Monday, April 29, 2013

My nail obsession

Last year, I decided to try doing my own nails because I saw some cool designs on Pinterest.  Since then, when I have the time, I've been painting my own nail designs by hand.  Some people may find it frustrating and too time consuming, but for me, it's time for myself.  It's actually a very calming thing for me to do.  I usually do it late at night.  I scroll down Pinterest to find something I like, then I try my best to paint the same design on my nails.  I'm so critical of my own work but others seem to think that I'm talented so I figured I'd share some of my nail art!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cake Boss

Lately, I've been having a hard time sleeping, so I decided to watch Cake Boss.  I've already watched the first two seasons and I'm currently watching the third season.  What Buddy does with these cakes are so amazing.  It makes me miss my cake decorating days.  When I lived back in NH, I stepped down from Human Resources Manager to work in the bakery because I wanted to spend more time with my son who was only a year old at the time.  Within the first two weeks, I fell in love with cake decorating and baking.  We had an airbrush and props.  Since then, I decided that I would make my son's birthday cake every year. I played around with cake mixes at home because I wasn't very good at making things from scratch.  All I knew how to do was piping with regular icing.  I still need to learn how to use fondant on an entire cake.  Here's some pics of the cakes I've made in the past.  Hope you enjoy them!

My Elmo Cakes were the best ones I've ever done!

Finally tried fondant to create my son's LEGO cake!

This one was fun to make!  My cousin's boyfriend's 21st birthday!    

Added: May 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Anaphylactic shock and allergic reactions

So, I had a really bad allergic reaction to a gummy vitamin back in January of this year.  As stupid as it sounds, yes, it was a gummy multivitamin that put me into anaphylactic shock.  Needless to say, that was the most embarrassing and scary experience of my life!  So, here's exactly what happened:

10:30am- I decided that I was going to start taking vitamins again to boost my health because that was my New Year's resolution, to have a healthier lifestyle.  I took two berry shaped gummy multivitamins because that was what the directions said to do.

10:45am- I drive to Pearlridge Macy's to give my cousin some boxes for her birthday party.  She then convinces me to go shopping with her and my aunts at Pearlridge.

10:50am- I walk around Macy's and start feeling itchy on my chest and stomach so I ask my cousin if we can go to the bathroom at the food court.  My skin was blotchy and then my face felt hot.  I looked in the mirror and my face was as red as a tomato!  Then I started getting worried because I had no Benadryl on me for the possible hives.  Next thing you know, I feel lightheaded.  We grabbed a water at Starbucks and head over to Macy's to meet up with my aunts.  We took the escalator up to the second floor and I sit down on a chair because I felt like I wanted to faint.  My heart was pounding so fast.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.  I felt like I wanted to cry because I thought I was dying or something.  My aunts freak out and offer to bring me to the hospital.  As I was going down the escalator to the first floor, I barely made it to the bottom.  I had to sit down at the MAC counter because I could barely stand up.  Last I remember, I was holding onto my cousin and then blacked out.

My cousin said I fainted and turned white as a ghost.  She couldn't hold on to me because I fell off the chair and on top of her.  I was told that I was lying on the ground unconscious for almost 20 minutes.  My aunts were freaking out so the Macy's employees had to call an ambulance for me.  It was such a surreal experience once I gained consciousness.  I could hear everyone around me, talking to me.  I wanted to answer back but I felt like I was outside of my own body.  My eyes were open but I couldn't see anything.  All I could hear was the beating of my heart.  Two nice ladies that were nurses were helping me when I fainted.  I wish I knew their names because I am thankful that they were trying to help me before the ambulance arrived.

When the paramedics arrived, they put so much things on me: oxygen tubes, heart monitor, something to check my blood pressure, and probably more.  They were asking me questions and I could barely speak.  All I could do was cry because I didn't know what was happening to me.  All I could think about was my little boy.  I prayed that I would be okay because I was the only parent that actually cared about him.

When I was in the ambulance, they gave me Benadryl, an Epipen, and fluids.  Or, that's what I think they gave me.  Everything was a blur.  The Epipen made me all cold and jittery.  The paramedic said that was normal.  After a few hours at the hospital, my breathing was fine, my skin was normal again, and I was able to talk.  I was definitely weak because of the anaphylactic shock that my body went through.

That was the first allergic reaction that caused me to go into shock.  Normally, I've eaten or drank certain things that make me break out into hives.  This time, it was more serious!  I went to the doctor and had several blood tests done.  I tested negative on everything.  I even saw an allergist and had blood work done. I was scheduled to have a skin test done but I guess I didn't get to do it early enough.

