Author Archive for petegregory

SCV Residents Pulling for Hometown Boy in Masterchef Junior

Masterchef Junior Jimmy and 7 Year Old Gianna Gregory

Masterchef Junior Jimmy and Gianna Gregory

Santa Clarita residents are pulling for hometown boy in Masterchef Junior, a Fox Reality TV show. Jimmy Warshawsky of Santa Clarita Valley is currently competing with other young home cooks in an effort to win the title of Masterchef Junior, Season Three! For those new to Santa Clarita or unfamiliar with the TV show, it’s a wonderful family show on Fox. Masterchef Junior star Gordon Ramsey leads a team of three judges as they evaluate the talented young home cooks during difficult cooking challenges. These kids are amazingly gifted, but as the show continues the challenges become extremely difficult. If you don’t believe it, have a look at the most recent episode where the kids had to work as restaurant cooks for a night! OMG, it was really something to see! We’re happy to report, our Jimmy is still in contention with two episodes left, and we’re all pulling for him to bring the title home to Santa Clarita.

Learn more about Masterchef Junior Jimmy at his Facebook Page, The Chef Jimmy

It’s important to note, regardless of how the competition ends, Jimmy is already considered a huge winner because he’s unselfish and such a positive role model for the youth of Santa Clarita. Also, he’s just one of those great hometown kids the entire Santa Clarita community rally behind and be proud of! He’s lucky to have such a supportive mom and according to the teachers at Gregory Family Child Care of Valencia, she is an amazing woman! Lisa has much to be thankful for, but here at SCVLive we want her to know we are especially proud of her! Raising children is never a simple task and as evidenced by Jimmy, it’s obvious Lisa is doing a stellar job of it!

Masterchef-Junior-Jimmy-Using-Velata-Crepe-Maker

Jimmy uses his own recipe for making crepes

Just this week Santa Clarita’s leading Velata Independent Director and child care provider Mary Gregory had a chance to meet Jimmy and his mom, Lisa Warshawsky. They were kind enough to stop in for a visit at Gregory Family Child Care and Jimmy spent some time with the children. He also shared a yummy batch of his delicious home made Palmers. Thankfully, there were two left for me and I ate them both when I arrived home from work! According to Mary, “Jimmy is an amazing young teen and truly an inspiration to other young home cooks here in SCV.”

Master Chef Junior Jimmy's Mom Lisa Warshawsky

Mary Gregory and Lisa Warshawsky

Mary Gregory actually friended Jimmy and his mom Lisa after she discovered we had a hometown boy on Masterchef Junior. It turns out, the three of them discovered they have a common interest in seeing friends and families spend more time together while cooking and eating delicious meals. Since Mary shares and sells a line of family friendly kitchen systems by Velata, she was also able to share some of her products with Lisa and Jimmy. As shown in the photo, Jimmy already tried out the super simple crepe maker and apparently it worked great!

It’s always such fun to see a local youngster like Jimmy advance and succeed in any competition, especially when participating in something they are passionate about. It’s also encouraging to see parents like Lisa committed to supporting their children and providing them the opportunities to discover their passions and develop their skills. We wish the best of luck to Masterchef Junior Jimmy, and remember, us Santa Clarita residents are pulling for our hometown Boy in Masterchef Junior.

Homes for Sale in Castaic California Might Be a Deal!

Here at SCVLive our main focus is almost always centered on our Santa Clarita community, but today we are comparing homes for sale in Castaic with ours here in SCV. First off, we found it interesting how the homes and neighborhoods in Castaic are now evolving and some look very similar to our Santa Clarita homes and neighborhoods. Castaic is quite different than Santa Clarita in the manner in which it’s laid out, however the neighborhoods can vary quite a bit. If searching for a home with some land or maybe a ranch style home, prospective home buyers should look up in Hasley Canyon. Then, there are a number of housing developments on both sides of Interstate 5, but be sure to check on the age of the homes first. Some are quite new and others date way back.

There’s nothing wrong with the older homes, but if buying one be sure to obtain a one year home warranty before closing. In fact, at the Gregory Real Estate Group they have a free offer for their new clients and provide them with a One Year Home Warranty, free for the first year!

See All Homes for Sale in Castaic CA

After searching the local MLS, we noticed one home for sale in Castaic is currently priced at over $2,000,000! Of course, we have upscale expensive homes in Santa Clarita, but this one’s a little different. First off, the home is nice, but it also sits on about 12 acres of ranch land. In fact, it’s not the home making this property so expensive, but the land itself.

After looking at the Castaic homes for sale, there’s still plenty of very nice single family homes available for under $400,000. Also, some of the homes are in newer developments and we think some of these areas might be perfect for the first time home buyers. Then again, we had some neighbors who moved up to a much nicer home for the money than their previous home here in Valencia.

Admittedly, we’re biased towards our Santa Clarita homes and neighborhoods, but we also like the Castaic area and think it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re planning to buy a home. Local realtors Matt & Meray Gregory have sold a number of homes in Castaic and they agree the area is quite beautiful and has everything residents might need. Well, that is, except the Westfield Town Center Mall. They do have shopping in Castaic, but when the residents want to shop at the mall, they hop over here to our Valencia Town Center Mall.

We hope you enjoyed finding out about homes for sale in Castaic and the differences between Santa Clarita and Castaic!

Santa Clarita Taste of the Chamber 2014

This year’s Santa Clarita Taste of the Chamber was another well organized event and a great time for vendors and attendees alike! The Taste of the Town event for this year was a little different than in years past and by all appearances, a huge success! Instead of housing all the various vendors in one building as in the past, this year vendors were spread out from the Hyatt Hotel and to the east along Town Center Drive. Each Taste of the Chamber vendor was paired up with a brick and mortar shop or business located on Town Center Drive.


See More Velata Quick Sweet Snack RecipesAs an example, with the new Taste of the Chamber pairing theme, Velata Independent Director Mary Gregory was paired with Diane of 56 FIFTY-SIX Clothing. Diane was stamping each attendee’s raffle tickets while Mary was greeting visitors and handing out yummy chocolate treats. Velata is a Scentsy Family direct sales business offering personalized service with family friendly home kitchen systems. FIFTY-SIX Clothing is a contemporary woman’s clothing store, offering personalized service and name brand clothing such as Velvet, Sky, Level 99, and JOIE! After meeting and working with Diane we can personally recommend her and her store for our fashion minded women in Santa Clarita. Keep an eye out on the SCVLive blog of Santa Clarita for an upcoming featured post and learn more about FIFTY-SIX Clothing.

See below the activities for the Santa Clarita Taste of the Chamber 2014

  • Taste of the Chamber attendees’s started the event at the Valencia Hyatt Hotel
  • Then, from about 6:oopm to 8:00pm the attendee’s walked up Town Center Drive to visit the various stores or businesses
  • While at each business the attendees received a food or dessert snack and had an opportunity to visit and network with each vendor and business operator
  • while at each establishment the attendee’s had their tickets stamped
  • At around 8:00pm everyone returned to the Hyatt Hotel for the big raffle and more fun and games
  • In order to be eligible for the raffle the each attendee had to show proof they stopped in at every shop and present their stamped ticket

We visited a few of the establishments ourselves and the giveaways were real tasty! Johnny Rocket’s was giving away 1/4 sliced burgers and a few other goodies. Mary Gregory was handing out Popcorn Confetti along with the Velata recipe cards. Another favorite treat were the delicious mini cupcakes found at the Glen Ivy Spa.

The new theme for this years Taste of the Chamber was a unique idea and accomplished the end goal of providing a venue and encouraging business owners and operators to mix, mingle and network. After all, that’s what our Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce is all about! As Mary Gregory said, “The Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce continues to provide a wonderful networking platform, but it’s up to each member to take advantage of the opportunity to make new business connections and lasting relationships.”

