Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday Favorites: Featuring The Sip & Mingle Blogger Event

So I did something. I drove about 3 hours to attend a conference hosted by Influencers I have never met or heard of!  It would also be my first blogging conference ever and I'm thrilled to share a recap  in lieu of my Friday Favorites.

How Did I hear about it? 

A direct message on Instagram. Yup. I opened it. ;) 

In January a notification popped up in Instagram from Mandy at Simple and Pretty Co with an invite to a blogging conference. She simply stated that she too is a Florida Blogger and is co-hosting a #SipandMingle conference in Orlando for bloggers and influencers.  Would I like to join them?

Orlando was just close enough and I have a blogger friend in Orlando...Feeling a little adventurous, I asked for more details.  As it turns out, Mandy and her friend Tara from Tara Met Blog host networking events throughout Florida, but this conference was going to be a full day event where we could learn some tricks of the trade and mingle after.

I messaged my Orlando blogger friend, Kellyann to see if she would be interested. We checked out the line up and signed up within a week. Kellyann invited Kim at Fierce Fashion, another Florida gal and now we were three.

Unexpected Event

The plan was to stay with Kellyann and all go the full ten minutes from her house to the hotel together, but her precious dad passed away the weekend before, with services to be held the Saturday of the conference. Sweet Kellyann wrote a beautiful tribute to her dad HERE. If you've suffered the loss of a loved one I know you'll be encouraged by her post.

Kim and I decided to still go and stay at the Inn hosting the conference. Meanwhile, I hoped I'd be able to see Kellyann somehow...

Before I knew it I was headed to Orlando and after said three hour drive, I pulled up to the Fairfield Inn and Suites UFC with a sigh of relief. All the boys were safe with dad and I was about to have GIRL time. Pinch me! The woman at the check in pleasantly chatted while taking my information and volunteered a room with a view! She must have seen "boy mom" written on my face somewhere and thought I needed extra spoiling - ha. Kidding, we all need that extra spoiling!

Photo Cred: Christine

Guess what? Kellyann picked me up for dinner with her family on Friday, while Kim met up with her daughter who works in Orlando.   Isn't that so sweet?? It felt so good to hug her neck and it was a blessing to share a meal with her family. Kellyann dropped me back off at the inn with the intent on returning for the first Saturday session.

Quick Run Down of the Conference

I found Kim already settled into our cozy room. After a round of pleasantries, we chatted into the evening until I could no longer keep my eyes open. My bed was surprisingly comfortable and I felt like I had just closed my eyes when my inner alarm went off! Thankfully, it didn't take long to ready ourselves - adventures lie ahead for the day!

Awaiting us in the conference room were smiling faces and breakfast of either overnight oats or açaí bowls, provided by Happy Healthy Company.  I was beginning to feel spoiled already! We took advantage of some photo opps before getting comfortable.

We could be "jean" sisters!

There were tables set up for two with a Tervis cup and ANOTHER gift from Happy Healthy - a stainless steel straw with a cleaning brush and it's own travel pouch. Seriously, they were speaking my granola love language at this event!

From there the day flew by and I took notes, listened and even asked questions. Tara from TaraMetBlog shared about Facebook algorithms, best times to post, and other marketing tips while Mandy chatted about Instagram etiquette, profile tips and engagement dos and don'ts. They also talked about ways to go about working with brands. And Hannah from Eat Drink and Save Money closed us out on changing page views with authenticity.

Photo Cred Christine
Sweet Mandy, expresses gratitude for all participants while Tara concurs. 

During breaks between sessions, I introduced myself to other bloggers. Everyone I spoke to was warm, supportive and friendly. There were those who barely had their blog off the ground and others who have been blogging for over 10 years! Breaks were also a time to sample the snacks sent by the event sponsors...


After the conference there was a Sip and Mingle afterparty with more opportunities to make new friends, meet vendors and find fabulous freebies! I felt as if they were opening the doors to new possibilities and I cautiously took them up on it.  Putting the drive home far from my mind, I changed clothes and joined the mingling.

Dress: Loft/Necklace: The Knotty Tassel/Hat: Altar'd State

Kim had to leave after the conference, so I  was "on my own". There were a couple of times where I had to pep talk myself to join conversations, but I was so glad I did. The women immediately opened the circle and included me in the conversation.

Avian, Paula

Victoria Land Beauty Team - Photo Cred Christine 
Photo Cred: Christine UYS

Color Street Nails - Have you tried these?? Easiest application, real nail polish, stays on for up to 2 weeks! I'll be posting on these more soon!

