Miss Quirky

Momofuko Milk Bar DC Fits The Hype & Other Non-Linear Updates

In Advice, Celebrities, Food, Travel on November 9, 2015 at 8:38 pm


Momofuku’s Milk Bar is a posh, modern bakery that offers up a singular line of cakes, cookies, deserts and milkshakes.  Milk Bar recently opened up its doors in Washington D.C the last week of October to a hungry crowd of foodies who eat up whatever Washington Post Weekend Guide posts (gotta love elite hipsters). When I went last Friday, I wrongly assumed that the hype cloud dissipated but, sadly, that was not the case.

I, along with two awesome gal-pals, waited in line for a whopping 45 minutes just to partake in a delish cereal parfait, compost cookies, and bite sized cake balls. The wait was kinda unnerving but as soon as we walked through those glass doors and were treated to a wide array of comfort food, we were easily contented.

I can easily see why Mindy Kaling raved about the New York location on her instagram. The bakery gave her a delicious cake for her birthday, and I kinda want to get one for mine next year too. I totally recommend this bakery, especially if you have a unique palate and are an adventurous human being (eater).

So someone assumed I was Mindy Kaling the other day.. hmmm..

So someone assumed I was Mindy Kaling the other day.. hmmm..

Aside from trying new hotspots, i’ve been having some interesting adventures along the way. As many of you know, well probably not since not everyone believes in the heart-wrenching power of a good soap opera, Days of Our Lives is celebrating their 50th anniversary by having a nation-wide book tour.

IMG_7718 I, honestly didn’t know about the book tour until a good friend of mine from college text me about it. Up until that day, she was the only one I knew who caught up with the soap opera from time to time. After I posted pictures with witty updates, I learned that several of my other friends have fond memories of the soap too.

Anyway, the event took place in Bethesda’s Barnes and Noble, and, surprisingly, a flock of desperate housewives crammed up the line and even fought tooth and nail to get even closer to the stars. I even had one baby boomer, with skunk hair, a worn out Lands End sweater, and a sour expression only a daughter in law could love, threaten to kick me out because I accidentally stepped next to hear. Never knew this tour was going to have some Hunger Game moments.

I’ve been a fan of this show for most of my life but was afraid I would come off as a frantic fan. Sad to say, I was in too much shock that I was speechless the whole time and ended up mumbling trivial expressions to the stars I hearted. For instance, when I saw Bryan Datillo, I mumbled that I loved him and Allyson Sweeney when she declared that she was preggers with Will. He was sweet and thanked me, and his agent asked if I wanted a picture. I gleefully complied, however, something strange happened.

Nadia Bjorlin, who I have been a heavy fan of ever since she first came on to the show, reacted really harshly when I was going to get a picture of Bryan Datillo. She stated really loudly, and stared at the crowd,”Mind if I am in the picture. I know women get jealous of me because I am a pretty woman and don’t always want to get a picture with me.”

So I was dumbfounded. I used to think she was poised, confident, and graceful since I’ve also seen her behave in a distinguished way in “Dirty Pop” but, I realize, she may be more like Chloe Lane than meets the eye. I shakily replied, “That I really love her and think she’s amazing.”

She smiled royally in the picture, ofcourse. Although I still think she’s a beautiful actress, after this strange fan experience, I hope she grows up and learns not to take anything personal.

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After I attended the Days of Our Lives event, I had a heavy Saturday. I had to be at three locations at once and this was a complete first for me. A birthday, a costume party, and another birthday, all in different parts of Maryland and in D.C.

I successfully drove to each location, and had a bomb time at my friend’s Polish birthday, ate delicious polish dishes, and gulped down some coconut cake. For the costume party, I didn’t have time to change into a costume so I told everyone there I was Mindy Kaling. I guess that worked? Maybe this can be a costume idea I can do every year in case I don’t have time to get one.

The last birthday party took place in Dirty Bar, located by Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. My friend got us into a VIP spot and we had a great time getting acquainted again. Afterwards, I found these  two delicious late night spots that I want to go  to again. My new favorite late night spots are Julie’s Empanadas, and Surfside Taco Stand. All I have to say is I had the best empanadas and quessidillas I had in awhile.

Strangely enough, I saw some interesting side acts this weekend in D.C.

IMG_7874I saw a street performer use a ventriliquest dummy to play popular songs. The whole experience was too surreal for me and it wasn’t something I would expect to see by Dupont. At some point, I was in Chinatown and I saw a legit hippie caravan with a line of people walking into sample fresh baked pie and to partake in some nomadic, hippie literature. These experiences are something you would see when you go to San Francisco, Seattle, or in New York City but I never knew this would happened in D.C. Who knew?

Have you been to Momofuku’s Milkbar in D.C? Or have you met any Days of our Lives stars during the 50th anniversary book tour? We’d love to hear your experiences below!

