Archive for category Hobbies

Life is Better at the Beach!

Sometimes you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of agency life! Team CEA spent an afternoon lounging at the beach at Whiskey Joe’s!

Whiskey Joes

 

 

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Getting to Know our New Interactive Account Manager Erika

As an icebreaker this week, we played “2 Truths and a Lie” with our new Interactive Account Manager, Erika. Here’s what we learned is true – and not so true – about her.

Can you guess which one is false? (She had us fooled!)

1. I’ve driven my PT Cruiser (now 10 years old) across the country 4 times.

2. I used to be a high school history and language arts teacher.

3. In the past 3 years, I’ve been in 3 cycling accidents: I broke my right arm, then I got hit by a parked car, and then I broke my left arm.

Here’s the whole story from Erika…

1. Yes, I’ve driven coast to coast 4 times in my PT Cruiser (I affectionately call him ‘Bruiser the Cruiser’). It takes about 36 hours to get from one side of the country to the other, so I’ve stayed on couches and in hotels; traveled with my dog, friends or family, but never alone. I love exploring and finding little hidden gems. My favorite: the life-sized recreation of Bedrock City (the Flintstones town) on the south side of the Grand Canyon.

Erika 1

2. I WAS a history and English teacher, but I taught middle school, not high school. It was a great experience and I’m glad I had the opportunity to make an impact for a few short years. The skills it takes to make a classroom work and juggle all of the responsibilities of a teacher translate very well into marketing. It trained me to wear many hats and to think on my feet!

3. Just call me Grace! During a typical day, I will run into desks, doorframes, table legs, and anything else that jumps out in front of me. Unfortunately, my lack of coordination continues into my extracurricular activities – namely, cycling. Three of my accidents were more notable than the others. I’ve broken both arms (on 2 separate occasions, almost exactly one year apart), which left me with a metal plate and 9 screws in one wrist. On another really unfortunate evening, I was riding by bike in downtown St. Pete, when a guy in a huge truck opened his door right into the bike lane – and directly in my path. I hit the door straight on and was a thrown out into the street. Thankfully, I wear a helmet whenever I bike anywhere – even if it’s just a few blocks. It may look dorky, but it’s saved my noggin more than a few times!

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Erika is an enthusiastic addition to our team and is ready to get your digital marketing strategy rolling! Give us a call to discuss how CEA Marketing can help you devise a digital marketing campaign that works!

