Gotta love schwag

One of the many perks of having a blog, I’m recently discovering, is that sometimes people and/or businesses will send you cool stuff (aka schwag) for free. In some cases, they are hoping you will write about their business or product, but other times they are just sharing the love. Either way, I think it’s pretty darn groovy. 🙂

A few months ago, I received an email from a woman with the company Ebeanstalk, saying she saw my blog and wanted to know if I was interested in participating in their “Mother Board,” a nationwide group of over 500 moms that receives, plays with, rates and reviews their toys and products. Free toys for my kids? Sign me up!

I got my first box from them last week which contained four samples of baby/kid sunscreen (unfortunately, not the kind that I like to use on my kids – I prefer California Baby sunscreen because it is chemical-free), a Playtex Hip Hammock baby carrier(!), and a set of plastic molds for making cakes in the sand, etc. I was just saying to Jody that I wanted to try to find a hip carrier and then, low and behold, I got one for free in the mail! Ah, serendipity. It turns out that the hip carry position (at least in the Hip Hammock) isn’t so great for a roly-poly baby of 22 lbs. Maybe it’s the size of my baby or the Hip Hammock itself, but I just didn’t think it was comfortable. Jody tried it out too and said his back was hurting after 5 minutes. Since I can’t foresee us using it again (I think I’m going to try converting my Ergo to the hip carry position to see how I like that) , I might give it away on my blog. I think it would work better for someone with a smaller child. Anyway, even though it didn’t work out, I was still happy to get to try it (for free). The plastic cake molds were fun for Ava in the sandbox, and I think they’d work well at the “beach” if we go back to the reservoir. I’ll likely be “freecycling” the sunscreen. I’m looking forward to my next box from them to see what other goodies I/we get to try. 🙂

Another thing I recently received is a Maya & Miguel DVD from Scholastic and PBS. They, too, contacted me and asked if I’d like a free DVD, so I said sure. I’ve watched a couple of the episodes on the DVD with Ava and think it’s a pretty good show. I like that the brother and sister seem to get along quite well (unlike the PBS show “Arthur” which drives me crazy with DW’s incessant whining), there are good lessons to be learned and there’s some Spanish language and heritage thrown in as well.

I also recently received a babywearing instructional DVD called Tummy 2 Tummy to try out. I haven’t watched it yet, but it sounds quite promising. I will be sure to write more about it after I’ve watched it.

And I’m still in the process of reading Elizabeth Pantley’s “No-Cry Discipline Solution” book. I admit that after reading quite a bit of it, I haven’t picked the book back up in about a month. This summer has just been so busy. Anyway, I’m already using a handful of techniques from the book with Ava, but I’m looking forward to reading the section on parental anger since that’s something I think most parents struggle with, but very few talk about. I’ll be writing more once I have a chance to read more. 🙂

Anybody else want to send some cool loot my way? Clothes or shoes for my kids? Clothes or shoes for me? 😉 Actually, what I really need is a new purse. hehe. Or a good baby carrier for the hip carry position. 😉

15 thoughts on “Gotta love schwag”

  1. Cool!! How do I get all those free things to try?

    My sister has a very small baby- just under 10 lbs, and she is 14 weeks old (my boys were already 10 lbs. after two weeks! 🙂 ) She might like the hip carrier if you have nothing else to do with it, and I know she’d appreciate it. She is trying really hard to use carriers and slings, but hasn’t found anything she really loves yet. 🙂

  2. Hey that is fabulous! Whoo hoo to free loot!

    I too bought a hip carrier and found it to be so uncomfortable. I much prefered the back carry in the Mei Tai for my daughter. She was comfy back there and out of my way. I wore her in there for a whole afternoon once while cleaning up my grandma’s house after she passed. Many times she would fall asleep in there for a good hour and I could get some stuff done. And it didn’t kill my back!

  3. Send some o’ them my way, grl!!
    All kidding aside – It’s great that you’ve been getting all this schwag… I love trying new stuff, especially for my kiddos!

  4. How groovy! I can’t wait to hear what else you review!
    FYI – Sharon Pickersgill (owner/maker of Tummy 2 Tummy video) is a local API mama and birthing resource here in Phoenix! I was excited to see you got her video. 🙂

  5. Baby Diva clocks in at a roly poly 23+ pounds and I have back problems…but I find that the hip carrier works well with a high quality sling (Zolowear is the best I’ve tried) and with a soft structured carrier like the ERGO and the BECO (I tried both and like them). Captain Dad likes the back carry, better, but I prefer hip because, heck, I spent 24 hours birthing the kid, I deserve to be able to look at her beautiful face, too, while I’m carrying her!

    I’ve looked at some of these carriers specifically designed for the hip and they don’t LOOK comfortable…personally, I think it is the style of carrier, rather than the hip carry itself, that makes it uncomfortable.

  6. Funny you should mention the hip thing not working. I tried my sling again with Lydia and for some reason it just isn’t working for me this time like it did for Tim. I think she is chunkier or something. I’ve been thinking I need a soft wrap to put her on my back. The front pouch worked for me this time but sometimes I need my hands and front free.

    I lurve free stuff too 🙂 The only disadvantage of having no junk mail on our letterbox is we miss out on the rare free samples 😉

  7. In addition to getting to try this cool stuff out another bonus is it must mean people are aware of your blog and your site and like what they see. You are doing a great job! Congrats!

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