A couple of weeks ago I headed to Chicago to attend The Blogcademy, a weekend long blogging workshop. A year ago, my friend Lilly (Blogger at Rake & Make) told me about a great blogging event that she was attending in Portland, and she suggested that I look into one in my hood. Of course life got in the way at the time, so one of the first things that I did when I moved to NYC, was check to see when The Blogcademy was coming to town. To my delight it was headed to my city in September, but as the months passed I realized that I was way too pumped to wait to attend the NYC event. So I jumped online and searched for the soonest workshop closest to me, which just so happened to be in Chicago! I haven’t been to Chicago in almost 10 years, so I decided that it was definitely time to pay Chicago another visit and booked my trip.
The Blogcademy takes place over the course of a weekend. Each day is roughly eight hours long and is full of useful information, resources, one-on-one blog review and feedback, tips and tricks, and is topped off with an open Q&A. If you have a blog related question, these ladies will have the answer. Other added bonuses from the event are as follows….
You get to meet a ton of really amazing and interesting bloggers and make a bucket of new friends!
You get an epic goodie bag filled with a ton of fabulous prizes. The Chicago goodie bag included:
A blogcademy workbook, a cute blank notebook (for all of your notes), a fun bullet necklace, kitty ears, a WordPress for Beginners book, a scarf, a cute hair pin, a great card, a key chain, a lot of confetti.
Did I mention how great the kitty ears were? I have worn them and the scarf a few times already since I have gotten home!
I left the weekend super inspired, with a notebook full of notes, and a little overwhelmed from all of the new stuff that I learned. I loved all of the info that I received, but it was so hard not to go home and totally scrap my whole blog and start over from scratch. While I was at the event I had a great conversation with Gala, and she talked down me off my ledge. These ladies helped me to realize that everyone has to start somewhere, and I am bound to make mistakes along the way, which I guess is part of the fun. Instead of changing everything on my blog at once, I plan on making smaller changes over time. So stay tuned for some sparkly new updates on my blog over the next few months, because I now have ALL OF THE IDEAS!
In addition to hanging out with amazing bloggers over the weekend. Julia the Mystical Traveling Unicorn and I got spend some time with my fellow Rat City Rollergirl pal, Sara Problem…aka Megan and her kitty Winston. I don’t have any photos of Megan and I (FAIL), because I was too busy taking photos of her adorable kitty Winston.
Megan was awesome and let me crash at her place over the weekend. It worked out perfectly, because we got to catch up and the location of her apartment could not have been anymore perfect for testing out Chicago’s public transportation system. I didn’t have a ton of time to check out the city, but while I was there I did manage to get out and zip around a bit. Here are some of my weekend highlights and Chicago travel suggestions.
Grab a beer at Revolution Brewery, located near Logan Square (where I was staying). This brewery has a great atmosphere and a great beer selection. Ask for a Malort shot in addition to your beer…a wormwood-based liqueur shot that tastes a bit like death with a hint of grapefruit. I have no idea why, but the locals love it…so be adventurous and drink like a local!
Go see Cloud Gate aka The Bean…A huge reflective sculpture in downtown Chicago, that is in the shape of a giant bean and is a great place to take photos. I got to the bean just before the sunset, but I was still able to grab this fuzzy selfie.
Go check out the Windy City Rollers. My friend Sara Problem currently coaches for them, so I was lucky enough to see a game while I was in town. It was nice to relive my rollergirl days with her lovely team and I scored a great t-shirt!
Have an amazing vegetarian meal at the Chicago Diner…even meat eaters will love this place! I so wish I could eat here everyday! Everything on the menu is either vegan or vegetarian, which is my dream come true. They also have a great bar, friendly bartenders (which is key when you are eating by yourself) and a killer beer and liquor selection.
On your way to the airport check out the Reno Cafe in Logan Square, and grab a wood-fired bagel before you get on your flight. Their bagels are a lot thinner than the ones you get in NYC, but it was perfect for my breakfast sandwich.
Needless to say I packed a bunch into a very short weekend and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you have the opportunity to attend The Blogcademy in a city near you, go for it and if you are ever in the Chicago area I hope you have a chance to check out some of my suggestions! Thank you Chicago, The Blogcademy, Megan, and Winston for an epic weekend, I hope to be back sooner than later.