Self development. Discipline. Self defense. Character development. These are all traits any parent would want to instill in their children and the main reasons why my husband and I chose to enroll our son and daughter (then ages 5 and 4) in Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu in Dana Point several years ago.
Open since December 2009 in the Blue Lantern Plaza (at the corner of PCH and Blue Lantern), the Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu studio specializes in self defense and Brazilian Jiu-JItsu for men, women and children of all ages.
Since they started the program, our kids (now ages 10 and 9) have truly thrived in the encouraging, fun atmosphere and in interacting with his fellow students and the instructors. What is particularly nice for the class is that there are often three “coaches” on the mat throughout the 50-minute class, so all the students receive individualized, personal attention. All of the instructors I’ve witnessed are incredibly patient, supportive and seem to have an affinity for teaching their art to children.
Led by Professor Fernando Nassif, the instructors here are dedicated to teaching martial arts at its prime form providing the best training experience possible. All of the Gracie Barra instructors undergo the ‘Gracie Barra Instructors Certification Program ‘ – an intense training to review and enhance their teaching skills and methodology. The classes are run using curriculums and teaching methods developed by Gracie Barra founder Carlos Gracie Jr. and, most importantly, the instructors have their students goals in mind all the time.
“Jiu-Jtsu is truly a tool for each team member to discover his or her own strengths and grow from their weaknesses and we are here to help them,” says Professor Fernando. “We pride ourselves of teaching Jiu-Jitsu for everyone,” he adds. “Martial arts can become a lifestyle that will improve your overall well-being as well that of your entire family.”
Connect with Professor Fernando by calling (949) 388-8886, stop by the studio 34085 Pacific Coast Hwy in Dana Point (in the Blue Lantern Plaza) or visit www.gbdanapoint.com
Certain things in life I am very grateful for. These things include chocolate, wine, soul music and places like the Doheny Clothing Exchange in Capistrano Beach.
Picture this: racks and racks of men and women’s name brand or designer clothing and accessories, all gently used or sometimes new, at way, way less than the original price. And the beauty of it is I can bring in my own gently used clothing, and trade in for something different and better fitting. The owners, mother and daughter team Pamela and Caia take the time to truly inspect each item and because they get new merchandise every day, their store stays fresh and new.
Personally, I love the fact that I can buy jeans here and I don’t have to spend the next few weeks trying to break them in. Plus, I can pick out a funky outfit and know it’s not something everyone is wearing. That fact alone makes this place fabulous.
The Doheny Clothing Exchange is located at 34276 Doheny Park Road in Capistrano Beach. For info, call (949) 240-4800.
If you’re in the mood for delicious, authentic Italian fare served in a romantic atmosphere where the owners and staff make guests feel as welcome as a member of the family, experience Casanova Ristorante.
Literally everything I’ve tried on the menu here has been nothing short of superb. The service is excellent – attentive and unobtrusive – the ambiance is warm and friendly and its popular cocktail lounge featuring an extensive, specially selected wine list (and full bar) has a loyal following among locals and visitors alike.
Start with the Burrata Cheese platter which combines melt-in-your-mouth burrata with thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma, sliced tomatoes, arugula, olive oil and pepper. Another popular pick is the antipasto misto made up of a selection of cured meats and complementary cheeses or the Cozze Vongole alla Siciliana which arrives as fresh mussels and clams sauteed in white wine and garlic and a spicy marinara sauce.
Popular entrees include the “Pink Lady Fettuccine” made with chicken and sundried tomatoes tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce and the Rigatoni Mama Rosa which combines Italian sausage and mushrooms in a tomato sauce with a touch of cream.
A seafood aficionado? Options abound – ranging from the Linguini Vongole Veraci (long, flat pasta with baby Manila clams sautéed in a white wine sauce) and Farfalle al Salmone (bowtie pasta with smoked salmon tossed in a cream and tomato sauce with a touch of vodka) to the Linguini alla Pescatora (long, flat pasta with fresh fish of the day, shrimp, calamari, mussels and clams in a light tomato sauce.
Portions are generous, but if you’ve saved room for a little something sweet … try the crème brulee with its perfectly carmelized top or the homemade tiramisu, a traditional favorite.
