(Photo courtesy of #WeAllGrow Summit)
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending my very first #WeAllGrow Blogger Conference in Long Beach, CA. I was sponsored to attend because I got hand-selected by Latina Bloggers Connect and Collectivo. I was selected, along with a couple other Phoenix bloggers to get mentored by the wonderful Crafty Chica and she has been so amazing. I’ll be talking about that awesome program later in a different post. For now let’s focus on the conference.
You can check out the video below for a quick recap or keep reading for a more in depth look of my experience , or you can do both 🙂
The conference was so much fun starting from the very beginning when the chicas from my blogger group and I met up to drive to California in our sweet new rides (full post here).
The first day of the conference was super exciting because it was the day of the field trips!
We walked into the lobby of Hotel Maya, which is one of the nicest (and most culturally beautiful) hotels that I’ve ever stayed at.
After getting all of the logistics sorted out, we started walking towards the group going on the the Long Beach field trip where we were going to be taken all around Long Beach.
The very first part of the Long Beach field trip was the Harbor Breeze Scenic Skyline Cruise along the Long Beach coast line.
The cruise was SO. MUCH. FUN. We did a little whale watching, learned about the oil industry, and got to just enjoy the beautiful windy weather.
The 2nd part of the field trip was to go and check out the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)!
MoLAA is the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. It was a really cool museum and I highly recommend it if you are in the Long Beach area. My favorite part was of course the art related to airplanes because I’m an airplane nerd and I love them haha.
So cool to see all of the art represented by all of these countries. My favorite art came from Mexico, of course (viva mexico!) 🙂
The next part of the trip featured lunch and a bucket list item : visit the Aquarium of the Pacific!
This aquarium was added to my bucket list a few years ago (the last time I visited Long Beach) because a couple of friends told me that it is worth a trip, and yes it definitely was. It was super cool. First of all, it is HUGE. And there are a ton of exhibits! We also had a delicious (and very pretty) lunch here.
I also crossed off another bucket list item and TOUCHED A SHARK!!! It was so slimy!.
The next part of the trip involved another bucket list item: check out the historic and majestic Queen Mary!
The ship was super cool and full of history, highly recommend you check it out!
After the field trip, we all went back to the hotel to shower and then get ready for the first cocktail hour of the night.
It was so much fun, there was a photobooth, a fabulous DJ, delicious appetizers, really good drinks, and live music!
Maria del Pilar was the official entertainment for the night. I got to meet her and her band and get a copy of her CD!
They had such great music, and if you know me personally, you know that I love to dance. Check out some photos below of me getting my groove on.
(photos courtesy of Robson Muzel and #WeAllGrow Summit)
I’m on the most right in the navy blue dress and black heels 🙂
The next day, it was all business.
Well, more like 80% business, and 20% getting pampered because as Ana Flores (the mastermind behind the entire event) put it, ‘we are kick ass women who deserve to be pampered’.
We got delicious smoothies every morning from Aveeno.
I got my nails done and then attended some workshops given by very successful bloggers and I learned SO MUCH.
The morning started off with a welcome message by Heather Conneely of Facebook. My favorite part of her speech was when she said:
‘Girls compete with each other. Women EMPOWER one another.’
After the opening, it was time for the workshops. I learned a ton including how to operate a YouTube channel, which I just started (feel free to check it out here). I also learned more about instagram (you can follow me here). I learned about owning my expertise, and being confident in what I know. And I also got to connect with some really great companies!
That same day, we got to hear some very intimate stories from Rosie Rivera.
‘Our voice is the most powerful tool, let’s use it in the most creative way possible.’ – Rosie Rivera
We laughed, we cried and we learned. She is beautiful,she is honest, and she is strong.
After that, we had more workshops and then we had another happy hour! So many happy hours! 😉
(Photo courtesy of Robson Muzel and #WeAllGrow Summit)
And after happy hour, I was invited to join Dove at a very fancy dinner at The Tantalum and a super fun party bus.
