Storytelling false starts

I’ve been telling stories here for more than 5 years now. Sometimes, I’ll get an idea and run with it, publishing almost immediately. Other times, I start something, but can’t quite find the right words. And more times still, I’ll think of what I think would be a fantastic fucking title, only to forget what I wanted to say entirely. Luckily, I’ve saved some of these titles, and I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Maybe you can offer some inspiration, and I can get these word babies in the air.

possible blog post titles from a writer

Titles in time

  • How to get a thigh gap and other pertinent answers from the universe
  • Meet my uhhh new boyfriend Ryan and wife Mandi
  • What Hillary is doing for little girls
  • Screenshots of a year in my life
  • All the fucks I have to give
  • Lectured for laughing at a humor conference
  • That one time I went BATSHIT crazy or why my life is like a Taylor Swift song
  • There are people who hate me and other confessions
  • Things I wish I did before I left my old job
  • Let’s talk about narcissism
  • On parenting, from a non-parent
  • Let’s talk about your kinky group on Facebook
  • When it comes to red light tickets, the internet fucking lies
  • Giving more fucks this year
  • Clark Griswold is my spirit animal
  • How to passive-aggressively handle passive aggressiveness
  • We built this city…we built this city on rock…to roll?
  • That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage
  • People, for the love of all things logical, look shit up before you post it: A lesson on clickbait
  • How many how-to videos does a girl need to watch to figure out how to put together a freakin’ mop?
  • How I ended up in the worst part of Orlando

What do you think, guys? Any of these titles look delectable?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fighting Jealousy: Slaying My Green-Eyed Monster

When our air conditioner broke, we had to turn the air off for a few hours. It happened to be one of the hottest, most humid days Chicago has seen in a while. As I was coming into the house from outside, I felt the cool relief of our well-insulated home. The humidity was gone and the temperature felt lower.

Shortly after coming inside, I went down to the basement to help my boyfriend fix the air conditioner. Not 30 minutes later, I walked back upstairs to grab something, and was hit with a wall of hot and stuffy air from the exact same space that was cool less than an hour before.

The temperature hadn’t changed drastically. There was no rapid rise in humidity. But coming to that same middle ground from the opposite end of the temperature spectrum modified my perspective. I felt that the temperature was warmer because I was experiencing it from the cold angle while earlier it felt cooler because I had experienced it from the hot angle.

Shortly after experiencing this weird body temperature conundrum, my brain started connecting some crazy dots. That same physical change in perspective can be applied to emotional perspective. It was an analogy that physically made sense to me. And there are so many other ways to consider how your perspective affects your life.

The same situation can be completely different for two people or even the same person at a different time in his or her life. It all depends on our current perspective.

slaying my green eyed monster

I used to get ridiculously,  unequivocally jealous of other people. I coveted what they had, whether it was more blog followers, a book deal, money when I was broke, a relationship when I was single, vacations, etc. My jealousy held no bounds. I would think horrible things, like why can’t I have that? or I deserve that; why is it theirs, not mine?

My green-eyed monster was uuuuuuugly. I hated her, but I didn’t know how to slay her. I knew I was in the wrong, but for the life of me couldn’t make it stop.

And then one day, it hit me over the head like a pile of rocks. It was recent, and I’m ashamed to admit how recent. But it was something the unbelievably beautiful Samara said. At the wrong time, her words may have gone completely over my head, but at the time she said them, I was in a very solid place. I was surrounded by strong, brilliant women who were supporting each other. It was after I began really reading a lot of deep, heartfelt essays that put my own world into a different light. I had a new perspective and didn’t even realize it had happened.

So when Samara said something along the lines of, Why does anyone feel the need to compete with each other? We should be building each other up. There is enough success for all of us.

And oh my God did that resonate through every fiber of my being. It made sense on such a deep and powerful level, that I began to see more clearly the way to remove that green-eyed monster from my soul.

Even further still, the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” which is often used in reference to economic changes was mentioned countless times this summer in reference to the writing community I call home. If we support each other, cheer each other on, help each other out, we are a part of the tide. And this can be applied to any aspect of your life.

