On day 2 of the Kenmore Blogger Summit, I got up early and joined Malini and Marina in the Hotel Felix lobby to sneak in a little sightseeing before the day’s activities began at 7:45. We were right in the heart of downtown Chicago, so we were able to walk down by the water and see some landmarks like the Chicago Tribune. I hadn’t expected to have time to see any of the city, so I was excited to have the chance to look around a little bit and had so much fun hanging out with the ladies.
After our lightning-fast walk around Chicago, we headed back to the Hotel Felix for breakfast. I forgot to get pictures, because apparently I was hungry. 😉 Once we had eaten and gotten a little coffee, we walked over to the Kenmore Craftsman Brand Live Experience studio for day two of activities.
This day was jam-packed and full of so many fun and unique experiences. To start us off, Chef Kari Karch warned us that it might get messy, and gave us all ponchos and goggles to wear. They then brought out a fruitcake which they blew up! Exploding fruitcakes are a great way to start off any blogging event.
The exploding fruitcake was our introduction to “Terrible hostess presents”, which was the theme of the 30 minute cooking challenge where my team was responsible for the fruitcake stuffing that ended up winning. After working up an appetite cooking all that food, we took a break for lunch, and then got a presentation from the Kenmore team on their appliances and what goes into them.
I got a chance to talk to some of the team members that innovate improvements and new features on everything from fridges to vacuums, and it was interesting to hear how much Kenmore pushes to have the newest and best of everything. They spend a lot of time researching what their customers most want in terms of performance so that they can develop “Kenmore Exclusives” – features that you will only find in their products. I got “Up close and personal” with Kenmore’s kitchen appliances during the cooking challenge, and it was the first time I’d ever used an induction oven. I can add that to my wishlist now that we’ve finished the kitchen remodel!
Now that we had learned all that goes into making these appliances, we were extra excited for the “Yankee Gift Exchange” where each blogger got to pick a bag from under the tree. Each bag contained a mystery gift from Kenmore. I’ve never done a “Yankee” gift exchange before, but it involves a lot of present-stealing! Each person picks a number and takes turns picking out an item. They can either choose from under the tree – or swipe someone elses’ gift! At the end, everyone was given a 15 second window to do one last frantic present steal. Keep in mind, everything was wrapped, containing a sealed envelope with a photo of the gift which would then be mailed out – so all the “Stealing” was based on wrapping and intuition alone! I’m not the tussling type, so I just picked out the bag under the tree that I thought was prettiest. I was gifted a Kenmore Ultrasonic Humidifier for Large Rooms!
The Blogger Yankee Gift Exchange was inspired by a Facebook contest/charitable drive which Kenmore will be unveiling soon, so watch this space for info on how to win when that launches!
After gifts, we had one final send-off cocktail before catching our shuttle back to O’Hare. To commemorate the event, we were each given a cookbook with the recipes submitted by bloggers in attendance – it was so fun to see my Mince Pies in print! We were also gifted a copy of the Kenmore 100 Year Anniversary Cookbook from our very own Kari Karch.
It was a weekend jam-packed with activities, fun, information, and even a little sight-seeing! I had so much fun hanging out with the awesome Kenmore team and wonderful bloggers. I had the opportunity to meet some friends I’ve known online for ages, and meet new fast friends whose blogs I will now be bookmarking!