Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Why I Never Realised the Importance of Having a Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)

The 40+ Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)
This past weekend I attended a blogging conference, and for the first time I was attending one of these events where I actually knew several other bloggers who were going. Not only did I know them (either online only or having previously met at other events), but I came to realise that they were the women who make up my girl squad.

Yes, a girl squad - in the truest, most brilliant sense of the word (phrase).


Girl squads and squad goals


A group of female friends is something that's been completely missing in my life since the age of about 25. Since then I've never really realised the importance of having a girl squad. Although Taylor Swift's may or may not be the type of squad to aspire to (I honestly don't know that much about hers apart from who a couple of the key players are), she seems to know that having a group of strong women rallying round each other and creating all those #squadgoals is quite empowering.

(I did wonder whether #squadgoals was a negative thing, but it seems they can mean either something you aspire to or something that you're achieving already and enjoying, so I'll take the latter).

To explain about the event: The Blognix Retreat is a weekend conference where bloggers of all ages, niches and experience come together to share ideas, attend workshops and listen to inspiring talks from vloggers, life coaches, business women, health experts, and more. It was the first time I've been to an event with other 40+ bloggers, in other words, the women I know best online. One blogger I've met before once and another several times, but the others I'd been looking forward to meeting for a long time.

I now consider them all to be my greatest allies and the women I look to for support and guidance. The ones that have my back, in other words.

The 40+ Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)
The Over 40 Squad selfie, clockwise from me (bottom left): Michelle of The Barefaced Chic | Lisa of Stylopedia | Nikki of Midlife Chic | Liz of What Lizzy Loves | Michelle of RetroChic Mama | Annette of Lady of Style | Lorraine (blog in the pipeline)

Now since the age of 25, since leaving college and working in jobs where I didn't mix with large groups of people, I'd pretty much lost having a group of girlfriends. I have girlfriends now, but there're scattered all over the country and for the most part don't know each other. So I never, ever "go out with the girls" - there just aren't any that live locally to me. I live in a part of the country that I don't hail from and there weren't many women working at the job I had before going pro with the blog, so a girl squad just never materialised.



Making new friends


The friends I have made through blogging have, without doubt, been the absolute best thing that's happened to me in the last few years. These women have made me realise that having a group of female friends was something I had no idea I needed. I'd maintained for a long time that men make the best friends and I didn't need a group of girlfriends in my life. (I went to an all-girls school and loved it, but discovering platonic male friendships at college after leaving school was a revelation for me.)

THESE WOMEN HAVE MADE ME REALISE THAT HAVING A GROUP OF FEMALE FRIENDS WAS SOMETHING I HAD NO IDEA I NEEDED.

So what I'm saying is this: If you don't have (and perhaps don't think you need) a girl squad, take it from someone who used to balk at the mention of groups of women that it can be an amazing thing. I think TV shows like Sex and the City and Girls perpetuate the myth that all women have a close group of girlfriends that they regularly go to lunch and shop with - many do, but I have a feeling that just as many do not (I was always more Jess from New Girl with all the male buddies).

To spend time with a group - the right group - who share the same interests yet come from totally different backgrounds and walks of life is so enjoyable, and so rewarding. We may have never met before this past weekend but we had so much to talk about right from the word 'go'. A whole weekend together and absolutely no awkward silences - just constant talking and discussion and laughter. That's pretty amazing for eight women who had mostly only met each other for the first time a few hours before.

And while we still live in all different parts of the country (and in Annette's case - in another part of Europe), there's a common thread that will draw us back together and make us impatient to see each other again as soon as possible - and this time I'd like more to join us. I don't see this group of women as being exclusive at all, in fact, quite the opposite.

In other (non-Mean Girls) words, You CAN sit with us.



The Over 40 Squad


We all said that if there is another Blognix Retreat next year, we will definitely all be going again. If you are a blogger and would like to go, I can't recommend it highly enough; sign up to the Blognix mailing list and you'll be kept informed of future events. I'd love you to be part of our Over 40 Squad (whether you're over 40 or not) as well and get to know these amazing women as I have done.

