Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another busy week in the books.

These past two months have absolutely flown by. That may very well be due to the insane schedule I've had at work and all the travel that goes with it, but I can't believe it's already almost June! It's been busy, but I have to remind myself to be thankful and take in every one of these experiences and adventures I've had over the course of my first year and a half in the PR industry. I never would have thought I'd be a part of so many cool events and see so many amazing places. Now that my travel will hopefully be slowing down a bit, I can see the silver lining to all those early mornings, long flights, and countless hours I spent working on events and media plans. 

This week, my work adventures took me on my first trip to Austin, Texas. I boarded Virgin America's inaugural flight from San Francisco to Austin, which was creatively themed "Business in the front, party in the back." Always gotta give Virgin America props for creativity in their branding!
Celebrities (and I use that term loosely here!) on this flight included Jenny Garth, Wilmer Valderama, Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port. While they were all very nice, unfortunately they didn't help much in the securing media department!
Hangin' with the former "The Hills" cast. 
Jenny Garth has still got it!

While I was in Austin, I was also busy working my blackberry for another account I've recently picked up, which is the new ownership group of the Sacramento Kings. After many years of bad, boring basketball, we now have owners that have passion, big ideas, and most importantly, a lot of money! I could not be more excited to be in the middle of this new era in Sacramento. 

Thursday night, the city of Sacramento celebrated its new owners and the fact that the team is staying in town with a "Long Live the Kings" rally. Past and present players joined the new ownership group, Mayor Kevin Johnson, and local Sacramento personalities for a fun family night in the park. My job of course, was to help manage the media, which included every single local TV affiliate in Sacramento, as well as countless radio stations, beat writers, and bloggers. And oh ya, a live national segment on ESPN's Sports Center. Overall, the night was a huge success on all fronts.
 Live Sports Center segment.
After surviving a busy week, I went home to take care of my girl Ruby who had surgery on Friday to get fixed, microchiped, and get her dew claws removed. Poor baby was so drugged up when I picked her up from the vet that she was walking into walls and banging her head on doors. Once we got home, we got cozy on the couch and watched a couple movies. For the first time in forever, I was in my pj's and ready for bed at 8pm on a Friday night. It was just what I needed!
Ruby all bandaged up. Such a trooper!

Both Ruby and I are still adjusting to Corey's new work schedule (did I mention he got an awesome new job?), but we are always happy on Saturdays when we know he's coming home! Ruby's ears go back and her eye brows perk up at the mere mention of her daddy. 

Hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day weekend! I'm really looking forward to the extra day off!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

May 20th is a very important day in my world. It is the day my mom was born. I've tried to put it into words on my blog before how amazing my mom is, but nothing I could ever type could do this woman justice. She is the most beautiful person I know, both inside and out, and she puts our family first before everything else. The love she has for my sisters and I is one of the best things in our lives. Every major milestone moment I've had, my mom has been right there and I am so thankful for that. So this blog is for her!
This weekend we celebrated mom's birthday with a special family dinner at one of her favorite restaurants, Mikuni's. All she wanted for her birthday was to have all of us together, and what momma wants, momma gets!

Mom, I know you're reading this... Happy Birthday from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for everything you do for us. We are so lucky to have you in our lives and we all love you so much!
Love Dad, Shawna, Bryan, Johnny, Steph, Corey, Ruby, Nellie, Ben, Brendan & Pixie

Friday, May 10, 2013

MVP in Miami

To borrow a line from a pretty famous basketball player, this past weekend I took my talents to South Beach. In other words, I went to Miami for a work trip. This was a work trip unlike any other, and it wasn't all sunshine and beaches as you'd imagine (but I did manage to squeeze some in!).
I spent Cinco de Mayo 2013 at South Beach.
Let's start at the beginning... This 5-day trip began in the small town of Akron, Ohio. Random, right? Most people have only heard of Akron because it is the hometown of LeBron James. I headed there to surprise some very unsuspecting students from the LeBron James Family Foundation. Little did they know, LeBron was about to be named the NBA's regular season MVP, and even more, that they would be on stage with him when he accepted the award in Miami. Most of these kids had never been outside of Ohio, let alone on an airplane, on the beach, at a 5-star hotel, and in fancy restaurants. This was the trip of a lifetime for these kids, and I was so happy to be a part of it!

Late Saturday night we landed in Miami and were picked up by a party bus to transport us to the Mandarin Oriental. The hotel was amazing to me, so I can only imagine what it was like for these kids. They were so excited about the hotel, many of the kids kept their parents up all night taking baths in the Jacuzzi tub, sitting on the balcony, and watching the plasma TV's. Their excitement gave me a whole new appreciation for the places I've gotten to see. Not everyone gets to travel, and very few people travel like we did on this trip!

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami.
Sunday started with an early morning workout on the shore of the hotel's private beach before heading to South Beach. It was pretty fitting to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Miami where the salsa music was blaring and the you could smell the food for miles. 
Photo courtesy of Erika Mayer, The LeBron James Family Foundation
After the beach, it was time to head to American Airlines arena where LeBron's MVP announcement was about to be made. Watching the kids take their seats on stage was a proud moment, and I'll never forget the looks of astonishment on their faces when LeBron walked up there. In his speech, LeBron personally thanked the kids for all their hard work in school and promised them he wouldn't let them down. Many of the kids told me that was the highlight of their lives (so far!). How cool is that?

Photo courtesy of Erika Mayer, The LeBron James Family Foundation
After I completed my media duties (the kids were on ESPN's SportsCenter!), we had an ice cream sundae celebration before dropping the kids and their parents off at a private airport for their chartered flight home. After a long 48 hours, I headed back to the fancy hotel to get some rest.

On Monday, for the first time in what felt like forever, I had some downtime. I had this private beach all to myself, and it was the most relaxed I'd been in ages.

I spent most of the day in this hammock. Heaven!
After a few hours of work, I got ready to attend my very first Miami Heat game. I could actually walk to the arena from my hotel. While the Heat lost and played pretty sluggishly, I did get my row 17 ticket upgraded to a courtside seat at halftime (it pays to know people!)

My walk to American Airlines Arena.
Not a bad view of LeBron's MVP trophy presentation...
But my view dramatically improved when I moved courtside. I could hear Derrick Rose talking the whole game.
LeBron's Nike "Witness" billboard is literally the size of the building.
I've spent most of my week since returning from Miami catching up on a lot of other work. Thank goodness it's Friday! Hope everyone has a happy mother's day weekend!