Jody Robinson

Jody Robinson

Solutions for a SMART Home … and Breaking Free from the Big Box for Your Perfect Home Theater System

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 me, and for so many others who have been on the receiving end of ReelTime Sight and Sound’s patient, intelligent, and personalized service, the rabbit hole of home automation didn’t swallow me entirely. With the help of their independent certified Control4 dealer, it was easy to update my home without upending my 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?

Yeah, neither did I.

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 Sight & Sound 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.”

Skip opened the doors at ReelTime Sight & Sound in 1983. Today, the technicians and designers that Skip assigns to clients are all ReelTime Sight & Sound 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.

“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.”

It’s easy to assume that personal service is expensive, but a conversation with Skip and the experts at ReelTime Sight & Sound 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 Sight & Sound by calling (949) 240-0555, stop by the showroom at 26381 Via De Anza in San Juan Capistrano or visit

There may be nothing more frustrating than finally deciding to pull the trigger on a residential or commercial renovation project, only to be stalled by a contractor who is overcommitted on too many projects or simply doesn’t give their customers the care and compassion they deserve when embroiled in what may be the longest or most stressful weeks or months of their lives. The best help, sometimes, can simply be from neighbors willing to lend a helping hand. That’s how J & M General Contractors got their start. They’ve been treating their clients like neighbors since inception.

Owned and operated by Veterans who began by repairing things like Marine helicopters (James Scheinoha) and multi-million-dollar nuclear Navy submarines (Michael Zellmer) and now led by a Marine pilot (Theodore Martin). Once leaving active duty, their passion for construction evolved from honey-do lists and helping neighbors with home repair into a successful business model. Although J & M was incorporated in 2012, they have been in business in various forms since 1990. While J & M continues to focus on commercial construction projects, Vector Construction has developed into a burgeoning residential business model.

“Quality work, excellent customer service, attention to detail, and great value set us apart from our competitors,” says Theodore Martin. “That’s the core reason why J & M has survived and thrived the cycle of booms and busts in the economy and construction.”

Depositphotos 8677894 originalHaving one company handle everything from planning, design/engineering to execution and site management certainly doesn’t hurt either. You name it, J & M takes care of their clients - from inception to completion. Vector’s residential offerings include kitchen and bathroom remodel, room additions, patio covers, stucco walls, siding and driveway installation and repair. Even windows and doors. Electrical upgrades. Painting. As always, J & M can handle that electrical repair or power panel upgrade, and also design, reconfigure, or repair shared work spaces, offices, break rooms, and more. They’ll even grind or repair concrete inside or outside your commercial space, and take care of upgrading the paint when it’s seen one too many sunny California days.

My parents began a project on their house when I was a freshman in high school. Every meal I prepared myself that year was done under the cover of our back patio. Our kitchen was under construction for an entire school calendar cycle. When we finally moved back inside, we discovered the full gamut of problems; from cabinets that had been mismeasured, to the wrong glass showing up on their front porch to be installed in those same mismeasured cabinets. They remodeled their living room, and the family room too. By my freshman year in college, I came home on large holidays to the final picture frames going back up on the walls.

Those were different times and perhaps some of it may have been my parent’s slow negotiations - clearly, they knew what they wanted. But surely, the amount of hassle and headache could have been minimized by working with a more qualified contractor. A quality contractor.

Active in the National Independent Business owners and a Coldwell Banker Concierge member. J & M’s commitment to community and quality doesn’t stop at the front door of their projects, the support and are active member in Orange County Veterans, OC Team RWB, OC Veteran Business Network, Veterans Legal Institute and the American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291, the gentlemen at J & M are busy spreading neighborly care everywhere they go. Sounds like the fellows at J & M ascribe to the wisdom of one of the most famous neighbors of all time: Mr. Rogers. Finding quality in anything often comes from “treating our ‘neighbor’ at least as well as we treat ourselves and allowing that to inform everything that we produce.”

