I love what I do – The people I meet

What a great #chicagonistalive show at @trumpchicago Thank you to all our #chicagonistalive influencers! @mjtam @nancyloo @duongonline @andreametcalf @candidcandace @cecemelinda @jenluby @foodtravelist @tedrubin @thelocaltourist @tmmeditation @indianapplepie — with Ted Rubin, MJ Tam, Nancy Loo, Beth Rosen and Jennifer Dunham Luby at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and our crew and staff – you all bring so much joy into my life – and make things fun!!

#ChicagonistaLive at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago! W  MJTam, Nancy Loo Cece AndNMelinda, Anupy Singla Gupta, The Local Tourist, Andrea Metcalf

#ChicagonistaLive at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago! W MJTam, Nancy Loo Cece AndNMelinda, Anupy Singla Gupta, The Local Tourist, Andrea Metcalf

Easy Packing Tips – 1 Bag – 3 Weeks – 5 Tips

Easy Packing Tips

Easy Packing Tips

Having twin boys in their junior year of college on a study abroad program has always been a dream of mine. Making one son study 4 years of French in high school, and the other Spanish has paid off. I’m off to Europe to visit one son in Paris and the other in Barcelona.

They are going to be my tour guides, I’m taking trains and small local planes to visit them. I was able to save a lot of money on my flights by being very flexible with my dates.

I’m traveling very frugal and light, I have to…did I mention I have twins doing study abroad?

Here are some easy packing trips, that will keep you in style, on time, warm, and your luggage bag light enough you can carry it.

1. Try to look for big space in a smaller bags, you can find many that are sturdy and have plenty  of room. I packed this same amount in a carry on Osprey ,  as in this a light to check American Tourister bag.

Osprey luggage

Osprey luggage

This is a carry on..it fit as much as my checked bag...

This is a carry on..it fit as much as my checked bag…

American Tourister iLite

American Tourister iLite

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 3.01.01 PM

2. Use a packing cube or old fashion Zip plastic style bag. The key to fitting a lot in was I used  many of those zip plastic bags to put my clothes in and suck the air out, I looked for clothes that I can layer, rinse and wash, and I wore my heavy items on the plane.

This all fit easy in both bags - Use Zip Plastic Bags to squeeze out air, save room

This all fit easy in both bags – Use Zip Plastic Bags to squeeze out air, save room

3.  Stick to a color plan, but bring a few bright items to beak it up, dress it up, and layer on.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.42.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.35.47 PM bwjs Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.35.18 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.28.38 PM

4. Should you go with the roll or fold? I say it depends on the item. I fold my jeans smash them in a Zip  plastic bag, squeeze out the air and they are flat. If you try to roll the jeans they can take up a lot of room. I will save items to roll and pack in the sides and in-between items. I also will roll shoes together and again place in a plastic zip bag, and they will slide just about anyplace you need them to fit.

Zip Lock Bags, lot's of items I can layer

Zip Lock Bags, lot’s of items I can layer

5. Pop some color and fun with an extra sweater, or fun accessories like scarves, hats, hair items, belts, sunglasses, earrings, have fun they are easy to fit in small spaces but can bring a big impact.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.43.12 PM

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.30.43 PM

 

NYC Back & White Cookie Style – love it too

NYC is known for black and white cookies – so I decided to grab a cookie and scout around for some fashion inspired by these little sweets. Also in my search I was not allowed to find anything that would cost more than a few cookies. Look, I found these little dresses all under $25.00. Cute, and will not break the bank, can hide it if you had  a few cookies, and easy to wash and wear.

Black and WhiteBlack on BlackBlack & WhiteBlack N White Cookie

Off the path in NYC

Not a tiskit or taskit

New York Fashion Week – #OCBTW

 

At the NYC Harbor with a flair for Fashion

A Hit at the Harbor – Party on the Pier

Opening Ceremony is making it hip to be seen at the @SuperPier along the Hudson River.

With a selection of special box car shops, some NYC food trucks and I heard even the world famous #cronut by @DominiqueAnsel along with his new #magicsouffle wowed the crowd as they hit the Hudson side of New York City, for the opening party on the pier.

If you’re in NYC during Fashion Week, you need to get over and see how #OCBTW is showing their swanky sense of style.

