Besides instagram and hip hop, I think our furry friends are totally winning during the coronavirus. No longer do our canine friends spend their days laying in wait for the humans to get home from work or take a break to play, because while we shelter in place, they’re getting to enjoy company and companionship 24/7.
I had the chance to talk to Brett Podolsky of The Farmer’s Dog and we chatted about what his company does when it comes to nutrition and feeding our pups, but he also offered ideas for games we can play with them indoors.
His 5 indoor games to play with dogs include, fetch, tug and a stairway dash. So, press play to hear why it’s never too late to teach a dog new tricks.
Like it or not, masks are here to stay. In what has become the season’s most “essential” fashion accessory, you really shouldn’t leave home without it…and even better if you can just STAY HOME! Whether you like it or not, we are in a pandemic. Medical grade masks (N95) are in short supply, and while other masks (i.e. disposable, homemade, etc…) may not provide absolute protection, they are better than nothing.
The CDC began recommending that we all wear masks when we go out in public, IF we have to go out in public for groceries or other essentials. Fortunately, my Mom made masks for my household so we have them just in case, but really, let’s be honest, my kids are not taking trips to the store with me or their Dad. So, for the foreseeable future, they won’t be donning the face-wear, as long as we can keep them at home.
It’s pretty crazy to think that this is the new normal, that even when this coronavirus aka COVID-19, gets under control, masks will be an everyday accessory. When you leave the house you’ll ask yourself, do I have my keys, wallet, phone…MASK!?! And as scary or mind-blowing as it may sound, sporting as mask can literally be a matter of life and death for some people. Not only must we wash hands, social distance and practice other safety measures to protect ourselves, we have to wear the mask, so we can do our part to save others! REAL TALK!
Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox now. I am no expert, but I will default to listening to the experts, health and medical professionals who are way more knowledgeable than me on the topic of virus protection and pandemics. I am not going to take any chances, and while for some of us it may seem like common sense, there are lots of questions out there about how to properly wear a mask or how to effectively clean it… and did you know children 2 and under don’t need masks, because it can pose other problems (breathing), for the little ones.
Check out this interview I did on FB with Dr. Eudene Harry, as she breaks it down and “unmasks” the answers to these frequently asked MASK questions. The best thing you can do for you and your loved ones right now is to stay informed and have the information to make good decisions. Stay healthy!
Most of us like to eat, but many of us struggle when it comes to cooking up new recipes or stepping outside of our comfort zone when we’re in the kitchen and grocery store. Okay, I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I will admit, I tend to stick to what I know when I shop for food or order ff the menu at a restaurant. I struggle with wanting to eat healthier versus eating what’s readily available, and that internal battle happens more often than not!
Lately there’s been a buzz around meal delivery services, meal prep and meal planning. I’m usually the last to try new things, and so I haven’t whole-hardheartedly experienced any of the above, but I have done some online research and learned a little about how it works..either from people around me or posts I see on the internet.
Today I had the opportunity to chat with Scott Jones of eMeals and he told me how the app works and how it can help make life easier when it comes to food to feed your family, whether it’s new meal ideas, grocery shopping and/or meal planning. And, I have to say, in this day of grocery delivery and shopping online, maybe it’s time to start seriously considering the “futuristic” way of grocery/meal shopping in a simpler, more convenient way.
If you’ve ever considered journaling, but didn’t know how to get started, the Pen2Paper Project is offering tips, ideas and advice on how to begin putting your thoughts and intentions on paper. I’ve kept a journal on and off myself, but never have been super consistent about it. I will say, that especially now as we deal with a unique, high stress time, I can see how keep a journal can help us stay focused and balanced.
In the interview, Jayne Portnoy talk about how keeping a journal can eliminate stress, help to re-gain awareness, make better decisions and overall, be more productive. A few of her key tips are not to overthink it, set aside a simple 7 minutes to write and keep it with you. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, post its, cards or whatever you have handy will work. It’s all about speaking your mind and releasing your thoughts!
Today I posted some “Flashback Friday” photos of a position I once held and at the time it was my ideal “dream job.” It’s been on my heart for a while to write about it, and share my experience, but only now 3+ years later, am I finding that inner push to finally let it all out. I work in television. I have worked in television since going to college and studying broadcast journalism. I don’t have a defining moment that stands out where I just knew it was the path I needed to follow, but as I like to describe myself, I am a connector. I love being in the know, providing information and sharing it with others. I pride myself in having a diverse network of friends, family and contacts from all demographics, cultures, backgrounds and industries. Nothing makes me happier than being able to connect people and feel like I’m helping out, making a difference in someone’s project, position and life.