Photo cred: Christine

Time To Go Home & More Swag

I hit the road with a smile on my face and a bag of swag on my shoulder!

Land's End Duffel, Flash Tattoos (Photo Cred: Christine)
I'll be sharing more about these goodies soon as well!

Needless to say, I'm so glad I took the chance and went on this blogging adventure! Big thanks to Mandy and Tara for all the hard work they put into bringing influencers together!

Thinking about going to a networking event in the future? Here's some quick thoughts...

Put Yourself Out There
This may be easier for some than others, but it's so worth pushing yourself. You never know who you'll meet. You might just find a dear friend.
Another #sipandmingle networking event is coming to my town in May! As it turns out, I've already met the owner of where it will be hosted - Small World!
Make New Friends
I'm still messaging with a few women from that night and Kim and I plan on a shopping day here soon!
Meet New Brands
There were products and goodies there that I never even heard of. For example, Happy Healthy smoothies are sold at my local Wal-Mart! I plan on making a trip just to see for myself.
Be a Listener
I learned a lot from the hosts, but also from the other bloggers in attendance. Also, it was great to hear their stories!
Share and Support
I continue to keep up with as many of the women that I met as I can, share what I love and support their hard work!

Alright my friends, I'll be sharing more thoughts on some of that swag here in the future so stay tuned for more. And in the mean time, I hope you have a fabulous weekend!!



  1. What an awesome event.
    I would love to attend something like that.

    1. And I would love the opportunity to get to know you more at one of these events! ;) Or maybe next time I'm in Georgia we can meet for coffee!

  2. What a fun event! I would love to do something like that just to meet bloggers that are 'near'
    & of course - SWAG - how fun are all the goodies!!!

    1. Oh the swag. Rebecca Jo, you would be a delight to meet for sure. Thank you for being such a consistent blog friend!

  3. Chrissy, I am so glad you stayed and mingled! I hope they come back to Orlando next year and we can do it again - this time the way it was supposed to be!! Ha!!

    1. I hope so fact I hope for many adventures with one of my gal pals!

  4. This was so fun to read more about your time at the conference! And I really love the picture of you, Kellyann and Kim! Plus you’re looking mighty fly in that leopard dress!

    1. I'm so glad you encouraged me to wear that leopard were available at the perfect time. Biggest of hugs to you my friend!

  5. I am SO stinking glad you got to go to this event! And see our precious Kellyann, too!

    1. Me too Laura, me too! Wished you guys could have been there!

  6. You did such a *fabulous* recap of the event! I would have liked to stay, but knowing I had to leave the next day for TX made me want to head home. I didn't even take the swag bag out of my car till yesterday when we went to pick up the Grands. You couldn't be more adorable! I got more info out of the event than I realized, too. I'm so looking forward to getting together!!! I need to improve my networking skills!

    1. Thank you Kim! I really appreciate that. And I would have left earlier in your shoes as well. I still did leave somewhat early because my three hour drive weighed heavy on my mind! Ok. Now we need to check calendars!

  7. What a fun event! it's great you were able to go and enjoy yourself and meet some of your blogging friends! :) You got so many cool freebies too!

    Away From The Blue

    1. Thank you Mica! I loved the friend aspect and have enjoyed the freebies, which I'm still playing with. :)

  8. I would love to go to a blogging conference sometime! So fun that you got to meet and hang out with Kellyann and Kim! That leopard dress is so cute on you!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

    1. Thank you! And meeting other bloggers in person is such a blessing. One thing that's nice about a local event is the affordability and the possibility of meeting other locals!

  9. What a gorgeous dress! Sounds like a fun conference!


    1. Thank you Katie! What a pleasure to have you by!

  10. Your dress is so chic and I love the pop of color you added! I love how you went to a blog conference because it allows you to get valuable information.

    1. Thank you Lanae! I am trying to put that info into practice...I just need to figure out a way to add more hours to my day. lol. Thank you for visiting the blog and I look forward to visiting you. ;)

  11. That dress looks so flatteringly pretty on you dear! Anyway, what a lovely event!

    Jessica |

  12. I already missed you!
    I am a bit green of envye over here. That sounds and looks so very cozy and interesting. Good of you that you went

  13. Chrissy
    This sounds wonderful! So nice that you got to have dinner with Kellyann and family and that you met with Kim too. You all look fab! I went to my first conference in Jan and it was something. I love that you enjoyed it and that dress/hat is so stylish.
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx


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