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STYLE, ART, CULTURE, + EVENTS OF THE SOUTH VALLEY JANUARY 2019

Wedding Edition

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Wishing You Peace Love and Laughter in the New Year

2019

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ew Year New You Let CreekSide

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20 WEDDING FEATURE

FUGAZZIS OFFERS VENUES, CATERING AND WEDDING TLC Restaurateur Mike Fligor and his family of Fugazzis establishments have created a niche in the market with full-service, on-site events as well as off-site catering, based on the wedding dreams of each couple they work with. Included are Victorian Garden in Visalia and the opening this year of Westwood Barns in Tulare. Cover and Top Photo by Lauren Westra

WHAT'S INSIDE 8

Letter from the Executive Editor

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Marriage Around the World

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Word Play

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Real Wedding: Danielle & Greg

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Wedding Checklist

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Real Wedding: Anna & Anthony

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Wedding Hair Without A Care

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Real Wedding: Kaitlyn & Jason

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Real Wedding: Julia & Mario

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Real Wedding: Mazon & Mark

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Real Wedding: Morgan & Anthony

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Happenings

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MAKING IT TO THE TOP

MARRIAGE AROUND THE WORLD

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46

TACOS TRANSFORMED

EXPERIENCE MEXICAN CUISINE

REFLECTIONS OF VISALIA

EPICURE

WEDDING TRADITIONS

TRAVELER'S TREK


Published By

DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291

Karen Tellalian

Executive Editor

Creative Director Art Director Senior Designer Web Designer/Designer Assistant Editor Text Editor

Greg Bitney Marcie Vagnino Frank Miramontes Kaci Hansen Sue Burns Melinda Brown

Contributing Writers

Diane Slocum Kelly Lapadula Major Rogers Sarah Ramirez Sue Burns Terry L. Ommen

Business Management Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA Jeffrey Malkasian EA Operations Manager Maria Gaston

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E-Mail Lifestyle@DMIAgency.com WEBSITE www.VisaliaLifestyle.com View The Mag Online Issuu.com/LifestyleMagazine Facebook.com/LifestyleMag Instagram: visalialifestyle

RACK LOCATIONS DMI Agency Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare

Exeter Chamber of Commerce Tazzaria Coffee & Tea The Lifestyle Center

Visalia Chamber of Commerce Visalia Convention Center

COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS 210 Cafe AMCC Ashoori & Co. Jewelers Blend WIne Room California Fitness Academy Chad Clark Hair Salon Citizen's Bank Comfort Suites Downtown CreekSide Day Spa Skin & Laser Center Downtown Visalia Alliance Ed Dena Auto Center, Visalia Exeter Chamber of Commerce Exeter Library Franey's Design Center

Glick's and Co. Holvik Family Health Center ImagineU Children’s Museum International Agri-Center Janeen’s Furniture Gallery Kaweah Delta Hospital Keller Williams Reality Max's Cookies Michael's Custom Jewelry Monét’s, Exeter Pacific Treasures Premier Medical Clinic PRO-PT Salon 525 Sherman & Associates

Sunmed Health & Weight Management The Aesthetic Center The Smoke House, Visalia Tulare County Library Visalia Ceramic Tile Visalia First Assembly Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Watson's Wildflower Café, Exeter Williams, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc. Wyndham Hotel

Visalia Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 13,600 homes in the upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods in Visalia. An additional 2,000 copies are distributed at various distribution points around Visalia, Tulare, and Exeter. Views expressed in columns are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of DMI Agency or its advertisers.

Photo by Lauren Westra 6 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

Circulation of this issue: 15,600 © 2018 DMI Agency


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FR O M TH E

EDITOR

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ust like that, it’s a new year! Like most of you, we said goodbye to 2018 holding on to only the best memories and letting everything else go along with the year that we’re leaving behind. Memories are best made from experiences, rather than things. My children, now grown, rarely remember the gifts bestowed on them in their youth, but they do recall vividly the experiences we shared. Experiences like

special edition paying homage to weddings. While styles and colors may change from year to year, the feelings of love, hope and expectation remain consistent as each couple exchanges their vows. Several local couples share their special days with us in this issue. Whether you’re planning a wedding or just have a special event on the horizon, you’ll simply love the other features found inside. The latest hair trends, floral

Whatever special memories you’re holding from 2018 or the ones you plan on making in 2019, please know that the Lifestyle staff is thinking about you and wishing you nothing but the best this year. E X E C U T I V E

E D I T O R

K A R E N

T E L L A L I A N

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT A STORY IDEA, CONTACT ME AT KAREN@DMIAGENCY.COM

the train trip to Sea World, theater performances we attended or perhaps an Irish-themed dinner we shared on St. Patrick’s Day. Although we each might remember specifics differently, we all have kept the best of those times in our memory banks. Few memories are held more tightly than one’s wedding day. Here at Lifestyle, we love starting the new year off with a

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arrangements, venues and menus – are all waiting right here for you to read. Whatever special memories you’re holding from 2018 or the ones you plan on making in 2019, please know that the Lifestyle staff is thinking about you and wishing you nothing but the best this year. May this new year bring you prosperity, regardless of how it’s measured, and be filled with hope for the future.


W E D D I N G

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MARRIAGE AROUND THE WORLD B Y

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arriage, matrimony, wedlock. The ultimate tradition, the ultimate bind. Done for love or lust, tradition or arrangement. Two become one. The word marriage stems from Middle English, where mariage comes from Old French marier, meaning to marry, both born from the Latin word maritare, defined as providing a husband or wife. In America, it has become part of a ceremony that sometimes is as cookiecutter as it is ceremonial. Brides and grooms, best men, maids of honor making the personnel of the court. A religious, or appointed, administrator oversees written vows and pronounces the couple’s union. Rings and a kiss round out the ceremony, and the pair leave the gathering as one. Side note: The practice of throwing rice at the exiting couple, which represents rain and its power of prosperity and fertility, has been banned by many wedding sites. The excuse is that the

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uncooked rice is bad for birds. But between you and me, and a veterinarian query, it doesn’t harm birds – venue operators just don’t want to clean up the mess, lol. I set out on global travel, via the internet, to look at how other places, cultures and people who share our humanity and planet celebrate the day of marriage. Here are some of the strange and wonderful customs that I found. At one time in Fiji, just as in many other places around the world, marriages were arranged. It was thought that the couple isn’t only a couple, but a binding agent, to include two tribes, making them all stronger as a whole. A more nuanced tradition, also born of those times, comes with the presentation of a sperm whale’s tooth to the prospective father-in-law. This practice is known as tabua and is still taken quite seriously by many in the culture. Men are known to save and shop for their tooth even before meeting a mate, and also because the item is

becoming harder to come by and subsequently more pricey in today’s rules of conservation. However, there are still plenty of teeth available for those men willing to spend on the tradition in the hopes of impressing the father of their hope-to-be bride. In Germany, oftentimes a traditional wedding includes primarily immediate family and relatively few guests. A practice called Polterabend requires guests to smash their porcelain dinnerware on the ground. Polterabend’s root verb means to make a lot of noise. It is a traditional move to bring good luck and scare off any bad spirits. The couple spends the evening, which oftentimes goes until morning light, sweeping and cleaning up after the “clumsy” guests. It’s looked upon as the first efforts of a married couple to work together as a team. There are several traditional wedding ceremonies that a couple can follow in Japan. In the binding ceremony called


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San San Kudo, which literally translates to “three three nine times.” The number nine is considered lucky. This tradition, which is one of Japan’s oldest, dates back to the 17th century and requires the couple, and sometimes their parents, to sip sake instead of exchanging vows. Three ceremonial sake cups, called sakazuki, are stacked. The couple is to sip three times from each cup. There are different beliefs as to what the sips represent. Some say the cups represent heaven, earth and humanity. Others see love, happiness and wisdom. Another belief is that the cups represent the human flaws of hatred, passion and ignorance. Parents may be included here. The first cup represents three sips for the three couples, the second cup represents said flaws, the third cup represents freedom from those flaws. In Peru, a wedding cake ritual called the Peruvian Cake Pull takes place. The cake is created with multiple layers, with ribbons protruding from the cake. At the end of one of those ribbons is a mock wedding ring. Before the cake is cut, all single women are asked to approach the cake and take a ribbon and pull. The lucky recipient is said to be the next to marry. It’s the equivalent of the American bouquet throw. The tradition is starting to take hold here in America. Here as in Peru, the cake is sliced for the couple

