Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Fun and Favorite New Products I Found at Blogger Bash

A few weeks ago I attended Blogger Bash, a blogging conference in NYC. The main attendees were mommy bloggers, with a few of us food and travel bloggers sprinkled in the mix.

The sessions were centered around brands like Care Bears and Peanuts as well as many toy companies. Since I am not a mother or a mommy blogger, I mostly focused on other products, including the food. 

OK so maybe we did have some fun playing dress- up and test driving toys as well.  

A big surprise for me was winning this ADORABLE Dynacraft Care Bears bicycle at the Care Bears sponsored breakfast.I was really excited for a moment thinking how fly I would look cruising around the East Village on it. Alas, it's for a girl between the ages of 4-7 years. So I passed it on to a little girl who has autism from a lower income family. Her family is going to save it for her Christmas gift. She has two younger sisters so hopefully, they will get their turns to enjoy it as well. 

This would have been the bike of my dreams when I was a young girl. The color. The sparkles. Love!

Which Way to the Care Bears Breakfast?
Speaking of great causes, the Care Bear brand does some amazing work in the charitable field. you can buy your own here.  Price: Approx. $85.00

This one one of the best produced and organized conference I have ever attended  Hats off to Laurie Schacht and her team for delivering an outstanding blogger experience. Oh did I mention, the conference was held on a yacht parked on the Hudson River in NYC? The last event was a sail to the Statue of Liberty. Even though I am a New Yorker, seeing Lady Liberty up close never gets old. So. Fun.

The action was non stop. From an incredible marathon five hour incredible informative Blogging Concentrated session to Lunch with Good Morning America's Ginger Zee and the cast of kids voicing the new Peanuts shorts. BTW, the kid who voices Charlie Brown had us all doing a double take. He sounded exactly like the Charlie Brown of our childhoods.

There were sessions with Snookie and JWoww, speed pitching sessions, the famous Suite Sweet toy expo, a Kate & Mim Mim breakfast, baby (products) palooza, Shop Ireland expo and many other great sessions.

All of it fortified by Four Roses Bourbon. Yay.

In addition to a ginormous amount of toy companies, there were many other brands represented from outdoor fireplaces to personal vibrators to duck tape. Today I'm showcasing a few interesting products below. In general, I like to connect with brands with a heart designed to give back to people in need to help the environment. Some of these do that. Hope you find some great gift ideas among them.

DISCLAIMER: I did not receive compensation or free products (except samples where noted) from any of these companies in exchange for mentioning them. These are my own personal picks. 

    I think my friends and I had the most fun playing this game at the Happy Salmon booth. 

      How to Play:
    1. Everyone calls out the action shown on their top card (high five, etc.)
    2. When two players have a match, they celebrate by
      performing that action together, then discard their top card.
    3. The first player to match all of the cards in their deck wins!
    The game is simple, loud, fun and played standing up. I received one in my swag box. However, if I hadn't been so fortunate, I definitely would have bought it to bring on my next dive trip. It's already tucked into my scuba gear bag. 

    Price: $14.00


    100% compostable K-2 compatible single serve coffee pods from the Coffee Composting Company

    Single pod coffee makers are creating another big problem for landfills. Food waste makes up 20% of landfill mass,  the largest single source of waste in landfills. Organic waste produces methane gas (21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide). Landfills are the largest source of methane gas emissions in the USA. 10 billion plastic K-cups were discarded last year. Ouch.

    I have Nespresso machines and specifically went with this brand because Nespresso recycles their pods. You just need to return them to the store or mail them in pre postage bags they provide. So this had my attention.

    The pods come in a large variety of flavors from Hills Bros, Kaui Coffee and Chock Full o' Nuts.

    The samples they gave out contained in this little paper box.  Instead of discarding the box, when planted it grows wildflowers. LOVE.

    Tip: There is a tutorial on their website on how to start your own backyard composting but these are suitable for your town or municipal compost. 

    Price: Varies by coffee company

    An interactive shoe company that focuses on custom printed slip on sneakers. You create, send or choose the design. The story behind this brand is wonderful. The founder is a former homeless teen, Mason D. Davis who became a sponsored skateboarder and started to draw on blank canvas slip on shoes. 

    I met the movie star handsome founder along with his lovely dad, Terry McEwen who came out of retirement to help his son found the company. 

    The shoes come in a bag that has been made of recycled materials and can be reused for almost anything. 
    Over 500 celebrities, athletes, musicians and actors are wearing SoulKix.

    For every pair of SoulKix purchased, they donate the equivalent to a pair of shoes to our partners Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes to those in parts of the world that are less fortunate.

    How it works: Soulkix offers a variety of cool designs. If you would like to design your own, 

    Tip: On the Soulkix website, there is guide for how to be bold when designing customized shoes where they give tips on how your design can stand for something, promote, or be expressive or personal. You have the option to design on white, black or black and white canvas and you can have a different image on each shoe. You upload an image, select your sie and press the order button.

    I tried a pair on at the booth and can attest, they are super comfortable. 

