Friday, 22 September 2017

My Top 10 Blogging Career Highlights So Far #SaturdayShareLinkUp

My Top 10 Blogging Career Highlights | Not Dressed As Lamb

This week I've been contemplating how much work I've got coming up over the next few weeks - I'm in something of a tizzy over all the deadlines I have looming. I've got an important event I'm speaking at coming up very soon and I'm not as prepared as I'd hoped I'd be at this stage.

Blind panic hasn't quite set in yet, but it's drawing near.

So for this week's Saturday Share post I thought, Why not have a look back at all the nice things that have happened in my blogging life so far? I've come a long way since that first post I published on my 39th birthday six years ago. My life has changed beyond recognition and I've been really fortunate (and I'm really grateful) to have had some amazing opportunities come my way.

I wanted to concentrate on my career highlights, not of all which some would necessarily consider "successful" moments. To me, success means achieving your goals - and enjoying the process of reaching them. It's not all about how much money you make (believe me, if it were I wouldn't have stuck with it for six years) - it's often about the small things.

TO ME, SUCCESS MEANS ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS - AND ENJOYING THE PROCESS OF REACHING THEM. IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU MAKE.

So today I thought I'd share some of my most memorable moments from 2011 to present. There have been many, so it was hard to come up with just 10, but I hope it gives you a little insight into my world and how much I love blogging and the people I've met (and the friends I've made).

Some are exciting things - the "pinch me" moments. Others are the milestones I've achieved. Often it's the people I've met. But as I sit and type this as fast as I can in order to get on with the next thing on my ever-growing To Do list ("get an assistant" is high on that list), I can't help but feel grateful for what's happened, what might happen, and what I can make happen. I hope it inspires anyone who think that they may be too old, too "past it", or too lacking in anything to make a success (see definition above) of something.

I can be the world's most motivated person at times - and sometimes I'm the complete opposite. But if I can do it (whatever your "it" may be), anyone can.

Sometimes I feel like this has only just begun... Bring on the next six years!

1. Hosting a blogger meet up

The 30-40+ Blogger Meet (photo by Annette Hoeldrich)
The 30-40+ Blogger Meet (photo by Timmy Vowles)
This was something I'd been wanting to do for a long time - host a blogger meet up aimed at older (30 and 40+) bloggers. After several false starts, it finally happened in May 2016 and the feedback and the buzz surrounding it was amazing. If I hadn't been so busy over the last 18 months I would have organised another one... Believe me, as soon as I get time to organise another, I will. READ MORE HERE >>

2. Doing my first-ever paid collaboration

Bastyan Arin cocktail dress with deep V back
As a blogger who is open to the idea of making money from your blog, my first paid collaboration was everything to me. I'd been thinking for a while about charging brands for posts, and although I now can't even begin to imagine jumping through hoops for brands like I used to without payment, I was so proud to have actually earned something a bit more than just pennies from blogging. READ MORE HERE >>

3. Forming the Over40Collective

The Over40Collective
What can I say about this that hasn't been said already... Plenty, to be honest! After meeting each other at the Blognix retreat in February 2016 and becoming firm friends IRL, myself and these six fabulous women have started something we are INCREDIBLY proud of. I won't gush about them again, I'll let you read this post... READ MORE HERE >>

4. Meeting Twiggy

Not Dressed As Lamb meets Twiggy at Specsavers SWOTY
They say you should never meet your idols, but come on - Twiggy?! There was NO WAY I was going to leave that awards event (I was covering the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards) without at least trying to get a picture with her. Something to note: As well as her being just super, super lovely, she insisted on having a "proper" picture taken, not a selfie. What a classy lady. READ MORE HERE >>

5. Meeting my first blogger friend for the first time IRL

Not Dressed As Lamb / Rachel the Hat Woman and Home friendships feature 2014
There is something about your "firsts" that are always special. Rachel was my first great online blogger friend, and we'd been friends for two years before we finally met - literally for the first time at a photo shoot for a magazine article about special friendships. So much fun and a day I won't forget easily. READ MORE HERE >>

6. Being featured in the Sunday Times Style Magazine

The Sunday Times Style magazine
I've been in a few magazines, and it's always special to pick the magazine off the shelf and see yourself inside (can you imagine what it's like to be on the cover?!). However, the Sunday Times Style Magazine was the super classy one that I couldn't quite believe I was appearing in. A very special moment (plus that dress STILL gets people excited, even two years later). READ MORE HERE >>

