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I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to writing and posting a review of my trip to BlogHer 2012 in New York City. I got home on August 5, but then had a couple of days with my family and then almost a week at Old Grandma’s and then -
You know how it goes. Time got away from me. They’re still posting about the conference on BlogHer.com, so I figure I’m not too late.
New York City
The first thing I learned in New York City is that I’m a country person.
I’ve never, ever considered myself a country person. I rather like the suburbs. I like being in Harrisburg; I’ve never minded Baltimore, Philly, or even Washington DC.
I can’t say that I liked New York. It was too busy, always bustling.
And then there was the $16 hot dog.
I’m not sure what about pickles, lettuce, “chilies,” cilantro, mustard, and mayo warrants charging $16 for a hot dog, and I did not order it to find out.
I’d also like to point out that it would actually cost closer to $25 because there were a ridiculous amount of taxes and fees added on. I ordered the chicken burger under the hotdog and a glass of water, and the bill cost $30.15.
I walked a lot in New York. I didn’t mind the walking, but walking in crazy crowds was uncomfortable. I walked through Times Square to see what it was all about.
It was okay.
More than anything, it was busy.
I’m not exactly sure what the fuss is about.
The first night of the conference, I met one of my blogging heroes. We talked for a brief moment (because I was struck with muteness, just like when I was in college and the boy I liked came over to talk to me). She was exactly as I’d hoped, charming and smart and kind.
If you don’t know who this is, where have you been?
I did not spend enough time with either of these two women, my dear dear friends Allie from No Time for Flash Cards and Rachel from Finding Joy. I would have liked to have hours and hours and hours to chat. They are like my sisters, and I love them.
My Awesome Conference Sponsor
Before I go any further, I want to say thank you to my conference sponsor, Mizkan. I’ve been working with Mizkan as a Blogger Advocate for more than a year, and I do it for one reason – I love the products.
Mizkan is a food company that makes three brands of cooking products: Nakano rice vinegars, Holland House cooking wines and vinegars, and World Harbors sauces and marinades.
We use Nakano vinegars several times a week every week; I especially like them because they add flavor without adding calories. Holland House and World Harbors are great, too.
Give them a try and tell me how you use them. I’m always looking for new methods and recipes.
My next brush with fame was during an interview with Martha Stewart.
Martha Stewart and I could be best friends. She’s witty and charming and as confident as anyone I’ve ever met.
She said, “I’m nosy and curious. I want to know what’s going on.”
So we’re friends and sisters.
When the interviewer asked her what she’s not good at, she said, “I’m not good at all the things I haven’t tried yet.” Rock on, Martha.
She also said, “It’s not about making money. It’s about getting paid for your work. It’s a good thing to be productive and earn.”
And “I have to curb my appetite for social media to 5 minutes a day.” She went on to explain that she loves it, but she won’t let it waste her time.
Her keynote interview was a real high point of the weekend for me. If you want to read more of her one-liners, go back to August 3 on my Twitter stream. I Tweeted a bunch of them.
The women in this photo are the Editor-in-Chief of Highlights magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of High Five and Hello magazines.
That Highlights magazine, the one you got for years when you were a kid.
They were delightful, too, and they invited my girls and I to come take a tour of their offices and factory. That is an offer I am going to follow up on! I’ll be sure to share it with you when the time comes.
This has become a little braggy, I’m sorry to say, but I worked out with the Radio City Rockettes. They taught us some of their moves and three of their dance numbers. Sherry wrote all about it on her blog (and included a video!) if you want to read more.
Katie Couric is a smart lady. She did an interview where she talked about politics and attitudes and, of course, her new show. Here are some highlights from her talk:
“You can’t buy into being marginalized. Be active. Be involved. Take chances.”
“I think dieting makes people fat. That attitude is really destructive. Weight Watchers has really helped me be smart about it.”
and then “I start every day on Weight Watchers and end every day off of it.”
She’s very thin, though, and not grabbing her boobs as this picture might imply.
There’s more from Katie on Twitter from August 4.
Disney Jr. had a breakfast for bloggers one morning, and I got to see a preview of their new series, Sofia the First. She’s a little girl whose mother marries the king, making her a princess. She doesn’t want to be a princess, and she doesn’t think she can be good at it.
You know how I feel about princesses, but I’m really looking forward to this one. I forget when it will start showing up on Disney Jr.
One of my recipes (baked apple pecan pancakes) won me a contest from the Milkman. These are the people behind the milk mustache ads. Obviously.
My Awesome Wardrobe
Another pause for sponsor information. I had the most fabulous wardrobe at BlogHer, thanks to Sonsi.com. The dress in the picture with Ree, the pink ruffle shirt, and the polka dot shirt all came from Sonsi.
I love Sonsi because it’s an amalgam of plus size shopping options. In one spot, you can find clothing (size 12 and up) from over 300 different designers and retailers. I shop there often, and I have blogged for Sonsi Living since 2010.
Obviously, Sonsi is another brand that I adore.
I felt like this wasn’t much of a blog post, and all of a sudden, it’s over 1,000 words. If you’ve hung in til the end, I want to say a few more things.
1. Swag is nice, but it’s not worth standing in a line for 2 hours. The things people will do for a couple of free toys. It’s really sad.
2. If you don’t follow up afterwards, you might as well stay home. The purpose of going to a blog conference is to meet people and to network. If you collect cards and don’t ever bother to reach out to people (bloggers or brand reps), you might as well save your money and sit at home.
3. BlogHer is what you make it. It’s huge and crazy, but it’s possible to make connections with real people who are like you. A friend lamented to me about the drinking and debauchery at BlogHer, but I had absolutely no experience with it. It’s all in where you go and who you hang out with.
So. What did you make of it?
© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.