The Best of…for #ThrowbackThursday

An easy-to-read compilation of a few of my highest rated, most searched for, best read, and favorite posts:

1. Yummy Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake Roll:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/08/19/yummy-old-fashioned-strawberry-cake-roll/

2. Lululemon:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/11/07/breaking-news-see-through-yoga-pants-from-lululemon-get-em-while-theyre-hot-2/

3. Hello Kitty is my Soul SIster:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/05/28/hello-kitty-is-my-soul-sister-princess

4. How To REcover a Torn Outdoor Swing Cushion:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/05/10/how-to-recover-a-torn-outdoor-swing-cushion/

5. One is the Loneliest Number #Blogher14:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/07/30/one-is-the-loneliest-number-blogher14/

5. Seashell Vase:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2012/09/05/instead-of-flowers-how-about-a-seashell-bouquet/

7. Our Love Story:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/07/24/just-a-cup-of-coffee-the-love-story-of-princess-rosebud-and-her-captain-part-one/

8. Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/10/30/boys-do-make-passes-at-girls-who-wear-glasses-oh-yes-they-do/

Have a lovely Thursday!

One Is The Loneliest Number #BlogHer14

BEFORE I arrived Thursday afternoon, I had been SO excited to be a part of a gathering of women bloggers…but the sad reality is that I never felt more alone in my entire life than I did in the midst of 2,500 women.

One really is the loneliest number, just like in Three Dog Night’s lyrics.

#blogher14thursday

And two can be as bad as one if they both jump in the car and sneak away from BlogHer 2014 off to Carmel-by-the Sea to enjoy a lovely, romantic, magical weekend.

‘Cos that’s what me and my tugboat man did.


 *Another BlogHer 2014 Experience Analysis*

The feeling of Feeling All Alone is not a happy feeling.

NOT sour grapes.

TRUTH.

For example, the couple of times I did approach groups, I felt a distinct chill in the air. There was no kumbaya moment, no jumping in the air to greet me — no invitation to sit down, join the group, and take a smiley selfie.

I got the message. I left.

I mean, what would YOU do when you feel awkward and you don’t seem to fit in anywhere? blogher2

And that’s about it.

There were some bright moments…

It was beyond FUN meeting My Life As Lucille and A Mother Life.

And Not a Supermom Anna Parrs was an unexpected surprise; lovely and warm.

I never hooked up with my Buddy, so I can’t determine if she would have helped to more successfully guide my BlogHer journey.

Sponsorship-wise, I connected with three brands, so there’s that.

Ursula and Rhonda from Garden of Life are awesome representatives of a great company that makes ethical, organic vitamins and supplements.

gardenoflifeblogherpic

Wandering around and around the Expo, so many of the sponsors were geared to the still menstruating female with a working uterus, and well, um —  THAT ship has already sailed for me, if you know what I mean. (TMI, I know, I know.)

In a former life, I organized large events; expos, career fairs, trade shows  –  I understand how hard it is to secure sponsorship and funding –  and retain them year after year. For every sponsor we saw, there were probably ten that declined to participate. It’s hard work and I appreciate all the effort to bring in dollars to underwrite an event – but I would have liked to have seen companies that reflected more relevance to my demographic.

Social conscience, anyone?

I was disappointed not to see any booths or representatives of women’s advocacy groups…domestic violence, child abuse, human rights — or any animal rights groups that defend and protect animals against abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

I would have expected this conference to be a perfect forum for purposeful discussions and subsequent actions to build a solid platform for collective change.

As women, we ARE powerful, and our VOICES can be loud and purposeful, not only to push me out of the way to grab more swag, but to help those less fortunate and effect positive transformations.

About McDonalds…

Had I known prior to purchasing my ticket that McDonalds was not only a main sponsor but the provider of food for the closing party, that alone would have told me that this event was not right for me. I’m not a perfect vegan or a perfect human, but this is sort of non-negotiable. A deal breaker, as it were.

You probably don’t want to see this, and I can’t blame you, but there are many videos and undercover reports all over the internet about the abuse of animals that end up in your not-so-Happy Meal. This is one of them: http://www.mcdonaldscruelty.com

Most of all, I’m sorry that I didn’t have the same kinds of experiences I’ve been wistfully reading about.

Thank goodness my tugboat man was there to whisk me away to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

#BlogHer2014 was my first blogging conference.
And probably my last.


Did you know that Clint Eastwood was a former mayor of Carmel?

We found a room at the adorable, quaint, and very clean Normandy Inn. NormandyINN

In the evening, walking around the village, we heard a beautiful voice singing the kind of big band music we love from the 1940’s, and followed it to the Cypress Inn, owned by the AMAZING Doris Day!

Not only is Doris an accomplished vocalist and actor, she is one of the original animal rescuers and defenders. Her passion for saving abandoned, abused, and neglected animals is legendary. Click here to learn more about her foundation.

The lounge was full of well dressed senior citizens and a few tourists. Everyone had their dogs with them. Not only is the Cypress Inn dog-friendly; to our utter delight, so is the entire city of Carmel!

