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BossBabe

PictureMe & #ChoicePeoplePerson

The chick on the left is Andrea Fasano and she landed the coolest summer job ever: being Choice Hotel’s #ChoicePeoplePerson traveling all over the United States this summer to connect with people and embody the company’s mission of bringing people together through travel and meaningful in-person connections. Yes, you read that right. Andrea is being paid to experience Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, Kissimmee, Florida, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Just the coolest gig ever, right? You’d love to hate her, but she’s too freaking amazing for that. I had the pleasure of dining with the Choice Hotels team and Andrea last night at Julian Serrano’s Lago at the Bellagio, which a delicious barrage of course after course of Italian small plates that exceeded my every expectation. Today we headed out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to drive fast at the Richard Petty Driving Experience

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Driving out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is like driving to another city. It’s a solid 35 minutes outside of the city and, unless you are a carload of enthusiastic EDM kids, it’s not the most interesting drive you’ve ever done. As you pull in you’ll follow the signs to the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which will place you in the center of the race track. Right in the middle. Now, I neither watch Nascar or have ever attended races, but it was an incredible rush getting out of my car and feeling like a tiny dot amidst this massive speedway as race cars roared around me. First stop is the office where you will sign your life away and Choice Hotels & Richard Petty Driving Experience presented each of us with a swag bag that included (drumroll please): A SELFIE STICK. Public Service Announcement to all brands looking to connect with influencers and media folks: All you had to do was gift us selfie sticks. Yes, I have spent months making fun of everyone who uses them, but when given one, apparently my inner hypocrite is channeled and I, like every other savvy blogger and journalist in the room, became a kid with a new toy. A new toy that insisted we selfie the crap out of everything. That’s it. I give in. Go get one. You don’t have to tell people, but you need it. I promise. Richard Petty Driving Experience nailed it. Well done marketing team, well done. So, what was the drive like? The video of me giggling non stop tells it better than I ever could. 


Final review: 10+ Stars on all fronts. This from a girly girl who would never in a million years have done this on her own. A few in our group had tried the Zero to 1 desert dune buggy experience the day before with the Richard Petty Driving Experience team and had the same rave reviews. You will be hot, sweaty, and it is loud, but it is entirely worth it for the rush you get driving faster than you have probably ever gone. During the month of August you can experience the same ride along for just $79, plus when you book it online they will donate $10 to the Lou Gehrig’s ice bucket challenge. 

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Part of the Choice Hotels team was the Kimberly, the Yoda of Corporate Communications for BlueGreenVacations. BlueGreenVacations is a vacation ownership (time share) focused on sharing happiness. They work with Choice Hotels, so that you can book an hotel room that is better than a hotel room with one of their Ascend Hotel Collection rooms located just off the Las Vegas strip. The one-of-a-kind, upscale hotels in the Ascend Hotel Collection ensure that you have a unique experience connecting with the people who matter most in your world. If you are considering vacation ownership or are curious about some of the innovative programs happening in the time share ownership world, you should check out Kimberly and her amazing properties. 

Full Disclosure: All of these items were given to me at no cost to review, but if they’d been awful I would be telling you that. The awesomeness is 100% authentic Krista candor. 
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BossBabe

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I wear my pink Monster Products N Tunes headphones daily for everything- work, play, travel, you name it- they are constantly with me because they are lightweight and kid proof. For under $100 these are a great value and I am thrilled that Monster Products has given me a pair to give away to one of my lucky viewers. Here is how you can take these home: 

Like my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/krista.nicolewhitley

Tune in at 7:30PM (PST) tonight for my Facebook LIVE stream.

While we are live streaming you just need to like, comment, and share the most. Engagement for the WIN! 

I’ll be live streaming with makeup guru and product addict Tazia (contact info below), as she does my face, so bring your toughest makeup and product questions. Contouring, eye brows, red lips, bring it on my friends! 

That’s it. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the Facebook live stream. Best of luck! 


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BossBabe

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It was mid March in Austin, Texas and as I went from SXSW event to SXSW party people were buzzing about the release of two new live streaming applications: Periscope and Meerkat. Ever the rebel, I instantly fell in love with Meerkat over “the man” of Periscope, which was owned by Twitter. I began following Meerkat creator Ben Rubin and live streaming all over Austin. It was the perfect party and audience to celebrate new technology in the social media world. However, after the first few weeks my love affair began to fade. For the brands that I work with- exclusively entertainment and restaurants- the vast majority of their audience isn’t available on a moment’s notice to tune in, so I kept hearing about how Periscope saved the streams for 24 hours, allowing for more engagement after the live stream. Alas, “the man” and his fancy technology won out. In early April I moved all of my brands and myself over to Periscope. Having happily landed on Periscope, I thought I would stay there for much longer and I do think it is brilliant. However, Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook have CHANGED THE ENTIRE live streaming game with their Facebook Live feature. Why? If you have a verified account on Facebook (they are doing a slow roll out, so I expect this will grow to include everyone over time), you can use the Mentions feature to live stream what is going on right now in your life. Here’s the clincher and why brands are going to FALL IN LOVE: it does’t save it for 24 hours. Facebook Live saves it forever ever on your Facebook page as a post, so your fans can like, comment, or share it. Yup, mic drop. Facebook Live just took the world’s largest social media platform and gave it the functionality of live streaming. The future has arrived! If you haven’t fallen in love with live streaming, here is why I adore it: 

*It is the ultimate in authenticity. For the chefs in the kitchens of the restaurants I work with it empowers them to share behind the scenes moments and answer questions from around the world. The access is incredible and people love it. Live streaming has become the new television. 

*It is the ultimate in community. You are building a channel and community just like YouTube, but you have all of the lovely features of social media that we adore. You get real time engagement PLUS you get the commenting and sharing that can happen after. 

*It is the ultimate in access. At the Emmys in September I will be taking you along as I meet some of television’s biggest stars and, rather than me asking them my questions, you will get to ask them YOUR questions. 

It isn’t all love and magic. The tough part is that the existing audience is fairly technologically and social media savvy. My grandpa isn’t on live streaming. He just mastered how to accept friends on Facebook, so I anticipate it will be slow to grow to the older generation that was already struggling to adopt new technology. Also, I don’t get dudes asking me to show my boobs on Twitter or Instagram everyday, but every time I live stream I get at least 2-3 morons that I have to block because they say disgusting sexual things. If you are a hot female you should be aware of that. 

Today I am live streaming my entire day on my Facebook page. Check it out and join me here. Happy live streaming my friends!