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Sandra Lee Summer Carnival Experience #bySandraLee

Two weeks ago I was invited to go to New York City to meet Sandra Lee and see her new collection that is debuting at Sears and Kmart. It was my first time to New York City and I was super excited! To be honest, I’d never heard of Sandra before the invite came in. After researching and meeting her, though, she’s definitely earned another fan! Before I get too far ahead of myself, I’ll share my trip with you.

They sent a car to bring me to the airport. (I made sure to take Dramamine first! I don’t do well in the backseat of a car.) I got to the airport and checked in for my flight. The flight was pretty uneventful. I was not overly impressed with American Airlines, but that has nothing to do with this post. 🙂 We flew right over the Statue of Liberty and that was awesome! I teared up a little thinking of all the people that came to this Country and that was the first thing they saw.

The fun began when I landed in New York and had to ride in the back of another car. Ugh! I thought that driving in Chicago was bad. Driving in Chicago, compared to NYC is like driving in the suburbs! I was totally surprised I didn’t lose it in the back seat of the guy’s car! I got to our beautiful hotel and unpacked and decided to take a shower. Downside? The hotel had already turned off the heat because it was in the 90s in NYC the week before. I think it was in the 60s when I got there. My room was COLD! I then went downstairs to start meeting all the ladies coming down to go to dinner.

Sandra Lee Summer Carnival, #bySandraLee

We went to Cafe Centro for dinner. They had a ton of appetizers, I liked the chicken rollups the best, and some drinks to get us started. When we sat down to dinner we got a salad for the appetizer. I didn’t like the salad, but the bread that came with it was awesome, along with the rest of dinner. I had the marinated hangar steak with mushroom mashed potatoes. It was delicious! I found another girl that doesn’t like chocolate! I will eat it, but if I have a choice, chocolate would not be number one on my list! My chocolate flourless cake was a little too on the chocolate side for me, but not overly bad. It was awesome to hear Mark Bonchek who is the SVP of communities and networking for Sears talk. He is so far ahead of everyone when it comes to social media. I’d love to just sit and listen to him for hours.

The next morning we got up bright and early, packed, ate breakfast and got on a bus to go visit Sears in New Jersey. We went to see the Sears home line collection. We had demonstrations from Keurig, Dolce Gusto, KitchenAid, SodaStream, and Hamilton Beach. It was fun to learn from these companies. I’ve got a Keurig to review and I’ve already reviewed SodaStream. I’d never tried Dolce Gusto before, though. My inlaws bought me a KitchenAid mixer a few years ago. They showed us their pasta maker and I totally want one. They also showed us their food processor and I’ve decided it’s time to start learning how to use mine.

#bySandraLee, Summer Carnival

Next we headed over to The Kitchen back in NYC to finally meet Sandra Lee. We first hit the red carpet to take pictures with Sandra. I was first in line and walked up to Sandra to introduce myself and get my picture taken. I walked up to her to introduce myself and said “Hi, I’m Paula.” She said, “I know! I recognized you!” I did a double take and stood there stunned that Sandra Lee recognized me. She fixed my clothes that were kind of all over the place from traveling all morning and we took a picture. We got into the room and got to have lunch and get a preview of all her new products. Sandra came in and told us about herself and then told us that she’d actually stayed up the night before learning about US!  She went through our blogs and wrote questions down to ask each of us. How awesome is that? It was fun to learn a little something about everyone I’d just spent the past day with.

#bySandraLee, Summer Carnival

We were then split into groups of three to create our own Tablescapes. Kimberly from She Scribes was on my team. Unfortunately I’m horrible with names and can’t remember the other woman’s name! She was awesome, though, and I was so appreciative to have her on our team! She plans parties for a living, so she was very good at Tablescaping. It’s still an area I lack in! We had fifteen minutes to get our tables together and then Sandra came by to critique. She really liked ours!

