Neighborhood Spotlight – Kim Sinclair

Connecting and highlighting incredible people in our South Bay community is one of our favorite parts of our jobs.

 The inspiration we draw from those we interact with keeps us fueled through the ups and downs of the daily grind!

With the start of April, the designated Autism Awareness Month, we are proud to feature Kim Sinclair – Executive Director for the Autism Society Los Angeles!

After meeting Kim and sharing our story, she reached out to us to be featured as a Neighborhood Spotlight. This act is a perfect portrayal of Kim and her commitment to representing the Autism community.  Kim’s role with The Autism Society Los Angeles has provided her with an incredible platform to empower individuals with Autism, as well as serve as a resource for their families. With over 20 years of experience in both corporate and non-profit environments, Kim’s efforts have brought a focus on processes, fundraising, and program administration and development to the ASLA.   Kim and the whole ASLA team work ardently to improve the lives of individuals with autism, their families and professionals. Kim is especially passionate about using community collaboration to empower, educate and, ultimately, improve the lives of all individuals with developmental disabilities

Kim’s other passions include cycling, spending time outdoors and with her family.

  1. You are very passionate about what you do! What is your favorite part about working for The Autism Society Los Angeles?

Our mission is truly making a difference: “improve the lives of all affected by autism. We help empower individuals with autism (self advocates), their families, and professionals through advocacy, education, support and community collaboration”.  I love our entire community and that we are making a difference in people’s lives every day.

2. The Autism Society Los Angeles has a broad range of services, can you please give us a brief run-down of the services/experience that the organization offers?

We are engaged throughout the community in Public Policy to influence the laws that support our individuals and families.  Through Advocacy ASLA represents individuals with developmental disabilities in Sacramento through membership on statewide commissions and committees and building relations with legislators and administrators.  ASLA trains medical and law enforcement professionals improving the outcomes of interactions for our community members.  Providing a resource “warm-line”, to provide support for in need families, self-advocates and members of the community.  Presenting conferences and trainings, to provide education and increase advocacy skills.  ASLA also just launched a Self Advocate Speakers Bureau, to provide speaking opportunities for Self Advocates to community groups representing their voices. And finally, we provide an Annual Summer residential camp to young adults – Camp NAVIN to support independence and friendships.

3. Of the many programs the organization offers, which one is your favorite and why?

I love the newly launched Self Advocate Speakers Bureau. We train individuals with disabilities on presentation skills and then connect with community groups for public speaking presentations to create acceptance of differences. It is powerful and provides employment for our disability community.

4. What would you say is the biggest place where you have seen The Autism Society Los Angeles make an impact?

Our programs and services help families and individuals across all developmental disabilities develop advocacy skills and become educated on how to navigate the multiple support systems in California to improve their quality of life. Most importantly, we have been the lead organization in passing laws in California that will have a profound impact on the thousands of individuals with disabilities.

5. Does the Autism Society Los Angeles only help individuals with Autism?

No, we help families and individuals across all developmental disabilities, and professionals including medical and law enforcement.

6. What do you see for the future of the Autistic community and how is The Autism Society Los Angeles helping shape that future?

We are THE resource in the LA disability community and have trained thousands of family members, individuals with disabilities, and professionals.  And we will continue to support the community across all stages of their lifespan.

7. What impact do donations to The Autism Society Los Angeles make within the community?

All donations stay local, unlike many peer organizations. ASLA is mostly a volunteer-run organization that relies on donations to keep our programs and advocacy efforts continuing.  The funds raised support our mission and all dollars raised by ASLA stay in our community.  We are also always in search of passionate and dedicated volunteers that can help.  And we always value business support to help sponsor programs.

Details of how to donate or become engaged can be found at www.AutismLA.org

A great opportunity to get involved with the Autism community is taking place THIS SATURDAY from 12:00-4:00! The Nick’s Community Chili Cook-off guarantees delicious food, adult beverages & unlimited fun for kids, with profits benefiting Nick’s Community & ASLA

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Prepping For Spring // Backyard Edition

No matter where you live (but especially here in SoCal!) outdoor entertaining at your home becomes more appealing as the weather warms and the days get longer.

With the start of Spring and the much-rejoiced arrival of day light savings, now may be the ideal time to prep (or update) your outdoor living spaces! Thanks to Pinterest & HGTV, the design and decor ideas are endless… which may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The key is not to take on too much – just remind yourself that your main goal is to create a outdoor space that you can enjoy being in. We have gathered the following guidelines to get the gears turning and the inspiration flowing..

  • Be sure to create traffic patterns or designated ways to walk/move around. Due to the restricted lot sizes throughout most of the South Bay, this rule is especially critical if you want to make the most of a small or cramped space. This can be done in a variety of ways.. whether that be laying formal stone walkways or planting shrubs to help establish corners and borders.

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  • Add an outdoor fire source. Indoor fireplaces are great and all.. but when the mid-summer heat rolls around, you definitely do not want to be stuck indoors! Keep it low key with a portable firepit or firebowl (how cool are these!) or take things to the next level with a full fireplace. Just be sure to check your local building codes / fire safety rules… and to stock up on the s’mores supplies!

