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?

BUZZFEED STANDARD TEST FOR PARENTS

Earlier, before my kids asked me “What do BuzzFeed employees do all day?” I’d already answered BuzzFeed’s call for participants to retake the SATs as an adult.  As was never the case in school, I immediately raised my hand, squirmed in my seat and made a case to Pick Me! Pick Me!

1) I enjoyed taking the SATs!

2) My kids & I watch at least one BuzzFeed video a day.

3) It would tweak my kids perspective of me!

I’m not looking for Cool Parent Points.  My goal aims to keep the kids in line with Dazzle and Awe (Jazz Hands optional).

DAZZLE:  Sometimes we parents need to reveal our “true selves” to our kids. Not the psycho I become after 10pm if they’re not asleep, but the woman whose interests extend beyond their school, sports and upbringing!  They know I write, but writing is a solitary sport that occurs when they’re asleep or away.

Usually they see me erring to the conservative, strategic, rational side of responsibility. If I lead them outside the box to pursue dreams with a passion, they know I’ve got their back. Also knowing I have outside interests assures them that I won’t eventually throw myself from my empty nest.

AWE: I could barely contain my excitement but stayed strong and looked forward to the big reveal.  It’s so hard to surprise my teen and tween, and they’d never considered that they’d see me from the opposite side of the flat screen! No way, not even possible!

I like my kids to remain a little afraid about my mysterious powers that achieve the impossible AND control their universes.  When I say “If I get late night calls saying you’re causing trouble, I’ll immediately contact my friend the policeman/double agent/paintball hitman to forcibly remove you from your friends so quickly they’ll think you were instantly beamed into another dimension.” I want my kids to believe it could happen!

REWARD: As a single working, blogging parent, this opportunity rewarded me and restored me! Or the galaxy found a creative way to make me get a haircut and maybe try a little blush sometimes. Either way, I’m still glowing and buzzed!

FACTS ABOUT BUZZFEED YOU MAY OR MAY NOT ALREADY KNOW:

  1. 300 employees work just in BuzzFeed studios – where they create memorable videos
  2. It can take 5 rounds of interviews to get a job there – but to preserve their unique environment, it’s a necessity.
  3. The bar that you see in videos at their office isn’t a real functioning bar. WTF?! What, that’s fake?
  4. Buzzfeed’s mascot is the Corgi
  5. So what are BuzzFeed employees doing:  For a 3:13 minute video, the shoot took about 90 min (x3 pairs). Then the employees spend the rest of the next 7 business days editing!
  6. They shot the video with 2 Canon DSLRs
  7. Instead of a clapboard, they really clap to start a scene

 

#BUZZFEED #BUZZFEEDLIFE #BUZZFEEDPARENTS

TEEN & TWEEN EASTER FUN!

For the first time, neither my family, nor my kids were with me Easter morning. While I enjoyed the rare slow morning, I appreciated the extra time to think up something eventful for my children’s older, wiser tween and teenage years.

The note in the egg read “Hoppy Easter! More eggs hidden in your room!”

 The Easter Egg hunt underwent an upgrade and personalization! I hid 21 eggs of various sizes in each of their rooms. I only hid eggs with candy, no hard-boiled, as I anticipate this hunt may continue all year – or, until we move out.

Some hidden in plain view, some hidden under piles!

My train of thought:

  • Older Kids: My tall son and nearly-tall daughter stand out at Easter Egg hunts, though they could “help” either their younger niece or sister. This incorporated the fun of the hunt while allowing them privacy to enjoy it.
  • Late Start: With them not arriving from their Dad’s until evening, I wanted the fun to last – but not get interfere with usual Sunday homework routine. My daughter went to work immediately and found 10 before homework and 17 by bedtime. My son only located 2 by bedtime (partially thanks to his teen blindspots, partially his homework load).
  • Clean Room: I intentionally hid eggs underneath piles that remained untouched since we moved in. My son saw right through my plan and complimented me – (and, I quote): “Ingenious!”

