Outdoor Retailer Winter Show 2015

Preston Porter at Ourdoor Retailer

Styling the latest Popticals Sunglasses at Solitude for OR All Mountain Demo.

Only two short weeks ago, I was enjoying the fresh air, beautiful views and all the latest gear at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. I was there representing Popticals, my favorite and objectively most stylish client showing off their new pop-out sunglasses to the outdoor industry’s finest. Over the course of the show I got to finally meet lots of folks from the online outdoors community that I’ve been talking with over the past year.

You can read more about my adventures on the trade show floor and in the mountains of Solitude in my full recap post on the Popticals Blog. Keep an eye out for another post with all my favorite gear from the show coming soon.

STL Bound – A Short Travel Video

On my latest trip to St. Louis to visit one of my clients (check them out here, they’re awesome), I did something a little different: I took short video clips instead of photos. I hadn’t edited a video just for the fun of it in a while, and I had a song stuck in my head that was begging for some artsy travel footage.

My connecting flight got delayed twice because of weather, so almost all of the video was edited in the airport and during the flight. Enjoy!

For all my tech geeks out there, everything was shot on an iPhone 5 and edited in Final Cut Pro.

Outdoor Retailer Show Summer 2013 with Popticals

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

Outdoor Retailer Summer Show display outside the Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, UT


Last week, the Popticals team proudly attended our first Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah! What better place to show off the best sunglasses for sports? The bi-annual Outdoor Retailer shows take place every Summer and Winter and brings together the best and brightest of outdoor sports industry. An event this big could only be hosted at the larger-than-life Salt Palace Convention Center, located in downtown Salt Lake City where over hundreds of exhibitors set up across 679,000 square feet. We’re still not sure whether the inside or the outside was more impressive.

Salt Palace Convention Center Salt Lake City, UT

This year we had the pleasure of attending the event as a new product exhibitor. After hours of putting together the booth, setting up monitors, and grabbing lunch from the delicious food trucks outside, the Popticals team was ready to show the world’s first pop-out sunglasses.


Display of Popticals Folding Sunglasses

The Popticals Team ready for action.

When we asked Popticals President Tim Petsch if he could pop-out a pair of Popticals in under 6 seconds for a quick Vine video, his response was “6 seconds? I can probably do it in 4.” Here he is demonstrating how to take these athletic sunglasses from case to face in under 6 seconds (and look stylish doing it).

A big thank you to everyone who came out to the show and stopped by the Popticals booth. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Winter show in January! Also, special thanks to High Roller USA for letting us snap some photos of Popticals team members Ted and Preston on the new Higher Roller Adult Big Wheel!

Ted High RollerPreston High Roller



The Wine Tasting Season Ends, the Trip to Italy Begins

Hello and happy Fall to all! My apologies for the lack of posts; this Social Media Chef has had a very, very busy Autumn. I’ve spent the majority of the last month or so preparing and promoting several amazing wine tasting events for the restaurants I work for. Tasting booklets, promotional materials, email blasts, blog posts, Facebook events, the works. All ending with four final wine tasting events to send out the wine tasting season with a bang. They all had great turnouts and I got to meet some wine folks in the process. Here are links to some of the content from the events, in no particular order:

Wines and Cheeses of Italy
The closing event of Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. Huge crowd of 300+ tasters!

Meet & Greet Tasting with Isabella Oddero
A tasting and bottle signing with the lovely Isabella Oddero.

Accademia del Vino: The Wines of Renato Ratti
The final wine lecture in the 3rd season of the Accademia del Vino Wine Lecture Series at Undici.

An Evening with Joe Bastianich
A rare tasting of Bastianich and La Mozza wines with restaurateur and wine guru Joe Bastianich!

And as the wine season ends, I have just enough time to catch my breath before jumping on a plane to Italy!

After hours of editing travel footage and tasting dozens of wines from every region, I’m finally traveling to Italy. My travels will take me to Piemonte (specifically Alba) to collect some video, photos, and write articles during the trip. I can’t reveal the full details surrounding my work on the trip just yet, but expect some exciting news in the near future. It will only be a short 5 day venture, and I’ll be chronicling all my travels right here (of course), so keep an eye out for new posts coming soon!

NYC Delivery!

I recently had the rare and distinct high-speed pleasure of accompanying Victor Rallo of RalloWines.com on a chance wine delivery to New York City. 107 degrees is far too hot to ship wine, but Victor was determined that the large order get to his customer on time. The Social Media Chef(yours truly) tagged along as a makeshift camera man and extra hand for running the wine into its destination while Victor double parked in front of a UPS truck, as you’ll see.

A Visual Taste of WBC10

Here’s a video taste of the 2010 North American Wine Bloggers Conference (aka #WBC10)

There are dozens of posts and videos (at least 100) about the Wine Bloggers Conference going into detail about many of the things people loved about the event. You can read my top 10, but not really top 10 list for more of my favorite things at the conference. With this short video, I tried to capture the feeling of specific moments during this event that came from the local wineries, the land, the wine itself, and of course the wonderful wine community. See you all next year in Charlottesville!

What was your single favorite moment of WBC10?

Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Making a Top 10 List About the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference

Now that the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference is over, it seems that a “Top Ten List” fever has broken out amongst many of the bloggers in attendance. Maybe it’s the logical way to organize and post about one’s experiences at the event, maybe it’s becoming a trend within the tight community forming around the event, or maybe it’s a symptom of withdrawal from three days of wine tastings starting at 10am. Whatever the cause of this epidemic is, I’m here to tell you my top ten reasons I’m not making a top ten list.

1. This event was amazing. It was my first large scale blogging conference, and there was far too much awesome to fit into just ten points.

2. Who has time to create a top ten list when you could be talking to people from the conference on Twitter?? Twitter and the tag #wbc10 was a huge communication tool before, during, and after this event. It made communication so fluid, and let everyone share every detail of the event from every angle in real time; I can’t imagine the event without it. I’ve connected with some really great people through Twitter, and been able to keep the conversation going with the bloggers I met at the conference. Plus, there are so many people sharing all the great posts on the event, how could you think about writing when there’s so much to read?

3. Why sit on your computer making a list when there are so many palate-blowingly good wines you could be tasting? The amount of wine I got to taste at wbc10 was staggering. (and in some cases, lead to staggering) There were so many quality wineries with so much delicious that if I bought even one bottle of every wine I liked from the conference, I’d be broke before I finished this list.

4. Instead of typing a list inside, you could be touring one of the many stunning Washington wineries! (I of course am stuck in New Jersey, allowing me to write this list for you with a clean yet thirsty conscience) I  got to visit Cougar Crest (which had a refreshing Grenache Rose), Skylite Cellars (with some strikingly good Syrah), and Pepper Bridge (with a tasty Merlot that was right up my alley).

5. I’m going through the notes on all the great keynote speakers, and I don’t see anything about writing a top-ten list. I see I jotted some things down about the endless debate area of wine review writing and wine blogging, the strong online writing community and it’s varying opinion on paid vs unpaid writing, and the ever evolving future home of the wine review. As a blogger who is still getting into the vast world of wine writing, these keynotes gave me a much clearer image of the online wine writing landscape. But nobody said anything about lists!

6. In fact, the only list I remember hearing was the Twenty-four Theses at the More Effective Writing in Your Blog breakout session. Twenty-four well written, well stated points: now that’s a list. And as a writer, I greatly enjoyed it. I’m also far too busy going through all the ultra-helpful points covered in the Vlogging breakout session.

7. If I was to make a list, at least three of the points would be crediting the event staff, and the folks at Zephyr Wine Adventures who made the whole shindig possible. Extra props to Reno for being everywhere at once. That dude moves so fast, at one point I swore there was two of him running around.

8. I should be packing my bags for a return trip to Walla Walla instead of typing. The town was charming, the people were welcoming, and the local wine community thriving. If I wasn’t on the exact opposite side of the country, I’d be checking back into the Comfort Inn this weekend.

9. I might just give up blogging all together to peruse my new passion for ice sculpting

10. And lastly, why would I make a top ten list when there are already several awesome, well written, and entertaining top-ten lists out there? In case you’ve been stuck with the fail whale all day, these are what everyone is talking about:

Top Ten Pre 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference List! Seriously!

Not Another Top Ten List From the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference!

Top 10 Highlights from #WBC10

Top 10 Things I Learned at Wine Camp

Ten Things I Learned at WBC10

The Beer Wench did a Top Ten list in Tweets. Check out her Twitter here

So, those are my top ten reasons why I’m not going to- oh my. My subconscious has been infiltrated by the great wine-minded community I spent the weekend with! Oh well, I suppose having the best wine bloggers in the industry rub off on you isn’t so bad. Cheers!