Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My new Zen lamp...

So I've been wanting to get a lamp for my office that creates a softer ambiance than what I get from the standard overhead florescent bulbs (think bright, classroom lighting....).

So while antiquing on Park Street this weekend, I found the most adorable, unique Zen lamp (that is what I am calling it....) :)

Now not only does this cute little lamp provide a relaxing, soft light, but it also has a little spot for incense cones! How cool.

I hope that this lamp helps to create a calm, safe place for my clients - because right now there is A LOT of anxiety that comes in and out of our Career Center at Berkeley. Poor, confused Cal students - they have so much pressure on them to find success and to "figure it all out". Hopefully I can help them take some steps forward in a positive direction, perhaps also reducing some of that anxiety in the process.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday @ The Hob Nob....

David and I had a fun-filled, adventurous Sunday afternoon! After I did my new killer workout video, Shape Bikini Body Boot Camp, we ventured out to Park Street in Downtown Alameda for some coffee and window shopping.

We spent quite awhile browsing through two interesting antique stores, checking out all the cool furniture, home decor, old collectibles, and random knickknacks. So fun! And I actually found a very cool lamp for my office at work - I'll take pictures today and post them for your viewing pleasure.

Then after an unsuccessful attempt to go bowling, we decided to head to The Hob Nob to have a drink and play games! Hob Nob is this fun little bar/lounge/cafe here in town where you can grab a drink, have tapas/appetizers, and they have a whole shelf full of board games you can play while hanging out - its so fun and cozy! We played Boggle, Checkers and Connect 4.....and had a wonderful day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Season 16 of Survivor starts soon - YAY! :)

I was so excited to learn today that the next season of Survivor starts on Thursday, February 7th! It is Season 16, "Fans vs. Favorites", and was filmed in Micronesia. I can't wait! Ok, so I know everyone has their opinions about "Reality TV", but I can't help it....I totally LOVE this show! I've watched it pretty religiously since the first season aired in summer 2000.

And even more exciting, one of my favorite characters from Season 14 is back - Yau Man Chan! Not only was he an awesome player, but he's a fellow UC Berkeley employee!

Check out the new cast!

**Smiles** ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

World's Stupidest Dog.....

Thanks for sharing this Kristen! Lol...

In need of some advice?? Consult the Magic 8 Ball!

Did you have one of these as a kid? I totally did! I wish it could be this easy to make decisions.... ;) Just type in your question for some free advice from the famous Magic 8 Ball!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Babies & Rainbows - what a wonderful Sunday! ;)

David and I had a lovely Sunday afternoon visiting with Leah, Lukasz, Hayden and my mom out in Redwood City. Leah & Lukasz recently moved into their own apartment and it's very cute - perfect for their little family! We also got a chance to hold and play with lil miss adorable baby niece. What a doll!

Then on our way home we saw a FULL rainbow! What a treat! Days like this make me feel very happy and content. Life is good! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just can't stop photographing my kitty children!

My kitties are just too cute, so I had to share these pics with all of you. Geez, if we take this many photos of our cats, just imagine what it will be like when we have kids! lol.....meow! ;)

The fabulous, yet spastic, Mr. Oliver Twist. He's such a Rockstar (and Ryan Seacrest

My sweet baby girl Aimee...

Ms. Molly Magoo - and her beautiful white whiskers.

Molly & Oliver cuddling together on a cold day (a nice change from the norm which usually involves Oliver attacking his sister and running around the house like a total spazz)

Friday, January 18, 2008

My thoughts on January.......and my favorite website of the moment

So I've officially decided that January is my LEAST favorite month of the year. On the contrary, December is full of parties, holiday cheer, happy Christmas music, family get togethers, social gatherings, presents, and FUN. But then January hits and I always feel a little bit blue as I adjust back to life and work after vacation. The weather is too chilly, it still gets dark way too early for my taste, and I always feel the post-holiday "blah's". But I'm hanging in there.....

Luckily I'm an optimist and I have found lots of little ways to improve my mood and to stay positive as best as I can. And cute little animals usually do the trick! While I love randomly surfing the web and have several sits that I visit regularly, CUTE OVERLOAD is currently one of my most fave sites - check it out!

If you're having a rough day or just feeling a bit down, this site is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Here are two recent pics that I just love. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is YOUR Personality Type?

So as a career counselor, I am very interested in and intrigued by individual differences related to personality type, values, personal motivators, and individual variations in how people prefer to approach life and the world.

Here is a link to what I believe is of the better FREE Personality Type Assessment tests out there. This test will probably take you about 15 minutes to complete and will give you your 4-letter Personality Type based off the theory of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

FREE Personality Assessment!!

If you're curious, take the assessment and then respond to this post and let me know what YOUR type is! As for me, I'm a textbook ESFJ (although I am developing more of my "I" and my "N" as I get older....but my "F" and my "J" are off the charts!). If you have no idea what I'm talking about (I know my counselor friends probably do!), then check out these links to learn more about this amazing theory of understanding human personality type! Have fun! ;)

Basic Overview of the MBTI and Personality Type

The Personality Page - Intro to Personality Type

Overview of the 16 Types

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cute kitty pictures for the day!

It's no secret that I LOVE cats. So here are some adorable kitty pictures to brighten up your Monday morning! Too cute! ;)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Day-O-Relaxation... :)

Yesterday my dear friend Cari Lee and I had a ladies day-o-relaxation at Piedmont Springs Spa ....and it was ohh so lovely! We had a massage and then got to relax in a private, outdoor hot tub and also spent some time sweating in the dry sauna. We enjoyed every second of the experience and didn't want to leave! I'd highly recommend this place....very relaxing, professional, affordable and close to home in Piedmont.
After our pampering experience we came back and drank champagne and ordered dinner-in. What a lovely day!! ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My new job starts this weekend!

So in order to expand my professional network and to develop new skill sets (and to also pick up some extra $$...), I've taken on a part-time contract gig as a Selector for the Oakland Teaching Fellows. And my first selection event is taking place this Sunday, January 13th! I am very excited about this opportunity because it will not only utilize my interviewing and counseling skills in a different capacity, but also have an opportunity to support a cause and a wonderful educational nonprofit that I strongly believe in. In brief, OTF is a highly selective alternative route teacher preparation program that accepts approximately 70 candidates each cycle that become part of a close-knit, supportive cohort. The Fellows complete an intensive summer training program in order to prepare them to begin teaching in Fall 2008. No prior teaching experience is required, but a passion for a commitment to the education is! The Fellows simultaneously work towards earning their teaching credential while working full-time and earning a regular teacher's salary. I think its a pretty sweet gig for the right candidates!

Basically I will be working with a Co-Selector to lead a 6-hour interview day for 6-8 Fellow candidates. Their interview day includes a teaching sample, a group discussion, a writing sample, and a one-on-one interview. My job is to help facilitate all of the day's activities, while simultaneously evaluating each of the candidates. At the end of the day we must fill out detailed reports that comment on all of the interview modules for each of the 6-8 candidates, including a final recommendation as to whether or not we should hire that person. So basically I have a role in selecting future teachers for some of the most needy schools within Oakland Unified School District.....not an easy job!

Wish me luck - I will be a busy yet exciting day I'm sure!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Word of the Day...

So one of my MANY New Year's resolutions is to improve and expand my vocabulary, which I believe will ultimately help my writing (and just make me sound more intelligent I hope...) ;)

So I've signed up for the "Word of the Day" digest from I was inspired to sign up for this digest because I often counsel students who study diligently for the GRE and the LSAT, two standardized tests which require a pretty extensive knowledge of graduate level English vocabulary.

Today's word......

pertinacious \puhr-tin-AY-shuhs\, adjective:

1. Holding or adhering obstinately to any opinion, purpose, or design.
2. Stubbornly or perversely persistent.

"When he made up his little [mind] to have or to do anything, all the king's horses and all the king's men could not change that pertinacious little mind."
-- Louisa May Alcott, Good Wives

"We were presently attacked by tens of thousands of the most bloodthirsty, pertinacious, and huge mosquitoes that I ever saw or read of."
-- H. Rider Haggard, She

The cabman replied: "If you will excuse me, your coat lapels are badly twisted downward, where they have been grasped by the pertinacious New York reporters."
-- David Walton, "Sherlock Holmes's Maker", New York Times, May 2, 1999

Pertinacious is from Latin pertinax, "having a firm hold, obstinate," from per-, "thoroughly" + tenax, "holding fast, tenacious," from tenere, "to hold."

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to work today....

Well today I'm headed back to work after a LOVELY 16-day vacation. I feel very rested, happy, peaceful, satiated, and ready to return to my career counseling job. We still have 2 weeks to prep and plan before the Spring semester begins, so I'll have plenty of time to easy back into my job. Although I had a fabulous vacation spending time with family and friends, relaxing, partying, hanging out with my kitties, and taking care of stuff around the house, I truly am ready to get back to my routine and my professional life. Lounging around is only fun for so long.....(although I could do it longer, don't get me wrong...) ;)

And I also miss Berkeley and my co-workers. Go Bears!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I've been slacking on my blog....but I have an excuse!

So after a fun and crazy New Year's eve out in San Francisco partying at the Sheraton with friends, I was hoping to spend the rest of my week relaxing, catching up on some personal projects, and just hanging out with family and friends. But instead....I've been stuck at home sick with a YUCKY case of Strep Throat...ick!

But all of this "down time" has actually served as a lesson for me - I know that I need to learn how to relax and chill out more, to not get so worked up and anxious about things, to stop overcommitting myself, to slow down a bit with going out and partying, and to just BE......

So I've spent the last few days watching lots of daytime TV, reading magazines, playing with my cats, randomly surfing the web, browing through old photos, and sleeping. I guess being sick isn't all bad, right? But I'd never wish Strep Throat upon hurts to swallow almost any type of food or beverage, and I had a fever along with body aches and pains. But I can feel myself slowly getting better now that I'm on antibiotics.

In the meantime, here are some funny pics of our crazy kitty son Oliver and his sisters Aimee and Molly....he had a rough day last week(hehe) - after misbehaving and attacking his poor, innocent sisters, he was "caged" for a time out, and then daddy decided that he needed his claws trimmed...ahh kitty manicure! We had attempted to remove his collar for awhile...perhaps he felt too free and went into spastic mode? Needless to say his collar is back - we need to hear his little bell jingle as a warning! A curious Amy and Molly look on.....