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Welcome to Endless Lunch

My name is John and though my official title may be ‘coder’ around the office, I am unofficially considered “Florida’s Foodie”. Today we shall be reviewing 5 of my favorite lunch spots in and around Clearwater, FL; and specifically the local eateries that stand out above the rest. My palette is fairly robust and includes a variety of unique dishes, however today we shall be focusing on Greek, Mexican, Thai & Japanese joints. Let’s break the trend of the top 5 countdown and start with hotspot #1! #1 – Saki – Endless Sushi & Hibachi Eatery Untitled Saki’s is located right off Gulf to Bay & US19 in Clearwater FL. I truly cannot compliment this place, the staff, and the food enough. Fresh, healthy and clean eating coupled with BIG taste and artful presentation. The wait staff is always friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming, with plenty of space between your table and your neighbors. saki2 There is always a pleasing low drone of conversation going on in the background. In my experience, it has never gotten too loud or dulled off into complete silence. For you gentleman reading this, add this to your list of date spots! The Maki rolls, Endless Lunches, and Endless Dinners are simply to die for. Endless Lunch begins at 11am and ends at 3pm, when Endless Dinner begins. All you can eat Sushi & Sashimi coupled with a fantastic atmosphere, low prices, fancy utensils & tables and amazing taste is exactly why this tops the chart at #1. Textures for every palette can be found here and even my friends (who have sampled just about every Sushi Spot in the Tampa Bay area) swear by their Sushi.  I plan on eating here after work with my friends to enjoy some of Clearwater’s finest Maki Rolls and endless Hibachi. #2 – Los Amigos Taqueria Y Tienda amigos1 Go here for authentic Mexican dishes as well as real Mexican Tacos. The likes of which many American’s have never had the opportunity to experience. Located in Largo, FL, just south of Clearwater, Los Amigos is one of those special hole in the wall type of restaurants that you find yourself lucky to have come across. I have never experienced real Mexican cuisine as I have here. Truly satisfying and delicious meals are to be had. Just be sure you took a little Spanish in College, or bring your smart phone (to help translate) and you’ll be good to go. Sometimes you may luck out and get coupled with an English speaking waitress, yet even with the language barrier in place, the staff have always been very friendly, welcoming. I’ve even ordered my lunch through a creative use of charades and laughter. I recommend their Steak Taco’s, though I sincerely believe one cannot go wrong with anything on their menu. #3 – Thai Basil Largo basil Of all the Thai joints I have tried, Thai Basil has won my vote for the best Thai food. With a liberal use of coconut milk, spicy sauces, and (you guessed it) basil leaves; Thai Basil has some of the most satisfying and creamy dishes I’ve ever had. There certainly has been no competition that I’m aware of for their Tom Kha Kai (a delicious classic Thai soup with chicken, mushrooms, green onions and herbs), nor their variety of curry options. Be it Red, Yellow, Green (mmmm), Massaman or Panang curry, Thai Basil will deliver any entrée in one of four levels of spiciness according to your preference, mild, medium, hot, or Thai Hot (only for the bold of heart, and stomach of steel). #4 – Sushi Spot Noodle World sspot  A one stop spot for any of your Maki, Thai, or Noodle needs, Sushi Spot Noodle World located on the corner of East Bay Drive & Belcher Road in Largo, FL. A coworker of mine swears by their ‘Sexy Man Roll’, so much so that I decided to give their ‘Sexy Woman Roll’ a shot and on my word was it delicious. Sushi Spot has some very unique combinations of Fishes, toppings and sauces that make for a flavorful combination of fresh and delicious sushi. In addition, they also serve Thai cuisine and a variety of noodle dishes. Their Thai Tea is also some of the best I’ve come across south of the Howard Franklin. #5 – Sofia’s Greek Grill sof The reviews speak for themselves, Sofia’s Greek Grill is the most welcoming and friendly atmosphere I’ve ever had at a restaurant, period. A Greek mom & pop joint, Sofia’s Gyros, Cheesesteaks, heck, even their salads are superb and let’s not get me started on the desserts. If you have a craving for Greek food and something sweet, stop by and pick up one of their fabulous pitas and Baklava for dessert. Opa! Looking for any other recommendation from websites to food spots? Tweet @ceamarketing #FoodieJohn!

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A Floridians Guide To Fall

CEA FB 10.16

While most people prepare for Fall by gearing up their wardrobe, experiencing the drop of temperatures and watching the gorgeous colors paint their trees – we in Florida have to pretend and make the best of it!

Below are 5 Ways to Enjoy Fall As A Floridian:

1. Enjoy the low 80 degree weather by decorating a pumpkin outside – no one wanted that mess indoors anyways.

2. Dim the lights and turn on a Halloween movie. Check out some of #TeamCEA’s favorites:

    • Hocus Pocus
    • Witches of Eastwick
    • Halloween
    • Friday the 13th
    • Halloweentown

3. Eat your weight in holiday recipes

    • Account Manager Kristy loves to drink apple cider while eating anything and everything pumpkin.
    • Social Media Account Manager Natasha loves her mothers heavenly apple pie that we just can’t wait to try! Move over Martha Stewart, we have a new baking queen in town.
    • From the typical Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte to pumpkin bread and caramel apples there is something to help everyone feel like it’s fall, even on the inside!

4. Start a tradition

5. Enjoy the weather

    • Football: Need I say more? From peewee to college and NFL there is something to cheer about this season!
    • Fall Fashion: This is the perfect time to show off your #OOTD by pairing your garnet earrings with your brown boots to match your leopard scarf! Let’s not forget the infamous Uggs boots!

