My First Blogpodium Experience

Signing up for Blogpodium was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made for my career and personal growth.  I've always been a little shy so attending a large conference on my own definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. But I knew I had to do it and I'm glad I did because I feel more motivated and inspired than ever.

Blogpodiium 2013

The event was organized by the amazing Jennifer Flores who is an inspiration to me and I'm sure many other bloggers out there.  I admire people who believe in something, work hard, and make their dreams happen.  She makes everything look so easy and one of them being this conference.  I know she worked her butt off but honestly, I was so impressed.  From the programs, to the sponsors down to the tiniest detail - it was amazing.

blogpodium 2013photo via AnnaWithLove

Sarah Richardson was the keynote speaker.  It was great to hear more about where she came from and how her love for design evolved.  I love how she said, " all know I don't have a degree in Interior Design, right?"  She spoke openly about her education and experience which I loved.  Instead of going back to school, she taught herself by doing everything she possibly could to learn about the design industry.  She said:  "The best thing you can do is go out and do it. That's how you learn, that's how you grow"  Some other statements that really stuck with me were:  "You have to believe in what you're doing and you have to invest in what you're doing" and "If you keep second guessing yourself, you'll never get anything done". 

Some great advice to remember.  Especially for someone like me who's just starting out.

Blogpodium 2013

There were some great workshops that I attended but two of my favourites would have to be The Art of Monetization by Karen Bertelsen and Negotiating Partnerships with Big Brands, by Keka DasGupta.

Karen was absolutely HILARIOUS.  She was candid about how much money she makes off her blog and what steps to take if you're looking to monetize.  She really did keep us laughing until the very end!

I found Keka to be very informative, she provided some invaluable information on how to approach brands and what they look for.  Another point that really resonated with me was her own experience of dealing with success. Some women downplay their abilities and accomplishments in fear of sounding boastful.  Quite the opposite of our male counterparts.  As a VP of Marketing, she herself was guilty of this and she explained how important it is to recognize your strengths and believe in yourself no matter what position you're in.  It's so simple but I think A LOT of women downplay their achievements (I'm definintely guilty of it).  Let's be proud of our accomplishments ladies, we work too damn hard to be quiet about it!

Blogpodium 2013

And speaking of accomplishments, one of the big moments for me was the business card contest.  All attendees were asked to hang their business cards on this pretty little display:

Blogpodium 2013

and Emma Reddington, Home Editor of Chatelaine magazine chose the best business card.  It turns out she loves letterpress and gold foil just as much as I do because she chose mine!!!

Blogpodium 2013

The prize is so unbelievable I am still pinching myself, like really hard.  Never in a million years did I think I could experience something like this.  A behind-the-scenes look at a decor story and learn about propping and styling at Chatelaine?  Oh, hellz yeah!  It's honestly a DREAM COME TRUE.

Blogpodium 2013 photo via AnnaWithLove

Blogpodium 2013 photo via AnnaWithLove

I had SO much fun at my first Blogpodium.  I learned a ton and made some amazing new friends! I'm still amazed at how supportive and helpful this blogging community is and I feel so proud and fortunate to be a part of it!

Blogpodium 2013

Blogpodium 2013

Blogpodium 2013

At the end of the day I left with new friends, an AMAZING prize from Chatelaine, personal notes full of great tips and to-do's, a full belly, a huge bag of swag, a Ryobi string trimmer/edger (which I also one from Home Depot!) and a feeling of reassurance and happiness telling me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing.  I finally feel like I'm on the right track and being successful at what you love is absolutely possible.

Tea With Sarah Richardson

tea with Sarah Richardson Oh. My. Goodness.  Where do I even begin?  First off,  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  I am starting off this week feeling very inspired and blessed.  In fact, everything still feels very surreal to me.  Meeting Sarah Richardson and touring her studio was of course a HUGE highlight of my weekend so I'd love to share it with you!

On Friday afternoon, myself and 9 other bloggers and guests arrived at Sarah's studio.  Adorned with beautiful furniture, soft floral prints and accessories, the office felt calm, serene and so very Sarah.

tea with sarah richardson

As soon as we entered, we found a table filled with name tags which were appropriately made with Sarah's new fabrics.  These were a lifesaver because the majority of us communicate via twitter so seeing people in person is much, much different than looking at twitter handles and profile pics!

tea with Sarah Richardson

tea with Sarah Richardson

We were then greeted by a beautiful table with fresh flowers, hors d'oeuvres and refreshing beverages by Pluck Teas.  I also had one a couple of Sarah's signature cocktails.  Let's just say it loosened up my nerves just a little bit.  It was delish!

Tea with Sarah Richardson

Sarah spoke candidly about her new show, Real Potential and we also got to take a look at her brand spankin' new fabric line by Kravet.  I gravitated towards the light greys and graphic prints (ha, no surprise there!).  I love how all her patterns were very classic but done in a fresh way.

