Play the game

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Play the game

I just submitted my first writing piece to The Bold Italic. Like, my first writing piece that I’ve submitted anywhere besides my draft inbox.

Paper bags, deep breathing, etc.

This picture was taken today, as I ran down Market Street to catch the end of the Tuesday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building before my favorite dried fruit vendor closed up shop. Okay, maybe I didn’t run, and perhaps I leisurely took a random bus that OH RIGHT actually stops around the corner on Beale Street. No worries, should have known that because the same thing happened when I WAS running to catch the bus to see the Bay Lights Opening Ceremony a couple weeks ago. And it was pouring rain and wind, so that was fun.

Just keep playing the game. And damn, those dried peach samples are FANTASTIC.

Celeb Meeting #2: Joy the Baker

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What could be better than meeting Martha Stewart? Meeting Joy the Baker, naturally.

She had a book signing in Huntington Beach to celebrate her new (and first!) book: Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.

A few things about Joy:

1. She can teach you how to impress a boy by baking. That apple crisp is way too accurate. I mean…I haven’t used it for it’s intended purpose, but if I were someone’s mother, I’d totally approve.

2. She bikes everywhere. I want to bike everywhere, like I did in Davis. ALTHOUGH. I just bought myself a super rad hybrid bike that should be arriving this week!!!!! I can’t even tell you. But maybe the exclamation marks can.

3. She makes you want be a real baker. Not a let’s-halve-the-sugar-because-in-theory-it’s-much-healthier baker. It won’t be pretty.

The coolest thing was, during the Q&A, she said I looked familiar. To which I replied with total non-nonchalance, “Oh, we talk on Twitter sometimes.” OHMIasdfghka. Too Cool.

CHA 2012 in pictures

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I’m a little bit high on glitter and inspiration right now. I’ve been waiting to attend CHA since 12th grade, when I worked at Scrapbook Safari. Seeing new lines of Basic Grey and My Mind’s Eye roll in after our owners came back from the show was always majorly awesome. Almost 5 years later, I finally get the opportunity to go with Stampington and scope out the scene from the inside! Dream.Come.True. The experience was amazing and chatting with the artist and reps really put me back into a proactive crafting spirit–it’s one thing to work in a crafting atmosphere and most def another to find time to craft on my own time.

We were just a little bit photobooth-obsessed.

Amazingly glamorous tree installations at DCWV.


There may have been a lot of gushing. But that’s okay–these are my people.

That time I met Martha Stewart

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,

Yeah, I met Martha. In November, she had a book signing at South Coast Plaza, just north of Irvine. I BOOKED it there after work, and cut off a very angry lady trying to figure out which driveway to turn into. I had no idea where the Macy’s was at this mall, so I just parked in the nearest lot, near Sears. Of course, Macy’s was at the WAY END of the mall. So here i am, semi-running in my work heels, tap-tapping through the mall. Made it to Macy’s! Oh wait, what? It’s at the Macy’s HOME store? And that’s a whole separate store…ACROSS A BRIDGE?

So I continue to book it across this damn bridge to Macy’s home. I finally make it there, heels in tact, and immediately get in line to purchase her new entertaining book. The deal was, you buy her new book, you get a seat in the studio audience and are able to meet her after. I ran all that way (over a BRIDGE, don’t forget), so there was no way I was going to miss this. After purchasing the book and securing my spot, I decided to look at the receipt. $81 DOLLARS OHHHMIIGAWDWHAT?! I decided to not think about that and focus on the fact that I was going to meet Martha. It didn’t help. The BIG MOMENT came after standing in line for nearly an hour talking with middle-aged women about my new glamorous life in the OC.

I had about 20 seconds to say, “Hi Martha my name is Elysa Thank you for coming today I also work in publishing I would love to interview you for our magazines Here is my business card…” She smiled and asked, “Oh, what magazine do you work for?” and I replied in a rush, “Stampington and Company” and she said, “Oh, very nice!” I really don’t know if she said so many “ohs” but I like to believe that she 1) had heard of us and 2) was impressed.  She signed my $81 paperweight and a lady ushered me along.

