It’s been over a month sine Elevate so I figured I should finally sit down and share my thoughts about it. Get ready for the longest post around these parts in a while.
First of all, lets start off with ‘what i wore’ – and don’t laugh, but I totally had two outfits. I wanted one for the daytime when I was sweating my buns off, and another for night when it started to get chilly. I know, pulling the high maintenance girl card, whatev.
My day outfit was a slightly short 3/4 sleeved dress I scored at Goodwill for $1.50 the week before the conference while Presley and I were wandering around the store a block from our home. I also scored those wedges that matched perfectly for $3.50. Y’all. $5 for an outfit. The best part? I felt amazing in it. I felt so bright and fun, plus the b&w stripes I am totally crushing on right now. It’s amazing when you can spend soo little and still feel so good. #winning My night outfit is considered more of a splurge – this is the Ana dress from LuLaRoe. This baby cost a pretty penny ($60 to be exact) and came from my friend Amber who graciously sent it to me. (Thanks Amber!!!!) LuLaRoe is amazing, and soft and cozy & the Ana dress is seriously my favorite. I sort of want one in every single color….but at $60 a pop, well, the husband would probably make me sleep on the patio for a month if I went that crazy.
So, here we go. The deets.
Of course Elevate started with a trip to Sidecar Donuts because I just wanted to torture myself. At the time of the conference, I was 3 days away from successfully completing my Whole 30 so I just starred and drooled & enjoyed a black coffee. Next year, I’ll be ordering a dozen for myself. Or maybe just one. We will see.Lauren and I roomed together again this year because we are so in love. She is definitely one of my best friends, confidants, and my dearest blog mentor. I love her because she puts up with me. She’s witty, spunky, adorable & such a light in my life. We, of course stopped to take some pictures & then headed in to squeal over catching up with all our friends. Elevate is like a big fat reunion. Lots of newbies this year we were super excited to meet and welcome to the fam. So many inspirational, brave, encouraging, beautiful, brilliant women to be around. Seriously I want to freeze this moment forever & just soak it all in every single day when I need it.
After making new friends & laying in the wet grass to get a human flatlay, we headed inside to listen to speakers. I love Elevate because of the amazing speakers. It is like every year they speak perfectly to my soul & I can’t even take notes fast enough. I should just bring a recorder next year.
Each of our chairs were graced with an issue of Belong Magazine. Last year at Elevate during a speakers talk we were asked what one of our dreams were, something we thought was unattainable and we were timid to approach and conquer. Brooke stood up and said she wanted to start a magazine, and then like 8 months later, BOOM. BELONG came along. It is so inspiring and uplifting knowing she made her dreams possible – and we all can too. My goal before next years Elevate is to write an article and have it in BELONG. (*wink wink Brooke*).First up was Chari from Persnickety Prints. I loved listening to her story about capturing moments (good and bad) and creating memories that will last forever. I am a huge believer in taking pictures & while YES, sometimes I see it through the lens instead of first hand – I’m so thankful for all the photos and memories we have because of them. She talked about being okay with your life & remembering to share our story or else it dies. She also talked about her mom who fought Leukemia and I shed a few tears as the day prior I spent with Renee in the hospital as she received her first round of Chemo.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: A quote she shared: “It has been said that next to hunger & thirst our most basic human need is for storytelling.”
Lauren // Me // Lisa
Next up was Rebecca (a fellow AZ gal) from The Crafted Sparrow. Rebecca told us the importance of always trying to grow yourself. Always be working towards making a better you. She taught us some tips about pinterest & answered lots of questions from the group.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: Rebecca said, “Sit down and ask yourself why did you even start?!” When you get down on yourself in this crazy blogging world. It resonated with me because so often I get off the course I want for my blog & need to be reminded to stay on track.
Rebecca / Me / Chrissy – The amazing photographer
Of course, we took a break for food & crafts. We got spoiled like KA-RAZY. I managed to make it to all 3 stations – I work fast because I’m a network nazi. First up was Overlays and we each got to make an adorable mirror & learn about the fun ways to customize Ikea furniture so it goes from drab to FAB. Definitely going to pitch them next year when we move & get some new furniture!
Next up was Me & My Big Ideas – guys. We each got a Happy Planner and a design kit. I seriously had to run to the bathroom to pee because I was so excited. Honestly, I ditched my beloved Day Designer for this baby. I am loving it. Lauren just posted about hers here. Lets just say. I am so so so so so in love.
We also had a fun station with Sizzix and got to make leather necklaces. I actually ended up winning the kit & am super excited to learn more & play with it. Whoops. No picture. Anyways. There was more delicious food & me eating in the kitchen my homemade salad & sharing a Larabar with my hero Megan. Then we headed back inside to cool down from the heat & listen to more amazing speakers.
We got to hear from Ashley and I loved hearing her talk about learning & knowing our self worth. She reminded us to always stay positive on social media, and to take often social media breaks to reconnect with other things that should mean more to us, and to be present with our families.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: Numbers don’t determine your worth. You are more than your numbers.
Next up was Vanessa with Chatbooks. I know, EEEEK right?! I love chatbooks. She talked to us about knowing our way and try to find WHY you are unique. I loved hearing the story of chatbooks and was so inspired to start printing more of our pictures. I do a book every year with a few pictures from each month, but now I think I want to do a monthly book. Uh oh. She also used to sing opera and gave us a little taste of that. Jaw drop.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: Vanessa said you don’t have to be the lead to steal the show.
Then we got to hear from Amy. Oh Amy. I just danced my butt of with her at Bright Night so I’m sort of just girl crushing on her right now. She is amazing and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after hearing her story. She had so many amazing points I couldn’t write them down fast enough. She talked about expectations and being open to them being met in different ways than we expected.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: An amazing quote from one of my favorite authors Brene Brown; Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.
Last up was Jenika who spoke to us about doing what works for you, your circumstances & not to worry about the blogger next to you. This spoke volumes to me, to often we get caught up in the latest trends & what is making other bloggers viral; instead of being true to ourselves. She said we just need to decide to be happy.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: Life is 10% circumstance & 90% attitude
Chrissy got AMAZING pictures of all the food, but being on Whole 30 at the time I chose to avoid it. So I’m just not sharing the pictures because it makes me a little sad. But good news, Whole 30 has changed my life, i’ll have a post about that soon. I’m actually doing another round right now. So, there we go. The recap for Elevate.
And the countdown till Elevate 2017 begins.