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MamaPop Sparklecorn Extravaganza 2009: A Party That Will Live In Infamy

This past Friday was easily one of the best days of my entire life.

And also one of the most trying. I spent almost the entirety of it quite literally running around Chicago with my better half in Sparklecorn Party Planningdom, Her Bad Mother, in an almost cartoonish, flailing panic, attempting to fix into place the final pieces of our party. There were last minute blunders to be sure, and moments when I honestly feared things would fall apart completely -- that one of the 50 people that comprised the links that made up the great Sparklecorn Chain of Being would fail, and we'd end up with a less-than-complete version of the vision both Catherine and I had of what Sparklecorn would be. But in the end, we begging, pleaded, and cajoled all involved to come through for us, and lucky for us, they did.

Our dear photographer friend Ryan of Pacing The Panic Room and porch-light pictures was one of those important links, as we flew him in to Chicago with the expressed purpose of documenting the party for posterity. When he arrived on Friday I felt terrible, because I was such a basketcase and so overloaded with all I needed to do before party time that I gave him quite literally no instructions or guidelines whatsoever and simply let him loose with his camera, saying only something to the effect of "Uhh, do whatever you think will be cool... If you need me, I'll be over here in this corner sobbing quietly. [insert quiet sobbing]"

After the jump is Part One of his photographic documentation of that night -- a collection of my personal favorites from all the images he took. They are, I think you'll agree, FREAKING AMAZING.

Rather than drone on and on with my thoughts about the party, I'd love to hear from those of you who were there about what you experienced, felt, saw, heard, and yes, SMELLED, Friday night. There's no greater joy for me, as host, to know that we gave people a good time. I think (hope?) we did. LET THE SPARKLECORN REVELRY COMMENCE!

PS: More of Ryan's AWESOME photos tomorrow! Woot!

PPS: Thanks to all our fabulous sponsors for making every single moment of this possible: bTrendie, Dove, Yahoo!, Six Apart, Templeton Rye (maker of our signature drink, the Vengeful Unicorn), and Federated Media, you light up our lives, you gave us hope to carry on... (And it goes without saying that you fill our nights with song.)

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Boston Mamas

Thanks for the fabulous party - oh man that was fun! -Christine


I expect to shed the hangover from that party by Halloween.


Totally bitch unicorn cake FTW. I had so much fun I couldn't remember most of it other than dancing my ass off.

Father Muskrat

Thanks so much for putting this together and posting the pics! Hope y'all stay independent and swag-free next year, per our cab discussion! I think everyone agrees this was the best event at BlogHer '09.


All kinds of awesome.


The party was an absolute blast. You guys did a great job, and I know we all appreciated all the hard work and planning!


THANKS TO ALL OF YOU for throwing the best party of the weekend! It was a BLAST! I know how much hard work goes into something like that and it was awesome!

(At least from what I remember. My hangover Saturday morning told me I had a great time!) :)

Angella Dykstra

Best. Party. EVER.

Piper of Love

I had an amazingly great time, haven't danced like that in forever! Whoever it was that thought to have Dove bring deodorant was brilliant!!

Thank you for all your hard work! It was an honor to be there.


Um, who was attached to those awesome SHOES + sparrow tattoo? FIERCE.


SUCH a fun par-tay. I love my overlords.


I had so much fun I am still a little dizzy at the thought. AND BEST picture ever has to be Miss Britt's orgasm face!!


BEST Party ever. So much fun!

Kerri Anne

The Poprocks are my favorite "piece of flair" I'm bringing home with me. And oh, the dancing. The dancing was EPIC.


I got to the party a little late but still had a blast! My photo with Edward Cullen might be one of my favorites from this weekend.


Had a TON of fun! Thanks for getting a good DJ--got more satisfaction from dancing my ass off than all the thumb-drives in the world.


this makes me seriously sad about my inability to get to blogher this year. this and finding out that bhj is quitting within a 5 minute time-span is sending me into apoplectic shock on this fine monday morning.


This wasn't just a party. This was a PAR-TAY. I danced my ass off...it was the best time I'd had in ages. Thanks for creating an atmosphere of inclusiveness for all to enjoy.


These pictures are fantastic. Events can be so hard to shoot well and Ryan is awesome! I'm also so thrilled to have a shot of me with Megan Smith and Em Zanotti, who I'd fly in to anywhere to just about make my dance party.

It was seriously the most fun. Sometimes you just need to dance. Thanks.

Karen MEG

FANTASTIC party, and the photos were phenomenal! Thanks, guys, the best time I've had in ... 4ever.


I was thinking the exact same thing!

A) because I'd love to see more pics of the tat
b) because I want to know who the shoe designer
and c) because I want to know who has such great style :)


Being at Sparklecorn was like being back in time, in some alternate universe where nerds ruled the party planning committee and everyone got to be prom queen and Captain Kirk drove his stepfather's car off a cliff.