The next day, I went to more workshops and my favorite part of the day was checking out the Neutrogena suite.
I had a photoshoot and got some casual and business shots 🙂
I also got a super cool bracelet from the My Intent people.
The purpose of my intent is to choose a word or a phrase that is put on an accessory (bracelet, necklace, etc.) that is a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive energy. I chose the phrase Say Yes because during the past few years since I’ve started my graduation bucket list and my life bucket list I’ve chosen to say yes to every opportunity that will help me grow as a student, as an engineer, as a blogger, as a traveler, as an adventurer and overall as a human being. Even if I’m scared, nervous, busy, have no time, am tired or any other reason I’ve made it a point to put myself outside of my comfort zone. I’ve chosen to put this message into a tangible item to remind myself of this conscious decision and to hopefully continue to live this way even as life continues to get busier and other people come into my life. I invite you all to say yes with me and to create your own bucket lists, to travel, to mentor others and to just live an epic life. Whatever that may mean to you.
That night ended with the Story Tellers which was a group of 6 women telling their stories. Raw. Powerful. Moving. I cried, I laughed, I related.
After the Story Tellers, Ana Flores, the mastermind behind the conference, announced the winner of the ultimate grand prize: a $1200 Adriana Castro official clutch. And guess who won!?! Yes me!! And I never win anything, and I mean NEVER. I was so shocked! I had my action camera with me the entire conference and I jokingly told my friend Sandra, ‘Hey here film this in case i win’ and she did. And it’s so funny because when they say my first name, you can hear me gasp…and then when she says my last name I drop the camera and start freaking out haha. And we have the footage! Check out the video here and don’t mind my screams and my huge smile, I was just super happy because the clutch is BEAUTIFUL. I can’t wait to wear it everywhere haha..
After that was the fiesta, which meant more dancing and more drinks!
And that’s that. One of the most amazing weekends of my life ended. And after that conference a few things have already changed. I changed my domain name, I changed my host site, I changed my Instagram, and I’ve created an official Facebook page (that you can like here :)).
The We All Grow conference has been phenomenal and true to its name. I have grown SO MUCH as a blogger and gained so much. And throughout the entire conference, people kept saying the same thing ‘when one grows, we all grow’ and it could not resonate more with me. As an engineer, I rarely work alone. I am ALWAYS working with my team and I’ve learned that being in a team makes you stronger and that is exactly what the We All Grow conference was all about. I’ve learned and grown so much from the workshops but also from being surrounded by such incredible women…I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of sisterhood.
I had such a blast, learned so much, and connected with some great people but if I had to summarize my top 3 takeaways, they would be as follows:
- Sometimes you already know what you need to do, you just have to go and do it
- You don’t have to wait until you are ‘ready’ or until someone contacts you to start taking the next step, YOU can take the first initial step
- Quality will always beat quantity so make sure your content look as good as you believe it is
It’s been an absolutely pleasure getting to know all of you beautiful latina bloggers and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.
I’m super excited to be on this journey and I’m glad you are all a part of it. Again, a huge thank you to Crafty Chica, Latina Bloggers Connect, and Collectivo for this huge opportunity.
I can’t wait for next year. See you soon Long Beach!
P.S. – check out the official conference video below:
2016 #WEALLGROW SUMMIT VIDEO: THE ENERGY OF SISTERHOODWATCH: Our #WeAllGrow Summit 2016 video, directed by Andrea Franco (Nuhr Studio), lovingly and vividly captures the energy of sisterhood that is generated when we create from deep within us with the only intention to have our stories shared and our voices heard. The result has been quite magical to the point that now, only in its second year, #WeAllGrow Summit stands on a class all of its own.400 Latina bloggers, creators and industry professionals came together at Hotel Maya DoubleTree by Hilton in Long Beach, CA for three days of sisterhood, growth, learning, storytelling and unforgettable moments of awe.
Posted by We All Grow Summit on Monday, April 4, 2016
You can read more blogs on ‘Trips’ here!