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MARCH 2014

Redefining Success


COVER STORY  p. 8 Redefining Success: 12 local ladies discuss their paths to success

TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH  p. 14 Local teen, Kaitlyn Parra, honored as a Star of the Valley

Take the first step to a heart-healthy community!

TEMECULA VALLEY HEART & STROKE WALK Saturday - May 3, 2014 Lake Skinner, Winchester | 310-424-4160 Registration: 7 AM | Program: 8 AM | Walk: 8:30 AM 5K Walk/Run, Kids Fun Zone, Free Health Screenings, Fun Fitness Demos, Live Music and more! National Sponsor

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March 2014 • 3

A WORD FROM THE PUBLISHER Spring Is Upon Us! It always feels like spring in Southern Cali­ fornia, but it’s still fun to say, “it’s spring.” On March 9, we spring our clocks forward one hour and gain an extra hour of daylight, and on March 20, we officially begin our spring season. The foxtails are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and the kids are impatiently awaiting spring break. Get out and enjoy the weather!

LoLa Magazine 39252 Winchester Road, Suite #107-256 Murrieta, CA 92563 951.319.4000 PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Angela Mains CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Holly Suhi

In this issue, I am happy to share a cover with a few of the movers and shakers of Teme­ cula Valley. I’m very proud to announce that I, myself, along with 39 other men and women were honored at a ceremony hosted by the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce last month for our business savvy and community service. It’s such an honor and I’ve really enjoyed get­ ting to know these amazing ladies and gen­ tlemen. Congratulations to all who won the honor of 40 under Forty.


This month we are all about getting healthy. Please take a minute to register and join the Valley’s collective effort to Walk to the Moon this year. See pages 6 and 7 for more information.

COLUMNISTS Grayse Kelly  Inner Fashionista Missy Jones  She Said/He Said Dominic Carcioppolo  She Said/He Said Shelly Moore  Single in the Valley Tammy Albery  Tammy’s Table

And meet one of the most inspiring teens in the Valley - Kaitlyn Parra. Kaitlyn was honored at the annual Stars of the Valley event last month, along with Steven Kroeger and six-yearold Ashlynn McGowen. Read Kaitlyn’s story on page 14, and be sure to visit the Charity for Charity website at to find out more about Stars of the Valley, and learn how you can help. In our January issue, we challenged you to try something new in 2014 and invited you to email us and let us know the impact it’s had on you. At the end of the year, we will choose one lucky reader and share her 2014 story. Make this a year to check a few items off of your “I always wanted to try” list. On my list … learn to dance. So, my husband and I have started taking a ballroom dance class at Alias Movement Center in Temecula. So much fun and great exercise! I can’t wait to dance at my cousin Amy’s wedding this summer! Breathe. Believe. Achieve.


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Bremner Gina Reinecke CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy Dawnelle Brandy Pelligrino INTERNS Mikayla Fultz

-Angela M. Comment from a reader (may be edited for space or clarity)

I picked up one of your magazines while passing through Temecula about a month ago. I really love the inspirational things you ladies are doing. Just wanted to send you some positivity. -Mike, San Diego

LoLa Magazine is published monthly by LoLa Magazine, LLC. While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the content in this publication, the publisher cannot be responsible for ad content, submitted articles, errors, or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publisher. Copyright 2014, LoLa Magazine, LLC.


March 2014

MARCH 2014

Photo submitted by local photographer Gabriella Santos. Taken at South Coast Winery.



7 SPECIAL FEATURE Walk to the Moon

To Submit Material For story ideas, inquiries, letters to the editor, photos of local scenes, Girls Next Door submissions, questions or comments, email:

8 COVER STORY Redefining Success 12 WOMEN’S WELLNESS 3 Steps to a Healthier You 13 INNER FASHIONISTA Everything Is Coming Up Roses 14 ABOUT A GIRL From Tragedy to Triumph 16 SHE SAID/HE SAID

For Advertising For advertising contact David Mains: 951.319.4000 Visit Us Read the full copy of LoLa Magazine online: Connect with Us Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: @ireadlola

19 SINGLE IN THE VALLEY 20 TAMMY’S TABLE Italian Frittata 21 GIRLS NEXT DOOR Local Ladies Strike a Pose for LoLa Magazine

Cover photo by  Amy Dawnelle Kaitlyn Parra photo on this pg courtesy of Charity for Charity

