Big News! Cup of Charisma at Social Media Breakfast

    Jillian Goltzman (Cup of Charisma) at the first Houston Bloggers Meetup.

    Hello lovely readers! I am so excited to share that I’ve been selected as a speaker at Houston Social Media Breakfast. If you’ve never been before, it’s a free and informative gathering held monthly at Canopy. Aside from eating the very best meal of the day with like-minded social media and communication folks, speakers from across Houston come to speak about topics they are experts in. Join me TOMORROW at 8:30 a.m. – it’ll be nice to have some familiar faces in the room!

    I was honored when host Kami Huyse contacted me to be a speaker. I had to do a triple-take and re-read the message three times before realizing that she wanted ME to speak. It’s such a cool experience to see this blog grow into what it is. I couldn’t have done this without YOU, so thank you for being a fan and showing your support.

    I’ll be talking about how to grow a relevant audience on Instagram in a way that applies to both your personal brand and your business.If you’re not based in Houston, you can still tune in! If you want to attend virtually we will live stream from this link at the appointed time. The stream will just appear when we go live.

    As Houston Social Media Breakfast so eloquently stated:

    Last year was the year that Instagram grew up! They opened up business profiles, added analytics and opened up advertising. They also made a lot of changes to the way the system works, including the algorithm that determines who sees your posts (thanks, Facebook). They also added a bunch of new features, including stories and now the latest, live video.

    It is a fast-growing platform with 150 million daily users, which is up from 100 million just last October. It hits a young demographic, with 59% of users aged 1-29 and 33% of users aged 30-49 using the platform.

    Here are just a few of the things we will cover:

    – A rundown of all the new features and how to use them
    – The three ways you can share video on Instagram and why you should
    – Tips for how to best engage viewers on Instagram,
    – Ideas for getting people back to your site from Instagram
    – Curating your feed and the best editing apps/schedulers,
    – Crafting the perfect caption and hashtags to attract a community,
    – Using Instagram to engage with influencers,
    – Understanding the demographics and etiquette of the platform


    Me – hi guys!

    Kami Huyse, Moderator of SMBHOU

    Kami Huyse is a digital strategist, speaker and author, connecting people and ideas. She has been the moderator of the Social Media Breakfast of Houston since 2009. She also serve as CEO of Zoetica Media, a digital marketing and public relations agency in Houston.

    Facebook Page URL:
    Instagram URL:
    Snapchat: @kamichats

    Will I see you there?

    Social Good

    Why I March: My Women’s March Story

    Contrary to popular belief, you can be in a world bustling with seven billion people and still feel alone. Perhaps by primal default, we often pass through life in a bubble of our own stories, struggles, successes, and anxieties. We subconsciously look inward, seeing life through our singular set of prescription lenses—whether rose-colored or gray. After seeing injustice, it’s easy to laydown—perhaps that is what we’re expected to do. It isn’t until we remove the lenses that we acknowledge the 7 billion unique and colorful lives surround us, each with their stories, messages, and passions. The feeling of solitude dissipates when we wake up and realize that we are one voice in a dangerously beautiful ecosystem.

    I use dangerously with intention. I know and understand that not all people dwelling in our system have the best intentions. While the world is strung together by the 7 billion different heartbeats, you should know there are more beating for the same reasons as you than you may think. Those beating for equality, justice, world preservation and humanity have been syncing in unison and fighting to push forward for centuries, but yesterday those hearts felt a tremor so strong in shook up the entire world in a way we’ll never forget.

    Photo by Kendall Hanna

    I proudly marched in Houston, one of an estimated 22,000 people, in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. Yesterday, we held a pen to the pages of a yet-to-be-written history book for our future children and grandchildren to read and remember. We will not be a footnote, but a chapter in a revolution built on love. I am just one of more than one million authors who made history, so I will share my story with you in hopes that it offers a sense of belonging and compassion. In hopes that you know you are not alone.

    As I walked toward City Hall and heard the chanting of 22,000 voices, I could not have anticipated the feelings that came over me. Every piece of self-doubt and personal struggle I felt seemed to melt off my exterior as the sun beat down on a woke congregation. The minutia of stress I had culminating inside me over trivial to-do list items fell to the floor as I marched over the fleeting superficialities. Nothing mattered but this moment.

    As I moved through the crowd, my eyes watered with what felt more like the tears of one million passionate women than just my own. I was not alone, and neither are you.

