I had this mug made for my daughter, Emily. You have no idea how perfectly it fits her personality. Cause everyone who knows her knows ...
Another ETSY find. Order your own personalized mug at "The Printed Surface's" shop.
It was the end to a truly wonderful year. I was featured on the front page of the OC Register on Dec. 31. There is my column and name call out at the top.
I write a weekly parenting column for the OC Family section of the Orange County Register (I also edit the 12-page section). Sometimes I'll spend hours picking the right word, contiplating the right imagry or simply writing and rewriting my column. That's what makes this so funny to me. This column was a silly, simple list of "10 Things Mommmy Will Stop Doing in the New Year." I wrote it in less than 1/2 an hour. I hesitantly submitted it.
(You can read all of my columns, here.)
Don't misunderstand, I was thrilled to have the exposure! I think it's a solid lesson to me as a writer. Sometimes I have to take a chance. I have to just get something down on paper. I have to submit!
One of my favorite quotes on writing is by one of my favorite authors, Anne Tylor: "If I waiting until I felt like writing, I would never write anything at all."
It's a challenge to find nice New Year's decor for the home. I loved this handmade "Happy New Year" banner I bought from the ETSY store Paramore Art Studios. Please take time to visit her shop. She sells Valentine's, Easter, Christmas and custom banners. She is wonderful and the prices are right! ($25).
We changed it up this year for New Year's Eve. I wanted to host at my house to give the kids more time together. For the last 10 years we have eaten dinner at Joe's Crab Shack in Newport Beach and then all shuffled off to our own homes, but this year called for something new!
We rang in the New Year with a silly hat party! The *ahem* kids loved the idea and really got into it!
I served this fantastic adaptation of Tyler Florence's Ultimate Lasagna recipe by Kayotic Kitchen. It takes some time, but well worth the extra work. It is delicious and served all 15 people at the party! Kayotic Kitchen provides a step-by-step pictorial guide to this recipe which is much appreciated.
I also served Martha Stewart's Lemon Drop Champagne Punch. I doubled the recipe -- in order to serve all the adults -- and tripled the vodka (Oh, yeah!) to make it more flavorful.
At the last minute I realized I didn't have any bread to serve with the pasta and salad. My mom came to my rescue and improvised these delicious Garlic Oregano Biscuits.
Here's how she made it.
Garlic Oregano Biscuits
One roll of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
One stick salted butter
Handful of fresh oregano (Perfect if you're already buying some for the lasagna)
One clove garlic
1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
Completely melt butter in microwave. Take the stems off the oregano. Add pressed garlic, garlic powder and oregano to the melted butter. Open the biscuits and separate. Cut each biscuit in half and dip it into the butter (fully coating). Cheat a little by making sure a little oregano is on each piece. Set the pieces beside each other in an ungreased 8 x 8 ceramic or glass dish. Pop in a preheated 350 degree oven for 14 - 17 minutes.
My mom nailed this ... and, naturally, she looked great in her silly hat!
This is one of my favorite holiday recipes. My friend Robin served it at Christmas over 20 years ago and I've made it every year since. It's super simple and delicious.
Cranberry Pineapple Jello Salad
2 Cups raw cranberries
1 1/2 Cups water
2/3 Cups sugar
1 Small package any red jello
1/2 Cup crushed pineapples
1/2 Cup pecans
In a medium saucepan add water and cranberries. Bring to simmer for ten minutes. Add sugar and jello (reminder it needs to be a small package of red jello). Let partly cool. Add mostly drained pineapples and the pecans. Pour into a pretty dish. Refriderate for 3 - 4 hours.
I don't know how it its that I've never eaten at The Beachcomber Cafe. It's so quintessential Orange County that it seems like every citizen of this county has had to have dined there, at least once. With fresh food and unique cocktails the cafe has quickly become one of my favorite haunts. The open-air patio offers sweeping views of the coastline and if it gets too chilly, the friendly staff will offer diners a warm blanket for their laps.
The cafe was once one of the many quant cottages that pepper the intimate coastline of Crystal Cove State Beach. It was transformed into The Beachcomber Cafe in 2006 by restaurateur Doug Cavanaugh, of Ruby's Cafe fame. (See my interview with Doug here.) In the short time since it opened it has been acclaimed by Gayot and Open Table as "Top Outdoor Dining Experiences in the United States." Not bad and right here in our own county.
It takes a little work to get down to the cafe -- either by shuttle or hoofing it -- but it's well-worth the time. Get there early as the waiting lists begins to grow starting at 10 a.m. You can book a table online at Thebeachcombercafe.com.
My boyfriend, Tim, and I had loads of luck on our last visit. It was a warm and crispy clear November morning in Crystal Cove. We only waited about 15 minutes for our tiny table.
When I mentioned I had never had a Bloody Mary Tim ordered me one promptly at the Bootlegger Bar that's located directly behind the restaurant. It immediately became my favorite cocktail and I have not had its equal since -- though I have tried them on several occasions since Beachcomber.
