Monday, January 31, 2011

Blissdom Recap

You always want to develop and hone your craft.  And I got to do that this weekend by going to Blissdom, a blogging conference.

I love how going to conferences charges you up and rejuvenates your passion...and that's what happened to me.  I've got ideas swirling around in my head and trying to harness them into something manageable is going to be the challenge.

Here are some of my top moments of Blissdom:


Please tell me you've heard of this...where people jump up in the middle of a crowd of people and break out in choreographed dance.  Have you ever heard of anything more glorious?  I got to be a part of that!  There were about 600 people at the conference and about 90 or so of us in this flashmob.  You can't really see me in the video, but trust me...I was there. The video quality isn't the greatest and in some parts the dancing doesn't match with the words. Oh was fun!


 How cute is this little guy (and the little girl isn't bad either!)?  What's even better is that he is interactive.  I won him from Hallmark.  As you read the story, he responds to your voice and comments on the story.  Well, let me just say that we had some fun times with Winston at about 12:30 at night.  It's amazing how much fun grown women can have with a toy raccoon.

I love me a good roadtrip with friends.  And believe me, my friends and I know how to rock a roadtrip with some old school road trip games.  Once again the Can O' Bliss made an appearance.  In the can were all different games.  Each girl pulled one out and we'd play it.  One of those was a mad libs.  It was a mad libs of the 12 Days of Christmas (Hey, I got it on the clearance rack at Target after Christmas).  

Fun surprises!
Some of my really sweet bloggy friends surprised me with treats!  All bloggy related of course!
Business card holder from Mary (made by Half Pint House)
Bag Tag from Hillary
Necklace from The Rusted Chain

Meeting & Connecting with Bloggy Friends
One of the best parts of Blissdom is meeting face to face the people you've been tweeting with or reading their blogs.  They are actually people!
I feel like I've known Mary (far left) for years.  In the middle is my real life long friend Amanda.
As sweet as honey, pretty as a magnolia, and as southern as high hair and hoop dresses!  Hillary is a gem.  She's also super funny (I just couldn't think of a southern way to explain it!)
Probably one of the only people at the whole conference who knows what it feels like to NOT fit into the "mommy blogger" category.  My single friend Leigh!  We've been reading each other's blogs for a while now and she was one of the first people I wanted to find at Blissdom.

I didn't get a picture with her, but meeting Lori Mahon was a complete surprise!  But turns out we have a lot in common.  Probably one of the best things we had in common was that we were both in the Sandi Patty Friendship Company pen pals club!!  Any other fellow members?

Some other new friends that I didn't get pictures with were Sarah from A Wife Loved Like the Church and Alicia from Alicia's Homemaking. Such sweet and fun girls!!  I really enjoyed spending time with them!
Famous People
If my friends know one thing about me, it's that I'm a huge fan of celebrities.  It borders on a healthy way of course.  
First up was Mat Kearney. (Well, there was actually someone else, but do they really count as a celebrity if you've NEVER heard of them?  Yeah,  I didn't think so).
And a blurry, backside picture of George Duran.
So maybe not A-listers, but celebrities in their own right (ahem).


Words cannot express my love for these girls!  They are friends through and through.

Each night we got dolled up for cocktail parties.  I don't get to dress up that much anymore, so when I get a chance to wear heels, I'll take it!  I also like being the Official Jewelry Provider of room 4377.

Only a few speakers (ok, well a couple) stood out to me.  Ryan Marshall from Pacing the Panic Room was one.  I always love hearing dads talk about their love for their family.  He was really interesting.
Scott Stratten from Unmarketing was the other. ( it weird that both of them are men?!).  He was so engaging and practical.  One of those guys that make you sick, he's SO creative.

(What did I miss?)
Those of you that went, please fill in with your favorite part.  (Can you tell I'm one short and too tired to think of something?) 

This post is linked to the fabulous Oh Amanda.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

It's that time of the week again! Time to link up what you've stumbled this week.

True to form, most of mine tend to be food. Go figure.

Butter Mints by Bake it Pretty
I am absolutely dying to make these!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies by Celebrations at Home
I did actually make these. YUM!  My roommates at Blissdom have appreciated them.

And finally, the stumble that you've been waiting on...a real live flash mob! I got to be a part of this here at Blissdom.

So, you know the drill..

Just leave your blog name in the link up below. Please be sure to link to your actual post – not your blog. Here are some guidelines if you like to read things like that! Feel free to tweet with the hashtag #SatStumbles so we can find each other and others can find us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Welcome to Saturday Stumbles!  I've been given the reins to host this weekly link up carnival and I'm so excited to have it!  Mandi has really built a great time here where we can all learn from each other.  She also set the bar really high so I'm going to try my hardest to keep up with what she set!  Please be patient as I learn my way around all the ins and outs!

Mandi was so good at having her Saturday Stumbles themed, but one thing you'll learn quickly learn is that I am random.

So here we go...

T-Shirt Yarn Braided Coasters by Homework
FINALLY!  A practical use to those old t-shirts I just can't part with!

Frugal Car Care Tips for the Winter by Deal Seeking Mom
Such great tips especially after the huge snow storm we had last week that had us trapped!

Marriage Unwrapped by Diaper Diaries
You have to check out Jill's series on marriage!  I've stumbled them so that when I get married (one day...), I'll have some some great advice to build on.

Respect for Time by Amy's Finer Things
I so resonated with this post!  One of my goals this year is to become more intentional.  This includes making better use of my time.  I make procrastination an art form.  Not proud of it.

So, you know the drill..

Just leave your blog name in the link up below. Please be sure to link to your actual post – not your blog. Here are some guidelines if you like to read things like that! Feel free to tweet with the hashtag #SatStumbles so we can find each other and others can find us!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

5 Minute Cake

If you have a sweet tooth like me, then this is the recipe for you. Not only is it quick, but you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen. I got this in an email from my dad, so I don't really know the source. I tried it when I was snowed in last week and it was surprisingly good. It would've been better with a couple scoops of ice cream!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (Micro Safe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

I don't really know why it's called a "5 Minute Cake" because as you can see in the directions, it says to cook it for 3 minutes. Weird. I cooked it for 3 and it was enough. Granted it's no culinary masterpiece, but it will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Roomie Swag

In a couple of weeks, I'll be hanging with some of the coolest bloggers in the blogosphere at Blissdom. This will be my second year and I feel so much more prepared than I did last year. Being a newbie at a blogging conference can be overwhelming, especially reading all the posts leading up to it about what to wear and what to bring.

Are you kidding? I just scraped up enough money to pay for the room and registration! Now I've got to get new clothes, new business cards, and all these other trinkets??


You don't. Of course, it's a good excuse if you're wanting new clothes and such, but not necessary.

I found that it's all about connecting and making an impression. For this simply somewhat shy gal, I kind of found myself fading into the background and just observing. So this year is a little bit more exciting because I have a slight idea of what to expect.

Ok...on to the point of the post.

I love to give gifts! Small and large, I love surprising someone with the unexpected. So I'm combining that love with what I learned at Blissdom last year about making impressions to come up with "Roomie Swag".

One of the unexpected perks of Blissdom was all the swag from all the sponsors...I mean, it was unbelievable! In following the #blissdom stream I noticed a lot of the attendees are rooming with people they've never met or people they've known their entire life. Regardless of the relationship, what better way to make an impression than have a little "welcome" gift?!

I know...ONE more thing to spend money on, pack, etc. But I'm gonna share TEN super simple and cheap ideas for "Roomie Swag".

*These little button cards are cute!  Even though they're for Valentine's Day, you could easily change it to say "Welcome to Blissdom!"
Photo courtesy of Thirty Handmade Days

*Everyone loves a little snack!
Photo courtesy of Baked Bree

*Another simple little snack. Since there are so many colors and shapes, you could personalize it more based on your roomies' interests.
 Photo courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess

*Coordinate this before hand and have each roommate bring their favorite candy or a candy that describes yourself.  What a fun surprise and a great way to get to know your roomies if you don't know them!

*Cute pencil/pen - You are at a conference, after all, so who wouldn't need a cute, new pencil.

*Fruit - Weird, I know...but not with a little note that says one of these brilliantly clever quips:
             "ORANGE, ya glad we're roomies?!" 
             "I've gone BANANAS that we're roomies!"
             "You're a GRAPE friend and I'm excited we're roomies!"
             "You're such a BERRY sweet roomie!"

*Bottle of water with a cute bow tied to it.

*Check out Target's Dollar spot and make little goodie bags.

*Cute little mirror.  You know, to check your teeth after all those snacks and yummy meals!
Photo courtesy of Piping Hot Papers

*Charm.  You could choose a symbol that matches your roomie's blog.
Photo courtesy of Amy Jo's Creations.

What are your ideas?

This post is linked to Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday and One2One Network.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Saturday Stumbles - Snowed In

I'm so honored to be hosting Saturday Stumbles this week! And boy do I have some stumbles. Mainly because I have been snowed in my house for 5 days. Here in Georgia, that is just absolutely unheard of. We get our dusting of snow every now and then, but this is something that hasn't happened in 20 years. Literally the whole northern part of the state has been immobilized for a week.

