New Friends, New Finds in Los Angeles

New Finds in Los Angeles

I’ve always loved Los Angeles, in fact it’s where I fell in love with Mr. Momtrends (but that’s another story for another day). The weather is so good it’s ridiculous, plus everyone is gorgeous and relaxed. I just love the West Coast vibe.

New Finds in Los Angeles

We’ve been cultivating our community “out West” since we launched Momtrends in 2007. Because trends start in two places–New York and LA. A LA stop on the Mom Boss Book Tour was essential. I found the perfect partner in Rachel Pitzel of XORachelPitzel. Rachel is the type of trendsetter I need in my life. She’s a connector of people and a mom who celebrates life.

Rachel helped me gather friends at Blushington–the premiere beauty spot on both coasts. We gathered Los Angeles influencers for a afternoon of connecting and pampering. Blushington has two Los Angeles locations, we gathered at the West Hollywood spot. It’s a gorgeous spot, flooded with light and gorgeously decorated.

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Before the guests arrived I sat down with Bailey to get a professional makeup application. Moms, if you need a little boost for date night, head here! The Blushington artists are there seven days a week BONUS–they can come to you!

Rachel set up a wonderful spread for my new-to-me friends. The party was styled by Pamela from BasheryandCo (they have amazing party rentals too). I love the pineapple backdrop!

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We always love treating out moms at our events. Our influential friends get invited to lots of things, we always want to leave them inspired. In addition to the pampering, I gave them my best business advice.

Mom Boss Success tips:

  1. Figure out where your profits will come from
  2. Set clear boundaries for work and family.
  3. Your business MUST solve a problem
  4. Always listen to your community and give them more of what they want–never stop analyzing your business.

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Want more tips, well you’ll have to come to an event or buy the Mom Boss book! Don’t worry it wasn’t all blah, blah business, I got to hear what’s happening in the LA influencer space. Podcasts are HUGE, instagram rules and teaming up with friends is the way to build a community. I loved these two podcasters from www.MomLifeYo.com

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I was also turned on to yummy pressed juices by Suja–a new brand to me. We also sipped wine from One Hope Winery and tea by Honest Tea. These girls know how to spend an afternoon.

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Since we were talking trends, it’s only fitting that we had Starling jewelry there. These delicate pieces work for tots to grown-ups. I picked up a gorgeous pair of black diamond earrings set in rose gold.

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Not only did we send our guests off pretty & pampered, they also got goody bags with signed copies of Mom Boss and goodies from Clorox.

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This is not a sponsored post.

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American Girl Event: The Care & Keeping of Us

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Starting at age 7 kids need to know about taking care of their health. For girls, this usually means a talk with mom. The talk can be awkward. Changing bodies and mood swings are not the easiest dinner conversations. Since 1998, American Girl has been there to help parents connect with girls through their advice library of books. 

Ready or not puberty is coming for many of us. American Girl’s books are here to help us handle topics like body basics, hygiene, friends, first crushes, clothing, and more. The 1998 first edition of the Care and Keeping of You was a tremendous hit. Then the brand did a bit of a re-boot in 2013. Success! That book spent 150 weeks as a best seller and sold more than a million copies. What does that tell me? Moms want help and girls want to listen.

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Our breakfast celebrated the latest development on the Care & Keeping series–a new two-part book. It’s made to help moms and daughters build open honest communications about health and sexuality. Not easy, but a heck of a lot easier with American Girl’s help. To kick off the new book, American Girl had Dr. Cara Natterson join our blogger breakfast to answer questions and tell us about the writing process.

Dr. Natterson is a pediatrician, writer, consultant, and yes, mom of two. She was wonderfully warm and frank. She’s been there ladies. The two-hour conversation is WAY too much to recap here, but let me start with a few twitter highlights…

There were so, so many more tidbits. Here are the things I’m planning to put into place:

1. Delay social media: We can’t hide from social media, but we can delay and supervise. There’s a reason Instagram sets age 13 as minimum. I may even go later. A girl shouldn’t have her worth wrapped up in likes and comments.
2. Build a strong base: When the girl turns 12, mom takes a back seat to friendships. We no longer have the power and influence. I plan on banking some goodwill over the next few years and letting the girls know I’m available and listening.
3. Self-esteem is the primary predictor in kid’s health: Get your girl involved in things that make her feel special. Offer specific praise. “I can tell you worked hard on piano this fall. You really nailed that final tricky movement of the concerto at the last recital” instead of “You are the most wonderful girl in the 6th grade!”
4. Let you kids fail: Helicopter parenting is dead. Amen! To build independence, we’ve got to stop advocating all the time and let the kids mess up when the stakes are lower.
5. Recognize the science: Studies show that a child’s brain is not wired to make good decisions until the late 20’s. Don’t set them up for failure.
6. Girls want dad to be part of the conversations: They are a valuable resource. Make sure dad is involved.
7. Talk when it’s safe: Great times to talk to your tween girls? In the car and at night seem to be the most rewarding time for chats. Consistency matters, if she shuts you out the first 10 times you try to talk…KEEP TRYING!

We’ve done other events and reviews with American Girl–all fun and wonderful, but this chat was our most worthwhile investment yet. Thanks to them to making this joyous ride a little less scary.

2nd edition care and keeping of us

We’re thrilled to help launch this book (really a kit) and also help start conversations. The Care & Keeping of Us includes twin books, one for girls and one for moms, filled with dozens of how-to-say-it scripts to get the conversations going. I love the addition of a sharing journal. The joint journal lets both moms and girls jot down thoughts, memories, and questions. Get the book and let me know what you think!

Momtrends was proud to co-host this sponsored event with American Girl.

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Momtrends Blogger Lounge at the New York Baby Show

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The New York Baby Show was brimming with activity. In two days, more than 4000 families will make their way through the booths full of gear and services aimed to help parents have an easier go of it!

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This year Momtrends joined the action and co-hosted the Blogger Lounge. With New York Family, we created a pampering haven for bloggers to refuel in between working the floor. There were more than 100 brands there with booths—that’s a lot of trends to report on. To help facilitate great editorial from our blogging friends, we provided free babysitting from The Nanny League. This way the kids were happy and the parent bloggers could have in-depth conversation at the show. All the parents raved about the quality caregivers in the lounge.

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The Nanny League is an elite placement agency there to help you find the perfect sitter or nanny. It’s a high-touch personal service that matches families with college educated, creative competent sitters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, NJ and Philadelphia.

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We had a Mabels Labels station—giving all the bloggers personalized labels to keep their gear organized. Mabels is a beloved blogging brand—we all know these labels are a live save when it comes to keeping baby gear straight or school supplies. And they’re perfect for summer camp too!

For new parents we can’t stress it enough LABEL EVERYTHING! After going through all the effort to find the just-right sippy cup you want to make sure it comes home from the playdate, daycare or park. Get more details and order at mabelslabels.com

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Bloggers checked out Net Nanny Products from ContentWatch provide Internet protection software, including parental controls and Internet filtering software. NetNanny helps parents safely guide their kids into the word of the Internet. Net Nanny can protect viewers from the following: pornography, cyber bullying, online predators and even Internet addiction. Find our more www.netnanny.com

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When they weren’t getting story ideas for their blogs, the ladies enjoyed fabulous pampering from GlamSquad. The professional stylists gave our blogging friends mini makeovers. There was a hair station, makeup touchups and manicures. GlamSquad is a service that provides stylists who come to your home (available in NYC, Miami and Los Angels—more cities coming soon!). Simply book an appointment on your phone or tablet with the GlamSquad app and you’ll never have to visit a salon again. www.glamsquad.com

Thank to the 100 bloggers who participated in the Blogger Lounge! Here’s the highlight reel:

 

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As for the show itself, it was fabulous! With Canon as the presenting sponsor, the show was picture perfect and so many great products. I can see why this event is incredibly popular with families. I loved meeting Erica Hill and Sheinelle Jones from the Today Show (seen above in the ribbon cutting ceremony). I sat in on a great seminar from Holly or Baby Gizmo and of course I loved taking strollers for a spin on the test track.

Sheinelle Jones and Erica Hill today show

As for my favorite things, I’ve done the tough work of narrowing it down to 5.
1. Thule Chariot Chinook: One of the cooler (and more expensive) items on the floor. Deigned in Sweden, this multi-functional child carrier can be ordered to fit one or two kids. The Chinook converts to bring the tots along on 5 different activities: walking, running, cycling, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
2. Bump Boxes. You know I love subscription boxes. Crowded stores make me jumpy—when I was pregnant the last things I wanted to do was go from store to store looking for the perfect things. Amen for online shopping. The Bump Box can be gifted to help expecting moms discover products to make pregnancy easer. Bumpboxes.com can be ordered in sample or full-size and provide healthy finds for mom and baby.
3. Green Sprouts from iPlay:  snack jars and spoons make out of cornstarch. They are BPA free and lightweight.
4. Frank Fisher Baby Spyder Activity Play Set is non-toxic and made of natural birch. The cute and stimulating toy collapses flat for storage. Sometime you just don’t need batteries. Kidsplayhome.com
5. Lucy Darling bump stickers & baby stickers. The little things matter. One of my “wish I’d done that” moments comes from not talking the monthly shots of my girls. These sweet reminders are just the thing to inspire you to take photos of either your bump or new baby.

great trends for baby and bump

We can’t wait to be a part of next year’s show!

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NEW! Minted Launches Fabric by the Yard

DIY tech laptop cover

DIY laptop case crafted by me! Rarely do I make time for this type of creative pursuit, but when the Minted team puts together a #MintedMakers event, heed my advice–accept the invitation! Crafting took hold of Tribeca, NY this week as Minted gathered a group of dextrous bloggers to celebrate the launch of fabrics on Minted.com.

CEO Mariam Naficy walked the group through the new realm of artistry on Minted. So far there are 250+ patterns (head here to see more) being produced in the USA via digital direct-to-fabric printing. I personally can’t wait to see the resulting projects from these glorious patterns and prints. I am envisioning the more talented crafters out there dreaming up amazing home and craft projects. Just look at the explosion of color and print!

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The fabrics are perfect for crafting home accessories–it’s little stiff for clothing and a little thin for upholstery–otherwise a perfect all-purpose weight. Select your print by the yard with a maximum continuous length of 10 yards (all prints are 54″ wide). Selvage will vary from 1-2 inches depending on fabric type.

A lot of the prints would be perfect for personalizing a sophisticated nursery.

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Jenni Radosevich led the crafting portion of the evening. Jenni is the Founder of ispydiy.com and she spirited us along the process of making fabric laptop cases. I was amongst a group of Grade A crafters. I felt the pressure. Thankfully Jenni gave good instructions and the fabric was so inspiring that even I pulled off a successful project.

Crafting with Minted

Minted set up a great room full of inspiration: yummy fabrics and gorgeous crafting supplies. Even the most challenged DIY-phobe would have wanted to jump in.

Get the full detail on the project from Jenni’s blog ispydiy.com/my-diy-envelope-laptop-case/

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As with most of Minted’s selections, the fabric was crowd-sourced. Artists submitted designs, votes were taken, and the very best was selected for production. According to Mariam, Minted expended a great deal of energy making sure the winning designs were produced to perfection. Fabric needs to be the same exceptional quality that we’ve come to expect from everything Minted.

And let’s not forget about all the other sweet things Minted makes. I just popped online yesterday to get personalized Minted Valentine’s for the school exchange this week. Here’s a look at some of the adorable options.

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A huge thanks to Minted to helping me re-connect with my creative side. I think these fabrics are going to inspire a lot of us to order yardage and start dreaming up new projects this winter!

This is not a sponsored post. We did get goody bags at the end of the night.

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Momtrends Partners with New York Family for The New York Baby Show

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We’re excited to announce a new partnership tip today! Momtrends is partnering with New York Family, the premier resource for families in NYC, to host an intimate media lounge for bloggers during the New York Baby Show from May 16th-17th.

“Bringing brands and bloggers together is what we do best!” says Nicole Feliciano the CEO of Momtrends Media, “We’re thrilled to be bringing the biggest, most connected social media moms in New York to the event for special programing.”

Momtrends is excited to support the fifth anniversary of The New York Baby Show. The successful event features some of the top baby and family brands in the industry. As the largest consumer expo for new and expectant parents, Momtrends will be involved in working with media and bloggers to amplify the exciting products showcased at the event. Momtrends will help bloggers connect with top brands providing gear and services for pregnancy, baby, and toddlers.

“Coming into our fifth anniversary year, The New York Baby Show is now the largest consumer show for expectant and new parents in the country—and we think that Momtrends is the perfect partner to insure that bloggers have a great experience—fun, fresh, and deeply informative,” says John Hurley, Publisher of New York Family.

In addition to attending an exclusive Blogger’s Lounge, the Momtrends team will help visiting bloggers get the most from the experience from the The New York Baby Show including: informative seminars, stroller track testing and demonstrations such as safety, feeding, sleep and nursery admissions.

The New York Baby Show will be held on May 16th-17th, 2015 from 10am-4pm at Pier 92 in NYC. Click here to get more information about tickets

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Getting Social with Ladies Home Journal

Ladies Home Journal Event

Last week I had the honor of attending the event, ‘Let’s Get Social with Ladies Home Journal.’ As a blogger who works in the space it was amazing to be around so many inspiring bloggers who are living their dream. But getting to their dream took a lot of hard work, time and persistence, and Ladies Home Journal complied an incredible assortment of panelists, bloggers and brands to showcase the various steps and methods it takes to succeed.

