Jody Robinson

Jody Robinson

There aren’t many places in Southern California that remain undeveloped, pristine. Set in a lush canyon next to a flowing stream,The Ranch at Laguna Beach is one of those places. Dating back to 1871, the original 152-acre parcel and one-room shack evolved over the years to its most recent incarnation.

Retaining its original village charm is vital to the success of the secluded private luxury resort that resides there today. The Ranch at Laguna Beach is tucked into Aliso and Wood Canyons - its rustic, simple signage along Coast Highway directs visitors onto a nondescript driveway that winds its way along a quarter mile stretch from the panoramic Pacific Ocean past verdant vegetation and dramatic rock walls that climb as high as 600 feet to the oasis within.

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Ranked among the top 10 California resort hotels, this AAA Four Diamond-rated property is no longer the region’s “best kept secret” - today, travelers the world over seek to get caught up in the “coastal cool” world of the Laguna local that’s off the beaten path in every sense.

Grafted into the Laguna culture and notched into the perfect convergence of land and sea, a stay at The Ranch LB is a microcosm of the best of Laguna in one organic, refined place. This laid-back luxury hotel speaks to the Laguna mindset - its staff offering an insider’s take on hidden surf spots, shops and specialty galleries. The property showcases spacious rooms and suites, beach access, a luxurious spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, outdoor saline pool and hot tub and a 9-hole golf course characterized by an ultra-private playing experience with stunning views.

Garden Tours

Loosely scattered about the park-like grounds, within the incomparable setting of Mother Nature’s own magnum opus, the property’s spacious guest rooms and suites enjoy a “seamless dance between casual elegance and the breathtaking 360-degree vistas.” Unlike any resort in Orange County, The Ranch at Laguna Beach features 20 two-level, two-bedroom cottages. With 1,125 square feet and over 300 square feet of outdoor space, the Cottages offer a half bath downstairs with full bath upstairs, upstairs bedrooms with a king bed and queen bed, first-floor patio and upstairs balcony - a sublime space for a family weekend retreat or a multi-generational getaway.

Destination dining

My husband and I fancy ourselves fledging foodies and oenophiles so we were particularly excited to sample the fare at the resort’s signature restaurant Harvest. We were told to expect the menu to reflect the chefs’ “masterfully creative and intensely local” take on California comfort food designed with food-lovers in mind. The menu changes with each season, integrating fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables grown and gathered on property (more on that in a minute).

Cottage Two Bedroom Bed

For starters, the cheese and charcuterie are worth a special mention - a rotating selection of gourmet cheese and cured meats, served with pickled vegetables, spreads and artisan breads. The Crispy Brussels Sprouts arrived with a unique presentation of toasted pecans, pears, radicchio and sweet chili.

For the main course, there are abundant options for even the most discriminating palate. My meat-and-potatoes husband enjoyed the cooked-to-perfection Double ‘R’ Ranch Filet accompanied by Boursin whipped potatoes, garlic roasted broccolini, carmelized shallots and red-wine demi-glazed. I, on the other hand, am our family’s resident seafood aficionado and a huge fan of pan roasted black cod, so I was thrilled to discover the dish on the menu. Harvest’s rendition didn’t disappoint - the melt-in-your-mouth miso-saki marinated cod was perfectly paired with a toasted sesame risotto, sunchokes, lemongrass, braised bok choy and ginger soy. For our teenage son and daughter, the Dry Aged Burger was a hit enhanced with Neuske smoked bacon, double sharp cheddar and all the fixings on toasted brioche.

Cottage Two Bedroom Two Bedroom Living Room

For the historian and the foodie alike, there is a special treat on site. At the edge of the property, Harvest Garden is a sustainable half-acre parcel, producing the freshest flowers and produce. As an homage to the original homesteaders, its ingredients are found in the fresh-made food and drink that are a focus throughout the dining experience here. The garden is open for tours on Sunday mornings and just a hairsbreadth away from the remarkable boundlessness of Mother Nature herself.

