Blognix Retreat 2016 – Show Your True Colours

Last weekend found me mingling with ladies (and a few gents) of much awesomeness at the Blognix Retreat 2016. Now if you’re not a blogger you may very well ask, “What or who on earth is a Blognix?” Or, you may think that this post is all about a blogger meet up and you’re now tempted to click away – please don’t. I’m not only going to share with you some of my blogger mingle adventures, I’m also sharing what I learned that will help me on my journey of self evolution – and it might just be useful to you:

When I Was A Little Girl

I dreamed of being popular, of having heaps of friends, of ‘fitting in’. I tried to bend my personality, my likes and my dislikes to fit with my peers. I became a shadow girl; afraid to show my true colours, afraid to let my somewhat quirky humour loose, afraid of being alone. Yep, I was an unhappy little soul – and then things changed.

As I got older I realised that fitting in at the expense of my true self is simply not worth it. I took a look at the women that surrounded me and it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t even really like most of them – we had nothing in common, and some of their behaviour left me feeling quite shocked. I began to accept that it is so much better to have a handful of friends who truly accept you for who you are, quirks and all, rather than dozens of ‘friends’ who would drop you like a hot potato the second you dared to be yourself.

So I let the toxicity that masqueraded as friendship drift away. It wasn’t easy; there have been more than a few occasions in my life when I have felt cripplingly lonely (cue the violins!). But it was definitely the right thing to do – it’s hard to spread your wings and fly when you are surrounded by people who are happy to walk.

Er, What Has This Got To Do With The Blognix Retreat 2016?

Good question 🙂 I went to the retreat expecting to meet a couple of genuinely nice ladies (I had already met one, and I had ‘spoken’ to some of the other attendees via Twitter), what I didn’t expect was to meet so many! Maybe it’s because most of the group were creatives with quirks of their own. Maybe it was because quite a few of the group were either mature in years or in attitude. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because I am now shining my true colours more brightly and more vividly than I have ever done and people are kind of liking them. OK, they may need metaphorical sunglasses from time-to-time, but I truly believe that the people I interacted with appreciated my rainbow. Not bad for a kid who thought she was grey eh?

So if you take one thing from this post let it be this: you are a beautiful and unique human being. There is not one person on this earth who is identical to you. You have been blessed with a personality, a sense of humour, quirks, talents, complexities, likes and dislikes. Use all of your blessings, and shine! Even if you have to start slowly, even if it takes you a whole heap of time, even if you have to make some hard choices in life – shine! There is not enough darkness in the whole world to snuff out the light of one tiny candle – so be the candle, then be the flame, then go ahead and set the whole, darn world alight! 🙂

Bloggers at the Blognix Retreat 2016

Above: Some wonderful 40 plus bloggers I met at the Blognix Retreat 2016 who are lighting up the world with their amazing blogs. From left to right: Catherine – Not Dressed as Lamb, Me 🙂 Lisa – The Sequinist, Nikki – Midlife Chic, Lizzy – What Lizzy Loves, Michelle – RetroChicMama and Annette – Lady of Style.

So What Exactly Is The Blognix Retreat 2016 And What Did I Get Up To?

Bognix is a free information and resource site for bloggers and online influencers. For the past three years Elizabeth and Raj (the twosome behind the brand) have run a weekend retreat filled with talks, workshops and fun. Lots and lots of fun! There’s a whole lot of learning involved, my brain is still buzzing with ideas, and it’s a great chance to meet like-minded individuals for both friendship, and possible collaboration.

Bloggers at a convention.

There are some brilliant talks on offer. The girls from Shopstyle clued us in about affiliate marketing, I soaked up the Youtube info on offer from the eminently likeable Amy (She Cooks She Eats), learned about tax with Raj (Kona Seven) and law with Rebecca (Lawyer In The Making) (and yes, my brain is still intact – they were very gentle with us), self-care was the focus of the talk by Laura (Wholeheartedly Healthy), we learned how to launch a digital product with Ximena (Ximena de la Serna) and we got our creative juices flowing with Jen (She Gets Around).

The Blognix Retreat 2016

There were also talks on offer from Monica (The Travel Hack), Holly June (Hey Holly June) and Elizabeth (Rosalilium) which I didn’t attend (we had to choose between talks – I’m so going to have to invent a cloning machine), but the feedback from the bloggers that did was positive to say the least.

I got a lot out of the retreat, and it’s given me the kick I needed to go ahead with the next stage of my plan for blogosphere domination –  a Youtube channel 🙂 Over the coming weeks, I’ll be beavering away behind the scenes planning and filming videos, I’ll let you know when I launch.

I also learned how truly blessed I am to be part of this wonderful blogging community. It fits me and my slightly deranged brain perfectly!

Have you attended a blogger function or the Blognix Retreat itself? What did you get out of it? Let me know in the comments.



  1. March 2, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    Aw, what a fabulous post Michelle. It was brilliant to meet you and to revel in the glow of your true colours. You made me laugh from start to finish and I can’t wait to meet you again, love Lizzy xxx

    • March 2, 2016 / 5:55 pm

      Ah thanks Lizzy!
      So looking forward to meeting up with you again. Great to meet a lady who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside 🙂
      Michelle xxxx

  2. March 2, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with Lizzy – It was wonderful to meet you gorgeous girl xxx

    • March 2, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      It was wonderful to meet you too lovely lady. Looking forward to the next time xxxx

  3. March 3, 2016 / 9:48 am

    Thank you for coming to the retreat! It was great to meet you and I’m so pleased that you found your place here. 🙂 The blogosphere truly is a place to find your tribe and I’m super happy that you have found yours.
    Keep being you!!!

    • March 3, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth!
      Yep, I’ll keep on being me – cos I’m all kinds of awesome 😉
      Michelle x

  4. March 4, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Michelle, I cannot even imagine ANYONE not appreciating your rainbow. You are like a glass of champagne, and who doesn’t like champagne?! I loved reading your take on the retreat, and I loved meeting you even more. Hope to see you soon. xx

    • March 4, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      Thanks Lisa
      I’ve never been compared to champagne before – I must be a vintage bubbly 🙂
      It was wonderful to meet you too. I cannot wait until next time.
      Michelle xx

  5. March 4, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    Michelle I just ADORE you and your “slightly deranged brain”…!!!!!!! This was such a beautifully written post – it’s interesting how many of us have written our posts from the point of view of making friends and the blogging community itself, not just the event and “this is what we learned” etc. I too fully appreciated the company of women whom I admire, trust and have so much in common with, not least yourself. It was fantastic to have a weekend with so many women I enjoyed talking to – not just our Over 40 Squad(!) but also the other attendees, the organisers and the speakers.

    Can’t wait for us to get together again… But I’ll be seeing you sooner in April for the UK Blog Awards, aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh so excited!!

    With much love, your friend
    Catherine xxxxxxxxxxxx

    • March 5, 2016 / 5:23 pm

      For us to all be thinking and writing posts along the same lines, kind of reinforces how much we have in common 🙂

      I gained so much in one short weekend – I truly believe that true, long-lasting friendships were forged. I look forward to meeting and getting to know more about everyone in the Over 40 Squad! I also look forward to attending more blogging events and meeting and even more women to join our squad! And not just women over 40 – any woman with similar attitudes.

      I can’t wait to see you (and what you’ll be wearing) in April!!!

      Much love and friendship right back at you.
      Michelle xxxxxx

  6. March 9, 2016 / 8:33 am

    I am beyond envious that I didn’t discover Blognix before last week. I would have joined you from Ireland. But am enjoying reading all your posts.

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