Exciting times at KSN

The one constant in the TV business…is that it’s always changing. New technology that offers more efficient ways to do our job, different people working in different positions with different ideas…all that on top of the fact that the news of the day is always different. I generally think all that change is a good thing. It keeps me/us flexible and adaptable…and if there’s something about it you don’t like, just wait. Because it will likely change.

Lately the change of which I speak surrounds our news gathering philosophy here at KSN…and this is a change I love. If you’ve been watching…you’ve seen us switch from a “we’ve got your back” mentality to a “we’re here for you” approach. There’s nothing terribly wrong with our first philosophy, other than the fact it’s technically not grammatically correct. But the tone that comes with our new approach is much more encompassing of the events of the day here in Kansas.

Being “here for you” means KSN is deeply vested in our community. That hasn’t really changed, but the way we show that in our newscasts and our staff involvement has. Every day in our editorial meetings, as we run down what we’re feeling is the news of the day….we discuss how we’re telling stories that are “here for you.” The ‘you’ being you, our viewers. We do our best to address the stories we think will interest you and affect you. Granted, the news of the day still needs to make our broadcast as well – but we do our best to tell those stories with our community in mind.

The other change I mentioned is with our staff. You will see KSN out in our community much more, and you’ll hear about it as well. Our staff has always been investing time and energy in various civic groups and non-profits that make where we live better. Now we’ll get to share that with you. I hope it doesn’t sound like I just “drank the kool-aid” and have to say these things. I doubt anyone I work for even knows this blog exists….but we at KSN want you to know our staff isn’t just in it for ourselves. We’re vested in making where we live better.

The first way you’ll see these changes is by various promotional ads that will run on our station. And as you continue (we hope) watching KSN, you’ll see the philosophy trickle down into our broadcasts. Personally, my favorite part of the whole changes is the video you can watch below. It’s a good overview of the exciting changes at KSN. Careful – the jingle will get stuck in your head. But the lyrics are worth remembering. So here’s to the next weeks, months and years of KSN being here for you.

Doo-Dah Ditty – Walter’s Pumpkin Patch

I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year. The air feels cool and crisp, there’s usually a smell of fresh-air and maybe burning leaves, soups and sweatshirts….I love it all. I also love pumpkin patches and now that we have two littles I love pumpkin patches even more. So this week’s Doo-Dah Ditty is a shout-out to Walter’s Pumpkin Patch. We headed out there last weekend and had a great time. While admission may seem a little pricey to some, it’s not a whole lot more expensive than other local patches and the return for cost, in my opinion, is much greater. There are tons of free activities, ranging from cool slides to a huge corn bin to adult sized tricycle races…and if you want to spend a little extra there’s even more fun….like pumpkin catapults and a fun train ride among other options. They do a great job at helping your family make memories and the patch is big enough that even on a crowded, beautiful fall day – you don’t feel as though you’re in a sea of humans. Whichever pumpkin patch you choose to enjoy – it’s a great feeling knowing you’re supporting local Kansas businesses…and making priceless memories too!

Grandma Norma turns 90

Sorry for the delay in posting this week – my family took a few days off together and, while I intended to have this post ready ahead of time, it just didn’t happen. Blog posts about great people cannot be rushed. This is an extra special post for me this week…as my grandma is turning 90! October 4th is her birthday and our family celebrated a little early by all getting together over Labor Day weekend. I’ve had the honor of sharing many memories with my grandma. While I love all the memories from my childhood – of spending weeks at my grandparents house during the summer, of back-to-school shopping with my grandma, of swimming in their pool or our fun trips to what I then thought was shopping mecca Dollar General – what are extra special to me now are my adulthood memories. Now that I have kids of my own I have extra appreciation for not only my mom…but also my grandma. I should note, that much of this also applies to my grandpa who sadly passed away in 2006. So while I say grandma, much of it applies to my grandpa as well. I realize now that my grandparents laid the foundation for our family from the very beginning. They put an emphasis on getting an education, doing a job right, putting in the hard work, not taking the short cuts and most importantly, a strong foundation of faith and acknowledging the sole source of the blessings in our lives. As a kid I took these things for granted, but as I grew up I came to learn these weren’t necessarily the standards for everyone. From my grandparents came three successful and happy children who went on to create strong, happy families of their own. My grandma has five thriving grandchildren and during the course of the past 3.5 years she’s enjoyed meeting seven great-grandchildren. All the grandkids are positively contributing members of society and we’re all eager to see what the seven great-grandchildren all accomplish. They should have every opportunity and we have my grandparents to thank for that. I am beyond grateful.

