Friday, November 22, 2013

Shophouse Snorkeling and Photo Works in Jamaica

If you haven't been to Jamaica, it might be worth a trip to see some of the unique hotels and beautiful beaches this country has to offer.  Having explored Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica, I got my fill of hot-humid weather,  Spicy Jerk-Chicken and Jamaican rum.  It's no surprise to hear Bob Marley songs echoing from the streets and hearing Jamaican people express with pride, "No Problem" at any opportune time.  There’s a plethora of water activities along the beaches, however, I found a snorkeling company that really gave me a deeper look into the Jamaican sea.  The group of friends I was with rallied us to take this tour, which provided a lobster lunch off a private beach.

We met with Lincoy Dolphy “AKA” Kirk, a hard working tour-guide from Shophouse Snorkeling and Photo Works.  If you’re looking for an up-close and personal snorkeling adventure, this just might be the best-by-the-sea.  Our Captain, Lincoy, gave us the grand tour, which cruised by the famous 7-mile Beach and other secret caves of Jamaica. 
We made several stops, snorkeling through some impressive reefs decorated by an abundance of sea life and historical artifacts.  I admit, I did get super nauseous, and had to come up a few times for air, but was so engrossed by the world around me.  Millions of distinctive, funny, and eerie looking fish danced in and around crevices of the ocean floor.  The colors were incredible, with bright orange, yellow and blue fish, angelfish and zebra-striped fish.  I gasped as I felt the schools of tiny bug-sized Jellyfish swim by me.  Even crazier was my encounter of a huge stingray.  “Say what!?” Yes, not one, but two spotted stingrays.  I kept my distance as I frantically waved under water at my friends close by to keep moving.

Lincoy guided our tour safely and was really excited to help us capture some memories with his under-water camera.  He brought us strarfish and various shells to hold, while we posed in full snorkel gear. He was full of amazing stories about Jamaican life, the epic sea and it’s rich history. 

I was so amazed by this man's passion for life and his work of sharing the sea with others.  I promised I would tell more people about it.  I captured this video on my cell and edited some pieces together, which does not give the adventure its full justice.  At least you can get a sneak-peek and hopefully on a trip to Jamaica, you’ll remember this friendly Captain Kirk, who will take you on a thrilling snorkel adventure you won’t forget!

Check out Do Tell Do Tell TV YouTube video here:

Thanks to Lincoy Dolphy of Shophouse Snorkeling & Photo Works

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Slice of life story with Chef Hoss Zaré of Fly Trap

It was a phenomenal day in San Francisco, with its rare warm saturday weather, the farmers market was bustling with food vendors, fresh produce, music was playing by the street artists and people lined up for fruit samples and cups of java. What made it even more special, was my hangout with a very inspiring and talented chef, Hoss Zaré - owner of the Fly Trap restaurant in San Francisco.
I was welcomed by his sincere smile and warm hug before we started our tour through his playground at the farmers market. As we trekked around picking up some fresh ingredients from local vendors for his next dish, it was evident that he's a bit of a celebrity with everyone recognizing him and walking up to him to be embraced by his Hossy-Hugs.
A man full of life, Zaré is full of amazing stories from his world travels, to how he became a chef.  He opened up with me and shared the tragic stories about his family and how it empowered him to follow his passion in the kitchen.  Zaré credits his mother and his brother for helping him push the boundaries with his restaurant and creative recipes.  I learned so much about this brave man, especially how he lives with optimism despite all he has been through, that it only makes me want to hug him more.

If you haven't had a chance to have your taste buds tantalized by the flavors of Hoss Zaré's dishes, you must step into the Fly Trap to find out what Hoss is cooking up next.  You'll see why he puts the Hoss in Hoss-pitality.

To find out more about Fly Trap and chef owner Hoss Zaré, go to his website or like Fly Trap on Facebook.

Check out my video from my youtube channel Do Tell DoTell TV:

 Do Tell Do Tell TV gets a slice of life story with Chef Owner Hoss Zaré of Fly Trap restaurant.

Special Thanks to my video team at

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sam's Day

Sam's Day

Musicians coming together to help out one of their own, who is suffering at the hands of breast cancer.

On a recent visit to meet up with music artist and producer from the Black Eyed Peas, 
Printz Board at his photo shoot in San Francisco, I was introduced to talented photographer/musician Ian Montgomery. They both shared with me many stories and plans about their upcoming music projects. Printz Board is currently making waves with his own new music and is releasing his single titled #1.  He also gave me a glimpse into his sensitivity to others and told me about his current inspiring project with Montgomery which literally gave me chills.  
I learned that these guys are contributing much more then just their music but impacting in heartfelt ways. Together these two artists came together to touch the life of singer Sam Lien who is suffering from breast cancer.  Along with other collaborators, they were able to make Sam's dreams come true by taking her into the recording studio to make her music. They made Sam's day on her wedding day and presented her with their surprise gift of music.  I'm glad to see these artists using their talents in ways that mean the world to others. 
Thank you Printz Board and Ian Montgomery for sharing this with me.

