ARE YOU AN INFLUENCER? POSITIVE?!

I don’t know about you, but when something good happens to me, I share the information and experience to spread the joy! If I find a product, shortcut or upgrade, I regale about it to my circle of friends! We all support each other through “being grown-up” so why not give each other an advantage?  
As a fellow blogger, writer, mother I’m not going to insist you do anything to take you to your next level. Everyone’s traveling a unique and different path. Still, since I’ve found some ways to earn fun perks, or a great excuse to push back from our keyboards for a party, I’m going to give you the down low. What you do next is up to you.   

 Influenster leans towards trying products – whether you love them or would love to try them – then sharing on multiple social media platforms. Influenster scores you based in your social media followers to determine how to best work with your areas of influence. They have virtual campaigns where you get a coupon to try something, perhaps attend a Twitter party to learn more, then a list of tasks for you to complete to “earn” campaign points. VoxBox – a box of goodies based on your interests – arrives at your door. 

 

#SuperMomVoxBox

 
My #SuperMomVoxBox had a collection of known brands’ products. I loved trying new things from brands I already trust. Some brands ask for specific tasks to complete, some offer choices so you customize your campaign. Winning campaigns may earn more product. Visit: http://www.influenster.com/r/1777191 

 This company orchestrates House Parties: Host a party for your friends. They provide the product and materials to host a fun themed party! Chatterboxes blow up social media in a creative ways around a brand. They guide you through specific tasks or mediums to cover. For either, you must apply for that brand’s campaign then do a few exercises to increase your chances of being picked. We’ve had a delicious time so far. Visit: https://www.houseparty.com 

Both offer convenient websites and phone apps. For me it’s a way to practice writing reviews (working towards reviewing events/destinations) and experimenting with social media. 

What sites do you work with? Any tips to share?

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2015 Academy Awards Movie Haiku + Grey Bonus!

While I was on my 8-week leave from work, my kids loved to remind me that I was, essentially, on my summer break. They came home sourly asking if I’d done anything all day while they slaved away at school.

So, here’s my “What I did on my summer break!” report. With a new movie buddy en tow, I finally saw all of the Academy Awards 2015 nominated films for Best Picture – and a few more. The best part was lingering in conversation or online research afterwards to really submersed myself in each film.

Here are my thoughts after loving each film! I’d love to hear your film comments below! To buy them, click the titles (they’re worth a repeated re-watch, trust me).

2015 Best Picture Nominees Photo: TODAY.com

2015 Best Picture Nominees
Photo: TODAY.com

BEST PICTURE
American Sniper
Focused fight abroad
Fought to return home wholly
Evil was too near

Boyhood
Two hours, Twelve Years
The growth of these characters
Redefined filming

Birdman
(The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Runs too and from self
Looking for proof he mattered
Ignorance is bliss

Selma
One man led many
Learn what textbooks skimmed over
Still now, we march on

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fail or fly, Darling!
Lobbying on own behalf
Loyalty pays off

The Imitation Game
War and Enigma
Him being one, he cracked one
Unfair cost for task

The Theory of Everything
Numbers can’t explain
Mind outgrew body’s limits
Live life, love fully

Whiplash
“Good Job!” serves no one
Each beat bore holes in his self
Bled out own rhythm

SOME FROM OTHER CATEGORIES
BEST ACTRESS
Gone Girl
Search for missing wife
Can’t clear him with muddy truth
Who’s the real victim

Still Alice
Insight to illness
She fights to stay for others
While losing herself

Wild
Hiked peaks and valleys
Faced fears, mapped wild heart alone
Load lightened each step

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Into the Woods
Forget fairy tales
Perhaps the happy ending
Lives outside the songs

BEST ANIMATED
Big Hero 6
Boy and his friend prove
Even artificial hearts
Help people soar, heal

The Boxtrolls
Misjudged trolls teach us
Life isn’t packaged neatly
Live in light, not dark

…and for fun (if you are into that stuff),
50 Shades of Grey
He is hot, she’s not
Eye-rolling sex and banter
Untie mess, sequel

Still hungry for more Grey?

