I will be hosting a “Busy Bag Swap” play date on Saturday (like in person, not on the blog). I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile and I’m excited that I finally got it planned! It started out as a play date for my closest friends and turned into this huge event for friends of friends of friends. Who knew so many toddler moms were searching for ways to keep their little ones occupied. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Now I know what my husband means when he says that I just don’t know how to do things small. Go big or go home, right?
If you haven’t heard of a busy bag, they are typically baggies filled with handmade educational activities for toddlers. I especially love sticking busy bags in my purse to take out at places like the doctor’s office or post office, where there’s a long wait. Plus, I don’t know about your kid but mine would much rather play with something handmade than all of his million toys in his room. I have a ton of busy bag ideas pinned for inspiration on my toddler pinterest board if you are still wondering what the heck I’m yapping about.
On Saturday, the moms who signed up for the event will get together for a play date at the park and we’ll be swapping 30+ busy bags. So, we’ll each go home with 30+ different bags to help keep our kiddos occupied. I’ll make sure to show you pictures of all of the busy bags we swapped and I’ll get into the details of how to throw an event like this in my post-event post, just in case you want to throw a busy bag swap play date of your own! In the meantime, you can follow along @craftyvanessa on Saturday at 10am MST. I’ll be live tweeting and instagraming at the event.
This event would not have been possible without our lovely sponsors, who donated everything from snacks for the kids to swag for the mamas. They rock! A HUGE thank you to:
I used BB Blocks to document Logan’s growth from the very beginning. I get totally sappy and sentimental every time I see Logan’s BB Blocks pictures and absolutely love that I have them. Everyone tells you that they will grow up super fast and you don’t really understand what they mean until all of a sudden you are a parent looking at preschools. These blocks make fabulous baby shower gifts and the mamas can use them to document their growing belly before baby arrives. I get to give away a set at the Busy Bag Swap!
I’ve had the pleasure of writing for their Chiquita Moms Community for the past year (you can find my column in the relate section every Friday). Stop by and meet the other Charter Chiquita Moms. Chiquita is currently hosting a Pinterest Sweepstakes through December 23rd, stop by their website for more information. We’ll be munching on some yummy Chiquita Apple Bites at the Busy Bag Swap!
The first time I heard about this adorable shop was over the summer during a blogger mixer they hosted and I was instantly in love! Ruffles and cute tops, oh my! Also, their scarves and accessories are to die for. I should know, I got to pick out a bunch for the mamas attending the busy bag event and I may or may not have tried a few of them on before putting them in the swag bags! Can’t say enough good things about this company and the people behind it.
I have a new obsession and it is called Scentsy! These wickless candles rock my world, so much so that I have teamed up with GoWicklessAZ to throw a virtual Scentsy party. It’s happening right now through December 8th. So go shop! Oh and they are also giving away a super cute Scentsy Buddy at the Busy Bag Swap (the Scentsy Buddies are BOGO right now!).
My 2 year old STILL gobbles up HappyPuffs and HappyYogis. In fact, a few of those items may have made it into his stocking for Christmas this year. He’d much rather have Happy Family over chocolate any day (not sure where he gets that from). I’m actually meeting with a rep from Happy Family tomorrow and she’s bringing along some items for the swag bags!
Mary Kay (Lydia Trufin)
Have you ever attended a Mary Kay party? It’s a great excuse for some pampering and a makeover! Plus, you have someone showing you how to apply the makeup and you learn which shades work for you. I totally recommend it! Lydia, a Mary Kay consultant I recently met, sent me a bunch of eye shadow samples for the Busy Bag Swap swag bags!
Petal Wishes is the perfect gift for a bride-to-be or a new mom! I might be a tad biased because the creative director of Petal Wishes is one of my closest friends, but this product is a seriously great idea. You are going to see it in every single wedding shop/aisle/magazine someday soon. Basically, Petal Wishes are bouquets with removable petals so bridal or baby shower guests can write their wishes on. The petals can snap back on the bouquet so the bride-to-be can use it for the rehearsal or be displayed as a keepsake. Petal Wishes is offering $10 off their “Wish For It” package, just enter GIVEAWAY at checkout. I get to give a bouquet away to one of the lucky mamas at the Busy Bag Swap!
Have you heard of Pick Your Plum yet? They post a new deal M-F at 7am MST and you better believe that I check their site around that time every morning! From their website: “Have you ever glued your fingers together trying to put a project together? Stayed up all night just to finish that last project before your kids wake up? Gussied up your home just so the neighbors could gawk over your detail? Borrowed an idea from the store knowing you can make one too? We have. We know. Join us.” Yes, yes, yes and yes. Pick Your Plum sent me a bunch of cute little flowers to make jewelry out of (or other things too) for the swag bags.
Shoe Fancy are patent pending removable straps that help keep your foot secure in your shoe. Plus, they are totally just cute! I love that you can buy 1 pair of neutral shoes and they can turn into 10 different pairs with Shoe Fancy flowers. I love that Shoe Fancy is a handmade business and the owner is as sweet as can be! She so kindly sent me a sample for each of the Busy Bag Swap moms to try out for themselves.
I personally use SnapSac’s reusable totes for grocery shopping and I always receive compliments on how pretty my bags are. They have bags of all shapes and sizes. I love using the Super Totes for shopping. They so generously sent me 30+ Mega Totes (these babies are BIG) to hold all of our busy bags at the swap. The moms are going to die when they see these gorgeous totes!
If you are in the Peoria, AZ area, Sowing Seeds Preschool might be a good option for your 3-5 year old. A friend’s daughter attends this preschool and loves it. Check out how super cute the classroom is on their facebook page! I would have loved to have attended a preschool with such a creative learning environment! Sowing Seeds is offering free enrollment to all of my readers (even if you aren’t coming to the Busy Bag Swap), just mention See Vanessa Craft! Fittingly, they also gave me apple fruit wrap snacks for the swag bags.
Remember the mama bootcamp I blogged about doing a few months ago? It’s called Body Back and is a sister program to Stroller Strides. It kicked my butt and was exactly what I needed emotionally and physically. Stroller Strides is a bit more tame (like you aren’t flipping gigantic tires up a hill) and you get to take your little ones with you – in a stroller, of course! Stroller Strides (the Peoria/Surprise franchise) is offering a sweet deal for my Busy Bag Swap mamas.
The lovely Tamela Kemp will be photographing the Busy Bag Swap event and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I recently met her at a mom’s night out event and just loved her style. I managed to talk her into journeying to the westside and she’s hoping to plan a few mini-sessions on this side of town – let her know if you are interested!
I first worked with The Perfect Card on Logan’s Sock Monkey 1st birthday party and she was super sweet to work with. We’ve worked on a few more projects since then and she nails it every time, even if it means putting up with my 10 revisions lol! The Perfect Card is offering 15% for my readers when you use the code SVCraft15. She has some adorable holiday card templates right now!
Yo Gabba Gabba is a total life saver on a sick day. It keeps my toddler entertained and doesn’t give me a migraine, that’s a win/win. Their peeps so generously sent me a Yo Gabba Gabba CD for every mom attending the Busy Bag Swap! Available now at Amazon.com and iTunes, the C.D. is also available in stores nationwide, making for a great stocking stuffer for the holidays.