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It’s BlogCon Kick Off Party Time!

NEPA BlogCon Kick Off Party

Summertime is a pretty great season in NEPA. There are festivals pretty much every weekend, county fairs, and of course, nice weather!

But one of the things I love about summer is the start of what I like to think of as BlogCon season.

Last year, three amazing women and I planned NEPA’s first blogging and social media conference, NEPA BlogCon. We brought together more than 120 bloggers, tech types, students, and professionals to connect with and learn from each other in an all-day event that included a keynote by Gala Darling and presentations from Kris Jones, Shenee Howard, and many more talented pros.

We started the journey in the spring of 2012, hatching a plan to bring NEPA out of the technological dark ages (we hope it’s working!). After nights of Google Hangouts and plenty of email, we built a brand, started promoting, and organized a Launch Party for our website at The River Grille. After that, it was a summer of bloggy goodness.  It was a blast – and now, we’re returning to the River Grille to do it all again.

Tonight at 6:00 p.m., the Fearsome Foursome (a.k.a. Karla Porter, Michelle Hryvnak-Davies, Leslie Stewart, and I) will be hosting the NEPA BlogCon 2013 Kick Off Party to kickstart BlogCon season with aplomb. We’ll be hosting giveaways, mixing and mingling with all of you fabulous folks, and offering up free appetizers, thanks to our awesome party sponsor and location, The River Grille.

I’d love for you to come out and say “hello!” to us tonight and see what we’re all about. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of the work we’ve accomplished so far. There’s plenty to do in preparation for the 2013 NEPA Blog Con (psst…it’s October 5 at LCCC Conference Center), but we can’t wait to hear your ideas tonight to make this event even better. So, stop in, enjoy the FREE appetizers, and meet us.

I’ll be so happy you did!


Sleep and My Codependent Relationship with the Snooze Button

This morning, I didn’t want to get up.

It was like most mornings. I’m not a morning person. I never was a morning person. I may never be a morning person.

It’s something about myself that I’ve accepted. Brent can hop out of bed the minute his alarm starts dinging, but I can’t. Instead, I fumble for my phone (it’s my alarm clock) and hit the snooze. That sweet, sultry, sinfully delicious snooze button. I don’t care if it’s only five more minutes. That’s five more minutes I’ll be spending warm and beneath my blankets, free from responsibility.

Boromir snoozes like a pro.

You could say that the snooze button and I are in a long term, codependent relationship. At times, it’s been unhealthy.

In high school, I set three alarm clocks – all of which I would end up either turning off or hitting snooze on. My growing limbs just weren’t listening to the radio, the buzzing, and the ringing all at once. I had to go back to bed. I NEEDED more sleep.

Those who lived with me were none too pleased.

In college, the snooze button and I went on a bit of a break. I had a roommate in my dorm, so I needed to train myself to get up at a decent hour so as not to disturb her. It worked – until I got my own apartment.

The snooze button and I got hot and heavy then. Showing up to my 8:30 a.m. class three minutes late, unshowered and probably looking like hell? Yep. That was me. It was like a drug. I started taking naps then, too.

When Brent and I moved in, that was an adjustment period for sure. Sharing your bed and sleeping habits with someone is incredibly intimate – and challenging – as you try to figure out exactly how this puzzle is going to fit together. There were moments when the snooze button has tried to cut in on my real life relationship. Thankfully, if that’s the worst thing I have to worry about, we’re doing pretty good.

Brent is an early riser, but now with my work schedule, I’m up before him most days. On weekends, Brent is up well before me, out taking photos or hiking to take pictures of the sunrise. But, I still go back to the snooze button.

Oh, Snooze. Why can’t we just unhinge ourselves from each other? You know I love you, but you’re keeping me from having extra time in the morning, time that I could use to go to the gym or make breakfast or spend time actually doing something with my hair.

Snooze button sounds good right about now.

