The Glittery Side of BlissDom ’12

I’m just back from Nashville, Tennessee, y’all. Like, seriously. Just back.

I got home around 6 pm and was so, so happy to see my honey and my baby boy. And more importantly, they were so happy to see me.

I spent 3 days enjoying my “first bliss.” And remember when I told you I was a Community Leader? I was a little apprehensive about all things sparkly and glittery that seem to represent BlissDom. And now you want to know if it’s all true. If there’s room for at BlissDom for people who like earth tones and quiet conversation.

Instead of telling you, I thought I’d just show you.

It starts with glitter. In my case, I thought glittery nails would be the best way to add a little sparkle to my personality.

Upon arrival, I wasn’t disappointed in the glitter either. We were greeted with balloon arches and surrounded by elegance like the crystal chandeliers.

The opening reception didn’t disappoint either. Not only was it held water side (yes, there is an indoor river in the Opryland Hotel), but there was custom lighting reminding us why we were there.

The parties were lavish and full of creativity. I loved the Lorax themed party complete with Truffula trees…

And gorgeous flowers along with flowing drinks.

We walked past the waitstaff ready to serve us…

And sat down for a lovely plated lunch.

It was all beautiful and lovely but I kept thinking something was missing. And then it dawned on me.


Celebrities were missing from the equation but I didn’t have to look too far to find some. This furry guy was only too happy to pose with me but I kept feeling like he was giving me a blank stare.

I ran into my old pal from BlogHer ’11. I think he remembered me but it was hard to tell. I went to shake his hand and it was pretty clear that he was unable to do that. So instead, we shared an awkward high four.

Oh wait. These weren’t the type of celebrities you were expecting? You expecting famous people to show up and for me to actually have photos of them? And you want to see photos of me with those celebrities? Who do you think I am? A celebrity whore? Okay. You be the judge.

Ladies and gentlemen, Nathan Pacheco. I know I didn’t know who he was either but his operatic voice is beautiful. Seriously beautiful. As he left the “stage” I shook his hand and briefly pretended to be a groupie.

Not to be outdone, we listened to more opera, among other music, from Chris Mann. He’s kind of a big deal with the BlissDom crowd and apparently he’s a big deal on “The Voice.” Problem: I’ve never watched the voice and really had never heard of him.

However, that didn’t stop me from hunting him down at the Girls Night In party and taking a picture with him while I was in my pajamas. I’d like to say it was a tad inappropriate but I rather like the monkey in the shot.

But I sense you’re still looking for the big names. Names of people who are practically famous on the Disney Channel. Names like Joe Jonas. I got close enough to the stage to say he was rather hunky. And then I heard his mother graduated high school three years before me. Yeah, that put a damper on things.

Again, none of that stopped me from getting up close and personal with Joe along with @CourtneyRix @CraftyMamaof4 (and I forgot the lady on the left but I did give her my autographed picture of Joe Jonas!)

Maybe you want bigger than a Disney Channel star. Okay, fine. Here’s Rascal Flatts.

I didn’t get my picture taken with them. The line was kinda long and (shhhh) I’m not really a fan.

So it sounds like the glitter is starting to wear off. And it was. I had my first glitter tragedy.

While I enjoyed my celebrity encounters (and if you know me, you know I always do), I found the real glitter was in the people I connected with.

I met @Amber_Doty and @BlueViolet at the RDU airport and forced them to sit in a row with me while I talked the entire flight. Amber said it distracted her from nervous flying but really, I even annoyed myself. Right in front of us on the plane were @heirtoblair @carolinegbows @K8_smallthings.

I couldn’t help but hang with some of my Carolina gals @CarolinaMama @OneMomsWorld and honorary North Carolinian @AMomBlog.

One of my very favorite times was hanging with some of the @beEverywhere team in support of the @HeartofHaiti cause. Especially lovely to meet were @DanicaKombol, @JeannetteKaplun, Monica (@Blueprint4Style), Britton (@Brittont13) and Ana (@laflowers), among others.

Later on that evening, I seem to remember having a good time. A really, really good time and capped off the night with Duong (@DuongSheahan), Christine (@YoungMommy), Meredith (@hoo_dee_hoo), Danielle (@DanielleSmithTV), Carole (@Carole_Baker), and ME!!!

