I'm on a blogger conference high and I don't care who knows it

13 August 2014

the requests have been POURING in for me to blog about The Hundred ...




Whatever. No shame in my tardy game.

But ... I have to admit that trying to convey just how much the weekend exceeded any and all of my expectations is going to be difficult. Almost like typing out a birth story - minus the baby, plus the high heels.

But, I'll try.

When I first heard about blog conferences a few years ago I thought the concept seemed a little bit counterintuitive because bloggers gonna blog, not mingle in person at a large gathering - the horror! DEFINITELY not for me. But a lot of comments on some of my favorite blogs have turned into weekly emails and some even into daily texts and so it just sort of seems like the next natural step to meet in person. So! A blog conference was the perfect excuse and solution and I'm so happy I (with a big push from Simon) silenced my inner hermit and hit up The Hundred because it was a blast. Two blasts!! So fun.

with my wonderful wonderful co-hosts Lauren, Megan, and Bridget

I've met lots of fellow bloggers in one-on-one situations and have never been disappointed nor have the interactions been awkward so I knew that the weekend in Dallas would be great but I didn't know that it would be one of those weekends that I would return home and genuinely wish I could go back and relive over and over. Not unlike my feelings toward the entire Friday Night Lights series.

I'm not going to recap the entire weekend for you in crazy d'tail but I'll highlight many of my favorite moments in NO particular order. And I'm really sorry but the photos don't necessarily correlate with my droning because Phoebe is giving me the fun opportunity to type this with one hand while I hold her with the other. She is thinking about apologizing. Maybe.



The FOOD. (I promise! No particular order!) Rather than stick around the Warwick Melrose (which was gorgeous!) for the entire weekend Lauren scouted out a handful of local spots (including a food truck and popsicle stand for Saturday night!) for the meals beyond Friday night. It was all so good. Too good. 

Breadwinners for Saturday breakfast, Cane Russo for Saturday lunch, Ruthie's Food truck + Steel City Pops for Saturday night's block party sponsored and hosted by Peacock Alley, and the Aldredge house for Sunday brunch.

so shabby.

The knowledge. I have a LOT to learn when it comes to blogging, social media, all of everything in life in general so it was so nice to listen to talks specifically tailored to bloggers. My one regret was not figuring out how to clone myself into multiple Graces so that I could listen to all of the sessions and not miss a word of the speakers' wisdom. There were panels on social media and brand perspective. There were talks on authentic branding, creative writing, and the nitty gritty things we don't realize about blogging (seo, facebook legalities, etc). And there were photography classes as well as a few styling sessions, and prop styling lessons (think Instagram knowledge! My weakest link!).

The sponsors!! We were so fortunate to work with so many generous sponsors so that all of the meals and festivities were included in the price of the ticket. Joules was our headlining sponsor and was such a pleasure to work with and everyone that attended the conference will be gifted a pair of wellies. What? Minnetonka, Lily Jade (who attended! so fun to meet them in person!), and Twine Interiors (also in attendence! what a cool company!) made the weekend so much fun. We can't thank them enough.

The people! Of course. The biggest perk and point of the weekend.

Sarah and Amber ... little did they know they would be suckered into talking Bachelor/ette gossip for eternal minutes. Sorry ladies!!

 One sip of champagne and my eyes default to mere slits.

Kate! Blythe! Katrina (and Conor)!

Blythe and I roomed together and stayed up WAY too late talking thyroid cancer (we are both thryvors! did you know? I'm jealous of her BARELY noticeable scar) and birth stories and how she used to be in a pop group (she better be blogging that!!). I even convinced her to walk on the wild side and dabble in the dangers of Secret deodorant (as opposed to her homemade concoction) .... she's totally going to ditch her Toms of Maine toothpaste for some Colgate any day now. Just WAIT.

Wedding/blogger brunch ... it's all the same. So much fancy!!! Spoiled Grace and co.

I also got to meet blog royalty. Kendi was funny, down to earth, and so humble! Her talk on "getting stuck in the middle" and moving out of a blog rut was so great. She deserves all of the fame (hello Redbook spread!) and blog love in the world.

EVERYone that I met in real life vs. having read their blog for months or even years was even more wonderful than I'd imagined they'd be in person. I'm always afraid I'll be a big fat disappointment if someone happens to read my blog before we have a chance to meet (and maybe I am!) but that was not the case on my end of meeting all the bloggers I e-knew prior to chatting this past weekend.

Indiana, Olivia, Katrina, Emily, Britt, Blythe, Kate, Nell, Amber, and Sarah and so many more (blame Phoebe!!) were all in attendance and I know I made some true friends for life.

The VAST majority of the photos above were not actually taken by me (gasp) but by the wildly talented Paige, Jenni, and Shay!! Thank you ladies!!

And if you were in attendance this past weekend and would like to link your post below ... the other hosts and I would LOVE that. Thanks in advance!!!


