3rd Annual Smokies Retreat!

Good Evening! 

I would like to give a great big thanks to Jill for having me at the 3rd Annual Smokies Nail Retreat! It was an absolute joy to be able to come and experience and teach some fun new things. Being at the retreat was not only a wonderful getaway but a chance to absorb new personalities, gain new friends, and catch up with loved ones. 

I’m very thankful to Jill Wright for hosting such a wonderful event for us to come together for our great passion for nails. The educators were absolutely phenomenal!

Jill Wright

Mary Ellon Ballance is an absolutely extraordinary gel nail technician capable of solving any issue and getting things done in a breeze. Erin Casper Vars is a powerhouse of nail art and imagination combined into one, cresting stellar pieces we can only dream of making. Paula Nichol Davies is an industry veteran who has tirelessly worked through and through gaining insight and knowledge to test even the seasoned professional. Michele Baker is a tantalizing spicy spirit who has the knowledge that no one can buy. She has graced many competitions and has won lots of countries prizes, her education is something we all should listen to as there is always something new from her mind. Rounding out the lineup is Renee Griffin Westmoreland, a beautiful soul of delight and southern charm that will make your feet feel 20 years younger. She is a notable foot specialist that many can say is an expert.

Clockwise from top right, Paula Nichols Davies, Michelle Baker, Erin Casper-Vars, Mary Ellon Ballance, Renee Griffin Westmoreland

Meeting all of the wonderful attendees was always amazing. Lots of new faces came and I tried to chat with as many people as I could. Before I start my shoutouts I want to personally recognize Rachael Schumm and Lanessa Hubbard. Rachael was an absolute delight and her energy was giving me so much that I just wanted more and more.I love when people make an impression on me because I just want to bask in their amazingness and just tell them over and over they are the decent human I want the world to be. Lanessa is a no holds barred kind of woman, carefree and seemingly oblivious of her natural good nature and high education. When talking to her I just wanted to grab a pedestal and say this is yours my dear. She is bright, laid back, but extremely wise.

What I like about the retreats and excursions I go on when I teach is that I learn alot from the people around me. Very seldom do I take away “class knowledge” because I can repeat things in my head and say “got it” and then don’t want to do it. Or if a course is taught that I don’t perform in my salon then my mind goes somewhere else. So my attention span is very small. But I realize this. So I highly enjoy meeting people and hearing their story, and these two people really stuck out to me on a huge level. I wish I had more time with everyone else but I distracted myself with frivolous nonsense, which is unrelated to the event itself. But needless to say, I still really enjoyed meeting all of the attendees there, and I am very glad I was chosen to be there “high” of the weekend. However, if you ask me, I enjoyed watching each educator really add their spark and be in their element giving out their wisdom.

Something notable I want to add is that I had the pleasure of getting to know Jill Wright a little more and personal. We were out scouring the town finding pizza for dinner, when I got the opportunity to take a personal tour through the Tennessee mountains. Through Jill’s guide i saw many beautiful scenic places and a few chickens we thought were delightful. But it was the conversations we had that brought us down to the same playing field and i got to experience the non-nail tech side of her, which is really interesting. Now if you want to know what those things are, you can message her. But I never share conversations, that is just weird. However, I will say she is invited to the BBQ hunny!

Overall, I will say I highly enjoyed myself and I hope a 4th invite is in order as I always love teaching, helping, and spreading my good knowledge. I have to give Jill a hand, she was the first person who ever invited me directly to teach a class so I take that as a big compliment. But before I go. I have to tell you what my cat did. Because he came along with me on the trip and he will never do that again.

So my little kitten caboodle tagged along on the trip and the entire time I thought he never went to the restroom. I checked his litter box and it was just as dry and clump free as it could be. In my mind, I was seriously wondering how this could be, as we have been here for three days. Needless to say, it was not until the last day that I was packing up that I noticed he had peed all in my suitcase this entire time, on all my dirty clothes. When I get to my hotel I take everything out and lay them out and use my luggage as a hamper, easy right? But no, he soiled so much and I never could smell it. I was so frustrated as cat pee is just different from other animals.

However, this is not where it ends, because my luck with hotels just never goes right. I still had to find his poo. Where could that be? Well, his poo was nowhere to be found and I searched high and low. So I pack up the car and when everything is inside I bring the cat last and then quickly turn in the room keys, I come back and he is pooping on the floor of the car, halfway in the litter box and halfway out. And it is a wet struggle of a poo. I mean he was grunting, and I am thinking, ‘were you holding it in, this whole time?” So after going through a painfully pushing experience he moves and I am left to clean up the after math. Yay…

I was very excited to get him home, and he is no longer invited on trips…Mainly, because he scratches at everything and I do not want to pay extra for him ruining furniture, nor soiling the whole room. Just not worth it when he is much better off at home. But all in all, i had a fabulous trip and I hope everyone else enjoyed themselves as well. Also, huge thank you for reading my blogs, I don’t write often so i am glad you all are enjoying what i have to say. Until next time I will see you later sweets!

Thanks so much Christa!

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