It’s about us … local ladies
Surrogacy Story Many Mini Blessings p. 7 A HEALING PROCESS Local Mom Rebuilds after Tragedy p. 15 CONNECT SERIES French & Living in America p. 17
Surrogate Mothers Can Earn Up to $60,000+ Earn extra income while continuing your current career or bring in extra money that will allow you to remain at home while raising your family. Extraordinary Conceptions is looking for surrogates to become Extraordinary Angels for couples and individuals struggling with their own fertility. Our agency has intended parents who are willing to compensate higher than average fees in order to find their perfect surrogate. Compensation begins from $30,000 to $60,000+, plus additional benefits and support which includes $5,000 per additional child. Become an Extraordinary Angel today! We offer customizable allowance packages and 24/7 surrogate support. Visit our website to see if you qualify and apply today.*
(760) 438-2265 路 extraconceptions.com *Surrogates in our program must be between the ages 21-39 and a parent themselves who have enjoyed pregnancy and had at least 1 successful, live birth. Healthy with regular menstrual cycles. Non-smokers & non-drug users. BMI must be below 30-32. If you are currently using Depo shots or an IUD, you will need to have the IUD removed or discontinue the shots to proceed. Must not currently be receiving government financial assistance for yourself (welfare programs).
About a Girl
IN THIS ISSUE 6 COOL STORY Temecula Valley’s Future Filmakers 7 COVER STORY A Surrogacy Story 10 WOMEN’S WELLNESS Keep Your Holidays Healthy 11 INNER FASHIONISTA The Little Black Dress 12 REALTOR SPOTLIGHT Susan Ebert 13 BUSINESS SAVVY Extension Bar Salon & Boutique 15 ABOUT A GIRL A Healing Process 17 CONNECT French & Living in America 18 COMMUNITY CALENDAR 19 COOKING WITH CHEF NANCY 20 RESTAURANT REVIEW Luke’s On Front 21 GIRLS NEXT DOOR Local Ladies Strike a Pose for LoLa Magazine 22 OUT & ABOUT Community Photos Cover photo by Jann Gentry
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A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER Celebrating a New Year! It seems like just a couple of months ago that we rang in January 2014 with our exciting New Year cover. In February, we had an in-depth conversation with local author Toi Moore, and got some juicy details about her exciting life married to a well-known musician who has played guitar for many famous artists including James Ingram, Vanessa Williams, and Earth Wind and Fire. In March we highlighted 12 local ladies who were honored as Murrieta’s “40 Under Forty” movers and shakers of the Valley, and we were the first to introduce you to local lady (and Girl Next Door) Cecile Nelson who was recently appointed by the Temecula City Council as Commisioner, Temecula Community Services District. In the same issue we met the ever-so-vibrant Gillian Larson, who as a former contestant on the reality show Survivor, heads the local Reality Rally which brings reality show personalities to Temecula each year in a race that raises money for Michelle’s Place. We brought vintage back in our May 2014 issue with Lena Patton and Kim Bunch. Lena is the owner and designer of Love, Luana Vintage Swimwear, a line inspired by Lena’s “surfer chic” mom. And Kim Bunch struck a few poses to model her vintage flapper dress designs inspired by the 1920s. In June we decided to go bi-monthly, but did not skimp on the fun, informative articles. Our summer issue was all about getting fit. Holly Humphreys, of 951 Fitness, gave us 10 simple exercises that can be done at home. Our August/September issue reminded us of the selflessness of the ladies of the Valley, as we spoke with two members of the community who take charity to heart, Charity Prestifillipo and Vicky Wallace. We’ve enjoyed sharing local stories, fashion tips, tasty recipes, wellness advice, and community events with you all year. Hope you had a great year and that you’ve become a fan of LoLa Magazine! Breathe. Believe. Achieve. -Angela M.
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Angela Mains STAFF EDITOR Holly Suhi hollysuhi.com SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR David Mains SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER Karen Twyla Twyman CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hope Fultz LAYOUT & DESIGN Chris Keach chriskeachdesign.com COLUMNISTS Grayse Kelly Inner Fashionista Nancy Cordi Cooking with Nancy CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Bremner Christa Lynch Holly Suhi Kathy Zelasko CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jann Gentry gentrystudio.com Amy Dawnelle amydawnelle.com Gabriella Santos gabriellasantos.com INTERNS Mikayla Fultz
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Brook Berens, owner, Bel Ange Modeling Agency with models Christelle (r) and Isabelle (standing) Photo by Jann Gentry
As you shop ’til you drop this holiday season, and throughout the new year, remember to support local and small businesses throughout our community. “Shopping local is very important to any community,” says Kimberly Davidson, business development manager for the City of Murrieta. “Not only does the city get a portion of the retail sales tax which helps to pay for public safety and other needed services, but it also supports business owners who are most likely residents of the same city as the consumers themselves.” December/January 2014-15 • 5
Local Students Enter TVIFF Future Filmmakers Challenge Story and photos by Kathy Zelasko
This past September celebrated the re-launch and 18th anniversary of the Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival. This year TVIFF added something new, the Future Filmmakers Challenge. This was the festival’s first effort to encourage student filmmaking at the middle and high school levels. “I want kids to take part in the festival,” says Jeff Waddleton, Future Filmmakers director. “I want them to know they can use their imagination and not be afraid of being creative.” Students had the opportunity to showcase their movies, mingle with professional directors and producers, and compete. FIRST PLACE Shivela Middle School student Kiersten Myers, 13, submitted this year’s first place $500 winner, “Future Earth.” Kiersten has been making videos and putting them on YouTube since she was 7 years old. When she learned about the Future Filmmakers Challenge she entered right away. “I was ecstatic when I won first place!” she says. “It was a really neat experience. I got to go up against other kids, especially the high school students!”