    Mayor Sylvester Turner took the stage and when he spoke the familiar promise of “liberty and justice for all…everybody,” the crowd rallied with a lightness to outweigh even the darkest of times. A preponderance of signs in every color painted the skyline. Flags swayed in concordance with voices of determination—flags of not just red, white, and blue, but rainbow, too. Fists of every race were hoisted high in powerful resistance, not in violence but the pursuit of equality. When it was all over, women and their allies gathered to the front of the stage for hugs and a much welcomed girl-power dance party.

    Of the hugs I received from complete strangers and laughs shared over witty signage, there was one interaction that will be stamped onto my heart for the rest of my existence. One father walked up to me and my sign to read it aloud to his young daughter. She couldn’t have been more than six years old, so he raised her up on his shoulder to say: “Look at that honey, read her sign. You must always remember that you are valuable, powerful and deserving of every opportunity.” She was my momentary brush with the future I stand for; without knowing, this little girl was the reason I marched.

    I left the sea of protesters feeling humbled and eager to share my experience. Seeing the pictures of my friends at different marches across the country filled me with even more hope. I wasn’t surprised to see negativity on my social media pages from readers. As a woman, a journalist and human being, I will never apologize for speaking out for what I believe is right. If you’re a woman who has beliefs outside of my own, I will STILL march for you each and every opportunity.

    So let me unapologetically let the reasons I march be known:

    • I march for women because we deserve to be worth the same value as a man. Our bodies are our own and we should not neglect women’s health and turn away from organizations that offer affordable birth control, STD testings, breast exams and so much more.
    • I march for my fellow survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who have looked to our government for protection, guidance, counseling, and JUSTICE during the most difficult and isolated moments of our lives—lives we almost lost and fought vigorously for. I march for the women like me who fought in courtroom after courtroom to make it known that no one has the right to harm them, especially a man. My fight is one that I have not told many of you and one day will. Speaking up about violence, let alone escaping and taking steps to prosecute, is a huge challenge for women who have been trapped into feeling afraid for their lives, a fear that can carry on for years after the abuse. The proposal to cut 25 domestic violence and sexual assault grants is not only a frightening trigger for survivors, but an egregious attack that coincides with the dark mentality violence is born from. I might be safe now, but what about the 1 in 3 who are not?
    • I march for my LGBTQ friends who fought for their right to marry and be their individual selves.
    • I march for my Muslim friends who suffer each day because of the way they look and the religion they practice.
    • I march for my friends of color who fear for their lives because of systemic racism; ones who’s parents marched to disband segregation.
    • I march as a journalist for free speech and freedom of the press to report on the TRUTH.
    • I march for people living with disabilities, like my Down Syndrome nephew Jaedenwho could teach the world about kindness more than any bully who calls him a “retard.”
    • I march for you.

    Will you stand with me?

    Have a personal Womens March story? Share it in the comments below. Please also consider checking out and donating to the following organizations:


    Anti-Defamation League

    She Should Run

    Planned Parenthood (To the naysayers, please look at the services they offer; there are a lot more than what you think)

    Houston Area Women’s Center


    Photo by Kendall Hanna

    Photo by Kendall Hanna

    Events Social Good

    Via Colori Brings the Colors of the World to Houston

    via-colori-9Community. That word grows in importance to me every day. This year more than ever, I desperately NEED that community – the reassurance that good, caring people walk among us. In a time where negative headlines and difficult news infiltrate our personal bubbles and magnify our echo chambers, it may feel like you need to hold a flashlight through the darkness to find something worth pursuing and contributing. Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival, a fundraiser for local nonprofit The Center for Hearing and Speech, brought 25,000 Houstonians together to raise $400,000 on Nov. 19-20. If you needed more reminding that there is good in the world, look no further.

    If you follow me on social media, you may remember seeing my post about the Via Colori Blogger Happy Hour. I was beyond honored to host a party with some of my closest friends in blogging to introduce the Center for Hearing and Speech. We were lucky enough to have Kendra Scott and Isle Pedispa team up for a fantastic nail bar featuring Kendra Scott’s new nail polish line.


    It was incredible to bring the two things I love together in one format. By sharing my love for social good with local Houston bloggers, I felt like I was helping the Center for Hearing and Speech get the attention it deserves. I even got a little emotional while talking about my nephew Jaeden, who is hard of hearing and doesn’t yet speak, when sharing the medical miracles made by the center.


