Sandra’s Summer Carnival #bySandraLee #CBias

Are you ready to hear all about the Summer Carnival?  I’ll warn you, it’s picture heavy.  And this is only a fraction of what I actually took.  But it was a seriously picture-worthy event … you’ll see what I mean.

I had an amazing time and I’m so thankful I had this opportunity.  I’ve never experienced anything like it and it was something I’ll never forget.

Thursday night’s festivities took place at Cafe Centro.

Twenty five bloggers gathered for a cocktail party and delicious appetizers.  Sandra Lee had chosen special cocktails for our event and the recipes and photos were printed on pillows.  {You’ll see more of those pillows in later photos.}  The Star-tini was the featured cocktail on Thursday night.

Gina, me, Holly 

We had a delicious dinner and heard from Mark Bonchek, Senior Vice President, Communities and Networks for Sears Holdings.  He spoke briefly about the age of social networking, a great topic for a room full of bloggers.

Friday morning, the bloggers hopped on a bus and headed to Jersey City for a tour of a Sears store.  We heard from the designers, toured the store and had demonstrations of products, and got to see the Sandra Lee line on display.

I love the tag lines associated with the line.

After the tour, the bus took us back to The Kitchen NYC for the big event with Sandra.  We walked downstairs into the event space and were greeted with beautiful decorations.

The lampshades overhead were a favorite and I’ve been pondering how I could do this in an area in my house.  They gave such a warm feeling to the space.  Wouldn’t that be beautiful in a bedroom?

We were greeted by Sandra and each of us had our photo taken with her on the red carpet.

Lunch was set up in a room that had been transformed into an elegant summer carnival.

A table full of colored soda …

… more soda set in a bright red case {I so want one of these for my pool area} …

… and a beautiful red and white display using Sandra’s dishes all set the mood for the party.

Isn’t this a clever idea?  Paper straws stuck into a bouquet.  So simple to replicate but the look was eye-catching.

A delicious lunch buffet was set to the side … 

… and more of Sandra’s products were used as display.  Another great party decor idea: rolls of colored tickets to elevate a dessert bar.  I love the look!

A photo booth sat in the corner and the bloggers were all encouraged to take a turn.

 Sandra Lee spoke to us for a long time, going over each blogger’s history and blog genre …

… and then we broke into teams, grabbed a cocktail …

… and decorated tablescapes using some of Sandra’s holiday line {to be released later this year}.

Sandra went around to each of the tables and gave a little evaluation.

The press at the event was a bit nerve-wracking at first but we got used to the cameras and lights. Sandra didn’t even seem to notice them. Guess she’s pretty used to being in the limelight.

After the tablescape fun, we went into another room where Sandra spoke about some of her favorite products in the new line.  The line has some great multi-functional items, fun shapes, and bright colors.  Have any of you seen it yet in Sears or Kmart stores?

We ran out of time to do the cupcake decorating but wrapped the day up with a final cocktail time and a visit with Sandra.  I couldn’t have been more impressed with Sandra.  She’s so real, so down-to-earth, a great speaker, and really funny.  It was like hanging out with a friend.

A final cocktail, Meringue Margs, were served.  I love the cookie crusted rim.

At the end of our session, we were allowed to go back into the second room and take what we wanted from the products displayed there.  It was a bit of an awkward free-for-all {I didn’t want to appear greedy} but I came home with some great products.  Don’t even ask me how I packed that huge pot in my suitcase.

It was such a fun time!  A great chance to meet other bloggers, an amazing opportunity to be in New York City, and a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with Sandra Lee.

Collective Bias, Sears, and Kmart provided this opportunity for me.  Travel arrangements and more were provided.  All opinions are my own. 


I’ve started truncating my posts … please pop over to my blog to read the rest!


  1. says

    EEEEKKKK! Randi! That looks like it was so much fun! What an amazing opportunity! You looked like you were having an amazing time…and your photos are awesome! Don’t feel shy about telling more…cuz I for one would love to hear it!!!! You rock.

  2. says

    I am so happy to have had the opportunity to hang out with you for a couple days! This was an amazing opportunity filled with amazing women (and men – cannot leave out the Sears/Kmart/Design team dudes!) and I love that we managed to see so much of NYC in such a short amount of time!

  3. says

    wow, Randi! It looks like you were having a great time with some great products! Are you sure YOU didn’t design all that wonderful stuff??? You are so talented.

  4. Heather Painchaud says

    That’s so cool Randi!! I love the little details and rolls of tickets idea! Thanks for sharing your trip ~ looks like oyu had a fab time!!

  5. says

    How fun!! Her stuff looks fantastic! You look fantastic, great outfits :) How did she choose the bloggers? What a great opportunity and great blog exposure for you. Did you get to see a bit of the city too?

  6. says

    That trip sounds amazing! Once in a lifetime, huh? Or maybe not. Maybe this is just the start of many trips to meet famous people. Heck, in the future bloggers might be flying to meet you! I’m glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and went on the trip!