• Increasing ticket sales for Taste of Huntington Beach with Social Media and Influencer Outreach

    It seems like only yesterday when I wrote about How A Charity Event Leveraged Social Media to Increase Ticket Sales. Okay so it wasn’t yesterday but it was just last year and I was talking about the Taste of Huntington Beach. Well, the annual Taste of Huntington Beach #TasteHB took place again this year on April 24th and guess what – this year we increased sales by 20%! That would be a 40% total increase from two years ago. Attendance numbers were up and there was a buzz about the event unlike previous years. There were more restaurants, newer restaurants and wineries, and also a celebrity chef from the Food…

  • Urban Armor Gear phone cases

    Review: Urban Armor Gear Protects Your Phone

    Since my iPhone is such a part of my daily life, it is important that I protect it with the right case. I personally prefer function over form so when a product can give me both, it’s a win! The Urban Armor Gear (UAG) line of products may seem a little masculine-looking to some but for me, it’s simple and stylish and what’s more, it’s light weight and actually protects your device! You see the Urban Armor Gear cases are drop tested to US Military Specs – that’s what their website says. Now, I haven’t dropped my phone intentionally but I have accidentally and so far my UAG has cushioned…

  • My Talk on Proven Ways to Use Social Media to Market Your Toy Business

    **The following was first delivered as a seminar topic at ToyFest West trade show in Vegas.** Note that the examples below pertain to companies in the Toy Industry but rest assured, these tips will work with ANY business.** In today’s digital landscape, when people aren’t stalking exes, reading about the Kardashians or watching cat videos, people actually use the internet for research. Now more than ever, social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest are an intrinsic part of this research process. Consider these stats. • Consumers are 71 % more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. (Hubspot) • 38,000,000 13 to 80 year…

  • #TravelTuesday: Discover Dreamy Destinations in the U.S. and Beyond at the Travel & Adventure Show

    One of my favorite shows to cover as a journalist is the Travel and Adventure Show in Long Beach. This year the 11th Annual Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show took place last February 27 and 28 at the Long Beach Convention Center. It was awesome! Talk about a virtual tour around the world. There were hundreds of exhibitors including local US destinations as well as countries across the globe. I always go to the National Park Service section first during the Travel Show. They have tons of information on parks including Sequoia and Kings’ Canyon, Yosemite and more. This year the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary. Now…

  • Making Connections at Toyfest West

    Last week, I had the honor of being the lone seminar speaker at Toyfest West, the largest Toy Show in the West, at South Point Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, NV. Hundreds of people from the toy industry attended the three day show. I put this video together featuring a few of the amazing people I met at Toyfest West. At first, I was a little worried about whether anybody would show up for my talk. After all, I wasn’t anyone famous but I did come in with the intention of giving them solid practical advice about how they could use social media marketing for their toy businesses. The…

  • Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

    Travel Tuesday: I left my heart in San Francisco at Hotel Zephyr to be exact

    We had less than a day and one night to spend in San Francisco, so we wanted it to count! The best decision we made was to book a room at what is possibly the coolest hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf. Just one night at Hotel Zephyr not only provided a great home base from which to explore the city but it was also a destination in itself. You’ll have to watch the Periscope videos I made below to get a taste of what I mean. Hotel Zephyr used to be the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf and it spans over the entire block bound by Jefferson, Powell and Beach St. It has…

  • Monterey Bay

    #TravelTuesday: Weekend at Hyatt Regency Monterey

    It’s not about the destination but the journey getting there. But when driving out to Monterey for the weekend, then the destination is everything. The last time we drove up the Central Coast to Carmel by the Sea, we took the scenic winding road up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was going very well until the kids started feeling queasy. So this time, we decided that we could try to get to Monterey from Huntington Beach under 6 hours, by driving up the 5 to the 101. It took slightly longer than 6 hours through not very scenic rural views. An exception was the drive through the pretty vineyards of…

  • Life Lessons from VidCon 2015

    The sixth annual VidCon may have been bigger than previous years but the vibe remained true – youthful, electric and creative! The average age of both speakers and fans must have been below 21. And it’s all good. That’s what makes VidCon unlike any other conference I’ve attended. It is a true celebration of fans and their favorites. Where else can a tween meet his or her YouTube idols face to face? The event at the Anaheim Convention Center featured panels, keynotes, signings, parties, after-parties, concerts and interactive booths on the expo floor. I left another wonderful year at Vidcon with some valuable takeaways. Shout out to my young friends…

  • A Summer Tradition: Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

    The Festival of Arts is held from July 5- August 31, 2015 in Laguna Beach. The festival is open daily for visitors to enjoy work of exhibited artists, demonstrations and art workshops. This year, the Festival unveiled a new façade and entryway, designed by Bauer Architects. You will experience daily on-site exhibitions and demonstrations on the grounds. Special events include art talks and the popular “Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate,” on Thursdays and “Concerts on the Green” on Saturdays. In the past, I’ve taken the free Laguna Beach trolley to the Festival and signed my kids up for the art workshops. A big part of the festival is the “Pageant…

  • #TravelTuesday: Twentynine Palms Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park

    Heading east into the desert provides a quick escape for our family. The past two summers we’ve gone to Palm Springs and enjoyed the comfort of a resort hotel. This time, I thought, we ought to try something new. Located less than 140 miles from Orange County, CA, that’s about a 2.5 hour drive, the City of Twenty-Nine Palms is a literal oasis in the desert. I had never been nor did I know anyone who had but the brochures assured me there would be lots to do – it was after all, the Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. When you’re traveling with family, it is important to find…