Rascal loves to cuddle

How did I forget what having a puppy is like?

Haley's New puppy Rascal

Haley’s New puppy Rascal

I have always been a dog lover and pet owner. Last year I had 2 dogs pass away and it left my daughter broken-hearted. So we decided to get a puppy for her last valentine’s day. We got a super cute French bulldog that we named Rascal. He is an amazing dog but he has a few puppy traits that I forgot about, since it had been 10 years since I had a puppy.  Rascal has two major issues he loves to chew on everything and he has no idea how big he is. I started to talk with my co-workers, friends, the vet and residents about these issues to see if anyone had good tips that worked for them. Working in Property management we have to be able to help problem solve.

Rascal loves to cuddle

Rascal loves to cuddle

Rascal was chewing on everything that we owned. We would come home and I would hold my breath when I walked in for fear of what I was going to find.  So I started to talk with people and I was told about antlers. I started to purchase those and it has helped tremendously with the chewing.  I think he would get bored and toys are not enough.  I’m sure I will have to keep finding items to keep him busy but this has been such an amazing help for the time being.

Rascal in his Thunder Vest

Rascal in his Thunder Vest

Rascal has grown to be a really big French bulldog her is a year old and 42 pounds. French Bulldogs love to cuddle and that is something I love. I did find out that not everyone that comes to visit us loves to be cuddled. I started to talk with the vet and I was told about Thunder Vest.  They said they are used for anxiety like chewing, barking and jumping.  The vest is not cheap but we are willing to give it a shot. When we put him in the vest he is like a different dog.  He calms down so much and relaxes. We had such an amazing result that we purchased one for our older dog as well. I wish I could say we had the same result with her but we didn’t.  I’m ok with it working on one of the dog though.  I would love to hear if anyone else has good advice.

When we got our Puppy

When we got our Puppy

Zebra

Rancho Las Lomas

Lily the white tiger

Lily the white tiger

Are you looking for something fun to do on a weekend? Or do you need a great date venue for Valentine’s Day? I found this great place called Rancho Las Lomas. It’s located in Trabuco Canyon near the famous biker bar cook’s corner. I was looking at Groupon and that is how I stumbled across this amazing place. If you are looking to get married I would highly recommend this place. I have been married for years so I have not had a reason to check this venue out. They now also do zoo tours, wine tasting and beer tasting on weekends when they are not booked with a wedding.

Rancho Las Lomas wine tasting

Rancho Las Lomas wine tasting

I was so excited about this purchase that I got a few other couples to join us. To be honest I thing that is the only way I could get my husband to go. When I made the purchase I didn’t know that they also had other cocktails that you could try besides wine. This is a private estates that has everything from exotic white tigers, zebras, and lamas on the grounds to private cottages that you can stay overnight in.  Everyone that went with us had so much fun that we booked an additional trip to stay overnight with our families before we even left that night.

Zebra

Zebra

We brought the whole family back a few weeks later to stay in the cottages. I have two girls that are 6 and 2 years old so staying overnight with a white tiger was very exciting as you can imagine. When we arrived in the morning the grounds keepers took us around and let us watch them feed Lily the tiger. I truly feel this was such an amazing experience that my daughter will not soon forget. The Groupon is still available http://www.groupon.com/deals/rancho-las-lomas if you wanted to check it out.

Hanging out on a swing

Hanging out on a swing

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Thanks a latte Photo Credit- http://www.feedingthebigguy.com

Starbucks is a great way to say Thank you!

Thanks a latte Photo Credit- http://www.feedingthebigguy.com

Thanks a latte Photo Credit- http://www.feedingthebigguy.com

One of the best rewards that you can give your co-worker, friend or significant other without breaking the bank is Starbucks. I never knew that there are so many ways that you can order coffee until Starbucks came around. I was not a coffee drinker, so I never thought in a million years that I would become addicted to Starbucks. Not only do I have to drink coffee or tea every day now but I can’t seem to function in the morning if I don’t have it. It’s become a habit and I’m sure that other people are that way now as well.

