Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BLoGHeR o9 ReCaP MaNiC'S VeRSioN

Due to the unexpected arrival of two sick kids, one with a fever, and of an eardrum that burst and bled (mine), and two days of vomiting and headaches (me), this BlogHer recap is a little bit late. But hey, I'm all good now, thanks to a change in my antibiotics, and my awesome mother-in-law who came to save the day because Mr. Manic is, you guessed it, out of town ...

Before BlogHer '10 comes rolling around, I give you: MANIC'S RECAP, with pictures I am a little bit not at all embarrassed to share here on my blog! ...

So, I guess I’m supposed to write up a blog post about my Blogher experience right? I am finally coming out of the fog of a fabulous weekend of much drinking, eating, partying, networking, playing and getting to know some awesome people I have known online and hadn’t met yet.

When I arrived Friday a.m. to the conference and found my way into the massive room for the opening address, I have to admit, I was freaked out! I felt small, intimidated, and just a little nervous. Thankfully, Melisa with one S, Weaselmomma, Mrs. 4444, Michelle at Honest & Truly and Cape Cod Sue (thank you for my awesome bracelet Sue!) had all saved me a spot so I didn’t have to walk in and be like, “Uh, hello 1,500 bloggers, where do I belong?” Thank you soooo much for making me feel like I belonged somewhere at that very intimidating moment!

Prior to that, I hooked up with my roomie, Dawn of Because I Said So, which makes me a rockstar in the first place cuz I got to sleep with her! ... But she was a bit hungover from the night before and had to get ready for her book signing. We planned on spending plenty of time together later though.

After the very scary initiation into BlogHer, everyone scattered to find seminars and hit the trade show floor. No seminar for me, I went to meet up with whoever I could find at the trade show, and ran into these guys:

Me and the All Fairy

mrs. potato head

Awesome suppliers were there to share their goods with the bloggers, including the AMAZING Suave people (more on them later), Green Works products (of which I do use all of the time), Tide (likewise, and I’m definitely NOT being paid to say any of this!), PepsiCo (did YOU know they make Izze drinks? Get the Clementine flavor, and although they do not advertise you mix it with vodka, try it, and you’ll thank me later!) There were some Laundry Fairies there, and let’s see … I met Paula Deen, even though I don’t watch the Food Network or cook, and even though I was eyein’ up this hottie who was with her (got my picture with him too—found out it’s Jamie, Paula’s hair stylist. I did have some of Paula’s butter bars, which were AMAZING. I wish I ate more of them. Tim Gunn was there too. Who’s Tim Gunn you ask? Beat the hell outta me, but here’s a picture. Later, found out he’s with some show called Project Runaway. I wondered if that’s a show for missing kids maybe?

Hands down best trade show booth was SUAVE! I went there with Dawn who had a scheduled appointment with the famous stylist Luke O’Connor, who styles Debra Messing’s and Julia Louise-Dreyfus’s locks, to name drop a few. Anyway, I didn’t have an appt cuz I don’t think that far in advance, but while I was hanging with Dawn as she was getting her hair done, the awesome chicks at Weber Shandwick who is the PR company for Suave, invited me to their soiree that night.

At lunchtime, Dawn and I parted ways and I got some grub courtesy of RAGU (check out that jar – it’s made completely from veggies!).

Ragu Jar made from real veggies!

I felt once again like a lost fish in the big old sea cuz I couldn’t find anyone I knew to have lunch with. Du, dee, duuu, I was twiddling my thumbs feeling very out of place. I don’t like feeling that way. Finally, others showed up and I relaxed a bit. Had lunch, and then Dawn and I decided we needed naps! It’s a conference for cryin’ out loud, of course we’re going to NAP!

Before I would have any idea that I would be riding shotgun the next day!

When I woke up from a glorious snooze, I said to Dawn, “THIS IS THE BEST CONFERENCE EVER!” And we got ready to roll out to the Suave party. I had NO idea what to expect because I didn’t even know I would hook an invite but we were taken on a trolley by lovely Kristin and lined up at a velvet rope at what appeared to be a nightclub. It’s like 5:30 pm and there are LOADS of people trying to get into this place, which turned out to be The Wit Hotel rooftop.

Dawn, Me, Megan from Mom Central ... Where's STACY??

It was stunning, beautiful, classy all rolled into one! Up on the top, we were plied with THE.MOST.AMAZING drink I’ve ever had (move over appletinis, there’s a new drink in town!) … the cucumber mojito. First off, I hate cucumbers and second of all, I could have sucked down 12 of them but probably only had 10! They were all of awesomeness in a drink glass!