The menu for breakfast isn't as expansive as most breakfast establishments, but what is offered is fresh, simple and fantastic! The menu rotates seasonally and always offers one omelet, scramble and frittata.
For me the specialty breakfasts are the show stealers. Apple Pecan or Coconut Macadamia Pancakes look delicious but for me, The Florentine Benedict is the clear choice for best on menu. They also offer a Traditional and Crab Cake Benedict. You can go to the Beachcomber website to see what is being served right now.
The lowdown on The Beachcomber Cafe
Breakfast is served from 7 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dinner (yes dinner!) is served from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Park in the Los Trancos parking lot off PCH. The shuttle cost is $1, one way. Kids under 12 are free.
The Florentine Benedict
The cafe offers rentals of beach essentials like beach chairs and umbrella rentals during the summer months.
No dogs on the patio
Shot of your cocktail from the Bootlegger Bar
One of America's largest retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch, has always lived on the seductive edge. Their titillating photos of tanned bare-chested hunks would cause even the most sexually sober person to stir...down there. And on the the merchandise side, tiny tanks and micro daisy dukes abound in their dark, moody, perfumed-soaked stores. I'm cool with that.
But this spring A & F introduced this item in their kid's spring line--hold on to your fleece hoodie--the "Ashley," a padded push-up bikini for girls as young as 8-years-old. Now, those are three words that should never be associated with little girls: padded--unless we're talking knee pads; pushups--unless we're talking ice cream; and, bikini. Not to mention a push-up for tweens begs the question: "What does an eight-year-old have to 'push up?'"
I readily admit, I land way over on the modest side of the spectrum with my daughter, but a padded push-up bikini top for your fourth grader should bring on an instinctive gag reflex, even for the most liberal of parents. Abercrombie got this wrong and who knows, perhaps out of old-fashioned thoughtlessness or apathy, they have ignited a firestorm of controversy with parents with the release of the "Ashley."
This is not uncharted waters for Abercrombie, back in 2002 they found themselves in heap of trouble with parents--and anyone with a smidgen of sense--when they sold and defended a line of thong panties that read "Wink Wink" and "Eye-Candy," again for little girls as young as 4-years-old. Abercrombie's official--and baffling--stance on the tween wear was: "Any misrepresentation of that is purely in the eye of the beholder." Whaaaa...? Not exactly contrite.
I couldn't find any official comment on the padded bikini tops from the company, but I think it's interesting that yesterday the tops were listed as "Push-Up" bikini tops and now they're simply called "Stripped Triangle." It's my hunch this is the only "comment" we'll see from the retailer.
Here's where as parents you and I might differ. I don't blame A & F, they are just a cog in the relentless wheel that pushes sexualization on our little girls at every turn. Is the "Ashely" push-up bikini despicable? Yes. Should we give the WTF-look to any parent who has a young daughter sporting a padded bikini? Absolutely. But in the end it's best to let it serve as a reminder to moms and dads we have to be vigilant to keep our girls young, innocent and wearing their Target one-pieces with hearts and rainbows as long as possible.
When we take on the responsibility ourselves, we take our daughters back.
Then they could sell stripper poles at Toys-R-Us, condoms at Justice and margaritas from the ice cream truck and it just won't matter, because our daughters will know that's not part of their world, not who they want to be. Here's the deal, shaking our fist at Abercrombie really just gives them some added press and, I suspect, a good giggle about those prudish parents when they're in their boardroom. Sure, boycott them. Write a blog post about how wrong the "Ashley" is, but in the end, it's up to parents to keep our little girls...little girls.
Other thoughts on little girls
OMGwad! I Tried. I Really Tried
Inside a cavernous warehouse 17 miles from Pasadena 2,000 plus volunteers have been working on Disneyland's entry into the 124th Rose Parade -- "Destination: Cars Land." Disney has a long tradition with the Tournament of Roses Parade. The first float was in 1938 featured characters from Snow White. This year the theme "Oh, the places you will go!" parlayed perfectly with the opening of Cars Land in Disney's California Adventure this past June.
Randy Wojcik, Senior Show Director with Creative Entertainment, Walt Disney Company, took blogger Lisa Robertson, me and our kids on a tour of the float.
"I'm just humbled by the amount of volunteers who come out, the details and effort they give to the float is amazing," Randy told us. All together it will have taken 25,000 man hours to make Destination Cars Land roll down the parade route on New Year's Day.
Once the float is in full-swing it will be there are over 45 moving parts including, tractors, Luigi, Guido, Sally and Lighting McQueen all constantly in motion, along with live working waterfalls and high-energy dancers grooving to the tune of Route 66 by the Cheetah Girls.
When we saw the float it was still in two pieces but once the last details are finished -- like adding the license plate to the back and the Cars Land postcard to the front -- the California-shaped float will be 125 feet and reach 35 feet at its highest point.
I've never seen a Rose Parade float up close before and didn't know what to expect on our tour. It was fascinating to see the detail and creativity involved in the smallest detail.
