My Trip To #BlogHer16

I probably should have started writing this recap while on the 6-hour plane ride home, but I decided to watch bad movies, relax as much as I could, and try to ignore the pain in my knees and back. Because of course, only those that can afford business class deserve to be comfortable. But I digress, probably because I’m fighting sleep after an 8 hour work day, jet lag, and an obnoxious cold. BlogHer was fantastic, and I didn’t even get to do everything I had planned on. Much like I overestimate how much I can eat when looking at a menu, I overestimated how much energy I would have the past 4 days.

Now let’s start from the beginning. This wasn’t a solo trip, like many of my other outings have been. I went with 3 good friends, each a blogger, each at a different stage in their blogging career, and each writing in their own niche. Nicole is a mommy and lifestyle blogger, she also owns a social media consulting business. (Psst, hire her, she’s really good) Lemale is a new mommy blogger who focuses on parenting, recipes (I personally vouch for the tastiness of her cooking), and couponing. Tish is brand new to the scene, so new she’s still developing her website, but her area of expertise is an unconventional path to success.

Somehow, despite taking 4 separate flights, 3 of us ended up at LAX within 30 minutes of each other and shared a ride to the JW Marriot where #BlogHer16 was being held. I had checked in on my phone after getting off my flight, so grabbing the keys was a breeze. When we got to our room, we plopped down, took a short breather, gussied up, and when the 4th member of our party arrived we went to scavenge for some grub. We happened to stumble upon a local spot called Tom’s Urban and it ended up being our go to for drinks and food. Ending up there between 3-4 times from Thursday to Saturday. Bruh, I miss the butter poached lobster and shrimp tacos already.

Any who, next up was a special event by Adam & Eve. This was one I was anticipating with bated breath. We were lucky enough to have a 3-course tasting of an aphrodisiac date night menu, created by Chef Fed. Chef Fed discussed how all 5 senses, with taste being the least important, dictated how a meal made us feel. The smells that link to memories, the sights that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, the sounds of sizzling that make your mouth water, and the texture of food that can make or break it. All of these together, along with finding the perfect balance of the 4 flavors; sweetness, savoriness, bitterness, and acidity, are what can make a meal an extension of foreplay or a wet blanket. The meal was spectacular, to say the least. Next, it was off to the first night of the expo.

Let me tell you, going to the expo and some of the sponsor’s suites basically pays you back for the cost of registration. I and all my friends received so much stuff we had to mail everything back home because getting it to and from the airport would have been too much of a hassle. I ended up shipping home a 20lb box. And no, they weren’t giving out 20lbs of useless tchotchkes. I received protein powder and bars from Vega, Balance Bar, and Garden of Life, essential oils from Young Living and Rocky Mountain Oils, really nice razors from Dorco, a DNA kit from Ancestry.com, and so so so much more. My favorite part of the expo was when I got to interview an OB/GYN that specializes in endometriosis and a woman living with endometriosis, at the #MeInEndo booth. I’ll have a post on my quick interview with them up soon. I was plum tuckered out after the end of day one in LA, and the 3 hour time difference and the fact I had just come down with a cold didn’t help.

Friday morning I had an invite for a special event put on by Vega. It was a vegan breakfast (insert shocked face emoji). Yes,  I know I’m the last person you would think would eat vegan food, especially since I take some light jabs at the more obnoxious vegans myself. However, in my ripe old age of 31, my body doesn’t work like it used to and one way to improve some of my ailments is to switch to a plant-based diet. So I walk in and smell the glory that is pancakes, but my excitement hits a wall when I remember they are vegan pancakes. However, I didn’t wake up early and come down there not to eat. So I pile up my plate with fruit, toast and almond butter, a vegan muffin, and finally a vegan pancake with maple syrup. I take a bite of the pancake and I’m instantly mad. Not because the pancake was bad, but because up until now every vegan option I’ve ever tasted has tasted like lies and deceit, but this pancake was the business. So when the presenter showed us how she made them I was laser focused on everything she did. To top off this morning of discovery, Vega gifted us with full-size tubs of their vanilla protein powder so we could try making these pancakes ourselves.

