About a month before my son was born, I hosted my first Blogger Brunch event for local bloggers and shop owners. I purposively kept this event very intimate with only a dozen women from the San Diego area. As soon as the event ended, I was contacted by a lot of other local mom bosses asking when my next event was going to be and the idea of the So Cal Spring Social was born.
Unlike my first event, I wanted this event to be BIG! Instead of limiting the event to San Diego locals, I extended invitations to all of Southern California including Orange County and Los Angeles. My goal for this event was for everyone to connect, collaborate, and cultivate friendships. There is nothing I love more than building a community of local moms, bloggers, and shop owners with similar lifestyles and mindsets. As moms, and businesswomen, we need a tribe that will support and encourage each other. Plus I love making new friends whether it’s in the virtual world or in the human flesh world. Social media introduced me to these women and this event enabled us to meet and create a closer bond and friendship with each other.
The event took a lot of preparation and started with me picking a date and a location. I wanted this event to be at the end of springtime so the weather would be warm but not too hot and I wanted it to be at a local winery. I chose Wilson Creek Winery because it is very family friendly and has the most beautiful grounds of any winery I have ever visited in Southern California. For more about the winery click here http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com and to read about other family friendly wineries in Temecula please visit my previous blog post http://sandiego.citymomsblog.com/san-diego-events-outdoor-activities/family-friendly-winery-guide-temecula/
Once I booked the private wine tasting at the winery and put down a deposit on the date, I then contacted local companies asking them to sponsor the event with items for either the gift bags and or the raffle, which was added to this event due to the increased number of attendees. It was very important to only include local shops and companies to sponsor the event, the criteria all being from California. All of the event sponsors I partnered with included Ju-Ju-Be, Loved By Hannah & Eli, Tubby Todd, Weestructed, Freshly Picked, My Willows, Base Coat Nail Salon, Babyganics, This Bar Saves Lives, Mina Loves Bows, Tiny Trucker Company, Ava & Snow Goat Soap, Premium Wine Bag Co., Just Add Sunshine, Cravory Cookies, Lenus Handcrafted, Baby James Handmade, Copper Two, and Poison Apple Apothecary.
All raffle proceeds from the event benefited Baby2Baby, a local non-profit organization that provides low-income children 0-12 with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities. And I am happy to announce that we raised over $200 for the organization!
Guests were also encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy, game, or stuffed animal to the event to be donated to Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. If you caught my Instastories earlier this week you saw that I dropped off all of the items and I have to say the hospital was very appreciative! http://www.rchsd.org
Ju-Ju-Be is a company I have wanted to work with for a long time and I was thrilled I finally had a chance to partner with them for this event. They were wonderful to work with and generously sent four pieces for the raffle and also sent me a few pieces for my own personal use. Sarah Komers, the owner of Weestructed, won the Be Classy bag in The First Lady https://shop.ju-ju-be.com/be-classy-the-first-lady/ and Anna Rice, the owner of Mina Loves Bows won the Be Right Back Backpack in Black Petals https://shop.ju-ju-be.com/be-right-back-black-petals/ And if you have been following me on Instagram, you have surely seen me using my Be Rich Wallet in Rosy Posy https://shop.ju-ju-be.com/wallets/ and my Be Prepared Diaper Bag in Frosted Blossoms in my everyday use https://shop.ju-ju-be.com/be-prepared-diaper-bag-frosted-blossoms/. My daughter also received a new Mini Be Backpack in Key West and she takes it with her everywhere she goes and can’t wait to take it to preschool in the fall https://shop.ju-ju-be.com/mini-be/ . To shop their entire collection click here https://www.ju-ju-be.com They have so many options in so many colors and patterns, everyone is sure to find something they will fall in love with!
Loved By Hannah & Eli was another company that I have wanted to work with for quite some time. I had been following this shop long before I ever had my own blog and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to partner with them. I was so fortunate that the owner was willing to partner with me for this event. She sent tote bags for all of the guests and a Mama Bear necklace and a red It’s a Mama Bear Thing thermos https://lovedbyhannahandeli.com/collections/everything/products/thermos-red-its-a-mama-bear-thing?variant=23749269059 for the raffle. She also was kind enough to also send me a Mama Bear necklace https://lovedbyhannahandeli.com/collections/frontpage/products/auntie-bear-silver-necklace and a Rose Quartz Thumbprint Mug https://lovedbyhannahandeli.com/collections/everything/products/mug-rose-quartz-mama-bear-12oz-thumbprint-mug for my own use. If you are a Mama Bear, here is the link to buy your own collection of tees, mugs, and more! They have items for dads, moms, and littles! https://lovedbyhannahandeli.com
Weestructed has always been one of my favorite shops, even well before I had a blog. And as soon as I met the shop owner for the first time we both knew we would be friends! She is one of my all time favorite humans and has been so supportive of my brand I am so appreciative of her personally and professionally. She has been a sponsor of both of my events and has even attended both events! This time, she generously gave Motherhood Winging It mugs for all of the curated gift bags. You can shop the mug here https://www.weestructed.com/collections/tchotchke/products/motherhood-winging-it-mug and it’s also on sale!!! To shop everything else click here https://www.weestructed.com I recently bought a Raising Tiny Humans is Exhausting® Stainless Thermal Water Bottle https://www.weestructed.com/collections/tchotchke/products/raising-tiny-humans-is-exhausting-stainless-thermal-water-bottle , Motherhood Winging It PJ Pants https://www.weestructed.com/collections/big-humans/products/motherhood-winging-it-pj-pant, a Cali Mama Raw Edge Pullover https://www.weestructed.com/collections/big-humans/products/cali-mama-raw-edge-pullover and Cali Cub t-shirts for my children https://www.weestructed.com/collections/tiny-humans-1/products/cali-cub-t-shirt There are so many items to choose from you are sure to find something for yourself and a gift for someone else!!
What can I say about the owner of Tubby Todd except how awesome she is? And she gave Tubby Todd Mama t-shirts for all of the curated gift bags at the event! You can shop Tubby Todd here http://tubbytodd.com. I personally use and love the Bubble Bath https://tubbytodd.com/collections/basics/products/bubble-bath for my children and the Hair and Body Wash for myself https://tubbytodd.com/collections/basics/products/hair-body-wash Tubby Todd is known for their natural skin products. They also have new travel kits, multiple bundles, belly balm, nursing salve, and more for mamas and babies! And I am so excited about their new limited edition summer products https://tubbytodd.com/products/summer-bundle-tubby-tropics I can’t wait to buy them for myself and my family!
I have always admired Freshly Picked as a company and bought my first pair of moccasins for my daughter when she was a year old, at least a year before I started my blog. Needless to say I have been a fan for a long time. I was so happy when they partnered with me for this event and provided a pair of soft sole moccasins for the raffle. And the winner was able to pick her daughter a pair of her first moccasins, too! My daughter now has four pairs of soft sole moccasins and my son has two pairs. I am obsessed with my daughter’s latest pair in Hologram https://freshlypicked.com/collections/soft-sole-shoes/products/hologram And even though she is too big for them now since they only go up to size 5, I am absolutely in love with their new Mary Jane moccasins https://freshlypicked.com/collections/soft-sole-shoes/mary-janes To read all about why I love this company and all of the moccasins please read this blog post I recently wrote http://theparentologist.com/lets-talk-about-why-i-love-freshly-picked/
If you live in Southern California or Colorado you have to visit Base Coat Nail Salon. It is not only the trendiest nail salon in both areas, it is also one of the only non-toxic salons in existence! As a breast cancer survivor, I haven’t worn nail polish with toxic chemicals in them in over five years. And even though I have been to other nail salons with my own non-toxic polish in tow, the salon still smells of chemicals and I have avoided them at all costs, especially when I was pregnant. But when you walk into Base Coat, it smells clean and fresh and nothing like a typical nail salon. It is stunningly beautiful on the inside and has the best colors to choose from! As one of the event partners, the salon owner kindly supplied every curated gift bag with a nail polish and also invited me and my daughter to come to the salon for a combo mani/pedi. They treated us like royalty and were wonderful with my daughter. She was able to pick out her own colors – one for her hands and one for her toes – and they were so patient and accommodating when she smudged her color and they kindly repainted a few of her nails. I received the Base Coat service and had the most amazing gel color for my manicure. It lasted well over two weeks and my nails are so much longer and stronger now. My pedicure is still going strong almost a month later! To #treatyoself and make your appointment or buy yourself a non-toxic nail polish please visit https://www.basecoatnailsalon.com Here is a list of services https://www.basecoatnailsalon.com/services and to shop polish https://www.basecoatnailsalon.com/shop/nail-polish/nail-polish-red
If you haven’t heard of MyWillows you are missing out! The owner is a mom that customizes every pair of sunglasses she makes and they are not only beautiful they are unique in that they don’t have side temples but chains, leather and or suede from which feathers, beads, and semi-precious stones hang! One lucky winner won a pair of these custom sunglasses at the event raffle! https://www.mywillows.com/shop/be-here-meow With accessories being so fashionable these days, MyWillows are sunglasses, earrings and a necklace all in one! For more information, please visit https://www.mywillows.com and to shop all the colors and styles please visit https://www.mywillows.com/shop/
This Bar Saves Lives is a company that I truly admire. If you aren’t familiar yet, these delicious and nutritious bars save the lives of children all over the world. For each bar you purchase, their non-profit partner makes a life-saving packet of food and that food is sent to where it’s needed most. I love these bars because not only do they taste good, they are gluten-free and made with the finest ingredients. My favorite flavor is Wild Blueberry Pistachio, but they also have Dark Chocolate Cherry & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter & Sea Salt, and Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey. For children, they have Wild Berries and Chocolate Chip flavored bars, all made without nuts! The bars are only 160-190 calories and are packed with fiber and protein. I often eat them as a snack at home or on the go. You can find these bars on their website, at Target locations all over the country, and in your local Starbucks if you live here in Southern California. Every curated gift bag had a Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey bar inside. https://www.thisbarsaveslives.com/collections/our-bars/products/madagascar-vanilla-almond-honey-12-count#.WVXZ4WNgrdw You can learn more here https://www.thisbarsaveslives.com and shop all bars here https://www.thisbarsaveslives.com/collections/all#.WVXZ-2Ngrdx
I had the privilege of meeting the owner of Mina Loves Bows a few months after starting my blog. We live so close that we have even met up at the park for a play date with our daughters! She is the most amazing mom of four children and makes the cutest hair bows! Honestly they are only bows my daughter will wear in her hair. And my daughter has super fine hair, compliments of her mama, and these bows actually stay in place! They come in many different styles and colors and every curated gift bag came with one bow! To shop please visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/minalovesbows
As a mom, you have to have hats as a staple in your wardrobe – not only because they are fashionable, but also especially for the days you do not have time to do your hair! Tiny Trucker Company has the cutest selection of hats for moms, dads, children, toddlers, and babies! Even if you don’t have children yet, they have a maternity, bridal, and sorority collection, too! I of course own one that says #SDMOM and the company was kind enough to donate 3 hats for the event raffle and send two of their own to the event! There are hundreds to choose from! To shop your own hats visit https://tinytruckerco.com/collections/all And my favorite part of the company is that their goal is to employ moms that want to stay home with their children but still provide for their families. Every person working at Tiny Trucker Company is a mom!!
I adore the owner of Ava & Snow Goat Soap! Danie Vasquez, is so humble and kind and donated lip balm for all of the curated gift bags at the event. She raises goats with her husband and makes her own milk, cheese, and soaps. I first found Ava & Snow on Instagram because they were a local small shop that made handmade items that just looked yummy enough to eat like goat soap, lavender eye pillows, soy candles, balm, and lavender sachets. You can even find washcloths and soap decks! The shop has 21 different soaps in their Etsy shop and my favorites are the Milk and Honey Goat’s Milk Soap, the Lavender Goat’s Milk Soap, and Jasmine and Rose Goat’s Milk Soap. There are over 40 items in the shop so there is something for everyone! She even takes custom orders. To shop, please visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/AvaAndSnowGoatSoap
Premium Wine Bag Co. is a company I couldn’t wait to partner with for this event. You can shop here https://www.premiumwinebag.com They make wine bags, custom thermal bags, and thermal bottles. This awesome company donated two thermal bottles for the event raffle and was generous to gift me one as well. The thermal bottles say “Being a Mom is my Jam”, “This is Wine” and you can even customize your own! I love the ones in rose gold and they also come in white! To shop these same thermal bottles and save 15% with the code PARENTOLOGIST15! https://www.premiumwinebag.com/bottles You can also follow them on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/momandwineaddicts/
I first met the shop owner of Just Add Sunshine Inc. at my last event. Katie Sabin was actually my guest speaker at my blogger brunch talking about how she balances her company and also being a mom. She is amazing and this time couldn’t make it to the event but was still kind enough to donate a couple of signs for the raffle and the lovely owner of Babies in Bloom, Rochelle McLean, won! To visit her shop on Etsy, click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/JustAddSunshineInc?ref=search_shop_redirect!!
Baby James Handmade is ran by the super sweet Katelyn Jamison, who also used to live within walking distance of each other. We met soon after I started my blog and have been friends ever since! We also like to meet at the park for playdates with our children. She carefully and thoughtfully makes handmade clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers including leggings, bibs, pacifier clips, door latches, wood ring teethers, hair bows, snap clips, and purses! There are a lot of fun, unique patterns that are great for boys and or girls! She offers over 100 items for you to choose from and they are all handmade. She generously donated to the raffle and the curated gift bags. All bags included snap clip duos you can shop here https://www.etsy.com/listing/523136186/snap-clip-duo-genuine-leather-pink?ref=shop_home_active_14 She is the mom of two beautiful children and started this business as a passion and a way to make income but also be a stay at home mom. She is very talented and one of the nicest people I have ever met! To shop visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/BabyJamesHandmade
My new guilty pleasure is a cookie from The Cravory. There are 6 locations in the San Diego area but you can also order cookies online! There is a shop next door to my hair salon and we make sure we go each time we are in the area. They have coloring pages and crayons for children and the nicest staff! They have six new monthly flavors featured each month and everyday favorites like Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, and Pancakes and Bacon and even two gluten free flavors – Chocolate Chip and Birthday Cake! Guests at the event were ecstatic to receive a different flavor cookie in their curated gift bag! To see all of the flavors click here https://thecravory.com/collections/signature-flavors And they even started serving Lappert’s Ice Cream – originally from Hawaii – and the best ice cream I have ever had!! To buy a monthly cookie subscription click here https://thecravory.com/collections/cookie-subscriptions-1
Lenus Handcrafted offers artisan aromatherapy skincare that you will fall in love with and I was so excited to partner with them for this event! Collections include daily skincare essentials like cleansers, toners, lotions, creams, masks, sunscreen, balms, scrubs and face oils. All products are 100% free of artificial fragrance oils and there are even products for children, sensitive skin, acne, and eczema. There is truly something for everyone and each product is made with loving care. The owner was wonderful to work with for the event and hope we will work together again in the future! Each guest received a honey herb face mask in their curated gift bag https://shoplenus.com/collections/face-masks/products/lenus-n-58-honey-herb-mask-for-sensitive-skin. I really wanted moms to pamper themselves with these products and was so happy to include them in the curated gift bags. To shop all of the products click here https://shoplenus.com/collections/all And you can receive FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $38!
This is the second time I have had the privilege to partner with Copper Two. As soon as I knew the event was going to include a wine tasting I reached out to this company because they make awesome stemless wine glasses with the best sayings on them. This company is made up of two lovely moms and offers funny and unique glassware, bags, and more! The owners generously shipped wine glasses for the curated gift bags that said, “Wine is my Favorite Play Date” https://www.coppertwo.com/collections/all/products/wine-is-my-favorite-play-date?variant=25377561352 and “Mama’s Turn to Wine” https://www.coppertwo.com/collections/all/products/mamas-turn-to-wine?variant=25328047112 . Since the event was a private wine tasting, these glasses seemed every bit fun and appropriate to celebrate the occasion! To shop click here https://www.coppertwo.com
Poison Apple Apothecary is a company out of Los Angeles that makes soaps, shower bombs, perfume oil, body creams, sugar scrubs, and more! I really wanted the curated gift bags to include something for moms to take home and use to relax! The shop owner was so friendly and handmade fizzy bath bombs in “Queen Victoria Takes a Bath” for all of the curated gift bags https://poisonappleapothecary.com/products/fizzy-bath-shower-bombs ! In fact, every product in her shop is hand made, filled, labeled, packaged and shipped by this very grateful and loving lady in Burbank, California. To learn more about her please read here https://poisonappleapothecary.com/pages/about-us To shop all of the products click here https://poisonappleapothecary.com/collections/all
I have been using Babyganics products for a while now and was so happy when they agreed to partner with me for the event and donate foaming hand sanitizer http://babyganics.com/products/foaming-hand-sanitizer/ and mineral based sunscreen http://babyganics.com/products/mineral-based-sunscreen-50spf/ for all of the curated gift bags! One aspect I love about the Babyganics brand is their level of standards for their products. To learn more click here http://babyganics.com/our-standards/ To shop click here http://babyganics.com/products/
I then contacted local professional photographer Crystal Carr from Crystella Photography to take professional photos of the event. I wanted to capture as many moments as possible but also enjoy the event and not be responsible for taking photos myself. I wanted to be in the moment and also knew that, as bloggers, we would all appreciate photos that we could post and repost on our blogs and social media platforms. To see her portfolio, reserve a photo shoot, and or learn more click here http://www.crystellaphotography.com and to follow on Instagram click here https://www.instagram.com/crystellaphotography/
Shortly once I had the date, location, sponsors, and photographer confirmed, I contacted The Mr. & Mrs. Shop to create a custom invitation. The shop owner made various edits for me (which was more than appreciated) and was so kind, patient, flexible, and easy to work with. She was also very quick and got back to me usually within the same day. Everything is made to order and can be sent via digital copy and or printed and sent to you! To shop her Etsy store, click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/theMrandMrsShop?ref=shop_sugg and to shop the invitation I picked shop here https://www.etsy.com/listing/527911089/floral-graduation-party-invitation?ref=shop_home_active_6
The night before the event, I stuffed all of the curated gift bags and organized all of the raffle items. In addition to all of the items listed above I also included samples of the skincare and wellness line I use from Nerium. I adore the products so much (and use them because I want to, not because I am paid to use them). I honestly tell moms that the eye serum will change their lives and I mean it! Even on the mornings I wake up and got little to no sleep, I put a dab under my eyes and not only do my wrinkles diminish, it also eliminates the puffiness and dark circles! This especially comes in handy on those days I have to run out the door and don’t have time to wear make-up. The eye serum brightens my eye area so much that is often all I use before leaving the house! The company has a 30-day money back guarantee and a preferred customer program that ensures you get 25% off your purchases and FREE SHIPPING FOR LIFE after four purchases! To learn more about the company and the products click here http://www.nerium.com/shop/drkimv/products and to purchase your own age-defying eye serum click here http://www.nerium.com/shop/drkimv/products/nerium-eye-serum/1005_us Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and when you mention that you read this blog post and purchased a product (most items will last you at least 1-2 months) I will personally reimburse your shipping by mailing you a Starbucks or Target gift card as a thank you!
The day of the event couldn’t have been more perfect! We had perfect Southern California weather and the location was stunning. The sun was shining and the breeze was light. We had a private balcony all to ourselves that overlooked the entire winery that couldn’t have been more beautiful! We had a private wine tasting with the nicest server who helped everyone with their wine selections. Everyone that attended mingled, networked, and became friends. I can truly say that it was a successful event and that I genuinely made new friends. I am humbled by the turnout and the positive response I had from the event. It definitely wouldn’t have been possible without the event sponsors, everyone that attended, and our amazing photographer that highlighted the entire event. I can’t wait until the next one!