He walked past 2 obvious ones and dug madly for any others!

Easter treats received an upgrade as well! PEEPS traditionally appear in their baskets, but with all the new flavors and fun stuff PEEPS offered, I wanted to improve upon their favorites. Thankfully the Peeps-a-licious* cookbook arrived to my door a few weeks ago with over 50 creative ideas! I wanted to challenge myself so I picked a recipe I knew the kids would love, PEEPS S’Mores Milkshake – thickening the milkshake with Peeps.

This very sweet shake tasted like a real S’More!

I also picked one I usually love – my favorite, PEEPS Crème brûlée. This required PEEPS cooked into and on top of the Crème brûlée. Plus I got to try using a flame thrower – I mean cooking torch.

WTF: Wow, Toasted Flavor!

Both recipes proved to be super simple to pull together and so decadent for PEEPS!

Although the holiday time reduced to fit within a few hours, the impact of the delicious flavors and hunt will be unique enough to remember ongoingly!

*I received a free copy of the Peeps-a-licious cookbook from the publisher but the opinions are my own. Here is the link to the Crème brûlée recipe on the creator’s website. The other recipe (and 48 more year-round recipes) can be found in Peeps-a-licious! #Peepsalicious #Quartoknows

Porsche Experience speeding to LA!

Considering I travel this freeway at least twice monthly since the late 80s, I’m shocked to be one of the last people to notice that Muffler Man, we’ll call him Carson based on location, now wears a Porsche jacket (since about 2013)!  

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Way to build instant tie between nostalgia and now – dressing Muffler Man Carson (born in the 1960s)

 
Perhaps I never noticed his jacket due to the net that Japanese car companies cast on the South Bay curve of South Los Angeles. All 3 leaders’, Honda, Nissan and Toyota, corporate offices grew roots nearby. Then, Nissan left in 2006 and Toyota announced its (already underway) relocation to Texas, leaving large gaps in the So Cal car industry.  With Hyundai already parked one county below LA, fans wondered who might pull ahead through this long stretch of freeway.

Check your mirrors, Porsche just pulled out of your blind spot to introduce you to their cars in a big way with the Porsche Experience Center.  The part of me that loved going to Malibu Grand Prix as a teen totally just woke up and can’t wait to get my rear in the seat of a Porsche and take on this course (either as a driver or passenger).    

The new 911-R from Porsche.com

 

Fortunately the starting lights ignite soon – it plans to open 2016. 

Can’t wait to handle the hairpin turns!

 

Without reading Porsche’s press kits, I immediately see the necessity for building a place like this as I’ve known people who bought a magnificent Porsche, then got lapped by the little old lady from Pasadena!  What better place to sell people on a performance car than by introducing them to everything from a race course to mountainous roads – all without leaving the 52-acre property. Cap on the subliminal thrill that they’re traveling faster than their unlucky peers on the freeway they rode in on, and the chills feel real!   

Other onsite facilities include Human Performance (which I’m guessing offers a crash-course in pronouncing “Porsche”) to let you live the performance race car driver life for a day.  To save you some speeding tickets, a restaurant will offer a delicious spot to come down from the adrenaline rush before you hop back on the freeway.

Porsche, perhaps originally drafting off these 3 companies, finds themselves in pole position poised for the next lap. Start your engines! 

Check out more high-performance action from Atlanta by Eugene Fong! 

WORK FIELD TRIP: Ran off to the circus!

Julia Cameron calls this an Artist Date, I prefer Work Field Trip.  

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I’ve already mentioned how the invitation to attend the Premiere Event for Cavalia’s Odysseo in Irvine this weekend already fulfilled my dreams!  This show, and this assignment, took me on a creative journey magically stirring something awake in my soul. When I received another invitation to attend press preview day, I immediately accepted this gift.

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As with many favorite childhood trips, my experience started from the freeway once I spotted the flags atop the tent.  The idea that the largest touring show in the world sat on land where nothing existed a week before astounded me.