10 Best Ways to Brand Yourself Online

In Advice, Business on October 28, 2015 at 12:23 am
Taken in Kansas. A famous president used to live here, guess who?

Here I am in Kansas, cheesing for a picture!

Branding is oft-times talked about as the end all and be all with marketing, companies, ideas, and especially with events. With that said, when you perform a Google search on yourself, what do you see?

Do you see articles that highlight your positive traits? Or do you see spam cached that denotes your less than desirable traits?

What I often see is the end all and be all of anything tied  you (the brand). The first few pages of Google can really make or break you (education, jobs, dating, life), and you are by far the most important brand you have.

As a Marketing Expert (Digital, Content & Social Media) I have experience enhancing celebrities, gourmet food companies, and small businesses in the D.C/Maryland/Virginia area’s brands. What I can say is that often the ceo behind the brand must have a stellar online presence or their business will tank offline.

If you run a small business, or if you want strangers to think highly of you via a quick Google search, please try the following tips to further enhance your brand online:

1.) Maintain a Personal Website/Blog

I guess this is a given. But although this is a given, it is also your grand opportunity to brand yourself as an expert versus letting Google brand you as a neanderthal (due to lack of content, not due to you being you). In order to brand yourself positively on your website/blog try to write articles that will help people within your niche. Consider using wordpress, wix, weebly, or website.com to create a site your liking.If you don’t think you have anything to write about, please think again. I am sure you are good at something, right? Well, let’s say, for example, you are great in accounting. When you maintain a website that provides articles that break down cumbersome accounting terms and that digests difficult matter into baby steps, not only will you be deemed an accounting virtuoso but your online brand will soar on Google. Make sure you write strong articles (detailed content, images, lists, graphs, links to external sources) and don’t skimp on grammar or coherency. You wouldn’t want to brand yourself as failing third grade for grammar but passing undergrad, miraculously.

2.) Quora

Everyone uses Quora to get answers to some of life’s biggest questions. Sometimes Wikipedia doesn’t have all of the answers we are looking for too. This platform is a strong recommendation on my part for you to brand yourself as a know-it-all. When you sign-up, remember to fill out your profile and link it to your website to up the ante on your online branding adventure. When you start answering questions, be detail-oriented, precise, and knowledgeable in your responses. Hurried or quick replies will often get lost within the queue and your goal is to be the expert that stands out from the masses. Remember to also add in extra links and resources in your responses in case any users want even more information than the initial question that was posed.

3.) Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, oh my! There’s so many platforms to choose from but the popular tools are Twitter, Facebook (who isn’t on Facebook?), Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. For your online brand, pay heed to the aforementioned advice and just promote your expertise artfully. No one needs to see you drinking your wages away during that one work-related happy hour event. Stay professional and post advice articles or updates that promote you gaining a new skill, exotic travels, or positive milestones in your life that you think will help other people. For example, what if you raced in your first 5k and you did this for a good cause. By all means, post this image on Instagram, tweet this image to the good cause, and share how great this cause is on Facebook. Be wary of what you post on these social media tools since you wouldn’t want to leave a negative yet permanent impression on these inter-webs.

4.) HARO

HARO is a secret weapon marketers have been using for years to brand themselves as experts online. Journalists often need sources for their articles and your expertise can be the ticket to free online publicity for yourself. Postings are made three times a day and it’s imperative you e-mail reporters your answers—asap! Deadlines are often looming so late responses due to get canned. Who knows, maybe your gluten-free (not flavor-free) recipe may make Cosmopolitan’s online website? It’s good to take a chance and try this resource out.

5.) Guest Write

Huffington PostBuzzfeed, The New York Times, Salon, Elite Daily, Slate, The Bustle, and XO Jane are just some of many publications online you can contribute articles for. Oftentimes, these articles get published online and get tied into your pen name. So image when your ex best friend from High School performs a quick Google search on you and her eyes glaze over in fury when she sees that your article on Frenemies for The Huffington Post makes it to the top of Google. I highly doubt this scenario would ever happen since emotionally healthy people don’t care about high school politics to even think about that kind of stuff ever again as adults. But, you get the idea how powerful it is to do guest write-ups.

6.) Join Professional Groups

Fight the urge to save those pennies since investing top dollar in joining a professional group not only helps your career by helping you find mentors, connections, and new careers but once the internet grabs unto the fact you are associated with them, your online brand will beautifully enhance. So when a user types in “Jennifer Holms” they will see a smart-minded woman who is a part of a top tier Architectural group that meets once a month.

7.) Periscope/Blab

I learned about these two apps when I participated in the Washington Post Edition of Startup weekend this year. If you want to brand yourself as someone who is down to earth and who cares, you can promote Q&A’s on here and give free advice on your area of expertise. It’s an easy and unique way to connect with people. Plus Blab, which is the better off-shoot version of Periscope, lets you record your live streams with users and be able to to post it online as a podcast or as a video.

