Takeaways from the National Eczema Association’s 2014 Patient Conference in Boston

I recently had the privilege of attending the National Eczema Association’s Patient Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past I have shared my challenge as an adult with Eczema. I have also shared my dedication to helping find a cure. Attending this conference in Boston has given me a new positive perspective about a cure coming very soon. There were general sessions related to different medications and treatments, allergies, medical breakthroughs in Eczema and my favorite topic, alternative therapies.

The understanding from everyone at the conference was heartwarming. To be surrounded by so many others who completely understand what it’s like to live the itch life made me feel a support that I had never experienced before.

National Eczema Association Conference

I attended the patient support session: How do you cope with Eczema? This session was a group discussion where everyone had a chance to share their story. My favorite part of the session  was when we all shared one positive thing that’s come from our Eczema. It’s easy to focus on the negative but focusing on the bright side makes everything better. Here are some positive things the adults shared:

  • I am more compassionate
  • I have learned how to cope
  • I am more conscious of my healthy in general
  • I am grateful for NEA (National Eczema Association)
  • I am resilient and strong
  • I am a comedian and can add jokes about Eczema to my stand up routine
  • I appreciate my family being there for me
  • I have more self control

Everything on that list is awesome! The conference had a Kid’s Camp where the kids got to learn, make new friends and just have a good time with other kids without having to feel self conscious about their skin. On the last day we had a general session with both the kids and adults. The kids had a chance to share some positive things about Eczema and the conference too. Here’s what they shared:

  • I get to make new friends
  • I get to see my photo featured on the NEA magazine
  • I get to travel to new places
  • I am itching for a cure

IMG_20140711_180021_047

I am amazed at how smart and aware all of the kids are. The list of positive things from both the adults and kids  is a great reminder that even when experiencing something challenging such as Eczema there are many things to be grateful for. I mentioned that I really enjoyed learned about alternative therapies. I avoid pharmaceutical medications as much as I can so I was happy to hear doctors recommending other things to try. Dr. Lio, the founder of   The Chicago Integrative Eczema Center gave many suggestions on alternative therapies. He did let us know that with alternative therapies there haven’t been studies done to prove they work. Here are new things I learned:

  • Oil pulling- This is a tradition in Ayurveda medicine. I have heard about this before but not for Eczema and it wasn’t recommended specifically for Eczema either.  It’s a way to cleanse and pull toxins from your body through your mouth. At first the concept seemed odd but I’ve been doing it consistently for over a week with coconut oil and if anything, my teeth feel cleaner than ever!
  • Acupressure- I can’t tell you how many times people have recommended I try acupuncture for my Eczema. My answer has always been that I don’t want to use needles to puncture my skin since I’m already so sensitive and I just don’t feel comfortable doing anything that will further irritate my skin. People don’t really understand this response and always tell me how “small” the needles are and that I won’t feel it. Well when you have Eczema, you feel everything! Dr. Lio recommended acupressure instead. Without me even saying anything about my concern with acupuncture , he started off by addressing my exact concern! I was so happy to hear someone finally understand why acupuncture is not right for most people with Eczema.  He taught us how to do acupressure on ourselves and recommended we do it for 3 minutes, 3 days a week.
  • Sooth skin with oil before moisturizing- Emu oil was recommended for Eczema. Some people also use olive oil and coconut oil. I have tried olive oil and coconut oil but never emu oil. I will look into emu oil, it does not seem very common.
  • Hypnosis- This one seems odd, but I have actually tried it before! My friend Christian Wasinger is a Hypnotist  in San Diego and made me a recording over a year ago. Listening to the recording is very relaxing and similar to meditating. I had not listened to my recording for a while, but last night I found it and will be listening to it regularly again. I definitely notice myself not scratching when I’m listening to the recordings.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Baths- I rarely take baths but it was recommended to place one cup of apple cider vinegar in your bath water. I am open to trying this the next time I take a bath.
  • Get Vitamin D- I’m lucky to live in San Diego so I have plenty of access to natural Vitamin D from the sunshine. Vitamin D supplements can also be taken.
  • New Products- In addition to learning about new alternative therapies, I received dozens of new products to try. I am going to read the ingredients very carefully before trying any of these, but the sponsors were very generous with their giveaways. The photo below only shows a few products, by the end of the conference I had more than triple the amount of products pictured.

