Living Lavishly Volume 11

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1 / Living Lavishly


Shop online or schedule a personalized appointment from the comfort of your home today at

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©2020 Ferguson Enterprises LLC 0620 1987176



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Publisher’s Note


or all of us who have spent more time at home this year than ever before, we have seen changes come with how we use our living spaces and if you’re

like us, you’ve made changes to your living spaces to make them more comfortable or usable. As the publishers and executives of this magazine, we get to hear about all the fun projects our readers and advertisers are accomplishing. From renovating family rooms into play spaces and bedrooms into offices, backyard makeovers, chicken coops, painting and lighting projects, or recreating outdoor living spaces to enjoy the magical place we live.

Bret Colhouer

From what we hear, a lot of the inspiration, knowledge and assistance has come from our magazine. We are so proud to be a resource locally and even more proud to shine the spotlight on some talented and amazing people here on the Central Coast. Our magazine is designed to showcase the talent of some of the outstanding individuals, companies and organizations on the central coast and this issue is full of beautiful spotlights and features, heart felt stories and changed lives – we

Lani Colhouer

hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. One of the joys of publishing our magazine is seeing the excitement of our staff as they communicate with advertisers, interview special people, illustrate and lay out all of the pieces to create something that wasn’t there before. Being able to provide a place to tell stories of local women and men who are using their business for supporting the community and are growing through tough times and still live within the lavishness that is the central coast is what each of us experiences as we drive to the beach, grab a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, hike up the ridge and cast our eyes out onto the sea and rest in our home after a long day on Zoom.

Bret Colhouer | Lani Coulhouer | David Diaz - Publishers

4 / Living Lavishly

David Diaz




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Editor’s Note


ur community - made up of helpers, dreamers, doers, advocates, and business owners using their platform to make a change - is what sets the Central Coast apart from the rest. Throughout

2020, we’ve seen a sweeping change in our society as our focus has shifted towards humility, empathy, and growth. The reasons for this collective change were the passionate people who helped make it happen and our gradual move to the “new normal.” In this issue, you’ll learn about the people and memories that define what it means to truly live lavishly on the Central Coast. We’ve seen retailers turn towards creating handmade face masks and local professionals advocating for social justice change in our communities. We’ve seen passionate individuals stand up for local foster children and business owners going the extra mile to ensure their customers and employees are taken care of. We’ve also spent more time in our homes surrounded by those we love most. We took to home improvement projects and got creative during quarantine; the shift to working-at-home, the newly discovered baking recipes, and the priceless moments spent with family were all key memories that we will cherish forever. So, through the tribulations and triumphs, one thing remains clear in our community: our resiliency makes us stronger. Our voices are important. Our spheres of influence and the change we create within them are more valuable than ever. This is what it means to live lavishly on the Central Coast. We uplift our community, one small act of kindness at a time.

Madeline N. Minas - Executive Editor

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Contents 01

Around the Home Architectural Trends


Color Trends


Art Deco Inspired


Mixed-Use Apartment


Monochromatic Modern


Enhance Your Home with Modern Technology


Five Ways to Light an Outdoor Patio


Landscape Architecture


Ingredients for a Tasteful Kitchen


One-Room Challenge: Renovating a Living Room


Choosing the Perfect Mantel for Your Fireplace


Kitchen Backsplash Trends


Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide


Playroom Storage Ideas


Custom Fireplace Mantels


Design Trends: Work From Home


Community Passion Moved to Action


Benefits of Private Security for Your Business


Living Free on the Central Coast


Painting a World of Positivity


Creating the Perfect Date Night


What Happens When You Shop Local



In the Kitchen Building a Dinner-Worthy Charcuterie Board


The Talley Farms Box


Cookwell Corner


Chef Showdown Competition


Ways to Shop Small & Support Local


04 02

Self-Care Gift Guide


Local Helping Local Changing the Game: Women in Wine


Going the Extra Mile: Delivery to Your Door


Sustainable Womenswear to Face Masks


A Better Life for Local Foster Children


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A Lavish Weekend in SLO County


67 27




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615 Clarion Ct. #2 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Phone (805) 543-6397

Fall 2020 / Winter 2021 PUBLISHERS


Bret Colhouer | Lani Colhouer | David Diaz

MARKETING Bryan Kirkpatrick Maddison Stevens Tina Mitchell

Bryan Kirkpatrick @bkcollective @slocountycars



Kelley Braga

Charlotte Ross Molly O’Brien Mari Robeson Andrew Goodwin Judy Salamacha Courtney Coleman

Emilia Bollini


SALES Jessica Micklus

Eric Deshawn Lerma @ericdeshawn

Daniel Mazawa Hannah Lique Naitove Maddison Stevens Lindsay Corica Ariana Afshar Lovato Ehron Baskin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jon Pearson Charlotte Ross

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.

Advertise With Us! Complete details regarding advertising rates, space, sizes, circulation, coverage and similar information are available to prospective advertisers. Please call or email for more information. This is a publication of Simply Clear Marketing and Media, Inc., Copyright 2007-2021 all rights reserved. One free copy per person. Additional copies can be obtained at our offices at 615 Clarion Court, #2, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401. Simply Clear Marketing and Media makes every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of its contents. Please notify us if information is incorrect.


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@LivingLavishlyMag | @SimplyClearMarketing | @InspiredExpos

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Architectural Trends on the Central Coast 12 / Living Lavishly

Presented by American Institute of Architects (AIA) California Central Coast The American Institute of Architects (AIA) California Central Coast Chapter provided images and information from their selected projects of the month through June 2020. 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

The Bridge Street Lofts are part of a comprehensive new neighborhood plan for a combined live/work, mixed-use, workforce housing community that is environmentally friendly as well as affordable. The intent of the Bridge Street Lofts project is to bring sustainable development to a wider market, while helping the city achieve their state housing requirements via smart growth, in-fill development. These compact residential units attempt to address crucial issues of housing, development, and the environment while creating a project that expresses our collective moment in history. In this new millennium, we as a nation, a state, and a city, are still addressing our urgent housing needs with typical developer-driven tracts of resource depleting units based on last century’s model, when the Earth’s entire population measured just 16% of its current numbers. Furthermore, we are developing this type of construction as if the equally urgent threat of environmental demise was not a critical issue facing the world today. As a direct response to these pressing issues, the design team created a project composed of modern, eco-oriented residential units that will save money through low life-cycle costs, without sacrificing the modern conveniences we have all come to appreciate and expect. Components such as live/work options, alternate transportation, and community commons allow ultimate lifestyle flexibility and encourage a wider and diverse user group to consider this new Bridge Street neighborhood as their new home in San Luis Obispo.

January garcia architecture + design

The Bridge Street Lofts showcase modern + industrial materials, both inside and out. Large south-facing fenestration in the open living spaces bring natural light and air while allowing the occupants to enjoy the natural hillside

“The Bridge Street Lofts” San Luis Obispo, CA

and landscape vistas beyond. Clean and elegant interior finishes in the kitchen, living room and bathrooms bring a touch of luxury throughout these spaces. Each loft unit is designed as a condensed yet efficient housing unit that moves

Photographer: Dennis Swanson

upwards instead of outwards, in a deliberate effort to provide

Studio 101 West Photography

efficient housing while treading lightly on the land it occupies.

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February RRM Design Group

“Earthwood Lane Industrial Mixed-Use� San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: RRM Design Group

The Earthwood Lane Industrial Mixed-Use project is located in San Luis Obispo, California. The project includes a total of approximately 13,000sf on two separate lots. The ground floors have a 6,500sf microbrewery which includes a tasting room, brewery and storage space and 4,500sf beverage flavoring manufacturer; there are two 1,000sf residential, caretaker units on the upper floors. The project has a modern, industrial design style and striking contemporary look. The concrete block is complemented by select areas of Corten weathering steel panels installed over a rain screen. The caretaker units are wood frame with plaster exterior walls and have metal roofs. Green features include Low Impact Development features such as the use of pervious pavers for the entire parking lot and ground level patios. Pervious pavers overlay a pre-release stormwater filtration basin. Water efficient landscaping and micro spray or drip irrigation are used throughout. The concrete block materials are locally sourced and locally manufactured from Air Vol block, located only a few hundred yards from the project. Interiors of the caretaker units have high, loft ceilings and generous exterior decks. They incorporate dual pane insulating windows and doors. South facing openings have generous overhangs.

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This mixed-use “village-themed” community

RRM Design Group

is an infill site in the heart of Pismo Beach. The

“Vistas at Pismo Beach” Pismo Beach, CA Photographer: Michelle Torres-Grant

design addresses Pismo’s eclectic styles that are a trademark of this Central Coast community and coastal living, featuring California Craftsman, Seaside and Modern styles. That mix captures the project theme of “Past, Present and Future” to express the concept of various structures being developed over time. The site is composed of many

postage size lots on variable terrain. Designing desirable living units with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths that work with the topography and fit on tiny lots was a challenge. Historic flooding on streets was another constraint. Starting with a small building footprint for a home that could rise high enough to capture stunning views of the ocean, the town and hills beyond the village was an even bigger challenge. The resulting design with large picture windows and roof top decks has been so successful that all the townhomes sold very quickly. Vistas is ideally suited to enjoying shops and restaurants on the walk down to the nearby beach and includes two major commercial spaces that make the walk to patio restaurants and retail shops even shorter.

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April NineteenSix Architects

“Cottage Health Outpatient Mental Health Clinic�

The one-story medical suite was originally built in the 1950s. The drop ceiling interior hid the beautiful vaulted ceilings and wood beams. The design team prioritized patient/provider experience by opening up the vaulted ceiling to gain openness and maximize the natural daylight. Solar tubes were used in the existing roof to bring much needed light into the interior hallways. All office doors are wood and glass to allow light to enter

San Luis Obispo, CA

rooms. Materials emphasize a grounded natural feeling

Photographer: David Lalush

to help patients feel comfortable in the clinic. The reception area is surrounded by a unique stained wood wall to match the LVT clinic-grade floors. This OSHPD-3 approved project for Cottage Health provides a muchneeded outpatient mental health clinic.

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01 | Design Trends

May Studio 2G Architects

“Stoneridge Residence” San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: David Lalush

On a cozy cul-de-sac off of lower Broad street, the Stoneridge project dynamically stands out as one of the more well-crafted, modern homes in the neighborhood. Adjusting the original plan to accommodate a larger family, this 2800 sqft home is equipped with four bathrooms and part of the garage floor plan has transitioned to an extra bedroom. The panoramic views have been a mainstay of the overall design, with excellent views of the city and the natural rock formations nestled up to the home’s lot placement.

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design an autonomous space. The 700 SF space with a


storefront along a busy urban street gives Not Just Coffee

“NOT JUST COFFEE” Charlotte, VA Photographer: Jordan Black

greater visibility by contrasting an inviting, tactile, interior with the largely concrete context. The owner envisioned a minimal but warm aesthetic, so we decided upon a material strategy of Baltic birch plywood, white quartz, and white hexagonal tile supported by steel armatures to provide the coffee bar, countertops, shelving, and a backdrop for the space. These lines and planes meter the space and help to obscure existing irregularities in the ceiling and

flux DESIGN was approached by the owner of a Charlotte

façade. The strong grain of the undulating ceiling plane

coffee shop to design a new space in uptown Charlotte.

simultaneously envelopes the occupants - cocooning them

Not Just Coffee’s two other Charlotte locations are found

from the vast scale and cold materiality of the street - and

in public markets, and this was their first opportunity to

expands their visual experience.

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Color Trends 20 / Living Lavishly

The latest and greatest color trends for Fall and Winter.

We’ve gathered research from Pantone’s Fall/Winter 2020-2021 color report and analyzed the trends that were presented during the 2020 New York Fashion Week. While these color trends widely dictate the latest and greatest trends in the fashion industry, we’ve noticed a direct reflection in local paint and home decor trends. What colors will dominate the Fall and Winter seasons in our homes? Based on reputable, international sources and the expertise of local designers, here are the color trends you’ll be tempted to incorporate into your living space in the months ahead.

BIG & BOLD Expressive colors are a go-to option to breathe vibrancy and liveliness into any living space. Refined reds and bold blues are examples of colors that evoke emotion and can garner attention to specific focal points. Decorative throw pillows and statement walls are one of many options to add a dose of personality to any room!


This rich red has a dark hue, but according to Pantone, this “sultry and voluptuous red” is a statement color to take note of. This vibrant hue was featured at New York Fashion Week and would make for a dazzling statement piece in any living space.


This energetic yet subdued hue of orange is a radiant option to incorporate into outdoor decor as it captures the reminiscent colors of Fall. According to Pantone, this color “promotes self-confidence and creative self-expression.”

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True Blue

Reminiscent of Pantone’s Color of the Year, Classic Blue, this True Blue is a bold yet reliable choice of color. This color is recommended for professional spaces, such as a home office, due to its psychological effects in invoking inspiration, confidence, and trust.



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SOFT & SUBTLE The subtle variance of recognizable colors can bring a relaxing energy to any room. We enjoy seeing designers play with monochromatic colors and subtle shifts in hues to bring a dynamic, yet cohesive color scheme to a living space. We anticipate seeing soft and subtle color trends to be a dominating visual in many homes, as its familiarity brings peace of mind and a soft presence.


This calming color combination is a go-to option to create a relaxing atmosphere, especially in a room that invites natural light. Blue and gray hues have a natural color palette that invokes wellness and peace of mind.

Earth Tones

Shades of brown, olive green, and orcher are reliable colors that make for an aesthetically pleasing color combination. We love seeing these warm, natural colors on walls and larger pieces of furniture, especially for those who enjoy a cozy, timeless living space.

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Warm Pastels

Warm pastels are great introductory colors for Fall and make for a smooth transition into the Winter months. These colors incorporate warm and earthy undertones and can help transform any living space into a comfortable and relaxing environment.



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Warm Creams

The familiarity of warm creams and stone colors are a must-have in nearly any living space. Whether your room theme be rustic, elegant, traditional, or modern, these natural tones can leave you feeling grounded, as well as give you endless options to pair with bolder colors.


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Art Deco Inspired

Photos by Emily Elise Photography

Renovation Features on the Central Coast The Central Coast is home to unique trends, and interior design trends are no exception. From modern flairs to contemporary treasures, select designers share their insights on featured projects that we believe embodies what it truly means to live lavishly on the Central Coast.

