Now that I’m working, my travel has been greatly restricted. But a really big part of my job is finding the right influencers for the right brands so that they can make sweet advertising love. So, I still need to go to a few of the larger conferences to stay in the loop and be immersed in the chatter.
One of the conferences on my dance card for this year is Mom 2.0 which is where I’ve been for the last several days. I know you are going to feel really bad for me, but it was held at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, Georiga. I know, I know. Tough life. I hear ya.
Blogging conferences sound like all fun and games. I’d be lying to say that they aren’t a lot of fun. Of course they are. But I have to tell you, I find them absolutely exhausting for two reasons…
Everyone always looks perfectly dressed with lovely matching accessories. Can I tell you how long it takes for me to blow out my hair and do my makeup each and every morning? Too much time. And accessorizing myself like a Christmas tree is not high on my list of fun things to do. Honestly, I have to read fashion magazines to stay on top of what’s current.
It seems like an effortless thing for most of the women at these conferences. I think they wake up looking that way. Perfect.
The other thing that is exhausting is the amount of talking I have to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk. But networking with hundreds of women and scores of brands takes a lot out of a girl. Ten to twelve hours of talking each day makes for a sleepy Melanie.
But enough of the complaining, let me show you the fun stuff, because there was a lot of fun to be had…
My first event was actually not affiliated with the conference. It was an event for Dixie Crystals Sugar which I attended as a food blogger representing my poor neglected food blog, A Beautiful Bite. I do plan on writing on that site again. Hopefully sooner than later.
The event was held at The Swan House which you will recognize if you saw the movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Here I am posing as FLOTC. (First Lady of the Capitol)
It was a wonderful event and I had a great time touring the mansion, eating yummy treats and hanging out with blogger friends. A nice way to start my trip.
My roommate for Mom 2.0 is my girlfriend Susan. She has an incredible food blog that most likely some of you already read, Doughmesstic. She’s like a blonde me. The frick to my frack. We get along very well which is always a good thing when you are sleeping in the same room as someone.
She only has one fault. She likes to keep the room at 68º which makes me feel like an ice cube. Other than that she’s pretty perfect to travel with.
I should’ve warned you that you’d be sick of my face by the end of this post because I had my picture taken with every one of my friends. And even people that aren’t my friends. Well, they will be my friends. They just don’t know it yet.
But the lady up above? She is a friend. Her name is Kelby and she is the founder of the Type A Parent Conference. Kelby is another person who I feel completely at ease with. We have a ton in common and she picks out the best places to dine…
Here we are enjoying dinner at Southern Art which I gave Kelby hell about because the walk to get there seemed to take forever. And since I’ve been recently Uberized, I’ve gotten spoiled by having private drivers cart my fanny around town. I like Uber.
But I shouldn’t have doubted Kelby because the restaurant was incredible. You can sort of tell we were diggin’ it because we couldn’t stop taking pictures of our food.
See this pile of awesome? It’s crab hash. Just a big pile of lump crabmeat and fried potatoes. Oh, and a chive hollandaise to pour over top. Because fried potatoes and lump crabmeat isn’t decadent enough. Holy moly.
And this? Why this sexy thing is a twelve layer red velvet cake. You should’ve seen the other desserts. Incredible. The chocolate pretzel crusted pie was the next runner up in the dessert beauty contest.
After dinner I came back to a room that was blinged out especially for me. I was one of the winners of a plushed up room. (as if the Ritz wasn’t plush enough) The folks from the National Sleep Foundation came in and made my bed extra comfy with special pillows, aromatherapy products and a bunch of other fun stuff to help me fall asleep. Which happened about five seconds after my head hit the pillow.
And they gave me a Serta sheep. Can I tell you how long I’ve wanted one of these? So cute! Actually, they gave me one more the next day when I ran into them on the expo floor and thanked them.
I told them that my girls were going to love him and when they heard I had two kids, they gave me an extra sheep. Wasn’t that nice? Now the girls don’t have to duke it out over who gets to sleep with him.
The conference itself was great. Lots of different sessions to attend and things to learn. And let me tell you, bloggers don’t go hungry at blogging conferences. There is food everywhere. The top picture was one of the vendor samples and the bottom pic was from our Ritz-Carlton blogger tea luncheon. Lots-o-calories at blogging conferences.
Susan and I went on one afternoon field trip during our stay. A Kentucky Derby party which I was woefully ill prepared for. Actually, I don’t wear hats so I wouldn’t have fit in no matter how hard I tried. But I sure could’ve done better than this preppy dress that screams I’m from Boston. Which I am so I guess I was at least authentic.
But once you start drinking a few of these, you forget about the hat thing and start cheering loudly for your horse Wicked Strong which happens to be from Massachusetts. And if you do it with a strong enough Boston accent, your clothing faux pas is forgiven because now it makes sense that you look like a total prep and some people find you quite charming in spite of it.
Ok, last picture of my face that I’ll subject you to. Today, anyway. Here I am with the creative force behind the website Fashion By Mayhem. This is a blog that has blown up in popularity just as of late. And I mean big time.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the blog, this little girl and her mom make dresses out of paper, scraps of fabric, tape and the like which little Mayhem (nickname) poses in. They recreate red carpet fashions so beautifully that their Instagram following is already at 387K and just this weekend they were featured online at Vogue.
And for the record, this kid is the most precocious little thing ever. So happy and engaging. A true pleasure to meet. Her mom is pretty awesome too. Maybe someday we will see Mayhem design a dress for mom? I hope so!
Now it’s time for me to pack my things and return home. It was a fantastic conference. Truly one of those conferences that shouldn’t be missed if you are a blogger. Yes, it’s not inexpensive. But there is so much good content and inspiration at this conference that it makes it right up there in my top three that I cannot miss each year.
And that’s a wrap! My next conference is just two weeks away at BlogHer Food and guess what I get to do when I get home? Have my wisdom teeth pulled out just days before the biggest food blogging conference in the United States. Awesome timing! That’s one way to avoid gaining weight at a blogging conference.