Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blogging. Meh?

I used to blog. A lot. And now... not so much. I blogged about things like mac n' cheese in my baby's belly button or setting my scrubs on fire. I loved telling stupid stories and posting pictures to prove just how ridiculous my life can be. But then Facebook came along and it became oh-so-easy to slap a few photos on my wall. Not as satisfying to my inner Hemingway, but it got the job done.

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a bloggers luncheon at one of my favorite places, The Vintage Bricoleur. They had invited Courtney of French Country Cottage to speak. I admit that I am a rabid fan of her blog, where she posts the most beautiful photos of the DIY projects she completes in her lovely French-inspired home. Most of the time, she posts very detailed instructions on how to do it yourself in your own home. I am not very crafty. And I can't seem to suture fabric as neatly as I do the skin and assorted tissues of my patients. But her images and instructions inspire me to try, and I think my home is a little prettier because of it. Which is a tall order for a place that houses 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 small children, a parrot and a very dirty and stinky husband (he works with cows - need I say more?).

The workshop was held in the old fruit shed of the High Hand Nursery in Loomis. If you haven't been there, you should treat yourself to a visit, because it is pretty amazing.

Isn't this space awesome! Anyone interested in a photo session there, please let me know because I am dying to shoot there!

Courtney did a wonderful job outlining various aspects of blogging - for fun and for profit. Turns out I "blog for bliss". As she spoke about different things, I was amazed by the comments and questions that flowed from the other attendees. They were intelligent. They were insightful. They were technical. And you know what? Most of the women (there were only women present) are my mother's age, or older. My mother, who just learned how to text on her phone. Ladies, please do not take this as an insult as it is intended as a compliment. I'm serious. You ran circles around me and my poor little pea brain. For example, meet Joy:

She is 80 years young and author of the blog The Olde Farmhouse

And talking here with Joy is Helen. She is the mother of Terry (owner of The Vintage Bricoleur) and author of her own blog, Wildberry Ranch.

The discussions were quite lively:

And if a question arose, people would jump on their laptops to find the answer.

If it appears that I spent a lot of time photographing Joy, you would be correct.
I was so mesmerized and inspired by this woman, I couldn't help myself.

Another person I found to be inspiring would be Kim Mazzei 
who is partnered at Not Too Shabby in Folsom. 

Kim, don't kill me for posting this photo. I love it because it shows your wild and crazy personality. Kim is a vibrant woman who touted, multiple times, "if you don't put yourself out there, nobody will". So true, so true. Any time that I am scared to post something for fear of what people will think, I will remember those words. And this picture of your beautiful self!

Of course, I can't go without saying that these two women inspire me:

On the left is Terry from The Vintage Bricoleur, and the right, Courtney from French Country Cottage. Terry is genuine and kind. One thing I love about her? She remembers people's names. Do you know how cool it is to walk into her store and hear "Hi Nicole, how are you?"? Personally, I love it. I also love strolling through her store, looking at all of her vintage pieces which have stories to be told. 

And Courtney. What a dynamic woman! Can you believe she has a 19 year old son? She has been blogging professionally for only a couple of years, but she has definitely made her mark. I look forward to each and every one of her posts, complete with the beautiful images from her home.
Courtney, you are FABULOUS!

Some wonderful, unexpected goodies came along with the luncheon.
Of course, there was a box lunch, courtesy of High Hand.
I had the vegetarian option, which was a most delicious salad, complete with mixed greens and grilled corn. And the most heavenly lemon vinegarette dressing. 
I'm pretty sure most everything I ate came direct from the High Hand nursery.

Each person received a lavender sachet.
I have left mine in my camera bag, to help calm and relax me
after a long session of shooting.

Perhaps the most appreciated gift of all was the neck massage from Connie Spade.
In five minutes, this woman managed to melt away months of tension that I have stored in my neck and shoulders.

Here she is, massaging the hands of one of the luncheon attendees.
She'll come to your home, and I'm thinking about having her over very soon.
If you would like to escape for a little while, please call her at (916) 410-4884. 

I can happily say that I came away from this luncheon with so much more than I had anticipated. I was hoping to rediscover a love for blogging... which I have. The tricky part will be keeping up the motivation to post more regularly. After meeting such an amazing group of women, I am hopeful that I will be able to do just that. 

Thank you again Terry and Courtney. 
I am already looking forward to the next one!


  1. Such a great post Nicole! You did a good job. I think that you have a wonderful way with words and your quality photos just top it off. I am looking forward to many more posts. I will be linking this post to mine. ( ;) when I get it done) Terry p.s. - You can go to my page, copy the address in the address bar, go back to you post and click on Link, a window will pop up, paste the copied address were the curser is and hit done or submit or whatever it is. T-

  2. Nicole, I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention when blog names were handed out and I missed out on yours... now, tho, I am going to correct it on my post and also put a link (I hope I work it right) on my blog also. It was so fun to meet so many, and yes, your mother would have fit right in, bring her next time, we would love to meet her. I love your photos and the old buildings would be a great photo shoot place.

  3. Hey, I found your follow button (waving..) I am your newest follower.

  4. Awww what a sweet post Nicole!! Thank you for your sweet words! Beautiful post and such gorgeous pictures! I had such a fantastic time at the luncheon and loved meeting everyone! Looking forward to seeing you all again in the Fall!! :)