Harvest Dining Room

I would be remiss in not calling out one of the highlights of our stay and a unique amenity of The Ranch - the Grill N’ Glow Firepit rental and specialty s’mores roasting kits. We whiled away a late afternoon upon arrival, savoring a quintessential California sunset and indulging in a little dessert before dinner - exactly as you are supposed to do when on vacation, according to our kids.

Bringing together the history of organic farming on the property and its modern take on delectable coastal fare coupled with luxury accommodations and amenities, you’ll long to see it kept as owner Mark Christy does: “genuinely magical and timeless” for years to come.


The Ranch at Laguna Beach
31106 S. Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach
(888) 316-0959
TheRanchLB.com

There’s an Emily Dickinson poem that cites a certain slant of light, which when it comes, “the Landscape listens -/ Shadows -/hold their breath.” Many say that the poem is about a certain quality of anxiety: but I can assure you that though you’ll find a certain slant of light in Santa Barbara, anxiety will be far from it. One of the most stunning and relaxing locales I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, the seaside escape has what seems like an endless list of activities for even the most determined weekend warrior, and just as long a list for a stress-free family weekend away.

SantaBarbara StearnsWharf 4 Dec28 PhotoCred JessyLynnPerkins

Located just an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, the city is sandwiched smack dab between the mountains and miles of sun-drenched coastline. Between a sandy day at the beach or an afternoon of local hiking, you’ll find gardens to explore, quaint shops to peruse and restaurants for every taste. Stroll the Urban Wine Trail for a sample of local and nearby vintages (the Kunin Wines Tasting was a particularly lovely stop), and cap off the weekend with a historic stroll through downtown on the Red Tile Walking Tour.

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We couldn’t have picked a better “home base” than the charming La Playa Inn (laplayainn.com). Opened in mid-March 2020, this dreamy Spanish Colonial Revival-style 38-room boutique hotel is located just blocks away from the Santa Barbara waterfront. Showcasing red tile roofs, adobe walls, painted tiles set in stairways, the picturesque property is designed in modern coastal blue and sand-colored accents. Between the free private parking and being ideally situated within easy walking distance to literally everything on our family’s itinerary, there was no need to get behind the wheel again after arrival untl it was time to head home. One of our favorite perks? The La Playa Inn features a lovely courtyard with ample seating in which to enjoy its complimentary continental breakfast. We also made use of the space to break out a late afternoon board game.

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One of the highlights of our trip was our family’s first time ever taking to the sky for an exhilarating parasail flight with incredible views of the scenic Santa Barbara coastline and Channel Islands. Located at the end of the historic Stearns Wharf, it’s easy to see why Santa Barbara Parasail (santabarbaraparasail.co) is the city’s #1 attraction - for our part, my husband, son and daughter were thrilled with every aspect of the thrilling tandem experience, soaring over the water tethered to a 1,000-foot line. For me, it was a growth experience ... I’m afraid of heights and I’ll admit, a somewhat irrational fear of sharks. Needless to say, I was a bit anxious, but it was all for naught. California’s top-rated parasail operator, Santa Barbara Parasail’s expert captains are all licensed by the US Coast Guard and endeavor to offer its guests the “safest” and most unforgettable experience.

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We kept the ocean-faring theme going coupled with the opportunity to weave in a bit of education on a self-guided stroll through the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (sbmm.org). Discover 13,000 years of human interaction with the Santa Barbara Channel inside the doors of this hidden gem, overlooking the scenic Santa Barbara Harbor. Highlights include a handmade Chumash plank canoe, the rare Point Conception Lighthouse lens, a working periscope, interactive sport fishing and tattoo exhibits, and artifacts that tell stories of nearby shipwrecks, the growth of surfing and hardhat diving, the impact of commercial fisheries, and how a local oil spill in the 1960s helped spur the environmental movement.

Destination dining

There is certainly no shortage of restaurants in this picturesque seaside city - family-friendly eateries, fine dining establishments and places popular with the locals and tourists alike. This trip, we opted to experience a little of each - a bustling neighborhood cafe located at 702 Anacapa St., La Paloma (lapalomasb.com) serves oak-grilled meats, seasonal produce and Mexican/Spanish/Chumash-inspired dishes that harken back to “the old way of California cooking and hospitality.”

For starters, try the flavorful crispy brussels quick fried with syrah-porcini mushroom reduction, pomegranate and smoked cojita cheese. The Santa Maria-style Snake River Farm Wagyu Tri-Tip was delicious paired with rancho salsa, creamy horseradish and bbq pinquito beans while the Santa Barbara Mission Chicken is enhanced with lemon peel, rosemary and apple pink peppercorn sauce.

La Paloma Cafe

Santa Barbara’s “best scratch bakery,” Helena Avenue Bakery’s (helenaavenuebakery.com) menu is made up of rustic, organic freshly baked breads, handmade seasonal pastries made from scratch, picnic fare, gourmet sandwiches and salads. Clearly another local fave, the line was out the door ... and it was evident why when the order arrived at our outdoor patio seating. Carb lovers rejoice! The Challah French Toast was an inspired take on a traditional take on a weekend brunch staple with vanilla chai spiced custard, brown butter Fuji apples, pecans and maple syrup. The Breakfast Sandwich on brioche was a hearty dish piled high with baked farm egg, smoked cheddar, black pepper bacon and scallion butter.

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At the risk of sounding as though all we did was eat our way through our Santa Barbara stay, I would be simply remiss if I didn’t mention our outstanding experience at Opal Restaurant and Bar (opalrestaurantandbar.com) at 1325 State Street. Located in the Historic Art District, Opal is the “go to” for globally influenced, eclectic California cuisine (think dishes inspired by the colorful multi-cultural heritage of America, often with an Asian flair), perfectly paired wines and creative craft cocktails - all in a comfortable ambiance with excellent, yet unbotrusive service.

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My kids are huge fans of calamari - they’ve ordered it at every Italian restaurant we’ve ever visited. But Opal’s Asian Glazed Crispy Calamari was certainly something to write home about - a delicious starter paired with baby arugula and crispy asian rice noodles - so good that my daughter was tempted to order another as her entree. My husband and son’s herb grilled filet mignon was cooked to perfection and arrived with whipped truffle butter Yukon potatoes, sauteed broccoli and green beans and a port-wine marsala and wild mushroom cream sauce. I’m the seafood aficionado of the family - my lemon grass crusted fresh salmon is called out as a “local’s favorite” on the menu with good reason: this delicious dish is enhanced with a Thai curry sauce, sauteed julienne vegetables, carmelized apple and orange zest basmati rice.

Helena Avenue Bakery

With California’s signature golden light a guarantee, there’s no better time to plan your escape to Santa Barbara - “The American Riviera.”

Did you know that 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance?

There are very few things that throw people off balance more easily than an accident. Be it at home, in the car, or on the water, an accident can ruin a day, a week, or even a year for the uninsured. For the last 85 years, your safety and that of your family has been GEICO’s ultimate priority, and for Agency Owner Jonathan Bayani and his team of licensed agents at the GEICO local office in Laguna Niguel, carrying that mission on is about much more than offering competitive rates.

Bayani and his team strive to serve South OC residents with elite and tailored customer service curated over the last twenty years in the auto and insurance industries. Customers can purchase car insurance, as well as coverage for renters, condos, RV’s, boats, and commercial vehicles. Identity protection, jewelry, and homeowners are also among the list of offerings GEICO boasts: a far cry from the original single policy auto coverage GEICO founders Leo and Lillian Goodwin offered clients in 1936 when they first opened their doors.

“As the father of three children, looking after the wellbeing of my family is top priority,’ says Bayani. “Insurance is integral to every industry and after serving the San Diego Padres and seeing how closely knit the players and their families are to their individual coverage, I wanted to bring what I learned to everyday folks in my own community.”

A bilingual team of agents, the office in Laguna Niguel will look to bring savings to each client that walks through their doors. “We have special association and alumni discounts for graduates of UCLA, SDSU, UCI, CUSF, CSULB, USC and other local schools.” Active duty military serving at Camp Pendleton may also qualify for GEICO’s military discount.

Accidents or incidents can derail even the best laid plans, but they don’t have to. GEICO has been proving that for 85 years, and Jonathan and his team are here to back you up for those to come.


GEICO
Local Office
Laguna Niguel
27261 La Paz Road, Suite J
Laguna Niguel
(949) 268-6740
Geico.com/Laguna-Niguel-Bayani

The Premier SoCal Destination for Multi-Generational Fun

There are a few places in the world that I’ve truly relaxed outside my own home. Believe me, it is a very short list. But let me tell you - topping the charts is JW Marriott’s Desert Springs Resort & Spa. And coming into the absolutely blissful fall weather in California - well - you couldn’t pick a better time to load up the entire family for a quick jaunt out to Palm Desert get one last adventure in before the rush and bustle of the holidays hit.

JW CTDCA 3 2021 JW Entertainment Zone Patio

As a mom of two, I understand how rare the feeling of relaxation really is, and (congratulate me) successfully talked my husband into booking our family a stay at the resort for a weekend respite from carpooling, afterschool activities, worrying about what to make for dinner. Just looking at images online showcasing the result of the property’s recent multi-million dollar renovation was enough for him to ask how soon we could book a weekend away and it snowballed from there.

JW CTDCA 8 2019 Pool Cabana

We shared our plans with close family friends who have similarly aged children - they booked the same weekend to meet up for what turned out to be an unforgettable, all-inclusive experience - from luxury accommodations and abundant amenity to fine dining, indoor/outdoor recreation and entertainment.

The property features an enhanced arrival experience, a reimagined spa and 884 luxuriously redesigned modern guest rooms and suites. Think hardwood floors, indulgent bathrooms, workspaces with intelligently placed USB ports, and entertaining spaces with views of the pool or lake on-site make the choice between going out and staying in a real no-brainer. Both: take a dip in the outdoor pools or test out your golf swing on the links. Play a set or a full match on the tennis courts. Get pampered at the day spa, savor innovative cuisine.

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Even heading out to a meal here is an adventure ... the property provides gondola rides to and from many of its restaurants via an elaborate system of Venetian-like waterways which run throughout the resort’s immaculately landscaped grounds. Dining destinations include Rockwood Grill (upscale American fare showcasing locally sourced ingredients), Mikado Japanese Steakhouse (authentic Japanese cuisine) and Blue Star Lounge (California cuisine in a lively indoor lounge or charming outdoor patio with firepits).

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The icing on the cake for kids of all ages? JW Marriott’s newly unveiled Entertainment Zone Arcade (EZ) and Family Passport Program. The “EZ” is a 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art arcade (the largest in the state, no less) where the kids - and their parents - ran amok - challenging each other to timeless classics like PacMan, Skee Ball and Air Hockey and new favorites including high-tech simulators, motocross racing games, four lanes of duckpin bowling and more.

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The JW Family Passport expands the resort’s offerings for the younger set. With an emphasis on creativity, culinary, and active lifestyle, the resort provides an innovative outlet of fun-filled adventures thoughtfully curated for families and guests of all ages. From nature walks, family yoga and educational flamingo feedings to ice cream socials, scavenger hunts, trivia nights and more. Guests have their “passport” stamped after participating in a wide array of activities and redeem prizes from the resort’s treasure chest. Bonus! Book your passport online to receive complimentary breakfast for kids under 12 during your stay.

JW CTDCA 1 2020 CHRM Chairman Suit Bedroom

Some getaways are for exploring the envions. Others, like our recent weekend away to the Desert Springs Resort and Spa are for taking full advantage of the recreation, dining, amenity and entertainment without ever having to leave the resort grounds.


JW Marriott Desert Springs

Resort & Spa
74-855 Country Club Drive
Palm Desert
(760) 341-2211
www.DesertSpringsResort.com

My husband and I like to joke that we run an after-hours speakeasy out of our home. When the kids are finally asleep for the night and the dishes are all done, we bust out the fancy cheese and crackers, open a bottle of wine, and unfurl the tin foil around a decadent bar of dark chocolate. Of course, we have to hide the evidence from prying eyes, so in the morning we don’t have to answer questions about the chocolate wrapper, wine cork, or ice cream scoop. We laughed at each other the other day while cleaning up the evidence of our adults-only snacktime when we agreed that the best gift we could give each other was a night in a hotel room, so there weren’t any dishes to do, and plenty of activities during the day to keep our ourselves - and our offspring - entertained.

Catamaran Resort Lobby

San Diego’s Mission Bay happens to be the answer to our gift-giving conundrum, as well as the speakeasy solve: a close-to-home, family friendly travel destination that happens to have everything we need for a getaway after the last chaotic year and a half. Classically beautiful weather year round makes San Diego one of the country’s most desirable vacation destinations, and with its proximity to Orange County and LA, a quick drive down the coast is as easy as can be. The man-made saltwater bay was created from more than 2,000 acres of wetlands and marshes, and boasts activities ranging like theme parks like Seaworld and an old fashioned roller coaster at Belmont Park to water activities.

Catamaran Resort guestroom

Mission Bay’s Catamaran Resort is perched in popular "PB" - what the locals call Pacific Beach, and with gorgeous rooms facing out to the Bay, or over the glittering Pacific, every accommodation offers a beautiful view. Over 1,000 tropical trees and plants adorn the property, making it a proper urban jungle hideaway: koi ponds included. The resort's tropical vibe artfully blends with the Aloha spirit where each of the property’s 310 luxurious suites, studios and hotel rooms feature a private balcony or patio with breathtaking views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Beach neighborhood and coastline, or the property’s lush tropical gardens.

Catamaran Resort Oceana Coastal Kitchen patio

A Polynesian-themed resort wouldn’t be complete without the aforementioned robust list of water based activities, and the Catamaran certainly comes through. If Mom or Dad are feeling the fitness center or on-site spa, options include facials and massages, marine and botanical-based products to take home and luxuriate in, or a full range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment to fuel your day. Various watersports abound on property, with the waters of the bay beckoning beyond (think boat rentals, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and more via actionsportrentals.com/catamaran-resort-hotel-spa located right at the resort's water's edge). Prefer land activiites? One of the best ways in which to enjoy San Diego's premier land and sea resort destination? Simply basking bayside in a covered lounge.

Catamaran Resort beach chair

Our family opted for a lovely, leisurely late afternoon tooling around the bay aboard a pair of funcats - chaise-lounge style electric catamaran boats, followed by an equally equisite dining experience at the resort's signature restaurant, Oceana Coastal Kitchen. There was something for every palate on the menu - abundant seafood selections for me, beef and chicken entrees for my meat-and-potatoes husband and a variety of kid-friendly faves including delicious flatbreads - the sweet fennel sausage and classic pepperoni was a big hit!

CAT Pool 2021

A beach concierge can set the family up with umbrellas, towels, and chairs, or simply spend the day poolside: surrounded by the resort’s towering palm trees. The best part about all of it being (of course) that you don’t have to hide the candy wrappers at the end of the night, because the whole family gets to escape at the same time.


Catamaran Resort Hotel
3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego
(858) 488-1081
www.CatamaranResort.com

Now Open in San Juan Capistrano

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.

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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.

pic0012A 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 welcoming, 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.

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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.

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.”

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.

pic0013As far as personalized care goes, Serra Sol has it all. In fact, through the 26 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.

pic0014Serra Sol boasts an incredibly safe and secure environment, keeping those with memory loss top of mind. By Jody Robinson Inspirational Living at Serra Sol Memory Care Now Open in San Juan Capistrano 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.”

pic0017Secured 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, 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. 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.


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

Committed to Exceptional Care

All throughout my youth, I wondered why people didn’t like going to the dentist. That all changed when I moved away from home to go to college, and had to find a new dentist for the first time. That experience opened my eyes to how intimate dentistry is and how vulnerable you feel if you are not comfortable in the dental office.

Your smile/mouth is the first thing people notice when they speak to you. Finding someone you trust to take care of your dental hygiene is imperative to enjoying the confidence a beautiful smile gives you. Ivan Ho, DDS is one of those select few dentists you can trust. From the moment you meet him, you are immediately touched by his warm nature and empathy.

Dr. Ho has been caring for patients for over twenty years and has won numerous awards and reviews that focus not only on his excellency within dentistry, but also the warmth with which he treats his patients - as welcome guests and friends.

As a University of Southern California School of Dentistry graduate and an award winning board certified dentist, Dr. Ho lectures nationally and internationally about both cosmetic and implant dentistry. His expertise and warm demeanor have earned him the respect and trust of both colleagues and patients.

“As a doctor myself, extensive knowledge and expertise is important,” says Patient Steve H., MD. “Dr Ho is truly an expert!”

Angela P., a local school teacher, echoes the sentiment and adds: “I’ve been searching for a dentist with honesty and compassion, I found Dr Ho through a co-worker and refer all my friends and family to him.”

Dr. Ho has had more than his fair share of time in the dental chair as a patient. This has given him the unique perspective of both a professional and a patient.

“I had extra teeth and gum issues that required multiple gum and oral surgeries from my childhood all through my adolescence,” says Dr. Ho. “Despite the many and varied procedures I went through, I was fortunate enough to see wonderful providers and I was extremely grateful for the care they gave me. The experience of rectifying my own oral health led me to pursue dentistry. I wanted to give back to a profession that changed my life.”

In 1992, Dr. Ho started his practice in Laguna Hills and added a second office in Rancho Santa Margarita and with great dedication and hard work, cared for residents of both cities.

“As my children started to grow up, I realized that I wanted to spend more time with them while I could,” he says. “So I sold my Laguna Hills location and focused on RSM, which is where I lived. I recently relocated back to Laguna Hills as now my children have grown, but my parents need a little more attention. They reside in Laguna Woods Village.”

Dr. Ho has been enjoying his return to Laguna Hills and being able to care for patients that got him started twenty-plus years ago.

“It is not just fillings, crowns, implants, cosmetic dentistry or cleanings: it’s ‘beyond the nuances’ dentistry. Your oral health plays a very important role in your overall health and your ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like eating good food.

“After all, your smile is an indication of what is within.” Dr. Ho says with an engaging smile of his own.


Ho 123 Edit 2Ivan Ho, DDS
DOCOI, FAAID, AACD
Pro Smiles OC
24953 Paseo de Valencia, Suite 6C
Laguna Hills
(949) 880-6638
ProSmilesOC.com

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.

What 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 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.

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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?

Big box retailers, the professed champions of value, are happy to sell you any home theater and sound equipment you think you might like, and send you off to figure it out at home. That’s what they do. And that’s all they do.

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.

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“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.”

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.

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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.

“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.”

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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.


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

My daughter loves the movie Frozen. The Disney hit is based around locations in Norway, but there’s one stand out part in my mind every time I watch the movie, and it really belongs to Arendelle’s non-fictional neighbor to the east: the sauna.

JNH Lifestyles shares my affinity for the Finnish invention, dated back originally to 1112 AD. Introducing the heat-based healing tool to the world was simply the first step, however. As the technology evolved, so did its health benefits.

“What began as a simple tradition became one of the most invaluable homeopathic tools used to relax, detoxify, and regenerate humankind worldwide,” says COO, Brian Montes.

Essentially an enclosed space filled with steam (wet) or air heated by stones (dry) for an extended period of time, a traditional sauna utilize heat to release toxins through sweat, pressing the circulatory system to release toxins, thereby reducing stress, pain, and even aid in weight loss. JNH Lifestyles’ offerings on the other hand elevate your level of healing and pain relief using an even more updated technology: the infrared (IR) sauna.

Senior Woman in Sauna

IR employs far infrared light to emit a frequency of light waves that match the frequency of the water in one’s cells. The water molecules vibrate, causing friction on a microscopic scale. This is what generates heat and causes perspiration. When this occurs, toxins are released into the bloodstream and are excreted from the body. The long and short of this? Safer than a traditional sauna where the cabin temperature can rise upwards to 190 degrees, IR saunas utilize “radiant heating” - warming the sauna user rather than the cabin air.

IR saunas offer a myriad of health benefits including increased circulation and lowered blood pressure, joint and muscle pain relief (particularly for arthitis sufferers), improved sleep and stress reduction, collagen growth for smoother skin ... and with up to 600 calories burned per session, can aid in weight loss.

Today, millions of Americans experience the benefits of having a home infrared sauna.

Modern IR saunas can be installed in any average home at an incredibly reasonable price.

Designed by a team of dedicated engineers and experts with over 30 years industry experience, the one, two, three and four-person capacity ultra-low EMF or Full-Spectrum Infrared saunas come equipped with 6 to 16 infrared heater panels depending upon the size of the unit. Each operates simultaneously to deliver infrared benefits 80% more efficiently than other brands. Tested and approved by two independent third party facilities, the carbon fiber heaters maximize output and ensure a safe sweat in the comfort of your own home. The units are easy to install for DIYers or can be delivered and installed for convenience (Southern California only). JNH offers flat rate shipping and financing, should the need arise. Using only the highest quality untreated, unstained FSC Certified Canadian Hemlock, “our tongue and groove construction makes it a literal snap to set up.”

Eliminating the traditional need for framing tools, mitre joints or other woodworking tricks to keep the wood in place, tongue and groove also allows the wood to flex with the infrared heat, and give when it shrinks back into shape. Dual-wall construction means the sauna will trap more heat and also keep its overall shape, ensuring owners can tuck it into a smaller space and not worry about additional insulation or heat expansion. A see-through safety glass door allows for visibility within and without the sauna, and a digital control panel lets you decide on the temperature and duration of your IR experience.

“Unfortunately, we can’t literally touch infrared the way you’d pet your dog,” which is indeed unfortunate, as it feels like the IR waves are giving you the loveliest hug imaginable, “but we can feel the heat it generates within our bodies.”

Like your levels of excitement once you get the sauna put together, your cardiac activity will soon increase with the heat, and you can start enjoying the long-term rewards of lower blood pressure and increased relaxation. The Finns got it right. JNH is bringing it home. And you can relax for less, with quicker set up and greater benefits in less time than it takes to get a child to sing through the entire Disney song library; again.


JNH Lifestyles
(949) 979-6034
JNHLifestyles.com

Insurance for All with Jonathan Bayani. GEICO Laguna Niguel

There are very few things that throw people off balance more easily than an accident. Be it at home, in the car, or on the water, an accident can ruin a day, a week, or even a year for the uninsured. For the last 85 years, your safety and that of your family has been GEICO’s ultimate priority, and for Agency Owner Jonathan Bayani and his team of licensed agents at the GEICO local office in Laguna Niguel, carrying that mission on is about much more than offering competitive rates.

Bayani and his team strive to serve South OC residents with elite and tailored customer service curated over the last twenty years in the auto and insurance industries. Customers can purchase car insurance, as well as coverage for renters, condos, RV’s, boats, and commercial vehicles. Identity protection, jewelry, and homeowners are also among the list of offerings GEICO boasts: a far cry from the original single policy auto coverage GEICO founders Leo and Lillian Goodwin offered clients in 1936 when they first opened their doors.

“As the father of three children, looking after the wellbeing of my family is top priority,’ says Bayani. “Insurance is integral to every industry and after serving the San Diego Padres and seeing how closely knit the players and their families are to their individual coverage, I wanted to bring what I learned to everyday folks in my own community.”

A bilingual team of agents, the office in Laguna Niguel will look to bring savings to each client that walks through their doors. “We have special association and alumni discounts for graduates of UCLA, SDSU, UCI, CUSF, CSULB, USC and other local schools.” Active duty military serving at Camp Pendleton may also qualify for GEICO’s military discount.

Accidents or incidents can derail even the best laid plans, but they don’t have to. GEICO has been proving that for 85 years, and Jonathan and his team are here to back you up for those to come.


GEICO
Local Office
Laguna Niguel
27261 La Paz Road, Suite J
Laguna Niguel
(949) 268-6740
Geico.com/Laguna-Niguel-Bayani

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