#Oscars #AcadamyAwards #BestPicture #Nominees

WRITING CHALLENGE: Ellen Mulholland’s Extra Fun with Words

Through a fortunate chain of events, I stumbled upon a delightful author, Ellen Mulholland, with an amazing website sure to inspire budding writers.  I can’t say that I’ve read her books yet, but will report back when Amazon delivers the books to me this week! *(YAY!)*  Still, part of becoming a writer involves writing and she offers a wonderful section on her website called “Extra Fun with Words!”  This month she held a writing contest with a variety of writing prompts.

While I’m not between the ages of 12 – 18, I have a thing for writing prompts and accepted the challenge for my own practice. Since I am at least twice that age, I allowed myself twice the amount of words too. Below you’ll see the writing prompts I chose (In Purple) and the story that filled in the gaps. I welcome your feedback and for sure, share any additional writing challenge websites that I should try!

Photo borrowed from www.glamour.com

Photo borrowed from http://www.glamour.com

     She never loved winter, but it was different now since the events of the past summer. After feeling guilty for lying to family and friends, and being protective of the reason for it, she and her husband had announced her pregnancy.
     Due to her family history, her regimented summer and fall monitored everything she did or ate. She embraced the journey, carefully logging everything. Her husband provided unwavering support and, together, their confidence and excitement grew with each doctor appointment.
     Reaching the 36-week “full-term” milestone, on the winter solstice, gave her goose bumps. They found themselves in uncharted territory having never dreamed of making it this far. While hospitals urge parents to create one’s “Birth Plan,” she never put it in writing, so as to not jinx things. She rode this wave of energy like a chariot, pre-washing baby clothes, assembling bouncy seats, and decking the halls for waves potential visitors.
     Though their large family holiday celebration kicked off Christmas morning, they cooked a special multi-course feast together for their own Christmas Eve.
     “Babe, it’s our last Christmas as a couple!” She smiled to her husband, while artistically placing rosemary on the roast. “Will you still dream up meals like this after the baby comes?”
     He proudly held up her special celebratory juice spritzer. “Sleep deprivation may force me to buy a cookbook. An easy one with 3 steps or less.”
     “Delicious plan!”
After a relaxing dinner, and cleaning up together, she sent him to start the fire. She slipped into her nightgown, adding a large red satin bow around her tummy. She tried to massage out the stiffness in her back from the active week. Before leaving the bedroom, she mused at her reflection, draped in the nightie that had gone from short to scandalous as the fabric tried to cover her belly.
     Rejoining him in the warm firelight, one motive drove her. “Have you ever wanted something SOOO badly that if you don’t get it you may die?” She sat with her back to him on the couch, moving her hair aside, inviting a massage.
     “Keep talking.” He put the remote down, now that the screen displayed the warmest crackling flames. Gently, he worked on her shoulders.
     “Lower back, Baby, please.” She fanned herself with one hand while rubbing her belly with the other.
     He blew lightly on the back of her neck, to cool her off and heat her up. “What do you want me to do?”
     Her breath quickened and she leaned forward. As she threw her head back. “I need ice cream,” she exclaimed to the gods.
     “But it’s snowing…” As he wrapped his arms around her, a kick from the bottom of her belly punctuated the urgency.
     A low moan escaped from her lips. “Unh, I think the baby wants out!”
     “No fair ganging up on me!”
     “I mean it, we need to go!”
     “Fine! I’ll go!”
     “Us! To the hospital! Now!”
     He jumped off couch, immediately into upright position. “But what’s our plan?!”
     Between patterned breaths, she briefed him, “You get the car, we drive down Magnolia – there’s a 31 Flavors, and we go have this baby!”
     He raced to the bedroom, grabbed his wife some pants, and scooted her down the snowy path to the car. He ran back, grabbing his shoes, wallet and their suitcase, already packed. Nerves tied his feet together, stopping him at the door. Seeing his wife sitting in the car, still tied with the bow, he knew the gift of a calm husband was better than a plan for any new directions.
“Rocky Road!” She exclaimed from the car!
     He took a deep breath, exhaled, and walked out the door.