“I am super proud of him,” says Brian. “We had a great time working together and it was an invaluable experience for him to actually meet people in the film industry.” When asked what he liked most about the festival, Nathanael said the best part was showing his movie in a real theatre. HONORABLE MENTION $75 Honorable Mention winner, “A Robo Story,” was the first movie Temecula Middle School student Luke Hartman, 11, directed. He entered the Future Filmmakers Challenge when his sister saw the ad at the local library. An avid fan of George Lucas and Stan Lee, Luke wrote, produced, directed, and edited the entire movie himself. “It was pretty cool seeing my movie on a big screen!” he said. “I was really surprised that I won.” Luke’s mom, Michele, adds, “My husband and I are proud of Luke’s accomplishment and are encouraging him to continue. He received so much support from others at the festival.” Luke was so excited about his experience that he also entered the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.
Kiersten went on to say that being part of TVIFF has given her the proper tools to pursue her dream of filmmaking. In addition to being part of the film festival, she now has the opportunity to work on other projects with a variety of people experienced in the industry. “I really enjoy directing and editing,” she shared. “I like to make movies with good messages, mixed with dark undertones. If I were to pick my favorite director, I would have to say it’s Tim Burton.” SECOND PLACE “Binary,” the second place $350 winner, was the product of former Great Oak High School student Justin Ricafort, 18, and current Great Oak student Sabrina Canoy. “I did the writing, storyboarding and directing,” Ricafort says, “and Sabrina did all the filming and producing. We knew our idea was something special and our film had a creative edge. We felt good about our entry.” The two agree that being part of the Future Filmmakers was exciting and an incredible opportunity to interact with directors and producers. Ricafort currently attends UCSD and is pursuing a degree in English, but plans to continue filmmaking. “Besides the great experience, we were able to swap connections and emails,” he added. “We met so many contacts and the feedback was positive.” THIRD PLACE Temecula Preparatory student Nathanael Burns, 8,
submitted the third place $150 winner, “SUPER Movie.” Even though Nathanael was not in the middle or high school age bracket, TVIFF placed him in the Future Filmmakers Challenge. He wrote, directed, and starred in his film. His father Brian helped with editing. 6•
Above: Kiersten Myers, Nathanael Burns, Luke Hartman Left: 2nd place winner Justin Ricafort and friends
A Surrogacy Story Many mini blessings By Christa Lynch | Photos by Jann Gentry
December/January 2014-15 • 7
If you happen to come across a woman whose vibrancy is captivating and whose story leaves you wanting for the next page in the chapter of her life, you sit up and take notice. In this issue of LoLa, we meet a blue-eyed, quirky 30-something who is a wife and working mom. She has a unique story that you don’t bump into very often, but a conversation with her is nothing short of unforgettable. Christa Lynch, a Temecula local, knew at a very young age that she was called to a unique kind of community service. After giving birth to two daughters of her own, she chose to become a surrogate mother, walking the path of what many would call an angel. A gestational surrogate is a woman who carries a pregnancy for an infertile couple. Gestational surrogacy is done via in vitro fertilization (IVF), where a couple’s fertilized eggs are implanted into the surrogate’s uterus and carried to full term. Recalling when she first learned about surrogacy, Christa beamed; “I met two women when I was a young girl and they explained their situation to me very simply, ‘Well, Christa, my tummy is broken so we are borrowing her tummy. When our baby is born, she will come home with her mommy and daddy ...’ It just made sense to me,” Christa explains.
With a resume of three surrogate pregnancies, Christa actually gave birth to four “surro-babies.” “I carried a beautiful boy for a couple that lives in Japan. I speak Japanese and their English was impeccable, so luckily we did not have a language barrier of any sort. He is 6 years old now and his mother and I communicate often by email and Skype. His mother battled with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), a condition where women do not ovulate regularly and often have difficulty becoming pregnant. Then I carried a wonderfully precocious little girl, M.J., whose family lives in California. I am lucky to be her ‘Auntie Christa’ and have developed a beautiful relationship with her family. We hit it off so well that we became an extended family. It was an easy decision when we decided to pursue what is called ‘a sibling project’ which is a second surrogacy journey together. This pregnancy resulted in boy/girl twins. My favorite moment was when
something I always knew I was meant to do.” From then on, whenever using her vivid imagination playing house with neighborhood kids or with her little sister, Christa always played the mother role. She would tote around a favorite baby doll and blanket, but more importantly, she was always pregnant as a surrogate. “I would carry my baby in one arm and have a pillow or blanket stuffed under my shirt for my pregnant tummy. I would pretend that I was carrying a baby for my grandma or for the family dog. One time I was a surrogate for Wonder Woman!” she laughed. “I had a whole list of celebrities that I decided needed my help to become parents,” she said, reminiscing lightheartedly about her innate desire to make a difference in someone’s life. “Surrogacy was something I always knew I was meant to do. Few people grasp the concept of what would compel a woman to enlist the time, love and assistance of her own family and take on one of the greatest responsibilities of carrying a healthy pregnancy for a woman or couple whose lifelong dream is to become parents,” Christa continued. “Some choose adoption or fostering children who are temporarily displaced from their homes, both of which are beautiful institutions I support wholeheartedly. Both situations require heart, sacrifice, and putting the needs of others before your own, though for me, I was repeatedly drawn to the realm of egg donation and surrogacy. It’s during the holidays that I often look back and feel so blessed to have been a part of such an amazing journey and to have given this gift to the couples I have carried for. Sometimes I’m not sure who received the greater gift, their family or mine!” she added.