Casanova Ristorante is located at 33585 Del Obispo St. in Dana Point (at the corner of Stonehill). For reservations, call 949.496.0992 or visit www.casanovaristorante.com
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Professional dancer and television host Cheryl Burke is launching a 30-city tour titled, LLOVE ON THE FLOOR. The live dance show kicks off its national tour on October 17 at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts in Palm Desert, California and runs through November 19 with the show’s final performance in Englewood, New Jersey at the Bergen Performing Arts Center. LOVE ON THE FLOOR will make its Orange County debut with a one-night-only performance on October 21, 2017 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
LOVE ON THE FLOOR, a highly creative dance show in four acts, will feature Burke, a two-time Dancing With The Stars Mirror Ball champion and Emmy-nominated choreographer. Burke starred for 19 seasons on the top-rated ABC program. In addition, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal-winning Ice Dancing duo will star alongside Burke on the tour. Davis was the Mirror Ball winner for Season 18 of Dancing With The Stars, with White placing fourth in the same season. Davis and White made history by becoming the first American team to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Ice Dancing when they struck gold in Sochi.
Tickets for LOVE ON THE FLOOR start at $49. They are available online at SCFTA.org, by calling (714) 556-2787 and at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.
Staying close while getting away at Orange County’s most luxurious resort
With all the preparation and waiting that travel requires, sometimes vacationing can be more exhausting than relaxing. After planning an itinerary, arranging papers, booking tickets, prepping sundries, hauling luggage and staying “alert” per the TSA, CHP, FRA, the PA and all the other acronyms – not to mention your better senses – by the time vacation ends it is not uncommon to feel as though you need a vacation from your vacation.
When your goal is to unwind, there is always a strong case for a stay-cation, which means there is always a strong case for the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.
Since a weekend at the Ritz offers OC locals all the “away-ness” a vacation promises without the attending hassle, it’s an especially attractive option for an uncomplicated getaway for girlfriends seeking a short respite from the obligations of home, husbands and little ones. Within a half hour, you’re in paradise, with no need to leave it until you’re headed home.
Of course, if you find yourself at any Ritz, you find yourself in luxury; but our Ritz has some special advantages. Most rooms offer breathtaking ocean views from private patios or balconies, and the entire southwest side of the property is ocean-facing, with nothing but sand interrupting the space between building and water. This factor alone transports you; but then it’s all the ritzy little things that make it a getaway.
Every guest, and every group of girlfriends, at the Ritz-Carlton has a multitude of ways to vacation. Yoga or Pilates classes and an ocean-front fitness center start your days off in wellness; free use of the sauna and steam room at the Ritz-Carlton Spa settles you in for rejuvenation; a Beach Butler Service provides beach recreation equipment including fins, towel service, umbrellas, and beach chairs; access to tennis courts, including rackets, is unlimited.
A girlfriend getaway to the Ritz-Carlton arguably would not even be one without a rendezvous with relaxation at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, where therapeutic excellence meets an ocean-inspired approach, using rich minerals, sea salt, algae and water as common treatment elements. The broader resort is an energetic place; stepping into the Spa, the outside world – even the lively Ritz, even the best of friends – fades away to quiet personal peace. The therapists at the Spa are second to none, providing therapeutic and beauty treatments as extensive as the whole body, or as specific as hands, face or feet. The relaxation massage I received was one of the best I’ve ever experienced.
Dining at the Ritz-Carlton is itself a worthy reason to pay a visit any day of the week, but for a girlfriend getaway, you could have a different experience for every meal, each appropriate to the moment: a light, casual breakfast at the Market Place (try the quinoa bowel for a guiltless treat); a poolside snack while lounging midday (the fresh pita and house-made hummus from the Dana Pool Cafe is surprisingly finger-licking); a late drink at the outdoor, oceanfront lounge, 180blũ (the Tequila Sangria is a specialty). Raya, however, is the dining experience that mustn’t be missed.
Raya showcases Chef Richard Sandoval’s signature Pan-Latin coastal cuisine, prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, and natural and organic meats. You can find breakfast and lunch here, but we opted for an indulgent dinner overlooking the Pacific as the sun set brilliantly. At Raya, every detail of each dish is lovely to the eye as well as the palate, and every detail of table service is expertly executed – all a fitting counterpoint to nature’s exquisite display just on the other side of the glass.
