Just over a week ago (how time flies!) I attended a huge event I’d been looking forward to for so long now (I feel like it was ‘thee’ event of the year). If you’re a Northern blogger and haven’t seen, nor paid any attention to the hashtag #LeedsXmasMeet over on Twitter then I assume you’re just as unresponsive as I am most days but we’ll talk about that some other time. Organised by the fabulous Rhianna, a local blogger I met a few months back now and continue to see in this formed Leeds blogger circle, Leeds Xmas Meet was basically descriptive by title. A bloggers meet up in the heart of my hometown with 70 people coming from all over the M62 side of the country (and maybe even further, who knows?). Filled with fun, festivity and general chit chat, it was a chance to meet and greet some old and new faces whilst getting into the Christmas spirit and raising some money as we go along.
The event took place at The Black Swan, a traditional pub that had the perfect space and rustic vibe for the chilled event it was. Arriving just after it began at 2pm due to the horrendous wind, road closures and typical weekend traffic, I walked up the staircase in my best Christmas dress and my seriously windswept and overdue for a cut hair into the booming room of people and a hoard load of Christmas jumpers. Honestly, I kinda knew what to expect with it being such a popular, busy event but there were so many groups of people talking away in their own bubbles and I kinda just stood there like a lost lemon (as always).
Thankfully, the event kicked off into full swing as even more people arrived and the bar opened its doors. It gave me the chance to say hello to all the familiar faces I hadn’t seen in a while, and to encounter some new bloggers I’d never seen or spoken to before. It was so lovely to catch up with everyone and to see the whole crowds nattering, laughing and just generally having a great time BUT I came away from the event sad I didn’t get to interact with as many people as I’d have liked to. I don’t know whether that’s because everyone was off doing their own thing or because I’m such an awkward mess. I’m pretty used to blogging events now but having lots of company often overwhelms me for some strange reason. I still had an absolute blast, just maybe next time I will up my confidence level!
The room looked splendid, seriously Rhi and her helpers did a fantastic job of creating a place made to occupy us for three hours. Everything was set up accordingly; a large raffle table filled with amazing, thoughtful prizes, a cupcake decorating and a Christmas themed selfie station, wooden seating packed with goody bags, a table jam-packed with Propercorn (possibly my favourite area?!) and another table featuring heart shaped candy-canes and Just Bee drinks AND to make it even better, the open room was trimmed up with the prettiest decorations so our outfit choices of the day blended in well.
Throughout the day there were a number of activities to partake in. There was the chance to design and decorate your own cupcake, with a best cupcake competition to follow, then of course there was the selfie corner stocked with Christmas props. As you can see, me and Kayla went all out-full blown turn into a child mode and beguiled ourselves with the Santa hats, beards, glasses and god knows what else. Also on board was a best dressed competition which we were all aware of beforehand. This prompted me to bring out a velvet burgundy number I dust off from my wardrobe every year, topped with a snowflake choker, a flashing Christmas tree brooch, and I even attached some tinsel to myself especially for the occasion. However, I didn’t win (not like I expected to or anything) and instead the prize went to Lucy, who was superlatively dressed as a light up Christmas tree in a fetching dress. Fair play Lucy, you deserved that win hands down just for being different and completely inventive from the rest.
There wasn’t no over the top, cheesy entertainment, nor did they need to be. I just loved the do as you please kind of option because there’s nothing better than sitting and standing around, socialising, chatting about completely random subjects and soaking in the savoured atmosphere. It was really nice to have everyone together in one simple room.
After all the enjoyment and as the day was subsiding, it was time to settle down for the raffle done in an advent calendar style, picked one by one – another distinctive detail that made the event so grand. There were some incredible prizes up for grabs, ranging from beauty products to cute stocking fillers and big hampers from some varied brands. I wasn’t one of the lucky winners (I now wish I’d have bought more than one strip of tickets) but it was lovely seeing so many happy faces, and even lovelier seeing Rhianna awarded at the end of the amusingly satisfying draw. Rhianna also did a basic but adorable little speech to sum up the day and informed us that all the money raised from purchasing raffle tickets would be going to Young Minds. I, for one, was thrilled my measly £2 would be assigned to such a beneficial and personal charity. In the latest thank you email which was ever so heart warming, Rhianna told us we had all raised £355 which is absolutely incredible!
As the day unfortunately came to an end, I couldn’t leave without giving Rhi a big hug and handing her a massive well done! However, the glee didn’t end there – we were gifted a goody bag which was crammed with so many accommodating treats and even a mini Christmas card with a delightful message inside. Rhianna really did make sure the special touches would be in action and I really really appreciated that. I know how stressed she was but I really hope she knows what an amazing job she did and that she’s proud of herself. The event wouldn’t have happened without all her hard work and passion! Rhi, you were brilliant and totally deserved that Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette and Charlotte Tilbury lippy (I’m not jealous by the way). Thank you so so much for inviting me along! You vowed you’d never do it again but after such a success, I know I’d be back in a flash if you ever change your mind!
Were you there?