Page 1

SPECIAL FEATURE

WEDDINGS

Historic Seven Sycamores, Gowns & More

TRAVEL

ITALY & FRANCE

Tuscany Without a Plan

CULINARY

A FRESH START

One Healthy Grain, Two Delicious Recipes ECRWSS RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER LOCAL

January 2014

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PAGE

26 SPECIAL FEATURE A resource for local couples planning their big day.

CULINARY

A Fresh Start One Healthy Grain, Two Delicious Recipes

8

Letter from the Executive Editor

10 Business Cents: Tips on Purchasing Life Insurance 12 Word Play 14 Bios 16 History: Banking at Church and Main

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40

20 Charity: 33rd Annual Christmas Tree Auction

T R AV E L

Tuscany Without a Plan A Couple’s Spontaneous Journey Through Italy & France

26 Historic Seven Sycamores: Bridging the Outdoors and Indoors for a Perfect Wedding Venue 28 Creating Your Wedding Budget 30 10 Questions to Ask Your Photographer 32 General Guideline to The Big Day 34 Flowers

PAGE

36 Gowns

44

38 Honeymoons Close to Home 56 Performing Arts: The Creative Center

FIRST PERSON

60 Happenings

Get to Know Mike Boudreaux Tulare County Sheriff PAGE

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PICTURED: The Glass Barn at Seven Sycamores is the focal point of the venue. Large windows allow any indoor wedding to take in the outdoor scenery. Photo by Taylor Johnson


21st Annual

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B Y


JANUARY 2014 PUBLISHED BY DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 ART & PRODUCTION Art Director ROSS YUKAWA Graphic Designer CHRIS BLY EDITORIAL Executive Editor KAREN TELLALIAN Content Coordinator KATIE PRESSER Editorial Staff NIKKI GILMAN Copy Editor DARA FISK-EKANGER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS CAROLE FIRSTMAN DAVID CISLOWSKI, MD DIANE SLOCUM DONALD DEJONGE ELAINE DAKESSIAN JORDAN VENEMA SHARON NAYLOR TERRY L. OMMEN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT MALKASIAN ACCOUNTANCY LLP GARY MALKASIAN CPA JEFFREY MALKASIAN EA Operations Manager MARIA GASTON ADVERTISING SALES KATHY LOOPER kathy@dmiagency.com BRYCE McDONALD bryce@dmiagency.com SALES OFFICE 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 E-mail: lifestyle@dmiagency.com

RACK LOCATIONS

DMI Agency Evolutions Fitness Center, Tulare Tazzaria Coffee & Tea Tulare County Library The Lifestyle Center Visalia Chamber of Commerce Visalia Convention Center COUNTERTOP LOCATIONS

210 Cafe Cafe 225 California Fitness Academy Creekside Day Spa & Wellness Center Courtyard Aesthetics Details Party Rentals Exeter Chamber of Commerce Exeter Golf Course Fast Frame Franey’s Design Center Frank’s Appliance Hobbs-Potts Associates Holiday Inn Pita Kabob Kaweah Delta Hospital Red Carpet Car Wash Smiles by Sullivan Tulare Chamber of Commerce V Medical Spa Valley Financial Group Velvet Sky Visalia Community Bank (Downtown) Visalia Eye Center Visalia Imaging & Open MRI Visalia Marriott Visalia Medical Clinic Wildfl ower Cafe-Exeter Dr. Keith Williams Williams, Jordan, Brodersen & Pritchett, Attorneys at Law Windows Plus, Inc.

VIEW THE MAG ONLINE! issuu.com/lifestylemagazine

Facebook.com/LifestyleMag

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

Circulation of this issue: 15,000 © 2014 DMI Agency

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COVER: The rustic charm inside the Glass Barn at Seven Sycamores creates a perfect backdrop for any wedding. Photo by Taylor Johnson LEFT: The patio outside of the Glass Barn provides an alternate setting for couples who prefer an outdoor ceremony. Photo by Taylor Johnson


E EDITOR NOTE

Photo by Becca Chavez | Hair and Make-up provided by Velvet Sky

So far the new year has started off with a bang as we look forward to a very exciting year in 2014. No matter how good or bad the previous one, the start of a new year is always looked forward to as a chance for new beginnings. Is there anything better to encapsulate the idea of a fresh, new beginning than a wedding? No matter what else is happening, around the world people still become betrothed and take that walk down the aisle. Perhaps it has something to do with my own daughter’s wedding last year, but whatever the reason we’re eager to share this special, wedding issue with you. Even if you don’t have a wedding or reception on your calendar anytime soon, some of the ideas shared starting on page 24 could apply to a number of celebrations. In each issue, one of our readers’ favorite articles is the History Feature written by Terry L. Ommen. This month Terry takes us back more than 125 years, to the corner of Church and Main where the former Bank of Italy began. Technology has come a long way since the “state-of-the-art” burglar-proof vault was installed but the architectural history of the now Bank of the Sierra continues to be a landmark of Visalia. Quite often we get the chance to attend and show our support for a variety of arts and community functions. But, perhaps none as much fun as the recent production of The Creative Center’s, “Christmas Through A Lens.” The Center is a nonprofit arts center for adults with developmental disabilities with the mission of fostering self-expression and growth through the arts. For the full story and photos of this grand performance, please turn to page 56. As we go to print many of our countrymen are experiencing blistering cold fronts in other parts of the US. While temperatures here often drop below freezing this time of year, the sub-zero climates in many parts of the country right now pose a threat to the health and safety of the people, pets and even crops in those areas. While they hunker down inside and do whatever they can to avoid the elements, California is experiencing the opposite - a drought. Our crops and our economy need rain. We at Lifestyle Magazine hope you’ll join us in praying for the rain we so desperately need and for the safety of those living in areas where the weather is dangerously cold. May the weatherman have a more even hand over the next few weeks to help ensure 2014 is a great year for all of us.

KAREN TELLALIAN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR For more information or to submit a story idea email Karen@dmiagency.com or www.facebook.com/LifestyleMag call (559) 739-1747 or fax (559) 738-0909.

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B BUSINESS CENTS

Tips on Purchasing Life Insurance Donald DeJonge, Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual

I

n terms of personal pleasures, buying life insurance doesn’t usually fall in the same category as buying a new car or a new wardrobe. Despite its lack of glamour and prestige, the decision to buy life insurance can be infinitely important to a family and its future financial security. Before you begin your search for a life insurance policy, it’s important to give some thoughtful consideration to your financial goals. For most individuals, it’s hard to imagine how life would be without their loved ones in it. But this is the first step in determining what financial resources you need to leave your family so they can maintain the lifestyle you would want for them in the case of death. You might start by making a list, which includes: • Those who depend on your income and/or support • Your financial obligations • Your assets • Expenses that would arise which you may not have now Here are 10 things you can do to help you and your family make the most appropriate life insurance purchase: 1. Do it now. Don’t put off a decision that can have a profound impact on your family. Make sure you also have a current will or trust. 2. Shop for quality. Buy from a company that has the top ratings for financial strength and claims paying ability from the four major rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and A.M. Best). 3. Choose a financial representative you trust and like working with. This person should help you identify your personal and financial goals, recommend solutions to help you reach your goals and review your insurance plan every year to be sure it continues to meet your changing needs. 4. Know what you’re buying. Make sure you are

comfortable with and understand both the company and product(s) you are considering. If you’re only being shown a “best case” scenario, ask for something less optimistic to see how various non-guaranteed assumptions can impact your premiums, cash values or coverage. 5. Be honest. Do not omit any part of your medical history on your life insurance application. If you do, the company may be able to refuse coverage, deny a claim or cancel the policy. 6. Pay less often and pay less. Save money by paying premiums annually rather than semiannually, quarterly or monthly, if possible. 7. Be prepared to wait. While most companies provide conditional coverage when you pay up front, you can expect delivery of the actual policy within approximately three months. 8. Read the fine print. When you get the policy, read it carefully and ask your financial representative to explain anything you don’t understand. Remember you have a “free-look” period (10 days in most states) that entitles you to cancel and return the policy for a full refund, without penalty. 9. Tell those impacted. Inform your beneficiaries about the type, amount and location of any life insurance policies you own. Keep your policies in a safe place at home. Document the name and phone number of your financial representative and insurance company and all policy numbers in a safe deposit box. 10. Get an annual financial check-up. Meet with your financial representative to review your life insurance coverage at least once a year to be sure it continues to meet your needs. Be cautious if another representative suggests you cancel your current policy to buy a new one. Chances are you’ll be better off keeping your old policy – especially if it’s a “cash value” policy. Contact your original representative or company before making any decisions. All things considered, when purchasing life insurance, shop carefully, ask questions, and make sure you understand the answers. Keep in mind, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Donald DeJonge. Donald DeJonge is a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (Northwestern Mutual) (NM) and its affiliates. Donald DeJonge is an insurance agent of NM based in Visalia, CA. To contact Donald DeJonge, please call (559) 625-5782, e-mail donald.dejonge@nm.com or visit donalddejonge.com.

