One day back in August, I messaged my husband at work:
Me: "Hey! I know what I want for my birthday this year!"
Husband: "Oh yeah? What?"
Me: "Tickets to Pinners Conference!"
Husband: "Um, okay, what's that?"
Me: "It's a weekend long conference where it's basically like Pinterest in real life. I'll send you the link."
So I proceeded to send him the link and after he looked it over, he asked me if I wanted to go one day or two and then bought me a two day, all classes pass with the promise to take the day off on Friday. Woo-hoo! Have I got an awesome husband or what?
Finally, the weekend of the conference came. (My birthday was actually at the end of September so my birthday present has been a long time coming.) I was so excited that I hardly slept the night before. Seriously, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve.
When I walked in, I was bombarded with a million sights, sounds and smells. The first class started about 10 minutes after I walked in so I had to hurry and find the room. I attended by myself this year, mostly because I hadn't really made plans to go with anyone else. It was nice to be able to wander through the booths, but I would have liked to have at least one other person to wander with. Next year!
Over the two day conference, I attended 13 different classes. I'm not going to lie. By the end of the first day, I was totally exhausted. Between not sleeping well the night before, a long drive there and back by myself, and tons of new information, I was beat! I ate some food and went right to bed and didn't wake up for 8.5 hours. The second day was still tiring, but not nearly as much as day 1.
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Out of all the classes I took, there were definitely some that I liked better than others, which I'll share below:
7 Steps To The Perfect Photo by Camera Shy
When my daughter was about 5 months old, I purchased a used DSLR camera because I wanted to learn to take better pictures of my kids. I watched a few YouTube videos, pinned a bunch of tips from Pinterest and took a 4 week online course that was basically Photography 101. But the truth is, some things are just way easier to learn in person. The tips that were shared in this class weren't really new to me, but seeing them applied and demonstrated in real time and with real people made a huge difference in my understanding. It made me feel a little more confident that I can take better pictures in the future.
Plan A Happy Life by Stephanie Fleming from Me and My Big Ideas
This is the class I was probably the most excited for out of all of them. I've mentioned before that I like to use a paper planner to help me stay organized. I've been using them since junior high and it works really well for me. But I'd heard about something called The Happy Planner which is a paper planner but with some extra pizazz! The whole planner was created to be both functional and fun. There are stickers and sticky notes and washi tape and places for journaling. It's totally customizable. For me, it basically combines organization and scrapbooking into one awesome product. The class was taught by the co-founder/co-owner of Me and My Big Ideas and she showed the ways that she uses it for herself and gave examples of other ways she's seen it used. I can't wait to start using it!
Unleashing the Potential of the Electric Pressure Cooker by Cami Graham from Tidbits
Recently, I heard about an electric pressure cooker and was really intrigued by the idea. I have one of those old metal pots with the piece on top that jiggles when the steam starts to come out. I rarely use it because A) I don't really know how, B) I get scared that I'm going to screw it up, and C) I don't want the top to blow off. I think I've used it maybe 5 times since I got married. At the beginning of the class, we had the opportunity to try some food that had been made in the pressure cooker: yogurt with a berry compote and German chocolate cheesecake. Both were really good! During the class, they demonstrated how to make risotto and mac and cheese. It was really impressive and got me interested in buying an electric pressure cooker. The thing that's stopping me right now is that I don't really have room for another appliance. The two they showed us were Fagor and Instant Pot.
Intro to Handlettering by Lisa Funk from Hand Lettered Design
You know those pretty handmade cards and printables that are written in faux calligraphy? It's called handlettering and I've been dying to learn. I've tried watching tutorials, but it just wasn't clicking. In the class that I attended, I purchased a workbook and a fancy Copic marker, then we went through the basics of handlettering and worked through each letter in the workbook. The longer I did it, the more confident I felt. I'm definitely going to keep working through the workbook and trying my hand at making pretty cards and prints. You can buy the workbook HERE.
Relationship Stuff by Dr. Matt Townsend
This was the last class I took on Friday. It was late and it had been a good, but long day. I was starting to get tired and thinking of the drive home was not appealing. But within minutes of the class starting, I was laughing out loud and typing notes into my phone as fast as I could. Dr. Townsend main message centered around what he refers to as "smoke" or the things that couples fight about that aren't the real issue. He pointed out that where there's smoke, there's fire. The "fire" is one of seven basic needs that isn't being met: safety, trust, appreciation, encouragement, respect, validation and dedication. He gave examples of each, using humor and personal stories to illustrate each point. I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face from some of his stories. He holds monthly "date nights" for couples to come to his workshops and I definitely want to attend with my husband.
10 Time Tricks To Get Things Done by Nicole Carpenter from MOMentity
One of the biggest reasons we can't get everything done that we want to is the lack of time. I know that I've used this excuse more than once and feel like I'm always trying to find a way to squeeze more time out of my day. Nicole is a mom who faces a lot of the same challenges that many moms do. The tips she gave were practical and simple, but I can definitely see how applying even just one into my life would make a difference in the amount of time I have to accomplish what I need to.
Easy Weeknight Dinners by Six Sisters Stuff
I am always looking for new, quick and easy meals for my family. Even though I try my best to meal plan our dinners each week, some days or weeks it just doesn't happen and it's 5 o'clock and my kids are hungry, I'm hungry and I know my husband will be too when he gets home from work. Six Sisters Stuff is a blog maintained by six sisters who share recipes for all types of dishes. Their main goal is to make dinner easy and simple and to bring families together during dinner time. They shared three meals that are super quick and made all of them during the hour class with extra time at the end when they shared some embarrassing moments with us. I've used many of their recipes and have loved each one of them. I have met a handful of the sisters and they are really friendly, sweet and down-to-earth. Definitely check them out!
Next year, I'd love to go back, but I think I will probably just do a one day pass and choose the classes I am really interested in. This year I found myself trying to fill the time slots with classes that I wasn't quite as interested in because I had paid to go to them. Also, I'll have to plan to go with some friends who want to get their Pinterest on! *wink*
Have you been to Pinners Conference before? What kind of classes would you be most interested in attending?