The Tournament of Roses Parade begins at 8 am. Disney's Destination: Cars Land float is expected to appear around 9 am and rumor has it, there will be some VERY special guests who will make an apperance on the float.
Look for our personal touch. The kids and I got to add our own roses to the side of the float, just below McQueen and Sally.
Happy New Year!
During the holidays everyone is in the mood for giving. Why not lend a hand to an amazing local organization that daily feeds a hot healthy meal to over 400 of Orange County's poor, mentally challenged, senior citizens, homeless families and unemployed? Someone Cares Soup Kitchen has been quietly doing just that for over 25 years.
I've spent a few days at Someone Cares during lunch service and I was struck by the precision in which the facility operates. All the donations--ninety percent of the food is donated by Trader Joe's--are used in meals or given away as "take aways" to the needy. Nothing goes to waste, they use everything they receive.
I was also blown away by the number of senior citizens who line up daily for a free hot meal. In all honesty, I was expecting most of the people to look like a cliched homeless person--ragged clothes, unshaven, dirty. But that's not the case with at Someone Cares. A majority of the regulars are senior citizens who have outlived their savings. "They just can't afford to live on what they have due to high medical expenses, illness or loss of a partner," Corey Donaldson, who leads the holiday campaigns for Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.
Further changing my idea of what I'd find at a Someone Cares was the overall cheerful and gracious attitude of people not only working there, but even the folks there for help. "I've never had a bad meal here, it's always good," said one older gentleman. Meatloaf, pasta with vegetables, all kinds of soups, the variety of food and the level of culinary quality is extraordinary.
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen is a safe place for Orange County's most needy to come for help in respectful and warm atmosphere. You can find out more by checking their web site, here.
How can I help?
Food donations are always welcome, but their biggest need is spices and disposable serving ware.
You can donate in amounts as small as $40, which will supply about 30 healthy meals. Click here for details.
You can come down to the kitchen and see for yourself how wonderful their program is, click here for volunteer information.
Donate warm coats and gently used clothes, click here for details.
For the holidays, the Soup Kitchen fills hundreds of backpacks and distributes to the needy in our community. To help spread holiday joy, you can make a donation here.
If you'd like more information you can email the Soup Kitchen at: INFO@OCSOUPKITCHEN.ORG
I'm not a runner. You know, not a "runner" runner, but I have signed myself up for the 5K during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend at the Disneyland Resort in January. That's my goal right now, to run in the 5K. Since I'm still recovering from my accident (I was thrown from a horse back in November), I'm taking it very easy by using the run-walk method of Jeff Galloway, the official runDisney training consultant. Galloway is a former Olympic runner with over 40 years experience in running, a monthly columnist for Runner's World and an author of over twenty books.
If you've always wanted to run, but the thought of hitting the pavement has been out of the question due to the time it takes or some physical limitation, I encourage you to check out Galloway's methods on how to get yourself out there. A group of 20 runners and a few bloggers got the chance to meet Jeff and ask him a few questions last Friday morning as a kick off to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.
His practical, almost comical, advice on how to keep yourself inspired to run will help the experienced runner get motivated and the newbie runner over the psychological hurtle of just getting started. "My job," he said, "is to get you running for the next 100 years, after that, you're on your own." Here are some quick hits from Galloway given on the floor of the Health and Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel:
* Know that at first you will walk more than run, and that's okay. You don't have to "puke" to have a good run. Just getting out there is enough for today.
* Running allows you to get your "executive mind" working. It is a quiet sport that will clear your mind to think.
* Amateur runners who apply the run-walk method in general finish 13 minutes faster than runners who run their entire race.
* On how to motivate yourself to run:
1.) Show up at any race to watch runners cross the finish line. Those with cancer, the elderly and physically challenged are out there running. No excuses. So can you
2.) Run with a friend or join a running group. (We have a group called Disneyland Runners if you are looking for a group.)
3.) Mentally rehearse. Picture yourself running, crossing the finish line, getting your medal.
4.) Lie to yourself! Tell yourself you're just going to "put on comfortable clothes" (make sure they're running clothes). Then eat something that will give you energy to run "just as a snack." Then go outside just to "check the weather." Before you know it, you'll be running through the neighborhood.
If you're liking Galloway's approach to running, you can check out runDisney's video training series at runDisney.
This series has been helpful to me as not only inspiration, but also because it answers some basic running questions, like how to set your pace and determine your "finish time" of a race. Without the assistance of these videos and the whole runDisney program, I know I would have dropped out of the January Tinker Bell Weekend 5K (called the Neverland run) a long time ago.
I met up with Galloway later that afternoon as the doors opened and the first expo guests arrived. He stood at his table ready to sign books and chat with his fans. His big smile greeted me as I approached him. I introduced myself and told him all about the stupid horse, my struggle to recover and then thanked him for his work. He listened to every word and then got very serious, looked me straight in the eye and said, "You can do this. You are going to recover and be stronger than ever before."
I'm sure he's heard worse stories than my misadventures as a cowgirl, but he took it very seriously. He was obviously passionate about his work and cares about the people he is guiding. It was inspiring and so yes, I went home and went for a run. I guess I am a runner after after all...
