Teen Idols

Teen Idols.  We all had one. My mom’s teen idol was Elvis Presley.  My nieces? Justin Bieber. And for me? Donny Osmond!

So you can imagine my surprise when Evine approached me to launch a show on the network called Donny Osmond Home and that I would be presenting with the one-and-only, Donny Osmond!  I would be meeting and working with my teen crush! Surreal to say the least.

Have you heard of Tiger Beat Magazine? It is a teen fan magazine and back in my teenage years this glossy magazine kept me up-to-date on my favorite celebrities with stories, teen quizzes, and of course, posters to hang on your bedroom walls!  I had it bad, real bad, for the guy who sang “Puppy Love.” I knew his favorite color was purple so it became my favorite color too!  My mom painted my bedroom walls purple and I had purple carpet as well.  Thanks mom!

We launched Donny Osmond Home on April 9th and it was a great success. Donny is as charming and nice as you would imagine him to be – he really is the real deal.  The products were beautiful and the customers love him.  It was easy to see his passion for quality, home, and family. I loved everything about the show, but the highlight for me was when Donny Osmond danced with me and sang “Puppy Love” on-air. Can you believe it?!?!

Recently during the Las Vegas JCK jewelry show and live remote for Evine in June, I had the chance to see Donny again! We were able to attend the Donny & Marie show at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino and I had the unbelievable opportunity to interview Donny backstage for a behind-the-scenes segment on Facebook. We started our visit in Donny’s dressing room to get a firsthand look at where he prepares for the show.  His dressing room is filled with mementos and really shows his personality.  What an experience! If that wasn’t enough, Donny then gave me a tour of the stage where the show is performed. I was on stage with Donny Osmond! We reenacted the show’s opening number….Donny and I walked down the stairs together singing “It Takes Two.” The Donny & Marie show has been in Vegas for nine years now and I can see why. They work so well together on stage and every song brings back so many fun memories.

Teen crushes are great. What is really amazing is when you get to meet that person and they turn out to be kind, genuine, and everything you thought they would be.

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Waterford Ireland Remote

In Waterford, Ireland, the tales of adventure go back over 1,000 years to 914 A.D. A time when fierce Viking warriors in their magnificent, tall, masted long ships with dragon carved prows appeared like mythical beasts on the River Suir. Reginald’s Tower, The Quay, is a Viking treasure…a tribute to those who settled here and established Waterford as Ireland’s oldest city.

 

To help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the partnership between Waterford Crystal and Evine, we will be broadcasting live, beginning April 27th from Waterford, Ireland! Last year, we took an amazing trip, inviting our viewers to help us celebrate our 9th anniversary with Waterford Crystal by broadcasting from amazing locations including the House of Waterford Crystal, the Viking Triangle, and the Waterford Castle.

This year, we will begin our celebration at the House of Waterford Crystal for the kickoff of our 10th anniversary. We will give you a tour of the factory and you will get to meet the talented Irish craftsmen who have been an integral part of Waterford History. Many of these craftsmen have been with Waterford for 30, 40, up to 55 years! You will get to see all of the steps the crystal piece must go through before we have the opportunity to present it to you on Evine.

The tour starts in the Mould Room (check out the name on the mould I saw last year), where a treasure trove of historic wooden moulds are housed. We then move to the Blowing and Furnace room, followed by Quality Inspection and Hand Marking. Then, on to the Cutting Department, where the craftsmen rely on an abundance of skill and dexterity to cut the pattern onto the crystal using a diamond tipped wheel. The tour concludes with a sculpting and engraving presentation – the one-of-a kind and limited edition pieces you will see here are amazing.

The hosts and guests really enjoy sharing this experience with you. Beginning in 1783, when George and William Penrose created this iconic brand, the pride in the craftsmanship and love of the beautiful crystal have been a constant thread that has been woven into the history of Waterford, Ireland.


I hope you can join us for the 10th anniversary celebration and hear from the talented craftsmen and brilliant designers as they share their love and passion for the brand!

It takes an amazing team to pull off broadcasting from so far away, think about that for a moment. All of the logistical planning and production equipment being shipped in for the event, even before we arrive. And, as busy as it is, the team always seems to find the time for a bit of fun. With hometown boy, Tom Brennan, serving as our tour guide, we are treated to some of the most beautiful sights, including Lismore Castle, The Rock of Cashel, and Ireland’s enchanting countryside.

