BBNYC 2016 – Tuesday Kickoff

bbnyc cocktail party

The first event of Blogger Bash was the cocktail party on Tuesday evening at the Yotel. While I can be a very energetic person, a little known fact is that I often get nervous when meeting new people.

best-friendsTypically one of the first things I get nervous about is how I look. This year that was different. Thanks to Jude Connally and her team I looked and felt beautiful. I was excited to wear the Lucy dress in Moroccan Trellis Berry.

That morning before coming into the city, Lana and I had an abbreviated morning of beauty with a mani pedi and a trip to the salon to be sure our nails & hair looked their best for the event. I cannot say that the heat and humidity did anything to keep my hair looking fabulous though.

Glover came and picked us up since we were the halfway point into the city and we enjoyed some awesome throwbacks to the 90s. We played some great carpool karaoke and we will say that Glover definitely hit the high note in the tunnel, she “whitney’d” that song. #SheWasAChoirGirl

View from Yotel NYC

After getting into the city with Glover, Lana and I walked to our hotel. We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express – Midtown West. On the walk, I dropped my phone and shattered my screen. We’ll just say I was not happy about that and definitely sulked about it for quite some time. We checked in, and got settled. We relaxed for a little bit, then got dressed and ready to meet Glover back at the Yotel.

First we stopped in Steph’s room, and she has an amazing view! We grabbed a table outside to have a bite to eat before the cocktail party started, and it worked out perfectly because we were able to stay through to the event. We enjoyed some great appetizers and much needed beverages.


Once the rest of the dining guests left, we claimed the “buddy bench” and were chatting with new and old friends. The private party next to us had beer pong tables and kept on loosing their ping pong balls. While I have never played beer pong (true story, not even once) I did make a killer ball girl. We also learned that sometimes “you just gotta go through some bushes.” #SerengetiInTheCity


The team started checking attendees in and completely coordinated in their outfits, although it was not planned according to #MyFriendMaddie. Everyone was having a great time, we caught up with old friends and even made new ones. We got to see some of our sponsor friends that we haven’t seen in a while and catch up with them as well.


We then called it a night, got back to our hotel, and went to bed early so that we would be ready to start the day tomorrow. I was looking forward to meeting Jude Connally and her team and then to head to the Share Your Care – Care Bears Brunch.

Jenn GaffneyBBNYC 2016 – Tuesday Kickoff
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Landline As A Lifeline? 3 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Summer

The information below was provided to me by Ooma and I am sharing it with my readers because I believe in the value a landline provides for our family and yours. Thoughts and opinions expressed below are my own.

Could a Landline Be Your Lifeline?

Ooma Telo & Handset Landline

Picture this:  It’s the end of July—smack in the middle of summer.  Your kids are at home with a caretaker while you toil away at your 9 to 5.  Then, disaster strikes.  There’s an emergency at home, and your kids have to call 911 for help.

Are your children calling from a cell phone or a landline?  And does it make any difference?  Surprisingly, the answer is yes.  According to the latest data, if you don’t have a landline in your home, it could be putting your children in grave danger.

DispatcherHere’s a shocking fact:  According to an investigation by the USA Today, the chances of 911 dispatchers being able to find you based on your cell phone’s GPS can be as low as 10% in some parts of the country.  With a significant share of cell phone-to-911 calls being placed from within residences—and 45% of Americans opting out of landline coverage at home—countless people are left vulnerable in emergencies.  The question then becomes not why you should have a landline in the home, but why haven’t you gotten one yet?



In the spirit of keeping you and your family safe, I recently partnered with Ooma leading Internet home phone service with reliable E911 technology—to deliver three tips for keeping your home safe this summer in addition to owning a landline. Be sure to follow Ooma on Facebook and Twitter for more tips for safety and savings.

Ooma System Landline

3 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Summer


Whether it’s for a small scrape or something far worse, it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit handy.  People who call 911 from their cell phone are often surprised at how long emergency workers take to arrive on scene.  According to the recent 911 Emergency Response Study, more than one in five cell phone callers feel it takes too long—that’s seven times higher than for people who call from a landline.  If you’re often in situations when only a cell phone is available, consider keeping a first aid kit nearby.


