It was truly blissful. Two days of inspirational talks, new friendships, and so much free stuff I couldn’t fit it all in my oversized suitcase.
Blissdom ’12 began on Friday with one of the most motivational and humorous keynotes I’ve ever seen. Jon Acuff, author of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job, who closed the gap himself when he became an author, opened my eyes to what success really means. He spoke about how to listen to hinge moments (when life makes an unexpected turn) and what to do with them; how to rediscover your passions. These were my key takeaways from his keynote:
“Your dream is not a discovery; it’s a recovery”
“Never compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle”
“Someone else’s success is not an indication of your failure”
He gave all attendees a copy of his signed book. I can’t wait to read it and discover how to close my gap.
The night prior to Jon’s keynote, I could barely sleep (it could be the pregnancy, but I’ll credit excitement). Last year my boss Tena and I had the most amazing time at Blissdom ’11. The speakers were fantastic, the women were amazing, and the swag was abundant. Last year we received Lands End tote bags with Blissdom embroidered on it and I ended up carrying around my laptop bag and the swag bag for the first day of the conference. I thought I’d be strategic this year and just carry my laptop, power cord, notebook, cell and wallet in my hands to the registration booth to pick up my bag. Then I received this:
There was no way one more thing would fit in there. So I wandered back to my room dragging the 10 lb. Blissdom/OWN bag with my laptop perched on my pregnant belly to my room. Epic fail.
Once I dropped everything off and ventured back to the conference area, I saw attendees flocking to the Famous Footwear booth where they were giving everyone (yes, everyone) a free pair of Dr. Scholl’s Jamie shoes in Grey/Pink. I wore mine on day two of the conference to test them out. They were extremely comfortable, lightweight, and flexible. They were perfect for navigating the large Gaylord Opryland campus.
At the end of the first day, I had so much swag I didn’t know how I could fit it all in my suitcase. Of all the goodies, my favorites were the Sensor Pump by simplehuman, the recordable storybook Under the Same Moon I won from Hallmark (my cousin is going to record it so the baby can hear her voice across the miles), and, of course, the annual Blissdom necklace by Lisa Leonard Designs.
You can score 10% off your next Lisa Leonard Designs order with the coupon code blissdom’12 at checkout now through March 5, 2012. I have some other deals for you too -
- Save 20% off your entire purchase at famousfootwear.com with code BLISS12AABNCUWJH at checkout now through March 11, 2012
- Save 10% off your next Gussy Sews purchase with code FABCUSTOMER at checkout now through April 30, 2012
- Save 20% off your IKE & CO purchase at ikeandco.etsy.com with code BLISSDOM20 (no expiration date noted)
One of my favorite things about Blissdom is the amazing women I meet. It’s so fun to finally meet these women that I’ve grown to know and love solely by following them online for years.
On Friday night I went to the Girls Night Out party and didn’t really know too many people. Feeling lonely, I sat in the white swivel chair alone gorging on waffle fries and sipping water. Then a girl came over to me and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I shook my head no and she sat down. It was Katy of Indianapolis with Kids. Turns out she was at a blogger event my company hosted back in August for BlogHer in San Diego. The more we talked, the more we discovered we had a bunch in common. She’s pregnant too and we spent hours talking babies and gear. Just goes to show that sometimes when you feel lonely, God shows you your exactly where you should be.
I am so happy to have finally met some other amazing ladies. On Friday afternoon I sat down with Piera of Jolly Mom, Shannon, co-owner of Simple, and Anne of Deal Wise Mommy. I’ve been working with these ladies for work (I manage blogger relations for a toy company), and it was so nice to get to know them better and learn about their families and lives.
Anne and I ended up in the same photography session on Saturday afternoon and hung out together for much of the rest of the day. During the Saturday night event sponsored by Famous Footwear, they announced that anyone wearing the tee-shirt they gave away with the shoes would be eligible for an extra prize. After assessing the crowd, and concluding that only a handful of people had the shirts on, we made an impulse decision to run back to my room and grab the tee-shirts during a 15 minute break. We made it back just in time to be selected to win $25 gift cards!
I’m already looking forward to next year. Next February can’t come fast enough.