BlogHer12 Recap: Memorable Moments ~fin~

There aren't many words that I can write that will do justice to the feeling of meeting Shannon {aka Shizz}

I knew it was going to be emotional, but I don't think that I was quite prepared for the feeling I would get by being around this insanely amazing woman.

Clockwise (l-r): Shizz posing for her Hubs in her Sparklecorn outfit, bloggy bff's  at the 6pm fashion show, me and my tutu, Hot Wheels #boymom
Since we did pretty much the entire conference together, it threw people when we introduced ourselves.

Hi, I'm Shannon.

Oh, hey. I'm Shannon too.

At Queerosphere, we were called awesome.com

People's Party, Shan 2.0

Whatever way you slice it, bloggy bff's for sure. Meeting this wonderful woman was...well...awesome. I dropped my bags and gave her the biggest hug when I got to our room {yes, I was crying}, and am so excited to be very likely heading to her hometown to visit in the fall, then meeting up in Chicago for BlogHer13 next year.

Shizz and I have been through alot together - blog building, branding, rebranding, soul searching. Post partum depression, formula feeding, starting businesses and having breakdowns. She is a kindred spirit indeed, and I thank my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough to call her one of my best friends.

BlogHer12 Recap: Memorable Moments, Part Deux

More? Of course there's more! you don't get the chance to engage with 5000+ bloggers and brands and walk away with more than just a couple memorable moments!


Today, I leave you with jut one.

Jenni.

I "met" Jenni way back when we were pregnant with our monster babies Brynn and Owen, and I felt an instant connection to her. One because we were gigantic {I can say that, right?}, and two because we kept it real. We didn't mince words, we didn't attack anyone, we were just real and authentic and meeting her was amazing.

Shockingly {I kid!} she was just as real in person as she is online. She's an absolute sweetheart and meeting her was most definitely a memorable moment.

BlogHer12 Recap: Sessions

Well...this is the post of the week that I admit I spent way too much time in the Expo Hall and not enough time down in the sessions. Bad blogger, I know I know, but the session that I DID go to was amazing and I left with such a sense of...you're on the right path.

Day2 begins!
The session that I went to was morning Day2 with Mandy, Charlie, Jill and Gina - ProTips: Branding and Blogging Professionally.

Now, I wanted to go in part because I wanted to support Mandy, a blogger that I very much believe in and sponsor with my Etsy shop. The other part was that these four bloggers hold a whole lot of knowledge between them, and I knew that I would walk away with a plethora of advice, tips and focus.

The session really resonated with me and I took away two very key things.

1) hire a professional designer to enhance this artsy fartsy space that I love to write in
2) reign in my focus!

Charlie and Mandy talked about projects {ie: working exclusively with a brand...what do you want to get out of the project. etc} and how you want to benefit from them.

Do you want to sell crazy amounts of ad space? Do you want to work exclusively with brands that you specially select for a very specific reason? Do you want to just write for the love of writing?

Defining those goals is something that I walked away with, and started writing in my journal about, but I also walked away with key notes on branding.

Can you read my short hand? Cats would be categories...not kitty cats!
So...you're going to be seeing some changes around here in the next few weeks. I'm searching out a blog designer that is highly recommended by my pal Shizz, and have started looking for inspiration that fits with my artistic vision.

*note: need more Prince on blog

BlogHer12 Recap: Fashion

You all know about my amazing fashion sponsor by now, Kristine Cook Designs, but you've yet to see me in the actual clothes.

Bottom (l-r) grey&coral asymmetrical dress {Expo Hall}, coral jacket {Hasbro party}, peplum dress {6pm fashion show, Bar Americain dinner, CheeseburgHer}

I honestly felt so incredibly stylish the entire time, and felt like I was a true reflection of myself...not the denim bermuda shorts and tanks that I sport back home when I'm too busy {or tired} to really put much effort into myself.

What did I learn? Well...that I have a body. After losing over 50lbs from when I was pregnant with my son in 2009/2010, I have...a body. I have curves, and tiny little legs! I have a tiny waist...and darn it, I can rock it! I felt confident 100% of the time, day and night and I have Kristine to thank for that.

See what's happening in each one of the looks above? I'm smiling. Truly incredibly happy...and comfortable in my own skin!

BlogHer12 Recap: Roomies!

I thought I'd kick off my BlogHer12 recap posts with an ode to my fabulous roommates, Shizz, Shaun and Mel.

