Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Author: Mark G. (page 1 of 2)

William Tharpe Roberts

William Tharpe Roberts is a U.S. Military Veteran based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Mr. Roberts worked as a Marine Science Technician and as a member of the U.S Coastguard for 13 years. William specialized in the areas of Pollution Response and Law Enforcement and received an Honorable Discharge. During his enlistment, William was responsible for activities including but certainly not limited to overseeing extensive marine projects as well as disaster response. Most notably, William was a member of the team sent to respond to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010, one of the largest marine oil spills in the history of the petroleum industry.

William Tharpe Roberts’ education, prior to his enlistment in the military, consisted of extensive training on computer processes such as, HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript alongside a considerable background in Law Enforcement training.

What is your hobby? 

Being raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida meant that as a young boy I had always been surrounded and enamored by the beautiful blue abyss that is water. For this reason, one of my greatest passions is swimming. When the weather is not as cooperating, I’ll swim at a local public pool by my home, but when the Florida weather truly shines down on me, I love making my way to the beach and taking a quick jaunt in the ocean.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

For as long as I can remember, the water has always been where I have felt most comfortable. Whether I was swimming, sailing, or simply dipping my feet in its magnificent blue shimmer. Growing up in a coastal city had a lot to do with my attraction to the ocean and many of my fondest memories are those of my family and I hanging out at the beach on a hot summer’s day. To me the water represents a beautiful combination of wonder, calm, and tranquility. That being said, I have an immense appreciation and respect for the strength and power of the ocean. I have seen it tear boats in half and shape the land on which we stand.

What is your favorite thing about your hobby?

I think my favorite part about swimming is the fact that I can have so much fun and so much freedom while also training my body and keeping my heart and mind sharp. Swimming is one of the most physically exhausting things, yet when you’re floating in the water your body feels almost weightless. The aches and the pains go away and it’s just you and the water.

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

Well, what started as a hobby of swimming greatly influenced what I ended up spending 13 years of my life doing. As a Marine tech for the US coastguard I spent months at a time on the water saving lives and making a real difference for my country. My passion for the water lead to my drive and determination to preserve it and keep it safe.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I also love to go for bike rides. Physical activity like biking and swimming are great for your mental health and are the two main ways that I like to stay in shape.

Check out these links to learn more about William Tharpe Roberts:

http://inspirery.com/william-tharpe-roberts/

https://medium.com/william-tharpe-roberts

Sandro Carbone

Sandro CarboneA general contractor and entrepreneur by day and a singer by night, Sandro Carbone has been interested in music for as long as he can remember. He first joined an experimental metal band with his brother and a friend after high school. A couple years after they disbanded, he joined his current band which plays a mix of blues and rock, with inspiration from and an infusion of a variety of other music genres.

When Sandro Carbone is not at work or off jamming with his band in a friend’s apartment, he’s spending all the time he can with his wife and three-year-old son.

 

  1. What is your hobby?

I sing in a garage band with my friends. We play blues and rock music.

  1. How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I always took interest in artists’ voices. I can hear different pitches in a person’s voice and tell if someone is singing on or off key. I’m also always singing in my head.

My brother and I also shared a desire to make music. We rented a studio one day with a friend of ours and it’s just grown from there.

  1. Tell us what you love about it?

You have five people from completely different walks of life coming together to make music. We improvise all of the time so every second of music is new. We connect in a way that we can set up anywhere, any time and a song will come right out of us. Whenever we complete a song, we are just beside ourselves and completely elated because it came from us, came from our souls.

  1. What is your favourite thing about your hobby?

Being able to create something from nothing and performing for people. We get together at my friend’s apartment to play, and since my friend is a socialite, he always has people coming in and out of his place. Even if it’s only six people, I love performing for them.

  1. Have you ever performed in front of an audience elsewhere?

I did a stand-in for my cousin’s band in Sicily, Italy. He was playing a small festival along the beach of about 200 people and I sang two songs. It was amazing.

  1. How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

Through this band I’ve made lifelong friends. Even if we disband years from now, I know we’ll stay friends for life.

  1. Are there any groups you’re a part of that you attend related to your hobby?

My band and I like to attend concerts or live performances to get inspiration.

  1. In what other ways do you or your band find inspiration?

We send each other new music whenever we find something different and interesting. Also, before each session, we all listen to different types of music to get inspired throughout the week. Then when we get together, we create a mix of different sounds to keep our music original. Sometimes I’ll sing a bluesy tone over a Latino style music, yet we can make it work together.

