Bash Conference: A Recap

My Bash Conference 2015 recapEarly in January I attended a brand new conference called Bash. It was held in Arizona at The Wigwam Resort (beautiful!) and it was two days of sessions, speakers, networking and fun. A fantastic party planner and blogger, that I met years ago at my very first Operation Shower, Michelle of Maddycakes Muse, decided to put on this conference for the party planner/blogger community to learn and grow and lift each other up. Yup, that was a total run on sentence. I’m sure it was no easy task to put on a conference of any size and THIS was awesome. She nailed it. I was super impressed with every aspect of it. I apologize for the iphone photos. Although I took my DSLR, it never left the hotel room. When you go to a conference full of party planners, you kind of just want to party. I wanted to do a Bash Conference recap in case any of you are wondering if you should attend next year. In short, the answer is yes.

Palm trees and blue skiesI want to be super honest. I wasn’t expecting to get a ton out of it. When I started this blog I was strictly party focused and my first real blog friends are all from that world. I wanted the chance to spend time with these gals and at the last-minute was able to attend (side note: Tickets were about $400. BUT there were several opportunities leading up to the conference to win a free ticket. Also, they did a black Friday sale which is where I was able to buy my ticket for $200! Oh! And they offered a VIP option, for an extra $50, which got you preferred seating at the sessions, one on one time with the keynotes and speakers, transportation to and from the hotel to the resort plus some extra special goodies at check in. It was a great feature that I haven’t seen at any other conference.) And it was held in Arizona. I love Arizona. Any who. When the conference was initially announced, it seemed like the sessions were geared towards to party planners. But then they announced another track of sessions and those were more business focused. I wasn’t sure how they would bridge the gap between the attendees who wanted to learn about party planning as a business and building a business from a party blog. I strongly believe, however, that any time you attend a conference you learn somethings, especially if you keep yourself open to it.

My Bash Conference RecapI arrived on Thursday afternoon and had a little time to relax before the first evening’s party. It’s always nice to ease in to a conference. The first night they held a welcome party that included gaming tables (which I sucked at) and craft stations (which after a few glasses of wine, I sucked at). The volunteers for the conference were SO welcoming and made everyone feel right at home. Although I had a bunch of friends with me, I would have had a great time even if I had gone on my own. [Read more…]


A Pat on the Back for Bloggers


dirty-side-of-blogging-logoDoes anyone else geek out when they get this message in WordPress? Please forgive this grainy iPhone photo.  Cameras do not like to shoot computer screens.  But I can’t tell you how many of this photo I have saved to my camera library on my phone.  Something about seeing this box pop up makes me positively giddy.  In an online world where you can feel disconnected for real humans, and you crave interaction via comments or likes, this little box can be so gratifying.  Please tell me I’m not alone…


Conference Swag Pile Up



Sometimes you get so much swag from a conference that you don't even know where to put it away and it sits in your kitchen. For, like, ever.Bloggers sometimes end up with a crazy amount of swag from conferences.  Sometimes it is so much, you don’t even know where to put it away.  So it sits in your kitchen for about 3 months (and counting)…

Do It : Pinterest

Give each Pinterest board a good description using keywords



As bloggers there are always so many things that we want to do but we run out of time for.  I’ve been wanting to organize my Pinterest boards for SO long but it just seems like it is the last priority.  So once a month, I am going to build in time to do these kinds of things.  All along I’m pinning tutorials, etc. but never take the time to read them.  So today I am taking the day to work on Pinterest.

But wait!  Are you following me on Pinterest?

I had run across an article a while back that instructed to make sure that all of your boards have a good description with keywords.  I went through my boards and realized that most of them had no description.  WHAT?!  We spend a lot of time trying to drive traffic to our sites and it comes down to doing it smarter and more efficiently.  So today I will be double checking my descriptions.
Make sure you have the right category picked for each board on PinterestThe article also mentioned making sure the boards were categorized.  Uh, oops.  They were all over the place or just uncategorized.  Now I know when I’m creating a new board that these things need to happen right away.

Being a late adopter of Pinterest I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.  Here are some of the articles I will reading today:

Important Pinterest tips you need to know as a blogger.

Secrets to rapid Pinterest growth by bloggers.

How to embed a Pinterest board on your blog.

10 ways to keep your Pinterest clean and organized.

How to organize your Pinterest boards.

5 ways to get more blog traffic from Pinterest.

You can find more great blog business articles right here.  Next month I’m going to look at starting a newsletter.

Please feel free to leave your Pinterest tips in the comments section or the link to a great article.  Oh! and your pinterest link so I can follow you!



The Trend Tribe Las Vegas Influencer Weekend

Las Vegas StripI spent this past weekend in Las Vegas as part of The Trend Tribe Influencer’s Weekend.  I had originally planned to go to Vegas for Bloggy Boot Camp.  So when I was invited to get to know the amazing women of The Trend Tribe a little better, while being treated like Vegas royalty, there was no way I was going to turn that down!  Our home base for this weekend was the Aria hotel and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  The hotel is beautiful and the service was second to none.