We can all slay our green-eyed monsters.

Does this mean I never get jealous? Of course not. I’m only human. But I can be jealous without releasing that ugly kraken from within me. Instead, I try really really hard to isolate those twinges of jealousy before they overtake all of me.

When has your perspective changed how you react or respond to a situation? How do you battle jealousy? What inner-demons are you fighting with?

This piece was originally published on Sisterwives Speak.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Your Prayers Are Answered, My Child

Did you know people send prayers out into the universe via The Google?

I did.

Do you know how I knew that?

Because their prayers come to me.

I’ve decided to take it upon myself to send those prayers up to the big guy. We have a history, you know. I would pray for things. He would give them to me. And it would take three months for me to figure it the fuck out. Like my first period.

And Brian.

So in honor of life’s little miracles, I thought I’d share some anonymous prayers I’ve recieved–in my search terms–so you, too can help these people out.
image
Like this guy. He just needs a little help.

one day god will answer my prayers

I’ll send him a message for you.

She Works Hard for the Money

Someone help this lady help her friend. She just works too damn hard.

good please pray this woman gets of my friends back she works way toi hard for this shit

There was a little spelling mishap, so she tried again.

good please pray this woman gets of my friends back she works way too hard for this shit

I think she still missed one. No big deal. You guys, will help her, right?

They Really Need Their Period

Whether they don’t want an unplanned pregnancy or they’re dying to join their friends in riding the cotton pony — damn,  that’s my new favorite phrase — help these ladies out and say a little prayer for them.

prayer to get your period

prayer to get my period

thoughts & prayers to make my period come

Oh thank God. She got her period!

after i prayed i found out i was in my period so was my prayer accepted

This girl is still waiting.

i still pray for my first periods but i dont have them

Sweetheart,  you can always pray. I promise.

when should i assume i can’t pray when i’m on my period

This one is blaming her period on not praying…

missed prayer and got period

Well, when you’re looking for period prayers, you know where to go.

His Girlfriend Needs Your Prayers

He knows he got a good one. Can we pray that she sticks around?

pray for your girlfriend that you have now

The Mother’s Curse

Ah, the mother’s curse. My grandma wished it upon my mom, and my mom wished it upon me. Can you even handle another Chrissy is this world? Let’s pray for all the mothers who end up with daughters headstrong and brave, just like them.

remember what you were like and pray for your children that’s just like you

In the End it’s all What You Believe

just believe your prayers are answered

That’s right, my friends,  just believe. And if you’re a believer,  go ahead and help my search term visitors with their praying.

Do you ever search The All-Knowing Google for answers to your prayers?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things You Shouldn’t Do When the Side Effects of Your Meds Include Anxiety

I pinched a nerve in my back. Which, if you’ve never done so, is one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of dealing with. I believe that’s what I did about a month ago, when I thought it was just from yoga-ing without stretching…but now I think it was just something waiting to happen. And the yoga-ing was the straw that broke the camel’s my back. It wasn’t nearly as debilitating the first time, and it went away relatively quickly.

This time, it came back with a vengeance. A vengeance that was not willing to part with me quite so quickly. And it all happened days before I was supposed to board a plane to New York for one of the biggest parties of the year. Brian almost didn’t even let me go!

So I went to the doctor. Who prescribed muscle relaxers(corti-something something) and steroids (prednizone) after taking 37 seconds to press my back in 3 places (which will cost me something in the 3-digits)…thus diagnosing me with a pinched nerve in my lower back (sciatic nerve methinks, but non-radiating). She has since refilled the steroids (with a different, apparently more potent version) and told me to get my butt to physical therapy, a place I’m all too familiar with. And now that I’m  off the drugs, I’m stuck with a twice-daily PT routine that feels as tough as my most intense yoga class. Or personal training.

But when I was on the drugs, I got some serious fucking anxiety. Now I have a tendency toward anxiety and depression,  and whatever good Prednizone did to my back, it was wicked and evil to my brain. It was the worst anxiety attack I’ve had in years. And I’ve had a few.

