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Periscope & Meerkat – It’s not just for Millennials

meerkat-logo-periscope I’ll admit it. The first time I tried Meerkat & Periscope, I was slightly mortified. I had borrowed a friends’ IPad while I was in Rome and decided I should give the new livestreaming apps a try. Seemed like all the cool kids were doing and I was damned if I was going to miss out on a new trend, especially since it involved video. So I did a live stream from my hotel and was immediately beset upon by a few creepy trolls who insisted I show them the inside of my refrigerator (apparently this is known as #FridgePorn) and it got worse from there. Yikes, that was it for this biddy! Despite the fact that I could turn my smart phone into a broadcasting tower, I figured I'd pass on these two new apps, especially since they were not available on Android. Alright, so fast forward to the announcement that both live streaming apps became available for Android users. I cringed. “No way”, I thought – “this is a playground I just can't get into".  Well, I’m pleased to say that this biddy is now having a blast on the Periscope playground. On a side note, I have also tried Meerkat but, for some reason I seemed to get more responses, followers & interaction over on Periscope. On that note, here a few of my learning curve tips to help you find your way in the live streaming app world: Watch and discover: This is an interactive platform so the more you explore & try out different live stream broadcasts, the more you’ll find your favorite “shows”. Use catchy titles for your live stream broadcasts: Make sure to use key words and descriptions that are fun & get attention. You can also use emoticons in the title if it fits. I like using the little crown icon and also try to add in relevant emoticons. But don’t get too crazy. Too many emoticons make you look like you’ve had too much coffee. Or wine. 😉 Share broadcasts that you like: You can swipe on your phone during a live broadcast and share it out to specific people or to all of your followers. This is a great way to show your support for the people you like! However, share carefully. Because I’m following a lot of people right now, that means I also get notifications when people I follow decide to share out a broadcast. This notification can be turned off but I don’t want to miss out on shows that my besties think I should see. But that also means, I get a crap ton of notifications! I choose my battles with this but I do caution on sharing every single show you see. That’s a good way to get yourself unfollowed. Test Test Test: I’ve been broadcasting at different times of the day as well as different topics. Sometimes I broadcast in the morning with a cup of coffee, bedhead, my beagle and no makeup and talk about the day coming up or what I’ve seen in the news. I’ve also started a series called #QoTDMia – aka: Question of the Day with Mia and pose different questions each day. I combine this with a Google Hangout and invite viewers to come into the filmstrip. I’ve had some fun people pop in and have gotten to know even more people! It’s more about finding out what best showcases your personality and also Engage with your viewers: One of the most fun things is to chat with viewers as they join the livestream. I really enjoy hearing where they are from and read their comments. So, obviously you don’t want to just set up the camera and ignore comments. Unless you are Kevin Hart, Hillary Clinton, Grant Cardone or Tom Green, you really need to acknowledge the people watching. I made the mistake of setting up a Periscope during a live hangout and not only did I lose people but also didn’t realize there were trollers dropping eff bombs and b bombs. One exception would be a live stream from a conference or a presentation. However, unless it’s someone interesting, people will lose interest, especially if you have not made it very clear who the person is in the title of your Periscope. Fill out your profile description carefully: Make sure to be very clear about what you do. At this point you cannot change your Profile Description. Since this is a quickly evolving platform, this may be resolved by the time you read this but.. just in case, make sure to be very accurate with your description! Overall, both Periscope and Meerkat are great for live interaction and connection. In the past few weeks I’ve connected with a ton of people, made several new friends, created collaborations and discovered new business opportunities. I encourage you to give it a try and plant your flag in the livestream world. It’s getting to be a crowded place and the quicker you get in there, the quicker you’ll start marking connections and expanding your reach and your brand. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a big shout of thanks to Stephen Q. Shannon for the email nudge and to Ana Hoffman for paving the way on Periscope & Meerkat, gathering information & helping me feel comfortable in broadcasting on this nascent platform.

What Not To Do Tips for Video

Video is where it's at! Here are some of the common mistakes made when putting together video content. Sometimes the best way to learn is to see "What Not To Do"! 1. The Uptalk - This is epidemic nowdays! What exactly is it? It's when a person ends every sentence with a question inflection. Whenever I hear uptalk, it always reminds me of the girl in American Pie (hence why I start with the Band Camp line). Whenever someone speaks to me in Uptalk, I think "Is that a question or a statement". Think how that effects your video viewers! 2. The Bad Angle - Another common mistake is to film with the camera below your face. Ooo, that chin, those nostrils! Listen, no one looks good at that angle. Ok, maybe a 22 year old model but even then, it's pushing it. Bring that camera up to eye level or above! 3. The Um & Uh's - oh dear, this one is bad. At best, it makes you seem unsure of yourself. At worse, people tune you out. The Remedy: practice, practice, practice! 4. The "On The Go" - there seems to be an urgency to get every thought in your head out right away. Which means tons of quick videos out there that make the viewer dizzy. If you need to get a video, make sure to stop, keep it steady.. and turn the camera horizontally! 5. "What are you looking at?" Eye contact. Everyone loves it. I know, it's tough to focus on that little camera, but it makes it sooo much better. Your viewer thinks you actually care about them! 6. The Clown - This one is for you ladies. Ok, for you guys too, if it fits. Yes, you will need a little more makeup for the camera. But not THAT much! PS. It took me forever to get that off my face after I filmed this video! Want more tips? Check out the How To Give Great Video Online Training. In just one hour you'll pick up a ton of information including:
  • The 360 Approach – How to look and sound your best on video
  • Presentation & speaking tips
  • Setting goals & focus of video
  • How to be your best fun authentic self on video
  • Finding your video comfort level
  • Dealing with panic
  • Setting up your own Broadcast Tower