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I mingled with other bloggers, press, and VIP guests. Though many were there for an assignment, most bubbled over with passion for horses, music or art.  

2-5-16 blog gear

Hah! My gear vs. their gear – I need an upgrade!

The show itself was more spectacular and high-energy than expected. The beauty of the show overwhelmed me and invigorated all of my senses.  Each act flowed into the next gracefully – even the 18-ton merry-go-round!.

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Even more amazing, we received behind-the-scenes access from Odysseo’s Founder, Normand Latourelle.

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Odysseo’s Creator: Odyssey = Journey with O = “eau” (water) at the end of the journey

He explained that computers traditionally direct musical cues for a show of this caliber. Because this show features live animals with individual temperaments, this show’s cues come from a live director. With the timing of so many seemingly death-defying acts, timing was crucial.

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The live music added a delicate veil of beauty to our experience.

1-25-16 Odysseo stand up excited 1 wk left

Conversations with performers brave enough to leap from their career paths to follow their passion truly inspired me.  One performer studied marine biology before attending circus school, another hoped to earn money while studying for the Bar exam. Some turned their professional riding into performance careers.

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Most people I know dreamed of joining the circus at least once in their lives. The nomadic family lifestyle mixed with the artistic beauty and danger of a circus mystify and entrance us.  

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WTF: Way too fast – can’t wait to see the full-length show!

Normand pointed out what I feel represents the true beauty of the show:  With the many different breeds and cultures represented here, everyone gets along. They believe that peace is best for a beautiful show. It’s been thrilling spending my hours on a “job” submersed in such creativity and such beauty.

 

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Lea Riviere Mixed Media on Canvas

 #OdysseoOC

DREAM COME TRUE: CAVALIA ODYSSEO

Think back to the days when we read magical tales that filled our hearts with hope and adventure.  Swift, elegant horses, dashing, brave heroes and heroines were the ingredients mixed into myriads of stories.  These stories extended our world beyond our backyard. With our eyes closed, our creative imagination transported us to other worlds! Now, my kids, my niece and I have the opportunity to travel to a mystical world with our eyes open!  My family and I are so excited to attend the premiere event of Cavalia Odysseo on February 6th!

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You don’t have to wait – shows are open now through Feb. 26!

From the very first glimpse, this show promises to hold something unforgettably magical for everyone in my family.  I grew up with horses, wholeheartedly believe in fairy tales and am the last person on this Earth who has never seen a Cirque du Soleil show.  This newest and largest $30 million production of Cavalia Odysseo, created by Cirque co-founder, Normand Latourelle, promises to stimulate our senses on so many levels.

1-16-16 Odysseo death-defying

I predict that my son will be blown away by the death-defying acrobats, my niece will want to take all 65 horses home with her and my daughter will hum the tunes for weeks. I look forward to hearing their excitement over unexpected surprises that they’ll never forget.

1-16-16 Odysseo Merrygoround

This show is double the size of the 2007 tour boasting 48 riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians in a soulful and touching journey around the globe, showcasing at its heart, the mysterious relationship between men and horses.  I’m trying to imagine the sheer size of the production as the video clearly shows a lake and mountains – all under the big white tent!

1-16-16 Odysseo grand scope stage

For me, it’s also dream come true to be able to share this news with you before it happens rather than say “Look what we did, wish you were there!”  Wander along with us on this magical escape from our everyday lives!  Visit www.cavalia.net and book your tickets now!  The show premieres February 3rd with matinee and evening shows running through Valentine’s Day (what a great gift idea!). Some special pricing available.

See you in Irvine under the big white tent! What are you looking forward to the most?!

#OdysseoOC

 

Wander back soon and check my Wanderful Events page regularly for more exciting events!

 

DEVIL INSIDE – LYRICALLY SPEAKING

6th grade sleepover, my friend and I hunched over the record player, using our finger to rotate Ozzy’s Crazy Train album backwards at 33 1/3 rpm to hear hidden satanic messages. It’s what all “good girls” did at slumber parties.  We played it faster, slower, louder, and finally gave up for fear of waking her parents or because Poltergeist was on – again.

