Monday, February 9, 2009

Blissdom ‘09: A Bloggy Conference

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Julia and Susie. IMG_4079




















Susie’s sister, Missy (Southern Queen Bee), Julia, Susie, and me.

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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.

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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.

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Me, Kimba, and The Nester. What fun to just hang out with these ladies. The decorating girls all have a lot in common.

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Angie and Amy just started a new blog, called I Heart Faces, a photography website. Check out their cute PJ’s!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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And fish swimming by.

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A large stingray, anyone?

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Or a shark, oh yeah!

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The three roomies, Kimba, Jen, and me. What fun we had. Not much sleep, but a whole bunch of fun.

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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!

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79 friends stopped by:

Becky K. said...

This looks like a whole lot of fun!
Seriously!

How fun that you could do this.

Daisy Cottage said...

Oh how FUN AND AWESOME that must have been for all of you GORGEOUS GIRLS!!
Great photos and I know that they all LOVED YOU girlfriend! You are so sweet to share this special time with us...
xo,
Kim

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Painter Guy will be here, early this morning, but I just had to take time to come on over and see your Blissdom post!
Wonderful to see all the photos and hear about the event. I'd love to be there next year! Great seeing lots of folks, I've grown to know, together, in one place.

It's difficult for those who don't have a blog or read blogs, to understand the whole blog concept. J and I took our little day trip last Friday. Of course the camera was at the ready. The shopkeepers and restaurant owner and staff were delighted to see us and loved all the photo taking. I didn't tell them I have a blog, but I did tell our server at the restaurant. She smiled as if she understood. Perhaps she has a blog or reads them. Sometimes I think I should have a button that reads blogger. You know the kind the "press" used to have.

Great post! I enjoyed!

carolyn at cranberry crossings: said...

Wow! What a fun time! So nice to meet fellow bloggers! One day, I hope to do the same.
Enjoyed seeing the pics and hearing all about it.
Have a great week!

Barbara said...

Oh Rhoda, Looks and sounds like a wonderful weekend...maybe next year for me. I am so glad you had the opportuntity to go and meet ladies you were looking for. I will click on schedule and see somethings you learned, I hope.
See you soon.

Bella Casa said...

Oh Rhoda, how fun! I would be honored to meet any of those wonderful ladies and you met them all at once! I bet it was like meeting a bunch of rock stars ;)

Thanks for sharing the pictures, especially for those of us who couldn't make it...I really enjoyed seeing them!!!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Yea - clapping and waving from a far. It was such a joy to be your roomie...makes coming to "visit" you every day that much more special. You were so fast to get these up this morning. I will try to do it today. :)

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Rhoda, I just have to tell you how much I enjoyed getting to meet you in the "real". I knew we would just click the second I met you. I have not stopped talking about our trip for a second. I only wish we could do it all over again soon. We are just going to have to plan a big shopping trip with all of us girls soon. I better start saving now. Thank you for making my trip so extra special. ((hugs)) Susie

Stacey said...

Rhoda, it's like looking at all my favorite bloggers in one spot! I'm so jealous and would love to go next year.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

You got some great pictures, Rhoda! It was so much fun hanging out with you over the weekend. Thrilled I got to meet you in person! Sorry I didn't get to say goodbye--couldn't find you guys Saturday night. Looks like you had a great time at dinner! Hope to see you again next year. :-)

Wanda said...

Oh, what fun! To see the people you've already "met" and to get to meet so many more! Glad you got to go. Thanks for sharing.

Lois Grebowski said...

While you were toddling around my town, hubby and I were busy redecorating our living room. Pics of finished room are posted.

Looks like you met lots of fun people!

southerninspiration said...

What a great report! Funny how many of these faces I KNEW before I even read your captions!! I wanna be there next year!! Sure hope I can....and this makes me realize I need my pic on my blog!!! Thanks!

Suzanne

Lazy Mom Leslie said...

