Thursday, May 3, 2012

SNAP Recap 2012: My First Blog Conference!

Did you know I have 5 appendages? Two arms, two legs, and my camera. Yes, I took lots of pictures at SNAP. You've been warned :)

I am so excited to share with you my experience of traveling to Utah to attend my first blogging conference! Back in September of 2011, my dear friend Ashley and I decided to take the plunge and purchase our tickets. I had about 200 followers on my blog, and was super nervous about feeling like a big dork while being there. Thankfully to all you sweet readers, my blog has grown since then, and I didn't feel too out of place. (But let's be honest, I still am a dork, hehe). It was such a treat to meet my favorite bloggers in real life. My friends and family keep asking me what on earth you do at a blog conference. I kind of divided the conference into 3 categories: networking/socializing, classes/workshops, meeting sponsors. But first, here are a few of my.....

RANDOM THOUGHTS
I love my friend Ashely! Even though we see each other all the time at home, it was still so fun to hang out and get even closer. xoxo
Tauni has the cutest laugh ever.
Jamielyn has the cutest washi taped laptop!
There is a blog about saving stray cats- and I cannot find the URL. Boo.
Tam can do a back handspring in the dark, in a dress.
The Letter 4 sisters are in the wrong industry. I'm pretty sure they should be models, not bloggers :)
Kate and I had the same sewing professor in college.
It is possible to stay up til 4 am two nights in a row, even when you're a grown up.
I can't believe I went to a conference about blogging. hehehehe!
Kirstin is the classiest, nicest girl ever, and I want to be neighbors.
Heidi won the Mrs. Harvard Business School pageant two years ago.
I am good with where my blog is at. SEO, wordpress, etc are too overwheling at the moment.
Arizona bloggers rock.
Mandi reads my blog. What???
Kristen Duke will make you giggle non-stop while taking your headshot pic.
*What I Wore:
I've had a few people ask about 2 of the things I wore.
My coral dress (above) is from H&M.
My yellow polka dot layering shirt (below) is from Old Navy.

NETWORKING/SOCIALIZING
This was by far my favorite part! It was so fun to meet and get to know the amazing women at the conference (after all, many of us have really similar hobbies and interests, so there was lots to talk about)!
Ok, now here are approximately one million pictures that I took. 
(Me and Ash are together in most of these).

I felt so lucky to be roommates with Kristy (Diary of Dave's Wife), Ashley (Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night), and Kelli (Lolly Jane Boutique). They spoiled us (keep reading), and were so much fun!

I was sooo excited to meet Kristyn (Lil Luna). She has reached out so much to me and Ash, since starting our blogs. I felt like I knew her before I had actually met her in real life. She took me around, introducing me to all the people she knows. When I think of her, I just thing of the most caring and sharing person! I am so honored to be the Sewing Contributor on her blog!

Here we are with Kristen Duke, the nicest and most talented photographer I have ever met! I just KNOW we would be friend in real life (well, I guess we are now), but we would hang out a lot if we lived in the same place. I really look up to her.

I loved having the chance to meet Heidi (Sew.Craft.Create.) and Kate (See Kate Sew). I love reading both of their blogs. Heidi is so fun and so real and so funny!!!!! We better keep in touch! (She is the one who shared part of her prize with me in a contest we both participated in last fall). Kate is so creative and so sweet, and her sewing blog is one of my all-time favorites.

I would not have left SNAP without meeting Kirstin (Kojo Designs) first. I LOVE this girl. She participated in my Sew-vivor contest, and is such an incredibly talented seamstress. It was such a treat to meet her! I feel like she is a friend for life.

Many of you recognize these adorable sisters, Jenae and Jamie from The Letter 4. Jamie (on the right), is the talented artist who designed my blog. She even hand drew the typewriter up there. I got to know her last fall while we were both up into the wee hours of the morning getting my design all situated. She is one silly girl. I am so glad we got to meet in person! (And so sad this pic is blurry). Love them!

Jamielyn (I Heart Naptime) and Linda (Craftaholics Anonymous) have both been so nice behind the blogging scenes helping to promote my blog, and answering questions. I just adore them. It was also fun to get to know Mallie from DecoArt.

Here we are with Vanessa (See Vanessa Craft). She gave me my first "blogging opportunity" last fall with an invitation to participate in her contest, Do Something Crafty. Her blog is so beautiful!

I loved meeting Tam (Sew Dang Cute). She is just that... sew dang cute! She was super down to earth and fun to talk to. Loved her!

If you haven't heard of Nikki's (Chef-in-Training) blog yet, go check it out! She posts the most mouth-watering recipes, and has a cute new design, too. I loved getting to know her.

