Tag Archives: Hello Kitty

Anime Expo 2014 in Downtown Los Angeles

Earlier this month I attended my very first Anime Expo. This was my very first conference in the anime industry. It’s funny that when I worked in the toy industry many moons ago, I had several opportunities to go to Comic-Con. Back then the focus was more on comic books & the toy industry that surrounded those characters. Comic-Con has now evolved into more of a pop culture festival. Sure you still have comic book fans that head down to San Diego. However somewhere along the way, when the Twilight fans emerged in 2010 & stormed Hall H, Comic-Con turned into more of a film fest for big studios/TV meet & greet for television shows. I’m not knocking it, in fact I would love to attend Comic-Con one day! However for people who are really into anime, the Anime Expo (AX) in DTLA is the place to be!

When I arrived on Thursday, which was the first day of AX, you could feel the excitement in the air. I made my way over to the press/media section so that I could collect my badge. All attendees received a goodie bag & a fun Dragon Ball Z crown/headpiece. The goodie bag contained a Anime Expo program, map of the convention hall areas & other assorted items. However I knew that the one item that would score some points from my kiddo was the Dragon Ball Z paper headpiece!

AX_Goodie Bag_PressBadge

There were SO many cool costumes! I found out that these intricate pieces take months to create, so people are quite proud AND happy to pose for pictures.

AX_CostumesAX_Costumes1

Since I had a little bit of time to wait before the Women in Pop Culture panel started, I checked out one of the smaller halls with some merchandise & electronic items in it. It was in this hall that I saw Hello Kitty clothing for sale from Japan LA. Being a big Hello Kitty fan, I had to buy a skirt that I hope to wear at Hello Kitty Con later this October.

AX_SmallHall

AX_SmallHall2

Eventually it was time to head over to the Women in Pop Culture panel.

AX_WomenInPopSign

The panel was moderated by Cassandra Peterson (aka Elivera). Rileah Vanderbilt & Clare Grant (from Team Unicorn), singer Noelle Bean & Danielle Vasinova made up the panel. Sho Murase was supposed to be there but wasn’t able to attend. The women talked about pop culture, anime & breaking barriers in the entertainment industry.

AX_WomenInPopPanel

Here is a snippet of Rileah giving props to Cassandra Peterson who played Elivra in film & TV.

Singer Noelle Bean also performed her hit Lois Lane. Here’s a clip: http://instagram.com/p/qADtLDiFA8/?modal=true

If you want to hear the song in its entirety, check out this YouTube video:

After the Women in Pop Culture panel, I made my way down to the front to talk briefly with Team Unicorn & Noelle Bean. They graciously agreed to pose for pics.

AX_TeamUnicorn

AX_MeAndSingerBean

Then it was time for me to walk the giant showroom. So much merchandise! I knew Hello Kitty would have merch here, but who knew that llamas (or alpacas) would be a thing?!

AX_Merch

Cool display of Batman & Superman figures!

AX_TeamUnicorn_Batman-SuperDisplay

Of course I had to stop at a Hello Kitty booth where they were promoting the latest mobile game app.

AX_HelloKitty

I walked around a little bit more, but then I was starving so I left to go outside to the food truck area & grabbed a very late lunch. I wasn’t able to go back for the rest of the weekend at Anime Expo (due to work commitments). All in all it was a very cool expo to experience!

Have you been to Anime Expo? How about Comic-Con? Which do you like better & why?

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended Anime Expo as a member of the media. I was under no obligation to write about my experience, but I wanted to share it with my readers.  All images are mine unless otherwise noted. My opinions (as always) are 100% my own.

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My 5 Essentials for Travel

Now that summer is in full swing, I know that many of you will be traveling during the summer break. Last month I was in Park City, Utah – which I hope to recap for you later this month. As I was packing for our vacation, it got me thinking, what are my 5 essentials for traveling?

Cute Carry-on Luggage
I love me some Hello Kitty! Someone saw me wheeling this in the airport once & asked me if it was my daughter’s. Nope, it’s all mine! 🙂  As much as I had hoped to pass on this love of Hello Kitty to my daughter, unfortunately she grew out of it by the age of 6. On the other hand, I am hoping to attend Hello Kitty Con later this year!