The lounge was standing room only. Vocalist Debbie Davis was amazing. She walked to the outskirts of the crowd in her sparkly dress and asked if we were celebrating anything special. I pointed to my tugboat man and told her it was his birthday. She located two chairs for us and serenaded him and everyone applauded and wished him a happy one. We both agree that Carmel has a great vibe and and we’ll definitely return.

The next day we drove down the coast looking for a place to camp. Big Sur was beautiful albeit shrouded in a heavy fog bank, but every so often the sun broke through. The views are incredible.bigsur1We never make reservations at campgrounds because we’ve always had good luck finding a spot, but not on this trip. This is what we found EVERYWHERE. NorCal tripAll the hotels were booked up too, so we drove straight home, which wasn’t as bad as it could have been, ‘cos everything’s better when my tugboat man’s around.

I’ll post more pics of our drive down California’s coast another time.

Like a Virgin…a BlogHer Virgin, That Is: Tips From Princess Rosebud

Like a virgin, touched for the very first time by the lure of a blogger conference, I DO know the way to San Jose for #BlogHer14.

Why am I going? I HAVE NO IDEA. After blogging for two years and meeting lots of awesome bloggers online, it SEEMED like a gathering of like-minded women all together in one location focused on similar goals of monetizing and socializing was a good thing. So I bought a ticket the day the conference was announced.

And then I vacillated…I would go, I wouldn’t go, I should go, I don’t want to go, I need to go, I won’t go — back and forth in my mind for months until my tugboat man came home and it was time to MAKE A DECISION AND STICK TO IT.

He offered to drive me up and hang out, surf Santa Cruz, and be my support system.

How could I turn that down?

And if he wasn’t already the most wonderful husband in the world, he is now, because next Saturday is his birthday and I’ll be hanging around a convention center all day and going to parties at night and he’ll have to wait ’til I come back to the hotel to celebrate.

He’s still deciding if he wants a guest pass to accompany me to the parties…probably not, though. But maybe he’ll change his mind when we get there.

So I’m going. I think. No, I’m really going. I’m screed, but I’m doing this.

The hotel has been reserved, the shoes have been chosen, three days worth of outfits have been selected with laser-like precision…

As a former marketing professional, I’ve paid my dues at trade shows and conventions. Even though I’ve never attended a blogging-specific conference, I’ve been to dozens of other events and even organized several trade shows and expos.

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON…

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

It’s true; I live by it and it’s served me well during my life.

  • Dress for success; you ARE your brand, you ARE your own best PR person — and this is an opportunity to SHINE.

I know what’s important NOT to forget. Since I’m driving (being driven), I won’t address the issues of flight travel; I’ll focus on the hotel and fashion choices.

HOTEL TIPS

  • Bring antiseptic wipes. No matter whether it’s a five-star hotel or an off-the-beaten-path “no tell” motel, you can never be too careful. I wipe down everything; light switches, TV remote, toilet seats, bathroom faucets, chair arms (everything!)
  • Bring flip flops especially for wearing in the shower. I refuse to allow my feet to touch the shower/bath floor. It’s just too icky to think about.
  • Slippers to wear in the hotel room. And I usually throw them away. Nuff said.
  • Hub always always checks for bedbugs before I bring anything in the room.
  • I’m crazy, but I bring my own pillows. (Because I’m crazy.) And sometimes I bring my own sheets and blankets, again because I’m totes cray. And because I hate other people’s germs.
  • A bottle of my fave champagne, Gruet. Just ‘cos.

PACKING

I like to be prepared, so I always figure on 3 outfits a day times 3 days = 9 outfit changes. That sounds about right to me. I’m bringing two skinny jeans; white and deep green, two four fancy/evening/cocktail dresses (no evening gown, I was just kidding), two three summery casual dresses, two maxi dresses, work out clothes, panty hose (yes, sometimes I still wear them), 10 tops and blouses to mix and match with skinny jeans, a variety of sweaters, (cashmere/silk/cotton), and one black awesome business suit with a pencil skirt. Neutrals with a pop of color and sparkle is my personal fashion trademark.

blogherclothes

Pre-packing pandemonium

bloghershoesShoes: Mostly everyone else says to bring shoes that are comfortable, and I agree to a POINT. I’ll always carry a pair of flats and flip-flops in my bag, especially since I like to walk back to my hotel room during the day to freshen up and change, but I don’t think comfort is my ONLY criteria — being fashionable is important, too. Yes, I’m bringing all of these shoes. Even if I don’t wear ALL of them, I like to know they’re there, waiting in the wings, just in case…

Accessories: I have a special travel bag to keep earrings and bracelets and necklaces from becoming tangled. I’ll bring a strand of pearls and a few pairs of earrings that complement several outfits.

Handbags: A small Chanel that’s a great crossover body bag during the day and wonderful for evening events, too. A shoulder bag for my computer, business cards, gifts (brand-related of course), water, flip-flops, and another bag that folds — just in case. I like to be prepared.

FINAL TIPS

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink a lot of water. I carry powdered organic wheat grass whenever I travel and fill a water bottle with one or two tablespoons to each 16oz water. Great for energy and all around well being.
  • Remember, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” If you always dress in sweat pants, torn oversized t-shirts, and flip-flops, kick it up a notch. SHINE on the outside like you do on the inside.♥ And SMILE!

xoxo Princess Rosebud
See you #BlogHer14