Direct Relief International

DRI, a nonprofit organization that focuses on disaster response, has it’s head quarters here in SB. I volunteer for this organization and this week to raise money we did our annual flower drive. For this I went around with a friend and delivered people’s pre ordered flowers as a donation to DRI.

The video above gives insight on the goals and purposes for DRI. It’s nice to be able to do small tasks for an organization that makes huge changes out of what I am able to do.


I’ve been on a tour of the DRI Warehouse where they keep all of their supplies that need to be ready to sent at a moments notice for disaster aid.

Probably the main thing direct relief provides is medical care where it would usually be unavailable in underdeveloped countries. Vaccines along with the proper equipment for childbirth are vital to these people.



Check out the Direct Relief blog!


Weekend in the Middle of Nowhere

This weekend is State Cup, an annual soccer tournament that my club team participates in. I love these tournaments because staying overnight in a hotel with my team is exciting and fun, and gives the tournament a more serious feel. The only bad thing about State Cup is that the it is located in the middle of no where 100 percent of the time. Places like Bakersfield, Lancaster, you get the picture. (If you don’t know either of those places then don’t bother looking it up, there’s absolutely nothing to see). The only thing these towns have to offer is a huge amount of room for soccer fields. And a lot of chain restaurants. This year our tournament is in Apple Valley, about 3 hours away in the desert.

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The terrible journey from SB to Apple Valley

I’m going to have a lot of time to entertain myself, so here’s a post dedicated to making the best of situations and endless boredom. 🙂

1. Movies are key! Bring your computer and a few of your favorite DVDs (Mine is Frozen). I know this is pretty basic but you seriously can never go wrong with watching movies.


2. Card games may seem like something for old people, but trust me if you get into them they can be a blast. One of my favorites is spoons, which is perfect to play with a big group like with my team.

3. Download the app Head’s Up!!! It’s the most classic game ever, I played in Vail with Maddy and Coco and I promise you will get plenty of laughs out of it.

4. Don’t forget your swimsuit. Hotels like the Marriott always have a jacuzzi.

5. Last and DEFINITELY least, bring school work. Being productive when you have plenty of time on your hands is always a good idea. Plus AP exams are coming up!

Good Eats Part 3: Best Sushi In Town

Over spring break I was able to go out to eat at two out of three of my favorite restaurants in town. All three of these happen to be Japanese cuisine, by far one of the best types of food. On Friday night I went out to eat at Arigato, a sushi restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. What I looove about Arigato is the huge menu, so I can always switch it up when I’m there. On Friday I ordered the Eskimo roll, with salmon, asparagus, avocado, red onion, and spicy sauce. I highly recommend it. You can find a copy of the menu here.

Arigato is on State Street between Victoria and Anapamu.

The second Japanese restaurant I visited this past week was Kyoto, on Saturday night. I came here with friends for a birthday dinner. What I love about this restaurant is how authentic it is to japanese culture. You are able to reserve private tatami rooms for bigger parties, where you even have to take off your shoes! The tatami rooms are closed off by sliding doors, and inside you sit on the floor with your feet on the ground underneath an extremely low table. The whole atmosphere is super fun and interesting, and the private room makes for a perfect birthday party or other celebration. You can find the website with the menu and more here.

The pic above shows the inside of the restaurant, with the normal tables on the left and tatami rooms on the right. Kyoto is on upper State street.

The last Japanese restaurant that’s my fave is Sakana, in Montecito. This is the usual place I go if I want sushi but unfortunately I wasn’t able to go over break 😦 Beware though this place is pretty pricy, although its soo worth it.

Go check this places out if you’re into sushi as much as I am!

Introducing Lacrosse to SBHS

Lacrosse is a super popular sport all around America, especially on the East Coast and in Northern California. It has yet to take hold here in Southern California, until just recently. Here in SB, they are starting in school teams open for anyone to join. My friend Sophie Tate and I immediately jumped on this opportunity. Both soccer players, we figured it wouldn’t be especially difficult to pick up. This past week were the first to practices and we have been having a blast playing. Wednesday we spent learning the basics of using the stick: passing, catching, cradling, checking, and ground balls. Thursday we went over the basics of the game, including the field positions, rules, and penalties. It’s definitely a lot to take in but I think all the beginners on the team (the majority) are starting to get a hang of it. Everyone is excited for our future practices and even games in the coming months until the end of school. 🙂



If you’re interested, you can find official rules for girls lacrosse here.

Our team has only 13 players out of the 12 girls playing on the field at once, and over half of our players are beginners, but no one is planning on letting this bring us down since everyone is so pumped to be playing. I definitely plan on spending more time learning about the game on my own time, and maybe even practicing a little with Sophie for fun. Lacrosse is an exciting new aspect at the high schools of SB, and is offered for both girls and boys.


Good Eats Part 2: Lunch Bites

I fully take advantage of the open campus at SBHS. There are a few lunch places I visit regularly, either walking down to Milpas street or getting rides with upperclassmen.

One of those spots is Backyard Bowls on State street. The menu consists of various acai bowls, which are bowls of a thick smoothie topped with granola, fresh fruit, and honey. They hit the spot on a hot day when I’m craving something fresh to cool me down. This lunch spot is around 5-10 minutes driving, so unfortunately I can’t visit regularly.






photo taken by lilla petruska

Backyard bowl website here

An easier lunch commute is the short to my fave restaurant on Milpas street, The Shop. The Shop has a big menu or delicious foods, like fish tacos, a GREAT avocado wrap (my regular order), burgers, salads, a tri-tip sandwich, all in addition to a breakfast menu. My only complaint is that the food takes a little long to prepare, so I definitely advise calling ahead. The wait is worth it though because of the high quality of the food. There is indoor and outdoor seating that always fills up quickly because The Shop is so popular. It only opened earlier this year!

The Shop website here

If I’m going for the ultimate lunch experience, I’ll cruise the harbor with some friends to eat at On The Alley. This lunch spot is right next to the beach and has some great sea food, my favorite being the fish and chips. It’s a bit of a longer drive from school, so going there means you’re more pressed for time but it is absolutely worth it.

On the Alley website here

If you ever find yourself without any lunch plans, definitely give these places a shot. I promise you will not be let down!


That Weekend Feeling

I rolled out of bed this morning with a feeling of dread, knowing I had overslept and would have to rush through my morning routine. However, as soon as I remembered what day it was that awful feeling immediately vanished, and was replaced with one of relief and excitement. Although this school week was only four days, it totally dragged on for me. That’s why I am soo relieved it’s finally friday, and am going to discuss the weekend feeling in this blog post. We all know it, the amazing feeling when you walk out of school on a friday afternoon. Discussing with friends our plans for the next two days and nights of freedom, whether those including getting in hours and hours of sleep or an exciting party.

Here’s a song for you to listen that really just puts me in a great mood and pumped for the weekend.

Hopefully these pictures inspire you to go out and have a killer weekend spending time with your friends or just kicking back to enjoy those awesome quiet hours, 100 percent stress free.


photo by me

The weather here in SB this weekend is predicted to be fairly warm and sunny, so a good opportunity to get outdoors to the beach. Go on a picnic with your friends to a pretty park. Hike somewhere you’ve never been before. Spend a fun night in with the girls (or boys) watching movies and cracking jokes. Whatever it is you do, make the most of your weekend.

Feel free to leave a comment with what you’re planning to do for your weekend!

Sights of SB


a walk on my favorite santa barbara beach, photo by Maddy Rotman

Santa Barbara is home to some of California’s best beaches. Mirmar beach, pictured here, is a popular beach for teenagers (including my friends and I) to hang out over the summer as well as during the year. The beach is lined by houses owned by vacationers and local residents. The low waves here are perfect for stand-up paddle boarding.


east beach, photo by Maddy Rotman


sunset on the mesa, photo by Maddy Rotman

The Mesa is a beautiful neighborhood home to some of my closest friends in SB. One of my favorite parts of coming here is seeing the spectacular sunset over the water every night of the year, thanks to its perfect location on a hill overlooking the ocean.


sunset at franceschi park, photo by Maddy Rotman

Franceschi park is a spot that I regretfully have yet to visit. Shown in this picture are local SB teenagers who made the trek up to watch the sunset here. This park is located at the top of the Santa Barbara riviera, the section of SB where I call home, although I do not live quite as high up on the riviera as this park is.

up gibraltar road, photo by Ava Doré

This spot, shown to the left, is arguably the prettiest place in all of Santa Barbara. If you’re willing to take the 30 minute or so drive up the very windy Gibraltar road, you can reach the best vantage point to look across the whole city and beyond. In front of you, there is the ocean, and behind are the looming and seemingly enormous foothills. Up here I can truly appreciate the wonders of this city that I am lucky enough to live in.