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Time For a Recap: Blog Podium

blog podium buttonI know, basically every single person that attended Blog Podium is writing one of these and believe me, all of the ones I have read so far are nothing short of exceptional.  The reason so many of us are writing recaps is because what happens at Blog Podium needs to be shared.  What happens at Blog Podium, does not stay at Blog Podium, you know what I mean?  We all have nothing but wonderful thoughts to share about the event, so I’m going to try to keep mine short.

It all sort of felt like the first day of High School, and if you’re me you were the kid showing up with frizzy hair and a sweaty face (because that’s where I sweat first/most. Yep.  Gross).  I swear the girls at the registration table questioned whether or not I was lost because I looked cray-zay!  You see, it was a rainy day in Toronto and I walked from Union Station over to the Hyatt, and I have this weird tendency to speed-walk (my husband has been telling me to ‘SLOW DOWN’ since the day we met like 7 years ago) so I had already had a cardio workout by the time I arrived.  So why was it like High School?  Well, you get your things and walk into this giant room FULL of strangers.  Imagine, like, the fanciest high school cafeteria ever with pretty flowers on the tables and yummy croissants being served.  You do the zig-zaggy walk around to see if there’s anyone who looks at you to invite you to sit down… nope.  These ladies were all (rightly so) highly involved in conversations with new bloggy buddies, so I was on my own for now.  No big… I zig-zagged my way up to the front of the room and asked if that seat was taken as I set my orange juice down on the table.  Within seconds, introductions were made and I felt already slightly more at ease, though I was painfully aware that I may have mascara running down my face and that my hair still had a mind of its own and was surely not cooperating.  I took two sips of juice and excused myself to the washroom.  No mascara running down my face, but the hair… oh, the hair was not good!  Nothing I could do.  I smoothed it down and was on my way back to the fancy cafeteria to meet my classmates.

Blog Podium 1Jen (the principal) was sweet and kind, and always looking busy.  I think everyone just wanted to hug her and thank her for all that she was doing that day (ok so maybe this part isn’t like High School at all).  I saw a familiar face and QUICKLY ran over to say hello and tell her how glad I was she decided to wear her boots.  Alex and I hugged, and I fell a little more in love with her easy going attitude, and naturally cool demeanor.  Our orientation was about to start.  Home Depot took the stage and shortly after Sarah Richardson was introduced.  Every ear in the room was sucking in each word she spoke as if our very being depended on them.  She was inspired and inspiring, teaching us design lessons (“If you’re not comfortable in your home, nobody else will be comfortable in your home.”) and life lessons (“It’s way more fun to be engaging, to be happy!”), grammar lessons (“These ones and those ones”) all while empowering us to move forward and do what we love.  Wow.  And with that we were off to class.

Blog Podium 2Two classes down, more connections made, and before we all knew it, it was lunch time!  I had just thrown myself into the middle of a conversation between Amy and Sabrina (who are both so incredibly BEAUTIFUL) and we chatted about weddings as we walked back to the fancy cafeteria.  By this point, most people were walking in with a buddy or a small group, so the three of us found a spot and others joined us.  It was so awesome to be connecting with so many amazing people.  K so this is basically where High School connections end.  Servers came around with salad, followed by a main course of chicken with orzo mac and cheese and asparagus, and dessert, which was the best part and oh so chocolate-y!  Then we had an amazing panel packed with some seriously impressive and high achieving women who gave bloggers so much credit, when it’s something we hardly ever seem to receive.  Again, empowering, funny, informative and inspiring.  Off to classes again.

Blog Podium 3Just outside of where our classes took place, sponsors had some beautiful product laid out for us to see and try.  Urban Barn’s fall collection was perfectly inviting and that “Bijoux” box is still on my mind!  Chapters/Indigo set up a gorgeous table with browns and greens and gold.  Skinny Cow had an entire freezer stocked with ice cream for us, so I had officially entered paradise.  Oh and Tonic Living had some gorgeous fabric to show us and share for future projects.  The photo backdrop will make a bit more sense shortly…

Blog POdium 4With classes now over. we headed to the cocktail reception which consisted of a signature drink with some seriously adorable straws and one mighty blurry photo of Alex and I.  This is where we must insert a photo of our girl, Lauren!  We missed you!!!

