Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another informative event at STADIA Medical Spa

Since coming back to civilization after my experience on SURVIVOR FIJI, I've been so fortunate to be pampered by the BEST Spa in San Antonio, owned by Dr. Jaime Garza, the facial injury Dr. of our Champions, the Spurs. I am now hairless thanks to their excellent laser hair removal services, mine done by the wonderful technician, Ms. April Campbell. I also enjoy a manicure and pedicure or 2...whenever my hectic schedule permits, which, unfortunately, isn't very often. Dr. Garza recently held this informative event at Stadia Spa. To the right, a Radio Spot that I did recently to invite everyone to the event. (click on Download to listen!) Go to STADIA to pamper yourself during the Holiday's. Their gift cards make GREAT gifts. I took my brother Nick, to Stadia Med Spa, last Christmas and he said it was the BEST gift he'd gotten in years. Search, Stadia, for images of my brother's visit:)

Monday, November 15, 2010

NIKOLAKI, main designer showcase at Orange County Style week, 2010

My famous fashion designer brother, Nick, presented his collection at Orange County Fashion week this past month. We're very united as a family & super supportive of each other's careers so our Mom, my daughter and I showed up, along with our first cousin who came from the Bay Area to show Nick his love and support. Here's some footage from Nick's show:
Here's the moment when Nick 1st sees his niece..it was a surprise that she would be there so, forgive my shakin' my Iphone Camera when he came over to hug us!! Below, with my daughter, Casia, my cousin's wife, Regina, my cousin, Chris, Nick, my mother Raquel) Here my cousin and I are brave enough to be in the same photo with 2 former Miss Universes! Justine Pasek(Miss Universe 2002) from my mother's native Panama and Brooke Lee from USA. Brooke, whom I know well because she's become one of my brother's BEST friends is always so sweet and generous w/me and reminded me, "hey Rita! you're a Miss Venezuela!" . Here I am with the stars of the event, my brother, Nick and his partner, David Paul at the Red Carpet of the "Active Ride" store at the Spectrum Shopping Mall where OC Fashion week was being held. My brother Nick and I at the after party.On the OC Style week stage w/Nick & his partner, David and Brooke Lee, Miss USA & Miss Universe 1997 Very mysteriously the photos I took w/fellow Reality TV family, Tenley and Kiptyn from "The Bachelor/Bachelorette & the Bachelor Pad," disappeared. I remember we took several on the different days because Kiptyn was very debonnaire complimenting my outfits and very sweet to tell me I didn't represent my age. Thank you, Kiptyn! So, I'm sad that I don't know where our photos went, so, here's on of them w/my handsome brother & Star of OC Style week, Nick.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Winning the 1st Annual "Dancing With the Lonestars!"

I don't even remember how this one landed on my lap, so like EVERYTHING that lands on my lap, I'm gonna say it's, once again, God, playing my Agent:) I received an emailfrom one of the Directors of the San Antonio Dream Center, Ms. Lucy Rule, asking me to be a "Celebrity" dancer for this event to help raise funds for their "Adopt a Shelter" program. I'm always on board for things that are to help others. Also, I was a professional ballerina so I was thrilled to use my dancer's background once again, after 20 yrs. of NOT having used it! So off I went to the Arthur Murray's Dance Studio where I was assigned a professional ballroom dance instructor (Yes, just like in "Dancing with the Stars!") and I started my daily 2 hr. practices for a week, learning to Waltz! From my experience on SURVIVOR, you'd gather that I'm a bit competetive so I took this VERY seriously. The daily practices paid off, however, as I waltzed away with the 1st Annual "Dancing with the Lonestars" trophy! My kids were there to watch me, my son feeling a bit embarassed as he usually feels by most everything I do..he's at that age:). My father, however, being a former professional ballroom dance instructor himself, was very proud of his little girl! Btw..I got a almost perfect score (three 10's and one 9!!). I was competing against the current winner of the Connexion's Hottest Latina contest, whom you may recognize below as one of my fellow models in the TRENDS June 2010 Swimwear photo shoot where I was featured on the cover:) Small world! Here I am during one of my practices leading up to the contest, at Arthur Murray's Dance Studio with my Instructor and Dance Partner for the event, Rene. (Please forgive the "battery low" sign in the middle of the video. The person doing me the favor of video taping it wasn't familiar w/the IPhone so they left that sign on there because they were afraid that tapping on it would stop the recording).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Emcee, Fashion Show to Benefit The Restoration Temple

