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April 30, 2009



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Aimee's Blog:

Organic Dinner $1.22


"...use my frugal "Macaroni Mondays" recipe, which serves three, contains all organic ingredients, and only costs $1.22 per person...>>>>


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Suki's Blog:

It's Not Easy Being Green


"Trying to be good is hard. Take, for instance, my dinner preparation this evening. In our house we cook, as opposed to... >>>>


(Site Photos) LorrainePhotoforWeb.jpgSave the date! Lorraine Pursell, the Parent Coach, is speaking in Santa Cruz County Sunday May 31.

Changing Families for the Better Forever...
Design the Family You Want
Transformational Workshop
With Lorraine Pursell, MA, BCET


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Jim Booth Swim

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Santa Cruz








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Secret Lives of



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May Menu!


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Save the Date!

May 16


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Santa Cruz Soccer Inc

Summer Soccer!






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Please visit our new business members!


Banana Belt Buddies

Coastal Community Preschool

Cougar Swim School

Educational Resource Center

Nubius Organics

Outdoor Science Fun

Pediatric Therapy Center Sales Team

UCSC Sailing Camp

Summer Music Camp

Tara Redwood School

Victoria's Dance & Costumes

Your Got the Interview, Now What!?
Change the Interview Conversation

by Mary Jeanne Vincent


   The key to interview success lies in changing the interview conversation from the canned candidate- interviewer exchange to a Q&A about solving real world business challenges. Shifting the conversation in this manner is the result of three distinct actions: pre-planning the interview, bringing something of value to the interview - an effective leave-behind, not just your résumé, and asking insightful questions.

   When you do these three things well, you capture the interest and imagination of the hiring manager. And leave the other candidates standing in the dust wondering what happened!

   Step one: Pre-plan every interview on paper. Research the company and each interviewer's profile. Determine the objective of the interview. Is it to make the initial cut with Human Resources and be invited back for a face-to-face meeting with the manager?

   Is it to pass muster with the team you will be working with and get passed on to the vice president of operations? Whatever the purpose - be clear about the next step you want to achieve as a result of this meeting.

   Examine your background to establish what, if any, issues the employer may have about your background or experience. Plan and rehearse responses that counter these concerns.

   Step two: Bring a leave-behind to every meeting. What is a leave-behind? It is an item of value to the interviewer - one that demonstrates your expertise and sets you apart from everyone else. One of my clients wrote an article on decision-making and brought it as part of her "package" to her first-round interview. She was the only candidate who thought to do anything innovative and later discovered she entered the second-round interview miles ahead of her competition.

   She wrote another article on the importance of leadership and shared it during her second-round interview with the vice president. She had barely returned home when her phone rang with an offer that included a significant increase over her previous salary.

   Your leave-behind could be a list of tips which reflect your area of expertise or a matrix for introducing new products, or a solution you have developed to an ongoing challenge facing the company. Combine your expertise and industry knowledge to come up with a truly innovative "item of interest" that is perfect for this potential employer.

   Whatever you choose, be sure it is indicative of the quality and expertise you will bring to the organization. Trust me, few other candidates will be smart enough to do this pre-work or think that it is worth the effort, virtually guaranteeing that your conversation with the employer will be very different than theirs.

   Step three: Ask insightful needs-analysis questions and listen to the interviewer's responses. Prior to the interview, determine which questions you need to ask each individual with whom you will be meeting. Keep in mind that the questions will vary based on the person's role in the organization. Ask questions that will result in information about company strategy, direction, challenges, and ongoing problems. Ask questions whose answers will define how you can impact the organization. Ask smart, in-depth questions that get to the heart of issues and which allow you to get to know the person and company across the table.


   And finally, ask, "Is there a question I should have asked, but didn't?"
Taking this fresh, bold approach will dramatically shift your interview conversations, identifying you as the leader you are, rather than an indistinguishable wannabe. Of course, no interview is complete without appropriate follow up - a thank you letter and post-interview phone call.


Mary Jeanne Vincent can help you rebound from a layoff and recession-proof your career. Ask about Acing the Interview tip cards-which give you the answers to 20 top "Killer" Interview Questions, as well as tips for responding to illegal and trick questions, advice for interviewing in the new economy,  suggestions for avoiding 10 deadly interview mistakes and more on interview follow up. Visit or contact her at 831.657.9151.


Plan A Family Adventure

Gourmet Sea Foraging in Tomales Bay

Dennis and Ginny Judson


     Gathering wild food from the sea is one of life's great pleasures, bringing you closer to nature's bounty and beauty. Walking along the seashore, wading through tide pools and listening to the ocean's rhythm is an exhilarating way to energize your life and refresh your soul. Not only will you gather wonderful delicacies from the seashore, but you will also explore a vibrant-almost paradoxical world of elegant colors and mysterious creatures.


(Site Photos) ASU_Foraging.jpg     And of course, we will gather wild foods. Wild foods are natural foods-grown without pesticides or human manipulation. Certainly, wild foods are the most organic of foods. Learning to harvest wild food brings a new twist to home cooking, parties and camping. We are going to break the myth of foraging as some kind of a hunter-gatherer survival training and show you how to create delicious gourmet dishes. You will learn that foraging is very satisfying when you become a gourmet forager.


