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!
It looks like you had a fabulous time and I can see why. How fabulous!
Darn, I wish I could have made it. Looks like tons of fun.
Rhoda, thank you for the sights of New York City. My daughter and I were there twenty-two years ago for her sixteenth birthday. Love the snaps from the tops of buildings. I enjoy reading your blog which has introduced me to new places to visit. Your front yard is maturing into a beautiful landscape. Happy autumn.
Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort says
You got some great pictures! I haven’t been to NYC in a long time but your pictures made me want to plan a trip! So glad you got to attend this fun event. 🙂
Julia G. says
Rhoda – So happy for you. The pictures of New York are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your trip with us…New York City is definitely on my list of places to visit.
Rhoda, like always you give the best recaps of events. Feel like I was there. Thanks for sharing and for your generosity.
Rhoda – You are such a great lady – thank you for sharing your exciting trip with us! I had sent you a FB message saying I was waving to you from the Empire State Building 🙂 I work in the building so next time you are in NY please feel free to reach out to me and you can come visit the top! As an employee at the building, we are allowed to bring guests to the top without having to pay or wait on line!!! Thank you for being such an inspiration! My husband and I bought our first home last year and I have finally started decorating – and I get a lot of ideas for you and some other bloggers such as KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and from City Farmhouse. You ladies have opened me up to a beautiful world of pretty homes! Have a great day!
HI, Lourdes, I loved when you waved from the Empire State Building. It was such a whirlwind visit, but I’d love to take you up on that next time I’m there and hopefully I’ll be back again one day.
Sharon Rexroad's Bringing Creativity 2 Life says
Rhoda — it looks like it was such a fun event. So glad you had the opportunity to go to it! I remember well the kerfuffle that accompanied the “bloggers visit The Nate Show” event and how you remained classy amongst it — my already high estimation of you only rose higher then. I’ve worked on some projects with Monica Pedersen and she really is a dear, isn’t she? And don’t get me started on Eddie Ross … just get him as Keynote Speaker for Haven 2015!!!!!!!!!
How cool was that!
Judy Westegaard-Jenkins says
Such a great event for you, Rhoda and so well deserved!
Those buildings are breathtaking!
Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says
Rhoda, what a dream come true for you! I am so happy that you are getting to attend these events. Why, BH&G should snatch you up, in my opinion!!! I love NYC too. Leo and I honeymooned there (quite a few years ago!)
Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says
What a trip!! I’m so glad you get to do all this fun stuff. No one deserves it more.
Looks like y’all had a blast! Love NYC in Sep.
Thanks for sharing NYC wow !! I have never been , but remember my mom telling me her story of when her and her girlfriends took the train in the early 50’s to NYC, she loved it ! Maybe someday I will make it there and wave to KathieLee and Hoda at the Today Show. ehhehe.
Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles says
What a great trip report, Rhoda! I really wish I could have heard Eddie speak. Hope I can go next year!
You look great!!!
You sure have been on a journey since starting your wonderful Blog!!!
I love the East Coast for the architectural designs everywhere you look. I was born in Montreal where every corner makes a statement. The doors, windows, balconies all could tell stories of yesteryear when life was a little bit slower.
So happy that you had a great time!!!
Maria Gonzalez says
Rhoda, thank you for sharing all those great pictures! I follow you on Instagram and saw some of the pictures that you posted there as well. I love the collage heart that BHG made to welcome you all, so special!
What a trip! NYC is so fun and the BHG event looked amazing! Thanks for sharing
Michael Wurm, Jr says
Thanks for the lovely shout out Rhoda! It was so nice to catch up. 🙂