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to feed each other and then passed around to the guests. A dying tradition in Scotland, called a Blackening, is making a surprise return to custom. Here, a couple is willingly, or lovingly, apprehended and tied together to a tree or fence post. From there, loved ones pour various distressing things, such as condiments, glitter, confetti and feathers, on the two. The ritual is said to start them off with good luck. Nowadays, we’d call this a team-building exercise, as getting through something as stressing as this can show the couple that can get through anything. This fact alone brings a sweetness to the seemingly bitter ritual. In it all, the love, the unknown, the commitment comes the ultimate goal; Two become one – whether it’s in Mauritania, Africa, where brides are expected to become chubby before the ceremony to depict a successful household, or in South Korea, where groomsmen beat the bottom of the groom’s feet with a dead fish and bamboo to assure a successful wedding night. All “strange,” all “odd,” but all done in the hopes of a successful blossoming love story. L


SEQUOIA PLAZA FLOWERS & MORE IS NOW OWNED BY JON AND MICHELLE HORNBURG

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ur special flower shop was built in the 1950s to serve our community in many ways. We don’t just deliver to funeral homes, churches and businesses. You dream it and we can make it! We have a skilled staff of dedicated and professional floral designers with more than 100 years of experience. When we purchased this unique building, we found some old keys in one of the utility rooms. Although the keys were covered with dust and cobwebs, the treasure we found represented trust. We want to evoke a strong sense of trust and commitment to our beloved community once again. We are located near downtown at 601 N. Willis St. We have plenty of parking and loads of customer service. “My goal is to bring in community members who haven't heard of us and show them what we’re all about,” Michelle says. “I want our friends of customers to be excited to come in, look around and discover all of our new arrangements and décor.”

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WO R D PLAY

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News on writing, books + the world of publishing

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ith weddings holding center stage in this month’s edition of Lifestyle, here are the favorite romance novels from six randomly chosen “Best” lists. “Outlander,” Diana Gabaldon’s tale of a time-traveling, 20th-century nurse who finds true but troubled love in 18th-century Scotland, remains far ahead of any competition with a spot on all six lists, ranking number one on two of them and number two on two, with a point total of 42. Jane Austen’s classic favorite love-challenge, “Pride and Prejudice,” came in second, showing up on four lists with a significantly fewer 27 points, but still far ahead of other popular romances. Thereafter, in close succession, were “Jane Eyre” (19 points), “Fifty Shades of Grey” (18), “Twilight” (17) and “Call Me by Your Name” (16). Charlotte Brontë’s classic tells the complicated tale of orphan Jane Eyre, the people who make her life miserable, those who rescue her, and the ins and outs of her relationship with Mr. Rochester. In E.L. James’ popular trilogy, student Anastasia goes to interview entrepreneur Christian Grey and the two become drawn to each other in an erotic affair. Grey has a consummate need to control and Ana finds her own dark desires. Stephenie Meyer throws together shy high school student Bella, a recent transplant to dreary Forks, Wash., with attractive Edward, who just happens to be a vampire. André Aciman sets his romance on the sunny Italian Riviera, also with a shy 17-yer-old, Elio, attracted to a young professor, Oliver, who is the summer guest of Elio’s family. VALLEY WRITERS Margarita Engle, of Clovis was the Children’s Fiction Winner in the Nature Generation’s 14th Annual Green Earth Book Award competition. “Forest World” tells the story of a Cuban-American boy 14 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time and learns how Cubans are trying to protect their native animals and plants from tourists, poachers and climate change. The winners in several categories were celebrated at a dinner in Arlington, Va. They also visited schools in the area and

presented the children with books. Engle gave hers to more than 100 third- and fourth-graders. She is also a winner of the Newbery Honor for “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” and is the sixth Young People’s Poet Laureate. Her other awards, too numerous to delineate, number at least 43. The award-winning works include “The Poet Slave of Cuba,” “Tropical Secrets,” “The Firefly Letters,” “Hurricane Dancers” and more. THE BIG READ GRANTS The National Endowment for the Arts awarded six Big Read Grants for 2018-19 in California (79 throughout the U.S.), but none in the Central Valley. The California grantees are the Anaheim

Public Library, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Lake County Library, Mendocino County Library, National Steinbeck Center in Salinas and Write Out Loud in San Diego. Does this sound like a challenge? Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000 to support dynamic community reading programs. Communities host events over a month or longer related to a specific book. Guidelines are at www.artsmidwest.org/programs/ neabigread/guidelines. WRITERS’ CONFERENCES Registration is open for the 2019 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference to be held Aug. 23-25 in New York City. The opening keynote speaker will be N.K. Jemisin, the first author to win three Hugos in a row for her “Broken Earth Trilogy.” The basic conference fee through March 26 is $349. Add-ons are $149 for the Pitch Slam and $149 for the pre-conference. Prices go up incrementally in May, August and on-site. Featured events include book signings by keynote speakers and other attending authors. Details will be added as they are available at: writersdigestconference.com WRITING CONTESTS The Poetry Center’s Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards’ deadline is Feb. 1. Winners are published in the “Paterson Literary Review” and invited to read at the Poetry Center in Paterson, NJ. First prize is $1,000. Paterson also has a prize for books for young people, with $500 going to winners in each of three grade categories. Details at www.poetrycenterpccc.com/awards/ THE LAST WORD “Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.” (“Wild Awake” by Hilary T. Smith) L


Your Home. Your Look.

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The author first climbed Mount Whitney on Sept. 2, 1999. Mount Whitney can be seen in the background.

MAKING IT TO THE TOP T E X T

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isalia has had a long and interesting kinship with Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental United States. As a result, the name of this well-known peak can be found in the titles of local organizations. The Mt. Whitney Power & Electric Company, headquartered in Visalia more than a century ago, incorporated the name, and the company eventually became part of Southern California Edison. Then, for a number of years, Visalia was home to the Mt. Whitney Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and today we have Mt. Whitney High School, an institution that has been educating our young people since 1950. But there was another organization, one with a much shorter life, called the Mt. Whitney Club. 16 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

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The idea for creation of the club has its roots deep in Visalia history. In 1852, when the town and county both began, the 14,500-foot peak that today is known as Mount Whitney stood in the middle of a much larger Tulare County. Prior to the arrival of European settlers to the area, the Native Americans called the mountain “too-man-i-goo-yah,” which means “the very old man.” In July 1864, members of the California Geological Survey officially named it in honor of state geologist Josiah Whitney, but the first recorded climb didn’t happen until Aug. 18, 1873, when some fishermen from Lone Pine scrambled to the top. As the crow flies, it is only about 60 miles or so from Visalia, but the route for early trekkers was much farther than that. The first trails followed natural

terrain, animal paths and routes used by native people, and they were not always the most direct. As the number of explorers increased, so did the number of trails, and the mountain became more accessible. By 1889, Visalia was claiming to have the most direct route to Mount Whitney from any place in the San Joaquin Valley, with the trailhead at Mineral King. By the 1890s, Visalia boasted its claim to be the natural starting or ending point for any Mount Whitney adventure. And the town’s gateway status was supported by many who passed through. So by this time, momentum was building for the formation of a group of like-minded Mount Whitney enthusiasts. The effort was probably led by George W. Stewart, noted newspaperman, who almost single-handedly saved the giant sequoia trees from destruction through his successful effort in getting Sequoia National Park created.