    After the event, I was on a social good high. My friends all gathered together and posed in front of the Blome’s Paperie flower wall, flashing their Kendra Scott manis, sipping Stella Artois and feeling inspired to do more in Houston. Brian, my boyfriend, even attended his first real blogging event to support me (yay!). Those strong positive feelings came full circle when I attended the festival for myself and saw the whole, colorful picture.



    More than 200 local and international artists turned the streets of downtown Houston into a massive outdoor art gallery with chalk murals inspired by the festival’s theme, A Colorful World. Via Colori also showcased 16 youth artists from local high schools through its Via Apprendista program. Colors and themes from across the globe danced across the pavement as onlookers gathered in amazement. My personal favorite (I’m a tad biased here) was the John Lennon portrait by Houston-based artist, Tim Walker (@mrsketchbook). Tim was the mastermind behind the sponsored square the folks at the festival gave me for being a media partner. You can check out ALL of the great art here.

    img_8522 img_8544 john-lennon

    Music played, crowds gathered, and I even ran into a few friends who were admiring the festivities. The festival featured 25 performers on three stages, including American Idol alumni Jessica Meuse, who capped off the weekend with a performance on the Reliant/NRG Main Stage.

    The money raised from Via Colori will help fund critical health and educational services for local children with hearing loss. I was so amazing to read that in its 11 years, Via Colori has raised more than $3 million.

    A HUGE thank you to Via Colori for being so wonderful to work with during this entire experience. Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity and to live in a city with such active hearts. 

    Special thank you to the sponsors who helped make the Blogger Happy Hour happen: 
    VERTS Mediterranean Grill / Kendra Scott / William Hill Estate /Stella Artois / Isle Pedispa /Petite Sweets / Blome’s Paperie / Bramble & Bee / KIND Snacks

    via-colori-10 via-colori-5 via-colori-6 via-colori-7 via-colori-8 via-colori-stella via-colori-12 via-colori-13 via-colori-15 via-colori-18 via-colori-20 via-colori-21 via-colori-sarah


    Flea Style: A Saturday Well Spent + Lemon Glaze


    As my apartment FINALLY comes together, I’ve been on the hunt for unique pieces to put in out home. Rather than feature modern pieces, much of my home decor is an amalgamation of vintage items and handmade tokens from friends or craft shows. There is something so special about having an artisan’s touch on a product you own. Those pieces carry heart, dedication and hours spent to become a statement piece on your mantle or bookshelf. There is just an energy evoked from handmade goods that no store-bought, mass produced product could ever emulate.

    I was SO thrilled to be approached by Flea Style to share details on their festival happening Nov. 19. Lemon Glaze was a vendor who I was recently introduced to and the shop owner Carmen is as sweet as ever. I fell in love with her sweet ceramics that featured cute bird motifs and Texas vibes.

    Here are just a few of my favorite piece that Carmen has created:


    screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-9-53-49-am   screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-9-53-09-am

    I can’t wait to swing by Flea Style to see the incredible vendors and spend probabbbbbly more than I should. To give you the full picture, Flea Style is an event hosted twice a year with two huge indoor marketplaces in Dallas and Houston. The events houses 120+ artisans and small businesses that sling a highly curated array of items from art, furniture and paper goods to clothing, jewelry and dog gear. Vendors are carefully hand-selected by the Flea Style team and must hawk vintage, handmade or one-of-a-kind items.

    Not only is the event a treasure trove, but it offers live music, food, adult beverages and activities from photo booths to giveaways.

    If you do stop by the festival at Silver Street Studios, make sure to find details here about tickets and the location.

    Social Good

    Everything You Need to Know About Via Colori Street Festival

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn blogging, it is often hard for me to come by opportunities that get my heart beating faster and moments when I know that what I’m doing is part of a bigger picture. When I visited the Center for Hearing and Speech last month, it quickly became apparent that I am now one thread contributing to an incredible Houston tapestry: Via Colori.

    For the last 10 years, Houston has been painting the town with love at the Houston Via Colori Street Festival. This year’s festival, taking place this weekend from Nov. 19-20, will captivate the city with more than 200 artists, music, food and drink, and creativity. The most important part: ALL proceeds from Houston Via Colori benefit The Center for Hearing and Speech, a local non-profit that serves children with hearing loss.

    Alba Amezcua at 2015 Houston Via Colori

    Sounds amazing, right? Here are the details:

    Downtown Houston at Hermann Square at City Hall and the surrounding streets of McKinney, Bagby and Walker.

    Saturday, November 19, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    How much does it cost to attend the festival?

