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Getting Organized

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Eating local, talking local


"...My thinking went something like this: Oh, Pasta Mike, wasn't he a nice guy? Wasn't that a nice school? He makes great pasta. It's expensive. I should probably go get frozen ravioli. Oh, no, Mike is a nice guy, and we haven't had ravioli in a while. And besides, he's local, and I'm a fan of The Omnivore's Dilemma.

OK, so I ..."



Kiddie Disco Boogie

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A Family Dance Party


Children 0-7

and their parents.

lots of activities, healthful snacks and dancing!

Sat, 8/29, 1:30-4:30pm

Adult $8, Child $4

Gradek Events

Vets Hall

Santa Cruz


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 Looking for


Peruse our



A-Z Phone Directory

How about

the Classifieds?

We're adding daily

to our

Classes & Sports



Looking for a deal?


Parent Perks


Miss a newsletter?

It's archived.



Fall is a great time to explore parks.

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We counted

at least 99!

State Parks


County Parks


Neighborhood Parks


 (Icons/Graphics) SchoolHouseRed.jpgSchool Corner







9/4 Open House, Montessori Scotts Valley

9/19 Parent Workshop on Homeschooling, Ed Resource Center

9/24 Golf Open,

Mount Madonna

9/30 BBQ Fundraiser, Glen Arbor



K-12 Schools



If your school is not here, ask your principal or Parent Organization President to give us a call, 713.7026

or email us!



Not Your Usual Yoga!

A dance class bringing out the goddess in every woman.

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You will learn moves to take home and share or keep to yourself.

Feminine energy

fills the room

with women of all sizes, ages and experience.


Santa Cruz Strip

Call Beth, 428-9974


September is

a great month for



Jim Booth Swim


Harvey West Park

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Call Jim



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Getting Organized in Unique Ways


I know you don't want to hear this, but getting organized is a lifelong circular task.  Like dirty dishes and laundry it keeps recurring.  The good news is, it's easier to organize when a new season is imminent or company is coming!  I confess to using Cathy Guswaithe's system: after three months of stacking up a pile of "to be filed" papers, Kathy pushes them off the desk into the trash can or nowadays recycle bin. I recently sat down with a 6" deep pile, a trash can and a good movie and ended up with two pieces of paper I wanted to keep. 


Those of you who've had a child go off to college have experienced the embarrassment of finding out who's really causing the disorganization --moi! I admire people who maintain uncluttered homes and offices.  I find professional organizers helpful in setting up workable systems and assessing what can be tossed.  After my last visit with an organizer, I agreed to throw out almost 3 feet of files.  I recall that I regretted throwing out one item, but now I can't remember what it was... ahem!


Some of our business members have some good organizing ideas for us!  Two of them have some great ideas around FOOD!  And another has some very clever ways of involving the entire family in chores.  Our favorite professional organizer Shannon McGinness, always has good suggestions so we shall include a few of hers for you.  Enjoy!



Organizing Shopping and Meals

Jennifer Brewer, My Healthy Meal Plan


How would you like to lose weight and increase your vitality.... all while saving time and money!?

You can! Cooking nourishing food at home is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your family! Of course, it will require some planning -and this is where you have a choice. You can spend your valuable time looking through cookbooks, magazines and websites to find healthy recipes that sound appealing and creating an organized shopping list, or YOU CAN LET ME DO IT FOR YOU!


Just imagine opening your inbox every week and receiving healthy recipes, an organized shopping list and COUPONS to the store where you can find every single item on your list. Sound good? Then check out my Healthy Meal Planning Service!


Every week you will receive: Four recipes designed by a nutritionist and chef, an organized shopping list and coupons. These recipes are extremely user-friendly, quick, easy and generally make lots of leftovers. My recipes are really tasty. I love flavorful, comfort foods and those are the recipes you will get with my plan.


You will also receive coupons to use at New Leaf Community Markets every week to make healthy eating more affordable! New Leaf contributes $20 worth of coupons in my meal plan every month. The plan only costs $9.95 a month.


