ALIX & DOTTIE: We’re baaaack!
DOTTIE: Hoo boy! The Altitude Design Summit was just bananas. What a blast! Great people, great panels and great fun! Soo many stories—where to start, hmmm?
ALIX: Well, last Wednesday we packed our bags and made our way to Salt Lake City. And what bags they were! Dottie busted out her trusty Houndstooth Hattie and I had my new Blue Monster.
DOTTIE: Oh yes, and let it be known that each bag was crammed full of colorful ensembles to wear throughout the weekend!
ALIX: And I think I had about ten pounds in paper for our presentation “leave-behind”.
ALIX: We had a smooth flight and arrived at the Grand America hotel ready to go! We stayed there last year when we attended ALT and I knew we’d have an amazing time.
DOTTIE: Oh, the rooms were just divine, weren’t they? The Grand America knows how to treat a lady right! I swear our room was bigger than many SF apartments I’ve lived in.
ALIX: Seriously, I kept expecting a tour guide to pop out from behind the couch to tell me that Abraham Lincoln had once slept in my bed.
DOTTIE: Of course then it was time for the costume parade—unpacking and sharing the outfits we ended up bringing!
ALIX: That’s half the fun. I’m pleased to report that we didn’t get too crazy with the shoes. Four pairs for four days, that’s not to bad right??? I was excited to see your turquoise Fleuvog’s made the cut! Those are the quintessential Dottie shoe if ever I saw ’em!
DOTTIE: Alix, those shoes you brought were just adorable! You inspire me to bring more color into my shoe collection, lady!
ALIX: Is it weird I brought three pairs of open-toed shoes in the deep of winter???
DOTTIE: Not at all. And you know, we never really left had to leave the luscious confines of the Grand America.
ALIX: After unpacking, I gave Dottie a couple of cute little necklaces I had picked up for her. She then pulled out a small, sweetly packed little prezzie for me and proceeded to blow my mind:
ALIX: Um, yeah. IT’S THE STARLETTE CROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gersh, I was blown away. You have to understand I have been coveting this for EVER. My Devil-Ette name is The Starlet (and I love me some sparkles and stars) and this gorgeous thing was just calling “Buy me! Wear me! LOVE ME!” It was perfection and just the sweetest, bestest most perfect gift EVER.
DOTTIE: Oh stop….but I have to admit, I knew you would flip for it. Heh.
ALIX: Friend, let’s us be clear….when Dottie says “flip” she really means it. I literally BURST INTO TEARS when I opened it up. I’m not even joking. I have had a crazy couple of weeks (my father had a cancer scare and was hospitalized—he’s fine now, thank goodness—but I’ve been a tad stressed). I was just so overwhelmed by Dottie’s kindness and thoughtfulness.
DOTTIE: Well, I have to say that there was no doubt in my mind that you loved it!
ALIX: If the tears didn’t convince you, me sitting on my bed and petting it should have, eh? THANK YOU AGAIN lovely lady. It’s so, so good. *MWUAH!*
DOTTIE: OK, silly…let’s get back to ALT. So there was an amazing moment as we sat in our room when we realized we had NOTHING TO DO. It was heaven! Do you remember that?
ALIX: YES! We sort of looked at each other and realized there were no ALT events and work wasn’t calling us— we could just relax! And as incongruous as it sounds I love to relax with nice cuppa coffee.
DOTTIE: And to our delight we discovered they had recently opened up the cutest little cafe at the hotel.
ALIX: That little place was like a Willie Wonka set! I loved it! The cake boxes especially were so damn adorable.
DOTTIE: The BOXES? How about the amazing collection of sweets! Cupcakes! Macarons! Gelato! Oh, here I am with one of their gigantic lollipops! Step aside Shirley Temple, I’m boarding the Good Ship Lollipop with this giant yellow one!
DOTTIE: OK, I admit…..the box is pretty adorable. But my s’mores cake was delectable and that sauvignon blanc gelato you got was soooo tasty!
ALIX: Whoo hoo! It’s time! All dressed up and ready to go!
DOTTIE: The goodie bags this year were clever as can be—just check out the sweet little lunch pails! The ALT logo was a magnet. So smart.
image: ALT Flickr
ALIX: Oh yeeeeeah. We neglected to mention the other fun surprise…our sweet pal Pilgrim Lee met us there, all the way from Melbourne, Australia! I had met Pilgrim in person last year, so I already knew how brilliant she was, but this was the first time she and Dottie actually met!
DOTTIE: Oh Miss Pilgrim, how we love you! She was so colorful and sassy….it was like seeing one of her drawings come to life!
ALIX: Speaking of sassy, Dottie’s shoes were a huge hit! We kept getting stopped by people asking about them! I think she should be getting some kick backs from John Fleuvog!
DOTTIE: OK, but seriously….the real reason we were there wasn’t to show off our shoes (well, maybe just a little bit!). It was to hear all these amazing bloggers speak. ALT is a veritable “Who’s Who” of Design bloggers and you end up learning so much.
ALIX: Agreed! There were soo many fantastic sessions. Pilgrim and I hit the “Faster, Smarter, Better Blogging” panel first, with the awesome Erica (Design Blahg), Megan (Not Martha) and Susan (House of Brinson).
ALIX: Pilgrim is such a rockstar, she had heard of most of the recos before—and even tipped me to a few extras. She spent most of the session playing with my handbag. Hee. I, however, was tipped to lots of new cool apps and sites and I’m going to type up my notes and I’ll post ’em here tomorrow.
DOTTIE: I was at the “Growing Your Community” session with Danielle, Jenny Komenda, Meg Keene, and Sarah Bryden Brown and it was crammed full of amazing info.
ALIX: Next we all met up for one of our favorite sessions: “Advertising Beyond the Banner”. The speakers were the always amazing Maggie (Mighty Girl), the super adorable Erin (Design for Mankind), and one of my new favorites, the smart and hilarious Liz (of Cool Mom Picks and Mom 101). These ladies are sharp as tacks, engaging and pretty damn funny!
image: ALT Flickr
DOTTIE: Maggie really is one of the best speakers around. I’m always inspired by that girl!
ALIX: Then it was time for lunch! With special Key Note guests, Project Runway winner Seth Aaron and Runway Favorite (and SHOULDA been the winner) Mondo Guerra!
ALIX: Can we discuss the LETTER PRESS menus? Way to step it up ladies of ALT! And the miso, chicken noodle soup was delish! Speaking of, here is the lovely lady behind the ALTITUDE Design Summit, Gabrielle (Design Mom), with her Kirtsy partners in crime, Laurie and Laura (Blog Con Queso).
image: ALT Flickr
DOTTIE: Our friend Raina nabbed Mondo’s autograph for her girls. I know her girls are going to think she is the COOLEST MOM EVER for this! I love how they look like they are just having a little chat over here. Mondo looked adorable as can be and I was loving his shoes….
DOTTIE: And then WE got to meet him! Whoo hoo!
ALIX: This is officially one of THEE worst photos of me ever, but I will include it here just so you can see we really met our boy Mondo! haha. I will say I nearly passed out when he looked at my outfit and said, “Oooh girl you look FABULOUS! Love the shoes!”
DOTTIE: You still look adorable to me. I look like I’m in the process of screaming, I’m so excited. But wait—did I scream? I can’t remember, I was so excited!
ALIX: And just in case you were wondering, I was wearing some ticky tacky fun silver metallic socks and a pair of green vintage sandals. Mondo-approved!
DOTTIE: Just you wait folks, little did we know there was more Mondo goodness yet to come! Poor Seth Aaron. He was so cool and friendly, but really….we were all there for The Mondo.
