When I first started blogging, I did it because I loved going to other blogs, reading what they had to say & entering giveaways on their sites. I wanted to do that too because it looked like fun. While it is fun, it’s also A LOT of work. I didn’t know that you can actually make money at this & make it a business. One of the best resources I have used to help me in this journey has been The SITS Girls. Tiffany Romero & Francesca Banducci connect bloggers with brands but also are all about helping bloggers think of their blogs as their business and how to achieve that. On top of all that, I had heard that their blog conference was one you HAD to go to.
When I first heard that they were holding their Bloggy Boot Camp in Dallas, I just knew I had to go. To be honest with you, I’ve only been on a plane 3 times in my life & the last time was 10-ish years ago. Luckily, I had a friend flying with me. Dinah from DIY Inspired has not only turned into a great friend but thank God she travels quite a bit so she could answer all my questions (“What kind of bag are you taking?”, “Can I take my hair straightener cause no one needs to see THIS on my head!”) & help me not feel so nervous about navigating the airports.
5am at LAX airport. Super tired but excited to start our journey (That’s Dinah!)
We got into Dallas at 11:30am on Friday (11/8/13) and the conference started at 2pm so we had just enough time to grab a bite to eat & check into our room. The conference was help at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas – Campbell Centre hotel, which is also where we were staying. Everything was beautiful at this hotel, from the front lobby to the room that Dinah and I shared to the banquet room that we ate in & had a cocktail party in. I have to say that the people that served us all our meals in this room were SO good! Everything was always laid out so beautifully on the table and everything appeared to run like clockwork. I was really impressed with this hotel & would love to come back and stay again.
Anyways, on Friday we had sessions from 2-6pm. After, we had cocktails with Collective Bias & then dinner sponsored by LG. At the sessions for Friday, you sit at assigned tables & switch at the end of each session to a new table. I was EXTREMELY nervous about this but I’m actually glad that they do it this way. It forced me (in a nice way!) to meet people that maybe my shy self might not have gone up to & said said hi to. On Friday, the session that I personally took the most away from was Google+ Unwrapped by Lynette Young. Now, we all know that Google+ is important, or so “they” keep telling us. Lynette broke it down for us & made me see how important it really is. So much so, that when I got home, I spent a good 4-5 hours just working on Google+ and seeing how other people were using it.
After dinner, Dinah & I headed back to our room & tried to sleep (she did a MUCH better job than I did!) We had been up for about 18+ hours at this point & were so tired! The next morning, we went back downstairs to the conference hall & had a nice breakfast sponsored by Invisalign. I was really excited to hear from them because my son is currently in traditional braces but my daughter has had a TON of issues with her mouth & will need braces in about a year and would love to check out Invisalign for her!
Lisa Leonard sharing Instagram tips with us
The rest of the day, we got to listen to great speakers on a variety of topics, plus a wonderful lunch & a mimosa and snack break sponsored by Kroger. The end to the great day was a Mirassou Wine Tasting party with drinks, appetizers and chatting more with new friends. The session that I took the most away from was “Power Down” by Tiffany Romero & Danielle Smith. This session was all about how we’re all trying to find balance between our husbands, our kids & trying to make our blogs the best they can be and really, we’ll never find that true balance. So, we need to ask for help…whether it’s our spouse taking over some of the chores around the house, hiring an assistant for the blog or someone to come in and help clean up around the house. We can’t do it all and we’ll hurt ourselves trying. Which is EXACTLY where I am right now & what I need to work on. I may or may not have cried several times quietly when I was listening to Tiffany & Danielle.
Finally got to meet my buddy Tina from Zoo Cutie Printables!
So, all in all, what did I learn at Bloggy Boot Camp? I learned that there are so AMAZING women out there, trying to keep it all together just like I am. I found that in order to be successful, I need to surround myself with other women that can lift me up & can be happy for any successes I have and I can do the same for them. And I mean TRUE happiness for each other, whether it’s getting to work with a sponsor we’ve been working towards for months or having the opportunity to travel somewhere with our family. We as women are pitted against each other FAR too often and we need to raise each other up, be happy for each other and help each other along the way. That’s what I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas.
Well, that and you learn a lot about someone when you share a hotel room with them for the first time. Love ya, Dinah!