little M.J. said to me, ‘Auntie Christa? Do you remember when I was in your tummy? And then my baby brother and my sister were in there too!’” It is true that surrogacy isn’t for everyone, but surrogacy is evolving in the eyes of this generation. It is no longer the taboo topic it was in the past. Infertile couples have a great support system in medical and legal communities. There are procedures and resources created for them, as well as an amazing community of surrogates, “a sisterhood of extraordinary angels,” as Christa calls them. After having delivered twins in 2012, Christa decided to retire from being pregnant, “but I will forever be a surrogate mother,” she is quick to add. Christa is the surrogate support specialist for Extraordinary Conceptions, a surrogacy agency for Southern California, and her office is decorated with pictures of her two daughters and of the babies, children, and families that she was able to help make possible. There are expressions of sheer joy on one family’s faces as they tumble in a pile of fallen leaves. “I am proud to say that I helped them make that memory,” she says. “Being the resident big sister to those who are navigating this journey themselves, I feel the same ongoing joy and fulfillment that I experienced while pregnant. I never knew I would get so excited over someone else’s menstrual cycle and pregnancy tests, or even commiserate about the familiar nuisance of morning sickness. Our surrogates are an extension of my own journey.” Christa is writing a children’s book to help them understand the process when their own mother chooses to become a surrogate.
December/January 2014-15 • 9
Keep Your Holidays Healthy By Gina Reinecke
The minute pumpkin spice lattes light up the landscape of our coffee shops, the signal is sent to gear up and lean in to the holidays. Most of us anticipate the season with a mix of sentiment, excitement, and the temptation to be overwhelmed. So how can we enjoy ourselves during the holidays in the midst of all the food and festivities, while staying true to our commitment to health?
Don’t think that if you overeat, you won’t be hungry again soon. You
Remember, each holiday celebration is typically just one meal. One
dinner. If you are entertaining at your home, invite guests to bring comfortable shoes so they can enjoy a stroll in the neighborhood, or play ping pong or bocce ball in the back yard. It may be out of the ordinary, but the memories you create by pushing through “we’ve never done this before” resistance could be some of your fondest yet.
meal. It doesn’t have to turn into a gorge-fest you regret later. Instead, practice mindfulness and plan your approach ahead of time. Are you going to stay as close to your plan as possible? Will you have just a taste of all your favorites? Or will you prioritize your treats and have a little more of the one you love the most? Or will you throw all caution to the wind and enjoy everything placed in front of you with no restrictions, with a plan to make amends over the next few days?
just might be hungrier! Don’t let the cravings-loop get the best of you. Jump right back into your normal routine right after the meal and get your blood-sugar back into a healthy range by having a balanced protein and carb snack every two-three hours. Initiate activity. Recruit family and friends to go for a walk after
Have a wonderful and healthy holiday season!
Whatever you decide, make sure your plan supports your goals. And
bring a buddy into the process. It’s amazing what happens when you know someone is going to ask you how things went! Here are some basic guidelines to keep you from going off course:
Focus on family and friends instead of food. Set your boundaries
before you walk into the room and have a strategy. Think about how you’ll spend your time, whom you want to get to know better, and whose stories you’d like to hear. Make just one trip to the food table, or stay away entirely. Keep your body refreshed and your hands occupied. Make sure you
are well-hydrated before you arrive and keep the water coming throughout the evening. Add a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice, or bring the ingredients for a zero-calorie “mocktail.” When you’re holding a glass and sipping your beverage, you’ll feel more satiated and less focused on splurging. Leverage the “Lean and Green” approach. Healthy proteins and
leafy, non-starchy vegetables are tasty options. Most events will include protein offerings, but it’s unlikely that greens will be plentiful. Always offer to bring a veggie platter, a salad, or vegetable dish as your contribution, so you can be sure to have healthy options. Fill 50% of your plate with greens, 25% with protein, and the rest with the “other” category. Stick with your normal exercise routine, and eat portion controlled, balanced meals every two to three hours. Never go to an event with
an empty tummy, even if you think food will be served soon after you arrive. Have a healthy snack before you leave for the event, and try to make it protein-rich so you feel satisfied. This will prepare you to have control over your choices. 10 •
Gina Reinecke has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physical Education from Victoria University of Technology in Australia, and is a certified health coach through Villa Nova University’s Center for Obesity Prevention and Education. Gina spent many years as a NSCA certified personal trainer before finding her passion in health coaching. Gina Reinecke, Health Coach 951-219-2304 • firstname.lastname@example.org • ginareinecke.com
The Little Black Dress By Grayse Kelly Photo by Jann Gentry
According to the fashion bible, every successful fashionista should have a few essentials in her wardrobe: a super chic handbag, a classic timepiece, a never-fail, perfect fit pair of jeans, a stiletto heel, and above all, a little black dress — so iconic that it is known as the “LBD.” Never tossed into the heap of trends from yesteryear, the LBD ties together the wardrobe of every fashion-forward woman. Many credit the great Coco Chanel with the 1920’s origin of this mainstay. It is perfect for any occasion — a wedding, graduation, tea party, work, or even a night at the jazz lounge. The fun starts as you search for the dress! The upcoming holidays are the opportune time to try out a perfect silhouette and score the impeccable LBD for seasonal parties. There are lots of looks to embrace as long as you keep a few things in mind. The point is to own a piece that is simple yet elegant. Find a fit that makes you feel fabulous. You’ll want your LBD to be versatile and of quality fabric so you can expect exceptional wear from it. Above all, your LBD must be able to be dressed up or dressed down, depending on your occasion. Whether worn with a jacket for cooler nights, or simply sleek with glamorous jewelry and heels for a more refined evening, the perfect LBD will benefit your wardrobe in countless ways. There is no denying that the little black dress will remain a wardrobe staple for years to come. This simple, sophisticated piece has survived every fashion trend, remaining timelessly in vogue throughout fashion history. Stacy Carter, broker, First Class Fine Homes & Estates; Kimberly Davidson, business development manager, City of Murrieta, modeling their own LBDs
