Sunday, 28 February 2016

Blognix Retreat 2016

This weekend I went to the Blognix Retreat for a weekend with some incredible bloggers and I'm feeling so inspired that I simply must write about it!

For those who might not know, Blognix was founded in 2013 by my lovely friend Elizabeth of Rosalilium and it's a collective space for bloggers from all backgrounds to get together and share experience and advice in a really supportive environment. There's a great Facebook group, weekly chats on Twitter (#Blognix) and this year they held their first retreat where over 60 of us descended on the lovely Hellidon Lakes spa hotel near Daventry for a weekend of talks, inspiration and relaxation.

My friend Amy and I took a half day on Friday then drove up. This was the first time she'd been in my car (I'm quite a new driver) but it went pretty well and despite the fact that my SatNav made me drive through central London on a busy afternoon we have a good sing-song on the way up the M1!

A photo posted by Amy Jones (@jimsyjampots) on

Here's me looking like the Scottish Widow overlooking the lovely rolling hills.

After we arrived we headed straight to the pool for a swim followed by a good session in the steam room and jacuzzi.

Saturday was the main event so Amy and I got everyone registered along with Rebecca from Lawyer in the Making then we headed into a day of workshops followed by dinner and drinks.

A photo posted by @hollyjunesmith on

On Saturday afternoon I ran a workshop called Time Management for People Who Want to DO ALL THE THINGS. Basically, how to get your shit together when you've got a million different priorities. I was told that time management was one of the things Blognix attendees wanted the most help with so I was delighted to be able to help! 

Here I am pointing at my own face and explaining why I do so many different things.

This is my obligatory Leo DiCaprio slide - I never give a presentation without one. It's also me talking about limiting beliefs and the bullshit we believe that stops us achieving our goals.

Here's my favourite slide (My point: Beyonce's hours and your hours are not created equal!)

A photo posted by Cassy Fry (@cassyfry) on

I love running workshops and enjoyed it so much, extra special thanks to those of you who gave me really lovely feedback afterwards. I love helping people take control in their own lives so this felt like something seriously special!

All of the workshops and sessions were great and covered really diverse topics like creativity with Jen Lowthrop, Accounting for bloggers with Raj Dhokia, Getting Started on YouTube with Amy Jones, Self-Care with Laura Agar Wilson, and how to launch a digital product with Ximena de la Serna. I loved that there were a mix of sessions and because the bloggers cover all sorts of niches from fashion to finance, parenting to photography, there really was something for everyone.

It's basically impossible to go to a Blognix event and not come home with a bunch of new pals. Everyone is so friendly and supportive, it was great to see people swapping tips and sharing ideas, especially those who might not have otherwise met each other. I know I'm not the only one who came away with a big to-do list! I'm now even more motivated to get a website set up for my coaching work and have even decided to run a webinar of my session so follow me on Twitter if you want to hear more about that! Or sign up for my newsletter!

Elizabeth and Raj put a tonne of work into making this an amazing event and it was such a honour to be a part of it. Normally my brain switches off about 5pm on a Sunday and doesn't come back on until it's time for work on Monday but tonight I'm firing through my to-do list and scheduling time Already looking forward to the next one! You can see all the tweets from the weekend on the hashtag #BlognixRetreat

I know I recommended lots of things to lots of people over the weekend so here's a list:


I recently wrote a whole post about my favourite podcasts hosted by women but here are some I definitely mentioned this weekend:
  • Being Boss - A fantastic show for creative entrepreneurs, I feel so inspired after every episode. 
  • The Longest Shortest Time - A parenting podcast that's not just for parents. This show covers so many aspects of what it means to be a parent, or trying to be one, or trying NOT to be one.
  • Death, Sex, and Money - This podcast covers different stories each week, always on the theme of death, sex or money. The Brooke Shields episode about her childhood and post-natal depression is incredibly frank and honest listening.
  • IRL UK - Rhiannon and Anna are HILARIOUS and in this show they talk about insane real life stories from magazines and papers. Always cheers me up!
  • Bookish Blether - This is my show. It's amazing and I am in no way biased :)
Useful websites

  1. Buffer - Get the app, install the Chrome extension and schedule useful articles and links to tweet even when you're not online.
  2. IFTTT (If This Then That) - This site let's you create 'rules' (or they call them recipes) that automate your online life by connecting your favourite apps. Click publish once - send your posts everywhere!
  3. Flux - This nifty piece of software adjusts the light on your screens as it gets darker, removing the harmful blue light that keeps your brain alert - this is a must if you work on your laptop and phone in bed! (I actually use an app called Twilight on my phone and it does the same thing!)
  4. Bullet Journal - This is the to-do list method I am obsessed with and mentioned in my talk. I'll do a post on it soon but in the meantime the BuJo website (never BJ, for obvious reasons!) has great intros. The notebook I use is the Leuchtturm 1917 dotted in Azure. I will never use another notebook again (but don't hold me to that!) 
TED Talks (Watch while you do the dishes!)


  1. I loved your talk, it was useful energetic and fun! I'm still buzzing from the weekend!

  2. It was so lovely to meet you! Great post, I've just gone and subscribed to a few podcasts there, lots of great tips too!

  3. Thank you for a fab write-up of the weekend and thank you for your workshop, it was fantastically popular!
    So happy you liked the Blognix Retreat. :-D

  4. It was so, so nice to meet you Holly. I loved your workshop (because I want to do all the things!!) and have already implemented listening to podcasts while I do other things. You're an inspiration! Hope to meet up with you again in the future. mwah Lizzie xo

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