Editor-in-Chief, Sally Lee spoke of how Ladies Home Journal loves working with bloggers and has done so since 2008. This includes a trip to Haiti with Nicole where she distributed crocs with Countess LuAnn to a current toy drive where they are asking bloggers for their holiday picks.

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Ladies Home Journal Event

This also included a women inspiring women tagline that was felt through this conference. as we heard from bloggers like Joy of Joy the Baker and Kendi of Kendi Everyday who spoke about their blogging paths as well as a panel with book publishers, an agent and a blogger who turned her blog into a book. We also heard from Gabby Bernstein, author of the popular book, May Cause Miracles. With insightful tips and advice, the packed room was buzzing with excitement and direction.

Another aspect of the conference was the brand connections where bloggers had the chance to meet with Ford Cares, Silpada, Neutrogena and Birkenstock as well as have the chance to network with various bloggers and editors from the magazine.

Another bonus was learning how to pitch to Ladies Home Journal and that they are always looking for bloggers to enhance and develop contact with!

All photos by Kenny Pang

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given a gift bag at the event.

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Chrissy Teigan’s Wedding Prep Plans

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John Legend is about the tie the knot with model Chrissy Teigan. Thanks to Gillette Venus, I was able to help Chrissy celebrate her wedding with an NYC rooftop bridal shower.

This is the only shower Chrissy will have–the setting was so authentic. From the flwoers to the desserts. And to make things fun and casual, Chrissy was joined by Venus Dermatologist Dr. Jody Levine for a game of “two truths and a lie” and talk bridal beauty. The game got a little racy–not hard to wonder why. Between John and Chrissy there’s obviously a lot of ….chemistry!

There were even Gillette Venus & Olay Sugarberry cupcakes (not quite sure how they made those razor toppers). Let’s look at some of the details. I loved Chrissy’s ring. She said John designed it just for her. And the up-do was fantastic! Chrissy said she plans to wear her hair in a similar way on her big day.

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Chrissy also attests to be a 2x a day shaver. Whatever she’s doing mus work. Her legs looked great. My gift bag had a sample so I’ll get my leg in tip-top shape for summer. Chrissy had a few tips for keeping you legs looking great. First, the model is obsessed with exfoliation. She also says she loves Venus’ 5-blade technology. Essentially the razor exfoliates and smoothes skin all at the same time.

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With no separate shaving cream required, Chrissy will easily be able to pack up her Venus & Olay Sugarberry razor for her destination wedding and honeymoon. She wouldn’t tell us where the destination wedding is being held, but I am sure it will be fabulous.

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Sadly, John did not pop by to sing serenade Chrissy, but the night was still very fun. Cheers Chrissy!

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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#StyleSuite Ritz Carlton

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Last week I traveled to SoCal to meet up with a few hundred of the most fabulous blogging women. During the conference there was lots of empowerment talk and outside of the conference events, there was a lot of boding and pool-side strategy sessions. But my favorite, part of the weekend was hosting the Style Suite with my dear friend Andrea Fellman of SavvySassyMoms. Here are a few of the fabulous ladies we entertained:

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On the one “unscheduled” night of the conference we hosted 25 of our bloggy besties for a night of wine, nibbles, ocean sunsets and conversation. There were four amazing sponsors that made the party possible and made it possible for me and my Marketing Manager, Brooke, to make it to the event.

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First, the lovely ladies of Rivet and Sway. You might have seen my Rivet a& Sway review. This brand is all about delivering the most chic glasses to your home. They provide all the tools you need to get a pair perfectly fit to your face.

The bloggers loved the personal fittings that they got at the event. It’s so surprising to have an expert weigh in. Britt and Emily evaluated face shape, hair, etc. to help the women pick a perfect pair.

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ErgoBaby was on hand with the most fashionable slings. We all know babies are the ultimate accessory. It’s even more true when they ride in the ergonomically supportive Ergo. My favorite is the collection for Every Mother Counts (Christy Turlington’s charity).

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The Mother Company is all about empowering families to trust their core values. In this world of reality tv and tabloids sometimes good parenting isn’t celebrated. The Mother Company is producing content–shows, books and videos that make me want to sing. It’s all about giving your kids the power to make great choices and feel strong and smart.

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Speaking of feeling strong. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from keeping it all together and get pampered. The lovely ladies of Mama Mio gave our friends arm massages and goodies–a perfect way to kick off the Mother’s Day week.

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And did I mention the sunset? With a little vino in hand (thank you Bon Affair) we gathered to toast friendship and success! Cheers! Here’s to a great trip.

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Events That Work for Bloggers

Events That Work for Bloggers

Small is beautiful. Babies, boutiques and books born out of love are all reminders that little things mean a lot. Last week I got a terrific reminder about this. Mr. Momtrends was traveling and I decided to take the girls to a book reading at Piccolini–a pint-sized boutique in NOLITA (a super trendy neighborhood near SoHo in NYC).

As a NYC blogger I admit to being spoiled. I’ve been going to events for years. But when I know it’s a small business, I have a weak spot. I wrote Mom Boss to support entrepreneurs I believe in making the effort to help female-led brands succeed.

Owner, Alex Zagami, organized cupcakes and a book reading for a handful of guests. If you know much about me, you’ll realize I separate family and business. The girls aren’t featured in ads and rarely come to events. But for some reason, I sensed this was special. So we swiped our metro cards and headed to Manhattan.

The special guest was Kelly Florio Kasouf author of The Super Adventures of Sophie and the City: All in a Day’s Work. Kelly is an ex fashionista too (she did her tour of duty at Vogue)

The book starts off as we meet Sophie–dressed in Ralph Lauren with Tory’s Reva flats. It only gets better from there. Sophie travels all over NYC and the world discovering the power and joy of fashion. My girls were entranced and the illustrations by Judit Garcia-Talavera. The fashion illustrator makes this book extraordinary. Find out more about the book at www.superadventuresofsophie.com

What a treat. We also adored the shop. Piccolini s packed with so many of my favorite things. From beloved books to dresses from Egg Baby to toys that won’t end up in a landfill. Oh, and the girls would be disappointed if I didn’t mention the cupcake necklaces. You could tell everything was handpicked with love and lots of style. Visit the store when you are in NYC 230 Mulberry St. or anytime online www.lovepiccolini.com

It was a great reminder of the power of small. So I think I’ll be turning down more of the big stuff to make room for adventures such as this one.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. 

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Dr. Scholl’s Event

Dr. Scholl’s Event: My poor feet have been put through the ringer. From blisters to calluses, my tootsies have seen better days. Now that I am a mom, I am on my feet even more – running around for work and then going on adventures with my girls. Somedays I feel the weight of the world on my feet, and since I don’t have a foot masseuse on call it’s time to do something to calm and treat my feet.

At a recent event in NYC I learned more about taking care of my feet by using Dr. Scholl‘s inserts. Never having tried them before I always assumed that inserts were for serious conditions or for people who wore orthotics. This is definitely not the case and there is a fast-growing segment of people who are in pain that don’t have to be by simply adding an insert into their shoes. In particular, inserts from Dr. Scholl’s can provide less discomfort for women thanks to its Shock Guard Technology that is proven to provide all day pain relief. I was sold at hearing that, but got even more excited when I learned that their line targets problem-areas in the lower body – making walking more enjoyable.

Another welcome surprise was seeing the unique products for women including inserts that comforted women who wore heels and flat shoes.  I loved hearing more about the For Her High Heel Insoles that are designed to shift the pressure off of the ball of your foot and then providing all day support.

Following the event, I also tested out this product and I loved how it stayed firmly in place all day while providing me with amazing comfort. There are also products specifically for the heel with the Dr. Scholl’s P.R.O Pain Relief Orthodontics for Heel inserts that are designed to absorb shock reduce impact as well as an arch insert called the Dr. Scholl’s P.R.O Pain Relief Orthodontics for Arch that provides extra support to prevent arch pain. I was also interested in learning more about the Dr. Scholl’s P.R.O Pain Relief Orthodontics for Lower Back that is designed to absorb pain-inducing shock and treat lower back pain. What is even better is that there products  are sold at drugstores everywhere and last around six months – making them an incredible value.

Dr. Scholl's Event

After I previewed the product line, I had the chance to check out the fast feet of Val Chmerkovskiy of Dancing with the Stars. Val was on-hand teach ballroom dancing all while wearing the insoles. There was also reflexology treatments, a smoothie station, tennis lessons and special appearances by LaLa Anthony, Megan Hilty and Wilmer Valderrama who were also there to support the brand and their new “Get Up and Go” campaign. Through the campaign, Dr. Scholl’s wants people to treat their foot ailments and literally go – by not letting it get in the way of their life and what they love to do. With a little help from the Dr. Scholl’s product line, I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some Dr. Scholl’s samples.

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