19 November 2016

***All the gossip from the Venus Awards!***

Hola! Hope you are having a good week. What have you been up to?

This week we have given ourselves arm-cramp drawing for a celebrity chef...we drove to Oxford to see my poorly little 88 year old nanny (she is doing well - tough cookie!) and we attended an awards night!

You might have heard us talking about the 'Venus Awards' a lot this year. The Venus Awards are one of the biggest awards nights you can attend in business, and this one is especially for Women in Business. It was even dubbed by Channel 4 as the 'Working Women's Oscars!' 

I was nominated for an award by the amazing artist Becky Bettesworth https://beckybettesworth.co.uk/ (thank you Becky) right at the start of the year, and since then we have had the semi-finalist announcements in Plymouth, the finalists announcements in the beautiful Saunton Sands Hotel in Saunton, we have been judged and had visits by sponsors.... all sorts has been happening behind the scenes! 

Lucky for me, I got through right to the end as a finalist, and we got to attend the big Oscar night. It was VERY exciting, and we got to dress up all sparkly and posh. 

On arrival at the Great Hall in Exeter University, we met up with all the other Devon finalists, who had been selected from hundreds of applicants. The buzz in the room was amazing, and to be surrounded by such amazing, inspirational women was goosebump inducing. All the women have fantastic businesses and I could not believe I was in the same room as them. We all took our places for photos before we went in.

The room was amaaaaazing! It was all so posh and fancy. I can see why it was compared to the Oscars as we walked down the red carpet to our table. This was Jim's 'I feel posh' face.

On arrival at our table we discovered we all had a goody bag and the cutest, hand-knitted teddy bear! These little teddies were given to us all as presents from the amazing charity 'Ambers Angels' who help victims of childhood sexual abuse. (They had been knitting non-stop for two weeks!) They went on to win an award and it was just so well deserved. They really are an amazing charity, and Ambers speech was just so sweet. She is such an amazing lady.

Oooh - look there is my name! This name tag made me excited. I AM meant to be here after all - haha!

The ceremony started with starters (obvs) - I was that annoying person who took a photo of my dinner...but you know....I have to blog about these things! We had chicken liver pate, and it was so yum. I did get a bit of pepper in my teeth though. Luckily Jim had a tooth pick in his pocket. That man literally thinks of everything....my hero!

After the tooth picking under the table, we had time for a few selfies - here we are with Helen taking a selfie of herself. Helen is amazing and works at South Devon College. She teaches us about things like 'dystopia' and tells us what films we should be watching. She is collecting all the Flossy and Jim cups - I think she has about six now?! 

The Flossy and Jim teddies had a fab time. Look how happy they are!

After the 'starter' awards were announced we had dinner! It was a pork chop with apple sauce and mashed potato which had been piped...PIPED onto our plate. Sooo posh and soooo yummy. We forgot to take a photo before because we got too excited and started eating. My plate looked like this after though.... a very happy plate.

After the next section of awards were announced, we had the most delicious lemon tart with clotted cream and a berry jus. By this point my spanx were crying....(still had room for coffee and chocolates though.) Then it was time for the final awards to be announced....my category....my heart was beating so fast....that could have been from all the sugar though.....

I could not believe it when Kirsten Brend (from the actual Brend hotels) read out my name as the winner. I was actually shocked. I hate it when people say that because it sounds like they are playing it down and being all fake humble. The other ladies in my category are proper, proper amazing though so I really didn't expect it. I had to then walk down a red carpet to really loud music, while the lovely Venus photographer took pictures of me. I felt like flippin' Beyonce!!! On the stage I actually had no idea what to say, so just thanked Jim and all the women in the room. It was an awful speech, my voice went all weird and wobbly and I couldn't breathe. I forgot to kiss the right people and then almost fell down the stairs. I was an actual jelly.

This is me and Kirsten Brend - who is soooo lovely. She has the best laugh in the world, and we have vowed to stay friends. The best part of taking part in the Venus Awards is all the amazing people you get to meet, and she is most definitely one of them. We had such a laugh with her throughout the whole process. We we are going to visit her soon with Jim's mum for a cream tea. After this photo we had to do an interview in front of a TV camera and had to have microphones put on us. I have no idea what we said but I know we burst out laughing a lot and Kirsten said something quite deep.

At the end of the night I joined all the other winners (Ha! I'm a winner!) - and we did a group shot. It was all very exciting and my head by this point was massive.....and I was still shaking.

This morning we looked in our goodie bags and it was like Christmas! We got chocolates from Brend Hotels!

They are sooooo lovely. I'm eating them for breakfast....because I can....because I won an actual Venus Award. (My head is still massive.)

Look at all the stuff! Jelly beans from Santander! Prosecco from Brend Hotels! Teddy Bears from Ambers Angels Trust! A metal trolly coin from Exeter Uni! A free massage from HB Holistics! WOW!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Did I mention I won?! Flossy and Jim are officially the best Customer Service for Devon 2016. POW!!!

Here is me in the Venus Magazine! WAH!

My bear guarding the award.

The night was amazing fun, there was a photo-booth and lots of fab live music! The night was buzzing with positivity. Even queuing for the loo (there was a big queue at a women's award as you can imagine), was really fun. We had lots of fun chatting in the loo to each other and I met some really lovely ladies. If you are reading this loo ladies - hello! 

I'll finish this post with what I should have said last night....."Thank you to all of our customers for being so fab, thanks Jim for helping me build my dream, thank you to all the women who organised or who took part in the Venus awards. You are all mega inspiring. Thank you to my family and friends who are all so supportive...especially my little Kai and Kaitlin. Thank you Mr Hollywood. Thank you new secret agent. Thank you Haribo. Thank you Spice Girls for making me think about what I want, what I really really want. *Gives hug to Tara, Alexa and Kirsten. Walks down stairs without tripping.*

Thank you if you are still reading. Big love to you all! Xx