I must say, these past two weekends have been quite eventful, but nothing quite as eventful as the kickoff to this very shaky weekend!

On Friday night, after my husband and I finished watching “Monuments Men” around 9:05pm, we exited the movie theater.  While he went to use the restroom, I waited for him near the concession stand and checked my text messages.

My mom texted me and asked if we had felt the 3.6 earthquake located in La Habra an hour earlier.  As residents of La Habra, my parents said it was a pretty good shaker.  We were in a neighboring city and had not felt the earthquake.

Just as I finished reading the text message and thanking God I didn’t feel the earthquake, everything around me started shaking violently.  As a native of Southern California, I’ve been through a couple of substantial earthquakes, but nothing quite like this!

As the rumbling and vertical shaking intensified, movie goers began to scream and run outside of the theater.  I looked up at the walls bowing in and out and stood there frozen thinking this was it.  My only thought was to balance myself and move down to the floor.  I kept repeating, “Oh my God…Oh my God…Oh my God…” and before I knew it, it was over.

My hubby exited the bathroom (and he had quite an interesting experience too…but I won’t go into that!) and we hugged each other tightly.  Even though the ground stopped shaking, my hands couldn’t.

We exited the theater with dozens of other people who were in shock, crying, embracing or bonding with complete strangers.

I immediately called my mom who was panic stricken, and she reassured us that she and my Dad were okay, thank goodness!

We drove to my sister-in-law’s house (which is right around the corner from the theater) to see how she and her family were doing, and luckily, they were fine too…just shaken up!  They had lots of water sloshing out of their pool, but luckily no damage to report.

Next it was time to visit my parents, but not before we experienced our first aftershock on the road.  A 3.6 made our car feel like we were on a surfin’ safari!

My parents met us at the door with tight hugs.  My dad laughed and said, “Guess where I was during the earthquake?  In the shower!”  He said the walls came to meet him, and he knew there was no time for modesty.

My mom was saying her nightly prayer, and when the shaking began, she quickly stood and turned only to see my dad in all his glory!

I can’t help but giggle at that!

As they ran to the doorway, they saw things fly off their shelves.  My mom distinctly saw her angel figurine fly across the room.  My Grandmother’s special clock fell and broke.  A vase and some other dishes shattered.  There was glass everywhere, and in all of this, no one was hurt.  A miracle indeed!

My Dad filled us in on the magnitude.  It was a very shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 located just 2 miles below La Habra and felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County.  The fault at “fault” is called the Puente Hills Thrust Fault, and to our surprise, is located right below us and runs all the way up to Griffith Park.

My family and I have never been in an earthquake that shook so hard where things actually took flight and broke.  I guess that’s what happens when the epicenter is under your feet!

After we said our goodbyes, it was time to see how our place fared.  Living in the neighboring city of Fullerton, my husband was pretty certain that our home wasn’t in the same condition as we left it.

As we entered the front door, the scent of red wine filled the room.

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The place looked like it was ransacked…

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…and glass littered our kitchen floor and counter tops.

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Permanent scars were also displayed on our walls.

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Looking at our newly remodeled residence, I thanked God that we didn’t experience the earthquake at our place.  The damage was minor, but I think the sound of cracking walls, breaking glass and falling pictures, lamps and knick knacks would have increased the scarey factor!

Driving through the city, the evidence of an earthquake is evident: a crumbled brick block fence, a street shut down due to a broken water main and safety cones near debris.

Since Friday, there have been over 190 aftershocks, and as I’m typing this, we just had another one – a 2.5 this time.  I don’t think Southern California got any sleep this weekend, but we sure did get a lot of exercise running under doorways!

It’s a miracle that there were no injuries (that I know of), just shattered nerves.

I know it could have been so much worse, and I think of all the places in the world that have experienced catastrophic earthquakes with high death tolls.  It really makes me appreciate life and how fragile it is.

Friday night was just a reminder that tomorrow is not guaranteed, so live your best life today!

Have you ever been in an earthquake or other natural disaster?

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Dare?

Cautious.

Level headed.

Guarded.

This is who I was in my 20′s.

Then one day in my early 30′s, I did something that scared me…
…and I LOVED it!

Scary, I discovered…can be FUN!

So I did it again…
Skydiving!

…and again…Bungee!Read about my jump here!

And this Saturday, I will do it once again!

Let’s just say that what I’m doing is similar to all of the above, but instead of plummeting straight to the earth, I will be flying through the air with…(God willing!)… the greatest of ease!

Ten years have passed since I let my inhibitions fly out the window.  Things have changed, I’ve grown more cautious (and a tad more brittle) and I haven’t done anything quite so daring since then.  Now I wonder if my 40 year old self will grab fear by the (you know what!)…or curl up in a fetal position and cry!  (I must admit…I’m quite nervous!  My palms are sweating as I type this!)

Stay tuned to find out!

I’m curious…as each birthday rolls around, are you more open to trying something that scares you?

Do you have a sanctuary?

A place where you can unwind, clear your head, feel at peace…and breathe?

Maybe it’s watching the waves crash along the shores of a beach…or lazily sitting on a porch swing watching the day go by…or listening to your favorite tunes driving along an empty stretch of highway…

For me, I find peace at the Fullerton Arboretum, the largest botanical garden in Orange County boasting 26 acres of over 4,000 diverse plants divided into four sections: Cultivated, Woodlands, Mediterranean and Desert.  Located on the northeast corner of the Cal State Fullerton campus, it’s a natural wonderland in the heart of the city.

Wondering what to do at The Fullerton Arboretum?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Explore and learn about the flora and fauna.
  • Take one of many classes provided including Urban Farming, Composting, Yoga and Bird Watching.
  • Add to your garden!  Buy a new plant at the Potting Shed.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Lay out a blanket and read a book.
  • Go on a photo safari!
  • Get married!  (Or any other special event you’d like to have here!)
  • Bring your family for a picnic or a day of fun among nature.  There’s a special “Children’s Garden” where kids can be entertained for hours.
  • Meditate.
  • Be enchanted by the turtles, butterflies, rabbits, herrons, lizards, ducks and koi fish.
  • If you’re a student, study by the lake or maybe take a nap on a grassy knoll.
  • Take that special someone here!  It’s a perfect setting for a romantic stroll down those meandering paths ;)

I come to the arboretum to enjoy the stunning scenery around me, to take time for myself and to let my camera have some fun! :)

So without further ado, please join me as I take a stroll through the jewel of North Orange County, the Fullerton Arboretum.

0708280257Perfect setting for complete tranquility.

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0811050017Melts my heart!

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IMG_22853 amigos sunbathing ;)

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0708280287Floral splendor!

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IMG_2299Tangled!

0811050027Did I mention it’s a great place for dates?
(Me & my hubby on our 4th date.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed our stroll through this beautiful botanical garden.  If you’re ever in Orange County and looking for a little escape, this gem is a delight and SO worth the visit!

The Fullerton Arboretum is located at:  1900 Associated Rd, Fullerton, CA 92831
*Although an entrance fee is not required, a $3.00 donation is appreciated.

Where is your sanctuary?

About two weeks ago, Southern California experienced winter for a solid 3 days.

The steady rain was much needed and a nice change from the forever summers we’re so used to.

But alas, the sun couldn’t stay away from us for too long & is now treating us to dreamy 70+ degree weather…perfect for a summery juice if you ask me!

This morning, I knew the perfect juice to start the day.  It consisted of 3 types of fruit:

2 peaches
1 apple
4 large strawberries

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Juice all of these together and you too will experience a taste of summer  (and you don’t even need that big orange ball in the sky!)

Taste of SummerTaste of Summer

The fun thing about juicing is experimenting with different ingredients.  This fresh juice is a delicious blend of ingredients that compliment each other perfectly.