I am so excited to take you back to the Emerald Isle!

Live your best life, a crystal life! See you in Ireland.

 

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Spring Vacation

Living here in cold Minnesota, I love planning a Spring vacation…a warm getaway before our beautiful Minnesota summer weather sets in.  I start planning right after the holidays are over.  It has to be somewhere warm with sand and sun.  As a family, we love to go to Hawaii –  Maui is our favorite island.  We have been visiting Maui since 1998 and our sons just love it.  There are so many cool things to do and see on the island.

There are some things that you should do at least once when you visit the state of Hawaii.  Among these, would be a Luau.  These are typically large gatherings with lots of tourists but it can be a fun experience.  The best part of the Luau for me is not the food, but rather the culture and entertainment value that the Luau shows provide. I really like the fire dancers 🙂

A whale watch cruise is something we try to do at least once while we are visiting!  I think it is our favorite excursion.  Because we like to travel during the time that the whales migrate, there is always plenty of activity. We have always been lucky enough to see whales – but even if you weren’t, the view of the island from the water is spectacular!

I love a beautiful sunrise and sunset.  Among the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen is the view from Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano 10,000 feet above sea level.  You will need to leave your hotel at about 3:30 in the morning (wear a warm jacket) to make the drive to the top…fingers crossed it is a clear morning. The experience is spiritual and it is clear to see why the name Haleakala means “house of the sun.”

 

One of our favorite day trips is driving the road to Hana.  This is a full day trip and you will want to be prepared.  Have a full tank of gas and pack a lunch, or stop in Pa’ia town at the sandwich shop for a box lunch.  This beautiful drive is very steep and winding with narrow roads and passes and over 59 bridges….46 of which are only one lane wide.  The views are breathtaking! If there has been rain, the waterfalls are flowing and you get the sense you are in a tropical rainforest.

These are just a few of the things we like to do when we visit Maui.  There are so many others…. the beach, snorkeling in Molokini Crater, dinner at Mama’s Fish House (don’t miss it) and hanging out in Lahaina town.  And of course, make sure you watch the sunset….at least once.

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My Valentine

Meet my Valentine, the love of my life, my “Sweet Lew”

I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate him this month in my blog since February is the month of love.  We will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary this year and we have two wonderful sons who bring so much joy and love to our lives.  We are now empty nesters so we have a lot of time on our hands but don’t waste a minute of it.  We really enjoy spending time together and just hanging out.  He really is my best friend.

I would have to say travel is our favorite thing to plan for and do, whether it is hopping in the car and driving to Glacier National Park in MT, or taking a trip to Italy for my 50th birthday (best trip ever), or just a weekend up at the Northshore in MN, we always have a great time together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also enjoy being Great Aunt Melissa and Great Uncle Lewis!  We have 4 great nieces and 3 great nephews and are enjoying watching them become parents and let the next generation begin.

I consider myself so incredibly blessed that I found my true love, my life partner who stands beside me through all of the ups and downs in life.  I have always said he is the tree by the water, so calm and steady in my life.

Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart, I love you!

 

 

 

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Made With Love

One of my favorite things to do in my downtime is to crochet!  My mom taught me this craft when I was teenager.  I remember how special it felt for me to sit by her side and watch her make incredible afghans as gifts for family and friends.  I will always remember how much joy she had going to the craft store to buy yarn – always picking out just the right color for that special someone.

 

When my mom gave me my first crochet needle (I still have it – #9 – I), it felt wonderful in my hand.  The first stitch I learned, as I am sure it was for most people, was the chain stitch – super easy!  From there I learned single crochet and double crochet which are stitches used to create my favorite pattern – the basket weave.  It is the only pattern that I do.  It is my specialty.  It is just so very easy.  My mom has encouraged me to try new stitches and patterns like she does….but to no avail, I’m a basket weave girl! My mom is very skilled at the craft and loves learning new stitches and patterns and makes everything from afghans, hats, scarves, baby clothes, sweaters, pot holders, wash clothes and so much more.

My absolute favorite thing to crochet is baby blankets, because…I LOVE babies!  I think they are one of God’s most precious gifts to us.  When you think about it…what a miracle!  They are so sweet and innocent.  I remember how I felt when I had my sweet babies and how special it was to wrap them up in a beautiful homemade blanket. To me, the gift of a baby blanket is so personal – I have had new parents bring their babies home from the hospital in their blankets and baptized in their blankets.  How special!

