Viva Las Vegas! My First TPT Conference Experience

So the TPT Vegas conference has come and gone in a flash! I cannot say enough about how amazing of an experience it was.  I remember not attending last year and reading posts about the things people learned and thought I couldn't wait to learn from the best, but it truly was so much more than just a learning experience. The best part was meeting some of my favorite online blogging friends in real life.  And I LOVE that the conversation just flowed as though we'd been friends forever.  Here are just a few highlights from my point of view.

After arriving in Vegas after a CRAZY, run through the airport to catch my flight kind of morning, I quickly dropped my bags and scooted over to a meet up for TPTers that are no longer in the classroom. It was amazing to connect with some fabulous stay at home mommies and teachers taking a break from the classroom to focus on TPT. First I met Monica of I Heart Grade 3 and the oh so sweet Peggy from Primary Flourish as we enjoyed some delicious food at the Grand Luxe Cafe.  Then after the fabulous giveaways and prizes were finished, I had to snag a quick picture with my favorite TPT mommies and organizers of this event, Jennifer of A Dab of Glue will Do, Elissa of Mrs. Jones' Creation Station, and Sara of Sara J Creations
 After wrapping up at lunch I headed back to my room to get ready for the BIG blogger meet up.  I got to hang out with my roomies Melissa of Mrs. Dailey's Classroom, Keri of Enchanted Kinder Garden and Dianna of Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching for just a little bit before we looked for all of our other blogging friends.  Of course the fabulous Krista Wallden of Creative Clips had a sweet clip art surprise in store for us too. And I even won a $10 Gift card to TPT! I probably should just hand it right over to Krista because I have a serious addiction to that girl's beautiful clip art.
 But the best part of the big meet up? Meeting the very first bloggers I EVER followed...Rachelle and Natalie from What the Teacher Wants.  I was in serious fan girl mode like I was meeting Taylor Swift, no joke! And I have to share the coolest moment ever! Natalie is just the sweetest, and she follows me on Instagram where I posted a picture of my pink glittery manicure a week before Vegas. She loved it so much she actually had her nails done to match and was embarrassed to show me!  I was so flattered which is just another reason I love Instagram and all of the connections it helps strengthen.
 After a long night we finally got to bed and woke up early for a fun networking opportunity.  I loved getting to see all my Elementary Entourage girls, Keri from Enchanted Kinder Garden, Alex from The Kindergarten Connection, Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom, Brittany from Tickled Pink  in Primary, and Amy and Lisa from All Y'All Need. We couldn't find Laura from Core Inspiration, Angie from Lucky Little Learners or Ashley from Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd for this picture and Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard was livin' it up in the SDE convention hall. I guess there were just too many EE friends to gather all at once!! I also met the oh so fun Jennifer White of First Grade Blue Skies who partied with us all night long on Friday, the super cute Miss Giraffe, and my kindergarten blogging crush Hadar from Miss Kindergarten.
Then we headed off to the TPT conference welcome (can you believe all that other stuff happened before the conference even officially started!?!) where we heard from TPT Amy (Director of Seller Happiness) and our TPT CEO Adam Freed.
Then we got into the sessions where I just couldn't wait to learn from the best.  First up was my session with Erin Cobb of I'm Lovin' Lit where she shared her knowledge about going from Teacher to Teacherpreneur.  Biggest takeaway: Manage time better! AKA get off Facebook and get creating, LOL. Luckily she gave us this super sweet planner to get us focused, who doesn't need another planner?!?!  Next I went to the marketing panel (not pictured) where I learned about how to use social media more effectively.  And last was the Design Panel where all I really remember is laughing hysterically at the one liners from Ms. Kimberly Geswein and Blair Turner.  These girls are ridiculous.
After the long day, my roomies and I were just too tired to make it to a meet up so we enjoyed some down time in our room and a quiet dinner.  We had to be up SUPER early because our goal was to get front row seats for the Keynote. While waiting for it to start we hooked up with our girls from All Y'all Need, Alexis from Laugh, Eat, Learn, my WI buddy Angela from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade, and the lovely Laura from Core Inspiration.
The keynote had me all kinds of emotional as we heard from Amy and Adam again, as well as TPT founder Paul, and Rachel Lynette.  TPT has changed so many lives both of sellers and buyers.  It's so crazy to think about the impact TPT has had on classrooms around the world. I love that although I am not in the classroom every day at the moment I still have the ability to make a difference in students' lives.
I didn't take any session pictures on day 2 because I was furiously writing notes and things to do.  The day flew by and I was SOOO ready for TPT happy hour.  I loved hanging out with Mel D of Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations, Carol of The Super Sparkly Teacher, Colleen of Literacy Loving Gals, Amanda of A Traveled Teacher, Vera of The Tutu Teacher, and of course my girls Brittany and Melissa! We really can't get enough of each other, don't even ask how many times we took pictures in the photo booth :)
Finally as the craziness of the conference was winding down we enjoyed a relazing dinner at Canonita on the canal inside the Venetian.  It was so nice to talk to even more fabulous friends and enjoy another great meal.  Afterwards we headed to The Bourbon Room for a wild night with the girls from The Primary Pack.  We stayed out until about 2 am which is unheard of for this mommy. Thank goodness I wasn't leaving the next day so I could take a nice LONG nap while I waited for my hubby to get here.
Well I'm still livin' it up here in Vegas for a few more days with the hubby. I'm really glad he was able to fly out on Saturday so we could see the rest of Vegas as I didn't leave the hotel for 3 days during the conference, oops!