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TpT Vegas 2015- What a Ride!

I've been home for over a week, and I am still teeming with excitement from the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference in Vegas!  I was really disappointed that I couldn't attend the conference last year, so this time around it was a top priority!

So the big question is, why did I want to go?  Well, the truth is that my teaching has improved so dramatically thanks to the connections I've made with teachers all over the country (and the world).  Whether I met you through social media, the blogging world, or from buying from/selling to you on Teachers Pay Teachers, YOU have made a difference in how I teach.  

That is why I was so stinkin' excited to head to the TpT conference!  To meet so many of the amazing people who have helped shape my craft was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.   I am so happy to say that it was everything I hoped for AND MORE!

Let me give you a peek into the amazingness that was TpT Vegas 2015! Some of you will be so proud of me... I actually took pictures, AND I WAS IN MOST OF THEM! That's right!  The girl with photophobia overcame her fears in Vegas!  Now, to overcome the fear of sharing them :) Haha!  So much happened over the four days that I think the only way I can recap it is to start at the beginning! 

I was lucky enough to room with the amazing Vera from The Tutu Teacher, and Mary from Adventures in Kindergarten!  They were the perfect roomies!  Between impromptu hotel room fashion shows, exploring the strip, and many delicious meals, we had a wonderful time together.  Also, Vera proved to be a wonderful personal alarm clock! Thanks for making sure I got everywhere ON TIME(ish) V!

The evening we arrived was the night of the Blogger Meet-up!  I had the privilege of finally meeting some of my online besties IN PERSON!  It was almost surreal!  I've been emailing, texting, IGing, and FBing with these girls for a long time, and it was so wonderful to finally hug them and hear their voices!

{Ashley from One Sharp Bunch, Elyse from Proud to be Primary, Meredith from Creativity to the Core, and Aly from Just a Primary Girl}

I also had the pleasure of meeting some of the lovely ladies from Blog Hoppin'!  They threw a wicked fun giveaway, and Vera was lucky enough to win! #jealous!

{Stephanie of Falling into First}

{Natalie of What the Teacher Wants}

{Rachelle of What the Teacher Wants}

After the meet-up, I was fully charged, but STARVING! About 20 of us found our way into this room for a yummy dinner!  Can I just say how much I love this crew?  Such a fun night, and it was only day one!

One new friendship that came from this dinner was with this lovely lady!

This beautiful face belongs to Amber from Peppy Zesty Teacherista (aka Zesty!) She had me cracking up the entire time, and my cheeks ached from smiling.  She is passionate, ambitious and full of inspiration!  She put it perfectly in her Vegas blog post:  We must have been best friends in another life, and isn't it wonderful that we finally found each another again in this one!  This may be the motivation I needed to finally make my way to Texas!

I don't know how I managed it, but I finally fell asleep and woke up the next day ready to take on day two!  First on the agenda: A Networking Breakfast!  Here, I also got to meet some more of the amazing teacher bloggers and TpT Authors that inspired me to start of this journey!

My fairy blogmother, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten, was just as warm and inviting as she seems on her blog.  It was wonderful to meet her in person and thank her for her constant support and smiles!  (Side note- she crushed her presentations on the blogging panel and "Instagram Your Brand!"  Couldn't be more proud of her!)

Annie Moffat blows my mind!  Not only is she one of the most talented TpT-Authors out there, but she is also so incredibly humble and kind!  Her smile is contagious, and you can't help leaving with a lighter feeling after talking to her.  How does she do it all?  I don't know!

Some other lovelies were there too, and I was pleased as punch that I got to spend my morning giggling with the lot of them!

{Lauren from A Teachable Teacher}

{Kristen from A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Christina from Mrs. Winter's Bliss}

{Aly from Just a Primary Girl and Jessica from Second Grade Nest} 

{Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins}

After so much excitement, I had a hard time believing that I would ever be able to focus during the sessions!  However, I am happy to say that the generous TpT Authors were nothing short of amazing, and imparted an incredible amount of knowledge! 

The best part?  These men and women are supposed to be in "competition" with one another... but yet here we are learning best practices together, and maintaining an incredibly supportive community of teachers!  In the welcome meeting, it was said perfectly:

After a day of scribbling copious amounts of notes, and filling my brain with amazing ideas, I was exhausted!  I snuck in a little fun on the strip, watched the volcano blow, and passed out with a smile on my face!