Being 90 hasn’t caused my grandma to slow down any. She does water aerobics, attends a Bible study, plays cards with friends, plays the piano for the church services at the local hospital, attends dinners and dances at the Senior Citizen Center. She’s the most stylish 90-year-old I know. Her handbag will always match her outfit and so does her jewelry. She loves her family and thanks God for us daily. I know this because she tells me all the time. We are thankful for her…though we should tell her more. I am thankful I’ve had a close relationship with my grandma. Growing up we took several fun vacations with my grandparents. I went to college about a half hour away from where she lived at the time so I had plenty of home-cooked meals and shopping trips. She and I took a two-week long cruise together through the Panama Canal not too long ago and even at nearly-90 my grandma has made it to Wichita several times to visit us here. My grandma can Facetime and occasionally gets on Facebook or Tinybeans to see pictures of her great-grandbabies. She tells us she hates technology and only has her “tablet thing” so she can see her great grandbabies. Isn’t it funny what having children will do?? I hope she knows how loved she is. Hopefully maybe she’ll even read this post…though I’m not sure she knows what a blog is. But if she knows her granddaughter wrote it, she’ll likely read it. Love you mucho, grandma. Here’s to 90 more. Or at least a good start on that.

Doo Dah Ditty – Elderslie Farm

A shout-out today to what is possibly my all-time favorite Wichita restaurant. Elderslie Farm. Elderslie Farm specializes in farm to table dining, using mostly locally grown produce to create mouth-watering meals even the pickiest foodie would absolutely love. This comes to mind because I happened to notice their dinner have resumed for the fall. I highly advise you book reservations well in advance and I also suggest you try and reserve a table for a group of your closest friends to dine together. I had the pleasure of enjoying a five-course meal with a couple of my co-workers and their friends and words don’t describe how good the food was. The ambience is unique too and the grounds surrounding the restaurant are gorgeous. I felt like I stepped out of Kansas into Napa Valley. The price for the meal might sound expensive at about $80.00 per person, but let me tell you for an evening experience of delicious food with good friends or that special someone it is worth every penny. I’ll include the link here so you can check it out – just leave a couple reservation spots for me!!

http://berry.eldersliefarm.com/farm-to-table/

Why I Work Mornings

One question I hear the most while I’m out and about is….what time do you get up every morning? So here I shall tell of the tales of a morning news anchor and why I choose to work this blessed shift. ☺ My alarm goes off at 2AM every weekday unless, of course, I happen to be on vacation. It goes off again at 2:05 and the final alarm is at 2:10. I find it helps my body wake up when it hears a few alarms. My husband also sets what I call an emergency alarm at 2:15 which wakes him up so he can make sure I’m not still in bed. Isn’t he sweet? I deal with alarm clock anxiety on a nightly basis. My alarms for work never change, but I still check 3 or 4 times before going to sleep – to make sure they’re set for AM and turned on. The time frame between 2:10 and 2:45 includes a combination of breakfast, pumping milk for our 7 month-old, letting the dog out, packing the breastpump and making up something to eat while at work. It depends on how awake I am and how fast I’m moving when each of those happen – some days if they happen at all! By 2:45 I’m in the shower. I blow dry my hair and put on makeup foundation and get dressed….then head out the door hopefully by 3:25….although if I’m being honest there are a lot of days that I don’t get out the door till 3:30 or 3:35. Sometimes our 7 month-old will wake up during that time but my husband is a warrior daddy who gives baby a bottle and changes his diaper so I can get out the door on time. The drive to work as a morning anchor is the best. There are very few people out on the road and almost always I see green lights the entire trip in. In the morning it takes me 10 minutes to get to work. Later in the day it takes at least 15 minutes. I’m always at work by 3:45 at the latest and I look over scripts in the show until 4 which is when I do my hair and makeup. We hit the set for mic checks at 4:27 and at 4:30 Kansas Today is on the air and it’s non-stop till 7AM. Depending on the week I either take a break at 7 and head home for a couple hours then return to KSN to anchor our noon newscast….or I stay at work till 10:30 and go home for the day.