Over chardonnay we shared the lobster tacos, Hamachi tiradito (served on a jicama “tortilla”) and petite lamb lollipops, all succulent ways to start a slow meal with good friends. One of us ordered the miso Alaskan black cod, one of Chef Sandoval’s most popular offerings, and all of us benefitted – it’s a dish that should not be skipped. The halibut and New York prime were delicious, too, accompanied a la carte by the Dungeness crab mashed potatoes (a special recommendation by our server that was the perfect complement to all our main courses). Dessert was an adventure – the churros were an obvious choice, but we were also glad our server suggested the pineapple upside down cake with homemade coconut ice cream, which was like Maui on a plate.
The cod at Raya, the ocean-inspired spa experience, the floor-to-ceiling views, and the prime beach location are all uniquely OC; but take away the “Laguna Niguel” and you still have “Ritz-Carlton,” which is always a compelling option for a vacation-away-from-vacation – with girlfriends, or otherwise.
This Summer at the Ritz-Carlton
You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the beauty of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel this summer.
Live Music & Sushi
Fridays and Saturdays, music from 5–8pm, sushi from 6–9pm.
Thursday, July 27, 5–8pm
Thursday, August 24, 5–8pm
Thursday, September 28, 5–8pm
For people and their pooches! Haute hounds enjoy lapping up libations, thanks to water in his favorite flavor – bacon, chicken, beef or vegan – while human guests relax with a glass of Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, or Chateau d’Og Cabernet Sauvignon. Cocktails, beer and a selection of barbecue items available for purchase. Proceeds support The Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence.
Italian-Inspired Seafood Celebration
Friday, July 28, 6–9pm
Along with the fresh seafood, a cheesemaker will hand select cheese, as well as educate guests about different cheeses and how to incorporate them into a menu. A selection of wines will complement the evening. $95/person.
A Taste of Baja Experience
Friday, September 8, 11am–2pm
This food and wine experience will highlight tapas-style tasting dishes along with 15 boutique wineries from the Baja region of Mexico. $95/person.
Lava is a spunky little pup with a silly personality. Only 6 months old, he is always up for playtime and just loves to make new friends. With a pup like Lava, you’ll never be far from fun!
This little cutie is named Chiquita and she is just about as sweet as they come. She loves to play with other dogs and is known among her handlers as being an avid snuggler. Only a year old, Chiquita is a fun pup that would fit into just about any home.
Looking for an adorable little critter to brighten your day? Dreamy the guinea pig would make a great pet for someone short on space. With his happy little squeaks and purrs, this cute little cavie is just waiting to meet you!
Seven month old Ryan is a shy little guy who just wants to be given a chance. Though he can be a tad timid, he just loves to be pet and gets along well with other kitties. Ryan would do best in a quiet home with a feline friend to snuggle with.
If you would like to know more about the animals listed here, please call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at (949)492-1617, or visit with them at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente.
It takes a trained eye to note the subtle shading needed to contour a surfboard. To taper the rails just so.
To send the airbrush lightly over the fin box and trace the shape perfectly, symmetrically, precisely. It takes a trained eye to paint the female form, to counter shadow and shape until a living woman appears on the page. It takes a trained eye to dive below what William Asbury called the “large-scale manifestations of classical biology” to the molecular plane below. For Kristy Fleming, MD, each of those became immediately necessary and tangential to another when she discovered that skin cancer often occurs in cosmetically sensitive areas that take a nuanced hand to repair. “My specialty is repairing the defect left by the removal of cancer. Each one is unique, a puzzle to solve in order to give my patients the absolute best cosmetic outcome.”
A board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery, Dr. Fleming has been preparing for this task her entire life. An attendee of the University of San Francisco, Kristy graduated summa cum laude, moving on to the University of California, Irvine - where Alpha Omega Alpha elected her as part of their top tier graduate honor society. Not quite finished with her education, she moved to Houston, Texas for a residency in dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine.
“In my training at Baylor, and later as a faculty member at UCLA, I became accustomed to seeing very challenging cases,” says Dr. Fleming. Everything from minor skin concerns to life-threatening dermatologic disorders. Those are the cases that keep my days exciting and force me to stay current with emerging treatments.”
Treatments which have gained Dr. Fleming a dedicated patient following- one that made her transition from Newport Beach to Laguna Hills difficult. “I’ve been slow to move out of the Newport office because I didn’t want my patients to feel abandoned. I know it sounds cliche, but patients really become part of our family. And I believe our dedication to them is really what sets us apart.” Kristy’s sister also works in the office; a talented hair stylist and brow expert. Unique in their ability to provide multiple services at once, it is not uncommon to see Kristy offering Botox or filler treatments to patients waiting for their hair to set. Though the Mohs micrographic surgery allows Kristy to treat her patient’s skin cancers, its efficacy can affect a cosmetic change, and however small, the team wants to fix it all. “All procedures are performed in-house, under my hand. We don’t have nurses or physicians assistants working on our patients. I want you to know you are personally being taken care of.”
