Last Night in Los Angeles: Ebony Power 100 Gala

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Picture courtesy of Ebony.com

 

Last week I received an invitation from Hilton Worldwide to be their guest during the EBONY Power 100 gala. The event took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and was hosted by comedian and TV personality Arsenio Hall. The evening celebrated some of the nation’s most influential African Americans by throwing them an event as big as the contributions they make.  The star-studded fete honored individuals who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents. In addition to the festivities, there was also a special celebration of the 70th anniversary of EBONY magazine.

 

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This was actually my second Ebony Power 100 event, the first experience took place in New York City. I was very much excited to attend the first ever West Coast installment.  Since the bulk of my network is located on the east coast, I didn’t know what to expect or who I would see. Imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to meet one of the people I look up to in the Social Media sphere, Karen Civil. She is a leader in my industry, and also a guest of Hilton.  My next surprise was sitting just a table over from me, Verdine White, of mega band Earth, Wind, & Fire. I was actually scared to go up to him and ask for a picture; in my world he is a mega star. Thanks to Andrea Richardson, Hilton Director, she introduced us and made sure I got a picture! I am so thankful to her!

 

Ebony Power 100

Speaking of Andrea Richardson, she presented the “Women Up” category at the exclusive Ebony Power 100 gala. This category recognizes women who have excelled in the workplace and community. The influential women who were presented with the “Women Up” award were Jada Pinkett Smith, Alencia Johnson, Kimberlè Williams Crenshaw, Michele Gadsden-Williams and Tonya Lewis Lee were honored for their leadership and dedication to positively changing the lives of Black women and girls in 2015.

 

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“From the workplace to the marketplace, the “Women Up” honorees utilize their access and influence to improve the lives of others and enrich the community. Their selfless contributions and notable accolades personally inspire me and I am exceptionally grateful our current and future generations can look-up to such esteemed, female role models,” said Andrea Richardson, whose official title is Hilton Worldwide director of resorts and multicultural marketing.

All-in-All I had a great evening! Since I am still re-establishing myself back in LA area, It was cool to get out and network at the Ebony Power 100 gala. I look forward to future events in the LA area.

 

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Picture courtesy of Ebony.com

 

 

Technology: Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 Review @BestBuy @ToshibaUSA #RadiusAtBestBuy

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Disclaimer:  All posts must include the following disclaimer:  The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free


 

 

I had the unique opportunity to review the new Toshiba Satellite Radius 12. Since I am a traveler, I decided to give it a test drive on the sands of Loreto Mexico. For someone on the go like me, it is important to have something that is both life and compact. It also helps that the monitor is 12.5 inches, operates as a 2-in-1 laptop to tablet machine, and is a touch screen. These are all things that make this device a travel writers dream as it adapts to most all situations. Below I will discuss a few highlights that made my travel assignment easy breezy.

Let’s start with the best thing which is the color resolution.   I love the fact that my Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 displays Adobe RGB color. For someone like me that went to school for graphic design, it is sometimes a pain editing images against web colors when the computer you’re working from doesn’t display them properly. The Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 made editing photos filled with bright reds and greens, minor manipulations such as removing a trash can from an almost perfect picture, or simply correcting the lighting from an over-zealous ray of sunlight a piece of cake. Again let me speak to having a computer that made technology to compliment the adobe software; that fact alone makes this device a winner. The one thing I am curious to know about is if I can use a stylus on the screen for task such as Photoshop Extractions. Once I get back to the US, I will reach out to their team and ask if this can be used as a graphic board. That would make this 2-in-1 laptop even more awesome.

My next favorite component to this laptop is the weight. Again, being a traveler I am always reducing the fat of carry on luggage. This baby weighs exactly 2.5 pounds and therefore weighs nothing at all in terms of placing it in a medium sized purse alongside passport, itinerary, lipstick, and sunglasses. This trip was my leanest yet. I zipped through security screening and customs without the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12

Now that we praised the good points lets now discuss the cons. I had a difficult time with the touch pad and cursor. Either the touch pad wasn’t recognizing my touch, or the cursor kept freezing. I played around with the settings and although it did get better, it wasn’t 100% resolved. My solution is to just buy a mouse and be done with the touch pad all together. My only other con which I am not sure if it is a con or simply me needing more to get adjusted to. When I flip the laptop into a tablet, the keys face the backside which do not become disabled. As you’re holding the tablet if you mistakenly touch the keys they type onto the doc or disrupt the current screen with an action.

