Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blog Sugar Conference

I signed up to attend Blog Sugar months ago.  I thought it sounded like fun, and since it was fairly local for me, I really wanted to go.  I tried to get both of my girls to go with me, but only Gennifer wanted to attend.  So we bought our tickets, and watched as other blogger friends joined in and bought theirs too.  Then we talked about it.   Made arrangements with our out of town friends, and eagerly waited to September to arrive.  It came.  It went.  It was everything and more than we thought it would be!!!  My friends Holly and Tammy came from Arizona and Bakersfield, respectively, to attend with us.  And friends, Deb and Linda, joined us too.  Since Holly and Tammy were here in town for the weekend, we picked them up Sunday about noon, and then met up with Deb and Linda for lunch in Anaheim first.  I didn't get pictures of this, but my daughter Gennifer did.  It was also Holly's birthday, so thanks to Deb and Linda, we got to share a giant red velvet cream cheese cupcake after lunch that Holly graciously shared with us.  Then we drove out to the conference in Westminster.  When we arrived, the line was already forming out front.  Bloggers we knew, but didn't.  Ladies, whose lives had played out for us on the pages of their blogs, but most of whom we had never spoken to before.  It was a very strange feeling.  Gennifer was like a celebrity!!  There were screeches, and hugs, and smiles, as all of these ladies revealed their identities to one another.  And within minutes, it was as if we were all old friends. Here she is meeting some of her friends.

Many of these women are artisans who make and/or sell their wares on Etsy or Big Cartel.   So seeing them dressed in their finery, with headbands, bags, pins, jewelry and scarves and such, that we were all familiar with, was so fun to see.  I did bring my camera in with me.  But only took a few photos.   When viewing them later at home, late that night, I was so disappointed that they did not reflect the true beauty that we saw upon entering this venue.  The event was held here.
I thought it was the perfect spot for this event.  There were just under 200 women in attendance, and one man!  We first walked through a sort of courtyard before entering the conference room where the tables were set up for us.   The courtyard was decorated beautifully with giant pink and orange balloons, paper streamers and stations set up for appetizers and beverages and goodies of all sorts.
We signed in where we received our arm band and pink Blog Sugar swag bag full of goodies.
We mingled and had our pictures taken at the photo booth.  Deb and I visited the old fashioned cotton candy booth and had a cone of sugary goodness! 
The colors they used were stunning together, and everywhere you looked, there were vivid pinks and orange.  Orange painted bricks held the the balloons in place on the outside tables.  And clear glass vases held beautiful, yet simple floral arrangements in pink and orange. 
Inside the room, each round table was set for 8, with the same pretty flowers sitting on colored circles of paper with giant balloons in staggering heights floating overhead.  At each place setting was a perfect tiny pink donut with pink sprinkles and a Blog Sugar banner pick that was both sweet to see, and sweet to eat!  At each setting as well, was a laminated itinerary for each of us to see just how the day would play out.

 The room was filled with "pretty" everywhere you looked.  The dessert table was set up right behind us (perfect!) with a backdrop of paper circles suspended from the ceiling, and white pedestal cake plates of various heights were set out that would later hold the goodies that were be served.  The tablecloths were simply off white painters canvas cloths, that were painted with vivid pink stripes.  Stunning!  I will certainly be using this idea!!
Later when they were filled with every kind of goody you could imagine.  We were in heaven!

Sorry for the blurry picture above, but I thought this idea was so cute.  It was a chocolate mocha cupcake (to die for) topped with a baby donut.  So cute!
We didn't JUST eat at the conference.  We attended three different mini classes.  There were several guest speakers, each giving a little class, that we could sign up for.   Gennifer and I chose the same three.  Our first one was a photography class.  We learned a lot of great tips from this.  After the first class, dinner was served.  It was a chicken pasta primavera that was very delicious.  Following dinner, there were two more classes.  These were followed by a short video that featured the story of the charity that Blog Sugar had chosen to support. This was a charity to prevent and/or help children who have fallen victim to sex slave trafficking.   Such a sad, horrible thing, that quite frankly, I didn't even realize was happening.  There were various things being sold to bring awareness to this, and I purchased a shirt where the proceeds went to help this charity.  Here is a picture of our friend Janna modeling one of the t-shirts.

Janna was one of the people I was most anxious to meet.  She was every bit the person I imagined her to be!  And SO pretty!!!
The afternoon and evening progressed flawlessly, due to the incredible planning and orchestration of this event by Rachel Reeves from No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane  


You just never know who is reading your blog.  As we stood to leave that evening, I was approached with a tap on my shoulder by a young woman who said to me, "hello, you don't know me.  I am a stalker.  I read your blog every day.  I have read every part of it.  I love your blog.  I want to have lunch with you, and go with you to find rooster dishes.  I look for them everywhere I go.  I saw you stand to leave, and I had to come and meet you."  I glanced at her name tag, and I knew I didn't know who she was.  But as she was speaking, I realized that she had to be the "Amber" that has left comments from time to time,  but I was never able to reach her when I tried.  She said she didn't currently have a blog, but was going to start one soon.  I was so taken aback, and touched by the things this young lady had to say.  I was speechless.  Touched doesn't really even describe it.  It was a powerful moment for me.  I hope I am not getting her name wrong.  Amber is what keeps coming to mind.  She was a pretty lady, with one baby and another on the way.  I hope she starts her blog soon so that I can continue to keep in touch  with her.  She made my day!   You never know who you are speaking to when you hit publish.  Who your words may touch.
So there you have it.  Blog Sugar 2011, in a nutshell.  In a word...magnificent.  I will be there next year.  I don't even mind being one of the "older" ladies.

