30 March 2015

Sacramento's Farm To Fork Foodie's Paradise

Last week I had the great pleasure of attending a tourism tech conference in Sacramento. It was inspiring to hear from some of the most forward thinking marketers in the industry. What I wasn't expecting was to get to experience Sacramento's Farm To Fork mission.

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It's no secret that the central California valleys produce a wide variety of foods that feed not only our country but the world. The restaurant and catered meals we experienced were amazing with such a huge array of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, fungi and nuts. Every meal was amazing.

We enjoyed several different kinds of citrus and fresh berries and breads for breakfast. For lunch there were salads piled high with vegetables including some we didn't even recognize. There were fresh almonds and walnuts sprinkled on everything from cereal to pizza. For receptions and happy hours we ate from taco and pizza bars and enjoyed fruit and cheese plates and chicken & waffle kebabs.

By our second day there we were so full we didn't think we could eat another meal. One night we went to a large reception where we ate what amounted to a full dinner of finger foods and then went to a full four course meal directly after. A little intense, but every food offering was amazing and delicious. Nearly everything we ate including the meats were local, farm-raised. Talk about fresh and vitality-rich foods! (For more about vitality-rich food here's a post from the archives about the importance of food vitality.)

If you value fresh, high-quality, fabulous-tasting food, Sacramento is definitely a place to explore. Of course, there is much more to experience in Sacramento than just the food culture. It's one of the great historic cities of the United States and it's a city with a fun vibe too. You can find out all about Sacramento's food culture here including itinerary ideas, tours, restaurants and hotel package deals. For basic details of travel to Sacramento, check out the Visit Sacramento.

16 March 2015

SHINE: A Smile Goes A Long Way


Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to be in a lot different environments. Lots of business meetings with new people in beautiful offices, hotels and restaurants. I've been on a lot of airplane flights and in quite a few different airports. And when you've moved to a new place, everywhere you go from the grocery store to the bank is new and different too. So I've been crossing paths with a lot of new people.

It's reminded me again how far a smile and cheerful attitude can go when you are out and about. I'm not one to chat it up with strangers but for some reason just smiling and being kind has drawn me in to some really amazing conversations with seatmates on airplanes, with new business associates and meeting new friends. When I am boarding flights I try to smile at people who make eye contact with me. I smile and acknowledge the flight attendants, tell them and the pilots thank you when I disembark.

In short I've been trying to let my shine be seen wherever I go. Sometimes I'm tired, or distracted or don't feel great. Sometimes it's been a terribly long day, sometimes it's the middle of the night. But it's always a reminder to have that little theme for the year SHINE in the back of my head reminding me to put my focus on making the world a little bit of a better place by shining wherever I go.

It's amazing how little energy it really takes to spur myself to be a little brighter and a little more conscious about the energy I give out into the world. A smile doesn't take much effort and it's clearly proven by science that a smile on your face lifts your own energy too.

I have loved having a theme for each of the last two years. it's not like a goal list or task sheet I have to accomplish and check off. It's just a way of living that directs me towards what is most important to me in life for that year. It's something you can step into in any time and place and when you hit a hard day or a hard patch of days it's something simple to hang onto and to let guide you when you don't have the direction or energy  you wish you did.

Shine is just a great little reminder for me to be who I want to be in my life and how I want to represent myself out in the world. It feels so true and authentic to me and it's so very simple. Last year my theme was "It's my time." You can read all about it here.

Here are a couple of favorite links to posts about the power of a smile and a good word.
Bring A Little Sunshine
The Aloha Spirit

Here's wishing you a SHINY week to come. See you back here soon. I have a bunch of posts lined up so I think I'm back on schedule to be posting more regularly here. Looking forward to sharing some fun finds as I've been transitioning into all the new family and work stuff.

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