Summer Pleasures

Summer always brings to mind my Mid-West upbringing and, as a child, catching lightning bugs in a jar, playing kick the can and enjoying family picnics. The only thing that would carry on in California would be the family picnics, and, here in Orange County, those picnics could be in a Duffy Boat!

“I’Magine” Gala Benefits Space Redesign Project

Saddleback Memorial Foundation's Spring Gala at Monarch Beach Resort drew 400 physicians, philanthropists and supporters to net $300,000 for Saddleback Memorial Medical Center's redesign project. The heartwarming evening featured SMMC patients telling their stories of how their lives were saved by world-class physicians, nurses and staff. Photography Paul F. Gero

“Living with Heart” Gala Benefits Mercy House

Mercy House, one of Southern California's premier advocates for the homeless, drew 340 guests to the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel for its annual "Living with Heart" gala. Together with underwriting, silent and live auctions and "Lift Your Heart" pledges, an estimated $240,000 
was netted for the nonprofit's programs.

SOS Rolls Out its 24th Annual “Wild and Crazy Taco Night!”

Share Our Selves' annual "Wild and Crazy Taco Night" drew an estimated 750 guests to taste some amazing gourmet tacos and raise money for a good cause. The approximate $100,000 netted will support the SOS Food Pantry to help feed Orange County residents at risk of going hungry.

OCBJ Honors Five Outstanding Businesswomen

Orange County Business Journal's 23rd Annual Women in Business Luncheon never ceases to amaze. The 191 women nominated for the five top slots are all impressive, and when you hear the accomplishments of the winners, you are bowled over. The 750 guests at 
Hotel Irvine all agreed. Photography Laurel Hungerford

Decorative Arts Society Celebrates Famed Designer Mark D. Sikes

DARTS' "Beautiful" luncheon, named in honor of nationally-known interior designer Mark D. Sikes' best-selling book, drew more than 200 guests to the Newport Beach Country Club, where tables were gorgeous in classic blue and white decor. In a surprise gesture, Honorary Chair Julia Argyros generously donated $250,000. Photography Ann Chatillon

August 2017 Around Town

Hutton Wilkinson and Manfred Flynn Kuhnert were on their game at Laguna Playhouse when they talked about the books they co-wrote–The Walk to Elsie’s and The Walk From Elsie’s. The books, called a “stunning work of historical fiction” by Harper’s Bazaar, reminisce and dazzle with tales of friendship and adventure between Elsie de Wolfe, aka Lady Mendl, the most coveted…

Hong Kong Indulgences

Hong Kong might be one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It’s full of skyscrapers, luxury hotels, some of the best restaurants in the world, over-the-top designer shopping and, of course, people. It’s a bit of sensory overload as there are retail windows and restaurants filling every piece of real estate on every street. A world-class fine dining…

The 50 Best Restaurants in the World

This year, on April 5th, the world’s 50 Best Restaurants winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is formed by 1,000 experts of the international restaurant scene, who oversee the selection of the qualifying restaurants each year. To provide fair representation of each region, the…

Collaborating in Life, Love and Real Estate

One is immediately struck upon entering the home of Jim and Karen Santaniello's Eastbluff home by the sheer panoramic view of the Upper Newport Back Bay. With floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, the view is the main attraction.

Pacific Symphony Opts for 1920s Gala

The Jazz Age was well served as 430 guests enjoyed a night of flappers and speakeasies at Pacific Symphony's annual gala at Hotel Irvine. With a jam-packed auction and fund-a-dream bringing in more than $800,000, net proceeds were realized of more than $1.5 million for 
symphony programs. Photography Ann Chatillon

Sixty-five Years Later…

Joseph Edward Prentice was very clear in 1949 when he stipulated that his gift of 12 acres of land to the City of Santa Ana was to establish a park in his name with the caveat that there needed to be at least 50 monkeys on the grounds at all times. It seems Prentice had a fascination for monkeys and…

Surf City USA Kicks Off AVP’s 2017 Season

Though the skies were grey and cloudy, it didn’t stop volleyball enthusiasts and beach-goers as thousands flocked to the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier for the Huntington Beach Open on May 4-7. The event housed buzzing fans packing the general free admission seats and the limited VIP premium seats daily. The four-day event, hosted by the Association of…

Sizzling Summer Salads

As August temperatures soar, this salad sizzles without heating up your kitchen! A variety of healthy greens are topped with lean grilled protein to keep you in swimsuit shape. Of course, it’s the dressing that can make or break any salad, and these unique choices of creamy goodness or a tart vinaigrette will fire up all appetites.

Balboa Peninsula Trolley Makes Its Debut

You might have noticed a red trolley (there are four of them) traveling around Balboa Peninsula of late. The Balboa Peninsula Trolley was officially launched in late June and is providing free service to riders on weekends through September 3.

Never Forget Paris

Flaky puff pastry snaps between your teeth as creamy vanilla custard engulfed between each layer jubilantly squishes out. This divine creation is the mille-feuille, better known as the Napoleon, at Moulin in Newport Beach. The quintessentially French dessert is not only delicious but also extremely fitting once you learn that Moulin’s owner Laurent Vrignaud was raised in Montmarte, Paris. Each…

My Favorite Day of Summer

One thing I anticipate all year long is the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. It is a marathon of a day and evening, but it is nine hours of sheer fun. This year the Festival of Arts is proudly celebrating its 85th year, and the town is all abuzz. To honor this distinction, they just completed a year-long…