Last summer, I was asked to be a Co-Presenter at the "Gospel Music Awards," along with Valencia of 94.1fm in San Antonio. I was blessed that the producer of that event, Mr.Richard Stevenson, remembered me & recommended me to Pastor Toya Taylor, to Emcee this wonderful event, featuring fashions from the exclusive boutique "Ethel's Essentials." I had a great time, especially because my parent's were in the audience, as they often are,to show me their support. My father, in fact,is the videographer of the below video:)Thank you daddy! (yes, I'm still his little girl!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Emcee, San Antonio Roses & Warriors Cheerleaders Auditions!

After running into the SA Roses at several local events, we've become familiar with each other. The girls are WONDERFUL and I share a common goal with their Director, Mrs. Cynthia Trinidad, in Coaching & hopefully inspiring young girls to continue to better themeselves so they can achieve their dreams/goals, whatever they may be! I do so as the Stage Presence/Runway Modeling Coach for Miss California USA, Cynthia as the Director of the SA Roses & Warriors Cheerleaders. I also share being a (really)former beauty queen, I, Miss Venezuela finalist, 1988 and Cynthia was a not so former:) Mrs. San Antonio 2009. Seems we also share coming from 2 reknowned schools of training, I, from the world reknowned MIss Venezuela Organization that prepares us for the MIss Universe titles and Cynthia being a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, comes from the Dallas Cowboys School of training. (www.saroses.com). I was VERY happy when she asked me to Emcee this year's auditions at Bally's 24 hr. Fitness Facility at The Quarry. When I arrived, over 50 girls who had been there since early that Sunday morning practicing, were ready for their chance! There was an impressive line-up of Judges including Spurs Broadcast announcer, Pablo Cruz and a former Spurs cheerleader. To the beat of of Taio Cruz' "Dynamite," these girls gave it their ALL. I was impressed with the variety of girls/women that came out. Kudos to ALL of them for the effort they put out. I have to say that after watching the choreography over and over aS they auditioned, even my son (who came w/me that day and is the videographer of the below video:) and I learned the choreography. In part of my closing, I gave them a speech about how winning isn't the important part. In my experience, simply getting out there has put me, with God's help always, at the right place at the right time. I introduced them to a dear friend that happened to be visiting me that weekend. She happens to be and a GREAT producer from AMS Productions in Austin, Ms. Kelly Kaelin. Who knows, Kelly might end up calling' one of the SA Roses, or all of them, for a future production!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Helping a fellow CBS Survivor Castaway...in Iowa!

