Thursday, January 29, 2015

{Recap} #BASHConf15 - My Top 15 Moments Behind the Hashtag

I mentioned a while back that I was asked to handle the social media for BASH so for the past 5-6 months I've been living my life online practically as #BASHConf15 - hence the title for this post!  There are absolutely no words.....NO WORDS for how amazing BASH was - well, there are, and I am going to give you a run-down list of how stellar this event was for me!

BASH, Maddycake Muse, Michelle Burt
(Michelle Burt of Maddycakes Muse and BASH Founder & Creator!)

I don't even know where to begin...I just don't....there is so much to say!  So, I'll just break down this post into my best moments from BASH (these are in no particular order) along with some pics I took with my shoddy camera phone!

Riding in a fancy limo VIP style with one of my fave party peeps and a woman I consider a mentor, friend and awesome roommate, Tonya Coleman of Soiree Event Design.  We met up at the airport with the always fabulous, Amy Belle Isle with Operation Shower and of Stem Parties who I love to bits and pieces - not only on account that she loves her some Tom Brady, but that she also makes homemade almond flour banana muffins that hit the spot when you've been on a plane for 8 hours :) YUM!

(Me & Tonya)

FINALLY Meeting my party peep homies face to face +Kylie Jenkins and +Kenna O'Brien  - I love these girls to death!!!! 

(This is me with +Tonya Coleman and +Kylie Jenkins )
(Me and +Kenna O'Brien  as Gwen and Olivia Pope)

The' OH S**T, I'm screwed' moment I had when I realized that my design for the tabletop competition just did NOT come together.  I'm telling you, it started out with the most gorgeous design concept and just completely fell apart.....and that was way before I left for Arizona.  All I can say about that is, choose your vendors wisely, have a plan B and don't try and make a masterpiece tablescape that will be judged by a National Magazine editor and two top bloggers, while working on little to no sleep.  I was totally delirious by the time I started putting this table together and it just didn't come together as I'd hoped.  I do love my party girls though, huge shout out to Andrea at Paper + Pop for her die cut glitter chair backers, Sunny Duran of Sunny by Design for helping me out with the printables.  Also, big hugs to Laura Aguirre (Laura's Little Party), Brenda Byers (Great Stitch), Laura Peterson (Pink Cake Plate) Brooke Heflin (Burlap and Bordeaux), The Petite Party Studio team - Rebecca & Shannon and Montrilla Jones (Lavender Pudding- and winner of the competition) who all at some point took pity on what must have looked like me staring into space at any given time from sleep deprivation and tried to help me with my table....God bless them!

Going to Phoenix, AZ was on my bucket list and I got to go (yay!) -- and check!

(The grounds at the Wigwam Resort are so pretty - and they have Orange trees everywhere.....yes, with oranges actually growing on them!  Did I mention this was my first trip off of the East Coast?)

That time I came out of the bathroom stall and went to shake Carolyn Horten's hand.....and then realized I shouldn't.....boy did we have a good laugh about that. #classickeisha

Seriously there was a moment where I was restocking the jelly beans at the sweets table during the Amy Atlas dinner and I look up and Loralee Lewis was standing there and I'm all like, Heeeey Miss Loralee Lewis and she knew who I WAS!  SHUT UP!!!!  Gave me a big hug - her spirit and energy is awesome.

The class with Anders Ruff was awesome and I can't begin to tell you how much fun the both of them are. 

Being surrounded by the party bloggers I have followed since the beginning.....there was one moment where I looked around the ballroom and started crying like a blubbering baby (it actually happened more times than anyone probably knew).  There were these larger than life photos of the party rock stars framed by track lighting and I just got all choked up seeing their faces.  It dawned on me that I was surrounded by photos of all the party bloggers who I greatly admired and inspired me to start blogging and working on my party business as a full fledged career!

I got to meet many of my party girlfriends who I just adore.  We've all been buddies online and have connected with each other on a local level or perhaps at other conferences, but this was the first time we were altogether as strictly PARTY GIRLS! 

