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RECAP: Snowflake Soiree 2017!

Hello Wisconsin Winter!  We just had our third annual Midwest Teacher Blogger/TpT Meet Up and it was awesome!  You may remember, we had it during the summer the past two years, but we decided to change it up.  Summers are so busy for teachers as we try to pack everything in that we can't do during the year, so we thought moving the meet up to the winter was a better idea.  We wanted to have something to look forward to in the cold, Wisconsin winters.  And that's when the Midwest Snowflake Soiree came to be.

Angela from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade and Jessica from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten, along with Paige from Our Elementary Lives, Amber from Mrs. Unger's Unbelievable Elementary Experiences, Brian from Wise Guys: Creativity for the Modern Classroom and Meg from The Teacher Studio hosted the third annual meet up for midwest bloggers and TpT authors.
The planning committee in front of our photo booth. 
Left to right, Brian, Amber, Paige, Jessica, Meg & Angela
This year it was held in the Wisconsin Dells at the Crystal Room at Buffalo Phil's Pizza & Grille.   With plenty of space and a great group of bloggers/TpTers, this meet up was the best one yet!  We got to reconnect with everyone we have met at the last meet ups and we got to collaborate in sessions to improve our businesses.   With over 35 participants, there were many familiar faces and some new faces as well.
Here's the awesome banner with the Platinum Sponsors: 
Here's a little recap of our awesome day!  We started the morning with a mimosa bar and a meet and greet!  We got to say hi to our friends and introduce ourselves to people we hadn't met yet.
Here's the welcome table. 
And the welcome committee! 
 Once we got our name tags and our swag bags full of some fabulous swag, we found a seat and started to mingle.

The swag bags included gifts from The Essential Teacher, A Perfect Blend, Seat Sack, Teachers pay Teachers, Whimsy Clips, The Sparkle Bazaar, A+ Images, Planbook, Kindergarten Rocks, Our Elementary Lives, The Teacher Studio, Smartphone Marketing School,  and ABCs with Mrs. B.  
During our mingle time, we could get a mimosa, complete a post-it holder craft and put our name in as a raffle for the giveaways.
Here are some people crafting. 
 Table #1 of giveaways. 
 Table #2 of giveaways.  
 Let the meet up begin!
 After introductions, we started our first breakout session.  The sessions were based on ways to improve our businesses.  From Pinterest, to Facebook and collaborating to product creation, so many ideas were shared by all.  Everyone left with a list a mile long of things they wanted to do to better their businesses.

In between sessions, we got to eat lunch and enjoyed more time to connect and socialize.  And can I just say, the food was delicious.  That potato soup with bacon was seriously fabulous, am I right?  The service and hospitality from Buffalo Phil's was also wonderful!
Take a look at the center pieces made by Amber.  She did a great job with the decorations.  And thanks to her mom for having all the snowflake decor!
After several more breakout sessions, we got together in groups to do a product review/TpT store feedback.  Here we gave each other ideas and suggestions on a product or on our overall store look.  I think this was the best part of the day.  So many great suggestions were given to make our businesses even better!

At the end of the day, the giveaways were announced.  We each had 5 tickets with our names on them and we could put them in any giveaway bag we wanted.  Then names were chosen and giveaways were announced.

Here are the winners:
 Amazon Gift Cards from Wise Guys, Teaching in the Tongass
So there you have it!  It was a fabulous day as always and we can't wait until next year.  Can we have one in the summer too?
Here's the whole group.

Again, we loved hosting this annual event and cannot wait to see everyone again.  We hope to see you next year!


5 Places to Stay While At the Snowflake Soiree

Need a place to stay while you're at the Midwest Snowflake Soiree?  The Wisconsin Dells are the “Waterpark Capital of the World!”  Now you’re probably thinking, how is that going to help me in January?  Well, there are a ton of options for INDOOR waterparks too!

Whether you’re coming with your girlfriends or bringing your family, there are a lot of options of places to stay in the Wisconsin Dells.  
Here are some of our recommendations:

1. GREAT WOLF LODGE

The Great Wolf Lodge is the closest hotel to Buffalo Phil’s.  It is within walking distance.  It is great for the family and your stay includes water park passes.  I took my 3 year old there just this fall and he loved it.  It is not too big and has good options for younger kids.  There are several different waterpark areas as well as an arcade and spa.  The rooms were nice and the restaurant options were great.  It had everything we needed for our night stay and my son cannot stop talking about it.  He is really excited to go back there again while I am at the meet up.  

Click HERE to book your room.  Make sure to check out special offers by clicking HERE!

