Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PRAYER FOR THE MOM WITH TEENS






If you have teens, you know how fleeting their childhood. My second child hit the teen mark last November, and it amazes me how much this sweet little squeaky voice baby grew into a taller-than-her-mama teenager. With my oldest son being 15 and my daughter now 13, I’ve discovering more and more how tough these years can be. The pressures all around them can often make them feel like the world is caving in. I truly believe it is important to pray for my teens just as much as I did for them as children. With the upcoming driver’s license, I pray more.

Lord,
Today I’m thanking you for my teenager. I still recall the day they arrived, gifted to me by your love and grace. I can hardly grasp the fact that they are not little anymore. While the days and weeks and months have passed, how I need You. To sculpt their spirit and help the sweet days outweigh the hard. Cover their faults with Your forgiveness. May each anticipated milestone be embraced to the fullest. May their hearts travel closer to you and to each other with every year they grow.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2015

HALF MOON BAY, CA






I've been dreaming of a "soul vacation" with my family for quite some time. And while our plans for Europe this year may not come to fruition, I'm certainly grateful to see parts of our very own country I've never experienced before.

Above is where I am in California. It's a town called Half Moon Bay. Oceans and bluffs as far as the eye can see. I'm going to be stalking every ounce of this place, so join me on Instagram, for that's where I'll be the next few days.

Where would you go for a "soul vacation?"

Saturday, March 28, 2015

CAN I BE YOU?






I appreciate social media. I do. I'm not going to deny it. I love seeing great pictures of my friends. I enjoy seeing how much fun people are having via the photos they share. I am grateful that social media has helped me and my business(es) grow more than I ever thought possible. 

Social media allows us to look like we have the perfect life. But the hard truth is that the perfection we perceive is not the whole story -- it's the pretty parts. And of course they are. I mean, we're not going to post about trials and tribulations, because, let's be honest, there are entirely too many of those. I am not a fan of people commenting or sending me emails asking, "can I be you?" because, quite frankly, I am no where near perfect. I cry. I hurt. I go through heartbreak. I have weak spots. My self-focused pride gets in the way some days. I am hopelessly flawed. I am human through and through, and I have an utterly complete need for Jesus. Yet this life was given to me for a reason. Alongside the hardships, my life consists of a lot of beauty and love and special times. And through my talents of writing and photographing, I feel God commands me to use them and share them. And so I do. For you. And for me. So, thank you for following me despite my imperfections, and allowing me to share what God has bestowed upon me. It means the world.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

EASTER BUNNIES | THE SARA JANE PROJECT






The Sara Jane Project has put a redemptive spin on the bunny obsession that Easter brings. When you purchase one of these adorable bunnines, know that a woman in Jinja, Uganda, made it with her very own hands. She was paid a fair wage and empowered to be all that God has called her to be.

BUY A BUNNY.  BLESS A CHILD.  BUILD A FAMILY.


More importantly, the money used to purchase the bunny will help place vulnerable children in safe and loving homes. 20% of every purchase goes back to placing children in families by resettlement and adoption.

you have until April 24th to order in time for easter, so order one today!
Have 3 minutes? Watch the Sara and Jane Story HERE.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LIFE IN PICTURES



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

PRAYER FOR THE MOTHER IN LOSS


If you have lost a baby, I am so deeply sorry. I have been in your shoes. Twice. And while the pain of loss lessens, it never leaves. If you need extra hope and healing today, pray this prayer with me.

Dear Lord, 
Today I’m thinking about my baby lost. Some days are fine and I swim along with the current of life. Other days I nearly drown in remembering, and my arms physically ache to hold the baby only You know. Today, will you send me some peace? The kind of peace that makes no sense, so I know it has to have come from You? Lord, would You hold my baby extra-tight today, giving them a sweet squeeze just from their mama? I really miss my baby today.
Amen.


Monday, March 23, 2015

GUEST, DOLLED UP SPA BOUTIQUE






Dolled Up is a family owned business. We are an on line boutique we carry apparel, jewelry and accessories for kids and their grown ups. We are also a mobile spa. We offer a spa experience such as manicures, pedicures, chocolate facials, hair and make up. Most of our events are private events such as birthday parties, church ministries etc. We also offer party favors along with our private events. We come to you and get you Dolled Up.

