Friday, June 14, 2013

Life Changes but Veggies stay the Same

What's better than a Sunday-Funday Brunch with your favorite girls?!  Not much, in my book!  My friends, Jenny & Dana, dropped into Miami this past weekend, visiting from NYC.  So my other BFF, Giselle, joined the group & we went to a cool new place in the Design District called, "Egg & Dart."  I was the only Vegan in this crowd so the other girls ordered fish & steak & chicken... but not ME!

This was my brunch menu choice - watermelon salad with strawberries, mixed greens & sunflower seeds.  Yummy & light - this was the perfect choice for me - & further proof that I can ALWAYS find something to eat on ANY Menu!  And I definitely was happiest with my order choice in the group :)

So then it was back to the grind & back to work on Monday :(
And I want to debunk the mysterious myths & answer the questions I am constantly asked:

1.  Is being on TV Glamorous? 
Sometimes... but on a daily basis... No.  See pic below of me trying to style my own hair on the ground outside a hospital in 90 degree weather & 90% humidity.

2.  Do you have people to do your hair & makeup?
Really?  That pic below didn't answer that clearly enough?!  Ha Ha I wish!  We are absolutely in charge of our own makeup & hair... so whether it's good, bad, or ugly... yours truly styled it!

3.  Is being on TV fun?
Yes!  I would always pick my office below (Live Truck) over a cubicle with fluorescent lighting & carpal tunnel.  And I especially love my job when I get to show my 3 year old nephew how cool it is!  What kid isn't dazzled by TV's, technology & electronics.  My little Kenji is still amazed that I am on his TV one minute & then at his house later.  I may have a little mini-me reporter in the works... Hmmmm... maybe this little munchkin can support me one day! $$$  I gotta get him started early... he's already bilingual!  One day this kid is going to take over the world... Watch out ;)

4.  Do you have a teleprompter all the time?  Do you just read what someone else writes?
Yes & No.  Traffic, Weather & Sports Anchors & News Reporters ad-lib EVERYTHING.  News Anchors have prompters, but they are responsible for every single script.  In other words, no matter who wrote it, (writer, reporter, producer, etc.) the anchor has final say & approval since they are the ones reading it.  Also, if there is breaking news, all bets are off & everyone is ad-libbing ALL the info.

5.  Do you get to cover cool stories?
Definitely!  This is me doing a story on teenage cheetahs growing up at Zoo Miami... does it get ANY cooler than this??  I am lucky enough to be the Animal Advocate at WPLG Local 10 in Miami, so I actually get to report on A LOT of awesome animal stories ALL the time!

But after a wild day at work, it's time to make dinner at home.  I usually eat-in on work days & eat-out on my days off.  I like doing that because it's easier to control what  goes in my body when I prepare food fresh at home.  I have no problem eating out & I love to be social but my kitchen definitely has healthier options!  This is a vegan stew my friend helped me make by just throwing in every vegetable possible and lots of tomatoes too!  It's sooooo easy to make (just simmer on the stove) & it's very filling so you won't be tempted to eat bread or chips or pasta with it! 

Ok so while I fend for myself... my younger brother (read: my dad's dog) is so ridiculously spoiled that he is served breakfast in bed!  That's right... this little stinker named Bijou... is served snacks and even his meals in his doggy bowl on my parent's bed!  I don't remember that kind of service from Dear Old Dad when I was growing up!  But to be fair, Dad did bring my Mom green tea in bed & he made me my coffee with almond milk as part of my "room service."  I love visiting my parents in Vero for two reasons:
1.  There are the best hosts in the world - with my Dad providing the room service/breakfast in bed & my Mom doing everything in her power to prepare Vegan options.
2.  Dogs rule the world in their house... as they should everywhere!

But this trip to Vero was bittersweet.  Remember when I cleaned out my Nanny's apartment & helped her pack up?  Well this was the trip we said goodbye :(
50 of her closest friends threw her a little goodbye party at her apartment complex at the Club in Vero. It was nice to see how popular & loved my Nanny was among all her friends but it was really sad to see her have to move on to a chapter of her life that she really wasn't ready for.  I don't think I was ready for it either.

Nanny is 80 years old & after a long life lived pretty much everywhere in the US - with travels spanning across every continent on this planet... it was time for this wild child to settle down & let someone take care of her.  My Angel Aunt Lori moved Nanny in with her, in her home in Covington, Virginia.  Nanny could not have a better friend & loving caretaker but it's hard for everyone when a loved one's time on earth begins to dwindle.  I could write a book on my love & respect for Nanny but this is a blog so let me leave it at this...

Joanne Brown was more than a Grandmother to me.  She helped raise me when I was a little girl & she took me along with my brother every summer on cross-country trips across the US.  She taught me about:

God: by taking me to church & teaching me how to pray & thank The Lord for my blessings.
History: when we visited all the Washington Monuments in DC & most states on the East Coast.
Following my Dreams: when she showed me (numerous times) the beauty & hope that is NYC.
Being a Daredevil: when we took my Poppy hang-gliding in Georgia & her skydiving!
Adventure: my love of travel came directly from her & all the hundreds of trips we went on & still go on!
Family & the importance of it: when she took me to meet all her extended family - Nanny never passes up a family reunion!  To this day, I try to hold our family together like she always did.
Respect: when I saw how she treated & idolized her mother in Massachusetts.
To act like a lady: around boys even though I was young & stupid & I didn't want to!
Making mistakes, owning up to them & learning from them: she was always very open about her choices in life, how they shaped who she was & how she looked at the positive in them.
How to write & tell stories: Nanny is the BEST storyteller in the WORLD & I definitely inherited that skill from her!
Bravery, Survival & being a Fighter: Nanny had a hard life with some really rough situations but she came out on the other side.  She always put family first.  Her children & grandchildren are what make her life colorful & she would not be the same without all of us.
Generosity: Nanny was always the first to offer to be the driver on a road-trip or raise her hand first to volunteer for a missions trip or skip sleep to stand in line to get us kids disney tickets or a cabbage patch kid!
Living Life to the Fullest: Nanny always took chances & she taught me to take risks too.
Love: My Grandmother showed me unconditional love every day of my life.  There was NEVER a doubt in my mind & I hope she feels my love for her as well.

Nanny may not be close to me in Florida anymore but she is ALWAYS as close to me as my heart.