MONIQUE'S WORLD OF BLOGGING, SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ, TECH AND GADGETS.

22 Jul

L.A. Events: 2014 East LA Meets Napa

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It’s no secret that this chica likes to eat. I will have you know that I’m not always the most adventurous eater. My friends know that about me. But, recently I’ve been in this whole “don’t knock it until you try it” phase. This comes in handy at events like the AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa event. Yummy food and wine? I’m in!

In it’s 9th year, East LA Meets Napa is a premier food and wine tasting fundraising event. This is my second time being invited to attend and I love it! It takes place outdoors in the Union Station & Metropolitan Water District courtyards in Downtown L.A. We were able to choose mini-bites from 30 restaurants and wine tastings from 30 wineries. Everything was so delicious, it’s hard to choose a favorite! There’s even live music and entertainment. Did someone say salsa dance contest? And it all benefits AltaMed.

AltaMed is the largest independent Federally Qualified Community Health Center in the U.S. They deliver healthcare to uninsured and underserved families. That’s more than 930,000 annual patient visits through its 43 sites in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. See a list of their upcoming events and ways that you can help.

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23 Jun

5 Signs You Might Need a Social Media Break

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My life is social media. It really is. Because it’s my “job,” there are times my phone will not leave my hand. I’m constantly updating my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat feeds. And if I’m not posting—I’m reading, liking, following, or retweeting. I’m only human and there are limits to what I can handle. I know that there’s real actual life outside of social media. And just as you suspected It can and has become too much. It can really be overwhelming. If you’re not careful, you will burn yourself out.

Over that last few days, I decided to take a little break. I’ll be the first to admit that social media plays a large part in our lives, we may feel it’s a necessity. But, when I’m at that point I just think back to the days before it. I think to myself, “What did I do before Twitter or Instagram?” Some of you who are younger than me might not remember those days! Well, when I get to that point, I know it’s time to put down the phone, step away from the computer, and actually go outside and enjoy real social interaction. You know…face to face.

Here are five signs that you might need a social media break:

  1. You’re Constantly Annoyed: If you’re getting constantly annoyed by what someone has posted, then maybe it’s time to take a break. And if not, then maybe you should unfollow them. Social media should be fun, not annoying.
  2. You Feel You Have No Privacy: I have really stepped away from my personal Facebook profile. I just felt like I was losing some of  the privacy in my life. People update their statuses with super private information, that’s not me. I know I’m a blogger, but I really do appreciate the private moments in my life. If you’re feeling this way, then maybe it’s time to step back from posting so much.
  3. You Obsess Over the Numbers: If you wake up and are constantly checking how many followers/likes you have or get really upset when you lose some, then you might be obsessed. I’ve been there, done that, and have moved on. I realize it’s not about quantity, but more about quality.
  4. You have Extremely Mixed Feelings: At any point, if social media is making you feel alone, depressed, sad, or anxious—it is definitely time to take a social media vacation. And if you need to, talk to a friend or family member about it. Yes, it can be that serious.
  5. You’re Involved in Social Media Drama: Ugh…no one deserves social media drama in their life. It’s not that serious. If you’re fighting with someone over Facebook or Twitter…just step back and take a look at what is really going on in your life. Social media is for entertainment purposes only…it’s not worth the drama.

Have you ever had the need to take a social media break? What were the signs?

19 May

L.A. Dodgers Fans: Are You Ready to Eat?

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Dodger Stadium Executive Chef Jason Tingley

Dodger Stadium Executive Chef Jason Tingley

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you know the love I have for the Los Angeles Dodgers. I guess you can say I am kind of a huge fan! So, when I got an invite to check out some of the stadium’s newest food options, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.

If you’re a sports fan like me, then you’re used to the combo of a hot dog and a cold beverage at the game. But, if your taste buds are looking for something a little more at the ballpark, then Dodger Stadium has them covered. We got the inside scoop from Executive Chef Jason Tingley himself on some menu favorites.

When visiting Dodger Stadium, you have tons of food options. You can get your hands on some BBQ at the new Think Blue BBQ, dive into some Italian classics at Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria, or try lighter fare at the Club Marketplace.

Some of the new dishes include: Chicken and Shrimp Skewers available in the Suites, Grilled Turkey Leg available at Think Blue BBQ, Major League Nacho Helmets available on Field, Loge, and Reserve Levels, and even Pasta and Meatballs available at Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria.

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Chef Tingley made sure we were able to sample a wide variety of food. Our first stop was Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria, the former manager has tried and approved the menu himself. My favorite was the classic pizza and meatball sandwich.

Then it was onto Think Blue BBQ where we tried the Chef’s Special, the Jidori Chicken. Delicious! FYI, there is a special every few weeks. During the next L.A. Dodgers home stand, Chef Tingley said there will Baby Back Ribs as the special. I can’t wait to try those! One of my favorites had to be the Elote (roasted corn) topped with a special seasoning and mayonnaise.

