Tag Archives: Test Drive Bloggers

Wordless Wednesday: Spooky Rides

Wordless Wednesdays spooky rides

Have your trick-or-treaters ride in style this Halloween. Check out these creative ways the Test Drive Bloggers used their wagons for this spooky time of year:

halloween1

Mommy of Two Little Monkeys

Step2 Versa Seat Wagon with Canopy Review

WAHM Connect Reviews

Step2-Wagon-Halloween-Princess-Carriage

Carrie with Children

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Blessed by Brennaprincess-merida-and-her-horse-step2-wagon

Thrifty and Chic Mom

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The Link Fairy

painted wagon party favor station

Mommy Testers

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Rave & Review

Halloween-Treat-Wagon

Mom to Bed by 8

 

BlissDom 2013: A Journey & Great Cause

This past weekend, we sent Nicole, the Step2 Internet Marketing Specialist, to her first conference, BlissDom, to see how Step2 could enhance the Test Drive Blogger Program and learn about the advancements in social commerce. This is third year that Step2 has been represented at BlissDom, known as “the premier conference for women who find and express their bliss by publishing online.”

blissdom

Words cannot describe the amazing time I had in Dallas, Texas at BlissDom. I was blown away by the speakers and people I met during my time there.  Even though I traveled to BlissDom alone, I never felt alone because of the kindness of each person I met and sat with throughout the workshops.

Arriving at the conference, I was not suredespicableme2 what to expect from the speakers. I was astounded by the information that I learned from each speaker. Sara Hawkins, lawyer and blogger, spoke about the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) revised online advertising disclosure guidelines. Since 2000, online advertisements must disclose any affiliation and necessary information to a visible claim. Recent changes have been made to make the disclosures more apparent. At Step2, we work very closely with bloggers. We want to make sure that we are up to date on online advertising procedures for their awareness and ours. Some of the biggest takeaways from this session were:

  • Online disclosures need to be clear and conspicuous
  • The disclosure must be as close to the advertising claim as possible
  • The use of hyperlinks to ensure disclosures are not hidden behind hyperlinks
  • Online disclosures must also be found on social media posts. For example, the words “AD” must be found within a sponsored post. Using a shortening link to direct people to the information is not acceptable
  • Advertisers may not send out a disclaimer following a sponsored post, it must be sent out as one complete post

Before this session, I was aware that the FTC had changed advertising disclosure guidelines but I had no idea how much it affected Step2 and our relationships with bloggers that review our products. I am grateful that I attended this session to better help Step2 understand the new guidelines that we must abide by.

At Step2, I get to experience firsthand how much consumer service and our direct sales representatives care about our customers. Another insightful lesson I learned from BlissDom pertained to brands focusing on trust. John Morgan, author of Brand Against the Machine claimed that brands need to be branded on caring. If customers understand how much we care than they will trust us more. At Step2, we always strive to make our customers happy and allow their experience with us to be nothing but positive. This session reaffirmed the importance of this.

Besides learning about the importance of trust, I learned that everyone can be a photographer. I have never thought of myself as a photographer because I do not have a fancy camera or catch the perfect image at the right moment. However, David Molnar, celebrity, music & advertising photographer, proved me wrong. He said that there is only art that I can create. After hearing him speak about how he fell in love with photography and how many of his photos were taken with his smart phone, I was inspired to go take some pictures (with my phone, of course).

Check out the pictures I took of the breathtaking Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention center, where BlissDom was held. What do you think? David also said to take a lot of pictures, practice makes perfect and I could not agree more!

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After tapping into my amateur photography skills, I learned about work ethic and learning to have a work life balance. Another session featured, Michelle Sarabia, the Marketing and Membership Director for a Private Golf Course in Gallatin, TN. She talked about her decision to transition from a business woman to a stay at home mom and then back to business woman. Even though I do not have children, I could relate to having life transitions. My life has changed a lot in the past year from ending college to starting my career. It was a transition that I had to get used to and realize that naps were no longer a part of the daily routine.  It was refreshing to be able to relate to the speakers and other attendees that I met. Although my life may be different than theirs, we can all agree that life throws curve balls at you and it is all about how to decide to handle them which makes life interesting.

Also while I was at BlissDom, I was inspired by one of the sponsors – ConAgra Foods. They showed us a touching video about ending child hunger. After watching the video, it made me realize how important it is to inform others that nearly 17 million children face hunger in the U.S. Step2 strongly supports charitable efforts that focus on the health of children.  By tweeting #childhunger at @ChildHungerEnds on Twitter, ConAgra Foods will donate two meals to Feeding America.