Just when I thought that I was good trying to avoid whatever could have possibly given me that allergic reaction, I had another allergic reaction this month in April, but this time from a Lemon Zest Luna Bar!  Really?  I took Benadryl but my asthma acted up so I had to go to the emergency room.  It wasn't as bad as the last reaction but I needed oxygen.  At this point, I'm beyond frustrated about whatever it is that I'm allergic to and I decided that anything in the "healthy vitamins and supplements" aisle would give me an bad allergic reaction.

I finally did the skin testing last week.  I was pricked 53 times with several things that people are most likely to be allergic to.  I was left with what looked like chickenpox organized in lines.  After all that testing, I found out that I wasn't allergic to anything that they tested on me!

It's the most frustrating thing knowing that I have a bad surprise waiting to happen and I don't know what to avoid.  I guess I'm just one of those people that have allergic reactions to something uncommon and I'll never find out until I react to it.  I hope that none of you go through what I went through.  It seriously felt like I was dying.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Breastfeeding vs. formula

Have you seen this commercial?  It's a diaper commercial but most people might look at it as a commercial about breastfeeding in public.  I would consider myself the first time mom because I did not become comfortable feeding in public, but every mom is different.  There has always been the debate about whether breastfeeding in public is appropriate or not, but one day, I came across a friend's Facebook post of someone else's opinion about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding.  Here is what was written, word for word:

"I am so sick of self righteous parents who go on about breast is best. Personally I think its just being cheap. My 14mth old dd receives the BEST formula out there regardless of the cost. Scientists have taken years to perfect baby formulas. There is clearly more nutritional value to formula than breast milk I mean just look at the ingredients on the tin. You can't guarantee that all breastfeeding mothers are eating healthy. if they go and have a junk food binge are the required nutrients going through to the baby. I think not!!! My child is receiving the best regardless of what I eat."

Honestly, I completely disagree with this person's opinion.  What I don't like about this person's comments about breastfeeding is that they try to write as if they are writing facts instead of opinions by bringing up how scientists have tried to perfect baby formulas.  Today, formula is not exactly cheap, but that does NOT mean that mothers that choose to breastfeed are cheap for not giving their babies formula.  I believe that the reason scientists are trying to perfect baby formulas are to make it as similar to the nutrients that breast milk has to offer.  I don't have anything against mothers that give formula to their babies.  Some mothers aren't able to breastfeed and some mothers have to give their babies specific types of milk.  I think that what this woman wrote is just unbelievable and obnoxious.  Mothers don't breastfeed because they are cheap, and I also believe that mothers that feed their babies formula aren't giving their children a better nutritional value.  I think every mom has her preference and is entitled to her own choices and opinions.  I think there is no wrong answer but the only thing that I worry about formulas is that there have been recent recalls on certain baby formulas.  Nothing is more natural that breast milk but if a mother is unable to give her child that, then there should be nothing against her choice.  I actually had to give my son both breast milk AND formula because I wasn't producing milk fast enough and my son was always hungry!  So, my opinions come from experience and I don't judge another person's choice, but today, I decided to judge this woman's choice of words and how she acts like breastfeeding is when mothers are just cheap and selfish when in reality, breastfeeding is more work and more time for a mother because she is the direct source of the milk.  So, whether you decide to give your children breast milk or formula, do what YOU feel is right for YOU AND YOUR BABY, but don't try to put down someone else's decision.

The Sunrise experience with Hawaii News Now

On Thursday, April 4th, our class had a field trip to the Hawaii News Now station.  I had to wake up at 4 am but it was all worth it because it was the best first experience I've ever had with dealing with media.  From watching how much work the reporters did just to present the news to the extensive technological innovations used to create a successful and smooth flowing lives news show, I was overwhelmed but impressed at the same time.  I tried my best to understand how everything worked.  The cameras are all controlled by one person combined with the use of technology.  you would never know that the area that the reporters used was actually a small compact space because they made everything flow so smoothly and almost effortlessly.  I was even more impressed that this morning crew did this EVERY MORNING!  The news show isn't just an hour, but it runs from 4:30-8am daily.  If  you really think about how much time and work they put into delivering our news, it's quite impressive!  I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to see how things work.  I got a new view of the communications field and it's helped me expand my knowledge and my interest in journalism.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Red Bull Presentation

My group did a presentation on Red Bull and I figured I'd share our paper with some of you.  Red Bull isn't just about the energy drink anymore but it's about the strength and energy that the label represents.  Red Bull is associated with certain sports, but not many people that Red Bull is involved with other industries such as music, film, production, entertainment, and more.  So take a look at some of the many things that Red Bull has to offer!  Don't miss out!

