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ardent contents


6. Flatland Brewing Company 30. Sarah Centrella Single Mom Creates a Global Movement 8. Elk Grove Unified School District

nonprofit 12. Hart of Elk Grove



26. Appreciation Breakfast Law Office of Theresa Carter Geoffroy

Profile 16. Lana M. Shearer Attorney and Mediator

18. Dr. Dayle A. Imperato Rejuvenation Medical Spa 20. Jean Foletta Elk Grove’s Transit Manager

business 22. My Career Choice A Perfect Fit

...8 4. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

24. New Year’s resolutions Keeping at Least 3 28. Why Is My Divorce Taking So Long?


On the Cover Flatland Brewing Company Read their story on page 6


Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ardentforlifeelkgrove Ardent For Life is distributed in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi, and every point in between. Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions at info@mrsandmrpublishing.com Interested in increasing your business and partnering with Ardent For Life? Check out www.ardentforlife.net.

Published by Mrs. and Mr. Publishing six times a year. 916.812.0576 info@mrsandmrpublishing.com CopyrightŠ2016 Mrs. and Mr. Publishing

View current issues of Ardent For Life at www.ardentforlife.net


Flatland Brewing Company

small batch, huge impact.

Elk Grove residents, Andrew and Michelle Mohsenzadegan are the newest to join the craft beer industry. Andrew is currently fulfilling his dream of owning his own brewery, and he gets to do it right in his own hometown. His vision has come to life in the form of Flatland Brewing Company. A single-barrel brewery with the motto “Small batch, huge impact.” As the former head brewer for Handcraft Brewing, a homebrew supply shop and brewery, Andrew was first able to bring his vision to the public through his creation of original recipes for their tasty and unique craft beers. Andrew worked for Handcraft Brewing from 2011-2014, following his initial love for home brewing.


couple describes the brewery to be a fun, family-friendly, open environment. Andrew and Michelle want families to feel as though they can come to Flatland and enjoy themselves in a casual setting.

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Andrew fondly remembers how quickly the home brewing hobby escalated, after his discovery of it in 2008. It only took a couple of stove top extract brews, in their Bay Area apartment, before Andrew was fully immersed in all grain brewing. Following a move for the second time to Elk Grove in the spring of 2010, Andrew quickly set up an elaborate home-brew system in their new home. He began honing in on his craft, batch after batch. He entered the National Homebrewer’s Competition in 2012. His entry for his Chocolate Hazelnut Porter ranked him nationally, and led to a trip for the couple to Seattle, WA. Following the success and positive energy of NHC in Seattle, Andrew later went on to place in both the California State fair, as well as the Amador County Fair. Most recently, Andrew gained extensive knowledge while working locally as a Wine Steward for Nugget Markets from 2013-2015. Andrew’s professional accolades include Cicerone and CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine). Throughout this time, Andrew continued yearning for something he could call his own. Those around him were all aware of his dream to bring his love of fine craft beer to life in Elk Grove. When the opportunity arose, the couple agreed that it was the best possible time in their lives to embark on a new journey.



is already planning for his next move, as he anticipates quickly outgrowing the current brewing system that is in place. He has a five barrel system ready to fire up at a moment’s notice.

Flatland Brewing Company is a true showcase of the passion, handiwork, and vision of Andrew and Michelle. It took many sleepless nights, 14+ hour days, generous family members, creativity, and countless Home Depot trips to bring it to life. Flatland is a true blending of the Mohsenzadegans’ collective taste for home-grown design. Utilizing reclaimed materials is something brewery visitors will see as a common theme throughout. They believe that the labor of love alone is the best backbone for their budding business.

The couple describes the brewery to be a fun, family-friendly, open environment. Andrew and Michelle want families to feel as though they can come to Flatland and enjoy themselves in a casual setting. Passionate about the brewery’s other motto “be social, drink local”, they want to promote getting to know fellow area residents and beer lovers. The open picnic table seating, games, and outdoor space help to foster this feeling. (And remember, Flatland Brewing Company is pet friendly to friendly pets!).

The vision for Flatland is simple. Andrew and Michelle are proud of where they live, and want to showcase some local highlights. Loving Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Capital title, they plan for the brewery to follow suit. They will do this by using local wine grapes, honey, and fruit to incorporate into beers. The Mohsenzadegans will even incorporate several varieties of hops grown in their own backyard. Andrew also has plans to immediately introduce sour beers into Flatland’s lineup- something that he feels is definitely sparse across the Sacramento region. Passionate about the style, Andrew can’t wait to share his creations with the guests of Flatland Brewing Company. Plans are in the works for a sour beer membership program, fondly named Feed the Funk.

Visitors of Flatland can expect to see Andrew each time they visit, as he is the front line associate, brewer, tasting room server, and all-around craft beer aficionado. His extensive vocabulary around tasting notes will inspire even the most seasoned craft beer lover.

With a busy 2016 already in the works, brewery visitors can expect food trucks, musical guests, and many other fun social events. Sacramento Beer Week is the first major event of the year that Flatland is thrilled to be celebrating. It is events like these that the brewery is thrilled to be a part of…community, passion, and fun. Andrew is already planning for his next move, as he anticipates quickly outgrowing the current brewing system that is in place. He has a five barrel system ready to fire up at a moment’s notice. The future of Flatland Brewing Company is anticipated to be a bright one. The energy of the couple, paired with the current absence of craft brewers in Elk Grove, ensure that this is just the beginning of something big.

Flatland Brewing Company is located at 9183 Survey Road, Ste. 104 in Elk Grove, CA. The brewery can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All links are available through their website at flatlandbrewingco.com.

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The Wonderful Leadership Elk Grove Unified School District


By Elizabeth Pinkerton

Elk Grove Unified School District has been very fortunate to have wonderful leadership for its schools, students and parent community. Moreover, among these leaders were some amazing women who played large roles in past years, and this continue today. The four that we are featuring have spent many years in a variety of roles such as teachers, administrators, assistants, and directors. They are Arlene Hein, who has assisted all the EGUSD superintendents since the district unified in 1959, and Nancy Lucia, Christina Penna, and Donna Cherry who started in the district as teachers and became associate superintendents. Additionally, there are several other women from past years who deserve mention, they are Joanne Gatejen, Alice Kubo, Linda Strom, and Jean Johnson. They too can be credited with helping EGUSD become the great school district that it is today. 8. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Arlene Hein has spent an impres-

sive amount of time with Elk Grove schools. She grew up in the Point Pleasant area and graduated from Elk Grove High in 1952. The district was not yet unified at that time, and she was hired by the high school superintendent-principal to work in the office. Arlene would have preferred to attend college, but family illness prevented her from leaving home.

Arlene Hein became the assistant for the first superintendent of the new Elk Grove Unified School District in 1959, and she has been there ever since working for six superintendents over the years. During the time that she served in the district, the student enrollment

increased from 3,000 in 1959 to more than 60,000 (current student enrollment). Although Arlene retired recently, she still goes into the office a day or two each week, because there is no one who knows more about the Elk Grove Unified programs than Arlene. She has received many honors and most recently was named Woman of the Year, by the Elk Grove Citizen.

This is how Arlene Hein described her long tenure with Elk Grove schools: “I have worked for, and with, many wonderful people learning about and supporting the education of children. I truly enjoyed my work these past years and am truly



Arlene Hein


the time that Arlene served in the district, the student enrollment increased from 3,000 in 1959 to more than 60,000 currently.

Nancy Lucia

blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Elk Grove Unified School District.”

intendent. Retired now, she continues as a volunteer for the scholarship program and various other programs in Elk Grove.

Nancy was a vice principal at Charles Mack Elementary, and then principal at Sierra Enterprise and Arthur Butler schools. She then became part of district office staff as director of elementary education, director of learning support, and associate super-

Christina (Tina) Penna is the associate superintendent for secondary education, and she has been with EG schools since 1978. Her first position was as a teacher at the new Valley High School. After fourteen years in the classroom, she left Valley in 1992 to become a district-level curriculum specialist. Her first administrative position was as the vice principal at Laguna Creek High School in 1994. In 1996 she became the principal at Harriet Eddy Mid-

Nancy Lucia began her long career with Elk Grove Unified in 1974 and until her retirement a few years ago, she worked in a variety of positions. She and her husband Frank, also an EG educator, lived in the Bay area and were planning to join the Peace Corp. However, they could not be scheduled for the same village in Liberia, so they looked for other options. They heard that teachers were being hired in Elk Grove, so they came here planning to stay for one year and go back to the Peace Corps. However, they truly enjoyed teaching at Joseph Kerr Junior High and then moved on to Valley High School, when it opened. Elk Grove became their home and they are still here.

Nancy lists being a school principal as her favorite position because she was able to work closely with students, parents, teachers, the support staff, and the community. “I knew everybody by name,” she said, “and I worked closely with my teachers to provide the best learning environment possible for all students. My goal was to have our students be actively engaged each day and develop themselves to their fullest potential.”

dle School, and in 2000 became the first principal of the new Franklin High School. Tina has been part of the district office staff since 2003. Tina says she has loved every position she has held, and has learned and grown professionally with each opportunity. She has enjoyed making connections with students and guiding their learning. Tina has this to say about EGUSD: “This district is outstanding because of the people who work here. Everyone is dedicated to ensuring the best possible educational experience for our students. As a district, we work hard to meet the needs of all students and we constantly seek ways to improve what each of us does individually, as well as at what we do collectively, in support of our kids. To be successful, we have to work together, work hard, be innovative and always put students first.”

Donna Cherry is the associate superintendent for elementary, and pre-kindergarten, education in EGUSD. After a career in the military (Air Force) and marketing, she

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Donna Cherry


Christina Penna came to Elk Grove in 1993 as a teacher at Franklin Elementary and then moved to Samuel Kenned Elementary. She taught 6th grade, and was recognized as one of the best first year teachers in the area. She later became a reading specialist at John Reith and Franklin Elementary schools. Later, she became the vice-principal at John Reith Elementary, while in that assignment she went to work for the California Department of Education as a visiting educator. Shortly afterwards, she returned to became principal of John Reith. Next, she became the director of learning support services (part of district staff ) and moved on to be associate superintendent of Pre-K through 6th grade education. Donna has valued every opportunity she has encountered, and expressed the following sentiment; “Teaching 6th grade was a wonderful experience. I worked for, and with, many wonderful people who enabled me to continue to learn the best ways to support the education of children. I have definitely enjoyed my work all these years, and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Elk Grove Unified School

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have definitely enjoyed my work all these years, and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Elk Grove Unified School District. I enjoy imparting knowledge and helping students develop their thirst for knowledge. To watch students grow and succeed, is such an unbelievable feeling.

District. I enjoy imparting knowledge and helping students develop their thirst for knowledge. To watch students grow and succeed, is such an unbelievable feeling. In fact, I am still in touch with several of my former 6th grade students.”

“Moreover,’ Donna said, ‘as a reading specialist, I had the opportunity to work with staff and students. To be a part of the growth and development of both was a special opportunity. I loved to watch students move from struggling readers, to successful readers. My time at the CDE gave me a completely new, different, and broad understanding of education. In addition, being a principal was something that I loved. It was some of the hardest work I ever encountered. The challenges were great, but the rewards were greater. I worked to positively impact the lives of thousands of students and families. Many of my former students still drop by John Reith, to see if I am still there. As associate superintendent of Pre-K through 6th grade Education, I have an even greater impact on students and families—because I have the opportunity to participate in the district decision making processes.”


Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships. Make your check payable to Laguna Publishers and send to PO Box 692, Elk Grove CA 95759. Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books, and tell me who you want the books signed to. For more information call me at 916-685-0606 or email at elizabethpink@gmail.com. You can also get the books at my web page,



Elk Grove HART

Elk Grove's

Homeless Assistance Resource Team Written by Kendra Holman

When that very popular song “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins plays over the radio, listening to the haunting lyrics, “Oh think twice/it’s another day for you and me in paradise” pulls on my heartstrings, because it brings to mind the very real struggle of what it must feel like to be homeless and feel hopeless, humiliated and invisible. When the homeless woman, in the


hidden crisis, in the once little town of Elk Grove, is the alarming fact of approximately 150 homeless people living in the area.

song, calls out to the man on the street, “Sir can you help me?” he pretends not to see her, avoids contact with her by crossing the street, and feels embarrassed. When I used to sing along to the lyrics, I remember thinking, “That man is a jerk.” However, now I am not so quick to rush to judgment. That man represents many of us. The truth is, “Another Day in Paradise” is a song that highlights the awkwardness that many of us feel when confronted with the plight of the homeless.

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It is so easy to look the other way, because we often assume that it’s an individual’s fault that they are homeless. We believe there is a drug or drinking problem, when often this is simply not the case. Many of our homeless are women and children who are trying to escape a violent environment, the loss of a job, physical illness, or aging out of the foster system, with little to no real resources at their disposal. Homeless people are no different than you and I, the only difference is circumstances, often beyond their control, have caused them to be without a place to lay their heads. We think, “Well, there are programs/shelters to help them.’’ Sadly, all of the shelters are overcrowded, and many times in areas where the homeless may feel unsafe. In addition, shelters that take women with children have an ongoing wait list of over 200 families. The desire to keep their children in school and as “normal” as possible, drives many families to live in their cars or “couch surf ” with friends.


Elk Grove HART


is providing new opportunities for homeless children.

HART is best known for its two transitional homes, The Grace House and The Meadow House. The Grace House serves single homeless individuals, and The Meadow House serves families. HART, along with the mayor, local service organizations, and several faith groups established these homes. The saddest aspect of this problem is the fact that many children are without homes. The Elk Grove School Unified School District identified more than 450 homeless children from its approximately 63,000 students. Debbie Schoeneshoefer, co-founder of the Elk Grove Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART), estimates that many of those children live in a severe state of homelessness, living in cars and without shelter. Organizations like HART were created to make a difference.

HART is an organization founded in 2010, as a response to the growing issue of homelessness in Elk Grove. HART’s objective is to provide support and mentorship for homeless individuals and families who are seeking to escape homelessness. In addition to breaking the often generational habits, that perpetuate ongoing homelessness. What is truly exceptional about HART is how committed its volunteers are. Initially, Debbie and Frank had a group of 12 volunteers. That number has grown substantially, and it is important to note that HART does not have any paid workers. All volunteers, work because of their dedication and compassion. 100% of funds and donations go to serving HART’s clients.

When asked how HART came to be, cofounder Debbie Schoeneshoefer explains how about six years ago, when the housing market dropped, she was working at the Elk Grove Food Bank and noticed an increase in homeless people coming in for services: “I hadn’t really noticed previously, and suddenly we had this significant increase. I just knew that something needed to be done.” About that same time Frank Lucia, who cofounded HART with Debbie, was working at Project Ride. He shared that there were homeless people going into the stables, asking if they could stay in the riding arena. Frank came into the food bank and asked the director, Marie Jacino, if she could get involved and what could we do? “Marie told Frank that I was interested, so we started HART without really knowing what we were doing. We just knew that something needed to be done.” said Debbie.

People like Debbie and Frank (and all of the volunteers who assist them) are special because they are the caliber of people who see a problem, then become part of the solution. They are too humble to draw attention to themselves, but their contribution to the welfare of the less fortunate is selfless, incalculable and heroic. I often wonder what motivates a person to devote their energy to this type of work. Debbie credits it to her faith, “I was actually praying one night and God laid the word “advocate” on my heart and I thought, yes! The homeless need an advocate!” And He said, “It’s you.”

“I’d been working with a homeless woman for about two years, and He showed me that individuals did not want to be treated like children, what they really needed was a friend. I recognized that individuals, who are homeless, need someone to walk alongside them and identify what their issues are, and to help them through them.” Debbie further explained that she has learned to listen to God. Through an encounter two years ago, with a woman who we will call Sara, her interest was peaked regarding the homeless situation. In addition, it prepared her for the work she now does with HART. While Debbie was working at the food bank and clothes closet, Cathy O’Neil (who was running the clothes closet) decided that she wanted to give every family member, who used the food bank, a donated gift. This involved wrapping gifts for over 2000 people, and distributing them. At the end of the day, Sara, a disheveled woman—came in wearing a big yellow rain slicker and hat. She was dirty and had no teeth. When Debbie went to help her find a gift, a long lavender down coat caught Debbie’s eye and she thought, “I’ve got just the thing.” When she presented Sara with the coat, Sara was overjoyed. Debbie watched in amazement as Sara took off multiple layers of sweaters, before putting on the coat. The reality of the fact that this woman lived in the cold, and was homeless really hit Debbie. Sara told Debbie that she

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Elk Grove HART


time, Debbie has developed a strong bond with many of the homeless children—a perk that she treasures.