After I recovered 24 hours later, I had an incredibly amazing and inspiration dinner put together by Stephanie (@Socialologist) who always seems to connect great people. Tired of my namedropping? Well, I’ve got more. I got to spend an awesome dinner with my roomie Beth (@BethCordi), Melanie (@chilihead), Heather (@HeatherSolos), Amy (@TheAmyTucker), Jane (@ohanarama), Joey (@JoeyFortman), Carol (@CarolSchiller), Krista (@BookingAuthors), and Kim (@KimMoldofsky). Umm, yeah. That was quite the powerhouse of women.

But the real bliss comes in connecting and reconnecting with the friends we’ve made all over the blogosphere. One of my absolute favorites is Nicole, who most of you know by @ByWordsMusings.

And of course, I was reunited with my Philly buddy, Julie (@DutchBeingMe). She graciously let me share her room along with Beth (@BethCordi) and Jen (@MrsJenBardall) and I’m SO mad we didn’t get a group picture together.

I was able to talk with SO many people and then even able to have a little down time to myself. I think my favorite moment came on the last night. I was sitting in my jammies for Girls Night In. I found a comfy chair all to myself and sat there sipping my water and watching some awesome karaoke singing (by some of my favorite bloggers – side note – @frelle KILLED it!). I grabbed a fortune cookie and opened it expected to have some fun little fortune.

And here’s the message I walked away with.

Thank you Barbara, Alli, Paula, and so many others for letting me experience what blogging bliss feels like!

  • Hinessightblog

    Sounds wonderful!!! Glad you had a wonderful time. 

    • FadraN

      Very sparkly!

  • Brittany at Mommy Words

    So glad you had so much fun Fadra!  Can’t wait to see you again since I missed it!

    • FadraN

      Hopefully I’ll see you in June. You were missed!

  • MelACulbertson

    sounds like it was a blast! and sparkly, which never hurts!

    • FadraN

      It’s nice to enjoy the sparkly things once in a while 😉

  • Shash

    That’s a fabulous recap!! blissdom in nashville was so beyond my expectations too!

    • FadraN

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I felt almost like a minor celebrity!

  • shellthings

    It really was so much fun! Glad we got to hang out some! 

    And now to plan a Raleigh meet up! 

    • FadraN

      Having lunch with you, Ashley, and Julie was the perfect wind down. I will definitely be planning a meetup!

  • April Dorris

    Great post.  It was a blast!  I hate I didn’t get a picture with the Lorax.

    • FadraN

      So many pictures I wish I had gotten but sometimes it’s nice just to enjoy the moment :)

  • Joey Fortman

    I AM STILL on a cloud that I met you.  You are as adorable as they come.  Thanks for closing down the GNO party with me.  hahaha.  And seeing you at dinner?  Dude.  I was the luckiest girl at the ball.  xoxoxo – Joey

    • FadraN

      I am on a cloud because you are on a cloud at meeting me. I think you are the bomb, even though I’m pretty sure nobody says that anymore. I’ll hopefully see you in Philly sometime or… NYC? August??

  • Susan in the Boonies

    It was a pleasure meeting you! This morning, I suffer from BlissLoss™.

    • FadraN

      This is the first conference that I was actually happy to come home. I think because I was so sparkly the whole time that I was ready to come back to earth. But yes, post-conference hangover is always part of the deal. So nice to meet you!

  • Nanette ~ A Mom Blog

    It was so much fun hanging out with you that night. Thanks for being a part of my first Bliss.

    • FadraN

      Thanks for being part of MY first bliss. It’s always nice to see you and hang out!

  • Claire

    It sounds like it was great, I’m going to have to try harder to make it next year!

    • FadraN

      You totally should. I think you would have LOVED it!

  • Rose’s Daughter

    Sounds like so much fun! Can’t wait until next year when I can go!!! 

    • FadraN

      Are you planning to go? It is quite the experience. Unlike any conference I’ve ever been to!!

  • BerniceWood

    Love your picture story! And the fortune cookie? Love it! 
    Glad we shared a session together, even it we did need a box of tissues…

    • FadraN

      Bernice – that session was one of the most important parts of the weekend for me. Lots of food for thought and glad to share tears with you anytime.

  • KeAnne

     Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for the recap and yes, let’s plan a NC get-together.

    • FadraN

      We will! We will!! So many of us we could start our own conference!

  • CarolinaMama

    One of my favorite times was at the Opening Party with you listening to Yanni. It was great to relax and connect and kick off the weekend. You are such a dynamite part of this whole blogsphere. Cheers to our Bliss. 