Most people think that schedule sounds horrific and I tend to agree. However when I look at all the benefits I receive because I work that schedule – I am very grateful for that 2AM alarm! I haven’t always worked mornings in television. In fact – for the first decade (gulp! WHAT?!) I worked in TV I worked nights…heading into work at 2PM and coming home at 11PM. So when I mentioned switching to mornings, it made some people wonder. I now wake-up at the same time I used to go to bed. However – I love working mornings. When I was in college I spent summers working as a golf course landscape manager. Waking up early has never been a big deal to me. I love getting what I call a head-start on the day and accomplishing a day’s work before noon. I love helping other people start their days. I love the friendly, relaxed camaraderie my co-workers and I share on the set of Kansas Today. I love having six hours of my shift in a quiet building with just a few Kansas Today employees. I love avoiding rush hour traffic. I love having half the day to run errands quickly that take way more time when everyone else is out running errands too. I love(d) having the option to nap if I wanted to – although that is more of a luxury these days. It’s even more amazing when they weather is nice – and I head out the door at KSN at 10:30 to enjoy a sunny 70 degree day with my two little boys…which brings up the number one reason I switched to mornings. Our boys. They spend a few hours every morning with our nanny. And every afternoon it’s all mommy. My schedule allows me the flexibility to take Hudson to a doctor’s appointment, or Fletcher to storytime. After our afternoon naps we can head to the park, or play cars or do whatever we want before mommy makes dinner. I get to make dinner and eat it at home with my family – which would never happen were I still on the evening shift. I get to do bath time with the boys and put them to bed. Most weeks I get to be there shortly after they wake up and we can eat breakfast together. All this while getting to continue working a job I love and am passionate about. I can’t say I would still love my job if it pulled me away from quality time with my family. I feel like the most blessed woman in the world. And tired. I feel tired. But it’s so worth it.

**New Section of my blog – Doo Dah Ditty**

The Great Plains Nature Center

I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy checking out new places and exploring new things to do in our awesome city…so to highlight all that Wichita has to offer, each week I’ll share a little highlight of the fun things we’ve seen or done. I’m calling it the Doo Dah Ditty. Combine our city’s nickname ”Doo Dah” with a fabulous song from the 60s and there you have it. Although, technically the song is Do Wah Diddy and not ditty…but that’s just details.

Moms and families…if you haven’t checked out the Wednesday story-time at the Great Plains Nature Center….it’s worth a stop. The story time is geared from 2-4 year-olds, but you often find kids from birth to 6 or so. The kids sing songs, do interactive skits and listen to a story. But what’s better, is that after story-time – there’s the fabulous nature center to explore. Hudson loves “petting” the animals, watching the fish and seeing his friend the bison and visiting the owl. You’ll have to visit for yourself to find out what all that means! Outside there are trails for the kids to run on, ducks to watch and turtles and fish to count. Plus lots of benches which are perfect for a picnic lunch. Even better? It’s all free. I think they even have a kiddie-craft time as well once a week, though it doesn’t always fit as well into our schedule. Give the Great Plains Nature Center a visit and let me know what you think!