I was so excited when Kiki (Kiki and Company) introduced herself. We have a bunch of friends in common. She has been a sweet friend ever since we figured that out. (Have you seen her amazing projects on Project Run and Play? See here).

I think everyone at SNAP was kinda blown away by how sweet and talented the sisters from Eighteen25 are. I didn't recognize them at first, but once they introduced themselves, I couldn't believe I got to meet them! They are so, so sweet.

Steph (Crafting in the Rain) was such a doll. I would have loved to hang out even more!

Here I am with the darling and super talented Cheri (I am Momma, Hear Me Roar)!

Here I am again, excited to meet the incredibly talented Cassity (Remodelaholic).

And the 3 huge bloggers I was excited to meet...

Jen (Tatertots and Jello)! She has been so supportive of my little blog since I started it. She has no idea how much it means to have someone like her pay attention to little old me. I appreciate all that she does!

Kari (UCreate)! She was so cute and happy. She has also been a huge supporter of my little blog, and I am so thankful! She is so incredibly nice and genuine!

Amy (The Idea Room)! She is full of wisdom, and seems like the neatest person and mom.

Thanks to all the girls who had such a big hand in putting SNAP together. They did so much, and in my opinion the event was a great success!
**There were so many more fun gals I met and didn't get a picture with, and some that I just didn't get to meet due to lack of time. SAD!!!

CLASSES/WORKSHOPS
Beside meeting all those amazing and fabulous people, we actually did learn a thing or two. My favorite class was Kristen Duke's photography class.

I partnered up with Heidi and practiced my manual settings.

I got both of Kristen's books, and I have already started reading them. My goal this summer is to improve my skills!

We got to make a few things, including this distressed wood decor from Poppyseed Projects. (This is going up in my master bedroom, as soon as I have it finished)!

At one of the classes, we had a panel of speakers, including Ana White and Shelly Smith, both amazing home DIYers. They were really fun to listen to! (This picture is for my friend Angela)!

One of my biggest goals while at SNAP was to get my feedburner fixed, and my Google Analytics set up. Luckily, we had a computer genius there, and he was so nice to let me bug him during his lunch break. He fixed all my computer issues. So a huge THANK YOU to Dennis (The Next Corner).
(Picture totally stolen from The Letter 4)


SPONSORS
The conference was held at the beautiful Thanksgiving Point in Utah. It was the perfect venue.

It was soooo nice to have all our meals prepared and catered. I really enjoyed the break of not having to cook! (This was from our boxed lunch, haha).

One of the events included the Queen Bee Market, a huge event selling handmade items. I had fun shopping for little gifts to bring home to my kids (I missed them so much! It was the first time I'd ever been away from them)!

There was a room filled with booths from many different sponsors. I really enjoyed meeting Shirley from The Ribbon Retreat, and the Riley Blake team. I made this little pin with some Riley Blake fabric.


WHAT TO BRING
 If you ever attend a blogging conference, there are 2 things you won't want to forget.

Gifts for your roommates!
Like I mentioned, my roommates were the cutest. Check out this adorable corkboard frame they brought to hang on our hotel room door.


One night they surprised Ashley and I with PJ pants! They also made earrings. Whenever I think of these 2 girls, I think: polka dots! :)
(I stole this pic from Kristy).

Here is what I brought... this picture is awful since I took it in the middle of the night. Anyway, I made some clay earrings and rings, with some molds from a really cool etsy store, Mold Muse. Tutorial coming soon!

Business Cards!
Trading cards made me feel like a ten year old boy collecting baseball cards! haha. It was so fun to gather cards from all my favorite bloggers. (By the way, there were 325 bloggers there).

Here are my cards. Thank you to UPrinting.com for providing them to me! They are awesome, and I loved them! (I love working with their company- great products and great service)!

Some tips of creating your own business cards... I created a blank file in photoshop. I uploaded my logo, and added my name. Then I added my blog address, email, shop, facebook, pinterest, and twitter links. I used the two fonts from my blog.

On the back, I added the Sew-vivor logo, since that's what a lot of people recognize my blog from. Then I added a QR code (its free and easy to do). However, I made a big mistake! Apparently, your ink has to be black in order for a device to scan it. So, learn from my mistake, and make your code BLACK!

Well folks, that's a wrap! I am still trying to get all settled back into my normal routines after being gone!
I cannot end this post before saying thank you to some people. First, my husband. He wanted me to go, so as a birthday present, we bought my SNAP ticket and used our skymiles for an airplane ticket. Thanks babe. The trip never would have happened without my wonderful mother-in-law. She flew out to take care of our 3 kids for a whole week. I knew they were in such good hands, and they had a great time! Miss you! Meredith and Stephanie, my friends who gave me rides to and from the airport. Thanks gals. My sister and her husband for rides to the airport in Utah, the amazing food, and letting me stay with you. My sister-in-law for picking me up and hanging out with me last minute- it was so fun! 

