Friday, August 1, 2014

My "Real" Job - Working with Special Needs People

I always talk about my hobbies, friends, pets, side jobs, family, and almost everything on this blog.  But, I rarely talk about my day job.  I only work part time, but it is such an amazing place!

I work in the home office of a woman who runs programs for special needs kids and adults.  Our most recent program was a camp to learn how to ride a two-wheeled bike.  This was back in June, but when I made a photo collage of it, I realized I should tell more people about what I do!

We also have programs all year such as baseball, basketball, football, cheerleading, yoga, and more!



A few times a year, we also do dances, which are more for all ages instead of just for kids.  These dances are a fun time for families to come out, have a meal, participate in tons of games and activities, and to meet other families!  They are always so much fun!

Our Valentine's Day Dance, 2014

I think if I didn't work for my boss, I would definitely want to volunteer for her.  Our programs include so many people and provide them with opportunities they might not have otherwise.  I love all of the people and families that I have met in the last few years.

Do you volunteer anywhere?  Are there special needs programs like these in your city?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Taking my Pet Sitting to the Next Level

Over the last few months, my friends and family have been encouraging me to pursue pet sitting as a more serious supplement to my income, and not just something I do super casually.  In the last week, I feel like I have taken the next step!

Muppet and Cooper 

A few days ago, I created a facebook page.  I think this will be a good tool for me to post pictures of client's dogs.  Then if they want to see pictures of their pets while they are away, they can just go on my facebook page instead of having to ask me for pictures.  Click here to go to my facebook page.  I would love it if you liked it!

Annabelle and Keelie, from different litters but around the same age

Last night, I ordered business cards.  A few people had been urging me to, but I didn't know who I would give them to.  Then when I got home yesterday, I ran into an acquaintance who was walking her dog.  When I told her I dog sit, she asked for my card.  That was all it took to get me inside and looking for business cards.

Sissy and Zuma, my only cat clients so far (they both have doggie siblings)

This is my first time having business cards so I am really excited.  Have you ever owned business cards before?  Were you as excited as I am?

Mollie and Rusty

Ted and Willow

Sailor and Mocha

Mia and Harvey

Coco and Crystal

Mochi, the dog I am watching now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Santa Barbara Greek Festival

My apologies for two food posts in a row, but I went to the Greek Festival at Oak Park yesterday and the food was too delicious not to blog about!

I love Greek food, so I try to go to the Greek Festival in Santa Barbara every year.  Sometimes they have some fun vendors, but mostly I go for lunch and dessert!  They also have singing and dancing, which I usually watch while eating!

My dad and I shared three things for lunch this year.  We ordered moussaka which is layers of eggplant and ground beef covered by a bechamel sauce.  We also ordered spanakopita which is spinach, cheeses, and herbs in filo dough.  The last thing we shared was tiropita which is cheeses inside filo dough (I think of it as spanakopita minus the spinach).  We also each ordered rice pilaf.  I normally get a roll as well but this year they looked like hamburger buns!

The moussaka was by far my favorite.  I tried it for the first time last year and it is so delicious!  I highly recommend it if you have never tried it!

Ohhhhhhh the desserts!  I could eat these all day every day!  The delicious cookies covered in powdered sugar are called kourambiedes.  They were almost out of these and everyone seemed to be buying many of them!  The little cookie squished in the middle is a melomakarona, or a honey cookie with walnuts on top.  The last dessert is yaourtopita, a lemon yogurt cake.  I loved all three desserts!  My mom wasn't a fan of the cake but loved the other two.  I wish there was a local place to pick these treats up during the year!  Hopefully I will get to enjoy all of the above foods when I go to Greece in a few months!

Have you ever tried Greek food?  What's your favorite?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Restaurant Review: New Chicken Bowl Teriyaki in Oxnard

After a very frustrating experience at Hyundai of Oxnard, my mom and I were very ready for lunch.  We found a little shopping center by the car dealership.  Our choices were Subway or New Chicken Bowl Teriyaki and my mom really wanted the chicken bowl!

We both ordered the chicken teriyaki bowl with rice.  It had a very generous helping of rice, a mix of white and dark meat, cabbage, carrots, and broccoli.  The teriyaki sauce wasn't too sweet or too salty which was nice!  Our food also came out within a few minutes which was great since we were so hungry!

My mom loved her bowl and so did I.  I only wish they had a teriyaki fish bowl option!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Read 3 Great Books in July

I like to read books while I am on the elliptical machine at the gym, so I get to indulge my love of reading while getting healthy!  Once I start a book at the gym, I often end up finishing it in a day or two because I have trouble putting books down!

This month I have read three great books so far (no, I did not only go to the gym three times!).

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay is one of the best books I have read all year!  I started it while babysitting one night, and I was so into the suspense of it that I about jumped off the couch when someone came home and walked in the door!  The book is about Cynthia, who wakes up one morning to realize that her whole family is gone without a trace.  The book starts when her family disappears, and then jumps ahead twenty-five years to her as an adult.  What happens next is beyond anyone's wildest thoughts!  I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone!

Double Take by Catherine Coulter was good for two reasons.  The first reason was that I read another book by her last month so I knew some of the characters in this book.  I love following familiar characters through different books!  The second reason was that like the book above, what happens is just beyond anything I would ever think of!  This book takes you into the world of psychics and more!  I never saw the ending coming until the bitter end.  I would also highly recommend this book because the level of suspense was great and the characters were perfectly lovable or hate-able.

I didn't read the Kindle edition of Second Honeymoon by James Patterson, but that is the only image that matched my book cover!  James Patterson is one of my favorite authors whose books I always buy when they come out on paperback.  This book had me a bit confused in the beginning because so much was going on, but after a while I started to get what was going on.  Like the other two books, I had no idea how things were going to be resolved or why the murders were happening until the very end!  I had a favorite character in this book, which normally doesn't happen with me.  There was an FBI agent named Sarah Brubaker who played a pretty big role in this book.  I really hope we get to see her again because she was very likable.  If you enjoy James Patterson books, you will definitely enjoy this book!

It looks like I have read three murder mysteries in a row.  I think it's time for a comedy or romance novel.

Have you read any great books recently?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Funny Yoga Graphic

My friend found this on Reddit and sent it to funny!  Who else thinks these new names make sense?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Love Weird Al's New Music and Videos, Do You?

I have been listening to Weird Al Yankovic since I was in high school (maybe 15 years or so).  I love his wacky, creative songs.  I always love his parodies but I love some of his originals also.  I was really excited when I heard he was going to release 8 videos in 8 days to go along with his new album, "Mandatory Fun".

The first video released was "Tacky", which is a parody of "Happy" by Pharrell.  I loved the celebrity cameos in "Tacky".  I was really amused by this video, and even more amused when I drove by 2 people who could star in the video the afternoon I watched it.

The second video released was "Word Crimes", which is a parody of "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. I love this video so much because people who can't speak proper English drive me crazy!  That is one of my biggest pet peeves!  They should play this videos in schools and teach people in a fun way!

The third video released was "Foil", which is a parody of "Royals" by Lorde.  This song is a bit out there but I love the original song so I love the parody as well!  Weird Al really is a nut!

Have you been watching for his new videos each day?  Which has been your favorite so far?  I can't wait to see what comes out over the next 5 days!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Movie Review - Short Term 12

A few months ago, a friend of mine invited me to something called the Virtuoso Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  I only knew 2 of the celebrities receiving the award, but I went just to do something different!  A winner I didn't know was Brie Larson, a somewhat quirky person.  Her movie clip struck me as very moving and her personality was very unique!

While looking for something to watch with a different friend tonight, Short Term 12 stuck out to me.  He is usually up for watching anything so he readily agreed to watch.  It was sooooooooooo good!  Brie Larsen along with the rest of the cast did an amazing job!

The plot revolves around Grace, a supervisor at a short term stay facility for troubled kids.  Throughout the movie, you learn that Grace has a troubled past of her own.  The movie mostly takes place at the facility, and you really get to know the kids there while also learning about what these facilities are like.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a really good, independent film!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dog Sitting and Walking

Whew, it has been a really long time since I have blogged but I feel inspired to write right now because I just got home from dog sitting and I already miss her.

Hunter with Outside and Outside hanging out on the couch

I have watched a few dogs in the past, but only when asked randomly by people.  After being asked to walk someone's dog over winter break, I realized I should walk dogs and dog sit more since I love it!

Loki at his house and Hunter with Loki

It is so fun to get to meet new dogs and to introduce them to my dog, Hunter.

Truman (who just passed away from cancer) and Roxy (who we watched for a while after her owner passed away)

Siddy the hyper yellow lab

Have you ever watched anyone else's pet before?  I sure hope I get to continue watching my current pet friends and to make new ones!

Zak, who I walked and took to the dog park only.

Kaleb and Keira

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I've Read 3 Books So Far This Year!

My only 2014 goal that I have kept so far is reading 1 book per week.  I have finished 3 books so far and I have enjoyed all of them a lot!

Lake News by Barbara Delinsky takes place mostly in a small town which I always love.  I have always wanted to live in a place where everyone knows everyone else - even though I would only enjoy it for a short time.  I felt really connected to the main character in the book and I was really rooting for her throughout!

Lone Eagle by Danielle Steel was an amazing love story about a young woman and the older pilot who she couldn't get out of her mind.  I love that their story spanned decades.  I haven't met that one person yet who I know I am meant to be with...but maybe one day!

I love all of James Patterson's books.  Private #1 Suspect was no different.  I loved how many story lines were happening in this one book.  It definitely kept me interested!  I think I have missed some of the books in this series so I would love to go back and read them.

Have you read any good books yet this year?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goals for 2014

I don't really like the word "resolution", but there are some things I hope to accomplish in 2014 and I want to share them publicly on my blog so I am a bit more accountable for them.

1) I want to do more yoga.  I currently average 3 classes a week.  I would like to increase to 4-5 classes a week.
This is crow pose, and I am really close to achieving it.  I would definitely like to get there this year!

2) I want to continue lighting Shabbat candles each Friday night as I have been doing for the last few months. I started in memory of a man who passed away in our community, and I really want to continue.  It's hard some weeks because you have to light by a certain time each week but so far, so good.

3) I want to eat healthier and menu plan more.  I eat out too often and eat way too much dessert.  I'm not going to stop, I just want to cut back!

4) I want to read at least one book per week.  Sometimes I read multiple books in a week, and sometimes I barely read in a month.  I love to read, so this should be easy!

5) I want to write at least one blog post a week.  I have been blogging for years but always start and stop.  I would like to become more consistent.

I think that's about it.  I would love to hear what your goals are for this upcoming year!