I was so excited to be invited by BSM Media to attend the HP Print and Pamper Retreat by MyPrintly in beautiful San Diego, California earlier this month. I almost cancelled at the last minute due to my poor eyesight, but thanks to my mom and daughter for driving me to/from the airport and the use of cheaters, I was able to attend! I only knew one other person that would be there (the amazing Jen Goode), so I knew it would be a great chance to meet people.
The first day, I shared a shuttle with six lovely ladies to stay at the beautiful Ranchero Bernardo Inn.
- Ashlee Prisbrey – who was recently a finalist on the Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship!
- Ashley Saunders
- Jenny Ingram – we ended up sharing a cab back to the airport as well, and she may end up on my list of girl crushes!
- Jill Amery
- Nicole Bangerter
- Victoria Armijo
Upon arrival, our rooms weren’t ready yet, so while the other gals opted to get their hair done, makeup applied and manicures in the salon, I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with Carolina Moore – we knew we’d hit it off when we talked about crotchless Spanx within minutes of meeting!
That night was “carnival” night with games and prizes where we got to see some upcoming products from HP and give our feedback on how to make those products better. I also learned about a super cool app: Pocketbooth that lets you make your own photobooth. That night I retired to bed early as I was exhausted from jet lag and the two hour time difference.
The second day, after eating a scrumptious breakfast, we loaded buses to take us to the Hewlett-Packard (HP) headquarters in Palo Alto. We got to take a tour of the facility, see new products in production and even participate in a friendly game of Shark Tank to pitch HP products (my team got second, yay). HP definitely used us bloggers as a focus group to test products and bounce ideas off of. I think they got their money’s worth.
Since HP is a partner with Disney, we got to vote on some new upcoming movie ideas for Disney over lunch – I can’t wait to see if the one I voted for makes it to the theaters! After we arrived back to the resort, we got a choose from various activities. I chose a Mixology class! I met more new friends, Jennifer Patrick and Denise Laird. Our “bar” did not win, but we had a good time!
The second night was “craft night” and each of the HP Printly ambassadors hosted a table where we could do go around and make different craft projects. Most (if not all) of the crafts involved using images/printed from HP printers. I wish I had more time to make more crafts (I really wanted to make the Disney Minnie ears, but they ran out of supplies), but I was able to make a few projects that may end up given out at Christmas. I have my Halloween Door Hanger (made at Laura Petersen‘s table) on my front door, and my Photo Memory Tin (made at Vanessa Coppola‘s table) by my desk right now.
The last day of festivities started with listening to speakers while we ate breakfast. It was inspiring to listen to Arlene Pellicane (author of Growing up Social), Maria Bailey (author of Millennial Moms and founder of BSM Media who put on this wonderful event) and Lori Lorenz, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Hewlett-Packard. I was also honored that Maria asked me to speak a bit about affiliate marketing with fellow panel members Jen Goode, Amy Bellgardt, Amy Mascott and Kathy Cano-Murillo who all have areas of expertise that I need help in!
And then we all loaded the buses again. This time to go to Disneyland! I had never been to Disneyland so was super excited (and I did buy myself some Minnie ears). The park was actually smaller than I had imagined, but then we learned we had hopper passes to visit the Disney California Adventure Park as well. By the time we got to start exploring that, it was time to meet up with the group to watch the lighted parade (my favorite part) and the fireworks.
Disneyland Tips I Learned
- If you’ve never been there before, stop by any shop and ask for a “first timer” pin (it’s free).
- Download the Disneyland app so you can see a map of the park and wait times for the rides.
- The lines are near as long if you get in the “singles” line. You may not sit next to your friends, but you still get the thrill of the ride and can meet them at the end.
- I suggest riding the train all around the park to see all of it, then riding it to where you want to stop next.
- Stop in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a free glitter sprinkle while you make a wish.
- Dole Whips are heavenly and better than imagined.
It was super late when we arrived back at the resort, and most of us had to get up super early for flights and were exhausted, but the experience was definitely worth it. The BSM Media team spoiled us with gifts and surprises in our rooms. And back at home, we all received a HP ENVY 5540 All-in-One Inkjet Printer with an HP Instant Ink membership.
HP Instant Ink is an ink replacement service. Your printer orders original HP Ink when you’re running low and they ship it straight to your door. So you never have to worry about running out of ink again.
When my free membership runs out, I’m definitely going to renew, as it’s only $2.99 per month, and I’m notorious for running out ink when I have something important to print (like coupons)! And it’s definitely less expensive (up to 50%) than buying on demand.
Thanks to BSM Media, all of the sponsors and bloggers for a truly great event!