It's not easy being REEN

Life in Hollywierd

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Wildlife Docs

The Wildlife Docs best show on tv

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My new site!!

AS much as I really enjoyed blogging on this site, I now have a new site, and it is called

I do new things and then Vlog and Blog about them. I hope that it keeps everyone interested in always trying new things and staying open to the adventures that are right in front of you :)

here is the site.....

Please stop by!!

Visit Rachel Reenstra's latest project, Let's Do Something New!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Well it is 2 days in to the MURPHY GOODE weekend and it just keeps getting better. We traveled to the vineyards and learned about the history of the grapes and were schooled on how they know when to pick and when the grapes are ready.
My favorite part of the day was blending a few different wines to make the perfect one --I called it "spit bucket" which I always wanted a wine to be called.
A little later we worked in the tasting room for a while, then headed to a dinner half of the group cooked for us---it was there that we learned how to REALLY taste wine. To do this right you must feel, smell, and taste the complexities. I felt a little bit intimidated when words like "graphite" and "granite" were used in describing the taste. Isn't that a type of stone? I kept tasting and tasting but there was never anything in my mouth that came close to tasting like a rock. I am committed to tasting at least a pebble in my next glass, and today I just might lick a stone to see what all the hype is about.
When I first tasted white wine I thought I tasted hints of hairspray. That's what it tasted like to me. Hairspray. Then again that was in the early 90's when my hair needed 2 cans of product before I left the house. Maybe everything tasted like hairspray back then. Even so, I obviously need to really pay attention to all the different smells and taste of a simple sip of wine.
The evening ended with a game of "Liars Dice" which I quickly lost because at that point in the night if there was ANY game that involved counting or adding, I was out.
Monday we have our final interviews and then team 2 (my team) cooks for everyone--(it's a good thing the interview will be over BEFORE I cook anything for anyone)- and it will be our last night here (or first of many.)
No matter what this already has been an experience of a lifetime, I have 9 new friends and a new ROCKY pallet. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A GOODE first day!!!!

Well, it's the first day and what a blast it has been already! I spent the first few hours getting to know the area and after a nice long nap in my beautiful room looking over the town I had a little time to do some wine tasting and get to know the local wine lovers.....I fell in love with a t-shirt that said "pinot envy" and the wines at LE CREME were pretty good too. Along the way someone told me that if I went to Kendall Jackson I had to have the "hot guy". Well you don't need to tell me more than once to get moving on meeting a hot guy so I ran over there and burst into the winery demanding they introduce me to the hot guy everyone in town was telling me about. The owner looked at me and laughed (a reaction I am quite used to) and told me that the hot guy I was talking about was actually a wine called "HALK EYE", which in my defense does sound a lot like "hot guy". He could tell I was very disappointed. After I got over my humiliation he eased my pain by signing a bottle of "HALK EYE" with "from the hot guy" and giving it to me as a gift!!

At 7pm I met everyone else in the Top Ten and I fell in love with them all. I honestly do not care who wins (although I do have a favorite.) At dinner we all introduced ourselves and after that we voted on the best introduction. Somehow I won (I think they took pity on my "hot guy" story") so I get a free massage tomorrow!!! ---I cant wait. We played some bachi ball after dinner and had a few drinks at a local far so GOODE!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Well, I just filmed 2 days of an infomercial featuring a HOME MADE SODA MAKER called "SODA STREAM"
What's so amazing about a home made soda maker?? Everything. All you have to do is push a button to carbonate your own tap water, then add any flavor of over 30 they have to choose from,and in 20 seconds flat----you have a fizzy soda of your choice, you save the environment by NOT wasting anymore cans and plastic, you save money since you can make much more than it would cost you to buy in the store, and impress all your friends by always having sparkling water available.
Not to mention I am on my way to WINE COUNTRY competing to be a wine country correspondent and am hoping I can score some extra points with the MURPHY GOODE WINERY people if I show them that I can turn WINE into WINE-SPRITZERS with my home made soda machine........
I have to say that the thing I LOVE about shooting an infomercial
(besides my co-host who brought his own personal mini-fan to cool himself off constantly between shots)
is all the hours the day before when we go over the script. This leads to spending way to much time and energy on deciding if "FIZZ" is the appropriate word, or should I say "Carbonated". This lead to a very heated debate when half the producers (and writer) agreed that "Fizz" really is a fun word, but could people relate to the word "Fizz". I said it so many times to myself the word made no sense anymore. Fizz. Fizzzz. Fizzy.Fuzzy. Fuzzy Wuzzy wuz a bear......Someone chimed in that "Bubbly" was just as fun a word and also matched my personality. The debate went on when someone related "bubbly" to "air-heady" and did not like it.
Then, as if the gods of infomercial writing shot thru me with a moment of pure genius, I said
"The word SPARKLING is fun, sophisticated, everyone can relate, and I think it ALSO matches my personality"......
.......there was a moment of silence as if no one could believe that I wasn't just a pretty face selling the product, and that I had just saved infomercial-land with a word everyone could agree on. Suddenly there was satisfied nods and smiles (and applause that went off in my head)
Now we could get to more important things, like what words should we use for other "sparkling" drinks we can make with vodka, tequila, or MURPHY GOODE!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009