Products from the National Eczema Association Conference

Overall I feel very grateful that I was able to attend the conference.  One of my favorite things is the luncheon with a doctor at each table (I chose Dr. Lio’s table). Getting this one-on-one time with Dr. Lio was extremely valuable. I also enjoyed the opportunity to share our positive thoughts both in our sessions and on camera. Julie Block, the CEO of the National Eczema Association shared that now, more than ever there is more research that’s focused on Eczema. This only means we are closer to finding a real cure. I’m excited to see more developments in Eczema research and look forward to staying positive.

National Eczema Association Signs

RIP Tony Gwynn + Cages and Cocktails with my San Diego Padres

Before I begin this post, I would like to express my deepest condolences for Mr. Padre, Tony Gywnn. Gywnn was a true icon for San Diego and national sports. It’s been a tough year for the Padres especially after already losing the great Jerry Coleman. We truly lost another leader and friend in San Diego sports so I’m happy to see all of the positive tributes to him locally and in the national media.

Tony Gwynn Statue RIP

Thanks to @sdgaucho on Instagram for this photo of Tony Gwynn’s statue.

While we are all mourning the loss of Mr. Padre, baseball season is still in full swing and I know my San Diego Padres will want to do whatever they can to make Tony Gwynn proud! Despite our not so hot record, of course I’m cheering on my Padres. I love any opportunity I get to connect with my favorite baseball team. A few years ago a simple Tweet I posted got me VIP access to a Padres game. This year (May 2014) I was invited by the University Club to practice with the Padres in their batting cages.

I arrived to the Lexus Premier Club where I was greeted with appetizers and beverages. After mingling a bit, it was time for me to batter up! I got to bat at the very same spot Mr. Padre even once stood. I must say that my batting average wasn’t too bad! I had such a great time in the cages and even got a behind the scenes tour of the field at Petco Park.

Batting Practice with the Padres

Private Tour of Petco Park

Thanks to the University Club for this special behind the scenes experience. If you haven’t been to the University Club it’s home to one of the best views in San Diego and is the pre-eminent club for social and business connections in San Diego. Crowning the San Diego Symphony Towers, in the heart of beautiful downtown San Diego, it’s a place to build fulfilling, long-lasting relationships. They host effective, high-quality networking events such as the one I just attended and have many and business advantages. Members can also come by to relax or for a  fine-dining experience with breathtaking views of the city. I’ve you haven’t been to the University Club, I highly recommend checking it out. If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll connect you with Michelle Belgar (on the left in the photo). She founded the Young Executive Society at the University Club and will be able to connect you with the right person to help you set up a tour and learn more information about joining.

University Club San Diego

I wish my San Diego Padres the best of luck as they continue to play ball with their hero now resting in peace. I’m so glad I had the unique experience of going behind the scenes with the Padres and I hope to see everyone out at a ball game some time soon.

So Cal Road Trip to Celebrate Terranea’s Birthday and Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of being invited to 2 unique events. One being in LA and the other in Orange County so I figured this would be a great time for me to take a quick road trip, enjoy some fun experiences and also catch up with friends who live in my neighboring cities.

On Sunday afternoon I drove up to LA and returned to the gorgeous Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. I stayed there a while back when I did a promotion for Klout at Terrana. This past Sunday I was invited back to celebrate their 5th birthday! The event consisted of a mouth watering farm to table lunch that really was reflective of the type of food Terranea serves, live music on the meadows and breath taking views in every part of the resort. I also had a chance to relax at their ocean view pool.

Terranea Resort 5th Anniversary live music

Music on the Meadows at Terranea’s 5th Anniversary Party

Farm to Table Lunch for Terranea's 5th Anniversary

Farm to Table Lunch for Terranea’s 5th Anniversary

Terranea Resort 5th Anniversary Dessert

Farm to Table Dessert for Terranea’s 5th Anniversary

Poolside View at Terranea Resort

Poolside View at Terranea Resort

Terranea's 5th Anniersary Red Carpet Welcome

Terranea’s 5th Anniersary Red Carpet Welcome

I had a great time and am glad I got to experience this momentous occasion. Before driving down to Orange County the next day, I finally had a chance to practice yoga at Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga Studio in Santa Monica. I set an intention to practice yoga whenever I travel and I have always wanted to check out this studio since I have taken workshops and classes by Bryan Kest. I loved the simple yet very fitting decor and the class was a great addition to my road trip. After class it was time for me to make my way down the coast to Laguna Beach for the Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters Media Preview night. Little did I know what a treat I was in for!