Kaitlyn Parra

p. 14 March 2014 • 5


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HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO … Strengthen your bones … Reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke … Build muscle …  Prevent or manage type 2 diabetes … Lift your mood … Trim your waistline …  Clear your mind … Have fun with people you like … And be part of something BIG?????? … WELL THEN, LET’S WALK! WE’RE WALKING TO THE MOON, AND WE WANT YOU WITH US What’s it all about? Walk to the Moon is a Southwest Riverside County community-wide campaign to log 238,000 miles, the distance to the moon. Who can take part? Adults, kids, senior citizens, businesses, classrooms, entire schools, hospitals, community groups, civic organizations, families, friends — everyone is encour­ aged to join the effort to put us on a path to better health and wellness. How? Any way you want! Get a group together or invite a neighbor or friend who needs some exercise, and make walk­ ing a regular and frequent part of your week. Then go ahead and kiss the ground you walked on, because you will feel the difference. When? Phase I of the campaign was officially launched January 2 and culminates on April 27 with a community-wide celebra­ tion at Lake Elsinore’s Diamond Stadium. Bring your family and friends family for an afternoon of fun, community spirit, a health fair that could change your life, and a Storm base­ ball game! Tickets to the game will be only $6, instead of the usual $10. What’s the next step? It’s easy. Just visit walktothemoon/and log your steps or miles — daily, weekly, monthly — whatever works for you. If you bike, dance, do step

aerobics or something else that gets you moving, count those miles too. The site has a link that can answer all your questions. Step by step, everyone’s miles will help our community reach the moon! A HEALTHY COMMUNITIES COLLABORATION “The community is my patient,” said Cynthia Clark, origi­ nator of the Walk to the Moon idea, along with Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards. As director of employee and com­ munity wellness at Murrieta’s Loma Linda University Hospital, Cynthia is on a mission. “We want to embrace the whole com­ munity. I continually ask myself how businesses, hospitals, organizations, and citizens can work together to make our community healthier.” An end that is just a beginning. The April 27th event at the Storm Stadium will celebrate the results of Phase I of our campaign, and mark the beginning of a new, expanded col­ laboration toward achieving a healthier community. Many businesses and organizations that normally compete will come together to provide free-of-charge health and wellness information, resources, and many services. “It’s great to see our community pour energy into a common goal,” said Mayor Edwards. “It is our community’s gift — a gift of health —  to each other. “

One small step for Southwest Riverside County; one giant leap for community wellness!

Left to right: Mike Howley, firefighter engineer, Murrieta Fire Dept.; Cynthia Clark, director of employee and community wellness, Loma Linda University Hospital, Murrieta; Theresa Swickla, instructional specialist, Riverside County Office of Education; Opal Hellweg, legislative assistant to Riverside County supervisor Jeff Stone; Thuy-Ann Vu, wellness intern, Loma Linda University Hospital, Murrieta; Jessica Bautista, volunteer, Loma Linda University Hospital, Murrieta


Redefining Success By  Heather Bremner

How can someone accomplish so much with less than 40 years under her belt? These women who recently won the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce’s Second Annual Forty Under 40 Award for their outstanding achievement in the community, answer that very question with the spunk and confidence you’d expect from a successful woman. These are the voices Murrieta Chamber of Commerce CEO Patrick Ellis wanted to echo in the community when he proposed the concept of recognizing young business people, an idea he brought with him from his former tenure in Ventura County. “You think about our Valley and you could easily and quickly name top business professionals who are well-established,” he says. “The idea was to spotlight younger individuals who may not necessarily get the limelight or any type of recognition.” Forty men and women accepted the honor as young movers and shakers of the Valley. We had the pleasure of speaking with some of the women:


March 2014

Jennifer Babb, The Broken Yolk Cafe

Stefani Laszko, Mythos Technology, Inc.

In 2012, 29-year-old Murrieta resident Jennifer Babb, along with her husband Oscar, opened The Broken Yolk Cafe in Temecula, bringing the San Diego cult favorite to hungry locals. Even with her busy schedule running the fast-paced cafe, Jennifer remains involved in the community, sitting on the board of the Main Street Chamber, donating to numerous local charities, and sponsoring youth sports teams. “It is really important for me to help those who are less fortunate and hopefully give them the tools they need to accomplish their goals,” she says. Running a successful business is difficult enough, but doing so at 29? Jennifer is quick to point out that she doesn’t do it all on her own. “My husband and I built our business by taking big risks, and then following up with a lot of hours of hard work, “ she says. “We believe you can do anything if you have the right team to support you.” And for other young women wanting to strike out on their own, she has some sound advice. “Don’t be afraid to jump in and get your hands dirty. You will never accomplish your dreams if you wait around for someone else to make it happen for you.”

