What I Learned at Alt Summit

Well, this post is incredibly overdue but it was only now that I felt prompted to write it. It has been just over a month since I attended Altitude Summit in Salt Lake City. It really took me a while to absorb exactly what I learned and achieved out of the three days of extreme networking. As soon as I had returned from ALT, I headed back down to Colorado for a media fam trip to Vail Resorts for a week. The end of January was kind of a blur but now it is all coming back to me.


I have to really give a big shout-out to everyone who wrote amazing recap posts about ALT. Here were my favourite recaps that absolutely captured the essence of ALT:

Leslie Fandrich: After ALT – Making New Connections

The Proper Pinwheel: The Business of Alt’s Business Cards

Whitney Johnson: Advanced Blogging Skills

Bright Bold & Beautiful: 25 Things I Learned at ALT

It was my second year at the design conference and just like the first year it was overwhelmingly inspiring and creative for me. I thought instead of recapping every single thing I did while I was there, I thought I would break it down into my ultimate highlights from those three days.


Traveling with Shelley. I was really lucky to be traveling with a great friend and kindred spirit to ALT. We traipsed from the Grand America all the way to Whole Foods and back again with heavy bags stocked with Pellegrino, fruit & gluten-free treats. We partied and listened and learned. I think I also learned a lot from Shelley during the trip and I look forward to see what she does this year.

Crafting tiaras with Land of Nod. During a particularly busy day at ALT (the combination of panels & freelance work deadlines was stressing me out a bit), I decided to take a break and craft with the lovely ladies from Land of Nod. The tiara I made ended up being part of my outfit that night for the Mini Parties.altsummit3

Spending time with Jana. My other ALT roomie was the delightful Jana Roach from the Vintage Whites Market. I met her last year at ALT and had also attended two of her markets in Montana this past summer so I was super excited to see her again. That girl is one vintage glamour queen. I loved checking out here amazing outfits every night at the parties. I know so much more will come out of our friendship – hopefully a collaboration soon!


Spontaneous Balloon Party with Color Me Katie. This was quite possibly the moment where the overwhelming goodness exploded in my brain. It was like “ohmygosh! this is so amazing and i can’t believe it is happening right now -slash- i think i am going to cry because i can’t believe this is happening right now’. Yes, I was feeling a little emotional during my trip. Anyways, Katie was so endearing as a public speaker and was so inspiring in her art practice. It was really refreshing to hear from someone who was so actively ‘do-ing’ and ‘living’ her life as opposed to the feeling you get from some bloggers that they are strictly just doing things to make a buck. She ended her keynote with a big balloon party that was an absolute blast. What a great way to end the conference.

Thought-provoking conversation instigated by Chris Anderson’s keynote on the next industrial revolution. I have still yet to delve into Chris Anderson‘s book that we were kindly gifted during the first lunch keynote of the conference but I have been thinking about his talk ever since. Essentially, he talked about how we are entering a new age of industrial revolution where we will start using the technology that has been invented over the past 20 years to the fullest extent. He focused a lot on 3D printers, a concept that still boggles my mind.

There was truly so many aspects of ALT that have already impacted my outlook on blogging and freelance work. The community surrounding ALT is incredible and exciting with new opportunities to be the best you can be around every corner. I am sure I will still be mulling over my experience until next January. A year goes by quickly…

Images all from my Instagram.

triangle divider

follow your dreams….and blog!

Oh yes, here I am again, about to point out the amazing blogging expertise Alt Summit has to offer. Beyond the conference and the fabulous online classes, they have recently launched their blog which is chock full of incredible free advice and tips for being a successful blogger. It is a great place to start when you are lost on the internet, grasping at straws, trying to figure out how and what and why you should be blogging.

I have discovered several posts on here that have already helped me that I would love to share with you here.

8 Tips for Great Blogging: So many excellent ideas on how manage your time blogging, staying inspired and bringing your online life into the offline world.

SEO: How to Start and End a Post Well: The best post ever if you never knew what the Alternate Text column was for when uploading photos onto your blog. Makes a world of difference to have those keywords placed there.

Travel Blogging: Taking Unique Photos: While we all see the world differently sometimes when we are traveling a touristy area we often take very similar photos. The key to great travel blogging is to capture something a little bit different. This blog post will help inspire you to look for the unexpected details you can snap away at.

For blogging inspiration and business advice check out the new Alt blog! Also, if you blog about Alt Summit and the great resources on the Alt blog you will be entered to win full registration to January’s conference. You just can’t beat that.

