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How to Prepare Your Family for an Earthquake

How to Prepare Your Family for an Earthquake Last Friday night we were rockin’ and rollin’ in Orange County with a 5.1 trembler that inspired this how to prepare your family for an earthquake post.

We moved back to Southern California when I was ten-years-old and I remember experiencing an earthquake for the first time fairly soon thereafter. The vision of our patio furniture bouncing up and down is one that stays with me.

Growing up here, I remember earthquakes happening somewhat frequently. But the earth has been fairly quiet the last 20 years since the Northridge quake of 1994. In fact, I don’t remember having many earthquakes as an adult. Do you?

Last Friday night was a reminder we DO live in Earthquake country, and it was a wake up call to me, and many others on Facebook that we need to be prepared! Now more than ever, especially since we have children.

I did some research on RedCross and found some info on how to prepare your family for an earthquake that I wanted to share with you.

How to Prepare Your Family for an Earthquake 

Here are three great things I learned on the Red Cross site,

1. Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.

2. Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.

3. Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.

What to Do During an Earthquake

On Friday night I immediately got under a doorway because that is what I thought you were supposed to do.

However, according to the Red Cross,

“Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection! During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on. It will help shelter you from falling objects that could injure you during an earthquake.”

Here are some other tips what to do during an earthquake:

1. Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.

2. If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.

3. Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.

Good to know. I had never even had a conversation with my kids about what to do during an earthquake at home before!

Emergency Survival Kit Essentials 

You can find a full list of things to have on hand if an earthquake disaster were to strike, but here are some of the essentials Red Cross recommends having at the very minimum in a survival kit:

1. Water – one gallon per person, per day (2 week supply for home)
2. Food – non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (2 week supply for home)
3. Flashlight
4. Battery-powered radio
5. Extra batteries
6. First aid kit
7. Medications and prescriptions for family members
8. Multi-purpose tool
9. Sanitation/personal hygiene items
10. Copies of personal documents
11. Cell phone with charger
12. Family and emergency contact information
13. Extra cash
14. Emergency blanket
15. Map of the area

I am hoping we will not have to use any of these tips, but it is better to be ready, and prepare our kids just in case.

All information taken from the website. Does anyone else have any information you would like to share on how to prepare your family for an earthquake?

Are You Ready for a Change?


Plucky Parenting

Parenting is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. In the peaceful times, being a mom is easy. The snuggles, the play time, the connection, the love. Oh, the love. If it were like this all the time, parenting would be a breeze. But then we would all probably have more children than we do right now, right?!

Then there are the times when I am left standing alone in the face of a sassy comment or bickering sisters or outright defiance, genuinely yearning for divine direction on WHAT to do to handle the situation because I just don’t know what the HECK to do.

Either that, or I react with a response I am not proud of or question myself as I wonder if I did the right thing? It’s those times when I start to question myself as a mom and think, “What am I doing wrong to make my child act like this?!” It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it?

But there is help for us moms!

If you are struggling with a specific parenting issue with your kids, or dealing with some undesirable and baffling behaviors, the great news is there is an  Orange County parenting consultant you can turn to for guidance. Let her be the light at the end of your tunnel!

Orange County Parenting Consultant

Plucky Parenting was created by Brianna Dubbs, LMFT, who was driven with a passion to help fellow parents with practical tools to rediscover just how fun, enlivening and connecting parenting can be.

One of the first things I asked Brianna when we got on the phone, was “Where did the name Plucky Parenting come from?”

She explained that her mission is to help parents achieve “pluck” which to her means courage, determination, spunk and cheer in their parenting skills. This joy really radiated through in our phone call and you can also see it in her beautiful website.

Plucky Parenting Consultation Services Include: 

1. In-home or in-office intensive sessions to help parents struggling with a specific parenting issue.

2. Expecting baby series which helps a new family adjust to a new baby.

Group Classes Include:

1. MNI (Mom’s Night IN) where you get a group of mommy friends together for a fun relaxed time to support and learn from each other. Brianna and host will provide yummy treats and wine. Average cost averages $15 – $25 pp depending on size of group.

2. Playdates and Playgroups. Arrange to have Brianna come and casually speak at your playdate in a fun and casual atmosphere. Brianna will tailor the topics to fit any specific challenges facing the group. Cost is $15/person (family.)

3. Large groups/workshops. Brianna has experience speaking at mother’s groups across Orange County and would welcome the opportunity to tailor a specific topic for your group.

The Plucky Parenting Philosophy

Brianna believes that all parenting practices should support our relationship with our child, because it is this relationship and connection which will allow our children to navigate the world in a happy, confident, independent and courageous manner.

Isn’t that what we all want for our children?

Her consulting works on systematically understanding the problem by observing what is driving the behavior.

She explained children react and behave in ways because of the feelings that are behind it. If you can identify the feeling that is driving the behavior, you can then attend to the feeling with the child to help them understand it and express it with words.

If you attend to the feelings, you will strengthen your relationship and bond with your child.

After my conversation with Brianna, I took those words to heart, and when my kids were acting out I stopped and looked deeper wondering what FEELING was driving it.

A Personal Example of Putting Her Philosophy to Work

My oldest daughter, a second grader, has spirit day on Fridays and the kids wear red, white and blue to school. Two of her girlfriends in her class both have the same red and white striped sundress from H&M. It’s a dress she doesn’t own, but her little sister does.

The girls were planning to wear their same dresses for spirit day to be “twins” and my oldest wanted to borrow the dress from little sister. A terrible fight ensued. Little sis did NOT want big sis borrowing her dress and big sis was hysterical because she wanted to match her girlfriends.

I was so irritated with both of them! I was irritated with little one for not sharing her dress, because I knew she really didn’t care about it that much, and then I was irritated my oldest was making such a huge deal about it.

I had just spoken with Brianna the day before, and her words echoed in my head, so I asked what they were feeling about the situation. What came out was interesting.

My oldest expressed she would feel left out if the other two were wearing the same dress, and she does not like to feel left out. Bingo.

My little one said if the older girls are wore the same dress, SHE would feel left out. Bingo.

Helping me understanding what was driving both their behaviors helped me immensely in handling the situation because we were all able to talk about how it doesn’t feel good to be left out.

The next day little one marched in and gave the dress for her sister to borrow without issue. I have to think it had to do with her feeling understood. Oh, how the smallest victories in parenting can feel SO empowering! I hope you can let Brianna help you find the way to your own parenting victories too!

Upcoming Events 

Brianna is speaking at Granola Babies on Saturday, November 16th on the topic of adding new babies to single children families and how to help your family navigate the transition when a sibling is born. For more information, contact Brianna.

Stay Connected 

For upcoming events and parenting inspiration follow Plucky Parenting on Facebook and Twitter.

Where to Donate Halloween Candy in OC

Where to Donate Halloween Candy in OC

Happy Halloween! I am sure many of us will be experiencing a candy hangover tomorrow morning with our kiddos, so if you are anxious to get the junk out of your house, here are some ideas on where to donate Halloween candy in OC…

Cash for Candy at Little Smiles 

Little Smiles Cash for Candy OC For the 2nd year, Drs. Harvey Lee and Laura McCormack of Little Smiles of Orange County, an Irvine-based pediatric dental practice will pay $1 per pound for kids’ candy (up to $20 per family) on Friday, November 1st  from the hours of 9am – 5pm.

Every child will also be entered into a raffle to win a membership to Pretend City Children’s Museum and will receive a healthy goodie bag to take home.

The collected candy will be shipped to the troops overseas in partnership with Operation Gratitude.

4980 Barranca Pkwy, Suite 101
Irvine, CA

Wahoo! for Wahoo’s Crummy Candy Program!

Wahoo's Crummy Candy Program 2013

We love Wahoo’s. One of my favorite places to take my girls to eat. From November 1st – 3rd, 2013 you can bring in a bag of your crummy Halloween candy and kids 12 years and under can get one free kid’s meal per child with parent. Print the coupon above and head on it to your favorite Wahoo’s location.

Halloween Candy Buy Back

Halloween Candy BuyBack

If Irvine is not in your neck of the woods, visit and you can search by zip code to find a participating dentist near you who is accepting Halloween candy donations to send to the troops.

7 Great Holiday Photo Card Sites


best holiday card designs

I L O V E getting holiday photo cards. Love shopping for them, love sending them, and LOVE getting them. I could spend hours online searching for the best holiday card designs every year.

To make life easier on you, I have summarized 7 great sites for the best holiday card designs and will feature a favorite design from each one along with any current promo codes I could find. Happy holiday card shopping!


I have mad love for for their unique indie designs and endless customizing options. This year they gave me two reasons to love them even more with their real foil pressed cards and keepsake ornament cards!

Get 10% off your holiday card order with Minted promo code FALLHOL10 good through tomorrow. Plus, you can BUY NOW and UPLOAD your photo later. Nice!

My picks: White Noel Holiday Ornament Card and Glittering Joy Foil-Pressed Holiday Card.


Minted Ornament Card


Paper Culture 

If you like clean, simple designs, Paper Culture will be right up your alley. Definitely a top choice for some of the best holiday card designs for their modern style. Plus, every card is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper and for every order, Paper Culture plants a tree. Heart this.

Enter Paper Culture promo code HOLIDAY13 for 20% off your order through 10/29/13.

My pick: Cheer. They are 8.9 x 3.9 inches – cute! Love an oversized card!



Simply to Impress

Super cute holiday photo card designs at affordable prices.

Save 25% off with Simply to Impress promo code FALLSAVE (but ends today! hurry!)

My pick: Striped Frame. I absolutely love the inclusion of “Top Moments of the Year” and the opportunity to have some fun on your holiday card!



This was a fun find this year, and if you are planning a holiday party, make sure to check out their cute holiday party invitations too.

Things I like: cute designs, wide price range (affordable to high end), and free upgrade to rush processing and order will be shipped same day. Nice.

Use PurpleTrail promo code intro15 for 15% off your first order.

My pick: Rustic Charm Christmas Photo Card. Love the gift tag, rustic background, and the fact that you are able to customize 8 pages to add more pictures, highlights and holiday wishes!




Yet another new find this year! You can chose from one of their designs, or actually design your own blank photo card, or photo card collage.

My pick: Magic of Christmas Chalkboard Art on Cardstore. Love this look.

Chalkboard Art Christmas Card



Sign up for their email list and get 20% off your order of $35+.

My pick: Live, Laugh, Love. The colors and sentiment just make me happy!



Of course, TinyPrints is always a favorite for their best holiday card designs and lots of options.

Enter Tiny Prints promo code 20OCTSW for 20% off any order through 10/29!

My Pick: Holiday Ink. Different. I love it.


Happy ALMOST holiday card season!

Video: Mattress Shopping Tips

This video is all about how to shop for a mattress by yours truly, where I include mattress shopping tips from personal experience, as well as professional tips from Jesus Ruiz, a sleep specialist at Friedmans Appliance Center in Long Beach.

Shopping for a mattress can be overwhelming. There are so many choices, types, and price points. It can be hard to know where to start.

I hope my video gives you some good ideas on how to go about shopping for a mattress. You can also find more mattress shopping tips on the Serta website.

Once you actually get into the store to start your shopping, it can actually be a lot of fun. Hope you can appreciate my attempt at humor, Jesus was a very good sport!

[Disclosure: I am a part of the Serta blogger and have received complimentary mattresses to facilitate my reviews as well as compensation for my time and participation. All opinions are 100% my own!]