As I'd hoped, the gorgeous Mia Freedman took home the blogger's Fun, Fearless Female gong, but there was still much excitement for this girl with a satchel (or, rather, Mimco purse) – least not the opportunity to frock up and take Husband out for a night on the pink carpet. Here's a wee glimpse into the before, durings and after...
9am: Update blog and hit the shops. Husband needs a new shirt and his suit needs to be emergency dry-cleaned. I am running on zero sleep after doing most of the driving down from the Gold Coast. Cranky pants. Assistant in David Jones fits Husband's shirt. Husband decides the occasion also necessitates new underwear (what a girl!). Buy him Bonds, then entertain him by introducing him to the concept of control underwear in the women's lingerie department. Oh, the hilarity!
11am: Drop husband back at Northern Beaches HQs (i.e. my dad's place) and head into Kirribilli for coffee and chats with Julie Parker from The Butterfly Foundation. She is just lovely. We talk about body image, eating disorders and our shared passion to help girls avoid going down the beaten track of self destruction. Me = cautionary tale. Julie = guardian angel.
1.30pm: Back to shops to secure self new underwear and shoes without Husband restricting activities. Spot a gorgeous pair of Guess? heels in David Jones but God tells me to go to Witchery where I find the snakeskin stilettos I've been eyeing off for ages are on SALE! Thank you, God. Buy a belt to go with the shoes (which I don't end up wearing). Feel like I need a purse to go with shoes. Spot Mimco purse in DJs, also on SALE! It's my lucky shopper day.
3pm: Go to pick up Husband's suit from drycleaner. It's not ready. Frig! Have a hair appointment in 15 minutes and will not make it. Phone hairdresser.
3.05pm: Suit still not ready.
3.10pm: Still not ready.
3.20pm: Pick up suit, trying to be gracious in face of time constraints. Head to hairdresser.
3.40pm: Have the BEST head massage EVER at Tranquility Hair, Narrabeen (I paid my own way!). Hair is blow-dried and put in rollers. I look very GOLD COAST. How did my hair get so blonde and BIG? Get home and pat it down. Dolly Parton is not the look I envisaged.
5pm: Get home. Require food and sleep. Have little time for either. Stuff face with cheese, olives and crackers. Lie on pillow for 5 minutes. If you could buy a pill to make you feel like you'd slept 8 hours, I'd pop it. Madly iron clothes, dress, apply not enough make-up, fash parade for dad and sister, hit the road.
6.30pm: Mia sends mad text message: "Check your emails". Has someone died? Today Tonight are looking for someone to talk about mags. I know mags! Whee!
6.50pm: Arrive at the Art Gallery of NSW, 10 minutes early! Nasty parking inspector says our metre has expired. Durr, we just got here! Feed metre, send a couple of texts.
7pm: Husband and I stroll down pink carpet. Itty-bitty Pippa Black (Neighbours) in black and her beau are in front of us. MTV host Ruby Rose is up ahead with MC Brian McFadden, and Kerrie-Anne is having her piccie taken (I LOVE Kerrie-Anne!). Husband and I feel like gumbies waiting for our turn to step out in front of the photographers... and have our picture taken by one sympathetic paparazzo!
7.30pm: Canapes! Yum! Gimme, gimme. Run into a few familiar faces – Julie Parker is here with Danni Watts, also of The Butterfly Foundation. Helen Lee of SassyBella is also here and holding up well considering she just got back from a fashion junket in New Zealand. Nice to see bloggers finally going places... did I tell you I'm off to Singapore soon?
8pm: Seated at a table along with Biore PR manager (they are the major sponsor), Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston of Bec & Bridge and their beaus, and Leigh Mathews of Future Cambodia Fund and her partner. Talking to Leigh, I feel inferior. I blog, she helps kids in Cambodia. Resolve to start committing more time to community activities/giving back.
8.15pm: Brian McFadden is funny by virtue of his Irish heritage. Very naughty MC who is not shy about using expletives. At the head table are Kerrie-Anne, Charlotte Dawson, Sarah Murdoch and other VIPs. Table behind them seats Cosmo editor Bronwyn McCahon (amazing black cut-out frock), Mia Freedman, Kate Richie and Zoe Foster. Next to our table are Jessica Mauboy and Home and Away's Esther Anderson (who is so stunning I can't stop staring).
First categories are announced in quick succession so we can all eat dinner (I had the barramundi, Husband had the lamb). Exact order of awards eludes me but winner's lineup includes: Kathryn Eisman for the author award (she's not here to accept); Sass and Bide win the designer category (is that Heidi or Sarah?); Lauren Jackson is the sportswoman; Mia Freedman is best blogger (hilariously, she thanks herself, as bloggers don't really have a 'team' behind them); scientist Dr Tu’uhevaha Kaitu’u-Lino is the inspirational role model; volunteer female fire fighters get the 'outstanding contribution' nod; Talita Schramm wins the entrepreneur category (her proud best friend accepts for her); Kate Ritchie wins 'radio personality'; Esther Anderson wins the actress category; Sarah Murdoch takes out 'TV personality' (Ruby Rose is happy to lose to her idol); and Jessica Mauboy is the FFF singer of the year (she sang two tracks off her album, and, boy, can that girl shake her booty!).
I loved Kate Ritchie's speech, in which she said that being fun and fearless is only possible if you're in the right environment to do so, therefore, we chicks should be more supportive of each other and less critical. Touche! And also props to Cosmo for awarding the overall Fun, Fearless Female Woman of the Year award to Dr Tu’uhevaha Kaitu’u-Lino, who, at just 27, is a mum (with another on the way), and has dedicated her career to researching debilitating vaginal bleeding with Monash Institute of Medical Research. She's the first non-celebrity to win the award and was beside herself to be recognised in a public forum for her work, as she hopes to inspire other young women to consider careers in science.
11pm: After having our goodie bag stuffed with Biore product, chatting blogging, books and marriage with Mia and Zoe (Foster), and making a tool of myself speaking to Hamish Blake (Me: "Say something funny!"; Him: "No."), Husband and I made tracks. Returned to car to find lovely fine care of parking inspector. Too tired to take photographic evidence supporting our innocence. Driving away, we're told by a taxi driver we have a flat tire. Thankful to have husband who can actually change a flat in five minutes.
The verdict: The awards left me feeling the warm and fuzzies for Cosmo. As we're quick to celebrate 'celebrities' in our culture, it was refreshing to hear the female fire fighters, Dr Tu’uhevaha Kaitu’u-Lino and other female non-celebs talk about their passion for what they do – helping people. Alas, all the pretty frocks, Mimco purses and lipstick isn't going to help a girl feel good about herself if she's not able to give of herself to others – whether she's inspiring people by pursuing her dream like Jessica Mauboy or creating better lives for children in Cambodia. I think fearlessness comes with knowing you're on the right path in life.
Pics: Kerrie-Anne; new shoes!; Yours Truly, Zoe Foster and Mia Freedman; Mia Freedman, Bronwyn McCahon and Yours Truly; Ed and Bridget Yorston with Husband and moi; Jessica Mauboy shaking her booty.
Girl With a Satchel