Getting Ready for BlogHer

BlogHer Logo Carved From Ivory Soap

In less than three weeks I’ll be heading to New York City for the annual BlogHer conference and I’ve been excitedly making all sorts of preparations.  This is the 8th annual conference and the third year that I’ll be attending.  Each year I learn so much and take away such great ideas for my business and blog that I spend the remainder of the year looking forward to the next conference!

The best thing about being able to attend social media conferences like BlogHer is that I get to meet such wonderful people who really “get” me.  When you work (and live) online like I do you often find yourself interacting more with computers than with people and I always look forward to this opportunity to meet people with similar passions in real life.  I’ve had the great joy of “meeting” some terrific people online and love getting the chance to meet some of them in person.

I’ll be staying at the historic Hilton New York with my friend and colleague Jerri Ann of MomECentric.com as roomie, and I can’t wait to see some of my good friends like Heather from Inexpensively, Heather from InGodsEconomy, and Jenna from MadeMoreBeautiful.

This year I’ll be arriving a day ahead of time and plan to do more sightseeing that I was able to do last time it was in New York.  Having already been there before I was able to pick up a few money saving tips for visitors to NYC.  Last time I paid $40 plus tip for a taxi from the airport to Manhattan, this year I’ve reserved a luxury sedan in advance for a much better price!  The fee for a luxury car from Dial7 is just $36 and I used coupon code ua03122 to take $5 off of that.

I wrote in advance to the Live With Kelly show and I’m super excited that I have tickets to be in the audience on August 2nd!  I’ve really been wanting to go to Battery Park and see the Statue of Liberty and venture out a little further than I did last trip so I’ve also bought a hop on hop off 72 hour pass for the Grayline Double Decker sightseeing tour buses.  It’s a neat deal where you can get on or off during any of the many loop tours of the area for one low price.  The 72 hour ticket is normally $64 but you get $5 off when you book online.

This trip would not be possible without my generous sponsors whom I cannot thank enough!  I’m privileged to have Murphy USA as my gold sponsor and they have covered my hotel accommodations.  I am honored to be a contributor to The Smarter Driver, a sister site to Murphy USA and I’m grateful for their continued support!

Other sponsors include the best brother in the world who took care of the airfare (thank you Mike!) and UPrinting who provided me with some awesome club card flyers!  I’ll be sure to bring you an update when I get back.

 

Whoohoo – I’m Bound for Blissdom!

L to R - my mom, Heather from Inexpensively.com, Kay Lynn from Bucksome Boomer and me.

I enjoyed the Blissdom blogging conference last year so much that I’ve really been looking forward to this year’s conference – and now I’m on my way!  I’m taking my mom with me and we’re driving up to Nashville for the weekend.  I’m super excited to have the opportunity to watch a live Dave Ramsey radio show and take a tour of Financial Peace Plaza.  I’m also thrilled to be attending a meet and greet dinner tonight with a bunch of fabulous frugal bloggers and I can’t wait to see some old friends, make some new ones, and share the pictures with you here and on the Facebook page.

 

I’m On My Way to San Diego for BlogHer!

I’m leaving this morning for San Diego to go to the BlogHer Conference and I’m super excited to see some old friends, make some new friends, and to learn as much as I can about how to make this blog bigger and better!  I’ll be tweeting way too much, and likely posting way too little, so I hope you all will be patient with me – I’ll be back and ready for my usual shopping trips on Monday.  Can’t wait to share pix of the trip with you when I get back!

Photo Credit:  iClipart

 

Still Catching Up After Mom 2.0 Summit!

The Mom 2.0 Summit was not my first blog conference, but it was by far the busiest and I feel like I’m still catching my breath!  It was a wonderful problem to have so many exciting panels to choose from during each time slot, although it made it difficult at times to decide where I really needed to be – the panelists were top notch and the topics were widely varied, covering everything from Video, Multimedia and Monetization: How video Can Realistically Raise Your Visibiity and Credibility to Connected or Disconnected: How is Social Networking Affecting Your Relationships?

Despite the hectic pace of the conference, there was a really laid back vibe that was nice and likely attributable at least in part to the “Big Easy” New Orleans location.   The staff at the Ritz Carlton were super and the hotel was absolutely gorgeous.  My mom is also a blogger and I enjoyed bringing her with me to the conference and taking her to Cafe Du Monde for her first taste of beignets.  We never get to go anywhere together without the kids so this was a great treat for us, as was our walk through the French Market where we bought the obligatory alligator and mask souvenirs to bring home.

We had a great time visiting with some old friends, making some new friends, and even meeting some old friends “in real life”!  The brands that sponsored and were present at the event were also terrific, and they’ve sent us home with so many awesome gifts for the kids that I don’t think we’ll be able to live up to their expectations next time!  A special thanks to Dr. Pamela Georgeson and the people from Claritin for talking with us at greath length about our children’s allergy issues, and to Almond Accents for the most scrumptious flavored almonds ever (I’ve hidden what I had left from hubby who has been inhaling them) and for the kids’ favorite conference souvenir – these adorable aprons (that I still can’t get two of the kids to take off).

