May 6, 2015

Sponsored: A Big Win and Celebrating with Palm Breeze

Last week, I told you about how I was out in southern California for the week to observe a training program that our senior associates go through after promotion. The “observe the program” part of that went great and was easy. The part I was nervous about came on Wednesday morning, when I auditioned for our Learning & Development team to take on the “orchestrator” role for the program.

The orchestrator basically acts as the emcee for the week-long program, setting the energetic and open tone for the sessions and also telling lots of personal stories to help connect the learning concepts to real life. Each program has 400+ senior associates in the audience, plus a few dozen partners who are serving as “champions” for the week, so it’s a pretty high-profile role and I had a lot of otherwise-well-qualified people telling me how nervous they’d be. But as soon as I heard about the opportunity six weeks ago, I felt like it was tailor-made for me and my skillset. I love public speaking, and the content of the course was basically everything I research for hours in my free time. But could I prove my fit to the Learning & Development team who would be making the selections?

Luckily, the answer to that was “yes” – I felt pretty good about my performance in the audition, and I was offered the opportunity to take on the orchestrator role this fall! In addition to my thrill at getting to experience the program again and contribute to its success with future groups of seniors, there is a lot of training this summer that I think is going to be incredibly rewarding for my own personal development. I’ll get to work with a coach on speaking skills and crafting a story, plus go through training of my own to ensure that I’m creating the best possible experience. It’s going to be about 90 hours of prepwork before I take the stage in September, and this will all of course be in addition to my normal client workload… but I can’t wait! I am incredibly passionate about the program and its content, and would do just about anything to make the timing work.

Terranea Resort
How’s this for a stunning view of the resort where the program takes place? I’m not going to lie; getting to go stay there a few times a year is definitely another perk of this new role 🙂

My friends in Colorado were so excited when I told them the news that I had gotten the role, so when I was home Monday night, I hosted a few people over to toast drinks and celebrate. In keeping in fact that the training is held on an amazingly gorgeous oceanfront resort in California, and because the next day was Cinco de Mayo, I decided to go with kind of Mexican/tropical fare… but of course, all low-key so that I could pull it together in fifteen minutes between when I wrapped up work and when people started showing up. For people to munch when they arrived, I served chips with salsa and guacamole (thank you to my friend Elizabeth for providing the most delicious homemade guac ever!). Then for dinner, it was build-your-own turkey tacos, which everyone could make exactly how they liked. I have been dying to make tacos with Adam‘s son lately, but for various scheduling reasons we won’t be able to do that for about a month, so this was the next best thing!

By using lean ground turkey instead of the usual ground beef and then cooking it with a lot of spices, I was able to make the fare just a little bit healthier than a normal taco night recipe while still retaining a lot of flavor – and I loaded my taco up with salsa and went light on the (low-fat) cheese. I also made sure to put out a bowl of baby carrots so that I could enjoy the salsa and guac without chowing down on quite as many chips, and it seems my friends were with me on that – the carrots vanished fast! (Noted to get more of those next time.) Celebrating doesn’t have to mean going crazy with the calories, and this meal felt decadent and fiesta-like without making me wake up the next day feeling bloated or like I had overindulged… something I am dangerously bad when I’m actually on vacation instead of just adding some tropical flair to my Colorado home.

Palm Breeze Fiesta Celebration
Chips + carrots, taco bar fixings, and a new drink: Palm Breeze

I had originally planned to serve cocktails for the get-together, and still had those and wine on hand. However, I also took advantage of an opportunity to try a brand new drink – Palm Breeze. Palm Breeze is a brand new sparkling alcoholic drink that comes in two flavors, Ruby Red Citrus and Pineapple Mandarin Orange.

  • Ruby Red Citrus – Grapefruit was originally called “The Forbidden Fruit” when discovered in the Caribbean. But now the sinfully refreshing taste of fresh-cut citrus and grapefruit can be enjoyed all day long and into the night with this crisp, light flavor, which finishes clean with a bit of zip from the carbonation of the “spritz.”
  • Pineapple Mandarin Orange – One of the “Seven Wonders of Barbados,” the pineapple has been used as a symbol of hospitality and celebration for centuries, making this a fitting drink for the next girls’ night in. Its fragrant blend of pineapple and orange is like a tropical escape for your mouth, and pairs well with ginger, making it a perfect takeout accompaniment.