How fun! I would love to meet all "my girls" in person. You really do feel like you know someone after following their blog for so long! It looks like it was a fabulous time!
http://www.lazymoms.com

Sarah@VintageChic said...

Looks like everyone had a blast!!!!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Rhoda~ I thought about you all weekend. I know you had a fantastic time.
Now we need to do lunch so you can catch me up!

Adrienne said...

Looks like it was an incredible weekend. Thanks for sharing your photos - it's nice to see the sweet faces behind our favorite blogs. ~Adrienne~

Jules from "The Roost" said...

It looks like SO much fun!!!! I would love to do that next year! I can't wait to visit all the sites!

Kimba said...

Hi friend! It was such a thrill to meet you. I loved getting to spend so much time with you.

For any of your readers who might wonder...Rhoda is the real deal. She's sweet, gracious and oh-so-southern. And beautiful! Don't forget beautiful!

Kimba

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I second what Kimba said:

Rhoda always looks elegant in her photos, but she is equally put-together and gracious in person.

And has fabulous hair, I might add!!!

I wish I hadn't been so busy speaking/holding the baby to hang out more.

Next time I'm saving up for a hotel room!

Leigh said...

What fun! I hate I couldn't go this year, I am going to go next year!

melissa said...

Rhoda~
you look fabulous! It looks like you all had so much fun~I love seeing everyone "in person." Thanks for all of the great pictures and insights! :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Rhoda,

It was an HONOR to meet you and I agree with Kimba, you are the real deal. I'm so glad to have the memories of meeting all of these lovely gals in person...true friends!

Melissa

Rhonda Parker said...

Looks like you had a fabulously great time! Thanks so much for answering my questions - I had kind of guessed Hobby Lobby was like Michael's... I'll have to check for those plate hangers ... from the pics, it didn't look like there was any wire extending past the edge of the plate. Thanks again.
Rhonda

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I hate that I missed saying hello to you!! I'm already looking forward to BlissDom 2010!

Olive Rue said...

Oh, Rhoda that looks like so much fun. I'm used to going to these kind of things as a photographer, but I didn't know they exsisted for bloggers. Thanks for sharing your photos.

When will they have another one?

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Lots of memories made.
Glenda

Domestic Chicky said...

You are the epitome of the Southern Lady - it was a joy to meet you, and I can't wait til next year to see you again!

KMfamily ;-) said...

Looks like a great time!
Now I have to go and check out all those web links you put in here!

Denise K. said...

What fun! It sounded like a great time, and if you have any tips to share with your readers, please do! Those of us that couldn't go would love to hear more! Thanks for sharing your memories! :-)

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

How Fun! Hope I can make the trip next year!

HeathahLee said...

Aww, Kat and I went to the Aquarium but didn't see the diver! I kept thinking that my Kiddo would LOVE that place since he wants to be a marine biologist when he grows up. I was going to say hey when y'all left (we were sitting to the right of y'all's table if you were looking at the tank)but by the time I saw you leave, I thought it might look a little stalker-ish for me to holler through the restaurant. :) I look forward to going to the conference next year!

Joanna said...

Thank you for the letting me know about the paint color..

It looks like you had a blast as well as all the other ladies attending the Bliss did. How much fun!! I so wished that I could have went...Maybe next year!

Sandy said...

OK, trying again here (first comment didn't go thru). Rhoda, I was so blessed to meet you in person. I love how your passion and love for people shines all over you! You are a beautiful person and I can't wait to see you again! :) love and hugs, sandy ♥

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Ms. Rhoda... thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all the lovely pictures with us. I soooooo hope i can go next year! What a fabulous time you all must have had together.

Joy said...

WOW, How Exciting! A weekend full of blogstar gazing! And you got to learn great blogging tips too! It can't get much better than that.
Thanks so much for sharing!

Miss Sandy said...

It looks like you gals really had a great time. I'd love to have been there. Have a wonderful week!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a neat group of talented women!