Oh The Places You Should Go – #Venice – #MiaOnTheGo


Click on the interactive map to see all the spots you need to visit!

  As part of the #MiaOnTheGo Experiential Ambassadorship, we present the "Oh The Places You Should Go" Travel Blog Series: Tales of Italy - a media coverage trip that included amazing sights, food, wine, stories, new faces, real life meetups, adventures and connection. Big shout of thanks to the amazing Brand Sponsors Winerist. Pio Dal Cin and Casa Chiesi Next Up: Venice DSC_7714 (2)
Even in bad weather, Venice is a sight to behold. My Italian Ambassador, Pio Dal Cin continued the Veneto region tour with a full day of fabulous!  Venezia is a city of 117 islands that is steeped in a turbulent & fabulous history. Even in rainy weather, it’s fantastic!DSC_7710 Located in the region of Veneto, the entire city (including the lagoon) is listed as a World Heritage Site. What does that mean in real time? As a tourist, it means that every single thing you see, touch and walk on is of historical importance. I mean, come on, this is the birthplace of Vivaldi – talk about historical. Favorite Spots: #Burano - When it comes to this little island, I can't do better than the description from Pio, a local Local! 
"Burano is the real essence of a Venetian experience. In this part of the Venetian Lagoon is where it all 2015-03-26 11.48.41started.Call it "Native Venice" call it (like I love to do) a photographers' and painters' Paradise. As you walk around in this wonder, you'll smell the fresh seafood, the freshly baked bread and pastry. You'll see older women knitting in an old fashioned way that is taught from generation to generation on a mother-daughter way that is not written anywhere for it is an island's secret. Next time you'll visit Venice, make the effort of taking a water bus (vaporetto) and plan to spend a whole day here. Quiet and silence broken only by the daily noises of the fishermen and the people doing their trades. The light will change the contrast and the warmth of colours as the day grows older and if you did not bring that extra battery for your camera you'll realize how much you are going to need it, for you'll have a thousand and more in less that two hours. Every corner here is a story, a shade, a colour, a situation worth the capture. At the end of the day visit #Venissa from #Bisol  just across the bridge on the Island of Mazzorbo"
DSC_7541 Speaking of Mazzorbo!  We were able to tour my new favorite place in the world: Venissa, the brainchild of winemaker Gialuca Bisol (yes, that same Bisol that I visited in Valdobbiadene)  Mateo of Bisol was so gracious to tour us through this DSC_7476 hidden gem. The island has a 13th Century monastery, vineyard that produces the amazing Dorona, derived from the Golden Grape from the age of the Venetian Doges. This grape variety almost became extinct and after centuries of history, only a few of the vines were left and reclaimed by the Bisol family. The vineyard, hotel & restaurant that celebrates every part of the island. We had DSC_7646lunch at the Venissa restaurant which was unbelievable! The fish and seafood are of the highest quality, combined with fantastic seasonal vegetables that are mostly grown in Venissa's own organic garden, or on farms on nearby Sant'Erasmo island. And then there is this... Venissa is Zombie Proof Now, back to the Venice that everyone knows: Grand Canal – What a water drive! On all sides, there is nothing but architectural eye candy. Even normal homes appear to be a museum. Since this is a massive historical sight everything is old and cool as shit. How’s that for a verbal explanation of one of the most amazing cities in Italy and Europe. As an American in Italy, it really was an overwhelmingly beautiful place to behold. 
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Venice Shiny

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More Venice Shiny

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More Venice Fabulous

                        St. Marks – The most touristy of tourist spots yet I still felt like I was in my own little world of history. Fueled by stories from Pio and Lisa (an art major from the area, how lucky to have her along) as well as the tales told in the documentary I watched prior to my trip, this is one crazy ass place to visit. The Jewel of Western Civilization hides a scary past of violence. The Bridge of Sighs always held a draw for me ever since seeing A Little Romance back when I was a teenager. And then you hear the story of why it’s called that; the last view for prisoners on their way to the  on his way to execution. Coined by Lord Byron as a translation from the Italian "Ponte dei sospiri" in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice.  St. Marks Basilica itself and the surrounding area was a sight to behold! 20150326_162921-PANO (1) My cats Bob & Lily decided they wanted to hang out here in the Astral Cat Plane at the Bridge of Sighs ODSC_7747nce you venture away from the canals, the city itself is a maze of side streets, shops and restaurants that is beyond comprehension. Winding our way back to our drop off spot, you almost forget you are in Venice until you happen upon a canal. Seriously, this city is as authentic as it looks in photos, movies & ancient lore. NEXT UP.... ROME!