Bryan Kest Power Yoga Studio

Bryan Kest Power Yoga Studio

The Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters is a celebration of live artwork with real people and objects making up the portraits that are showcased on stage. I have never seen anything like it and can truly say it was the most unique and intriguing type of art my eyes have ever seen. I had a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and see how the art was being created. From the elaborate sets, to makeup artists essentially serving as artists for the final masterpiece, it was truly fascinating. 

Behind the scenes of Pageant of the Arts

Behind the scenes at Pageant of the Masters

Behind the Scenes at Pageant of the Arts

Behind the Scenes at Pageant of the Masters

Finished Masterpiece at Pageant of the Masters.

Finished Masterpiece at Pageant of the Masters. Photo Credit: OC Events

During media night, we had a chance to see 4 live portraits on stage. As you can see from the above photo there are so many intricate details from the props to the clothing.  I personally kept wondering how the people were able to hold still and not blink for almost 5 minutes. If you want to enjoy this unique type of art, the Festival of the Arts- Pageant of the Masters is open in Laguna Beach July 9th – August 30th, 2014. I definitely recommend it. If I get a chance to go back before the festival closes I absolutely will. My mini road trip was a success! Thanks to Ted Nguyen who organized the media night for social media influencers. I met Ted at a Twitter conference 5 years ago but thanks to the power of social media we stayed connect.

If you have recommendations for things to do/see in Orange County and LA let me know. I’m grateful to live in San Diego but would love to try and explore my neighboring cities more.

Join Marketing Melodie for Yoga Disco Sunday May 4th in America’s Finest City

Ever since I set the intention to combine my passions for marketing and yoga into my career, I have been manifesting more and more opportunities to make my goals a reality. I recently presented the workshop How to Grow Your Yoga Business with Social Media and I continue to come across more opportunities to utilize my marketing expertise for the greater good of yoga. Recently Yoga Disco reached out to me to help promote their San Diego event. What is Yoga Disco you ask?

Picture this: yoga, music, dance, illumination, restoration, awakening and good vibes in America’s finest city. That sure sounds amazing to me!

On Sunday May 4th, Yoga Disco takes over San Diego with the Ultimate Yoga Dance Party.  The event takes place in one of my absolute favorite spots in San Diego, the historic Balboa Park.

Balboa Park by Marketing Melodie

This is going to be an energy- filled, inspirational event where practitioners will meditate, learn and network with like-minded individuals. Above all, it’s five hours of fun in a safe, substance-free environment. I’ve already participated in Karaoke Yoga in the past where I sang and practiced yoga simultaneously. Now I’m ready to add dancing to my yoga practice! 

Yoga Disco Banner

Yoga Disco’s mission is to promote unity, compassion, a healthy lifestyle, and positive attitude through the practice of yoga. I’ll be there with my mat and would love to have you join me. Here are all the details:

YOGA DISCO SAN DIEGO

Date: Sunday May 4th, 2014

Time: 4pm-9:30pm

Location: Balboa Park Activity Center 2145 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101

Tickets: General Admission is $60, but I’m hooking you up. Use code: “MELODIE” for $20 off. Additionally, if you buy 3 tickets, you get the 4th FREE! All you have to do is email me your confirmation for buying 3 tickets and I’ll give you the 4th one. So grab some friends and Get your tickets HERE

I’m also giving away one complimentary entry to Yoga Disco to a lucky Marketing Melodie reader. There are 2 ways to enter and you can participate in both ways for a total of 2 entries:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post. In your comment share why you enjoy yoga and why you want to attend this event.

2. For the second entry make sure to follow me on Twitter @MyMelodie.  ReTweet this blog post and make sure to tag both @MyMelodie and @YogaDisco in your Tweet. 

The winner will be announced on Thursday May 1st. Good luck and NAMASTE!

WORKSHOP: How to Grow Your Yoga Business with Social Media- Saturday March 29th at La Jolla Yoga Center

La Jolla Yoga Center holds a special place in my heart. This is where I had the pleasure of doing my yoga teacher training. I’ve met so many amazing friends and yogis in this space. I’ve also advanced my yoga practice and learned that advancing my yoga practice isn’t just all about sticking a challenging pose. This is why I’m so thrilled to return to La Jolla Yoga Center this Saturday to host a workshop: How to Grow Your Yoga Business with Social Media. This workshop is conjuction with their current teacher training and also open to the public.

La Jolla Yoga Center Teacher Training

This workshop will benefit anyone who works in the fitness, health and wellness business, not just yoga. Here are all the details:

As a yoga professional you’re an integral part of enhancing people’s health and well-being. In such a personal industry, it’s important to strategically market yourself to keep your students up to date, encourage them to attend your classes and be a trusted resource. With an abundance of digital technologies available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when creating a marketing strategy. At this workshop, you’ll learn how to navigate social media tools such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to attract more clients, grow your business and be a valuable resource in your industry all while maintaining your true integrity as a yoga professional.

