City Wine Tours Delights (plus, a special treat for my readers!)

I could probably create a whole blog post with pictures of me drinking wine, sangria and other girly concoctions around the world, but I thought I’d start with this one–in Portland, Maine this summer to set the tone. Ahhh…set.

melanie

I’m admittedly not a huge wine connoisseur, more of a wine bandwagon kind of girl! I go into wine shops or restaurants, and quickly search for the cheapest wine on the menu, typically the one that sounds most familiar, and go for it. Rather then explore and give my taste buds a peek at something new, I shy away from the culture around wine it seems so foreign to me…so intimidating. But, it’s really a lot more tangible than it looks, and it’s right in our backyards.

Enter: City Wine Tours! You don’t have to head to Tuscany to get a educated about wine. There are fun, easy and intimate wine tours, right in Beautiful Boston. City Wine Tours reached out to me to go on one of their weekend tours, and I was so excited. Wine, Boston, Tour, Food, Wine…really they had me at wine. 

photo 1

My bestie Emily, sampling some champagne!

I took the South End wine tour because it’s the one neighborhood in Boston I hardly ever get to explore. I know there’s an up-and-coming restaurant scene there too, so I thought it was the perfect choice. City Wine Tours also offer wine tours in the North End, Back Bay and Harvard Square. The neat thing about this company is that they partner with local, delicious restaurants–many of which I’ve heard of but have never gotten the chance to try. During the tour, a small group of 10 or less move around to a few different restaurants to guzzle taste test wine and snack on a sampling of their signature dishes. I brought my bestie Emily along for the sipping (pictured above).

And…there was wine. Lots of it. You test up to six different wines throughout the tour, which equals out to 2-4 glasses of wine. It may at first sound light in the span of a few hours, but it’s not. Let’s just say we felt good!

city-wine-toursWe started at Gaslight du Coin, then moved to Cinquecento, then over to Masa. Along the way, our tour leader gave me some great tips. Here are some useful wine fun facts I picked up:

  • Never order the cheapest or second cheapest wine on a menu. Typically they mark this wine up by 200 to 300%.
  • Go for Spanish wines: Argentina, Chile–they have great prices and aren’t marked up so high.
  • The best place to get wines in Boston: The Wine Botega in the North End.
  • Torrentes is a “Sexy grape” that comes from Argentina, in the Vitner province.
  • “Cheap bubbles are fun” – our wine tour guide, Melanie.
  • Cupcake Red is delicious. (The name just speaks to me!).
  • The more specific you get on a label, the more expensive that bottle will be.
  • For cheaper wines, look for broader labels such as “California Wine.”

All in all, City Wine Tours was a fun and unique weekend activity, plus a great chance to explore a new neighborhood in Boston. It’s a perfect idea for a date, birthday party or girls day out. And really, who doesn’t love wine?

And now for the fun part! 

I Love Love Readers can take advantage of an exclusive offer to receive 15% off any City Wine Tour in Boston, using discount code, “CityWineLove”.

About City Wine Tours:

City Wine Tours hosts weekend wine tasting tours in several Boston neighborhoods, plans corporate and private events, and encourages learned debauchery. Visit us on: www.citywinetours.comFacebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: I was provided with two complimentary tickets from City Wine Tours for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own.

September 30, 2013 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

YWD Success Story: She Got The Job!

When I started Young Women in Digital, my hope was to connect peers and to open the proverbial marketing doors for others to see that “wow, she’s really just like me!” The ultimate goal of course was to empower YWDs to move up in their careers, and to land their dream job through a peer connection. I didn’t know how fast this would happen, but at only our 3rd event, “Cupcakes and Careers,” one YWD took the cake (or cupcake I should say.)

Find out how Meghan scored her dream gig after attending our event.

1) How did you hear about YWD?

I heard about YWD from my friend Kate (www.andtheycookedhappilyeverafter.com) who had attended your event at Sonsie and said that it was a great networking opportunity to connect with other women who are in the digital marketing world. As someone who had recently lost their job in April, I was looking for new ways to meet new people in the industry.

 2) What sparked your interest in attending out last event, Cupcakes & Careers?

Thankfully, I had the availability and Kate was helping out the event, so she encouraged me to attend. Little did I know that a HR rep from Tripadvisor was going to be there.

 3) You’re a YWD success story! So, tell us how the story of how YWD event helped lead you to your new position at TripAdvisor.

I had applied for a position at Tripadvisor right around the beginning of my unemployment. I thought I was a good match and the job seemed right up my alley, so I sent in my resume, cover letter and portfolio and waited. And waited. And heard nothing. On the night of the event, a HR rep from Tripadvisor spoke about how you can get your resume noticed and in front of the right people. After she was finished speaking, she was chatting her way around the room, and with a little encouragement from my friend, I went over and mentioned how I had applied there a month before and didn’t hear anything. She told me to find her on LinkedIn and send her an email with my resume, and she would try to get it to the appropriate recruiter. That following week, I did just that. One day after sending my email to her, I received an email from a recruiter who had reviewed my information and wanted to schedule a phone screen with me. After two phone screens, two in person interviews and one more phone screen, I received an offer for the very same position I had originally applied for. Had I not attended the event and chatted with Jennifer, I most likely never would have heard anything from them.

 4) What are you doing at your new position?

My official title at Tripadvisor is a Brand Marketing Designer. I have my hands in all kinds of work that range from online (banners, landing pages, UX) to traditional marketing materials (magazine ads, tradeshow materials, promotional items). I love that I have so much variety in my day, and I can say that I am sincerely loving my new gig.

5) What do you think made the YWD event the prime place to network and ultimately land a new job?

What was so great about the event was having the right people there. People who know the industry and want to help other women succeed in the growing digital world. I can’t say that if this was a traditional networking event with men and women, I would have still gone. I think by just having a women’s group, makes everyone more approachable and easier to make those connections. It’s great to see women empowering other women! So I’ll end this with just a little thank you. Thank you for having such a great event, that led me to a really fantastic job opportunity.

Want more YWD? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Even sweeter? Sign up for our newsletter!

September 17, 2013 at 5:30 am 1 comment

Young Women In Digital Feature: Jennifer, The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel

Boston’s Young Women In Digital group keeps on growing, and we love to feature women from all types of brands, agencies and backgrounds. Next up? Meet, Jennifer, the Internet Marketing Manager at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Marketing for one of the best global hotels in the city has it’s perks. Not only does Jennifer get to travel internationally, but she also gets to flex her creative muscles coming up with true “surprise and delight” experiences for guests thanks to her social savvy.

Jenn Zajac-large

1) What is your current position? 

Internet Marketing Manager at The Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel.

 2) How did you land your job? 

I think there were two things that made me stand out as a candidate: First, I created a personal website to showcase my best work and demonstrate web savvy. Also, I made an effort to track down my future boss (the hotel’s Regional Director of Public Relations) and casually engage with her on Twitter, while also sharing content relevant to the position.

 3) What’s the most challenging part of your job? What’s the best part? 

I want to create content that engages our fans, not just push out promotions – it’s a challenge to strike the right balance between sales and social. My favorite part of my role is getting to share behind-the-scenes stories from around the hotel: Jim, the bellman, who celebrated his 50th anniversary with our company, the little girl visiting from Canada who falls in love with Catie Copley (our canine ambassador), and so much more.

5) Spill! The most exciting campaign you’ve run during your time there? 

Our hotel recently celebrated its centennial anniversary and #Copley100 was a yearlong, multi-channel campaign that included both online and offline promotions. We encouraged fans to send us their historic memorabilia (think old hotel keys, photos, etc.) and we shared these online throughout the year. It was amazing to hear and be able to share these guests’ stories – our hotel is truly a special part of Boston’s history.

6) Hotel marketing is all about surprising and delighting your guests. How have you “surprised” guests via social media/customer service?

Twitter and Instagram have absolutely changed the way hotel marketers can “surprise and delight.” For instance, on Valentine’s Day this year, I was able to see a tweet from a couple dining at OAK Long Bar + Kitchen (our restaurant) and immediately arrange for a special dessert to be sent to their table.

7) Where do you get your creative inspiration? 

I keep up with my peers and industry influencers on Twitter and read certain sites daily – mainly Tnooz, SocialTimes, and Mashable. My role also exposes me to a lot of fantastic travel blogs, which are an excellent source of inspiration!

8) What do you like to do when you’re not busy being the voice of The Fairmont?! 

Travel, of course! One of the best perks of working for a global hotel company like Fairmont is having the ability to visit some truly spectacular locales.

Chat with Jennifer more! Follow her on Twitter.

