Homeward Bound

26 06 2015


Today I made my last appearance on-air as Co-Host of The Hampton Roads Show, and I will be returning home to the Bay Area next week! It’s been lots of fun over the last 13 months on the show and I’ve had some exciting experiences and met lots of wonderful people, starting with the staff and crew on the show and at the station…as well as the chefs, comedians and range of guests who’ve stopped by the show too!

And — of course when you “leave” the next question is where are you going!?!? So, the short and simple answer is I’m leaving to be closer to family. I will be working as a freelancer in the Bay – so if you want to send work my way.. :) And, I will be have more time to focus on my duties as a Mommy to the best little boys anyone could ever ask for!!

Here’s a little Hampton Roads Show photo trip down memory lane…

photo10408655_10152789254276119_5909022366651400337_n BzB2OH0CEAAjysB11045396_930072640360880_4017649399693269057_n (1)bria9 owenwavyselfie group shot

 



We Gonna Be Championship

17 06 2015

It’s a great day for the BAY AREA!!! Congratulations to my hometown Golden State Warriors on a well-deserved 2014-2015 NBA Championship!! I wish I could be there for all the celebrations, but I assure you my spirit certainly is…and I’ll be heading home soon!! DUB NATION, STAND UP AND ENJOY this long awaited victory!!

11535876_10153476712342526_7080031152655790473_n

11537691_10153477290022526_5433502764005153330_n

11535809_10153477260572526_2691520095110076038_n



#BakeAwayDBA Campaign

11 06 2015

sassy_sweets.183181949_std

An old classmate of mine, Monique, owns a bakery in Pittsburg, California called, “Sassy Sweets & Eats.” She has been featured on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” (season 9) and in 2014 was chosen for the  “Bay Area A-List” for best Cupcakes! Now she has reached out to me because she is doing a #BakeAwayDBA campaign.

audrey1

This is how she came up with the idea:

I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a video of a 6-year old girl named Audrey. She has Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which is a rare bone marrow disorder. She just melted my heart. Her parents post videos of her singing Taylor Swift karaoke, doing Zumba and just being downright adorable. I started following her page and also started reading up on her condition. I instantly felt the need to help out her cause.

I contacted her parents, with an idea and I asked if Audrey wanted to create a cupcake and I would bring it to life and sell it at my shop and donate all proceeds to the DBA foundation… And she did! I revealed her creation and started taking orders and been shipping them across the country in mason jars! It’s been a hit so far!

audrey3

Monique’s goal is to spread awareness of DBA and raise money to be donated to the DBA Foundation, to fund research toward finding a cure. Every week she is coming up with new creations to fund the cause andin July she will travel to Kentucky to personally deliver the donation check to Audrey and her parents over the 4th of July weekend…I’m sure she’l be bringing her Sassy Sweets cupcakes too!

audrey4

So, whether you’re in the Bay Area or some other corner of the country, please consider supporting Monique through the #BakeAwayDBA campaign.

You can visit the Sassy Sweets website at http://www.sassysweetsbymonique.com



Wedding Bells in Sin City

12 05 2015

I just spent an extended weekend in Las Vegas for my younger sister Adrienne’s neon-themed wedding – she the older of my 2 younger sisters! We weren’t on the strip, but in DTLV (downtown Las Vegas) and it was filled with fun festivities, true to the style of the couple we were there to celebrate. We stayed at the Downtown Grand Hotel which is a block off from Fremont Street, recently remodeled and very comfortable (and reasonably priced). We did head over to “the strip” for one night of table and bottle service partying, but everything else was within walking distance to the hotel, which was really nice. From the Container Park to Gold Spike, The Neon Museum and her post-ceremony venues of Le Thai and Commonwealth, it was the perfect wedding weekend. Many congratulations to my sister and new brother in law, may their marriage be blessed and filled with endless love.

Check out some of my favorite photos from our Sin City festivities…

vegas9

vegasfam

vegas15

vegas18

vegassiblings

vegas3 vegascontainer



My VIP Tour of Raymond Vineyards

27 03 2015

ray3

I recently embarked on my first ever wine-tasting outing in Northern California’s “Wine Country,” and it was so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. I went with a group of ladies, as we were all celebrating my sister Adrienne’s upcoming wedding, so it was a girls getaway bachelorette weekend of sorts. Like I said, I had never been wine tasting, so I asked around for recommendations before finally settling on a VIP Tour Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena. The contact who booked gave me a heads’s up that it was a  non-conservative and atypical of a traditional winery..whatever that is. Honestly I was just expecting a plain room in the middle of a huge field of grapes on a vine and wine barrels. I couldn’t have been more wrong in “stereotyping” a vineyard/winery. This was anything but boring, typical AND oh so perfect for our occasion!

ray2

I instantly fell in love with our VIP host Gina, she was a complete doll! As soon as she saw our group, we got our glasses and popped the bubbly. Then she proceeded to take us for a short tour of their grounds, with beautiful gardens, farm animals and even a “Doggie Winery” if you will. She explained to us that they create their own energy and do their best to be “green.”

rayy

 

rayy2 rayy1

From there, the party started! We went into an indoor facility where they make the wine and this place is almost indescribable, you kind of have to experience it for yourself. It has sexy mood lighting with several Vegas showgirl-like outfitted mannequins…it had a Moulin Rouge feel…lots of “French” influence! There were elaborate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and lounge music pumping through the room..and of course we were surrounded by wine!

rayy6

rayy5rayy0rayy00

rayy8

From there we went to another outdoor area where we had an impromptu photo shoot on picturesque white lounge furniture before being ushered in to the “JCB Lounge.” JCB standing from wine maker and owner Jean Charles Boissant. The JCB Lounge is all-gold EVERYTHING! There’s also a huge projection screen and just a very rich, very high end vibe. My first thought was this is the perfect backdrop for a hip hop video! LOL!

ray

Our last stop on the VIP tour was the private Red Room. Think velvet and leopard fabrics…it was out of this world, the room just sucked you in and invited you to relax. Gina was even kind enough to let my sister pic the Beyonce Pandora station to provvde our soundtrack for the room. All in all, I was blown away by this place..and I’m sure when I return there’ll be so much more to take in that I missed this time around. We may not have went to Vegas for this bachelorette, but Raymond Vineyards made us feel like that’s where we were..and the wines were amazing too! It couldn’t have been a more perfect VIP Tour of the Winery or for my sister’s special outing. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to visit it.

rayy7rayy3

I would highly recommend this as a stop for anyone’s next jaunt into wine country. It’s nothing short of amazing and didn’t disappoint..both of which I never expected to be saying about a winery.



It’s a FastBreak Reunion

25 03 2015

kings1

One of the things that people always like to “remember” about me is that I am a former Oakland Raiderette…and I am. However, before I ever stepped foot on an NFL sideline, I had the honor of dancing among some of the most beautiful dancers I have ever shared the stage with…as a member of the Sacramento Kings FastBreak Dance Team. It was the first professional (sports) dance team I had ever been part of, and it was a very memorable experience, from the great friends I made, to the the excitement of dancing on an NBA court and being part of the Sacramento Kings community.

kings3

Well, this past weekend we had a “reunion,” where the Kings invited back FastBreak Alumni to once again hit the hardwood and dance for the crowd during its game versus the Washington Wizards. Not all the ladies made it back, but there was about 30 alumni who were able to make it for the performance. It was such good times…a real sisterhood and pleasure for me to stand among the same beautiful dancers.

kings2

We did a minute and a half dance routine to “Uptown Funk,” during a second quarter timeout and overall, we all still “got it!” :) And — one of the things that made this extra special for me was to have my family by my side, because for me, there’s no point in doing what you love if you can’t share it with the ones you love! <3

Watch a video of our performance, and see some pictures from the event below…

kings4

 

kings6

kings8

kings5



Grape Stomping

7 03 2015

In late January I participated in the Coastal Virginia Wine Fest “Grape Stomp”…and my competition was a Nathan James of iHeart Media. At the time I didn’t really consider that the weight and (foot) size difference might give him the advantage..but in hindsight…grrr!! All in all it was lots of fun, and I finally just found some photos and a video of it to share! For the record, it was my first time EVER doing something like this and I stomped out about 16 ounces…which I thought was pretty good! Nathan on the other hand had done this once before and he trumped my with something like 22 ounces?? Sheesh!! Enjoy the pictures and video below…

stomp 10445943_899501030081828_609338493708593457_n

2015-Coastal-Virginia-Wine-Fest-w-logo-24

And — YES, I did take a taste of my stomped grapes…since I was on the losing end!! :/

2015-Coastal-Virginia-Wine-Fest-w-logo-25 1926791_899501053415159_3049698382291223715_n

Check out this video below for a quick glimpse of the competition… stomping is from about 1:20- 1:50



Read Across America Day

4 03 2015

This year I had the honor of reading to 2 classes in celebration of “National Read Across America Day.” And in my case, it was days, as I read to a 2nd grade class at one school on March 2 – Dr. Seuss’ actual birthday, which spawned the reading event, and on March 4 with a pre-K class. Read across America Day is an annual event to promote reading and literacy for everyone. Thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, adults and books for the occasion.

read

I read a Dr. Seuss book to 2nd graders at Poplar Halls Elementary called, “If I Ran The Rainforest.” That was fun, I had never heard of that ‘Cat in the Hat’ book before, but they enjoyed it and were a very captive audience!

read2

The Pre-K class I read to was at James Monroe elementary. This class was very festive – I mean they are 4-year olds! Their teacher was even dressed like a fantasy storybook character… :) I didn’t read a Dr. Seuss classic to them, but instead one of my all-time favorites, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

And — in honor of my reading efforts, I received a nice certificate along with popcorn in the school’s colors!