29 comments:

by Teresa said...

Kris, wow, what a fantastic event! I wish it was closer! It looks like it was a huge success and I bet it will grown and grow! Thanks so much for sharing!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Linda said...

I had lots of fun and learned a thing or two as well...thanks for spending the day with all of us!

Kerri said...

Love this post Kris! So glad you had so much fun at Blog Sugar....thanks for sharing that last story with us and the cute cupcake and donut idea....can't get any better than that! :)

The Garden Bell said...

You are one brave soul. I am so shy, I don't know if I could do this. Really, I am.... Looks like a great time. What fun to meet your stalker too. I always wondered what those stalkers looked like.

Bethany said...

I want to eat this post! I'm dying for donuts and cupcakes and sweets right now! It looks like such a good time - I wish they'd do something like that around here!

bellini said...

It sounds like such a fun event. I really enjoy these conferences with all the friendships renewed and good food..and hey we learn a thing ot two as well.

laurie said...

what a wonderful event,, wonderful food, great friends, and interesting topics and displays,, so much fun, i love all the pink,

Kelly L said...

Westminster, California? If so, I'm bummed - I live in Huntington Beach - it would have been fun to attend!
I've Become My Mother

Holly said...

Any idea when my sugar headache should subside? I'm still buzzing. Best time ever, miss you!

Cherry Tree Lane said...

I am so so happy that you were able to come!!! <3

Genn said...

Such a fun time!!!
I can't wait for next year's.
Loved your post. Well said. It was magnificent. :)

SoSoBella said...

what a fun night. great photos. i took none :( so thank you for posting these. it was an amazing venue with amazing ladies.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Sounds so cool. Neat to be with other like minded (bloggers) most people don't get it. Anyway I would love to go next year. I will have to mark it on my calendar and save the date.

Janna said...

I was so excited to meet you too! Wasn't it great? I want to go again! Next year won't get here soon enough.

Kyle & Alissa Circle said...

Love all your dessert pictures!! Can we please all go back in our time machines and enjoy some more! Hope to hug you next year!

xoxo,
Alissa
www.ragstostitchesboutique.com

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Oh my heavens Kris! That looked like it was so much fun! I will have to join you all the next time it comes around!!!!! So glad you had a wonderful time!!!! :)

glor said...

How great was this! I can't imagine being able to meet the wonderful people who create some of the most enjoyable blogs. What a great thing. I have to look into how this was done, etc., etc. There are so many I would love to meet, maybe some day.

Jill said...

What a great post and delightful pictures! Looks like so much fun! I've never attended one of these before, but I'd like to. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings,
Jill

Jennifer said...

Wow, it sounds fantastically fun - and a little bit creepy - all at the same time. You just never know who is stalking you:)??!

Jann Olson said...

Hi Kris,
I have never heard of this 'Blog Sugar'. How fun for you! I always imagine what it would be like to meet a blogging friend in person. So fun that you got to meet the girl who stalks your blog. Good for her for letting you know. I do have people in my hometown area that will say, "I stalk your blog". Even that makes me feel good. There are certain people that I feel like I really connect with from blogging. You happen to be one of them. Love visiting you!

Four Flights said...

Wow fantastic recap and pictures. Thanks for coming and so happy you had a great time!

Anne Fannie said...

Hi Kris,
I have never heard of blog sugar. It sounds like alot of fun! I am going to have to join you next year!
One of our kids and his family were visiting us from Utah and I haven't had time to visit anyone's blog or blog myself. I just got caught up on your blog tonight. We are so close Kris, I do live off of Mangular and I know the area you live in too. We have to get together soon!!
Hugs, Ann

Stacey said...

This sounds so fun!! I love the colors.. The tables.. The decor and especially the cotton candy, donuts and dessert :) What a fun event!! Sounds like a great time :)

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Loved your recap!!! So nice meeting you, even if it was brief. You and Genn are just the cutest! I love the relationship that you 2 have.

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Love the title of your blog--that is my word of the year. I loved every minute of Blog Sugar and am so inspired to see where my blog goes in the future--but more excited that I have found some wonderful blogs to follow, learn and grow.

Pam said...

What a great time! I am so glad you met up with Amber... isn't it wonderful to meet readers that like your blog? I just met one the other day at my kids' school. LOVE it!

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training said...

Soooo neat! Looks like they paid attention to every detail!

Love the circles behind the dessert bar! Such a cute idea!

That's funny that Gennifer was like a little blog celebrity.She does have a great blog!

That is sooo sweet that one of your followers came up and said hi!!!! Sound like you might be a blog celebrity as well!

Kendra aka "Domestic Pinces in Training"

Whosyergurl said...

Very cool. You sound like a rock star! :-)
xo, Cheryl

hannah singer said...

such a fabulous event, wish we could've met! loved your post! xo