Hi SI family! I’m back from my bloggers’ conference in Austin TX, and I have to say – I had the B-E-S-T time! Today I’m sharing a few iPhone pics that I took at the conference and around downtown… and ohhh, and wait ’til you see who the keynote speakers were…. woohoo!
Let me start by saying, there are huge benefits to blogging. You can work in your jammies at 2 am, wake up whenever you want, be your own boss and make your own rules as you go. Not to say that I do all that… but I could. 😉 The downside of all that goodness is blogging can feel isolating. You don’t get to drive to work and say good morning to smiling familiar faces or chitchat by the water cooler. Although… I have to throw in a side note here. YOU guys are AMAZING! You all comment, email, and join me on social and this REALLY helps to keep me inspired and connected – so thank you!
So, back to the conference. It has been a long 4 years since the last time I was on a plane so it was fun to fly again. I sat beside an Austinite and learned things about the city even before I landed. Here’s the plane coming into Austin.
The conference was held at the Omni Hotel right downtown. A beautiful property. We all felt so welcome and looked after. Here’s the atrium taken from the elevator coming down from my 10th-floor suite. It would have looked even more impressive if I was on the 19th floor I’m sure!…. everything’s bigger in Texas, right!? 🙂
The conference was amazing because not only did I learn a lot, but it was exciting to hang out with other online publishers. And it was so nice to meet bloggers that I’ve been following for years. Karen from The Graphics Fairy, Lauren and her husband at Blesser House, Diane at In My Own Style and John and Sherry from Young House Love to name a few. There were food bloggers (gotta love them!!!), fashion bloggers, and I even met Maralee from Manners Mentor who is an etiquette expert!
And check this out! The keynote speakers were also spectacular. Randi Zuckerberg was a delight (ya, that’s Marks sister!) and Andrew Shue (if any of you remember him on Melrose Place) and his wife Amy Robach (Good Morning America) were also great. Unfortunately, I had to cut Andrew and Amy’s talk short to catch my plane back home.
The weather was a balmy 80° – a far cry from the cold weather here in Toronto. I took the opportunity to go for a few long walks and soak up the warm sun. I visited the Texas State Capital building and walked the grounds – just beautiful.
And even though this may give you a little laugh, I’m still going to share. During the conference, they brought us in the most delicious doughnuts. Any of you who know me know I’m a bonafide donut junkie. After tasting one, I wanted more! I walked the city blocks to VooDoo Doughnut on 6th St and indulged in a few of these spectacular goodies. The shops’ atmosphere was cool and eclectic with live music, chandeliers, and colorful decor. If any of you get the chance to visit, the Memphis Mafia doughnut is to die for!!!
My takeaway… good things come when you put yourself out there and try. I was SO nervous about this conference, but I went anyway. And looking back, those are all the same feelings I had when I first started painting furniture and writing this blog. Like most things in my life, the best and most meaningful things have come from taking a risk and stepping out of my comfort zone.
I can’t wait to start painting again so I’ll be back next week with a fun before and after for you!
ANY OTHER DOUGHNUT ADDICTS OUT THERE? 😉 FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
Have an amazing and inspiring week my friends!
I’m glad you had a wonderful time. I find it hard to put myself out there…ugh, the anxiety! But once you take the first step it gets better huh? I love doughnuts, we have a great one here in Florida, near where I live. I have to stay away. If I bring any home, they call my name until I’m forced to eat them all! Snort!!
Ya, taking the first step is always the hardest, isn’t it?! And good donuts are VERY persuasive… I totally get it! 😉 😉 😉
Julie McDowell says
Fantastic! So happy for you, sounds like loads of fun. Maybe next year.
Hurry up and paint something!
haha…. I’m working on it Julie! 🙂 xo
Love your blog and all of the work that you do. It’s inspirational to see you take an old, unloved piece of furniture and make it into something that we want in our homes. I also love that you are a fellow Canadian. Please take that picture of the donut to the Tim Hortons headquarters and ask them to see about duplicating it – I would be first in line for that one.
Thanks, Margaret… you and I both!…and I should take that to Timmy’s HQ, right!!!…lol. 😉 I don’t know if you remember, but I think it was a year or two ago TH’s brought out a churro donut for a little while. It was kind of honey crueler improvisation. I LOVED it, and was so disappointed when they stopped making it I was going to contact them! That’s how passionate I am about my donuts…lol.
Linda Gliedt says
I’m so glad you had a great time and met some of your favorite people. Getting away, especially with that big of a change of scenery is so rejuvenating. It makes going home refreshing.
