As a Blogger Bash Ambassador I was compensated for my involvement prior to, during, and after Blogger Bash. Regardless of compensation my passion for this event has run deep for 3 years now and I would absolutely highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. The opinions below are my own.
It was a whirlwind of a few days last week, and it’s hard to believe it’s all over! It is amazing how many powerful connections were made within such a short amount of time, relationships with fellow influencers as well as sponsors were established. Most of all seeing the amount of effort, attention to detail, and all of the moving parts that went into hosting a successful event of such a caliber in such a unique setting was astonishing!
While there will be several other recaps in store to summarize all of Blogger Bash, here are some of our top take aways from this year’s event. You can definitely say that everyone Rocked That Boat!
Embrace Yourself & Go Forth With Confidence
I was so honored to be styled by Jude Connally. The time and consideration that their stylist spent to actually pick pieces that were tailored to my personality. That is a feat within itself, I cannot stand to go shopping for myself because I get so overwhelmed and usually don’t think I look great in anything.
Within the very instant I slipped on one of Jude’s dresses, I felt beautiful. The colors alone made me smile when they were in the box, I was squealing with delight as soon as I saw them on. I felt radiant, and was beaming!
The Jude Connally brand is inspired by real women. With a fit for every body type, every woman’s spirit will shine when wearing Jude Connally. Whether you are heading to the market or into a business meeting, you will feel your best! The line began as a dress collection and has evolved to include sportswear and separates, all made in a luxurious, easy-care fabric in bold and bright prints.
Proudly made in the USA, each and every garment is wash and dry, no dry cleaning necessary. Like literally, you could roll them into a ball, shove them in your purse, take them out, shake them out and then put them on with no wrinkles at all!
My Big Bonus was in that moment I still felt beautiful on that very hot and humid day. While we met with Jude and her team, we got to see her in action and watch her work with each of us individually.
While we were in the thick of hustle and bustle I exclaimed that I had to pull my hair back and didn’t think it was doing the dress any justice, Mike said “Jude wears her hair back, you can rock it back too.” So I did!
My statement jewelry from One Savvy Mother also helped to accentuate how beautiful I felt. I received so many compliments on both of the necklaces that I wore. I was happy to let everyone know that they were from One Savvy Mother.
Lara is beyond talented in curating these incredibly on-trend eco-friendly accessories. The mint color of my Terra necklace by Zsiska was a perfect contrast to the navy of my Jude Connally Julie dress in Sail Geo Navy. On Thursday, the berry colors of the Bolas necklace also by Zsiska was a fantastic contrast to the light blue of the Rachel Dress from Jude Connally in Star Lattice Sky.
Preparation is Key
There are some things that you can prepare for ahead of time, here are a few things that I did not foresee, and was not prepared:
While you know that you will be at a conference, ON A BOAT, for 2 days, and you think you are prepared – chances are you aren’t! I was so thankful that the team was prepared, and Sea-Band was a sponsor that provided us with sea-bands. Thankfully I also did bring some backup of their Ginger Gum that I would often chew when I was pregnant with Abby. Actually, they make Sea-Band Mama for just that. I do not know if I would have survived without those trusty (sea-)bands!
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! I know that I did not, and I can say this in retrospect. I wish that I drank more water, I should have brought my refillable water bottle with me, and didn’t think to pack it. I was constantly on the go, and should have made it a point to drink more.
PROTECT your precious connections – meaning your PHONE! When your tempered glass cover breaks, don’t say “oh! I’ll be okay” chances are – you won’t! Then you’ll shatter your screen and you will spend half of a day in a dark depression because most places want $240 to fix your iPhone 6S Plus. I’m pretty sure had I already had a speck Candy Shell Clear with Glitter Case on my phone like the adorable glitter one that I received on Thursday – there may not have been a shattered screen. #truestory
Lyft is a god-send! I’m beyond thankful for the friends that suggested the use of this great service. I’ve never tried Uber and truth-be-told the concept kind of freaked me out. After having been a passenger with a friend using Lyft throughout the conference, on Friday I was so grateful of her sending an invite/credits to me to use. Feel free to use my affiliate link to receive $50 in Lyft Credits.