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Family and Friends at the Table

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  My husband Lewis and I are so fortunate to have such a beautiful family and amazing friends, and we love spending time with them.  We enjoy entertaining throughout the year but there is something about November and December that is so very special.

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We have been collecting Waterford Crystal for over 20 years and we have quite the collection… and we use it!  We love entertaining with Waterford Crystal. There is something so supremely elegant about seeing it on the table and the way the light enhances its beauty.  I also notice how people react when they hold a stunning champagne flute, or a beautifully cut double old fashioned… it is special.  We really do believe in living your best life and we want to bless our family and treat them well when they are in our home.

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I think it starts the moment you greet them at the door and we see the smile on their faces as they glance over at the table to see how it is set…whether it is a casual gathering or a formal affair.  The anticipation of an incredible dinner begins right then and there, and the smell coming from Lewis’s kitchen just excites everyone.

The wonderful thing about using Waterford Crystal is that it easily compliments existing pieces…family heirlooms, estate sale finds, or your Grandmother’s china, all can be used to create a unique and stunning table.

We wish you a joyous and beautiful season….surrounded by family and friends gathered at the table enjoying life and making sweet memories.

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Style Forecast!

I am so excited that Evine has asked me to host their new fashion show called Style Forecast!  It’s destination programming that will happen every Monday night at 7:00 pm ET starting October 10th.  The team has been busy working on the concept and show planning since early this Summer. There have been loads of fun meetings to discuss this exciting show as well as our set design!  It has just been so much fun being involved at every level.mm-blog-4-production-meeting-1

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I’ll help you figure out what you’re comfortable in, what you like best on yourself, and how to style your clothes in a unique way.  Monday nights are for you!  A girlfriend’s celebration to talk style!  Solve your daily wardrobe dilemma (What should I wear?) with smart fashion tips and clothing advice from your trusted fashion guests like one of my favorites . . . Sam Saboura from One World Fashions!  You know I love what this brand does for my curvy shape and I know you will love it too!

mm-blog-4-melissa-sam-4mm-blog-4-one-world-5Paula’s Closet by Paula Deen is one of my new favorite fashion brands on Evine, and our customers love it too!  You’ll appreciate her great sense of style and humor while she presents her beautiful clothing line.  Oh, and if you have been watching me on Evine . . . you know I have a weakness for a great handbag!  Madi Claire, Anushka, and Pietro will be just a few of the stylish brands that I’ll have the opportunity to present to you.

It may sound silly . . . but I have a passion for fashion! As a teenager,  I would beg my mom to take me to the mall to shop for clothes.  And, of course, I would try on everything.  I’ve always loved fashion but it really clicked for me in high school when I started to realize that a really cute outfit made me feel good and boosted my confidence.  To this day, shopping for a great wardrobe is still fun for me . . . textured fabrics, patent leather, ribbed knits and more!

mm-blog-4-melissa-paula-6mm-blog-4-handbags-7Are you ready for a new you?  It’s a new season, new trends, new must haves, new ideas, and new ways to WOW you!

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24 Years!

I can’t believe I just celebrated 24 years in the Shopping Network Industry!  Looking back at my first headshot is hilarious!  I was a baby!!!  It is truly one of the biggest blessings in my life to have a career that I absolutely have so much passion and love for what I do.  It really is the perfect fit for my personality.  I can remember being a little girl and my dad saying you talk so much.  LOL!  I guess I was getting ready for “3,2,1 –  you’re on!”  at a very young age.

mm-blog-4-headshot-1992-1So many people ask me, do the hosts read a teleprompter?  NO!!!!  We ad lib everything!  I do study all of the products I present so I understand how to explain it to our viewers.  Some products are easier than others – for example, gemstones/jewelry.  I received the highest credentials in Gemology when I received my G.G. (Graduate Gemologist) diploma in 2003, so I really don’t have to prep very much in that category.  However, Electronics is a different story – a lot of show prep there.

