BlogHer Reflections

by Elena on August 9, 2011 in blogging about blogging

Yes, I spent several days in San Diego last week for BlogHer.  Yes, I was surrounded by thousands of women and a few men for what can only be described as an overwhelming and exhausting.  And yes, I am going to do a recap because how can I not reflect just a bit?  It is not often that one spends almost five days that can inspire just about every emotion in the book.

I could live in San Diego.

San Diego

The view from my hotel room.

Seriously.  The minute that I arrived and was in the taxi to the hotel, I fell head over heels in love with San Diego. I walked along the marina and started contemplating how I could pull such a move off.  Walking around Coronado later that afternoon only cemented my desire. I even found a few places that I could happily call home.

Coronado Dreaming

A cute little home in Coronado. I could live here.

Coronado Dreaming

Another possibility.

San Diego Condo

Overlooking the bay in downtown San Diego. The top floors with the balconies---mine, all mine.

The Learning

I admit that I only went to a handful of sessions. Luckily for me, each conference session that I went to was AMAZING.

On my first day, I attended Women Create Media by the amazing Lindsay Maines.  The first speaker was Brene Brown, who I have come to adore and cherish–for whom I may just have a serious crush. She talked about vulnerability, about authenticity, about imperfections.  Between getting chills because her message gelled so well with my new efforts at Just.Be.Enough. and hanging on her every word because she is just so brilliant…this session, made my day.

Bloggging your way to self acceptance

@Ritzking and I with the stunning @BreneBrown

On my second day…I um…..went to see Brene Brown again. But also, she was flanked by a few other amazing ladies talking about blogging our way to self acceptance.  Between Mr. Lady, Gretchen Rubin, Brene Brown, and Shauna James Ahern…. this was like free therapy.  Talking for an hour about how to open yourself up to your readers (clearly, I have a problem with that!–Ha!), to finding a balance and what should be kept private, there might have been serious speaker envy going on from little old me.

On the third day, I went to learn about how to create a KickA$$ Proposal by the wonder team of Julie Meyers Pron, Leticia Barr, Kelly Whalen, and Andrea Fellman. Not only did the team explain and show the difference between a poor proposal and a fantastic one, but they also talked through how they follow up with brands and manage campaigns.

The Events

Yes, there were parties and events. Private and non private. I went to both.  The things they all had in common: laughing, friendship, silly picture taking. Whether you went to one private event or none, there was plenty of fun to be had.  One of the best times I had was an impromptu event in @Caitm’s room with @HighImpactMom, @ColoradoMom, @Chimomwriter, and @lordwilliam even joined us–on a balcony, drinking Thistle Wine together. There were no sponsors. No guest lists. Just a few folks wanting to spend some quality time together.

Relaxing BlogHer Style

Relaxing with @HighImpactMom

The Clever Girls I’m With the Brand party literally was something out of a music video. It was glamorous and decadent. There was dancing….or I should clarify, our fantastic Team Leticia reunited after having come in 2nd place during the Type A Parent conference to SWEEP the competition this time around.

Clever Rock Star Party Prep

Getting my glam on with the lovely @ColoradoMom

Clever Rock Stars

The amazing @chimomwriter and I living it up!

The Blogging Angels hosted a brunch on Saturday that may have been the highlight of my conference because of how intimate it was and how we were able to network and learn about branding from the brilliant Perrin Kaplan.

Swanky Style Suite

Making myself at home with @JanineNickel at the Moms Fashion File Swanky Style Suite.

Another intimate event, also a brunch, on Sunday was another favorite of mine. The Clever Girls did it again with a Ladies who Tech brunch that brought together some very savvy women and gave us the chance to learn from each other, network, and ah yes…relax before starting our journeys home.

Clever Girls Ladies Who tech Brunch

Relaxing with @graceduffy and @kikarose

The Friendship

Lets be honest. When you get 3600 women together, there is bound to be drama. Last year, I think I was too new to notice any of it. This year, for better or worse, I saw it. I felt it.  It just is. And luckily, that is where the best thing about BlogHer comes into play. The true connections, the knowing glances, the hugs that make you feel like a million bucks. Those things, from the people that I either already knew well or started to to get to know well…those were the things that blog conferences are made of.

Coronado Ferry BlogHer style

Returning from an afternoon in Coronado with @MamaRobinJ

BlogHer  Night

Bonding with @westoftheloop

BlogHer Nighttime

My new pal @Fitzness and I.

I wish that I could keep a few of the women that I met and/or got even closer to in my pocket, or at the very least in my purse. Sadly it does not work that way. We all go home, to our families and in real life lives and attempt to make the most out of the time we had. But we remember, and we plan. And we do what bloggy friends do: tweet, comment, skype,instagram.  Give us an app and we will stay in touch.

The truth about BlogHer is that there is a lot of swag, there are things going on every minute of every day, and there are pushes and pulls from every possible direction. To go to everything is impossible.  And so for me, I did the best that I could. I spent time with almost everyone on my list (my biggest BlogHer fail? Not meeting The one and only Empress), did a lot of laughing, giggling, plotting, and reflecting. There were hushed moments of friendship, there was squeeing, and there was love amongst friends.