Evergreen Island

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vergreen Island is nestled off Bardsley Avenue in Tulare and sits on nearly three acres of land. Evergreen Island is an outdoor venue offering the perfect space for any event and is now under new ownership. Some amazing updates have been made to the property and we’re excited to share our new space with our clients in the coming year. When the property was purchased earlier in 2018, we were so excited to bring our family into this business. It has always been our dream to plan and deliver beautiful events and make our clients’ vision come to life, no matter how big or small. There is so much drive and excitement behind the scenes that truly motivates our team to make this space exactly what our clients are looking for. Tulare has always been our home, and being a part of such

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a small community has always been where our heart is. Our team at Evergreen grew up in Tulare and it’s a part of who we are and we want to see our town grow. Tulare is also the perfect spot on the map, providing easy access to surrounding areas. Our hopes for Evergreen Island are to provide our clients with their dream event, whether it is a wedding or corporate event. We offer a nearly all-inclusive venue that allows our clients to have the special event they’ve always wanted without having to go out and find vendors for every detail. We plan to expand our inventory in the coming year as well as our menu options. We are currently booking for 2019 and offer venue tours weekly. We’d love to show you our newly renovated space.

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On Saturday evening, May 11, 1901, Stewart hosted an informational meeting at his home at 209 E. Center St. to discuss formation of a club. It was well-attended, with interested people coming from as far away as Eshom Valley. Overwhelmingly, the group decided to form a club with membership limited to those who had made it to the top. On May 25, the Mt. Whitney Club formally began. Thirty-two charter members kicked it off, with an impressive group of officers at the helm. George Stewart was named president, Tulare County Superior Court Judge William Wallace first vice president, teacher and first woman ever to the top Anna Mills Johnston second vice president, banker Susman Mitchell corresponding secretary, newspaperman Morley Maddox recording secretary and mountaineer S. L. N. “Sam” Ellis treasurer. Committees were also formed. The objectives of the club were ambitious and clear from the beginning. In the club brochure, they wrote, “The purposes of this club shall be to aid in making Mt. Whitney – the crown of the Sierra – and the adjacent mountain region better known to the world; to assist in mapping the Mt. Whitney region (embracing the watersheds of the Kings, Kaweah and Kern rivers) and in naming the streams, lakes, meadows, pinnacles, peaks and other natural objects therein for the purpose of identification; to promote the building of trails and roads, and the placing in proper places of signboards giving directions, distances, altitudes or other necessary information; to collect and exhibit views and objects of interest from the Mt. Whitney region; to encourage the preparation and dissemination of literature descriptive of that region; to publish a journal and to issue, at times, special bulletins containing information valuable to explorers, campers, tourists and the public; to stimulate a love for our mountains and their majestic scenery.” Even though the club was headquartered in Visalia, members came from all over. Tulare County members also came from Dinuba, Three Rivers, Kaweah and Exeter. Members signed up from California cities, including Fresno, Modesto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Bakersfield, and the states of Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland were represented, too. The charter members were a virtual 18 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

“who’s who” of celebrities, who included George Stewart, his wife Martha and their 6-year-old daughter Emily. Within two years, John Muir, the famous conservationist; Theodore Hittel, well-known California historian, and Joseph N. LeConte, noted engineer, were on the membership rolls. As mentioned in its objectives, the club created a publication called the “Mt. Whitney Club Journal,” in which members shared details of their challenging trips, news of club activities and trail improvements. Meetings were held at courthouse offices, city hall and homes of members. A membership pin was created and adopted consisting of a triangular-shaped piece of polished granite from the summit of Whitney above a gold base inscribed

with the letters M. W. C. The club earned an excellent reputation for doing good work. For that reason, the news on March 12, 1909, in the “Visalia Daily Times” caught many by surprise when it reported that the Mt. Whitney Club had been dissolved. The article explained that because so many of the “... members of the club were residents of San Francisco, and as since the fire [earthquake of 1906] it has been almost impossible to locate them, it was thought best to discontinue the organization.” The last meeting was March 11 at the Stewart home, and it was decided to close the club account of about $20.00 and to buy mountainrelated books for the Visalia Free Public Library. After that meeting, the Mt. Whitney Club was a thing of the past. L

Famous members of the Mt. Whitney Club included: above from left, Theodore Hittell, Ben Maddox and Anna Mills Johnston, and below from left, George W. Stewart, John Muir and Orval Overall.

The club created this pin for its members.


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FUGAZZIS OFFERS VENUES, CATERING AND WEDDING TLC T E X T B Y S U E B U R N S P H O T O S B Y M E G A N W E L K E R A N D L A U R E N W E S T R A

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t’s no secret that Visalia and the surrounding communities have a variety of locations where brides and grooms can create just the right ambience to say their “I dos” and celebrate with family and friends. Religious and nondenominational venues for ceremonies and receptions range from churches and temples to community halls and parks, restaurants and settings designed specifically with weddings in mind. Restaurateur Mike Fligor and his family of Fugazzis establishments have created a niche in the market with full-service, on-site events as well as off-site catering at any location, based on the wedding dreams of each couple they work with. Victorian Garden by Fugazzis is widely respected as one of the area’s most beautiful venues. With a historic Victorian home decorated with beautiful glass and chandeliers surrounded by pristine grass and towering oak trees, it offers a classically elegant outdoor English garden setting in Visalia. For brides and grooms looking for a more traditional setting in which to make their commitment among family and friends,

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Victorian Garden provides the blend of Old World charm and solemnity that the occasion demands. For a wedding design with a less traditional feel that nods to Tulare County’s agriculture-heavy roots, Westwood Barns will satisfy any couple’s desire for a fun and upscale celebration. The Tulare facility, now also by Fugazzis, has been closed but is reopening in 2019 with weddings already scheduled. The newest property in the Fligor Hospitality Group offers multiple options for ceremony sites, including open farmland as well as an oak garden, a naturally shaded reception lawn, two authentic barns and an iconic lighted LOVE marquee. Westwood Barns is a unique marriage of rustic, country charm and upscale elegance with its two authentic barns, reclaimed wood bridge and canopy of oaks, flowing canal, twinkling bistro lights, premium harvester wood chairs and full-length table linens. Everyone agrees that the reception menu is one of the most important details of the day. Guests often remember details about the food after details about the ceremony. Fugazzis

caters all weddings at the venues, ensuring a divine dining experience for everyone in attendance. Silvia Diaz, catering and event coordinator, works with couples to determine their needs and wants to make their day as memorable as possible. She works with brides from the first phone call until the cake is cut at the reception. Catering and Events by Fugazzis at the venues tries to relieve all of the stress that brides face; they try to include everything in wedding packages. Silvia is the liaison with the chefs at the restaurants to find the menus that are just right for their special day, from appetizers to main entrées, from desserts to Fugazzis’ famous tacos as a late-night surprise. In addition to Westwood Barns and Victorian Garden, Fugazzis caters weddings (and special events) at many locations throughout the county and beyond. Any given weekend will see Fugazzis catering weddings at both venues as well as a few special events off-site. Both facilities can provide everything needed for beautiful weddings such as


chairs, tables, linens, china, flatware and such, although couples have the option to rent their own. There’s no doubt that the wedding business is saturated with vendors. Fugazzis works with photographers, florists and disc jockeys to provide a consistent experience for all couples who celebrate their nuptials at its venues. Making an effort to be very competitive with pricing that provides maximum value and benefits is a top priority. So many venues, so many vendors, so many choices for brides and grooms! What is it that sets Fugazzis apart? Here’s the scoop: While some venues can give the feeling that you’re lucky to be having your event at their facility as they dictate the details to you, the aura at Fugazzis is the exact opposite. Fugazzis is different from other restaurants and event sites because it places the emphasis on the people who make it run, from delivery people to the servers to management. Owner Mike Fligor goes to great lengths to make sure that his staff is well cared for and, as a result, many people have been with

the company for more than 20 years. Having just celebrated his 47th year of marriage, Fligor firmly believes that his relationships, marriage and all that he has learned equips him for how to love, treat and live life with his management and employees. Fligor is committed to providing opportunities for growth and development to all staff who want them. “Mike works with every employee to determine their needs to support themselves and their families and to set goals and compensation that allows them to do that without having to take on multiple jobs,” says Kendel Rodriguez of q|r media company. It makes perfect sense that dedicated staff members who are fulfilled in their careers ensure that brides, grooms, families and guests are taken care of like part of the family as well. What started as a little pizza shop where Fligor bought in as a part owner turned into ownership of a couple more locations, which led to expansion of the properties into full-fledged restaurants. Fligor’s passion continues to be all about finding new things to do, things that will enhance not only his success but that of

his employees, facilities and the community at large: “We only do the right things to make the right things happen.” And on that note, Fligor is excited to share that there are several expansion plans in the works for 2019 and beyond. FHG has taken over the former Cafe Tommy site off of Shirk Road, planning an eatery that will feel familiar to loyal Cafe Tommy patrons, with an anticipated opening in February. Fugazzis will also open a new location in Porterville in 2019 AND look forward to a classic Fugazzis Steakhouse along the lines of the Hanford restaurant. Yet another new location will be coming in midto late 2019 in Woodlake, the result of an opportunity for Fligor to create an upscale, fast-casual environment. Lastly, FHG just struck a deal with local property development company 7 Ten Properties to create a new Fugazzis concept restaurant in the planned rebuild of the historic Mt. Whitney Power building on Main Street in Visalia – with a planned opening date closer to 2020. Fugazzis has been dishing up fabulous fare for 21 years, but talking to him one feels Mike’s passion as intensely as if he J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9 | L I F E S T Y L E

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had just opened it. With the new locations coming, he moves closer to his goal of placing Fugazzis within easy reach of most cities in the area. As important as the food and events, he wants his company to be a part of the whole community, and having the restaurants allows him to do that. Key to being involved in the community is Fligor’s philosophy: “People matter: Giving is a given.” Each Fugazzis location chooses a local mission that it supports, resulting in food donations to five groups and feeding more than 500 people every week. The restaurants have fed more than 125,000 in the last five years.

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Fligor’s commitment to the whole picture is what makes Fugazzis different and special. It takes more than a beautiful venue and good food to make a memorable wedding day. “I see a correlation with the amount Mike gives to the community, his thankfulness and the success of the businesses,” says Rodriguez. There is indeed a definite and tangible connection, and even with all that is already on the horizon, Fligor is still looking forward with enthusiasm to the next project – rather than ever resting on his laurels, his mantra is always “We’re just getting started."


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R E A L

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THE REAL WEDDING OF

Danielle

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Greg 24

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VENUE CHURCH OF SHAVER LAKE CHAPEL, SHAVER LAKE, CA WEDDING "When Danielle's mother, Gail Kampen of Visalia, contacted me, she mentioned that she had seen my work in the Lifestyle Magazine and she wondered if I was willing to travel to photograph her daughter, Danielle's wedding. Of course, I jumped at the chance to travel for work! When she told me that the wedding was to be held in my childhood hometown of Shaver Lake, I nearly cried! YES! YES! YES! The stars had certainly aligned for me that day!   Meeting with Greg McKinley and Danielle for their engagement session near where her family farmed was the perfect setting to get to know this couple. Their interactions were authentic, sweet and easy to frame in my camera. I was looking forward to their wedding in my happy place! June 1, 2018, was the day of their wedding. It was a perfect mountain summer day. The choices of spots and opportunities for great photos were endless! I could have followed the couple around with my camera all day. As it was, we pushed our bridal portrait time a little longer than planned. With an amazing couple in an amazing setting, it was difficult to stop.   Their reception took place in the Shaver Lake Community Center right next to the Church of Shaver Lake chapel. With the pine-paneled walls and rustic rock fireplace, it was a fitting and beautiful room for the celebration with their friends and family. The pink flowers and mountain-themed decor that Sweet Memories of Visalia delivered were elegant and complemented the mountain venue so well! I'm looking forward to shooting in the mountains again soon! PHOTOS BY Aimee Sa

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CHECK...MATE! Y O U R

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C H E C K L I S T

WEDDING TIMETABLE

6 MONTHS

When planning a wedding, there are many tasks that need to be taken care of months in advance. Be sure to keep a checklist so that your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible.

❑ Schedule rehearsal and rehearsal dinner ❑ Book wedding night hotel ❑ Arrange day-of transportation ❑ Finalize guest list ❑ Order and/or start making favors ❑ Shop for ceremony/reception accessories (cake knife, ring pillow, etc.) ❑ Secure passports, visas, shots, if necessary 4 MONTHS ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Shop for and order wedding bands Reserve rental items Choose groom and groomsmen attire Shop for attendants’ gifts Book wedding day hair and makeup appointments

AS SOON AS YOU’RE ENGAGED

2 MONTHS

❑ Set your budget ❑ Decide wedding basics (formal, informal, etc.)

❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

9-12 MONTHS ❑ Choose venue and set the date ❑ Announce engagement and/or send out save-the-date card ❑ Choose colors ❑ Research vendors or hire a planner ❑ Arrange officiant ❑ Select wedding party ❑ Draft guest list ❑ Register ❑ Shop for gown

❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Arrange wedding weekend activities Mail invitations Tasting with caterer to finalize menu Finalize music for ceremony and reception Create shot list for photographer Confirm bridesmaids’ attire is taken care of Update registry Pay deposits for honeymoon

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2 WEEKS ❑ Dinner seating chart/place cards ❑ Contact guests who haven’t responded ❑ Confirm honeymoon arrangements; share itinerary with family ❑ Gifts/welcome baskets for out-of-towners ❑ Facial, haircut and color (no drastic changes) 1 WEEK Arrange for dress pick-up Break in shoes Final head count to caterer Distribute contact list/directions for rehearsal group and vendors ❑ Prepare tip and payment envelopes for vendors ❑ Pack for wedding day and honeymoon ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

DAY BEFORE ❑ Ask trusted friend or family member to bring marriage license ❑ Deliver gift/welcome baskets ❑ Give rings to best man ❑ Get a manicure and pedicure ❑ Rehearsal ❑ Go to bed early

6-9 MONTHS ❑ Pick out invitations/stationery ❑ Book accommodations for out-oftown guests ❑ Order cake and/or dessert bar ❑ Sign vendor contracts/make deposits ❑ Order gown and choose additional accessories ❑ Choose bridesmaids’ attire ❑ Select flower girl dresses ❑ Schedule time off from work ❑ Make honeymoon arrangements ❑ Mail thank you notes as you receive gifts ❑ Set up engagement photo session

❑ Arrange for marriage license ❑ Final dress fitting ❑ Hair and make-up trial

CHECKLIST

1 MONTH ❑ Rehearsal dinner invites (make a list and verbally invite) ❑ Assign ceremony/reception responsibilities ❑ Confirm details with vendors ❑ Write or select vows

THE BIG DAY ❑ Have your luggage delivered to the hotel

Relax and Enjoy! POST HONEYMOON ❑ Send thank you cards (typically 1-3 months post) ❑ Have gown dry-cleaned or preserved


FUELING FOR THE GREATER GOOD.


CHECKLIST

PLAYING THE NAME GAME

PHOTO CHECKLIST

What You Need to Do to Get Your Name Changed Legally: Proof of marriage is the main requirement to get your last name changed. Make sure that you send certified copies of your marriage certificate, which can be obtained from your county office.

On the day of your wedding, you shouldn’t have to worry about your photographer getting all the shots. Be prepared ahead of time and give a photo checklist to your photographer so he or she doesn’t miss a thing.

ORGANIZATIONS TO NOTIFY: ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Social Security Administration Internal Revenue Service State tax authorities Postal services Public Assistance Office Veterans Administration Passport Office Credit card companies Department of Motor Vehicles Financial Institutions Utility providers Automobile lenders Employer Health-care providers Insurance companies Professional organizations Schools (alma mater) Magazine subscriptions

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❑ Bride alone in dress ❑ Bride and attendants getting ready ❑ Bride with mother ❑ Bride with bridesmaids ❑ Bride with both parents ❑ Bride with family ❑ Bride with flower girls ❑ Groom alone ❑ Groom getting ready ❑ Groom with parents ❑ Groom with family ❑ Groom with groomsmen ❑ Groom with ring bearer ❑ Ceremony detail shots (décor, altar, etc.) ❑ Bride and father just before going down the aisle

❑ The processional ❑ Bride and groom exchanging vows ❑ Ring ceremony ❑ The kiss ❑ Bride and Groom after ceremony ❑ Signing marriage certificate ❑ Wedding party after ceremony ❑ Guest at cocktail hour ❑ Reception details ❑ First dance ❑ Toasts ❑ Cake, cake table and cake cutting ❑ Dancing photos ❑ Garter and bouquet toss ❑ Bride and Groom leaving L


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THE REAL WEDDING OF

Anna

&

Anthony

VENUE HISTORIC SEVEN SYCAMORES RANCH, IVANHOE WEDDING I adored this couple the moment they both pulled out their own notebooks during our planning meeting. Every detail was carefully prepared by the bride and groom, Anna and Anthony. It's no wonder with a March wedding, they chose the Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch (which offers couples a covered ceremony and heated inside reception area) because it absolutely poured rain! To redeem what portraits were lost, the couple allowed the opportunity to do a "post-bridal session" just a few weeks later at the iconic Tree Lane (a special feature of HSSR). These images are among my favorite. It was a joy to capture their special day, rain and all. PHOTOS BY CJ Hopper

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E P I C U R E

TACOS TRANSFORMED R E C I P E S P H O T O S

B Y B Y

R Y A N F R A N K

L U C A S M I R A M O N T E S

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ust as ladies-only bridal showers have made room for parties that celebrate the bride and groom together, the standard fare of chicken salad and petit fours has given way to updated menus that are a party in and of themselves. Chef Ryan Lucas’ Trendy Taco Bar is a prime example. Whether it’s brunch on a cold winter day or lunch on a warm summer afternoon, Pork Carnitas and SpanishStyle Whole Fish topped with any or all of six colorful salsas brighten both the table and guests’ palates with their fresh, bold flavors. Serve in soft or crisp taco shells with queso fresco, and accent with a zesty slaw and fresh fruits for a delicious meal that guests and the happy couple will remember long after the party is done. Chef Ryan – catch him in the kitchen at Fuggazis now! – advises that these amazing flavors aren’t for showers only. Ramp up your Super Bowl Sunday buffet table by serving these atop baked nachos or tostada shells, or make any day special with these easy recipes.

SPANISH-STYLE WHOLE FISH INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 pounds whole tilapia Salt and pepper DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 325F. Clean and remove all the insides from the fish, or have your butcher remove it for you. Wash and clean the fish completely and “score” the fish sides with diagonal lines through the body, and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the fish and fry over medium heat on both sides until browned, then place in the oven for approximately 8 minutes to finish. Once the fish is done, remove from the and place on a dish for presentation. 32 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9


E P I C U R E

Did you make these tasty treats? Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram. We look forward to seeing you online!

/LifestyleMag

@visalialifestyle

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PORK CARNITAS INGREDIENTS 2 1/2 pounds pork, cut into baseball-sized portions 1/2 cup ground cumin 1/4 cup chile de árbol 1/2 ground coriander 1/4 cup water Sea salt and pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350F. In a bowl, combine the ground cumin, chile de árbol and ground coriander. Place the pork in a large bowl and season the pieces all over with the spice rub. Let sit at room temperature while the oven heats. Place pork with 1/4 cup water into a baking dish, cover with foil and bake until fork tender – roughly 2 hours. Remove pork from the oven and shred with a fork. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the pork and fry until it is brown and crispy on the outside.

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E P I C U R E

FIRE ROASTED SALSA VERDE INGREDIENTS 10 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered 3 char-grilled jalapenos, peeled 1/3 white onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup cilantro leaves Lemon or lime, to taste Sea salt and pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS Place tomatillos, chiles, garlic and onion in a blender and pulse until vegetables break down and mixture is still slightly chunky. Add cilantro. Add lemon or lime juice to mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.

PICO DE GALLO INGREDIENTS 3 large tomatoes, diced small 2 bunches cilantro, rough chopped 1 red onion, diced same size as tomato 2 serrano chiles, diced very small 1/8 cup olive oil – to blend flavors Sea salt and pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS Place tomatoes, cilantro, onion, chiles and oil in a blender or food processor, and pulse until the mixture is slightly chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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E P I C U R E

RANCHAREA CRUDE SALSA INGREDIENTS 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped 1 teaspoon white vinegar 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped 1 white onion, finely chopped Sea salt and pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS Combine all ingredients in a large mortar and pestle and smash until you achieve the consistency you like. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

SALSA DE AGUACATE INGREDIENTS 10 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered 2 serrano chiles, stemmed 1 clove garlic 1/4 small white onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup cilantro leaves 1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled Sea salt and pepper, to taste DIRECTIONS Place tomatillos, chiles, garlic and onion in a blender or food processor and pulse until vegetables break down and mixture is still slightly chunky. Add cilantro, avocado and salt, and continue to pulse until salsa is blended and creamy but still has some texture. Pour into a serving bowl, and refrigerate until ready to use.

3 PEPPER QUICK PICKLE RELISH INGREDIENTS 3 jalapenos, diced 2 yellow chiles, diced 3 red chiles, diced Splash of vinegar Sea salt and pepper, to taste

SWEET-HEAT PINEAPPLE SALSA

DIRECTIONS

INGREDIENTS

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.

1 ripe pineapple, diced small 1 red onion, diced same size as pineapple 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, diced very small 1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped 2-4 tablespoons lime juice Sea salt, to taste DIRECTIONS In a bowl, combine the pineapple, onion and chiles. Add cilantro and mix well. Add lime juice to mixture and season to taste with salt. L

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WEDDING HAIR WITHOUT A CARE TIPS AND TRICKS FROM A LOCAL HAIR STYLIST T E X T

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ears from now when you look back at your wedding photos, the last thing you want is to think “why did I choose that hairstyle?” That’s why Lifestyle Magazine sat down with Christi Jordan, a hairstylist and owner of CA Looks Salon in Visalia, for some hair tips and tricks. As a hairstylist for more than 30 years, Christi has seen trends come and go and is here to help us save you from years of wedding hair regret. What’s Out, What’s In? Out. Gone are the days of the bird’s nest; you know the look — it’s the one where a bride’s head is transformed into 1,000 wispy spirals of overly hair sprayed strands. This whimsical look worked well for the rustic-styled weddings of yore, but today’s brides are exchanging cowboy boots for a sleeker look. Besides, it’s not every bride’s dream to spend half the wedding night carefully removing each painfully placed bobby pin (nor is it the groom’s).

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Also out: The poof. The bump. The “what-the-heck-is-under-that” mountain of hair. While this look left the realms of style more than 10 years ago, along with bedazzled jean pockets and boots-withthe-fir, we still see it, especially here in Tulare County. It’s no secret that New York Fashion Week trends take their sweet time pioneering out to the Central Valley, but it’s time to deflate the bump! Last, but not least, prom hair. We all love a nice up-do, but ringlets pulled into a tight bun on top of your head isn’t the most flattering look for your face. And while some trends suggest that tiaras and elaborate headpieces are back in, we’re not quite convinced. Leave the crowns for royalty. In. Today’s trends can be summed up in three words: Simple. Elegant. Soft. Brides are choosing styles that take the spotlight away from their hair while bringing balance to their entire wedding day look. A prime example from a recent

pop culture wedding is Meghan Markle’s understated and elegant low chignon, which made national headlines for its simplicity. This less-is-more approach is seen in a variety of styles, from a low bun with several wispy tendrils to a long, natural blowout. Some brides are even electing to stick with their everyday look of beach waves or loose curls with the addition of a simple hair jewelry clip or comb. For an extra touch of romance, we’re also loving the vintage Hollywood glam waves; the dramatic side part combined with silky curls complement any face shape while accentuating the bride’s best features. In the Words of Christi: “Stick with something that shows the best version of yourself and enjoy your day. Some people do too much with the big eyelashes and makeup and over-the-top hair, and then they look back at their photos and think ‘that’s not me.’ You want to be the best version of yourself.”


