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What We Can Learn About Life from Ocean Waves

There’s something magical about swimming in the ocean.  Nothing makes me feel so renewed and cleansed on a physical, spiritual and emotional level like emerging from the salty Pacific after hours of trying to master unpredictable waves.

Some girls like to enjoy the ocean from the sand while suntanning and “keeping it sexy”.  But being a Southern-California girl myself, there’s nothing that can keep me from diving in to swim and surf until my muscles grow weak.


This week is our annual family beach house vacation in Carlsbad, just minutes from San Diego, and I realized it  took almost a year for me to start forgetting how much fun this trip is for us.

For one week, Kevin, the kids, my parents and I stay in a beautiful house just steps from the beach, with mornings spent laughing over coffee and days spent building sand castles and swimming in the Pacific waves.


Today was no different.  The kids and I splashed in the waves before I headed out for open water leaving them with “Grandpa” to play in the sand.  And then it came- the one wave that every person encounters while daring to confront the ocean.  It’s the underestimated wave that as it comes closer, you realize it’s going to take you under because it’s too large to ride and too late to retreat from.

After my wave- “the one”- came today and sent me crashing to the sandy ocean floor, I emerged with just a scraped elbow and a nose full of salty sea water before realizing that we can learn most of what we need to know in life from ocean waves.


As in life, if you can make it through the break of the tumultuous ocean waves, minutes (seconds, more like it) of tranquility and beauty are waiting ahead.  Each of us face tough challenges and chaos in life, and it’s only when we make it through do we get to exhale and experience that inner peace that comes from realizing our strength, however brief that moment may be.  And, the more arduous our challenges are, the more joy we get to experience.

So, with board by my side, I take each wave straight on to make my way further out into the ocean.  Some waves are easy to confront and I walk through the break with ease.


A bit more effort is needed with bigger waves and with board overhead, I jump through the break making it triumphantly through.

And then, as in life, there are waves that hit you so hard they send you falling backwards to the beach as if to say, “only the strong can make it past me.”


And at least once during the day (or a lifetime) there’s one wave that knocks you down so hard, you retreat to your beach chair to lick your wounds.  Or, while looking ahead at  peaceful sea awaiting you beyond the breaking tide, you decide to stand up and make your way through the waves again without knowing what will come next.


And then once you do make it through the turbulent waves, what lies ahead is time to float effortlessly on your board while gliding over the rhythmic swells mimics the feeling of floating in the sky.  It’s then that you realize the vast breathtaking open ocean of unlimited possibilities, while  the chaos  of waves crash on the beach long behind you.

For a moment, at least, you feel that connection to your inner strength, wisdom and to what’s larger than- and connects- each of us with limitless potential, love and possibility because you had the courage to make it through.


This post is dedicated to my best friend, Jason Beck.




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Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

From branding, design and contract law to the creative process, working with brands and “vlogging,” I came away with a lot of practical hands-on information.

After arriving home from Denver yesterday and preparing for my trip to Salt Lake City tomorrow, I had to take time out to write about my experience at Bloggy Boot Camp Denver.

I just attended this SITS Girls event for the first time, just a month after attending a much larger blogging conference, also as a first-timer (aka: “newbie”).  It’s amazing to me how different and false my expectations were for both.

Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

Connecting with brands at Bloggy Boot Camp

It’s simple mathematics.  One would expect that attending the largest female blogging conference with over 4,000 conference attendees and hundreds of brands for three days would yield more new connections and more knowledge than attending a one-day conference with a mere 127 bloggers and a handful of brands, rights?  Wrong.

I’m not knocking the large conference because it definitely has its purpose and place, especially for experienced bloggers.  I’m just saying this was a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover.

Back to mathematics.  With ticket cost, travel and hotel, I spent nearly $2,300 attending BlogHer11 in San Diego.  I purchased a ticket for both myself and my producer, Noelle, even though she is not a blogger because this is not a conference you want to attend by yourself.

