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Our Christmas Getaway

Our Lake Arrowhead / Big Bear vacation was a total bombshell! โ›„๐ŸŽ„

I am blessed to have so many special people in my life. I planned a whole weekend packed full of surprising games and activities. I am the guy who naturally plans things - events, birthdays, #getaways and other fun things for my friends and I. It's just in my nature. I love rolling in a tight circle and I love having a good time.

While I was away, work didn't stop for my team at BTV. As I mentioned, we still have 4 shows airing weekly. Along with that, we're inching closer to our premiere for Shine and the upcoming productions for our new shows too. Take a look at the screenshot from our website below of just a select few...

Fun fact: did you know we got the rights to Cinderella? ๐Ÿ‘‘

We're on fire right now, and though its keeping me the busiest I've ever been in my life, it's really paying off. I have two incredible teammates who have been with me since the jump. Andrew Young, is the head of our scripted content, and Joel Parent, is the head of our unscripted content. They are two very close friends and have been life savers in this process.

Rachel asked me during our trip this time around what all I do on the daily. She said I always look so busy, but she never knew what I do for BTV. She just launched her own business, so I felt like I could have a conversation that she understood. There are many people who ask me that question and don't really understand what it takes to run a successful business. So when I answer, it goes through one ear and out the other. I will say that I do my best to keep the happy Brandon, fun face on, but keeping everything under control right now is getting harder and harder. I'm overseeing every department, from commercial to acquisition, and development to production. It's insane, but it's unpredictable and it's fun.

This weekend was fun though. I know I wanted to make it special, especially after the last trip being Vegas. I'm all about making vacations with my friends as special as possible. And I hope I did just that for everyone! ๐ŸŽโ›„

Firstly, Justin helped me make cute little stocking stuffer survival kits for everyone in the cabin. They came stocked full with mouthwash, floss, emergency powder, bandaids, mints, a loofah, a Translucent Cosmetic's elixir, Pin Magic's exclusive #getaway pin, Good Food Guru's special #getaway themed cocktail, and an added pack of makeup wipes and Lusso Vitale lashes for the girls.

Next I made sure to plan cooked meals each night, but if you know me, you know it wasn't I up in that kitchen. I made sure to ask a few of our most talented chefs - Monique and Justin. They helped with my Cosco run and of course, the cooking itself. I love those two.

Then I worked with Roberto and Demetre's Good Food Gurus to plan for apps and specialty drinks served an hour before dinner each night. That plan didn't go over as perfectly as I planned. A nice mix between miscommunication and shady little side conversations made for that collaboration to implode. I'm learning that's the territory with Demetre though, always some shade flying from some direction or the other. Roberto was right when he told me Demetre was shadier than I originally thought. Ha! Roberto did pull together a couple of special cocktails on the fly for us anyway. And let me say, they were so good.

Lastly, I put together a little itinerary to keep us busy during our socially-distanced and quarantined holiday season. Due to the newest restrictions, and the second wave of LA County's 'stay at home' orders in place, I wanted to be as safe as possible when planning our weekend. I made sure when we left the house for any plans outside the cabin, we wore masks and actually stayed outside.

On the itinerary included some games I found online, actives near the lake and a few icebreakers I created:

  1. Ornament Testament (or known as 'Pass the Cock')

  2. Gingerbread Trap House Competition

  3. Snow Tubbing

  4. Dirty Santa (or known as 'White Elephant')

  5. Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition

  6. Card Games

  7. Santa's Village Shopping

  8. What's Your Talent Competition

  9. Surprises

  10. And more!

I will say we made some really incredible memories and laughed the entire time. But I also learned some shocking things along the way too. Monique and Alitalia hashed some things out, Marlene broke about filing a police report, my friend and newcomer Reyna helped shape a new dynamic for our group, alcohol brought out the wild in some of the rest and one of my biggest fans lost her life.

Her name was Carla Boyer. She supported everything I did - from competing on American Idol to mentoring other singers on Shine.

I think the reason it hurt me more than I initially expected was because I hadn't talked to her in a while. Carla had reached out several times in the last month and I hadn't got back to her to remind her how much her support and her unconditional love meant. She was one of my first fans. She really believed in me before many others. It was shocking to find out she passed, especially because I didn't know she was struggling. I feel guilty. Guilty for not making time to tell her how much I appreciated her support, and it hurts.

During these COVID-19 times, I feel like there has been so much death. I try to take the most positive outlook on everything I do, but as I mentioned, BTV keeps me busy. I really need to learn how to better balance those most important to me in my personal life, alongside my company. My company makes me happy, but often times I pour my heart and soul into BTV, and I run out of time in the day to share my love with those who helped me get to where I am. I'm sorry Carla! I love you and will certainly miss your smile in the front row of all my special moments.

When we got back from the trip, I learned my sister Monique was about to have a grand baby! That's right! Since then, I can confirm, she is officially a grandma! We're going to call her a G'Mo though, because she's still young, sassy and supreme.

I mean it's trendy to have your grandchildren calling you something unique, right? I'm so happy for her. I'm twerking cause guess what, I'm a great-uncle now.

Coming up this weekend is Demetre's charity event over at his house. Originally I wasn't going to get to go because the Arrowhead/Big Bear trip was scheduled at the same time. I moved things around on my end to make it work for everyone. I'm happy he's inviting the majority of our group too.

Fingers crossed Roberto makes some of his fancy cocktails too. ๐Ÿน

With love,


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