Every day at the network is so exciting – from different products, guests and timeslots that I work. I think the highlight of my job would be the people.  All of the incredible people that I have met from all over the world that I get to work with, and have established friendships that will last a lifetime.  I will always remember getting to meet and work with on-air Chief Design Director of Waterford Crystal – Jim O’Leary from mm-blog-4-sonia-melissa-2Waterford, Ireland. We became very close and he took me to the top of the world . . . well, the top of  One Times Square to see the Waterford Crystal Times Square Ball in April 2013.  I have also met so many guests from Italy.  Two that stand out in my mind would be Stefano Virgino and Manuela Biancospino.  I present their jewelry collections on-air and had the pleasure of spending time with them on my recent trip to Italy.  mm-blog-4-melissa-dimitri-4Sonia Bitton has the sweetest soul and means so much to me.  Chuck Clemency and Dimitri James are so incredibly funny and I have a blast working with them both!  I have known Dimitri since 1994 when I launched him at Shop At Home!  Speaking of Shop At Home where I began this fabulous career, I have a bond with 3 hosts that started there with me.  We are all still in the shopping network business and still in touch.  I love you Connie, Jennifer and Kim . .

mm-blog-4-melissa-shop-at-home-hosts-5It would be impossible to list and thank every guest that I have worked with and have established friendships, like Dallas, Vince, Judy Crowell, Paul Deasy and Nick Kwan.  Again, it is the highlight of my job!

mm-blog-4-melissa-with-tucson-group-6Besides my gift of gab, I guess it is my passion for shopping!  I can’t believe I get to shop with 88 million viewers every day!  It really is a dream job that I am so incredibly grateful for.  I want to thank each and every viewer that has invited me into their homes for the last 24 years.

The pleasure is all mine!

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My Parents

I celebrate my parents every day but even more in August since their wedding anniversary is August 31st.  They’re celebrating 53 years this year!  What a gift of love to have that melissa-blog-3-mom-dad-1many years together.  My husband Lewis and I, along with my brothers,  hosted their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Ohio a few years ago and it was an amazing celebration with family and friends traveling from MN, FL, WV, KY and of course Ohio to celebrate their love.

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They met on a blind date in January 1963 and were married in August of that same year! My brothers and I always loved hearing that story of how my dad’s sister Betty met my mom and said, “Are you dating anyone?”  My mom said, no – and my aunt went on to say “well’ I have this brother who I think would really like you!”  Life is funny – you never know who you will meet on your path who will change the course of your destiny.

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My parents were blessed with four children –  1 daughter, 3 sons, and 6 grandchildren! We have so many memories as a family and I can’t thank them enough for their unconditional love and support that they always show us.  They are always there, a phone call away to celebrate with us or give us advice on raising kids.  Trust me – there have been many emotional calls over the years and my mom, in her patient wisdom, always says . . . this too shall pass. It seems they have always been spot on with their advice and I consider myself so incredibly blessed that I have them as my parents and I’ve been privileged to celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary this year!

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Together

I treasure my friendships!  My husband Lewis is my best friend – we are great companions and have the best time together.  We also enjoy spending time with an amazing group of friends that we met through Evine years ago.  We’ve remained close and enjoy traveling together.  We consider ourselves very lucky to have a great group of friends like this. What’s so cool about this group is the age range – 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s! The thirty-somethings teach us old dogs a thing or two.  Talk about great dating conversation!  Wow, wow, wow!!  Times have changed since Lewis and I were dating!

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One of our favorite weekends with them is our canoe trip to Wisconsin.  We spend a leisurely weekend at our friend Lisa’s cabin – laughing, eating and catching up on life.  This is an annual trip that’s been going on for 10 years! We all sign up for our food assignment a couple of weeks out.  Who’s doing dinner?  Well, it’s usually my sweet Lew and our dear friend Brett – they’re both talented when it comes to cooking.  I love to bake a cake or bring a fun dessert, and everyone else signs up for breakfast or lunch on the Namekagan River.  Oh . . . and someone’s always given the fun cocktail assignment!  We spend all day Saturday floating down the river enjoying the beauty of nature and just being together.  We love that word ‘together’ and we use it a lot.

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With this great group of friends we always travel to some place new every October.  We try to pick a place that none of us have ever been to, and all get to experience something new together.  We’ve been to the vineyards in California, Whidbey Island in Washington, Savannah, Georgia and, this year, we’re going to Santa Barbara, California.  What a treasure friendship is!

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We love to close out the year together celebrating the holiday season. Lewis and I host a Christmas get-together for our group at our house.  We enjoy an amazing meal – last year it was lobster!  Then we enjoy exchanging gifts and doing a fun elephant gift exchange too! This night goes on forever with fun games, great conversation and everyone usually ends up spending the night.

I feel incredibly grateful for our friendships.  We’ve been through a lot together and it feels so good knowing that you have their love and support.

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Cheers to friendship!

 

 

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