Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

This week has been AMAZING!! I have been able to do so many exciting things and hopefully I have time this morning to write about it all. On Tuesday night last week I was part of a very special Instagram Live video about Magical Disney Moments. The host (@Pinpocalypse )was having people come on Live with him to share moments about Disney that made their visit or another person’s visit magical. I shared mine and a few others did as well, and then Zach made a magical moment for a special guest and it was so amazing. I loved hearing the stories people had to share. When we go to Disney we try to do things for guests and cast members all the time. For example, one Valentine’s weekend my son gave cast members their own valentine cards. Before one trip we hit the dollar store and got a ton of glow sticks and handed them out to kids before Fantasmic (because the glow products that Disney sells are EXPENSIVE) and got to watch the little kids have a blast with them.  I hope you can all create your own magical moments for others, even if it isn’t at Disney. Doing simple things like paying for the car behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru, or giving your mail carrier a cold bottle of water on a hot day, or just telling someone they’re beautiful can be a kind gesture that improves someones entire day.On a different note,  we also got our new coffee table which I ordered a couple months ago but it really helps the flow of our living room with the new couch. 

Wednesday I was pleased to see that my very first Pin creation was finally shipped to my home! I love Disney pins and creating my own fantasy pin has always been a dream of mine, and now that has become a reality. I don’t expect to become a millionaire selling my pin designs or anything, but just knowing they’re out in the world and someone is wearing something I designed makes me feel so happy. I also added some cool postcards to my Etsy shop with my Disney photography.  My mom came over for dinner that evening and we had tri-tip, and it was fun to be able to grill again. It has been awhile and I was missing my husband’s awesome grilling skills. Benjamin ended the night by finishing his essay on integrity, which was pretty amazing to read. He has such a kind heart and this year has been challenging for him but when I see the effort that goes into the things he works on I am always happy. 

Thursday I sent out my first shipment of pins to their new homes and was very happy to learn more about cost effective shipping for small items so I don’t go broke sending my pins out. I didn’t host Friendship Club this week as I was so busy with other things and trying to get organized, Friday I started out the day by hitting up my local Target for the amazing Mickey 90th merchandise! I was pleased to see all the awesome stuff our local Target had to offer, and for those of you who can’t find it or missed out it is now on their website as well. I found some mugs, shirts, earrings, and a couple other fun things that I may end up using for a giveaway on my Disney Instagram. I wasn’t feeling very well Friday so I had to stay in most of the day and give myself a chance to heal before the crazy weekend we had planned. 

Thankfully I felt well enough to go on my weekend adventure to celebrate Mother’s Day! My son and husband got me the sweetest gifts, little Minnie Mouse cups and Ben made me a flower pot at school. On Saturday morning Ben and I went to the beach with my Mom! Our family always goes to the same special beach, one that my Dad discovered, since I was very young. It was so nice to go back there and stand in the sand with Ben and play in the waves. My mom was able to show Ben how to use binoculars and they saw a whale! We also went to Fisherman’s Wharf on Monterey and ate at a cool pub where my parents always ate on their trips. I feel like we honored my Dad a lot this way and we all had such an amazing time. On the way home we stopped at Casa De Fruta and I got to have my chocolate covered strawberry so my day was complete. Sunday was fun as well and we spent it with Chris’s parents at their house. My Father-in-Law grilled for us and we got to watch the kids play and be wild in the backyard. I had a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend and I am so lucky to be a Mom. I did not know what real love was until I had my son, and now my heart is full everyday just knowing I get to be his Mom. 

Monday was spent cleaning, packing orders and helping Ben with homework before we met with my Mom and went out to dinner at Olive Garden. I have been trying so hard to not eat like a crazy person but every once in awhile I think it’s OK to indulge in something we love, otherwise why are we even here? Today is a new day and the start of a great week for our family and I can’t wait to see what it brings. Thanks for following along with me! Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

The past week has been full of ups and downs and I am glad to be starting fresh this morning and reflecting on the things I’ve learned. I’d like to start by saying, last week I mentioned starting the Weight Watchers program and I have decided against continuing down that path. I am pretty confident in my own abilities to eat healthier and be more active, I just need to work on the motivation. I think WW can work for a lot of people, but I just felt more stressed out by it than anything else. Our family has definitely started the journey of eating healthier though and it has been fun thinking of new meals and shopping for different ingredients. 