Blog POdium 5Some more memorable moments: Natasha and Becky teaching us about the workings of blogger/brand relationships, Karen Bertelsen keeping it real and making us all laugh until it hurt, and some fun with new friends… and some props too!

And because I sucked at taking my own photos that day, here is a slice of what Anna (of AnnaWithLove) took that day:

Blog Podium Annawithlove Photography Collage 1 Blog Podium Annawithlove Photography Collage 2I left the Hyatt on Saturday feeling tired and elated.  The introvert in me felt the exhaustion of making new connections, seeing new faces and introducing myself over and over, but at the end of it all I walked away having made friendships and ,very much LIKE High School, everyone in the room was on the same boat, feeling (mostly) the same feelings of excitement and nervousness mixed with anxiety and happiness.  It’s all enough to make you feel a little sick, really… but in a good way!  As far as first experiences go, this was one of the greats.

Blog Podium, I’m coming for you again next year!

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19 Comments

  • Reply Amber @ Simple Dwellings

    That was a great recap! Such a fun and creative way of looking at the weekend! I loved taking those funny photo booth pictures. :) It was so great to meet you! I felt just as nervous and scared as you, let me tell ya! :) I will definitely have to meet up with you again next year!

    September 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much, Amber! I already can’t wait to go back and hang out with you again! It was so much fun taking silly pictures together, and so nice to have left there making such meaningful connections with people like you!

      September 25, 2013 at 11:31 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    What a great concept! I love your comparison to high school, so true! Thanks for being the warm, inviting and genuine person you are…you were such a pleasure to talk to :)

    September 25, 2013 at 8:35 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much! I wish I knew who you are so I could personally thank you for such sweet words, but your comment showed up as anonymous. Either way, thanks for the lovely comment! Sure did put a smile on my face!

      September 25, 2013 at 11:32 am
  • Reply Julia at Home on 129 Acres

    Great recap, Thalita. I like your analogy to high school. I had very much the same feelings! It was really nice to meet you and hear about your blogging experience. There were lots of great things about BP, but the best was definitely meeting bloggers like you and discovering new connections.

    September 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Hi Julia! I am SO happy we got to meet!!! You’re such a sweet, sweet person and I adore your stories on your blog! It’s just the best being able to connect with people who “get you”! Oh and I may just be coming to you for some advice when my husband and I live out our dream of country-living! Suburbs are for chumps! Just kidding… sort of!

      September 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply Alex

    It totally is like high school! If it makes you feel any better, it felt like that for me too. I got there and I knew you were coming and all the awesome bloggers we chat with on Twitter. But I couldn’t find anyone b/c I didn’t have anyone’s cell. So it wasn’t until I saw Lynne that I recognized someone. And then even then, it wasn’t until I got onto Twitter where I started asking girls where they were sitting. And that’s how we all found each other. It was SO great to meet you and I love how we can all know keep in touch on FB and hopefully help each other grow our blogs. I think Canada was sorely missing a way to do that and I’d watch Lauren and other US bloggers understand the importance of working together. And now I think it’s starting happen here.

    September 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm
    • Reply Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

      Just had to jump in on the conversation because Alex just name-dropped me like I actually know what the heck I’m doing (Whaaaa?!), and I just wanted to say how I LOVED hearing every detail of your Blog Podium experience from sweaty start to exhausted finish, Thalita. I love the school metaphor, of course, and can totally relate to that awkward feeling of arriving and looking for a spot to sit or a familiar face. But, it sounds like you quickly found your groove and made some meaningful bonds and learned a TON. Harrah!

      Also, it means the world to me that you and Alex cared to take some pics just so I can pretend to insert myself into them and live variously through you two! You two ladies are some of the most inspirational and kind-hearted ones in blogland, and the fact that I can call you “friends” makes me oh so proud.

      July 10-12. Haven 2014. Atlanta, GA. Save the date, lay-days!

      September 26, 2013 at 12:55 am
      • Reply Thalita

        Hey now, Alex name-dropped for good reason – you’re totally doing big things in blogland!

        Haha I told so many people that day about my sweaty morning… they laughed, but now that I think of it they may have thought I was totally weird! Which is ok… I kind of am. It made for a good ice breaker, anyway.

        Oh Alex literally said the words “Ok we need a picture for Lauren so I can post it right now!” You were definitely on our minds! The feeling is more than mutual, Lauren. And I’m sure Alex doesn’t mind me speaking for her on this one.