Rough week

It’s been a rough week in the news business. I’m talking about the types of stories we’re covering. From a double murder of a Newton mother and her young daughter…the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a hit and run just this morning and the worst story hanging over all our heads…the death of who police believe to be 3 year-old Evan Brewer, whose body was found encased in concrete in the home his mother and her boyfriend rented. I’m often asked – how do you deal with hearing so much bad news and having to find out the details and report them on the air? The first part to that answer involves the way we as journalists separate ourselves from the story. We take a straight down the middle approach, report the facts and continue on. We are exposed to so much ugliness that we’re desensitized which makes just reporting the facts simpler. The second part to that answer is, while we see so much bad….we often see more good. Tragedy is often what pulls people together. Tragedy is often what leads to life changes – hopefully for the better. From every awful story…if you wait long enough…comes some good.

This Evan Brewer story though….it gets me. It makes me sick and angry as I would guess it does many of you. To briefly explain…Evan went missing around March of this year and wasn’t seen for six months. Last weekend remains found encased in concrete were found in the home his mom and her boyfriend rented. They’re believed to be Evan. It will be a couple more weeks before DNA tests confirm a match. His mother and her boyfriend are currently in jail on charges of obstructing custody…but not yet charge with Evan’s murder. His father claims he tried every day for the past six months to find his son. Having a 2 year-old myself and a 3 year-old nephew, I know the sweet, loving and charming demeanor little boys have and to know that undeserving little boy was failed by everyone who was supposed to protect him, it makes me sick. While it’s easy to point fingers…we need to know who is responsible and why. Clearly our DCF system is broken. There are failures in our police system. His own mother and father failed him. And because of the way our justice system works no one will answer questions surrounding the case until the investigation is complete. I don’t necessarily have a solution, but there has to be a better way. Those of us in the newsroom are asking questions, but it will be a long process to find out what exactly happened and where exactly our systems failed. Children, no one for that matter, shouldn’t be unseen for six months only to be found dead in concrete. It makes me angry when kids pay the price for the bad decisions of “adults” around them. On a personal note, if I hadn’t heard from my child for 24 hours, let alone 6 months, I can guarantee you it would take less than a day for me to find out where they are. I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t sleep until I knew where he was.

So what can we do? I always hate when someone complains, but doesn’t offer a solution…which is basically what I’m doing here. I know how difficult it will be to change the system….so I prefer to focus on what I/we can do about it. We, sadly, can’t do anything for Evan. But we can do something for other at-risk kids. We can become a mentor, we can become a foster or adoptive parent. We can become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA volunteer). We can donate to organizations with the training to change these kids lives. And in the meantime, you can bet we’ll continue asking questions and trying to find out who’s responsible for what happened to Evan…so everyone can try their best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Tiny Beans

First today, a quick thank you to everyone who’s subscribed to my blog, read my blog, even bothered to briefly give it a glance. I appreciate your time giving it a chance and am enjoying using the new-to-me venue to connect with people I otherwise may not hear from. So, thanks! That said – I am trying to get my home life put back together after a very fun long weekend celebrating my grandmother’s 90th birthday! All my extended family got together at a beautiful lodge in the rolling hills of Pike County, IL and enjoyed each other’s company for a couple days. Some of the fun will be shared here when I get a chance to sort through dozens of videos and photos! Now that the party’s over, I’m trying to get food back in our fridge, the laundry done, things put back together while mitigating work responsibilities, church meetings, two kiddos and a husband. Phew! That said, today’s post will be rather short but very (I think) useful for my mommy friends and their friends who maybe aren’t mommies.

Ever since we knew Hudson was on the way my husband and I started using an app called Tinybeans. My aunt suggested it, we gave it a look and were instantly on the Tinybeans train. Tinybeans is an app where you can post gobs of pictures of your children, but only people you designate can see them. It’s like a private Facebook. It’s extra amazing for us because we have family out of town. We can upload our pictures and videos of everyday life and instantly share them with family hundreds of miles away. It’s also a perfect place to keep track of lots of “first” moments, and see our kids’ growth progress. Anytime I want I can go back and watch a video of Hudson when he was first starting to make sounds….or I can see pictures of Fletcher just moments after being born. Family members can ‘love’ and comment on your photos. It’s just great. I love having a record of our lives as a family…and I love not having to put it on Facebook. I don’t mind sharing a photo of our kids every now and then on Facebook…but I don’t want every detail of their lives on there either…and it’s likely that none of my Facebook “friends” want to see that either. So with Tinybeans, everyone wins! A basic version of the app is free and for a reasonable fee you get an upgraded versions that lets you simultaneously upload limitless pictures and video. Friends and family who just want to see your photos and videos just need the basic app and don’t have to pay anything. Also – just so you know – Tinybeans doesn’t pay me anything….I’m just sharing an app that I have found extremely useful in our busy lives! I strongly encourage moms and dads to check it out, and I encourage any of you who know moms, especially with littles, to share this app with them. I’m beyond glad my aunt told me about it. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Grateful Heart