I am not sure that I could possibly ask for anything more.



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Frelle August 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm

beautifully done. Id love to hear more about Brene’s speaking event prior to the Friday morning panel that was outstanding. And Im totally with you on the crush. She is shouting from the rooftops the things you and I write about. Love that she is such an audible voice, and that she shares her wisdom in such a relatable and passionate way.

And also? I love you. A lot. And I’m so glad we got to spend time together :)

Kelly August 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm

LOVED getting to spend more time with you! I couldn’t write a better recap though some of our experiences were different you summed up my BlogHer experience nicely.

I also appreciate all the love you shoed our panel, and me this weekend. I was the one with chills when you shared your elevator pitch at the Blogging Angels/Zebra Partners brunch.

angela August 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm

What a lovely recap! I’m glad you were able to escape the drama by fortifying yourself with positive people :)

And what kind of recap comment would be complete without noticing your uber-fantastic wedges sticking out of the Swanky Suite tub?

debi9kids August 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm

what a fantastic recap!
It sounds like such a great time.
Thanks for sharing.

Emily August 9, 2011 at 11:55 pm

You captured it all and then some. Next year in NYC?

Elena August 10, 2011 at 12:32 am

Absolutely!!! Though part of me says we should live it up somewhere other than the Hilton. ??

Amanda @ High Impact Mom August 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

YES! Now I don’t have to write a wrap-up! I can pretend I actually got to hear Brene speak at WCM rather than work it, attend conferences, and win a Wii! Seriously though? Spending time getting to know you was one of the most major highlights of my weekend…and that says a lot. You are an amazing woman and an inspiration to me! I might have a girl-crush on you! <3

Elena August 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

Girl crush…um yes. Seriously, I am going to go in withdrawl. :) Are you heading to Blogalicious? Please please!

Kimberly August 10, 2011 at 2:49 am

Great recap! Glad you had such a good time!

blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell August 10, 2011 at 8:22 am

It was amazing and the time spent with friends was unforgettable!

Alison@Mama Wants This August 10, 2011 at 11:53 am

Elena, a wonderful recap. Glad you got so much out of this conference. Time for another? :)

Elaine August 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I’m sorry I didn’t realize it was you at the 5K that morning! (did I say this already?) ha! Anyway, great to see you! And it looks and sounds like you had a great conference.

I was in that session on Friday with Brene and all the other wonderful ladies and I just LOVED it! They are amazing.

Shell August 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Glad you had a good time and were able to walk away from drama!

Caitlin Madden August 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I loved that we got to spend some good quality time together. You are an incredible women and I’m thrilled we were able to have an impromptu gathering & a relaxing convo before the night’s festivities began. Big thanks to your cousin for the wine.

Great recap & I cannot wait until the next time I see ya! Let’s be roomies so I can steal your style ;O)

Elena August 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm

You are in for the roomy idea–what fun we would have! And yes, I am so very very happy that we were able to spend some quiet time together on your deck!

Kir August 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I seriously LOVE you, I have been reading (and not able to comment for 2 days now) and looking at all your incredible pictures and honestly I am just blown away with the AWESOMENESS that is YOU!!!!!

that smile just made me happy..and seeing you BE YOU and do it with such class, style and UMMPH, well I just don’t have the words. You’re incredible. :)

Elena August 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Oh my awesome friend— the feeling is mutual. I cannot wait till next year in NYC when I get to see you!!! (I am not going to say “meet” because I already feel like I know you!). xoxo

Meryl August 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Sounds great. I was in San Diego a few weeks ago for the International Comic Con and I agree… I could live there. The weather was absolutely incredible!

Stacy Uncorked August 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

What a beautiful recap! Hopefully I’ll get to meet you next year if we both go! 😉

ChiMomWriter August 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Oh, so true. Hugs to you, my girl. xoxo If you move to SD, I’m going, too, by the way.

Susan @WhyMommy August 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Sounds like you had a WONDERFUL trip! I’m so very glad for you – we had such fun at Type A!

Yuliya August 11, 2011 at 12:48 am

It was so lovely meeting you, what a serendipitous chance encounter! I can’t wait to get to know you better and maybe even work on what we talked about…just as soon as I start figuring out how to be enough.
PS Next BlogHer I solemnly swear to stay far away from drama!

My Inner Chick August 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

—It looks as if you are having a GAS! All of those blogger in one room…How Exciting & Exhilarating! I love bloggers!
This resonated with me the most…
“about vulnerability, about authenticity, about imperfections”
Every blogger can understand those words. If not, I wonder if they should be blogging at all….
Beautiful Photos.
Super post… Xxx

Cam August 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm

great post. It’s so cool that you got a chance to connect with so many people. BTW, I agree – San Diego is awesome!

The Culture Mom August 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

One of the best parts about Blogher was meeting you and spending time with you. You ooze an aura that is contagious, a zest for life and an incredible sense of humor. I’m so glad to have met you.

Elena August 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Wow Holly. Thank you so much for that—it means a lot coming from you. The same holds true about one of the best parts about BlogHer was meeting you. I am so glad we connected on the first day and then were able to continue seeing spending time together.

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