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W WORD PLAY

NEWS ON WRITING, BOOKS AND THE WORLD OF PUBLISHING Text by Diane Slocum

I

n the cold, gray of January, a good psychological boost might be in order. Malcolm Gladwell might offer that boost in David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (Little, Brown and Company, October, 2013). Gladwell postulates that David may not have been at as much of a disadvantage as we normally assume. And neither may many considered disadvantaged in modern society. What may appear as a roadblock to success, may actually be the incentive to follow a different route that leads to a more creative, fulfilling or useful life. For a true David and Goliath story, don’t miss I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (Little, Brown and Company, October, 2013) by now-16-year-old Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb. Malala, recovered from her injuries, continues to challenge a culture that denies education to women. Along the same lines is I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced (Broadway Books, 2010) by Nujood Ali, Delphine Minoui and Linda Coverdale. Forced into marriage at age 10, Nujood fled her abusive husband, defying her family and Yemeni customs. Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year (Feiwel &Friends, November, 2013) is by Demi Lovato, an award-winning young singer and actress. Since she began her career as a child on Barney and Friends, she has performed steadily on several shows and most recently is on X-Factor. During these years of artistic success, she has also struggled with bulimia, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and cutting herself. Now, at twenty-one, she has written a book about making it through a year challenging these problems one day at a time with positive commitments. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism (Random House, 2013) by Naoki Higashida, translated into English by Ka Yoshia and David Mitchell provides a rare glimpse into the inner life of a seriously autistic boy, originally written in his own words (in Japanese). Hot Genre The question remains as to whether New Adult Fiction is a true genre, but either way, readers are eager for stories about people in the 18 to 25 year range. Taking Chances by Molly McAdams and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire are two of the recent successes. Agents looking for this genre include Laurie McClean, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg and Gordon Warnock. Read the Book While the movie of The Book Thief has been garnering positive reviews, the book shouldn’t be missed either. Books are treasures in Markus Zusak’s book of the same name Knopf Books for Young Readers (2007). A foster child in Nazi Germany can’t resist the allure of books. The book is narrated by Death. Though published for young readers, the book is totally engrossing for adults as well.

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The Big Read The Fresno County Public Library is participating in “The Big Read” focusing on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The next event on “The Big Read” calendar is “The Birth of Jazz” to be held at the Woodward Park Library at Champlain & Perrin on March 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A bus trip to Hearst Castle is scheduled for April 6 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. During the Jazz Age the opulent castle was the place to be for the social elite of Fitzgerald’s day. What Was New One hundred years ago, in 1914, a list of exciting new fiction would have included Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, L. Frank Baum’s Tik-Tok of Oz and H.G. Wells The World Set Free. Other authors who had new books out that year, whose names may still be familiar to many, include P.G. Wodehouse, Booth Tarkington, Carl Sandburg, Frank Norris, Sinclair Lewis, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Anatole France, Theodore Dreiser and G.K. Chesterton. So the question is – which authors publishing books in 2014 will still have recognizable names 100 years from now? Writing Contests Entries for the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction may be submitted until March 14. The best short story will receive a $2,000 award and publication in Colorado Review. The final judge is Jim Shepard. Online entry fee is $17. Stories must be under 50 pages and not published. All submissions will be considered for publication. This prize was established in 2004 in honor of Liza Nelligan. Details at: www.coloradoreview.colostate.edu/nelliganprize/. The Poetry International Prize is offered by the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. The deadline is April 25. Up to three poems may be submitted for a fee of $15. Additional poems are $3 each. The prize is $1,000 and publication in Poetry International. Details at: www.poetryinternational.sdsu.edu/contests_pi.html. The Last Word “A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White (1886-1973) 


B BIOS

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

T

his month Lifestyle Magazine and DMI Agency are giving you an inside look at a couple of our valued staff members. We are pleased to introduce you to our Business Development Specialists Bryce McDonald and Kathy Looper. Bryce and Kathy are hard at work creating dynamic strategies for our clients’ success in the new year. We hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about

these local professionals.

Bryce McDonald BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST Bryce McDonald began his career selling advertising space for a small regional newspaper and went on to build an impressive resume, holding key sales and marketing positions within a diverse group of publishing and media firms. Bryce gained tremendous experience heading up business development for leading National B2B and consumer titles and quickly gained a reputation for being a top performer for the publishers he represented and a key marketing partner for the brands he managed. Over the course of his career, Bryce has represented a variety of publishers and advertising firms in niche markets. In addition, he spent several

Kathy Looper BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST Taking on her first job at the age of 13 years old, Kathy Looper learned at a very early age the independence a career can bring. By her 22nd birthday, Looper had diverse work experience and owned her own business. Although she dropped out of high school, Kathy knew she needed an education if she wanted to be competitive in the job market. After closing her business in 2008, Kathy completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Communication and is currently two classes away from completing her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. “Every job I have been involved in or business I

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years publishing nationally distributed, industry specific trade publications, managing all areas of the business. At DMI, Bryce plays a key role in helping local businesses succeed by leveraging his years of experience, passion for growth and natural curiosity to help identify the most effective marketing mix for his clients. “I feel as though I have a lot to offer,” Bryce says, “In that I have experience and a proven track record of helping clients grow in very challenging environments. Pair that with the fact that I finally have an opportunity to work within a community that has remained near and dear to my heart, and you have a very powerful dynamic.” Bryce resides in Visalia with his wife Devi, their two children and Australian Shepard.

have owned has been in the ‘helping’ field,” Kathy says. “Many people wouldn’t think of advertising as a help-based industry but it is. Owning a business is not easy; at DMI, I find ways to help business owners be successful and achieve their goals.” A published author, writing for a national health and fitness magazine as well as two columns for a community newspaper, Kathy has started the writing process on five different books and is hoping to complete at least one of them once finished with school. Kathy says she has learned that success is often characterized by long hours, lots of tears and sheer perseverance. While some classify her as a “workaholic,” Kathy enjoys her time outside of work with her husband, children and two German Shepherds.


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H HISTORY

Reflections BANK ING AT CHU R CH AN D MAIN

Text by Terry L. Ommen

F

OF MAIN STREET

or more than 125 years the northwest corner of Church and Main streets has meant money in Visalia. The Bank of Visalia, Tulare County’s first bank incorporated in 1874, was built there and became a well-known Tulare County financial institution. Recognized especially for the building’s tall clock tower, it became a visible landmark as it rose over Visalia’s skyline. The bank was there until 1922, but progress forced its removal, and it was replaced by the Bank of Italy building, one that continues to dominate the landscape of Visalia. The history of the Bank of Italy building begins with Amadeo Peter Giannini. Born in 1870 of Italian immigrant parents, the young entrepreneur noticed that working class people were underserved by financial institutions; so in 1904 he started the Bank of Italy in San Francisco. By 1921 there were 24 branches in

various California cities. In April of that year, he received formal approval from the California State Superintendent of Banks to open a branch in Visalia. He acquired the National Bank of Visalia and Visalia Savings Bank & Trust Co., and the two combined to form the Visalia branch of the Bank of Italy. The new bank opened its doors in the old Bank of Visalia building on April 18, 1921. Its arrival was important to Visalia as it placed “at the disposal of this community, the entire $300,000,000 resources of that wonderful organization,” according to the Visalia Morning Delta. On the weekend of September 24th, President Giannini and other officials visited Visalia on an inspection tour of the bank, the town and the surrounding area. They liked what they saw and before leaving Giannini announced that in the near future PICTURED: Bank of The Sierra Building 2014.

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H HISTORY he would build a new branch bank. Planning began for a new building on the existing site. Obviously, in order to construct it, the old one had to come down, so the search for a temporary location for banking operations began. The problem was easily solved when the S. Sweet Co. furniture business nearby relocated to the parent store on Main Street. The resulting vacant building became the temporary Bank of Italy quarters which allowed for the demolition of the old Bank of Visalia. The well-known contracting firm of R. F. Felchlin & Co. of Fresno got the nod for the new five-story building with a basement. Excavation of the site began in late 1922 and by early 1923, 186 “piles” had been driven into the ground to stabilize the foundation of the massive structure. On March 23, 1923, construction began. As the reinforced concrete Classical Revival style building began to take shape, it became obvious to all that the large building would play an important part in the town’s development and appearance. The building’s footprint stretched from Main Street to the alley and from Church Street to the Cross Horlock building. It was engineered to accommodate additional stories in the future if desired. The exterior was impressive but the interior, especially the banking floor, was stunning. Six ornate octagon pillars or columns supported a high ceiling that was richly decorated with fancy moldings and panels. Magnificent chandeliers were suspended from the ceiling and decorative wall and column lighting adorned the big room. Italian marble and mahogany accents were everywhere. Twelve customer wickets or windows were beautifully constructed utilizing “glazed” glass. Each wicket was stenciled with letters so that customers could avoid long lines and go to the wicket corresponding with their last name. The elevator and the burglar proof vault were the latest in design. The vault was made of thick concrete with wires running through it. Drilling into the safe would cause contact with the wires and activate the alarm. But a special bathroom fixture attracted considerable attention. “Airdry Electric Towels” were mounted in all eleven of the

buildings bathrooms, making paper towels unnecessary. The technology was so new for Visalia the local newspaper devoted an entire column to the Airdry and how it worked. “After thoroughly washing the hands, one shakes off the surplus water, stands in front of the Airdry, presses the foot pedal and the hands are quickly, and thoroughly dried by evaporating the moisture,” it reported. The construction project required 25 different contractors with over a hundred workers on site each day. After about six months, the banking portion of the $375,000 building project was finished. The temporary banking quarters were vacated and the move to the new building was complete. Saturday, September 1, 1923, was set as the day of dedication and the public was invited for the big occasion. Congratulatory notes came in from all quarters including Superior Court Judge W. B. Wallace, Uhl Rubber Co., Togni-Branch, Stag Cigar Store and Adolph D. Sweet, president of S. Sweet Company. The dedication was informal with no program, and bank officials conducted tours of the building. The Harmonizer orchestra provided music and the bank was decorated with bouquets of flowers. The new Bank of Italy building opened for business on September 4, 1923 and operated in Visalia until 1930, the year Giannini changed the name of his banks to Bank of America. For the next 42 years, the B of A operated in this five-story building. In 1972 the nearly 50-year old structure was sold for $360,000, nearly the same amount it cost to build. It wasn’t until 1976 that construction began on their new downtown location across Church Street to the east. The old structure continued to house various banks, and the Bank of Sierra is there now. The architectural history and uniqueness of the 91-year old bank and office building has not gone unnoticed. In 1981 it was nominated for the prestigious National Register and on April 1, 1982, Visalia’s Bank of Italy building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

BOTTOM: Bank of Italy building under construction 1922.

