This weekend I did something I don't always do. I gave in to peer pressure and I joined up.
Now, I know that I probably seem like the join-up type. After all, my blog is the adventures of the jolly goode gal. Not the adventures of the socially inadequate and awkward gal. But when it comes to some experiences - especially brand-spanking new ones like a blogger conference, it is the second phrase that sums me up. All those latent adolescent insecurities sprout like weeds in the garden.
But I am sucker for being with my friends. And for really great swag. And for getting away for a weekend. So at the very last minute, I joined up with the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference (after being happily pressured by some of my best girls who are bloggers themselves) and hitched a ride with Melissa and headed two hours north for a weekend of R and R and Blogging 101 at the Ozark Folk Center.
Unfortunately I had a cold the whole weekend. A cold that left me in a bit of a fog. And left me looking like a puffy, tired version of myself. But despite all of that, despite how bad I felt at times, and how bad I know I looked (jeez I am being vain, but trust me, it was bad) I must confess that I had an amazingly fun time. How could I not? This was a great gathering of women.
Sidenote: Because I was sick I didn't get to really enjoy all the Ozark Folk Center had to offer, but I am hoping that Sweet Man and I can take the boys there sometime this fall. They already love Mountain View, and I am pretty sure if Miles was ever shown how to whittle properly he may never stop.
Because of my cold, which only enhanced, or perhaps brought to the surface, my social awkwardness, I stuck pretty close to the gals I knew. I hid behind their sunny smiles, and outgoing dispositions and enjoyed getting to know each of them a little or a lot better than before - especially Kyran and Natalie.
Laughter and silliness was never far away. Neither were great tips, ideas, encouragement and possibilities. In fact I came away from the event with more ideas for my blog and future blogging endeavors than I could have imagined.
I have to also give a huge shout-out to the pioneering ladies at ARWB. They put together a fine conference and did a wonderful job at pulling in sponsorship. I also have to give props to whomever was in charge of decor because the ARWB colors were solidly represented in all of our events. From table decor, to swag, to even our folder colors, the sherbet orange, blue and greens of ARWB gals were everywhere. And if you know me at all you know that I seriously adore this kind of consistency in branding, and the attention to detail.
And as to the swag... Well there was Ziploc, for starters. So much beautiful Ziploc. This is just the tippy tip of the Ziploc iceberg. I cannot wait to throw away everything in the drawer where we keep such things and start over. Oh happy day! Why is it that something like to-go containers can make me so happy?
Another favorite of mine was the Mrs. Meyers products. Can you believe I have never had any Mrs. Meyers in my house before? Tis true. I tend to land in one of two camps when it comes to cleaning products - Generic or Homemade as springing for fancy cleaning goods is just not in the Greer budget. So when I spied these bottles of liquid gold in my bag I think I probably squealed loudly. I know I did a little dance.
If you live in Arkansas and you blog or you are thinking of blogging, you must check out the ARWB group and do some joining up of your own. I promise it won't hurt.