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

Oh, it looks like you had TOO MUCH fun! I wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing your great photos!
-Kim

Helen said...

Not only did you give us so much information about the conference, you have introduced all of us to brand new blog friends! Thank you.

Lazy Mom Amanda said...

Looks like fun!!!
www.lazymoms.com

Deb said...

Rhoda,

Looking at the pictures really makes me sooooo jealous. Ya'll look like you were having a great time. I did a post about being jealous of ya'll, today.

I will make plans to go next year.

I'm happy you got to see everyone and I'm happy I get to read and see pics about it. Is it worth buying the tapes from the conference?

Thanks,
Deb

emily said...

Great to meet you, Rhoda. We'll have to make another trip to the aquarium place when we aren't all tired zombies!

Valarie Lea said...

Loved all the photos! Hopefully I will be able to make the next one! :)

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Great photos! I'm just going to send everyone here for their Blissdom recap. LOL!

It was so fun meeting you in person. You were just like I expected you to be "live". So sweet and charming... and tall! That aquarium looked fun.

I'm laughing that you have us on here in our jammies. ha!

Anonymous said...

WOW Rhoda, what nice comments, I usually comment first then read.

I am so happy that everyone had a great time, what a nice bunch of people here in blogland.

Thank you so much for sharing...it's great to see everyone's face.

Kathy :)

ps I wonder if there is a conference for Anonymous Bloggers like me lol :)

theArthurClan said...

Blissdom '09 was wonderful and amazing...what a great recap you have written of the whole event!

I think this is the first time I have ever been online in my PJ's before though...ha! :)

~Angie
co-founder of I ♥ Faces

Lisa said...

GREAT PICTURES THANK YOU FOR SHARING WITH US.

HUGS FROM MAINE

http://sophie4me.blogspot.com/

Musings of a Housewife said...

What a lovely recap and I love all the photos! It was delightful meeting you on Sun morning. sorry I was talking so fast. I tend to do that. :-)

PamperingBeki said...

I.Am.So.Jealous!!!

Such great pictures of all you girls.

But what's with Kimba's bangs? ;-) Ha! Kidding!!!

You all look beautiful!

Judy said...

I am so jealous of your blogging weekend, I'm planning on going next year (hopefully).

We did a quick run up to B'ham yesterday to see Shane and family, had my mom with us. As you can tell, we ate at P.F. Chang's then a quick run thru T.J. Maxx before going back to Shane's to visit a little while then home. Mom was getting tired. I thought about calling you but didn't know when you'd be in.

I'm hoping to make the B'ham March flea market trip. Shannon and I are planning on going to Scott's in April, a mom-daughter weekend!

I'm trying to get the house clean and all my clothes packed up plus all the other stuff you have to do before going out of town. I'll be so ready to relax on this trip, but of course, I'll be anxious to get home too!

Talk to you soon sweetheart!
Judy

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

Oh Rhoda, I am so jealous:) You all looked like you just had a blast! Maybe Jaime and I can make it their next year. Would have loved to have met you and all my other favorite blogettes:)

Also, though you would like to know... we are GIVING AWAY A FREE FRAME on our blog today in celebration of our 1 year blogiversary. Come by for a chance to win:)

Bo said...

Hi Ms. Rhoda...I was waiting for this post because I just knew it would be a lot of fun! Happy to hear you had a great time. ;-) Bo

Tamara Jansen said...

I'm going to have to check all your links out.....will you be posting on the stuff you picked up at the conference?

duchess said...

Glad you had fun. I love recognizing everyone by the pictures before you told us who they were.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Some of you were asking for more of a recap of the conference. I took some short notes, but nothing really detailed. There was LOTS of information, I think we all were on overload by the time we hit all the panel sessions.

Edie has done a great job of recapping some of the sessions, so go by her blog & read this post:
http://lifeongrace.blogspot.com/2009/02/blissdom-09deconstructed.html

Kristi said...