7. Modelling for Fever London

Fever London - Arlington Maxi Dress Multi
For someone that doesn't have model looks and is nearer 50 than 30, modelling was not one of those things I thought I would ever, ever be doing. But thanks to my readers I won a competition to model (with four other girls) for Fever London - it was so much fun and yet really bizarre at the same time. READ MORE HERE >> (or go behind the scenes)

8. Winning a three-day trip to Paris

The Eiffel Tower at night
Although I rarely take part in them anymore, this competition - as well as the Fever London modelling one above - was one I really wanted to win. I submitted a blog post to La Redoute on a theme they chose... and I won, along with one other blogger, to go to Paris for three days with the brand. I was ecstatic for a long time after that one. READ MORE HERE >> (and the second part HERE>>)

9. Starring in JD Williams' new Colour Council video


The most recent of my career highlights in this list, a few weeks ago I had the best time working with JD Williams and, again, the loveliest bunch of people ever. All the work I'll be producing for them is yet to come up on my blog (watch this space!), but on the day I wore an amazing dress, was given super glossy hair and had a lot of fun knowing that we were producing something really special. READ MORE HERE >>


10. Winning at the UK Blog Awards

Awards ceremony outfit - Long red fitted gown with shoulder detail \ crystal embellished box clutch \ red crystal earrings | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style


I've saved possibly the best till last... It doesn't get much better than winning a major award, especially when it's the best Fashion & Beauty Blog award and you're up against bloggers of all ages, not just those in your age bracket. This was an even playing field so it made the achievement seem even more fantastic. (READ MORE HERE >>)

It was The Pinch Me Moment of my life - I was convinced I wouldn't win, my astonished face in the video above says it all. Along with that and wearing The Best Dress of My Life, I'm not sure how much more exciting blogging can get after that.

Much more, I hope...!

WHAT HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR LIFE DO YOU WANT TO SHARE? (PLEASE DON'T BE SHY - BE PROUD AND SHOUT ABOUT IT!) TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Not Dressed As Lamb - CLICK HERE to receive posts by email

So all that's left to say is - I've shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it's time to share yours... LET'S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!

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Thank you for joining the #SaturdayShareLinkUp! Designed to allow you to share anything you like on ANY topic, it goes live every Friday at around 8pm UK time and will stay open for a week. You can share blog posts or Instagram posts, old posts or new posts, and link up as many as you like.

PLEASE be kind and leave a link somewhere on your post, and share your post using the hashtag #SaturdayShareLinkUp - if you tweet your link with the hashtag and tag me in @notlamb I'll even retweet it to my followers for you :)

A hot tip for linking up:

Use clear, bright images (crop in close if necessary) and add a relevant, descriptive title (you've got 75 characters to use). These sorts of thumbnails and text always get the most clicks, so don't waste the opportunity to increase traffic and engagement on your best work!




Catherine


Linking up to: Brilliant Blog Posts, Fake It Until You Make It
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57 comments

  1. You are AMAZING! Love this fun recap of so many wonderful memories!

    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.com

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  2. How AMAZING for you Catherine- WELL DONE!!!!
    - www.inmyjoi.blogspot.com

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  3. Gosh, it's so fun to see how things have worked out for you Catherine. You deserve this fabulouslessness as you work so hard and give us such great advice!!
    XOOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  4. I'm so pleased to have been there for a couple of those memories, and I look forward to being here for many more in the future! You're a treasure, Catherine. Of info, of spirit, of heart, and of grit. I have ALLL the love for you, lady. xxx

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    1. Aww I ****ing LOVE you, lady!! So glad you and the rest of (almost) the O40Co were there to celebrate my win this year. Thank you for everything...!! x

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  5. I'm working on a blog post at present, but boy, when I finish, I'm making myself a nice cuppa Barry's, I'm gonna print your post out and I'm going to curl up on the sofa and read from first word to last. *bats eyes*. I'm looking at you and my buddy Retro as inspirations since I'm focusing on growing my blog. Posts like this are little "bloggingmentors" and are great reference points in what to do AND to read when you think your blog is not successful or if you have one of those sucky blog days. So--thank you!! Thanks for a great post!

    www.atypical60.com

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    1. Oh Catherine I'm so flattered that you'd print out this post! I'm so glad to be inspiring you, thank you xx

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  6. You deserve all those great moments. Your work is to admire! Great job!

