Pepperidge Farm #PuffDay14

#puffday 14 at Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center in CT. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI mentioned a few weeks ago that I was in NY for a super quick trip.  But I wasn’t just in NY.  For one whole day I had the chance to go to Connecticut and visit the Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center for their #PuffDay14 event.  It was kind of the coolest thing ever.  For SO many reasons.  So how did I get invited, I bet you are wondering.  I totally won a contest!!! Tori (in the photo all the way to the right) of Thoughtfully Simple was already working with Pepperidge Farm on their Puff Pastry product.  She hosted a contest on her site and I got chosen to accompany her to their headquarters.  Fun, right!?  There were seven other gals invited so it was super intimate and we had a blast!  And it is such a small world.  That is Cheri, of Adventures in the Kitchen, standing next to me.  Turns out she lives 15 minutes from me and used to work with one of my best friends!

@hostesstori and I at Pepperidge Farm #PuffDay14 event //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe got a tour of their massive facility and got to see their testing rooms, a small-ish factory where they test out new ideas for products, their employee cafe (yes – this is worth mentioning especially because you can order dinner to take home with you on your way out! Genius!) and so much more.  We got to hang out in their test kitchen area and met tons of Pepperidge Farm staff, from the culinary side, marketing, packaging, development, etc.  It was so neat to hear from all the different people and see the crazy amount of teamwork it takes to create and market each individual product.  This is a well oiled machine, folks.   [Read more…]

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#HonestTurns2 with a Party

Honest Company 2nd Birthday Party #HonestTurns2It was a cold, rainy night.  The idea of heading up to Los Angeles for an event in this kind of weather normally would have taken me too far out of my comfort zone (freeway driving, rain, I couldn’t wear my pajamas) and I would have flaked out.  But the event was for The Honest Company and I was intrigued.  My boys and I were invited to attend their 2nd birthday party.  I was familiar with the company but associated them mostly with baby products.  It knew it would be a great opportunity to find out more about what they stand for as a company, what else they offer in terms of products and well, the kids love the idea of Los Angeles (where all the Disney celebrities are).

Party Time at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The party was really amazing.  As were the Honest Company offices where the party was held.  The design was cool, all the people were crazy friendly and it was created to be family so I wasn’t worried (well, a little worried) that my kids would break something.  The party was divided up in to three rooms, food and mingling, face painting and balloon animals and a playroom/showroom.  I think you can tell a lot about a company from their offices.  Their message was visible for all to see in a cool way (that rad printed wall – and on the stairs not pictured), the design was organic and modern (which is mimicked in their packaging and overall aesthetic) and I even spied a ping-pong table in the break room (there is a sense of playfulness throughout the office and the employees).  While they are serious about what they do, they are totally personable.  And aside from their celebrity status, they are just like us – parents looking to provide safe, quality products for their families to use every day.

Made to order beignets station at Honest Company #HonestTurns2Oh and can we talk about the Made-to-Order Beignets station for a minute?  That is the first time I have seen this at a party and it was awesome.  You know those moments when your kids do something and you think, I couldn’t love you more than I do at this moment right now?  Well, my oldest son took a bite of a warm, fresh beignet and gasped.  It sort of freaked me out for a minute due to his food allergies.  I thought, well, shit.  Is this going to be the first time I have to epi-pen him?  Am I going to end up ugly crying on E News?  So I grabbed him and asked him if he was ok.  He looked at me and said, “My mouth has never been so happy.”  Looks like someone might have his mama’s sweet tooth after all.

Rad party decor at Honest Company #HonestTurns2The decorations were super fun!  The kids were celebratory immediately upon seeing all the bright colors and huge balloons.  I hoped there weren’t any long pokey things around because my youngest son was pretty much dead set on trying to pop the balloons with confetti in them.  To make it “confetti rain.”  I didn’t hate the idea.

boys first photo booth #HonestTurns2And the boys got to have their first photo booth experience…

Boys first photo booth at Honest Company #HonestTurns2I only let them do one set of photos.  These things can be addicting and I didn’t want them hogging it for the rest of the night.

Photo booth fun at Honest Company #HonestTurns2But of course I had to jump in for at least one picture.  The backdrop was made from gorgeous paper flowers created by Bloom Box Designs.  You all know I love to throw a party so it was cool to see an event so well done.  From the event staff to the decorations and catering, they totally nailed it.  And if you asked my kids their favorite part of the party it would totally be the face painting/balloon gal.  She was very talented.  My oldest asked her to come to his birthday party.

Fill your own gift bag with Honest products #HonestTurns2The Honest Company was VERY generous with their favors.  They gave me a tote bag and told me to fill it up with whatever products I wanted.  I didn’t want to be greedy but I didn’t even know that they made some of these things!  I took my time going through their product line while the kids played on an indoor play area (a permanent structure in the office since the co-founders often bring their kids in with them).  While I knew they had diapers, and wipes, I had no idea that they had a full line of cleaning products (dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning towels and more), personal care products (detangler, shampoos and conditioner, sunscreen and more) or even health and wellness (vitamins and immunity boosters for the whole family and more).  I am very excited to introduce these products in to our daily routine.

