Still More BFF Blogger Goodness!
Need more reading? Here are the rest of the BFF attendees, some of whom were new to me, and many of whom you will want to know, too. Aren't you sorry you didn't come with us to Niagara? Or, you know, super-glad if you did?
I've met mamalooper a few times at Toronto meetups before, and am always struck by her polished, urbane presence. A smooth bob and sleek glasses top off her petite face and frame, and she always has interesting accessories. Her outer appearance matches her nicely, as she speaks with precision, in tidy, neatly clipped sentences punctuated with elegant gestures, and her contributions to conversation always seem organized and intelligent. She was, of course, an excellent addition to the roundtable, a nice foil to ramblers like myself. Her blog is much the same - a template with clean lines, posts shorter and employing an economy of well-considered words. I find her quite fascinating for being so different from my messy self, and of course, her intelligence is a bit daunting, even though she is not waving it about. I'm only sorry she missed the partying portion of BFF in favour of taking full advantage of time to herself! (But now that I'm all worn out? Kinda thinking that might have been smarter...)
Some Kind of Wondermom and Gliding Through Motherhood
Wondermom (Vicky) and Gliding (Lara) came together from Ottawa on a road trip. The pair - and I put them together here because they were, for much of the weekend, hanging together, as they only knew each other - are real-life friends and business partners (they have an online kids' clothing store with the cute name Apples 'n' Oranges). I first noticed Lara because she was wearing the same cute green dress I bought at Target on the way to BlogHer the same weekend last summer and wore to one of the parties there - quelle coincidence! and good taste all around, it seems. The two are both dark-haired and cute, yet different. Lara reminds me a bit of myself - casual, wavy-haired, and makeupless (but with glasses), while Vicky has the more polished look of someone who somehow learned to use things like makeup and hair product. She was also wearing a necklace by my favourite jewelry designer Saturday night! Good taste again... The two were easy to talk with, with Vicky often asking questions that kept conversation going - thank goodness for people like that - and joined the party in our room that night, where we got to know them a bit. They were great contributors to Saturday's discussion, too, and were a terrific example of real-life blogging friends and mompreneurs. They even brought some samples with them - and now I must go check out a couple of the cute Tshirts and hair thingummies (have I ever mentioned I'm obsessed with hair thingies? I totally am.). I got to sit with them that night for dinner, and really enjoyed talking with them some more. They were interested in community blogs like Playdate, and lamenting not finding the same number of bloggers in Ottawa, so if you are from that neck of the woods, go on over and say hi to them!
The Loony Bin
Erin came from upstate New York to join us, one of our two token americans.Unfortunately, she just came up for Saturday, went out for lunch with the larger group, and went shopping instead of wine-tasting, so I didn't see much of her or get to talk to her! I say unfortunately because I liked her from afar just from the discussion. She has fantastic curly red hair that I might just do really bad things for if it would actually get it for me, and small glasses. She has the air of someone sensible, coming across as practical, which I like, and maybe even little buttoned up at first, but you could just tell that she is really fun once you get to know her. On blog, she has a quiet, dry sense of humour underlying her posts, and if I'm reading her right, I'm pretty sure it would be stronger in person. She was also a strong contributor to the roundtable, with good points to make on several of the topics that came around, so I'm so happy that she decided to come along after all to help keep the conversation going in an interesting direction.
I've saved my beloved roomies for last because, well, it's obvious that I love them. Sandra was laughing about how I emailed them about 5 minutes after the BFF site went up to claim dibs. If only the rooms had been bigger and held more people, because there were a few others I would have grabbed, too. I'm greedy like that.
Ms Blue. OMG, Ms Blue. If you've ever met her, you know why I'm at a loss as to where to start with the describing of her many different shades of awesomeness. She's a sweetheart, generous to a fault, warm, caring, and open. You can't not love someone like that. She can get a little crazy, and is a ton of fun - she will totally bring the party and supply the music. She is open about the whirlwind and mess of trying to have a husband, a house, two kids, and a career, and I love that by being frank about that, I know I'm not the only one who some days finds I'm just not managing it all with the aplomb I'd like to show. She is gorgeous in her normal state, with adorable hair and sparkling eyes that reflect her personality and a sweet little mouth that will break into a wide smile at any moment - but when she busts out her mad makeup skillz, she is way glam, and one hote mama. She is cool, too, and her passion for music and her work lights her up. All that, and she is one smart cookie - organized, full of ideas, and a powerhouse executive. I love that she is a total bigshot, but you'd never know it from her. That, my friends, is good people.
Metro is unassuming when you meet her - she has a sweet, pretty, girl-next-door kind of face, a casual style with a slightly hipper edge, and a quiet voice. You could easily mistake her for someone more average than she is if you didn't stop to talk to her, but you would most certainly be mistaken. Once you start talking, you find that she is adventurous and fun, even a little wild, and makes the time to take in an astonishing number of cultural events. She is interested in going to these things and really taking in her city, which I admire, as I often just lack the planning or energy to take full advantage, myself. She is intelligent and insightful, really reveling in the analytical exercise that is an English masters, and often recommending literary fiction on her blog with well-thought-out reviews. As someone who reads mostly children's books and some adult fluff, I must admit to being awed by her reading! She takes amazing trips abroad, and really sucks up the whole experience, something else I am just not up to at this point. And she is a gutsy lady - I am beyond impressed that she parlayed her blogging connection into a fantastic job, the one that has hooked us Toronto bloggers up with books and parties on numerous occasions, made even better by her hosting prowess, for she is also often the host of blogger meetups in her own home. All in all, she's a lady with a real zest for life behind that milder first impression, and totally worth getting to know.
I always start - actually, everyone always starts - with talking about how gorgeous Sandra is, because it's the first thing that strikes you. And it's true, she's a beauty of lengthy limbs and flowing locks, of lovely blue eyes bright with curiosity and soul, and a face made for the camera. But once you get past that, you find that part of why she stands out so is that she has an interior sparkle that is shining through, animating every expression and gesture. She has a huge heart, and when she starts talking about things that get her there, you feel it, too. She has passion for her work and family that translate into an insane amount of energy, yet she never seems tired. She is at once one of those crazy, silly girls who can be talked into doing any wacky thing when mildly tipsy and screams going down twirly slides, and a seriously smart girl with a business background who can whip up a plan and organize and liaison like the pro she is. I am constantly amazed by the whirlwind that is Sandra, frankly, and a little in awe.
Well, you likely know a bit about me if you've been hanging around my neck of the woods, and I have probably said as much about me in these little sketches as I have about the others, by way of comparisons (since, you know, bloggers=narcissistic and all that...) So you've picked up that I'm shy, not so polished, obsessed with hair, and impressed by people who pull off the things I can't seem to manage (including good hair and outward polish). You may have also notice that I overuse parentheses and ellipses, and the words seriously and great. But it's well nigh impossible to see yourself as other people do, so I'm not sure I can give you the same kind of snapshot of myself by any stretch, anyhow. I will say this, instead - I had a terrific time. I spent the weekend with people I really enjoyed, whether I knew and loved them beforehand or not. I got to have both ridiculous, silly fun and serious, intelligent discussion, both ends of which I love. I got to party in my own room, which was just about perfect - sitting in my bed, legs tucked in, all comfy, without missing a thing. So happy everyone came to us! It was all just... great. Seriously.
Thanks, everyone, for making this a weekend to remember, and most especially to the BFF girls who put it all together for us. You guys really are the best.