        That is going on my calendar right now!

        September 26, 2013 at 9:56 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Oh man I was like the happiest kid ever when I saw you. Seriously, I got up SO fast! I love that you came up with the FB group and I really think it’s going to be the start of something awesome. Heck, it already IS awesome!

      September 26, 2013 at 9:46 am
  • Reply Amy (www.loveonsunday.com)

    Great recap, Thalita! I really love your writing style, it’s so funny and witty; a joy to read even at 11:56pm! I agree, it was exactly like highschool in the beginning. I felt like I kept asking, “is this seat taken?” and it almost always was. haha but it definitely got better once the day progressed!

    Did you get any of those skinny cow ice cream bars? I totally missed the boat on that. It’s almost midnight and I’m thinking about the ice cream bars – what is wrong with me.

    Anyway, it was SO nice to meet you and I hope a bunch of us can get together soon! xo

    September 25, 2013 at 11:56 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Amy! Thanks so much!!! That is super sweet of you to say! Especially because you’re reading it at 11:56pm! By next year we’ll be like pros! Like High School seniors! haha

      I did manage to get one ice cream bar, but had I known about the freezer of goodness earlier, I would have killed a couple more of those bad boys. So good. And girl, I think about ice cream all day long! It’s my vice – I can’t live without it!

      Meeting you was one of the biggest highlights of the day, Amy! I really hope we DO get together before the next Blog Podium so we can all catch up!

      September 26, 2013 at 9:50 am
  • Reply Becky

    It was SOOO like high school. And I hear ya on the frizzy hair. That business was outta control…

    Loved the recap – especially now that I can hear your cheerful voice when I read it!

    So happy I met you in person :)

    Cheers,
    Becky

    P.S. What the FREAK is up with my face in that photo though? I look like I’m about to tell some horribly inappropriate joke and you and Natasha are politely listening ;P

    September 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks for coming to check it out! I am totally in LOVE with your recap, and I think it’s safe to say pretty much every blogger out there is too!

      My favourite part about reading your blog now is being able to hear your voice as I read it. Oh and your tweets too. Because they’re hilarious!

      Also, there is NOTHING up with your face. You were talking… and we were listening to something awesome, so it’s perfectly normal! Like probably how your son is into superheroes and you’re the coolest mom ever because you know what Wolverine’s claws are made of!

      September 27, 2013 at 9:41 am
  • Reply The Friday Five & Erin Condren Giveaway — the thinking closet

    […] had the opportunity to attend Blog Podium last weekend, Canada’s Conference for Design and Lifestyle Bloggers…and she wrote all […]

    September 27, 2013 at 8:06 am
    • Reply now at home mom

      Hi Thalita, visiting from Lauren’s blog!
      I love how you described your blogpodium experience and how easy it is to imagine being there because of the ‘high school and cafeteria’ reference ;-) & of course because of all those pictures. You are so lucky, you got to meet my friend Alex in person, I wish I could’ve been there too! :-) maybe next year!
      I also saw you on our FB Blogging group Canadian Blogging Belles :-)

      September 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm
      • Reply Thalita

        Hi Ingrid! I knew your name looked familiar as soon as I saw the comment some through! Thanks so much for popping over! You are right – I am super lucky to have met Alex. She is one cool chick! Definitely hoping to see you there next year!!!

        September 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Emily @ Two Purple Couches

    Yay! I’m so glad you had a fabulous time! The conference decorations look out. of. this. world!!! Wow, so pretty! I totally felt the same way at Haven… and I was literally sweating all over the place because it was humid-er than heck, and I was at an outdoor party with a fancy jacket on. Poor outfit planning on my part! But thank god our good friend Lauren is as sweet and welcome as she is! <3 you Lauren!

    I am jealous that you got to listen to Sarah Richardson!!! So cool! I hope someday we can attend a blog conference together, take silly pictures, and enjoy croissants!

    September 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks Emily! The decor was so fantastic. everywhere you looked, just pretty, amazing things! Glad I wasn’t theo nly sweaty one! HAHA!

      Sarah Richardson was definitely a highlight. She was as cool as can be, too! And hey, that day may just be coming sooner than we know! (fingers crossed!)

      October 1, 2013 at 9:46 am

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