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Last week was like a blur. A good kind of blur. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker event in New York City along with other bloggers from around the country and the BHG editors. Can I just tell you, the event was beyond my expectations. Never in a million years did I think two years ago when I started our blog, that I would be sitting in a room with the Editor in Chief along with the home, decorating, food, beauty and fashion editors of BHG two years later. As I was driving to NYC for the event, I had a moment where I thought, “what in the world is going on, am I really going to a Better Homes and Gardens event?” In my little world, it’s a big deal. Eight years ago I left Corporate America, my only job out of college and became a mom. I had no clue what a blog even was until two years ago. Little did I know that this o’l blog was about to change my life.
I left early last Wednesday morning and drove to NYC from Boston. Many of these pictures were taken with my phone so they are not top quality but you’ll get the idea. I have referenced Avi Gerver Photography for the professional photographs shared by Better Homes and Gardens.
After a surprisingly easy ride, I arrived three hours later at the Eventi Hotel where the stylemaker event was taking place the following day. Many of us stayed at the Eventi and others stayed at neighboring hotels.
Avi Gerver Photography
Blogging is a funny thing. Some of my good friends, I have met through blogging. Stacy, from Not Just a Housewife (below left) and I ended up sharing a room together by accident and what a wonderful accident it was! She is one of the sweetest and kindest bloggers on the planet. We shared some serious laughs that is for sure. Laura, from Finding Home (bottom middle) is from New York and she drove in for the day for the event. I met her recently at the Haven Conference and we have become great friends. She recently coordinated the “Finding Fall Home Tour” that took place last week and man she rocked it! Sorry Laura, had to put a “plug” in for you. *wink
It was so nice to hang out with these guys for a couple days. We all chat via email, facebook and instagram but seeing and meeting each other in person is really the fun part.
Here, we checked in and registered for the event. Kaelin (left) was our main contact and coordinated much of the event. I think she is probably breathing a sigh of relief that it is over and probably partied like a rockstar when all was said and done.
The event started with a warm welcome from the Better Homes and Garden’s team along with the daily schedule of events. We each attended several workshops varying from “how to work with a magazine”, “designing and decorating a holiday tablescape with Eddie Ross”, “Trending DIY ideas and projects” and a variety of interactive round tables with individual editors. So. Much. Fun!
The fabulous Eddie Ross shared with us his tips and secrets on designing a holiday tablescape.
I had some fun with the instagram filters on the below tablescape. Kind of cool right? I love the idea of a fun candy dish centered on a plate.
Isn’t Eddie the cutest ever!?
Later that night, we got ready for the StyleMaker cocktail party and 5 million bobby pins later, Stacy got her “up-do” in place and a selfie she loved :).
They had a fun photo booth available and lets just say, we all had a little bit of fun with oh, five or six photo ops.
Avi Gerver Photography
Towards the end of the night, we were all a little goofy…….
Avi Gerver Photography
When I got home I shared these pictures with my family and my grandfather said, “who are all these people?” I told him it was a workshop and party with Better Homes and Gardens and he said, “how come I didn’t get to go?” Sorry gramps, maybe next time. hehe
It’s not every day you get your photo taken with Gayle Butler, the Editor in Chief and President of Better Homes and Gardens, Jim Carr. Ya know what I mean? Us blogger chics were pretty happy :).
The panel discussion moderated by Maxwell Ryan from Apartment Therapy was super informative and fun.
One thing is for sure, BHG didn’t mess around with the swag.
We each received two enormous bags filled with goodies, treats, gift cards, books and the cutest notepads on the planet! I. LOVE. Swag.
Oh and did I mention food yet?
The next morning, we all toured the NYC Meredith office and wow, I kind of want to work there. You know when you visit a place and it’s really cool, the people are smiling for real, not faking it and you get a good vibe, well that was the feeling that I got. This place is really quite amazing.
After an insane cab ride, we arrived really early for our tour.
We toured the Better Show studio, control room and green room.
This kitchen, which is the taste kitchen for BHG, Rachel Ray, Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle, is the most amazing thing I have ever seen as far as kitchens go. They all collaborate, cook and work together inside this enormous kitchen. I think the food bloggers were probably in heaven. Seriously, hanging out in this kitchen cutting celery all day would be really cool. Maybe just one day though of the celery thing :).
Nancy, the Senior Deputy Food Editor gave us the low down on everything and I concluded, she loves this kitchen and the people who work in it! ha.
Can you guess what we are doing? Our (me and Stacy) feet are relaxing at the end of the day and we are giggling and chatting it up like little school girls sharing notes and reminiscing about the fun and excitement from the day. One thing I know for sure, besides being really thankful to have been invited, the Better Homes and Gardens team really “like” each other and their hospitality and kindness spilled over to each and every one of us times 10. Thank you so much Better Homes and Gardens for a wonderful two days!