Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yiayia Despina

"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December." 
                                                               ~James Matthew Barrie  

I am so grateful for your sincere condolences. 

In Loving Memory of Despina Giannas
September 28, 1931 - March 27, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Super Hero Window Washers

The window washers at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital dressed up as super heroes. The kids' reaction was priceless. Check out the story here. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cosmo's Birthday Pie

My dad turned 57 last week.
I didn't want to sabotage his diet, so I decided to make him a raw berry pie.
My super green friend Ana sent me the recipe.
The hardest part of the process was pre-pie, and the staring eye contest I played with the cashier at Whole Foods after he told me the total cost of the ingredients.
So in short, my family and I will be finishing this pie regardless of how it tastes.

Here is the recipe from "Life With Greens"

For the pie crust:

  • 6 medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla 

Place all ingredients into a food processor with the “S” blade. Pulse and mix until moist and formable. Transfer raw pie crust mixture to a pie pan of your choice and press into the sides of the pan.
  • Sliced strawberries to layer the bottom of the pie crust
  • Raw Cashew Vanilla Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (this is a great creamy frosting or raw “cream cheese” type blend for a number of different desserts!)
  • 1 carton of fresh raspberries
  • 1-2 cartons of fresh blueberries
  • garnish of your choice – mint, berries, etc.
  • 1.5 cups of raw cashews (soaked for 1-3 hours)
  • 6-8 medjool dates (make sure to pit them!)
  • 6-8 ounces of freshly juiced orange juice (about 2-3 oranges juiced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Directions: Place all ingredients into a high speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec) and blend on high until creamy.

Slice strawberries and line the bottom of the raw pie crust. Spread the raw cashew cream cheese mixture over the strawberries. Cut the raspberries in half and and layer them on top of the raw “cream cheese.” Dump as many blueberries as you want on top of the raspberries. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or longer) and enjoy!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Balcony Forecast

Click on the picture to check out my Saturday forecast from the Local 6 balcony. I made the video using the "videolicious" app.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Cold morning for Central Florida.
Some of us are waking up in the 30s with wind chills in the 20s?!?!
In between live shots I'm hiding under my scarf and defrosting in the news van.

My photographer just reminded me to put on my big girl pants- after all, there are morning crews who are in the rain/snow/ice mix up north.

"Hey, I grew up in Queens!"

I guess I've been in Florida long enough to forget what it's like to walk 8 blocks through the snow and slush, with a heavy book bag and the numbing fear that you missed the Q36.

Bridgette Matter, a former Local 6 intern, works for ABC 57 in South Bend, Indiana.
Take a look at this picture she posted to her Instagram:

Check out Thursday's National Forecast. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pleasant surprise

I went to use the bathroom upstairs and saw my picture next to 2 Broke Girls ;) 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! My yiayia sends her love

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Grandpa William

I never met my grandfather. He passed away on December 21, 1985, soon after my parent's wedding. A long battle with colon cancer left him in a wheelchair, unable to walk. My mom says she'll never forget the moment when time seemed to stop- when her father got up from his wheelchair, and walked her down the aisle. 
 Love is powerful. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Weekend Weather!

Here are some of my hits from the weekend morning show!

Monday, September 29, 2014

My best friend's heart transplant...

"Drs have accepted a heart. Goin in for surgery around noon."

The text message came from Stavroula's mom at 6:54 AM.

I raced to the hospital and was able to see my best friend before she went in.

I watched her sign the consent form, as she gave the surgeon instructions of where to put her icon of Saint Savva

Stavroula took a leap of faith yesterday.

The 12 hours we spent waiting- counting each time the door opened- hoping it was one of the surgeons with an update- that was the part that tested our faith.  

A priest, another friend, that sweet lady from church who passes the money tray around- each visitor another voice begging God for a miracle. 

5:46 PM:  Stavroula's surgeon, Dr. Alfred Asante-Korang walked in.

"Everything is going nice in there," he said, "you guys keep your prayers. The heart will be here soon."

This was Stavroula's third heart transplant since she was born - a risky surgery according to several top hospitals across the nation that denied her requests for treatment. 

I left the waiting room to walk around, and heard Stavroula's yiayia (grandmother), reading a prayer in Greek. 

"Yperaghia Theotoke soson imas," she said with reverence, standing next to the window by the elevators.

"Yperaghia Theotoke soson imas," translates to "Most Holy Theotokos, save us."

I walked over and stood beside her as she read from her little red prayer book. 

When she was done she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said she wasn't just praying for Stavroula, but all the kids in the hospital.

Stavroula made it through the surgery.

She slept through the night with no complications.

At one point they woke her up to see if she was alert and then put her back to sleep. 

"It's better that way, so she doesn't feel the pain and keeps the anxiety under control," her mom said in a text message today.

They're going to wean her off the breathing machine and wake her up tonight.

She still has a long way to go, but my best friend is alive. 

May God give her strength. 

Visiting Stavroula in the weeks before her transplant 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What's Your Story?

Honored to have been a guest on the University of Florida show, "What's Your Story."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Big shoes to fill

I filled in for our weekend anchor, Erik von Ancken tonight at 6 and 11. Thank God all went well :)

 Our floor director Steve doing his thing