The Never Land Family Fun Run (5K) is still open for registration. It is a nighttime run through Disneyland that will kick off The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend (the half is sold out). Men are welcome and I personally respect any man who will run during the Tinker Bell Weekend. Register, here.
The Never Land Fun Run registration includes a ticket for the park for that day only, from 4 pm until the run, which starts at 10:30 pm. You'll also receive a t-shirt, 5K medal, Goofy bag and lots of encouragement along the way.
You can join Disneyland Runners on Facebook, our support group for runners of all skill levels, here.
While at The Social Media Moms conference I got to spend the day at Walt Disney World--my first visit! I love it, check out my video where I compare it to Disneyland and basically have a blast romping around the park.
Walking into the D23 Expo wields the same wallop of excitement as walking into a Disney park. No corner of the Disney's enormous empire was left unrepresented during the three day expo at The Anaheim Convention Center.
I was flying solo, without my kids, because of all the *ahem* work I had to do, but I found myself saying over and over again, "Oh, man! My kids would LOVE this!" Even though the prevailing perception of D23 Expo is that it's for hard-core, dyed in wool, Disney fans, which it is, it also caters to everything kids love about Disney.
A good place to start when planning a day at D23 Expo with the kids would be taking a look at the events scheduled throughout the convention. The Disney Legends Ceremony is a must for kids 10-years-old and up. For the second time the D23 Expo hosted the ceremony that's become one of Disney's most touching and heartfelt traditions. It honors the folks that have made a indelible contribution to The Walt Disney Company.
This year I could have cried because my daughter wasn't seated next to me. Four women who gave a voice to some of our favorite princesses were honored. Watch this video of Lea Salonga, the voice of Mulan, perform "Reflection" during the ceremony. What young girl wouldn't be moved by her performance?
Disney Channels revs it up for D23 Expo with loads of stars from all of their hit shows from Disney Jr. to Disney XD.
Watch my interview with the cast of Phineas and Feb, here.
Walking the convention floor offers lots of pop in opportunities for the kids to have fun with Disney and Disney partner products. Ridmakerz, Build-a-Bear, and LEGO were there, just to name a few.
Disney Play Place was all set up and ready for kids to come play, naturally. Everything the little ones love about Disney just waiting for hands-on play.
The Carousel of Projects is a walk-through exhibit that shows visitors what's coming to Disney Parks and Resorts. Kids would love to get the inside scoop on upcoming projects like Cars Land.
Kids (and adults) have the opportunity to preview some of DIsney's new video games in the gaming section of the D23 Expo.
For the older kids Disney Treasures offers some exclusive peeks into their favorite Disney movies and TV shows through artifacts and costumes.
Disney Baby also offers a lounge with diaper changing stations, private rooms for breast feeding. If you have little ones this you can stop by and relax on the nice couches and just kick it with the kids.
Next time D23 rolls into town grab the kids and head on down, even if it's just for one of the three days. There were so many unique Disney opportunities for the kids they will love it.
The new "Mickey's Soundsational Parade" premiered at Disneyland on Thursday for the first time to a cheering crowd on Main Street USA. The parade has a feel like a party in motion; fueled by a packed playlist of favorite Disney tunes, a sweeping collection of Disney characters and stunning float design.
Soundsational embraces Disney's favorite characters old and new then mashes them up in colorful, pop-up storybook style floats. "It's a fun balance of what the kids will love and what the parents will love, it's a tapestry that speaks to everyone," said Steve Davison, Vice President, Parade and Spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment.
The parade is highly interactive so make sure to get a good spot for your kids on the parade route. The dancers and musicians goof with the crowd throughout and you won't want them to miss the chimney sweeps, drummers and characters who stop often to mess around with the kids.
Soundsational features nine floats designed by the popular Disney artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. I was looking forward to seeing their unique perspective and trademark vintage style in the parade. If you're familiar with their work, you'll find little delightful details that are signature Kidney and Daily.
The two artists are known for bringing back old school Disney characters and design so including the Three Caballeros--based on the 1944 cartoon feature staring Donald Duck--into the parade as a float won't be a surprise to their fans. It will also remind you to see the movie again.
Davison said they intentionally mixed the timelines of Disney characters to give the parade a timeless feel. "I like including the old and the new in every show I do," he told me. "I call it the 'read more about it design' in where you inspire people to go out and see that film (the Three Caballeros) again."
Mickey's Soundsational Parade is drum-driven not only in its music, but visually with four of the nine floats shaped like drums; each including some sort of percussion element. The parade is kicked off with a drum line and the beat goes on throughout the entire parade. "I really wanted to bring back the live musician thing," said Davidson.
Oh, and it's back, with even Mickey and Goofy playing drums on their floats. "It's the fastest tempo parade we've ever done," said Davidson. "I think you really feel that."
Though there is an energetic and creative mixing of musical styles--Latin, Jazz, World--in the original music for the parade, composed by "Glee's" Vocal Director Tim Davis, the musical punch comes when hearing the familiar music of Mary Poppins, Princess and the Frog and the Little Mermaid.