July 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm 1 comment

Young Women In Digital Feature: Jess, Digital Marketing at Boundless

We’re getting to know more about YWDs and their unique marketing jobs at each and every event. Now, you can learn about them even more with our one-on-one interviews. Say hello to Jess, our first YWD feature! Get the low-down on her life working at up-and-coming Boston startup, Boundless.

Image

What’s your current position?

Digital Marketing and Communications at Boundless.

Image

How did you land the job?

During my senior year in college, I joined a Facebook student group about startups and saw a posting for a marketing internship with Boundless. I started interning there within days of graduating and was fortunately hired full time couple of months after that!

What’s the absolute best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the variety of tasks I have to tackle. Writing has always been my passion and I love applying that skill in many places, like email marketing, web ads, blog posts, social media, and press emails. Aside from my actual job responsibilities, the amazing culture at Boundless makes work fun!

What’s the biggest challenge?

How does a company that has free textbooks for college students sound legitimate? A lot of students think our product is too good to be true, so our marketing team has to make it believable! We do so by explaining where we get the info for our textbooks and convey that in our marketing materials – in emails, on landing pages, or on flyers. The fun part is finding creative ways to explain this to students.

How do you get involved in the local Boston community–besides being an awesome YWD?!

I love stalking Eventbrite for fun events. I’ve met tons of great Bostonians at groups like YWD, Digital Dumbo, and Boston Content. I also go to Intelligent.ly classes; not only is this a great environment to learn new things, but it’s also a terrific networking opportunity for anyone interested in startups.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give for those looking to get into the start-up/tech world?

Startups are a extremely fast paced. You have to be okay with change and need to be adept at running with new things. Our product has evolved so much in the year I’ve been with Boundless, which is really exciting as a marketer. Every change is a chance to reach more students and hone our messaging.

What’s one thing people would never guess about you?

I once played a poached egg in a play while my sister starred opposite me as a hard boiled egg. I think she had an easier time getting into character.

Chat with Jess! Follow her on Twitter.

June 11, 2013 at 9:29 am 1 comment

I Just…Love Love

Anytime I see a love story, hear about an adorable engagement, or listen to a friend talk about the love they have for someone, it reminds me just how much I love, love. My roommate’s brother recently got married and this video sums up what I believe love is–unconditional acceptance mixed with little moments of happiness each and every day. This blog isn’t called “I love love” for nothing, I know good love when I see it! I promise you’ll enjoy this video as much as I did.

Click this photo to head to the video. Grab a tissue and get ready for the tears to begin.

Wedding Love

June 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm 1 comment

Young Women in Digital: Marketing & Mingling Event April 23

YoungWomenInDigitalLogo_linkedin

I couldn’t be more excited to announce our second Young Women In Digital Event! After the success of our first Speed Meet & Tweet event, I got right to thinking about what to do for the next one. Since I love to add a creative twist to anything I do, our “Marketing & Mingling” event will have just that, in the form of chocolates, gift cards and speakers.

We’ll have three of our very own Young Women In Digital speak about a specific campaign they’ve run, from idea to execution to results. Attendees will first mix and mingle, then listen to these great up-and-comers speak.

Plus, lucky for us, Eventbrite is sponsoring our get together and helping bring some of the extra creative ideas to life. They will be bringing a candy bar–a full assortment of various delicious candy for attendees to enjoy and snack on while they chat digital. They’ll also be sponsoring our “Golden Tickets”–fun gift cards for attendees to win if they tweet or instagram throughout the night using #YWDBoston. We’re bringing a little Willy Wonka to the digital world, and I can’t wait!

Want to join? Sign up here!

YWD_April_Flyer_2-1

April 1, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Paint Nite In Boston Review (Plus Special Discount for my Readers!)

Painting, chatting and drinking? Sounds like my kind of night.

My awesome friend Amy over at craft and fashion blog Creative Soul Spectrum, received an invitation to attend a Paint Nite event, and lucky for me, she brought this gal along!

paintnite-originalphoto

Sounds cool, but what the heck is paint night?

Paint Night happens at different bars all around Boston. Each week, there are over 20 different paint nites–casual painting classes with instructors who teach you how to create a specific painting. You choose which painting you’d like to do before you take the classes so you know what masterpiece you’ll be whipping up.

The Paint Nite we attended featured an adorable painting of a champagne bottle popping with confetti in the air. I’ve opened a few $4 Andre bottles in my hay day, so I felt like this was right up my alley. When we got to the event, we grabbed aprons and paint and picked our station, all set up with an easel, paint brushes and water (just like kindergarten!).

No need to worry if you’re not an artist, this class is for everyone.

The instructor was so helpful and went through each step of the painting with us. She even came over to each person individually to give advice, fix nicks and tell us not to stress, our paintings were going turn out beautiful!

Step 1: Background

Step 2: Outline champagne glass

Step 3: Create the cork, and personalize your bottle

Step 4:  Add confetti!

paintnite-background

champagne-blank

champagne-paintnite2

paintnite-amy

Champagne-paintnite

champagne-pics

As you can see, our champagne bottles came out very different! It was so fun to see how everyone created their own unique pieces. I would highly recommend Paint Nite to anyone looking for something different to do in Boston. Especially for those who want an after-work activity with friends or significant others, this is your go-to! You can relax, drink, listen to music and find your inner artist. I know I found mine.

Now for the best part! As my reader, you get a discount code to any Paint Nite! Treat yourself to 15% off by using code “loveepaints” when you order online. Valid through June.

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary ticket from Paint Night for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own.

March 27, 2013 at 9:02 am 1 comment

Healthy Eating [In Photos]

I’ve begun a journey of eating healthy (er) than usual. I still enjoy the occasional (okay, semi-frequent) sweets, and indulge when I feel I deserve it (after any bad day), BUT, for the most part, I’ve been doing well! From preparing my meals for the week every Sunday, to upping my intake of fruits and veggies, I’m feeling much…lighter.

Some things I’ve learned:

  • Rice & pasta is much healthier in smaller doses. Watch the portion size!
  • Measure out food and use a scale to understand exactly how much you’re consuming.
  • Cook in large batches so you have leftovers that last for days (even if you’re just one person).
  • Trade in spinach for lettuce in your salads–it keeps you much fuller.
  • Invest in plenty of clementines. These are the greatest on-the-go snack.

Now, enjoy my healthy food journey with some tasty meals I’ve whipped up.

Lettuce introduce you to deliciousness, with a touch of soy sauce.

Lettuce introduce you to deliciousness, with a touch of soy sauce.

A little bit of pasta, cucumber, tomato and pesto for a filling, yet light lunch.

A little bit of pasta, cucumber, tomato and pesto for a filling, yet light lunch.

Salmon glazed with sesame teriyaki sauce, brown rice with asparagus, and spinach with a pinch of salt.

Salmon glazed with sesame teriyaki sauce, brown rice with asparagus, and spinach with a pinch of salt.

Pre-cooked shrimp, peppers, broccoli and water chestnuts over brown rice.

Pre-cooked shrimp, peppers, broccoli and water chestnuts over brown rice.

March 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm 4 comments

Turning Idea into Action: Young Women in Digital Event

YoungWomenInDigitalLogo_linkedin

When I moved to Boston a year ago, I knew I had to join groups to meet people in my field. There were so many options for things to do, I found myself overwhelmed. I attended events and met great people, but never felt like it was the perfect fit for me. So, I did what every basic marketer does: I decided there was a void/need in the market, I came up with a solution to fill this, and I implemented it. Enter: Young Women in Digital!

We kicked off our first Young Women in Digital event with a bit of a twist. Rather than a traditional cocktail party where you stand in one place all night, we hosted a Speed Meet & Tweet event for young Boston marketing women working, or interested in working in the online, experiential, social media and digital space. Everyone got to chat for 4 minutes at a time and then switch to the next person. Tons of amazing ladies came out from agencies, brands, non-profits and more to chat marketing and get to know each other. There were prizes given out for tweeting with our hashtag #YWDBoston (we received over 115 tweets–thank you everyone!), and the conversation flowed all night long (as did the drinks). Thanks to everyone who came out for the event–keep an eye out for the next one!

#YWDBoston

Chatting and tweeting and meeting oh my.

Chatting and tweeting and meeting oh my.

Let the speed meeting begin!

Let the speed meeting begin!

Checking everyone in with our handy dandy attendee list.

Checking everyone in with our handy dandy attendee list.

The 60's style suggestion box I created for the event. Your suggestions were far out ladies.

The 60’s style suggestion box I created for the event. Your suggestions were far out.

The 3 founders of YWD!

The 3 founders of YWD!

Mixing and mingling.

Mixing and mingling.

Twitter hashtag cards: #YWDBoston!

Twitter hashtag cards: #YWDBoston!

