7 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Work Routine

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Flowers are in full bloom, the sun is setting later, and the spring season makes us want to get organized. We think these tips will help you rebalance your work routine to make heading into the office almost as relaxing as heading off to happy hour…

Day 1, Sunday: Lunch Planning: We always have the best intentions on weekends to plan out our meals so we can brown bag it all week! In reality, we end up cobbling together random leftovers Monday morning and by Wednesday we’re buying lunch. Break this cycle by heading to the grocery store or local farmer’s market and stocking up on foods dedicated to lunch. Find space in your fridge to carve out a “lunch” section and prep as much as you can the night before so mornings are a cinch. Here’s over a month’s worth of ideas from one of our go-to food blogs, the Kitchn.

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Day 2, Monday: Mailbox & Inbox Clean Out: There are always a handful of emails sitting at the bottom of your inbox flagged “for next week” but today is the day to take action. Whether you file them away, reply to them, or forward on to someone else, take the time today to get your inbox (digital or physical) cleaned out for a fresh start. Today’s also a great day to look at your daily emails and unsubscribe to those you usually delete anyways. This will shave a few minutes off your email reading and deleting every morning!

Day 3, Tuesday: Make your List: Now that your inbox is clean, time to organize your to-do list. However you make your list, make sure it’s easily seen from your computer and is written in an order that makes sense – whether by priority, client, or due date. Try to strike a balance between too broad and too definitive. Once you’ve got your list, you’ll be able to schedule free time more easily and you might even be able to find chunks of time to unplug and focus on tasks that take your full attention. Need inspiration? Get yourself a to-do list you’ll want to write on – may we suggest this fun notepad from Rifle Paper Company?

Day 4, Wednesday: Up your Outdoor Game: Get up and head outside for a quick walk around the block or just to sit in the sun for a few minutes. Clearing out your head for even 10 minutes will help keep you focused back at your desk. For a bonus, since you’ve been brown-bagging it, grab yourself an iced green tea while you’re out. In L.A.? Check out Griffith Park for miles of hikes right in the city – we love the Western Canyon hike.

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Day 5, Thursday: Healthy Happy Hour: We all love happy hour, but this week find an hour in your schedule for health. Take a spin class during your lunch break, find a hike you can stop by easily on your way home, or watch a video for some at-home meditation or yoga. It might not seem as fun as a mojito, but scheduling time to stay healthy will keep you happier at work (and play!) To get you started, check out DoYogaWithMe.com for a free online video (we love Fiji’s classes!), or learn about at-home meditation.

Day 6, Friday: Team Bonding: Happy team = happy workplace. You’ve worked hard all week and Friday’s are the perfect time to bond with your coworkers. We’re big fans of donuts and creative photoshoots breaks here at Soda Pop but here are a few other bonding ideas courtesy of Fast Company.

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Day 7, Saturday: Turn it Off: You made it to the weekend, and now it’s time to find a way to detox. Unplug from your email and phone for as long as you can and just be present, whether it’s with a friend, your family, or in nature. Spend today relaxing and recharging before prepping for your week ahead tomorrow.

Feel free to repeat any and all of these weekly to help keep you happy and healthy at work and home.

Here’s to a sunny spring ahead,

Team SPPR

3 Ingredient Tillamook Strawberry Yogurt Ice Pops

We’re beyond excited for the launch of Tillamook’s new online community for real food fans! “The Tillamook Co-Op” empowers fans to take a more active role in the company as well as gives members access to exclusive content and events (Oh, and you can name a cow too!). Over the last few days The Tillamook Co-Op has gained more than 30,000 members, crushing the original goal, proving how much consumers crave transparency…and wholesome Tillamook products.

Tillamook Strawberry Yogurt Ice Pops | SodaPop PR

To celebrate, we wanted to step into spring with a recipe using just three ingredients that’ll put a smile on your face. These Strawberry Yogurt Pops are healthy, yet taste indulgent. They come together in just under ten minutes, then are popped into the freezer to set. Once they’re frozen, this sweet treat is perfect for a mid-afternoon moment or a delicious and light dessert. One thing’s for sure: everyone in the family is going to make these all season long.