(I spy with my little eye the lovely Laura and Jennifer below).

tea with sarah richardson

tea with Sarah Richardson

tea with Sarah Richardson

Tea with Sarah Richardson(photo via Pretty Purveyor)

Sarah's brand has grown so much over the last decade. She has surrounded herself with the best team and in fact, some have been with her since her humble beginnings.  Her office is constantly updated with new furniture pieces and artwork (including paintings by her 2 daughters) and we were all surprised to learn that her husband Alexander (who owns his own digital media company and designed her website), has his office on the second floor.  Now that's convenient!  Sarah is such an inspiration for me and it was amazing to get a glimpse of how her studio functions on the daily.

(photo via Sarah Richardson)

And here we are showing off our new totes from Sarah!  Thanks to the Blogpodium team and of course Sarah's team for having us.

Make sure to check back tomorrow to read a full review on my first Blogpodium experience.  I have some very exciting news to share!


Tea With Sarah Richardson and Blogpodium

tea with sarah richardson I woke up and did my happy dance this morning because guess what?  I'm going to meet Sarah friggin Richardson!  Well, not just meet her, I get to have tea with her and talk about all things design.  I can't wait to see what she's like in person with no camera's around!  My heart is literally skipping a beat as I write this.  I can't wait to see her studio, hear about her new ventures and meet some crazy talented bloggers who are just as obsessed with decor as I am.  This is going to be an amazing experience so big thanks to Sarah for including me (ha! like she's even reading this but whatevs) and also to the amazing team over at Blogpodium led by the crazy talented writer, blogger and business woman, Jen from Rambling Renovators.  She has been working her ass off for months and I can't wait to see the product of all her efforts this Saturday.  I'm sure it will be a successful event!

BlogPodium 2013

I can barely sit still thinking about all the talented people I'm going to meet.  I finally get to see all of your beautiful faces in person instead of staring at your tiny profile pics.  This is my first time so I'm not really sure what to expect and I'm a little nervous to be honest.   If you're going, please say hi if you recognize me.  I promise I'll do the same.  Also, I will probably be the shortest lady there so I'm sure you won't miss me ;)

A big shout out to these lovely ladies who took part in my #thriftedthursday series and will be in attendance tomorrow.  I can't wait to see you again or meet you for the first time:  Laura from Gracefully Searching, Tiffany from Tiffany Leigh Interior Design, Pam from Cherish Toronto, Thalita from The Learner Observer and Melissa from The Sweet Escape.  These women are talented and inspiring and all on my daily reads list!

I'm feeling very blessed today. Happy Friday everyone and have an amazing weekend! xo

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." ~Oprah Winfrey

Letterpress Business Cards

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have got a sneak peek of my new business cards yesterday.  In all of my 7 years of working as a graphic designer, I was never able to convince my clients to go with letterpress.  It's an ancient printing technique but I think they are so classic and I LOVE the feel of debossed fonts on a thick piece of card stock.  Ahhh...a graphic designers dream I tell ya.  What can I say, I have a thing for fonts and pretty paper!  So with Blogpodium coming up as well as tea with Sarah, I decided to treat myself!

I'm a fan of minimal design but still wanted my card to stand out so I went with gold foil text and painted edges in gleaming pink.  I love how they add colour to my desk and they look so pretty tucked in my wallet.  I was originally going to go with black painted edges and I'm so glad I went the pink route.  They're so much more cheerful!

The lovely people at Cotton Paperie did a fantastic job in such a short timeframe.  I literally could not sleep last week because I was afraid the cards wouldn't ship on time or they would get held up at customs. Also, I'm pretty sure their entire staff knows me now since I called like, every day.  I'm NOT even exaggerating. Well, they pulled it off and I couldn't be happier!  The quality is fantastic and I highly recommend them.  If you want to see more of their work, you can check out their website here.  Check out the labels on their boxes too, so darn pretty:

So what do you think, folks?  Would you do letterpress? And who's going to #Blogpodium?  or tea with #SarahRichardson?  Are you ready?!

Have a great day everyone.  xo

So, I have some news...

Tea With Sarah Richardson

Is it crazy that I keep going back to the Blogpodium website just to make sure that it really says Amy?  For those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about, let me give you the details:  the lovely people from Blogpodium held a contest called Afternoon Tea With Sarah.  The task was to create a Pinterest board of your ultimate dream room and Sarah herself chooses her favourite boards and the winners get to hang with her for an afternoon!  Pretty freakin' awesome, right?

Well, it turns out Sarah liked my board because I'm one of the ten!  I'm beyond thrilled and so grateful for this amazing opportunity.  We get a chance to visit Sarah's studio, check out her new product line and also get the inside scoop on her new show.  And the cherry on top?  I get to meet some crazy talented bloggers too.  Amazing.

My dream bedroom is light and airy with touches of pink and brass.  Some vintage pieces would definitely be included since I love both french and mid-century modern.  You can check out my entire board here.

Have a great week! xo