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Orlando

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My Take {#CFLBlogCon}

September 18, 2012

I’ve told you about the pleasure side of my weekend trip… all that good food, great company and lots of laughter. If you haven’t read it, go here. I’ll wait. All done? Okay. Then let’s move on to the real reason hubby and I got a weekend off from the kids.

Saturday, September 15Th we attended the Central Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference at the Orlando Science Center. I loved the fact that it was a one day conference and that it was within driving distance from home.

Here I am, enjoying the view from our hotel room balcony, ready to get the day started.

I was very happy that my friend Nicolette who I met prior to the conference was going to be there and we stuck pretty close together all day and attended most of the same sessions. I found her sitting way up in the nose bleed section of the Cinedome  where the opening keynote was held.

See that little guy down there? That’s Lou Mongello, he’s host of the WDW Radio Show and he gave the opening keynote. Katy Widrick  who was on the planning committee for the conference introduced him and was as surprised as the rest of us when a flash mob broke out. What a way to start the day! I jotted down a lot of notes during Lou’s speech. There were two things that really resonated with me:

1) Treat your fans as friends!!!

2) BElieve in YOURself!

But there was so much more and I’m still digesting it all…

Hubby and I (and Nicolette) went to most of the same sessions. After the opening keynote we went to Callie Cowan’s session on how to built your media kit. (Sorry no pictures.) Something I’ll be working on this week and have been meaning to add to the blog. It was really helpful and pointed me in the right direction. Thanks, Callie!

After Callie’s session, we were able to stay in the same room to find out how to fit blogging into your life. The session was held by Jackie of Momjovi, Michelle of Crazy Running Legs and Christine of Cook The Story… all busy working moms. I wanted to see the session for two reasons, one, I had started reading Jackie’s blog before the conference and had made contact with her on Twitter. She seemed so sweet and friendly that I wanted to see for myself and also to say Hello (which I did) and the other reason was to see if I could find some time management tools to help me. One of the things that sticks in my mind was something Christine said… she recommends to work in batches, i.e. take a day during the month and cook up a storm! Something I’m definitely planning on doing.

For the next session we had to go to a different room and hubby and I ended up going to two different sessions. Nicolette and I ended up going to a session about SEO by Tom Jelneck… Let’s just say it’s still just as over my head as it was before I went into the session. I took notes, so I’m hoping after going over them I might have some clarity. If not, I’ll pester hubby about it! 🙂

After lunch which was served by Bahama Breeze and delicious we all went to a session on analytics by Mark Krupinski. Another one I would have happily skipped. I wish I had sent hubby alone and gone to the Twitter session instead. It wasn’t that it was useless information, far from it. But this is so hubby’s domain and not something I profess to understanding. Sorry, Mark. 🙂

The next session more than made up for it. Working with brands was presented by the lovely Julie Deily of The Little Kitchen. I found the session very informative and can’t wait to put some of her advice to use. Thanks, Julie.

By the time Julie’s session was over it was close to 4 pm and I was getting pretty overwhelmed with all the information I was trying to soak up. Can you say information overload? I’m glad I took lots of notes to go over at my own leisure.

Here is hubby getting a massage in the Recharge Room while Nicolette and I chatted about some of the things we had learned that day.

We ended up ducking out after this since we still had plans with my friend that lives in Orlando. Remember that good food and wine I mentioned in my previous post? Yeah, that… 🙂

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I’m so glad I went and had hubby at my side. I’m already looking forward to next year.

I have to say that I got more out of this conference than another one I attended prior. It was more organized, the sessions were more informative and the vibe as a whole was more positive and friendly.

Thank you to Bess Auer and the whole team behind CFLBlogCon as well as all the other bloggers there for making this a great experience.

If you would like to see more photos from the conference go here. Macbeth Photography of Orlando did a great job capturing the day!

Blog

Picture Perfect Weekly #20 {My Weekend}

September 16, 2012

I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy
little blogger when Instagram became available on Android
devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media
bandwagon and have developed a new love affair/addiction
with it. Because of this love affair I have decided to start my
very own weekly link up called… Picture Perfect Weekly!!!
I would love it if you would join me and share the treasures
you captured with Instagram/phone camera/any other
camera during the past week. I see a lot of fantastic, cute,
funny and happy moments every day.

Share just one or many of your pictures and add a small
description.

Just paste the badge into your post or sidebar and follow
me… quick and simple. You can find me on Facebook,
Twitter and of course, Instagram!

I look forward to seeing your treasured moments!!!

  Friday afternoon found me gazing at this view from the passenger seat of hubby’s car. After my mom arrived at our house and took over the reigns for the weekend, we headed north on Florida’s Turnpike to Orlando. For a weekend filled with fun, good food, great friends and useful information. CFLBlogCon was our reason for a child-free weekend but we combined business with pleasure so to speak!!! 🙂

See this empty car seat? It was a bit strange to be on the road heading to Orlando of all places without nary a child in sight. The ride was quiet, filled with conversation and not a “Mommy he’s poking me!” complaint anywhere to be heard. There was some cussing on hubby’s part as the other drivers on the road where not inclined to follow road rules!!! 😉

After a record 2 1/2 hours we made it and were able to leave the highway behind and head into down town Orlando. I always love seeing these signs… and getting of the highway to see more scenery around me again.

We have been staying at Embassy Suite hotels over the past year or so. It just works out great when travelling with children. Hubby signed up for a rewards program and every time we stay at any of the Hilton Honors hotels we get points. Which can lead to a pleasant surprise like this: Hubby asked for a room on a top floor preferably with a lake view. The hotel sure delivered… we had a room, excuse me, suite on THE top floor, with balcony overlooking Lake Eola in down town Orlando and all without paying a dime extra for the upgrades. Sweet, huh? 🙂

This was the view. Very nice to wake up to in the morning… It is so pretty, with the fountain and the paddle boats, which look like swans, out on the lake.

After checking in and freshening up a bit, we headed out again to meet my friend for dinner. We went to The Ravenous Pig in Winterpark, Florida. Hubby had to make reservations weeks in advance and the place was hopping with people still coming in for dinner when we were getting ready to leave at close to 10 pm at night. The food was phenomenal and we all ate way too much. (More to come on our experience there!)

This rib eye steak dinner for two was our main course. Before it was served a waiter came out and showed us the steak cooked to see if we were happy with it and then he took it back to the kitchen to cut it into more manageable pieces.

Saturday night after a busy day at the conference hubby and I were meeting our friend again to try an Italian restaurant in Winterpark. We were early so we had a cheesy snack and a glass of red wine at the Wine Room. Oh my, what a fantastic place. Another one I will go into more detail at a later time. Let’s just say I’m very happy that I’m starting to enjoy the occasional glass of red wine!

And today, I gazed out the window again as we were heading South on the Turnpike towards home and our three angels after a busy weekend, full of laughter and amazing memories. We even saw a deer run right along side the highway. I was a little worried about the poor thing as there was no fence between the fast moving cars and the grass strip it was running on.

So now it’s your turn to show off your favorite shots of the week! Grab the button on the sidebar and go! 😉

BocaFrau



Blog

Fill in fun and a weekend getaway…

September 13, 2012

Another week almost over.

So glad this one is almost behind us.

If I wasn’t so tired I would let out my little rant.

I will write up a little post about my week… later.

It wasn’t all bad.

And this weekend should be interesting and fun.

Hubby and I are heading to Orlando for the Central Florida Blog Conference this weekend — sans kids.

My mom is coming over to watch them for us.

Thank you, mommy. We really appreciate it… I know you’ve been working like crazy.

I’m excited to meet some new bloggy friends and to see my friend Nicolette again.

Every time we’ve seen each other we’ve really hit it off and can just sit and talk for hours.

I’m also looking forward to learning new things and to broaden my horizons.

And lastly, there looks to be some awesome food to be had while in Orlando.

Hubby and I are meeting with an old friend for dinner both Friday and Saturday…

I’ll be sure to share my experiences with you guys when I get back!!!

**************************************************************************************************

Now.

Time to join my lovely  friend Hilary for some fill in fun.

Each week, Hilary plans on listing four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at feelingbeachie@gmail.com. If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! This week’s co-host is Annie from the Lemon Drop – She came up with the last two statements

Hilary would LOVE it if you could please help her spread the word about this hop…. So, please tweet, FaceBook share, and add the linky to your post…

This week’s statements:

1. I like to __ when I am ___
2. ___ is my favorite vegetable
3. I get ________ when I ___________.
4. I’m surprised by _________ and ____________.

My answers:

1. I like to snuggle in bed and read when I am not feeling good.

2. Carrots and peas mixed is my favorite vegetable. (This one was tough… I like so many different veggies.)

3. I get super excited and happy when I take out my camera lately.

4. I’m surprised by the way some people run their companies and wonder how they stay around.

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