February 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm 1 comment

The Beautiful Side of Nemo

The winter storm lovingly named “Nemo” has blown through Boston, shutting down transportation and keeping everyone inside. After feeling a bit of cabin fever, I decided to take a walk down Beacon st. with my roommate. Boston is more beautiful than ever. The white powder, the cute little ones so excited for their day of sledding, and the quiet of the city that you rarely get actually make the snowed-in weekend worth it.

Enjoy!

February 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

3 Boston Activities To Keep You Warm This Winter

The winter recently took a turn for the worse in Boston, going from cold breezes to frigid wind chills and temperatures so low all I want to do is sit inside. Luckily, I’ve had the chance to do fun Boston activities that helped force me off the couch during this cold spell. I recommend braving the chill to add these activities to your to-do list.

1) Truffle Making Class: Boston Chocolate School

I attended a truffle making class with Boston Chocolate School and it was mouth watering. The executive pastry chef led the class with fun chocolate facts and demonstrations. Even better? He appeared on an episode of the Food Network’s “Sweet Genius” and won it! I had a blast asking him questions about the show. At the end of the class, we got to roll, dip, drizzle and top our very own truffles. We boxed them up, took them home and had truffles to eat for days!

Truffles

2) Make Meaning: Cake decorating class

If you’ve still got a little kid-like imagination in you, Make Meaning is the place to go. Make Meaning is a creative spot for kids and adults to do various activities like cake decorating, candle making, ceramics, jewelry making and more. I of course tried the cake making, and had a ball. They give you a mini cake with fondant, and let you go off decorating. Craft the cake to your heart’s content with fondant, edible spray paint, cut outs and toppers to add your own flare. A perfect Saturday outing!

Halloween_Cake

3) Groupon, Groupon, Groupon

Everyone knows Groupon, but I think it’s especially handy during the winter time. I’ve gone to 4-5 restaurants in Boston using Groupons and have loved all of them. Boston is a small city, but there are hundreds of restaurants and it’s easy to skip over them. Try out Groupon for restaurants you wouldn’t have thought of, in neighborhoods you don’t know much about–this combo makes exploring so much fun! Tip: I recommend Elephant Walk in Brookline or Waltham!

January 27, 2013 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

My Year in Food: Baking, Eating and Cooking Adventures

2012 was an interesting year full of change. I moved from Colorado back to Boston where I started a new job, moved into a new apartment, met a new guy and tried many new things–including food! I’ve always loved baking, but this year my love for the oven blossomed, my obsession with Instagram grew bigger, and my curiosity for all things sweet, savory and whimsical got the best of me.

Enjoy my year in food!

January 24, 2013 at 9:07 am Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Goodness

I love Fall, and my favorite part about it is of course, Thanksgiving. Enjoy some of these delightful eats and lifestyle treats that bring the flavor of the season and inspire me oh so much.

Pecan anything makes my heart melt.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake. A modern twist on a classic favorite.

Always the most colorful dish on the Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkin Pie + Cupcakes. Need I say more?

November 18, 2012 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

I’m Going To Be A…Bridesmaid!

The day has come. My first best friend is getting married! (the blonde on the right making the goofy face!)

We all grew up talking and dreaming about our weddings, who would get married first (out of about 7 of us), what we would wear, and most importantly, who the handsome prince would be! That  time is here, and I’m a mix of overwhelmed, happy and nostalgic. The days of questioning “who would be your bridesmaids, what colors will you have and what sort of dress do you picture yourself in?” are starting to feel less like a fantastical thought for the future, and more of a real possibility.

Although I’m only 24 and not ready to get married myself, I’m slowly starting to accept that in the next few years, myself and my friends will find our dream guys (hopefully), and tie the knot in our own styles. What will mine be? I’m okay answering that question now:

  • Full of whimsy and twinkle lights (to honor my love for love)
  • A bit of country (to honor my days living in Colorado)
  • Touches of vintage (to honor decor I love)
  • Chic (because who doesn’t love chic?)

September 4, 2012 at 9:42 am Leave a comment

Pinterest For Business: 3 Creative Campaigns From Brands On Pinterest

While many brands are hopping onto Pinterest, there are a few special ones that stand out above the rest with creative, unique campaigns. Here are a few of my favorites:

1) Modcloth’s “Something ModCloth, Something You” Pinterest Contest

ModCloth’s whimsical wedding contest lent itself perfectly to the Pinterest crowd–brides to be and those who love, love (ahem, note the name of my blog). They created a contest around wedding accessories and planning, a hugely popular category on Pinterest that people are already pinning about day in and day out. Now, they have the chance to win something while they’re at it!

Gather your bouquet of wedding inspiration, because we’re looking for a cohesive board that will inspire our spring 2012 wedding campaign. To enter, create a board, title it “Spring ModCloth Wedding,” then add a description of your aesthetic to your board. Make sure your board contains each of the 20 pins listed above, in no particular order. In each pin’s caption, include the number, and name that the pin corresponds to for the contest, along with the hashtags #modcloth and #wedding.

A themed Pinterest campaign, especially one that taps into the innate interests of those on Pinterest (lifestyle, design, weddings, home, furniture, recipes), is a winner. Asking people to pin fun photos that are relateable and pairing that with a great prize, makes for a successful contest.

Here’s another little ModCloth creative nugget that’s second runner up:

2. Honda Pintermission Campaign

Honda turned Pinterest on its head with its “Pintermission” campaign, a campaign that sought out some of Pinterest’s most influential pinners, offering them $500 to take a Pintermission–a 24-hour break from Pinterest to go out and experience the things they pin about. Since the new Honda was all about “getting out and living,” the campaign aligned perfectly. Honda sent out creative, personal Pinterest invitations to these influencers, challenging them to take their own Pintermission. The concept was unprecedented in the Pinterest world, and encouraged pinners to stop pinning so they could get out to do the things they pin about. They then asked these influencers to pin about their Pintermission adventures, thus getting them to pin again. Well played, Honda.

This received a ton of buzz for being different. There’s always the “pin it to win it” campaign, but this took the core of what Pinterest is about–aspiration–and made it come to life.

3. JustFab Stylish Scavenger Hunt

Rather than asking fans to create boards on Pinterest, JustFab mixed it up. The brand asked fans to visit the JustFab Pinterest page to unscramble scrabble blocks of hidden words. Then, the fans would email JustFab with their answers for the chance to win new shoes. These brand challenges allow for a more sustainable approach to acquiring Pinterest fans. Rather than one big push from a contest, they acquire fans through these mini challenges. The brand also integrates Pinterest on their Facebook page to promote these challenges and consumers’ pins.

In order to continually gain followers, brands must create buzz and excitement throughout the year. Focusing on a theme or challenge for pinners is a great way to do this. Change out the creative each month to keep people interested and avoids the one-off contest entrants to find out who your real influencers are.

August 27, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Sparkly Secret In Boston: Jewelers Exchange

Sparkle, dazzle, shimmer and shine. Words that make every girl giddy.

Last week, I had the amazing chance to feel just that when I attended a Boston Brunchers event at the Jewelers Exchange in Boston’s Diamond District. It was my first event with these fabulous bloggers. Wine, yummy appetizers, and chit chat filled the night. It was great to finally meet a few Boston Bloggers since I’m still new to the beantown blogging world after moving back from Colorado.

I honestly had no idea this building was here–but it’s my newest diamond in the rough!

Here are some of the lovely bloggers, on their phones of course tweeting away. :) That’s when you know you’ve got a bunch of bloggers in one place!

The Jewelers Building may look small from the outside, but  nestled indoors are 125 retailers ready to make your diamond dreams come true.

Built in 1922, the Jewelers Building is THE place to go for your jewelery in Boston. Each retailer is all about service, and caters to your individual needs to make your experience personalized–even going out of their way to provide door to door service if you can’t make it to their stores.

What I love about it, is that many stores are generational, with jewelry knowledge passed down through families. The amount of stores can be overwhelming, so the folks there suggest asking around to friends and family to see if they’ve had a good experience with a particular retailer. That way, you don’t walk into the building and get overwhelmed by all the dazzling options.

They emphasized the importance of jewelry buying as a sensory experience that should happen in person, not online. I completely agree! I want to see a piece on my hand or around my neck, throw my hair up, ruffle my dress, and find which look is me.

Here are a few highlights from the night:

Dear Future Husband (whoever you may be), my finger really likes this:

But, if my husband doesn’t come around, I’ll follow one retailer’s advice who told us that ‘If you have it, wear it. Buy your own ring, don’t wait for someone to give it to you.” Agreed! I think I’ll take this one.

Harry, a veteran jeweler who’s worked at his shop, Boston Platinum, for over 30 years, is one of the retailers who creates their jewelry in-house. He showed us his shop, where he sets the stones, colors them, and makes them perfectly pretty all in one room.

