Summer Get Together with the Blogstress Lasses

LeAnne, Denine and Barbara on the Beach! photo by Susie Riley
One of THE BEST parts of my 2 week vacation at the shore was a get-together I attended with my blogging friends, The Blogstress Ladies.  Several years ago, my then, acquaintance through my best neighbor friend, Michele, introduced me to her best friend, Barbara Hammond.  Barbara had started a blog, called Zero to Sixty and Beyond, and she was very interested in promoting it and blogging in general.  She started a ladies blogger group, called The Blogstress Network.  The founders of it were Barbara; Doreen Naughton Creede (Style Maniac); Lee Romano (Madness Mom and Me).  We met a few times, had some lovely cocktail parties and writers' luncheons.  We also met other women bloggers and artists, such as Denise Fike ( and Susie Riley ( among several of her blogs).  My friend, LeAnne Lindsay, of Tinsel and Tine joined us too.  After a year or so we all got too busy and side-lined with projects, families and whatnot to hold meetings.  Which was too bad, because our meetings helpful.  If nothing else we had a local support network of women writers.  We were there to help bolster each other's egos and share blogging tips.  

It took a few years but we finally had a reunion!  Barbara organized a get-together for all of us at her Ocean City beach house.  She has since become a good friend; we meet up each summer  and sometimes in the fall at the shore each when I'm down in the Ocean City, New Jersey area.

Our reunion was scheduled for Thursday, July 18th.  We met in the early afternoon at her lovely OC home and hung out on her porch for most of the day.  We imbibed some delicious Procecco by Cup Cake Vintners and enjoyed a scrumptious lunch that she prepared for us.  And we LAUGHED all day and into the evening.  Good hearty girlfriend laughter.  The kind you can only do with women whom you really love and admire.  It didn't hurt that none of us had an empty glass all day either!  Getting tipsy was a nice diversion to the day!

Doreen and LeAnne - discussing some serious business! Ha - most likely we were all trying to gab about something at the same time and I captured LeAnne mid sentence!  These are two of the  most stylish ladies I know. Doreen is involved in many fashion events and scenes in Philadelphia, blogging about her latest fashion find at Style Maniac. She's also incredibly connected to many top fashion stylists in the Philly area.  Doreen's writing and fashion projects make me want to get out and do more every time I read one of her posts or get an invite to one of her fabulous soirees.  

Leanne is movie and food writer, as well as dear friend of my for almost 20 years now.  LeAnne and I worked together at what was The American Music Theater Festival in teh 1990's, which then became the Prince Music Theatre.  We survived a mad house and a crazy boss at the theater, coming through the experience with war wounds a life time of memories and STORIES!  We've grown up from our mid-20's into ahem, our current years.

Susie Riley - the guest of honor.  Barbara and she "met" online via bloggers forums and became friends and helpers to each other.  Susie created Barbara's new website and helped her streamline her blog.  Susie came down to the Jersey Shore from New Hampshire.  Meeting her was like meeting up with a good friend with whom you haven't seen in years.  It was immediately comfortable and fun.
Lee - she's like a warm hug, you just feel great around her.  She's creative and funny, and has a wild sense of humor which she shares freely.  She writes great stories about her crazy Italian-American upbringing and her wacky parents on her blog, Madness Mom and Me.

 Our day wasn't spent entirely on the porch, we did take a stroll onto the beach.  
Doreen and Lee went swimming while Susie, LeAnne, Barbara and I walked down the beach.
 In addition to the good wine and bubbly we enjoyed, I found a great Belgian Ale with some ATTYTOOD!  Lucifer Belgian Ale.  VERY Spicy!
 Gots to love pretty feet!  Most of these gals are true ladies from head to pretty toes!
 Barbara's beach bungalow is a true get-away cottage.  It's pure beachy vibe and laid back styling is inviting and inspiring.  I love the use of shutters INSIDE the room to use as a place to stash and share beloved photos.
Even her guest towels are whimsical.  
The hooks have a spot for hers and her husband's Dave's towels, 
along with spots for guest towels.
 Happy Little Clams, all in a row.  
I don't remember if this is directly out front of Barbara's house, 
or if it was the neighbor's fence.  Doesn't matter, it's fun!
 Our FEAST! The pasta was a joint effort - Barbara cooked down golden cherry tomatoes,
shallots and butter with some white wine until it turned almost jam-like.  
I sauteed shrimp and garlic in butter and olive oil, then reduced down some white wine. 
We then tossed the shrimp and tomato topping over hot cooked zitti and added some freshly torn basil into the mix!  OMG! The perfect summer meal.
 Colourful Lobster (LOBSTAH!) Salad - Trio of Bell Peppers, Celery and Steamed Lobster, mixed with a mayo, vinegar, celery seed and sour cream dressing.  A terrific summer salad.
Crock Pot Slow Cooked Pulled Pork - Onions, Pork Shoulder, Barbecue Sauce and Jack Daniels.   A little splash from Jack makes everything taste better.
So "Glad" you are here.  
Barbara (and I agree) thinks it's not a summer floral setting without some gladiolas.
LeAnne - a lady meant for leisure.

Doreen, not to be upstaged by a dog, was being upstaged by one of Barbara's dogs.  I think this was Buddy, but it may be Sydney.  Sweet ragamuffin dogs who as soon as they get to the shore, become total "beach bums!"

The Blogstress Ladies - photo by Susie Riley
I hope that another party can be held this fall.  
You need your friends, especially your girlfriends, 
to lend support but also to help you remember to laugh.


  1. This is such a great recap, Denine! It truly was great fun and I loved every moment of it! The friendships we have made through blogging are very special. Everyone, in every city or burgh, should find bloggers around them to share ideas and fun.
    Thanks for writing this!

  2. Hi Denine,

    Awww ... what you said about me made my day! :) We did indeed have the perfect little break at chez Hammond, and I really think we ALL needed that!

    Great to see you again, and looking forward to the next get together, wherever it may be (I think our gracious host, Barbara just might have us back)!

    VIVA the blogstresses!

    xo Lee

  3. I concur a fabulous recap! Didn't realize you took that many pics. The one of me in leisure looks so bohemian, my posture cracks me up!

    And for the record, Denine and I were 14 year-old interns when we met at AMTF - LOL! ;)

  4. Thank you all for the lovely comments. I just posted and photographed what I saw and experienced for the day - you all provided the fun, entertainment and most importantly, the perfect company. Love you all! And for the record, I realized I had a lot of typos and grammar errors, so I just updated the post! And Doreen, I didn't write enough about you! That too, has been addressed!

  5. A the restorative power of good food, cool bubbly, ocean air and lots of laughter with like-minded girlfriends! It was a relaxing day filled with info and inspiration -- and oh so much fun. Just what the Blogstresses are all about!

    I know we've all been busy but isn't it great to see how much we've each accomplished in that time? Amazing, I think.

    And thank you for the sweet compliment -- you made my day, Denine.
    --Doreen / Style Maniac


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