i went to the BE conference with an open mind, open heart, and the desire to get outta my comfort zone and actually talk to somebody and do some networking. i did my best and met some new blogger friends over those three days! in addition to learning a good bit of info via the various workshops provided (9 pages worth) i had a fantastic time hanging out with my dear friend and blogger-to-be, Ogechi.
i looked back through my photo gallery and i have way more food pics than people pics. i wonder what that means :shock:
i had some business cards printed at the last-minute (naturally) and totally left off the LLC in Fit Foodie Le. the show must go on. i went to pick up my girl and we hit i-10 and headed to the Norris Conference Center in City Centre.
we got our goodie bags and badges right away after signing in. seems legit!
Ogechi hit the red carpet first and the tone was set as we headed into the welcome party sponsored by Kroger.
vendors, mingling, goodie bags, and goodies galore.
and a white chocolate fondue fountain. way to go Kroger! they had sweets and treats for days while everyone got their meet and greet on. full vendor list here.
after exchanging and collecting a few business cards and snacking, we headed back home to get some rest as we had to be up early again the following day awake and ready to learn. which really meant go home and ensure our hubbies could survive two straight days without us.
brekky in, headed out to pick up O for day 2 ! oatbran and egg whites. every morning. don't get me wrong, i love it and crave it when i wake up. however, i said i would expand my breakfast horizons though just for variety purposes. i'm missing out, i know.
yes we live in Houston, and yes we stayed overnight at the gorgeous Hotel Sorrella. why not? staycations are awesome. even though check in wasn't until 3pm, we were told we could partake in the continental breakfast that morning.
ok we asked.
we finished just in time to hear the opening keynote speaker, John Saddington, do his thing, coffees in tow. John's boldness and stories about big risks he took over the years blew us away and inspired us simultaneously!
after open Q & A with a panel of PR reps from various companies moderated by Holly Homer, a snack break, & study hall, it was finally lunch time. yes. i decided to go gluten-free for the weekend just because it was offered.
so O and i dined at the only certified gluten-free place in City Centre and greenest restaurant in Texas! you know it, RG baby. my phone died, so Ogechi let me use hers to snap a few pics of our Ruggles Green meals. i had the Atlantic salmon salad & organic butternut squash, and O got the smoked chicken pizza.
back for more workshops after lunch.
O and i attended the same break out session that day with Angela England and learned more about how to 'Achieve our Publishing Dreams'. i definitely wanted to attend this one to see if i could make the process for my next ebook even smoother.
Rae Hoffman later spoke with everyone collectively about SEO (search engine optimization) followed by more study hall, networking, and a nice time gap before the dinner & fashion show later. so you know what i went to do!
sweat. 1 hour. done.
i created and executed the Fit Foodie Lean Legs workout above 3 or 4 times in Hotel Sorella's gym, then hit the treadmill with an incline of 15 @ 3.0 mph. that combo gets my heart rate right where i need it for optimal fat burning.
because after handling up on that cheesecake at dinner i needed to burn as much fat as possible. j/k, j/k. it was delish. everything. O and i lived life on the edge and didn't bring any prepped food for our overnight stay, just snacks. we both eat every 3 hours or so, so we were pretty hungry as lunch was hours earlier.
the fashion show was very entertaining and was hosted by the sweet Val of Style to Envy. all the models were bloggers and they each did their thing up there!
i took a restroom break from the party and heard a mom in the hallway Skyping with her hubby and kids from her phone. made me wonder what my knuckleheads were up to.
oh ok. carry on.
day 3. well rested and ready to rock.
after breakfast of course.
Katie gave some great tips and pointers for bloggers on how to communicate with companies and rock an ambassadorship to where both parties benefit. loved this session and found it extremely useful as i began to apply Katie's information immediately!
then, Ogechi and i split up *gasp* because she wanted to go hear what Zack Doty had to say about unlocking blogging potential, and i wanted to learn more about how to grow my bloggy blog with tips from Momables creator, Laura Fuentez. i appreciated Laura opening up and sharing some of her secrets with us.
we were reunited just before lunch and got a great Pinterest lesson from the Pinterest Queen herself, Stacy Teet. impressive boards! makes me realize just how unorganized i am!!!!
lunch was provided via these go picnic ready-to-eat meals, but we were CRAVING our beloved Ruggles Green again.
so we hightailed it downstairs! turkey burg and sweet potato fries for O, and i killed the gluten-free spicy fish tacos and a side salad.
while in line, we met up with another group of bloggers and decided to make it a big lunch party! it was great meeting, chatting, and eating with these ambitious women.
for the very last workshop of the conference (and my fave) Rachel Matthews put us ON about lighting!!! pun intended! she also discussed different props we could use to make our pictures come to life. the smallest details sometimes make the biggest difference.
i needed this one because of all my foodie pics of course. her energy was awesome and kept my attention for sure! I have begun to apply some of her pointers and others have noticed the change in my pics. immediately :shock: . makes me want to go back and delete my first few posts! i'm not ashamed (anymore) because it's important to remember where you started and to see your growth. Rachel kept reminding us that the Imperial Sugar cupcake break was right after her workshop. as if they hadn't been on my mind all day :)
this.... this right here. was worth the sugar head / tummy ache that followed. i limit my white sugar intake but dang it i ate that whole cake batter cupcake listening to Karen Walrond wrap up the conference weekend. I enjoyed and admired this former corporate lawyer's refreshing perspective on a wide variety of things from blogging to life in general. super sweet and humble. with a blog name like Chookooloonks, you just have to go click and see what the heck she is up to over there.
ok so Fluff Bake Bar provided 3 flavors (Cake Batter, Red Velvet, and Veruca Salt) for us so it was only right i
try them all take one to my boys. never heard of this place but these cakes and anything else they make is totally worth a trip to the Heights, uh huh. fan-freakin-tastic. all three. i did it for you.
there were tons of free goods in our bags but i was especially excited to finally try some Zevia! its been floating across my Instagram feed for a while now and i finally got my hands on some. good stuff! cream soda for president.
what a talented, inspiring bunch of speakers & bloggers. what a blessing and WHAT A WEEKEND. overwhelmed and overflowing with info. love it. looking forward to the next BE Conference and I'm expecting to apply and reap the benefits from the countless takeaways we received from every speaker. i thank God for allowing O & i to share this amazing weekend of learning and growing together.
made some really great connections i look forward to keeping in contact with!
*apply what you learned. don't leave the conference the way you came.
*be true to YOU.
*never sell out or compromise your faith for money, likes, attention, etc.
*believe in your ability to be creative. you don't have to do what everybody else is doing.
*PERSPECTIVE! look for the opportunity in everything..don't be so quick to dismiss the 'ordinary' right under your nose.
*you can make good light, but you can't fake natural light (i sure do try).
*if you're a blogger and never been to a conference, GO. invest in yourself. grow. make yourself better.
*JUMP! take risks, fearlessly.
i'm pumped and ready to make some significant changes around here. thanks for reading and sticking with me.
for more BE pics, click here!