So I did what any normal girl would do when hopped up on pain killers with a side of anxiety. I did everything wrong.

Things you shouldn’t do during an anxiety attack

When the meds for the pinched nerve in my back made me absolutely insane, I decided to do these really stupid things that only magnified my anxiety to the nth degree. Learn from my lessons people.

Have your palms read

In my infinite wisdom, while out with some girlfriends at a ladies day out event, I thought it would be brilliant to have my palms read. Sure I didn’t really believe in any of that mumbo jumbo but figured I’d give some quack 20 bucks, and she’d tell me some of the badass things in my future. Of course, I didn’t realize that her visions would be vague and could lean toward the negative or positive depending on where my head was. And fucking being the lunatic on drugs that I was,  I definitely leaned toward the nego. And my anxiety was through the roof the rest of the day. And just to drive the nail a little deeper, I fucking believed that bitch. The minute she told me I was on a lucky streak, I took everything she said and mentally filed it away.

Consume alcohol

With all that anxiety, you may find yourself in search of chocolate. When the only chocolate in the house requires baking (fuck that) or is the last piece of Easter candy (a hollow cookies and cream bunny) that you planned to snap photos of for a potential blog post next Easter (that you’re probably not going to write anyway), you know what you have to do. You open a bottle of Bailey’s and pour a largely portioned shot (twice) and take pictures. Since your tolerance is pretty much shite, you’re drunk…and you anxiety is now magnified even more. You’re probably going to start crying pretty soon, aren’t you? Oh, you’re too smart for that shit? Me too, guys. Me too.

Upgrade your website host

When your anxiety is already raging, there’s no time like the present to fix what ain’t broken. Well, my site was kind of broken. But not really It was running super slow, and the people at DreamHost told me if I  spent more money, my site would run faster. And everyone wants that, right? So I jumped on my computer after a few shots and went to town. I also panicked the fuck out and spent 30 minutes chatting with customer support who told me I should avoid making any changes for a couple days while it transferred over. They also said some other stuff which I promptly forwarded to Brian.

Contact your boyfriend who’s out with his friends

So now I’m freaking out about my stupid soothsaying palms, drunk, with a broken website…and alone. Brian was out with a friend,  catching a flick. After movies, they tend to stand outside and talk…sometimes for hours even when it’s balls cold outside. I couldn’t handle that much more of my anxiety alone. I needed to drag someone else into my crazy bullshit. Since Brian voluntarily lives with me knowing I come with my own brand of crazy… I played the part of psycho girlfriend.

First, I checked the runtime of said movie. Then, realizing he was still in the movie, sent a text…something along the lines of “hey. I’m crazy right now. My anxiety is killing me slowly. Please come home as soon as possible so I don’t accidentally die over-analyzation.” I made that last part up. I don’t think I actually thought I was going to die. But my brain was not pleased with where I was at.

When he didn’t respond shortly after the movie was out, I sent a Gchat message. Because crazy requires company…and gchat lets you see if someone has seen your message.  And I could be a little less anxious knowing he hadn’t actually seen my message. See? Batshit crazy. But I was just like…”hey no big deal, but just…let me know you saw my message. Kthxbye.”

When in doubt, visit Facebook

As if my anxiety wasn’t already rockin’, I took to Facebook where everyone’s joys were flying all over the place. Why is it that when you’re super anxious, Facebook is all look how happy everyone is? And when you’re flying high on life, it’s all, “OMG look at all this SAD.” Why? Because Facebook is a dick. Luckily, I have some pretty bad ass friends who I shared my anxiety with. They told me I probably shouldn’t have done anything I did, but hey while you’re here, let’s talk about squirrel-foxes, macaroons and nannies. Best. People. Ever.

Thankfully,  the drugs are out of my system and I’ve returned to normal levels of crazy. Well…normal for me, anyway.

When have you had to deal with crazy side effects?  Any experiences with psychics or palm readers?  Do you get anxiety? What have you done while anxious that just increased your anxiety tenfold?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Letter to my Future Employer

image

Greetings and salutations!

If you’ve come here looking for a reason or twelve to hire or not hire me, I’ve tried to make this all very convenient for you.