HART is stabilizing the parents, it is changing the future of the children.

would sleep in the coat and that it would be her sleeping bag. As Sara was walking out, she turned and said, “You know something? God created us all equally.” In that moment Debbie was deeply moved

That was Debbie’s pivotal moment. Over the next two years, Debbie spent a lot of time with Sara, and they went through some crazy situations together. Through that experience, Debbie says, “God showed her, you just go where I send you, and I will show you the way. So when He lay the word “advocate” on my heart and I said, no, it was because I really didn’t want to do it. What God showed me was that He was training me through my experiences with Sara and that He would walk with me.” HART was born out of this kind of compassion. When co-founder, Frank Lucia, showed up at the food bank that day, Debbie knew that God had sent her an angel. For the last six years, they have been making a difference by improving the lives of Elk Grove’s homeless population.

Another touching story, of how mentoring can change a life, happened in regard to

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a man named Jake. Jake was living in his truck, at a strip mall in Elk Grove. A family member had stolen all of the money Jake had saved from his part time job. In addition, his car engine had died, and his hearing aids weren’t working anymore (which left him almost deaf ). The property manager gave Jake notice that he had to move his truck. The property manager also notified the food bank about Jake’s situation, and that’s when HART stepped in. An anonymous donor had his engine fixed, HART provided used tires for his truck, and UC Davis fitted him with new hearing aids. Now Jake is working two jobs, has his own apartment, a new used car, and he’s built his savings back up. Frank Lucia, who was Jake’s mentor, now has a different relationship with Jake—he’s his friend. Unfortunate circumstances led to Jake finding himself homeless. However, Ted (another inspirational individual) became homeless due to an alcohol dependency problem. After burning several bridges with family and friends, he became homeless for six years. After going into the hospital for liver failure and seizures, he received help from Union Gospel Missions,

then turned to HART for support. Ted has been sober for eight months and has been hired by a temp agency. “He’s a reminder that you should never give up on people, because you never know when they are a ready to change,” said Debbie.

HART is best known for its two transitional homes, The Grace House and The Meadow House. The Grace House serves single homeless individuals, and The Meadow House serves families. HART, along with the mayor, local service organizations, and several faith groups established these homes. Shelter, mentoring, and counseling are provided for the residents. The counseling teaches residents how to cultivate long-term solutions, because the homeless are often in crisis mode and geared toward finding short-term solutions. HART is interested in long-term solutions. Another component of HART is its Elk Grove Winter Sanctuary (EG WINS), which helps to provide shelter for local homeless during the cold winter months. EG Win is a 12-week program that teams up with local churches to provide food, shelter, and companionship for area homeless.


Elk Grove HART


and EGWINS has many dedicated volunteers, and 100% of the money donated goes to help the homeless.


rather than judgement, has given many of the homeless the courage to trust others and make a life change.

It’s funny how we celebrate athletes, entertainers, and the ultra-rich in this country, when the real heroes are men and woman like Frank Lucia and Debbie Schoeneshoefer, who are the founders of the Elk Grove Homeless Assistance Resource Team (HART). In addition to Linda Strom and Fred Bremerman, who founded The Elk Grove Winter Sanctuary (EG WINS). These people, along with a host of dedicated volunteers, see people suffering and do something about it. It is amazing that there are people in the world who really care—not just with words, but with action. Here in Elk Grove, we have a group of volunteers who work tirelessly to make life for Elk Grove’s homeless people (approximately 160) not only bearable, but full of hope and promise. You, too, can make a difference. How can you get involved? Elk Grove has been incredible in its support of these causes! In fact, hundreds of locals came out to help with the grunt work involved in renovating both Grace and Meadow houses. However, there is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done. HART is in need of mentors. If you have, in your heart, the desire to be a facilitator, HART needs you. All the training and support needed, will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering call 916-623-5858. Perhaps you would like to contribute financially, you can visit Hart’s website, www. elkGroveHART.org. You can either use PayPal for monthly support, or contribute by mailing your gift to P.O. Box 1343, Elk Grove, CA 95759.

Elk Grove's

winter sanctuary (EGWINS) is a collaboration of over nine churches and 100 volunteers who have joined hands to help the homeless.

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Lana M. Shearer


attorney mediator

Lana M. Shearer

Empathy and compassion are perhaps not the adjectives that spring to mind when describing the attributes of an attorney. Most people tend to think of lawyers as aggressive and arrogant “hired guns” that we pay to “fight for us” and “win at all costs.” However, attorney and mediator Lana M. Shearer believes that approaching a problem with empathy, compassion, and a desire to understand, will lead to a superior outcome for all involved. Mediation provides this approach, and is a far more effective and efficient method to resolve most disputes between people than any courtroom battle. Every disagreement involves at least two people, and there exists strong emotions and fears that lie beneath the surface—that are actually the driving force of the dispute. These emotions and fears are not addressed in the courtroom. Litigated cases take years to resolve, polarize those who are involved, and inevitably leads to long-term, intense animosity between the parties. Ms. Shearer is a trained mediator who facilitates discussions, and negotiations, between the parties in a dispute and assists them to work together to both define the problem and the underlying issues, as well as brainstorm potential resolutions that are uniquely tailored to their situation. Mediation involves helping each party listen to the opposing parties’ position, without the obligation to agree with that position, and provides each party the opportunity to be truly heard and understood. The process of working together fosters compromise and cooperation, and serves to repair relationships so that the parties may work together more successfully in the future (as is often necessary). Although Ms. Shearer works primarily with couples going through a divorce, the mediation process is effective to resolve any type of dispute; whether it be employer-employee, business related, real estate, probate/estate, etc. Lana practiced primarily litigation from 1999 to 2014 in a variety of areas including: family law, estate planning, worker’s compensation, and employment law. It is her personal observation that litigation brings out the worst in people, and is stressful beyond measure to all parties, including the attorneys and witnesses. Lana opened her Law and Mediation 16. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

practice in Elk Grove in 2014, to focus on her passion for mediation and cooperative methods of dispute resolution.

Lana was raised near Linden, CA, a small rural town approximately 40 miles South-East from Elk Grove. Her parents still live in the house where she grew up, and they have been married for over 50 years. “My parent’s marriage is an amazing testament to the rewards that can result from a life-long commitment to each other and to the family, and how beautiful and fulfilling your marriage can be. It does not happen by accident or luck; it takes hard work, determination, and sacrifice to stay married to the same person for 50 years”. My parents instilled in my brother and I the importance of maintaining a good sense of humor. You cannot take yourself too seriously. There is always, always, something to smile about no matter how dismal things may seem at the moment. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Lana graduated from Linden High School and moved to Sacramento to attend California State University, where she received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, with Honors. She then attended

Law School at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, with the intention of becoming a District Attorney. Her focus shifted from criminal law, after her experiences of working in both a Criminal Defense Attorney’s private law practice and then an internship with the District Attorney’s Office.

Lana and her husband of nearly 15 years, CJ, moved from Sacramento to East Elk Grove in 2003, when the first of their two sons was born. Although Elk Grove has a population of over 163,000 people, Lana and CJ have always enjoyed the “small town” feel and the close circle of friendships that they have created over the past 13 years. It is a daily occurrence to run into families that they know at the grocery store, restaurants, and kids sporting events around town. Lana and CJ moved their family to Wilton, CA in 2011, to raise their boys so they can enjoy freedoms that are not often found within City limits such as; climbing mature trees, fishing and boating in their own pond, riding dirt bikes, and having air-soft battles in their back yard. The best part of living in Wilton, is that it has the wide open and quiet feel of country living, combined with a wonderful close knit community, and it is only a 15-minute drive into town.

Family photo by Bruce Robinson Photography, brucerobinsonphotography.com.

My parents instilled in my brother and I the importance of maintaining a good sense of humor. You cannot take yourself too seriously. There is always, always, something to smile about no matter how dismal things may seem at the moment. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

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Medical Spa

Dr. Dayle A. Imperato

I am a board certified Anesthesiologist, that has been in practice for the last 25 years. Nine years ago, I started Rejuvenation Medical Spa in Elk Grove—where I have lived since 1990. Initially, the business offered Botox, filler, and skin care with medical grade skin care products. About three years ago, I attended a symposium offered by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). It was an amazing three days of information that was not available anywhere else. I immediately signed up for, and have completed, a Fellowship in Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, which includes much more than bio-identical hormone replacement. I now offer both Aesthetic and Wellness Medicine at Rejuvenation Medical Spa. A large majority of the patient population is stressed out to the max, overweight despite all of their efforts, and has poor vitality. They are not getting better; they are simply being managed. Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, diabetes, fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome are increasing at an alarming rate. 18. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016


Dr. Dayle A. Imperato


degenerative diseases are preventable! Instead of treating patients’ symptoms, after they have the disease—treating the cause of the disease, will improve patients’ quality of physical, mental and sexual lives.

Unfortunately, the present medical system is focused on symptom management only, instead of disease prevention and wellness maintenance. Traditional medical training does not focus on disease prevention, or the patient as an individual. Modern medicine is deceptive as it does not help patients; it simply patches up their symptoms, to later deal with the negative side effects of treatment.

I prescribe medicines, nutraceuticals, hormones and lifestyle interventions that are based on your individual biochemistry and physiology. If your wellbeing is restored using bio-identical hormones, correcting nutrient depletions, cleaning up the diet, fixing the gut, improving cardiovascular system, and insulin resistance...and a whole host of symptoms improve—you are on the path to wellness.

Chronic degenerative diseases are preventable! Instead of treating patients’ symptoms, after they have the disease—treating the cause of the disease, will improve patients’ quality of physical, mental and sexual lives.

Recently, the Journal of American Medical Association has called on all physicians to prescribe LIFESTYLE changes as "first line therapy" in the case of metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes. It is because of my training through the A4M that I am fully equipped to design individualized treatment protocols that are effective in reversing these processes, and therefore helping my patients regain control of their present and future lives.

The other aspect of my business still

provides aesthetics including, Botox, fillers, and skin care. Skin care is provided by Janell Schroeder, a Board Certified Medical Esthetician. Janell has many years of experience and excels at providing quality skin care for a number of skin challenges, such as acne, rosacea, hyper-pigmentation and aged skin. Rejuvenation Medical Spa has provided a free facial to women undergoing chemotherapy, since our conception. Additionally, I donate my time and expertise to make recommendations of nutriceuticals that can support their journey through the process. I also personally make an organic radiation salve that protects and heals the skin from radiation burns, which I offer, free of cost, to women undergoing radiation therapy.

We also offer the enormously popular HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) diet. We have had patients avoid gastric bypass surgery by losing over 100 pounds on our HCG diet. It is also the perfect diet for a quick 20-30 pound weight loss for special events, or as a start on a longer term weight loss program and live style change. Rejuvenation Medical Spa is proud to be a part of the Elk Grove Community, and I look forward to working in this community for many more years.

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Jean Foletta

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

You’ll Find Elk Grove’s Transit Manager, Jean Foletta By Kristyn Nelson

The first public transportation in California was in-

troduced by John Whistman, in 1849. His dilapidated French omnibus, pulled by mules and mustangs, transported travelers from San Francisco to San Jose for thirty-two dollars or two ounces of gold, the equivalent of about $600 today. The trip, oneway, took about six hours (in good weather). And by 1850, routes to Stockton, Sacramento, Marysville, and mining destinations all over the region, were added by new companies fueled by a hefty demand for service and the prospect of profits. 20. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

You could say Elk Grove was founded thanks to public transportation. In 1850, James Hall built a hotel and stage stop near a grove of oak trees now known as Elk Grove Park. And Elk Grove was one of many stops along the historic Lincoln Highway.

Public transportation has come a long way since the stagecoach days. Cities, including Elk Grove, traded horse-drawn for horsepower long ago. Today’s public transportation systems provide a safe, affordable way for commuters, families, students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities to live, work, and travel.

In 2005, five years following its incorporation, Elk Grove launched e-tran, the City’s own public transit system providing local and commuter bus service. In 2007, e-tran was named “Outstanding Public Transportation System” by the American Public Transport Association. Today, working with Regional


Jean Foletta

Encouraging the public to adopt a lifestyle that includes the use of more public transportation needs to be part of our future,” said Foletta. “We can do that by improving our service, expanding our options, and connecting our system with other regional partners.

Transit and other providers, e-tran connects nearly 3,000 passengers daily to work, school, and other destinations.

Keeping the wheels in motion is Jean Foletta, Elk Grove’s Transit Manager. Jean moved to Elk Grove with her husband, Art, and took the reins for Elk Grove’s system in 2013 with more than a decade of experience in transit management. “Honestly, I never thought I would work in transit,” says Foletta.

With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University at Stanislaus and a background in marketing, her transit career started in customer service. Her skills and strong work ethic propelled her up the ladder into management and operations positions at the San Joaquin Regional Transit District, and later with Stanislaus County.

“My work there [San Joaquin Regional Transit District] gave me a chance to learn every aspect of transit service delivery, and it has helped me tremendously in my current role.” In Elk Grove, Jean oversees a fleet of 58 fixed route and 8 Paratransit buses, four city staff, and a cadre of contracted drivers and staff. She manages a $10 million annual budget that relies heavily on federal funding and grants to maintain a self-sustaining system. Her job requires a strong sense for the big picture and a command for the daily details.

“We serve a diverse clientele. Some of our passengers are seniors, teens, or individuals with disabilities who have special needs. Our service should deliver them safely and on-time to their destination, with care and compassion.”

and throughout the region in the future. The analysis and public input collected through the process will be used to develop an Action Plan that will guide transit service improvements for the next 5-10 years.

“Would I want to wait? Would my daughter want to wait? We need to deliver the kind of service that we want to receive. That’s my goal.”

Last fall, Regional Transit extended the Light Rail Blue Line to Cosumnes River College. E-tran buses now provide regular service to the CRC station to help residents make that vital connection to Light Rail. Moreover, city officials want Light Rail’s progression south to continue. Future phases of Light Rail leading into Elk Grove could provide multimodal opportunities for residents, and students, as well as employees and future employers. A site near the highly anticipated Outlet Collection has been identified for a multimodal station.

Customer service is a high priority for Jean. Working with a new General Manager at MV Transportation, the city’s contractor for drivers, Jean has made operational improvements that put customer service first.

And while customer service is key, a bus is a must. New additions to the e-tran fleet are making it easier to implement timely service. Twenty-one new or refurbished units have been added in the past two years. “Currently, it takes about an hour to cross town on our system. Having more buses on the road with direct and more frequent routes could make transit a more viable alternative for our community.”

Big changes could be on the horizon for Elk Grove’s public transportation system. The City is in the midst of a Comprehensive Transit Analysis to determine how the system can effectively and efficiently connect riders to destinations in Elk Grove,

“Encouraging the public to adopt a lifestyle that includes the use of more public transportation needs to be part of our future,” said Foletta. “We can do that by improving our service, expanding our options, and connecting our system with other regional partners.”

