Giving Back

Something I try to do in my life is give as much as I can. I believe that serving the community, trying to do good in this world, is so, so important. I feel like if you do good, you live good. So I’m always looking for ways I can volunteer or give back. Today I’m sharing a story about something I did recently that I feel really good about, as well as some ideas for any of you out there that want to give back, too!

When I got home from school this summer, I decided I wanted to donate blood. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was in high school, but I always had an excuse not to do it. So this summer, I decided I was committed. Finally, this September, I talked my mom into registering for a mobile blood drive with me. I was so nervous, you guys! Needles don’t bother me, but being in that little cramped bus and not knowing how giving blood would affect me…I was anxious! But I really didn’t have anything to worry about. It was so easy and the workers were so nice, and I felt so happy after I did it! Only 30 minutes out of my life, and knowing my donation could help somebody who really needs a transfusion…that’s amazing.

PICTURE

Ideas for how you can give back:

  1. Donate blood. Not everybody can or will want to do this, but if you can, I would definitely try it at least once! You could help someone who desperately needs a transfusion to live! When I did, I got this awesome pink bandage: Giving Back via Imperfect Chevron
  2. Round up at the cash register. I try to do this as much as possible, especially if it’s a cause that I really believe in. First of all, I think even the littlest amount adds up and makes some sort of difference. Secondly, I hate having coins rolling around in my wallet! So it’s a win-win.
  3. Volunteer. Maybe you love walking dogs at your local shelter, serving meals at a soup kitchen, or even helping out at a local event. There are always opportunities to volunteer if you look for them. Check in your local area to see if there are any upcoming events for more ideas (helping neighbors clean their yards for fall, event staff at a 5k, etc.)
  4. Donate old glasses. I use my glasses for a very long time (at least 3 years per prescription!), but when I’m able to get a new pair, I always try to donate the oldest pairs. Most optometry offices or places where you can buy glasses have a little donation box inside, so it’s pretty easy to just drop your old pairs in there and help somebody who really needs glasses.
  5. Participate in food drives. This time of year, it seems like there are a TON of food drives to choose from! Whichever one you choose, you’re doing a good thing. Right now, the ladies over at A Beautiful Mess are actually doing a virtual food drive which is both creative and wonderful. I’m definitely going to participate in that one. Last month, I participated in Naked Juice’s Drink Good Do Good campaign, which donates up to 500,000lbs of fruits and veggies to Americans in need! Here’s my dorky fruit/veggie selfie (appropriately captioned “Helloooooo….It’s me”:                      Giving Back via Imperfect Chevron
  6. Take a service trip. I’ve never been on a service/mission trip (mostly because I’m not religious, so I haven’t been involved in anything like that), but it’s something that I’d really like to do someday. I have this idea that maybe someday, I’ll have the opportunity to take my skills as an Occupational Therapist to another country for a service trip, offering pro bono OT services for people who don’t have access or can’t afford the services. It’s good to have dreams, and this is one I really hope I can reach someday!

These are just a few simple ideas of easy ways to give back, there are TONS out there and this list is by no means exhaustive! I truly believe that being involved in the community and giving back is so important. Get yourself, your families and loved ones, involved. Get out there, do what you can, put as much good out into the world as you can! If you put all that positive energy into the world, only good things can come from it.

Okay, thanks for letting me geek out about volunteering and giving back today. Happy weekend, everyone, and GO BRONCOS!

xo

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A Week in San Luis Obispo, CA!

SLO Trip via Imperfect Chevron

Last week my parents and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to San Luis Obispo, CA–I actually had a job interview out there, and we were able to extend the trip and stay a week in warm, beachy paradise! Today I’m sharing some photos (I took SO MANY PHOTOS) and some of what we did while we were there. It was super hard leaving the beach and the ocean, but all of the leaves are changing here in CO now and, you guys, it is so beautiful! Fall in CO is really something special. So even though I’m missing the beach and sand and surf like crazy, I’m happy to be home.

Here’s our trip in a snapshot:

Day 1

Fly into LAX. Drive through the crazy traffic to SLO.We stopped at In-N-Out for our very first time…it is totally worth the hype! Definitely a must-have when in CA.

SLO Trip via Imperfect Chevron

To break up the long drive, we stopped at a great little beach park near Santa Barbara called Rincon park.The fun thing in CA is that many beach parks allow dogs!

SLO Trip via Imperfect Chevron

We stayed on a farm through Airbnb, which was the most amazing experience! For dinner, we walked around downtown SLO and stopped at Jaffa Cafe for some awesome gyros and falafel. We were also surprised to see 2 red macaw parrots flying overhead, it’s a local quirk which you can read about here.