Mothers Day can be tough for some.

How to handle Mothers Day when your mom is less than stellar. (Trigger alert for those of you with a background of childhood abuse) First of all, shoutout to all the great moms out there. There are so many and I know so many! Kudos to you, you are what makes the world go ‘round. #ForRealsies Well this may not be a popular thing to post but I know there are people out there with parents who are jerks. You are not alone. I’m not sure what the law of averages is for the number of jerks in the world but I’m sure many of them are parents. Now before you get all judgy on me, hear me out why I say that about my mom. I didn’t always think this way about her. I was ALWAYS a mama’s girl from day one. My parents were on the outs by the time I was born and the story goes that she said “this one is mine” (which is what my name means) when I arrived, the last of 3 children. My parents were divorced by the time I was 2 and unfortunately, my mother married a horribly abusive man who made life a living hell until I moved out at 17. My siblings and I didn’t tell our mother about a lot of the abuse until we were grown, which included mental, physical and sexual abuse that began when we were very young.  In 2001, hallelujah, she left him! I finally felt like I had a real family I could be proud of. But 8 years ago she chose to remarry the man who had systematically abused me and my siblings for years. BOOM, out of the blue, she calls me to say she was getting back together with him and her consolation was that “she wouldn’t bring him to family events”. Hmm, well that’s just awesome, right?  I was going through a divorce at the time so I was already in a raw emotional place. I remember sitting at my kitchen table, staring out the window and listening to her justify her choice. I said “Ok, Mom, let me call you back.”  I never did. I still haven’t. I wish I had a better reason for her choice. Honestly, I think it came down to a fear of being alone.   Now, I realize this an extreme case of “that’s the worst story I’ve ever heard” but I’ve been blessed with friends and relatives who more than make up for having a mom who made a really shitty choice. I have no children of my own (by choice) and plan on getting my friends’ children to take care of me when I start edging towards crazytown. I envision my own little tiny house on one of the kids’ properties where Crazy Aunt Mia can sit in her rocking chair, blasting 80’s music, with a large recycle bin nearby for my wine bottles.

I'll have to remove one chair for my recycling bin. Image courtesy of HGTV

  So, back to you, my fellow “I have a shitty parent” person, I know that social media can be excruciating on these days. And let’s face it, you don’t want to rain on people’s Happy Family Parade! Personally, this year I reverted to posting a video of me sprinkling my cats ashes in Venice - I figured there were cat moms out there who would appreciate it. So, I offer you hope and understanding. There will always be a sting a sense of feeling left out but celebrating friends who are good moms, and THEIR moms brings me tremendous joy. (And if you have kids of your own, celebrate that you are a great parent!) I have faith in humanity when I see others who are good parents and have good parents. But know you are not alone if yours is not.
healing heart

How about a healing heart hug...

Oh The Places You Should Go: #Treviso #Veneto #MiaOnTheGo


Click on the interactive map to see all the spots you need to visit!

As part of the #MiaOnTheGo Experiential Ambassadorship, we present the "Oh The Places You Should Go" Travel Blog Series: Tales of Italy - a media coverage trip that included amazing sights, food, wine, stories, new faces, real life meetups, adventures and connection. Big shout of thanks to the amazing Brand Sponsors Casa Chiesi and Winerist Next Up: Treviso & Veneto!  

Fashion Forward with Pio

After touching ground in Milan and digging in for a few days, I ventured west to the region of Veneto in Prosecco Country! This 2nd leg of my journey was the busiest part of the journey, all thanks to my Italian Ambassador, Pio Dal Cin. I met Pio on Google Plus two years ago and we’ve been plotting my trip to Italy since then so this venture into his home region was beyond exciting! Thanks to Pio, I had thorough tour of the Veneto Region. Geographically, here's the breakdown for Italy: Cities are located in Provinces which are located in Regions, in the country of Italy.  For Americans, it equates to a city, in a county, in a state in the US. Simple, right?! 
The region of Veneto is situated in Italy's northeast and extends from the Dolomites to the Adriatic Sea, by way of an expansive range of hills and a valley furrowed by rivers, canals and the Po River Delta.  The Province of Treviso is still called by its ancient name “Marca,” a Medieval term used to indicate the borderlands that during the First World War were the backdrop for heroic events. The area is marked by the waters of the Piave, Sile and Livenza Rivers, charming fluvial landscapes that intermingle with pretty hills and thriving fields that are dotted with elegant and stately homes. 

