This time last week I was having a fabulous time at the first-ever SNAP conference at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. The conference was a spin-off from last year’s Creative Estates conference, put on by the fabulous Tauni and all of her “Snapettes”.
img source | kristen duke photography
My fabulous AZ roomies (Sara: Clever Pink Pirate, Katie: Sweet Rose Studio, Jessa: Sparkle, Amy: Pink Bow Bath Boutique, and Joanna: Baked by Joanna) & I flew to Utah on Thursday morning. Even though it was super early, we had a bit of fun at the airport–especially when I got the full TSA “pat-down” (which I got on the way home again too!!!). Once in Utah, we rented our super stylin’ van and made our way to Thanksgiving Point! After registration, we headed to the tulip festival and it was incredible (be sure to click on that “tulip festival link” if you want to see our awesome photos from that)!! Between the gorgeous weather, tulips everywhere, and blossoming trees, we loved the location and everything else just kept getting better from there! Throughout our 3 days, there were excellent sessions, sponsors, swag, food, friends, and even dancing! (Food photography from Baked By Joanna, Amazing cake by I’m Topsy Turvy – Photo from Is This Really My Life, Delicious chocolate from Velata)
LOL! This photo is hilarious (especially if you know all of our jokes) and I LOVE that we all got a photo together. Thanks to Carolina for making such a great shirt that we all had to rally around–wish you could have been there! (Left to right: Jennifer, Katie, Me, Amy, Viv, Alexa, and Heidi).
I was seriously terrible with taking photos this year and being in them, but even without the loads of pictures to prove it, I did LOVE reconnecting with people I met last year (a few shout-outs to some of the non-AZ people that I got to chat with Cindy, Kim, Kami, Jen, Amy, Char, Becca, Ashlee, Alison, Allison, Heather, Rebecca, Bev, Jen, Tara and many more that I know I’m leaving out with my late night brain). And, there were SO many people that it was a joy to meet this year–both new-to-me people and people I’ve been talking to on-line for a year or more (in addition to some of the fabulous ladies I listed above in some pictures, it was an absolute pleasure to meet Beckie, Ashley, Rhoda, Heather, Michele, Natalie, Alissa, Kim & Mel and many more!). As always, the only regret with events like this is not having enough time to talk to everyone and there are STILL people that I wanted to meet but haven’t yet! Next year, right?! On the last night though, we did manage of bit of dancin’ with some of these fabulous ladies!
In addition to all the fun, it was still a conference–full of lots of learning and some great takeaways! I didn’t expect to do a bunch of crying in some of the sessions, but I totally did–especially in this one on the “Power of Personal” with these fabulous ladies: Beckie from InfarrantlyCreative.net, Rhoda from SouthernHospitalityBlog.com, Traci from Beneathmyheart.net, and Char from CrapIveMade.com
Photo credit: Clever Pink Pirate
I learned TONS from a legal ins & outs session with Danielle; heard some great info on getting featured in the media (and was SO excited when one of the speakers was from our very own Arizona Republic); have managed to finally successfully edited something in Photoshop thanks to Amanda Padgett’s classes, and even got a few photography tips from the fabulous Kristen Duke!! There were other fun sessions as well, with many great “takeaways”, but I think one of the most important things about the conference was the theme–“Just Be You”! It was reiterated in various sessions/talks and is one that is SO important to remember, not just as a blogger, but as a person!
This slide, from part of Ana White’s presentation (which P.S. I cried during that session too, when Shelley from House of Smiths was talking), pretty much sums it up! Lots of great points to remember all in one place!
As a token to remember this theme long after the conference has ended, we each received this special necklace courtesy of Amy Cornwell. *Love*!
So, needless to say, it was a fabulous time and I’m so thankful that I was able to attend (thanks to a supportive husband & friends at home). It’s such a pleasure to be in the company of wonderful friends & such inspiring women! And, it was extra special since I’m thinking that was my last “hurrah” for a while with baby #3 coming this summer!
Thankfully, there is a great blogging community here in AZ and I’m lucky enough to see these ladies pictured below (and more) on a little more frequent basis. Here’s a group of some of us AZ folk at the airport Sunday morning (and boy do we look tired!!!!):
(Left to right: Joanna from Baked By Joanna, Kristy from The Diary of Dave’s Wife, Jamielyn from I heart Nap Time, Katie from Sweet Rose Studi, Kelli from lolly jane boutique, Me :), Amy from Pink Bow Bath Boutique, Sara from CleverPinkPirate, and Kristyn from Lil’ Luna).
Thanks to everyone who had a hand in making the first-ever SNAP conference a super awesome event!! If you want to read more from all the fabulous attendees, don’t miss the post with the big ‘ole SNAP Recap linky!