Ok. Before I begin, let's me preface this post with I KNOW. It's not about the swag. Believe me, I know. That's why the post about the people, the proverbial wind beneath my BlogHer wings, was first. But when I can get a few nice things for my son? Swag can be pretty sweet. Also, when you're currently a one-income family? Free food coupons are also rather nice. Plus, I like shiny things and candy, so there ya go.
Here's my suitcase, containing most of what I brought home. You won't see the coupons because they are already in my coupon organizer. Two of them have already been redeemed.
I left at least this much stuff in NYC with Kitty. Some of the toys were too old for Dean, so Kitty can give them to her nephew. I also left her all the craft supplies I got at the Martha party because I? Am not crafty. I also got 5 shirts, which are currently in the washer, 8 tote bags, most of which I took to the Swag Exchange with some other stuff I didn't need, and this:
Ok, enough of that, let's talk about PARTIES!!!!!!!! The lovely Shannan invited me to be her guest to the Braces.org Shine and Smile fashion show on Thursday. You've already seen my picture with our host, Jennie Garth. They had a super-fun photo booth where you could take pictures with giant toothbrushes. I took my pictures with Michelle, but they are somewhere in the middle of 9000 other pieces of paper right now, so you'll have to wait until I find them and scan them. In the meantime, here's Shannan and Amy rockin' the fake smiles. (Be sure to look at Amy's eyes!)
Fun times. After the show, I headed to the Martha Stewart Bloggers Night Out. I had the good fortune of meeting Alissa and Jen in the taxi line, so we shared a cab downtown. The party was originally supposed to be on the roof, but the weather looked threatening, so we moved inside to Martha's offices. It was CROWDED. The displays and stations were nice, but it was almost overwhelming with all the people and chaos. (Oddly, situations like that are usually where I thrive, but this one just gave me a headache.) I did have the most refreshing beverage of my life there, a nice creation involving honeydew and raspberries. And you couldn't beat the view.
Thursday evening was the People's Party, which was very low-key and informal. I had a big plate of food, a big Diet Pepsi and some nice conversation with Safire. (Isn't that the coolest name? She's a cool lady, too.) I called it a night fairly early so I'd have energy for Friday.
After the sessions and such ended on Friday, I met up with Jennie for a quick hello, then headed to the Voices of the Year Gala. Unfortunately, none of my pictures turned out. I would have had a better time at the Gala if I'd been there with a big group, but I was tired and not really feeling like a party, so I did a drive-by, then headed out.
Saturday was the best day for social events. Shannan, Kelby, Mel and I headed downtown for a lovely dinner with Tavern Direct. You'll be hearing lots more about this dinner later, as this company and their cause is very near and dear to my heart. Also, the food was insanely good. We all whipped out our cameras each time a new course was served.
Saturday evening held lots of good times for us, as the official BlogHer parties closed out the conference with big fun. Kudos to the good folks of BlogHer for opening these parties up to everyone since the spaces were big enough to accommodate all of us. First was Blogalicious. Let me tell you, these ladies know how to shake it. We danced our tails off to some fantastic music.
Next was Sparklecorn, the best party EVER. It was amazing. MamaPop sure knows how to throw a bash. There was this beauty, made by Charm City Cakes:
After Sparklecorn was CheeseburgHer:
Stay tuned...posts are still to come on the breakout sessions, the expo hall and all the stuff I did in NYC outside of BlogHer!