Well, after my insistence that there was no way in the world I would win at the UK Blog Awards for a consecutive year, I won at the UK Blog Awards for a consecutive year…!
To say I’m shell-shocked is probably the biggest understatement ever – I honestly don’t know HOW it happened?!
I’d originally intended to just publish a simple outfit post today (albeit of the stunning vintage evening dress I wore to the awards) with a mention of the evening and how it all went. I was going to talk about the dress, say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me back in December, and sign off by saying it would be the last time (for sure this time) that I was entering.
This post is effectively all of that but with one big addition… I won the Individual Fashion & Beauty Award for a second year in a row. I’m absolutely REELING!!
So to start, let’s talk about the dress:
Oh, the dress! The dilemma of what to wear was real once again this year… there seemed to be NO WAY IN THE WORLD EVER EVER I could beat the slinky red gown from last year. And to be honest, I probably haven’t – this 1970s vintage chiffon dress isn’t quite as showstopping as red (is anything ever?), but boy oh boy do I love it.
I decided on wearing vintage so as A) not to show up in the same dress as someone else, and B) because I love 70s styles especially and I hadn’t worn vintage as evening wear since I wore a Gustav Klimt-inspired gown to my first UK Blog Awards.
OTHER VINTAGE EVENING DRESSES I LOVE THAT YOU CAN BUY:
My ethereal vintage evening dress
I’m not sure what I love most about it – the balloon sleeves? The fitted bodice with rhinestones? The high neck and pussy bow? The chiffon fabric? All together they make a beautiful, floaty dream of a dress, and can you believe it was under £90 from Etsy. Thankfully it just about fitted me perfectly, but there definitely was no room for a food baby in this frock (good job as there wasn’t anything to eat – more on that in a bit…)!
I only needed to add a gold diamante chain belt (to hopefully dial down the bridal vibes), my new, gifted statement earrings from Toolally and I shopped my wardrobe for the Paris book clutch (seen before here and here)… if you like that you’ll LOVE this Great Gatsby book clutch.
So, onto the thank yous…!
Yes, this was meant to be a post where I thanked everyone that voted for me, despite me not winning… except I DID win. Therefore if you did vote for me, I cannot TELL you how much I appreciate you taking the trouble to vote to get me into the final eight for the Fashion & Beauty category. It’s a NOTORIOUSLY tough category, and I don’t take that lightly. But as I’ve always said, I’m proud to be representing the over 40s because I feel it’s important to show older women, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, that we are not invisible, that we can wear what we like, and that we’re a force to be reckoned with when it comes to working with brands. If brands aren’t using midlife women to help them promote their products (ESPECIALLY if their target audience are women over 40) then they are crazy. Or stupid. Or both!
Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂
Let’s get more over 40 bloggers nominated
Going forward, I want to always see at least one (preferably more) over 40 woman in the fashion/beauty/lifestyle categories of awards finalists – any category where your own image plays a large part and the young are generally favoured, in other words. I won’t go into this any more as I wrote all about my awards hopes for over 40 bloggers in Friday’s post, but if we dismiss awards altogether and say they don’t matter (as I read many times on Instagram over the weekend) then we’re doing less-well represented groups a disservice by their absence. It’s not the winning of awards that matters, it’s the REPRESENTATION. Our visibility is SO important.[tweetshare tweet=”It’s not the winning of awards that matters, it’s the REPRESENTATION. Our visibility is SO important. #over40″ username=”cE9urabZjgea2r7SXR*3X)QtnRE2kE9$:1:0″]
As someone who has just won this award AGAIN (OMG HOW?!!) I can honestly say that I will most definitely not be entering myself next year, as much as I appreciate the encouragement from some of you saying I should go for a hat-trick (thank you)! The evening itself was unfortunately very, very disappointing… it can be summed up by the fact that there weren’t any trophies handed out on the evening (I felt SO sorry for anyone winning for the first time), just a crumpled piece of paper with “Winner” written on it.
As well as awful compares, no food, no group photo, no entertainment, no theme and no slightly quieter areas to provide an opportunity to chat, it was a massive let-down. I entered this year because I assumed it would be an awesome event as previous years – I was wrong. It was only made better because of all the lovely people (and friends) I did get to talk to, and of course winning was the cherry on top, I can’t deny that.