On Tuesday night we went to see Avengers: Infinity War. It was a lot. I have seen almost every marvel movie integrated with this Marvel Universe and I have never felt this way after watching one of them before. If you are a Marvel fan I suggest you see this, but be warned…do not wear mascara. Much like Pixar’s CoCo, it can be an intense emotional roller coaster that you probably won’t be prepared for. No spoilers, just check it out for yourself. 

On Wednesday I mostly just worked, I had so much editing to do and I have been trying to find a way to make this blog and my main website/portfolio more mobile user friendly. It is going to take some time but eventually I will work out the kinks so please bear with me.  Thursday was extremely eventful, and of course we had Friendship Club. I have been slowly accumulating sidewalk chalk and managed to get over 300 pieces to bring for Friendship Club on Thursday and I do not regret this decision at all. The kids had a blast! It was a bit warm out, because we don’t get seasons in California haha. But the kids flocked to the chalk and began drawing things and having so much fun. I saw rainbows and hearts and hopscotch grids and school mascots, but most of all I saw these amazing kids sharing and working together to be creative. I was so proud of them and enjoyed watching them creating their mini masterpieces with chalk. I hope we can have another chalk day before the end of the school year. After school Ben and I hit the Mall for some snacking and shopping. He is obsessed with Wetzel’s Pretzels dog bites so I got him some and we had a nice talk while snacking. Then we were on a mission to find a Teacher Appreciation gift. Ben chose a Daisy Duck Tsum Tsum from the Disney store and a fancy candy from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We also browsed Box Lunch and found some awesome shirts. Ben got a BB-8 Star Wars button up and I scored a cool Lando Calrissian tee featuring Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. Can you tell I’m a fan? I am so stoked for Solo, coming out May 25th!! I also got my nails done and Ben picked the colors out, black and purple (“Haunted Mansion colors Mom!”), and he made some friends at the salon. I love that he is so confident to try and talk to other kids now, he is so much fun.

Friday was May the 4th! As in, May the 4th be with you!! Ben was decked out in his Star Wars gear for school and off to have a fun weekend. Chris and I spent the day working and made plans for the weekend. On Saturday we went to see Blockers at the theater and had a late lunch at Dai Bai Dang’s in River Park. It was nice to get out of the house together. On Sunday we did a little shopping together and made plans to get Chris a new bike so we could start riding together and continue to become a more active family. Sunday night I picked up Ben in Merced with my Mom and we had dinner together before heading home. I have really loved seeing my mom more often and we talked about our upcoming Mother’s Day trip. 

Monday was a good day in terms of getting a lot of work stuff done and being creative. I made my first ever pair of Mickey ears! I have so much respect for people who make them to sell in their small shops because it is NOT an easy task. I will try to post a How-To sometime soon. Ben came home and we had a lot of homework, which lead to a long talk about responsibility. Ben was not in a great mood by the end of the talk but this morning was a fresh start for us. We got up, had breakfast and got back to our discussion with a more positive attitude. We did our AR reading in the morning and I selected a book I felt would help him understand that bad days do not last forever, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad day” by Judith Viorst. He got the message and told me he was happy to try again and make today a good day. He also spotted a hidden Mickey in the book, because he is 100% my child.  I am so happy that Ben and I have the type of relationship that we can talk through our problems and I can guide him to make better choices and learn life lessons. No matter how hard the day is, and how hard it is to be patient, it is always worth it in the end. 

I hope you all have an amazing week, thanks for following along with me and my crazy adventures!

Tuesday Morning Ramblings W/Robyn

Hello and good morning, Happy Tuesday! This past week has been a giant adventure! I have done so many fun and exciting things that I am so happy I get to share with all of you. 