It is recommended that attendees bring a laptop or tablet to participate in the interactive activities. If a laptop isn’t available, please bring a notepad and pen.

Takeaways

  • Actionable content and tips you can implement immediately to start marketing yourself as a yoga and wellness professional
  • Knowledge on how to serve as a trusted subject matter expert and resource
  • Understanding on how to use Social Media tools to create a compelling brand

Date- Saturday March 29th, 2014

Time- 4:30pm (check in). The workshop starts at 4:45pm and goes until 6pm.

Location- La Jolla Yoga Center- 7741 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037

Cost- $29/online, $39 at the door

Parking- The nearby Bank of America parking lot is free on the weekends. You can also find street parking, but if there is a sign make sure it says “2 hour parking”.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

How to Grow Your Yoga Business with Social Media

I am so excited to share my marketing skills at the same place where I grew so much in both my personal and professional life through yoga.  If you have attended one of my workshops in the past, a lot has changed in the social media landscape so I can guarantee you’ll learn new strategies. If you can’t attend, please pass this info along to someone you might know who can benefit from this information.

~NAMASTE~

 

 

Marketing Melodie’s Top 10 Favorite Things About SXSW 2014

3 ‘s a charm! This was my third year attending SXSW and I really felt like I got the hang of it! I attended more sessions and events than ever before, yet felt like I had more time on my hands to do all the things I wanted to do. I was a lot better at planning my schedule each day and I also learned about the term FOMO (fear of missing out) at SXSW. You over book yourself and don’t enjoy the session, meetup or event you’re currently at because you fear that you’re missing out on something bigger and better. I was able to let go of FOMO which significantly enhanced my positive experience this year. Just like previous years (SXSW 2012 recap here and my top 10 at SXSW 2013 here), there was so much to learn and experience at SXSW that I decided to once again share my top 10 favorite things about SXSW 2014. 

1. SXSW Yoga and Meditation- I was grateful and honored to be invited back as a speaker and teacher for SXSW Yoga and SXSW Meditation. Any opportunity I get to teach yoga and meditation to fellow tech-crazed and social media savvy attendees is a blessing. It was great to be surrounded by so many like minded people in the technology space and even better to create a deeper connection with them by teaching them something I love. I taught yoga poses that can easily be done during breaks at work so busy professionals know how to incorporate yoga into their daily lives. I also taught various meditation techniques so people could find a style that fits their needs.

SXSW Yoga

SXSW Meditation 2014

2. Gogo’s BBQ on a Private Jet-  When Gogo announced they’d be taking SXSW by storm to host an exclusive BBQ on their private jet, I knew I needed to snag an invite. I used the power of social media to Tweet and Facebook them and being the lucky girl that I am, I got in! They surprised me by picking me up in my very own stretch limo. When I arrived, they had Keith’s BBQ waiting for me, then we were escorted out to take flight on their private jet. While up in the air, we learned about their latest technology that allows you to share your exact location, connect to the internet and text in the air.  Gogo helps you stay productive while traveling. They understands that just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean that the world stops working. When our flight landed, I was presented with the most generous swag bag that came in the cutest airline messenger bag. My gifts included a brand new Moto X phone installed with the lastest Gogo apps, Monster headphones with a noise cancelling feature that will come in handy for long flights, and a Chromebook so I can easily stay connected when traveling. This event was so wonderful that I can’t thank Gogo enough. I will absolutely be connecting to Gogo on my next flight. The photos and video speak for themselves.

SXSW Gogo

3. WordPress Happiness Bar- The WordPress Happiness bar in the trade show makes me happy every year and this year they’ve done it again! Their experts were on hand and helped me fix several issues I had been experiencing on my WordPress site. Thank you again WordPress! I look forward to your booth every year and will continue rockin’ your t-shirt! 

Wordpress Happiness Bar SXSW

4. Mark Cuban- I am a huge Mark Cuban fan.  I attended the One on One interview with him and left so inspired. He encouraged us to look at every job as an opportunity where you get paid to learn. Having this mindset has already helped me be more positive about my career and jobs I accept for my business. I love his entrepreneurial spirit, his strong opinions on Shark  and of course his enthusiasm as owner of the Dallas Mavericks. (Since I have no home team for basketball here in San Diego, I cheer for the Mavericks). Mark Cuban is definitely interested in sharing advice to help other entrepreneurs succeed.

