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San Clemente • Dana Point • SJC • Laguna Niguel • Laguna Hills • Rancho Mission Viejo + Ladera Ranch



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Publisher Community Publications, LLC. Editor Jody Robinson

Happy Holidays fro m ! s r u o Y to y il m a F r u O

Account Executives Laura Campbell Kim Reed Nicole Martin

It’s hard to believe that next month, we will be working on our 9th Anniversary edition of South County Magazine! When we launched the publication in January of 2011, our kids were toddlers - in the years since, they’ve literally “grown up” with “Mommy’s magazines,” stopping in to deliver copies to our advertising partners and befriending the many business owners and professionals who make the publications possible by participating each month. On behalf of the entire Community Publications team, we feel so blessed to be able to produce each of our six magazines each month. But as a San Juan Capistrano resident, South County Magazine is particularly near and dear. We have big plans for the coming year - including the introduction of our new FAMILY FOCUS section in each of our hyperlocal, targeted publications. This exciting ongoing editorial/advertising department will prominently showcase education, arts, sports, camps, after school care, family entertainment, travel and events and much more! In 2019, we expanded our distribution to include the growing Rancho Mission Viejo communities and Ladera Ranch. In 2020, we are on track to further grow the publications - both in page count and increased reach. As always, it is our goal to serve as a true community resource and we encourage and welcome feedback from our readers on the ways in which we may continually improve. Thank you for taking the time to read South County Magazine! Warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season! Jody Robinson Editor

Advertising Inquiries (714) 469-3495 Contributing Photography Diana Schmitt, Accent Portraits by Diana

South County Magazine serves the communities of San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and Aliso Viejo. We will strive to continually improve with each edition and welcome feedback from our readers. For questions or comments, please e-mail the editor at



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ENZO SCOGNAMIGLIO Brio Tuscany Grill Dana Point Advertising Partner since 2012 ”Brio Tuscany Grille has been advertising with Community Publications since 2012. We have been consistently participating in every issue and are very pleased with the experience over these many years. Jody and her team truly care about helping our business continue to succeed and often create added-value opportunities - at no additional cost - to help maximize our exposure in the publication. If you are interested in reaching the Orange County community, I am absolutely thrilled to recommend Jody and her fabulous team!”




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FAMILY FOCUS - EDUCATION • CAMPS • HEALTH • AFTER SCHOOL • SPORTS • AND MORE! viewed the monthly menu online, picked the entrees and selected my session time. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed everything about the process - following the easy directions to assemble a month of meals for our family. Simply keep the meals you want to eat the next few days in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer. Cook as directed and enjoy. Easy peasy.

Making Dinner a Dream with Dream Dinners in Lake Forest By Jody Robinson

There’s a real sweet spot when it comes to dinner. Full and fed, of course. More than that however: a parent’s dream exists somewhere in the time it takes to get the kids to calm down and actually eat the meal you spent time precious time preparing for them. 15 years in the making, Dream Dinners has been helping people solve the “what’s for dinner” question.


asy, family friendly meals put you at the table sooner. Sandy Ransom (who co-owns Dream Dinners in Lake Forest with her husband Richard) and her team know their customers by name. “We take pride in making our business a place that is comfortable and inviting to use.” Not a buffet, or a meal in a box that shows up on your doorstep, Dream Dinners is an easy meal assembly “store.” Coming from over 30 years in the food service industry, Sandy wanted something different, “something purposeful.” Since 2002, Dream Dinners has

helped American families sit down to 100 million meals. For a busy mom, it can be a lifesaver. I know firsthand. Between work, school pickup and drop offs, homework and shuttling two kiddos to their respective after school activities, it’s often a challenge to figure out what to make for dinner, never mind finding the time (or energy) to prep the meal in advance each day - all in an oftentimes futile effort to cut down on time spent cooking and more time actually enjoying the dish as a family. Add to that a desire for healthy, home cooked meals vs. pizza delivery, takeout, fast food on the run or the standby chicken nuggets that I cringe to admit are too often a staple. But that was before I discovered Dream Dinners. The entire process simply couldn’t be easier or frankly, more fun. My 11-year-old daughter accompanied me on my first foray into the Dream Dinners experience last month. I

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As a huge bonus, we are able to enjoy flavors and recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise have any exposure too. Or rather, as a result of my less-thaninventive recipe repertoire, my family would still be rotating through my limited culinary offerings. This particular month, we dined on delicious dishes including Chateau Chicken with Almond Butter Sauce, Fully Loaded Chicken and Potato Soup with breadsticks, Garlic and Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak, Chicken Yakitori over Jasmine Rice and the kids’ new favorite - Pizza Burger Sliders on Pretzel Buns. I’m going to change lives with my newfound knowledge. Well, at the very least, I’m going to share my culinary discovery of Dream Dinners with my mom friends. It isn’t even that we collectively mind the time in the kitchen. But the time in the kitchen is time away from our kids, time away from playing games, or helping with homework. Time spent in disconnect. As Sandy says … “We’re looking to grow, looking to reconnect and build strong relationships. Where else can you do that but over the dinner table?” A sweet spot indeed.

Dream Dinners is located at 22369 El Toro Road in Lake Forest. To connect with Sandy directly, call (949) 583-2800.

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Capital Creature Comforts in Boise, Idaho By Jody Robinson I recently met some folks from Boise, Idaho. There’s apparently a long-standing debate as to whether its pronounced Boi-zee, or Boi-see. Those who reside outside the area will be hard-pressed to determine the distinction. But for locals and tourists in town, it seems the issue is definitively settled. As it certainly was when my husband and I took our kids to its capital city on recent weekend getaway to cross Idaho off our “See all 50 States as a Family” list. Home to over 228,000 residents, Boise’s metropolitan area has also been named Treasure Valley and the signage at the airport lays claim to Boise being the “City of Trees.” Both are apt monikers. The Boise River, a distinct landmark that meanders through downtown, may have been the cause for naming the city originally. “La riviere boisee,” or the wooded river, has

14 December 2019

long existed as a haven on the plains, in the shadow of its cottonwood trees and rolling hills to the northeast. The snow-capped Rocky Mountains serve as a scenic backdrop and the Boise foothills lead to some of the wildest - and by that I mean most pristine, undeveloped, preserved places in the lower 48. A veritable nature-lover’s paradise defined by rivers, mountains, canyons, deserts and lakes and all the attendant outdoor adventure that comes with it - be it hiking, biking, boating, river rafting, skiing, hot air ballooning and more. Into more “civilized”endeavors? Idaho’s capital city more than delivers. Recently, the Boise downtown has come alive, with an exciting influx of up-and-coming restaurants and a blossoming wine scene, bars and boutiques getting a facelift, and re-

vitalizing the city’s nightlife overall. There are pizza places and breakfast joints: arts and access to exploration. Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the “50 best places to travel in 2018” Boise offers something for every age, and every stage. The night of our arrival, we wandered downtown to sample the fare at Fork. Buzzwords like “local,””sustainable”and “handcrafted” are bandied about in the restaurant world so frequently as to lose its meaning to the lay consumer. So when you stumble upon a pair of restauranteurs like Cameron and Amanda Lumsden who truly strive to “keep these words at the core” of everything they do, it’s a culinary experience to be …well, experienced. The couple are “loyal to local” - committed to sourcing many of their key ingredients from local Boise and Northwest farmers,

FAMILY FOCUS - EDUCATION • CAMPS • HEALTH • AFTER SCHOOL • SPORTS • AND MORE! ranchers, bakers, distillers, brewers, producers and cheese makers. The result is a menu that is as surprising as it is familiar. Although they are French fry and tempura aficionados, my kids were a little reluctant to try the Asparagus fries. When they say these are an “addictive house favorite,” it’s no joke - they were literally devoured before my husband and I even had an opportunity to sample more than one. If I thought I could replicate the

Fork - Downtown Boise

Today, it’s a historic landmark open to the public where visitors can walk through solitary confinement, cell blocks and the gallows and relive the Old Pen’s exciting past of daring escapes, scandals and executions (some say the ghosts of its 100-year history still haunt the halls).

recipe at home, it’d be a great way to introduce more veggies into their diets. I thoroughly enjoyed the B.C.S. (Boise Chopped Salad) which was a flavorful blend of arugula mixed greens, Ballard Family Farms white cheddar, dried sweet corn, balsamic tomatoes, toasted pepitas, pearl coucous, dried black currants with a tasty buttermilk basil-pesto dressing (I topped mine with grilled King salmon, but other options include cold-smoked Alaskan salmon, crispy chicken, roasted chicken, spiced maple bacon or grilled sirloin strip steak). My meat-and-potatoes husband opted for the Local Red Wine Braised Short Ribs - fork tender (pun intended) Northwest beef, carrot puree, horseradish cream, brown butter Idaho potatoes and topped with Idaho ‘potato hay.’

HISTORIC SITE/MODERN SIGHTS Open year round, the Old Idaho Penitentiary was home to some of the West’s most “desperate and mean criminals” from 1872 to 1973.

A visit to downtown isn’t complete without visiting Freak Alley Gallery, the largest open-air, multi-artist mural gallery in the Northwest. It’s free, open to the public 24/7 and is an ever-changing space known for its impressive street art that features local artists and changes regularly, ensuring a different experience each time you visit.

ACCOMMODATION OF DISTINCTION In the heart of city center was our “home base” - the Inn at 500 Capitol

Freak Alley Gallery December 2019 15


Inn at 500 Capitol

( - Boise’s premier Four Diamond property characterized by “pride of place, exceptional service.” A stylish and sophisticated boutique hotel where upscale amenities and luxury meet the true comforts of home, the Inn at 500 Capitol allows its guests to wake up within walking distance of the Boise Zoo, Julia Davis Park, and the Boise Art Museum - which puts family fun within easy reach. Designed with the whole family’s satisfaction in mind, from the complementary Mercedes-Benz shuttles, to wine tastings after hours in the lobby, the Inn makes experiencing Boise’s arts and culture a no-brainer. Each feature of the property’s spacious guest rooms and stylish suites are thoughtfully curated, from the artwork featured in the first floor “community gallery” and the decor created by local artists to the suite’s walk-in rain shower and double vanities and custom Italian linens. Themed rooms come with gorgeous views of the 16 December 2019

skyline and the mountains beyond. Wifi, wake-up service, a fireplace, free coffee and complimentary pantry snacks complete every parent’s dream vacation, while plush bathrobes and pet-friendly rooms ensure each member of the family finds gold in the Treasure Valley. If you’re a foodie, you’ll appreciate that the Inn is home to Richard’s where James Beard-nominated chef Richard Langston curates an extravagant menu of fresh, contemporary Italian fare (“locally-sourced and cooked with care to let the integrity of the ingredients shine”) and fine

wine in an elegant setting. Richard’s is the ideal for a romantic dinner for two, but since we had the kids in tow, we opted to try the restaurant’s highly recommended Sunday brunch instead. The menu was clearly designed to please even the most discriminating palate - and by that I mean offering dishes that appeal to both the younger set and their adult counterparts alike. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes arrive with a decadent whipped orange marscapone, toasted pecans and maple syrup and the French toast crafted with an acme bakeshop baguette with vanilla bean-cinnamon batter. Steak and eggs pairs a mouthwatering grilled sirloin coulotte with roasted red pepper jam, two eggs any style, potatoes and your choice of toast. The grilled shrimp risotto cakes with basil cream sauce and the sausage & polenta made with housemade pork sausage, creamy polenta, two eggs, tomato sauce and pecorino romano are among the inventive dishes here that you won’t find on many a brunch menu.


Compassionate Caregiving: Your Home Care, Inc. In Home Care and the NEW! Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center in Laguna Woods Village By Jody Robinson

Over the past decade, there have been an increasing number of studies examining the effects of stress on the human body - from the immune to metabolic systems, to cell division, diet, hormonal changes, heart rate and of course, cortisol levels.


ortisol, after all, is what floods the body in response to stress. Its main purpose is more farreaching than was once believed. Systemic effects play a great many roles to maintain homeostasis in the body: which, at a basic level, looks like a greater span of stress-free years. 18 December 2019

Experts at UCLA, Harvard and the University of Maryland all posit that lowering stress levels leads to healthier mental and bodily functions across the board, which is great for everyone, but can be particularly meaningful for men and women of an advanced age.

Founded in 2002, the professionals at Your Home Care, Inc. are dedicated to ensuring the individual care they provide will lessen the stress of everyday life for your aging loved one and their families. Between the two divisions of this Laguna Woodsbased family-owned and operated business, seniors have the option of

evaluation from their own doctor, and then a follow up visit with the program director at Your Home Care, Inc., to determine whether participation the adult day facility would be the best fit for their needs. “We’re very serious about providing a compassionate caregiving service, preserving dignity, ensuring independence, and a higher quality of life,” says Boyd. “We want this to be as good a fit for you as it is for us.” Taking stress off anyone’s plate is a loving act in itself. Yet, I can see how many selfless acts might feel like a double-edged sword. My mother is the primary caregiver for my 85-yearold stepfather who suffers from dementia. As a result, she has less time for activities she enjoys, spending time with her friends, going to the movies and the infinite other little things that seem to fill the cracks in a single day. When I emphasize the importance of also caring for herself, she brushes the thought away not wanting to be “selfish.” in-home care or respite at the Senior Social Club and Stay Care Center which is NOW OPEN in the Valencia shopping center next to Mother’s Market.

SENIOR SOCIAL CLUB & STAY CARE CENTER While in-home care focuses on the one-on-one, allowing trust and friendship to flourish between caretaker and patient, the Adult Day facility follows a social model in a “beautiful, warm and inviting place for seniors to gather together and create new friendships and memories.”

strains of being a full-time caregiver. Our mission is to provide a fun, exciting place for your aging loved one to participate in activities that they love and maybe even try something new. Further, this facility allows those who may be isolated from the world an opportunity to open up and create new friendships.” After interested seniors (or their loved ones) fill out an application for the program, they undergo a medical

“Taking advantage of a referred professional caregiver is not giving up on your loved one or being selfish,” says Warner. “On the contrary, you’re being selfless by bolstering your own love and support with professional, quality care while enabling you to spend more time enjoying their company.” What could be more selfless (and scientific) than helping to lower cortisol

Warner and his team encourage family members to stop by and tour the facility to see firsthand the advantages of participation. “Our service will greatly benefit those who find themselves living in multi-generational homes, whose primary caregiver is stretched thin,” says Warner. “We will be your resource for respite care which will allow family members relief from the emotional and physical December 2019 19

levels (yours and your loved one’s)? Eliminating that unnecessary drain on energy can mean restored resiliency, greater access to memory, improved brain function. Selfish? Or selfless? Stress full? Or stress free? Through compassionate in-home care and its new adult day care center in Laguna Woods, Your Home Care is here to ensure that this choice is the easiest you’ve made in a long time. Your Home Care’s Life Enrichment Director, Sandra Damschen, oversees our Social Club and Stay Care center with the support of registered and trained caregivers. Sandra has extensive experience in elderly care and activities programming. Her focus in education and training was in elderly studies and dementia care. She has earned a master’s degree in Social Work from California State University in Long Beach. She has held professional positions in the field of senior services for over 15 years, as an adult day center activity supervisor and memory care director. She also currently serves as a volunteer support group meeting facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association, and provides education for adults with special needs. She is very passionate about delivering loving care and providing joyful days to the seniors in our community. Sandra has developed meaningful and personalized activity programs that incorporate our participants’ life history and preferences into our daily interactions. These programs are tailored to meet each individual’s abilities and needs. We provide stimulating activities such as creative arts, painting classes, fun trivia games, word games, reminiscence, discus20 December 2019

sions of current events and histories, card games, sing-alongs and live music, light exercises and stimulating physical games. Our goal is to help enhance each individual’s quality of life and maintain their general health by encouraging them to participate in physically, cognitively and socially engaging activities; to promote autonomy, selfworth and preserve dignity.

IN-HOME CARE With loving kindness, trained caregivers provide exceptional general care and assist with the basic necessities of daily living in the comfort and safety of a senior’s own home. In-home care encompasses services tailored to the senior’s specific needs and range from companionship, meal preparation, medication reminders, doctor visits, grocery shopping, laundry, light housekeeping, dressing and incontinence care to Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related care. “We have observed that those who are able to stay in their homes are more likely to remain healthy and free from common communicable illnesses, such as influenza and pneumonia that are prevalent in nursing homes and assisted living centers due to the high volume of residents and close living quarters,” says Boyd Warner, founder of Your Home Care, Inc.

beginning … equally as important as each applicant’s credentials is their personal philosophy as Warner says “our caregivers want more than a job. They want to make a difference in the lives of those in their care. As a company, our job is to give caregivers the direction and tools they need to fulfill their personal mission of service, as well as our corporate mission of improving the lives of those we serve.” Upon meeting the company’s strict selection criteria, caregivers are insured and bonded before completing a comprehensive orientation process to ingrain Your Home Care corporate policies and procedures followed by ongoing, specialized training on issues that help them develop as better overall caregivers, as well as deal with very specific situations. These issues include medication management and compliance, Alzheimer’s and dementia, osteoarthritis and mobility loss, hypertension/stroke recovery, diabetes, heart disease and cancer recovery. “We believe that our focus on the individual and family is what sets us apart,” says Warner. “When you contact us, you will receive individualized care that will meet the needs of your family and your aging loved one. Whether you are in need of around the clock assistance, night relief or a short shift during the day to assist with ADL’s, you can rest easy knowing that we have your well-being and that of your loved one as our top priority.”

Understanding that the safety and security of your loved ones is of the utmost importance, the professional caregivers at Your Home Care undergo a rigorous interview process, from fingerprinting, reference checks and background clearance to competency training. But that’s just the Connect with the professionals at Your Home Care, Inc. by calling (949) 215-0004 or visit The Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center is located at 24191 Paseo de Valencia, Suite B in Laguna Woods.

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THE VALUE OF A CPA FINANCIAL ADVISOR Some things in life are better when combined with other things. Peanut butter is great, but better with jelly. S’mores are wonderful, but somehow tastier when eaten next to a campfire. Mobile phones are indispensable, but incrementally improve with every added app. This idea holds true with financial advice as well. CPAs and financial advisors are important and valuable resources in their own respects toward ensuring a sound financial future, but they’re even better when they’re both the same person.


he reason for this is simple; sound investment advice must be done with consideration of tax implications, as the cost of not doing so can be significant. Likewise, good tax planning often involves taking advantage of investment opportunities that become evident during the tax preparation process. Only the CPA Financial Advisor can ensure that these interdependent objectives are executed on successfully. According to a study involving 42,000 advisors by Envestnet, a leading investment platform provider, the “value added” of using a financial advisor is roughly 2% per year. The added value of a CPA/tax management is another 1% per year. The study breaks down the added value coming from 5 core areas:

The following highlights more tangibly describe how the value of a CPA financial advisor can enhance your financial plan.

Tax Savings = Enhanced Investment Returns When considering the financial plan for one’s entire life, one should make tax savings as much of a priority as the selection of investment and retirement products. Tax savings simply can have too tremendous a positive impact on maximizing your retirement nest egg to ignore. And its importance and value generally increases proportionally with your marginal tax rate. This is especially true today, given the generally rich valuations and low yields of most traditional investment options.

periodic updates. Long-term impacts of near-term events such as career, family and preference changes need to be incorporated into the plan when they occur. So, frequency of interaction is paramount to good maintenance. And here again, the tax professional is, unfortunately like taxes, with you year in and year out. Hence, maintenance of a financial plan by a CPA financial advisor is a natural fit.

Tax Management = Tax Savings As the value of your taxable investments grow, so does the importance of utilizing tax management to minimize taxes. Whereas many financial advisors may list these offerings, you can count on the CPA financial advisor to ensure that tax management is being performed.

High Frequency of Interaction = Better Financial Maintenance Another important ingredient to a sound financial plan is maintenance. Financial plans are snapshots in time that require 22 December 2019


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EASING HOLIDAY ANGST Five Stress Busters for a Joyous Season Provided by Michelle Bryant

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ut as soon as you pile holiday activities on top of an already busy life, you're likely to find yourself relating more to Ebenezer Scrooge than Martha Stewart. Consider these five suggestions to keep holiday stress at bay: 1. Determine a Shopping Budget For many, gift giving is an important part of the holidays, serving as a way to express love and appreciation for friends and family. But when the credit card bills arrive in January, you may discover you've extended your holiday stress well into the New Year. Plan your budget in advance, determine what you can spend, and stick to the plan. 2. Create a Time Budget Many will make a shopping budget, but what about making a time budget? Before accepting every invitation this year, decide ahead how many parties you can and want to attend while maintaining your sanity. Make choices about your time commitments based on what you'd really like to do this year, rather than what you think you should do or what you've always done. Don't forget to leave time for yourself. 3. Set Food-Intake Boundaries You'll likely be tempted to eat in excess, and don't be too hard on yourself if you don't stick to your pre-holiday eating standards. But do decide ahead of time just how much you'll deviate from your eating routine. 4. Stick to Your Exercise Regimen Regular exercise is a powerful stress 24 December 2019

buster. You'll feel better, sleep better, avoid weight gain, boost your immune system, and maintain a positive outlook about yourself. While it may seem like an easy time concession to make, don't give in to the idea. Stick to exercise, and you'll thank yourself for it. 5. Take Time to Rest Take time from your schedule to honor the cycles of the season. The holidays fall during winter solstice -- the shortest day of the year. Learn from nature and get plenty of rest. A massage gift card is one size fits all and makes the perfect anti-stress gift for the holidays! Michelle Bryant is the owner of the San Juan Capistrano-based Massage Associates located at 31952 Camino Capistrano (in the Mercado Village). For info, call (949) 489-7924.

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Vartanian Multi-Speciality Dental Group Taking Dental Health to Task By Jody Robinson

Studies have shown in recent years that multitasking, once held to be the epitome of a refined work ethic, may actually be detrimental to one’s productivity.


pparently, trying to complete more than one task at one time interferes with specific forms of brain activity, mussing things up, instead of straightening them out. Dr. James Vartanian is in the business of straightening things out. Instead of multitasking, he much prefers being multi-specialty. Convenience comes with efficiency, and at the Vartanian Dental Group, that means offering a full-team approach. Each member working within his or her own area of specialization, from start to finish. Oral examinations, teeth whitening, crowns and bridges, porcelain veneers, bonding, dental emergencies. The team offers full spectrum, comprehensive dentistry services that also includes sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, root canals and extractions and implants. 26 December 2019

Convenience comes with efficiency, and at the Vartanian Dental Group, that means offering a fullteam approach. “I come from a family of physicians, and wanted that balance of healthcare and hands-on customer service,” says Dr. Vartanian. "I am able to offer that philosophy and culture here with quality dental care at affordable pricing. You don’t have to be referred out, you won’t feel as though we’re juggling a multitude of tasks behind the scenes. We’re here to help you create a beautiful smile - and that’s our entire focus.”

Having been in practice for over twenty years, Dr. Vartanian and his team provide the whole experience. State-of-the-art facilities, filled with welcoming and engaged staff. Ready to help dental professionals with financing options and easy-to-make appointment platforms. Multitasking might not be the key to feeling great at the end of the day. But a beautiful, healthy smile just might be.

Vartanian Dental Group accepts Medicare Advantage Dental HMO Plans. The office is located at 26302 La Paz Road, Suite 203 in Mission Viejo. For more information, call (949) 586-5669 or visit

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5 Reason to do Aerial Yoga...

By the Align Pilates Team

To most the idea of doing an aerial yoga class sounds a little scary, but in all honesty, it’s for anyone that enjoys a fun workout, a good stretch, and a calming meditation.


f you partake in a yoga practice already, then you can do aerial yoga. It doesn’t require you to be an acrobat and on the contrary, it can be easier than a traditional yoga class. Here is how it works— You sit on a soft, fabric hammock that looks kind of like a long scarf. The hammock is kept close to the ground, generally no higher then one’s own hipbones. At any point your hands or feet will be able to touch the floor. It becomes a swing that supports and takes gravity out of the equation. These hammocks are made out of special, high-density nylon material that can support over 2,000 pounds. Throughout the class you do adaptations of traditional yoga poses using 30 December 2019

the hammock for support. For many people, yoga postures that are difficult on the ground can be performed easier and with less strain on the body in mid-air. So, that handstand you have been trying to nail on your mat, not a problem in the hammock. Aerial yoga has many benefits like strengthening and stretching the whole body, decompressing the spine, improving circulation, boosting digestion and lifting one’s mood. Here are 5 good reasons to try aerial yoga today... 1. Total body workout: Due to the nature of aerial yoga movements, almost all the body parts are forced to move and stretch. Muscles are toned and redefined, and joints are decom-

pressed and strengthened due to these movements. 2. Improves flexibility: Aerial yoga helps you to move more freely, with less effort, by counteracting gravity. Suspension in the air releases tension on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility and deepening your practice. 3. Psychologically beneficial: Just like other mindful movement modalities, aerial yoga helps clear the mind, and releases stress due to its meditative qualities. Most aerial yoga classes end with you lying in the hammock for a peaceful rest. 4. Mood changer: Another key benefit of doing aerial yoga is that it gets your adrenaline going while defying gravity. Releasing “happy” hormones like serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, all boosting your mood and helping you feel more energetic. After class you will feel like a kid again. 5. Improves balance: Going against gravity is exciting for the body, consequently strengthening muscles that aid in balance and stability. With the addition of the mood benefits, an aerial practice will create a whole body balance inside and out. TRY AN AERIAL YOGA CLASS TODAY AT ALIGN PILATES AND YOGA!

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Segerstrom Center for the Arts 600 Anton Blvd. Costa Mesa • 7 pm


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he Chinese Lantern Festival returns for the holiday season to the Pomona Fairplex with its brand-new illuminated production themed “Blooming Seasons.” Bigger and brighter stunning lanterns, up to 30 feet high, include an 85-foot-wide lantern arch, 100-yard-long breathtaking Ceramic Chinese Dragon, along with ridable “mythical creatures” children’s rides — all on display from the Glade to Lagoon at Fairplex Pomona (1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768) from Thursday, November 21 - Sunday, January 5, 2020.

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Thursday, November 21, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020, including holidays

“New for this year, guests will experience a unique light display inspired by nature,” says George Zhao, producer of the Chinese Lantern Festival. “Guests will journey deep into a vast wonderland from exotic flowers, trees, plants, insects, mammals to reptiles. It’s the four seasons of nature, plus an assortment of animals that correspond to their given environment.” Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate at www. for $13-$27.

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Segerstrom Center’s Annual

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Celebrates the Holidays with Grammy Award-Winning

Mariachi Los Camperos

DECEMBER 19, 2019

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Catering & Special Events MARKET & DELI NEXT DOOR


egerstrom Center for the Arts’ Fiesta Navidad, one of Orange County’s most popular and anticipated holiday celebrations, returns to the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Thursday, December 19 at 8:00 p.m. This joyful family concert features the renowned Grammy® Award-winning Mariachi Los Camperos and dance group Chiquina Palafox. Mariachi Los Camperos was founded in 1960 by the late mariachi “giant” Natividad “Nati” Cano. A traditionalist and a visionary, Cano played an integral role in the development of mariachi music in North America. He trained and mentored new generations of mariachi musicians, expanded the repertoire and brought mariachi performance out of traditional venues such, as cantinas, and into concert halls. Tickets to Fiesta Navidad start at $29 and are available now online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

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Destination Dining:

By Jody Robinson The Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” is bestowed upon restaurants that take its commitment to its wine program “a step further,” displaying excellent breadth across multiple regions and/or significant depth of top wines, along with superior presentation. As an aspiring oenophile, I learned the above while swimming around online in search of a special “date night” dining destination. My husband has a deeper knowledge and appreciation for fine wine, so I was determined to find an establishment that would provide the “wow” factor - in its wine selection, culinary offerings, ambiance and service. Housed in a gorgeous, historic 1934 home along the Pacific Coast Highway, Selanne Steak Tavern delivered on all counts.

The award, I learned, is typically given to restaurants that offer upwards of 350 wine selections, and exude a deep commitment to the craft behind a good pairing, or a vintage itself. Selanne Steak Tavern received the honor based on its intensely impressive selection of 2,750-bottle wine list, with origins spanning the planet. Designed to appeal to locals and visitors alike, the cellar boasts flavors from all over our fair state - including California cult wines - as well as other highly rated, world class wines from 435 additional worldwide locales stretching from New Zealand to Spain, Portugal to Peru. Brick pathways and wooden doors open to an ambiance that successfully transports the spirit of classic American steakhouses and taverns to Southern California’s iconic Laguna Beach. With a robust menu of succulent steaks and chops, superb poultry, game and seafood straight from the inspiration of its co-owners: Six-time Olympian Teemu Selanne and local businessman Kevin Pratt, the steakhouse features a comfortable and classic environment for all. Enjoy any of the five distinct dining settings on site: bistro-style Wine Library, the handsome Tavern, outdoor, relaxing Veranda or Sunset Terrace, or the elegant upstairs Loft. “Food should support the community it comes from and tempt the palate of those around it,” and tempt it does. Tender prime meats and Chef Vincent Terusa’s favorite farm-to-table ingredients and creative presentations are showcased in a warm, inviting ambiance characterized by wide planked oak floors, a whitewashed fireplace original to the building, and abstract pieces by local Laguna Beach artist Nick Gaetano.

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Popular starters include the Pacific Diver Scallops (enhanced with cauliflower and pickled shimeji mushroom) and the the Wagyu beef tartare (paired with fingerling chips, wild rocket and quail egg). Although I’m generally more of a seafood aficionado while my husband is the resident meat-and-potato man, I changed my mind three times as I watched as aromatic dishes were delivered to guests around us. I finally settled on the abundantly flavorful grilled-to-perfection ribeye served with Chef’s truffle butter and bordelaise. The broccolini (with garlic chili oil/ lemon) and butternut squash (maple bourbon tonic/sage) were the ideal accompaniments both in flavor and texture to the melt-in-your-mouth prime meat.

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949.493.4941 2013 Best International Eating Place 2016 Best Taco Closed Monday and Wednesday Earlier this fall, Selanne and Pratt opened their latest collaboration: The Penalty Box - a counter service casual eatery - in Garden Grove. “A salute to creative casual food and, of course, hockey,” the original, all-American comfort menu cleverly and whimsically refers to Selanne’s love of the NHL. PUCKS are burgers made with the eatery’s signature blend Selanne Steak Tavern of sirloin, short rib and 1464 South Coast Highway wagyu beef; STICKS Laguna Beach are four different temp(949) 715-9881 tations of hot dogs; WHIPPED ICE are tantalizing ice cream shakes.

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Off-Broadway’s Hilarious Dixie’s Tupperware Party returns to Segerstrom Center DECEMBER 4 – 8, 2019 in Samueli Theater


ixie’s Tupperware Party, the hilarious show starring Dixie Longate which turned OffBroadway into Tupperware-mania and garnered the prestigious 2008 Drama Desk Award Nomination rolls into Segerstrom Center for the Arts for a strictly limited engagement December 4 – 8, 2019 in Samueli Theater. Written by Kris Andersson, the production is playing Costa Mesa as part of a tour that has, so far, logged over 1700 performances. Dixie Longate is the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. Audiences howl with laughter as Dixie demonstrates the many alternative uses for the iconic plastic kitchen staple. Filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, audience participation and a little bit of empowerment and homespun wisdom, Dixie’s Tupperware

42 December 2019

Party leaves your heart a little bigger and your food a little fresher. The show has ADULT CONTENT. Single tickets start at $39 and are available for purchase online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787.

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Signs Your Pet Might Be Suffering from Allergies By Lynlee Fluent, DVM


oes your dog or cat frequently scratch or bite at itself? Just like their humans, pets are susceptible to environmentally triggered allergies (think grasses, pollens, etc.). Allergies can be hard on your pet and even tougher for you to identify. Atopic allergies (also known as inhalant allergies) are due to environmental factors inside or outside the home. It could be seasonal (blooming flowers, trees or grass in spring) or allergies to dust, mildew or mold. Food allergies - just like humans, some dogs and cats can have allergies to proteins like beef, chicken or soy. Ironically, your pet’s attempts to alleviate the symptoms by excessive grooming, scratching or licking not only don’t help, it can potentially lead to secondary health issues like skin infections and gastrointestinal issues. If your furry friend is experiencing any of the following common symptoms, it’d be worth visiting your veterinarian to see if he might be suffering from allergies. Your vet will be able to ask questions to uncover the potential cause of the allergies, give your pet an allergy test and make recommendations (including prescribing medication) to help improve your dog or cat’s allergy-based discomfort and symptoms. Flea bite allergy is another common type of skin allergy that we diagnose. Year-round flea control is prudent in California since fleas are active here year-round. Just because you’ve never seen a flea on your pet, does not mean your pet is immune to them! I commonly find fleas on pets whose owner claims they’ve never had a flea in their life. To summarize, the most common causes of allergies in pets include flea bite allergy, environmental (atopic der-

matitis), and food allergy, all of which are manifested as itchy skin and other common signs that will allow your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for not only treatment of the active flare-up, but also for long-term control and treatment of the underlying cause. Without tackling the cause, your pet’s allergies will likely be lifelong.


Your dog constantly scratches himself and it seems to get worse after you’ve been outside.


If left untreated and your dog is continually exposed to an allergen, she may suffer hair loss.


Just like humans, dogs can develop hives and rashes when they are exposed to something they are allergic to. Look at their belly and feet, particularly in between their toes - these are the areas of your pup’s body that are most frequently exposed to potential allergens. Ears are another area that can become inflamed and irritated due to allergies. Continued exposure to an allergen without treatment can result in “hot spots,” or areas of skin that become so inflamed that it becomes really red and might even bleed.


If an allergy is affecting your dog’s ears, he might constantly shake his head, there will likely be an odor emanating from his ears and he may not want you to touch his head.

Lynlee Fluent, DVM is the co-owner of Ortega Animal Care Center located at 27341 Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano. For more information, visit or call (949) 487-7600. 46 December 2019

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All Ages Fun By Jody Robinson


ust across the big blue bay from Southern California’s most laid back city, Coronado Island is San Diego’s best kept secret. Fun for family outings, or a mid-week escape from busy Los Angeles or Orange Counties, the island boasts a rich, romantic history and charming small town atmosphere that I’m certain proves to be a particularly welcome respite for those looking for a relaxing retreat from their worka-day worlds. Such was the case for my husband and I on a recent weekend getaway, but that isn’t to imply there is any shortage of activities. We brought the kids along and discovered that there is truly something for everyone, at every speed. Although locals refer to it as “the island,” Coronado is really a peninsula connected to the mainland by a finger


Coronado Island of land called the Silver Strand. With wide leafy streets lined with Victorian homes and Southern California beach bungalows, the island is small enough to walk almost anywhere (it’s only a mile from the San Diego Bay side of the peninsula to the Pacific Ocean). Once we parked the car at our “home base” upon arrival at the ideally situated and idyllic Glorietta Bay Inn (more on that in a minute), we literally left it in the lot the entire stay and tooled around town on foot or on two wheels.

Our weekend away was defined by unparalleled accommodation, scenic splendor, family bonding and even a bit of history. A visit to the Coronado Museum offers a glimpse into the life on the island dating back to the 1880s. For an active afternoon endeavor, there are plenty of places to rent a kayak or paddleboard to cruise under the bay bridge. For our part, we opted to take a two-wheeled tour to explore the environs at a leisurely pace. December 2019 48

We rented bicycles from Wheel Fun Rentals ( and started off along Coronado Beach before spending the better part of the afternoon tooling around town, along the Bayshore Bikeway, past Glorietta Bay and the Coronado Golf Course and under the Coronado Bridge (if you continue following the well-marked bike path, you’ll end up at the Coronado Ferry Landing, where a ten-minute ride would bring you to downtown San Diego.) Fans of author L. Frank Baum’s iconic classic “The Wizard of Oz” will enjoy pedal-

basking and relaxing on the eternally sunny Coronado Island. I have to say, our family learned everything we now know about the Spreckels Mansion and Coronado Island from Nancy, who provided a thorough and entertaining accounting of the island’s history and famous (and infamous) highlights. If all you want to do is sit back and let someone else play tour guide, the Old Town Trolley is just the fit. Looking for an even more tranquil experience? Sit back and take in the surf, sand and spectacular sunsets

HEAVENLY RETREAT Situated across the street from Coronado Beach, the Glorietta Bay Inn ( leans into the legendary reputation of island relaxation.

Wheel Fun Rentals

ing past the quaint yellow Cape Codstyle home (located right across from Star Park) that he rented during his stays and the place where he penned three of the books in the Oz series.

end stay, my husband and I strolled the picturesque stretch of sand and surf that meanders for over a mile along Ocean Boulevard in front of historic and glamorous houses. Voted among the top 10 beaches in the USA by the Travel Channel, this long and wide coastline is great for walks, runs, beach volleyball or sandcastle building. If you’re traveling with a furry friend, there’s even a leash-free dog zone at the far end of the beach where pups can frolic in the waves.

at any of Coronado’s five gorgeous, rarely crowded white sand beaches. At dusk both days during our week-

Originally built as the private residence of sugar baron John D. Spreckels, this beautiful boutique hotel features 11 mansion rooms (in the original building circa 1908) and 89 contemporary rooms and suites added in later years. Easy strolling distance from an array restaurants and retail shops, this landmark attraction famous for its grandeur architecture combines Old World charm with incredible California comfort. The Inn showcases a scenic outdoor verandah, a storied music room complete with a baby grand piano and a sun-

When we travel with the kids, we always try to incorporate an activity or educational opportunity to learn something “remarkable” or interesting about each locale. Sometimes we happen to stumble upon a unique aspect of the area and other times, it’s an endeavor best left in the hands of the professionals - in this case, local knowledge in the form of Nancy Cobb, Coronado Island resident and owner of the Coronado Walking Tour ( The 90-minute guided stroll starts in the Music Room of the The Glorietta Bay Inn and offers walk-bys of castles and cottages, along with a legendary tale or two about movie stars who’ve spent time December 2019 49

Photo credit: Brett Shoaf

Glorietta Bay Inn

Music Room at Glorietta Bay Inn

nine French doors which lead out to the breakfast patio overlooking Glorietta Bay and the Hotel del Coronado.

warmed lobby that once served as the grand foyer to Spreckels’ home. The structure was originally designed with the simple, classic lines of Italian Renaissance to showcase its six bedrooms, three baths, a parlor, dining room and library. At that time, Spreckels’ Mansion featured a brass cage elevator, a marble staircase with leather-padded handrails, skylights, marble floors and some of the Island’s most spectacular gardens. The home was built with reinforced steel 50 December 2019

and concrete, an earthquake precaution Spreckels insisted upon after living through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In 1913, Spreckels, a dedicated musician and pipe organist, added a spectacular 800-square-foot Music Room with an enormous 41-rank Aeolian Pipe Organ. The horseshoe-shaped Music Room, which can be enjoyed today with its player piano and as the starting point of the aforementioned historic tour of Coronado, boasts

Each of the historic mansion rooms are uniquely styled: the Sugar Baron Room, originally the private bedroom of Mrs. Spreckels, features a king-bedded room with a large balcony and a spectacular view of Glorietta Bay; the Spreckels Suite (once the private bedroom of John D. Spreckels), this beautiful room has a living room area with a convenient kitchenette, and a separate bedroom with a king size bed. French doors off the living room open up to a spacious balcony with an equally gorgeous view of Glorietta Bay. Amenities for all accommodations include access to a heated pool, complimentary continental breakfast and daily afternoon refreshments. And bonus! Glorietta Bay Inn offers its guests complimentary beach chairs, towels, and toys - so there’s no excuse not to stake out your own spot to soak up the sun. And with year round Vitamin D, you’ll never run out of reasons to visit.

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Subject of the Month: Medicare Part B Costs Increase in 2020


ou pay a premium each month for Part B. Your Part B premium will be automatically deducted from your social security check and if you aren’t taking social security yet then you’ll get a bill from the government. The Standard premium for Medicare in 2019 was $135.50. In 2020 it will increase to $144.60. This is close to a 7% increase and the biggest annual increase that I have seen in my years as a Medicare broker. The Medicare Part B deductible also increased; from $185 in 2019 to $198 in 2020. The Center for Medicare Services attributed the increase in Part B premiums and deductibles to their increased spending on physician-administered drugs. (CMS subsidizes Part D prescription drug plans). If your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount, you may pay an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago. The IRS provides this to Social Security. There are 5 income brackets that cause a person to pay more for their Medicare Part B. IRMAA happens starting when an individual’s MAGI is $87,000 and a married couple’s MAGI is $174,000.

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Medicare Part B Costs Increase in 2020 By Stephanie Frisch

You pay a premium each month for Part B. Your Part B premium will be automatically deducted from your social security check and if you aren’t taking social security yet then you’ll get a bill from the government.


ost people will pay the standard Part B premium amount. However, in order to afford to live in Orange County, many of those on Medicare make more than the base income requirement for the standard Part B premium for Medicare. If your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount, you may pay an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago. The IRS provides this to Social Security. There are 5 income brackets that cause a person to pay more for their Medicare Part B. The Standard premium for Medicare in 2019 was $135.50. In 2020 it will increase to $144.60. This is close to a 7% increase and the biggest annual increase that I have seen in my years as a Medicare broker. The Medicare Part B deductible also increased; from $185 in 2019 to $198 in 2020. The Center for Medicare Services attributed the increase in Part B premiums and deductibles to their increased spending on physician-administered drugs. (CMS subsidizes Part D prescription drug plans)

A bit of good news for those in the higher income brackets. Medicare raised the bar on what amount of income you can make before you start paying more for Medicare Part B. In 2019 it was $85,000 for an individual and $170,000 for a married couple. In 2020 it will change to $87,000 for an individual and $174,000 for a married couple. If you make above $87,000 - $109,000 or above $174,000$218,000 you’ll pay $202.40 a month for Part B. 62 December 2019

If you make above $109,000 - $136,000 or above $218,000$272,000 you’ll pay $289.20 a month for Part B. If you make above $136,000 - $163,000 or above $272,000$326,000 you’ll pay $376.00 a month for Part B. If you make above $163,000 – and less than $500,000 or above $326,000- $750,000 you’ll pay $462.70 a month for Part B. The “good news” is once you make $500,000 as an individual or $750,000 as a married couple; you can make any amount higher than that but still pay the same Part B premium. That monthly amount is $491.60. Next month I will let you know how much more you’ll pay for your Prescription drug coverage if your income falls above $87,000 as an individual or $174,000 as a married couple. Stephanie Frisch is the owner of Insurance 101 and is an independent insurance broker dedicated to helping others make “educated decisions” about their insurance choices when it comes to Medicare. For answers to your questions, or no-fee consultation, call (949) 351-2443.

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South County Magazine December 2019  

South County Magazine is distributed to residents and businesses in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hil...

South County Magazine December 2019  

South County Magazine is distributed to residents and businesses in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hil...