SPPR Retreat: 7 Years of The Suite Life

We love summer for a lot of reasons but our yearly company retreat tops the list! This year, Soda Pop PR invited the team to #RetreatYourself with a luxurious and relaxing stay at The Nomad in DTLA.

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The team holed up in one of the Nomad’s gorgeous corner suites to bond, share wins and challenges and talk about company growth as we head into another exciting year. As usual there was a great deal of inspiring conversation, laughter and fantastic food.

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Soda Pop PR retreats always include an epic swag bag. This year, our resident artist Sami Davis designed custom goodies to pair with Realm’s pitch perfect Strong Female Lead tees.

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After a day living the suite life, we checked into our rooms and swooned over the hotel’s attention to detail. A love of great design is something we share as a team and the Nomad is next level home inspiration!

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A Soda Pop PR retreat isn’t compete without a team dinner. Amid all of the busy days, it’s so important for us to slow down and connect on a personal level. The only thing better than taking the time to just hang out with the women we work with every day, is to hang out with them over cocktails and amazing food! After a rooftop cocktail and a quick game of “Never Have I Ever” on The Nomad rooftop, we headed to Dama, the Scopa team’s new concept which pays homage to a couple of our favorite things about Havana, Cuba.

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As we celebrate another year of Soda Pop PR, we’d like to take a moment to thank all of our clients, partners, friends and family for continuing to support us over the years. Dyan started Soda Pop PR 7 years ago with the goal of doing good work with good people and as a team we are so proud and grateful to uphold that legacy today.

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Cheers to year seven and many more,

Team Soda Pop PR

 

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Watermelon Summer Sangria

With the summer heat officially here, we couldn’t wait to whip up something refreshing to keep us cool: a sangria! A sangria is a wine-based “punch” that includes seasonal fruit, a sweetener, wine, a splash of soda water and sometimes brandy. With fresh mint, cool cucumbers, and plenty of juicy watermelon, this sangria recipe has instantly become our go-to summer cocktail.

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WATERMELON SUMMER SANGRIA
8 Servings | Prep Time:  15 minutes | Chill Time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups watermelon chunks
  • 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 24 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup watermelon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 750 milliliter bottle Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine, chilled
  • 11 liter bottle carbonated water, chilled
  • Fresh mint + extra lime slices for garnishing

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, stir together lime juice, watermelon juice and honey until combined.
  2. Meanwhile in a large pitcher, combine cucumber, lime slices, watermelon chunks and the 24 mint leaves.
  3. Pour the juice .+ honey mixture over the mixed fruit into the large pitcher
  4. Add wine and stir gently, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Time to serve! Stir in the carbonated water– we save this for just before serving to ensure the bubble still pack a punch. Pour or ladle into glasses and garnish with additional mint + lime slices

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With a cocktail in hand, we’re definitely ready to take on the rest of summer (and the heat that comes with it!) TIP: Sangria options are truly limitless– swap out watermelon and cucumber for raspberries and peaches if you want something even sweeter. Cheers!

SPPR’s Hiring! Administrative Coordinator

Soda Pop Public Relations, a boutique public relations shop specializing in the hospitality industry, is seeking an Administrative Coordinator who is interested in working as part of a team in a fun and positive company culture. Candidates need to be hard-working, proactive and have excellent attention to detail. If that sounds like you, read on.

Responsibilities for this position will entail:

  • Daily press clipping and reporting
  • Maintaining media lists, researching media contacts and editorial calendars
  • Admin support for influencer campaigns including research, list creation, social share clipping and managing invoices and contracts
  • Social media monitoring and relationship building through engagement
  • Managing product orders
  • Managing schedules and travel itineraries
  • Working with company accountant to process and track invoices and payments
  • Working with account teams to handle client and project budgets
  • Assist team on preparing presentation materials
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Office management tasks including answering the phone, taking messages and ordering and re-stocking supplies