Photo by Tina Fussell.

triangle divider

keep learning and keep loving

I can’t say enough great things about Alt Design Summit. January’s conference taught me SO much and I met so many amazing bloggers and some of the best and brightest in the business. The cool think about Alt is that they are committed to educating all year round – not just for a weekend in January. Since the conference ended they have been providing fantastic courses available online on just about any subject related to blogging and the experts teaching it to boot.

They didn’t just stop there. They created ALT x NYC – a one day version of the conference held in New York City at pretty much the mecca of all things GOOD. Yes, the conference is going to be held at Martha Stewart Living HQ. In New York City. Did I mention I am going?!

I am beyond excited and its going to be a crazy two months until we head out east for that. Another very good thing is that BING – the search engine – is a big sponsor of this event. They are literally making it all possible for Alt to host another event before January 2013. So thank you, BING! You are kind of a big deal.

Oh and double the thanks to BING because for the month of July they are allowing bloggers to register for two free classes through the Alt Summit Channel! Sign up for the Alt newsletter and get the deets ASAP!

Here are some of the great classes I have taken already:

#1 Bringing Home the Bacon When Your Blog Isn’t Huge: Melanie from YouAreMyFave is just so darn cute and I found this course super informative about how to do more than just blogging to keep the income rolling in!

#2 Perfecting the Pitch: How To Win Over Your Dream Sponsor: Erin Loechner of Design for All Mankind is just the best. Her course all about pitching to your dream sponsors is such a great course and I definitely want to take it again!

#3 Getting Started With Advertising for Bloggers: This was a great intro course to advertising on your blog. I totally recommend it to people who are curious about monetizing their blog.

I am so excited about taking these classes this summer:

#1 The Organized Blogger: Tips and Tricks for Blogging Success
#2 Growing Readership

I totally need some tips on keeping organized and planning ahead with yuppielove. I saw someone else on twitter say it will be the summer of doing and I totally agree. Can’t wait! I hope you can join in on some classes too!

triangle divider

my must-haves for alt summit!

This round-up of bloggers’ must-haves for Alt Summit has been so much fun, that I couldn’t resist putting together my own list of must-haves for the conference. I absolutely can’t wait – only 1 day away. I’ll be the one in the stripes!

These Black Suede Pumps with Gold Metal Bow from Locale have got to be my new favourite go-to shoe. So comfy and they look great with everything from skinny jeans to a cocktail dress!

The main event is obviously the Winter Wonderland Party on Thursday night – I tracked down this classically styled frock for the event, aptly called the Audrey Dress.

Loving the stripe mania with the Gap’s spring line right now. Picked up some great tees and socks for daytime staples.

A vintage coral skirt pulls everything together with some sparkly shoes.

Society6 is a major obsession and Dawn Gardner‘s prints and products are stunning. I recently picked up this beautiful case for my iphone. In love!

Can’t wait to see y’all there in Salt Lake City! Don’t forget to bring tights, gloves, and toques! c

triangle divider

alt summit bloggers must-haves: jordan shutt of shiny paper blog

Meet Jordan Shutt of Shiny Paper Blog from Bountiful, Utah! Here are her absolute must-haves for the upcoming Alt Summit next week!
Brown riding boots are a must-have for me, so comfy for all the wandering about.
Gotta have a nice laptop bag to match those boots!
In the winter I honestly cannot live without this stuff, it’s perfect for the bitter winters we have here in Utah!
As sequins are big this year, this sequin sweater I will probably live in.

Lets be honest, I’m too cheap to buy coffee everday, so these disposable cups will be awesome!

I’m sure everyone will have a scarf on their list, but it makes sense!  It’s something that will never go out of style and looks good with everything!
 I started my blog as an outlet for writing and to talk a little about my family (I just got married last year).  I’m still trying to figure out where I’m taking it and hopefully Alt Summit will give me some ideas! I really want to focus more on writing and lifestyle, and learn to take better photos.  There is so much to blogging I never would have guessed that when I started doing it.

What are you looking forward to most at Alt Summit this year?  The photoshop class (I really need work in that area) and meeting other bloggers to gain inspiration!  I’ve lived in Utah all my life and this will be my first time attending anything like this, I’m so glad it was so close so I could afford to go!