As most of my friends know I have been getting back into my workflow and that means being back behind my camera again, aka my second baby. I was able to do a really fun photo walk with my friend Robert (local tattoo artist). We headed to the heart of Tower District and focused on the wall murals. There are so many different pieces of beautiful art on every corner in Tower and I love finding hidden gems. It was great having a friend along with me on the photo walk because I rarely get to see someone else’s take on the same subject by working together. I definitely can’t wait to do another walk again and try out some new ideas and techniques. 

Friday evening Chris and I headed to the best place in the world, Disneyland! We spent the weekend there and it was AMAZING! So many things were happening at Disneyland Resort that weekend and we got to experience the magic of it all. As soon as we arrived we hit the parks and rode on Pirates of the Caribbean, which was especially cool this trip because it is was our last opportunity to see “The Read Head” before they refurbish the ride and turn her into a pirate!! I cannot wait to see her become a pirate, it is going to be so awesome. I love when changes come to Disney because Walt was always expressing his interest in change and innovation.

Saturday morning we did rope drop and it was pretty calm all morning, but it was Dapper Day weekend and everyone looked so beautiful and amazing in their Dapper outfits. If you don’t know what this Dapper phenomenon is I highly suggest you check it out on Instagram. People come dressed in period piece clothing representing something with a Disney character or attraction; for example I saw a woman in a 50’s style gown with parrots and pineapples all over it and a little clip in her beautifully coiffed hair shaped like a Dole Whip treat! So basically she was dressed as “The Enchanted Tiki Room”. People get so fancy and creative and I loved seeing the details in everyone’s attire. While at the parks I was also able to meet some of my friend’s from Instagram! I am always so inspired by the Disney community and it was nice to interact with them and meet them face to face. 

It was also PixarFest at the parks, where Disney had everything from Pixar decorations and food to Pixar parades and fireworks shows. It was insanely fun and it is going on until September so if you are able to go you should! We rode so many rides and ate at our favorite spots and just spent time together doing all the things we love to do. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend with the love of my life. I am glad I have a huge Disney nerd to share my experiences with.

It was back to real life on Monday, but I honestly had a great day. I was able to do a Grad photo session for some of my favorite clients in Old Town Clovis and I am beyond excited to finish the edits and send the, because they turned out so nice.  Ben worked on a lot of homework in the evening and I could see so much improvement in his writing which makes me very proud. He used to think writing wasn’t fun and now he is actively working on opinion essays and trying to make his work exciting as well as communicative. (#ProudMom ) Yesterday was also interesting for me because I went to my very first Yoga Class at Perfect Balance Yoga. I found them on Groupon and got a 5 class voucher for $35. I don’t know what to expect but I went into the basic beginners class with an open mind. It was amazing! I have been having lower back pain and I woke up this morning with it feeling so much better. I also had a very emotional experience during the class because I realized that I am always tense and it was the first time I had allowed my body to completely relax in years. I was so overwhelmed by life and it all melted away in those moments and I will be going back again for my next class soon!!

I wanted to share with you some info about the street fair I will be apart of this coming weekend as well. The ChinaTown Bazaar in Fresno will be Saturday the 28th 10am-3pm. I will have my booth set up all day and be selling some pieces and scheduling photo appointments at a special rate for the event. I hope you guys can make it out to support your local small businesses and say hi!

I hope you all have an amazing week, thanks for catching up with me on mine!

Wednesday Morning Ramblings with Robyn

Trying to get back into the swing of things around here so I am a day late for my weekly blog post, hope you don’t mind. The past week has been really fun, actually. I’ve been able to do a lot of family stuff and I got back to work!

I made a stop a my friend Robert’s place to pick up some original art pieces. He is the artist that did our Pixar tattoos in February. I love having my friend’s art around my work space, it is so inspiring. I also recently commissioned a piece from my friend Chloe, who was on the blog in October of last year talking about being an artist in the Central Valley. I feel so lucky to have such creative and interesting people in my life and I can’t wait to have more of their work around my home. 

I went back to work this past week as well. My first client back was Tawona from The Well Dressed Curl! I was able to photograph her in some pieces for her latest blog post, and I am so excited with how they turned out. I also have a few spots booked for this month with past clients and I can’t wait to see them and help capture their special moments. I missed being behind a camera.  It was important for me to take time off for my family, but I am an artist at heart and I am happiest doing what I love.