Whilst this post was related to a blogging conference, I really wanted to get the message across that having a group of friends that share the same interests as you is as rewarding as it gets. I would never have said before that I was lonely - I adore my husband and truly consider him to be my best friend in the whole world - but I now don't know how I survived without this girl squad.

I REALLY WANTED TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS THAT HAVING A GROUP OF FRIENDS THAT SHARE THE SAME INTERESTS AS YOU IS AS REWARDING AS IT GETS. I WOULD NEVER HAVE SAID BEFORE THAT I WAS LONELY, BUT I NOW DON'T KNOW HOW I SURVIVED WITHOUT A GIRL SQUAD.

Therefore, if you're in the position that I was in, have a think about what interests you have and where you can go to find women that share those interests. Finding like-minded, interesting and supportive women is invaluable to the enrichment of your life, so consider joining Facebook groups, a yoga class, crafting workshops or an evening class doing something you've always wanted to do. I myself took an evening class about 10 years ago with the husband, and we're still friends with one of the other "students" and his wife.

So to Annette, Lisa, Liz, Lorraine, Michelle, Michelle and Nikki: Thank you for being absolutely wonderful this past weekend, making me (and everyone else) feel truly special and continuing to be wonderful through our online shenanigans. If I hadn't decided to start a blog on a whim five years ago, I wouldn't have met you lovely lot and had the pleasure of calling you my friends.

Here's to all our #squadgoals, and may the next hook up be even better than the last one!

DO YOU HAVE A GIRL SQUAD, AND IF SO HOW DO YOU KNOW EACH OTHER? IF YOU'RE LACKING IN A GROUP OF FEMALE FRIENDS WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CAUSED THAT TO HAPPEN? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB.

Why I Never Before Realised the Importance of Having a Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)
(In case you're wondering: I'm wearing an ASOS pastel stripe blouse and old yellow trousers)

Catherine

P.S. LOOKING FOR MORE OVER 40 BLOGGERS? YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE THE LIST OF OVER 40 FASHION BLOGGERS POST I WROTE - OR CHECK OUT MY BLOGROLL!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites, Blognix Retreat Linky
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57 comments

  1. Love this post, it's got that warm feeling about it.I have been reading a lot about the weekend retreat and it sounds fantastic. I do have friends but not blogger friends as such. I want to be a squaddie too!

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    1. Laurie you know you're more than welcome to join us, as is everyone...!! You would have loved it, it was such a fun weekend. Here's to an even bigger squad and to (hopefully) the next Blognix! x

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  2. Brilliant post Catherine!

    It's weird, but you could have been talking about me. I too haven't had a group of friends in years, never go out with 'the girls', get on really well with male friends and didn't realise how much I missing out. It's a bit of a shock (in a good way) to have found so many women that I don't just get on with; but who I cannot wait to meet up with again.
    I see many a meet up in the future!
    Much love
    Michelle xxx

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    1. Aww Michelle thank you - funny how you think you're the only one without a close group of girlfriends and it turns out you're not the only one after all...! It was so lovely to see you again, and of course we'll see each other in April at the awards ceremony - so it may be three times this year!! Can't wait xx

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  3. Oh rats....... Had I known!!!! I would have come to !!!. Only when Nikki mentioned she was to meet Annette and you, did I become aware and it was too late then. I would have so loved to be part of this group. Apart from Michelle (Barefaced Chic) and Lisa, I "know" them all. And I also know the fun of such a weekend (I remember my Vancouver weekend last year).... Oh do I regret not having been there. You look all so wonderful.
    Greetje

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    1. Oh no, Greetje - how fabulous would it have been to see/meet you AS WELL?!!!! We'll make sure you're at the next one - hopefully Blognix won't have a year off again and will hold another in 2017. You're definitely one of the squad, we just need to get you there in person!! Much love x

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  4. I totally missed out on these pics, think I was too busy drinking Prosecco lol. I totally get this, I am fortunate enough to have three (lucky me, I know!) wonderful groups of amazing girlfriends (always been a girls girl!) but my new 40+ blogger girlies from the weekend are an amazing addition! Together we are strong!!!!! I was so pleased to finally meet you, being a fan before. #squadgoals