  1. Were you always a fan of Blues music?

Not always. It came later in life. I liked it enough before I joined my band, but it was the band that truly made me appreciate this style of music.

  1. What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

It’s not hard but finding success as a musician or singer has a lot to do with luck. As long as you’re passionate about it, you are already halfway there. Just keep your eyes open for any unexpected opportunities that come your way. And if you miss an opportunity, it’s okay, because that urge to play music never dies. You can just go about your life while waiting for the opportunity to come up again.

  1. Are there any other hobbies you have?

My other hobbies are whatever my three-year-old son’s hobbies are. If he likes trains and monster trucks, I like trains and monster trucks.

For more information:  https://medium.com/@sandrocarbone/montreals-jazz-music-experience-453072639ade

 

Ryan Phillips

Bio:

Ryan Phillips is the Owner of Ty Ty Nursery in Ty Ty, Georgia.

Since he was a young man, Ryan Philips know that he wanted to work with plants in his career; they’ve always been his passion. As a teenager, Ryan ran a landscaping business in his local community and was soon after hired at a plant nursery when he was 15. After completing high school, Ryan attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton, Georgia. Looking to expand his education further, Ryan went on to attend the University of Georgia, where he became a member of Pi Alpha Xi, a horticulture honor society.

During his studies, Ryan got a job at Ty Ty Nursery, a plant nursery located in Ty Ty, Georgia. Ryan has been at Ty Ty Nursery for more than 10 years now and recently purchased the business, becoming the Owner. Ryan hopes to pass Ty Ty Nursery off to his children one day.

 

What is your hobby?

Although I spend all day working with plants, I would still consider gardening to be a hobby of mine. When I’m not at Ty Ty Nursery working with plants, I’m at home tending to the family garden.

 

What do you love about your hobby?

It’s hard to say exactly what I love so much about plants and gardening. There’s something calming about working with soil and nurturing the plants as they grow. Not only is it therapeutic just looking after these plants, but it really brightens up your yard. You can create a garden entirely unique and can plant a wide variety of bushes, trees, flowers, and more.

 

When did you really become interested in gardening?

My interest in plants and gardening really became apparent during my teen years when I was in high school. I began a landscaping business because I had a passion and a talent for yard work and gardening. It was a good first experience and I soon after found myself working at a plant nursery. This was my first real experience working at a plant nursery and I loved it so much I eventually bought one!

 

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

Well, it’s essentially given me a career, which helps me provide for my family. When I’m gardening outside of work, I find it very calming as well. Days can be hectic and busy at Ty Ty Nursery and, although I love what I do, it’s nice to have my own private garden to tend to at home. Not only that, but gardening and doing yard work is something that can be done as a family or with friends. It’s a great bonding experience.

 

What advice would you give someone looking to get into gardening?

Just do it! Go and get your hands dirty and start planting. Do some research first to find out when you should be planting and what will work best for your garden and your climate conditions. You’ll need to invest in some gardening tools as well. Go and pick up a tough pair of gloves, gardening sheers, and a trowel. There’s more stuff you’ll need as your garden evolves but those things are a good start.

 

What is a recent purchase you’ve made that’s helped with your hobby?

I recently picked up a pair of knee pads. If you spend long hours out in the garden, you’re probably spending a lot of time on your knees, which can get painful. I’d recommend some knee pads to those who are serious gardeners or if you’ve got bad joints.

 

To learn more about Ryan Phillips and Ty Ty Nursery, please check out these links: 

https://patch.com/georgia/atlanta/tyty-nursery-how-grow-atlanta-s-iconic-blueberries

Ty Ty Nursery’s Tips on How to Approach the Spring Gardening Season

Ty Ty Nursery

https://ideamensch.com/ryan-phillips/

 

Taber Sullivan

Taber Sullivan was born in Gainesville, Florida in 1969 at Shands Hospital on the campus of the University of Florida. He moved to Venice Florida when he was three-years-old. He attended school in Charlotte, Florida. After graduating high school in 1997, Mr. Sullivan attended the University of Southern Florida. He graduated in December of 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. After college, Mr. Sullivan moved to Caracas, Venezuela to teach English to employees of Venezuela’s largest oil company. He taught over the next six months and returned to his home in Florida. He began a new career with the Hyatt Hotel Corporation. Over the next 10 years with this corporation, he cross-trained in every department earning promotion after promotion, leading him to a position in management.

