Alt Summit NYC 2013 – The Conference

(All photos in this post by Justin Hackworth, unless noted otherwise.)
The morning of the Alt NYC conference began early for me πŸ™‚ – a 7 am departure to arrive at the Martha Stewart building by 8 am, via the subway and a short cab ride for the last dash to the west side.  I was asked to be a co-host of the craft session that morning with Jenny Komenda (Little Green Notebook) and Vane Broussard (Brooklyn Bride)…two lovely Brooklyn women who will also be at my Natural Beauty Night tonight.  πŸ™‚

The three crafts were a Homemade Salt Scrub, a Friendship Bracelet, and a Family Needlepoint – all from the new book that just came out called Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids (which is a thick book chock full of ideas – it looks like a dream for any child.)  The Martha Stewart crafters were teaching and handling the supplies, so I played host and tried to get to know as many of the bloggers as I could.  There were many new bloggers there (they inspire me so much) and I tried to pass on some  tips.  It was such a fun morning.


(photo by Melissa Hope)

(photo by Melissa Hope)

(photo by Melissa Hope)

(photo by Melissa Hope)

Also – – (3) bloggers were chosen by Alt to go on the Martha Stewart radio channel with Darcy Miller (the Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings).  They chose Jenny, Vane and I.  Yes, this was super exciting – but I also wasn’t sure what would happen because I don’t write about weddings or crafts.  ha!  Luckily, with me,  Darcy wanted to speak about LOVE.  πŸ™‚  πŸ™‚  πŸ™‚

Here’s Darcy!  We got to chat a bit before the show.  

Darcy is as lovely and friendly as can be.  We were talking about love and soul mates…and guess what?  Martha set her up with her husband, one of the lawyers Martha had worked with.  Darcy wasn’t interested at first, but finally realized how wonderful he was.  She just seemed smitted with her husband and said she really did feel like he was her soul mate.  It was the sweetest thing ever to hear.  (Btw, you may remember Darcy’s amazing wedding featured in Martha Stewart years ago…here it is.  She was the most gorgeous bride and that wedding will make your jaw drop.)
(photo by Jenny Komenda)
Darcy had a little print-out about me and was taking notes for the show.  πŸ™‚  
 (photo by Jenny Komenda)

Here we are in the studio (below).  Each blogger had about 15 minutes of air time.  Darcy was really easy to talk with on the air.  She asked me what I thought about soul mates – and how to prepare to get married.  You can probably guess that I shared this: “don’t find a soulmate, become a soulmate“…in other words, don’t think that a wonderful spouse who falls into your life is automatically going to complete you and make you feel whole and lead to a magical, good, healthy relationship.  Beautiful relationships happen when two people have done the w-o-r-k to bring something of value to the table – they’ve prepared individually by building character, self-worth, and learning to be happy and at peace individually (these things come in handy later and really mean the world in a marriage, trust me! πŸ™‚
We also talked about HOW to make a shift in your life and I shared with her my thoughts about how powerful it is to learn to manage your energy (see this post).  πŸ™‚  And how the one thing you need to get started is DESIRE!!!  You really do need that driving force – because making any change is a very big deal.  She asked how to cultivate that desire…and I said – well, being your best self is the greatest offering of LOVE you could give your spouse, children, and the world.  I know that offering of love is what drives me every single day.  
The radio segment wasn’t recorded and so I have no idea how it all sounded…but all I know is the  producers in the room stopped and listened to me and knodded their heads while I was speaking on the air. ha! I was so glad to have them as a little audience. And after, the producer told me I was a natural.  Whew. I hope so! I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to share something.
And later…Martha…
 Martha came out to greet everyone at the conference and this is what happened…  πŸ™‚

 Loved the two keynotes – Grace Bonney of Design Sponge and Garance Dore.  

I loved seeing some blogger friends that I’ve gotten to know.  The conferences do feel like a little reunion in that way.  I just LOVE Grace Mitchell (from A Storied Style).  She is as lovely as can be.  Someone there said we could be sisters and that we had the same light.  Well, that made my day. 

(photo by Melissa Hope)

(photo by Melissa Hope)
And here we are at the end of an amazing day.  I felt really, really lucky to be there with Danny.  It’s so fun to work on this project with him and to have him be a part of it all. And, of course, seeing him across the room or sitting next to him – ok, and kissing him! – was the best thing ever. πŸ™‚  πŸ™‚


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  1. Meredith June 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Those three pictures of you and Danny are so incredibly sweet.
    You two are such an amazing inspiration.

  2. Utah Girl Am I June 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Mara, your hair is so pretty in these photos! And you DO exude a light, which I'm very grateful for. You're such a wonderful, positive example to everyone around you. Sending lots of love from DC! πŸ™‚

  3. alane June 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I have only been reading your blog for a few months now but I love it. Your honesty and love shine pretty bright. I can't think of a more fitting person to be at this summit than you! Loved seeing you there and the only thing better would have been to hear you on the radion. SHINE ON, girl, SHINE ON!!

  4. k8te June 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    loved this post. it was so nice meeting you at alt…i totally searched your blog for curly hair tips yesterday πŸ˜‰ you give off such a great vibe, i was so impressed at how new you are to blogging but how confident you are!

  5. Kim June 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I LOVE your red dress! Where did it come from???

  6. Haeley Giambalvo June 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Mara, it was fun to get an inside peek into your radio experience. I'm thrilled for you and hope it leads to lots of new opportunities! Also I had the chance to meet Grace Mitchell for the first time in NYC. I was excited to meet another Texas blogger (now that I will be a Texan as of next week). The fact that you think so highly of her means I will definitely have to reach out to her once I'm there!

  7. dervla @ the curator June 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara, it was so amazing to meet you at Alt. Looking forward to reading every single post on your blog now πŸ™‚ You did look radiant at Alt.

  8. She Inspires June 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Mara, What an awesome recap!! By the way you look stunning in RED girl!! I don't think we got a chance to meet at ALT, but I am definitely following along with you now!!:)

  9. Grace from June 26, 2013 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Oh Mara, you are so kind! It thrilled me to hear that, too! It is always truly a pleasure to see you…and Danny. Can't wait to hug your neck again – hope it will be soon! xoxo, Grace

  10. LouLou in Paris June 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara, this post made me so happy! You look so fresh and lovely (and stunning in that dress!) How amazing it must have been to be in the presence of so many wonderful women (swoon Garance DorΓ© and Martha!) It seems like you had a really great time at the summit, go you! Lou xx

  11. Kate Sullivan Corpuz June 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I started reading your blog about one week before AltNYC & at some point during that busy, inspiring day, I noticed you across the room. I never did have a chance to say hi πŸ™ If I did, I would have told you that your blog is heartfelt & lovely. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, especially on the infertility front, because it makes a difference!

    always, koru kate

  12. Meghan Silva July 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Totally new to your blog , this was an awesome read , love the pics and it looks like it was an amazing time.

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