I am home, and mostly rested from my 5 day trip to Salt Lake City, Utah for the SNAP conference. SNAP is a conference, geared toward creative bloggers, where you are given the opportunity to network with other bloggers and brands and learn a ton of information about blogging.

I know a lot of my readers are bloggers like myself, but I also realize that a lot of you are not bloggers. So, I thought instead of me sharing about how amazing the conference was‚ that you didn't go to, I would share what I learned that applies to us ALL.

Okay, I lied‚ I think this mostly applies to women/ moms. So if you are a male reader, sorry, stop back tomorrow!

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But before I share all that, I just had to quick share my cute mints I handed out at the conference. Seriously, who doesn't love mints, especially at a conference! For all those I gave them to, I hope you enjoyed them and I was so glad to meet you!

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I also wanted to add a thank you to the whole SNAP team. I was super impressed with how well the event was run, the content shared, and the overall experience. Thank you!

So here are the five things I learned while attending the SNAP Conference.

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When I bought my ticket to SNAP, I must admit, it was for one reason.

I bought it because I knew going would scare the crap out of me. Sorry, bad word, but sums it up best, keeping it real!

I knew it was time to shake things up an push myself.

Tickets were selling fast so there was no time to contemplate, and I pulled the trigger knowing it would be a bumpy ride for me.

And it was.

I used to travel all the time for business, sometime even internationally, but 12 years home with my kids took that side right out of me. When I went to Haven (another blog conference, geared at home decor bloggers) I was taken so off guard of how I reacted. I was down right terrified to walk into a room of complete strangers. Then when I got home and reflected, I realized that I latched on to a few amazing ladies (who are still my friends and I can't wait to see this year!) and really didn't experience the conference fully. There were so many people I did not meet.

Looking back, I felt regret and disappointed in myself. That disappointment fueled my fire to not let that happen again this year.

I literally introduced myself to hundreds of people.¬† And since I really was kinda, out of category‚ here, the high majority did not know who I was.

Now, one thing I have learned is that conferences are a place for online friends to spend time together, and so many already had their groups established and wanted to spend time with the people they really connect with. I totally understand that, and will be my goal when I am with my peeps at Haven.

So each time there was a new meal or event, I walked into a room of more than 400 people, alone.

And guess what? I didn't explode.

And as a result, I met a ton of new fun and kind people.

And as a result, I pushed myself and proved (to no one but myself), that I am capable of pushing myself. I am capable of surviving, and in fact thriving in situations that are out of my comfort zone.

And you know what?

You can too!

So, what do you think? Is it time to mix things up a little in your life? Try something you have been too nervous to attempt?

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How do you define creative?

When you think of someone who is creative, do you think of a painter, a crafter, a writer or a photographer?

When you think of a, businesswoman, do you think the exact opposite of creative?

I would like to challenge that notion, I have realized that being a businesswoman is being creative. I have realized that although I would love to be defined as, creative‚ for my projects and designs I share here on my blog, that in the big picture, I also want to be a successful creative businesswoman.

I have realized that I love learning about the business side of blogging. There is so much on the back end to writing a blog and trying to be successful at it. And success comes in many forms, of course there is the goal of financial success. But there is also recognition for your creative abilities, creating a community and hopefully providing inspiration to others.

Well none of things will happen if no one can find you!

And that is where the business side comes in.  I think I shied away from that side initially because I wanted to focus on, my creative content.

What do I realize now?

The business side of blogging, or any job, take creativity. A lot of creativityIt takes creativity, smarts and a whole lot of chutzpa.

In blogging, there is an endless list of things to learn. From social media, to SEO, to HTML, the list goes on and becomes overwhelming Understanding all of these elements, even at a base level is essential to success. Maybe your creativity comes in by figuring it all out and maximizing it. Or maybe your creativity comes in by finding someone to help you achieve it. No matter how you approach it, sticking our heads in the sand‚ is going to do it.

So what ever it is you are trying to achieve, don't convince yourself that because you are the creative type you don't want to deal with the business side.

Use your creativity to learn and maximize your business.

And that will provide you even more opportunity to be creative, and successful!

So are you ready to apply your creative abilities to your business?

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I had a bit of an epiphany on the plane ride home. It is a little difficult to admit.

I spent my twenties thinking I was smarter than I actually was.

I spent my thirties thinking I wasn't smart enough and letting other people define me.

Now that I am in my forties, my goal is to find the right balance.

To a certain degree, I think this is the natural order of things. That we have to go through these stages to find a balance.

Pushing myself by going to this conference was about learning. Learning about blogging but also learning about me and what I am capable of.

In the classes at the conference I learned so much. Actually, a crazy amount of information that I am still trying to process and sort through. And I am so thankful for that. Because I realize the more I learn about what I need to be doing, the more I learn about myself and what I am capable of.

Learning, in any category, by always seeking new information, always seeking to challenge ourselves, leads us to learning about ourselves.

No matter what, age stage‚ you are in, the more you know about yourself, good and bad, the more you can improve yourself.

The more you know about yourself, the less you will let others define you.

My new goal, is to seek out more learning opportunities. How about you?

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Surrounding yourself with like minded people is always going to be helpful. You can share ideas, experiences and knowledge. That is what attending the Haven conference provided me, like minded people. I knew attending SNAP would put me in a room full of people, while very similar, that were in a different category of blogging. Most of these (primarily) women blog about crafting, parties, printable, fashion and parenting. While there were other, home decor‚ bloggers, we were the minority. There are also a lot of bloggers who cross over all the different categories.

I knew I learned so much at Haven, so my thought process was‚ imagine how much I can learn working with bloggers from other categories?

And I was right. By meeting and talking with bloggers who write about things different then me, that have sponsors different then me, that have different experiences then me, I had a new opportunity to learn. I found a whole new world of information and bloggers to enjoy.

And I think this just might apply to all parts of life. Interacting with people who are different than you or who you normally spend your time with, is always a great opportunity. I am going to try and seek this more in my everyday life. It doesn't just mean you have to get on a plane and fly from NY to UT. It can be online community, local groups or organizations or speakers in your area.

Any other ideas?

Home-is-a-Beautiful-Word copy

And finally I learned HOME is one of the best four letter words in the English language. I went, I saw, I did, I pushed, I learned. And then, I came home.

I am so appreciative of my little town, my sweet girls and my supportive husband who held down the fort while I was gone. I am appreciative for friends who helped with my kids so I could go and love me in real life. I am thankful for friends who checked on me while I was gone because they knew I was nervous and encouraged me to stand tall.

I am so glad I went, but I am even more glad to be HOME!

Thank you so much, as always, for reading!

postsignature.pngP.S. I am sharing this post at SNAP's blog where you can read about other attendees' experiences as well.