Lessons Learned at SNAP! 2014 By A Mostly Put Together Hot Mess

Last week I went to my first blogging conference, it was overwhelming and AUH-MAZING all at the same time! I met so many fabulously inspiring ladies and learned so many lessons! They talked a lot about sharing your authentic self, so here goes!  Lessons Learned at SNAP! 2014 by a mostly put together hot mess. Yes, you read that right. I AM a mostly put together hot mess let me explain….

Not only was this my first blogging conference, it was the first trip I had ever taken alone. While I knew I could and would do it, but I was SO NERVOUS! Thankfully, I met some really nice bloggers at the airport. One of them had a couple rolls of wrapping paper as a carry on so I knew at first glance that they had to be bloggers! They were so sweet and even saved me a seat so I didn’t have to sit alone on the plane. Two of us rode the Trax together and that was perfect since I needed someone to laugh with after I almost got taken down my own huge suitcase. Seriously, I had to grab the handrail and pull myself back up while a small group of Trax passengers stared at me. Once I arrived at my hotel room I had to take a victory picture! I made it!! {These were my trip buddies: Kimberly from Stuffed Suitcase; Krista from Hoopla Events; and Jennifer from Banner Events}

Lesson Learned: I can totally do things on my own but it’s nice to have someone there to laugh with.

My roomies were the most awesome ladies! Ariean from One Kreiger Chick, Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts, & Kimbo from A Girl and A Glue Gun were all fabulous!! I’ve “known” Ariean for quite a while via email, facebook, and phone calls but this was our first face to face meeting and I was super excited to really meet her! I had a few butterflies about meeting Mandy and Kim. They are both kind of a big deal and I wanted them to like me. In the end, we were the perfect roomies! We chatted, laughed, and laughed some more! We even had a late night in room photography class. {I miss them! Why couldn’t we all live super close to each other!?!}

Lesson Learned: Hangout with new people get to know them. You’ll learn a ton and will walk away with some great friends. {Oh and if you are going to SNAP! bring them a little gift to thank them for rooming with you. It just starts the trip off on a fun note.}

Secret Sisters…it is basically secret pals. You get assigned a person to bring 3 little gifts for and someone gets assigned to bring you gifts. On the last day you find out who your person. It’s SO fun because who doesn’t love presents!?! Although, I should have had orange cones surrounding me on the last day of Secret Sisters to warn people… entering the HOT MESS!

Friday night, we went to the 80’s prom and it was totally tubular! Kim from 733 was my dance face twin {Do you have a dance face? Mine is sassy & serious but as a total joke.} and I loved whipping out some sweet 80’s moves! I wore a HUGE black tulle skirt and bow. My skirt ended up having a mind of it’s own….{set the orange cones out now}

After the prom we saw that the last Secret Sister gifts were out so we decided to grab ours. I leaned over the table, found my present, and headed up to the room with like 6 other girls. I walked down a long hallway, got into an elevator, rode that up 2 floors, and walked across the hall to my room. {I promise it’s important to know exactly what I did.} I set my gift on the desk then started to lean over to take off my shoes when PLOP! a brown paper gift bag dropped to the floor. I kid you not, it got stuck in my skirt and made it ALL the way into my room!  {We tried to recreate the skirt/gift situation for a pic but couldn’t get it to work. It’s quite amazing that it happened at all!} My skirt had stolen someone else’s Secret Sister gift! After we stopped hysterically laughing, I made Kimbo do the walk of shame with me back down to return the stolen gift. One would think that this would be enough of a debacle on it’s own but no I wasn’t finished….

After retuning the stolen gift and banishing my criminal skirt to my suitcase I opened my Secret Sister gift. There was an adorable frame, key, notecards, mirror compact, bracelets, and some packaged earrings with a card inside. There wasn’t another card so of course I assumed that the card was from my Secret Sister. Loving everything I had received that week I promptly took a picture of my last gift, posted it on Instagram and then tagged the blogger on the card.

I found Katie from Sweet Rose Studio and she explained to me that there had been a mix up and those earrings were someone else’s gift. I had not only inadvertently stolen someone else’s gift but now I had publically thanked the wrong person as well. Awesome! Of course my roomies were rolling when they found out that I had once again managed to “step in it”.

The truly awesome part was that while I was super embarrassed and feeling like such a rookie, it turned out that my Secret Sister was Beckie from Infarrantly Creative {she’s a big deal and someone I really look up to}. She found me and apologized for messing up. We laughed and all was well. So I re-Instagramed thanking her!

Lesson Learned: Watch out when you are wearing a HUGE tulle skirt, they steal things. You can either laugh or cry in embarrassing moments and it’s always best to laugh. People will laugh with you! Even those “big deals” can make a mistake so I don’t need to feel SO stupid when I make one or two {or twenty}.

