Tampa Bay Watch, Spring for the Arts, Girls Day

I am a bad blogger.

I had such an amazing weekend. However, there are few to none photos to prove it :/ Sometimes I just plain forget. Others I feel awkward taking photos of every little thing. Either way I wish I had more to showcase my fun. Guess you’ll just have to settle for words 🙂

Thursday wasn’t so much “fun”, but still an experience I’d like to note. I volunteered with the Junior League at Suncoast Center’s Illuminating Hope event. Suncoast Center offers help to those who have suffered things such as physical and sexual abuse and Illuminating Hope was an awareness event and encouraged people to speak out. There were expressive art pieces on display as well as a series of speakers. Tears instantly welled up as the first speaker, a 20 year old girl, spoke about she had been through. It was some hard stuff to sit through, but I am glad I got to be a part of it.

On Friday my work had a volunteer day with Tampa Bay Watch. We met at Weedon Island where we were presented with a huge pile of fossilized shells. Our job was to shovel these shells into mesh bags, transport them down onto a boat and then go out on the boat and help place them along a shoreline to create an oyster bar. This oyster bar helps to restore lost habitat systems to the bay, prevent further erosion of the shoreline and improve water quality through natural biological filtration. We spent 3 hours in the FL sun doing real, physical labor. By back and arms were sore all weekend, but I loved it! I love that sense of accomplishment and being able to actually see the difference you make. Can’t wait until we do it again!

Saturday morning was spent at our Junior League Leadership Retreat. Our speaker talked a lot about different personalities and eventually we got seperated into our different personality groups and learned a lot about how we work and how to work with others with different personality types. It was really helpful!

That night I got to attend Creative Clay’s Spring for the Arts fundraiser on behalf of Creative Pinellas (I’ll be blogging for them soon). Never knowing how much food is actually available at events Jon and I went to Ceviche beforehand for a few nibbles. When we got there there was a half hour wait so we went downstairs to their Flamenco bar area where there were very little people…score! We grabbed some seats at the bar and enjoyed some lovely wine and tapas. We hadn’t been to Ceviche to eat in so long and we forgot how much we enjoyed it. And we definitely favor the downstairs area better…it’s less hectic and I just like the atmosphere a bit better. The service seems to be better as well for some reason.

We had the Tabla Mixta, which had Chorizo, Morcilla and Serrano ham with Mahon, Manchego and Tetilla cheeses, sliced fruit and homemade pâte. Piquillos rellenos which are stuffed red peppers with ground veal and chorizo served with a sherry sauce. This is by far my favorite dish here. The flavor is perfect and they’re just delicious! We also had an asparagus dish, which was a nice side…got to have those veggies!

Spring for the Arts was a great event.

Beautiful music and wonderful artwork.

Tons of raffle and silent auction items.

A good amount of food and drink. I enjoyed some white wine and snagged some bread pudding from Ricky P’s for dessert.

(Since I’m reporting on this event for Creative Pinellas I won’t give too many details away.) We ran into a few people we knew and ended up chatting away the 2 hours we were there. They had member artisits doing free portraits and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to do that 😦 The event was on the third floor of The Pier, which is used for lots of events. Beautiful views of the water and St. Pete!

Sunday I joined some lady friends for yoga at The Dali. This was actually my second yoga class of the week…imagine that! Afterwards we had a late lunch at Red Mesa Cantina. Jon and I had gotten dim sum that morning so I only had half of my mahi mahi torta, but it sure was good. Complete with a pomegrante mimosa 🙂

This week is going to be quiet. Jon is working nights this week so I’m on my own meals wise…might try my hand at some dishes! But I also don’t have anything planned outside of work for once. The only thing I do have planned this week is taking my mom to Hard Rock this Saturday for an early Mother’s Day present so that should be fun!

What fun things did you do this past weekend? Have you done any volunteering lately?