Kidspot Voices of 2014 – May the Ford be with you

These two love Ford & Kidspot

Normally I keep my posts strictly on the subjects of family, food and travel and though the following tale does involve a little bit of all of those things, this time I’m going to get a little more personal.

The last few days have been quite surreal. Since the gorgeous Scott from Ford Australia announced BoyEatsWorld as the Voices of 2014 Paint The Town Ford Sponsor’s Choice winner at a gala event in Melbourne on Saturday night, I have been pinching myself.  It all seems so unreal in a year that, up until now, can best be described as a bit of a bitch. But what was shaping up to be one of my worst years has, in its penultimate weeks, become one of the best. With a bullet!

To be honoured like this for something that began purely as a place for me to write as me is incredible. I never really considered that anyone outside of my family and friends would read BoyEatsWorld and that was OK, it was never about world domination.

To be very honest, had it not been for the encouragement of a couple of amazing people (you know who you are), KidSpot’s selection panel, and whoever nominated the blog for Voices of 2014 in the first place, BoyEatsWorld would have ceased to exist a while back.

Now, I know a lot of bloggers go through stages of wanting to throw in the towel when it all seems too hard, especially in the beginning when they’re struggling to monetise and find sponsors. But that was never really my M.O. This was just a place for me to use my own voice as a writer and to share my stories on using my go-to tools of food and travel to raise empathetic kids in a world where there’s just too much unkindness.

My decision to end the blog was part of a larger existential crisis. You see, after a series of events earlier this year that drained me (and by association, my family) financially, physically and emotionally, I made the decision to give up writing all together, a tough call for a person who makes her living doing just that. I won’t going to go into the details because this blog has never been the place for that stuff, but suffice to say that the aforementioned events left my self-esteem shattered, my trust in people obliterated, plagued with doubt about my ability as a writer, and suffering from depression and a social anxiety that I’ve become a pro at hiding behind a plastered on smile.

But the timely validation from Kidspot and the support of my generous friends and colleagues convinced me to keep at it. Good job, huh?

Though life has certainly been sweeter of late, there are still the odd days when making small talk with a stranger makes me anxious. So you might say that flying solo interstate to meet a bunch of my blogging idols at the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Gala then finding myself standing on a stage in front of them all making an acceptance speech was a little out of my current comfort zone. And by “a touch” I mean way, way. And by “acceptance speech”, I mean crying like a git.

I didn’t really believe I could win against such a talented field of bloggers, but I promised my husband I wouldn’t do a Gwyneth if I did. I let the team down there. There wasn’t any pink taffeta involved but just like Gwyneth during her infamous Oscars speech, I blubbed so much my contacts lenses fell out and I dribbled on about God knows what between sobs. So overcome was I that I’m not sure if I even thanked everyone. Oh, and like Gwyneth my boobs were falling out… but that was less due to an ill fitting dress and more to with the fact that I’m a bit of a slapper.

Voices of 2014

So if I can have my turn again I want to thank everyone who reads these words of mine (and Raffles) and has supported BoyEatsWorld over the past two years; The team at KidSpot for the Voices of 2014 Top 100 nod which was the validation I needed to continue “using my words”; the wonderful, wonderful people at Ford Australia for letting us borrow Terry Lu-Lu (the gorgeous Ford Territory Titanium we drove during the challenge) and for honouring us with this incredible prize (which will see Terry-Lulu becoming a long term member of the fam amongst other amazing things); all the other incredible sponsors of the event including Olympus, Garnier and Healtheries; and Spanx… without whom I would have been unable to squeeze into my dress on Saturday night.

This has quite literally been a game changing event for this family. It has given me the confidence to keep doing what I love. It has taken pressure off the wonderful Mr Eats World who has been supporting us through the tough times. And for my beautiful kids it’s going to make what was going to be a very miserly Christmas a sparkling one!

Ironically it was only on Friday that Sugarpuff asked Santa if she could have Terry-Lulu back for Christmas. Who knew that Santa works for Ford! I do have to add that she also asked for a Nerf Gun so is probably planning to use the car for a toy store drive-by.

