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So I am going to have to break the epic experience that was Blogger Bash up into a few different posts. I definitely want to review the hotel we stayed in and tell you about how we used up the little downtime that we had during our time in New York City. I know many of you followed along on the adventures as I posted on Instagram – there are a bunch of pics over there if you care to peruse.
Last Thursday and Friday held the very first annual Blogger Bash – a conference for bloggers to connect with brands, learn more about digital influence and just have a FUN time. As you might imagine, many of us “bloggers” come from everywhere and anywhere. We have audiences big and small. We blog about an array of topics. Some are hobby bloggers, fitting blog posts into spare time. Others have a full-time job blogging and earn income from this work. Bring these men and women together and you’ve got a building full of creative and entrepreneurial people who are excited to finally interact IN PERSON and not from behind a computer screen!
Before I go any further, I must warn you about two things:
1. Something came over me the second I walked in the door of the very first party. I became a selfie-MANIAC. I took pictures of MYSELF with every food, toy, person that I encountered. I came back to my hotel and as I flipped through my pics, I LOL’d at just how many seflies I managed to take.
2. Bob is a baby-wearin’, kid-wrangling rockstar of a husband. I really wanted to bring the fam to NYC with me b/c we had time to sightsee before the conference and on Friday night there was a big family party that I could take them to. Lily is always begging me to come to work events and here was one that she could finally attend. While I was at various Blogger Bash events, Bob took the kids ALL OVER the city solo. They trekked to Central Park, visited some popular stores, found a hole-in-the-wall pizza shop, bought me some rainbow colored roses to surprise me with when I returned. He made sure each kid ate, the baby napped and they managed to have a great time in the process. I am so thankful that he was happy to keep them occupied because we managed to have a great weekend away with a lot of family time!
Enough with the disclaimers – let’s talk BASH! We left for NYC on Wednesday night after Bob got home from work. We managed to escape any inkling of traffic and made it to our hotel right off of Times Square within 2 hours.
Sweet Suite 2014
Our very first event during Blogger Bash was billed as the “Biggest Night of Play” it lived up to its reputation!
As you might imagine, I rarely have much occasion to ditch my sweatpants or jeans and get all dolled up. But I decided to take the plunge for Blogger Bash and even managed to have fun looking a good bit fancier than usual. For Sweet Suite I wore a new peach colored maxi dress with a jean jacket (both from Kohl’s). The only reason I mention this outfit was because Lily’s reaction when she saw me was both cute and hilarious. “MOM. OHMYGOSH. You look like TAYLOR SWIFT!!! That’s just like a dress she would wear.” And while I don’t know about that, I do know that her excitement gave me a smile that lasted all night long. So with my new dress and one of my many Origami Owl lockets, I was ready to go.
I walked to and from Blogger Bash as it was only a .5 mile walk from my hotel. Even better was the fact that the weather was unseasonably cool for NYC in July. It felt more like fall which was fantastic.
Upon gaining entry to Sweet Suite, I got to make my name badge compliments of the Crayola Badge Creation Station.
I got to wander around talking to reps from SO MANY of my family’s very very favorite toy brands, as well as some brands that were brand new to me. They were each ready to show off some of their most popular toys, along with some of their brand new toys (many of which I know are going to be the IT toys of the holiday season).
LeapFrog, for example, is ready to hit it out of the ballpark with their new LeapBand and LeapTV.
I was introduced to Elf Magic – think Elf on the Shelf but with a few big differences. This toy encourages children to pick it up and play, the aforementioned counterpart. Yes, that is me, taking a selfie, with a giant elf.
Ahhhhhhh Rooibee Red Tea! I love this stuff. I especially love their Peach flavor, followed by a close runner up, Watermelon Mint. Yep, might as well take a selfie with a bottle of iced tea.
Checking out the line of adorable dress-up clothing from Just Pretend Kids was such a highlight. Look for a gorgeous ELSA-inspired dress coming this fall and if you have a small child in the family you will definitely want to check out their party in a box.
I didn’t just take a selfie at this booth… I let them dress me up and THEN I snapped the pic!
The fall line-up of toys from Just Play Toys is looking incredible. Disney fans, Care Bear fans and more will be thrilled with all of the great toys coming to a store near them. Cheer Bear was pretty much my favorite Care Bear when I was little, so posing with him was a given!
It was yet another selfie, this time with my Zipz Wine before heading back to the hotel for the night. A group of friends and I walked together and had a pretty awesome view of the Empire State Building as we went along.
Friday morning came sooner than I would have liked – I was BEAT from all the walking and chatting on Thursday night! I got a later start back to Blogger Bash, taking my time to get ready for the Media Panel and then Babypalooza.
Because he really does rock, after some sightseeing out the window, Bob took Landon down to our hotel lobby and grabbed me a nice big Sbux brew while I took a quick shower.
Shortly after that, I was off once again. I arrived at Blogger Bash just in time to sit in on a great media panel where I got to listen to some extremely influential women – Ciaran Blumenfeld (Hashtracking.com, Momfluential), Deborah Mitchell (Deborah Mitchell Media Associates), Samantha Meiler (NickMom), and Samantha Murphy Kelly (Mashable).
Speed Dating with Brands was next and it was exactly what it sounds like! There were a couple dozen brands in one room – we picked the ones we wanted to connect with, waited our turn and had ourselves a little convo! I made a beeline for some of our family’s favorites, including Step2, Go-Go Squeeze and Faber Castell.
Lunch was served and it was served by … Johnny Rockets! We ate sandwiches and got to watch a ketchup artist in action. Towards the end, we enjoyed some milkshakes with our choice of various toppings. And yes. Another selfie. With a milkshake. OMG. LOL.
I managed to squeeze in a little more time with vendors and spent some time with my best blog pal Steph who blogs at Confessions of a Stay-At-Home-Mom.
My final event that afternoon was the 2nd annual Babypalooza. Imagine some of the most renowned baby product brands IN ONE ROOM. Having a 9 month old myself, it was AWESOME to get to walk around the room and check out new and favorite products from companies like Joovy, Britax, Delta, JJCole, Boon and more.
Now. As if that wasn’t enough excitement. We had an extremely illustrious guest speaker as part of Babypalooza… world famous photographer Anne Geddes. Listening to her speak was inspiring and lovely. I had the opportunity to talk to her very briefly as she signed a book for me. AMAZING!!
That’s going to do it for my first post. After Babypalooza there were a couple more events but I opted to head back to my hotel to get the fam so we could all walk together to the finale party. Stay tuned for a recap on the KidzVuz Back to School Bash which ended our lineup of fun in NYC.
Remember how I told you that Bob took the kids all over the city? Here is just one of the many pics he sent me – LOL – seems he got into the selfies as well!