Day 2

Spent the day wandering around Morro Bay and Morro Rock.It’s a pretty beautiful area, with a cute little town around it. We didn’t explore the town much, but it looked like a lot of fun!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

While searching for tide pools, we drove up to the Bluff Trail at Montana de Oro. We didn’t find any tide pools (it was too hot to hike very far that day), but looking down over those cliffs into the ocean sure was beautiful! There were some harbor seals hanging out on one of the rocks down there, which was fun to watch for a while.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We stopped at Beach Hut for some unique and tasty sandwiches (I ordered a sandwich with turkey and cranberry sauce and sprouts!) on the way back to Morro Rock, where we spotted a “clump” of at least 20 sea otters sleeping in the kelp. Those otters were incredible. We were really happy we brought our binoculars on this trip, because seeing the sea life up close is way cool. You can really see their little blond faces!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

Day 3 + Day 4

Interview days for me. I ate lunch at Spirit of San Luis (airport cafe), sipped an iced coffee at Bello Mundo, enjoyed a turkey pesto sandwich at 6 Degrees (an awesome little coffee shop in Orcutt), and loved the carnitas tacos at Shell Beach Brewhouse. Carnitas is a new food love for me, but I’m totally obsessed with them now. Sorry for no pictures of food, by the way. I would get so wrapped up in eating that I pretty much forgot to take pictures of ALL the food I ate on this trip. Major face-palm moment.

After my interview on one of these days, I needed to relax, so we spent a few hours enjoying Pismo beach. I love me a good beach, and this was a good one. We saw lots of whale spouts off the beach, which was really fun to watch for! If you head out on the pier, you can get a close look at surfers catching waves, which I thought was really interesting to watch. I think I’d try surfing, but the ocean in CA is so cold!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We also walked around in downtown SLO, and I couldn’t help snapping some pictures by the gorgeous Mission San Luis Obispo.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

Day 5

We drove towards Avila beach, stopping along several pull-offs at Shell beach first. At Shell beach, we saw this huge rock off the cliff with probably more than 200 pelicans on it! Unfortunately it was a really foggy day, so my photos didn’t turn out amazing…The houses on that street had the best view, though. If I ever make it rich, remind me that’s where I want to live!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We spent some time checking out the San Luis pier at the North end of Avila beach. Basically, it’s an animal lover’s dream! We saw harbor seals, seat otters, and sea lions all hanging around the pier, which was so cool. It’s also a fun pier to check out because there are little fish markets and restaurants on it, which is neat. Plus, you can go down below the pier (which is a little creepy, but just try not to think about it)! We saw sea otters playing down there, and there’s a platform that the sea lions hang out on down there.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

We drove back to Pismo beach and ate tacos at Papi’s Grill, which was so good! I had the carnitas special (remember how I told you I’m obsessed with carnitas?!) Just so you know, it’s a very casual place–order at the window and then sit on the little patio. The perfect place for tacos! (: After lunch, we headed back to Avila (Pismo beach was really foggy, and we wanted some sun!), and got our caffeine fix at Big Al’s coffee house. I ordered a Hawaiian shave ice, which was incredible. If you’re hanging at Avila, definitely head to this little coffee shop for coffee, tea, Hawaiian shave ice, or smoothies.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

On the way back to our house, we stopped one more time at Morro Rock to see more otters. This time, a couple of them had babies lying on their stomachs! Bring your binoculars to California, you guys.

Day 6

We had reserved a tour at Hearst Castle, so we spent most of the day near San Simeon. Our tour was amazing, and I loved that we were able to stay after the tour ended to walk around the gardens. Such an amazing story, it really reminded me of The Great Gatsby for some reason.

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

There’s this exit on the highway right up the road from Hearst Castle where elephant seals come ashore and sunbathe on the sand. Since fall is sort of the “off-season” I wasn’t expecting to see many, but there were at least 200 on the shore, and a few more in the waves! These animals are incredible, like nothing I’ve ever seen. They’re huge, and seeing them up close was really cool. I love that the whole area is a boardwalk, so people can’t get down to the beach to bother the animals, and volunteers are around to answer questions. Here’s the website, with a cool live cam!

http://www.elephantseal.org/view.htm

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

Every Thursday night, Higuera St. in downtown SLO is transformed into the most amazing farm market. Lots of produce stands, local restaurants offering street food, and even street performers and bands! We ate this amazing woodfired pizza from Guiseppe’s. I ordered the margherita pizza and it was great!

SLO trip via Imperfect Chevron

 

 

Such a great trip. I hadn’t spent much time in CA before this visit, and I’d like to get back there every couple years! I loved the Central Coast, and would definitely recommend staying near SLO.

xo