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  7. I think my favorite thing about blogging is that there is a direct correlation between the amount of work someone does and the reward (whether it's monetary or personal satisfaction).I have followed you for years and I have enjoyed every last minute! I love seeing you reach goals you've set and win awards, you are so deserving and such a role model.God bless you and I wish you all the continued success!
    xo,
    Kellyann
    http://www.thisblondesshoppingbag.com

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    1. Oh wow what a lovely comment Kellyann... that's made my day! Thank you!!!!!!

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  8. Congratulations on all of your wonderful and well deserved accomplishments. I know you've worked very hard at it, and it's paying off!

    www.thebespokestylist.com

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    1. It's been a long old slog but the moments have more than made up for it! Thank you Gina xx

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  9. So nice to see this compilation of accomplishments from someone who certainly has worked hard for them. You certainly deserve it. And how exciting must it have been to meet Twiggy! Also, love that 40s style hairdo in the model shoot.

    Wishing you continued success :)
    Theresa

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    1. Aww Theresa thank you! Twiggy was as lovely as I'd hoped, but so much shorter than I imagined...!!!

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  10. Such a great post, Catherine! And you deserve all of your pinch me moments! I am currently experiencing a pinch me moment right now as I type this...I have my first article published in a magazine...which will be released in just a few hours! I have been blessed with the opportunity to contribute an article to Resilientista Magazine and I am over the moon about it! And it is definitely these little successes that make all the hard work worthwhile!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Shelbee that's flippin amazing, well done!!!!!!!! And thank you of course x

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  11. Oh this was such a lovely positive post to read! Iv only discovered your blog this year, and its one of the ones I come back and read at least weekly. I think you have an authentic, genuine voice in your posts, that is refreshing and engaging. You deserve your great moments, and I wish you any more x

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    1. Kerry what a lovely, lovely comment... thank you SO much!!

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  12. What wonderful memorable achievements Catherine...I congratulate you on your very well deserved successes and salute you for your kindness and the helping hand that you extend to other less experienced bloggers. ❤️��
    At your invitation I'd like to share two successes that have astonished me this week after happily posting stuff on Instagram, on Polyvore and on my nascent blog. First I received an award for being one of the top 75 Babyboomer blogs from Feedspot ������...and then I received an invitation to be a member of the style tribe of my absolutely favourite fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire (which in no way could be considered anything but a youthful brand)...check me out on #zadig on Instagram....YAY!!!!
    Thank you Catherine for your support and encouragement, Hugs Sarah, aka Badassbabyboomer ��

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    1. Sarah those achievements are amazing, and how wonderful that you're so proud of them - Zadig & Voltaire is a verrrrry cool brand!!!!!! Thank you so much for your comment, that means a lot x

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  13. I love your post. What an amazing career. I loved to read how you measure success, and you've certainly had a lot of it!
    I like that you mentioned that one's never passed it - I started my blog at 66. Haven't made any money from it (wouldn't have a clue how to do that!) but I enjoy other rewards, like making some great 'keyboard-friends'.
    Your blog is always inspirational and this particular post is an inspirational bonus. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, x.

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    1. Keyboard frioends are the best, PP - and well done you for starting a blog at 66! You're right - NEVER too late for anything... as long as you're still alive how can it be?! thank you x

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  14. This is such a fantastic idea for a post, and congratulations on your success! These are some incredible moments that you've shared. I was at your blogger meet-up last year, and it was such a fantastic event that I'll never forget. Congratulations on your many successes. It's certainly not an easy industry, so it's just a testament to your own talents and incredibly hard work. Thank you for this inspirational post too - just what I needed.

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    1. Hello Melissa! Thank you for that wonderful comment, and I'm so glad you have fond memories of the blogger meet. Fingers crossed I get time to organise another x

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  15. Those are quite an array of highlights. I love the gingham Hobbs dress. I had one in the early '80s (from C&A of all places) which I wore with red ballet flats and bright red hair (yes, actual red!). I would love to still have it, but it disappeared into the mists and was never seen again.

