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Better Homes & Gardens StyleMaker Workshop – NYC

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Ahhh! I’m so glad to be back here on the blog! I missed this space, but it was so nice to unplug from the blog for a few days while we were in NYC.

A few months ago, I received an email from the digital team at Better Homes & Gardens about their September Stylemaker workshop, a one-day event in NYC for a handpicked group of bloggers to learn more about styling photoshoots, pitching stories, and how to work closer with the magazine in general. My interest was piqued – it isn’t everyday you get an email from BHG, so how could I say no?  As a subscriber for a little over a year now, I’d started taking better notice of the publication in general as they’d really ramped up their cool quotient. The demise of Domino magazine  left a hole in the shelter magazine industry for the perfect high/low mix of home decor inspiration, and seemingly BHG is filling it that hole with colorful DIY ideas and features on bloggers like Joy Cho of Oh Joy. Attainable but still aspirational is the best descriptive phrase that comes to mind. 

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So I made plans to attend, and bought airfare for Simon and I to have a nice long weekend away. We haven’t been anywhere alone this year really, so it was the perfect opportunity to have a getaway. Plus it would be fun for him to get a glimpse into what I do when I get to attend conferences like Alt Summit.foodie-fave
The workshop itself was all day Thursday and included a tabletop photo styling workshop with none other than newly-minted BHG editor Eddie Ross. The editorial team from BHG was there in full force, a friendly and stylish ensemble of women who were eager to share their insider knowledge on magazine publishing but also extremely interested in connecting with the varied group of bloggers representing genres such as fashion, DIY, crafting, lifestyle, home decor, etc.
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It was almost a mini Alt Summit reunion of sorts. I was thrilled to see friends like Hilary Rushford, Bright Bold & Beautiful’s Laura Trevey, Sixth St Design School’s Kirsten Krason, and Michelle Edgemont, but also to connect in real life with Hank & Hunt, Inspired by Charm, Brooklyn Limestone, Lay Baby Lay (ADORABLE), and The Zhush.
After the all-day workshops, we had a break to get ready for the StyleMaker party that night. It thrilled me to pieces to be able to bring Simon along; I was so proud to have him on my arm! And it was definitely a highlight to hear  from the Stylemaker panel led by Maxwell Ryan (Apartment Therapy) that included Eddie Ross, Kayce Hughes, and a food writer whose name I am forgetting (::blush::).grainy-ig-filter
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Afterwards Simon and I went to the Shake Shack with Joni Lay and her husband Chip there in the park at Madison Square. It was one of those perfect New York nights where the weather was perfectly crisp; we sat there in cocktail dresses and and ate burgers and fries and checked out the amazing swag bag that BHG had sent home with us.
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Friday morning was a really fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the Meredith offices (more on that tomorrow); luckily our hotel was right around the corner (thank you, Priceline) so Simon dropped me off and met up with me a few hours later. Then we were free to enjoy the rest of our NYC weekend in high style.
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We spent the afternoon wandering around the Upper East Side where I absolutely had to revisit my favorite Kate Spade outpost (the Madison Avenue flagship townhouse). But I was also thrilled at the Tory Burch townhouse that felt like the most exquisite luxury three-story closet. Each room was a little jewel box.  Both were the ultimate experiences that perfectly encapsulate what their brands are about.  We had lunch at new fave Le Pain Quotidien and shared a box of Laduree macarons. There were visits to Bloomingdales and Saks, and by the end of the day, our feet were screaming. And dinner that night was probably my favorite of the entire time – we finally got in a sit-down dinner at Eataly and it. was. divine. Totally worth the one-hour wait that sped by; it’s hard to be bored in there!
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Saturday was spent wandering around Soho, NoLiTa, and Chelsea. I was excited for Simon to experience the HighLine when we first got into town, so we had to go back on Saturday to hit the Chelsea Market and a few other spots I had on the list. Somehow we managed to not make it to ABC Carpet & Home (boo) or Marimekko — womp womp.
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I can’t say thank you enough to the team at Better Homes & Gardens for throwing such an amazing event. It was such an honor to be invited, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  Check back tomorrow for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a magazine every month!

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