OC Twitter: opening ceremony ‏@openingceremony 4h We chatted with hosts @zanabayne + @pendunyc about their #OCBTW Sunset Takeover with @TigerBeerUS at @SuperPierNYC

OC Twitter:
opening ceremony ‏@openingceremony 4h
We chatted with hosts @zanabayne + @pendunyc about their #OCBTW Sunset Takeover with @TigerBeerUS at @SuperPierNYC

Word had it that last night hosts @zanabayne  @pendunyc rocked it by the river.  Opening Ceremony By The Water #OCBTW  made a splash at the Sunset Takeover with @TigerBeerUS pleasing the crowd – the music, food, and of course fashionable vibe at  @SuperPierNYC made it another not to be missed OC happeningphoto 4 (1)

I know that  Opening Ceremony has had pop-up’s in the past, here they are creating space and exposure for legendary brands we know, and notable new talent. What a wonderful addition to #NYFW with #OCBTH, a marketplace, showcasing celebrated and cutting edge together that’s what makes OC fresh and ultrasmart.  For the next few days Sunset Takeovers is set to provide these unique up-and-coming designers, performers a chance to showcase their collections and talent.

A Tweet from @Openingceremony

A Tweet from @Openingceremony

Talent such as  ZANA BAYNE and Todd Pendu who created a crowd-pleasing open at the SuperPier for #NYFW and OC fans alike.

I wished I could of gone for many reasons, but getting a chance to meet  the fashionable famed boomers of http://idiosyncraticfashionistas.blogspot.com/  would of been worth the trip to NYC alone.   Just in case you don’t know who they are here is a bit from their about me page,  ” GROWING OLD WITH VERVE ‘Growing old gracefully’ is an outdated concept. We prefer ‘growing old with verve’. This blog documents our efforts to live up to that motto, in photos and essays. We embrace our gray hair, while sharing the playground nicely with our younger siblings”

I can’t wait to read their post on the party…I want to thank Zacq for letting me know about these amazing women in NYC, and the photos for this post.

Screen Shot 2013-09-07 at 7.38.16 PM

My son the artist who is also working at NYC Fashion week, taking photos for me, and giving me the social scoop.

So here I am in Chicago following #NYCFW New York City Fashion week. I hope that next year this boomer can make the time to get trendy and get over to NYC for Fashion Week, or at least a party or two…..and a #cronut of course.

The Boomer Top 10 Reasons – MTV Jumped The Shark

Yes the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards –  jumped the shark

MTV Moon Man

MTV Once Played Music
Photo Credit and Link Below

There was a time when MTV actually played music videos, in fact the videos were groundbreaking, thought provoking, and yes even titillating, but not push it your face – shove it down  – because you can’t think for yourself way, more of a “we are young, edgy, and ready to push the envelope”.

I love the saying “Less is More”. Remember when a tease was in fact a tease, and we didn’t need things totally acted out, we used our own imaginations, and guess what,  that worked. Yes even pressing the limits meant something.

What has happened? Didn’t the MTV video awards once reflect a true recognition of young new artists, creating, challenging, and expanding music. A place for up and coming artists to explore this new platform, and the more established artist hung around to mentor, advise, and even learn some new tricks.

Come on Lady GaGa - you can do better Photo Credit and Link Below MTV

Come on Lady GaGa – you can do better
Photo Credit and Link Below MTV

The playground that was MTV would encourage new artists to explore and create. The awards offered a chance for these artist old and young to perform in front of a live TV audience and peers. A chance to perform live was a privilege, a special outing, a bonus for having their videos run on the station, and become popular.

As fortune would have it MTV had to get into other programming because just playing music videos was not enough to keep them viable and the lights on. Yes we know that bills need to be paid, and sometimes other revune streams need to be created. I loved it when the Real World was real.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 10.46.13 PMNow it seems endless programs of pregnant teenage moms, Jersey juiceheads, and online dating scams have changed the vibe too much.  FTV (Fake TV) would be more appropriate now for this channel.

It use to be that watching the celebrities watching the awards with us provided entertainment, but this years artist looked locked into the Barclays Center expressions of boredom when the camera did pan around the arena made it evident,. I’m sure they were told they could not text just incase the camera did catch a glimpse, imagine if they were playing words with friends…

Us Boomers remember a time when Howard Stern showed his buttocks, Madonna made love to the floor, and Britney dressed in next to nothing with a snake, but that’s nothing compared to the over exposure of this years show.