            In the mid-1980s, “tonic drinks” became popular throughout the Far East.  While sitting at a bar at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, Dietrich Mateschitz came up with the idea to market these drinks and later created the formula of Red Bull Energy Drink and developed the marketing concept of Red Bull in 1984. The Red Bull headquarters are based in Fuschl am See, Austria.  On April 1, 1987, the Austrian market started selling Red Bull Energy Drink.
            As the drink became more popular, Red Bull began to sponsor extreme sports challenges.  The first sponsored sports relay was in Lienz, Australia, the Red Bull Dolomitenmann, a marathon event with a combination of mountain running, paragliding, kayaking and mountain biking.  In 1989, Red Bull sponsored their first Motorsports athlete, Gerhard Berger, a Formula 1 driver.  In 1992, the first Red Bull Flugtag challenge was introduced to Austria. 

            In 1992, Leonardo became the very first Red Bull cartoon spot.  The creative agency Kastner & Partners established the beginning of the Red Bull cartoon campaign strategy: “a well-known character, event or subject, to which a broad audience can relate, is found in a ‘larger than life’ story with an unexpected twist.”
            Red Bull took an interest in the music industry starting in 1998 when they held their first Red Bull Music Academy event in Berlin, Germany.  It was an international music event and workshop for new and up-and-coming producers, singers, arrangers, DJs and musicians.  In 2007, Red Bull launched several media companies.  Red Bull Records opened up in Santa Monica, California to create a progressive approach to marketing, distribution and artist relationships.  That same year, the first Red Bull Studio was introduced in Los Angeles, California, a state of the art recording facility that was created to support musicians with a unique recording experience.  The other studios to follow are located in London, Auckland, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Madrid and Copenhagen.  In Salzburg, Austria, Red Bull Media House was launched as a multi-platform media company with a focus on sports, culture and lifestyle, which later offered premium media products across media channels such as TV, mobile, digital, audio and print.  Today, with the modern technological innovations, aspiring musicians can submit their demos to Red Bull Records. 
            In 2007, Red Bull also introduced Red Bull Soundclash, a musical face off featuring two bands or artists of different genres where the audience chooses the winner.  After the success of Soundclash, Red Bull decided to create other musical competitions.  Red Bull Thre3style was first introduced in Canada and is now a big sensation with regional and national competitions throughout the world.  The audience gets to dance until the early morning while the contestants compete.  Red Bull just keeps expanding their knowledge and interest in different areas of media today, even different styles of dance and expression.
In the current world of instant gratification and ease of access, Red Bull has been stepping up their game when it comes to getting their product to their audience. In 2004, Red Bull started the Red Bull BC One bboying tournament. The tournament is a 1 on 1, knockout style event where world renowned bboys would go head to head against each other to find out who is the top bboy in the world.  For the first two years, Red Bull would produce DVD’s to distribute. However, in 2006, they stopped making the DVD’s and instead made the videos available for free on their website, If you go on, they sort the videos by popularity or newness. Some videos go back to 2005, while the newest one is from 2 weeks ago.
In addition to BC One, Red Bull has entered the free running scene with their Art of Motion competition. Just as the BC One is an annual bboying event, the Art of Motion is an annual free running and parkour competition hosted by Red Bull. It started in 2007 in Vienna, Austria, and has since helped grow the free running scene around the world. On September 29, 2012, the event was held at the Santorini Islands in Greece. Red Bull stepped up what it meant to deliver instant gratification by live streaming the 2 hour event. People from around the world tuned in as 16 of the world’s top free runners faced each other in the competition. After the event, Red Bull also made the stream available on demand on their website.
                        On the Red Bull Media House website, the company shows their focus on films.  The Terra Mater Factual Studios was launched with Red Bull Media House in 2007.  The studios, based in Vienna, are the primary source of film production for Red Bull.  Their films focus on reality and development aside from action films.  With the use of state-of-the-art technology, films are shot in HD with excellent quality.

            Aside from film, Red Bull has also introduced print media to their viewers.  The Red Bulletin started in Austria and has publications in several countries with their respective languages.  The publications, which can be seen on mobile devices through iPad and Android apps, portray action, sports, culture, travel and music.  Two publications that originated in Austria are distributed on a monthly basis; the Terra Mater, which features a nature and scientific view and the Seitenblickice, featuring articles about entertainment and celebrities.
            The basis of Red Bull’s mentality has been focused on adrenaline and progression of lifestyle, regardless of sport or interest. The unique flair of total brand merchandising has allowed Red Bull the ability to reach the far corners of niche markets, while maintaining a forward and positive image. While most beverage companies focus strictly on their product, Red Bull focuses on allowing their expansive market base and athletes to promote the product for them through their individual athletes, as ambassadors to the sport and lifestyle. 

            The largest and most successful marketing tactic Red Bull has used to their advantage is the spectrum of multimedia and subtle advertisement. Red Bull has capitalized on three major media spectrums: print, visual, and most recently for the newest generation, social. In 1984, when Red Bull GmH Inc., first got its wings, it relied heavily the basic aspects and involvement of total brand merchandising, display, free samples, event integration and promotion. While its earliest attempts at product integration in the triathlon and marathon market nearly failed, Red Bull was saved by most angelic of angels and saints, the action sports market (commonly known as extreme sports). What ensured the safety blanket to stay was the ingredients of Red Bull’s product went hand in hand with the effects and side effects of action sports participation. Whether an athlete is skydiving at night from 16,000AGL or landing a textbook triple cork 1440, regardless if the individual is a seasoned profession or not, adrenaline dumps occur, leaving the individual crashed, lethargic, and inattentive to due to the massive sensory overload in the participation of the discipline. Red Bull was originally developed to aid with jet lag for the professional traveler, but the developers found it was a temporary remedy to keep an individual going when there was still work to do and fun to be had. Essentially, this drove the company to modify its market focus to a more sustainable and diverse audience, relying strictly on print media to aid in its expansion. Comparing the Disney model of total brand merchandising, Red Bull used market analytics to assess the situation for sustainability. 
            As the 1990’s rolled around, Red Bull had become international with the aid of the action sports industry. Red Bull has three sports to thank for its initial foundation, snowboarding, Formula 1, and MotoGP and World Superbike (WSBK). In the early 1990’s snowboarding was just getting on its feet, many expressed the opinion that it was sport that wouldn’t last, and due to the aggressive dislike of the skiing community, only a select number of resorts allowed snowboarders due to their image. Red Bull invested heavy interest in the then (extreme) Big Mountain riders until the late 1990’s. Formula and MotoGP/ WSBK however, pumped an immortal youth to Red Bull and its market as a whole. While superbike racing and Formula 1 remained mostly unpopular in the United States, its worldwide circuit allowed for Red Bull to market its product worldwide by marketing its product on the sides of race cars and bikes. As its popularity grew more money was invested into their teams, eventually placing them at the podium for a majority of the seasons. The fact that Red Bull essentially used other mediums to “race” to the top and then advertise was phenomenal. This technique allowed Red Bull a unique advantage over its traditional soft drink competitors, sponsor the best and the rest will follow. In 2005 when MotoGP returned to the US after 11 years, it sponsored the largest US Grand Prix in history, The Red Bull Grand Prix at Laguna Seca 2005. With the return of such a prestigious event Red Bull covered the race venue in a sea of silver and blue, allowing a new stream of revenue for an old market in a forgotten land. NBC televised the event due to its international popularity, allowing for Red Bull to utilize the television-broadcasting medium for product advertisement delivery. 
            From 2005 on, Red Bull focused on large name events to attract spectators and eventually costumers. Since 2005 Red Bull has produced internationally known events such as the Flugtag, X-Fighters, Air Race, USGP, Supernatural and Ultranatural. In 2012 Red Bull “launched” itself into history by going to space. On a Sunday morning in October 2012, Red Bull athlete and BASE Jumping pioneer, Felix Baumgartner, set three world records. First, the highest manned balloon capsule ascent, Second, the highest skydive in history at 128,100AGL, and third, the first human to break the without the aid of a vehicle. Not only did Red Bull go to space, they broadcasted it streaming live around the globe. Approximately the jump was shown by more than 40 TV stations and 130 digital outlets. Red Bull's jump photo of Baumgartner just as he leaped from this capsule earned him over 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and over 29,000 shares within the first 45minutes of his exit from the aircraft, in addition to of half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were related to #redbullstratos. It would be safe to say Red Bull has dominated the social media market as well. 
            With these successes, Red Bull is now pursuing telecommunications spectrum with their own cellular service Red Bull Mobile, which is now available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, and South Africa.

By: Klaire Trajano, Jackie Tacotaco, Michael Colon- Yoshimoto, Kenny Cabanting, Alex Holt