We just got back from an epic whirlwind bloggy-wedding-pregnancy summit weekend. What the what? Let me explain. We drove up to Laguna Beach for a little business, a little pleasure. It started with Mom 2.0 Summit, the very best conference for bloggers who are serious about working with brands.
I was blown away by the conversations I had with some truly insightful bloggers at Mom 2.0. Helpful advice and genuine connections abounded at every turn. I finally got to meet in-person with the lovely Amy from MomSpark, and picked the brains of Heather and Whitney from Rookie Moms about everything from delegation to content management. Someday I'll Learn officially became a bonafide business this past year, and with the babies and new house and puppies on the personal end…well, we're experiencing some growing pains managing it all. Step one: we hired a housekeeper. More on that later this week.
Reconnecting with people I haven't seen in a long time is always so much fun at conferences. This is my very stylish Los Angeles-based pal Romy from Romy Raves. She works with Avon and always looks so immaculately put-together. I like to corner her at events and grill her on the latest fashion tips.
And then there are the opportunities to learn from brands, ask questions, and get actionable takeaways on what we can do better. I sat in on a Mom 2.0 session featuring brand representative Monica Teague from Whirlpool as well as digital pros and PR experts Doug French, Adam Keats, Cindy Meltzer and Caitlin Melnick (if you're a blogger on Twitter, I highly suggest following these people to stay in-the-know about what's up with the interwebs).
Brands offer bloggers at these conferences fun previews of initiatives they have on the horizon. National Geographic is going to be ramping up their children's offerings in some really interesting ways!
I got hands-on testing time with some products I adore. Here I am with the Honda crew checking out the new Shop Vac in their 2014 Odyssey. And no, the irony was not lost on me that I packed up the kids and came to gorgeous Laguna to vacuum up Cheerios…the same thing I do every day at home! Nate and I have talked extensively about buying this van in the future if we have more kids. I've had a few friends get to take it for a whirl on media preview events and they've all raved about it.
Honda was the title sponsor for the event, so there was a LOT of #HondaLove to be had. I hopped into the photo booth for some shots with my San Diego crew: Sugar Jones, Stefanie from Ooph, Christine from Everyday Mama, Sondra from Happy Healthy Hip, Theresa from Rock On Mommies, Amy from Beloved Atmosphere and Gigi from Kludgy Mom. We are so amazingly blessed to have such a tight-knit crew of bloggy rockstars down here.
I even got to go to a fancy-pants mansion party and drive around in limos for a couple different events. Considering I spend most days contemplating if that stuff in my hair is baby spit-up or paint, I felt uber-posh sipping mimosas in high heels for a change.
Tree Top Rocks My Socks
The highlight of the Mom 2.0 weekend was an incredible event I went to with Tree Top. The Tree Top crew (above) reached out ahead of time to ask if I wanted to go tour a local farm with them. Uhhh…you don't have to ask ME twice!
We got to meet with Mr. Tanaka at his organic farm in Orange County. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this place, I highly recommend it!
We got to pick our own fresh vegetables…
…and cook our own lunch! Again, irony not lost on me. I had so much fun meeting with some of my favorite blogger pals, including Andrea from Savvy Sassy Moms, Shannon from The Mommy Files, Caryn from Rockin Mama, Yolanda from Sassy Mama in LA, and Shelby from Glitterful Felt Stories.
I also got to learn a ton about how our food is sourced. Tree Top's 100% juice and other natural products come from local growers near their seven plants located all over the West coast. We're planning to tour a facility up in our home state of Washington when we make another epic road trip up there this summer. And did you know that they're a co-op? Tree Top is actually owned by the growers that they work with. I love seeing real people with a real, vested interest in their company like that.
Olga Got Married!
So, you're probably wondering where the wedding played into all this. Right smack dab in the middle of the conference weekend, Olga got married just up the street! I skipped out on an evening of Mom 2.0 to go see Some Boy and Sidekick's godmother marry the love of her life.
Some Boy was the ringbearer, and was just as cute as ever. Of course. I'm not sure why Nate looks grumpy in this picture here. We had such an amazing time.
Contours gave us their new Bliss stroller (look for a full review of this bad boy in a couple weeks), and it was an absolute lifesaver. I was able to stash all of our stuff in the giant basket below and fully recline the seat – which can fit both Sidekick and Some Boy! – when it was time for the baby to konk out for the evening. In a word, it was blissful.
I'm Very Aware of Pregnancy Now…
On Sunday, we headed up to Santa Monica to check out the May Pregnancy Awareness Month event. Right Start, the parenting products company that we contribute to, was in attendance and it was great meeting up with them and checking out some of the latest and greatest in baby gear. Some Boy also had a blast befriending Alex, the adorable son of my pal Megan from Sunshine Wonderland.
And now, I'm finally back home with the babies. Yes, that is Some Boy playing with a salad spinner in the background, and I'm wearing a shirt from the 90's that says “I took the Pepsi Challenge.” Don't judge me.
Fortunately, I discovered this awesome new espresso product at the conference and loaded up on it. I have a feeling it's going to take a LOT of this stuff to get me through today!
What did YOU do this weekend?