Friday, November 20, 2009

Thank You Party Sponsors

I had the absolute pleasure of going to a Silicon Valley Moms blog holiday party, not the least of why it may be my only chance to really dress up this season (that awkward sentence was my gift to you this holiday blogging season). Hooray I'm back working at my old company, but they got rid of evening parties eons ago, so no chance there. This party was sponsored by Chevy, who gifted us with lovely Tiffany GM key chains.

Photo by Carla Duharte-Razua of babyjidesigns

Coffee mate gave us travel mugs and creamer, but more importantly gave me the kick in the butt I needed to donate some suits I never wear. They collected 95 pounds of clothes to send to Dress For Success, whose "mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life." You should go send a Cup of Confidence and COFFEE-MATE® will donate fifty cents to Dress for Success for every cup (or note) sent.

Photo by Carla Duharte-Razua of babyjidesigns

I actually won two fabulous items. One was a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit Plus. Awesome awesome prize, yes and I got it by getting the highest points flapping like a chicken (Bird's-Eye Bulls-Eye to be exact). Tee hee. I got a Wii fit a while ago, and when I heard about the Wii Fit Plus I ran out to add it to our minimal Wii game collection. It was only $20 and it's got loads more games for 2 people. My kids can't seem to fathom games that are not competitive, so they only want to to the 2-person run, which is technically not a race but don't bother telling that to my kids. This Chicken flapping game is so silly my 5 and 7 year old boys refuse to do it, so I of course had to try for myself, and let them laugh at me. All that practice paid off and I got the high score. I've been encouraging my parents to get a Wii Fit, since my mom really needs to improve her balance and I thought this would be perfect. They have helped us out so much this year and I was glad to give them this gift, I just need my kids to get grandma to actually try it.

I also got three of Olive Smart Sack reusable bags, and won six more and I have to say these are so much better than all the other reusable grocery bags I have. They are compact, designed to fit in your cup holder so you don't forget to bring them in. I've been keeping them in my purse and they are so soft and so strong I love using them for everything. I swear I'm not just saying that because one of the owners of the company got me a glass of wine while his wife told me about the bags. I have a weirdness about certain materials, and these are really nice to the touch and come in pretty colors.

I left with goodies for the kids too. So often all the fun kids things are for babies or little girls plus my boys mostly wear soccer gear or jeans and t-shirts. They loved these soft blue grass hats from Zooni though, and sure looked adorable with the glasses from Teeny Tiny Optics. The baby blanket from Lucky Jade was soft and so different than most, can't decide if we should keep it or give it to an actual baby.

He likes the hat, just not having his picture taken.

There were so many great companies there. I got tickets to Wicked, which I've been wanting to see. I read the book a while ago, and keep hearing great things about this show. Tiny Prints! gave us a beautiful assortment of thank you and holiday cards and if we can get our act together and take a family photo we may order our Christmas cards, or more likely New Years, cards through them.

There were so many other sponsors, and you can see them here as well as get coupon codes for your holiday shopping. I will post more about all the great electronics and lotions and creams as I try them out.


Disclosure: I was not compensated monetarily for this post, nor was I obligated to post in any way. I did receive the products mentioned above for free.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cute and Snuggly Hamsters, Whee!

Have you heard about Zhu Zhu pets (aagh, my ears - turn the sounds off before clicking)? My boys, their friends, and I got a chance to throw a party with these furry bundles of cuteness. Yes, I store them in a KFC bucket, wanna make something of it? These things are absolutely adorable, making cute sounds and racing around the house. There is no off button, but you can pet them to put them to sleep, start them back up and hold them and pet them and call them George.

We got a whole slew of hamsters.

Mr. Squiggles / Num Nums / Chunk / Pipsqueak (looks like there's a new one called Patches, and yes, they have bios).
Donovan picked Chunk - ha, remember that name, you'll get to hear my son say it over and over again. My kids only took two or three hours to choose which one they wanted, and after all my worries that nobody would want the girls, Keegan went with Num Nums. Could you die of the cuteness?

So here they are putting together the elaborate maze that we also got, although in hindsight I should have put it together before hand. I wanted to see how easy it was for kids to put together, and the answer is, not so much. While the hamsters are really nice quality - furry and soft and zoom around impressively, even backing up when they hit something, the plastic "habitrails" leave a lot of room for improvement. It really brings out the personalities, though. Some kids just gave up and went off to find obstacles to challenge their new little "pets" while those of us with a touch of OCD (raising hand) stuck it out and managed to put the thing together after I sent the boys off for snacks.

Check out the spread I created for these guys - thank you Zhu Zhu pets for the snack ideas. Yes, in answer to your question, boys can make weapon-like objects even at a hamster party, but we love us some fruit kabobs.

For some real hamster action, I present to you the completely non-professional, non-edited zhu zhu pets home movies. Pay not attention to the boy-generated sound effects in the background or the mom completely ignoring one of her sons. Just enjoy.

I think the pets make great gifts, although they are a little pricey. Think of them as furry robots and they are quite a bargain. The accessories all come separately, and the little car is my favorite, although every time I tried to use the ball some kid would grab it and take it apart so it was not fully tested.


I did get all of this free, including the set for us and the hamsters to give away. I was asked to post but was under no obligation and there was no monetary compensation for this.