Myself, two buses of Brighton bloggers, and a baby were all whisked out to British suburbia to partake in the grandest of all summer traditions: a backyard barbecue. In honour of National Burger Day and in order to allow us to try some of Asda’s BBQ and burgers range, we gathered to play games, chat, and stuff our faces with incredibly delicious food and drink.
One of the biggest challenges for celiacs MUST be what to eat at a barbecue, especially at someone else’s home. You can only sneak around checking labels “covertly” for so long before someone calls you out on it. Obviously, in most cases, burgers and hot dogs are off the menu. Unless you eat it without the bun. Which is considerably less fun. As are most commercial burger and hot dog buns which fall apart if you so much as look at them the wrong way.
Luckily Asda provided a really stellar, yet somewhat unconventional gluten free option: barbecued salmon. Of course, salmon is delicious enough on its own, but I was super impressed by the garnish they used, which involved yogurt, cucumber, chili and mint. It was a little bit like tzatziki and had me wondering why on Earth I had never tried something like this before. Yum!
Plated next to an array of delicious salads, there was no sign of the sad, left out feeling that can often come with trying to be a normal person whose body can digest bread without triggering an autoimmune reaction. In fact, I was full!
Well… I was full until the Eton mess came out. Then I ate 3 portions of that. To be fair, although I’ve lived in England for a little over 2 years now, this is only my second encounter with Eton mess. And my first one was in July. So I have a lot of catching up to do. Plus I think it might be one of the most perfect gluten free desserts ever! Especially because everyone loves it (let’s just say I wasn’t the only blogger who went back for more).
Speaking of the bloggers, it was wonderful to catch up with the Brighton group! I’ve “met” a lot more of them over Twitter in the last few months so it was great to put faces to names, and to catch up with some old pals I have met before. Since most of my blogger friends live in London I tend to kind of end up in that group, but the Brighton bloggers are just as lovely, and I hope to spend more time with them soon!
Thanks to Talented Talkers and Asda for organizing the event and inviting me along!
On Saturday I was lucky enough to go to London for the Big Blogger Conference, hosted by LDNmeetup! I had been looking forward to this event for months and not even a recent glutening was going to get in my way!
I will break this post up into 3 sections. First will be an overview of the conference and talks (which you may be interested in if you are a blogger). Second will be showing you some of the cool things I picked up. And finally, at the bottom of this entry, there is my vlog from the day so you can see everything in video format with the perfect happy hipster ukulele soundtrack!
1. The Conference
For the bloggers out there (and, er, in the conference rooms), there were three presentations done to help everyone on the bloggy road.
The first one I saw was by Sarah from The Prosecco Diaries and was about monetizing your blog. Now, personally, I don’t really want to ~monetize~ my blog. I don’t really want ads on it, and if it makes me absolutely no money I am not bothered. However, I really do like being invited to events and getting to do cool things once in a while, and I think her talk was good even for people like me who want to occasionally work with brands, but don’t really rely on (or care about) making money from it.
Next up was Elizabeth from Rosalilium who is a UK ambassador for Pinterest. Now, I’ve used Pinterest in the past, but never really for my blog. And in the last year or so I can’t recall using it at all. But I really do enjoy it, and this workshop kind of rekindled the love a bit. I am not a big fan of obnoxious PIN IT overlays on my photos, so I’m not sure where exactly Pinterest will lie in terms of this blog, but I did make a brand new account to kind of start fresh and see how things go.
Finally was my lovely friend Jasmin from Jasmin Charlotte who did possibly the most perfect talk on SEO I’ve ever been in. Come on, SEO can be dullsville but I loved her talk, which covered great key aspects without being too newbie-oriented and while still being super accessible to people who aren’t as familiar with SEO. Plus her new blonder hair looks awesome. PLUS I love Jasmin and getting to catch up with her is one of my top highlights of the day!
2. The Brands
In the afternoon, there was a brand exhibition so we were able to meet with some of the representatives of a whole array of brands ranging from skincare to fashion to fitness. I thought I would show you some of what I saw as well as some of the things I picked up in my goody bag(s) because everyone likes to look at pretty things!
Obviously stay tuned over the next few weeks for some proper reviews of some of these products!
Bee Good‘s impressive range of skincare. I have my sights set on the cleansing water and intensive hand repair:
I had my hair done by The Parlour. Isn’t it cute? I’m jealous of the blow dry bar trend in London because I would love to get quick updos done more often!
Abi from Beaubronz was so great to chat (and take a selfie) with! She was super friendly and enthusiastic– instantly everyone’s BFF! Plus she helped ease some of my tanning fears with her Beaubronz pro tips! Really excited to try this out.
Less than two weeks ago marked my second year living in Brighton! I loooove Brighton. I feel super lucky to be able to live in such a creative and fun city.
I have also lived in my flat for two years. You might remember it from the aptly titled Tiny Flat Tour waaaaay back in 2013. It certainly doesn’t look like that any more. When I moved here, I had 2 suitcases, mainly filled with clothes. Now I have loads of things. And the tiny flat is feeling tinier than ever before!
In February my lease is up, and even though that is a whole six months away, I know that it will go quickly, and I know that I will be looking for a bigger flat. One with even, gasp, a living room. I’ve already started thinking about the new furniture and whatnot I will need after I move. February is a bit of an awkward time to move. I want to go away at Christmas with my bestie, and I will need to start flat hunting in December. I’ll likely be spending a lot of money, so I’m currently trying to save, save, save!
I’m also trying to budget, budget, budget. So when the lovely people at George asked me if I would take a look over their George home furniture I thought “oooh, perfect!”
So, here is my wish list of things I will need when I finally make the big move. Hopefully time will hurry!
One of my main reasons for moving is wanting to be able to have people over more often. Right now it is a liiiiittle bit awkward to ask people if they want to come hang out in my bedroom. Plus Brighton is just one of those places that friends and family want to come visit. Currently when this happens, they sleep on an air mattress next to my bed. Womp womp.
The above chaise sofabed would be ideal for giving guests somewhere off the floor (and out of my personal space) to sleep. Plus the storage is brilliant. I would probably store blankets (for aforementioned guests) in one section and then just bits and bobs in the other.
I have a table and chairs in my current flat, but they are not mine. They are owned by my landlord. So I will definitely need a new one. Plus, I love to cook. Right now, I usually cook and then sit at my landlord’s table and chairs alone. But I have lofty goals for the future, and they involve having people over for dinner. I know.
I am a sucker for a bit of a rustic dining room table. I just think they feel so warm and “homey.” They seem more durable. And when they aren’t quite as durable, I find imperfections and general wear and tear can actually improve the look and feel of such a table. I don’t like my food experiences to be stuffy. I like them to be comfortable and cozy!
When I started writing this blog entry, I didn’t even know I wanted an armchair. Then I saw this one. Isn’t it lovely? I love the colour. I love the shape. I love the reasonable price of £99. It’s going to take a lot of effort on my part to not just buy it now and sacrifice the very small floor space I have to house it.
I can see myself settling into it with a book and a cup of tea already.
There are loads more cute things on the George website (I already have a bed, but I really like this one) so be sure to check it out. And let me know if there’s anything you can’t wait to buy!
I was asked to write about George home furniture, but I chose all my own items to feature and these are all my own thoughts and words!