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Chicago BlogHer 2013 Recap

  BlogHer 2013

For me, BlogHer 2013 started before I even left for Chicago. I planned my entire wardrobe around 3 things – my Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise hair, piCture pOlish Ocean nail polish on my tips and toes, and my crocs turquoise A-Leigh Mini Wedge Sandals. I bought dresses for the event that coordinated with the pretty teal blue. By Tuesday night I had everything packed efficiently and my suitcase only weighed 27 lbs.

Pre-BlogHer Family Time

So very early Wednesday morning, around 6:30 am, I got up, showered, and was out the door by 6:45 am to head to the airport with Ray to fly to Chicago.

For Makeup
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Finland
NARS Desire – blush
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo – highlighter
Stila After Glow Lip Color in Electric Pink
NARS Brow Perfector in Suriname
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Performance Colors Shimmerstick eyeshadow in Oilslick
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

Cigar City Brewery fruit plate

Ray and I had breakfast at Cigar City Brewery in the airport.

Ray and Pete on the L Train

We got in around 11am local time and were met by Ray’s brother Pete at the airport. Then we took the L train to Pete’s place, dropped off our luggage, and promptly went exploring Chicago with Pete. Ray grew up in Chicago, and I used to visit there when I lived in Indiana.

El Cid Mango Margarita We had lunch and mango margaritas at El Cid. Yum! Then we hung out with Ray’s brothers for several hours.

Revolution Brewery

We went to Revolution Brewery and hung out with Ray’s brothers for a few hours. I don’t drink beer, but Ray and his brothers all brew, and they love beer. They also love Revolution, as their friends own it. While we were walking to Revolution Brewery, some random guy in a car stopped his car to yell out the window at me that he loved my blue hair and that he was glad I wasn’t a tight ass. I said thanks and kept on walking. Strange but hilarious.

Fiorentino's Cucina Italiana We eventually cabbed it to dinner at Fiorentino’s Cucina Italiana, where we had amazing food. Seriously amazing. If you’re ever looking for amazing Italian in Chicago, head there. The guys played Bocce Ball while we waited for the food.

The Bocce sand behind us Some friends dropped by to hang out while we were there. It was a great time. I have no idea what time we finally made it home to sleep, but I know we were out late and had a blast.

Thursday – First Day of BlogHer (though only a half day)

Day One Outfit For the first day of BlogHer I wore a black studded dress from Target, my crocs black wedges, and my tokidoki necklace.

For makeup
Performance Colors Light & Smooth foundation in Snowie
NARS Desire – blush
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo – highlighter
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi
NARS Brow Perfector in Suriname
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Performance Colors Shimmerstick eyeshadow in Oilslick
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

Ray and Pete and I cabbed it to the Sheraton. I checked in and went to the room.

Hotel Room view The view from my Hotel Room was stunning.

Then I met up with Christine from 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic, Teri from Beautiful Makeup Search, Nancy from Beauty 411, Cindy from Prime Beauty, Carleen from Beauty & Fashion Tech, and Angela from Lipgloss Break. Ray and Pete took off, and we ladies went down Michigan Avenue to shop for a bit. Of course we went into Sephora. I picked up BECCA Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation.

MAC Makeover Christine got a makeover done by a fantastic makeup artist at MAC. He used Phloof, Saddle and Sketch to make her eyes pop.

After Jen from My Beauty Bunny arrived, we went to get our badges and then we met up with more ladies before we decided to head down to Navy Pier. We went to Riva’s Crabhouse for dinner. I took my cute Betsey Johnson clutch.

With Christine and Jen

We eventually went back to the hotel and stayed up late talking in our rooms, plotting which seminars we’d attend.

Friday – First Full Day of BlogHer

New Directions Friday Dress I wore my striped skater dress, a skinny belt, my crocs turquoise A-Leigh Mini Wedge Sandals, my tokidoki necklace and my Cavallo Equestrian bracelet. I took my awesome black Epiphanie Lola Bag so that I could take my DSLR and other stuff with me. This handbag camera bag hybrid is my favorite!

For Makeup
Performance Colors Light & Smooth foundation in Snowie
NARS Desire – blush
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo – highlighter
Stila After Glow Lip Color in Electric Pink
Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Performance Colors Shimmerstick eyeshadow in Oilslick
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

I should mention that rather than lugging a notebook and pen with me, I took notes on my Samsung Galaxy Note II. It’s seriously the best cell phone I’ve ever purchased. I’m so glad I did the research on phones when I bought it because it’s perfect for me. Between the stylus and swype predictive text, it’s so much faster than me writing by hand. It’s also much lighter than carrying a laptop. And it never fails to grab attention! Everyone wanted to know about my phone because it’s so large and unusual. The fact that it has purple bat wings and a tokidoki unicorn has nothing to do with it :P

me and Jen

The first panel that Jen and I attended was the Style Mini-Con’s Business of Blogging.

