Lollipop Pies

Memorial Day – and the start of summer – is nearly here, and with the glorious three-day weekend comes barbecues and potlucks galore. We think these Lollipop Pies are the perfect accompaniment to your next party – they’re bite size, sweet, and just plain adorable. You can make them any flavor you like, but we suggest cherry or blueberry jam inside a flakey pie crust topped with a generous sprinkling of sugar!

Lollipop Pies | SodaPop PR
Lollipop Pies | SodaPop PR

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Filling:

½ cup jam or jelly (we suggest cherry or blueberry)

Topping:

1 egg, beaten
turbinado sugar for dusting

Lollipop Pies | SodaPop PR

Directions:

1. Make your pie crust: combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Cut half the butter into pea-sized pieces and work quickly into flour mixture.
3. Cut in the remaining butter, this time in larger pieces (a little smaller than dime-sized)
4. Sprinkle about three tablespoons of of the ice water over the flour/butter mixture and mix just until the dough begins to mass. You may need to add additional tablespoons of ice water for this to occur.
5. Remove the dough mass to a flat surface, divide into two equal portion and flatten into rounds. Cover in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 1/2 hour before rolling out and creating your crust.
6. When dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Then, roll out your dough into a rectangle, starting with half the dough. Using a 2-inch circle cookie cutter, make roughly 16 circles out of your dough.
7. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out half your dough circles. Fill each one with a scant teaspoon of jam or jelly.
8. Place a lollipop stick directly in the center of each circle and top with the other piece of dough. Crimp each edge using a fork, making sure to seal all sides.
9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 with the other piece of dough, making roughly 16-20 lollipop pies.
10. Brush the top of each pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
11. Place the pies into the oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool completely before serving on a platter or in a jar.

Lollipop Pies | SodaPop PR
Lollipop Pies | SodaPop PR

Enjoy – we hope you have a wonderful three day weekend!

 

5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Allison Ritter

We recently welcomed Account Manager Allison Ritter to the Soda Pop family. With extensive beauty, food and lifestyle PR experience, Allison is witty and media savvy with a unique talent for making maternity wear look hip and stylish.

Check out our interview with Allison below to learn more about her early career as a child actor and how she balances being a working mom.

Allison

1. You’re a mother to an adorable little boy and also have another on the way. How do you balance being a mom, wife and publicist? 

Being a wife and a mom is a hard balance because of the vast difference in what your life was like before kids and respective priorities and what it is like once you have kids. When you add work into the mix, and a job with the high intensity of an industry like ours, things get shaky to say the least. The concept of ‘wearing many hats’ takes on a new meaning, but I have learned to be okay with that. Flexibility is a key word for me. I have learned to be flexible with what I can control and what I can’t. Some days there is a balance, and some days there isn’t, but it’s all a ride and that’s what makes life interesting.

2. What were you like as a child? Rumor has it, you were quite the performer.

I was a very outgoing, dramatic kid, participating in every sport or activity you could imagine. The film industry was and still is a big part of our family culture – trading movie quotes at the dinner table and having a resident spot at the local video store. I loved to act out my favorite scenes and play dress up which led to a short-lived career as a child actor. I was also a great tap dancer and spent a lot of my time at dance competitions and tapping down the isles of the local grocery store while my mom shopped.

3. We love planning events and parties of all sizes here at Soda Pop. Can you share your go-to planning tips and resources?

It is so important to start the process with organization and a clear vision. Once that is in place, maintaining open and honest communication is the next piece of the puzzle.  Logistics can be ironed out, but the creative is the heart of the event so establishing and staying consistent throughout the process is also vital to the event’s success. This is what will make your party stand out and be memorable.

4. What advice do you have for recent college graduates who are looking to break into the competitive (and sometimes grueling) world of public relations?

Explore what PR really means to you and what type of story you want to tell. It’s much harder to define Public Relations these days because of the vast pool of services and types of clients. With this variety, there may be some positions that you haven’t heard of, so do your homework. I am a firm believer that if you don’t like or believe in the work and clients, then you won’t be successful in this industry.

5. You have unlimited funds and two-weeks off, where would you go?

Italy. When I travel I like to visit places and do things that residents of that area do, so I don’t know if there would be much planning but more of a “see what we see” type of adventure. I would love to eat my way through Italy, incorporating some culinary instruction or tours and wine tastings, ending in pure relaxation along the Amalfi Coast. Heaven.

7 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Work Routine

Farmers-Market-2

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.

Strawberries

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.

Citrus

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):

pinkdoor

(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!

wexler airbnb

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.

psprings

(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.

ace ps hammock

(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.

del marcos

(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.