The past several weeks I’ve been working on putting together a monthly series, a “franchise” series if you will. Every year my newscast, Kansas Today, participates in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. This was the third year we’ve done so and since I couldn’t physically be at this year’s walk, I did a series of stories the week before to publicize the event and create some interest. The media coordinator for the AHA is so great to work with. I also started to realize just how broadly heart “issues” affect so many of us, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or weight. Combine those two facts and an idea was born in my brain. That idea will be called Grateful Heart. It’s a monthly segment that will feature an inspiring survival story of someone dealing with a heart issue. The purpose is to create awareness of these health issues and how common they are, and also to help people hear about the experiences and symptoms of those who have personally dealt with heart issues so others might be encouraged to take the steps necessary to take care of their own health. I have talked to parents whose days-old babies survived heart defects, up to a long-time Wichita news anchor who less than a month ago went through SEPTUPLE by-pass surgery. Septuple. Yes, seven bypasses. In speaking with so many heart survivors, I have personally learned in the end, it does not matter what you weigh, what you eat, how much you do or don’t exercise, what your health history is…ANYONE can instantly become a heart survivor. This led me to also put a stronger focus on my personal health. I’m not unhealthy. But then again, neither was my colleague who just went through septuple bypass surgery. I eat pretty well, but my exercise regimen hasn’t received the attention it once did before having children. So no more excuses. This gal’s getting back in the gym. It’s not a baby weight issue, it’s a health issue. It can be a challenge with my work schedule and child care…but after committing to making it happen I’ve come up with a plan that’s totally doable. It will also be totally worth it, knowing how much better I’ve felt after getting a couple workouts in already prior to writing here. I feel less tired (that fact alone is amazing) and more focused. I know I’m a better mom with more patience. And I’m healthier which is a win for everyone. I hope you take care of yourself and that you have a grateful heart. It’s so easy to push it aside and say it’s not convenient, it’s too much work, you’re too tired. But as someone who has had a few health challenges in her past, I can tell you your health is PRICELESS. Your health is always worth it. Maybe it takes a little planning ahead. Maybe it takes shifting a few things around in your schedule. But make it happen. The world is better with you in it. Let’s not wait to have a heart attack or stroke and have to say, ‘well I would have exercised but I was just too lazy to make it happen.’ If this wife, mama of two under two, church leader and full-time employee can make it happen, I’m pretty sure you can too!

Kombucha

I’ve mentioned before I like to try new things. Some things I try end up better than others. Egg and banana pancakes didn’t turn out so well. Sewing pajama pants for my husband using my own pattern – turned out horribly. My latest exploration delved into the world of…kombucha. Up to this point I have heard of all kinds of health benefits kombucha offers. I’ve also heard from many people who thought it was the most disgusting drink they ever tasted. Sadly, for a long time the latter reason outweighed the first…until about a month ago.
I happened to be at the grocery store picking up ingredients for baby food (perhaps another post for down the road – a scintillating topic, I know) and saw several varieties of kombucha on sale. Well….at least if it’s on sale it’s not like I paid full price for something that potentially tasted like gasoline. Cherry lemonade. That sounds harmless. So I bought a bottle. I read the label that pointed out all the alleged health benefits. Improved digestion, mental clarity, disease prevention, lung protection, it can help your cardiovascular system and maintains a healthy liver. Pretty good sounding list.

