Blended Conference Arizona

Blended Conference Arizona

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the “Blended Conference Arizona” here in Florence, Arizona. My good friend Wendy O’Neal, founder of “Blended” and owner of the food blog at “Around My Family Table” invited me to attend.Wendy has held the conference for the last five years in the fall in Arizona. This year it was held at the gorgeous Windmill Winery, in Florence Arizona. If you have a chance to visit the winery I highly recommend it, and consider attending next year’s the conference!

Blended Conference 2016

The Windmill Winery is a beautiful venue. The tables were decorated with stunning floral centerpieces from Sarah’s Garden. Many great sponsors including GoDaddy, The Sweet Tooth Fairy, Melissa’s Produce, and Sodalicious were a few of my favorites. Being a food blog centric event, the food provided, sampled, and catered was incredible. Chipotle catered for lunch. We had an amazing dinner and bottles of dreamy wine catered by the Windmill Winery.

2016-09-26_0003Blended Conference 2016This conference was for bloggers, by bloggers, and so I went hoping to learn how to improve my own blogging, some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) advice, and additional web marketing ideas. Blogging has not been my strong suit! I love to photograph people, and specifically babies. I love to tell my stories through my camera. But putting the words from paper to pen, is a struggle sometimes.

Attending the conference with me, I invited my friend, Terah Lake from Terah Lake Photography. Terah is an extremely talented high school senior photographer, here in Gilbert. I was glad to have a friend with me, and one who felt equally blogging challenged. Terah is a little more advanced then me, and she has taught me how to use the Instagram Video/Story feed. She also taught me where to look when taking selfies. Thanks Terah! We had a good laugh about that. Did I mention I am also selfie challenged?

Blended Conference 2016
That is Terah in the middle with the cold brew coffee.

I think Terah and I learned so much that we didn’t know about the blogging world. SEO, keywords, and how to grow your following. These were just a few of the many topics we covered.

The “How to increase your followers and audience through social media” discussion was a great eye opener and fantastic topic. I thought I knew a lot about Facebook and Instagram; then I went to Blended. Later, we broke out into classes where we learned about printables, marketing, Adobe Illustrator.

I think Terah and I both looked at each other at the same time and said, “I want to be a blogger.”  Blended Conference 2016However, the best part of this conference was the amazing friendships we made. We were seated at a table with Laura Silva from Laura’s Crafty Life and Amy Carney from The Intentional Women both wonderful ladies with fantastic blogs. I think we would all agree it felt like we had known each other forever! We shared wine, laughs, and exchanged a lot knowledge and information. It was really quite an awesome experience.

I sincerely have to say, “Thank You” to my friend Wendy for encouraging me to attend her conference. It really was an eye opener; with a lot of lessons learned.

Blended 2016
Left picture: from left to right Terah, Laura, Me, and Amy; Right Picture with red is Wendy and I.


Blended Conference 2016
Terah, me, Maddison, Laura, and Amy at Go Daddy booth

Picture on right is me practicing my selfies with my new friend Laura, and a whole lot of sunburst.  Most of these images were taken with my cell phone, as a photographer posting cell pics on my blog is completely new.

Thanks again Wendy and Blended,


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Hi there, I am Melissa. We moved to Arizona when I was five years old, so I consider myself a desert native. I am the mother of three wonderful children, a wife to an amazingly loving and extremely intelligent man, and a lover of animals. (We live on a small farm) I am the proud pet owner of a Chocolate Lab, miniature wiener dog, 26 chickens, 2 goats, a horse, and a miniature horse named Switch. Photography has always been a passion of mine, and 13 years ago I was able to form a successful small business doing what I love. I feel so blessed that God gave me this gift that I can pass along to others and bless them with.