Okay, so back to the dream job. In 2014, after several years hiatus from a contracted TV role, (I had been working steadily as a freelancer for years), I got a unique job offer to host a daily 1-hour lifestyle television show in Virginia, called the Hampton Roads Show. I was still a pretty new Mommy with 2 kids under 2, feeling intense pressure to find financial stability and provide, and I felt it was necessary for me to get back into a full time role and continue pursuing my dream of hosting a show…and so, there I was..about to live out my dream. Up to that point, I hadn’t really spent any time in Southern Virginia, but I looked at it as a place that would be a little slower paced than Miami, certainly more affordable and of course, when it comes to working in TV, the opportunities are few and far between, so you go where the job is.
It started off fine and all, everyone was very welcoming and the excitement of the newness of the job and learning all about the area consumed me. I enjoyed being on live TV everyday and immersing myself in the people and culture of the Tidewater area. I was working in the industry I wanted to work in, as a TV host, interviewing celebrities, comedians & community members, talking about new movie releases, cooking with chefs, producing feature stories and profiles, etc… all the while providing information and entertainment to the viewing audience.
However, slowly but surely…my personal circumstances surrounding my job and some of the downside that comes with the territory of working in TV, began to change my perspective and affect my outlook. After a short while, I started to think the area might not be the best for me long term. I had moved to Norfolk, Virginia after nearly a decade of living in Miami, Florida…and this was my first real experience living in the “south.” Plus, being born and raised in the Bay Area, California, let’s just say it’s a different experience. So then, I began to wonder if this was the right place for me and my kids. I’m not saying it was bad, but the bubbles I had been living in were drastically different, and I get it. The diversity and attitudes I grew up with are polar opposite to those in other parts of the country…it’s no wonder the country is so divided these days.
Nevertheless, I had signed on for 3 years and I was determined to make it work. I am BIG on commitments and delivering on what I signed up for. I am highly resourceful and always give my 100%. I rarely give up, which can be both positive and negative, because while I value integrity to the fullest, sometimes my unwillingness to throw in the towel can (literally) drive me crazy. At work, I enjoyed my duties and responsibilities. It was amazing to meet and have conversations with so many interesting people on a daily basis. The executive producer on the show is an incredibly kind person who is insanely talented, smart and creative leader who made magic happen daily. The show’s producer was also very understanding and easy to work with, she was always in my corner and very welcoming as I settled into the role. And, of course my co-host, was also absolutely supportive and helpful, easy to talk to and work with everyday. Honestly, the culture at the station was very positive and everyone there made me feel welcome.
So here’s when the “dream” part of the job wasn’t so dreamy anymore… in this age of social media, criticism is swift and can be downright ugly. Although I know I was qualified for the position and brought so much relevant experience to the job, I was far from immune to the not nice commentary on social media. The previous host had been there from the show’s inception, so a lot of the station staff and viewing audience was very sad to see her go, and not ready for an “outsider.” I recall feeling like I just wasn’t fitting in. There were constant comments about the desire for a local host or how they missed the old one, and then other critiques of my looks, etc… but some direct personal attacks on me too. I recall one instance where I posted a short video clip of me assembling a high chair that we were including in a cool baby products round up for the show. An individual immediately attacked my intelligence and ability to adequately put it together. I responded tactfully, and the poster soon deleted the comment – wish I had screen shot it. Hey, those things shouldn’t get to you…but on top of not feeling completely accepted, I began to question if I was in the right place. However, by the numbers, the show was the #1 lifestyle show in the market and ratings grew every single quarter I was a host on the show.
At home, I had to shift into full Mommy mode everyday when I got home. At first the mommy guilt was tough to fight through, but I had to do what I had to do. My relationship had become very complicated and he made it clear he was not happy nor interested in remaining in Virginia. That eventually led to him ironically finding work on the other side of the country, in my hometown Bay Area and leaving. So, on top of then having to find daily child care while I was away at work everyday, a pipe froze and subsequently burst in the condo unit we were living in, so we had to “evacuate,” first staying in a nearby hotel, before making a temporary move to another home for the next few months, courtesy of a caring anchor at the station. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.
Luckily I found a wonderful nanny to watch after my babies, and I also had a couple mommy friends in the neighborhood who helped me stay sane. As I neared the one year mark at my job, the weight of life was squarely on my shoulders. I felt the demands of being a full-time working mom, constant financial responsibilities, a full disconnect with the father of my children and I was alone. I was living in constant conflict of fulfilling my contractual obligation to the station, or finding a way out to step back and get my life back in order. In television, a hosting job can be so elusive and you definitely don’t want to burn bridges, and I was torn between what was the right thing to do. Looking back, I somehow persevered on crazy days where snow shut down life basically, but I still had to drive and get into work…and thankfully my nanny braved it too, to get to me to watch the kids. Other days there would be so much rain, I don’t know how I navigated high water and traffic, taking back roads to make it to the studio, but I did it. I put a smile on my face and performed my job to the best of my ability day in and out, even when I froze as we did live remote shows, outside in 30 degree weather!
