Letting My Hair Down


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!


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.


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


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!

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  1. Rachel 08.06.2011

    I am living vicariously through you since I’m not at BlogHer this year! Love all the details and the pictures! I would love to go one year :)

  2. anna 08.06.2011

    The take aways from your session were so helpful and meaningful, as a new blogger… I love you! LOL, I really do. The food looks delish, too.

  3. Renee 08.06.2011

    So excited that you were able to see both Giuliana and Bob! :)
    I had to write to you when I saw that on my twitter yesterday- I nearly squealed that I knew someone at BlogHer lol I’m a dork and living through you as well being at BlogHer :) Love the pictures of you and Ben! :) So Cute.

  4. What a fun day!!! I’m so jealous of y’all at BlogHer! Thanks for sharing what you’re learning.

    I LOVE the AmEX cards. I think they’re a great way to travel.

  5. Courtney 08.06.2011

    I told you those cake pops are delish!

  6. oh how fun!

  7. Love all this fun you’re having! I just started my blog so I love how you’re sharing you’re takeaways. I read about 6 blogs daily now, but your blog was the first one I started reading :)

  8. girliefriend 08.06.2011

    You mean you didn’t workout with Bob this morning??? ;)

    Sounds like you’re having a great time!

  9. Lindsey 08.06.2011

    Great tips, thanks!
    And so jealous of all the yummy food! Have fun!

  10. Noelle 08.06.2011

    Great posting on your conference. Makes me feel like I am there. You and your husband are funny! Sounds like you are totally enjoying your time!

  11. Julie 08.06.2011

    I love that they served gluten-free there! I look forward to attending conferences in the future!

  12. Luv What You Do 08.06.2011

    Sounds like a super fun evening and day!

    After a few cocktails, I would have totally stalked down Bob Harper to chat! Great photos!

  13. Lizzie 08.06.2011

    Are you planning on visiting Coronado Island over the bridge from San Diego? It is so beautiful there!!!!

  14. What a fun day. Glad to see you’re having a good time AND that you got to meet Kath! So cool. I’d probably geek out.

  15. Micah 08.06.2011

    So glad you got to meet up with Rachael. :)

  16. sharon weaver 08.07.2011

    Isn’t the view gorgous from the convention center? Of course all of San Diego is beautiful and you will enjoy all of it.

  17. Dawn Marie 08.07.2011

    Looks like you are having a good time. I checked out the other bloggers pages. What is it about your page that gets so many comments than others. You need to share your secrets!!!!

    You look so cute… LOL..

    • Dawn Marie 08.07.2011


      We were at the Grove in LA today and ran into this little cutie. My tween daughter and her friend have never been so cute as they were when they saw him.

      I LOVE SO CAL!!! lol

  18. Deirdre 08.07.2011

    My cousin was on Guliana’s reality show and thinks she’s the sweetest person ever. So glad you got to stalk her! I love San Diego . So glad to see it looks like you’re having an amazing time.

  19. Jessica A 08.07.2011

    You lost me at POD!!! When I met Jesus, they were the first Christian band I started listening to.
    So cool that you saw them!

  20. Dani 08.07.2011

    I’m so glad you got to meet KathEats!!! She’s one of my favorites too!!! I hope you two hit it off! The two of you are definitely in my top 3 favorite blogs!!!

  21. Alexandra Aimee 08.07.2011

    San Diego is one of my favorite cities in the world!! Enjoy! On of my favorite things to do it hit the La Joilla Beach… There is one peer that all the seals gather around and you can get within feet of them and just watch them hang out. So fun. Last time I was there (mid June) there were a ton of little baby seals.

  22. debbie 08.07.2011

    haha I love the mustache/lip thingies. And I’m so jealous that you had a major celeb spotting!

  23. Berrak 08.07.2011

    I am SO glad we got to meet and hang out with you! (Even though your man stole my camera!) Wish we could’ve spent more time together. Loving all the pictures though :)


  24. Ivy 08.08.2011

    Thank you for saying you hate networking! As someone who is also uncomfortable with it, it made me feel so much better to read that someone as accomplished and put together as you feels the same. Your trip to BlogHer looks not only so fun, but very productive and educational. You do SUCH an excellent job and we Des Moines-ians are so proud to be represented by you!

  25. Hope 08.08.2011

    I’m so jealous that you saw Guilana! So cool! Lots of great eats in this post :)

  26. rachaelgk 08.08.2011

    So, so glad you came out for happy hour and we got to meet! I loved chatting with you and Katarena. It definitely sounds like you got the full (and awesome) BlogHer experience. :-)

  27. anna 08.08.2011

    Those pictures with the mustache and pink lips are CRACKING me up! You two are so funny.

  28. Christy 08.09.2011

    Hi! It looks like you had a great trip to San Diego – it’s such a beautiful city with so many things to do! Do you have to be a blogger to attend BlogHer?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.10.2011

      No you definitely don’t! You can be male/female, blogger/non-blogger – it’s open to anyone and everyone who wants to buy a ticket!

  29. Leoma Foran 11.10.2011

    Firstly, if your dog is a puppy, it sounds like he might be teething. This is just a stage that puppies go through and the best thing you can do is get a thick doggy toy that is able to withstand a lot of punishment.

  30. […] was also pumped to see Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat at the summit, as we met at BlogHer this summer. Let’s be real though – I loved meeting ALL the women in attendance. Three […]

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