But it’s time to bow out and cheer on someone else, and hopefully get another 40+ gal in the winning spot next time. Fingers crossed the organisers (who are also the new owners) listen to feedback and improve the event next year.
The last 12 months as a UKBA winner…
I’ve had a CRAZY 12 months following my first UKBA win, and now I’m almost nervous about what the next 12 months will bring. Nervous, but incredibly excited. Excited to be hopefully the voice for all of you who feel underrepresented by brands. To encourage women to talk to each other without bitching, and to encourage each other. To pay compliments. To play fair and SUPPORT each other, not tear each other down.
Say NO to being invisible, say NO to being told what to wear. Say YES to opportunities that come your way and say YES to making things happen.
Positivity will rule the day (imagine me dressed up Braveheart-style and shouting that) – it’s all there for the taking, ladies!! 😉
Do add your outfits to this week’s link up – and if you’ve added a link to here or my button to your post you may be featured next week!
ANY THOUGHTS ON MINORITY GROUPS BEING REPRESENTED IN (BLOGGING) AWARDS EVENTS? PLEASE DO COMMENT BELOW…
P.S. I’ve included a shot of me and Keith at the end – my ivory dress and his tux make it look like it’s our wedding day, hehe!!
Like this post? You might also like…
– My Awards Hopes for 40 Plus Bloggers
– Lady in Red: I WON at the UK Blog Awards!!
Catherine is wearing…
Dress: ValerysVintage at Etsy (I highly recommend Etsy for vintage evening dresses – this one is another favourite)
Belt: Amazon (similar)
Earrings: Toolally c/o
Shoes: Daniel Footwear (love these)
Clutch: Asos (similar)
Keith is wearing (all Asos except the shirt)…
Tuxedo jacket / matching trousers / bow tie / shirt (Marks & Spencer) / shoes
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist’s list of “inappropriate” items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!
The link up goes live every Monday at around 3pm UK time and will stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you’re wearing whatever you damn well like!
Linking up etiquette…
CLICK HERE to read the rules of linking up (and to grab the #iwillwearwhatilike button). Basically it’s just good manners to link back to here – to leave a comment is even nicer!
My favourite outfits from last week’s link up:
(L-R) Anna’s Island Style | Style Splash | Fake Fabulous
To get yourself featured next week, make sure you’ve included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!
Do share the love and visit as many links as you can (you never know what other lovely like-minded ladies you might meet) – the original Instagram campaign forged some wonderful new friendships so don’t miss out!
P.S. CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD WITH THE BEST OF THE #IWILLWEARWHATILIKE LINK UPS – HAVE YOU BEEN PINNED…?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click through and buy I may receive a small commission at no cost to you (click here for my full disclosure). Items listed as c/o were gifted …
You chose the perfect dress! Vintage is always the best way to go.
Thank you Suzanne!! x
Wow! You look absolutely stunning! And I mean jaw-droppingly stunning! Just how beautiful a dress can be? It’s amazing! And not only the dress is amazing, but the style suits so well, it’s as if it was made for you. I think it’s safe to suggest you should wear such style of clothes more often 😉
Congratulations Catherine on your well-earned win. I hope that this will continue to propel you to greater heights – and a fab new house! Looking forward to your next year.
You and Keith look divine – that’s some frock!
Congratulations Catherine, well deserved! That dress is adorable and you look absolutely stunning x
Congratulations on another well-deserved win! Your blog always manages to be fresh, inspiring and relatable, which is quite an achievement! And wow, what a stunningly gorgeous dress X
Rozanne that is SO nice of you, thank you so much for those lovely comments! xx
Only thing more exciting than winning once…is winning TWICE! Congratulations! I’m very pleased as I REALLY enjoy your blog and think it is quite wonderful, so I feel it is 110% deserved. And the dress was SO lovely and you looked so beautiful in it. GUSH GUSH GUSH but it’s all sincere and heartfelt.
Catherine!! You are absolutely stunning and I am so happy you won the award again. You are so deserving of it. Congratulations! – Amy
Amy thank you!!!! xoxo
Congratulations on your brilliant achievement! You look pretty in this vintage evening dress.
Laura that’s so kind, thank you xo
Congratulations Catherine! You look absolutely beautiful, the dress is stunning! X
Thank you Dot so much! xo
What an accolade to win this twice my dear, but honestly you do work so hard and with such a huge heart for all your readers that it’s throughly deserved. You are big sister, girl next door, friend, advisor and confidante to us and that’s why you gleaned all those votes to put you at the top.
