Viva Las Vegas!!! TPT Conference Adventures

July 13, 2015

True story: I got lost in the Venetian.

I stayed in a different hotel than the Teachers Pay Teachers conference, and after filling my brain to the brim on Thursday, I got lost. I had no idea how to get out of there. It was NOT my finest moment. (I didn’t actually sit down in once place and cry and wait for someone to rescue me, but I was tempted.)

After I got in bed that night, I started getting really down. I kept thinking to myself, “What am I doing here???” I’m a really small seller on TPT and I just was not seeing how I could possibly live up to all the awesomeness I was seeing in the sessions! Once I got over my self-imposed pity party, I thought about what I might say to one of my students.

I think I would say something like, “You, my friend, are here to LEARN. That means you aren’t supposed to know it all before you get here! The best you can do is try.”

Once I could turn off that negative part of my brain, I reminded myself that some sellers are in a really different place, and that’s ok! We all have to start somewhere. And all that matters is that I’m ready to start!

It was a lot easier for me to enjoy the rest of my trip once I got over myself and my own mental blocks about what I should be doing! It was better to take an open-minded learning stance and soak in every minute that I could. And then I started actually having a ton of fun!

If you managed to stick with my story, I’d love to share a few highlights of the trip with you! And no, getting lost in a giant resort hotel would not be considered a highlight!

Thanks to Jessica and Melissa from The Elementary Entourage, I’m linking up with the Viva Las Vegas Linky Party!


I met so many amazing people in Vegas. I feel especially grateful that I got to hang out with Mercedes from Surfing to Success a TON! We really got to know each other and had a great time learning together. I also met Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, which was like meeting a celebrity for me. I tried not to sound like a goober when I talked to her. It was also great to meet Melissa from Wild About Fifth Grade, Deb from Crafting Connections, Emily from I Love My Classroom, and Stephanie from Falling Into First. I also met Chandra from Powerpoint Gaming and Kelly from An Apple for the Teacher. PLUS (I told you it was a great week!) I got to hang out with lots of my Colorado girls – Sara, Cecelia, and Kristen to name a few! I know there’s more that I’m forgetting. I couldn’t be happier to have met all of these awesome people that will no doubt make me a better teacher. 🙂


First and foremost, I learned that I have a lot of work to do!! I got tips on how to be a better blogger, how to create amazing resources for my buyers and how to be myself even when it’s really, really hard. Watching Adam Freed during the keynote speech actually got me a little misty eyed! It is amazing to see what kind of a company TPT really is and what kind of a community it fosters.

Not to mention I attended amazing sessions with people like Erin from Lovin’ Lit, Stephanie from Falling Into First and Lindsay from Beyond the Worksheet. It was so inspiring to hear from sellers and to think about how I can apply their ideas into my own blogging and creating.


It was so fun to win an awesome t-shirt from Watson Works Edu (those girls are so funny and sweet!), a fabulous bunch of clip art from Glitter Meets Glue Designs AND I even got to do a little sightseeing when the conference was over, thanks to my hubby who flew out on Friday night. 🙂


It is worth noting that I am a country mouse, through and through. I live in a rural area, and while Denver isn’t THAT far away, I usually prefer to hang out in less city-like places. I don’t catch cabs regularly, or walk through crowded streets. I like my wide open spaces. I live in a very quiet area and I like it that way!

But in Vegas? You need to be a city mouse, people. I know it’s way out there in the desert, but I really had to dig deep and find my inner city girl. Once I did that? Things seemed to go more smoothly and I enjoyed myself!! In fact, I am REALLY glad I got to go.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store as I start collaborating with new friends, applying what I learned and remembering that sometimes you have to dig deep to find your inner strength!

Make sure you head over the The Elementary Entourage for the Viva Las Vegas linky party and see what else was going on in Vegas this past week!

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  • Reply Ms. O July 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I totally could understand getting lost inside a building. I've done it. And getting lost OUTSIDE a building? Done that, also. Complete lack of a sense of direction has been the bane of my existence for years. And has surely stopped me from trying new places and new experiences. 😛

  • Reply Tammy Danley July 14, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Nichole, Your post totally echoed how I was feeling! I wish we had met up sooner, we could have gotten lost together. 🙂 Being in Vegas by myself took a lot of courage and I am so glad I did it. I left with a HUGE to do list and a renewed sense of purpose and drive. Thank you for sharing your story. It helped me to know I wasn't the only one. It was nice to meet you on Friday at lunch. I'm a 4th and 5th grade teacher, so if you'd like to collaborate on a blog hop, giveaway, or linky party at some point, please let me know I'm looking for a "Tribe" (I didn't attend that session, but it's the new buzzword.) 🙂
    Literacy Loves Company

  • Reply Lynn (CampingTeacher) July 15, 2015 at 2:23 am

    I won one of the bright yellow neon shirts too! And yes! It is easy to get lost in that hotel! We looked at the map more times than I care to admit!

  • Reply everything just so July 15, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    The resorts are enormous, and I truly believed designed to keep people in… so don't feel too badly! 🙂 I'm glad you made it to the conference and wish we would have met!

  • Reply Lisa Prins July 16, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Nicole! I love how in an uncertain, unfamiliar time you were able to put yourself in your teacher shoes and think what you would tell your students in that situation. Isn't it funny how we can sound so wise when we are in our classrooms or in front of a whole group of students, yet we need to be reminded of the same things in our own personal life from time to time! It was so great to meet you and I look forward to working together in the near future! 🙂
    Lisa (Hookster's Ideas)

  • Reply Nala Shaver July 17, 2015 at 4:44 am

    It sounds like you had a GREAT time! I can't wait to go next year. 🙂
    I can totally relate to being overwhelmed in a big city- especially Vegas! I have been lost in many of those hotels. I'm glad you found your way!

  • Reply Melissa O'Bryan July 20, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I can relate, I have the world's worst sense of direction ever!!! And I'm so glad we got to meet and hang out. I can't wait to collablorate more with you this year!

    Wild About Fifth

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