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SORBET

A SoCal Senior Publication

June 2021


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ENZO SCOGNAMIGLIO Brio Tuscany Grille • Advertising Partner since 2012 We have been consistently participating in every issue and are very pleased with our experience. Jody and her team truly care about helping our business continue to succeed. If you are interested in reaching the South County community, I am absolutely thrilled to recommend Jody and her fabulous team!

JEFF MCCABE One Way Painting • Advertising Partner since 2011 I really appreciate and value the service provided by Jody and her team at Community Publications. The close attention to detail that has gone into every article Jody has written is outstanding and has helped us get the word out on One Way Painting & California Gun Services. The articles you have written really show you understand what services we provide and what value we offer to our customers. Each time a magazine comes out, the calls increase, and we get to introduce the company to new people. Thank you for making everything so easy.

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IS YOUR BLADDER OUT OF CONTROL? INTERSTIM® 2ND GENERATION BLADDER CONTROL DEVICE CAN HELP! By Robert Pugach, MD & Evans Tran, PA

An overactive bladder (OAB) can result in too frequent trips to the bathroom, bladder leakage or urinary retention. These are common bladder symptoms that affect both women and men.

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ladder control problems should NEVER be considered a normal part of aging. Oftentimes, we cover up OAB symptoms and use expensive pads or diapers during the day. If you have tried treatments including limiting fluids, physical therapy exercises, bladder control medications or even bladder surgery - with limited or no success - there is an amazing alternative solution that can be effective for you! The alternative is to continue to limit social and physical activities, family

or friend interactions and physical intimacy. At Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center’s Women’s Bladder Control program, we have treated thousands of bladder control patients. When medications and other treatment options prove to be ineffective, we offer a medical device called InterStim®. InterStim® is a tiny battery that is placed under your skin to deliver a signal to the nerves that control the bladder. This remarkable FDA-approved device has been in common use in the United States for more than 20 years! Now, there is an improved battery that is MRI safe so you no longer need to be concerned about other effects. How does InterStim® work? One of the main causes of an overactive bladder or urinary retention is in the nerves that are near your tailbone. These nerves are responsible for controlling bladder function. Any disruption to these nerves may potentially cause bladder changes that include frequency, sudden urges, inability to make it to the bathroom in time, incomplete emptying or nighttime urination. The Interstim® device sends a gentle, constant electrical impulse to the nerves that control the bladder and restores the bladder function. You will have a controller that is periodically used to adjust the setting of the battery/pacemaker and ensure that it is working properly. The results

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are typically immediate and the relief you feel is amazing. You won’t even know when it’s working – it’s painless! “Getting the Interstim therapy has created a new life for me. It’s terrific to be able to go out and run errands without having to plan “pit stops.” It’s truly wonderful being back to normal, to walk to the bathroom, particularly when I’m out in public. It gives me a great sense of security to no longer be obsessed with the need to control my bladder.” - MaryAnn K. Read more patient reviews and view videos at https://www.pacificcoasturology.com/patient-videos/bladdercontrol/

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Painting the Canvas of Hope and Healing at City of Hope Newport Beach Frank Di Bella is no stranger to challenging times.

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fter being diagnosed with metastatic bladder cancer in 2011, he was initially given three to four months to live, until he received a second opinion from Sumanta K. Pal, M.D., an internationally recognized leader in kidney, bladder and prostate cancer at City of Hope. Ten years later, and he tributes his second chance at life to Dr. Pal, who practices in Newport Beach and Duarte. Di Bella has since formed the Let’s Be Frank Committee, a group devoted to raising meaningful funds to support Dr. Pal’s breakthrough research. As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, all events came to a standstill, including the “Let’s Be Frank About Cancer” Gala–an annual charity event that has raised over $7 million for City of Hope. Di Bella and the committee looked for more—and creative ways—to support City of Hope.

A DRIP OF FATE Art displayed on the walls of Flemings restaurant nearby caught the eye of Donna Porter, co-chair of the “Let’s Be Frank About Cancer” gala. Di Bella, Porter and other members routinely had their planning meetings for the gala here. Porter sought to add beauty and a healing essence to the building, and they knew exactly who could visually express this and bring it to life. As the final touches were placed at City of Hope Newport Beach, Di Bella reached out to Leonardo Cruz Melo, 8

a longtime friend of Di Bella who is a self-taught contemporary abstract artist, with an opportunity to lend his talent and artistic gift to the building. A week before her passing in December 2019, Porter invited Di Bella to her house in San Juan Capistrano. “Donna said, ‘I’m going to give you $100,000 for ‘Let’s Be Frank About Cancer,’” Di Bella said. “She asked to use part of it to acquire some paintings from Leonardo, because she knew she wouldn’t be alive to see the new facility. So that’s what I did.” Cruz Melo, now 40, had worked at Flemings since his teen years and began creating drip paintings, a form of fluid art, as a side business in the last several years. Fluid art entails pouring paint on a blank canvas and strategically moving it around, without using a paint brush. In a way, a cancer journey resembles this style of art – both presenting a challenge for control. Cruz has learned to embrace this challenge in his art. It is his philosophy and the way he lives his life. “The more I learned about City of Hope and the fact that they were coming to Orange County and also having a working relationship with Frank, I wanted to help,” he said.

A SECOND CHANCE FOR HOPE Cruz Melo has also been personally impacted by cancer. His mother, Alicia, is a breast cancer survivor and a nephew died of cancer at a young age in 2013. He hopes that


his art ultimately allows patients to feel a sense of comfort, brings a moment of stillness during the chaos and inspires patients to remain hopeful. Cruz Melo created five dynamic drip paintings, one being a triptych, that embodied peace and hope through his technique and color palette. The artwork pieces were donated to the Newport Beach facility through a joint donation by Cruz and Porter. “Going through chemotherapy isn’t easy,” Di Bella said, “and looking at the paintings offers a soothing effect. It’s very relaxing.”

A PLACE FOR HOPE AND HEALING Cruz Melo selected a soothing color palette consisting of blues, yellows, and greens to complement the Newport Beach interior. “It is so important to create an environment of hope and healing through art, especially for anyone who is going through cancer treatment. Art has healing properties and can provide beauty and peace in a time of change and fear. It brightens the atmosphere and our patient’s mood and outlook as they walk through the building,” said Melissa Sadikoff, Social Worker Program Specialist at City of Hope Newport Beach. Cruz Melo, Porter and Di Bella’s generosity and talents will serve as an inspirational reminder to the many patients at City of Hope Newport Beach that this is a place for hope and healing, and a canvas for peace even in the most challenging of times. “She would have tears in her eyes,” Di Bella said of his friend. “God bless her for thinking about the art in advance.” Discover safe and expert care at City of Hope Newport Beach. Visit www.cityofhope.org/OC or call 949.763.2204. 9