We had such a blast over the past weekend in NYC. From sightseeing to meeting amazing brands... party hopping to engaging in sessions...dinner and drinks at Bar Americain to late night giggles...your roommates are the people that you spend your greatest amount of time with {note: make sure you pick good ones like I did!!}

Clockwise from top right: Shaun and me, Three Shorties and an Amazon, Shizz and Mel




We're a cute bunch, right?

Sometimes, we did silly things....

Clockwise from top right: Shannon's in the tent at S'mores, awesome.com, Hollister boys, peeking under tutu's

All in all, we had an awesome time and we kept it lighthearted. We had fun...that's what the conference is all about, right?

Leaving on a jetplane!

That's right!! As you read this, Hubs and the Bear are taking me to the airport in Toronto to board my plane to BlogHer'12!



What's waiting for me when I get there? A picnic in Central Park with my gal Shizz from Baby Shmizz, then an afternoon of sightseeing with Shaun from Living with Peanut and Mel from Never a Dull Moment...otherwise known as my awesomesauce roommates on this crazy adventure!

Thursday night will be full of fun as we get our cocktail dresses on and head out for dinner and drinks, meeting bloggers along the way.

I am truly so very thankful for this opportunity, and am excited to share with you when I get back!

Anticipation is high!!

Gees, the title of this post might be the biggest undersatement of the year!

In just two days, after a little car ride from London to Toronto and saying farewell to my boys, I will be boarding a plane and headed to NYC to BlogHer.

In just two day, I will be able to put my freshest face forward for the sponsors who have supported my journey to the largest blogging conference in North America.

In just two days, I will converge with over 3000 like minded individuals to engage, connect and learn.

Gosh!!

I have probably packed enough dresses, wedge heels, ballet flats, skinny jeans, and accessories to clothe myself for a few weeks...but I figure one outfit for day, and one outfit for night...with different shoe options. Flats, obviously for walking through out the city and Central Park.

Ack!!

TWO DAYS!!

How are you handling the anticipation?

Who...Me? You want to know...me?

Oh hey!!

A lot of bloggers heading off to the Big Apple for BlogHer'12 in a few days (4 sleeps!! yay!) are doing little intros of themselves on their blogs so people know what to expect and blah blah blah.

So...here goes.

I'm Shannon, but will most definitely answer to Shan, Shan North, Stella (so many people think that's actually my name, totally not! It was my great grandmothers name, though!), Mama, Girl-who-drinks-tequila{by choice!}.





I'm an almost 30 year old mama to a 2 year old little fireball named Owen, and the wife of a loving and very understanding dude named Colin who puts up with my antics and artsy-fartsy nature.


I'm a painter...a sculptor...a dreamer...a writer! I'm a total goofball, but I take things way too seriously sometimes. I have mortality issues, Post-Partum Depression {even though my kiddo is 2...it doesn't magically go away}, anxiety, and have really really bigtime fears about not being here one day.

I keep it real.

I'm stoked to meet my roommates {Shizz, Shaun and Mel} on Thursday. There will be wine...and there will be cupcakes! These are women that I've known for about 3 years since we were all pregnant with our kiddos at the same time. I am...just giddy with excitement to meet Jenni, MrsG, Steph and Kelly for coffee, and cross paths with so many other amazing women like Mandy from Harper's Happenings, Katie from Ruffles&Truffles, and Dee the Cocktail Deeva herself.

I was just telling my husband the other day that I feel like I know most of these women already, especially Jenni and Shizz. Those two ladies...honesty, expect water works when I meet them. From monster babies to PPD...we've been through it together and I've been so grateful to them both, that to be able to thank them in person...opportunity of  life time.

I'm a social media butterfly, I love to dance {so excited for Sparklecorn} and it doesn't take me long to get comfy and come out of my shell. I'm very open about my art, life and PPD so if you have a question, ask!!
Come find me at BlogHer'12...I'll be the one in the raspberry pink cropped pants!

Why BlogHer?

A few weeks ago, I engaged in a #mombizmondays chat where we got talking about conferences...

Who's going to what conference?
Will you blog while you're there?
What social media tools are you going to use?
Are you bringing a laptop?

Then the big question...

Why did you choose the conference that you're going to?

This led me to think about why I'm going to BlogHer'12 and what I hope to get out of it. Of course I want to promote myself as a freelance writer, artist and excellent, quality blogger, but at the heart of it I want to...

