Meeting Skinnygirl Bethenny

bethennyDo you know Bethenny Frankel, the Skinnygirl? She gets mistaken for Courtney Cox and she looks like the mom from “Weeds”. You may know her from “The Real Housewives of New York City”, the reality show on Bravo. Or you may know her from “Bethenny Ever After”, her spin-off reality documentary series on Bravo.

But wait — you might know her Skinnygirl cocktails. Or book, or workout video, or new drink sweeteners.

And if you don’t, you will soon! With a nudge in the right direction from pal Ellen Degeneres, Bethenny is starting a new talk show on Fox. After a trial 6-week run in select test markets throughout the summer, her show has officially been picked up! Recently on Ellen’s show, Bethenny toasted over Skinnygirl cocktails and gave credit to Ellen, who is also her show’s executive producer.

Ellen asked her what the show would be about, and she said she’d talk about things she discusses with her girlfriends: like marriage, motherhood, work-life balance. And topical things such as Kim Kardashian being so scrutinized. Bethenny thinks Kim being under the media microscope is the best thing for her as a woman. “It’s the first time she’s really relatable as a woman… She might not see it that way, but she will.”

Ellen reminded Bethenny that having a talk show is a lot of work, “because you want to put on the best show every single day.”

“Everyone that works with you says buckle up, get ready, so I’m buckling up,” Bethenny said, about mentally preparing herself for having her own show.

Ellen advised, “Take care of yourself, really. You should start meditating. You will need all that energy.”

Bethenny Frankel is called the Queen of TMI because she’ll ask anything and answer anything. She brings her uniquely honest, unfiltered and playful perspective to her very own syndicated daytime talk show, “bethenny,” premiering on Monday, September 9.

To drum up excitement for her new show, Bethenny is touring the country with her “Calling all my girls” tour. We got to go!!

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When the tour hit Tampa, we joined the Tampa Bay Bloggers group and had a fun night at Grille One Sixteen.

IMG_20130812_174922They rolled out the pink carpet and VIP treatment all night! I arrived with my friend Mindy ten minutes early (woops), and waited in line for a Blogger access pass, pretty chain bracelet and some fun photos. When we entered the club, there was a media wall with a professional photographer and we were handed champagne flutes filled with low calorie, bubbly Skinnygirl Moscato. Then we noticed what I thought was a photobooth, and waited in the short line there. It turned out it was a video booth to either leave Bethenny a confession or ask a question. I asked her how we could get women to start working out in proper sports bras.

The hashtag displayThere was a female DJ spinning tunes in the back, and a few big screens around the room showing either all of our tweets with the #callingallmygirls hashtag or clips from Bethenny’s show. Everyone once in a while a cute MC guy (who usually works with Ellen in CA), would get on stage and let us know what would be happening next. He continuously reminded us to Tweet with the hashtag.

Waiters passed appetizers. Skinnygirl drinks flowed from the bar and through the crowd.

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Find the recipe for your own Skinnygirl Cucumber Refresher here.

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I though the cucumber refresher was a mojito and tried about 1/3 of a glass. Thank goodness it was filled with LOTS of crushed ice, because I am allergic to cucumbers! But it was refreshing, which we needed because the room was packed and getting hotter by the minute. So hot, in fact, that when Bethenny did show up she announced that it was “hot as balls in here” and said into the mic that they should drop the A/C down. She said single women can’t go out and expect to meet an eligible bachelor while sweating to death. All of Tampa shouted “Amen” to that!

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There were a few games played on stage with women from the crowd and bachelors who were nominated to be there. One was an actual Bachelor from the TV show, and he was getting mobbed by the crowd and loving every second of it!

Then Bethenny came out. The crowd parted in a sea of cheering, phone flash blinding and hairspray trying to do its job as we jumped up and down to greet her.

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IMG_20130812_195223 She looked adorable in a coral knit dress, her hair simply pulled half back and a huge smile. We watched clips of her show. She answered some TMI questions that were printed on the napkins (Would you ever go a full day without underwear? What’s the most recent Sexcuse you’ve used? etc…) and she answered some questions from the crowd (What other celebrity do you get mistaken for? What’s the best way to pose for a photo?) Speaking of posing for photos, a group who was holding little round coasters was then able to head to the back of the room and line up for individual photos with Bethenny. This included our Tampa Bay Bloggers group!

