Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hooked On: Free Stuff

It's time for the weekly "Hooked On" party at Hooked on Houses. Stop by to see what Julia is hooked on this week!

Me, free stuff always makes me smile.

The MOPS conference in Nashville that I've blogged about was fabulous, and it was a real treat to discover some extra "freebies" outside of the amazing workshops and sessions we attended.

The first swag item we received was something to hold all the other swag we'd pick up over the weekend. I'm sure MOPS International intended for the moms to use it to tote their conference workbook and maps around, but I found it much more useful for stashing free stuff from vendors.
I'm resourceful like that.

Our first stop in Nashville was (where else?) the Opryland Mills mall. Ironically, I got a picture of Kelly and E here, but failed to get a shot of the Grand Old Opry. At any rate, we had fun window shopping.

We also window shopped in the displays at the Gaylord Opryland hotel. I would have loved these boots if they were Stuart Weitzman black wedge boots.

In the grand ballroom, waiting for the first session to start.

Around 4,000 moms were in attendance!

The conference certainly wasn't free, but MOPS invited several Christian musicians to play mini-concerts for us and lead worship time. The concerts were an unexpected perk for me. I took this photo before they told us not to take any photos. Oops.
I tend to listen to Talk Radio all day, so the artists were new to me, but I came away with an appreciation for Matt Redman, Matthew West, Natalie Grant, Plumb, and Christy Nockels. Great music with a great message!

The most fun part for a girl who loves to shop (and get free stuff!) was the Resource Fair. Lines and lines of vendors stretched as far as the eye could see, and many were giving away little gifts., which is run by Wendy Bellisimo, had a gorgeous hard-cover book called Nesting for moms who came by the booth to try their website.
The book retails for just over $30, so this was an amazing giveaway. (I wasn't asked by to review their site, but they do have a wonderful set-up if you're in need of something to manage your day-to-day life at home)

I also picked up a pink (!) waterbottle, a purple backpack that I can happily pass on to Michaela Byrd (who is so jealous of her big sister's), and a little book of Bible verses.

During a session for groups to meet up with other moms from their state, I won The Five Love Languages, which it just so happens was chosen by my friend, Shanda. I am anxious to read this and find out why it seems that I am speaking Hungarian when I ask T to take the trash out (kidding. sort of.).

Y'all know I love to read, so I was excited to see several publishers with booths set up. I picked up Don't Panic (More) Dinner's in the Freezer, Date Night in a Minivan, and a super neat surprise book that I will be giving away here in the future.

We were too tuckered out at the end of each day to see any Nashville nightlife (except when E went out for coffee with an old high school friend). We spent most of our (free) time in our room.
I successfully brainwashed Kelly into watching Twilight with me, which would never have happened if E were in the room. I will slowly work on luring her over to the dark side. I think it's too soon to mention New Moon...I don't want to scare her away.

The best free part of the weekend was growing friendships with two amazing girls.
I've known E since elementary school, but never got to really know her until having my kids. She and Kelly made the trip so fun, and I won't soon forget all the funny stories, staying up late, eating the most amazing cupcakes, and seeing some of was a lot like camp!

Sometimes it's not the expensive workshop tickets, dinners out, or even the swag (as much as it pains me to say it) that make an event worthwhile.

It's the treasure of friendships. (Or knowing enough about your friends that you can blackmail them for chocolate cake)


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  1. Thanks so much for visiting my place. A wife's best friends mean a lot to husbands they help us get though some tough spots and enjoy good times. (But we don't believe your weren't joking about us.)

  2. Very cool! Nothing like freebies and great friends!

  3. What a fun girl's getaway! I need one... or 32 of those. And who doesn't love freebies???

  4. It sounds like an awesome weekend! Free stuff and hanging out with friends. the best! Have a good weekend...
    pk @ room remix

  5. You were making happy memories for sure...just look at those faces. Very happy, indeed.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  6. yay!! i love this post (obviously)! :0) what a wonderful weekend. except for all the obvious long hours in the car, i had a great weekend. you're a wonderful roomie, A---especially since you can't smell. here's to more roadtrips!!! PS i want copies of pics!

  7. yay!! i love this post (obviously)! :0) what a wonderful weekend. except for all the obvious long hours in the car, i had a great weekend. you're a wonderful roomie, A---especially since you can't smell. here's to more roadtrips!!! PS i want copies of pics!

  8. Looks like you had yourself a ball! BTW, my two 'go to' books, that I recommend to everyone and require my kids to read as they turn 15 is "Five Love Languages" and "Boundaries".
    Saves one big bucks in counseling later in life...
    I'm a new stalker :)
    peace. cindy

  9. Oh how I LOVE freebeies when I went to the Gaylord in Orlando, for a Chiro conference, it was my mission to collect as many freebeies as I could that weekend. I came home w/ 3 bags worth. You got some great stuff! The 5 love languages book is FANTASTIC & really helps you understand you & your spouse better when you learn to speak in their love language. Glad you had so much fun!

  10. Looks like such a good time! I've heard that book, "The 5 Love Languages," is really good - you'll definitely have to let us know what you think of it! :)

  11. Your comment form is funny! The one thing I miss about not going to trade shows is the freebies. I got such great stuff when I was in the biz. And LOVE those boots! Speaking of freebies, I am giving away at $25 gift card to The Container Store, so come by and enter to win!

  12. sounds like you had tons of fun!!

  13. Sounds like you had a fabulous time and certainly packed a lot into your days!

    Now about that Twilight.. i am yet to see or read it but think it might be just my thing! I also an avid moon fan.. more the FULL than the NEW but any moon will do me. hehe

    Have a great weekend. Julie

  14. That looks like it was an awesome trip!

  15. It's great that you and your friends had such a good time on your trip. You got a lot of great free stuff, too. You can't beat free!

  16. How fun! I went with my MOPS group too (wonder if we bumped elbows while we were there?) It was a blast!


  17. Gotta love FREEBIES! Speaking of, I'm hosting a giveaway at my blog of genuine Cross Bottles valued at $175. It ends Monday, so hurry over. I think you'll love them!

  18. FREE is one of my favorite words!!! :)

    I love your blog. I have been a follower for a long time and just decided to jump into blogging myself. Come over and say hi! :)

  19. Can I borrow your 5 Languages book some time?

  20. You got some great freebies! Road trip with the girls sounds like such a blast, I'm glad you were able to have so much fun, and deepen your friendships!


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