I brought the bottle home and informed my husband that WE would be trying it. Like how he got drug into this as well? Yeah, me too. As someone who is affected by smell as much as I am taste….I held my breath then took a swig. Wait for it….not completely awful. I didn’t even get goosebumps. In fact – a couple more bottles of kombucha down the road and I haven’t gotten goosebumps from kombucha once. It’s a very vinegary (read: fermented) bubbly drink that can be a little tart – but overall not bad. Especially when I know how good it’s supposed to be for me. The latest variety I tried included carrot juice and I thought it was ok too. In fact I haven’t had a version of kombucha that I wouldn’t drink again. My husband thought the cherry lemonade was better than the carrot juice kind – I’m still getting him to take a swig or two of the stuff…but he didn’t complain.

So – do not fear the kombucha. Give it a go. And if you don’t like the first type you try – pick a different variety next time. There are TONS. I’m kinda bummed I waited this long to try it. But since it’s a way to do something really good for myself without making myself miserable – I’m willing to play along.

Peach Picking

I love finding out about new businesses, restaurants and attractions in our community and surrounding area and giving them a try. It’s probably part of the reason I love my job so much, we tend to be in the know of the latest and greatest where we live. Combine that with my love of fresh peaches…and you get this week’s blog post. I generally refuse to buy peaches at the grocery store. In my experience, you buy them when they’re hard as rocks, and in a random 15-minute window they go from rock hard to mush. As a busy human being…I don’t have time to try and fit in that window. So I don’t bother. However, I WILL bother buy farm stand peaches or picking my own.

I happened upon Meadowlark Farm when I got the itch a couple weeks ago to pick peaches or apples. Happy me…Meadowlark Farm had both. They’re located in Rose Hill…about a half hour drive or so from Wichita. Hubby and I loaded up the kiddos Saturday morning and ventured out. Meadowlark Farm has both a large peach orchard and a large apple orchard. They handed us a few buckets, a wagon/cart and showed us what we were looking for when it comes to ripe peaches and apples. With peaches – you’re good if there’s no green showing. Surface brown spots are ok…it just means a branch has rubbed on the peach. The apples we were looking for at that particular time, they told me – an important part of the story for later on – should be all yellow…a creamy yellow they said. Easy enough! We had a great time – there were so many perfectly ripe peaches on their trees! Hudson loved pulling them off the tree and dropping them in our buckets. Maybe next year we’ll have mastered the art of “gently placing them in the bucket.” No time for that this year! Ha! We easily filled two buckets when I decided that was all the peaches I had time to pit, peel and freeze so we moved on to apples.

Meadowlark Farm has several varieties of apples and we were looking for the in-season yellow ones. Though as my husband tried to show me…”We can pick these half red ones!” No, hubby dear. They specifically told me to look for yellow creamy apples, I explain as he picks one of said reddish apples. Take a bite of that dear, I say to him. “Yup. Not ripe. Need to find the yellow creamy apples.” Who’da thought?! Love that man. We found the famed yellow, creamy apples and picked a bucket full. Hudson is big into eating apples and saying apple now…so he happily chattered away as we explained our apples needed to come from the tree, and not be picked up off the ground! In addition Meadowlark Farm also sells a variety of garden grown produce…and much to Hudson’s delight they had goats and a playground! It was well worth our trip out there.
Again – I don’t get any kickbacks from Meadowlark….I’m just sharing what was a really fun family experience for us in the hopes you might enjoy a visit too. And if you have any favorite family outing activities…please share them with me! I’m always looking for a new place to visit or a new activity to try!

P.S. Meadowlark Farm is supposed to have pumpkins this year, too. Just a heads-up!

