Around Town: Laguna Beach

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Do-Good Socialites

A new social club in OC aims to connect members of the community through charitable deeds and events. A membership with OC SOCIALIFE provides residents the opportunity to connect with their neighbors and enjoy private activities like wine tastings, yacht parties and galas that benefit a greater cause. “We created [this service] for those who want to be connected and involved in the Orange County social and philanthropic scene,” says Brent Callaway, president and founder of OC SOCIALIFE. “We couldn’t be happier to redefine what it means to be a socialite in Orange County and cannot wait to see the impact this will have on the local economy as we bring members into Orange County businesses to eat, drink, give and be social.” In addition, members also have access to an online forum, which includes a calendar of events, restaurant and nightlife reviews and featured charity spotlights. (

Inspiring Imagination Laguna resident and mom of two young boys, Samantha Breit-Schroder, aims to bring “peace, love and happiness” to all tots in town through a new program that practices storytelling, yoga and art. Mindful Octopus, symbolic of the eight yoga sutras, teaches “The 8 Tentacles”—a collection of valuable lessons and exercises for kiddos to learn and practice (kindness toward others, caring for the earth, et cetera) in a fun and safe environment. “I believe all of these advancements in technology are really limiting children’s imaginations and their natural ability to be creative,” explains Sam, who’s been practicing yoga for 15 years and holds a storytime yoga teacher certification. “[S]adly, story time has become a lost art.” It is Sam’s belief that inspiring creativity, expression and self-realization will encourage youngsters to be more “mindful” and make good life choices. “It may sound cliché, but I want my kids to help change the world and make it a better place,” she says. Held at the local AR4T gallery, the hour-long classes include a yoga warm-up, storytelling, a re-enactment that incorporates yoga poses (good for young minds and little bodies!) and an art project that relates to the theme of the story. The first class is free. For more information about Mindful Octopus’ philosophy and program, visit

 Live at the Museum  In a new partnership between Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Beach Live, the second Thursday of every month will now feature chamber music and an art series called Live at the Museum. Each evening offers a standout performance that lasts from 7 to 8 p.m. and is included as part of your admission to the museum. The festive performances will mesh seamlessly with the beautiful, artful surroundings of the museum’s galleries, and will equally enthrall the eyes and the ears.

“We are very pleased to announce this collaboration with Laguna Beach Live!” Laguna Art Museum Executive Director Malcolm Warner comments. “Not only are the museum’s galleries an appropriately beautiful setting in which to experience great music, they also boast fine acoustics.”

The series includes performances by the Hutchins Consort Quartet, AlmaNova, Triada Guitar Trio and Ceora Winds. (307 Cliff Dr.; 949-494-8971;


Laguna Shop

Rip Curl

Rip Curl, the “ultimate surfing company,” hits the shores of Laguna, offering clothing, wetsuits, watches and more. The rich surfing tradition of our beachside town prompted Rip Curl to open up its newest store, the 12th for the Southern California-based company. “Laguna has that unique vibe and energy,” says Rip Curl Marketing Director Dylan Slater. “We are excited to open a store in Laguna Beach.” Known for its wetsuits that have evolved over the years through interaction with surfers, Rip Curl also carries casual apparel for men, women and kids. (1099 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-4885;


For those seeking a gift for nature lovers, Jax uses succulents to create handcrafted arrangements and sustainable jewelry. Owner Tracy Dean believes succulents offer a long-lasting alternative to flowers. Tracy’s background in design led her to create modern and vintage-inspired products, including cactus necklaces, decorative wreaths and large-scale creations. With items made to order and seasonal arrangements, Jax is a secret garden full of one-of-a-kind gifts. (577 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-637-6079)

Molly Brown’s Swimwear

Luxury swimwear boutique Molly Brown’s comes to Laguna just in time for summer.  Since the grand opening in April, the shop has brought designer bikinis to the beach with fun features like ruched Brazilian bottoms, fringe and multi-strapped tassels. Molly Brown’s Swimwear carries Southern California favorites Vitamin A and L-Space, in addition to high-end resort wear from Melissa Odabash and Charlie by Matthew Zink, and international brands such as the Brazilian Despi and Colombian Agua Bendita. Vibrant summer shades—peachy apricot, lime green and cobalt blue—lend a splash of color to the new boutique’s swimwear offerings.(490 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-5737;