There were a couple of bloggers that weren’t very nice and didn’t smile at people. {Don’t be afraid to go to SNAP! because it seriously was only a couple out of like over 500.} Other people took notice and were mentioning it. I think everyone was a little heart broken. It doesn’t cost a thing to smile! I promise I won’t drag you to my room, call you my bestie, and try to braid your hair. I just want a smile to reassure me that I’m welcome here.

Lesson Learned: BE NICE & SMILE!

To go along with the BE NICE & SMILE lesson, it’s also important to remember that these bloggers are just people. Maybe she had cramps and that’s why her face looked so serious. Or SHE was actually nervous too! It’s SO different in real person verses behind the laptop so be willing to give a little GRACE and not hate them forever for one look {0r how they acted one year at SNAP because I know it wasn’t just one look for some of you. You told me when I suggested they had cramps at that moment.}

So this wasn’t really a lesson learned as much as a reminder of what I already know…I am blessed. I have the perfect husband for me. He gets me and speaks my language. We’ve been together since high school so if you are thinking I’m saying we have the perfect marriage, you’re wrong. We are rude, selfish, {you know human} and get on eachother’s nerves. We get upset and then we make up. Just like every other marriage we ebb and flow. While trying to explain something to my roomies I said, “Ya know that thing in the thing…” they had no clue what I was talking about. {Although by the end of the trip they were getting pretty good at translating.} Micah usually gets my leaps and my “things in the things” explanations. We laugh a lot together and I think he’s a hunk. If I need something he’ll get if for me. Even after a super long day at work…he’ll run to the store and get the one thing I forgot. He says, “What baby wants, baby gets. Baby wants 12 lemons.” It’s from the movie the Break Up. He reads every single blog post, knows just where I thought I was super funny, and I just adore him.

Lesson Learned: You are blessed! This doesn’t mean things are always perfect because they are not. Don’t forget to enjoy the blessings hidden among the daily grind!

Okay one last thing…the one person I wanted to meet at SNAP! was Jen from Tatertots and Jello. Guess what!?! I met her!!! I ran into her in the hall and she was SO nice! I have to admit that I was nervous about meeting her after others had, had their blog crushes well…crushed after meeting them. I REALLY wanted to love her and I totally did! I’m not sure what I exactly said but it was something like, “Hi, I’m Shelly Dolen from Dolen Diaries”…thanked her for featuring some of my projects…then how I had a crush on her {Seriously!?! I say stuff like that all the time but NOT to Tatertots and Jello! What was wrong with me!?! My mouth was just running and my brain was shouting NOOOOOO while that crush line tumbled out.} Thankfully, she didn’t whip out her pepper spray but instead gave me a hug. I could kick myself for not getting a picture with her but I was just too frazzled. Next year, next year!

So there you have all the lessons learned at SNAP! 2014 by a mostly put together hot mess. As you can see I learned a lot at SNAP! not just about blogging but about life. I hope I wasn’t too annoying on Instagram with all of my SNAP! pics. It was all just too amazing not to share. If you went to SNAP! or were watching via blogs or Instagram what did you lessons did you learn from SNAP!?


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  1. says

    I am sorry we didn’t get to meet at Snap. I was on the other end of the secret sister mix up. When I went down to get my gift Katie told me they couldnt find the gift I brought for my sister. Then you tagged me on Instagram (thank goodness) and I finally was able to figure out that it had fallen in your gift. I was so thankful Katie was able to get it straightened out but I felt so bad about the mix up. I was going to reach out to you but I didn’t want to just say “hey! Part of that belongs to my sister.” :) Snap was great and so fun. Maybe we will get a chance to meet next year.
    Laura recently posted…Washi Tape CardsMy Profile

    • says

      Oh gosh you do NOT need to apologize! Seriously, this kind of stuff happens to me all the time. I think that’s why I have a good sense of humor. Definitely need to meet you next year!

  2. says

    thanks for all the entertaining moments! our room would have been so boring without you!!! ha!!!! You are the best and i loved rooming with you!!! I’m sorry i was OUTCOLD when you left! i wanted to get up and give you a hug!!!!

    • says

      You never know what is happening in someone else’s world! I try to give a little grace in the hope that I’ll get some when I need it! I can’t wait to meet you at Haven & SNAP! next year!

  3. says

    Awesome post…Don’t go read mine! It pales in comparison, but I’m not taking the time to re-write it. Seriously…I was crying-laughing as I re-lived all of your hilarious moments! Why doesn’t funny stuff like this happen to me? We win “Best Roomies” for sure!

    Love ya! ~Ariean
    Ariean @OneKriegerChick recently posted…SNAP! 2014 Recap…where to begin?My Profile

    • says

      I can’t wait to read yours! I am sure it is AWESOME!! I would happily pass on my “funny stuff” luck on to you! We should totally get trophies or at least t-shirts that say “Best Roomies”!

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