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Invest in Your Look With wedding expenses stacking up as the big day approaches, it can be tempting to skimp when it comes to wedding hair and makeup costs. In the long run, choosing an amateur hairstylist or a friend to do your wedding hair to save a few pennies could be a mistake. As the bride, this is the one day when all eyes will be on you; it’s no secret that each bride wants to look and feel her very best on what is most likely going to be the most important day of her life, so investing in your hair will pay off in the end. When you consider a hairstylist, do research and make sure that he or she is well-trained in wedding hair; just because your personal stylist is an excellent colorist doesn’t mean that they know how to create chignons or the perfect wave that will stay all day. Products are also important to consider. What kind of product does the stylist use? Do they understand how different products will work with or against the texture of your unique hair? Will your curls keep all day without looking stiff? In the Words of Christi: “A lot of people spend all this money on their photographer and nice pictures, but they don’t pay to get their hair done. Then they get their pictures and don’t put them up on the wall because they hate their hair. Invest in your hair.” Plan A-“head” and be Pre-“haired” One way to know if a hairstylist is right for you is by doing a trial run several months before the wedding. Pick one or two hairstyles that you like and schedule several hours with a potential wedding 40 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

hairstylist. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of each look so you can go back and compare the style or have it replicated on the day of your wedding. Another major consideration: What is the weather going to be like? Are you getting married in the summer or winter? Outdoors or indoors? Is there a chance of rain or wind? Is it humid or dry? If your wedding is outdoors on a beach, there’s about a 99 percent chance of a disruptive breeze, so consider a style that is easier to maintain. If you know that there’s a chance of your hair getting ruined during the ceremony, make sure to invite your hairstylist to the wedding so he or she can do touch-ups throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to have your stylist do your hair the evening before for your rehearsal as a pre-wedding day trial. That way, your stylist can see what products will or won’t work with the weather and conditions. Last, but not least, plan to stick with a hairstyle you know works for you. If you prefer to wear your hair down because you like the way it frames your face, why would you opt for a high up-do on the most important day of your life? Stick with what you like. In the Words of Christi: “I always say go with someone that you trust, you like their style, and they know your hair. One problem is people go with someone who doesn’t know their hair, or they don’t do a trial run and they hate their hair. It’s OK to use a friend if you like their style, but because it’s a super stressful day, you want someone you can be comfortable with telling them, 'No, I don’t like that' or 'Can you change this?'"

Wedding Hair Etiquette. Yes, It’s a Thing. As brides, it’s easy to fall captive to the notion that it’s unquestionably “my wedding day, and I can do whatever I want,” so much so that you forget to consider the proper do’s and don’ts of working with vendors. While, yes, absolutely, this is your day and you should create your perfect wedding, there are proper procedures to follow to not take advantage of hard working vendors. For example, if you are having a destination wedding and ask your hairstylist to do the honor of your hair, don’t expect them to pay their own way (even if they are a close friend). Unless they insist, it’s your responsibility to pay for their travel expenses, including lodging. It’s also important to understand that your wedding hair is going to cost more than your usual visit to the hair salon. Doing hair offsite creates extra expenses for a hairstylist and often takes them away from a day of business inside their salon. Consider the time it takes for them to pack up their supplies and products and make the trip to come to you. It’s a lot more work and effort than you may think, so be considerate of their time, labor and expenses. In the Words of Christi: “If you want a hairstylist to come to you on your wedding day, you have to expect it to cost more. It’s also a good idea to have two stylists, one for the bride, the mother and the maid of honor, and another for all of the bridesmaids and flower girls. That way, no one is rushed and stressed out on the wedding day.” L


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THE REAL WEDDING OF

Tiffany

&

Miguel

VENUE 5TH AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY

WEDDING Miguel and Tiffany Leon of Visalia traveled to New York City for their wedding, a dream place to visit, loved the idea of a city wedding, something that would stand out. They had a vintage taxi take them to all the iconic NYC destinations such as Washington Square Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Central Park, etc. Their honeymoon is set for Greece in May. They flew their whole family and some close friends out for the wedding. Their ceremony took place at a garden rooftop on 5th Avenue, where part of “Spiderman” was filmed. Both are in law enforcement. He’s a Visalia police officer and she’s a Tulare County sheriff’s deputy. PHOTOS BY Danny Klorman

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THE REAL WEDDING OF

K aitlyn

&

Jason VENUE WHITE HORSE INN, THREE RIVERS WEDDING It was a beautiful fall day in Three Rivers for Kaitlyn and Jason's special day. What I loved best about photographing this couple was not only their love for each other, but for their friends and family. Everyone who attended their union was EXCITED to be there. Family traveled across the country to attend. Kaitlyn and Jason both shed tears throughout the day — walking down the aisle, during parent speeches. But, most of all, they shared smiles and laughs the entire day! I am honored that they trusted The Good Life Photography for their beautiful day. I can't wait to see what their future holds! PHOTOS BY Trisha Dean - The Good Life Photography

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T R A V E L E R ' S

T R E K

EXPERIENCE

THE

AUTHENTICITY OF MEXICAN CUISINE T E X T A N D P H O T O S S A R A H R A M I R E Z

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hen I think about Mexico, I think about incredible, picturesque landscapes; an architectural feast of ancient, colonial and modern buildings, as well as vibrant colors and delicious aromas of openair markets. Every time I return, it’s a chance to reconnect with my family, history, traditional Mexican food flavors and an ever-changing urban ag scene. This year’s trip was 20 years in the making to attend the Guelaguetza in Oaxaca City. Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with plenty of history and culture to explore, and the Guelaguetza is an annual indigenous cultural event that celebrates the agricultural bounty of the region. Like all major colonial Mexican cities, the heart of the city is a vibrant zócalo or a central square that always has two iconic buildings — the cathedral and a government building. In this case, the zócalo is traffic-free, shaded by tall trees and surrounded by elegant portales (arcades) that house artisanal vendors, street foods and restaurants. Most of the old buildings in Oaxaca, including the 29 churches, feature cantera stone, a quarried volcanic rock, and give the buildings a distinct green tint. Most of these buildings were built by hand by indigenous Oaxacans.

" Most of the old buildings in Oaxaca, including the 29 churches, feature cantera stone, a quarried volcanic rock...." — Sarah Ramirez Within walking distance of the zócalo, the city has numerous museums, chocolate or mezcal tasting rooms (tequila is a type of mezcal, however mezcal is made from a different type of agave and has a smokier taste), a central library that features workshops and classes, and the popular French-inspired theater, Macedonio Alcala, named after an Oaxacan musician and composer who wrote the de facto anthem “God Never Dies.” You’ll also find convents and monasteries that have been converted to hotels for visitors, such as the exquisite Quinta Real that preserves the archways and fresco of the original convent built in 1576.

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Two open-air markets, Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre, are near the city center and are typical of Mexican markets. You’ll find vendors of household goods, art, traditional cultural attire, and fresh and cooked foods. Keep in mind that most street food, including that at the market, will be served with salsa. As a tourist, you’ll generally receive the very wise advice to avoid raw salsas and enjoy cooked salsas to prevent any intestinal discomfort. Something else to keep in mind is the fact that many street markets are tailored to local meals. In Mexico, the heaviest meal of the day is what some might consider lunchtime. However, this is slightly later in the day between 1 and 2 p.m. As a result, many markets and street vendors close by 3 p.m. When we arrived, we began our adventures exploring the zócalo and discovering La Casa de la Abuela (The House of the Grandmother) that makes fabulous tlayudas, a handmade appetizer that could be a meal in itself. Some might describe the tlayuda as a medium thin crust pizza, but that is only in the appearance, not the taste. It’s a large, homemade tortilla grilled on a griddle and topped with beans or mole sauce and other fresh toppings. By night, the zócalo was alive with marimba ensembles, brass bands and roving musicians who delighted the audience into dancing. We also caught a glimpse at a light show projected onto the side of the cathedral that featured some of the culture, history and mythology of the region. Since we were traveling with friends and we were new to Oaxaca City, I decided to introduce our traveling

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Tlayudas, a handmade appetizer resembling a medium thin crust pizza, is prepared on a large griddle and topped with beans or mole sauce and other fresh ingredients.