It was an honor to represent Step2 and gain knowledge about topics that I can utilize in my career. The perfect quote to sum up my experience is by American author and poet, Maya Angelou. “Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art.” BlissDom was a blissful experience that made me realize my life and the lives of others are pieces of art and we are the only ones that can tell our story. So why not share it with the world!

Wordless Wednesday: I ♥ Easy Turn Coupe

Wordless Wednesdays- Easy Turn Coupe

Step2 is not the only one..

Thank you to all the Test Drive Kids that took the Easy Turn Coupe for a spin:

Baby Dickey
Blessed by Brenna
Carrie With Children
Energizer Bunnies Mommy Reports
Freckleberry Finds
Go Graham Go
Little Inspiration
Mom Dot
Mom Endeavors  
Mommy of Two Little Monkeys
A Moms Take
Mommy Testers
Newly Crunchy Mama of 3
Noah’s Dad
Rave and Review
The Denver Housewife
The Link Fairy
The Rock Father
Thrifty and Chic Mom
Thrifty Nifty Mommy
WAHM Connect Reviews

As a reminder, make sure to visit Step2’s Facebook page and comment on your favorite feature of the Easy Turn Coupe. For every comment received, Step2 will donate $1 to the Saving tiny Hearts Society.

Meet the 2013 Step2 Test Drive Bloggers

Step2 has had the pleasure to work with some amazing bloggers over the years, and this year is no different! After receiving over 500 applicants, we are happy to introduce the 24 Step2 Test Drive Bloggers for 2013.

{Blogs listed in alphabetical order}

A Mom’s Take

A Mom’s Take is a place to find great gift ideas and information on new and exciting products. It features reviews, giveaways, and local Arizona event coverage. Written by a group of three moms, A Mom’s Take continues to feature a new giveaway each day of the week!

Baby Dickey
Baby Dickey blog
Baby Dickey is a family/lifestyle blog about life as “Mom” with a little bit of everything – kids, crafts/DIY, home, food, and relevant products. Author Emily is mom to Ryan, birth is what set her on her journey for birth advocacy and women’s health. Her daughter Rebecca is a 6 month old baby girl, whose homebirth was life-changing.

Blessed by Brenna

Blessed by Brenna is the story of Brenna Helen Marie, who was born on December 19, 2011 with a rare genetic skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis. After beating one very aggressive blood infection, undergoing two surgeries, being treated for several different skin infections and battling many of the odds against her, Brenna has shown she is a fighter!

Carrie with Children

As mom to two precious girls, Carrie’s life is surrounded with joy, laughter and love. Carrie with Children is a community that enjoys sharing parenting tips, positive special needs stories, discovering family-friendly products and participating in giveaways. A weekly Travel Tuesday series focuses on family friendly destinations, travel promotions and tips.

Energizer Bunnies’ Mommy Reports
EB Mommy Reports
Energizer Bunnies’ Mommy Reports is enriched with all things lifestyle, travel, reflections from our lives, inspirational snippets, Mommy tips, recipes, giveaways and much more. Author Marina is mommy to 2 darling “Energizer Bunnies”- 6 year old daughter, Bunny girl and 2 year old son, Bunny Boo.

Freckleberry Finds
Freckleberry Finds
With honesty and sass, Freckleberry Finds gets real about losing weight, raising kids, and maintaining the great balancing act of life. Plus, it features amazing recipes! As a mom to three kids, Ashley can often be found hanging out with the littles, blogging, running, or looking for her glasses, keys or cell phone.

Go Graham Go
Go Graham Go
Go Graham Go is a savvy mom blog that focuses on helping others simplify, save, grow and go!  Find DIY, life hacks, recipes and products that work. Author Felicia is mom to Graham and Davis, who are full of energy, total stand-up comedians and teach her every day.

Little Inspiration
Little Inspiration
Little Inspiration is as a personal & craft blog inspired by author Angie’s “little inspiration; her baby girl. It features yummy food, easy DIY crafts, adventures of motherhood and anything in between. Plus, every Friday, she hosts a weekly craft party at 4PM called Create & Inspire; where other bloggers come by to share their craft ideas or recipes.

Mom Endeavors
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Mom Endeavors is a creative lifestyle site dedicated to sharing tips, tricks, & ideas learned along the way from author Sara’s many everyday mom endeavors. Mom of two lit­tle guys, she recently closed the doors to her biol­ogy class­room in order to spend more time with them.

