Smokey Eye Tutorial

Just a little glamour can go a long way. A few years ago a good friend taught me how to do a great “smokey eye.” A smokey eye is a make up term that is used to describe someone’s eye shadow on a surface of fading colors. In the inside of your eyelid you will have a light color and going further out into the outer rim of your eye lid the shades will begin to get darker.


To start a smokey eye you want to use a good primer. A primer is a gel that you can purchase at any make up store. My favorite is made by Urban Decay and it comes in a neutral color as well as a shimmery gold which is pretty if you are about to use any browns, golds, or creams on your eyes. To begin, squirt a tiny bit of primer on your finger and spread it evenly around both eyelids. The primer helps keep the eye shadow on for longer and also helps define the color.


The next step is to use a paler base coat color for the first base of your smokey eye. My favorite eye shadow is also made from Urban Decay and is called The Naked Palette. They now offer this in three different versions, Naked, Naked2, and Naked3. I use a combination of all the colors now that I am very familiar with how to mix. However, if you are just a beginner maybe it would be best to stick to one of the palettes first and see if you like the color variations before buying all three. You can get it at any Sephora store for just $54.00. This color is going to end up being the color that shows up in your inner lid of your eyelid. After rubbing that all around your eyelid as well as putting a little above the crease on top of your eyelid, take the second darker color you wish to use.


With the second color you will brush only from the outer lid to the middle lid, leaving this second darker shade away from the inner lid where the lighter base color is. Don’t be scared to go deep into the eye. Even though you don’t want to brush into the inner lid, you still have the entire middle part of the lid to work with. At this point you are about half way done with your smokey eye!


After making sure you apply a nice even coat and using a small “blending brush” to mix those two colors in a little bit, you can start to incorporate your third color, which should be the darkest of the three. Take a small brush and dab only a little bit into the make up pallet, that way you do not end up using more make up than anticipated. Remember—you can always go darker at the end. It might even be a good idea to either blow on the brush when you are using it or to tap it lightly on a tissue before you apply it to the eye. This way, the extra makeup powder does not get under your eye in the outer lower lash area.


Start by applying this color to the very outer part of the lid and make sure to not go too deep into the middle section. To finish the look use a bigger blending brush than the first time and try to smooth out this color so it does not look so dark and heavy. It should look like a gradual increase in darkness but you don’t want it to look like you globed a dot of black or dark purple on your eye.


After this step use a thin liquid eyeliner or my favorite, the Smashbox Jet Set waterproof eye linear which you can find for $22.00. At the end finish up your eye with some thick black mascara, I recommend the Benefit brand, “They’re Real” which ranges from $12-$22 depending on the size or the traditional Mac “Haute & Naughty” mascara for $22.


At the very end, use a little makeup highlighter to accentuate your face. I rub it on the nose and about the eyes, which leaves a little sparkle! And there you have it—the perfect smokey eye.



A podcast is any digital medium that consists of audio, video, text, PDF, or ePub files that people can subscribe to for playback on portable media players and personal computers. There are various tools used to podcast.


Podcasting can be extremely beneficial for the field of education. Listening to podcasts is another way of learning. Professors and teachers can use podcasting for additional information or reviews of previously covered information. Podcasts are a very powerful learning tool for students who are auditory learners and can learn best by listening. There are various free tools that can help teachers create and distribute podcasts. Some of which include:

Audacity: This is a free software that is used for recording and editing sound by using keyboard shortcuts. It is available for certain operating systems like Windows, Mac, GNU/LINUX and a few others.


MP3myMP3 Sound Recorder: This is an audio recording software that is created by Digital Liquid. It is a great tool for recording something quickly and efficiently. You are able to record a sample sound from streaming audio or video on the Internet, record Skype calls for business, or create MP3s from Vinyl. For teaching purposes, professors can record tutorials and later listen to them through a computer.


Podbean: This tool is easy and powerful. It allows users to create professional podcasts in just a few minutes without having any prior knowledge on programming. Anyone is able to upload and publish their work. Work can be shared with students, colleagues, friends, family and anyone else worth sharing.



PodOmatic: This is the largest independent podcaster in the world. You are able to search any area that you are interested in to find work. This tool also allows users to easily make minicasts, which is a combination of audio and images.


VozMe: This is an effective tool that converts a text into an audio file. By doing this you have to follow two steps. This process is copy and paste the text you want in the box provided on the website and click “create mp3.” This generates a podcast for you to download that is completely instant.


Odiogo: This tool is similar to VozMe but has a few more benefits to it. This specific tool lets you turn blog posts into high quality and ad-supporting broadcasts, which can be an advantage for bloggers.


There are very many other tools that are also great for podcasts. Ways in which you can integrate podcasts in the classroom are:


1. Students can interview professions of their potential career path and use audio for their questionnaire part.

2. Students can research about different countries by asking recent travelers about their experiences. This could lead into a digital travel album that could almost be like a small itinerary.

3. Teachers or professors can record their lectures or tutorials that students can listen to later on their own time or at home.

4. Students can write and record stories and add background music or sound effects.

5. Students can create advertising campaigns.

6. Students can use audio recording to interview different people for a school newspaper or magazine and later refer to it for quotes or other sources of information.

These are just some of the many ways that podcasting can be beneficial to learning. It is a field that continues to show growth among academia and other forms of teaching and learning.

Political campaigning through media

Social Media is changing the way political campaigning has ever been used before. With Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, we have seen that media has become a crucial tool for political campaigning.   When doing this it is important to keep a few things in mind:


  1. Consistency is key– Don’t let this confuse you. Consistency does not mean make sure to always post the same thing every time you use an outlet. It means to make sure to post at the same frequency that you usually do. If you are tweeting, blogging, posting, you want to keep up with it on a regular basis. This way your readers are able to follow your work more easily and stay updated!


  1. No Ghost Towns– It is really important to keep in mind when you are building media platforms to think carefully about which networks will actually be productive and useful. It does not make sense to create as many as possible if you are not going to be using all of them. It is better to not overextend yourself and drop it a few weeks after. Make sure to think long and hard about which networks you are going to choose because once you make one, you can’t just ditch.
  1. Platforms all have a different language… learn the lingo– A common mistake that is made is people tend to post the same message across all social media handles. This is a big misunderstanding. All platforms have different reasons for why people use them. Being able to understand your audience is one of the most important elements when using social media. It is crucial to keep that in mind when making a post and make sure to connect with your followers in a way that they will understand.
  1. Listen to your audience– Social media is a chance to connect with your voters, donors, and supporters on a one to one basis. By setting up listening strategies you can help keep yourself updated on what’s being said about you and how you can help participate in conversations to direct your campaign strategy in a more positive light.


  1. Use social advertising to expand your reach– Social advertisements has been proven to make or break an election. You have to learn how to use them in your favor. It is a way of drawing in an audience when you want them to take action.
  1. A picture is worth a thousand words– There are so many online tools, many of which are free that you can use to edit and create graphics that are appealing to your audience. Social media platforms have become very visually appealing and posts should call out attention to your campaign.
  1. Keep learning– Just like most things, social media is always evolving. With that comes keeping up with the latest trends and practices. If you monitor campaigns that are successful via media you can see how and why theirs continue to do well.   That can help you stay updated on your own tactics and give insights on how to better your own. 

Valentí Sanjuan

This past Wednesday, March 25th, I had the pleasure of meeting Valentí Sanjuan. He came to my class to talk about his past careers and how he has made a living through digital journalism. Valentí started his career doing mainstream journalism at a radio station, Vist i no vist” working in the newsroom. He had a creative mind and wanted to do new adventures with his job like creating a website and blog. However, the radio had other ideas in mind. After not renewing his contract, he had to figure out a way of making money and getting back onto his two feet.

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With the help from a lot of his friends, Valentí started a show, which was done by streaming. At the time this was not a popular way of using technology. This time around, he incorporated images into the show and not just audio like he had previously been doing at his job at the station. They were sponsored by beer brands and would give away a free beer to anyone who came out to see the show. The atmosphere consisted of some people walking around, drinking beer, and talking about the Internet while Valentí and a few others were stationed up talking on the radio.

Valentí mentioned, “You start to succeed when you do something different.” The first thing he did was a normal show via the Internet instead of the radio. Then he progressed to a radio show mixed with a television show. This incorporated acting, movement, talking to cameras and being more interactive with the audience. The first show that they did, 100 people were there watching it live. Three months later, it didn’t work out so well, they had no grants and the audience was starting to die out.


Valentí knew that he had to make a huge turn around and think of another idea. He decided to perform a show in a theatre. This show was called “Visto lo Visto” and was almost like a stand up comedy. It included popular YouTubers, music and musicians, comedians, interviews and more. It was the opposite extreme from his original idea, and included just one camera, which he filmed with his own hand. Seven hundred people once a month come out in the audience to support him and his new form of success.

The idea of this show was to incorporate YouTubers that were young but had a huge following to generate more viewers for their show. Eventually once the numbers started to pick up, Visto lo Visto wanted to change the model to make their target audience adults. This idea was a bit of a disaster at first, but like anything else, with time things can start to change.

Aside from Visto lo Visto, Valentí has a personal YouTube account and achieves a big fan following. He claims that, “You don’t have to work for a big corporation to reach millions of people.” He says that creating content and keeping the adventure alive is more important than making a lot of money. He uses his YouTube account to post his Ironman successes and other activities that he takes part in on a weekly and daily basis. Most of his stories are dedicated to hard moments he faced in life as well as things that he just enjoys.

Last winter, Valentí ran to Santiago from Barcelona for a total of 10 days. The run was to commemorate his mother who had passed away. All of his passion and driving force is something that can be admired and respected by thousands of fans from all around the world that watch his videos. What he is taking part of is great for living, team building, coaching and so many more aspects of life.

WP-Camino-sign After hearing Valentí talk in class, we all asked ourselves, what is journalism? This one word can be defined in so many different ways. Journalism to one may mean a completely different thing to someone else. Journalism to Valentí means storytelling. He uses his life journey as a way of expressing meaning to viewers.

Conclusively, he is an influencer. Companies and businesses pay him to promote their brands. One specifically was a Turkish airline company that paid to fly him to New York City to use his creativity to show the entire city in a video and post it on his YouTube account where it would reach thousands of people. This would help market for the Turkish company.

Although Influencer marketing is sometimes noted as being a newer technique, taking advantage of the way social media has created individuals with online reach and influence it is an old marketing technique. Influencer marketing is about connecting a brand or product with individuals who have the influence to reach and engage the customers that would be the same target as your brand or product. When successful, it can be extremely beneficial for your campaign.

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According to Reelseo, A Video Marketer’s Guide, “From its origins as a simple video sharing platform, Youtube has since changed the face of video consumption—Youtube viewers are seeking out engaging, compelling, entertaining video content that offers value in and of itself.” Some of the most successful YouTube videos are ones that have been creators. Brands are able to use this to fuel their business by directly working with YouTubers who already understand their network and fan base and bring focus onto the brands they are trying to represent. Until now, the only way that brands could connect with influencers online was through reaching out directly or using a multi channel network. However, now with the launch of FameBit, brands are able to collaborate with YouTubers to help them reach a particular target audience. Using this virtual marketplace, brands can request and receive influencer proposals and work directly with relevant channels without a need for a middleman.


It is interesting to note that there are hundreds of well-liked YouTubers out there in addition to Valentí. They are all making a difference, which benefits the lives of their fans and brands by doing something they are passionate about.

You had me at Merlot

Parés Baltà is a family owned winery in the Penedès region dating back to 1790.  There, they produce wines and Spanish cavas from the grapes that grow in their own vineyards.  Since the 2004 harvest, the vineyards have been certified as ecological and organic.  The winery is located in Pacs del Penedès, which is approximately 55 kilometers south of Barcelona.  It is a great place to visit to learn how they make their wines, take guided tours to the vineyards and winery and learn more about organic soil and aging that is an important part of the organic wine making process.

There is a third generation of the family that is active in running the winery.  The person who founded their empire is the grandmother who is 97 years old.  The name of the vineyard, Parés Baltà, comes from the grandfather’s name and the wife’s name, Balta.  They have a custom of naming all of their wines after the ladies in the family because the two granddaughters work as chemists, and they make the blends and determine when to the pick the grapes.  IMG_7820Now they are beginning to actually produce enough wine so that they can export to the United States.  They are already in several states including, Massachusetts, New York City, Pennsylvania, Texas and Connecticut.  They are only selling a select number of wines in these states but hope to expand within the next two years.  This vineyard along with the other two that they own, produce almost 300,000 bottles per year. enology-ParesBalta-MElenaJimenez

In the Penedès region alone, there are different types of earth that make up each vineyard that this family owns.  The first is the non-eco system part which is just earth and there they use pesticides.  The second is in the mountains where the earth is made up of a lot of red clay, which creates a different type of grape to be grown.  The third is on their Parés Baltà vineyard farm, which is made up mostly of dirt with a lot of slate, and that slate adds certain chemicals and flavors to the wine.

The vineyards of the Parés Baltà estates extend to a variety of soils with different climates.  The climates are defined by different areas of sun exposure, rain fall, altitude etc.  These climates and soils favor the grapes differently which effects the development and growth of the wine and how it will taste.  This estate is situated on altitudes ranging from 170 to almost 800 meters and is only 10 kilometers from the sea.  In their vineyard, they have a wide range of calcareous soil, clay, areas with important quantities of marine fossils—all of which play an active role and influence on the wines they produce.

The soil is not the only key ingredient but the grapes are also treasured at Parés Baltà.  Some indigenous grapes like the Garnatxa, the Xarel.lo, the Macabeo and the Parellada are very valuable.  With diverse soil and climate, this vineyard also has Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraimer, Pinot Noir, Mencía and Merlot, which are kept, on higher altitude grounds with cooler temperatures.  With warmer temperatures, lower down on the vineyards are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Tempranillo, Muscat, Petit Verdot, and Touriga Nacional.

Pares-Balta-2This winery cultivates the vineyard in an ecological way without use of any pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizer.  Their fertilizing process involves 300 sheep that come down from the mountains and eat the natural grass that is in the fields where other vineyards only use dirt rather than grass.  After this process, they create their excrement or sheep droppings and that goes into the soil as fertilizer. They also use bees for pollination during the flowering season.  No artificial irrigation is done; the only water that the vines will receive comes from natural rain or is taken from the roots.


Another way Parés Baltà maintains an organic vineyard is they take the dung from cows and fill them in 450 cow horns which they burry into the ground for about 3-6 months.  After the time has reached, they empty the cow horns into a pile and use that as fertilizer.  They mix this waste with water and spray it over the fields.  The reason why they use the cow horns is because the horns contain calcium, and that is one of the things needed to grow strong plants.  The horns are only used about 3-4 times before they start to loose most of their calcium so they grind up the horns or they give them away.  A very interesting thing about the horn is that each one has rings around it and each ring represents the birth of a baby cow.

A final way that the vineyard makes their wines organic is by taking the excrement from the sheep, mixing it with some of the native plants and putting it into barrels that are buried inside the ground.  This process decomposes the excrement in the barrels for about 6 months.  After the time is up, they mix it with water to a very fine mist and they use it to spray on the leaves once the grapes are growing.   This is the same process I described above with the cow waste.

Inside the vineyard, the cellars are 40 feet underground and are in the shape of the Castilian cross and have four chambers, north, south, east, and west.  When visiting the winery, about three of the chambers were filled with cava, a special Spanish sparkling wine that is special to the region and can sit there from 6-30 months.   The cellar has a historical importance because during the Spanish Civil War people were able to hide there from Franco’s army.  The other interesting thing the cellar has is an old fashioned elevator that is over 100 years old.  This is used to lift the barrels.  Our guide explained that because there are no parts available for this old elevator if it breaks, there is nothing they can do to fix it short of replacing the entire system.

The barrels that Parés Baltà use are made of oak and most of which are built in France.  However, the wood that some of them have can actually come from America.  One of the ways that they add a distinct flavor to their wine is they purchase barrels that have been burnt on the inside.  The burnt flavor of the oak affects the taste of the wine.  However, you can only use the same barrel for a few years because longer than that, the oak  loses its potency.  Contrary to other growers, this vineyard does not sell its grapes and bottles, they only sell their wine on the farm.  If taking a tour you will be able to see the various tools used to mix the grapes including steel rods.  Not only do they use oak barrels but they also use some stainless steel silos.

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Cava wines from this particular vineyard and from other wines from this region are equal in ranking by the international authorities as those from the French champagne region.  Parés Baltà, always keeping a high quality as its goal, aims to produce some of the best and most interesting wines in the world with the unique personality that many grapes bring.


Parés Baltà is a very special place that offers vineyard tours, wine tastings, and interesting secrets to their underground cellars full of cava.  Through their use of organic soil and grape blends, they are able to create some of the finest wine collections in the Penedès region. If ever in the area, stop by for a beautiful afternoon and enjoy my favorite, the Honeymoon white wine.

Digital Storytelling


Digital Storytelling is a short form of digital media that allows everyday people to share aspects of their life through a combination of text, pictures, audio clips etc. There are two key concepts that all digital stories must have. The first being that each story must be nonlinear, meaning that it jumps around and does not tell you where to begin. The second being that each medium must be complementary. This means that the new information is important and brought in different ways.

Digital storytelling is also known as a multimedia story. Some advantages that follow are it 1. Provides background information on a story, 2. It provides graphics and other forms of interesting appeal to the story, 3. It is able to gain feedback from viewers.