 

My family spent the weekend doing some fun stuff together, and my Mom even came down from Merced to join us! We spent the morning Saturday at the mall shopping for swim trunks because Ben is having a swimming field trip this week! We found a great pair at the Disney Store, star wars themed.  Afterwards, we took my Mom downtown to experience the deliciousness that is Quesadilla Gorilla! We were in quesadilla heaven, any excuse to eat there is a good one. Then we checked out the record shop next door and did some shopping at the marketplace nearer to my home. On Sunday we took Ben to his volunteering orientation at the CCSPCA here in Fresno. He is so interested in caring for animals and the orientation was awesome. We learned about the organization and all the ways they help animals in Fresno and we even got to tour the grounds. Ben was over the moon about all the animals and learning how he can be apart of their future. I am proud of this kiddo for having such a big heart and willingness to help others. 

This week has been pretty cool for me personally so far because I am starting some new projects and doing some stuff to make myself a happier person.  I went shopping for myself, which I don’t typically do because I hate trying on clothes and I get overwhelmed with style and choices. I managed to pick out some cute items; I found some overalls, a dress and because I am a mom I scored some cool shorts for the kid. I also went to Ulta and had my hair done and my nails done by the amazing Carissa! She is so down to earth and makes me feel like a queen when I leave the salon. I have also started a new business venture that is in the very early stages, I am making pins! If you know me then you know I am Disney obsessed, and we collect and trade Disney pins. Well, I designed my own and it is currently being manufactured as we speak and it is up fro Pre-Order on my Etsy site! I also have some fun Disneyland Guide Map pin-back buttons for sale as well. i will be working on new designs whenever possible and I hope you guys can check them out.  

I am also going to be apart of a fun street fair in Chinatown at the end of the month! The Chinatown Bazaar is a new event focused on bringing people down to that area and reviving it. It is super close to our all time favorite taco spot, La Elegante, and I am so excited to be apart of the excitement. I will be posting the info as soon as I can so you can join me downtown and see my booth! 

Thanks for catching up with me and I hope you’re all having an awesome week!

My Everyday Must Haves

Good Morning! I wanted to share with you some of my go-to things I use on a daily basis that make me feel ready to tackle my day and feel happy and prepared for what’s ahead.

Kodiak Cakes!!! I literally eat these 6 times a week for breakfast. I am also that girl at Target who buys up the whole shelf because I HAVE TO HAVE MY KODIAKS!! This is basically a pancake in a cup. You can add milk, almond milk or water ( I use water) and heat it up in the microwave for a quick morning bite! I like to throw in a handful of fresh blueberries in mine for some extra antioxidants and yummy-ness. These little cups of flapjacks are 250 calories and use 100% whole grain and contain 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

 Starbucks Brand Mocha iced coffee. I drink this daily, usually in one of my many Disneyland mugs over ice. I don’t like hot coffee and I don’t like leaving my house for coffee so I discovered this at Target and fell in love. It is pretty sweet so if you don’t like sweet stuff I’d try something else, but if you enjoy sweet iced coffees this is one to check out. I drink maybe 4 oz of it daily only because I prefer a ton of ice. It’s also my only source of caffeine 90% of the time because I don’t drink soda unless we go out to dinner or something. They sell these drinks at Target and Savemart and have multiple flavors (mocha, caramel, and seasonally pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha).

Daily Vitamins!!! I love my vitamins an I think it’s important for everyone to get them. I take biotin for my hair, nails and skin. I have hair down to my waist and I love that is is still thick and healthy despite the fact that I have started coloring it. My colorist always tells me how healthy it is. I use Garlic for my heart health and immunity. I am not always the healthiest person and women need to be proactive about their heart health on a regular basis, especially when you have major issues with insomnia like me.  Insomnia has been noted in nearly 45% in cardiac patients in the US, so get some sleep and take care of your heart! I also take green superfood capsules which help in the veggie department….I hate eating vegetables and I am constantly failing at adding them to my diet so I take these to make sure I get some green in me! I have even thrown them in my fruit smoothies with a handful of spinach. I take selenium for its antioxidant properties, heart health benefits and and for my thyroid health. Last but not least I take  Women’s multi-vitamin when I’m going on trips and can’t pack my plethora of vitamins I typically take. These encompass most of the daily vitamins you should probably be taking normally, I got this bottle for $3 at Target.

