It’s been such a pleasure to be invited to events by different brands while I’ve been blogging all these years and the latest trip to NYC with Better Homes and Gardens Stylemakers event was certainly a huge highlight for me. Being one of 75 bloggers invited to NY for this event was such an honor and it was really fun to experience it with many of my long-time blog friends and some new ones too. There were home bloggers, as well as food and fashion bloggers and the magazine did a fabulous job of hosting us. There were sessions offered by the editors of the magazine, sharing with us how they do things, from photo styling to social media and more. We are all growing together and I’m happy that Better Homes and Gardens treats bloggers so well and partners with us on so many levels, featuring more and more bloggers on the pages of their magazines.
In other words, Better Homes and Gardens rocks it with bloggers!
In case you are wondering, I want to be clear that this was not a sponsor paid trip. We all got the invitation and were on our own as far as airfare and lodging, but we were all very honored to get the invitation, so this is a business trip that is worth the cost. Besides, any chance to go to NYC again is OK by me! I love visiting this vibrant city and never seem to have enough time to see everything.
I was only there about 48 hours total, but we crammed as much as possible into that timeframe. I never tire of seeing all the beautiful architecture in the Big Apple, from brownstones to old and historic buildings. There’s lots of beauty surrounding the busy streets of New York. I made the mistake of booking a shuttle van at LaGuardia airport before I left and found out just how long it takes after I got on the van and was the very last stop to get dropped off…..2 hours later! I finally made it to my hotel and then checked in and took to the streets for some strolling.
After 2 hours in the van, I was starving and can’t go to NY without getting pizza, of course a staple on just about every street in the city. There are literally pizza joints every where you look. I asked the hotel where a close one was and they directed me to Abitino’s on 2nd Street and 50th. It didn’t disappoint and I had 2 slices. Yum!
I love the small farmer’s markets in the neighborhoods, so very European like.
Flowers too are in abundance. How fun to have all this handy!
We did a little walking that first day and I snapped plenty of pics along the way, the better to remember this beautiful and bustling city.
September is a great time to visit, the temps were near perfect in the mid-70’s and nights dropped to the high 50’s. Very pleasant! It’s such a busy place with people everywhere, horns honking and crazy driving. I wouldn’t want to live here, but I sure like to visit.
The skies were a perfect shade of blue that day.
I stayed with some blog friends at the San Carlos Hotel on 50th Ave. It’s a really nice place and near lots of tourist sites, like Rockefeller Plaza.
The Waldorf-Astoria, a huge iconic hotel in NYC. I didn’t go inside, but I’m sure it’s impressive.
Saks Fifth Avenue has it’s own fame as well.
The big Saks building takes up a whole block.
Loved seeing these American flags flying high and proud.
Rockefeller Plaza. I always wanted to go and hang outside NBC studios here, but never had enough time to actually do it. One day, one day! I’d love to wave at Matt and Al!
This huge botanical head with water spraying out the top was fun to see in the Plaza.
Very busy area and fun to walk.
We stopped in the big Anthropologie while we were there, right down from Radio City Music hall.
On the first night there, another huge treat was getting to see the Broadway show, Wicked. I went with Beth and her sister, Kim, and it was SO MUCH FUN. Loved every minute of this fabulous blockbuster show and got a 4th row center seat. The Wizard of Oz will never be the same!
One full day was devoted to the Stylemaker event with Better Homes and Gardens and we arrived at the Meredith offices bright and early.
They were so welcoming to all of us and it was such a pleasure to get to chat with many of the editors.
They had personalized these fun photo collages of all of us attending and will be sending them along to us in the mail. These were provided by Minted.
There are some spectacular views from the top of the Meredith offices and we got birds eye views of the city from there. Behind the glass, of course! So picturesque in the morning with the mist on the water.
Enjoy these high altitude photos.
New York is like no other place I’ve ever visited and it’s always a treat.
There were many bloggers that I knew and many that I met for the first time. It was fun to see Michael (who is super talented) from Inspired by Charm, again and of course, my long-time friend, Beth (also on the Haven team). We all had fun catching up and chatting again.
Pretty lunch tables set up.
There were several class sessions to choose from and I loved seeing my old friend, Eddie Ross, again. He’s a master at styling and tablescaping and shared hints on styling and photographing tables and seeing how it all looks on camera. He’s also an avid thrifter and loves collecting vintage pieces to add to his arsenal.
He makes everything look so good and really knows how to entertain in style.
So great to see him again. I met Eddie at least 5 years ago all because of blogging and it’s been fun to see his career take off. He’s now the East Coast Editor for Better Homes and Gardens and you’ve probably caught many of his stories and features in the magazine. BHG scooped him up and I can’t blame them.
At the end of the sessions, we gathered in the Better TV studio to sit in on a Stylemaker Panel, with none other than Nate Berkus. I was one of the bloggers who attended his show back in 2010 when he first got started hosting his own show. We were all in that blogger audience together and it was a blast. I said hello to him later that evening and took a pic, which you’ll see in a minute. I really enjoyed his show and was sorry to see it end. Also on the panel, were Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking (very successful food blogger) and Susan Feldman, co-founder of One Kings Lane. There were so many stylemakers at this event, it was very inspiring. There were others on the panel too that I didn’t get a pic of.
After a full day at Better Homes and Gardens, we were ushered off to a really swanky hotel, the Gansevoort Park Hotel, where we were treated to a fabulous rooftop party, complete with delish food and drinks. Sponsored by Pier One, Lee Jeans, Vanity Fair and others, it was a posh event.
Vanity Fair offerings. We didn’t get any free bras, darn it.
I think most everyone wanted to hang out on the terrace with this fabulous view and who could blame them?
It’s not every day that I’m on top of a tall building, enjoying these sights. What a treat it was, all of it! Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that this is actually my job and business. How blessed I am!
There were a few celebrities at the party, like Monica Pedersen, who I’ve been following on HGTV like forever. She’s such a sweetheart in person, so warm and friendly and it was great to meet her. She is one tall blonde too!
And I saved this pic for last. Many of us grabbed Nate for a pic and he was very gracious in posing with all of us. He’s such a great designer and it was a pleasure to get to speak with him for a minute. I so admire his style and how he puts a home together. Maybe he’ll get another TV show one day, I sure hope so! I mentioned to him that I was one of the bloggers who came to his TV show in NY back in 2010 when it first launched. That was a fun time too.
All in all, a memorable Stylemaker event with Better Homes and Gardens. I am so happy to have been invited and hope that there is more to come with them in the future years. They really get the connection with magazines and bloggers and treat us like peers and I love that. Gayle Butler, the BHG Editor was also there and we got to chat with her for a few minutes. So fun to see these faces that I’ve seen over the years come alive in real life.
Blogging is wonderful and has truly changed my life in so many ways and I’m so very grateful for these opportunities that keep coming my way. Thank you all for hanging out with me along my journey!
On another note, are you decorating a nursery?
Check out my style guide at Ebay (click the pic above) for decorating a classic girl’s nursery. We sure had fun putting baby Parker’s nursery together!