Friday, June 19, 2015

Partying Before Work: Covering Daybreaker's launch in DC for Spright

All the things I read about Daybreaker before going to cover the company's launch in D.C. for Spright left me with a ton of questions.

An event company... that only does early morning events? At nightclubs? During the week? With yoga and no booze? And they're crowded? With people paying to party before 9 A.M.?

Surely, there's catch.

Yet I was wrong. That's really all there is to Daybreaker. There isn't a hidden agenda or catch.

As soon as I entered the venue with my camera, the space was filled with eager Yogis, bending it out with vinyasa lead by Grip the Mat.

After stretching out, people stayed to dance and socialize while enjoying tasty treats and a variety of performers and entertainers.

There were even live musicians thrown into the dance party mix!

Maybe it's the simplicity of a Daybreaker's event that makes it so unique and appealing. Maybe for some people, waking up early, doing yoga, then moving their bodies to dance music and strobe lights while fueling up with coffee and juice is a way to jumpstart their day.

One things for sure, it sure is the total opposite of a typical Wednesday morning.

Want to know more? Check out my full review for

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jetting Around For USO Stories: Part 2, Missouri

Looking back, it seems like forever ago that I was in Missouri shooting stories for the USO. But no matter how long ago it was (or feels like it was) it's certainly a USO trip worth blogging about!

After a wonderful weekend working in NYC back at the end of May, I headed back to DC for a hot sec (literally, less than 20 hours) and jetted off to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for a week of shooting.

The last time I was in Missouri was for the NCAA A-10 Softball Championships back when I was in college, and I didn't really get to see much of the area since I was playing softball, so I was glad to head back to the area to explore a little bit more.

Anyway, after landing in St. Louis, I drove two hours out to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, which is an Army base where a lot of soldiers go through basic training.

During my trip, I shot a number of stories, including a story about long-time volunteer, Henry, and covered the USO's special Caregivers Seminar, which provides support for those taking care of wounded, ill and injured service members. Although all the stories I worked on in Missouri were (and ARE STILL!) important, the highlight of my trip, hands down, was shooting a special video story about Bandit the USO Comfort Dog (sorry Henry!).

Now, I don't want to give too much away (I'll write more about this story when the video is done), but in a nutshell, Bandit is an awesome Great Dane therapy dog who spends his days putting smiles on people's faces. I got to spend a day with him, and let me tell you, it was AWESOME seeing all the big difference just one dog can make in people's lives.

Here's some more snaps from my day of shooting with Bandit and his mom, Kelly.

Although my trip to Missouri was jammed packed, it was really, really awesome. I can't wait to keep working on other USO projects so I can finally push out some of the video stories from my Missouri trip.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jetting Around For USO Stories: Part 1, NYC

I forgot how much I loved traveling for work. Seeing new places, meeting new people, being out of the office -- it's one of the many things that makes my job at the USO so wonderful.

But until last week, for nearly half of 2015, I hadn't had the opportunity to travel beyond the DC metro area to report a story since 2014. Needless to say, when my boss asked me if I could hit the road for a week to capture stories in NYC and Fort Leonard Wood, MO, I was more than ready to pack my bags and get back into the field.

I started off my marathon work travel week in NYC, where, in addition to capture a video story and writing a blog about OTMD, the adult leg of the USO Operation That's My Dress program, I got to spend time with my friend Tara, who I met playing softball at GW.

In addition to hanging out with her and her fiance on Friday night, the Saturday before I had to work, we wandered around Brooklyn for a bit, which I had never done before.

I even got to introduce Tara to another one of my close friends who lives in NYC during dinner on Saturday evening, which made me really happy.

Sidenote; I'm a big believer that, if my work schedule allows it, I should always try to squeeze in time to grab dinner or a drink with friends, colleagues or acquaintances who live in the area I'm visiting. It really makes work trips seem like much more than a plane trip and another night in a hotel room, savvy?

Anyway, back to the weekend. On Sunday, after a wonderful first half of the weekend with friends, I put on my working shoes on and headed the USO's launch of OTMD, the adult leg of the USO Operation That's My Dress program. Basically OTMD, along with its sister program, provides women in the military and military spouses a special day of pampering and fashion where they get to select and take home a FREE designer gown of their choice. Think Sherri Hill, Ralph Lauren and Ann Taylor -- for FREE! How cool is that?

To give you a better idea of what the program is all about, take a look at the video I shot and put together about the day. It'll put things into perspective.

Anyway, after shooting the video and having a ball at OTMD, I headed back to Penn Station to travel back to Washington, D.C. so I could jump on the next leg of my travel week adventure...