The future of Elk Grove’s transit system offers tremendous possibilities, and Jean and her team are keeping an eye to the future as they roll out service daily to their passengers. “I love working for Elk Grove,” said Foletta. “It’s a great, great place to work and in my mind a great place to live.”

ardentforlife.net   21



My Career Choice

A Perfect Fit

By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

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How many times, in your entire life, have you heard an individual say, “My career choice is a perfect fit?” When enjoying dinner with your friends and family do they exclaim, “I love my job, and hate to leave work at the end of the day.” I am venturing to say that your answer is, “Nope, I’ve never heard anyone say that.” Instead, what you hear are heart-wrenching stories about individuals feeling trapped in their job. Their frenzied eyes invoke the image of a hamster as it goes around and around on a wheel—going nowhere. As your friend, or family member, weeps bitter tears into their entrée… you search for a catchphrase that will lift their spirits, and come up empty handed. All of us have worked lame jobs, typically when we were in high school. We worked the five-to-nine shift to buy fun teenage stuff. We could put up with a creepy employer, or a boring job for a couple of hours

a day because it wasn’t… like forever. Nevertheless, after we graduate from high school and put our time and expense toward attending college, we should attain our dream job upon graduation from college. Sadly, this is not always the case in the reality of life as an adult. I teach at a community college and a portion of my job is advising students. It really makes sense for the college to utilize faculty in advising, because we know the students that are in our classes. In addition to being an instructor to my students, I am also their biggest fan. I want all my students to succeed, from the smart mouthed student with a bad attitude—to the student that studiously writes down every word that I impart. Exploring classes, and ultimately a student’s career choice, is in many cases going to impact them for the rest of their lives. With this in mind, it is important that a student knows which path they want to take toward a specific career. My job, as an adviser, is to guide them to take a career as-



Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.


sessment. The majority of colleges have a free career assessment that is located on their web site. It is a valuable tool for both traditional and non-traditional students (students who didn’t just graduate from high school). In the career assessment, it will give a series of activities related to a work environment. The individual taking the test will answer the questions depending on how much they like, or dislike a given activity. When the test is finished, the assessment will give career recommendations based on the interests that were stated. If you desire a career change and have a burning desire to go to college, look up the web site of the college you are considering. They will have a page designed to help you find a good career by providing the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training. This is a tool that can be used to assist in finding a career that is a perfect f it for you. After you have explored the options available, call the college and set up an appointment with an adviser. This is a crucial step, as the adviser will help you schedule your classes so they fit around your other responsibilities. In addition, the adviser will know if a class will transfer to another college. Life is too short to be stuck in a career that you don’t enjoy. If you can’t go to a campus and need a flexible learning schedule— you can take online courses. In addition, there are continuing education classes for recertification, and occupational trade’s classes for certificates. The sky is the limit when it comes to a new career, the first step is up to you. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ardentforlife.net   23


How to keep at least of your New Year’s resolutions

Written by Theresa Carter Geoffroy, Esq.

New Year’s resolutions---someone said these resolutions were made only to be broken before the first few months of the New Year have passed. Besides the usual resolutions—losing weight, getting healthier, or quitting smoking, the top 10 of all New Year’s resolutions also include: spending less money, saving more money, and getting organized. Are you one of the 40% of Americans who have made a New Year’s resolution? Although estate planning may not help you lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle, creating an estate plan may help you stick with at least three of the top 10 resolutions. In addition, you can join the ranks of the 8% of Americans who actually stick to their resolutions.

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Estate planning saves time and money.

When you either become incapacitated or pass away, how your assets are managed depends on whether you have a plan in place. If you have not done any planning, then you and your assets may end up in probate court. The average probate in Sacramento County is between 9 months to 2 years, and could last much longer if you are incapacitated and under the court’s supervision for as long as you have the ailment. Probate court is expensive! For example, if you became incapacitated and your loved ones do not have the proper legal authority to act on your behalf, they may have to obtain a conservatorship through the probate court in order to manage you and your assets. The going legal fee for a simple conservatorship is around $5,000.00 and this does not include all of the other fees and costs associated with the conservatorship process. Another example of the probate costs is death probate. If you do not properly plan and there are assets titled in your name at your death, your loved ones will have to go to court in order to determine who will get those assets. Death probate costs, on the average, around 6-8%


How many minutes or even hours are lost looking for your keys, your wallet, or other important items? As such, getting organize always makes it to the top ten of New Year’s resolutions.

of the gross value of your estate. So if you have an estate with a $300,000 gross value, probate will cost around $19,370.00. Estate planning saves time, as it provides for incapacitation and death without the need to go to probate court. Additionally, estate planning saves money. Preparing a comprehensive estate plan in Sacramento County costs between $2,000 and $5,000, on average. The estate plan will enable someone else to take care of you and your loved ones if and when you can’t; it will allow you to give what you want, to whom you want, how you want, and when you want; it will avoid delays; maintain your privacy; and it will save you money. By doing your estate plan, you can accomplish two of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions!

Estate planning organizes your assets.

The lack of being organized causes delays and increase costs. How many minutes or even hours are lost looking for your keys, your wallet, or other important items? As such, getting organize always makes it to the top ten of New Year’s resolutions. Well, estate planning puts all of your assets into one central repository. I create for my clients an “Owner’s Manual.” The Owner’s Manual is all the successor agents need in order to carry on the affairs. The Owner’s Manual contains all of the legal documents such as the trust, wills, power of attorneys, and advanced health care directives. In addition, the Owner’s Manual lists all of the assets; a location list or where important items are kept, and a list of phone numbers of not only close friends and relatives, but also key advisors and the human resources department. Having a central repository, that is easily accessible, is very important for your loved ones especially in times of crisis or stressful situations. By doing your estate plan, you can accomplish another one of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions! Estate planning is a great way to save time, save money, and to get organize. Come in for a free one-hour consultation (a $250.00 value) so we can discuss how estate planning can help you accomplish your goals. Theresa Carter Geoffroy www.geoffroylaw.com (916) 572-1998 9401 East Stockton Blvd., Suite 140, Elk Grove, CA. ardentforlife.net   25

community} happenings

Law Office of Theresa Carter Geoffroy

client’s appreciation Breakfast Every year the Law Office of Theresa Carter Geoffroy hosts a client’s appreciation, wherein all clients are invited to attend a free breakfast and a Successor Trustee seminar, along with other topics of interest. This appreciation is the firm’s way of saying “thank you” to clients for their business, their referrals, and their constant support of the firm. The seminar is needed because a lot of people do not know how to administer a trust, in the event they suddenly become a trustee due to incapacity or death. Theresa always says that you can hire the very best architect to design your dream home, but it you hire an inexperienced general contractor, your home may not be built to your specifications. Same thing with a trust, her clients hire the best legal representation to design and draft the trust, but if the successor trustees are ill-prepared, the administration of the trust may go awry. As such, after attending the client appreciation, the clients, and their successors, have the tools they need to efficiently administer the trust. Over the

26. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

years, these annual appreciation breakfasts have increased from 12 persons, at our very first event, to over 60 at this year’s event.

This year’s event also featured guest speaker, Steve Sutley, who gave very useful information on the status of the financial markets. The guests found Mr. Sutley’s presentation informative and timely, given the current volatility of the financial markets. The firm also likes to give away different gifts or door prizes. This year, the firm gave away one fireproof, waterproof safe—it was a very exciting moment.

This event is a way to stay connected with every client in an informal setting. Our clients enjoy seeing the members of the firm, just as much as we like seeing our clients. Clients are already asking when the next annual appreciation will be held. If you would like to be a part of this event, all you have to do is become a client of the Law Office of Theresa Carter Geoffroy.

ardentforlife.net   27



But We Have An Agreement

Why Is My Divorce Taking So Long? Written by Lana M. Shearer, Attorney & Mediator

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“Gee, that was easy; I can’t believe how quickly my divorce was finalized!” Said…No One… Ever, who has experienced a divorce in California. Not only does California Law require a mandatory 6-month waiting period between the filing of a Petition for Dissolution (Divorce) and obtaining a Final Judgment of Dissolution from the Court, additionally, there are many other obstacles along the way that can delay your divorce process. The mandatory waiting period in California was born from the public policy that marriage is sacred, and we must give the parties a sufficient cooling-off period to prevent rash decisions and allow the opportunity for reconciliation. During the 6-month period, there are numerous forms that must be completed and exchanged, and required forms to be filed—before the Court can legally grant you a divorce. Rarely, however, is the divorce process actually completed within that 6-month time frame. In fact, most divorces take a minimum of 18 months to complete, and, in many cases, they can take much longer. If the parties are unable to reach agreements and insist on going to court over every issue, a divorce may take several years to reach Final Judgment.

law} However, what if you and your spouse have reached complete agreement on all issues in your divorce- support, custody, and division of assets and debts- and are simply trying to have those agreements submitted to the Court and obtain your Judgment? Even with full agreements, the process of submitting a completed Judgment Package to the Court, in the proper format, with all of the required forms, can be very confusing and frustrating and often results in long delays. The courts are over-worked and understaffed, and, as a result, are backlogged in reviewing Judgment Packages. It can take the Clerk of the Court up to two months to review your Judgment Package. I have clients who come to me after trying to complete the process on their own, but have had their Judgment Package rejected by the Court Clerk. They may have attempted to correct the error and re-submit the Package, only to have it rejected again, an additional two months down the line. This is not uncommon. Most people simply do not know how to correct the error, and perhaps give up and put it on the back burner for so long that the forms become outdated and they have to start the process over again. Some of the common reasons Judgments are rejected include, but are not limited to:

a. The documents submitted are incomplete; b. The wrong number of copies were submitted and/or original signatures missing; c. The forms were outdated. Current Judicial Council and Local Forms can be obtained from the Court’s website; d. Incorrect dates on documents - does not match Court file; e. Preliminary and Final Financial Disclosures have not been served.


Sacramento County has recently implemented a procedure called “One Day Divorce” to assist self-represented parties, who do not have an attorney, to complete the necessary paperwork and finalize their divorce. The process is free to those who meet the income requirements and other criteria, and utilizes volunteer law students and local experienced attorneys to assist with the paperwork. You can learn more, and see if you qualify for this program, at: www.saccourt.ca.gov/family/oneday-divorce. In an effort to serve those couples in our community that may not meet the income requirements and other criteria necessary to qualify for the Court’s One Day Divorce process, our office is now offering a package similar to the “One Day Divorce” to motivated couples who have reached agreements on the issues in their divorce including; property division, support issues, and child custody issues. An initial consultation is necessary to determine if your case is right for this Divorce package. Please call our office at 916.226.1305 for more information, and to obtain a list of documents that you will need to gather and/or prepare to bring with you to your appointment.

ardentforlife.net   29


Single Mom Creates a Global Movement Using Social Media

By Maureen Francisco Photo by Michelle Gee Pearl

Sarah Centrella, a single mom from Portland living on food stamps, completely changed her life from poverty to living her dream in less than 18 months. After her husband abandoned her and their three small children in 2008, Sarah discovered the keys to success thanks in part to friendships she formed with several Oregon Football players including Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas and Lavasier Tuieni. She began chronicling her journey to recreate her life in 2010, through her internationally popular blog. Her story has impacted hundreds of thousands worldwide, through her simple eight-step plan for achieving success known as the #HBRMethod. Sarah’s new book Hustle Believe Receive features 51 inspiring stories of people who believe in her message, each of whom she personally interviewed for this book. Maureen Franicsco: How did you come up with the idea of writing your book Hustle Believe Receive? Sarah Centrella: In May of 2015, I had an idea for a blog series in which I interviewed five University of Oregon football players who were in five different stages of pursuing and living their dream. In that series, I wanted to see if each of them were using the same tools to achieve their success in football that I had used to achieve mine in business and my personal life. It was astonishing to see they were all using the same method to achieve their dreams. Consequently, I had the idea to interview as many successful people as I could, from all walks of life, to see if the method I’d discovered to achieve success (#HBRMethod) was found in all of their stories. That was the start of Hustle Believe Receive. Maureen Francisco: What makes Hustle Believe Receive different from any other self-help books out there? Sarah Centrella: Several things actually. First, it’s hip and urban. The book is written in a very gritty, raw, real voice, shared from the viewpoint of my own life and personal story (so it has an element of “memoir” as well). It’s also very fresh and current (all the steps are hashtags) and it’s very social media driven. Second, this book talks about all the things books normally leave out, like how to deal with the bad days and disappointment that is inevitable in our journey. It doesn’t shy away from the topics that are normally off limits in such books.

Third, it actually provides very simple, user-friendly tools to do things that everyone is telling us to do to become successful, such as “believe” in yourself or in your dream. HBR actually teaches you HOW to do that, from ground zero. It also teaches you HOW to hustle, and HOW

30. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Stop worrying. Stop waiting for tomorrow to be better. Start today, one little step at a time and never settle for the life you don’t really want.


Vision Board = #SeeIT

Eight Common Steps to Change Your Life Around:

Trip = #LiveIT

1. #DreamIT - 2. #ThinkIT - 3. #SayIT - 4. #WriteIT - 5. #SeeIT - 6. #DoIT - 7. #BelieveIT - 8. #LiveIT to dream. All things we are told to do, but never shown HOW to attain them. This is a big deal for people with no prior history with self-help concepts. They need the basics, taught simply and non-pretentiously.

Fourth, there are 51 stories of successful people, therefore, you don’t have to take my word for it! Successful people from all over the world, and every walk of life, who are proving that if you apply the #HBRMethod it will change your life and enable you to live your dream!

Maureen Francisco: When did you realize that you would not settle for mediocracy? Sarah Centrella: For years people have approached me about writing a book on my story or sharing my success tips, via eBooks and the like. I’d always politely decline, because that was never my goal. I never wanted to be an “internet guru” or famous life coach. I wanted to write a book that would be traditionally published and would affect people around the world. I was willing to wait until the time was right, to do it right. I wanted to be able to buy my book in an airport! That was my goal, so nothing short of that was ever an option for me. Maureen Francisco: Who has been your biggest inspiration and why? Sarah Centrella: My children. They have shown me what true belief is all about. They have never

32. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

questioned that I’d achieve everything I set out to accomplish. I’ve always been very open with my children about my goals, which are our family goals. They have encouraged me when I’ve been disappointed at setbacks along the way, and they’ve never wavered in their support. I can’t imagine doing this without them.

Maureen Francisco: What do you want readers to get out of your book? Sarah Centrella: I want them to realize that it doesn’t matter where they start their journey from, or what their current circumstances are, if they are committed to changing their life and living their dreams, then this book will show them how to make that happen. IT WORKS! It’s been proven time and again. It’s just a matter of commitment and desire. I want them to KNOW, not in theory, but truly KNOW that anything is possible for THEM.

Maureen Francisco: What advice do you have to give to your younger self? Sarah Centrella: It’s all going to be okay. Stop stressing. Stop worrying. Stop waiting for tomorrow to be better. Start today, one little step at a time and never settle for the life you don’t really want. Know that no matter what life throws at you, there is a reason for it. Find that reason, move through the hard times with grace, and believe that everything is going to be okay in the end.

Maureen Francisco: Tell us more about the eight-common step guide to changing your life and living your dream. Sarah Centrella: They are really so simple, and all the things that successful people do without ever even thinking about it. I think what makes them revolutionary is that they are all eight components to success used together, like a puzzle to get fast-targeted results. I also present them in a very new and different way, my clients tell me that it’s this presentation, which allows them to have those “light bulb moments” where they are truly understanding these concepts for the first time. Each step also has homework and encourages the reader to keep a journal of his/her own story as he/she reads and apply the #HBRMethod. The steps include #DreamIT, #ThinkIT, #SeeIT, #DoIT and #BelieveIT. Maureen Francisco: What is next for Sarah? Sarah Centrella: I plan to continue growing my coaching business. Currently I have six trained and certified HBR Coaches around the world, coaching clients on the #HBRMethod. We plan to grow that to 100 in 2016. I also teach an online 10 week #HBRBootcamp, which is constantly growing. My dream is to turn Hustle Believe Receive into a feature film or TV Show. In addition, I will continue to share my story at live events. And of course I will need to start writing my next book!

For more information on Sarah Centrella, visit www.sarahcentrella.com.

At PDF Realty, we listen, we care, and we respond. It’s our commitment to you coupled with our range of services that places PDF in its own category. We are able to serve you in every area of residential real estate including investment, consulting, and Short Sale and REO bank services. Our team of real estate professionals proudly serve clients and projects throughout California no matter the size or location. When we represent our sellers, we use all the latest technology and old fashioned hard work. PDF Realty’s Professional REALTORS® make sure that your property is exposed to the most buyers in the shortest amount of time. As a buyer, you don’t buy just a house when you move – you make decisions about ‘location, location, and location’, the schools, recreation, shopping, transportation, etc. Our Professional Real Estate Agents will work tirelessly to find the home of your dreams or sell your property in the least amount of time for the most money.


