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How to Make the Most of a Blogging Conference

I was all smiles after attending my first WordCamp Birmingham. And I got a free T-shirt!


I have a confession: I am obsessed with blogging conferences. I attend at least one each year and some years I attend one each season. One year I attended three blogging conferences in a single summer! From big national conferences like BlogHer and Blogalicious to Birmingham-based conferences like Y’all Connect and WordCamp Birmingham, if I can be there, I will be.

Once a friend asked me if I actually still get anything out of blogging conferences since I’ve been blogging for nearly a decade and since I have attended so many blogging workshops and events. My answer was simple: “Absolutely!”


Have Girls’ Day Out at Birmingham’s Southern Women’s Show

My mom and I at the 2014 Southern Women’s Show

It’s become a family tradition. Every fall my mother and I have a girls’ day out at Birmingham’s Southern Women’s Show. Some years the day is extra special when my favorite aunt and cousin come along, too. Yesterday, I and a few other local bloggers and influencers got a special preview of this year’s show, which will be held October 5 – 8 at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Savannah Chrisley from the hit TV show Chrisley Knows Best will be featured on the Fashion & Entertainment Stage Saturday, October 7 at 1 p.m. Savannah is the youngest person to ever appear on HSN, where she debuted her fashion line “Faith Over Fear” at 19. Savannah also gives back, working with organizations that help rescue women from sex trafficking and with groups that help provide clean water to those in need.

If you’re heading to the show on Friday, make your way to the Fashion & Entertainment Stage at 6 p.m. for Girls’ Night Out, a special show presented by the men of the Birmingham Fire Department to raise money for the American Cancer Society. For reasons you can probably guess, my mom and aunt LOVE this part of the show. And the phrase “Ah, sookie, sookie, now!” is repeated often. You can also buy a calendar featuring these handsome heroes for $20 while you’re at the show.

My fellow writers and book lovers will be happy to know that this year the Southern Women’s Show will feature a Southern Authors Showcase including Judy Renee Singer (author of In the Shadows of Alabama), Food Network star Martie Duncan (author of Martie Knows Parties), Kimberly Lang (author of More Than Anything), Olivia Debelle Byrd (author of Miss Hildreth Wore Brown: Anecdotes of a Southern Belle), Diane Burch (author of Maxnificent! The Polka Dot Pyrenees; Max will be there, too), and Katherine Clark (author of the Mountain Brook novels — The Ex-Suicide, The Harvard Bride, All the Governor’s Men, and The Headmaster’s Darlings.

photo by Chanda Temple

The authors will be featured on the Spotlight Stage throughout the weekend. On that stage, you’ll also find fitness demonstrations, essential oils workshops, and much more. At the Fashion & Entertainment Stage, you can see fashion shows, dance and music performances, contests, and more. Unclaimed Baggage will also be on the Spotlight Stage hosting various activities, including the opportunity to explore a suitcase that’s never been opened. And be sure to stop by the Unclaimed Baggage vendor booth where you can take a fun photo inside a stack of luggage!

Speaking of fun photos, you must get some snapshots at the Happy Trails Photo Booth while you’re at the show. You’ll also find yourself taking pictures of the photo booth itself because it’s so adorable. But first head to the Aveda Institute of Birmingham booth or the Salon 43 One booth so you can check out their Braid Bar.  That’s right; you can get your hair braided while you’re at the show — for free!


Happy Trails Photo Booth

One of thing my mom and aunt love to do at the show is hang out at the cooking stage, which features local chefs whipping up delicious dishes that attendees get to sample. During last night’s preview, I had a chance to sample some pasta prepared by Linda Croley owner of Bare Naked Noodles.  Their pasta is made from farm fresh local ingredients and with the help of family recipes.

The Birmingham Southern Women’s Show will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $12 at the door, but I’m giving away a pair of tickets today over on Instagram. Follow me at @seejavaciawrite for details.


How to Raise $1,000 for Your Favorite Charity

Last fall I committed to raising (or donating) $750 for the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham during the month leading up to the organization’s big annual fundraiser, Smart Party. Those of us who sign up for this challenge are called Smarty Pants and how can you not want to be given that distinction?! My very frugal husband, however, was very nervous about this endeavor, worried that I’d only raise about 20 bucks and that we’d have to shell out the rest. But because of the generosity of the community I’ve built around the See Jane Write blog and brand, I raised over $1,000!

And now I’m at again. I’m working to raise $750 for the Women’s Fund by October 12, the day of this year’s Smart Party. If you’d like to help, simply click here to make your donation. Even a contribution of $10 would help and would be much appreciated.

If you’d like to use your platform for good, here’s a look into how I raised $1,000 last year and what I plan to do to pull off this feat once again.


3 Reasons to Attend Magic City Fashion Week’s Bloggers Night Out

The organizers of Magic City Fashion Week are as much about community as they are couture.

Magic City Fashion Week is set for October 24 – 28, but creators Daniel Grier and Derek Matthews (the designers behind Splashed by DKG) are already busy adding magic to the Magic City through a series of smaller events leading up to the big week. Grier and Matthews see Magic City Fashion Week as an opportunity to not only cultivate, connect, and showcase Birmingham’s designers, beauty industry professionals, photographers, videographers, and models but also Birmingham bloggers.

Last month they hosted their first Bloggers Night Out, a networking event meant to help connect local bloggers with one another. On Monday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at the rooftop bar at Redmont Hotel, MCFW organizers will host another Bloggers Night Out event. Here are three reasons you need to RSVP for this event right here, right now.


New co-working space will help Birmingham entrepreneurs “Forge” ahead

When Kim Lee started learning more about the concept of co-working spaces she quickly realized that Birmingham-area entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers needed a place where they could work and collaborate with others without signing a long-term lease. And eventually, Lee realized she should be the person to create such a space.

“My undergrad is in business and I have a master’s in counseling,” Lee says. ” As I studied and researched co-working more, it became clearer to me that my background is actually perfect for this is a business concept.”

And so the Forge was born.


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