This weekend, as most of you already know via my I'm Off post, I attended She's Connected conference in Toronto.
It was simply amazing!
I was really nervous to go, as I'm sure most first time convention attendees are, but I carpooled with another blogger, Frugal Mom Eh, and that alleviated some nervousness. Not all though. My palms were soaked when we arrived. It was quickly put to rest while registering and the first face I see is my blogger friend, whom I had not met face-to-face before, Jeannine from My Bits and Bleeps.
(Photo was taken on Day 2)
So I forgot how nervous I was at that point. Which is funny. At least to me.
After registering and getting our awesome badges and swag bags, we went into a large room where everyone was sitting to have breakfast. It is also the main room where we have sessions, but I will get into that in a minute.
Friday, I have to admit, was spent on hobnobbing with all the companies and sponsors, PR people and bloggers I could. I was handing out business cards left and right, and came home with more than 50 cards as well. It was all about selling myself and Freda's Voice, so I could get more opportunities for you lovely readers, and myself, of course.
The only thing I actually learned on Friday, day one, was my blogging niche. I was tired of saying, "I don't know", when asked by people what my blog category was. I let them know I blogged everything that I felt my readers and myself would find to be valuable content. In that, other bloggers helped me realize I am a Lifestyle Blogger. So thank you patient people that helped this lady find her niche!
The other thing I am really excited to share about Friday was I got to meet and get a photo with the lovely author, Kate White.
This was my first of two "starstruck" moments.
To meet this author, knowing she was the editor-in-chief of my favorite magazine, Cosmopolitan, for 14 years made me quite giddy like a kid. I remember those quizzes getting me through every high school problem I ever had. So I was floored by her presence due to her success. It makes you want to strive for more within yourself. I'm sure most of us from that session, listening to Kate speak, took "Go big or go home", to heart. I know I did. It lit a fire in me to want to make this blog the best I can. It made me want to reach for more than I dreamed of before. It made me want to do better in all aspects of my life.
That discussion is still resonating through me as you can probably tell.
So, after a very long day of talking to everyone I could, it was time to go home. I knew I had to spend all day tomorrow in sessions actually learning something.
Saturday, day two and we were back at it again. knowing we'd have to pay attention at the sessions today.
For me, I was most wanting to learn my tax rights and what I must claim. I felt that now I am a monetized blog, protecting myself from "the man" was an important thing, and I best learn all the rules. It wasn't the only session I was looking forward to, but it was my top pick from the beginning. I learned more than I could ever imagine in that session and the others I attended, but the tax one really opened my eyes and made me realize I need to be more selective in the products I choose, or it could cost me in the long run. No one wants that now, so I need to be more selective.
Another session I was excited to watch and learn from was with Daniella from The Broken Heel Diaries. Julie from Sober Julie was also a panelist, as well as two other ladies that were new to me.
I went to this session because I wanted to show support to Daniella, the lady on the far right. When she first started her blog, The Broken Heel Diaries, I was her first follower and reader. Needless to say we developed an online friendship and readership that is still strong today. I knew I could learn a lot from her, since she is very successful in the media world, and enjoyed that session.
She even took a photo with me, and I get to keep the memory of meeting one of my mentors, plus share with you.
Next I went nuts trying to find the book signing that was scheduled to be in Media Room 707. I found it, in the same place as the day before, ironically, and was floored to have my second "starstruck" moment.
Author, Cathy Buchanan, who wrote The Day The Falls Stood Still, was signing books and giving them away! I had to have one, and of course, after a few laughs, got a photo with her.
I was so nervous again. Meeting her was great though, as she told us a story about her bad spelling habits, and she put me at ease immediately with her nature. Even after the conference we have shared a few laughs on Twitter. I am her "superfan" though in case you are wondering.
It was also nice meeting some readers and bloggers that I read their posts. One of these special ladies is Sarah from Journeys of the Zoo. She is seriously the funniest, warmest person I have ever met, and gave me a boost of confidence like no other. You are my new favorite person, Sarah, and I will forever be grateful I call you a friend.
While I did learn a lot, the last thing I want to share with you is the video I was able to create with Ford. I look like a complete dorkus but it was great fun! So hopefully you will enjoy it too!