In conclusion, I would absolutely recommend the Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 for travel purposes and graphic design. The device is so light you it will compare to a makeup bad or David Patterson novel. It’s presence in your life will run seamless as it meets both your online and data storage needs. In the event that your device is taken, there is both facial authentication and fingerprint recognition for extra security. For additional information and purchase check it here.

 

Toshiba Satellite Radius 12c

 

Born Again Blogger: Part-Time and Loving It

 

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Born Again Blogger: Part-Time and Loving It

This post may very well signify that the end is coming for me as it relates to blogging.  When I first started blogging way back in the 1800s, it was really just a novelty.  I never thought it would take off, nor did I think my place in social media would be where it is now.  My dream has always been to become a published author, and although I haven’t accomplished it yet… blogging full-time puts me both closer and further away from that goal.

A few things happened in the last 2 years that lead me to now.  The first being that I started to develop a bad taste in my mouth when it came to sponsored post.  Yes, the money was good (just before everyone decided to stake the same mining claim) but when the corporations, and the marketers, and the self proclaimed social media experts began to suck the life out of bloggers it became not fun and uninspiring.  My blog was started as a tool to network and recap NYC events.  Once PR recognized that I was someone uninterested in the celebrity and more into highlighting fun aspects of NYC living; I started to receive more and more invites which lead to opportunities bigger than I could ever imagine.

 

Kitty Bradshaw 2At some point I recognized that this blogging wasn’t a novelty but it’s growth didn’t allow time to steer by the horns.  Through this platform I bypassed having to be someones personal slave bka intern.  I wasn’t polished enough to kiss the many asses on up the corporate ladder in order to be just an “Emily.”  Yes, I received a lot of flack from traditional journalist who resented my kind for working smarter not harder in order to reach the same destination and/ or career goals.

 

Through blogging I have met CEOs, Directors, Presidents, and VPs of fortune 500 companies.  This week I shook hands with a billionaire…. I still haven’t washed my hands I need to channel the magic, lolll. So if you remember earlier when I said I started this blog to network… can we all agree I have exceeded expectations?  I took my college degree in Business Administration and used my blog to propel me into orbit.

KittyHawaii3The second shift in the road was changing my home base back to Los Angeles last year.  Currently, there are a lot of bloggers who think I copied them by starting a career in travel writing when in actuality that credit goes to Oren of the UnbiasedWriter.com.  You know the old saying, “People come into your life for a reason.”  Well that is certainly true in this case.  Oren and I are no in contact, but before we blocked unfollowed each other on all social media (lolll) he inspired me to take a 30 day vacation in Hawaii.  He was there renting a condo, while I was stuck in New York going through the worst winter ever.  As we talked on the phone I was looking out into a gloomy sea of snow when all of a sudden I had a “Fuck This” moment and then proceeded to book a one way ticket to Hawaii.  So fast forward to 3 weeks later I was laying on the beach people watching and drinking when I started getting offers to travel write.  Long story short 30 days led to 6 and 1/2 weeks in Honolulu.  Before I left the island I received offers to travel  to other destinations upon my return and that is the story of how a travel writer was born.  Oren was the best thing to happen to me in a long time, seriously.  I probably would have still been in NYC being miserable. Fast forward to now I am doing both travel writing and social media for TV shows.

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Now that you have all the background you now know why I blog part-time.  In this moment I feel as if I am back on track to following my passion.  I can’t stay in Shangri la forever; it gets old after a while.  My end game is getting a book deal with a major publishing company and going on tour.

 

Honolulu: Breakfast & Brunch at Cinnamon’s Restaurant

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In all honesty, I need to give this Cinnamon’s Restaurant is known for their pancakes and from what I experienced, they definitely earned that title. It was suggested to me … a 2nd visit before I can give an accurate review. I am not the type of reviewer that likes to tear businesses down. However, even with all of the issues on the day of my visit I still give it a 5 on a scale of 1-10 which is way better than iHop in which I give a -8. On the date of my visit, Sunday, August 2nd they seemed to be short staffed which caused a ripple in the service. I do understand that things happen, people call out, get fired, or possibly the traffic was more than forecasted. For that reason I think they are worth giving another try.

Cocktails Cinnamon’s Restaurant

So let’s discuss the positives. The bartender was very friendly, and kept us updated as we continued to wait on our food. While we sat at the bar she kept us entertained by creating custom drinks for us. Below you will find the three cocktails that I experienced. With the exception of the Bloody Mary I can’t call out the names of the other two, loll. What I can say is that I felt a buzz almost immediately. What I mean by “almost immediately” is it was about an hour before the liquor greeted me at the door, HA!