She may spend her days mostly surrounded by men, but Stefani Laszko’s voice isn’t drowned out by their buzz. “I work in a male-dominated industry but I’ve found that if I do my homework and present my views in an organized, professional manner, I have no problem being heard.” The 36-year-old owner of Mythos Technology grew up in the Temecula Valley, is raising her children here, and was excited to receive accolades from her well-respected peers in the form of this award. When not working, you’ll find Stefani serving on the Michelle’s Place and Breast Cancer Resource Center boards. She is also a member of the Women’s Peer Connection. So how has she managed to establish her own successful technology company at the young age of 36? “It really boils down to working hard and networking,” she explains. The Wildomar resident wants to remind up-and-comers that failure is a major part of the journey to success. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; just make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Eboni McClanahan, Paul Mitchell, The School Temecula and The Empowerment Center

Jennifer Mejares-Pham, Learning With Jen Education Consulting

If Eboni McClanahan had her way, women in the workplace would relate to each other more as sisters rather than competitors. “There’s a lack of genuine connection among female employees within the corporate sphere. We can overcome division in the workplace by supporting one another, and celebrating one another’s victories,” says the 23-year-old Temecula resident. When Eboni was 15, she took advantage of the programs offered by The Empowerment Center. Today she serves as the center’s program facilitator and as the admissions representative and community outreach coordinator for Temecula’s Paul Mitchell - The School. At The Empowerment Center, she helps teach financial literacy to at-risk youth and teens. At Paul Mitchell she hosts weekly presentations exalting the career opportunities available through the cosmetology industry and teaches career planning and professional development classes to high school students. Eboni continues to live by the mantra passed along to her by Tiffany Baker, founder of The Empowerment Center, “Your gifts and your talent will make room for you, but your integrity and character will keep you when you get there.”

Jennifer Mejares-Pham started her business at the precious age of 11. Now at the young age of 30, the Murrieta resident has already built quite the legacy. “I started really young,” says the owner of Learning with Jen, Educational Consulting. “I remember volunteering in elementary school and helping in the cafeteria in middle school, but by the time I graduated from high school I had earned over 1,000 hours of community service and the momentum continued from there. After graduating from college, Jen was recognized as one of President Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients for her community service. As a young minority woman, Jennifer says, “The only way to overcome obstacles and stereotypes is to prove them wrong. I am always over-researched, overly-prepared, the first to volunteer, and willing to go the extra mile. I believe the biggest challenge for women is that we sell ourselves short. We are capable of everything and anything; we just need to go out and fight for it. And never give up, no matter the circumstances.” Fill your toolbox with as many resources as possible—college classes, seminars, certifications—and be flexible with the changing economy, “she advises. March 2014 • 9

Erin Moran, Murrieta Mesa High School

Kelli Ockinga, Visiting Nurses Association

Recognition from the community is something that means a lot to Erin Moran. “Murrieta is where I grew up, where I was educated, and where I raise my children. To know that I have made a difference in my town is very special,” says the 36-year old Murrieta Mesa High School activities director. A dedicated educator, it isn’t difficult for Erin to serve as a positive force in the community. “I love my job and the students I am privileged to work with every day. I am passionate about educating student leaders and believe strongly in the development of young men and women with strong integrity and ethical decision-making skills,” she says. Erin works with numerous nonprofits including Susan G. Komen, Relay for Life, Share the Harvest, and the American Heart Association. The mother of three also sits on the boards of Rancho Panthers football and the Cal Select Baseball Club. “I believe the biggest challenge for women in the workplace is balancing our careers and our families,” says Erin. “There are pressures and expectations about what mothers should be doing or how much a mother should be away from her children, but what I feel is even more harmful is the pressure we put on ourselves. Finding the balance is the ultimate goal.”

“If you’re not willing to work hard to achieve your dreams, it’s not worth aspiring to be the best that you can be. Perseverance, in my opinion, is the greatest asset to success … doing what is right, while following your beliefs, especially when no one is watching,” says 34-year old Kelli Ockinga. As community liaison for the Visiting Nurses Association California, Kelli serves patients, their caregivers, and families by providing home health and hospice services. Having only recently moved to this area, the Midwest transplant is humbled to be included in a group of such high caliber individuals. Growing up with parents who emphasized the vital importance of being involved in your community, Kelli is ready to jump into public service. A busy professional woman, Kelli would like to see the whole idea of a family evolve. “I believe society still needs to change the definition of a modern family,” she says. “A female currently balances a professional career with the demands of a stereotypical family life — one that is demanding and requiring a greater burden of care. In order to overcome this role in society we need to continue displaying the emotional intelligence to overcome the stereotypes, and establish the knowledge, skills and ability to be viewed as an equal.”