    • FadraN

      I really had a nice time just chillin’ with my girls, even if we kept getting in everyone’s way :)

  • Greta @gfunkified

    Love it! It was so nice meeting you in person, Fadra!

    • FadraN

      You too, Greta (even though I already said that in my other comment!)

  • MaryLauren@My 3 Little Birds

    Love this recap! I’m so sorry we didn’t have a chance to meet : ( 

    • FadraN

      There’s always next year, right? Or online. Some of my best friends I’ve never even met!

  • Mrs. Jen B

    LOVE this! And here’s a secret: I think I’m in a total of ONE photo from the entire weekend, and it’s with Frelle.  Who did indeed kill it during karaoke.  But seriously, how could I have taken no photos of PEOPLE? Just surroundings.  #facepalm

    I’m so glad we were roommates and that we got a chance to talk.  Thanks a million times for listening and for your insight.

    • FadraN

      Jen – you were just awesome. So down to earth and easy to talk to and thanks for putting up with me as a roommate and tolerating me when I might have been intolerable.

  • Cindy Reed

    Fabulous post!  Makes me wish I was back at BlissDom already :) I have nearly identical photos with the Raisin and Lorax :)  Hope you’ll be at Type A and we’ll have some real time for actual chat – it was a sea of amazing women!

    • FadraN

      I will be at Type-A and looking forward to seeing you again!

  • Sarah Bagley

    Thanks for being so friendly at the lunch on Friday – I enjoyed meeting you.  Blissdom was a tough go alone, but I’m glad I did it.  I look forward to reading your blog.

    • FadraN

      Sarah – it was great to meet you. Even though I knew a lot of people, I went alone too. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in a sea of people but little connections are what matters!

  • Leanne

    Great post! Only thing you forgot? I was one of the newbies and you were a community leader at my table and you were great! Very informative, easy to talk to, helpful and just really really NICE. Thanks for helping make my first Blissdom so wonderful.

    • FadraN

      I think I’ve accomplished all my blogging goals then. Especially the nice part. Thanks for the awesome compliment!

  • Merry120

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! Wish I had been there to hang out with you and Nicole.

    • bywordofmouth

      I wish you had too … its the connecting with the people, that are now friends, that you go away from conferences and miss … that is what makes it all glittery!

    • FadraN

      I do too! But weren’t you at Disney or something having fun? Hope to see you at SOMETHING this year!

  • bywordofmouth

    I just want to go all Mr Rogers and sing to you … oh won’t you be me neighbor (but I don’t do sweater vests or ‘comfortable’ shoes!)
    You my dear, are one special lady, so glad we have connected, I heart you plenty!

    • FadraN

      Love you, Nicole!

  • Carole Baker (e)OhSo

    Now THAT’s what I call a beautiful post…I’m so glad to have met you! 

    • FadraN

      Carole – I’m way more glad to have met you. Thanks for looking out for me. I’ll never forget it!

  • Danielle Smith

    Oh this makes me so happy….. so love to hear you had such a great time.  Was wonderful to get to spend some time with you.  Champagne anytime!!

    • FadraN

      Danielle – you amaze me every time I see you in person. Always the poised professional. Proud to be a colleague in this biz (can I call myself that?) Next conference, champagne is on me!

      • Danielle Smith

        You know… you really do know how to make a girl feel special – thank you so much for that.  I truly loved spending time with you – I do so love seeing your face and enjoy our conversation – you always make me think.  I love that.  Hope to see you again soon.

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  • Loukiazigoumis

    Great recap! Sounds like you had the best time. :)

    • FadraN

      Loukia – conferences are always magical, aren’t they?

  • Jeannette Kaplun

    Loved meeting you and sharing a rum punch with you. I´m sorry we didn´t get to spend more time but at least we were able to connect. I couldn´t stop laughing about the celebs. I felt old enough to be Joe Jonas´ mom…

    • FadraN

      Jeannette – been reading up on you and didn’t know I was in the presence of greatness! You really are such a nice down-to-earth person. I’m glad I got to meet you in person!

  • Frelle

    I love that you wrote a glittery recap, and I’m honored to have had a mention in it. Thank you!  I’m still working on my first recap, and like you’ve shown, it really does need more than one post to explain.  I’m glad we got to visit, and I’d love to get together locally sometime!

  • lisa lehmann

    love your recap…so absolutely perfect! :) glitter and all. 

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