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We Love Marlin

30 August 2013

Monday night, the staff and pastors at the BRIDGE got together for dinner with Marlin and Lori @ Brendan's. Laughter, good memories, and delicious food were shared.

Marlin and the staff

Marlin and the ladies -- looking serious ;)

Marlin and the ladies -- big smiles :)
food wasn't that shabby either! good fish 'n chips (so filling!)

Our wonderful Marlin and Lori <3
The adorable Tom and Karen. Too cute.

Amazing boss
Reads good books! Always has a recommendation or two.
Loves the LORD.
Negotiator - always so level headed.
I am so grateful to have served with Marlin these 4 years. What an amazing boss, mentor, man of God and friend he was to all of us. I cannot wait to see what roads God takes him and Lori down -- amazing things, no doubt. <3

Jehovah Rapha

29 August 2013

God is most definitely at work!
I was so grateful to be reminded of God's provision and loving kindness to ALL his children.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
- Jeremiah 29:11 

According to the "National Days" calendar, today, August 29th, is "More Herbs, Less Salt".

Not being a gardener (by any stretch of the imagination) I can never tell one leafy herb from another but I do know that they can be used for both (a) seasoning of food and (b) healing purposes.


Surely Jehovah Rapha (Lord Healer) -- who created herbs -- can bring about an even more magnificent healing. Sorrow can be turned to rejoicing (Psalm 30:11) by the power of the LORD. Humans will never live up to our expectations but we can confidently put our trust in GOD (Psalm 118:8)  I am eager to see what he can and will do. Are you?

unknown artist

Joy Michelle

p.s. this was definitely not where my mind was going when i started this particular blog post. :-)

We Love Debbie!

26 August 2013

A fun night was had by all on Saturday, 8/24, when the church staff and pastors headed over to Brendan's Irish Pub in Newbury Park (off Ventu Road).

The occasion: to celebrate our dear sister and friend and co-worker, Debbie.

Quotes from the evening:
Debbie (trying a "car bomb"): O, it is curdling! 
Marlin: I saw you (Joy) on the video this week.
Joy (Yours truly): I looked so Asian!
Marlin: You're Asian? I worked with you for 4 years and I never knew! 
Renee (about her cocktail): It's putting hair on my chest! 

The adorable Karen.
Debbie and Lori
The lovely Tara! 

Veronica and yours truly

Nancy R, Alex R and Debbie

Debbie and Tara

Debbie opening her gift

The office ladies with Debbie. <3

Sub Zero

Saturday, the 24th, my mum and I took a young friend from church to Sub Zero in Simi Valley for a cold treat before church. None of us had ever been before but were intrigued by the tagline:
Relish in ice cream and yogurt made fresh before your eyes with our liquid nitrogen flash-freeze process

So, did it live up to the hype?

The customer service was fantastic with two big smiles greeting us as we entered the ice cream parlor and they were very patient with us as we asked questions about the liquid nitrogen process and opinions on flavors, etc. Score: A+

The ice cream was delicious but very rich in flavor/taste so a kids size will be quite big enough for most enthusiasts. We chose two different flavors and found #1 (Cake Batter Ice Cream) to be too sweet and #2 (White Chocolate Custard) to be too icy. Lol. Score: B+
#1 - Cake Batter Ice Cream with Cookie Dough
#2 - White Chocolate Custard with Peaches

The novelty does make for a fun experience but the prices and actual taste will make me question a second visit.

Have you been before? Do share!

Joy Michelle

A Visit to the Botanical Gardens

17 August 2013

This afternoon, my dad and I decided to visit the Thousand Oaks Botanical Gardens. I've lived in this county almost my whole life and never knew they existed (:O) so we grabbed our DSLRs and headed out to see what we could find.

The entrance to the gardens is nothing to write home about. In fact the gardens themselves are very simple and little maintenance seems to have been done to either the plants or the signage. It's a good thing I had printed the map from their website or we would have been quite lost.
Map can be found

The pathways are cleared though so no fear of getting lost unless you wander too far off the trail. Also, the specific gardens, i.e. the Butterfly Garden and Bird Habitat, are clearly labeled once you find them (it's just a matter of finding the gardens, lol).

There appears to be a children's park but parents be warned that it is only open Sundays from 11am-3pm and that the Botanical Gardens in general closes every day at 5pm. There is plenty of signage warning you to be out before they lock the gates at 5pm.

All in all, there is a nice nature trail that gives you great panoramic views of Thousand Oaks and some lovely little gardens sprinkled throughout.

