My head is still buzzing with big ideas and small details from Alt Summit. (like the vintage light bulbs above that were part of the Friday Night Mini-Party decorations). I’ve actually made a little list so I can remember my favorite parts.

But before I get to the list, I want to share a quote from the Huff Post write up about the conference: “Whether you are a newbie or an old pro, the environment is supportive and encouraging; more about camaraderie and esprit de corps then competition (the message is clear: this new lifestyle community is no place for mean girls).”

That sums it up for me so well! If you attended, I hope you feel the same way.

Some of my favorite things about the Alt Summit 2012:

– It was wonderful to work with my family. Each year, my brothers and sisters and inlaws come together to put on the conference. They help out in a dozen different ways — running microphones, transporting gift boxes, driving attendees to the airport. I feel like my family especially shines when we’re working hard on a project.

– I loved getting to introduce the Keynote Panel featuring Pilar Guzman, Editor in Chief of Martha Stewart Living (and the founder of Cookie), Deborah Needleman, Editor in Chief of The Wall Street Journal Magazine (and the founder of Domino), and Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Editor in Chief of Apartment Therapy. I could have listened to them talk for hours — and I know attendees felt the same way.

– Diner en Blanc. Attendees were intimidated about what to wear to this dressed-in-white party, but I’m so glad people joined in. The effect was magical!

– Hearing Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest, speak. The crowd got a bit emotional as we gave him a standing ovation. It was a remarkable talk.

– Hosting a Chinese New Year party with the Kirtsy Girls. I love any opportunity I get to be with Laurie, Laura and Sarah! Also, I love fortune cookies! And I was completely geeking out about the custom wallpaper from HP Wall Art. (I think I need to do a whole post on it, because it is awesome.)

– Meeting Anya, Project Runway Winner. Friends. She is gorgeous! And she couldn’t be more gracious — she even signed a photograph for my kids. I brought a suitcase full of Reeses and Sour Patch Kids back to France, but the kids were by far the most excited about Anya’s photo. Thank you for bringing Anya, HP!

– Getting to spend time with keynote speaker, Gretchen Rubin. I was really struck when she was talking about work life balance and said she had stopped trying to achieve it. Instead, she tries to think like this: “If I cram my life full of the things I love, there is no room for the things I don’t love.” Put that on a poster and I will buy it.

– This year, The Grand America left their holiday twinkle lights up and the grounds were stunning. Also, the food was amazing this year. High five to the Grand America cooking staff!

– We had 3 official photographers working the event this year, Brooke Dennis, Justin Hackworth and Moss & Isaac. Go take a look at the photos. They did an outstanding job. Plus, they’re really cool people and fun to hang out with! (The images on this post were shot by them at the conference.)

– Coming home with a stack of business cards. I met so many wonderful people! Old friends and new. At Alt Summit, I always wish there were 3 of me, so I could attend panels and have long conversations and handle attendee questions all at once. There are so many wonderful people to talk too!

– Most of all, it’s hugely satisfying to see the panels and programming I’ve been working on over the last year come to life.

Alt Summit is one of my happy places. Maybe I will see you there next year…