December/January 2014-15 • 11
Susan Ebert Susan Ebert is the Pacific West US Division President for EXIT Realty Corp International. She supports brokerages and brokers for EXIT Realty in the states of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and California. Susan was appointed to the position of president in 2013. Her real estate career began in 2005 when she purchased an EXIT franchise the very week she passed her real estate exam. In just five short years, her office had become number one in sales in Southern California. With awards ranging from Top Production, Sponsoring, Gross Commission, and Spirit of EXIT, Susan leads a team of professionals who serve the community with the integrity and character that reflect her own professionalism and heart, as well as that of the EXIT family. As a member of NAR (National Association of Realtors), SRCAR (Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors), and CAR (California Association of Realtors), along with her active support of organizations such as Susan G. Komen, Habitat for Humanity, Pop Warner Football, The Salvation Army, Adopt A Family, Boys and Girls Club, National Association of Professional Woman, Wounded Warriors, Project Touch, The Grid, and the local schools, Susan’s demonstrates a heart for community and leads by example. “I am humbled to partner with a group of professionals who share a common vision and support so many charitable organizations who have a presence in our community. She believes “with a team of trained professionals, we can change the face of real estate today. We can bring family back to the top of the priority list. With support, training, and mentoring in the field of real estate, a person can grow in all the areas of life and become the best possible version of themselves. Forget about being a game changer, I would like to be a life changer! I am truly humbled to be a part of such a great company whose leadership exemplifies grace and caring. EXIT Realty is a real estate company with heart,” she says. After a successful personal battle with breast cancer, Susan’s passion is to live life to the fullest, with a willingness to laugh at just about anything life throws at her. One of her greatest joys is the ability to offer the opportunity for real estate agents to grow personal wealth. Whether looking for a home, selling your home, investing in real estate, seeking a career in real estate, or interested in a franchise opportunity in the Pacific West, you need not look any further. EXIT Realty is growing strong and successful professionals, and watching dreams become reality, one person at a time.
Susan Ebert Pacific West U.S. Division President 619.200.2376 email@example.com EXIT Realty Corp BRE#01482553
The Extension Bar Salon Boutique What do a professional ballerina and a preacher’s daughter have in common? Professionalism. Drive. Talent. Creativity. And a salon! Rose Agoritsas and Suzanne Penir are co-owners of the Extension Bar Salon Boutique in Temecula. The two met while working at a local day spa and it was apparent from the beginning that they’re a great duo. After only a few casual conversations, they decided to go into business together. Their goal? To provide a top quality, highend salon experience for the women of the Valley. Located at Sola Salon on Temecula Parkway, The Extension Bar Salon Boutique occupies two swanky, sophisticated, boutique spaces that exude femininity and zin.
The ladies readily agree that their business works because they have a “fantastic partnership with old school values and ethics.” See for yourself; visit Rose and Suzanne at their Extension Bar Salon Boutique.
Suzanne was born and raised in Southern California. She and her family moved to the Temecula area 15 years ago to be closer to her father who was a well-known preacher. Suzanne specializes in both nail and skin care. She’s been doing nails since 1988, and in 2006 received her esthetician’s license from Paul Mitchell. “Suzanne is constantly furthering her education in her field,” says her partner Rose. Suzanne is currently enrolled in a master’s course in shellac nail polish to become a certified master nail technician. She offers manicures and pedicures, as well as specialized and personalized skin care treatments including microdermabrasion and more, as well as eyelash extensions. Rose is a master of cut and color and specializes in hair extensions. She grew up in Orange County and has lived in the Valley for two years. “I wanted to provide women a place to receive high quality hair extensions. We have hair on site so the client can come in, choose her hair, have it installed and cut, all in a couple of hours,” she says. Rose has owned several boutiques in Orange County and is experienced in all extension techniques. As a child she studied ballet and became a professional ballerina, traveling with the Joffrey Ballet at the age of 13. Rose went on to receive a degree in marketing and business. “I pursued a college degree more for my parents,” she says, “but the corporate world was never my personality. I prefer working closely with people.” Rose received her initial education in haircare from Vidal Sassoon, but has been doing extensions for over 20 years. Her client list includes styling for InStyle and Vogue magazines, styling runway models for New York Fashion Week, and styling for reality television shows including The Real Housewives of Orange County. The two have a great working relationship offering services that complement each other. “We can provide ‘everything glamour’ in one location,” Suzanne says. Rose adds, “We also are a great option for bridal parties. An entire party can come in and receive everything from hair extensions, to mani/pedis, to lashes.”
