Blogalicious 2010: What I learned
Always be thankful for what you have. I always remind myself to be thankful when I am complaining about something. Remember it can always be worse and I have a lot to be thankful for.
Last weekend I was in South Beach, in Miami Florida at the Blogalicious 2010 Conference. I can’t believe I was just there only a week ago. Being in Miami Beach in October is a surreal experience. It all started with my gorgeous view of the ocean floor at 30K feet.
The conference took place at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The hotel is gorgeous, but what the Ritz-Carlton does better than any other hotel is superb customer service. I mean, turn down service with chocolates every night; nightly delivery of gourmet cookies and milk; and the Tanning Butler all complimentary…Certifiable!
Although the weather was a balmy 80 plus degrees with clear clear blue skies, we were there to learn and partake in the conference. Last year I was a speaker, but this year I was actually volunteering at the conference, so there was learning, work, and some play involved.
Thursday night, Afrobella and Style Mom hosted a welcome reception entitled Oasis Pink. There were Chambord cocktails, massages, manis, pedis, and wonderful gift bags. These ladies know how to put on an event. I received a fabulous massage and had a fabulous manicure courtesy of Ginger & Liz nail polish. This is a new nail polish line owned by two African-American sisters. The colors were GORGEOUS! Plus the polish dries super fast. I love it! Here is a pic of the colors.
I am wearing the color Ivy League, the minty green. Love the name. The goody bags contained Cover Girl Queen Collection cosmetics, Avon mascara and Anew facial products, and Cover Girl Lash Blast. Nice!
This year the conference was very diverse and there were Latinas, African-Americans, Asian, and Caucasion women in attendance. This diversity was very educational and enriching. We all chatted, laughed, and learned so much form one another. This was the best part of attending this conference! Good job Mama Law!
The next day was Friday and the start of the conference. The conference kicked off with a session by Miriam Muley regarding the marketing power of women of color. The next session was “Latinas in Social Media.” Our Latina sisters are doing it! There was a power panel consisting of a lawyer, VP of Ogilivy, Award winning journalists, and more. The panel focused on the power of the Latina voice in Social Media and how Latinas can use their voice to champion causes in their community. Fierce!
After a little break, I was tasked with introducing Ana White of Ana-White.com for the “Following Your Passion: Key to National Success” session. Ana is an AMAZING woman. She is from Alaska and has become an overnight sensation by making her own furniture from scratch! She has no formal training as a carpenter. She just has an amazing eye for style, design, and can-do attitude. Within 8 months of starting her blog, she has a TV deal in the works, a book deal and she works for HGTV.com. Plus she is so humble and beautiful. I took a pic with her, but have no idea where it is. She came from humble beginnings and although she is a sensational success, she is the sweetest person ever. Love her! Her advice: Be you. Be Authentic. Do what you love and the success will come! Ditto.
I also got an opportunity to visit the Ebony Suite. Ebony Magazine is celebrating 65 years of fabulousness and released a 65th Anniversay issue. It features icons and current up and coming icons. I love Ebony and Jet magazines and I hope they last forever. Here are some pics!
Photos courtesy of Renee J. Ross
Saturday was another work day for me. However I did get the fabulous opportunity to meet June Ambrose, the Stylists of all Stylists! She is gorgeous and sweet as pie! Here is a pic of me and June. She liked my custom shirt courtesy of Alicia Garcia of Pekuliar Treasures. I was beaming!
Photo courtesy of Renee J. Ross
So after my duties were done, I hit the beach. Lovely. However, the Blogalicous crew had a wonderful party sponsored by Invisalign, Johnson’s Baby Oil, Bali Shapewear, Barbie So In Style and Middle Sister Wines. DJ Geek Sexy, AKA, the Keyinfluencer, was the DJ and the party was rocking. Make-up Arist Extraordinaire, Tia Dantzler, was giving make-overs, Johnson’s was giving professional photos, and So In Style Barbies were for the taking. Of course, I had to make sure Luxe Baby received a doll. I am saving them for her when she gets older!
However, the highlight of my night took place at the Sweet Suite sponsored by the Clever Girls Collective. There was champagne and cupcakes. The. Cupcakes. Were. Insane. Yummy! But the best part of this party was that there was a Wii Just Dance 2 competition. I had to try it and after a couple of dance offs, I finally won dancing to Beyonce’s Crazy in Love! I love that song. My friend, Funkidivagirl, won twice dancing to Outkast’s Hey Yah! I didn’t know she could dance. She can get down!
Photo courtesy of Funkidivagirl
The last day of the conference was Sunday and I was all revved up to see Soledad O’Brien who skyped in to be interviewed by the ladies of Mama Law Media Group. I am a Soledad stan as I have been watching her since she was on the local NBC Today show in NYC. But I didn’t make it? Why? Apparently, I have this urge to scratch my eyeballs out in my sleep. I woke up to an unbelievable pain and irritation in my left eye and I immediately knew I had somehow scratched my cornea. This was my second episode of scratching or tearing my cornea in my sleep and I told my roommate, Renee Ross of Cutiebootycakes, I had to go to an urgent care clinic immediately. Being a good friend, she found me a CVS 1 minute, urgent care clinic, a mere 1 minute walk away. We were in and out in about 30 minutes. Yes, the nurse confirmed I tore my cornea in two places and $85 later, I was on my way to normalcy. Of course, it was hard to see, but at least my eye was not hurting anymore. I now wear sleep masks ever night.
Sadly, I missed the first session because of my eye drama. Marc Morial, National President of the Urban League spoke and it was sponsored by Feeding Dreams. Feeding Dreams is a wonderful non-profit that celebrates Arican-Americans that are making a difference in their community. General Mills is a supporter of Feeding Dreams and surprisingly General Mills and Feeding Dreams gave all Blogalicious attendees a new Fossil Stella Watch. Luckily, I was able to snag one and it is gorgeous. Chunky and full of Bling! Hello!
But I did make it to a couple of fabulous sessions. The best session I attended hands down was the “Using Social Media to Promote Causes” session b Dr. Otis Brawlery, M.D. He is an oncologist and Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society. He was dropping so much knowledge it was fascinating. He schooled us on the disparities of death rates between whites, blacks, and latinos regarding all types of Cancer. And you know what it comes down to: health care. Those who have access have a better chance of survival than those who do not. Also so many women in the session shared their Cancer stories regarding their loved ones and they were very touching. Plus Dr. Brawley was hysterical. He dropped the knowledge but kept us laughing. He was the best!
I briefly listened in on Wayne Sutton’s session on “Geo-Location Apps/Location Based Services (LBS) and then I had to get myself to the airport. My plane was leaving at 4:15 and I had to get to the airport by 3:30pm. I could not reserve a shuttle, but the beautiful ladies of Blogalicious helped me find a ride via Twitter to the airport. I shared a car with Ms. Lori, Thien Kim, and Towanda to the airport. Like I said, private car service on a budget. Lovely!
Blogalicious 2010 was great! It was in a gorgeous hotel, gorgeous location, and in the company of gorgeous women. Although we all looked beautiful on the outside, the true beauty of the Blogalicious attendees was on the inside. We all have a story and we all have something in common and that is why Blogalicious is a phenomenal conference. Thanks Mama Law!