Me and Patrice from Afrobella

I finally got to meet Patrice from Afrobella! Patrice, Natalia from Ma Nouvelle Mode, Gabi from GabiFresh,  and Marcus from Marcus Troy all spoke on the panel. I learned some new things and they reinforced many things I’d heard before. It was a good panel! I felt like it wasn’t long enough, because all the good bits were at the end and I wanted it to go on.

Guy Kawasaki

After that we broke for lunch. Guy Kawasaki was the speaker at lunch. He was a pretty funny guy. He said a lot of things, playing to the crowd. He’s very supportive of Android phones. He also said that he wouldn’t be successful without the women in his life.

After that we walked around the vendor area.

SodaStream I got to meet the social media men behind SodaStream. If you don’t know, I love SodaStream and use it daily since I gave up Vanilla Coke Zero. I make bubbly water, and then I add Stur Drinks or Mio Black Cherry Energy to it.

with Tabitha of So Tabulous I saw someone who had gorgeous hair and I had to take her picture! Turns out, her name is Tabatha and she follows me on Pinterest and she blogs at So Tabulous. I was so flattered that she knew me and liked my pins!

Christina from Hair Romance Right after that I met up with Christina from Hair Romance. We plotted to hang out and attend parties together.

Then it was off to the DSLR panel! The DSLR panel had a lot of great tips about lighting and was very technical. I’m glad I had my camera with me to ‘play along’.

Vionic and Wallis

After the DSLR panel we met up with Mary from The Recessionista, and we went to the Vionic and Wallis meetup. Some of the fall shoes were really cute!

Mary's cute jacket and shoes Mary got a cute black jacket and purple shoes, which matched her dress!

Mommy Gearest I met Andrea from Mommy Gearest and she and I looked at the Fall fashion dresses together.

After that, we had to head back to the hotel rooms and get ready to head to the Hasbro Party.

Hasbro Party at BlogHer We got drinks and mingled at the Hasbro party.

Hasbro Party at BlogHer We saw the Ponyfication Station and had to go get Ponyfied!

Hasbro Party at BlogHer Christina gave me a hair bow!

Hasbro Party at BlogHer

Christine got pretty red in hair.

Hasbro Party at BlogHer Christina gave herself a hair bow, too!

Hello Kitty Carleen & I matched with our Hello Kitty. That shirt is so cute! ‘Cute outside, angry inside.’

This was a lot of fun! After we left the Hasbro party, Jen wanted to go shop for makeup (since she’d missed doing it on Thursday), but there was nowhere open to go, so we went back to the hotel to hang out.

Saturday – Second Full Day of BlogHer

New Directions Maxi Dress I wore this turquoise striped maxi dress on Saturday, along with my crocs and tokidoki necklace.

For Makeup
Performance Colors Light & Smooth foundation in Snowie
NARS Desire – blush
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo – highlighter
Stila After Glow Lip Color in Electric Pink
Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Performance Colors Shimmerstick eyeshadow in Oilslick
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

Crocs A Leigh Mini Wedges

Again I wore my my crocs turquoise A-Leigh Mini Wedge Sandals. You can see how perfectly they match my piCture pOlish Ocean nail polish. NO ONE believed that the shoes I wore were crocs! They couldn’t get over how cute and stylish they looked. I explained that I’ve been wearing crocs to conventions for about 9 years and it’s worth it because I’m the one who’s not in pain at the end of the day from my shoes. I love my crocs!

People kept asking me what nail polish I was wearing, too. I was happy to tell them that it was Australian brand, piCture pOlish in the color Ocean. Gotta love that bright scattered holo!

The first panel we went to on Saturday was Perfecting Your Pitch and Media Kit. I got a lot of really great useful ideas out of the Perfecting Your Pitch session.

We went to lunch and then walked around the vendor area again.

Vacation Orlando I loved that they had a Visit Orlando booth.

Speck Samsung Galaxy S4 I went by the Speck booth (Speck also makes my kindle case, which called the Fit Folio Peacock in vegan leather and they were giving out Samsung S3 and S4 cases. I picked up an S4 case for Ray and it came with Zoya Zua. Love teal! We’re a total Samsung house here, because Ray has the S4, Dave has the S3, and I have the Note II. Long live Samsung!

For the afternoon session we went to the Making the Most of Pinterest & Facebook marketing panel. It was packed! Literally out the door! It was a bit obnoxious because there were people in there and they would NOT stop talking, which made it very hard for me to hear the speakers. Still it was a great session. Loved it!

We met up with Michelle from All Lacquered Up, which was pretty epic!