Theodore MartinTheodore MartinMichael ZellmerMichael ZellmerConnect with Ted or Mike and the J & M and Vector team for a no cost estimate by calling (866) 755-4001 or visit or

They say those who can’t do, teach. But they also say that while we teach, we learn. In fact, Seneca said that. The Roman philosopher Seneca. So which is true? Stephanie Frisch hails from a family of teachers. And she would have to agree with Seneca. “I’m always learning. I want to know everything there is to know.” In the world of insurance, the demand is high for those who are dedicated to teaching the consumer, rather than taking them simply as a commission.

What do you really know about your insurance policies? Has anyone ever sat down and explained insurance to you in a way you really understood? Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplements and Prescription Drug plans, Covered California, Individual and Family plans; chances are, mostly likely not. As the owner of Insurance 101 Services, Stephanie is taking an industry norm and turning it on it’s head.

“I come from an all-teacher family. I learned a long time ago how to properly and thoroughly inform my clients. And I believe that a personalized, caring approach is what it takes to garner trust with folks who at a base level, have no idea what the terms are, or what the provisions of the plans mean.” Specializing in senior needs - such as Medicare plans for South County residents, Stephanie is faced with unique situations daily. “As the demand grows for this type of service, I find that my successes lie in earning the trust of my clients. The actual business is just one factor. Caring for the whole person is the key.”

Her old-school approach is unrivaled. Rarely does a broker find the time to spend one-on one with a client, let alone achieving any sort of true human interaction in the world of text messaging, multi-password online applications, and automated 800-number customer service recordings. “I keep contact information and notes from past conversations with all of my clients. When someone calls me, I see their name pop up on my phone and I greet them personally. I love helping people, and bringing a personal touch to the impersonal world of insurance is key. You can’t rush when you do what I do.” Having the knowledge and savvy to navigate the insurance world is one thing. Having the patience to wade through the headlines and get to the heart of the issues speaks to a deep desire to do right by her clients. “It’s my responsibility,” she notes.

Sifting through the sludge of government issues, printed articles, and healthcare propaganda is enough to drive any American toward feeling as if the premium they are really paying is in lifeblood, not dollars.

“What I provide is ‘value added’ to what customers pay in their insurance premium,” says Stephanie. “I don’t personally charge for my consulting service. I’ve been told that my method of explaining insurance makes it easier to understand than any other way my clients have been told before. And I’m really trying to help them, not sell them. I want to know everything about the products I offer to people and what is going on out there. 65 looks and acts a lot younger than it used to. They want the information that will help them be proactive about their lifestyle, and I help them find that.”

Be it working, traveling, parenting, surfing, running marathons, practicing yoga - you should be informed. If you’d like to understand your options and benefits better, Stephanie’s the one to call.

Q: You’ve been a one woman show for more than 11 years now, what prompted you to bring Carlos Aguilar on board to Stephanie Frisch Insurance 101 Services?

A: Carlos and I are fellow Rotarians in San Juan Capistrano. He’s exactly the same age now as I was when I started my career in insurance. The company he worked for relocated and he was looking to find something that allowed him to work closer to home and his young family and still stay involved in the community of San Juan Capistrano. Carlos was born and raised here in San Juan and when I found out he was fluent in Spanish a light bulb went off in my head! This is what I have been missing in my business; the ability to help the large Latino population not only in San Juan Capistrano, but also the surrounding communities. Because of the language barrier for many, they don’t understand or even know about their options when it comes to getting help from Covered California or Medicare Advantage plans. I haven’t been able to help them up to this point but now Carlos can. I have full confidence in Carlos’s ability, and he has been trained by me and has full access to me with any questions in order to help him take good care of his client’s needs.

Q: So Medicare open enrollment starts October 1st and ends on December 7th.

A: Well, first off, even though open enrollment begins on October 1st, applications can’t be taken until October 15th, I wish that wasn’t the case. But October 1st is generally when releases all the updated plan information for the 2018 Medicare Advantage plans and Stand Alone Drug plans. The drug formularies are also updated to reflect any changes made to what prescriptions are covered, how much they cost, if prior authorization is now needed or if there are quantity limits.

Q: Do you feel like there are good plan options out there for those Medicare beneficiaries looking to make a change?

