has it really been a year!? catch up on my BE '13 experience there.
Galveston, we have arrived!
my girl Ogechi and i road tripped (if you can even call it that) from Houston to G-town this past weekend for the 2nd annual Blog Elevated Conference held at Moody Gardens. i live less than an hour from Galveston, i'm 32 years old, and this was my very first time at MG.
Ogechi went first and checked in right away. i walked up to the registration table and the volunteers could not find my name. 'fitfoodiele? hmmmm...' who forgot to register for the conference online before attending?? *raises hand* WHO does that?! i registered right there on the spot on my phone and was able to confirm i was supposed to be there. one day i will get my life together.
i would just like to sincerely thank the founder of the BE, Lisa Stauber, for being so generous to Ogechi and i.
i was not leaving the conference without hugging and thanking her a billion times. i had no trouble finding her though because she was extremely involved in the conference happenings, workshops, etc., and always easily accessible and approachable. the number one thing that stands out about her to me is that she is REAL. a real life, hard-working mother of 10. TEN. no twins, triplets, multiples... all singles. her youngest is like 10 months old! hello? and she is running around handling business and operating her own conference?! she takes that 'no excuse' motto to a whole nother level. she is MY motivation to be the business woman and mother i desire to be. Lisa, you are one incredibly inspirational mama and i highly respect and appreciate you.
we got our swag bags and headed to mix and mingle with the other bloggers.
we participated in the Imperial Sugar sweet scrub booths right away and made some all natural body and lip scrubs! they were super simple to create and made with all natural ingredients you can pick up at your grocery store. try it at home yourself:
then try not to eat it all off. impossible.
we made two others; orange dreamsicle body scrub, and i did a lavender, rosemary, lemon combo scrub as well.
here ya go:
fooooood! so lately i can't go to Sprouts without getting a handful of plantain chips #slightlyobessed so when i saw that basket full of them fireworks went off in my head. we snacked on the chips with mango salsa, fresh fruit with yogurt dip, pineapple and chicken skewers, mini quiches, prosciutto wrapped melon, and...
smores for dessert! we roasted our own marshmallows in that fire pit behind us first. such a fun idea!
after meeting, snapping pics, and hanging out with more blogger friends for a bit (hey @superradchristianwriterchick and @mysocalledglamorouslife!) we hit the road home since we had to be back early again the next day.
what's up day 2!? we checked into MG and dropped off our stuff in our room. nursing babies were welcome so i brought one with me. Dego had plenty of company; there were a good handful of babies present this year.
anxious and ready to learn but had to get a pic in front of the BE backdrop first.
Dego had his own agenda, and it was definitely lunch time.
soon as the ballroom was open for lunch we went right on in and got a great spot in front of the big screen. this is one place i didn't feel like i was being watched while taking pics of my food- everybody else was aiming and snapping away too. lol.
i was looking at last years BE post and noticed that nothing has changed as far as me and Ogechi's eating habits cause we are all about that fit life! small, balanced meals every 3 hours or so works best for our energy levels and attitudes. lol. when i'm working towards a specific goal with my body like our 6 Pack USA clients, i stick to my meal plan and do not budge no matter what. yes, even while traveling. especially while traveling!! that's when i and most people stall the progress and fall off track.. however you can always stick to your guns though. preparation goes a long way, especially with your nutrition. however, i didn't bring any food food again this year, just snacks like nectarines, quest bars, Ogechi's almonds, and water. i'm pretty good at eyeballing my portion sizes for each meal according to my macros, so i did just that and did not stress.
back to it! after a hilarious yet informative lesson on creating charming & cheeky social media content from Marie Bonaccorse from Charmin, we took down several pages of notes from Matt Cherry's 30 Easy Changes to Make for Giant Growth seminar.
after getting home so late thursday night, i skipped my early friday gym date (more like missed purposely) and planned on working out later that day sometime. i attempted to take advantage of the 3 hour break we were given while Ogechi napped, but nope, Dego needed me more. after, oh idk, 10 min or so on the elliptical, Ogechi called me back to the room to tend to Dego's
cries screams! so, no workout that day.
we attended the Beauty, Bubbles, and Bites Cocktail party that evening hosted by Kroger and did the mingle thang!
and snacking thang. lol. if there's a chocolate fondu fountain in our vicinity, we'll find it.
we were on our own for dinner, so we stayed on location and ate at the MG restaurant, Cafe in the Park. i had a turkey-veggie burger with fries, plenty of water, and two dinner salads.
it was off to bed after i researched and connected via social media with some of the bloggers i had met earlier that day. Dego was patiently waiting on his nightcap, haha.
early the next morning, this definitely happened! i couldn't wait to hit it hard. i see you, Cintia! she was up early too and getting her run on, love it. O took the first shift around 4-5am, and i went second while Dego snoozed. the hotel didn't have a stair master, but i found the real thing and got in some lower body work outside. it totally pumped me up to attack BE day 3! after breakfast of course.
back to Cafe in the Park we went. i ordered some coffee, and an egg white veggie omelette with a little cheese. if that's a little cheese...... :/ but i was too hungry to wait for another (and we needed to get going)! so i peeled it off myself and made it work.
we attended more workshops and seminars all afternoon until lunch time. the Representing Brands with Style workshop by Frederick Goodall was actually after lunch, but i didn't get any pics in them! nevertheless, @MochaDad did an amazing job.
lunch time again.
boxed lunches were provided by BE, so we took ours to the room so we could also get our stuff together to check out of the hotel.
after listening to Kristen Welch discuss how her non-profit org Mercy House was birthed, she wrapped up the conference, we said our goodbyes, and headed home to our hubbies.
but not before giving this guy a fresh diaper!
trial and error. every speaker covered different topics and what worked for them of course, but they all had one common piece of advice-- get out there and try it and if it doesn't work, take note and try something else! you'll never, ever know if you don't TRY.
i WILL conquer YouTube after Audra Kurtz' workshop! she inspired me so dang much. currently at #lostpuppystatus but i'm excited to use a different media other than photos. maybe it will work out; maybe it won't. but i'm no longer afraid to try.
focus on what you are good at. your niche. we ALL have one, but YOURS should be your focus. doesn't matter if there are multiple people doing what you're doing... you can't do it like THEM and they can't do it like YOU.
STOP COMPARING. everything.
it will take hard work, blood, sweat, tears, late nights, and possibly YEARS for your blog to reach its potential. accept that and continue to be consistent, be yourself, and post quality content about what you are most passionate about.
until next year, BE!