Residential Commercial 9477 Kirkleigh Way, Elk Grove, CA 95624 5bed, 3bath, 2999sqft. $489,500.00 MLS# 15070787 Debbie Pettenger - (916)812-8226 CalBRE# 01801944 Hannah Jungkeit - (916)842-8118 CalBRE# 01903656 "Motivated Sellers! Submit an offer. Hardwood floors, tiled entry/hallway, 2-way stair entry into the living & family rooms. 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, & large family room. Fireplaces in family room & master bedroom. Walk-in pantry. Refrigerator included. Rear yard features palm trees & shrubs surrounding large remote pool w/ sheer descent waterfall & spa."

Development Property Management

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PDF Realty 9381 East Stockton Blvd. Suite 200. Elk Grove, CA. CaBRE #01890510



Our Professional Commercial Real Estate Team is here to take care of all the details so that your transaction is as smooth as possible whether you are selling, buying or leasing property.

Leasing and Sales - Consulting - REOs - Tenant Representation - Seller Representation PDFCommercial.com Liberty Center II 9381 E. Stockton Bl., Suite 200 Elk Grove, California 95624 916.714.8012 Office - 888.808.9441 Toll Free - 916.714.8652 FAX - Info@PDFCommercial.com

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Serving Real Estate Buyers and Sellers in Sacramento, Placer, Amador, El Dorado, Yolo, San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties.

Paul Frank President

Tammy Rayfield Chief Executive Officer

Martha Glunt Senior Office Administrator

Bekah Whalen Office Associate and Transaction Coordinator

Hannah Jungkeit Associate, PDF Commercial

Zack CheneyVice President PDF Commercial

Debra Pettenger Chief Operating Officer, PDF Residential

Ryan Zackon Chief Operating Officer, PDF Tactical

Mike Rayfield Vice President, Tactical

Matt Rodrigo Sr. Vice President of Sales, PDF Tactical

Hannah Jungkeit Realtor, PDF Realty

Shirley Menasco Realtor, PDF Realty

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Jeanette Segura Realtor, PDF Realty

Dominick Adorno Realtor PDF Realty

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PDF-Realty.com Our Management Team at PDF Realty has extensive background in every facet of real estate, and we are committed to helping our agents achieve their collective goals as well as an unwavering duty to the betterment of our clients and the communities in which we are privileged to live and work. PDF Realty is expanding throughout the Sacramento Valley and surrounding areas.

As a Realtor who wants to work for a company dedicated to you being a success, We invite you to find out more about us. Please contact us at 916.753.1878.

ardent contents

love 10. I'm Engaged! Now What?

16. Ian & Brooke

20. Rob & Teresa

Design 24. Be Inspired

food & flavor 30. Bakerest Old Fashioned Beef Stew 32. wine Cool Weather Says Cabernet


Art 34. Jay DeWald Jazz

36. local book reviews 40. Book Reviews Sacramento Public Library

Health 42. Staff Favorites Elk Grove Vitamins


48. Gastrointestinal Health Rejuvenation Medical Spa

family 50. Choosing to Major in Math Mathnasium 52. babywearing GradePower

...36 42. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

54. Fight or Flight Sher Khan


Natasha Barron


Contributor’s Corner




What was your favorite adventure of 2015?

Owner of Kaia Fit Franklin.

Jennifer Clapp

I am a Fine Art Film Photographer based in Sacramento. My goal is to create simple and timeless images, capturing emotions and memories as you experience it.

Theresa Geoffroy

The Law Office of Theresa Carter Geoffroy focuses on working with families and individuals throughout Northern California.

Kendra Holman

Is the owner of Love Junky Boutique in Elk Grove, California. Before becoming a business owner, she was an Associate Professor of English at Folsom Lake College.

Dr. Dayle A. Imperato

A Board Certified physician, she has served the Sacramento community for the past 20 years. Owner of Rejuvenation Medical Spa in Old Town, Elk Grove.

Heather Larrabee

Has a masters in Mathematics Education and is owner of Mathnasium in Elk Grove.

Nan Mahon

Gigi Mallatt

Not only did we welcome another little princess into the world, I took on a complete rebrand for the direction of my business. Being a "mompreneur" is not easy, but I LOVE being able to show my girls the value of following dreams and never giving up!

is an author and journalist. She is a member City of Elk Grove Committee for the arts and received the Elk Grove 2011 Mayor’s Award for volunteerism in the Arts.

Gigi Mallatt Events

We are a boutique wedding and event planning company located Sacramento, servicing all of Northern California.

Carole Morris

Instructional Specialist, Author and Adjunct Professor. The proud mom of two perfect children and grammie to three flawless grandchildren.

Kristyn Nelson

Public Affairs Manager of the City of Elk Grove, CA.

Barrie Olmstead

Adult Materials Selector at Sacramento Public Library.

Elizabeth Pinkerton

Teacher and Administrator for 40 years, she is now a historian and author.

Colleen Riley

Colleen studied photojournalism at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, and is the owner of Colleen Riley Photography.

Ariele Ross

Five time marathoner, wife, mother of 3 and owner of The Running Zone in Elk Grove.

Lana M. Shearer

Mike Chan Saevang In 2015, my wife Jenny, and our children Lillian 6 and Wesly 2, drove to Las Vegas for our annual family road trip. I admit, going to Vegas may not be the best destination with kids, but we planned the whole trip around them and made sure to hit all the kid-friendly spots including M&M World and Circus Circus. For me it’s not about the destination, but about being with each other and the adventure that we take together.

Ms. Shearer of Lana M. Shearer Law and Mediation Services is a Elk Grove resident, who earned her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Mike Chan Saevang

Owner, and photographer, of Mike Chan Photography providing portrait and wedding photography for Elk Grove and beyond.

Zina Sheya

Has been in Interior design for 18 years. Award winning and featured in multiple publications. She is the owner of Zina Sheya Designs.

Dianna Singh

Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins for the past 4 years.

Chris Tanaka

Owner/Senior Instructor of Sher Khan Karate. He is a 5th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate.

David Vallerga and Lindsey Peralta

Owners of Grade Power Learning in Elk Grove.

Johna Whitley

Owner of Kaia Fit Elk Grove.

For full bios for our contributors, please visit www.ardentforlife.net. 44. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Ariele Ross

Disney World in Orlando Florida. My husband and I thought it would be a good idea to hop a plane to sunny (and humid) Florida in August, with 4 kids in tow. After several bottles of water, hitting all the water rides in the park with lots of smiles on our children's faces, we conquered Disney World. Mickey never knew what hit him!

On the Cover Cover Girl

See model, Samantha Nicole Terry, on page 10 in our wedding article "I’'m Engaged! Now What? Written by Gigi Mallatt Events and photographed by Colleen Riley Photography. Full credits and vendor list can be found on page 14.

You can now subscribe to Ardent for Life! Visit ardentforlife.net to sign up!

creative director


business manager



Sara Pinnell

Mrs. and Mr. Publishing

art & production

executive editor




Mrs. and Mr. Design

Justin Pinnell

Carole Morris

View Ardent for Life online at www.ardentforlife.net Copyright Š 2016 Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Published by Mrs. and Mr. Publishing six times a year Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ardentforlifeelkgrove Ardent For Life is distributed in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi, and every point in between. Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions at info@mrsandmrpublishing.com Interested in increasing your business and partnering with Ardent For Life? Check out www.ardentforlife.net.

ardent f o r

l i f e

Checking In I hear the whispers of spring, and I am truly thrilled. The newness and beauty of plants, as they start emerging from the ground, are an inspiration to all who take the time to enjoy them. While you anticipate spring, take a moment and enjoy this issue of Ardent for Life magazine. Let us inspire you, as you prepare to leap and dance into spring. executive editor

Carole Morris


WHAT DID WE LEARN AFTER READING THIS ISSUE? There is plethora of information in this issue, so I will mention just

a couple. “Be inspired” by Zina Sheya Designs, challenges us to do a

facelift. What? … Thankfully not on ourselves, but a facelift on tired furniture we may have in our home. This is an unsurpassable project to occupy us, as we wait for spring activities to begin.

In addition, there is an inspiring article on “Something Cool about Jazz and Jay Dewald”. This article is about a man who began his

journey, into the music world, when he was in the 4th grade. When Jay was given a brass horn, as a young boy, he knew it was going to

be his future. This story is encapsulated by J.R.R. Tolkien, “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”



I’'m Engaged! Now What?

By Gigi Mallatt Events Photography by Colleen Riley Photography

Engagement season is in full effect! Your social media feed is blowing up with the ultimate “ring shot” announcement, and the energy in the air amongst the newly engaged is simply dreamy. If you received that special proposal this season, I have two words for you…. KEEP READING! This is a very special time in your life. You’re surrounded by love, from family and friends rejoicing your engagement. However, now you’re face to face with the fact that you have to start planning a wedding. Your mind starts reliving every single wedding you’ve attended, or taken part in, and you’re justifiably stumped. To alleviate some of your stress, I’ve compiled a few steps to ensure you are on the right track to planning a successful wedding.

Step 1 - Enjoy the Moment

Very rarely does a newly engaged couple enjoy their engagement. When you two take the time to appreciate the epic moment that just transpired (your engagement), you’ll be in a better place to move forward with the actual planning.

Step 2 - Set a (realistic) Budget

Absolutely no planning should take place before you have decided on a budget. Whether you will be paying for the wedding on your own, or will have the assistance from parents, this is an important conversation that needs to happen. Once the formality of who is contributing to the wedding, and how much they will be contributing, is decided—you are in a good position to move forward. 48. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Step 3 - Pick a Date (or season)

Pick out a few dates. Nevertheless, try not to have your heart set on an exact date. You don’t want to have your heart set on a specific venue only to find out that one day, you wanted to get married, is not available. However, you should definitely pick a season. This will help visualize the type of wedding you want, and you can then start adding all of the different components.

Step 4 - Create a Guest List

Refer to your budget for this. You have to be realistic with how much you will be investing, and how many people you would like to invite. Ideally, the smaller your budget the less people you will want to invite. If you want to invite more, your budget will have to match that number. Many believe that you have to

invite everyone you know. The truth is… you don’t. Think about the experience you would like to have, and provide for your guests. Invite those that you would like to share that moment with.

Step 5 - Hire a Wedding Planner

It was once a commonality that hiring a wedding planner was a luxury; however, more and more couples are seeing the value that one provides. Maybe you are attending school fulltime or have a very demanding career. Planning a wedding is a full-time job. From finding the perfect venue/vendors, attending appointments, to reviewing contracts, and deciding on a specific style to create a cohesive look. The list only continues to grow, so once you have found a planner that you mesh well with and trust, the assistance they provide is invaluable.


style Step 6

Determining your style is the preliminary to searching for a venue. Do you want an outdoor wedding? Do you want a tent? Full service at that ritzy hotel you absolutely adore? Maybe you want a vineyard wedding with an emphasis on wine. These are a few questions that you want to ask yourself, and will help in sourcing that perfect venue. ardentforlife.net   49


a style, or design for your wedding is more than picking a color palette and matching some flowers and napkins. Think about the experience and feeling that you want to have and provide for your guests.

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Step 7

Sourcing that perfect venue is not as simple as, liking something and booking it! Make a list of questions that answer your “wants and needs” in a venue, to narrow down your search. Will your venue allow outside vendors? Will it allow outside food and/or beverage? You have criteria that you are trying to meet [i.e. guest count, budget, and so much more]; therefore, you want to make sure you do your research very thoroughly before you start scheduling your venue tours.

Step 8 - Style & Design

Picking a style, or design for your wedding is more than picking a color palette and matching some flowers and napkins. When assisting my clients in the style and design of their space, I advise them to think about the experience and feeling that they want to have and provide for their guests. Whether it’s a palette pleasing culinary journey, or a lush and romantic space that exudes love and happiness, the point is to CREATE an unforgettable experience.

Step 9 - Vendors

One of the reasons my clients come to me is because they are looking for professional sourcing. They are overwhelmed with all of the choices available to them, and unsure who will be a good floral match, or which photographer captures that fine art quality that they’re looking for. Most importantly, are they even within your budget? Research all of your potential vendors by visiting their website, read their reviews, visit their social media, and most importantly—meet with them! Before you sign on the dotted line, you want to make sure that you connect, and fully trust that they will deliver what you’re looking for.

Step 10 - Dress Shopping

Yes! Wedding dress shopping is an experience all on its own. Whether you are gathering up your family and friends, or keeping it intimate with your nearest and dearest, find a boutique that carries the style you are looking for. If you are interested in a specific designer, call ahead to ensure they carry that designer. If you have already picked out your dress via your online search, and have your heart set on that specific dress, I suggest that you still keep an open mind when attending your appointment. Your bridal stylist does this day in and day out, so when they make a suggestion for a specific style or dress; hear them out! ardentforlife.net   51


Vendor Credits: Photography: Colleen Riley Photography Planning & Design: Gigi Mallatt Events Bridal Dress: Enchanted Bridal Shoppe Florals: Viola’s Floral Design Cake: Paper Heart Patisserie Paperie: Throne Invitations Hair & Makeup: Lea Buehler B Gorgeous Model: Samantha Nicole Terry Linens: La Tavola Tabletop Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals Furniture Rentals: Pop Event Rentals & Designs Venue: The Flower Farm

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Final Planning Stage Step 11

About two months before your wedding day, it starts to get a bit hectic when communicating with vendors. If you are not planning on hiring a planner to assists with the final planning stage, you definitely want to make sure you take some time off to meet with your vendors and your venue. Final counts and last minute changes need to be provided. In addition to scheduling your rehearsal/rehearsal dinner, and creating and communicating a timeline with all your vendors and venue. The more organized you remain, at this point, the less stressed you will be. Wow! That was a plethora of information that I know will help you get on the right track to planning your wedding. My final piece of advice is, continue to enjoy your engagement! This is a time you want to cherish and appreciate.


Ian& Brooke Photographed by

Jennifer Clapp Photography www.jenniferclappphotography.com

Who are you? Brooke : Brooke Lenzi. I haven't legally changed my last name yet, but I plan to very soon! I'm an independent filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Ian: Ian Friedman. I'm a whisky enthusiast, and I develop television shows at Comedy Central. How did you meet? We were set up by friends. Yes, that can actually work!

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The Proposal? Honestly, it was pretty stressful. Although the setting was gorgeous (a hike in Mt. Charleston, Nevada) our nerves were on high alert. Ian wanted it to be perfect, and I knew he was going to propose. The hike was much more crowded than Ian anticipated, which made it difficult to find a quiet moment to propose. We waited a solid five minutes for hikers to pass us, so Ian could go down on one knee and pull out the ring. Once it was over, we were elated and exhausted. We celebrated by seeing the Cirque du Soleil show ONE, and having dinner that evening in Las Vegas.



ardentforlife.net   55



About the Magical Day

Photographer: Jennifer Clapp Photography

Wedding Dress: J. Crew

Venue: Wine & Roses

Bridesmaid's Dress: J. Crew

Florist: Blossoms by Lisa Cake: Freeport Bakery DJ: Elite DJ Entertainment Musician Doug Pauly (guitarist)

What is love? Brooke: Love is taking your husband to swim with otters for his birthday, cooking his favorite recipe (turkey meatballs), accepting him whole heartedly, and being there for him through bad days and victorious ones. What is love? Ian: Love is growth and acceptance. Love is caring and showing how much that special person means to you. Love is learning and forgiveness. Love is the seed from which all good things grow.

What do you love most about him? His ability to feel and love deeply. His love for animals, namely our domestic short haired cat Justin Bieber (Ian named him). His bottomless well of kindness, that he shows to me and those near and dear to him every day. I love that he brings me espresso in bed every morning. And most importantly, his humor. Ian can make me laugh harder than anyone else. What do you love most about her? Her inextinguishable positively. Her need to

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be creative and express herself through her work. Her capacity to love and accept me for who I am (which I'm sure can be difficult at times). She's also incredibly beautiful both inside and out. She's so uncommonly goodnatured. She's just a good egg... plain and simple.