 

Headed to the Mom 2.0 Summit in NOLA

Whoohoo – I’m super excited to be heading out today for the Mom 2.0 Summit in New Orleans!  It’s only about a 2 1/2 hour drive from us so I’ve visited New Orleans on numerous occasions, but I haven’t been since Hurricane Katrina hit and I’m anxious to see how much has changed.  The conference is being held at the Ritz-Carlton in the French Quarter so it’s within walking distance of lots of the main attractions.  My mom is going with me as she is also a blogger and I’m planning to take her to Cafe du Monde for some beignets and a trip through the French Market before the conference activities get underway.  She and I have never really had a chance to travel together on our own so I’m thrilled to be able to take her on her first trip through the quarter.  I’m also looking forward to sharing lots of great N’Awlins pictures with you guys and I hope that you’ll understand and forgive me for having to put up with too few posts and too many tweets over the next three days 🙂

 

Blissfully Home From Blissdom ’11

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I got home late last night from the Blissdom conference and it feels wonderful to have slept in my own bed, but I’m already missing my fabulous bloggy friends!  Thank you for a great time and a wonderful experience, I’m looking forward to seeing you again next time.  Here I am with (from left to right) my mom, Heather from Inexpensively, and Kay Lynn from Bucksome Boomer – you guys are Oz-Some! 

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The theme this year was Brains (wisdom), Courage, Heart and Home and the Blissdom founders put on a great presentation dressed as the characters from Wizard of Oz.  My favorite part of the conference was the opening keynote speech from Dr. Brene Brown about courage, shame and vulnerability.  She was wonderful, her speech was very inspirational and I look forward to reading her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  I was also proud to have taken part in “dropping a love bomb” on a person in need of some support and learning more about the wonderful things they’re doing for people at LoveDrop.us

I learned a lot of terrific stuff for making this blog better for you awesome readers and I can’t wait to implement all the new plans that are swimming around my head.  In the meanwhile, I’d like to apologize for the minimal posts and excessive tweets while I was away at the conference!  If you’re not already overly annoyed at all the talk about the trip, check out the photographic evidence in the Facebook photo album.

 

I’m On My Way to Blissdom!

 

Hey guys!  I’m in the car on I-65 right now with my mom on our way to the Blissdom conference at the Opryland Resort in Nashville.  Isn’t it beautiful?  I’ve never been there before but the pictures are absolutely stunning.  I can’t wait to take some of my own to share with you!  We’re very excited about the opportunity to take a couple days away to see some old bloggy friends again, make some new bloggy friends, and oh yeah – we hope to learn something too!  I won’t be making my usual Publix trip and post this morning, but I’ll be back on track with the hot deals for you next week.

 

BlogHer 2010: My Thoughts and Impressions

I spent most of last week in New York City for the BlogHer 2010 conference and it was a blast!  I got my tickets pretty late in the game this year, and was lucky enough to be able to go at the last-minute but it was such a wonderful experience that I’ll be purchasing my BlogHer 2011 tickets as soon as I can.  I travelled with my mom, who also blogs at SewingBusiness.com, and it’s the first time that we’ve gone anywhere together in probably a decade so that was a lot of fun for me too!  Here we are at the newbie breakfast with Julie from Whiting Consulting, Kay Lynn from Bucksome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement, and Maggie from Maternal Dementia.  They were three wonderful women that I had the great fortune of running into again and again over the course of the conference – quite amazing really in a sea of 2,400 other bloggers.

The conference was really very well run and completely organized – there were signs everywhere, on every floor of the Hilton in Manhattan, and the conference guide served as both guidebook and map to the event.  The exhibit halls (two floors worth) were well laid out, but always packed full of people.  Living in the country as we do, the hardest thing to get used to was the crush of bodies on the streets outside the hotel, in the exhibit halls, and the elevators (four banks of elevators – each serving only certain floors, created a bit of a logistics issue), but everyone was very friendly and it became just another way to meet people, like Jenna from Bucktown Bargains whom I met repeatedly in the elevator.

There were so many things to see and do on each day of the conference that I knew we wouldn’t be able to do everything on the three page schedule I had printed out before we went, but the event that I looked forward to the most was the Bacon, Eggs and Coupons Breakfast for frugal and coupon bloggers that was hosted by Inexpensively and sponsored by RedPlum and RetailMeNot just to name a couple.  Here we are at the breakfast with, from the left, my mom, Kay Lynn from Bucksome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement, me, Heather from Passion For Savings, Krista from ShopAtHome, and Heather from Inexpensively.

A few other awesome women I was happy to have met include Kim Danger from Mommy Savers and author of Instant Bargains and the Complete Book of Baby Bargains (she was fabulous – just super nice and down to earth!), Stella from Savings.com who we had a great time with at lunch on Friday and Saturday, Erin Gifford from Coupon Cravings, and Tracie from Penny Pinchin’ Mom.  I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again next year in San Diego!