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C CHARITY

Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s 33rd Annual Christmas Tree Auction

THE GIVING TREE Text by Carole Firstman | Photos by Aimee Sa

T

PICTURED: The Giving Tree was the highlight of the evening at the 33rd annual Christmas Tree Auction. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was the benefi ciary of the tree’s donations.

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he spirit of giving was alive and well this holiday season. The year 2013 came to a close with the largest fundraising event in the region, Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s 33rd Annual Christmas Tree Auction. This year’s gala, aptly themed “The Giving Tree,” raised nearly $215,000 for local charities. The Convention Center was packed the evening of December 6, and with many attendees decked out in tuxedos and cocktail gowns, it was glitz ‘n glam all way. Husband and wife team Kathleen and Rick Remillard emceed the event, acknowledging the cooperative work of sponsors, committee members, volunteers and chamber staff. “By partnering with the wonderful recipient organizations and with each person here tonight, the Chamber helps make Visalia the envy of the region,” Rick said to the crowd. “Our community remains healthy, vibrant and attractive because of the spirit represented by this night.” Although anyone who has attended the auction knows the trees are amazing, the food scrumptious, the fine wine delectable, the décor stunning and the gowns glamorous, the evening is really about giving back to the community. More than four million dollars have been raised over the last three decades through this annual event, allowing countless charities to impact lives at the ground level and provide services to folks in need. For many organizations, big and small, this event is the primary source of fundraising they rely on to keep their wheels turning. “The Visalia Rescue Mission raised the most overall for this year’s event, with a total of $62,552,” said Chamber CEO Glenn Morris. “This includes both the funds raised the night of the auction as well as sponsorships generated in advance.” The Visalia Rescue Mission provides homeless shelter for men, women and children. The organization typically sleeps 150 people each night and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day of the year - about 515 meals per day.


C CHARITY

VRM’s tree was particularly stunning the night of the auction. Deep reds and golds contrasted with burlap swags and ornaments of miniature gifts. Atop the tree a rustic cross symbolized the ultimate gift of humanitarian spirit. “The largest amount bid for an individual tree this year was $10,000 for the tree representing CASA,” Morris said. CASA of Tulare County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) trains community volunteers to represent abused and neglected children. Advocates look out for the best interest of these children by speaking up and being their voice in court. CASA’s tree was adorned with deep, beautiful reds and vibrant, pearly whites. New to this year’s event was The Giving Tree drawing. Attendees purchased individual tickets for an opportunity to win a specially decorated tree that was sponsored by The Groppetti Automotive Family and decorated by Connie Marquez of B.I.G. Candy Bouquets and More. The tree was festooned in oldfashioned red and gold ornaments. Incorporated into the décor was $1,000 in gift cards to over a dozen local businesses. “The individual who held the winning ticket was able to take home the decorated tree, plus they got to select a local charity to receive the proceeds of the promotion,” Morris explained. The drawing proceeds totaled $4,600, and this year’s winner chose CASA as the beneficiary of those funds. Spectacular trees from a number of non-profits lined the perimeter of the gala’s room. The Samaritan Center of Tulare County showed off a “Countdown til’ Christmas” motif, featuring whimsically numbered packages; Daughters of Hope displayed fanciful snowmen to represent all kinds of giving and entertainment; Young Lives of Tulare County utilized natural elements like fruits, flowers and earthy colors; Hospice of Tulare County’s “Old Fashioned Christmas” design highlighted an old-time sleigh filled with family oriented board games. “I continue to be amazed by the support this event receives from our community,” said Morris. “The Christmas Tree Auction has now run 33 years, which is extraordinary. That longevity is a testament to the generosity and community spirit that makes Visalia such a great place to live and work.”

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TOP: Daniel & Karen Hightower are dressed to the nines for the annual event. RIGHT: Silent Auction items, like the “Movie Night” package donated by TUCOEMAS Federal Credit Union, raised money for local nonprofits along with the decorated Christmas trees. BOTTOM LEFT: Scott Logue, Darlene Mata and Mike & Angela Boudreaux are in good company while supporting local charities. BOTTOM MIDDLE: At the Christmas Tree Auction, guests Randy & Karen Tellalian enjoying a night filled with food, wine and dancing. BOTTOM RIGHT: Frank & Liz Lovero are in good spirits at the 33rd annual Christmas Tree Auction.


SPECIAL FEATURE

Wedding 24

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SPECIAL FEATURE

or this special issue of Lifestyle Magazine we’ve devoted the following section to all things wedding. This special wedding feature serves as a resource for local couples planning their nuptials in the upcoming year. From the details of creating a timeline and budget to highlighting the latest trends in bridal gowns and flowers, we’ve gathered this collection of wedding and reception ideas to help you create your vision. With so much beautiful scenery located right here in the Central Valley, it’s no wonder many couples are choosing to tie the knot outdoors. The Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch captures the beauty our region and serves as an idyllic backdrop for both ceremony and reception. And as photography plays an integral part in capturing the big day, be sure to read through the list of helpful questions to ask any prospective photographer. Finally, after months of planning, the honeymoon offers much needed relaxation for newlyweds. Located centrally in California, couples need not go far for a romantic and scenic getaway. We hope you enjoy this special feature and raise a toast to all the couples planning a wedding in

Special

the upcoming year, we wish you all the best for your special day! Photo by Third Element Studios

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SEVEN SYCAMORES Text by Jordan Venema | Photos by Megan Welker Photography

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he citrus groves of the Central Valley are not-so-hidden, hidden gems. Walk along the byways or back lanes of Exeter, Lemon Cove and Ivanhoe and eventually the fruit will show through the green branches, shinning orange and yellow. And hidden by those citrus groves is another little-known gem, a secret kept closely by the orange trees that surround it: the Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch. You might stumble upon it while wandering through Ivanhoe, or maybe even during a Google search. That’s the way of the 21st century: even if you’ve never heard of Ivanhoe, you could still find Seven Sycamores Ranch. 26

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SPECIAL FEATURE At least that was how Anna and Jared Swofford found it. They were looking for a wedding venue, something outdoors, something flexible, something affordable. And when they “stumbled upon” the Seven Sycamores webpage, they found exactly what they had been looking for, and something very close to home. Bob McKellar, Seven Sycamores’ owner, explains how the venue got its name. “The place has been called Seven Sycamores forever,” he said. “My folks named it that because it has seven sycamores.” As for historic, “well, I thought it sounded better that way.” Bob might joke about the venue’s name, but the Ranch has a history that reaches back almost a hundred years. In 1927, Bob’s parents bought the Ranch - Seven Sycamores is where he grew up, where he worked and where, later in life, he returned to make his home. For Bob, Seven Sycamores isn’t just historic; it’s the backdrop of his life. While Seven Sycamores’ history goes back nearly a century, its tenure as a wedding venue goes back only a few years. The first wedding at Seven Sycamores was in October of 2007, a ceremony in “The Garden,” the backyard of the home in which Bob was raised. Over the next five years, as Seven Sycamores began hosting weddings year round, there grew a need for a backup venue during colder, inclement weather. Not a hundred yards from the Garden was an old barn, a place where equipment and tractors had been stored for nearly sixty years. “It’s at least as old as I am,” said Bob, and before that, the barn had served as a landing platform where fruit was loaded onto delivery trucks. Bob asked Mikka McClain, Seven Sycamores’ Event Coordinator, to transform the barn from a storage space into a usable wedding venue. “It was disgusting,” recalled Mikka, “there was oil and dirt everywhere.” They removed the equipment, laid new concrete floors and built a new kitchen space, bar and loft. They added some new cedar rafters, skylights and lighting, but mostly they just cleaned the place up and cleared it out. The Glass Barn lives up to its name, lofty and spacious, surrounded by glass panes on each wall. According to Mikka, the Glass Barn, which was intended to be a backup venue, has become just as much an attraction as the garden. Especially in this do-it-yourself, Pinterest age, where many brides and grooms are wanting the flexibility to decorate and design their own weddings, the simplicity of the Glass Barn is a huge draw to couples. “It’s different,” said Mikka. “People can literally come in and do it themselves from the ground up.” Or if they want to keep it simple, they need only to provide the centerpieces, and Mikka