You make me groggy, even though there’s this little voice in the back of my mind that’s telling me that I should indulge in hitting you one more time because I’ll feel more rested.


When I’m with you, you make me want to stay asleep all day. When I try to take a nap, you turn what was a 30 minute siesta into an hour long saga where I feel even more tired than before. You make my life harder – but yet, I keep coming back.

Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll be able to take a vacation from you. I’ll get up on time and actually get to the gym. I’ll make breakfast and have time to do something productive. Maybe I’ll read the newspaper – or at least a blog post or two.

But…as always, I need just five more minutes.



One Little Word

Right now, at this very moment, there’s something hanging around my neck.

I’ll give you a clue: it’s shiny, is usually worn somewhere else, and it’s the key to a much bigger adventure.

I’ll stop the guesswork.

I’m engaged.

(cue screaming and jumping up and down)

I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but it did and I’m overjoyed.

And now it’s time to get the ring resized so I can stop wearing it on a chain.

They say you know when you’ve found the right person and that getting engaged will just feel like the universe aligned. For me, it was more like this:

If you could be in my head at this very moment, you would have heard a lot of “HOLY SHIT!” “THIS IS HAPPENING. THIS IS HAPPENING.” “REALLY?!” “MY HEARTBEAT IS IN MY EARS.” “OH-EM-GEE FOR REAL!” (As you can tell, I couldn’t really say anything, but my brain was on overdrive).

I honestly say that it was terrifyingly wonderful. Perfect. And you’re never quite ready for the moment when it happens either. Sure, we’ve been together for quite some time, but I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe that’s why the feeling is just so deliciously intoxicating.

It’s been about a month since he popped the question and we’re still riding the high. We go out to different things and we see someone new who congratulates us. I’ve got a bit of wedding fever and my family doesn’t help much with it (I know you’re all excited and I am too!) It’s a nice feeling, to know that so many people are happy for you and support you. I know that when the big day comes, we’ll be surrounded by so much love that we won’t even know what to do with ourselves.

Or maybe we will. We’ll say, “I do.” That’s what you do when you’re surrounded with that much love.




Photo By: Tabitha Blue

Have you ever had a question that bothered you for so long that you just gave up on trying to find the answer, only to find that the answer was probably the simplest thing ever? Yep. This happened to me.

I’ve spent more time in the past several months staring at my blog, slack jawed and frustrated, wondering what the hell I was going to do with it. I define myself as a blogger, but I haven’t shown my blog enough love. I don’t post consistently. I’m unfocused. I lose interest. And it’s because I’m relying on this ridiculous expectation that just. isn’t. true.

Your blog doesn’t have to be about just one thing.

So here I sat, for months, worrying about my one thing.

But, I don’t want to just write about one thing. I want to write about lots of things.

I want to write whimsical pieces about things that are slimy.

I want to write about marketing, new media, and SEO.

I want to write about ways I add loveliness into my everyday life.

I want to write about acts of kindness.

I want to write about balance and taking care of myself.

I want to write about movies. And food, too.

So why am I throwing myself into a trap that says, “Oh, hey, to be taken seriously you have to write about just one thing.”

Nope. Nope. Nope. WRONG.

I DON’T have to write about one thing. There are a TON of bloggers that don’t write about the same thing. Sure, they may have a common thread that connects their posts, but they don’t just write about one subject. A person isn’t defined by just one thing – and a blog doesn’t have to be either.

And the sad part is that it took me so long to arrive to this conclusion. I was going to buy ebooks and courses and do worksheets to give me the answer to what was my one purpose, but I’m not a one subject kind of girl. I like lots of things – and now, I can enjoy blogging about them without the pressure – because I’m giving myself permission.

I’m giving myself permission to be me and write what I want to write.

And I’m sorry that it took me so long to get to this point because you, dear reader, have suffered because of it.

*Deep Breath*

Okay, now to get started afresh – and figure out how the hell categories will work with this theme. Wish me luck! It’s about to get organized up in hurrrr!