I was so lucky to get invited by Mrs. Susie Smith (Finalist, SURVIVOR GABON)to her charitable event in Iowa. She gathered about 15 of us to help her raise funds for her son's High School, Charles City High School. This was one of the nicest "Survivor Charity" gatherings I've been to because, being a smaller group, we were really able to bond, NICELY...the way we might have done on our respective "Survivors" if we had had the kind of food, hydration and events we had on this visit...and, oh yeah, if we hadn't been going after a million dollars! LOL. I take my hat off to Susie for how PERFECTLY organized our schedules were. We were booked, back to back, happily visiting ALL the sponsors w/o whom our being there wouldn't have been possible. Here are some images from that visit last July..days before my bday! While in Charles City, we stayed at the Red Cedar lodge, in, well, Red Cedar cabins that were so cozy and comfy! We celebrated my bday the night we arrived with a LIVE Lobster dinner that Bob Crowley (winner, Survivor Gabon) brought. It was DELICIOUS! Bright and early the next morning we set off on our "Bus" to the Charles City Chamber of Commerce: the caricature you see is "Charlie" ...think of him as a sort of Charles City Mascot:) 2nd photo below left.. Second stop..KCHA Radio Station to invite everyone to promote the main event at the Auditorium where fans were coming and greet us:) Here we are at the station...since I was off "Tv Hosting" duty..lol, I decided to let someone else have the mike so here's Eric taking a callers question! Below..here we are at Larry Pump's Accounting firm...where Kathy Sleckman (Fans vs. Favorites) had us laughing way too hard with so many jokes...or were they just Kathy's questions about the bicycle race across Iowa, Ragbrai? We did get to admire his beautiful cuckoo clock! Our last stop of the day was at the town fair were we ate some delicious food provided by Hy-Vee markets. I saw a stage and a microphone so it was only a matter of minutes before I grabbed the microphone..LOL. Here I am making an announcement about the main event taking place the following night. we made it to the main event where we were greeted by a salon FULL of fans. I have to say we were ALL very impressed with the LARGE turnout. It was so nice to see the support that people in a small town give each other, especially great to see how LOVED our very own Susie is..not surprising! Here we are during a "Question & Answer" session...we really good the 3rd degree from fans re/our experience on SURVIVOR. We were asked, for example, "was there somethig that happened to you while on SURVIVOR that got edited out that you wish had gotten show?" Where do I begin!! One thing, unfortunately, I'll have to take to the grave, but it cost me a opportunity at a upcoming "Survivor All-Stars." I LOVE Yau-Man for his answer :"I got to cuddle w/Rita! but they never showed it:(" I payed Yau to say that...LOL We ALL had such a BLAST on this trip. I got JF Drake Middle School Principal Debra Beebe(finalist, SURVIVOR TOCANTINS) and the HILARIOUS KB Sleckman ( SURVIVOR FANS VS. FAVORITES)as my log cabin roomies We would laugh the night away in our bunk beds..listening to how in love Debra is & remembering the image of Yau-the Situation-Man:)in his wife beaters. After a tiring, but very fulfilling couple of days, we ended our trip with a wonderful bonfire at Cedar Lodge where we enjoyed listeing to Susie's handsome son, Trent, and his friend play the guitar & drums...just like on MTV's "Unplugged." Here I am relaxing with "my girl" Peggy Crowley, Bob Crowley's beautiful wife:)Our signature pose as we have one last look at the beautiful Red Cedar Lodge grounds...an UNFORGETTABLE weekend...& I left out the BEST part..Bob scaring us to DEATH one night he snuck up on us as we were gathered in the kitchen. Next thing we know we see a shadow coming up from behind the door to the kitchen...you had to be there!(I don't remember the last time I screamed so loud)Watch out for those grandfatherly types...ha, ha!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Emcee, Abused Children's Shelter event,2010

Cynthia Rangel has been so kind to ask me to Emcee so many of the IADT Fashion shows. This one was no exception. It was "Back to School" fashion shows featuring designs from former IADT students, Geisha Inc. (Angelica Sandoval) & Mikaeli Designs (Mandy Gallegos). The GAP also provided outfits. Ms.Karla Castillon was kind to catch this opening presentation of mine as Emcee of the event.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Interviewing Coach Doc Rivers!

During the Jr. Basketball tournaments at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, I was doing some segments for a TV show that I host that airs on Fox and Kvue, ABC, in Austin, called "After the Party." I was fortunate to get an impromptu interview with Coach Doc Rivers. Much as I tried, I got nothing when I asked him if he was going to continuing to Coach for the Boston Celtics or retire in order to have more time to follow his son's basketball career. I will post a link to the full interview when it airs on "After the Party."

The 1st pitch at the Missions Baseball Game!