The fun and fashionable Isla Boutique recently relocated to its new storefront in Laguna. Unique and well-priced clothing and accessories are signatures of Isla, as are “treasures for the home”—described by the owners as small pieces of furniture, gifts and pillows. New features will include exclusive product lines, such as Essential Faith perfume and luxurious linens from Fresco Towels, as well as a private parking lot behind the store. Other brands carried at Isla include Giles & Brother jewelry, iPANEMA flip-flops by Gisele Bundchen and Flying Monkey Denim. Items are stocked in small quantities, with exciting new items arriving weekly (1330 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-413-1620)

Celebrity Stylist


In case you weren’t aware, Laguna Beach is home to one of only four Kim Vo salons in the world. The celebrity stylist and master-colorist comes in person at least once a month to the Kim Vo Salon at Montage Laguna Beach, and his stylists are all personally trained. Clients to the salon range from guests and locals to those who fly in from all over specifically to have their hair cut or colored there, where the atmosphere is always friendly and welcoming, never pretentious. Kim’s clients have included Britney Spears, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson and Pamela Anderson, and he pioneered many techniques, such as “American tailoring” and hair “dusting,” and was named best blonder in the business by Vogue. But he is perhaps best known for his starring role in Bravo’s “Shear Genius,” now in its third season.

Here, Kim offers his thoughts on fabulous summer hair:

Trends: “Carefree (lightly curled) and power ponies are chic and convenient for summer. Center parts take center stage as the boho girl is still in. Color is buttery and rich to compliment the ’70s look.”

Cuts: “ ‘Gypsy layers’—layers that add volume, but still look full. Piece-y ends are perfectly placed for an effortless look. (The joke is it takes so much time to get the effortless look!)”

Accessories: “Scarves are all the rage and a great way to SPF your hair.”

Care: “Summer beats on your hair with the pool, bleach, sun, chlorine, sea salt, et cetera—it all takes a toll on the condition of your hair. We ‘Malibu’ cleanse your hair at the salon, and for home, believe it or not, ketchup for 5 minutes on the hair will remove residue and not effect color. … To protect your hair during the summer, spray face [sunscreen] lotion into your hair. It truly gives you a shield from the sun.”

Want to look perfect for your summer event? The salon is now offering a “Quick and Dirty” 45-minute blowout, which includes a shampoo, blow dry and one-minute Kim Vo glaze for $50. (

Nature-inspired reads

“The Adventures of Charlie Mac to the Arctic and Back”

Laguna author and new mom, Katie MacGillivray, aims to deliver a message of hope and love for the world to both children and parents alike through this “lyrical journey” about a brave young hero named Charles MacDoodle and the endearing arctic animals—a polar bear, an orca, caribous and beluga whales—he encounters on his quest to explore the northern land. Through these new friendships, Charlie is educated about the Arctic’s changing climate, the devastation it poses, and returns home with inspirational stories and photos to help save the planet. The book is illustrated by Laguna artist Brittany Ryan. Available at

“To the Arctic”

A fascinating companion to MacGillivray Freedom Films’ recent 3-D IMAX film release, “To the Arctic,” (from publisher Braided River) gives a glimpse into the remote Arctic region—one that is rarely seen and is rapidly changing—through the magnificent, large format photographs of award-winning photographer Florian Schulz. Discover its bountiful beauty, from the landscape to animal inhabitants, through a series of photos shot in every season of the year. Available at

“Angelee Saves the Sea”

Renowned underwater photographer and local Beverly Factor educates youngsters about the importance of protecting our oceans with this award-winning creative and colorful children’s book about the journey of an angelfish named Angelee, whose mission is to save her endangered friends from pollution an destruction. The underwater tale, accompanied by Beverly’s bold, full-color undersea photography, will have kids hooked. Available at


Beneath our feet, beyond the soil and sand, lies an omnipresent source of natural healing energy, according to medical expert Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and fellow authors Clinton Ober and Martin Zucker. In this book, published by Laguna Beach-based Basic Health Publications, Inc., the team explains how our physical disconnect from the earth (shoes!) creates abnormal physiology and contributes to health ailments like inflammation, stress and fatigue. The authors explore how reconnecting with the energy of the ground can improve overall health. Available at LBM

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