Letting My Hair Down

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Last night I let my hair down and had a little fun! ;)

Rachel, who I unfortunately didn’t get a picture with, tweeted me with an invite to Happy Hour at one of the bars inside the hotel, and I happily agreed.

A cold, Skinny Cosmo, and a million Kirin beers (which, how did I not know how delicious those are?!) tasted like pure bliss. :)

I have been totally loving chatting with everyone I’ve met here at the conference, because we all have at least ONE thing in common – blogging! Talking with Rachel, Kate and Berrak over cocktails felt like talking to old friends. Yay for networking that doesn’t feel like networking. (I really hate networking – I’m too socially awkward for it…)

Ben came down a couple hours later to swoop me up and whisk me off to dinner. Hawt.

We made a pit stop at Bub’s for a pre-dinner drink.

Dos Equis (which tasted like acid after that pure Kirin) and peanuts served as appetizers,

while POD across the booth provided the entertainment. HA!

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We were having the hardest time deciding where to go for our main meal (I’ve gotten so many amazing restaurant suggestions on the blog, Twitter and Facebook, that I almost felt overwhelmed!) so we made an SOS call to Ben’s friend who lives in town, told him where we were at, and had him direct us to his most favorite restaurant in the immediate vicinity. J-Wok, which serves all types of Asian dishes was it!

One glance at the menu was all it took for me to decide on Pad See Eiw. I have had a severe jonesing for a big plate of it since finding out my favorite Thai restaurant in Des Moines (Ban Thai) closed down, and it sounded irresistible.

Ummm, this may have been even BETTER than Ban Thai’s! Squishy, sweet, salty, and the scrambled egg in it was the perfect chewy texture. Ugh, I want another big plate of it right now. Ben got a plate of Kung Pao Chicken. Bomb.

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After sauntering home from dinner, we were treated to an impromptu fireworks display that we watched from our hotel room’s balcony!

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Amazing! :D

I’m still on central time, so I woke up at 6am this morning rearing to go. A Starby’s got me feeling fully awake and ready to start my day.

Which began with a Guliana Rancic sighting! :D

Guliana was at the Tropicana booth, where I got my manicure at yesterday, giving an interview to someone – I’m not sure who. She was roped off, so I had to play creeper stalker – again – and take my photos from afar.

Which was hard – she was talking a mile a minute! I couldn’t get a good shot to save my life! ;)

This’ll do, I guess. Love her blue pumps!

Next door at the Quaker Oats booth was Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser! Homeboy looked good – kind of like an older Ambercrombie model, or something. ;)

I settled into my first session of the day after all the hullabaloo – Great Blog Design.

Here are some of my takeaways:

  • Your blog/site should be no wider than 1000 pixels, with a post area to the left (ideally 600-640px wide) and a wide side bar on the right.
  • Look at your site design in IE, FireFox, and other browsers to make sure it looks the same on all of them
  • Keep your header 250px tall or less. If it needs to be taller, integrate other elements into it, such as social icons, subscribe field, etc. so they don’t take up even more room in your sidebar below.
  • Get a free WordPress or Blogger site to use as a test site when working on your blog design. Never work on your live site.
  • Sidebars are NOT a badge dumping ground! Ask yourself, do I really need this on my front page?
  • If you have a ton of badges, get a WordPress plugin such as Ad Rotator to rotate them.
  • Utilize your footer for more navigation. 3 column layout is best, and is great for showing old, favorite posts, archives, categories, etc.
  • Use specialty fonts sparingly, no more than 3
  • Use free Adobe Kuler site to find complimentary color combos
  • Make sure your blog/website design carries over to other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

After this session – LUNCH! :D

It was another awesome spread.

I piled my plate with a big salad, roasted potatoes and a pomodoro-esque wrap.

Devoured and then some. I had a big heaping second portion of those potatoes – they were flavored so nicely!

For dessert I split a moist, dense,

vegan Chocolate cupcake with…

Kath. KATH! Kath’s blog was the very first blog I ever started reading, so it was such a treat to bump into her here at BlogHer and have lunch with her and LatteLove. She is actually here with AmEx too, and we’ll be dining out together again tonight. :D

My second session of the day was on writing a great book proposal. It was ok.

This was a little more fun. ;)

This too.

A white chocolate covered chocolate cake pop I picked up from RedEnvelope at the expo center. Mmmmight be the best thing I’ve ever had. Like, literally ever. It was gooriffic!

As I mentioned, tonight I’m heading out to a lovely seafood dinner with the other bloggers here with AmEx, then possibly out for a nightcap with this fine, young man.

We’ve got to be up bright and early to pick up the car we’re renting to explore San Diego for the day! Can’t wait! :D

Have a great night!


Ben’s Day

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August 5th, San Diego, CA!  

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