What started off as a conceptual idea eventually refined itself into reality. Ariana Lovato, Owner and Principal Designer of Honeycomb Home Design, played with contrasting colors, elegant lighting, and an overall drastic remodel for a family of four. After assessing the client’s needs, wants, budget and time, she knew she wanted to infuse an Art Deco flair -- a style of visual arts, architecture and design that originated in the 1920s. “My style leans a little more modern, so I wanted to try to add in some clean lines and textures for a unique space,” said Lovato. “I wanted to infuse Art Deco flair without going over the top.”

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From creating a conceptual mood board and CAD drafting, to laying out the kitchen and bathroom spaces, the involvement of this project saw large milestones that resulted in a modern Art Deco inspired home, something that Lovato says you don’t see much of on the Central Coast.

Central Coast Native Ariana Afshar Lovato has always had a spark for all things creative. She has spent the past ten years honing in on her craft of Interior Design. When she is not designing in her studio or on job sites, she is spending time with her husband and three pugs! For more information, please visit or call 805-704-6204.

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Photos by Emily Elise Photography

Mixed-Use Apartment

A recent mixed-use building went up near downtown San Luis Obispo; Yvette Chaix, owner of Yvette Chaix Interior Design took to designing the upstairs residential rental units, with a goal to incorporate a high-end aesthetic so future tenants could forget they’re living in an apartment. “Contemporary styles seem to be the up-and-coming trend in San Luis Obispo’s rentals,” said Chaix. “I wanted to show people that living in an apartment could mean they can still live lavishly!” With the use of simple color palettes for tiles and cabinetry paired with the cleanliness of the white walls, the design was able to make the space appeal to a larger group of potential tenants. She says, “When we think of the Central Coast, we think of a casual and beachy family lifestyle. But, as we see more growth throughout the community, we are in need of a more contemporary lifestyle to fit the needs of the young professionals who have a more elevated taste.”

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Monochromatic Modern

A quaint home nestled in rural San Luis Obispo had a kitchen that needed a fixer upper. Design Collaborative’s Senior Design Associate, Ehron Baskin, NCIDQ, led the client through a design process that not only enhanced the space, but created something that was uniquely their own. “This interior design style is ‘outdoor Central Coast casual,’” said Baskin. “The outdoor lifestyle is such a big part of our everyday life here on the Central Coast that the interior needed to reflect that.“ The material finishes in the kitchen complements the existing tongue and groove-beamed ceiling, along with the cabinetry that was already selected. The kitchen layout, courtesy of San Luis Kitchens, was custom-fitted so that the functions of the kitchen were just as satisfying as the overall design. A stunning chandelier was also added at the center of the dining area so that it can be viewed through the opening of the kitchen and can also be viewed through the front windows. The end result: a simple, clean, and monochromatic look. “This property sits in a rural area surrounded by beautiful oak trees,” said Baskin. “The home itself has modern lines so keeping with the architectural elements was important to consider.”

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An NCIDQ accredited designer, Ehron Baskin has 29 years experience in the Interior Design Industry working in all aspects of Interior Design - Contract, Hospitality, Model Homes and Residential. She has 21 years of experience working for the Design Collaborative, Inc. out of San Luis Obispo. When not working on interior design projects throughout San Luis Obispo County, you can find Ehron on hiking trails or at an athletic field watching her two boys play sports.

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Five Ways to

Light an Outdoor Patio Follow these guidelines for illuminating your outside living spaces and landscapes.

By Daniel Mazawa


hen choosing outdoor landscape lighting for a patio, first think how you will use the

patio. Do you want to see an ambient space out your window? Does it need to be easily walkable at night? Will you be holding al fresco dinner parties? Would you like to include an open-air dance floor? Do you want to create a cozy nook for a nightcap around a fire pit? If you have one activity in mind, you can keep the lighting simple with a single switch for all lights. If you want to use the patio space for several activities, you may want options. To diversify how your patio is lit, you can arrange the lighting into different switched zones, creating flexibility in how the space feels at night. Here are five different ways to create unique lighting for your patio.

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1. Provide Functional Light In ancient times, sailors preferred dim light to eat their hard tack in ship galleys so they wouldn’t see what not-so-enticing food. In the 21st century, if you have a dinner table outdoors, you will likely want to see your entire spread, as well as your guests! Downlights, or directional spot lights with bright light, can be mounted on pergolas, walls, or trees to specifically light a table. For these zones, it is important to provide more lumens with higher wattage lamps. If you want to provide illumination for safe walking, you can use path lights elevated on posts to cast broad light over walking surfaces. Stairs and precarious edges of patios are especially important to provide clear, direct lighting. If you are building a new patio, you can put recessed lights in the flatwork and riser lights in steps to provide illumination right where you need it.

37 / Living Lavishly

2. Define the Edges

Lighting the edges of your patio or the adjacent landscape can be for function or for feel. Sometimes it is nice to look out the window and see orderly lighting on the edge of a patio. It will make you feel comfortable by extending your visible perimeter when you hear a spooky sound outside. In addition, you can light objects in the landscape adjacent to the patio such as boulders, art, tree trunks or plants. This makes the patio feel safe and defined even if you aren’t lighting the patio itself. Use path lights or recessed lights to light the edge of paving. Use broad beamed wash lights to illuminate boulders and low plants for low detail textures and colors. Use directional narrow beam up lights or spot lights to focus on art pieces, tree trunks, or specimen plants.

3. Create an Outdoor Room

4. Create Ambiance

It is amazing how a patio can feel open and exposed in the

People often say they want low lighting to create an

day, but warm and cozy at night with proper lighting. Rooms

ambiance in their yard. This is not the light for eating

are intended to be comfortable with walls and ceilings at

your dinner, but it can be stunning in its simplicity. As

proportionate heights. Ancient Greek architecture used the

mentioned before, lighting edges can really create a cozy

golden ratio of 1:1.61; create a comfortable patio space with

feel. You can also extend your visible perimeter to more

a width 1.61 times wider than the perceived ceiling height.

distant features such as trees, plants, art, or even barriers.

As a rule of thumb, you can strategically light things to

Use wide angle wash lights to make secluded shrubs and

make the space feel a bit wider than it is tall. Use whatever

boulders glow. Use directional narrow angle lights to

is around — trees, bushes, walls, pergolas, fences — to

illuminate focal points. For example, a red barked multi

emphasize this feel. Lighting a few select features will

trunk tree can be up lit to create a mesmerizing floating

cause your mind to connect the dots and feel the

warm glow in the distance. You can arrange a line of

geometry of a room you have created.

lights on an isolated or remote hedge or wall to define a

Trees are great for this use because you can light the trunk to create a wall and feather the light into the canopy to define the ceiling at the right height. Built structures like pergolas are nice because they can be customized and can provide opportunities to up light, down light, or create wall or ceiling light patterns.

38 / Living Lavishly

wider perimeter of visual space to feel more secure in a brighter lit patio. Moonlights, or hanging pendant lights, can be set high in trees and create a whimsical moonlit forest feel. These are even more stunning if set over a branch to create a shadow pattern on the ground.

Keep in mind that the color of things you light will permeate into the ambient light in a space. You can focus on greens and cool tones to create a calm space. You can focus on reds and warm colors to create a warmer, cozier light. You can also choose warmer or cooler tone lamps/bulbs by using the kelvin rating (A low rating of 2700k is yellow and warm, and a high rating of 4100k is bright white). And don’t forget the ever-popular bistro lights. These typically low wattage bulbs dangle from strings stretched overhead to provide full area illumination. Bistro lights can be great for a party area because they light the entire zone with semi-dim light. Like a dim bar experience, you may not be able to see your food perfectly, but it is a very nice ambiance for a dance floor or casual hangout. When arranging string lights, consider the density of bulbs for even lighting. Also keep in mind that you would like these strings to look okay during the day, so create intentional patterns and avoid tangled webs. Use built structures, poles, or trees to secure them at a comfortable height.


Madrone Landscapes, Inc. 8045 Morro Road Atascadero, CA 93422



landscapes for the central coast since 1977

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5. Display Artistic Patterns

These days there are incredible fixtures you can use to create patterns on the ground, walls, and ceilings. When you are creating defined patterns for a contemporary look, it is important to map them out with a measuring tape. You are usually working with fans of light over a flat surface. In some cases, you are illuminating things that were already installed in an orderly fashion like equally spaced trees or wooden posts. You can use recessed lights in patio flatwork to shoot low fans of light from a central can fixture. Often these have 2, 3, or 4 radiating fans of light that can create a geometric pattern on a ground plane. You can use sconce lights on walls or wall columns to create downward or upward fans of light, equally spaced. Some sconces have both up and down light to create an hourglass light pattern. When lighting existing trees or built structures that are already equally spaced, use directional spot lights to create a uniform rhythm. For example, fences usually have equal spaced posts and panels which can be lit by narrow or wide angle up lights, respectively. As you can see, these five techniques are not mutually exclusive. By using one, two, or several, you can really make your outdoor areas come alive at night. Choose what works best for you and your space, and light it up!

Daniel Mazawa is the General Manager of Madrone Landscapes and a Cal Poly Landscape Architecture alumnus. For over 12 years, Daniel has been designing, building, and overseeing operations at Madrone Landscapes in Atascadero. When Daniel isn’t at work, he may be gardening, cooking, surfing, or otherwise enjoying the Central Coast lifestyle. For more information, visit or call (805) 466-6263.

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DO MORE THAN SOFTEN. FILTER YOUR WATER. The unfiltered truth about water softeners.

Did you know there may be chlorine, chloramines and organic contaminants in your water? This is why choosing a water system that filters your water is essential for your home and well-being.

• Solves Hard Water Problems • Whole House Water Filter • No Maintenance, No Salt

Water softeners typically come to mind when you think of water treatment. However, it’s a hidden secret that they don’t actually filter your water. Softeners add salt and replace healthy minerals with sodium ions. The result is salty, undrinkable water full of chlorine. A reverse osmosis (R.O.) system can be added to remove salt but R.O. systems waste 4 gallons of water for every gallon made. Considering water softeners also come with the additional cost and maintenance of buying salt and changing filters, it’s baffling why anyone would use this outdated technology. A salt-free water filtration system transforms your home into a clean water oasis. Enjoy great tasting water from every faucet. Filter out harsh chemicals for softer skin and hair. Taste and feel the difference filtered water makes with every sip, meal, shower and load of laundry. Say goodbye to the hassle of water softeners, bottled water and reverse osmosis units with one simple solution. A salt-free LifeSource Whole House Water System, is maintenance free and extends the lifespan of your pipes and appliances by preventing hard water scale buildup. Live life with great tasting, high quality water from every tap.


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Landscape Architecture on the Central Coast The diversity of landscape styles on the Central Coast varies from the ridgelines to the vineyard foothills, through oak woodland, wetlands, and of course, beaches and dunes. To

By Lindsay Corica, ASLA

Photos courtesy of Firma Consultants, Inc.

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bring in landscape architecture means to vivify a space and seamlessly integrate the built environment into the landscape.

The Landscape Design Process Using the local ecology as a guide for design has proven to work every time. When a homeowner desires to improve their exterior space it is recommended to begin by reviewing the existing conditions, topography, climate, views, drainage in addition to other opportunities and constraints of the site, otherwise called Site Analysis. During the initial site investigation, this a great time to begin establishing goals for the outcome of the design; spatial planning and identifying the desired spaces and landscape areas. For example, the priority may be to create an outdoor gathering space, outdoor kitchen, or a garden to provide year round interest! The design process can be broken down into four phases: master planning, design development, construction documentation, and project closeout. These phases are not a linear sequence but overlap and interact in many ways. Depending on whether renovation or new construction is going to occur, coordination amongst the project architect, engineers and landscape architect is critical. The master plan phase through design development provides a comprehensive roadmap to show the optimal function for the outdoor spaces, including but not limited to hardscape and landscape areas. During this phase, design options are considered, to identify alternative concepts and options.

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Bringing a Design to Life After conceptual studies and master planning, the design focus shifts from design, building, and bringing the approved design to life. During construction documentation, the drawings detail the requirements of construction. In many cases, enlarged plans, details, and elevations are created to ensure the involved contractors understand and build the required components as intended. During project closeout and implementation, the landscape architect will inspect the installation to verify the project is consistent with the plans, details, specifications, and goals established throughout all phases. The practice of Landscape Architecture in many ways combines natural, cultural, and social elements to create an environment. The diversity of any environment brings inspiration from urban spaces to more rural and rustic landscapes. Each project — regardless of the size — draws inspiration from the context and program goals (i.e. client desires) in addition to the local ecology to fully develop a landscape.

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As Principal Landscape Architect at Firma Consultants Inc., Lindsay does more than design with plants. With over 13 years of practice experience, her passion is creating spaces that are functional and ecological. To Lindsay, “Living Lavishly” means to appreciate the place you are in with people you care about. For more information visit or call (805) 781-9800.


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Ingredients for a Tasteful Kitchen A comprehensive approach by qualified experts assures a design that best satisfies all your wants and needs; it reduces the risk of having to make costly corrections at a later time. Adding creativity to this process makes your


project totally unique and individualized to express your personal taste. Opening San Luis Kitchen in 1984, owners Lee Anna and Don O’Daniel chose to become kitchen specialists - with great success over the last 35+ years. Now that people are realizing how much time they spend in and around their kitchens, kitchens have become complex enough to warrant the need for a specialist. San Luis Kitchen meets that need. Sarah Day - designer, estimator, office manager and sales contact - has worked for San Luis Kitchen since 1998. Sarah is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumnae (1994) and holds a degree in Landscape Architecture. Her desire was to create interesting spaces for people to be and live. As design principles remain the same for both exterior and interior applications, Sarah has found her niche in kitchen design.



Largest kitchen design showroom in San Luis Obispo since 1984.

46 / Living Lavishly | (805) 541-7117



Complete, Detailed Drawings: Know Exactly What You Are Purchasing

Style, Finish & Color Samples in our Showroom for Your Inspiration

The computer drawing program is an essential tool to help you

At San Luis Kitchen, you are able to experience first-hand the quality of

in the initial design phase: it allows you to look at many design

the various types of cabinet construction - from affordable semi-custom

solutions in “3-D”. This helps you make decisions about what will

price points, through mid-range and high-end custom products. The vast

work best for you in your space. Experts at San Luis Kitchen then

selection includes stained wood finishes, a wide range of paint colors and

do detailed working drawings showing the special features you want

finishes, specialty veneers and exciting new laminates (both textured and

incorporated into your cabinetry.

super-matte). Another great advantage of the showroom is that there are many different special-use cabinets (different types of lazy susans, spice

The Value of Experience Many people do not realize that a kitchen remodel involves as many trades as a whole house - all condensed into a relatively small space and short time frame. Years of experience building custom homes has given us the knowledge for quality control and for the ‘troubleshooting’ required in remodels (and even new homes). Using

storage, recycling centers, pot & pan storage, pantry cabinets, etc) right here where you can touch and try them! You can easily decide which features best suit your needs - a kitchen test-drive!

