[I’m on a plane right now on my way to L.A. and loving that I’m able to finish this post for you to enjoy! The joys of technology!]
My parent’s have a really good friend in this married couple, both of whom are in their 90s. They’re beautiful people in every sense of the word. Very selfless, funny, considerate, generous and witty. They have A LOT of money, like in independently wealthy kinda money and yet they live in a modest 1940s home that hasn’t been remodeled or updated since the 70s. I actually love their house. It sits on a lovely lake in a neighborhood near our home. Theirs is mod and vintage at the same time. Very mucho mi stilo…
Why mention them? Well, they take my mom out to eat every Friday. Literally. The three of them go out on a date to a fancy schmancy restaurant. Once the afternoon is over, the husband always finishes his conversations with “Life is Good, Betty!” (mi mami).
I’m learning to say that at least once a day and look at all that I do with that same positive vantage point. And, why does this even matter? With all the traveling I do and have going on as I build my business (so much more than food and blogging) I get stressed and drive myself batty…. 2.5 weeks in D.C. last month, NY and D.C. last week and now off to L.A. for a week.
Is it overwhelming and tiring? Yes! Do I love it? Yes! This time particularly because visit to L.A. is my first real trip to the cuidad de los angeles—yes for real. This girl here has been to the Santa Monica pier during a 6-hour lay over from Mexico and one other time just to impatiently wait at the airport for another layover from Hawai’i. Needless to say I’m kinda geek’d. I’ve got a lot of great meetings and events lined up.
But the initial purpose of this trip is because I’ll be at:
Yes! Chrystal of The DuoDishes and I are hosting the only food panel, appropriately titled “Food Blogging 101” where we’ll be addressing the ins and outs of starting and branding a food blog. To quote Chrystal on how she and I have come to continuously work together : “we were able to meet and hang out for the first time in hometown of Washington, D.C. in December 2009. Just a couple of months after that, we pulled together a charity event–Stir It 28– in February 2010 to raise money for Haiti relief. Along with Courtney of Coco Cooks, Bren and I organized a successful multi-city fundraising event–three cities, three hosts, one purpose. We’re working together again, and we are excited to speak to a new crowd about the food blogging and our sector of the culinary world.”
Our success with Stir It 28 has fostered a great and mutually respectful working relationship so I’m tickled to be working with her again! Blogging While Brown is a national conference that offers a couple of days of uniquely designed panels hosted by speakers knowledgeable with pertinent information for bloggers from all realms of social media including technology, lifestyle, health, charity, food of course, education and general topical interests in this new era of communication and media.
Chrystal touched on this, but while the conference name suggests its only open to us brown bloggers, it’s NOT! It’s open to the novice, seasoned, well-established or even curious blogger that wants to gain knowledge and network with like-minded people looking to thrive and be successful.
When I started food blogging in January of 2008, I knew absolutely nothing about the platform. Nada. I had not a single blogger friend; hell, I didn’t know any food bloggers let alone have a mentor I could ask questions and learn from. I did it all on faith and a deep-rooted desire to express myself (while in stilettos) and share my talents. Clearly I love cooking. Clearly I love entertaining. And surely you don’t have to guess I enjoy writing (I better as it pays my bills– and shoes)
My blog and I have learned a wealth of information and hence have grown tremendously. I see it in living color when I’m casually (and sometimes way too seriously) contacted by newer bloggers asking for tips or advice, etc… Since I didn’t have that, I want to do it for others.
So, yeah, we’ll be speaking and dishing out tidbits on what we know and how this all works.
However, we like to have fun and kick our shoes up (I brought about 10 pairs!) and not be all serious and business all the time. So, we’ve planned a kick-off party!! Since I’ve never really been to L.A. but know a slew of people and want to get to know some of the conference attendees, we are hosting what I envision to be an uber chic, sexy and delicious cocktail party on the rooftop of the The Capital Grille Los Angeles on Thursday, July 8th from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm. This is our way of connecting visiting conference attendees with other bloggers (of all genres) and social media heads. For me, I’m looking forward to finally meeting some fabulous L.A.-based bloggers I’ve virtually come know.
The swanky party will be the place to be tomorrow night! Space is limited to 75 and we’ve already exceeded that number so we encourage you to get there early!
Our kind friends at the Capital Grille are hooking us up with these goodies:
- *Complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres
- *$6 specialty cocktails and select wines and beers available at the bar, with POM Wonderful offering a signature POM Havana cocktail!
- *The chance to win a $100 gift certificate to The Capital Grille Los Angeles courtesy of the restaurant, The Duo Dishes and Flanboyant Eats
But it gets oh-so-better! Chrystal and I worked like mules for the past two weeks and have garnered some serious swag to give away courtesy of wonderful brands and products we’ve that are supporting our efforts. The amount of stuff is so much we’re glad to have to split up the goodies between the cocktail party and during our panel on Saturday.
Let me tease you:
*Starbucks Natural Fusions Gift Bags
*California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Bertolli Tasting Certificates
*Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs and Voices (compilation cookbook) and aprons
*The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy by Robin Donovan and Juliana Gallin
*America I AM Pass It Down Cookbook: Over 130 Soul-Filled Recipes (compilation cookbook)
*The Crabby Cook Cookbook: Recipes and Rants by Jessica Harper
*Recipes and Memories from the Heart by Zov Karamardian
* Soy candles by 3Piece Incidentals
*Lite POM Wonderful juice and recipe cards
*Cookbooks galore… oh I don’t know, close to 8… fab, right!
But, we want to make all these giveaways fun, interactive and fair so we’ve come up with a few “must-do’s” in order to join in the eligibility! We know you won’t mind; plus the stuff is all worth a few minutes of your time.
*Follow @BrenHererra and @TheDuoDishes on Twitter (during party and and panel, which ever one you’re at first)
*Like Bren Herrera and The Duo Dishes on our Facebook Pages (during party and and panel, which ever one you’re at first)
*If you’re at the happy hour, tweet about The Capital Grille Los Angeles, who you’re meeting and what you’re eating or drinking. * If you’re at the panel, tweet about what you’re learning or send questions with the hash tag #bwbfoodblogging. Even if you’re not at the panel, you can send questions with the #bwbfoodblogging hash tag. I’ve set up a live tweetchat so that anyone and everyone can benefit from our chatter. Quite easy. Log into Tweetchat with your Twitter handle, enter the convo hashtag and join the discussion. Make sure you mention @BrenHerrera and @TheDuoDishes so we can trace your tweets!
Tweet to win, pretty much!
You can still complete late registration for Blogging While Brown. For more information, click HERE. This weekend’s going to rock and I’ll be doing it all in a new pair of sassy stilettos I plan on buying today!
See you there! Smooches!
LIFE IS GOOD, indeed!
* Thanks to POM Wonderful for consideration and sponsorship!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.