When did you know you were in love? Brooke: I knew by the end of the second date. He was everything I had always wanted in a partner and more. It was so effortless and fun. I finally felt in my bones that I had met the man I was going to marry. When did you know you were in love? Ian: Pretty early on, after a few dates at the most. I think what really made it evident was, after a few weeks of dating I went with a really close friend of mine to a concert/ festival in Las Vegas. Normally, I would have had an incredibly fun time... but it was mediocre at best, because all I could think about was how much better of a time I would have had with her alongside me. So I thought that was probably a pretty good indicator that

Hair and Makeup Wine & Roses Salon Tux Rentals: Men's Warehouse Rings: Kravit Jewelers

she was the one for me. Now we go everywhere together and it's a lot more fun.

Honeymoon plans We went to Kauai, two days after our wedding, for a week and a half. Despite the fact that Brooke was sick, we did it all! We stayed in the south first (Poipu), and the north second (Princeville) because we wanted to experience everything the island had to offer. We took a helicopter ride, went to botanical gardens, ate delicious meals etc. We can't wait to go back!

Wedding details We got married at Wine & Roses in Lodi, CA. We wanted a venue that was comfortable, beautiful, and within proximity to Brooke's hometown of Sacramento. We also wanted a place that offered luxury lodging, since a lot of guests traveled from Los Angeles, and the East Coast. Wine & Roses has a critically acclaimed day spa, a swanky pool, and is nestled amongst dozens of wineries, which gave our guests lots to see and do during their stay.



Who are you? Teresa: My name is Teresa Jamie

Soriano-Salas. I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Guam and moved to California in 2001. I worked in neuropsych research and was a behavioral therapist for children with Autism. I am currently working on my Master’s degree in occupational therapy, and will be graduating this year. I enjoy spending time with my family, watching horror movies, sports, and eating delicious food. When the fitness bug hits me, I pick up the kettlebell, hit the weights at the gym, or take kickboxing classes. The treadmill is my worst enemy, it makes me feel like a hamster. Rob: My name is Rob Salas. I am also from the beautiful island of Guam and met my wife during my senior year of high school. I was formerly an attorney/CPA working for one of the big 4 accounting firms in San Francisco. In February of 2015, I moved back home to Guam to help run my family businesses, Landscape Management Systems, Inc. I share all of the interests Teresa described above which

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makes us a perfect match! Despite our similarities, however, we have some stark contrasts which keeps the relationship interesting and allows us to complement each other.

How did you meet?

Our romance started in high school back in 2000. My junior prom was fast approaching; I had a new dress, new shoes, and purchased 2 prom tickets but had no date. I attended an allgirls Catholic school so every dance at our high school was a Sadie-Hawkins dance. My shy personality made it difficult to ask a boy to take me to prom. My strict Filipino parents suggested that I take one of my cousins, however, I shot down that suggestion pretty quick. I was resigned to the idea of going solo, but luckily I had friends who delighted in matchmaking. My friends met Rob, through their boyfriends at the time, and they convinced him to take me to the prom. He was actually invited to the same prom by another girl, but chose to take me as a favor to his friends. His

only condition was to see a picture of the girl he would have to take to prom. According to Rob, when he saw my picture he thought there must be something wrong with my personality—since I had a hard time finding a date. After my friends convinced him that I was just shy and not evil, he agreed to be my date. We got to know each other better during prom, and kept in touch afterwards. It turned out we had a lot of things in common. Three months later, Rob concocted a plan, with the help of our friends, to surprise me with a picnic at the hotel/ beach where the prom was held. We officially became a couple on July 8, 2000 and have been in love since.

The Proposal? The proposal was perfect. Rob wanted to propose on Guam at the same hotel/beach where I had my prom, and where he asked me to be his girlfriend. He flew us out to Guam from California under false pretenses. Little did I know that weeks before flying out, he had asked my parents for my hand in marriage and picked out an engage-

ment ring with our siblings. Rob chose Star Wars day (May 4th, 2014) as the date of his proposal (I guess he wanted the Force on his side that day). He hired a photographer/videographer to secretly document the event and enlisted his family to help recreate the day he initially asked me out. On the day of the proposal, Rob led me down the same path we took 14 years before, and reminisced about the last time we were there. I was clueless, I thought we were just waiting for his family to arrive for dinner. We reached the beach area and walked over to a familiar looking picnic basket with champagne, flowers, and a cake laid out on a blanket. At this point, I still had no clue what was going on until Rob turned me towards him and told me how he felt about us and our future. He knelt down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked me to marry him. My mind went blank and I was in shock. I kept asking him if the whole thing was real, he chuckled and said that it was all real. I finally got it together and said, “YES!”


Rob& Teresa


Photographed by

Mike Chan Photography www.mikechanphotography.com



What is love? Teresa: Love is when you sing Adam Sandler’s song “Grow Old with You” to a person and mean every word you say. Rob: Words truly cannot describe what love is. All I know is that I’ve felt it for Teresa for the past 15 years and the feeling grows every day.

What do you love most about him? Rob is very intelligent, athletic, kind, handsome, funny, and hard-working. I love all these things about him, but what I love the most is the way he loves his family. Seeing how much he loves his family made it so much easier for me to say, “Yes.” This is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, the man I choose to be the father of my children, the man I will count on to be at my side when I’m older and sexier.” What do you love most about her?

Teresa has a great heart and has the values I want my children to have. She is beautiful and doesn’t even know it. Plus, she is witty and makes life so much more enjoyable.

When did you know you were in love?

Teresa: Summer was ending and Rob was on his way to start college in California. I remember staying up one night wondering about what will happen to us when the time comes for him to leave. It was something we never discussed. I knew I loved him when I told myself that I will accept whatever he decides regarding our relationship because his happiness and success should come first.

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When did you know you were in love? Rob: I am not sure if I can pin it down to a single “ah ha” moment. However, I know I certainly started to panic when I realized I would be leaving for college and she would be away in Guam. I could not imagine a life without Teresa, but I knew that finishing school was important for our future. At that time, I realized I was already thinking about our future, and even as a teenager I knew that I was willing to make sacrifices to build a future with her. Yes, I told her I loved her all the way back in high school and I clearly meant it! Fun facts

We were in a 10-year long distance relationship and have effectively spent most of our relationship long distance. Currently, we reversed our roles in high school as I am now in Guam and she is in California. The time apart makes us grateful for every moment we have with each other and has actually strengthened our bond. Needless to say, we have been collecting a lot of frequent flyer miles. In his college freshman year, Rob took on two part time jobs to pay for a plane ticket to fly back to Guam to attend Teresa’s senior prom.

Two of Teresa’s prized possession are Rob’s childhood teddy bear, which he gave her before he left for college, and his “I saw it first” Star Wars t-shirt that she won in a bet they made. Teresa’s veil was about 15 ft. long.

They flew in a 7 ft. knight for the wedding.

Honeymoon plans

Our honeymoon was full of romance and memories to last us a lifetime. We flew out to Rome, Italy and went on a 10-day Mediterranean Cruise. We visited different cities in Italy, Greece, and Turkey. A few memorable moments include walking inside the Roman Colosseum, staying in a 5-star hotel built above a ludus (gladiator training grounds), hiking Mt. Vesuvius, and swimming in hot springs, climbing up the Scala Santa, touring the Vatican, and witnessing the Parthenon. We were also lucky to have time to try various wines, and dine at various restaurants, including three different Michelin star restaurants in Italy (we really love food). The food was awesome, in particular, we stumbled across a small hole in the wall restaurant that had the BEST marguerite pizza ever (they only had one other item on the menu)!

In Turkey, we ventured through street markets and haggled with Turkish merchants. We walked away with a rug which is our memorabilia of the wonderful honeymoon we had, as a newly wedded couple. Despite all these different experiences, just spending time together as husband and wife was the best memory of all. We even enjoyed the time we raced to the hotel together after getting caught in the rain without an umbrella.

Wedding details

Rob and I have a love for medieval fantasy - dragons, knights, princesses, castles, you name it. However, we did not want our wedding to be dark, nor did we want it to feel like a renaissance faire. So we chose locations that had some medieval/renaissance elements but still had romance and light. I



wanted a historical location not only because of the beautiful architecture, but also because I wanted a place that withstood the test of time, just like our relationship. We chose to have our ceremony at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, in Sacramento. The architecture and feeling inside the Cathedral was the perfect sacred place to hold our marriage vows. Our reception was at the Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove. We could not get enough of the landscape, the romance, and the architecture.

It was a dinner reception and we opted to hire an outside caterer. Our main colors were deep purple and gray, but incorporated blush, white and green to lighten up reception. The tables were arranged in a King Arthur style layout. Goblet-style tea light holders ran the center of the tables, with floral and fruit centerpieces in between. During the cocktail hour, we had antipasti, passed appetizers, and champagne. During dinner, our main entrées were fillet mignon and salmon. We had a delicious dessert buffet with chocolate strawberries, fruit tarts, rocky road brownies, and cheesecake. In addition, two whole roasted pigs were also served to keep with our cultural tradition. Finally, as a special treat for our guests (and ourselves) who could not partake in the open bar, we hired a Boba company to serve tapioca drinks to everyone. It was awesome!

About the Magical Day Photographer: Mike Chan Photography Videographer: Awkward Turtle Venue: CeremonyCathedral of the Blessed Sacrament ReceptionGrand Island Mansion Florist: Bloem Décor Caterer: The Hidden Table Cake: Grand Island Mansion

DJ: Spintronix Wedding Dress: Weddings & Dreams Bridesmaid's Dress: David's Bridal Makeup & Hair: Agape Salon by Andrea Marquez Rings: Diamonds by Chainary Tux Rentals: Men’s Warehouse Photobooth: Mobo Foto

Boba Bar:

Boba Guys

ardentforlife.net   61

Be Inspired By Zina Sheya Designs Shot on location at the West 12 Ranch Studio in Lodi

Recently, I had the privilege to work with a husband and wife who were both an inspiration. As I visited with her, I savored her stories of London, and France, antiques, fabrics, and her longtime friends. In addition, we discussed quality furniture vs. trendy, and changing our interiors completely with the trends. In essence, we discussed giving up those quality pieces and replacing them with big box trendy pieces. As I visited with him, I relished the stories he shared on each piece of furniture, art, and pottery he had in his home. As he spoke, I felt the meaning, depth, and soul attributed to each piece. I was left feeling inspired, because this is what makes a home. It’s the layers. I mention layers often when I talk about design; layers of pattern, layers of texture, depth of color. Additionally, there is also design’s layer of history, events, and individuality in the pieces, which we incorporate into the design.

With this fresh inspiration, I wanted to share with you how to get the best of both worlds. Keep that chair that has been in your family; passed on from great grandma. Purchase that chair with ugly fabric and faded chipped wood at the French market, and give it a “trendy” update with new fabric and paint—or re-finish to its original beauty. Updating or refinishing does not sacrifice the “story” the “depth”, or the quality behind the piece, yet you will still get that “fresh trendy” look. Before we dive into the How To’s, I want to leave you with the 2016 Design Forecast, and this year’s Color of the Year.

A nd the Color goes to For the first time, Panatone has named two colors of the year.

Panatone 13-1520—Rose Quartz a pale pink Panatone 15-3919—Serenity a soft baby blue Because of the growing emphasis on the need to always be plugged in and connected, the result is a movement to find quiet simplicity away from all the noise. This holds true in this year’s colors of the year, which are both peaceful colors. Panatone 13-1520 Rose Quartz a pale pink

Panato n Serenit e 15-3919 y a soft baby blu e

Retreat & Rejuvenate The home building and remodel sector sees a push for larger backyard

spaces, or creating more private spaces within smaller spaces—providing a retreat from neighbors.

A rchitectural Salvage Incorporating old and salvaged materials into the space and design ele-

ments. In 2016, you will see homeowners personalizing their homes as they gravitate towards decorating with unique items that tell a story. The objective is a story within the space, minus the nick knacks. Unique, large statement pieces, rather than small items from their travels. Look for architectural salvage at flea markets such as… spindles, iron fences, gates, and doors.

R eclaimed Railroad Trusses - incorporated into bathroom vanities, or kitchen hood surrounds. You see this a lot in European décor, but now its being incorporated into all designs, but on a more personal and individual note.

Art Deco

is showing itself strong in 2016, with gold making a big presence in lighting and accent tables.

Over Sized Kitchen Islands

is the rage for 2016. Kitchens are a gathering place, and homeowners are embracing that stronger by incorporating oversized islands with room for everything and everyone.

E xtra Large Format Tiles We have seen this trend slowly appear in the past few years with 12x24” tiles in kitchens and bathrooms, but be on the look-out in 2016 for extra-large format (as large as 31x71”) used on fireplace surrounds, etc. 62. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Facelift Challenge

on page 26

I challenge you to facelift just one thing this year.


Step 1. Clean your wood with a dry towel, removing all the dust. Step 2. Remove any nail heads. You can purchase a nail removal tool at your local hardware store, or simply use a flat screw driver.

Step 3. Flip chair over, then locate staples or nails and remove.

After all are removed, pull the fabric or leather off the chair. Inspect foam, if needed it is a good idea to replace the foam at this time. Foam can be purchased at your local craft/fabric store, or online. It comes in different depths; I usually use the denser 2-3� depth foam. Cut foam to the correct size and shape of the seat.

Step 4. Now is the time to paint, stain or repair. make, we decided to gel stain the wood chair.

In this re-

Step 5. Spray glue quilting batting over foam, and then spray

glue foam cushion to wood base of seat. Now you are ready for the fabric. Cut fabric to the correct shape for the seat, making sure to cut large enough so that you have plenty to wrap around bottom edges. (Trick) Use the old fabric you removed as a pattern to cut the new fabric. Note: Measure twice-cut once. It’s better to error on the side of too much overhang, than not enough.

Step 6.

Start with one side, pull tight fold over edge once, then staple. Next, do adjacent side‌ then move to the front and back. Make sure you pull fabric tight, as it will stretch over time. However, do not pull too tight, because it will cause dimples in the foam. Once all fabric is attached, cut a dust cloth the size and shape of the bottom of the chair and staple over the base.

Final Step:

Add decorative trim. Spray fabric with Scotch Guard, then sit back and delight in your work. 64. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Facelift Challenge

Steps 1.2.3...


Step 6. ardentforlife.net   65


68. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Old Fashioned Beef Stew


Bakerest (Flavorful Foods for Families without shortcuts) By Carole Morris

What do I need to make incredible stew & treasured memories? Stew Ingredients:

2 pounds of lean beef stew meat (1 ½ cubes) 2 tablespoons butter 2 cups water 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 clove garlic (chopped) 1 medium onion, diced 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons beef bouillon 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon paprika 6 carrots (sliced) & 1 pound of small white onions ¼ corn starch & 1 ½ cups of water


Brown meat on all sides in butter, stirring often. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, sliced onion, bay leaves, beef bouillon, sugar, pepper and paprika.

2. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stir

occasionally to keep from sticking. Remove bay leaves. Add sliced carrots and small onions, then cover and cook for 30 additional minutes (or until all vegetables are done).

3. Mix ¼ cup of corn starch in 1 ½ cup of water. Bring stew mixture to a boil, then slowly stir in corn starch mixture until the stew is desired thickness. Serve this rousing stew with mashed potatoes, then listen to your family as they wax poetic describing your wondrous winter stew.

ardentforlife.net   69


is a perfect partner for oak. Oak helps round out the tannins, tame the fruit and integrate the acid.

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ardentforlife.net   70


Cool Weather Says I recently

Cabernet! By Curtis Mann, Raley's Beer, Wine and Spirits Expert

heard an announcement from the Napa Valley visitor’s bureau that November to March was “official” Cabernet drinking time in California. I’m not sure who determined the exact dates and reasoning behind this declaration, but I definitely concur. When the weather gets cold, it is time to break out the glasses with the deep bowls and drink Cabernet. And why does Cabernet Sauvignon like cool weather? Usually because it is high in alcohol, bold in tannins, and relatively high in acid. This is not a wine for porch sipping and definitely does better with a blanket next to a fire, than 100-degree pool weather. Additionally, really good versions of the varietal need hearty foods with some fat content, because the tannins need a counterbalance that only a steak or lamb can provide.

