The First Blissdom Post In Which I Slobber On People

Blissdom Crew

I’m not even sure where to start this one.   Yes, it’s my first of a few posts about Blissdom.   Yes, they are normally full of snark and hopefully, wit.    But this year was different….I don’t feel snarky or witty.

I feel awesome.

Bliss this year was a very different experience for me.    I’ve had a rougher than usual year (it’s okay that you don’t know….I didn’t want to worry you because I love you and stuff)  and I decided  to go in with no expectations and very low commitments.   I just wanted to be present.  I needed something for me…just this once…just these past few days.   I did not want to broadcast myself (though I ended up getting broadcast anyway…more on this later).   I did not care about growing my blog by meeting eleventy million people.  I only wanted to meet “the right people”, and by that, I don’t mean mega bloggers, I mean people that I would be happy to call a friend regardless of how large or small their blog was.    I also wanted to spend time with people I truly adore, not people I admire from afar, the ones who have already found a place in my heart.

Without fail, once again Bliss delivered exactly what I needed.

I had a group in place with whom I already had a bond.    I roomed with Michele from It’s a Dog’s Life and knew that Becky from Suburban Matron and Keely from UnMom were going to be there.

Rooming with Michele was such a breeze…we are both road warriors and we both enjoy our wine more than the average person.    Love her and getting to see her was such a treat.    I’d never met Keeley before but having read her blog for so long, I felt like I knew her.   Meeting her in person was just the icing on the cake….she is beyond adorable in real life.

I think the most poignant part was seeing Becky though.   She battled breast cancer last year and she fought it so bravely.   She did not hide her condition from the world….she shared her experience.    Having not seen her for over a year,  I can tell you that of all the hugs I got at Blissdom, her’s may have meant the most.    It was such a relief to see her healthy, and as always, happy and I’m choking up right now just remembering it.  I am so glad she is okay because the world would be a lot smaller without her.

But it went beyond them.   I made new friends….like these girls.

“Meet The Beverlies”

Yes, they wear vintage hats.    I love them for that.   But beyond that, the just took me in and I can tell we are going to be friends for quite a while.   I’ll admit it was the hat thing that drew me in, but the more I talked to Jessica from Notes From The Garden Spot, Jenny from Great Little Stories, Dana from Reading Rosie, and Megan from Sweet Sadie Marie.  (Not pictured, just you try to get these four in one place at one time… IMPOSSIBLE)…the more I realized what they are doing is not silly, it’s solidarity.    Well, it’s silly and cute too, but you can tell they all just love each other.   It’s real, it’s not a gimmick, and they are awesome.

I’d love to report more to you about the amazing speakers and entertainment which I truly enjoyed, but you can get that at approximately 700 other blogs that were in attendance.

The bottom line is, I got exactly what I needed this year and I walked away with a whole lot more love and hope in my heart than when I walked in.     Thank you Blissdom for giving this weary blogger a much needed break, a ton of food for the soul, and some amazing new friends.

You can’t ask for more than that.

PS:  Snark and horrendous photography return next post…don’t want you to think I went soft on you while I was gone!

I’m Sure It Will Be Blissful When I Get There…

I’m on my way to Blissdom today….I think.    I say this with some question because right now I’m sitting on a filthy airport floor looking at  my second delay of the day.    Why am I sitting on the filthy airport floor you ask?   Because I’m an idiot and forgot to charge my laptop and this is what technology addicted people are forced to do in emergency situations such as this, that’s why.

Anyway….

Sooner or later I’ll get there and I’ll be a tweeting and picture taking fool.   You can of course following all the tweets coming from Blissdom with the #blissdom hashtag but I’ll also be tweeting under my tribe name #noniche so be on the lookout for that one too!

Also, if you are going to be at Blissdom, be sure to join my tribe after the opening ceremonies tomorrow if your blog doesn’t quite totally fit with any of the other tribes.    Not only are we No Niche, I like to think we are cyber rebels without a cause as well.

I’ll be posting pictures with very few words for the next couple of days and then back to regular posting on Monday.   Hope to see you there, and if not hope you have a wonderful week wherever you are!

Big hugs from your friend who probably has bubonic plague on her butt from sitting on this floor,

TSM

Bliss…It’s Here!

alli

Disclaimer:  This is a sappy post about how much I love Blissdom and how much I love my bloggy friends.   If you are allergic to sap, do not read.   If you read this accidentally and have a reaction, immediately rinse your eyes and call a doctor as soon as possible to avoid life threatening consequences….or get a drink.  Whatever works for you.

All good?  Okay let’s carry on…

This is a post for all you newbies coming to Blissdom next week.   And for all the wonderful people I have been so very blessed to meet there.   It’s a guide of sorts and I hope it will help you…or make you realize how much I love being your friend if  you are someone I’ve met there before.   Here we go…

WHAT TO FEAR:

Nothing.  Stop worrying.  Right now.  Everyone will be nice to you.  And if they aren’t?  Come find me and I’ll get the situation resolved post haste.  But honestly, I promise you, everyone is nice.

Seriously, you will never meet a nicer group of bloggers.   There are no “big time” bloggers there.  Well, there are, but they don’t act like it.  Go introduce yourself, shake their hands, revel in their normality…because they are all very normal and very nice.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

The best time ever.  You will meet so many new friends and learn so much.   You will laugh, you may cry (I have kleenex if you need it) but most definitely you will walk away with a bunch of new friends that you will love for years to come and a sense of community.

Expect that the sessions will be very professional but no one will talk down to you.   Know that you can ask any question, even if you think it’s really stupid, and it will get answered.    Look forward to great entertainment, fabulous food, a lovely resort and a whole lot of un.