In 2009, Taber Sullivan began a new career with Group Travel Planners, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Group Travel Planners specializes in coordinating travel plans for high school Bands, Choirs and Orchestras on performance trips around the world. If a music ensemble wants to perform at Carnegie Hall or march in the Saint Patrick day parade in Dublin Ireland, our company provides that opportunity for them.

Mr. Sullivan has worked for Group Travel Planners for the past 10 years. He is the number one sales employee for the company. He works from his home office in Venice, Florida.  Taber Sullivan is the proud father of five children, two boys, and three girls. His oldest daughter attends Liberty College in Virginia. His oldest son attends Venice High in Venice, Florida. The three youngest children attend school in Venice Florida.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is working out at the gym and taking care of my body.

In what do you participate?

I participate in athletic events such as spartan and savage races.

How did you get started with your hobby?

I started with my hobby over three-years ago when I was a bit overweight. I realized that I needed to make some changes. I have three young children and wanted to give myself the best chance I could to make sure I can watch them grow up. Once I started to see changes, I was motivated to continue on the path that I was on. I made it a lifestyle change for the long-term.

Tell us what you do to work-out.

I work out at my local fitness facility. I love all of the people there. I work out every day. The people there have become my second family. Each of us has become a great support system for one another. We all have different goals. We all started our journey’s at different levels, but we are all in it together. It is always easier to push yourself when you are working out with someone else, rather than by yourself.

Are there any groups that you are a part of or any events that you attend?

I participate in spartan and savage races with the members of my gym. The races consist of obstacles placed on muddy tracks ranging from three to fifteen miles of track. We run as a team and help one another over walls and different obstacles.

Have you had to invest in any equipment and if so, can you share whatever you have bought?

Everything that is needed to run the race is provided at the gym. I have purchased the proper clothing to be able to run. I purchased special shoes I needed to run in the muddier races. I also purchased multi-vitamins that I purchased at GNC.

Where do you get most of your supplies?

I buy my vitamins at GNC, and I buy my clothes online.

Are there any books you would recommend for beginners?

Men’s Fitness Exercise Bible is a great book for beginners. They teach you how to work out with or without equipment, and without everything becoming routine. It is for all ages from elite athletes to beginners. It shows you what you can accomplish in eight minutes, that others cannot accomplish in eight hours. It is an effective and efficient workout routine.

How has this changed your life?

Just beginning my workout, I have more energy and more self-confidence. I am a happier person with a healthier lifestyle.

What advice would you have for others else starting out with this hobby?

I would let a new person just starting out know that it is very difficult when you first start. It is easy to join a gym and attend for a month then quit. My advice to people would be to join a gym that has classes. It is easier when you can be with other people on your fitness journey. You will be consistent. After three months, instead of avoiding going to the gym, you will have changed your lifestyle and you will need it in your routine.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

I love to coach my children’s sports teams. I coached my older son’s in football and I couch my daughter’s cross-country team.

 

To learn more about Taber Sullivan, you can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Shabbir Evershine

Shabbir Evershine is a foodie and travel gnome at heart. Born and raised in Karachi (Pakistan), he immigrated to USA when he was 18 and since then, worked for three Fortune 500 companies and five startups. He is an avid book reader, loves to discover new places, new people, and new food cuisines and fusions. He is a certified project manager and has worked in an executive capacity running global Project Management Offices (PMO) for tech and finance companies. Shabbir Evershine currently lives in Toronto where he is the Founder of RocketPMO, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in the setup, implementation and maturity of Project Management Offices for small and large organizations.

What is your hobby?

I love riding horses. While most (or almost all) equestrians will insist that it is a sport, I don’t ride horses as if I am participating in a competitive sport. I treat it as a hobby where I can relax and ride horses.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

When I was seven years old, my father would take me horse-riding near a beach in Karachi. I would ride for several hours in a week and loved every bit of it. He was an avid rider himself and loved to train my younger brother and I in the fine art of horse-riding.

Tell us what you love about it.

