Living Green ‘Eco-Conscious’ Nursery Event Thurs, 7/1-Free Food & Cocktails, Kids Activities, Live Music

This is the new nursery that has moved into the well known Laguna Hills Nursery building that opened May 6th.  It’s lovely to walk through, and can’t help but notice there’s something different about it – and there is.   Living Green is where you can come to learn about eco-conscious living, with displays through the influence of an interior decorator, who happens to be the owner, Joanna Perlman along with her husband, David Itzikman, and Randy Smith, one of Southern California’s largest wholesale growers.

This Thursday is their Grand Opening event with festivities from 4pm-9pm.  From 4-6pm, kids can enjoy hands-on gardening, pot painting, and more.

They’ll have the BBQ going offering free, delicious tastings from Living Greens Catering, live flamenco music, give-aways, and demonstrations throughout the evening on:

  • succulent container planting
  • rose maintenance
  • veggie & herb gardening tips

In-store specials are being offered now and run thru next Sunday.

Living Green features a variety of drought tolerant plants and succulents, an array of organic vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees, and beautiful ornamental plants. Overlooking the nursery are fun planting stations where kids and adults can get their hands in the dirt and assemble their own succulent, color, or herb containers.

They’re committed to being a vital and active resource in the community.  Exciting plans include a weekend farmer’s market, exotic bird viewings, and educational, interactive expert seminars and workshops, and field trips for adults and kids.  Justin Galias, the Community Programs Director/Garden Consultant, is there to incorporate The Living Green Philosophy and Mission into classes and activities for the community, which includes community fundraising.  The Organic Youth Learning Project is an ongoing agrotherapeutic special needs service learning project, the goal of which is to provide a safe and educational environment for kids and adults with exceptional needs.  Agrotherapy is a broad and expanding entity in the field of special education.  Jason can be contacted at the nursery or on his cell phone, 714-353-2147.

The place is awesome and I look forward to what the following months will offer.  We’re fortunate they chose the Saddleback Valley to be the home of their community based, forward thinking nursery and garden center.


25290 Jeronimo Road (nearest cross street is El Toro Blvd.)

Lake Forest, CA 92630-4900

Phone: 949-748-4733

What a Professional Organizer Did For My Bathroom Linen Closet

I have ADD.  Consequently, certain things, even if relatively simple, can overwhelm me. That’s why I can’t cook – too many details involved – chop this, braise that, a pinch of this, don’t forget the garlic toast!  Friends who come over for dinner expect that I will have brought something in, and prefer it that way, LOL!   It’s ironic that I love organizing, it’s almost a hobby, and most of my home and garage are very well organized, but for some reason, the linen closet in my bathroom threw me into a tizzy every time I tried to address it.

Gail Gray, a professional organizer and owner of A Fresh Start, is a member of a professional organization I belong to for women business owners, Savor the Success.   The Orange County Register sent out a query looking to do a story on a professional organizer, and follow her through a job. The small business public relations company she uses, PublicityPro’s, was able to set it up.  I offered up my disheveled bathroom linen closet.

Gail showed up with a variety of baskets,  containers and wire shelf stands to see which would work best.  She completely cleared out the closet and grouped the contents into ‘categories’ or things of a ‘like’ kind.  After a couple of hours, this is what she accomplished:

Top Half of Cabinet



A tip from Gail – keep your sheet sets together by taking one pillowcase and open it.  Slide in the folded sheets and remaining pillowcase(s), and fold the end of the outer pillow case over.  There! No need to go through separate stacks of pillow cases, flat sheets, and fitted sheets to pull the set together.  Take a look at the top shelf on the right. It’s hard to see in this picture, but Gail also suggested to put a note on each sheet set, secured with a a safety pin, to identify which set was which. Is that a good idea or what?  I chose to do this only for the set of linens at the top of the shelf,  “Guest Linens”.  The rest I could easily identify by sight.

Bottom Half of Cabinet


“Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
— Albert Einstein, scientist


Do you know what it is to look for something and go right to it?  That nothing is being knocked over as you look or reach for it?  I love how it looks and makes me feel, giving me a sense of peace, a feeling that all is in order.

I secretly want her to leave her husband and kids and move in with me.  I think I could keep her busy organizing every nook and cranny of my home.  Until then, I have to be satisfied looking forward to our next appointment date when she will set up a more productive workspace in my small home office.  I can‘t wait!!