Hidden Messages?

Hidden Messages?

That was the age when everything became an inside dirty joke. Thinking how intelligent I must be, I read into every song for hidden meanings.  Many songs are written with double entendre, but I laugh that my lyrics were often worse than the true hidden meaning. Truly, I usually couldn’t understand a word!

Eminem - WTF: Way to Flow

Eminem – WTF: Way to Flow

Fast-forward, my kids have turned the tables on me and are now this age.  In their rush to grow up, my son raps Eminem’s Lose Yourself while Lauren sings along with Katy Perry.  On a lunch hour whim, unfazed by parental advisory stickers, I bought Katy’s album. I sang along – excited to surprise the kids with the album.  When the 5th song came on I danced with this upbeat song – previously unheard from the radio! “I wanna see your peacock – cock – cock!”

WTF: We talking feathers?

WTF: We talking feathers?

In a panic, I told the kids my “truth” “The CD is scratched from song 5 on, bummer!” Don’t look at me like that, what would you do? Even the songs they sing with their friends off the radio cause me to panic anticipating questions that I am not ready to answer. But as chauffer, I felt I’d somewhat restored my musical control.

On a joyous 3D adventure to see Part of (Her), Katy and her dancers grabbed feathers and danced to a familiar beat!  It’s the jaw-dropping, eye-popping, head-turning, body-shocking, heart-throbbing, ground-shaking, show-stopping, amazing song that the kids won’t get out of their heads.

High 5, Katy!  I personally dig this song!

High 5, Katy! I personally dig this song!

I cringed as they sang it – waiting for Carson to figure it out. Lauren asked him, “What’s it about?”

“It’s all about big p…”

“OK! Radio time!” I yelled, sweating profusely.

“Big, colorful personalities. Be proud of yours!”

What a good big brother!  I still don’t know if he was running interference or truly didn’t understand. For now, part of us remains unscathed.

8/12/13 – To thank you for wandering by, here is Katy Perry’s video for her new single ROAR! Did I mention the emoticons RULE!?!

KICKING MY FRIEND’S CANCER’S ASS

I have to believe it was meant to be. The odds were against these two meeting in a club on trendy Hollywood Blvd. one night in 1990. My college roommate Cindy and I preferred dance clubs outside the “scene!” and out-of-towner, Tom, was on brief leave from his military assignment. They crossed paths in the heart of LA – they beat the odds!

After college, CA girl Cindy moved across country because Tom was the right guy at the right time! I don’t just like Tom since he is “her husband!” I love him because he’s an outstanding guy! Since then, we’ve shared many times together at our weddings, trips to Disneyworld, and a growing pile of children! This month, Tom and Cindy celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary about the same time Cindy celebrated her 20th week of pregnancy – their second baby!

Ohana means family. No one gets left behind - or forgotten!

Ohana means family. No one gets left behind – or forgotten!

This anniversary found Tom and Cindy in the hospital. He went in thinking he had a stomach virus but, due to subsequent tests, he wound up recuperating from back surgery. It’s not the venue that makes the celebration, but the people there to celebrate and the love they share! Turns out, Tom has Multiple Myeloma – blood cancer.

He started treatments immediately and LLS has already provided support for his family. The odds are improved, from generations past, because LLS has made amazing progress with treatments and such. Treatments are more aggressively pinpointing cancer cells, leaving non-cancerous cells strong to fight!

OK, can you tell these families believe in Disney magic?

OK, can you tell these families believe in Disney magic?

I’m a big believer in the power of positive thought and prayers, and in progress being made. I’ve worked beside inspirational people who fought and overcame blood cancers, and whose stories varied so much because treatments now are significantly less invasive! We are so close to a cure, but until then, we continue to battle!