Your young and beautiful - please don't do this yet

Your young and beautiful – please don’t do this yet

Here are my top ten –  WTF

 10. Taylor Swift – Fire your makeup artist now. You have so much class and style, I understand your wanting to be seen as more mature – but looking like a middle aged women on her way to a PTO fundraiser is not the way to do it–

 9. Taylor Swift Also– Please send your mom over to Miley Cyrus house to have a sit down with her parents.  I know I know it’s not her parents fault but at least if Milys parents could of guided her a bit – yes she’s a big girl and “she can do what she wants to”…but that doesn’t mean she should

 8. It was so meaningful that  Jason Collins introduced Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – I also loved seeing Jennifer Hudson – but she was not needed there, I felt it stole a bit of the thunder away from what a simple but important moment in that MTV train wreck of the show

7.  Wait – I thought NSync was going to perform – oh that was them – a quick “Hi Hi Hi and then Bye Bye Bye”

6. What – What – Daft Punk was there and did not play and did not win. One Direction may be talented, but they are a template pre fab band – who can carry a tune and look cute, but groundbreaking, original no and their song that won, “Best Song Ever”. was it? Was that a Sally Fields moment!

5. Where are the adults who should be watching the store – the show lacked pace, it was a technical nightmare,  with so much thought put into bleeping the offensive language and not making any inappropriate drug references—what about the porn performances live on stage – Hello?

4.  Can we get Bruno Mars’s team to produce the whole show please; I loved his understated performance that showed his clear talent and class. Thank you Mr. Mars’s

3.  Katy Perry – UM the 1970’s called and they want the look, sound, and choreography back. Although it was probably one of the best parts of the show. It felt real; an audience  filled with real folks who actually seemed thrilled to be there, but certainly not what I would call a “ROAR”..

2. Lady Gaga – GRL you have at your disposable the most talented costume people, choreographers, and many other creative sorts. So what’s with the white cardboard square, nun outfit? That’s what you gave us last night – shame on you.  Also walking onto canned “Boos”  am I really at that “Get off my lawn, stage”.  Still GaGa I was happy you’re healed and able to move like before

1.Please bring back the edgy, real, creative, ground breaking, MTV video awards. Oh wait that’s right MTV don’t play music anymore. Never mind

I WANT MY MTV – HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

 

#Lollapalooza Tips for Boomers

A quick #boomfluent recap of Day 1 at Lollapalooza 2013 Chicago. As you know I posted my top tips of what to bring, how to dress, and how to work your way around Grant Park.

Tip #1. How to Dress – Dress for the weather, but hey this is Chicago and it can change in a second. When I arrived at the park it was a bit cool, I had a light wrap on. Then the sun came out and it was a sweat fest, so I had on this tank top and wrapped my wrap around my waist. About 30 minuets later the sky’s opened up and it started to rain. I had a rain poncho stuck in my bag, and an umbrella. Soon after that extremely hot again. All in 2 hours. Don’t wear anything that you don’t want to get wet, muddy, ripped, sweated on, stolen, or worse…

IMG_0891

Tip #2. Stuff to bring. You might just need aspirin, earplugs, bandages, hand wipes, large toilet paper roll, extra phone charger ( I did buy a #Mophie charger at a discount price on site at Lollapalooza #mophielovesyou), also bring an extra folding bag, and cash. Below is a photo of  this cute family  having a great time and protecting their babies ears, what a smart idea.

uxxqJ

Tip #3 – Stay hydrated, and not just drinking beer. There is lot’s of free water around, and you can bring your own container and fill it up at the@CamelBak filling stations, fresh filtered water. You can track how many disposable plastic water bottles are being saved on the CamelBak Facebook page.

IMG_0912

Some other good tips for boomers. If going with you kids, don’t stress and have fun. I met this amazing mom (below photo) with her grown kids and they looked so happy and in the spirit of the fest. There is a lot to do when you bring younger children, stop by the “Tag-A-Kid” booth in the Kidzapalooza area, you get a specially marked wristbrand for your child, if you get separated they can contact you. They also have activities for you and the kids, Karaoke, Fun with hair, workshops, Yoga and more.

IMG_0899

There is a place to store your stuff in the lockers near Buckingham Fountain. They have a general store also near the fountain, along with a Lolla Shop area, t-shirts, hats, posters, water bottles and more. They have an amazing lost and found, 3 years ago my son lost his wallet – 3 months later we got it back in the mail. The security staff was helpful, I saw a medical area set up if needed. There is a lot of food to buy and try and of course many port-a-potties..