And let’s not forget to mention the dress! It’s by far the most lovely of all of the others as it’s unique, like you, and as such is perfect. And talking of perfect, that last photo of you and Keith is wonderful – warm, rosy glow all round for all of us! Congratulations – bask in this moment x
Oh Anna you’re such a sweetheart, thank you so much!! I’m amazed that it maybe DID top the red dress after all… I didn’t have enough time to really think about it, I was just glad it fitted me and that I at least had something (anything) to wear!! x
THAT DRESS IS STUNNING! With that dress how could you lose? Congratulations Catherine, I’m so very happy for you.
Cherie thank you thank you my lovely! x
Massive congratulations! And a very well deserved win. And such a beautiful dress to collect your award (or crumpled piece of paper!) in! I’m finding I like vintage dresses more and more, but the larger sizes are rare to find; I’m always on the look-out for size 18 Laura Ashley as they come up small for modern sizes. Anyway, I’m going on a tangent! Well done again, I’m very happy for you. Sorry the event wasn’t as good as it should have been – open a bottle of bubbly at home instead and pretend we’re all with you having a dance!!
Thank you Helen 🙂
You’re right about larger sizes of vintage dresses being hard to find – even I have trouble sometimes because they’re often XXS or the equivalent of a size 4 or 6, it can be such a disappointment when you’ve found the perfect dress! I’m just so glad this one fitted me so well x
Congratulations Catherine. Well done! And is this the most beautiful dress ever, or what? You look stunning. Reaallly enjoyed your little blib in the stories :))))
So agree with your words about the empowerment of women over40. It is one of the reasons I started blogging. To become “visible”. To no longer depend on other players out there and to let them decide who gets to be “visible”.
Enjoy your success. You deserve it. xo Sabina
What a lovely comment – thank you SO much Sabina!! And YES to not being invisible… it’s the reason I’m so determined to get more over 40s entering awards! x
Congratulations Catherine. You look beautiful and your dress is stunning 🙂 Thanks for hosting.
Claire thank you!! x
Congrats Congrats Congrats as I have said everywhere else but on this post!
BTW You and Keith are adorable together too!
Can we talk about the hair? looking gorgeous longer, absolutely stunning, I’m loving it…
So well deserved Catherine. You are a Princess…love ya!
Thank you thank you Ashley my darling!! I was in such a rush to get ready, the taxi was already waiting when I was still doing my hair… I literally only had time to curl it super fast, brush it out and hairspray it before running out the door, I’m so glad it behaved!! 😉
Dearest Catherine – sending the BIGGEST congratulations your way for winning the UK Blog Awards again!! WOOHOO!! You work incredibly hard to “represent” (as you so aptly call it)…and I am thrilled beyond words that you’ve been recognized and rewarded for your achievements. And as far as awards outfits go, your vintage chiffon gown is truly the definition of ethereal!! The sheer sleeves and bodice overlay are incredibly flattering…and that skinny rhinestone belt and book clutch – not to mention your handsome hubby! – make the most perfect go-withs!! I hope the two of you went out for a fabulous dinner afterwards to continue the celebration!! XOXO
Thank you lovely Monika, I always love your comments!! I have to admit the dress looks so much more beautiful than I initially realised. I was in such a rush to find something I was just only too glad it fitted me…! x
I remember your post last year when you won … so again congratulations and what else to add but keep it up? (and your dress is splendid)
Thank you thank you!! x
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! This look is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!!!
Oh Joi thank you!!!!!!!! x
congrats an award well deserved. I am so disappointed for you. How sad that they could not ven mark this type of event with a celebration of sorts for the winners and for all those nominated. Your dress is lovely and seems so perfect for you
Thanks so much Linda – they are listening to feedback so fingers crossed next year will be much better for those who enter! x
Catherine, you look so lovely in your cream vintage dress . Many congratulations on your win , very well deserved , pity the event itself was below par. Your hard work and professionalism as well as your generous spirit shine through in every post. May the coming year bring the rewards you so justly deserve.
Jill that’s such a lovely thing to say, thank you SO very very much xx
Congrats!! You look lovely! It’s a shame the event was such a let down!