If you are a new business to Santa Clarita and interested in joining the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce visit, their website here!

Big Mouth Pizza Company of Valencia

If you're a resident here in Valencia, Canyon Country or Agua Dulce, you'll be happy to discover a wonderful pizza restaurant called Big Mouth Pizza Co. Big Mouth Pizza is a family friendly restaurant, with a tasty menu of delicious snacks and meals. It's also a great location for friends to gather and spend some time watching NFL Football, or any other sporting event. There's plenty of room for groups and we really appreciate the amazing array of flat screen TV's. No matter which location customers visit, they can always count of good food and prompt, friendly service.
27530 Newhall Ranch Rd
Santa Clarita, CA
91355
US
Phone: 661-257-9100

We are pleased to report, after thoroughly checking out Big Mouth Pizza Co, we have added them to our list of SCVLive.com recommended businesses and restaurants. Keep in mind, we are not a distasteful Yelp type review website, but we do share about our positive experiences with local businesses within our Santa Clarita community.

Dining In and Delivery Service
We finally had the opportunity to visit Big Mouth Pizza today here in Valencia! It was a perfect location for Mary Gregory to have her monthly Scentsy Independent Director team meeting and everyone attending loved the service, atmosphere and the food. In our own household, we’ve ordered Big Mouth Pizza for home delivery on numerous occasions and the delivery has been consistently on time and tasty. Besides the pizza, we love the mozzarella sticks and wedge cut potatoes! Mary had one of the salads and she said it was really good!

You can also find a Big Mouth Pizza Co. Restaurant in Agua Dulce and Canyon Country. We spoke to other diners at two locations and everyone had only positive comments.

It’s nice to find local businesses working hard to provide a personalized services to their local customers. When we identify a business that we feel is especially noteworthy, we like sharing with everyone! Big Mouth is one of those comfortable little local restaurants we love and they have something for everyone!

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Say Nothing at All!
First, we want to make it perfectly clear, we are not a restaurant review Yelp type website! We exist simply to provide accurate and helpful information to those persons unfamiliar with our beloved Santa Clarita Valley. We are also committed to supporting our local small businesses as much as possible, but we only recommend those businesses we have had the opportunity to visit ourselves and have firsthand experience. Obviously, it’s not our intent to visit every small business in Santa Clarita, but when the opportunity presents itself we will provide recommendations to any businesses as based on our personal experiences.

As longtime Valencia residents ourselves, we also author all the posts and pages here at SCVLive.com. We are extremely supportive of our hard working local small businesses, especially from within our Santa Clarita community. Since we’ve visited Big Mouth Pizza in two of their three local restaurants, we can wholeheartedly recommend eating there, either when dining in or for delivery.

Scarecrows, Pumpkins Highlight Lombardi Ranch Fall Festival

Lombardi-Ranch-Fall-Festival

Mary’s Schoolhouse Teacher Makenna With Scarecrow Entry

Every spring in Santa Clarita residents look forward to the Lombardi Ranch Fall Festival and Scarecrow Contest! If you’re new to Santa Clarita or planning to relocate here, the most popular pumpkin patch and Fall Festival in these parts can be found at Lombardi Ranch! It’s not uncommon for SCV families to spend an entire day while children choose the favorite pumpkins and have a blast at the Festival. The festival is not just for children as the adults seem to have more fun than the kids. The scarecrow trail is amazing and festival attendees can hike the trails or take the wagon ride. Along the trail are many homemade scarecrows and some of our more artistic Santa Clarita residents create some amazing scarecrows. Some scarecrows are more like works of art than what you would expect. One of our SCVLive preferred local businesses, Gregory Family Child Care has entered the scarecrow contest for years and the kids and teachers all love making and displaying their scarecrow at Lombardi’s Ranch. Here’s a link to the Calendar of Events for the Lombardi Ranch Fall Festival.