Sandra Lee, Sears, Kmart

After that we were supposed to have a cooking session with Sandra and decorate cupcakes, but we ran out of time so she talked to us a bit about her new products and why she made them the way she did. Did you know it took 14 months to finalize her line?! We then had some drinks with her and got to mingle a bit more. I liked the three pictured: California Lemonade, Meringue Margarita and Strawberry Licious Daquiri. I think the Meringue Margarita was my favorite. I’ll be sharing her drink recipes over the next few weeks. All of a sudden it was open season on her products! We were allowed to take home anything we could carry home. I didn’t go super crazy. I got her grater that is attached to a measuring cup, veggie scrubber, Red Cast Iron Casserole, and her Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill. I was SO excited that I got that grill. You have no idea! Well, you also do not know how disappointed I was to get home, open my suitcase and found that TSA had gone through my bag and broken the grill’s platform into pieces. I felt like crying! I will definitely be replacing that, because I wanted it so badly!

As I was walking up the stairs to leave, I heard someone yell out my name. I turned to see who it was and it was Sandra! She wanted to be sure she said goodbye to me. It felt like I was leaving behind a good friend that I’d never talk to again. She was so sweet and down to earth! I hope someday to meet her again.

Interested in purchasing a Sandra Lee product? Here is a coupon code for you:

This trip was complimentary of Sears and Kmart. All travel, meals, and items were provided to me free of charge. All opinions are my own. 

About Paula

Paula Krueger considers herself a "baby "chef, not because she cooks for babies, but because she's still learning how to cook. She started this blog after taking Wilton method classes and at that point was more interested in baking. She's since become more interested in learning to cook as her family has grown. She also covers product reviews and travel as well.


  1. Oh that sounds like such a fun trip!! I love Sandra and always enjoy watching her Semi-Homemade show on Food Network! Her tablescapes are gorgeous! How cool that she took the time to really get to know you!
    Henrietta´s last blog post ..Make her day with the Mamma Mia Gift Box from Nudo – Mother’s Day #giveaway

  2. merrit says:

    I love Sandra, what an exciting life you lead, getting to meet these famous people in wonderful places!!

  3. How neat! It looks like you had a wonderful time! I can’t wait to see the products for myself! I will have to head to Kmart this week.
    Shasta´s last blog post ..The Walt Disney Family Museum {An Inspiring Visit}

  4. wow what a delicious looking spread!

  5. What an amazing experience and you look so pretty Paula! Thanks for the coupon too, I’m excited to check out the collection!
    Tiff @ Babes and Kids´s last blog post ..Learning and Building Relationships at #Brandcation

  6. bummed that they broke your grill but otherwise it sounds like a great trip
    Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy´s last blog post ..$30 PAPA MURPHY’S GC FLASH GIVEAWAY

  7. Your trip sounds so exciting! And I’m glad to hear about how down to Earth Sandra is IRL, t just makes me an even bigger fan of hers!
    Maria´s last blog post ..Spring 2012: Done

  8. It looks and sounds like you had an awesome time! Her new collection looks awesome!
    RJ´s last blog post ..Dear 13 Year Old Me

  9. I looooove Sandra! I can’t believe how nice she was in person! Sounds like you had an amazing time!
    marybeth @´s last blog post ..New Quiznos Printable Coupons: Free Beverage or Up to $2 off a Sandwich!

  10. …oh, and I admit I giggled a little bit when I read about your motion sickness. It just brought back memories of our trip home from Kentucky 🙂 You poor thing.
    marybeth @´s last blog post ..New Quiznos Printable Coupons: Free Beverage or Up to $2 off a Sandwich!

  11. How awesome to be recognized by Sandra Lee! I’m not huge on her tablescaping, but I love that she shows easy ways to make it look like you spent hours on recipes.
    Billie´s last blog post ..Win an iPad & Tuxedo Case Ends 5/20

  12. I’ve never heard of Sandra Lee either. BUt looks like that was one really great trip filled with all kinds of fun. I always wish I had time to decorate cup cakes and make fancy meals and such but life is so busy. Sigh
    thanks for sharing your experience
    Tricia Nightowlmama´s last blog post ..Summer Drinks Inspired with Pure Leaf Iced Tea (Review)


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