Day 1 of Trend Tribe Influencer Weekend in Vegas

1.  We got in to town and headed straight for Neiman Marcus at The Fashion Show Mall where we were all treated to a complimentary makeover at the Tom Ford makeup counter.  A little pampering was the perfect way to start the weekend!  And that lip color – Wild Ginger, in case you were wondering is my absolute newest favorite!  The perfect orangey-red!

2.  Next we were whisked off to the Topshop store also in the mall.  I was BEYOND excited.  With the only other stores being in NYC and Chicago, I knew of the brand but hadn’t gotten to see it in person.  It was amazing.  I’m going to be in trouble if they ever open one closer to me (a Los Angeles one is in the works, sorry husband) .  We toasted to a great weekend with a little champagne and enjoyed sweet treats by Red Velvet.  Then it was time to shop.  We were given personal shopping services and learned all about the store.  As if that wasn’t enough, they gave each of us a gift card and set us free in the store for a shopping spree!  I’m in LOVE with my finds!

3.  We headed back to the Aria for our first dining experience of the evening.  Sirio Ristorante is the most amazing Italian restaurant.  Their handmade pastas melted in your mouth and the ambience is cozy and quiet.  Perfect for date night.  The visible charcuterie kitchen was a really cool feature.  And I’m still trying to figure out how I can copy their bar cart that they bring to the table to create your cocktails.  Did I mention the 5 flavors of homemade Limoncello??? Yeah, I’m going to need to go back there to try all of them.

4.  Next, we headed to Jean Georges Steakhouse (also in the Aria).  This is my favorite place of all that we went to.  They just got everything right.  The decor was dark and sultry with elements of humor.  The cocktails were inventive and flavorful without being pretentious and the music is exactly what I would have picked if I had a restaurant.  The food was traditional steakhouse with a modern twist and did not disappoint.  Oh and they totally let us go back in to the kitchen!  We got to meet the Chef de Cuisine and see how a real kitchen operates.  So cool!!  We were also surprised with the first of our many gift bags of the weekend.  This one was provided by Cusp by Neiman Marcus and included our very own copy of the Christmas Book, an adorable ring, and a few other awesome items.  (More on that later!)

5.  Our last dining stop at the Aria was Sage.  The general manager explained about their beverage program which is heavy on artisan cocktails and creative presentation.  One of my favorite things that the restaurant does is provide an ‘amuse bouche’ style cocktail to guests while they are waiting for their handcrafted cocktails to be completed.  What a unique idea!  We learned about their barrel aged cocktails, a technique I had recently read about which used my favorite whiskey brand, Hudson.  They made  the most delicious Moscow Mule and even made the ginger beer table side.  They treated us to several menu items, including my first foie gras experience, all were delicious, but by that point I was stuffed!

6.  Our next surprise was a trip next door to the Crystals Shopping Center.  The adult romantic toy store (I have to be careful how I word that as to not get pervs to my site…) Kiki De Montparnasse, closed early to hold a private party for us.  They showed us all their high-end toys and lingerie and had us giggling like little kids.  We played a little dress up, we had some amazing, uninhibited girl talk and SO much more!  But totally not in a kinky way like that sort of came off…

7.  To wrap up the night, we headed up to the Sky Suites in the Aria for a pajama party.  We all looked so cute in our Marigot Collection pjs.  And don’t tell your husbands, but a pillow fight actually did break out.

Then we headed off to our own rooms to call it a night.  We had to be up bright and early to attend the blog conference the next morning.

Day 2 of Trend Tribe Influencer Weekend in Vegas

After learning much about the business of blogging, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our second evening out on the town.

1.  My roomie, Wendy, and I hopped in to a cab and headed to the Cosmopolitan hotel.

2.  Once at the Cosmopolitan, we headed up to Comme Ca.  I was so excited to try it!  Their pre prohibition style cocktail menu was super fun.  I had the Prohibition Punch, yum!  They challenged us with a pretty forward thinking menu of things like cow tongue and bone marrow (which I had always wanted to try!) and it was totally different from anything we had done so far.

3.  Comme Ca toured us through their dining room where they had this beautiful chalk art on the walls.  I fell in love with this quote.  Each place we had been in Vegas really seemed to take that sentiment to heart.  We were constantly happy.  And really well fed.

4. Next we jumped in cabs and headed to the MGM Grand hotel.  We headed straight to Nob Hill Tavern where we learned about their new happy hour menu.  Talk about comfort food done in an upscale way!  SO good.  The drinks were playful (hello, cans of PBR!)  They have a really fun special every night (except Saturday and Sunday) where they tweet out the drink and that is the only way to know about it.  If I were you, I would totally follow them next time you are in Vegas.