We are 2 sisters who wanted to inspire and encourage all the beautiful young girls in our lives. We wanted to pamper them and give them confidence all while having fun. So we started doing Spa parties and events, everything from manicures, pedicures, facials, hair and make up. We started off by doing it for the girls we know, then we started going to our local street fair and booking private events. We hope to encourage our girls and others to dream big. Our love for styling hair and make up was something we wanted to share with our girls and turn it into a positive experience. We always tell them to "Be your own kind of beautiful", we even printed it on a shirt because we wanted them to know that they all posses beauty. Faith and Family are very important to us and we hope to show this is in all we do. We love what we do and are grateful to be able to share it. 

If you had to pick a favorite from the boutique what would it be?
My favorite from out boutique has to be our Frozen Elsa inspired dress. It is so beautiful and when we first made it  my daughters eyes were so bright with excitement that I could still remember her precious little face. It is gorgeous and truly one of a kind. I also really love our knotted bow headbands. They are soft and stretchy and my daughters loves them, she actually keeps them on. 


What three things did you pin today?
Ok truthfully I don't go on pinterest as much. I usually only go on to find recipes and I have found some pretty amazing ones but it has been awhile since I've pinned anything. 

If I looked it your purse what would I find? 
Well since there is 2 of us I am sure our purse finding would be somewhat different. I can tell you this though they are both pretty messy. For sure you will find our cell phones, make up bag, wallet, pens and business cards. I know the rest might be scribbles paper with ideas, thoughts and what to tell each other at our next meeting. Loads of receipts from starbucks (because coffee is needed at all times) snacks, and everthing else thrown in there while we are running around.

instagram: @dolledupspaboutique
twitter: @duspaboutique

Thursday, March 19, 2015

MAKING MOMMY FRIENDS






When I get together with my various moms groups, you’d think we never get out of the house. We chat it up. Sometimes it entails too much information. It’s weirdly refreshing that we can throw around words like “diarrhea” or “slimy mucus” and no one bats an eye. But it’s great, and it’s always what I needed to re-charge, with encouragement and nurturing from like-minded mommies, that I’m not a total failure as a parent.

One mom friend said she’s finding it difficult to find her social footing as a mom, outside of our circle. She feels she faces a lot of judgment and ridicule for her parenting choices. Another friend recently said she finds it challenging to make friends because she’s at work all day, behind a desk.
Someone suggested meeting people at church, but another person rebutted that you can’t make friends in the church hallway while your two year is tugging and screaming.

One voice suggested joining a book club. But honestly, most of us probably haven’t read a book in three years.

How do you make friends when you have to choose between couch time with your husband or girls night out?

Who doesn’t feel like the odd mama out on the playground? Attempting to befriend the cool crowd, except there is no interest in letting a newcomer into the group.

Who hasn’t felt that burning glare from friends, family and stranger, all of who have an opinion about the way we parent and aren’t afraid to tell us? Tsk-tsk.

How do you make friends when the thought of inviting people over into your home causes you to break out into hives? When your plates are chipped and don’t match your mugs? When your living room sofa is stained with red Kool-Aid?

Sister, I don’t even pretend to know. I guess you just face your fear. You call and invite them and get to cleaning. You just serve that chipped dinnerware with a bottle of wine. Because hospitality is not the things you have or don’t have, right?!

Honestly, I know it sounds easier than it is. And really I need that advice for myself. I rarely initiate outings of my own. I suppose the point I am making is that we’re all mothers, and we should cut each other some slack. Just because we give birth doesn’t mean we stop having opinions, but it does mean that we are all as fallible as the next mom.

How do YOU make friends? What are your roadblocks?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PRAYER FOR THE TIRED MOM


Motherhood is both the greatest job and the also hardest job I've ever had. It has brought me immense joy and revealed to me a level of love I hadn't known before. It has also stretched me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Today, still, I live on less sleep than should be humanly possible. I've even learned more than I care to about PBA free bottles, single & double strollers, and diaper brands. While the physical stretch marks may fade, the ones on my heart are there to stay.

The pleasures are certainly many, but there are indeed are days when motherhood wears me down to the core. Some days, I'm not even sure I'll make it through to bedtime. When night time finally does come, my head hits the pillow hard, and I wonder what I accomplished all day. Because the job is never done, I'll wake up the next morning to the house still in disarray and mountains of laundry to wash. And based on the sniffles I've heard lately, certain illness looms on the horizon.

This is why I pray this pray for/with you. Because I have been there. Still there. We can’t do it alone. Just as we cannot live without water, we cannot do anything part from Him, including motherhood.

Lord,

I come before you weary and beat down by this long day. I feel like I am a shell of the woman I used to be. My last shower was 3 days ago. Pretty sure I have peanut butter in my hair. I feel overwhelmed by the details of life. I don’t at all resemble the woman my husband married.

Instead of glorifying you, I am feeling sorry for myself. Forgive me for striving in my own strength. Forgive me for not finding complete satisfaction in you and the gifts you’ve given me.

Today reminds me of just how much I need a Savior. I want to feel beautiful, Lord. I want to feel like the words you reference me in the Bible -- Beautiful. Chosen. Cherished. Enough, in You. Renew a refreshed spirit in me. Give me gospel strength to get through the day. I pray that tomorrow you would be with me in all the muck and mire of motherhood. Help me to find joy in your and not my circumstances.
Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

I loved you at your darkest. – Romans 5:8



Saturday, March 14, 2015

PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL




Peppermint and peppermint essential oil have many health-promoting properties. Peppermint is a great digestive, helps the respiratory system, promotes good circulation, and is an excellent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It also smells good and makes a superb air and breath freshener.

According to the National Institutes of Health, peppermint oil reduces spasms in the digestive tract. When applied to the skin, it creates surface warmth, which in turn relieves pain beneath the skin.

Of the hundreds of potential uses for peppermint oil, here are 20 that are the most practical and most useful in a survival situation.

1. Zap Headaches: A few drops of peppermint oil massaged around the temples, the base of the skull and along the hairline will help chase away a headache. You may also dilute the oil in a carrier oil first. If you are prone to frequent headaches, add both peppermint and lavender essential oils to a roller bottle along with some fractionated coconut oil. Keep the bottle handy to apply whenever you feel a headache coming on.

2. Eliminate Bad Breath:
Bad breath is typically a symptom of some underlying factor. If the issue is digestive, 4 drops of peppermint oil diluted with water and swished in the mouth like mouthwash will bring relief. Better yet, add a few drops to some brandy and swish.

3. Relieve Heartburn: Add a drop or peppermint oil to your tea along with a teaspoon of honey. Or, try a drop of two of peppermint oil in a glass of milk. You can also mix 5 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) and massage onto your upper abdomen.

4. Cool a Fever: A few drops of peppermint mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the torso can reduce body temperature by 3 degrees in minutes. You can also place a few drops of oil on a wet washcloth and apply head to toe to comfort and cool a fevered body.

5. Drowsiness: Combine peppermint with a citrus oil such as lemon or orange and apply to the back of the neck. Inhale the oil that is left on your hands. I love this; it really does work.

6. Soothe a Stomach Ache: Put one drop in a large glass water and drink up.

7. Reduce Bloating: Rub on the stomach to help with bloating caused by gas and indigestion.

8. Combat Nausea: Rub a drop of peppermint oil on the abdomen or place a drop in a cup of hot water and sip it.

9. Stop Itching: Apply peppermint oil to stop itching caused by bug bites, hives, poison ivy or poison oak.

10. Relieve constipation: Combined with a carrier oil and massaged over the lower abdomen, peppermint will relieve the constipation and get things moving again.

11. Deter Mice: Place cotton balls with peppermint in areas around your home where mice like to congregate. Mice do not like peppermint (and by the way, neither do raccoons).


12. Repel spiders and ants: Place peppermint oil on a cotton ball or cotton pad and place in areas where you find spiders and ants. Better yet, make a peppermint bug spray. Add 4-5 drops of peppermint essential oil to water in a spray bottle. This also works to get rid of aphids in the garden.

13. Tick removal: Soak some peppermint oil on a q-tip then dab on the tick. Look for the tick to withdraw its head and then remove it.

14. Tendon and Joint pain: Mix 10 drops each of peppermint, lavender and rosemary oil with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Massage away your aches and pains.

15. Relieve seasonal allergies: Combine lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils together with some carrier oil and rub on the bottoms of the feet, the back of the neck and across the forehead. Then take your hands, cup them over your nose and inhale with deep cleansing breaths. This will bring instant relief.

16. Relaxing foot soak: Add peppermint oil to a pan or bowl or warm water for a relaxing foot soak

17. Stress relief: Add to a diffuser to provide relief from stress, depression and mental exhaustion. There is something uplifting about peppermint and will leave you refreshed. This is also effective when your are feeling anxious and restless. Or for a quick treatment, dab a bit just under your nose.

18. Freshen air: Ditto. Add to a diffuser to freshen the air.

19. Household cleaning: Mix with vinegar and water to make an effective, all purpose household cleaner that I call “Peppermint Juice”.

Supplies:

· 1/2 cup white vinegar

· 32 oz. (1 quart) cups water

· 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. peppermint essential oil

20. Control odor: A few drops in the bottom of your kitchen or bathroom garbage can will leave a nice, fresh, minty smell and will also deter those ants, spiders and mice.


If you're interested in purchasing any Young Living essential oils to try out, email me at mandi.hulse2@gmail.com and I'd love to offer you my discount!  I'm happy to talk about all the options available to you.  No pressure, I promise!  I just want people to find relief like I have!

Come back in the future for more ways that essential oils have helped me AND for fun DIY beauty/household product recipes!

* I am not a medical professional...I'm just speaking from experience and these are my opinions.  I am a Young Living representative, but just love sharing how the oils have helped me!




Friday, March 13, 2015

#INTROFRIDAY




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LIFE IN PICTURES




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

PRAYER FOR THE TODDLER MOMMY





Dear Mommy reader, I have a heart for you; do you know that? When I’m having my own overwhelming day, I think of you in yours. When my toddler says something that melts my heart, I hope yours is doing the same. And when I’ve needed a short & sweet, just-for-me prayer that I don’t even have to think up myself because I am just.that.fried, well, I thought you might need one too.

My hope is that these occasional short & sweet prayers from one weary, overworked, joy filled, legs-need-to-be-shaved, wouldn’t-have-it-any-other way mama to another are a gift. My hope is that this mom prayer will bless just the right mama on just the right day. My hope is that you would find yourself in this prayer and maybe pass them along to another mom who needs a word.

Dear Lord
Oh my word. This toddler… The questions! The ‘why?’ over and over! The endless eating and messes and baths! The demands and reminders given and dinosaurs stepped on! The limp noodle-ing! Lord. I need some of Your grace today. I want to give my toddler the undivided attention that (s)he deserves, but I feel weak. The LOVE (s)he gives me is bigger and bolder than any love I’ve ever had, second to Yours, and that makes it worth waking each morning. Those toddler hugs and ketchup-mouthed kisses and ‘I wuv you, mommy’s’ and the little squeaks and giggles – these are worth each and every speck of patience given. So today, would you refill my tank so I have just enough to give? Thank you, Jesus. 
Amen.

Monday, March 9, 2015

THANKFUL FOR HUSBANDS


I got home late from work the other night and my husband immediately pointed to a glass of wine waiting for me on the kitchen counter. As I sat on a barstool nearby the stove, I observed as my husband went in and out of the house to check the grilling steaks, offer up snacks to our whining baby, run back outside again to check the steaks, unload the dishes, and give an occasional stir to whatever was coking in the sauce pan.

Though I am no stranger to this juggling act, it’s sure nice that I don’t have to endure it alone. My husband always stands ready to offer his help, even for what many consider the womanly duties of the home. Which got me thinking about what I see missing in so many marriages today – the simple act of thankfulness.

Choosing to be thankful for my husband is why we excel at marriage. Many years ago, I read an article about being thankful for smelly laundry and dirty dishes because it meant that your children were fed and clothed. That simple shift in focus had a profound effect on how I viewed my family and my responsibilities of taking care of them. Changing from a ‘have to’ attitude to a ‘get to’ attitude made and continues to make a huge difference in my own attitude towards parenting.

This habit of thankfulness has since spilled over into my marriage.  Instead of focusing on what was annoying about my husband, I began choosing to be thankful for the things that were a blessing about him. His messy garage is now a reminder of all the woodworking he’s done which provided for our family. His piles of mail and receipts are now a reminder that he’s making a good living so that we can buy the things we need to live. His annoying dancing and dipping is now a reminder of how much he still loves me.  I am constantly filled with gratitude towards my husband and I try hard to let him know it!   Our husbands need our appreciation to give them the energy to keep working and serving their families.