" Our guide was a local teacher and graduate

student leading tours for the summer. During our conversations, we discovered that we had a mutual love of food and food history...." ­— Sarah Ramirez

The finished product for a tlayuda topped with beans or mole sauce and other fresh toppings.

friends to Free Walking Tour Mexico. While there are many tourist companies offering bus tours, our walking tour was free, led by a local guide who shares the history, architecture and culture of the city, and some tours are available for an English-speaking audience. Our guide was a local teacher and graduate student leading tours for the summer. During our conversations, we discovered that we had a mutual love of food and food history. One of my personal goals for this trip had been to take a cooking class and practice some of my skills with new dishes, so I decided to ask this guide if she knew of any locations that offered a cooking class. As it turned out, her husband was a local chef whose specialty was Oaxacan cuisine, but since it was also days before the Guelaguetza started, he and many others who offered


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cooking classes were really busy. Fortunately, she managed to coordinate a class for us, but it was going to take a couple of days. In the meantime, we opted to sign up for one of the dozens of tours available by local travel companies. This whirlwind day of sightseeing consisted of visiting a Mezcal distillery to taste numerous liquors. In Santa María del Tule, we visited the incredible “Tule tree” (yes, the same tule that Tulare is named after). The tree is estimated to be more than 2,000 years old, more than 50 meters in diameter and more than 500 tons. We visited the famous weavers of Teotitlán, where the residents continue to use traditional dyes (of flowers and insects). We visited the ancient pre-Hispanic city of Mitla with its famous and wellpreserved geometric design. Our final destination was Hierve el Agua (boiling water), what I might describe as natural infinity springs gorgeously situated on the edge of a mountain – a fabulous way to end a day of tourism. When we finally had a chance to take

our cooking class in Oaxaca, we met with Chef Keri Hernandez at Alhóndiga Reforma, a gourmet food market featuring cuisine from around the world. Chef Keri, true to his roots, has decorated his rustic kitchen with traditional ingredients of corn, dried beans, tomatoes, chiles and herbs. For our lessons, he started with the basics – making corn tortillas that we turned into quesadillas and snacked on with a fresh cheese mixed with grasshoppers. Yes, grasshoppers! Grasshoppers are a high protein ingredient whose culinary roots reach back to the pre-Hispanic period. While grasshoppers are common in the cuisine of Oaxaca and Puebla, among others, I have also had grasshoppers and other insect snacks in the markets of Mexico City and Guadalajara. For our main dishes, we learned how to prepare two types of mole sauces, red and green, which both began by roasting tomatoes on an earthen griddle. He demystified Oaxacan cuisine by sharing that it wasn’t as complicated as people say it is; in fact, the flavors of Oaxacan

Chef Keri Hernandez’s rustic kitchen set-up and decor of El Chapulin, inside Alhóndiga Reforma, gourmet food market featuring traditional ingredients and tools from a Mexican kitchen. 50 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

Chef Keri Hernandez prepares cal, slaked lime to prepare corn for tortilla making.

food are based on a small combination of ingredients that are overlooked or forgotten in a modern kitchen but remain as essentials in kitchens with traditional roots – hierba de conejo (literally translated as rabbit herb but known as Indian paintbrush), hoja santa (holy herb, but known as piper auritum), epazote – all aromatic herbs with indigenous and pre-Hispanic origins. We pinched, tasted and smelled the herbs. In a market, you might find herbs like these alongside other traditional fresh greens – such as papalotl, berros, huazontle, verdolagas, hoja de platano and other wild and in many cases free greens generally known as quelites. These herbs are so common and essential that you’ll find the tradition of buying and selling more popular ones – epazote, verdolaga or plantain leaves – at our local Vallarta markets or maybe even at a swap meet. These greens give their aromatic scent to a traditional Mexican kitchen and also offer insight into the nutrition sources of pre-Hispanic and present-day indigenous people as high sources of raw fiber, protein, iron and other nutrients. It’s unfortunate that so many of us of Mexican heritage have forgotten the value and importance of these herbs in adding depth of flavor to our foods or that the use of such herbs has been ridiculed as outdated,


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backwards or even a source of shame. Then he taught us to prepare sopa de piedra Alhóndiga-style; literally, it's a traditional stone soup that he refined uniquely for his location. And, yes, the soup really does have river rocks. In fact, the soup is cold, and it is the hot stones that heat the soup and “cook” the small thin slices of fish and shrimp. While the traditional stone soup is a clear broth with small amounts of seafood and vegetables, the house special of sopa de piedra was a tomato-based broth. The meal, lesson and the company were an unforgettable experience of flavors, colors and adventures. Of course, being in Oaxaca meant that we had to make a visit to the local markets to taste and purchase our local treats. Everywhere we went – to buy traditional pre-made mole paste, the colors and flavors were vibrant. Anytime we went to the market or walked in the city, we came across the vendors selling Tejate. Chef Keri had explained that Tejate is a non-alcoholic maize and cacao pre-Hispanic beverage that remains popular. The principal ingredients include toasted maize, fermented cacao beans, toasted mamey fruit pits and cacao flower that are ground into a paste and mixed with water, usually by hand. When the drink is ready, the cacao rises to the top to form a pasty foam that has a waxy or oily feel to it. During the Guelaguetza, more than 25,000 tourists visit a modern amphitheater on a hillside overlooking Oaxaca City. Events and celebrations take place everywhere throughout the city for two weeks, if not longer. Many events are free. The word guelaguetza means "offering" in the Zapotec indigenous language, but it is more than just an offering. The concept behind the guelaguetza is about reciprocal exchange. This is the way that relationships are built, social ties are reinforced and cooperation is maintained through time and geography. The Guelaguetza, as celebrated today, is a combination of pre-Hispanic celebration of the corn goddess, Centeotl, and the Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which falls on July 16. Each year, a young Oaxacan woman is selected, based on her knowledge of cultural traditions, to represent Centeotl in the festival. Group after group, the communities and dancers bring out baskets of bread, 52 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

coffee, pomegranates and, yes, even pineapple to toss to the cheering crowd. The Guelaguetza itself was a festival for the eyes – full of color and movement. Indigenous communities danced on stage highlighting their traditional attire, music and specialty food. Given my commitment to sustainable agriculture, I was also looking for alternatives to the tourist locations where I could support local community members. In my search, I came across the Pochote Xochimilco Agroecologico, a cooperative marketplace that brings together families from different regions of Oaxaca to sell artisanal products and foods. As an outsider looking in, I would say that many of these individuals are social entrepreneurs focused on sustainability, holistic land management that restores soil health and community building, but the reality is that most are farmers or people trying to survive in the face of environmental, economic and social degradation. One local woman was offering a lesson and meal of three types of chile rellenos. She offered

A vendor station in the Market 20 de Noviembre may sell several types of fresh mole paste as well as other ingredients for the kitchen.

a traditional cheese-filled chile relleno, a chile en nogada (stuffed pepper with walnut sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds), and also a ricottaand chicken-stuffed pepper served with a vegetable broth and your choice of strawberry or mango roll for dessert. Affordable prices for a good cause and supporting an important mission seemed too good to pass up. While Mexico is generally the land of corn, beans, squash and chile, each region has its own unique flavor that emerges from the history and culture that continues to stay alive despite the changes and challenges that the people and our planet face. Seek these places, people and knowledge out. As usual, my trip to Mexico culminated by purchasing another cookbook to add to my collection. The latest addition is more than 600 pages of Mexican food and gastronomic history that I’ll be using to inspire the plant-based flavors in my own kitchen. Maybe I’ll even be able to re-create the famous seven-mole plate we sampled our last night in Oaxaca at Los Pacos Centro Restaurant. L


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THE REAL WEDDING OF

Mazon

&

Mark

VENUE HIDDEN HOLLOW, REEDLEY

WEDDING Mazon and Mark’s wedding was full of beautiful details inspired by greenery, whimsy and intimacy. They chose a venue that had a forest-type feeling, and Hidden Hollow was their top choice. Lush greenery was a priority, but so were meaningful details such as the fun facts about the “gruesome twosome” (their couple nickname). The most meaningful details for the couple were the ones handcrafted by Mazon's mom. Some of the highlights included delicious homemade cookies on the dessert table, the signage such as the table numbers, AND even two of the bridesmaids’ velvet dresses and shawls. Photographing the wedding of this Tulare couple was a dream! PHOTOS BY Krizel Photography