Any bloggers you are most excited about meeting and learning from?  I have been obsessed with Bri Emery for as long as I can remember, I cannot wait to hear her speak!

triangle divider

alt summit blogger must-haves: katie from modern eve

Meet the gorgeous Katie Anderson of Modern Eve. She’s from Dallas, Texas and divides her time working in business development for The Matchbox Studio, a full service branding and design firm and her blog Modern Eve. Like most of us, she likely she spends her evenings glued to the computer creating beautiful bits of inspiration to share. Thanks for being a part of this series, Katie! Can’t wait to party in SLC! x


1. Cute notebooks and colorful pens to take great notes. I love Maybooks (ALT Sponsor) and Le Pens.
2. My iPad (with my cute new iPad cover from Elaine Turner), so that I don’t fall behind on my e-mails, blog reading and Pinterest inspiration.
3. A fabulous white frock for Thursday night’s Winter Wonderland party. I bought this dress last Fall with no plan for it. I just fell in love. I am so excited for it to make it’s debut at Alt.
4. Swanky shoes. I am not 100% sure what I am wearing every day yet, but I do know what shoes I am bringing. Is six pairs too many?
5. Cute pajamas. I am so lucky to share my hotel room with the three fabulous ladies, Mica from Maybooks, Melissa from I Still Love You and Nikki from The Salty Pineapple. Having roomies it going to be great. Not only will I have people to pal around with, but it’s a great excuse to buy fun sleepwear, like these fun pajama pants from Plum Pretty Sugar Loungarie.
6. My business cards, designed by my co-worker at The Matchbox Studios. Bringing a lot of these and hope to receive a lot in return.
Modern Eve is a lifestyle blog that provides an inside look into my life as a modern wife living in Dallas, TX. Regular posts feature original content related to fashion, party planning, home decor and travel. I started my blog over 4 years ago after falling in love with reading blog related to wedding planning and home decorating. I wanted a place that I could catalog things I loved and inspired me. Over the years Modern Eve has evolved a lot. Today it’s more than a catalog (now we have Pinterest for that!) it’s a place that I can create, promote brands I love, collaborate with and support other women and hopefully inspire others toward creativity and living a beauty-filled life. It’s been an exciting journey and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What are you looking forward to most at Alt Summit this year?
Meeting all of these likeminded woman that inspire me. I have already felt the sense of community and collaboration; and the conference hasn’t even started yet! I am looking forward to making some new lifelong friends.
Any bloggers you are most excited about meeting and learning from?
Truly there are so many. But I think I am most excited about meeting Victoria from SF Girl by Bay. She was the first blog I starting following. Her amazing apartment, thrift finds and great styling kept me awake at night and I read and re-read all of her posts. In a way she’s the reason I starting blogging. I can’t wait to meet her and say, “Thank you”.
triangle divider

meet my alt roomie! kate king from heart full of daisies!

As you all know (and I am sure some of you are sick of hearing about!) I am heading to Alt Design Summit next week and I absolutely can’t wait! To save money I found a roommate online and of course it turned out that my future roomie for the week is also named Kate. Kate King, actually. Yes, same initials. Weird, no?

Anyways, I am SO excited to meet my roommate. To learn more about her I asked her to share a bit about herself for a guest post.

Check it out. See ya’ll in SLC!


Hi! My name is Kate from Grand Rapids, MI and I blog over at Heart Full of Daisies. When I’m not blogging I enjoy hanging out with my handsome husband, Zach, and our dear friends.  We recently purchased a 1910 American Foursquare home that we’ve been busy renovating.  This house has given me the greatest opportunities and challenges these past 6 months and I can’t wait to see it finally finished! I’m also very passionate about eating, cooking, and living healthy. Some goals that my husband and I have talked about for this upcoming year are: to train for another half marathon, start remodeling our kitchen, and continue on our journey of eating a plant based diet!

My blog embodies my life; basically a glorified diary about my passions and adventures! From cooking, traveling, showing off my latest outfits, before ‘n after photos of our house, decorating ideas, and DIY projects, I try to share the things that I love learning more about and sharing.

What do you love most about where you live?  Grand Rapids has so many little neighborhoods full of unique shops and restaurants. I love walking through these neighborhoods with my husband; drinking coffee and window shopping.

What are you looking forward to most about Alt Summit? The fabulous speakers and their wealth of knowledge that they’ll bring; along with meeting so many lovely fellow bloggers!

What do you like for breakfast? I’d definitely have to say homemade sweet potato hash. Cherie Inn makes a mean vegan version.