These pictures are me with my 2 youngest sisters. I am so happy I had a chance to see them while I was in Utah. I miss you girls!!! xoxo

Linked up HERE!

25 comments:

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Wow! That looks so amazing and inspiring!! Lucky you!! Glad it was such a great event for you!

Mandy @ Sugar Bee Crafts said...

looks so fun - - and now I (and probably everyone else!) want to be your roommate!! so if you're taking applications for next year ... :)

Heather @ Raising Memories Blog said...

This looks ridiculously fun!!! I want to come & meet you all in persoN!!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

Looks like you had so much fun! Gah, I want to go to a blog conference!! :)

Kate @ A Creative Cookie said...

So fun!!! I'm getting super jealous ;) It's so fun to read all of these SNAP wrap-ups!

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

Best post EVER Rach! Thanks for all the sweet updates...I feel like I was there!!! Glad it was such a fantastic conference! XO, Aimee

Ashley J @ MommyByDayCrafterByNight said...

Loved this post! It was so fun going out with you! Love you girl!!

Katrine said...

It looks like so much fun! Next year I will go!

Lorie said...

I am bummed we didn't get a picture together, although I am grateful you didn't take on of me in the hotel room in my mismatched pjs and no bra! :x ;D

Lindsay said...

What a very awesome post! I LOVE the recap & the pictures are absolutely adorable! Such a very wonderful adventure!

Jennie Larsen said...

I am bummed we didnt meet. What an awesone Snap round up post. Love all the pics. and the roommate framed door idea. What fun. Hope to meet you next time. Hugs, jen

Shirley said...

What an awesome wrap up! It was wonderful meeting you and you are so awesome! I hope I'll see ya next year! :)

Tauni said...

I think next year i need to campaign to be your roommate...All the gifts, all the fun, the door signs. You girls are great!!!

I am so glad that you came to SNAP! Though I am a relatively new fan of your site, I had heard wonderful things about you from others. You're one of the famous bloggers I wanted to meet :)

xoxo
Tauni

Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

I want to be your roommate too. What fun roommate gifts!! it was fun to meet you. You are as sweet in person as I knew you would be!!!!

xoxoxo
Jen

Jamielyn@iheartnaptime said...

It was so fun to meet you!! You are so sweet and we totally have great taste with the yellow tank. ;) ;) Hopefully I can visit you OH and chat more! XO

Lil' Luna said...

LOVED all your pics!! Sure miss you gals and wish we lived closer. Can't wait 'til next year. And just so ya know, I'm honored that you're my sewing contributor. You are the best! XO

Steph @ Crafting in the Rain said...

Definitely loved getting to meet you! (I love how we're all the same height in our picture :)

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Looks like you had an awesome time!

Angela and Mike said...

YES, loved the Ana White pic :)

Kristen Duke Photography said...

what a fun recap! you are too sweet what you said about me...LOVE your roommate gifts (jealous) and I did a little collaboration with ana white that your friend angela might enjoy...hopefully revealed in the near future;)

DennisG said...

Happy to have helped you with your problems.
I hope your blog is humming along now, and you have all the data at your fingertips now.

Please let me know if you see growth from search engines after you implemented some best practices.

Thank you!

DG

Doranda said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun. I wish they had a blogger conference closer to my house. I would love it if you linked this up to my fashion link party. http://watchoutforthewoestmans.blogspot.com/2012/05/fashion-link-party.html Have a great day!

Doranda

Naturally Carly said...

What a fun post and recap about SNAP! Thanks for such an informative piece on your experience. Enjoyed reading and loved all the photos.

Amy {The Idea Room} said...

Such a great recap! I am so glad that I was able to meet you and chat with you for a little bit! You girls are just so cute. I want to submit my roommate application for next year as well :)

Andrea said...

You are SO DARLING RACH H!!!! I haven't blogged {nor read any} a whole lot since SNAP! My life has been crazy busy! {We are getting ready to adopt a baby!!} {I think I mentioned that a tad at dinner the first night}
Anyway.. I have been meaning to get in touch with you and tell you what a sweetheart I think you are.. I am SO glad we got to meet in real life, and I regret I didn't get to know you better, or spend more time with you.
I am SO lame and didn't take many pics.. all I carried around was my phone BOO! But I do see part of the back of my head above LOL!! Let me know if you are heading to UT any time soon! Would love to see you!
Keep in touch!!
XOXO
Andrea
Queen B and Me