The next morning started off with a bang!

I was so excited to meet the person who brought me into this online teaching community (like squealing inside excited!)  My #1 goal in going to Vegas was to be able to thank Paul and Amy in person for creating such an amazing platform for teachers to learn from one another!  I did just that, and made sure to snap a picture so I could remember it... when I get too excited or nervous, I tend to black out a bit :)

After another amazing day of absorbing information, my brain was ready for the TpT cocktail hour!  In our final event together, I was able to say my final thank you's to a few more favorite people!

{Cara Carroll from First Grade Parade}

Cara Carroll was one of the very first teacher bloggers I read!  I was a new first grade inclusion teacher, and SOOO intimidated!  Cara sent so much positivity through my computer screen, I really started to believe I could do it! She is just as positive and spunky in person, and she had me laughing so hard I snorted (Oops!)

{Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd}

My #TogetherWeAreBetter friend welcomed me with open arms, and it was fun to finally see her smile in person.  Thanks to periscope, I don't have to wait until next summer to see her again!

Our last night in Vegas some of my new TBFFs and I went out for an "End of Vegas Celebration!"  I just LOVE these girls!  They were my rock while I was in Vegas and I can't wait to see them again soon!

{Back, from left to right:  Aimee from Primarily Speaking; Vera from The Tutu Teachers; Mary from Adventures in Kindergarten; ME!  Middle, from left to right: Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers; Beth; Deirdre from A Burst of First; Molly from Lucky to Be in First.  Front: Amanda from The Take Home Teacher}

I was so sad to have to leave, but the inspiration that I gained from these amazing teachers has not diminished since my return!  Quite the opposite!  I feel energized and ready to take on this coming school year, and know that I will be a better teacher because of them!


  1. It was so nice finally meeting you in real life, Jillian! I echo all of your sentiments! I am still reeling from Vegas! Don't forget I'm coming to visit you lovely ladies! Tell Vera to bring the selfie stick! 😊

    1. It was so fun to finally meet you Ashley! You are just as sweet and bubbly as I had imagined! I cannot wait for you to come visit :) We will have the selfie sticks ready to go... Don't you worry!

  2. Aww what a sweet sweet post friend!! You are a doll and I am so so glad that we got to meet in person!! We need a follow up meet up super soon!!!! ❤️

    1. I'm so happy we did too! With your technological swag, I'm sure you'll invent a way to virtually appear in my living room by next week, so I'm not worried :)

  3. Loved this! It was such a fun week and I'm so glad we got a picture together! I'm not sure why didn't write about the time we were stuck in the Venetian area together playing poker and complaining about delayed flights. Lol! It was a pleasure meeting you and I'm so happy I can call you a friend!! :)

    1. Oh Natalie! You are the sweetest! I was so grateful for those precious moments with you at the very end of our trip! You are such a beauty, inside and out.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks friend! It was truly such an amazing time!

  5. It was so nice to meet you in Vegas even if it was just for a quick hello!! Love all of your pictures! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    ~Heather :)

    1. The feeling is mutual Heather! There were so many people, but I was thrilled to have found each other in the crowd! I hope to see you again soon!

  6. I am still reeling from Vegas! It was my first conference and I learned so much. What an awesome experience. I was hoping to find more teachers from New England. I came across your blog and discovered that you are also from Massachusetts. I'd love to get together some time and share ideas. You can read about my experience in Vegas on my blog. I am your newest follower. 123kteach

    1. Uhh!!! I wish I had met you! The good news is we aren't too far away, so it's still possible! Perhaps at the next New England Blogger Meet-Up?

  7. I LOVED meeting you in person!!! You are just as adorable in real life as you are online! And thanks for all your sweet words!!!

  8. You make my heart melt Hadar! Thank you for your encouragement and infinite willingness to help! I am so happy to call you a friend!

  9. I'm so glad I got to meet you, you little ray of sunshine!! This was a great post. :)
    Just a Primary Girl

    1. ALLLLLYYYYYY!!! You are such a doll and I just love meeting you! Thankfully you use periscope so I can see your beautiful face and hear your sweet voice as often as I want! #stillmissyouthough