Whether you’re experiencing a forever summer or whether you have an actual winter and would like a taste of summer, give this juice a try!

Happy Juicing!

Just when I thought I was out of the woods, it returned…

Plantar FasciitisPLANTAR FASCIITIS!

And now, it’s in my RIGHT foot!  (Insert sad face here)

It’s been over a year since I overcame plantar fasciitis in my left foot, and I thought my body was getting stronger.  I continued to walk, stretch every morning, take pilates classes, ride my bike and take calcium daily.

I was pretty certain that I would never encounter pain like that ever again!

Never say never…

About a month ago, I joined a new gym which I thoroughly love, and I was feeling pretty good physically.  I was feeling so good in fact, that I decided to be brave and take a cardio/sculpt class.  The first thing our instructor had us do was run 5 laps around the classroom.  Instead of running, I jogged lightly with no problem…until I felt the slightest twinge of discomfort in my right foot.  The remainder of the class we did weight training.  I felt good overall and didn’t think anything of the discomfort I felt earlier.

That was until, the morning after…

As I took that first step out of bed, I immediately recognized the stabbing pain in my foot.  I could not believe that a few light jogs around the room could do so much damage to my foot!  (And the opposite one for that matter!)  My left foot is fine, strangely enough!

I think what really gets me down is knowing that I cannot go back to my previous active ways…even in moderation!  I knew there was a risk that it could come back, but I wanted to believe otherwise.  So for the remainder of my days, it’s walking, pilates, yoga, biking & swimming…which is fine…but I miss those high impact days!

This month has brought along all the lows that I experienced the first time I had plantar fasciitis.  I know what to do now to bring relief to my foot, but the hardest part is the waiting.  Waiting for relief…waiting to wake up and NOT hobble my way across the room…waiting for that dark cloud to disappear from over my head.

I’ve lost so much motivation this past month.  It’s crazy how emotionally and mentally draining pain can be!  I didn’t want to do anything…no blogging, no enjoying life…nothing.  I felt like blah…and occasionally I still do, but I’m trying to dig my way out of this fog bank.

During these grey days, I would surf the net in search of some sort of inspiration.  Something to motivate me in any capacity.  Recently I stumbled upon a website about juicing and the cleansing powers it contains.  The more I read about it, the more intrigued I was, so I decided to start my juicing journey.

It’s only been a week, but the fog in my head is lifting slowly.  Every morning, I look forward to savoring these tasty juices from fruits, vegetables and greens.  The vibrant colors alone lift my spirits along with the refreshing taste  -  it puts a spring (well, more like hobble) in my step.  I’m not sure if juicing can cure my plantar fasciitis, but it’s definitely giving me a more positive outlook on things, and right now, that’s exactly what I need!

I’d like to give you a glimpse into my juicing journey, so starting next week, I will share different juice recipes with you in my new Juicing Bliss segment, & I’ll let you know how things are going with wobbly foot too!  ;)

Here’s to your health!

Do any of you juice?  If so, what is your favorite recipe?

Reflection Reverie

Reflection Reverie
Reflection of sun and sky illuminating a pond at the Fullerton Arboretum.


Hope in Bloom

Grape Plant

Grapes in winter…who knew?

Last year, we purchased a grape plant & planted it in a rustic half wine barrel we found at Lowes.  We cared for it, watered it, showered it with love, and during the late spring, the fruits of our labor graced us with one big, glorious bunch of grapes.

Summer came and went, and as autumn turned into winter, the leaves turned brown, fell, and our ounce flourishing plant became a collection of branches and twigs…dormancy had set in.  I wondered if I would ever see our once vibrant grape plant in all its splendor again.

After ringing in 2014 in the dead of winter, leaves surprisingly began to appear one by one…until the promise of new life covered our balcony!  (And I’m happy to say that it looks like we will be surpassing our one bunch record from last year!)

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Here’s to the hope that comes from blooms in the winter and to the promise of new life even during the most dormant of times.  :)

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