Mom to Bed by 8
Mom to Bed by 8
Mom to Bed by 8 is all about parenting in a modern world. It features projects to do as a family that do not require the old methods (up-to-date craft projects, art and more). Author Teri, mom to 4 kiddos that keep her on her toes all day long, shows that even in a gadget based society, bring up a family can still be happy and green.

MomDot
MomDot
MomDot™ is part blog, part blogger community. The blog features humor, fashion, parenting, and kid related content. Owner Trisha is the community leader of the blogger forum that provides an open discussion area for bloggers to chat about blogging, brands, and PR.

Mommy of Two Little Monkeys
Mommy of Two Little Monkeys
Mommy of Two Little Monkeys is a reflection of one mom’s life with two children, one who is a toddler and the other is a preschooler battling a serve peanut allergy. Mom Amanda blogs about parenting, toy reviews, her home makeover, food and more.

Mommy Testers

Mommy Testers focuses on truly great products for babies and children along with lots of ideas for kid-friendly crafts, parenting solutions and healthy eating ideas with a few fun things focused on moms or date night sprinkled in.

Newly Crunchy Mama of 3
Newly Crunchy Mama of 3
Mom Brandy is a proud Ohio blogger who loves sharing her experiences as a Mom of 2 toddlers and a teen, which she says can be quite entertaining! Newly Crunchy Mama of 3 also features children’s products, recipes, home improvement projects, and anything family-friendly.

Noah’s Dad
Noahs Dad
Noah’s Dad is about a little boy named Noah, who was born with Down syndrome. Dad Rick started this blog to (1.) give the world a window into the life of a family raising a child with Down Syndrome, (2.) help exchange inaccurate Down Syndrome information with truth, and (3.) to provide hope and encouragement to parents who have received a Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Rave & Review

Rave & Review features honest and in-depth product reviews for the stuff families use. This mother/father team from the Pacific Northwest loves getting out, getting active, and enjoying the great outdoors. They share their opinions of products of all types, from baby to grandparent, that they have tried and love.

Real Mom Reviews
Real Mom Reviews
Mom to 5 kids, Skye began Real Mom Reviews to provide honest reviews of products that have been real-world tested.  Her review team, ages 22 months through 8 years old, personally tries out and tests the products featured on her blog to help recommend them to other moms and dads.

The Denver Housewife
The Denver Housewife
The Denver Housewife features product reviews, giveaways, family stuff and local events. Author Jamie started this site because she loves to cook, bake, shop, and take pictures. She wanted to be able to share my findings with other people in the hopes that they can enjoy them as much as I do.

The Link Fairy

Link Fairy is an online advertising, review and giveaway blog. Link Fairy helps small business and crafty moms and dads showcase their amazing work. The lady behind the wings, Rachel, loves being the go-to person when it comes to the latest productsfor families and being able to steer parents in the right direction when purchasing for their family.

The Rock Father
The Rock Father
The Rock Father is a daddy blog & pop culture website for families that rock! James, The Rock Father himself, started this site as an outlet not only for his personal stories as a ‘Dad Blogger,’ but as an extension of everything that he’s ever done in the past…but with a family-friendly spin. James writes about music news and reviews, toys and games, gardening, and more.

The Simple Moms
theSIMPLEmoms
Since 2007, SIMPLE has been blogging & talking about what’s hot and occasionally what’s not. You can find this team of moms talking daily about anything they find fun, interesting and useful, from fashion and recipes to health and frugal living.

Thrifty & Chic Mom
Thrifty and Chic Mom
Thrifty & Chic Mom is about all of the things author Ellen loves – fashion, beauty, family, cooking and all the products that help her to be a better mom, or make her life easier as a mom. As a mom to 4 young girls, Ellen loves trying out new things, from new clothes and shoes to new gadgets or new toys for her kids.

Thrifty Nifty Mommy
Thrifty Nifty Mommy
Thrifty Nifty Mommy is a product review blog that features reviews of and giveaways for baby, children and family items. Author Janessa, a mom of 2, is always on the lookout for fabulous deals. She loves trying out new products and finding things that make her life easier, but are also easy on the wallet.

Wahm Connect Reviews
wahm connect
Wahm Connect Reviews features a variety of in depth product reviews, giveaways and much more. Author Amber, a work at home mom with 3 little ones, enjoys giving her honest opinion of what she thinks of products. The blog also features art projects and recipes.

We’d like to give a special thanks to all of the 2013 Test Drive Bloggers!

Interested in become a Step2 Test Drive Blogger next year? Head over to the Step2 Facebook page later this year for information on how to apply to the 2014 program.