french is beautiful

cement-and-gold

 

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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One of my biggest hurdles in my French-speaking journey has been my perfectionism. In my mind, if I can’t say something perfectly, then I shouldn’t say it all. Thankfully, one of the very first things Carrie Anne James addresses in her lessons is our fear dialogue, and how it affects our fluency. We have to let go of the fear of judgement, and just speak. Focus on the words, and lean into it. The proper accent will come when you’re ready for it. Not to mention, the French find American accents adorable (think Jean Seberg in Breathless). Consistency is key – find ways to surround yourself with the language. Whether it’s film, music, literature, or the most adorable French child telling a captivating story, do what you enjoy most. The more exposure you have to the language, the more time your brain has to absorb the rhythm + syntax, allowing you to imitate the sound. Your imitation won’t be perfect at first…but fake it until you make it! While many would argue there is no such thing as perfection…my endless hunger for it helps propel me forward (in all aspects of my life). I’m just so thankful to have a teacher that keeps me grounded in reality.

** french is beautiful is a regular series – browse the archives here **

alt summit recap – part deux

alt-summit-recap

 

I’ve finally regained enough energy to get into the nitty gritty of Altitude Summit with you, and share some tips + tricks I learned. This was my very first ALT (after 5 years of blogging – what took me so long?!) and I can tell you it is worth every penny. I could go on and on about the value–from the friends I made (or met in person for the first time, like the fabulous Tiffany Han shown above), to the friendships I solidified (like my amazing friend/roomie Jahje Ives), to the face-to-face with sponsors, the inspiring speeches + presentations, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. With so much talent and information packed into one incredible conference, it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m no expert – like I said, this was my first time attending, and most of this has been said before, but here are my top tips. Oh – be sure to shop inside the Grand America…the toy shop JouJou is incredible if you have children + La Bonne Vie is a lovely little patisserie! And, no…this is not a sponsored post (I wish). Whatever you do, find a way to experience ALT…you won’t regret it.

 

tip #1      preparation is key. do your homework, know the sponsors, and reach out prior to the conference.

tip #2     plan your wardrobe with precision – know what you’re wearing + when. the fashion is no joke people.

tip #3     arrive early, if possible…having time to acclimate and get in the zone helped me a great deal.

tip #4     HYDRATE. seriously y’all…it’s the desert. drink tons of water + moisturize!

tip #5     focus and learn…feel like a student again, and enjoy it. revel in your fresh notebooks + new knowledge.

tip #6     be super social (and I don’t mean virtually). attend as many parties, mini-parties, and get togethers as you can.

tip #7     work the camera….know what is successful for you in a photo booth situation. they are everywhere you turn.

tip #8     save your instagrams + tweets for after the day is done, whenever possible. allow yourself to be present.

tip #9     seek out solace. if you’re like me and are very auditory, I need quiet to think + process.

tip #10   begin your follow-up before leaving! sort through cards + make to do lists. the early bird gets the worm!

alt summit recap – part un

alt-summit-recap2

alt-summit-recap

 

These photos sum up my Alt Summit experience. You simply cannot put a price on meeting someone you’ve admired for years, looking into their eyes, and holding their hand. As bloggers, we find ourselves (mostly) behind screens for a living. Of course, the irony is that we are sharing our humanity, our stories, in the hopes of connecting with others and inspiring a conversation. Erin Loechner has inspired many conversations for me, along with so many others I had the chance to finally meet in person. At the end of each day, my excitement overcame my exhaustion, and the friendships I made and solidified are worth a thousand conferences. I feel invigorated and driven by the many exciting opportunities + projects on the horizon (and can’t wait to share). As a blogger, designer, mother, wife, and human…I feel whole.

images by Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

celebrating billy

billybook

 

One year ago today I said goodbye to my furry baby + soulmate. While there will always be sadness in my heart on this day (and always)…there is also great joy. We were together for thirteen years–he will forever be one of my life’s greatest gifts. His love changed me. He made me a mommy, long before having (human) children. Today will be a day of celebration. We are reminsicing with the help of this beautiful photo book, and taking a trunk load of supplies to our local ASPCA in his honor. I intend to continue to share his light + love with the world…today, and always. He was a truly beautiful soul.

alt summit!

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Hello friends! I’m Alt Summit bound, and couldn’t be more excited about it! For those of you who are not part of the blogging community, Altitude Summit is the premier business conference for bloggers + creatives, held annually in Salt Lake City, Utah. I feel it’s quite fitting that I’m finally making it there with my 5 year blogging anniversary looming. This space began as a creative outlet, and like many others would attest, it has become something so much bigger. I have met the most amazing people (online and in person), many of whom have become close friends, and ALT is the perfect opportunity to meet those that inspire me face to face! I’m also looking forward to connecting with sponsors + brands that inspire me…I have a feeling some amazing collaborations are on the horizon. My suitcase is bursting with my beautiful new business cards – I’ll be sure to share more details on those soon. Until I return (next week), you can follow my adventures (as always) on Instagram…apologies in advance for the overgramming that is about to occur. Au revoir!