Tuesday 24 November 2015

So what exactly was #HBAlPorto all about?

Writing is something I normally do solo, but every now and again I meet up with the lovely Hull Bloggers, a local (ish) group of folk who also write, tweet, review and tell stories too.  I always look forward to these meet ups as it's an opportunity to connect with other bloggers.

The Summer Meet was at a local restaurant on Hull Marina called Al Porto.  If you follow me on Twitter you may have wondered what on earth happened to my timeline as it was full of the hashtag #HBAlPorto everywhere, accompanied either by photos of groups of people or (generally) empty food wrappers!

So what did we do at the Summer Meet? Well chat and eat were high on the list, along with try, try, try things out!  Blogger Meets are a good opportunity to try things that you may not necessarily have heard of before, or are well known, but you've yet to experience them!

Above is a photo of my empty Mango Chia Pod from The Chia Company - an example of something I'd never heard of before, and that are now on my shopping list whenever I fancy a quick boost.  I've yet to try the Coffee Bean one but that's next!  They can be bought in the UK in most of the main supermarkets as well as Boots and Holland & Barrett.

An old favourite of mine are Lush.  They were hosting a stall at the event so lots of testing and demonstrations and we were all given 3 products to test at home.  Mine were their "Don't Look at Me" face mask sample pot, "Granny Takes a Dip" Bubble Bar for the bath and the "Yellow" Fun - all 3 were hits and as usual there was enough for 2 portions from each.

As a non-beauty/fashion/lifestyle blogger I always appreciate that Hull Bloggers are big on food; so there is always something for me to be interested in product wise and our 3rd meet was no exception.

As well as the lovely food and drink from the restaurant that Al Porto kept supplying us with to sample throughout the meet (and yes Al Porto is worth a visit if you've never been!) there were plenty of things to bring home to try out...

My absolute favourites were the Ryvita Crackers, if you are the person who hunts out the water biscuits in any cheese biscuit selection these are the top of the league table in this style of biscuit - there are SO good (and I'm very fussy about my cheese biscuits).  Handily they are wrapped in 4 individual packs so no worries about them going stale - not that they lasted that long in our house... okay it had nothing to do with anyone else I ate them ALL.

I was less fussed on the Ice Tea this time around, but I'm not a big Ice Tea drinker, my other half really enjoyed it though.  We fought over the Kettle Chips, great flavours as we've come to expect from Kettle (not had a bad crisp off them yet) and we both enjoyed the Chia Pods... the chocolate from Choc on Choc and the Border Biscuits were both hoarded by me and it was a strategy worth employing - delicious!!  I've just checked out the selection from Choc on Choc and I think there may be a few Christmas presents to be bought; the Igloo and Penguins are so cute!

Both Choc Shots have been in use ever since the meet, the Chocolate Orange didn't last long, but I've managed to hang on to the Coconut one a bit longer... I've been drinking these with milk in whisked up hot chocolates, used on sliced banana in a bowl for a sweet treat and I also love these on wholemeal toast - you can do a whole lot more with liquid chocolate as they are very versatile.

From the The Garden Pharmacy I've enjoyed the Miel Honey shower gel (no photo) and from NSPA  we've been trying the Coconut Shower and Bath gel, a big 500ml bottle which is lasting ages (you don't need much per shower/bath).  Nspa is available exclusively at ASDA - some great 2 for £4 offers at the moment, so I might pop in later this week and get another 2 bottles to try!

We're also using the Wisdom Quantum enamel protect toothpaste which is lovely, the Nspa Face Scrub (nice but not my skin type) and a Baylis and Harding body lotion and a shower gel (which I think is currently in my travel bag - so no photo).

As per tradition there was a raffle raising money for The Eve Appeal which raises awareness of all five gynaecological cancers (Womb, Ovarian, Cervical, Vulval and Vaginal in case you were sat there trying to figure them all out).  Their web site contains lots of useful info and we raised £227 on the day, well done us!

I won a couple of times on the raffle, my favourite was some great nail varnish from Paul & Joe!

The Raffle was commentated by Lewis-Duncan Weedon, who as well as being a Celebrity Stylist, a Celeb Ambassador for the Princes Trust, a fashion/style/beauty writer and presenter, a total handbag and jewellery nut... he can also manage a cracking line of wit and repartee whatever the source material; I genuinely giggled throughout the whole raffle!  We've met a few times over the course of Hull Fashion Week and Blogger Events in Hull and it's always a pleasure to see him.

Sadly as these things do they had to come to an end, we had to call in reinforcements to get us all home due to HUGE selection of products to try in our Goody Bags of which even now I've barely scratched the surface.

The one discount card in my bag that I made sure I used immediately was from Personal Planner. This is my second order with this company and I love them!

Personal Planner Website

I ordered another diary for next year, going a tad smaller with the "mini" this year as I don't have much room in my bag, and another of their square notebooks (which I am currently recording kiln temperatures and glass recipes in for glass bead making).

Everything else, I am slowly making my way through, there may be a Part II or III to this at some point!

Do you ever meet up with like minded people for a hobby you are involved in?

DISCLAIMER - All raffle prizes and goody bag products were supplied free of charge,
all food and drinks from Al Porto were paid for by the Bloggers attending.


  1. Looks like a lovely meet up!

    Not quite a hobby, but I used to meet up fairly frequently (almost every month, at least every second month) with a group of pug owners (all pug owners are crazy ;)) But then I had kids and the events interfered with nap times. Now that they are older, it's not their naps but their activities that tend to keep us away!

    I met up with other bead collectors once this summer and it was really nice to show them my LDs and talk beads with them. But that's the first time that I've met up with other collectors. Hopefully it won't be the last.

    1. Aw, I only walk a dog once a week (not mine) but I love chatting with other dog folk when I'm out, random conversations but can brighten up the day!

      I'm meeting up with some other collectors hopefully on the 5th Dec... can't wait! Although my budget is minmal due to splurging on soooooo many beads this month, have been very out of control!

      Mars xx

  2. I'm lucky in that I have two girlfriends who love to talk beads. We meet at the local Starbucks for beads n' coffee when we're not working. And I got to meet Tracy and her sweet girls last summer!

    1. How fab! I love meeting up with people I've known on the beady online world in real life finally.

      One of my favourite things about meeting up is looking at everyone's bracelets... that old classic the wrist shot! :)

      Mars xx


I love saying hi to people who've read my blog, or are just passing through via the A to Z, or anyone not a spam bot!

P.s. If you use an iPad/iPhone and are having trouble leaving a comment on Blogger, you might have better luck using a browser that's not the default iPad one... Then from the "Comment as" drop down menu choose Name/Url (you can leave URL field blank or add your web address) or Anonymous and (hopefully) away you go! Mars xx