LIKE us on Facebook and SHARE your traditions, #OOTD, recipes, movies and more with us! Happy fall from your favorite Floridian Marketing Agency, CEA Marketing Group.

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

CEA blog Are you ready for happy hour? Clearly, Team CEA is. We dreamed about drinks all morning, and figured out what kind we all are. You’re going to treat us to a drink after work tonight, right?

Kelly: A Captain and Coke, hold the Coke. With a strong bite, but smooth flavor, you won’t remember why the next day…but you’ll be glad you did.

Jennifer: A Long Island Iced tea. Easy to drink, a little sweet, but will knock you on your butt if you aren’t careful.

Eric: A Mojito; a relaxed laid back drink that’s a little tart but with a hint of mint to brighten your day.

Brittany: Moonshine. A lot of power in a small package. Be careful, this one bites. (Use wisely.)

Natasha: Sangria. Mixes well with others, especially pairs with fruits (face it, you have to be one to work in marketing). Add a dash of cinnamon and watch it come to life.

John: B B-52, a hint of sweet but somewhat smooth, and enough go-go juice to keep the crowd smiling. Shoot and repeat.

Kristy: Sweet Tea. Its country heart makes it perfect for a refreshing break from the stronger drinks of choice.

Diana: Shiraz, one that is slightly reserved, but is bold in style and flavor. Beware, when left open too long, it can expose a dark side.

Kim: A Shirley Temple. It’s sweet, enjoyable and has fun while the alcoholics party.

Leave a comment and tell us what kind of drink you are!

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10 things you need to know about your car.

I’m a bit of a car nut. I always have been. At an early age I had hundreds upon hundreds of hot wheels and match box cars. The artist in me then made cities and roads out of poster boards and a sharpie. Fast forward to today and I’ve developed that into properly maintaining (and modifying) my vehicles. My three cars total over half a million miles. My previous truck that I owned from 1992 (when I turned 16) until 2013 had 230,000 miles on the original motor and trans…and never rebuilt! I miss that truck.

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What do you need to know to maintain your mode of transportation to and from work?

  1. Check your tire pressures monthly and weekly when temperatures fluxuate like they do during winters here in Florida, or when driving a lot on the highway. This will not only help your tires last longer, but you’ll get better gas mileage as well.
  2. Check your oil monthly. That little dip stick isn’t just for the mechanics. It can be a tell tale sign that something could be going south in your engine. If you are losing oil frequently, get it to a shop ASAP. If you use conventional motor oil, it is best to stick to 3,000 mile intervals. If using synthetic, it’s 7,500 miles. Mobile1 even has a 15,000 mile or once a year motor oil now (which is what I use).  When planning to go 7,500 or 15,000 mile change intervals, you MUST use a top tier oil filter. This is actually more important than the oil you choose. I only use the Mobile1 Extended filter or a K&N oil filter.
  3. Change your air filter regularly. This should be changed every year or 12,000 miles. While talking about filters, check to see if your car has a cabin air filter. Most modern cars have them and a fresh clean filter can help your a/c work more efficiently. These only need to be changed every 5-6 years unless you live on a dirt road or Pinellas County, then up that to 3-4 years.
  4. You want to keep that car nice and shiny? Give her a bath weekly and a wax every three months. Here in Florida, the morning dew, air pollution and the beating sun equal disaster on a car that isn’t washed and waxed regularly. A typical quality repaint of a car will cost upwards of $3,000.
  5. Get your transmission flushed every 2 years or 24,000 miles. Heat and burning the fluid is the top killer of an automation transmission. $150 every two years is cheap insurance for your transmission. The number two killer is changing gears from reverse to drive before coming to a COMPLETE stop. If you are still rolling, even ever so slightly, adds a TON of wear to your transmission.
  6. Your brake fluid isn’t good forever. Braking power is an important one, especially with the traffic we have these days. This should be changed every 4-5 years or 40,000 miles to maintain optimal braking performance. I flush the brake fluid every two years in my cars.
  7. Spend the extra on synthetic fluids. People like to debate about this one but the numbers don’t lie (see accumulative mileage of vehicles above). I’ve been running synthetic fluids since 1996 in the engine, transmission, differential, brake fluid and steering fluid in my vechiles. Basically synthetic fluids hold up to heat much better and that’s what breaks down your oil, heat. Synthetics last longer and hold up to the tough environment of stop and go traffic.
  8. Every few months, have a friend or co-worker check your brake lights, turn signals and back up lights when leaving work. A great way to stay safe is to make sure all your signals work.
  9. For optimal wet weather visibility, at least in South Florida, you should change the windshield wipers every THREE months. The sun and heat are brutal on the rubber/plastic used for the blades.
  10. Read your owners manual. It is actually full of useless information, but in there is also a TON of very valuable service information. I’m willing to bet you’ll learn a thing or two about your car you otherwise may have never known.

