This weekend was a little different, I headed off to Somerset on my own. The only other time I’ve been away was for my best friends hen weekend a couple of years ago! I was so excited but also very nervous!
I have only been on one big blog event and that was only for a day. So to book one that was 2 nights away and residential was pretty brave of me. When I booked it I just didn’t think about it, I just pressed book now!
The Flea Retreat was arranged by Sally who runs Flea Enterprises. Along with her team she arranged a 2 night weekend away at Croydon Hall in Somerset. It was a huge house that slept so many people, with stunning gardens, a spa, outside swimming pool and a large kitchen to cater for everyone.
Croydon Hall isn’t a super luxury 5* property, the rooms were basic. Our room was made up of 4 people, each with a bed, beside table, lamp and towels provided. We had a en-suite bathroom in the room and a lovely view over the garden. It was more than suitable for us who just wanted to use their rooms as a base. The main downstairs spaces were perfect and they even hired out massive bean bags for us to use in the garden and around the house.
When we arrived at Croydon Hall we had a welcoming session. We ended up all doing a guided yoga and relaxation breathing exercise with Rachel from Rachel Smithbone Yoga. I must admit I was quite happy to sit at the back for this one so people couldn’t watch me easily, as I had a back op in October and knew I wouldn’t be able to do everything she wanted us to do. However she was very insistent and did make me come forward in front of other people but I didn’t want to make a fuss in front of people, so just did it! Although the Yoga wasn’t hard it was more of a relaxation and de-stress. Which was lovely as the weather was amazing and we were in this stunning garden relaxing.
They had arranged a scavenger hunt around the garden finding letters in hidden envelopes. Each one then made a word that featured in a film that we could watch that night! This was a great way to get people to join in together and chat to each other.
Photography is something I want to work hard on currently. Not only is it something that is great for the blog, I really enjoy taking photos. So I signed myself up to quite a few of the workshops that Tom Arber was running across the weekend. These were the ones I took part in.
Golden Light – Taking photos with the lovely golden light time of the day. I didn’t get involved with this one much in the end as I ended up posing for a group hoodie photo! They had provided us hoodies for us all to wear which was super comfy. I am looking forward to seeing that golden light photo in front of the house.
Photo Credit To Victoria Welton
Night Time – This one was unexpected as Tom went outside on Friday evening. I have never tried to take night time shots, so this was a great opportunity to play around.
I started adding more content to my YouTube channel this year, and it’s something I love doing. The videos are time con-summing but when I get the final video together I love it. I also love how much the children love the videos and you can often find my girls watching our past videos of our outings!
So I took part in a couple of video workshops. Travel Video with Alister and Robert for Before The Shoot both from Somerset Film who showed us some of the equipment he uses to create videos, tips on making the content and then allowing us to have a go with the equipment. This was fantastic for me as I have been thinking about purchasing a Gimbal for my camera but wasn’t 100% sure if it would be worth it for me or not. It’s worth it! I quickly took a video on my Samsung S8 around the garden to show my husband that I needed one and what a difference it makes!!!
Look how smooth and steady this video is. At The Flea Retreat I got the chance to have a go at using a Gimbal Stabilizer to keep my videos steady. This was me recording on my phone whilst walking down some very small and steep steps! Normally the video is so bouncy. I've been tempted by one already buy now it's been added to my Amazon wish list! Thanks @somerset.film for letting me try it out. #FleaRetreat #gimbal #vlogging
I took part in the Confidence on Camera workshop with Aspire TV presenter training. Darren and Sean were fantastic, we had a good giggle in our session and by having a giggle it really did make you feel at ease. I took part in this session so that I could feel happier talking on the camera in my videos as I really struggle with this. When it comes to chatting on videos to the camera I just freeze, stumble and can’t get my words out! Darren and Sean did a great job at explaining how to make you feel more at ease and look your best, however I froze when it came to my turn! They got us to have a go at introducing ourselves on camera whilst they recorded us…….I mucked it up. However lovely Jo from Slummy Single Mummy said to me ‘If it was a big thing for you to get up in front of the camera then you have achieved something good for you’ It was a well needed boost at that time, and she was right, Thank You!
Which leads me on perfectly to how friendly Flea Retreat was. From someone who has never done this before and therefore didn’t know anyone, I was so nervous I would be left alone in a corner somewhere! Everyone was so lovely, friendly and helpful. The blogging community is so supportive and we all shared ideas and tips on how to do things.
I also enjoyed chilling out for a bit in the hot tub with Alina from We Made This Life and having a good old chat! I mean how often do you get to go to a blogging event with a spa!?