So I've had lots of time to explore the internet and all the posts I stumbled came back to food. I swear, I'm going to go back to work weighing an extra 200 pounds because apparently being snowed in is an excuse to eat everything in sight!

Here are some recipes that caught my eye:

Oven Baked Garlic Parm fries by Babble. I'm a fries girl through and through!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls by Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Photo courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Cuban Sandwich Quesadilla by Gina's Skinny Recipes.

And then for the sweet tooth in me...
Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookie Sandwich by Picky Palate. What a perfect couple :)

French Hot Chocolate by Make and Takes. I'm a hot chocolate girl so this is speakin' my language!

So, you know the drill..

Just leave your blog name in the link up below. Please be sure to link to your actual post – not your blog. Here are some guidelines if you like to read things like that! Feel free to tweet with the hashtag #SatStumbles so we can find each other and others can find us!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Snow Day

Top Ten {Tuesday}
We got hit with a winter storm today here in Georgia. The whole town virtually shut down. All the schools, government, malls, and pretty much every other business was shut down today and looks like will be tomorrow, too.

So since I was snowed in, here are ten things I got done today:

1. Finished my Christmas scrap book page for this year.
Each year, I make one page out of a scrap book and make a little pocket on the page. In the pocket, I put all the cards I got that year. Since most all of the cards I get are photo cards, I like being able to go back through them and see how everyone's changed over the years.

2. Folded and put away laundry.
Ugh...I HATE doing that.

3. Finished watching the movies I had rented.
When the predictions came about the snow coming in, I stocked up on some movies. I wasn't too impressed with any of them.

4. Made eggplant parmesan.
The actual recipe I used was given to me by a friend, but here's one that's very similar from Once a Month Mom.

5. Made snow cream for the first time.
I used this recipe from Family Fun. I'm thinking it would probably be better with whole milk or heavy cream.

6. Did a little decorating.
I bought these little wall art flowers for my college roommates for christmas. I also got myself one so that when I saw it, it would bring them to mind. I miss them so much!

7. Did some reading.
One of my friends at work lent me "A Bend In the Road" by Nicholas Sparks. I'm only on chapter 4 but I'm liking it so far!

8. Did a little home improvement.
I took advantage of Ikea's winter clearance sale. I have one of these little baggie holders in my kitchen and love it. So I got one for my bathroom because I use Target bags for my trash can in my bathroom. They're the perfect size!

9. Played in the myself.

10. ...and finally I wrote this post :)

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit Oh Amanda.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I want to be a guitar pick

Photo courtesy of Sleipner Gtr

I love it when God speaks to me through children's church. We started a new series today and our main point was that "only God is worthy of my worship".

In our video, one of the characters made a very interesting point that was so simple but really drove home the point.

See, we all worship something. The question is what/who do we worship. Worship is whatever we put our value on. As Christians, I think it's safe to say that we all want to worship Jesus. That's the Sunday School answer we've been taught, right?

And while that may be our ultimate goal, we (and I'm including myself here) typically fall short. Our intentions are good, but then life gets in the way. We plan on waking up early to spend time in God's word, but when our alarm clock doesn't go off and we're racing out the door trying to beat the school bus so we don't get stuck behind that bus going 20 miles an hour to work, God gets pushed to the end of the day and then we're exhausted.

So what does all this have to do with a guitar pick?

[I know, I can get off track easily!]

Back to our video in children's church. He talked about when we hear a guitar being played with it's catchy chords and head nodding beat, we rarely (if ever) say "Man, that guitar pick really did a good job!"

But when you think about it, it really IS the guitar pick that picks the strings to make the sounds that we love. However, we get so caught up in the music, that we don't focus on the pick.

When we make God first, we draw people's attention off of us and on to Him. THAT'S worship. Making God the priority in our life.

So, yes, my prayer is for God to make me a guitar pick. That I would be used by God to point people to Him.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Looking Ahead

The first Monday of the new year should bring some profound new insight...

...but not so.

It should bring a list of goals or resolutions...

...not so much.

I am working on some goals I have for myself and my blog but one reason I don't have those up and ready to go today is because of my biggest flaw...


The bane of my existence.  Truly.  I am one of the best procrastinators I know.  Oh, I'll always get it done or pull it together, but it's the lack of thought or the ideas I had to dismiss because of the procrastination.

When I came across Amy's post on her word for the year, it hit me square between the eyes.


That's what I want!  I want everything I do to be intentional and not thrown together at the last minute, because before I know it, it'll be December again and I'll have a list of things that didn't get done.

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