What makes Cabernet so bold? It is a combination of factors that go back to the parentage of the grape. Being descendent from both Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon displays some of the same leafy, green minerality as those wines right before it reaches optimal ripeness. For this reason, winemakers and viticulturists - especially in California - like to error on the side of ripeness and push the grape to its sugar limits to ripen out the green flavors. The result of this high ripeness is usually a payoff of bright blue and black fruits like blackberry, plum, and boysenberry. At the same time, the increase in sugar results ultimately in a higher amount of alcohol, which enhances the aromas. And because the Cabernet grape still retains its acid, the wine’s tannins are forward and bright even with the high alcohol.

All these bold flavors make Cabernet a perfect partner for oak. Oak helps round out the tannins, tame the fruit and integrate the acid. Additionally, the type of oak used, from large foudres, to small French Oak barrels, can have a dramatic effect on the final outcome of the wine. Due to the expense of small barrels, these are usually reserved for the best quality and smallest production lots in the winery. And as far as bottle aging goes, some of these wines can lay down for 20 or 30 years, but most California Cabernets are a drink now to five-year proposition. This is

due to the high alcohol and fruit forward nature of the wine which makes it ready to drink right away. The style of the last 10 years has also been to use methods in the winery to tame the tannins, so the wines are more approachable at an earlier age. Most estates realize that wine drinkers are impatient and do not want to wait 20 years to drink their wine.

Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 407, South Australia – The most iconic producer

in Australia, this is the densest Cabernet Sauvignon on the suggestion list with bold fruit flavors on the nose and charcoal, leather and spice on the palate. The finish is a good minute long and has layers of black fruits.

The key to enjoying Cabernet is picking the correct ones. The following list is a good one for adventure seekers looking to expand their understanding of Cabernet beyond the major grocery store brands:

Noble Vines 337, California –

Sourced mostly from Lodi, but with a California appellation, the 337 refers to the famous clone that is most planted in California. This is a juicy Cabernet Sauvignon with lots of red and black fruits with a long finish

Chateau Marc Plouzeau Chinon, France–

Not all Cabernet is Cabernet Sauvignon. This is actually Cabernet Franc hailing from the Loire Valley in France. It is a good experiment to taste this wine next to a Cabernet Sauvignon as it shows more earth and mint, but some of the same black fruits.

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Grande Reserve, Colchagua, Chile –

A very good example of an elegant style Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine showcases all of the best aspects of the grape from blackberry fruit, graphite and black pepper on the nose and a sleek and sexy finish on the palate.

Ramey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley–

One of the most respected winemakers in the world is David Ramey and his Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa showcases his immense talent for the grape. Even though he uses 57% new oak on this wine, the black and blue fruits are the star with a toasty, baking spice touch on the palate from the oak.

Curtis Mann is a 12-year veteran of the California wine industry. He began his career at ZD Wines. He later served as tasting room manager at Baldacci Family Vineyards. During this time, the vineyard was cited as one of the six best places to visit in Napa Valley by the Wall Street Journal. After earning his MBA from UC Davis’ Graduate School of Management, he assumed a number of roles in the retail and restaurant industries buying and selling wine and beer. Curtis has completed the prestigious Wine and Spirits Education Trust diploma. In addition, he is currently enrolled in the Masters of Wine program as a second year student aspiring to be one of the 32 people in the United States with this certification. He is also a wine judge at the California State and Calaveras County Fairs.  

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art} Jay DeWald

Something Cool Jazz &

Jay DeWald

By Nan Mahon

Modern jazz, that cool music associated with small, dimly lit, cellar clubs and devoted, sophisticated aficionados, may seem like a contradiction in Elk Grove where country music has prevailed for so long. But home town boy, Jay DeWald and his New Jazz Quartet, have established a fan base here, becoming a local favorite.

For 31 years, DeWald taught music in the Elk Grove Unified School District, first at Elk Grove High School for 26 years, then moving over to Pleasant Grove High when it first opened and needed an experienced leader. Through the years as a teacher, he kept one foot in the jazz world, and upon retirement in 2009, he planted both feet firmly behind a microphone.

As with most accomplished artists, DeWald began his love affair with music at a young age. He was given a trumpet in the fourth grade at Elk Grove Elementary School, and started on his journey into the music world, knowing that brass horn was his future. “I knew then that I wanted to become a professional musician and that I wanted to play jazz,” DeWald said.

He took private lessons in addition to school music classes, and practiced three hours a day. The lessons were technique and classically based. His uncle introduced him to the music of Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.

Throughout his years as a teacher

he kept one foot in the jazz world.

72. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

“I listened to a lot of Maynard Ferguson early on,” he said. “Later, I was drawn to Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Chet Baker, and Miles Davis.” He played on through his years at Elk Grove High, taking the morning jazz band class as well as the concert and marching band classes.

“I started a jazz combo in high school and we played at one of the school dances,” he said. “Later, we played a Miles Davis song named Basin Street during an English class poetry session while a student read the work of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.”

DeWald has lived in the world of music all of his life. Just as he knew he would when, as a boy in the fourth-grade, he picked up a trumpet. After high school, DeWald majored in music at Sacramento City College. Completing two years there, he transferred to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Things began to happen musically for him in that world of influence. The small town boy found acceptance in the competitive arena full of talent.

“I was chosen to play in the renowned Berklee Recording Band under the direction of Herb Pomeroy,” he said.

Three years into his studies at Berklee he left school, and from 1968 to 74, recorded two albums and toured most of the United States with a band called Swallow. His dream, it seemed, was coming true. When asked about those years on the road, he simply smiles and says, “You don’t want to know.”

He left Swallow and returned to Berklee to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Performance. He continued to record, backing such groups as Aerosmith, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Orphan.

Doing what may seem to some as a complete 90-degree turn, DeWald studied Chinese Martial Arts, namely Kung Fu, at Harvard University and taught the art at both Harvard and Boston Universities. In 1978, he decided to come home to Elk Grove and teach music. He enrolled at the University of the Pacific to earn a teaching credential, and Master’s Degree, while still teaching Martial Arts. He settled into a career in the music department of the Elk Grove Unified School District. When he was

not in the classroom, he played with local bands that included Milton Dick and His Orchestra, and Crazy Chester, a classic rock band formed by fellow teachers. He joined with another educator, Steve Taylor, to create the DeWald/ Taylor Jazztet that included their sons; Jaydn DeWald on bass, and Danny Taylor on drums. They have been together 10 years. In November of 1984, DeWald got a call from Iris Zimbelman who said she was working to produce a dance musical festival based on the works of Johann Strauss. The event would take place on a newly created island in Elk Grove Park “I knew Jay only from his leadership as head of the music department with Elk Grove High School,” said Zimbelman. “But I asked him to become part of a seven-person committee and to conduct the Strauss orchestra.” DeWald agreed and is the only original member of the founding committee of the Elk Grove Strauss Festival. Every summer he puts on his tuxedo and leads a symphony through three days of Austrian music under the stars in Elk Grove Park. “He is our beloved maestro,” said Zimbleman.

DeWald brings jazz to many local fundraisers such as Spotlight on Elk Grove and Farm to Fork, helping to raise money for scholarships and the Food Bank. He is the volunteer entertainment chairman for the Elk Grove Western Festival. For small ventures DeWald teams up with keyboardist

The New Jazz Quartet, made up of DeWald

on flugelhorn and trumpet; Susan Burns, vocals; Ken Burger, keyboard; and Wayne Bruns, drums; are becoming increasingly popular, performing at private parties, restaurants, and wineries.

Ken Burger. This duo is currently working on a special presentation of original works that they will call Jazz Artistry. He has four adult children, three of whom are in the world of professional dance and literature. His wife, Terri is a visual artist. DeWald has lived in the world of music all of his life. Just as he knew he would when, as a boy in the fourth-grade, he picked up a trumpet.

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book reviews

74. ardentforlife.net - winter winter 2016 2016


Local Titles

Manifest It All: B e c a u s e W h y N o t Yo u

Author: Tarra Flores Sloan Tarra Flores Sloan is an author, speaker, energy therapy practitioner, coach, angel investor, artist, and most importantly a wife and mom of three. Tarra was recently featured in The Business Journal and Empowering Women talk show, as well as receiving a Best of 2015 Thumbtack for Professionals award, is co-founder of Heart Entrepreneurs Association, International—a hub to empower people in mind, body, spirit, business, community and world…and on new year’s Day 2016 hit the #1 Best Sellers list on Amazon for her most recent book Manifest It All: Because Why Not You. Manifest It All is a personal story about Tarra having survived childhood abuse and the self-empowerment she experienced manifesting her dreams despite this. Tarra uses examples of her life to streamline a guide for readers to learn and put to use in their life. Tarra’s heartfelt message is clear that anything you want to be, do, have, and accomplish, you can. One example of an amazing turning point in Tarra’s life was writing a letter to the Universe for exactly what she wanted, but was afraid to ask for. Feeling undeserving since she hadn’t manifested it already, Tarra decided to make a bold move and prepare to receive her dreams. In doing so she expected her wishes to arrive and made room for them in every area of her life. Soon thereafter, every detailed wish she had asked for, came true. Now she is busy dreaming up new wishes. "You have a soul-voice. You have a gift. It is a rippling, vibrational, brilliant, dancing, waving and hollering gift. And even if you don’t acknowledge this, it will find a way to make you feel it’s pull until you end up seeking it out at all costs, distance of travel, or amount of time." "You are your project. Work on it diligently." These excerpts from Manifest It all pretty much sums it up. What is your next bold move? Manifest It All: Because Why Not You may be purchased on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle, and will also be available on Barnes & Noble online in paperback and The Nook. Keep track of Tarra, (book signing and speaking events), at www.facebook.com/TarraFloresSloan


Author: Shirley Parenteau Set in 1927 Japan, Dolls of Hope follows Ship of Dolls, set against a true event when American children sent more than twelve thousand dolls to Japanese children in hope of creating peace. Dolls of Hope picks up the story when the dolls reach Japan. Eleven-year-old Chiyo has a lot to learn when she’s sent from her remote mountain village to a girl’s school in the city of Tsuchiura, Japan. Slurping noodles from a bowl is good. Shoving an entire small cooked fish into your mouth is not. But Chiyo will discover she has a lot to teach the others as she copes with bullying from sophisticated girls who want her out of their school. When Chiyo’s school choir is sent to Tokyo to help welcome the American dolls, Chiyo gains accidental celebrity; first singled out by the mayor, then by a master doll maker. When she’s put in charge of Emily Grace, a Friendship Doll from America going to her school, her unexpected celebrity raises jealousy even in some of her teachers. Through it all, Chiyo struggles to remain a traditional girl so she can go home for her older sister’s wedding. However, during her effort to save Emily Grace and a scary return trip alone to Tokyo to seek help from the doll maker, she learns a lot about women’s changing roles in 1927 Japan. Now she must decide just how traditional she really wants to be. Dolls of Hope BY Shirley Parenteau, Candlewick Press. Fall 2015 Junior Library Guild selection. Available in bookstores and online. This book, and all Shirley’s earlier titles including her series of picture books beginning with BEARS ON CHAIRS are always available at GIFTS FROM THE HEART OF ELK GROVE at Emerald Park Drive and Elk Grove-Florin Road. www.shirleyparenteau.com ardentforlife.net   75

art} Local Titles

Blind Buddy and Mojo's Blues Band

Author: Nan Mahon Bad side of the blues

From a dive in Memphis to Carnegie Hall, blues music has no permanent address. Guitarist and singer Blind Buddy O’Brian is fighting his way back to the top of the musical hill where he was before years of drugs and alcohol kept him in the low rent district. After a gang fight when he was a teen-ager on the streets of Baton Rouge, Buddy was left with damaged eyes that saw only lines and shadows. In his years at the Missouri School for the Blind, he joined the school band and knew this was his life’s work. His talent as a blues musician keeps him going through one night stands in juke joints in the Deep South on his journey to New York’s greatest stage. A new hit recording rising on the charts is overshadowed first by the murder of a club owner, and then his band’s singer, Nina. The police tell Buddy he could be the next victim, when they find that because

of his disability he is being used as a drug mule each time his band goes on tour. A third murder, following a public argument with his band manager, sets him up for suspicion of homicide. Always living on the edge, Buddy periodically retreats into the soothing comfort of binge drinking, adding conflict to his uncertain life and threatening his relationships with his father, his girlfriend, and his band members. Buddy is side tracked by a cheating manager, a designing female police detective, and his own pride and arrogance. Because of his actions, the ones he loves most are put in danger and he must act to protect them. In spite of the best efforts of his girlfriend, Ivy, and his dog, Mojo, Buddy finds himself on the bad side of the blues. Blind Buddy and Mojo’s Blues Band, may be purchased on Amazon.com or directly from

the author. Mahon is available to speak at book clubs and other literary events. She is the author of three other novels and is included in a number of mystery anthologies. Visit her website at nanosecond. wix.com/nan-mahon or email her at nannosecond@comcast.net

U n t i l t h e L a s t Te a r

Author: Julia Michelle Braun Julia Michelle Braun’s first book, Until the Last Tear: A Daughters Journey of Loss, Grief, And Rediscovering Her Faith, is more than an inspirational read. Inside you will find letters to her Mother, letting the reader know they are not alone in their grief and loss. She shines a light on regaining her faith and a path to grow with that faith. We all have lost someone, though for most of us we can never find the words to describe that loss or grief. This book gives voice to those feelings and lets the reader know it is okay to grieve in their own way. This is a must read for, not only those of us that have lost someone, but anyone who is looking to take a leap of faith in their life. You will want to find a place to keep this book close at hand for those moments that life happens and you feel like you can’t go on. When all else fails, you will want to read this book again and again. Until The Last Tear can be purchased on Amazon.com and you can visit Julia’s website http://untilthelasttear.com/ to learn more about her new projects. 76. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016


Local Titles

Mrs. Odboddy – Hometown Patriot W a r r i o r, A S p i r i t u a l O d y s s e y An Autobiography

Author: William "Rev. Bill" McDonald JR. Join Rev. Bill as he recounts his spiritual journey in selected personal stories through a life which began with a seemingly unending dysfunctional childhood, included an astonishing tour of duty in Vietnam, and then opened into one of the widest benevolent lives ever. His entire existence has been lived out under a spiritual umbrella that keeps him safe, no matter how powerful the storm. Not afraid to go out onto the battlefields of life, Rev. Bill’s humility, integrity, loyalty, faith and courage is expressed through his every move. His investment in recounting events allows all readers to experience places and mystical experiences they’ve only dreamed about. The situations he writes about allow reflective readers to parallel the events to their own lives. And in the end, each reader will stand with him at Machu Picchu, Peru and take inventory of his or her own odyssey. In effect, this book is a road map to Rev. Bill’s personal, spiritual, and emotional destina-

tion. Metaphorically the ‘map’ is on the seat of his pickup. When you begin the book he’s essentially handing you the keys and offering you the opportunity to experience his route, after which you’ll be able to tweak your own map. “You will enjoy and be inspired by his tales of the inexplicable, and may well find inner strength for facing your own difficulties in life. This is a great man and I’m proud to call him my friend.” Shadoe Stevens; radio and television personality "Rev. Bill is the real spiritual deal. He's made a tremendous impact on me, guiding, encouraging, and educating me in ways that have opened my eyes and my soul, and have helped me to become a better and happier person.” Gayle Lynds, New York Times’ bestselling author Warrior, A Spiritual Odyssey An Autobiography can be purchased on Amazon.com.

