Last Thursday was one of those days when I realized even more that determination and commitment will yield great returns.
After a 9-hour meeting (and still jet-lagging), allowing me only 30 minutes to shower, fancy my face and get dressed, I hauled arse to Beverly Hills to join my friend Chrystal.
She and I were set and ready to host a cocktail party that turned out to be more than I think we both expected. In anticipation of the Blogging While Brown conference, we wanted to connect with the bloggers that would be attending the conference and specifically our panel, Food Blogging 101.
Held on The Capital Grille’s rooftop, and overlooking an unassuming L.A. intersection, we gleefully entertained roughly 80 bloggers that were seemingly anxious to meet and greet us and more excited to nibble on generous sized sirloin bites (which I had about 4 of) and other seafood sliders; not to mention cocktails including our evening’s signature POM Wonderful Havana and Lola (a wonderfully chic concoction).
(courtesy of Chrystal)
Our goal was to offer our guests an opportunity to meet each other and learn about each others’ blog and business. Chrystal and I also wanted to connect with these wonderful colleagues we’ve bonded with over the last few years and as recent as within the last two months. I finally met Greg from Sippity Sup (my Nudie Foodie compadre) who’s just as sexy in person as he is in in his pool and published picture. And, my Latina blogging sister, Monique Frausto from Click Latina. She’s lovelier in person than in all the blog groups we connect on daily. She’s also a colleague in the Latina Smart campaign I’m working on, so it was a great highlight to my evening.
(Greg, Chrystal and myself getting sexy)
(BWB panelist, Scott; Monique and myself)
Since Monique was one of two recognizable Latinas (in addition to my niece, whom I had playing personal assistant and in which she may have found a job and one Latino hailing from Fresno to meet me), I thought the evening and ambiance was a perfect backdrop for my 2nd video for Latina Smart. Fortunately, I was able to whip up some videographer connections that kindly offered to come by and shoot my vid!
Thank you CB!!!
(My niece Priscilla and I working on jewelry malfunction)
Right before the sun set, I frazzled my hair (a fail, really), got sassy and camera ready and spoke on what how I was Latina Smart that day. Watch the video and get a glimpse of how Chrystal and I hustled to make the cocktail party happen.
Aside from the guests we already knew were registered for the conference and our panel, we found that a small group that weren’t going to be able to attend either. Asserting a preemptive strike in excluding anyone from benefitting in what we had conjured up for the weekend, we initiated an interactive plan so that everyone could enjoy and win!
(courtesy of Chrystal)
While our guests mingled and tweeted their experience, we pulled out business cards and checked Twitter for followers that legitimately participated in our giveaway. Cuz yeah, we had rules! Play fair is what we insisted on. We handed out 12 or so gifts courtesy of various food brands, products and lifestyle products that support both of our respective work, including a $100 gift card from The Capital Grille! Their support and in-kind donations underscored one of our speaking points during our panel: how to connect with brands. I’ve planned a brief recap of our panel later this week, but for now, let me just say that there is beauty in connecting with a brand that complements your ethic, your blog’s own brand and your culinary point of view.
I’m proud we had goodies that represented that.
After 3 hours of schmoozing and having what I counted to be 5 cocktails, I realized how great social media has been to me and what it represents for the growth of my business on and offline.
The camaraderie is genuine and authentic, another point we made during our presentation and it goes to show how a network of smart, young, fabulous and ambitious people, in this case bloggers, can benefit from networking in an environment conducive to high social activity without offending anyone, i.e., glued to our phones, FB and Twitter updates of everything we’re doing and answering the phone to get your friends to come out!
A huge thanks to POM Wonderful™ for their support of my participation in BWB and providing plenty of POM Wonderful™100% pomegranate juice for the cocktails along with 4 different recipe cards! I’ll share more about our work in the panel recap. If you didn’t know, I’m a huge fan and support their brand and product for reasons I’ve diligently researched.
And of course to The Capital Grille for sharing their sexy space and food for 3 swanky hours!
From POM and me to you, here’s a super juicy mojito, appropriately named Havana!
(POM Wonderful “Havana” Mojito)
* this week’s post is part of my participation in the Latina Smar ambassador campaign.
- 1 oz. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. Cointreau
- 1 oz. soda water
- 3 lime wedges
- 4 mint leaves
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- Muddle lime wedges, mint leaves and brown sugar in a highball glass.
- Fill the glass with shaved ice.
- Assemble vodka and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker; shake well with ice and pour into glass.
- Top off the cocktail with pomegranate juice and club soda, and stir.