Late on Friday evening after quite a lot of prosecco and lots of chatting and giggling with my girlfriends - we were away on a girls weekend in the Cotswolds - I noticed an email telling me I was a FINALIST in the Beauty and Fashion category of the Brilliance in Blogging Awards run by BritMums. Well that was a shock. I had absolutely no idea that nominations were even going on but in fact I had already gone through the nomination round and made it to the finals. In my defence I was in Sri Lanka for three weeks!
After picking myself up I decided I had to make sure this was genuine. But yes on Saturday morning I realised it was indeed genuine and yes I am a FINALIST and yes I can display the badge on my blog.
I started blogging on a whim in the February of 2016 when I was due to turn 50 in the December. I didn't spend much time thinking about it - I guess it had been on my mind for a while but not seriously. I asked my son to set up a website, buy a domain name and I fairly quickly decided on Fifty & Fab as I love style and looking good, I was on a healthy eating plan, I was exercising and I did indeed want to be fab at fifty ... my plan was to record my journey on my blog and let it evolve.
And evolve it did. My initial thought was that I would be a 'style blogger' but fairly quickly I realised I wanted to be able to talk about all aspects of my life so I settled on 'lifestyle blogger'.
There are times when I am quite happy to hide away at home and tap away at my keyboard, I am not a prolific writer or even a very talented/creative one. I write as I talk, I share useful tips in a simple way, I don;t want to read anything complicated as I don't have time so I am assuming you don't either. I think my readers want to know what they can do to be and feel fabulous at fifty ... and beyond. I set out to inspire myself but to inspire others too.
But I am also slowly getting new opportunities. I was approached by Vionic Shoes, I have recently been asked by Asquith London to review their range (which will be on the blog soon). I have a fab ongoing friendship and collaboration with Sweat-Bea - I met Kate over Instagram as I love scarves and accessories and I love the scarves and accessories she sells. I've reviewed books and got to know the lovely Helen at Literally PR, I attended my first ever book launch. I appeared in Fabulous magazine for The Sun Online and I have written reviews from local businesses and friends - not because I get paid but because I want to. I have been to London for the Vionic Shoes AW/2018 launch event and met other Instagram and blogging ladies. I joined the Biz Girls network in Marlow and I have attended their networking events. I attended my first blogger event this year - BlogConLDN. I went to another networking event where I met Vicki from Honest Mum. Most of this I do by myself, walking into a room full of strangers is pretty daunting.
I now have regular features on my blog - monthly I talk about what I am doing myself to be fifty and fab #beingfiftyandfab and I have also created my Embracing Life (in Midlife) interview series where I talk to other women approaching fifty, and beyond, about what they are doing during this new phase of their lives. I recently spent three weeks in Sri Lanka which was amazing and I have blogged extensively about the experience and so I can offer suggestions to anyone else who might want to visit Sri Lanka (just do it).
But I am not, and never will be, a big blogger in big blogger world! I simply don't have time if I am honest, I really admire the bloggers who do this full time. It is hard work and not easy to find the right collaborations. This is a little bit more than a hobby, but mostly I do it because I enjoy it and one day soon I might have 'empty nest syndrome' and it will be good to have something to concentrate on. If my blog can earn a little bit so it funds itself and I enjoy the opportunities I am given then I am content.
I really hope I offer the few brands I have collaborated with good value for money and that my influence does raise brand awareness but more importantly I hope that something I do - whether it be style, health, fitness or a trip away - inspires someone else to try something new and go out of their comfort zone or just pick up a tip that is useful for their every day life. That is all!
Writing about my life is therapeutic for me, I do not always get it right and I am learning as I go along just like anyone else. I am prone to anxiety and depression and peri-menopause hasn't been the smoothest ride.
So here I am - up for a blogging award - and still quite surprised but absolutely delighted and honored and so very very thankful to whoever nominated me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for liking what I do enough to put me forward for an award. I am sure I am not everyone's cup of tea, but that doesn't matter, if you like what I do, if you like my blog then I'd love it if you could pop over and vote for me! You can do it here and it is very easy and will only take a couple of minutes.
The photos on this post were taken at the weekend. Just on my iPhone, By my friends. We try to get away every year for three nights and we have found this rather beautiful house at the Cotswold Water Park which has a wonderful view, great outdoor space and a fabulous hot tub. And sun - even though that is not guaranteed, we have been very lucky so far.
I indulged a bit too much - but I am a firm believer in living life to the full and enjoying food and wine with good friends. I am back to a much better routine now September is in full swing and I am looking forward to meal planning more, eating a bit better and fitting in more exercise. I will blog about it all soon!
In the meantime - thank you again for all your support and thank you if do vote for me!
Not Dressed As Lamb
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
Use my hashtag and tag me on Instagram #beingfiftyandfab @fifty_andfab
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I have a Just Giving page to raise funds for Dogstar Foundation and Yawajeewa Community Learning Centre in Sri Lanka - donations can be made here.