Tillamook Strawberry Yogurt Ice Pops | SodaPop PR Tillamook Strawberry Yogurt Ice Pops | SodaPop PR

MAKES:

10 3-oz ice pops

ACTIVE TIME:

10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

4 5.3 oz containers Tillamook 2% Farmstyle Greek Yogurt (We used vanilla and strawberry)
½ cup milk
½ pint strawberries, diced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk yogurt and milk together. We used half vanilla and half strawberry flavored yogurt, but use any Tillamook flavor desired.
  2. In ice pop molds, layer diced strawberries and yogurt mixture at desired intervals, shaking at every layer to remove air bubbles. Stop when each mold is full, and add ice pop sticks.
  3. Freeze overnight or at least six hours, allowing ice pops to set completely before removing from mold.

We hope you make these ice pops, and check out the Tillamook Co-Op. It is free to join…go ahead, click here…you know you want to name a cow!

Cheers to a sunny and simple spring!

Tillamook Strawberry Yogurt Ice Pops | SodaPop PR

5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Colleen Dunn

Last week we welcomed Assistant Account Executive Colleen Dunn to the Soda Pop PR team and also to Los Angeles. Colleen joins us from a boutique PR agency in San Diego as a talented wordsmith with a shared passion for the food and beverage world. Take a peek at our interview with Colleen below to learn all about her San Diego favorites and wanderlust inspirations.

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1. As a newbie to LA, how do you look forward to spending your free time out of the office?

I’ve kept a running LA “to-do” list since I started visiting a couple years ago! I’m excited to hunt down street art, try out some restaurant recs, visit the LACMA again and of course spend plenty of time posted up in one of LA’s many awesome coffee shops with a book.

2. We know you’re passionate about travel. Tell us about one of your most memorable trips.

I just came back from Ecuador which was an especially memorable trip for me because I decided to conquer my fear of heights… by jumping off a 330 foot bridge. Part of why I love traveling is because it helps me to get out of my comfort zone and be much braver than I am in my day-to-day life. This trip was also special because I had the chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve and my best friend’s birthday with her. She lives in South America now so I don’t often get to be with her on big days like that!

3. What excites you most about working in the PR industry?

PR is exciting because every day is so different and we are always doing a million things at once. This isn’t a job where you find yourself watching the clock tick! I love being behind the scenes or being the person a reporter calls when they need a photo of a client. It’s so exciting to see great media coverage of a client that you made happen! Sometimes I feel like Olivia Pope and I have to refrain from saying “it’s handled.”

4. After spending 7 years in San Diego, what are the top 3 things you’d tell everyone to see or do while visiting?

San Diegans love to be outdoors (see #potatochiprock for the perfect instagram-worthy hike). My favorite way to get a daily dose of sunshine is a little beach-front yoga with instructor Namasteve. Steve offers a donation-based class in Pacific Beach every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

With nearly 100 breweries in San Diego, beer has to be number two on the list of things to do. My favorite is Modern Times, a kickstarter founded spot that just opened a second tasting room. Check out the Lomaland Fermentorium for art including a Michael Jackson mural made of sticky notes and my current favorite brew The Universal Friend.

Finally, it’s time for some food. Local haunt OB noodle house is my favorite spot for pho and gives you a chance to check out Ocean Beach, San Diego’s own Venice. Pho should always be followed by ice cream so bring cash for a fresh waffle ice cream sandwich at Lighthouse.

5. We love listening to music during the work day (Dyan is infamously known for jamming out to 90’s rap). What are a couple tracks you’ll be adding to our playlist?

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Avett Brothers and the Head and the Heart lately but my favorite question to ask at a cocktail party is “What three albums would you want to be stranded on a desert album with?” So I’d definitely have to add in a selection from my three choices: Fleetwood Mac Rumors for that Friday feeling, The Shins Wincing the Night Away with extra plays of Sea legs and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA because that was the soundtrack to my childhood.

