Why BlogHer Chicago could make you Question Everything

Blogher Chicago

BlogHer 13 Signage at McCormick Place in Chicago

I’ve finally home from the insane 4-day weekend that is a BlogHer conference.

My mind?

Blown.

My back?

Sore.

My ears?

Bleeding. (But not for the reason you think).

There is no way to distill 4 days of complete Blog-related mayhem into 1 post, so consider this the first of an indeterminate number of BlogHer  wrap-up posts. When non-bloggers ask me how my “Blog Conference” went, it’s hard to describe it in “lay” terms. Especially since I came home with an utterly new view of what I would like my blog to become.   Let’s start with the fun stuff, mmmkay?

 

Right after we landed in Chicago, my fabulous roommate Jenny Bradford of Conscientious Confusion and I on the bridge by our hotel. Isn’t she so adorable??
BlogHer

 

During the first night of BlogHer, I committed a seriously grave error.  One of the highlights of a conference like this, for me, is spending time with people who “get it” — people who understand what bloggers do everyday, and why we work so hard. Healthy Child Healthy World is an organization I’ve supported for several years, and I was invited to a party for HCHW hosted by two amazing green bloggers, Lori Alper of Groovy Green Livin and Michaela Preston of Mindful Momma. This was one of my don’t-miss stops, and guess what? I missed it! In my imprudent eagerness to hit up ALL.THE.PARTIES, I found myself a 20 minute cab ride away from the HCHW event 10 minutes before it ended.  The featured speaker at that event was Mariel Hemingway, who I was dismayed to have missed. WTF was I thinking?

Lesson learned. Next year, I’ll make sure to focus on quality over quantity.

The next day, Friday, I prioritized my busy schedule and made sure I attended the two events that were the most critical:  The Stonyfield Farms breakfast and the Ecofab 50 party. Both of these events delivered serious face time with other influencers and brands in my niche of healthy, green living. Being there made me realize that blogging about an eco-lifestyle is still my passion, and I am questioning every bit of content on my site to make sure it fits into my vision of a healthy, frugal lifestyle.

I was completely inspired by Emily Zweber, who, with her family, runs Zweber Farms, which produces dairy for the Organic Valley brand.  Emily explained how her family made the transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture. To be completely honest, she made me want to grab my family and run off live on an organic farm somewhere too. Except I really, really don’t like getting up early. Or milking cows. Or mud.

Emily Zweber

The Stonyfield breakfast at Chicago restaurant Nana had the absolute best food I had the whole weekend. Everything, from the stuffed french toast to the thick sausages were organic and locally sourced.

Fresh fruit

The Stonyfield “Yo-Getters:” Every single one of these women inspire me.

Stonyfield YoGetters

Finally, I was thrilled to be a part of the Eco Fab 50 group event, which combined 50 eco bloggers with sustainable green brands. Held at Yoga Now, this was the most intimate and relaxing event.

Eco Fab 50

Our AMAZING organizers, Bert Anderson of First Time Mom and Julie Clark from Cloth Diaper Geek.

Eco Fab 50

You can read more about Eco Fab 50 (including giveaways of many of the items from sponsors) here. Seriously, check out the swag. Seriously amazeballs. The sponsors were so, so generous with their fabulous eco-products.

Eco fab 50 swag

Oh, and I got a henna tattoo that was supposed to last 2-3 weeks, but barely lasted 1 after I swam in the chemical-laden waters of Lake Ontario.

henna tattoo

 

Seriously, I didn’t even get to half of what I learned and did at BlogHer this year — in an upcoming post I’ll talk about my interview with Travis Stork from The Doctors, the amazng sessions I attended, and my favorite brands to network with.

The best thing I learned is this:

don’t be afraid to question what you’re doing – on the blog or in life. After BlogHer I took a hard look at what I am spending my time on with my blog and realized some things I spend hours on are either not profitable or not related to green living. Guess what? Gone. Done. Now I’m ready and open to the next phase.

Note: Just to be clear, all the events in this post are not official BlogHer 13 events. They are off-site parties not affiliated with the conference itself.

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  3. […] makes all of their products using organic milk from family farms. (In fact, I met one of their farmers personally at the Stonyfield breakfast I attended in Chicago last summer) Their products contain NO toxic […]

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