There are various free tools used for digital storytelling. Some of which include:


  1. Animoto– This tool features unlimited videos. It takes just a few minutes to create a video or presentation. It is able to incorporate images, video clips, music and text. 
  2. Bubblr– It is a tool that enables you to create a comic strip using photos from a flickr account.
  3. Capzles– This is a tool that allows you to create a multimedia platform bring your stories together with videos, photos, music, blogs and documents.
  4. Cartoonist– This tool is able to create cartoons or personal digital stories consisting of professional backgrounds, characters, props, images, and text. It is great for creating personal narratives.
  5. Comic Master– Allows you to creat your own short graphic novel. This tool allows you to decided how you want the page to look, allows for background choices, chooses characters and props and dialogue or captions.
  6. Domo Animate– Allows you to import pictures and add music.
  7. Generator- A space where you can explore the moving image and share your creations with others.
  8. MakeBeliefsComix– Create your own comic strip where you have options for characters and emotions. Able to add colored backgrounds, objects and panels.
  9. MapSkip– Creates a weave of stores which mark up places in Google Maps with stores and photos.
  10. PicLits– Great tool for creative writing that matches images with keywords.
  11. Pixton– Communicates graphically with comics.
  12. Slidestory– Combines pictures and narration to make a presentation to share.
  13. Smilebox– Quick way to create slideshows, invitations, greetings, collages, scrapbooks and photo albums from your computer.
  14.– Published stories for kids.
  15. Storybird– Visual stories that curate artwork from illustrators and animators.
  16. Zimmer Twins– Site devoted to kids and creative storytelling.
  17. ZooBurst– Tool that lets anyone create his or her own 3D pop up book.
  18. Puppet Pals– Shows with animation and audio.
  19. ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard– Tool that allows you record voice over whiteboard tutorials and share them online.
  20. Sock Puppets– Tool that incorporates lip synced videos and share them on Facebook and YouTube.
  21. Toontastic– Tool that enables children to draw, animate and share their own cartoons with friends and family.

There are a variety of other useful tools for digital storytelling. All of which are previously listed are free, easy to use and do what they say they will.

Stay Classy & Corporate

A corporate blog is a blog created by an organization to reach a specific objective. The benefits of having a corporate blog is that it is inexpensive, shows customer loyalty, creates networking, gives feedback to the business, shows effectiveness and much more.

There are five different types of corporate blogs. The first type is called a brand blog. The purpose of this blog is to introduce a new brand or to insist on an existing one. The second type is called a product or service blog. The purpose is to test a product or service and get feedback from customers. The third type of blog is an employee blog. This is a corporate blog made by the employer, boss, or supervisor of a company. The fourth type of blog is for special happenings. This is to help prepare and talk about a special happening that is going on or about to take place. The last type of blog is called a sector blog. This type of a blog is used to promote a specific product for a specific market.


All of these blogs are extremely beneficial for company’s to market their products or services and be able to interact with customers through out the process. Corporate blogs have become very beneficial and can fulfill several goals—one being that they are able to drive people to their company website. By having social interactions on the blog, you are able to bring conversations, visitors and interactions into your social hub where you are able to monitor the success. It leads a very informal way of communicating to a business relationship.

Websites are commercial outlets that are informational and transactional for consumers. The goal of the site is to help Internet users find the information they need to order as efficiently and fast as possible and help get you connected to customer service if there is any issue doing so. Websites are directly business related. Although this is important and one major reason why corporate blogs should provide a link to the company’s website, a blog focuses more on advice, insights, conversations. Blogs are much less commercial and more informal and personal. They are used to spark the audience’s attention and take them onto the next level—business. This type of work improves credibility and trust in the business.

Corporate blogs provide more types of information. Even though websites offer features of products and services, blogs allow customers to get more in depth information about something they might be interested in purchasing. You are able to ask specific questions, read other people’s opinions and get as in depth about something that sparks your interest. Another huge benefit to a corporate blog is that they help the company show up higher on Google search because blogs are a great way to develop more user generated content (UGC) and create tags that traffic to search engines.


Another key benefit of having a corporate blog is receiving endless amounts of feedback. Receiving comments and feedback allows the business to enhance any glitches in a product or service. Even if people do not comment or provide feedback directly, a blog allows you to track virtually anything that happens across multiple channels. Some examples of this would be the number of visitors a page receives or the percentage of search results landing in the first three search pages driven by a blog.

One thing that many people probably don’t even think about is that with corporate blogs, companies no longer need to survey consumers. Because they have a site that is open for discussion and opinions, they receive a lot of their feedback and statistics from there. Conclusively, corporate blogs are changing organizations and creating deeper markets for themselves.