Gail just happens to be on the cover of OC Family Magazine this month.  Click here. Then click at top of page to Page 8-Page 9.  You’ll see a picture of her on the left with her two young sons.  Don’t make the mistake I did living with a cluttered space that weighed me down,  wasted time looking for things, a source of frustration that chipped away at my sense of personal power reflecting back my inability to get it done.  An Organizer will direct the effort, sorting items, creating order out of chaos.

If you’re interested in getting a consultation with Gail, her contact info is here,  A Fresh Start.

Lake Forest Residents Offered Free Document Shredding for Identity Theft Prevention

Click HERE for details. What a great service!  City of Mission Viejo, are you listening?!

The City of Lake Forest doesn’t offer the service for businesses.

To search if your city offers this program, do a search on ‘shredding program & [City of ____, CA]’.

If not, there are pay-for-service companies that offer it.  Do a search for ‘shredding services + [your city/state]’.

I Recommend this Alterations Shop in Laguna Hills

The shop name is Expert Alterations.  Kyle is the owner, and he’s gifted with the sewing machine.  In fact, he owns several machines for working with different types of fabric.  He can copy an item of clothing, and make certain kinds of upholstery.

I’m pretty, pretty picky, and was pleased how meticulous the work was, in fact, he went the extra inch (no pun intended) on a few things. Another woman, also picky, thought his work was excellent.

He’s at the corner of Paseo de Valencia and Alicia Pkwy next to Hello Nails and in the same shopping center as Yogurtland. The address is 25401 Alicia Pkwy, #G.


Monday & Saturday, 12pm-5pm
Tuesday thru Friday, 10am-6pm

Dental procedures trigger canker sores inside the mouth? Swab your mouth and tongue with Canker Sores Begone™ before and after the dental visit to prevent a canker sore outbreak.  Only $11.  Purchase at Mother’s Market, Sprouts, or Whole Foods Market.

Tustin Support Group for Those Who’ve Had Near-Death-Experiences (NDE)

Click here for OC Register article on the OC NDE Support Group

Not only is this support group for NDE experiencers, but for those who:

  • are interested in them
  • question if there’s an afterlife or what it’s like
  • have experienced ‘unexplainable’ events, i.e. out-of-body experience, or hearing, seeing, or strongly sensing the presence of a loved one who’s passed away
  • have fears about death
  • are curious or have questions

People from all religious and cultural backgrounds attend. There’s no judging, criticism, proselytizing, or dogma, but rather, an abundance of warmth, understanding, acceptance, support, and information. This group is not maudlin, in fact, there’s often laughter.

This is a place where all attendees have the emotional safety to share or ask questions, or not say anything at all.  

Typically, there’s a volunteer guest speaker who’s had an NDE or similar experience, a relevant video, or a ‘sharing’ meeting.

1:00-4:00 pm (includes a break), second Saturday of each month

Unity Church, Tustin, 14402 Prospect Ave, Tustin, CA 92780
(drive to the back parking lot, bringing you close to the meeting room).
Map to Unity Church

A $10 donation is requested but NO ONE is turned away for lack of money. It’s handled discreetly. Just don’t add anything to the donation bowl at the room entrance.

After the meeting, anyone who’s interested (it’s strictly optional) is invited to meet up for a no-host early dinner at Mimi’s Cafe in Tustin, a few blocks away.  It’s a nice way to continue the meeting discussion or talk about anything else, always upbeat.

If You Need a Recommendation for a Small-Business Based Quickbooks Expert/Financial Services Specialist

I’ve recently had a few colleagues ready to tackle their 2009 taxes who have asked who I use to reconcile my books, help with various year end reports, who can provide Quickbooks help, and other accounting and financial services.  It occurred to me there are probably others who might have the same questions at this time of the year.

Pat Kenner from Kenmar Management, Inc., has been providing my small business with accounting and financial services for the past five years, coming into my home office on a quarterly basis. She is a Quickbooks expert and although she’s works primarily with Windows, she works her way around my Mac version very well.

Pat has a BA from UCLA, an MBA from UCLA, John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management-Concentration in Accounting/Information Systems, and in 1999, UC Irvine, Certificate in Personal Financial Planning.

Regarding Quickbooks, she can do it all from setting up new books, conversion to Quickbooks software, ‘cleaning up’ existing Quickbooks files, accounts reconciliation, customizing reports, etc.

Pat can provide hands-on accounting for a very small business, or train you and your employees to use QuickBooks with her oversight quarterly or annually, whatever it is you need.

