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Martinez Musings

Take Care – Stay at #HOME

Be the Calm

This week we’ve faced a lot of uncertainty and a bit of panic. The news has been reporting on the Coronavirus, the Fed’s lowering interest rate and the stock market taking big hits. News like this makes all of us feel uneasy, can make us make different decisions than we

Lights, Camera, ACTION

This weekend, my husband and I were out & about shooting videos in downtown Martinez. It was such a blast! We started by walking across the street from our home to Ignacio Plaza Park. There we saw some of our neighbors and took in the beauty of a warm February

This Hidden Gem Keeps Getting Shinier

This weekend I attended my first improv show at the Campbell Theater and it was awesome! I recognized some of the actor’s faces from our community, and that made the night even more special. Afterward, I joined some friends at a couple of the local watering holes. It was such

State of the City, MTZ Edition

I’m coming off a huge community “high” right now! I just attended the Mayor’s State of the City Breakfast, in Martinez, and am so excited about all the recent developments and plans of great ones coming down the pipe. Having moved to Martinez just nine months ago, my husband and

There’s a New Kid in Town

This week our local refinery transferred hands, and from afar it may have look like just that – Shell Oil Refinery transferred to Martinez Refining Company. On a deeper level, it was much more than that! There was a homecoming of sorts of the management, recognition for a STEM high

It Makes a Difference to Make a Difference

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet over one hundred new groups of people! If you haven’t caught on by now, I love meeting new people and creating new connections. Many of these folks I met while hosting an open house in downtown Martinez and most of them were

Open Up

Earlier this week I met a really lovely gal, who had graduated high school earlier this year. She graduated a year ahead of schedule, after thinking she wasn’t going to be able to graduate at all. I saw a lot of myself in her. I remember thinking having just graduated

Love Thy Neighbor

This week, I had the opportunity to create community. I helped friends purchase a home just two houses down from another family who I had recently helped. It felt incredible playing matchmaker to these sweet families!   My husband grew up in a similar neighborhood and is still close friends


The green grass on the hillsides; the baby cattle who freely roam the Regional Parks; the crisp pages of our new calendars and the fog that has been rolling in have all brought a sense of freshness to our little community. With a new year comes a fresh start and

Reflections of 2019

It’s at this point in the year that most folks are looking back at the year that has passed them by… I’ve been giving thought to this all month long and am incredibly grateful for what has come of the year. Professionally; I hit my target goals; held two meaningful

Happy Holidays!

Santa Party

Our client appreciation party was SUCH A BLAST! We had many happy clients who attended and took part in the holiday festivities. There were dozens of cookies, and treats, mimosas for the parents as well as arts and crafts. Santa himself even attended!   My highlight of the day was

Give, Give and Give a Little More

Happy Giving Tuesday! This time of the year makes me extra grateful for all I have and with that; I want to give, give and give a little more. To me giving feels so much more rewarding than receiving. Whether it’s dropping a few bucks in the red buckets at

Thanksgiving Message

A Veteran’s Day Message

This week we celebrated Veteran’s Day. At Plaza Ignacio Park, directly across from our home, our community held a lovely ceremony. There was a lovely tribute by a local choir, a 21-gun salute and powerful speeches. The ceremony was incredibly peaceful and very impactful. I am so incredibly grateful for

Friendsgiving 2019

This past weekend we hosted Friendsgiving at our home. To us, Friendsgiving is all about showing your friends gratitude for being in their lives; it’s a time for us to break bread and reminisce about great things that happened to us this year; and it’s a time to connect about

Evacuations and Resources

It’s been a very odd month. Between the earthquake, power outages and now the wide-spread wildfires; we are all on high alert. The feeling of unpreparedness was really evident when we had a fire right in our city. We now have a packed bag, food, and water at the ready.

In a small town, it’s the small things that matter.

