I’ve been blogging for more than six years (kinda hard to believe sometimes), and while I love the connections I’ve made online with amazing women, what I really love is the in-real-life connections that happen at blog conferences.
If you’re not a blogger, that doesn’t matter. I think you can totally relate to the need for those real life connections with like-minded women, right? We all need them. That’s just how God wired us.
Last weekend, I fly from my home just outside of Atlanta, GA, to Phoenix, AZ, for the first time in my life. I’ve traveled all over the US, but never Arizona, so I was excited just to see all the cacti along the side of the road. I flew to Phoenix to attend and speak at Blended Conference, which took place at Windmill Winery in Florence, AZ. It was an amazing trip in a beautiful venue, so I wanted to share the details with you!
I always love the opportunity to attend a blog conference, but this one was extra special for me because I finally had the chance to meet some great blog friends who I have only known online for years. My girl Julie from Bread Booze Bacon picked me up from the airport, and was my awesome roomie for the trip. Love her to pieces!
But let me start at the beginning. That’s the most logical place to start, right?
Julie, my aforementioned bloggy buddy, was on the conference team, and because she was my ride, that meant we both had to arrive at the venue extra early. This was actually a good thing because the venue was nearly empty and allowed for awesome photo opps before too many people arrived.
Our venue: Windmill Winery. I mean, what goes better with blogging than wine, right? This place is gorgeous! Sit back while I photo bomb this blog post:
The barn, the fairy lights, the flowers…it was all very magical.
Part of the benefit of attending blog conferences is the education you gain. On Day 1, I enjoyed an awesome session by my friend Aubrey of Real Housemoms about Facebook.
Another friend of mine, Carly from Lipgloss & Crayons, also led a session to teach us about working with brands. She’s a freaking genius with this stuff.
Day 2 we were back at it again in the barn for more education and fun. This time, though, it was my turn to speak. I led a session on email marketing, because that’s my jam. Here’s my doin’ what I do:
And I can’t leave out these two crazy girls – Kat & Mel from Homemade Interest. They are seriously so much fun, and it was great meeting them in person and hanging out all weekend!
Just before calling it a night on the sessions, Tiffany Romero, founder of The SITs Girls, led a very powerful session about how important it is to unplug. I can tell you, as a full-time blogger and online entrepreneur, I needed to hear this from someone like Tiffany. She juggles a lot of tasks like I do, so it was really empowering!
We closed our conference with s’mores by the bonfire, and a game of Cards Against Humanity. So much fun!
And because I can’t get enough of this gorgeous place, here are several more photos I took. Go grab a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery!
A huge thanks to Wendy of Around My Family Table for organizing this epic event, and to her team for keeping everything running smoothly! Can’t wait for next year!