Ann Owens, RKR Marketing and Advertising

Ashley Powell, ServiceMaster Total Restoration, Murrieta

In a country with the likes of Sheryl Sandberg and Condoleezza Rice, it’s no surprise women are business owners and leaders, but that doesn’t mean obstacles don’t stand in the way. “The biggest challenge for women in the workplace is we, ourselves,” says Ann Owens, who is in charge of business development for Temecula-based RKR Marketing and Advertising. “We have to overcome our self-limiting thoughts about being less capable than others, and use our unique differences to our advantage in strengthening relationships and building bonds in the community.” For this 27-year-old, that means dedicating herself to making a difference in the Valley. She does this by serving on various committees, such as the Valley of Young Professionals and volunteering her time at events hosted by multiple charities, including Susan G. Komen and the Reality Rally. Ann says she owes her young success to those around her. “I’ve been able to quickly establish myself in the community by utilizing the resources provided by RKR, and collaborating with the dynamic staff to reach beyond our business and help others.”

At only 21 years of age, Ashley Powell has already discovered society’s high expectations. “I believe in an effort to prove ourselves in the workplace, there is pressure on women to do whatever men do, only better,” says the Winchester resident. “In the process, we lose sight of our unique strengths and abilities as women.” Ashley keeps herself busy not only with her work as loss coordinator and estimator, but also volunteering at her church and helping out with family affairs. Receiving this honor really surprised Ashley who says, “My faith in God’s sovereignty is what motivates and inspires me in all areas of my life.” As a young woman who entered the workforce right out of high school, Ashley has a unique perspective when asked how to give other women advice on building their careers. “My advice is to be intentional,” she says. “Know your purpose and be confident in it.”

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March 2014

Lindsay Raridan, Dogtopia and Domino Effect Animal Rescue

If it’s true that our pets help alleviate stress, then Lindsay Raridan’s fur-ballfilled days are perfectly stress-free. As manager of Dogtopia of Temecula, and president of the local non-profit Domino Effect Animal Rescue, the 28-year-old spends her days and nights surrounded by pets. In her free time, she cares for homeless pets, educates the public on animal care, helps families find new pets, and hosts charity events to raise money for animal causes. “I have always loved animals and I enjoy making sure those I care about are happy,” she says. Lindsay has worked at Dogtopia since it opened its doors in 2009. Domino Effect Animal Rescue was established in 2013. For Lindsay, earning this honor means all those late nights have made a positive difference in the community. What advice does she have for other young women as they set out building their careers? “Find out what your interests are and focus on a career you truly enjoy so you will want to spend the time to do a great job,” she says. “Make sure you take pride in everything you do, because even the smallest, menial tasks along the way are important to achieving your goal.”

Anne Taylor , Anne Taylor Catering

It takes some of us half a lifetime to figure out where our true passion lays, but Anne Taylor found it before she was old enough to vote. “I started cooking in high school when my family went through a season of financial struggle. I needed to step in to help with the bills, so I turned my love for food into a career.” In 2008, with the help of “an incredibly supportive family and a network of friends,” she brought Anne Taylor Catering to life. Nearly six years later, the 23-year-old is still excited at the prospect of whipping up berry-filled crepes or caprese kabobs. “I have a passion for healthy and gourmet food, and God has given me a heart for serving others around the table.” When asked to give a piece of advice to young women setting out to build their careers, Anne shares a common thread with other successful women. “Do not let age or gender prohibit you from doing what you are passionate about. Take the risk and do not be afraid of failing. You learn more from failures than from victories.”

Tara Wunderlich, Hairstylist

Angela Mains, LoLa Magazine

“In the hairdresser’s world, the divide between men and women that some may find in other workplaces, doesn’t really exist,” says Tara Wunderlich. So her advice is for both sexes. “I would say the same thing to a woman as I would to a man. There will always be struggles; never quit trying. If plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.” That advice has certainly worked for Tara. Ten years ago she began her career as a hairstylist and today, at the young age of 32, she continues on her successful career path. “My parents gave me the tools and motivation from the beginning, and I continue to motivate myself to be a positive force,” she says. “From my career, to Rotary, to the Chamber, I want to be a part of building a better community.” Tara does that by volunteering for various charities including Michelle’s Place, Charity for Charity, Oak Grove Center for Education, Treatment and the Arts, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and Habitat for Humanity. She also serves as the fellowship chair for the New Generations Rotary Club. Tara knows it takes a village to become a success. “I am where I am now because I’ve been a part of this community for almost 25 years, and am part of an amazing family that has always been involved as well.”

Wondering who’s behind this innovative local publication you’re reading right now? That would be Angela Mains, who has managed at the age of 39 to successfully launch a career as a magazine publisher, while juggling the roles of realtor and devoted mother and wife. Oh and she’s also a veteran. In the midst of all this success, Angela doesn’t forget to acknowledge those who helped her on the way. “First and foremost my grandmother Nonnie has been my biggest role model,” says the French Valley resident. “I have tried to live my life mimicking her strength, courage and compassion for others. My children, husband and parents are also motivating forces for me. I want to always make them proud.” “The purpose of the magazine is to recognize extraordinary women in the community and also to help promote local non-profits and draw awareness to their efforts,” says Angela who is a member of the Business Women’s Network of Temecula and the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors. What advice does she have for women in business? “It’s important for us, as women, to recognize our worth, to demand that others around us acknowledge it as well, and above all, to support each other.” March 2014 • 11


3 Steps to a Healthier You By  Gina Reinecke

If you’re wondering what happened to your resolution to change your habits and get healthy in 2014, you’re not alone. Maybe you just haven’t asked the right questions, or you’re focusing on issues that really aren’t important enough to awaken a desire and motivate you to make the changes required to create health in your life. Ask yourself “Why does health matter to me? What in my life would be different if I were optimally healthy? How would it impact the people nearest and dearest to me?” If you find you have compelling answers to these big questions, then it’s time to take action!

I am also available to help connect you with tools and resources to help you succeed. It is my joy and

Here are three fundamental areas that will have a significant impact on your short- and long-term health:

privilege to help people transform their life by creating health.

Hit the sack … Research shows that women who get adequate sleep

have a metabolism rate that is 40% higher than those who don’t. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to the development of cancer, obesity, and a host of other ailments. Think of sleep as a “medicine” that has been shown to improve mood and productivity, and also reduce stress hormones and inflammation. Women should aim for seven hours of sleep at night. Guzzle the good stuff … About 30% of what we perceive as hunger

is actually the body signaling thirst. If you commit today to simply drinking half the number of pounds you weigh in ounces of water, you will be shocked at how much better you feel. Dehydration can slow down weight-loss, and lead to depression, fatigue, and a host of other ailments including digestive, kidney, joint and other problems. Front-load your water intake during the day, and embrace the fact that you will become well-acquainted with every bathroom in town. It will be worth it! Move that body! Do something. Anything. Give yourself permission

to do what you can in the time you have. If it’s a 10-minute stroll to the end of the street and back, then let it be for now. Gradually increase your time and intensity. The mental and physical benefits of something as simple as a brisk, 30-minute daily walk are absolutely astonishing. If you are concerned about Alzheimer’s, depression, managing blood-sugars, heart-disease, cancer, bone density, body weight—the list goes on—then slip on those walking shoes and start exploring the neighborhood. Join our community’s Walk to the Moon Campaign! [See p. 6 & 7.] Getting healthy can seem like a difficult quest. Use these basics to establish a foundation to create health in your life. Share your goals, make a plan, and take small, consistent actions on a daily basis to move toward your goal. If you’re struggling with the logistical and behavioral challenges of getting healthy, ask your physician or health coach for help.

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March 2014

Gina Reinecke has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physical Educa­ tion from Victoria University of Technology in Australia, and is a cer­ tified 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


Everything Is Coming Up Roses By  Grayse Kelly | Photos by  Brandy Pelligrino

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! It’s time to pack away the shapeless, drab layers of clothing. Florals are blooming all over the fashion scene, so there’s no better way to start the season. Florals add a whimsical, romantic touch to your everyday look. And they promise to be a mainstay in fashion. How will you incorporate beautiful blooms into your wardrobe? The variety of prints range from fairytale-like delicate florals to darker, gothic ones and everything in between. This is a look that can be worn head to toe, if you do it properly. Dark floral prints are for those of us who want to appreciate the flowers, but tend to shy away from ordinary, overly frilly looks. Dark prints and fabrics help capture a masculine edge without extra brightness. Break up this look with jeans or wide leg trousers, and sneakers or oxfords to keep the look sportier. For a more feminine look, try a delicate floral print. Pastels are perfect. They are everything spring is about! Light dresses, breezy skirts, silky rompers, and sheer blouses are all excellent for achieving a soft, dainty outfit. Add a jacket or cardigan if evening weather becomes a bit chilly. For the daring fashionista, bright, bold and electric floral prints will make you stand out in the warmer spring weather. The head-to-toe look is a perfect option. Yes, this includes prints that are normally mismatched. Finish the look with a sexy strappy heel. Cocktail dresses with amazing bold print will capture anyone’s eye. Long, flowing dresses with thigh slits compliment the brilliance as well. You should absolutely play with various silhouettes. A plunging or draped neckline, for example, accentuates the sophistication of the blossoms.