Mickey's Soundsational Parade will march down Main Street though the summer and right up until the holidays. Check out the Disneyland schedule and plan your spot in line before your trip, here.
I grew up with the big three: Jennings, Brokaw and Rather. Their voices narrated the news of my life--the wall coming down, the Gulf War, September 11. They were the authoritative voice who explained it all to me. CNN creeped into my news flow in the early nineties, but mainly, these were the individuals I turned to during the critical news moments.
Specifically, for me, Brokaw. He was "my guy." As a teenager I became so enthralled in the world of journalism that I ended up majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in print. That might explain why the recent changes in how we get our news has been thrilling for me to watch.
Some might call me a journalism nerd; though not necessary after they've read something I've written.
In the past, the conduits of news were limited mostly to news anchors, the newspapers or news radio. There was no interaction between the news givers and the news receivers except for the hastily written--sometimes by hand--"letter to the editor." (My first internships was reading letters to the editor. I wonder if they still print those in the paper, that would be quaint.) It was a one-way street and we put our trust in the folks who drove the news; we had few choices.
But now, in the new age of journalism, who should we trust and turn to for our news? Is trust even a quality in news we're looking for anymore?
Last night as the news broke about Osama Bin Laden I realized as I flipped through the channels on TV that I didn't recognize most of the faces reporting the news. Then of all things, the newscasters were quoting Twitter feeds, blogs and Facebook updates of people even further off my radar. That struck me as ridiculous: "Boise65 just Tweeted 'God bless our troops now bring them home.'" I found myself bouncing around trying to get news and discovered half of it totally worthless.
I truly believe in the power of social media and I'm excited about the changes in journalism over the past five years, but in times of critical news I still feel a little lost in the sea of information. It's almost like a montage of news now that we piece together ourselves through our TVs, phones and computers. (Honestly I don't read the physical newspaper anymore. I can't imagine what news would be in it today I don't already have from my online sources.)
I like the freedom and immediacy of the new media, but I miss the authority, reassurance and more in-depth reporting that came with the big three anchors, olden-times news reporting. It's at once easier to get information now, yet harder to discriminate what is factual, relevant and free of hype and hysteria. Again, it's a montage of news and it seems we are now our own editors. I like it, but it's a big change and with every "big news" event I'm reminded how far we've come in such a short time.
Tom Brokaw called this new media direction the "Tom Payne environment," likening it another time when there was a shift in news disbursement, way, way back in 1776 (i.e: before cell phones):
"I'm a big believer in what I call the Tom Payne environment. I love the idea that we've expanded the street corner (where news pamphlets were sold), but I also say ...you've (the news reader) got a role in this. You've got to be more vigilant and you've got to work harder for where you get information and then develop a litmus test of its worthiness."
Something to think about as we sift through the news today and I admit, it felt good to get some perspective from Brokaw one last time.
You might like to read these other things I've written that loosely follow this subject*
*relevancy not guaranteed
I've worked as a blogger for over five years and I've watched as well-intentioned PR professionals and companies struggle to meet the needs of new media journalists. They're not sure what to do with us or how to speak our language. “Do we seat them with the traditional press? Why are they texting on their phones during a press conference? What's a hashtag?” seems to be common refrain.
In hopes of closing the gap a wee bit, here are some distinctions between new media and old school traditional journalists I’ll make sweeping generalizations and wild assumptions to make some points. Of course, not all of these apply to every new media journalist.
For the purposes of this list I'll define a new media journalist as a refined and experienced bloggers, usually with more than one blog, each with an emphasis (or beat) on one subject. They may or may not be a professional (paid) blogger. Sometimes called online journalists, new media journalists use the thrilling and immediate avenues of content distribution -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagr.am, Flickr, YouTube, and Google, blogs--and their content usually only appears online. This sets them apart from more traditional journalists.
1.) New Media journalists are a one-person show. Most write, shoot video, appear on camera, photograph, and do all the post editing of materials themselves. Some call themselves “backpack journalists” because they carry everything they need (or roller bag in my case) with them. In the new world of content distribution, the expectation is to post a story that has all the elements -- reaching a reader in a format they prefer. A solid post is well written, has interesting photos and includes a video segment. All provided by the singular new media journalist.
The Three Disneyland Moms Hitting ACC to cover D23
2.) New media journalists don't have the access to professional resources or expensive equipment. When supplying materials to the new media -- like video footage -- keep in mind most are editing video on their computer, so supply them with thumb drives in easily transferable formats (like .mov). I've had companies send me Beta tapes with b-roll. Though nostalgic and heartwarming, old formats like those are useless to a new media journalist. Same goes for stock photo accounts, lavalier mics and copy editors--they don't have access to those things. So news providers should think to supply photos, a relatively quiet place for a video interview and forgive the occasional misplaced semicolon.