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THE REAL WEDDING OF

Morgan

&

Anthony

VENUE BEBEREIA RANCH, TULARE

WEDDING Anthony and Morgan, who had been dating for nearly a decade, hosted the most incredible wedding day at Morgan’s home residence, Bebereia Ranch, est. 1956. Morgan collaborated with Visalia's newest wedding designer and coordinator, Katie Kalendar, from Ribbon and Leaf Events to showcase a reception that Tulare and Visalia residents had never seen before. The matte black chairs paired with Old World-styled natural wooden tables, deep red florals and evergreens to give a winter feel, and a cake (made by Morgan herself – she is the owner of Bebe Cakes) that sat on a swing, all tied together, leaving guests breathless. The bride was adorned in a modern lace gown imported from Australia's Grace Loves Lace boutique. Not one detail went unnoticed on this day. PHOTOS BY Amber from Simply Smith

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HAPPENINGS

FEBRUARY ‘Grey Gardens’ “Grey Gardens,” a musical by the Visalia Players, is a beautiful, heartfelt, witty musical of lost dreams and unending hope in the dysfunctional lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter. Tickets: adult $20-$22, student $16-$18. When: Feb. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 3, 10, 17, 2 p.m. Where: Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: (559) 734-3900, www.visaliaplayers.org

JANUARY Pruning Roses The Ralph Moore and Tulare County Rose Garden Pruning Demonstrations will be held by the Master Gardeners of Tulare-Kings Counties. When: Jan. 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: West Main and North Hall streets, and Tulare County Courthouse, 221 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia Contact: ucanr.edu/sites/UC_Master_ Gardeners/ Gemboree The Tule Gem and Mineral Society will hold its annual Rock and Gem Show, featuring vendors with a variety of gems, jewelry, rocks, fossils, beads, books and lapidary supplies. There will be demonstrations of faceting, beading and polishing rock; grab bags, a treasure hunt, wheel of fortune, drawings, silent auction and displays by club members. There will also be a snack bar. Admission is free. When: Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Exeter Veterans Memorial Building, 324 N. Kaweah Ave., Exeter Contact: www.tulegem.com Laura Manser at ldriggs5@gmail.com Celebrating Great Futures The Exeter Boys & Girls Club will hold its Celebrating Great Futures fundraiser, featuring a tri-tip dinner, silent auction and program hosted by the Exeter Outdoors Association. Tickets: $50 per person or $400 a table. When: Jan. 19, 6-9 p.m. Where: Exeter Boys & Girls Club, 360 E. Pine St., Exeter Contact: www.bgcsequoias.org or call (559) 592-4074 Comedy Blast Hands in the Community announces its upcoming night of comedy, featuring comedian Ken Davis and ventriloquist David Pendleton. Join us for a night of side-splitting hilarity for the whole family. General seating: $25, premium: $30. When: Jan. 25, 8 p.m. Where: Visalia First, 3737 S. Akers St., Visalia Contact: Hands in the Community, (559) 625-3822, www.hnconline.org 58 L I F E S T Y L E | J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 9

‘She Remembers Everything’ Legendary singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash and acoustic guitar virtuoso John Levanthal will perform the follow-up to her 2014 triple Grammy-winning album The River and the Thread. $35, $45, $55. When: Jan. 29, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Where: Fox Hanford 326 N. Irwin St., Hanford Contact: Fox Hanford, (559) 584-7423 Rummage Sale The Assistance League Visalia’s annual rummage sale for the first time will include a two-hour pre-sale event. Help make a difference in the lives of Tulare County children when you donate items or make a purchase. Items may be dropped off at 700 E. Mineral King Ave., Visalia. The Assistance League Visalia is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), and donations are tax-deductible. When: Jan. 30, pre-sale event; Jan. 31-Feb. 2 rummage sale, 7 a.m.-close Where: 700 E. Mineral King Ave., Visalia Contact: (559) 737-1907 to donate; email assistanceleaguevisalia@alvisalia.org for items to be picked up. Kirk Cruz Exhibition Arts Visalia will present an exhibition by Fresno native Kirk Cruz, whose works are created using a scribble technique, with permanent ink pens, that play off of his background in color theory and the way light hits these works. When: Jan. 30-Feb. 22; opening reception Feb. 1, 6-8 p.m. Where: Arts Visalia Visual Arts Center, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: www.artsvisalia.org, (559) 739-0905

Groundhog Day Winter Festival Learn about growing winter vegetables and hands-on irrigation for your yard, watch fruit tree pruning demonstrations and have your gardening questions answered at this Master Gardeners of Tulare-Kings Counties event. There will also be a children's groundhog activity. When: Feb. 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Where: Master Gardeners Demo Garden, Hurley Elementary School, 6600 W. Hurley Ave., Visalia Contact: ucanr.edu/sites/UC_Master_ Gardeners/


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Home and Patio SpringFest The 26th annual Visalia Home & Patio SpringFest will feature more than 300 home, garden and patio exhibits, “Salute to the Sequoias” landscape display, garden center highlighting urban farming, kids’ potting plant activity, a rustic home decor display, gardening seminars and books, a marketplace of gourmet foods and local crafts, and a treasure hunt for prizes. A kids’ playhouse constructed by volunteers at Habitat for Humanity of Tulare & Kings Counties will be awarded. Admission: $8, $6 seniors and military. Parking is free. When: Feb. 8, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Feb. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave, Visalia Contact: (559) 713-4000, or visit www.visaliahomeshows.com Fundraiser Dinner Celebrate Recovery will celebrate its fifth year with a fundraiser dinner, including silent and live auctions, raffles, door prizes, speakers, music and more. Celebrate Recovery at Visalia Community Church is a program that helps people overcome addictions, hurts, habits and hang-ups. When: Feb. 9, 6 p.m. Where: Visalia Community Church, 3838 S. Court St., Visalia Contact: (559) 723-4777, celebraterecovery@vccoc.org or fb.com/CRVisaliaCommunityCOC ‘Copland to Jazz’ A tour through our country’s regions and history is anchored by Aaron Copland’s setting of Abraham Lincoln’s powerful words, while we also visit the jazz influences in symphonic repertoire, including Gershwin and William Grant Still. $10-$45. When: Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: (559) 625-1369, www.foxvisalia.org

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HAPPENI NGS

World Ag Expo Come see the latest and greatest that the agriculture industry has to offer. Network with exhibitors, listen in on a seminar, plan your next business purchase and visit winners of the Top 10 New Products Competition. $15. When: Feb. 12-14, 9 a.m. Where: International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: International Agri-Center, (800) 999-9186 ‘When Harry Met Sally’ "When Harry Met Sally" is a 1989 American romantic comedy film written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner. The story raises the question "Can men and women ever just be friends?" and advances many ideas about relationships that became household concepts, such as “high-maintenance” and the “transitional person.” $5. When: Feb. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: (559) 625-1369, www.foxvisalia.org


The Senior Coalition proudly presents:

The Heart of Seniors

2019 EXPO &

FASHION SHOW Thursday, February 14 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Wyndham Hotel • Visalia This year’s guest speaker is Cynthia Johnson, professor of communications and psychology.

We love our major sponsors:

Early registration is recommended $5 per person. Send to: The Senior Coalition c/o American Ambulance 2017 East Noble Ave. Visalia, CA 93292 Call 559.625.3822 for more information. Visit facebook.com/seniorcoalition559


COMMERCIAL CLEANING SERVICES

HAPPENI NGS

Janitorial Service For dependable commercial cleaning service ServiceMaster Clean can help. daily, weekly, or monthly janitorial service Medical & professional office cleaning Father-Daughter Dance Dads and other father figures are invited to escort the little ladies in their lives (ages 4 to 16) to the "Masquerade Ball," where they will enjoy a night of music, dancing and refreshments. Tickets are on sale for Visalia residents and can be purchased at the Anthony Community Center, 345 N. Jacob St. $50 per couple, $25 for each added guest. When: Feb. 15 or 16, 6-9 p.m. (photo booth opens at 5 p.m.) Where: Visalia Convention Center Exhibit Hall, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: (559) 713-4365 or email recreation@visalia.city

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Profile for Lifestyle Magazine

Visalia Lifestyle Magazine - January 2019  

New