Tuesday, July 22, 2014



After my near drowning on Saturday, and the passing of Newport Beach, CA. Lifeguard/Hero- Ben Carlson while saving a man's life; I realized how incredibly dangerous large swells can be even for the most experienced. I decided to head to "The Wedge" on Monday to take a few shots. The waves continued to swell to unbelievable heights. To my surprise there were several people actually charging out into the water, speedo's on (which isn't commonly seen in Orange County, CA., but I overheard them saying that trunks always fall off) and fins in hand, excited to ride these monsters.
Can you say, "CRAZY!"
Seriously, there were bodysurfers as young as 12-13 chasing these incredible waves. They were obviously very experienced even at their young age, along with "The Wedge Crew" (a group of seasoned bodysurfing veterans.)
In between the click of my lens, I found myself praying for them, setting my camera aside to scour the white wash waiting for them to pop up from the humongous waves that had just crashed over them. My anxiety level was definitely heightened as I recalled being tumbled, thrown and disoriented under water; losing perception of up or down under waves half that size.
The crowds excitement and adrenaline kicked in as each giant grew to enormous height...taller and taller. They would gasp and stare in awestruck wonder. Even captivating these three active young boys attention.
It was definitely something to behold in person. The lifeguards coned off the area to make sure that inexperienced people didn't get too close and risk getting swept out to sea. They stood along the shoreline, ready and waiting to risk their lives for someone in need. I'm sure it was a difficult day for them while still mourning the loss of their fallen brother. 
Until you see these waves in person you can't begin to understand the volume of a lifeguard's job.
I was lucky enough to get there before the huge crowds arrived and found a perfect front row spot. 
To see more pictures from the day or order prints...stop by my website:

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Anthony saw a rare day moon coming out of the waters edge today while GoPro'ing. The waves were big and rough when I decided to join him in the water w/my boogie board while he was filming. I stood at the edge a little nervous because it looked pretty brutal out there (original plan to snorkel got instantly cancelled w/the conditions.) The waves that were crashing into shore were knocking everyone off their feet & dragging them in, clothes and all.

Not one to be a sissy, I headed out. Anthony started to film me as we talked, when all of a sudden we realized a set had rolled on top of us & we were in the impact zone. I ditched the board to go under. It was so strong I heard my neck crack & thought, "Hope I'm not paralyzed!" I popped up only w/seconds to breathe before I was hit again and sent rolling on the bottom. The waves rolled in...one right after the other, "4" MORE TIMES! I was smashed over & over again. I thought..."This is it?" I have no more air." As I prayed under water, "Jesus, please save me," the last wave finally rolled me up, instead of sucking me back out, close enough to where I could touch. I never even had a moment in between the waves to try to grab my board. I was lucky to gasp even a little bit of air while trying to spit out the salt water I'd swallowed.

As I struggled to pull my bathing suit up, I guess I only managed to get the front up because Anthony finally realized that I was in trouble (he'd made it out of the impact zone after the 1st wave...every man for himself) when he turned around to see my big ol' bare butt hanging out as I scrambled for the safety of the beach! LOL!!! Yep, I was a flasher today. I seriously was so out of it I had to sit at the edge of the beach to regroup. WOW! I need to listen to my instincts (rough, brutal, large surf) DO NOT ENTER! 

**Disclaimer: I walked past a group of about 7, 18-20 year old boogie boarders/body surfers who had been caught in like me & they were saying to each other, "That was crazy, the only way I got out of there was getting lucky enough to catch one of the waves in. They didn't go back in again after that either! I'm not such a big sissy SEE! Just a flasher!!! Anthony even came in after a while and said, "WOW that was rough!"
Hahahhaha my life! 

Here's my hubby's reaction after getting held under for a while too:


***Check out the war wound on my arm...not sure if the leash got wrapped around me or what?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day to Both of My Dad's

I was lucky enough to grow up having two dad's...my dad and my step-dad.

Although the years were not long enough with my step-dad, I'm grateful for his unconditional love. When he married my mom he became an instant father of 3. He was patient, kind, supportive, caring and strict (as most policeman are with their daughters.) I was taught the valuable lesson of chores, being independent, and consequences for my actions. (I was difficult...very mouthy and stubborn.) One of the most special days of my life came a few years before his passing. He told me how proud he was of me for the mother I was and the person I'd become. To hear those words from a man I admired and respected meant the world to me! 

My dad lives in Reno, NV. and every summer we'd fly out to visit him for a month. My dad's an outdoorsman through and through. So needless to say, I learned to love the outdoors...hiking, camping, sleeping on a cot under the stars, baiting my own fishing line and cleaning fish. I even learned how to dig my own holes when I had to go to the bathroom, (Oh Joy!) LOL! Yes I can rough it with the best of them. As I look back over the years...I realize that it was important bonding time. The nights sitting around the fire pit with my dad, listening to spooky stories over the radio, telling jokes, playing dice games, scaring whoever's turn it was to walk down the hill & turn off the generator and walk back up in the pitch dark. Then as summer would end, my dad, (the tell it like it is, rough exterior of a man) had to say goodbye. As he hugged us, a crack in his armor would start to roll down his cheek. Tears of love. Tears of a dad who had a difficult time sending his kids away until next year. 
I'm so blessed to have been instilled with the traits of both of these amazing men. 

Happy Father's Day Dad! I love you!

Friday, June 13, 2014


On June 10, 2014, AMFAR (a foundation dedicated to ending the Global AIDS epidemic) put on a fundraising event "Inspiration Gala" in New York at the Plaza Hotel. Josh Duhamel hosted, (his wife, singer Fergie, also attended) and Sarah Jessica Parker was a Presenter. This is always a star studded event and raises tons of money. The 80's band, New Order (from my high school days...aka "Old School") entertained the crowd.  The event also had a fashion show. My son, Jullien Herrera, (Re:Quest Model Management) walked for designer Thom Browne. Since most of us (me included) aren't able to attend these swanky gala's...I thought I'd share some pics from the night with you.


To see more fashion from the event click here: MODELS.COM

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I went to this amazing place to celebrate and thank God!
     I have to share something very personal. I received a MIRACLE healing. On Thursday, May 29th, I went to see the surgeon to discuss/schedule surgery to remove a very aggressive pre-cancer. It was in an area that could've left me with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. This procedure was recommended after several tests, visits with my doctor and my oncologist. It was decided that surgery was the best option. During my appointment, the surgeon performed an extensive examination (which I thought I was only there to discuss the surgery and then set a date. I was not happy about more examinations needless to say.) That was until...he found absolutely NOTHING! It was gone! He told us he could not perform surgery on something that wasn't there. THANK YOU LORD for answering prayers.  Once home, I dropped to my knees, praying, thanking, crying. I grabbed my Bible and when I opened it, this is the first thing I saw: 
“Go your way; your faith has made you well.” 
     Then I read the rest of the verses: 
"So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road." Mark 10:51-52
     I started balling like a baby all over again! Faith, me? My faith during all of this was like a roller coaster ride. Some days I'd do great and others I spent crying, stressing, and worrying. This led to internet researching, (which of course led to more stress and worry.) Finally, I'd open up my Bible again to get filled up with truth and immediate peace.
     As I kneeled, crying in gratitude, "Thank you Jesus!" My husband walked in. He said, "Why are you crying?" When I told him the scripture that I'd just been given and how I felt, he said, "It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed, Lis."
"So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." WOW...that's the exact kind of faith I had. It was small. But I tried to remain steadfast in seeking the Lord in the midst of everything. Failing some days and doing amazingly well others. FAITH. What does the Bible say about it: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. After this answered prayer...my faith is growing. The Lord chose to heal me. 
     And yet, while I received this very undeserved miracle...there are others, like my step-dad who was not healed...even though he had amazing faith. During his illness, his spirit remained strong, unmoved, unwavering in the midst of his cancer. He was a light to so many people. He was a miracle by his example everyday to each one of us. So when I talk of faith and miracles, I need to always remember, whether it is a complete and total healing or the gift of incredible faith and strength from the Lord to endure the trial in the midst of the storm. When we continue to seek Him, He always fills us up where we're lacking. Just like the mustard seed which is the smallest of seeds and yet grows to become the largest of trees. 
"Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32.
     Thank you Lord...I stand in awe and amazement of your gift!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Jacket:Reversible Mademoiselle Plume, Sunglasses: Gucci
I'm the person who never wins anything. I don't enter contests for that very reason. Now you can imagine my surprise when I was contacted via Twitter that I'd won! Huh? How can that be? It must be a scam. I dismissed it for a few days, but when they contacted me again and told me that I'd won via a Fashion Blogger's website that I follow, my curiosity was peaked.  I clicked on the site, Trop Rouge and there it was, (be sure to click the link to see how Christina wore it). I love her laid back, effortless, cool style. 