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    1. Wow that's a lot of girlfriends, Amanda!! And thank you for those kind words, you were really sweet and it was lovely to meet you too. Hopefully we'll see each other at another event soon! xx

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  5. That looks like a party I would have loved to attend!
    A group of like-minded women is a rare and beautiful thing.
    I have (mostly) single and scattered friends...only one of which is interested in blogs (she follows you) but she does not blog herself.
    In fact many women I speak to (my age and older) have no idea what a blog is!
    Fortunately, I am lucky enough to feel that my online girl squad is growing.
    It is an international group of amazing women.
    I hope that I get the chance to meet (at least some of them) very soon.
    It must be so much fun to be able to have an actual conversation about your passion.
    What I mean is a two-way interaction with input from the other person, who "gets" you and is happy to waffle on for hours too!
    It sounds like the perfect day!
    XXX
    Samantha
    fakefabulous.com

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    1. Samantha you're absolutely one of the squad, we just haven't met you in person yet!! I wonder if there's a chance of you coming to the next Blognix... I don't know how far north in Scotland you are? It's usually around the Midlands, so not as far as London for you! Thank you so much for those lovely comments, you would love talking to a group of women who know what you mean when you're discussing your social media or your stats or anything else, it's a revelation!!! x

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    2. I would love to come to the next one, Catherine. I am in central Scotland, so it is easy to get around. But, even if I was in Wick I would be hopping on a train! Sounds great fun. XXX

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  6. My daughters are my squad apart from that people think my blog is my hobby, while it is not a hobby but my passion.
    I am always very glad to have your friendly hand extended.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. What a wonderful way to look at your blog, Sacramento!! I think for most of us who really enjoy it it's a passion... The amount of work we put in proves that!! Hope to see you at the next Blognix, and maybe before that if we have a meet up? I know everyone would LOVE to meet you too! x

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  7. Aw, such a lovely post. And I love our new squad! I'm lucky, very lucky, to have several close groups of friends, some here where I live, some from where I used to live plus a group of university friends, met 20 years ago, who remain close to due social media. I couldn't imagine my life without them and over the last two years I've appreciated them more than ever. You are a wonderful friend Catherine, very giving and very generous and I'm so glad I met you. Thank you and lots of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxx love Liz www.whatlizzyloves.com xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Aww bless you, Liz - thank you, I feel the same about you!! It was worth pushing for all those votes in the Fever London comp two years ago so that we'd meet, wasn't it...?!!!! Loads of love back =muah= xxxxxx

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  8. I have a girl squad here in San Francisco Bay Area. We try to meet every Tuesday for blogging and keeping everyone on track!! As for friends yes have plenty but always making sure if someone is new to the area or needs a friend I will find the perfect match!

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    1. Wow Becky you're lucky - that's wonderful that you meet so often! I'm also very envious of you all being in the Bay...!!! You sound like a wonderful person to have in the group with your matchmaking skills! xx

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  9. Well, what a lovely post. I've been reading lots about the Blognix weekend and am so sad I couldn't go this year. I read Lizzy's post (What Lizzy Loves) clicked all the links and checked out and followed all the other 'squad' girls. The thing is reading their blogs made me feel a little inferior. They are all successful business women (I've been in the same admin job for 25 years) with great blogs, something that I aspire to be and it made me doubt myself a little, thinking if I ever met you all what on earth would I bring to the table? HOWEVER, after reading this wonderful post of yours I feel very differently. I too am successful I guess but in different ways. I'm happily married to my best friend (25 years this June in fact) and have raised two amazing children, if thats not success I don't know what is! I feel (and want) to be part of your squad and hope to meet you all one day.
    Stephanie xxxx
    www.pricelesslifeofmine.com

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    1. Stephanie please please PLEASE don't feel that way!!!!!! I was rather humbled by the fact that many of the girls during the weekend looked up to me judging by how lovely they were and what they said to me... I definitely don't know everything about blogging, far from it!! One of the Michelles asked me halfway through the first day (after about three talks) if I'd learnt anything at all, meaning was it all just stuff I knew already: It was the opposite - I'd learnt a TON of new stuff!

