Attention Chocolate Lovers! I’ve got a sweet treat for you! This weekend the Maritime Museum of San Diego hosts the Second Annual Chocolate Festival on the Bay and I’ve got your golden ticket to this delicious event. Any event on the bay is awesome simply for the gorgeous view. I’ve hosted yoga events on the bay and attended other food and wine festivals on the bay so I’m excited to go back this weekend! First here’s some info:
The two day tasting and educational chocolate showcase along San Diego Bay features food, wine and a variety of chocolate treats. This delicious event brings together the world-renowned Maritime Museum of San Diego with many other vendors including Mars Chocolate North America.
We love eating chocolate but sometimes it’s fun to learn about what we’re eating too. A team of Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors will tell the historical bean-to-beverage story of chocolate using authentic tools including cocoa pods, cocoa beans and nibs, a hot stone metate, winnowing baskets, chocolate drink pots and stirrers throughout the day. Attendees can touch, taste, smell, and experience chocolate as it was enjoyed by early Americans at every demonstration by sampling American Heritage Chocolate.
This event is family friendly so there will be something for everyone! Kids can build their own chocolate pizza, make crafts, play games, and go on a scavenger hunt to win prizes. Adults can enjoy wine and chocolate pairings, view chocolate-focused demonstrations and learn kitchen tricks with chocolate. Everyone can experience chocolate at vendor booths.
Wine, Cheese and Chocolate: A Festival for your Palette is a 21-and-over event being held on Friday, May 3 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The main festival takes place on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Chocolate Festival is included in the cost of Museum admission that weekend. Details and tickets can be found here.
I have a pair of tickets to give away to the festival. The tickets allow you to go to the festival either on Saturday or Sunday. I want to give these tickets away to the biggest chocolate lover in my community so here’s how to win:
1. Write a comment on this blog post and answer the following questions: 1. What is your favorite chocolate treat? 2. Which chocolate company do you feel has the best social media presence and why? Each answer gets you 1 entry. You are welcome to answer both questions for 2 entires.
2. Each person will receive an additional entry if you follow me on Twitter @MyMelodie and Retweet this post!
I will announce the winner on Friday evening so hurry up and enter! Good luck and I can’t wait to hear about your favorite chocolate treats and learn about what chocolate companies are doing it right on social media.
Positive karma is amazing. As I announce my winner of the Sony Walkman W, I also get to share new Sony products that I received and an amazing adventure I had thanks to both Sony and Klout! To pay it forward I hosted a contest to give away a Social Media/ Fitness Swag Bag. Since the contest was launched around Earth Day and I wanted to both learn and share more tips for going green, I asked the question: “How are you going green?” as the ticket to entry for the contest. I learned so many new tips that I’ll be compiling in a future post so thanks to everyone for participating. And now to announce the lucky winner…CONGRATS TO:
JEFF SMITH! Winner of the Sony Walkman W and Social Media/Fitness Swag Bag
Now you’re probably wondering about the rest of this blog title, Adventures of Flying in San Diego?! Yes, last Friday I literally flew! Here’s how it all went down and how I ended up in the air. Klout perks have won me over in the past. I’ve received so many goodies from them and last summer they sent me on a weekend getaway at the world class resort, Terranea. This time Klout invited me to Sony’s Digital Imaging Workshop.
I enjoy capturing memories by taking photos but I’m certainly not a photographer in any way. So when Sony invited me to their Digital Imaging Workshop at the gorgeous Estancia Resort in La Jolla to learn how to take better photos and video while also offering me the new Sony Nex, plus the Sony Action Cam to practice on and take home, I was beyond grateful and all in! We started the afternoon by getting acquainted and enjoying a nice lunch at the Estancia. There were media folks, photographers and other online influencers.
After lunch, we were ready to learn. The best part of the workshop was getting all of our goodies though. It really felt like Christmas in April .
The best way to learn is by doing, so immediately after the workshop we took a walking tour of the resort to practice our photography skills. There were so many vibrant colors from nature, beautiful architecture and plenty of sunshine for us to practice our shots. The tour was nice and relaxing, but our day didn’t end here.
Sony and Klout were very smart to plan more adventures for us that would allow us to practice our newfound photography skills. I felt like I was on a very exciting school field trip as we a hoped on a bus to the Birch Aquarium. The Birch Aquarium offers one of my favorite viewpoints in San Diego so I spent a little time getting different shots of the view. I also practiced getting the perfect panoramic shot. Next I toured the aquarium and captured so many great photos of sea life. Our time here was limited though because we had to hop back on the bus and head to the Torrey Pines Glider Port.
This stop was an absolute thrill and once in a lifetime opportunity. I first signed a 20 page waiver….never a good feeling knowing there is a reason for such a long waiver. Then I was strapped into my equipment and seconds later I was lifting off! I felt my heart skip a beat an then quickly starting elevating higher and higher. I felt like I was in a dream while flying in San Diego and as soon as we got a little more stable up in the air, I began to calm down and was able to enjoy the beautiful view from an angle I’ve never seen before. It was an amazing experience and I captured it all on film with my Sony Action Cam! The videos came out so crystal clear and in such good quality despite my shaky hands. My only hang up with the Sony Action Cam is that I can’t actually see what I’m filming or review the footage on the actual video camera. I understand it’s intended to be small but I would like to have even a small screen to review the video on the spot. Regardless, it’s still awesome. Check out the video, you’ll feel like you’re flying too!
After flying in San Diego, things settled down a bit as we made our way back to the Estancia to wind down with happy hour and get ready to test our food photography skills with a gourmet five course dinner. I’ve admitted before that I’m absolutely addicted to cooking shows and food porn. I take tons of food photos but I really never understood the best way to make it look professional. I learned about different lighting strategies, angles, plating techniques and how to make my food look even better. By the end of dinner, I was stuffed, exhausted and very happy with my new tech toys and an amazing story to tell about flying in San Diego!
A huge thank you once again goes out to both Klout for inviting me and Sony for setting up our day to remember! If you’re interested in having me attend, promote or feature your event on Marketing Melodie, please feel free to contact me. I’m open to any opportunities and adventures that are a fit for my lifestyle and will often write a blog post about it to share and document my experiences.
Foursquare Day San Diego is just wrapping up and the 2013 event was bigger and better than ever! The true spirit of Foursquare was definitely in the air. I have been hosting Foursquare Day events for the past 3 years. This year I partnered with @DowntownRob, Stephanie from i.d.e.a, Melonie from Fandom Marketing and the Social Media Club.
The night started out with Foursquare Education by my friends over at Matters of Grey, Chaunce Dolan and Andy Morales. Matters of Grey is the best resource on the web for finding out about how to unlock Foursquare Badges! They taught us everything we needed to know about Foursquare. I definitely learned new tips on how to use Foursquare on a personal level and for business. If you missed the Foursquare Education portion of the event, no worries. You can find all the slides here.
After learning, we worked up a big appetite just in time to start the Foursquare Day Crawl! The idea behind the Foursquare Crawl was to get people checking in throughout the night and rewarding them for doing so. We walked over to Po Pazzo, checked in and started the night started off with mouthwatering appetizers.
The next check in on the Foursquare Day Crawl was Zia’s Bistro. Everyone enjoyed a nice glass of wine and more delicious appetizers.
Our last check in was Cafe Zucchero. They generously awarded us with any dessert from their dozens of choices for checking in. Their desserts are delectable. If I’m ever in the mood for dessert, I will definitely be coming back here! We also had a nice area reserved for us in the back to relax, mingle and enjoy the rest of the night.
Throughout the evening I got to catch up with my social media friends, met some awesome new connections, gave away limited Foursquare Day 2013 water bottles and made people winners by giving out gift cards to various restaurants in San Diego. It was an amazing night with the best company.
A special thank you goes out to the Bussalachi Family Restaurants for their extremely generous food, wine and dessert contribution to our event. They had superb customer service at every location and all of f their food was spectacular. Our partnership with them couldn’t have been made possible without our friends Stephanie, Gary and Beth from the i.d.e.a team.
Also, thank you to Dining Out San Diego and Islands Restaurants for donating raffle prizes. Last but not least, thank you to every single person who attended the event to celebrate Foursquare Day! This geek holiday is made possible by social media and all of the savvy people who use it so thank you San Diego for an amazing Foursquare Day celebration! See you next year on 4/16!