LaLLa

It was a very exciting day, and I look forward to tomorrow. People of different ages, lots of new music to discover, and fun activities in the park. Tomorrow I hope to find the body  paint station, or transform into a comic strip at the RAV4 pop Art Photo Booth, maybe stop over and grab a glass of wine at the Thorny Rose uncorked lounge, or grab an autograph from an artist and follow @Fyeguy  to see where and when, so much to do until tomorrow Rock on!

Blogging even if you don’t Blog – Boomers need love too

A Blogging Conference comes to Chicago next week. Yes I said Blogging….but I hope this year the brands don’t ignore me…

Got Milk - Missed the Get

Got Milk – Missed the Get

Last summer about this time – I went to New York to attend a blogging conference “Blogher12” – What is Blogher you may ask? You may want to Google it, or even go to the website Blogher.com, check out the site, it will give you a big overview.

BlogHer Conference

BlogHer Conference

“In 2005, BlogHer Co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone held a conference to answer the question, “where are all the women who blog?” Today, BlogHer conferences bring together thousands of these women from around the world to discuss, inspire and connect with each other.”

Last year it was in New York City, lucky for me I was able to visit with my son, and even get him to do a little (BlogHer) work for me. It was my 4th such conference, this year will be my 5th BlogHer conference, I can’t wait.

NYC - My son and Blogher Lucky Me!

NYC – My son and Blogher Lucky Me!

Although, did I mention to you yet, I have a small problem with blogging, I’m extremely dyslexic so it makes it hard to blog, write, and for you who are reading this, at this point you understand what I’m saying here…yes I see you nodding.

What I do and love is create “Micro Content”…What did I just say, “Micro content”..Um you may be thinking, what is that? Well I Tweet a lot, Facebook plenty, Instagram, Vine, Pin,  those are short form social platforms, and are considered by some to be “micro”, based on the size of the communications.

#ChicagonistaLive Gals

#ChicagonistaLive Gals

I also co-host a webcast, podcast, and produce large events for bloggers to attend. I have been very fortunate over the past 5 years to have found a way to market my skills. I enjoy being able to consult with brands on how to build relationships with their target market, something I have been doing for the past 25 years, it’s just cooler now.

I enjoy using these digital platforms I love. It has been so nice meeting other gals who like to do things that I like to do, for example, take photos of all their food, their friends food, and  even if it looks cool “strangers” food. Then these same group of gals will use our mobil devices and start to Tweet it, Instagram it, Pin it, and then eat it. Sometimes the food is even still hot, after we post all of the photos.

There are many reasons for me to be attending Blogher13 this summer.

 

Cottonelle Blogher12

Cottonelle Blogher12

#1.  It’s in Chicago

#2.  This year I was asked to also help out and lead a session on Podcasting.

#3. I get to connect IRL (in real life) with so many online friends these “Bloggers”. These folks are kinda all in this same world as me, and it’s fun to share stories, hints, tips, apps, and much more. Did I mention, we all stop and take photos of our food, photos of street signs, photos of the skyline, photos of everything and then we will Tweets, tag, share, well you get the picture. (Pun intended)

Yes I did

Yes I did

You may be thinking. Why do we do this, and why do Brands like to sponsor and attend Blogher?  For me the reason is simple I like to create fun content, I enjoy sharing the stories of places I have been, products I like, people I meet. The brands like it when we share, it’s much better if a user, and or consumer of a product tries it and likes it, we then may tell a friend and so it goes the wonderful, trusted, word of mouth. If MR. BRANDX tells you how wonderful his product is – how much do we care, of course he loves his own product and he wants you to buy it.

Chuck C Cheese - Me being cheesy

Chuck C Cheese – Me being cheesy

Many  brands come to this conference. These brands set up in a super huge expo area,  brands like Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Walgreens, and many more. Of course small companies come to show their products. The trick is these brands are spending a lot to be at this conference. What a chance to mix and mingle with the brands target market, but more than that it’s a whole conference filled with people that will create content the brand can use on it’s own social platforms, such as Facebook, or Twitter.  It’s a good thing that the brands are at the expo area. It means our voices matter, our opinions’ matter, and our pocketbooks matter. It means that these companies want to have an opportunity to meet us in person, see what moves us, and if things work out, will build a relationship with us. We are the “Bloggers, Vloggers, and Content Creators”. They love to see us whip out our iPhone, take a video, create content. We create content we can share with our audiences, and social channels, and it the brands content to share.

Next week I will see many of the brands that we all are familiar with, use, and if these brands plan it right, we might try a new one at some point. These brands come to meet, mix, and get to know the “bloggers”. Many brands would like to start relationships with bloggers for different reasons.