Saturday evening we decided that those who had never had it needed to have Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, so we went to Lou Malnati’s. We originally had called for a table, and were told it would be a 45 minute wait and they didn’t take reservations. We cabbed it and were there 15 minutes later. Unfortunately by that point the wait was 2 hours, so we did takeout, which was only 30 minutes. We took the pizza back to the hotel and hung out in the lobby in a big group eating and drinking.

Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza I had a personal mini-deep dish mushroom pizza. It was divine!

Patrice came by and hung out with us for a bit. She looked AMAZING in her Fashion Show white dress.

Lingerie Addict

We then got to meet and hang out with Treacle, one of Carleen’s friends. She runs the amazing blog The Lingerie Addict. Ray and Pete joined us while we were hanging out and had a few drinks with us.

Treacle We geeked out about Dragon Con! I wish I was going this year.

Eventually we wandered back up to our rooms to chat and sleep.

Sunday

For Makeup
Performance Colors Light & Smooth foundation in Snowie
NARS Desire – blush
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo – highlighter
Stila After Glow Lip Color in Electric Pink
Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Performance Colors Shimmerstick eyeshadow in Oilslick
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

We checked out of our rooms and had brunch. Then Ray, Pete, Jen and I went shopping down Michigan Avenue. We went to Sephora, and I picked up the Beauty Blender Solid Sponge Soap.

Adorable Standard Poodle The Nordstrom Mall allows dogs and we saw an adorable standard poodle female that I just had to say hello to. She was well behaved, calm, and gorgeous! Loved her!

The WGN Building

We took Jen to see a few sites in Chicago before her flight, like the WGN building. We tried to go to the Purple Pig, but they were so packed you couldn’t even get in!

Vander Mill Cider After Jen took off, we went back to Pete’s place and almost died in the cab on the way there. The cab driver ran a red light into the intersection. It was pretty terrifying. Once back at Pete’s we decided that it might be nice to sit and relax. I had a Vander Mill Blue Gold cider, which was fantastic.

We spent the evening with Ray’s family.

Monday

Departing Chicago I wore my Tee Turtle shirt, tokidoki necklace, jeans, Hello Kitty jacket and black sketchers that are easy to slip on and off.

For Makeup
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Finland
NARS Desire – blush
Too Faced Candlelight Glow Duo – highlighter
Stila After Glow Lip Color in Electric Pink
NARS Brow Perfector in Suriname
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Performance Colors Shimmerstick eyeshadow in Oilslick
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

Ray and I departed Chicago Monday morning. You can read about my nightmare with AirTran airlines here. To summarize, my luggage was never put onto my plane. Then it was lost and they couldn’t locate it. Then they said it would be delivered. Then it never showed up. Then when I finally got it, items had been stolen out of it. It was a stressful 48 hours. However, Southwest made things right, since AirTran mucked it all up. Additionally, several of you emailed me to tell me that you’d experienced similar issues with AirTran in the past 6 months.

Overall, my experience with BlogHer 2013 in Chicago was awesome. I met so many great people and connected with them. I really enjoyed the conference and I want to do it again!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my experiences at BlogHer.

Have you ever been to a conference or convention? What are your favorites to attend?

  • From our partners
    • CarleenPruessCoulter

      It was so great seeing you at Blogher! I wish we all could have stayed longer and just goofed off!!!!

    • TracyHowellHorton

      Ok, I have been eyeing a pair of the crocs online, but am scared to order them.  Do they fit true to size?  They are soooooo cute!

    • PoppyVelvet

      Finally, someone else who wears (nice) Crocs! I’ve been wearing them for a few years now and people don’t believe it when I say they are Crocs.

    • trumpette

      Wow – it looks like you had so much fun!! I love your tee turtle shirt. Ok, maybe I’ll have a look at what ‘nice’ crocs are available here and… wow, Ray has a lot of brothers! And one more wow, I’m so impressed that you pretty much stuck to one eyeshadow for your various looks!

    • http://www.glambunctious.com glambunctious

      It sounds like you guys had SO much fun!  I would actually love to go to a conference and learn new things and have the opportunity to meet all the awesome bloggers I already feel like I “know” from their blogs!  Maybe someday there will be one near me in ATL!  :)

    • Pingback: New Beauty Splurges, Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, & More! | Phyrra | Beauty for the Bold

    • http://www.thefabzilla.com/ Kath TheFabZilla

      Great event summary! You ladies look gorgeous. Super love your hair!!! Hayyy, I long for that day when events like these will happen in Hawaii!!!!

    • http://beautyjudy.com/ BeautyJudy

      What a fun trip! Glad you got a two-fer out of it – family AND beauty/blogging!!!! Love the deets on your outfit and makeup looks, too!