Thursday, June 16, 2011

Be there, or be square. Come show your support for the animals.

Urgent! Urgent! Urgent!
Manatee County Commissioners Suggest Eliminating Animal Adoption Programs
Thousands of dogs’ and cats’ lives are at risk – we need your help!
Please join us in front of the old courthouse across from the County Administration Building in Downtown Bradenton June 16th at 5:30 as we demonstrate our support for adoption program funding (wear green). County commissioners discussed significant budget cuts last week for animal adoption programs. Just weeks ago Animal Services Division leadership expressed their goal for a No Kill community and now Commissioners are entertaining  budget cuts that will result in more killing! We must let our county decision makers know this is unacceptable. We must provide the tools and resources necessary for Animal Services to succeed at No Kill. Click here for the link to the news release about the public hearings.
Last year 2846 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens were killed at our county facility. More will die if funds are cut. The animals of Manatee County have never needed us more – we must speak up on their behalf. Our goal is to provide visual representation of the animals whose lives were taken by linking together 2846 people to advocate for those who could not speak for themselves.
Please attend June 16th in front of the old courthouse on Manatee Ave. at 5:30 pm. (Wear green.)
Please help us spread the word – tell your friends, family, and coworkers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Does your Role fill your Soul?

  I've been meaning to write a blog about Pace Center for Girls, Inc. for over a month now.  As part of both my professional and personal growth, I've been thinking about getting involved with a local organization on the Board level.  As I sat down and thought about what causes I am passionate about - animals, women and children, and the less fortunate came to mind quickly.  As many of you know I volunteer every Monday at the Honor Animal Rescue by walking all of the dogs that are staying there while they wait to find their forever home - I love it, the dogs always put a smile on my face.  As a result of my work with Honor, I felt that I  had that cause covered.

  Next on the list was women and children. A professional colleague recommended that I look into PACE.  She is on the board and thought that it would be a good fit for me.  I attended a PACE Passport, which is an informative tour of PACE and a chance for you to meet the Executive Director, Development Coordinator, and some of the girls that attend PACE.  WOW, what a powerful experience! PACE is not only a school for girls in my community that have been overlooked and for a multitude of reasons cannot and will not make it in the public school system, but, it is also a safe haven for these girls. It is a place where they get compliments, attention, structure, and celebrated for being the amazing girls that they are. It is a place where they receive counseling, individually and with their families.  And, it is a place where they are empowered to know that they can do anything they put their mind to.  I just cannot describe how amazing of an organization PACE is for girls in the communities in which they serve! I left the tour knowing that I was sold on PACE and wanted to get involved immediately. 

  During the tour, the Executive Director mentioned that one of the ways that a person can help is to sponsor the cake for the monthly birthday celebrations that PACE provides for the girls.  She then made a comment that she hopes one day in the future they could get enough people in the community to sponsor a cake so that every girl at PACE would have her very own birthday cake on her birthday.  She stated that for most of the girls, the monthly celebration is the only acknowledgement they will receive for their birthday and that even if they do get acknowledged on their birthday, they probably will not get a cake to celebrate their special day.  This broke my heart - I'm tearing up just thinking about it.  My mom was a single mom and yes, we had our tough times and struggles, but, my mom always made me feel so special on my birthday and I always got a cake! So, I knew right then and there that I was meant to take on this project and sweeten up the lives of these girls! PACE is capped at 52 girls, and I know that I can get 52 people to sponsor a cake and shine a ray of light on a girl's special day. 

  I had my first meeting with the Executive Director of PACE on Tuesday regarding becoming a member of the Board of Directors of PACE.  It went really well and she is going to recommend me to the Board member that recruits board membership and I will hopefully meet with her in the next few weeks.  I told the Executive Director that even if the whole Board route doesn't work out, I still want to volunteer with PACE and make Project Birthday Cake come to life. 

  During my meeting with the Executive Director I mentioned that my whole life I have volunteered...whether it was delivering food to the elderly via Meals on Wheels; helping build a home via Habitat for Humanity; or being a Big Sister via the Big Brothers Big Sisters Big in School Program...volunteering has always been in my blood and that I guess on some level I always thought my career would incorporate my love for doing good for humanity.   I expressed to her that if law school didn't leave me with debt that rivals a mortgage on a house, that I would probably work for a non profit.  I expressed that my job, on a daily basis, does not give me that feeling of "doing good for humanity" that I so crave and desire.  She looked at me and said "your role does not fill your soul" - meaning my role as an attorney does not fill my soul and its desire to, what a profound and true statement! Her words have been stuck in my head for days now because I don't think I've ever been able to put into words the conflict that goes on between my head (you have financial responsibilities) and my heart (wanting to make a difference)....but now I can and I can do something about it.  I can fill my soul by making sure that PACE has the funding to continue to provide the outstanding services that it does for the girls in my community...the community that I grew up in.  I can fill my soul by making sure that the girls at PACE get celebrated on their birthday and that they know that I love them and that I care about them.  And, I can fill my soul by collecting donations of toiletries, for the girls that do not have deodorant, razors, personal care items, etc., things that I take for granted every single day. What a beautiful opportunity I have been given - an ability to fill my soul and to help fill a girls' life with love, positivity, and empowerment.

  I will let you all know how my second meeting goes and I'm sure I will be hitting some of you up for some donations soon...wink, wink.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Laptop Yoga, anyone?

So, for a couple of months now I've been thinking about joining a local yoga studio.  It's about $100 for 10 sessions, which isn't bad.  But, then I got to thinking that I would like to be able to do yoga on my own time and that the likelihood of me making it to a Saturday morning yoga flow class was not very promising. So, I started searching for a good yoga DVD...unsuccessful...however, during my search I came across a couple of yoga/pilates websites that either allow you to become a member and stream  or download yoga/pilates classes to your computer for a reasonable fee per month or, even better, let you purchase yoga/pilates videos for about $4-$5 that you can watch for ever and ever.  The best one that I saw was the Yoga Download site.  I purchased 3 videos (yoga/pilates fusion, yoga sculpt, and chakra balancing) and I love them! So, go get your yoga on from the comforts of your own home...oh, and I used the code Survey20p and got 20% off of my order...holla!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oh happy day.

The Ellenton Outlet Mall has a new store.....Ann Taylor Loft......woo hoo!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ChipIn to help Lucky Dog Rescue!

The world needs more people like Ashley.

I came across the Lucky Dog Rescue Blog a couple of months ago and since that time I have been completely enamored with Ashley Owen Hill and her Rescue.  Please, please, please visit her website and see how tirelessly she works for dogs that have been victims of abuse, abandoned, and who at the end of the day, NOBODY wants! Ashley runs the Rescue by herself, with the help of 1, maybe 2, volunteers on an inconsistent basis.  She runs her Rescue and provides for these dogs at the mercy of donations and when there are no donations, she runs her Rescue and provides for these dogs at the mercy of her bank account.  Ashley has been nominated for and is in the running for $15,000 - please help her by going here and following the link to vote for Ashley! You guys know how much of an animal lover I am, and I cannot think of a more deserving person and Rescue to win the $15,000 than Ashley and her Lucky Dog Rescue! Also, if you are able to and have it in your heart to help the abused, abandoned, disabled, elderly dogs that Ashley takes in and takes care of, please donate to her Rescue.  Thanks, peeps!

P.S. Please feel free to spread the word about Ashley and her Lucky Dog Rescue to everyone you know!


The funny thing about time.'s a word that can make you happy, sad, paranoid, frustrated. It's a word that can help you deal with a bad situation and a word that can make you realize how different your life has become from others in your life.  Right now, I have so many feelings about the word "time."
  • I am happy that I am one day closer to the time that JWP and I are heading to NJ to hang with the Mondrinos family and celebrate the sweetest lil' girl's 1st birthday;
  • I am happy that I am one month closer to the time that I leave for the girl's SoBe trip, but, I am frustrated that there is still so much time left before we go;
  • I am sad that time seems to go so quickly and that I feel like the days are just passing me by;
  • I am paranoid that I am not going to bill enough time by the end of the month to get my mid-year bonus;
  • I am frustrated at myself that I wait until the last day of every month to put my time in for the entire month;
  • I am so thankful for the time that I've had over the past several months to grow and become a stronger person;
  • I am surprised by how time has made me rethink some of the relationships in my life because I've realized how little I have in common with some people.
Time, what a mixed-bag of emotions it is.