2. KALAHARI RESORTS  

The Kalahari is one of the more popular indoor waterpark hotels in the Dells.  It is located across the street from the area where Buffalo Phil’s is, so it is another close option.  This hotel is quite a bit bigger than Great Wolf Lodge, but another great option for families.  It has several waterpark areas geared towards different ages and an indoor theme park with a ropes course and arcade.  There is also a swim up bar, perfect for relaxing with your blogging friends.  Your hotel room includes water park passes.  

Click HERE to book your room.

3. WILDERNESS HOTEL

The Wilderness is “America’s largest waterpark resort.”  Just a 5-minute drive from Buffalo Phil’s, this is another great indoor waterpark hotel option.  It has several waterpark options, as well as indoor mini-golf, laser tag, kids park and arcade.

*Please note that the Wilderness as a 2-night minimum this weekend.

Click HERE to book your room.

If you just come with your girlfriends and want a regular hotel room, there are some great options for that as well.

4. HILTON GARDEN INN

Just a 10-minute drive from Buffalo Phil's, this hotel is ranked #3 on TripAdvisor. This Hilton Garden Inn has a pool, fitness room and restaurant.

Click HERE to book your room.  

5. HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS

The Holiday Inn Express is in the "heart of the waterpark capital of the world." Also a 10-minute drive from Buffalo Phil's, this is a cheaper option.

Click HERE to book your room.

As you can see, there are a lot of great hotel options in the Dells.  Whether you want to bring your family or just hang with your friends, there is a place for you.  

If you're looking for things to do while in the dells, check out this post: 10 Things to do in the Wisconsin Dells in the Winter. 

We can't wait to see you!



Top 10 Things to Do In Wisconsin Dells in the Winter

Are you coming to the Midwest Regional Teacher Blogger/TpT Meet Up and wondering, "What in the world is there to do in the middle of Wisconsin?! And in the dead of winter???" If you live in Wisconsin, you probably already know about "The Dells," but if you're not from around here, let us tell you... it is quite the touristy destination!

Thinking about bringing your family with you? Check out these amazing things you can do!

1. BUFFALO PHIL'S

The meet up will be taking place in the Crystal Room at Buffalo Phil's, but did you know that the restaurant is a popular destination as well? If you're lucky, you can sit at a table where a train delivers your food! My kids get such a kick out of that!

2. KNUCKLEHEADS

Attached to Buffalo Phil's is Knuckleheads, which is an indoor amusement park for "kids" of all ages! There are games, rides, ropes course, go karts, bowling, and an indoor trampoline park! Your family can stay and play all day

3. OUTLETS AT THE DELLS

Want to do a little shopping? Across the parking lot of Buffalo Phil's/Knuckleheads is the Outlets at the Dells. With over 50 shops and restaurants, you are guaranteed to find tons of great bargains!

4. INDOOR WATER PARKS

No trip to The Dells is complete without a stop at an indoor water park! There are SO many to choose from, but the big ones are The Wilderness, The KalahariGreat Wolf Lodge, and Mount Olympus. You can buy day tickets to The Wilderness and The Kalahari even if you're not staying there, but you must be staying at Great Wolf Lodge if you want to swim there. And the good news about Great Wolf Lodge is that it's maybe 1/4 of a mile from our meet up venue, Buffalo Phil's!

5. INDOOR THEME PART AT THE KALAHARI

Similar to Knuckleheads, the Kalahari also has an indoor theme park. In addition to games, they also have bowling, go karts, a ferris wheel, laser tag, ropes course, and a climbing wall.

6. EXPLORE DOWNTOWN DELLS

The original part of the Dells has so many shops and activities as well. Get an old time photo taken, grab some fudge, mine for gems, go to Ripley's Believe or Not or Wizard Quest... The possibilities are endless!

7. PALACE THEATER

Want to see a live show? Grab a few of your blogging buddies and head to Girls Night: The Musical. It will be playing at the Palace Theater the weekend we are in the Dells.

8. WINERY TOURS

Love me some wine! And of course, there is plenty to be had in the Dells. Fawn Creek is just a few miles north of downtown Dells. I can personally attest to their raspberry wine :) A bit further away is Baraboo Bluff Winery, Rock n Wool Winery, and Wollersheim.

9. SKIING, SNOWBOARDING, TUBING, ETC.

There are two ski hills within 30 minutes of the Dells. Christmas Mountain is the closest; however, Cascade Mountain is larger.

10.  HO-CHUNK CASINO

Feeling lucky? Just a few miles outside of the Dells on the way to Baraboo is Ho-Chunk casino, where you can try your hand at slots, poker, black jack, craps, roulette, and baccarat (if that's your thing).