A perfect complement to the cooking you do at home is ordering and picking up meals ready to cook or freeze for later from Jody Lombardo's Fresh Prep Kitchens. What a terrific time-saver, not to mention DELICIOUS. My all time favorite from Jody is her chicken-pot-pie. After that it's a tossup between her Mozzarella and Spinach Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf w/Mashed Potatoes, and her Manicotti Sorrentina w/Spring Mix.


With these great time and money savers, if you still want to cook for yourself, go to our Recipe Club for ideas tested and submitted by moms.


Highlighting One of Our Business Members


As part of our newsletter organizing theme, we're featuring an article on chores by local psychotherapist, Don Mordasini.  We think his unique story will give you insight into his article and inspiration in helping your children learn responsibility through doing chores.


Don Mordasini, M.S. was a successful and rising star in the professional world - a vice president with Dean Witter Reynolds and running up the corporate ladder. In 1983 he experienced an emotional breakdown that culminated not only in a 20 year marriage unraveling but also giving up a career in the business world.  He spent the next several years searching and putting the pieces together. That was when he learned he was ADD.


All of this led him to question: "What am I going to do with the rest of my life?" He realized he wanted to use his experience to help others, and since he had crossed the "hot coals" himself he felt he might lead others around them.. He began forging a new career as a psychothrerapist.


Today Don is a noted ADD psychotherapist , an area to which he brings a rare perspective, not only as an ADDer himself, but also as a father of an ADD daughter. Don treats children, adolescents and adults for ADD, and the typical attendant disorders of anxiety and depression.  He is a frequent lecturer on ADD and the author of many articles. He has written a manual for working with ADD children at camps. And is the author of the book "Wild Child."


Chores = Children's Opportunities for Growth and Self Respect


Some parents under estimate the importance of children's chores. Those who do implement chores frequently give up because of children's resistance to them. Because chores are an important learning in the child's life and this issue can be so frustrating I'd like to suggest some ideas that argue for a better outcome. The benefits of allocating chores are many fold and not fully appreciated by most people. Below are some good reasons for helping your child stick with a chore schedule.

• The child learns responsibility
• Chores are part of the child's socialization process
• It empowers children to make good decisions and choices
• "Good choices" teach children that they lead to positive results and tend to reduce the arbitrariness of life
• The child helps around the house easing parent burden
• The child learns self esteem by accomplishing house tasks
• A child's sense of "entitlement" or specialness is put in perspective
• The "good choice" learning can be generalized to other aspects of the child life therefore a foundation for making good choices is learned early in life.

Some parents complain that it doesn't seem worth the effort to get their kids to do chores. I understand their frustration because kids are kids and have other interests in mind. They forget, procrastinate, promise, forget again, become upset, do inadequate work, grumble, talk back and in general make the task of overseeing chores a miserable job for many parents.

Kid's have nothing to lose by acting this way and either reduce, put off or sometimes get completely off the hook when parents are not consistent in setting up a structured routine for chores. A child's natural motivation is to avoid these tasks rather than to engage in them. I believe that chores are very important to the child's growth and development and urge parents to try again with techniques that do yield good results. read more >>>>>


50 Minute Hour: Sort and Organize

Shannon McGinness, author of The 10 Minute Tidy


Shannon has lots of 10 minute "tidies" but we thought you would enjoy one of her "50 minute hours".


Trash: Remove anything broken, not working or damaged.
Donate: Give away all unwanted items that are in good condition and consider having your donations itemized for an accurate tax deduction.
Recycle or Shred: Prevent Identity Theft! Recycle all that you can and Shred anything that has your name, address, phone number, social security number or signature on it that you no longer need. This is especially important for credit card and mortgage offers.
To reduce junk mail:
1. Online:
2. Call: National Opt-Out Center toll-free at 1-888-567-8688
3. Write: Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service, PO Box 643 Carmel, NY 10512 -AND-
Advo Systems PO Box 249 Windsor, CT 06095. Your sample letter should state: "I want to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail I receive. Please remove my name and address from your mailing list." Include all variations of your name: Bob Smith, Robert Smith, B. Smith etc. with your Name, Address, City, State, Zip, and Signature.