I hate to admit it but it’s a ritual for my family and I that we have to get Starbucks every time we walk into Target. We have to stop and get either a Cool Lime Refresher or a Frappuccino for my husband and I then we also usually buy a milk for our girls. This got me thinking, “I wonder what other people drink or is there something better that I have not tried yet?” I love all the Frappuccino’s but now that they list the calories it has made me more aware and I always try to think of alternatives that have fewer calories.  That is when I found out about the Cool lime refresher and that soon became my drink of choice.  Continue reading

#FinalRide

One Heart Source Event

One Heart Source Event

My Husband and I started to watch Sons of Anarchy seven seasons ago. I was pregnant with my oldest daughter making the first episode hard to stomach but 6 years later we are still watching every week. A few months ago I got the opportunity to meet Kim Coates from Sons of Anarchy and his family. I was standing out front waiting for them to arrive when Kim rolled down his window and popped his head out. Since I don’t meet famous people very often all I could think is, “Wow, he looks just like he does on TV!” Since he is in such an amazing show I thought that he wouldn’t talk to me much. To my surprise they are the most amazing and gracious people and they made me feel like we had been friends for years.

Kim Coates

Kim Coates

Kyla Coates, Kim’s daughter is the educational Programs Manager for One Heart Source, “a non-profit organization designed to empower young people through education, and to provide high quality education and care for vulnerable children in Tanzania and South Africa.” She said she went to Tanzania with school and just was amazed by what she saw. Kim Coates and his wife Diana visited Kyla while she was in Tanzania and that was when they came up with the idea for the “Hogs for Hearts” fundraiser.

group one heart source

I attended One Heart Source’s charity event on October 11th and meet the cast of Sons of Anarchy for the 3rd Annual Hogs for Heart fundraising event. The event was very limited in the amount of people that could attend so it gave everyone the opportunity to meet the cast. We got to take pictures and meet Charlie Hunnam, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Mark Boone Jr., Theo Rossi, Emilio Rivera, Drea de Matteo, Dayton Callie, Michael Ornstein, Niko Nicotera, and Jimmy Smits.

Group at One Heart Source

Group at One Heart Source

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What can I do to make a Difference?

Camden Cares OC Stand Down event

Camden Cares OC Stand Down event

I have always been a big believer that you need to give back to the community around you. I’m fortunate to be able to work for a company that allows you to give back to the community . On September 26, I had to opportunity to go to OC Stand down at the old Tustin Air Base. My co-workers and I worked in the kitchen washing dishes, we helped to serve our Veterans and we helped check people into the event as they arrived. I had the opportunity to sit with Bob a Vietnam Veteran and here some of his stories.  We have the freedom that we do because of people like him that fought to keep our freedom.  It actually made me a little sad that I didn’t ask my grandfather more about his time in the war while he was still alive. We are the ones that are going to be able to pass on that history by telling our kids the stories that we are told.  Take the time to ask someone there history and you may make a new lifelong friend.

Working in the kitchen at OC Stand Down Charity event

Working in the kitchen at OC Stand Down Charity event

On September 11th we went to our community’s fire departments and police station and brought them lunch from Boudins and cake. These are the men and woman that protect us daily. Sometimes we get wrapped up in all the events that we have going on that we forget to stop and say thank you. I know that the term pay it forward comes to mind when I think about volunteering. It’s the little things that can make a big difference. You can donate your old cloths to charities that need it. You can recycle your cans and bottles and save that money that you make from that to donate to a school to buy books. Even if you just saved your spare change and then donated that at the end of the year to the charity of your choice. You would be making a difference even if you don’t have the time to donate.   If we all just picked one day a year to do something nice like buy a coffee for a person in line that looks like they need it then it might just change the world and the way people think.

center piece on table tops

Sunday Funday themed Summer party!

center piece on table tops

Center piece on table tops

It’s that time of year that makes us all shed a tear. Summer is coming to an end and we are all doing our summer parties. This year we decided to have a Sunday Funday Brunch by the pool for our community. What is Sunday Funday you ask? Well it’s brunch on Sunday with all of your closest friends.  So we decided to invite the whole property to come down for some crapes, massages, and cocktails by the pool. Our turn out was amazing as it seems like people like to go out for Sunday Funday.

Main and Jamboree Summer Brunch

Main and Jamboree Summer Brunch

This summer has been a lot warmer than previous years and we had to take that into consideration for the Sunday funday event. We hosted the event by the pool and that made it really easy to do the nautical theme. We used sailboats, light houses, and life preservers for the inspiration for the nautical theme and it also served as our background for the event. No party is complete if you don’t include a photo booth area with our custom hash-tag so residents can look back at pictures of the party forever.

Most Amazing Crepe's from the Crape Maker Irvine, Ca.

Most Amazing Crepe’s from the Crape Maker Irvine, Ca.

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Interning with Camden

Welcome to CA Amanda

Welcome to CA Amanda

Camden Internship program started like most other internships, with an interview. However, what was much different about this interview compared to others was that it was introduced to me as a “talent show”. The premise of the interview was to prepare a 2 minute long talent, to show the interviewers that I am able to fit the company culture as well as think outside of the box. This was an interesting concept seeing as though I had the interview routine down pat in and wasn’t expecting to do anything other than answer the typical interview questions. This experience immediately set Camden a part from the other companies I had interviewed for. Rather than singing or dancing or trying my hand at a gymnastics trick, I chose to do something that I learned to do before I was even able to write, use chopsticks. I had the interviewers time me to see how many cheerios I could move from one bowl to another. While this probably wasn’t my most impressive talent, it caught the interviewers’ eyes and 30 hours later I had an offer letter for the Camden Summer Internship Program in Irvine, California.

Amanda's place

Amanda’s place

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Old Motorcycles on Display this weekend in Santiago Canyon

riding on a motorcycle

riding on a motorcycle

There is nothing like riding old motorcycles threw Santiago Canyon on a hot summer day! If you are like me and love to ride then you will not want to miss The Born Free Show that is happening this weekend June 28th & 29th 2014.  People will attend this show from all over the United States. People will be showing all types of motorcycles such as Triumphs, Harley, and even motorcycles that they built in there garage. I have been attending the Born Free Show for about 4 years and its been truly amazing to see how its grown.

born free

born free

If you log onto http://bornfreeshow.blogspot.com/ you can read all about this amazing Born Free show. “How is about the love of old motorcycles and like-minded individuals having a good time together and enjoying these bikes of the past. It is also a family event, young and old a-like are welcome to come out and enjoy the show. This show is meant to unite people from all walks of life by bringing the passion that we all have of these old machines together for two special days. If you come out to the event please be prepared to have a great time, see neat old bikes…lots of neat old motorcycles, in a peaceful, friendly, family environment.” Continue reading

Chore Chart Checklist helps to get your kids out the door in the mornings

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I have two little girls and most mornings it is hard to get them ready and out the door in a timely manner. So I decided to look on Pinterest.com in hopes that I could find some good advice on what to do. To my surprise kids are just like us and they like the satisfaction of crossing items off the list. I was able to find some great Chore charts to follow in the mornings. A few weeks ago I thought it was worth trying so I printed out a Chore Chart Checklist for my daughter to follow. To my surprise she has been crazy about it. Every morning she is checking off those boxes almost like it’s a little game for her. The only issue that I have had with the Chore Chart Checklist is that my oldest can’t read it since she is only five years old. In the morning when I’m trying to get ready she is always asking my husband and I to read it to her over and over and not completing the. So my solution to this is to make a checklist with pictures for her that way she can just look at the picture and know what to do. 

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California Highway Patrol vs. Carpool Lane Violators

Follow the laws

Follow the laws

Today as I was on the freeway driving to work I saw a California Highway Patrol officer pulling someone over in the carpool lane. This made me think since its summer and a lot of people are traveling for graduations, vacations or work that you should check the laws before you make that drive.

Last year we took a road trip to Arizona to go visit some friends and I was in the carpool lane in Arizona. Once I entered the carpool lane I stayed in it for what seemed to be hours. In California the law is that you can’t cross over the double yellow or you will get a ticket. In Arizona the carpool lane is all white. This made me very nervous as I didn’t know if I was allowed to get out of the lane without getting a ticket. Don’t get me wrong I saw a lot of people crossing in and out but I was not 100% sure that was allowed. I could hear my dad’s voice in the back of my head saying if all your friends jumped off a bridge does that mean you should jump off the bridge to? As I drove further I saw signs that said the carpool was only a carpool lane during certain hours of the day as well. If I had read up on the laws I would not have double guessed myself.

The next thing that I think is really important is speed when traveling. Every state that I have been in has different rules when it comes to how fast you can drive.  Trust me when you are one of the only people on a freeway and the road is open I think it’s only natural to want to press down on the gas pedal a little harder. Then the one time that you do is the one time you see lights from behind that tree and that California Highway Patrol officer is going to pull you over. I seem to have the worst luck at night because I’m tired and I usually want to hurry. I think the best idea it to plan your trip out ahead of time. You can even plan out your vacation using this free template http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=planning%20a%20trip&ex=2&av=all#ai:TC010353219|.

The California Highway Patrol is everywhere and you want to make sure that you follow the rules of the road so you don’t have to pay a hefty fine. Make sure you have enough people to be in the carpool lane. When I was pregnant I had a crazy commute so I actually looked into the laws to see if I could drive in the carpool lane. The answer is no. The baby is not born so they don’t count it as two occupants. I know that the price of a ticket given to you by California Highway Patrol has jumped in the past few years as well so be smart about driving in California.