HelloKittyCarryOn

Good Books
I love to read books while on the airplane or at the hotel before I go to sleep at night. I brought two books with me to Utah – a fun, fiction novel called Scared Scriptless that I received at a recent book signing event. The other book is non-fiction & written by Tony Horton. It’s called The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life. I should have a review of this book on the blog later in the month.

TravelEssentials_Books

Magazines
It is imperative that I have at least 1-3 magazines with me on the plane. No matter how long or short the flight, I just have to get one of the latest pop culture magazines that you often find at a nail salon. You know what I’m talking about…US Weekly, In Touch or OK magazines – these weekly mags are the equivalent of the online TMZ or E! websites. Yes, I do recognize that these are gossip-filled rags. However, when you want to zone out on a flight, then these magazines filled with photos of celebrities taking out the trash, walking their dog or going on a Starbucks run is just plain ole amusing to me.

This time around though I brought a few magazines that I had stacked by my nightstand at home. I’m one of those people who read People, as well as The Oprah Magazine. In fact, it was that issue of the O magazine that inspired one of my latest blog posts where I asked myself “What do I really want to do all day?” You can read about it here.

TravelEssentials_Magazines

A Set of Extra Clothes
We’ve all heard the horror stories of airlines losing someone’s luggage. So I’ve gotten in the habit of always packing an extra set of clothes for me & my daughter in my carry-on luggage. Hubby does the same with his carry-on as well.

One great clothing item that I recently discovered is Hipknoties®! What I LOVE about this item is that it’s one garment that you can style in 30 different combinations! It’s something that you can dress up for dinner, wear it by the pool like I did in Park City & also in Scottsdale and then throw over some leggings when you need to go run an errand.

(Photo credit: HIP Multi Way Clothing. Photo permission granted by Hipknoties®.)
(Photo credit: HIP Multi Way Clothing. Photo permission granted by Hipknoties®.)

What I also like about this item is that it takes up very little room in your carry-on. Not only that, but it doesn’t wrinkle! I could literally throw my pretty blue Hipknoties® in my handbag, take it out when I arrive at my destination & put it on. Whoo hoo…no wrinkles on this outfit!

TravelEssentials_BlueHipknoties

I met Sarah Yonover, the owner & creator of Hipknoties® last month at a children’s event. She is so engaging, has a great product & I just want to help promote this woman owned business as much as possible. Sarah has many YouTube videos that demonstrate how to style your Hipknoties®. Just check out the website for ideas. How cool is that?!

Neosporin
During our travels in Park City, my daughter got a scrape on her arm. In fact, while I was wheeling my luggage in the LAX airport, I scratched my hand on a broken part of my suitcase (not the Hello Kitty one). So before we even got on our flight to Park City, I was washing my hand in the restroom & applying a band-aid to it. However, before I put that band-aid on, I applied some NEOSPORIN® Neo to Go! Spray on my hand. Fortunately I had packed band-aids & the small Neo to Go! Spray in my purse. Of course since it is a liquid spray, I had to put it in the plastic baggie to show the TSA Agent while going through security check-in.

TravelEssentials_Neo2GoSpray

I have to say that this handy dandy antiseptic spray was used several times during our trip. We were very active in Park City – horseback riding, hiking, zip-lining & my favorite activity…shopping (lol!). Since we were outdoors a lot, I knew that NEOSPORIN® Neo to Go! Spray was an essential item for our vacation.

So those are MY five essential items for travel. Tell me, what are your must-have items for vacation travel?

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I purchased the Hello Kitty luggage & magazines on my own. I received complimentary copies of both books for review purposes. I purchased the Hipknoties® at a discounted price. I received a complimentary sample of the NEOSPORIN® Neo to Go! Spray from Influenster Inc. as part of their #TLCVoxBox program. All images/photos are mine unless otherwise stated. My thoughts & opinions are 100% mine.