Shooting video for OC Family TV on my 7D
3.) They are part of the story. This is one of the biggest philosophical differences between new media and traditional media. It's definitely the biggest mental shift that PR professionals need to make when thinking "new media." The reason bloggers are successful is because readers have taken a liking to their personal view of issues or activities. So bloggers want to interact in more genuine ways with top players in a story. New media journalists have "followings" that can sniff out an inauthentic story. A good new media journalist's highest priorities are providing factually correct and authentic story to their readers.
Shooting interview with Guy.
In practical terms, this means new media journalists prefer a hands-on experience. They want to ride the Zamboni, get a photo with Mickey, or chat with the big brass of a company. They want to tell the story from the inside, narratively. It's a fact, though my journalism professor from college would rather eat the suede patches on his corduroy sport coat than admit it, this is a real shift in the way most readers want to receive their news and information.
I played against Harlem Globetrotters at Honda Center
4.) They report in real time. Twitter, Facebook, Instagr.am, Tumblr, Google +, Flickr, YouTube all allow new media journalist to report the "real-time story" as it happens. According to Technorati, 40 % of bloggers says Smartphones have changed the way they blog. After experiencing the story, they go home and post a more formal blog entry, with nicely edited photos and sharply produced videos. Here lies the real power punch of the new media journalist. Their superpower.
New media journalists often report several stories over an extended period of time -- making their reports more dynamic, nimble and complete.
Jenelyn Russo & I write a sports blog; covering opening of Ducks event
For instance, I recently covered the opening of Disney's new resort in Hawaii. From the moment I got the assignment in September my report of the story began. Through social media I announced I was going to Aualni and gathered questions from readers and followers about what they wanted to know about the resort. I reported in real time the four days I was there, still answering questions and gathering information from followers and readers. By the time I boarded the plane to come home I had written three blog posts, posted two videos, and had photos up on Instagr.am and Flickr. I followed up with two additional blog posts before my print story ran in January. See what I mean? Superpower.
5.) All new media journalists are different. Having said all that, it's best to keep in mind it's the Wild West out there. Some new media journalists would rather drop their iPhone in the toilet than accept a swag bag, while others look at them as payment for their work. Though the concept of journalism without rules or codes of conduct is scary (and I've seen and read some very frightening things), it's also exciting to be part of the new world.
A wide net has been cast. All bloggers have been lumped together, but true new media journalists will rise to the top and continue to grow and become part of the mainstream media (If PR companies don't hire them all away before then). In an ironic twist, I see five years from now that the very things that make blogging appealing and bloggers popular will be the undoing of a lot of them. Freedom. Power. Access. Notoriety. These are fresh ingredients in the new world of journalism. A good new media journalist wields them all wisely.
One last thought on the subject of new media journalists, I don't believe they'll ever replace traditional journalist, specifically reporters. They are distinctively different. Though new media journalists have a place in the media, there is still a dire need and, on a personal note, thankfulness for, traditional journalists. It's important for PR professionals, companies, government agencies and other news providers to know how to prepare and provide content to both.
Other posts from me on New Media:
Follow me on Twitter @suzbroughton
(This reunion made possible by Facebook. My old friend Christine and me.)
I don't think I've ever had such polarized emotions at once. Watching this video of Richard Blade inviting all graduates of the class of '86 from Marina High School to attend our 25-year reunion makes me a once cringe and leap with joy. It's like when saw Adam Ant in concert a few years ago, I was swept away in the nostalgia and youthful swashbuckness of it all, but was sobered and dead baffled by the old man jumping around in scarves, high boots and eyeliner. Somethings are welcome and warm reminders of your age, somethings are not, rarely do you find something that is both.
Case in point...
I would have jumped at the chance five years ago to find old friends who I had lost contact with over the years, but Facebook has done that work for me. I can honestly say I've "found" everyone I was interested in reconnecting with from high school--and then some. I know what they've been up to the last 25 years. I've seen the photos of their kids or dogs. I know where they had dinner last night and what really peeved them about the American Idol elimination last week. I'm good.
When Le Pain Quotidien opened its doors at Fashion Island I met with organic bread maker and founder Alain Coumont while he was in California for a brief visit. We sat at one end of his signature communal table and talked about his simple beginnings as a young chef in Belgium, the differences between European and American philosophy of food and why he doesn't serve Diet Coke -- among other things.
Alain was clearly tired from his long flight. He seemed dead serious and initially wasn't up for silliness so early in the morning. We ordered our bowl of coffee; I pulled out my iPhone and we began to talk about how he turned his little Belgium bakery into a successful world-wide enterprise.
Me: Has brining your bakery to US been different than you expected?
Alain: I didn't want to become like those French bakeries that start off authentic but after awhile there are barely any French things left. They sell bagels and muffins only....and Coke. We are different. When we came to America we tried to say what we are. We would be selling our soul, little by little if we sold only those things.
Me: It doesn't seem like your philosophy has stopped you from growing and succeeding here. Do you think people are eager for that authenticity? They know they can go get a Diet Coke down the road, they come here for something different.
