Posted in family and home, HD Beauty, HD You, Lifestyle, Travel Log

Day Tripping: A Family Hike in Chico’s Seed Orchard

Who knew there was a Seed Orchard in Chico, California? Anyone? I certainly had no idea what a seed orchard was, much less that there was one in Chico, California. That is, until I scrolled across a video posted by @explorebuttecountyca this week:

As a lifelong Butte County resident I had never heard of this place. So, this Sunday, we took the opportunity to take the kids and explore this hidden gem. Turns out the Chico Seed Orchard is part of the Mendocino National Forest and is 209 acres designated to plant breeding, research and introduction for different plants all around the world. It is also a place to preserve two of our areas most common trees: Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Firs. There happen to be seed orchards all around the State! They have a secondary function of recreation-which was exactly why were were there.

First of all, this place is literally tucked away in South Chico behind an industrial area and between several homes. You park outside the chain link fence surrounding the area and walk in to the facility. They have a short hiking trial that meanders alongside Camache Creek. There are no shortage of picnic tables and benches to sit at, making for a great environment should you want to escape into the trees for a bit. The water was swift, cold and intense; probably because of the intense snow pack we have up in the Sierra’s right now.

The path is paved; however, the trees themselves are quite overgrown, making for a beautiful and peaceful walk. We encountered several groups while we were out there, mostly having a stroll and watching the water, just like us. While we encountered many different types of trees along the walk, it was difficult to ascertain their unique features because of the overgrowth. I found that aspect of the walk beautiful. Nature overtaking nature as if it were going to go back to its original form one way or another.

The kids’ favorite was the large bamboo growing right behind the Ranger’s station (which was a rather adorable main house and outbuilding). Of course we stopped and did our best tree poses in the bamboo, while Jason zenned out on a bench carved out of a log, while watching the water just roll on by.

Jason’s zen. The sounds of Camache Creek

It took us about an hour to walk the whole path and to check out some of the orchards that were clearly designated for tree production. We saw lizards, birds and squirrels everywhere and the place was so quiet. As we were leaving several groups had entered the park with food, clearly intending to spend a quiet Sunday with the trees.

More information on the Chico Seed Forest can be found HERE.

Posted in Ballet, grit and glitter, HD Beauty, HD You, Lifestyle, Motivation, Self Care, Year of Self Love

Week 21: Get up and move!

Tutus on the Barre at Northern California School of Ballet, Oroville

Getting up in the morning and moving a bit has been one of the best things I have done for myself in a long time. It gets my body moving, helps to stretch me out and gets the blood flowing to my brain.

My movement is simple: 30 jumping jacks, 30 second plank and either burpees or kettle-bell swings. It takes me 5-10 minutes, but the effects on my mood are astounding. I am awake, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day.

This week, pick out your favorite exercise outfit and get moving in the morning. It doesn’t have to be long…but it totally can be if you want.

My favorite exercise outfit is my leotard and tights from ballet class! While I don’t wear that during my morning exercise routine, those 2 classes I spend at the barre are the favorite 90 minute blocks I have to myself all week. One day I will be wearing one of those tutus on the bar you see above. For now, I will settle for my black leo’ and my steady improvement in the realm of ballet.

Happy movement this week!

Posted in HD Beauty, HD You, Self Care, Year of Self Love

Week 18 Year of Self Love: Pamper Yourself with a Mani/Pedi

Self-care and self-love are often confused with indulgence and it really shouldn’t. To me self love is taking the time to check in with yourself and to engage in those activities to keep your tank full. My filling your own tank you are able to take care of your responsibilities as well as the needs of those around you.

I’m learning this. It’s a hard concept to grasp. But 18 weeks into this Year of Self-Love Challenge and I’m learning.

Sometimes…self care means a small indulgence.

That’s why this week we are taking the time to indulge just a little. Get a manicure or a pedicure, or both. Indulge a little. Take a time out. Pictured above is our pedicure indulgence. It was Maizy’s first pedicure.

Best part was watching the workers at US NAILS fighting (discreetly) about who had to deal with Jason’s feet! In the end though, we all came out a little bit more relaxed and with soft well manicured toes.

Enjoy the week and a little indulgence.

Maizy and her 1st Pedicure
Posted in Ballet, family and home, HD Beauty, Lifestyle, Travel Log

Seeing Sugarplums in the City: A Girls Trip to San Francisco

For Christmas, Maizy and I took an overnight trip to San Francisco to go with her ballet school (and mom’s) to see the San Francisco Ballet and a performance of the Nutcracker. It was a magical overnight stay at the Royal Sonesta Hotel right in Union Square. The tree was still up, the macaroons were still available, and the Opera Hall was simply stunning. It was a Passport performance, meaning our young dancers in training received an activity “passport” and were encouraged to explore the venue through a series of stations such as: a historical overview of the Nutcracker, a close look at point shoes and my favorite…locally made, organic marshmallows (only in CA right?). We Uber’d our way through the city, had homemade Rootbeer, and ate giant cast iron skillets of mac n’ cheese (with bacon of course).

The next morning we lounged in the hotel and ordered room service. The room was designed to mimic a California sunset, which led to a beautiful progression of color as it became light in the morning and only enhanced our relaxation in the morning.

It was a leisurely 24 hours in the city. Maizy and I relished every moment of our down time where we got to bring our comfy socks, see an amazing ballet, and spend some quality mother-daughter time.