Suave Party on top of the Wit

Suave Party on top of the Wit

The food rocked, the people rocked (shout out to Janna, Heather, Nancy of Shandwick; Megan and Stacy of Mom Central; Luke and Anna from Luke’s salon, oh, and also to Marlena the waitress who kept forcing me to drink all those luscious cocktails! We also hung out with AdviceMom Amy, Writer Mommy, Bargain Brianna, Andrea at Mommy Snacks and some other cool blog chicks! Yeah, I said blog chicks. And if I missed you, leave a comment so I can add your blog!

Cucumber Mojito

Dawn and Me

After the Suave bash, we went back to the hotel, and while the others decided they needed dinner, I decided I needed more parties! This is some of the stuff I encountered at the other parties.


Fun Toes - Check out all those colors!

I then forced Roadtripmommy upstairs where she met MaNiC MoMMy in full gear. Yep, I went there.


Loot I Gave away:

The parties were a blast -- thank you Momapop for the drink, unicorn cake, awesome music and Pop ROCKS! And thank YOU Kristen at Mommy Needs a Cocktail for the awesome organic vodka -- NO HANGOVER -- and chocolate galore, and yeah, I wanted to steal that swag named Mason!

And yeah, I rocked the wig and boa, Manic style. But come on, I may have made a slight fool of myself, but was I streaking through the hotel like Naked Jen? Now THAT’S a sure way to up your stats on your blog! Go Jen! Sorry to have missed you streaking through the hotel lobby, more than once, but Stiletto Mom got pics.

Next morning, Dawn and I went to some awesome seminars slept in and then went … Gosh, I can’t even remember where we went! I walked around, met some people, handed out some of the goodie packs I made, and then oh boy! Jessica Gottlieb was in the lobby and I don’t know how it happened but she GAVE ME A GUITAR HERO DS game! Out of the blue! Because she is just that cool and fun and nice. I am going to ask her if I may give it to one of you because I didn’t know at the time that my kids already own it, and I am putting together an incredible box of swag and fun stuff for one of you readers! Stay tuned!

Then it was lunchtime! More great food! Then we went to some more awesome seminars screwed around with some people in the lobby and out of 1,500 bloggers I end up talking to a girl WHO I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH! What are the freakin’ odds of that!

Then, it was time for Paula Deen, who, sorry to say, I don’t cook or watch Food Network, or shop frequently at WalMart so she wasn’t someone I had planned on stalking.

Paula Deen

But boy, can she make a mean gooey butter bar, which will be available in WalMart! These treats were amazing! Also amazing, her hairdresser – a cute guy at the conference – so of course, I HAD to get a picture with him! Thanks Jamie!

cute guy

Later Tim Gunn stopped by, and I got some pics of him. I guess he’s pretty famous, huh?

Tim Gunn

But the greatest part of the day was the ride in the wienermobile! There are ONLY six cars like this in the U S of A, and what are the odds that I would get to ride in it, SHOTGUN, and use the speaker to yell at people on the street, yelling, “I like big buns and I cannot lie!”

Wiener Hotdoggers, Dave and Laura:

Inside the Wiener:

Hotdogger (that’s what they call the wiener drivers) Dave was a little worried I would take over his job, and believe me, I seriously thought about it. Can you imagine my memoir: Manic Does the Wienermobile!

Hotdogger Dave:

Next up, it was time for my beauty parlor experience, where Anna recreated a look with my new BOY haircut. Yes, I look like a BOY! But here’s so you can see how bad it was.

Seriously, this is what I look like first thing in the morning. Ask Dawn


Anna doing my hair

Luke O'Connor, Me, Anna (After Photo)

Thank you Anna for showing me how to use my wrists to dry my hair, and for all the great Suave products! I do wish they would bring back the roll-on deodorant though, but I guess I’m old school and no one uses it anymore.

The Awesome Suave (Weber Shandwick) Girls

Later, it was time for more stimulating seminars naps in our comfy cozy Sheraton beds, and OH WAIT! I forgot we tried to find food. Keep in mind, Dawn and I are from the Chicagoland area. We’ve had deep dish pizza before. It’s good, but not that big of a deal to us since we can each go about 6 miles from our home at any given time to get some pizza. But that night, we wanted pizza. So we walked down the street and see a line crawling around the pizza building. TWO HOUR WAIT! We’re like, “WHAT?” But, we still wanted pizza so we go to the next Chicago pizza establishment and you guessed it, TWO HOURS. Third and fourth pizza joint, same scenario, so you know where we ended up on a night where neither of us had our nine combined kids or husbands with us?

