How’s that for a title? I mean, I did finally choose paint colors while at the conference so. Ha! These words are going to come out of my mouth…I really enjoyed attending the NAPO conference. That’s not to say I was expecting to dislike it. For me it’s more the fact I’m such an introvert. Being around lots and lots of people for days in a row can be draining. In all my years of being an organizer and NAPO member, this was my first ever conference.
Ok so, you guys know I live, breathe and sleep organizing. And I rarely ever get away on an actual vacation or relaxing trip. So the idea of paying to fly across the country to live, breathe and sleep organizing?…and actually, not really sleep because of the 3 hour time difference?…no relaxing or down time? I LOVE my industry and adore my peers (so much talent and diversity!)…I won’t groan on and on. But you get what I’m saying.
I have always wanted to go. The conference is usually in the spring, which is a busy season for organizing. But when I really thought about it, we never have a down season for organizing. No matter the season, there’s projects to do. I need to make the time to attend.
Soooooo, the reason I went this year – well, there’s 3 reasons – but one is because I was nominated for an award by a group of women I admire tremendously. To not be there was not ok with me. I knew I wouldn’t win…and spolier alert…I didn’t. But for the work they did on the application. It was over the top touching and heartfelt and genuine and I HAD TO BE THERE. Win or lose. One day I may share what they wrote. Point is, I had to be there and I loved every second of losing. LOL!
The other reasons for attending? I’m now a CPO® and wanted to be there with my new CPO® community AND I have never been to the conference. I wanted to experience one.
I had my badge pulled together and then my friend Lauren suggested I add this…
YES! The roots!
In case you’re wondering, Golden Circle means I’ve been a member for 5+ years. I think almost 10 at this point.
Anyway, turns out, the conference was awesome. I didn’t manage to get in as much conference session time as I was hoping and never made it to breakfast (it was at 7am each morning!) because I was tired and unable to fall asleep until 2am east coast time every night. But I still ended up having very full days and met SO many amazing people I had been communicating with from a distance all these years…or new people who were admirers of my work and would approach me.
I have a few organizers I want to share with you who are now very special friends of mine. And an awesome restaurant if you ever find yourself in Baltimore.
This little foursome had the best night. Emily is going to be my new best friend – she doesn’t know that yet. (Tables have turned…I’ll now be stalking her) She had been a long time follower of the IG feed. On my way there, I posted a photo to IG stories from the plane. She responded that she was attending and looked forward to meeting me. There was about 400 people there I think…somehow, she found me. Walked right up and the rest is history.
She has a team of 11 organizers on her CT team and 1 organizer in Ohio. LOTS to talk about. Seriously the sweetest woman and absolutely LOVED getting to know her. Super fun too! She located this quiet, new French restaurant and was going with a small group. She invited me to join…so instead of going to dinner with my SF friends, which I did the night prior, I branched out to join them.
Sue used to work for her but has now branched off into her own business. Darla is based in Philadelphia.
Between the great conversation about their summers or trips to Paris, sharing our getting started stories, talking about the conference…drinking a lot of wine…we had an amazing time. But the restaurant itself. We couldn’t get over it. There was NO ONE there. And didn’t understand why. It’s completely hidden with no signage out front. LOVE places like that. So well hidden that we actually couldn’t find it. But when we did…were so happy to be there. It was peaceful, quiet, the staff was attentive and lovely. It was truly magic to be there nearly alone. We were next to the kitchen so we could watch them cooking and prepping. Just amazing.
At the end of the night Darla asked if we could talk to the manager…their story is amazing. The restaurant is called LoCal. Lo for Laura his girlfriend and Cal for him, his name is Calvin. He went to French Culinary school and worked under a French chef for a long time. Just opened this little place together ALL WHILE doing non-profit work as well.
You must visit to eat! It’s French / American / Soul…
I want Laura to be my other new best friend.
Loved talking to them…they were warm and open with their story and wish them all the best! It’s one of those spots you want to blow up, but also stay small so you have your quiet romantic place to eat – hidden gem.
After dinner we ended up in the hotel bar. I won’t tell you how late…or how many drinks…or what we drank. But all of the SF gals were there too…among others. Just a fun night all around. Tough to get up the next morning.
One of my favorite sessions was presented by one of my favorite paper organizing gurus. She is magic you guys! When I say run to her website or podcast now, I mean it! Lisa Woodruff has it nailed when it comes to clearing paper off your surfaces, especially the kitchen counter. Her presentation was full of research and it all made so much sense. America is addicted to paper and we will never be paperless.
I’m going to be talking more about this topic and her methodology because for 100% sure I’ll be taking her certification course so I can help families – and YOU – get your paper issues under control. Photos? Not my thing (for now … I know, never say never). Paper? I can get behind it with her system. And offer it to clients. AND have team members get certified as well so they can work directly with clients too.
So much great info. Love her!…
Also spent a fair amount of time with another organizer I’ve chatted with from a distance forever – Kathy Vines. This one is a riot! SO fun and funny. We also got a photo together…need to find it!
I wore a dress for the awards ceremony…
And then promptly changed before catching my taxi to the airport…
In general, the conference ping pongs the US every other year. Hoping next year it’s closer to the West Coast. They are announcing the city soon. But pretty sure I’ll be there again next year. I can come out of my little introvert hole at least 1x per year, right?
I’ll share more off and on as pictures come in. The conference has another day but I had to head back early because….I’M MOVING! Lots going on back home.
This morning I sent my painter the final colors and he’s starting right away. He plans to be done by end of day Sunday – wow! I will definitely be at the house throughout the weekend getting updates and photos. Very exciting to see this first wave of improvements unfold. Going to be light bright and beautiful. FULL of only positive, warm, loving, happy energy.
My kids are VERY excited. Every day my 17 year old asks when we are officially living there. I’m bracing myself for the coming week. It’s been weighing on me knowing just how physically taxing it’s going to be – especially when I’m already tired, drained and kind of an emotional wreck. But my goal is to push through it and get as settled as possible by the end of the week. So that we can have Mother’s Day together at the house.
We’ve been in transition for many weeks and it’s been hard on all fronts. I can not wait to just have them to myself…in our house…and do special things with them. Even if that means me cooking things they love and us just hanging out at the house on Mother’s Day. Just us 4.
I’ll share updates throughout the week. My team is going to help with unpacking…and lots of friends have asked how they can help. I’m like…bring a box cutter and grab a couple boxes to unpack. THAT’S how you can help! lol!
My painter is there all weekend and we officially walk through, get keys, etc on Sunday, I think. Monday I’m boxing up a few remaining spaces and my mover shows up bright and early on Tuesday to load the truck. I’ve done ALL the packing. All they need to do is disassemble furniture or wrap / load items and grab boxes that have been sitting in bedrooms or the garage. Not sure when we unload…Tuesday or Wednesday…but the back end of the week is going to be a crusher for sure.
Deep breaths. And hopefully THIS IS our last move for a very long time.
Ok…I did say paint colors, didn’t I?
I decided to go with White Dove for the primary bedroom walls with Chantilly Lace for the trim. Looks like this:
For the kid’s rooms, Classic Gray with Swiss Coffee trim…
My home office is my standard Swiss Coffee for the walls and trim – just a different sheen for the trim.
Plenty of other spaces to be painted – all in time. The furniture I purchased is being delivered Monday morning. Still need to locate a couch and a kitchen table / chairs. Hoping for next week … we’ll see. Need something before Mother’s Day. Otherwise we have stadium chairs, camping chairs or the outdoor sectional – LOL!
Back soon with more guys – hope you’re well!