And finally, big props to Clare from Checks & Spots, the much deserving Voice of 2014, all the category and challenge winners, and every one of the warm, wise and witty wordsmiths who were part of Voices of Australia and the Paint the Town Ford challenge and who gave me such kind encouragement on Saturday. Special mentions have to go to the divine Carly Findlay, Cassandra JonesDanielle Colley and Emma Stoianis just for being themselves and such good company on the night.

Y’all rock.

Oh, and have a cookie! 🙂

Ford cookies

39 Comments on Kidspot Voices of 2014 – May the Ford be with you

  1. yinyangmother
    December 2, 2014 at 10:52 pm (10 years ago)

    Aleney – I am so proud of what you have achieved. I think back to our chats at Problogger and how you have ended the year on such a positive high – truly so very happy for you.

  2. Amanda Kendle (@amandakendle)
    December 2, 2014 at 11:16 pm (10 years ago)

    I am *still* so excited for you. I knew you had had a tough year but didn’t realise it was quite as bad as it sounds, which makes me even MORE excited for your well-deserved win. And renews my trust that good things CAN happen to good people. Good on you!!! xxxx

  3. VD
    December 3, 2014 at 7:30 am (10 years ago)

    I am beside myself I am so happy for you! You totally deserve this! What a year it has been. Congrats once again my gorgeous friend xxx

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    December 3, 2014 at 8:20 am (10 years ago)

    A BIG congratulations Aleney and it is SO well deserved!! I’m so excited for you!! 😀

  5. Desire Empire
    December 3, 2014 at 8:37 am (10 years ago)

    Really proud of you. Congratulations. I think it’s Karma and you are a very deserving winner. Welll done.

  6. Jodie@Fresh Home Cook
    December 3, 2014 at 8:51 am (10 years ago)

    I am so excited & happy for you (& the family) Aleney! This was such a well deserved moment for all of you & I for one am SO very glad you did not give up on writing. So much talent & love in your words – they need to be written & read.

    Wishing you & your gorgeous family the sparkliest of sparkly Christmases (is that a word??) & a bright & shiny New Year filled with all the happiness you create & deserve. xx

  7. viviennefilms
    December 3, 2014 at 10:35 am (10 years ago)

    Congratulations Aleney!

  8. Deborah Dickson-Smith
    December 3, 2014 at 11:37 am (10 years ago)

    So happy for you Aleney! Knowing what you’ve been through AND how hard you worked on this! This is definitely going to be your year – don’t you just love it when good things happen to the right people?!

  9. theillusivefemme
    December 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm (10 years ago)

    You beautiful thing you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you were so meant to win this. Very proud! And amazing meeting you in person, def one of the highlights of the night. xxxx

  10. Little Munch
    December 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm (10 years ago)

    Well done! I love how you call yourself a slapper and you quite clearly are not! It’s awesome that a foodie/kid blogger won. I love reading about your adventures so please keep writing, you are awesome at it.

  11. always josefa (@always_josefa)
    December 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm (10 years ago)

    Simply stunning Aleney! Your award and the recognition it shines a light on truly honours events such as #voicesof2014. Watching your name announced and then your speech was exhilirating – your passion and love of what you do is just beautiful. Congratulations! Oh and I love the special mention to Spanx – where would a girl be without them 😉

  12. Souri
    December 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm (10 years ago)

    Congrats again Aleney! I do love how you write from the heart. Don’t ever give it up! You’re emotion during the acceptance speech was just beautiful and we’re glad we captured it. Hope that things continue to get brighter for you and your beautiful family 🙂

  13. Kate
    December 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm (10 years ago)

    Brilliant! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again!

