Hello! I’m back from a whirlwind weekend.
What happens when you get 250 women together in one place for a blogging conference? Pandemonium, excitement, LOTS of talking and not a whole lot of sleep, that’s what. I was absolutely thrilled to be able to meet some of my favorite bloggers in real life. Those ladies that I’ve admired and enjoyed over the last year or so came alive in person as we met up, hugged, talked and shared about our lives and blogging experiences together. You can just imagine how much fun it was and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I think that blogging has changed all our lives in some pretty big ways, bringing people together who would normally never meet or interact. What miles separate, blogging brings together and that’s what we all had in common. A love of blogging! These girls all 'get' the blog world, unlike many of our real life friends.
After arriving on Friday morning, I immediately began spotting those familiar faces that I’ve met online through blogging and those kindred spirits that have drawn me into friendship. Two of the first ladies that I met were Melissa from The Inspired Room and Sandy from 4 Reluctant Entertainers. Both of these ladies have been a huge inspiration to me since I started blogging and it was so much fun to meet them both in person. Wonderful, friendly and exactly as I thought they would be, it’s a joy to now consider them real life friends.
Another special friend that I’ve met this past year is Susie, from Bienvenue. She’s such a petite little thing, so sweet and we had so much fun chatting and getting to know each other. She brought her sister along too.
Two more wonderful friends that I’ve wanted to meet, Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and the infamous Nester. I’m sure most of your have been to see The Nester and she is just as delightful in person and we enjoyed talking decorating and blogging. Jen was one of my roommates and such a positive and joyful person. It’s amazing when you read someone’s blog that you get a mental picture of how that person will be and I have to say, everyone of these ladies was exactly as I imagined them to be. In all the years that I’ve been meeting online friends, it’s such a surreal feeling of all being in the same room together and not just looking at a computer screen. That camaraderie really bridges the gap.
Me, Kimba, and The Nester. Another one of my 2 roomies, Kimba of A Soft Place to Land. Kimba is just a super sweet soul and I just adore her perkiness.
We were set up in a conference room in Nashville, so didn’t have to leave the hotel if we didn’t want to. There were panels, discussions, questions and answers…all about blogging. Blogging, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, is VERY hot and very big business these days. I think most of us who attended are serious about our blogs and were looking for tips on improving our blogs, as well as growing them to their full potential. There were lots of panel discussions about being true to ourselves when blogging, how to monetize blogs for profit, making blogs pretty, and much more. So much to take in and absorb, but it truly was a fun and creative experience and I’m so glad I went. If you want to read more about this conference, go here and take a look at the Schedule of panel discussions. If you’re serious about blogging, you may want to consider going next year. It was small enough not to get lost in the crowd and some valuable information from seasoned bloggers was shared.
Julia, from Hooked on Houses and me. Julia was a lot of fun, very friendly and I enjoyed catching up with her. I only wish I’d had more time with all of them.
Susie’s sister, Missy (Southern Queen Bee), Julia, Susie, and me.
Me and Melissa, a friend from Atlanta, I met while shopping with Eddie Ross. She’s a sweetheart and I loved getting to know her better too.
New mom, Meredith, from Like Merchant Ships. She was one of the panelists and I love her frugal blog. Been following her for awhile now.
Me, Kimba, and The Nester. What fun to just hang out with these ladies. The decorating girls all have a lot in common.
Angie and Amy just started a new blog, called I Heart Faces, a photography website. Check out their cute PJ’s!
Kimba, me and another sweetie that I loved meeting, Pink and Polka Dot. Love her! And she gave us the cutest little personalized key chains, mine was zebra with my name on it.
We had a special DVD screening of a new Yanni album produced by Disney that is coming out soon and it was really fun to watch. These 2 guys were the lead vocalists on the DVD and after we saw them on the screen, they appeared right in front of our eyes. I didn’t catch their names, but WOW, could they sing!
Another new friend right here in Decatur, AL, that I’ve visited before but now will visit regularly, this is Kristy from Southern Plate. She has a beautiful food blog and she and I are going to get some bloggy things cookin’ together!
A big group of us went out to dinner on Saturday night to The Aquarium, a seafood restaurant right in the local mall. It was quite the sight, a huge aquarium built right into the middle of the restaurant, so fish were swimming by as we ate. How funny is seeing a real life scuba diver from your table!
And fish swimming by.
A large stingray, anyone?
Or a shark, oh yeah!
The three roomies, Kimba, Jen, and me. What fun we had. Not much sleep, but a whole bunch of fun.
And the whole dinner group, Emily (Nester’s sister) Chatting at the Sky, me, Jen, Sandy, Melissa, Kimba and The Nester.
Also, check out Edie's blog, Life on Grace, for a great recap of the conference!
Bye for now, ladies…I count all of you as my real life friends now. We’ll have to do it all again next year!