Tag Archives: Volunteer

[Worthy Work] Tune Into Your Natural Frequency With Treepeople

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Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water

In the middle of the go-go-go vibes of Los Angeles and in the midst of this go-go-go world, it warms my  soul to know that in the heart of this town lie untapped and sparsely touched green spaces, sprawling as wide as the eyes can see – from the rolling hills to the Pacific Ocean. Starting in the San Gabriel Mountains in the East with the the Angeles Crest Highway down to Griffith Park, the Mulholland Scenic Route and into Malibu – there are plenty of places that you can go get lost in the trees for a few hours and find your center.  Lush landscapes and valleys are scattered among the hustle and bustle, fully equipped with wanderlust worthy views and even hidden waterfalls –  if you know where to look.

In an attempt to live in a ‘take less, give more’ state of mind, I’m eager to jump at volunteer opportunities – and double so when it involves either nature, animals – or preferably, both. For all that I feel nature gives to me, the other week I had a unique opportunity to give back to Mother Earth with the fantastic NonProfit, Treepeople. Located in the midst of Mulholland, Treepeople proudly sits on over 45 acres of beautiful mountainside.  Though Beverly Hills isn’t exactly the area of Los Angeles one thinks of when “community service” pops into your head, or the logical vicinity for volunteer work, just one trip up to Coldwater Canyon Park will change your tune.   Between blazing trails and clearing paths through the neighboring canyon, community education and Summertime music and fun in the park, Treepeople have been giving back to the neighborhood for over 40 years.  Between planting over 3 million trees around the community and engaging over 3 million Angelinos to give back, Treepeople have grown into a vital part of the Los Angeles ecosystem.

The vision of Treepeople is simple: they believe in healthy soil, plenty of tree canopy to provide shade and last but certainly not least – clean, local drinking water through inspiring the community to take action and raise their voice to be heard by movers and shakers like district policymakers.  They host plenty of volunteer events throughout the week, and well into the weekends – with their Springtime tree planting by far being the most popular. Pro tip: it’s easier to participate in tree planting if you go through your place of employment versus flying solo.  For the few hours I was there, our job varied from wrestling with tree branches and prepping them to become mulch, scattering the mulch along the trail-side and making the venue event appropriate, but if you choose this adventure there’s a good chance you’ll be up to something different.  Make sure you go with comfortable, hiking shoes, clothes that you don’t mind going a little dirty in and a healthy attitude – you’re about to get it in, give back, and feel damn good about it.

 

Open from dawn to dusk year round, you don’t have to be volunteering to visit the grounds.  There are plenty of paths to prance around, a sustainable stream running through the middle and the view – oh, man, the view.

For more on Treepeople, head to their social media channels.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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[Self Discovery] My Favorite Ways to “Treat Yo’self”

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My words have been perpetually jumbled and I’ve pressed delete more times than I wish to recall. It’s been a trying week, and the more I dive into the minutiae of my life – the deeper I sink into this reality of a writer’s block. Not only is it real, but it’s really frustrating.  In the last seven days, I’ve seen more doctors than friends and have had my body groped more times by strangers in white coats than my boyfriend. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been the in the brightest mood.  What I’ve forced myself to remember is that at the end of the day, things can happen to you and around you, but they’re just things. Good and bad are human attributions that have a permanent ability sway our emotions.  Things are what they are; if you take the facts and remove all falsities, the truth you find shall set you free.

There’s been an Instagram hashtag going around – #100HappyDays and though at a basic level I appreciate the notion, I think it’s absolutely 100% ridiculous.  Each and every day is what you make it, but if you go around with your ‘Happy’ blinders on in perpetual search of it, and think that including words like ‘blessed’ and ‘thankful’ while posting daily pictures to your social media accounts are poignant ways to display your affinity and zest for life – you’re doing it wrong.  Happiness isn’t a beautiful butterfly, or mystical creature, that you need to hunt and capture day in and day out; instead – if you live each and every day with the intention to be the best version of yourself and push yourself to evolve from the amazing person you are into the fabulous person you want to be – happiness will become you.

