What’s the house really worth? Before the Internet, consumers had few resources to gain insight into what homes were selling for. They could talk to neighbors, call a real estate agent, or manually search through public records. Today, however, consumers can turn to one of the many Web-based home valuation sites for a price estimate of almost any home in the country. As useful as they may seem to buyers and sellers, you have probably discovered by now that the price estimates on websites are usually not very accurate. For people who are going to buy or sell a home this year,…
Paying homage to an icon, this reinvented Newport Beach restaurant offers a new generation of connoisseurs a world-class culinary experience In the months since the new Ritz Prime Seafood opened its doors to a new generation of culinary enthusiasts, much has been written about how this reinvented restaurant stacks up against the iconic Newport Beach establishment from which it draws inspiration (founded by Hans Prager in 1977, The Ritz enjoyed a 30+ year run as the go-to special event venue before closing its doors in early 2014). Where the throwback dining institution was characterized by Old World charm and three-martini…
RAYA and 180blu offer inventive dishes, hand-crafted cocktails and unparalleled, awe-inspiring views Here in South Orange County, we’re pretty lucky to live so close to the coast and have an abundance of wonderful dining destinations to choose from. But for inventive cuisine coupled with awe-inspiring ocean views, there are few establishments that rival RAYA and 180blu. Both reside in The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel - RAYA boasts a bright, open space with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific while the aptly named 180blu is an outdoor lounge/deck situated 150 feet above Salt Creek Beach, defined by the same breathtaking 180 degrees of…
WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL!! It’s always easy to tell a Bostonian. The accent, the big personality, the dry sense of humor can be amusing – even alarming – for we sensitive Southern Californians. But the Bostonian’s tendency to tell it like it is can be more than valuable in certain situations… say, for instance, when buying a car. Meet John Paradise, a Boston transplant who seventeen years ago brought little more than his young family and his interest in cars to San Clemente, just to give life in the snowless part of the country a try. “A try” turned…
To truly end the stigma surrounding mental health, it’s important to understand the truths behind the causes, symptoms, and treatments of these disorders. It’s imperative to dispel the myths surrounding these illnesses in order to eradicate the fear and misconceptions so prevalent in families. Debbie Hutchinson, Psy.D., Manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Programs and the Psychiatric Emergency Team at the Laguna Beach campus of Mission Hospital, identifies the following as common misperceptions about mental health: 1. Children with a mental illness are more prone to violence. When a tragic and violent crime occurs, people are too often quick to blame mental illness as…
There’s no doubt that cancer patients can benefit from massage therapy. In fact, bodywork can serve as a nurturing healthcare option during the stressful, doctor appointment-ridden time of oncology management. “Cancer treatment places a heavy toxin load on the body, which massage can help eliminate,” says Gayle MacDonald, author of Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer. “However, too much too fast may be more than the client’s body can comfortably handle. Skilled touch is beneficial at nearly every stage of the cancer experience, during hospitalization, the pre- or post- operative period, in the out-patient clinic, during chemotherapy and…
You are not alone. I get these questions all the time. Most people about to turn age 65 get tons of information mailed to them and because it is so overwhelming, they may just push it off thinking they are still working and don’t need to address this information now. Or they may decide to attend local “Medicare 101” meetings only to walk away a bit overwhelmed or in some cases with the wrong information. I recently met with a new client that told me she had been advised that because she was still working, she was not allowed to…
Whether it’s research for a novel, a play or inspiration for a painting, artists of all types have always traveled the world for both knowledge and inspiration. Because of their exploration, windows to the world were opened to the masses long before world travel became common. The information exchanged exposed cultural, racial and sexual differences, opening the eyes of both the explorer and the explored. The artist, whether on site in new surroundings or after returning home, will inevitably use their artistic license, which may create a slightly skewed interpretation in their work. The observer or patron becomes a part…
As high temperatures continue, many adults and their families will hit the beach, water park or pool to cool down this summer. With swimming comes the risk for ear infections. According to the Mayo Clinic, an ear infection is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear — the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Because the ear canal is dark, warm, and can hold water, it makes it a perfect environment for water-loving bacteria and fungus to grow. This can be exceptionally true in the summer because…
Jul 02, 2016

DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

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The summer season is in full swing and so are the parties! Maintain your Hostess with the Mostess title with this Chalkboard Party Tray. It’s the perfect way to serve up goodies at your next gathering! WHAT YOU NEED: Wood board (we bought a 10’ piece of 2x10 at Home Depot & had it cut into 4 pieces @ 2.5’ each) Wood stain Large foam brush Rag or paper towels Chalkboard spray paint Painter’s tape Finishing spray (we used Satin finish) Sand paper (or electric sander if available) Gorilla Glue Gel Drawer pulls Steps: Sand the board until smooth. Using…
Tragically, the term “See Something, Say Something” and its call to action are focused these days on defending ourselves against acts of terrorism right here, where we live. But the concept the term expresses applies to other things against which we must defend ourselves, our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. One such thing is the growing problem of Elder Abuse. Elder Abuse takes many forms. It can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial and can include neglect, abandonment and criminal activities such as swindles and cons. Much elder abuse is a combination of several of these forms. The results can…
Situated on the California-Nevada state line, South Shore is one of those fantastic year-round destinations Asnowy wonderland in winter and a water enthusiast’s dream in summer, there’s never a bad time to visit the spectacularly scenic South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Split by the massive, magnificent alpine lake in the middle, both the north and south shores are easy to navigate and offer an abundance of outdoor (and indoor) attractions and activities year round. Our family has always been partial to the south side of the lake and some of the best memories we’ve made over the years have been…
In 1957, Walter Bregman completed a two year stint in Germany with the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and began his professional career stateside as a media research analyst with the Leo Burnett Company. 45 years later, Mr. Bregman concluded his professional career having been Worldwide President of International Playtex, Inc., Vice President of E & J Gallo Winery, Chairman and CEO of two different ad agencies and the Founder, President, and Owner of the Cormorant Beach Club. He authored Spray the Bear; Reminiscences from the Golden Age of Advertising, co-authored Seven Friends, Sixty Years Later and My Box of Chocolates,…
Just over the bridge from San Diego, Coronado is a small, quaint, tree-lined retreat characterized by beautiful, rarely crowded white sand beaches, a rich, romantic history and laid-back, small town atmosphere. Although locals refer to it as “the island,” Coronado is really a peninsula connected to the mainland by a finger of land called the Silver Strand. With wide leafy streets lined with Victorian homes and Southern California beach bungalows, the island is small enough to walk almost anywhere (it’s only a mile from the San Diego Bay side of the peninsula to the Pacific Ocean). Once we parked upon…
The legend began with The Curse of Capistrano as a serialized story written by Johnston McCulley in 1919.  McCulley also penned works under the nom de plumes of Harrington Strong, John Mack Stone, Walter Pierson and Camden Stuart. The hero of his story, Zorro, also known as the Masked Fox, has thrived in our imaginations almost a hundred years because Zorro personifies action, romance, humor and heroism. An ethnic hero, he is simultaneously wise, brave, charming, cunning, and romantic. Zorro has had true staying power because he has been successfully reinterpreted within the spirit of the times. His calculating and…
Your Beach Day Just Got a Major Makeover May gray and June gloom are finally burning off (thank you summer gods!), and with the sun finally shining all day long, it’s the perfect weather to get to the beach - and really, what better way to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends than when everyone is in “vacation mode” and the kids are out of school? The rest of the summer is calling for clear blue skies and temperatures in the low to mid-80s at the beaches (truly temperate relative to the triple digits expected inland). But getting…
With flowers in bloom, pollen released by plants and increased pollution; there are more irritants than ever in the air. This makes it hard for most people with asthma hard to breathe. One way to help simply manage your asthma is to follow an action plan to help you to track your symptoms, ultimately keeping you or your child out of the doctor’s office or hospital. According to a recent study from the University of Southern California, children with asthma who were exposed to higher concentrations of particles were more likely to develop bronchitis. One of the best ways to…
Protecting Wealth and Fulfilling Retirement Dreams and Goals In 2008, I worked in an after-school program and one of my favorite “duties” was to lead “story time” for the elementary-aged children we served. One of my favorite books to read aloud was Flat Stanley, which follows the adventures of the titular character, Stanley, who had been accidentally flattened one day, but makes the most of his situation, and is soon unlocking locked doors by sliding underneath them, and traveling around the world in a postal envelope. It was while working there that I first heard whispers of the massive financial…
Many people my wife’s and my age have shared the experience we enjoyed recently on a Saturday evening: a handsome young man, well established in his business field, greeted his successful, beautifully attired bride at the altar as they calmly repeated their wedding vows without the fear and trembling that my generation almost universally experienced under the same circumstances. The difference? The couple’s seven additional years of age – and their accompanying financial stability—were enough to supply both the bride and groom with the steadiness so lacking in so many of the weddings of earlier generations.  Eleanor Barkhorn wrote in…
Growing older brings about numerous physiological changes including less-flexible muscles, sagging skin, slower metabolic processes and weight gain. Other changes might include bone deterioration and less efficiency of the heart; so finding the motivation to get in shape and stay healthy is crucial to help alleviate or prevent some of these issues. Though we believe that everyone should weight train, we recognize that weightlifting is especially important for women—and it’s women who are less likely to make a habit of this form of exercise. Whether it’s due to the tired myth that women can bulk up from weightlifting, or because…

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