Click the video link or Watch the video here:

Musicians coming together to help out one of their own, who is suffering at the hands of breast cancer.

via Vimeo

Video clip courtesy of Ian Montgomery at Pre-Future LLC. Thank you! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yellow brick road, no place like home..

Just like Dorthy and her adventures down the yellow brick road, to speak with the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, we also seek the road to finding answers as we walk through the road of life. We go through a whirlwind of our own tornadoes that throw us off in life and places us in uncomfortable zones.   
We deal with bad witches and good witches but along the way, we meet friends who buffer the road through it all. 
I love this movie for so many reasons, particularly the nostalgia that takes place and for how symbolic it is. I smile as I recall the first time experiencing Oz as a child plopped in front of the TV with my family.  I watched Dorothy and her "hype-friends"go through the trenches, battling the wicked witch and the fears that get in the way of dreams.  Her friends the Tin-man, Scare Crow and Cowardly Lion become her family, supporting each other through thick and thin.  
I went through so many intense emotions, inspired by the movies creative way of sending me a message.
In my effort to live my life, moving closer to my true calling, I found that the brick road brought me back home.   I have to admit and say how thankful and lucky I am to have my family. I know for some, family is not an option.  Some people don't get along with their family, but there are different types of families that grow in your life.  I realize that my family is there for me no matter what.  Even through all the fights, disagreements, and tears there's a rainbow on the other side!  There's your family in the end with all its colors from dark to light. 
 I click my wedge heels 3 times and say theres no place like my crazy home.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Curbside Couture

Curbside Couture - Fashion Show To-go

Breaking out a new way of showcasing fashion, Founder of Curbside Couture Leah-Marie Bronson, has brought a whole new meaning to mobile fashion.  It's literally fashion on wheels, (on a big truck) where she brings together local boutiques and features hip, stylish, designs in front of boutiques or a venue that are literally ready-to-wear.  Marin Country Club helped to host this event while attendees shopped off the racks of selected pieces highlighted in the show.  All this while noshing on appetizers and sipping some fun margaritas from local vendors such as Laughing Glass Cocktails.  

Other participants included Sproos Salon / thestylebar who provided the makeup and hair to the models.  Fashion show/model coach and author of Star Walk, Charleston Pierce, also teamed up with Curbside Coutures fashion show production.  Stylist Guru, Justin Van Derren, who collaborated with Curbside Couture was raffled for his stylish expert advice among some of the prizes. The boutiques and vendors even gave special promo offers just for having fun at the event. 

Do Tell Do Tell TV meets up with go-getter, fashion stylist and founder of Curbside Couture, Leah, along with some of her team and went behind the scenes to get a dose of what it's like to put on this unique show. 

Check out the clip from Do Tell Do Tell TV You Tube Channel here:
Follow on Twitter @DoTellDoTellTV 

Thank you to my team Mark Marcelo at IdioVideo for providing creative video skills. 

Friday, March 15, 2013


WARNING:Dangerous Dance Moves... 

Gotta tell you, I am completely BLOWN away by this dance duo's dangerous-dance-moves. The folks at Urban Dance Camp have trained and produced some talented dancers. One such example is this phenomenal dance routine performed by Keone and Mariel Madrid.  I can't help but watch this and smile and stand up to such clever choreography and brilliant dancing.  Seriously, impressed with their hip-edgy technical moves and interpretation  Brings to life the song and makes for such an entertaining visual to watch.  These two incredible dancers, Keone and Mariel Madrid are bad-ass, "Michael Jackson" bad-ass!
Stop reading this and just watch what I mean: Keone and Mariel Madrid

Additional bad-ass dancing playlist continues from this clip below.
Thank you to Urban Dance Camp YouTube Channel 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Getting On Board - North Bay - Marin County, California

Calling all yoga enthusiast and SUPers (stand-up-paddle-boarders) - There's a new kind of class that will move your body and mind, literally.  

By: Veronica Castro

Get on board with on-the-water-yoga classes, combining yoga mediation stretches with stand-up-paddle board balancing benefits and an amazing workout.  Sounds like an odd pairing but it can be an exhilarating experience.  Paddling above the water gives amazing perspective and yoga kicks your muscles in a whole new way.  The water alone is mediative with its sounds and being able to high plank and asana as you float on water, can make you feel on top of the world.

It does take some practice just like any sport, but give yourself a chance to find your balance on a paddle board and you will see how easy it can be.  Now if you're a beginning Yogi, take a class on land for basic yoga moves.  Ease your way into yoga as it's really intended to help you get-in-tune with your body and mind.

I admit that I had a fear of water for a very long time but stand-up paddle has helped me overcome it.  Never giving up, as I flopped in the water for the first 20 minutes, I was able to find my barrings and enjoy seeing the sea floor from above.