A: I sure do. Especially for those that are in the St. Joseph/Hoag Health healthcare system and still paying for a Medicare supplement and prescription drug plan. It’s been about 3 years now that St. Joseph/Hoag Health has now been a part of the Medicare Advantage plan scene. These plans have great benefits, include prescription drug coverage, have additional add-on benefits to enhance the value of the plan and have NO monthly premium. They still need to continue to have the Part B Medicare premium deducted from their Social Security check (or pay it to the government if they’re not yet taking SS) if they enroll in one of these plans, but it’s a huge monthly savings for people.

As the demand grows for this type of service, I find that my successes lie in earning the trust of my clients. The actual business is just one factor. Caring for the whole person is the key.

Q: Let’s talk about health insurance for those under 65. Is the open enrollment time period the same this year?

A: In many other states it’s much shorter this year, but California has a strong commitment to making sure that no one is left without coverage. Open enrollment starts November 1st this year and ends January 31st just like last year.

Q: I heard that Anthem Blue Cross will no longer be offering insurance in 2018 for Orange County, is that right?

A: Well first of all, this applies to the individual and family plans purchased directly from Anthem Blue Cross and from Covered California only. But yes, that’s right. Anthem’s decision to pull out of Orange County (and many other surrounding counties) will have no impact on coverage for the remainder of 2017. In the 2018 renewal and open-enrollment periods, consumers will have to select another insurance company and plan. Anthem was more expensive in 2017 than Blue Shield and lacked the flexibility of a PPO, so I had already moved many people off of their Anthem plan last fall. 84% of doctors contracted by Anthem are also available through another health plans too, but that can be a tricky and time consuming task to research.

Q: What should someone do if they do have an Anthem plan and need to select new insurance for 2018?

A: Those Anthem consumers who have their coverage through Covered California and don’t do anything will be renewed automatically into the lowest-cost plan offered by another carrier in their same metal tier. This could mean major headaches as they realize that they no longer have the same access to doctors and hospitals. For those that bought directly from Anthem or through an agent, if they do nothing they will lose their coverage and have no insurance for 2018. This could be catastrophic! The best thing for people to do if they currently aren’t working with an agent is to get into contact with me. Carlos and I can help them find the best coverage to meet their needs and their budget.

Q: Looking back on health coverage in 2017, did any changes happen that you think people should be aware of?

A: Yes! As us July 1st, under a new state law, if you visit an in-network facility - such as a hospital, lab or imaging center - you will be responsible only for your in-network share of the cost, even if you’re seen by an out-of-network provider. The law applies to non-emergency services. Also, at the beginning of the year starting January 1st, 2017, you can’t be billed out-of-network charges for both emergency room and physician services.

This does not cover the 5.7 million people who are on employer-sponsored insurance plans however.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Stephanie can do for you, contact her directly at (949) 351-2443. If you need help with the next stage in your life or have any questions about insurance, you can count on Stephanie to point you in the right direction.

Who would have thought such a (relatively) small change could completely transform the look and curb appeal of a home? In just a few hours and for less than the price of a new entry door system, Norton and Vicki Canterbury, owners of The Beveled Edge, start with a homeowner’s existing door, cut out a portion and insert custom art beveled glass panels.

002 beveled edgeWhat was once a solid surface is now a stunning entry defined by light, beauty and instant curb appeal.

The San Juan Capistrano studio, showroom and manufacturing facility specializes in the aforementioned front door remodels, as well as interior doors and cabinet doors.

“Any door, whether wood, metal or fiberglass, can be transformed into a functional work of art,” says Norton. “The Beveled Edge also offers custom etched glass, architectural glass and heavy glass table tops.”

003 beveled edgeA former Marine, Norton has honed his craft for the past quarter century – starting with an apprenticeship at a stained glass studio in 1983, followed by the launch of his own business three years later in San Clemente and culminating in his current location complete with a showroom and manufacturing facilities.
What sets their business apart is the personal touch – both Norton and Vicki are “fully involved” in every job, working directly with each client to “make certain we create the vision they desire for their home.”

According to Norton, the collaborative design process includes the creation of full-scale templates for review by the client and glass selection, which may include just bevels and clear textured glass or full color. The privacy level that each customer desires in their leaded glass panels is discussed and implemented.