  1. blythe! do not go to the dark side (secret deod)!

    jk that's not actually all i took away from this.

    the real comment: love this, loved this weekend, these ladies, and theeee grace patton.

  2. okay, so now I reallllly wish I had gone! Although I'm pretty sure I would have been fan-girling all over that place and all the people in it. ha. Maybe it's better that I stay on this side of the screen? (it's not.)

  3. Grace--i'm going through withdrawals. Can we bump 100 part deux to next weekend? Kidding, LAUREN, kidding!!! No heart attacks here! Truly, you ladies were amazing hostesses and did so much work. THANK YOU!

    1. heart might have stopped a bit. ;)

    2. Bump it to this coming January please! :D soooo sad I couldn't make this one!

  4. Will there be The Hundred sequel? Because I totally need to make it to that! I mean you had me at the food...I mean the meeting of such amazing women...and the food. It all looks like so much fun!

  5. Wow, so wish I could have attended. Maybe there will be one in Philly one day?? I'm so jealous. It looks so amazing and I really could use the knowledge to improve too. Plus, meet you in real life! Promise I'm not a crazy stalker ;)

  6. Words words words.....what I really want to know is, where did the floral print dresses in the first picture come from??? ;)

    So glad you had a ball! xo

    But really. Where to get the dresses?

  7. OH my gosh Friday Night Lights. Nothing could be better. I've already informed my husband that I'm going to re-watch the entire series after our baby is born in January.

  8. Was this an event just for Texas bloggers? I think this is the prettiest blog conference I've seen!

    1. No! Only Lauren was from Texas (of the hosts) and ppl came from all over!!

  9. you ladies are all some of my favs and all look compa-letely adorable... aaand i am loving all the recaps fo sho! okay so i haven't seen all of them, actually, but i know i love them and it looks like the best time evaaa.

  10. All looks so amazing, I can't stop reading ALL the posts (serious stalker!!) This is when I wish South Africa wasn't so darn far away! Well done girls, a fantastic event! x

  11. Texas forever!! Love the FNL mention, I see myself watching it again in the near future. Glad you had a great time at the conference, I need to peruse your name drops and find some new blogs to read. And blog myself again, maybe…sometime...

  12. Best weekend eva, eva eva evaaaa! I'll just sit here and pretend I don't have to prepare for school tomorrow and instead browse Joules's website and keep looking at pictures.

  13. Remind me to not be too pregnant to travel next time mmkay?

    Also, I'm dying to know what Kendi said about being stuck in the middle! Shed some insight on a sista, will ya?

  14. Dying over the gorge table settings! So glad you had a great time - it's awesome to see women come together, sharing, learning and growing.

  15. Hey Grace! Loved reading your recap! I follow many of the bloggers that were at the conference and it was great seeing you all together!

  16. I had a great time Grace, thank you so much for this event. I'm sad I never made it around to really introduce myself and get to know you more. I heard your blog was the one to read, especially for some laughs, and they were totally right. I LOVE your blog! I'm so happy to be a new follower and hope to find out more about you soon! :)

  17. I'd have no business being at one of these conferences, but this recap makes me want to come just for the party, hahaha! Ok, and the cake.

  18. I've been blogging since the days of the AOL Journals (which were fondly referred to as J-Land) in 2004 and have met a few bloggy friends in real life. I've also had blog readers that I haven't met who have become treasured friends... they check on me when I go a few days without posting, they send me Christmas and Birthday gifts... I mean, honestly, aside from my faith nothing has impacted my life like blogging. It warms my heart to see so many wonderful friendships result from this medium. So proud of Simon for making it possible for you to go and proud of you for making the effort to be a part of it!

  19. this looked like the best time EVER! i was stalking everyone's instagram wishing i was there!

  20. It was great to meet you Grace! We had oodles and bunches of fun! I learned a whole lot from the workshops and from just talking to the other girls. Hope all the gals can get together again next year!
    xoxo Sydney at Twine Interiors

  21. Grace! I'm not a blog writer or even a blog reader but I come back to your blog everyday! You have such a way with words and your family is so fun to read about. I am a Pensacola Catholic mom with three little ones (you are going to love Florida by the way) and I just love your prospective and outlook on life! I was actually in Dallas for my brother-in-laws wedding last weekend and was staying at the same hotel as the one hundred! When I checked in at the hotel I saw you at the registration table and thought: "Wow! That lady looks exactly like Grace Patton!!!" Haha! I checked instagram and later that day and realized that you were in fact the real Grace Patton... such a small world!!! I just knew we would run into each other while we were there as I was dying to meet you and be instant best friends! I'm glad you had a great weekend, everything at the hotel looked so beautiful! I hope we will end up at the same place again one day!!!

  22. It sounds like this was such a fun time! :)

  23. We just got married at this place and it was amazing! It was lovely, the staff was great, and it was the perfect size for our wedding (100 people).
    best nye party nyc

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