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The Turquoise Weekend in Los Angeles

June 6, 2013

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA

Crystaly, glittery, sequiny, pink, rainbowy, and Mickey Mouse ear wearin’ are a few things that come to mind when I think of Gala Darling, Shauna Haider and Kat Williams. While at first glance, the un-initiated might think that there isn’t much else to these gals, they couldn’t be more WRONG.

It was a few days into January of 2013. I followed Gala Darling, and felt like I was really connecting with her and her writing. She is the epitome of inspiration – so positive, uplifting, focused, driven… I was feeling sad because the first Blogcademy had come and gone. I wanted to go to the first class, but flying to the east coast was unfortunately not an option.

Uncannily, the next day, and after a few tweets back and forth with Gala, the Portland and Los Angeles classes were announced! I scored my tix that very day.

The Blogcademy weekend was one of those weekends that was so freakin’ awesome, that two months after, I’m missing everyone terribly, and find myself reminiscing frequently!

Why am I telling you this?

This experience was a major, sparkly boot in the pants.

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

The Blogcademy gave me that push, fueling my burning desire to get off my duff, and make The Devil Wears Parsley happen in a big way. The seminar was mainly geared towards the business side of things, and the building of it and your personal brand. Gala, Shauna, and Kat made the experience unique by presenting everything themselves, which I think is/was really important. You don’t see (or haven’t seen yet!) famous food bloggers creating their own World Tour. These three gals did just that – they are digital publishing virtuosos who are successful entrepreneurs, seeing a need in the industry, and jumping right on it. They really share quite a bit of their personal lives alongside their blogging processes at the Blogcademy, leaving no stone un-turned. That vulnerability makes them relatable; their transparency inspiring!  In turn, they made me feel like I can make this website a beacon of light for YOU, the beer-loving, head-banging, health conscious rocker!  They are successful, and I want to be just like them. They genuinely want to help people, and it shows. There is zero tolerance for bullshit or ego at the Blogcademy. It’s all about love and encouragement.

I met thirty foxy ladies (and some pretty kick-ass dudes too).

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CALike attracts like. This was never more present than at this event. Every woman I met was driven, smart, beautiful, intense, hopeful, eccentric, intelligent, wide-eyed, and bushy-tailed, and overall… just nice!  (yes, I could indeed, go on!)  That quality is very hard to find these days, so I never, ever, EVER take it for granted when I happen upon people who possess it. Everyone had their own niche ranging from lifestyle to fashion, to gardening/landscaping, tarot & tea, photography, makeup, art, technology, jewelry

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

Thirty unique topics, each one just as intriguing as the last, converged all discussion down to the very core of what it means to be a successful “digital publisher.”  There was no talk of these “great Buffalo Chicken Profiteroles that I posted a few days ago,” which inevitably happens at food blogger conferences.  In this environment, that felt fluffy and silly.

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA, McCadden Space

The intellectual space that Gala, Kat, and Shauna built for the Blogcademy fosters complete focus on the core of fruitful blogging, and the vixens in attendance had no problem keeping that focus.  People asked the questions that mattered, which took some digging (at least on my part) to answer.   They were hard, and it took (and is still taking) hard work to answer them.  Through these discussions, friendships were forged.  Can I get an hallelujah? AMEN!

Show me the MONEY!

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Enough about the money, mannn!  There is a foundation to be laid first, before the money starts to pour in.  It takes hard, consistent work, work, work, and more work. These beauties really know how to throw a party.  EVERY facet of successful blogging was talked about.  Create worthwhile content, be consistent with your brand and imagery, be REGULAR(something I need to work on the most).  Make a compelling “About” page.  Write only what you are passionate about. All this and more was discussed in great detail, with plenty of examples, and all in the first 30 minutes!! There was plenty of time to ask questions too throughout the entire workshop.

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA

It’s not ALL about making money, though a girl DOES have to eat!  If you create the worthwhile content, are consistent with your brand and imagery, post articles on the regular, and are passionate with what you do, the money will come!  One of the main points though, was to diversify, diversify, diversify.   Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (like just advertising).  If you attend The Blogcademy, they will bestow upon you MANY MANY ways of doing just that.  I can’t give away alllll the secrets, now!  Sheewwwwww.   Sign up for the next stop of their World Tour, yo!


Not really related so much to the Blogcademy AT ALL, but it IS directly related to the beautiful city in which it was held! My second home – Los fucking Angeles!

Since this is a food blog, I just have to do this! I love, love, LOVE being in LA – It’s one of those places, much like my home-town of Las Vegas, that I feel a special connection with. I feel like I belong there, and THAT, my friends, is a great feeling. The fact that they have AWESOME food joints on nearly every block is a plus too. Y’all KNOW I’m a Kimberly Snyder fan-girl, so I couldn’t pass up an organic, eco-friendly, absolutely DEE-licious smoothie for both mornings before class.

Kimberly Snyder, Glow Bio, Smoothie, Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Youth Fountain Smoothie – Turmeric, mango, lime juice, mint, coconut water

Eh?? Eh?!?? Isn’t that a beaut? What a perfect way to start off a day that would be filled with such intensity! You need the vital nutrients for such things!

Now… the in-class snax:

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Vanilla? Chocolate? (I cant remember) Cupcake from Frosted Cupcakery

Holy shit. I mean they are cupcakes – a cupcake is a cupcake, but there are shitty ones and there are ones that put you on a pillow and float your ass up to heaven. I was going to have just a half…..Shyeahhh.

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Chef Susan Feniger’s version of Chicken & Waffles at Street

Three awesome ladies took a chance on me and my restaurant foraging skills for lunch one day. We ended up being late on our way back. Tsk, tsk! BUT, it was kinda WORTH. IT. I mean, this!! Just look at this!! Perfectly poached eggs, bright steamed greens, fluffy waffle, and chicken croquettes soaked in a SPICY MAPLE SYRUP!!!!! Just writing this, and looking at that picture makes me want to cry tears of joy that it exists, and tears of sadness that I can’t have it RIGHT NOW. Excuse me while I wipe the tears away.

Kat William's Birthday in Los Angeles at the Blogcadamy
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

It was Kat’s Birthday on the second day! Soooo awesome that she was able to spend it with us, and celebrate in grand fashion! Her birthday cake got devoured! ….so did the gin and tonics after class. Heeee Hawww!

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA

If I had to describe this seminar in one word: Magickal. You will be surrounded by amazing people. Loads of information will be bestowed upon you, sans fluff. Inspiration will fill you to the brim.

Totally amazingsauce.

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

Blogcademy Class #5, Los Angeles CA
Photo Credit: Caroline Winata

Here are all of the rock stars(that I know of) who were in attendance for the very FIRST Los Angeles Blogcademy! Fellow blogcadettes – if I missed any of you, please let me know!

Blogcademy Class 05 – Los Angeles Blogcadettes

Gala Darling Kat Williams Shauna Haider
Suzy Mae Patty Hume Adri Velbac
Paige Zaferiou Twinkie Chan Kandee Johnson
Vivian Mak Kipling Wagner Sarah Sloboda
Martina Padilla Danielle Biondo Tiffany {Tank} Tabár
Ting Ting Jones Susan Mathison Jenna Soard
Kaya Purohit Dhru Purohit Mary Pinson
Karyn Cantor

Blogcademy Class 05 – Los Angeles Sponsors

If you ever have the chance to attend, DO IT! You will leave inspired, enlightened, and will have made some very great acquaintances! This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity. A thousand thanks to Kat, Gala, and Shauna!

Here’s to the power of TURQUOISE!


  1. Kat - RocknRollBride
    June 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Aww thanks for such an amazing write up babe, love it. Loving your tweetables too, I just used one!

  2. Danielle
    June 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Yesssssss, I love this! I think I like the silly class photo best, good choice. We need a reunion!

    Also, that waffle looks crazy delicious.

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      June 11, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Danielle! We TOTALLY need a reunion. I know Patty has really been trying…but it’s been hard to nail down a date. I’ll definitely keep you in the loop. Please do the same for me too! 😀

  3. Paige Zee (@tarotandtea)
    June 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Holy chicken sauce!! YEAH girl, you write it. I am seriously kicking myself in the pants for missing out on that chicken and waffle dealio…UNF UNF! Next time?!

    It was great to have a mini San Francisco reunion. I’m so~ down for a big ole reunion done right. I miss all you lovely ladies (&gents)! AOOGA! (As you can see, my feelings about the mega-bodaciousness of Blogcadets is best expressed through sound effect.)

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      June 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Miss you too Paige!!! We TOTALLY have to have a reunion, in grand fashion!!


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