The connection you feel with the horse is amazing. It feels like man and horse has become one. You feel the slight impulse, the muscle and gallop in its feet, the responsiveness of a well-trained horse, and the excitement between stimuli and response.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There are a plenty of clubs and training institutes that offer horse-riding classes. Personally, I am not part of any groups or events currently. I do want to pursue this competitively in the future though.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Normally, I go to the local clubs and horse ranches to do occasional horse-riding. Breed of horses does matter. Training and upbringing is also evident as soon as one rides the horse for a while.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I rent horse-riding gear from the farm or ranch I go to. My sons own their own equipment though. They regularly do their horse-riding.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Tons actually. In addition, YouTube is a great place to learn more about horse-riding.

How has this changed your life?

Horse riding is connecting with nature. It strengthens the body, especially the core. It has made me more mindful. It builds coordination of mind and body. Working in a barn and taking care of a horse strengthens muscles and increases cardiovascular capacity.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Take it slowly. Learn the basics and horse care before riding. Understand the horse, and develop a wavelength. It will make the activity much more enjoyable.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Stamp collecting, reading books, and travelling are all close to my heart.

Please be sure to include a picture of yourself, preferably doing your hobby, which can be emailed to your account manager.

To learn more about Shabbir Evershine, you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Shawn Grzybowski

Shawn Grzybowski is an experienced logistics officer and New York native. Having attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, he graduated with a double major in government and English literature.  After completing his post-secondary education, he was commissioned as a logistics officer in the United States Marine Corps. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, and despite his initial plan to remain in service for only several years he has now completed 22 years of active duty. With his extensive military experience behind him, Shawn Grzybowski’s immediate plan is to retire to Oahu Hawaii, a place where he describes as feeling like home.

What is your hobby?   

My primary hobby is mountain biking as I enjoy navigating various types of terrain. It requires a certain skill level and the trails present a significant challenge both mentally and physically. Mountain biking differs from other sports as it requires an extensive amount of commitment and superior dedication. From purchasing the appropriate gear to understanding proper safety techniques, the past time is not for the faint of heart.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?  

My buddy Jason had bought a bike and talked constantly of his time spent on the trails. I was intrigued to say the least, so, when I finally moved to Southern California, I decided to purchase a bike and give it a try. It is not as easy as you think it is (I learned this the hard way). There is much skill and knowledge required to become proficient without the risk of injury.

Mountain biking also comes with countless physical benefits, and I am someone who strives to remain active on a daily basis. The exercise is rigorous, but the cardiovascular workout strengthens your immunity and has many long-term health advantages. I have seen a significant improvement in my overall balance and coordination, and because biking is not a weight-bearing sport, there is less risk of a joint injury. Ultimately, cycling is an extremely dynamic exercise and I hit the trails whenever I find the extra time.

What is your favourite thing about your hobby? 

Mountain biking is an adventurous sport and requires a sense of exploration and risk-taking, I get a major adrenaline rush every time I complete a trail for the first time. By the time I finish a course, I am left feeling both renewed and accomplished.  I recommend mountain biking to anyone who loves the great outdoors and is not afraid of a little danger.

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?  

It gives me something to look forward to on the weekends or with any free time I may have.  I have a deeper sense of gratitude for the natural world, and a different perspective on life. Once you develop your skills, cycling can be highly meditative.

I am constantly pushing personal boundaries and looking forward to new challenges. The sport has strengthened my belief that anything worth doing is most likely challenging and you should never give up.

To learn more visit these links:

https://twitter.com/shawngrzybowsk1, 

http://inspirery.com/shawn-grzybowski/

Shawn Grzybowski’s Daily Life as a Logistics Officer

 

Gina Marta

Gina Marta is a Registered EEG Technologist who works at several hospitals in the Chicago area. Even after attending EEG school at the Medical Careers Institute and becoming board-registered, Gina still believes that there is plenty of room for growth and continued on-the-job education. Working as a Registered EEG Technologist gives Gina the opportunity to interact with a dedicated team of medical professionals, all workings towards the goal of helping patients feel better. While at work, Gina strives go above and beyond, not just completing the EEG exam but also making patients feel at ease and relaxed throughout the entire procedure.

Although Gina Marta very much enjoys her career as a Registered EEG Technologist, she believes that everyone needs activities to unwind and de-stress. Here are a few of her favorite hobbies:

What is your hobby?

I have several hobbies that I’m very passionate about. I enjoy Kriya Yoga and Meditation and reading, but I also very much enjoy cooking.

How did you get started with these hobbies? What inspired you?

With work comes stress. I think that everyone needs effective ways to de-stress so that their daily worries don’t overcome them. I can’t remember exactly when I discovered Kriya Yoga and Meditation but I’m thankful I did. It keeps me feeling Zen and helps me put things into perspective.

As for cooking, I’ve always been interested in food. My mother was always a great cook and I picked up a lot from her. When I travel or read about food from different countries, I like to try to re-create that food for my family and friends.

What do you love about cooking?

It’s a great way to bring people together and transport yourself to other places. Not everyone can afford to travel the world, but food can be a great way to explore. There are so many unique foods that come from so many far away places and most of the ingredients you’ll need can be found at a local grocery store.

Most recipes you can find online but there’s something special about receiving handwritten recipes from loved ones. Cooking by yourself is fun but I love cooking with other people as well. Food is a great way to bring people together.

Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?

There is always new cooking equipment that I’m picking up. The basics like pots and pans but also items that are used more for exotic food items. I just recently picked up a tofu press, which gets all the water out of your tofu without having to use multiple paper towels, eliminating unnecessary waste.

I’m constantly finding new things that I want to buy for my kitchen and could spend ages in a cooking equipment store. I’ve accumulated quite a collection at this point but there is always room for more.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

I would say that my hobbies have made my life much happier. Kriya Yoga and Meditation helps me relax and cooking is what I enjoy doing and sharing with my friends and family. Without my hobbies I think I would have a lot more stress and a lot less happiness.

Do you have any advice for others just getting into any of your hobbies?

For yoga, don’t be afraid to go to classes. It’s always intimidating trying something new, but I guarantee that everyone in the yoga studio or Kriya center is looking for the same thing you are: relaxation. For cooking, go outside of your comfort zone. There are a ton of good foods out there from all over the world. You won’t know if you like if you don’t try it!

 

To learn more about Gina’s career as a Registered EEG Technologist, visit this link:

https://medium.com/gina-marta

 

 

Eric Dalius

Eric Dalius is a marketing professional and entrepreneur who has successfully generated over $100 million since the start of his career in 1990. Through a number of profitable business ventures and smart investments, Eric has become a worldwide leader in the field of marketing. After working at a telecommunications company early on in his career and becoming the top salesman in the nation, Eric decided to bet on himself and start his own business. One business led to another and Eric quickly became an unstoppable force in the world of marketing.

Currently in a state of semi-retirement, Eric Dalius has decided to focus his efforts on helping those in need by starting the Eric J. Dalius Foundation. Through this charitable venture, Eric aims to help under-privileged youth in America attend post-secondary education.

What is your hobby?

Anything to do with cars. I have quite a collection now. I’m a real gear-head.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Well, I’ve been very fortunate in my business ventures with the amount of success I’ve had. I’ve always had an interest in cars but obviously I couldn’t afford the ones that I really wanted until I became successful.

What do you love about cars?

It’s hard to describe really. I guess there’s always a boyish wonder when it comes to stuff that goes fast and looks shiny. Figuring out what all the buttons inside do. Feeling the difference in the handling and the throttle response. Every car feels different and has its own personality and it’s not hard to really make a connection with a car.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

I’d say I’m a lot happier. I know that material possessions aren’t supposed to be the key to happiness, and I agree with that, but I really love my cars and they make me happy. It’s a great amount of fun taking cars to the track for a few laps or going to car shows to talk about cars with other people that feel the same way as me.

What’s your favorite car at the moment?

I always love my Lambos. There’s something special about Lambos that’s hard to put your finger on. Everything about them is just kind of bonkers in the best possible way. That’s what Lambos are about, I think. Just absolute insanity in a devastatingly beautiful package.

What car do you want but not have?

Honestly, I’d have to say a Bugatti Veyron. The speed that those cars can reach is really unbelievable. I’d never be able to actually reach the car’s top speed, but it would still be a cool feeling to own one of the fastest production cars in the world.

 

For more on Eric Dalius, check out these links:

Home

Eric Dalius on the Value of Continued Education

 

 

Loretta Gallagher

Loretta Gallagher is the President and owner of Gallagher Associates, LLC an IT firm located in Wayne, New Jersey that works primarily with healthcare organizations all over the United States implementing electronic medical records. Loretta started her IT firm just over 25 years ago when the wave of technology was just picking up both professionally and personally. Most people were just getting computers in their homes 25-30 years ago, and internet was still dial up, and AOL was widely used for personal email and internet browsing.  How quickly times have changed.  Gallagher Associates, LLC has transformed as the industry has transformed in the past few decades. Loretta and her team of associates work closely with hospital systems to ensure these large scale projects stay on time and stay within budget. Working with health care organizations that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year can be stressful. Therefore finding time or she says “making time” to decompress and do something enjoyable is important. Keeping the balance between home, family, friends, and work is key to continued sustainable long-term success.  Loretta Gallagher has been married almost 30 years, raised three daughters while running her business; making time to disconnect from work and decompress doing something she loves helps her keep this balance.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY?

Loretta finds cooking with and for family and friends an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. She also loves some down time disconnecting at the beach.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THIS HOBBY? WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

Not really sure how I got started with cooking.  My mom always cooked, but I do not think she would say it was a hobby or relaxing to her.  My grandmother when I was very young would often gather the family on summer weekends for barbeques and good meals.  Again I do not recall cooking with my grandmother, but always remember what fun it was to have everyone together and looked forward to those weekend meals with them.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?

Loretta loves the togetherness of working in the kitchen with her family and friends, learning other people’s favorites, and making new traditions. Her family has created a few new holiday weekend traditions to share with family and friends. She has an annual Mardi Gras party in New England where she hosts 30-40 friends. They fly in crawfish from Louisiana, make the largest pot of Jambalaya; using a recipe from a dear friend who taught Loretta his family recipe. Loretta Gallagher explains another traditional event is the annual Friendsgiving. She explains as we all see our families during the holidays, making time for friends is essential too. Friendsgiving is a fall event to gather with friends for great food, good wine, and lots of laughs.

Loretta Gallagher explains how she has always loved being in the kitchen, but when her daughters came along it was something they loved doing with her. From the youngest of ages; her girls would pull a step stool over to the kitchen counter regularly. By the time they were three or four years old all three would help with preparation. Loretta explains it was fun quality time we would spend together. It is time they look forward to as much as I do. Even with my three daughters all grown up we still take a fall weekend to make a dozen or so holiday pies and always enjoy a weekend of Christmas cookie baking.

ARE THERE ANY GROUPS YOU’RE A PART OF OR EVENTS THAT YOU ATTEND RELATED TO YOUR HOBBY?

Often on vacation we will find a chef offering a cooking class and will take it.  The Vermont Culinary Institute was a fun winter weekend away where we took a great cooking class.  Another fun one was in Savannah Georgia at a Marriott property we stayed at; The Mansion.  They had a fun interactive cooking class.

HAVE YOU INVESTED IN ANY GEAR OR EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR HOBBY? IF SO, WHAT?

Loretta laughs when asked have you had to invest in equipment? She explains she has just about every kitchen gadget one can think of. She does have some favorites, her pampered chef’s apple corer is a must for pie making, a good lemon press and you never have enough wooden spoons.

WHERE DO YOU BUY MOST OF YOUR SUPPLIES?

Loretta has found some great buys are the William Sonoma outlet and loves her pampered chef items also.

ARE THERE ANY GOOD BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS?

Yes, there are tons – but I do not follow recipes often.  I like to read a few and then put my own spin on them.  Creating my own flavors, presentations and creations are part of the fun for me.

HOW HAS THIS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

My hobby has kept both family and friend near and dear.  The quality time we have all spent together either preparing a meal, or if they are not cooks and just enjoy a meal I have prepared are priceless.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS STARTING OUT WITH THIS HOBBY?

For anyone afraid to try things out in the kitchen, Loretta Gallagher suggests you dive in, learn to laugh, and have fun, she says. Cooking should not be stressful and the more hands the better. Whoever said “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth” was doing it wrong.  Find people you love and enjoy spending time with and make new traditions with them.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER HOBBIES YOU HAVE?

Anything that involves sand and salt water.  Whether it is a walk on the beach or boardwalk, watching the tide roll in, sitting with friends in the sand a catching up or making sand castles with the little kids.  The ocean is my happy place.

To learn more and connect with Loretta:

Juanita Causey

Juanita Causey was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.  At the age of 8, her father died in an accident and she along with 7 siblings were raised with meager means with their mother having to work 2 or 3 jobs to support a family of 8 children.  When Juanita was 16, she moved with her mother to Corpus Christi, Texas where her mother got a job in nursing at a major hospital.  Juanita got married and had 2 children in Corpus Christi before moving to Houston where she went to work for a bank.  After nearly 6 years in the banking business, she decided to start a new career as a Financial Planner/Advisor.  In 1994, she went to work for John Hancock Financial Group where she received training and support for the first few years of her new career.  In 2000, Juanita Causey decided to start her own company “Houston Financial Center” and became a completely independent financial planner/advisor.  She has grown her practice over the years and currently employs three full time and one part time employee to help her manage over 1,000 clients that she has accumulated over the past 24 plus years.  Juanita has a passion for helping people secure their financial future.  She learned first-hand how difficult life can be on a widow and children when a spouse dies without enough life insurance to keep the family in their own world.  It’s her passion that has helped her build a successful practice where she is ranked among the top 2% of all Insurance & Financial Professionals worldwide as stated by the Million Dollar Roundtable where she consistently qualifies as Top of the Table.  Her passion has also drawn her to constant study to be the best that she can be in her profession.  For this reason, she has 7 significant professional designations, namely, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, AIF®, CAP®, CASL® and LUTCF which places her among very few advisors that have reached this level of professional education.  Although Juanita Causey has achieved many awards and much recognition for her accomplishments, she says her greatest achievement is the close relationships that she has developed with her many clients, most of whom she considers her best friends.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY?

My favorite hobby is participating in group exercise programs at my gym.  They include Zumba, Kick Boxing, Pilates, Yoga, STEP, Body Works and Power Circuit.  In addition to being involved in group exercise, I like swimming, cycling and going on long walks.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THIS Hobby? WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

For about 9 years, my mother was in a nursing home with limited physical ability to get around due to a fall and a couple of strokes.  In addition to working long hours in my business, I visited her almost every day and would take her on walks in her wheelchair which she enjoyed.  Over time, the long hours and lack of sleep ran me down to the point of exhaustion.  After she passed away, I decided to start taking better care of myself and used the extra time to start exercising, swimming, etc.  I had a gym membership for many years, but before my mother passed away, I had little time to use it.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT it?

I really enjoy the camaraderie that is developed in group exercise as well as the extra incentive it gives me to give it my all.  It’s much more fun working hard in a group, than on your own.  It also gives me a sense of pride that I am doing something that is good for me.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Since I have been working out regularly, I have also done volunteer work for a non-profit group that assists with gymnastics scholarships for children with disabilities, both mental and physical, as well as children from poor families that could not otherwise afford gymnastics memberships.  I have since become a board member for this non-profit foundation.

HAVE YOU INVESTED IN ANY GEAR OR EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR HOBBY? IF SO, WHAT?

Other than my gymnasium membership and workout clothes, my investment in equipment has been limited to a bicycle and a few hand weights that I sometimes use when walking.

WHERE DO YOU BUY MOST OF YOUR SUPPLIES?

I don’t buy equipment or supplies at any particular place.  The clothes and shoes are purchases at various stores in the mall.  The bicycle and weights were purchased at a local sporting goods store.

Are There any good books for beginners?

I have not personally read many books on exercise, but there are literally thousands of books on this subject.  I have gained knowledge about the various programs from the gym and from various articles and sties on the internet, but not any one in particular.

HOW HAS THIS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

This regular exercise has made me feel better, both physically and mentally.  I have more stamina, my blood pressure has gone down, my weight is controlled and I feel proud that I am able to keep up with others in my groups that are much younger than I am.  I know I am healthier as a result.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS STARTING OUT WITH THIS HOBBY?

Start by getting a physical exam and permission from our doctor to start an exercise program.  Then check out the gyms in your area and inquire about their group exercise programs.  Some gyms have very few and others have many.  Some charge extra fees and others do not, so take your time and shop for a good gym that is convenient to your home or work so you will have time to go.  Then try it out before you make a long term commitment or spend too much money on clothes, shoes, gym memberships, etc.

Another hobby is spending time with my grandchildren, taking them to parks, the zoo, museums and places that children like.  I love to do kid stuff with them.  I often keep them overnight to give their parents a break.  I have accumulated a lot of kid stuff at my home so we can play together when they stay over.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER HOBBIES YOU HAVE?

A third hobby that I enjoy is traveling with my husband.  He is a renowned scientist and visits many parts of the world giving lectures and presentations.  By joining him, I have had the opportunity to visit many cities around the world which are too numerous to list at this time.  While he is working, I use my time to walk many miles around the cities, vising points of interest and learning about the various cultures.  I feel that this has given me a vast amount of knowledge, wisdom and understanding that most people are never able to attain.

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