Friday, May 17, 2013

Elevate Blog Conference


A few months ago Summer emailed me and asked me if I would speak at the upcoming Elevate conference in Newport Beach. I remember seeing pictures from last year and thought it looked like such a great day, that I quickly said yes to the opportunity!  
However, once the other speakers were announced, is when the butterflies set in. Sure, I have blogged for the past seven years and I host a boutique a few times a year... but I am not a full-on-famous-blogger like the rest of the speaker line up. I can hardly keep my blog up to date these days, so I started to get pretty nervous about speaking at a blog conference and wondered what on earth I could contribute to the day!
 To be speaking with Kimmie, Ashley and Erin was quite the honor. These girls are as real as they come and are even more amazing in person. Speaking of awesome bloggers, the hosts of Elevate are awesome with all sorts of amazing talents! I could not believe all the details that went into putting an event like this on! They (Summer, Jen and Nicole) did an incredible job!
Just take a second to soak in this dessert table. The decor, the food, the sign, oh my! Perfection! 
Many of these pictures were taken by the talented Lora Knight.

Hoop graciously gifted to the speakers by the talented Nat from Take the Cannoli 

So, I started this Oh So Happy Day bright and early at my dear friend Megan's house. She is so fun and talented and we have the best talks, so going over there to get ready was a great distraction from my nervous stomach.
Megs working her magic on the atrociousness that I often show up with! Bless her heart, she helped me do my hair and make up and figure out the final touches on my outfit. Thanks Megan! 

Bryant took me out early Mother's Day shopping the weekend before. Top, skirt and Jeffrey Campbell shoes are from Nordstrom. I'm more of a Marshalls/TJ Maxx shopper, so this was out of my comfort zone, but a special treat. It's always fun to have a few special items in the closet. 

 
The event was held at the beautiful Newport Dunes in Newport Beach. When I walked in, I was in awe of the gorgeousness of it all!

 
The day started with a fun ice breaker game and then it was time to go inside to start the conference... (eeekk).
I was the first speaker of the day. I was glad I got to go first to get it over with. I spoke mostly about Katie's story and how it lead me to blogging more about disability awareness and then eventually the boutique. Now it's all a blur, but hopefully I made a little bit of sense. The main point I tried to encourage was sharing your story as you never know who it is going to affect. 

With the Elevate gals after I was done speaking. 
Next it was time for lunch! Can you even handle these darling napkin holders sewn with lace! I die! 

  
After lunch we networked and mingled. I so loved meeting the beautiful Nina from Momma Go Round. I have followed her forever and she is even more fabulous in real life! Love that girl!
So loved seeing Kimmie again. She was another speaker and has a beautiful story and did amazing! Her heart is so big and she is so genuine. Love her! 
Beautiful Robin from Three Water Babies was such a joy to meet. Such a sweet, beautiful gal! 

Back inside, Erin from Living In Yellow had us on our feet and dancing during her incredible talk! So much fun and such a neat blogging story. 
'
Jen then explained the craft to us and sent us on our crafting way.... 
I so loved sitting at the table crafting with these dolls. What a treat it was to just craft and chat together. 
Emmy and Nichelle. I met Emmy a few months ago at a Power of Moms retreat. She spoke there and I loved her heart. It was great to see her again at Elevate! I read Nichelle's story a few years ago and I was instantly drawn to her positive outlook and happy spirit. 
and
my favorite loves Nina and Nay. Such fun, sweet gals!  

Oh my gosh, these girls had my heart from the moment I met them! Darling gals who traveled from Utah and Arizona to come to this conference. I seriously died over their cuteness and warm hearts. These girls are moving mountains with their amazingness.  

I so loved meeting Little Miss Mama, Ashley, who was also our final speaker. What a joy it was to listen to her share her heart and her story. She had sound advice and was a remarkable speaker! 
 
Another highlight of the day was learning more about Sole Hope and the service project that followed. 

The day ended with Minute to Win it Games which were hysterical and had us all cracking up so hard! 

Such an amazing day spent with amazing gals!
And... the Swag! Holy Smokes! This bag was filled with goodies from the following: 
Royal Design Studio - The Twinery  - DK DeleKtables - Coldstone Chocolate - Edeenut - Cut It Out - Kustom Kissers - DecoArt - Scentsy - Mary Kay - The Pink Elephant Bowtique - Sassy Lemonade - Bubba's Basics - Elise's Pieces Julep - Life with Lovebugs - Charmed By Wine - Expressions Vinyl - Little Penelope Lane - Cloud Nine Designz - Stuck in the Coop - Little Mrs. Crafty - Laura Hernandez Photography - Red Heart - Lisa Leonard Designs - Evie Ivy - Salty Bison - Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke - Take the Cannoli - Barn Owl Primitives - Kara's Party Ideas - The Glitter Revival - Austenland Accessories - Sew What by Saira - Jo Totes - Love Sparkle Pretty - Fairly Fabulous - jessica N designs - Spoonful of Imagination - Love Stitched - Dogeared - Beach Blues - The Gingerbread Blog - David Vevia Photography - Shaun Andrews Photography - Poppy Seed Projects - Madison Design Studio - Lora Knight Photography - Silhouette - Newport Dunes - Once Upon a Cupcake - Take Two, Etc. - Meringue Bake Shop - Sensitive Sweets - Velata - Nothing Bundt Cakes Huntington Beach 
Once again, a huge thank you to Jen, Summer and Nicole for all their hard work in putting together and amazing conference and day! 

6 comments:

  1. I loved hearing your story! I loved everything about this event - it was even better than last year's (and I definitely didn't think that was possible!)...

    Love that pic of us:)
    xoxoxo

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  2. Great recap! You had nothing to be nervous about, I love loved your talk. You truly as so amazing and inspirational-- so much hope and happiness through everything.
    Thanks for the shutout :). Was so happy to see you again and always nice to see familiar faces.
    I didn't take nearly enough pictures with other bloggers, definitely have to fix that next time.

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  3. Oh I just love you!! You made me feel at ease when I was nervous, and you hugged me so tight after sharing my heart- I can't tell you how much that meant to me. Thank you for shining so brightly for me- your light was all the guidance I needed. XO!!

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  5. I am so happy to have met you and heard your touching story!!! You are truly an example to all of us. Thank you for being a part of elevate!!!

    xoxo
    Lora

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  6. My daughter's wedding was here and these people put everyone on cloud 9. The dance floor had this huge white blank wall planking it, but it's a loft space so what do you expect.

    ReplyDelete