(For more from Colleen, you can find her on Twitter at @colleenadunn.)

5 of the Coolest Places to Stay in Palm Springs

Palm Springs Modernism Week took over our Instagram feed with a sea of colorful mid-century architecture snaps from some of our favorite bloggers: Kelly Golightly, Design Milk, Studio DIY, 100 Layer Cake and more. All this eye candy has gotten us in the mood for a little weekend getaway and it just so happens to be the best time of year to visit Palm Springs, before the desert heat takes over. For anyone in need of a little R&R in the desert here are some great places to kick back and relax (mojito in hand):

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(Picture Credit: Carley Rudd)

1. The Saguaro – Bursting with colors at every corner, the Saguaro is one of our favorite Joie de Vivre hotels and a must visit in Palm Springs. Relax by the pool and don’t forget to take one of their complimentary bikes out for a cruise around the neighborhood. The infamous #thatpinkdoor is just around the corner (pictured above)!

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(Picture Credit: Carley Rudd)

2. AirBNB – This Wexler house is all over our Pinterest Decor + Design board and we’re dying to check it out. It’s mid-century modern heaven!

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3. The Parker – If you’re looking for a little modern luxury, the Parker Palm Springs won’t let you down. The hotel restaurant Norma’s has one of the tastiest brunches in town. Think Banana-Macadamia Nut Flap Jacks, house made doughnuts with lemon custard and blueberry jam, and for big spenders, the “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata” served with Sevruga Caviar.

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(Picture Credit: Carley Rudd)

4. The Ace Hotel – We’re big fans of the Ace Hotel chain and spent our last company retreat at their DTLA outpost (more on that trip here). Complete with retro furniture and their signature photo booth, it’s a fun, hip hangout with a year-round pool party scene.

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(Picture Credit: Wallpaper Magazine)

5. Del Marcos Hotel – For peace and quiet, you can’t beat the “no-kids allowed” Del Marcos Hotel. This quaint vintage locale is just one block from downtown Palm Springs and opts for subtle fifties music over the DJ party scene you’ll find at the Ace Hotel. Pets are warmly welcomed and receive amenities of their own, including doggie treats, toys and food and water bowls.

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(Picture Credit: Emma Krasov)

Happy travels!

-Team SPPR

Now Hiring – PR Account Coordinator

Soda Pop Public Relations is seeking a full-time Account Coordinator who is interested in working as part of a team in a dynamic, growing company. Candidates must be driven, creative, confident, organized, witty, and have a love for food and travel.

Core Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Draft, edit and distribute press materials
  • Build, update and maintain media list and contacts
  • Create and update clips and client reports
  • Prepare call agendas and event recaps
  • Monitor press coverage
  • Assist Account Executives in day-to-day client work
  • Assist management in client correspondence
  • Assist in maintenance of and updating social media pages
  • Track and maintain all samples sent out
  • Support account team in planning media events
  • Research trends, pitches
  • General office duties: faxing, scanning, conference calls, booking travel, etc.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • College degree majoring in PR, communications, digital media, advertising, marketing, journalism
  • Previous PR/marketing internships and/or 1 year of professional PR experience
  • Excellent communications skills, written and verbal
  • Capacity to think independently, work both collaboratively and autonomously
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Internet research
  • Understanding of social media tools and platforms
  • Interest in working in a social, casual and fun work environment with openness to an untraditional approach to agency structure

Team members will be part of an exciting time in the agency’s development. Please send résumé, brief cover letter, writing samples and your favorite blog and why to sayhi@sodapop-pr.com.

*This is an entry-level job with opportunity for growth. Resumes without a thoughtful cover letter, writing samples and favorite blog example will not be considered. 