What we are looking for…

  • Candidates should have at least 2 years administrative experience at an agency or in-house
  • Candidate must enjoy working as part of (an awesome!) team
  • PC Wiz, particularly in the Microsoft Suite, including Word, Excel, PPT and Outlook
  • Experience working with Adobe Photoshop and Creative Suite
  • QuickBooks and Accounting experience a major bonus!
  • Strong writing and editing chops
  • Highly organized
  • Social media savvy
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Attention to detail
  • Proactive, “it’s handled” attitude and amazing follow through

Please send résumé, cover letter, 2 references & a brief overview of why you want to join the SPPR team to sayhi@sodapop-pr.com

Candidate may work remotely part-time but must be based in Los Angeles.

Summer Desktop + Phone Wallpapers

Our Valentine’s Day desktop wallpapers were such a big hit that we had to create some fresh designs to celebrate the new season! You’ll be walking around with a cocktail in one hand and your Summer-ready tech in the other with these new SPPR designs. Keep scrolling  popsicles, pool floaties, watermelon + more!

To download, click the links below each photo and then save to either your desktop or phone!

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download for desktop | phonedesktopmockup_floaties

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download for desktop | phonedesktopmockup_cheerssppr_desktop_cocktail-01

download for desktop | phonedesktopmockup_watermelonsppr_desktop_watermelon-01

download for desktop | phone

10 Tips to DIY Your Own Floral Arrangement

Nothing brightens up a space like flowers and a trip to the Los Angeles Flower Markets is one of our favorite ways to spend a morning. To celebrate the arrival of spring, we rolled up our sleeves for a team DIY designing our own arrangements. We’re excited to share our 10 favorite tips to help you design your own!

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1. Buying the Blooms – It can be overwhelming when you begin planning an arrangement. Choosing one or two colors to focus on is a great way to narrow down the options. Try selecting either a “warm” (reds/orange/yellow) palette or a “cool” (blue/green/purple) palette and anchor your design with 2-3 prominent blooms such as dahlias, peonies or protea.

2. Don’t Forget the Foliage- You may not have noticed but most arrangements are not just flowers, but also foliage. Add vines, leafy greens, berries, vines, and even fern cuttings to design around your focal florals. Foliage adds character, texture, and shape without distracting from your floral focal points.

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3. Stripping- Many people make the mistakes of putting flowers right in the vase without any maintenance. You need to strip your flowers or they will not last as long! Stripping is the process of removing any leaves on the stems of your florals that will be submerged in your water to prevent mold. You can leave some leaves at the base of your floral to add volume, or you can remove all.

4. Add Intrigue- Contrast is essential to creating an interesting arrangement. Make sure to cut your flowers and foliage at different heights to add dimension to the arrangement and think about playing with different shapes, such as the spiky look of a dahlia with a soft anemone. Seek beauty in the juxtaposition.

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5. Don’t Rush It- Take your time while putting your arrangement together, this is the fun part! If you’re not achieving the look you want, just start again. Put on some music and let nature’s blooms guide you.

6. Think Outside the Vase- You can use just about any container for florals so feel free to design your arrangement for a favorite mug, old pasta sauce jar or the pretty container of a used up candle. Just make sure the container is waterproof and thoroughly cleaned.

7. Water- The key ingredient for good floral maintenance is water. Make sure your florals are supplied with plenty of water, and that starts right when you get home. Cut the stems immediately and put them in water until you’re ready to arrange. Then trim again before adding to your vessel. It’s best to cut on a diagonal, which exposes more of the stem to water. After you arrange your blooms, make sure to give them as much water as the container will allow so they can drink up after being transferred numerous times.

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8. Fine-Tune Blossoms- While natural beauty is more appealing than anything, not every bloom is perfect. This is where pruning comes in. If there are any buds that distract from the overall arrangement, don’t be afraid to remove them. Eliminate petals that are broken or browning and trim any leaves competing for water.

9. Keep ‘Em Cool-| Always place finished arrangements in a cool space. Check the water frequently– you would be surprised how much flowers can drink!

