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Monday, September 24, 2007

Victoria Bliss was Bliss!

Dear Gentle Friend,

I'm so glad you were able to stop by this morning. I have so much to tell you...I have just returned from one of the most memorable occasions of my life. Victoria's Bliss Event was truly Bliss! I was so eager to share everything with you, because I knew that you wanted so badly to be there, too. I just knew that you would feel the same emotions of joy and excitement as we heard the plans for the magazine and saw the new cover for the first time!

Sit down and I will pour a cup of tea for us. Then, I will share everything with you.

As you know, my friend Sharon, of C'estChouette, and I shared a room at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas where Bliss was held. She arrived early and had the room ready and everything figured out. I was so glad she knew where to go--the Anatole is so large and spread out (and I am directionally challenged). We had many laughs over my never knowing which way to turn when coming and going! The hotel is beautiful and our room was huge. It was so nice sharing it with such a gracious friend. We had not met face to face before, but have been friends for a year and a half at MakeMinePink, whom we were representing at the Bliss event. We had a wonderful time talking into the wee hours after we returned from the Bliss functions each night.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and Sharon met me in the lobby. After hugging and doing the happy dance, she took me to meet another MMP friend who had come to the Southern Lady convention (also being held there) and had a booth in the Emporium. Suzi, of Polka Dot Rose, is just a sweetheart. Then it was time to get ready for the first event, a Champagne Reception with the staff of Victoria.


Table centerpieces

The reception was held in a lovely room on the Peacock Terrace. The most gorgeous flower arrangements, roses, of course, decorated the tables. Hors d'erves were served with champagne and non-alcoholic beverages. Then, we were able to mingle with the other guests and meet the staff. Phyllis Hoffmann is just a delightful person. She was so gracious and made an effort to speak to each person there. (She really listened, too. Sharon shared that her husband used to bring her wine to drink while she soaked in a bubble bath and read her newly arrived Victoria at the end of the day. Phyllis quoted that Victoria moment when she unveiled the cover!) Her staff is just as friendly and approachable. It was so refreshing and put us at ease.

Phyllis Hoffmann (right) talking to other guests

After mingling for awhile, it was time for the first unveiling of the new cover. It is just beautiful, as you can see. The font is the same one used on the old Victoria--the one we all loved. And just look at the Christmas tree. It is classic Victoria!

Phyllis Hoffmann unveiling the cover

Phyllis Hoffman's son, Brian--Event Planner


Saturday--Day 2

After a good night's sleep, Sharon and I walked over to a nearby Denny's for breakfast (the restaurants in the hotel were a bit pricey in my opinion). We didn't have anything planned until registration at noon, so we were able to just visit and eat at a leisurely pace. It was so nice... Then, we headed back, toured the Emporium and did a little shopping before going up to the room to change into our "Pink" outfits. After changing clothes, we headed downstairs to the registration desk. And look what we each received--gift bags filled with wonderful goodies! At 2 pm, we had our first event of the day--Afternoon Tea. The food was delicious and we had more opportunities to visit and exchange business cards with the lovely people we were seated with. The menu? Oh, yes~~We dined on Summer Gazpacho, Layered Salmon Terrine, Tea Sandwiches and Mixed Berry Trifle. To-die-for!Next, we were entertained by author Alexandra Stoddard. She gave us an overview of the books she has done in the past and what she is currently working on. She will be featured in the premier issue. Her husband was there and we had many giggles over his comments, bows and loving gestures to his wife.

Alexandra Stoddard

Our next speaker was one of my favorites, Alda Ellis. She is an author of many books, but is best known for her books on setting a lovely table. She also has her own store, called Alda's Forever, which specializes in silver items such as the lovely vases used in the rose arrangements.
Alda Ellis

Following Alda's talk, came the moment we had all been waiting for: A sneak peek of the premier issue of Victoria! Phyllis Hoffmann took the stage to talk us through a Power Point slide show highlighting what is to come. She shared about 6 or 7 pages, to tantalize us. It is going to be a beautiful issue--a seamless transition from the Victoria we all loved and lost and will love once more! (Thank you, Phyllis for understanding our needs to have this magazine back in our lives ...) After the presentation, the staff of Victoria fielded questions from the audience and answered each thoughtfully. (And, may I add, through out the event, they were always available during breaks, and more than willing to talk and answer private questions.)