“It is this approach that we believe results in a large percentage of our sales come from repeat customers or are referrals from friends, neighbors, or relatives,” says Vicki. “Our business success can be attributed to honesty, hard work and providing uncompromising quality in each and every leaded or etched glass panel that is hand-crafted by our expert artisans. The workmanship is guaranteed for a lifetime. Our goal is to create custom art glass panels that will exceed your expectations in every way.”

To connect with Norton and Vicki, call (949) 582-1035, stop by the studio/showroom at 26131 Agenda Aeropuerto, Unit D in San Juan Capistrano or visit

Hospitality has its origins in antiquity, with the first records of guest baths in Greek villages in early biblical times. Over the last two thousand years, the simple act of offering care for others has grown into a massive industry: from the first French and English rural inns and stables for travelers, to the splendor of the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Caring for others can be complicated, or it can be simple: and the San Clemente Villas are looking to keep it simple.

Aileen Brazeau and her husband Paul own and operate the Villas, and they’d like to think that hospitality is simply about listening. Listening to its residents, namely. “If we are successful at providing superior senior care and lodging, it is for that reason - we listen closely to what the residents tell us.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, seniors will represent 20 percent of the U.S. population by 2030. As demand for senior housing rises, the Villas are ready to meet it with their signature recipe for success: hospitality.

Villas’ residents enjoy a level of service and care often missing from senior communities. Care plans are specifically tailored to residents’ daily individual needs, and with 24-hour assistance every day of the year, the center fosters as much independence as possible while still maintaining the highest level of comprehensive care. The staff, including an Assisted Living Care manager, Licensed Nurse, and Executive Director are involved on a daily basis with the well-being of each resident, ensuring that the safety, health and comfort of each resident comes first. “The first thing that Paul, I, and our staff focused upon when we opened our doors was that each resident has a story to tell, as well as unique needs. We are interested in their stories, and we care about their needs.”

Walking into the “grand hall” of The Villas is like walking onto lido deck of a cruise ship - minus the cruise director and napkins folded to look like chimpanzees. Clearly, Paul and his wife know exactly what they’re doing, and are excelling at it, as there are smiling seniors everywhere you look: chatting amongst themselves, or with visiting relatives or staff. If it isn’t Happy Hour on Tuesday or Thursday, there is bound to be a Luau, or Karaoke Birthday Party. And if that wasn’t enough to keep you entertained, The Villas host an annual “Villas’ Got Talent” show.

2016 0309Taking a peek into the kitchens is an experience in itself, where a team of chefs prepare several entrees, side dishes and desserts at breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Our residents look forward to every meal”, Aileen states, noting that it is not unusual to see a home baked pie or cobbler on the menu, following a fresh, home-style lunch or dinner. “Casual “cafe-style dining is available, as is formal. Residents can even reserve a private dining room for family visits”. But balance and moderation are keys to offering a tailored care experience, and so the Villas also boast an exercise gym and beauty salon, a library, and a game area. Nightly movies are one of the most popular venues for the residents, showing on the “big screen” in a roomy theater setting.

Like any five star hotel, the Villas rely on the services that an on-site concierge offers. Through telephone and personal interactions, the Concierge provides exemplary customer service: allowing the residents to focus on the meaningful moments they have throughout their days, instead of stressing about what the day’s schedule looks like, worry about how to pick up a prescription off site, or how to challenge themselves to keep mind and body active. The “cruise ship that never sails” couldn’t be more accurate a way to describe the Villas. As cruise directors, Paul and Aileen operate the fully-staffed community. She, her Executive Director, Jan McAlister, along with long-time Marketing Director, Sherri Saunders, work magic in the Public Relations, Networking and Marketing arena, often hosting events at The Villas that are open to local businesses and the community.

2016 0302On-site presence is what sets this community apart, and what keeps the ship afloat. Most senior residence communities operate through a parent corporation, run by hired representatives. Taking hospitality to the next level, Paul and Aileen have made it a point to keep their offices onsite at The Villas, and can be seen regularly participating in activities during the week. If you see them on-site, say hello, ask a question, and expect to be hosted like you are a part of the San Clemente Villas family.