 

Cinnamon’s Restaurant is known for their pancakes and from what I experienced, they definitely earned that title. It was suggested to me to try the chiffon pancakes. I had no clue what was in store for me but baby when I tell you that every bite was magical… I mean just that. My friends and I also ordered the crab cakes, and the Moco Loco plate. I liked everything except the crab cakes; they were too bready and it wasn’t the right type of bread for crab cakes. Outside of that everything was wonderful.

Loco Moco Cinnamon' s Restaurant

We enjoyed the outdoor seating on the perfect day in Hawaii. The crowd was steady and the positive energy flowed in. Again, I would definitely give this place another try. The good outweighed the bad.

Cinnamon’s Restaurant – 315 Uluniu St, Kailua, HI 96734

 

 

Honolulu Travel: Chiba-ken Sushi Restaurant

Chiba-Ken Restaurant

This is just a quick review of one of my favorite sushi restaurants ever.  Whenever I visit the island of Honolulu, there are a few spots I frequent often. Chiba-ken Sushi Restaurant is my go-to sushi known for its happy hour pricing that fall under $10 on their most popular dishes. I discovered this place one evening while walking back to my home. My trusty Yelp app keeps me in the know and this place has some great reviews. So as any self-respecting Yelper would do, I walked in and pulled up at the sushi bar. Let me tell you this place did not disappoint.

Chiba-ken Sushi Restaurant has standard sushi-esque décor with wood tables, black frames with Japanese writing, and room dividers. The fish served is very fresh as anyone would expect on the island. The patrons consisted of both locals and tourist. Although most tourist don’t know about the happy hour so the crowed transitioned as 9:30pm hit. The Happy Hour menu varies from night to night but below is example of their nightly pricing.

Chibaken Sushi Restaurant

My favorite items on the menu to order are the California Rolls that are made with REAL CRAB! That is very important to me as I hate imitation crab. I also like the braised pork belly. It has this sweet soy sauce marinade that really sets it off. One of the most popular items on the menu and Yelp is the Firecracker Balls (shown at the top).  I can’t really tell you whats in them, but it is amazing loll. My now ex-boyfriend had the short ribs which I was able to taste a piece from his plate. They were extremely flavorful. Lastly, I enjoy their house plum wine ordered neat or on the rocks (shown below).

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Again, I am a regular and find myself visiting several times during my extended stays. I would lie and say I want you to visit, but what I most enjoy about this restaurant is that it’s off in a quiet corner on a side street. It’s not too crowded and doesn’t feel as if you’re sitting in the middle of Times Square if you know what I mean. However in order for them to stay in business I will go ahead and plug them on the site, loll. Enjoy your entrée at Chiba-ken Sushi Restaurant !!!

[POEM] Sparkling and Broken in Hawaii

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Hawaii is my sanctuary- a place to heal and reflect. Prior to my first visit it felt like a postcard I would never get to. Motivated by a season passing through I ended up here at the end of a long, heart breaking series of “what could have been.” I needed Hawaii to save me. My tropical savior. An island Jesus that forgives me for all my sins, God is here… I needed to be close to him. A drug to numb my broken spirit.

Here my alias reflects back at me through the water, get lost, forget who I am, become a lost soul bumping into other ghost uprooted and transplanted. There is comfort here, the bottom of the bourbon glass. My gypsum tribe has built many walls collectively sitting at the bar. Seeking, running, hiding, here I am not up for prosecution. Hawaii is whats at the end of the rainbow.  We exist, to not exist… don’t ask don’t reveal. Leave your past at the door, I don’t want to know what lays deep on your soul or heavy on your mind. Your burden has no face. Let’s go to the beach and keep our skeletons at bay.

On this day I was at one, floating, at peace ready with no resistance. The water was transparent, full of life…. but I was the one that took the bait.  At first I saw just a shadow as he pulled me from the water and dislodged me from the hook.  I barely had a voice, no sight nor sound…. don’t tell me the truth, don’t tell me your name.

“Please don’t hurt me… save me”

The sun shed light, I was sparkling and broken… the ultimate catch. He put me in a bucket, I thought it was paradise.  I filled in the blanks as the sun began set on the perfect day. Something so beautiful and fictional become clear… I wasn’t nothing more than an option for a meal.  At one point I became so exhausted I broke down and asked for him to reveal himself.  On this day the sun set and the shadow disappeared… too far gone to let me down, too occupied to say goodbye, too calculated to see me back to the water.