Being on the opposite end of the country from such close friends as they face these odds really sucks, so I’m rallying the best way I know help. Please help me send the power of love and hope to my friends in Florida and to their family – that will be growing larger mid-November!

Branching out to a new kind of magic!

Branching out to a new kind of magic!

Let’s push them past the odds!  I am already halfway to my fundraising goal!  Please help me reach the goal – every $1 counts.

If you know anyone who’s battled cancer, please consider making a small donation of any amount and leave their name in the comments! GO TEAM!! 

Please consider that for the price of what you’d pay for 1 Venti Fru-Fru drink at Starbucks, you could make the money go farther by donating $5, it will make a difference!

In the very least, please consider reblogging, or simply tweeting my fundraising webpage or anything! The more people that hear, the more likely it is I’ll burst through my goal of $3,000! WTF: Way to fundraise!

Wanna do more? Register to be a bone marrow donor at www.bethematch.org

THANK YOU!

TEAM IN TRAINING HAIKU

10,000 foot prints

An Army Fighting Cancer

Help Us Find A Cure!

Welcome to CA – What’s your Powerball Dream? Everybody’s Got One!

The Powerball has landed in California bringing along with it an inspirationally aggressive marketing campaign. They boast larger jackpots, yet, recognizing people aren’t as materialistic anymore, are marketing to more humanistic players eager to be a positive change in this world.

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Powerball targets 38 million Californians with one powerful emotion – Hope.  The campaign communicates how Hope implements change by pointing out historic events like Armstrong’s Moon landing reminding us memorable moments started with single sparks of hope.  Their campaign reinforces the power of dreamers, those willing to take a chance.

Powerball gives daydreamers the model to believe in something bigger, a cause, miracles, a long shot. But, start small – even one ticket! They have to overcome those who resist saying “Powerball is a money pit,” “the odds stink,” or “don’t gamble” by, instead, getting people to buy into hope – anything is possible but you can’t win if you don’t play.

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Now, I mentioned Powerball targets every Californian – every one.  When my family first heard the haunting rendition of children singing “California Dreamin’,” it immediately hooked us. My kids (8 and 12 years) downloaded the real song, discussed the lyrics and sparked inspirational conversations “If you win – how would you positively impact the world?” (Answers: “Cure AIDS” and “Open a candy store where everything is free.”).

I don’t play regularly, I only buy tickets for big jackpots (I know, my odds are worse) but what made us purchase our first ticket was when radio campaigns became personal. On my daily commute, I was regularly teased by a guy saying “It was like any other day, driving in your car, fighting traffic. It was like any other day… until it wasn’t [cue music].”  It wraps its arm around you and points you towards your destiny. It’s that simple to dream, believe – and buy a ticket.

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Some people feel the ads resemble religion putting too much faith in something intangible. They feel those who would use money wisely for good would not usually be the same crowd playing the Powerball.

I say, try me. I dream about buying reasonable homes, providing college educations and providing sports scholarships for AYSO and Little Leagues so no child “can’t” play.“

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6/9/13 UPDATE:

I didn’t win, she did!

The Powerball launch was a winning success!

Dan from the creative agency David&Goliath wrote to let me know that it was THE most successful lottery launch in U.S. history (kudos!!)!

For you folks who want proof (remember Powerball tix are $2/ea):

  • $3.1 million in first day sales 
  • $8.5 million in sales in the first 4 days
  • $25 million in two weeks 
And by the 6th week…
  • $83 million worth of tickets sold, accounting for 11% of Powerball sales in the entire country!

You know what I said about only playing the big draws?  I lied… I have a ticket in my wallet right now from this past weekend’s draw and until I actually check the winning numbers, I can hold onto the hope that I may have been the winner this time!

Ten Things I Really F’Ing Want for Mother’s Day

Moms, Dads, Grown up kids, start taking notes!

While wandering, I found one of the funniest mom blogs ever – Karen Alpert writing Baby Sideburns!

WT(F)F – Waaaay Too (F’in) Funny!

Link

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