Where the magic happens.

If you’re in need of any kind of jewelry, the Jewelers Building is the perfect place to get your bling, smile, dazzle and every other sparkly adjective you can think of, on.

I attended  this event free of charge, but, as always, the opinions expressed in this post are 100 percent my own. 

July 29, 2012 at 10:51 am 2 comments

First Apartment Obsession: Vintage Vanitys

I’ve got my new apartment. Now, all I need to do is figure out the decor/theme for my new room. Tough life, ey?

I’m thinking shabby chic with a vintage cool vibe. Very me.

First, I need to focus on one aspect of my room. My latest obsession? Vanitys. I want somewhere to do my makeup and to get ready for the day like the old hollywood glamor girls. I’m fascinated by the antique look of vanities, while also captured by the modern spin of others. Decisions, decisions.

Here’s what’s on my vanity wishlist:

My dream place to put on a pretty face.

 

Love the pop of color in the chair and all the drawer space.

 

True vintage.

 

Simple and modern. But affordable!


 

 

 

 

 

I like the classic look. I’d want to paint this a mint green to bring out the “antiquey” feel I crave.

 

 

I like that this feels like a blank canvas. There are a lot of embellishments I can add to make this shine.

July 18, 2012 at 9:46 am 1 comment

My New…Apartment!

This summer just got a bit sweeter.

After moving back to Boston 7 months ago from Colorado, I’m finally getting out on my own. I’ve found a beautiful apartment in the city and I’ll be living with one of my childhood besties. (*giddyness*). Things are really starting to come together.

The process wasn’t easy in the slightest. We searched around the city like two fish out of water, unaware of the woes of Boston apartment hunting, trying to find a place that matched our location specifications and size requirements. Plus, it had to encompass the overall look and feel of what we’ve imagined our apartment to be like since we were 13 year old girls at sleepaway camp. Not an easy feat!

But, we did it.

I love my new place for the following reasons:

  • It’s huge.
  • It has hardwood floors.
  • It has a dishwasher and laundry. Two impossible things to find in a city apartment. Score.
  • It’s located steps away from the T. (For non-Bostonians, this is our public transportation train system)
  • It has bay windows.
  • There’s a great Chinese restaurant around the corner. (My favorite food ever)
  • There’s a grocery store right near me.
  • It’s pretty.
  • My room has two closets. Need I say more?

Apartment_Mel

I’ll be talking all about finding decoration inspiration and putting together the final look for my first Boston apartment as I dig through the trenches of Crate & Barrel, Pinterest and Vintage stores around the area. Stick with me while I find out what creative things I can do in my new pad.

July 16, 2012 at 9:56 am 12 comments

I Want To Be A Baking Queen. And I Will.

If I had more time, energy, okay motivation, I would be a full-on, fierce foodie. I’m talking being a baking, stirring, pouring, mixing and measuring machine each and every day.

I’d whip up the most whimsical, fantasty-like recipes that Pinterest princesses would fawn over, and repin again and again until they couldn’t repin anymore.

My fancy, vintage camera would hang around my neck as I snap photos of chocolate dripping, cookies rising and sprinkles seeping into decadent desserts that fill my kitchen with perfume goodness.

Fans will write about how inspired they are, and how my story led them to stare their spatula in the face and say “I will create magic with you.”

Drawers will no longer hold crackers and chips, rather mixing bowls, decorating tools, flour and sprinkles galore.

One day, I’ll be all this.

Until then, I’ll happily be eating my way to my baking palace. One chocolate chip at a time.

June 14, 2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

It’s Okay Thursday

I haven’t participated in the “It’s Okay Thursday” link ups with Brunch With Amber  and A Complete Waste of Makeup in a few months–so I’m excited to get back into it! Here she blows.

Its Ok Thursdays

It’s okay…

To seriously think about starting a campaign for 3-day weekends.

To contemplate what’s for dinner at lunch time.

To stalk Kim Kardashian’s instagram account more than once a week. (I can’t help it!)

To hate when the Red Sox have home games because it makes my commute home from work so much longer.

To think about frozen yogurt with reeses peanut butter bits sprinkled on top way too much.

To stay up later just so the morning won’t come sooner–even if it makes no sense.

To immediately put on my sweat pants when I get home so I can begin the lounge process!

To be a bandwagon Celtics fan just because they’re in the playoffs. :)

To decide it’s okay to never get sick of the song “We are young” by Fun. It’s a radio turner upper.

To watch Justin Beiber’s Viddy videos and wish he could sing “boyfriend” directly to me. Yes, I have a crush on an 18 year old.

June 7, 2012 at 9:00 am 5 comments

How To Create Frames On Instagram: Frametastic

Frametastic allows you to take your photos and put them into fun frames and backgrounds. I love taking photos and putting a little twist on them, especially when it’s super easy. You can find frametastic in your iphone app store, along with similar apps you can download for free.

Once you create your framed photo, you can add a filter, border or background to it. You can also share in many ways, but I prefer to do it via instagram. It’s my first choice since you can add another filter to the photo as a final step–the cherry on top of the photo cake.

I’ve played around a bit, and here are some of my fun creations.

1) My “Peek-a-boo” of Boston. A photo reveal of sorts.

2) The stages of drinking–as sipped by my friend and myself. :)

3) Which froyo would you want to take a bite of?

4) Taking a typical photo of your friends and adding some pizazz to it.

5) Boston’s charming North End–with a neon bright filter finish.

May 30, 2012 at 9:24 am 1 comment

Memorial Day Facebook Posts: Brands Doing it Right

I always find it interesting to see the unique ways that brands will recognize national holidays. When it comes to sensitive holidays, like Memorial Day, it’s even more fascinating to take a look at how brands balance the seriousness of the day with the excitement of the long weekend, while incorporating their online personality.

Take a look at some of the posts I enjoyed this Memorial Day weekend–a big pat on these brands backs for doing it right.

Check out this mix posts from throughout the long weekend to get you inspired.


May 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Geeking Out: Facebook Interest Lists

As a true social geek, I’ve created a “Brands to watch” Interest list on Facebook that I frequent once or twice a week (slash day).

This “Brands to watch” interest list is a list that I’ve put together with my absolute favorite brands, who I believe breathe new life into Facebook content creation. This way, I can follow their every move.

Creating a list is as easy as pie. Simply go to the brand’s page that you’d like to add to your list, and head to the drop down arrow just below the Facebook cover photo. Then click “Add to Interests list”–and choose the list you’d like to add the brand to. So, if you’re a community manager for a fashion company, create a “fashion brands to watch” list or a “brands we aspire to be like” list to keep an eye on the landscape in one quick, sweeping view.

Once created, you can easily click to view this list on your lefthand sidebar under “interests” and see all the brand posts in one individual news feed. This way, you don’t need to sift through all of your friends’ posts–you cut straight to the chase!

I follow particular brands on Facebook to see what their content strategy looks like, to view the competitive landscape for clients and to get a little creative inspiration!

Brands like Skittles and Snickers make me smile and laugh, while brands like Chobani and Diet Coke, who integrate beautiful imagery through instagram into their posts, inspire me to think beyond the norm. Whenever I click over to this list, I always say to myself “why didn’t I think of that!?”

Here are some tasty copywriting treats to savor–with creamy filling that exudes personality, wit, charm and creativity. Bon Appetite!

May 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment

My Five Months of Changes: Back From My Blogging Break

I took a break from blogging to focus on some big changes happening in my life as a 20-something. It’s crazy how much of your life changes when you’re discovering who you want to be, who you want to with, where you want to be, and what you want to do. As a true social media marketing, I’ll lay out everything in a Timeline format.

1. January, 2012: Moved from Colorado——>Boston. Started a new job.

I went to school in Colorado and stayed for a year and a half after I graduated. Then I decided it was time to go back home where I’m from to be closer to my family and friends and continue my career in Boston. Big. Decision. Not to mention I left a long time boyfriend and great job behind in Boulder. Double whammy, folks.

2. January-March, 2012: Settled into Boston.

Started calling Boston my home and made my stamp here for the next few months–celebrating friends’ birthdays, my homecoming, holidays and more!

3. April 15: Turned 24 years old!

Making my way up to mid-20’s…how scary.

4. May: Quit my job——>Starting a new one in just a few days!

I wasn’t happy at my job since the work wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to dive into more social media, cutting edge marketing world where I can put my creative hat on each and every day. A great opportunity arose in the digital marketing field, and I decided to take it. What’s one more plunge in my crazy few months?

(the below image captures my new job celebration/shopping spree/social media one track mind displayed at Aldo shoes, naturally.)

