So the day had finally come around. The StyleXL Award ceremony which was being held in Birmingham was here!
With this being the first awards for the StyleXL brand it was difficult to know what was going to happen, what to wear and what the event would be like.
I travelled up to Birmingham as the event was due to start around 4pm going on into the night.
Held at The Rose Villa Tavern , the wonderful organiser Leah had advised that it was going to be a relaxed event, with lots of plus size friends and that the dress code was party/cocktail dress.
I wrote a previous post looking at all the lovely dresses I had considered for the awards, and had eventually chosen this lovely Boohoo Plus Scuba Peplum Dress in a floral pattern.
Now, I have no idea at all why I went for this dress. Firstly it is a clingy scuba material in a wiggle peplum dress style.
Secondly I have quite a large belly, which is very visible.
Thirdly I have a bottom the size of a small nation.
But, I do love a good challenge and I really liked this dress. I mean, really liked it!
So I ordered it and awaited it’s arrival. Boohoo actually had a special on with their next day delivery at only £1.00 so it literally arrived less that 24 hours later.
It was everything I was hoping for with its bright floral pattern. But it was very tight!
Giving it a quick go very late on the Friday night, I had no makeup on or my hair done, but I wanted to see just what it looked like.
I loved the feel of it on as the material was a really good quality thick scuba. It clung like a second skin, and that’s when my confidence started to wane a little (or a lot if I am to be honest)
Was it something I really should be wearing? After all it was an awards ceremony, all be it a relaxed and body positive place to be.
Taking a good look at myself in the mirror, I decided that Yes, I would wear the dress. I loved it and that is the only thing that should matter.
I popped onto a well known cheap website everything£5 to have a look for some shoes. As always, I couldn’t resist and ended up ordering three pairs, two for the event and one to match another outfit I will be reviewing soon.
I wasn’t sure which pair would look best, but hoped I had chosen well. The shoes arrived only a couple of days before the event, so I wore them around the house to try and break them in a little. Sadly the pink clashed like mad, but the black looked amazing.
In my infinite stupidity, I decided to use Pillow Rollers to curl my hair. Whether it is due to my hair being blonde now, or a different setting lotion, but when I took them out, I nearly had a breakdown. I had a very high and tight afro!!!
I left it to try and relax a little and started to prepare to leave for the drive up to Birmingham. I had reserved a room in the BLOC hotel, around 0.2 miles away from the venue.
It was actually the nearest hotel with availability, and was a pretty decent price at £47 for a room with a window. The BLOC hotels are known for their compact sizes, whilst having extra large beds, and that appealed greatly to me!
I had inquired about Parking prior to driving up, and there was a public car park nearby with decent daily charges.
However, when I went out to my little Mini, someone had lovingly put a stanley knife through the side of my tyre! Thankfully my Baby Bear volunteered to drive me up to Birmingham, so off we set!
We got to Birmingham in about an hour and a half, and Boo had just arrived too.
Being that we were quite early, we popped to Browns Brasserie for some cocktails and lunch. My Salted Pork Belly, Mash, Green Beans and a red wine jus was out of this world and so was the Rhubarb and cucumber Collins cocktail.
Boo and I checked into the hotel around 3pm and started getting ready for the event. It was due to start at 4pm so we were a little pushed for time.
Thankfully the hair gods were smiling at me, and I managed to do a Poodle Up-Do in a record five minutes! Boo and I helped each other get ready, and then threw ourselves into an Uber to take us the very very short distance to the event; after all my heels were quite high!
I have to say, walking into a large room filled with the most beautiful array of plus-size lovelies was just amazing! Bright clothes, sparkling smiles and the most positivity you will find anywhere. It was an absolute delight to be surrounded by such wonderful women.
And then came the awards.
The wonderful Leah Shafik, the organiser and owner of the StyleXL brand took to the floor, thanking everyone for attending and to extend further thanks to some of the sponsors including the fab Curvy Kate ladies and Yours Clothing amongst others.
She then went to announce the first award to be given out. She also told the crowd that Yours Clothing had donated a £100 voucher to the winner of The Most Inspiring Blogger Award. This was a category I was in along with the most amazing women. Stephanie, Hollie, Sam, Lottie and Natalie were bloggers I have followed since before I started blogging myself.
THEY are women I aspire to be. And I was up against them. Well, clearly there was no chance of me winning.
And then it happened. My name was called out. Me?!?! I genuinely could not believe my ears.
I went up to Leah and was handed a beautiful glass award, with my name on it. Well, I literally could have cried!
The awards continued with such categories as Best Social Media, Best Newcomer and Best Campaign. Every single winner and nominee an absolute inspiration.
Eventually the awards were all announced and it was time to party with all the ladies. Lots of chatting, giggling and drinking happened, and of course it would not be complete without a bit of dancing.
I think I spent most of my time flitting around like a butterfly, chatting with new friends and old. Curvy Kate were delightful as always and I spent a lot of time talking to some new and aspiring bloggers including Niala, Jenna and Rebecca, who were just so fantastic to connect with.
Of course there were selfies galore which always end up in fits of giggles!
Eventually as all Bloggers do, we had to go outside for outfit photographs which ended up with us on a clock tower roundabout, where we literally stopped traffic as pictures were taken.
Most Vodka, drinking and socialising and the night sadly came to a close as people had to catch their trains home. The lovely Sian, Kat Henry and her Daughter Mya had a couple of hours to kill so we all grabbed a takeaway and came back to my hotel to chill for a little while before they headed for their train.
It was an absolutely wonderful event and I cannot thank Leah enough for organising the whole thing. It was a roaring success and I know everyone loved it.
Suffice to say, I may have had a little hangover the next morning when it was time to check out of the hotel, but I was still walking on cloud nine and I headed to the train station with a huge smile on my face and even more enthusiasm to have more adventures in the coming yet.
Watch this space to see what I get up to next!
Finally thank you so much to those of you out there that actually Nominated me. I have no idea who of you did, as I didn’t ask or expect it, but I am eternally grateful. Even bigger thanks go out to all of you who took the time to vote for me. I never expected to be an inspiration to anyone, but am chuffed beyond belief that so many of you think that I am.
And in case you were interested, the full list of winners is below.
Lots of love and appreciation to you all
Till next time,