Archives for June 5, 2018

Hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood Employee Volunteers Bring Heartfelt Holiday Cheer to 1,000 M.E.N.D. Low Income Families at 27th Annual “Christmas in Spring” Philanthropic Event

As part of its annual “Christmas in Spring” community outreach event, hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood employee volunteers came together in partnership with M.E.N.D. (Meet Each Need with Dignity) on June 2nd, 2018 to bring goodwill to 1,000 guests, including families, in need.

Celebrating its 27th year, “Christmas in Spring” has touched the lives of over 16,000 family members living in poverty in the San Fernando Valley, providing them with holiday cheer during a time of year when their needs are often overlooked.

Families supported by M.E.N.D. enjoyed an afternoon of custom-prepared food and interactive festivities, from carnival games and face painters to a live DJ.

 The “Christmas in Spring” is a charity event sponsored by Universal Studios Hollywood and it’s “Discover A Star” Foundation. The Foundation provides grants to deserving organizations whose initiatives help individuals and families to achieve more productive and fulfilling lives.

   Santa Claus and very merry mischievous Minions from the theme park’s popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride made a special appearance alongside SpongeBob, Scooby Doo, Shaggy, King Julian and Puss N’ Boots characters.

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood and M.E.N.D.


Mister, June 7th Pet of the Week

Mister, with his sleek muscular build and beautiful fawn-colored coat, is well named! He’s a young sir just out of puppyhood and well on his way to being a wonderful companion to anyone who wants a loving, playful friend. Mister appears to be a pit bull terrier/boxer mix, and at only a year and a half old, he has plenty of time to give anyone, be they family or just an active, single human. Meet Mister on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A606230. 

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village. 

Books of the Week June 5th, 2018

Do you love Puppies and love to crochet? This book is a must-buy!

Dumpling Pups

Beginner- to intermediate-level crocheters will have a doggone good time with these 20 original patterns for dumpling-shaped dogs. Inspired by a Japanese collecting game, the guide offers full-color photos, simple diagrams, and easy-to-follow instructions that assist crafters in “collecting” all of the cuddly pups, each of which comes with its own charming story and personality points. Breeds include corgi, dachshund, pit bull, lab, and many others — a dog bed and bowl are also included.  This book has so many cute Puppy patterns in it! I love it!

And if you also like Cats….

Dumpling Cats

Waffles is a relaxed feline who loves to read, and Cheeks just can’t get enough to eat. These fun-loving characters are just two of the 25 dumpling-shaped crochet cats in this whimsical collection. The cuddly crochet critters were inspired by the Pokémon™-like craze Neko Atsume, a game that enables you to attract cats to your backyard and “collect” them. Each little dumpling has a name and personality points that add up to big fun!

Are they cute or what?!

Both books retail for $19.95 each and can be found at Dover Publications.

This next one is perfect if you have a High School or College student!

Success Skills for High School, College, and Career by Cary J. Green, PhD offers step-by-step guidelines and hands-on exercises to enable students to enhance their academic performance and prepare for future career success. I think this book is a must-read for students and parents too! I like that it has step-by-step guidelines and hands-on exercises that are helpful for high school and college-age students. It’s a great resource and I like that it teaches students how to be successful in school. It’s a real inspirational book that I highly recommend! It is available both in print and digital formats. This would make a great graduation gift too!

Find out more here! 

Are you looking for some Summer reading (not for the kids)….

Chasing the Merry-Go-Round (memoir, special needs, personal growth) Life moves fast. Too fast for some people. This is the true story of what it’s like to live in a world where you can’t keep up. Bobby was ten months old when my mom and dad rescued him from birth parents who were slowly killing him. He was adopted into our family after a lengthy custody battle. Instead of that settling him, it set off a lifelong struggle to find a place to belong, a place to call home. Like an old-fashioned merry-go-round, the world moved at a speed that was just too fast for Bobby. He couldn’t keep up, which prevented him from keeping a job, a roof over his head, and the basics needed to survive. The life he dreamt of was always out of reach. No one knew why. While cultural ideals of what a “normal” life looks like can distort our perspective, Chasing the Merry-Go-Round allows readers to see the world through the eyes of a person with intellectual and physical disabilities, which can often be invisible, especially at first glance. It’s a story about struggle and hope, survival and resilience, and most of all, the gift of acceptance and love.

This book made me cry and it made me smile! I have worked in Child Abuse and Domestic Violence (still do) so this book hit close to home with me. This is a wonderful book that really shows the struggle and how it is to have intellectual and physical disabilities. I recommend this one highly!

Sanity Lost & Found (Memoir, abuse, cult, personal growth, inspirational) How do we become victims of our own irrationality? What makes us vulnerable to the predators among us? Why would an otherwise sensitive, intelligent woman allow herself to return again and again to her abuser? How do we stop the erosion of our self-worth?

Simultaneously recognizable and horrifying, we see parts of ourselves and our own vulnerabilities in this compelling story of one woman’s descent into and climb out of the abyss.

For anyone who has ever allowed themselves to be victimized, for anyone who has ever doubted their value, for anyone wanting to protect their children from such vulnerabilities, SANITY LOST & FOUND is a compelling, informative, and inspirational read that weaves together the how and why for such vulnerabilities and the components necessary for recovery and transformation.

This one shows how emotional and mental abuse can really have a negative impact. If you want more understanding of why a woman continues to go back to an abuser…this book may help you have more understanding.


Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to feature as featured books. Cover images and Videos were also received to use in this post.