| |

NYC & Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker 2015

The alternate title for today’s post is:

I Shouldn’t Be Allowed Out of The House & That Time I Met Brooke Shields.

Two weeks ago I jetted off to New York City, for the very first time, for the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration. It’s a yearly event that brings together home, lifestyle, food, and fashion bloggers to network and learn from BHG editors and guest panelists.

But before I get into the awesome event, let me share a couple travel stories with you.

I flew out early Wednesday morning– like I woke up at 4:30AM early. It also worked out that my parents’ were flying out early Wednesday AM as well to visit my brother in Portland and head up to Seattle for some sightseeing. But 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the airport, I got an automated call from the airline saying my flight was canceled, and the airline took the liberty rebook me on a flight 2 hours later, which would’ve made me miss my connecting flight in D.C. After letting some colorful words flow out of my ladylike mouth (sorry, mom), I called the airline, got in the car while still on hold, and we headed to airport. Half way to the airport someone finally picked up, and I was rebooked on a flight leaving at the same time as my original flight, it just connected in Charlotte. Airlines frustrate me.

people watchFind me on snapchat: chelsea221blog

So I get on my second flight from Charlotte to LaGuardia, and I score big time and get the middle seat (/sarcasm). The very nice lady, who was heading to NYC for a fashion week event, next to me and I chatted for a while. About halfway into the flight I started to get a headache so I grabbed some medicine from my bag and my Contigo water bottle. Now this particular bottle has a flip up spout that works like a straw. You push a button and the spout flips up. So I pop the pills in my mouth and push the button. Wrong choice, Chelsea, wrong choice. Water starts spraying EVERYWHERE. The water shot so far up in the air it almost hit the fasten seatbelt sign. I was so stunned I couldn’t react fast enough. So water is getting all over me, the guy in front of me, the guy to my right, and the lady to my left. I finally got the water under control. The guy in front of me turns around and gives me a dirty look while I’m profusely apology to everyone who was in the path of my water bottle turned wet t-shirt contest hose. But I still have these nasty-tasting pills in my mouth that I needed to swallow. So I make the decision to open the water bottle and drink from the open container. Another bad choice, because water starts spraying down from the straw onto the lady’s expensive-looking shoes and Tory Burch bag. Why, me? Why?!

Thankfully, the flight attendant brought an abundance of paper towels. Everyone but the guy in front of me were good sports. But I kept replaying the events in my head, and I’d start to laugh out loud to myself. Because this is the kind of stuff that only happens to me. So I probably looked like a crazy person, covered in water, chuckling to myself.

As soon as we landed I had to text my best friend because one time she went to open her Purell hand sanitizer on a plane and it squirted all over the lady next her, specifically her face and hair. I knew my BF would appreciate my hilariously embarrassing encounter and affirm why we’re meant to be besties.

 After getting to the Hudson Hotel, where everyone was staying and where the event was being held, I met up with a group of other bloggers. We grabbed lunch at Bouchon, ate our lunches in Central Park, and did some sightseeing.

The hotel lobby was beautiful, as was the patio and bar area through those windows, where I drank a $17 glass of house wine. Why are drinks so expensive in NYC? I’m pretty sure the bottle of that wine would be sold in my local Kroger for $7.

BHG_stylemaker_event-4photo stolen from Julia

We walked by some of the big stuff– The Plaza Hotel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Radio Music Hall.

We also went into Anthropologie, where the edge of my purse tapped an unintelligently stacked $26 candle and sent it careening toward the ceramic tile floor where it burst into hundreds of pieces, which then made the security guard run to see who was loudly vandalizing the store.

I have to admit, my first thought, after hearing the candle explode on the tile was, “Are they going to make me pay for that?” They didn’t. Probably because they didn’t want to listen to me say, “I’m so sorry” one more time.

I was on a roll that Wednesday.

nyc 1


st patricks

Wednesday night a group of us went to dinner at Room Service, a Thai restaurant. Our table was next to this massive chandelier in a glass case. Nothing says ‘ambiance’ like a giant crystal chandelier at eye level.

room service thai restaurant

The Stylemaker Celebration was on Thursday. The day was filled with sessions on social media, food styling, flower arranging, table styling, creating video content, and other fun stuff.

There were also some panel discussions and Q&As with the BHG editors and Stylemakers from the September issue.

Every blogger in this photo is taking a photo with their phone. And apparently I’m motioning for someone to get out of my shot.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

Can you spot the back of my head?

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

Julia, Me, Casey, Brittany, Bridgett

After the daytime event was over, we had a quick break, and then everyone headed up to the rooftop for the cocktail party with Brooke Shields, the cover model of the September issue. Plus, her gorgeous home was featured in the issue.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

I even got the chance to introduce myself to Brooke and chat for a minute.