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In closing, find yourself a trust worthy local mechanic. These are typically not found in the big chain stores but sometimes you get lucky. If you don’t have a mechanically inclined friend to point you to a good shop (they should be able to recommend at least two), then go to a local car show. While a lot of these folks work on their own car, they still know mechanics who they’d take their prized procession to if need be.  Have questions about your car or maintenance? Just shoot me an email, eric@ceamarketing.com.

 

Additional Information and recommended shops in Pinellas County, FL.

Maintenance 101

RockAuto (online parts ordering)

New Hope Auto & Truck

Ice Cold Air

Van Steel Corvette Suspension Brakes & Steering

Auto XTC Corvette Accessories & Repair

Vern’s Chevy Service Center

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The Secret To Staying Creative

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Working in the fast-paced world of Marketing can be many things: exciting, fun and ever-changing. However, it can also be very stressful. There’s been many days since I started working in this business that I’ve found myself feeling completely burned out and unable to even remember what day of the week it is.

When you work as hard as we do it can be easy to cross the line from ‘hard-working’ to ‘workaholic’. You know the type; always staying late, thinking about the next day’s work as they fall asleep. When this happens it can be detrimental not only to our health, but to our creativity.

“But I’m Not a Designer”

Even if you’re not the “creative type” and have no clue about gridlines and color palettes, if you work in marketing you need to be creative. Everyone from Account Managers to Interns needs to exercise their creativity in order to excel at their jobs.

So Where Do You Start?

What is the secret to staying creative? It’s simple:

  • Make Time for What You Love.

Personally, I try to make time for my love of DIY projects. I’ll get home from work and spend at least a half hour scrolling through http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ or www.pinterest.com in order to pull inspiration for my next project. Case in point: these blooming letters that I fell in love with on Pinterest.

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Making time for something you’re passionate about―whether that’s archery, cars or anything in between―is important in maintaining your creativity. Getting your mind off work and focusing on a project you really enjoy can mean coming back to your job with a fresh mind, ready to make amazing things for your clients.

To see some of the things that bring inspiration and joy to the CEA team, visit our 30 Days of gratitude Pinterest board.

 

Written By: Diana

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5 HOT SUMMER READS

Summer is the perfect season for grabbing the sunscreen, going to the beach and diving into a good read. Some of our staff here at CEA jumped on sharing some of their favorite books with you!

Happy Reading!

 

For the “Non-reader” aka Kari: The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

Diet books are all the rage but how about a book that doesn’t give you a plan for the week, but a plan for life. The Body Book written by celebrity golden girl, Cameron Diaz, is a perfect mix of nutrition education and humor.

 

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http://amzn.to/VPQWjC

 

 

Natasha- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“If you’re looking for a beach read and a page turner you’ve hit the jackpot with Outlander” says Natasha. This story wraps in time travel, passion, desire and irresistible love between Claire Randall, a former combat Nurse and “Jamie” a studly Scottish warrior…nuff said

 

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http://amzn.to/VPQEsW

   

Kristy- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A healing and thrilling journey of a woman who loses everything. Making an impulsive but soul searching decision, she takes her pain and transform it into strength with each step of her thousand mile trek across the Pacific Trail.

