Hey Monarch Bay!

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Endless ocean views from Monarch Bay

One of my favorite beach communities in Orange County is guard gated Monarch Bay on the oceanside of PCH in Monarch Beach. It is comprised of 214 home sites with tranquil ocean views throughout the community. Monarch Beach is an area in Dana Point, CA with a few prestigious neighborhoods and ideally located near two AAA 5 Diamond Award winning resorts: Monarch Beach Resort and The Ritz Carlton.

This community offers custom ocean view homes and many single levels and reverse-style floor plans (main living areas on the top floor with bedrooms on the lower level).  “Building down” is a common layout for beach communities because it protects people’s million dollar ocean views. Monarch Bay features many gorgeous, trophy oceanfront properties boasting coastline and white water views.

Want access to a private beach and oceanfront restaurant? Residents may purchase a membership to the Monarch Bay Club to access the beach, restaurant, tennis courts, nearby Laguna Niguel Racquet Club, and discounted services such as golf and spa treatments at Monarch Beach Resort. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in Monarch Bay, you could purchase an Elite Membership to Monarch Bay Resort to gain access. Not only could you bask on the sand at one of THE best beaches in OC, but you could have your own beach host to set up your lounge chairs, towels, and umbrellas. Does it get any better? Indulge in resort-like amenities right in your backyard! Dreaming about a bonfire on the beach? Fire rings are available to rent along with beach toys like stand up paddle boards and kayaks. If you live in Monarch Bay, you could cruise the neighborhood in a golf cart to top off your year-round vacation vibes.

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At OC Look 2016 held at an oceanfront listing in Monarch Bay, CA.

Laguna Beach Art Walk

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When the sun goes down the night lights up in Laguna Beach

First Thursday Art Walk is a lively scene from 6pm-9pm with locals and visitors strolling the streets and perusing through the famed art galleries. The City of Laguna Beach, local galleries, businesses, and art institutions sponsor the event. Visitors also have access to the free Laguna Beach trolley to easily travel between the North, Central, and South galleries. These galleries are located in North Laguna, Downtown, Laguna Village, and Woods Cove.

Arrive early and grab a bite to eat at a restaurant in Downtown Laguna or head into town and enjoy complimentary wine and cheese while admiring fine art. It’s the ideal time to visit more than 35 galleries and learn about the talented artists. My favorite is Kush Fine Art, so stop by and see for yourself.

Newport Harbor – Anchors Aweigh!

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Today is the first day of summer! We love living in Orange County because we can go to the beach any day of the year (well almost). Summer months are the BEST because the days are long, people are in better spirits, and the weather is divine.
Where do people go to escape the summer heat? To the water of course! A fun activity to try this summer is cruising in an electric boat, also known as a Duffy. People rent, buy, and share ownership of these small vessels. The simplest option is to rent a Duffy by the hour. Try Newport Fun Tours or Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach. Electric boats are easy to drive and accommodate 8-10 people. Pack up some snacks, beverages, or even a pizza (local favorite is Laventina’s on the Balboa Peninsula) and spend some time on the water. duffy laventina'sNewport Harbor features seven islands and lots of gorgeous multi-million dollar waterfront homes. You will see beautiful yachts, sailboats, and maybe a sea lion basking on the back of a boat.
If you want to experience the delicious Newport Beach waterfront restaurants; your adventure awaits! There are several restaurants with dock space for your Duffy. Don’t forget to tie a cleat hitch or tip the dock attendant so your boat doesn’t float away while you’re in the restaurant. See the list of Dock and Dine restaurants here. Anchors aweigh!

 

National Mentoring Month – Big Brothers Big Sisters

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To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

January is National Mentoring Month. Big Brothers Big Sisters Orange County has made a BIG difference in my life. I’ve been matched with my little sister since April 2014 and it has been one of the best experiences. The Big Brothers Big Sisters mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. We have a growing wait list of kids in need within our local community. 2016 is the year to make an impact.

Some important stats…

  • 98% of children in the BBBS OC program (“Littles”) graduate high school on time
  • 90% enroll in college
  • 70% of Littles were first in their family to graduate high school

Spend a few hours 2-4 times a month as a mentor to help make a difference in creating a brighter future for a child. You have the potential to start something BIG. Sign up to learn more.

#OCBigsMentor #NationalMentoringMonth #GoBigOC
Bike ride

Riding bikes at Sports Day

Caught a yellowtail off the coast

Caught a yellowtail off the coast

Sailing

Sailing lessons – tacking and jibing like pros

Chapman Economic Forecast for 2016

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Happy New Year! May peace, health, and happiness find their way to your door in 2016.

The A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research released the 2016 forecast on the nation, California, and Orange County. Business leaders, media, and Chapman University alumni gathered at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to hear the details on December 9, 2015.

Highlights include:

  • Orange County median home prices to increase by 2.5 percent in 2016
  • A lower unemployment rate should fuel real estate purchases
  • Orange County forecast looks to generate about 39,000 payroll jobs in 2016, an increase of 2.5 percent

Read the 2016 Forecast Press Release here

CHOC Walk in the Park

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It’s my 8th year participating in the annual CHOC Walk in the Park. The CHOC Walk draws approximately 16,000 walkers and raises around two million dollars every year for the care, education, and services of children.

Why do I participate every year?
I started volunteering at CHOC back in college. My dance group performed for the children in hopes of making them smile and laugh (it worked!). After college, my company was involved with CHOC and Children’s Miracle Network. I took on a leadership position through a CHOC advisory board and learned more about this incredible hospital and how they care for the littlest of patients. I’ll always remember my tour through NICU. The babies were so tiny! Here’s a photo of a blood pressure cuff used to take a preemie’s blood pressure.CHOC
Even on an early morning in October, people are energized and smiling; eager to walk through Disneyland and California Adventure. There’s excitement in the air and a great sense of community. Some people are holding signs and wearing t-shirts thanking CHOC doctors and nurses and others are holding messages with “cancer free” and the little kid is walking with his/her group. That is awesome to see! However, there are groups holding up sad signs in honor of a child that lost the battle. Amidst the smiles of the morning, I can’t help but shed a few tears when I see these. This feeling has never gone away and keeps me walking every year. Even if I have a rough day, I know there is a child at CHOC that needs my prayers and must fight to make it to tomorrow.

With your support, CHOC Children’s can continue to provide healthcare and services to our community’s children. Please donate any amount to my CHOC Walk in the Park page. Skip your Starbucks run and donate $5 today! You’ll be pleased to know that your gift will make a difference in the life of a child. Thank you for your support!

Chapman Economic Forecast Update – Orange County, CA

OC buildingThe A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research released an updated economic forecast for 2015 and 2016 forecast at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. Dr. Jim Doti and Dr. Esmael Adibi from Chapman University presented information on the nation, California, and Orange County.

Highlights include:

  • Orange County median home prices to increase by 4.8 percent in 2015 and 3.7 percent in 2016
  • With a $89,000 median family income in 2016, a potential Orange County buyer needs to allocate 37.9 percent of that income to purchase a median-priced home
  • Orange County is forecasted to generate about 47,000 payroll jobs in 2015, an increase of 3.1 percent

Read the June 2015 Update Press Release here