To learn more about The Villas and its history, founding, beginnings or review a list of available services, be sure to visit the web site at

When you have your health, you have everything. At least that’s the rule the folks over at Laguna Niguel’s Druggist Pharmacy follow. Part of the community since 1972, and offering regular prescriptions, compounding, home health items, a gift store, and a USPS contract station all under one roof, The Druggist is your one stop shop for total health - which, in their eyes, is everything you’d ever need.

Owned and operated by Nihar and Kirti Mandavia, The Druggist was under previous management until 2014. Nihar saw the business in 2012 and knew he had to be a part of it.

“We strive to uphold the reputation that the pharmacy has built up over the past 40 years. We believe our service and attention to detail sets us apart from the chain stores, and we take care of our patients as if they were family.”

A graduate of the USC School of Pharmacy in 2003, Nihar grew up in the business. “My uncles and cousins were pharmacists. They persuaded me to join the family practice. I’ve been working as one ever since.” Under various settings, Nihar grew his business acumen, moving steadily towards his dream of owning The Druggist.

Servicing board + cares, nursing homes, and hospices, the pharmacy has the ability to formulate medications that aren’t commercially available. “This includes various strengths or dosage forms. We can also make medications without dyes, flavors, or lactose.” Being able to go straight from your primary care physician or specialist to the pharmacy is a gift that cannot be overlooked. Yes, having your health is the primary concern. But keeping it can often be another question entirely. So many chain pharmacies have long lines, waiting periods - or as I found recently, the enormous headache of needing to pick up a prescription in one location and a cane in another. With over 67,000 pharmacies nationwide, you’d think that having a prescription filled would be simple. So often, the contrary is true.

It was Henry David Thoreau that famously said “Our lives are frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify.” Emerson, snidely responded, “One ‘simplify’ would have sufficed.” I am certainly wont to agree with Emerson when it comes to shopping for medical apparati and having my prescriptions refilled. I have waited in enough long lines and gotten back into my car, to drive down the street to yet another chain- to fritter away any more of my life to such meaningless detail. Nihar and Kirti couldn’t agree more.

The Druggist offers prescription delivery as well as bubble packing. They’ll even fill your pet’s medications. Walkers and wheelchairs? Got ‘em. Pharmacist guidance was impossible to turn down, especially when it came to walking me through the cost-benefit of a generic prescription versus the private label over-the-counter. Participating in the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, The Druggist’s staff also volunteers in several events throughout the year. “We also try to have a presence at health fairs every few months. It helps us get to know our customers (and future customers!) by name.”

Donating their time isn’t enough, however. Contributing to local elementary and high school organizations in the community, The Druggist also donates excess inventory to a local charity in Laguna Niguel. Building relationships with anyone who works at a local service counter anymore is almost unheard of- let alone a 30+ year relationship with your neighborhood pharmacist. But if everything you have is your health, why compromise for any less than the best? Attention to detail, sound medical advice and delightful service: almost everything else you’d ever need. And certainly small business at its very finest.

The Druggist is located at 24022 Aliso Creek Road in Laguna Niguel. 
For information, call (949) 643-0740 or visit

All the jokes my husband makes about potentially living under the same roof as his mother-in-law aside, my 84-year-old mother knows she can always move in with our family if or when the time arrives when she needs extra help in her daily life.

I recently learned about Acti-Kare, thinking forward about what options were out there for those looking to take care of their elderly in-house: options to give you more dignity, comfort, and independence, not less.

An industry leader in providing highly qualified, compassionate, and trustworthy caregivers, Acti-Kare is dedicated to in-home care, and Lori Renaud, R.N., is at the helm in South Orange County, steering her team towards excellence. Especially when it comes to senior care. Acti-Kare offers affordable in-home care - both hourly and live-in services - including transportation, meal preparation, personal care services, companionship from professionals who are screened, bonded and insured.