10,000 QUESTIONS ABOUT 10,000 STEPS

10,000 ways to leave your lovin’ lard ass – or something like that.  At work, we’re doing a 10,000 steps per day challenge. While losing weight could be a side-effect, the goal is simply to get our bums up out of chairs, take some time to quiet our minds and get those creative juices flowing!

My OCD tendencies' best friend!

My OCD tendencies’ best friend!
WTF – Walk to Fitness!

The weekend before the challenge started, I practiced for perspective of just how many steps 10,000 is.  We were walking (2,500 steps) through downtown to pick up my race packet for the 3.5 mile mini marathon (approximately 4,600 steps) and found ourselves sitting down for lunch at the Original Pantry Restaurant.  When my pedometer leaped off of my purse in protest I saw it as a warning that clearly there is no way 10K steps would walk off what we ate there.

Thanks for the photo AlbanyKid, we should meet for breakfast! Mine were too blurry as I ate too fast.

Thanks for the photo AlbanyKid, we should meet for breakfast! Mine were too blurry as I ate too fast.

My patron saint of wellness sent me 2 more pedometers on Monday and I was back on track without a-breakin’ my stride.  It’s 550 steps from my car to my office; 160 steps to the coffee shop; 60 steps across the middle of our floor end to end.

Well guess what, they’re right! The creative barriers become much looser and I have questions flooding my head like an inquisitive 3-year old.

Because I said so...

Because I said so…

Now there are some things that are troubling my one track, 10,000 step mind:

1) In the order of the universe, is it better to walk farther (more steps) to ride the elevator up or is it better to walk a
shorter distance to walk up the stairs (but less steps overall)? See my conundrum?!

2) Isn’t choosing salad over paninis worth an instant 1000 steps?

3) Why aren’t stairs worth 2 steps each automatically?

Check it out, we have a name! Workshifters!

Check it out, we have a name! Workshifters!

Here are some additional steps that I am having trouble reconciling:

Steps racked up during a cake-walk

Back and forth to the all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas

Chasing down the ice cream man

OK, this kid is helping me reconsider

OK, this kid is helping me reconsider

Scurrying down the hall to the free leftover lunch at work

Steps getting up and going to the loo – we’re going to do that anyway, no extra walk effort

Racing after people to kiss their ass – have some dignity!

Who you callin' an...

Who you callin’ an…

Now that I managed to make it more complicated, please join/help me?

 

SMURF HAPPENS! The Premiere

My kids and I rarely visit the Westside of Los Angeles. Traffic and rampant Bruins make it less-than-desirable for us. Last Sunday, we were noticeably blue because we got invited to Sony Pictures’ blue carpet premiere of The Smurfs 2! My kids didn’t grow up on the Smurfs like I did, but we loved the first movie and were thrilled to see the sequel!

Smurf Happens!

Smurf Happens!

We grabbed Lauren’s friend and set off on an adventure!

Smurfin' Street Scene

Smurfin’ Street Scene

Within a block from the parking lot, you saw Men In Black positioned at key positions along barricaded streets.  According to my friend, with Katy Perry and Britney Spears attending, the security detail was going to be a clusterfoccacia!  The first sign that we’d arrived at a premiere, not an alien invasion, was a huge Smurf melting in reverse positioned for his shining moment at the head of the blue carpet.

Where the Action Is

Where the Action Is

The street was a sea of blue laid with Smurfing custom cars,

Smurfin' Smart Cars

Smurf My Ride!  Smurfed Out Smart Cars!
I finally realize who fits in those cars!

and a Smurfing tiered cake.

My favorite Baltimore Baker - Duff!    Getty Images

My favorite Baltimore Baker – Duff!
(C) Getty Images / Sony

Fans and paparazzi were already lined up warming up their flashes or their voices.

Smurfin' Tour Eiffel

Smurfin’ Tour Eiffel

I yelled to my friend and, after making eye contact, started to move towards her. The security twitched in my direction ready to pounce.  Seriously, do we look like we will body slam people to get pictures with them?

Cheyenne Jackson is so hot it's startling - obviously! Really?!