Make sure that no matter where you are, it’s easy for the people around you to call your emergency contacts. Consider posting your own number, as well as first response numbers, on your fridge so your kids know how to reach you and your family, family members who live close by, or the authorities.  Post the name and number of a trusted friend or neighbor, too.  With Ooma’s home phone system, up to three of these contacts can be notified by text message automatically when a 911 call is placed.  In situations when every second counts, this reliable Internet-based technology could save tens of thousands of lives.


Educate your kids about the sights, smells, and sounds of danger.  If they hear a smoke alarm or see an appliance overheating, advise your children to get outside as quickly as possible.  Planning an exit strategy is key to getting a safe distance away from the house so you can alert a neighbor and have them call the fire department.  Consider making a detailed fire plan with multiple escape routes and keeping a printed copy of your fire plan on visible walls around your house.

For many people, money is understandably a legitimate concern—but when it comes down to it, we really can’t put a price on ensuring that the people we love are safe.  Luckily, first aid kits are both lightweight and budget-friendly, while the price of a secure Ooma landline pays for itself in just three months and costs less than a Netflix subscription on a monthly basis.

Got any 911 emergency stories of your own?  I wouldn’t be surprised.  In the past five years alone, over a quarter of Americans have called 911 with a cell phone, and in that group, there were many dissatisfied callers.  If you’ve got a story you’d feel comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear about them!  Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.


Jenn GaffneyLandline As A Lifeline? 3 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Summer
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Top Takeaways from BBNYC16

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

Jude Connally Collection

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!

Jude Connally's Brand gives every woman confidence in fashionMy 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.

NEC_103d_1024x1024Lara 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:

adult-productWhile 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.

speck candy shell clear with glitter casePROTECT 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.


Kindness Matters


jessica-we-care-bearsKicking 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.


photo credit Monica Pruett


monica-jenn-modelingOn 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.


happy-salmon-northstar-gamesYou 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

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.

Meeting Julie & Scott Stewart

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!


charlene-judeIn 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!

laurieLaurie 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!!)



Jenn GaffneyTop Takeaways from BBNYC16
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New Experience with Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio At Garden State Discovery Museum

Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio Opening Soon

Milly's Which Craft Art Studio

Sneak Peek Into New Exhibit


Last week Friendspired had the opportunity to grab a sneak peek of the amazing new Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio at Garden State Discovery Museum.  This exhibit is so exciting and is sponsored by A.C. Moore.

We love that there will be various sessions for visitors to create art in very unique mediums such as mosaics and papier mache. We love the fact that the artists themselves may even be making appearances thanks to the Discovery Theater artists. We cannot wait to learn how to paint like Vincent Van Gogh with Vincent Van Gogh.

See below for their most current press release.

Featured Artists Milly's Which Craft Art Studio

A.C. Moore Inspires “Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio” At Garden State Discovery Museum

South Jersey based Craft Corporation Sponsors Local Art Experience for Kids


CHERRY HILL, N.J. MAR 24, 2016— The Garden State Discovery Museum is very excited to announce its newest exhibit, Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio crafted by local South Jersey based craft retailer, A.C. Moore. Unveiling on April 8, 2016 at 11:00 a.m., the exhibit will be a place for children of all ages to learn about and create art.  The art studio will hold sessions throughout the day for visitors to create their very own masterpieces, exploring all mediums from painting and screen printing to mosaics and papier mache.

“Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio Crafted By A.C. Moore celebrates Milly and Herb Iris and their artful life together. Their passion for the arts and belief in Art as a powerful force in transforming lives is reflected in every facet of this new, exciting hands-on exhibit.” Said Garden State Discovery Museum founder, Roree Iris-Williams, “An engaging creative venue for families, school groups, and communities to enjoy crafting and art-making together, the Art Studio is a fitting tribute to my Mom, Milly Iris, who will continue to inspire the next generation of young artists and Art-repreneurs!”