You see, I write a little blog (this guy right here is my pride and joy. I nursed it from baby blog status back on the dawn of my 29th birthday to the point we’re at today. I make a few dollars, have a small community of friends and followers, and write unabashedly about my life), and it has come to my attention that this may worry you.

I realize that it may seem scary to consider a candidate who openly uses the word, “fuck” in more than a few blog posts, but I’ve made a commitment to my community to give more fucks this year, both in the usage of the word and in the caring of my little toddler blog. The internet still likes me when I curse (if they don’t like me even more for it), and it’s a nice release from the professional demeanor that is necessary in the real world. In other words, I swear here so that I can maintain professionalism in other aspects of my life.

Speaking of my life, you may also be concerned that I may write about you or your company negatively. I’ve made it a mission of mine to keep my work place out of this blog most of the time. I have never written negatively about a current or recent employer, nor would I want to jeopardize my career to do so. If I do mention work, it’s directly related to myself or coworkers who’ve given me permission to do so. When writing about my past, I remove any identifiers in order to protect people and places whose actions or existences have shaped me.

I care about my real world career, and I care about my digital career. I would keep them separate, but the experience I’ve received from this little hobby of mine is twice what I’ve received in the workplace. I have a desire to constantly learn and improve upon my knowledge, and here, there’s no one person to tell me how to do it. This blog has made me a better person, and has given life to a whole world of friendship.

If you wish to hire me, you’ll have to accept all of me, and that includes this blog, which is sometimes a caricature of myself and my life, and other times it is raw and real.

Thanks,
CW

Hey blog friends, have you ever felt like your digital life was impacting your career search? What’s the most difficult part of job hunting? If you were a hiring manager, how would you respond to a candidate who had a very public digital life?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Insert Doctor Evil Voice Here: I Could Be Worth One MILLION Dollars

About a month ago, I received an e-mail from some dude asking if I would ever consider selling my website. I thought to myself, Self, why on God’s green earth would anyone want to buy the brand that’s built around…well…me? I mean…would someone else try to be Quirky Chrissy in my stead?

Selling site 1

The only thing I could think to do was ignore it. I’m usually pretty good about responding to e-mails (even if it takes a few days/weeks depending on how busy I am), but I couldn’t think of an adequate response.

Well, apparently this Ryan gentleman just couldn’t let me go. He really wants to find a buyer for my thriving little blog over here. I mean, I don’t blame him. I’m a little on the irresistible side. And he hasn’t even heard my adorable, everyone-loves-me-even-though-I-did-something-completely-stupid giggle yet.

And this time, I had to respond. It wouldn’t have been polite not to.

Selling site 2

Selling site 3

So apparently, it’s possible that this here site is worth one MILLION dollars. I mean…he didn’t shoot me down completely, right? I guess it’s hard to drop a site that includes pictures like these:

The next step, though, is how to respond. This is where you come in. This very serious Google form will help me to solve my dilemma. All I need is for you to answer a few very simple questions and press the submit button. And then I can respond to Ryan properly.

See? We’re getting interactive up in this community. So help a sister out.

Have you ever responded to a ridiculous e-mail with ridiculousness? What’s the best offer you’ve gotten by e-mail or mail or in person? Any really amazing propositions?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Knock Knock Jokes, Domestic Abuse, and Cheese Porn: How You Found Me

Well, kids…it looks like it’s about time for another rousing episode of “What Ridiculous Search Terms Brought Your Crazy Asses Here.”

Knock Knock Jokes (1)

As an SEO in the real world (you know…that day-to-day gig that pays the bills so I can spend time hanging out on the internet with you people), I find it fascinating to backtrack and find out not only what page you landed on when you searched one of these ridiculous phrases, but how far you dug to find it. What I’ve discovered, you crazy loons, is that some people will dig into more than 8 pages of Google search results to find the random drivel I’ve produced relative to your search term. If you missed the first edition of random search terms, feel free to go read that post. I’ll wait.

And some of you are some seriously sick fucks.