Thank you Pam – hopefully I can get onto their blogger panel and give my feedback to make next year much better! x
Congratulations, congratulations, CONGRATULATIONS, Catherine!!! I am SO proud and blessed to say I know you. Everything you’ve ever undertaken was in the name of promoting our community, and you are such a blessing xoxo
Sheela what a wonderful comment – thank you SO much my lovely xo
Many congratulations and you’ve said what I said to Nicki, it’s the representation that counts. It’s only when you go to a blogging event of some sort and see how few of us over 40s there are that you realise how much we need to be there shouting from the rooftops.
It IS the representation that counts, isn’t Anna – I’m so glad you agree! I now want the representation to be from other 40 plus bloggers, hence my bowing out next year. And thank you! x
I’ve said it all over social media everywhere I’ve been … and saying it again and will continue to say it … you nailed it by being an absolute stand out of a human being. A beautiful person inside and out who goes out of her way to be inclusive for everyone. And also you are bloody talented and awesome at what you do let’s not forget that bit. You look stunning and Keith doesn’t look bad either Riley in between you both would’ve made a good shot wouldn’t he? In his vintage fur!!
Soak it up .. lots of love xoxo
Aww if only Riley was there in that picture, Sharon!!!!! 😉
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the love and compliments you send my way, I truly truly appreciate it!! MUAH xoxo
What a beautiful dress and super handsome couple!!
Daenel thank you so much! x
Congratulations it was a very deserving win and can I just say you look absolutely stunning in your outfit. If only I could look as stylish as you.
Kelly thank you – but please don’t think you can’t, as with so many of us I look like a real slob most days. I truly, truly do look generally as rough as… it’s amazing what a great dress and doing your hair and makeup can do for you, I promise you!!!!!!! x
Congratulations again Catherine, so well deserved. I love your dress, it suits you so well, absolutely stunning Your photos are amazing, but my fave is the one with you and your husband
Aww Tracy thank you – I’m thinking of getting that one printed and framed actually…! x
How lovely you look Catherine! Congratulations on winning and how sad that the celebration was a disappointment…is this a refection of what people think of bloggers in general? I really hope not.
Congrats again, you deserved to win!!!
xoxo Yvonne aka FunkyForty
Not at all, Yvonne – the awards were taken over by new owners and I think they simply got things wrong by changing the things that were good before or omitting them altogether. The amount of work that goes into organising these events must be enormous and very stressful, I don’t envy anyone doing it!
But thank you for the congratulations and the compliments my lovely! xx
Congratulations on your (well-deserved) win, and thank you for representing us over-40 bloggers so beautifully! That dress is truly stunning!
aww Cheryl that’s so nice of you, thank you xx
What a clever thing to do, adding the belt. The clutch make them a pair. As you said, it is indeed a good thing I couldn’t come if the catering and entertainment were so bad. Again congratulations. Oh and tell Keith I noticed his hair being much longer.
Hehe I’ll tell him, Greetje! 😉 The catering and entertainment weren’t bad, they were non-existent!!!!!
Thank you so much my lovely x
Congratulations again! What an achievement! And how beautiful you look in that dress!
Nancy thank you SO much xx
WOOHOOO! Well done. I read your post before the awards and I thought, wait a minute, you could still totally win twice and YOU DID! Well done. I read so many of your posts and a newbie, your transparency is what makes you so readable. And THAT DRESS!!!!! UH-MAZING!!!!
I thought there was NO WAY anyone could win twice, Fatima!! Thank you, thank you xx
Oh Catherine. Catherine, Catherine, Catherine. Sigh! You are a dream, A DREAM, in that dress. Am I allowed to say that I even prefer it to the red one last year even though red is my favourite colour? The style, the goddess vibes, the retro styling, this cream dress just suits you so perfectly. I am so borrowing this (see how I’m not even asking? I’m just telling?) if I ever have the right occasion for it. You know what else suits you perfectly? Winning an award TWO YEARS IN A ROW! I am so proud of you. You pour your heart and soul into your blog, and you deserve the award. You are so generous and helpful with other women and bloggers big and small, and it is nice to take a moment and look back on your guts to pursue what you love so much and do so well. Big love to you.
Oh Lisa THANK YOU!!!!!! As the person who saw me getting ready that evening – going from a hot sweaty mess (after a nearly four-hour car journey) to a hot sweaty mess in a chiffon gown, I was amazed you were so knocked over by the dress…! I didn’t feel like myself till we’d been in the air-conditioned cab for a bit and cooled down, so I didn’t really have time to even stop in the mirror and check it looked alright!
