Beauty Matrix by Dr. Christie

Some of us may be taking a closer look in the mirror, as we spend mandatory time at home during these “shelter in place” orders. Right now elective surgeries are on hold, but if it’s something you’ve been thinking about doing or are starting to consider, it’s important to think about what your ultimate goals are, rather than a quick trendy fix.

I spoke to Dr. Christie, who is a double-board certified plastic surgeon, as well as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, based in Los Angeles. She has a business called Curated Beauty which really underscores the tone of her work and she advises one treatment that may be great for you, might not be so great for another. So, to ensure plastic surgery results are optimal, she uses her “Beauty Matrix” formula. Dr. Christie says it’s really about planning and reassessing what would be best for each person in terms of the results that are hoping for because no one wants to look like a mannequin, and sometimes a procedure may not produce the desired results. You can find out more about Dr. Christie and the Beauty Matrix formula at drchristiela.com


Meal Planing

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.

Pen2Paper Project

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!

Women’s Month Product Roundup

Long time no blog! Well, I’m hoping to be posting a little more regularly on here since we are all pretty much having to “shelter in place” to do our part to stop help prevent the spread of COVID-19. For me, that means “working from home,” not doing my regularly scheduled live weekday lifestyle show, but I figured I can still do lifestyle-ish videos and content. So expect more to come.

In the meantime, I recorded a Women’s Month (March) Product Roundup with some of my Aubrey Approved favorites!

The theme behind these products is that they were either made by women and/or designed exclusively for women! Below is the rundown of the items if you want a closer look!

Beauty Kitchen – beautykitchen.net
Radiate Wellness – radiatewellnessproducts.com
Peggy Li – peggyli.com
KATLA – KATLA.com
Skin Dipp – skinndipp.com
Pattern Curly Hair Care – patternbeauty.com
MARA Face Oil – themarabeauty.com
Strand Boards – strandboards.com
Posh Mommy – poshmommyjewelry.com

TV Host Reel

If you’re looking in the market for a job on TV, the one thing you need is a demo reel. Over the (many) years I have edited several reels (work examples) together, and this weekend I decided to put together a new one featuring some of the work I have done as a TV Lifestyle Correspondent and Host.

Fortunately or unfortunately actually, I have A LOT of footage…my problem is deciding which ones I like and what to include. The fun part is it’s like taking a small trip down memory lane going through my (TV) work clips, and recalling all the different people, places and experiences I have met along the way. It’s always refreshing for me to look back and see how I have been blessed with so many awesome experiences by simply doing my job!

Spotted on the Small Screen

Sometimes I do a little lifestyle modeling (acting), and a new spot just came out that I did for Fitbit’s new Inspire. See if you can find me in the clip below!

Some of the still images for the campaign should be coming out in stores soon.

On Set with a Dog

Earlier this year I got to use my SAG card and film a commercial for Wells Fargo, where the dog, “Sashimi,” was the star and I was her human! It was a pretty cool concept where the entire commercial was at dog-eye level, so I was considered background, where you only see me in the distance and/or my back, arm, hands, etc… Even cooler is that as I post this…the video has been seen more than 11M times via YouTube! Wow!

I think the spot came out really good and it was a fun experience working with Sashimi on set. It was actually pretty interesting to see how the trainers work with the animals to get certain shots…and this doggie certainly earned her keep for the day!

My Almost Dream Job

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.