BEST/MOST EXPENSIVE CELEB-SIGHTING/MEETING/GUSHING EVER.

That's Martha!! And my fabulous head of hair.

Yes, I will enjoy all $81 of that. I'm never going to hear the end of this.

And that’s the story of how I met Martha Stewart. Call me!

IFBC 2011 Cliff Notes

I had the opportunity to attend The International Food Bloggers Conference in Santa Monica with my fabulous coworker, Liz.  Stampington & Company was a sponsor of the 3-day conference, which was comprised of engaging break-out sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, passionate attendees, and the BEST food I’ve ever tasted in my life.

That isn’t really saying a whole lot, since I am not a food blogger, chef, or baker.  I only masquerade as a baker with the help of Betty Crocker.  On a rare occasion, I will roll up my sleeves and cover the kitchen counter in flour in the attempt to just “whip up” something delicious.

Life Lesson # 17: Never attempt to cut down the sugar in an attempt to make cupcakes “healthier.” They will not come out delicious, or nutritious. They will just taste like cornbread.

Although we were quite possibly the only non-food bloggers in attendance, we definitely made up for it in swag. We brought over 100 copies of the premiere issue of Where Women Cook to hand out at our sponsor booth during the Friday evening reception.  It was such a treat talking with the other food bloggers who were long-time readers of our publications and chatting with those who were seeing our magazines for the first time.  I enjoyed talking with Mary Platis (CalGreekGirl) whose daughter is also a UC Davis graduate (go Ags!) and met Marion Ferrer (Sincredible Pastries), who will be featured in an upcoming issue of Where Women Cook!

Following Friday’s reception, the bloggers headed to The Market at Santa Monica Place for an exclusive treat.  We each got 10 food tickets to spend at the market’s different vendors, which included a delicious spread of ice cream sandwiches, fresh caramel chocolate cookies, macaroons, cheese plates, gelato, and ceviche nachos.  Kristin (The Great American Bakery Hunt) even got a chance to get her hands in macaroon dough over at the Gourmandise School of Cooking!

Saturday brought even more surprises, as our lunch consisted of a buffet of food trucks! I had never eaten from a food truck before moving to Irvine, so this was all fairly new to me.  My favorite was the Grilled Cheese Truck, where I ordered a—are you ready for this?—grilled-pumpkin-marshmallow-cheese sandwich.  It tasted just as ridiculously good as it sounds.  On the menu for dessert: Beer Battered Apple Pie. It tasted just as disgustingly amazing as it sounds as well.

 

 

 

 

Liz and I explored Santa Monica Saturday night following the activities, and didn’t have to walk far from our hotel to do so! We stopped by The Viceroy and mingled with the Santa Monica elite (I was convinced Ashton Kutcher was going to walk by at any moment) before taking a quick detour past Chez Jay, a little nautical-themed hole in the wall, and hopping over to Copa d’Oro, which had a much younger vibe, more our scene. We danced our way into a circle of what seemed to be a huge birthday party and got our groove on. Note to self: Do not wear stockings when bar hopping.

Loving the white/black/kelly green color scheme at The Viceroy.

After Sunday’s morning sessions and closing reception, we headed back over to The Market to have brunch at Zengo.  We had made reservations through the conference, but little did we know that the entire meal was going to be comped by IFBC! Brunch included all-you-can-eat-and-drink small plates and cocktails, all to be enjoyed on the balcony overlooking the rest of The Market, surrounded by palm trees and beautiful old buildings.  We enjoyed mango mimosas and apple sangria, chipotle yellow fin tuna rolls and salmon omelets, pan de leche and caramelized plantains.  It was the epitome of the concept of brunch, and a spectacular way to close the weekend’s festivities.

Loved meeting these wonderful girls at the Saturday night banquet ~ Stacy (Little Blue Hen) Suki (Super Duper Fantastic) and Emily (The Gilt Nutmeg) Hope to see you all soon!