All this to say, it was almost my dream job. I am ever thankful for that opportunity and chance to host a daily lifestyle show…if only I could have taken that show and put it in an area that made more sense for me and my family. There was just no way to know, until I actually packed up and moved there. Eventually, I made the decision to leave my “dream job” and go home to the Bay. I was really scared and nervous about fully revealing my personal situation to my boss and my desire to be let out of my contract. Surprisingly, she was more than understanding and supportive of my decision. We came up with a plan for my exit and timeline for them to find a replacement for me, who I would train to take over, to make the transition easier for everyone. In the back of my mind I had been fearful that I would not be allowed to cut my contract short, that I would have to pay penalties, that I had let everyone down (including myself) and it was the end of my career. But, being honest and upfront about what I was going through and thankfully having understanding management, allowed me to walk away from my almost dream job.
These days I find myself at a different crossroads. Since moving back to the Bay Area, I have fully enjoyed being in close proximity to my family and friends, having their full support and exposing my children to the same bubble I have grown up in. I’m surrounded by a familiar landscape and am even fortunate to work freelance as a TV/Radio host… but my heart still wonders about my almost dream job, and if there will ever be another.
When I think about my early visits to Disneyland when I was a child, the Main Street Electrical Parade is one of the first things that comes to mind, after Mickey and Minnie. In fact, if I’m being honest, I never even realized it went away….there definitely was a time lapse between my childhood, to now being a parent where I hadn’t visited Disneyland in YEARS!
Last year when I took my boys to Anaheim and Disneyland for the first time, I didn’t realize the night parade was not the same one I was accustomed to seeing during my visits as a kid. And, while the parade(s) we saw were awesome in their own right, it was very exciting for me to hear that the Main Street Electrical Parade is lighting up Disneyland once again!!!
There sure is something about it that’s very nostalgic to me, and being able to share that experience with the kids is very cool, not to mention maybe I won’t feel so “dated,” as the characters and visuals that amused me as a child will have the same effect on them today! All this being said, I got to do an interview about this excited (limited time) event at Disneyland. I spoke to Disneyland spokesman Eddy Collins and the man mouse himself, MICKEY MOUSE even dropped in on the interview I did for Bay Area LIFE.
If you want to see it and “relive” that childhood experience or maybe see it for the very first time, be sure to visit Disneyland Resort by June 18!!
The Bay Area Super Bowl has come and gone…and the reality is we probably won’t see it again here anytime soon. Locals are glad the traffic is gone and city life will return to “normal.” I’m glad that it came through the Bay and I was lucky enough to attend some of the events and fanfare leading up to it. No, I didn’t go to the game, lots of people kept asking me if I was going, but I’m more of the mindset that if my team’s not in it, I’m better off watching from the convenience of my couch. I did however attend some of the preceding week’s pre-game soirees around town. I’ve posted some of my favorite snaps from my Super Bowl week in the City below…
There are so many events happening around the Bay Area this week related to Super Bowl 50, and while I will do my part to socialize and network at the various parties around town, I also took some time out to lend a hand in a KaBoom playground build in San Jose. I got involved, since ESPN invited some of the Disney (parent company) affiliates to pitch in, including ABC7 where I work part time. Also in the mix were other local community members and members of the Raiders and 49ers organizations too.
What brought this experience even closer to home is that fact that it was happening in my hometown San Jose. To have the opportunity to construct a playground for kids that are growing up among the same streets I did, made it all the more special. Not to mention that these days as a Mom, I spend A LOT of time hanging out at neighborhood playgrounds with my kiddos. I can’t wait to bring them by this one to show off what I did! 🙂
At any rate, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m not particularly strong and while I was my Daddy’s little helper in construction projects growing up…my handy-ness is limited to the “basics.” Anyhow, this is how it went down, all the volunteers, showed up bright and early and we were divided into groups with a team leader. Each group was responsible for a specific component of the playground.
The group I was assigned to was in charge of 2 directional sign posts. We had to paint arrows and think of what we were going to write on them. We decided on one post carrying “location” tags and the other would have inspirational “directions.”
I was fortunate not to be mixing and pouring concrete aka “getting dirty,” (although I did some, to secure our post in the ground), and other groups were assembling the play equipment, painting a mural, erecting gazebos and sitting areas, etc…
And, I think my assignment was extra special because I got to work with some of the kids who live in the community and took the initiative to volunteer to help make it happen. I was impressed at the efforts by these young men.
The whole playground was constructed in about 6 hours. I mean of course they will properly inspect it and make sure it is sound for youngsters to start using it, but I was truly in awe of how quickly it all came together. It was a great day of teamwork and community service.