does the rest. The Glass Barn can be dressed up or dressed down, decorated or left exactly as it is, Mikka explained. “We try to be really open to that, letting people do what they want,” she said. Julie and Bret Adams were married in October at Seven Sycamores, holding their reception in the Glass Barn. They both appreciated Seven Sycamores affordability and flexibility in particular. “I recall Mikka continually telling me, ‘yes, you can do that,’” said Julie, whereas other venues hadn’t been as accommodating. “We didn’t even have to do much decorating either,” said Julie, who described the venue as picturesque. For Anna and Jared Swofford, who were also married in October, the Glass Barn “met all our needs and had an ‘at-home’ feel that we didn’t find anywhere else.” They described the barn as a kind of paradox, “rustic and majestic,” and “elegant yet casual feeling all at once.” But the venue doesn’t just appeal to a social media savvy generation - it also appeals to a community that has its roots in agriculture. “Obviously we’re a farming community,” said Mikka, “and there’s a lot of people that have always been in that [profession], and that’s what they want to go back to” - back to their roots. Bret Adams, who works in the citrus division at JBT Foodtech, loved the venue for that reason. “Bret loved the history behind the venue and the fact that’s it’s nestled in among the orange groves,” explained his wife, Julie. In a sense, the Glass Barn holds oppositions in a kind of unity. Its identity is rooted in agricultural, and yet its aesthetic is “rustic chic,” and while the venue is historic, it’s also young and fresh. Whatever its background, the Glass Barn is a new venue, and many people are drawn to it for its novelty. “That’s fun, that’s what people want,” said Mikka, to be able to do something that has never been done before. Seven Sycamores has been a kind of novelty, as far as wedding venues go, but its popularity is growing quickly: in 2013, Seven Sycamores hosted 51 weddings - they have already booked 55 weddings for 2014. There is something about the plain, spacious Glass Barn, with its grey and blue tones, and the old glass planes that surround it, which gives the impression of a brand new canvas. A bride and groom might get the sense that they were the first couple ever to be wed here, the first ever to begin their story under its roof. As Mikka said, they can do it their way, from the ground up. That’s the beauty of the Glass Barn of Seven Sycamores and the paradox of its identity: while it is a venue firmly rooted in its personal and regional history, it somehow maintains its anonymity, as though it were separated from past, person and place, and exists for every couple who would like to contribute a new page to its story.

PG. 26: For many couples who seek to be married outdoors, the white arbor compliments the gardens picturesque landscape, with the smell of fresh fl owers and surrounding orange groves.

PICTURED: Perfect for an outdoor wedding reception, the vine-covered arbors offer cool shade yet still allow hints of sunshine to highlight the décor. L I FE S T Y L E | JA N UA RY 2014

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Creating Your Wedding Budget

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lthough your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important days of your life, it is essential for brides and grooms to keep this special day in perspective by not overspending. As you and your loved one begin this new chapter in your lives, having a sound financial start can make all the difference for your happily ever after. In the world of weddings, your budget is your most critical tool and will determine the rest of your planning. Sit down with your fiancé and establish a realistic budget. Be sensible about what you actually need versus what you want. Whether you have $5,000 or $50,000 to spend, below is a guideline for building your wedding budget. Of course, the percentages can be changed to fit what’s important to you, as long as they all add up to 100%.

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Photos by Third Element Studios

RECEPTION (50%) Food Location fee

RINGS (4%) Bride & Grooms ring

ATTIRE (10%) Gown & Tux

GIFTS (3%) Favors Bridal party gifts

FLOWERS AND DÉCOR (10%) Ceremony flowers Lighting

MISCELLANEOUS (2%) Marriage license Officiant fee

PHOTOGRAPHY (10%) Photography Videography

STATIONARY (2%) Invitation package Postage

ENTERTAINMENT (7%) DJ Dance floor rental

TRANSPORTATION (2%) Limo or rental car


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SPECIAL FEATURE

10 Questions to Ask your Wedding Photographer 1.

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CAN I SEE YOUR PORTFOLIO? Most professional photographers, and definitely the one you would want shooting your big day, have an online portfolio for interested customers to browse. Take a look at portfolios of local photographers and choose the style that best fits you. Also ask to see an entire wedding, not just select photos from select weddings so you can get an idea of how they take into account all aspects of the day. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS? In the case of a once-in-a-lifetime event, like a wedding, it may be best to go with someone with more experience than an up-and-comer. Even if the price tag is a bit more for someone who has been in the business for a while, it will be worth it to ensure you have someone who knows what they are doing – and has done it several times. HOW SOON WILL I SEE MY PHOTOS? Most photographers will post a digital, password-protected album online for you to view. Be sure to let the photographer know your expectations on when you would like to access your photos and work out a time frame with them ahead of time. Included in this discussion is when you can expect to have your photos and your album inhand.

4.

WHAT PACKAGES/PRODUCTS DO YOU OFFER? It’s a good idea to discuss ahead of

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Photo by Third Element Studios

time certain products you must have and whether or not your photographer can commit to creating them. Most photographers are happy to work with your individual requests, ranging from mounted portraits to traditional albums, but it never hurts to see their product list and pricing ahead of time in case you want to buy something not included in your wedding package. 5.

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HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE ...? Here is where you can offer up hypothetical questions. What would you do if your equipment failed? How would you handle a crying flower girl? Are you prepared to shoot indoors if an outdoor wedding gets cancelled due to rain? There are a number of “what ifs” you can come up with based on your needs and wedding plans that you’ll want to flush out with your prospective photographer. CAN I CHECK YOUR REFERENCES? Ask for a couple of past couples you can call to ask important questions like: “Would you recommend the photographer to your best friend?” “Was the photographer on time?” “Did your guests have any comments?” Your photographer should not hesitate to provide this. WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS? Getting a feel for who your photographer is in addition to what they can do, is equally important. It’s a

good idea to ask questions like this so you know what kind of individual you are inviting to your wedding. 8.

DO YOU HAVE EXTRA TRAINING IN YOUR FIELD? Though a college degree isn’t an indicator of the best photographer, knowing that your photographer is educated on the technology of the time and dedicated to his profession will give some confidence in choosing someone who truly cares about what they do.

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CAN I SEE A SAMPLE CONTRACT? Your prospective photographer should be open with their procedures before you agree to anything. The contract is a binding document that is agreed upon by both parties, designed to protect both. If you don’t agree to something on the contract, don’t sign. And be sure your photographer has a contract – if they don’t, choose someone else.

10. DO YOU HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE? All vendors should be covered by their own insurance in the event something goes wrong. In fact, many venues ask that all professionals used be insured, so find out before the wedding if this is required by the venue and check with your photographer about their coverage.


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SPECIAL FEATURE

General Guideline to The Big Day 12 MONTHS BEFORE OR ASAP Start a wedding folder or binder Determine budgetary guidelines Hire a wedding planner, if desired Determine style of wedding Select wedding date Reserve reception location Meet with officiant Visit caterers/cake decorators Visit video/photographers Visit florists Begin search for the dress Apply for passports if traveling abroad 9-12 MONTHS BEFORE Begin pre-marriage counseling Select wedding attendants Reserve caterer/cake decorator Reserve video/photographer Reserve florist Begin writing guest list Have engagement photo taken If you haven’t applied for passports, do it now. 6-9 MONTHS BEFORE Select/order bridal gown & accessories Schedule dress fitting Order bridesmaids’ attire Begin looking for rings Reserve DJ or musicians Reserve block of hotel rooms for guests Begin planning honeymoon Register for gifts Continue writing/cutting guest list

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4-6 MONTHS BEFORE Purchase wedding rings Send save-the-date cards Plan rehearsal dinner Select and purchase invitations/thank you Attend dress fitting appointment Reserve hair stylist/make-up artist Schedule transportation (to/from) Choose ceremony music Order the wedding cake 3-4 MONTHS BEFORE Finalize guest list Arrange for men to be measured Arrange fittings for all attendants Begin addressing invitations 6-8 WEEKS BEFORE Reserve mens’ attire Purchase gifts for attendants Decide reception seating arrangements Prepare for legal/financial changes Order/purchase wedding favors Decide on any additional decorations 4-6 WEEKS BEFORE Begin planning thank you notes for gifts Final dress fitting Confirm all reservations Design wedding program Determine what documents are needed for marriage license 2-4 WEEKS BEFORE Get marriage license Have practice run with hair/make-up Write vows, if necessary

1-2 WEEKS BEFORE Begin packing for honeymoon Confirm all reservations (again) Arrange care of your pets Put a hold on your mail Remind everyone of duties 2-3 DAYS BEFORE Arrange for mens’ attire to be tried on Arrange return of all rented attire Send a timeline to the bridal party 1 DAY BEFORE Attend rehearsal and dinner Give gifts to attendants Get a good night’s rest WEDDING DAY Eat a healthy breakfast or lunch with protein Drink plenty of water Get hair/make-up done 3 hours before ceremony Get photographs taken Enjoy your day!


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Blooms Text by Sharon Naylor

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edding flower trends evolve season after season. This upcoming year, there are several leading trends coloring brides’ choices of floral motifs, bouquets and blooming décor: Romance: Wedding flowers paired with romantic, lace-enhanced wedding dresses carry a soft look of Victorian femininity. In whites, ivories and soft pinks, flower trends lead with delicate lily of the valley, or they may increasingly be seen as soft, muted bouquets or centerpieces made of big-bloomed, ruffled peonies. Vintage: Last season’s vintage theme carries into the new year with romantic flowers in muted yellows making up bouquets and floral pieces. Tiny touches of red in florals and berries act as accents. Rustic: With more weddings taking place in unique, natural spaces such as farms and vineyards, the overall rustic wedding trend extends into wildflowers in hand-tied bouquets and in loosely arranged centerpieces. Nautical: This trend is on the rise, bringing more navy blues into floral designs. Picture bouquets accented with shells and starfish.