Next was time for seminars. There were so many I wanted to go to, but time and tiredness didn’t allow it. I did get to attend 2 great seminars on SEO and growing my influence with social media, and I can’t wait to implement what I learned. I took another quick trip through the expo and then went to a lunch event for The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and then a special event for AutoTrader.com/ Kelley Blue Book. From outwards appearances, meaning if you had no interest, both events just looked like a good opportunity to score some free grub. However, as someone who takes supplements and is constantly wondering if I really should be and how to find the best ones, the CRN event provided invaluable information. Their website gives the rundown on trusted brands that they recommend and the testing and quality control processes each use for their supplements. I now have a confidence in buying vitamins and supplements that I haven’t had previously. Now the AutoTrader.com/ Kelley Blue Book was super helpful for women looking to car shop in the near future. I had no idea that Autotrader.com had a section of the site that would let you see how much people were paying for the same make and model of car you’re interested in, in your area. It also has cost of maintenance calculators for different makes and models of cars. The presenter’s goal was to get women to feel confident and well prepared when they go in to buy a car, whether it’s new or used, and I truly believe they accomplished this goal for the group at this event.

Up next, was a short rest, then dinner at, you guessed it, Tom’s Urban. After dinner, I went to the Vagasil Cocktail Vagtail hour. Guess what I learned. Vagasil was 1. created by a man 2. created so women would stop putting regular anti-itch cream on their vaginal areas. While the hour was mostly to promote a new product to ease vaginal dryness, the presenter’s focused on something we, as a society, need to put more work into. Destigmatizing the vagina, especially both it’s healthy and unhealthy natural functions. Women should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about normal discharge, periods of dryness, or menstruation. We also shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk to our doctors when something seems off. It’s another part of our body and it should be given the same, if not more, attention. I, again, was plum  exhausted after another full day, so I headed to bed, sadly missing the Black Blogger meetup (infinite sad faces).

On Saturday, I went to the breakfast provided by BlogHer, hung out at the pool, and then realizing I couldn’t fit all of my swag into the tiny shipping boxes provided by the business center, and power walked to the nearest Target and picked up a large box and packing tape. I stuffed everything into the box with as much grace as a spider monkey and trudged down to the business center and shipped it on back to the East Coast. The sad, sad, East Coast. Next up, time to enjoy a little of LA with the besties so you know what that means. Shopping. The same mall that housed the Target, had a Zara, H&M, and MAC. Since I couldn’t fit an extra nickel into my carryon I opted not to buy any clothes, but I did pick up some makeup from MAC and H&M. A review on the H&M makeup will be coming soon. We then ate at a Mexican place, reveled in its glory, and headed back to the hotel to unwind and get ready for the closing party at The Conga Room. I’m not sure if I’d just reached my limit with being surrounded by people nonstop for so long, but I couldn’t get excited. Even my desire to dance was shut down. So I went back to Tom’s Urban and wallowed in lobster and shrimp mac & cheese, then went back to the hotel and packed up for the next day’s flight.

I shant go into the details about how I thought I traveled back in time when I really got a good look at LAX’s terminal or the fact that airport strangers are way too talkative. What I will say is, #BlogHer16 was an AMAZING experience and I can’t wait to make this an annual girls trip.

 

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The “we just landed” drinks
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The fact that the desserts were phallic shaped was not lost on any of us
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Menu for the Adam & Eve tasting

 

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Chef Fet
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Mmmm personalized chocolate
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Forgot to buy these beautiful healing crystal bracelets
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Suprisingly delicious Vega vegan breakfast

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The entrance to Aldi’s Baby baby shower themed suite
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Aldi let us make body scrubs and they smelled divine

 

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Guess who won a bundle of essential oils from Young Living. Me!
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Vagasil Cocktail Hour
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My beautiful tribe
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I would find the one puppy at a conference to bond with
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Chillin by the pool for a spell
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Supposed to be at the closing party but lobster mac & cheese happened

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So What Do You Think?