Once again, I'm extremely grateful to the BlogHer '13 sponsors for helping to fund my trip to Chicago. Without these sponsors picking up part of my tab, I would never have been able to go and see all of my wonderful BlogHer '13 Babes (and Friendly Celebrities!). According to this recent post by co-founder Elisa Camahort, my ticket WOULD cost roughly $800 all on its own. Instead, these fantastic sponsors pitched in, and I was able to get my Early Bird Ticket for right around $200. That is a savings of $600. I would do the math to figure out the percentage of savings that is, but I don't do the maths. No, I don't.
DEAR ALL BLOGHER '13 SPONSORS:
I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH. THANK YOU. I REALLY NEEDED A BREAK FROM REAL LIFE, AND YOU GAVE IT TO ME. I ALSO GOT TO SEE MY FRIENDS AND MY WONDERFUL BIG SISTER!!
I wasn't able to take a picture of all of the booths or the wonderful reps, but here is a complete list of the BlogHer '13 sponsors for you to take a looksee. They were all super nice and friendly, and YES, they did give me free things WHICH I APPRECIATED. I like swag. There, I said it. I also like that huge discount on my conference ticket.
The very first
person robot thing I ran into was a GIANT Optimus Prime Transformer in the Universal Studios booth. He was walking around and talking, which was awesome. I didn't take any swag from the booth because I'm not a momma, but I did enjoy seeing this tall beast. I left the ladies in the background on the left so you could see how tall he was. FABOOSH:
The people from Coca-Cola were super nice. They gave me a Frisbee, a volleyball, and a couple of sets of ear buds. I actually told the rep I could use the ear buds for shower faucets in my dollhouse, so he gave me two. I didn't do a physical workout with them because my Back Is Horrible and Touchy, but I saw a lot of women learning quick, easy workouts, which we all need after eating all the yummy food at the Expo:
Above, you can see me with the Pillsbury Doughboy. I also got a wee version of him that makes that adorable noise and these handy Windex Touch-Up Cleaners:
I had a REALLY good time lying down on the Serta iComfort Directions mattress. The rep used the controls to move the bed up and down and into the Zero-G position, which made me go AHHHHHHHHHHH. Then she stretched me out, which felt a lot like my physical therapy for my back, so I really liked it. I also liked taking home an adorable Serta Sheep to count over and over when I have insomnia. I won one of these Eggland's Best egg pillows last year, and I loved it. I love my new one, too. Seriously, these things make the Best Travel Pillows Ever. They fit right in the space in your neck for perfect airline/car travel. YAY Eggland's! Oh yeah, and they make GREAT EGGS. For reals. At the Chuck E. Cheese booth, I picked up a stuffed Nerd for my niece and a bunch of yummy Nerds to snack on, which were my favorite candy when I was little (and I still lurve), just ask Ma:
Jockey gave me a really interesting Jockey Fit Kit. It was filled up with boobs (inside of a handy bra net bag for the washing machine)! You put the boob on your boob and see what size you are. PRESTO MAGIC! It also came with a $30 off coupon, which I'm certainly going to use. I brought home my boobs because they're perfect little cups for paint and other crafty goodies:
Even though I don't need to smear paste on a wee one's butt, I stopped to talk to Boudreaux's Butt Paste because I have lots of mommy friends. In fact, I've already given away my tubes of Butt Paste samples. But I did keep the cloth and the little toy because it makes that fabulous crinkling sound that kitties love. Gretchen has already claimed it:
Verizon gave me a USB adapter for the car and some chapstick. I got a USB speaker from Samsung Mobile. The Kids Live Well program gave me a mug, a step counter, erasers, and more chapstick. I mean, come on. You can never have enough chapsticks:
Here we have information about Wild Ophelia chocolate (they had a beef jerky flavor which was actually really good), goodies from Denny's, and coupons from White Cloud and Lean Cuisine:
MORE BEDZ! This time, I stretched out on a Technogel Sleeping bed. So comfy. AHHHHHHHHH again. They asked me what wakes me up in the morning, and you can see my answer below:
I took a couple of samples of the Technogel Sleeping gel stuff because I think I can use them in my dollhouse. (Crazy? I know. Whatevs.) Then I stopped and talked to Dr. Jessica Shepherd at the Change the Cycle booth about being the 1 in 5 women who gets HORRIBLE CRAMPS. Me? I'm the 1 out of the 5. We had a nice chitchat about Novasure, and she gave me advice and a headband. I also got bracelets from Change the Cycle, a screen cleaner and screen scroller from GSN.com, and more chapsticks from Bud Lite, who now makes margaritas in little cans. I drank the Straw-ber-Ritas at the Voices of the Year Reception, and they were YUMMY:
imPress gave me plenty of wonderful fingernails and some fake eyelashes. I'm excited to see what I look like with those long lashes on. I'll find the perfect opportunity to wear them soon:
Here's a wee section of the Expo. You can see the imPress station, where you could get your nails done or your hair did and all of those good things. You can also see the iComfort bed holding a bunch of silly bloggers. Good times all around:
At some point during the day, I got a room-drop of White Cloud toilet paper. I was happy to have this for a plethora of reasons, including any just-in-case moments on the long drive home. Yes, I just said that. Hahahahahahaha! I crack myself up. Anyway, here is the toilet paper:
I kind of felt sorry for White Cloud though because they were making videos right next to this giant Trojan Lubricants wheel:
And guess who hollered really loudly: "I WON A VIBRATOR!' when she won a vibrator? Yep, that was me. So on one of the White Cloud videos, you'll be able to hear Blondie Blonderson hooting about her new vibrator and armful of lube. I'm guessing they won't use that one on their Web site. Thank you Trojan Lubricants for hooking me up, if you know what I mean:
I got cups! The one on the left is from Denny's, the blue/clear one is from Brew Over Ice, the Peapod one is from, well, Peapod (I also got a T-shirt from them, but I wore it home and didn't think you'd want to see my dirty T-Shirt). I also got a FoodSaver opener, some vitamins from NatureMade, and I forgot to mention earlier that I got a step counter from Coca-Cola, too:
This is a mixed bag of nummies that I got from various vendors, but I know for sure the popcorn in the middle is from Love with Food:
I really liked the reps at Love with Food because they were super friendly, and they let me pose with Cookie Monster:
Now here is a product I NEED STAT. The sodastream rocked my world. As my regular readers know, I drink a LOT of Diet Mountain Dew. I don't want to give up my Dew entirely, but I really do need to find a more healthy alternative. I've figured it out. I'm craving BUBBLES. I tried a few flavors and loved them. I also chatted a while with the friendly reps and took some bubble wands off their hands for the kiddos in my life (They told me to take extras, I swear. I'm not a bubble hoarder. Maybe.):
The Minute Clinic from CVS was a big hit this year. WHOO HOO! Everything you see in this photo was in this one bag, with the exception of the toothpaste and the breath spray from Hello. That's a lot of goodies, people, and I'm glad to have them. I'm also super happy to know that I can hit up a Minute Clinic if needed:
Land 'o' Lakes made DELICIOUS recipes with their new Saute Express starters. YUM. I am definitely grabbing this stuff on my next trip to the grocery store. They also gave me cookies (eaten quickly), a spatula, recipes, and coupons:
I was really excited to stop and talk to the reps from Etymotic Bean because of my annoying pulsatile tinnitus/ ear whoosh problems. I tried out their amplifier in my left ear, and it worked like a champ. I'll be looking more into this company soon because that hearing aid I bought a long time ago is a huge pain (literally and figuratively) so I never wear it:
Walgreens gave me Vitamin D, Migraine Relief, heartburn medicine, Wal-Tussin, Wal-Zyr (generic Zyrtec), and Wal-Zyr EYE DROPS, which are magical and exciting because I didn't know they existed. The alergins here in Iowa come in like lions in the night at any time of the year, so I'm glad to know there is something out there for my itchy eyes:
Here is a fun fold-up bag from .... Hmmm.... (#BlondieFail) Well, there HAD to be one item that I couldn't pin to a company, right? I think I'm doing pretty good considering this haul. Anyway, the green bag is really cool though because it's a small tote that you can zip into a pouch. THANK YOU to whoever gave it to me!!! I got another bag from Plated, and the Folgers rep (so friendly and nice!) gave me a whole big bag of Lively Colombian Decaf when I asked for a decaf sample for Ma. I also got some other flavors and a USB drive:
Ryobi Tools gave away a bunch of cordless power tools. It was awesome. For example, I saw one blogger carrying around this cordless hedge trimmer at the end of the day.