Alain: Selling Coke would bring in a million dollar in profit for us in the US -- says my business manager. But I say "no way." We used to sell it, but we can hardly offer organic bread and all of our philosophy and then sell Coke. We tested pulling it in some shops. Some people complain. American girls screaming "Where's my Diet Coke!" (He throws his arms in the air with the first bit of animation I see in him.) But in the end, we didn't lose any sells. We have conviction.
Me: No one loves a nice cold Diet Coke more than me, but I respect that you won't sell it at Le Pain. I will go somewhere else to get it and come here for something different.
Alain: Maybe you are somewhat of The Diet Coke junkie (... he says with a smirk.)
Me: What? Me? That's outrageous! (I pretend to be appalled at the very idea.)
Alain: No, I saw that you liked The Diet Coke on your web site. (...Then he begins a mercifully short lecture on the evils of what Diet Coke does to your insides. Then he smiles at me and when he smiles, his whole face changes. He is open and handsome. He knows I'm not going to give it up.)
Me: I know ... I know ... But there's one thing I like more than Diet Coke it's conviction so when I come here I have your fantastic iced tea. (Changing the subject.) Is that what you're hoping? That people in Orange County will come here and try something new? What would you suggest someone new to the bakery order, let's say in the morning?
Alain: A good slice of bread with a side of organic salmon. Coffee. In Europe it's more important to have good ingredients. The portion and size is not important, it (large portions) shouldn't mean quality.
Me: What would you hope guests would experience when they come to Le Pain that would be different from other restaurants or bakeries?
Alain: We have an all-day menu. You can come in at lunch time and just have an espresso. The waiter isn't going to kick you out or hurry you along...give you a mean look (then he gives me a mean look). It's built into our business model -- we are here for the people who come here in every way. It's not a theme. We are communal in every way. Authentic.
We end the interview talking about my new iPhone 4S. He liked the feature and urged me to ask her silly questions. When I shy away from it, he takes it and asks her. We all laugh at her pre-programed response.
Alain is an acclaimed author and chef in Europe and it's not long before patrons start to recognize him. He hugs them and smiles warmly; obviously happy to have them come over and say hello. He asks all of them to come and sit with him.
He believes in what he is doing. He is authentic. Le Pain Quoitien is built on Alain's sincere belief in simple, wholesome food and community and it's success will continue to be fueled by those principles.
Le Pain Quotidien is nestled between Marcy's and Forever 21 at Fashion Island.
Operating hours run along with Fashion Island's hours.
One menu is served all day with three or four daily specials.
Table service is available along with retail and take-out options.
Phone number is: 949-287-5597
For information on Le Pain Quotidien's baking classes, you can go to my post at OC Family.
By now, you've seen this heart-wrenching video from a local teenage boy who was being tormented by bullies at school because he is gay, but just in case you've been in a holiday stupor, please watch it. Over eight million people have already viewed it ...
When I first watched Jonah's tear-filled face and read his words, I too cried. But what could I do to help other than teach my kids to be tenderhearted, compassionate and accepting? Then I learned about The Trevor Project.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization that aids gay, lesbian, transgender and questioning teens and young adults through crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. Everyday the Trevor Project fields hundreds of calls from kids in crisis and over 23,000 use their Trevor Space message boards to connect and get support. The Trevor Project Lifeline -- open around the clock and staffed by 210 counselors -- has taken over 200,000 calls since it opened its lines in 1998.
The Trevor Project also offers classes and support for parents and teachers and an online "Ask Trevor" service that fields questions of a non-time sensitive nature to anyone who needs more practical questions answered, like where to find a good counselors in the user's area. In every respect, The Trevor Project is reaching out to kids where they are, in the method they feel most comfortable, to help them deal with bullies and with the colossal pressure of being young and gay.
Through connections with other people, wether it's a peer or a trained professional, these kids receive the support of a community and I'm truly grateful for the Trevor Project for offering that to them. "No life is a one person show," says Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Executive Walt Disney Imagineering, in this video produced by The Walt Disney Company for The Trevor Project titled: It Gets Better. "You need to surround yourself with people who love you for who you are and encourage you to share with the world the unique gifts that you have to offer," says Vaughn.
Good for Disney for lending a hand to the incredible organization by making this raw and honest video. I recognize so many of the participants through my work with Disney. These are the people who bring you the products, stories, experiences and magic we all love.
I would encourage you to help spread the word by sharing it to help reach kids in crisis everywhere. The single, simple message at the end might be just what a gay or lesbian youth need to hear right now: It gets better!
If you or someone you know ever needs help, call The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). It's toll-free, confidential and available 24/7.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH THE TREVOR PROJECT:
You can also help by donating to The Trevor Project, here.
Photo via The Trevor Project
In today's Friday Five I'm going to share five things I've learned since I've been healing my back from my accident. Most of the time I've been at home watching TV, working on my laptop and eating my way through every holiday treat Trader Joe's has to offer, but I have been getting out once a day for lunch or errands. Here are few things I didn't know before...