Exposed. Hurt. Embarrassed.

On this day I retreated back to from which I escaped seeking an, “I told you so” and my old room back. I got too confident, I made the same mistake twice.

 

-Kitty Bradshaw © 2015

Barefoot Wine Celebrates 10 Years with NOWFE 2015

 

Barefoot Wine Celebrates 10 Years with NOWFE 2015

Last week I flew out to Louisiana to celebrate with my favorite wine brand at the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE). NOWFE has been presenting trailblazers in the food and wine industry since 1992; and along the way began a 10 year relationship with the most awarded wine brand in the country. Barefoot Wine has been a partnering sponsor since 2005, and I was all too excited to come out and celebrate with them at the festival.

 

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The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is a 4 day festival filled with classes, seminars, and tastings. Since the event’s inception, NOWFE has been committed to giving 100% of the proceeds to arts, careers in wine, and the hospitality industry; and provide funds for other charitable organizations. Barefoot shares that same commitment to service, and for the last 25 years has partnered with local charities in communities around the world. With both brands committed to giving back it was only natural that they team together during this festival that showcases the best in the industry.

 

Barefoot Wine Celebrates 10 Years with NOWFE 2015

Barefoot Wine Celebrates 10 Years with NOWFE 2015

One of the many events that takes place during the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is the Grand Stroll that allowed paid attendees to experience a New Orleans style food and wine crawl down Royal Street, parade style. No parade is complete without a grand marshal; there were several renowned winemakers serving as Grand Marshals this year. During the final day there was a Grand Tasting that took place at the New Orleans Convention Center. Trust me when I say that I was oh too excited to attend! In fact, I was so excited that I arrived 30 minutes early. The convention center was filled food stations with the best chefs from around New Orleans. The wine selections were broader with reds and whites from around the world. My palette is biased as I prefer California brands such as Barefoot and Terra d’Oro 🙂

 

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Speaking of which, as soon as I stepped through the door I ­­b-lined straight for the Barefoot Wine booth which was sampling their newest additions: Rosa, Sweet, and Rich Red. My personal favorite being the latter of the three. I find the Rich Red true to its name with a sophisticated taste that sends my taste buds into a delightful frenzy. As most people know I prefer spirits over wine; Barefoot Wines has been the exception at my home bar. They make products that bridge wine and spirit connoisseurs together. In fact, my go to staple is whiskey… but sometimes I need something light and cute to get me through a late night of writing at my laptop. I think the Rich Red is perfect in those situations, while the Sweet Red would be perfect for a girl’s night out. The Rosa would be perfect for brunch in my opinion.

 

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All-in-All a great time was had all around and I can’t wait for my next Barefoot Wine adventure!

 

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Barefoot Wine Celebrates 10 Years with NOWFE 2015

 

Music Festival Travel: The Coachella Experience

 

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Coachella Festival, it is the largest and most profitable festival in the country. A modern day Woodstock of sorts: it boasts artists from all genres including rock, indie, hip hop, dance electronica, R&B and everything in between. Both spectators and celebrities (non-performing) such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and 2 Chainz flocked to this year’s festival and were seen in the crowds, either at the festival itself or privately hosted events in the area. The rapper Drake headlined day 3 of the festival and seemed to be a crowd favorite. Azalea Banks, and London based singer and songwriter FKA Twigs also performed.

 

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Since this event attracts so much star power, attendance requires advanced planning. Festival attendees Kristin Raiford and Toni Harrison of Houston, Texas said that they purchased their tickets back in June of 2014. When it came time to travel to the actual Coachella festival, they flew into Los Angeles International Airport in lieu of Palm Springs and rented a car to drive the rest of the way in. The option of booking a hotel 10 months in advance along with the car rental was very popular amongst the attendees. I made the mistake of not getting a rental car and found myself at the mercy of Uber who charged expensive surcharges on top of the travel fees. Driving is ultimately cheaper and cuts down on the stress of having to wait for extended periods of time for a cab especially when the festival is letting out.

 

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While in town I was invited to the private McDonalds & General Motors event that took place on the Bootsy Bellows estate owned by baseball player Coco Crisp. This was the third year in a row that this highly anticipated event took place, and was one of the many parties that took place during the first week of Coachella.  The veteran event brought out high caliber celebrities like Amber Rose, Justin Bieber,Leonardo Di Caprio, and The Kitty Bradshaw along with influencers and music enthusiasts. Event goers lounged poolside listening to popular DJ’s and artists while enjoying McDonald’s menu items.

Since the festival takes place in the dessert, it is highly recommended that you bring along sunblock, Aloe Vera gel, and Cortizone. All three came in handy when I realized I had sunburn on the back of my neck along with my hairline and scalp. Another recommended necessity when traveling to Coachella is dark sunglasses to block out the sun as much as possible.

 

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My final festival tip for traveling to Coachella is to dress light and avoid dark colors. Also, pack a light jacket or sweater for the evening hours. As soon as the sun sets, the temperature drops dramatically. The weather went from 99 degrees to 60 within an hour. Remember to keep it fun as Coachella is an experience to remember!

 

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See Around The Web: Hawaii Travel Article Round Up

 

Hawaii Travel

Hey House Cats- this post contains all of my Hawaii travel articles from my last trip, found around the web.  As my regulars know, most of my time is spent writing for other outlets submitting travel content.  When you don’t see me posting here please don’t think that I have abandoned you.  My neglect of my own personal blog only means I am developing as a writer and working as a freelancer elsewhere. I do try and keep you all posted as to my comings and goings which leads to these type of roundup post when time permits.  My next post will go more in-depth look at what I’ve been up to.

Hawaii is such a special place full of endless content.  Out of all the places I visit, Hawaii is the only place I make frequent returns to as I have also made it my part-time home.  I hope you all enjoy my Hawaii travel articles and please feel free to leave comments when given the opportunity on those sites.

  1. Black Enterprise Magazine- http://www.blackenterprise.com/lifestyle/black-family-reunion-planning-made-easy-through-hilton-worldwide/
  2. YRB Magazine- http://www.yrbmagazine.com/travel-4-days-in-honolulu-for-2000-by-kittybradshaw-hawaii/
  3. Tourist Meets Traveler- http://touristmeetstraveler.com/2015/perfect-hawaiian-vacation-at-embassy-suites-waikiki-tropical-vacation-paradise-what-dreams-are-made-of/
  4. Beauty and the Bump- http://www.beautyandthebumpnyc.com/2015/09/hotel-review-embassy-suites-brings.html
  5. Urb Life- http://urblife.com/the-life/this-womans-world-honolulu/
  6. The Pantrinila Project- http://www.thepatranilaproject.com/drinks-in-hawaii/
  7. Silicone Valley Lodge- http://siliconvalleylodge.com/what-to-do-after-dark-in-waikiki/
  8. City Girl Goes Digital- http://www.citygirlgoesdigital.com/5-must-have-gadgets-for-your-hawaiian-adventure/

Empire Television Show Rolls on into Season Two

 

empire television show  Empire Television Show Rolls on into Season Two

 

There is truly no stopping the phenomenon that has become the hit Fox show Empire. Every week, it continues to defy the odds and raise its ratings. Industry insiders wonder how they keep doing it and what the secret is and while we may never be able to put our fingers on the exact reason for its success, one thing is for sure,-Empire shows no sign of slowing down.

I will be very honest here and this is the writer and entertainment lover in me, in the beginning I did not see the big deal with the show. In fact, from the first episode, I was not impressed and felt like it was cheap and that the Starz show Power backed by 50 cent and starring Omari Hedrick was way better. I felt the acting on Empire wasn’t that good, the storyline a little over the top and the social issues they addressed I deemed unnecessary and contrived. But then something happened- I fell in love with the show.

During the course of the season everything increased in quality; the plots, the delivery, and the writing. It became a cultural success for so many reasons and has solidified itself as a viable contender with the most established television dramas.

 

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This season, we saw everything from mental illness to race relations. Empire television show is a success because it tells personal stories that were too taboo to explore to which we can all relate. Fans flock to their TV’s every week because they know that Cookie is going to do something crazy but needed to save the company she helped to build and strengthen her family. We also get to witness the father-son dynamic play out through Lucious Lyon and his three sons. Jamal, in particular, is struggling with his father’s opposition to his homosexual lifestyle choice all while belting out a hot new song.

With the two hour season finale set for tonight, there is no wonder that Empire has already signed on two powerhouse celebrities to join the cast for the next season. It was recently reported that both Common and Oprah Winfrey are set to appear on the show. The slew of celebrities that made appearances in some form or fashion in the last few weeks includes everyone from Mary J Blige, Raven Symone, Anthony Hamilton to Gladys Knight, Naomi Campbell and Estelle.

Everyone wants in on the action that the Empire television show has to offer and there is no doubt that season two is going to take us on a ride unlike any other.