Last weekend, I attended an event hosted by the Silicon Valley Moms Group at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago. I've been a contributor at the Chicago Moms Blog for about two-and-a-half years but I only actually know a handful of the other contributors in real life. This swanky event was a chance to catch up with some familiar faces like Sara, Alma, Serena, and Cindy and also chat with some of my newer blogging buddies like Meredith, Lisa A., Lisa H. and Emily.
While we mingled and munched on made-to-order stir fry, we had a chance to learn more about the event's sponsors. I especially loved chatting with the Chicago-based businesses like Garrett's Popcorn (which I had never had before -- and boy was I missing out) and The Oprah Store (which has kindly invited me for afternoon tea next month).
The event also featured some very cool charitable projects: Army of Women (a campaign to sign up over 1 million women who would consider participating in breast cancer research) and Chevy Missions (a project that provides Chevy vehicles to non-profits and individuals who want to do service projects in their communities).
Like all attendees, I walked out of this event with an armful of complimentary products from each of the generous sponsors. I learned more about some brands that I was already familiar with (like my beloved Peapod grocery delivery service and the amazing Stoneyfield Organic) and was also pleasantly surprised by a few brands that I didn't know much about (like 1-800 Baskets and iGo Green).
But mostly, I was glad to have a chance to hang out with other Chicago women who write and blog. I think of these people as my "colleagues" and it is nice to check in face-to-face once in awhile -- even better when we get to do it over wine and cupcakes.