The exhibit will include daily special appearances from the Discovery Theatre sponsored by the Horizon Foundation for NJ players, as master artists teach various creative techniques, including self-portraits signature to the dynamic Frida Kahlo and the thick painting expertise of Vincent Van Gogh.

“It is so inspiring to see our staff pour their creative power into this very special exhibit. There are no boundaries to art and we are excited to give it real presence and space here at the Museum,” said Kelly Lyons, Museum Director, “We’ve been so lucky to first have Milly and Herb Iris inspire the idea and then A.C. Moore come in and give it great wings.  We can’t wait to see our tiny visitors and their parents get crafty.”

The Garden State Discovery Museum will offer a new pottery birthday party option, class field trips, and after hour rental space for painters of all ages.

A.C. Moore will also sponsor four free teacher workshops training teachers with specialized hands-on strategies developed with the Museum’s Education Department to use art across all curriculums.

“Giving back is at the core of everything we do at A.C. Moore and we are elated to partner with one of Cherry Hill’s most beloved neighborhood staples to inspire visitors from both near and far,” said A.C. Moore CEO, Pepe Piperno, “The hope is that this exhibit will bring yet another opportunity to create and share more creativity in our home community.”
In tandem with a creative lineup tailored for visitors, the art studio will house the museum internship program titled, Artist In Residence. The experience will allow students to witness the importance of partnership across all departments, from guest relations to programming and instruction.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for artists and education students alike.  I am especially excited for my [Rowan College At Burlington County] students to be involved in the hands on experience afforded with such an internship,” said Jessica Puma, “The Discovery Museum really builds from within and I am thrilled to present such a rich opportunity to area artists and art students.  Ideas and creativity will abound!”

The art studio will be open to the public during the Discovery Museum regular business hours and slated to host several scheduled classes per day. For more information, visit

# # #
About the Garden State Discovery Museum

The Discovery Museum located at 2040 Springdale Road in Cherry Hill, N.J., is a hands-on center for infants through 10 year olds. It offers more than 20 larger than life, kid-powered interactive exhibit areas, and each one is an invitation to touch, explore and create. The Museum is open 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM daily, with extended hours until 8:30 p.m. Saturdays from October through April. Admission is $13.95 for adults and children; $12.95 for seniors. Children younger than 12 months are admitted free. For more information, call 856-424-1233 or visit

Please don’t forget to “LIKE” us on Facebook!!!

About A.C. Moore

Create more. Share more. Save more. ™ A.C. Moore is a specialty retailer offering a vast selection of arts, crafts and floral merchandise to a broad demographic of customers. The first A.C. Moore store opened in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1985, and has expanded to more than 136 stores. Stores are located in the Eastern United States from Maine to Florida.

A.C. Moore is devoted to being the first choice for product selection, value and service that inspires and fulfills unlimited creative possibilities. The assortment, convenience, service and pricing differentiate them from their competitors. The assortment of merchandise consists of more than 60,000 stock keeping units, or SKUs, with approximately 40,000 SKUs offered at each store at any one time. They also offer custom framing in the majority of their stores. In-store events and programs for children and adults provide hands-on arts and crafts experience and encourage the creativity of customers.

For more information about A.C. Moore, visit

Jenn GaffneyNew Experience with Milly’s Which Craft Art Studio At Garden State Discovery Museum
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Why You Should Register for Blogger Bash 2016

 Disclosure: I am a Blogger Bash 2016 Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. The link for tickets is an affiliate link.


Set Sail for Blogger Bash 2016

Every year I tell you the various reasons on why you should not miss Blogger Bash!  I recap afterwards about why it rocked, and how we had a blast. One of the best parts of Blogger Bash is always the sweet night of play at Sweet Suite! The caliber of thought and planning that went into this event the first year I attended, blew my mind! This year, it’s ON A BOAT!

The first year that I attended, in 2014 there was so much that I learned at the event, not only did I build relationships with other bloggers and brands – but I learned some important lessons about re-entering the world of blogging conferences. Last year, my second year attending, there were more lessons learned. Point is – every single year it gets bigger and better! It is always on my MUST ATTEND list.