Extension Bar Salon Boutique 32467 Temecula Parkway; Suites 14 &24 Temecula 92592 951.541.1500 or 951.795.9170 firstname.lastname@example.org
December/January 2014-15 • 13
Scan to Disc, Shred to Dust
Two local veterans team up to offer dynamic business solutions to the valley
DOCUMENT SECURITY SOLUTIONS Established in 2004, Document Security Solutions provides services to business, residential and government customers seeking a secure way to destroy personal and confidential paperwork, while allowing the client to eyewitness the destruction process. The company uses the latest mobile shredding technology available to produce confetti-sized paper shreds, making documents unreadable, preventing records from being recreated, and leaving no possible way for personal information to be compromised. Document Security Solutions is certified through the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) which allows for mobile shredding of paper media and computer hard drives. Each customer receives a certificate of destruction, which may be necessary for those businesses who are subject to audit and/or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policies. The company caters to residential customers, banks, real estate agencies, medical and legal offices, and any business needing to dispose of confidential information and/or protect themselves or their clients from identity theft. Document Security Solutions serves Temecula, Winchester, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, and surrounding cities in Southern California. 100% of shredded paper is recycled. Document Security Solutions also caters to businesses required to comply with California Civil Code 1798.80. Call for pricing. 951.672.6224 About the owner: Originally from Morganton North Carolina, Parish Morris retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2004. “My military veteran’s benefits were a great asset in helping to accomplish my goals,” he says. He is a recent graduate of the University of Phoenix with a degree in business.
ON-TIME IMAGING Established in 2007, On-Time Imaging provides a means for local residents and businesses to GO PAPERLESS. Housed under one roof with Document Security Solutions, the businesses complement each other well. The company provides document scanning solutions for business card -sized files to engineering-sized drawings and artwork. On-Time Imaging caters to schools, law offices, property management, and real estate agencies to name a few. The company also assists medical practices that need to be in compliance with Federal Mandated Electronic Medical Records (EMR) rules. “Wherever there is paper, there is an increasing desire for quicker, more efficient methods for document retrieval. On-Time Imaging has the knowledge and experience needed to assist clients with this,” says owner Douglas Henry. On-Time Imaging is HIPAA compliant and provides services to help companies prevent loss, damage and/or identity theft. On-Time Imaging also provides cloud-based digital storage, notary, and live scan fingerprinting services. 951.941.8463 About the owner: Douglas Henry was born in London, England, immigrated to the U.S. in 1983, and joined the United States Marine Corps. He retired as a Master Sergeant after 22 years of military service. Douglas is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS), and received his BS in Environment Management from Columbia Southern University and his MBA in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Both business owners received assistance from the Department of Veteran Affairs Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation which provided assistance with business planning and a grant towards their business startup costs.
ABOUT A GIRL
A Healing Process By Heather Bremner | Photo by Jann Gentry
When Xiomara Hall saw the shadows she knew … when she opened the front door, the two Marines would deliver devastating news. The words seared her heart; her husband, U.S. Marine Corps Major William Hall had died from injuries sustained in an IED explosion while serving in Iraq. Major Hall had landed in the Middle East on February 13, 2008. Six weeks later he was killed while heading back to base. “I wanted to slam the door shut,” Xiomara says. Even more crushing was the reason he traveled into Fallujah that fateful day; it was to access the Internet to buy a present for their April 1 anniversary. The two would never have the chance to celebrate their six years together. Major Hall was posthumously promoted to lieutenant colonel. When Xiomara, 40, relates the story, she apologizes before mentioning the sad facts. Yet, she says she can’t allow herself to wallow in sorrow. “Initially the pain was mind numbing,” she admits, “but you don’t really have a choice. What are the choices … do you give up?” Xiomara did the opposite. The strong-willed mother of four took her grief and pain by the reins and road it in a positive direction. She knew that running increases serotonin, the “happy chemical” in the body, so she began training and eventually completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. She also journaled. And she reminded - and still reminds - herself and her children, that the reason it hurts so much is because they lost someone they loved. “It is a sad thing, yes, but not many people die doing what they love,” she says, “and William loved what he was doing. He believed in what he was doing. As for the children, after what they’ve been through, they are more empathetic, more understanding, and more tolerant. Their dad left them a wonderful legacy; he is buried at Arlington.” Still, Xiomara had changed. She took a leave of absence from her accounting job and when she returned, she realized that her heart was no longer in numbers and calculations. Then a chance presented itself. A barbecue joint called Lazy Brothers Market was for sale. Xiomara, a Puerto Rican native and avid cook, had often dreamed of owning her own restaurant. She decided to dive in, buying the Murrieta-based restaurant in 2012. She changed the name to Tropical BBQ and began serving up a variety of Caribbean Islandinspired dishes, from jerk chicken and pasteles, to empanadas and sweet plantains. “There was nothing here in terms of Caribbean food, so I felt that niche was wide open,” she said. Xiomara is also working on bringing her “X” Islands Caribbean Jerk BBQ sauce to supermarket shelves. The sauce helped her win
$10,000 on the former television series, Supermarket Superstar, Lifetime’s cooking competition. Decked out in her Tropical BBQ polo shirt, her brunette hair pulled back in a casual ponytail, Xiomara talks easily about growing up in Florida, where she moved from Puerto Rico when in high school. She earned a bachelor’s from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, married her college sweetheart, and had two boys. That marriage ended in divorce. And then one day, while out with some girlfriends, her “gorgeous” future husband happened to walk in her direction. “He had me at ‘hello,’ how corny is that?” she says with a laugh. Xiomara and William married and had two girls, now 13 and 9 years old. Opening a restaurant is the perfect bookend for her life with William, considering that one of their early dates featured Xiomara’s signature homemade dessert. “He may have had me at ‘hello,’ but I had him at peach cobbler,” she reminisces. Tropical BBQ is currently searching for a new home, but is open for catering. tropicalbbqtemecula.com December/January 2014-15 • 15
Maximize the Sparkle, Joy & Wonder of the Holidays A FREE VIRTUAL SEMINAR
This 60-minute seminar, Choose Joy, is Dr. Julianne Blake’s gift to you, along with an 8-minute guided meditation, perfect for the holidays and the new year. Learn to … Deeply relax Turn stress into power Bring magic to relationships Dissolve fear & anger Reduce pain & create healing Let your love flow Create joy at any moment
Visit ChooseJoyAnyway.com/FreeSeminar to register and choose your date. JULIANNE BLAKE, PH.D. Empowerment Coach Focused on Health & Healing
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French & Living in America By Angela Mains | Photos courtesy of Cannelle Waller
Cannelle Waller, originally from Lyon, France, moved to San Diego in 2007. She discovered Temecula one Thanksgiving weekend while traveling north to visit friends. “I saw these big boulders on the hillside and signs for Wine Country,” she said. “It was so beautiful! ‘Where is this place?’ I wondered, then saw another sign that read ‘Temecula City limits.’ I planned a visit as soon as I returned home. After visiting, I wasted no time calling a realtor, ‘I want to buy a home in Temecula!’ I said. Cannelle has been a resident of the Valley ever since. “I am in love with this country,” she says. “Living in California, every day I feel I am in paradise. When I first arrived in California, I’d look out the window every morning just to see the color of the sky. It’s so blue,” she says, in comparison to her hometown of Lyon, which has much rainy weather. She explains however, that living in the U.S. is much different than vacationing here. “My friends asked how I would deal with the culture shock moving to America and I’d say, ‘Come on, I’m not going to Africa or Asia, it’s America!’” But she soon discovered some surprising differences in culture. “People in the U.S. meet each other and the second or third question is, “What do you do for a living?” In France it’s rude to ask someone what they do. It has nothing to do with who they are.” She also points out, “Americans don’t like to talk about religion and politics. In France, you can hold a conversation on these topics for hours and respect each other’s views, then shake hands and walk away as friends. I find that my American friends prefer to keep their opinions private, just to avoid certain social topics.” Though Cannelle is impressed with American kindness and commitment to charity, she finds it confusing that we do not take better care of ourselves financially. “This is a huge country with a lot of money. There are means for everyone to have healthcare. In France, it’s something you know you have to do. Even if you’re self-employed, it’s not an option, everyone must pay into insurance, unemployment, retirement, and health care. It’s mandatory. Cannelle became a widow at the age of 32. Aside from her husband’s life insurance, she received social assistance that covered her
living expenses for one year. “When something so tragic happens in your life, you have to deal with loss and you have to deal with life. You shouldn’t have to worry about money.” She goes on to say, “But I’ve embraced this country and the cultural differences. My first five years here I avoided French meet-up groups. Why you would go to a foreign country just to stay in small circles of people from your own country? I’ve met other Europeans who have lived in this country for years and they have no American friends. I don’t understand that,” she says. Cannelle’s degrees in art, history of art, and graphic design were earned in France and aren’t recognized in this country, so she’s had to find ways to get involved and make a contribution here. In order to feel a part of the community, she volunteered as a French tutor at Great Oaks High School for three years. Today she is a private French teacher and tutor. Her students include students from 8 years old through high school, college students, military linguists, doctors, and tourists who come to her for social French classes before visiting France. She is also able to focus on her art work because she says that California is so inspiring. She uses oil, acrylic, and water color in her own distinct manor to capture the ocean and mountains surrounding her. Cannelle is a modern contemporary artist and sells her paintings to eager clients around the world who patiently wait for their personalized pieces. Cannelle has two children; her daughter Violaine lives and works in Great Britain, and her son Romain lives and works in Singapore. The family reunites two or three times a year. Cannelle had the pleasure of spending this past Thanksgiving in Singapore and Bali with her children. “France is very beautiful,” she says. There is so much to see. Everyone should visit Paris. It’s fantastic; there is no city like it! And the Alps … they are breathtaking whether you visit them from the French side or the Switzerland side.” Cannelle’s painting, “The Alps” Visit cannellewaller.com to view more.
Cannelle Waller Photos of Paris, France December/January 2014-15 • 17
LOOK LIKE A STAR IN YOUR EVERYTHING-SHINESBRIGHTER KITCHEN
SAVE THE DATE Jingle & Mingle Holiday Mixer & Annual Bottle Auction Dec 10, 5:30-8:00pm 29995 Evans Road, Sun City Chamber members free. Nonmembers $10 donation Bring door prize & speak about your business. menifeechamber.com Holiday Gingerbread House Night Thurs, Dec 11. 6pm-8pm Fun-filled family evening making gingerbread houses. Hot cocoa, holiday cookies & surprise visit from Santa. Marion V. Ashley Community Center, 25625 Briggs Rd, Menifee. $2 early registration, $3 at door. 951.672.6744 vwrpd.org Winter Movie Night in the Park Dec 12. 6pm - 8:00pm “The Santa Clause” Bring your blankets, chairs and a snack to enjoy a movie under the stars. Summerlake Park, 900 W Broadway, Lake Elsinore Free. 951.245.0442