The Final Result: A Kitchen You Will Enjoy for Years!

San Luis Kitchen’s products and services helps ensure that the end result, your kitchen, is both functional and beautiful: the details are

Kitchens have become important family gathering places - a place

worked out ahead of time and you get to enjoy your new kitchen for

to start your day, have a friendly conversation with a neighbor, get

many years to come!

together with your spouse and talk about how the day went at work, help your kids with homework, and much more. A good design that

No Hidden Charges

is functional and nice looking can minimize stress and enhance the

San Luis Kitchen believes in being up-front about the cost - just ask for a

as your professional kitchen specialists, who can create a pleasant

free estimate to start you out. Then, when you are happy with the ballpark

environment for you and your family, will ensure that your kitchen

price, the design begins. All payments you make toward a design are applied

investment is a lasting one.

quality of the time you spend in your home. Hiring San Luis Kitchen

to the purchase price of the cabinets when you sign our contract to order. Giving people what they want in terms of features, design and quality at the quoted price has generated a long list of references and satisfied customers.

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Reinventing ‘Stay’ Home: Living Room Refresh Written By Mari Robeson Photography By Bryan Kirkpatrick Instagram: @MariRDesign

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e can all remember when our Governor ordered

I love symmetry in design. When we built our home many

a State-wide shut down back in March. At first,

years ago, we knew we wanted the fireplace to make a

many thought it would be for a couple of weeks, but as

statement when you walked into the house so we centered

more information came out it became clear we would

it with flanking French doors. It was very pretty but

be in this for the long haul.

lacked personality and since paint is an inexpensive and fairly temporary way to make a statement, I painted the

Living, teaching, working, and exercising all became ‘At

fireplace black with soft white peonies to have it come to

Home’ activities. Never more than this period in time

life and pull in the blush color of our new sectional. To

have we had to really take a look at the form & function

balance it in the room, I painted the other two walls black

of our homes. More importantly, we now have a real

as well and layered them with art and lighting.

sense of how our homes make us feel. Many flocked to the images of Pinterest on how they

Energize With Art

could make their new home - office - classroom - gym

Art breathes life into our homes. When a room is full of

feel and look good. We’ve all learned that it takes some

art, even children’s art, it creates a cheerful experience

clever thinking to rearrange and space-plan accordingly.

for everyone. It adds a unique element to the space that makes it custom to you and your personality. Our home

Cue the classic ‘carpenter’s daughter’ analogy. Being a

is a laboratory for my products and paintings mixed with

designer with little time or energy left over for my home

other art we enjoy collecting. I jokingly call this my self

projects, now I had no excuse. It helped to participate

Quarantine Painting because it took months to paint. It’s

with hundreds of other interior designers and bloggers

whimsical, colorful, and fun and creates happiness in the

all sharing progress photos and plans on their Instagram

space. Adding art to your home evokes joy and right now

and blogs for this unique, six week challenge. I chose to

we can all use a little more of that. As it seems we will be

make-over my Living Room mainly because my three

in this a little while longer, I hope this inspires you to do

daughters left for college with most of our furniture!

some reinventing and creating of your own!

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Choosing the Perfect Mantel for Your Fireplace How to beautify your home with the warm and versatile nature of cast stone.

The team at California Cast Stone has the largest selection of natural stone, engineered stone, pre-fabs and remnants on the Central Coast and custom creates fireplace mantels, surrounds, kitchen hoods, columns & balustrade systems, exterior cast stone trim and molding, glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) precast concrete and other architectural cast stone. Visit them in downtown Templeton, one block south of the Main Street exit.

2. Consider getting it custom built for your home

3. Find an expert to make it happen

or streamlined and contemporary, every

Consider getting a custom made mantel, as

Experts such as California Cast Stone

style has its own unique characteristics.

it greatly impacts the ambiance of a room.

not only have a large gallery of mantels,

Consider finding a style that speaks to you!

With a unique and original piece, you’ll be

but its experienced team can also create

able to “wow” your guests knowing your

an original piece of your dreams while

mantel was a custom-built piece.

working within your budget.

1. Research your desired style Whether it is elegant and sophisticated


(805) 975-7750

50 / Living Lavishly

Home Inspirations

Presented by the Inspired Expos Written by Maddison Stevens

Your home is your sanctuary. Whether it be enhancing details in the kitchen, creating a relaxing spa space or cleaning up clutter, everyone deserves to have a home that they can unwind and take pride in. The Inspired Expos — a local home improvement resource for Central Coast

residents — presents key tips and tricks to make living spaces unique to each home. For the days spent at home with the family, you deserve to be in a space that makes you



happy. Take a peek at some home inspiration ideas and get inspired to do something new!

Save the Date! SAN LUIS OBISPO

Home & Garden Marketplace May 1 & 2, 2021 September 18 & 19, 2021 PASO ROBLES

Home, Garden & Gourmet Marketplace February 20 & 21, 2021 August 21 & 22, 2021

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Kitchen Backsplash

Trends to Update Your Space By Maddison Stevens

When it comes to renovating your kitchen, the design is all in the details! After picking your favorite cabinets and countertops, the backsplash you choose ties everything together and makes the room uniquely yours. Whether your personal aesthetic is modern, traditional, or bright and bold, there is a backsplash out there for you. Below, we look at four backsplash design trends that will turn your kitchen into the perfect space.

1. Patterns

2. Mirrored & Metallic

If you’re looking for a backsplash that will turn heads in

Mirrors are having a moment everywhere around the

addition to adding a personalized touch to your home, try

house - adding them to the kitchen is something worth

adding a pattern to your kitchen backsplash. Some that we

considering. Adding mirrors to your kitchen backsplash is

love include chevron, herringbone, Moroccan fish scale,

something overlooked, but this can add more light, space,

and laser-cut tile among many others. Since these patterns

and style to any kitchen. Antique mirrors, diagonally-cut

can look busy, it is best to pair this type of backsplash with

mirrors, and smoked glass mirrors are some of the many

plain countertops, cabinets, and simple light fixtures to

different styles you can add. If you don’t think mirrors fit

make your space look less cluttered.

your style then adding a metal backsplash is a great alternative that still gives the benefits of glass to your space.

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A kitchen backsplash has the ability to completely elevate your kitchen and tie everything together. With so many options, take some time to step back and look at your kitchen as a whole to determine the best style for your home.

3. Stone Backsplashes

4. Glass Tile

If you want a signature backsplash that is also neutral and

Glass tile is a timeless look with endless options. Adding glass

classic, a stone backsplash is a trend that will be around

to your backsplash is a great way to add color, pattern, and

for a long time. With so many options such as Limestone,

personality to your kitchen. Glass tile comes in a range of

Slate, and Travertine there are many options for any kitchen

shapes from rectangular subway tiles to mosaic and penny

space. A great way to incorporate stone into your kitchen is

styles, allowing you to complete your perfect kitchen made

with a stacked stone backsplash. This can help to complete

just for you. Colors we think you should try is beautiful

any look ranging from luxury to rugged so it is sure to fit

greens and blues. These colors can add a subtle pop of

perfectly in your space.

color or they can be the focal point of your kitchen. Not to mention they go with almost any material you may already have in your kitchen!

53 / Living Lavishly

The Hot Tub

Buyer’s Guide By Maddison Stevens

There is a lot to consider when buying a hot tub. From where to put the hot tub to what add-ons are best for you, it can start to become overwhelming when searching for the best. To make your choice more simple, follow this guide to find all the information you need before your big purchase!

Get familiar with your codes and permits Before purchasing a hot tub, check your state and municipality for applicable plumbing, electrical and building codes. If you live in a community with a homeowners association, find out if they permit hot tubs. Some communities might prohibit them. Also, many states and municipalities have residential codes that require fences or other safety barriers around the hot tub to restrict access and help prevent accidents.

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Scope out an ideal location Hot tubs can be placed in numerous places indoors or outdoors such as a patio, porch, or deck. Since most hot tubs are between six and eight feet in length, it’s important to measure the area you want to place the hot tub beforehand. You should also check for how much surrounding space you might need to accommodate a cover, steps, or equipment. Some more things to consider when finding a place for your hot tub include: • Flat, level, and solid surface • Accessible power and water • Adequate drainage

Choose your voltage and material When it comes to hot tubs there are two options for voltage - 110v or 220v. Both bring different benefits depending on your needs and budget. • 110 Volt: This is a standard outlet that your home already has. 110-volt plugs These hot tubs tend to be more budget friendly but it will take longer to heat up the hot tub and to circulate the water. • 220 Volt: Installing a 220-volt plug will save you time heating up your water and it will be easier to maintain the water temperature when the cover is off. The downside is that you will need to hire an electrician to hardwire your spa which can increase the overall cost of your hot tub.

55 / Living Lavishly

Also, an important decision when choosing a hot tub is choosing the right material for your needs. The spa shell not only determines the look of the hot tub, but also its

Pinpoint your features and budget

cost, insulation, and strength. • Acrylic: Acrylic is the most common spa shell material because it is beautiful, durable, and versatile. Since molds form it into contoured shapes this material makes for comfortable, form-fitting seating in a range of sizes.

Make sure to buy a spa with the right jets for your needs. Smaller jets provide a targeted massage to relieve pressure points, and bigger jets relieve larger muscles while giving a deep tissue massage. To maximize your hot tub experience, there are additional components that add to your

• Resin Unicast: Molded resin jacuzzis are built with the

enjoyment. If you want your hot tub to stand out or have

shell and cabinet as one piece. This creates a strong, durable

a more personalized touch, consider purchasing a hot tub

spa similar to an acrylic hot tub. The difference resin spas

with a stereo, speakers, Bluetooth technology, waterfalls,

have fewer jets and a lower price.

lights, pillows, or cup holders. Try to see if any of these

• Vinyl: Vinyl hot tubs are a low-cost option with very few

stylish features fit into your budget!

features. There are two types of vinyl spas: the cheap

When it comes to budget, hot tubs may cost slightly different

inflatable hot tub and the more expensive soft-sided spa.

depending on where you live, but you can generally expect hot tubs to fall into these four tiers: • Luxury Tier: $13,000 to $18,000 Fully-featured, high-quality, and efficient.

Start your search for care with us!

• High Tier: $9,000 to $12,000 Very well-built and therapeutic but generally offer fewer features than the top models. • Mid Tier: $5,000 to $8,000 Reliable and comfortable but don’t offer the best therapy options. • Low-End Tier: $2,000 to $4,000 Cheaply made and not expected to last many years.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA

Now that you know the strategies, questions to ask, and have analyzed your overall budget, the next step is to find the hot tub that is just right for you!

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Playroom Storage

Ideas to Help Hide Clutter By Maddison Stevens For all the parents with kids at home more than usual, it’s time to take back the house with some storage tips to hide clutter, especially if you have a playroom! No matter what room you use for playtime, having toys littering the floor can be a cause of stress for any family. With these organization ideas, you can successfully have an organized home that is also great for playing! These creative tips will simplify the task of cleaning up and keep the toys organized when playtime is over.

A Nook for Books

Wardrobe Storage

Jar Storage

Creating a place specifically for

Instead of having all of your kids’

If you have a lot of tiny items lying

books and reading is a simple way to

dress-up clothes balled up on the floor

around try putting them in jars. To

make a room look more organized

try renovating a simple bookcase into

elevate this look you can organize

and a natural way to decorate a

a wardrobe to hold everything from

items by color or type of toy. We

room. To minimize clutter try adding

princess dresses to space cowboy

love putting craft items together

floating bookshelves or a book bin!

clothes. Start by taking out the

like playdough, paintbrushes, and

These allow kids to still see and

shelves from a bookcase and then

other miscellaneous items that can

access books easily while also

add in a dowel to hold the clothes.

be lost easily.

creating an organized look that is

You can add a personal touch by

inviting and creative.

adding fun paint colors, contact paper, and even your kid’s name!

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Peg Wall Catchall

Lego Toy Storage

Craft Caddy

Not sure what to do with items that

A great room organizer idea to solve

The craft table is a common area

don’t seem to have an allotted home?

the ever frustrating task of organizing

that can become messy quickly!

Try creating a peg wall to hold all of

Legos is to store them in an under bed

Make room on your table by making

those random toys you don’t know

storage cart or in color-coordinated

a craft caddy. This can be easily

where to put other than on the floor.

jars or bins. Adding an under bed

moved and stored when you need

This type of home storage is great to

storage cart is perfect to maintain

to use the table for other activities

add more vertical storage to a room

accessibility while still making clean

or left on the table to bring

which will make it feel less cluttered

up simple. Either of these options

youthfulness to the room.

and more approachable.

help make the overwhelming clutter disappear almost on its own.

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How it’s Made:

Custom Fireplace Mantels Custom-made fireplace mantels can add personality, originality, and sentimental value to any home.

Presented by California Cast Stone

Ryan Packer is a proud Central Coast resident and owner of California Cast Stone, a one-stop shop for all stonecast wishes and desires. Custom built pieces are California Cast Stone’s specialty. “I enjoy creating new pieces,” said Packer. “It’s neat being able to bring a client’s unique vision to life.” Typically, custom made mantel projects begin with a curious customer scouting out different design styles and options in a photo book. Every customer desires different dimensions, designs and trims, but Packer says every custom project is always a fun process to go through. “We start from scratch and put the necessary components together,” he said. “We sand it to get it just the way they want it, so we can create the model. After that, the original mold is created which is then released.”

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With over 20 years of experience in the field, Packer mentions he’s created a wide range of mantel designs: French Contemporary, traditional, modern, and everything in between. He mentions some of his most memorable projects, such as a mantel that was custom made into a Veteran memorial, etched with names and embedded with copper medallions. Another project included a repurposed walnut tree that fell in a customer’s backyard. His team was able to embed a piece of the lumber into her mantel, since the tree had sentimental value for the customer. As a Central Coast resident himself, Packer says creating original pieces for other local residents and building their visions from scratch means a lot to him. “The sense of community and being able to raise my kids here is my favorite part about working and living in the Central Coast,” he said.

Family Owned & Operated Since 1971

The Cleanest, Purest Water in your Home & Business

Residential & Commercial Call for a FREE Estimate & Personalized Water Consultation 147 Brisco Rd · Arroyo Grande 61· 805-489-4052 / Living Lavishly

Design Trends: Tips to Make “Work from Home” More Productive & Enjoyable By Mari Robeson

Written & Illustrated By Mari Robeson Who could have ever predicted the events of this year? Here we are learning new ways of communicating and doing business. For many, this includes finding a space at home to carve out a place to work. Setting aside even half a day dedicated to creating an enjoyable work space will be well worth the benefits for the months to come.

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Designate a Space

A Place For Everything

This perhaps, is the biggest challenge: finding the right

It’s helpful to start with a blank slate when designing a

space. It’s ideal if you have a room where you can close

room. Once you’ve selected the winning space for your

the door but for many it may end up that the kitchen

office, clear everything out of it. This is also a great time

table is now corporate headquarters. However, is there

to throw away or donate items you no longer need. Now

a space, even a closet, that can be reinvented to fit your

you can see the space with fresh eyes. Put back your main

desk, a good chair and your laptop? It pays to take the

pieces like your desk and chair. Next you’ll want to create

time to really think this through and look at all the

storage for items you need but don’t necessarily want to

options. If at all possible try not to work from your

see. Look around your home for unique ways to store

bedroom. At some point there needs to be a separation

your essentials; baskets, trays, even pottery, make pretty

from your work and home life, so keep your bedroom

and functional storage. If space is limited, think vertically.

sacred and off limits to work.

Floating shelves can add an extra place to store supplies. Once everything has a place fill in with things that make

Great Lighting

you feel good like plants, photos, candles, and flowers.

You probably never thought you would be seen so much

What’s Behind You?

through the camera lens but here we are in the age of video conferencing and FaceTime. To look your best on

Sounds odd, but we’ve all experienced what it’s like to be

these calls position yourself in front of natural light. This

on a video call and see the space of the person you are

is the most flattering but if you don’t have a window by

working with. Understandably we are working from our

your computer you may want to consider investing in a

homes but taking the time to check what’s in your back-

ring light. This type of light has been used by YouTubers

ground is important. Your home office set-up can send a

for a while when creating video content. If you are on a

subliminal message to the other party if this is someone

phone position it above your face instead of below for the

I want to do business with. At the bare minimum, it’s a

most flattering view. Last of all, when speaking, look at

good idea to at least clear any clutter behind you.

the camera and not at yourself. This way it will feel as if you are talking directly to the other person.

Movement & Self Care

Art & Inspiration

It’s one thing to make a choice to work at home. It’s an

Just because it’s an ‘office’ doesn’t mean it has to be void

gives you some anxiety, you are not alone. Self care

of creativity. Art evokes imagination and brings an

couldn’t be more important during this time in history.

element of joy to any space. It’s a great way to show your

It’s helpful to set office hours and if you do have a room

personality and there are many local artists who would

where you work, shut the door at the end of the work day

appreciate your support. Color has a powerful effect on

just as if you left your office. Throughout the day it’s a

our mood and concentration so you may even consider

good idea to take breaks, stretch and go for a walk outside.

painting your home office or you can add color with art

Nature operates at the highest vibration and is a quick

and plants, if painting is not an option. You might even

way to hit the reset button on a stressful day. Breathe in

want to try one of the new peel-and-stick wallpapers for

some fresh air and soak up some sunshine. With the right

a pop of graphic energy on one wall.

balance you may even enjoy working from home!

entirely different feeling to be told you have to. If that

63 / Living Lavishly


Fire pits, outdoor kitchens | Dry river beds, water features | Plants, stone work, woodwork “We create an environment for you to enjoy that is low in maintenance, yet stimulates the senses of sight, scent, touch and sound.” — Jared Silveira

(805) 610-8672 64 / Living Lavishly

Local Helping Local

At the onset of the global pandemic, the Central Coast along with the rest of the world - took a turn towards the unexpected. Our local businesses got creative in the way they serve their customers, but also looked at ways they could give back. Local advocates turned to their platforms, steering our conversations towards social change and speaking up for the underserved. The Central Coast is held together by those who go above and beyond to enact passionate change in our community. It’s held together by the acts of kindness and generosity that we extend to our neighbors, our friends, and those around us. “Local helping local” is more than a phrase; it’s about extending a hand to those in need, having empathy in times of struggle, and making a change when the world needs it most. The stories you are about to read are examples of ways local residents banded together and how their acts of humility will forever be weaved into the fabric of our community. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” - Mr. Rogers

Madeline Minas Executive Editor

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Changing the Game: Women in Wine 66 / Living Lavishly

Two wine professionals spark momentum in the wine industry, redefine its culture, and challenge the notion of what it means to be a “woman in wine.”

By Madeline Minas Photos by Eric Deshawn Lerma

The Central Coast is arguably known to produce some of the world’s finest wines, curated by experts who have mastered their craft in winemaking. This region — home to a bounty of wineries and vineyards perched upon rolling hills — is tended to by people whose passions start at the roots of the vine, bottling wine, and all the experiences in between. The Central Coast’s extensive wine network brought together Justin Trabue, Assistant Winemaker of Lumen Wines, and Simonne Mitchelson, General Manager of Zodovich Vineyards. These two young professionals are not only constructing their craft and career in wine, but are hoping to expand this network towards a more inclusive future. Their sole mission: to diversify representation and inclusion within the wine industry, especially for the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) within it. To achieve this goal, they hope to garner support from current influential voices in the wine industry, along with the help from their allies.

Simonne Mitchelson (left) and Justin Trabue (right) aim to expand their influence in the wine industry by uplifting the voices and work of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.

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Redefining the Industry

calls-to-action for members of the wine community to reflect on the powerful change they can bring to its existing structure.

Nearly 3,700 wineries exist in California, however, only approximately four percent of these wineries are female-owned. However, to Trabue and Mitchelson’s surprise, there isn’t a statistic on how many BIPOC females are included in that number. “The BIPOC community is often overlooked in the wine industry,” said Mitchelson. “So, when I met Justin, we immediately knew we wanted to bring this issue to light.”

“We are both truly passionate about wine and its power of cultural connection,” read the letter. “But due to recent events and events we have seen throughout history, we must now speak up about the lack of representation that plagues this industry and so many others.” The letter mentions how Trabue holds local non-profit R.A.C.E. Matters SLO near to her heart. As a Washington, D.C. native, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture

So, Trabue and Mitchelson did just that: they wrote an

graduate, and local wine professional, she mentions,

open letter to the entirety of California’s Central Coast’s

“R.A.C.E Matters SLO gave me the opportunity to share

wine community.

my voice earlier this could I be silent now?”

This letter shared Trabue and Mitchelson’s outrage,

Simonne, a South African immigrant who pursued her

passion, hopes, visions, dreams, and outlined specific

career in wine on the Central Coast, mentioned how

68 / Living Lavishly

“isolated [she] felt living in the Central Coast.” She continued the letter saying,

R.A.C.E. Matters SLO showed me that I am seen, I am heard, and I have a community here.

R.A.C.E. Matters SLO is a non-profit that aims to “fulfill the lived experiences of Black and other People of Color by offering workshops, special events, culture projects, and rapid response to

racial and social injustice,” according to its website. In Trabue and Mitchelson’s open letter, donations to this small non-profit organization were encouraged as a way to directly impact the local community. “We started with a goal of $5,000,” said Mitchelson. “By the time we closed the fundraiser, we reached $14,500.” The response to their letter was immediate; they garnered full support from organizations such as the Women in Wine Central Coast group and received questions from people on what else they could do to help. “The outpouring of support was so great to see,” said Trabue. “But the work doesn’t stop there. We knew we had to continue showing up. Our allies need to continue to show up.”

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Keeping the Momentum

“Before the fundraiser, even $1,400 would have been a big deal. We were pinching pennies,” said Haile. “Now, our program is more sustainable. We can organize more events like

What started as an initial letter to gain donations

‘BELONGING’ and social events through our social branch,

eventually inspired them to keep the momentum going.

NoireSLO, where the local Black community can connect.”

Both Trabue and Michelson made it an ongoing goal to

Haile mentioned her excitement in continuing her work with

organize internship opportunities, fund scholarships,

Mitchelson and Trabue, in hopes to bridge a connection

establish programs, and assist with education for minorities.

between the non-profit and the local wine industry.

On top of building these foundations for change, both hope to spark challenging conversations within the

How to Help

Central Coast’s wine industry. “There needs to not only be more research on the racial disparity in the industry, but the conversations need to happen too,” said Michelson. “I want wineries to look at the culture of their environment and check if they’re inclusive and welcoming to BIPOC.” Courtney Haile, co-founder of R.A.C.E. Matters SLO, said that because of the fundraiser, the non-profit organization

After their letter was launched, one of the main questions that they received was “how can we help?” and more specifically, how can people help in ways that matter. On top of supporting local, non-profit organizations, the duo recommends:

is able to establish more programs, arts and cultural

· Donating to R.A.C.E. Matters SLO

projects, and activism programs for the youth.

· Supporting local, Black-owned businesses

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· Being self-aware of your values · Understanding the impact you have on the people around you · Having conversations focusing on challenging topics, including racial injustice “Influence on others all starts in your circle,” said Mitchelson. “How you think and how you act will always affect the people around you.”

To learn more about R.A.C.E. Matters SLO, visit To see more of Justin Trabue and Simonne Mitchelson’s work, visit their Instagram at @jmedici320 and @simonneandsoforth.

71 / Living Lavishly

Going the Extra Mile: Delivery to Your Door By Molly O’Brien

“I’m alive, I’m awake, and I feel great!” This is Wighton’s Heating and Air Conditioning’s motto — which the team begins every meeting by chanting to reaffirm the company’s uplifting values. Wighton’s has been a part of the San Luis Obispo County community for over 60 years. The company treats employees and community members as if they’re family, which is why it’s no surprise “Head Coach” and Owner Ric

one technician even stopped at a craft store to grab an awaiting order of yarn. This won’t stop once national pandemic restrictions relax — Wighton’s plans to continue this service indefinitely for the future.

Schorer and his team have been going above and beyond

Ric stresses that when someone speaks about the

the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) services

company they’re never talking about hardware installation

they traditionally offer to provide clients extra support

— they’re talking about the character of the person that

during the pandemic.

represents the company who visited their home.

In the past, Wighton’s employees were recognized for

Ric says that his favorite part of his job is “participating

taking out elderly clients’ trash, or replacing every light

in his employees’ success” and that he aims to better the

bulb in the house for the clients who can’t reach. “It’s little

lives of his employees and the San Luis Obispo community.

things like that which make me proud of my employees,”

In fact, during the interview for this article, Ric actually

said Schorer.

stopped answering a question mid-sentence to hand over

During the pandemic and shelter-at-home orders, this element of extra service translated to a different kind of

cookies to two of his installers who came by his office on the way back from one of their appointments.

offering: grabbing curbside pickup orders for customers

Wighton’s offers service that isn’t just limited to HVAC

from various stores around San Luis Obispo en route

technician appointments — the human element of their

to scheduled service appointments. The pickups can be

visits translates to five star services delivered by a five

anything from groceries, to essential supplies and hardware;

star team, led by a five star leader.

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Wighton’s lives up to their mission of “growing business by being nice.” Need an HVAC service and someone to pick up your yarn on the way over? Wighton’s does it all — all while making members of the San Luis Obispo County community “feel great.”

Molly O’Brien is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumna who is currently based in Los Angeles working as a freelance writer, with a professional background working in travel and hospitality media relations. She spends her free time enjoying the outdoors in the California sunshine, discovering cozy new coffee shops, or enjoying a cocktail somewhere with a view. Email Molly at, visit her website at, or follow her on Instagram at @metropolitanmolly.

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From Sustainable Womenswear to Face Masks Nina Gonzalez, Wild Moon Collection

By Charlotte Ross Photos by Nathan Moya & Nina Gonzalez

For the past few months, clothing designer, Nina Gonzalez, has been sitting behind a sewing machine in her small Los Osos studio, creating face masks in the moonlight. For fourteen hours a day, six days a week – mostly in the late afternoon through nighttime – this has been her norm. Gonzalez’ career in sustainable fashion began back in 2008, designing and creating handmade, vintage womenswear. And in 2016, she started her own business, Wild Moon Collection. When the pandemic hit, Gonzalez noticed a lot of community members without face masks and thought about ways she could help. She had heard about big fashion companies designing and selling face masks and some of her friends asked if she would make that her “new hustle” as well. “I wanted to help out the community and give back to the people around me,” Gonzalez says. “The people who bag my groceries, the people who send out my mail or serve me at restaurants.”

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Within one week, after testing and altering different designs, Gonzalez created the face mask she now sells online at Wild Moon Collection – it includes four different cut fabric pieces and a pocket for a filter, with material community members have donated. Once she had the design finalized, Gonzalez took photographs for her website and put the masks up for pre-order. Just overnight the business took off with 200 mask orders and the designer had to transition her focus from designing clothing to sewing masks. She says she has probably made close to 1,000 masks in total but stopped counting after 800. For each mask purchase, Gonzalez donates to a local business, usually somewhere she knows the owner or a staff member. There is no real method to the madness she says, but she keeps a tally on her whiteboard of who is next to ship out to or donate to. So far, she has donated to local restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and outdoor hardware stores all around SLO County.

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To keep things sanitary, Gonzalez works alone on the

Customers have sent photographs in their masks or

preorder masks in Los Osos, while her mom helps

shared personal stories with the designer that brought

sew the donation masks at her home in Cayucos. The

tears to her eyes. “I feel like I did so little,” she says, “but

mother and daughter communicate through a video

people tell me how they [now] feel good about going

chat app called Marco Polo rather than working side-

out or being safe. The purpose of all this is not to make

by-side, to limit interaction. “But I am just one person,”

a fortune. It is just really to help our community and

Gonzalez has to remind her customers. Although she

provide masks for however many people I can.”

has the help of her mother for donations, she handles the website, emails, and direct messages alone.

To learn more about Wild Moon Collection, visit the online store at

Gonzalez works long, hard hours throughout the night, but her face masks have created a large community. “It is pretty bizarre and chaotic to say, okay, this is my new

Charlotte Ross is a Central Coast local and a Cal Poly

thing now,” Gonzalez says. But through this journey,

graduate. She recently earned her Bachelor of Science Degree

she has created several connections with strangers and

in Journalism with dual minors in Spanish and Wildlife

old friends. Even classmates all the way back from high

Conservation Biology. She enjoys writing, traveling, and

school, over 10 years ago, have contacted her for masks,

connecting with nature, as well as exploring the outdoors.

as well as some of her guy friends who were never able

You can check out more of her work at simplybecause.home.

to purchase from her clothing line before.

blog or connect with her on LinkedIn.



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Paving the Way:

A Better Life for Local Foster Children CASA of SLO County extends their support to better the lives of local foster children.

By Molly O’Brien

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ASA of San Luis Obispo is a nonprofit that has been

who advocate for this vulnerable population with the goal

a part of the SLO community for over 25 years. The

of ensuring each and every child grows up in a safe,

organization recruits, trains, and supports community volunteers to serve as advocates for children who have experienced abuse or neglect in San Luis Obispo County from San Miguel to Nipomo of every ethnicity, culture, and age range from 0 to 21.

nurturing, and permanent home. However, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization had to quickly pivot fundraising event efforts. Events and Development Coordinator Jenae Walters described the process of organizing and reshaping the structure of these

CASA stands for “Court Appointed Special Advocate” - an adult volunteer that oversees at least one child by spending one-on-one time with them to assure their needs are met. CASA SLO has continued to accept applications, train and swear in newly trained advocates even during the pandemic - because there are always children in need.

fundraising events. The first event, an April online auction, became open to the public for the first time in CASA SLO history - instead of acting as a ticketed, in-person event. Janae said that CASA SLO had to rework the entire marketing strategy to reach a greater audience of people online as opposed to

On average, it costs about $3,000 to support each foster

the traditional marketing outreach methods they previously

child; most of these funds rely on community fundraisers,

used such as sending handwritten invitations and in-person

organized by CASA board members and staff. With this

tabling promotions.

money, CASA is able to recruit, train, and supervise volunteers

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CASA SLO also had to readjust the expectations as to what they could set for monetary goals to raise from an online auction as opposed to an in-person event - which would feature interactive entertainment, speakers, a lively auctioneer, and a social auction event experience. It’s challenging to predict what the rest of the year is going to look like, but important to recognize what’s important: supporting the children who still need CASAs. “How do we delicately still reach our supporters? Because we haven’t stopped. CASA hasn’t stopped. Child protective court hasn’t stopped.” Janae said. “The kids still need us, and that’s what’s most important.” Having done the online auction successfully, CASA SLO now knows that virtual and interactive events are something they can move forward with in the future. They’ll continue


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to improve the success and experience for all attendees

saw it on social media, or a friend told them, now they all

for future event production, while remaining mindful of

want to be involved and hear what’s going on with CASA.

what local businesses might be able to contribute for

This expands our donor database and gets awareness

donations, in these unprecedented times.

about CASA - which is just as important as raising funds

“We’re trying to be really creative in the way that we do

for us.” Janae exclaimed.

these fundraising events.” Janae said. At the online auction,

The updated bidding method was extremely successful

attendees can bid on items that they’re interested in, online

for expanding the future reach of auction attendees and

from any device, anywhere at any time over the course of

the SLO CASA community, as the online auction was for

a two week period as it’s convenient for them - compared

the first time open to anybody anywhere - including those

to in the past where there was one single night of bidding

who might not have been able to attend an in-person

in-person for just a few hours.

event in SLO. The Fall fundraising event will now be set up

“It just warmed my heart because there were quite a few winners who came by to pick up their items, and they had never participated in anything with CASA but because they

to become more successful than ever, thanks to the hard work of everyone at CASA SLO to contribute toward a better life for local foster children.

81 / Living Lavishly

Community Passion Moved to Action Camay Arad from Chameleon Style

By Charlotte Ross For the past 23 years, Camay Arad, owner of Chameleon Style, has been surrounded by different colors and styles of fabric – which in the past few months, has been useful for creating hundreds of face masks. Back in 1996, Arad debuted her slip covered furniture design – tightly fit and made to look like upholstered furniture – at a street booth in the Arroyo Grande Village Strawberry Festival. Then a year later on Valentines Day 1997, she opened her store, Chameleon Style, where the products are now manufactured. “It’s a very local, community-minded business,” she says, and yet, customers have their choice of pretty much every fabric in the world. When they grow tired of their home’s color scheme or want to wash their furniture, it is as simple as taking a pillow case off of a pillow and throwing it in the wash or buying new fabric. Chameleon Style has relocated to different buildings around the Arroyo Grande Village, but the interior of the store maintains unique with its colorful fabrics – the business is all about changeability and finding one’s true colors over time, Arad says. There is a workroom in the back for creating products and custom sewing, which allowed the business to be considered an essential manufacturer when stores shut down amidst the pandemic. Arad began offering Chameleon Style’s products online and sewing masks for the community when COVID-19 hit the Central Coast. “There was a lot of overwhelming support from customers,” she says, “which doesn’t pay the bills, but really encouraged us to carry on and look for solutions.” She received weekly calls from customers offering to buy more furniture or pay for upholstery projects just to keep the store open.

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Back during the paradise fire in Northern California, Arad and volunteers from the Pismo Beach Sewing Cafe used discontinued fabric samples to sew over 847 Christmas stockings filled with gift cards for fire victims. “It gives me chills,” she says, “because I now have some of those fire victims as customers.” But because of that experience, she knew she would be able to use her fabrics to help with the pandemic in some way. She and the employees of Chameleon Style gathered their lighter weight fabrics, geared up, and began sewing in the workroom to provide the local community and customers who enter the store with free face masks (they do accept donations). “We have done what we need to do to stay open,” Arad says, “and I feel very strongly that a mask is not a political thing and that for all of us to stay open and keep businesses rolling, we all need to wear masks, wash our hands, and social distance so we can combat this thing.” Aside from providing masks to her customers, Arad has donated over 100 yards of cotton fabric to a sewing group at the Arroyo Grande hospital and arranged a fabric giveaway for community members. She says she wants to minimize contact as much as possible, so the donations will allow that. She is also willing to donate fabric to other community members looking to create their own face masks for different organizations or their own family members. Arad, 70 years old, and her husband, 85 years old, are in the “at-risk” age range. They require customers to wear face masks in Chameleon Style for the safety of themselves and their community. There has been some resistance from customers, but for the most part everyone has been cooperative. “ I am going to keep on making masks until we absolutely do not have to wear them anymore,” Arad says, “I have got a lot of passionate years ahead of me.”


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Living Free on the Central Coast Mike Nelson seeks out second chances for youth offenders in the Central Coast’s prison system by building mentorship programs geared towards bringing them fulfilled lives.

By Judy Salamacha

Photo by Jon Pearson

85 / Living Lavishly

Sunday, June 7, 2020, Mike Nelson celebrated his second

However, long before bonding with Eddie, Nelson “…went

year free from prison. The 36-year-old had earned parole

on survival mode,” including taking advantage of self-help

after serving 20.5-years of a life sentence. His parole was

and college level classes offered while at San Quentin.

to begin June 6, but he chose to stay another day to give up

“The most important thing I did to prepare myself for the

Eddie, the puppy he trained most days and nights for two

possibility of parole was to really do the introspective work

years to become a service-dog for former San Luis Obispo

that allowed me to have a deeper awareness of myself –

policeman Greg Gallo, who lives with PTSD.

my triggers, thoughts, beliefs and values.”

“Working with Eddie I learned some valuable lessons for

Once paroled, he explored career opportunities in San

life outside,” said Nelson. “He is a big part of why I felt

Francisco and the Central Coast, including developing his

drawn to move to the Central Coast. Eddie prepared me to

current dog training service. His “gut” keeps leading him

listen to my gut and follow what I know to feel true.” The

back to his work with humans – coaching youth offenders

experience also introduced Nelson to brothers inside and

like himself to “…live life with accountability and commit-

supportive friends outside.

ment.” He ultimately hopes to reach out to troubled youth

“The quality of my life today is due to the relationships I have formed - many as a result of my experience with Eddie,” he said.

heading towards outcomes Nelson knows all too well. “I don’t have all the answers, but I can help them discover who they are and hope to become.”

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A New Beginning

In 2012, Nelson was one of eight men incarcerated at San

He expanded Kid C.A.T. to CMC and until COVID-19 locked

Quentin, who co-founded Kid (Creating Awareness Together)

out volunteers, he led weekly group sessions and trained

C.A.T., a program that prepares incarcerated individuals

potential new trainers. “Kid C.A.T. is a successful program,

to grow through education, mentorship and restorative

graduating over 400 participants from its self-help class,

practices while they’re in prison, as well as when they

The First Step. We have raised funds for organizations

transition from California Department of Corrections &

that serve youth, sponsored events to create awareness

Rehabilitation. In September 2019, it achieved 501c3 status

about youth issues, and have contributed our voices to

and Nelson assumed the position of Executive Director.

impact dialogue on restoration and healing. I made a

After studying hundreds of programs, they realized their perspective was unique. They lived daily with issues that needed to be discussed yet ignored in other self-help programs.

commitment to my co-founders to see this through. Now that I am paroled, my life has grown, but I’m deeply committed to the men inside.”

87 / Living Lavishly

Finding Community on the Central Coast

Venegas earned his AA in Sociology. “I had done work on myself to become a better human being by the time I joined New Life K9s. Within it, I lived it on a day to day basis.” The training earned him his “first-ever job” as a host at Thousand Hills Pet Resort. Blehm nears finishing his college degree while working

Four Kid C.A.T. team members currently live and work on the Central Coast. Like Nelson, Luis Venegas, Solomon Kim,

at Tractor Supply SLO. “Helping people is something I’m called to do,” said Blehm.

Kristopher Blehm, and Wesley Bird are youth offenders –

Bird is also college trained, but the skill he perfected while

now brothers who lived 12 to over 25 years incarcerated.

inside was his artistic eye for animal portraits. Since 2018

Together they experienced training and graduating New

his art has been displayed at Morro Bay’s Top Dog Coffee Bar.

Life K9 puppies at CMC before parole.

“I have had a huge amount of help – from family, friends,

“Being found suitable (for parole) was the happiest moment for me,” said Kim. “I was a follower. Kid C.A.T. gave me space to be me. New Life K9s allowed me to practice all

co-workers, and complete strangers. I know I will be training dogs and hopefully working hard as a commercial artist.”

that I learned throughout my journey, notably, patience. My

Simple kindnesses and activities became treasured memories

brothers are my family and give me love and support.” He

while on their reentry journeys. “The moments that stand

values his Walmart position while continuing his education

out for me,” said Venegas, “are when my sister visited and

at Cuesta College to become a drug abuse counselor.

showed me how to clean a bathroom properly or when

88 / Living Lavishly

Mike [Nelson] allowed me to use his car to practice driving

There have been disappointments along the way; living in

when I only had my permit.”

San Francisco was not as satisfying for Nelson as he had

On his first day of freedom, Nelson had to see Morro Rock since a New Life K9s weekend puppy parent showed him

hoped. “People seemed disconnected and rushed with very little space to connect with one another.”

pictures of service-dogs-in-training romping near Morro

Both Kim and Venegas planned every detail only to learn

Bay’s restorative anchorage. An In-N-Out Burger was a

protocols often over-ride plans. In prison, Blehm learned

must-try, but now snugged into his own apartment, he

transparency and trust among his brothers, but discovered

“craves childhood favorites – recipes passed down from my

“transparency [outside] is not as appreciated or even

[Japanese] great-grandparents.”

wanted or accepted.” Yet, his Kid C.A.T. training convinced him, “I’m going to succeed...I didn’t get a second chance to

Venegas and Kim wanted to see the “majestic” ocean, but

waste it.”

for Venegas enjoying a family pizza at Woodstock’s came first. Blehm and Bird preferred, “…anywhere away from

“Every day is a reward,” said Nelson, “…every relationship…

prison.” Blehm went shopping with his sister and Nelson.

every conflict…every new experience…every chance to go

Bird needed to see the New Life K9s facility and spend time

back inside prison as a free person. Life is a reward – one I

with Patrick Bietz and Suzanne Maury, owners of Top Dog

do not take for granted today.”

Coffee Bar.

So how did Nelson celebrate freedom on his two-year

Currently working part-time at Top Dog Coffee Bar, Nelson

anniversary? He chose a quiet dinner at Tognazzini’s Dockside

said, “[Pat and Suzanne] have been there for each of us. A

Too – In full view of Morro Rock - sharing fish and chips

strong support network is critical to make it through reentry.”

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Forever Stoked:

Painting a World of Positivity Forever Stoked gives local residents a uniquely artistic immersion into the Central Coast culture.

By Madeline Minas Photos by Bryan Kirkpatrick

With a stroke of a brush and a keen eye for color, Chris Pedersen says that owning Forever Stoked, an art gallery and paint party venue, is more than a business — it’s a positive atmosphere that lends itself to the originality of the Central Coast. Forever Stoked is co-owned by Pedersen and his buddy, Charlie Clingman. After crossing paths off a dusty island in Baja California as teenagers, Pederson and Clingman eventually merged their artistic visions by opening up their own grass roots art collective, Forever Stoked, in 2012. Based out of Morro Bay, Forever Stoked is home to a bounty of original paintings created by Pedersen, Clingman, and other good friends of theirs such as Peter Pierce and Jordan Haughey.

90 / Living Lavishly

91 / Living Lavishly

Inspired by nature and picturesque views of the coast, Pederson says that the artistic vision behind Forever Stoked stemmed from the nineties, as well as his and Clingman’s admiration for the ocean and surfing. “The nineties had a lot of dark, ‘anti-this, anti-that’ moments,” he said. “During that time, I wanted to artistically create something totally opposite from that...something really positive.” So, Pedersen got to making greeting cards. Before sending custom cards to loved ones, he’d sign “Forever Stoked” on the back of each card, not knowing that this simple term would bring forward a vision unique to the Central Coast. At first glance, passing by Forever Stoked off Highway 1 or recognizing their branded stickers on cars would pique anyone’s interest. Nowadays, people of all ages stop by the gallery out of curiosity.

“ 92 / Living Lavishly

This name has evolved into a lifestyle here on the Central Coast,” says Pedersen. “Forever’s a positive feeling. It’s meant to make you feel happy.

The Paint Parties

If you’ve never experienced a time warp, participating in a paint party is a surefire way to experience one. Starting off with mainly primary colors, you’ll learn techniques on blending, adding depth to photos, understanding what kind of brushing techniques work best, and more. At Forever Stoked, it’s more than just a guided painting experience, it’s a full immersion into the culture of the brand. “Time slips by so fast and there’s so much laughter,” said Tina Mitchell, a frequent guest of Forever Stoked’s paint parties. “You really can’t beat a fun time with a little art therapy.” When the pandemic caused business to halt in-person paint parties, Pedersen found creative ways to make this experience go virtual. These virtual parties just require the necessary paint materials and an internet connection to join in on the fun.

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The Gallery Limited edition canvases aren’t the only items that are Dreamy sunsets, rolling hills, and vibrant waves are just a

available at the collective; paper art prints, greeting cards,

few of the visuals that greet you when walking into Forever

apparel, stickers, buttons, patches and more are all on

Stoked. The eclectic variety of paintings on display are

display for visitors to admire. “There’s something in here

rotated throughout the gallery every few months.

for all ages,” said Pederson.

Pedersen’s style can be described as dreamy and

With a positive atmosphere and canvas paintings to match

psychedelic, while Clingman’s artistic vision teeters

it, the culture behind Forever Stoked is a direct reflection

on the edge of vibrancy and urban undertones. A walk

of the laid back, friendly, and unique lifestyle that many

around the gallery ultimately transports you to familiar

Central Coast residents take pride in.

locations reimagined.

With a wide range of art to choose from and the unique

“This place and the art attracts a specific type of person,”

opportunity to paint alongside a local, passionate artist,

said Pederson. “Our culture fits the vibe of the area. Our

visiting Forever Stoked is truly a Central Coast experience

community really embraces it.”

that can’t be missed.

94 / Forever Living Stoked Lavishly Visit off Highway 1 at 11643 Quintana Road in Morro Bay or visit for more information.

exceptional landscape design + build contractors 805.574.0777 95 / Living Lavishly @sagelandscapes

Creating a Perfect Date Night on the Central Coast By Hannah Lique Neitove

96 / Living Lavishly

Photo by Mae Meadows Photography

Photo by Mae Meadows Photography


etween the not-so-sexy mask, kids running around, city shutdowns and no separation between home and work, it is more important than ever to set

aside time with your loved ones. Countless couples have run the gambit when it comes to pandemic entertainment and are finding themselves going completely stir crazy! While trying to creatively combat shelter-in-place monotony and the routines of isolation many couples are asking, “What should we do?” The good news is not all is lost during this unexpected pandemic and especially not here on the beautiful, Central Coast of California! This place is a mecca of love and a magical place to be creative. There are numerous ways to have authentic, one-of-a kind “movie moment” dates to aid in keeping the spark alive in a relationship, even during a pandemic. The key to experiencing the unadulterated magic of Date Night is to make focused, one-on-one time a priority. Schedule it on the calendar and commit. Whether you are currently living on the Central Coast or simply escaping from the city to explore this hidden gem for the first time, here are a few date night ideas to enjoy while either staying in or social distancing with your quaran-team.

97 / Living Lavishly

A Sunset Picnic

With many private and secluded beach locations to sneak away to, this go-to date night is amazing for couples who have limited time but still want something super romantic! A sunset picnic is quick, easy, and fun to put together. For this date, grab some cozy blankets and pillows, pre-order a yummy picnic box from Farm and Harvest and snag a bottle of wine and some luxury chocolates from Sheila Kearns Chocolate & Confections. Make your way to Montana de Oro in Los Osos or South Palisades Park in Pismo Beach, depending on which location sounds more appealing. Spread your blankets and pillows on the sand to define your date night space, setup the snacks, and revel in the breathtaking sunset. Do not forget to stay after the sun goes down to do some star gazing! Photo by Mae Meadows Photography

Off the Grid and Reconnected

Love camping or glamping? This is a place that couples can go to for off-grid rejuvenation and a magical overnight date! The Stone Mountain Retreat in San Luis Obispo is a spiritual, 200-acre parcel of land adorned with bell tents for guests to enjoy. The lack of access to Wi-Fi and cell service allows couples to open their communication, reconnect and ground themselves in their love for each other once again.

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Explore and Let Your Love Be Yours During this pandemic, getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is crucial. Here is a hiking excursion option with a twist! Emma Walters from Let Your Love Be Yours is a personal fairy godmother! Emma will orchestrate all the details when it comes to this date. She will outline a scenic trail to hike on the Central Coast, deliver a backpack with wholesome nutritious snacks and water and put together a journal with questions that she calls “Tree Thoughts.� Along the trail, couples will be prompted to answer the Tree Thought questions to reignite a dialogue in the relationship and encourage memories about their love story. Photo by Jill Hewston Photography

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At Home

set a plan and commit to a time and place. Once those details are set in stone, sit back, relax, and enjoy the overwhelming “wow” of falling in love with your partner all over again.

Sick of the quintessential quarantine date night at home? Consider setting aside time with no distractions to spice it up! Go the extra mile by using materials already within the house to create a surprise romantic setting for your partner. Rearrange the furniture; add candles, flowers and a love note to a pre-set table. These small gestures can aid in the creation of the perfect ambiance for a brunch or dinner date. If this seems a bit overwhelming, hiring an expert date night concierge or planner for the perfect date night at home experience is an option too.

Hannah Lique Naitove owner and founder of Project XO, a date night planning and luxury concierge service in the Central Coast of California. She believes in the motto “Date For Life” where there is always an opportunity to take your loved one on a date to have a romantic, exciting, unique, and memorable experience. When Hannah is not planning and designing exclusive date nights for couples you will find her traveling or tucked away in a cute coffee shop.

The secret to cultivating a perfect date night is all in the

For more information visit, or call

set up. To aid in the creation of magic it is essential to

(603) 313-4015.

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100 / Living Lavishly

Photo by Kacie Jones Photography

Photo by Kacie Jones Photography

steven puglisi architects, inc.

san luis obispo, ca based design firm

| hospitality | commercial | 805.595.1962


101 / Living Lavishly


What Happens When You Shop Local

1. You positively impact your local economy

2. You build a stronger community

3. You support community volunteer involvement

When local residents shop at small

Small businesses are interwoven with other

When you shop locally, you help create jobs

businesses, their tax dollars stay within

local community programs, businesses,

and opportunities for community programs

the community. The result: a healthy,

and non-profits. The result: a stronger

to thrive. The result: a community of

local economy.

community that fosters camaraderie.

passionate, involved individuals.

“I enjoy working with a family-owned

“We love that A.M. Sun Solar is a local

“When I shop local, chances are I work with

and local business because the service is

business and supports local community

one of the employees on the local school

much more personalized. I like supporting

organizations like Jack’s Helping Hand.

board or one of my volunteer groups. It

companies that are making a difference in

Being a part of their business and helping

makes me happy knowing good people in my

my community directly.” - Jason Wedehase

their efforts in the community means a lot

community on a personal and professional

& Family, local residents

to us.” - Paul & Bridget Ready, Founders of

level.” - Bill Pluma, Paso Robles Resident &

Jack’s Helping Hand

Community Service Advocate

“When you choose to support a locally owned and P R E S E N T E D BY

AMSUNSOLAR.COM 102 / Living Lavishly


From humble beginnings in 2001 to becoming the #1 solar energy company in San Luis Obispo County, A.M. Sun Solar continues to operate its company with a simple goal; to design and install the best solar energy solutions for local businesses and families in the community.

4. You help the environment

5. You create more choice for local residents

6. You nurture community

Buying locally conserves energy and

Local businesses tend to sell their

Local business owners know their community

resources. The result: less fuel and

products and services based on what the

and value their employees on a personal level.


members of their community want and

The result: a nurturing community that cares

need. The result: more choices tailored for

about their employees.

“I am a big advocate on going green, especially when it comes to running my

the local marketplace.

“We make an effort to partner with and donate

business. When it came down to getting solar

“As someone who is retired and transitioning

a portion of proceeds to local nonprofits that

from A.M. Sun Solar, I knew it was time to

to a fixed income, A.M. Sun Solar was able to

support our employees. For example, Jack’s

make the change.” - Kevin Kennedy, CEO of

help me eliminate my electric bill and even

Kennedy Club Fitness

helped me in getting a back up battery for my home.” - Darrel Kinkaid, Paso Robles Resident & Sherwood Dog Park Board Member

Helping Hand continually provides support and services to our employees, Adam Scorby and his son, Calin, who was diagnosed in utero with a rare genetic disorder.” - Mark Miller, Co-Founder of A.M. Sun Solar

operated business, you also support your local community.”

PASO ROBLES 410 Sherwood Rd., Paso Robles, CA. 93446 (805) 316-7201

FRESNO 4230 West Swift Ave. Suite 106, Fresno, CA 93722 (559) 315-1164 103 / Living Lavishly

Building a Dinner-Worthy Charcuterie Board char • cu • te • rie

The charcuterie board origin dates back to 1858 and derives

/ shär- kü-t - rē

was used to describe the 15th century’s French meat shops,

from the French words for flesh (chair) and cooked (cuit). It which sold products made from pork.

A delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes.


Jack Handley Construction has over 20 years experience on the Central Coast - Our dream, is to make your building dreams come true. CONTACT US FOR YOUR FREE IN-HOME CONSULTATION!


104 / Living Lavishly

Kitchens - Bathrooms - Remodels - ADUs - Custom Homes

Soft Cheese

Pre-cut Cheese Semi-soft Cheese


Salami Hard Cheese Nuts

Fresh Fruit 105 / Living Lavishly

The practice of smoking, salting, and curing meats dates back nearly 6,000 years to ancient Rome under the belief that nothing from an animal should be wasted. The presentation and assembling of charcuterie boards are a trending phenomenon in America as it’s taken on more than a variety of meats, but also includes cheeses, fruits, vegetables, dips, crackers, and more. Here on the Central Coast, charcuterie boards are enjoyed best with a glass of wine from one of our region’s beloved wineries. They also make for a stunning presentation at dinner gatherings with loved ones and friends. A charcuterie board that brings in a little mix of everything is sure to please the crowd. Meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, toast, dips, and crackers are all examples of endless options in building the perfect charcuterie board. Be sure to play around with different textures and flavors and be ready to “wow” your guests with a show-stopping board!

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If you discover an H&R Block error on your return that entitles you to a larger refund (or smaller tax liability), we’ll refund the tax prep fee for that return. Refund claims must be made during the calendar year in which the return was prepared. OBTP#B13696 ©2015 HRB Tax Group, Inc.

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The Talley Farms Box Changing Lives, One Box at a Time

With over 35 years of experience in the produce business, Andrea Chavez created the Talley Farms Box Program with the goal of making healthy, fresh, local vegetables and fruits available to Central Coast residents. The subscription-based farm-box program continues to grow making fresh California produce available directly to most consumers in the Western US.

Food Safety Comes First

Excellent Customer Service

Talley Farms Box customers can

Behind the phone is a team that

trust where their produce is

cares about their customers.

coming from. With strict food

With flexibility for subscription

safety guidelines and a rich

changes and a natural desire to

background of over 70 years

make their customers happy, the

of farming experience, each

Talley Farms Box team is there to

customer can have peace of mind

make it happen!

knowing their produce is grown and packed with utmost care.

Supporting California Farmers

Giving Back The Talley Farms Box program

Each box contains produce that was either locally grown at Talley Farms or sourced from another local farmer. By buying only local, the Talley Farms Box supports state, counties, cities, and the local economy.

consistently supports the Central Coast’s food banks, churches, charities, schools, farm workers, after school programs, and foundations by donating, educating, and so much more. As a locally owned business, the Talley Farms Box program values each facet of its close knit community.


Direct from our farm, fresh to your home 805-489-5401

107 / Living Lavishly


CookWell Corner Immune-Boosting Drink Recipes

By Courtney Coleman

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CookWell Smoothie for Immunity

Endless optional ingredients: • 3 tbsp chia, hemp or flax seeds • 2 cups chopped greens such as spinach/kale/

Ingredients to blend:


• ¼ cup water, orange juice, almond milk or oat milk

• 1 inch piece fresh ginger or fresh turmeric root

etc, or whole milk (preferably raw)

• 1 serving high quality whey protein powder - NOT

• ½ cup plain cow or goat yogurt (preferably raw) OR

inexpensive whey protein isolate. Use whey that’s

Probiotic Coconut “Yogurt”!

preferably raw and from grass fed cows

• ¼ cup fresh or frozen organic strawberries or

• Cacao nibs, maca root powder, bee pollen, collagen,

blueberries or peaches or other fruit

and ashwagandha

• ½ ripe banana, peeled and sliced

Put all the ingredients in the blender in the order listed, and blend on medium setting until the mixture

• 1-2 tbsp spirulina powder

is smooth, about 1 minute.

• 1 tsp mushroom powder: reishi, chaga, cordyceps, or maitake

Serve right away — or store in a thermos, or covered in the refrigerator.

Helping Our Find Community ugh ro Wellness Th the Pandemic


30 Days for $30 NEW MEMBER TRIAL OffER

805-541-1100 • 3930 Broad St. SLO • Marigold Center • Military, student and senior discounts 109available. / Living Lavishly

Medical Medium’s Brain Detox Smoothie This recipe helps pull heavy metals from our entire system, especially with herbs like cilantro, since it has substances that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Other ingredients that help detox heavy metals from our bodies include: cilantro, wild blueberries, spirulina, barley grass juice powder and Atlantic dulse sea vegetables. The bonus about this smoothie is that it’s also strongly immune-boosting with many antiinflammatory ingredients such as the spirulina, fresh ginger and/or turmeric root, bee pollen, and dried mushroom powders such as shiitake, reishi, maitake. Pro-Tip: I like to add avocado to this recipe for more body and good fats. I also add banana, honey, and stevia so it tastes great. Adding some complex carbs in the form of cooked brown rice, yam, or winter squash also acts like a satisfying meal for a much longer burn throughout the day!

Ingredients to blend in a food processor or blender: • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves • 1 cup wild blueberries • 1 avocado • 1 cup water • 2 tsp raw honey OR 1 small ripe banana AND 1 dropperful liquid stevia by Nu Naturals brand • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice/cooked yam/ winter squash (complex carbs = longer burning fuel) • 2 tbsp atlantic dulse flakes (sea vegetable) • 2 tsp good quality spirulina powder (BioLumina is the best! I love it so much, I decided to distribute it!) • 1 tsp barley grass juice powder (wheat grass juice powder works too) • Endless optional ingredients: • 2 tbsp fresh ginger or turmeric root • 2 tbsp cacao nibs • 1 tsp maca root powder • Bee pollen • Collagen • 1 tsp dried mushroom powders such as shiitake, reishi, maitake, cordyceps

866 W. Grand Avenue, Grover Beach Located next to Ron’s

110 /(805) Living Lavishly 668-2071

Great Green Juice The perfect juice for immune-boosting, anti-cancer, antiinflammatory, and soothing digestive effects! Remember to dilute green juice 50/50 with filtered water, as it’s strongly detoxifying.

Ingredients to juice: • 2 carrots • 3-4 stalks celery • 1/2 large cucumber • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger and/or turmeric root • 1 clove of garlic • 1/2 bunch of each, or 1/3 bunch of all three: - Cilantro for heavy metal detoxification; - Parsley for antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and general healing effects; or - Dandelion greens for liver detoxification

Simple Immuni-Tea Simmer in 3 quarts of water: • 2 tbsp Astragalus Root for 10 min Next, add 1 tbsp dried elderberries and simmer another 3 min Lastly, add 2 tbsp dried lemon balm herb, turn off heat, and steep for 3 minutes Strain, refrigerate, and enjoy a cup this tea hot or cold, twice a day, over the next 5-7 days.

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Chef Showdown Competition

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Four of the Central Coast’s top chefs battled it out in a multi-round event for a $1000 cash prize at the Inspired Home & Gourmet Expo of Paso Robles.

Presented by EnjoySLO Photos by Hugo Martinez & Zuridia Garcia

113 / Living Lavishly

Julien Asseo of Les Petite Canailles

Winning Dish - Beef cheek with carrot puree, roasted carrots, mushrooms, topped with microgreens.

The Winemaker’s son & the Butcher’s daughter, Julien, was born in Libourne, a small town in the southwest of France. He grew up in his parents´ vineyard until he was 10 years old before moving to Paso Robles, with his family. His father became one of the greatest pioneers of winemaking in the area, with his winery L’Aventure. At 16 he decided to move back to France to follow his culinary school education at the Lycee Hotelier de Gascogne near Bordeaux. After finishing culinary school, he moved to Paris to work at La Fontaine de Mars as a commis, then chef de partie. After a couple years of working in Paris, Julien decided to move back to California where he was a pastry chef at a restaurant in Los Angeles. This restaurant did not stay open long enough to name it in this biography, but it is where he met the love of his life, a charming Southern girl from North Carolina, named Courtney. She worked as a server at the restaurant with Julien for several months until it closed. He charmed her with his big blue eyes, accent, and many samples of gelato. After it closed, Julien got an

Photo by Hugo Martinez

offer to work for Rick Moonen in Las Vegas. Julien and Courtney moved to Vegas in 2008 and the rest was history. They both excelled in the hospitality and culinary world. Julien worked

Chef Julien Asseo was the winner of the $1,000 cash prize at the Chef Showdown Competition.

114 / Living Lavishly

Photo by Zuridia Garcia

for Joel Robuchon for 4 years as a sous chef,

Les Petites Canailles translates to English as “the little

until he made his way to Restaurant Guy Savoy

rascals,” which represents their 2 children, Margaux and

at Caesar’s Palace. Courtney worked behind

Maddox. Visit Les Petites Canailles at 1215 Spring Street in

the bar at Todd English and later took over as

Paso Robles. To learn more, visit or give

bar manager of DB Brasserie, by Daniel Boulud.

them a call at 805-296-3754.

While Julien made his way up to Executive Chef of Guy Savoy, Courtney made 2 babies and a home for them in Las Vegas. Courtney and Julien always loved hosting people at their house for whole pig BBQs or paella. Entertaining and hospitality are part of their souls. While they often visited Paso Robles to spend time with Julien’s family, they always


dreamed of someday leaving Vegas and opening their own restaurant here. For years people didn’t question whether or not they would ever do it, but it was a matter of when.

COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL Modernizing the Industry through safety, efficiency and craftsmanship

115 / Living Lavishly

Libry Darusman of Thomas Hill Organics

Second Place Dish - Beef tongue roulade, roasted potato skin purée, pickled celery root and a “salad” of grilled cauliflower rice and herbs topped with smoked bone marrow mousse spun with liquid nitrogen.

With a dynamic menu reflecting our local abundance, Thomas Hill Organics sources a vivid array of fresh ingredients to concoct bold, imaginative dishes. What began as a humble, organic CSA showcasing the Central Coast’s bounty, quickly evolved into a popular destination for creatively prepared, honest food. The team at Thomas Hill Organics believes in the significance of organic, regionally produced food, as they work with California purveyors for our poultry, fish, beef, lamb, and exotic meats. Nearby farmers provide their fruits and vegetables, which are always straight-from-the-earth fresh, and the breads are crafted by local bakers who are celebrated artisans of their trade. Executive Chef Libry Darusman spent his younger years in Bogor, Indonesia and was exposed to the exotic taste of the orient at a very young age. Growing up throughout Europe, with a strong emphasis on French and German cultures and

Photo by Hugo Martinez

exposure to many Michelin Star restaurants and Today, Chef Darusman curates extraordinary meals for Thomas Hill Organics. Visit this Paso Robles restaurant at 1313 Park Street and learn

116 / Living Lavishly

more by visiting or calling (805) 226-5888.

Photo by Zuridia Garcia

chefs, Chef Darusman has acquired an extraordinary flair for food and flavor combinations while developing his own creativity. Upon completing training with the California Art Institute in Orange County, California, Chef Darusman continued his experience with celebrated Chef Theo Schoenegger of the Sinatra’s Restaurant — the sole licensed restaurant of the Frank Sinatra family — inside the Encore, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was with Chef Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant, Los Angeles, California that Chef Darusman continued to develop his individual creativity with an added American flair. As the Executive Chef for Roomforty, which holds event venues both in Los Angeles and Orange County Chef Darusman has broadened his worldly experience and conducted many celebrated events like the Emmys, Golden Globes and Private Tasting Dinners for numerous dignitaries including President Clinton.

187 Tank Farm Rd. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 117 / Living Lavishly (805) 541-5116 |

Will Torres of Farmhouse Corner Market

Competition Dish - Larder ground beef jook with crispy shallot, black Garlic, pickled Fresno chili, cilantro, Thai basil, poached egg.

Farmhouse Corner Market offers daily breakfast and lunch dishes made to order with an assortment of beverage options to complement your meal just right. This one-stop market is complete with grab and go treats, an ice cream bar, unique gifts, and pantry provisions. Award Winning Local Chef Will Torres is backed by an education at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena and experience in the kitchens of notable spots like Spago, Patina, Aubergine, Koi and, most recently, JUSTIN Vineyards.

“Food has been a huge part of my life ever since I was little,”

says Torres.

“Sharing food with others brings me joy, and now I have a space to express my love for food and bring growth to the dining scene on the Central Coast.”

Visit Farmhouse Corner Market at 1025 Farmhouse Lane in San Luis Obispo, right across from the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport. Visit or call 805-465-7900 for more information.

118 / Living Lavishly

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Professional design of outdoor spaces for seamless integration between the built and natural environments, from development masterplans to custom residential Let us help you make your space your own.

ďŹ rma Photo by Hugo Martinez

Photo by Zuridia Garcia

Firma Consultants San Luis Obispo, California 805.781.9800 •

119 / Living Lavishly

James King of Somerset Grill

Competition Dish - Beef, stout, and cheddar shepherd’s pie.

Somerset Grill Restaurant at Vespera on Ocean offers panoramic ocean views, breezy patio seating, and elevated coastal cuisine. Market -fresh, regionally inspired, classic seaside dishes are served all day from the showcase open kitchen, centered with a wood-fired grill. The unique menu highlights “Oceanside Americana” cuisine featuring the best produce and ingredients from local purveyors along California’s Central Coast, including unique hand-crafted cocktails and an extensive list of local beer and wines from Edna Valley and San Luis Obispo County. Executive Chef James King recently moved to SLO County with his wife and 5-year-old son from Santa Barbara, where he was working as the chef de cuisine at the Hotel Californian. King holds a culinary degree and bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. His résumé is colorful, with experience at fine dining restaurants and posh hotels, from working as a chef de partie at the elegant Bouchon Bistro to the high-volume job of executive chef at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood. Photo by Hugo Martinez

120 / Living Lavishly

Photo by Zuridia Garcia

The energetic chef learned to love the art of cooking

Visit Somerset Grill at 147 Stimson Avenue in Pismo Beach

and entertaining from his father, a traveling salesman

today. Visit or call (805) 779-4065

and veritable Jedi master of homemade gnocchi,

for more information.

who loved to experiment from his vast library of cookbooks. He said his mom made lasagna and meatloaf, but his dad would woo him with chicken liver ragu and homemade pasta. King has a dynamite staff of two sous chefs — Anthony Reeves and Christine Reyes — and a cooking staff of 20. With a silly, Monty Python-esque sense of humor, he keeps the kitchen morale up by engaging with both the front and back of the house. There may be some air guitar going on, and King said he likes to sing on the job.

¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ 805-674-4277 or 805-489-2432 | 936 South Halcyon RD. Arroyo Grande, CA. MON-FRI 9-5 SAT 9-4 | SUN noon - 5

121 / Living Lavishly


Ways to Shop Small & Support Local

This past year has seen its fair share of challenges and change, especially within San Luis Obispo County’s local economy. More than ever, small businesses need our support. With over 15 years of experience, Simply Clear Marketing aims to build successful local communities by using client-centered relationships combined with innovative marketing strategies. As a small business, Simply Clear Marketing encourages the community to shop small and support local. There are lots of tiny actions we can take to support local business owners in our community. Let’s make it happen.

122 / Living Lavishly


1) Shop small online from your favorite local retailer Many local retailers have gone digital; shopping for your clothes, gifts, and home decor items online is always something to consider. Think about your everyday items that you often purchase and reimagine ways you can spend your dollar so it stays local.

2) Buy a gift certificate from your favorite family-owned business Gift certificate purchases from small businesses are always a great gift to give. Whether it be your favorite boutique, restaurant, or any service-based business, giving a gift that is unique and local to your community is an option to consider — especially during the holiday season!

3) Purchase your beauty products from your local salon Needing new shampoo and conditioner? Not only is your local salon a one-stop shop for all your hair care needs, but they will most likely have products that are unique to your hair care routine — sometimes with a discount. Consider stopping by your nearest salon and supporting your local stylists!

4) Purchase your produce through a local CSA program Local CSA programs often grow and source their produce from local farmers. By purchasing your produce directly from a CSA program, you’re able to enjoy the season’s freshest harvests while supporting local farmers in your area.

5) Buy a gift card from your favorite small-business restaurant Small, locally owned restaurants are near and dear to our hearts, because they’re most likely operated by a family who is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service and food. Small-business restaurants make our community unique and help our local economy thrive. Consider purchasing a gift card from your favorite local restaurant!

6) Leave positive reviews for small businesses you appreciate A positive online review can go a long way, especially for small businesses in our community. Many consumers make their purchasing decisions based off the reviews they see online, so taking time to leave positive reviews can make a world of a difference for your favorite small businesses.


(805) 543-6397

123 / Living Lavishly

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How to Live Lavishly

The Ultimate Self-Care Gift Guide Illustrations by Emilia Bollini

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LIVING LAVISHLY THROUGH SELF-CARE Taking care of our well-being and finding peace of mind in our day-to-day routines are practices we can all improve. Between the hustle and bustle of keeping a tidy house, ensuring tonight’s dinner is in order, and making sure all emails are responded to, it can be difficult to just take a break and simply breathe. So, we created an Ultimate Self-Care Gift Guide, complete with resources and recommendations for you to explore. Relax, unwind, and live lavishly.

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Home Fragrances Aromatherapy plays an important role in improving overall well-being. It’s recommended to stick to natural fragrances, rather than oils that contain synthetic ingredients. Whether it be essential oils, sage bundles, incense sticks, or candles, some recommended scents to incorporate in your self-care routine include rose, wisteria, or sandalwood.

We Recommend: Len Collective, EarthTones

Soaps Handmade soaps are a great option in boosting your aromatherapy routine to the next level. Many local, handmade soaps offer unique scents that are intended to boost well-being. It’s recommended to use vegan hand soaps, so you can have peace-of-mind knowing your hand washing routine only includes ethically-sourced materials.

We Recommend: Hands Gallery & Humankind Fair Trade

Freestanding Vanity Bathtubs Who doesn’t love a luxurious bubble bath? Something to consider if you’re thinking about a bathroom renovation is implementing a beautiful freestanding bathtub. Not only is it painless to install, but its unique, high-end look contributes to a gorgeous relaxation space. Grab a book, a glass of wine, light a candle, and relax!

We Recommend: Ferguson, Pacific Coast Kitchen & Bath

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Books & Journals Every journey into self-care should begin with profound insight; whether it be from within or with the help of light reading, it’s recommended you dive deep and reflect with the help of books and journals. Many mindfulness journals are intended to keep your thoughts focused and centered on clarity and many books are created to guide you down that path. Explore your options in journaling and reading and consider incorporating it into your everyday routine.

We Recommend: Humankind Fair Trade & Coalesce Bookstore

Chocolates We don’t need to list all the reasons why chocolate belongs in your self-care routine, but we are firm believers in the immense benefits it has for our health! Chocolate isn’t only good for the soul, but it also contributes to a healthy mind and healthy body. We recommend dark chocolate barks and even indulging in some truffles once in a while. Enjoy your chocolate as you please!

We Recommend: Mama Ganache, Sheila Kearns Chocolates & Confections, SLO Sweets

Wines World-renowned wines are at our fingertips, which is just one of many perks of living in the Central Coast. Whether it be a buttery Chardonnay or a full-bodied red wine, we think indulging in a glass (or two!) is a great addition to an evening of self-care. Take it one step further by enjoying it with a nice bubble bath, your favorite playlist, or getting cozy with a book in hand.

We Recommend: Grassini Family Vineyards, Talley Vineyards & Eberle Winery

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Herbal Teas Herbal teas provide antioxidants and vitamins that are known to offer great immune-boosting benefits. Whether you enjoy earthy, floral, smoky, sweet or bright flavors, starting and ending your day with your favorite cup of tea is a valuable contribution to your self-care routine.

We Recommend: The Secret Garden Organic Herb Shop & Linnaea’s

Plants Plants provide a multitude of benefits to your home and zen space. Having plants in and around your home improves the air quality as they can filter pollutants and reduce levels of harmful toxins. Snake Plants and Arrow Head Plants are easy-to-maintain indoor plants, and one of our favorites types to have in any living space!

We Recommend: Growing Grounds & Los Osos Valley Nursery

Fountains Decorative water fountains add to the ambiance of your relaxation sanctuary and can be used in both indoor and outdoor living spaces. There are many DIY options on how to create your ideal waterscape including the use of terracotta pots, decorative rocks, and stones. This fun project is something worth exploring, especially if the sound of babbling water is something that soothes you!

We Recommend: The Garden Gallery & Pismo Garden Art

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Home Decor Home decor is an important factor in contributing to your self-care mindset. Between wall decor, table decor, and all the trinkets inbetween, we love any item that contributes to our own happiness and relaxation. Whatever your design preference may be, we hope you consider art that is locally and ethically sourced by local artisans.

We Recommend: Alma Collective, Hands Gallery & Fiona Bleu Gallery

Healing Crystals Holding crystals or placing them on your body is thought to promote emotional and spiritual healing, as well as assist in creativity. There are different crystals that are said to interact with your body’s energy field, or chakra. It is recommended to connect with an individual that specializes in crystal healing to ensure you have the correct crystals to match your needs.

We Recommend: Unique Selections, Spellbound Herbs Gift Shop & Garden

Practicing Meditation When we meditate, we practice powerful and long-lasting benefits that contribute to a healthier life; lowering stress, getting to know our pain, improving focus, and becoming kinder toward ourselves are all a part of the process. Meditation is something to consider practicing everyday, as it can significantly improve the way we go about our day-to-day routines.

We Recommend: Harmony House & White Heron Sangha

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Practicing Yoga Incorporating an active routine is essential in your self-care practices. Physical well-being contributes to overall well-being and yoga is a great way to practice your mind-body connection. Our local yoga studios pride themselves in the sense of community they contribute to the Central Coast, so consider looking into a studio near you to dive into a regular yoga routine.

We Recommend: SLO Yoga Center, Spark Yoga & CYB

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A Lavish Weekend in SLO County

Seek out your ideal adventure on the Central Coast.

In San Luis Obispo County, we are lucky enough to live lavishly through quirky small-town traditions while still getting to take part in worldly experiences that tourists travel far and wide to see. This is the beauty of the Central Coast. How lucky are we to capture its glory? Behind the rolling hills and along the coastline are some of the greatest adventures waiting to be explored. From the vast selection of locations to dine, wine, hike, take a trip to the beach, shop at one of the many locally owned boutiques, and appreciate the wildlife of the open space -- there’s no shortage of activities no matter the season. Beginning in South County near Shell Beach, the stretch along the cliffside and frontage roads will guide travelers up north to San Simeon, for an abundance of hikes, scenic outlooks, hammock spots, bike routes, and kayak areas in between. These outdoor adventures are all great ways to get active and enjoy the diverse range of activities San Luis Obispo County has to offer. Check out these iconic adventures below and decide how you’d like to spend your lavish weekend on the Central Coast.

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By Charlotte Ross and Molly O’Brien Photos by Charlotte Ross

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Shell Beach

The hidden beaches tucked beneath the bluffs of Shell Beach are treasures worth exploring. Some of these bluffs have grassy areas where you can lay out for a picnic, while other areas have coastal access to tidepools and beaches. While the tide is low, visitors can enjoy a sunny day in the sand and even scope out various parts of the tide pools.

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Paddleboard through Dinosaur Caves When the waves are calm and the water is glassy, Shell Beach is a great spot for ocean explorers to kayak or paddleboard. Dinosaur Caves takes you through and around some of the sandstone formations merging out of the ocean’s surface, where spotted seals and pelicans like to bathe in the sun or scope out their next fishy meal. There is an abundance of dense kelp beds to paddle through, but the variety of wildlife makes it worth the tired arms. On an average day, paddlers might see jellyfish, sea otters, sea stars, seals, and a variety of birds. To get there, it is best to take Cuyama Avenue, past Central Coast Kayaks in Shell Beach, to Ocean Boulevard. There is a long stretch of street parking, as well as a grass area to sit and watch paddlers or kayakers from above. There are two different staircases that lead down to the beach to launch kayaks or paddle boards as you begin your journey at sea. For friends, family members, or pet dogs watching the paddlers from above, another great viewing spot is Dinosaur Caves Park a little further south of Cuyama Avenue.

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Avila Beach

Biking or walking along the Bob Jones or “City to the Sea Trail” paved trail is a fantastic way for visitors of all ages to see the sights of Avila before indulging in an ice cream at Hula Hut or Hawaiian Shave Ice at Big Al’s at the Beach. Visitors who seek a more relaxing getaway can visit the oasis of Avila Hot Springs or Sycamore Mineral Springs, to submerge themselves into the restorative power of the Earth’s naturally heated mineral water. Adults can wine taste among the peacocks at Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards before a decadent seafood dinner at Ocean Grill.

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Scope out Point San Luis Lighthouse The Point San Luis Lighthouse is only accessible by water or a private hike. This a historic site on the Central Coast with a beautiful ocean view, but because it is PG&E owned land, the Pecho Crest Trail must be hiked with a guide-organized trek. To access it by water, kayaks and paddleboards can be launched out from the Port San Luis Pier area. Paddlers can follow along the cliff wall to the last small beach before the rock jetty, then dock water vessels in the sand. The lighthouse is a short walk up the stairs and paved path from there. Along the way, there is a panoramic ocean view of Avila Beach with a long wooden swing hanging from the eucalyptus trees. The lighthouse is usually closed, unless there is a guided group of hikers or employees there to open it up. This is a nice spot to take a break from paddling and enjoy the swing or munch on a snack before getting back into the water. The best time to go out is early morning before the wind gusts come in or later in the afternoon when the conditions calm down again. In the summer there have been on and off seasons of whale migrations between the Cal Poly Research Pier and the Port San Luis Pier, as well as sea otters and seals. This is a nice little spot that does not get too much traffic, and when the water is calm it is fun to take your time and enjoy the scenery.

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San Luis Obispo

Downtown San Luis Obispo is a hub of activities and entertainment. On Thursday evenings, visit the famous SLO Farmers’ Market and experience the diverse selection of goods from local artisans who hail from all over the Central Coast to share their fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and novelties. For a historical and educational experience, check out San Luis Obispo de Tolosa downtown, which dates all the way back to 1772.

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Take a drive through Prefumo Canyon Prefumo Canyon is a winding road, accessible from both Los Osos Valley Road and See Canyon Road in Avila Beach. It is the perfect drive for early in the morning or at golden hour, and will take you to the top of a panoramic overlook of Morro rock and the Nine Sisters mountains. This spot is scenic year-round, but especially beautiful after heavy rains when the hills turn vibrant green. There are several different pull-outs for cars all along the road and an abundance of free-range cows tromping in the grass. The long, windy road is nice to drive or bike along, lay in the grass to watch the sunset, or enjoy a picnic with friends. This is also a great location to observe the full moon or constellations under a clear sky at nighttime during meteor showers. There are barbed wire fences blocking private property, so be mindful of where you park your car.

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Baywood-Los Osos

Baywood-Los Osos, a coastal community in Western San Luis Obispo County, is a must-go destination for families wanting to explore rugged hiking trails, tide pools, bird-watching spots, and spectacular scenery. Spooner’s Cove offers the chance to explore tide pools exposed at low tides with sea life including starfish and sand crabs. Hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback trail riders can branch out in all directions from this centrally located spot to trek the trails up Valencia Peak or Hazard’s Peak, both of which offer spectacular sweeping views of the San Luis Obispo area from the summit.


Experience Shark Inlet Throughout Los Osos, there are several nature preserves and scenic walking paths. Shark Inlet is a nice combination of both land and sea for a glimpse of the area’s unique landscape. The trail starts in a small eucalyptus grove and continues along a narrow sandy path through lupine, poppies, and coastal scrub. Eventually, it takes you to the top of Los Osos’ iconic dunes, with a beautiful view of the ocean, as well as the salt marsh, with access to the water. This is a great hiking spot, not too strenuous besides the steep trek up the dune slopes. The best way to get there is to park at the end of the cul de sac on Inyo Street in Baywood-Los Osos, then follow the guided path through the trees. The sand heats up quickly so make sure to bring sandals or socks to protect the bottoms of your feet. Another option is to park on Garden Street in Baywood-Los Osos, and follow the path out to the water where the boats are. This is a great location to bring out your water vessel, kayak or paddleboard, and enjoy Shark Inlet from the water. The tides change hourly, so be cautious before paddling out.

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Montaña de Oro

Montaña de Oro is one of the most stunning, tucked away strips of the Central Coast with its turquoise waters, steep cliff sides, and eucalyptus forests. Literally translating to “mountain of gold,” after the rows of golden California Poppy flowers which decorate the hillside in the spring and early summer months, this gem is a treasure unmatched.

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Hammock in the Eucalyptus Grove Starting in Los Osos, take Pecho Valley Road all the way to the end and you will come across various trails for mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, or beach access. The first dirt pull-off to the left along Pecho Valley Road, right after the large houses, is a great spot to hang a hammock and read, draw, or watch the sunset. You can park in the dirt and hop over the wooden fence, and right away there is a view of the ocean with a grove of eucalyptus trees surrounding you. Be careful, however, of the poison oak dispersed below some of the trees. This eucalyptus grove is near the road so it may be a little loud from cars passing by, but the further up you go, the more peaceful it becomes. There are also several other spots dispersed throughout MoĂątana de Oro for hammocking in the eucalyptus but this spot is the shortest drive with an ocean view.

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Morro Bay

This charming seaside village is known for its outstandingly impressive geological feature, Morro Rock, and is a popular spot for local surfers to catch a wave. Morro Bay is an ideal location for SCUBA diving, SUPing: Stand Up Paddleboarding and kayaking due to its calm bay waters -- lucky adventurers may even spot a group of playful sea otters enjoying the Central Coast sunshine. Stroll along the embarcadero and browse the cute local shops such as Coastal Treasures & Gifts or Beads by the Bay. Grab a bite to eat at a small business such as Top Dog Coffee Bar which serves sandos and brews in addition to great coffee or indulge in the massive tacos at locally famous Taco Temple Morro Bay.


Enjoy North Point Natural Area Morro Bay has several great locations to enjoy the beach and admire the rock, with North Point Natural Area as one of them. This spot is just a short walk down to the beach with a distant view of Morro Rock and Cayucos beach. There is a small path to walk along the hillside, under Monterey cypress trees and through yellow wildflowers in the springtime. There is also a path that leads down to the sand and tidepools alongside a small succulent patch. This is a great, quiet location to walk dogs, watch the sunset, or enjoy a picnic from above the beach. The natural area can be accessed at the end of Yerba Buena Street in Morro Bay. There is a small parking lot at the end of the road for cars, and a small path to walk up to from there.

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Cayucos is a charming beach town right off Highway 1 and is a must-stop destination for those seeking a charming oceanside experience on the Central Coast. A paramount Cayucos adventure would include taking a morning walk along the bluffs by the ocean north of town while enjoying a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee from one of the quaint cafes close to the beach -- such as locally-owned Cayucos Coffee. This sleepy seaside town is a perfect getaway for anyone who desires to unwind, inhale the sea breeze, and relax for a lowkey day by the sand.

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Visit Estero Bluffs State Park As you drive north along Highway 1, there is a long stretch of Cayucos bluffs to the West with grassy hills to the East. After heavy rains in San Luis Obispo, this whole area becomes picturesque with its lively green hills and tall wildflowers, though year-round, it remains full of life. The best access point is the parking lot at the end of a dirt road off of North Ocean Avenue in Cayucos, where the trail begins. It extends far along the cliff sides, but each viewpoint is impressive for sitting and looking out, enjoying a snack, or walking down to the sand. At the beginning of the trail, there is an outlook of an abandoned ship close to shore, which has been there since July 2017. When the tide is low, the ship is accessible from the beach and those who are curious can observe the sea life who have made the rusted pockets of the ship into their home.

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Heading north on the long stretch of Cayucos bluffs along Highway 1, there is a small town called Harmony with a population of 18. The historic Harmony Valley Creamery produces hand crafted small batch ice cream and Harmony Glassworks, brings together an extensive gallery of contemporary glass art. Harmony Pottery Studio and Gallery showcases the work of over 150 artists, and Harmony Cellars offers quality wines in a setting of tranquil small town ambiance.


Trek through Harmony Headlands State Park Before turning into the town of Harmony, there is a dirt parking lot on the coastal side of the highway, where the Harmony Headlands State Park trailhead begins. This trail begins with a dry, flat, dirt path that passes along tall weeds and low shrublands with minimal trees and several wildflowers. It stretches for a few miles along a creek before opening into an ocean overlook that follows along the cliff sides. Once you reach the cliffs, the air is usually much cooler from the sea breeze, so it is good to be prepared with a light jacket. There are many sandstone lookouts to sit along on the cliffs with succulents and yellow flowers, which is nice for watching the waves, taking a sun nap, or eating a snack. This trail is flat pretty much the whole way, besides the bumps in the dirt and ragged cliffside. There are several little critters that hangout in the weeds during late afternoons and early evenings, so beware of ticks and snakes. This is a fairly low-traffic trail with several beautiful plants and amazing ocean views.

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This oceanside retreat offers enchanting beaches, historic attractions, delicious family -owned restaurants, and wide-open natural spaces. The most out-of-the-box attraction and National Historic Landmark is Nitt Witt Ridge — also known as the “poor man’s Hearst Castle” — which was built from the ground-up out of rubbish collected from the actual Hearst Castle. The annual autumn Cambria Scarecrow Festival features a whimsical competition between locals to create artfully crafted scarecrows that are displayed around town throughout the month of October. In winter, the Cambria Christmas Market is a must-see for anyone on the Central Coast during the holiday season — filled with twinkling lights and selling goodies based on the actual traditional German Christmas market.

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Take a stroll on Moonstone Beach When passing through Cambria, any strip of Moonstone Beach is a wonderful place to take a stroll in the sand or collect rocks and driftwood. The sand is covered in numerous small stones, jade-colored and rustic red, with small tiki-shaped tents made of driftwood all along the beach. Each little cove, separated by rocky headlands, has a small sand area to walk along, skip rocks, or play in the tidepools. There are several spots to park along Moonstone Beach Drive or at Shamel Park for beach access. Along the bluff top is the wooden Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, which spans the length of the beach from the Santa Rosa Creek day-use area to the Leffingwell Landing day-use area – which also has parking lots.


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Affectionately referred to as the “Gateway to Big Sur,� San Simeon is the ideal stop along Highway 1 to catch a look at the elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas rookery, which is the only elephant seal rookery in the world that is easily accessible, free, and open to the public all year long. Travelers can also tour the world-famous Hearst Castle (or just spy on the zebras which roam the land adjacent to the highway on the drive by), as well as visit the nearly 150 year old, historic Piedras Blancas Light Station.

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Explore the San Simeon Bluffs Trail One of San Simeon’s hidden beauties is a trail tucked away in the cypress grove along the bluffs. The trail begins near the San Simeon pier – you can park in the lot at the William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach and walk down to the sand from there. If you follow along the beach, eventually a path will come into focus on the hillside near a barbed wire fence. There, you can walk up and follow the trail along the cliffs. It begins in the trees with an overlook of the beach and the pier, but eventually curves into a forest with small cliffside openings. The best time to go is usually around golden hour to catch the sun setting on the surface of the ocean with the gold sun rays shining through the tree canopies. During Spring, there are several colorful wildflowers and shrubs along the bluffs as well. The trail continues from the beach all the way up to Piedras Blancas, but typically people turn around after merging out of the forest.

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