More Foursquare Day San Diego photos are posted on the Marketing Melodie Facebook page.
Although I may not be rich and famous just quit yet, social media has been my ticket to experiencing a life of luxury! For those who keep up with my blog, you’ve followed my adventures through getting pampered at a world class resort, getting VIP treatment while attending amazing live productions such as Cavalia and so much more. Well I have another fun adventures to document and share: My wonderful afternoon spent at the Hotel La Jolla and riding in the Aston Martin Vanquish. Thanks to my lovely social media friend MaryAnne Wendt, I received an invite to special VIP luncheon on March 21st, 2013 with HerHighway and Chef Donald Lockhart.
Yep, another opportunity that happened exclusively thanks to social media. MaryAnne and I have been Tweeting with each other for a few years. When she knew she was coming down to San Diego for this event, she immediately thought of me because she recalled my post about driving the Chevy Volt. Since HerHighway is about cars and bumper to bumper everything in between, MaryAnne knew I would enjoy this event. Even though we met for the first time IRL (in real life), a social media friend is always greeted with a hug instead of a handshake!
When I first arrived, we toured Hotel La Jolla. Located just steps away from the beach, this Kimpton Hotel recently underwent a $4 million renovation to make it a destination hotel for travelers in the area or just a hot spot to hang out for locals whether it’s to enjoy a nice staycation or dine at their gourmet Cusp Restaurant. Kimpton customizes each hotel to capture the essence of their location, so you can be sure to find unique decor and offerings at each hotel. One of my favorite things about about Hotel La Jolla is their theme, the “Tree of life”. The theme perfectly matches up with the beach vibe of La Jolla that’s surrounded by luscious palm trees and vibrant colors of the ocean. Their decor and vibe make you feel right at home. Each room even has a yoga channel and they offer mats you can use to keep up with your practice while on vacation. As a yogi, this is something that I loved hearing.
After the hotel tour, we got to ride in the $300,000 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish. How often do you get to sit in a car that’s more expensive than some homes? I loved learning about all the details of the car. Everything in the car is completely hand crafted from the glass on the controls to the leather on the seats. I felt like I was in a James Bond movie riding in a car with such a powerful engine. The car has so much power, that when safely buckled in, I literally felt like I was flying on the road.
The adreneline from the car ride, made everyone hungry. Luckily, they scheduled a gourmet lunch for us at Cusp Restaurant located inside Hotel La Jolla. Chef Donald Lockhart was ready and waiting for us to arrive. He welcomed us to our seats with delicious appetizers while we waited for our meals. All of their pasta is handmade at the restaurant, except for the gluten free pasta which is what I decided to order with pork ragout tomatoes and baby leeks. I’m happy to see that they even offer a gluten free option. The servers were extremely friendly and accommodating to dietary restrictions.
A big thank you goes out to MaryAnne Wendt, HerHighway and Hotel La Jolla for a truly luxurious afternoon in my own backyard. I am a fan of Kimpton Hotels (I’ve stayed in them in both Los Angeles, San Francisco and have attended events at them in San Diego) so would definitely recommend this spot to anyone looking for a getaway in La Jolla. As for the Aston Martin, I glad I had a chance to experience such an amazing ride! While it may not be in my budget to invest in one quite yet, thanks to Social Media, I was still able to experience this dream car. Signing off until my next adventure!
Today I’m grateful for another year and what better way to show my gratitude than to connect with my community? This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about birthdays. I pulled a little April Fools’ joke about my birthday a while back and I’ve also shared some fun facts with you about my special day, December 13th. Birthdays to me are always a great time for reflection and celebration. It’s also a day where you deserve to enjoy some special treatment.Well this year on my birthday I’d like to give you a gift by sharing some secrets with you on how to make your special day a little sweeter with the help of businesses and retailers who offer awesome birthday promotions.