For Bloggy Boot Camp I spent a total of about $800 with ticket, travel and hotel, but felt that I got at least twice the worth, if not more, of knowledge, information and connections in return.  However, because my ticket to Bloggy Boot Camp was cheaper, and there were much fewer attendees and it was only one day, I honestly did not expect to get as much in return as I did.Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

First of all, SITS Girl, Tiffany Romero is one of the smartest people in the blogging industry that I’ve come across so far.  Along with Franchesca, they pulled together a group of speakers who were so spot-on with information for new bloggers.  From branding, design and contract law to writing, working with brands and “vlogging,” there were many new bloggers in the room who came away with a lot of practical hands-on information.

I’ll break down some of that information for you.


One of the first speakers was Amy Bradley-Hole from BeBetterBranding.com who spoke on the topic of branding.  I have to be honest and say that when I heard the topic, I thought I had this area “covered”, because, after all, I had already been through the branding process with The Organized Cook and a professional branding agency before I had even began blogging.  So I figured I could just coast on autopilot for a spell and catch up on some Tweeting.  Not going to happen.  When Amy started speaking I couldn’t tune out.  Setting aside the adorable Louisiana accent, Amy talks like she’s reading from her very own book of poignant and clever quotes.  Here’s a few for starters:

“Branding is nothing more than deciding who you are and how you’re going to let the world know”

“When you get dressed in the morning to go out in the world, you are branding yourself.”

“To create your brand, it’s important to know why you are the way you are.”

If you’re a new blogger or are considering starting a blog, BeBetterBranding.com is a great resource for you.

Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

Example of some great branding- my favorite business card of the day from Whipper Berry

The Creative Process

Jillian from CatchMyParty.com offered great advice to many of us struggling with inspiration and time management for blogging suggesting that you set aside just 15 minutes a day to write saying,

“If you only write when it’s convenient, you’ll only write one day every other year.”

Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

Jillian from CatchMyParty.com speaking on "The Creative Process"

But my favorite quote from Jillian came when she said,

“Notice how the world is conspiring to help you.”

I get it, Jillian, and I notice!

Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

Danielle Liss, center, spoke about "Contract Law"

Contract Law

Think contract law is boring?  Only Danielle Liss from KittenaGoGo.comcould make this subject so entertaining and funny.  Her presentation is available to anyone who requests it via email from her, and if you plan to sign any brand contracts, I highly suggest it.

These speakers were just to name a few of several creative and informational speakers.



After a day of great information, networking, connecting with brands and a giveaway (that I won), we broke for some photos on the SITS Girls red carpet and a simple but elegant cocktail party hosted by Mirassou Winery.


Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

Me, Jennifer Kirlin from Bella Grey Designs (look forward to some projects we're collaborating on) and publicist, Andrea Mueller (yes, she is as adorable in person)

Then we hit the streets of Downtown Denver and a fabulous dinner at The Corner Office with new friends Amy Bradley-Hole (yes, she is AmyBHole on Twitter), Jennifer Kirlin from BellaGreyDesigns.comand many more.

Bloggy Boot camp denver

View of Downtown Denver from Bloggy Boot Camp Cocktail Party hosted by Mirassou Winery


Which brings me to my next random photo of the The Corner Office ladies room with a wall of sticky notes and disco ball; I couldn’t help but love it.  Hmmm.  I wonder how this would look in my guest bathroom?

The Corner Office Downtown Denver ladies room Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

blank sticky notes and pens were available to write your own graffiti- so fun!














I’m still not exactly sure about the SITS acronym.  I know, The Secret To Success Is Support is their tagline.  So is it, “Support Is The Secret“?  Or, “Secret Is To Support“?  In any case, if you’re interested in attending a Bloggy Boot Camp, with the SITS Girls I highly suggest it.  But if you’re simply not able to attend, start by visiting them on Facebook and receiving a free gift of the SITS Girls Top 10 Secrets to Blogging Success.

After the conference, I stayed over for a day for a guest segment on Denver Fox News.

Maybe I’ll see you at the next Bloggy Boot Camp!Bloggy Boot Camp Denver

For some other great articles about Bloggy Boot Camp check out:

BeBetterBranding.com by Amy Bradley-Hole

CatchMyParty.com by Jillian



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