      Everyone has something to bring to the table - I worked in the same Sales & Marketing Managerial job for 11 years before going solo with the blog, but really it wasn't as snazzy as it sounds. (I still feel like the little girl in the room, it happens to a lot of us!) If it makes you feel any better I may be a full time fashion blogger, but my earnings are soooooo far below minimum wage when I work out the hours I put in that I need a tax code all of my own (I worked it out when doing my last tax return, it's really that low). I may be an unbelievably low earner, but I still consider myself successful. I'm just hanging on in there, working as hard as I can and hoping it will pay off soon - I guess that's the same for most self-employed people in the first two or three years...!

      I believe success has NOTHING to do with the amount of money you earn or the "status" of your job. Being a "successful business woman" doesn't necessarily mean you're successful in life, it just means you earn more money. Success, to me, is calculated by how much you enrich the lives of others by your actions, and how happy and content you end up yourself. To have a family and/or partner and friends that love you is the greatest success of all, and that's nothing to do with how much you earn. You can be a success if you've worked in the same admin job for 25 years, work in the city or work in McDonalds (how about that worker last year who shut his till to go and help the disabled chap to cut up his food so that he could eat his burger? Now THAT'S #winning if you ask me)!

      So I'm glad that as you typed your comment you realised that you ARE successful (and not in a different way, in a successful way if you mean what I mean) - you have a lot to be proud of!! Being good to other people and making them happy is *everything*!!!!!

      Longest reply of the day I think...! Anyway yes to joining the squad, everyone is a lovely lovely person and I couldn't be happier to call them my friends. f you haven't already, join the Blognix mailing list so you'll hear about the next retreat, and yes hopefully we'll meet soon!

      Thanks for your lovely comment!!!!!! Much love xx

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    2. Certainly a long reply!!! You are spot on with all your comments on the measure of success and like you say I did realise my success as I was typing the previous comment to you. Your post and your reply have really made me think and actually to not scrutinise and be so hard on myself, so thank you. Here's to meeting you lovely lot one day.
      Take care
      Stephanie xxxx
      www.pricelesslifeofmine.com

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  10. Love reading posts like this. What an awesome conference for all of you. Go Girl Squad!

    xo,
    Janise

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    1. Thanks Janise - we had a fantastic time!! Blogging events are so great :))

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  11. Oh how superb - such a lovely post. I would love to attend one of these events. Do you know when the next one will be?

    XO
    Yvonne
    www.funkyforty.com

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    1. I've just tweeted you Yvonne: We really hope there'll be another Blognix Retreat next year, at the moment I think the organisers are going to take a well-earned break...!!!!!! Would be lovely to have you join us! x

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  12. Ahhh... so much of this post resonates with me. I have struggled with female friendships myself as I'm always on the move. And have found guys easier to chat with. But the blogosphere really is a place where you can find your tribe. I'm so happy to hear that the retreat was part of that for you.
    Thank you so much for coming!

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    1. Thank YOU Elizabeth for such a sterling job making it as fabulous as it was... Without doubt it was the friendliest and most useful (in terms of content) event I've been to, and I think everyone I spoke to agreed. You know you HAVE to host another one next year, don't you...?!!!!!!! Thank you for dropping by xx

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  13. Gorgeous post, Catherine. I think having a Squad is super important, and having a Blog Squad is really special, because you can 'speak the same language' (SEO, analytics, themeforest, CDN, etc!) with other women who share your passion, because let's be honest, blogs really are a labour of love. To have an #Over40Squad who also blogs? It's just the Squad jackpot, isn't it? It was so great to finally meet you AND all of the other #Over40Squad! xx

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    1. Lisa thank you - we're all going to be gushing about Blognix for ever and a day, I think!! It was great to speak to so many women who all knew the lingo as it were - we're a bunch of internet geeks, you could say!! It was wonderful to meet you too, good luck with all the blog admin you've got to do, it'll be worth it in the end! Hope to see you very very soon xx

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  14. What a great post, Catherine. I've been thinking of late (and this post has definitely reinforced it) that I need to develop a group of female friends. I have female friends who are not friends with each other (and acquaintances who cannot get together in a group without a skirmish and fallout). My group of friends has changed as I've gotten older, and we're no longer a group, but fractured (and it wasn't a group of women, but coed). Since I've begun blogging, I have really seen the uplifting power of a group of women unlike I've experienced before. It's been one of the most joyful surprises of blogging. I appreciate this post and thank you for sharing it!

