Just Like Meredith!

I’m back! And I know all you blog friends are dying to know about my dinner with Meredith! So I’ll get right to it.

Who is Meredith?
The story of Meredith is this. We’ve been blog friends for a few years, and we were finally able to meet this weekend in Nashville. Meredith has a very popular, practical blog called Like Merchant Ships. What attracted me to her blog was she wrote short, meaningful posts on frugality and hospitality. She also included photos – all from her point and shoot camera! So the suspense was killing me – the anticipation of meeting her and her lovely family.

A total surprise
I never thought I’d get a personal invite to her home for dinner. Never! Not only did she come with her 3 children to pick me up at the hotel – and after a very special time in her home and a delicious dinner - she drove me back to the hotel! That was a lot of driving for a mom of 3 (baby of 4 months!). Meredith in my mind is the Queen of Hospitality! Meredith, you rock!

Beautiful ham dinner and lovely side dishes, served buffet style

Bright, gorgeous table setting with fresh flowers

Kids keep it real
My favorite part of the night was when Meredith’s oldest son brought Legos to the dinner table. Why not? I could so care less. In my mind, this was real entertaining!

It’s all about connection
I was there for connection and getting to know Meredith and her family, as we took turns passing her darling baby around the table! (What is it about babies crying at dinnertime?) So when her 1st grade son got up to bus the dishes, and then to serve a scrumptious pineapple sorbet with fruit on top – I knew right then that we were true hospitality sisters! (He is in 1st grade!)

Mentors are important
Meredith spoke at Blissdom ’09. It was no surprise to me that her talk was a packed out audience. People wanted to hear her simple message. It was inspiring and relatable. This post reminds me of posts I have written in the past, where I have talked about the importance of having mentors.

Do you have a hospitality mentor?

I think if I lived in Nashville, I’d be looking up someone just like Meredith!

Success and balance
Oh, and one other inspiring talk at Bliss? Nester and Melissa talked about successful blogging, intertwining it with living a balanced life. I’m all about real, so I feel these ladies could have been the key-note speakers!

Roommate and friends
My roomies were so awesome! Not only were they witty and charming women, but also very talented, classy, humble – again true sisters (Emily, Nester and Melissa).

I was fortunate to meet so many beautiful women this last weekend, all of whom I consider very special new friends! And many who've I asked to be guest bloggers, to share about how they keep entertaining real in their homes! So stay tuned! (Emily, Rhoda, Jen, me, Melissa, Kimba and Nester)

(Addition! I also want to thank Kim, who in true Nashville-style, was very hospitable to all of us girls, driving us out to dinner Saturday night! She was another lovely new friend that I met!)


Donnetta said...

Oh Sandy, it looks like you had a fantastically wonderful and lovely time! I'm so excited for you that you had this opportunity!

Eager to hear from each and every one of them as your guest bloggers!!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Wished so much you lived closer, but so thankful that we had what little time we did have. :)

Sandy Toes said...

Oh..so glad you had such a wonderful time! I loved all the pictures! You look GREAT!
-sandy toe

Elizabeth G. said...

Oh, I followed Meredith's blog for some time now and I would love to meet her, too (and you!)!

Question: Is there any way for those of us who couldn't get to the conference you mentioned to purchase CD's or downloads of it?

Boy, the whole thing sounded great!

jenjen said...

How fun!!! It's so fun to meet dear blogger friends. I was able to meet one of my favorites this weekend too.

So happy for you!


Alli Worthington { @fussypants } said...

OH! That is just like Meredith. She is one of the best women in the world.

Thank you so much for coming to my party. I loved meeting you!

Hope I see ya again next year!

xoxo, alli

Nadine said...

What a great time you had. I'll have to go and check out Melissa's blog. What a lovely way to spend the evening.

Christine said...

Sounds like a fun time was had by all! What is Bliss? I have met up with a few blog friends and it is so much fun...new friends for life.

Amber@theRunaMuck said...

Just gorgeous! All of it.

Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home said...

Had so much fun meeting you at BlissDom and finding out we share a love of music! Looking forward to the upcoming guest posts too.

edie said...

It was so nice to meet you. You are beautiful and seem so genuinely affable and kind. I am so glad I went and will read your blog with a new sense of friendship!

OKGardners said...

Glad you had such a great weekend. Can't wait to see more posts from the others you mentioned.

Well .... I'm going to go sit on my curb by the mailbox to wait for my first EVER Barney Butter. Seriously, I am looking forward to tasting it.

Betty in Oklahoma

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Sandy, I know you had a great time at Meredith's table. She's so sweet & humble & real & we could all learn a thing or 2 from her.

You, my friend, are beautiful(inside & out) & I'm SO happy to finally meet you in person after meeting you 2 years ago when we both started blogging. I'd consider YOU my mentor with entertaining, as I'd love to do more of it & make it look as effortless as you do. xoxo

Amber said...

It looks like you ladies had so much fun! Glad you enjoyed your dinner with Meredith! I've never followed her blog...now I feel the need to check it out!

tidymom said...

Oh looks like you all had such a wonderful time!! I hope to go some day!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and of course, just holler if you need help with Twhirl - you didn't leave me your twitter id - be sure to follow me, and I'll follow you back!


Musings of a Housewife said...

It was a fabulous weekend, wasn't it!? I'm sorry we didn't get to meet. I enjoyed your recap! (And I agree, Meredith is a woman I can only aspire to be - she is so incredibly gracious.)

Susie from Bienvenue said...

The pleasure was all mine! I enjoyed getting to meet you even if it was just for a few minutes. I cant wait to dig deep into your blog and fill my head with all of your great ideas. I too feel as though I have found some great mentors. The place was full of them but when I stepped into yalls room I knew I had found mine. Its so wonderful how we can all lift each other up and give a helping hand. Im looking forward to getting to know you better and visiting longer next year!

Mod Girl said...

Oh! So glad to see that it was a wonderful trip!! Thank you for sharing!

Melanie said...

Fun to see your pictures!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

What fun, you are all beaming. Must have been quite a weekend. Girlfriends are the Best!

tidymom said...

ok, yes, 2 comments on one post from me! LOL

I've just spent time going thru your blog and I have to say WOW! I LOVE it!! HOW have I not "seen" it before? I'm so glad you found me!! I'm now subscribed to your blog!! - and don't forget to find me on Twitter!!


Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

Ah, I am so jealous:) I am reading about this fabulous weekend all over blog-land today and I am so regretting not going! Hopefully, Jaime and I will be able to make it next year... after all, we are just down the interstate from Nashville:)

Also, thought you might like to know... we are GIVING AWAY A FREE FRAME in celebration of our 1 year blogiversary! Come on by and enter to win:)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

WOW...it looks like you had a fantastic time!! The pictures are fantastic...you are all so beautiful:)


theArthurClan said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today ~ I really enjoyed meeting you at Blissdom too! It looks like you have a wonderful place on the 'net here. :)

co-founder of I ♥ Faces

LuLu said...

What a great weekend so glad you shared! What a wonderful group of women all in one place.... :)

Betsy said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! :)

Ms. Tee said...

It looks like you had such a wonderful weekend - and you all look so beautiful in the photos - Thanks for sharing your dinner w/Meredith, too! :)

Betts said...

I would have to say that you are my hospitality mentor. Keep the tips and stories coming. They inspire me.

An Accomplished Woman said...

You ladies were the bomb. Loved meeting you and I am totally going to order your husband's book. I would have so loved to invite you to my home and spent a great deal of time finding out about your fascinating family.

Kim said...

Thanks for the good words! You are too precious! I enjoyed dinner as well. Maybe we can do it again!

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

Too much fun! Wish I could have been there! :-)

Miss G said...

Sandy, of course we were all wanting to hear about dinner at Meredith's. I was thinking about all of you this weekend. So glad to hear everyone had a good time. Got your comment, yeah, let's talk. :) Kelly

laurel said...

So fun to see Meredith from your point of view. It is so weird when the blog world and the real world collide! :)

Anonymous said...

The blogger weekend sounds like it was a super hit!!! So glad you were able to be a part of this!

Thank you for coming by my little place!

Looking forward to hearing all the details of the weekend!


Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Great post with beautiful pics!

Darcy @ lwm3b said...

Looks like you had a great time. ;)

I'm seeing you in pics with all my favorite girls. I'm so sad to have missed you all... but so glad you had a nice time.

Chicago in July????

southerninspiration said...

Sandy, I have followed your blog for quite a long time, and am always encouraged to read what you have to say. YOU are a mentor to many, unbeknownst to you......thanks for being a true woman of God, hospitality offerer, and example setter! Did I just make up two words??? LOL!
thanks for sharing. I hope I'm with ya'll next year!!!


Michelle said...

Sandy so glad to meet cha and want to keep in touch. You're amazing and I would love you to guest on my blog to give hope to all of us non-martha stewart hostess types! Talkt o you soon!

Domestic Chicky said...

Sandy, you are such a beautiful and wonderfully kind person - it was an amazing pleasure to meet you! I can't wait til next year!

Kirstin said...

Looks like you had a blast! A few of you gals really look similar (C:

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Sounds like it was great! I would love to attend next year!