Saturday was the last official day of the conference and a very busy one for BlogHer attendees.  Both Paula Deen and Tim Gunn were in the house … not that I met either one of them (okay, I saw Tim Gunn from afar) as I had other things going on at the time.  There were great Community Keynotes to attend at the beginning and end of the day and of course sessions galore throughout the day.  Then into the evening there were more parties.

After the morning Community Keynote, I attended a session titled: Business of You: Advanced Social Media, Syndication and Stats.  Extremely informative.  I only wish I could get reception on my cell phone or just a little internet connection because there was so much information being given.  Thankfully I was able to type a few notes onto my phones notepad and there is a LIVEBLOGGING session that you can access here if you want the run-down.

Unfortunately I had to duck out of that session a few minutes early in order to hightail it to the Shutter Sisters Suite.  Shutter Sisters and Lensbaby had scheduled walkabouts around Chicago over both Friday and Saturday.  I was eager to head out and explore a little of Chicago with my trusty camera in hand and so had slotted myself in for a lunchtime walk.  It was such a fabulous opportunity to try out the Lensbaby equipment, which has made it’s way onto my wishlist … hint, hint hubby.  I felt so new to this kind of thing and definitely need a lot more practice, but one of the things I did love about my time at BlogHer was having the opportunity to try out so much equipment from the different companies there so I could see what the benefits of purchasing them were and if I liked them.  I think that is probably going to end up being the part my husband hates about me attending future conferences.

On our walkabout we headed to Navy Pier where we were able to see the Budweiser Clydesdale’s out and then we wandered around the city a little to explore the amazing architecture.  Here are a few … okay a lot … of the shots that I captured while trying out a few Lensbaby lenses.  So welcome to my 2 hour tour of Chicago via photos:

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Unfortunately I missed lunch with some good friends of ours who were in town because we were having such a great time walking around snapping photos that our walk ended later than anticipated, but I did make it back to the Shutter Sisters Suite in time to see Design Mom in action. 

The evening was full of frivolity and fun with the BlogHer Cocktail Party, BowlHer, CheezburgHer and Baskin Robbins parties. 

To me, these beautiful ladies are celebrities.  Be still my beating heart because I literally screamed and flung myself at them.

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Caroline of jcaroline creative and Jessica Jones of How About Orange

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Amy of Mom Spark and Carissa (another twin mama) of Faith, Hope and Love 

Photo from: Go Portraits on Flickr

httpwww.flickr.comphotoseyeficard3756002147

Photo from: Eye-Fi on Flickr

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My beautiful friend Christine of From Dates to Diapers and Beyond

I’m still finding feathers all over my house … and in my make-up and caught inside my shoes.

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Anya Marina

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Brooke White – for those Idol fans

I’d like to say that since returning from BlogHer I’ve been a little disheartened to see the negative tweets and blog posts from some other attendees.  News of fights, swag stealing, shameful behavior and cliques.  I for one didn’t notice these things personally.  I did hear of them happening.   I was caught in the middle of one small swag suite incident, but thankfully that was put right very quickly, kudos to the girls running that show.  All of the bloggers and companies I spoke to were lovely.  Well known or not it didn’t matter.   I felt in awe seeing some of the amazing bloggers I’ve been reading standing right there in front of me, but it didn’t stop me from introducing myself.  I would have regretted it had I not.  After all, aren’t we all just people.  There are definitely some people I wish I had have met, but unfortunately with only a couple of days and 1400 women (and a few men) that was all but impossible to do.   BlogHer is what you make of it, regardless of whether you are invited to the private parties, are sponsored or not and go home swag heavy or not, and if you are only attending for these reasons then I don’t think that you are attending for the right ones.   Those things are just the icing on the BlogHer cake. 

This was my first BlogHer and I didn’t know what to expect, but I went in with a game plan.  I read about what was being offered and made a list of sessions, parties and suites that I wanted to attend.  I didn’t get to everything and that’s okay.   I did choose to attend some ‘tamer’ events, for want of a better word, instead of getting caught up in the hubbub that I was sure would ensue at a couple of things.   What I did get out of BlogHer though was memorable.  The friendships I formed, the networking I did and the wonderful sessions I attended.  That’s what made it worthwhile for me to attend.  That is why I will attend next year. 

12 comments

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12 comments

Kat August 3, 2009 - 5:00 pm

I have loved reading about your blogher experience. Really makes me want to go next year…and to NYC…ooooo. BUT…to have to commit now…ugh. I am looking forward to meeting you in October!!

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Maria @BOREDmommy August 3, 2009 - 5:00 pm

BEAUTIFUL PICTURES! I would love to know the camera youre using!!

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* TONYA * August 3, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Maria: I was using my Canon Rebel with a Lensbaby lens to capture the shots on my walk.

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Sharlene August 3, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Those flower shots were awesome. I loved your recaps. Good stuff!

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Threeundertwo August 3, 2009 - 5:00 pm

I love reading the BlogHer recap, wish Id gone last year when it was nearby.The horse is my favorite picture, but I love all of them! Nice shots!

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Amy {Mom Spark/Mom Made That!} August 3, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Hahaha, I hadnt see that second BowlHer photo, hahahaha, so funny!I miss being there, as crazy as it was. Why didnt I eat unicorn butt? Was it good?

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Keonte' S August 4, 2009 - 5:00 pm

WOW! Your photography leaves me breathless. Those are some great images. What kind of camera do you own?

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Mariah August 4, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Your photos are amazing! Love them. Glad you had a great time and didnt get involved in the drama. October!! We can party in October…

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Shannon August 4, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Love your photos from the walk around Chicago! Esp. the one of the horse smiling…that one caught me off guard and I just laughed out loud here by myself! Glad you had a wonderful and memorable time!

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Cynthia at A Shimmy in My Spirit August 4, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Terrific photographs. Thanks for sharing about BlogHer.

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TwinTested August 4, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Tonya,I missed out this year, but will defintiley be there nex year! Hope to see you there.

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Amy August 10, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Looks like an awesome trip- have to say Im a little jealous.I LOVE the pictures!!!

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