Treating the Whole Patient at La Paz Dentistry By Jody Robinson

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lifetime of healthy smiles starts with regular preventive dental care. A necessity made all the more enjoyable by utilizing the services of seasoned professionals like Drs. Tanaka and Yang of La Paz Dentistry in Laguna Hills. They and their team pride themselves on offering the highest quality clinical expertise and personalized service in a warm, compassionate atmosphere. The core philosophy is simple: “a healthy body starts with a healthy mouth.” In fact, a disease-free mouth can drastically improve the quality of an individual’s health, and Dr. Yang sees it as his lifelong mission to educate patients on the connection. “It’s my duty as a healthcare provider.” A graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles Dental School, Dr. Tanaka used his hours of service and continuing education to build a dream team at La Paz. “We have educators, support staff, and cheerleaders here, not just dentists or dental hygienists,” he says. “We’re a family, and we’re here to ensure that you understand what pinnacle oral care looks like.” Reviewing the practice’s scope of services, it looks a lot like combining pre10

ventative care with general dentistry. Visiting the dentist every six months ensures each patient has the chance to talk with your doctor, and address any nagging questions you might have about your oral healthcare plan. Checking in on your teeth and gums for signs of decay, cavities, or difficult-to-see issues you might not be able to feel comes next. A thorough cleaning, rinse, and polish are the last up, performed with the utmost care and respect for your beautiful smile. Experts in all aspects of the field, Drs. Yang and Tanaka pride themselves on the intensely comfortable environment they’ve built, paired with the most modern and state-of-the-art equipment on the market. “Continuous training is the only way to perfect our skills, and our training is our number one responsibility.” Restorative and cosmetic dentistry, periodontal dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, and Invisalign round out their impressive list of offerings. Crowns, bonding, fillings. Extraction, veneers, orthodontics. Each boast of a robust healthcare practice. “But what really sets us apart is the pride we take with each interaction between doctor, staff, and patient,” says Dr. Yang. “Treating each individual and forming long lasting relationships are

the most important part of our day.” Building trust with those you care for takes time, and delivering results for those who trust in your work is the chief outcome. Especially in a place where the attached stigma is so entrenched. “In dentistry, you get to treat the patient’s health, confidence, and fears every day. We have to use our whole mind and all our skills to come up with the most creative, cost-effective, and painless manner possible.”

DEAN TANAKA, DDS UCLA Dental School Graduate

ANDREW YANG, DMD

Temple University Dental School Graduate

And beyond the office walls? Drs. Tanaka and Yang aren’t shy about taking their skills on the road. “Volunteering at organized special needs clinics or seeing impacted individuals directly are a vital to the overall success of our business. Caring for those who have the least, means the most in return.” One of the most recent endeavors was with a group supporting abused women, and ensuring pinnacle dental hygiene is a step on the road to total health. First, you pick the right toothpaste, then you change the way people take care of their mouths.

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Inspirational Living at Serra Sol Memory Care Now Open in San Juan Capistrano

By Jody Robinson I was in middle school at my best friend’s house when her Dad got a call one afternoon. It was a complete stranger, albeit an incredibly friendly one, who had taken the time to sort through who my friend’s grandmother was and why she happened to be strolling up and down his street in the middle of the day. On our way over to pick her up, her Dad attempted to describe what was happening in her brain. Over dinner that night, I watched her between bites halfway expecting her to forget which utensil to use for the salad and the soup. But there, surrounded by her family at the dining table she’d eaten at a thousand times or more, she was sharp. Clear. Quick witted and lively. 12

Not a real specific disease, as I learned later through some of my own research, but more an umbrella covering the impairment of at least a couple of different brain functions; dementia’s group conditions affect memory loss and judgment, often the two most important pieces in the typical motions of an everyday life. Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s all snug up neatly under the umbrella, as does vascular dementia. At some point, like with my friend’s grandmother later that year, it can become necessary to offer more care than is available around the home. That’s when care in a senior living community like Serra Sol Memory Care in San Juan Capistrano becomes so vitally important.

A partnership between Protea Senior Living and Agemark Senior Living two of the foremost names in senior residence care - Serra Sol Memory Care prides itself on offering “a truly inspired life” for its residents. As with all things, there are homes that feel like sterile hospitals and communities that feel like home. Serra Sol certainly falls in the latter category. Providing exceptional care is the tip of the iceberg at the new South Orange County location, and like most icebergs, the weight of their mission hovers below the surface, imbuing each day with meaning derived from little things that mean a lot. As the management company who will oversee all day-today operations, Agemark creates true communities that are warm and wel-


coming, and works diligently to give those in their care love, laughter and joy and encourages residents to live life fully - despite the challenges they face. Renowned for turning the traditional image of an old-folks home into a passionate, engaging, mission-driven community, Agemark’s custom touches at Serra Sol include an onsite Director of Nursing, Physician oversight, assisted telemedicine appointments, balanced menus and dining services, on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy from preferred partners, and regular communication of resident’s assessment and needs with loved ones. My friend later shared that her grandmother’s room at the senior care residence might not have been a replica of her bedroom in the home she lived in for years, but all of the important things were there - photos, cards from the grandkids, her favorite reading chair. At Serra Sol, they understand that in addition to making sure your loved one’s health-related needs are met, equally important is the warmhearted staff who care deeply about their feelings, and the routine and familiarity of place that sparks an awareness of the positive memories they carried in with them. As far as personalized care goes, Serra Sol has it all. In fact, through the 26

An Agemark facility, in conjunction with Protea Capital Partners - two of the foremost names in senior residence care - Serra Sol Memory Care prides itself on offering “a truly inspired life” for its residents.”

Agemark communities spanning six states, everything from the environment to the friendly faces one sees each day contribute to an elite level of service. The leadership teams are all handpicked, ensuring that each member of the staff exemplify the values they hold close: professionalism, integrity, compassion. Employees assist with daily outings and activities, customizing them to each resident’s passions and interests. From social gatherings to individual spiritual practices, crafts, baking, yoga, walking, or trips to local attractions, keeping residents motivated and excited for the day-to-day means stimulating their minds and bodies. After all, feeling engaged combats memory loss, and can even trigger new neural pathways to link old and new memory together. Serra Sol boasts an incredibly safe and secure environment, keeping those with memory loss top of mind. 13


My friend’s grandmother passed away a few years after she moved into the home, at a ripe old 93. I’m told she was surrounded every day by the comforts of her own memories until the end, and remained a hilarious, crisp fighter regardless of what came her way. I understand the perils that a disease like dementia can bring a bit better now that I’m older, but that only amplifies my gratitude for the safety and sense of community that the residents of Serra Sol Memory Care enjoy. Set the standard for care for your own loved ones, at Serra Sol.

Secured entries and exits, alarm systems, and emergency call buttons complement lovely natural vegetation and water features in the residence’s secure outdoor courtyard, perfect for dining or simply enjoying an afternoon chat. Restaurant-style meals are served in a beautifully appointed dining room, and a multipurpose area serves to house crafts, cooking, games, film screenings and more. A state-of-the-art Tovertafel table features a game system providing cognitive stimulation to its players in the form of movement and interaction. Don’t miss the ice cream sundae dipping station in the dining area,

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where everyone can enjoy a sweet treat. Additionally, activities and outings will be in abundance, with a Life Enrichment Coach on hand to ensure residents are able to cultivate their current interests as well as try new things. Choose one of three floorplans, and enjoy a private or companion room. All feature en suite, private bathrooms, walk-in showers with grab bars for safety, and a bench for comfort. Storage space ensures residents can bring their favorite objects from home - making each suite a welcoming, warm respite at the end of the day.

SERRA SOL MEMORY CARE 31451 Avenida Los Cerritos San Juan Capistrano (949) 485-2022 SerraSol.com


A Lifetime of Healthy Smiles We are committed to providing the highest quality clinical care and personalized service in a warm and compassionate atmosphere. Our doctor and staff enjoy getting to know each patient and their families, and love creating relationships that last multiple generations.

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Senior-Focused Niche Real Estate Firm `Provides Options for Home Sellers ow does life look in the seventh, eighth or ninth decade? As one enters this period of life, adorned with wrinkles, heirlooms and too much yard work, there are countless concerns to consider. Selling your home, or relying on your adult children to do so, shouldn’t be one of them.

can be extremely overwhelming, and they saw an opportunity to remedy this situation.

“We watched our grandparents reach the point of no longer being able to live alone,” said Rob. “We saw the effort it took from our entire family to support them through the transition of selling long-time Rob Perkins and sister homes and lining up Corinne Ross, founders new residences, calling of San Diego-based on family to become Senior Home Purchase experts in real estate, Program (SHPP), organizing, cleaning know this all too well. and caretaking.” After a decade of residential real estate “We founded SHPP in investing, personal 2015 with the mission experience led them of offering seniors to the realization a simple way to that the traditional transition into senior home selling process living,” said Perkins.

SHPP offers a direct purchase option, in which SHPP buys the home directly from senior homeowners, at a nominal discount, and with no fees to the seller. This allows the seller to quickly and easily transition into their next home, without any prep work, repairs, or costs. As SHPP has become popular in the San Diego senior living community, and with recent expansion into Orange County, the company continues to evolve with market conditions. In keeping with their original mission, SHPP has launched their new listing service, Simply Sell, an “easy list and sell” option for clients

who might benefit from the more traditional listing method to fully maximize their home’s value. “Simply Sell offers a streamlined listing process which eliminates many of the inconveniences involved in a home sale,” explains Perkins. “With our expert pricing strategy, full oversight and management of all aspects of the home sale, no upfront cost for repairs, $2,500 paid by us for decluttering, packing and unpacking services, and coordination of move logistics - Simply Sell removes all of these burdens from the home seller, allowing them to focus on

their next home.” Perkins and Ross emphasize that with both programs, they will continue to deliver on their promise to serve seniors with integrity and transparency. “We are in the business of helping people pilot an emotional and financially important decision, and we do not take this lightly,” said Ross. For further details and a complimentary consultation to determine which SHPP option would be best for your specific situation, please contact us at 714-923-7477 or visit westviewshpp.com.

OR We purchase your home in ‘as-is’ condition and close according to your timeline.

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By Jody Robinson

When I was younger, my Mom loved to read me the book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.” The plot essentially revolves around an ever-growing list of to-do’s that had to be accomplished, all set into motion by the simple act of giving a mouse a cookie. This tale came back to me recently when I purchased a new television at Best Buy.

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hat was a simple shopping trip ended up being an adult’s version of that circular tale. If you give a grownup a television, they’ll have to measure their wall. When they measure the wall, they’ll realize they may actually 18

have room for a bigger television. When they buy the bigger television, they’ll find out they have no idea how to mount it to the wall. When they start mounting it to the wall, they’ll see that the power outlets are all in the wrong places. When they realize

the outlets need to be moved, they’ll call an electrician. (This could go on forever.) Luckily for clients who have been on the receiving end of ReelTime’s patient, intelligent, and personalized


service, the rabbit hole of home automation doesn’t have to swallow you entirely. With the help of their independent certified Control4 dealer, it’s easy to update your home without upending your entire life. After all, the true luxury of an integrated entertainment system is really dependent on its ability to deliver seamless entertainment. By placing every control at your fingertips, the team at ReelTime helps homeowners manage everything from how brightly lit your family room is, to your streaming devices - all with a single remote. And best yet? You can control your whole home from the comfort of your couch- even seeing who is at the front door, without ever leaving your seat. Simple, clean, and uncluttered. And on the home entertainment front … when you started planning for your ultimate home theater set-up and sound system, could you find the right media cabinetry for your particular space – cabinetry that wouldn’t catch on fire from the heat of the equipment, or that would simply look good in the room? Did you understand half of what the televisions, receivers and other devices could

do, and did you have anyone to hold your hand to make sure you weren’t overspending for what you wanted?

and send you off to figure it out at home. That’s what they do. And that’s all they do.

Big box retailers, the professed champions of value, are happy to sell you any home theater and sound equipment you think you might like,

If you want the home theater system that you envision, seek the services of Skip Myers and his team of experienced professionals at ReelTime to take you from start to finish for the home theater or sound system of your dreams. “Usually there is a part of the job that you find you just can’t do by yourself,” says Skip, who has overseen the design and installation of thousands of home theater and sound systems over the course of 40-plus years in the business. “You get your brand new television home, you’re so excited, then you realize you need to move an outlet or none of the cabinets you can find will fit your space. We’re here to make sure you get the equipment that will give you what you want and the system that will work with that equipment, without leaving you to fend for yourself.” 19


“You can buy everything you want to, but if you can’t operate it, what’s the point?” he says. “There’s the television, DVD and Blue-ray; there’s the receiver, there’s Apple TV… it’s all great, but how do you get them to work together? We’re big advocates of the universal remote. Not everyone knows how to get the most out of their systems with one powerful remote – they’re not expensive, but the best ones are computer-based. We’ll set that up for you so you’re getting the most out of your custom system.”

We’re here to make sure you get the equipment that will give you what you want and the system that will work with that equipment, without leaving you to fend for yourself.

It’s easy to assume that personal service is expensive, but a conversation with Skip and the experts at ReelTime is free. Ultimately, in planning your purchases for the right outcome, you’re likely to save money while avoiding chilling setbacks. The only chilling you want to be doing is in front of your fantasy home theater system.

Skip opened the doors at ReelTime in 1983. Today, the technicians and designers that Skip assigns to clients are all ReelTime employees, knowledgeable in all home theater and sound technologies. First, they work closely with you to determine what you’re looking for. Then they custom design every aspect of the project, from wiring to custom-built cabinets, frames, or built-in wall designs. Finally, licensed, in-house contractors install your entertainment system with care and precision. There are a couple of things that people may not think about when they embark upon the road to their own home entertainment system. “You need to think about your home theater goals,” says Skip. “You don’t have to do everything at once – you can do it bit by bit – but if you know where you’re going, you’ll save money and when it’s all said and done, you’ll have exactly what you want and what you will actually use. We’re here to help you determine your goals.” Skip is also an advocate for getting what you’ll use, which is part of the design and planning process. 20

Connect with Skip Myers and ReelTime by calling (949) 240-0555, stop by their beautiful new showroom at 26381 Via De Anza in San Juan Capistrano or visit www.reeltimeav.com


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Issue: Date:

March 2020 2/9/20

Time:

Four Color, Gloss Paper

6:00pm

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Design or copy changes will result in additional charges and will only be considered if time permits. The Local DISH® cannot guarantee quality and color • Mostreproduction Chemical Resistant exactness. Colors may vary due Call today forto file formats, computer monitors and/or printing processes. This ad is the property of The Local Dish® Magazine. Reproduction, copyinga and/or AllSlip rights reserved. • Wet or Dry Resistant FREE distribution estimate in any way is strictly prohibited without prior written consent. ©2020 The Local Dish® Magazine.

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21


Home Improvement Spotlight:

Although Cecilia’s Interiors offers a wide variety of services, they specialize in custom: • Draperies and valances • Re-upholstery and Slip Covers • Complete Bed ensembles (bedspread, skirts, shams)

Save Money with Fabrics by the Yard Direct from the Mill Hard as it may be for her to believe, Cecilia Durking has been beautifying residential, business and marine interiors for 50 years in South OC - taking pride in every stitch she has made since 1969.

T

oday, with her daughter Lisa by her side, the pair of expert seamstresses boast a unique distinction in their business.

"We have a workroom on our premises which allows us to offer a wide range of products and services to fit our clients’ needs and lifestyles," says Cecilia. "We proudly stand behind all of all of our work. We believe in quality craftsmanship and use only the best materials for our projects." The company, which originally started up on Del Mar in the 1970s, worked its way to its current location with a steady stream of loyal customers and their referrals to keep their operation going strong. "I entrusted my two Louis XVI chairs for reupholstering and was delighted with her work," says client Ellendea T. "Given the superb attention to detail I would say the cost is quite reasonable. I highly recommend her. She is often busy, so book ahead for your projects." Cecilia's Interiors 154 Calle De Los Molinos San Clemente (949) 492-0881 | CeciliasInteriors.com 22

• Woven Woods, Blinds, Verticals, Shades • Furniture (dining room sets, chairs & sofas) • Room Design (layout, colors, etc.) • Accessories (lamps, mirrors, flower arrangements)


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www.greenwallplumbing.com 23


BRONWYN GORMAN | Decorating Den Interiors By Jody Robinson

Over a half-century ago, a former fabric salesman named Steve Bursten had a vision: an unparalleled interior design catalogue that would match creatives to homes across the US and Canada.

O

riginally known as American Drapery Consultants, Steve took his dream to the streets, and within a single year, the first franchise was born. Today, with designers scattered across the states and our neighbor to the north, Decorating Den Interiors (DDI) can tackle a single room or build an entirely new home with you. To your style, with your specifications, using the best product possible.

An expert in her field, Interior Designer Bronwyn Gorman is more than a creative mind at DDI. Bringing a treasure trove of style to the table and a pocketful of tricks and tips to build out the most “you” space possible, her methodologies are deliberate and dedicated. “I truly believe that a home should reflect the people who live in it, not the person who designed it.” 24

A longtime Orange County resident, Bronwyn embraces the unique lifestyle of its population, and the indoor-outdoor spaces that reflect it. Where else can you hit the waves and the ski hill in the same day? “A house isn’t just a home, it is your refuge, your sanctuary at the end of the day, and responsible for ushering you into each new one," she says. "I want to promote health and happiness with my designs - from the ease of process to the details in your favorite room.” Bronwyn's business, a reflection of her personal values and ideals, takes the leap from outstanding customer service into genuine respect and care for her clients. “I’m passionate and motivated to understand each individual I have the pleasure of working with." And it shows in her projects.


Art Gallery &Framing

From bedding to window treatments, furniture to light fixtures, no detail is too small. Once a budget is reached and agreed upon, a final consultation and presentation come to life, and the design of your dreams begins to take shape. Bronwyn’s design services couldn’t be more thorough or more convenient. Because she comes to you, she is able to see the lighting and get a feel for the flow/how things work in your home. “Feeling like you’re understood and falling in love with your space each time you walk through the door don’t have to be mutually exclusive," says Bronwyn. "It's in our attention to detail and customization that we can truly make a difference, as we can offer options and resources to create a room like no other, one that is uniquely you."

BRONWYN GORMAN Owner | Interior Designer Decorating Den Interiors (949) 755-2032 bronwyngorman.decoratingden.com

• Creative Consultation • Custom Picture Framing • Custom Framed Mirrors • Over 3000 Frames Available • Art and Frame Restoration • All Work Done on Premises

27601 Forbes Rd., Suite 32 Laguna Niguel, 92677

949.831.3909 Monday-Friday 10-6 Saturday 10-5 Sunday closed

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idconsign@sbcglobal.net 25


Crafting Dreams Deliberately with Cabinets OC By Jody Robinson

There’s much to be said about purpose leading to calm, mission leading to quality and craftsmanship. Strategy lends its hand to success.

J

eff Ong might go a bit further and tell you that creating dreams comes with its fair share of nightmares, but that the team at Cabinets OC is truly dedicated to crafting a first-class custom experience for each customer, no matter what.

AFTER

A family-owned company driven to build affordable, high quality custom crafted cabinets for its clients, Cabinets OC found its start after seeing renovation after renovation settle for mass-produced cabinets from the local big box store. “From concept to design, delivery to execution, our skilled artisans use not only the latest technologies but time-proven techniques to ensure incomparable quality," says Jeff. "Why would you ever settle for less than ideal materials, hardware, and craftsmanship?” Boasting two state-of-the-art design studios and a 15,000 square foot manufacturing facility, Jeff and his team build each one of their custom cabinets to withstand thirty plus years of use and abuse.

BEFORE “Building or renovating personal and commercial spaces is incredibly stressful, but our team is prepared for every step of the process, and before we even pull out a tape measure, we ensure that each client understands it as well. Our team is as dedicated to creating calm as we are producing your dream kitchen or bath buildout.”

European frameless or Baltic birch dovetailed drawer boxes, crown molding or maplewood doors, lazy Susan or spice pull out: no job is too detailed. Cutting corners has never been more precise.

Cabinets OC (714) 364-0049 www.CabinetsOC.com 26


Over 35 years experience

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20 OFF % Fabrics

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Alza Italian Kitchen_2FC_CAORC10.indd 2

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27


OC CARPET & MORE FLOORING | KITCHEN & BATH REMODELING Up To

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ESTATE FIREARM SPECIALISTS

We Come to You! Free in-home consultation! We buy any size collection. By Appointment Only

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*Our process is approved and certified by local law enforcement, legal, safe and adheres to all state and federal firearms laws.

HOW IT WORKS We will appraise and provide a fair market price for each firearm. We take care of all the legal paperwork and give you a receipt of acquisition from the Department of Justice for each firearm. We come to you (this limits breaking any transportation laws and potentially unsafe gun handling). Our reps are certified by the ATF, DOJ and local law enforcement + are Certified Safety Instructors All we need from you is a valid picture ID and signature.

28


IF IT’S IN YOUR AIR DUCTS, IT’S IN YOUR LUNGS! Improve Air Quality • Reduce Allergens • Lower Energy Bills Residential Duct Cleaning Heating & Air Conditioning Cleaning Dryer Vent & Duct Cleaning Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Chimney Sweeping & Fireplace Cleaning Pressure & Power Washing + Commercial, Industrial & Restaurant

$50 OFF Whole House Air Duct Cleaning

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Dryer Vent Cleaning

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May be combined with other offers. Exp. 06.30.2021

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Air Duct Cleaning

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or

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Steve Carter is known and respected throughout South Orange County Check out our 5 Star Rating on

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29


LAGUNA KOI PONDS

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is

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Raising the Bar on Health & Safety, 24 Hour Fitness is committed to keeping our community healthy! When you return to the reopened club, you can expect clean SEA BREEZE (949)and well-spaced environments, new touch-free club Sha 328-9890 • dickeys.com (949) 448-0093 • greatclips.com (949) 360-7553 • ocsparkle.com CLEANERS check-in, safety guidelines that support DINE-IN Shop• TAKE-OUT theand largestimportant selection of formal @LAGUNANIGUELPROMENADE S CATERING •wear ONLINE in Orange County. Find your $ the 24USHour the health &ORDERING wellness of members and FOLLOW ON Fitness FACEBOOK (949) 831-5060 • seabreezecleaners.biz Perfect dress at OC Sparkle! n For up-to-date center information NOW team. OPEN! We’re OPEN & here to Special offers • Events • Covid updates Designer Evening Wear $ Clean & Sanitize for you! up to 60% OFF NEW touch-free 24 Hour Fitness club check-in! Go to the Classic Sandwich for Two regular price haircut AppofStore or Google with the purchase 2-Meat Plates Play & download the free 24GO® % a large fountain drink adults reg. 22 • kids & seniors app. to bypass touching high-contact surfaces by reg. 19 by Appointment checking into the clubOnly using Valid your mobile It’s quick at the Laguna Niguel Promenadephone. location only. Not valid with any other offers. dry cleaning Must present coupon. Exp. 6/10/2021 & easy! Call or Email Today! Valid at the Laguna Niguel Promenade location only. Excludes leather & suede.

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Offer valid for 7 consecutive days of tanning in any one of our tanning booths. Visit www.planetbeauty.com for full list of exclusions. Valid at the Laguna First time customers with ID. Limited time offer. Exp. 6/10/2021 Niguel Promenade location only. Cannot combine offers. Some exclusions apply. Thank you for your patience & support! See store associate for details. Employees flag MALL CENTER. Exp. 6/10/2021

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LAGUNA NIGUEL PROMENADE

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(949) 360-7553 • ocsparkle.com Shop the largest selection of formal wear in Orange County. Find your Perfect dress at OC Sparkle!

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ook your appointmentatoday. new

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59

$ 27941 La Paz Road, Suite #C

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*Regular valueElof at least $290. In absence of gum (periodontal) disease. Located in Laguna Niguel Promenade next to Avila’s Ranchito $ $ New patients only. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Coupon must be presented at appointment. Limit 1 per patient. Subject to insurance OR restrictions; cannot be applied to insurance $co-payments or deductible. valid for appointments with pediatric dentist. real Not estate agent

Selecting the right Cleaning, Exam & makes all the difference -- whether you're planning on buying, selling, or Digital X-rays* youof gum just havedisease. a question... lar value of at least $290. In absence (periodontal) New patients only. Cannot be

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of 100

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POSTER FRAMING SPECIAL

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LAGUNA NIGUEL

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custom airbrush or spray tan First time customers with ID. Limited time offer. Exp. 6/10/2021

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Casanova Ristorante serves up some of the best Italian dishes this side of Venice

By Jody Robinson

I

f you’re in the mood for delicious, authentic Italian fare served in a romantic atmosphere where the owners and staff make you feel like a personal guest in their home, look no farther than Casanova Ristorante. My husband Tim discovered the Dana Point restaurant while vacationing in Venice, Italy over 15 years ago. Strolling by a quaint eatery, he noticed its sign showcased a sister establishment in Southern California not far from his San Clemente home. His experience of what he calls “truly terrific” culinary dishes prompted him to seek out Casanova Ristorante in the hopes that the “authentic Venetian” specialties served up stateside would rival its Italian counterpart.

Owners Chris Lagaris (R) and Stefano Xenos

The popular Dana Point restaurant apparently more than delivered because Casanova Ristorante has consistently been the eatery of choice when deciding on where to go on “date night.” I can’t speak to the cuisine at its sister establishment in Venice, but I can tell you that literally everything I’ve tried on the menu here has been nothing short of superb. The service is excellent – attentive and unobtrusive – the ambiance is warm and friendly and its 36

popular cocktail lounge featuring specially selected wine list (and full bar) has a loyal following among locals and visitors alike. Start with the Mozzarella Caprese, which arrives with slices of fresh tomato topped with creamy buffalo mozzarella cheese and basil and served with virgin olive oil. Another popular pick is the antipasto misto made up of a selection of cured meats and complementary cheeses and my personal fave: the Carpaccio al Salmone defined by crisp romaine, capers, radicchio topped with smoked salmon, lemon and olive oil. For the main course, Tim’s favorite dishes include the “Pink Lady Fettuccine” made with chicken and sundried tomatoes tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce and a flavorful Rigatoni Mamma Rosa with Italian sausage and mushrooms in a tomato sauce with a touch of cream. My favorites include the Lasagne al Forno which arrives with layers of perfectly al dente pasta, ricotta cheese and meat sauce baked with mozzarella cheese.

A seafood aficionado? Options abound – ranging from the Linguini Vongole Veraci (long, flat pasta with baby Manila clams sautéed in a white wine sauce) and Farfalle al Salmone (bowtie pasta with smoked salmon tossed in a cream and tomato sauce with a touch of vodka) to the Linguini alla Pescatora (long, flat pasta with fresh fish of the day, shrimp, calamari, mussels and clams in a light tomato sauce. Portions are generous, but if you’ve saved room for a little something sweet … try the crème brulee with its perfectly carmelized top or the homemade tiramisu, a traditional favorite or an equally delicious warm chocolate cake accompanied by vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and drizzled with a rich chocolate sauce.

Casanova Ristorante 33585 Del Obispo St. Dana Point (949) 496-0992 casanovaristorante.com


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Timeless Escape to Napa Valley By Jody Robinson I was at a bookstore the other day, best sellers dotting the front shelves. In the back, over by the kids books were a series of board games, dolls, and puzzles. A surprising number of the puzzles depicted scenes from California: cities and beaches, redwoods and wineries. A great many I recognized were from Napa Valley, famous for its picturesque wineries (grand scale, boutique and everything in between) and renowned varietals, and yet equally famous for its dramatic views, world-class resorts and restaurants. My husband and I are lucky to have family who live in the region so preCovid weekend getaways were super easy and required little excuse or forward planning. About an hour from the Sacramento Airport, early summer is an ideal time to visit when the sun’s latitude slants just so across the rolling hills of fertile soil. Like many visitors and locals alike, we love to explore the offerings of both 40

well-established and up-and-coming wineries; some to drink, some just to stroll the grounds. Understated and unbelievable, Napa Valley a must-experience destination for any and all. To celebrate my husband’s mid-May birthday, we dropped the kids with family and indulged in an adults-only weekend away that combined unforgettable accommodations and amenity, unsurpassed destination dining and of course, copious consumption of outstanding vintages.

MERITAGE RESORT AND SPA & VILLA COLLINA RESORT In 1988, the word “Meritage” was born. Blended together from the words “merit” and “heritage,” it was meant to umbrella one-of-a-kind California varietals that didn’t quite hit the Bordeaux-style checklist. So a new list was invented. One that bred a generation of classic vintages. It’s no wonder that the Meritage Collection crafted a Napa resort in-


Trinitas Cellars it with lavish accommodations, spa treatments in an underground Estate Cave, delicious cuisine at Olive + Hay, nine tasting rooms, artisan grocer and culinary center and you suddenly have a full package set before you, like a decadent charcuterie plate.

Vista Collina Resort stallment reflective of the local sunshine-soaked vines with a uniquely laid-back approach to luxury. Each property in the collection offers an exceptional experience with an iconic locale, perhaps none more stunning than the Meritage Resort and Spa and Napa’s newest lifestyle resort Vista Collina (meritagecollection.com): sister plots tucked into acres of rolling sun-soaked hillside vineyards. Undoubtedly, just dangling the idea of effortless bliss like a dewy grape would be enough reason to escape the traffic-clogged streets of LA. But pair

Owner/Chef Jude Wilmoth and his wife Meaghan

Since its opening, Vista Collina Resort has further elevated the Napa Valley experience with its gorgeous Tuscan-styled architecture, spacious accommodations and a luxurious pool flanked by private cabanas. With a focus on culinary and tasting experiences, perhaps the property’s most unique feature - separate tasting rooms

encircling a beautiful community lawn representing nine distinct wineries. We selected Trinitas Cellars (trinitascellars.com), widely considered one of the region’s benchmark wineries. The experience here more than delivered on the winemaker’s stated mission to craft varietals that are “so compellingly delicious, that the joy it brings creates a window in time where worries are melted away, virtues are celebrated, and life is savored.” The two resorts’ indulgent amenities list is daunting at first glance, but there is much to be said for a full day on the vineyard followed by a relaxing solo fitness session or room service to your suite. Try Trinitas Cellars’ tasting room or even a virtual experience en

Cook St. Helena 41


Bottega

suite. Either way: Meritage and Vista Collina deliver a deliciously aged, one-of-a-kind vintage you won’t soon forget.

DESTINATION DINING St. Helena is home to some of the most storied wineries in Napa Valley, which translates to being considered a destination of choice for serious oenophiles. But St. Helena is about much more than its world-class producers. When traveling, we always attempt to seek out the restaurants popular with locals - a practice that hasn’t yet disappointed. This trip, we discovered Cook St. Helena (cooksthelena.com) - a petite eatery defined by Chef/ Owner Jude Wilmoth’s delicious locally sourced Italian cuisine, excellent service and an elegant atmosphere. For starters, the burrata, toast, extra virgin olive oil, castelvetrano olive tapenade was a flavorful flavor combination as were the mussels, housemade sausage, spicy sausage broth and grilled bread. There’s something for everyone on the menu - from housemade pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads and a daily soup to heartier entrees such as the roasted chicken chop (with vegetables from their own garden), petrale sole picatta paired with whipped potatoes and garden green beans and a tender, fallingoff-the-bone braised shortrib accompanied by a soft parmesan polenta, mushroom and cipollini jus. Did I mention housemade pasta? There 42

simply is nothing better to serve as the base for a variety of succulent preparations like the cavatelli all’arrabbiata enhanced with housemade sausage, sliced garlic, tomato and basil. And the gnocchi here was simply divine - richly enhanced with gorgonzola and cracked pepper. My husband and I love, love, love Italian cuisine so we kept the weekend theme going by joining local friends for the bold flavors and fine dining experience of Chef and Owner Michael Chiarello’s Bottega (botegganapavalley.com) in Yountville - another Napa Valley region recognized for its highly sought-after culinary offerings. Housed in a building that was originally a winery, the ambiance juxtaposes its architectural origins of rustic brick walls and timber beam ceiling with refined design elements (think Murano glass chandeliers and rich upholstered furnishings), but the true star of the show is in its inventive menu offerings such as the Monterey squid crusted with crispy arborio rice or the woodgrilled octopus over smoky paprika braised potatoes with salsa verde arugula and red onions.

Our friend claims she’s not generally a fan of gnocchi, but adores Bottega’s rendition of ricotta “pillows” with old hen tomato sauce and Pecorino Romano where there was nary a pillow left on her plate at meal’s end. The herb-crusted Branzino (a European sea bass) was amazing, flavored with brown butter, preserved lemon and capers while the Pollo alla Diavola was also a big hit - Calabrian marinated chicken with roasted cippolini onions, cherry tomatoes and peppers in chicken jus. You simply can’t go wrong dining out in Napa Valley - this foodie haven features Michelin-starred dining, celebrity chef establishments and beloved farm-to-table eateries and this pair of destination restaurants are high on our list for a repeat visit the next time we trek to wine country.

Bottega Owner Chef Michael Chiarello


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Pets of the Month This blue-eyed charmer is Ash, a two year old Husky mix with a great personality. While he may not want to play fetch, Ash is an affectionate boy who absolutely loves to be by your side. Owing to his sweet disposition, he would likely be a good companion for family members of any age.

Guinea pig buddies Peanut and Butter are quite the terrific twosome. Sociable and very food-motivated, these little guys often run over to greet visitors to see what treats are to be had. Guineas pigs are considered exotic pets and require specific care and diet but can be very fun and rewarding pets. Peanut and Butter would make great additions to just about any home.

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If you are interested in adopting an animal listed here, please visit www.PetProjectFoundation.org/Adoptions/AdoptADog or www.PetProjectFoundation.org/Adoptions/AdoptACat to download an adoption application form. Completed forms can be emailed to AnimalServices@scdpanimalshelter.org and you will be contacted about making an interaction appointment.

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ing it to her skin. With great results. Transferring her success into crafting custom formula massage creams and other skin care products for her clients from plants she grew and harvested herself, Crystal found herself on the path to becoming a Certified Clinical Herbalist. A couple winning turns in the Emerald’s Cup Topical category later, she and a business partner began Feed CBD. “Your skin is incredibly important to total body health,” she says. “What goes on, goes in.” Since your skin clocks in at the largest organ in the human body, Crystal will be the first to tell you that your hair and body products should bolster your endocannabinoid system. “That’s why we call our brand FeedCBD: our products feed your skin.” Follow

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How Dads Can Form

completing chores and finishing up work. In doing so, you will remove barriers in your life that would otherwise prevent you from spending more time with your children.

RELATIONSHIPS

The following are a few quick and easy ways to practice mindfulness as a dad:

BETTER Through Mindfulness By Anthony Cupo

Everyone knows that great parents raise great children. Unfortunately, while there are countless articles, thought leadership pieces, and tutorials on being an effective mother, there are surprisingly few resources for dads who want to do the same.

H

ow can dads learn to be better role models, educators, guides, and mentors for their children? While there is no simple how-to guide to excel as a new father, dads can benefit immensely from two core practices: mindfulness and meditation. You might be wondering: how can the process of meditation help me become a better father? If so, then you are exactly the parent who needs to read the contents of this article — follow along for key tips that will improve your skills as both a dad and a family figure.

PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

What is mindfulness? How does one practice it? Perhaps most importantly, how can dads use it to foster a better relationship with their children? Mindfulness is defined in many ways and spaces, but for the purpose of improving as a father, the following definition will suffice: mindfulness is 52

the act of placing our attention entirely on a single moment, and then continuing to practice being present in that moment. For dads, this means choosing to be completely present with your child whenever possible. By focusing on your child and letting go of distractions — such as thoughts about chores, work, social media, or your hobbies — you allow yourself to be a more effective and attentive parent. This is wonderful news for your children, who will benefit immensely from your attention on them. It is also great news for your role as a father. When you practice mindfulness and place your full attention on the task at hand, you complete that task faster and more effectively. This, in turn, allows you to fully focus on other tasks when your attention is not on your children. That’s right: mindfulness is also a tool for learning how to focus on the other responsibilities of parenting, such as

• Do Not Fall into The Maladaptive Daydreaming Trap: The opposite of mindfulness is wishing for things we do not and cannot have. Maybe you wish you had a better job or looked another way — it is not necessarily wrong to strive for these things, but daydreaming about regrets or impossible realities will only take you out of the moment you are in. • Begin and End the Day Without Technology: Technology is not necessarily a bad thing, but it has a habit of separating us from those in our immediate circle. If you want to spend more time with your kids, consider cutting down on your screen time and being present with those in the room with you. • Focus on Little Steps, Not Enormous Goals: Great goals are achieved through small means. For instance, becoming a better dad starts with the simple, small step of choosing to learn how to improve as a father. Recognizing these small steps and celebrating each one is a great way to practice intentional mindfulness. • Practice Gratitude with Your Children: Try talking about what you are grateful for each day at dinner with your children. Not only will this put you in the moment, but it will also help you model a positive mindset to your children, who will pick up on this behavior and seek to replicate it.

TRY MEDITATION

If you have never meditated before, you may have a misunderstanding of what meditation is — and what it can do for you as a father. The truth is that meditation is much more than quiet contemplation. Nor is it an hours-long spiritual journey intended


to help you escape from the roles and responsibilities as a parent. Instead, meditation is a process of calming your mind — often for only a few minutes each day — so that you can accept the challenges of parenthood without shrinking away from them. Meditation is a key stress reliever, a great modeling technique, and a wonderful way to show your children how to effectively deal with emotional, spiritual, and mental turbulence.

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Meditation can improve your success as a father in a myriad of ways. Some dads report a greater sense of inner peace and calm as a result of meditation. Others talk about how they have become more patient and responsive to their children after meditating. And still others have said that meditation has helped them remove barriers in other parts of their life so that they can be present with their children when they are actively parenting.

WITH US

Beyond personal experience, mindful meditation has concrete and well-studied medical benefits. Through research conducted at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, scientists found the following among survey respondents: • Mindfulness-oriented programs that include meditation may relieve symptoms of anxiety and improve stress and coping mechanisms. • Mindfulness-based stress reduction caused a decrease in physical pain severity — such as long-term chronic pain. • Meditation may even lessen or slow the onset of mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Preserving your mental and physical health may sound like a tertiary benefit compared to the monumental task of raising children, but we would argue that great parenting starts with great health. If you are not in physical or mental shape to look after your child, how will you care for them when they need you most?

DEEPENING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Fostering a stronger, deeper relationship with your children as a father starts with just one person: you. By learning to practice mindfulness and meditation, you are choosing to hone your skills as a dad — something many dads choose instead to ignore. Reward yourself for your desire to be a better parent, and then set to work making good on that desire. With the right mindset and a healthy dose of mindfulness and meditation, you will improve as both a parent and a family figure for those you love. Anthony Cupo is a trained mindfulness facilitator (TMF) from the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is a co-owner of Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC and has been meditating for over 30 years.

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Therapeutic Social Skills Programs with Doc Joc’s Sports, drama therapy, art therapy, and other fun activities that call for a range of “natural” social skills, so as to encourage clients from the ages of 0-21 to achieve goals, conquer fears, build confidence and self-esteem while having fun. With a 3-1 ratio, our team is led by Ph.D., LCSWs, clinical & teaching professionals as well as other higher educated licensed professionals. SFCC offers Partial Care, IOP, Family/Parent Counseling, and Day Camps Our camp is designed to accomplish goals in fun environments where clients/campers have the most fun!

Evidence-Based Treatment, the Data Proves it Works! CLIENTS/CAMPERS IMPROVE IN THE AREAS OF: Self-Esteem, Social Behaviors, Rule Following, Friendship Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Home Behaviors, Anger Control, Problem-Solving, and Academic Competence. Achieve goals, conquer fears, build confidence and self-esteem, and develop an enthusiasm for life while learning social-emotional skills that will last a lifetime.

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53


South Coast Shutter and Shades

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perating honestly and with integrity has served as the foundation for the continued success of the Laguna Niguel-based South Coast Shutter and Shades for over 32 years. Owners Tom and Donna Schuster launched their own company after realizing that “on our own we would be able to offer quality products in an honest environment to our customers, as well as servicing the products we sell.”

Tom and Donna, credit their success to date to the quality of customer service they and their team give their customers, which in turn creates a wonderful repeat and referral business. “Although there may be providers of similar products, there is no one that can match our superior customer service – from showing up on time, making precise measurements and flawless installations - and with a professional ‘can do’ attitude,” says Donna.

Specializing in custom shutters, blinds (mini, faux, wood, vertical), cellular shades, woven woods, plantation and security shutters and everything in between, Tom and Donna offer free in-home consultations for design as well as measuring, they always include free professional installation and prefer to bring all of the samples to each client’s home to go over the assorted styles and many color options to suit each home’s interior and its homeowner’s unique lifestyle.

Tom adds that “our pricing with unbeatable discounts, sales support and the fact that we offer our customers an in-house design team at no additional charge is the first step in setting us apart from our competition. I am proud to say that we have built a reputation in the business for having the highest quality, best beauty, fit and finish and value available. All of our products come with a lifetime warranty.”

“We listen to you and then incorporate your ideas with ours to design your custom shutters, blinds or shades,” says Tom. “Our portfolios and samples are very extensive, so you will be able to envision how your windows are going to look when complete." 54

A 5-Star Yelp rated company, South Coast Shutter and Shades boasts scores of glowing testimonials online, including Debora R of Laguna Niguel who writes "Donna and Tom are amazing! Great products, great prices, great service.I've used them twice for two different businesses and I could not be happier. Donna makes suggestions based on what I tell her

my needs are and she has been spot on with her recommendations. Installations by Tom are quick and easy. Highly recommended!" Another reviewer, Doug W. of Mission Viejo posted that "From the first call, I knew I was dealing with a reputable, experienced, HONEST company. Donna and Tom are absolute PROS and obviously take pride in their work … Their price was very competitive. Also, what they quote is what you pay - keep that in mind when talking to the "other guys" whose price seems to go up and up. All appointments including install were FAST. The installation was flawless. I had a question later that evening about my motorized shades and they called me back IMMEDIATELY. My impression is that I could call them 5 or 10 years from now and they would just as helpful."

SOUTH COAST SHUTTER AND SHADES (949) 388-8344 SouthCoastShutterAndShades.com


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Help is On the Way with

Ola-Help! By Jody Robinson

The last 12 months have been some of the most taxing in recent memory. Nearly a year of intermittent lockdown, skyrocketing unemployment rates, global pandemic.

N

ot necessarily the right time to start a business, when so many need assistance. Unless, of course, the business you start is the business of helping others out. Amidst one of the more nutty summers on record, the Irvine-based OlaHelp! got its start. Looking to assist people with fast and efficient services and delivery for personal shopping, buying, sending gifts, or even scheduling rides for appointments for residents in South OC, there isn’t a challenge too large for the team.

Specifically targeted at those most compromised by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ola-Help! looks for ways to meet the demands of a world driven by technology and connection when so many were driven into isolation, separated from the ones they love who helped them stay 56

relevant through computers, tablets, and the seemingly endless scroll of smart phone apps. My Mom turned 88 in September, and we haven’t seen her in months. As such, we’ve taken to screens as much as we can to help walk her through paying some of her bills online, downloading podcasts from the cloud, or getting her set up on a shared photo feed so she can see incoming images of the grandkids. But not everyone has the bandwidth to support what sometimes feels like a part time job keeping their loved ones afloat, especially during such trying times. “We believe in humans helping humans," says Owner Prashna Raniga, Ph.D. "Assisting those that are the most vulnerable part of the community is our priority.” When you call

Ola-Help!, you speak with a person, and not an automated message system asking you to repeat your command until you’re blue in the face. A recent 5-Start Yelp review by client Mariam A. of Irvine speaks to the level of customer service you can expect: “Ola-Help! is an amazing service! I was looking for a someone to deliver some perishable items to someone locally and Ola-Help! was the PERFECT SOLUTION to my problem! I will definitely use this service again!” Ola-Help! serves as your “one-stop, personal assistant” to navigate the myriad of online resources - whether you are looking for someone to run errands, seniors who need help with online purchases, scheduling transportation to a doctor’s appointment, grocery shopping or food delivery. “We’re a tele-concierge service that understands the difficulties of living in a predominantly online community platform,” says Dr. Raniga. “It can be tough to know who to trust, or which app to open.” My Mom used to say how nice it would be if she had another set of hands to get everything done, and now you do: just call up Ola-Help!

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Tips to reducing the discomfort and risks associated with prolonged inactivity: • Wear comfortable clothing • Drink plenty of fluids (avoid alcohol) • Stand up and stretch several times during travel • Wear gradient compression legwear to anyone during travel, regardless of age, weight or lifestyle. JOBST™ medical compression stockings and socks are a simple and comfortable way to help avoid heavy, tired and achy legs and the swelling of feet and ankles.

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any people travel long distances and have to remain seated for two or three hours or even longer. They might not think much of it, but when movement is constrained, the blood circulation in the legs is restricted. This can contribute to heavy legs, leg pain and swollen feet and ankles. Prolonged sitting is also a major risk factor for the development of phlebitis and Deep-vein Thrombosis (DVT). Deep-vein Thrombosis involves the formation of blood clots (thrombi) in the deep leg veins during prolonged inactivity. In some cases, blood clots 58

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Understanding the “Stages” of Grief By Becky Lomaka, MA, CT. Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

I had a woman call me the other day inquiring about grief support for herself and her family after the death of a family member.

H

er Mom had died several years prior and she doesn’t think she grieved very well back then. She really wants to make sure her family can talk through their grief this time. She mentioned to me over the phone that she wants to understand the “stages” of grief. This is a question, and similar ones, I get quite often: “What stage of grief should I be in?”, “Am I doing this right?”, “When will I be done grieving and find closure?” Here’s a brief overview of how the popular 5 Stages of Grief theory come into being. In the 1960’s Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross wrote a book title “On Death and Dying” in which she detailed her theory, based upon her vast experience working with and interviewing terminally ill patients, of the five stages of grief. Her stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Over the past 50 years, most modern theories on grief have moved away from this linear model of thinking that we need to experience one “stage” of grief before we can move on to 60

the next “stage”. We see grief as much more fluid, multi-determined and highly individualized. While a griever may absolutely experience any of these “stages”, he or she may not experience them in any particular order. We may even experience all of these “stages” and more within a single day or week. Members of the same family often experience grief in very different ways too. That’s the danger of thinking of grief in a very linear, steppingstone way; “If my feelings aren’t mirroring this order then I must be doing it wrong.” The bottom line is our grief is unique to us and there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to grieve. Grief is our normal and natural response to a loss. It’s a process of adaptation - a life transition. While the sharp edges of grief usually soften over time, we will intermittently experience grief following a significant loss for the rest of our lives. When it comes to grief, there is no rule book and no time frame. It’s as individual as our fingerprints. Theories and models are just that and

nothing more - theories; they are simply tools to help us better understand what we are feeling. We feel a million things when we are grieving, including joy and those other feelings we label as “good”. Our grief is our grief; it’s never easy, yet it’s never right or wrong. It simply just is. There are moments of devastation and despair, but when we allow ourselves to sit with our emotions, we gain confidence that we are not a failure, that we are not doing it “wrong”, and that we are not going crazy. Rather, we begin to understand that grief is a part of life, and it is a storm we will weather. Make space for your grief, carry it with you, learn to live with it and maybe, just possibly, even thrive despite it.

O’Connor Mortuary 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 (949) 581-4300 www.oconnormortuary.com


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The Thrills are Back at

SeaWorld San Diego A

favorite pre-pandemic pastime for close to home family fun has been to while away a day at one of the region’s many amusement/theme parks. Arguably one of the best that combines attraction, entertainment and education is the recently reopened SeaWorld San Diego (www.seaworld.com). Park capacity is limited so guests will need to purchase a dated ticket in advance and make a reservation online/through the SeaWorld app, but the process couldn’t be easier and bonus! the marine park is currently offering deals for California residents. Rides, shows, eats, drinks, characters and more again await visitors. For the littles, Sesame Street’s Bay of Play is where to be with pint-sized rides ranging from Elmo’s Flying Fish and Oscar’s Rocking Eel to Abby’s Sea Star Spin. For our part, we had a pack of teenagers in tow (ages 13 -15) who couldn’t get enough of the rides designed with them in mind. Inspired by the force and power of the sea the Electric Eel multi-launch coaster boasts high-energy twists, electrifying loops and insane inversions while the Shipwreck Rapids takes tubers along a winding river 62

and rolling whitewater rapids before plunging down a waterfall finale. For guests who want to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing seafaring creatures, stroll through over 100 acres of beautiful outdoor grounds to meet orcas, otters, walruses, sea turtles, sealions and more. SeaWorld offers a number of educational and entertaining animal experiences and tours. Enter the chilly Arctic waters to interact with white beluga whales, venture into the Penguin Encounter to watch the playful antics of penguins tall (Emperor and King) and small (Macaroni) or even “pet” a bat ray. Although it is best-known for its marine life and thrill-rides, SeaWorld runs one of the largest animal rescue programs in the country. Since the first SeaWorld park swung open its gates in San Diego in 1964 the company has come to the aid of more than 38,000 sick, injured or orphaned animals with the goal to successfully rehabilitate and return every animal to the wild. The small percentage of animals with conditions deeming them non-releasable are given lifelong care at SeaWorld or another accredited facility.


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