 I am a mess without a To-Do list. I always have about 5 or 6 notebooks on hand to make lists or scribble notes in daily. I have daily chores, projects, shopping lists, calendars and budgets all in my notebooks. My family says I am obsessed with lists and I have to agree with them, but they work for me. I have a million thoughts and ideas running through my mind every day and I can’t always keep rack of it all so I I rely on my ability to write it all down. A woman with a plan is equal parts smart and dangerous.

 Nyx Jumbo Eye shadow Crayons in cashmere and yogurt shades. I have zero knowledge of what I am doing when it comes to applying makeup. I typically wash my face, lightly brush powder on my face, smear some of this amazing eye shadow on my eyelids and add some mascara and hope for the best. These are about $3 each and make me feel pretty. They’re very lightweight and simple and for someone who isn’t into wearing a lot of makeup I’d say they’re just right for me.

SPOTIFY IS LIFE. I can’t go a day, or even an hour without listening to music. This is my favorite app on my phone and laptop and my entire family has an account, even Ben (he made a playlist called Homework Jams and it is amazing). I have used Spotify since it came out years ago and have cultivated so many crazy playlists with it that match my moods. I use every single feature I can on the app and pay for a family plan subscription monthly. I have added my “Positive Mondays” Playlist for you guys to check out and help get your week going.

So this is what gets me through my busy days. What kinds of things help you get through the week? Do you keep it traditional and stick to the same go-to’s or do you switch it up to keep things exciting? Whatever you do, I hope you have an amazing week and get things done!

Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

Good Morning! This has been an eventful week and I am happy to say I have shaken the weird funk I was in from last week. The kid went back to school and we enjoyed the three day weekend by taking a fun adventure to So. Cal to see our family! Unfortunately my husband caught a really bad cold and wasn’t able to come with us on the trip but it ended up being a great Mother-Son trip! Plus his aunties got to spoil him with affection and video games as well as playing with their dogs and cats (Ben is such an animal lover). We enjoyed some time at the Pelican Pier Pavillion in Long Beach where we played arcade games and did a little window shopping. Ben’s aunties finally got to open their Christmas gifts now that we were in the same town….it’s never to late for presents! We had such a nice time just being around the people we love and spending time with each other. We ended up at our favorite place on Sunday…..Disneyland!!! Obviously, when in So. Cal! It was honestly one of the best trips I’ve had to date. We rode pirates and ate churros and pin traded. My son won a sword fight with a cast member and got his Auntie Liz a cool “Honorary Citizen” badge.  Ben got to test his skills on the coke corner piano and we tried our hand at being artists at the Animation Academy in DCA. Liz also got to see her very first show at the Enchanted Tiki Room. It was all we could have asked for and more. When we got back to Fresno I was able to make some very needed purchases for my home. We invested in a new sectional couch and we are on pins and needles waiting for it to be delivered so we can break it in with a family movie night. I also bought myself a letter board…ok, so that wasn’t really a “much needed” purchase, but I love it already.  I have quite a bit planned for the remainder of this month and some new exciting projects in the works that I can’t wait to share with you all! I hope you have an amazing week! Check out more moments from this week below:

DIY Wooden Christmas Tree

So, we decided we needed to be crafty this holiday season an make our own Christmas tree. It actually ended up being pretty simple and fun.  We started with two pieces of plywood we had laying around in the garage and cut them into triangles. I have to stop here and say, please measure your wood…we didn’t really do that. We are also not people who make things using saws and wood typically so we just decided this didn’t need to look perfect, we just wanted to see how it would turn out.