Connect
Engage
Network

I want to meet the people who inspire me to blog like Mrs. Gloves, Jenni From The Blog, and Goober Monkey. I want to have a blast with my roommates Baby Shmizz, Living With Peanut and Never a Dull Moment and tour the sites of NYC.

I want to picnic in Central Park with Shizz on the Thursday, kick up our feet on a rock, and be silly.

I want to go to Tiffany's and treat myself to something for my 30th birthday.

I want to live...and experience every piece of BlogHer that I can. I want to soak it all in, write it all down, and blog about it when I get home and am able to digest the most influential weekend of my professional career.

So...why did you choose BlogHer'12?

TPH Canada...my printing savior

So last thursday, late in the evening, I sat up on the couch and gasped.

I forgot my email address and twitter handle on my BlogHer media cards.

Who does that?!

Certainly not someone who claims to be overly organized, have her ducks in a row and be so on top of everything that it's not funny.

But only...it did happen. And yes, I did freak out

Cover Art...before
After crying for a little while, and my sweet husband trying to reassure me that no matter the cost, we would get the proper cards printed, I went off to email TPH Canada and see about replacement cards and what that cost would be.

I woke up the next morning the the sweetest and most reassuring email from Cynthia - saying not to worry, that it happens, just to get them the artwork and they would have the card printed asap.
Cover art...after

Their kindness {oh queue the water works again!! That's how much I love them!} and reassurance is exactly why I love working with them. They are incredible, and I will be working with them for an extremely long time.

Thank you, TPH! You deserve a medal!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: TPH Canada


When looking for a printing company to collaborate with on my business and media cards for BlogHer, what really stood out to me about TPH Canada was how enviromentally responsible they are.

Since their founding in 1961, they have continually been searching for recycling programs, putting sustainability as a top priority and offering eco-friendly printing and paper solutions to their customers. Knowing that my cards were printed with heart...that's pretty amazing!


BlogHer Sponsor Love: Michele and Mary Kay


One thing I have learned in getting educated about my new beauty regimen from Michele, Independent Mary Kay Consultant, is the importance in your tools.

Similarly to being a painter and sculptor, the tools of the trade make every bit of difference in how you complete your masterpiece.

Take the amazing Mary Kay brush collection.






The set includes Powder Brush, Cheek Brush, Eye Definer Brush, Eye Crease Brush, Eyeliner/Eyebrow Brush and Lip Brush - all with sleek black wooden handles. They are oh-so-soft, made of 100% Pony and Goat hair...so you know that when the brush sweeps across your canvas, there is zero tugging, smudging, or damage like other brushes on the market that are composed of synthetic materials and sponges.


The brush set comes with an awesome rollup bag - all of the brushes have their own little spot and there are compartments for your compact, lip gloss, bronzer and mascara. Everything you need, and everything that I will need to put my freshest face forward at BlogHer'12 in just a few weeks! 



I love the entire ensemble. The roll-up takes up literally no space...it's smaller than the makeup bag that I used to have, that was a hot mess to say the least before Michele gave me some lessons, which means that it packs up nice an tight and leaves room for shoes, outfits, media cards...the essentials of BlogHer'12!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: TPH Canada

Today is one of those I'm-so-excited-I-can-hardly-stand-myself kind of days. You know...the ones where you are just jumping for joy and singing the praises of someone so amazingly wonderful that you definitely cannot contain yourself!

Today, I get to share with you a little peek at my media cards that I designed for BlogHer'12 in NYC (omg...this time next month, the conference will be over! ack!)






Gorgeous overload, right??

I wanted my cards to really represent my art. Painted journals, sculpted headbands, paintings, sculpted wearable art...all there on the cover, and modeled by my lovely little woodland fairy, Kassidy.

TPH Canada did an amazing job at printing. Honestly, working with them was just the best experience I could have asked for. Cynthia and Brittany were never more than an email or tweet away if I had a question.....and here's the best part.

I sent me artwork to them late Friday...the cards were in my hands on TUESDAY. Sha-mazing!

For the back, I decided to write a little bit about who I am, why I do what I do, some of my accomplishments, and a little sample of what you will find here in my artsy nook of the blogosphere.


Along with all of my amazing sponsor logos, and a QR code that will bring you right here!

I seriously couldn't be happier with them, or with my choice of printer!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Atutudes Handmade Tutus


Add a touch of shimmer and shine to your summer whites and blues with the new {and oh so fabulous} handmade floral rosette bib necklaces by Atutudes!

