Being a blogger has introduced me to so much. I’ve made good friends, used my social media influence to help raise money for charities like K.I.D.S, R Baby, The Lamp, Mothers2Mothers, and Women in Need. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how bloggers give back, like Jennifer James and her initiatives for women in Africa, or Elena Sonnino, and her work towards encouraging kids to use social media for social good.
Sometimes, being part of the blogging the community really is about making a difference in this world.
And sometimes, it’s all about the swag.
There are times when, yes, I admit it, I go to an event just because I know there will be awesome swag there. I’m not proud of it – but there you have it. Confessions of a swag hound.
Here are some details of last week’s swag-a-licious events!
First, I went to the beautiful roof garden at the Gramercy Park Hotel (I went to the Bryant Park Hotel first, by mistake, but let’s not relive my embarrassment, shall we?) for a BirchBox event co-hosted by the always lovely Amy Tara Koch. BirchBox, for the uninitiated, is the original Beauty Box Delivery service. Pay a fee, and each month, BirchBox will send you a box filled with sample products tailored to your specific needs. Go online, and the Birchbox editors will have detailed info on how to use the products in your box, and links to purchase full sized versions. It’s the super-fun version of try before you buy.
BirchBox’s co-founder, Katia Beauchamp, was there, and she told me that what separates Birchbox from its many imitators is their editorial staff. “We have a bigger editorial staff than Allure (magazine) she told me.” And I will say, that the full-sized products in my special Mother’s Day BirchBox bag, (they do full sized curated boxes you can purchase throughout the year) did have some awesome stuff in it. I’m especially fond of the Cynthia Rowley liquid eye pencil. Even I can’t mess it up!
My next totally self-indulgent blogger event was Fit, Fab, and Fly at the 92Y on the Upper East Side. Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City invited me to try a new exercise class, Chaise Fitness, and then to get pampered for my efforts by Priv, a beauty-on-call home service, Blue Print, the famous cleanse, Zen Home Cleaning an upscale, organic home-cleaning service, and Elemental T’s the t-shirt company started by two moms who make shirts so cute I wish my twins were still 4 years old so they could fit into them.
Chaise Fitness was not easy – but the eerily-reminiscent-of-Cindy-Lauper co-founder of the exercise system, Lauren Piskin made it fun. Basically, Chaise Fitness involves a sort of spring loaded chair/bench thing with bungee cords hanging above it. You do exercise on, over and across the bench, many of them including working against the springs in both the bungees and the chair (chaise) itself.
If doing the workout will make me look even 1/10 as fit and toned as it founders, sign me up.
Once I was sufficiently sweaty, I headed out to find Priv. It’s a genius idea: beauty on demand. Why should celebrities be the only ones with make-up artists and people to do their hair? The folks at Priv send the beauty professionals to you –on short notice. Hair, nails, massage, make-up – you name it. They’ve got a roster of professionals ready to make you beautiful.
And as if that weren’t enough, Brianne et al also thought to make sure our homes were beautified, too. Zen Home Luxury Cleaning was there, showing off their all-organic, super elegant cleaning service. Yep, you heard that – elegant cleaning service. Custom uniformed, fully screened cleaning personnel will come to your home and do everything from re-arranging to downright scrubbing. All with organic, specially made products. So your home is clean and safe.
After all this beauty and fitness it was hard to resist the last bit of swag that arrived this week: a case of pop-chips! Did you know they now come in sour cream and onion, sweet potato, and bar b q flavor? Good thing I got some free Chaise Fitness classes to help me work them off.