March 09, 2010
During the trip to Blissdom, there was a side-event called Savvy Blogging that happened Friday night. It was a round-table dinner and discussion group get-together that was sponsored by Savings.com, Born Free and The Cracker Barrel. The Savvy Blogging Team's mission is to help bloggers learn more about becoming better at what they do - they help you understand stuff like surveys, html, taxes, FTC guidelines, and Google Adsense. At least that's what it says on their website... I didn't get to listen in much at the dinner because I was taking pictures. If you are new to blogging, you should follow them on Twitter and keep up with their site to learn more about ways to take your blog to the 'next level'.
After we ate and heard a few of our sponsors speak, they let us take some loot home. The classy blog term for 'loot' that a sponsor gives away to a blogger is "SWAG". So I guess this is the Cracker Barrel 'swag bag'. I got a really cool orange cup from Born Free for Kohen, too. There were also pre-packed swag bags with all sorts of other goodies to take home - perfume, lotion, snacks, coupons, coffee mugs, and a red umbrella from Travelers Insurance.
The Savvy Blogging group invited me to come as their photographer to earn a little bit of money towards my trip to Blissdom. I hated to miss Harry Connick, Jr. sing, but was thrilled to be doing my very first PAID photo event. Toni wasn't afraid that my lack of an external flash would ruin her pictures - she had faith in me. She rocks.
I knew quite a few of the faces in the group, so I felt right at home. On the chartered bus we took from the Gaylord hotel over to the Raddison across the street, I snapped this picture of Connie (Smockity Frocks). She is a sweetie and lives in Texas like me. Nice to see another friendly Texas blog face.
Toni even let me bring along the baby bee and my trusty photo-assistant, Morgan.
She was a big help with the camera. She takes amazing photos for an eleven year old. I told her to snap the one below of this sleeping baby and she did super. She tells me all the time that she wants to go in to business with me; and I suppose you can say after the '#savvyblogging' Dinner that we did!
She works for cheap. She loves to eat potatoes. She snapped this photo of the buffet:
They were yummy.
Two of my favorite homeschooling bloggers and twitter buddies were in attendance... Raising Olives and Wisdom Begun. If you haven't visited their blogs yet - by all means, you should add them to your blogrolls.
There were also a lot of people that I didn't know so well. Happy, shiny people with really cute babies. People I'd love to get to know better.
There were new bloggers and old bloggers. It was kind of like a Dr. Seuss' book. There were "big fish, little fish, red fish, blue fish." In the world of blogging fish, Jen (Balancing Beauty and Bedlam) is a big fish. She won a category in the Homeschool Blog Awards last year and is a speaker for the Relevant conference coming up in Hershey, PA this fall.
And her hair was amazing.
Erin is pretty cool, too. She even has her own BOOK. I want to be like her when I grow up and cook delicious five-dollar dinners. It would be really cool to be fiscally savvy in the kitchen. I wanted to snag her baby and bring him home with me. He behaved like an angel the entire week. She got to attend my Wednesday night focus group with ConAgra, too. I really enjoyed getting to know her.
It was great being with so many like-minded women. Laptops and cell phones were just as numerous as the bloggers themselves. Here below is Kelly with her iPhone and Toni in the background with her Mac. I only wish that we could have swapped tables so I could have gotten to know more of the ladies that attended the event. I was so busy taking photos that I had little time to chat.
And then, there was my side job: serving tea. Every blogging party should have sweet tea. Just sayin'. If you decide to throw a blog party, you should really consider hiring me to take pictures and serve tea.
The expressions were great. Here below on the right is the brilliant BlogFrog guru. I loved her sparkly shirt.
The smiles were delightful. Smiles are my favorite.
I also love collecting business cards from bloggers that I meet... so I can figure out how to find them online later in case I don't already read their blog. I failed to get cards at this event, though. It's hard to collect business cards with a Canon camera attached to your face.
Here's the Savvy Blogging team. Aren't they adorable? Left to right:
Toni Anderson of Happy Housewife
Erin Chase of 5 Dollar Dinners
Crystal Collins of The Thrifty Mama
Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom
Andrea Deckard of Mommy Snacks
Check out their blogs and let them know I sent you. They are a thrifty group of savvy-bloggin' mamas... and they have impeccable taste in photographers.
P.S. You can see the rest of the Savvy Blogging Photos at my Flickr set dedicated to this event.