May 10, 2012 at 11:16 am 4 comments

Yum For Your Party: Easy, Colorful Holiday Snack

I love easy, whimsical party eats. A bit of playfulness, color & a lot of taste makes for the perfect holiday party palate pleaser.

One of my faves?

A Chex Mix Party Bowl. 15 minutes in the kitchen means an entire night of happy eaters.

Enjoy.

Chex Mix Peanut buter & Chocolate Blast: An easy-to-make muchy that you’ll catch your hands in way too often. Isn’t that what the holidays are for?

 

Ingredients:

6 cups of Chex Mix

1 cup of white vanilla baking chips

1 cup peanut butter chips

1 cup red and green M&Ms

Directions:

1) Put 3 cups of chex mix into a bowl.

2) Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave for about 60 seconds.

3) Stir until smooth and pour over the bowl of chex mix. Mix to evenly coat each chex.

4) Spread chex mix over a sheet pan evenly and pop in the fridge for 5 minutes until chocolate sets.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 with peanut butter chocolate chips and another 3 cups of chex mix.

6) Break apart the cooled chex mix and add into a bowl.

7) Add 1 cup of colorful m&m’s and serve!

 

 

 

December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Having a Voice: It’s Important


No…really. It’s super important.

It’s very easy to take things in life for granted. For example, your voice. It’s something you just have. You never question it or think about it. You use it to get what you want, to lie, to express yourself, to say your opinion, to be mean, to be. Period.

Today, I woke up and had no voice. Actually, I had laryngitis to be exact.

Point is, when you got it, flaunt it. Because when you don’t, you just wish you you could say “Ahhh” when the doctor asks you to. (Insert deeper meaning here.)

November 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm 3 comments

Halloween Costumes: The Best Marketing Tool. Ever.

To quote my boss, “Advertising 101 means that a consumer must see your product message multiple times before they act.” This includes print, TV, online ads, social media and…Halloween costumes.

On Halloween, marketing messages are literally being worn by consumers. Costumes, without thinking about it when you put it on, gives others around you the extra special interaction with products they need to keep it top of mind. Just like an ad.

It’s like taking candy from a baby.

Case in point:

Guess who I saw las night?

Pauly D from “The Jersey Shore.”

 

This is an indirect marketing message from MTV. I saw the product, interacted with it (my friend danced with Pauly D for kicks) and it reminded me how crazy the show, and its characters really are. That’s what MTV does amazingly–they create characters that resonate.

Another character I saw out last night? My partner in crime (bf) as Harry Potter.

 

Everyone who saw him was going crazy. People pointed from all directions, saying “Omg it’s Harry Potter!” It was just another marketing message that helps to keep the Potter Series top of mind for 20-somethings who still love it just as much as they did when they were 8.

You don’t think about it when you’re dressing up as a brand icon, celebrity, favorite candy or whatever else–but, you’re the newest marketing vehicle.

October 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Hostess, You Are The Good Stuff

I was recently targeted with a Facebook ad from Hostess. I think they found out that I used to horde their amazing coffee cakes.

I’m pretty in love with their “Like” us campaign. Simple, to the point and so, so right. It’s all about the cream filling.

October 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm 1 comment

Facebook Timeline Profile Photo: Be Creative

I couldn’t wait for the “official” launch of the Facebook Timeline photo, so I followed steps on Mashable for how to implement the new Timeline now. My imagination was just too curious.

After playing around with some fun ideas for my photo, I came up with this thought bubble cover:

What do you think? What ideas do you have for your new cover? I’d love to hear what’s swirling around in your head!

October 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

PR Firm Calls Blogger a “Bitch.” Don’t Mess With ‘The Bloggess’

Don’t send this bloggess a bad pitch. You’ll be sorry.

I follow the PR agency horror stories about pissing off a blogger and cringe at the thought of that being me. It keeps me grounded and scares the you know what out of me. It secretly (not so much anymore), helps reinforce that I’m on the right track in my approach.  You know, the track that understands how powerful bloggers are, how much respect they deserve and how much they can influence others’ negative opinions if you drop the ball? Yah..that track.

One blogger to respect? The Blogess. This tell-it-like-it-is, take no prisoners blog rock star is just one blogger you don’t want to mess with. Oh, and she has like a bagillion followers. Of course, one agency just didn’t quite get it…actually the VP of the agency. Ouch.

Here’s the train wreck of the bad PR pitch that turned into an even worst PR mistake from Brandlink Communications, a branding agency in LA:

1. The Blogess gets a pitch about a Kardashian sister being spotted in Panty Hose. BIG news, right?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Actual line from the pitch to The Bloggess:

“The Kardashian’s once again show they are right on trend, and this is on Mommy’s are all going to want to follow.”

See any grammer mistakes here?

Well, The Bloggess, being her unique self, naturally sends PR people with bad pitches the same thing: A photo of  Wil Wheaton collating paper.  (Best known for his role in Star Trek). Just plain cool.

Here’s her blog post explaining to him why she wanted his photo:

You probably don’t read my blog so I should explain that the reason I need a picture of you is because I constantly get emails from PR people offering me pictures of celebrities using whatever bullshit product I don’t actually care about and I’d like it to stop. I still get these emails daily and my plan is to get a picture of you collating paper so that when they offer me a picture of “Harry Connick Jr. standing next to yarn” I can say “Thanks.  Here’s a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper” and then they’ll be like “Um…why would I want a picture of Wil Wheaton collating paper?” and I can be like, “EXACTLY.”  It wouldn’t actually stop PR people from emailing me thousands of pictures of people-with-things but I’d at least feel better about it.

I’d laugh hysterically if she sent me this. I’d send her back an email and say “You got me. Thanks for making me laugh. I totally understand. Thanks!” And then attach this:

3. The person pitching her didn’t really like receiveing the photo. AKA she didn’t quite get the reference.

Here’s what the original PR pitch woman said in return:

Hi there,
That wasn’t very nice. We send certain pitches out to people so they have the chance of getting more hits on their page. We’ll make note of this email in moving forward and remember if we have any advertising opportunities with any of our clients not to go through you.
Best of luck to you.
Best,
Erica

4. Good old Erica forwarded The Bloggess’ original photo email/no thanks onto the VP, Jose. He accidently hit “Reply all” (worst nightmare) with this gem:

Jose:  ”What a fucking bitch!”

5. Uh-oh.

6. The Bloggess tweeted about it and wrote a post about it. Storm for Jose and Brandlink= The Bloggess’ 168,570 Twitter followers and thousands upon thousands of blog followers.

7. The Bloggess wrote back to Jose and said:

Hi. This is sort of why “reply all” doesn’t usually work well for
companies. Unless, of course, you decided that “What a fucking bitch” was
a great response from a public relations company. Personally, I preferred
the “Best of luck to you” one, which was much more honest and cutting,
while still being professional.

If you’ve read my blog you would know that a great deal of my blog deals
with the importance of public relations companies doing research before
sending form letters to bloggers. Specifically, I’m very vocal about
ridiculous pitches involving celebrities using products. So much so that
I made that actual Wil Wheaton collating paper page to combat this very
sort of thing in a quick and painless way. My blog has nothing to do with
fashion, the Kardashians or pantyhose…none of which I understand, to be
honest. Plus, you’ve sent me this form letter TWICE today. I only point
this out so you can delete this *ahem* “fucking bitch” from all of the
mailing lists you have me on, rather than just one.

Also, I apologize if you were offended by my email. Honestly, I’ve been
sending that thing out to PR people for the last year and this is the
first time I didn’t have someone respond with either a laugh, or with a
simple “No problem. We’ll remove you from the list.” In fact, many PR
companies have turned this entire thing around and sent really hysterical
exchanges to me, which I’ve used to promote their great work in
understanding (and working with) the unique personalities of the very
bloggers they’re trying to reach out to. Just a thought.

Hugs,
Jenny (aka “fucking bitch”)

8. Normally, someone would appoligize profusley. Not the case for Jose.

9. Jose’s response:

Jose: I get it and I was out of line by saying that however you put way too much effort into your approach. A simple “I don’t cover this, no thanks” or “please remove” would suffice. To go out of your way to be snarky and rude is a little inappropriate. Again, I should’ve been less harsh- but I also feel like you email was rude and unprofessional as well. We will do a better job to research who we are pitching but maybe you should be flattered that you are even viewed releavant enough to be pitched at all instead of alienated PR firms and PR people- who are actually the livelihood of any journalists business.Don’t be offended, you started the cursing game so maybe we should all just laugh it off and plan not to work together in the future.

10. Laugh it off? More like wind blowing, houses turning over–hurricane Bloggess.

11. As a true PR professional, I have to measure the outcome.

*Over 900 comments on her The Bloggess’ post.

*Thousands of tweets to her and Brandlink.

*#Brandlink was a trending topic on Twitter nationwide.

*Hundreds of blog posts from other bloggers about the Brandlink controversy (this one included!)

*News media is beginning to pick up the strory, including Business Insider, Gawker and The Houston Chronicle Blog.

*Hundreds of comments on Brandlink’s Facebook wall.

I feel bad for the CEO of the agency, who seems to be taking much of the flack for it. Read her Facebook appology and the throwing of stones that’s happening here.

Will Brandlink ever be able to do blog outreach again?  My guess is not for a while. They need to let the dust settle. Virtually every blogger who’s any blogger knows their name. And it’s not in a good way.

I really do wish the best for the future of Brandlink, and hopefully, this resonates with PR firms everywhere as a lesson.

Moral of the story, don’t mess with The Bloggess.

October 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm 6 comments

Hanes Pink Campaign: I’m Tickled Pink

A brand that wavers from end to end on my “cool factor” scale, today has tipped its way to the good end. Hanes is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness month with a campaign on Facebook that’s fresh and imaginative.

While every brand jumps on the charity train, Hanes’ new Virtual Comfort Package campaign for breast cancer awareness month is thoughtful and unique. The idea behind supporting breast cancer is in no way new, but the way in which Hanes is utilizing Facebook’s interactivity and core value of connecting with friends, is impressive.

Every time a fan sends a virtual comfort package to a friend, Hanes donates $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The catch? The virtual package isn’t just a box of underwear. You personalize and customize each gift you send–it’s not just about Hanes. Crazy thought, isn’t it? Brands that don’t always have to talk about themselves are winners in my mind.

Here’s how it goes:

 

They’ve integrated it with their profile photo strip at the top of their page–which every brand should do with a campaign. Well done.

 

Next, you can send up to 6 items. A photo, a video, music, a personal note, a recipe (fall related) or a T-shirt (the one buzz kill in here.)

 

The photo integrates with your Facebook profile photos/albums. The music icon lets you choose from a range of songs that play right from the gift. Since this is a comfort gift, I thought “Keep your head up” by Andy Grammer was my obvious choice.

 

You can add a personalized note. Sweet words encouraged by me.

 

Done? Send away. Simply type in your friends name.

 

All set!

 

Facebook’s new “real time ticker” shows what I’m doing to all my friends.

You can also post about this on your Facebook wall. But, it doesn’t automatically do so, which is refreshing.

Hooray for Hanes. Now please, make some cute undies that don’t have fruit on them and I’ll be a forever fan. ;)

October 3, 2011 at 8:55 am Leave a comment

Facebook Gestures: Facebook’s Changes Mean More Verb Fun For Marketers

 

 

During the F8 conference, Facebook introduced a ton of mind boggling changes. Some have already been implemented and some are coming soon, keeping us Facebook marketers and developers on our tippy toes. One change that’s especially sparking my imagination is the new Facebook Gestures.

I think Facebook may have read my request for the “love” button in my Snickers Love Button post…

Facebook Gestures means that now you can do a lot more than just “Like” content you find on the web. This came out of Facebook feeling that the “like” button is more of an endorsement for content, rather than a sharing tool. Facebook wants users to share what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with content, hence Facebook Gestures. Instead of “liking” an article on Mashable that you may not 100% agree with, you can say that you “read” an article–no implied endorsement there.

Facebook’s allowing their wonderful partners to create specific gestures for their apps. The creative possibilities are endless. Here are some that I’ve had swirling around my brain. Keep in mind, the thumbs up graphic could be playful too!

 

October 2, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Fall Blog Challenge: Fall Recipes

Fabulous Fall Blog ChallengeI’m teaming up with Amber and Neely for the Fall Blog Challenge. Today is all about Fall recipes/dishes. I’m a fall foodie kind of gal, so this is just right for me.

Once upon a year….

There comes a season called Fall. It arrives just after our beloved summer and ends right before life’s painted white. It’s colorful and easy-going, yet doesn’t take it self too seriously. However, it knows and loves that its beauty is so appreciated. It tells us to unpack our light coats and wrap our scarves around our rose colored cheeks. Its sounds go crunch. wshhh. crunch as we walk across its leaves. it makes us smile. Next, it brings us home in the blueish gray air to sweet smells, hot ovens, buttery pans and goodness.

Goodness is here and the leaves are a-changing along with my taste buds.

I start with an easy favorite for a football party that’s also a fan favorite. Bacon wrapped in dates. Salty and sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sweetness reminds me of all the treats the season brings. But first, I think of the toppings. Whipped cream feels comforting and cool just like fall. A little whip makes everything better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better with a hot date, whipped cream is hot chocolate’s best accessory. It’s frothy and fluffy, and all around perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect when it’s wrapped inside a warm, airy croissant. Chocolate croissants send me to Paris and bring me happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness is candy’s twin. Halloween is just around the corner and if you don’t get Reeses in your pillow case, there are plenty of doors to knock on to find this peanut butter favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A favorite Fall decor and treat is yummy and sometimes too-sweet-for-your-own-good candy corns. Just watch how many you pop in your mouth, a sweet brain freeze is likely to rise to your head after a handful or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rising slowly yet beautifully in the oven, Pumpkin Bread is a must. This warm delight loves a lot of butter. So spread, lather and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, it’s time to enjoy pumpkin’s friend, pecan. If you have room, I suggest a delicious Pecan Pie. The gooey inside and crunchy outside makes this a holiday treat to  look forward to. It’s true love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of love…Thanksgiving dinner. Green bean casserol is that one dish you just know is going to be passed around the table more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not one but two servings of this gorgeous stuffing with golden brown gravy for the night is a must.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so many more fall delights I have swirling around my head. Thankfully, there’s plenty of time to try this season’s best. I think I’ll take day by day, treat by treat.

September 27, 2011 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge: Fall Trends

Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge

I’m teaming up with Neely and Amber for their Fabulous Fall Blog Challenge! This week: Fall clothes/trends/makeup.

When I think of Fall, I think of when I traveled to Paris with my 4 best friends. We were in college visiting 2 friends that we’re studying abroad in the city of love. We got to stay at my friend’s grandmother’s apartment in Paris and it was an adventure. I felt free, fresh, happy and uninhibited.

It was cool, crisp, and well…Paris.

Here’s what I wore:

 

The Beret hat is so Paris. But it’s also so fall.

 

In this photo: Forever 21 military coat, chestnut Uggs, bow headband, skinny jeans.

My idea of a fall night-out outfit: Greens, whites, blacks, champagnes, and actual..champagne.

 

I love my friend Emily’s pop of color with her pink necklace (on the far right). Chic!

The makeup I wore in Paris and that I wear each and everyday is the amazing NARS bronzer–Laguna shade. This will keep you glowing amongst the bright colors of fall and give you a nice boost like the summer sun.


For your feet: Moccasins. These ones from Target (tar-jehhh) are what I lived in last fall.

September 20, 2011 at 9:09 am 4 comments

It’s Okay Thursdays Link Up

Its Ok Thursdays

It’s okay…

To watch “Dance Moms” and really enjoy it.

To love shimmery anything.

To finally buy ice cream bars so I can just stop thinking about it.

To look forward to driving to work in the morning so I can rock out to my new music.

To miss my home friends more than usual.

To buy new fall accessories that make my heart flutter.

To wash my face anytime during the day because I love the amazing bursting beads of my face wash.

To look forward to my next Starbucks Chai.

To dread having to unpack my fall clothes while at the same time be excited about what treasures I’ll find in there.

To get really excited for crunchy leaves so I can purposely walk on them.

To proudly rock a painted flower on my toe like the olden’ days.

To be excited to go pumpkin picking.

To not care that much about my Halloween costume this year.

To eat Chinese food more than once a week because I crave it.

To look forward to work presentations about social media because I’m a nerd.

To stare at the candy rack next to the cash register at the grocery store and contemplate getting a snickers. Every time.

September 15, 2011 at 9:00 am 3 comments

Starbucks Pumpkin Latte Facebook App: Cures Boredom

Starbucks created a great new Facebook app to promote their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yum.

Think your lovely face, inside of a pumpkin. You can adjust the photo you use, change brightness levels and more. It’s pretty fun.

Although it seems a bit early for warm drinks since I’m still in the summer mode (aka denial) Starbucks is doing a nice job at celebrating fall in a fresh new way. It’s getting me excited for the crisp weather and warm Starbucks in my hand while I purposely walk on crunchy leaves.

I admit, I’m entertained.

If you hit, “Make this your profile pic” it shows up on your wall in a new album titled “Starbucks Pumpkin Pics.” Nice job, Starbucks. I’m probably going to get a Pumpkin Spice latte as soon as I can, or maybe a Chai tea. I’m in the Starbucks-sit-and-watch-the-leaves-fall kind of mood. :)

September 7, 2011 at 11:15 am 2 comments

Labor Day Love

I hope your long weekend is filled with this…

 

And this…

 

And this…

 

And this…

 

Oh and this too…

Have a happy, happy Labor Day.