Your support is everything, I really mean that… loads of love xoxoxoxoxo
So cool! Congratulations. I am very happy for you.
The following part of your post explains for me why you are a winner. Love, Lieske
“Say NO to being invisible, say NO to being told what to wear. Say YES to opportunities that come your way and say YES to making things happen.”
I totally agree!
Lieske you’re an absolute love!! Thank you, I’m glad that resonated with you… true though, isn’t it?! xx
Well deserved and you look beautiful in that goddess dress.
Oh wow Anne what a compliment – thank you! x
Congratulations beautiful and classy lady!
aww thanks Andrea xx
Beautiful dress and congratulations!!
Dawn Lucy thank you soooooo much! x
Catherine, you look stunning! This dress is absolutely gorgeous! And, of course, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Great job!!!
thank you thank you Tatiana!! xx
Catherine, I’m so pleased!! Congratulations on this second win. You are a force to be sure. Your vintage dress is smashing – and I adored your Klimt-esque vintage dress from before as well, not that the red gown was slouch attire! Lyn Slater just won a Shorty Award too, both of you winning in categories not defined by age. It’s fantastic to see all ages on our stages. Again, way to go. Hopefully your feedback will improve the event for next year. Thanks for the linkup.
Oh Melanie that’s so lovely of you – thank you!!!
Congratulations!!! That dress is DIVINE, you know how much I love a bit of vintage, and this shows why – it’s exceptionally lovely. You’re just too fabulous. Keep it up! (Are you going for a hat trick with the awards?!) xx
Ah, I commented too soon – sorry to hear that it was a let down this year! You’ll just have to find some other blog awards, perhaps go international?!
Aww Porcelina… it’s your kinda dress, no?!!!!! Thank you 😀
And no, as I mentioned there definitely won’t be a next year for me, time to pass the baton on! I’m applying to a blogger panel for UKBA19 to give feedback and hopefully improve the event for next year O_O
I’m totally ecstatic that you won again, because you are a champion for us over 40 bloggers, Catherine!!
And what a fabulous dress to win in. I love how you rationed that no one would have one like it!!
What a bummer that it wasn’t as good an event this year. Maybe you should coordinate it next year??
I always love vintage for that reason Jodie – I live in fear of having the same dress as someone else!! Thank you so much my lovely x
Blimey where to begin….
Mahoosive (your word I nicked) CONGRATULATIONS CATHERINE!
Thank you for being such a generous, honest & transparent blogger (&friend obvs) for those reasons alone you deserve an award.
As for fashion, I believe younger Women as well as our own demographic, genuinely get great inspiration from NDAL. You have amazing style Catherine, yes it’s unique & may not be exactly to everyone’s taste but it’s not about doing a carbon copy of your look. It’s more about finding our own style through inspiration & you’re ALL about inspiring others!
Lots of love to you babe, wish like mad I coulda been there but following via social wasn’t too bad ata ll. I even cried! xxx
Oh bless you MT, you’re an absolute sweetheart and such a good friend!! Thank you thank you, your words mean sooooooo much xx
Well, of course, we were all following along live on Instagram when you won and I got goosebumps. Huuuuuuge congratulations. You are truly worthy of winning twice. And now the dress. Well, you look exquisite, ethereal, dreamy, romantic and absolutely perfect. Divine in fact. i love the phot of you with Keith too, who, it has to be said, looks rather dashing. Well done my darling friend xxxxx
Aww I’m so grateful for Live Stories, Liz!! So glad you got to see it…!
And thank you, I was very lucky that this beautiful dress fit me. YOUR turn next year!!!!!! 😉
I have to say that this is my favourite Blogger awards dress yet! Bloody gorgeous! Congratlations!
Oh wow really, Laurie?!! Thank you, I thought the red dress was unbeatable! xx
CONGRATULATIONS! And this dress is so, so stunning!
Shelbee thank you!!!!!!!! xx
WOOP WOOP WOOP!!!!! I can’t say I’m surprised, Catherine. You totally deserve to win again. I’m just sorry the awards ceremony was so disappointing for you guys.
LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress on you. It’s simply divine. Keith looks fab too! Love his longer hair!
Suzy thank you so much my lovely!! They’re setting up a blogging panel for UKBA19 to help improve the event so I hope I might get onto that…!