Maybe a blogger will try the product like it enough to write about it, and that becomes word of mouth marketing, advertising, for the brand.

Example if  I try a product, I like it, I blog about it, and then my readers read it, they may think – “Hey if old Beth, thinks this new xyz (skincare line) is good and useful, maybe I will try it”  When I create content around it, and my readers then try it, the brand is happy.

At Blogher 12 Kate Gosselin

At Blogher 12
Kate Gosselin

Last year I had so much fun in the expo hall, I took a lot of silly photos, created content that I thought my readers would find interesting, useful, helpful, relevant, and I did try to talk to the brands. I shared many of these photos and stories with my non-blogger friends, many of my IRL (in real life) friends who don’t blog, but they do buy.

I got a kick from Kikkoman

I got a kick from Kikkoman

I just want to say to the “Brands” the ones I may see next week, don’t ignore us, the boomers or the small number gals, the rebranders, and the newbie’s.

Also “Brands” I get it I know you’re interested in either finding the most influential bloggers, bloggers who have a big reach, names that the brands were told to look out for.  I did not have one of the brands that I took these fun photos with last year follow up with me. Some of the products I likes and others not so much, remember it’s a two way street, let’s make sure we all take the time to respect each other and see past the number. Also age is just a number. I may be a boomer, but I have young nieces and nephews, my own kids work with kids. I’m excited to meet you let’s try this again.

Vine-ing in Turkey


” The Great Gatsby” – or Should I say “Gasp-ee”

This just happened, my 19 year old son, home from college asked me  and I quote “Mom, want to go see a movie?”  You could only imagine my shock, as I struggled not to faint, not to question.  I wondered, had I heard him right, or was I just imaging those words that came out of his mouth.  Maybe he was asking me for money so he could go to a movie.

Even before I questioned myself any longer; I said “Of Course”, grabbed him, my purse and ran out the door. I did not even sneak a look over at the pile of work I had on my desk and the laundry still sitting on the floor. I knew I had to jump in the car with him and speed off quickly–because I didn’t want him to realize that he had actually asked me to go see a movie with him or that maybe he might get a text from a friend and he would change his mind.  In a flash, we went out of the house and on our way — to a movie!

 

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan

As we got into the car, I had no idea what time any movie was playing or where.  It didn’t matter.  He was now held captive in my car driving.  I did pinch myself just to be sure I was not dreaming. Very laid back, my son mentioned he wanted to see “The Great Gatsby”.  All I knew from my motherly instincts was that I was to drive to a movie theater not in our neighborhood, out of the sight of potential humans who might notice he was with “Gasp”, his mom.  I knew that I should drive a community of two over.

As we drove into the theater, I knew that there had to be at least one showing in the next hour or so.  We walked in to see that there was a 4:20 movie, perfect. It was 4:26.  I asked for 2 tickets and the counter girl said that will be $30. Now, I know I have not been to a theater for a long time but $15 a ticket!  She then proceeded to hand me two 3D glasses and told me to enjoy the show.  CRAP I hate 3 D, but heck I was with my son, in the middle of the day, at a movie.  I was in heaven!

3D Glasses

I enjoyed “The Great Gatsby”.  It was a lot different then what I was expecting. The cinematography was beautiful and as a boomer, I kept thinking how all those young people had so much money to live in those homes. I know it’s a movie. Then I notice that there were very few people over the age of 30 in the movie, but it didn’t matter, I loved looking at the clothing, scenery, design and food.

Oh and my movie review, well, It had a lot of style – much of which we will be seeing on the store racks all summer, little that any boomer would wear. The characters seemed a bit flat Tobby Macquire was too wide eyed and simple in his portrayal of Nick Carraway and the narrator of the story.  Wispy Carey Mulligan was wonderful as Daisy Buchannan.  I felt her emotions as the movie played out and she did a brilliant job with her unspoken dialog using facial expressions, moods and movements. Jay Gatsby, Leonardo DiCaprio, seems to hover between characters.  At times, I felt as if I was watching  “The Aviator” where he was Howard Hughes  or as Frank Abagnale Jr in “Catch Me If You Can” .  Even that similarity was ok to play the part of Gatsby.  Those are big shoes to fill. Leonardo pulled it off.

Many of the other characters seemed a bit forgettable, but they all filled their shoes well as the movie moved along. I give it a B -. for it’s attention to detail, amazing styles, wondrous party scenes and use of soundtrack.