September 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm 1 comment

The Best Social Media Customer Service Story. Ever.

I recently came across this story while searching for fun social media customer service examples to put into a presentation for my company. I almost fell over in my chair at the genius of what I found. Presenting: Morton’s Steakhouse.

Enjoy:

 

 

Last week, when Peter Shankman (founder of Harpo) jokingly tweeted that he would love to have a Morton’s Steakhouse porterhouse waiting for him when he landed at the Newark airport, he had no idea what was about to happen. He tweeted to the official @morton’s Twitter account and made his way onto the plane. Little did he know, the social media department at Morton’s was actively monitoring tweets at the time and spotted his straight on.

 

 

Morton’s could’ve let this tweet go and responded with a simple, fun comment back. But, they went way farther, and I mean waayyyyy farther. They scrambled to get corporate approval to bring Mr. Shankman what he wanted. They ordered a porterhouse steak at a Morton’s restaurant about 25 miles away from the Newark airport.

The social media team tracked down Shankman’s flight, figured out the gate where the plane was landing and got a tuxedo-dressed server to wait at the baggage claim for Shankman. Now that’s first class service.

Here’s what happened:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hundreds of tweets followed. Here are just a few:

Shankman was shocked to find the server waiting for him (wouldn’t you be?!) and gave Morton’s the ultimate form of flattery by Tweeting all about them and writing on his personal blog. This guy is no peanut, he’s an influencer, a serious influencer.

Shankman’s happiness caught on like wildfire, landing a story on Yahoo news, Digitaltrends.com, Huffington Post, Gothamist, Jaunted and hundreds of other blogs. With his over 100,000 Twitter followers, a blog post, and thousands of social media/marketing people wishing they had thought of this themselves, Morton’s must celebrating big. With a porterhouse steak…

August 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm 4 comments

A Brilliant Facebook “Like” Us Tab

I love MooseJaw Mountaineering’s Facebook tab. It’s a little rebellious, a little playful and all around different. Well played.

August 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm 2 comments

Why Didn’t I Think Of That? (well, this time I actually did…)

I’ve always thought Facebook should have a “love” button. Sometimes I want to send some love to a friend’s post or a brand’s unbelievably smart status update (Think Target, they have the best), and knew that a “love” button would do the trick. But of course, my limited coding skills and status at the Facebook headquarters (meaning no status at all…) didn’t allow that to happen. BUT, snickers wasn’t waiting around for someone else to do it like me, they’ve done it. Tah-dah! A love button that’s branded to snickers.

Now, just because snickers is my favorite candy and I happen to crave it often (meaning daily or hourly), doesn’t mean this post is bias or anything…

Check out their Facebook promotion to introduce new peanut butter squares:

Once you click “Try The Love Button” a new screen appears with a few of the pages /brands you “like” on Facebook. Here’s what it gave me. Disclosure: Some of these are my awesome clients.

Here, you can choose which brand page you’d like to switch from “like” to “love.” Naturally, I chose diet coke. (So good and their “be extraordinary campaign” is genious.) You can see it’s highlighted yellow. Then I hit “Submit and Share.”

Of course, Snickers wants you to post this to your wall (like any brand’s applications) to celebrate their new peanut butter squares. I tried these and they are just not as good as the real McCoy. Sorry Snicks.

I didn’t end up sharing this on my profile, but if I did, it would have looked like this:

The idea is fully there. Snickers is responding to everyone’s desire to have a love button, which I l-o-v-e. But, what I was hoping Snickers would do is take this a step further. For me, it’s a little bit promotion-driven and could have been more playful in terms of copy in order to introduce their squares. Maybe sending a friend a new peanut butter square to say I love you, sort of thing. Connecting it to personal relationships is always a nice touch.

What I’d really love though, is for this app to install a “love” button next to the “like” button on all status updates. Now that would’ve been brilliant. Facebook, I hope you’re reading this.

Who would you LOVE on Facebook?

August 18, 2011 at 9:00 am 3 comments

Blog Swap 2011: Meet Berrak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my first 20SB blog swap and I’m so excited I got paired with Berrak. You can check out my post on her blog about the recipe for social media job success over yonder.

I’m really happy that I got paired up with Melanie for the 9th 20SB Blog Swap! For those that don’t know me, I’m Berrak (@DC_PQ) from Washington,D.C. and I’m a Social Media addict.

My addiction to Twitter and networking paid off last year after I lost my job and decided that I would not go back to the daily hell of having a job I despised. We’ve all been there and some of you may still be there. In this economy, it’s scary to risk losing the job you already have, no matter how crappy it may feel. Once the shock of losing my job wore off, I realized that my bosses did me a favor – they forced me to take the step I’d been so afraid to take.

Then panic set in.

I was lucky enough to get a severance and qualified for unemployment. It was still scary and hard not to just take the first job available to me. Oh no. I decided to completely change my career path, at 25 no less. I knew that I loved social media, digital marketing and would later find out that community management was one of my callings.

However, I didn’t find all this out until I took that leap – whether I was forced to or not.

I decided to use my network to my advantage and wanted to grow it as quickly as I can. I went to every networking event possible, and in D.C., we have a LOT. The problem with that is that I burned out within 2 months. Lesson: No matter how tempting it is to go to every single networking event out there, choose wisely and preserve your energy.

I needed relevant experience so I decided to do pro-bono work, including unpaid internships.  It was a little hard to swallow to ‘work for’ a 21 year old, fresh out of college, young man but the experience I received at that internship was invaluable. Lesson: If you can, go the unconventional route. Just because a job isn’t coming with a monetary reward doesn’t mean that it won’t give you even bigger rewards in experience.

Tweet tweet. Twitter was my savior. I started participating in chats, changed my bio to reflect my current status (Looking for jobs, freelancing, etc) and starting following companies I was interested in. That is one of the key elements that most people miss. Don’t just search for jobs, but for companies. Get familiar with the culture, the people who work there, and if possible, engage them in conversation. Lesson: Use Twitter to your advantage. Don’t lose your voice in the process of ‘being professional’, just be yourself. Show your network your value and I promise they’ll share that with their network. Most of the referrals I got for jobs were way above my experience level because of how I presented myself across Twitter and social media in general. If you want to read more about my experience in the last year, feel free to check out this blog.

Social media is a huge part of our lives – how you use it is completely up to you. Just don’t forget the LOLs and the real part of who you are in the process.

Have any questions for me? Leave them in the comments or shoot me an email (berrakdc@gmail.com).

http://www.dcprincessq.com/

August 17, 2011 at 10:24 am 1 comment

Why Can’t I Be Like YOU?

Lately, I can’t help but compare myself to everyone around me. Other bloggers, coworkers, random people on LinkedIn, high school acquaintances and so much more.

It always feels like someone is doing something MORE than I am. No matter how hard I try, they’re better, a bit cooler,  more experienced, friendlier, funnier, more exciting, more interesting and the list goes on.

They breathe sparkles and pink fire.

Their tear drops are filled with resume builders.

And everytime they sneeze creativity comes out.

Let’s be real, there’s always someone better out there. But, it doesn’t mean you can’t try your little hiney off to be just as good if not better.

Do you compare yourself to others sometimes?

August 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm 4 comments

Whimsy…

I’m feeling whimsical today. My new love affair with Pinterest allows me to share what I’m craving. Color, playfulness, melt-in-your-mouth treats and freedom to indulge. Pure whimsy, dream land. Enjoy.

August 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

It’s Okay…

Its Ok Thursdays

I’m excited for my next link up with Amber and Neely. Amber welcomed me with open arms when I introduced myself to her via email. I felt like I was hitting on a guy I liked, telling him I had a crush on him and waiting to hear if he liked me just a little bit too. My heart wasn’t crushed–Amber’s a sweetpea and helped give me the courage to start this blog dating thing. Now, I’m playing the field and I feel pretty good about it. (AKA meeting new blogger friends that are awesome).

So, here it goes friends:

It’s Ok….

To eat a snack after dinner even if you’re not hungry but just because the kitchen’s close.

To buy a million shirts and still only wear that one style that’s “so me” every week.

To go to the gym and steal other people’s workout moves.

To get excited for reality TV shows that most people think are “trash.”

To have a glass of wine after work. Or two.

To want to be the person that someone wants to be like one day.

To call my mom every day just to say hi (<—-mommy’s girl).

To wait 3 weeks to call a friend so the conversation can be really long and exciting.

To think about what I’m going to eat for dinner in the middle of the day.

To love elastic waist anything.

To think that because you’re inside your car it’s okay to swear at people in other cars and not be a real person.

To be jealous of other people’s jobs.

To rock out to Kelly Clarkson more often than I should.

To take photos and not upload them for weeks after because the process is just annoyingly long.

To hope that people actually look forward to reading this love/marketing/20something blog. :)

August 11, 2011 at 9:00 am 3 comments

Movin’ On Up

So, there’s some nice news on the career front that I haven’t told too many people yet. But, exciting news…I recently got a promotion at my job! *Raise the roof.*

After being here for almost 1 year, I’ve now moved from Social Media/PR Coordinator to Social Media/PR Manager. So, I guess that means that instead of coordinating projects, I manage projects, right? Either way, I’m pretty stoked.

It’s exciting to be recognized and make the shift from an entry level position to a more associate level position. I’m truly lucky to have a career I love, not just like, and I’m so happy to continue growing in the field. It’s nice to be noticed for my crazy, sometimes obsessive, borderline I-need-to-get-a-hobby excitement and effort. You can see how my life’s changed since having a job on my post, my life as a recent grad.

I’m such a perfectionist and want every idea to work, so I work hard on making that happen, maybe too hard sometimes. But, I’m a creative lady and I like to keep people on their toes. I relish in coming up with with fresh ideas that excite. I feel good when an eyebrow raises from something I’ve thrown out there. Seeing my thoughts come to life on a medium is what keeps me going. I can wake up one morning with an idea and the next week it’s taking action, getting a real response. Hooray.

So, raise your glass for all the hard work you do everyday. It’s worth it.

Cheers to growing up, getting recognized and staying stimulated. I’m a big girl now.

Do you feel valued at your job? What was/is your first job experience like?

August 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm 9 comments

True Life: I’m a Newbie Blogger

Sooo, I love Fabulous but Evil and Mrs. Monologues. Their idea of introducing bloggers to each other is perfect for me since I’m a newbie in the community. I’d love to get to know more bloggers and add to my Google Reader of goodness as well as make some new blog friends!

I’m a blog admirer from afar sometimes, and I know it’s time to come out of hiding. I love reading other blogs, meeting new people and learning that there are other sparkly ballers out there just as geeky as I am.

I love to love in all aspects…romance, friendships, career and family. Love takes me over. I’m just THAT girl that cries at a movie trailer (yes, not even the actual movie), or tears up when someone tells me a story a friend told them about another friend’s amazing cousin’s best friend’s brother’s proposal. I’m admittedly sappy while at the same time in-your-face-snappy too. Don’t mistake my love for love for weakness. I tell it like it is, and I’m up front and honest. It’s the east coast in me.

This is muahhh: Having an awesome time on the dance floor as usual. Breaking out old school moves.

Me and the boyfriend: Pretty much sums it up here.

Anyways, to introduce myself, I thought I’d list a few of my favorite things…

  • Anything sparkly.
  • Getting to really know people–I want the details!
  • Finding inspiring reads.
  • Geeking out about social media and marketing.
  • Chatting with my besties.
  • Lord of the Rings.
  • Most Bravo TV shows.
  • Singers who belt it out, I’m talking Gospel belt here.
  • Trying new restaurants.
  • Chinese Food (Apparently my mom ate it all the time when she was preggers with me, so that’s why I’m a fiend.)
  • Going to the movies and forgetting about everything else.
  • Diet coke.
  • Twinkle lights.
  • Soccer and tennis.
  • My madre.
  • Spanish.
  • Sevilla, Spain.
  • My senora from Sevilla, Spain.
  • Creative copy that pulls at my heart strings.
  • Awkward hallway dances when you don’t know which way to go.
  • The Glee Project.
  • Snickers when you haven’t had one in forever.
  • Bloggers who are as excited to chit chat with me as I am with them!
  • Link Ups–These things are amazeballs.
  • When my cell phone dies and I feel a sense of freedom.
  • Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Do I dare say he’s…sexy? Yep, he is.
  • Forever 21.
  • Flower headbands.
  • And so much more….

August 5, 2011 at 9:04 am 18 comments

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Since I’m in the “throwback” mood, I thought I’d share 3 oldie but goody commercials that kill me every time I watch them. They’re that good. If I was the one who thought of these commercials, I’d think I was god. True that.

Google Parisian Love

Google was able to make searching on the internet sexy, interesting and fun. They told a story that pulled at the heart strings of every girl in the world. They tapped into my dream fantasy. And I ate. it. up. for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s so romantic and beautiful. This is why I’m a sucker for love and marketing. Listen for the amazing sound bites. Get ready for tears.

ESPN’S Kiss the Double

ESPN took the approach of showing just how important sports are in our everyday. Their “Without sports” campaign is one of the best I’ve seen. Check it out and “Kiss the double.”

Pepsi Jimi Hendrix Commercial

The tag line in this commercial cracks me up. It’s one of the smartest ads I’ve seen and although this was done years ago, it’s always stuck in my mind as…genius.

August 3, 2011 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Top 10 Childhood Throwbacks

Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had involve talking about TV shows, games and crazy weird stuff we used to watch and play with as kids. I actually met my boyfriend of over 3 years while in a debate about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Pretty awesome, I know.

Here are the top 10 throwbacks that will hopefully take you back, waaaay back.

1). Pete and Pete

Need I say more about this gem of a show?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Tamagotchis

This crazy egg thing seriously took over my life. You had to feed the thing, let it go to the bathroom, etc. I was hooked and I know you were too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pogs

Remember these puppies? All I know is that when I got the slammer, it was time to put my game face on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Hey Dude

I was glued to this show about a group of teenagers who worked at the Bar None dude ranch. Check out this slide show I found about where these ranchers are now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Polly Pocket

I had a million little pieces to take care of for my Polly Pocket. I would spend all day playing with this crazy contraption. I also had the Polly Pocket mall. That thing was huge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. American Girl Dolls

It was like a right of passage to get your first American Girl Doll. You pretty much weren’t cool without one. Everyone LOVED Kristin because she was blue eyed, blond and beautiful. But, I was more of a Samantha fan. I had a bed for her, a closet and accessories. She was well taken care of to say the least!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Jax

This was the best game ever. So simple but so competitive.

 

 

 

 

8. Pop-its

I used to love throwing these mini noise makers around all the time. Why is it that a silly noise is so fun you can’t stop?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. The Little Giants

Ice Box, Junior and Jake. Loved them all. I also had a poster of “Junior” in my room for years. Think Casper–Soooo hot. Oh, and this is my favorite quote below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. The Big Green

As a big soccer fan myself, this movie was on probably 4 times/week at my house. Loved the goalie/such a sweet story.

July 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm 2 comments

Moving: Why I Want To Throw Something. Now.

Moving, moving you’re such a big pain.
Seeing everything I have just makes me feel vain.
You ruin my precious nights after work.
And you’re kind of too heavy and can be a big jerk.
I’m sweating bullets while you sit there and smile.
Whatever, white boxes with bar codes, you’re so out of style.
My back hurts and I’m feeling that not-exercising-for-days-stuff.
I wish you would go away while I ate my face off with PB & fluff.
You’re seriously mean and should get a life.
And then send me roses for all my anguish and strife.
You take forever and ever to go away.
I’m really over your diva-I’m-so-awesome-attitude, k?
By the time I’m finished with you I will have grown a mane.
Moving, moving, you’re such a big pain.

Can you tell I’m a happy moving camper? If you said yes, I’m not sure we can be friends.

July 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm 2 comments

Sticking Up For Yourself

Amongst my friends, I’ve always been the one that stands up for myself and everyone around me. I hate leaving things unsettled and having feelings buried down. I always tell it like it is. I’m VERY confrontational.

However, there are parts of me like this that that I’ve noticed are slipping away. While personal and professional lives are separate, you would think that who you at the core remains for both.

But the boundaries in professional situations simply don’t allow you to be your full self whole heartily. Obviously, you can’t “tell it like it is” all the time. But, when you lose your sense of self in the process, that’s when you know that personal and professional must collide.

I’ve taken a step back and seen the strong part of myself slowly fade away as I’ve kept my feelings in. Sometimes, there’s a point where fear can’t hold you back anymore, and you just have to leap. I’m ready to take my leap, and gain the strength back that I’ve let people take from me over the last few months.

No matter what situation you’re in, never lose yourself for anyone else.

July 22, 2011 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Older Posts


A marketing gal's journey through life as a young professional. The storyline includes heart flutters, hiccups and happiness along the way...with one big spoonful of creativity in each chapter. I'm also the founder of Young Women in Digital, a Boston-based group for digital marketers to mix and mingle at pressure-free, fun events around the city!

Twitter Updates

Women Online

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers