Photo of the Day, What Makes Me Smile

Giving Back

My daughter continues to amaze me. She works hard, loves God and has a giving heart.  And I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to give back to so many other amazing kids and to let them know there are others that love them too.

Today we went to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Sacramento to deliver Girl Scout cookies that the little miss worked hard to donate. The person there to receive the cookies was so lovely. She told us how excited kids are to get the cookies every year and how the little miss should be so proud of herself.

Can’t deny the smile on her face!



We made another stop today. We delivered 18 birthday bags to the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. Our birthday bags included cake mix, icing, balloons, stickers, crayons, toys. etc.

The receiving home can house up to 80 children, and provides many programs and activities for the children during their stay. We hope these birthday bags will bring joy to each child, and we look forward to more volunteer opportunities here.


Photo of the Day, Travel, What Makes Me Smile

California’s Gold

Things have been busy and I knew I needed to steal a little time to get away. So after we picked up the little one from her amazing VBS, we headed to the foothills to Coloma.

It’s a town famous for James Marshall finding gold along the river in 1848, and Troublemaker (infamous to Sacramento river rafters). Boasting a population of 529, there is a lot of charm packed into this micro-town. It includes a blacksmith, a post office, a handful of  places to grab food and listen to live music.

After parking, our first destination was the farm-to-fork restaurant, Argonaut Cafe. Our sandwiches were filling and the cookies sweet and warm. It was the perfect place to fuel before we headed for the Monument Trail.

I’m a huge Yelper, and here is a picture of us in the back room of the cafe.



The Monument Trail leads you to the old jail, the catholic church from 18oos, the cemetery with gravestone markers going back to the time of the Gold Rush (I’m creepy like that), James Marshall’s cabin, and the monument erected in his honor in 1890.

Along the trail, we were greeted with this lovely little sign:



We definitely kept our eyes out on this quiet trail. We didn’t see any other hikers, so we decided to sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt with the thought it would keep unwanted meetings from occurring.

After the hike, we crossed the Coloma bridge (my family is silly), built in 1915, to grab an ice cream at the Coloma Resort, the place I camped every year as a kid. IMG_0496

After putting our feet in the river to cool down, it was time to come home. It was a quick trip but enjoyable and full of history. Check out Coloma and lose yourself for a little while.

Running, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Sacramento Zoo Zoom

My daughter is such a huge inspiration to me. She really enjoys running and is always asking me to sign her up for a 5k.  She’s pretty good too!!

So it was a joy to read our local zoo was doing a fun 5k run. We love our Sacramento Zoo. We gladly have yearly memberships there. It is small and quaint, but clean and full of lush trees and majestical animals.

The Zoo Zoom has you running through beautiful Land Park, where streets are lined with classic homes from the 30s and 40s and canopy trees that shaded us throughout.

The “little” pushed and pushed. She never wanted to quit, and our run ended right at the zoo, where we were granted free access for the day.  We quickly replenished with water and snacks and enjoyed the rest of the day watching the monkeys swing and the lions sunbath.

It’s such an honor to share this hobby with her and see her grow into the sport.


What Makes Me Smile

Dutch Brothers Coffee in Sacramento

About a year ago a new Dutch Brothers showed up in my neighborhood. I’ve seen Dutch Brothers before. They are easy to spot around Sacramento. Usually a micro building with a drive thru window plopped in the middle of a parking lot to a small strip mall. Anytime I drove by a Dutch Brothers,  the line of cars would circle all around the small building. I would see cars around town with Dutch Mafia stickers. My partner constantly raved about them.

Clearly Dutch Brothers is popular with a large loyal following. But I’m usually late to the popularity parties. It took me 34 years to see the first Star Wars movie (or I guess that would be the 4th movie). It took me 20 years to finally start the Harry Potter series (btw I am officially a Potterhead). So, I thought maybe it was about time I see what was drawing people to apply for the Dutch Mafia which serves drinks called the Birthday Cake and the 911.

Winters in Sacramento can be fickle. The week before I was in a t-shirt and pulling out summer shorts, and this week the high in the area was the low 50s. That is cold for me, and thought this would be the perfect time for me to try a coffee over at Dutch Brothers.

Now, I’m not a huge coffee person. Someone like me probably shouldn’t even have caffeine. But I do enjoy the taste, so I usually get a decaf Americano. When I pulled up into a packed lane of cars, a delightful girl took my order from my car and helped me customize a drink. She recommended the decaf Americano with mocha and heavy almond milk. WOW!!! So good. Really smooth and just a perfect blend of the chocolate and almond milk.

That week I came back three more times and started my punch card (which is now full and I’m ready for my free drink).  But the superb drink is not what is bringing me back. It’s their wonderful service. From the moment someone takes your order until you drive away, the servers at Dutch Brothers just make you smile.

They asked how my day was, and if I had any plans. They gave the little Miss whip cream on top of her straw which just made her day. They really want you to drive away with a positive start to your day, ready to conquer the world.  Their glowing personalities are infectious and any business could take a lesson on how to connect with customers.

Here is Kaitlyn handing us our drinks with a huge smile. IMG_0184

We have lost our way of friendly customer service to a world of mobile orders leaving little to be desired. But not at Dutch Brothers. You will be greeted with servers interested in knowing who you are and making sure they provide the best service. When I stopped there this morning, Marisa, greeted me with a cheerful smile and said “Hi Laura. A decaf Americano with mocha and heavy almond milk.” She took the time to remember my favorite drink and my name.

Now when I head off to a showing, I always stop at Dutch Brothers to let their uplifting attitudes pump me up for a successful day.  I’ll continue to recommend my clients take the time to drive thru and let some of that Dutch Mafia attitude rub off on them.

People love Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Dutch Mafia not because they are trendy, but because they are connecting people to their soul.  I think what we are seeing from this company is merely just the beginning of something much larger and I look forward to seeing their growth in the Sacramento area.

For more information about Dutch Brothers go to

Are you new to Sacramento? Looking for a great place to lay your roots and need to find a home? Email me at and I would love to help and introduce you to our beautiful city.