Keep: Give everything that's left a home. ALWAYS KEEP IMPORTANT ITEMS IN THE SAME PLACE.


KITCHEN/PANTRY: Organize by types of food or when you would use it. Label shelves.
CLOSETS: Keep your most frequently used items in the house, within easy reach.
CLOTHES: Separate seasons, consider your threshold. Add an extra hanging bar.
SHOES: Shoe racks or shelves or over the door compartments. Fancy shoes in boxes.
GARAGES, BASEMENTS, ATTICS AND STORAGE UNITS: Keep the items used most frequently closest to the door for easy access. Be sure to look up and use as much vertical space as possible. Consider hanging less often used items: luggage and seasonal items.


Overwhelmed? Call Shannon! 831-566-0497, Shannon McGinnis, Professional Organizer, Visit here.


Events for You

Please visit our Events Calendar for Details and More Events

Events Calendar

(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpg8/29, 1:30-4:30pm, Kiddie Disco Boogie, Family Dance Party, Geared towards 1-7 years of age, $ 7 Adult / $3 Child Door: Adult $8 / Child $4, Disco Dance Party, *DJ Lankston playing funky disco jams *Adventure tents *Healthy snacks included *Face painting, And more!!! Vets Hall, SC

8/29 Public Safety Booths & Demonstrations, Beach Boardwalk

8/29, George Kahumoku, Hawaiian musician, celebrates release of his new album, Kani Wai, the Sound of Water, George has been working with Bob Brozman on this duet CD for over 10 years.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Hula workshop with Leolani Lowry, $25.00 per person
3:00-4:00: George Kahumoku slack key guitar performance tickets: $20.00 General Admission
3:00-4:00 PM George Kahumoku Jr. Slack Key Ukulele Workshop, $25.00 per person
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM: Concert

8/28-9/6, Guys and Dolls,
love story musical All About Theatre

8/29, 8pm, Starlight Evening Train Experience, Roaring Camp Railroads


8/30, 7am, Aromas Day presented by the Aromas Hills Artisans. Enjoy a ‘Day in the Country!' Start the day with a country-style breakfast at the Aromas Grange. At 9am the  street fair opens with Art in the Park, featuring the Aromas Hills Artisans, Pony Rides, and Farm Animal Petting Zoo. There are games for the kids, the popular rock-climbing wall, and music all day at the bandstand. The Parade is at 2pm and not to be missed! This alcohol free event is fun for the whole family. Just follow the signs to the off-site parking lot and get a free ride on the horse-drawn wagon that will bring you to the heart of town.

8/30, 11am-12:30pm, History Hike: A Walk Through Time Quail Hollow Ranch

8/30, 11:30am, Felling the Giants, Big Basin, Logging was the major industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains for over 50 years. How did lumbermen cut down these tall, tall trees? What was life like in a logging camp? What tools did they use? Join Dan Friend, a former Ranger at Big Basin, as he tells stories of the logging days and demonstrates how loggers were able to fell these giants-without chain saws!

8/30, 10am-2pm, Exciting outdoor carnival to benefit Life Lab Science Program, Project Bike Trip, Seymour Marine Discovery Center and The Santa Cruz Education Foundation. The fundraiser will feature BBQ, ice cream sundaes, cookie decorating, games & prizes, and much more! All ticket sales will be donated to the four non-profit organizations, which serve thousands of K-12 students in Santa Cruz County. Whole Foods Market


9/4, 8pm, Scottish Fiddling, Lasdair Fraser and the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School presents its 26th annual concert at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Special guest artists include Liz Carroll and Darol Anger on fiddle, John Doyle on guitar, and Natalie Haas on cello.

9/3, 6pm, Town Hall Meeting with Sam Farr, US Congressman, Watsonville Town Hall, Watsonville City Council Chambers and Community Room, 275 Main St., 4th Floor, Watsonville

9/4-27 Praise the Board: 35 Years of Skateboard Design + Innovation
, On view, MAH, First Free Friday, Celebrate the opening of this display as you gather with friends, tour current exhibitions, and fuel your creativity at MAH's no-host wine, beer and refreshments bar from 5-9pm.

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Santa Cruz, CA