Author: Elaine Faber

Since the onset of WWII, Agnes Agatha Odboddy, warrior on the home front and self-appointed scourge of the underworld, suspects conspiracies around every corner, stolen ration books, German spies running amuck and a possible Japanese invasion off the California coast. This 70-year-old model citizen would set the world aright if she could get Chief Waddlemucker to pay attention to the town’s nefarious deeds on any given Meatless Monday. Mrs. Odboddy vows to bring the villains, both foreign and domestic, to justice, all while keeping chickens in the bathroom, volunteering at the Ration Stamp Office and knitting argyles for the boys on the front lines. Imagine the chaos when Agnes’s long lost WWI lover returns, hoping to find $1,000,000,000 in missing Hawaiian money and rekindle their ancient romance. In the thrilling conclusion, Agnes’s predictions become a reality when Mrs. Roosevelt unexpectedly comes to Newbury to attend a funeral and Agnes must prove that she is, indeed, a hometown patriot. Mrs. Odboddy - Hometown Patriot is a riotous romp through a small California town in the days following Pearl Harbor when all American housewives were called upon to ration their food, take on a factory job or volunteer for multiple war-effort projects. From serving on the coast watch to collecting papers and cans, all the while reporting local conspiracies and spies, Agnes Odboddy is the epitome of the hometown patriot. Mrs. Odboddy – Hometown Patriot is available at Amazon in e-book and paperback or at the following local establishments: Gifts from the Heart of Elk Grove – 9685 Elk Grove Florin Rd. – EG Placerville News Company – 409 Main Street, Placerville, CA www.mindcandymysteries.com ardentforlife.net   77

Reviews brought to you by the

art} books

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

By: Katarina Bivald

Book Reviews by Barrie Olmstead This charming novel centers on a young Swedish woman, Sara Lindqvist, who arrives in the sleepy town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet her older, long-time pen pal, Amy Harris. Having corresponded about a mutual love of books and life in a small town, and finding little to leave behind in Sweden, Sara eagerly embarks on a trip of discovery. When she arrives, however, she finds herself walking into a funeral for her friend. With nowhere to go, and with the blessing of the townspeople, Sara temporarily moves into Amy’s house and starts sorting through her books. She decides to open a bookshop in a vacant storefront and trades Amy’s books for free. The novel is interspersed with Amy’s correspondence, bringing her to life, as well as the quirks of the locals. Sara charms the town with her unabashed love of books and interest in the lives of its inhabitants. When her temporary visa is set to expire, several friends conspire to keep Sara in Broken Wheel through a bit of mischief and matchmaking. Peppered with literary references, this novel is sure to appeal to book lovers and anyone who enjoys a happy, but uncontrived ending. Sourcebooks, Inc. 2016

My Name is Lucy Barton

By: Elizabeth Strout In this compact, powerful novel the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Olive Kitteridge tells the story of Lucy Barton, a woman looking back on a nine-week hospital stay in the 1980s. Suffering from complications after a routine appendectomy, Lucy remains in the hospital with fever, leaving her husband in charge of their two daughters. Her estranged mother is urged to come stay with Lucy, and the story of her impoverished and difficult childhood unfolds with subtlety. Mother and daughter begin the tentative visit by gossiping about neighbors and old acquaintances. The impact of Lucy’s trauma is made evident in her efforts to understand her relationship with her own daughters, as well as her decision to try and make a living as a writer in New York City. Strout makes plain that the women love one another, and the passages in which they try desperately to connect, and sometimes fail, are among the most moving. Themes of poverty, shame, repression, and isolation are explored with care and grace. This is ultimately a story about family relationships and how they shape us, in both good and bad ways, throughout our lives. The driving force of the novel is Lucy’s own authentic voice, which will leave the reader longing for more. Random House 2016

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art} books

T h e B e a r A t e Yo u r S a n d w i c h

Author: Julia Sarcone-Roach Children's Book Reviews By Karen McCoy

What happens when a sandwich disappears and there’s no one to blame? Follow the bear, of course. And what an exciting day the bear has! A red truck with berries carries him to the city, where he gets lost, has a nearmiss with a clothesline, and finally enters a park to eat the sandwich in question before sailing home to the forest. Additionally, the bear’s shadows, if studied closely enough, reveal the true story. A must-read that beautifully blends amusing narration and colorful, yet purposeful, illustrations. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is a delightful romp sure to fill children with giggles. Recommended for ages 4-7. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 2015

The Weight of Feathers

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore The central California city of Alemendro is a war-ground for the feuding circus families of Corbeau and Paloma, where Paloma mermaids get caught in Corbeau fishing nets, and Corbeau flocks drown in floods. Lace Paloma is proud of her escalas, the scale-like birthmarks that complement her sewn tail and ensure her place in the Paloma legacy. She just hopes the Corbeaus leave before another family tragedy occurs. Cluck Corbeau is all too willing to leave the place where the adhesive plant put his grandfather out of a job, but the feathers growing from his neck force him into the Corbeau legacy. When a chemical disaster in Alemendro immerses Lace into the Corbeau life after Cluck saves hers, they’re both forced to confront generationsold myths, and explore what it means to transcend family barriers for true love. But as the adage goes, if a bird falls for a fish, where will they live? This beautifully woven, imaginative story is written in the likes of Gabriel García Márquez and Paulo Cuehlo, with a romance layered with poignant truths and symbolism. Recommended for ages 14-18. Visit www.saclibrary.org For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org.

Published by Thomas Dunne Books 2015

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Staff Favorites

at Elk Grove Vitamins By Dianna Singh, Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins

It’s here! There is nothing we can do, we can't stop it—the New Year. What to do? Where do you start? Exercise, eating right, and drinking more water. Yes....and so much more. My point is that you want to start getting your body ready by supplementing what your body has been lacking.... FOOD! I mean REAL... food which supplies the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. How can you expect your body to start responding the way you want it to, if it doesn't have the right nutrients to keep it going strong? I am extremely proud of the passion we have for health, here at Elk Grove Vitamins. My vision has always been to empower you with knowledge. To give you the tools needed to further your journey to great health and meaningful longevity. With that being said, I wanted each of our staff to share some of their favorite things.

Dianna’s Favorites For me, one of my top choices is Curamed (BCM_95). Without a doubt, this is a powerhouse! I've personally been taking this product for over five years. In fact, my entire family takes it. For inflammation in the body which I'm sure everyone can relate to. It can also be used for an injury, pain, or disease. Phosphatidylserine, or PS is another one of my go-to favorites. It is a vital lipid nutrient for memory, mood and stress. Great for the brain, even my husband can't believe how much my memory has improved. Please stop by and let us share our passion for health with you!

80. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

Wai Yee’s Favorites Hi, my name is Wai Yee. I was asked to write about my favorite supplement. There are so many that I use every day, it’s hard to choose. Therefore, I will share my daily routine. The first thing I take when I get up is Thyroid Care, by Terry Naturally. This product improves my energy and makes my hair fuller. Next, I put a few drops of Sovereign Silver in my mouth, my nose, and my eyes—because of the cold season. Then I do some stretch exercises for a few minutes, and read the Bible to strengthen my body and spirit. Afterwards, I go to the kitchen and boil a big pot of water to make green tea, either Ginseng or Jasmine (without sugar or cream). However, before I drink the tea, I take a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, by Bragg… mixed in a small cup of hot water. Now, I am ready to cook a good breakfast for my family. I take my supplements as part of my breakfast, or I will forget to take them. I take a multivitamin by Garden of Life and fish oil, by Renew Life for general health care. For my brain, I take CuraMed, by Terry Naturally, and phosphatidylserine otherwise known as PS, by Natural Factor. For my heart health, I take vitamin C by Dr. Mercola, in addition to vitamin D3, by Now.

At my age I need some beauty care, so I take Maxi-hair by Country Life—a collagen by Natural Factors. To improve my energy, I take Caffeine-Free Energy, by Irwin Naturals, Vitamin B12, by Superior source. Last but not least, I take Stress Care, by Himalaya because it calms me.

However, I think going to work is my best supplement, because I am surrounded by loving and caring people. My boss, Dianna, encourages me to learn and motivates me to try. She is a great example, to me, of how to be caring. My coworkers, and our customers, are all very generous when sharing their knowledge and laughter. After a day of work, I say a prayer, when I lie down at night, and leave my care in the hands of the Lord. I think I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow, and the next thing I know the alarm wakes me up.

health} Olivia’s Favorites

Omar’s Favorite

Hi, my name is Olivia and I am member of the Elk Grove Vitamins family. If you haven't stopped by yet, come and visit us. We have a great variety of awesome products to choose from. My two personal favorites are Oregano Oil, and Fish Oil.

Hi, my name is Omar, I work at Elk Grove Vitamins. About five years ago, I had my gall bladder removed—not knowing how its removal would impact my body. Afterwards, I started to have digestive issues (bloating, gas, diarrhea etc.). I felt that something wasn’t right. When I went to my doctors for a follow up, after surgery, he told me that digestive issues were “normal “because the gall bladder helps the digestive system to break down fat, among other stuff. He suggested to stay away from all oily foods and some meats. I went home thinking, “I’m going to be stuck eating soup for the rest of my life.”

Oregano Oil is my go to remedy anytime I feel like I'm coming down with something, or I have been in contact with a lot of sick people. It kicks whatever bug is in my system, OUT! I prefer the oil instead of the capsules, because it gets into the system faster. Oregano Oil has an intense, strong flavor, with a little bit of a bite. When I take it, I put it on my food. Partially because of the "bite", but mostly because the only way our bodies can absorb oil, is with food. Unless there is something for the oil to attach itself to, the oil will just sit there. When you look at a bottle of oil and vinegar salad dressing, the oil always stays at the top, our bodies treat oil in the same way. My second favorite, fish oil, has such great benefits that when I don't take it, I can feel the difference. What is it good for? EVERYTHING! Brain, hair, skin, nails, mood, aches, pains.... shall I go on? Fish oil isn't just a great supplement for adults, it is also important for our little ones, teenagers, and during pregnancy. However, the greatest benefit is for our brains. If we are giving our brain nutrients, the body will work much more efficiently. At Elk Grove Vitamins, we have a sincere passion to help you feel better and for you to be your best. Come by and let us help you get on the right track to a healthier 2016, and beyond. I LOVE THIS PLACE!

However, one day I was watching an infomercial about a digestive product and I got excited… maybe this product would help my digestive issues. Conversely, after listening to ALL the side effects the product had, I became scared and felt helpless. Thankfully, a friend suggested probiotics (probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health). He also suggested digestive enzymes (digestive enzymes, are specific proteins that are produced in the GI tract to break down our food into digestible nutrients that can be readily absorbed and utilized by the body). I didn’t know that seventy percent of our immune system is in our gut. I have been taking them for about five years, and it sure has made a difference in my life. Please stop by Elk Grove Vitamins, and visit our store and our knowledgeable staff. We will be happy to give you information on products that will start you on your journey to great health!

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DARE TO CARE ABOUT YOU! By Tonya Gonzales, Kaia Fit Coach/Holistic Nutritionist

Often-ignored, but totally necessary is taking the time to take care of yourself! This can help you avoid health problems, and benefits you by improving your mental, physical and emotional health. Maybe you work out six days a week. You eat healthy meals more often than not. You drink your daily allotment of water, as your fit tracker will attest to with frequent “breaks” to you know where. You go shopping with your bestie, and maybe are lucky enough to have weekly date nights with your significant other. You schedule a massage when you’re stressed, and treat yourself to the occasional spa day. Most nights you might even sleep like a baby. ALL great things! Taking the time to nourish and care for your mind and body isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the pursuit of health and happiness is far from selfish. When you take good care of yourself, you will see an improvement in many aspects of your life. By making time for YOU a priority, you are more likely to better care for others—so it’s important not just for yourself, but for the people and world around you! The problem is, you probably aren’t doing enough OR like the examples above, you are taking care of yourself on the OUTSIDE. Sure, you might convince yourself that everything is okay. You’re resilient after all, and your “I’ll deal with that later” attitude trickles into every unplanned event that comes your way. You seek out the quick fix, or worse, and end up under the covers in bed one day, full of tears, anxiety, and frustration. Maybe you neglect self-care because it is often associated with selfishness, or lazy, over-indulgent behavior. This mentality might make you feel guilty for thinking you need to take a break from your life to do something that, simply put, makes you feel better. But ignoring your needs has some dangerous side effects; it makes you more likely to get sick and can make existing conditions worse—not to mention the emotional toll of never taking a break. 84. ardentforlife.net - winter 2016

You know how the flight attendant encourages you, in case of emergency, to place the oxygen mask on yourself before your children? Think about it for a minute. How can you help others if you can’t help yourself ? The same is true about the everyday care and feeding of your mind, body, and spirit.

Here are 15 self-care ideas to get you started and motivated. 1. Take a power nap. 20-30 minute power naps are proven to energize and recharge brain activity. They are not meant to replace regular sleep. A good power nap is meant to subsidize, when your sleep was interrupted. 2. Punctuate your day with a mini-meditation with one minute of awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations; one minute of focused attention on breathing; and one minute of awareness of the body as a whole. 3. Devote 30 minutes per day to personal development. Books, audio books, podcasts…whichever grabs your interest. Check out www.BrianJohnson.me and click on Philosopher’s Notes. He hits all the key points of over 200 relevant books.

4. Stay connected to friends and let go of toxic relationships. 5. Get organized - operating in chaos causes more stress. Take the time to develop a system and use it. 6. Listen to your favorite music every single day. Remember to include music in every part of your day, it is the perfect soundtrack for a well-lived life. 7. Commit to creating a list of 3 things - only three. This teaches you to notice what is important in your life, to prioritize those important things, and allows you to end each day feeling satisfied that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. 8. Create a deliberate habit-take something small in your life and do it in the same way each day— hot lemon water in the morning, or picking up the dental floss before you brush. 9. Do a mini-declutter. Recycle three things from your wardrobe that you don’t love, or regularly wear. 10. Unplug for an hour. Switch everything to airplane mode and free yourself from the constant binges of social media and email.

health} 11. Get out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just talking to a stranger in line at the store. 12. Make one small change to your diet for the week. Drink an extra glass of water each day, or have an extra portion of veggies each meal. 13. Try essential oils, peppermint to suppress food cravings and boost mood and motivation. Citrus blends to uplift and invigorate. 14. Help someone. Carry a bag, open a door, or run errands for a sick friend. 15. Ask for help- big or small, but reach out. You will feel more connected to the world around you and nothing will seem quite as difficult as it was before. Which one will you try first? The world needs you to be strong, vibrant, and healthy – mentally and physically. You get to choose your daily actions. Love yourself enough to choose wisely.

q & A

We asked Kaia’s cover girl, Linda W., a few questions about health, motivation, and life. Kristy began her journey to a healthier life by taking that first step, and then continuing to walk. She continued making her life better each step that she took…be inspired.

What motivated you to change your health?

My motivation to change my health was two-fold. One:  I am a singer.  I sing quite a bit during a month with seven or more rehearsals, and four or more singing engagements. I am part of three choirs: two community choirs and my home church choir.  While singing, I found myself becoming winded and not being able to hold notes as long as I should, in addition to being extremely tired after singing a song.  That told me I was carrying too much weight.  Two: While walking around the complex with my co-workers, I found myself more winded than usual and struggling to breathe. Actually—there is a three-fold: Three:  I have many cute clothes and didn't want to get rid of them...LOL.

What has been your greatest health success so far?

My greatest health success, so far, has been my ability to jog/run and to do it without stopping. I now can  jog around the building at Kaia Franklin, and during my last BRIK session—I achieved a personal best in the timed mile. I have never enjoyed running, but I have to say it is a lot easier now than ever before.  Honestly, I have increased my cardio overall (jogging, jump rope, etc.)  In addition, I have never been a big fan of cardio since I started working out back in 1996.  Thanks to Kaia Fit Franklin, this is an area where I have progressed.

What has been your greatest challenge and how did you face it?

A challenge I had was my mind set. I always thought, because of my size (usually bigger than anyone in my class) I could not do this exercise or that exercise.  I always came up with excuses.  During my time with Kaia Fit, I have changed my mind set.  I have become stronger and more diligent by saying to myself, "Come girl you can do it!"  Sometimes I say it out loud in the class....as many of my Kaia Seesters know.

Favorite healthy snack

One of my favorite healthy snacks is carrots and hummus. I have grown to love the combination.  I've always liked carrots, but they can become boring after a while.  During my first BRIK session, I said I was going to follow the food plan-and that was the snack I enjoyed. It is also a very easy snack to put together and eat at work.

Favorite motivational quote

My favorite motivational quote: Consistent, hard work definitely pays off and equates to new cute clothes!