I have seen many torn apart by divorce recently.  I’m sharing this today in hopes that this small change in attitude could be the catalyst for healing in another couples’ marriage.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

5 BEGINNER STEPS FOR HEALTHIER LIVING


If there’s one theme that keeps occurring on my blog, it’s my movement towards healthier, more natural, even minimalist, way of living. I began making shifts towards this lifestyle about 13 years ago, when my oldest was 2 years old. I dabbled in essential oils, began recycling, and switched from Crest to Tom’s toothpaste. It’s ebbed and flowed over the years, but due to various illnesses and/or diagnosis, I’ve begun making larger strides to improve our lifestyle and give glory to God through greater stewardship of what we have been given...naturally.

In the beginning, the dilemma is where to start, how to do it, all without getting overwhelmed in the process. So, I’m writing this post to encourage others to make the first step. Baby steps.

For those who haven’t heard much of my journey into this realm of natural living, let me just say that, in a nutshell, through trial and error, I have discovered over the years a connection with foods, medications and other consumables, to problems such as hyperactivity, shortness of breath, allergies, rashes, irregular menses cycles, and quite possibly even miscarriages.

Through classes and research, I’ve discovered it’s quite elementary, but to execute the best practices is quite challenging in our society where processed foods and synthetic drugs are on every shelf, on every corner of every block. As eager as I’ve been to conform to a new way of living, the journey is slow and sometimes painful. It took years to break my addiction to sodas and teas, and evolve past Raman noodles, white flour tortillas, and canned soups. I still struggle with coffee, and probably always will, and it’s my last remaining comfort ford.



5 small beginner steps to healthier living:
  1. Replace boxed foods with organic vegetables and fruits to your meals, just one or two at a time
  2. Drink more water and less sodas/teas
  3. Drink organic milk
  4. Headaches are the most common ailment, so replace your Tylenol with Peppermint essential oil.  A drop of peppermint oil on your temples, under your nose, or the back of your neck helps soothe headaches almost immediately.
  5. Replace those harmful kitchn cleaners with a non-toxic option such as Seventh Generation or better yet, make your own disinfectant spray with Thieve essential oil. 2-6 drops to a spray bottle with water cleans most surfaces in the house. Or purchase the ready-made Thieves household cleaner.


Did you know that most viruses and bacteria cannot live in the presence of many essential oils, including those found in thieves oil?

Click HERE to order you’re very own essential oils. Use ID 2482197.

Or do what I did and become a wholesale member to save 24% off your order. Buy what you want, when you want. NO obligation to buy or sell, ever! Click HERE to get your favorite oils and enter: MANDI ROACH, 2482197



Friday, March 6, 2015

#INTROFRIDAY

If you knew me...

You would know that I love to clean my house
But that the one chore I happily trade off is unloading the dishwasher

You would know that I have dreams. A lot of them.
And they entail dreams for my children.

You would know that I’m a sucker for packaging, branding, typography and all-over good design.
Sometimes this dictates even my wine purchase(s).

You would know that I am not introverted or snobbish.
I just sometimes like being alone with my thoughts.

You would know that I don’t like peanut butter.
And that’s very un-American, I know.


You would know that I would much rather have something homemade than store bought.
There's something special about things that aren't mass produced.

You would know that aside from Christ, Pete and our children are my world.
They are the cheese to my macaroni.

You would know that I have 4 babies on Earth and 2 in Heaven.
And sometimes my womb aches for more.

You would know that I am not lazy.
Sometimes I just enjoy doing nothing but sitting in the sunshine.

You would know that I have a very sensitive sense of smell.
Most perfumes are toxic to me.

You would know that one of my favorite books is On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Another is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

You would know that I wanted to be a marine biologist or a veterinarian when I was growing up.
Interesting that I am neither.

You would know that I love to a fault and trust way more than I should.
I that mankind often disappoints.

You would know that I’m most comfortable in tanks, jeans, and flip flops.
I do feel more womanly in pencil skirts and pointy toe heels, however.

You would know that I miss my mom.
At every one of my children's birthdays, I imagine her there with her mesmerizing smile.

You would know that I’m completely smitten with all things 40s-50s vintage.
When men wore hats and women never left the house wearing their pajama pants.

You would know that I’m often late to everything.
It doesn’t mean your time isn’t precious to me. It just means I was meant for a slower way of life.

You would know that I love chubby baby legs.
It’s probably not normal that I somewhat salivate at the site of my baby when he runs around naked.


You would know that my all-time favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
But I gave up dairy in 2010 and it solved a lot of health issues.

You would know that I love to write and paint and sing and take walks.
These are my outlets; a means of releasing the day’s stresses.

