This weekend I had the immense pleasure of attending Blogher ’14.
I can’t even begin to decompress and describe the mind bomb that is this conference. 4,000 bloggers, most of them women, in scenic California, partying it up, networking, and honoring each others’ voices.
I arrived in San Jose, CA on Thursday afternoon and was greeted by cupcakes (made out of lentils???) in a beautiful city. I ask you, does it get any better than that?
Who was on the list?
Jenny Lawson – who you may know as The Bloggess, and author of the hilarious memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I met her, and we talked about funny female authors, and we both just finished reading Nora Ephron for the first time, and she signed my book “Knock Knock, Mofo”. Isn’t she great?
Tig Notaro – the comedian best known for her stand up show discussing the humor and heft of having breast cancer. You can download free tracks of her stand up at her site here, including clips from her famous show, Live.
Arianna Huffington – as in the founder of The Huffington Post! Best speech of the keynotes; she was inspiring, charming, funny, and flawless. And you know what? I met her too, and I spoke to her in Greek! *seriously might faint just thinking how awesome that was*
Kerry Washington – the actor and activist. She shared behind the scenes stories from her show, Scandal, as well as why civil rights and philanthropy are so important.
BlogHer is drastically different than writers conferences, in my opinion. When you go to a writers conference, there’s a pretty strict schedule of classes to attend. It’s more about learning, networking, and deciding about indie vs. traditional publishing routes. It’s awesome and definitely motivating, but different.
1. BlogHer is basically a giant party.
No I’m not kidding. That’s how it feels. Everyone is smiling. Everyone wants to meet people. Everyone wants to know what you blog about and which classes you attended, and which yogurt you picked in the Yoplait #tasteoff challenge!
Shocker! We picked Yoplait.
That’s me and the illustrious August McLaughlin
hanging out with a giant spoon. #GoodTimes
The Expo room with all the vendors is fun to bum around. And for those looking to write sponsored posts, the connections are yours for the making!
2. The Keynotes
See above. Then wipe the drool from your chin. I can’t wait to see who’s on board for next year’s keynotes.
3. Voices of the Year Community Keynote
If you want to hear the voices that are groundbreaking in the blogosphere, attend the VOTY celebration. I was in awe of these women. And I want to share them all with you. Here are the 12 Voices of the Year that spoke at the conference. (All were phenomenal, but I starred the ones that spoke the most to me personally.)
*Parri Sontag ~ Her Royal Thighness ~ Leisure Suits, Braces, and Beanies: My Life as a Dodgeball Target
Kristin Vanderhey Shaw ~ Two Cannoli ~ More Than Words
Tammy Soong ~ World’s Worst Moms ~ First Reason Not to Get a Tattoo: Your Mom Probably Has One
*A’driane Nieves ~ Butterfly Confessions ~ America’s Not Here For Us
*Meredith Bland ~ Pile of Babies ~ 9 Awesome Things About Having a Physical Disability
*Janelle Hanchett ~ Renegade Mothering ~ We Don’t Start With Needles in Our Arms
Phyllis Myung ~ The Napkin Hoarder ~ Sometimes I Still Wish I Was White
Ashley Garrett ~ Baddest Mother Ever ~ It’s All One Life
*August McLaughlin ~ August McLaughlin’s Blog ~ My Big Brindle Heart: A Love Story
*Grace Sandra ~ Grace Sandra’s Blog ~ Letting The Stupid Little Ni**er Go
Jenna Hatfield ~ Stop, Drop, & Blog ~ The Bridge That is Any Bridge
Lisa Page Rosenberg ~ Smacksy ~ The View From Here
4. Networking and Friendships
There are 4,000 bloggers in one building and you get to hang out with them!!! I actually ran out of business cards.
Also, meet bloggers you follow online.
After using Twitter as a ginger beacon homing device, I met up with Aussa Lorens from Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy.
You know who else I Twitter stalked?
Hege and Cotille from StitchFix! Photo coming soon as it’s on Cotille’s phone, but the girls will be sharing their photos from BlogHer and all the StitchFix fashionistas at the conference using the hashtag #StitchFixInTheWild.
*double squeeee* I even went out to dinner with them! And we leisured on Santana Row, San Jose’s trendy hot spot for restaurants and clothing boutiques.
But best of all was meeting fellow blogger, longtime friend, and founder of #GirlBoner radio – August McLaughlin!