  14. Julie
    December 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm (10 years ago)

    Seriously a massive congratulations! Oh and please don’t ever silence the writer in you. Her words come out so perfectly xx

  15. Jo
    December 3, 2014 at 11:08 pm (10 years ago)

    That’s fantastic Aleney! Well done! So happy for you especially after our chat as we walked to the Problegger party. May 2015 be outrageously successful too 🙂

  16. Clare @ Checks and Spots
    December 4, 2014 at 8:47 am (10 years ago)

    Biggest, heartiest congratulations to you! You thoroughly deserve this recognition..the content you created for Ford was A1, top shelf, super duper, wonderful!
    Hopefully this is the start of a new chapter and 2015 is a pearler!

  17. Jenni from Styling Curvy
    December 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm (10 years ago)

    Wow! I can’t tell you how inspired I’ve been by all the pics n posts from the awards. I’m new to blogging but you and others have inspired me to aim high, drown out the naysayers and stay true to my dream. Congratulations and THANKYOU!
    Jen x

  18. Lydia C. Lee
    December 5, 2014 at 6:47 am (10 years ago)

    Congrats to you and you know what, it’s not the award that gives you validation, but it helps you see yourself the way everyone else sees you….so remember that!

  19. mummywifeme
    December 5, 2014 at 6:54 am (10 years ago)

    Congratulations Aleney!! What an experience. What a moment that must have been for you up on stage. I’m so pleased this came to you at such a tough point in your life. I hope you can continue writing and chase those dreams of yours.

  20. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    December 5, 2014 at 6:58 am (10 years ago)

    Go you! So well deserved!
    Have your cake and eat it! (Or tasty looking Ford cookie.)

  21. Keeping Up With The Holsbys
    December 5, 2014 at 7:47 am (10 years ago)

    I loved your speech. I loved your graciousness. And I really loved your cleavage.

    Amazing work, lady. You deserve it. Now drive it like you stole it!

  22. Mystery Case
    December 5, 2014 at 11:57 am (10 years ago)

    Congratulations on your award. I’m rather new to your blog but can see why you were nominated in the first place.

  23. Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    December 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm (10 years ago)

    A big congratulations Aleney. I hope you have a sparkling xmas with the family and a fabulous 2015!

  24. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    December 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm (10 years ago)

    Darling Aleney, huge congratulations on a well deserved win! I’m sorry to say I laughed when I read that you cried, but your contact lenses really fell out!!!
    Enjoy your sparkling Christmas xx

  25. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    December 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm (10 years ago)

    Such big congratulations to you. I am so glad that Voices came around at the right time for you and that it kept you going, you share so much wonderfulness (that is now a word okay!) with us all and I look forward to more of your wonderfulness (there it is again!) 🙂

  26. Kylie Purtell
    December 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm (10 years ago)

    Sooo, awesome! Congratulations and super big hugs xx

  27. Blah Blah Magazine
    December 6, 2014 at 11:06 am (10 years ago)

    Lady, you’re a legend. Well done! You completely deserve it and if you need some accomplices for that toy shop drive by let us know x

  28. MrsDplus3
    December 6, 2014 at 11:13 am (10 years ago)

    Very very proud of you lovely xxx

  29. @ChristineSalins (FoodWineTravel)
    December 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm (10 years ago)

    Congratulations Aleney – so well deserved. Didn’t know you had such a tough year; we’ll have to sit down and talk about it sometime. But I’m sure the win makes everything a lot sweeter!

  30. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    December 7, 2014 at 8:02 am (10 years ago)

    I am sooo glad you keep in trucking and despite nearly every ounce of you wanting to give up that you persisted. Such a well-deserved and fabulous win for you lovely. Everything happens for a reason and I’m so glad some of the pressure has been lifted from your family, best present ever. xxx

  31. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad)
    December 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm (10 years ago)

    Congrats sent your way, and you go girl….up there on stage is a big deal so you cry all you want!! Its so fantastic that you were there for Kidspot Voices of 2014 and the car, brilliant.
    Love it when a blogger is so successful xxx

  32. Helen Edwards (@Recycled_Int)
    January 2, 2015 at 11:36 am (10 years ago)

    Finally found time to breathe and catch up on all the winners – huge congrats!! Beautiful words. Look forward to being able to meet you somewhere in 2015


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

Bio pic BoyEatsWorld


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