Celebrating Proscecco Country

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Seafood - it never gets old!

Ca Del Poggio in Conegliano – Ooooo, an amazing hotel, resort AND restaurant – all in one spot and placed atop a hill with the most amazing views. After traveling from Denver to New York City to Milan, the Treviso region, and Ca del Poggio in particular, was quite a welcome treat. The hotel itself was spectacular – classic design with new interior finishes. The lobby and breakfast room and patio are amazing – EVERY spot in the hotel has a fantastic vista view. We had the privilege of to spend time with the restaurant staff which included a kitchen tour – the most amazing behind the scenes view followed by a fantastic fresh seafood lunch. This is where I realized that every dish consumed in Italy has a story and a purpose. Each chef I met put such care into the food. Luckily, the fat pants were not needed.. YET!
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The best seat in the house

Villa Toderini – Codognè -  a delightful 18th Century Villa that’s been turned into the most lovely bed & breakfast tucked right in the middle of town! Pier Luca and his wife Viviana are warm & welcoming – the ultimate hosts! The daily breakfast was waaay beyond the usual B&B fare – the fat pants were sitting on the side waiting. In case you are Agriturismo - a combination of the words for "agriculture" and "tourism" in Italian - is a style of vacationing in farm house resorts codified into Italian law in 1985. An agriturismo vacation is suitable for the whole family and some places even be very romantic or luxurious.   Wineries & Restaurants
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Winery Andrea Da Ponte – a family owned Prosecco & Grappa business. You MUST visit this distillery! Ella Fabris is the sister force behind Daponte. Her passion for grappa & prosecco is contagious! OH, and here’s another treat – DaPonte is one of first one to pioneer environmental sustainability in its production processes, starting from the installation, in 1983, of biomass boilers;. I’m excited to see them again in October during the harvest season. 

A room with a view

Bisol – Prosecco in the heart of Valdobbiadene in the hills of Cartizze (some of the highest price vine acres you’ll find in Europe). Michaela and Valentino were our guides for the day and I got to tour the entire facility which really put a fun spin on “How It’s Actually Made” – makes you appreciate everything from the bottle to the label to that little wire cage that goes over the cork! Our guide Valentino shared an amazing amount of information during the tour - suffice it say, the company and land are steeped in rich history. The land has been in their family for 21 generations – amazing! And Valentino has a wicked sense of humor which really made the tour so fun. Bisol is one of the leading producers of #ProseccoSuperioreDOCG   a "niche" Prosecco that is exported in 70 Countries around the world with over one million bottles a year and for the first time this year has surpassed champagne in export. And, of course, we had a wine tasting at the end including a fabulous organic wine.  DELIGHTFUL! 

Da Lino's Famous Copper Pots

Da Lino A hotel/restaurant famous for the copper pans hanging from the ceiling! A charming spot where many Italiantheater actors visted, this spot in the town of Solighetto. The area feels like it’s set back in time.. in a good way! I went regional and had the fegato alla veneziana  aka liver venetian style. So glad I did!  Incredibly tasty. But nothing topped the tour of the wine cellar –it was a wine mecca.  #Heaven Ristorante Mela Cotogne – Codogne:  A charming little unassuming restaurant that bases their menu on the local herbs. Since I’m from Colorado (but don’t imbibe), I of course had to translate that meaning! I loved how the wait staff explained each dish and the herb components. Codognè Latteria di Roverbasso – wow, they sure know how to cut the cheese at the local "Latteria" aka Cheese Factory of Roverbasso where eleven million liters of milk are processed every year. The production of the cheese translates into 196K rounds of cheese every year or 600 rounds per day.  Other Sights to See:

More Clinkies!

  Teatro Accedemia Theater – Giorgio Fabris, brother of Ella, owns two amazing theaters in Conegliano –one is a new state of the art theater and the other is a classic theatrical center that is breathtaking. Both are the heartbeat of the town!    

Can't wait to return to Codognè

Special thanks to the Mayor of Codognè, Roberto Bet. He and his amazing wife Lisa welcomed me to the town with a city flag, a lovely ceramic apple (that doubles as a fabulous whistle!) and books on the town history. I’m brainstorming to figure out a way to find a sister city for Codogne here in Colorado!      
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View the full photo album here - #EyeCandy

Up next … Venice!