I really like that she takes notes of each time she’s in and of conversations we have between meetings so she always knows where we left off and what we need to do.  Nothing seems to fall through the cracks.  She’s actually saved my you-know-what a few times on reports I planned to do myself, but ran into a problem with it just as it was due.  She’s made phone calls on my behalf to various State agencies  to work out a problem.

What more can I say, she keeps me up and running inspite of the obstacles I throw her way from time to time.  She’s one of those real reliable, salt-of-the-earth type of people.

She doesn’t prepare tax returns, and only works in south Orange County.

Her standard rate is $55/hour but can be negotiated lower with a minimum of 20 hours per month.

Pat Kenner
Phone (949) 489-0919

Nia Technique, a natural, self-expressive dance that you can’t do wrong

Watching this video is what hooked me

I mean, I wanted to take this class and now. The closest class I found is held at the Tustin Senior Community Center. The next class starts Saturday, January 9, 2010 thru Saturday, February 27, 2010, 11:30am -12:30pm.  I’m told its usually a small group, to dress comfortably, we’ll be dancing with bare feet, and people attend of all ages and fitness levels.

300 South “C” Street, Tustin, CA.

Call to register: 714-573-3326, course #17106

$64 for non-residents of Tustin, a few dollars less for Tustin residents.

Laura Jackson, the instructor:  714-731-6761


A Nia Class 

It feels like dancing with your friends – a class

What is Nia?

Nia is a workout, lifestyle and personal growth program. More than a physical fitness or weight loss program, Nia is a way to condition, heal and transform your body, mind, emotions and spirit. Nia is a system that blends Eastern and Western movements, concepts and philosophy derived from three main movement forms: Martial Arts (mindful precision), Dance Arts (personal expression) and Healing Arts (self-healing). The philosophy of Nia is based on the pleasure principle: If it feels good, keep doing it; if it hurts, stop and adapt what you do to feel better.

What are the benefits of taking Nia?

  • Increase the pleasure of living in your body
  • Facilitate weight loss and proper weight maintenance
  • Strengthen muscles, improve muscle tone, and increase muscle definition
  • Calm the mind and relieve stress
  • Improve endurance
  • Increase grace and flexibility
  • Balance the autonomic nervous system
  • Improve posture and even increase height
  • Improve organ function, particularly that of the heart and lungs
  • Enhance sensory awareness
  • Heighten sexual function
  • Build reservoirs of chi energy
  • Alleviate emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Improve circulation of blood and improve lymphatic drainage
  • Strengthen immunity
  • Improve concentration and cognitive function 

Do a search on Nia Dance, or Nia Technique for more info.  Lots of video featuring Nia on
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Trager Approach-You owe yourself a one-hour session if you’re carrying any stress or anxiety

I’ve written about the Trager Approach before (See Archived Blogs on right side of page), but just had another session yesterday and am  inspired again to share the Trager Approach with everyone.  The profound soothing, calm and relaxation you experience is what you’re really looking for, but don’t quite achieve, when you receive a traditional massage.

Click HERE to watch a Trager session.

Trager work is one of the least invasive forms, using gentle rocking and bouncing motions to induce states of deep, pleasant relaxation. It helps the nervous system’s communication with the muscles, so that it can be used as a method of rehabilitation especially by people suffering from traumatic injuries, post-polio syndrome, and other chronic neuromuscular problems.”                                               – Andrew Weil, M.D.

The Trager Approach is also for everyday stress that’s held tight in the body, the cause of illness, and a host of other physical, behavioral and emotional complaints.

A local practitioner:   Glennda Adair
Phone: 949-707-5691  Email:
Located in north Mission Viejo near the intersection of Marguerite and Santa Marguerita Pkways.

Prevent Xmas or New Year’s Eve COLD SORE from making a guest appearance

‘Tingling’ symptom?
  No need to panic.


            1.   Apply a few dabs.
            2.   Infection aborted. 
            3.   Good to go!

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      Mission Viejo pet store recommendation

      It’s the independently owned Pet Stop Warehouse located at Marguerite and Santa Marguerita Pkwy in the Ralph’s shopping center, behind Starbucks. (Shortcut-enter the shopping center from Mustang, the street that runs behind the shopping center).

