Ghosting Facebook

#BlogHer16 raisedbyculture.com

I’m going ghost on my personal Facebook starting today and for the whole month of November. Every time I get tempted to post there you can find me here where I’m going to blog daily – microblogging killed my desire to blog and I want to go back to that. And I’ll be real, I need to build up my traffic after going on an unexpected hiatus for a few months when my Papa got sick.

#makeblogginggreatagain #joinme

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You Ain’t Got To Wait Till Black Friday

#reinventblackfriday raisedbyculture.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by HP! All thoughts are my own.

The minute the kids whipped off their Halloween costumes last night I was in holiday mode. Like clockwork. The memes are true. Today is actually late in the holiday shopping game for me but that’s what kinda year it’s been. My family’s Christmas wish lists are in. My 10 year old gamer is asking for a faster laptop and Chris is hinting at a new laptop. We usually don’t go all out for Christmas, we ain’t the type to splurge. I consider myself pretty conservative when it comes to holiday spending, we do $100 per kid. Yep. And I’m not the type to do Black Friday. I did it a few years ago and quickly realized I am not ’bout that life.

But check it out, you ain’t got to wait till Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year for the best deals. You can totally get an HP laptop for half the price. Right now – the presale starts today. A 15″ HD touchscreen with flexpay (you don’t need an HSN credit card, it’s like layaway but better – they ship the product right away), lifetime tech support, 7 exclusive colors, free shipping…  HSN is the place to get the buy the must-have, lowest-priced HP laptop of the year. I’m plotting + planning on getting my husband a new laptop and giving the 10 year old his. Cause the way I see it, Duke will have a new to him laptop and $100 to spend on whatever he wants. YASSSSSSS. 

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Acapulco Downey Is That Spot

#AcapulcoDowney raisedbyculture.com

When my homies want to get together, two things are mandatory. Margaritas + Mexican food. Don’t even bring up nada else. I love me a mango margarita + good conversation. They just go together. We’ve been known to gather up for girls night out or late night dinner after a long day at a conference. It is always a good time. I was invited to check out the newly renovated Acapulco Restaurant y Cantina in Downey and it was nothing like I expected, it was better. If this is the future of all Real Mex Restaurants, I’m absolutely here for it. The dramatic new look gives me feel good vibes, like I’m kicking back at a beach resort in Mexico. 

These are all my pictures, I keep it real like that. That natural light was coming in and everything was on point. Acapulco in Downey is that spot. 

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I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual

#imjudgingyou raisedbyculture.com

I checked Twitter for receipts and damb, I been down with Luvvie since way back. 2010 to be exact. She wrote a letter to Kat Stacks + I was an instant fan. Let’s be real, Luvvie is rare + her storytelling is refreshing. She tells it like it is and filters for no one. She has fun with her audience. That was something I struggled with. The first few conferences I went to pushed conforming in order to make money in this industry. To do things their way, to take perfect pictures…And then she said the opposite at a conference last year and like that, I went back to being me. 

Luvvie is successful because she got something called charisma. Or for you youngsters, swag. Homegirl is dripping swag. She does this thing where us readers are included in the process. She talks to us and not at us. Her first book, I’m Judging You, is already a New York Times Bestseller. Homegirl is a damb NY Times bestselling author! She can also floss getting listed in Oprah Winfrey’s inaugural Supersoul 100 list and was honored as the 2016 Influencer of the Year at the Iris Awards. She makes it look easy. This thing called writing. 

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13 Tacos I Ate At Tacolandia

Tacos on tacos on tacos. $40 is a steal when it comes to having all-you-can-eat access to 100 of the best tacos from the top taco vendors in one place. A true taco throw-down where the only loser is the capacity of your stomach. This is Tacolandia.

  • Tip 1: Do your research, and come prepared for Tacolandia. Check L.A. Weekly’s site for the final vendor announcement and strategize.
  • Tip 2: Train for this, and come hungry.
  • Tip 3: Wear stretchy pants or an A-line dress.
  • Tip 4: Get there early.
  • Tip 5: Bring a tray. Seriously.
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Dear Brands, Do This.

#TheNewKia raisedbyculture.com

Now here’s a concept. Invite 50 influencers to your event + tell them you trust them. But don’t stop there. Tell them keep doing what you’re doing + don’t change what you’re doing. Tell them to talk about what’s honest and true to you. Hit them with this line “Don’t ever let anyone dictate your content.” FULL STOP. ALLA THAT. 

And then thank them. What it comes down to is trust and chemistry. Kia figured out the formula. Not only with influencers but with everything. Want receipts? Kia took the top spot in the 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey. The first time in 27 YEARS that a non-premium nameplate gets to floss. ALL THE WAY UP. You got the juice now, Kia. 

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Night Cereal – Loaded Grits Breakfast Bowl

#FoodLovesMilk raisedbyculture.com

Brought to you by got milk? #FoodLovesMilk

No one says no to breakfast for dinner around here. Give us plates of bacon, eggs, pancakes, waffles! Big bowls of cereal! I’m usually down for any of that but I was craving a new kind of breakfast for dinner… something comforting, minus the sugar. This is my take on night cereal (with suggestions from the kids!) – a loaded grits breakfast bowl. One of the biggest debates of 2016 hasn’t been about the presidential election but whether grits are supposed to be savory or sweet. I still don’t know what the big deal is, I like grits both ways. Don’t judge me!

Milk is a must. You need it to make your grits and to top off your breakfast bowl. It is the hero of this recipe.

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Make Blogging Great Again

#HPonHSN raisedbyculture.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by HP! All thoughts are my own.

Showing off my space today… cause I finally cleaned it! It was an intense few weeks. I went on a super fun press trip to San Diego, spoke on a panel at #BlogHer16 in LA, back to San Diego with my fam + in-laws. I actually tried to be fancy and show off my new 17″ laptop from HP while I was on vacation but see what had happened was… the gorgeous Airbnb wasn’t coming through with that feel good look good natural light. I cry! Returned home with full memory cards and to internet that just wanted to give up. It took four days for new internet to get installed. Basically a lifetime in online years. So yeah, I cleaned! Staring at the clutter day in and day out was messing with my energy. And to create you need that good energy.

The panel I spoke on at BlogHer ’16 was “Keeping Friends During a Heated Political Season”. I wore this bold hat the day of my session to get the convo started. Just as bold as the sharp designs of HP laptops, available in silver, blue, white, red and teal.
#HPonHSN raisedbyculture.com

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Ghost Town Alive Takes You Back To The Future

#GhostTown75 raisedbyculture.com

Disclosure: I was invited to check out #GhostTown75 – All thoughts are my own.

Flashbacks on flashbacks. I wrote a piece last year for the Knott’s Berry Blog about Ghost Town Characters and I was pretty obsessed with Ghost Town then but now for the 75th Anniversary, Knott’s outdoes itself. Ghost Town Alive! is truly incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like this. For the first time ever, you can step inside + explore the Sheriff’s Office, Barbershop and Goldie’s Place. I’m ready to move in actually.

On point with the details. When I tell you it is about the little things… Get yourself a Calico Gazette. The best free souvenir you can find. Frameable even.
#GhostTown75 raisedbyculture.com

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Denny’s Pancakes Are Fluffy AF

#DennysDiners raisedbyculture.com

Disclosure: I love working with Denny’s, this is my 3rd year as an ambassador. If you don’t know now you know!

That time I flew from CA to NY for fluffy pancakes. I didn’t know it was for pancakes at the time! The information Denny’s gave me was minimal and super secret. It was basically show up at their Manhattan restaurant at 150 Nassau Street on 7/11 at 10am. I WAS EXCITED. I had absolutely no idea what to expect.

Denny’s in New York? YESSIR! You can find one on the corner of Nassau and Spruce.

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To San Diego And Back

#DriveHyundai raisedbyculture.com

That’s a 2017 Phantom Black Hyundai Elantra Eco. We had one for a week. Our truck was out of commission and my schedule was packed with local travel on a holiday weekend. We would have to make the trek to San Diego and back twice. Super panicked, I reached out to DriveShop to see if they had anything in the fleet to help us. And this phantom black beauty arrived. I was feeling it. Needed to keep our costs low because we still needed to get our truck fixed and read that this baby would be easy on gas. YASSS!
#DriveHyundai raisedbyculture.com

We surprised the LEGO loving 4 year old with a trip to LEGOLAND! We got invited to see the newest edition to Miniland, One World Trade Center. He was so wild when we pulled up. Peep all that room. Look at it! We packed an extra bag to hang at the waterpark and snacks for on the road.

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California Cruising

#DriveKia raisedbyculture.com

I stay inside with the kids when DriveShop drops off cars for us to check out. Chris handles all that. He gets the keys, paperwork and sometimes goes for a test drive around the block to feel it out. We requested a van for when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece were here in June to celebrate my husband’s birthday. When I tell you this man nicknamed his new “man van”, a snow white pearl 2016 Kia Sedona SX-L, the Storm Trooper… and promptly snapchatted it + happily cruised around in the first ten minutes it was in his possession… it was love at first sight. And I felt the same way. He is so picky with shoes, that I was lowkey worried a van wouldn’t cut it on his cool meter. But all was good and he was down for some California cruising.

On the agenda, our must-see California:

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