Weirdo at a Networking Event – A Story for #Introverts & #Ambiverts

So there was this big networking event that happened here in Denver recently. The host was one of my favorites in the social media world (Joel Comm) and featured one of my favorites in the social media world (Chris Brogan) who was also the reason I started my YouTube Show. And guess what. I didn’t wanna go. Because I’m a weirdo. Ok, actually I'm an ambivert (an outgoing introvert) but sometimes it feels like being a weirdo. Which means that usually by the time Friday night rolls around, I’m eyeing the PJ’s by 6pm, Netflix (or a good book) is queued up, and I'm fixin' to enjoy some #YayWine time. Mia’s Ambivert/Weirdo Facts:
  • People wear me out but I love hearing stories and talking to people.
  • I’m known for being outgoing which leaves me feeling all “mixed-message-y”.
  • I love parties and visits with friends but can’t wait for my alone time.
  • I often feel like I don’t fit in, but I love people who do.
So, back to the big networking event aka:  Social Media Shenanigans Meetup with Joel Comm & Chris Brogan 4/24 - I knew I was tired and talked-out since I had broadcast my show that morning and had also appeared on another show.  But I also thought: 'no way can I miss out on this – Joel has worked hard to put it together and brought some kickasserole people together". I had also been asked to interview people during the last hour of the event  (the drunk hour, how could I miss out on THAT?!) SO, here’s where the magic happened. I showed up and when you show up, good shiz shows up too! I reconnected with old contacts, hugged up on friends, met new friends, met a few people who have watched my show (that was neato) and CONNECTED. Which would NOT have happened if I stayed on the couch in my pj’s. (At least as far as I know)  And then of course, guest speaker Chris Brogan talked about being a weirdo (I mean, come on, the guy DID write “The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth" - Duh!) Boom, once again I was reminded to get outside my Ambivert Comfort Zone and JUST SHOW UP.  And I got to give Chris a big bear hug of thanks for being an inspiration. Since I subscribe to Chris’ newsletter, I received a great info bomb in my Inbox this morning. I won’t give away all the juicy details (because you too should subscribe to Chris – he sends the best newsletters every Sunday morning)  but here’s a little tidbit:
Actions You Can Take: Every single day, if you could have even a baseline of using media and community to earn more customers, could you do just these three things?
  1. Create some piece of content, however brief, that helps someone else move the ball forward in some way? It can be two hundred words on a blog post: “How to fix that leaky faucet without our expert plumbers.” 
  2. Look around and see if there’s even one person you can help (not necessarily a customer, but someone you can help). (There’s always someone looking for something at The Secret Team.)
  3. Promote someone other than yourself for the great work they do. 
Listen, I'm not a plumber (no plumbers crack here) but hopefully this helped someone out there who is an ambivert or introvert. Here's my final advice:
  • Go forth and Celebrate Your Weirdo
  • Get out of your comfort zone. AOAFP (as often as @#$ing possible!)
HUGE shout of thanks to Joel Comm for pulling off that shindig! I know you had a good team of peeps helping but you are the reason it came together so well, so fast, so fabulously! CDaFc2MUsAA0qqP (1)   And here's how I'll be for the remainder of the weekend: introvert-social-hangover

Oh The Places You Should Go: #Milan #MiaOnTheGo


Click on the interactive map to see all the spots you need to visit!

  As part of the #MiaOnTheGo Experiential Ambassadorship, we present the "Oh The Places You Should Go" Travel Blog Series: Tales of Italy - a media coverage trip that included amazing sights, food, wine, stories, new faces, real life meetups, adventures and connection. Big shout of thanks to the amazing Brand Sponsors Casa Chiesi and Winerist First up in the series: Milan!

What a fun way to start the trip. Milan is an incredibly exciting city that's on the verge of an exciting 2015 as the city will be hosting the Expo Milano, a 5 month long event beginning in late April, showcasing businesses & innovators with the focus on "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". My Milan Ambassadors were the amazing Nazim Beltran and Elisabetta Chiesi of Casa Chiesi - a kick ass husband & wife team! Nazim is a US expat who's been in Italy for 25 years with his lovely wife Betti (and daughter Zoe). Their lifestyle 2015-04-06 11.48.23blog, Casa Chiesi, is an amazing compilation of photos, blogposts and YouTube programming that showcases Milan and Camogli in the Liguria region.  What better hosts than this family! Check out the moments & the Oh The Places You Should Go spots in Milan: 2015-04-07 17.23.26 Duomo Milano - One of the largest cathedrals in the world, this iconic masterpiece took over 600 years to complete.          2015-04-07 17.51.52Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II -  considered to be one of the first most luxurious, shopping malls in the world.  And check out the spinning on the Bull's Balls - a "good luck tradition"     10394778_10205857820621117_1121678968709919406_n Dinner at Biliardo Osterio - an amazing restaurant & pool hall. Fantastic Milanese fare, family atmosphere and, of course, billiards. I loved how various tables were playing cards and backgammon. And of course, the bar was packed too. Such a great place to celebrate my last day of 49!       2015-04-07 14.19.25Corey's Soul Chicken: you read it right - fabulous fried chicken in the heart of Milan!     
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Click here for more great pics & videos!

  #MiaOnTheGo YouTube Makeover Show with Betti (who is a high fashion makeup artist) and her talented hair styled friend Karine gave me an age appropriate live makeover!
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My last coffee in Milan - sad to go!

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Milan Centrale is considered to be one of the most beautiful European train stations, built in 1864.

  Now on to the next leg!

Off to Venice & Treviso - Prosecco Country

TMC-Approved Brandtastic Moment – Holiday Inn DC

Behold, a Brandtastic review for Holiday Inn DC! First off, you need to know that I've had this hotel on my radar for over a year and KNEW that when I finally made it to our nation's capital - I was going to make a beeline for this hotel. They were long time sponsors of a former YouTube show that I hosted along with Christine DeGraff, one of my favorite GooglePlus gals. So every we would say "Thank you to Holiday Inn, go to" and then every week we would sing the Sugar Hill Gang song "Hotel. Motel. Holiday Inn. Say WHAAAAT?" (random fact that I thought you might enjoy) jqg_13379657360 So, as you can tell, there was a lot of build up to finally visit the place! I was NOT disappointed. Here are my favorite points about Location: For a hotel in a busy part of town (15th & Rhode Island NW) - it has an "oasis" feel to it. Very boutique. Now I've been staying in Vegas hotels lately which means I have to walk 2 miles to find anything so, to stay in a place where everything is "well appointed" (meaning, I can find it easily!), well it was divine. Arrival: I also loved the port cochere (I just wanted to type that word) - meaning the covered entry to the hotel. Inn DC has made the best of the tight space at the entry to the hotel - we pulled up in our Kia K900 and were able to pop in, check in and then head off to the parking garage. That's right, I said parking garage. (see below)  2015-01-23 12.36.55 The Rooms! Well, listen, I was spoiled. Inn DC has a suite room that is so well designed. It sits on a curve of the building so that there are at least 5-6 windows with great views. 2 bathrooms, a sitting area with a couch & TV, a desk and a VERY very comfy king size bed. The cool thing about the 2nd bathroom off the entry is that people can come visit and all your personal items are not on display (the other bathroom is right off the bed area). NICE. My friend Hilary stayed in guestroom with a king size bed and felt like it was very spacious & well designed. Pool: Listen, it was the dead of winter - we were too cold to even go on the roof but plan on coming back jqg_13379657366in the summer - talk about another oasis spot - here you are in the middle of DC, sitting on a chaise lounge and contemplating how cool your life is. Just saying - it's going to happen. 2015-01-26 11.08.45Lobby: I LOVED the lights in the sitting area just off the Check in Desk - such a pleasant spot. There are actually several sitting areas in the lobby - 2 off the check in area and one near the elevators/bar/restaurant. It was nice - you felt like you could go several places in the Lobby and not have everyone sitting on top of one another. (Next time I need to get someone to take a non-blurry pic!) The Bar: Everyone knows.. I like my wine! Ron, the bartender, was definitely a staple item for us every night. He would either start off our evening with a quick happy hour glass of vino or made sure were were fed and happy, suggesting different meals that he loved. And hey, listen, this was no bar food. One night I had a LOVELY salmon filet and he let me change out and substitute asparagus. Can you say, NOM NOM NOM?  Click HERE to see Ron! 2015-01-25 15.31.57 Parking: Again, Holiday Inn has been able to make the best of a city that is space challenged. ProTip: listen to what the Front Desk person tells you! When she says "the turn is at the end of the building" - she's not kidding! We were so charmed by how sweet everyone was that we just nodded, headed out to the car and then ended up going around the block (which is NOT easy in DC) a few times. Once we paid attention like we were supposed to, we found it fine! The underground parking is tight but hey, it's DC and we left our car for 2 days - what a relief to know it was safe and waiting for us when we finally got out. There is an extra cost for parking but it's well worth it. The Amazing Staff: Last but SO not least, the staff. VERY friendly and responsive but also respectful of people's space. You know how some places make you feel like the Lobby staff is watching you? Not here. They were at the ready and right there when you needed them. They helped me change up my dates so I could stay another night. The rooms were immaculate each day when we returned and everyone was genuine and super friendly. In closing:  Book your next DC vaykay at Holiday Inn DC!  The Mia Connect showcases our favorite brands and their products & gives an honest review on their awesomeness. Brand Ambassador Disclosure: The products, services and/or companies reviewed are someone whom I have a formal relationship with as a Brand Ambassador. All opinions have and will always be 100% my own regardless of the relationship I have with said company.  