Highlights from the keynote speakers:

Writing About Food and Culture with Kathleen Flinn and Olga Massov
-    Having a blog levels the writing playing field; you can have a global outreach.
-    The best stories start with ourselves. Where do you come from?
-    Other great stories start with a nuggest of curiosity.
-    Carry around a notebook; there is a story everywhere you go.
-    There is a story behind the cake.
-    Don’t search for wonders, watch for them. You could be too focused on one thing and miss everything else.
-    Shop in the perimeter of the grocery store.
-    Don’t forget about the “Who cares” …on the flip side, can’t you just write about what you care about?
-    Stalking–aka–action research is totally acceptable.

Pitching Blog to Book and Magazine with Kathleen Flinn, Lisa Ekus, and Silvana Nardone
-    There is a fine balance of not caring what the compeition is doing vs keeping relevant.
Monetizing Your Blog with Barnaby Dorfman, Melissa Lanz and Andie Mitchell
- Where do you want to be in 5 years?
- Keys to success: Build your brand, Build your reputation, Leverage your audience, Think globally
- Opt-in option! Collect email addresses; traditional marketers look at this.

Note to self to research:
CPM: Cost per thousand impressions
CPC: Cost per click
Advantages/Disadvantages of advertorial
Display Advertising: important info goes above the fold of an ad
Google AdSense

A special thank you to Andie Mitchell (she organized the whole conference!) who shared her inspiring weight loss journey, which you can read about on her blog.  She recently got offered a book deal, so watch out for her must-read soon!  It was so nice meeting all the lovely attendees–check out the work of some talented ladies we met! ~ Melissa Lanz (The Fresh 20), Sara O’Donnell (Average Betty), Erika Kerekes (In Erika’s Kitchen), Zoe Bartlett (Intentional Table).

Oh, the agony

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So, I met my Prince Charming tonight. Literally. Well, not really literally because I didn’t meet him, but he was Prince Charming–in the community theatre production of Into The Woods that I just saw. Naturally, he is a senior in high school. How do I know this? I stalked him back to when he joined Facebook. I signed the email list at the theatre in case he was curious to know who the girl was sitting the middle, sobbing through the whole second act. I would have left a shoe behind, but I was wearing my Rainbows, and those are damn expensive.

Life Lesson #42: Do not wear stockings when bar hopping

Do not wear stockings when bar hopping. Do not wear a work dress when bar hopping.  If you wear stockings and a work dress when bar hopping because you didn’t think to change after attending a work conference, you will end up sweating bullets because you refuse to take off your leather jacket in an effort to retain a semblance of cool-factor.

You will realize that, although your dress is an adorable yellow piece from Anthro, you are not Zooey Deschanel, and no one will think that your conservative-necklined, long-hemmed dress is cute because they will be too busy trying to figure out whose grandma you are.

Your stockings (Tights? Hose? There is no attractive name for them.) were perfectly fine half an hour ago when you were rocking the network game but are not going to stay up very well when you’re party-rocking.

You will be in the middle of dancing with a cute guy who is totally a Darren Criss look-alike if you squint in the intoxicated haze of the dimly lit dance floor, and you’ll attempt to pull them up discreetly while trying to look like you’re “adjusting” the bottom of your jacket.

You will not be successful.

You will have no idea where the bathroom is, and you will keep a safe, two-foot distance between yourself and Darren. He will think that you are declining to dance with him because you are a prude, when, in reality, you are only dressed like one.

The first post

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After a weekend of hearing how amazing WordPress is in regards to SEO, CSS and monetization, I finally decided to take the jump. I’ll keep my old blog here, in case you would like to read about that awkward moment when you don’t have a pen, learn how to make cupcake stands out of board games, or watch my awesome Vegas music video. That will always be my fun college blog, and this will be my serious post-grad one.

Seriously AWESOME.

Serious business definitely calls for my fluffy pink glitter pen.

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