TYPES OF FLOWERS While roses and peonies lead the way in romantic, vintage and rustic weddings, additional top-trending flowers according to the Association of Bridal Consultants include daisies, lilies, tulips and hydrangeas. These particular flower types spread across the seasons. They are joined by similarly romantic flowers such as ranunculus, gardenias and orchids, while succulents are taking their place at green-friendly weddings. TYPES OF BOUQUETS Romantic bouquets are most often hand-tied, meaning they are gathered together by hand, wrapped at the stem with a satin ribbon, and are more loosely constructed and relaxed this year than the more tightly bound designs of seasons past. Also more relaxed in construction are the more playful bouquets made up of brighter, more vivid shades of hot pink, magenta, fall’s deep reds and purples. One overriding trend, according to TheWeddingReport. com, is pairing a bright color such as yellow or persimmon with accents of silver and accessorizing the bouquet with sparkle in the form of crystals, rhinestones and jeweled brooches. For a less dramatic look, the “green bouquet” is a rising trend with a larger

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use of foliage and branches in a softgreen and ivory color scheme. Pops of yellow, light coral or pink act as the choice accessory hues. TOP COLORS FOR FLOWERS At October’s Bridal Fashion Week in New York, top wedding bloggers delivered the floral color trends right from the runways. They showed florals in bright, bold, saturated tones such as hot pink, bright orange and Kelly green. The visual impact balanced by deep jewel tones such as purple, navy and the still-popular shade of chocolate brown. Brides are also mixing unexpected brights such as turquoise and purple, says the wedding blog NoteableExpressions.net. Brides who desire a softer, romantic palette will choose light tangerine, light aqua and gold, paired with interesting neutrals such as chestnut, beige and grey, which provide a deeper alternative to the barely there shades of ivory. For both bold and romantic, floral experts say they’re increasingly blending dark and light tones in bouquets and centerpieces, as brides venture away from the all-one-color floral designs of yesteryear.


SPECIAL FEATURE

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Gowns Text by Sharon Naylor

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uring Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, a number of the top bridal gown designers created runway displays of their top wedding gown looks, and the overarching trend is soft, romantic and more demure than sexy. To help you find your dream dress, here are the top trends for wedding gowns.

LACE Duchess Kate is still the reigning influence on wedding gowns, with her iconic lace wedding dress ushering in a variety of lace uses. Kate opted to cover her arms and shoulders with lace, and the look continues with a variety of lace styles used for sleeves, for the entire length of the skirt, and for coverage of the chest and shoulders alone in sleeveless dress styles. Bridal gown designers have innovated a look called “nouveau lace,” in which the art is in the patterns of lace, from delicate, small lace patterning to larger, more graphic florals made of lace that may cover the bride’s shoulder blades in the back, or festoon the dress itself. PORTRAIT BACKS The bride is seen from all angles during her wedding day, especially during the ceremony when she’s walking down the aisle and during her

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first dance, so the design of the dress’s back has become just as important as the front. Top styles in designer dresses include backs entirely covered in lace, as a more subtle and romantic look than the sexier all bare backs of last season’s dresses. To add just a flash of skin, the lace back may incorporate a “keyhole” effect exposing just a small section of the bride’s back, and the cut of the dress back may create a lace frame effect. 2-IN-1 With celebrity brides wearing one dazzling designer dress for their ceremonies and another (or two or three) for their receptions, brides have become interested in having a “second look” for their own receptions. This trend has given rise to a new world of dress designs with removable elements, such as a lace jacket that

can be “peeled off ” to create a second, sophisticated look for the celebration. Designers have turned their dresses into Transformer-like creations, with long skirts that can be unfastened at the waist and removed to reveal a chic shorter skirt underneath that allows for more comfortable movement and dancing, yet still in high-fashion style. Also in the second look category is the addition of a sparkly, rhinestone belt, as Duchess Kate wore for her post-ceremony celebration. The bride simply affi xes it for an easy and inexpensive second look and is in top trend with her new, sparkly accessory. Or the bride can put on a cashmere jacket coordinating with her dress for a comfortable wear at an outdoor wedding in the cooler evening hours. And brides also slip into more colorful, sparkling shoes to add a dash of color to even the most traditional, white wedding dress.


SPECIAL FEATURE

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Honeymoons Close to Home

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or this special getaway with the one you love, the destination should be absolutely perfect. And with some of the planet’s most fabulous locations situated right within our state, California couples can enjoy a honeymoon that is local and world-class all at the same time. From top to toe, California is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, celebrated cities, and iconic leisure activities. Here are just a few ways we’ve found to enjoy the fabulous diversity of the Golden State. ISLAND TIME California’s sprawling coastline offers endless opportunities to relax on a mellow beach. However, the best seaside destinations aren’t all on the mainland: Catalina Island lies just off the coast of southern California – an outpost of the “American Riviera” – where you can relax on island time with charming boutique hotels, elegant dining and shopping, and scores of adventurous island activities. Ferries to the island run daily out of five southern California ports, taking you on a short ride to the beautiful main town of Avalon, a favored destination that provides plenty of palm trees, outdoor cafes, and luxury shopping without the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Its tiny streets, antique architecture, and picturesque setting combine to give the whole island a feeling of indulgent timelessness. RUSTIC LUXURY For couples who prefer the majestic vistas of the mountains, California is a goldmine of honeymoon destinations. With its soaring peaks, spectacular

waterways and iconic giant forests, the Sierra Nevada mountain range boasts some of the world’s most beloved national parks and wonders of nature. Nationally treasured spots such as Yosemite and Mineral King are only a short drive away and offer scores of things to do and beauty to encounter all year round. Resort lodges are always a popular choice for mountain stays; but now, outdoorsy honeymooners can combine their love of rustic adventure with some of the finest amenities, thanks to new options in rustic luxury. At establishments like the Sequoia High Sierra Camp, couples can feel like

royalty on safari with spacious canvas bungalows, plush bedding, hot showers, and gourmet meals. Located in nearby Sequoia National Park, the Sequoia High Sierra Camp opened in June 2010 and constitutes a beautiful hike-in oasis that combines the simple tranquility of a camping trip with the convenience of luxury guest amenities.

VINES AND WINES There is nothing quite so romantic as a good glass of wine, which makes the gentle rolling hills of Napa Valley and Sonoma County one of the world’s most idyllic honeymoon destinations. Northern California’s wine country is beloved by sommeliers the world over for its beautiful vineyards and their collections of celebrated wines. There are dozens of tasting rooms where you can select your favorite vintage. Local iconoclast Jarvis Winery sets itself apart by encasing its entire winemaking facility within 45,000 square feet of a mountain cave – complete with waterfall and gala room. Ideal for aging wines, as well as inducing awe, Jarvis Winery is one of the most exciting jewels of California’s wine country. Tastings and tours are an intimate, reservation-only experience, so make sure to book ahead!

BREATHTAKING BAY AREA Sun and surf may be the hallmark of the Golden State, but the beautiful destinations of California’s northern coast are some of the best-kept secrets of the travel world. As you head north, sweeping yellow beaches give way to towering cliffs, rocky peninsulas and deep green forests. Charming area destinations like Monterey Bay offer honeymooners a gorgeous coastal escape studded with scores of quaintly romantic bed-and-breakfasts, cafes and boutiques. The famous Monterey Bay Aquarium is also located in the heart of Monterey’s historic Cannery Row district, whose winding footpaths and repurposed fisheries wait to delight you with their unique brand of California cosmopolitanism.

PG. 38: Catalina Island offers couples an island getaway just a few hours from the Central Valley. L I FE S T Y L E | JA N UA RY 2014

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C CULINARY

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s a new year begins, it’s time to swap out those heavy holiday meals with dishes that are fresh, nourishing and leave you feeling light. Gluten-free and loaded with protein, Quinoa is the perfect place to start. Packing your plate with colorful foods will brighten your table and jump-start clean eating in 2014. Try out these recipes for a meal that is not only filled with healthy nutrition but also with bold flavor.

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CULINARY C

BAKED SALMON SERVED WITH QUINOA & ROASTED VEGETABLES Quinoa and Brown Rice Serves 4 1 C brown rice 1/3 C quinoa Bring a saucepan of warm water to a boil; add the brown rice and boil about 10 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook about 15 minutes more or until both grains are tender. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 400째F Roasted Vegetables 1 small eggplant, diced 1 zucchini, diced 1 yellow squash, diced 1 large shallot, sliced Red and yellow grape tomatoes, 6 to 8 of each, cut in half 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 T fresh thyme, chopped 1 T olive oil Kosher salt and pepper In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients. Add olive oil, mix thoroughly, add thyme, salt and pepper and place on a sheet pan. Do not crowd or the vegetables will steam rather than roast. Place vegetables in a 400째F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they have a little color. Remove from oven and add to rice/quinoa mixture. Turn oven up to 425째F.

Text by Elaine Dakessian | Photos by Taylor Johnson

Salmon 4 (6 to 8 ounce fillets) Olive oil Kosher salt, black pepper to taste Rub olive oil on each piece of salmon, salt and pepper and place on sheet pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12 minutes. Place vegetable/ grain mixture on a plate and lay salmon on top. Garnish with a little lemon zest and fresh thyme.

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MUSHROOM, BROWN RICE AND QUINOA-STUFFED BELL PEPPERS Serves 4

1 C long-grain brown rice 1/3 C quinoa 2 large bell peppers, mixed colors are nice 2 T extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 T fresh thyme, chopped ½ C grated parmesan plus extra for garnish Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a saucepan of warm water to a boil; add the brown rice and boil for about 10 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook about 15 minutes more or until both grains are tender. Drain and set aside. Prepare the peppers by cutting off the tops and removing the seeds and ribs. In a large saucepan of boiling water, blanch the peppers about 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Remove from water and drain. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Continue cooking if the mushrooms yield a lot of water. Brown until the water evaporates. Add the garlic and fresh thyme and cook another minute. In a medium bowl mix together the quinoa and rice with the mushrooms mixture. Add the parmesan. Fill the inside of each pepper and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350°F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Garnish the top with additional parmesan.