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Referred for a reason. 18 •
Breakfast with Santa Lake Elsinore Fire Stations Sat, Dec. 13, Station 85, 29405 Grand Ave Sat, Dec 20, Station 10, 410 W Graham Ave 8:30am. Ages 0-11. $5 Tickets must be purchased at Lake Community Center, 310 W Graham Ave. 951.245.0442 The Nutcracker Ballet Presented by The Ballet Studio & Fine Arts Network Theatre Company. Dec 18-21. Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main Street. Tickets $25$29. 866.653.8696 temecula.org Low Cost Shot Clinic Offered by Animal Friends of the Valley. 3rd Sat of each month. 1:303:30pm. Lake Elsinore City Park, corner of Main & Limited Ave Dog & cat licensing available at shot clinics. Bring spay/neuter & rabies certificates if applicable 951.674.0618 Snowbell Rockin’ Nights Thurs thru Sun evenings. 7pm, 8pm, & 9pm thru December 28 Holiday carols with lights & music Temecula Civic Center, 41000 Main St. Free Admission
Temecula On Ice Outdoor ice skating rink. Thru Jan 4. Open Christmas Day & New Year’s Eve. Old Town Temecula in front of City Hall . facebook.com/ TemeculaOnIce eventstemecula.com All that Glitters New Year’s Eve Celebration Dec 31, 7:30pm-12:30am South Coast Winery Resort & Spa 34843 Rancho California Rd $165. 951.491.8077 southcoastwinery.com Decades New Year’s Eve Party Wilson Creek Winery Dec 31, 7:30pm-12:30am Live band & DJ w/music from the 1970s to present. Dress in your favorite decade’s attire. 35960 Rancho California Rd. $195pp. Members $175. wilsoncreekwinery.com Grape Drop Dec 31, 5pm-midnight Live bands, activities for kids until 9pm. Temecula Civic Center, 41000 Main Street. Free admission. visittemeculavalley.com Taste of Tahiti Festival Jan 10, 10am - 09:30pm Music, Games, Food & more Temecula Valley High Golden Bears Theater, 31555 Rancho Vista Rd. 951.294.6526 tasteoftahiti.org Walking Tours of Old Town Temecula Jan 17, 2015 10-11am. Historic guided walking tour. $2/person Children 8 & under must be accompanied by adult. 951.694.6450 Temecula Valley Museum @ Sam Hicks Monument Park, 28314 Mercedes Street 66th Annual Installation Dinner & Awards Ceremony Jan 31, 6pm. Lake Elsinore Storm Diamond Club, 500 Diamond Dr $100/person or $1,000 for table of 6 RSVP at lakeelsinorechamber.com 951.245.8848
Please email your upcoming public announcements/events to firstname.lastname@example.org
COOKING WITH NANCY Butternut Squash in Pecan/Honey Glaze
Wild Rice with Slivered Almonds and Crimini Mushroom Sauce
Active: 10 min. Cook Time: 30 min. – 1 hr. Servings: 3 – 4 For the rice
• 1 cup wild rice • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock • 2 tsp. sea salt • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil • 1 tsp. garlic powder • ½ tsp. Allspice • ½ tsp. nutmeg
For the mushroom sauce
• 1 cup sliced Crimini mushrooms • ¼ cup chopped parsley • ¼ cup sliced almonds • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter • ½ tsp. sea salt • ¼ cup sherry wine vinegar • ¼ tsp. Allspice
In a small pot, bring stock to a boil. Give rice a quick rinse in a strainer. Add rice, sea salt, butter or olive oil, garlic powder, Allspice, and nutmeg to boiling stock. Reduce to low heat and cover for 25-30 minutes. While rice is cooking, roughly chop parsley and set aside. Next, place almonds in a small skillet and toast on low until golden brown (about 5 minutes). To prepare sauce, add sliced mushrooms, unsalted butter, sea salt, sherry wine vinegar, and Allspice to a small pot or skillet on medium heat. Continue to stir until mushrooms have become tender and sauce has thickened a bit. Add parsley and stir for about one minute. Remove from heat. When rice is tender, drain water. Place rice in a bowl and pour mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Add a pinch of parsley for garnish and serve.
Nancy Cordi, Owner/Chef Mediterrania Personal and Private Chef Service mediterraniacatering.com 310.221.2786
Active: 20 min. Cook Time: 45 min. – 1 hr. Servings: 4 – 6 Ingredients
• 1 medium-size butternut squash • 2 tsp. onion powder • 1 tsp. garlic powder • 1 tsp. chili powder • ¼ tsp. Allspice • ¼ tsp. nutmeg • 1 tsp. cane sugar • 1 tsp. sea salt • 3 tbsp. olive oil
For the glaze
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter • ¼ cup whole or chopped pecans • ⅓ cup honey • ¼ cup water • ½ tsp. cinnamon • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. Take the end of a sharp knife and poke several holes around the butternut squash. Place squash on a plate and microwave for 6-8 minutes (time will be less/ more depending on size of squash and power of microwave). Squash should be cooked until fork-tender but not too soft. Remove from microwave and place on a cutting board. With a sharp cutting knife, slice squash into thirds, width-wise. Remove skin by slowly cutting down the sides. After all the skin has been removed, cut into 1” cubes and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Coat with olive oil, spices, sugar, and salt. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until soft. While squash is in the oven, prepare the glaze by adding honey, water, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg to saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Stir-in pecans to coat. Remove from heat once sauce has thickened. When squash is fork-tender and soft, remove from oven and pour glaze on top. Serve warm.
December/January 2014-15 • 19
Luke’s On Front Review and photos by Kathy Zelasko
Looking for a new, trendy, upbeat restaurant? Check out Luke’s On Front. Four stories up, Luke’s offers open-air dining, an amazing view of the city, and American fusion fare. The atmosphere is both relaxed and inviting. The restaurant boasts a hip San Diego vibe blended with Temecula Valley flair and familiarity. Local art adorns the walls, the full bar boasts local wines and beer, and occasionally a musician entertains customers with live music. Private parties can be accommodated on the outside patio that includes a fire pit, or in the inside lounge that has a 103” projection screen.
to get back to the old-school way of serving,” Chris adds. “Luke’s is a place where our customers can sit back and watch a game, or sit on the balcony and enjoy the view.”
