And Now For Something A Lil Different – Attending Blogher ’11

I usually stick to bargain tips and places y’all can go, but I’m so excited about my first blogging convention that I just have to share it with ya. Yesterday I headed on down to Sunny San Diego (home of the irresistible Ron Burgundy) so I could attend Blogher ’11.

I awoke at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. so that I could make it to the convention center by 8. I was totally stressed that I would get stuck in traffic but luckily that didn’t happen. I checked in and upon arrival got a goodie bag filled with stuff. Yowza, freebies this early in the morning! I love this place already!

I then headed over to the newbie breakfast where I sat at a table with a bunch of other first timers. It was cool to meet women from all over the country who write about a wide variety of things online – from health and fitness to motherhood to coupons to just about anything.  Writing a blog can be a lonely experience (hello, is anyone out there in cyberspace? hello? hello? oh, it’s just me, ok) that it was nice to see that there are many, many other women out there typin’ away.

After the breakfast, I headed to my first seminar which was about perfecting your blog writing skills. Ok, ok, you can stop laughing. My grammar is atrocious on purpose. Well, not totally on purpose but I do try to write like I’m speaking and not like I’m publishing a textbook. But, I know there is room for improvement and I did leave the seminar feeling a wee bit guilty. That being said, if you notice any glaring mistakes, feel free to let me know. Just think of it as being the online equivalent of subtly telling me my fly is open.

Once the seminar was over I went to lunch and wolfed down my meal. It was pretty good (grilled veggies, a rice medley and chicken with capers in a cream sauce) but I barely noticed because there was an Expo to get to! Basically, all the sponsors for the convention had booths set up where they were introducing everyone to their products and giving away freebies. I had briefly toured it in the morning but it was pretty crowded. So, I figured  if everybody’s eating I might as well be hittin’ the stalls and avoiding the crowds. It paid off, too. I was able to meet with a lot of sponsors and find out about some new cool stuff (more about that later).

Before I knew it, it was time for my next session – an informal seminar with a bunch of frugal bloggers. It was an interesting meeting; I found that my type of blog was in the minority (hooray for uniqueness!) as most of the attendees had coupon/deal sites. Although much of the information didn’t pertain to this here blog, I did muster up the courage to introduce myself and give a little pitch on what I write about. And, boy did it take courage. I am a grade A introvert and get totally nervous when called to speak to a group full of strangers. But, I did it!

From that session I went to another seminar that dealt with networking and mentoring and…unfortunately it was the end of the day and my head was ready to explode from informational overload so I ducked out early and headed back to the Expo. Two full bags of stuff later, I wearily left the convention center totally satisfied with my day at Blogher.

Unfortunately, I left at 4:40pm. And in SoCal, you know what that means. Yup, traffic. An hour later I was only in Carlsbad (still in San Diego county). Ugh! Literally, ugh! I ate so many snacks at the Expo that my stomach was churning. So, I decided to wait out the traffic and visit the Carlsbad Outlets.

Now, honestly I’m not a big outlet mall fan. I rarely see prices that are much cheaper than the original stores but I guess the bargain gods were with me and I managed to score a pretty good deal.

$2.99 y’all!!!! And from Banana Republic (outlet) no less! That perked up my energy for the ride home (although it didn’t make my stomach feel any better). So, all in all it was a pretty amazing day.

Oh! I almost forgot! Check this out.

That, my friends is most of the free stuff I scored from the Expo. Pretty awesome, huh? Let me tell you about some of my favorites (not all are pictured):

Bailey’s Creamers. I am a Bailey’s-aholic. Ok, maybe that’s not the right word to use when talking about an alcoholic beverage. I am a Bailey’s nut and, although I don’t use coffee creamer, I just had to try it. I had the Irish Cream flavor of course. Yum! The delicious taste of Bailey’s without the shame of drinking alcohol early in the morning. And they gave me a coupon for a free bottle!

– Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts. As someone with high arches, I know a thing or two about foot pain. Luckily, I was able to use their Orthotic Center to determine what kind of insert I needed. Since I was anticipating a world of hurt by the end of the day, I put them on as soon as I got ’em. Wow! So soft and cushiony and…no pain! Hallelujah!

– Tempur-Pedic All-Purpose Pillow. Yes, from the bed people. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I can’t wait to give it a whirl.

– McDonald’s Mango Pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie. Remember in my last post I mentioned only getting coffee? Well, I’m thinking I should have ordered this. It was so tasty (and this is coming from someone who didn’t care for their other smoothies). I made sure to get a sample in the morning and another in the afternoon. And I got a coupon for a free one!

So there you have it. Are you still here? I know this was an incredibly long post, but I was so excited that I just had to share my adventure with y’all. Thanks for reading.

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