5. DIY- The New Culinary MovementFor the first time ever, SXSW Interactive had a food track for their sessions. This only makes sense since technology is becoming more and more prevalent in the culinary world. 3D Food printing was all the rage this year. Oreo even had a 3D Oreo printing station set up that had people waiting well over an hour to customize and print their own oreo. I attended a great panel called DIY- The New Culinary Movement featuring Top Chef Paul Qui! Cooking, baking and creating healthy recipes is one of my favorite past times. Since I spend so much of my spare time with DIY culinary projects, it was great learning from experts in this industry how the DIY food movement is growing. 

SXSW Top Chef Paul Qui

6. Cronuts after Midnight- I’ve heard a lot of hype about Cronuts but have never actually seen one in real life. Well SXSW and Alison and Partners made this possible at their Cronuts at Midnight party. I met the creator, Dominique Ansel who also created the chocolate chip cookie milk shot glass. I had fun talking tech while enjoying some unique sweet treats. This event was also another nod to the culinary movement in the tech scene. Combining my favorite things (culinary arts + technology) always makes me happy.

SXSW Crounuts after Midnight

7. Yahoo!, Upright Citizens Brigade and Jeffrey Tambor- SXSW Interactive combines education and entertainment seamlessly! They brought back more SXSW Comdey acts this year and thanks to Yahoo! I watched an epic performance by Upright Citizens Brigade, featuring the hilarious Jeffrey Tambor. I love his character(s) in Arrested Development. Watching him live was just as entertaining. Improv acting is so intriguing to me. I’ve taken improv classes myself and shared the benefits of improv with 10 reasons taking an improv class will make you happy. I always learn new ideas and strategies for thinking on my feet while speaking when I watch an improv show. Having improvisational skills is a must especially since I want to continue growing my speaking business

Jeffery Tambor SXSW

8. Wearables- Wearables were the the talk of town! One of my favorite parts of SXSW was being able to gift FitBits to 2 lucky winners. I partnered up with my friends at SweatGuru to make this possible. I first shared ways to stay Fit at SXSW. Then at the actual event,  I gathered fitness data by asking attendees to complete a quick fitness survey and also encouraged everyone to post a photo of themselves staying Fit at SXSW. I had a lot of fun connecting with other SXSW attendees who enjoy health and fitness. I met a lady who wears 20 different devices and Shaq’s presentation “Wearables and Beyond” was entertaining. He shared how his FitBit has helped him stay healthy since retiring as a professional athlete.

 SweatGuru at SXSW

20 Wearables at SXSW

9. SXSW Film- When SXSW Interactive ended, I stayed an extra day to enjoy SXSW film and I’m so glad I did! The first screening I attended was a series of 6 short films chosen by the Vimeo staff. Each film was different but what I enjoyed most is that after all the films were played, they replayed each one but brought in the director and actors to provide commentary over the film. It was interesting to get another perspective on each scene as it was happening from the people who created the film. The other film I had he pleasure of enjoying is called Butterfly Girl. This film was so inspirational! It’s a documentary about Abbie Evans, who lives with a rare skin disease,  Epidermolysis Bullosa. The film documents her strength, courage and positive attitude. Being that I personally suffer from a skin disease, Eczema I felt a connection to her and the movie really touched my heart. Unfortunately Abbie Evans died a few months prior to the screening but her Dad who is featured in the film both as an actor and musician was there to answer questions. I highly recommend this film!

10. PayPal Blogger Lounge and Hudson Band- I really appreciated the blogger lounge hosted by PayPal. They provided a relaxing area for people to take a break from the SXSW Interactive bustle. They had water, snacks, charging stations and even fun entertainment on their stage that featured successful technology professionals and musicians. SXSW Music is one of the largest music festivals in the world so it’s only natural that I’ll discover a new awesome band. The band Hudson is my favorite SXSW Music discovery this year. They have a unique, fresh, modern rock n roll sound. My best part of their band is the harpist! Yep, a member of the band busted out a harp for one of the songs. I play the harp myself and since it’s such a rare instrument, I loved seeing it incorporated into a rock n roll band.

SXSW PayPal Lounge Hudson Band

As an added bonus, I had a chance to take a yoga class at Black Swan Yoga. I loved the vibe of this donation based studio. Well it’s been another amazing SXSW. I connected with so many awesome people from all walks of life, learned a lot about new technology, added fun experiences to my memories and  enjoyed delicious Texas BBQ. Thanks to every single person who made my experience wonderful!

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