Model: Hope Fultz Makeup by Hope Fultz Jewelry styled by Katie Allen of Stella & Dot (see ad pg 15) Dress: Kohl’s Heels: March 2014 • 13


From Tragedy to Triumph BY  Holly Suhi

“I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN!” said nineteen-year-old Kaitlyn Parra, with a smile that lights up a room. Kaitlyn wasn’t talking about a rock concert or a date with a guy she had her eye on. It was brushing her teeth that had her so excited. Last September, Kaitlyn had surgery that enabled her to touch her face for the first time in more than two years. It happened like this … In August 2011, Kaitlyn was a bright, confident Murrieta Valley High School student when she got off a city bus and started to cross the street near her home. A driver, momentarily distracted, sped through the intersection and hit her. In a matter of seconds, Kaitlyn’s life changed forever. Joe Fuori, Wildomar firefighter and paramedic, described the scene when the first responders arrived. “She was unconscious and there was evidence of severe brain injury. Her vital signs were worsening, and we worked quickly to stabilize her neck and spine before rushing her to the hospital. She was not expected to survive the night.” A spark of hope. Kaitlyn did make it through the night, and spent

the next six weeks in a coma. “I will never forget the first sign of hope,” her mother Jarilyn shared, “a spark of recognition in my daughter’s eyes when she saw my face.” Kaitlyn adds, “Before this happened, I didn’t have a strong faith in God, but as I started to regain consciousness, I felt God with me and I knew would survive. Today, I don’t know what I would do without my faith.”

photo by Brandy Pelligrino

function to children with injuries to the muscles, bones and nervous system. “I know what it’s like for kids who have trouble moving, and I want to help them,” she said. It is her personal goal to walk again, independently.

“I’m alive, and I don’t want to waste a minute of my life.”

Kaitlyn was hospitalized for three months, undergoing multiple surgeries. The left side of her body was paralyzed below her neck, but as soon as she could sit up in a wheelchair, she returned to high school. When her teachers suggested she attend for only a few hours a day until she regained some strength, she told them, “I am alive and I don’t want to waste a minute of my life!” She has some difficulty with short term memory, requiring extra effort to learn, but in May Kaitlyn graduated from high school on time with her class. A few months later she enrolled in online college courses. New dreams, new goals, a new life. Kaitlyn’s mother gave up her

teaching career to be Kaitlyn’s lifeline. Although Kaitlyn’s body is significantly paralyzed, her spirit is unbounded and her energy contagious. She wants her experience to benefit others, and talks to elementary and high school classes about what it’s like to have a brain injury and the dangers of being distracted while driving. She is also writing a book, and it is her goal to become a pediatric physiatrist, a medical doctor who specializes in restoring optimal 14 •

March 2014

Charity for Charity. Kaitlyn has always had dreams, one of them to experience Boston and its rich history, another to attend Stanford University someday, somehow. After the accident, these dreams seemed like fantasies, until Saturday night, February 8, 2014, when Kaitlyn was one of three Temecula Valley residents honored at the annual Charity for Charity Stars of the Valley gala event. Charity for Charity is a non-profit organization started in 2007 by Charity Prestifillipo and four friends. Its mission is to raise funds to fulfill wishes of local residents who have special needs. The 2014 Stars of the Valley included two others in addition to Kaitlyn — a six-year-old child with melanoma, and a husband and father suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Kaitlyn and her mom were thrilled when Charity announced that she and her mom will visit Boston … and Washington D.C.! Every detail will be attended to, including guided tours and a special visit

to the White House. Moments later Kaitlyn heard something else she could scarcely believe. Casey Bell of Bell College Counseling came to the podium, excited to tell Kaitlyn that she will help her apply to Stanford University, and afford the tuition. Casey has an amazing 100% track record of helping college applicants get into one of their top three college choices. By now, Kaitlyn and her mom were in a state of elation, when Charity introduced Michelle Patterson, executive director of the California Women’s Conference, the world’s largest conference for women. Michelle invited Kaitlyn to the May conference, where she will hear and meet speakers such as actress Gina Davis, Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield, and television anchor Jane Pauley …  and be a featured speaker herself! Michelle will see to it that Kaitlyn has professional assistance to prepare her to speak at this renowned event. It’s true that Kaitlyn life changed when she was hit by a car. And her life changed again when she was honored as a Star of the Valley. Speaking from her wheelchair that night, Kaitlyn said, “Thank you! Thank you! I love what my life is becoming!” The 400 guests rose to their feet to applaud and honor this young woman who has already inspired so many others, and who, with the help of our community, is turning tragedy into triumph. photo by Steve Suhi

March 2014 • 15


She Said/He Said Get great advice on life and love, from a woman’s perspective and a man’s perspective. Question from Selena, Murrieta: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over a year.

He refuses to “friend” me on Facebook and barely has any photos of us on his page. He says it’s because relationships are sacred and social networking sites are not the place for personal stuff. But on his page, he has photos hanging out with all of his friends, both male and female. The only ones with the two of us are when we are out in a group setting - nothing that would make me stand out as his significant other. This bothers me. Am I reading too much into it? Missy Jones: Question … have you met his par-

ents? This is a serious question and the answer is important. By the one year mark, if he is serious about you, you should DEFINITELY have already met and spent time with his parents. If you haven’t met them and he hasn’t brought it up, this relationship is not as serious as you may think. You won’t make it to his Facebook. You are hung up on something as minor as Facebook when you have a big red flag flying. However, if you’ve met his mom and dad, then you have nothing to worry about. A very important milestone in the relationship is complete. The rest will play out. Besides, friending and connecting your profiles could mean trouble and unnecessary stress. That being said however, Facebook is the new norm. So would a profile pic of the two of you kill him? Dominic Carcioppolo: This is a simple one.

