Blogger Bash NYC 2017

Enter disclaimer text No matter what line of work you’re in, professional development is key! That’s why I packed up two small bags (more to come on that) and hit the road for New York City last week. It was time for Blogger Bash NYC 2017, a conference for bloggers who focus on baby, kid, and parenting writing.

blogger bash nyc

A Veteran’s View of Blogger Bash NYC

This was my third time embarking on the city for this conference, but my first time without Greg and the kids enjoying the sights while I worked. I road-tripped it from Pittsburgh with another ‘burgh blogger (I think there were five of us there in all) and we talked shop for the six hour ride.

(Pro tip – find yourself an accountability partner, no matter what you do for a living. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to have someone hold you to goal setting and meeting!)

I knew going into the trip that the hotel we’d booked (The Jane) was tiny, hence the packing lightly. But one important thing came with me – my Converse. They were incredibly comfortable on my feet after I learned my lessons wearing dress shoes and sandals the last two years. (And they looked just fine with my dresses, don’t you think?)

anne geddes paint
Meeting Anne Geddes (the second time at BBNYC).

Once we got registered at the two-day event, it was time to catch up with some of my favorite fellow attendees (and find coffee). But first…we stood in line out on the Chelsea Piers in the heat – good thing I didn’t sweat too bad!

Turn Your Passion Into Adventure

The breakfast was sponsored by Armitron and featured a panel of moms who inspired us to do what we love and make it an adventure.

After having the discussions on our ride to NYC, I was really inspired by Sara Roberts of Elle Magazine who told us “stay in your lane”. It’s very easy to get distracted by what people to the left and right of you are doing (in any business). You need to focus on YOU and what works for your business. That’s big stuff right there! 

But we also want to work to “create a real community where people can connect” (Rebecca Dube of the TODAY Parenting Team). Since then, I’ve been really thinking about how to make this site more of that for parents (and maybe moving some of the more personal things to another space). I want to be a source for moms like me – and while I’m sure some of you get that from my thoughts, more of you might be interested in things to do in Pittsburgh with kids or you’re coming here for toy reviews. We’ll see if some changes I’ll be making prove this out! Feel free to take a moment and comment about what you’d like to see less and more of around here! 

Everyone on the panel was inspiring – this was a great start to the event!


Even though I don’t have teeny tiny babies anymore (for those of you who were there in 2015, I am the mom who had twins strapped to me – they’re now two and done with being worn), I got a lot out of this event. There are some really awesome things coming for new moms and moms of babies/toddlers/early school aged kids!

As a sneak peek, my favorite things I’ll be using and sharing with my family/friends that new moms had a ‘lil something to do with these photos…

Yes, I’m baby wearing at a Babypalooza, AGAIN! This time the baby wasn’t real but was a prop to shw how Bridge the Bump can solve the common prego-problem of buying a new coat for the 3-4 months that the belly is present…then to turn it into a solution for baby wearing moms (and dads) once baby arrives! I’m really excited to tell you more about this in an upcoming post.

This Austlen stroller is a DOUBLE STROLLER. I know, right? It’s so compact and is like a swiss army knife with all the ways it can be configured. With one of these, our travel with a stroller in tow would be solved (as long as the girls stay under 35 pounds). Hopefully more to come about this beauty!

When cold season hits, I’m going to be armed with Oilogic to make the stuffy noses and tough to sleepies go away!

OK, take all my monies. You guys know me and clean eats. Well, Tickle Water is going to be added to my list of musts – and I’ll have my own private stash that the kids won’t know about!

This was just a SAMPLE of all the amazingness that I saw at Babypalooza! And if you’re my friend on Facebook, you might have noticed that Zulily did a photo shoot and got me a fancy new headshot!

CE Week

The conference included a private tour of CE Week, a tech show. There were WAY too many booths and too much cool stuff at that event to cover in just two short hours, so I made my way back over there on Thursday after the last official event wrapped up. While I didn’t take too many photos, I did get to see some super cool techie things like home security systems, at home vision screenings, carbon monoxide alarms, laser hair growth stimulation, smart pillows, and adaptive technology. Really cool stuff that will hopefully make it here for Tech Tuesday features!