5.  Ashley was such a trooper.  8 months pregnant, high heels, body con Isabella Oliver dress – she rocked Vegas like nobody I’ve ever seen.  This is probably my favorite picture of the whole trip!

6.  The MGM Grand is home to parts of Rock Fantasy Camp.  Its this amazing program where you sign up for a week long program and get to play out your crazy rock star fantasy.  You are paired up with other musicians and a rock legend to learn songs which you record and perform at the end of the week.  It was so cool to see the participants faces as they rocked out on stage, in front of a live audience. It did not suck that they got to jam with Lita Ford!  The crowd was so encouraging and I really enjoyed getting to watch these people make dreams come true.

7.  We headed back to the Aria and after some drinks downstairs we decided to head back up to the suite for a the cutest little Karma champagne toast and A GIFTING SUITE!  It was seriously like Christmas.

8.  Of course the first thing we dug in to was the Ethel M Chocolates, my favorite brand of chocolates.  It was the perfect ending to an amazing night!

Swag from The Trend Tribe Influencer Weekend

And now for the swag!!  As if all the wining and dining wasn’t enough, The Trend Tribe had put together some amazing gifts for us to take home!

1.  How darling is this Marigot Collection nightshirt?!  I checked out the entire website and her patterns are so whimsical and fun.  These made our slumber party so cute.  I love the orange trim on these!!

2.  Kiki De Montparnasse sent us home with a gift bag.  The soap is intoxicating with notes of musk and flowers.  And this candle can be melted and used as massage oil.  Relaxation, here I come.

3.  Here are the goods sent from Cusp by Neiman Marcus.  How darling is that ring!! And I’ve been needing a nail color for fall that isn’t quite so neon (I’m pouting.  But neon just doesn’t feel like autumn to me).  Not pictured is the Christmas Book that I cannot wait to go through!

4.  This is my Topshop gift card.  There is nothing left on it.  But I wanted to keep it as a reminder of what an awesome experience it was.  That coral leather pocket might just be my new business card holder.

5.  One of my favorite things in the world is seeing the Henri Bendel store right next to a gorgeous ornate church in NYC and who doesn’t get happy when they see those iconic brown and white stripes?  I do not wear perfume often as I am VERY picky about my smells.  This Grapefruit and Vetiver Cologne has all the notes I would pick if I was creating my own perfume.  Fruity and spicy without be cloying.  Thanks to Henri Bendel, I know how the cologne and body butter!

6.  This darling Vegas hangover kit was supplied by Stephanie for all the girls.  It was so thoughtful of her.  It contained water, a candy necklace, some aspirin and EmergenC.  I was so happy to get to meet her on this trip!

7. The Body Shop provided these amazing products for all of us.  Those gingerbread bath sparkles smell exactly like Christmas and I can’t wait to use them!  And I’m a huge tea tree oil fan so I was super excited to see these in my goodie bag!

8.  This mango soap by Yardley smells like heaven.  While it smells a bit citrus-y it also manages to smell creamy as well.  The tropical scent is one of my favorite for bath products and the packaging is super cute.

9.  Oh sweet Ethel M’s.  This is my open love letter to you.  I’m pretty sure that no one I know has ever returned from Las Vegas without bringing me back some of your delicious chocolates.  I was so excited to see you in my gift bag as I had been lamenting the fact that I wouldn’t have time to go to your retail store while in Vegas.  This really made my trip complete.

10.  If you haven’t smelled Demeter Fragrances before you must make a beeline to them if you ever see them in a store.  Not only is the packaging simple and perfect, the smells are so close to the real thing its incredible.  But the funny part is that they actually smell better!  Take ‘Dirt’ for instance.  No one would look at a fragrance with that smell and think they should spray it on themselves.  Unless that fragrance is created by Demeter. (Look for one called ‘grass.’  It is insane.  In a good way)  They are total geniuses in my opinion!  The Black Ginger body oil is probably going to be my new signature scent!

11.  This Vera Bradley bag is amazing.  The pattern is great and the size is amazing, but I can’t get over how well made they are!  They are super sturdy and lined with pockets to help keep your bag organized.  It has zippered top to keep everything in tact.  This is totally my new go-to airplane bag.  It’s a dream come true for a tote bag hoarder like myself.

12.  I am in love with this Kaplan MD lipstick color.  And I totally need that lip mask after spending a few very dry days in the Nevada desert.

Ladies of The Trend TribeI had the best time in Las Vegas.  I’m so appreciative to be working with such a fine group of ladies including those above, Kadi, me, Ashley and Wendy (taken at 3 am…)

Thank you to Nicole and Stephanie for putting together such a ridiculously amazing weekend.  Great to meet you Katy, Stephanie, Lala!!!  Until we meet again!!

*Disclosure:  I am a contributor for The Trend Tribe.  On occasion, contributors of The Trend Tribe receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence my point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect my experience. The opinions are my own.