Last month was BlogHer15 and it was more than anything I could have ever expected! Mommy R+R just celebrated its 1st year in April so this would be my first time attending a blogging conference. It scares me to think I almost didn’t go because the price tag was so high. But I’m glad I paid as it was worth every single penny. So much so I’m ready for next year.

There were so many things that I took away from BlogHer15 that I won’t have enough room to cover it all but these are the ones that really blew my mind:


During The Pitch we were introduced to 6 amazing women who were pitching products and services that blew everyone away, and yet every last one of them in some shape or form diminished themselves. By saying things like, “I’m not very funny“, “This isn’t too exciting” etc. it got to the point where the host had to halt the segment so it could be stated no one should be diminishing anything about themselves, and that went for the audience as well. That hit home so hard because I too had the nasty habit of diminishing myself. I’ll say business is slow, I don’t know if I’ll ever get the hang of this or no one likes me. That is so inaccurate. I have come such along way over the last 16 months. That is an accomplishment in of itself. And there are so many other words that I can use to describe where I am in my life and career that does not involve being internally negative. My business is not slow, this is my journey and everyone’s is different.  I know way more today than I did last year at this time. And those who follow me not only like me, but love me!


When I heard Gwyneth Paltrow, who I affectionately call Goop, would be speaking at BlogHer15 I knew I’d be going out to lunch that day to avoid listening to her pretentious drivel. But the day came and as fate would have it, the weather in NYC reached almost 100 degrees outside. I would not be leaving the hotel. I’d be eating with Goop after all. As you can guess the dining room was packed. Where I usually sat near the stage I was now all the way in the back. I’d have to use the huge screen to see her. When the woman who needed no introduction appeared the room roared with cheers and applause. I listened as she talked about her family and how she and her ex-husband protects them from the public eye. But soon the conversation moved toward her controversial lifestyle website, Goop. Now is when I started to lower my internal hearing. Before I was almost at mute she stated that at some point she would like to not be associated with Goop and she would like to see it stand on its own. I found that interesting and the more she spoke the more in interested and enamored with her I became.  She was smart, witty and charming. How could you not like that? But what really won me over was her potty mouth and her ability to make people uncomfortable.  She was telling a heartwarming story how her father took her on a daddy/daughter trip to Paris. The entire story was very much an “awwwwe” moment, but to end the heaviness she ended the story with, “then the fucker had the nerve to die on me” 98% gasped in horror, but the other 2%, which included me, was hysterical. It was in that moment I said to myself, Val, I think Goop just became a pal in your head. Are you fond of Gwyneth? It’s okay if you’re not.


I was supposed to take another class but as fate would have it I wound up in Focus and Organization. This unplanned change was good because I have the attention span of a gnat. Not only am I a business owner I’m also a stay at home mom, which explains my attention span. Moderated by Danielle Faust and Sam Horn I learned so much about ditching my need to watch addicting television shows while I drafts posts. Why? Because you aren’t going to get anything done. You’re going to type a few lines, if that and then rear back so that  you can watch t.v. Get rid of that in order to have a clear and focused mind. There’s also the need to write things down, which I do. But I need to be more consistent. While my whiteboard is my friend it  also contains some outdated information. And lastly, the need to be organized. This is not something that I have or will ever master. My desk is an ‘organized disaster’ I know exactly where everything it but to someone else its a travesty. If I were better organized, in a peaceful environment, working on a clean desk it would allow my mind to be focused on the task at hand and not the distraction around me.


As I was learning to become a blogging expert the ladies of BlogHer15 asked me to tap into other areas that I was already an expert in. If you didn’t know already I’m an expert in:
Event planning, sarcasm and mixing cocktails.


If you’ve met me in person then you know how utterly out of control I can be. I like drinking and cussing. But what happens when you’re trying to tame that for your readers? What I learned from the When You’re Too Much For Your Audience class is that you don’t, meaning you tame nothing. You express yourself in your authentic voice. Moderated by Logan Levkoff, Sarah Ann Gilbert, Thien-Kim Lam, Maureen O’Connor and Babz Rawls Ivy these 5 women became my unfiltered heroines. They taught me to just tell my story as long as the story didn’t cost me a relationship I  valued. Sometimes there are stories that will forever sit in your draft box. And truthfully I’m ok with that, as there are times just typing it out can be therapeutic. But whatever it is that I’m writing should be in no way tamed or toned down. The reader knows what they signed up for with my delivery and as the author I should deliver it. If its too much then the reader will pass over it and wait for the next post.


At the end of all the festivities there was a BlogHer15 closing party sponsored by McDonald’s. During the party there were trays of piping hot food and drinks being passes around. You haven’t had Mickey D’s til you’ve had it like this. There was even alcohol. OMG! The thought of getting a large fry with a spiked lemonade is making me weak in the knees. But that wasn’t what caught my attention, on one of the trays I grabbed what I thought was a chocolate ice cream shake of some kind. Upon my first sip I knew something was very wrong. 2 sips, 3 sips 4 sips more. This was not any ole shake. This drink had coffee in it. I can’t stand coffee. I’ve hated it since my first and last cup of Folgers back in 88. But for whatever reason I kept sipping on this cause it was so good. Does this mean I like coffee? It must cause I’ve been craving another since last month. Have you had one yet? Aren’t they addicting.

Did you attend BlogHer15? What lessons did it teach you? What segments did you enjoy?