The ones that appreciate my wit and wisdom

Postuniversity Slackerdom: You’re looking for advice on how to be a slacker after college, aren’t you? Well, you’re in luck. All you need is a DVD of Office Space, and you’ll be on your way to the sweet life. Just, you know, keep an eye on your stapler…and the guy who never gets cake. If you’re still in college and want to avoid reading all those books? Don’t visit my post about graduating as an English major without reading books for class that also links to an amazing book blogger (my best friend) who reviews all those pesky books you’re supposed to be reading. Because you should be ashamed of yourself. Go read a book.

Knock knock jokes with Chrissy: Well, you obviously love a little classic humor with a classic humorist. I applaud your choice in knock knock jokers. Because Brian and I have the BEST knock knock joke offs.

How to sprain my knee: I’m not quite sure you understand what you’re asking here. But if you really want step by step instructions, I suppose you can see the many ways that I’ve sprained my own knee…but I still don’t recommend it. If you’re jonesing to get out of gym class or something, cramps sometimes work…and headaches…migraines maybe? I don’t recommend actually going to the lengths of REALLY injuring yourself…weirdo.

 

It’s like you totally get me!

That awkward moment when someone is staring at you and you pretend not to notice: OMG I hate that moment too! I mean…not that I’ve ever creepily stared at anyone…low whistle

Professional contest winner: I love that you people search for this. I especially love that this is one of the top searched topics for this blog. Just the other day I won a free dinner for Brian and I from Whole Foods. I love winning shit. Hopefully my year as a professional contest winner can help you achieve your dreams.

Scattergories fights: This was searched quite a few times, as well. It makes me feel a little better about myself that I’m not the only one who can’t play Scattergories without fighting…

I don’t know if you’re going to find what you’re looking for here…

Fuck my corduroy jeans: I’m not sure whether you’re looking to do something naughty with a pair of pants or if you’re really angry with them…either way WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I Googled that shit to find out why you might search for that…and there are some very dirty Yahoo message boards.

I can wipe my own ass: And we’re all very proud of you.

Girl chug vodka: Okay, fine. You might find what you’re looking for here.

Vodka Chug

I really liked cheap vodka when I was 18.

Now, I really like good vodka.

Now, I really like good vodka.

You sick and twisted humans.

Cheese porn: Don’t worry. I already Googled it so you don’t have to. This is actually a thing. Not my thing, but it’s a thing.

Fucked up scary bathrooms for Halloween: Fret not, dear fucked-up friends, I can help you with my Halloween bathroom decor.

My bare ass: Are you looking for MY bare ass or your own? I’m confused. Please explain.

Stop Googling this shit and go get help. PLEASE.

Someone tried to suffocate me: Call the police. Tell someone. I searched for this and the first page results are for domestic abuse and, well, me. So if your husband, boyfriend, friend is trying to suffocate you  (with or without a pillow), get help.

Can my boyfriend suffocate me with a pillow?: No. Why? Did he try? Were you laughing and joking about it or is this a serious query resulting in the aforementioned search term? If so, get help. If you’re laughing, well…I can’t blame you. Brian and I laughed about it too. (*I have to add that I, in no way, condone domestic violence. I only condone weird and random conversations with your chosen partner in life.)

What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve Googled? If you own a website, what’s the weirdest search term you’ve come across that led to your site?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Something Looks Different…Did You Change Your Nails?

Good morning, blog friends!

You may have noticed a little something new around here…perhaps a few little aesthetic changes…

You’re probably asking yourself,

Hey Chrissy, did you change your hair?

image

Well, now that you mention it, I did visit Catelyn, my friendly local stylist, for a refresh last weekend…but that’s probably not what you meant.

Hey Chrissy, did you change your nails?

image

Have I mentioned my Julep obsession?

In July, I signed up for a free Julep maven box with a few polishes and some other fancy beauty goodies…with just one box, I was hooked. The nail polish lasts for a week (ONE COAT my friends. Okay, one color coat – with top and bottom coat, of course), and the colors are AMAZING. They treat mavens like gold (read: all the discounts and mystery boxes). I’m getting away with myself. This isn’t even a sponsored post. Of course, because I’m a Julep affiliate, if you were to click on my link and order a Maven box, I might receive a tiny monetary incentive…but I can promise you it’s worth it. Right now, you can get the City Lights Welcome Box free to try Julep for yourself.

