Picture Perfect Picnics

July is a month filled with backyard barbeques, concert picnics on the grass and impromptu cruises around the Newport Harbor in a Duffy Electric Boat. No matter what we are doing, if great food and wine are on the menu, I am one happy lady! Here are some of my favorite spots to grab some grub without breaking a sweat…

Ready, Set, Summer!

June is indeed a busy month filled with birthdays, graduations, weddings and, of course, Father's Day on the 18th of June. Mid-month, the kids will be anxious for the school year to come to a close and outdoor activities and musical events will be in full swing. Here is a quick run-down of the some of my favorite happenings in…

Hurray For Me…Another Mother’s Day!

Historically, celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated throughout the world, traditions vary depending on the country. In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is celebrated in August on the birthday of the current…

Sailing Into Spring

For me, Spring is indeed my most favorite time of the year. The strawberries are bursting with flavor, gardens are in bloom, the weather is warming and the days are longer. A fun local April happening is the annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, which this year will proudly celebrate its 70th year. Yes, this event began here in…

A Proper Toast to Patron Saint Patrick

Each year March 17th marks a celebration affectionately known as St. Patrick’s Day! And, just like any other holiday, I like to know just a little bit of history about what we are toasting–and why. There is a long, dreary story to be told all about this special saint. However, let me provide you the shorter version. Patrick had a…

Romantic Rendezvous!

It’s that wonderful time of the year when romance blossoms, boxes of fine chocolates abound and restaurant reservations are in full swing. However, for me, romance is all about three things: being with the person I love, discovering a unique setting to enjoy some alone time, and making it all a big surprise.

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:…

The Best Holiday Gift Of All Is Giving Back

Last time I checked, I have every cooking gadget known to man, shelves of cookbooks and travel guides, biographies and DVD’s galore. I don’t need anything except a million dollars–now that would be really cool! But, as the holidays approach and I have taken care of our important family members, my attention turns to others. I focus on these two…

Family Secrets For A Successful Thanksgiving Dinner

Having happily orchestrated the family Thanksgiving dinner for almost 30 years, it is now time for me to pass the baton (or drum stick) to our next generation. The kids in our family now have careers, are purchasing homes and establishing their own traditions. I do want to continue to welcome the family to our home for Thanksgiving; however I…

Of Relationships and Herding Cats

Many parents get pets for their kids to teach them about the care that goes into building a relationship. That's probably why, when I was two, my mother got me a black puppy that I named “Bow Wow.” All her life, my mom laughed about the neighbors’ reactions when she would lean out the back door and call, "Bow Wow!…

Back to School: The Journey

Let’s face it. Going back to school is a dream for kids. They get to see their friends, eat cafeteria food, get shiny new backpacks and even wear new clothes. But, it’s work for Moms. I was thinking about what got me through it. What were my “keys to success” for the various stages in this endearing process?

Playing With Fire…BBQ Tips & Tricks

Summer is here, and now is the time to enjoy some serious backyard entertaining. In our home, I am the one who likes to play with fire. Whether grilling salmon on cedar planks, sizzling some steaks doused in a dry rub, tossing veggies in a slotted metal pan, or daintily creating grill marks on fresh peaches, it's all great fun.…

Summer Is Finally Here…So Let’s Explore!

Newport Beach offers 10 miles of pristine coastline, and is the quintessential place where I like to welcome summer with unabashed vigor. The June weddings and graduations seem a distant memory. I have replaced all that with bright sunshine, sparkling blue water and the excitement of a jam-packed calendar! Here are some activities that make me feel like I am…

Love Is In The Air!

Who knew boarding a simple airplane 23 years ago in my blue sweat suit (think ‘80s wear) would change my entire life? Certainly not me, or I might have dressed a bit snappier and put on a smidge of makeup and perfume. But, I had reached that elusive place of peace in my quickly-nearing-explosion biological countdown when I figured if…

A Patriotic Tribute with the Seventh Annual “Field of Honor”

May is a month of patriotic celebrations. I unfurl my ribbon-adorned hats, and carefully select all the red, white and blue, flag-waving, troops-praising clothing I so proudly own. And, befitting any patriotic event, I even have a special outfit for my dog, Mr. Riley, to wear. Yes, the American flag is front and center on his back and appears to…

Springtime Means Playing in the Dirt!

As warm weather and sunshine cascade over my garden and courtyard, I welcome in my absolute favorite time of year–springtime. This is a time of heirloom tomatoes and walks on the beach. It is also a time of garden tours, bright colored flowers and the creativity of a new plantings season. As I stroll through the nursery, I am flooded…

Putting On The Ritz…From Our Toast To The Coast

It was late December of 2013. We decided everyone just had to be there. So we gathered our girlfriends for "one last hurrah" at The Ritz in Fashion Island. We scored a huge round table adjacent to the bar. The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive. Providing great service was always a cornerstone at The Ritz. We smiled broadly and…

Defining Romance

Candy equals love. Or, so I thought. When I was in second grade, Kirk Fyson placed a box of candy on my desk with a handwritten note wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day. I was smitten. I fondled each heart-shaped morsel while re-reading the messages in a whisper. Flipping them back and forth with my fingers, I would eventually consume…

Join the Great Purge & Clean of 2016

Happy New Year! Now that you’ve got your fitness and wellness goals firmly in place, it’s time to look closely at the space around you and ask yourself, “Are things looking a little cluttered?” or “Are my closets bursting at the seams?” Why not set a goal to de-clutter and, more importantly, simplify this year?

In Search of a New Holiday Tradition

I never thought I would be in my late 50s and have to get creative about finding a new Christmas Eve tradition. But, indeed, that is exactly where I found myself last Christmas. Our son announced he would be traveling with his girlfriend to visit her family in Northern California. We were glad for him to get away and enjoy…

Affirming Our Thankfulness

We have come a long way since the year 1621, when Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World. Writings recount a three-day feast and sharing the table with Native Americans who populated the area. They were all bringing their various crops, and the recordings describe tables of wild fowl and venison served with a corn mush and stewed…

An Icon Celebrates 50!

“This fall, Five Crowns will begin proudly celebrating our 50th anniversary here in Corona del Mar. We want to present a new menu offering guests a flexible dining experience---paying homage to the classics, while offering a much broader selection of starters, entrees, and family-style options. We want to let our guests create their own unique dining experience here at Five…

Another D-Minus Summer

For me, the phrase “Back to School!” stirs up feelings of failure. I know others swoon when the calendar flips to August, and for many reasons. End of summer vacation means kids will go to bed earrrrrrrlier. They will meet new calculus-obsessed friends. They will get smarter. They will have something to do that doesn’t involve game controllers, over-chlorinated water,…

Birds on a Wire

One of my dear friends is a painter who sees the world through her amazing artist eyes. When she was the newbie in our neighborhood, her heart was sensitive to how to integrate her family into the community. Driving one day she noticed how birds perched on a telephone wire seemed to choose when to gather, and who to pause…

The Boys of Summer

I love baseball–not the major league stuff with all of the hoopla–I mean the teenage-level, (not even 3&2) real baseball on real grass. There really are differences, and I'm not talking about the fact that no one walks by my fold-out chair with a hot dog, peanuts and a cold beer.

A Nice Day for a White-Out Wedding!

 Dream gown? Check. Persnickety florist? Check. Top-notch wedding planner? Check.  Unexpected glitches? Check-Check-Check.  I have attended and participated in many different weddings across the country. Every blessed event had one thing in common: some sort of unforeseen mishap. Amazingly, not one involved a wacky uncle + booze.

Motherhood is not for the fainthearted

As an ambitious young woman in love with a high-spirited New Yorker, Doreen Sternkopf pictured the happy life ahead: marriage, children, a home full of laughter and music. But the realities of motherhood rarely meet the expectations of the uninitiated.