 (L-R me with Toni Barret Roberts of Design Dazzle, Valerie Gimre of Charming Touch Parties, Tiffany Fox of Fizzy Party and Jilliam Tobher Leslie of Catch my Party)
 (L-R Brenda Byers of Great Stitch, Lynlee North Beckett of Lynlee's Petite Cakes, +Kimberly Sneed of A Night Owl Blog -- I love her blog - I stalk it!, +Laura Aguirre and +Mindy Cone )
(L-R Me with.....+Jennifer Carver+Jennifer Kirlin and Krista O'Byrne , Kenna, +Chris Nease and Jennifer and Carrie Calloway)

#10 - Collectively probably the best moment was meeting  +Kim Stoegbauer the woman who inspired me to create printables out of my party designs and was just so darn sweet and kind.  Meeting Hostess with the Mostess  +Jennifer Sbranti ......and then meeting the QUEEN of dessert styling, Amy Atlas! Can't get any better than that!  All of these ladies are so smart, so kind, so humble and just TOP DRAWER!

(Me with Kim !  BTW, I need to talk about that dress I wore in another post.  I felt like a PRINCESS and it fit me like a glove!  I got SO many compliments and yes, I'm tooting my own horn because I felt like a muther-effin SUPER STAR!)

(Chillin with Hostess with the Mostess - Jen Sbranti!)

(So humble, so kind, so encouraging, such a sweet, sweet spirit - loved meeting, Amy Atlas)

One of my other favorite moments was meeting Eddie Ross and his partner Jaithan Kochar.  Eddie is a fellow Nutmegger (person from Connecticut).  He was our keynote speaker the last night of BASH and shared how he developed his personal design style - which I TOTALLY got.  Eddie's style is drawn from visiting the gorgeous homes in Greenwich, CT as a youngin' and shopping the flea markets and thrift shops of the area - just like I did with my Miss Kitty.  Let me let me tell you people....those flea market shops in CT have some faaaaaaancy items! 

(Me with Jaithan!)

(Me and Eddie Ross - he's so witty and super nice)
Each night of BASH was a party (helloooo????  we're party gals!)  All of the events were tons of fun.  I got to dance with the Anders Ruff duo (can you tell what celebrities/characters were?), dancing and singing karaoke with my #roommatenotroomate (long story) Tali Burress of A Party Studio - fun all day long! I made so many new friends (shout out to my Cali girls!  Whoop-Whoop!)

(Martha, Olivia and Holly---aka me and Anders Ruff)

 (Look how cute these ladies are Tali as Amy Whinehouse, Toni as Lucille Ball, Kim as Brit-Brit and Kenna as Gwen - LOVE!!!)

Then there was the tabletop competition!  Congrats to Montrilla Jones of Lavender Pudding - I keep telling her she SLAAAAYED her tabletop!  I mean, girlfriend had a velvet rope, bling galore, little tiny naked cakes and a friggin tiny TV with an Oscars award in it!!!! 

Here are some of the tables from the other participants:

Then there is the swag......let's discuss the swag.....

When we got to our hotel room to unpack, Tonya, asked me if I had a bag for the stuff that I'll get to take home, aka swag.  I had a pretty decent sized tote bag...or so I thought.  She warned me that I'd need something larger....she was right.  I couldn't even fit most of what I got in freebies and swag from the other attendees.  Sadly, some things were left behind or gifted to the nice skycap at the airport in Phoenix.

 (this is not even close to all that I hauled home with me)

Oh and let me not forget the business cards - some were so cute and packaged all pretty and what not!  Here are a few of my faves!

Getting to be a part of BASH period was just the best moment.  I fulfilled a goal for this year.  I got to literally meet and work alongside all the women in this business who I admire and ones who have supported and encouraged me along my way.  I was able to learn so much about social media and large scale event planning.  I was able to ask questions and get answers from people who I believe are game changers in this business and got tons of positive feedback from them as well.  I was able to sit in on classes and learn from the most successful people in our industry and took away tons of information.  I got a chance to travel away from my family - who I missed dearly the whole time- but it was something that I now know that I needed for myself and it wasn't so bad.  I also got to make new friends!   Shout out to TEAM BASH!

(The ladies of the BASH team - we WERKED that conference - can't see me cause I'm taking the photo :) )

Huge amount of thanks to Michelle, for allowing me to be a part of this amazing conference.  I totally got her vision and what she wanted BASH to be.  I am amazed by what she was able to create in such a short amount of time.  I just admire her drive and passion to help inspire and encourage other women and am excited for what she has planned for BASH going forward!  Congrats, Michelle to a successful inaugural event!

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