    Price: Existing Design: Adults Size $59.00 /Child Size $39.00 
                Custom:  Adults Size $79.00 /Child Size $49.00 

    This display stopped me in my tracks. Not only are the diffusers beautifully designed, they light up in a rainbow of colors and most models have a remote control!  

    Also the selection of oils is fantastic. 

    Ellia, a new brand of 100 percent pure and therapeutic grade essential oils and compatible home diffusers. Created to deliver the restorative and rejuvenating properties of essential oils via stylish home décor, Ellia introduces 16 elegantly designed diffusers. The beautifully crafted, eco- inspired diffusers feature wood, glass and ceramic materials in an array of colors and textures.

    The cool-steam diffusers work in concert with Ellia’s line of therapeutic grade essential oils, including signature blends created to help reduce stress, boost mental clarity and soothe the body and mind. The aromatherapy experts at Ellia work with a network of farmers and distributors to manage the essential oil extraction and development process from the source to the bottle. Ellia essential oils are steam-distilled or cold- pressed to remain completely pure. 

    What a great idea to put one in the kitchen. I keep sniffing the sample of peppermint oil they gave me. Is that weird?

    Available September 1, 2016 

    Price:  Diffuser prices range from $19.99 - $129.99. 
                 Therapeutic grade essential oils starting at $9.99.

    This nifty kitchen gadget allows you to quickly cook pasta in the microwave . A real time saver for busy families and a great gift for a college student. No waiting for Water to boil. you place the dried pasta and water in the container, microwave it, drain and serve. 

    The microwave time depends on the shape of the pasta you are cooking. There is a handy cook times chart on their website. Fasta Pasta comes in two sizes. I received the family size version as a gift. 

    Price: Regular Size $14.99

                Family Size $19.99

    Two of the products they were showcasing caught my eye. The first is this Bluetooth Padlock 4400D.

    The lock is operated from an app on your phone. You can lock it, unlock it, share access to it and monitor its activity from the app. No keys. No combination.

    Price: Outdoor Version $89.00

                Indoor Version $70.00

    The second product is this portable safe to lock up small objects. Perfect for travelers, gym rats and college students. The safe can hold cash, credit cards, phone, cash and jewelry.

    The product features a cable to wrap around a secure object and the cable doubles as a carrying handle. 

    Price: $28.00


    "Math isn't about solving problems in the classroom, it's an exercise in training to help students solve the problems we face in life." - John Urschel

    The company has partnered up with Pro-Football player, John Urschel of the Baltimore Ravens. A Penn State Grad (Masters with a 4.0 GPA), Urschel is an Offensive Linesman, published mathematician and is currently working towards his PhD in Applied Mathematics at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The initiative is called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

    Designed to work with Texas Instruments, TI-84 family of graphing calculators,  the first activity is called Field Goal for the Win. It explores the math and science perspective of a winning field goal. 

    I am not a sports fan but I loved meeting this charming, intelligent man and applaud Texas Instruments for a wonderful outreach idea.

    Get in the game at  STEMBehindSports.com

    Price: TI-84 Graphing Calculator $88.00

    Two words people. Military. Grade. My iphone 6+ earned a big crack in the screen after I ran over it with my car in soft snow (long story). It might have survived its fate if it was wearing one of these cases. Since that unfortunate incident I have been on the lookout in how best to protect my phone.

    After rigorous testing, Speck offers military grade protection without compromising style. Love that. 

    These cases have several that are very un-military glittery? Right up my ally. I did receive a black glittery case as a gift when I visited their booth and will test it out but I have no plans for running over my phone again in the near future. 

    Price: $35.00  - $50.00

    Love these BPA and Phthalate free snack and drink boxes that are not only stylish, but extremely functional and are top shelf dishwasher safe.

    Available in 8oxz and 12 oz sizes, the drink containers are spill proof, leak proof and designed to fit into lunchboxes. 

    The snack containers are dual chambered. The pop-up lids allow easily pouring to fill them. Each chamber holds 6oz of food. The company makes the suggestion to pack one healthy snack in one side and a fun snack in the other. 

    Price: Drink in the Box 8oz $11.99 12oz $14.99
                Snack in the Box $9.99

    Based in Austin, TX, Aketta claims to be the the gold standard of crickets from the industry leader in edible insect products.

    Two billion people eat insects in 162 nations around the world. The company is dedicated to growing crickets as a farmed food source as a response to shrinking global resources.

    Insects are much more efficient at converting food into protein than traditional livestock. They can be grown in a smaller space, eat less food and drink less water too. Crickets create a fraction of the greenhouse gases released by cattle.

    A gram of cricket gives you more protein than a gram of beef. It’s also a complete protein, with the right balance of essential and non-essential amino acids.

    At the conference, cricket flour chocolate chip cookies and roasted cricket granola were on offer to sample. Full disclosure - I chickened out for the tasting but I did snag some cricket flour and have a few recipe ideas. So stay tuned for those. 

    Price: Cricket Flour or Whole Roasted Crickets 1/4 lb $15

    Thanks again to the Blogger Bash team for a fun and informative two days!


    1. Great post!! Their was definitely lots of product there. I too chickened out on the crickets but tried the cookie with the cricket flour, it was very good.

    2. thanks for sharing great tips :)


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