Friday, August 16, 2013

Why Texas?

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 (photo taken by Kev w/ Elizabeth's camera)
This was my second -- or third? I have no idea-- year heading to Austin for the Texas Style Council Conference, and in my opinion, it was the best year yet. These days, I'm pretty particular about the blogging events that I choose to attend, because to be honest, they often stress me out (or rather, cause a lot of anxiety). I worry I won't recognize someone, won't know someone's name that I should, that I'll suddenly forget how to make small talk, all of these things have happened before (I'm a worrier and over-thinker, as much as I'd like not to be). But Austin/TXSC is different, it's more than just panel discussions and meet-and-greets and who-wore-it-bests, TXSC offers the chance to really connect and reflect with those you know-- or don't know yet-- from the online world. And, at least for me, for three whole days I get to hang out with (almost) everyone who's dear to me from blogging that I never get to see in person, and that's pretty awesome. At TXSC I can be myself and learn from those I admire.
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 photo OrchidGrey_TXSCAustin-14_zps4d0fd607.jpg (photo by Chelsey)
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 (photo by Elizabeth)
Rather than getting a room at the Hyatt, where most attendees were staying, I ended up renting an Air BNB with Moorea of Moorea Seal and Chelsey of The Paper Mama, and I'm so glad I did! It was my first time meeting these wonderful women, and they were the perfect conference companions. Our little house was the ideal home base for the time that we were there, and had it not been over 100 degrees, we could have easily walked everywhere we needed to go (maybe next year, Texas). On the first night, we attended the Minnetonka Moccasin party, hosted by Tieka. It was so nice to  decompress after an early morning and a rather bumpy flight (why is the flight to Texas always bumpy?). After the Minnetonka party, we headed over to the Lulu's swap! It was pure insanity, but so much fun! I always appreciate the chance to catch up with the people behind the brands that I work with on this blog, I've worked with Lulu's -- and Ruche, who also sponsored the conference-- for a few years now, and I consider the ladies behind the brands my friends, so it's always wonderful to see them. The swap was great, but crazy! Jen and I hid out in a corner for awhile sipping drinks because it was just so hot (and the drinks were just so good). I snagged a gorgeous vintage dress and a striped midi dress from Lulu's that I can't wait to show you next week.
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(photos by Peter Tung)
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(photo: Lulu's) 
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On Saturday, we rose bright and early to head over to the Hyatt for the speakers breakfast held by Ruche. After catching up with everyone-- and meeting Katie from Skunkboy, and Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess, who were just as lovely as you'd expect-- I snuck out with Jen, Kev, and Chelsey for a little early morning thrift shopping at Savers. I was tempted to head out on the thrift/shopping tour, but four straight hours of shopping with a very large crowd would have been a lot for me. I much prefer shopping with a small group, that way I can find things for the people I'm with and leisurely shop for myself. After our shopping trip, I headed out for lunch and a little South Congress browsing with the Lulu's girls, before heading back to our Air BNB to get ready for Prom!
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Last year, I spoke on a panel focused on blogging while working a full-time job, and this year, while my topic was similar-- bringing balance to your life, blog, and work-- the panels were set up differently, and in my opinion, were much more effective. Rather than have a group of speakers in a giant, impersonal auditorium, we were assigned small "classrooms" and the topics were much more discussion based, which I loved. Besides my habit of veering off topic, completely forgetting that I was holding an iPad with notes on it, mentioning cats too much, and wildly gesticulating with my arms, I think it went pretty well. That hasn't stopped me from rehashing everything in my head obsessively, thinking about how it could have gone better. Oof. I'll be sharing my presentation on this blog next week (yes, I promise to, I know I said that after Boston, but I assure you this presentation is much more thorough and there are more cat pictures, so, you know).
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(photo from Moorea)
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(photo from Chelsey)
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(photo from Elizabeth)

I'll be back next week with my presentation and outfit photos-- so many outfit photos-- until then, have a lovely weekend!