    General admission pre-sale is $7 (online through 11/18), $10 at the door, and VIP Lounge Passes are $40 each. Tickets are good for both days of the festival. Click here to learn more.

    When I met with the Center for Hearing and Speech, I learned that not many people know that the organization is the beneficiary of the festival. As a transplant to this city, I think EVERY Houstonian deserves to know about the amazing work that the Center for Hearing and Speech does in their community.


    If you’ve been coming to this blog for some time, I’ve gushed over my nephew Jaeden. Born with Down syndrome yet still perfect in every way, Jaeden is such a light to everyone her meets. His happy spirit and beaming smile continues to get me through each and every dark tunnel I’ve had to experience over the years. What people don’t realize about Jaeden from photos is that he has hearing loss and cannot speak. I never understood how his hearing deficiencies were detected in the first place or how his doctors and speech pathologists would help him to vocalize as he grows up. The Center for Hearing and Speech made it clear to me that some miracles are backed by more than faith, but by diligent professionals and advanced technology.


    The Center for Hearing and Speech is the only full-service resource in Houston to teach deaf children to listen and speak without the use of sign language. Since 1947, the center has helped thousands of Houston-area children gain listening, speaking and literacy skills – the tools they need to improve their quality of life and achieve success in society. I even found out that a member of the Blogger Union moved to Houston specifically to treat her son’s hearing!

    Hearing and speech are key tools in learning and socializing. In Jaeden’s case, how could I have expected him to grow up imitating the sounds I made if he couldn’t hear me articulate them? When I toured the Center for Hearing and Speech to prep for the festival, I was so fascinated by the technology within the classrooms, as well as the opportunities students have through cochlear implants and hearing aids. If you’re curious to know more, I highly encourage you to click here to watch the video.

    While the speech and audiology clinics help students 3 weeks old to 18 years old, the Melinda Webb School is an early education program with immense amount of attention placed on students 18 months to 6 years. The center also provides awareness and education to families and educators in the Houston community.

    There are times where I feel so connected to Jaeden, but to hear him speak? That would be the most incredible feeling in the world. I can’t even imagine the conversation we’d have and my eyes well up with tears just thinking about him. While Jaeden lives in Florida and has his own path through speech and hearing therapy, I am SO grateful to be tied to an organization that gives the gift of hearing and speech to children like him and their families.

    If you’re interested in attending the Via Colori festival, snag your tickets here and make sure to stop at my square to say hello! I’ll be there all Saturday, so tweet me at @Jillian_Writes. If you’re inspired to make a larger impact after the festival, check out the volunteer opportunities at The Center for Hearing and Speech here.

    Cassandra and Raul Gallardo at 2015 Houston Via Colori.


    There’s No Age Limit to Success

    No Age Limit to Success

    The quarter-life crisis.

    Yes, it’s a thing, and no, you don’t have to feel bad about having one.

    Aptly named for the period when you’re a fourth of your way through life, the quarter-life crisis is increasingly common among twenty-somethings. It can be described as a feeling of disappointment, either with yourself or with what you haven’t accomplished yet. You’re anxious about your future, and feel as though you’ll never reach your goals, professionally, romantically, or otherwise.

    It’s possible that previous generations felt the same way, and they simply didn’t have a name for it at the time. However, some studies show that today’s generation might have a harder time dealing with this point in their life, largely because of the new presence of social media.

    Through social media, you can see your friends moving on, achieving the things you always dreamed of. You also see celebrities younger than you building empires that seem completely out of reach. However, it’s important to remember that you should never compare your daily life to others’ highlight reels.

    Today, we are faced with a lot of pressures that older generations were not. Between students loans, a harsh job market, and relationships that seemingly get more complicated the more we’re plugged in, millennials are under more pressure than ever before to be successful. When you consider everything you’re up against, you have to give yourself a break. It’s understandably hard to stay positive, but constant negativity is just going to breed more negativity.

    When you really get down, take a step back to reflect, and gain some perspective. Even though you might feel like an old crone, you’re still young, and you still have a long road ahead of you. Hell, some of the most well-known successful women didn’t make it big until their 30s. J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Wiig, Vera Wang, Tory Birch—none of them were household names until after they turned the big 3-0. And now, they’re some of the most highly sought after professionals in their field.

    If you feel like you haven’t reached your goals yet, just relax. You have plenty of time to make all of your dreams come true. The important thing is that you continue trying, and never give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. and hold your head up high.

    You’ve got this.