Thanks, Linda! Getting away from the cold weather, even if it was just a couple of days was amazing. And I love traveling. It’s a treat not having to cook, clean, or do the regular chores and routine! 🙂
Kudos to you for putting your fears aside & taking this big step. So happy it was a success for you. So neat to meet these well known bloggers. I feel that thrill every time I communicate with YOU and hope one day we’ll meet up somewhere/somehow. Hope you were able to take full advantage of being introduced to any new trends/techniques, cos you’re just the girl to run with it. Looking forward to more of “Denise”. (Oh, and just so you know……..you shortened your life span by a few years with that horkin’ donut! LOL) Love the name of that Donut shop……Memphis Mafia…..hahaha!
LOL….You just gave me the BEST laugh Tracy!!!!! 😀 … and you may be right but that darn donut was worth it…LOL. 😉 Anyway, I REALLY hope we do get to meet up one day. That would be AMAZING!!!! 🙂
Lorin Small says
Glad you had a great time and the weather must have been really fantastic. We still have winter here in North Dakota. My husband says it t-shirts weather because it’s 1° or 2° above freezing, but we keep have snow storm after snow storm. 😉
I’m a dessert junkie!I If you’re ever in San Diego they have a world class place called Extraordinary Desserts and it’s well worth the time to check it out.
Ohhh me too Lorin, my sweet tooth is horrible. I don’t buy anything sweet when I grocery shop because it often doesn’t even make it home!!! So YES, if I’m ever in San Deigo, Extraordinary Desserts is one of the first places I’ll check out…lol. And as for weather, I hear ya. I just took my dog for a walk and its 2° above here too… I’m so ready for some spring weather. 🙂
Did you say donuts! I have zero self-control where those are concerned so I stay in the car via the drive-thru and pick up a small box of Timbits every once in a while. Looks like VooDoo donuts isn’t a quick jaunt to pick up a dozen but rather an experience with live entertainment and all! Glad to hear you had a good time at your first blogging conference and made some great connections.
Oh my goshhh… another thing we have in common Marie!!! And I so get it. When I walk into Tim Hortons, I’m walking out with a dozen – so I do the drive-thru also. Loving their Mocha Lattes lately too. But do you want to hear self-control at it’s best? My sister Andrea orders 1 Timbit!!!
Jill Ballantyne says
Denise please tell me how you sell your stuff–I am having a hard time, hope to get advice thx
Hi Jill! Every area is a little different so I’m not sure where you’re located. But as for selling my pieces, I’m really fortunate in that when I post my furniture on the blog and/or social media, I often get contacted asking if it’s for sale. I also still post pieces on Kijiji and Craigslist which works well for me also. I wrote a post on pricing and selling furniture which you may find helpful that you can check out here.
Patty Soriano says
I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to Texas! I live in a small Alsatian town just west of San Antonio, with one of the best bakeries in the state. People come from far and wide for their apple fritters. And although that 80 degrees might feel good to you now, you’ll never visit in August where 100+ degrees can last a little too long.
Thanks Patty, I really did! And I would definitely come back to visit your state again. My sister and I are already talking about what we can go see and do there (keeping my fingers crossed) so if you know the name of that bakery, feel free to comment back. 😀 And funny that you say about the 100°+ weather. The guy I was sitting beside on the plane ride down said the exact same thing. He says it not abnormal for him to shower 2-3 times per day in that humid hot weather. WOW, I’d melt!!!
Voodoo Donuts make life worth living 🙂 They’re HUGE in Portland, Oregon, where I find myself often (and not just for the donuts).
Denise, would you please give me contact or site info for the blogging conference in Austin? I’ve been searching online and see so many conferences but none seem like the right one. Is this an annual thing? I would be nervous to attend as well, but it sounds like a lot lot lot of fun.
Thank you. Best regards,
Hi Jane! Ya, my sister went online and saw they have 5 or 6 locations across the US and I can see why they’re so popular! I think they should open a location here in Toronto! 😀 The conference I was at was the first ever AdThrive/CafeMedia Acceleration Summit for bloggers belonging to their network. But an open conference that I keep hearing about (and sounds amazing) is Haven which is in its 7th or 8th year… maybe something to consider. I know I am. 🙂
I knew you’d love Texas Denise. The people and atmosphere there are awesome. Unfortunately, I never got to try Voodoo donuts while I was there. Maybe next time:) Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
You told me so and you were righhhht!:) Ya, if there’s ever a time you visit again, Voodoo Doughnuts is a fun spot to snack… or fill your face…lol. 😉