We seriously ate so much food that day, we thought we were going to burst. But, it was a welcomed change from the fan favorite Dodger Dog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of the hot dog. In fact, make sure you check out the different varieties which include the L.A. Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog (a personal favorite), Brooklyn Dodger Dog, or one of their four Extreme Loaded Dogs.

Just know, that if you’re headed to a L.A. Dodgers home game any time soon, make sure you bring your appetite. You won’t be disappointed!

For more information make sure you visit http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/.

Los-Angeles-Dodgers-Food-41. Major League Nacho Helmet 2. BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich @ Think Blue BBQ 3. Elote @ Think Blue BBQ & Cuban Dog (Only available during Miami Marlin’s series) 4. Jidori Chicken (Chef Special) 5. Pasta with Meatballs @ Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria 6. Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich @ Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria 7. Meatball Sandwich @ Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria 8. Pepperoni Pizza @ Tommy Lasorda’s Trattoria

16 May

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull Tour Giveaway!

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OK…I know I don’t normally write about music anymore. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not a music lover. In fact, music is a big part of my life. I don’t think I could live without it. That being said…you should know I’m a fan of almost every genre out there. Yes, that includes the two guys I’m about host this giveaway for—Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull! Especially Pitbull! I love him!

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull tourWhen I was offered to host this giveaway I immediately said yes, because we all know, that since the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull Tour was announced on April 29, it’s been practically sold out. And I know there are a lot of fans out there want to see them in concert. So, I had to give you a chance!

These music superstars are reuniting and will share the stage for a U.S. 15 city AEG Live tour that kicks off on September 12 at the Prudential Center in Newark. Latin urban star J Balvin is also confirmed as the supporting act!

Here’s what Enrique and Pitbull had to say:

“There’s no better place for me than being up on stage in front of my fans,” said Enrique Iglesias. “And going on tour with a close friend and someone I admire, like Pitbull, is truly an honor. We really want to give everybody a show that they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

“Going on tour again with Enrique is exciting. He’s a talented music star, and also a close friend who I respect and have learned a lot from,” said Pitbull. “Together we are going to give fans great music, energy and what they really deserve – to enjoy life and forget the rest for three hours, Daleee!”

OK…no more wasting time! Enter via the widget below for your chance to win a pair of tickets to attend one of their U.S. shows of your choice. Before you enter, make sure you read all of the terms and conditions listed on the widget. Remember, only the U.S. shows listed here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I’m receiving a complimentary pair of tickets for this tour. Any and all opinions expressed in this post are true and my own.

18 Apr

Celebrating Spring with Knott’s Berry Bloom

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If Knotts-Berry-Bloomyou live in Southern California, love spring, and appreciate yummy treats—there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll fit right in at Knott’s Berry Bloom!. From now until April 27, Knott’s Berry Farm is celebrating the spring season with fun for the entire family. Believe me, there’s something for everyone!

Knott’s invited me out on the first day and it was so much fun…and did I mention delicious? As you’ll see in my photos below, I may have sampled a few of the boysenberry treats that were on hand. Like the gigantic turkey leg and chicken wings smothered in their unique sauce. Sooooooo good! You can find these and other foods at the inaugural Boysenberry Festival in Ghost Town. And I recommend the waffle taco. You won’t regret it!

One of the things that really caught my eye around the park are all of the beautiful blooming flowers! So pretty and perfect. It goes great with all of the special live entertainment and interactive activities for the family—along with their already awesome rides and roller coasters. And don’t worry, the adults can have a little fun at the Topiary Tasting Garden, where you can taste different wines from around the world and local craft beers. It’s a great way to have a little adult time.

The best part of my day was meeting the Peanuts gang! I’m seriously a huge Snoopy fan! He reminds me of my grandma who recently passed. She loved him too. That’s why I had to snap a Snoopy selfie in memory of her. Thank you again Knott’s Berry Farm for the invite! Make sure you check out Knott’s Berry Bloom before it ends!

Visit their website for all of the blooming details!! 

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15 Apr

The Windows Bus Experience (and Mobile Photography Tips)

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When I get an invite to check out the latest Window gadgets on a decked out bus, you know I’m going to say yes! The bus was headed for Coachella, but was making a quick pit stop in West Hollywood. Along with a few other Latina bloggers, we hopped on the bus to check out their phones, tablets, and laptops.

Windows Experience

A few of the gadgets that stood out to me were the Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone that has a 41 mega pixel camera. Yes 41 mega pixels! And the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2, which goes from laptop mode to stand mode, tent mode to tablet mode, the ThinkPad Yoga flips around 360 degrees. It’s practically ready for any situation.

As always, there are features that always catch my attention. But, one new feature I look forward to checking out on the Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana. She’s a voice-powered virtual assistant, similar to Siri, but supposedly better. They claim she will be more helpful, because she will learn more about you from your smartphone use and behavior. Are you ready for that?  It should be released by the end of summer.

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One thing Windows gets is how much we love to use our smartphones to take photographs of every thing, event, and memory. So, they got the team at We Are JUXT to put together some mobile photography tips: Read more »