Kicking off the event set the tone. The #ShareYourCare Brunch was incredible, and not just the face time with my most favorite Care Bear of all time, Funshine Bear! Jessica Carscadden has been doing just that since 2012 when she founded We Care Bears.
All while cleaning her room, she realized that she could donate her stuffed animals to first-responders to give to children in emergency situations as a source of comfort. Today, We Care Bears, has donated over 3,000 bags of stuffed animals to first responders and other organizations that work with kids in unbearable situations all across the US.
With those aspirations of such a young girl to make a significant difference to those who need it most, it’s obvious that all of us can do a much better job about being kinder to those around us on any given day, especially those in need.
On a much smaller level, if you aren’t always the best about meeting new friends, or perhaps even nervous (yes, believe it or not – I am). Why not create an all-inclusive Buddy Bench!
We had a great time meeting new friends at the cocktail party Tuesday night, and we had a buddy bench! You never know, you could always make a new friend – and end up modeling – or get the best hugs.
You also never know who you may make friends with during a rousing game of Happy Salmon! Talk about an addictive, fast-paced, hysterical ice-breaker game!! We loved every single minute of it and could have continued to play forever.
Learning Through Imagination is Priceless
The moment that made all of my BBNYC16 Dreams Come True was at the Kate & Mim Mim Breakfast. Yes, while I was super excited and beyond happy to have met my favorite friend Mim Mim the night before, it was at the breakfast that I had to contain my excitement.
In the moments leading up to the breakfast, I was helping out and make sure that everything was set for the day. It was in that moment, that Jimmy Chang of Just Play Products introduced me to Julie & Scott Stewart at the Kate & Mim Mim Breakfast. That moment was the highlight of my entire conference experience, let alone year.
I was most looking forward to that portion of the event from the moment it was announced. Kate & Mim Mim is such a huge part of our every day routines with our daughter. As if we really needed an additional reason to love Disney. We watch it every single night before bed time, and have for the past 2 years.
Abby always reminds us of Kate with her spirited, anything is possible, boundless imagination. That is one of the qualities about her personality that we love most. My husband and I actually have frequently joked that Mimaloo is definitely a place that Abby’s imagination would visit often. This show actually helps us to prompt discussions with her when we see any challenges she may be facing or fears she may have, and reminds us that our playful and fun personalities can help her navigate through those times as well.
She has a big personality in such a little body. One of our favorite Kate quotes that sums up Abby’s thinking is “He showed Mim Mim and me, no matter how small you are, you can do BIG things if you try!” (when referring to her friend Tiny the ant that was able to make a big difference in Mimaloo).
You can imagine the child inside of me freaking out as I was able to meet, and speak with the creators of such a huge part of our lives! That 10-15 minutes that I spent with them was worth more to me than all the contacts of the entire conference.
Successful Event = Killer Behind The Scenes Planning & Execution
As an Ambassador, this year I was privy to a bit more than I’d typically be aware of. I signed up to work “shifts” during the event. I was able to be a part of the crew that helped sponsors set up for Sweet Suite – The Biggest Night of Play! While I may not have all the business cards, or have been able to get around to each sponsor during the event, I do know that we helped assemble display units, made sure they had all of their boxes, helped erect signs, and made sure they actually ate!
It may not sound glorious to some, but being able to play a very small role in helping sponsors, brands, and influencers make lasting connections that night was very rewarding. (Even if I did get stuck with Glover in the elevator after the event was over). I cannot even put into words the amount of work that Charlene, Laurie, Marissa, Ali, Maddie, and the ENTIRE team put into this event. There are no words!
In case you didn’t know, Charlene is an actual influencer just like us – you can find her at Charlene Chronicles, Clever Luxe, and Metro West Mamas. Prior to this event, she was already a walking spokesmodel for Jude Connally, a brand she already wore on a daily basis!
Laurie happens to be The Toy Insider Mom and owner of Adventure Publishing Group. Marissa and Ali are both senior editors at The Toy Insider. Maddie (#myfriendmaddie) is an associate editor, also at The Toy Insider.
We also cannot forget the rest of the team that worked so hard throughout the whole event; Jackie, Joe, Steven, Varuni, Bill, Stephanie, Melanie, Kristina, Paula, and Lori! (sadly I do not have an awesome photo of them, because they were too busy working so hard!!)