories, laugh at my jokes, believe the facts I research and present to them and challenge my views (which I love!!) It made me realize once again that we are all on a wonderful journey of self-discovery and that things are waiting to be DONE. So much potential in this beautiful life, to truly live it we need to take it by the horns.
Thank you Lauren and your wonderful team for such well put together event and treating us like little queens. So much work went into making it so special and meaningful, a morning to remember. I walked away feeling inspired, motivated and valued which says so much about you as a brand.
As a thank you to my loyal readers for always coming back, I’m re-gifting my Easy Peasy potty for boys to one of you. As it turns out my youngest is a bit passed it and will now only urinate in the toilet bowl! Much to my dismay as half of it lands up on the toilet seat. I’m super bleak because it’s so cute, easy to use and I’m sure will make potty training a little more fun.
To stand a chance to win this please comment with your name below and share the post on either fb or twitter. Winner announced at the end of the week!
*Open to South African residents only and my decision is final.
Lastly, look out for a Kids Emporium giveaway coming soon. You can go look at their website in the meantime, to see what they offer and so you can start thinking what you would enjoy the most!
Thanks for reading,