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

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 »

15 Apr

Hispanicize 2014 Recap

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And just like that, in a blink of an eye, Hispanicize 2014 has come and gone! I know I say this a lot, but seriously, time flies when you’re having fun. There are a lot of reasons I love the annual conference that is now in it’s fifth year. But, one stands out among the rest. The fact that founder Manny Ruiz can get so many influential Latinos together in one place. The networking and connecting that goes on is beyond measure.

I was asked by Hispanicize co-founder Angela Ruiz to speak on a panel this year and of course I said yes! This is my third time speaking and it’s always an enriching experience. This year it was on a panel about Latina lifestyle bloggers and it went really great. My favorite part is the feedback we get after the panels.

I almost didn’t make it to the conference this year, but thankfully Mary Kay offered to sponsor my travel and lodging. They are a total lifesaver! Their support means the world to me. I don’t think they realize how this helps a blogger like me grow and fulfill my passion for blogging. Thank you again Mary Kay!

As you’ll see in the photos below, Hispanicize is more than Latinos getting together once-a-year in Miami, it’s about social media, trends, entertainment, and innovation. You’ll find marketers, brands, bloggers, journalists, music artists, tech entrepreneurs and filmmakers under one roof! It’s about the Latino community sharing what we already know—we’re powerhouses! If you’ve never been, I suggest you attend at least once. Because, I already can’t wait for the next one!

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09 Apr

Target Presents PEOPLE “All-Star Teachers”: Nominate Today!

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No matter where we are in life today, regardless of our career—there has always been that one teacher in our lives that made a difference. One who stood out among the others, showed they really cared, and helped influence us to be the best we can be. I personally will never forget Mrs. Brown and Mr. Buckley from my elementary school days. They showed me discipline and creativity as a child. I think teachers like them should be recognized for the hardwork they do in and outside of the classroom. That’s why I’m happy to share the People All-Star Teachers initiative presented by Target.

adriangonzalezMLBFrom now until May 2, Target guests and MLB fans can visit AllStarTeachers.com to nominate an outstanding K-12 teacher from their community. Target, MLB and PEOPLE Magazine will select three teachers per MLB club for a total of 90 finalists that fans will vote on from June 1 – 29. The 30 winning “All-Star Teachers” – one representing each MLB club – will be revealed on July 10, with winners being recognized during the All-Star Game, at Target Field in Minneapolis on July 15.

As a loyal Los Angeles Dodgers fan, I’m super excited to see that Adrian Gonzalez (left) is supporting this program! I know he does a lot for his community and he understands the importance of education. Thanks Adrian (Go Dodgers!).

I hope you will pass this on and nominate anyone you know who deserves to be nominated. Don’t forget to follow and use the #MyAllStarTeacher hash tag.

Nominate a Teacher Now

07 Apr

When Should You Pass on a Paid Blogging Opportunity?

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You’ve been blogging your heart out for a few months now (or longer) and you’re starting to get approached with paid blogging opportunities. We all love money, but you’ll soon discover that not every paying gig that comes your way is going to be a fit for you or your blog. Of course, it’s your decision and you can do whatever you want with your space. But, if you’re trying to build a brand through your blog, then you may have to consider a few things when accepting work. Yes, there will be times you’ll just have to say “no,” no matter how much it hurts your wallet. Question is, how do you know when you should pass on a paid blogging opportunity?

It just doesn’t feel right.

How many times have you had that gut feeling that something just wasn’t right? But, you did it anyways? Only to be mad at yourself after the fact. I will admit that I accepted a few questionable sponsored posts in the beginning of my blogging career. Regardless of how unsure I was, I just wanted to get paid and I didn’t want to pass up an “opportunity.” Sound familiar? Today, if I don’t trust the brand or whoever is representing it—I will say no. If I even feel an ounce of uneasiness when it comes to working with a certain company, I will pass. I have to trust myself to make the best decision for my blog.

It’s not even close to your niche.

Do you blog solely about fashion and were approached by a diaper company? Or do you blog about your family life and a liquor brand wants to work with you? Although you may think some of these go together (ahem), your audience may see it differently. I’m not saying you should write to please your readers. But, you have to remember that they do come to your blog for a reason. And if you’re writing a sponsored post about something completely opposite of your niche, they will notice. When it comes to my blog, I write about what I love, what I think will help my readers—all while sharing my story. When I accept sponsored posts or campaigns, I make sure it reflects me and my life.

The pay doesn’t match the amount of work.

We all know that blogging is a lot of work. It takes time to research, write, take photos, film, edit videos, and promote it all on social media. If you’re getting offered a very small amount of compensation for all of that work, then you may need to negotiate or pass. I can’t tell you what to charge, but I can tell you to figure out what your time is worth. Believe me, It’s not about being greedy. It’s about being compensated, for your time. And don’t worry, the world won’t end if you say “no thank you.”

Like I mentioned above, this is how I have determined whether a paying gig was right for ME and my blog. Yes, I have done a lot of work for free. But, that was up to me, my own discretion, and a decision I made on my own. Blogging has and always will be a learning process for me. You’ll learn along the way to make your own choices, set your own standards, and figure out your worth as a blogger.

How do you know when to pass on a paid blogging opportunity?

Leave a comment below!

21 Mar

2014 Hispanic Lifestyle Latinas of Influence & Conference

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I am so amazingly honored to announce here that I have named as one of Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2014 Latinas of Influence! You can find me on the list alongside 30 inspiring women here. Being recognized like this in our Latina community means a lot to me. I’m very grateful for this honor! Thank you so much Hispanic Lifestyle Television!

And if you’re in the Southern California area, make sure you check out the 2014 Latina Conference. It’s a one day conference that will be held in Ontario, California on April 2, 2014. It will include panel discussions on Latinas in Business, Latinas in Entertainment, and Latinas in our community. There will even be a presentation of the “2014 Latinas of Influence” during lunch. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend. I already committed to another engagement before learning about this. But, I will be there is spirit!

Get all the information on the 2014 Latina Conference here.