Let’s face it. Times are tough so a lot of people aren’t giving as many birthday gifts as they used to. Also as an adult, the birthday party gifts you receive just aren’t as fun as they used to be. The My Little Pony collection or Hot Wheels set that gave us unlimited hours of enjoyment have turned into tchotchke items that end up in a White Elephant exchange (Hey I’m just being honest!). Well here are 13 fun birthday promotions from retailers that you’ll actually enjoy and appreciate. I have chosen the ones on this list because I have either redeemed them myself or feel that many of you will enjoy them and of course there’s 13 because 13 is my lucky number.
1. Aveda- This my favorite birthday promotion. It’s more for the ladies, but gentlemen you can also score this goodie and share it with your mom/sister/wife/lady in your life. Become a member of Aveda.com and get a complimentary Personal Blends™, Pure-Fume Spirit™ or body care product ($25 value) custom blended with the aroma of your choice. Aveda’s Pure-Fume™ aromas are powered by pure essential oils, and 90% of them are certified organic. When you go in their store, they have an entire station dedicated to making your personal product and you leave with a full size product, not a tiny sample size.
2. Baskin-Robbins- Enjoy a free scoop of ice cream from Baskin-Robbins when you sign up for their birthday club. I’m not big on ice cream, I prefer sorbet which luckily Baskin-Robbins does have. Baskin Robbins also has a cool promotion to keep you at the top of their mind by offering a half birthday gift. It’s not as sweet as a free scoop. It’s a buy one get one free scoop, but I still think it’s awesome that they acknowledge your half birthday. I was definitely surprised but also happy when I received an email from them wishing me a happy half birthday in June.
3. Benihana- Sign up for “The Chef’s Table” email list and get a $30 gift certificate during your birthday month. The offer is good for those 13 and up and can only be used Monday-Thursday but $30 is a pretty generous offer. I treated myself to a nice little sushi lunch at Benihana.
4. Big Bear Lift Ticket- This one is for all of you snowboarders and skiers. Yep, Big Bear the home of real snow that’s man made gives you a free lift ticket on your actual birthday. If you aren’t born during the season, you can still ride on the Snow Summit Scenic Sky Chair for free on your birthday. Lucky for me the lifts are always open in December and I was able to redeem this promotion one year (On my 21st birthday to be exact). I had a group of friends who were happy to snowboard with me on this day. And below is an actual photo of me snowboarding while catching some air in Big Bear!
5. Catalina Express- Who doesn’t love to travel on someone else’s dime? Take the Catalina Express into Catalina Island on your birthday. I have always wanted to come Catalina for a getaway and I’ve never actually had an opportunity to. December usually isn’t the prime time to visit Catalina either so I probably won’t be able to redeem their birthday deal which means I’ll have to come here for another occasion But for your spring and summer babies, from what I hear, this is a great birthday getaway. Below is a photo my friend Chris Kirkman took on his recent getaway to Catalina.
6. Hooters- Join the Hooters Eclub and receive 10 free wings on your birthday. This is another club I’m not a member of but I’m sure there are some of you who will be interested.
7. iHop- Join the Pancake Revolution at iHop and you’ll receive a stack on your birthday. You’ll also receive a free stack just for signing up. I haven’t redeemed this one before but if you love pancakes, this is a pretty good deal.
8. Medieval Times- Just like Catalina Island, this is another place I have always wanted to visit but haven’t yet had the opportunity to. I just learned that if you sign up for the King’s Court you receive a free admission on your birthday. If anyone has been here, let me know your thoughts and if you feel it’s worth the trip. I love interactive performances so this place sounds like it’s right up my alley.
9. Noodles and Company- Sign up for the Noodlegram and you’ll receive a complimentary bowl of noodles you can redeem on your birthday month. I redeemed this last week and enjoy a tasty dinner. As they like to say “We don’t sing, we Sauté.”
10. Red Robin- Join the Red Robbin EClub and receive a free burger on your birthday. This is another deal I’m not signed up for but I’ve heard good things from others who have enjoyed their free burger.
11. Rubio’s- Sign up for the Rubio’s Beach Club and they’ll send you a gift certificate redeemable for a free meal (up to $7). I received mine a couple weeks in advance so I was able to redeem it this year. As an added bonus you’ll receive a free taco upon signing up.