Whoops. Totally got off track here.

Back to your probing questions…and the reason I showed off my freshly painted digits.

Hey Chrissy…did you seriously paint your nails to match your new site design?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Of course I did. Would you have expected anything less ridiculous?

Well, shoot. You’re practically my hero!

Man, you guys are seriously awesome in my head.

I bet you paid someone to make you site look this fancy, didn’t you?

And just like that you lose faith. Rightfully so, of course. Yes, I paid the LOVELY Carol of Pink Haired Pixels to make my site look amazing. I met her at BlogHer, obsessed over her hair and did way too many Twisted Shotz with her before singing karaoke. I’m also thrilled to pieces with her work.

Now that I’ve rambled, what do you think of the new digs? Are you as smitten with pink and teal as I am?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The BlogHer Conference Questions You’re Afraid to Ask…Answered

Greetings! If you’re not a blogger or you’re not going to the BlogHer Conference and don’t want to read about bloggy things, might I recommend you travel down a rabbit hole of random and ridiculous by reading about that one time I went skiing and didn’t listen to my mom? (Even if you are going to BlogHer…and you haven’t read that-and the subsequent two posts–go forth and enjoy when you’re done reading about BlogHer).

Some of my bloggy friends have LOTS of questions and since I’m now a veteran, I have some answers…so I figured you might want answers, as well. In no particular order…Here are your BlogHer Conference questions answered.

The Expo Hall

Can I bring my kids? Do you have to buy them a ticket?

While I don’t have kiddos of my own, I did a little research for you. Tiny humans are totally welcome, according to BlogHer. Of course, if they’re walking and talking, I believe they need a conference pass (or an expo/networking pass) to play. Conferences in the past have offered childcare, though I couldn’t seem to find any information for this year.

Do you know how much the expo hall and party pass is?

$149 gives you access to all expo hall stuff and cocktail hours/parties, but not breakfast, lunch, speakers or sessions.

Is the expo hall really fun?

I loved being on the expo floor. Not only did I get to try out all sorts of tasty snacks (My favorites last year were Love with Food, Keurig Brew Over Ice, SodaStream, and Kozy Shack pudding) play games, meet cool people and interact with brands, but also I got to meet with a lot of sponsors and brand reps that I got to work with over the past year.
Keurig Brew Over Ice

Do you spend a lot of time (on the expo floor)?

Last year, I did. I got to meet Travis Stork and interview him, courtesy of Simply Saline. I was able to network with a variety of PR professionals and brands that led to sponsored posts, product reviews and other things that are helping me to monetize my blog.

Technology

Should I bring a laptop?

I brought my laptop last year and didn’t open it once. I also didn’t blog during the conference. All of my social media-ing happened on my Android phone and that worked out perfectly. This year, I’m traveling for 9 days, so I’ll bring my small laptop (it’s seriously TINY) for use in the hotels and my tablet and phone will do everything else.

Should I bring my fancy camera or is my phone enough?

I’m totally a fan of my fancy phone because it does most of what I want it to do. That being said, I finally have a camera that I love and bought specifically for blogging, so I’ll probably bring both.

Does everyone sit around with their laptops open?

Some do. Some don’t. Are you the type of person that needs their laptops to take notes? If not, stick with a pen and note pad. Type up details later if you are so inclined. You’re not going to want to cart the heavy stuff around. If you have a tablet or phone, that’s likely to be enough.

I heard the internet can be spotty with so many people trying to use it.

I didn’t have a huge problem with that, but I was also using my phone for most of my internetting.

Party Time

Are the parties really fun?

I think a lot of the parties are what you make of them. Go with your people and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, or even better, to introduce yourself to other bloggers. I didn’t talk to many people outside of my comfort circle, and I missed out on opportunities to meet up with and hang out with bloggers like Lisa Newlin and Kate Whine Hall.