This week as I left the gym I realized that I recognized a couple of the gals in class. I’m not a shy person, by any means, so I approached them to see if they recognized me too. Right away they asked “aren’t you Cienna’s mom?”. I was so delighted

Earthquake Scare and Awareness

This week we felt multiple earthquakes in Martinez. They were, without a doubt, a scary wakeup call. My husband and I were getting ready to settle in for the night and all of a sudden our home started shaking. We rushed outside with no jackets, no shoes and no leash


Creating connections is by far one of my favorite things to do! Just yesterday I had the opportunity to connect two sweet families. They have children that are the same age, and both live in the heart of Downtown Martinez. Good, ol’ fashion connections aren’t something that are as cherished

Neighborhood Food Drive 2019, A Massive Success

The amount of support and love felt at this weekend’s food drive was incredible!   As a community, we raised nearly 800 pounds of food, for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano. We met with over 75 lovely neighbors. Many neighbors simply pulled their car up to our

Fall and the Smell of Pumpkin-Spiced-Everything is in the Air

Though it doesn’t quite feel like fall (it’s currently 97˚ outside), it’s finally here. The mornings are crisp and the afternoons are as hot as the real estate market in Martinez! Around our home, we’ve busted out the chili & cornbread recipes, put out the pumpkins and changed out the

Downtown Martinez Neighborhood Food Drive

September is Hunger Action Month – A month where people all over America stand together with Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger. It’s a month to spread the word and take action on the hunger crisis, and dedicate ourselves to a solution. I am

Vacation Mode, Activated

My husband, Mark and I are so thrilled to be taking our belated honeymoon this week! We decided to hold off on taking a honeymoon until we were able to take a proper vacation. This has been five years in the making, and it’s an incredible way for us to

Martinez Beavers – More than Cute Critters

When we were first researching Martinez, years before we moved there, we always heard rumors about beavers taking over Martinez. Then, when we were in the process of purchasing our home those rumors turned nasty. Some of the neighbors had told us that we would have to pay a large

Stitches and Sausages

The Martinez Art Council’s Art in the Park, this past weekend, was an absolute blast – There were local musicians jamming on the stage; incredible metalworkers; talented jewelry makers, and event snowcones! We had the opportunity to catch one of our neighbor’s sons playing with one of the bands and


This past weekend I celebrated my birthday and decided to treat myself to a lovely staycation. What exactly is a staycation? To me, a staycation is where I intentionally relax in the comfort of my home, enjoy some of the local sites and take in the beauty that is my

Art in the Park – A Martinez Tradition

On August, 18th Martinez will be hosting its 50th annual Art in the Park event!   There will be a great variation of arts, vendors and local musical artist. Admission is free and they can just about guarantee an awesome time.   Our family will be there, will yours?  

RES|Success, a Critical Martinez Nonprofit, Celebrates 25 Years of Service

RES|Success is an incredible Martinez based nonprofit whose mission is “To provide dignified and respectful day program services to adults with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, with attention to the very individualized needs of each of our clients.” The program is near and dear to my family’s heart as

Family First

Family always comes first – Bar none. With that being said, I’ll be flying back to Indiana to help my mother make her move from her previous home to her new one. Choosing to focus on work with my few days in the Bay Area, I won’t have time for

Martinez Summer Bike Challenge

Looking for something fun AND active to do this summer in Martinez? Then you’ll love the Martinez Summer Bike Challenge! Not only will you get to know your neighborhood better, but there are also freebies at each station. There are a total of five parks on this challenge, so pack

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John Sparacino Park & Community Transit Center

This weeks adventure lead us to discover “Mr. Martinez”, John Sparacino. John was a lifelong resident of our little town and became the town’s first major, back in 1973. His impact throughout our community was so grand that we have a park dedicated to him, at the corner of Alhambra

June – National Hunger Awareness Month

As you’ve already learned, I held two terms with AmeriCorps. Within those terms, there were weeks where I was empty in my stomach but my heart was full. This is the point in my life when I learned about food insecurity. To combat this I would volunteer extra hours at

Community Feels Like HOME

The feeling of belonging is something that humans innately crave. This week we had that feeling of belonging to our community, and it was incredible! It wasn’t one action or situation that made us feel this, rather it was many small moments throughout our week. From our neighbors coming over

Waterfront Park at Dusk

On one of our evening strolls this week, we were greeted by an incredibly beautiful sunset. The air was cool, fresh and had an earthy smell to it. The sounds of the park were just incredible – From kiddos chasing each other around the many play structures to the sounds

Our New Home

The boxes are all unpacked, the linens are all washed and the storage bins have been put away! Our first two weeks in our new home have been blissful, and we are falling head over heels for our new town. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of our delightful