I was soo excited when I was asked to throw the 1st pitch at a San Antonio Missions Baseball Game...UNTIL...I started practicing with my son and his friends and realized I was TERRIBLE!! so bad that my son, last minute bailed and didn't come to see me in action. It was his loss cuz I ended up throwin' it right down the middle..all the way to the batter! Here I am in full winding pitch action! At the end of the game, the "Missions" mascot, the "Ballapeno" comes running towards me, full speed screaming "Rita! I love you Rita!" I thought I was either really hungry cuz I thought a HUGE Hot Dog with Jalapenos was telling me he loved me!, but as he got closer I saw he was carrying an 8 X 10 photo of me on SURVIVOR! Turns out the person inside the "Ballapeno" costume is a HUGE Survivor fan! I'm so lucky to have the most amazing fans. This one, in particular because, about a year later, he asked me to do an autograph signing to help raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club (http://ritaverreos.blogspot.com/search?q=Autograph+Signing+for+the+Boys+and+Girls+Club%2C+09) and I did another one not too long ago, thanks to him also, at Northwoods Cinema to helps raise funds for "Stars of Hope" Charities. Wesley has since moved to Los Angeles so it was my pleasure to thank him for asking me to help him with so many charities by inviting him to meet most of my SURVIVOR family when we were all gathered in LA for the 10th Anniversary CBS SURVIVOR Red Carpet Reunion. The look on Wesley's face when meeting so many "Survivors" all at once was priceless! I wanna give a special shout out to Earl (winner of my season, whom I wrongfully thought hated me and then SURPRISED me with one of the most beatiful words I've ever heard spoken of me as he picked up my torch on the very lst episode of our Season) and to Cristina Coria, for making yourselves available to sign autographs in Los Angeles to help Wesley continue his charitable work.

Emcee, Fashion show at Aldino's

To the right with the owners of Aldino's:
When the always elegant Nicole Baumier-Moghini asked me to Emcee a Fashion show sponsored by Ferrari at her and equally classy husband, Ed's Aldino's Restaurant..it was my son who said "Yes!" He's a HUGE F1 Fan so all he heard was FERRARI! I said yes because the fashion show was to raise funds for the SA Food Bank. I'm so thankfuly to God for giving me this way to give back and help out doing something I absolutely love...talking into a microphone and even better if it involves a camera..LOL. Here's a small intro right before the event which featured a couple of collections from fantastic local designers, Geisha Inc, by Angelica Sandoval and Mikaeli Alton by Mandy Gallegos.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Emcee of 1st Annual Longhorn Live/Academy Women's Football Clinic, 2010

I was doing double duty as Producer and Emcee of this Fashion show. As if following Rachel Zanardi, Co-Host of Longhorn Live wasn't gonna be hard enough! Thanks to ALL the models who were a part of the fashion show, Ms. Barbara Clack & her adorable grand daughter, Teresa, Rachel Zanardi, Esq. Rosie Alvarado, my friend, Monica Stepanenko, my niece, Miranda Gomez, Tashanda & Tamiko. Also, special thanks to the General Manager of Academy, Mr. Cory Johnson, and last but not least, whom I refer to as one of my Guardian Angels, the Host of "Longhorn Live" Sportstalk on KLUP, 930am, "Longhorn Gene," for asking me to be a part of this event! and here's a bit of the show!

Being a waiter at the Kids Exchange Dinner

This was my 3rd year being a "Celebrity" Waiter at the Kids Exchange Celebrity Waiter Dinner. I'm always so happy and honored to do it. I get to help an important cause because, unfortunately, so many kids get caught in the middle of their parent's divorces. Kids Exchange provides a safe haven/meeting point where children can be dropped off by one parent and then picked up by the other parent thereby avoiding any negative encounter between the parents. We have a blast serving all the attendees whose tips to us we then donate to the "Kids Exchange" foundation. It's always a special treat for me to get to see such beautiful women, inside and out, like Claudia Zapata and Erin Berry (both are wives to a couple beloved SPURS Champions, Sean Elliott and Brent Berry). In fact, the event is organized by Erin and her husband. Recently, thanks to Erin, we became fellow models in the 1st Annual Strike a Pose for Breast Cancer Calendar (www.strikeaposesa.com). Here I am with SPURS Champion, Sean Elliott.

