I've been trying to write this for days. There was so much information to learn, your mind is literally spinning.  You are there ALL day, there are 30 minutes between classes, but it still flies by. I'm going to be completely honest. ALT was one of the scariest and wonderful things I have ever done. I know I usually keep pretty impersonal here, that's just how I am, I'm going to step back and let you know how this weekend went. It will take more than one post, just a warning.

I know you are reading about the amazingness that happens and all the wonderful people everyone met. It was pretty hip, inspirational and great. I could immediately tell that it was like an edited conference, the one where the cool kids go. The swag was epic. Some people got leather camera bags, jewelry and won computers.  

So, I'll be honest. I did not meet a single sponsor or company. I'm perfectly ok with that. I met lots of people. I felt like I almost met too many. I have business cards of people and I can't remember their face. I feel horrible about that.  I met a few (and remet) and I feel like for some strange reason, the majority of friends I really connected with are already from Seattle.  The people that I connected with best? The other DIYers and party pals. We're in the same boat.  We have bad lighting issues, we have tutorials gone horridly wrong and spare bedrooms filled with craft supplies. You'd think we'd be competing with each other, but we're not. The best part of ALT is knowing everyone there is still learning too. Even the panelists. It's crazy tough running a blog, but it's that way for EVERYONE. You are not alone.


I finally got to meet Chelsea, my partner in crime. She is WAY more fun than me.  Gold tap shorts? I LOVE her...and her hubby, Ryan aka Mr. Lovely. A little note, I was too late to get the goodie bag from the GIRLS WITH GLASSES party and Mr. Lovely gave me his. EEK!!!! How is that for AMAZING?  They are just about the sweetest, most awesome couple you will ever meet. Period. I am so glad to have met them.


Another favorite? Alexandra.  This is her outfit for the winter white party, I met her on the horrifyingly delayed plane to SLC. She has a party and entertaining blog here in Seattle.  Her sister was equally amazing in a gold streamer embossed Milly dress. sigh. Sweetest gals ever.

I met so many more, and reconnected with some I had already been talking with. You know who you are lovelies!

So for now, just a few pointers to surviving ALT. For next year, remind me and I'll remind you.

1. EAT. If you are crazy excited and barely think about eating and cram yourself full of coffee, you will crash on the second day.  Note: adding wine does not help.

2. TAKE PICTURES: I have a grand total of 54 pictures from ALT.  11 are of the swag groups (so I remember who's goodies came from which party),  30 are from the HOUSE OF BRINSON Tabletop class practice shots, and 1 is of my brother's dog Earl. So what, he's cute.

3. FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU: To say it was information OVERLOAD, is just an understatement. Remember, learn new insights and ideas, tweak them a bit and apply it to your blog. For example, to grow your blog, you should strive to post more than once a day, the best time is when everyone gets to work, at lunch and at around 330pm when everyone takes a break.  If I did that here? I would have a meltdown.  It's not for me. I have kids and a hubby.  I like spending time with said kids and hubby. But maybe someday down the line I will. So I don't post 3 times daily, I still took to heart that if I missed that morning timespot when I'm late with a post, I can still try to hit lunchtime...get it?

4. DRINK WATER. SLC is a high desert, people. 'nuff said.

5. COORDINATE.  Plan ahead who you want to meet and when, BEFORE the conference. Otherwise, it gets crazy and you'll realize on the last day you only met half of your to-do list. Remember, that's okay too. It's the most fun meeting people you never knew you loved so much.

For more beautiful images from ALT check out MOSS + ISAAC, JUSTIN HACKWORTH, and BROOKE DENNIS, they did a fantastic job. Also check out the ALT FLICKR STREAM.