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10. Upgrade your Tools- You can absolutely make a beautiful arrangement with just a vase and a pair of scissors but if you’re going to be working with florals regularly we recommend a few purchases to make the process easier:

  • Pruning Shears- to strip florals with thorns and cut thicker stems
  • Floral Wire & Floral Tape- to help secure any florals. You can use wire to help wrap and arrange smaller stems as well as create structured pieces, like boutonnieres. Floral tape is self-sealing tape and can be used to wrap stems or create bouquets.
  • Clear Floral Tape– to make a grid for spaced out arrangements
  • Oasis Floral Foam– if you’re creating arrangements for an event, this floral foam is your friend! Just dunk in water and it will absorb. Stick fresh florals in and the foam will keep them hydrated and in place throughout any event. It also comes in a variety of sizes allowing you to create floral wreaths, hearts, and 3D shapes.

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SPPR Travels: 5 Things You Should Do in Samaná, Dominican Republic

Beautiful beaches come standard with most Caribbean islands but if you prefer to be a traveler rather than a tourist, you might want to skip the Bahamas and opt for a less talked about island. SPPR Account Manager and avid wanderer, Colleen Dunn, recently spent a week in the Dominican Republic town of Samaná where she drank piña coladas out of pineapples and ignored TLC’s advice on waterfalls. Here are her five must dos in this underrated coastal town.

Stay in a Treehouse

Get off the beaten path of all-inclusive Punta Cana resorts and fulfill all your childhood dreams by sleeping in a treehouse. We stayed at tropical hideaway the Dominican Tree House Village which features a collection of breezy open-air houses completely surrounded by trees. It was insanely gorgeous and delightfully free of crowds and surprisingly, bugs. The nature immersed hideaways feature comfortable beds, electricity, plumbing and outdoor showers making it a unique step above glamping and the resort comes complete with a rope swing adorned waterfall and all-inclusive rum cocktails. It’s owned by an American but staffed mostly by locals which makes it a good option if your Spanish isn’t great but you don’t only want to hang out with other Americans.

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Drink Mama Juana

Did you really go to Greece if you didn’t have Ouzo or Colombia if you didn’t take a shot of Aguardiente? In the Dominican Republic the liquor to try is Mama Juana. This concoction is made of rum, red wine and honey soaked in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. It’s common for a household to keep their Mama Juana for decades, constantly adding to it to keep the bark and herbs from drying out. In addition to giving you a buzz, Mama Juana has all kinds of positive health effects depending on who you ask: curing the flu, digestion, circulation issues and serving as a detox for your kidney and liver. The liquor’s most lauded benefit is as an aphrodisiac and people often add conch to increase these benefits, or in the case of one bakery who offered us a sip of theirs, a small octopus!

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Zipline

There’s nothing like flying through the trees so make sure to put Samaná’s 12 line course on your to-do list. The first (and highest) line is 1,000 feet long and by the time you get to the bottom run you’ll be flipping upside down and spinning like monkeys.

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Visit Mama’s Beach

Adventure and Instagram worthy views aside, you came to the Caribbean to lay on the beach. There are nearly a dozen options in Samaná but our favorite was El Valle. This secluded stretch was a short bike ride from our tree house and an immediate favorite for its lack of crowds and availability of chaise lounges. More importantly, there’s Mama. Mama is a toothless Dominican woman who sells amazing fried chicken and piña colada filled pineapples five feet from the crashing waves. It should be at the top of your to-do list. Fair warning though, they call her Mama for a reason so don’t try to go swimming when there’s a riptide. She’ll come out from behind the stove and chase you out of the water.

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Hang Out with Locals

This is one of my top five tips for every trip anywhere and always results in my most memorable experiences. The best thing we ate in the Dominican Republic was Tres Leches that a local purchased for us from the back door of someone’s home after taking us to a shop of candy colored magic positions for love, wealth, strength and anything else you could think of. For best results on your own travels, ask a native where their favorite place to eat is or just head to the local market. The local market is the apex of many cities or at the very least an interesting window into the diet of its residents. In Samaná you’ll find local fishmongers and farmers selling bananas, pineapples, pink salt and even snake belts.