Did you love the official parties?

Some of them. I didn’t go to all of the official parties, but I really enjoyed a few. Expo on Thursday night was awesome with appetizers and beverages, a small crowd and some of my favorite bloggers. One of the Friday night parties we went to was totally stellar with lots of fun activities.

Do some people get way too drunk?

Probably. I didn’t last year, nor did I really see many people stumbling…but there are always a few.

How do you know if you should accept an invitation to a party or not?

If it’s something you’re really interested in, accept. If you’re not sure, wait it out and think about it. You don’t want to over-book yourself and miss lunch…

Do you stay for the whole party or just pop in for a while?

That depends on the party. Some have speakers and agendas, while others are more come-and-go as you please type parties.

Food

Is it hard to eat in time to get back to the classes?

So lunch is a part of the agenda, and the keynotes are during breakfast and lunch. You should have PLENTY of time to eat those meals. Bring snacks if you get that 3 PM drop in energy, because dinners are not part of the conference, so you may be waiting a while to eat. That being said, make sure you take care of yourself and eat enough to get you through the day. One of my biggest problems was over-booking myself last year and not eating enough so that I was beyond HANGRY by the time the evening festivities rolled around. So if you’re like me, plan the con around your dinner not the other way around.

The Pioneer Woman at BlogHer13

After breakfast with Ree Drummond

So dinner is on your own?

Yes.

I better pack snacks then.

Me too. Om nom nom.

Take Care of You

Do you find yourself exhausted at one point and just hide out in your room for a while?

Definitely. That’s why I opted for the hotel that was attached to the conference hall.

If I leave early and don’t stay out until 2 am will I be a total loser/old lady?

Nope. Some people revel in the party all night conference attitude and others are ready for bed by 10 pm. There’s no one right way to rock this place. One night I was up until midnight. The other night I was asleep by 10:30. It’s your conference. Make of it what you want.

General Conference Tips

How do you keep track of parties and sessions and events?

I used my Google calendar to arrange my schedule.

Should I blog about the conference while I am at the conference?

You can. I’m sure your bloggy friends at home would love the play by play, but you may miss some of the fun if you’re busy writing about it.

Do you stay in touch with new people you have met at the conference after the conference?

Isn’t that what this is all about? For me, the best part of blogging conferences and networking with other bloggers is meeting new people who really fit into your tribe. I’ve started attending a lot of events in the Chicago area and I love running into other bloggers that I’ve met and followed.

I read to skip the classes and mingle with people because that’s better for your blog than the classes are; is that true?

This TOTALLY depends on the workshops and how they relate to you. If it sounds like information you already know? Don’t go. If it sounds like something you don’t want to know about? Don’t go. If you want to learn about the topic or improve yourself on the topic, then go. I didn’t go to many of the sessions, but this year there are more that appeal to me. So you may see me in a session or two.

Does going to BlogHer make you a better blogger or is more about seeing people you are friends with?

I think everything we do makes us better bloggers. Whether we’re actively attending workshops or reading new bloggers to get some inspiration or meeting your blog friends for hilarious blog fodder, you’re going to get something out of this conference to improve your blog.

If you’re not really into brands or doing product reviews, is it worth going to BlogHer? Will you make other types of connections that will make it all worthwhile?

I think so. Last year, I stayed in a little bubble of bloggers I knew, but ventured out a smidge. I wanted to network with brands and see where that could take me, but I think there’s a lot of opportunities for bloggers who don’t want to monetize with brands. If you’re an artist or Etsy seller, showcase wearable products. Design a bag on Zazzle with your art that you can carry your stuff in. Make friends. Exchange business cards.

Is voices of the year something I’d want to miss part of?

I think it really depends on you. I also think that last year I had a very unusual experience because Queen Latifah was REALLY late and they wouldn’t start without her. And I had missed lunch. And I was starving. And crabby. Beyond Hangry. So you might see me there. With a snack pack.

Should I really pack an extra suitcase for all of the free stuff? Will it really be that much stuff?

