5 Reasons Having A Community Matters - Galentine's Day Edition

Com·mu·ni·ty

noun

a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

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I made the decision to start my blog in October of 2014, knowing that I would have a space to explore my creativity and style. What I didn't know was the amazing community I was about to join. The blogging world is filled with goal driven, ambitious, creative women who have huge entrepreneurial spirits. And to top it off, the Denver blogging community is filled with stylish, kind, down to earth women! What a bonus! 

Last weekend I had the privilege to hang with some of my blogging girlfriends for a fun Galentine's Day celebration, sipping champagne, eating chocolate covered strawberries (oh and cake too), and in typical blogger fashion, taking tons of amazing photos to document the whole day. We went to the stunning Renaissanse Hotel in Downtown Denver, enjoyed one of their beautiful suites and had gorgeous steak dinner at their restaurant, Range Downtown. We partnered with some local brands to make our Galentine's Day extra special, we wore the most adorable shirts that are from the online shop called Fiercely by Valery. We ate the most amazing chocolate cake that was made by Beehold Cakes, and I must say that cake was so delicious it reminded me of a brownie! And as if that all didn't already sound like female heaven, we were surrounded by the most beautiful floral arrangements by Flower Bombers, which of course added the most gorgeous pop of color to our girls day. 

I think having a community around you who shares similar goals and interests, in whatever you do, is important. In every aspect of my life I have made a commitment to immerse myself in a positive community surrounding that part of my life. I joined MOPS to be around more Christian mothers with similar visions for themselves in motherhood. In our business we surround ourselves with motivated people who have had massive success in the field we are in. I have a community of best friends who are also in marriages that I admire and respect, that way we as wives can encourage and inspire each other. And in blogging, I have made a huge effort to participate in practically every community event that is available, join every group that exists for Denver bloggers, and build relationships with the Denver bloggers that I adore.

Because I think having a strong community is so important, I thought I'd share with you my top 5 reasons that I think having a community matters! Here we go!

1. Teach & Encourage Each Other

A candle never loses any of its light by lighting another.

Everyone has something that they can teach me, I truly believe that. Whether it be a technical skill or a life lesson I truly believe I can learn something of value from just about everyone I meet. It's so important to surround yourself with people who have mastered the skill you are trying to get great at. I love learning, asking questions and growing any chance I can. The great thing about it is, the more you know, the more you can help others. I get so many people asking me "how to" blog related questions and I am always open and eager to help and encourage as much as I can. That attitude helps to create a more positive community of people empowering people.  Being a part of a community allows you to learn from, and teach people in a way that is truly special.

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2. It Pushes You Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

When you are meeting new people, learning new things and and having new experiences, chances are that your comfort zone will begin to be stretched. This is a good thing. In anything I've done in my life, I have only gained success once I was willing to say goodbye to my comfort zone.  A few years ago meeting with a group of blogger ladies and letting a photographer take our pictures would have made me super nervous (in a socially awkward kind of way) but now I am able to just laugh and have a blast. Being around other like minded people in a community will help you stretch outside that comfort zone and really grow. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone and I truly believe that to be true. I also think the best version of you is sitting right outside of your comfort zone, so go find her! 

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3. Being Around Like Minded People

It's such a breath of fresh air being around people who have the same interests and attitudes as you. You have much deeper and more meaningful conversations when you are around people with similar goals in life. It's important to be an individual but it's also important to have a "tribe". Being around other people with a similar vision and similar goals as you is not only fun, but it will challenge and encourage you in many ways. Like I said before, the Denver blogging community is filled with driven, kind, goal oriented women, and that is absolutely the kind of women I want to be spending my time with. 

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4. Sharing Ideas & Insights

When you are part of a strong community, it allows you to have access to people with great ideas and knowledge. I learn so much from surrounding myself with knowledgeable people. It also gives you the opportunity to share your own ideas and insights with others. Getting feedback on ideas is super valuable, in any area of life. Sometimes when we are the ones working on something  and we are so involved with it, we can easily miss something that and outsider can spot quite easily. Sometimes we are in the trees and all we see is the trees. Feedback from your community can help you see the forest. In the blogging world, creativity is key, and being around other influencers helps me to practice and stretch my creativity muscle.  

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5. Build Friendships

This is by far my favorite and I believe the most important aspect of community. I have created the most amazing relationships from making community a priority in my life. Some of my best friends have come from being part of a group or community together and then building a friendship outside of that as well. I'm so grateful for the amazing women I've met in the blogging world and can't wait to continue to strengthen those friendships as we all continue our journey in the blogging world. 

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All photography on this shoot was done by Alejandro Caballero with Avid Visuals. Thank you so much for the beautiful photos and for putting up with us silly ladies all day!

