No More Alt Design Summit Butterflies, OK? :)

This is my first year going to Alt Design Summit, of course. 

[Alt Design Summit is one of the most sought after conferences for bloggers, taking place in Salt Lake City.]  Last year I never would have even dreamed that I’d be a blogger someday.  I really didn’t see it coming.  I never thought it would be in my future.  And even now, as much as I love what I’m doing, I barely even feel like a blogger.  Afterall, I just started this gig not even 4 months ago.  But the good news is….I love it.  And I am so excited to attend this great conference and mingle with the best…and learn from them…and think about what I can do to be even better at this new endeavor.

In the last few weeks/months, one thing I’ve sensed in tweets and on blog posts from other attendees is ANXIETY & BUTTERFLIES.  It seems everyone is panicked about what to wear, what to present, how to represent themselves in the best way, etc.  And I’ll admit, the thoughts have crossed my mind, too, as I have a seedling little blog and all.  So I thought I’d just say a couple of things to anyone going….I am such a dork, I know…..but here are a few things that might be helpful to us all (myself included.)   🙂


1.  BE PROUD.  Go there feeling PROUD of what you’re doing, no matter the level you’re at!!  You’re trying to do something worthwhile whether it is for a hobby, a career, a creative outlet, a feeling of community.  THAT’S JUST AWESOME.  So do not for a moment go there feeling inadequate!    Let’s all go there and just feel good about what we are trying to do & feel good about our desire to improve.  🙂 

2.  WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.  Each one of us is just trying to make a positive difference in some way.  It will be great to all be there together cause we’re all working on the exact same goal.   Everyone there will be our friend in that way.  We’re all in the same boat.  Some people have just been in that boat longer.

3.  NO NEED TO COMPARE.  Every single person has something unique to offer!  I wouldn’t dream of having a blog like anyone else’s as it just never could be.  We can only share what we have. 

4.  THINK OF OTHERS INSTEAD OF OURSELVES.  Instead of thinking of  – – What will *I* say when I meet people?  How will *I* be able to survive this presentation?  Let’s think about how we can make others comfortable & help them.  Let’s think about how we can share friendship & kindness or generosity with others & take the focus off of ourselves.  We’ll have a much greater experience if we do.


And yes, of course the place will be crawling in the best fashion ever.  Can you imagine?  I can’t wait to see all the amazing outfits.  I’ll try to take as many photos as I can to share with you….so that we all can see the latest and greatest style ideas.

Here are a few of the outfits I am considering wearing.  I am still not sure which items will make the cut. There is a great stylist at J.Crew (Marina Dobreva) who told me I am so feminine that I need to “borrow from the boys” to be a little more edgy.  Yes, good idea.  So, there may be a man’s sweater and a bow tie appearing.  I still need to google “How on earth do I tie a bow tie???”  And if I can figure it out, I’ll be sporting one at the conference.  And Danny may need to guard his wardrobe as already I’m checking it out for things I can borrow.  🙂  And now it’s REALLY time for me to pack….:)




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  1. rebecca January 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    double belted loveliness. doesn't really matter what you wear, hottie. duh.

  2. Stephanie January 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Oooooo! Number 2, if you're taking votes. I love it!

  3. Michelle January 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the wonderful tips. oh, and I sure hope you got those leopard shoes. They are really great. Excited to meet you! Safe travels!

  4. Janine January 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    I think you should be totally confident in your ability as a blogger. Your blog means something to you and to so many readers. That's important. So although you will look amazing in the outfits you picked out, you should glow from within.

  5. Charity Bass Mauai January 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    #2 and #7 are my votes. Super cute

  6. jensiejean January 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    cheers to you woman – thanks for reminding me of this, especially #4 in your list! I'm in-flight on wifi Alt-bound, have a tiny blog that I'm staking as my creative space, and I'm beside myself with how exciting this week is going to be. Hope to bump into you and compare inspirations (and outfits of course!). Thanks again and love the belts!

  7. Molly January 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Love the bow tie, love the red heels, love outfit #3. My husband and I dressed alike for New Years this year, which meant I wore a bow tie since bow ties are kind of a staple in his wardrobe. I loved it! (Pics here–I'm obviously the girl in the bow tie: I think I'm going to start wearing them more often! He may have to guard his bow-tie stash. (I've been thinking about making our own recently, but it's just one more thing on my to-do list.)

  8. Elizabeth January 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    This blog is the best thing the internet has going for it.

  9. Tiffany January 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    No need to google how to tie a bow tie, my friends created an AMAZING video on how to do just that:

  10. katie beth January 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    hello, hello! i found this post through jensie on twitter and can i just say how incredibly glad i am that i found it! i too have a newborn of a blog & am attending alt summit for the first time. intimidation to the max! but i must say, after reading your post, i am feeling much better & super excited. would it be okay if i posted a link to this post on my blog? i think what you have to say is pretty great and should be shared. thanks for saying what you did. looking forward to meeting you at alt!

    katie beth

    • mara January 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      Of course you can share 🙂 Hope to see you there!

  11. katie beth January 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    and by the way… your outfits look amaaaaaaazing. work it!

  12. Dominique January 18, 2012 at 4:42 am - Reply

    "I'm such a dork…" You're so funny, Mara. Not quite what I'd say about you. I LOVE the belts and photo #2. I don't know about the bow tie, though. But I'm not exactly current. Alt Summit sounds like such fun.

  13. Charley January 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    You weren't kidding about your food restrictions taking the weight off, what you had to start!

    You mentioned in an earlier post that you don't shop much. Do you have a relationship with the J.Crew stylist where she loans you these clothes? Or is Alt Summit a big enough deal to buy them? Not trying to be nosy; just curious based on what you've written. Love all the shades of blue on you!

  14. Afton January 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    I just found you too and I love your outfits posted! I have to know where you found all of this stuff. I just hate shopping any more because of hte time and expense and as a stay at home mom, few places to wear great outfits. Where were you? You're fun, I can tell :).

  15. rocksandsea January 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Looking great in all of them Mara! Love the colored socks and heel look myself!! how can I get in on the family hand-me-downs?? Duel Chelsea in a decathlon?

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