Stroller collab with Honest Company and Baby Jogger via Honest Company Collective #HonestTurns2And have you heard about The Collective?  Honest partnered with an array of baby focused companies to collaborate on limited edition products.  Check out their site for the full line but they include things like this stroller, swaddling blankets with Aden and Anais (which were a favorite of mine for both of my kids), a diaper caddy, a crib and this rad diaper bag.  I asked Jessica about the collection and LOVED what I heard.  They looked to companies that put out a great product and like-minded in their aim to create non-toxic, natural products for design loving families.  The diaper bag, for instance, was something that Jessica ran across while shopping at the Brooklyn Flea Market.  Instantly she knew LayerXLayer would make the perfect uni-sex diaper bag and the collaboration talks began.

Jessica Alba of Honest Company #HonestTurns2Co-founders Jessica and Christopher Gavigan both spoke briefly about the company and how excited they were to be celebrating their second birthday.  I have to tell you, I have not stopped thinking about this company since I left the party.  Both were so passionate about what they do and it is infectious and makes you want to support their dream.  Christopher seems well-versed in legislation and extremely knowledgable from a product standpoint.  And this is not a vanity project for Jessica.  She knows her stuff.  And when she said that while she loves the environment, she loves her family more – she had me.  But I was so far off.  While that is a main focus for them, that is not all they are about.  I am grateful to have gotten a chance to get to know the brand better.  I loved what I saw and am excited to become even more familiar with their products.  I was taken by surprise at how responsive my Instagram followers were about my Honest Company posts.  Seems I might be a little late to the party.  A lot of you already know about their commitment to quality, safe products.  So tell me, what is your favorite Honest Company product?  Are you a Member?

Thank you for having us, Honest!  Congrats on creating an amazing company and watching out for our family’s health and wellness.  For more info on the party search the #HonestTurns2 hashtag.

Do you like me on Facebook?  Come on over and check out the rest of the photos I took from the event.  And see my event recap over on Savvy Sassy Moms.

December Loves

mozza newport beachSorry for the terrible iPhone pic, but we tried out a new restaurant a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING!  If you are in Orange County and haven’t tried Pizzeria Mozza yet, you HAVE to.  It was phenomenal.  We tried a bunch of different things and all of it was perfection.  And this cocktail, the Holiday Garland I think it was called, was sensational!  A spiced cranberry reduction with bourbon and a cranberry gelee garnish.  FTW!  I had 3 of them!  3!! I never have three cocktails when I’m out.  And I was able to walk myself out so they may have been light on the liquor.  Or my belly was THAT full of delicious yumminess.  We also spotted a celeb chef eating there.  That is always a good sign.

k-and-i-at-microsoft-p.s.-i-made-this-partyKristin and I attended a party thrown by Microsoft hosted by Erica of P.S. I Made This to showcase holiday gift DIYS that can be done with their products.  We got to take home these awesome plastic ornaments that were printed on a 3D printer! (image via Getty Images for Microsoft)

fresh-paint-custom-wrapping-paperWe also got to create our own wrapping paper.  Using the Fresh Paint program, Kristin drew a Christmas tree pattern and then it was printed out for her!  SO cool!  I’m dying to play with Fresh Paint some more.

custom-thank-you-noteIt is rare that a company sends out a thank you note after working with you on a project.  It makes sense, you sometimes are working with a PR company and not the actual brand.  And some of their campaigns include a huge number of bloggers.  But I got this thank you note from Chinet (remember this post?) and thought it was super cool.  Not only was the message very nice but it was personalized with the name of my blog right on the front.  I thought it was a really nice touch.

abe-lincoln-sweatshirtYou all know that I love U.S. President’s right?  I saw a girl wearing this sweatshirt when we were at Disneyland and I almost stopped her to ask her where it was from.  I googled it once we got home and found out it was from Forever 21 (says no longer available but they have this version too)!  Sold!  It’s my fave.

hooray-cake-topperI can’t wait to use this cake topper from Little Cat Design Co. available at Sweet and Saucy Shop!  My youngest is turning 5 a few days after Christmas and this will be coolin’ out on top of his cake.  They come in a bunch of colors and phrases and if you live in Orange County, you can order over the phone/email and then pick it up in one of their stores (I went to the Newport Beach location).  That way you save on shipping AND since you are in the bakery, you might as well pick yourself up some delightful treats.

What did you love  this month?