Here’s a play-by-play of the conversation:

“Hi, I’m Chelsea from the home and lifestyle blog, Two Twenty One. It’s so nice to meet you!” -Me

“It’s nice to meet you, too!” -Brooke

“I have to say, I love watching you on the Today Show when you guest host.” -Me

“Errrr welllll, unfortunately they decided to go in a different direction.” -Brooke

“Oh, no! I’m so sorry! Well, I loved you!” -Me

“Thank you! Willie (Geist) really went to bat for me. I love Willie.” -Brooke

“I love Willie, too!” -Me

“Yeah, he’s so humble and down-to-earth. He’s super funny, too. And his wife is hilarious.” -Brooke

I don’t remember what was said next. I think I talked about Willie as if I personally knew him.

“Do you mind if we get a photo together?” -Me

“Sure!” -Brooke

Photo is taken.

“It was great meeting you!” – Me

“You too!” -Brooke

First time meeting a celebrity? NAILED IT.

At least I didn’t bring up Blue Lagoon.

nyc bhg

better homes and gardens stylemaker celebration

Here’s my roomie, Sam, and me. She’s a fancy fashion blogger.

Funny story. My original roommate had to back out at the last minute so I was stuck with an expensive $400 a night NYC hotel room by myself. Until Sam said she needed a roommate. Which was great! But did I mention that the room I booked was a standard queen? Meaning there was one (1) queen-size bed. So a couple hours after meeting for the first time, Sam I snuggled up in our bed, inches from one another.

It worked out perfectly though because we got along amazingly well. She laughed at all my jokes, and she even let me borrow her travel steamer to knock the wrinkles out of my skirt.

sam and chelsea

Oh, and then there was the shower in our room. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve seen in my life. There was a WINDOW with a sheer curtain so anyone in the main part of the room could see you showering. Talk about getting to know one another really well.

Thankfully, we both promised to not look while the other person was showering. I know, I know– we all have the same parts, but there’s just something weird and creepy about someone possibly watching you shower while they’re in a different room. Not exactly a locker room situation there, folks.

Some photo booth action with Diane and Julia.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

The views from the rooftop were breathtaking. Like I said, I have never been to NYC so I was blown away by the city. I can see why people love it.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

September 17, 2015: The 2015 Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker Celebration at the Hudson Hotel in New York City.

A group of us capped off the night with dinner at the hotel restaurant, where I paid $12 for a beer and swore I could never live in NYC because I would be forced to take the cost-effective measure of drinking, probably alone, in my 200 square foot studio apartment.

Me, BHG Digital Editorial Manager Kaelin (her son and Owen are exactly 2 weeks apart in age), and Jen


I made the stellar decision to book a 6AM flight Friday morning so I was up at 3AM, after 3 hours of sleep, to check out of the hotel and take a cab to the airport. I was able to catch a glimpse of Times Square on the way to the airport, which was nice. And after paying my fare in my sleep-deprived state, I managed to leave my credit card in the cab. Thankfully, the driver saw it before leaving, knocked on the airport window to get my attention and held up my card with a look on his face like “Really, lady? Get it together.”

Seriously, you guys, I should not be allowed to leave the confines of my home.

But it was an amazing whirlwind trip. I had so much fun catching up with old blog friends, meeting new bloggers, chatting with the BHG editors, and learning while in NYC.

Most non-watermarked photos were taken by Avi Gerver Photography.

Here’s my cocktail party outfit details in case you’re interested! The shoes and necklace are similar to what I wore.

Similar Posts


  1. I was laughing out loud reading about all your travel shenanigans! Sorry you had such a rough trip but glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I just expect this kind of crazy stuff to happen to me. I didn’t even tell the story of how my Uber driver from the airport to the hotel almost made me heave into my purse because he would alternate between slamming on the gas and then the brake. I was texting Brad asking where I should throw up, should it happen. Haha! This is my life.

      Have a great weekend!

      1. Oh no! Goodness, that is one rough trip lol. Hope your next one goes much better!
        Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

      2. Margaret Wickert says:

        Uber, cabs, limos……they’re all the same in Manhattan! Horrifically , awfully gut wrenching! Although sometimes a car service limo can be slightly tolerable ?
        No words to describe how bad those rides can make you feel. I’ve managed to avoid actually tossing cookies but it’s bound to happen someday.
        You’ll go back cuz you’re hooked on New York now;)

  2. I love this post-it sounds like things that would happen to me if I had this opportunity! Looks like a great trip overall though!

  3. You and your hubs should take a long weekend trip back. NYC is really like no other place and I’m glad you got to experience it! BTW LOVE your skirt!! Where’d you get it?

    1. I know! We were going to make it a long weekend family trip but since we’re traveling in a few weeks we decided against it. When I got home I told Brad that we really need to go sometime though.

      Thanks! It’s the studio midi skirt from Eloquii.

