Moms Meet-WOW Summit 2013

A little while back, Hail Merry posted on their facebook page that they had been accepted as a vendor into the Moms Meet program.  I went and signed up without knowing much, because of my relationship with the ladies at HM.  To over-simplify the group, they are a product testing site that hinges on it's "ambassadors" making connections with other moms.  Over the last few weeks I've been poking around the site, applying for product testing opportunities.  I liked the idea of it (I've participated in lots of these types of things over the years and enjoy it) but I wasn't completely sure what was behind the Moms Meet name.

In my campaign signing frenzy, I won a trip to the 1st annual WOW Summit, hosted by Moms Meet in Philadelphia, PA.  Allan and I decided to make it a fun little family trip.  When we did our October budget, I wasn't sure we could pull it all off, but the Moms Meet people went above and beyond to make sure we could get there.

We started the 5.5 hour drive from our current residence in Northern New York on Sunday morning and got to the Sheraton in Philly in time to be the first ones at registration.  That worked out well because it gave us time to settle the brood in before I went down to the cocktail reception.  At check-in I got my name tag and bag for collecting goodies. 

The Sheraton in downtown Philadelphia is gorgeous.  The kids were quite impressed with the place, (as were we!)  We were, however very surprised by the valet charge.  Not that we would expect a hotel not to charge for valet service, but there are literally NO other overnight options for parking near the hotel.  So if you ever go, know that you will pay for parking and if you have a "big" vehicle (like a '96 Chevy Suburban, haha) you will pay extra.  As the kids and I travel this coming year, we will be sure to ask that before we reserve any rooms from now on.
 Our room had a great view of the bridge to New Jersey and some of the boats on the river.  At 4 stories, there aren't many other places taller in the area, so we got a great panoramic view.
At 6:30 I headed down to check out the cocktail reception in the hotel's restaurant.  They had a mashed potato bar set up for us Mom Ambassadors and some Applegate finger foods (all-natural deli meats and cheeses).  I wasn't sure what was gluten-free, so I stuck to the potatoes, which were super-tasty.

Zevia was a big sponsor for the Summit, so the cocktail party featured some of their "Zero Calorie Soda" in mixed drinks.  Not being a big drinker, I ordered the non-alcoholic Pinapple Upside Down Cake drink (cream soda and pineapple juice).  It was pretty good!  I have seen Zevia at our local Target before and have wanted to try it for a while, but to be honest, when something says "Zero Calorie" I tend to steer clear.  I learned a lot more about the company and product at the Summit, and I must say I am impressed.  I am hoping to talk to them some more about possibly doing a review soon, so keep your eye out.

I didn't know anyone and everyone seemed to be sticking to those they knew that evening, so I went back to my room early and wondered if I had made the right choice in coming.  Allan and I took the kids out for a drive around downtown Philadelphia (such an amazing place full of so much history!) and crossed the "big blue bridge" at their insistence.
It's free to cross into New Jersey, but you have to pay 5.00 to get back.  I think it's because New Jersey's gas is 30 cents cheaper than Pennsylvania.  haha  It was well worth it, though, we really enjoyed the drive and the view.  (and no, it doesn't seem my children ever get sick of driving around...they were made for this roadschooling stuff)

The next morning I was up bright and early and got to enjoy a breakfast with the fam before the Summit started.  Despite my reservations the night before, I was quickly proven wrong.  The WOW Summit had a lot of really fun speakers and as the day went on, I was more and more excited to be a part of this group of people.  Maxine Wolf is the CEO of MayMedia and kiwi, who is the umbrella over Moms Meet.  After hearing her speak and tell about her vision for the group, I feel the same way about being a Mom Ambassador as I do about being affiliated with Hail Merry.  Where there is a group of women focused on green-parenting without guilt I want to be!  Maxine is so laid back and kind and smart, as are the women she has surrounded herself with while building these different organizations, groups, whatever you'd like to call them.  I wish I had gotten a picture of her, but I was too busy writing notes and being excited about all I was learning.

 There were tons of giveaways at the Summit and the vendor room was packed with lots of goodies and product samples.  I wondered if the freebies would be the highlight of the summit, but they were certainly not.  I think I most enjoyed getting to know the faces behind kiwi and Moms Meet, (including the other Mom Ambassadors)
The vendor room was a lot of fun

But the speakers and workshops were a close 2nd to the new connections and networking that was done.  We got to hear from professionals (including a pediatrician and psychiatrist) who believe in the holistic approach to raising children.  This fits so well with our family's philosophy...those of you who have been around our blog for a while know that our son has had a lot of health issues that have required surgeries.  The last 2 surgeries saved his life, and we are far from anti-modern medicine, but we choose to do things as naturally as possible unless it is absolutely imperative that we resort to the medical field.  So can I just say that everything I learned about kiwi and Moms Meet made me that much more excited to be on board with them!?  No green-guilt, no holier-than-thou attitudes, just a lot of moms who want to know better and do better for their families.  SCORE!  These are my peeps, y'all!
Dr Drew Ramsey (psychiatrist) discussing the importance of a plant-based diet for good mental health
Allan and the kids managed to find some fun things to do after we all enjoyed a gluten-free lunch in Old-Town Philadelphia together.  
Independence Hall-currently closed to the public thanks to the gov't shutdown, but still pretty cool to see and getting caught in the rain was a big bonus for the littles
 Of course they had to learn the history of the city...what kind of roadschoolers would we be if we just locked them up in the room to watch TV?  (Okay, so there was plenty of that, too...it's all about flexibility, right?)

After our day of learning and sampling, there was a banquet for us with live music.  I was very impressed with the server who went out of her way to be sure my food needs were met (gluten free eating out is sometimes a huge bummer, I had actually been glutened at lunch earlier and not excited at the prospect of hurtingx2) I was also impressed with the band and most of all, I was impressed with the group of amazingly fun women I get to be a part of!

Oh my yum!  This was fab.
The server went out of her way to get me a separate GF desssert.  That's service!

I was sad when it was all over, but so happy to come home and implement some changes here on the blog that will help us be more interactive and useful for you.  (I'm still looking for a good web designer that isn't too expensive if y'all have any suggestions!)  I am always open for suggestions from you, so feel free to leave me a note about what you'd like to see from me in the future.  I have some ideas already about a cost comparison from our traditional living vs. on the road (thanks Heather!) 

I'm also excited to get in on some sampling campaigns and reviews.  Here's my plug...if you'd like to be a part of the Moms Meet community, (it's FREE and you get an excuse to share awesome products with your friends!) just click on THIS LINK and sign up.  I'll get 100 "points" for referring you and you'll be a part of a really neat group of ladies.

So to put a nice little bow on it all and say the same thing for the 25th time, I am so glad to have had the opportunity to get to know this group and I am looking forward to being a part of next year's Summit.

Of course, coming home with loads of goodies is always great, too! ;)

1 comment:

Bani O'Connor-Bobb said...

I had such an amazing time at the WOW Summit and equally loved every moment. I'm glad to have met you and all of the other like minded Moms who were there with us. Now I'm excited to share all the information and goodies with my Mom friends here and to impliment what I learned.