ALIX: I know! He was rockin’ a new hair do that was suspiciously Kate Gosselin Goes Goth. But he really was a cool dude.
DOTTIE: We ran into our friend Rachel (Today’s Mama) who organized the brilliant EVO conference. She is like sunshine on a stick, that lady. Then it was back to the sessions!
image: ALT Flickr
ALIX: After another round of fabulous speakers, there was a little “happy hour” party in the Alt Lounge. Even the coca-cola bottles were cute! There was wine flowing and lots of nibblies too.
DOTTIE: Now, we don’t have any photos of what happened next, but let’s just say Alix was having a very good day. I’ll pass the mike on over… I know you’re dying to tell this story. Take it away!
ALIX: OMG, I’m still reeeeeling! [imagine my hands flailing around as I gesture wildly during the retelling of this] We were all chit chatting around when I noticed that Mondo and Seth Aaron had arrived. Since we already had our awesome moment with him, I didn’t want to be greedy and fawn all over him again. But as luck would have it, he strolled on over next to me. After taking a photo with another woman he looked at me and said, “Ooh it’s Fabulous again. How you doing girl?” Like a clod I simultaneously said, “Hi I’m Alix!” It sounded like I was correcting him and he laughed and said, “Well duh, it’s not like i REALLY thought your name was Fabulous!” and I giggled like an idiot….but it was a good ice breaker. He then proceeded to rock my world by saying, “You’ll think I’m joking but I’m SO TOTALLY basing my next collection around this” [waving his hands around my tights/socks/shoes combo]. “I’m serious! It’s so good! It’s….and I mean this in the best way….so awesomely tacky fab!” And I shrieked (in an embarrassing way I’m sure) and said, “YES! It’s what I call muh Granny Chic look!” “Love it!!” and we cracked up. I was officially in love and floatin’ on a cloud. He was SO KIND and SO GENEROUS with his time. His boyfriend Ben came over (who is a big cuddly sweetie) and we suddenly found ourselves in a really serious chat about the show, what it was like telling his parents he was HIV positive and how difficult it is for him that Ben’s parents aren’t very accepting of their relationship. I loved him before but suffice to say I’m a major fan now. And not just because of the compliment. He is tops!
DOTTIE: Let it be known that Alix was completely in “the zone”. I tried to tap her on the shoulder at one point to let her know I was leaving and she didn’t even hear me. In fact, I think Pilgrim and I could have left on a dancing polar bear and she wouldn’t have noticed.
ALIX: It’s true….and I’m officially framing THE SHOES!
ALIX: After my MondoLoveFest 2010, it was almost time for dinner and we quickly got gussied up.
DOTTIE: Pilgrim looked fetching as can be in this AMAZING pink and purple dress! And yes, I did change eyeglasses to match my silver outfit.
ALIX: You can’t see Dottie’s dress but it was this FABULOUS light blue and silver metallic dress that I was soooo coveting. And yeah, that Pilgrim. CRAZY cute.
ALIX: Pilgrim was hilarious….she was soooo wanting to see snow. Alas, all we found was a teensy patch of grey ice. She was still thrilled!
DOTTIE: I was pleased to see Alix rockin’ the Starlette Crown I gave her….
ALIX: Thereby cementing your title as Supreme Gift Giver of the Universe! Oh, and I trotted out the same outfit I had on for New Year’s Eve. If you reeeeally wanna see, you can look here.
DOTTIE: The Thursday party was at the Lamb Grill (Salt Lake’s oldest restaurant) and again it was so fun seeing so many fabulous ladies. Shout out to the Clever Girls Collective!
ALIX: We ended the night exhausted—but knew we had to sparkle up for our 9am speaking date!
OMG, did you make it to the end?? I’m exhausted just writing this….we’ll be posting Part 2 tomorrow, which I promise is much shorter but definitely action packed! Let’s just say Kate Spade hosted one of the parties…
Stay tuned sweeties!