Rhoda, I see you met Edie! She has one of the best blogs I have read! Very thought provoking! Make sure you post her link in your blog entry so everyone can read it! :)
Kristi

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Rhoda, it sounds like a wonderful time! Hopefully next year I'll be joining you all!! LOVE the tour of your house in the last post too, those wall words look great!

(If you get a chance, come check out the giveaway I'm having on my blog! :)

Blessings,
Stacey

The Nester said...

Just realized that I never left a comment! It was such a pleasure to meet you and people, Rhoda has LONG legs! Woman, you make me jealous!

An Accomplished Woman said...

It was great to meet you and you did get some awesome pictures. You all look so beautiful. Love your blog and dangit, I should have gotten a picture with you. You are a wonderful southern lady with lots of southern hospitality.

Shelia said...

Hi Rhoda! Oh, it looks like you had a fabulous time! It's so great you got to meet up with some of our friends! I would have loved to have been there too!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia;)

SarahWhite said...

Looks like a wonderful time was had by all! You've had so many changes in your life the past 5-6 years and I've enjoyed sharing in them all. It's nice to see people doing something they love.

Thanks for the tip on The Commissary...my sil went yesterday and brought me by a card...I told her I'd already been clued in by you. I can't wait to check it out.

justabeachkat said...

Rhoda

Looks like you had a blast! I've never been to any of the blog conferences, but I know I would enjoy them. Great photos.

Hugs!
Kat

tommiejo said...

Sounds like a great time was had by all!

sarah abeachcottage said...

hi rhoda

what a great report, only wish I coulda been there to meet you and all the other lovely gals, sounds like just soooo much fun but not just that to be among people who get blogging and could offer help would be nice...

Sarah

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Such a fun picture summary. And, I have to say that you have got to be one of the most photogenic people evah! You look simply amazing in all of these pics.

Thanks for sharing your recap. Hope to get to know you better through your blog and twitter!

Amber said...

Thanks for the recap!! That conference looks just as fun as I imagined it was going to be!!!

Next year......definitely next year.

:)

Bonita said...

Okay this is way too many of my favorite bloggy people in one place. I didn't go. What was I thinking?

I'm so glad ya'll had a grand time!

Rue said...

Good morning Rhoda :)

It looks like everyone had a great time! I'm too shy to go to that kind of thing, but it was wonderful to see everyone :)

I love Grandma Eleanor's house! I feel so badly for her, because I can understand loving a house like that. I can't imagine leaving a 90 year old woman by herself though. I loved that picture of Peter with her. He looks like a big kid :)

Your house is so beautiful and I always enjoy seeing pictures of it. Oh and congratulations on 2 years of blogging!

hugs,
rue

cindy said...

I am so inspired by you. When I grew up my mom never, ever decorated. Anything!
We have been climbing a huge personel mountain for 5 years now and your blog has given me inpsiration to try new things to our home.
Thanks

Katie said...

All the famous bloggers I like. Looks like lots of fun. You look great Rhonda!

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

I've been reading all the posts about the conference and it looks like you guys had a great time! Thanks for all the pix and I hope to go next year.
Hugs, Debrak

Ms. Tee said...

Hi Rhoda~ How much fun to see pictures of you and everyone else together. Hope you have a great week!

Liz said...

So exciting! Glad to see so many familiar faces having such a good time!

Tara said...

R

What a great time you had at the conference! I am a reader of Melissa's...how nice for you to meet everyone in person! Thanks for taking me along, I enjoyed the ride!

Lauren said...

Hey Rhody,

Nana said you had fun at the blog thing. It looks like you did!
love you,
lauren

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

It looks like so much fun! How tall are you! You are the tallest in all the photos so either you're tall or they are all short???

I'm 5'7" in case anyone cares. haha!

Cote de Texas said...

This looks like so much fun! Gosh - you are so tall and skinny - like a model!!! You are too drop dead gorgeous - seriously!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I. Am. So. Jealous.

:-)

Looks like you had an amazing time!