BBNYC 2016 – Styling & Sharing

In this year’s BBNYC 2016 experience I recently left off with our Tuesday evening Cocktail Party. We woke up the next morning ready and excited to start the day. Knowing that we had a long day ahead of us we packed some water, made sure we had a change of shoes, and were armed with any other necessities we may have needed throughout the day. We were ready for our Care Bears #ShareYourCare Brunch!

Styling with Jude Connally

meeting-jude-connallyI was over-the-moon excited to finally meet Jude Connally. Jude and her team styled all of the BBNYC Ambassadors. The level at which her team analyzed each of our personalities and styles to ensure they styled us properly, leaving us looking and feeling confident, is of a level I’ve never experienced before. Stephanie and I were beyond lucky to be able to partner with their team to bring this amazing opportunity to the rest of the ambassadors. 

I’m not someone who loves to shop, and through various life events like a tragic car accident and the birth of my daughter, I don’t really see my body as I should. When I received the box from Jude’s team with selections for me, I was nervously excited. Every single item that I tried on looked fabulous and I felt incredible. You can read more of our experience over on the Blogger Bash Blog.

Once our style session was over we invited their team to join us for the official start of Blogger Bash.

 

Care Bears #ShareYourCare Brunch

Toy Insider Mom Welcomes Care Bears Share Your Care Brunch Attendees #ShareYourCare

photo credit: The Toy Insider

One of my favorite events is the official kick off for the past 2 years at BBNYC. I don’t see how we could start off with anything better than the #ShareYourCare Care Bears Breakfast. I am a proud Care Bears Ambassador!

I’ve heard “bigger” bloggers from past events talk about how they cannot be bothered and that all it means is that you are on their media list – THEY COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG! Being a Care Bear Ambassador means you are part of a movement that’s bigger than you. It’s all about spreading the word about sharing, caring, and compassion for others – something that I strive to do on a daily basis.

Care Bear Ambassador Oath #ShareYourCare

photo credit: The Toy Insider

friendspired-care-bear-ambassadors-#shareyourcareBeing a Care Bear Ambassador is an extension of who I already am. It costs us nothing to treat others with kindness, and in return seeing how much it means to others is a gift in itself. That is one of the most rewarding experiences we can ever receive.

This year was a celebration, Funshine in the Sun, with my favorite Care Bear – Funshine! Next year is a big year for them, 2017 means 35 years of Care Bear Fun! We learned about how this nostalgic memory for us is more than that, it’s an icon that transcends generations and cultures.

Jessica We Care Bears #ShareYourCare

photo credit: The Toy Insider

We also got to meet a pretty incredible teen named Jessica Carscadden. The difference that this young lady has made in her lifetime is incredible. She is founder of We Care Bears. This amazing girl started a non-profit at 9 years old and has donated plush to put in first responder vehicles across the country to help kids in unbearable situations.

It was wonderful to listen to her tell her story about why she started this foundation and how she is so excited that Care Bears will be donating 500 Care Bears plush to Jessica and We Care Bears on #ShareYourCare Day! #ShareYourCare Day is on September 9th and is a great opportunity for you to make a difference as well.

We also learned that Care Bears have partnered with Build A Bear and have your very own Care Bears that you can help create for your family.

Once brunch was over I was excited to start my work behind the scenes in the set up of Sweet Suite! We headed back over to the boat and were ready to go.

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Keep up with the latest on Care Bears:  www.CareBears.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/CareBears

Twitter: www.twitter.com/CareBears

Instagram: www.instagram.com/CareBears

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/CareBears

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/CareBearsAGP

Jenn GaffneyBBNYC 2016 – Styling & Sharing
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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.

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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

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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.

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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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Lessons Learned from BBNYC

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Early Bird Catches The Worm – Be on the look out!  Once the dates are released, be sure to be ready to purchase your tickets.  Thinking of VIP?  Buy them once they are released, there are a limited amount of VIP tickets, and unless you act on it initially you may miss the opportunity.  VIP was able to have many different perks, including reserved seating at special sponsored meals, special events, etc. No one likes to deal with a a bad case of FOMO!

Research Early – Since the likelihood looks pretty good that BBNYC will be returning to NYC, once the location is announced make sure to research around the location and figure out what works best for you.  If this is your first time, know that you can pretty much spend the entire day at the event.  But if there is a need for you to go back to your room at any point figure out the best route to get there.  Remember there are ways to navigate the city, and that there are times that are better to do so via different methods.

Research Some More – Just because TripAdvisor or Yelp says it’s a Bed and Breakfast, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a Bed & Breakfast.  In our case the allure of The Leo House being a block and a few avenues away from Pier 60 was all we needed. We didn’t realize it was actually a Catholic Hostel with some pretty strict rules until after we had already booked it as a non-refundable room.  The rules, were in no way expressed on TripAdvisor or Yelp, and we pretty much left a night early because we couldn’t have Lana’s oldest daughter stay overnight.  Do your due diligence!  For the money, we’d stay there again especially now that we know the circumstances.

Be Prepared – Make sure you pack enough business cards!  Or even have business cards that leave a lasting impression, like the one with you and some random guy behind you that looks like he’s sniffing your hair.  Extra medication for any emergency needs that might come up, such as headaches, heartburn, aches, pains, you name it! We love carrying ours discreetly in our Style RX.

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Don’t Overpack – It’s so easy to say that you NEED everything that you are putting into your suitcase.  Honestly though, 2-3 outfits per day is not practical.  2-3 shoes per day, also not practical.  You are going to need a lot of space to bring things home, it’s inevitable! You are given items to take with you from brands.  Lana shook her head when I put a medium sized suitcase filled with my clothes/items inside of my large suitcase because I knew with attending Blogger Bash and a few other events that week, I was going to need the room.  I did.

Comfy STURDY Shoes  – I sound like a broken record.  Comfy shoes are a must BUT they also must be sturdy, and not like my Lilly Pulitzer shoes that fell apart.

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Be Yourself & Have Fun!  Don’t take anything personally.  Sometimes some people are flustered and didn’t recognize you IRL.  Sometimes people may be having some anxiety and trying to figure out how to get everything done and didn’t realize that they may have been rude.  Sometimes people get hangry or sometimes people really just are not nice, either way that’s okay! Create your own fun.

we received style rx shown above for review purposes, our opinions expressed are our own.

Jenn GaffneyLessons Learned from BBNYC
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A Blast at Blogger Bash – VIP Style

Many of you know how much we looked forward to BBNYC, and how much fun we had while there. This year we decided to “go big, or go home” and opted for the VIP ticket experience.  I knew once they released the dates for it that I was going, and immediately requested off for it.

 

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Wednesday, July 15th

Delta Children VIP Cocktail Party

While we started out with a damp and rainy start we made it to the city, checked into our catholic hostel room (post on that later), and went to Getting Gorgeous.  From there we went back to the room, got situated and headed to enjoy our Blogger Bash Experience!

Our VIP experience started at Delta Children’s Showroom. We checked out everything they had, and immediately my ovaries started to hurt wanting another baby, especially once I saw the bassinets (which we used a Delta one), beautiful Mickey Mouse Nursery Furniture, and Princess Nursery Furniture.  We love Delta, as we have the Delta Bentley Crib in Abigail’s Room.

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That was short lived until I saw the cute Minnie Mouse toddler bed. Which I absolutely adore and am figuring out how this will work in Abby’s Vintage Fantasyland Bedroom.

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We also got to see all of the standard children’s furniture that they have that you can find at Toys R Us, etc.  I’m thinking about one of these beds for my sitter’s house. It may come in handy once Abigail transitions to a bed.  She’s too big for her pack n play. We also saw the chairs that we love and own, as well as great little umbrella strollers.

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After that, we headed up to their rooftop to lounge, have some more delicious food (the sushi was incredible) and take in some pretty amazing sights. It was beyond incredible.

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Thursday, July 16th

Care Bears Share Your Care Brunch

We were super excited to wakeup and get our day started.  The one benefit of our hotel, is that it was a quick 5-10 minute walk to Pier 60.  So we walked to the pier and checked in and headed over to breakfast.  The awesome part of being VIP is that there were tables in the front that were reserved for us.  We even had our own little special “fast pass” line that was next to the regular ticket holders.  We were let into the room first.

 

 

We spent the morning enjoying such delicious brunch items.  The room was beyond perfect for such an event.  I thought I had taken a great photo that morning, but alas I did not.  However, I love this photo that Sarah from How I Pinch A Penny took.

Blogger Bash Brunch

 

PC Sarah Mock @howipinchapenny

In our time there we got to meet Cheer Bear, learn about the loving attributes that make all of the Care Bears special and stand out across many different decades. We learned that some of our favorite stars are Care Bear fanatics, like Channing Tatum and Seth Green.

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share-your-care-excitement

 

I was excited when we found out that Care Bears and Cousins will be airing on Netflix staring November 6th.  I personally cannot wait for that.  Then we learned how young Zach Kaplan is making a difference with the #ShareYourCare movement.

July 16, 2015 at 0508AM

 

Zach raised $1200 for Typhoon Haiyan Relief.  He sold KIND bars outside of the grocery store so that he could earn funds to give back to those in need.  This year, Zach wants to make sure that every homeless child has a Care Bear to snuggle with at bedtime.  We were so glad to see that the Care Bears will be helping make that wish come true.