*not an unusual thing to carry at ALL*
The reps were great and gave me these gardening/work gloves:
AARP was there with their Life Reimagined campaign. I stopped to chat with them and get a bag for my parents, who are both members of AARP. I also bought two of the green Chicago mugs in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers because the hotel service was EXCELLENT and I needed to get my parents a thank you gift for watching my cats:
I ate nummy pudding from Kozy Shack:
And I also got this awesome mug/spoon combo from them with candy and a coupon inside:
Simply Saline gave me a coupon and some samples of their adult and children's formulas:
I got a TON of pens from everyone because I was on a Pen Bender. I also got this mat from imPress that you can put your hot curling iron on so it doesn't burn the sink:
I was happy to get a copy of The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor because Pa and I lurve that show. I also got a fun duck quack pen, but now I can't namember where it came from, and Gretchen stole it and hid it somewhere in the house:
She was also HIGHLY interested in my glasses case from South Walton:
I fell in love with Arnicare at last year's BlogHer '12 conference, so I stopped to gush some more at their booth this year. Their products? They rule. GET THEM. All-natural goodies for anything that ails you:
Gretchen particularly liked the Boiron Oscillococcinum (spell that five times fast) they gave me for flu-like symptoms. SCORE:
Honest Tea was giving out yummy tea AND compliments, so I tweeted this one to my sister:
I can never have too many beverages, so then I had to try Brew Over Ice's Keurig drinks:
I also stopped to dress up at the Land O' Frost booth because I like being silly, and I loved Despicable Me:
I got a bunch of this Orbit for Kids gum and a toothbrush that I gave to my sister for Little:
I didn't enter the Shark giveaway, but I sure had fun dancing with the rep. Those reps? They danced ALL DAY, yes they did. And they were wearing awesome outfits:
I tried out the new refresh labels from Turning Leaf. The darkest red bottle, Red Moscato, was my personal favorite:
Ulta was the official sponsor of the 2nd Annual BlogHer Fashion Show, and they gave me CK One mascara and some lip gloss:
I don't have any goodies from these people to show you, but I had a great time talking to Dodge, Yellowtail, Daily's Cocktails (OMG, those things are fantastic and I'm going to buy them in every flavor for reals), Ebates, Jamba Juice, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Snickers, Visit Orlando, and Zulily.
But after all of this, my HANDS DOWN favorite swag came in the form of a room-drop. I got a Heart Attack Preparedness Kit from Handbags & Hearts. There was a beautiful red bag, directions on what to do if someone is having a heart attack, some Bayer Aspirin, and a coupon. Isn't this a fantastic idea? Now if anyone I love (or even a complete stranger) is having a heart attack, I just have to look in my purse for the bright red bag to possibly save a life. THAT RULES. I encourage you to go HERE to get a bag of your own for a $5 donation. Pretty and life-saving swag:
Once again, thank you SO MUCH for helping me go to BlogHer '13 through your sponsorships. It was a great time, and I appreciate your time, energy, and products.
Until next year, folks!