It’s no secret, bloggers, like myself, get paid to tell you about products. (Well, that’s the super simplified version). Lately there has been a lot of talk of how bloggers should disclose when they are paid for or gifted something. I wanted to take a second to explain how I approach this, although it is different from person to person. But I wanted to also take a look back at the campaigns I’ve been involved with and let you know what I still use and love. Just like you, I am a consumer and like to try new products. Sometimes I find out about those products because a brand has sent them to me. I always try to be transparent and make sure you know when I am speaking on behalf of a brand, but you also need to know that I am always sharing my own personal opinions in any post that I do, sponsored or not.Most bloggers start off by sharing products that they have purchased. And at some point, they get the attention of brands or PR companies and are then sent free product to share. When you’ve grown a bit of a following or have created a unique voice, you can also get the opportunities to be paid to share a product and how it fits in to your daily life. I’ve been blogging FOREVER and it started out as a creative outlet (albeit one that took HOURS to create a single post). Over time it turned in to a business and I’m super happy about that. It works with my family life and being a mom, plus, I get to make a little money.
The first time I was emailed about being sent a free product I was so excited! I had been blogging for a few years and while I loved what I did, I spent all my own time and money on it. I was offered a Grill Daddy BBQ brush to try and share on the site (there was pretty much no social media around… so it was just a post). Back then, the site was dedicated to party planning and so I cleverly created a post about outdoor entertaining. We still use the Grill Daddy to clean our barbecue today! We should probably break down and buy a new one but I have such fond memories of receiving it! I wouldn’t have known about this product had they not put it in front of me and we’ve been using it for 11 years now!
The Products from Sponsored Posts that I’m Still Using
I did a short ambassadorship for Aveeno a few years ago. I was sent a bunch of product and through this collaboration, I learned that you can use their washes to shave your legs with. I had always hated traditional shaving creams and gels (they were SO drying) and Aveeno works like a charm! I always have this in my shower and it’s the only thing I use to shave my legs. I’m not a body wash kind of gal and would never have picked up this product on my own without this partnership. (Aveeno image above by Dez and Tam).
Related posts: How to Destress and Be Happy, A Pretty Blackberry Smoothie Recipe, 5 Ways to Keep Your Skin Hydrated in Winter
I get super excited any time I get to wear the Western Chief rain boots I was sent a while back (I got to wear them yesterday and today!). They are so well made and I loved the colors and options I got to choose from. While we don’t need anything fancy for our feet, thanks to our generally moderate weather, they make some great heavy-duty boots for other parts of the country. The style I wear is classic and cute and will be with me for years to come!
Related post: Western Chief Rain Boots
I’m sure you can guess how excited I was to be chosen for a short ambassadorship with Panasonic! I was sent their G7 4K Camera with a Lumix lens to use and share some family adventures. As a fan of photography and mom of boys, this camera is so much fun and I use this for all my photography when we are out of the house. I keep my big Nikon at home for blog photo shoots but this one fits in my purse and takes amazing photos on the go! This is the one I take on vacations and all the blogging events I go to. I wouldn’t have picked out this camera on my own but I am in love with it!
Related posts: Back to School Prep, Summer in Motion, Halloween Photo Fun, Day Trips and DestinationsIt’s no secret, I love delicious cocktails and yummy wine. But I hate hangovers. When Zaca reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their supplement (known to help with hangovers) I was all over it. They sent me enough for all of the guests at my 40th birthday party, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t share them with everyone. Sorry, not sorry. I really liked how they helped me get through a night (or day, in that case) of drinking and am now a loyal customer. I spend my own money on these supplements because I loved how they work. I have never seen these in stores and I don’t think I would have found them online. I’m grateful they reached out to me!
Related post: Zaca Supplement for Hangover Help
As part of a campaign with Zico Coconut Water I was given money to tackle something on my life list. A life list is a list of things that you think will help enhance your life in some way. I decided to do a Keratin treatment since that is something I thought would help me speed up my getting ready time in the morning and let me get back to being a mom faster. Frivolous? Maybe, but Zico made it possible for me to try this expensive treatment. And, of course, I fell in love and get them about once a year (they are perfect for moms during the summer!!) And my kids think Zico’s Chocolate Coconut Water, which we first tried during this campaign, is the best thing ever.
Related posts: Keratin Treatments are the Best, Create a Purposeful Life with a Life ListThrough my partnership with Balloon Time I learned that every mom should have a helium tank at the ready in the garage. While I got to flex my creative muscle and come up with fun balloon focused DIYs, I also learned that balloons make people happy. And if you have a tank in your garage, along with a small supply of unique balloons, you can bring a smile to just about anyone’s face. I will never be without one and they are perfect for last minute teacher gifts, to cheer up a play date gone bad and SO many other reasons.
Related posts: Snowflake Balloons, Fun Brunch Idea with Balloon Signs for the Bar, Papel Picado Sign with Balloons
I’m also in a deep love affair with this Neutrogena Hand Lotion (using it nightly), I ONLY use Blue Sky Planners for my business, we eat at Square One Pizza a few time a month, and I will never visit Temecula wine country without stopping by Lorimar Winery.When I am approached by a brand to share a recipe, I always either share something we eat often, or come up with something that fits my busy mom lifestyle. As a result, I’ve shared a lot of our favorites over the years, some of which worked seamlessly in to a sponsored post.
My mom helped me make two of my favorite pork recipes, Relleno Style Pork Chops and Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops in conjunction with the National Pork Board, from when I was a kid.
On my social media you will always see “AD” if I am working with a brand in any capacity. It’s the easiest way to let you know there is some relationship there, whether I’ve gotten product, payment, or have a relationship in some way. I’ve been at this since 2008, so chances are good that I have, or have had, a relationship with tons of different brands throughout the years. I hope that you won’t just rush past the labelled content but take the time to see what I’m sharing.
It’s frustrating, sometimes, to see other bloggers not disclose. But I can only worry about what I am doing which is continuing to grow my small business, be a kick ass mom and bring you great content and products that will hopefully make your lives a little easier. Full disclosure: I take all the free wine I can get.