What can I say. After 2 weeks of poisoning my mind with CNN I could no longer sit around and be sad about Michael Jackson anymore. I had to DO something. Out of the millions of people who signed up, I did NOT get chosen to go to the memorial. Ahhh, the irony of winning a lottery ticket where the grand prize is a funeral- and then being bummed when I didn't "win".
So how could I celebrate Michael Jackson in my own way?.... I jumped in my convertible, grabbed one of my best friends who was also feeling pretty crappy about M.J's passing, and I took us to NEVERLAND. Secretly I wanted to ride the ferris wheel, but we never made it past the gate. A GREAT bottle of wine and a picnic, was the best we could do. We toasted to Michael and sang our hearts out to M.J. the entire day.. I believe if Michael Jackson was alive and could have heard us he would agree...we might have been "BAD" but the day to Neverland was Good. Really, really good.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

L.A. host/actress leaves Hollywood for GOODE

Well, it is July 2009, and I have my eyes set on a job that would take me out of L.A. and move me to Sonoma California.
This would involve being the "wine country lifestyle correspondent" of Murphy Goode winery. They said that the want someone who is a "social media whiz" and also can breathe life into the online wine community---and bring more people to the Murphy Goode life. I don't consider myself a social media whiz, but I do put up some friggin funny videos, I have a following from being a tv personality, and I love to make sure everyone is laughing and having a great time. I am wondering if that is enough.
There are some great contestants that I am up against with more "computer savey marketing skills", but the truth is, I can only bring what I have. So far, I made it to the top I made the top 10 out of about 2000 applicants, so I must be doing something right. And I do have a passion for wine and God knows I already have some comedy material for this venture.....
We all go to Sonoma on July 18-21 for the "final interviews"
This is a reality show in the making. They should put us all in a house and run the cameras. Alcohol is already part of the gig, so the producers wouldn't have to worry about pushing that on us to make good t.v.
10 totally different individuals going after the same job???....well that's basically what I have to do every day here in Hollywood--only difference is in this 3 day audition, I get to spend a weekend with some pretty amazing people, drinking wine, and have a blast. Whether I get the gig or not, it's been a GOODE ride.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Re-union Pier---2009!!!!

Well, Howie is chillin out as 2008 comes to an end---2009 is starting out fabulous as I am already learning to live in the flow.
I am in Michigan for one more day, and had the chance to see my 2 best friends Laura and Julie (from highschool).
As we were drinking coffee we remembered a time in college where we just took off and went on a road trip at the last second. Then to my surprise, they decided that life is too short to not do something like that again, and even though they both are married with kids, they made one phone call to their mates, and next thing I know we were all off to an amazing bed and breakfast in Union Pier Michigan for the night.
Since Laura's parents own it, we were treated like VIP's and had an amazing night talking, laughing drinking wine and catching up. Mostly because we were all in the moment and we were all willing to say yes to what life was offering, we experienced an evening that we made into another incredible memory.
Here's to more spontaneous moments in 2009!

It's a WRAP!

well, the time finally came to LEAVE Atlanta and get back to the la la land. I had a good year in the South, but learned that out west is where my heart is and --my next job.
I loved the people I worked with, but also learned that a design show is just not my calling. The interesting thing is as much as they said they wanted a host with "personality", what they really meant was not MY personality because most of the time when I opened my mouth anything that came out of my mouth was cut. Fortunately, I will be on HGTV for the next year---but will be living back in L.A. pursuing a job where they actually want me to speak. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008






Sunday, June 15, 2008

A picture summary

All I can say is these were 2 moments captured on my trip. They descibe my feelings on this trip which is why these images jumped out.
I am now back in Atlanta for 12 more weeks. Enough time for me to enjoy Atlanta to the fullest, finish the hosting gig here---and move on to my next adventure---going back to Los Angeles.........I decided not to continue on Designed to Sell after the contract is up in October, trusting that as good as it is to have a job on t.v. --like these 2 pictures remind me-It's even better to be flying to a place that will let me blossom the brightest----trusting that the universe will provide a much better place for me to land.

Coming to the END!!!!

.....well after 10 days of pure exploration, and laughter, I felt like myself again. There were so many things I didn't even cover like the full day at a turkish bath with all of us in the same hot room in our bathing suits, being thrown onto a hot slab of stone and covered in bubbles and scrubbed down by a complete stranger---then getting a massage with 6 other people laying next to me----or the full day with a tour guide who talked on his cell phone the whole time and could not pronounce the "th" sound, so we were left in hysterics everytime he said first, second and TURD court of the palace....lets meet back here at Tree Turdy....
So many more memories, but to one must end the Turkey Blog at some point.
As you can see I look happy and refreshed, with thte sun going down next to the turkish flag.....and then the laughter after our last dinner that put the perfect end to a perfect trip.

From Mosque to mombo

Nothing like a day of touring Palaces and Mosques to get you in the mood to tie one on and dance the night away---I thought at the end of this crazy dancing night (us being the only ones on the dance floor of course) I would have come close to turning one of the guys straight, but not the case, if anything, after requesting George Micheal, and doing the jitter-bug to wake-me-up-before-you-go-go, I may have actually turned gay.

Dinners on the Turkish Sea!!

Okay the food was not very good, but most nights we ate overlooking the water and in the fishing villiage the hotel where we stayed would prepare turkish meals along the sea--and have some kind of performance----a bellydancer, some musicians.......and one night they even started these pots on fire and when we cracked them we got to eat what was inside.... but as I was about to dip into my kabob and yogurt on a plate still on fire, I thought---this looks very familiar to cooking at home.


One of the best things to do on a trip is explore---we only had a day left--so we woke up and a few of us just started walking-- we took a boat---then walked the cobblestone streets that lead us to markets, native americans playing music, and a bridge overlooking the ocean where to the left was Asia and to the right was Europe---- then we kept waling and literally ran into a castle that had the best view of the city!!!
We ended the day in a really quaint alley with purple and pink couches and good wine (for the FIRST TIME)
I found out the way to pronounce WINE in turkish is shuddup. As you can imagine I spent the rest of the trip giggling as I was telling bartenders to shut-up and getting a glass of wine in return....

Stop and smell the.......

well, smell anything because you don't have a choice and you especially don't have to stop to do it-----one of the things that stays with me was the SMELL--- the good and the bad.
The good was the spice market. The colors were bright, the spices were cheap, and the variety of smells were inticing--with promises of fine prepared dishes, and even a spice to keep you going for hours after dessert.
The bad was, well, just waves of B.O. and generally walking into any bathroom was enough to convince me there was another use for the burkas.

Crystal ROACH motel...

Although the hotels up to this point were pretty nice and one of them right on the water, this last hotel left an impression.
The air conditioning was "broken" and the city noise unbearable--- but not as unbearable as the heat--so we keep the window open and slept to sirens, cats screeching and horns honking.. The last day the hotel manager brought us up a fan. It said "first class" on it to remind us of the level of respect we were getting. My poor roomate Jose was miserable. He went into the bathroom to run a shower, then 3 minutes later I heard a scream---and he came out with a towel wrapped around him, and in a calm gay voice, said
"I am going to let the water run for a while, and I am NOT going to tell you why."
Apparently the water came out brown and Jose was not wanting to discuss.
This, among all the beautiful memories of the trip, was one of my favorite

Well who would have thought that after my italy tour on a bus last year, I'd find myself once again traveling in another country with a bus full of adventurers. I thought to mark the moment I would buy all my friends a keychain to take back with them......the one thing about this trip is all the laughter---as you can see I am hunched over as if in pain from laughing so hard---now I can't remember exactly at what,--I think I named a keychain after each person---and of course at this point everyone had something I could make fun of and the nick-name reflected it---or maybe it was retelling the story of the night before when one of the guys hit his head running up to our room to give my roommate a flinstone vitamin for his on-coming cold-----thats not the funny part---it was the sound he made that woke us all up because we thought a woman was having sex and screaming in ecstacy, but when we opened the door to see what it was, it was our friend on the ground moaning from hitting his head, holding up the chewable flinstone vitiman in his hand, still dedicated to handing off Barney the purple chewable vitamin for my roomy.
The kind of stuff you can't make up like this---are the best moments.....

The search for OSAMA

Well, I figure i could not go to the middle east and not at least make an effort to find OSAMA. So After checking every Starbucks and internet cafe (he HAS to drink coffee and want to check his e-mail at SOME point) I convinced our crew to rent a yaght for the day and search the seas.
About mid-day I thought I saw SOMEthing in a cave against the rocks, but it was just a wet turban. Or t-shirt. anyway, might we have just missed him? I'll never know---so the rest of the day was spent swimming, sleeping in the sun, sailing, cooking, drinking, and yes, still keeping one eye out.....

smokin the HOOKA

Lets start by saying I am not a smoker ---although I tried in Highschool, I could never get into it. One puff and I would cough for a month straight. Even after it was no longer cool, the thought of purposely putting poison in your lungs was beyond stupidity. Heck, if I wanted to commit to the idea of poison in my lungs I'll just stay in L.A. for that. This contraption was everywhere in Turkey. A Hooka. The idea is you suck in a substance that smelled like cherry, blueberry, whatever you want,and it actually would taste kinda good----if my tastebuds were in my throat. They promised it was all natural and NOT smoke. You don't get any buzz from doing it, just a pleasant fruity taste in your mouth.
Why bother? I say just eat a blueberry and call it a day. But, when in Rome.......or Turkey.....