WOW, there is so much to do in Wisconsin Dells, and that's just for the winter. Can you imagine how hopping the town is in the summer?! I feel like we'd even need an extra day or two, just to fit it all in. If you were on the fence about joining us, we hope that after reading this list, we've convinced you that The Dells is the place to be in the middle of winter!




2017 Midwest Teacher Blogger Meet Up

We are so excited to announce first annual Snowflake Soiree: the Midwest Regional Teacher Blogger Meet Up! Please join Jessica from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten, Angela from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade, and so many others to meet, connect, collaborate, and grow your business with other bloggers and TpT authors!
We previously held this event as a meet up for Wisconsin teacher bloggers, but this year we want to make our event even bigger and more inclusive to other bloggers in the region. The Snowflake Soiree will take place on Saturday, January 21st, 2017 at The Crystal Room at Buffalo Phil's Grille in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Buffalo Phil's is conveniently located just off I-90/94, right next to Great Wolf Lodge and the outlet mall.

The Plan

The Crystal Room is located at the lower level of Buffalo Phil's Grille. The event will be two-fold; the perfect mix of business and socializing! From 10:00am to 4:00pm, we will have time to meet and mingle, lunch, and then the focus of the afternoon will be to share and collaborate on business tips, tricks and strategies related to your blog and Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Then in the evening, we will have a casual social event for people to network and chit chat. There will also be giveaways, raffles, and swag galore throughout the entire day! If you want to see the fun we had last year, click here!

To register for the event, please CLICK HERE!

Wisconsin Dells is popular tourist destination in Wisconsin, about 3 hours from Chicago and 3.5 hours from Minneapolis. Feel free to bring along your family, as there is SO much to do in the area: indoor water parks and theme parks, shopping, etc.  OR, make it a fun weekend to get together with your blog besties!

Please RSVP by December 31, 2016 so we can make sure we have enough goodies for everyone! Our space is limited, so make sure you sign up right away.

We can't WAIT to see you in January!


WI Teacher Blogger Meet Up 2016 Recap

Summer, glorious summer. If you are reading this, I hope that you have TRIED to relax and recharge from all those long hours put in at school and prepping/planning at home. But I know if you are like most teachers, your mind never strays too far from the classroom. (I see all your dollar spot pics on IG!) I think its in our blood to just live and breathe teaching most of the time.  We love to collaborate, and teacher bloggers are no different! Just over a week ago teacher bloggers from all over WI (and the Midwest!) jumped at the opportunity to meet and collaborate.
Angela from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade, Paige from Our Elementary Lives, and I hosted the 2nd annual meet up for Wisconsin bloggers and TpT authors. This year was all about reconnecting with people we met last year and making new connections.  We were thrilled that over 30 amazing bloggers/TpTers came out to join us for food, collaboration, and fun!

Here's a little recap of our fun filled day! We met up at this adorable little restaurant in Madison, WI called Erin's Snug Irish Pub. And I have to say the food and service was FABULOUS! 


Okay seriously how cute are those cookies? Almost too cute to eat! (I say *almost* because I may have devoured one...or two) 


First up, time to mingle and chat for our attendees while we got everything set up, including these amazing swag bags for everyone that came!




Then it was time to get our craft on! Everyone received a clipboard and decorated them with washi tape, ribbon and sharpies for a unique and practical gift to take back to their classroom.



Next up we enjoyed lunch and played a name that font game with fonts from the fabulous Kimberly Geswein.  Along with all the fun and socializing, we wanted to make sure the event was full of collaboration and learning. We decided to hold round table discussions so that not only our discussion leaders could share their expertise, but also to give the opportunity for our attendees to share their ideas and tips on various topics. It was so awesome to have conversations and collaborate with our peers!

Throughout all of the chit chat we stopped for these awesome giveaways.  We are so grateful to all of these generous donors for supporting teachers!

  SDEPlanbookThe Wright StuffClassroom Friendly SuppliesL Paull Designs for AllSit Spots

Between the swag bags and giveaways everyone left a winner! It was truly AMAZING to see all the support for our event!

But we weren't done yet! The hghlight of our event was our video chat Q & A with Nicole from Teachers Pay Teachers. She was so fabulous to take time out of her Saturday to talk with all of us. Just another example of why TpT is so amazing!
 And of course they surprised 3 of our lucky attendees with gift cards! Thanks TpT!

And we ended the day with more chatting and a big group photo with these adorable shirts that A+ images generously donated for our entire group!

We really loved hosting this event again to bring so many phenomenal people together. This is going to continue to be an annual event, but we have BIG plans for next year (with a few changes too). So stay tuned! We sure hope to see you there!!

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