Regardless of how he feels about social media and its place in relationships, he must accept that in today’s dating reality, a presence on social media is almost required. Some people do use Facebook as a means to “hook up,” therefore it must be shown that he’s not available. If a relationship is sacred, it deserves to be represented in public as well as private, and this includes social media.

Have a comment or a question for Missy & Dominic? Send an email to Subject line: She Said He Said All information expressed on this page is a matter of the writers’ individual opinions. None of the advice is intended to take the place of legal or professional counsel. 16 •

March 2014

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Christine Larsen By  Shelly Moore

I met with Christine at her home in Wildomar. She had just finished working out … something she’s very disciplined about (obvious by how gorgeous and remarkably fit she is). Her calm demeanor was refreshing; there was a definite sense of peace about her. She later explained that she reached this peaceful place in life over time. She had to learn that rather than focusing on the past, it’s best to look to the future and to count her mistakes as the blessings that have made her a better woman. After a divorce many years ago, Christine raised her three children alone by working as a hairstylist. This career allowed her to create her own schedule, so she could spend quality time with her kids as they were growing up. She mentions how proud she is of the incredible adults her children have become. Her oldest daughter has chosen to follow in her mom’s footsteps and will be taking over management of the salon in the near future. Her son works extremely hard taking part in his dad’s family business, and her youngest daughter has taken up modeling. About six years ago, despite the declining economy, Christine took on the challenge of opening her own salon, Salon Moselle in Old Town Temecula. With perseverance and a strong work ethic through trying times, Christine made a success story out of her salon. She credits its success in large part to her great stylists and faithful clientele. On Being Single

Christine is content with being single for now, but has no doubt there is someone out there who is right for her. She said, “I just want to be a woman of integrity and faith, a person of good character.” She is confident that she’ll find someone of equal character when the time is right. “In a relationship,” she says, “you cannot be complete opposites because at some point, you will drift apart. When you start dating someone, it ‘s tempting to pretend to be something you aren’t in order to please the other person, but this will eventually

wear off, and you will realize that the two of you are very different people with very different lifestyles, values and ideas.” Christine shared with me a book she has read, Date or Soul Mate by Neil Clark Warren. The book helps identify, in two dates or less, whether someone is worth pursuing. When I left our interview I went right to Barnes & Noble and ordered the book! Christine’s advice to single women is to take time to get to know yourself — your needs and your desires. She feels it’s important to spend time alone because, “You cannot truly be with someone until you can be okay with being alone.” She adds, “You cannot be successful in a relationship until you are successful with yourself,” meaning that you must be happy, content, and at peace with yourself to make a relationship with someone else work. As a single woman in the Valley, Christine enjoys spending time with friends, visiting the wineries, strolling through Old Town, and going dancing now and then. Her absolute favorite activity is taking trips to the beach to sink her toes in the warm sand and listen to the waves. She loves to paint, and one day hopes to have a painting room that overlooks the ocean. When I looked at my watch, I realized I’d been with Christine for several hours. It was so easy and natural spending time with her. Christine is beautiful and genuine, a true inspiration to other single women. I am so grateful to write this column. It helps me learn so much about myself as a single woman. I hope reading it helps you as well..

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do … are in harmony.” – Gandhi

Photos from left to right: At Salon Moselle (F) Chris­ tine with Denise Fierro, (B) Corinn Dennison, Cirella Smith, Sarah Stevens, and Victor Borba; Chris­ tine with stylist Corinn Dennison; Christine with daughter Cirella Smith

