Last month, I was invited by my friends at Iams to attend a two-day Access P&G blogger event in Cincinnati. I don't think I was aware of how many products I use every day that are actually under the Procter and Gamble umbrella until I was invited on this trip: Iams, of course, but also Tide, Bounce, Bounty, Swiffer, Pantene, Cover Girl, Olay… the list goes on and on.
We started off our P&G crash course with a a meet and greet event held in an interactive digital playground exhibit at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center. Celebrity mom and Cincy native-by-marriage Vanessa Lachey was on hand to tout the virtues of P&G laundry solutions like the ever-popular Tide Pods and Downy Infusions. She was really, really nice and quite possibly prettier in person than on camera.
No one on the P&G team would confirm on record that strict usage of their products would make me look like her but hey, a girl can dream… Even better than celebrity spotting, I finally got to meet several bloggers whom I've known online for years, including Carolyn, shown with me below as we attempt to discern the secrets to our personal styles.
The next day, we were up for Tampax-sponsored yoga. I spared you the photographic evidence but it was very relaxing and our expert tampon engineer managed to make the braid feature totally exciting. True! I am all for advances in lady health. We hoofed it through a couple of blocks of super cool Cincinnati downtown to the main P&G headquarters, which are just lovely. They recently celebrated their 175th anniversary but manage to stay fresh and fun, as one might expect.
I was super excited about the cooking demonstration from Stephanie Izard. She's definitely one of my faves from the Top Chef universe and was unbelievably sweet in person.
We also got a demonstration of how easy it is to transmit germs throughout your kitchen with dishtowels and sponges, clearing the way for the awesomeness of Bounty DuraTowels. These things can take a beating- I saw a wet paper towel hanging a six pound weight from it with my own eyes. Whoa. The black light bacteria trail was disturbing, to say the least. Especially when you consider little hands and what they touch. All over your house. Feh.
Lunch was amazing- hand made tostadas. One with chicken and hummus, the other with pickled eggplant and pimiento cheese. Yes, really. Yum!!!
I was especially excited to learn about Iams, not least because I've been a loyal Iams customer since I first found Piewackett (RIP) in college a million years ago. Bev from Iams is so great and she introduced me to the VP of Canine Communications. You can follow this handsome fellow on Twitter: @PawlGriffin.
I could have spent hours poring through the P&G archives. It truly is filled with history, not only of the company, but of pop culture. I loved learning about how the company started and how it's grown to encompass so much of what we've all grown up with. And the graphic designer in me looooves looking at all the packaging. Even crazier- we were allowed to smell the archives! Vicks from the turn of the century smells the same as it does now. A lot of bloggers were blown away by the nostalgia from the Oil of Olay from our youth. I'd forgotten it was pink! I got to smell my all-time favorite scent memories- Vidal Sassoon shampoo from the 70s/80s with the amazing cherry almond fragrance. What a blast from the past. Proust can have his madeleines… I was all about sniffing bottles of beauty products gone by.
Celebrity hairstylist David Reposar and makeup artist Bruce Grayson did some demonstrations of quick day-to-night looks and were unbelievably patient with the room full of bloggers who were clamoring for their attention. I learned a few tips and David gave me my first official up-do. Well, more like a low asymmetrical bun given my childbirth-addled fine hair, but I was very pleased. What do you think?
Zippy said it was Princess Leia-esque, which of course made me happy. I am so easy sometimes! We rounded up our P&G whirlwind with an epic dinner at legendary steakhouse Jeff Ruby's. The food was amazing but the company was even better. I got to hang with these ladies, who make me laugh:
I loved being able to spend time with friends and learn about lots of stuff I already use. Yay!
Enter to win a free product voucher to try Iams So Good dog food using the form below. Trust me, your pups will love it. It's all natural and I hope they will introduce a kitty version forthwith, as well as a large dog breed variety since my Stella and Rocky are, uh, big-boned. There will be two winners!
In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and the WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that my travel and lodging was provided on this trip and I came home with a bunch of goodies. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are, as usual, entirely my own.