Owners Chris and Kelly Cusack, along with Kelly’s brother Ryan Klein, took on the challenge of an empty shell. With a strict budget and lots of hard work, the Cusack/Klein families have literally designed and built their restaurant from the bottom up, with little outside help. Even the Cusack’s two-year-old son, Finn, is part of the family business and is often seen popping in and out of the kitchen. The family chose the name “Luke’s” in memory of Chris and Kelly’s firstborn son who passed away as an infant. “We’ve spent many hours bringing our dream to completion,” says Chris. Kelly chimes in, “In fact, last Mother’s Day while other moms were out celebrating, we were here pouring our concrete bar. The bar was my Mother’s Day gift!” The Klein family, longtime members of the community, moved to Temecula when Kelly was just two-years-old. “My grandfather took us to the market that used to be where this building is,” Kelly says. “I remember riding our Go-Karts to buy milk there. Now I have a restaurant in the very spot that brings back those childhood memories!” Luke’s menu, created by local chef Neftali Torres, has something delectable for everyone. The scallop BLT is a delicious combination of fresh scallops wrapped in candied applewood bacon and micro greens, with sweet chili lime vinaigrette. Seared Ahi tacos and Larry’s BBQ meatloaf are favorites of many customers. A great gluten-free option is the Power Salad - baby spinach, grilled chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and goat cheese, with olive oil and honey mustard vinaigrette. Meat lovers will be delighted with the bone-in ribeye steak with au gratin potatoes. There are even scrumptious desserts to choose from, including white chocolate rum cheesecake and their famed Lemon Madness Cupcakes. The customer is the first priority at Luke’s. You often see Chris, Kelly and Ryan at the tables checking to make sure everything is perfect. “I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and my husband more than 28 years, so we know what works,” Kelly says, “but every day we still work to get better.”
Luke’s On Front is currently open for lunch and dinner. Plans are underway for a champagne Sunday brunch and catering for parties and events.
“We want everyone to feel welcome here and we believe that it’s time
28693 Old Town Front Street, Ste. 402, Temecula, 92590 · 951.699.9900
GIRLS NEXT DOOR As we celebrate the holiday season and the coming of the new year, let’s take a moment to remember the men and women who have bravely served our country, defending our freedoms and protecting traditions we are able to enjoy with our families.
Tawanna Blanche, a Temecula resident, is from Atlanta, Georgia. In 1987 she enlisted
in the U.S. Navy as a dental technician, and achieved the rank of Dental Technician First Class. In 2000, after earning a degree in Healthcare Administration from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Ill.), she accepted a commission through the Medical Service Corps Officer In-Service Procurement Program. Six years later, Lieutenant Commander Tawanna Blanche earned a MA in Psychology from National University. She is currently assigned to Navy Medicine West, as the Regional Patient Administration Officer/Regional Lean Six Sigma Program Director/Regional Black Belt. In her spare time Tawanna is an independent Scentsy consultant. Her husband of 14 years, Terry, and their 11-year-old daughter Sienna enjoy spending quality time with one another, sharing Scentsy, and raising pure-bred boxers. Tawanna is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, the Psi Beta National Honor Society, the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and the American College of Health Care Executives.
Amy Craine was born in Manila, Philippines and came to the U.S. as a child when her
father was serving in the Navy. Amy grew up in San Diego, and has lived in Temecula since 1997. She has been married for 34 years to Randy Crain, and the couple has two children. Amy was active duty in the Air Force from 1979 to 1985, and in 1988 joined the Air Force Reserve. She is now a senior master sergeant (E-8) in the 752d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at March Air Reserve Base with a background in aerospace propulsion. “I was a Navy brat and enjoyed our military life. I wanted to give back to this country and I felt the best way was to serve. I’ve also been able to travel, create lifelong friendships, and achieve my educational goals.” Amy volunteers for organizations such as the Veterans Supplemental Support Network (VSSN), the Youth Education Motivation Program (YEMP), and Habitat for Humanity. She belongs to the American Legion Post 852, Air Force Sergeants Association, and Women in Aviation International. A fun fact is that when she was in second grade, Amy was in a television special featuring Debbie Reynolds, which was filmed in San Diego.
Maggie Gamillo is a home care consultant manager with Home Instead Senior Care in Murrieta. She has
a BA in Social Work from San Diego State University and a Masters in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. At the age of 15 Maggie read John F. Kennedy’s famous words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” That was when she knew she wanted to serve her country. Maggie eventually joined the Marine Corps Reserves and took advantage of the opportunity it provided to go to college. For more than 10 years she served with the 4th Medical Battalion, Miramar, setting up field hospitals in Camp Pendleton, Calif. and Camp Lejeune, N.C. After an honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant, Maggie’s passion to make a difference in her community led her to become actively involved with such organizations as Toys for Tots, Meals on Wheels, San Diego Girl Scouts, Senior Resource Association, and Latino Merchants Association – Veteran Committee. In 2014 Maggie received the distinguished recognition of the Presidential Call to Action Award for giving over 1000 hours of her time to community causes. Maggie lives in Fallbrook with her husband Frank, their daughter Lea, and their Rottweilers Mattie and Rocko.
December/January 2014-15 • 21
OUT & ABOUT
Ron Jones, Carolyn Loudd, Reggie Loudd, Shanita Payne, Bel Vino Winery
Enrique Fernandez & friends celebrating a birthday in Old Town Temecula
Debby Dedmon, Cathy Stenson & Jackie Gerber at the Up Your Alley booth, Temecula Farmer’s Market
Kelli Ockinga & Holly Suhi, TVCC Women In Business Conference
Local realtors competing in Southwest Riverside County Association of REALTORS’ Hoptoberfest Chili Cook-off for Charity Rosalba Rouse & Geamie Brittain, Temecula Farmer’s Market
Visitors to the LoLa Magazine booth, Komen IE Race for the Cure
Murrieta Veterans Day Parade 22 •
Murrieta Veterans Day Parade
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