Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Stuff From BlogHer '10

So, you know the Blogher '10 conference? Yes, the one that happened six weeks ago, in August? I'm just now getting around to writing this post about the free loot I picked up there. Here are some of the things I got for free at BlogHer and my reaction to them:

(And lest any swag-loving future BlogHer attendees get crestfallen, this is a tiny fraction of the stuff I could have lugged home. I didn't check a bag and didn't care to ship anything, either.)

1) Play-Doh pack. My kids, like all other children in America, needed no convincing that Play-Doh is wonderful. TSA, on the other hand, had a different view. They confiscated my original Play-Doh and Hasbro kindly sent me a replacement.

The kids opened up the pack themselves and enjoyed many hours of play. Even though we often make our own Play-Doh, I have to break ranks with the crunchy granola moms of the world and say that real Play-Doh is better. It lasts longer, feels better on the hands, and that chemical smell is a Proustian reminder of my own childhood.

2) Mr. Potato Head. I think this was branded Toy Story 3 or something. Again, my kids were familiar with the toy and enjoyed it. They did not notice the branding and are not interested in the movie because, like practically every feature film that comes out, it has been deemed “scary.”

3) Scrabble Slam, Uno and Fancy Nancy card games. These are still in the boxes, so apparently they have not elicited much interest. (Wow, I did not realize until I did the links that this loot was all from Hasbro.)

4) Assets, a cheapo version of Spanx by the same brand. At first I thought that these were just for making your ass look firm, as the name implies, but when I put them on I was happy to see that they suck in your belly too. However, I had a Liz Lemon moment when I tried them on to go to a meeting downtown. As I walked to the train, my jersey dress stuck to them like Colorforms to a felt board. The problem was so bad that I had to duck into Macy's downtown and, when the bathroom was under construction, I used a men's dressing room with a broken door that wouldn't even close anymore. Fortunately no one tried to enter as I peeled off the Assets and stuck them in my bag.

Now, I'm not sure that other “shapewear” wouldn't have caused the same problem, but I think the more expensive (and brutal) girdle-type garments I've worn have a slicker surface. So, I would recommend trying Assets, but not with a jersey dress.

5) Sugar-free gum. I don't eat sugar free, so I gave it to my parents. It was mint-chocolate flavored, from Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights.

6) Aquaphor Lip Repair lip balm. This is a new product, coming out this fall. I was very excited because I am a lip balm addict and we use Aquaphor on Nutmeg's eczema. I've even put Aquaphor on my lips in a pinch, but it's not quite right. I tried it immediately and pronounced it good. Really no different that the Vaseline brand balm that comes in a similar little squeeze tube. Not as good as my favorite lip balms, like Lipsyl or Burt's Bees, but nothin' wrong with this stuff.

7) Big can of Metamucil. Grandma was thrilled! I got this in a suite that featured a famous poop doctor, but I did not sign up to speak with him.

8) Weebles! This was my gift for Toth, and I was happy to hear that Hasbro is bringing them back. To be honest, though, they have generated zero excitement among the children of the house and I'm not sure where they are anymore.

9) Coffee mug from Tim Horton's, which I think is a coffee chain in Canada. Came with a coupon for a free fill-up, if you can find a location.

10) Some scrubby and microfiber sponges which looked really useful -- if only I could get the adhesive paper off them telling me the brand. Which makes it extra ironic that I can't remember the brand at the moment.

11) Coupon file from RedPlum. I haven't used it yet, but it looks perfectly serviceable though a little floppy.

To the many, many other companies whose stuff was on the Expo floor, in goodie bags, etc., sorry. You didn't make the cut. Winnowing down my stuff to fit in the one extra tote I was ballsy enough to carry onto the plane was hard.

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