The Education Episode – #GetYourLearnOn

Panel Guests: Lisa Ross: Worked as a Special ED Teacher/Reading Specialist at Pennsauken School District, and an audience of Chef Dennis Littley. Dr. Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D.: Dean of Colorado Women’s College and associate clinical professor or higher education at Morgridge College of Education. Dr. Robert M. Copeland, Ed.D.: Vice President for Student Affairs for Clinton College. Introducing Lisa Ross She was always a smart kid but it wasn’t easy for her to absorb information. Many people struggle on that part, which made them stop going to school. She became a Velcro Teacher: She throws everything at kids. Whatever sticks, that’s what she teaches to that particular student. You can’t do a one-size-fits-all in this case. In Special Ed, it can be difficult to stick to the standards. But Lisa does her best to incorporate all the different modalities, and try to help students the best that they can with what was their whole way of learning. Introducing Dr. Lynn Gangone. She used to be bored in High School, until she had a teacher who saw her potential and told her, “Look, I know you can do more than this.” Her career has mostly been in higher education, but spent some of it doing “Gender Equity” work for K12 teachers. Gender Equity: It's a life mission that's emerged in terms of really wanting the world to be a better place for boys, girls, men, and women. Back in the late 70's to early 80's there was a lot of movement in education around not limiting boys and girls, based on what we expected them to be when they grew up. We had certain expectations for boys, and separate expectations for girls. Not every boy or girl wants to be an Engineer, or Firefighter, or Police Officer, or a Mathematician. It's not necessarily gender-based. The idea was to open up an opportunity and to say to teachers and guidance counselors, "Just because a woman walks in, don't just assume she doesn't want to be an Engineer." Introducing Dr. Rob Copeland. He went to an all-male College. As an African-American male, there were not many people around who would give him the inspirational talk Lynn had. It was eye-opening for Rob going to a historical Black college university. It was a school that made him realize what he could do and what he could be. He currently serves a population of “first generation” college students. First Generation college students: These are students who haven’t had anyone in their family whom has gone to college. They have a lot of issues that traditional students may not have. These are the kids that are under-represented kids in college. They come from broken homes and have seen the abusive things in life. Rob zeroed-in on this population because he thinks that if we don't educate these young people, they're gonna go back to our community anyway. It truly is a fork in the road. And if Rob can make a difference and help these students along the way, that's what he’s there for. People are fascinated about the picture behind Lynn. It’s a compilation of sketches from women in history. It is called “All That We Are” by artist Helen Ragheb. dr. lynn gangone   What we look out in higher education is if it’s affordable. Aggregate Loan Limits: For students pursuing under graduate degree, the maximum they can borrow is $57,000. We think that what we’re doing is educating in terms of intellectual space: History, Political Science, Mathematics, Science, etc. But what we also have to educate in the outside of the classroom space—financial literacy. Most of the younger population don’t understand what that mean, when they sign that loan. This is not an unusual situation. Students are taking out loans, they’re not finishing, and they can’t do anything else. They can’t afford to go to another institution because they’ve hit their max. “If I’m not educating the whole of you … then I’m failing you, and I’m failing the larger society.” –Dr Lynn Gangone. At about 19, 20, and 21-years old, people start receiving credit cards. People at those age thought it as being real money. At that age, you don’t understand the concept of what it may be to pay back this student loan. So it is very important to educate these young people into what they are getting into. Yes, they’re investing on their education… But they also need to be intellectually financially astute, in regards to their education. Educational Online Tools In higher Ed, that's been a huge conversation. We've been talking about online versus on-ground, and hybrid learning. We absolutely need to have all of these technologies available, and understand the application in them; the familiarity of gadgets and what we can learn through those mediums is amazing. For some learners, having them blended absolutely works. But then there are some kids who probably needs having that grounded way, in which we actually have to interact with students. For adult learners, more on the online options. It was price point, it was convenient, and no driving! Technology has got to be part in parcel of everything we do and how we use that as an educational tool. We need to figure out a way to blend the traditional with the new technology. Title IX It was really ground-breaking for women in terms of the capacity to create educational equity. Title IX covers a lot of different things. It was what allowed young pregnant girls to stay at school. But today, a lot of it is focused on sexual harassment and sexual assault. Part of what's happening in the Title IX space particularly in the colleges and universities, the sexual assault and sexual harassment piece is being elevated. Title IX is now used as a way to help clean up what's happening in college and university campuses. Shout out to Erin Weed for founding “Girls Fight Back.” Think globally, act globally. There are 2 issues that are most prevalent right now. 1. Sexual assault. 2. Violence that takes places in college campuses. The biggest part of what we need to do is exactly the type of things that we're doing today: We need to be proactive instead of reactive. Sit down and talk, discuss, device, implement... Put the things in place while communicating each other. Certain colleges, as small as it may be, are dealing with the same types of issues. It is hard to talk about the violence piece. But it is real, it is part and parcel of all the ways in which we think about each other as men, women, boys, and girls. If we don't talk about it, nothing will change. It appears that bullying is only addressed at the elementary level. It starts to get almost out of control and not used for its specific purpose in that. When something happens in college, you are not the victim and you do speak out and voice your opinion in a safe environment. We try it in elementary and we think something seems not quite right with the bullying thing right now. What’s On? It’s interesting what the panel came up with on today’s “What’s On?” portion. In this episode, I asked them what book is on their bedside table. Lisa: The Book Thief. Just reading a fun book by Elin Hilderbrand. Lynn: The Gold Finch. Game of Thrones. A Whole World Over. A Path With Heart. Rob: Game of Thrones. Steven Rogers dissertation. Mia: Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. You can tell by the mentioned books that the panel and I embrace our nerdiness. Or Rob would prefer calling it, “Intellectual Gangster.” Bat Crap Crazy Lisa: Being at the beach. Lynn: Being in Colorado in the summer. Rob: “My two wonderful kids.” Mia: The batpack audience.