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http://amzn.to/U5AVou

Jennifer- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

“A mystery of suspense and crazy,” says Jennifer. “This must read will keep you on the edge of your seat!”

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http://amzn.to/TVoyLk

 

Brittany – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

“You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.”
A heartwarming tale linking history, humor and the tale of the heart into a timeless read.

 

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http://amzn.to/1mkdwLc

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4 Ingredients for Twitter Success

Just like the ice cream flavor of the week, social media is constantly changing. From custom timelines to tagging photos there is always something new to learn. As a social media content creator and trainer I always find that before I can preach about the latest trends, I need to teach the basics.

What is your goal? Most of our clients’ goals are to build brand awareness, gain followers and turn followers into customers. Before you can feast on success try starting with these 4 basic ingredients.

4 Ingredients to Build Your Twitter

1. Attract a Targeted, Engaged Following

  • Two words to live by: be useful – become your followers one stop shop for all their answers in your specialization.
  • Focus: remember your passion – you don’t have to be the jack of all trades

2.  Build a Community

  • Listen Up: follow your timeline and what your community is saying and reply!
  • Numbers aren’t everything: it’s not all about how many followers you have. It’s more about the quality of followers or potential clients you can gain
  • Show your love: follow your followers back, giving them a shout out on #FF ‘Follow Friday’ and notice their engagement
  • Connect with influencers: try out HootSuite

3.  Develop Relationships

  • Hard way or the highway: it might take more time, but give your followers compliments, don’t just press ‘ReTweet’.
  • Sharing an article? Tag the author or news source!

4. Keep Up with the Trends

  • Partake in Twitter trends: before you know it followers will be waiting for your #MotivationalMonday tweet to get them through the week.
    • Motivational Monday
    • Twitter Tuesday
    • Would If Wednesday
    • TBT (Throwback Thursday)
    • FF (Follow Friday)

Now put them all in one Twitter account for 100 degrees and wait for your Twitter success!

Need more? Call me, tweet me if you wanna reach me @doyleb08 #TeamCEA

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Down, Set, #Tweet

In the sports world, you can get live score updates, discover broken records, get behind-the-scenes look at your players and teams within seconds on social media.

More than 80% of sports fans monitor social media sites while they are watching a game on TV.  60% monitor them while they are at the game.  I knew we needed to dive in headfirst and take over the social media side of bowl games.

Without knowing my limitations, I kept having a bunch of Naggin’ Nancy’s blowing up Gator Bowl’s timeline about this infamous Faux Pelini (the parody account of Nebraska’s head coach Bo Pelini), little did I know that he would flip CEA’s social media world upside down.

Who would have thought that one innocent conversation would lead CEA to the pages of ESPN. “Nebraska fans were kind of bugging the Gator Bowl, like, ‘You guys got to talk to Faux Pelini, you can’t just let this guy go unnoticed,’” Matt Repchak, digital media director for Florida Citrus Sports said. “And finally the Gator Bowl rolled up their sleeves and was like, ‘You know what, we’re going to do it. We’re going to have fun with it,’ and kind of pushed us out of the way, which was great.”

@FauxPelini changed my view of bowl game social media marketing and because of him, a lot of time, energy and an addiction to college football, I give you my impact on college bowl games with some help from my handy dandy sidekick Amanda.

 

#GatorBowl

Facebook: 12,082 followers to 18,704 followers.

Twitter: 2,600 followers to 8,900 followers.

Instagram: 0 followers to 568 followers.

 

The method behind our madness you ask?

The recipe for 1 serving size of successful bowl game social media marketing:

Researching 100%, Communication 100%, Dedication 100% , Creativity 100%, Humor 100%, Fan Interaction and Engagement 100% all mixed up with some corky fun! (Thank to you Faux Pelini!)

 

#OverNOut

Brittany Doyle [ the voice behind this madness ]

Take a look at our best interactions here:

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