Scarecrow Contest Highlights
The festival is highlighted by the Scarecrow Contest and the day the winners are announced is usually the busiest day of the festival. Usually there are multiple categories Besides pumpkins and scarecrows, Lombardi’s has many other attractions. There are wagon rides, a mini zoo, live music, pumpkin decorating contests, food and more. Oh, and don’t forget, there’s plenty of fruit and produce! Afterall, Lombardi Ranch is a roadside produce market and this is where residents find some delicious fruits and vegetables.

  • BAKE SALES
  • SCARECROW CONTEST
  • PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST
  • PETTING ZOO
  • WAGON RIDE
  • BALLOONS
  • Live Entertainment
  • Much more!

Here is the event information:

Lombardi Ranch Fall Festival takes place during weekends only from 9/28/14 to 10/26/14. The festival includes ton's of fun activities for the kids including a scarecrow contest, pumpkin carving contest, wagon rides, live entertainment, face painting for the kids, petting zoo, bake sales and of course, plenty of pumpkins!
Starts: 09/28/2014
Ends: 10/26/2014
Duration:
29527 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA
91390
US

Back to School in Santa Clarita Valley

It’s nearing the end of August and most of our children are already back to school here in Santa Clarita Valley. Going back to school after a relaxing summer is always so exciting for the kids, especially the little ones! Now, it might not be so exciting for the older kids, especially if they are participating in grueling workouts and preparing for the upcoming high school football season! We’re not just talking about the football players either. With back to school comes the new cheer squads, amazing marching bands, and they’re all working hard while preparing for the first big opening football game! Still, with all the kids back to school with new teachers and classrooms, the stage is set for an exciting new school year!

SCV Newbies To See How Much SCV Locals Love Their High School Football
If you’re new to Santa Clarita, you’ll soon see just how much the residents of this city enjoy their high school football. It’s not like it once was, but it’s still pretty darn popular. In fact, very soon after the kids get back to school, Friday night diners even have an easier time getting a table at their favorite restaurants. We finally figured out, it’s because so many people are at the football games, there’s more room at the local restaurants. Once upon a time there was a huge cross town rivalry between Canyon and Hart high schools. When they were playing each other it was like the rest of the town went dormant. It’s still a darn good rivalry and almost always a good matchup, but with all our high schools playing on Friday nights, residents can always plan on finding a good game to attend. If you’re new to Santa Clarita you’re not a high school football fan, it’s a perfect time for a meal at a great restaurant!

Why So Soon?
By the way, we find it odd seeing the children returning to school so soon. Yes, it’s understand our local kids start their summer earlier than most, but it’s still so hot outside, and there’s so much summer left! It just feels too early to return to school.

Very soon, newcomers to SCV will find out how much we enjoy our fall festivals. It won’t be long until it really is Fall and we can look forward to all the various festivals. When it comes to fall festivals, nothing beats those activities at our favorite outdoor produce market, Lombardi Ranch. If planning on entering the Lombardi’s Scarecrow Contest, it’s not too early to start gathering your supplies to make your scarecrows! If you are new to SCV and plan to enter this contest, beware! We have some seriously talented scarecrow makers out here and you will be amazed at these amazing creations. We’ll do a full post on the contest very soon, so stay tuned!

We hope you enjoyed learning more about our Santa Clarita Valley and welcome your comments about Back to School in Santa Clarita Valley.

No More HOA Fines for Dying Vegetation During Drought

According to an article written by Hector Gonzalez and published in the Signal newspaper, our local government and homeowner associations can no longer impose fines on residents for dying vegetation during the drought. This measure was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown and goes into effect beginning Monday, August 4, 2014. It applies to all local HOA’s in Santa Clarita Valley and all of California! As long as we’re in this declared emergency drought condition, the measure will continue to stay in effect! Residents living in HOA neighborhoods must still keep the outside of their homes maintained as always, but if the grass and shrubs start dying, residents cannot be penalized.

Although the new measures and regulations are absolutely necessary, none of us want to see our lawns and gardens die. It will be a sad day for us all when we return home from a long day at work only see all our landscaping dead from lack of water. We’re not saying that’s going to happen, but it could. This drought is serious business and if it continues, so must we reduce our water consumption. If that eventually results in dead lawns and shrubs, so be it. Here’s an interesting way to grow a garden without using near as much water. To check out this Aquaponics solution Click Here!.

Looking Back Drought Related Actions

  • As we previously reported, the State of California requested residents to voluntarily cut back their water use by 20% beginning in May of 2014.
  • Unfortunately, residents responded by using 1% more water than was used in May of 2014! Obviously us residents didn’t take the request seriously.
  • Responding to resident complaints, Governor Brown had to apply some real pressure in the way of penalties for wasting water.
  • Some Residents complained their water saving efforts were hampered by their HOA’s by fining them for dying lawns and shrubs.
  • As written in this post, Governor Brown signs measure preventing HOA’s and Local Government from fining residents for dying lawns and shrubs.

As we’ve previously posted, this is the worst drought in California in more than 40 years and it has reached emergency proportions. Unfortunately, we’re also smack in the middle of another very hot southern California summer, but then, when it’s comes to a serious drought, the timing is never good! No one can accurately predict the future, but I’d bet my green lawn the drought is going to get worse before it gets better, so we all better start doing our part by  saving water before there’s none left!

Water Saving Challenge

On behalf of SCVLive.com, I challenge residents to cut back on their water by 50%, instead of the 20% our government is shooting for. Personally, I’m cutting my irrigation water in half, and if things turn brown, too bad! At least I know my HOA can’t penalize me and I’d rather be drinking water myself than watering my plants.

We hope you found this article helpful and we invite comments to hear of what you are doing to save water. Please comment below about this article, No More HOA Fines for Dying Vegetation During Drought.

Time to Get Serious About Saving Water in Santa Clarita

Well folks, it’s finally time to get serious about the saving water in Santa Clarita, and all of California! First, we were asked to voluntarily cut back our water usage by 20%, but apparently residents completely ignored the request! After the voluntary request was made, it was discovered we used 1% more water this May than we did last May! Because we failed to do our part, California Water Regulators voted to approve fines of up to $500 a day for water wasting residents! Yes, this includes you! It’s not just our neighbors, but each one of us must abide by these new regulations. Come on now… we all need to get very serious about this and do our part to save water in Santa Clarita and the entire State of California!


Here’s how the fines will work and some tips for compliance:

  • When watering landscape, make sure water is not running off and flowing onto the sidewalk. This is going to be a little tricky because it can be difficult to adjust irrigation sprinklers and timing so we don’t overwater. Still, we must take the time to get this right!
  • When washing a vehicle you must use a hose with a nozzle. Just take your car to the car wash. You can get the exterior done very inexpensively and there are always coupons available.
  • No hosing off driveways or sidewalks – Every heard of using a broom? How about a blower?


Here are some water saving tips for Santa Clarita residents

Helpful Tips for Saving Water in Your Home

We’re sure these rules are just the beginning and as concerned residents, we need to do much more to save 20%. The longer this drought goes, the worse things will get and the more water we will have to save. We wouldn’t be surprised if a time will come we may have to quit watering our landscaping completely! Let’s hope not, but it is possible!

We recently read a post with some great tips for saving water and one good one was to cut your shower water while lathering up with soap. Yeah, most of us love a nice long shower, but it won’t hurt us a bit to take shorter showers and cut the water while we lather up! You will be amazed at how much water is used for one shower!

We hope you found this post helpful and agree, it’s time to get serious about saving water in Santa Clarita.