You would know that I’m pretty carefree about most things.
Except sleep. Don't poke the bear.

You would know that I have an infatuation with handwriting.
It's an art. I love art.

You would know that if there’s a pistachio in a mile radius, that I will find it.
Never leave them unattended.

You would know that a cool breeze makes me giddy.
It makes me want to turn up the music loud and open my sunroof.

You would know that peoples’ circumstances are hard-pressed in my mind.
I worry about my loved ones even though I may not talk about it.

You would know that I never believed in soul mates.
Until I met Pete.

You would know I was wrong about that.

Don't forget to link up with hashtag #introfriday! Share a little something about yourself and answer the following question: 

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would it be?



Thursday, March 5, 2015

THRIVE BLOG CONFERENCE RECAP + TIPS


These days, there exists a plethora of conferences that cater or appeal to bloggers. I had always heard that blogger conferences are chockfull of tips, best practices and learned lessons from big brands, start-ups, and of course, experienced bloggers, but I've never really had the time or extra funds to attend. Until recently.

My very first blogger conference experience was this year’s Thrive BlogConference in The Woodlands, TX, hosted by Whitney Hough and Bree Pair. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. I can say wholeheartedly that it was worth the time, money and energy. It was an absolutely incredible experience, both academically and socially, and I really came away from it with new knowledge and a new sense of confidence as a blogger and online influencer. Additionally, I wish to add, if you’re unfriendly, unhelpful, unsupportive, or pretentious, this conference is not for you.



If you’re where I was before the Thrive Conference and wish to be best prepared for your first blogger conference, here are a few tips I learned.

What to Pack
The conference I attended was a 1-day event with a 3-ish hour social event the evening prior. Keep in mind different lengths of various conferences, but here are items I strongly suggest:

  • Business cards (I didn’t take enough. Horrible networking when someone asks for your card and you don’t have anymore on-hand.)
  • Lip gloss
  • A notepad and 2 pens (someone always needs a pen; be the person who has an extra)
  • Camera or camera phone
  • Snacks
  • Tylenol
  • Phone charger (fortunately, I met the sweetest person at my table who loaned me her charger)
  • Conference itinerary
  • 5-10 copies of your media kit
  • Tablet or laptop (to take notes, pictures, or look up blogs)



Be Yourself
You will hear this a lot, but it’s so true. Meeting so many new people can be both intimidating and stressful, but fear not…there will be others exactly like you – bloggers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are introverts and some don’t stop talking. Undoubtedly, there will be someone you will connect with. Your kindred spirit perhaps.

Connect Beforehand
If you don’t know any bloggers attending your conference, send out tweets, FB messages, or instagram posts and see if you can find other lone bloggers who are in the same boat as you. The social event Thrive hosted just before the conference itself, helped me connect with some truly wonderful people. It made all my experience more welcoming, inviting and home like.



Eat & Rest
Speaking of social events, alcohol is often provided into the AM hours. And while it’s fun to indulge, remember that morning comes early and you will want to feel and look your best.

Be Comfortable
Conferences usually entail a lot of sit-down class-style sessions, but you will be walking around and standing during breaks. You won’t want your time spent focusing on sore feet. Of course you want to look fashionable and cute, but be aware of being so consumed with how you look that you won’t be comfortable. If you take heels, perhaps pack of pair of flats in your bag.

Put Yourself Out There
Some of my favorite bloggers attended the Thrive Conference (i.e. Rachel from Southern Fairytale) and I imagined I would feel insecure around powerful and successful bloggers like her, but Rachel and the other well-knowns were some of the most lovely, humble people I interacted with. Fabulous as they may be, they’re still human.

Insecurities are brought upon ourselves and it is so common to feel this way when you’re a beginner bloggers, but successful bloggers are no different than you are. They are thriving to survive in the blog world just like you.



Carry a Big Tote
Not lying. You are going to be given so much stuff to take home with you. Between swag, business cards, your wallet, lipstick, cell phone, notepad, computer, snack, camera; make sure you have a large purse or tote to carry all these things.

Warmth
Yep, warmth. This is your opportunity to be a genuine encourager and nurturer among your peers. Leave a good impression. Better yet, leave an amazing impression. Walk away knowing you did your best to brighten someone’s day or have them leave feeling better about themselves than when they arrived.



Photos courtesy of Meg Cady.




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