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    1. Your situation sounds very similar to mine, Regina - lots of friends but scattered and not knowing each other. I'm assuming you're not in the UK, otherwise you would have mentioned about going to Blognix - see where there is next a blogging event in your area, and if there isn't one - think about hosting one!! You're right, blogging brings so much much more than you ever expect, and I love how it never fails to surprise and delight me!! Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it x

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  15. Great post! I have had the same girl squad for over 20 years, we were all girlfriends of icehockey-players who were never home, so we started our own group instead of sitting at home alone waiting for them. Our men, of course, don't play anymore, some don't even have the same man, but we still meet twice a month. Couldn't imagine life without my girls ❤️

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    1. Wow Tone what a great way to have a girl squad!! Sport is one of those things that really brings people together - it's things that people have a passion about that does that. Blogging is something we (meaning the Over 40 Squad at Blognix) were all totally in love with, there was no way we were ever going to run out of conversation...!! Love your story, thanks for sharing x

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  16. Great post. Sounds like a fabulous weekend, with fabulous ladies. Some I follow and would love to have met ... And yourself of course.

    I'm lucky as I have a girl squad who I've been friends with for over 30 years. Long time. Some from school plus a few others,

    We make it a regular event to go out and go away every year for s long weekend. This year 10 of us are off to Marbella to celebrate one of our 50th in June. Can't wait.

    I love my friends but they don't get blogging. They will however wait to eat until I've snapped a pic or two !! and pretend to be interested so not all bad :)

    Tracey xx


    (I've done this twice and realised I had I putted details wrong !! Dan it's been an emotional few days excuse me )

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    1. Tracey that's so fantastic to have a strong group of friends, you're very lucky! And especially understanding if they wait for you to do your IG thang before they eat - now THAT'S what I call good friends!! ;)

      It'd be lovely for you to join us next time, fingers crossed they'll host another Blognix next year. I think I mentioned on Twitter to you: Get yourself on the mailing list and we'll all find out about it together...!! x

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  17. Oh it was so much fun Catherine, like you because I've moved around my friends are all over the place and I miss being in a group like we were last weekend. I loved the fact that everyone was just so open and down to earth. It was especially lovely to meet you because you were the first blogger I ever followed. Can't wait to get together again.xxx

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    1. Aww Nikki what a lovely thing to say, thank you so much - I'm so touched!! We had a blast, didn't we - especially your tale of your stalker...! I'll never forget that - it was the best story EVER! And yes, I can't wait for our next meet up either. We've got a great group and it can only get stronger :))))) xx

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  18. Lovely! I have never really had a group of girl-friends that meet up and do nice things together so I have only ever seen and heard about it from other people. It looks like you had a great time! :)

    #brillblogposts

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    1. You're the same as me, sweetie - I was right about being not the only one who doesn't "go out with the girls", it seems there are quite a few of us! We really did have a wonderful time, if you find a similar group that you share a common interest with I can thoroughly recommend it! x

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  19. I think having a circle of supportive women is really important. Unfortunately, my real life friends don't know each other for the most part (or it's logistically too difficult to get together as a group).

    When I started my blog seven years ago, my focus was "healthy living," and I became friends with a group of women (of all ages). We all started blogging at the same time, and it was amazing to me how invested we became in each others lives, successes, and heartaches. Sadly, most of them don't blog anymore, but I have stayed in close contact with several of them, and they have become some of my best friends even though they are scattered all over the country. It's wonderful.

    I'm really enjoying getting to know the 40+ bloggers from all over the world. I can tell that some friendships have been built for years, and it was strange at first to be the "new kid." :-) But I have found it to be a very welcoming community!

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    1. Andrea I often still feel like the "new kid" when it comes to blogging - I forget sometimes that it's been nearly five years!! I love the fact that your group stayed friends even though you didn't all continue blogging... That's a great bunch you've got there. I've always maintained the 40+ community is one of the friendliest, we don't get the rivalry that many younger bloggers encounter. They don't realise how much they miss out on by sharing information and being nice to each other - their loss...!!

