My First Report from BlogHer ’11

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It’s such a privilege to be here in San Diego for BlogHer’11. I been so enjoying meeting other bloggers and learning more about the craft of writing a blog. There are 3,600 attendees here at The Marriott San Diego Marquis and Conference Centre, and the vibe is just fantastic.

I started off the morning at the Newbie Breakfast. Heaving tables, including two separate tables for gluten free and vegan attendees, offered an abundant breakfast – but I have to admit I was almost too busy talking to eat! I met so many interesting people. We also got the lowdown on how to make the most of the conference.

The first session I chose to attend was Your Perfect Imperfections moderated by the wonderful Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. The panel included Brené Brown of Ordinary Courage, Mr Lady of Whiskey in My Sippy Cup and Shauna James Ahern of Gluten Free Girl. When I started The 21st Century Housewife back in 2002, I wrote more about personal issues and challenges, but in the ensuing years I have tended to write more about travel, home, food and fashion. This session encouraged me to consider going back to my roots a little, even just for a post or two a week, to share a bit more of myself in order to support my blogging community, as well as myself. It was wonderful to hear these ladies speak so honestly of their struggles, and also giving such great advice on self respect and how much to share.

I met my husband for lunch, and chatted to our son who arrived safely back in England today on the telephone before heading to the two afternoon sessions. The first was a wonderful talk about photography by Penny de los Santos. Using ‘photography as a metaphor for life’ Penny talked not only about the how to’s of successful photography, but also the heart and soul of her work.  Her advice to ‘react to the subtle moments in life’ , ‘take a moment to stretch your eyes’ and ‘surround yourself with people that challenge you’ were applicable to so much more than photography. I was totally inspired. And you really must visit Penny’s website, her photographs are stunning.

The last session I went to this afternoon, Our Food Future: Kids, Cooking, and Health. Moderated by Elaine Wu of BlogHer, the session featured Laura Sampson of Hey What’s For Dinner Mom, Diana Johnson of Dianasaur Dishes, and Mrs Q of Fed Up with Lunch. It was a fascinating discussion of food today, the way our children eat and how we can influence both them, and our communities. I was also excited to meet Laura who I ‘met’ well over a year ago through her regular Meatless Monday linky, Just Another Meatless Monday. After communicating via email and comments it was really lovely to actually meet and speak with her! It’s those kind of connections that make BlogHer extra special.

There’s still more to come later today, and lots more tomorrow. I feel so invigorated and inspired by the talent surrounding me, and by meeting a community of bloggers in the flesh which for me has up until now has only existed in the virtual world. I really am loving BlogHer ’11, and am already making plans to attend BlogHer ’12 next year in New York!

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1272 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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