Would I like to attend Bethenny Frankel’s Tampa launch party for her new talk show, premiering September 9? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For those of you who don’t know who Bethenny Frankel is, you may be living under a rock (no offense), or you may not be as obsessed with reality TV as I am. I first locked eyes with Bethenny on Bravo’s, The Housewives of NY, although she started her reality career on NBC’s The Apprentice with Martha Stewart. I was immediately attracted to her witty attitude, incredible work ethic and how relatable and real she seemed. In the world of reality TV, we often see everything but reality, however Bethenny made me feel like I was watching my best friend. She is someone you would want to have lunch with, tell your juiciest secrets to and definitely one of those friends that guarantees a great time out!
From a business perspective, as a Mompreneur and someone who is building my brand, Bethenny is someone to look up to and admire, and who has always been an inspiration to me. I was thrilled to be part of her “Calling All my Girls” tour and actually see and meet her in person. What would I wear? What would I say? AHHHHH…my excitement was ridiculous! If you asked any of my close friends who the one person was that I was dreaming of meeting, they would all tell you Bethenny Frankel! When I announced the news that I was going to her event, some of them actually screamed along with me!!!
So now to the good stuff. After stressing over the perfect outfit, I finally chose a dress I knew was meant for this occasion, borrowed the perfect clutch from my neighbor (hey, it takes a village to look good), and headed out the door.
I pulled up to Grille One Sixteen, a trendy restaurant in Tampa, only ten minutes from my house. The line was already out the door with women who were dressed to impress and whose excitement was leaking out of their skin!
I have to admit I was actually shaking a little bit as I approached the line. I stated my name and when they couldn’t find it, I didn’t panic. I told them I was an invited blogger and the next thing I knew, I was being handed a special blogger pass along with a multi-colored bracelet that was adorable and just my style. I am not talking a paper bracelet you would get at the amusement park, but a real bracelet that you would actually want to purchase at a store. Everyone that attended received a bracelet and it was color coded I am guessing based on your status or what type of guest you were. How cool is the fact that Bethenny gave bracelets to every attendee? Some of the ladies standing in line next to me remarked that I was part of the special list. My smile was ear to ear, to say the least. And yes, I did feel special! I was ready to get this party started!!!!
I walked in and could not believe the transformation from the restaurant to a funky lounge that was colorful, airy and full of life. I was immediately asked to pose for the camera and knew the evening was going to be a blast! My next mission was to get a Skinny Girl cocktail.
Before I could head to the bar, I heard my name called so I went to say hello to some friends and fellow Tampa bloggers. Next to my friends was this very cool looking booth with inspirational wording written all over it. It was a place where you could confess a secret, share something about yourself or just say hello…all on video to Bethenny. You better believe I entered the booth and attempted to fit in all my thoughts in the 30 seconds allotted. Before I exited, the monitor took a snapshot and I was off to get that drink.
On my way to the bar, I ran into more friends and fellow bloggers. It was so great seeing everyone and catching up. The MC announced Bethenny would be making an appearance soon so I made my way as close to the stage as possible, hoping to catch the waiter holding a tray of delicious looking drinks. While I waited for my Skinny Girl cocktail to arrive, the MC announced it was time and the crowd went wild. Her entrance was beyond amazing and we were all clapping, screaming and taking pictures. I could not believe I was actually seeing Bethenny Frankel in person and not watching a television screen. She looked absolutely beautiful and had this glow about her. I was Tweeting, texting, Facebooking, posting…you name the social media outlet…I was on it. As a blogger, I had to share this amazing experience with the Mommy Masters fans and with my friends. Check out this picture of Bethenny as she sees the Tampa crowd for the first time. Love her expression! You can see me behind her hard at work on my phone! I don’t think the smile on my face was big enough! Love that pic!
Bethenny spoke for a while about being in Tampa, what we can expect from her show and answered questions from the audience. It was such an amazing experience listening to her and witnessing her excitement and passion.
When she took a break and headed off stage, I wasn’t too far behind and wanted to make sure I got a picture with her of course, but most importantly, wanted to give her a copy of my award winning children’s CD for her daughter, Bryn. I was standing nearby watching her do her thing and she pointed to me and said something like, “You, come here for a picture”. I turned around assuming she was talking to someone else behind me but she then said, “Yes, You”. My heart fell to the ground it was beating so hard. I handed her the CD and we took a picture. I could now check meeting Bethenny Frankel off my bucket list. I was seriously living a dream at that moment and could not believe it was her. It wasn’t that I was star struck because I do think of Bettehny as a real person and not just a character from a TV show. It was the fact that I was able to meet a huge inspiration of mine and someone who I respect and admire-what a feeling! I would later learn that when the pictures from the event were posted online, the one of Bethenny and me was nowhere to be found. Yes, I was pretty devastated as that was the money shot, the picture that would capture my amazing moment, and one that would forever live on my Facebook page and blog. This is the reason I have delayed publishing this post, in hopes that it would be found. I don’t want to much time to pass so I have decided to publish without the picture. I have reached out to Bethenny’s team and they have been so wonderful trying to locate the image. In the process, they actually uncovered a few other shots I never saw online. I have hope that the picture will be recovered soon and you better believe I will post the heck out of it when I receive it!
After my moment with Bethenny, she continued on to take pictures with the rest of her fans, schmooze,and then take a much needed break. I then took some time to hang out with my friends from the Tampa Bay Bloggers Group and we literally laughed the entire time.
The rest of the night was kind of a blur as I was meeting so many great people. Bethenny was soon back on stage and the night continued to be amazing! There were bachelors and a dance off and the entire audience was definitely enjoying themselves!
I even got to meet Bachelorette alumni and Bachelor Pad winner, Nick Peterson, who is working on his own reality show. He is adorable!!!
Before I knew it, it was time to go home. Bethenny had left as she was headed to Miami for her next party. You have to respect someone who works so hard! Upon exiting, I was given a gift bag filled with lots of goodies. I of course had to end my night with some sushi, so I headed next door to my favorite sushi place and joined my fellow Tampa bloggers, where we continued the laughs!
This was a night I will never forget. Thank you so much to Bethenny Frankel and her team for inviting me to share such a wonderful evening and be a part of her success! I am now officially one of Bethenny’s Girls and cannot wait for her show to premiere on Sept. 9th on Fox. (Check your local listings for specific times and head to www.Bethenny.com to learn more about the show.)
P.S. I am so curious to know if Bryn (and of course Bethenny) liked my CD.
P.S.S. It took a while to finally get that drink but it was worth the wait. Not sure exactly what it was called but it was very refreshing as it was HOT HOT HOT in the venue!
When I came home, I paid the sitter, took off my shoes and opened up my bag of goodies! Best night EVER! Thanks Bethenny!!! You are awesome!