Hmmm what? Did you even notice I was gone? Well I’m sure you did if you follow me on Instagram (click HERE) or Facebook (click HERE) but for those of you who only get my emails to their inbox then you might have not even noticed. Last week was a very special week for me because I was invited to the annual Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker event which was held at the Hudson Hotel in New York City. It was definitely something to look forward to. And if you remember, I have our home being featured in an upcoming issue of a BHG publication which is “Do It Yourself Magazine“. I’m super exited for it since our home has changed so much and I can’t wait to see how it used to be through a professional photographer’s eye.
So my roommate Diane from “In My Own Style” (love her) and I arrived at the Hudson Hotel on Wednesday and yes this is during daytime. It was a super dark hotel. Love the chandelier, right?
We walked around the city for a bit. Sorry Kristin (Bliss At Home), I know this shot was meant for your hubby to rub it in that you are lunching in Central Park but I just love the look and entire mood of the shot. And of course Chelsea (Two Twenty One), Jamie (Southern Revivals) and Kelly (Eclectically Vintage) peeking in the background.
In the evening we went out for dinner. Jennifer (The Chronicles of Home) and I had mussels and ended up eating the broth like soup because it was so good. We even had matching hair.
In the morning we met up for breakfast and the beginning of the event.
Truly loved meeting and chatting with Monica of East Coast Creative. She lives so close to me but I had never met her in person before. She is just as awesome in person as I thought she would be.
After that I headed to my first workshop which was “Photo Shoot-Worthy Flower Arranging” with the great Matthew Robbins. We each made our own arrangement within 20 minutes and they are up for voting now on the BHG website by clicking HERE (Make sure to click the “next” button at the bottom of the page to make the vote count if you decide to vote for one of us).
Here is mine photographed with my iPhone in two different ways:
Isn’t it crazy how different my arrangement looks with a different colored background? I loved working with such pretty flowers by FTD Flowers. Can you believe that there is kale in there? It’s my new favorite thing.
And oh yes, we were allowed to pick one of the new Vera Bradley bags.
I picked the cheetah wristlet of course.
below from left to right: Eddie Ross, Sara Forte, Rux Martin, Angelin Borsics
I really enjoyed listening to all the contributors and editors and to learn. So much information to absorb!
from left to right: Stephen Orr, Katherine Pushkar, Oma Blaise Ford, Eddie Ross, Amy Panos
Then I headed to another workshop held by Eddie Ross (East Coast Editor & Producer). Eddie is the most engaging and energetic person I’ve ever met. Everyone wants to be his best friend and it is truly because of his talent and genuine and sincere personality. The tablescape workshop was inline with his book that he just released. We all received a signed copy as a gift from BHG (you can buy your own HERE) and I really recommend it. He has so much knowledge to share.
Look at all of our faces. Are we just eating up every word he is saying or what?
And I truly adore my friend Darlene (Field Stone Hill Design) and Jennifer Stagg too, pictured here with Eddie Ross.
Loved learning from Kaelin and all her online secrets and insights:
And I honestly never expected to enjoy the next panel of speakers as much as I did. What an amazing group. Are you getting tired of me gushing already? I’m not just saying this though. Truly mean it.
Again from left to right: Clodagh McKenna, Patrick Mele, Erin Gleeson, Kishani Perera, Khristian Howell (not pictured). What I took away from this session is that I want to feel like Clodagh every morning when I get up, haha… You probably don’t get what I’m trying to say here but she was contagious and so confident. When she spoke you wanted to paint her stories in your head and you were there with her at that moment. I think she profoundly touched each and every one of us with her passion for what she loves doing, which is cooking.
As a matter of fact you could tell how much each and every one of these amazing talents love what they are doing. Their passion for their careers was hinting through in every spoken word and that is exactly how I want to live my life. Can you tell they truly touched me and inspired me to live my life how I want and to follow my own path?
At the end of the day it was time for a little rooftop gathering and the setting was stunning.
In the next photo you can probably tell how much I like Stephen Orr (Editor in Chief at BHG who also has published gardening books and you can find his latest book HERE). What a mesmerizing person to talk to and I know Diane felt the same way.
And then this pretty lady showed up as a surprise. Why? Because she was on this year’s stylemaker issue and I think she appears to like him just as much as we did.
Isn’t that the greatest view from the hotel roof top?
And I got to hangout and finally meet my longtime blog crush Sarah (Sarah M. Dorsey). She knows I’m her longtime blog stalker. The girl can do no wrong in my book. Her and her husband are the ultimate talented and perfect couple. And my husband hates it when I compare us to them. Just sayin’. Believe me when I say she is just as awesome in person.
And Jennifer is just as fun and sweet. I know I can count on her 😉
It was an amazing time at the event. I learned so much but there were also lessons learned behind the scenes that had nothing to do with the event. I learned that I can’t be as trusting as I have always been. That some strangers are not nice human beings but in return I know that I have some true friends in the blogging community. Friends I can count on to have my back no matter what and I guess that is the greatest gift of all.
It’s beyond amazing to have such a talented community of supportive and creative talents to learn from and grow together.
Hope you made it all the way to the end of this long post. If you did you are a champ.
Thanks so much for reading.