Living Lavishly

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VOLUME 9 FALL 2019 / WINTER 2020

L AVI SH LY on the central coast LANDSCAPE STYLES



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CONTENTS D e si g n S t y l e s Landscape Styles 12 Cozy Meets Luxury 18 Stunning Structures 22 Calming Colors 31

Inspired By Life A World of Difference 36 Making Waves 41 Finding Zen 45 Timepiece Treasures 49 Dog Therapy Delights 54 Supporting the Arts 59

I n Th e K i t ch e n Best Chef Competition 60 Cookwell Recipes 66 Balsamic Vinegar 69

Ge t O u ts i d e Superblooms in The Central Coast


Wedding Painters 81 Central Coast Sips 87 Bike Happening 90 Beach Treasures 94


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Bal a nc e d Body It's Easy Being Green


Aromatherapy Guide


Post-Baby Rehabilitation


Benefits of Tai Chi


Holistic Face Mapping


Taking Care of Your Teeth


Ge t C r e a ti v e Art as Inspiration


Local Art Culture


Fabric Trends


Wine Bottle Crafts


Home Improvement One-of-a-Kind Home Decor


Designing Spaces


Renovation Reality


Senior Living Aging in Place


Travel Strategies


Senior Living


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Publisher's Letter


oday, we sit on our new deck built by a San Luis Obispo contractor as we look out at the stunning view of the sun setting on the Pacific. Our home, nestled in a valley on top of a hill, gives us breathtaking glimpses of the sunset’s colors dancing across the sky. Sights like this give us an overwhelming sense of gratitude to live on the central coast. Our closest friends travel across the country and speak of warmer water and weather, yet we can’t shake the appreciation to live in this region of our gorgeous Golden State. When we’re out talking to our community about this magazine, people often say living lavishly is an unfamiliar lifestyle; affording to own a home is an obstacle in itself. However, we think living lavishly goes beyond the things you own. By living in the central coast, you’re already living lavishly. After all, where else can you dip your toes in the sea and just minutes away, hike a trail as beautiful as Johnson Ranch? We have the luxury of experiencing sold out concerts from famous musicians at the MidState Fair, or the option of a more laidback scene listening to the SLO Symphony on top of Hearst Castle. To us, this is what it’s all about. This is what it means to live lavishly. We hope this issue inspires you to enjoy the central coast in a new light. Whether it is changes to your living space, your health, or a newfound inspiration from local stories and people, we hope Living Lavishly Magazine reminds you of the many amazing things the central coast has to offer.

Bret & Lani Colhouer Publishers, Living Lavishly Magazine


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Close your eyes. What do you see? Floor to ceiling windows with endless vistas... Smooth plaster walls with exposed beams... An open space with warm, cozy woods... Natural stone and reclaimed planks... Modern lines and minimalistic details... A home built with sustainability in mind? We can do that.

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Fall 2019 / Winter 2020 Volume 9

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Project Executive Dave Diaz


Bret Colhouer Lani Colhouer Executive Editor & Content Strategist Madeline Minas Art & Design Denise Ankele Sales Jessica Micklus

Project Coordinator Tina Mitchell Operations & Event Manager Kelley Braga Contributing Writers Mark Diaz Diana Hathaway Juliana Welch Debra Lynn Henno Michael Bayly Camay Arad Julia Garmendia

Marketing Leah Castelein Mike Lee Emilia Bolini

Contributing Writers Nina Nazarov Hambly Serena Lopez Heidi Rhys Natalie Garay Monet Johnson Dana Chavret, Ph. D Lisa Story Charlotte Ross Dr. Patricia Mulligan Ryan M. Doss, D.D.S Scott & Nina Seelos Judy Salamacha Joanne Peters Samantha Young

Contributing Writers Kiki Kornreich Teri Bayus Courtney Coleman Lorraine Montello Mari Robeson Jessica Micklus Dylan Grant Contributing Photographers Zuridia Garcia Vivian Krug Ben Ferguson

Recycling Note

This magazine is 100% recyclable. It can be put in blue recycling bins, dropped off at the SLO County Library (if this issue is less than a year old), or even mailed to, which distributes old magazines to children, teens and adults who are at risk of illiteracy.

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By Juliana Welch

t’s easy to be overwhelmed when looking at an empty plot of land or a back yard in disrepair. Luckily for homeowners, HOA’s, and commercial property owners, landscape designers see your space as a blank canvas — a unique opportunity to meld function with artistic expression. Design style plays a huge part in every built environment, and often incorporates a colorful mix of the owner’s personality, designer’s aesthetic and greater climatic and cultural context. There is a lot of overlap when it comes to style, but certain core characteristics define each aesthetic. Read more about these traits to find out what speaks to you:


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De s i g n S tyl e s

Contemporary/ Minimalist: Colloquially described as “modern� design, contemporary landscapes are influenced by mid-century modern art and architecture but are defined by their cuttingedge qualities for the present day (which, technically, could be any style). However, when someone refers to a contemporary landscape, they are likely describing a geometric style, which features minimalism, clean lines and grid layouts. Contemporary design is often used in commercial projects such as campuses, plazas, and office buildings; it may also be used to complement custom homes. These landscapes generally favor green foliage over colorful flowers, with intentional spacing and simple hardscapes like concrete or pea gravel.

English Cottage/ Craftsman: English Cottage Gardens came into their own during the industrial revolution, when families fled city life for remote holiday cottages in the country. This mix of ideologies brought a unique design sense, which mixes the formal with the chaotic. English cottage gardens can be identified by their overgrown, lush look, usually incorporating lawn and border plantings among tightly grouped flowering perennials. LIVING Lavishly


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Xeriscape/Native/ Low Water: Xeriscape is a style of landscape design which requires minimal irrigation and maintenance, focusing on efficient use of water. Often using native and native-adjacent plants, these waterwise gardens tend to evoke an arid, desert feel. Gravel, cactus, and decomposed granite are the keystone elements of a xeriscape. Designers also incorporate sustainable water-harvesting elements such as planted swales and rain gardens into their xeriscapes. Native California gardens can still look lush, colorful, and attractive, while still retaining their drought-tolerant, low maintenance qualities.


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Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial Revival: Most coastal regions in California have a Mediterranean climate, meaning that numerous plant species from Southern France, Italy and Spain thrive here! Mediterranean design styles bring lavender, olive trees and Italian cypress into California’s landscape. It is also the origin of our incredible wine culture. Often using plaza-style patios, pavers, vines and potted plants, Mediterranean design makes the most of sun/shade, views and crops. Sometimes used to describe Spanish Colonial Revival style, these gardens often incorporate stucco walls, tile and cooling water features. Symmetry and striking, sculptural plants with colorful foliage often come into play.

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Desi g n S t y l e s

What’s your Design Style? Design style can be subtle or overt, but it is responsible for the feeling we get in an outdoor environment, whether familiar or obscure, nostalgic or innovative, cozy or vast. Most importantly, though, it’s what makes home feel like home.

Juliana Welch is a landscape designer and Cal Poly alumnus who has earned several accolades for design process, including an ASLA Honor Award from the San Diego Chapter, and a Landscape Architecture Foundation’s 2017 Olmsted Scholar nomination. When Jules isn’t designing landscapes at Madrone Landscapes in Atascadero, she takes advantage of local trails and Art after Dark in downtown SLO. For more information, visit or call (805) 466-6263.


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Design Tips for Creating a Warm, Inviting Space By Debra Lynn Henno 1. Resource inspirational images of style and colorways that evoke an emotional response. Is it inviting? Appealing? Inspiring? Publications, Pinterest, and HOUZZ are some excellent ways to resource inspirational images! 2. Once style and colorways are established, resource furnishings, fabrics, and art that work with the style selected––for example Transitional/Updated Traditional, Farmhouse, Beachside, etc. Pinterest Boards for each room are very helpful in visualizing furnishings, fabrics, art, and accessories together. Renderings of the spaces are another helpful tool in visualizing the overall space. 3. Create a furniture layout with floor plans or use blue tape throughout spaces to place furnishings within the desired spaces. The goal is to achieve an overall composition that is balanced in scale and color. Be sure color is not overused in one area and lacking in another––a room should organically capture the eye as a whole! If the natural light is limited in space, lighter tones can brighten the space. 4. Draperies, rugs, throw pillows, throws, and a mix of plush and woven fabrics create an inviting and warm space. Different textures including wood-painted finishes, metal, leather, wicker, and more create interest and warmth within a space as well. A vintage or antique piece is another way to instantly add warmth, character, and beauty to a room!


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De si g n S t y l e s When establishing colorways, consider using neutral tones in durable yet comfortable fabrics for upholstery and bedding. Luxury fabrics such as embroidered linens, velvet blends, faux furs, hide, etc. can be used for throw pillows and bolsters. Luxury yarns such as alpaca, wool, cashmere, faux fur, etc. can be used for throws as well. The accent throw pillows and throw can add a splash of color identification desired and is something you can change depending on the season! Some details to consider are textured art, galleries and floating art in glass, as well as unique accessories such as geodes, rustic wood items, handmade vases, and hand blown glass depending on the style of the home. The luxurious details create another layer of textures, which enhance the established cozy and warm spaces. It is important to view the project as a whole, make selections based upon the style of the interiors selected, and edit as needed to showcase those beautiful accessories! Debra Lynn Henno has over 20 years of experience providing Interior Design Services. When Henno is not designing, she can be found traveling and spending time with her family and Icelandic sheepdog on the Central Coast. For more information, please visit or call (805) 748-4734.

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ON THE CENTRAL COAST By American Institute of Architects California Central Coast Chapter

Isaman Design Indio Residence Shell Beach, CA Photographer: 11th Street Studio, Kate & Chris Walstad Located in the desirable Palisades neighborhood of Shell Beach, the Indio Residence is a contemporary home situated on the ocean bluff to capture views, natural light, and provoke a sense of awe inside and out. The primary goal of the design was to create dynamic spaces for entertaining and social events. The 5304 square foot home is equipped with four master suites, two living spaces, and a custom wine/bar area. The backyard boasts a unique infinity edge hot tub and pool that abuts the house and appears as if it is an extension of the floor. Capitalizing on the mesmerizing oceanscape, the landscape and hardscape design facilitates a variety of gathering areas in which to enjoy sunsets, mingle, or relax.

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De si g n S t y l e s

garcia architecture + design SLO Brew Pub, San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: Trevor Povah Set in the hub of the city’s dining and entertainment district, the SLO Brew Pub and Lofts project involved a seismic retrofit, URM rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of a circa 1915 two-story commercial building in downtown San Luis Obispo. As such, this project represents the newest urban redevelopment efforts that reimaging historically significant structures coexisting with modern interventions and contemporary 21st century uses. The ground floor Brew Pub respects and celebrates its historic setting by emphasizing existing elements such as exposed and re-pointed brick walls and reuse of original hardwood flooring, while also incorporating a vibrant micro-brewery and restaurant, indoor-outdoor seating, along with a live music venue.


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AGD | Andrew Goodwin Designs Miller Circle Remodel, Arroyo Grande, CA Photographer: Bryan Shields The Miller Circle Remodel is a single-family residence that received a much needed upgrade to accentuate many mid-century modern design ideas that were lost in a 1970s track home. The remodeled three bedroom, two and a half-bathroom residence incorporated an open concept living room, large modern kitchen, and a new ensuite master bedroom into the old footprint of the home. The front faรงade was retrofitted, the rear deck was improved, and the entire roof was cleaned. Many of the interior features, such as the vaulted living room, exposed post and beams, and large symmetric exterior windows already had a leaning towards what could be considered Mid-Century Modern. Therefore, the design team pushed a little further and chose materials, paint colors, and design elements to create a much more Mid-Century Modern home.

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De si g n S t y l e s

Thomas Fowler IV, FAIA 10-Day Micro Structure, Tanzania, Africa Photographer: Thomas Fowler IV, FAIA This is a pro bono design build project with an architect and structural engineer collaborating with a design team of three. The location of this structure is in Tanzania Africa, in a town called Same (pronounced sah May), located in the Kilimanjaro region. The project is a micro test-structure that was built during Summer 2018 over a 10-day period using manual tools (including mixing concrete on the ground). This test structure was built to prototype the best practices for design and construction in this remote area of Tanzania. The structure is part of a larger multi-year project, a proposed Polytechnic College, which will be built on the same 103-acre site. Tanzania, among other sub-Saharan African Nations, has one of the lowest rates of university enrollment coupled with one of the highest levels of poverty. The overarching goal of the project is to increase education levels to reduce poverty or create “education equity.�


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De s i g n S tyl e s RRM Design Group Marsh Street Brownstones, San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: Matt Carver, RRM Design Group The Marsh Street Brownstones consists of seven, single-family residences each consisting of four levels of elegant living spaces, a two-car garage, second floor balcony and private elevator. Interior design elements include hand-textured finished walls, well-appointed kitchens, hardwood floors and private rooftop terraces with views overlooking the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. The design of the Brownstones is modeled after classic American architecture, with the interiors reflecting a traditional brownstone layout. This urban luxury property in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo allows for residents to be within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants in the downtown area.

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De si g n S t y l e s AGD | Andrew Goodwin Designs WithCo Coffee San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: Bryan Shields

This tenant improvement for a small space in the Creamery in San Luis Obispo resulted in the new location of WithCo Coffee. This coffee shop’s design is a purposeful intersection of modern design and warm, intimate materials. A lifelong dream for founders Walker

Sotello and Rydian Searles, the team decided to partner with sister company WithCo Cocktails in Nashville, Tennessee to infuse their cocktail mixers into their coffee beverages. The combination of the two ideas brings a new level of sharing a drink with good company in the Central Coast. As if designed to create the perfect space to enjoy a nice conversation with your friends, the new waterfall countertop edge, the linear wood soffit, and the warm lighting all help to draw each customer into the coffee shop and into their next experience with WithCo.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central Coast Chapter provided images and information from their selected projects of the month through 2019. AIA has chapters in every state, and the California Central Coast Chapter, founded in 1979, is a thriving and growing group of architects, associates and professional affiliates. Learn more at


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D e s i g n S tyl e s

Calming Colors

By Diana Hathaway Photos Courtesy of Behr Paints


he retreat-at-home trend is still going strong. When life gets busy and stress builds, our homes can be an oasis of calm. Color is the easiest and most impactful way to create a relaxing space at home. Here are the top tips for transforming your home with calming colors:

1. Start With a Vision The perfect palette of calming colors may not be the same for everyone. It’s important to

Tips To Turn Your Home Into A Peaceful Oasis. define where the colors will be used, and the mood they’ll convey. Taking inspiration from spas, soothing blues and greens evoke visions of water and sky. Relaxing neutral color palettes draw inspiration from sun and sand. It’s no surprise that natural colors are considered the most calming, as time spent in nature can refresh and rejuvenate us.

2. Gather Inspiration Envisioning a relaxing retreat at home may require some inspiration. Consider creating

an expandable file folder filled with magazine photos, brochures, and catalogs that inspire the space you want to create. Bring your folder with you when you shop for decor or paint colors. There are numerous online options for creating collections of inspirational photos and ideas. Pinterest is still the top choice for finding and collecting images for home makeovers. Each Pinterest board can be devoted to a color, style, or palette you love. The Pinterest app can be used on shopping

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De si g n S t y l e s 3. Create a Color Palette of Calming Colors

at Work

h Colors T g n i m l a C

When adding new colors to a space, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices. Starting a decorating project with a color palette already in place can save time and money with your inspiration as a guide. Redesigning a neutral color palette to include calming colors is as easy as removing any accessories or decor that no longer work and replacing them with new.

are and gray , n e e r g blue, tte. The lors like ing pale lm a c Cool co a r fo ued, and choices are subd s r lo o the top c ies of ol ossibilit pular co p e h T . y most po erg calm en ss: promote n e are dle r n lo o c h e, or eve eac turquois , a u q a be an also . • Blue c g palette in lm a c a navy in age, is een to s r g s s a r , from g • Green xing. and rela olor natural entary c m le p m o c best as a hite. • Gray is tels or w s a p ft o s h it along w

trips, to keep your inspiration close-by.

4. Where to Use Calming Colors at Home Calming colors can be added to an existing color palette as accents in accessories, linens, and paint. Accent walls will always be in style, but now accent ceilings and interior doors are a hot trend for bringing new color inside. Calming color is not limited to paint and decor — building materials like tile and flooring can also be customized to achieve a retreat vibe.

5. Explore Feng Shui and Color Color is an important part of enhancing Feng Shui energy at home. The practice of Feng Shui in decorating helps people improve the flow and energy of their spaces though arrangement and color. Based on natural elements, color is


g Color

s That W ork

Warm c olors, lik e beige can als , yellow o be us , and b e d for a ca secret t rown, lming p o choos alette. T ing war relaxin m color he g palett s for yo e, is in ur their in tensity: • Beige is most r e with gr laxing w ay, whic h becom hen it is softe bridges ne es grieg the gap e. Greig d betwee neutrals e n w , and is arm an easy to d cool decorat • Yellow e with. can be a surpr color a isingly s a mut calmin ed past g el or bu ttery to • Brow ne. n work s best in palette a calmin as an a g color n chor fo neutral r warm, l colors — ig ht, think w and ma terials l arm wo ike teak od tone s and ba mboo.


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Desi g n S t y l e s used to balance each room in a home so that the energy, (called Chi’i) moves freely. Incorporating Feng Shui color principles can help create a balanced and calm environment.

6. Think Beyond Color Even with the most calming colors in a space, it’s hard to be relaxed when we’re faced with clutter. For small rooms, like a bathroom, clutter is an even bigger problem that can undo any benefit gained by using the right colors. Take time to find attractive storage solutions for essential items and things that bring joy. Consider donating or re-gifting

anything that you don’t need or love, as the stress of seeing that clutter every day can keep you from enjoying a relaxing home. With inspiration and preparation, you can use calming colors to easily create a relaxing home. The most important part of a personal retreat space is that it is tailored to you, and is filled with colors and decor that soothe and inspire. Diana Hathaway is an interior designer, color expert, and Feng Shui designer. When she’s not working with her wonderful clients, you’ll find her enjoying the Central Coast beaches with her dog, Marsden. You can reach her at (805)242-3878 or

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Is your loved one struggling with addiction? Here are steps that you can take to help guide them towards a life of recovery.

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Get safe and vital. Take good care of yourself. You’re no good if you’re no good.


Practice loving communication. Unconditionally at all times. No one does this perfectly.


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Reward recovery behaviors. Make them feel that recovery is a better way.


Neglect addiction behaviors. Make material rewards and support conditional upon recovery.


Honor pain. Do not shield your loved one from the natural negative consequences of addicting.


Set therapeutic expectations. Expect your loved one to do what they can. Hold them accountable.


Let go. Only the victim of addiction can choose recovery.


Have hope! Most people recover from addiction. You can help! Never give up!



hroughout the central coast, you’ll find people making a difference within the very fabric of our community, whether it be non-profit organizations or small businesses built with the purpose to uplift our physical, mental or spiritual well-being. In other facets of our community, groups of volunteers are sparking change on international levels as helping hands are reached out to families on the other side of the globe. Featured in this issue, you’ll discover those who inspire our community deeply, everyday, in a diverse set of ways. You’ll find dreamers and leaders paving the way for a better future. We are honored to share stories of those who aim to inspire others, simply because they are inspired by life.

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By Nicole Mines


f you’ve never stopped and questioned who, where, or how the clothing in your wardrobe was created, maybe the time to question is now. Chances are some of your shirts were created by a mother in an Indian province left with no other option but to work long hours for low wages, just so she can get food on the table for her children that same day. Perhaps your wallet or handbag may be from one of the many major retailers that have sold products with high levels of lead, a circumstance that consequently initiated legal action by the Center for Environmental Health back in 2009.


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“Everything in our store has a story,” - Laura Mullen, President of HumanKind Fair Trade's Board of Directors

Nowadays, many consumers are fortunate enough to purchase the trendiest apparel on the market. However, the creators behind our materials are paying the steepest price. That’s why Fair Trade, a movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates and organizations, has swept the globe. Fair Trade has been established in developing countries, ensuring fair prices are paid to the producers.

Living Lavishly Through Fair Trade One of the organizations upholding these ethical values is HumanKind Fair Trade, a nonprofit organization located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. On Monterey Street, you’ll find a quaint storefront supplied with handcrafted apparel, jewelry, accessories and more from artisans around the globe.

In s p i re d B y L i f e Laura Mullen (right), president of HumanKind Fair Trade’s board of directors, with LynAnne Wiest (left).Photo courtesy of Heather Gray Photography

With global products that are handcrafted, handpicked, and fairly traded, HumanKind Fair Trade is establishing what it means to live lavishly in a new light. It has been 10 years since this storefront opened its doors to the public. With a Board of Directors and nearly 25 local volunteers, the journey of this non-profit retail store continues to make a global impact. “Our volunteers are so invested in our store and I think that’s a beautiful part about this organization,” said LynAnne Wiest, store manager of HumanKind Fair Trade. “By

having volunteers that are truly passionate about fair trade, we are connecting the global community directly to SLO.” As an ally to artisans around the globe, LynAnne has worked alongside remarkable individuals with extraordinary stories to tell. Whether it be the handwoven baskets, quirky home decor, handcrafted jewelry, sustainably-produced garden decor, or cleverly created greeting cards, LynAnne says every item has a story. With that, every story includes artisans committed to making a difference.

Empowering Women In Ghana Being in San Luis Obispo, it may seem like a far reach to make a difference in a community on the other side of the globe. However, with communities like Global Mamas, making a difference is as easy as purchasing the products created by these entrepreneurial women. Global Mamas works with about 300 women in Ghana making batik fabric, sewing garments, and glass-beaded jewelry. “When you purchase an item created by the Global Mamas community, you are supporting

Global Mamas artisan, Faustina, showcasing her handcrafted bracelets. Photo courtesy of Global Mamas

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I nsp i r e d By Li fe hard working women who aim to support others in their community,” LynAnne said. One of the unique elements of Global Mamas is the value placed on entrepreneurship; each woman runs her own workshop and takes on apprentices as she chooses. This idea of a helping hand is also shown in the community’s ability to pay school fees for their children and other family members’ children as well. For Global Mamas, fair trade practices are what keeps the fabric of their community closely knitted as they empower women in Ghana to provide for themselves and their families.

Jewelry maker handcrafting necklaces in India. Photo courtesy of Matr Boomie

Sparking Change In India In 2016, LynAnne traveled to India to connect with artisan groups and connect more with the production side of fair trade. She met a jewelry-making family in Delhi working under unethical conditions for companies that took advantage of the products they made. That’s when the family’s oldest of four daughters found Matr Boomie, a fair trade community dedicated to providing fair wages for artisans across India. Matr Boomie comes from a phrase in Hindi that means “motherland.” Matr Boomie is also the name of an organization with a fair trade mission to create positive change in India by empowering women and minorities to realize their creative, economic, and leadership potential, according to HumanKind’s website. “The daughter that connected her family to Matr Boomie is the first woman in her family to go to college,” LynAnne said. LynAnne believes stories like this are the sole purpose behind HumanKind’s mission. “So many of the products in our store are created by


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In s p i re d B y L i f e communities like Matr Boomie... they are products made by women, for women.” The blend of culture and modern design created by Matr Boomie’s artisans has resulted in a variety of products, such as rings, necklaces, earrings, anklets, journals, chimes and bells. Many of these products can be found in HumanKind’s storefront today.

Supporting Haiti HumanKind Fair Trade has brought forward Haitian artisan’s metal art to share with the San Luis Obispo community since the store first opened. After a catastrophic earthquake shook Haiti to its core back in 2010, the

local community stopped by the store to show support. Handmade Haitian Metal Art, a popular folk art form that began in Haiti in the 1950s, is now recognized across the world for its detailed recycling and handcrafted artistry. These wall hangings are upcycled from used oil drums and turned into intricate displays. In the HumanKind storefront, these wall arts are proudly displayed for all to see, and are one of Laura Mullen’s favorite parts about the store. Laura Mullen is the president of HumanKind Fairtrade’s board of directors and has been apart of HumanKind’s story since the store first opened in 2009.

“It’s important for our customers to realize who made the product they are about to purchase, and who their purchase is benefitting,” Laura said. She was inspired by the Haitian artisans’ resilience to the tragedy that impacted their country so greatly and believes even the smallest of purchases can make a significant difference in artisans’ lives. “Everything in our store has a story,” she said. “By shopping fair trade certified products, you’re helping someone else.” To learn more about HumanKind Fair Trade, visit or visit their store at 982 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo, California.

Metal art from Haiti, displayed on the walls of HumanKind Fair Trade’s storefront. Photo courtesy of Heather Gray Photography

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Wa v e s

By Julia Garmendia

Linda and other volunteers assisting Operation Surf participant out of the water at Huntington Beach Event 2019. Photo Credit: Angie Bennett

Changing Veterans’ Lives One Volunteer At A Time. “There are 25 soldiers a day that commit suicide, but one thing this community has said today is, ‘not on our watch’… we are going to make a difference and be the city that shows a path.”


his powerful quote came from US ARMY RET. MSGT. Gordon L. Ewell, a guest speaker at the Operation Surf Charity Golf Tournament at the San Luis Obispo Country Club and it raised the question -- how do you define a community? To most, it is simply your geographical location

or maybe even your immediate network, but to people like Linda Olds, the community is the people that encompass it, the stories that inspire, and the undying commitment to take ownership of where we live and the impact we can make. Linda, a co-founder of Jamba Juice, is proud to be a member of the Central Coast community. In her LIVING Lavishly


I nsp i r e d By Li fe

“The type of energy that vibrates from the ocean to the sand and ultimately into all the hearts of those involved is healing for everyone.” – Linda Olds

words, put simply, “It is home.” Having been born and raised in San Luis Obispo, she feels blessed to have had the opportunity to build her own family here and grow a business with her husband, Jeff. SLO is their own slice of paradise, and they enjoy everything from women’s surf days in Avila, hiking Bishop’s Peak, visiting Mason Bar in AG, being downtown for Farmer’s Markets on Thursdays, to romantic dinners at Blue Moon Over Avila. To say that community involvement is essential to Linda would be an understatement. Her commitment to others is not just what she does; it is who she is. It is this self-driven service to others that led Operation Surf’s founder, Van Curaza, to reach out to her in the first place. She was familiar with Operation Surf, and then went to see the documentary Resurface at the


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SLO Film Festival, which showed her a true glimpse into the heart of this organization. Having that clear understanding of who they are and what they do resonated so deeply that it moved her from interested to action.

ownership in it, and when you see a need - you fill it. Although neither have military ties, they have a commitment to our service members that have given so much for our freedom and liberty to live in such a beautiful place.

Operation Surf is a local nonprofit that channels the healing powers of the ocean to restore hope, renew purpose, and revitalize community. This year they celebrate 10 years as an organization and through their weeklong and 6-month programs, they have helped over 600 wounded military heroes overcome everyday challenges and transform their outlook on life, one wave at a time.

With a lack of military background, Linda did not understand the harsh realities and struggles that our military

Van and Linda, both being Central Coast natives, share the life mentality that when you are a member of your community, you take pride and

Linda Olds with Operation Surf founder Van Curaza and Executive Director Amanda Curaza.

In s p i re d B y L i f e heroes face when they come home. She did not have friends in the military, especially locally, so her exposure to the military community has been limited. Then, she saw and heard the story of retired Marine, Bobby Lane, in Resurface. It was after his raw testimony that she was able to gain insight into the experiences of the military men and women coming home from serving. It was an educational process to learn about the many needs of our veterans. Now having both experience and exposure to the veterans and how Operation Surf works with these exceptional individuals, she is humbled. In her words, it gives her such a greater understanding and respect for what so many of our service members go through and how there is simply not enough productive, positive support for them. She has fallen in love with

the organization and the way that they continue to extend a hand and offer support. Her impression and signature is simply “waves of appreciation” for this unique, compassionate, wonderful organization. Linda, as a volunteer, describes the transformation of the participants: they come into the Operation Surf event with their current struggles, whether it be anxiety, depression, or even isolation, and through the curriculum-based program, she witnesses the change in body language, increased eye contact, positive energy, change in perspective, and a simple smile carries them further. Not every participant necessarily loves surfing, but they leave the event with a more profound sense of peace, gratitude, trust in community, and a love for life. Operation Surf gives people hope, a safe place to be vulnerable, and the opportunity for growth and is described to be genuinely miraculous that so much can happen in one week. Throughout her work with Operation

Surf, she was surprised by the change she saw within herself. Linda views herself has an optimist that is inspired by people and things regularly, but was caught by surprise with this level of inspiration. She appreciates the value of service Operation Surf provides to our nation’s heroes; this experience has forever changed her perspective and her own life. “The type of energy that vibrates Linda and Operation Surf Ambassador, Bobby Lane. Photo credit: Cameryn Olds

from the ocean to the sand and ultimately into all the hearts of those involved is healing for everyone,” says Linda. Grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the organization that is full of dedicated individuals leading the change, Linda wants to continue to do her part. She feels the responsibility and ownership to continue to make a difference in our military, Veterans, and communities - one by one. She says, “If everyone made a small positive contribution in their communities and beyond, what a different world we would live in. While our nation grows more divided, I choose to focus my energy on an experience that is inclusive, meaningful, and healing.” Julia Garmendia is the proud daughter of a Retired Air Force Veteran. She is committed to giving back to our service members and loves living in the beautiful Central Coast community.

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In s p i r e d B y L i f e

By Charlotte Ross Photo By Zuridia Garcia


fter nearly nine years of private acupuncture practice, Michelle Hamilton decided to open her treatment to the community, making it accessible and affordable for anyone in need of her healing. Hamilton is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and Certified Massage Therapist at Zen Den SLO Community Acupuncture. She grew up in San Luis Obispo for the entirety of her life and spent her early years traveling and trying out all kinds of different things to eventually discover her passion for the Chinese medicinal practices. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I first went to Cal Poly,” Hamilton said, “My mom and my sister studied English and I loved reading so I was like ‘Okay, I will just get an English degree and then figure it all out’.” While in her college years, Hamilton decided to

take time away to travel and when she returned home she still had free time before classes started again. One morning, her mom opened up the New Times and saw that massage school was starting the next day and so young Hamilton went, and came back with a new love. “The massage school kind of opened up my eyes to this world of healing and alternative medicine,” she said. After learning about the meridians—the energy pathways studied in Chinese Medicine where the acupuncture points are located, Hamilton said she found what she was meant to do. “I really found my tribe, I found my people that I really related to and resonated with,” she said. When Hamilton went back to Cal Poly, she continued to study English but had her own massage business on the side. When she found acupuncture, she said it was something that just

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I nspi r e d By Li fe kept calling her and pulling her in. Hamilton said she loves to work with her hands and help people one-on-one, so she knew it was always a good fit. It has now been over 20 years since Hamilton graduated from Cal Poly and got her 4-year Master’s Degree at the Emperors College of Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica. She has several years of experience in the Health and Wellness Industry from working at the SLO Wellness Center, where she offers private, traditional acupuncture among three different treatment rooms. Hamilton opened her own business, Zen Den, some time around March 2018 with the mission to offer an accessible, low barrier method of community acupuncture. When she noticed friends of the community with minor issues, some with major issues, she knew she could help with acupuncture but the private sessions were too expensive. “I started to feel kind of frustrated that I had all of these tools and I wasn’t able to serve all of the community, only a small portion,” she said. That was when she came up with the idea of community acupuncture. For a couple months, Hamilton ran a walkin only, non-formal, non-fancy, Chinese style community


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acupuncture at the patio of the SLO Wellness Center for two hours a week, $24 (pay what you can afford, she said). There were close to 20 people at each of the sessions – a lot more than she was expecting. “People were coming in, bringing their whole families with them… and we really started to create this cool community experience and people were healing. They were getting better,” Hamilton said. She knew she needed to expand the practice and continue for patients so that was when she opened Zen Den, located in downtown San Luis Obispo right next to the San Luis Creek in the Soda Works building. Zen Den is currently open Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m. and Thursdays 9 a.m. - 2p.m., available by walkins or appointments through the Mindbody app or Zen Den website. “We understand that people don’t know when they are going to need acupuncture,”

Hamilton said. Someone can wake up in pain or feeling sick, which is why they have the option to schedule an appointment or show up when the treatment is necessary. “We want to be available for people when they need it,” she said. Hamilton would like to expand the hours to become full-time and eventually open more locations. She is currently the only acupuncturist, but would like to hire more positions in the Fall to treat people with a wide range of injuries or pains. Most commonly, Hamilton treats patients with orthopedic pain (back, neck, joints), headaches, stress, stressrelated issues or insomnia. For first-timers, Hamilton likes to take 10-15 minutes to do a full intake and diagnose the patient from a Chinese

In s p i r e d B y L i f e

medicine perspective. She lays the patient down in the recliner, puts the needles in and then allows them to lay and rest for about half an hour. Though it is not a traditional spa-like practice, Hamilton said, “When you have a room full of people that all show up with the same intention of doing something positive for themselves and healing… people get better faster, for whatever that is worth.” Hamilton says community acupuncture is similar

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to a yoga class or meditation room, but it feels stronger because of the collective energy and focus. “I see this as a movement and I think it is time to get acupuncture accessible and available for everybody,” Hamilton said. Charlotte Ross is a fourth-year journalism student at Cal Poly, pursuing dual minors, one in Spanish and the other in Biology with a concentration in Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation. She can be found at




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In s p i re d B y L i f e

Timepiece Treasures By Judy Salamacha Photos by Zuridia Garcia


ome say “life, if well lived, is long enough,” and even though Ali Athari has lived well and long, he has many more adventures in mind, more memories to make, more stories to tell and much more laugher to share. He knew by age twelve what he wanted to do -- design jewelry and repair unique clocks and watches – life’s treasures that keep us on time day by day. Now after 60 years honing his skills and building his strong customer base, Ali is in high demand offering specialized jewelry design, as well as retail sales, appraisals, repairs, and cleaning for fine jewelry, watches, and clocks.

father and uncles, who mentored him as he had mentored his son, Zak. Both learned the trade by working after school in their father’s shops. Ali explained, “Kermanshah was considered a small city in Iran near the western mountains with a population of 200,000 for centuries. My father has the premier jewelry shop

in the city and wanted me to take over his business. He was a good merchant understanding the buying and selling, but I had the gift of steady hands and good eyesight, so I wanted to get my hands dirty.” This was when he preferred to dive into the working parts of the clocks and watches and custom design fine jewelry. Throughout his school years,

“My work is my play,” Ali said. “There is an art to designing jewelry by hand. It may not be as precise, but there is a freedom. I still torch everything.” He proudly followed in the footsteps of his grandfather,

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I nspi r e d By Li fe Ali was a good student, but he also loved working in the shop until nine or ten at night. On the weekends, he would go to the bazaar, which resembles America’s enclosed shopping malls, where other jewelers trusted him with extra work. He intended to go to college, but Iran only had room for only 2,000 college students the year he graduated and he qualified 2,300. He decided to accept the offer from a Peace Corps volunteer from Los Angeles he had befriended and come to America. “I was 18. I came with my uncle who was four years older. It took me six months to be comfortable with the language.” Ali then attended San Fernando Valley Junior


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College followed by West Coast University where he earned his engineering degree.

And although the theories he learned were not applied to an engineering career, the

In s p i re d B y L i f e skills developed in metals, chemicals and electricity have been invaluable in creating fine jewelry. Throughout college he worked on Rodeo Drive and became well known by Hollywood dignitaries and Beverly Hills elite. “My customers included Liberace, Christie Brinkley, George Hamilton, Danny Thomas’ family, Liza Minelli, and Cybil Sheppard just to name a few. My favorite was Dick Van Dyke. He was a nice man.” When Ali got tired of the noise of LA, he packed up and moved to a cabin in Tahoe.

shop in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. “I did some work for Bill Spring in San Luis. He wanted to retire and spend time with his lovely wife.” Spring was in his eighties and was well respected by customers who came to his Broad Street shop. “They would thank me for continuing the business.” Ali always has a smile, a story if you have time, and an answer to fixing a watch or clock not keeping time. The shop has wall-to-wall clocks from every age and his display cases have jewelry or watches for purchase.

He is intimately familiar with everything in the shop. One insight Ali shared was that premier self-winding watches, like a Rolex or Breitling, must be worn regularly by owners and given lots of wrist action. “They lose time if not active with sharp, yet gentle movements,” Ali said. “If the watch isn’t moving enough, it will lose time.” These watches need to be refurbished about every five years. That might cost up to $500, but then the original watch probably cost up to $10,000.

Customers quickly found him there. He opened shops in Squaw Valley and Incline Village. One of his suppliers paid his way for three years to study at the Gemological Institute of America, where he received a certificate in 2003. “I am one of only 150 in America that have the certificate and I have honed my skills since then learning about diamonds and other stones, gold refining and the many colors of gold and alloys.” Zak followed him from Tahoe to Santa Barbara. “I followed a lady. She didn’t work out, but Zak stayed. I think he likes my cooking.” One of Ali’s hobbies is cooking, especially “… Persian Hippie food…healthy vegetables,” he added. For a time, Ali maintained a

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I nspi r e d By Li fe

He also said the popular Apple watches are computers that keep time so if they can be repaired, they need to go to the computer shop.

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Ali is a long-standing member of the Morro Bay Yacht Club and loves life living in Morro Bay on his sailboat. Yet, besides his quest for lifelong learning, his career goal continues to be designing a jewelry piece or taking care of that fine watch his customer treasures enough to invest in so it will continue to be a valued family heirloom.

Judy Salamacha is a former publisher of The Bay News and now a feature writer for Simply Clear Marketing and author of Colonel Baker’s Field: An American Pioneer Story (Bear State Books, 2013).

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Dog Therapy Delights By Patricia Mulligan, Ph.D.


ver the years, my pets and I have participated in programs that bring animals to schools, nursing homes and community events. Pet therapy programs are gaining popularity as it helps people recover from health problems such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders. These programs also help people of all ages cope with various mental and physical limitations. Benefits of therapy dogs vary depending on the people they visit. Programs like Caring Canines Teams (CCTs) brings trained therapy dogs directly to individuals residing in extended care facilities and assisted living communities. When therapy dogs visit seniors, typically their presence makes them smile and laugh. As they pet the dogs, they are reminded of dogs they’ve had in the past; usually, this will spark conversation with the handlers.


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Denise Fitzgerald, a pet therapy trainer, was first drawn to therapy dog work 20-30 years ago after noticing how many seniors are forgotten when placed in convalescent homes. A special little dog had come into her life and she knew he was the dog to allow her to break into volunteer therapy dog work. “My first dog was a natural,” Fitzgerald said, “But first, we did basic training. We followed the Puppy’s Rule of Twelve, a chart of activities for socializing a puppy in the first 12 weeks of life.” She now has three different therapy dogs that work as a team. In her years actively involved in volunteer therapy dog work, she’s personally seen many benefits. She and her dogs have visited convalescent homes, adult day centers for Alzheimer’s/dementia clients, day centers for

In s p i re d B y L i f e adults with medical and emotional challenges, schools, college campuses, hospitals, hospice, infusion centers, fire fighter base camps and red cross evacuation shelters. When asked what qualities make a dog fit for therapy, Fitzgerald said, “Natural temperament is the most important. Therapy dogs need to truly like people of all kinds and ages and have a gentle disposition. While good behavior is necessary, obedience training is not. They must be good around other dogs, calm when strangers pet them all over, not jump on others, walk on a leash without pulling, and not startled by things such as strange noises and smells.” Therapy dogs are also brought around school children through programs such as Reading 2 Rover. Teachers involved in this program report that the students have improved motivation to improve their reading skills when reading aloud to the dogs.

In local schools, the Reading 2 Rover program provides a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere that allows students practice reading to the dogs. Children chosen for this program have difficulties reading and are much more willing to read to a dog, a non-judgmental animal willing to listen. Fitzgerald has seen that therapy dogs can be used in all kinds of therapy. Whether it is physical therapy, speech therapy, companionship or helping families through grievances and tough transitions, she has seen the benefits of dog therapies across all ages. “No matter the age or issue, I’ve seen these dogs bring normalcy during difficult times,” said Fitzgerald. Patricia Mulligan is a Stress Recovery Specialist in the central coast with over 20 years of experience in the area of Human Development. She can be reached at 805.268.7011 or at


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SAVE ENERGY, SAVE MONEY: Top 3 Energy Saving Tips


ant to save the environment and your wallet at the same time? There are many things we can do in our everyday lives to put those words into action. By walking through the basics of energy usage, systems and appliances, and the benefits of reusable energy, you’ll be able to identify small factors that can yield huge advantages. Here are three things all homeowners should do to cost effectively lower their energy bills and raise quality of life.


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Do what’s right. Turn off the light.

Be Mindful

You’d be surprised by how much electricity you save just by simply turning off lights when they are not in use. Often called energy vampires, any lights, devices and other appliances that are left plugged in will typically cost families about $100 a year. A simple solution would be to turn off any power strips and switches when not in use. Another way to exercise electricity mindfulness is thinking about peak usage hours. When everybody in the area uses electricity during the daytime, more strain is put on the utility system. So, wash your clothes, run your dishwasher, and use other appliances at night (or overnight, if you’re up) to help conserve energy.

Conserve to preserve.

Inspect & Improve

If you’ve ever noticed inefficiency in your HVAC Systems, your energy and expenses may be increasing more than you think. Things like mechanical wear and tear, dirty filters and water leaks are all connected to energy usage; if not taken care of properly, these small issues could develop into much bigger concerns. So be sure to contact an HVAC professional for a system audit to make sure you’re making the most of what you have! Inspect your systems and appliances to make necessary improvements.

Save energy today for a brighter tomorrow. Go Solar!

By going solar, you will be utilizing the clean, green and renewable power of the sun. Solar is known to have a favorable impact on the environment and it’s clear to see why! By investing in solar energy, you can significantly decrease your carbon footprint by reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, which in turn, reduces greenhouse gases around the globe. Not to mention, all the great benefits your wallet will receive; we’ve noticed that a majority of homeowners make the choice to go solar for its financial advantages. Depending on your monthly energy bills, going solar just might be the right choice for you. Saving energy and money just got a whole lot easier.

AM Sun Solar in Paso Robles installs solar energy systems for homes and businesses in Central California. Give AM Sun Solar a call today at (805) 457-9000 or visit to receive a free solar proposal!

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Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed

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1 SUBURBAN ROAD, SLO / 805-543-1314

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SUPPORTING THE ARTS Paying it forward for the next generation of artists.


ari Robeson, host of Love Lou Lou Podcast and presenter of the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship, is a local artist upholding one simple mission: to support the arts, artists, and creative entrepreneurs aiming to spark a change with their creative work. Love Lou Lou Podcast, inspired by the philanthropic acts of Mari’s sister, Louise Mari Robeson with the recipients of the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship. Monforte, is a video podcast that Daniela Gomez (Art), Sage Whitham (Art), Destiny Cloud (Dance). interviews new, up-and-coming artists and the visions they have to pave the way for a creative future. Among the 23 episodes, Mari has featured local artists and creatives, discussing in-depth advice in how to successfully pursure a creative career. Examples of topics include: Instagram Marketing, Using Pinterest to Market Your Art, and Growing Your Email List. Subscribe to the video podcast today by searching Mari Robeson on YouTube! Mari Robeson is also the creator behind the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship, which awards and uplifts the next generation of artists. In 2019, the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship was awarded to three Arroyo Grande High School students. Support the podcast by subscribing on YouTube: @Mari Robeson To learn more about supporting the arts through the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship, visit or follow her on Instagram at @marirdesign.

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I n Th e K i t ch e n


Local Chefs Compete In A Blind Tasting Competition At The Inspired Home Expo Of Paso Robles. Presented by Taste Buds TV Show


aste Buds TV Show and Simply Clear Marketing and Media presented the third annual Best Chef Competition at the Inspired Home & Gourmet Expo of Paso Robles. This “Chopped” style battle included a panel of 6 professional judges that blind tasted each of the chefs dishes for the Judges Choice Winner and expo attendees that tasted and voted to select the People’s Choice Winner. Chefs received a Talley Box from Talley Farms Fresh Harvest that contained napa cabbage, avocado, cilantro, kale, apples and a Meyer lemon. They also received ground beef from


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Larder Meat Company. Teri Bayus, host of Taste Buds TV, joined each chef as they cooked in front of a live audience.

Participating chefs included: Jacob Town of The Spoon Trade Bryan Mathers of Avila Ocean Grill Spencer Johnston of Danior Kitchen and Catering Kari Ziegler of STAX Wine Bistro and Bar Gregg Wangard of Paso Robles Culinary School Shaun Behrens of The Blue Heron of Baywood

In Th e Ki tch e n Chef Jacob Town The Spoon Trade JUDGE’S CHOICE WINNER With roots tied in Central Coast favorites such as The Cracked Crab and Edna Valley Bistro, Jacob Town longed to strengthen his knowledge and skill. This knowledge flowed freely on the streets of San Francisco where Jacob earned his degree from the California Culinary Academy. Jacob immersed himself in everything local, utilizing the diverse offerings of the area. At The Spoon Trade, Jacob is able to experience an open kitchen and focus on the feedback of his community. This interaction drives his passion and creativity. Coming home after years in the big city dining game is a gift that Brooke and Jacob Town have bestowed in The Spoon Trade. With their partner Patrick Bergseid, they have built a culinary oasis at the end of Grand Avenue in Grover Beach. You can trust the food and drink to be sourced and prepared with care and creativity. The Spoon Trade is casual dining with a bit of panache; they also have burgers, soups, and salads. The Spoon Trade offers exceptional comfort food for people who love food. They are open every night, except Wednesdays, and are open for Sunday brunch.

Artichoke purĂŠe

Dry aged beef and cilantro sausage with cabbage and kale lasagna

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I n Th e K i t ch e n FEATURED RECIPE

Chef Jacob Town’s Winning Lasagna

(This makes a couple giant lasagnas, can be divided into 4 for smaller batches)



1000g flour

(Best if made the day before)

750g egg yolks

1/4 cup olive oil

20g water

1-1/2 lbs. butter

Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and knead with dough hook for 10 minutes.

4 cups onion

Rest the dough in plastic wrap for 30 minutes. Roll dough into proper width and thickness to fit in pasta roller.

4 cups celery 4 cups carrot 8 pounds beef 4 tbsp. salt + 1 tbsp. black pepper 4 cups milk

Roll through roller one notch at a time until it reaches desired thickness.

1 tbsp. ground nutmeg

Cut pasta into individual sheets the size of the pan you are using.

8 cups puréed can tomatoes

Boil each sheet for 3 minutes and place in ice water to cool down. Remove pasta from ice bath and let it drip dry a bit before coating it heavily in olive oil. Stack oiled pasta sheets and set aside for later use.

4 cups white wine

Heat large pot with butter and olive oil. Process the onion, carrot and celery in processor one at a time until finely chopped.

the veggies are no longer raw. Add the ground beef and salt/pepper to the same pot and cook and stir until there is no raw beef left; only grey cooked beef. Add the milk and nutmeg, bring to simmer while stirring and breaking up the beef a bit, reduce milk until it is almost gone. Add white wine and continue to stir often; reduce the wine until it is almost gone. This takes a while. Add tomato purée and simmer on very low heat, stirring frequently throughout a 6-8 hour period, add water a splash at a time if it is too thick.

Add the vegetables to butter and olive oil in pot right out of the processor and turn the flame to medium low.

Add one layer of Bolognese.

desired thickness.

Add one layer Béchamel.

Start with large baking dish, rub with olive oil and place a single layer of pasta.

Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Finishing with Béchamel and Parmesan.

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1/2 lb. butter 1/2 lb. flour 1 gal whole milk 1 grated grated Parmesan 1 tbsp. nutmeg ground 2 tbsp. salt Start heating milk in a pot; it needs to be at a simmer when used. Melt butter in pot and add flour, cook for 3 minutes on low heat; stir well with a rubber spatula. Switch to a whisk and slowly pour in half of the milk while whisking, it will begin to thicken, right before it simmers.

Add Parmesan and nutmeg; stir well and taste for final season.

To Build Lasagna:


(Best made the day before)

Add the rest of the milk and add salt, bring to simmer and turn off heat.

After all vegetables are processed and in the pot, cook for 5-8 minutes until

Repeat this step multiple times until you reach the


Bake Lasagna for 1.5 hours at 375.

Remove from oven and let rest for at least 1 hour. Can be made ahead of time and reheat individual portions in oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

In Th e Ki tch e n Chef Bryan Mathers Avila Beach Ocean Grill PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER Bryan has been with Avila Beach Ocean Grill for almost five years now. At Ocean Grill, they really enjoy putting a spin on classic dishes from around the world. Chef Mathers personally enjoys using a wide range of ingredients and building recipes starting with the vegetables and sauces then figuring out which meat and fish tastes best with it. Top off the amazing local bounty with an incredible view of Avila Beach and you can’t help but love it here. When it comes to restaurants in Avila Beach, Ocean Grill features the freshest seafood, local produce, and steaks grilled to perfection! They are a contemporary spot offering wood-fired pizzas, seafood & American entrees with a patio and water views. Korean-style beef and artichoke sausage on a winter spinach and Napa cabbage kimchi, fried rice topped with a Meyer lemon, Fuji apple, and cilantro relish accompanied by a Gojujang tamarind emulsion.


Now Available at LASSEN’S & Linn’s Restaurant


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I n Th e K i t ch e n Spencer Johnston Danior Kitchen Catering Company Chef Spencer is a SLO Native and currently the owner of Danior Kitchen Catering Company. He has over 18 years of experience in food preparation, ground-up openings, kitchen management, banquet catering, and a la carte operations for leading boutique hotels, clubs, and restaurants. Johnston is an innovator in producing topquality culinary products that contribute to revenue growth and reduced food and labor costs. His proven ability to effectively lead intimate fine dining as well as multi-outlet, high-volume operations has lifted him to great culinary heights. Spencer

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provides superior leadership, coaching, and team building skills with a commitment to create a memorable dining experience for all guests. He thrives in highpressure environments while maintaining a passion for food and flawless service. Chef Spencer saw a demand for a chef-driven, locally-sourced event company, so he started Danior Kitchen. They cater many events but focus on weddings, wine or beer paired events, pop-ups, and large format events of up to 1000 meals served. They custom create each menu to their client’s desires while incorporating local, seasonal ingredients. Confit of artichoke heart with beef and Chantelle sausage, alongside Fuji apple and garlic aioli, Meyer lemon-cilantro salsa, and kale gremolata

Over the past eight years, STAX Wine Bar & Bistro in Morro Bay has become a popular local and tourist hangout largely by offering a welcoming, friendly atmosphere, a broad selection of carefully curated wines by the glass, and satisfying meals and snacks. Originally thought of more for their wine collection, they have worked hard to develop a cuisine that is both comforting to regulars and enticing to those passing by. To better reflect their combined mission of a watering hole and dining destination, they have recently changed their name to the STAX Wine Bar & Bistro. Whether you come with friends to share the moment (and some food and drinks as well) or stop by on your own, their staff and kitchen are there to make you comfortable and bring a smile to your face in the heart of California’s Central Coast. Shakshuka - Roasted red, sautéed yellow, and orange peppers with aleppo and harissa make the base of the sauce that houses the delights from Talley and Larder

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Chef Kari Ziegler is an innovative entrepreneur with a focus on improving business visibility and customer communication. She is the Executive Chef for STAX Wine Bar & Bistro and focuses on serving her guests deliciously crafted cuisines.

Gregg Wangard Paso Robles Culinary Academy Growing up in the small town of

In Th e Ki tch e n Brandon, Wisconsin, Chef Gregg Wangard developed an appreciation for farm-fresh ingredients and bountiful cuisine at an early age. Wangard realized his passion for food while working with his grandmother in the kitchen at family holidays. From the age of seven, Wangard helped his grandmother prepare feasts using the freshest vegetables and eggs. Wangard has over 20 years of experience in the culinary and hospitality industry. He began to cook professionally at the age of 15, and from there he mastered his cooking techniques as a chef for various resorts including The American Club, Whistling Straights, Blackwolf Run, Cucina, Caneel Bay, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Cliff’s Resort, and Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort where he developed relationships with many vendors on the Central Coast. He now takes pride in being the Director of Food Service for the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District. “I think the most frequently asked question is, ‘Why the change from a Chef running multiple resorts and restaurants to running a school district?,’” said Chef Wangard. “We live in one of the best areas in the United States to access fresh grown fruits and vegetables and there should be emphasis to have our children eat what’s grown here.” Chef Wangard wants to do his part as the Director of Food Service and help the school district be the best it can be in the area by promoting whole foods and displaying a scratch cooking method. He enjoys educating the district on seasonal foods that are grown here on the

Central Coast, while educating children in product identification. Larder beef broth ramen bowl made of Etto noodles and a variety of Talley Farms vegetables

Shaun Behrens Blue Heron of Baywood Inspired by his grandmother’s influence, Shaun has been cooking since he was 14. As a 2001 alumnus of California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Shaun chose to enhance his culinary skills because of the city’s diversity and culture. After graduating at the top of his class and honing his skills at several restaurants from San Luis Obispo to Santa Ynez, Shaun headed for Portland, Oregon. There he found the turning point of his career while he worked at Higgins Restaurant. This is where he learned the philosophy of sustainability, preservation, and scratch cookery. California eventually called him back as he became Executive Chef of Robin’s Restaurant in Cambria. In 2010, Shaun helped to conceptualize and launch Luna Red, where his seasonal menus offered an international array of flavors that celebrated the bounty of the Central Coast.

path of finding his true culinary passion in order to create the perfect experience: grassroots cooking. As the current Executive Chef of Blue Heron in Los Osos, Shaun has found a place to apply his many years of experience and sustainability to a true farm-to-table dinner house. Blue Heron was created in the image of Baywood Park, California. Owner, local resident and visionary, Bill Lee, has created a space that is refined and elegant while being welcoming and true to the landscape. The subtle beauty of the surrounding waters, the warmth of the fire lit outdoor lounge, the energy of their elegant dining room and heated patio will inspire you to relax and enjoy the best of Baywood Park. The menu is an ever evolving reflection of their farm and the surrounding waters. Smokey beef lard, quick pickled apple and artichoke, Napa cabbage leaf, kale, and Meyer lemon nuoc cham.

Taste Buds is an innovative foodie show featuring some of the Central Coast most prized chefs, food writers and restaurants. Hosted by Teri Bayus, an expert food and film writer, this show can be seen locally on Charter Channel 10 and on YouTube.

In 2017, Shaun continued on his

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I n Th e K i t ch e n



By Courtney Coleman

Fall / Winter Vegetable Casserole


iced seasonal vegetables of choice:

Fall: carrots, celery root, green beans, collard greens Winter: yam, burdock root, yellow onion, kale 3 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder 3-4 Tbsp Ohsawa or Eden brand tamari or shoyu soy sauce 1 Tbsp rosemary and/or marjoram & dill (minced fresh or dried) 12 eggs Optional: 2 cups pre-cooked, whole grain (brown rice, millet, etc.) and/or pre-cooked beans 1 pound organic cheese (cheddar or jack) 1 can sardines in olive oil 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, or dried

“Lemon juice squeezed over each serving tastes fantastic!”


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Instructions Sauté dense veggies (like root vegetables & onion) in ghee or coconut oil in av large, deep pot with curry powder and 1 cup water for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Add less-dense veggies (green beans, summer squash, broccoli, asparagus, etc.) and stir, then sauté for another minute. Next, add dark leafy greens, cover the skillet, and let everything sauté another minute. Uncover skillet and stir until greens are all slightly wilted and wet looking. Turn off the heat & add shoyu or tamari soy sauce and herbs. Remove from heat and mix in optional cheese, grain, beans, sardines (drained & flaked apart), and sun-dried tomatoes. Whisk the dozen eggs in large bowl, and stir them into the mixture. Pour everything into a buttered 9”x13” casserole dish and bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350°. Lemon juice squeezed over each serving tastes fantastic, especially if you used the sardines!

In Th e Ki tch e n

Bacon, Lamb, Garlic, Chipotle Tacos with yellow curry, rosemary, kale, and arugula! “Absolutely delicious!� 1.5lb ground lamb (lamb is always grass fed!) 1/3lb nitrate-free bacon (diced) 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced) 5 cloves fresh garlic (minced) 1 Tbsp ground yellow curry 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1Tbsp dried) 1/3 cup filtered water 2 cups finely chopped collard greens or kale 4 Tbsp Ohsawa or Eden brand shoyu or tamari

soy sauce 2 carrots (grated) 2 vine ripe tomatoes 1 bunch fresh arugula OR cilantro for garnish 2 ripe avocados 4 ripe limes 12 butter lettuce or 6 romaine leaves OR 12 taco size organic corn tortillas (Ezekiel sprouted OR any organic corn tortillas)

Instructions First, for the garnishes, mince up your arugula or cilantro, dice your tomato and avocado, quarter your limes, and grate your carrot. Set everything aside, covered, in a cool spot.

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I n The K i t ch e n In a large cast iron pan, place diced bacon over medium heat and cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. When bacon is perfectly crisp, turn off the heat and set the diced bacon bits aside on a paper towel. Pour about half of the bacon fat into a small jar for use later, and add your diced onion to the pan. Cover the bottom of the pan evenly with the onions, turn your heat back on low, and turn the onions about every 30 seconds until they’re all translucent. Next, add the yellow curry, minced garlic, and rosemary.


Feel free to add about 1/3 cup water to keep the ground spices from sticking to the pan and burning. After another minute, crumble in the ground lamb and kale/collards. Turn heat up to medium, and sautĂŠ everything for about 4 minutes, again stirring every 30 seconds until meat is just cooked through and the greens are slightly wilted and wet looking. Turn off the heat, add shoyu or tamari soy sauce, add your bacon bits, and stir one last time. If using tortillas vs. lettuce wrap: in a small cast-iron skillet on medium heat, warm tortillas (2 tortillas for each person) with a small amount (1/16tsp for each tortilla) of ghee, coconut oil, or bacon fat. If you need to keep the tortillas warm, wrap them in a thin towel and place them on a warm plate. Decorate each tortilla with a scoop of the bacon-lamb delight mixture, and any of the cool garnishes...and definitely add a squeeze of lime juice! Courtney Coleman is a nutritonal therapist, CookWell Coach, and personal chef. She can be found at

Visit our on line store:


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In Th e Ki tch e n

Balsamic Vinegar Makes Everything Better


ave you ever found yourself at the grocery store hoping to buy some good balsamic vinegar, only to discover they are very thin and highly acidic after you try them at home? You’re not alone, so don’t panic and reach for that bottle of salad dressing, because we’re here to help.

By Lorraine Montello

All balsamic vinegars fall into three categories: Balsamico Tradizionale (DOP), which is made from only unfermented grape juice (called “grape must”), Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (PGI), a mixture of grape must and wine vinegar, and the third being a lesser quality condimento grade of balsamic vinegar that will often include added sugar, caramel, or other ingredients. Balsamico Tradizionale is the granddaddy of balsamic vinegars. Production is overseen from beginning to end by a special certification agency and a tasting commission of five expert judges to determine an appropriate grade. In Reggio Emilia, they are graded affinato (red seal), which corresponds to a 12-year vintage; vecchio (silver seal), a 15-20 year vintage; and extra vecchio (gold seal), which corresponds to a 20-25 year vintage. In Modena there’s just affinato, with a white seal, or extra vecchio, with a gold seal. It is only sold in unique 100 ML bottles with identifying numbers and cost $100 to $200 each. Most olive oil tasting rooms and specialty food stores sell Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (often called Aceto Balsamico di Modena). The IGP certification means it was produced and bottled in Italy, but there are still extreme variations in taste because the ratio of grape must to wine vinegar will vary greatly by producer and that will change the viscosity and complexity. This grade is usually aged using the Solera Method, which works by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages. While strict production standards must be followed, there are very few labeling requirements, so this important detail LIVING Lavishly


I n The K i t ch e n does not have to be listed. As a result, many misinformed sellers claim their balsamic vinegar has been “aged up to 18 years” (often leaving out the words “up to”). The most important thing to check is the ingredients list. Grape must should be the first ingredient, followed by wine vinegar. Naturally occurring sulfites should also be listed. There should not be any specific age claims. Some producers use their own rating system, using stars or leaves, to distinguish between balsamic vinegars in their own line. In the end, color, density, fragrance and flavor are the real components to evaluate when tasting balsamic vinegar. According to the Modena Consortium, the color of traditional balsamic vinegar is a rich dark brown, full of warm light. The liquid is dense, with a fluid and syrup like consistency. The fragrance is distinct,


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complex, sharp and unmistakably but pleasantly acidic. The flavor is sweet and sour in perfect proportion. Balsamic vinegar and the increasingly popular flavorinfused varieties are delicious when paired with a little olive oil for a salad dressing or bread dipping, and drizzled over some fresh fruit, ice cream, cheese, or meats so it can shine on its own.

Lorraine Montello is the owner of the Montello Tasting Room in Cambria. For more information, visit or call (805) 865-4484.

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HEATING AND COOLING TIPS Top tips to keep your heater and air conditioning unit running great!


s much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and air conditioning. Making smart decisions about your home’s heating and air conditioning equipment can have a big impact on your utility bills and comfort. The most important thing you can do is to have your equipment professionally checked each year. Just like a car tune-up can improve gas mileage and help your car last longer, a yearly check on your heating and air conditioning equipment will improve efficiency, prevent costly breakdowns and extend the life of your equipment.

Top Tips: • Change your furnace filter regularly (at least once every other month), especially during heavy use periods like summer and winter. • Install a programmable thermostat on an inside wall, away from doors and windows. Through proper use and setting, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 a year in energy costs. • During winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. • During summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat. • Keep the area around your outdoor air conditioner free of weeds, dirt and debris to allow proper circulation. • Use ceiling fans to circulate air and make rooms cooler • Make sure furniture and other items are not blocking air ducts.

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Pro-Tip! How to Heat & Cool Challenging Rooms: Whole-home heating and air conditioning uses ducts to circulate air throughout your home. For homes with rooms that are challenging to heat and cool, consider ductless mini splits. Ductless mini splits are perfect for rooms that need additional heating and cooling, and homes where rooms have been added. They’re popular in computer rooms, home offices, sunrooms, attics and more. An advantage of mini splits is that you can control the temperature in the rooms where they’ve mounted independently of your other rooms. This means that, in the summer, your home office can be set at a cooler temperature from the rest of your home. These systems are quiet, efficient and easy to install!

Wighton’s Heating and Air Conditioning is the leading provider of residential and commercial heating and air-conditioning systems. Centrally located in San Luis Obispo, California.

Wighton’s has been servicing the Central Coast since 1953. Give them a call at 805-543-4881 or visit

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Ge t O u t si de

Superblooms in the Central Coast By Dylan Grant Photos By Vivian Krug


hildren have a beautiful, unbounded sense of imagination. We grow up pretending we’ll meet sea-creatures, embark on spacequests to Jupiter and plant beans that sprout into the heavens. Despite the tests of time, I’m convinced this creative cognition continues into adulthood. This spring, swarms of people crossed oceans to witness California’s magnificent super bloom. Small towns across the state shook with the migration of flower hunters by the hundreds of thousands. Nationally, newspaper headlines beamed with tales of painted hillsides so glorious they could be spotted from Earth’s Low Orbit. California Poppy


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Ge t O u t si de

Carrizo Plains and Soda Lake

In March of 2019, The Washington Post reported “abundant rain and mountain snow have spurred a super bloom apocalypse.” The average folk must hold a solid sense of childlike ambition to cause such a fuss over blooming poppies, tomcat clovers and California juniper. The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Carrizo Plains National Monument, Lake Elsinore Flower Fields, Joshua Tree National Park and the southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley opened wide to a parade of world travelers seeking this year’s blooms. City officials and locals alike were shocked by the shiny minivans and honda civics that bottlenecked interstates and rural canyon roads. Public service announcements did their best to protect tourists from tumbling down mounds of wildflowers with DSLR cameras swinging around their necks like jump ropes.


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Ge t O u ts i d e Ridiculousness aside, the desire to pursue a giant field of multicolored flowers is incredibly relatable. It’s important to remember a super bloom typically occurs once every decade - we’ve been gifted abundant flowers twice in three years. Quite a few moving pieces have to align in order to facilitate the phenomenal wildflower explosion we call the super bloom. According to The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) this type of magic only happens in areas that endure abnormally dry and drought conditions. The lack of moisture kills invasive grasses that normally suffocate potential sprouts. Once the ground is properly barren, our Golden State has to experience an atypical wet winter worthy of encouraging the dormant seeds of flowering plants to come out and play. Like everything in life, nothing’s a set deal. A few flash floods and all hopes of teasing our beloved flowers to blossom at the same time is washed away.

Lupines at Dusk at Lake Lopez

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As a local to San Luis Obispo, it seems hard to imagine a place closer to paradise. Even in the summer months, when the short-lived blooms have faded and our rolling hills are extinguished to brown, my average day is brightened by showstopping sights with every glance out the window. That being said, traveling inland in August is an entirely different experience than catching the remote Carrizo Plains National Monument in its greatest moments of glory. After the rains have passed carved valleys, subtle ridges and ponds are speckled with jewels and dyed a deep emerald. There’s nothing like it.


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Ge t O u ts i d e

Shell Creek Road Baby Blue Eyes

Los Osos Oaks Natural Reserve Trail

Huasna Corridor Wild Violets aka Johnny Jump Ups and Shooting Stars

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Ge t O u t si de

Poppies Lupines

187 Tank Farm Rd. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 541-5116

It’s a long and winding journey to the vast sea of yellow dandelions. In complete honesty, the scenery is so spectacular you start to forget your final destination. Just when you’re certain that you’ve passed the most bountiful and fulfilling views you’ll ever see, in comes Soda Lake in all its splendor. Vast open grasslands are a joyful collage of sweet, innocent wildflowers which spread into the surrounding mountains. After over an hour of driving from the Central Coast, it becomes clear that maybe I too would cross an ocean to see this piece of dream land. Looking back on this spring, my most pronounced sentiment is that the only apocalypse I want to live through starts and ends with the super bloom.

Dylan Grant is a Cal Poly SLO alumnus and digital marketer for the local brewery and music venue SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, CA. Check out her website at or connect with her at


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Marrying Art and Love By Mark Diaz

“The first wedding I painted was so peaceful. It was so much less stressful than following a shot timeline for photography,”Millenaar said.

Talia Koval Painting a Wedding

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Talia Koval, Meritage Resort, Napa

ong ago and far away, people employed painters to retain momentous occasions with their palette and brushstrokes but the practice fell away due to the development of the camera. Now, photographers are so woven into the fabric of weddings that they are nearly as important as the officiant who joins the two in marriage. Recently, however, hiring an artist to capture the joyous occasion live is growing in popularity. Central Coast painter Heather Millenaar used her skill as a photographer to supplement her income. Roughly three years ago, she decided to include portrait paintings into her business package to help distinguish her wedding photography business from the plethora of other shutterbugs out there. Heather is now part of a small group of artists that paint the wedding scene as it unfolds in real time. For Heather, the idea evolved organically from doing what she loves - painting. She explained that she was instantly drawn to the tranquility of painting a wedding live opposed to trying to catch moments through a lens.


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“The first wedding I painted was so peaceful. It was so much less stressful than following a shot timeline for photography,” Heather said. Though many would find painting amidst a crowd stressful, Heather says she finds the whole process relaxing. “A painting is a series of mistakes,” she explained, “you’re always doing a check and balance to try to fix it, and I’m ok with that.” Much like wedding guests signing a book or a matt frame that holds a photo, Heather works to incorporate the attendees into the artwork by inviting them to contribute their brushstrokes to the painting regardless of their level of painting skill. She said that having friends and family assist in the painting adds a lasting, personal touch to both the art and their experience of the event. “People who are really nervous can paint part of the tree,” Heather said as she indicated a current work in progress, “and people who want to do a little more detail can…and they are just so touched by that.” Bay Area artist, Talia Koval, embarked on her live painting career by recreating scenes where some

Ge t O u ts i d e for representing a night with a gentler rhythm. Adapting to what the client wants without sacrificing her particular style, Talia explained that she still caters to the client’s needs. Some patrons wish to have more detail representations while others desire a more impressionistic representation of the event. Unlike a photo, Talia seeks to create a representation of the whole event and will add different aspects and scenes in the artwork. Like Heather, Talia also tries to incorporate the guests with the artwork and will have them sign the border of the canvas. Heather Millenaar

marriages begin…the San Francisco club scene. Adapting her brushstrokes to the beat of the music and vibe of the night, Talia would take an easily forgotten night’s festivities and save it for generations to come. Talia said her experience in the unique venue taught her how to paint fast and in front of people as well as how to respond to what the audience wants as she performs and produces art simultaneously. After a painting a friend’s wedding in 2012, Talia decided to pursue a career in the unique genre.

DJ would play…the brushstrokes also would change,” Talia said. She described how sometimes her brush would mimic a drum stick as it slapped the canvas or how long smooth strokes were utilized

The soon-to-be betrothed who want a wedding landscape done should carefully consider their vision as well as the artist they wish to award the commission to. Some artists simply take a photo

“The color palette would usually change depending on what the Dance and Dine, Alicia andHenning By Talia Koval

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Ge t O u t si de and recreate it through paint, while artists like Heather and Talia strive to bring an accurate interpretation of the entire event to the canvas. Of course, if it happens to rain on your wedding day, the artist can always paint blue skies. “What I love about painting live…,” Talia said, “It’s not about painting one moment...over the course of the wedding, I’ll take different moments of what I’m observing what’s happening and put them in one painting. It’s not

Jessica and Kevin Ott, By Talia Koval

these wedding landscapes add a new dimension and vitality to the ceremony. Notably, while photo albums may eventually sit forgotten in a box, these artistic renderings will hang on walls. Possibly, for generations. “After the years go by, it’s a story of your family too,” Talia said.

Raised on the Central Coast and after living and traveling abroad, Mark Diaz came home to raise his family. He now writes for newspapers, magazines and blogs working fulltime gathering and disseminating information through written word.

Lauren and Marc Sullivan, By Talia Koval

a collage, but at the same time there’s no way the entire painting could happen in one instant moment.”


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The new practice is not meant to disparage the art of photography. In today’s world, it is easy to take a photo, but it still requires talent to take a good one. However,

Cavan Hadley Photography

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The Pride of Paso Robles, CA

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Central Coast Sips

Featuring some of the Central Coast’s finest winery, brewery, and distillery destinations that this region has to offer. By Serena Lopez



oaring at 2,200 feet, DAOU’s tasting room features stunning panoramic views of the estate’s vineyards and the endless hills of Paso Robles. There isn’t a bad view in existence atop DAOU Mountain, where you’ll witness the unrefined beauty that goes into the bottle right on your table.

At DAOU, you experience not only the beauty in their bottles, but exceptional hospitality from the moment you walk in. With a knowledgeable and friendly staff, you will learn the story of each wine and you will leave feeling like family.

Looking for the perfect place to birth a spectacular cabernet, the Daou brothers, Georges and Daniel, found perfection on DAOU Mountain in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. With over 200 acres, the brothers bring the very best out of the land to create brilliant bottles, each filled with transcendent tastes and unique notes.

Membership includes priority access to limited release wines, invitations to exclusive events, access to the private Membership Lounge and much more. The Daou brothers are currently refining their second location, DAOU Beach, on the Cambria Coast. Opening date is tentative. 2777 Hidden Mountain Road, Paso Robles, CA.

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irthed from the desire of sustainability, Alex and Monica Villicana founded Re:Find Distillery to find a use for the run-off juice that is gathered during the process of saignĂŠe. Knowing they had a great resource in their hands that should not go to waste, the Villicanas repurposed the juice to make unfiltered spirits that express the incredible quality of their ingredients. Re:Find believes starting with a high-quality base material will produce a high-quality end product so there is no need to

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filter anything out. All their spirits are unfiltered and served at room temperature to showcase their exquisite flavors and personalities. From the lemons in their Limoncello to the hops that makes their whiskey, Re:Find takes pride in sourcing their pristine ingredients locally and supporting the wineries, breweries and farms in the area. Re:Find has nothing to hide. Focusing on the quality instead of the quantity, Re:Find is able to create smooth and sustainable spirits with one of a kind flavors and ingredients that can be traced right back to the soil of Paso Robles. 2725 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, CA.

Serving San Luis Obispo County since 1979 | Cal Poly Alumnus Amy Johnson

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arrelHouse Brewing Co. is all about enjoying great beer with great people and their laid-back Paso Robles location makes it possible to do just that. Located in the heart of Tin City, BarrelHouse welcomes anyone with a palette and a thirst for a good time. The brewery features about fourteen craft beers on tap ranging from blonde ales to stouts to sours. Enjoy a flight at the bar next to the towering brewing equipment or bask in the sun while playing a round of cornhole with friends. Established in 2013 by Jason Carvalho and Kevin Nickell, along with Chris Vaughn, the brewery has grown from


producing a thousand barrels annually to over ten thousand barrels. With three locations on the Central Coast and wide California distribution, BarrelHouse is the largest family owned and operated craft brewery in San Luis Obispo County. Each BarrelHouse taproom on the Central Coast has its own tap list with exclusive beers unavailable anywhere else. You won’t find any awards on these beers though, but that is because BarrelHouse takes pride in creating beer for its consumers, not judges. There is always something to do at BarrelHouse in Paso Robles with live music, food trucks, movie nights and their very own cornhole tournament that takes place every Wednesday night from June to August. Grab a flight and some friends at BarrelHouse Brewing Co. where a great time is always on the agenda. 3055 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA. Serena Lopez is a freelance writer pursuing a degree in journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a career in travel and lifestyle journalism.

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One of SLO’s quirkiest events.


very first Thursday of the month, after the farmers’ market clears out, the bicycles pour in. Bike Happening, created by Mark Grayson and Dan Kallal in 2000, brings masses of people together to hop on a bike and ride the streets of Downtown San Luis Obispo. Like most traditions in San Luis Obispo, Bike Happening stemmed from a desire to better the community. Grayson, wanting less cars on the road and more bikes, started gathering other bicycle


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By Serena Lopez

riders together. In 1998, Grayson, a collector of antique bikes, began riding around with friends on their two-wheeled collectables and inviting other antique riders and women to join in. The Retro Ride also included a fashion show where women could flaunt their impeccable bike fashion. It was a gathering where people could ride their bikes casually and comfortably. As the Retro Ride grew to about one hundred people, Grayson coined the name “Bike Happening,” in 2000.

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“Before I knew it, I had hundreds of people showing up,” Grayson said. “You throw a party and it happens to be on bikes, everyone wants to go.” Grayson and Kallal established this event with three main tenets in mind: Bike Happening has to make the community

better, inspire people to get on a bike, and it has to be fun. Nineteen years later, Bike Happening gets people riding every month and attendance peaks at around 600 people during the school year. “It’s super social,” Tim Wilkinson, a Bike Happening veteran, said. “In some ways, it’s like family, but in other ways it’s like any

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Ge t O u t si de

other social event where you don’t know who you’re going to meet.”

been amazing to see the evolution from the first ride.”

The monthly theme is another way people bond at Bike Happening. Before each ride, a theme is announced and people are welcome to dress up however they desire. While the crowd of wildly dressed bicyclists may be intimidating, Wilkinson said people look out for each other and look out for the community by making sure to clean up and leave no trace.

The ride has become an event where friends can catch up on their two-wheelers and newcomers can explore the adventure of bike riding in San Luis Obispo in a fun, safe environment. Bike Happening takes place every first Thursday of the month. Check out the Bike Happening San Luis Obispo Facebook Page to stay up to date.

“The goal is people riding together and having a good time and being safe,” Wilkinson said. “It’s

Serena Lopez is a freelance writer pursuing a degree in journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a career in travel and lifestyle journalism.

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By Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich


Illustration By Kiki

ach time Izzi and I walk along our local Dog Beach, the ocean offers up a theme.

other critters and objects just disappear on those days. I enjoy heading into my walks anticipating what daily treasures will greet me.

Sometimes it’s a bounty of heart shaped rocks, or slipper shells, or a day filled with volumes of sea glass treasures. There might be a vast amount of seaweed one day or orange scallop shells so tiny and delicate that they break if you put them in your pocket

A few months ago, it was a carpet of sand dollars. I couldn’t take a single step without crushing some, and it broke my heart, as I find a sand dollar to be one of nature’s most exquisite designs. The intricate details are so precise and symmetrical on each and every one.

Then there are the days of the dead, where I’ll find an abundance of rotting fish. Or birds. Or crabs. Or even seals. And I wonder what got to them? Why such a vast number of just, say, sea gulls today? And of course, there are the dog poop days. Those are the most disappointing...but I’ve learned that if I simply pick up someone else’s neglect, I feel a whole lot better about life. That’s an easy mood to turn around. But the themes really do cluster into single days, and it’s astonishing to me that all of the


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The tide was coming in and quickly scooping the dead shells back out to sea, so I collected a few to bring home for an art project. I set the delicate shells out in the sunshine to bake for a few days, letting them turn a crispy white, then invited my art group over for a day of intricate painting and mobile-making. After baking some homemade sugar cookies, I placed sliced almonds on the top to mimic a sand dollar design, then placed the edible beach money on a tray in the middle of my craft room.

We then gathered round to add bright colors and our own personal touches to the sand dollars. In some ways it felt sacrilegious to cover up perfection, but we found tremendous joy in decorating those little orbs, and then stringing them onto driftwood to create colorful and inspiring mobiles. Walking with Izzi on Dog Beach this morning, I didn’t find a single sand dollar. Not even crushed dollars, which was unusual, as most days yield at least a few. But today’s bounty was love…my favorite. Heart days are the best! I stumbled across heart shaped shells, rocks...even two pieces of heart shaped sea glass! Hearts everywhere! I love hearts! Anything heart shaped just makes me smile. There are so many days when there is not one heart to be found, but today there were so many that I left most behind for someone else to find. You see, I already have a giant heart collection, and I think it’s important that love be shared. When she’s not traveling, Cal Poly graduate Catherine “Kiki” Kornreich runs Kornreich Design Associates, Inc., a graphic design firm in San Luis Obispo since 1988. Kiki can be found at 805-541-8602 or Follow her blog at

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ECO-FRIENDLY EXTERIOR CLEANING: Leave Your Surfaces Like New! By Riley Banderet


iving in California has its perks, one of them being the weather. Having lived in the state for many years, I’ve noticed the importance we as Californians put on spending time outdoors and protecting the environments around us. When looking for a new business adventure, I wanted something that married these two ideas – outdoor living and the green industry – and found Renew Crew. The concept of outdoor living has boomed over the last 10 years. More homeowners are creating decks, porches, patios, and other structures that are now extensions of the homes, whether it be living rooms, dining rooms or even kitchens. Because they have to withstand all types of weather, these rooms outside the home need regular maintenance to keep them clean and looking nice.


All exterior surfaces get dirty; there’s no way around it. Wood fades, mold accumulates, concrete absorbs stains and who wants to sit on a deck or patio caked with dirt? At Renew Crew, we provide our clients with exterior cleaning that not only removes the built up grime, but also does it in an eco-friendly manner that keeps your surface looking like new longer. Most pressure washing companies use bleachbased products, and yes, they work, but they also have harmful effects. When product is over-sprayed or rinsed away, it will end up on the surrounding vegetation and seep into the ground water, causing damage. Renew Crew’s proprietary products are different. Our eco-friendly solutions work their way into the surface, loosening embedded dirt and debris that’s rinsed away with a low-pressure wash.



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Some people don’t believe eco-friendly can be efficient, but you’ll be amazed the difference. This is where the process ends for too many of our competitors. The surface is clean, but it’s skipping the most important step – protection. Without a protective layer, your outdoor surfaces remain open to the elements that made it dirty in the first place. Renew Crew’s protective layers sits atop the surface, stopping water and other elements from penetrating the material, leaving it looking cleaner longer. In fact, while we recommend re-seals every year or two

depending on the structure, a garden hose should be used for periodic rinses. We take pride in rejuvenating the outdoor living spaces that homeowners have grown to love and enjoy. If our clients aren’t satisfied with our work, we’ll come back and repeat it if needed. Riley Banderet is the owner of Renew Crew of Morro Bay. Renew Crew provides pressure washing services in the Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo area.



Call them at 805-209-9979 to schedule your free consultation. More information can be found at LIVING Lavishly



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n order to live lavishly, one must strive to maintain a delicate balance in all facets of life. Finding a moment to relax in the midst of work, diets, relationships and our personal aspirations can be difficult, especially as we juggle all these details in the midst of life’s inevitable obstacles. After all, the game of life is all about celebrating the successes (no matter how small), and picking ourselves up when we find ourselves falling. We hope you discover useful tips, tricks and advice within this issue that can inspire you to take care of yourself, no matter your age. This is life. This is balance. This is how to live lavishly.


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B a l a n c e d B o dy

It’s Easy Being Green

By Samantha Young


lants provide a multitude of benefits for both the home and office. From the obvious pop of color to the less obvious health benefits they silently contribute, plants work hard to truly make a space come alive.

Make a Good First Impression It takes just seconds for someone to form a first impression when they walk into a room and plants can help create the aesthetically

pleasing and welcoming atmosphere we seek for our indoor spaces. A business that uses plants in their dĂŠcor displays a positive image by highlighting a love and appreciation of nature, bolstering their brand awareness, and portraying to visitors a sense of sustainability. Likewise, a well decorated home with the addition of live plants, shows pride of ownership and highlights the importance of green living. Live plants immediately convey an acute attention to detail while creating a less sterile environment for your guests. Biophilic design, a concept

that focuses on human connectivity to nature, is now widely utilized by many sectors of the building and interior design industries. For example, by incorporating live plants into treatment rooms, a dental office can make patients feel more at ease and less anxious about their visit. It shows customers that their healthcare professionals value a soothing environment, similar to that which they would find in nature.

Improve Air Quality Live plants can filter pollutants and reduce levels of harmful toxins in any indoor space by making the air cleaner for us to breath and ultimately transforming a room into a more lively space.

Photo by Richard Teufel

Some examples of common indoor toxins include: - Formaldehyde found in various wood products and synthetic fabrics Trichloroethylene LIVING Lavishly


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- Benzene found in adhesives, automobile exhaust, detergents, and lubricants - Ammonia found in many cleaning products and fertilizers - Xylene found in nail lacquer, paint, and tobacco smoke The most ordinary household plants can perform some pretty extraordinary tasks. The “Spider Plant,” one of the easiest indoor plants to maintain, produces oxygen while absorbing carbon monoxide, xylene, and formaldehyde. The very forgiving “Snake Plant” or Sansevieria, also absorbs carbon monoxide and filters out trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene from our indoor environments. The “Peace Lily” is a major contributor to soaking up trichloroethylene along with ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene. Indoor plants can also absorb airborne dust and microbes such as bacteria, spores, and even mold!

anxiety. Between work and home, some people spend upwards of 90% of their day indoors, with little time allocated to being outside. Even then, in more urban areas, sometimes “nature” isn’t easily accessible or nearby. By adding greenery in the form of potted plants or living walls, one can create a calm indoor atmosphere comparable to the great outdoors. Studies have found a significant reduction in stress levels amongst employees whose workspace incorporates plants. Plants help reduce overall tension, depression, fatigue, and hostility, leading to a more harmonious work environment. Proximity to nature in the form of plants can also help boost confidence and self-esteem, fostering a more optimistic outlook. Incorporating natural elements, such as sunlight, water features, and plants helps create a positive ambiance in both the home and workplace.

Boost Productivity and Morale

Plants and people both need natural light to thrive. For plants, bright natural light leads to photosynthesis and, ultimately, energy for growth. For people, light boosts the creation of melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles and ultimately, energy levels. Many would agree that being out in It’s only natural that the two go nature helps reduce stress, anger, and hand-in-hand. When energy levels

Mental and Physical Well-Being


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Peacy Lily

Spider Plant

Snake Plant

found in household cleaners, paint and varnishes

are up, productivity increases. Consider rolling “living walls” instead of constricting cubicles and open concept meeting spaces with big windows and large palms instead of curtains or blinds. All these aspects in a room can improve overall attitude, creativity, and efficiency within the workplace in addition to creating a beautiful indoor environment. Biophilic design in the workplace can be a competitive advantage, and an employer who enhances the working environment of their employees will find a higher percentage of staff loyalty compared to those who don’t make any improvements to the space. There is no doubt that live plants offer many benefits at home and at work. The addition of well cared for plants creates a beautiful, pleasing environment for all indoor spaces. Samantha Young, a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is the owner-operator of The Plant Lady, a plantscaping business based out of San Luis Obispo since 1983. When she isn’t designing plantscapes for her customers, she enjoys spending time with her family, dogs, cats, and horses in Northern San Luis Obispo County. For more information, please visit www. or call 805-541-2411.

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In anticipation of a great fall and winter, consider the benefits that high quality essential oils offer all of us for seasonal health and wellness. Essential oils are found on many different plant species and help the plant in a variety of ways, including protection against pathogens, diseases, predators and even harsh weather conditions. However, the real treasure of essential oils is the unique chemistry or chemical makeup of each essential oil, which includes hundreds of active compounds working together to create multiple benefits. Essential oils are an effective choice for natural health and wellness.

Quality Really Does Matter When selecting an essential oil to use for health and wellness solutions, there are many choices and it is very important to note that not all essential oils are equal.

Quality and desired efficacy of essential oils comes from two main factors: purity and potency. • Purity indicates the oil is pure, undiluted, and contains absolutely no synthetics. • Potency means the chemistry is at a desired level of makeup to actually perform in the manner you want or need it to do. Research a company before you buy oils from them and don’t just trust the label. Quality and integrity matter when you are using essential oils to promote health.

It’s Easy to Start Essential oils are potent and powerful. In a world where instant outcomes are expected, you will find that trying a natural remedy such as an essential oils and waiting for 20 minutes or so will allow you to feel how your body responds. At that time, you can apply again if you feel you need more of a desired response. Because these little gems are so powerful, less is more when it comes to using essential oils. Therefore, a recommended dose is 1-3 drops. A high quality essential oil will end up costing pennies per dose and many are finding this a

very successful and an economical solution for wellness. Next time you are susceptible to the seasons or feeling under the weather, consider reaching for these favorite plant-powered remedies to boost health and enjoyment of the changing seasons.

Finding the Right Essential Oil for You Peppermint A go to for digestive discomfort, this oil can do much more. Head tension and feelings of congestion in airways and respiratory support are some of the bonuses of having a bottle of peppermint in your cupboard.

Winter Wellness Tip A favorite way to get speedy relief is by putting 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil into a mug and pouring hot water over. Inhale the steam through your nasal passage to help open airways and relieve head tension. Drink as a tea to help with digestive discomfort and also help relieve nagging coughs. If you experience head tension and need relief, try using a drop of peppermint mixed LIVING Lavishly




he change of season is upon us! So many of us are excited about holidays, travel plans, and the ways to enjoy the next few months. Most important of all, the key is to stay happy and healthy so that this time can be truly enjoyable.

By Heidi Rhys

Bal a nc e d Body with a few drops of coconut oil and rub directly into temples.

Melaleuca Also known as tea tree oil, this essential oil is a multipurpose powerhouse. A staple Native Australian plant, Melaleuca has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

Winter Wellness Tip Melaleuca is a great oil to have in your toolbox for seasonal issues. Use 1-2 drops combined in a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply to bottoms of feet for an immune supporting boost.

One wonderfully surprising way to use Melaleuca is to put 1 drop on a cotton ball and put the cotton ball in your ear overnight. This is a very effective remedy for sinus and ear health when you need it most.

Clove Clove, one of the highest anti-oxidants in the world, is an oil that supports cellular health and rejuvenation. This is a great time of year to keep this powerful oil in your body on a daily basis for immune system support when seasonal threats are floating around.

Winter Wellness Tip

Use clove for immune support by rubbing 1-3 drops into the bottoms of your feet for 30 seconds one to two times a day. If mouth sores are something you battle with during wintertime, clove is an excellent choice for relief and will help promote a speedy recovery. Try using 1-2 drops in water for a mouth rinse as needed.

Oregano With the many strong compounds found in oregano, you will find it to be a versatile oil in helping your body attack an array of possible seasonal issues that would often leave you feeling down for days. Oregano is a great oil to use when you really need to be well. This is a powerful oil to use at onset of symptoms.

Winter Wellness Tip Consider using 1-2 drops of oregano diluted and rubbed into bottoms of feet two times a day as a routine for illness prevention during the fall and winter. If you start feeling symptoms coming on, you can up your routine to 4-6 times a day to get ahead. To change up this routine and chemistry, you can also try thyme essential oil and use similarly.

Featured Recipes for Fall and Winter Wellness


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Irritated Throat Soother: Mix 1-2 drops clove essential oil and 1 drop melaleuca oil in a shot of water. Gargle and swallow. Use up to 4 times a day.

Seasonal Threats Remedy Tea: 2 drops each: peppermint, lemon, melaleuca, and oregano essential oils into a mug. Pour in hot water and inhale the steam until cooled. This is super strong, but will really help clear airways!

Seasonal Mind and Body Booster 1 drop each of grapefruit and wild orange essential oil in 6-8oz of drinking water each day. This adds great flavor to water while giving a healthy and happy brain boost during the winter months. Heidi works with dĹ?TERRAÂŽ Essential Oils and is a Diamond Wellness Advocate. Heidi is a Certified AromaTouch Instructor and an experienced essential oil educator, and through her passion has helped thousands find safe, natural, and effective health solutions through the highest quality essential oils. She lives in Cayucos, California with her husband and twin boys. Catch one of her free essential oil classes and connect with her at heidikatesdesk@ and my.doterra. com/LoveLiving

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By Natalie Garay Photo by Ashleigh Taylor Photography

wo-hundred and fifty babies are born each minute. Whether via c-section or vaginally, this is a major event on a woman’s body. In addition, the body changes physically, emotionally, and hormonally over nine months during the process of growing a baby. Surprisingly, little to no information or tools about how to reconnect to the body, how to restrengthen the abdominals, pelvic floor, or mind and emotions is given to a woman as she heads home with her newborn days later. Without proper rehabilitation after having children, women are at risk of experiencing physical and emotional challenges. Here’s what one may experience without proper rehabilitation:

Incontinence The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that supports the pelvic organs like a basket. Pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on the pelvic floor causing the muscles to weaken. When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, women may experience bladder leakage or incontinence. Bladder leakage can happen with as little as a sneak or cough. One in five women experiences some sort of pelvic dysfunction. Women with urinary incontinence have a significantly poorer quality of life. Between 25–50% of women with urinary incontinence experiences sexual dysfunction. According to the OB/ GYN online library, urinary incontinence commonly leaves the sufferer with psychological morbidity, particularly depression, and up to 23% of women take time off work because of their incontinence.

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Balan c e d Body Pelvic Organ Prolapse

and pelvic pain.

In addition to incontinence, a weakened pelvic floor could result in pelvic organ prolapse. Three percent of women experience some sort of pelvic organ prolapse whether it be bladder, uterine, rectal, or a combination of the three. In some cases, women can avoid surgery for this with rehabilitative work. Recently, the FDA ordered that the pelvic mesh be removed from the market due to injuries it caused.

A Shift in Quality of Life &

Split Abdominal Wall Muscles Diastasis Recti is a separation in the linea alba of the Rectus Abdominus, most commonly referred to as the “6-pack abs.” This separation will often get dismissed as irreparable without surgery. However, with a properly trained Physical Therapist or Pilates instructor, an abdominal wall separation can be significantly reduced, if not entirely eliminated. An abdominal wall separation leaves the abdominals weak and can result in back, neck, and hip pain.

C-Section Complications Almost 32% of mothers deliver a baby via c-section, a major abdominal surgery, then leave the hospital 4-5 days later without a referral for physical therapy or information about how to rehabilitate after. When not properly rehabilitated, a woman may experience back, neck, and hip pain, scar tissue adhesions,


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Overall Wellbeing Becoming a mother for the first time is a huge transition that women aren’t always prepared for. It’s a shift in identity. Experiencing grief in this transition is normal but it doesn’t mean a woman shouldn’t find support to help her through this process. Donna Helete, Regenerative Grief Coach explains that grief doesn’t just happen during times of loss; it can happen in transitions - even in the happy, celebratory times. With the body and hormones shifting in a woman’s body in preparation for delivery and post-delivery, women often claim they don’t feel like themselves anymore. While some have shared this with their doctors, it’s often dismissed as “normal,” and “part of the territory.” While it’s common, finding support through a therapist or coach will help your recovery period and overall well being in the long run.

How to get the support you need OB/GYNs have very little training in their education about rehabilitation after surgery and birth. The best way to rehabilitate is to get a referral for

a physical therapist or a pilates instructor who specializes in post-baby recovery. Remember that it’s never too late to do this, even if your baby is now 20+ years old. Your physical therapist or pilates instructor will know how to properly assess your body and rehabilitative needs. More than likely, whether you had a vaginal delivery or a c-section, you will need deep core, pelvic floor, and hip strengthening. As a highly intuitive Pilates Educator, Natalie Garay, otherwise known as The Pilates Mama, is the owner of {ther • happy}. For more information, connect with her at or hello@

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Benefits of Tai Chi


ai chi is an ancient form of meditative exercise that originated in China and is easily recognized by its slow, captivating movements. Originally, tai chi was developed as a martial art but is now practiced by millions of people around the world to improve and maintain good health. Doctors and health organizations such as the American Heart, Lung, and Arthritis Associations (just to name a few) recommend it for its numerous benefits. According to Chinese history, tai chi began at the Shaolin Temple, famous for its kung fu. Tai chi follows the principles of

yin and yang, the two opposing forces of life such as night and day, positive and negative, open and closed, expansion and contraction. Today we might call it standard and dynamic or isometric and kinetic movements. The Chinese believe we all have an internal energy called chi, which exists within our body. It is stored in the lower abdomen in an area known as the dan tien and runs through channels called meridians. Chi gives us our vitality and allows us to grow and develop. When we are born, we have an abundance of chi but as we age, it declines. With the regular practice of tai chi, we are able to replenish some of this energy.

By Dana Charvet Ph.D Interruptions to the flow of chi can cause ill health. One of the many benefits of tai chi is that it enhances the flow of chi throughout the body and discourages blockages. There’s more to the body than just the anatomical and physiological aspects. There is the functionality of the body, the way the body works and functions on every level. Tai chi is being in a state of rest while moving, which is the functionality of the body’s systems: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, endocrine, exocrine, immune and lymphatic, renal and urinary, reproductive, and respiratory. Tai chi can trigger positive functionality in our

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Balan c e d Body body. It can enhance and sustain the functionality of all of our systems by the way we breathe, feel and move, along with focusing on soothing harmonizing and balancing thoughts. That functionality is our main process in life.

• Improved digestion

These mind-body and energetic practices developed so many years ago have amazing influences on all areas of the body through what the “Ancients” called chi.

• Knowledge of self-defense

The delight of tai chi is that anyone can practice it anytime and anywhere in almost any state of health. There is no age limit. The many benefits for practicing Tai chi include: • Improved health • Reduced stress levels • Increased energy • Improved concentration • Better quality of sleep • Strengthened bones, muscles, and joints • Increased flexibility

• Improved heart and lung function • Prevent age-related health issues • Quieter and focused mind

Tai chi’s slow movements provide the opportunity to relax and strengthen your body without risk of strain or injury. It is also particularly suitable for the elderly as it improves balance and strength, preventing injury from falls. Many people begin tai chi with injuries or bad health and their primary focus is to aid their recovery. Correct breathing and posture during tai chi is essential for the flow of chi and to avoid unnecessary strain. Becoming aware of your breathing and which parts of your body are tense and how to relax them result in a calmer mind and body. The benefits of tai chi will quickly flow into other areas of your life, allowing for a more relaxed and healthy approach to daily activities. After a period of time you

should begin to sense your own energy or chi. Regular practice is the key to progress and with repetition, the movements will become automatic, allowing your tai chi to be relaxed and flowing. There is an ancient Chinese proverb which states that even the longest journey starts with the first step. Tai chi can be a lifelong study, with the benefits and rewards relative to the amount of time and effort you put into it. With regular practice, your tai chi will be more relaxed and reduce your stress and tension levels. This will enable you to gain the full benefit of this graceful art. Dana Charvet was a member of the Olympic Judo Team, holds a Ph.D in Asian Studies, and has been a practitioner of Tai Chi and Chi Qong for 30 years with a black sash in Shaolin Kung Fu. He also received the 2019 Tai Chi Instructor of the Year Award from the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. If anyone is interested in learning more he can be reached at 805.701.7397 or teaching martial arts at Grateful Body, 850 Shasta, Morro Bay, California.

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HOLISTIC FACE MAPPING What Your Face Says About Your Health By Monet Johnson


hinese Face Mapping is a holistic approach to skin care and is based on the idea that the placement of facial breakouts can be connected to one’s organs. Because everything within the body is interconnected, your face could be telling more about your health than you know.

Illustration by Denise Ankele

*This is not medical advice so please check with your physician before trying any supplements mentioned.


Heart, Bladder and Small Intestine Solutions: • Reduce alcohol consumption • Eat a cleaner diet by reducing carbonated beverages, sugar and dairy • Create a regular sleep schedule including about 8 hours of sleep • Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress (yoga or meditation) • Practice good hygiene by keeping bangs and hats clean as well as washing your face after sweating


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Between Eyebrows and Temples Liver Solutions:

• Reduce intake of rich, heavy food consumption (butter, cheese etc.) • Avoid late night eating • Get light exercise in fresh air • Reduce alcohol consumption • Avoid cigarette smoke (even second-hand)

Under Eyes (Puffiness and Dark Circles) Kidneys Solutions:

• Drink more water! Half of your body weight in ounces per day is a good goal (150 pounds = 75 ounces of water per day). • Switch from table salt to a quality sea or pink Himalayan salt

B a l a n c e d B o dy • Reduce alcohol consumption • Avoid cigarette smoke Eat dark leafy greens to insure you’re getting enough Vitamin K in your diet


Heart Solutions: • Massage area around nose for better circulation • Take a brisk walk in fresh air • Check to be sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in a healthy range • Make sure to get adequate Vitamin B • Reduce meat and salt intake


Respiratory and Stomach Solutions: • Get fresh air • Exercise to keep lungs healthy Get a food sensitivity test, specifically for gluten and dairy • Avoid cigarettes • Change pillow cases often • Test out a new laundry detergent to see if your breakouts are related • Sanitize phones regularly

• Lower cheek breakouts could be related to poor dental hygiene so be sure to get your regular cleanings!

breakouts • Drink Red Raspberry Leaf tea, which may also help optimize hormone levels

Mouth Area

Chinese Face Mapping is an incredible ancient guide to healing the face and body. Understanding the interconnectedness of the human body encourages us to be more conscious of our overall health and well-being. And with total wellness being the ultimate goal — clear, beautiful skin is sure to be a pleasing side effect.

Colon and Intestines Solutions: • Eat more fiber including fresh fruits and vegetables • Change toothpaste and/or lip products • Reduce intake of fried and spicy foods • Reduce stress levels as this can trigger breakouts around the mouth

Chin and Jawline Reproductive System Solutions:

• Reduce stress as much as possible with yoga, meditation, sleep, massage, and exercise • Be sure you’re getting adequate Omega-3s and vitamin D, which may help regulate hormones • Avoid resting your hands on your face • Use acne-fighting products the week leading up to menstruation to minimize

Monet Bender is a Holistic Esthetician and Co-owner of Beauty Poet, a Green Beauty Boutique & Holistic Spa in San Luis Obispo, CA. To book a service, call Beauty Poet at (805) 439-4114 or visit the website


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eriodontal disease, or gum disease, is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and bone that support the teeth. Periodontal disease is often painless so it is important to know the signs or symptoms. Usually by the time pain is evident, the disease is moderate of even severe and tooth loss may be eminent. Finding the disease is the first step in preventing tooth loss. Prevention is easy with regular dental checkups and professional dental cleanings that should include a periodontal exam. Noticing any of the following? • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss • Red, swollen or tender gums • Gums that have pulled away from teeth • Chronic bad breath • Loose teeth


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taking care of your teeth By Ryan M. Ross, D.D.S

If so, please see your dentist. Healthy gums are pink, firm and fit like a cuff around each tooth. When disease occurs, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth and as the disease progresses tissue and bone that support the teeth are destroyed. Tooth loss is not the only problem with periodontal disease.

There are links between periodontal disease, heart disease and stroke. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, which contains bacteria that produces toxins. These toxins irritate and inflame the gums, which pull away from the teeth to form pockets. Plaque can be reduced by brushing and

B a l a n ce d B o dy flossing, but not eliminated. As plaque remains, it hardens and turns to tartar. Tartar is only removable when teeth are cleaned at the dental office. This is why home care alone cannot prevent periodontal disease. Some risk factors will increase the chance of periodontal disease: • Smoking and smokeless tobacco use • Diabetes, HIV or AIDS • Many medications including steroids, antiseizure, cancer therapy, blood pressure and birth control • Pregnancy • Genetics (family history of tooth loss) • Clenching or grinding of teeth (a habit that many have and cannot control) There are defined stages of periodontal disease starting with gingivitis, where the inflammation begins causing swelling, redness and gums that bleed easily. Periodontitis occurs when tissues are destroyed, forming deeper pockets, which allows more plaque to collect. This often makes it even more difficult for the patient to effectively brush and floss. Also, tooth roots can become exposed which increases the risk for tooth decay and often causes sensitivity to cold or touch. In advanced periodontitis, the teeth lose more support,

becoming loose and may require removal. During a dental checkup, the dentist or hygienist should examine your gums and measure the depths of the pocket that surrounds each tooth. A healthy pocket depth is 3mm or less. More than 3mm would indicate some level of disease. The deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease. X-rays should be taken to evaluate the amount of bone support around the teeth. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, the dentist should provide treatment or refer you to a periodontist (dental specialist). Treating periodontal disease depends on the severity and type of disease. Early periodontal disease or gingivitis usually only requires a professional cleaning and home care instructions. If a more severe problem exists, then a deeper cleaning called scaling and root planning may be done. This removes all plaque and tartar from the full depth of the pocket allowing healing and soft tissue reattachment, but may require multiple visits. Sometimes a medication is used to control infection and pain as well. This could include a pill, mouth wash or a medication applied directly into the pocket. Tobacco cessation is also highly encouraged.

Follow-up visits are important to track the level of success from treatments and should include more pocket measurements. Some cases that are moderate or severe and have not responded to regular treatment may require periodontal surgery. This allows the dentist or specialist to access areas that are difficult to reach and ensures that all plaque and tartar are removed. The gum level may also be reduced to allow for easier maintenance. Severe cases sometimes require a graft of bone and or gum. Once treatment is complete, more frequent checkups are advised. Unlike many diseases, periodontal disease is not cured – it’s managed. Good daily home care is also very important to manage and prevent an increase in the severity of the disease. Many think that losing teeth is a normal part of aging, but brushing, flossing and regular checkups may allow for teeth to last a lifetime.

Ryan M. Ross, D.D.S. is a SLO native who has been practicing general dentistry for over 16 years. For more information, visit or call 805-541-5800.

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Design Trends

Why Art Is Important When Creating Your Interiors


ften times people will choose to decorate their homes and then look for wall art as an after-thought. A helpful way to approach interior design is to start with the inspiration piece first. Often times this can be a textile that you love and/or a piece of art. Here are a few simple steps to walk you through the process.

1) What Will Be The Function Of The Room? What will the room be used for? In this case, the room will be multifunctional. This room will be used as a place to relax and watch TV and at other times it will be a place for yoga and meditation. Knowing this, we looked for comfortable seating and also light weight furniture which can be easily moved to make space for a yoga mat. We also chose art and textiles with a spiritual meaning to enhance the calm vibe in the room.

2) Find Your Inspiration We fell in love with the spiritual art and textiles from Marie Joie Hughes. This painting entitled, ‘Taara’ is part of her sacred symbol artwork collection. Taara, the Goddess of supreme compassion, sits inside the sacred triangle which is the symbol of the attainment of the higher realms. The center pillow is also part of her home collection and depicts ‘Hamsa’, a symbol of happiness and good fortune. With these two pieces selected, we were then able to choose the wall color, a light blue-teal and our accent color, coral, for drapes and accessories. Throughout the room we played with different shades of these two complimentary colors.

Textile Inspiration Art Inspiration ‘Taara’ By Marie Joie Hughes

Marie Joie Hughes is the former Vice President of Product Development for Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. Her work took her to the industrial slums of Asia to work in the textile factories. These travels have enriched her spiritual practice. Because of her deep mystical beliefs, she sees this work as part of her spiritual path. These artworks are the beginning of the journey to bring art and design into the world as a healing tool. Written & Designed By: Mari Robeson Photography By: Zuridia Garcia


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Get The Look

3) Light It Up

With the color palette selected, we then want to think about the best lighting for the room. This room has a lot of natural light which is helpful but you also want to consider functional lighting as well as decorative lighting, perhaps a pretty chandelier. Twinkle lights around windows or plants are a whimsical way to add some ambiance. Additionally candles add a warm glow to cozy-up any room.

Teal Sofa and Striped Pillows From: Marcela’s Home Store in the Village of Arroyo Grande

4) Make It Personal If you love color, then go for it. If you love books, surround yourself with them and if you love art, bring as much of it in as possible. These items tell the story of who you are. This is your space. Have fun with it!

5) Bring In Nature Plants instantly give life and good energy to a room. Certain plants are also very helpful in purifying the air. Of course adding fresh flowers will always bring joy to your space. Note: If you have small children or pets you will want to make sure that the plants you select are safe for them to be around. Hopefully these quick tips gave you some fun ideas on how you can get started on your next decorating project. There are many websites, open studios, and local galleries where you can easily find your next inspiration piece of art as well as support a creative entrepreneur!

‘Hamsa’ Pillow By Marie Joie Hughes LIVING Lavishly


Ge t Cr e at i ve

Located on Orcutt Road, right off Broad Street, The Bunker is home to local artists whose work spans across the creative spectrum. From illustrators to jewelry makers to painters, the studio offers a space for each artist to create and inspire one another.

The Bunker owner, Missy Reitner-Cameron, bought the space about five years ago as a place to create her own work and she wanted to offer that same opportunity to local artists. Reitner-Cameron noticed the lack of studio space in San Luis Obispo and the high prices that came with the ones available. With The Bunker, Reitner-Cameron is able to provide affordable studio space for local artists in need of an exclusive area to work and create while also offering a collaborative work environment. The Bunker will hold open studio tours in October where the community is welcome to take a look at what’s brewing in the studio and chat with artists about their work. By Serena Lopez


L o cal A rt C ulture

Missy Reitner-Cameron Painting with acrylic on wood panel, Missy Reitner-Cameron creates relaxing geometric landscapes that are never short of color. Finding most of her inspiration from the extraordinary scenery of western states like California, Utah, and Wyoming, she

takes the intricate beauty and transforms it into a vibrant simplification on wood panel. “It’s a geometric simplification of the landscape,” Reitner-Cameron says about her work. “My art is a slow down. I’m just trying to convey some quiet.” With pieces like “Bishops in Spring II” and “Sunset I,” Reitner-Cameron translates the magnificence of each scene through complimentary, contrasting colors and geometric design. More artwork for sale is available on Reitner-Cameron’s website: www.


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Ge t C r e a ti v e death, and war to more complicated pieces that are narratives of a time in her life or a person in her life. “A lot of the paintings tend to be more classic images and the collages tend to be more neurotic and more detailed,” Marlow says about her art.

Colleen Marlow Colleen Marlow has been at The Bunker since July 2018 and uses her space to tell stories through her collages, drawings, and paintings. During her time away from being a physics professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she creates work that ranges from simple pieces about love,

and the experiences I have been through and put them out on the paintings, so they become more of a universal experience of being a human,” Marlow says. “What I want people to take away is to recognize the innately human experiences that hopefully make them either laugh or make them touched by whatever imagery.”

Much of the work Marlow creates is a combination of collage, painting and drawing, as well as written work. While each of her pieces tells a story, Marlow says nothing is literal. “The goal of it is to take the internal spirit, soul and mental aspects of myself

Claudia Makeyev Creating lesson books for children and educational coloring books, Claudia Makeyev uses her artistic talent and knowledge as a marine biologist to educate children on marine life in a fun, easy way. She has created educational posters and books with the National Marine Fisheries Services and an alphabet book for her educational nonprofit in the Philippines, MERMAID

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Ge t Cr e a t i v e ISLAND CORPORATION. Makeyev finds much of her inspiration in the ocean, but also enjoys the freeing aspect of letting her feelings dictate what to paint. Her recent work, “Aqua with Red,” began on a rainy day and she kept adding more and more color. “These are all my favorite colors and I’m trying to concentrate on how the colors play off each other and how they make you feel,” Makeyev said about the piece. Makeyev uses a plethora of mediums from acrylic on canvas to watercolor on 300-pound hot press paper. For inquiries about her work, email claudia.makeyev@

Kerry Long Founder and owner of Blueberry Jewelry, Kerry Long, has been a bunkmate for about three years

and takes pride in the work she creates in the space. “I thought I was going to own my own business, but I had no idea it would be jewelry,” Long says. After working at the Gold Concept in San Luis Obispo for four years where she learned how to craft and repair jewelry, Long discovered her passion for creating jewelry. Today, Long handcrafts each piece of jewelry from silver, gold filled and rose-gold filled. She also uses turquoise, pearls,


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sapphires, rubies among many other stones and jewels. “My stuff is really simple and easy to wear. It’s meant to be worn,” Long says about her jewelry. “I hope people can see it and know it’s well crafted.” Serena Lopez is a freelance writer pursuing a degree in journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a career in travel and lifestyle journalism.

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Ge t Cr e at i ve



t’s easy to be swayed by trending colors promoted by paint companies, home décor stores, magazines and of course, websites. Luckily, in today’s world of design, there are many palettes from which to choose the right colors for your personal style. Our Chameleon Style ® Design Team has selected some combos that are popular with both veteran and new residents of the Central Coast.

Indigo Blue, whether it’s called Indigo or Navy, still wields great power in design and adapts beautifully to lots of styles. 1. For a coastal look, corals with sea turtles can mingle soothing blues of the ocean. 2. Castleford – A traditional medallion and indigo with warm greys 3. Sarona Stripe – Wide-striped cotton-linen blend combines nautical with a modern flair. 2



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By Camay Arad

Ge t C r e a ti v e

Grey 4

The “greying” of the American Home Fashion Industry has peaked, yet grey remains the most popular conventional neutral color. In many cases, it needs a little warmth. These beautiful fabrics add warmth without adding too much color for those who stick to the subdued color themes. 4. Lucchese Color Fumo - Delicate grey and tawny floral on white linen blend 5. Marni Agate Color Amber Transitional theme of amber and charcoal



6. Freeform Color Granite - Bold modern print in greys with touch of tan



Just like Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s , which was made to look completely different just by her changing of accessories, the color black in all of its nuances is a great neutral in the home.


7. Breeze Onyx - Playful polka dots is the most versatile and best selling fabric 8. Hesse Geo Onyx - Modern black and white geometric shapes


9. Magnifique- Domino – A rich cut velvet in dramatic harlequin styling

Camay Arad is the founder of the Chameleon Style® Design Method and the designer of Changeable Chameleon Fine Furniture. She is surrounded by the people and fabrics she loves daily in her store located in the Village of Arroyo Grande. Visit them at

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G e t Cr e at i ve



eeling crafty? Next time you settle down with a bottle of wine from one the central coast’s abundant wineries, save the bottle for a nifty DIY project! Handmade gifts are always an appreciated gesture, especially during the holiday season. Let’s get started!

Part 1: Wine Bottle Candles (bottom of the bottle) Supplies Needed: • Empty wine bottles (rinsed and dried). Any bottle in the same shape will work; the green colored Pellegrino water bottles are fun for holiday candles! • Bottle cutter – the one used in this project was purchased online, AGPtEK brand. It was highly rated and affordable, when comparing many options. • Sandpaper sheets (approximately 12” x 12”) • Large pot for boiling water • Access to cold running water or a large bowl of ice water • Measuring cup with pour-spout

• Metal thermometer (candy thermometer or a meat thermometer) Soy wax flakes, wax pitcher, wax adhesive, and candle wicks should all be available at a local craft store – Michael’s in San Luis Obispo generally keeps all these items in stock. The bottle cutter may be more difficult to find at a local craft store; the one used in this project was purchased on Amazon.

Instructions Cutting Bottles: 1. Adjust AGtEK bottle cutter so that the bottom fits snugly in the base, and rotating blade is positioned where the cut will be 2. Prepare a large pot of water – bring to a light boil, then reduce to a very slight simmer 3. Have a bowl of ice water on sink and measuring cup with pour spot ready and accessible 4. Slowly rotate the bottle to etch the glass all the way around the bottle – put light pressure and hold the bottle steady so that the start and end point of

• Soy wax flakes • Wax pitcher • Candle wicks – be sure they are tall enough for the candle height you are making. • Wax adhesive – to secure the bottom of the wick to the bottom. A glue stick can work in a pinch, but it doesn’t hold as well once the hot wax is poured in. Wax adhesive is your best bet! • Scented wax melts – if desired for scenting candles. Essential oils can be used, but they


don’t give much scent with the amount that can be used. If essential oils are preferred, look up the amount that can be used as it affects the ability for the wax to solidify into a candle.

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Ge t C re a ti v e the etch line up. DO NOT rotate the bottle past the original start point. DO NOT make more than 1 etch line on the glass 5. Immerse the etch line of the bottle in hot water & rotate several times 6. Once you’ve completed several rotations, immerse the etch line of the bottle in cold water (run the faucet on cold, or use measuring cup and ice water and rotate several times 7. Continue alternating between hot & cold etch line rotations until the bottle eventually cuts at the etch line. Note that some bottles take only a few hot and cold alternations (3-4), while others may take up to 20-30 minutes of alternating between hot and cold.

Candle-Making: 1. The edges may be slightly rough. If this is the case, sand the edges by placing a sandpaper sheet on a table, counter or other solid surface, and rub the cut line until it is smooth. 2. Rinse the sand-dust off when smoothed to your liking. 3. Once bottles are prepped and dried, adhere the wick to the bottom of the bottle with wax glue.

each wax type is different), then remove from heat to add scent. 7. If using scented wax melt squares, these can be mixed in immediately until the desired scent is achieved. 8. If using essential oils, allow soy wax to cool to 140°F before adding essential oils (look up maximum amount that can be added based on the amount of wax that has been melted). 9. Allow soy wax to cool to 100°F before pouring into glass. 10. Pour wax SLOWLY into glass. Pouring too quickly can result in air bubbles and create holes/dips in the top of the candle. Keep some extra wax to “top off” any holes/dips that may occur in the settling of the wax. 11. Using a wick holder or flat knives can be helpful in keeping the wick centered while the wax cools and solidifies. 12. Once wax is completely solidified, trim the wicks to about 1 inch above the wax 13. Congratulations on your newly created wine bottle candles! Enjoy!

4. Use the same large pot used for bottle cutting to create a double boiler for melting the wax. 5. Fill the wax pitcher about halfway with ONLY wax flakes, and place in the pot of boiling water. Once the wax is melted, add more wax flakes. Continue until you have enough melted wax for the desired amount of candles. 6. Heat soy wax flakes to 170°F - 180°F (if using nonsoy wax, look up heating and cooling temperatures; LIVING Lavishly


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805 235 1179

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Design Trends An Artist’s Salon with a Personal Twist Creating One-Of-A-Kind Home Decor

Isn’t it amazing to live in a world where it’s as easy as the click of a button to order home decor to your front door? It

certainly makes decorating simple but what about that really personal touch that sets your home aside from all the rest? Technology has now made creating your own fabrics and wallpaper possible for anyone looking to add a personal touch to their living space. This fabric and wallpaper was created from two original illustrations. They were scanned and made into repeat in Adobe Photoshop. The graphic file was then uploaded onto the Spoonflower website. There, the design can be applied to several different fabric choices. In this case I chose Chiffon for the windows. You can also create a peel-and-stick wallpaper or a water activated wallpaper. In this case we went with the peel-and-stick wallpaper which is repositionable and surprisingly quick and easy to install. Since this wallpaper is removable, it makes it a perfect choice for a dorm room, a rented apartment, or if you just like to change your decor often.

Customize Your Wallpaper & Fabric

Written & Illustrated By: Mari Robeson Photography By: Zuridia Garcia


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Do It Yourself Or Support An Independent Artist

Get The Look From This

To This Using websites like, you can use your art and create original fabric, wallpaper & home decor. I hear you saying it. You’re not an artist but if you are, this is a super fun way to completely customize your home decor! However, not to worry, there are literally hundreds of independent designers on Spoonflower and other similar websites, that you can purchase from and know that you are supporting an independent artist and small business. It even goes beyond wallpaper and fabric. With additional services provided by sister company,, you can literally put your designs on anything from bedding to tablecloths! Feminine Artist Salon not your style? Here are a few other amazing independent artists you can find on Spoonflower. There are thousands of designs to choose from. Happy decorating!!


Floral Burst Gold on White by Anvil Studio


Painted Protea Floral by Micklyn Le Feuvre


Aurora - Blush & Goldenrod by Heather Dutton

I’d like add that there are many companies now available with digital print on demand services but these products shown here were created by Spoonflower and I was very pleased with the product creation and ease of use.

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Ho me I mpr ove me n t

DESIGNING SPACES THE WAY YOU WANT! By Michael Bayly Photos by Austin Kahn

The Decision


hen choosing how to arrange a room or create an outdoor experience, one must first ask themselves a few simple questions: How will you fill this space? What is the best use of the space? Does one envision a warm, cozy space that can be enjoyed best on a quiet morning with a cup of coffee and a favorite book, where the warmth and richness of the wood furniture echoes this tranquility, offering a welcoming embrace into the day? Or, rather, does one envision a lively, dynamic space that facilitates the fast-paced life of the modern family, requiring furniture to be light enough to be moved around yet strong enough to endure every event you can throw at it? To inhabit one’s space is a beautiful gift. In order to mold it around one’s wishes and ensure a space best meets one’s needs, desired activities, materials, colors, and styles should all be thoughtfully considered.


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Now this may seem a bit overwhelming - but do not worry - this is not as daunting of a task as it seems. To create a space which best reflects one’s styles and sentiments, which facilitates daily life and is in every way, enjoyable, one must simply ask themselves what do they like to do? Should a space be an active space, meant for entertaining? Or a quiet space, meant for unwinding?

The Materials When picking the materials that will make this dream come true, consider the strength, durability, and longevity of the construction. Will this piece last the test of time? Can multiple materials be employed to work together to make this both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound? Furniture can be more than just a placeholder and more than a mere seat; it can be an investment in yourself, a tool which can help you maximize your time and provide the WOW factor which sets this space out from the rest! An often overlooked material, aluminum, provides a supple solution to the problem of usability versus

Ho m e Im p r ov e m e n t solidity. While providing the strength and stability of much heavier alternatives, aluminum objects are more than two times lighter than conventional steel constructions, while being able to be finished in a manner of fashions. This construction methodology can be used to make a number of fashions, from the ultra-minimalist, the space age and mid-century modern, to more traditional styles; while, all the while, being able to beautifully interact with wood or glass elements.

The Desire By designing around inert material qualities, with use and intention

in mind, one can create the perfect piece of furniture in its functionality and aesthetics, which perfectly meets the needs of a desired space. After all, isn’t what this is all about, desire? The desire to have the space as one will, the desire for a space which reflects the lives which use it, the desire for a completely designed experience. A space can become so much more than just a space with intentionality and creativity. It is the embodiment of your wants and desires in physical form. Furniture can be so much more than just furniture if that’s what is desired. More often than not, the perfect design solution is just an email away. The Central Coast of California is

home to a swath of makers, do-ers, designers, and fabricators, which, through ongoing dialogues can help facilitate in the design and fabrication of any piece of furniture. With over a decade’s worth of experience in the custom furniture industry, Michael Bayly can help realize any furniture solution from conceptualization to installation, while utilizing the best locally-sourced materials the Central Coast has to offer. When Michael isn’t in working in his San Luis Obispo-based shop, he enjoys spending time with his family and exploring all the beautiful destinations that California has to offer. For more information, visit or via email at

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Ho m e Im p r ov e m e n t

RENOVATION REALITY A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create the living space of your dreams.

By Nina Nazarov Hambly Photos by Paul Dyer


or many years now, home renovations have become a glamorous task nearly everyone wants to get their hands on. With outlets like HGTV, the process can seem simple as it all happens in a 30-minute episode. However, a renovation is much more complex than viewers see.

From design layout, permitting, and eventually constructing, a renovation takes up a substantial amount of time, energy, resources, and money. Here is what you can expect from the process from start to finish; included are tidbits on how professionals such as architects, designers and contractors are assets to the overall project, and advice on where you have some leniency to do the work yourself.

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Home I mpr ov e me n t Tackling Goals and Budget It’s important to have a strong direction about the end goal. The more precise the intent, the more efficiently it will be executed. Goals can range from what spaces are desired, connection to the outdoors, and quality of light. Whether it’s instilling the help of professionals or taking the bulk of the work yourself, having a clear designation of the final project will help it to be achieved faster, without any lengthy (and sometimes expensive) detours. When it comes to the budget,

take into consideration whether it is a new build, an addition to an already existing home, or a renovation; these could drastically affect the price point. Renovations inherently come with unknown existing conditions, which are notorious for coming to light during construction. New construction is naturally a blank slate and can be much quicker to build. Here is a fun industry fact: construction costs don’t include design professionals or permits. The cost is strictly the build price. The cost for design professionals and permits are called soft costs. Don’t forget to review them when looking at your overall budget!

Design Process After the initial goals are established, the next step is the most crucial to any project. Laying out the initial design creates the backbone to the rest of the project while setting a firm direction of where the project will go. This is where having an architect is the greatest asset, serving as a translator between


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the initial goals, the site parameters, and the client. The design process will evolve from initial sketches to a full building with floor plans and elevations, and likely a 3D model, which makes envisioning the design easier and can be leveraged to fine tuning the design. From there, permit drawings and potentially more detailed construction drawings will be put together.

Permitting Depending on the size of the project, one or two sets of permits will need to be acquired. A construction permit is always needed and if the project involves an addition or new build, a permit from the planning department may likely be required beforehand. Each county has different rules and regulations, so it’s always best to call the local planning department or consult with an architect. During the permitting process, either the architect or homeowner can be the point of contact with the city or county. An architect has the advantage of using the same technical language and an understanding of the process. The homeowner can likewise leverage their sense of project management.

Resources Having the entire design team owner, architect, contractor, designers, engineers, and subcontractors - on board early

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on is beneficial to any project, and is also known as Integrated Project Delivery. With a full spectrum expertise base, the owner attains what is important to them and the project can come to fruition at an increased efficiency and cost-effective manner. Imagine an entire team of personal assistants whose sole purpose is to make a homeowner’s dream a reality.

Time Timeframes vary dramatically. Look at about 3-6 months just for the renovation concept to construction documents, with each permitting process stacking 3-6 months on top of that. Once drawings are submitted for permitting, the county has 30 days to review, almost always

coming back with comments that need to be addressed by the design team. After turning in for a second review, the 30day clock starts over.

anywhere from $175-$325 per square foot, solely dependent on whether its a bare bones new home or a higher end build.

With the permit in hand, the real fun begins: construction.

Architectural fees range from 4-15% of construction costs, and heavily depend on the scope of services. On the lower end, it can be as simple as a straightforward design process with a permit set of drawings. The higher end can include a much more complex design process with detailed drawings, two rounds of permits, assistance during permitting as well as construction and interior design services.

Again, the time frame is dependent on project size, but a reasonable budgeting point is 2-3 months, minimum, for a renovation. If it’s a new home build, look at closer to a year. Weather also plays a major part in this. Though California has beautiful weather most of the year, rain can delay foundation or exterior work. A safe time to start is in the late spring or summer.

Cost As a general rule of thumb, construction for a new build on the central coast can cost

Interior Design Interior design is where the art of hit remodel shows really shine, with the finishing touches to showcase the beauty of the home.

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COMFORT HOME Whether you’re needing a simple tune up or a new system, we know just what it takes to keep you and your loved ones cozy this winter. This is also the part of the design that is the most friendly, as permits aren’t needed for finishes and picking out finishes has an allure of being simple. Incredible design doesn’t happen by chance, and this is another aspect of the process where leveraging a trained professional could save you time and money, and get you an incredible space. Here’s the simple reality as a homeowner: you can do almost all of the work yourself from design through construction, or you can choose to have professional help. The key is knowing when to “do-it-yourself” and when to ask for professional help is essential in getting the job done.


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Nina Nazarov Hambly is the owner of Hambly Homes Architecture, and is passionate about unlocking the story of architecture to create meaningful design for the goals and concepts of each project. She can be reached at 805.550.5499 or, or visit her at

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BARK 101: Everything you didn’t know, but should!


ark is such a versatile material and its wide array of benefits often goes unknown. Bark can be used simply for the purpose of beautifying your landscape, however, its uses are far more widespread than that. Although it is often overlooked, it should be considered for both beauty and practicality. Mulching has a variety of beneficial properties. When used in conjunction with vegetation, it offers huge benefits. We are here to fill you in on everything you need to know.

Installing bark will: • Aid in moisture retention and reduce water usage. Cutting back on watering reduces utility bills, which means more money in your pocket and less time spent watering. • Improve soil structure and aid in healthy root growth. The root system is the foundation for plants and healthy growth is crucial for plants to thrive. • Reduce or even stop weed growth. Cut down on labor and maintenance and spend more time enjoying the outside. • Add vital nutrients to the soil. Your plants will thrive when they have the right nutrients. • Protect against heat and cold. Summertime heat and wintertime chills can often shock plants to the point of no return if not properly cared for.

Some things to consider: • Use shredded stringy bark on slopes and hillsides. It will hold in place better than chips. • If mulching fruit trees, leave some space between tree trunks and the mulch. Because bark retains moisture, mulching too close to trees can lead to tree rot. • Larger pieces of bark take longer to break down. If you are looking to add nutrients to the soil consider using a smaller or finer bark that will break down quicker. • First time bark installation should allow for a depth of no less than 2”, but ideally 3” in order to gain all the benefits we mentioned. • Because bark is an organic matter and will break down over time, it will need to be replenished every few years to maintain the benefits and keep your yard looking top-notch. A 1”-2” overlay should be expected.

Bark is great for any size project, from small flower beds or vegetable gardens to large orchards or expansive open areas that need to be tamed with a little TLC. Next time you’re considering landscaping, remember all the benefits of using bark; you won’t be disappointed!

• Refine your landscape. Installing bark around plants will give your yard a truly manicured look.

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Different Types of Bark Gorilla Hair This shredded redwood material is an exceptionally long-lasting, decorative ground cover. Gorilla hair is fibrous and fuzzy in nature, soft in appearance and rich in color. It seems to hold together better along minor slopes and hillsides. Along with great aesthetic appeal, it increases moisture retention and weed reduction.

Medium Nuggets Preferred as decorative bark mulch, these 2 and smaller nuggets can be used as a walk-on surface or for ground cover. With a clean, yet natural look, these individual nuggets are long lasting and aesthetically pleasing.

Mini Nuggets Mini nuggets are produced with high quality installations in mind. It’s a popular choice for installations that need complete coverage as it hugs the trunk system of most plants and shrubs while aiding in moisture retention and weed reduction.

Recycled Brown After we accept Green and Wood waste at our yard, we double grind the raw pile and produce sellable product. The material could be a mixture of various shrubs and local trees from oak, eucalyptus, pine and construction debris including 2×4 lumber and plywood. We don’t accept any type of treated wood or painted material. This material is a perfect fit for larger properties that would have an alternate to dirt; it’s an excellent choice for weed control and moisture retention in your soil

Troesh Coleman Pacific, Inc. has been a family owned and operated business in the central coast since 1984. The family at Troesh Coleman Pacific look forward to helping you make your home’s outdoor living spaces the oasis of your dreams! To learn more, visit or call 805-922-9993.


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Senior Living

HOW TO AIP IN YOUR ADU By Scott and Nina Seelos Photos by Cavan Hadley


re you scratching your head at this tricky title? Nowadays, many people are redesigning their living spaces to Age in Place (AIP) in their Auxiliary Dwelling Unit (ADU). According to the Stanford University Joint Center for Housing Study, the facts are this: over the next 20 years in the U.S., a full one-third of the population will be over age 65, and the number of households with residents over 80 years old is expected to double. There is no doubt that the Baby Boomer generation is remaining active longer, living longer, and aging gracefully. Yet no matter how active and healthy we may be as we age, we will still need to pay even more attention to and make adjustments to our living

environment, inside the home and out in the garden. At Seelos Design and Construction, we are thrilled to be working on an exciting project that addresses aging in place head-on. We are currently creating an ADU for a lovely Shell Beach home. The homeowners are a couple who have lived in and loved their oceanfront home for several years. They adore their neighborhood and the view, and don’t want to move. The challenge for the homeowners is that this is an older house and as with most homes of its age, it clearly was not designed for a couple that wants to “age in place.” The solution? We will be applying some universal design improvements to the existing

home, adding some square footage to allow other family members to move in, and we will do it all without sacrificing the style, comfort, or privacy that already exists. What’s interesting about this project is that the ADU is actually a two-story addition, rather than simply a ground floor expansion. There are important considerations to keep in mind when building an ADU. While different municipalities will have variable regulations, an ADU is generally designed and built to be a self-contained independent living unit with kitchen and bath areas, as well as a separate entrance. In the City of Pismo Beach, where we are building this project, only one ADU per lot is allowed. In other words, the sky is not

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Se ni or Li v i n g an existing home that allows homeowners to age in place. Here are some of the specific choices the homeowners have made as part of the design process in one of our recent remodeling projects.

Safe Flooring

the limit! The ADU cannot be utilized as a short-term vacation rental property to non-family members, although it may be rented on a long-term lease. More often than not, homeowners specifically build ADUs for multi-generational living. A thoughtfully designed ADU offers so much more than simply adding on a few more bedrooms and a bathroom. An ADU can and should be a home built with privacy and safety in mind while simultaneously preserving dignity and independence. The more we can integrate the principles of universal design into remodeling projects or new construction homes, the better served all members of the family will be. Universal design can be incorporated into remodeling


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Within the original home, we are replacing the flooring throughout with engineered hardwood. This solves many issues for the homeowners. It is easier to keep clean, allows for maximum mobility should there be a need for a wheelchair in the future, and it is beautiful and durable. From a safety perspective, hardwood or other durable surfaces like cork reduce tripping hazards, as elder folks tend to shuffle more when they walk. From a design standpoint, installing one flooring choice throughout the home provides continuity between the living spaces, creating a more open and inviting environment.

Adaptable Doorways We are also widening doorways to at least 36 inches and creating low threshold entryways to allow for easier wheelchair and walker accessibility. Many people don’t realize how challenging it can be for someone using a wheelchair or walker to open a traditional swing door, and we are addressing that as well. Throughout the home, we will be installing sliding pocket or barntype doors wherever practical. On traditional doors, we will install lever type hardware to make doors easier to open and pull closed. In the world of universal design, we are increasingly seeing the installation of elevators in new construction as well as in remodeling. Once thought to be a possibility available only to the wealthiest of homeowners, cost reductions have now

Senior Living made elevators and lifts more affordable. For homeowners who desire to age in place in a two-story home, both can be cost-effective options to consider. Within the two-story addition, we are installing an extra-wide stairway. Should the need arise in the future this extra width will easily accommodate an electric stairway lift.

shower with a no threshold entry. As with other areas of the home, this will allow access by those using walkers or wheelchairs or who have the need for a portable shower chair. Plumbing fixtures will have lever handles for ease of use as well as a handheld fixture in the shower, and comfort height toilets will be installed throughout the home.

A Welcoming Kitchen

A Gorgeous View

The kitchen presents interesting design challenges as we seek to maintain homeowner independence for as long as possible. This means removing upper cabinets and moving storage to lower shallow drawers. This will provide easy access to pots, pans, dishes, and glassware that would normally be out of reach. In traditionally designed homes such as this one, the kitchen island is also removed to allow someone in a wheelchair to move freely in the kitchen area.

One of the most alluring features of this Shell Beach home is the unobstructed view location overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We will be installing or modifying existing windows to make them as large and low as possible, serving a dual purpose: allowing abundant natural light into the home, and maximizing the beautiful view even from a seated position in a wheelchair.

An Accessible Bathroom Last but not least, we are addressing not only accessibility but also safety issues in the bathrooms. We will be installing decorative and functional grab bars throughout. The restrooms will be constructed with internal wall blocking for additional strength and security so that grab bars – and secure towel bars – cannot be inadvertently pulled from the wall. The tub is being replaced with a large barrier-free

incorporating as many safety features as possible. What they don’t want is for their home to suddenly look like a senior residential facility! The homeowners are full of life and vitality, and we are providing them with what we hope is the home of their dreams for the rest of their lives. Scott and Nina Seelos own and operate Seelos Design and Construction, Inc. They would love the opportunity to make your remodeling dreams come true. They can be reached at 805.489.6367. For more information, visit www.

The overall goal of this project as with any universal design home is to create an environment of beauty, safety, and security. Our clients asked us to make their home aesthetically pleasing while at the same time

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Se ni or Li v i n g

TRAVEL: Strategies to Keep You Glowing

By Lisa K. Story, M.A.


acations can be relaxing, fun, and exciting. Wonderful memories and experiences are created when we travel. We come back with tales to tell!

Sometimes we return home feeling exhausted, bloated or even sick. But, what if you could travel AND feelhealthy both during and after -the trip?


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Senior Living When at home, daily rhythms sustain and ground our bodies and energy. We have regular mealtimes, wake-up times, bedtimes, exercise habits and are surrounded by our personal belongings and the foods we eat normally. When traveling, we're exposed to changes in weather, time zones, altitude, humidity, and diet. These changes can be taxing on both our energy and immune system, leaving us more susceptible to illness.

STRATEGIES TO SUPPORT YOUR BODY 1. Keep stabilizing routines in place. Do your best to eat, sleep, wake up and exercise at your regular times. When traveling to a new time zone, get on the local time as soon as you arrive. 2. Familiarity is nurturing. Bring items from home that you love and keep you centered and comfortable. For example, bring a favorite hand soap for the hotel bathroom, tea bags, a candle, essential oils, and an eye pillow. Other items to consider are a favorite pillow or blanket, a journal, books and magazines. 3. Get out in nature. Traveling in cars, trains, planes, and boats (while awesome and fun) are also ungrounding to our energy and challenge the nervous system. When we change times zones, our circadian rhythm is disrupted. One of the easiest ways to soothe the nervous system and begin to align the circadian rhythm is to expose yourself to sunlight early in the mornings. Spending time walking barefoot on the beach, hiking in a forest or even walking down a city street is highly beneficial. Being outside and in nature is very grounding physically, emotionally and mentally.

4. Keep movement and exercise routines on track. When we travel, we're confined to smaller spaces and our energy stagnates while muscles are contracted and tight. We become sluggish. Taking stretch breaks every hour is extremely useful to the body. If you're on a plane or train, get up frequently and stretch in the aisles, and walk around as much as possible. At the very least, stretch and move in your seat. Once you are at your destination, be sure to get daily exercise. We tend to eat and drink more when on vacation and the activity will support the uptick in the intake. Also, keep in mind that we lose strength, flexibility and cardio fitness FAR faster than we build it... resist the temptation to take a vacation from your exercise routine...then you won't have to start all over when you return home. Another benefit of exercise is it supports your digestion and helps to alleviate constipation. Keep things moving! 5. Plan ahead and eat well. Research local cuisines, top restaurants, and markets so you don’t end up consuming poor quality or fast foods. Check out menus online, get recommendations from others and read reviews. If possible, stay somewhere with a kitchen so not all meals are eaten out. Support digestion (which can slow down when traveling) by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you're getting plenty of fiber. Eat breads, pasta and cheeses in moderation. Lastly, stay well-hydrated.

Lisa K. Story, M.A. is a Certified Health Coach, Women’s Wellness Educator and yoga instructor. ReVitalize: A FREE 3-Day Body Reset Program can be downloaded at www.

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PLANNING AHEAD: Benefits of a Retirement Community By Joanne Peters


here’s much you will consider when deciding to move to a retirement community, especially in the central coast in California. Beauty, peacefulness, location halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco… it all is starting to sound pretty good! But what about those deep questions that linger, such as: what will it cost? Will I have freedom to do and go where I want and when I want to? Will I like the new friends I am bound to meet as neighbors? What about the food? And then the inevitable question finally hits you is, how am I going to get there? This is where most people put the brakes on! It is an overwhelming thought to take 30+ years of your home and move it. The first thing to ask yourself is: would you rather plan your own relocation or wait until a crisis occurs and have your family make the decisions for you? That’s a hard concept to grasp, but let’s just follow this story a bit further.

Scenario 1: Jim and Carol are thinking ahead. Their adult children live about 250 miles north and the drive to visit is taking a lot more effort than it used to. They love being around the kids and grandchildren, but they certainly don’t want to be a bother. Carol suggests to Jim that they might want to look into a retirement community where they could have the freedom living on their own, yet have others available if something were to happen to either one of them.

Scenario 2: Bob and Janet are in their early 80s and life has been great raising the kids in the family home for over 30 years. Janet loves her two-story home with her large dining room where she once gracefully set the table for the annual family Thanksgiving dinner. As for Bob, he loves his garden and beautiful, large lawn that sets off the front of his home, just like the White House! However, there are a few problems for Bob and Janet now. Janet finds it hard to manage the stairs to the bedroom anymore and Bob is not physically able to handle the chores of mowing and weeding to keep his property looking like it did 3 decades ago; honestly those weeds have invaded most of the yard now. Perhaps a crisis is looming for Bob and Janet; a fall down the stairs, a hurt shoulder, or a back injury from bending over picking the weeds could be right around the corner. So NOW might be a good opportunity for both couples to start considering their next options. Open


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communication is very helpful, because this is where most couples start getting bogged down. As both couples look around their home and see all the “stuff” they have collected over the many years of homeownership, the pure sense of overwhelm takes over their need to clearly think about their future and how to care for each other as they age. Now let’s turn the story over to advantages of “rightsizing.” These benefits, while not all will necessarily apply to you, might include: • Freeing yourself for new adventures • Releasing equity • Reducing your everyday domestic costs such as maintenance and utilities • Minimizing the daily chores and avoiding life threatening injuries • Resizing and letting go of a large house you no longer need • Feeling safe and secure • A new home to suit your future needs • A fresh start can in itself be very therapeutic – new home, new area, new activities, and a wider circle of friends

Many of us just have too many possessions with whole rooms occupied with things we no longer use. It’s time to declutter and move on. Think about what you actually need, and sell or give away the rest – you’ll find it very cathartic! Simplifying your life should leave you overjoyed, not overwhelmed. It’s not an easy subject to discuss, but if you or your partner becomes unwell or even dies, how will this affect the other? Perhaps they will need someone to look after them? Talking this through pragmatically and rationally and planning ahead can help make things easier when life is at its most difficult. Consider putting together a plan for your future now. Joanne Peters is a Certified Senior Housing Professional and has been a Realtor since 1987. For a complimentary consultation, contact her at Malik Real Estate in Atascadero. Office (805) 466-2540 or Direct (805) 610-6304. A Heavenly Home is a licensed 24-hour, secured residential care in Paso Robles and provides the ultimate senior age-in-place living accommodations. Its individual suites include gorgeous, oversized bedrooms, a generous amount of storage cabinets, and adjacent wheelchair accessible fenced patios.

For more information, visit or call 805-296-3239. LIVING Lavishly



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Senior Living

Sparking Smiles: Fun Things to Do When Visiting Senior Loved Ones

By Judy Salamacha


urrently in San Luis Obispo County, there are 106 Senior Care facilities with the availability for over 1,350 residents. Some seniors elect to spend their elder years with new friends their age at an independent or assisted living complex. Other times, a family will decide professional care due to an illness or aging frailty often caused by a variety of dementias. Regardless the circumstance, by nature, humans are social beings and typically enjoy life longer when visited by family and friends, including new acquaintances met at their new home. In the late 1990s, there were no facilities in San Luis Obispo County that accepted residents who

had dementia. The County’s Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsmen, Garilee Cave and Anne Keyes saw the need for this level of care in our community. After going through a two-year licensing process and renovation, they opened the doors at the current location in July of 2000. The award-winning nonprofit corporation, well known for its “gold standard” of care, fundraises and accepts donations to subsidize the operating costs. Although Keyes was tragically killed in a car accident in 2006 and Cave retired as Administrator in 2013, she remains on the board of directors. Kasey Watson has been the Administrator/President of the Board of Directors at Garden House of Morro Bay since that time.

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Se ni or Li v i n g Watson says, “Our goal is to use our gifts to provide a loving home for our residents by creating opportunities for them to participate, have fun, make friendships, and be valued members of their community.” For example, in the 2018-19 school year, Watson and her staff coordinated 1,500 hours of visits by Cal Poly students who led exercise programs, played games, and helped with staff-directed craft and gardening activities. Family and friends are also encouraged to be creative during their visits. Additionally, in memory of their mother, the Lester family helped Garden House create Lou Ann’s Library, an outreach to school-age children to visit and read with the residents. “Family and friends are important to any senior living away from home as they once knew it,” said Watson. “We encourage frequent visits.” And over the years, Garden House has discovered a variety of activities to make visits unique and enjoyable for everyone. They include the following: 1. Bring photos. These can be loose photos, in an album, or on an iPad. Older photos spark fond memories from their past, plus, you might learn insights about their lives you never knew before. Seniors treasure knowing their family and friends are doing well so share trips, silly happenings, great-grandchildren at play or their latest achievement. Have fun showing each photo adventure. 2. Bring a magazine or coffee table book. These can suggest topics for


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discussion, including memories of past events, movies they may have seen, pets they loved, or bucket list items they might still want to accomplish.

10. How about a manicure? Not only can you massage their hands with soothing lotions, but you can also spruce up their nails at the same time.

3. Bring other visitors into the conversation. Facetime or call others to let them talk to a friend who might not be able to visit.

11. Bring them flowers. This can be for their room or better yet, for bragging rights as they share with the other residents.

4. Play a favorite game. Play Checkers, Go-Fish, Yahtzee, or even Doubles Solitaire. You can also invite other residents for a game of Canasta, Pinochle, or Rummy.

12. Watch TV with them. Watch a sporting event, favorite sitcom for a good laugh or a favorite movie together.

5. Bring a dementia puzzle to exercise the brain. You can bring this even if they are not showing dementia signs. At Garden House, a variety of puzzles are available to borrow. Or if the facility allows, start a puzzle all the residents might enjoy taking time to finish a piece at a time. 6. Bring adult coloring books. These are a currently trending from young adults to seniors. 7. Read short pieces from Reader’s Digest or Reminisce Magazine. Poetry, Irish Toasts or a Joke Book is always fun. 8. Ask them to tell their story for the family archives. Make sure you take notes! 9. Surprise them with a treat. Watch the smiles when you bring them with an ice cream cone, a favorite coffee drink or soda or that special treat they may not have had in a while. Food is one of those “guilty pleasures” still an option for many seniors. So periodically, why not let them enjoy what they love?

13. Share postcards. Ask family and friends to send you postcards from their travels so you can share their experiences during your visit. 14. Take a walk around the block! Take a walk or wheel through the local community street fair or farmers market. 15. People-watch. Take a drive to “people watch,” or visit the beach to watch the birds or the surfers. 16. Take a short trip outside. Find a free concert in the area, pack a lunch, snack and lawn chairs and enjoy the music. 17. Take them to church. If they are missing going to church on Sunday, pick them up and go together. 18. Bring a pet. At a Senior home like Garden House, if the kids and dogs are happy and pet-able, bring them along and enjoy the smiles by residents, staff and other visitors. Judy Salamacha is a former publisher of The Bay News and now a feature writer for Simply Clear Marketing and author of Colonel Baker’s Field: An American Pioneer Story (Bear State Books, 2013).

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