After we cut the two large triangle pieces we had to cut out the slots that would line the pieces up to create a 3-D tree. It was kind of like a puzzle, but much simpler and with two crazy adults who don’t know anything about woodworking. 

We then painted the pieces a nice chalkboard green with a bunch of cold glitter stirred into the paint (both can be purchased at Target, but I think it’s a bit overpriced. Whatever, it’s Christmas. ). The color turned out great!

Last, we assembled the pieces and set it up in the corner of our living room. The top of the tree was so crooked we slapped a Santa hat on top and called it a day.  We got so excited by our little tree we went out and found some more scraps of wood in the garage and made ourselves a stocking holder to go alongside the tree. We used some fence boards and a couple of 2x4s.

 

Anyway, we had fun making these projects and if we can make them I am 1000% sure that anyone with scrap wood, a saw, sparkle paint and free time can make an even better version of what we created. It was nice to do something special as a family together. 

Thanksgiving at Disneyland

This year my family spent Thanksgiving at Disneyland. It was a very different choice for us in terms of how we typically spend our holiday, but with all the stuff happening in our lives we decided we needed a break from reality. We were even joined by our Elf, Spot, on the trip.  Santa gave my son permission to hold him on the trip as Disney is magical enough to sustain his Elf powers, or whatever. It was very cool.

I have never seen Disneyland dressed up for the holidays and I was basically enthralled every minute. From the moment you enter the parks you are met with decorations and smells and smiles that transport you into the land of Christmas.

During our first night there we were able to walk down Main Street and it ‘snowed’ on us….a fine bubble mist that smelled of gingerbread and candy rained down on us under purple glowing lights as Christmas music played. I think I saw 200 people crying tears of joy, my husband and I included. It was very magical and very emotional. As we walked down Main Street to exit the park under the mickey shaped garland and wreaths hanging overhead we had our eyes glued to the gorgeous tree with a million twinkling lights. It was beautiful.

We had eaten at Cafe Orleans and slept like babies that night after being stuffed with delicious New Orleans inspired food and Holiday Magic. 

The next day was Thanksgiving Day and it was somehow, even more magical than the first day of our trip. We went on the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour and it gave us a very amazing perspective on Disneyland and Walt Disney’s dreams coming to fruition. The tour included 3 hours of walking through the lands of the Disneyland park and hearing Walt’s recorded words played to us on a device as well as being educated on Walt’s history by our amazing tour guide (Shout out to very tall tour guide Adrian!!). We were able to go on two rides and into one attraction without waiting and the tour included a lunch at private tables in the tour garden as well as a special pin commemorating the tour.

 

Possibly the best part of the tour, the day and maybe our entire year so far in general, was having the opportunity to go inside of Walt Disney’s private apartment in Disneyland above the fire station on Main Street. It was the place Walt stayed while he was at the park, where he visited with his grandchildren and watched the parades down Main Street. It was where he sat and came up with some of his most amazing and magical ideas. It was a place we never thought we would be able to see with our own eyes. 

If you aren’t a Disney fan, a true hardcore fan of the history and legacy of Disney, I can see why you might not understand the excitement about all of this. My family is a pack of hardcore Disney nerds. For us Disney is a way of life, not just some animated films and a theme park. We like to follow our dreams and spend time as a family experiencing magic whenever we get the opportunity. My son was blown away by the ability to stand where Walt stood and to learn about his life from his youth to his death and legacy. I don’t think we could have asked for a more amazing experience.

 

The next day and a half we tried going on the rides we typically didn’t take time to enjoy on past visits. We went on the Casey Jr. train, the Storybook canal boats,  and Snow White’s ride. We also went on the Nemo submarine ride and of course, experienced the fun of It’s a Small World with it’s Christmas makeover.  Then we headed to California Adventure and took some time to explore the Bug’s Life area and eat some delicious food from the Festival of Holidays. We also had fun watching Fantasmic with all of it’s exciting updates. 

All in all I’d say our trip did exactly what we needed it to do…it refreshed and recharged us for the holiday season. Our family has been going through so many difficult things the last few months and being able to get away and spend time in such a magical place with the people I care the most about has made the future seem more exciting. Learning about how Walt Disney overcame so many challenges and followed his dreams despite the obstacles in his way made me feel like I can do anything to reach my own goals and follow my own dreams.