Which means, obviously, that it was the greatest party in the entire history of alertnate universes.


I only regret not being able to climb over the bodies of broken bloggers to get a pile of shitty swag, and then run off to the next party with my tote bag of USB bracelets and junk food coupons. That would have made the party complete.


Hands down, one of my favorite memories of the weekend.

And from what I am hearing, a lot of other peoples too.

Melanie 2 Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

Thanks so much for this party! It was one of my highlights. The photographs are beautiful! To Jenn and ljpock: I THINK the fab shoes and tatoo in question belong to Megan (Undomestic Diva) She posted about her new tatoo not too long before BlogHer and it was a design very similar to that.


That would be @undomesticdiva's fabulous shoes (and tat)!

Miss Britt


Best. Comment. Ever.

Miss Britt

This party was PHENOMENAL. Easily the best couple hours of my entire weekend.


That looks like about the best party ever.
Totally jealous.


I second that Best. Comment. Ever. (except I would've said 'EVAR', because I am filled with delicious suck.)


Dude, I greedily grabbed my stick of deodorant and headed for the hills. Swag! *swoon*

Okay. Okay.... On a serious note, I posted about the party because for me, the MamaPop party encapsulated what BlogHer should be about - the party was all about hanging out and enjoying fun conversation with friends - new AND old. Folks stayed WAY past the appointed hour because they were having fun with each other! No vibrators and lube necessary. I am actively choosing to overlook the negativity swirling around swag bag hags and babies trying to sneak into cocktail parties.


Crazy gorgeous. Thanks for a great party!

Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy

I wasn't at BlogHer so I obviously missed the party. I'm pretty bummed.

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

It was an AMAZING party. You handled the guest-list thing very well and it made for an awesome experience.

I'm only sad I didn't get a piece of unicorn ass. :-(


such a marvelous party. Andy and I told all the 6A'ers about it at work this morning - we were so glad to be a part of it. I'm so glad the glow-bracelet/necklace thing turned out adorbs, too.


I missed out on unicorn ass as well. From certain angles the cake seemed to be looking at its own disappearing hindquarters, and that was too uncanny-valley for me.


It was a truly excellent party. Thanks so much for putting it together!

cindy w

The MamaPop party was hands-down my favorite party of the weekend because everybody was so warm and friendly and lovely and fun. My only regret is that my exhaustion got the better of me and I was back in my room sound asleep before the unicorn cake was cut. Dammit. Sounds like I missed some good stuff, but the time I spent there was great. Thank you, MamaPop!

Backpacking Dad

Dude, you tried to destroy the party in a firestorm of rye and pop rocks. It was only chemistry that foiled your evil ambition.


EASILY the best party of the weekend. You guys did such an amazing job. Thanks again!

Renee aka Cutiebootycakes

What can I say? I am a party animal and this party was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. No swag meant no hags and for that I was grateful. The unicorn cake was awesome and randomly bumping into some of my favorite bloggers who were as interested in me as I them - priceless. MamaPopRocks is an understatement and I am so happy to have been a part of the festivities!

Lee of MWOB

Every party-thrower needs to take a lesson from the Mama Pop chicks. You guys created a vibe where we all felt welcome and we all felt like PARTYING together as friends and fellow creative souls.....loved it.

Templeton Rye

We were honored to be a part of the MamaPop party and excited that so many people got to enjoy "The Good Stuff" for the first time. Sending recipe for The Vengeful Unicorn to the MamaPop crew very soon!

- The Templeton Rye team


The party rocked. There are just no other words. I didn't get there until wayyyyy late, but I stayed until the bitter end. And yes, I did almost cry when the DJ played Lean on Me as the closing song. Because that was just awesome!


This party was the best ever, period. You ladies knocked it out of the park.

I was just thrilled to be there and dance my As$ off!


Fabulous. By far, this was the best party of BlogHer... of ALL the BlogHer Conferences.

I loved everything about it, especially that there was room to move and an ambiance that was conducive to both chilling and rocking. (And that I had an excuse to wear a sparkly leotard and a tu-tu.)

Well done everyone. Well. Done.

Allison Worthington

Is it odd I have no memory after the first drink?


Tina Cruz

EXcellent party. Best of the weekend, I say. I wrote about it here.



Crystal McKee

I RSVP'd to 2 parties. The Socialuxe (which I didn't win because you kicked the ever-lovin' shiznit out of me) and yours. I missed the SocialLuxe because I was driving in from f*cking Budapest and I wasn't on the RSVP list for your party. They booted me to the side (albeit nicely) and told me to wait for Tracey. I'm thinking now that Tracey was the unicorn because this fictional creature never appeared.

Next year, I'm printing that mofo out and bringing it with me because I WANT SOME UNICORN.

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