Judging the LOL Comedy Club Contest

One of my good friends is local comedian, Cleto Rodriguez. He hosts a Comedy show at the LOL Comedy Club every Thursday. I LOVE comedy. Laughing is ESSENTIAL in my life so I was soo excited when I got asked to be one of the Judges for a Comedy Competion..as you can see from the photos, I was LMBO at the LOL Club..I made that 1st one up..Laughing My Butt Off...not bad, right? If my son read this he'd say, "actually, mom, that's really bad...and not bad as in good mom!" Pardon the redundance, but...LOL.

at UNIVISION recording Voice Overs

Here I am at the UNIVISION studios in San Antonio recording a series of Voice Overs for "Vision Source" (you can see/hear the final product putting "Vision Source" in the search bar here) and the US Census tv commercials.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Emcee for SouthTexas Blood & Tissue Center..

My dear friend and Host of Longhorn Live, better known as "Longhorn Gene," asked me to Emcee an event commemorating the Aggie/Longhorn Bonfire Tragedy that happened 10 yrs. ago. A friendly Aggie/Longhorn Blood drive competition took place at this event that Longhorn Gene asked me to Emcee. It was fun to see current DA, Susan Reed's competitive spirit and I thank her for the very sweet words she said when introducing me. I wish I had the video, but something happened with my camcorder that froze the dvd:((. Here I am with the Honorable (& competitive!) Susan Reed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Co Host/Emcee for the SAAHJ Silent Auction, 2010

A month after doing the TRENDS swimsuit cover,(see below) I get a call from one of my favorite people, the SA Express News Fashion editor, Mr. Michael Quintanilla asking me if I'd Co-Host the Silent Auction for the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists honoring Rosie Castro (our current Mayor's mother) and Marta Tijerina, a Pioneer for Women in the Broadcasting industry, as well as the recipients of the SAAHJ Scholarships. I had a BLAST doing this unique as I called it "Not so Silent Auction" because Michael and I were talking people through it...leave to us Latins because Lord knows we're talkers...hence why I'm a TV Host/Spokesperson! lol.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meeting Little Joe, Jhordana (Project Runway), Jesse Borrego & Longhorn Gene

At a presentation regarding Arizona's Proposition 1070, I met a legend of the music industry, Mr. Little Joe. It was an honor! From there, I went to LA to Coach my Miss California candidates where I met one of my brother's fellow Project Runway Alums's and finalist, Jhordana. Here I am (below)at the 1st Annual Hispanic Heritage Organization Gala with Jesse Borrego (best known for his role in the original FAME and starring roles on ER) and with the Host of "Longhorn Live"Radio show, Longhorn Gene at the 1st Annual Red McCombs Golf Tournament with proceeds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Monday, August 30, 2010

RealityTV Club's 1st Annual Reunion on Catalina Island!