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  • Outdoor kitchens are an ideal way to extend your home’s living space into the outdoors. While detailed outdoor kitchens can easily become expensive, they don’t have to be! Remember, it is about creating an environment and the ability to eat outside, not necessarily buying all the frills and accessories. A charcoal grill and small outdoor dining table can be the start of your backyard dining experience.

Check out a few of the outdoor kitchens we are drooling over:

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  • Keep things practical and organized. Do not go over the top with accessories or details and have a designated area to put things (seat cushions, pillows, etc) when rain is in the forecast! Also, if you choose to incorporate an outdoor kitchen/dining area, be sure to have create a storage area for equipment to help keep the space cleared and available for enjoying.
  • Try out vertical gardening! Blank walls, covered patios and fencing can all benefit from the addition of vertical gardens. Succulents work best, and when coupled with found wood are a easy, affordable DIY project. We love  this charming vertical garden our Neighborhood Spotlight Anaïs and her husband build!

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  • Lastly, remember that a roof extends usability.  Overhead structures like a gazebo or screened porch provide comfort and protection from the elements, ultimately giving you more opportunities to spend time outdoors. However, the roofing does not have to be a permanent structure – pop-up tent over your deck or out in the yard can be just as effective in blocking the sun or rain!

Feeling Green in 2017?

The Hermosa Parade & Redondo 5k may have already passed, but there is still plenty of time to get revved up for St. Patrick’s Day!

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Our suggestions to get in the spirit: Send a hand-written Irish blessing to a friend, bake some Irish Soda bread & check out a nearby celebration! (or dye your pool green if you are really committed)

  • Saint Rocke: Saint Rocke gets it going with tribute band Hollywood U2 and Barley Friday March 17th. Get in early for happy hour with “Piano Man” Scott Doyle (this is the guy from your favorite Dueling Piano nights).
  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the LA Kings at Taste of the South Bay. It’s an upscale, food-centric social event at Shade Hotel’s new location in Redondo Beach. In between tastings, guests can mix and mingle with LA Kings personnel and celebrities, play casino games and bid on the silent auction. Also, proceeds from the event benefit Redondo Beach Police Foundation to buy classroom emergency safety kits for all Redondo Beach schools – a win-win!
  • If you feel up to venturing outside of the South Bay bubble, head over to the Original Farmers Market on St. Patrick’s Day for corned beef, cabbage and green beer at Magee’s Kitchen. Glen “the strolling bagpiper” will be playing Celtic tunes during lunchtime, while Stuart Marks and the Paddy O’Dors Band will park themselves on the West Patio during dinner.

Irish Blessing

May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.


Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

 


Wherever you find yourself this St. Patrick’s Day, the Weber Accetta Group wants to leave you with the following Irish Blessing:

May there always be work for your hands to do
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

(Not So) Extreme Fireplace Makeover

Nothing beats a warm, roaring fire on a snowy winter’s night!

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But with winter weather in Redondo Beach hovering around a sunny 60 degrees, that cozy fire may not have the same appeal. For some SoCal families fires are a novelty saved for Christmas day and the fireplace goes unused the other 355 days of the year.

Luckily, there are many creative ways to transform that otherwise unused space and turn it into a focal point for your home. Here’s a look at some “fireplace makeover” ideas we are dying to test out.

1. Use your fireplace to freshen up the room! Artfully arranging flowers and other potted plants inside your fireplace can add color, dimensions and scents to your living space. A fireplace garden can satisfy your green thumb..without having to go outside. Succulents or ferns are hearty, low-maintenance options that will make your room come alive!We also love the idea of adding seasonal plants during the holidays, such as holly branches or poinsettias.

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2. If you love the flickering effect of a fire, as well as that alluring wood scent, an arrangement of candles inside your fireplace can help you achieve a similar feel. Home goods stores offer a wide range of candle scents, from Campfire Smoke WoodWick Candles  to Tory Burch’s Cedarwood Candles. The beauty of this option is that you swap out scents and holders to keep the arrangement appealing and smelling heavenly! It also mimics the romantic fire vibe without generating the smoke, mess or hassle of tending a fire.

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3. Create more storage by adding shelving into your fireplace. Beyond giving your another place to store books or trinkets, this option adds a focal point to the room. This is an easy way to add a mini library to your home or to display those family photos that never quite got hung up. To jazz things up, consider painting the backdrop of the fireplace a bright color or line it with patterned tiles!

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4. Showcase an art piece or family heirloom. When properly cleaned, the inlay of a fireplace creates a perfect place to  display a singular item. This tactic works best with a sculpture, but could also be used to feature a framed piece of art. The simplicity of this setup will add a sophisticated, museum-like feel to an otherwise unused space!

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5. If you are one of those “we use our fireplace once a year” families, then completely transforming your fireplace may not be the best ideas. (We don’t want to see those books caught on fire!) However, one easy way to transform your fireplace and achieve a rustic, homey ambiance is to stack it neatly with firewood. Use logs that are the same length but have varying diameters, and be sure to pack them tightly to fill the whole space. And hey, when that “one day a year” rolls around you will already have firewood on hand!

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The beauty of owning your own home is that you can transform it into whatever you want it to be! You can take each space and make it into something functional that works for your family and individual style. With a little creativity (and the help of the internet), your  fireplace transformation could be the start of a complete home-make-over!