Friday, June 3, 2011

SheCon Lovely: Rachel, Life After Daycare

After attending my first conference, SheCon in Miami, I decided that I wanted to give you, my readers, as much information as possible, to share with you all of the fun and educational experiences I had. 

I realized I couldn't do that alone. I don't want to only give you my perspective. What better way to share the experience of the conference as well as introduce you to all of my new friends than by interviewing each of them! 

This new SheCon Lovely feature will run long enough to introduce you to as many of my SheCon Lovelies as possible. They are ALL fantastic and I can't wait for you to get to know them and to learn from their conference experiences as well!

First up is Rachel who blogs at Life After Daycare. Rachel and I have been friends since high school, singing in a girls' octet together. She started her blog before I did and attended one other conference before this one as well. She told me about SheCon, encouraged me to register and shared a room with me. I adore her and you will too!
Checking out the Expo Hall
*Tell us a little about yourself and your blog:
My name is Rachel, and I am in my later-ish 20’s. I am married and have one, yes
only one, child, named Ezekiel, “Zeke” for short. I started my blog, “Life After Daycare”, after I realized the world didn’t end when I had to enroll my child in the dreaded “d” word. I am a full-time therapist. No, I cannot fix all of your problems. I was a stay-at-home mom for 2 years, and I wrote my old blog during that time about being said stay-at-home-mom, and a wife to a pastor. That blog took me through many changes in my family’s life, and all of the content has been imported to Life After Daycare, so you should be able to catch up on my life, if you’re interested! I blog (irreverently) about (irreverent) parenting, (irreverent) marriage, and (irreverent) adventures and challenges working (and I mean working-outside-the-home) parents face. I also (irreverently) blog about my adventures in fitness. I am a group fitness instructor part-time, and I run and do just about anything and everything I can to stay in shape. SIDEBAR/DISCLAIMER: Yes, I know that stay-at-home moms work. Remember, I did it for a while. But my goodness I’d go back to it in a heartbeat if I could—those stay-at-home days sure were nice.

*Have you been to any other blogging or social media conferences before? If so, which

I went to Blissdom in 2010 because I won a contest put on by Steaz. I would not have been able to go if I hadn’t won that contest.

*What were some of your reasons for attending SheCon?
Well, they offered free registration, it was within driving distance, and I had a great time at the last conference I went to! I figured, “why not?!”

*Who were your favorite speakers and why?
Guy Kawasaki was fabulous, of course! He is such a huge social media presence, and regular media as well, so I was a bit star struck! I loved hearing from Lela Davidson, who I met earlier in the weekend and absolutely LOVE, about Twitter; and I found Aliza Sherman’s presentation on the future of all things techy fascinating. The speakers at these sessions were engaging (enchanting, even!), the content was good, and the information was easy to understand.

*What do you think is the most important thing you learned from the SheCon presentations?
My big take-away from the presentation was that there is a lot of effort involved in making social media work for you. You have to put it to work, and you have to work with

*What do you think is the most important thing you learned from the conference as a
I learned that it’s important to be yourself, and make THAT work for you. It’s not about blogging to try to fit into what everyone else’s super-successful blogs are doing. It’s about giving yourself a voice and making social media work for you, whatever that means FOR YOU. Those concepts weren’t specifically taught in the sessions, but they were taught by the speakers by example.

*What were your favorite events/activities?
The tennis clinic I participated in thanks to Wilson Tennis! Chevy transported a group of bloggers to Brickell Tennis Club and we did tennis drills with some professionals at the Center. The Sleep Innovations party was also really fun, because I got to take a picture with Dara Torres, the fabulous mommy-Olympic-Swimmer! 

I also really enjoyed the “extracurricular” activities; the things that happened AFTER the sessions—the talking, laughing, karaoke-ing, cupcake and giant-pizza eating. Seeing Serena Williams sing karaoke (yes, I have pictures and no you can’t have them) was pretty unreal, especially since I had played tennis earlier that day! I mean really, she must have heard how GOOD I am! She came to size up her competition. Heh.

*What advice would you give to someone who has never attended a conference and is
considering one in the future?

Just go! Find one that’s affordable and register. This ended up being a very small conference, which seems perfect for a newer conference-attendee. Even if you have to go by yourself, you will BARELY have any time to be alone. Put yourself out there, say “hi” and fake confidence. It works for me!

*Is there anything else you’d like to share about your SheCon experience? Please feel
free to include pictures as well!

I would like to share this picture of Melissa next to a giant pizza. {Gee...thanks...!} I can’t believe I was pretty much the only one around to eat a whole piece of Veggie. Maybe I should be embarrassed.

Here is a picture of me at the Tennis clinic:

And here’s me and Melissa at the Bailey’s Coffee Creamer Booth! We were frequent
fliers there.

Rachel and I had SUCH a great time together! She came with me to meet Amy from Amy Fashion Blog for lunch and also to meet my friend Courtney, whom I've known since middle school. Here are a few more pictures from my camera for your viewing pleasure! :)

Amy from Amy Fashion Blog!
Courtney! Haven't seen him since high school!
Dinner out before karaoke!
Go check out Rachel's blog, Life After Daycare, and stay tuned for posts from more of my SheCon Lovelies!


  1. Looks like a completely fabtastic time!

  2. Thank you both for sharing - sounds like it was a fantastic time. And you both look so fresh and pretty!

  3. I LOVE your summer dresses Melissa, where'd you get them? I LOVE how Rachel says, "Yes, only one..." It seems like we live in a society where in order to be a "real" mother you have to have more than one. I'm in the boat with you Rachel.

  4. love when you share other bloggers, Melissa. and how fun does SheCon sound? i'm going to my first blogging conference in September called Blog Sugar. i'm so excited!

    anyway, have a very happy weekend!

  5. It was so much fun meeting up with you too.

  6. TiAnna, THANKS!! I'm glad someone else "gets it."

    And yes, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend!

  7. Lovely post!
    Monique xx


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