Friday, September 2, 2011

I was Styled At BlogHer!

On the pink carpet at the Style Suite Party

I love pretty things, I like color and style and find fashion fun. I fish the the NY Times styles section out of the recycle pile my husband has tossed it into and read it.
But I'm an autism mom, and let's face it: being fashionable is far, far from the center of my life right now. It's not even on the map.

So imagine my thrill when, based on my post Shape Shifting, I was chosen to be one of the moms rescued by the Moms Fashion File and given a make-over at BlogHer in the Secret Style Suite, and then sent out to walk the pink carpet at their lovely Style Suite Party.

The day was amazing.  I arrived at my appointed time and entered a lovely suite on the top of the Hard Rock Hotel, complete with terraces affording a great view of San Diego.

After warm greetings from my lovely, gracious hosts -- Andrea of SavvySassyMoms, Nicole of Momtrends, and Alison of Sassy Moms in the City -- we took a "before" shot:
Look, it's "the green dress"!
Then I was whisked into the room of many clothes, and I was fully outfitted:
First I was given a set of comfortable underwear from BALI intimates (no I'm not showing you me in THAT!)

And then, after a few false starts, the loveliest party dress just slipped onto my body and was clearly the one for me: this black lace over purple satin number from Kiyonna. The purple is subtle peeking out through the lace, but there.

Not the best pic of me - but don't look at me - look at The DRESS! The SHOES!
Shoes. What woman doesn't love shoes? And they were giving me a pair. Yay!

But? They wanted us in heels. I don't wear high high heels. I have some foot issues and also have trouble walking in them. Yet I was persuaded to try on these puppies from Dr. Scholl's (yes, I know I'm horribly pigeon toed, have been all my life, and so is Ethan).

And? People? They were comfortable, shockingly comfortable. And with a really cushioned footbed and I could (and did) walk in them and did not fall on my face once all evening. (Yay, me!)

Then I was accessorized with some very interesting jewelry by Stella & Dot including a fabulous bracelet (loaner only on the jewelry, sob).

Finally, we picked out a great matching purple bag (in vinyl for good karma) by Namaste Handbags.

And then it was time to glam me up. A daunting task if ever there was one....

My first stop was with celebrity makeup artist Tia Dantzler.

And she was a lovely, lovely woman. We chatted about our lives while she made a more glamorous version of me appear like magic.

Then? Hair! Everyone always wants to blow out my curls, and make my hair straight. Nope. They're a big part of my signature style, close to my identity. I am a curly-haired woman.

But once I'd said no to the blow, the talented women of Detour Salon did the next best thing - they tamed my curls, made them big and wavy, softer and without any frizz - magic I tell ya. OK, magic and a lot of time spent with curling irons.

See the difference?
Half done. Look at those amazing big curls on the right!

I still felt like me, but definitely a more fabulous me.

The hair at its best, before the day softened the transformation

Everyone commented on how lovely my hair looked when I went back to the conference for the afternoon sessions.

Me with fabulous hair and BH roomies Alexandra & Shari

Finally, I got my nails done by Ginny Cardenas, the force behind Scotch Naturals. This is very special nail polish. It's made from non-toxic ingredients, and it's actually good for your nails, instead of drying them out -- can you imagine?!

This woman, who created the product line and runs the company, has an amazing story and there is a whole post in that (which I will tell at some future point). But lets just say she is another mother with a mission, and I loved the time I spent with her while she graciously adorned my fingers AND toes (it having been determined that my sparkly blue toenails just MUST be transformed into purple to go better with the dress).


And then, to top it off, I was sent away with over-the-top amazing gift bag from Lands End: one of their wonderful canvas totes filled to the brim, including EVERYTHING I needed to take a dip in the hotel pool on Sunday.

(No, I did NOT swim on Saturday and ruin the amazing hair & make-up job. I even chose to forgo the cocktail cruise I had been invited to, figuring wind + hair = disaster. See I'm not a total beauty/fashion idiot.)

And then came evening. It was a lovely party (which I nearly didn't make it to, due to a stalled freight train cutting off the conference hotel from the rest of town for about an hour, but that's a $15 cab ride and another story). Food! Wine! Ice Cream!

And then, for the first (and probably only) time in my life... I was in a fashion show!

And I did NOT trip and fall on my face. And those shoes were still comfortable at the end of the evening, when I was back at the conference hotel, dancing my ass off at BlogHer's traditional late night Cheese BurgHer party... Amazing!

Many thanks to the party's sponsors: Plum District, Ciao Bella Gelato (num num num), Johnson's, Stokke, Trop 50 and Windows Phone for a lovely, lovely evening.  And thanks again to the lovely ladies who styled and beautified me, and most of all to the hostesses with the mostesses: Andrea, Nicole, and Alison.

You made this often dowdy fifty year-old mom feel fashionable and fabulous, and I'll never forget that. 

P.S.  I used to wonder why bloggers would list all the goodies they had received at their exclusive "invite only" events, as it felt like bragging. But now I understand, because I genuinely want to thank all the people who helped make this day possible. As I am feeling very grateful, I wanted to name the companies involved, and spotlight their generosity. So if you hate hearing about other people's swag, I apologize and ask for your understanding: for me it's all about the thanking.

P.P.S.  Deep apologies for how long it's taken to get this post out. My life exploded when I got back from BlogHer (I'm just unpacking now!) and then Hurricane Irene threw me for a big loop as I had to scramble to pick my autistic son up from his camp early and get back before the storm hit full force, so there went my planned writing time. And did I mention I have ADD and I just plain suck at deadlines? Yup. Sorry.

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