#UnwrapWonder Holiday Shopping Event at C. Wonder

*This post is sponsored by C. Wonder and Mom Trends.  I was part of a nationwide campaign to provide holiday cheer and gift ideas along with other great bloggers at my local C. Wonder store.  All opinions are my own.

c-wonder-store-fashion-islandLate last week I got the opportunity to host a really fun holiday shopping party at the C. Wonder store in Fashion Island.  C. Wonder is a small chain that combines outstanding quality with value in a super inspiring space.  It is a specialty retailer with a well curated collection of brightly colored and patterned clothes, housewares etc. with a preppy vibe and a bit of an edge.  The perfect combo in my opinion.  It is an amazing wonderland for people who love to shop.  It has clothes, shoes, jewelry, home goods, gifts, stuff for your dog, a monogram shop and more!  I had been in the store before so I knew that my friends and readers would really enjoy it too.

Bear-banks-at-c-wonderThey asked me to put together my list of favorite gift items and then during the party had a table displaying some of those items for shoppers to take inspiration from.  I died over those gold teddy bear banks!  So cute!  And those little pink boxes next to them were 3 pairs of stud earrings in fun shapes.  But as the party went on, and I had the chance to browse the store with my guests, I found SO many more things that I wanted to add to my table.

Christmas-Tree-at-C-WonderTo start, the stores are bright and cheerful and, right now, decorated for Christmas.  This store nails it with their mix of bold patterns and graphic elements.  It is inviting and cool all at the same time.

sweet-treatsThe C. Wonder staff set out sweet treats to keep the shopper’s energy up.  I think you know how I feel about sweets so this delighted me to no end.  The kids who came through were especially interested in these treats.

c-wonder-with-party-guestHow fun is my blouse?!  I was so excited when the store asked me to wear one of their silk blouses for the party.  And since I have never met an animal print I didn’t like, I had to go with this one.  My wardrobe has been lacking in the color department so this turquoise just had to come home with me.  It was a hard decision as all of the blouses were gorgeous in really fun patterns.  Some great friends came out to support me and explore the store and it was a super fun night.

bracelets-at-c-wonderThe jewelry!  You have to go in and check out their jewelry displays.  Amazing bracelets, chunky jeweled necklaces, great cocktail rings, initial cuff bracelets!  So many amazing pieces.  And there is a great range of price points so you can find things for yourself or many others on your gift list.  Check out what Dinah picked up for herself.

Christmas-decor-at-c-wonderAlong with all the great everyday lifestyle items the store carries, they also have seasonal decor right now.  Their ornament selection is glitzy and fun and would add a ton of pizzazz to any tree.  The holiday items would make great gifts.  They also had gift kits, like the hot chocolate kits I meant to pick up as teacher presents.  But in all the fun, I forgot!  Looks like I’ll be making another trip to C. Wonder.

ram-purse-from-c-wonderThe big winner of the night seemed to be this ram.  It could be found on these cross body bags or a smaller clutch (one went home with Lauren) and they were a favorite among most of the shoppers.  I have it on good authority that this is going to be under my Christmas tree…

kristin-taking-picture-of-jewelryKristin took it upon herself to make sure that my husband knew what my favorite things were.  Here she is taking a picture of a necklace that I liked so she could send it to him.  Now THAT is a good friend.

delovely-from-c-wonderAnd aside from doing a little holiday shopping, it was super fun to meet a few people in person that I hadn’t had the chance to meet yet like Raquel or Nicole (pictured here with me and Kristin, photo courtesy of Nicole).  I was so into mingling that I forgot to stop and take pictures of people enjoying the party!  You can see what happened at all the parties by searching the hashtag #unwrapwonder.

The best part of the event was that the store agreed to donate 10% of sales during my event to Operation Shower!  How cool is that!

If you haven’t been to the store, check here to see where the closest one is to you.  But you can also always shop online.

Here are links to my top gift picks from the store:  Sparkler Bling Necklace, Phrase Cheese Board, Animal Dessert Plate, Leather Studded Card Case, Cashmere Heart Gloves, Small Camo Printed Travel Case, Monogram Jewelry Box

C. Wonder Fashion Island

347 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA  92660

(949) 644-4376

A huge thank you goes out to Mom Trends and C. Wonder for a fantastic event and to all those who came out to share in a little holiday celebrating and shopping!

 

Come to Craft with the Bloggers!

Crafted with the BloggersHave you all heard about this yet?  Me and a few of my fave local bloggers have teamed up to host a fun event at Crafted at the Port of LA!!  We’ll be making all kinds of crafts for Valentine’s Day!  Check out our Facebook page for all the info!  Who else will be there?  Lauren of A Fabulous Fete, Chelsea of Lovely Indeed and Kelly of Studio DIY.  Boom.  It is going to be such a fun day.  Join us, won’t you?  It is the perfect spot midway between Orange County and LA.  Grab some friends and come craft with us!  And while we aren’t tailoring the crafts to kids, older kids (age 9 ish) shouldn’t have a problem with them.

Hope to see you there!