Blogger Bash Ambassador Image


blogger bash ambassador jenn gaffney2016 Blogger Bash Ambassador

As seen on the Blogger Bash blog, here’s what I had to say about why I’m excited about being an ambassador.

“I already consider myself an ambassador not only for Blogger Bash, but for the Toy Insider. The team is incredible, it is always an event that I leave not only feeling empowered and challenged, but with many new connections. I highly encourage any blogger who I speak with to consider making Blogger Bash a priority event to attend.”



Reasons To Register

  • Blogger Bash is a conference that exceeds expectations EVERY YEAR!  That is mainly in part because of the team behind the event. Blogger Bash was founded by Toy Insider Mom, Laurie Schacht, who is also the founder and CEO of the Toy Insider, and president of The Toy Book and The Licensing Book, two trade magazines for the toy and licensing industry. In addition to Laurie, Blogger Bash is co-hosted by blogger extraordinaire Charlene DeLoach of Charlene Chronicles.


  • LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! As I mentioned above, Blogger Bash exceeds expectations, and this year is absolutely no exception. The third annual Blogger Bash will take place on July 13-14, 2016 aboard the Majesty Yacht in New York City. So break out your nautical wear and prepare to set sail for a conference of a lifetime. Don’t fret —the boat will be docked the entire time, so you can come and go as you please!
  • EXPAND YOUR CONNECTIONS! Blogger Bash is an annual event that connects hundreds of digital influencers, including bloggers, vloggers, and social media professionals, to more than 100 lifestyle brands.
  • TAKE YOUR BLOG TO THE NEXT LEVEL! Blogger Bash is different from any other blogging conference in that it is designed for bloggers who are experienced and have already nailed down the basics of blogging. Blogger Bash aims to provide both men and women with important connections and the tools they need to take their blogs and video channels to the next level. We will be able to expand our knowledge with Blogging ConcentratedDan R. Morris and Rachel Marie Martin, the gurus behind Blogging Concentrated, will bring their expertise to Blogger Bash – anyone who has heard of Blogging Concentrated knows that tickets are typically $249 on their own, and their presence at other blogging conferences result in sold-out ticket sales and a packed house – more of a reason to get your $279 Blogger Bash ticket NOW. See below for a special savings offer.
  • BIGGER AND BETTER! This year, Blogger Bash includes more than 15 different interactive events, including parties, meals, educational events, and more! New Product Events will host the biggest Blogger Bash Expo to date, and Maletzky Media will host the most exciting Baby Palooza event ever on July 14!
  • PLAY! The seventh annual Sweet Suite event, also known as the Biggest Night of Play, is hosted by the Toy Insider, a website dedicated to reviewing toys year round, providing kids, parents, grandparents, and  other gift-givers with all of the information they need to choose the right toys. Sweet Suite is the most well-known toy party of the year, taking place on July 13.


Join Us!

Save $30 off your #BBNYC ticket with code "BBA2016"


Ready to set sail and have the time of your life while learning, playing, and growing at Blogger Bash 2016?!  You can register for your tickets here. You can also use the code “BBA2016” for an additional $30 off of your ticket.

More On Blogger Bash

As mentioned above – the third annual Blogger Bash will take place July 13-14, 2016 in New York City aboard the Majesty yacht, docked at Pier 81 in Manhattan. Blogger Bash will feature multiple themed parties that will serve as networking opportunities between digital influencers and big-name brands from baby, fashion, toys, food, travel, and more. The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite event, an annual affair that allows digital influencers to get hands-on with the hottest new toys on the market while feasting on sweet treats, will be the lead party at Blogger Bash. Plus, bloggers will learn from the experts at Blogging Concentrated, enjoy an expanded expo area thrown by the incredible women at New Product Events, and learn about the hottest new baby products at Maletzky Media’s Babypalooza. Additional parties, events, and sponsors will soon be announced, so stay tuned!

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Blogger Bash welcomes just 500 attendees to meet with more than 150 brands, giving digital influencers a more intimate experience. Designed to take bloggers and vloggers to the next level, this event is more than just a conference—it’s a chance to make an impression.


Jenn GaffneyWhy You Should Register for Blogger Bash 2016
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