(Site Photos) ASUBoywAbalone.jpg    Each class includes an evening session for planning followed by a day of collecting and preparing a gourmet meal from the sea. Finishing touches for the feast are done by guests.


   Winter and Spring tide pools are a glory to behold. Every glassy pool is a crescendo of colors and textures, plus our beaches in this season are quiet and pristine. We will focus first on bivalve, clams and mussels then we will augment our quest with limpets and sea vegetables in pastas and salads. Our final outing in early spring will concentrate our menus on the abundance of sea plant life growing on every rock. With luck we will have our main dish with the king of shellfish, abalone.


Dennis and Ginny Judson, owners of Adventure Sports, teach children to swim and lead families on weekend water adventures both nearby and far away.  You can join them! Go here.



Events for You!

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Thurs, 4/30, 7:30, Because I Love Her: Women Writers Reflect on Mother-Daughter Bond, Capitola Book Café, Authors: Karen Joy Fowler, Joyce Maynard, Anne Marie Feld & Andrea Richesin

CELEBRATE THE BEAUTIFUL-YET COMPLEX-RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MOTHER & DAUGHTER, In an era when the roles of mothers and daughters are constantly being questioned and redefined, Because I Love Her explores the deepest bonds and truths of motherhood by sharing stories and secrets of becoming a mother and grandmother. What would you tell your mother if you could tell her anything? What do you want your daughter to know and pass on to future generations? Join bestselling authors Joyce Maynard (At Home in the World) and local celebrity Karen Joy Fowler (Jane Austen Book Club; Wit's End) and other writers tonight as these women reveal what their mothers taught them, what they in turn hope to impart to their daughters and, finally, what they've learned as a bridge between the two.

Calendar Details

(Special Event Page Graphics) Cats_Dancers.jpgFri, Sat & Sun, 5/1 - 5/9 CATS the Musical! Louden Nelson Center, All About Theatre proudly presents CATS, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot. CATS revolves around the antics of the magical feline characters in the junkyard. Show features a live orchestra and hit song "Memory" along with many others by Andrew Lloyd Webber. A show for all the family and not to be missed.



Fri, 5/1, 11am-12pm, Play Time in the Party Room! My Museum, Did you miss this play time on Thursday afternoon? Come Friday morning instead! Come play with three pounds of Play-Doh, make your own jewelery, stamp until your heart is content, paint a picture & much more. Come to our drop-in party room and see what we're offering

(Special Event Page Graphics) ContraDance_Fiddler.jpgFri, 5/1, 7:40pm, Contra Dancing, or Traditional New England Folk Dancing, involves couples dancing in two facing lines while following the direction of a skilled dance caller. Snack potluck during the break. Wear clean dance shoes. Felton Community Hall, 6191 Hwy 9. Beginners are welcome and invited to arrive by 7:40 for an introductory lesson. $10 general/$9 members/$6 students. Please wear clean shoes.


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Sat, 5/2, 12-5pm, Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair, Northern California Bluegrass Society, Harmony Grits, The Down Beets, Mountain Drive, Ducks On The Millpond, Page Brownton & Sidetrack, 23rd annual fair celebrating "May - International Bluegrass Month." There will a raffle with tickets to the summer festivals and other great prizes. A springtime bluegrass tradition like no other! Duck Pond, San Lorenzo Park

(Icons/Graphics) Maypole.jpgSat, 5/2, 11am-4pm May Fair, Santa Cruz Waldorf School, The Santa Cruz Waldorf School will celebrate the end of winter and the return of the sun and the soil's fertility. Families are invited to enjoy a full day of frolicsome performances, activities, and crafts including flower garland making and a traditional May Pole Dance.


Calendar Details

Sat, 5/2, 10am-4:30pm, 28th Student Authors' Fair, Santa Cruz County Reading Association, Capitola Mall, Thousands of pieces of children's writing from public and private schools across Santa Cruz County. Literacy comes to life when children read and share their writing from the Student Author's Chair in front of friends and family. The results of the hard work by teachers and students are displayed in beautiful fiction and non-fiction books and other amazing creations.


Sat, 5/2, Math Contest, Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Grades 5-8, The Math Contest provides students in grades 5-8 with both a team competition and an individual test format. The team competition requires students work together using problem-solving strategies, showing work and providing clear and detailed explanations. The individual test for all grade levels uses a free response format.

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Sat & Sun, 5/2 & 3, 10am-3pm, Baby Bonanza Kick-Off Celebration, San Francisco Zoo, Come celebrate Baby Bonanza, the Zoo's summer extravaganza, and bring your babies to see our babies during this kick-off weekend! You will meet some of the newest additions to our Zoo family while enjoying a fun-filled play-day full of activities for you and your little ones.

Calendar Details

(Site Photos) Dogsheepdog.jpgTues, 5/5, 10am-3pm, Annual Sheep Shearing, San Francisco Children's Zoo Family Farm, Join us at the Children's Zoo Family Farm for our annual sheep shearing event! Our Jacob and Navajo Churro sheep will be the stars along with our two alpacas. Kids can spin wool and enjoy other fun activities, while petting our Family Farm residents.



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Parmalee, Desiree, Vanessa & Gosia

Suki, Aimee, Lorraine & Trudie

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