It's really outrageous and if your looking for floating inspiration, the folks at
Marin Magazine has got you covered.  Check out the link which offers a background story on how the craze got started and some great information on where you can find some classes and proper equipment.  Also check out OnBoardSUP to learn more about deepening your practice with classes and teacher training schedules for stand-up-paddle yoga.
Go out, make-a-splash, strike-a-pose and get on board!

Photo Credit: Arlene Barshinger (yoga pose pink top)

Getting On Board - Marin Magazine | North Bay Restaurants, Hotels, Events, Shopping - December 2011 - Marin County, California

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Workout Your New Year

Workout your New Year

By:  Veronica Castro

Anytime I hear about working out or I find new workout gear, I get excited. However, I know for most of us, some may cringe at the thought of sweating or finding time to get your butt in gear. I mean really, getting to the gym is half the battle and then figuring out all those gym machines can be a bit overwhelming (Yikes!).  It's that time of year where gyms across the world see a fluctuation of memberships and folks are determined to shed that post holiday weight gain and get ready for bikini season.  Finding time to workout and getting to the gym is a challenge in and of itself, and by the time you arrive you're possibly already pondering what to eat because that dry protein bar just doesn't cut it!  Well either way, if you drag yourself to the gym or find a place at home (without sneaking into the pantry for a cookie) just get outside, move or find a fitness partner.  

It's easy to fall into the same routine which is why we burn out and get bored so easily.  It's important to change it up for better results.  If you find yourself out of ideas like I did a while back, consider investing in a personal fitness trainer to change your workout game.  I have to give credit to a few awesome trainers who have inspired me with "working out" my new workouts.  These inspirational trainers provided me changed insight, challenging me and offering new ways of working out with results. 

Eugene Sablan of FitnessMoves in the Bay Area, has worked with many clients and has a wealth of knowledge transforming bodies.  Eugene, aka "Gene", has a genuine supportive approach to bringing fitness into your life. I really enjoyed his personal training style, his friendly personality and his family-like demeanor made me feel motivated to commit to the workouts.  He brings together the community by offering unique bootcamps and random hiking trips for added encouragement.  Combining his keep-it-fun philosophy and expertise with engaging all muscles, he mixes in using the kettle ball, jump rope, balance ball and yoga-inspired moves.  Sablan taught me to focus on strengthening my core tricking my muscles and keeping me on my toes.  Inspired to find my inner She-ra, I kept moving and learning new ways to train my body and achieve my goal of fitting into those trendy skinny jeans. 

I also had the opportunity to train with Moji Oluwa of Moji Oluwa Fitness in Los Angeles, California.  A pro-body builder, weightlifter and personal training coach with several accolades and awards.  He can probably bench-press double or triple my body weight, but don't be intimidated by his He-Man-like physique. Behind all that muscle, Moji is one of the sweetest, big-hearted trainers and a joy to train with. Admittedly, I told Moji I was afraid to lift weights for fear of turning into a beef-cake.  But he kindly assured me that I would not beef-up, rather tone-up my tall frame without heavy weights. Believe it or not, he has achieved his bursting body of muscles all-natural.  He promotes educating the natural way with bodybuilding and living healthy with a recommended long-term clean nutrition regimen. He offered me personal meal plans to compliment my fitness goals. During one of my sessions with Moji, I was surprised we used little to no weight at all and mostly my own body weight, longer reps, and proper technique.  Just the small amount of tweaks with each move, I was able progress gradually and challenge my muscles without hurting myself. 

As a self-professed workout junkie and health-nut, I've become eager with my fitness efforts and have found yoga pants to be my new best friend. I feel motivated adding fitness-fashion collections as my everyday wardrobe.  I stumbled upon a clever shopping site from the folks over at offering some new clothing gear that improves your workout. Enter W8Fit Workout Gear: a new workout approach adding weight into your workout routine "literally".  Small weights are strategically placed into the pockets of these specially-designed workout pants and sports bras. Sort of an odd concept, but hey, you can potentially increase calorie burn wearing these pieces during a brisk walk on a break or a casual hike. 
Watch the video by clicking the link here: W8Fit Workout Gear 

Now if you are just entertaining the idea for starting a workout regimen, have no fear. Take each day to work it out into your schedule even if its a few minutes a day or every other day.  Start with just simple stretching and don't over-do-it. Small steps will make it easier so you won't burn out.  It's easy to get side tracked and lack motivation which is why I encourage partnerships or investing in a personal trainer who can offer you basic tips for proper movement and nutrition.  Self-educate yourself, surf the web as there is a wealth of resources there and even youtube video demonstrations that I have used.  Read magazines and tear out step-by-step routines and save them in a binder and leave it out so you can see it. I've created a few of them myself and have used them with a trainer.  I'm a believer of one-day-at-a-time and simple approaches to "light the fire".  Maybe pulling on a brand new supported sport bra or jumping into a comfortable pair of new training pants will spark motivation. 
Either way, work it out! Happy New Year