March 2014 • 19


Italian Frittata By  Tammy Albery Ingredients

• • • • • • • • •

6 oz. (2 links) Italian sausage (pork, turkey or veggie) 8 eggs 2 tsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) plus 1/2 tsp. for sausage 1 cup sliced Cremini mushrooms (or any mushroom) 1/2 cup diced yellow (or any color) bell pepper 1/3 cup diced onion 2/3 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1/3 cup sliced black olives 1 cup Italian blend cheese mixture, grated (Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina and Provolone) • 8 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (stacked one on top of each other then rolled like a cigar and sliced in thin ribbons) This dish is great to serve on the weekends for brunch or lunch, with a nice side salad. If you are short on time— and who isn’t?— I like to make it on Sunday and keep it in the fridge to heat up for breakfast during the week. It makes a great breakfast for the kids too! Instead of a marinara sauce, you could subsitute salsa. Feel free to make it your way and substitute some of your own favorite ingredients. The possibilities are endless. Serves 8 Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in upper third of oven. 1. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, adding 1/2 tsp. EVOO. Remove sausage from casings and add to skillet, flattening and chopping the sausage to crumble. Cook for about 5 minutes or until done; then place on paper towel to drain. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. 2. Add 2 tsp. EVOO to skillet; then add onions, mushrooms and bell pepper. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk the eggs together and set aside. If you did not buy pre-grated cheese, this would be a good time to grate the cheese. Cook the vegetables about 3 minutes or until vegetables become soft and somewhat translucent. 3. Add the cooked and drained Italian sausage to the skillet and mix well. Pour the beaten eggs over the mixture and continue cooking until you edges begin to turn yellow and become cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Gently push the cooked outer edged inward and tilt the skillet allowing the uncooked eggs to fill the spaces. Continue doing this until the eggs are about ¾ done. 4. Turn off the heat and remove the skillet from the burner. Sprinkle pepper flakes, cheese, olives, tomatoes, and basil on the top.

6. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before removing the mixture from the skillet. Slide spatula around edges in a circular motion, then slide onto a platter.

5. Put skillet into preheated oven and bake for about 3 minutes until cheese has melted and eggs have finished cooking.

Tammy Albery is a private chef and cooking instructor. Reach her at or visit

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March 2014

GIRLS NEXT DOOR Pamela Denby-Smith is from San Diego and currently resides in Murrieta. She has a degree in busi-

ness management, and has now retired from a lengthy career as a flight attendant for a major airline. Having traveled extensively throughout the US and to many other countries including Germany, Japan , Korea, Italy, London, and France, Pamela says it was during her years as a flight attendant that she noticed a decline in social skills and manners. This led to her decision to start a non-profit etiquette business. She is certified by etiquette instructor Maura Graber, and is a certified dining room associate (DRA) and certified associate wine steward (CSA) through the Federation of Dining Room Professionals.  Pamela is very health conscious, and is an independent distributor for “It Works! Global,” a home-based health and wellness business. For fun, Pamela enjoys social events, listening to gospel and smooth jazz music, and dining out.

Miriam Ortega is a wine pourer at the local Bel Vino winery. Born and raised in Southern Cali-

fornia, she has been a resident of Menifee since the age of 16. Miriam currently attends Mount San Jacinto College where she is pursuing a degree in communications. Although she isn’t sure where she’d like her journey to take her, at the moment she is enjoying a little bit of everything. She has been a friendly face at the winery for close to two years, and you can catch her Bel Vino on the weekends, engaging the crowd by coming out from behind the wine bar, grabbing a mic and joining the live band in a song or two. Miriam also enjoys hanging with friends to play music, strum her guitar, and grab a glass of wine. She is dating a former high school sweetheart, Charlie. The youngest of six siblings whom she refers to as the “Brady Bunch,” Miriam also is “Mom” to her cat Luna.

Cecilie Nelson, a REALTOR® with Century 21 Award, hales from Temecula, by way of Mil-

waukee, Minneapolis and Chicago. Before deciding to enhance her seasoned career in sales and marketing, by becoming a residential and luxury property real estate agent, she oversaw regional business development and communications efforts at three of the AmLaw 100’s global law firms. Cecilie holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Minnesota, and both a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications (MSIMC) from Loyola University Chicago, which she earned while working fulltime. Cecilie also is a public speaker, having served as a moderator, panelist and presenter at various Minority Corporate Counsel and Legal Marketing Association national conferences and events. As a REALTOR®, Cecilie works with her clients to define what living well means to them and their families. Cecilie, is married and “Mommy” of a beautiful Grey parrot, Cyrus.

Heather Bremner was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California, the middle child of three. She

graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism and loves to cheer on he Ducks with other local fans. After college, while working as a reporter at the Imperial Valley Press, Heather locked eyes with Aaron Claverie, another reporter, and quickly fell in love. She and her husband Aaron will celebrate their seventh anniversary in June. They moved to Temecula in the fall of 2007 when Aaron landed a job as a reporter for The Californian. Aaron now works as a reporter for The Press Enterprise, covering the city of Temecula. Heather is a freelance writer and paralegal. In her free time she loves watching movies and playing tennis with her husband, hiking and playing with their energetic Weimaraner, Stella, cooking and baking, and practicing yoga. March 2014 • 21


LoLa is a new, fun and informative magazine all about the Local Ladies of Southwest Riverside County.





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Interested in being one of our Girls Next Door? Send us your photo and you could be in our next issue. NOVEM BER 2013

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March 2014

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Our March issue of LoLa Magazine celebrates the local women who were honored as this years "40 under 40" movers and shakers of the Temecula...

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