They confiscated anything in our hands: purses, phones, cameras, reading glasses – and took us one by one behind the velvet rope on the pink carpet for a photo. I approached Bethenny with a smile. Her handler asked my name. She said, “You look great tonight!” I said, “Thank you. Have fun tonight.” (As a reminder that even while working and having trouble in her personal life, she could toss that aside and just relax and enjoy the moment if she remembered to.) “I will.” she responded. They took our photo. I moved on.

IMAG2922Then we found a private sitting room. Like a “green room”, only it was white. Our blogger passes got us in. There was blasting A/C!! It was cool and comfy! There were couches and Bethenny pillows with fun things written on them. There was also a 2nd velvet rope and pink carpet and photo wall. Someone grabbed a cardboard cutout of Bethenny, and we had fun taking our goofy photos for about 20 silly minutes.

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Then I saw a server with a tray of food. Before I could get to him, the food was gone. I asked if he was coming back. “I’ve been offered drinks three times but nothing to eat,” I explained, “and I have to drive home, so that’s a problem!”

He did come back, but the food disappeared again. I ventured out to find my own. I got one (yes, one) chip with avocado and salsa on it. I got 2 pita triangles with chicken on them. I noticed a woman writing down names and addresses of some people from the crowd. I should have stopped to ask about that, but didn’t. I’ll kick myself later for that – no spoilers though.

I made my way back to the little white room with my girls and a server gave me a toothpick with a mozzarella ball, a leaf (basil?) and a cube of salted watermelon. I had two of those. My tummy felt better. Then one of the women in pink working the event came in the room to tell us Bethenny was about to come back on stage. When we went out to see what was going on, two-thirds of the crowd had left. It was much more pleasant and less like a sweaty mosh pit. Bethenny picked names from a fishbowl (that I saw the lady writing down) and asked THEM some tough questions this time (“If you saw your friend cheating on her boyfriend, would you tell her boyfriend?”) and then asked, “If I brought you to New York City for a taping of my show, would you come?” There was lots of jumping up and down and screaming as Bethenny explained they were all prize winners and being whisked away for a show taping. Too bad none of them were bloggers… our mouths are bigger!

Mini Cronut and caramel sauceThen suddenly the food started coming out of the woodwork. I don’t know if it was because the evening was winding down and they didn’t want it to go to waste, or if it was because most of the people were gone, but I was offered a veggie spring roll, tuna tartar, a beef tenderloin sliver wrapped around sprouts and 4 cronuts (which are the new, hot thing – a donut-croissant hybrid. They were like cream puffs, but fluffier.) I had a one beef roll and 3 cronuts – one with chocolate drizzle, one with raspberry, and one with caramel and coconut whipped cream. I bet Bethenny can’t enjoy cream puffs with her Skinnygirl mogul to maintain! But I thought of her the whole time I ate my third one. (Calm down, they were just silver dollar size!)

We mingled with the Warner Brothers employees some more, tried to get our friend Jenny on the show (she lost over 200 lbs strictly from healthy diet and exercise), tried a grapefruit margarita (YUM!) and gave lots of hugs.

IMG_20130812_214748After the event, the free valet brought my mommy-mini-van around the block and I snapped back to reality. But there was one last surprise… goodie bags! A Warner Brothers black tote filled with a Tshirt, book, workout DVD, EOS lip balm, 2 Skinnygirl drink sweeteners, coupons and more!

Men in Pink - hired to work the crowd.

Men in Pink – hired to work the crowd.

Denise gets chummy

Denise gets chummy with a Brit – but moved at the last second

Taking advantage of the empty stage

Tampa Bay Bloggers taking advantage of the empty stage

Jenny and Mindy

Jenny and Mindy

I’ll let you know how the book and workout DVD are. Until then, I recommend the Skinnygirl Sweet & Tart grapefruit margarita!

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2 Comments

  1. Lydia says:

    Such a fun night and I’m so glad I was able to enjoy it with you. This was fantastically written!

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks Lydia! Do you wish you had stolen pillows? :)

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