Blogger Brilliance

The Blogger Brilliance Conference

This past weekend was spent in sunny Tampa Bay, Florida where I was a panelist at the inaugural Blogger Brilliance conference, organized by the Bon Bon Rose Girls. Held at the International Academy of Design & Technology, Grit & Glamour and I were special out-of-town guest panelists for both panels (business and creative). We were both hosted at the fabulous Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (and you know I love me a hotel-sino) which was super amazing.

Saturday morning, Grit & Glamour and I met downstairs in the hotel lobby and were picked up by Kristin and we headed off to the conference. Once there, we were met with gaggles of fashionably dressed females armed with cameras, laptops, iPads, and smart phones.

Sometimes, for outfit inspiration, I look to my blog name. Pretty frilly MNG by MANGO top? Check. Shiny chrome minx-like nails? Check. Sparkly platform Miu Miu heels? Double check. ("official" outfit post to follow. whatever that means.)

P.S. - thanks Grit & Glamour for taking the above pics!

Tall, raven-haired beauty Vahni of Grit & Glamour fame is everything you think she'd be in person and more. Now that we've moderated panels together in New York, been panelists together this month in New York and now again in Tampa, we are officially BFF's. And, as I told Vahni that day, we are clearly a package deal.

In fact, we are now taking bookings for PrettyGritShinyGlamourSparkly appearances. Look out, world!

Heart you, V! (P.S. - isn't her clutch killer?)

Michael Kors & Tory Burch. Love.

The woman is an outright social media phenom. She's constantly replying to tweets, instagram-ing photos, and checking her email. And she always looks fabulous doing it!

But, it's conference panel time:

via

via

via

via

The Fashion Show

After the conference we headed--no, sprinted--to the area mall for a fashion show hosted by Tim Gunn. Just look at that crowd! We were ushered to our second row seats just before it started.

Holly of Blog Frog, Grit & Glamour, Bon Bon Rose Girls waiting for the show to start.

via

Vahni insisted on taking a picture of me because I had tons of gear in my lap: point & shoot camera, digital SLR camera, HD video camcorder, iPhone. What?

via

via

The man himself. He's so precious.

How can you spot bloggers during a fashion show? Or when they are within arms-reach of the fashion icon himself? They look like this:

Person after person with their phones in-hand: tweeting, texting, Insta-ing, filming, snapping...good grief I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

Naturally my magpie instincts are in full force.

Meeting Tim Gunn

Oh, and I met Tim Gunn (you know, of Project Runway fame, among others?). We spotted him at the bar where our after-party was held. I walk in, late, with Vahni & the gang, say hi to people, and at least 5 or 10 minutes go by before I realize the silver-haired gentleman eating at the table I'm standing right next to is Tim Gunn himself (see the picture I got later, below--I was standing to the left of his table). Not wanting to bother the sweet man who was no doubt exhausted from shaking hands and greeting fans all day, I kept to myself as long as I could possibly wait. I'll just say hi when he gets up and leaves, I told myself. And then someone else swooped in and sat down at his table. Dang!

After a minute I decided to throw my sympathy for the man to the wind, and got out a business card, took a deep breath, and went for it.

"Hi, Tim! I love you! [shakes hands] [Tim says something sweet back] I run a fashion blog called Pretty Shiny Sparkly ["pretty shiny sparkly?! how fabulous!"] I just wanted to let you know that your comment earlier about harem pants really resonated with me. It's the reason I started my blog! [commence in-depth conspiratorial banter about how we both agree to hate harem pants with a passion]" ...et cetera.

The man is so, so sweet and after I gave him my business card and backed away he was absolutely swarmed by my fellow, crazed fashion bloggers for pictures. He patiently took photos with everyone before he was on his way out the door, led by his dinner companion.

Thank You!

Huge, huge thanks go to Kristin and the rest of the Blogger Brilliance conference organizers--for hosting me so graciously and thoughtfully, and for putting on an outstanding event (it was completely sold out!). Thank you for making me feel so special and for thinking anything I have to say is worth listening to. All I can say is: next year we livestream, yes?!

More Conference Coverage