Most of all, expect to walk away a little bit changed for the better.

On a personal note, the first time I went to Blissdom, I didn’t know a soul.   I didn’t have a room mate.  I was scared half to death.  (Side note?  I don’t get scared…ever.)    I didn’t know what to expect.  While I have command of my professional life, I did not have command of my bloggy life with all of six months under my belt three years ago.    I was terrified.

What a waste of energy.  I got there and got a hug walking through the door from Rachel of A Southern Fairy Tale.  I love her for that, I still do.  Next up?  I went straight up to the Blissdom Maven herself, Alli Worthington, and introduced myself.  Guess what?   A few years later, I am still so very lucky to call her one of my closest friends.   Look at her, what’s not to love?

She?   Makes the whole thing happen. She sets the tone and tone is gracious, kind and open.

So for all of you that are new this year, come up and find me.  Introduce yourself.  I promise I don’t bite.

But I do hug.

A lot.

You’ve been warned.

See you there!

I Could Have Bought A Small Sporty Used Car For What This Cost…But Whatever…

grace kelly in convertible

You know all that money you save up for rainy day?   The money you are going to use for something totally unnecessary?    Maybe a sporty small car?  The one just for “fun”?   Just for you or for date nights?

No?  Well, me neither but I do like to pretend sometimes.

Anyway, if I did have that money laying around, I’d like to think I’d use it for something like that.   Maybe a small convertible, with  a stick shift…one that I would drive with the top down with a twee little scarf tied around my neck  as the wind whipped around I smirked  gaily ahead…like this:

Except, you know, I’m not Grace Kelly and The Man?   Oh wait, he is totally Cary Grant.   (Hi Honey!)

Anyway, yes, that would have been a nice way to spend that imaginary cash.

However, this is the new reality:

It’s metal yes….but it’s not a car.   Meet the next generation of Miss G and the recipient of my spare cash…Little Miss  Brace Face.   We knew this day was coming for a while when her pediatric dentist x-rayed her teeth and died laughing while saying, “Oh yes!  You will be paying for my children to go to college!”    You see, her teeth were actually bigger than her mouth and once they started coming in, they were in double rows causing us to call her “Shark Girl”.

She didn’t like that much.

But here we are today, after months of painful spacers and endless turning of the key to spread her mouth enough to allow those giant teefs to come in.

I still don’t have my smart, sporty convertible but she will have a beautiful smile in approximately 6 to 9 months.   And after that, we go to work on Mr. C who by the way, is slated to cost a whole lot more than she did.  (Also?  My teeth were pretty much perfect…no braces…just a horrible retainer that caused me to lisp.    Additionally, I was severely overweight as a child…but let’s not go into my very dark memories of childhood and instead focus on the fact that genetically this is not my fault.)

Anyway.

Perhaps their pretty smiles will help me to bargain at the used car lot in my later years?

No?

::sigh::

An Open Letter To The Barefoot Contessa

ina garten how easy is that

Dear Barefoot Contessa:

First of all, I’m not sure what to call you.   Mrs. Barefoot Contessa?   Mrs. Contessa?  Barefoot?  Ina?  You see, I’m not very good in situations such as these wherein I have to bitch to my foodie goddesses so please excuse “the awkward”.

Anyway,  the other day after chasing children through the snow and being pelted with “Revenge 2″ and “Terminator”, I decided to make my family your delicious  healthy barley and beef soup to warm everyone up.   I’ve been dying for the day to try this…it had to be the perfect day too…bit of chill in the air, fire in the fireplace…it would all be so very Food Network perfect.

You see, one of the Christmas gifts I recvied demanded this year was your new cookbook because I have been in foodie love with you for oh so very long:

I’m going to have to say the title is slightly misleading.    “How Easy Is That?” Here’s the answer:   it’s VERY easy if you have a sous chef.  I however have two finicky kids who dislike all things vegetable.   Also,  I’d like you to know that after a day of being confined in the house, I no longer trust them around each other with knives.

Anyway….

I started the chopping, and the chop chop chopping.    I have to tell you Ina (Barefoot, whatever…), I dislike leeks.   They are filthy little root vegetables and cleaning them up is less fun than the time I had to cut my son out of his Winnie the Pooh outfit because of an explosive diaper at Maggianos with a crowd of people looking on.

But I digress.

Then we got to the onion phase of the programming.     Mrs. Contessa?   Miss Barefoot?  Ina?  (we really need to work this name thing out if we are going to have a sustainable relationship….)    I have to tell you here, I suck at onion cutting.   I’ve been to cooking school…I know the techniques…I can dice within a quarter inch of your life.  But…my God, the smell and what it does to my eyes.   (Again I ask…where the hell is my sous chef???   Hell, I’d take little yellow minions at this point if they could chop onions…)   I’ve tried a few different variations of onion cutting in an attempt to make my eyes water less but this one works best:

Yes, I know, I look like Stevie Wonder with a knife in my hand.   (Incidentally, this vision scared the hell out of my kids more than even the barley but it worked…sort of.)

So after chopping the leeks the onion, I went on to carrots and celery which weren’t nearly as bad.

Here’s where I made my mistake Contessa, I showed them the Beef Oxtail in the pan WITH THE VEGGIES.

Never have you heard screams so loud from two children who appeared perfectly happy only moments before.   What?  I thought it looked colorful.     My bad.

So the bottom line is this:  Your soup is now forever referred to in The House of Stiletto as “Beef and Gnarly” even though it was majorly tasty even if it was a lot of work to make.

I’m hoping your Grapefruit Margarita’s will fix this situation later this evening.

Yours,

TSM

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