And this brings me back to my mood from earlier – the more deliberate myself over my doctor’s dictation and mull over, the more removed I’ve become from my emotional state.  The only self remedy to get myself out of this über funk, is to treat myself like I know I deserve.  Here’s the thing with life – being that it’s what you make it, once something pushes you into a bad mood, it’s up to you as an individual, and only you, to at the very least find a way to bring yourself back to neutral.  If you bring math into the equation, and you’re at a low – one of the only ways to balance that out is to do something positive for yourself – and that’s just to get back to neutral.  To boost your mood, get out there and try something lavish, extravagant and or over the top – like they gleefully gush on Parks & Recreations – ‘Treat Yo’self’. So, below are some of my favorite ways to pamper, divulge, devour and marinate in the beauty of the world – and leave all those anxieties, woes and worries deep in the dust.

Change your passwords to positive affirmations: I’m not saying to change all your passwords to “ILoveYou143” but if you start including things about you being awesome, or the day being great, or changing the world in your work passwords – you’ll find yourself repeating a daily positive mantra, which truly goes a long way in pushing towards a positive outlook.

-Indulge in a lengthy Bubble Bath: Try out some scented Epsom salts for a delicious scent, and I highly recommend putting some oil in the tub (you’ll thank me later!)

– Find a new hiking trail and take your camera on an adventure

Take a good book to a lush and lovely park: Sometimes, one of the best ways to escape this world is to engulf yourself in another. I used to love reading anything and everything for fun but over time, I’ve gravitated more towards non-fiction science books – great for learning and expanding your mind, but they’re not exactly easy or quick to read.  Instead, when I’m feelin’ down and out I grab a trashy beach read, or anew psychological thriller, and head down the rabbit hole between the covers.

Upgrade your wardrobe with a snazzy new find: Retail therapy is real, and if you don’t trust me now – go out and just buy that fabulous coat/dress/jacket you’ve been yearning for and tell me you don’t adore staring at it in your closet.

– Find some live music and dance your cares away

– Wine and dine yourself and indulge in your favorite meal (*cough* sushi *cough*)- 80% of your body’s serotonin receptors are in your GI tract – if they’re not being stimulated, neither are you – so head to your favorite local spot and get your chow on.

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Flower bomb your neighborhood and go back and water it: Make sure you remember where you planted them, so you can water them – and occiasionally take pictures while you’re strolling through your hood, and appreciate the beauty you’ve deposited in the world

-Visit a museum on a topic you love

Get some stand-up comedy in your life: These guys are paid to make you laugh; let ’em do their job!

– Breakfast for dinner (because why not?!)

20140703-140635-50795404.jpgHead to Sephora for a free makeover

Pick a new penpal and send a handwritten letter; whens the last time you got one? I know they make my heart incredibly happy

– Find a tranquil location and take a nap

 

– Donate your old clothes, books and movies

Volunteer at an animal shelter: Bonus points if you take one home!

What’s your favorite way to get out a slump – or just treat yo’self right? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

January in the Rear View

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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Blogging is a two fold enterprise in my mind, it’s cathartic – it helps me stay organized, it gives me space to work things out, it lets me reflect and evolve; on the otherhand, it’s also a wonderful way to keep track of the moments – small, big, earth shattering-ly large – that have made us into the people we are and have prevented us from becoming those other people.

This year, there’s a lot on my plate but it’s nothing I didn’t put there – almost like instead of getting a meal, I went for the all you can eat life buffet and I simply can’t get enough!  The limited time I have is now spent bouncing from my volunteer gig at the Kitty Bungalow, directing the social media content of Beatnet, getting my fitness on, adventuring around Los Angeles and spending quality time with good people.  I feel more than rewarded for the time and effort that I expunge upon my life and I fully believe that this year – it shows.  So take a gander at the best that January had to offer me, and cheers to a fruitful February!

I’m officially a runner now =)

…a FIT runner…

..and I’m getting faster =D

Got my House fix with Richard Vission and Donald Glaude

I submitted my DNA to 23andme and finally got some answers about my ethnic background

We got the old crew back together for some karaoke and catching up in Koreatown

…I also made some new friends and we went on an adventure to the gorgeous Getty Villa – now I can knock that off my LA Bucket List!

Attended the LA East Yelp Elite Kickoff Event only to walk away the winner of some major swag and pampering.

Saw Coachella Weekend 1 tickets come and go; but I’m okay with that since I’m not paying for my ticket this year 😉

Spent some major cuddle time at the Kitty Bungalow; since we have such a fabulously high turnover rate I’ll probably never hang out with these kittens again!

..and they have a mini-Sake!

I ate beyond well last month – it helps that I’m a sushi freak =)

I’m also addicted to the BTA Benedict at Tart

..and you can’t go wrong with Dim Sum from Bao!

The past 31 days have been beyond  crazy, wonderful and beautiful – they’ve been filled with great friends, wonderful food and fantastic memories to last a lifetime.  With January over and out and a kickass lineup for my February weekends,I’m stoked to see how the rest of my year is going to play out: bring it on!

‘Tis the Season for Giving Back

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Holidays in America always seem to rub me the wrong way; the decadence and delight of celebrating and spending time with close friends and family is grossly overshadowed by corporate greed, consumerism and the want for material objects.  Not to say that I don’t love me a stellar present or two (who doesn’t love getting gifted?!) but to me the holidays are about presence – not presents.

Over the last 28 years, I’ve been given a lot of amazing gifts but the ones that stick with me are heartfelt and have nothing to do with physical, tangible things like the richness of having family time in a distant city and the comfort of their unconditional love. Unfortunately for myself – and my kitties – I rarely get to spend the holidays with them.  And of every one I deal with on a day to day basis, they give the most.  They’re around when I’ve had the best day ever and they comfort me when I’m sad; they talk to me when I’m stir crazy and working from home and cuddle me when I’m having a movie marathon.  More or less, they’re what keeps me sane and sweet day in and day out – so, this year I’ve decided to pay the love forward.  I found a great cause that I love and I cannot wait to bring some cheer to others.

“Adopt me, right meow!”

There’s a crazy statistic right now that the 8,000 or so feral cats in Los Angeles could grow to 60,000 within the next 18 months if we don’t do something about it.  The Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats is an amazing organization devoted to educating the community about the risks of feral cats, developing a stellar TrapNeuterRelease program and –my favorite– socializing feral cats to the point that they’re adoptable.

Before I left for Thanksgiving break, I had orientation with a group of fellow feline fanciers. A the beginning of the orientation there was a roundtable discussion on why we wanted to join the Bungalow and I’ll forever stick by my statement: Raising my cats has been a thrilling experience and I’m so lucky to have two loving, cuddlebugs by my side on the daily – Kitty Bungalow gives me the chance to take that love and pay it forward. And let’s get real for a second, from one crazy cat lady to her followers it’s so effing awesome being around other cat people!  Shawn, the lovely headmistress, showed us the ropes of the Bungalow and introduced us to some of the most adorable kittens I have ever seen and to boot there was one that was only 10 days old (and, as a side note, I’m pretty sure it’s going to take all my will power to not adopt more cats.)

Nothing makes me feel quite as good about receiving a present than when I’m giving back and  I think its a wonderful way to enter the holiday season. If you’re looking to get in on the volunteer action and don’t know where to start, give Volunteer Match a go – you can search metros, zip codes and keywords; perfect if you don’t know where to start!  Or, if you’d like to contribute to the kitties, the wonderful people over at GOOD are having a challenge to improve the lives of animals; our suggestion is for an animal transport and outreach vehicle, help us climb to the top of the voting charts here!