I will be doing a Giveaway soon with a very cool Disneyland Holiday exclusive item…so stay tuned!

Small Business Saturday: DRT Woodworks

Great products for wine and beer enthusiasts.

I met Daniel Torres, the owner of Fresno’s DRT Woodworks at the ArtHop in October and just loved his unique take on a portable wine caddy. His designs use wood and rope and they have a nice rustic feel to their design.

Daniel started his woodworking business in July of 2017 after being inspired by California wine culture. He said it started as a personal project to properly transport wine but eventually developed into a business once others became interested in purchasing his designs.

He does custom orders of wine racks, wine caddys and beer caddys which are all hand made with pine and comes with or without stain per customers preference. 

(Note: the beer caddy had a bottle opener and a hidden magnet to catch your bottle caps!!)

Daniel is originally from Grand Terrace, CA and moved to Fresno in 2008 for school.  Being from the SoCal wine country he grew up learning about wine and has been involved ever since. He says he plans to give back some proceeds to the Sonoma County Wildfire disaster relief funds as it has greatly affected their wine commerce, as well as families and businesses in the region. He also plans to help the Fresno Community with local charity work in 2018.

“Ever since I was young, I wanted to start and run my own business, I also wanted that business to have purpose. I am a huge advocate for supporting small businesses everywhere and I am an even bigger advocate for that business to give back to the community where it resides. That is what I plan to do with DRT Woodworks; the idea of whenever you buy something from me, your dollar will stretch further and actually mean something to the community where it resides.”

Ways to contact DRT Woodworks:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DRTWoodworks

(909) 649-4686       DanielRTorres5@Gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Friendship Club

Earlier this month my son and I started a Friendship Club at his elementary school. He has experienced bullying and had trouble making friends and I thought building a safe and creative space within his school would help him, and other children with similar issues, foster friendships and have some fun during their school day.

The school was kind enough to allow me to use a room on campus during lunch recess for the club one day a week. The first day of the club I arrived about 30 minutes before lunch recess and they gave me the key and I set up the little room by clearing off tables and setting out my homemade printable sheets and crayons and other writing utensils for the kids. The club hadn’t yet been “advertised” to the students by the school or PTA and I was a little nervous that no one but my son would show up. I had printed 30 of my little projects just in case and when the lunch recess bell rang I started getting pretty excited.

Lunch recess was between 11 am and 1 pm for all 7 grades (k-6) and within that time period I had roughly 50 kids come through the room and it felt like a whirlwind of excitement. My son showed up about 45 minutes into it as he is in 3rd grade and brought his own posse of kids from his classroom. I literally ran out of supplies and had to break out lined paper and had kids make me a list of some things they’d like to do during friendship club in the future. I was blown away by how kind and creative these kids were and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them interact.

We came up with one rule that first meeting, “Always be a friend to everyone.”

The second week came and I had gone to the dollar store and stocked up on supplies in preparation. This week’s project would be making bookmarks. I pre-cut 100 bookmarks from a rainbow of card stock and had more coloring utensils and hundreds of stickers.

I am happy to say that I ran out of supplies again during the second meeting of Friendship Club. There were so many kids I could hardly hear through the friendly banter. No one argued, and every single kid had a smile on their face. What really helped was the very kind donation for the club from my son’s teacher; she gave us a gigantic tub of legos. So the kids who couldn’t make bookmarks were able to hunker down on the carpet and play legos together. It was phenomenal.

I am truly excited to continue Friendship Club throughout the school year. I have a goal to get at least one other adult volunteer to help oversee the kids with me. Some of the kids have expressed a desire to have a board game day and possibly make friendship bracelets. I think that will be something we can do during January.

I am including some downloads of the printables I have made if you’d like to use them with your kids. If you decide to start a friendship club at your school let me know! I’d love to share my ideas with you.

Printables

 Download Buddy or Bully Printable

 Download Emoji Friendship Printable

 Download Turkey Hand Activity