    And yes, meeting up with people you've met online is great. I kept a blog when I was living in Japan and arranged to see an American lady who wrote another Japan blog I followed. It really was like meeting up with a friend I'd seen the day before and we chatted about everything and anything. The only sad side was that I was returning to London and she to the States, so we wouldn't get the chance to meet up again any time soon.

    Great stories!

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    1. Thanks Emerald - isn't it amazing when meeting someone you've only known online that it's so natural? I've always found you have so much to instantly talk about :D

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  16. I think I know what you want to be prepared for. Don't worry. You know your stuff inside out, you live and breath this. The audience don't know what you are going to tell them, so they won't miss anything if you forget something. And they know a lot less about the subject than you.
    Anyway... your successes speak for themselves.
    My pride lies in making people laugh and also in hearing them say I really helped them (not with outfits but with words of support).
    Greetje

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    1. Good advice, Greetje - thank you... though I fear they may know MORE than me to be honest!! And yes to making people laugh, you are the Queen of that for sure (that's why we all love you so much)!!

      Can't wait to see you next week, I'm really looking forward to getting the conference out the way so I can relax and enjoy my day with you! x

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  17. I loved reading this. You have accomplished such a variety of wonderful things during your blogging career! What's even better is that you are acknowledged in your own country for everything you do. I can't believe how great that would feel. Congratulations on having your hard work pay off so well. I can only imagine things will get even better!

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  18. Wow! That's an impressive list of accomplishments. Congratulations!

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  19. Love your blog Catherine and this post about your top 10 blogging career highlights! How wonderful!! Thank you for hosting the link up!

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  20. What great highlights. Very nice. Thanks for hosting and hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.

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  21. So many happy memories and fabulous outfits! I'm so glad I was part of one of your highlights - the blogger meet up has been THE highlight of my blogging career because I got to meet so many lovely people, including you :-)

    Emma xxx
    www.style-splash.com

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    1. Aww Emma that's a lovely thing to say - thank you SO much! I hope we get to see you again soon x

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  22. Congratulations ;) Always interesting to discover this kind of post!

    https://4highheelsfans.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/bye-bye-summer/

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  23. I love that you did this Catherine. It's brilliant to re-cap all of these wonderful milestones in your spectacular career...to date ;-)
    I can only imagine how far you have yet to go on this wonderful ride of yours. I'm bloody grateful to be here watching & cheering on the sidelines, you're a true inspiration that's for sure. I have no doubt you'll kick that conferences butt baby! xxx

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    1. Thanks so much MT... I'm kinda bricking it, but once I'm practised and prepared I'll be fine. Till then - aaaaaaaargh!!!

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  24. Aww Catherine, watching your career and being a small part of it too has been one of my favourite things in blogging. You are a constant inspiration, so professional and lovely to boot. Meeting you and the experience we had is one of the best things that has happened to me blogging. I hope you feel incredibly proud of yourself lovely lady. You are amazing!!XXXX

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    1. Rachel of course I HAD to include our meeting! It was a highlight for sure and I'm SO glad you were able to make it that day. Thank you so much my Welsh lovely xx

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  25. Goodness I'm so jealous. I've done some amazing things in my corporate world but would love to transfer that into my blogging world. *dreams*

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    1. Anna no need to be jealous - take it as inspiration! I've never really achieved anything else career-wise, this is the first time I've truly enjoyed what I'm doing. Something we can all strive for, no matter what we do! x

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  26. Oh Catherine!!!! I'm so proud of you and even more proud to know you and to be part of The Over 40 Collective. Of course, we met way before that when we both modelled for Fever and that day was the highlight of my own blogging career at that time! Lots of love and huge congratulations on everything you've achieved xxx

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    1. Liz you've been part of so many of my highlights, and for that I am SO thankful. It wouldn't be the same without speaking to you every single day, haha! thank you thank you xx

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  27. I really admire you for your achievements, it's really inspiring. It just shows that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
    #BrillBlogPosts

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  28. This was such an inspiring read! Congrats on all your achievements. (Also, that red dress is stunning!)

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  29. Loved reading this Catherine. Congratulations on a wonderful blogger's life so far, most inspiring and just imagine another 6 years from now! And love that Hobbs dress. x

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  30. LOVE this Catherine, you are an inspiration and deserve all this and more. You absolutely do have model looks and are beautiful inside and out. Congrats on everything x

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