Dress for the job you want

How I, or any other reporter/anchor/on-air TV person, dress for work is an important part of my/our job. Television is a visual medium, therefore how I look is important. You can think it’s shallow or judgemental, but it’s a fact. What I wear and how I look will affect what you hear come out of my mouth and the way you hear it. Having worked in TV for over a decade now, I’ve worn a lot of bad…and learned. I’ve seen other people wear bad….and learned. It’s so frustrating to me to see people start out in this business with so much potential, only to be held back by what they wear. Or people who’ve been in the business awhile and choose to not maintain the upkeep of their professional appearance. It’s easy to get comfortable, but keeping an updated, professional appearance is something that must be done if you want a career in TV to thrive.
That said, there are a lot of elements I could include in this post and it would be pages long and no one would ever read it all. I’ll be flattered if they read all of this post, or any post here. Ha! But seriously – I’ll touch on a few of the bigger points today and probably revisit the topic here and there. My first and maybe most important point:

Dress appropriately for the story you’re covering. If you’re covering wildfires, it’s best to not wear a suit with stiletto heels. Pull out your station polo….or a collared shirt and khaki capris or pants with tennis shoes. (Shorts, IMHO, are never appropriate in a professional place of work.) If you’re covering a memorial for a police officer killed in the line of duty, your hot pink suit is not the best option. Has it been a stretch of 100+ degree days like it’s been here in Kansas? Sure, wear a tank top and capris….but have a suit jacket or change of clothes ready for when you go on the air. All of this can be executed by thinking about what you’re covering…and how you can blend into the story….not stand out. I know sometimes we don’t always know what we’ll end up covering for the day…that’s why you should always have a spare suit jacket, tennis shoes, polo and khaki pants on stand by both at home and at your desk at work, or in your station car. Those four items can help you look appropriate in any situation.
Your undergarments should never ever show. Whether you’re in the studio or out covering a story. This includes: bra straps, underwear through pants or skirt, a bra through a shirt. Nude undergarments are best. Keep your bra straps covered – so spaghetti-strap tank tops are a no-go. I have breastfed both my boys and shortly after returning to work post-Hudson, I had a bra strap sneak out during our noon newscast. Gasp! You can bet a couple viewers called the station to let people know. Thankfully our receptionist kindly had my back…told those viewers I was a breastfeeding new mom and they should show some grace…but when it comes down to it, that little wardrobe faux pax distracted viewers from what I said. I’ve made sure it hasn’t happened since.

My final point for this blog before everyone shuts me out: Skirts should always be knee-length…or at least an inch or two PAST fingertip-length. This allows you to do all the un-graceful movement being a reporter/MMJ/anchor requires without showing something that would cause a viewer to take you less seriously. This is the most violated rule I see. There’s a fine line between long-enough and too-short….and once you cross it…it can’t be unseen. Does your skirt have a slit? Be aware how high it goes. If it’s more than 4”…you probably shouldn’t wear it for work. Does your skirt look like it fits…or does it look like you might have trouble breathing? Don’t get me wrong – a skirt can be form-fitting without taking away everyone’s imagination.

Recipe for Brazillian cheese rolls

I love “entertaining.” I love making a good meal and sharing it with good friends. However – these days with a couple of little ones around…these events need to be planned out and kept simple. I’m not losing my sanity over hosting dinner. Therefore – I love a recipe that comes across as fancy and delicious but is also simple and easy. Enter: Brazilian cheese rolls. These were shared with me by friends a couple years ago and they always come through to round out a meal with a homemade treat that can be made quickly. They have a unique texture…they’re chewy – in a good way. They’re made with tapioca flour which can easily be found in your flour/grain section. Bob’s Red Mill is carried in most any grocery store and they make tapioca flour…a picture is included to try and make it easy for you. The catch is – they don’t store well. So once you make them, eat them. They won’t be the same the next day. This is rarely an issue for my family because, sadly, between my husband and I – we can eat an entire batch. So for a group – devouring these rolls should be easy. You’ll be using a mini muffin tin, filling them ¾ the way full. Also – I’ve had the best luck getting uniform, rounded rolls by leaving two of the muffin “tins” filled with water. I think the slight humidity in the oven helps. But you can obviously experiment on your own too.

Ingredients
1 egg
1/3 c. cooking oil
2/3 c. milk
1 ¼ c. tapioca flour
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt

Instructions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (I used a hand blender) Your batter will be liquid. Pour batter into greased mini-muffin tin about ¾ full and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the bread puffs up and is a light brown color.

That’s it! Any other secretly simple recipes out there I should know about? Tell me!