Cricket Wireless at Hispanicize and Working with Brands as a Blogger

I recently found myself in a situation I had not been in for many years, sitting in the back of an elementary school classroom. Thankfully, my visit has nothing to do with Common Core math. Rather, my fellow Cricket Wireless ambassadors, other members the Cricket team and I are here for a much more exciting reason. The students in the classroom where we now find ourselves squirm in their tiny desks in anticipation of a special visitor. They don’t know exactly who is coming, all they know is that a professional musician will be taking over their music class today and there’s a huge drum set sitting in front of them, a welcomed departure from the recorders they typically practice on. They gasp collectively every time the classroom door opens and sigh in disappointment every time it turns out to be just another one of their teachers.

Earlier in the day, my team and I were at Hispanicize, a conference where Latino influencers and newsmakers gather to network, collaborate and learn from each other. On this particular day, Cricket Wireless has sponsored Hispanicize’s Latinovator Lunch where Sheila E., one of the most accomplished Latinas in music, is to be honored. Sheila E. has done so much throughout her career, paving the way for other Latina musicians. Not only is Sheila E. a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and producer, she is also one of the greatest percussionists I have ever had the pleasure of seeing perform.

As part of recognizing her for all of her accomplishments, Cricket Wireless surprised Sheila E. with a donation to her charity, the Evaluate Hope Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing abused and abandoned children an alternative method of therapy through music. Now we’ve all come to this little classroom at Southside Elementary School in Miami where Sheila E. is about to walk in the door and treat these students to the music lesson of a lifetime.

Sheila E. at Hispanicize Miami

When Sheila E. makes her entrance, the children can hardly contain themselves. She asks the students if any of them can play an instrument. Many of them start waving their recorders in the air while others share that they are taking guitar or piano lessons after school. Sheila begins to select students to come up for one on one instruction on the drums. Of course, they’re all naturals! To close out the lesson, Sheila asks the kids to play a song on their recorders, with her accompanying them on the drums. Their excitement is so contagious, many of them even ask Sheila if they could please have a hug before she goes. Sitting in the back of that classroom, I can’t help but get misty eyed, I’m so humbled to be a part of this experience.

Sheila E Music Lesson

As a blogger, I occasionally work with companies to help them spread the message about their brand. They put their trust in me because YOU put your trust in me. I take that trust very seriously and am extremely picky about the brands that I work with, which is why you will never see me promoting anything that I don’t already use and/or think would bring value to your lives. Because well…

…I love you guys!

I also want to stress that my affiliation with brands often extends so much further than the products and services they provide. I’ve said for many years that every time we make a purchase, we are also making a statement. It’s easy to overlook the fact that by buying that latte or handbag, you’re not only showing your support for that brand’s goods, but for their other interests as well. What are that brand’s values? What causes do they care about? Upon making a purchase, your dollars will help to support these things, so it’s worth taking the time to know what your favorite brands stand for.

I enjoy an advantage that many other consumers do not and that is the benefit of getting to know the people behind the brands. During our time at Hispanicize, my fellow Cricket ambassadors and I gathered with the brand advocates of Aio, a wireless company that has merged with Cricket Wireless to form the new Cricket. I know and love my Cricket team very well, and was curious to see what the people from Aio would be like. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we all have so much in common.

Aio Wireless merges with Cricket

Both Cricket and Aio believe in creating good by doing good in the community, bringing value to their customers, and encouraging creative, innovative people to live out their passions. You see…

…to the people behind the new Cricket, this is more than just a company, this is a passion project.

By now you know about Cricket’s “Ask The Experts” series, where you are given access to lifestyle pros from every walk of life to help answer all of your questions about personal finance, travel and everything in between. Aio put together a project of their own where they collaborated with some amazingly creative people to create branded products based on their work. It was called their “Insipiration Series” and the people they chose for this project truly are inspiring. People like Marco Torres, an awesome photographer out of Houston who I had the pleasure of meeting in person. Check out the video below:

I loved the concept behind Aio’s inspiration series. I would love to do a similar project here on the West Coast! There are so many creative individuals out here doing inspiring work.

I’m really excited to see what’s on the horizon for the new Cricket Wireless, so stay tuned!

But before you go, I want to know…

How do brands earn and keep your trust? Leave a comment below.

Xoxo – N

Getting To Know The 2015 Honda Fit #FitForYou

2015 Honda Fit

Recently I was invited to a press event to check out the 2015 Honda Fit. I was really excited for this event because my first car was a Honda, a Civic, so Honda will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember zipping around town in my little Civic between classes and my part time job at a local department store. Ever since then I’ve always associated having a car with freedom. The only downside of my little Civic? Many of my friends back then were bigger dudes and watching them try to climb into the tiny back seat was always a sight to see. Now that I’ve gotten to see and test drive it, I wish the Honda Fit was around back in those days.
2015 Honda Fit Test Drive

2015 Honda Fit Rendering

When Honda looked to re-imagine their already popular Honda Fit, they wanted to make sure Fit owners enjoyed as many bells and whistles as possible including a smart phone compatible Bluetooth system with a digital display that plays your music and has optional navigation. Safety considerations were also made, I was really impressed with the side view camera. The soul of the Honda Fit remains the same though. More than just a car, the Honda Fit was designed to be part of your lifestyle.

The coolest thing about the Honda Fit is that you can actually configure the interior to maximize the space inside the car. At our press reception, professional organizers showed us just how much stuff you can really pack into the Fit, I was amazed! Luggage, surf boards, you name it, it fits. The Honda Fit might look like a tiny car from the outside, but the magic is in the seats. Both the back and front seats fold flat, allowing you to create custom cargo solutions for whatever your next adventure may be. With a starting MSRP of only $15,525 and a combined 36 MGP EPA Fuel Economy Rating (LX model), the 2015 Fit is also extremely economical.

2015 Honda Fit Interior

When it came time for our test drive, my girl Xenia from Raised By Culture suggested with hitch a ride with Jason, a Fit owner and all around Honda Fit aficionado. Jason is an active member of an online forum called Fit Freak. I’m so glad we let him take the wheel for our test drive because where I probably would have cruised around in the car gingerly, Jason really wanted to see what the new Honda Fit had to offer and took us for a heck of a ride. I only feared for my life on one or two occasions throughout the day.

Since he already owns an older model of the Honda Fit, he was able to give us some awesome insight into what’s new with the car. I loved how enthusiastic he was about the opportunity to get to know the new Fit, you can see a little piece of our test drive on Jason’s video here. Of course the whole Honda team loved Jason too. They even pulled him aside later in the day for a special interview and filmed him doing a parallel parking test. I hope the fame doesn’t go to his head. Don’t forget us little people Jason! :)

2015 Honda Fit and Jason from Fit Freak

Overall, my impression of the Honda Fit is that it is the perfect car for a young person living in Southern California. What we SoCal residents love so much about our home is that both the beach and the slopes are just a short drive away. With it’s roomy interior and flexible cargo solutions, the Honda Fit can easily carry everything you need for your next surfing, snowboard or camping trip while still leaving room for your BFF.

Honda Fit #FitForYou

Bloggers IRL: Meet The Cricket Wireless Experts in San Diego

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Learn how to get MORE out of life and save MORE money at our in-store event featuring some of Cricket’s most popular Ask the Experts: Wise Bread, Someday I’ll Learn and me, The Funthusiast! During the two hour event, my fellow experts and I will show you how to: – Save $100 a month and […]

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Four Steps To A Stylish Workday

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Kleenex, all opinions are my own. Read more about sponsored content here.  Your daily grind doesn’t have to be drab! Here are 4 easy steps to adding some style into your workday… 1. Remove the clutter: I know your to-do list is long, but don’t let that […]

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