Before the pandemic, I had heard of zoom and I knew you could do these old school “party line,” style FaceTime calls, etc… but I never made time to do them or participate in them. Well, the past couple weeks, me and zoom have made fast friends, and these virtual meet-ups with my family and friends are now something I look forward to. I love the creativity in how people are connecting and being engaged with each other, and this includes celebrating “happy hour” too!
Lifestyle expert Paul Zahn joined me virtually to talk about his ideas for how to plan a virtual happy hour! He talked about using items you already have at home, picking a theme and designating a host. It’s that easy, so go, be social and have a great virtual happy hour!
If you’ve never worked from home before or have a tough time adjusting to new routines, the “stay at home” order and the idea of pretty much being confined to your home and immediate neighborhood can feel a bit restrictive and confining. And, I’m sure lots of people are quickly trying to figure out how to cope and figure out their new (temporary) normal.
One person that I can always count on for good ideas and sound advice, is my good friend Shannon McKain, who just happens to be a Keynote Speaker and is an authority on strategies to stay motivated, as well as how to pursue and plan your career. So, I asked her to join me for a Zoom interview to talk about how we can find motivation and stay productive and focused during these challenging times.
A few of my key takeaways from our chat:
Routine – Get out of bed, brush your teeth, dress the part
Goals – Set a few (immediate) goals that will help you right now
Branding – Take the time to work on your brand and be consistent on all platforms
As you will see in the interview, Shannon is a dynamic speaker who is likeable and easy to understand. She is a positive influence in my life and I was so happy to have her share some of her real life, practical wisdom in the video. To keep up with Shannon, you can visit her website: shannonmckain.com
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…
This is the final season the NBA’s Sacramento Kings will be playing at Sleep Train Arena…formerly known as Arco. Arco Arena, as so many will affectionately refer to it, is the place where my pro sports dance team career started, just a few months removed from my college graduation at San Jose State. The team is now moving to a brand new, state of the art arena in downtown Sacramento that is currently under construction. And — since “Arco” will be no more, the Kings invited us (all the team’s Alumni dancers), to perform one last halftime.
The amazing show happened just 10-days after I hit the NFL field for a pregame Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Alumni Reunion… I couldn’t be more pleased with myself (and how my body held up..lol), or the dedication and commitment all the ladies put into making the halftime come together. We all learned our choreography from a video, then whoever could make it would get together for non-mandatory weekend practices, before the day of, final fixes. I never expected to continue dancing after I hung up my “poms,” years ago, but it has been an amazing blessing to not only pick up where I left off and dance alongside so many talented dancers every so often, but really embellish in the unique sisterhood and bonds formed with every team I have had the pleasure of being on.
Below are some of the photos from our “Adios to Arco” event…yet, I’ve joked – you never know they could have us back in March or April for a final, FINAL farewell dance…hehe
It’s been a week since I had the opportunity to perform on Monday Night Football at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Last Monday, I took the field for pregame with more than 150 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Alumni to entertain the crowd before kickoff. The experience brought back the chills, some nerves and that anxious feeling you get before performing in front of tens of thousands of people! After being away from dancing on the NFL for several years now, I sort of had forgotten just how HUGE the field feels and how it feels to dance in the stadium. Plus, I had NEVER danced in a domed stadium before…during the one season I spent with the AZ Cardinals, they still played at ASU Sun Devil Stadium, so it did feel different to be in the air conditioned dome. Press play below to see video of the performance…
Anyhow, keep scrolling down to view some of the photos from my fun-filled weekend in the desert, celebrating the Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders Anniversary.
A photo posted by Aubrey Aquino (@aubreyaquinotv) on
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…
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.
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!
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!
So, whether you’re in the Bay Area or some other corner of the country, please consider supporting Monique through the #BakeAwayDBA campaign.
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…