5 Questions with Travel Expert Mary Cecchini

Where do we begin? Mary Cecchini has been a colleague, mentor, inspiration and most importantly a dear friend to all of us at Soda Pop PR for many years. How could you not love a girl who makes it a point to create a life bucket list and cross off everything on it?

In September 2014, Mary launched Living Big, a travel company dedicated to crafting unique trips for small groups of women who have a passion to see the world, make new friends and indulge in new experiences. Her inaugural Living Big trip was to Costa Rica where she led a group of nine women zip lining through the jungle, trekking through mountains, cooking traditional Costa Rican cuisine and more. We highly recommend visiting her site to learn more about upcoming adventures including Switzerland in June and Spain in August.

We asked Mary to share some of her holiday and international travel advice in our latest 5 Questions Series. Enjoy!

Safe travels,

SPPR

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1. If you could travel anywhere in the world for New Year’s Eve where would you go and why?

New Year’s Eve is always a really reflective time for me.  I use the holiday to reflect on successes and learnings from the past year and an opportunity to plan adventures for the year to come. So, I generally look for a quiet place to be among friends with delicious food and drinks to ring in the New Year. That being said, I’ll hop on a plane any day to ring in the New Year with either a glass of raki in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey; yoga at sunrise on the beach in Nosara, Costa Rica; a small café in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower, or listening to a Spanish guitarist while sipping sangria and snacking on pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain.

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2. What’s one piece of advice you would give travelers to prepare for holiday and winter travel?

If winter weather has delayed or is likely to cancel your flight, be proactive in finding solutions for yourself. Rather than just wait in line with everyone else to get help from the ticketing agent be prepared to jump on the phone or start an online chat with your airline’s customer service department to get help. They can often help you faster than the ticketing agent at the counter. Ask about alternative cities you can fly through to reach your final destination. And if you’re in this situation, don’t even attempt to check luggage. The likelihood of your luggage making all your connections, especially last minute ones, is pretty low when crazy winter weather is in the mix!

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3. What is the best way to fight jetlag?

The best way to fight jetlag is to get your body accustomed to the local time as soon as possible. The classic example is it’s 9AM and you just landed in Europe. DO NOT try to take a nap and then wake back up. That’s a great band-aid, but what you’re really doing is prolonging the affects of jetlag. Have a plan to keep yourself awake: drop your bags at your hotel and then go on a guided walking tour, create an experience that you’re really looking forward to (and will keep you stimulated) such as a trek to the top three spots in the city to try an Irish Coffee. And when the time comes to fall asleep (when you know you’ll sleep through the night) set your alarm so you wake up the next morning at 8AM. You’ll be spry and awake (like a local) in no time.

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4. What is one hidden gem destination you’ve come across throughout your travels? 

Built onto the side of the mountains 5,000 feet up is a small rösti house called Berggasthaus Aescher Guesthouse. In the Appenzell region of Switzerland, this place is unlike any corner of the world I’ve visited. It’s an epic journey to get there, full of trains, cable car lifts, hiking along the edge of a cliff, through a cave and past a 400 year-old church used by hermit monks; but once you’re there the warmth of owners Claudia and Benny, the amazing mountain views and their out of this world rösti (a traditional Swiss potato dish) will make the journey worth your while.

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5. Any tips on how to find a local favorite or undiscovered restaurant in a new city?

Hands-down: talk to locals. I’ll often ask the hotel concierge or my airbnb host if there are ‘must-eat’ restaurants in the city that require advanced reservations. Also, spend some time reviewing the international message boards on Chowhound.com. Once I’m in the city I’ll ask people I meet at the local coffee shop or tour guides for their go-to place to try the local specialty. And as you walk around pay attention to restaurants that are full of locals vs. tourists. Always ask for the house specialty. Walk well beyond the core tourist area. And please, skip restaurants that have menus with pictures and don’t be afraid of menus that aren’t in English. With a combination of these tips you’re likely to experience an undiscovered corner of the city and a meal you’ll remember for years to come.

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Living Big

For more of Mary’s travel tips you can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.