Sweet Suite

I almost feel like The Biggest Night of Play needs its own dedicated post. During this four-hour event, I got a sneak peek at all the hottest toys coming this Christmas. I’m going to share my list of things you’ll want to get your hands on in a future post, but here’s an idea of what to be ready for:

  • Slime, slime, slime!
  • Squishy collectibles
  • Science (STEM/STEAM) kits
  • Throwbacks – Teddy Ruxpin and Cabbage Patch (I AM IN LOVE)
  • Dolls

There’s no way I could sum this up with words, so a collage will have to do. Trust me.

Sweet Suite

And after four hours of play, these ‘lil piggies were exhausted!

Toy Association Breakfast

The last day of Blogger Bash started off with a trip to the Toy Association’s office to talk about toys and toy safety. Because I took three pages of notes and am a rule following mama, I want to give you some tips in another post; however, if you don’t make it back here to read that one – I ask you to – Have Fun and Play Safe!

Stuff for Moms and Dads Expo

The final event (tears!) was the CPE Stuff for Moms and Dads Expo. While there weren’t as many brands here as other events, I took full advantage of getting to know the items that were showcased. I spent three hours learning about things that were going to make my life as a mama better so I could be more for my kids. Interestingly enough, my favorites all had a good fitness/wellness spin to them:

Pea Protein Powder from Growing Naturals could easily become my newest post-workout fuel. (Truth be told, I might have been swayed by the vodka they mixed with it for our “coping cabana” theme; however, this wasn’t “textury” or tough to swallow, so it sat well with me.)

Hero Clean is going to kick my clothes’ butt. Ever since starting YFit, my workout gear reeks like the Chatham College Hockey locker room – ugh!

Laguna Blue – The Smarter Towel – would be a great addition to our summer routine. Greg is taking the kids swimming every weekday, so that’s five towels that maybe don’t get 100% dry before the next swim. Eco-friendly and bacteria resistant = piece of mind!

Touchpoints are a cool new technology to help with anxiety and stress. These bands help calm the fight of flight feeling!

The one product I got to take home with me was a pillow from Snuggle-Pedic. I’ve been sleeping on this “Ultra-Luxury Kool-Flow® bamboo shredded memory foam pillow” since getting back to my own big bed (again, more on that later!) and have had some really great nights of sleep! 

Do it again?

If I got selected to attend again next year, you’d better believe I’ll find a way to get there! Blogger Bash NYC is my favorite blogging event – and not just because we are super spoiled with things like the swag box that ships to our homes. The coordinators are awesome, the event space is incredible, and the brands are ready and willing to showcase the best of their best. It’s a win-win for everyone.

If you’re on the fence about a blogging conference in 2018, don’t think twice – add BBNYC to your list of musts!

Did you go to Blogger Bash NYC this year? I’ll be linking up, but feel free to share your thoughts with me here, too.

My Top 5 Moments: Blogger Bash NYC 2015

Enter disclaimer text ++

As a blogger, I sometimes get to participate in some really fun events. I’m not sure that anything is ever going to top Blogger Bash NYC 2015, except maybe future Blogger Bash events. As a reader, I’m sure you don’t want bored with all the details, but I want to share with you my top 5 moments: Blogger Bash NYC 2015 in hopes to inspire you to do the things that make you happy and to tease you with some cool things to come here on the blog.

And now, in no particular order because it was all awesome…My Top 5 Moments: Blogger Bash NYC 2015!


1. Turning my day around with Cheer Bear at the Care Bears Brunch. Day one of Blogger Bash NYC started out kind of rough for me. When I tried to check in, there was a sign that said “VIP”. I wasn’t, so I waited behind 2 or 3 other ladies in the regular attendee check-in. The ONLY unfortunate moment of the conference was when a volunteer asked me to come to the VIP line to check-in and another volunteer got a little cranky because I wasn’t VIP. I was already slightly stressed from ensuring Greg and the girls had a plan (that included feedings and how was I going to pump or nurse between sessions), so I felt a few tears come to my eyes. Greg took me to the door of the Care Bears Brunch and the very first thing that happened was meeting Cheer Bear of the Care Bears line (ok, it was the second – I got offered a mimosa but I didn’t want to be holding a drink in the picture). (And now that I think of it…I never did get that mimosa!) The food was spectacular and the presentation pretty neat, too. While we learned about Care Bears (sneak peek – there’s a lot of cool things coming from Care Bears this fall), I met some other mamas who were there with their adorable babies.