Above, left to right: The BIGGEST Liar EVER on Survivor, Jonny Fairplay, Richard Hatch (1st winner of SURVIVOR Borneo) in the baseball cap, Aras Baskauskas (winner, SURVIVOR EXILE ISLAND)Jesse Csincsak (winner,Season 4:The Bachelorette) Evel Dick (yes, you read right..Winner Big Brother 8) Sandra Diaz-Twine (2 time winner SURVIVOR) Todd Herzog (Winner, SURVIVOR China).
Although it looks like we enjoy being miserable on SURVIVOR, once getting "voted off" (lol) we haven't stopped having fun. This past April, Catalina Island hosted the 1st Annual Reunion for participants of the shows SURVIVOR, BACHELOR, BACHELORETTE, AVERAGE JOE, BIG BROTHER and PIRATE MASTER. For us on SURVIVOR, it was a part 2 of the 10 year Reunion we had in January (that one was a bit more formal, a big Red Carpet event at CBS studios). This one, incredibly well put together by Christa Hastie Waydo (SURVIVOR Pearl Islands) more in the familiar island setting. At 1st, I was hesitant to "sign up" because they said we'd be in tents w/no electricity...not gonna willingly "sign up" for that (those who know my story know that I didn't sign up for SURVIVOR, but was recruited/spotted by an agent of the show). Anyhow, when I heard we could have all the food and hydration we wanted..I was in..lol! Was ensued was an unforgettable weekend, especially because I didn't know we'd be joined my participants from the above mentioned shows. New "alliances" were made and, happily, no one was "voted off!..."
The night before taking the ferry to Catalina Island, we stayed at "The Queen Mary" Hotel in San Diego. It's, literally, a cruise ship, alla "The Titanic." In fact, it's rumoured that ghosts inhabit the bungalow hallways. I shared a bungalow with the funny and sassy fellow Latina/ONLY 2 time WINNER of SURVIVOR, Sandra Diaz Twine. Here we are checking our phone's for our kids messages! the night before on "The Queen Mary." (Below)The next morning, we had to make a run to the nearest Walmart, cuz that's how Ms. Sandra remain's a millionaire..atta girl! to get a sweatshirt because the weather turned out to be about 20 degrees below what we thought it was going to be! Brrrr!! We ran into Richard Hatch (the infamous 1st winner of SURVIVOR and his partner, fellow South-American Emi)
The weekend was FULL of super fun activities. Below right:The Hiking Group photo. The last day, we had a Scavenger Hunt. Here I am with my team, "strategizing"..while the team to our right tries to cheat by listening in..Wow, what a surprise! It's Jonny Fairplay listening in!! This Scavenger Hunt was one of the FUNNEST times I've ever had. It was VERY hard and sooo tiring, but our "tribe" had a blast. Here I am with Arthur Wells (Bachelorette, Season 4)Suzie Williams(Bachelor, Season 5),Kendra Guffey(The Pirate Master), Dennis Luciani(The Beauty & The Geek)...not sure why Dennis was on that show cuz he's truly one of the coolest dudes ever!(below left)Contestants and now, my new friends from the Bachelor/Bachelorette Reality Show: left to right, Jesse Csinsak (winner of Bachelorette, Season4), but that didn't work out so he fell in love with another "Bachelor" contestant who's the one standing to his right, Anne Csinsak (yes, you read right..she's Mrs. Csinsank, they recenlty wed in Vegas! David Vargas, Jeannette Cherie Pawula, Arthur Wells Webb (the Bachelorette, Season 4),Elizabeth aka, Kitty Katt (The Bachelor Pad),Brian Westendorf (The Bachelorette, Season 4),Suzie Wells (the Bachelor, Season 5). The last night, at the campfire with Brian Westerndorf (The Bachelorette, Season 4)..I spared you the performance goin' on in front of us as Spencer (SURVIVOR Micronesia) was re-enacting one of the Lady Gaga videos..lol.
They are ALL so fun, down to earth and beautiful people inside out! So happy and blessed to have made these new friends..can't wait for next year!

Friday, August 27, 2010

On the Cover of TRENDS Fashion Magazine

The summer after appearing on SURVIVOR FIJI, I was very fortunate to have gotten a call from, Michael Quintanilla, the Fashion Editor for the SA Express News (former Fashion Editor of the LA times), with a proposal to feature me in a Cover Fashion Editorial for a magazine called SPICE. (http://ritaverreos.blogspot.com/search?q=News+Paper+Headline). I'm so blessed that, 3 years after my experience on SURVIVOR, I received, once again, a phone call from Michael wanting to feature me on the cover, once again with en editorial Swimwear photoshoot inside the magazine. I was so thrilled and grateful and VERY surprised that he chose to feature me on the cover. As if that weren't enough, a week after the magazine came out,he received a request from Dillard's to have me do an autograph signing due to the success in swimwear sales that,apparently, my images in TRENDS, had generated. Thus, I arrived at Dillard's on a weekend Saturday, this past June, to find the assistants filling a bunch of gift bags. I was worried they were filling too many!! God is so good to me, that my fear of no one coming out to see little ole me, were without foundation. The autograph signing brought out a wonderful outpouring of people who have been admiring my work from afar. I'm so grateful to everyone for the time they took to come out and meet me. I pray God continues to give me opportunities to keep doing things with my career that serve the double purpose of providing for my children and giving back to this city that I love so much.
Above, a short video at the autograph signing. Here I am w/Michael Quintanilla and, the photographer, Kevin Geil as he captures the last rays of sunlight! ...and below, the cover shot!
The Fashion Expert does his thing...placing the scarf just right:) To the right, striking one last pose..in the JW Marriott Resort Spa Pool..
Rita on the rocks..literally..lol!