tips for blog events.

a lot goes into maintaining a blog.

from the beginning, it’s deciding what you want to share with others + how you want your little corner of the internet to look. there’s the endless brainstorming + never-ending possibilities. the styling + photography. the writing + the inevitable writer’s block. the unavoidable technology questions + issues. and of course, a lot of social media.

most blogs are a one-man show. they run the business, brainstorm + create the content, manage the social media channels, work with brands, and a lot of times ..all while simultaneously working a full-time job. it’s hard work, there is no doubt about it. and for those times when it becomes a bit exhausting, your inspiration needs inspiring, you need a fresh pair of eyes, or you just want to be surrounded by people that understand ..you go to a blog conference. and this weekend, I am so excited to be attending the GBS workshop in kansas city, MO.

[semi-side note: I recommend this for professionals in any field. it’s easy to get stuck in a routine. it’s really beneficial to see + hear how others around you are operating. we can all learn a lot from each other].

packing for a blog conference

packing for a blog conference

packing for a blog conference

packing for a blog conference

whenever I’m attending a professional event, you can dump out my tote + see these items ..

a notebook: while the rest of the world has moved on to taking notes on tablets, you can find me in the dark ages ..writing on paper. how you take notes is not important, just write them somewhere.

a writing utensil: even for you tablet users. there have been stranger places you’ve been asked if you have a pen. these are my favorites.

business cards: the trick is remembering to actually give them out. keep a few in hand. they’re not doing you any favors at the very bottom of your tote, all the way across the room, under your chair. we’ve all been there

• water: I keep a water bottle with me at all times, but for conferences ..I also throw into my bag a coconut water. this chocolate flavor is top notch.

phone + charger: the key is to finding a free plug-in when your battery starts to die, mid-tweet. if you can, a portable charger may really come in handy.

breath mints: no explanation necessary.

packing for a blog conference

• if you’re a kansas city guru, where should we eat + drink? the husband is traveling with me + we have an entire day to fill with fun.

• if you’re wanting to attend a blog conference, there are many out there. in fact, go blog social is hosting a two-day conference in april. I will be in attendance. you should too. [details here].

please let the weekend be here now. very soon.

winter in chicago.

the husband + I are on our back to “reality” home today. after spending the holidays with family in chicago. it really is beautiful this time of year. amidst the holiday plans, we found a bit of time to sneak away + explore.

there was a lunch at howells & hood. wandering briefly down state street. hot cocoas around an outdoor, high-in-the-sky ice rink at the peninsula. appetizers + a brew at butch mcguire’s. martinis + live music at the drake hotel. and a dinner at lou malnatis. not to mention, the weather was far from typical chicago in december. it was nearly 50°. making the exploring that much more enjoyable. although a bit of snow would’ve really added some holiday cheer to these cityscape photos, you won’t hear me complain.

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

winter in chicago c/o LLinaBC.com

now it’s time to begin the preparation for 2015. it is only two days away. and I am one that really enjoys the hype of a new year. it may be ridiculous, but I love the idea of a fresh start. the chance to turn a new leaf. and besides your birthday, the only other time is a new year. so I clean, donate + organize my life. I reflect on the past year and write down what I want more of + less of in the new year. meaning now that we’re home from our holiday trip, I have a lot to do!

what are you doing to prepare for the new year? what do you want more of + less of in 2015?

I’ll share mine soon!

the eve of christmas.

the car has been loaded down, with our luggage + presents. we just need to make a quick stop at starbucks for our road trip beverages super large iced coffees. obviously. #addicted. #CantRoadTripWithoutCaffeine.

our road trip essentials ..

pretzels + holiday M&M’s, a cozy blanket, granola bars, coconut water, fruit vines bites, and napkins. better to be safe than sorry.

holiday road trip treats c/o LLinaBC.com

holiday road trip treats c/o LLinaBC.com

we’ll be spending the holidays in chicago.

there is no way to satisfy both family holidays when our parents live 6 hours apart. so this year, we will spending christmas with [J]’s family in the city. last year, we had a party for two on christmas.

on the menu for this evening is [J]’s mom’s most amazing seafood chowder. it is truly out of this world. don’t you just love holiday traditions? I do. especially since I married into a really good one.

need last-minute ideas for your gathering?

try these festive place cards made from gold ornaments purchased at the dollar store. to satisfy the beer drinks in your group, these picks are holiday appropriate. and do not forget the eggnog!! if you’re looking for a spiked version ..try these two scrumptious additions.

merry christmas eve!

don’t forget to bed early. santa won’t come if he knows you’re awake.