Ms. Kristal has been busily dreaming up gorgeous combinations of shimmery material, handling the edges and curves with precision to create beautiful works of art to adorn your neck and spruce up your every day.


Add a little sparkle to the centre, and the necklaces go from day to night in a snap! Pair it with a little black dress and BAM!

These beauties would be perfect for a little party I know going on...called Sparklecorn. Have you heard of it? Have you planned your outfit? Do you know what bling you're wearing? Look no further!


BlogHer Sponsor Love: Hanlon Lain Photography


 I have something incredibly special to share with you, from my photography sponsor Hanlon Lain Photography.

Last week, my mom got married. It was her second wedding, a late-in-life-love after my Dad passed away almost 7 years ago. Lainie captured the most lovely and tender moments!




I just love the vintage vibe to the photographs. The light is so yummy and soft, the details are perfect, and everything turned out so be very dreamy.

I am so proud of my friend, Lainie, who has taken her passion for photography and turned it into her art. What she sees through her lens is truly amazing!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Kristine Cook Designs



Details,details...it's all in the details!

Kristine Cook has done it again in her design for my brunch dress for BlogHer'12!

When we first met, we talked about my love of neutrals, stripes and a pop of colour. She captured my style so absolutely perfectly in this dress.


Slate grey, paired with a white and grey stripe that is so delicately draped from one shoulder down to the opposite hip and falling ever so femininely down the skirt. The detailing on this dress is simply divine!

For the pop of color, Kristine chose to bring in the same coral of my tailored jacket by putting a sash at my {rather high} natural waist and up on the shoulder in an abstract draped manner. It reflects who I am as an artist, all in one beautiful dress!


Now I need to find the perfect shoes!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Bellaroma


Over the past few months, you've heard me rave about pumpkin face masks, peppermint and fresh cream pedi cream, chamomile bella bar...most of which I've had the pleasure of testing out on my own skin.

You've heard me talk about how Diana saved my postpartum hormonal skin with the Yogurt and E Cream Cleaners and the Pomegranate Whipper Facial Cream.

Love what you've seen from Bellaroma? Flag me down at BlogHer to get your own sample!

What will I have in my bag?





















Along with a few other favourites like the Grapeseed Banana Facial Scrub,Kemp and Chamomile Facial scrub, and the Exfoliating Whipped Coffee Butter {in shower use}.

I will also have 15% off cards for Bellaroma purchases {when you subscribe for B! News}, so flag me down and get your sample!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Tina Dean Designs




I am so pleased to be the first to blog about a new product hitting the shelves at Tina Dean Designs!

Tina is hitting the nail on the head with these designs. She combines colour blocking with an eco-chic fold over clutch design, and is even dabbling in adding texture, stripes and vintage fabric!


I'm so excited with this direction that Tina is taking her work, and have been privy to some new colours and designs including ruffles, bows, dripped texture. Truly unique and artistic, yet functional all at the same time!

The eco-fused line is the perfect compliment to your snazzy dress for a girls night out, date with that special someone or even with a lovely summer dress for a brunch with the girls!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian Jewelry


Today marks 30 days until BlogHer...thirty! Pretty amazing and I would be where I am in my journey without my amazing sponsors.

Amber Bryce has taken my inspiration for my look, and really done some amazing things. She has truly embraced who I am as an artist, with a wee bit of rocker edge, and I am really excited to see the designs for my evening outfits!

One of my favourite pieces in her shop is the Labradorite Balck Spinel 925 Oxidized Earrings



They are absolutely stunning, and such a fun design! Featuring Labradorites and Black Spinel, these earrings are truly works of art. Everything from the wrapped lotus leaf design to the swishing gems is unique, and you're sure to be the hit at Sparklecorn with these beauties hanging from your ears!


BlogHer Sponsor Love...Mama's Time Out with Michele & Mary Kay



We've all been there and done that...gotten to a stalemate with our current makeup and skin care.

Well! My BlogHer'12 fresh face sponsor, Michele from Mary Kay, has taught me and my mama-friends a thing or two about new products, skincare and how to treat your skin right so you really can put your best and freshest face forward.



I will be the first to admit that I had never really thought about using SPF on my lips. I'm a lipgloss kind of girl most definitely, so knowing that there is a product out there that will protect my pucker, is waterproof and I can wear under my lip gloss...pretty awesome!