The Shrimp Haus Coming Soon to The Shops at Tourney

The Shrimp Haus SignWe love sharing about new restaurants coming to our Santa Clarita community so we’re excited to report, The Shrimp Haus is coming to the Shops at Tourney. The Shops at Tourney are located in Valencia, at the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Tourney Road, and it’s a good location for local business employees to find lunch or their morning coffee. We think the addition of the Shrimp Haus will be a plus to the Shops, and make for another good lunchtime option.

According to the poster we found on the door, The Shrimp Haus is a Seafood and Thai Fusion restaurant and will be opening soon, although no opening date was provided. The sign also mentioned they are hiring staff to operate the eatery, so it does sound like it will be opening sooner rather than later. We’re looking forward to another local seafood option, especially for a quick lunch. We’ll keep you posted on this development and provide more information on The Shrimp Haus as soon as we’re able to give it a try.

While we’re talking about the Shops at Tourney, we really must mention the Rustic Eatery! This is a wonderful little sandwich shop and the food is outstanding! During a recent visit, we had some delicious tri-tip sandwiches and they really hit the spot. It really was good and we’re all planning on a return trip, maybe tomorrow! Also located in the center is a local Starbucks, so be sure to stop in for your morning coffee if you’re nearby. BTW, this Starbucks also has a drive thru!

[map id=”10″]

The Shops at Tourney also include some local businesses such as a dentist office, but there are currently two other restaurants as well. There is a Sam’s Flaming Grill and an Azul Tequila. The Azul Tequila serves up some good mexican food, and Sam’s Flaming Grill probably doesn’t need any explanation.

We love sharing about all things having to do with Santa Clarita. We especially inside information that might be helpful to those persons unfamiliar with the area or planning to relocate here. Please contact us with your “inside information” about Santa Clarita! We’ll be happy to publish it and include a link back to your business.

Thank you for visiting, and we hope you enjoyed hearing about The Shrimp Haus Coming Soon to The Shops at Tourney.

Colossus Roller Coaster and Elephant Bar Closing in SCV

Wow, residents in communities throughout Santa Clarita were surprised and somewhat saddened to hear of a couple of closings set to occur. First, Magic Mountain announced they will be closing the famous Colossus Roller Coaster, and a few days later we heard the Elephant Bar restaurant will be closing their doors! There are also some rumors floating around about another long time restaurant which may be closing, but without confirmation, we’ll have to keep that one to ourselves.

The Colossus, a huge wood framed roller coaster has always been a Six Flags crowd favorite, but we suppose all good things must eventually come to an end! The SignalSCV.com reports, the close date will be August 16th, so make sure to visit the park if you want to take a last ride. To learn more about this closing have a look at this news article by Mitch Hacker of the Signal.

If you’re new or planning to relocate to Santa Clarita, Six Flags Magic Mountain is the primary amusement park attraction for those visiting the city. We have no doubt the park will replace the old wooden coaster with a new attraction, maybe even more thrilling than Colossus. Still, we’ll all miss the giant coaster and once removed, the western skyline of Santa Clarita will change forever!

Popular Valencia Restaurant Closing – Elephant Bar

The announcement of the Elephant Bar closing is surprising to everyone, including the restaurant staff! As long time customers, we have seen no sign of any decline and it appeared there were plenty of customers. Valencia is known for it’s dining and we do have a number of restaurants in the area. It’s likely the newer eateries such as those at the Patios, did hurt business. Still, the Elephant Bar was an outstanding restaurant, delivering a great menu of dishes and friendly service at a very reasonable price. Diners have a tough time finding a similar menu and prices at the anywhere else in SCV! To learn more, have another look at the Signal article by Jana Adkins.

Though we’re sad to hear of these two closings, most residents here really do embrace change and most can’t wait to see what the future will bring. Our City of Santa Clarita is a wonderful place to call home, and becomes more popular everyday!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the, Colossus Roller Coaster and Elephant Bar closing in SCV, and your comments are welcome!