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Elaine Dakessian, Trés Bien As a contributor to Lifestyle Magazine, local chef Elaine Dakessian has created many exquisite recipes and dishes over the past several years. She is known as a “Boutique Caterer” who creates innovative menus for her clients and whose imagination and creativity compete with the best.  She uses only the freshest ingredients, local if possible, and loves shopping in farmer’s markets and specialty shops. Elaine has spent the last year creating menus for St. Paul’s school and is now providing lunches daily there for the students and teachers.  Although she took off time from her shop last year to do some restaurant menu consulting, Elaine is now back at it as a full service catering company. She has recently completed a successful party of 650 guests for Eagle Mountain Casino and has added several corporate accounts to her list of regulars, as well as a busy wedding schedule for 2014. Each menu is designed specifically for each individual client and with each client’s budget in mind.  She is ready to take on much more and is excited about the new dishes she is creating and adding to her already incredible repertoire. Along with in-home interactive cooking classes, corporate catering, box lunches, weddings, birthdays, casual dinners or the most elegant of events, Elaine is excited and motivated to continue growing Trés Bien and to explore new business ventures. 2014 has never looked so bright.


CULINARY C

THE CRUISE EXPERTS AGENCY

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New York City & Niagara Falls

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Holy Land Tour: Israel and Jordan

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TUSCANY WITHOUT A PLAN

Text by David Cislowski, MD

T

wo years ago, my wife Carol and I had a trip to the South of France scheduled and planned when last minute circumstances arose and canceled our trip. With time already set aside, we decided to seize the opportunity and spend 10 days in Italy instead. Carol quickly changed all the reservations and off we drove from Nice to Florence. We spent quite a bit of time exploring in Florence, but also went to Rome by train and did “Rome-in-aday.” Another day was spent driving through Tuscany, visiting San Gimignano and Volterra. We had a great time during our trip to Italy, but for our next trip Carol commented, “I want to come back to Tuscany and just drive around spontaneously, with no plans.” This October, we did just that. We flew into Rome and since we arrived late, we rented a teeny-tiny Fiat 500 and planned to stay at a Bed and Breakfast nearby. First problem, how do you get this car in reverse? After some help, we were able to pull out of the garage and off we went to the B&B. We took Carol’s portable GPS unit we call “Gurdy” with us and invested in a chip to help us easily navigate throughout Western Europe. The GPS got us to the B&B safely where we got some sleep - remember jet lag? The following morning we were on our way. Carol had reserved a one-week stay at a golf resort in near Follonica, Tuscany. Now,

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Carol doesn’t play golf and everyone that has ever seen me play seems to say I don’t play golf either. We didn’t plan on playing any golf, but we did plan to take several day trips from our resort. Our little Fiat did this well; it was large enough for the two of us as well as a couple of suitcases, not much more. It did have a great connection to my iPhone, which allowed us to play music from the phone wherever we roamed. Day two, we visited Follonica. This cute, little, Italian town was near our resort and is located right on the Mediterranean Sea. Our meal plan at the resort included breakfast and dinner, so we did some grocery shopping for lunches but all this driving, walking and shopping tired us out, and since we were still feeling jet-lagged, we napped a bit. We got our bearings and were ready for more the next day. Day three we headed towards the hill town of Montemassi. We heard about a little family winery in Ribolo named I Capetti that was on the way. Carol is not a big wine drinker, but we stopped and tasted some wines, bought a couple of bottles and had a great time. Then we headed to Montemassi. This is a great hilltop fortress town, very typical of Tuscany. An elderly man gave me directions in Italian - I understood about two words, but with hand gestures we were able to get to the ancient fortress. We hiked there and got a great view of the valley, the orchards and


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TOP: Wine from the Enoteca La Fortezza Montalcino, a wine shop located within an ancient fortress. INSET: Carol Cislowski photographed in front of the Montemassi Fortress.

vineyards below. Hunger set in, so we headed down but made a wrong turn along the way. We ended up in Tatti, another cute little hill town in Tuscany. Thanks to our GPS Gurdy we found the one restaurant in Tatti and had a great Italian lunch. This is an opportune time to talk about the Italians. These people must be the greatest hosts anywhere. Say three words in Italian and they love you for trying. Use hand gestures, English, Spanish, anything and everyone gets along. As the center of the Mediterranean Sea, Italians have been at the hub of travel and trade for centuries and know how to treat guests. Day four had to be Montalcino. I am a wine novice, but I had to try some of the famous “Brunello di Montalcino.â€? We arrived in town and ran around getting change for the parking machines. From there it was to the Enoteca, a wine shop in the ancient fortress. Carol, again tried the whites, and took home two bottles. I had to outdo her, of course, and after tasting eight brunellos I had a case shipped home for free‌I sure hope it arrives. After a walking tour, pizza for lunch, and a little shopping, we headed on to see Siena. Siena is famous as the site for the annual horse race in the big plaza. No horse race that day, but it is a beautiful and historic hill town. Photos by David Cislowski, MD

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Day five dawned with, “What do you wanna do?” “I don’t know, what do you wanna do?” In other words, after you have seen hill towns, tasted and purchased wine, what do you do now? Carol and I realized that after 4 or 5 days at any one place, it is time to go elsewhere. Remember, we had no plan and no reservations, other than at the golf resort. We talked about going to Rome again. We talked about the North of Italy. Then we got an idea. I called my cousin in Paris and asked what she and her husband were doing for the weekend. They were free. We checked out of our golf resort about noon and headed off to Paris. Gurdy said it would take eleven hours to drive. Well, Gurdy lied. We headed north past Genoa. Unfortunately the shortest route through the Alps was closed due to an accident and since we didn’t know for how long, we took the next highway. Traveling through Torino at rush hour: the drivers are aggressive but really very nice, just remember to get out of their way. We got to the Alps and saw Mont Blanc full of snow under a full moon. Gorgeous! Traffic was light, but the hotels were few and full. While driving through a little Italian Alp town, we got stopped by the police. They spoke very little English but apparently the burned out headlight and the outdated insurance tag on our rental

car got their attention. The policeman with the Uzi submachine gun got our attention. They finally realized we were just dumb tourists, so they let us go. We drove on and out of Italy, traveling through a seven-mile tunnel until we found a town in France with an open hotel and spent the night. On say six we were off to Paris with more driving. Both France and Italy have toll roads. You go through a gate and pick up a ticket, when you get off the road you pay your toll. Just be sure you have several credit cards or cash. When we got off in France, Visa was not accepted at the tollbooth and we didn’t have enough cash to pay. Thank goodness for honking from the guy behind us and an American Express card - otherwise we would still be sitting in our rented Fiat trying to get into France. To make it easy along the highways, you really never have to get off the road to rest. Rest stops along the way have gas stations, restaurants, rest rooms, shopping and more. The rest of our 10 days were spent in Paris, not really part of this article, but suffice to say, when my cousin saw us drive up in the Fiat 500 she said, “Are you crazy, driving from Tuscany to Paris in THAT?” We had a fabulous trip with lots of fun and lots of laughs. Traveling without a plan is a great way to experience serendipity.

Photos by David Cislowski, MD

TOP: The Cislowski’s first stop in France, at a local Charcuterie shop. BOTTOM: The view from the top of the Montemassi Fortress.

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INTERVIEW OF SHERIFF

MIKE BOUDREAUX

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ecently Lifestyle Magazine had the pleasure of sitting down with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. Sheriff Boudreaux lives in Springville with his wife Angela and their two young children. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Master of Administration in Justice and Security and is a graduate of Los Angeles Police Department Westpoint Leadership Academy. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Quantico, VA and also serves as an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Fresno Pacific University. We hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as our limited space will allow. LM: Sheriff Boudreaux, you have big shoes to fill. MB: Yes, I do. You know, Bill Wittman was our Sheriff for the last 20 years, and he’s taken this department to places it has never been. When he first started, some deputies didn’t have bullet-proof vests and some cars were not outfitted with shotguns. He really began to move [the department] to where we are today. LM: You have a special relationship with former Sheriff Wittman. MB: I’ve been mentored under Bill Wittman, so he’s more than just the Sheriff, he’s like family. He not only cares for the men and women of this department, but 50

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he has long-standing friendships with the community in Tulare County. As I grew up in the department, he was promoted to various ranks from Sergeant all the way up to where I’m sitting today. He encouraged me to go back and get my education and take as many leadership courses as possible. LM: How did you learn you were being promoted to Sheriff ? MB: Bill had suffered a medical condition that required him to take a leave of absence. He called me to his home and as we sat there he said, “You know, Mike, you have been preparing yourself for years and you are ready for this position. And I’m confident that you are ready to take on the role of Sheriff.”

LM: A proud moment? MB: I was so proud at that moment because it was coming from a man that I have so much respect for and who has taken this agency to where it is. Always looking up to this man, for me to step into a position where I’m looking eye-to-eye with him turning over the baton was a very proud moment. LM: A little faster than expected, maybe. MB: Yes, a little faster than to be expected. I thought that it would be later in my career, but I’m ready for this challenge.


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F FIRST PERSON LM: How many people in your department? MB: We’re a little over 725. So, we’re a very large department. We have an $88 million budget. Over 70 percent of our funding goes to salaries. You have to treat this like a business and that’s what we’re doing. LM: Some might think that’s an unusual term to describe a Sheriff’s Department. MB: What I mean by that is that I have talked on many occasions about the importance of valuing your employees and also providing top-notch customer service. If our customers are happy that we’re being prudent with our spending and we’re valuing our staff, we’re going to be a successful business, a successful organization. I can tell you, we’ve received more thank you letters from citizens in the last 10 to 12 months than we have in the last few years combined.

Department since I was very, very young. LM: Have you made changes? MB: We’ve made some changes that are just a matter of doing business. We’ve recently, with me moving up into the Sheriff’s position, opened up my seat and left it open but not vacated. We just received a $60 million revenue source to build a new jail down in the southeast part of the county. And we just received the proposed approval of an additional $40 million project in the

LM: From people you’ve helped? MB: We’re actually receiving phone calls and letters of thank you from inmates, because of the customer care. Our customers are anyone who does not work for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. We want to make sure that sense of professionalism and care goes all the way through the department. If the inmate is our customer, which they are, then we’ll treat them professionally and with courtesy. LM: What gives you that kind of compassion? MB: I’m not the same man that I was 2025 years ago. I’ve had my share of ups and downs in my career, both personally and professionally. I think what that experience does for me is help me understand those that are going through a hard time. There are those times where you have someone that pulls you under their wing, they value you and put you in a different place. I would hate it if I ever got to the point that I don’t understand where I came from. LM: How long have you been with the department? MB: I’ve been here close to 28 years, and my dad worked for this Sheriff’s Department for 30 years. I remember him in a Tulare County Sheriff’s uniform when I was five years old. I was raised by the men and women that my father worked with. I know that may seem strange to people, but I have really lived the life of the Sheriff’s 52

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north part of the county. So that’s $100 million of outside revenue coming into this county for infrastructure on our jails. That’s big. Because we have our patrol operations, investigative operations, search and rescues, dive callouts, SWAT teams, communitybased officers and jail operations for five different jail facilities, the job is big. Therefore, I’ve created two Assistant Sheriffs - one to oversee the jail operations and personnel side and one to oversee the patrol and investigative side. This is a unique opportunity for us to distribute management responsibilities with minimal impact to the department budget. LM: What are some things you’re involved within the community? MB: One of the things I’m really proud of and am reaching out to people in the community is in reference to scholarships for our youth that we recognize at their earliest levels. Now we have a PAL program, Police Activities League, that the Sheriff has done great work with over the years. What

I want to do is really move forward and advance this in numbers over the next year or so. We have “Explorers” in the Sheriff’s Department that work closely with our communities. They provide service to the community while learning police tactics like writing a police report and evidence collection. I want to provide scholarships at the local level, for kids that are in the Explorer programs that really want to move into the field of law enforcement; scholarships to get them their AA degrees and possibly send them to the Police Academy. Later, we can welcome those kids to the Police Academy and resubmit them back into the community that they were raised in. They’ll understand the needs of the community, will be well trained, have an education and a solid future. LM: So, most of the changes are to organizational structure? MB: We’ve made more changes in the last 10 to 12 months than we have in the last 10 to 12 years. The future of this organization rests with the advancements in technology. A lot of people forget that we have investigators assigned to computer crimes, identity theft and internet predators. Cybercrime makes it extremely important that we are on top of what’s happening with the changes in technology. We use crime analysis and data spot mapping to show our highest likelihood of occurrence of crimes. We pay close attention to the different commodities that are being produced here in this county. LM: For instance? MB: Walnuts - we know when they are going to be harvested and we try to put extra patrol so that we can deter thieves from stealing the walnuts. We have an agricultural unit that follows a lot of what’s happening as far as our trending with commodities. But all of our jobs can be made easier if we stay on top of the use of good technology. Everything is advancing quickly. LM: We read a lot in the news about copper theft. MB: We pay close attention to the stock market when it comes to copper prices. We have detectives that watch the stock market. If copper prices go up, pump theft goes up. We work very diligently with the State of California with legislation in


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LM: Tell me about a typical Sunday with your family. MB: Typical Sunday lately? [Laughter.] LM: Your dream Sunday then? MB: We started church at Visalia First Assembly about six years ago. On Sunday, we’ll get up in the morning and cook the kids pancakes and sausage, get them ready and then we’re out of the door to church. That afternoon, we’ll go home and play with the kids outside or we’ll just kick back and watch some TV, have some family time. That’s the perfect Sunday. I’m a full-time member of Visalia First Assembly and serve on the Board of Trustees.

place to deter the type of recycling that takes place with copper wire theft. I think we’ve done a pretty good job. LM: Our readers would like to know more about the man behind the badge. Can we talk about him? MB: Of course. LM: You live in Porterville. How did you end up there? MB: I was born in Porterville and I was raised in a little community called California Hot Springs, east of Porterville, about 45 minutes up into the mountains. I went to a little elementary school where there were 45 students in the entire school. I always jest that I graduated valedictorian of my eighth grade class, but there were only three people in the class. LM: What was it like growing up in such a small town? MB: The best life a boy could ever ask for. I grew up with my brother who is now a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol. We both respected our dad so much that we both got into the field of law enforcement. I went to Porterville High 54

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School and from there I went to Porterville College. At Porterville College, I went to their EMT program before realizing that my true love was with the Sheriff’s Department. So at age 19 I was hired into the Cadet program and that’s where I started my career here. Eventually I moved to Visalia and that’s where I met my wife, Angela. I was at my cousin’s bicycle shop downtown and happened to bump into her and have been together ever since. We have two small children, ages six and four. I also have a 19-year-old son from a previous marriage who attends Fresno State. He’s into his second year at Fresno State and I’m very proud of him. LS: From Visalia, back to Porterville? MB: With my wife being an elementary school teacher in Porterville, living in Visalia and two young kids watched by family in Porterville, over the course of time we realized we were spending a lot of money and travel time. We decided to make the move to be closer to family, and make our lives easier. We found a little acre and a half place outside of Springville, up at Montgomery Ranch.

LM: Faith is an important part of your life, how does that play into your everyday work life? MB: When it comes to work life, I put a lot of prayer behind making major decisions. I make sure that I surround myself with experienced staff that put a lot of energy into making sure we’re making the right decisions. When it comes to the job, church and state have to keep separate but there are times when, under my breath I’m praying for the safety of the men and women who serve. LM: One last question, tell me maybe something, your best friend doesn’t know about you. MB: Let’s see. He’s my best friend so I’m trying to think of something he doesn’t know. Because I would ordinarily tell you the amount of prayer and solace and thought that I put into what I do on a daily basis, but he knows that. I think that the average person may not know the very, my very core of what I am today is not what I was 20 years ago and I’m proud of that fact. You know, I’ve had my time of being young being foolish. I can tell you that what I am today is very focused on family, making sure that I’m making the right decisions, but my inner core is the amount of, amount that I put into my faith. But he knows that.


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The Creative Center’s Holiday Production

CHRISTMAS THROUGH A LENS Text by Nikki Gilman Photos by Angela Eller

A

fter the lights went down, the bustling audience went quiet for only a moment before bursts of laughter began as a montage of “awkward family photos” appeared on the screen. The Creative Center’s Holiday Production “Christmas Through a Lens,” captured the spirit of the holidays - laughter, joy, friends and family and the unavoidable chaos that ensues. The cast continued to delight the audience with laughs and smiles throughout the entire performance, which featured over 40 actors who attend the Center, the largest cast the program has ever seen. The Creative Center is a nonprofit community arts center providing assistance to adults with developmental disabilities with the mission of fostering self-expression, self-worth and personal growth. Founded in 1977, the Center currently serves over 90

Central Valley clients in the areas of performing and visual arts and life-skills training. The annual holiday production is only a fraction of the diverse services the Center provides. “We offer a variety of courses to our clients to help provide wide-scale training for life’s challenges,” explains Bailey Hagar, executive director of The Creative Center. “Our art instructors are all professional artists and our life-skills instructors have distinct specialties ranging from cooking and gardening, to sign language and puppetry, to computers.” The Center’s Visual Arts Department focuses on painting, ceramics, digital art, mosaics and drawing. All of the clients’ work is on display for the public at The Jon Ginsburg Gallery where “Christmas Through a Lens” was performed. Each year the Center presents two major productions,

TOP: The Blues Brothers Gary Wong (left) and Fred Croxton (right) play a jazzy number for the audience.

RIGHT: Main characters of “Christmas Through a Lens” Jerod Costales (left) and Robert Thiessen (right) begin the fi rst act of the performance at “Jerod’s Photography Studio.”

LEFT: Luis Navarrete (left) and Robert Johnston (right) as “The Shepherds” perform a live rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

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For 25 years I have enjoyed working with clients and assisting them in making confident financial decisions. I have found that by listening to the goals and dreams of those I serve and building long term relationships with them, we can develop an ongoing financial plan that allows you to plan for your future, while living your life today.

Janet Martinusen, CFP速 Private Wealth Advisor

Martinusen and Associates A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

1104 W. Center Ave. Visalia, CA 93291 559-732-4955 janetmartinusen.com Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. 2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

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HIC DESIGN / BRANDING / LOGO DESIGN / ADVERTISING / MARKETING / BROCHURES / CATALOGS / ANNUAL REPORTS / MAGAZINE LAYOUT SITE DESIGN / WEB MARKETING / ONLINE ADVERTISEMENT

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ribbsproject New Media Design for the specific use in which they were intended. These designs can not be utilized or reproduced without the express written consent of Eric Cribbs. n terms and outstanding balances owed to Cribbsproject New Media Design, Customer shall own all rights to the design and is granted full and unlimited reproduction rights to the Project. Should project as specified and Customer fail to provide full payment within thirty (30) days of completion of the project, Cribbsproject New Media Design has the right to pursue any or all of the following minate the Agreement, (2) withhold all files, artwork, source, commitments or any other service to be performed by Designer for Customer, (3) commence legal action.

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the Christmas Production and the Spring Show in May. These performances showcase to the community the hard work each client puts into the program, whether their talent is in music, dance, acting or costuming. Preparation for the Christmas Production beings months in advance as the performing arts staff begins pulling the concept for the show together. The actors rehearse at home and during class and as the show nears rehearsals are held everyday. “Our performers and staff take their craft seriously, there is a standard of excellence and reputation that is honored,” said Hagar. But the Christmas Production is not all work and no play; the show was packed with holiday fun as the actors’ joy radiated from the stage throughout the program. Featuring scenes from “Jerod’s Photography Studio” where all types of characters showed up for their annual Christmas photo, the vignettes were filled with comedy and conflict and showcased multiple musical and dance numbers with special appearances from the Blues Brothers, Kiss (the infamous rock band), an opera singing diva and many other quirky characters. Performing Arts Department Head, Rosalinda Verde helped develop the concept for the program and worked closely with the actors and staff to create the show. “I am blessed to work where I do,” said Verde. “We get the opportunity to unveil and

grow talents that are already within our clients. I was so excited to watch the growth of our performers this year.” Under the direction of Mark Rogers, the Creative Center Music Department contributed several live performances to the program including a rendition of Little Drummer Boy, performed by a five-piece band and resident guitarist, Robert Johnston. Live performances also included Luis Navarrete on the piano. Although the show had the audience laughing from all the Christmas chaos, it also served as a reminder of what the holidays are really all about, spending time with the ones we hold dear. Hagar expressed his great appreciation for the community support this program has received for more than 15 years, “I was so pleased to watch this year’s performances and to hear from the audiences how uplifting and positive this experience was for them.” Hagar added, “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until the program has begun.” Each year many audience members leave feeling the same way, experiencing the joy and magic of the program often turns this show into a holiday tradition for many local families. TOP: Members of the Creative Center perform as “Christmas Tree Mobsters.” BOTTOM: The “Simmons Family” performs hit songs by the band “Kiss” in Act 1 of the performance.

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H HAPPENINGS

SPRINGFEST HOME AND PATIO SHOW For this 21st annual event, over 350 exhibits filled with information on kitchen and bath remodeling, gardening tips and all-around home improvement will be present. Experts from stores such as The Home Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware and Master Gardeners will also be available for your home improvement needs. When: Feb. 7 - Feb. 9; (12-7p, 10a-7p, 10a-5p) Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: 713-4000 or www.visaliahomeshows.com

THEATRE & PERFORMANCES

JAN 23

STYX

The popular American rock band from Chicago became famous for its albums from the mid 1970s and early 1980s. Known for the hit songs “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” and “Babe,” Styx will perform at the Fox Theatre for one night. Don’t miss the band known for big rockers and soaring power ballads. When: Jan. 23, 7:30p Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369

RESPECT: A MUSICAL JOURNEY OF WOMEN

This delightful show is a high-energy, musical review of the history of women from the early 1900’s to today as illustrated through Top 40’s songs. It is a lively and engaging celebration of women, as they go from codependence to independence, from “I Will Survive” to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Peppered with talwa of real women, this promises to be a delightful evening filled with song and story! When: Jan. 24-25, & 31, 7:30p Where: Ice House Theatre, 410 E. Race Ave., Visalia Contact: 734-3375

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L I FE S T Y L E | JA N UA RY 2014

FEB 8

FEB 16

LOCALS NIGHT WITH SOLOISTS FROM THE TULARE COUNTY SYMPHONY

Our very own musicians take their turn as “Resident Artists” in front of the orchestra. What’s more American than a good old-fashioned protest rally? In this spirit, Shostakovich wrote his sardonic and witty Symphony #5 to protest the Soviet bosses with biting satire, lampooning and caricature. When: Feb. 8, 7:30p Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 Main. St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369

BRIAN REGAN

Brian Regan has distinguished himself as one of the premier comedians in the country. An American stand-up comedian, Brian uses observational, sarcastic and self-deprecating humor to leave his audience laughing all night long. When: Feb. 16, 7:30p Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 300 Main St., Visalia Contact: 625-1369

ART EXHIBITS “FAVORITE PLACES”

Explore Jeri Burzin’s exhibit “Favorite Places” featuring her photographs from Yosemite and the Southwest, accompanied by Toni Best’s beautiful and unique gourds. When: Exhibit through Mar 1. Where: Michael’s Jewelry, 316 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 734-7079


HAPPENINGS H

California Fitness Academy's fitness coaches are passionate, motivated and ready to get you in the best shape of your life. Ask about our NEXT LEVEL Challenge happening in February.

Are you ready for a game changer? All you have to do is take the first step and get in touch. We are ready to help you change your life and improve your health! Call us today. Owner, Justin Levine California Fitness Academy We Change Lives

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JENNIFER JANNAK

MAKEUP AND PHOTOGRAPHY

GIFT PACKAGES AVAILABLE

208 W. Main St. Suite 3a Visalia, Ca. 93291 (562) 619.2163 IN STUDIO AS WELL AS ON LOCATION SERVICES AVAILABLE

L I FE S T Y L E | JA N UA RY 2014

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H HAPPENINGS

FEB 7

SOFA ART XIX

DIVERSIONS & EXCURSIONS

JAN 19

FEB 6

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WORLD AG EXPO

Sofa Art returns for its nineteenth consecutive year. With this year’s theme “Sofa Art Reads a Good Book,” think of the classics of literature, the Homeric epics or perhaps a bit of lighter reading. Maybe a children’s book can serve as your inspiration! Come and see which piece of literature inspired all artists. Free and open to the public, the reception will be held on Feb. 7 from 6p-8p. When: Feb. 5- Feb. 28 Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: 739-0905

A BRIDAL ODYSSEY

The ideal way to meet all of the wedding professionals you need to help create your wedding – all in one place – all in one day! Come face to face with scores of great wedding professionals, ask them questions, see (and taste) their work, and sign up for great prizes and discounts. While you are there – take a seat and enjoy the beautiful multimedia fashion show. When: Jan. 19, 11a-4p Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: www.thebridayodyssey.com

ALMESA WINERY MARDI GRAS DINNER

Enjoy a multi course dinner with Chef David Vartanian and Winemakers John & Karen Hovannisian, of Paso Robles, CA. Don’t miss out on a one-of-a-kind meal and wine pairing, all happening at The Vintage Press restaurant. $85 per person, reservations recommended. When: Feb. 6, 6:30p Where: The Vintage Press, 216 N. Willis St., Visalia Contact: For reservations, 733-3033; For more information, 967-5755

L I FE S T Y L E | JA N UA RY 2014

Come and see what the Central Valley has to offer in the world of agriculture. Check out all the exhibits in the World Ag Expo Arena, as well as many seminars from local and global speakers, regarding the future of the agriculture industry. Don’t miss out on local farm tours and wine trails. For more information and scheduling, visit www.worldagexpo.com. Tickets $15. When: Feb. 11-13 Where: International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare Contact: 688-1030

FEB 15

FINDING THE BIGGEST TREE SNOWSHOE WALK

Who says you have to hike long and far to get the thrill of an adventure? For this moderately strenuous, off trail snowshoe walk, the conventional expectations of an adventure will be set aside. Strap on snowshoes and get ready to search for the biggest of the Big Trees. This is a great chance to find the much talked about Presidents Tree, the Lincoln Tree, the Washington Tree and more! Where: Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park When: Feb. 15, 9a-2:30p Contact: 565-4251

CHARITABLE EVENTS

FEB 2

SUPER BOWL SPRINT

FEB 8

POKER FOR PETS

Come join The Creative Center in their annual event, the Super Bowl Sprint. This 5k Run and 1K walk is a fun event where the community can get together before the Super Bowl and run off all those anticipated calories of the upcoming day. When: Feb. 2, 8a Where: Mooney’s Grove Park, Arbor 6 Contact: 733-9329 Go ALL IN to help homeless animals. This Texas Hold ‘em charity tournament will benefit the Valley Oak SPCA. Pre-register before Jan. 31, and receive an additional $1,000 in free chips! Must be 21 or older to attend. When: Feb. 8, 4p Where: Visalia Moose Lodge, 3360 S. Fairway St., Visalia Contact: 713-4694


Local Passion

Local businesses know the value of a local bank. Suncrest is proud to be locally owned and operated, offering a full range of business and personal deposit products and loans.

Victor Mendes considers himself a lucky guy. After emigrating from Brazil, he started a business doing what he is truly passionate about: raising and nurturing dairy calves for their first 100 days of life. Victor also feels fortunate to have a relationship with a local bank that is truly passionate about what they do. “I know some of the Suncrest Board Members personally,” says Victor. “I regard them as more than just bankers, they are ‘true people.’” Kind of like Victor himself. Victor Mendes, Owner Mendes Calf Ranch, Tipton, CA

Visalia Branch 400 West Center Avenue (559) 802-1000 Porterville Branch 65 West Olive Avenue (559) 306-1300 suncrestbank.com


Text “Courtyard” to 83654 to receive VIP Specials & Events

January 2014  

Style, Art, Culture and Events of the South Valley.

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