In addition to all the fun, I also learned a lot. Here's a list of my top ten takeaways from BlogU:
1. Public speaking doesn't have to suck. I am usually a nervous public speaker, but for the first time ever I wasn't when presenting my session at BlogU, How to Make Money with Your Writing. This was because I presented with Nicole Leigh Shaw, who showed me you can look forward to and enjoy talking to a group just as easily as you can worry about it and hate it. Thanks Nicole for the inspiration, you have a serious gift.
|Photo by Kerry of House TalkN|
2. There's no party like a NickMom party. When NickMom throws a party, they throw a party. In a word it was epic, from the DJ who played every single one of my favorite songs from the 80s and 90s, to the centerpieces made with cassette tapes, everything was perfect.
|Nicole (NinjaMomBlog.com), Kerry (HouseTalkN.com) and Susan (DivineSecretsofaDomesticDiva.com)|
3. A Girl and Her Band make the best headbands ever. I had already had a few blogging friends tell me how these headbands are incredibly cute and comfortable, but I didn't realize how truly great they were until I tried them for myself. They were also a huge hit with my daughters, so big thanks to A Girl and her Band for making me look good to my kids.
|Photo from the A Girl and her Band website.|
4. If you bring home a fun mustache, your tween will immediately steal it and even say "this is so awesome! Thank you!" So, thank you, Ashley from Big Top Family for the excellent swag!
5. Friends in the computer are even more awesome in person. BlogU was the first time I got to meet in person lots of people I only knew through blogging, but had never actually met IRL. And while their 3D selves are even better than their Twitter personalities, many did betray me by being taller or shorter than I had imagined.
|Photo by Erin of the Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms|
6. The best dorm mates ever are Kim, Paige and Robyn. The fact that I manged not to get a photo to document this fact is clearly a giant fail from the weekend.
7. The best time to pin things to Pinterest is Sunday night. I learned this and so much more about Pinterest from Anna of My Life and Kids.
8. All conferences should have cupcakes. Actually, why stop at conferences? All events should have cupcakes. And places. Especially boring places, like the DMV. The cupcakes at BlogU were from Macklin's Cafe and were insanely good.
|Photo from Blog U's Twitter.|
9. Real Beanz Iced Coffee makes a long drive home after a weekend of very little sleep really not so bad at all. But still not nearly as good as the ride down with the fun and hilarious Kim of The Fordeville Diaries.
10. Your kids won't notice you were gone when they are enjoying the ultimate staycation with Daddy. Apparently, when dad is in charge it is not business at usual. I complimented him on there being no dirty dishes in the sink, but apparently that was only because they ate every single meal out. When they weren't busy dining at brunch with a chocolate fountain, they enjoyed an afternoon party at his brother's house, ran a 5k, went to the movies to see Maleficent and even fit in not one but two trips to the pool, and a Wii tournament that my ten-year-old described went on "until so long after bedtime you seriously don't even want to know when it ended, Mom." Well-played, husband. Well-played. And, you even got the roses to bloom while I was gone.
You can learn more about Blog U on their website, Facebook page and Twitter, and also by following the hashtag #BlogU14. For tons of photos from the NickMom Prom check out #NickMomProm.
I was not compensated for this post, but many of the products mentioned were sponsors of Blog U.