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Colorado & Denver Blogger Exclusive Meetup | Planning And Hosting An Event

I truly believe the world would be a better place if more women came together, supported each other, built each other up, encouraged one another, and cheered each other on. So often we see women get caught up in the catty, gossip cycle that is driven by insecurities and comparison. Every woman would be lying if she said she hadn't done that at least once in her life. It's unfortunate that in our society sometimes women compete with each other more than encourage each other. One of my strong passions in life is to break down this mentality, create strong bonds between women, and be a good example of women empowerment. I am not perfect at this, but I am extremely passionate about bringing women together and creating those bonds. 

I started blogging in October of 2014. One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog was because I loved reading so many other women's blogs. I found them creative and inspiring and it lead me to want my own blog. After a few months of blogging I found myself feeling so lonely. I had nobody to really chat with about blogging, nobody who knew exactly what blogging was, how it worked, etc. I wanted so badly to have friends in the blogging world. Ones I could run ideas by, share blogging struggles or successes with, and learn from. I started to search for some sort of blogger meetup or networking event. It was almost impossible to come by. The only one I came across was not open to everyone and it seemed a bit cliquey. I figured, if there wasn't an event where I could mix and mingle, and create great bonds and new friendships with bloggers in Colorado... then I should probably just create one! And the idea was born. I decided that I wanted to create an event where ladies all around town (or men, but let's be honest most bloggers are women) could meet up, have a great time, make new friends and chat blogging.

The most amazing thing about the event was how lovely everything fell into place. The first and best thing that happened was my blogger friend Lauren (LadyPlanner), agreed to create and host the event with me! This was so great because planning something you've never done before can be a tad intimidating, but doing it with a friend makes it more fun and less scary. She too agreed that Denver was in need of an event like this and she was just as excited about it as I was, which was a huge blessing. The next thing that fell into place perfectly was the venue. I had been attending Denver Style Magazine (DSM) events for a few months at this point and I had also written a post for their blog before, so I asked the ladies at DSM for their thoughts on the event. They thought it was an amazing idea and offered to help promote it and also offered their venue for the event! That too was such a blessing. At this point I felt like the event was meant to happen since it was coming together so well. 

The next two things that fell into place was the collaborations. We had Froozer, a company that makes delicious frozen fruit treats, agree to work with us on the event and provide free samples to all the guests. That was such a treat, to read more about their product head over to this post I did on the perfect post workout snack. The next collaboration we locked down was a photographer to shoot the entire event. Lauren got in contact with Corey from Corey Anthony Photography and he agreed to shoot the event and provide amazing photos for all of the bloggers to use. He takes absolutely stunning photos (as you can see below) and we were incredibly honored to have a photographer of that caliber take photos of our event. He did such a great job and it is such a treat to have these memories of the event. Check out Corey's Instagram, it's so inspiring!

Lauren and I took care of the snacks and drinks. There was white wine and rosé, because what's a girl's night without a little vino?! We also made some "blogger bites". I made caprese salad skewers, and cake pops, while Lauren made some delicious watermelon, basil and feta bites, as well as some cucumber sandwich bites. I must brag and say it was all so delicious and incredibly darling. It looked as though Pinterest had exploded all over the blogger bites table! We also brought the decor. For the decorations we had a gold sequins #, a banner that said "Blogger Love", a pink tassel banner, an "Eat Sleep Blog Repeat" sign, some pink paper pom poms around the room, and of course a marble slab to display the wine on. 

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We also put together an activity to get the ladies chatting with new people. We created "Blogger Bingo" which was a simple bingo game but each square had something related to blogging in it and the ladies were to try to have other ladies sign their sheet where it applied to them. I know that's a bit confusing, but for example if it said "lifestyle blogger" I could sign on that square for them. Make sense? Anyways, everyone had a blast playing the game and it really got all the women talking and making new friends. We had five prizes for the first people who won. It was a really great ice breaker.

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At the end of the night we all went on the rooftop and took photos! That was such a blast and the view of Denver was stunning, especially since the sun was setting. Corey, the amazing photographer, took a lovely group photo of all the women (pictured below) and then he graciously took beauty shots of the women who wanted them. 

Overall I am so pleased with how the night turned out! I made so many new friends and it felt so great to see the women bonding and making new connections. It was a lot of work to plan this event but I am so glad Lauren and I did because it was a blast and it brought so much value to the blogger community here in Colorado. If you are a blogger reading this, I absolutely encourage you to either attend a blogger event (if it exists already in your city) or to plan one. Trust me, it's worth the effort!

 

I want to say thank you to all the ladies who came that night, it was so great meeting you all and I had a blast! Also, thank you Corey, Emily from Froozer, and the wonderful ladies at Denver Style Magazine, you all made the event so special and I appreciate your time and resources! And of course, thank you Lauren for having the courage to plan this with me, I'm so grateful for you!! Thanks everyone :)

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