Getting in touch with your feelings!

In this episode of The Mia Connect Power Chat, we talk about getting in touch with your feelings in different ways. We have a panel of experts who work with people with their lives, through different means… But mostly, we have horses, horses, and horses! Check out our guest line up: Adelheid Hörnlein of Paradiso Integrale: We call her “Heidi.” She’s been practicing Integral Theory for 15 years, and an expert in Transformational Relationship Coaching, Integral Practice, and Integral Voice Training. Les Dossey of UGH-TV, The Adviser’s Path, and a lot more!: A life coach, professional coach, organizational consultant, anger management coach, relationship consultant… And he grew up riding horses! Devon Combs of Beyond The Arena: Some people call her “The Horse Girl.” She uses The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method (Yup! It’s about horses.) to help people be the better person that they are. And introducing Detail: The star of the show! An Appendix Mare (which is a mix of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse), 14 years old (about 42 human years), loves grain, has a super-soft chin, and kept giving me a lovely nose tiara. So Let’s Talk About Horses. Horses are a lot sensitive because they're preyed upon in the wild; so they’re extremely sensitive. They have to feel safe, to want to connect with somebody. With horses, you actually have to build a trusting relationship with them and it takes a while to establish that trust. But once you do, there's nothing like it. It's when people are real and authentic with their feelings that's when the horse feels safe. It’s called “Hippotherapy” or simply riding horses. We got a lot of comments about how horses helped people with disabilities: From autism, to partial paralysis, to emotional challenges. Most of Devon’s clientele are people with unfinished businesses. Either from childhood issues, family dynamics, or relationship challenges, it’s keeping them from moving on with their lives. A lot of that is stuck energy in their body. Horses are incredible healers because they will often tune-in to a person’s body where that’s held. But the horse won’t judge them. They want the person to be completely honest and get real with a lot of their pain. And that’s where the healing starts. So Let’s Talk About Our Guests. Les listened to his followers, and started a podcast dedicated to PROs (people from the legal, financial, consulting, and coaching world). I love that what he’s doing is helping people who are in these fields. With our experts helping them, they’re gonna do their job better in helping us. Heidi made a mission in her life to hear what people need in their lives like the rest of the experts. But she's more with meditation. She works with relationship issues by doing retreats for couples. As she says, "The beginning of the peace in the world begins peace in yourself, and then in your nearest relationships." Most inspired by Integral Theory by Ken Wilber, she'll be launching a project called The Wisdom Factory. Devon is involved with the women's networking group called Crave Denver, and she is featured in the book that we're launching. Why I brought these experts on is because there's a running theme about getting in touch with emotions and feelings. So Let’s Talk about Their Different Versions Of Therapy. Devon works a lot with women in the professional world. They wear masks to work and they feel like they can't be their authentic selves. It's harming them by costing them a lot of joy and peace in their lives. Devon gives them a coaching and they get to be with the horse—and they'll be able to drop that mask. The horse will not connect with them if they're putting up a big wall. With coaching, they'll be able to drop that mask and the horse will instantly walk over to them. It's the best validation of being honest with themselves. Horses pick up the energy behind our words too. They can't comprehend words like people do, but they pick up the energy behind what we say. That speaks with the power of words and intentions, like what Heidi is working on. We have our minds and we must honor that too. Intentions have incredible power. When you say an intention, you don't just make it in your mind; you also feel and anchor it in your body. You use your whole body to confirm this intention. You align with this intention in whatever you do, and then ask yourself if what you're doing is good for where you want to go or not. Less has a place where he goes to think. Whenever he goes there, he enters a different state: More relaxed, more open... He gets quiet and listen. As a result, he often gets clarity and "downloads from on high." It helps him focus and get answers from anything he's contemplating on. What's interesting is that people naturally go in and out of this state, and they're not aware that it's happening. What Les teaches people is how to do it consciously and deliberately, so they can get benefits from it almost on demand. Les's old place was the tub, and now a spot in his office. And to Heidi, it's looking at the stars at night. Me? I get the best ideas in the shower. So Let’s Talk About Bat Crap Crazy Heidi: A little 4-month dog she found in Rome. There is a holiday in Italy where families throw their dog somewhere. While walking in Rome, the dog followed Heidi for about 4 kilometers. So they adopted her. Her name is “Lucky.” Les: Bat crap crazy about Mia... Me? I’ll take that. Devon: The horses, her dog, and Betty for providing a place and generously allowing them to work with her horses. Debbie: Animals all-in-all. Whether your own or not, having moments with them just gives some sort of help in many ways. Mia: Beyond The Arena, and Detail the horse. If I could only fit her in my Toyota Forerunner, I’d have taken her with me.

Big shout out to Debi Davis for producing this show!

With her 8 arms, she made everything come together for this on-location show!


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