Top Three Go-to-Blogs.

1.) A Beautiful Mess

2.) Sprouted Kitchen

3.) Young House Love

triangle divider

alt summit blogger must-haves: melanie biehle of inward facing girl

Meet Melanie Biehle, of the Seattle blog Inward Facing Girl. Here are her MUST-HAVES for Altitude Design Summit coming up on January 18th – 20th.

#1 -  Southwest Tuesday Scarf – I’m a scarf freak, and this one was made by a nice woman in Seattle and happens to be roughly the same colors that I use on my blog.

#2 – “Dots” Business Card Case – This ACME Studios etched card case was designed by Charles and Ray Eames. KAIT – This is the one I have, in case you need a photo.

#3 – Striped Camera Strap – This camera strap is so soft on my neck, features a pouch to store my lens case, and is beautifully neutral.

#4 -  Hot Pink LEUCHTTURM1917 Notebook – I picked up this cool hot pink unlined notebook in case I don’t feel like taking notes on my MacBook or iPad.

#5 -  Kelly Moore Libby Camera Bag in black – I’ve been waiting for a reason to buy a new camera bag that’s big enough to hold my laptop, iPad, and a change of clothes for my 17-month-old son, Nathaniel.

#6 - Ruled Boatneck – A blogger can’t have too many striped shirts.


Get to know Melanie before Alt…

What is your favourite thing about your city? It’s physically beautiful. We’re surrounded by mountains and water, and everything is so lush and green. Also, Seattle is a large city, but I think it has a small-town feel. There are so many awesome neighborhoods, and each of them have their own quirks and style. There are tons of beautiful parks, great restaurants, coffee shops, and cafés, and (almost) enough art to keep me happy

Full-time blogger or have you got a dayjob? I have a day job. Funny, I never talk about it on my blog, but I’m thinking of doing a few posts in the near future that share some of this part of my life. I have a Masters degree in psychology and I work in pediatric behavioral research. Right now we’re wrapping up a project about the effects of certain types of TV shows on the behavior of preschoolers.

 Tell me a bit about your blog, how did you start? What’s it about?   I started Inward Facing Girl in February 2009 to gently coax myself back into writing. I spent some time living in Los Angeles, working on a screenplay and writing research reports for movie studios to help them decide how to edit/market their films, and then became completely burned out on writing and creating things. I didn’t post very often at first, but in 2011 I really ramped it up. Now I post at least five days a week and have regular features. I write about art, design, motherhood, Seattle, travel, life with my husband and son, or whatever I’m obsessed with that day. I also take tons of photos and share them on my blog.

What are you looking forward to most at Alt Summit this year? Wow, everything! Have you seen the videos? This will be my first trip to Alt and I’m so excited. I just feel like I’m going to learn so much. The conference session topics and design camps are so great that it’s hard to choose which ones to attend. I can’t wait to meet some of the people I’ve been “talking” to online and reading about every day. I think it will be a great place to make lots of new friends.
Any bloggers you are most excited about meeting and learning from?  I’m a fan of so many of the bloggers who are attending the conference. I’m really looking forward to meeting Erin Loechner from Design for Mankind and Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay. I think the Growing a Readership panel with Maggie Mason, Jordan Ferney, Kelly Beall, and Nicole Balch will be amazing. I’m super excited about the two Design Camps I signed up for -  Photography: The Studio Look Without the Studio with Ryan Marshall and Jason Hudson and Building a Killer Portfolio Website with Susan and William Brinson.

Can’t wait to meet you at Alt, Melanie!



triangle divider

planning for blog camp

I attended an online workshop on Friday in preparation for the Altitude Design Summit this January. It was so inspiring and looked at all ways to prepare yourself for this conference and the many amazing things that could happen at it.  ALT is the dream bloggers conference full of design camps, inspiring speakers, and the presence of some of the most amazing bloggers in the world.

Anyways, I was shocked at the incredible sense of community during this online workshop. Everyone is just so eager to connect and cross-promote eachothers blogs and also help eachother with weaknesses we may have (ie. apparently having a fabulous facebook fan page is what people are really looking for at the moment!).

Check out some of my new favourite reads of the week. There are so many that have been bookmarked and added to my reader but here is just a few to get you started. xo

house of earnest :: darling entertainment ideas, home decor, & more

Simple Street :: Cataloging Simple Inspiration

Food Nouveau :: my new favourite foodie site full of amazing recipes & food travels

triangle divider