The day's events ended with a wonderful Dessert Reception in the Wedgewood Room. We had dessert for dinner! We have Brian (son) and Katie (daughter-in-law, married to Brian's twin) Hoffmann to thank for that ...they certainly know what women want! Just look at the spread:

Sharon and me

Gentle Friend, I am sorry that this has taken up so much time. It was such a wonderful weekend. I cannot express how I felt. We laughed together, felt the excitement and could not help but feel that this is a pivotal moment in each of our lives. Victoria is back! And we are so glad...

I have so much more to share with you, dear friend, but it will wait until tomorrow. Until then,



Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Karen, Am I the first one here? What a fabulous post about your Bliss weekend. I, and I know all the ladies at MMP, felt like we were right there with you and Sharon. I know I could feel the excitement in your posts. So glad you had such a wonderful blissful weekend. Can't wait to read more. xoxo Lynn

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Karen ~ Ohhh girl, I just couldn't hop on the airplane today until I read more about Bliss ~ I love your post, it makes me feel like I was there ~... thank you also for the pics of you and Sharon ~ :o) You are a sweetheart !

Meadow Street said...

Oh how fun!!! You girls are beautiful, I wish I was there!!

Dianne said...

Karen CT! Thanks so much for taking us on the Bliss journey with you. I wanted to just keep on reading and seeing pics! I know you and Sharon had a blast. I can't wait for the new Victoria to come out!

Cottage Collections said...

Karen,, you write beautifully. I so much enjoyed hearing about the wonderful time you and Sharon had together at Bliss. I owe you both a sincere thank you for representing MP in such a wonderful way. I know we'll be remembered!
Thanks for sharing your adventures. I wish I'd been there with you.

Cathy said...

Karen, that was absolutely amazing. I loved each and every word you wrote. I felt like I was there with you two all weekend. Going to the SLC last year alone was very lonely, so I'm glad you two had each other.

Your blog story is wonderful and I can't wait to read more tomorrow.

xoxo, Cath

cjan said...

Hi Karen,

I'm so happy that you and Sharon were able to go to Bliss together and to officially and in person meet each other!! I wish all the ladies at MMP could have been there. Thank you for sharing all of the fun things that you experienced. I could feel the joy and excitement and the fun times you two had there, as you kept us updated. Thanks so much!!

Mrs.E said...

Your trip sounds just wonderful and your narration of it put me right in the middle of it all.

I cannot wait for Victoria Magazine to come looks to be the fantastic magazine it always was.

Can't wait to here the rest of the fabulous details tomorrow :) see you then.

Arlene said...

Karen, thank you for "taking us with you" to Bliss. It sounds like it was so exciting, and I bet you and Sharon had a ball together!

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Oh Karen, I am so happy for you! What a wonderful weekend you had! I would have loved to be there :)

So glad you are back home safe. Thank you so much again for the sweet teapot. I just adore it!


Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Karen thank you so much for sharing this and the wonderful pictures! Too many things came up for me to be able to attend, but I almost feel like I was there.


Miss Rhea said...

Wow, You really made me feel as though I was there ! What a special weekend you had !! How exciting, I can't wait till the December issue hits the news stands. :)

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi Karen! Oh, I wish I would have been able to meet you...and Sharon, too! It was such a lovely event and the goodies they gave us are wonderful momentos, aren't they? Thank you for visiting my blog. I only wish I had taken many more photos as I want to continue posting about it and don't have pictures to coincide! I'll have to visit your blog again & I'm counting the days till we hold our first issue!! xxoo, Dawn