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Gastrointestinal Health By Dr. Dayle A. Imperato, Rejuvenation Medical Spa

The gastrointestinal (GI) track is the largest blood supply in the body using 1/3 of the blood flow from the heart. 80% of the lymph nodes in the body are around the GI tract. The GI tract has an immune function. There are 400 different microbial species with over a billion bacteria count. More prevalent bacterial are Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, Clostridium, Fusobacterium, Bifidobacterium, Eubacterium, Peptococcus, Peptostreptoccus, Escherichia and Vellonella. The gut has a massive amount of influence on your metabolism. The cells of the intestinal tract are shed and replaced every 3-6 days. Therefore, they are very sensitive to nutritional and lifestyle choices. Around half of the adults in the U.S. experience intestinal dysfunction at some time in their lives. What are some of the causes of intestinal dysfunction?

full feeling out of proportion to food intake, which may last for hours after eating. Less obvious signs include: poor sleeping habits, waking up tired, frequently cold and/ or depressed with no reason, feeling stress without a cause, an increased pulse rate of 20-25 beats within 15 minutes of eating and a chronically coated tongue.

Being low in B vitamins can promote maldigestion, excess alcohol intake stresses the body’s ability to digest, emotional trauma which can affect digestion negatively, and inflammation are a few examples.

These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of intestinal bacteria. The potential causes of dysbiosis are multifactorial. It can be from antibiotic use, NSAID use, antacids, injurious agents, poor nutrition, free radical production, stress, excess alcohol, viruses, decreased hydrochloric acid, decreased enzymes, and diminished bile acid production, food allergies, hypoxia (smoking and high altitudes) yeast infections, and lectins.

What are the Signs of Poor Digestion?

Signs and symptoms of poor digestion are not always apparent. The more obvious examples include: less than one bowel movement a day, undigested food in the stools, chronic indigestion after eating, frequent burping, passing gas, and/or bloated stomach, feeling better if you don’t eat, the need to loosen your belt after eating even though overeating has not occurred, and a

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Inflammatory Diseases of the Gut

Antibiotic use obviously decreases the bacterial content of the gut, as well as the bacterial count of the infection they are designed to treat. This leads to an imbal-

ance of the gut bacteria. NAID’s can damage the intestinal mucosal lining, breakdown the intercellular integrity, and cause escape of bacteria and large molecules of undigested food through the compromised intestinal barrier. It is not that antibiotics and NSAID’s are necessarily bad for you, but, as in all things, it is about a healthy balance. Antacids decrease the acid in the stomach, which not only changes the bacterial flora, but also compromises the digestive process. Hydrochloric acid, in the stomach, functions to sterilize the food and increase the denaturing of proteins to prepare the protein for breakdown by gastric and pancreatic enzymes. Self-medication, with heavy use of antacids, can have a devastating effect on your health. Excess alcohol disrupts the tight junctions in the cells lining the intestines, which increases membrane permeability. Viruses have proteins on their outer surface that can open the cellular spaces between the tight junctions between the GI mucous cells. Lectins are protein fragments of foods that are not completely digested that bind with specific sugars on the surface cells throughout the body. They stick to the lining of the GI tract,


Antacids decrease the acid in the stomach, which not only changes the bacterial flora, but also compromises the digestive process.

which causes inflammation and can destroy cell membranes. Lectins flatten the intestinal villi and consequently decrease the absorption of nutrients. These can be measured with a blood test. Consequences of dysbiosis are loss of good bacteria, loss of vitamin production, loss of detoxification, loss of chemical and antibiotic protection, loss of nutritional absorption, overgrowth of harmful species, and just plain not feeling well. Dysbiosis will also lead to leaky gut syndrome, a subject of its own. So the causes of inflammation of the GI tract can be from many sources. Some of which you may be able to avoid, others you will not be able to avoid.

How Can You Restore Gut Integrity? Removing the source of the imbalance, such as pathogenic organisms and allergic foods, is the critical first step. But you cannot stop there. You must follow up with replacing what is absent, repopulating the gut and repairing the damage. I can help you do this. If you think gut restoration can help you, call Rejuvenation Medical Spa at 916-670-7601 and make an appointment to see me.

Curious about Metabolic Medicine or Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement? Join us at Rejuvenation Medical Spa the second Thursday of each month for a presentation and interactive exchange, starting February 11th, at 6:00pm to 7:00pm. Limited space, please call 916 670-7601 to confirm. ardentforlife.net   87

Choosing to Major in Math By Heather N. Larrabee, Center Director of Mathnasium

Right now we are in what I like to call, “college limbo season.” The applications have been submitted, but (early acceptances aside) the acceptance letters have yet to arrive. So we wait, in limbo. Not having a kid of my own heading off to college next year, I wait to hear where the students we teach here at the Center will be heading off to next year, and – more importantly to this teacher – what they plan to pick as a major. Imagine my disappointment when none of these college-bound seniors mention math as their future college major. Why not, I’m left wondering. Why not major in math?

reason alone. I thought it was interesting – case closed. For students who enjoy math, majoring in it might be an easy decision. However, there are other reasons beyond simply enjoying the subject matter and being “good with numbers,” which is what we all think of when we think of a math major, right?

A student who enjoys figuring things out would likely enjoy being a math major. Most of my friends see me as a “math nerd,” and simply think I’m great with numbers, however I love trying to figure things out! Whether it is a mystery I’m reading or watching, or a puzzle, or a piece of Ikea furniture (which is pretty much the same thing as a puzzle), I want to figure it out before someone else tells me the “answer.” Math isn’t just calculations; it’s figurTo be fair, despite now owning a math-based busi- ing things out. ness and having an incredible passion for math education today, I didn’t choose to major in math either when I headed off to college. There were A future math major would also be someone who no such places as Mathnasium when I was grow- likes to think. Yep, they just have to like to think. ing up to show me that math could, in fact, make They have to want to do more than just look at the sense during those times I thought for sure it never numbers. They will want to think about the relawould again. However, if I could have had someone tionships and the patterns that exist within and encourage me a little bit more, nudge me just a bit among numbers. Even at the most basic levels of in the math direction, I think I would have truly en- math, it is hard to avoid thinking about these comjoyed being a math major, as well as all the doors ponents of numbers. that could have opened for me thereafter. One thing that holds true for every math major, What are some reasons for choosing math as a ma- however, is that they love a challenge. Majoring in jor? Well, the most obvious one would be a love of math won’t be easy. The math you study in college the subject matter. I majored in psychology for that is not like the math that was taught in high school,

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and the expectations are much higher. Yet, when you take people who love math, enjoy figuring things out, and really like to think things through, these are usually the people who also don’t mind a challenge. In fact, these are usually the people who crave a challenge! So, what is the payoff for majoring in math?

First of all, according to a 2005 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average salary of someone with a degree in math exceeded that of someone with a degree in chemistry by 14.9%, a degree in political science by 32.8%, a degree in English by 37.7% and someone, like myself, with a degree in psychology by 42.1%! I’d say those are some significant salary differentials with other fields of study, and well worth considering math as a major. What can you actually do with a degree in math?

There are several obvious job choices for a person who gets a degree in math: accountant, statistician, financial analyst, economist, or even an actuary (a person who combines statistics, finance and business knowledge and applies it in such fields as insurance). There are also plenty of careers that, when you combine a math major with a good minor, you could land, such as an engineer (aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial or mechanical), a scientist like a chemist or physicist, a computer



lines, many of the designers of all those computer and video games most teenagers (and many adults) love to play these days also have degrees in math. Then there is the cryptanalyst – those people who enjoy making and cracking codes use their math skills to develop programs for companies to keep There are also some fun and out hackers. unique jobs for those that major in math. A tiny bit of research turned So, as those acceptance letters up some pretty interesting alter- start to arrive and your child is natives that would likely appeal thinking about what they will deto the kids heading off to college clare as a major, encourage math. in the next few years. How about In the long run, it could open a a job at Disney or Pixar as an ani- wide variety of doors and give mator? Did you know they use lin- them opportunities for tomorrow ear algebra to show how objects that aren’t yet even available today rotate and shift in animation? Me, in this ever-changing world. either! Another interesting job for our future holders of math de- Heather N. Larrabee, grees is a special effects director. Owner of Elk Grove Mathnasium It’s mathematical algorithms that 9630 Bruceville Rd, Suite 107, are behind the scenes making us Elk Grove, CA 95757 “ooh!” and “ahh!” at those block- (916) 686-1234 buster movies. Along those same www.mathnasium.com/elkgrove programmer, or even a computer systems administrator. Many people think a person who majors in math must be headed into the field of education, and that is another option. Math teachers are always in need K-12, not just at the high school level.

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babywearing By Lindsey Peralta, owner of GradePower Learning, Elk grove

I was eight months pregnant, and taking care of my almost two-year-old son when I started thinking, “How do I take care of an infant and a toddler by myself?” I had recently become a stay-at-home mom, and I would soon be venturing out, by myself, with two kids in tow. I see parents do it all the time, they must get accustomed to it… right? It can’t be that bad. All of a sudden a flash went through my mind—of me corralling one kid, while holding a baby, and carrying groceries. Hmmm, maybe we’ll wait until Dad gets home. Fortunately, I met the Sacramento Babywearing group, when my infant daughter was four weeks old. They were meeting at a park in my neighborhood. Immediately, I was welcomed to the group by Shannon—who was a volunteer at the time. I remember seeing a stack of beautiful blankets, and different kinds of carriers, on a table. Shannon suggested I try a ring sling, a simple piece of fabric secured by a small metal ring that allows a baby to snuggle with mom. She helped me put one on. Within a few moments, my little girl was fast asleep and I was hands free and able to play with my active two-year-old at the park. I watched in awe as other moms taught mini-classes on the different ways to carry a child. As I continued to look over other babywearing mamas, I was drawn into this amazing group of women who shared information and stories about their little ones. The Sacramento Babywearing group started over five years ago, with a small group of moms who were excited about different types of baby wraps and carriers. Being part of the group gave them a chance to explore different styles, textures and materials. I recently spoke with Kamika McGill, who is an administrator for the Sacramento Babywearers group. She joined

when the group consisted of only 14 people. Within the last few years, she helped the community grow to over 2000 babywearers. The Sacramento Babywearers is a Facebook group of volunteer moms, who meet weekly throughout the Sacramento County.

Meet-ups take place on weekdays, as well as some weekends in Elk Grove, West Sac, Land Park, Natomas, Rancho Cordova, Arden, Folsom, Fair Oaks and Antelope. They are typically held in the library, or at a park where moms and small children can have fun while learning. The group has an extensive lending library. There is a selection of different brands, fibers, sizes, and materials to try. Members and newcomers have an opportunity to get hands-on help and education on how to safely wear their children. The group also trades information on where to purchase, and find, different kinds of carriers. A key idea, and major part of the education the group provides, is understanding what might be comfortable for one mom may not be for someone else. Another concept taught is, if the wraps or carriers are not worn correctly, undue stress could be put on the mother’s (or father’s) back or shoulders. If one is carrying a child properly, it should feel comfortable and the baby’s weight will be distributed evenly. Your baby should also be fully supported and seated properly. Meet-ups provide a warm environment, where experienced moms can oversee and help adjust a proper carrier for a new babywearing mom. This amazing group of volunteer moms are able to walk someone new through the world of babywearing, and give advice to make sure that you and your child are secure. After getting great advice in person, there is an active YouTube community and videos which are a great supplementary resource. Some YouTube resources are: “Babywearing Faith” and “Wrapping Rachel.”


Babywearing is one of the principles of attachment/natural parenting. It is, however, compatible with any parenting style or philosophy. The practice of babywearing is beneficial for both children and caregivers, because it promotes bonding with the child.

Babywearing is one of the principles of attachment/natural parenting. It is, however, compatible with any parenting style or philosophy. The practice of babywearing is beneficial for both children and caregivers, because it promotes bonding with the child. Babywearing, once a hidden culture, has grown to including dads, grandparents, as well as other caregivers. There are different types of carriers, and also many price points to fit everyone’s budget and need. There are plenty of sites to buy, sell, trade, and utilize for gleaning information. Typically, the types of carriers fall into three categories. Ring slings are best for getting baby in and out quickly, and are great for infants. Woven wraps come in a variety of fabrics and lengths and are the most versatile. There are many different ways to carry, both front or back, with a woven wrap. The last category is referred to as SSC, soft-structured carriers. Examples of this type of carrier, which are readily available in stores, are Ergo and Bijorn. This last category is the easiest for most people to use, and requires the least amount of instruction.

Lindsey and Sydney

What is used depends on personal choice, based on convenience and cost. For me, what started as something I needed for convenience‌ has turned into the most amazing bonding time I could ever have with my child.

GradePower Elk Grove 9261 Laguna Springs Dr., Ste. 120 Elk Grove, California 95758 916.683.1115

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Fight or Flight By Chris Tanaka, Sher Khan Karate, Owner/Senior Instructor

In each and every person, there is an inherent natural response to challenging or dangerous circumstances. Does one simply accept their current situation and “deal” with it, or walk away from it? The concept of “Fight or Flight” is easily defined, as the response of the body’s sympathetic nervous system to a stressful event preparing the body to fight or flee. Although the definition is simply stated, the actual execution of the concept is much more complex. What exactly is “Fight or Flight” and how does it relate to each individual in their life? When and why would an individual choose to fight or flight?

There may; however, come a time when one has no other choice than to defend themselves or others. In the difficult choice of “Fight,” adequate and comprehensive martial arts training is crucial. Possessing the ability to defend yourself and your loved ones is an essential skill.

In most situations of “Fight or Flight,” this innate response is generated by confrontation and can vary from verbal to physical in nature. This begs the question, “Do we walk away from the situation at hand, or stand and fight?” As a martial arts instructor, my advice will always be to walk away from any physical confrontation whenever possible. You might exit with a bruised ego or having not won an argument, but at least you are able to safely walk away in a world where undue and inconceivable violence is becoming more and more prevalent. Caution should be considered and exercised in all situations that have the possibility to escalate into verbal or physical violence.

The above statement is what is known as The Kenpo Creed, written by Ed Parker. Simply put, it is a general guideline as to when an individual should use their martial arts. While not everyone will agree with this creed, it does lend itself to the majority of the population. Students at my martial arts school are required to memorize The Kenpo Creed as it is a useful and essential marker of when and how to use the “Fight or Flight” concept. Having the ability to react and respond quickly and with intentional clarity in a situation is the ultimate goal. The proper mindset and defined confidence to act accordingly can only come through training both the body and the mind.

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“I come to you with only Karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced To defend myself, my principles, or my honor, Should it be as matter of life or death, Of right or wrong; then here are my weapons, Karate, my empty hands.”

education} Having the ability to react and respond quickly and with intentional clarity in a situation is the ultimate goal. The proper mindset and defined confidence to act accordingly can only come through training both the body and the mind.

Although the “Fight or Flight” response is most commonly associated with physical and verbal altercations, it can also be prevalent when one is met with a fearful situation of any kind. “Fight or Flight” is a natural response in situations where an individual must overcome a fear. Examples include public speaking, riding a roller coaster, or trying out for a school or sport team/club. Engaging a “Fight” attitude, of not giving up due to fear or stress, is crucial in overcoming said fear and attaining a goal. I teach and encourage my martial arts students to face their fears and overcome them with perseverance. They are better equipped to do so based on their martial arts training of not only their body, but their mind. There is an indescribable personal reward gained in shying away from a “Flight” attitude and choosing a “Fight” response in overcoming a fearful situation. Martial arts gives its students self-confidence in all critical uses of the “Fight or Flight” response. To overcome personal fears, training one’s body and mind to persist in difficult or fearful situations is crucial. In a physically or verbally threatening situation, adequate martial arts training provides the knowledge to first consider walking away to preserve one’s safety. Should the situation occur where the individual must defend themselves or others, martial arts prepares them to correctly execute essential self-defense skills. Martial arts training provides the confidence to walk away, and the confidence to face a fear head on. Chris Tanaka is the owner and senior instructor at Sher Khan Karate. He has 23 years of martial arts experience and 17 years of teaching experience. Sher Khan Karate has been in business for 20 years offering the highest level of quality martial arts instruction. Sher Khan Karate 8932 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove, CA. 916.686.6552 ardentforlife.net   93

Profile for Ardent For Life

Ardent for life business winter 2016  

Ardent for life business winter 2016

Ardent for life business winter 2016  

Ardent for life business winter 2016


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