So incredible that a simple wish that other children had a bear to sleep with...@carebearsfriend is helping young Zach do just that! #ShareYourCare #BBNYC

 

 

VIP Amrita Singh Jewelry Grab

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After all that inspiring and motivational brunch was over, we walked back to the event space and then VIP attendees got to attend an Amrita Singh Jewelry Grab. There were so many amazing pieces that I wish to add to my accessory collection.   So many beautiful options. I was a huge fan of the green necklace that I tried on.  (I also love Briton radmomcoolkid behind me with her photobomb)

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We also got to learn about the jewelry trends that are happening.  There are 5 different trends currently that are all of the rage.  1. Luxe Black and Gold – Gold accessories with black details makes every look chic, and adds a glow and warmth to the wearer. 2. 70s – The 70’s came back this summer. For fall a simplified twist makes it modern. Focus onits traditional movement or embrace its geometry for a strong statement. 3. Symbols & Spirituality – Incorporate symbols from around the world and make a powerful fashion statement. The organic vibe of this Fall trend brings you closer to nature & showcases your personal spirituality. 4. Pearls – The power of pearls is strong and elegant. For Fall, classic meets modern giving you unique details and versatile styles by incorporating new colors and graceful shapes. 5. Headdresses – Exude confidence with this unique trend that can highlight the perfect up do. It’s a simple piece that can take your look to a new level.

If you are looking to update your accessories, you can check out Amrita Singh online and order.

VIP The Ride NYC

 

 

 

THE RIDE NYC

Then it was time to get ready for THE RIDE NYC.  Acclaimed as “Part Tour.  Part Show. Total Entertainment”.  It was a pretty cool tour bus that had stadium seating, a fantastic sound system, and fun guides.  We enjoyed a little tour around the city complete with vocal performances and some beautiful dancing.  My favorite was the ballet that happened at Columbus Circle.

 

SweetSuiteLogo

 

It was time for my most favorite part of BBNYC – Sweet Suite!! It truly is the Biggest Night of Play, and we love to have a great time playing with all the toys.  This year it was absolutely beyond my expectations.  There were so many different brands represented and the food was beyond amazing.   We knew we were in for the time of our lives when we were greeted by these beautiful ladies.

sweet-suite-entrance

As I entered the party, I saw one of my favorites Just Play Toys so I was excited to stop and see what was in store for them! I had a quick preview of these items back when I went to Toy Fair, and I got to see some of the headliners that I’m excited to see released, such as the new Doc McStuffins Vet Clinic.  Abigail is absolutely obsessed with both Sheriff Callie and Doc McStuffins.  We watch it on repeat constantly, so I am excited for these new episodes to air, and the new role playing toys that go with it.

I know that it is definitely going to be happening sometime soon since all of my local Target stores just clearanced out most of the Doc McStuffins merchandise they have to make way for the new stuff!

Sweet-Suite-Just-Play

 

From that moment on, it was seriously a blur.  We had so much fun playing with everything and interacting with all of the brand reps that it felt like the time just rushed by.  Even with the extra hour VIP access at 3pm, I feel like we didn’t get to see absolutely everything.

Sweet-Suite-Collage

 

Some highlights on certain things that definitely stood out to us are:

  • Let’s start with my ultimate favorite – that is definitely going on the Christmas Wish List.  VTech Kiddizoom Action Cam. It’s pretty  much a GoPro for kiddos.  I would love to have them wear it on their helmet, or mount it to their bike just to see what their adventures look like through their eyes.  Not to mention $59.99 is a pretty sweet price point. Did I also mention, it comes with a waterproof case and can go up to 6 feet underwater!
  • Next up from VTech is Flipsies. First off they are so stinking adorable and each of the Flipsies has their own storyline.  I love that it is the advanced version of their smart point technology, the MagicPoint Technology.  They will be hours of fun for many little girls.
  • Moodsters are pretty incredible.  Little ones cannot always express the emotions that they are feeling, especially if they cannot identify them.  We have some trying times with my 2 year old, and especially my 4 year old niece who has serious anxiety issues (rightfully so).  Being able to talk to the creator of this ingenius tool for parents and caregivers, Denise Daniels gets it, beyond “gets it”.  She is absolutely incredible and extremely passionate.  She developed them as a tool for hospital nurses to use with their pediatric patients.  She says “Emotional intelligence can have a lifelong effect on children’s behavior, relationships, physical and emotional well-being, as well as school success”.  I’ve already downloaded the activity sheets to do with the kiddos.
  • LeapFrog Leap Pad Platinum – Did you know that this tablet for kiddos comes with WIFI! It has KidSafe Web so you can rest assured your kid will only see age appropriate content. It’s built to last with a shatter proof screen.

I could go on and on about everything we saw, but for now this will have to do!

Friday, July 17th

Disney Infinity Breakfast

BNYC-Disney-Infinity

Another awesome breakfast is where we started our day, with amazing food once again.  We got to learn all that was in store for the new Disney Infinity 3.0.  Which is releasing the Star Wars empire into the Disney Infinity world.  By the end of the release there will be over 100 characters total.

July 17, 2015 at 0313AM

After we finished our breakfast it was time for sessions and panels back at the event space.  We attended our first panel that was about creating branded video.  I wish I could say that it was about tips and tricks you could do to create those videos that stood out to brands, but it really wasn’t.  It was more or less what brands look for when looking to work with bloggers.  While that information is definitely great and useful, it was knowledge that I was already made aware of.

I then headed over to Baby Palooza because I was looking forward to seeing Anne Geddes again! Before that started, I walked around and checked out the different brands that were represented.  I stopped by Ella’s Kitchen , Earth’s Best and then it was time to listen to Anne.  I was so excited to get another book signed by her at the event.  I cannot wait to get My Little Pumpkin, one of her baby board books, because that was my nickname growing up – and is Abby’s.

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Peanuts Lunch

It was then time for lunch, so we headed back over to Currents for our lunch with The Peanuts Gang.  We would be able to listen to the voices behind the upcoming movie. They were amazing kids, and the actor that does the voice for Linus was an absolute riot! They had everyone cracking up.  We even took a photo with Francesca (Little Red Haired Girl) since Lana’s girls are obsessed with Dog With a Blog.

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It was at that point that we rushed to another non-BBNYC event. In hindsight we probably should have spent some time in the Rite Aid Refresh & Recharge Lounge.  Sadly, by the time we got back they had closed up.  We did take the opportunity to speak to the rest of the brands at the Expo though.

Canadian Lentils Closing Carnival

I originally said that Blogger Bash is a party like you’ve never been to before.  That definitely sums up the closing carnival. It was INCREDIBLE.  There was a woman hanging from the chandelier pouring champagne,  jugglers, contortionist, a band, etc. It was out-of-this world.  We had such a blast, the food (all made from lentils) was delicious and we had so much fun playing games.

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We had an amazing time, as we expected we would.  We met new friends along the way, we enjoyed ourselves, we connected with  brands we had never met before, and spent some time with those that we already work with.  We cannot wait until the dates for 2016 are released!! Thank you so much to the BBNYC Team! 

Jenn GaffneyA Blast at Blogger Bash – VIP Style
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Blogger Bash Rocked AGAIN

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Blogger Bash was BIGGER, It was BETTER – it pretty much ROCKED!  We cannot believe that it’s all over and we are back in the routine of everyday life.  This was the one conference we couldn’t wait for, and it lived up to every hype and expectation.  The team did an amazing job and I walked away feeling so beyond happy to attend Blogger Bash.  I made new friends, reconnected with some old ones, and overall just enjoyed myself. Here’s a quick summary of the fantastic time that we had, be sure to stay tuned to full recaps.

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Starting on Wednesday evening with the Delta Children’s VIP cocktail party.  For starters, look at that amazing rooftop view.  Between seeing the beautiful Freedom Tower in the background, and then the Empire State Building, combined with a killer breeze – it was the perfect night!

They had some incredible pieces in their showroom.  We are already Delta loyalists, as that is the furniture we have in Abby’s room.  I found some great pieces to transition to for when she’s a little bigger. Plus we had THE most amazing sushi. delta-kids-bbnyc

Thursday started off with the wonderful Share Your Care Brunch with CareBears! Which transitioned to checking out the new Amrita Singh Jewelry line, and then a VIP event on The Ride NYC.

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After all that fun, it was time to head into Sweet Suite!  It was absolutely unbelievable, bigger than last year with so much to do. Even with an extra added hour for VIP access I feel like I missed a few things!

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Once that was over we hurried back to our hotel to catch some zzzs before a big day on Friday.  Which did not disappoint in the least.  Highlights were the Disney Infinity breakfast announcing that there will be over 100 characters with the 3.0 launch, watching/listening to the voices of The Peanuts Movie talk about their characters.   Meeting Anne Geddes AGAIN.  Then an UNFORGETTABLE closing carnival by Canadian Lentils.

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I cannot thank the team of women that put this killer event together enough!! We had such a wonderful time.  Stay tuned for our full recaps!  Now let’s start counting down to Blogger Bash 2016

Jenn GaffneyBlogger Bash Rocked AGAIN
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