These past few weeks have been a whirlwind. R and I spent a relaxing weekend at Streamsong Resort, followed by a week in New York City and Connecticut. I turned 40 and then a week after that my friend and fellow blogger, Melissa, and I were off to Los Angeles for BlogHer 2016, the biggest blogging conference. This was my second year, and I had lofty expectations going into the event as last year’s was awesome!
BLOGHER 2016 HERE I COME!
DAY 1 – HELLO LA!
Minutes after landing at LAX, I received awesome news that two tickets for the live taping of that night’s ABC’s Greatest Hits Season Finale would be waiting for me at will call. WHAAAAA! I was sooooo excited. After arriving at the Marriott LA LIVE, we checked into our room and off we went. We walked around, trying to gain our bearings, grabbed a bite to eat at Tom’s Urban and went right back to the hotel to check into BlogHer, get our badges and to get ready for the evening ahead.
AN INPROMPTU LIVE TAPING
The show was great. I was a bit disappointed that Ariana Grande didn’t do a live performance, but everyone else was AWESOME! Here are some pics and videos…such a great, once in a lifetime event!
DAY 2 – BLOGHER 2016
PRIVATE EVENTS GALORE!
I was up bright and early Friday morning, ready for my jam-packed schedule. After heading to the main concourse to get bag of goodies (one of many, and I mean many), I enjoyed an amazing breakfast sponsored by Vega. I learned how to make (and tasted) delicious gluten-free, vegan pancakes. I couldn’t wait to come home and make them for the boys.
Next up was the Merck for Mothers panel and what an eye opener that was. I first learned about Merck’s initiatives to bring awareness to maternal mortality at last year’s event, so when I saw that there was going to be a private session I signed up right away. Did you know that the United States is one of only a handful of countries in the world where maternal mortality is increasing and not decreasing? When I heard this I was so confused. Stay tuned for a more in depth article in the near future to see why and what you and I can do to raise awareness and help in our own ways to save lives!
I couldn’t wait to navigate through the Expo floor. Last year I met with brands such as Shark, Phonetic Eyewear, and Ninja to name a few. This year was just as exciting, if not more. Here are some peeks into my day!
Time flew by and next thing I knew it was time for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) luncheon. The CRN is the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry. The founder of Vitamin Angels, Howard Schiffer, spoke first – and all I could think of was how I could help spread the word on how we can help to mothers and children in need across the world. Stay tuned for a post on this very topic!
The next event didn’t 100% have to do with what I blog about, well at least in this stage of my boys’ lives, but I just had to go and see Ian Zierling in person. I was the biggest 90210 fan (Sharknado not so much) and very curious to see what he had to say about bedwetting during this Goodnites event. The panel was great – I really enjoyed the pediatrician’s commentary, to the point where I kind of wished he was my boys’ pediatrician.
NEVER AGAIN DRY MARTINI TIME
Before dinner we headed over to the Vagisil cocktail hour. Being greeted by the sign below did erupt a bunch of giggles. I couldn’t help it. I know…very mature Dana. Either way, we grabbed our glasses of rose and actually learned a lot about Coomb, the company that makes Vagisil and other household products such as Lanacane and Clearasil. The moderator, was so on-point when she talked about the fact that “vagina” is a “shhhhh” word; that no one really talks about “down there”. There was a lot more to the conversation that I can share if you’d like – shoot me an email.
DAY 3 – BLOGHER
Saturday morning was yet another early morning. Breakfast was at the Kaiser Permanente room, where I sat with a great table of bloggers. It was cool to see where we were all at in our family stages. Some of us had children at home of varying ages; one had children in college; one is knee deep in the adoption process while one is pregnant. The panel discussed ways to help a new mom once the baby arrives, creating healthy eating habits for your children, and so much more!
The remainder of the day was spent in the expo, connecting with brands I wasn’t able to the day before.
When I got back to my room I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff I had acquired during the event. Last year I was thankful enough to be one of the first 200 people to visit the Jet.com booth and received free shipping of all swag back home! This year, knowing that I may be bringing some items home, I packed an empty duffle bag. BUT THAT WASN’T EVEN BIG ENOUGH!!
It was insane (see for yourself below). I sorted through everything, and at the end of the day realized I was going to be checking one extra bag. Not too bad. BlogHer offers a “swap table” where you can go and drop off items collected throughout the conference – maybe someone else wants what you didn’t – which was a great idea.
We decided to drop our extras off there after dinner, but before doing, we came across a homeless girl and her dog on one of the street corners. We hightailed it back to the hotel and delivered to her two bags filled with food, toiletries, slippers, flip flops, and more. She was super appreciative and we felt so good doing this for her.
Home sweet home
I came home to a house full of family (my sister’s kids were spending the week with us) and lots of hugs! What an amazing and productive few days. This past week has been spent hugging and hanging out with my niece and nephews. My heart is heavy because they left yesterday morning, but I have to forge ahead and am ready to follow up with all of the great connections I made back in LA!
Have you ever been to a conference? If so, which one was your all time favorite and why?