Do you have a favorite garden to visit in the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas? Or better yet, in London (where I'll be going in January '14)? Do share and I hope you can also enjoy a romp through the Thousand Oaks Botanical Gardens.

Dad snapping a shot
My new friend, Fred. We had a staring contest on the path. Guess who won?

Joy Michelle x

Smile: Meet Premiere Dental Group

16 August 2013

Who among us can say they enjoy going to the dentist?

When I was a child, I HATED the dentist. With my gag reflexes and sensitivity, it was the worst place I could imagine going to. Dentists and hygienists were always poking and pulling and had no "bedside manner".  I also had terrible grooves in my teeth so I could bet money that I'd have a cavity every visit. So is it any surprise that I avoided the dentist all through college and it was not until 2009 when a co-worker suggested his dentist, Dr. Deborah Newman, with Premiere Dental Group that I decided to give it another try.

I can clearly recall the first time I walked into their lobby -- it was immaculate and the ladies at the reception desk were openly friendly. Then I met Dr. Newman and my hygienist and was pleasantly surprised that everyone in the office was female. (It wasn't until my 2nd or 3rd visit that I met a male hygienist.) You can laugh but women can have a calming effect on an office (obviously they can have quite the opposite effect, too, lol) and that is thankfully just how it is at Premiere Dental Group.

Dr. Newman (property of Premiere Dental Group)
Dr. Newman and Dr. Hooper (whom I've met once) are eager to make your visit to the dental chair as pleasant and relaxing as possible. They remember those little details about you that make conversation pleasant and are always only a phone call away (like when I had my wisdom teeth taken out).  The hygienists are also all so pretty and sweet, very conversational (without that annoying habit of asking you questions when your mouth is full of metal and gauze) and compassionate. The first time I mentioned my gag reflexes to Dr. Newman and any hygienist they all took extra care to make sure I was comfortable and I'm amazed to say I have only slightly gagged when having a cavity filled in a hard-to-get-to-spot.

Heading to London in January, I knew I had to see Dr. Newman this summer to make sure everything was A-Okay. I cannot imagine anyone else taking care of these teeth of mine.

When people find out I drive 45 minutes to the dentist they usually think I've got a loose screw. But in actuality, my teeth are very grateful to me for the drive and I am smiling when I walk out of Premiere Dental Group as I was this afternoon.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and need a dental check-up, I cannot recommend this practice highly enough (and no I am not getting a free cleaning for this recommendation, lol). But trust me -- your teeth will be grateful for a visit. :)

Premiere Dental Group
4560 Admiralty Way #250
Marina Del Rey, California 90292
United States
Note -- Saturday appointments are coveted so you might have to schedule several months out. Also, parking is a max of $6 (for over 1 hour).

National Tell a Joke Day!

Seriously, who comes up with all these random dates? I only wish I knew about them at the beginning of the day. Quite often I'm finding out about PB&J or National Book Loving days long after the fact but today, thanks to Mrs. Jamie and her blog @ Getting Crafty Stampin with Jamie, I have stumbled upon the delightful "Tell a Joke Day".

photo courtesy of: SomeEcards
As anyone can tell you, I can NOT for the life of me tell a joke properly -- always gets lost in translation -- so here are a few of my favorites I've recently found on-line. Enjoy!

So what are some of YOUR favorite jokes? Do share!

Joy Michelle

Summer Nights

15 August 2013

Summer time is perfect for BBQs (ribs are a particular summer favorite for yours truly), playing with furry friends and end-of-summer sales.

My 1st time BBQing a Tri-Tip Roast

Shadow loves her pink bone.

Sometimes the old toys are the best.

Tonight we went to a favorite non-bbq restaurant which I enjoy during the summer, Panera's, with the "You Pick 2" options you can get a soup and salad and they are perfect portion sizes.

On a fashionista note:
Today, I chose to wear two of my new purchases -- an infinity scarf from TJMaxx and a tank top from Zara's White & Black collection. Who doesn't love a good find?
Blouse from Zara. Scarf from TJMaxx. Sunnies from Tiffany's. Purse from Guess.
What have you all been doing with your summer? Any fun finds at the shops or good bbq'ing adventures? Do share.

Joy Michelle

Shadow Sees the Groomer

07 August 2013

A couple months ago, Shadow met the groomers from *you know where* and came away sickly and looking less then her best. Fast forward to today and we're pleased to announce Shadow is back to her usual perky and happy self and was seen by her beloved groomer this afternoon. Surely this is a cause for rejoicing. :)

Shadow beforehand

Shadow afterwards
Where do you take your furry friends to get groomed?

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