The one day that I just happened to comment (which for those of you who follow my blog know that I haven't been very consistent with my posts lately let alone commenting on my fav blogs) there was a contest going on. My comment on Christina's AWESOME jacket was the winning comment! SERIOUSLY? Me. A winner?
I went to the website link Comptoir Des Cotonniers, to pick out the jacket. FREE. My very first jacket from the fashion capital of the world...PARIS! Woo Hoo...YAY Me! (Oh sorry, I was having a little dance party with myself for a minute.) I initially wanted the white w/black...reversible jacket. But the more I thought about it the more I knew that black and red...the exact same one that Christina was wearing on that lucky day was the one for me too.

My hubby still didn't believe me and said, "Ya right...they're going to send you a jacket from Paris for free. It's a scam."

"NO it's real...I researched it." I insisted.

So a week after I submitted my order my Comptoir Des CotonniersParis - Mademoiselle Plume jacket arrived with this note:
It is THE MOST COMFORTABLE jacket. It's light weight, non-restricting and moveable. This is important for me because I have REALLY broad shoulders...which I often refer to as my "football shoulders." I love the splash of unexpected bright red that adds a spark to any outfit. And the most important thing, (other than that it was free of course)...it's so warm. Living by the beach even the summer evenings can get a bit chilly. I now have a year round "go to" jacket.
Jacket: Comptoir Des CotonniersTop: Zenana Outfitters, Jeans: Forever 21, Shoes: Bamboo
If you're looking for a great jacket...head on over and get yours from Comptoir Des Cotonniers and be sure to check out all their great summer fashion looks HERE.

Don't forget to visit, follow, and comment on Christina's very cool fashion blog TROP ROUGE. You may end up a winner too!
I had to share a close up of my new flats by BAMBOO. I wear them with EVERYTHING! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day...What a Day!

It's always nice to have a day just for you. A day when the people who are your heart come together and make you feel special. Yesterday, my Mother's Day was more than I could've hoped for. I was touched, moved to tears, heart bursting...love. My kids, sister, & hubby spent the whole day with me. There was lunch, shopping at the local street fair, presents (lots and lots of presents), and dinner...where my youngest son was working and he served us.
Time. What a precious gift. It's those moments that make it all worthwhile; fleeting, stand still, breathe in and hold it tightly. Right here and now. Words of love, affirmation and just knowing that this moment is perfect because it is filled with laughter, hugs, memories, and family. God's amazing gift...MOTHERHOOD.

Just when I thought this day couldn't be any more special...my new son, my foster son, lil' J, wrote a special note on Instagram for me. It touched my heart to know that even though this child has been through so much with the recent loss of his mother to breast cancer, he's still able to open his heart. Share his heart. What a gift. To give your trust and love to someone who was a complete stranger 5 months ago.

God is good. He is amazing. He asks us to step up. To be the hands and feet of Christ. He will put things on your heart and ask you to say yes to where He's leading. The hardest part is, "Yes, Lord...Your will not mine." The easiest part is once you finally relinquish to His will...He works miracles. Miracles that you never imagined. A life transformed through Jesus Christ.

Yesterday, God blessed me with yet another confirmation of His life giving, restoring love. It read, "Happy Mother's Day to my new fun loving sweet mom Lisa. I love you and you do a lot for me and your the best mother in the world to me!!!!! Happy Mother's Day. #funmom #imhappyyourinmylife #yourawesome #yourfunny #iloveyourpranks #bestmother" And this was the picture he posted with it.
Never doubt that Jesus makes ALL things new! I hope you all had an AMAZING Day!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Little Noah pressed his face up against the glass hoping to catch a glimpse of a passing dolphin. He turned, smiling, squealing, jumping...scooting close to me as I bent down with my cell phone camera. "See them?" he beamed. "Yes, they're so cute!" I replied, smiling at his innocent excitement. He turned his attention back to the glass. That's when it happened. Noah met HIS dolphin face to face. They stared in curious wonder at each other. A moment. A boy named Noah and his dolphin. Time standing still in awe struck wonder.
- at SeaWorld San Diego