I don’t want the bloggers who hate girls who love free stuff to hate me…
But that’s what I’m doing. (I’m also going to be in San Francisco and Sonoma the week before the conference and bringing home souvenirs, so there’s that.)

Brands

Do brands ask you to do reviews, etc at the expo or is it more like they take your info and get back to you later?

Some of the brands will ask you to use social media at the expo, but for reviews on your blog or sponsored posts will likely be later.

Did you see any artsy-type brands at the expo, last time?

You can actually go check out who the past and future brand sponsors are!
BlogHer 2012 sponsors
BlogHer 2013 sponsors
BlogHer 2014 sponsors

What to Pack

What should I wear?

Seriously–BE comfortable. You can look professional and be comfortable at the same time. There was a point one day last year where I had worn a strapless bra and was so miserable that I hid behind a wall in the expo hall, pulled it off, and continued with the rest of my day. I’m a fan of cropped yoga pants with nice shirts, skirts and comfortable, but clean and adorable, sandals most of the time. (I wear yoga shorts and crops under skirts for fear that I’m going to fall down and show everyone my lady bits.)

What about shoes?

I bought several pairs of shoes from brands I know and trust in order to be comfortable while still looking cute and showing off the pedicure I’m going to get…I made you a little Amazon widget with the shoes I’ll be sporting. (Yes, I’ll get a teensy tiny affiliate commission if you buy them, but they’re really awesome shoes.) I swear by Merrell and Naturalizer. The Bare Trap shoes aren’t as supportive, so I had to add arch support to keep them comfortable.

Should I wear a fancy dress to the cocktail parties?

I ended up wearing dresses and outfits that could easily transition from day to night. Some people were wearing jeans; others wore dresses. I still say stick with your comfort zone.

Blog Friends, do you have other questions? How can I help you get ready for BlogHer? BlogHer veterans, what tips do you have? If you’re going, look for me and say hi!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Rules of Blogging According to Brian

I wanted to title this post, “I Know Something You Don’t Know,” but then I didn’t. Because that would have been sassy and taunting…and then there would have been something that I know…that you don’t know…or that you might know because I’m a big blabbermouth, sometimes.

Now is not one of those sometimes.

Because this post is all about Brian. And his trickery. And his rules.
image

Obviously (or maybe not quite so obviously), I am a grown adult and I do what I want. But sometimes Brian requests that I do or do not do certain things. Here is a list of those…requests.

Do not tell secrets on the internet

Sometimes there are things that I want to tell you. On Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram. Or this blog. And Brian says no. Because they’re still secrets. And of course, then he’ll say, “You do what you want…but…” and it’s the but that makes me second guess my secret-telling on the internet.

Do not embarrass me on the internet

And by “me” I mean Brian. Because he gives me mostly free reign to embarrass myself on the internet. His family teases him enough for writing about him the way I see him and not the way anyone else sees him. God forbid I should tell you all the delightfully adorable things that come out of his mouth (words, OBVIOUSLY).

Always post smart things I say on the internet

Brian’s a really smart guy. He may not admit to this, but I know he wants you to know that he’s a genius. He always wants you to know the brilliant things that he thinks. It’s unfortunate for him that I often forget the smart stuff he says (because I may or may not be falling asleep as he says them) and instead post only the hilarious or ridiculous verbiage. But rest assured, he says A LOT of smart things. He just likes to be show-offy and smart when I’m tired and ready to go to sleep.

Don’t let the internet hurt your feelings

Because I totally put myself out there with this blog and all the lovely social media outlets that I play around on, I leave myself open to the cruel and unusual punishment that is internet bullying. Brian is an advocate for my feelings in every way possible, but he thought the whole Reddit thing was fucking awesome (except for the people who said horrible things. Because those people are not awesome). Mostly because of the crazy way my stats jumped. Even if 90% of those people never come back, some will. And whether it’s to find new ways to hate me or because they actually do enjoy my sense of humor, my writing style or my personality in general, it’s a win for me.

Do not tell secrets on the internet

I mean, it’s not like I have a secret or anything. Especially not one I’m not allowed to tell you about. Because that would be unfair. But if I had a secret, I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you. Because Brian said so.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!