There Was Something in That Water

at BlogHer that is. Remember how last August I went to San Diego & roomed with three semi-strangers new best e-buds for BlogHer? {like you could forget since I blogged the heck out of that trip}

Anyhoo. Miranda came home, peed on a stick, & boom, she was pregnant with New Girl to make her arrival soon.

A couple months later, Alena announced that she too was pregnant. Holden’s to make his entrance in just about 10 weeks.

Then there was me & the trips turned duo coming most likely in June. At this point, we were beginning to suspect something special.

We turned to Diana & said, “ok, you’re turn”. So she drank the water too {she’d perhaps brought home a bottle?} & next thing we knew she was pregnant! We warned @BlogHer then that something was up with our room!

Then today, Diana went to her first ultrasound at 9 weeks and super boom, it’s TWINS!

Four roommates, expecting six babies between April & August. We are so excited!

FYI to those not trying to get KU in 2012/2013, don’t drink the water at BlogHer this summer… just sayin’.

DIY Blog Critique

Have you about about Melissa from momcomm.com’s new DIY Blog Critique e-book?

I’m so glad Melissa is not only local, but someone I’d call a friend {we’re even FB official ha, ha}. She doesn’t know {yet} that I’m writing this, but from the first time I saw one of her popular blog critiques I knew she was talented. When she shared with our local bloggy group that she was working on an e-book, I knew I’d be one of her first purchasers, especially after she shared a preview page with us {on fonts~no Comic Sans please}.

You don’t have to be like me & stay up until 1am rushing through the first 17 of the 43 points because you just can’t stop. You can slowly go through them in a weekend, one a night, or however you want. This e-book is simple enough for new bloggers & with enough great content to keep bloggy veterans engaged. It will work if you’re still using blogger, wp.com, or have made the switch to wp.org.

I’m enjoying the subtle changes the DIY critique e-book has pushed me to make here. So far I’ve changed up my side bars & menus. I reviewed, analyzed & appreciated my design, header & colors. I’m still happy with my choices there. I’m behind-the-scenes focusing on SEO, post titles & working on font. Up next is the content portion which I know will make me push myself, so I’m looking forward to a free weekend to go though that section.

Momcomm is a great resource for all bloggers {not just moms} & if you haven’t already, go look at her e-book. It’s worth the introductory price of $14 {she’s talking about raising the price later this year}. If you’re not sure today, I’ve posted her badge on my sidebar to the right if you want to come back & check it out later.

 

I purchased Melissa’s e-book myself with my own money. I admire & like Melissa & her e-book enough that I joined her affiliate program & will make almost enough for a small Sbux hot tea if you purchase though my link, but even if I was making nothing, I’d still be sharing with y’all the awesomeness of her e-book without Melissa’s prompting.

Went home a BlogHer vet?

I woke up Sunday 8/7 knowing I had to quickly say goodbye to my now good buddy, Miranda {Diana had left in the middle of the night}. I helped Miranda ship off some of her swag & Diana’s forgotten laptop. While in the hotel lobby {in my pj top no less}, I was able to say goodbye to Erika, Casey, & Katie as well as figure out that Nichole & I had similar flights out.

I’m still in shock that Alena collected enough swag to fill a double bed, that my swag filled a huge suitcase, & that my Scout bag made for the perfect carry on. Yes, you can call us BlogHer newbie swaghags. I love free shit. I won’t buy shopping bags, lip stuff, cloth diapers, water bottles or pens for a while. I’m thrilled with the children’s toys, other toys, books, nail polish, gifts & gift cards I brought home.

After a hastily eaten quesadilla with Jen & Angela, I said goodbye to Hannah & Alena, dragged my bags & checked out of the beautiful hotel. Nichole & I left at noon & chatted non-stop until her flight left at 330. It was great to have more one on one time to talk infertility & future blogging as well as having someone to watch your bags while you enjoyed a diet coke or as in my case, figured out all my delays. I hated saying goodbye but am already enjoying a closer online relationship with her.

Knowing I still had time in San Diego plus a very close lay over, I switched to sit closer to my gate & found Molly. Yay for more bloggy chats in the airport. With hugs goodbye, I boarded the flight to Phoenix. My Phoenix to RDU flight ended up being delayed 3 hours which meant I was able to get on it yet it also meant that I arrived in Raleigh at 3am.

Was the BlogHer hangover worth it? Absolutely. Have you seen that it took four posts to recap the fun?! I love the women I met, the companies I connected with, the friendships I grew. I realized from BlogHer that I like who I am & came home maybe a little more confident that I could go off kinda {but not really} alone & have a rocking good time. BlogHer taught me to feel like a real blogger/writer now instead of this girl who does this thing on the internet.

I felt a bit that BlogHer was like high school for me {yes, I’m a weirdo who enjoyed HS}. I loved & tried to be involved in so many groups because I hated to not spend time with everyone. And I still feel like I didn’t get enough time with each individual blogger. I don’t know what I’d skip, but I left craving more time to absorb awesomeness from so many ladies I just barely had time to chat with & hug.

Will I be photographing & running around in NYC for BlogHer12? Maybe. While I admired & enjoyed seeing the babywearing blogging mommas, I don’t think I’d want to do that. I also don’t think I’d enjoy BlogHer super pregnant. So BlogHer12 is a maybe. And if I’m not there, someone better take 500 photos, so I can live it vicariously through them!

With that, my BlogHer recaps are done. Can I call myself a BlogHer veteran yet?!

I Skipped & Shopped

I skipped the BlogHer breakfast & instead headed next door to the Manchester Grand Hyatt for the De Wafelbakkers pancake breakfast. Fresh fruit, blueberry pancakes & a funny pancake hoarder video {tell them I sent you if you check it out} were enjoyed. I left with a great reusable grocery page {especially for frozen items}, a fun peace/love/pancakes T, & a pancake pillow that I gave to Mae Callie, one of the organizers of Haute Green, had emailed saying she’d received some late swag, so I stopped by her room & picked up a Ergo pouch, another Thirties duo & some more Rocking Green soap.

I dropped off swag then Miranda & I walked together towards the conf center. We met Katherine Stone at the elevators & walked the rest of the way with her. Then we turned the corner & saw Bob Harper & Guiliana Rancic.

BlogHer titled my first Saturday session Til Blog Do Us Part. I took the description to mean incorporating your marriage into your blog ~ like how bloggers talk about kids non-stop but leave husbands out. I figured the session would discuss how to talk about your marriage more & how to do it without hurting your marriage/spouse. Sounds good right? Instead 3/4 of the panelists blog about divorce &/or co-parenting & much of the session went on about that. The upside, I managed to check email & twitter.

I met up with Miranda, Diana, Erika, Rebecca, Molly & Devan for lunch. As you can see with our schedule, time to just talk was rare & I really enjoyed catching up with these ladies over lunch. BlogHer Saturday MorningThanks to my time on twitter that morning, I chatted with the ladies from Lee Jeans & was able to jump in on Diana’s fitting. I hopefully have a pair of great fitting dark jeans headed my way. The booth next to Lee’s was Retail Me Not. I climbed in & walked away with $30.

With cash in my hand, I rushed off to the Queen Bee Market which was held at the beautiful Hilton just on the other side of the convention center. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the cutenesss & talent displayed at QBM. I was thrilled to meet Jess from Allora Handmade & Hannah from Peggy Ann Designs. Queen Bee Market1 I purchased a melon AH cuff, Pleated Poppy card wallet & hair clips, & an owl ornament. Take a good look at the broach Jess gave me {my giveaway win} which I clipped on my bag then proceeded to lose between the hotel lobby & the street. ::sad face:: Queen Bee Market2

Enjoying my first sort of alone time in days, I walked through the conference center back to the Marriott. I dropped off my purchases, chatted with Miranda for a minute, then headed up to the Daisy Recharge suite {another morning twitter find}. I enjoyed low fat cottage cheese & fresh fruit as well as having my make up done. Daisy recharge suite

I’m not sure why, but I was the only one of my roomies to have time at the ShopatHome.com Save & Spurge suite at the Hard Rock Hotel. Another rooftop suite event, but this time, it was just me & Carole overlooking the city & pool below. We were joined by Kitty, champagne was poured, & blondie brownie enjoyed. Carole showed us all the great deals available on ShopAtHome.com {affiliate link} & the frugal-lover that I am signed up. I also left with a swag bag that included a Boden scarf, wine opener, some gift cards & a Mikasa clock.

The Hard Rock is across the street from the convention center & I made it just in time for a quick Sabra hummus snack & to find an open table behind Jamie & Kylee & other friends for the closing keynote. {Yep, that would be my first official BlogHer keynote attended} I really enjoyed Ricki Lake & the other panelists discuss women in media. I got chills watching the preview of the follow ups Ricki has done for Business of Being Born. I really need to add that to our netflix que. BlogHer Closing Keynote

Eileen had organized dinner at The Marble Room. I quickly changed & cabbed it over to join 15 other ladies for dinner. Dinner was fabulous: great conversation, drinks, appetizers, dinner, & atmosphere. I walked back so I could enjoy the Gaslamp District at night with Katie & Miranda. Marble Room Dinner

Diana, BA & I chilled at Aiming Low. Fun laid back theme, cool cake, & everyone was given quirky, original tags. Mine said “fun”. Guess not everyone’s was original, huh? Aiming Low & CheeseburgHER You can’t go to BlogHer without having gone to CheeseburgHer {you remember Suzanne’s advice & photo?}. While I refrained from the bag {I never found the decorating station} & eating a cheeseburger {I don’t eat beef}, I did rock a temporary tattoo & helped my friends eat fries. I also chatted Gigi‘s ear off & sadly said goodbye to many new friends.

In case you missed them, here’s my previous BlogHer11 recaps: Wed/Thurs, Friday, & Sparklecorn.

*Sparklecorn*

My Friday BlogHer post was getting ridiculously long. And honestly, a party as hyped & photographed as BlogHer’s sponsored Sparklecorn, requires its own post. I think I’ll just let my photos tell the story: of the people, the outfits, the cake & me dancing on stage. BlogHer Sparklecorn 1BlogHer Sparklecorn 2BlogHer Sparklecorn 3Yay for such a fun party with bloggy friends!

Oh & go check out this Sparklecorn video. I’m not in it but it’s very cool.