Keen on life in La Jolla Village, Sandra Munson is happy to be a mom and a volunteer


This Southern California native has been calling La Jolla home since 2001. Sandra Munson and her husband, Mike, are the parents of Julia (a sixth-grader at Muirlands), and Jack (a third-grader at La Jolla Elementary). She was born in Los Angeles, received her degree in statistics from UC Santa Barbara, and has never lived more than three miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Munson’s career path has taken her from actuary to home organizer to author to marketer, with more than a few meanderings in between. Most days she can be found somewhere between home, the schools and work – often times walking through the Village with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in tow.

She has a passion for volunteering and is involved at La Jolla Elementary and La Jolla Community Church. Lately, she said, it seems her volunteer efforts involve cameras, paintbrushes and glue guns, but she can navigate an excel spreadsheet as needed. In her free time, Munson enjoys painting, Pilates, and spending time at WindanSea Beach with friends and family.

What brought you to La Jolla?

After receiving his M.B.A., my husband got a job in San Diego. To clarify, he was looking to move to Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle – somewhere with a bustling financial district and that white stuff on the ground. Being a SoCal native, I strongly encouraged him to narrow the search to, err, San Diego. To be fair, I extended our search radius as far north as Santa Barbara.

What makes this area special to you?

It’s the comfort that everything is within walking distance! Living in the Village, I can get the kids to school, the grocery store, work, shopping, and even the doctor’s office within a four-block radius. I love living in La Jolla and savoring our little speck of the globe. If you see me zipping around in my car, please feel free to wag a finger at me (unless I’m hauling groceries from Vons).

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

The Village could use a Trader Joe’s and a Target. If I didn’t need to go to either of these destinations, I just may never leave! While I’m making requests, I would love to see the return of the neighborhood movie theater on Girard.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by individuals who walk to the beat of a different drummer; people who push themselves to their limits and excel in their fields; creative, unique artisans who have changed the way we look at their medium. To be fair, I’m also terribly impressed by those who can work, parent, cook and exercise with consistency, patience and dedication, day in and day out – because that is not easy!

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

First and foremost humor columnist Inga, to dispel any scandalous rumors that I am she. She would sit at one end of the table and I at the other, wearing matching oversized sunglasses of course, and we would work together to solve the problems of the world.

I would invite Jesus to teach us how to love one another, John Lennon to add a musical element, Wolfgang Puck to plan the menu, Annie Lennox to photograph the event, Matt Lauer to document the event so he could broadcast the message at 7 a.m. the next day on The Today Show, and Bono to put together a concert to fundraise for our effort. I’d also invite Krisjanis, a Latvian friend who left this life too soon. He and Inga are both northern European, so I’m sure they would be able to converse in some language!

What are you currently reading?

People magazine <cringe>. I have a few trips coming up so I plan to dig into some heftier material soon.

What is your most-prized possession?

Just one? My glue gun. My collection of photo books. My Mini-Cooper, which by the way, is a very fun upgrade/downsize from the minivan.

What do you do for fun?

I keep life interesting by changing it up …. often. Currently my pursuits include Painting, Pilates and Puppy-walking. Last year it was Bowling, Wood-Burning and Cooking with Kale. If I’m not generating one wacky idea after another, “Mike Munson for President!” something isn’t right.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

Have you seen my Christmas card picture? My life as it is right now. I have a loving husband; a home; two happy, healthy children who still want to spend time with me; and enough time to pursue my passions. I am having so much fun and I am grateful.

What is your motto?

Wander where there is no path. We could all benefit from exploring our creativity, indulging in our intuition and getting … lost.