My day is already off to a better start! ♡ #ShareYourCare #BBNYC

2. Playing with toys at Sweet Suite. The “Biggest Night of Play” truly was that. Greg watched the girls for about an hour while I browsed the brands that were there, making my “must visit” list. Then while he went to a movie premiere, I grabbed the girls and the ring slings and made my way to several booths to play. Of course, the girls liked the baby stuff the most (more on that in another top moment), and I liked seeing toys that Santa just might want to bring the big kids this Christmas. Spoilers…Fisher Price is coming out with an awesome dinosaur that I am sure Evan would just melt over and there are plenty of cool crafty things from Crayola for my ‘lil artist Arianna. Cannot wait! The night went way too fast and I didn’t get to play with all the toys I wanted to, but luckily the planners of BBNYC score each attendee of the event a “Big Box o’ Swag” that got delivered to our door last week (and that I’ve since put up for Christmas surprises)

IMG_20150716_1731173. Taking a break. I was in NYC for personal business, making blogging connections, but I also needed to bring the girls along, too. BBNYC is open to nurslings 6 months or younger, so the girls were “just right” to attend while in a ring sling with me. BBNYC is unlike any other blogging event though…it’s laid back and personal. I got to nurse the girls on cozy couches while networking with brands (the reps – from Rite Aid, Delta, and Fisher Price – who helped hold a baby while the other baby fed topped my list!). I got to eat amazing food without being begged to have seconds before I’ve had my firsts. I got to enjoy a glass of wine. I got to connect with blogging friends and make new ones, too. The time I spent at BBNYC was very laid back compared to the bigger event that I attended. Sessions didn’t feel rushed. Speakers were able to connect with us. Brands made genuine connections that weren’t about swag. And I got to take a break and pamper myself a ‘lil bit, too. Bonus? There was a session that was EXTREMELY motivating called “Brand New You”, but I’d like to dedicate another post just to that event. IMG_0083

This is how I spent most of my day with the #twins #lilburghers #weego #Repost @fidifamilies (THANK YOU!!!) ・・・ Cutest twins award goes to @mrsgregwillis @bloggerbashnyc #bbnyc #babycarryingmama #howtwinsroll #babies #nyc #bloggers #influencers4. Meeting Anne Geddes. My love for photographer Anne Geddes started back when my Aunt Amy had her prints hanging in a bathroom. At BBNYC, the twins and I got to listen to Anne Geddes talk about her latest project (a campaign to raise awareness about meningococcal disease) and then met her / had a quick photo opp, too. She’s so down to earth and has a beautiful soul. If you’re wondering…no, I didn’t ask her to photograph the twins. Her process to find babies is very organic, and while I am sure (like any other mother would be) that the twins would be great photographic material, it wasn’t the place or time. The sweet @thankyouhoneyblog captured the #twins and I meeting @annegeddestweet at #bbnyc #babypalooza ♡♡♡♡♡ #lilburghers
(She made me laugh, and a dear new friend captured my true joy!)

IMG_01195. Connecting with baby brands. There was a session dedicated solely to baby brands, and of course, this was one of my favorite sessions. I brought the babies and learned about several cool baby products (which I hope to be able to feature here soon). Isla fell deeply, madly in love with a Fisher Price swing (a LOT more to come on this, stay tuned!) and Ava felt quite content in a bassinet. (While my babies are usually calm, the calmness they had in these products blew me away.) People who work with kids and babies tend to be pretty chill – that’s exactly what I needed at exactly that moment.

#Repost @mommyblogexpert (Thanks for capturing this of IJ! Multiple moms / moms of 4 unite!) ・・・ Super sweet smart motorized #baby #cradle #fisherprice #sweetsuite15

I can’t wait to take on Blogger Bash next summer. While I loved having the babies and am sure they gave me a slight advantage (ha, some bloggers in speed dating said I had an advantage with the babies – yes, because two tired babies strapped to my body is an advantage when talking to brands and trying to sell yourself and your blog), I am excited to make connections last throughout this year and then grow for next year’s event.

If you are ever given a chance to get to a conference for the thing that makes you feel whole, DO IT. Don’t question it. Make it happen. I did, and you can believe you’ll be glad you did.


Hey, are you headed to Blogger Bash 2016? Let me tell you about an AWESOME part of the Conference this year – Blogging Concentrated. We’ll get a chance to focus in on topics about making the most of our blogs. That’s not all – through end of day July 1, they are offering their BC Stack, filled with about $2000 (yup, $2k!) worth of blogging goodies for just S27! Act fast and score this – they’ll be talking about ways to use it while we’re on the Yacht!