If you're looking for a holiday present sure to be appreciated, give the gift of Hyatt with a gift card from Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa. The luxurious destination resort offers three restaurants, including the award-winning, AAA Four Diamond restaurant the Californian; the Pacific Waters Spa, a tranquil lagoon-style swimming pool, poolside bar and cafes; and an eclectic shopping experience with everything from pizza to surf memorabilia and fine art.
The famous Surf City beach is easily accessible via the resort's lighthouse bridge. A gift card for the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach makes the perfect gift. It can be used for used for dining, a spa treatment at Pacific Waters, even night stays at the hotel. For a more extravagant gift for someone special, consider a Pacific Waters Spa membership: a three-month membership costs $375 and a six-month membership costs $675.
The Hyatt is at 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy. in Huntington Beach. For more information, call (714) 698-1234 or visit http://www.huntingtonbeach.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp.
A gift with meaning
Upon returning to Orange County from a relief trip to Haiti six months following the devastating earthquake, Jeff and Jackie Bird of Newport Coast came home with a heightened passion for philanthropy. Their experience set the groundwork for Epic Timepieces, a newly launched online watch company that will make an ideal holiday gift with meaning. Epic watches come in 15 color variations and cost just $39.95.
The concept is simple: for each watch sold, Epic will provide clean drinking water for a person in a developing country for one year.
"We chose to provide water because we observed that a lack of clean water was a key element that hindered Haiti from recovery," Jackie says, adding that they're giving away filters that purify the water.
Their goal is to sell 2,500 watches before year-end for an early January filter distribution to Haiti because of the recent cholera outbreak. In Port-au-Prince, this disease could potentially kill thousands. After they provide 10,000 filters to Haitians from the first 10,000 watches, they will focus efforts on another developing country in need.
For more information, call (800) 921-7065 or visit http://www.epictimepieces.com.
Shopping to help Kenyans
Join us for a Feliz Navidad shopping and fundraiser party Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at one of our favorite boutiques, Lu Lu in Costa Mesa. Not only can you pick up some of the season's best fashions, you can save 10% on new arrivals, including Chan Luu dresses, the latest from Three Dots, Cooper holiday dresses, Seven cargo and velvet trousers, Minnie Rose cashmere and a ton of stocking stuffers under $20, Recycled with Love vintage jewelry and much more. You can also help change two young Kenyans' lives by sending them to a university. Cocktails and appetizers are also available from 4 to 7 p.m.
I met Jack and Milly on a monthlong volunteer trip last year to their small village in western Kenya. A college education will allow them and their families to escape a life of poverty (they live on about $1 per day in a small village with no electricity or running water). I have already raised enough money ($4,000) and enrolled them in a university in Nairobi; however, more funds are needed to allow them to continue their education. Please consider changing the future of these two bright and caring Kenyans by shopping at Lu Lu's on Dec. 16 — a portion of the proceeds will go toward their education. We'll see you there.
Lu Lu's is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 1724 Tustin Ave. in Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 650-5858 or visit http://www.luluboutiqueandgallery.com.
Attend a wellness workshop
Put this down on your list for New Year's musts: Spa Montage Laguna Beach will be offering "E-Volve" wellness workshops and retreat series led by renowned yoga teacher and body-mind expert Ashley Turner http://www.ashleyturner.org starting Jan. 8 and continuing monthly through April 16 to 17. The prices start at only $65 and include full daylong access to Montage's incredible facilities. Turner has a loyal following of celebrities, business leaders and more who rely on her to bring innovative and yoga-inspired mind-body workshops that leave behind stress and achieve a renewed healthier sense of self.
Each of the retreats will include two-hour yoga and meditation workshops, and one customized 60- or 120-minute surrender treatment to rebalance and address your specific challenges.
Each workshop is priced from $65 and includes a full day at Spa Montage with access to steam, sauna and relaxation areas and an oceanfront spa lap pool. Here are the scheduled workshops: "Resolve to E-Volve Workshop" on Jan. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.; "Reclaim Romance Workshop" on Feb. 12, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.; "Change Your Mind. Change Your Body. Change Your Life Workshop" on March 12, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.; and "Spring Detox: Clear Your Body, Mind + Soul Retreat" on April 16 and 17.
The spa is at 30801 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. For more information on the upcoming wellness series, visit http://www.spamontage.com/lagunabeach/ or call (949) 715-6010.
Gift drives in the gazebo
Here's an easy way to help local charities during the holidays: Fashion Island is hosting gift drives in the gazebo in the Neiman Marcus-Bloomingdale's Courtyard each Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. leading up to Christmas.
On Saturday, Laura's House, which provides shelter services, counseling, life-skills education and legal services for women and children affected by domestic abuse, will be collecting gift cards for basic needs such as grocery, pharmacy and gas cards; casual and quick dining gift cards; department store and bookstore gift cards; and clothing and shoe store gift cards appropriate for a variety of ages.
For more information, call (949) 361-3775 or visit http://www.laurashouse.org.
Gift cards needed for women
On Dec. 18, WISEPlace, which provides housing and hope for women in crisis, will be collecting gift cards to help the women they support.
The gift card wish list includes department store, clothing, casual and quick dining, health and beauty, and grocery gift cards. Donors will receive a special thank you such as a Kids Klub card from Yard House valid for one complimentary kid's meal, buy-one-get-one-free offers from Auntie Anne's Pretzels, or a complimentary house beverage or dessert from Canaletto Ristorante Veneto at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.
For more information, call WISEPlace at (714) 542-3577 or visit http://www.wiseplace.org.
Photos for your pets
Emotion Portrait Studios is brimming with exciting news. Not only has it moved to a more accessible location in Costa Mesa (next to the yummy Super Pollo on Superior Avenue), it's just launched Dogma Pet Portraits, photos that capture incredibly funny and/or heartwarming dog portraits (with or without human family members).
After years of shooting photos that perfectly captured a family's personality, Sylvaine and David Capron realized that they've nearly sold as many portraits of dogs as of kids. The reason? They're masters of shooting pictures in a relaxed, carefree environment, where it's easy to capture personalities of families and pets. For a look at some memorable (and too cute) photos, check online at dogmapetphotography.com.
The studio is at 1727 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa. For more information, call (714) 642-9021.
GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at email@example.com.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun