I am an introvert at heart, I think that is why I like computers so much...I can hide away and make friends at a distance, so I was quite nervous to walk into this conference with at least 300 other women! I had months to prepare myself for it, and really? When I got there? I was just fine.
My roommates were amazing (thanks Sober Julie, Jen and Cheryl), and the others that I met there were just as amazing. Even though I may not have been the most outgoing attendee, I was able to connect with 3 or 4 other bloggers on a level that I was comfortable with. I was able to spend time building those relationships and that was important to me.
While thinking of this post, I thought about what I got out of these few days, what is it that stuck with me? It is hard to explain, but I think it is along the lines of "Stay true to yourself". I walked away from Blissdom Canada thinking about why I started blogging in the first place, what was important almost 6 years ago...
I remembered...I am a writer and I wanted to treasure all the stories of my families lives. The funny moments, the sad moments, the realities we hit and the desire to connect with some other moms in the process.
So, asking myself now, have I accomplished that? Have I sold myself out? Am I happy where I am? And where do I want to go from here?
I have struggled this last little while with trying to find a balance...I have been up front about that. I love doing reviews and giveaways, I love when my kids get excited about the delivery truck coming to the house and I love that I can earn a little bit of money from the blog, but I also don't want to lose my voice to that either. I don't think I am the only one who feels this way...I also realized that I do want to be published and I learned that there are many options for publishing nowadays.
So, Blissdom Canada helped me to put things in perspective, it helped to bring me out of my shell a little and I am looking forward to going back next year to glean some more inspiration from those who have been on this road longer then me...
Another part of Blissdom Canada that I loved was the sponsor booths! There were so many companies there to meet and network with and I loved that we had the time to build a relationship with those we were interested in. With the event being over 3 days, we had time to actually get to know the people behind the brands and blogs. We got to eat with them, we got to party with them...we actually got to build on those relationships.
Some of the companies that I enjoyed networking with were:
Corel Software - I would have to say this was my favourite of all...not only did they take head shots of everyone, but I was able to come home with the Photo and Video X4 program for my computer!! Let me tell you...I envied that program from the minute they showed me how to do what I wanted for my blog. I had it downloaded on the first break after I received it and the introvert in me wanted to stay in my hotel room and just play with the program!! They were all so friendly there and it was wonderful to see that there are real people behind such a big brand!!
Chevrolet - They were also amazing. We were chauffered to CBC Live and enjoyed an opening party there (schmoozing with some of the tv personalities and seeing Mr. Dressups Tree!!). The drivers were so much fun and great sports (We love you Mo!!). The Chevy Orlando's were so nice and such a treat to be driven in!! We even had our (me and Cheryl) picture taken in Disney with the Orlando!! That was definitely a fun memory that we will have forever:-)
Fisher Price - Though I was not brave enough to climb into the giant bouncy chair, it did look like a lot of fun!! I just would not have been able to get out of it;-) I love everything Fisher Price, so it was cool to see some of their new toys and I even applied to be on the Fisher Price Play Panel!! Faith would be so excited to be a part of that (and secretly I think my older kids would love it too!!)
Kellogg's - They provided us with a cereal bar each morning for breakfast!! I don't normally eat cereal, but when I saw the Froot Loops...let me tell you, the inner kid came out and enjoyed that brekkie most of all!! While talking with one of the ladies at the booth, I learned that cereal really is a healthy choice! So now, I don't feel bad when I say "What? I don't make eggs, pancakes or homemade bread for breakfast for my kids, they eat CEREAL!!". My preconceived notions of cereal really got knocked down! And boy am I glad they did:-)
Philips - I was excited to go here, because I was going to meet someone that I had emailed with about reviews. It is so neat to put a face behind the email (Hi Katie!!). I also got to try out a Sonicare Toothbrush! We had to take a pic of us and tweet it out, and if the pic had been taken right at the beginning of me using it, it would have been a priceless face!! I could not believe how fast the toothbrush moved, it was kind of weird at first, but then felt ok once I was used to the sensation!! It was a lot of fun though!!
Healthy Choice - This room was SO.MUCH.FUN!! I had an eye treatment done and they also cleaned away the old cells from my face, it felt so cool and was nice to just relax. I enjoyed a virgin pina colada and then they said "You should try the neck stretching, it feels really good!"...then we were right in the middle of a full stretching workout!! There is a video, and I am hoping that it does NOT surface any time soon (Shash;-) and I missed my chance to pop in and say hi to another person I have been emailing with (Hi Kathy!!).
Mabel's Labels - They hosted a fabulous Glam It Up party where I got my hair done all fancy!! There was so much fun there with photo ops, drinks and snow cones!!
I could go on and on with the sponsors/companies but I am going to end it with just one more...
Better Styled Inc. - I had signed up for a fashion consultation and I got so caught up in the conference that I almost missed it!! I am really glad that I did end up going, because I really learned a lot about my style...like I should be wearing boot cut jeans to balance my figure, and small prints are good for me...also a scarf!! I don't know yet how I feel about that one...and a leather jacket was even suggested!! It was good though to get me thinking about how I present myself and was definitely a step in the right direction!!
Some of the other sponsors/brands that helped to make Blissdom Canada successful were:
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
Generation 7 Wines
lisa leonard designs
There is still so much more that I am processing, I think the Blissdom Ladies, who planned this conference are phenomenal!! It is hard to put together something like this and it ran so smoothly. There was something for everyone and I really felt comfortable there. Thanks to all the amazing sponsors that are listed above, because without them this would never have been able to get off the ground!
I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!!