Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Friends, Fun, Food, and Fabulous Finds #fpshowroom

The holiday season is swinging into high gear, and I'm finding life is getting busier by the day. You too? A lot of the busyness is a lot of fun as well, like choosing the perfect gifts for loved ones and spending quality time with friends and family. And I'm definitely trying to make time for the social side of the season, even when it feels like I don't have the time to spare from work and decorating and wrapping, and all that other stuff. A night out with the girls in particular always does a world of good for my mood and my mental health. Last weekend I got to combine a bit of work (that felt nothing like work) and a bit of play at a fabulous holiday evening gathering highlighting the hottest toys from Fisher-Price, and the wonders of female friendship, good food, and great wine!

You may have seen me on Twitter Saturday night, with the hashtag #fpshowroom. We gathered at the home of fellow blogger, the lovely Lena Almeida, to stuff and laugh ourselves silly and dream fond dreams of having another baby while we ooh'ed and aah'ed over all the Fisher Price goodies that were on display. (For the record - this shop is closed, but oh how I wish some of these items had been available 8 years ago!)

And can I take a moment to comment on Lena's gorgeous home and exquisite decorating? Just look at this display in her dining room!
I'm wondering if I can hire her to decorate my place this year??
This night was a wonderful chance to unwind and catch up with old friends, some of whom I haven't seen in person in ages. I need to give special thanks to my awesome friend, Diana, by the way, who did the driving that night, so I could indulge in a couple of mimosas and a lovely glass of red (or 2) with dinner. A designated driver, cab, transit, or other plan is a must for any get-together this holiday season (or at any time!) when alcohol will be consumed. Be smart and be safe!

red wine bottles in crate
Lots of pop, juice and water were on hand as well.
Photo: Ryan Nolan Photography
I ate my weight in tuna tartare while we chatted and laughed before turning to the toy presentation. Have you ever tried this? Unbelievable!!

There were no shortage of scrumptious appetizers, but this was by far my favourite. And see how cute they are?
Photo: Ryan Nolan Photography
Of course a gathering of bloggers wouldn't be complete without a whole lot of screenage, photos, and tweeting. And, honestly, we all do it second-nature and can carry on a full conversation at the same time. Nowhere else would this be socially acceptable I'm sure. But we get each other, so it's all good.
Don't you love it when a group of bloggers and social media specialists get together? These are my tribe right here :)
Photo: Ryan Nolan Photography
In spite of all the tuna tartare, I greedily dove into dinner as well. The caterer was L-eat Catering, and I definitely recommend. Everything was just delicious, and so beautifully displayed. A feast for the eyes!

Photo: Ryan Nolan Photography

Lena is the consummate hostess and made us all feel so welcome in her home, on top of organising all the delicious details of the evening. Of course she did just as well walking us through the vast array of Fisher Price toys and baby gear on display. The selections we saw ranged from the classic Rock-a-Stack and Chatter Telephone toys, to the brand new 4-in-1 Rock 'n Glide Soother.

This baby isn't available until January, unfortunately, but I love that it glides either front-to-back or side-to-side. Not all babies appreciate the same movement. It also features optional soft vibrations, music and nature sounds, and it can all be operated by a foot pedal! Plus, the seat detaches from the base, for easier portability for all those trips to grandma's house. Watch for this one!

Then there's this gorgeous pink and brown Infant-to-Toddler Rocker that's exclusive to Walmart.

I love the soft colours, and the owls. This would look so pretty in any room in the house. The rocker includes a fold-out kickstand to convert it into a stationary seat for feeding or a nap, and it can be used for toddlers all the way up to 40 pounds. Music, vibration mode, and a removable toy bar complete the picture. This would make such a great gift for anyone with a baby girl.

And seriously, how cute is the Precious Planet Whale of a Tub?!

The foam cushion provides comfort and the "baby stopper" insert keeps your infant from sliding down into the tub. Once your little one is big enough to sit up in the tub, just remove the insert to make room. This tub also comes with a baby whale cup for play or rinsing.

Photo: Ryan Nolan Photography

Every child has their own likes and dislikes, so I appreciate that Fisher Price has such variety in their products. Boo hated his swing, but loved his bouncy seat and his jumper. Fisher Price is a well-known, trustworthy brand that covers all the bases. I guess after 80 years in business you learn a thing or two!

At the end of the evening, Lena raffled off ALL OF THE TOYS that had been on display throughout the party. Thank you Fisher Price! Only a couple of gals there actually still have wee ones, but we all have babies on our holiday shopping list and/or favourite toy drives and women's shelters to whom we give each year. Believe me, there will be a whole lot of happy parents and babies benefiting from this Fisher Price Showroom event!

Photo: Ryan Nolan Photography

Sadly the evening eventually had to end, but not before we got this great picture of the group. So many wonderful women whom I adore! What a super fun night it was. We ended with many hugs and cheek kisses and a very warm feeling in our hearts, plus very full and satisfied feelings in our bellies. Thanks to Lena and Fisher Price for a great girls' night, and for sharing these super toys and baby gear!

Now, on to my next big social gig - I'm hosting a holiday brunch for my four closest girlfriends on Saturday. We've known each other since our kids were babies, and they've all grown up together. It will be a great time I am sure, especially since we don't get together as a group nearly as often anymore. Life gets in the way, right? So, my message to you - take the time this holiday season to reconnect with friends and family. Say yes to invitations. Create an event of your own. Forget the everyday stresses and have fun!!  Happy Holidays!

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Fisher Price.  Regardless, all opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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