12. Sonic- Sign up for Sonic Cruisers, Sonic’s official fan club, and you’ll receive a coupon on your birthday for your choice of a regular order of tots, a medium fountain drink or a regular cream slush. This doesn’t seem like a big gift but I’m including it on my list because it wasn’t until recently that a Sonic opened up near San Diego and I remember people swarming to the joint just to finally eat at a place that we’ve been seeing so many commercials for but never had a chance to try.
13. Victoria’s Secret- Another one that’s mostly for the ladies. If you get on the Victoria’s Secret mailing list they’ll send you certificate for $10 off a $10 or more purchase to use during your birthday month. This comes in pretty handy if you’re like me and shop here anyway. If there’s nothing you need here during your birthday month, $10 is definitely enough to score you at least 1 pair of nice panties so essentially you’ll receive a close to free product (you pay tax).
Tips for Successfully Redeeming Birthday Freebies
- Read all the fine print! Some promotions are only good for the day of your birthday, others give you an entire week or month to redeem the promotion. Make sure your promotion hasn’t expired when you go to redeem it.
- If you have any doubts, call ahead of time to make sure the particular location you’re visiting is participating. Some businesses are franchised and not all owners have the same rules as others so there may be birthday offers that are only valid at certain locations.
- If you’re dining at a restaurant with a birthday promotion, tell the server before she takes the order, not after you get the bill. Oh and make sure to tip on the entire total that the meal would have cost rather than just the discounted amount.
- HAVE FUN ENJOYING YOUR SPECIAL DAY AND HAVE A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Well there you have it. My birthday gift to you! If you are wondering if there is anything nice you can do for me on my birthday, you can come take a yoga class. Yep I’m offering you another gift and that’s a complimentary yoga class! Just check out my yoga schedule and let me know whenever you’d like to come take a class. And last but not least, I must share with you my favorite place to make a wish list and that’s on My Registry. You can register any gift from any where all in one place. Everyone deserves to get gifts they actually want. So go ahead and get started with your very own registry.
I looked at my wall calendar today and realized it was still stuck on November. I quickly flipped the page to December but I really can’t believe we’ve already reached the last month of 2012. November flew by way too quickly. At the same time I’m also grateful that November happened. Even though Thanksgiving is over, I still believe having an attitude of gratitude is something we can adopt all year long. I want to share my experience and gratitude about a particular November event that happens to be related to Thanksgiving and cooking!
I recently wrote a blog post about my great experience in hosting Fresh & Easy Taste and Tweets. I’m very grateful that Fresh & Easy invited me along with other social media savvy/ blogger friends to another amazing event last month. This time it was a Thanksgiving cooking class. I just love the art of cooking. It’s my absolute favorite household activity because I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I love watching others cook, enjoying delicious food prepared by others and of course cooking myself. And yes we all know about my addiction to food porn. Honestly if I had another career (as if both marketing and yoga aren’t enough) it would be in the culinary arts.
The Fresh & Easy cooking class took place last month at Sur La Table in Fashion Valley. When we arrived we were greeted with wine and appetizers to enjoy while we mingled and got acquainted with each other and our cooking stations. Of course we had a hashtag to go along with the event, #feholidays (no event is complete without a hashtag).
Soon after we all got settled, Chef Cyndi Perez from Fresh & Easy took over to show our hungry class how to make a quick, healthy and delicious holiday meal using Fresh & Easy products and ingredients. Each station made a different salad, dressing and dessert. Chef Cyndi prepared turkey, gave us tips on avoiding the dry turkey we all dread and also prepared many side dishes for us to enjoy. I anticipated doing more of the cooking but Fresh & Easy was promoting their prepared holiday meals and teaching us how easy it really is to make dinner for a special occasion.
After learning some Fresh & Easy cooking tips and tricks from Chef Cyndi and doing a little cooking ourselves, it was time to enjoy a real feast. Of course my favorite part of the night was not only enjoying the delicious meal but also having an opportunity to catch up with some of my lovely social media friends.
I truly enjoyed my night at the Fresh & Easy cooking class. I’m looking forward to December, more holiday festivities and am so grateful for another wonderful year. I’ll be working on my 2012 year in review soon and as I look back on last year’s 2011 year in review I’m amazed at how far I’ve come with many of my achievements made possible by the tool we all love, social media. To conclude this post I just want to wish everyone a wonderful December!