Cheyenne Jackson is so hot it’s startling – obviously! Really?! I couldn’t muster a smile?!

MMmmmKmaybe.

Neil Patrick Harris and family (C) Getty Images/Sony

Neil Patrick Harris and family
(C) Getty Images / Sony

We waited to see celebrities inside the lobby. On the carpet, stars were moved along, but once inside, they had a moment to relax before entering the theatre. For my son and myself, the highlight was seeing various personalities and meeting a super polite kid who stars in one of my kids’ favorite shows!

Dylan Riley Snyder from Kicking It!

Dylan Riley Snyder from Kicking It!

For the girls, tchotchkies, ushers with bottomless boxes of treats, a Smurfing Happy Meal with 2 toys plus chocolate milk was more valuable than free-flowing champagne.  Then came the Staff lanyards!  With the power of executives flowing through them, the youngsters could stand in the lobby where they wanted, ignore the wishes of security, and walk the blue carpet!

WTF: Wave towards Faces The power of the lanyard!

WTF: Wave towards Faces
The power of the lanyard!

Seeing the film before it opened, star-gazing and being thrown in with such a creative crowd was such a fun experience for us all!  Bonus:  Finally knocked a big item off my 101 in 1,001 list!

Grandma Perry's shirt was classic:  I've got the hots for Grandpa Smurf!  Check out the blinged out cane too! (C) Getty Images / Sony

Grandma Perry’s shirt was classic:     I’ve got the hots for Grandpa Smurf!
Check out the blinged out cane too!
(C) Getty Images / Sony

Pop Princesses Britney and Katy! Love them!

Pop Princesses Britney and Katy!
Love them!
(C) Getty Images / Sony

Thanks Pal! We had a blast!

Thanks Pal! We had a blast!

See you next time Katy!  Or in 30 min. when we go home and watch "Part of Me!"

See you next time Katy!
Or in 30 min. when we go home and watch “Part of Me!”

I’D LIKE TO BUY THE WORLD A COKE

All day, everywhere we turn we are subjected to advertisements!  Nowadays, we pay to avoid ads, but I find them amusing! Naturally, with my affinity for mind wandering, I reminisced about the most influential ad in my lifetime (to me).

I grew up singing and wholeheartedly believing that “I’d like to Teach the World to Sing.”  While I still remember the lyrics of the original 1971 Coca-Cola ad, visually, the 1977 Holiday version lingers in my mind.

At my ripe age of 7, it was a comforting, unifying beverage that hugged the whole world.  At that age, when going from my side of the block to the far side of our block seemed like visiting another planet, it was hard to imagine people from anywhere else. The Coke commercial reminded us how wide our boundaries reach yet fostered intimate international connections with just one sip. A variety of people shared and translated this soda into many languages, which was code word for

Love.

This was reinforced everywhere I went. When I was fortunate enough to travel to China, Mexico, Greece, Russia, I believe all of them had Coca-Cola, and in some countries it was safer to drink than the water.

Classic!

Refreshing and Delicious in every language!
Thanks to c7.co for the shot!

I moved a lot as a child, and I longed for the sense of community and belonging that I had to rebuild with every new school.  To me, it was a comforting thought that by drinking this beverage, I’d fit into their community with a seat at the international soda fountain.

I’m guessing a Norman Rockwell – Long time artist for Coca-Cola
For more Coca-Cola conversations, click on the photo

Now, let’s not discount the jingle…  I am a music nut and songs get glued in my head!  I remember song-lyrics or jingles better than anything I’ve been forced to memorize in school. The message was simple – sing it loud: We love Coke, Coke loves you!

Music to our mouth

Found on the Coca-Cola New Zealand Facebook page!

I tried to love Pepsi while briefly working for them yet I celebrated my kids’ milestone of their first soda with their own ice-cold glass Coca-Cola bottle.

I know part of the reason I often have a song in my head and a relentless belief in happy endings is thanks to Coca-Cola. Still working on perfect harmony…

[sip] Aaaah!

Want more? Follow my Pinterest Ad Geek board – pretty!

What was your most influential ad of your lifetime?