  4. I was snickering in my cubicle while reading your story. That is something that would so happen to me.

    Actually my Mom and I are the worst travelers to foreign countries. They really should follow us around with a camera on how NOT to travel. We couldn’t find our way out of a train station, cab took us to wrong hotel, couldn’t get on the right platform to get on our train, got lost in a major airport, couldn’t find the entrance to the train station, saw someone break into a car in front of us, thought someone stole our bags… the list goes on and on…

    1. Haha! You guys should try out for The Amazing Race. And funny you say that about international travel… When I was living in Ireland (my first time visiting Europe), my friend and I took a trip to Italy. We needed to catch the train from Florence to Venice and it was the last train leaving the station because the workers were going to go on strike. But no one told me that the name of the train on all the signs is the final destination so my friend and I are looking for the ‘Venice’ train. After finally finding a train personnel person who spoke okay English, she pointed to the train that was minutes away from leaving the station and told us to run. I’ve never ran so fast in my life. And the whole time I was yelling at my friend to run faster. Haha!

      1. That’s funny that you mention The Amazing Race because I’ve always thought that if I did try out out for the show it would be with my brother. He’s the one that can get around foreign countries with no problem. My Mom and I would just lose on the first show because we couldn’t get out the airport! I have a horrible sense of direction (we should seriously go the opposite way that I think…) and my mom can’t make a decision. Disaster, but probably great TV.

        1. Yeah, you and your mom would make better TV. 🙂 That’s good that you would consider going on the show with your brother. My brother has backpacked through Asia twice but I would never travel with him. We get along, but in limited quantities of time so I would probably kill him before the race was over. Haha!

  5. First of all I would have never been able to travel by myself, you are a very brave girl! You must be a pro at traveling, can’t imagine going to NYC alone, anyway glad you had a safe trip. Love your outfit! Skirt was adorable and your hair is just too cute. Love reading about you and your family.

    1. The first time I traveled by myself was to Ireland to live for 10 weeks when I was 22. I didn’t know a single person where I lived. It was quite the adventure so getting on a plane and navigating different cities typically isn’t too difficult for me. Hah! 🙂 Thanks so much, Jerilynn!

  6. I’m about to leave my 13 month old for 5 nights and I am FREAKING out! How long were you gone and how did you handle being away from Owen?

    1. I was gone for around 52 hours. Hah! This was the second time I’ve left Owen. The first time was for around 48 hours last November when he was 11 weeks old– that was harder because I had to pump. I handle being gone by leaving detailed instructions, schedule, and a menu. I label everything for his meals, and I include cooking/reheating instructions. I also lay out clothes for each day, and I make sure the diaper bag is well-stocked. It’s probably overkill but it makes me feel better knowing whoever watches him will be overly prepared. Both times I’ve been gone, my parents or my in-laws have come and stayed at our house so they can watch Owen during the day while Brad is at work (both sets of our parents live 3 hours away). It eases my mind knowing there’s two adults during the day to care for him and three at night. Thankfully, both times I’ve been away I’ve been really busy so I barely had time to think about Owen and what he was doing. If I caught myself missing him, I’d text my mom or MIL and ask for an update and/or a photo of him. I’ve been told not to FaceTime when away because it can upset the kiddos since they can see you but can’t touch you. That’s pretty much it. Haha! Maybe I should do a post on this topic…

      Enjoy your trip!

  7. I love reading your blog! After reading this post and seeing the gorgeous photos, I have to ask- what products do you use to get such amazing hair? I have curly hair and I am always on the lookout for a revolutionary hair product! Thanks so much!!

    1. I was wondering the same thing about her hair. It looks frizz-free!! Wonder what products she uses and/or what her styling technique is.

      1. Thanks, Frances! I use Kenra products, and a technique I’ve perfected over the past 16 years. Be on the lookout for a hair tutorial!

    2. Thanks so much, Natalie! I use Kenra products. I’m planning to do a hair tutorial very soon. I just have to talk Brad into taking photos of me while I do my hair and cross my fingers the photos turn out well. Oh, and I’ll have to clean my bathroom. Hah!

  8. I couldn’t help but laugh at your travel story and think, ‘I could totally see this happening to me!’ Sorry you had such an eventful trip, but thanks for sharing it! 🙂 Also, I love that pink skirt on you! Looks like you had a blast.

  9. You look amazing in that Skirt! What an incredible trip and I don’t doubt that if I was in your place I would have left my whole purse behind….not just my credit card! haha

  10. 1. I totally empathize with knocking over the candle in Anthro. My husband affectionately calls me “Bull in a China Shop”

    2. Brooke totally made that weird. She could have just said thank you! Seems like she’s harboring a little resentment over that one, but who wouldn’t!

    3. CUTE SKIRT. So cute!

    1. Thank you! Oh, “Bull in a china shop” was my nickname as a child so I can relate. Hah! Maybe I shouldn’t have used present tense. I really couldn’t remember the last time Brooke was on. I just remember seeing her lot because I’d always be nursing Owen the time of day she’d be on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *