2017 is going to be a great year! The taste of roast turkey, prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, Christmas carols, and bonus family time are now distant memories. Where I grew up, people are settling in for a long winter’s nap, but this is southern California…the land of sun and sand. It seems that it is always sunny and warm for the Rose Bowl parade and the beaches and parks are full of people walking, biking, relaxing, or recovering from their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Arts Orange County Honors Arts Stars

Arts Orange County Honors Arts Stars 1

ArtsOC’s 17th Annual Orange County Arts Awards drew 250 people to its sold-out event at Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Samueli Theater, where community standouts were honored for their arts contributions. ArtsOC board member William London was chair, while Jennifer Backhaus of Backhausdance and ArtsOC Executive Director Richard Stein emceed.

South Coast Plaza Supports 27th Annual SPIN Gala

South Coast Plaza Supports 27th Annual SPIN Gala 6

South Coast Plaza’s longtime friendship with Serving People in Need prompted its annual gala’s dedication to the luxury retail center. An Italian-themed dinner was orchestrated by restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo of Antonello Ristorante and top vocalists Pia Toscano from American Idol and Dez Duron from The Voice entertained. Photography Davis Lisenbee

Chapman Celebrates Delights!

Chapman Celebrates Delights! 5

Chapman University’s 35th annual black-tie gala’s “Chapman Celebrates” noted a new president, Daniele Struppa, and a new venue, Musco Center for the Arts. College of Performing Arts students entertained guests, staunch supporters were honored and a sumptuous dinner followed in the gala tent. Photography Troy Nikolic, John Saade, Nathan Worden

Harvesters’ Fashion & Luncheon Extravaganza Nets $680,000!

Harvesters' Fashion & Luncheon Extravaganza Nets $680,000! 2

Harvesters’ 24th Annual Fashion Show & Luncheon at Segerstrom Center for the Arts wowed 400 guests with the season’s fall/winter looks from top designer brands, thanks to presenter and sponsor South Coast Plaza. Monies raised benefited Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission to end hunger.

Fourteenth Annual Crystal Cove Soirée Nets $418,000!

Fourteenth Annual Crystal Cove Soirée Nets $418,000! 3

Gathering at Crystal Cove, 420 guests celebrated oceanside to net record-breaking funds to preserve Crystal Cove State Park. The Resort at Pelican Hill’s culinary team created a delicious farm-to-table dinner, and the three-night stay in the South Beach Suite was a highlight. Photography J. Christopher Launi and Paul F. Gero

Dusk at the Grove Benefits Ronald McDonald House

Dusk at the Grove Benefits Ronald McDonald House

More than 330 guests gathered at the City National Grove of Anaheim to support the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, known as a “home away from home” to families whose children are receiving treatment at local hospitals. The custom car show, cocktail party, tasty hors d’oeuvres, and elegant fashion presentation enthralled.

Plan to be Transported!

Plan to be Transported! 7

A busy 2016? We got you. The New Year signals a chance to master the elusive art of relaxation. Here are resort spas around the world that offer one-of-a-kind experiences that can help you on your journey:

Poking Holes in the Darkness

Poking Holes in the Darkness

The 1947 Frank Capra Classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, made its Holiday seasonal return to the small screen this past December. If you haven’t seen the movie lately, I encourage you to download the movie. It’s always a wonderful time to see It’s A Wonderful Life.

Third Year Anniversary 
Celebration a Hit!

Third Year Anniversary 
Celebration a Hit! 42

More than 500 invited guests attended Newport Beach Lifestyle’s Third-Year Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, November 11, 2016. As they arrived at the private Pelican Hill estate in Newport Coast provided by Bradshaw Residential Group, guests experienced the new Tesla SUV and a beautifully restored 1966 Austin Healy on display for photo ops. The red carpet then beckoned them toward a night of food, wine and festivity.

January 2017 Around Town

January 2017 Around Town 2

The new Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University has won two architectural design awards. The Pfeiffer Partners-designed center has received a Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Orange County Chapter and an Award of Merit for its engineering from the Engineering News Record. Across campus, the future Center for Science and Technology, designed by AC Martin, is under construction and has already earned a Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Orange County Chapter. Here! Here!

Womanology + Restore Him

Womanology + Restore Him 3

In 2015, Peter and Ginny Ueberroth donated $5 Million to Hoag Hospital Foundation to establish an endowed chair in women’s health in honor of Dr. Allyson Brooks and her long-time dedication to providing innovative and personalized care for women.

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai 2

You probably have already heard about hydrogen cars, fuel cells, electrolyzers and so forth. You even have probably seen some hydrogen pumping stations around. What all this jargon entails is a whole new world of possibilities in becoming carbon emissions free and fossil fuel independent.

January 2017 Hot Spot

January 2017 Hot Spot 3

Simple pleasures. What is more divine than a fresh oyster? Chilled, bite-sized bursts of the ocean sparkle with a briny finish. Eaten raw, oysters come dressed in the bare minimum, sprinkled with a vinegary mignonette or dotted with flecks of spicy horseradish. Oysters are simple, yet undoubtedly elegant. They are definitely simple pleasures. Fortunately, oysters are a specialty at South Coast Plaza’s new Water Grill.

Heroes Hall Veterans Museum 
Dedication at OC Fair & Event Center

Heroes Hall Veterans Museum 
Dedication at OC Fair & Event Center 3

It was a special moment when the Heroes Hall veterans museum was dedicated with a ceremony and ribbon cutting on Veterans Day at the OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC) in Costa Mesa for 500 attendees. Special dignitaries, veterans groups and veterans and their families attended the free event, including Vincent Okamoto, the most decorated Japanese American veteran of the Vietnam War.

OC CAN Reduce Food Insecurity

OC CAN Reduce Food Insecurity

One in 10 Orange County residents are unsure of when or where they’ll get their next meal. Many of them are children, sent to school with less than lunch. Some of them are mothers or fathers who sacrifice food and meals for their children. Some of them are seniors who cannot physically get to the grocery store. One in 10: it’s a troubling statistic, considering Orange County’s seemingly widespread affluence.