On top of skin cancer removal and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Fleming is personally invested in the physical health of her community.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with the Orangewood Foundation to provide laser tattoo removal to victims of human trafficking,” says Dr. Fleming. “The girls are branded with large tattoos across their necks, or chests. We’re out to change that.” Kristy and her team also began a program called Fresh Start, which provides basic skin and hair care products to women and children who fled from unsafe living conditions, and are currently residing in shelters for battered women.“
Now open 5 days a week at their location in Laguna Hills, Kristy and her team are excited to become a staple in the local community, and start changing the way patients view themselves. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see the good in that.
Fleming Dermatology & Aesthetic Center is located at 23141 Moulton Parkway, Suite 110 in Laguna Hills. For information, call (949) 916-5956 or visit www.coastalhillsdermandplastics.com
A couple of years ago, Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California was named “The Coolest Block in America” by the Editors of GQ Magazine. A valid qualification for a street that boasts some of the hippest retail locations in LA, on top of “niche-cool” boutiques and a “contemporary look” at beach gear: (think: mirrored sunglasses). You can even buy a retrofitted beach cruiser and receive a hip haircut on the street named after a late 19th century millionaire entrepreneur and visionary. More than a hundred years after he spent a fortune creating a replica of his favorite city, Venice, Italy, history is still in the making on the street GQ named a clear community mainstay.
Similarly, down the road in sunny Orange County, California, history continues to be made at Bud and Bloom. Established in 2016 under the city of Santa Ana’s Measure BB, the dispensaries’ owners had a “very precise vision.”
“We wanted to create an exquisite, professional environment where mature, discretionary patients felt welcome and at home,” says Aaron Herzberg, CalCann holdings partner and founding member of Bud and Bloom. Making the list of Top 10 Most Beautiful Cannabis Dispensaries in America, one might consider that vision attained. Together with a group of extraordinary storefronts across the nation, Bud and Bloom is on its way to creating a one-of-a-kind experience for their discerning customer. “Demonstrating just how far we’ve come in a few short years of legal cannabis,” notes Brett Konen, author of Leafly’s Top 10 list, Bud and Bloom has found its place among dispensaries such as Serra, in downtown Portland, and Barbary Coast, a beauty of “exposed brick, mahogany accents, and brass-studded bar stools” on Mission Street in San Francisco.
So, for a moment, forget what you know about cannabis dispensaries. Gloomy, garish neon signs abounding. Imagine instead a quietly chic industrial space, featuring exposed brick and reclaimed wood. White marble countertops. Sleek Edison bulbs hanging from the rafters. Unmistakably Californian, Bud and Bloom has taken the stereotype and turned it on its archaic head. And that’s just the atmosphere. Offering top notch products, and an eager, warm, and engaging staff, B & B is ready for your every need - be it medicinal or holistic.
“We’re here to redefine the cannabis retail experience”, says Herzberg. “Our approach is to create an inviting selection and cultivate the customer experience with educated wellness advisors and high quality medicine.
We carry an extensive selection of products that ranges from Kosher Flower, CBD Flower, biodynamic farmed flower, to vapes, tinctures, pills, topicals, oils, and exclusive product like 1964 Supply Co. flower and prerolls.”
Reviewing all products for pesticides, dosing, taste, and effects ensures the highest quality service and product, to give the customer the highest quality medicinal care. “Upscale” and “cannabis” no longer have to be mutually exclusive, and with a tailored experience such as Bud and Bloom is willing to offer, the dispensary is at the forefront of the push to create passionate, holistic care in a legal environment for the members of the medical marijuana community to access the medications they need. Sounds like the top of the top to me.
Bud & Bloom is located at 1327 E. St. Gertrude Place in Santa Ana. For more information, call (714) 576-2150 or visit www.budandbloomoc.com
The Individual Patient Consultations are an opportunity to get educated on a one-on-one basis from a Medical Cannabis Specialist. They will guide you on what product(s), dosing and route of administration might be right for you.
Patients who will benefit most from an individual consultation include those who are new to medical cannabis, senior citizens, cancer and pain patients.
Your Medical Cannabis Specialist will cover the following: