Possibly The Biggest Blissdom Link Love Lovefest Post Ever

Posted by in Blogging, General Awesomeness on Feb 8, 2010

I just returned from Blissdom and will be recapping the (stellar, in my opinion) take away points from my Striking a Balance panel over at Boston Mamas this week. Meanwhile, I wanted to share some of my favorite personal moments here. It was a remarkable conference in so many ways and in particular, I wanted to call out some of the awesomeness more specifically — Blissdom reminded me of how utterly grateful I am to traverse this space alongside so many talented, funny, and kind people.

In vaguely chronological order:

  • The very first person I hugged on arrival (as I wandered the giant Opryland trying to find the hotel lobby) was Jennifer James. How appropriate. I adore Jennifer; she is so smart and kind (unbeknownst to her, she’s in my unofficial brain trust of People Who Always Know What To Do When I’m Suffering A Major Brain Cramp). She also was rocking vibrant colors and accessories over the weekend. HOT.
  • I admit that I’m one of those people who squeals at a seemingly impossible frequency when I see friends or meet new and awesome people. At Thursday night’s parties (and through the weekend), I squealed my brains out as I bumped into awesome person after awesome person, such as Isabel, Cooper, Elizabeth, Amanda, Jo-Lynne, Catherine, Christy, Susan, Melanie, Allison, Marie, Sarah, Janice, Kim, and Renee. It was also extremely fun to meet new friends, such as the adorable Jim (Asians representin’ yo!), the lovely and ever-fantastically dressed Alicia, as well as Holly, Amy, Rachael, Jyl, Dina, and Amy. (And a lot of other people I’m likely and regretfully omitting due to lack of sleep.)
  • Also, have I ever mentioned how much I love Amanda? She carries such a lovely energy. Every time I saw her at the conference I felt compelled to hug her. I usually went ahead and squeezed her.
  • And have I discussed Isabel‘s enviable shoe collection? All weekend long she was inspirational in her pairings of vibrant colored dresses and killer shoes. I especially loved her mustard colored dress and multicolored sparkle platform heels on Saturday.
  • I roomed with my friend Erin. She’s awesome. She’s just as funny in real life as on her podcast, and she is incredibly smart and candid in discussing work things. We outlined a plan for creative world domination. We just need to sign up the minions to help us and then we’re going to rock that party.
  • As some of you may know, I was on a prestigious academic path for 10 years (actually, I realized yesterday it was 11…I suck at math) before I jumped ship for the freelance world. I did this because I was tired of living a life of work suckitude and wanted to experience joy and fun on a daily basis. The keynote by Kevin Carroll — about rediscovering play and bringing fun and passion to work and life — spoke to me. You also gotta respect a guy who’s willing to travel with an enormous crate of red rubber balls.
  • Two words: Audrey McClelland. I adore Audrey — her warmth, her generosity, her loveliness, her hot triceps. She is such a wonderful friend and I loved being able to have several moments with her through the weekend. (And no, I’m not just talking about when we abused that poor videographer on the dance floor.)
  • My panel with Deb, Megan, and Carmen was, if I may say so, amazing. When we conferenced in about the panel before Blissdom, we were all on the same page about not wanting an “achieve balance by getting up earlier and getting more organized!” type of panel. It was real. It was passionate. I unexpectedly dropped the F bomb (um, which I have never, ever done in my life during a speaking engagement). I think we broke new ground with balance panels.
  • I loved meeting Leah from Bookieboo. That chick is crazy! Crazy with enthusiasm, crazy with energy (she lost 170 pounds, people), and crazy about Sir Mix-a-Lot. Actually, speaking of lost pounds, oh my word Renee Ross looks spectacular. I mean, I’ve always thought she is gorgeous, but she’s seriously rocking her fitness challenge.
  • I’m still not sure whether the smoky eye works for those without eyelids (sob), but I did love waiting for my Cover Girl makeover because it meant I got to chat briefly with Katja and also meet the lovely Erika Lehmann.
  • Apparently I only see live music when I go to blog conferences, and it was awesome to see Harry Connick, Jr. and his band play. Harry (we’re on a first name basis of course) was gracious enough to pose for photos and shake hands with everyone. I was next to him in the group photo and he put his arm around me and squeezed my shoulder. I nearly passed out.
  • How great is it to rock a dance floor with friends and people you don’t know? How much am I hoping that the video/photo evidence of me and Audrey dancing with the videographer isn’t too damaging?
  • After dancing, I wanted to go support my friends at the Tastemaker potato challenge. And boy did those bloggers rock the humble spud. The energy at this event was fantastic and I loved the make your own potato bar (nothing comes between me and a cocktail glass of mashed potato + condiments). My hats off to the competitors (Amy, Jen, Jim, Jo-Lynne, Jodi, Lindsay, Melanie, Melanie, and Rachel) for rocking the challenge with humor and enthusiasm, and to everyone present for supporting them. I also loved seeing Jessica rock the lawnmower. You can never have enough lawnmower at a party.
  • Despite the fact that it was frigid out — even with a few snowflakes coming down — Audrey, Marie, Allison, and I made it outside for a 2-mile training run for Eat. Blog. Run. These chicks rock. And I’m impressed we could run at all after the suffering our feet endured on the dance floor the night before.
  • I loved finally meeting Lindsay, Michelle, and Tanis. Lindsay is so lovely and ridiculously stylish. I can’t wait to peruse her new style blog in more detail and follow up on her tip about wide shaft boots. And Michelle, what can I say? She’s hilarious and I want to hang out with her more. Unfortunately, Tanis and I didn’t get time for more than a quick hello — possibly because the call of the karaoke stage was too strong — but it was great to connect.
  • How awesome is it that amidst the various traditional sponsors at the expo there was a Blissdom Loves Anissa table? I left Anissa the following message for Anissa’s video montage: “YOU MAKE US CRAZY ASIANS PROUD! KEEP KICKING ASS!” And I meant it.
  • Some of my favorite moments were over meals. On Saturday I had a double dose of awesomeness. At lunch I finally had a chance to catch up with the lovely Arianne and just laugh endlessly over various things with her, Renee, Emily, Jennifer, and Cooper. (Renee, Emily, and I made a bloodless blood pact to do the Disney tiarathon next year…hold us to that will you?) I also loved meeting Esther and having dinner with her, Steph, and others. I’ve known (and utterly adored) Steph for a couple of years now, but just recently connected online with Esther. Both of these chicks have amazing mojo.
  • I was truly, truly flattered to have several people compliment me about my writing and tell me I should write a book. It’s something that has crossed my mind, but honestly, I hadn’t thought much about what that book would be. And then while I was sitting in the book publishing session, I had my lightbulb moment. I even bought the domain for the title. I need to think it all through more, but I’ll share more once I gain some traction with the thought process.
  • The end of event festivities (closing keynote and come comfy night) were perfect. I laughed and cried at both. My only regret is that I let down Asian Nation by not participating in karaoke, but Jim did us all proud.
  • The only fitting way to close this post is with awe and admiration for Alli Worthington and Barbara Jones. I met both of these women in the last year and was immediately drawn to their humor and kindness. But to see the incredible efforts that went into providing top notch programming, entertainment, and amenities was more than a little mind blowing. These women have my utter admiration and I now bucket them in my mental category of Would Do Anything For Them if They Asked Me To (…Even Streak). Thank you for an amazing conference Alli and Barbara!

    1. Feb 8, 2010

      GIRL! That is a lot of links. You are awesome. I loved how RELAXING our time together was, how peaceful, you know? Something I’ve never experienced in a blog conference before! Oh, it was the best. SO glad you were there.


    2. Feb 8, 2010

      Let me count the ways I love Christine: 1) you are awesome; 2) you are brilliant; 3) you are so insanely talented; 4) you make me smile always and 5) you have to take an embarrasing potato photo with us and we’ll start a trend, which will lead to a frighteningly successful, cult-following website like Cake Wrecks. You know we can do it. big hugs and lots and lots of love. This is a FANTASTIC post.

    3. Feb 8, 2010

      It was wicked pissah meeting you too (don’t forget, I’m representin Boston as well)! And I’m glad we started our conversation with the usual “are you Korean or Chinese?” because, you know, protocol :)

      And next time we’re in a room together with a karaoke machine? If you don’t get up there to sing something by Air Supply I might have turn you into the authorities for a re-test on that Asian certification.

      Keep it real, sista!

    4. Feb 8, 2010

      Thanks for the mention. I’m just going to refer everyone to your post for my Blissdom wrap-up. Some details vary, but I had many encounters with many of the same wonderful women. And OMG Isabel’s shoes…yes! It really was a great time.

      This seems to be the second time I’ve seen you mention streaking for a fabulous and inspiring blog friend. Hmmm. Someone’s gonna double-dog dare you one of these days.

    5. Feb 8, 2010

      That? Is one heckuva wrap up. Yeah, all the stuff she said up there. Had a marvelous time!

    6. Feb 8, 2010

      You are so amazing Christine! Getting a squeal and a tight hug from you was one of the highlights of the conference for me!

      You’re the perfect balance of classy, professional, funny, beautiful and absolutely CRAZY! Love you!

    7. Feb 8, 2010

      I am pretty new to the blogosphere, and REALLY LOVE this post. I feel like I know some of these ladies already – many of whom I HOPE I will meet at some blog conferences this year….like the upcoming Mom 2.0 in Houston (my neck of the woods). Thanks, Christine!!

    8. Feb 8, 2010

      What an awesome roundup!

      AND – my favorite moments did include the moment when Audrey abused the videographer – and when you busted a move as well! We were cheering our guts out for you on the sidelines! :)

      My legs are still sore from dancing!

    9. Feb 8, 2010

      So fantastic to know you better. You burned bright, blogstar! Looking forward to the next chance to work & play together.

    10. Feb 8, 2010

      OK, girl…. you rock with all these links! I had the best best time with you! It was so much fun to start the conference with you… dance our booties off… get cozy and end the conference together. You’re gracious and kind and funny and smart and just all-around-amazing… and I just love ya tons!

    11. Feb 8, 2010

      Fantastic write up. I thought your panel was awesome and th f-bomb makes everything better!

    12. Feb 8, 2010

      Christine I might be blushing! You were one of the highlights of my weekend…I consider YOU a rockstar. Seriously, I’m honored to be your friend!

    13. Feb 8, 2010

      Loved seeing you!! And you looked gorgeous – before and after the makeup :)

    14. Feb 8, 2010

      Your wrap-up rocks. I am so glad I got to spend more time with you than a fleeting “hi, bye”. Loved every minute of it.

    15. Feb 8, 2010

      Being around so much awesomeness and fabulousness keeps me going! It was great to see you again.

    16. Feb 8, 2010

      What a fantastic wrap-up! I am sooooo happy we met FINALLY! I love you even more in person – your great vibe and smarts and laugh and easy way you have with people make for a crazy-great combination. You are wonderful beyond words and I am honored! And I am THERE for the Disney mini triathlon. The bloodless blood pack holds!

    17. Feb 8, 2010

      It was so lovely to enjoy sushi with you and get to hear your take on all kinds of interesting topics. You SHOULD write the book & start the website – I could use the wisdom. :)

    18. Feb 8, 2010

      YOU are amazing!!!!!

      Dang girl, that’s a mass of linkage. WOW

      Seriously, you are adorable and lovely and sweet and funny and I LOVED meeting you!
      I can’t wait to keep in touch around this crazy world -)

    19. Feb 8, 2010

      I never got to really introduce myself (I don’t know if I would have been able to squeeze through all of these amazing women to actually get to you!) but want to tell you that the balance panel was one of my absolute favorites!! You ladies did amazing.

    20. Feb 8, 2010

      Wow! What a wrap up….love that you had such an amazing time….it was wonderful to meet you ever-so-briefly!

    21. Feb 8, 2010

      Yay for us! I’m so proud of us and our run. I LOVED finally meeting you and getting to hang. And happy that I see you again in less than 2 weeks, and in May for our race!!

    22. Feb 8, 2010

      Okay, after reading that, Monday has become my favorite day of the week! What a terrific weekend it was. It was a joy meeting you.

    23. Feb 8, 2010

      I LOVED getting to hang out with you. XXOO Nunnin but love for ya honey!

    24. Feb 8, 2010


      I so enjoyed getting to meet you. Isabel knows ALL the best people! I so enjoyed getting some time to talk a little neuroscience. Doesn’t happen very often – so thank you!!

    25. Feb 8, 2010

      Woot woot! What a great compilation love!

    26. Feb 9, 2010

      You are brilliant, honest, thoughtful and talented.

      Welcome to the BlissDom Family.

      “No streaking required”

    27. Feb 9, 2010

      What a great post! I had such an amazing time and you are amazing!

    28. Feb 9, 2010

      Christine, I loved your balance presentation. Or talk. Discussion. Whatever we’re supposed to call it. Not sure if you remember me, but I came up afterward to tell you and Deb how much I appreciated not just WHAT you said but HOW you said it. You all were professional and passionate and inspiring and, well, just GREAT. Thank you.

      And yes, ma’am, that’s a LOT of links up there!!!

    29. Feb 9, 2010

      It was so awesome seeing you again and can’t wait for our shopping date in NYC and more brain time in Houston.


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