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5 Questions with SPPR Featuring Caitlin Lee

From a Galentine’s Day DIY Homemade Pop-Tart party to making healthy chicken pot pie with Lauren Conrad, Public Lives Secret Recipes creator Caitlin Lee knows how to have fun with her food. Caitlin’s fantastic blog features interviews and recipes from people in the public eye as well as all of her favorite things in the lifestyle and food space. We’re excited to welcome Caitlin to our corner of the internet this week to talk about comfort food, her first year in LA and where to go for creative inspiration.

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1. What inspired you to start Public Lives, Secret Recipes and are there any recipes in particular that stand out as favorites?

I’m not sure there was one thing that inspired me to start PLSR. It was more a combination & natural build-up over time. When I was in college I had to live in my sorority house for 3 years. Don’t get me wrong, it was the absolute best, however, we only had access to a toaster & microwave. After I graduated & moved to Chicago I began baking a ton. It was something I had grown up doing & when I finally had all the tools to do so, I remembered just how much I enjoyed it. I would bring everything I made into work, post it on my personal Instagram, & send some to family. Everyone would ask for the recipes & it just seemed like posting them on a website would be an easier way to go rather than emailing, texting, etc. for people individually.

Once the site was live I was shocked that people aside from those I shared it with were viewing it. The OCD in me immediately kicked in & realized I needed to make this site aesthetically pleasing. In that process I began brainstorming exactly what I wanted to blog about. I knew there were a billion other baking blogs out there so I decided I wanted to do something different. Food to me is so much more than the taste, it brings people together & is the ultimate ice breaker. I realized I wanted to start hearing other people’s stories & get recipes from them.

Four years later that is still the most prominent part of PLSR, however, there are some other aspects such as travel, my own recipes, style & more that have been fun to dive into.

I go through phases of what my favorite recipes on the site are. Right now my top three would have to be Coolhaus’ Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwich (their founder & CEO, Natasha, is one of the coolest ladies I know & she shared this recipe exclusively for my site!) for the ultimate indulgence, Lauren Gores’ popsicles recipe for a sweet yet healthy treat, & Lauren Conrads’ healthy chicken pot pie for when I need to balance out the Coolhaus recipe.

2. You moved to LA in the last year, what are a couple of your favorite spots in the city so far?

Oh man, there are SO many! For food: Gjelina, Lodge Bread Co., Great White, Malibu Farm, Pressed Juicery, Sugarfish, Moon Juice, Katsuya, Zinque, the list goes on & on. For something other than eating… hiking in Malibu, biking down Abbot Kinney, & exploring all of the different neighborhoods LA has to offer.

3. As someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, what is your favorite comfort food to make at home? 

A few years back my parents were hounding me for gift ideas of what I wanted for my birthday (they’re clearly the kindest!) & I told them I wanted the two of them to make me a cookbook of all their favorite recipes. I don’t think they were expecting me to ask for a gift that required them to really work but it’s easily the best gift I’ve ever been given. Any of those recipes or my grandma’s bread recipes are my go-to comfort dishes!

4. Where do you go for inspiration when you’re in a creative rut?

For the obvious, Pinterest. The less obvious, Malibu, my family, & my website. I love combining a few old recipes into one hybrid recipe so looking back on what I’ve done in the past serves as a huge form of inspiration for me.

5. What would be your ideal food day if distance was no limit (breakfast, lunch and dinner)?

Holy moly this is one of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. Can I include tons of snacks & desserts too?! Breakfast: Parisian croissants (yes, multiple!) in bed with a view of the Eiffel Tower, Snack: Pinkberry Tart Froyo with Gummy Bears (in a dream world they’d also have chocolate covered gummy bears as an option there!), Lunch: Ravioli from 4Leoni in Florence, Snack: My sister’s homemade cinnamon rolls, Dinner: Peppermint Thai Restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio Dessert: My homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies!