Highest consumer-rated auto mechanics in Saddleback Valley

Are you familiar with Yelp.com?  If not, it will become your new best friend if you base a lot of your purchasing decisions on testimonials as I do.

Yelp is an online city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax, find a doctor or hair stylist, car mechanic or dog groomer, and on and on – all based on the informed opinions of an active community of locals. There you’ll find rants, raves and everything in between.  They use a 5 star system, 1 representing the lowest rating, 5 stars, the highest. Did I mention that Yelp is free?

I’m looking for a mechanic and thought my readers would appreciate seeing the search results.  Even if given five stars, I don’t consider them unless there are 5 or more reviews.

I will first post the link for the highest ranked mechanic by far, Corner 3 Garage in Lake Forest, 44 reviews, all 5 star ratings.  Further below, I’ll post the link for the rest of the results that came up.

Corner 3 Garage – Yelp Review results

Other auto mechanic reviews for Saddleback Valley

Fresh & Easy Market coming to Lake Forest

Fresh&EasyIf you haven’t been to a Fresh & Easy Market before, it’s a little different than a regular supermarket.  I’ll let their website speak for itself, but I enjoy shopping there.  Currently the closest store to me in north Mission Viejo is located in Laguna Woods on Moulton in the shopping center where you’ll find Polly’s Restaurant and Moulton Pharmacy.  Since it’s further than a neighborhood supermarket, I don’t shop there all that often, but I certainly will when the Lake Forest store opens in Spring 2011.  They’re taking the space formerly occupied by Von’s at Trabuco and El Toro Roads and sharing their space with a new Walgreens.

If you’re job hunting, they’ll need people so keep an eye out for their recruitment events or contact them directly.

Smart & Final in Lake Forest is now SmartCo Foods

It was a bit of a shock.  I hadn’t been to Smart & Final for a few months, but this was the day.  As I drove up, something looked very different.  In the spaces previously occupied by Smart & Final and Office Depot was a new supermarket named SmartCo.

SmartCo, owned by Smart & Final, is now a supermarket with a full service bakery and deli, a large produce department with an organic produce section.  This is the only SmartCo store in California.  All other Smart & Final stores remain in the same format.

SmartCo also offers a large selection of natural and organic products, including their own brand, Sun Harvest, and over 8,000 new items in small, convenient sizes.   They still have products for commercial use, although not as much as before, such as styrofoam take-out trays and chafing dishes.

They’ll be offering two fully cooked Thanksgiving dinners to choose from,  for pick prior to Thanksgiving Day. Each costs $39.98 and serves 8-10 people. They’ll only have 100 of each dinner available, so first-come, first-serve.  The store manager  suggests  you wait until tommorrow, Saturday, November 20th to call in your orders.   Ask for the service deli manager.

Dinner #1:   7-8 lb spiral ham, 2.5 lbs of au gratin potatoes, 2 lbs green beans, 2 lbs candied sweet potatoes, 14 oz can of cranberry-orange sauce, 12 Hawaiian roles, choice of pumpkin or apple pie.

Dinner #2:  8-10 lb turkey, 2.5 lbs mashed potatoes, 2 lbs stuffing, 24 oz gravy, 14 oz cranberry sauce, 12 Hawaiian rolls, choice of pumpkin or apple pie.

Did you know that  Smart & Final is the owner of Henry’s Marketplace stores?

SmartCo Foods location:

Twin Peaks Plaza,  23631 El Toro Rd, Lake Forest  (949) 770-8281.  Days/Hours:  Mon-Sat, 7am-10pm; Sunday, 7am-9pm.

Easy MiniFarmBox™ and grow your own vegetables-awesome!

MiniFarmBox4x4Besides saving water, a MinifarmBox™ optimizes soil drainage and aeration, giving your plants more root space. You’ll grow bigger plants with bigger crops – up to twice the yield of regular ground planting. The MiniFarmBox™ is a cedar raised bed, tool-free assembly in minutes, gets less weeds, extremely termite and rot resistant, and lasts a minimum and 10-15 years untreated.  I live in a condo….but I want one (whining)!

Watch how quick and easy it is to assemble.

The MiniFarmBox™ is available locally at one of my favorite places, Living Green Nursery, on Jeronimo between El Toro and Ridge Route.

Click here for lots more information.

Living Green Nursery, 25290 Jeronimo Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630-4900. Phone: 949-768-4733.

The Foothill Ranch Innovage Warehouse soon open to the public for holiday sale event

holiday-saleClick here to read a previous blog I wrote about the Innovage Warehouse, which opens its doors to the public only a few times a year.  They carry all kinds of merchandise for all ages, including many of the products you see on informercials.  The savings are really significant.  Click on their website below for their holiday schedule.  Note they’ll only be open Friday, November 26th through December 19th for the rest of the year.


Big Lots! in Rancho Santa Margarita-a different shopping experience than other locations

Big Lots!Last night, driving by, I noticed the new Big Lots! store in RSM was open for business so I dropped in. What a surprise!   If you shop at Big Lots!, you absolutely have to go to this store.  The square footage  is larger than other locations, but that’s the least of it.  All their merchandise is well organized and displayed attractively.  Wall decor is hung rather than stacked upright in boxes on the floor.   Dinnerware is displayed so it’s visually appealing.  It’s like shopping at Target….well, almost:)

30501 Avenida De Las Flores, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, 92688. Phone: (949) 766-5036