1.) Everyone has Vicodin...and they're not stingy with it either. I can't tell you how many gals (God bless them) have pulled me aside and in a whispered voice said, "I have Vicodin in my purse, do you want one?" Aside from it being illegal and all, I think they are little dolls for offering. Luckily, I have my own Vicodin, but I appreciate the gesture.
2.) My kids can do more than I thought. The situation has fast tracked my "use our children as our personal slaves" plan. Who knew my kids could do so much--fetch Diet Coke, wash the dishes, draw a bath? If you have a kid over 5 and they aren't pulling half the domestic weight in your house, you're being robbed.
3.) Despite all indicators leading me to believe otherwise up until the day I was hurt, the world does not stop turning if I'm not going at 135% everyday, all day. It's surprisingly nice to know I'm not *that* big a deal.
4.) Thanks to the new TV channel 'HUB' I now appreciate the genius and charm of Alex P. Keaton.
5.) People like me! They really like me! The outpouring of help has been overwhelming and touching. Some of the bloggers for OC Family had a cleaner come to my house. We've been offered meals, sent flowers and had hundreds of Tweets of encouragement, Facebook well-wishes and emails of concern. Thank you to everyone who has made this time of recuperating easier.
This is me and Tinker Bell. Well, a photo of me and Margaret Kerry, the actress/dancer who was the action model for Tinker Bell in the animated Disney movie, Peter Pan. She is the closest anyone will ever come to meeting Tinker Bell and I met her ... and she was sassy.
At 82-years-old Margaret is a live-wire! I met her in the upstairs archives room at the Disney Studios in Burbank. She was there with many of her contemporaries--Disney Legends--for a photo shoot for the Disney D23 publication, Disney Twenty - Three.
After introductions I asked if I could get a photo with her. She happily complied with the caveat that I pout-it-up with her in Tinker Bell style. After the photo she turned to me and said: "Your hair is driving me crazy!"
"I noticed you outside during the group photo; flipping and pulling it away from your face," she went on as if we knew each other for ages and she was finally getting something off her chest.
"I wish I had a pin to hold it back. No one can see your face under that hair!" She makes a motion toward it and I instinctually dodge small her.
I explained to her that is the style now. That I like it that way and though I appreciated her concern, hair flipping is kinda "my thing."
"Oh," she said in complete understanding now, nodding her head slowly. "It's just like with my friend Veronica Lake."
You see Margaret and Veronica Lake were in a movie together, years and years ago, and they became fast friends. "She was very, very funny," Margaret remembered with a smile.
"People don't know that about her, she was a real cut-up, but she always had to play the vixen, you know..." Then Margaret threw her eyes at me to react.
I sadly shake my head in deep understanding, as if I know exactly what it's like to be a comedian typecast as a sex kitten.
"That happens," I sympathize.
"She had that same hair as you (She squints and glares at my one long bang as she talks) , except hers was just one piece that came straight down the the middle of her face and she'd peek out from under it, very seductive," Margaret tries her best to demonstrate for me that look as we stand there in the bustle of the archives. God bless her.
Then she says she remembered one particular day like yesterday; Veronica Lake stretched out on chaise lounge next to a pool, her hair all up in a towel. They sat and talked and laughed and laughed. Then Margaret told me again how funny she was and how sad it was that she never got to play in comedies.
"It is very sad, dang studios!" I chime in, almost livid at the crime of it.
"You think you're very funny, don't you?" Margaret asked me with a twinkle in her eye, thinning her lips at me.
"I do," I admit quickly.
"I sure wish I had pin to hold your hair back..." Margaret said as she walked away shaking her head.
I'm Margaret Kerry's biggest fan now.
....and then Richard Sherman sat down at the piano and played this song for us, cut from the movie Mary Poppins. He and his brother wrote it for "Julie" to sing, but it never made it to the movie ... and then my head exploded in sheer delight.
For more info on Disney D23, go to my blog "Disneyland Locals" at OC Family.
The morning after Halloween is in some ways just as fun as the actual night. It's the time honored tradition of tallying up the goods and assimilating them in some sort of calculated way into our lives. The process looks something like this:
THE DUMPING: This is the most exhilarating part of the process.
THE SURVEY: Now is the time to get a good look at the treats to see what they have to work with.
THE SORTING: Snickers with the Snickers. Starburst with the Starburst. Getting things in order an important step in the process. No mingling chocolate with the chewy candy or lollypops--everything has its place. George, our dog, supervises the process.
THE DADDY TAX: This is levied in order to keep Dads from having to stoop to begging or worse--stealing candy.
THE NEGOTIATIONS: This is a very, very tricky business that's ramifications could last a lifetime. I still get fired-up thinking about the raw deal I got from my brother involving a dubious trade I was talked into of my Reeses (A Halloween "E" Ticket) for two of his Abba Zabbas.
(Note: daughter is still wearing her costume, which she wore to bed. *nominate me for mom of year*)
THE TRADE: I didn't want to get involved, but a Twizler for King Size Butterfinger? Another case of the older sibling getting the better deal. **Sigh**
And so it goes...