We went to Chili’s.

Yep. I know.

We were starving, Chili’s was there. There was no wait. And you know how you can be disappointed when you end up at a place you didn’t think you’d be? Like there are a million fabulous places to eat in the city of Chicago and we end up at Chili’s … but, the burger bites and quesadilla, and the margaritas were perfect. So we ate then hightailed it back to the hotel, for you guessed it. A nap.

We woke up at 8:30 p.m. not feeling very motivated and feeling very blah from all the crappy eating. But, we motored up and headed to Poppy's 46th floor turkey roll-up bash!

Nighttime view of 46 Floor at Poppy's amazing party:
Boy, can I take a great picture or WHAT?!!?

There were incredible views and there was a pool and we could sit outside and there were some very fun bloggers there including Jill and DeeMarie

Me with Jill and Dee! (Jill I forgot your blog name, send to me!)

and Kristabella and her way cool friend Darcy with the underwear stories, and VodkaMom in all of her glittery glory! And of course, my pals Susie Sunshine, Martha McGyver, SnarkyMommy, Jen Lancaster were all there too and I got to meet Stiletto Mom and Mommy Needs a Cocktail who ALL completely ROCK! And it was fun and not too crazy and just what the doctor ordered after two days of informative blogging seminars naps and eating and hanging out with other cool people.

However, Dawn and I were spent, so we left a little after 11:30 and on our way out of the lobby, there’s this hot guy going upstairs, and I look at him and ask, “Do you have any gum?” He looked at me kinda whacky (and NO I WAS NOT WEARING MY MANIC WIG!) and then said, “No.” I said, “Do you want a piece?”

Turns out I find out later on Twitter that I was attempting to flirt with Chris Mann who is a singer from LA and an apparently good one so you should check him out!

We tried to go to the Cheeseburgher Bash, but by then, security had already come and eaten all the burgers busted the party. Heard it was a great one though, albeit a "little CHEESY!" Ha, couldn't resist!

Next morning we don’t get up till around 10 and Dawn needs coffee so we shower and go up to the Starbucks Recovery Breakfast at 11:30. We are the LAST and ONLY ones there. But it paid off big time. Even though we didn’t get to say goodbye to some awesome bloggers, Isabel at Alphamom was packing everything up and since she’s from NY and cannot possibly take cases of wine back with her on the plane, we helped her out. Talk about some SWAG! And I also got a million Starbucks straws and a carton of napkins, some serving trays that are really cool, some wine bins, and just stuff Isabel couldn’t get on a plane. I hoped it was helpful to her and that I didn’t look like a greedy pig, because some of this stuff I am handing off to you!

Swag Dawn and I brought home:

Daytime View from 32 floor of the Sheraton:

That’s right! I received so much stuff that I’m going to put together a surprise package for one of you readers. It will include so much stuff I can’t even tell you right now. Really, because I am upstairs in my bed and too lazy to go downstairs to unpack it all to tell you what you can win. But there’s some cool stuff in this goody pack from many of the awesome suppliers and sponsors at BlogHer and I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU!

If you’re a Paula Deen fan, you’ll be getting an autographed bag from her in this prize pack, along with my purple boa and a tiara, kid’s stuff, mom stuff, girl stuff, a DS game, a Sprouts CD, a frame, a Potato Head, treats galore and much more stuff!!!

So stay tuned later this week and I’ll have more info and details on how you can win!

And sadly, one of the most important things that were missing at BlogHer: MY BBFF! Just wasn't quite the same without you there girlfriend! Xo


sarah said...

I REALLY love that awesome picture from the roof deck. All of my picks of that building are just that one floor of lights, too.

So nice to have met you @ BlogHer!

Michelle said...

Oh and such fun was had. As for that dinner on Friday -- you or Dawn should have CALLED me. There are so many good places not too far from there where you could have gone. Chilis? I'm still stuck on that :)

LOVE the cake picture, and glad you put it in. You rock. And I was REALLY crabby that night, wasn't I? Turns out I had PMS the last two days of BlogHer. Who knew?

Judy said...

Woman, you're hilarious! Did you try the pretty pony cake? It looks gross, but I need to know if the cake part was lavender. That's my guess. Cucumber mojitos sound delicious.

xxxx said...

Wahhhhhh!!! The whole time I was reading I was like, wait, I'M your conference-seminar-workshop sleepover buddy!!! OK, so 2010, Big Apple, let's do it up SWISHY-MANIC STYLE! (Translation: Find some poop reps for me to make out with ... ha ha ha.) And I am SO JEALOUS of the SWAG!!!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Swish--I didn't get the really good swag, like the vibrator, crocs, cameras! HAHAH

ANd regarding the cake, Juey, I was THISCLOSE to cutting it myself, but restrained. Later, I heard the cake tasted like unicorn ass, well, at least the bottom half!hahah

And Michelle--we went to chili's saturday night and we totally mentioned you at dinner cuz you knew the good places when you and dawn went out Wed night!

Sarah, my camera is not too good!

DeeMarie said...

Once again, so great meeting you. I'm so jealous of your Wienermobile trip!! That looked like a blast. :) Hope you're feeling better!!!!

Gina said...

it looks like a great time. one of these years I'll make it there...

I love mojitos and now I want to try a cucumber one.

As Cape Cod Turns said...

I can't get over the fact that you fit NAPS into your weekend! Maybe I wouldn't be so tired days later if I had thought of that!
And you got to ride in the Wienermobile?! I thought I was lucky getting a tshirt! Damn!
And you are welcome for the bracelet. It was truly an honor meeting you and I am already planning for next year (complete with naps of course!).

Kristabella said...

So good to see you and hang out with you at Poppy's party!

Good times!

noexcuses said...

OMG!!!! What an incredible weekend! I guess I really missed out big time! I am totally jealous of the fun stuff you got to do and the fun stuff you brought home. Would have loved to meet Paula, too!

Next year for sure!

justme said...

i love paual and i love BUTTER .....i want a butter bar

Poppy Buxom said...

OMG you are cracking me up! Especially your remarks about your photography--and the whole Chris Mann encounter.

Dawn said...

I had a blast with you! Naps, sleeping in, eating, drinking, networking. Yep, perfect conference!

It isn't Project Runaway, it's Project Runway, you doof. I don't watch tv and even I know that!

That was so funny when you were riding "shotbun" in the wienermobile. I almost peed my pants when you sang, "I like big buns and I cannot lie" to all of Chicagoland!

Hey, Chili's was fine. I was tired of eating fancy schmancy food and just wanted a stupid cheeseburger or pizza by then. It's all good. Besides the homeless guy got to have our quesadillas. If we'd gone to a fancy schmancy place, we wouldn't have had any left-over food to give him. :)

(I'm finding it kinda funny that my word verification is "prego")

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Dawn, DUH I KNOW IT'S NOT RUNAWAY!!! but you're the only one who caught it! LOL!

Poppy - you need to have more parties! Loved it!

No excuses -- your name says it all, there will be no excuses if you don't go next year!!

Manic Mommy said...

Damnit I am so mad we didn't get together for a drink and a picture. I think I took about four the whole weekend! Next year I'll be a virgin no more and know what to expect! Glad you had fun (and got your rest!)

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Other Manic Mommy--I think I was by the microspa or whatever they call it and someone told me you had just been there but I missed you. Of course, it could have been they were talking about the Manic Mommies as well. So confusing! Sorry we didn't get to meet! Sounds like Dad did a good job with the kiddos though! LOL

Jessica Gottlieb said...

I would love for you to do a giveaway. But tell me first so I can be *le pimp* and let everyone know where to win it.

(or you could just give it to a friend, but my way is more fun)

Andrea @ said...

It was SO GREAT meeting you!

The Suave party was the highlight of the weekend for me...seriously I am so glad to have met you! Another cool blog chic (I like that) I am now blessed to know!! :)

Susie Sunshine said...

As always, I had SUCH a great time with you! Next time let's stalk Chris (the)Mann together. (He'd make a GREAT cabana/lawnmower/pool boy!)

The Stiletto Mom said...

I am so glad I got to meet you!!! And I am in AWE of the amount of swag you scored! I thought my two fed ex boxes were impressive, you totally win.

Mrs4444 said...

Glad you had a blast. I did not get any special invitations to special VIP parties--shows how cool YOU are! Loved my mints-Thank you :) I just shipped my BlogHer Swag Giveaway package this afternoon to the lucky winner-it was fun, and the giveaway helped a great cause, too (Bright Pink). Hope to see you again at another blogging bash! :)

Suburban Kamikaze said...

You really got around... But more importantly, did you get the recipe for the cucumber mojito? There's still time for one last deck party before we have to break out our winter tiaras.


MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I looked up the recipe online. Also found one with pineapple! How've you been SK?