This has been the year of the IRL meeting for me. After a few years of playing in the social media sandbox here in Toronto, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of the people I’ve built online relationships with. No matter how hard I try, though, there are always a few people on my Polkaroo List – a term coined by Casey Palmer to describe people you know exist but never manage to actually see.

At the #meetMSN event at the Four Seasons Toronto last week, I got to knock two very big names off my personal Polkaroo list. I also got to hang out with one of my favourite blogger ladies, Maria Aguilar from Beauty & A Bite and see one of  my #1 gals from PR school, Claire La Rocca from High Road Communications. Amazing all around.

Emma Waverman owning the stage
Emma Waverman owning the stage

Curious who the two big names are? You guys, I got to meet Joan Porter and Emma Waverman! Joan is an entertainment editor with MSN.ca and Emma is an MSN blogger over at Embracing the Chaos. This was a huge deal for me because Emma and I were first Tw-introduced almost four years ago by Jonathan Rose, a political science professor at Queen’s who taught both of us. He thought we’d get along because of our feminist inclinations (it might have been a post about changing your name when you get married that brought us together) and he was right!

Meet MSN - Stephanie Fusco & Emma Waverman

I’m not sure how Joan and I first got connected, but I do know that we were insta-besties both online and IRL. From our matching glitter polish to our obsession with kind of terrible tween TV shows (hello, 90210) and kind of awesome tween shows (Glee! Bunheads!) it became clear that Joan and I share a very sparkly spirit animal.

Meet MSN - Joan Porter & Stephanie Fusco Leopard Is A Neutral

MSN really delivered on the premise of the event, which was making connections between bloggers and MSN. While enjoying a wine tasting with the Four Seasons’ sommelier and noshing on deliciously paired bites (I’m still dreaming about the white bean soup), a small group of Toronto bloggers got to interact with MSN’s best and brightest editorial stars and bloggers. The environment was really conducive to mingling and I found myself with scores of new friends and business cards when the evening ended. It was lovely to chat with bloggers like Jay Strut, Daniella of Broken Heel Diaries and Sonya of UrbanMoms.ca!

Meet MSN - white bean soup
The white bean soup of my dreams

Meet MSN - Stephanie Fusco & Claire LaRocca High Road Communications


Meet MSN - Four Seasons Toronto - Sommelier

Oh, also – the lighting in the Four Seasons is freakin’ phenomenal. Maria and I shamelessly partook in a bathroom photoshoot after the event. I’m not going to apologize – it was awesome.

Meet MSN - Stephanie Fusco & Maria Aguilar - leopard is a neutral

In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s the perfect $50 LBD I’ve been Instagramming like crazy.

Thanks to the teams at High Road Communications + MSN.ca for having me!