      Thank you for your comment, great to hear everyone's different stories xx

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  20. Hi Catherine, it's not since the children were little that I had a 'girl squad', but this winter I have accidentally fallen into another one. Not being one to hanker after company of any sort really, I was happy just tootling along, chatting to the odd friend every now and again.

    But this winter I joined a Sunday walking group and there are a few of us that meet up midweek to do a more challenging walk and these ladies (and a couple of men) have become a 'squad'. We are all so different, but we've formed a nice bond where we can laugh, rant and also look out for one another. It is special and it's all because we enjoy doing the same thing.

    I've enjoyed becoming part of a group far more than I ever expected to.

    xx

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    1. Wow a walking group sounds like a great idea, Debbie - it's the perfect activity to talk and get to know everyone!! So glad that you too found a great squad, thanks for commenting! x

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  21. What a lovely event, sounds amazing! I have my forever b.f.f.'s, but to be honest they live in another country, so it's hard sometimes. I was always a girl's girl, and when I first moved here I sort of automatically had female friends thanks to my husband's large circle of friends, many who were couples. Unfortunately with time and divorces and people moving on, some of these friendships weren't as lasting as I would have hoped, so the past few years have been squad-less for me. I have a couple of girlfriends but oddly find in groups now I am often the only female, and it's an odd thing for me, as I was never a "one of the guys" type, but I have adapted I think and come to appreciate the simplicity/honesty of these types of friendships too. But lately I have been pining to hang out with old girlfriends, I do find it harder to make new friends now that I am married and only have so much free time to get to know new people. I met a bunch of local bloggers and they were lovely but tbh mostly much younger than me and we didn't have an awful lot in common. This Blognix retreat sounds really lovely, glad you have found a new "squad" :-) x

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    1. Blogging events are a hard one to find those bloggers who are a bit older, Steff, but I hope the fact that so many age groups were represented at Blognix means that things are changing a little - we WANT more older bloggers to go to these events!! What was really nice about this event was that none of us felt like we were the few older ones among a sea of teens and 20-somethings, it was great that all ages and blog niches mixed. It'd be great if you could go to one soon!! Thanks for sharing your story sweetie xx

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  22. I knew about Blognix but I couldn't make it though I would've loved as as I recognised every one of your squad - all fabulous ladies. I think it's so important to have a network of female friends especially as we get older and the great discovery for me, at least, is how many extraordinary women I'm come across through blogging. We 40+ women do have a voice and it's getting louder and clearer all the time and people better sit up and listen!!!

    Glad you had a great time.

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. The extraordinary women you mentioned are what keep me going, Jacqueline!! Even if I hadn't met them IRL as well I'd still think they were so great - but meeting them made our bond even stronger. I'd HIGHLY recommend anyone thinking about going to a blogging event to just get a ticket and go, it'd be the best thing that's ever happened to you blogging-wise!! x

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  23. I'm so envious I couldn't make it to that blog conference but, hopefully, perhaps the next one?! I'd absolutely love to meet the 0ver 40 squad - most of which I follow online. Like you, I never really had a girl squad either. It was always my hubby and me and the early days it was me, him and his best mates. It was fun hanging out with the boys (as a teenager anyway!). Now though, many of mic lose friends live in different countries to me but I do have a couple of close friends - one is old enough to be my Mum and the other is a total nutcase, my age. I love them to bits though!
    Suzy x
    www.suzyturner.com

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    1. If you've signed up to the Blognix mailing list Suzy you'll hear all about the next one and hopefully we'll get to meet you too!I think friends moving all over the country (and the world!) is a common problem with keeping friendships together it seems - or groups of friends rather. I love the descriptions of your friends... they sound like good eggs!!!!! x

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  24. Catherine, It sounds like it was a lovely, supportive gathering and I wish I had known about it. I will come next year for sure! I have met many wonderful women online, but there's nothing like real, live human contact. I'd love to be part of the Girl Squad! Cheers, Deborah www.fabulousafter40.com

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    1. Deborah it'd be amazing to have to attend too - now that would trump Annette in terms of distance travelled!!! I agree about the meeting IRL - there's nothing like it. Thank you for your input! x