8.) Meetups

This is a personal favorite of mine since this where you can promote yourself, simultaneously online as well as off-line. You can join professional or non-professional (hobby-oriented) and not only attend fun events but have your image promoted on high caliber social media sites for free. Even when you participate in Meetups comment boards, your answers, images, and attendance can possibly show up online.

9.) Podcasts

The Podcast Movement has been picking up steam for the past several years and it’s predicted to have staying power. You can make your own podcasts from scratch here. Basically, you can divvy up seminars and lectures you have made into podcasts for easy car, running, or relaxing listening. Not only that, there are podcast directories and other online mediums where you can post your beautiful voice (i’m just making a kind assumption) for the world to hear. When you have different online content (blogs, podcasts, meetups, quora, interviews) it shows the online user how multi-facted your personal brand is and that you are indeed a smart cookie that shouldn’t be messed with.

10.) Youtube 

Again, this is another gimme. Most people I have met used their I-phones to make videos but I personally think that’s not the best route. I-phones don’t have the best sound quality and video stills get grainy once you make small editing changes on Youtube editor. Check out this article on the best cameras for video blogging, and check out this article for best editing software here. Quality content is royalty so you want to publish videos that portray you in the best light. Again, you can make self-help videos or even humorous ones that align you further with personal goals. If you don’t want to learn how to edit your clips, feel free to scour Craigslist, Fiverr, or Freelancer for an expert who is willing to do so for less. Although blogs and images reign supreme on Google, videos make the strongest impression on an online user. So make sure when you make your videos, it’s filmed in the best quality possible and that it is optimized for SEO.

Do you shine on the first page of Google? Or better yet, do you have any tips that I may have missed in this article? Feel free to comment below! 

Easy Steps in Throwing a Fancy yet Affordable French, Fall-Themed Party

In Advice, Fashion, Women on October 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm
Caramel Princess and her court of admirers..

Caramel Princess and her royal court..

When I think of Fall, I think of sugar cookies, hayrides, and small dinner parties. If any of you reading this post, assumed or thought I forgot to mention pumpkin spice than you must really take a good look at yourself in the mirror. I am not basic so there will no mentions over pumpkin spice blech-drinks.

Anyway, since it was Fall I wanted to welcome the season in without skimping on style. Naturally, a party would be great since it livens up spirits and brings my favorite people together.

Party Collage 1

If you cut up fruit, and arrange it into a colorful, melange that can definitely entice the crowd to eat more healthy.

When I throw a shin-dig, I like to infuse style, decadence, and a smidge of class to the overall milleu; however, I didn’t want to spend crazy cash to achieve this light-hearted dream. So what’s a girl to do? She’s suppose to be as creative as possible.

I charted my territory and made a short voyage to the Dollar store, Michaels, and Safeway.

At the Dollar Store, I picked up fake plastic champagne glasses, fancy trays, white votive candles, black table cloth/utensils and glass vases. These are items that can be quite costly at other stores but are always a dollar or less at your neighborhood Dollar Store.

I later drove to Michaels for more party decorations. What some people don’t realize is that Michaels ALWAYS has clearance and marked off party decorations every week. So I bought miniature bottles of glitter, Parisian photo boxes, wall decorations, party masks, and beyond for only a fraction of the cost.

IMG_7490 (1)

Michaels always has fancy photo boxes on sale for $1.00 plus the wall paper decorations was only pennies on the dollar. Fancy, huh!

After I got my decorations in order, I went to my neighbor hood Safeway for some delicious finger food without spending much money at all, really. I bought red roses, black cherry soda in fancy glass bottles, spring water, exotic fruits like pomegranates and papayas, plus comfort food like macaroni and mashed potatoes. Safeway slayed in sales. I was able to be the purveyor of elegant treats for my pals without murdering my wallet.

I was able to get decorations, and food at a super cheap price. The last thing I had to get, for cheap, was a super cute ensemble.

party collage 2

Fried chicken always oozes class and elegance at any party–especially my own!

I bought this adorable hot pink dress (The Limited) from Goodwill and a chunky statement necklace from Walmart. The grand total for food, decorations, and my ensemble was less than $50.00. I knew that if I went to Party City, Whole Foods, and Nordstroms, my grand total for everything would’ve gone over $300 and that would’ve have been a crying shame. One can create beautiful, opulent, memories on a budget, fyi.

My pretty, French-infused, party went without a hitch. Although there was a noisy, messy, rainstorm in my area that didn’t stop people from coming. I was also rendered speechless, when my friends brought an eclectic variety of white wines, fried chicken, and pizza with them. It was so kind and unexpected of them to do this.

The party was a great success. We all played card games, took photo opps with the masks, and had a rousing game of taboo and charades. All in all, we welcomed Fall in without going cray-cray over the random-ish weather.

Have you thrown a quaint, Fall party on a budget? Or better yet, do you have any tips or steps that you think will help others? Comment below! 


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