      The owner is knowledgeable, helpful, and generous with samples.  What I find so awesome are the interesting products that you won’t find in the major chain stores. Yesterday, I purchased a great harness I hadn’t seen anywhere else.  The inside is soft, no sharp areas to irritate my dog’s skin, and a leash, in orange to match her new harness, my favorite leash of all time.  The majority of its length is rubber tubing so neither you nor the dog is jerked. Throw it in washing machine with no problems, cleans up great.

      Next, I purchased a CD called Chopin for dogs (they also have it for cats) which uses different kinds of sound that’s pleasing and calming to a dog.  When I played it at home, not only did I like it but my dog sat up and listened to it so it really was resonating for her. It’s a good tool to have, especially for times you know your pet will be frightened – when there’s lightening, fireworks, etc.

      Do you have a dog that doesn’t signal you when it has to go out?  The Pet Stop Warehouse offers a product that will help you train your dog to do so with a strong ribbon type of material with bells hanging down its length that you hang from the door handle.  Easy instructions. Goal is for your dog to ring the bell when it has to relieve itself.   I had heard of this method of training before and fashioned my own ribbon adding some bells, but for a variety of reasons, didn’t work out well.  Although we’ve only started using the new strip of bells, I’m seeing some early signs of response so I’m really jazzed.

      Although they have a lot of the pet food and some other merchandise you’ll see in the Petsmart’s & Petco’s, there are so many interesting products that are unique. Another example  –  dog themed quality Xmas wrapping paper, gift bags, and greeting cards.

      She runs sales, and when a supplier offers her special pricing, she makes sure you benefit from it as well.

      Do yourself a favor if you live in the area, go to this store instead of the chains.  You’ll appreciate it so much more, including the personalized service.

      They now offer dog and puppy training classes, and will soon be hosting pet adoption events.

      Phone:  949-305-0532


      A little-known-about post office location ‘hides out’ in Lake Forest pharmacy

      Could there be a better time than now to discover a small post office location that’s unknown to many people?

      Well, here it is, but don’t tell anyone – we want to keep this secret resource for ourselves.   

      Rite-Price Pharmacy
      23653 El Toro Rd., Lake Forest
      Ph:  586-7780

      Find it across the parking lot from Home Depot at the corner of  El Toro Rd and Rockfield.

      Note –  it’s a small branch, and doesn’t offer the full range of services of a larger post office.  For instance, for overnight mail, you will have to get it in hours earlier than a larger branch.  Call for more information.

      Holiday season, common time for a cold sore or canker sore

      All the stress and fatigue that goes along with the Holidays commonly causes a cold sore or canker sore for those prone to them.

      Cold Sores Begone® will prevent that little cold sore of yours from erupting.  Yep. A few dabs at that dreaded tingling feeling, the infection is aborted, no cold sore, good to go.

      Canker Sores Begone®, for most folks, heals the ulceration within 24 hours to a few short days.

      No worries.  Safe for even small children, non-toxic, herbal topical formulation.  Endorsed by PREVENTION and NATURAL HEALTH magazines, no less.

      Be smart and pick up a bottle BEFORE you need it.  Let’s see – some fitting cliches: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, The early bird gets the worm (no, this doesn’t quite fit, does it?)

      Available now at Whole Foods Market, Mother’s Market, Sprout’s, Henry’s Marketplace (Cold Sores Begone® only), SRP $10.99.  Also available ONLINE

      Ranch Market in Mission Viejo – my favorite food store and why

      This new middle-east market recently opened in the same shopping center as Total Woman, Cal Med Pharmacy, and Mission Viejo Chabad on Marguerite at Trabuco.
      Have you been there yet?   It’s a wonderful store, especially the produce and meat depts. Lots of organic produce at prices significantly less than non-organic at conventional markets. They carry a surprising amount of health food store products and kosher food, and many interesting food items you might not see elsewhere, and offer a hot deli counter for take-out.

      Excellent everyday prices at meat counter, for instance $5.99/lb for salmon fillet. About the salmon, I do suggest to remind them to make sure it’s completely filleted.
      Example of current prices:  Fillet mignon, $5.99/lb (and lower when it’s on sale!); chicken breast, boned, skinless @ $1.99/lb; organic bananas, $.69/lb; organic fuji apples, $2.99/lb.

      The owner is the same as the middle-eastern store on Los Alisos between Jeronimo and Trabuco. This new store is a smaller space, so less merchandise, but much less crowded and easier to navigate,  better parking.

      24021 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, 949-916-9500.  
      Hours:   Mon-Sat, 8am-9pm, Sun, 8am-8pm.