In Good Company

By Kate Riley February 8, 2010

I’m back from the conference in Nashville and a whirlwind weekend.  The hotel was gigantic, over 600,000 square feet, imagine that!  From an architectural standpoint, the hotel was truly incredible.  But the most significant thing about the weekend conference was the comradery that occurred among all the gals in attendance.  I’m still floating in the clouds, have bonded with remarkable ladies at this unique event.

The Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, Tennessee is like one giant conservatory that is the size of a small town.  Everything is housed under gigantic glass paneled ceilings.  There were so many restaurants and shops and clubs and gardens.  There were fountains and waterfalls, a miniature river and lush botanicals around every corner.

waterfall and urns

Blissdom 057

delta island

circular staircase

arch and pavilion


yellow orchids

pink orchids

And I absolutely must try to recreate a version of this exquisite garden bistro set this summer.

bistro set

We had lunch between sessions and I spied this clever DIY “vase” for summer blooms.  How about adding some vintage labels by Cathe at Just Something I Made and wrapping them around an ordinary can ?

Simple and perfect !

flower arrangement

I cannot express how nice it was to be surrounded by the gals who inspire me more than anything.  We shared so much, we laughed and hugged, and they taught me a lot.

Here’s Rhoda from Southern Hospitality, Edie from Life in Grace, me, and Layla from The Lettered Cottage.

rhoda layla edie

AnNicole from Our Suburban Cottage, Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick, Beckie from Infarrantly Creative, and Julia from Hooked on Houses.

luncheon annicole sarah becki julia

Lindsay from Living with Lindsay and Kimm from Reinvented

kimm lindsay

These trailblazing inspirational bloggers:  Nester and Kimba

nester and kimba

My friend Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Nester gave a great talk on the pros and cons of niche blogs.

jen and nester

Both are so truly lovely in person.

jen and nester flickr Source

Here’s is Layla from TLC and Melissa from Drop the Baby Weight.

layla and

Check out Layla’s hysterical video compilation, including my video debut as well.  Oh yes, it’s a glimpse of me in person . . . which reminds me, I better get started on that whole vlogging thing.

And yes, it’s true, Harry Connick Jr. was there and performed for us.  I didn’t take my camera into the club, but you can see plenty of shots of him at the Flickr page right here.

I met up with these other talented bloggers as well, so be sure to check out their sites for plenty of inspirational DIY ideas:  JJ from Blah Blah Blogger; Emily from Remodeling This LIfe; Jess from Frugal with a Flourish; Traci from Beneath My Heart; and Kris and Kim from The DIY Dish.

On our last night I went downtown with my gal pals AnNicole from Our Suburban Cottage and Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick.

There was an Elvis sighting.

kate and elvis

Then we three gals went two steppin’ at the Wildhorse Saloon, and had a really great time horsing around downtown together.

divas in glasses

It was such an honor and so much fun to be in the good company of these remarkable ladies.

Now I just need to get back on Californ-i-a time.   I’m completely wiped.




  1. what great photos! those of us who didn’t get to be there(sniff, sniff) must live vicariously through you. and it looks like you all had a good time.

  2. That sounds like a LOT more fun than being stuck in a house with two kids and a cranky husband waiting for the snow to stop falling so you can consider escaping.

    I love the Opryland…something to see and do around every corner. :) Looks like you had a blast. I am officially jealous.

  3. What a lineup! I can tell you all had a blast together. What a treat to meet in person, so many of us are long distance friends!!

  4. Oh my goodness- it looks like I missed out on some crazy good fun on Saturday night!
    Definitely gonna have to stick around (and share a room with you three!) next year!!!


  5. You captured the weekend perfectly. Looks like I missed out on Saturday night crazy town. It was a blast to meet you.

  6. Looks like you had a blast!!! I keep sayin’ it, but next year I won’t move right before the conference, so I can actually go and meet all you lovelies in person!!! Glad you had the chance to be there. Now, go get some sleep!

    Oh! And I loved your video debut at Layla’s ;-)

  7. How Fun!!! OMG! I want to go so bad. Hopefully next year! Thanks for sharing all the awesome photos! I feel like I was there! Love your blog! Run by and check out my week long giveaway if you get a chance. A new prize every day for 9 days!! I’m having so much fun with it!
    Just found your blog yesterday…Gotta run so I can read your blog from beginning to end now that hubby is off to work. ;) Love it!

  8. This looks like so much fun! In all the years I’ve lived here in Alabama (5) and been to Nashville (handful of times) I’ve never gone to Opryland. My boyfriend’s mother goes on and on about it and how I HAVE to go. Maybe this year she’ll want to make the Christmas trip to see the Rockettes and I’ll luck out! :)

  9. How lucky you are to get to meet all those amazingly talented women! It was nice to see pictures of you all … puts faces to names!

  10. It was so lovely to meet you Kate. I’m just so sorry we didn’t get a chance me talk more and get to know each other better. Let’s meet up for coffee soon since we are so close.

  11. Opryland is my favorite spot in Nashville (we used to live in Murfreesboro, about 25 min away) you should see it at Christmas time, it’s stunning

  12. I’m so glad you got to go to BlissDom. Looks like you girls had a wonderful time! My husband and I lived in Nashville for four years. . . our oldest son was born there. . . so it’s fun to see people enjoying the town. But I think y’all would have had fun no matter where you met–what great company!

  13. Wow, what a beautiful place and a beautiful group of talented women. It looks like you all enjoyed yourselves.

  14. It sounds like you had a great time–I saw Rhoda’s blog and she told about this wonderful hotel also—I am so glad to have found you again, our computer died and I couldn’t locate you! So I’ll need to catch up on all your doings–your blog looks great, I have updated mine as well!

    Glad to be here! Tara

  15. This is too fun..your indoor pictures are gorgeous. All my family is sitting around loooking at them. :) Now I am so sad I didn’t go with you guys the last night….truly sad. Lamenting, in fact since it looks SO MUCH MORE FUN than what I did. :) So wonderful meeting you. You are even better in real life and I thought that would be hard since I LOVE your blog. :)

  16. Isn’t that just the best hotel? The rooms are nice, but it is the garden areas (and the coffee shop) that I love the most. We’ve stayed there many times and we just love it! I’m glad you had a great time.


  17. This is great.Everything is just so beautiful .The stair case,fabulous .I wanna go next time! Thanks for sharing Kate.

  18. Hey lady, thanks for the shoutout! It was a pleasure meeting you and I’ll be back here more often, for sure! By the way, looks like you girls had a super fun time on Saturday night!

  19. It certainly looks like a great time was had by all! Thank you for sharing your experience and photographs. I just posted about the conference I attended in NJ last weekend. Harry made an appearance there as well!

  20. I love the Opryland Hotel! ! ! My hubby and I went for a little getaway and we were amazed by that place. We want to visit all of the Gaylord Hotels, we were that impressed!

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