“I began Acti-Kare in April of 2015. Working in healthcare provided me with the opportunity to recognize the value and benefit of high-quality in-home care,” says Lori. “Too many seniors only have a life of existence, leading to isolation and depression.” Indeed, for those struggling with recovery following a surgery, like a friend’s mother after she broke her hip, life becomes smaller and smaller. Until the house you raised your children in can start to feel more like a trap than a triumph.

Acti-Kare utilizes a collaborative approach in working alongside hospice and home health care companies toward the same client/patient goals through open communication and a commitment toward providing outstanding service. “Our caregivers go to the client’s residence, and we are daily achieving my goal of providing seniors the opportunity to have a life with meaning, and a more active, social, and independent lifestyle in a safe environment,” says Lori.

As a Registered Nurse, Lori takes each initial consultation herself, developing an individualized plan of care for every client, and checking back in regularly to provide personalized health assessments. The Acti-Vate Program takes customized care one step further, challenging the norm of an age-induced fatigue, and balancing mind, body and spirit to improve the wellbeing of clients holistically. The knowledge that your loved ones are in careful hands is priceless, and the understanding that those hands are leading your loved ones to a safer, more independent lifestyle in their advanced years is immeasurable.

“I can now sleep at night, knowing my mother is safe,” says Mary, a client from Laguna Beach. “Not only does my mother now have a constant companion, her laundry is taken care of, mail sorted - but if she wants to go out and run errands or meet a friend, her transportation is arranged.” Clients can still do their own grocery shopping; but if they’d rather not bother with the task of preparing and cleaning up afterwards, or perhaps are dealing with a restricted diet, “Acti-Kare caregivers can prepare meals that maintain a healthy diet, as well as monitor their daily nutritional needs to insure sufficient nutrition.” Unfortunately, a great many seniors fail to meet those demands, leading to frustration, and often, a heightened risk of illness.

“I educate the public on disease management and prevention,” says Lori. “But sometimes it takes the presence of a competent, compassionate caregiver to ensure that corners aren’t being cut on health in some of the most important years of your life.” Treating every client as if they were a family member of their own, Lori’s team is confident that their suite of senior care solutions will surpass your expectations for care - without committing to a long-term contract or minimum hour block of service.

My mother is in fine health now. But as she ages and has increasing needs, what a great option to see her in her own home, running her own errands, confident, dignified and independent in the care right at her doorstep.

My Photo 2015Connect with Lori Renaud, R.N. by calling (949) 558-2777 or visit

Call me old fashioned, but I believe that physical photos are a medium worth preserving. When I recently sat down to put together my daughter’s baby book, I thought of how printed images might at times seem like a thing of the past. But then I can’t imagine showing off my family photos by scrolling through all the images I posted to Facebook once upon a time.

Diana Schmitt of the San Juan Capistrano-based Accents Portraits by Diana understands the desire for individuals and families to preserve their most precious memories in more than merely a digital format. She has spent the better part of 30 years specializing in family portraits, wedding photos and capturing the most priceless of moments in all types of life celebrations.

With nearly 30 years of experience, Diana’s focus is families, and she always aims to deliver “extraordinary customer service.”

“Diana is amazing,” says Heidi Hitt. “She has taken so many special pictures over the years for me and my family. They all turn out so beautifully. I am so blessed to have someone I can trust to help me capture special moments in time. Everybody loves when we send out our Christmas cards; they can’t believe how beautiful the pictures are. Thank you Diana for all the beautiful memories.”

Accent Portraits by Diana and San Juan Photo and Digital is located at 32281 Camino Capistrano, Suite C-104 in SJC. They can be reached at (949) 661-6465 or online at

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.

Paradise 2Meet John Paradise, a Boston transplant who eighteen 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 into “a home” when John started to fully appreciate the passion that Orange County residents felt for luxury automobiles. One car at a time, John found good deals and passed hassle-free savings on to a select clientele. Today, Paradise Automotive Group is a full-sized dealership, specializing in previously owned luxury vehicles and personalized, individual service.

“These days, clients are so well educated and aware of what is available for how much, we don’t get into the hassle of back-and-forth haggling over price,” says John, who far prefers the tell-it-like-it-is tack. “We price the car correctly and fairly, then focus on making it a good experience for our customer.”