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  25. I'm always a bit envious of #squadgoals and #girlsquads... I don't make friends easily, I never have - I'm generally a girl who marches to the beat of a very different drum and I'm pretty shy when it comes to people. I've also been telecommuting/working for myself for almost a decade, so the time to socialize and meet new people hasn't been a big part of my day. I've tried networking groups to some pretty disastrous results, but I still think I just haven't found my people yet. I guess if that's not the kick in the butt to get my blog going, I don't know what is. :)

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    1. I think blogging could be the thing that helps you find your squad, Laurie - although most of us had never, ever met before, there was ZERO lull in conversation, we had so much to talk about. Not having to explain what a blog is and "talking shop" with others who know EXACTLY what you're talking about is a revelation - so sign up to the mailing list of some events near you and you'll never regret it!

      Hope it works out for you, much love xx

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  26. Your story sounds familiar! I grew up in coastal Scotland and went to a normal, mixed primary school. But on my street the only other children my age were boys, so of course I played with them. I was brought up by my grandparents for most of my childhood too, and was also closer to my grandad who doted on me, so I guess I was quite male-orientated.

    A few years later, I joined my mum and her new husband in the south and went to an girls' grammar school. I hated it! I left at the age of 16 and consequently all my real friends were guys (exacerbated by the fact I was into bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden etc). It got to the point that whenever I told my mum I was meeting a friend later, she'd ask what time I was meeting "him". That said, I always had some individual female friends, again scattered throughout the land, who I'd known since childhood or through rock gigs.

    At the age of 40 and counting (in fact, I should say 50 and subtracting!), I have several very good female friends who I love spending time with. I remember one weekend meeting up with four of them (two on the Saturday, two on the Sunday) and rolling around in laughter, tears streaming etc, over stupid things. Unbeatable! But I still love my guy friends, both gay and straight. I've heard say that many women don't like their male partners to have female friends and that I'd lose them, but luckily that hasn't happened, and why should it? It's their friendship I want, certainly nothing else.

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    1. Thanks Emerald for sharing your story! I too think it's crazy that women don't like their male partners to have female friends... Oh for goodness sake I wish they'd get over it!!!! Some of my best (and oldest) friends are male, and some of them are ex boyfriends. (If you broke up on mutual terms there's no reason not to be good friends with them I say because they know you really well, plus I've become friends with one ex's wife who is absolutely lovely.) If my husband were to say I couldn't have male friends then I think I'd find another husband, not that I would have married someone like that in the first place...!! My husband has female friends going years back and now they're good friends of mine too. People are only missing out on potentially great friendships by thinking that - I don't know - their other half is incapable of having a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex?! Why are they with someone who they think would behave that way??

      Anyway, rant over...!! hehe ;)) Your friendships - male and female - sound so wonderful, I'm sure you're glad to have them in your life. I'm only just discovering now how a group of females that truly love and support one another is so, so great... It's all a big revelation for me! Thanks again sweetie x

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  27. Additional thoughts. A while ago I was talking to my dad who said he just doesn't understand how his middle daughter, my half-sister, has this "romance" going with all her female friends. They spend all their time complimenting each other on their achievements, backing each other up and saying how good it is to spend time together. My dad, on the other hand, has a few male "acquaintances" who all banter and mock each other, sometimes quite cruelly (who says straight men aren't bitchy?). Having grown up with only brothers (five of them!) he prefers female company anyway, he told me, but he just doesn't get why women have a love-in going on. "It's called being supportive, Dad," I explained.

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    1. hehe I love that reply... It's funny how wide the difference between men and women is in certain things in life - I love that they just don't "get it"!! :))

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  28. Hi Catherine! This group sounded amazing! I love the idea of a Blog Conference such as this, your topics and just getting together with like minded women who love fashion! I have some individual girlfriends, some in my state, a friend Ive had since childhood. Hubby just isnt into fashion as much as the girls! ha. Would love to meet up with this group but unless we decide to make it a European/England vacation its a bit far! Something to consider in the future perhaps. Every woman in the group has such great presence and personailtiy.
    Have a great weekend
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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