DUDE! SWEET! HAIKU

1/10/12

Guest Haiku by my little big dude:

HI CHEW HAIKU

Yummy, delicious
A sweet treat that is a boss
Super addictive

20130112-010916.jpg

1/11/12

I breathe easier
After the warm long embrace
Of Vicks Vapo-rub!

SICK HAIKU

I don’t mean sick as in sick jams, or a sick trick on a skateboard, I mean sick as in sniffly, whiney, coughing haiku…

1/8/13

Creativity
It does not come easily
When I’m a sicky

1/9/13
I drank three coffees
To keep my butt awake for
Piles of cruise laundry

Image

WTF: White toed foot?!
Thanks for the use of the shot, Doviende!

A WORD A WEEK CHALLENGE: CLOUDS

HAIKU, DO YOU TOO?

1/1/13

A festive New Year
Rocking and rolling along
Cruising the deep sea

1/2/13

Old and new crossed paths
Elders and youngsters break bread
in Puerto Rico

1/3/13

Do I want to be
Anywhere else besides the
Sunny fun at sea?

1/4/13

An exclusive spot
We are fortunate to find
A shared memory

1/5/13

We return to land
In time to leave Earth behind
On a Rocket Ship

1/6/13

My favorite view
The oval plane window yields
Thick clouds! Play with me!

1/7/13

Vacation to work
24 hours or less
Monday was berzerk!

There you go, I’m caught up! Haiku a day for 365 days!
Feeling inspired or just plain think you can bring haiku more poetic justice?  Share your haikus below!

cloud

DID YOU GET HIGHLIGHTS?

I have a friend who, whenever our group of gals get together, asks all of us what our highlights are. Most of us groan (somewhat jokingly), some leave the room, change the subject or act like we didn’t hear. Whether startled by the sudden change in perspective or perhaps uncomfortable with the idea of giving ourselves praise (after cheerleading every other cause and person we live with) we try our best to squeak one out. We can’t just use our get togethers with her and the gals as a highlight (although I do count every year of our 25+ year old friendships as highlights).

This year she pointed out that highlights may be lowlights since often the challenges we face are the greatest gifts. Also, she kept emphasizing that people must find their own voice, we can’t go along with something someone pointed out for us as a highlight.

With 2012 wrapping up, I thought this would be a great time to discuss my blogging highlights that occurred within this my first year!

20121229-014022.jpg

Highlights:
I wrote a lot! as opposed to previous years where I said “I will write,” I did write. While my plan wavered as I wandered, I still improved my quantity of writing by leaps and bounds from the last few years. It refreshed my spirit and worked my creative muscles a lot! The practice of purging then limiting my words fine tuned my writing.

People wandered by! 10,000+ people wandered along with me (WTF: Wow, Thanks Friends)! I’ve mentioned before how much I love round numbers, well hitting the 10,000 for me this past week was a great achievement! Some other great milestones were a high of 125 readers in one day and that I had no days with zero readers since the time where my posting became less frequent while applying for, financing and finishing my first semester of grad school. I thought making the decision to return to school would kill my blog but was so grateful for those who kept wandering across my path leading me to complete this, my 200th post!

I just renewed my URL for another year! I have things left to do and questions left to answer! I want to take my new outlook on life and explore many more wide open spaces.

I am grateful for everyone you wandering along with me and love to hear from you as well! Your words have often lead me to dig deeper or straight up inspired me!

So what does 2013 hold for you? I plan to do a 365 day project. Wanna do one with me? Do you have one or are you afraid of the commitment?

Mine has to be an abbreviated effort with school starting in the end of January, so consider doing a haiku a day with me!! Just a 3-line poem with 5-7-5 total syllables in the 3 lines. Either write in my comments when I post mine or write on your own blog and let me know when you do so we can support each other’s efforts!

Now the bad news… I won’t be posting my first one ’til the second week of January as I am on holiday and won’t be near reliable/affordable Internet til then.

Until then, I hope that your holiday festivities continue and that you have an unforgettable New Years!

With that, my parting haiku…
2012 ends,
Wandering with friends, I turn
To ask your highlights

Drop by next year!

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