Bloom 2018 :: {A Recap of An Event Not to be Missed}

 

On Sunday, May 6th, the Houston Moms Blog Team hosted our 4th Annual Bloom Event at The Motherhood Center.  With almost 100 Greater Houston Area moms, expectant moms, and guests in attendance, it was an afternoon to remember!

This year’s Bloom would not have been such a huge success without our incredibly generous partners and sponsors. We are so grateful to The Motherhood Center for donating their fabulous space for us to gather and celebrate local moms; their all-purpose room was full of amazing sponsors and delicious food, and the yoga studio was transformed into a giveaway haven full of amazing prizes and a space for new and expectant moms to hear from a panel of experts.   

 

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From a Houston Mom Perspective :: 

Being a newbie to the Houston Mom’s Blog Team, I thought Bloom would be a fun convention for pregnant women and new mamas with some great giveaways. I’m pregnant with my third baby, so I excitedly signed up to attend. I also brought along my friend who is pregnant with her first.

But y’all…Bloom is SO MUCH MORE than a pregnant convention! I was blown away by how amazing the event was! 

Check In

We entered the Motherhood Center, and checked in with the super-friendly Houston Moms Blog volunteers. I immediately noticed the positive atmosphere of the event and how excited and supportive everyone was. It was contagious!

Following check in, we went into the gift shop of the center. I know I’m just fresh out of my first trimester, but seeing all of that baby gear got me SO giddy! There were teething necklaces, Medela products, every Frida product I could imagine {and some I couldn’t believe have been invented}, Sandra Boynton books, swaddlers, you name it. It’s basically baby gear heaven. 

That Raffle Table Tho…

After making notes of all the items baby three now canNOT live without, we started exploring other areas of Bloom. We went over to the raffle items first, and I was astounded at all of the incredible products up for grabs! They ranged from BRITAX car seats and a stroller, Spa treatments from Beautique for mama, a photography package from Kennedy Artworks, MAM bottle sets, a Freemie hands-free breast pump, bakery gift cards from Tiff’s Treats and The Sweet Boutique, and even Kendra Scott Jewelry. I found myself having a hard time giving pointers to my friend on where she should put her raffle tickets, because everything was SO good!

Vendors, Cravings Bar, AND Massages!

Pregnant women tend to have a heightened sense of smell. Ours led us right into the vendor and {adorably named} Cravings Bar room where we found a delectable spread of food! There were cupcakes, cookies, delicious salads, hummus, and other yummy bites to enjoy. All of these eats were donated from restaurants in Rice Village and Tiff’s Treats

Mommy-friendly vendors filled the same room. The warm cookies at Tiff’s Treats definitely held an allure. Then {ironically} we ventured over to mommy fitness classes from Baby Boot Camp. They even had yard sign companies {Sign Chick, One Sign Day, and Sweet Southern Storks} for baby announcements, babysitting services from Best Buds Babysitting, and Next Level Urgent Care

After taking all of these awesome resources in, we ventured over to the adorable selfie photo backdrops! One included a gorgeously lush backdrop of floral blooms. My friend noted that she was completely inspired to put a similar wall in her nursery at home! The other was a backdrop of the Houston Moms Blog and Bloom Logo. I felt like a pregger celebrity standing in front of that! As a fun touch, there were photo props to use in our pictures. How often do you get to hold up a sign that says “Bumpin’?” Obviously, I couldn’t resist!

As another remarkable amenity, the Motherhood Center set up a station for prenatal massage. We were already having SO much fun before the main event even started!

Incredible Panel

With the announcement that the panel was about to start, we anxiously took our seats in the conference room. The panel was composed of four experts to field various audience-led questions regarding mothering and childbirth. These experts included a physician from Next Level Urgent Care, a mom of three and Houston Moms Blog contributor Vicky Yip, the head of the Motherhood Center, and an RN specializing in lactation education.

I was impressed with both the scope of the questions and the details included in the answers. The topics ranged from support groups for single moms by choice, VBAC births, breastfeeding twins, bottle introduction, balancing work and mothering, and what to expect in the first few days.

I personally LOVED hearing all of this advice. Even though I’m a third time mom, you do forget those needs of little infants. {I have a theory that repression of those tough times may just be the way our species continues reproducing!} After the panel, my friend raved at how helpful it was. She also noted how she felt so much more settled about the expectations of mothering.

Swag 

Oh, that swag bag! Oh. That. Swag. Bag! After the panel, we each received one, and it was filled to the brim with goodies! To name JUST A FEW :: A gift card to Tiff’s Treats, an UppaBaby Cabana for infant carseats, sleeptime essential oils from Oilogic {which after using on my son for one night, I am convinced it is made of angel smiles}, a cookie from The Sweet Boutique, Chick Fil-A cards, environmentally friendly bug spray from Simply Soothing, and a MAM bottle and pacifier. All of these goodies MORE than covered the admission alone! 

As a final thought on the day, one of the main themes of Bloom was the importance of community. After leaving the Motherhood Center, not only did I learn about resources to help me, but also I felt part of a community that would completely support me in my pregnancy and motherhood.

Thank you so much to Houston Moms Blog, the Motherhood Center, and all of the donors for a truly unforgettable  event!


Our Presenting Sponsor, Next Level Urgent Care, set up a fun table in the sponsor area and not only answered all of our moms’ questions about how they differ from the typical non-emergent care facility (x-ray equipment on site, procedurally trained physicians, and more!) but they were also an integral part of our question-and-answer panel session.  Dr. Robbyn Traylor had so much great insight to pass on to our guests, making our panel session one of the top highlights of our event!

 

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We were delighted to host a variety of other baby and mom-centric businesses for our guests to meet with as well.  The sign ladies spiced up the space with their adorable storks and birthday signage! One Sign Day Houston, Sign Chick Cypress, and Sweet Southern Storks League City have the perfect personalized yard signs to celebrate baby’s arrival {and any other special occasion!} as well as adorable keepsake bundles to keep as a memento.  Best Buds Babysitting chatted with guests about their babysitting placement services, providing 24/7 childcare with fully-background-checked and CPR/First Aid Certified sitters.  Fitness representatives from Baby Boot Camp West Houston, Sugar Land, and Katy locations met with mommas about their unique mommy-and-me workout classes, available all over the Greater Houston Area.     

 

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As guests mingled with table sponsors, guests were spoiled by Tiff’s Treats as they passed out their delectable warm cookies to everyone in attendance!  What a treat! Guests also enjoyed yummy bites sponsored by our friends at Rice Village.  Hopdoddy Burger Bar made the tastiest arugula and pear salad, everyone was raving about the artichoke cakes from D’Amico’s Italian Market Café, and the hummus from Island Grill was the perfect pairing with the veggie tray and assortment of party food from Jason’s Deli.  Susie Cakes made some mini cupcakes and their brownies were a delicious touch as well!

 

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Before the Question & Answer Panel started, guests were able to tour The Motherhood Center to see what their facility has to offer from pregnancy to parenting support, including massages with childcare (sign me up!!), yoga & fitness, pregnancy classes, nanny placement, breast-feeding consultations, sleep coaches, children’s classes, and more!  Their masseuse Sandy also treated moms to relaxing chair massages during the event, while moms and their guests had fun with our photo booth, getting their pictures snapped by Jeremy Kennedy with Kennedy Artworks photography! They also had a chance to meet with Liz from Stories of Life Films, one of the very few birth videographers in the Houston area, and preview her beautiful birth films.  Special thanks to Stories of Life Films for creating our 2018 Bloom Highlight video!

We were absolutely thrilled to host such an amazing Expert Panel for our guests!  We had Dr. Robbyn Traylor with our Presenting Sponsor Next Level Urgent Care; Gabriela Gerhart, Founder of The Motherhood Center; Renee Bowling, Certified Lactation Educator with The Motherhood Center; and Vicky Yip, Houston Moms Blog Contributor, mother of 3, and blogger at The Soapy Voicebox.  The panel was a highlight of the event, and it was so refreshing to see all of the new and expectant moms, and their guests, asking such a variety of questions – from birth plans, to breastfeeding, and baby gear to sleep training questions… we could have kept the panelists there all night!  We were so thankful for their unique input and candid responses for our crowd. Special thanks to Jump & Joy Party Rentals for providing all of the chairs for our panel session.

 

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Once the panel session wrapped up, guests were thrilled to see if their numbers would be drawn for any of our remarkable giveaways, valued at over $3,000 total!   We would like to give a special thanks to our large giveaway sponsors {all giveaway sponsors will be noted below!}  BRITAX® provided a BRITAX® B-Safe Ultra Cool Flow Car Seat for infants, a BRITAX® Boulevard ClickTight™ Cool Flow Convertible Car Seat, and a BRITAX B-Free® Stroller for three lucky winners!  Kendra Scott not only gave away 25 necklaces and earring sets to 25 lucky attendees, valued at over $1,375, but also gave one guest $280 worth of beautiful jewelry from their brand new summer line! Beautique Day Spa & Salon treated one lucky mommma to a “Mommy Makeover Day” in their spa, including a relaxing massage, hair blowout, and makeup consultation, worth $450!  Freemie gifted one special mom their brand new Freemie Liberty Mobile Hands Free Breast Pump, valued at $300.  And in addition to the delicious warm cookies, Tiff’s Treats also contributed a $200 gift card for our giveaway!  Thank you to ALL of our amazing Giveaway Sponsors!

 

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As guests left the event, they were given some stellar party favors’ – our mama SWAG BAGS!  Those who were luck enough to snag a VIP ticket not only got extra tickets for giveaway entries and got to get into the event early, but they also walked away with an extra $175 in swag!!  VIP bags included a pair of adorable, comfy pajamas courtesy of Hanna Andersson Galleria, a bundle of Chick-fil-A gift cards and their signature plush cow, an awesome catch-all mommy bag from Houston’s own Makeup Junkie Bag, and an XO Swaddle Blanket from Houston business Modern Burlap!  Special thank you to all of our VIP Swag Bag Sponsors!

The general admission bags did NOT disappoint, either!  All guests had bags packed to the brim with a $25 gift card from Tiff’s Treats, $25 off services at The Motherhood Center, gift cards from Chick-fil-A, gift cards to Bird’s Barbershop – The Heights for that first-haircut moment, a carseat cabana from UppaBaby, decorated cookies from The Sweet Boutique, yummy samples from Jambalaya Girl {Now at area H-E-Bs!}, Beech-Nut, and Rise Buddy Snacks; MAM bottles and pacifiers, bottles of Bug Soother bug spray, Oilogic essential oil roll-ons, yummy KIND bars, Hanna Andersson Galleria coupons, Rice Village pop socket, and more, all valued at over $125!  Thank you to ALL of our Swag Bag Sponsors!

 

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To all of our wonderful guests – we had SUCH a great time with all of you!  We hope that you received valuable information from our variety of sponsors, that you enjoyed the delicious food and warm cookies, let your hair down and had some fun in the photo area, felt pampered by a relaxing chair massage, got your questions answered by our fabulous panel of experts, all while enjoying some good company and feeling showered with gifts and appreciation for the amazing job you do as a momma!  We look forward to hosting another wonderful event celebrating all things motherhood next year!

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