Palm Breeze is one of the first drinks to target women, and it was designed to appeal to millennials in particular. While I technically fit in the millennial generation, I have to say that I recently read this funny article dubbing me part of the Oregon Trail Generation… and I kind of agree! But according to the brand positioning, “Palm Breeze is for those who are spontaneous, carefree, confident, social & stylish; she loves to spend her free time hanging with her girlfriends, loves to travel, enjoys outdoor activities, and tries to soak up the sun.” I’d say I’m just about all of those things, so I figured I’d give it a try!

Palm Breeze - Endlessly Refreshing Flavor
Click here to learn more

I typically mix my own cocktails, and was worried that Palm Breeze might be too sugary or artificial for my taste. But when my friends and I tried it, we really liked it! I loved how tropical and refreshing it was, and while it was definitely sweet, it wasn’t cloyingly so. While I appreciated not having to take the time to mix anything, since I didn’t have a ton of time for party prep, I poured my Pineapple Mandarin Orange Palm Breeze into a wine glass to make it a little fancier. It felt more like I was drinking a well-mixed cocktail than a flavored malt beverage – yummy! Also, unlike beer or even wine, the Palm Breeze was nice and light – it definitely is more of a spritzer than a regular malt beverage. The bubbles gave it a mouthfeel similar to a fruity champagne cocktail, so I thought it was just perfect for my California-style celebration 🙂

Happy Laura Cancun 2011
This picture of me in Cancun from a few years ago sums up how I was feeling on Monday night – tropical, carefree, and so happy to be celebrating my new role with close friends 🙂

For my girlfriends in Dallas (Bachelor Bashers, I miss you so!), Palm Breeze is partnering with Blo Bar to offer a free girls’ night out on May 28 with an opportunity to try the drink yourself! There are also events being held in San Diego, DC, and Austin, for any readers in those cities. If you aren’t in one of those cities but still want to try Palm Breeze, most Wal-Marts carry it in the cooler section, and the retail price is a very reasonable $6.99 per six pack. Lucky for me, there’s a Walmart less than five minutes from my house, and I frequently stop by there to get last-minute food and drinks when I host parties… so it will be really easy to get it for future gatherings!

Thank you to Palm Breeze for helping me to celebrate my big win at work without any muss and fuss… I loved being able to have a little tropical getaway at home without any of the planning or prep of having to travel 🙂

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


10 thoughts on “Sponsored: A Big Win and Celebrating with Palm Breeze”

  1. I had NO idea Palm Breeze was alcoholic. But, I will admit “taste of fresh-cut citrus and grapefruit can be enjoyed all day long” essentially makes me think that it is the perfect breakfast drink. Can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning! It honestly looks like sparkling water, though. I wonder if that was on purpose.

  2. Hi Laura! First of all, congratulations for the new role, this sounds like a match made in heaven! 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog for a while but this is my first time commenting… Sorry to be off-topic, but I was wondering whether you could recommend any books/resources on how to elevate self-esteem? Google search came up with a bunch of random stuff but I’m wondering if there is a certain book or author you would recommend. Thanks and good luck with everything! 🙂

    1. Hi Suzi! Thank you so much for commenting – I’m excited to hear from you 🙂 I definitely read a lot of self-help books, and my own self-esteem has dramatically improved over the last few years, but I’m not 100% sure what book to recommend. Have you looked into The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Clare Shipman? I wrote a bit about it here. Some of Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s books could also be relevant – I’m just about to start Executive Presence, but have loved her other books!

  3. Thanks so much Laura for the wonderful suggestions. I just bought 2 of Hewlett’s books and am delving right in. Interestingly I also watched a bit of a video of her on youtube and she looks like she could use some coaching in public speaking / body language herself- her voice is a bit loud. 🙂
    The conversation about self-presentation is endless. In her book EP she mentions how physical appearance is such a deal-breaker, yet in this video some of her skin is flapping and longer sleeves would’ve probably been a better choice. 🙂

    1. I need to check out that video – though I guess it goes along with what I’ve been finding with dieting lately. Sometimes you can know exactly what you need to do but still not be able to do it 🙂

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