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Monday, June 15, 2015

officially a "disney mom"

my day in portland kicked off nice and early, thanks to my usual inability to get a decent night's sleep when not in the same bed with the hub.  i know, that sounds super lame, but it's true.  every. stinking. time.  it just meant that i didn't actually have to wait for my alarm to go off so that i could get up and head down to the hotel's fitness center.

yes, i sure did open up that mickey suitcase and put on my run disney gear to go and spend some quality time with a treadmill.

it was a pretty nice little setup, complete with pretty much everything you'd want to get in a good hotel workout.

i got to watch local news while i chugged along on my virtual 5K.

somehow, i'm able to keep up a jogging pace for a longer stretch of time on treadmills - but then it takes me forever to get through those 3 miles.  oh, well - super slow time, but it was done.

i'd given myself just enough time to head back to my room and get cleaned up for my disney morning of fun.  i love this dress, by the way, and i can't wait for another excuse to put it on.

registration was easy breezy.  there were a plethora of eager disney moms already in the ballroom, and check-in took all of about a minute.

as i munched on my breakfast, i chatted a bit with the ladies at my table.  they were all local to the area, and all were super friendly and new to the disney SMCC experience, just like me.

our hostess for the morning was jamie langdon, one of the disney parks social media managers.

she introduced tyler slater,  one of their PR guys who works on promoting disney destinations.  i follow him on twitter, and he's always posting these amazing photos from the parks as well as from disney aulani, their property in hawaii.

next up was someone i'm very familiar with - erin glover, the disney parks social media director.  she has the job i would kill for - as she said, if it's posted on any of disney's social media accounts or published on the disney parks blog, she's either seen it or written it.  i always run into her at the disney events i'm lucky enough to attend, and she's such a sweetheart.

she showed us a sample of the gazillions of photos that they get to use.  because they ARE disney, they have access to everything - past, present, and future.  how fun would it be to poke around those archives, huh?

our next speaker was victoria lim, a former journalist who now works with disney social media.  she gave us a great speech on how to create videos using your phone.  i'm not into "vlogging," but i picked up some pretty great tips that i'm sure will come in handy at some point.

the time was literally flying by.  at that point, we were halfway through the conference.  we took a quick break for potty runs and such, and i just kind of sat there and took it all in.

our next speakers were the ladies of babble.com - basically a compilation of bloggers who contribute articles about parenting, relationships, cooking, cleaning, organizing - pretty much everything about everyday life for millions of folks.  they focused on discussing ways to build a brand and grow your audience.

following their lead was author and artist marianne richmond.  this lady found herself undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor in her 20s, which led to a long hospital stay during which she discovered a talent for art.

she discussed her own ways on how to build a brand and how to "find your brave," as she called it, before doing a quick reading of one of her children's books (which was one of the items in our swag bags).

a mother and daughter blogging team - kathy cano-murillo and maya murillo - served as our last speakers of the day.  they talked about how they grew their blogs from basic websites where they shared crafting tips into major businesses, with a stack of published books, original songwriting, and social media fame with youtube and vine accounts that boast thousands of followers.

and what's a disney conference without an appearance by the boss himself?

i took advantage of the photo ops, because duh.

i managed to catch erin for a few minutes to say hello, chat for a bit and grab a quick selfie.

and i was surprised to run into someone who actually recognized ME - kim is a fellow blogger (hers is much, much nicer than mine and makes me want to hire someone to completely redo this thing and make it all pretty and stuff) who used to be on the knot back when we were all still planning weddings and discussing all things bridal.  it was great to meet her in person, and she's super sweet (and holy cow, super tall!).

the doubletree had granted me a late check-out, which i was grateful for after the intense morning i'd had.  i needed a moment to decompress and unwind for a bit, not to mention take a look at all the swag i'd gotten in that bag.

with a few hours free to go out and explore portland, i pulled myself together, changed my clothes, and packed my suitcase so that i'd be ready to head right to the airport after some sightseeing.

a huge thank you to disney SMCC for not only a fantastic morning of networking and learning and fun souvenirs, but for the awesome quickie solo vacay!

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