It’s the Paradise Automotive service-first approach that inspires the trust that has kept clients coming back year after year, car after car. Many families are on their ninth and tenth cars purchased through Paradise Automotive, having met John years ago and deciding that they didn’t want to purchase anywhere else.

As an extension of their commitment to zero hassle, Paradise Automotive Group also provides full-service maintenance, detail and body shop repairs and paint needs on site, so customers can conceivably stay with one trusted entity for the life of their car. With ASE-certified technicians for all makes and models, Paradise’s unequivocal goal is to make you a customer for life.

Connect with John by calling (949) 347-2522, visit or check out the wide selection of affordably priced, quality pre-owned luxury vehicles at the Paradise Automotive dealership and showroom located at 32592 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

In a day in age when most ten year-olds have their own cell phone, and are, at many schools, required to have their own laptop, the demand for true literacy is faltering; and therefore incredibly precious. So what are parents to do prior to age 10, when game apps and screen time take over, and many children’s love of books and reading falls by the wayside?

Tracey Pringle likes to think that instilling a love of literacy early on is the best way to develop lifelong achievers, and is betting her livelihood on it. With Club Literacy, Mrs. Pringle has turned a typical education center into a nurturing environment in which all children are encouraged and guided to reach their creative and academic potential. Dedicated to the development of lifelong readers, Club Literacy was born out of two Bachelors degrees, one in Speech Communication, one in Early Education - and eight successful years in the trenches of public school, teaching Kindergarten through Fourth grade.

“My proudest moments have been seeing my own children develop a strong love of literature,” says Tracey. “I’m a literacy advocate, through and through.”

Credentialed in both California and North Carolina, Tracey also travels internationally to research effective educational techniques. Offering both specialty summer classes and a full lineup for the fall, Club Literacy is gearing up for another reading year. “We start with the basics - we’ll meet those ABC’s any way we can!”

ABC Club, for ages 4-5 introduces to club members through fun and exciting books, fairy tales, fables, poems, and parodies. Students enjoy getting to build friendships with each other as they greet the world of letters. There is a special emphasis on multisensory activities in order to best match all students’ learning styles.

IMG 2296Specially designed for full and half-day kindergartners, Kindergarten Smart Start and Early Literacy both explore further the ideas and shapes of the ABC’s, building the foundation of reading readiness. Beyond simple recognition and sound links, students are provided with the opportunity to engage in cooking experiments, themed dress-ups, phonics games, creative dramatics, and even collaborate with the rest of the class to publish a class book. According to a 2013 study from the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 32 million adults in the United States can’t read. Stopping that trend before it starts, with tender, loving encouragement is a priceless gift, and Tracey and her team are proud to send students home with a wide variety of tools to succeed.

Kids progress through 123-ABC Math Journals and Book Bunch, where true-to-life mathematical situations are provided to explore and investigate. With reading, as with mathematics, the sooner a child can demonstrate their reasoning and illustrate their thinking, the stronger their confidence will be later on in school. “Many problems have multiple solutions, and by giving students the chance to work through them, we reinforce phonic skills, and basic word sight recognition. Simultaneously, writing skills are strengthened!”

As a mom whose elementary-aged daughter has attended Camp Literacy’s summer camps and reading classes, I can personally attest to the fact that while what Tracey provides is a focused learning experience, she does so in an environment of fun and creativity - my daughter absolutely LOVES everything about being a part of the Club Literacy “family,” from the camaraderie and encouragement to the educational activities.

IMG 1521Tracey, a 2010 recipient of the WomanSage Award for her work in Child Development, loves nothing more than getting buddies together and working towards success - and her Book Bunch is exactly that. “Their collective goal is to become great readers and writers, and by placing an emphasis on phonic skills and word recognition, students exploration of the worlds of pirates, mermaids, and sea monsters becomes an opportunity, not just a magic story hour.”

IMG 2833And before you know it - that child who would rather look at their smartphone will be saying the three little words every parent wants to hear (not “Mom, more dessert”). More. Books. Please.

Connect with Tracey by calling (949) 717-6624 or visit