5. BlogHer is literally a giant party.
The end of the conference is a big, outdoor party. And Rev Run from Run DMC was the dj. #ILoveThe90s
Do you need any more reasons than that?
So, will I see you at BlogHer next year?
I had a fabulous time watching the Academy Awards last night! How many of you did the same? I loved popping in on Facebook and Twitter to see what everyone was thinking.
There was some ranting going ON!
But today it’s all about who stole the show with their looks, what wins were most shocking, and at my place, the FOOD! 😀
Let’s Start the Show!
First things first, Guests, please load up your plates with this year’s Oscar treats! Food included:
- Chilled Green Beans with Lemon and Sea Salt
- Bacon and Blue Cheese Bruschetta
- Crab Nachos
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Sunflower Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Potatoes with Lavender
- Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
- Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders with Mustard and Poppyseed
- Aloo Mater with Rice
AND SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT!
There’s still our annual “Oscar-served” pudding parfaits with strawberries, and Lemon Curd Cake with Raspberry Sauce!
Time to Talk Wardrobe!
What were some of your favorite looks this year? I do wish there had been more color on the Red Carpet this year, but everyone truly looked STUNNING! There wasn’t a single dress I disliked. The ladies who really nailed it though, I think are:
Best Actress Winner, Jennifer Lawrence
She looked amazing and was so charming on the Red Carpet! She looked young, but glamorous and very natural with her make up! I’m thrilled for her! 22 years old, her second nomination, and her first win! She’s also been a phenomenal spokesperson for people with mental illnesses since her shooting of Silver Linings Playbook.
Possibly my favorite dress of them all, I thought Nicole Kidman looked killer! Presenting this year, I thought she had the whole package – a well fitted, gorgeous gown, romantic updo, minimal jewelry but all around great look!!!
I said I loved color, and Kerry Washington’s dress was so elegant and beautiful for spring on the Red Carpet! Her jeweled bodice looked great on her, and I loved the soft, smooth skirt and train of her dress in that bubblegum pink!
Best Actress Nominee, Jessica Chastain
I caught Jessica’s pre-show interview and she picked this dress because it reminded her of Old Hollywood – Marilyn Monroe, and I couldn’t agree more. Critics raved for her look and how the flesh tone dress is stunning on her pale skin with the pops of red from her hair and lips. You know this redhead was a fan! Plus, she took her grandmother as her date, y’all! So cute!
Presenting with Dustin Hoffman, Ms. Theron looked amazing in her chic white gown and I loved the short hair with it! And did you guys catch her dance number with Channing Tatum??!! She reminded me of Julie Andrews in Sound of Music!
And the Oscar Goes To…
Were you pleased with the Oscar wins this year? Here’s a recap of the big ones:
Best Picture: Argo
Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
I was overall VERY pleased with the variety of films recognized this year. I had expected a sweep of either Les Mis or Lincoln, and it wasn’t the case at all! Almost all of the 9 nominated films for Best Picture won in some of the categories. Amour won Best Foreign Film, Zero Dark Thirty won Best Sound Editing; the only film not to receive an Oscar but was nominated for many was Beasts of the Southern Wild. I had high hopes it would take the Best Adapted Screenplay award, but that went to Argo. I’m sure we’ll hear more from the cast and crew of this film in the years to come!
And I have to announce the winner of my Red Carpet Giveaway is…
Memory Making Moments
There were a few call out performances at the Oscars this year, including its theme of Music in the Movies! There were stellar performances from Barbara Streisand during the In Memoriam portion, as well as the ENTIRE cast of Les Miserable joining together on stage for a Les Mis medley!
My favorites were of course – Adele! Taking home the Oscar for Best Original Song, Skyfall, from the James Bond film, Skyfall, she was awesome! And it seemed so fitting with the Academy also recognizing 50 years of Bond movies!
I also loved the performance of my favorite Bond song, Goldfinger, by Dame Shirley Bassey! This video shows the awesome montage of Bond films they made followed by Bassey’s performance. Sing it, sista!
By the by, Joe took a shot of me pre-party start when I wasn’t expecting it, and now we’re calling it my Bond girl shot. What do you think? I believe my Bond girl name would be…Cinema! But who will my James Bond be?!
Just For Fun
What would your Oscar face look like if you just found out you won?
(My friend, Cat, and I – AKA the Sequin Sisters – share some examples!)
Well, you win all the pudding parfait you can eat!
Happy Oscars Everyone!