On Friday afternoon, Crevette came back from a school trip to the Isle of Wight. Straight after all the kids’ clubs, we made our way to Cheltenham for Maven Connex Blogger Morning. We chatted about the most random things on the way and it was just lovely to have a proper catch up with my boy. I had booked a room at the last minute through Booking.com and we spent the evening watching Netflix, chatting and eating chocolate: heaven!
Crevette was really excited to go to his first creative blogger morning and he took it very seriously, camera in hand at all times and always checking I was focusing on what we were meant to be doing. The room we were in was spacious and filled with natural light, so I was pretty happy there. After a cup of tea and a freshly baked pastry (or five!), we sat down for the welcome talk by Maven Connex organisers Louise and Emma.
We then all learnt a lot from Ori, published cookbook author and French trained chef, who worked in restaurants across London. Ori created Costèllo and Hellerstein five years ago and he treated us to a truffle making demonstration (yay baby!). I was keen to learn from Ori as I love making truffles in the run up to Christmas. Ori told us all about recipe development and make truffles infused with Coco Pops for us: they were moreish and had a lovely crunch (he’d rolled them in crushed Coco Pops!).
I love everything about Ori’s business, from his determination to steer away from the oh so overdone classic flavours like plain old truffles or Marc de Champagne truffles. His take on truffle-making is sophisticated and his truffles have delicate yet unusual flavours, like Raspberry & Coconut, Rhubarb Milk Chocolate or Ruby Chocolate Ganache. He’s meticulous about the origin of all ingredients and the packaging is 100% recyclable. Ori also won an award for his salted caramel truffles (they are to die for!).
After tasting a couple of Ori’s truffles and a yet another cup of tea (how many would be too many?), we had an opportunity to network, attempt to photograph a decent flatlay and get a massage with Holly. Guess what I went for? Holly, who is based in Gloucester, gave me the most relaxing head massage you could imagine. I have no idea how long it was for, but I dozed a little.
Holly is a hypnotherapy specialist and she focuses on stress, anxiety, phobias, hypnobirthing as well as OCD, panic attacks, anger, IBS, fertility support and migraines. I wish Holly lived closer because I find hypnotherapy very effective and fascinating. It helped me cope with pain as I was in labour, so much so for Wriggly that I didn’t have time to get to the hospital and gave birth on my bathroom floor! I would really like to have a go at hypnotherapy to banish self-sabotaging and procrastination, and would love Beanie to have a few sessions to help with her anger outbursts.
Crevette then reminded me I wasn’t there just to relax and faff, and encouraged me to try and capture a decent flatlay photo. If he doesn’t become my personal assistant, he’ll definitely be a leader of some sort, this one! I ignored him and took a photo I wanted to take rather than a flatlay, but he had a good go and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
I really enjoyed the photography and editing talk with Jenny Giles.
Tips and tricks from Jenny to improve your photography:
- Look for the light, even artificial light
- Try to capture simple everyday moments for some beautiful images
- Mix light and dark.
- Shoot at various angles to change your composition
- Beautiful spots can be found in the strangest places – be on the lookout all the time
- Work with the elements
- Get low, on the pets or children’s level
- Try to use the corner of a room, natural light and a reflector for beautiful portraits
- Don’t forget to look up (sky, clouds, architecture)
For a small fee, Jenny took photos of me for a much-needed new headshot and she made me feel at ease. She actually managed to take a photo that looks like me!
At 1 p.m., we collected our huge goody bags and headed to town for lunch and an afternoon at Boston Tea Party. Check my latest Instagram post for a list of contributors.
Will I attend the next Maven Connex event? If I am free, definitely!