BlogHer11: The Swag

Here it comes. The first of three BlogHer posts I’m writing this year. I did this last year because it was just too much information to cram into one post and it makes total sense to break it up into three:

  • The Swag (which can only be shown through the magic of video)
  • The Venue (which happens to be the sunny city of San Diego, a city with ridiculously idyllic weather)
  • The People (because that’s what this crazy blogging thing is all about)

And to further complicate things, I can’t just do one video (or two, actually) like I did last year. It’s just too much stuff and I wouldn’t do anything justice if I kept it to 2 minutes. Plus, you just might not care about some of this stuff.

Here’s my entirely materialistic take on the swag this year:

I didn’t fall in love with any one particular thing. Lots of odds and ends. And because I was flying, I felt the need to be a lot more selective about what I took and kept and packed in my suitcase. In reality, I was still the total swag hag.

You might have noticed that I have things strewn about. I didn’t get to do a lovely unpacking and display on my dining room table. That’s because I just left San Diego yesterday. This is totally a hotel room video. On the plus side, when it came to all things toy and kids, my son was with me and thrilled to be a part of the video.

Next up? The lady products. The Health + Beauty Aids and makeup and medicines and other girly things.

The only company that I was superimpressed with (from a swag standpoint) was Dr. Scholl’s because they were assessing your feet and giving you a free pair of custom orthotic inserts.

The humorous part was that after waiting in a very long line they told us to step up for the machine to assess us and asked us if our feet hurt. Um, HELLO?? I’ve been walking all over the conference and the entire city of San Diego while still trying to look fashionable. YES, my feet hurt. But apparently, they meant “in general.”

There were, however, some memorable products.

P.S. The red flats I showed you are from a little company called @afterflats

For all you foodies, I didn’t leave you out. But you probably won’t fall in love with anything I have to show you. Weird assortment of snacks. A big bag of flax meal. Lots of Smarties. But I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you.

I have to give a big shout out to Flip Flop Wines. Not only did they host a wonderful wine tasting but I was so totally impressed with the work that they are doing with Soles4Souls. And for that reason, their flip flop wine suction cup thingies had to make it into my video.

And then there’s all the rest of the crap that didn’t fit neatly into any category. It’s household, office, and totally random categories. But definitely some good stuff worth mentioning.

And now for the stunning conclusion.

In summary, it was fun. I still can’t help myself around free stuff. And I totally loved meeting so many brand reps (I didn’t say it was ALL about the free stuff).

Tomorrow’s post… BlogHer: The Venue (everything you want to know about San Diego even if you weren’t afraid to ask).

  • Anonymous

    The free stuff is addicting I admit. However, not being able to spend more than a hug w/you makes me sad. :(

    • Anonymous

      I’m so glad I ran into you though! Totally recognizable from your picture. When can we get together again??? 

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be going to any conferences until possibly BlogHer12. I do hope we can do something before then with “hashtag”.

  • Anonymous

    Such a fun, different approach on sharing about BlogHer.  And your son is really, really amazing.

    • Anonymous

      He’s a ham. Because I took him with me, people recognized him too! He LOVED the attention and was telling everyone he was a blogger too.

  • Temysmom

    Love it all!  Your videos are so much fun.  I think next year I need to hang around with you because you got way more stuff than I got.

    • Anonymous

      I told you. I’m a swag hag. I was NOT going to do that this year but I can’t help myself!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Ok – you got a lot more cool stuff than I did!  I did appreciate the coupons for free products (like the ones from Dole, Bailey’s Creamer, etc.) – so much more portable than that huge bottle of laundry product! 

    Man, I love my Dr. Scholl’s Custom Inserts! 

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t even gone through my coupons yet. I remember last year, I cashed them all in at the same time at Target and totally confused the guy that was checking me out. Still don’t have my inserts yet since they ran out of my size so the jury is still out on that…

  • Jamee

    Do all of the conferences do swag or is that mainly a BlogHer thing? Also, I totally think I need to be sponsored by a Gluten-Free company for BlogHer next year. I could totally represent!

    • Anonymous

      Almost all of them give out some sort of swag but BlogHer is the queen of them all. You should definitely check out sponsorship. Gluten free was very big!

  • Anonymous

    I was able to approve your potty mouth through email :)

    I bought Flip Flop wine because it was on sale and I thought “How bad can it be?” Turns out I really like it! Yes, lots of stuff (too much) and yes, he is adorable :)

  • Hines-Sight Blog

    Oh my! My husband would die at all the stuff, and I would not be able to bring all that home. Unbelievable. 

    • Anonymous

      They will actually ship your swag home but I think the shipping would cost more than the value of the contents!

  • Allison Rushby

    Ooohhh… swag.  Looks like you had a great time.  Unfortunately, I googled softcup.  Thanks for that…

    • Anonymous

      HA! I have a free sample, you know, if you’d like a closer look. I found it quite disturbing and I told them so. In a totally polite, PC manner.

  • Crystal

    I Googled it, too. Everything I never wanted to know, lol!

    You got lots of great stuff! I’d totally be a swag hag too if I went! I love free stuff!

  • Crystal

    I Googled it, too. Everything I never wanted to know, lol!

    You got lots of great stuff! I’d totally be a swag hag too if I went! I love free stuff!

    • Anonymous

      I used to work the trade show circuit and got my fill of logoed pens and balls and useless junk. But this is good stuff! I can’t help myself!

  • Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]

    Holy HAG! I was flying across the country, so I didn’t want to take everything I could just to have to pay to get it home. I widdled it all down to fit in just the insulated Dove grocery bag (I KNOW), but next year, I’m thinking I need to HAG it up with you.

    • Anonymous

      I was flying across country too. It’s why I brought my family with me. We all got to check 2 bags 😉

      And the Dove bag? That was an awesome bag but not nearly big enough to hold the good stuff! Let’s hag it up next year.

  • Jana Anthoine

    Ok. NOW I’m Jealous! I was a swag hag at Type A because I drove. If somebody didn’t want something, I took it. Including like 8 boxes of WhoNu cookies. I need to know more about the notebook and cool calendar. Who is that from? 

    • Anonymous

      I am STILL eating WhoNu cookies at our house. You ain’t seen swag until you’ve seen BlogHer swag. The paper products are from a company called Paper Couterie. It was all so pretty and really nice quality! Come visit me in Raleigh and I’ll give you some :)

  • Marta

    Wowza! I had no idea that you get so many things at Blogher! Also, I googled soft cup and my work firewall informed me that it was blocked due to “sex education” but I think I figured it out. =)

    Also, smarties are awesome.

    • Anonymous

      You get as much as you want, really. I try to really think about whether or not I wanted something and I honestly (hard to believe) said no to a few things. As for the softcup, feel free to google it at home but I bet you figured it out.

  • suki

    I kinda went all hag on the swag too! 😛 Great videos!

    • Anonymous

      If you’re going to go hag on the swag, that’s the place to do it!

  • Monika Melsha

    I’ve never been to BlogHer & am only through the 2nd video & all I can say is HOLY CRAP! Not that the swag is crap, but you must have had to bring an extra suitcase just to haul the swag home – Wow.

    • Anonymous

      I did. I also brought my husband and son who each had extra room in their suitcase 😉

  • Elaine

    I had a moment with Janice at the Big Toy Book Party too – she’s a stitch – LOVED her!  And I ate the heck out of those Udi’s snickerdoodles.  SO Good!!! And yes, already used my fast flats. :)

    There’s just SO MUCH stuff! p.s. I saw you in the lobby on Sunday before I left, with your little boy but I wasn’t completely sure it was you.  Now I know it was.  Sorry I didn’t say “hi”!!  Hopefully we can meet next time.

    • Anonymous

      Oh darn it! As I was reading your comment and checking your blog, I though “Oh did we meet?” (I have a horrible memory). Yes, it was ME!!! I finally left on Tuesday. I met a few bloggers in the lobby on the way out and it was SO NICE to see some of my people. I miss bloggers.

  • Jean Parks

    Girl, don’t even get me started on the Softcups thing! can you imagine how desperate Mario Lopez must be  to promote them? lol!

    I got a lot of good stuff but sadly couldn’t get most of it back to Boston, fortunately my roomie drove so nothing was wasted! I also loved the skanz band, also love that turbo towel.

    I so enjoy your video’s, you are adorable & funny!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Jean! I can’t believe we didn’t meet (we didn’t, right?) Yes, desperation was a word that came to mind with Mario Lopez. I’ll have you know that every last bit made it into a suitcase and on the plane with me. Now to get around to unpacking it…

  • Stella Dacuma Schour

    Whoa. That hotel room looked like Christmas morning, JUST FOR YOU! ALL FOR FREE! im jealous!! LOL

    • Anonymous

      You know BlogHer will be in NYC next year. You HAVE to go. Just for the free stuff!! And you can take me out for spaghetti 😉

  • Tracy Morrison

    I admit I brought almost nothing home. That is quite a haul my friend.

    • Anonymous

      I cannot resist the lure of free stuff. And some of it is actually pretty good!

  • LisaCrazyAdventuresinParenting

    OMGosh, your son is adorable. “Might be a movie, might be a game.” Hire him to do more videos. :)

    • Anonymous

      He’s a keeper. I keep waiting for an agent to contact me.

  • Jennifer Bullock

    Hey momma, thanks for these great videos, I spoke with one large brand and they felt like a lot of the bloggers were just there to get free stuff and didn’t even want to get to know their brand or promote their brand and work with them. They though bloggers may even be selling swag, unfortunately we both know it goes both ways. Sad that some bloggers are ruining it for some of us and some companies are ruining it for some of them. 

    • Anonymous

      My son kept talking about selling some of the girl dolls. Ha! I want to keep the fairy doll for myself! But I always share what I can’t personally use and I won’t take anything unless I have at least a passing interest in learning about the brand.

  • Anonymous

    Are you sure you were selective? It looks like Christmas morning!!

    • Anonymous

      I went to lots of parties that handed you a giant filled bag at the end. So in some regards, I didn’t have a chance to be selective!!

  • Chloe

    Wow, you got a lot of swag, Fadra. Impressive.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you. I hope to set a world record next year.

  • Danielle

    Great videos!  I have to say that flying made me waaaay selective about things – and my favorite items were the free item coupons so that I can pick stuff up here at home to try out.  Still need to do a debrief post, but Paper Coterie items were among my favorites.

  • Andrea B.

    Looks like loads of good swag and some uh, interesting stuff. My daughter watched the videos with me after seeing your son, so I’m glad you were very proper. 😉  Thanks for sharing all your swag (so to speak) with us!

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  • Kelly Whalen

    HOW DID I MISS THE AVOCADO PEOPLE???? I so need to roll with you next time. I missed like 1/2 this stuff.

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