Ten Years Later…

So, here we are, with you once again, just ten short years after the first issue of ALIVE became a reality in November, 2005. Since then you’ve probably changed some; so have we. If you’ve been with us since the beginning, let’s see if you can recall some of the changes to ALIVE over the years…

Do you remember when ALIVE was simply folded in the middle and bound by two metal staples (called “saddle stitch” in the printing world)? We dropped the staples and moved to our current “perfect bound” style as of our Summer Issue, in June 2006.

How about the width of ALIVE? Do you remember when it was like Time or Newsweek, and only eight and a half inches wide? In July 2007 we added another half inch, becoming the current 9 x 11 we are today.

Can you recall when our cover had the words “East Bay” in small print on either side of the “I” in ALIVE? That stayed with us until the March 2008 issue.

While there have been a number of changes to ALIVE, what hasn’t changed is our mission, and how we intend to continue serving you, our readers. Have we stayed true to what I said in my first “Publisher’s Message?” Here is the main part of my message from that first issue. You be the judge…

What you hold in your hands is the collaborative effort of a number of people whose desire it is to about cover_ALIVE_1105provide you with a magazine that is informative, and hopefully, fun to read. We hope you’ll find the information in this first issue useful, and the stories entertaining.

I’ve been asked many times why we chose the name ALIVE. After many days of considering several dozen ideas, we settled on ALIVE because we thought it best captured the vision of what we hope to express in the months to come. It’s our hope that in reading ALIVE you’ll feel, perhaps, just a little more that way… alive!

We wanted to create a lifestyle magazine that would be in touch with reality; stylish yet still grounded in our community. Our focus is on home, health, family, culture, and community. We know that’s a pretty wide net to cast, but for anyone to be truly ALIVE, we know you’d agree that all of these need to be considered.

Things that are alive, by their nature, change and grow. That is what we hope to do with this magazine. On that point, we are very much a work in progress, and always will be, so please excuse our inevitable foibles. That does not mean we are not trying for perfection, it just means that we know we shall never achieve it.

Part of our effort in trying to make this magazine a pleasure for you to read is our commitment never to take ourselves too seriously; we never want to become just another fluff magazine with an attitude. (And we certainly don’t want to make you yawn, either!)

We hope to inspire, and to be inspired by our readers, so we encourage your comments and suggestions. Please, don’t be shy in contacting us.

We also hope that you’ll enjoy this first issue of ALIVE… and by reading it, you’ll feel more so.

A lot has changed in the world these past ten years—some good, and some not so good—but what comes to mind most to us is how much we appreciate you, our loyal readers, for making ALIVE a part of your world, each and every month.

Do You Have a Master Wealth Plan?

Kathy and John realized their long planned retirement days would have to be postponed. Two events caught them by surprise: Their substantial portfolio had lost nearly one third of its value and Kathy’s mother, who watched her wealth disappear in the financial meltdown, suffered a debilitating stroke, which required 24-hour care. Like many people, Kathy and John never had a master wealth plan.
Just as successful institutions make every financial decision based on a specific master plan that outlines their focus on what they can control and what may impact their financial security, every person should have a master wealth plan as well.

Your master plan is the product of an honest conversation about where you are today and where you are going. It’s a living document that lays out assumptions about your future and helps you focus on the factors that you can control today. Equally important, your plan assumptions are continuously reassessed over time.

Your master plan demonstrates the impact and consequences of every decision and helps you make the appropriate trade-offs based on what you value most. It helps you prepare for and adjust to foreseen and unforeseen events in your life and in the financial markets.

A master wealth plan has four steps:

1. Identify your financial life goals.
Oftentimes, couples don’t know each other’s goals or they don’t have the same goals. Through candid discussions, couples begin to align their goals as they understand each other’s objectives. A private wealth counselor works to help the couple identify and clarify their goals and aspirations, which is the foundation of the master plan.

2. Understand the five financial control factors.
There are five aspects of your financial life, which you can control and which become the basis for your master plan assumptions. These assumptions may change as you pursue your lifestyle and long-term goals. The control factors are:

• Spending – lifestyle level you wish to maintain
• Savings – money dedicated for investment
• Timing – when you want the event to occur
• Risk – the level of volatility in your investment portfolio
• Legacy – assets you want to transfer to heirs or maintain as a safety net

3. Measure the probability of success.
To measure the likelihood of your plan’s success, a private wealth counselor will use advanced scenario analysis software that considers thousands of simulations of “financial lifetimes” with inputs of actual and hypothetical historical market performance. These scenarios include optimistic and pessimistic circumstances that have never occurred in the markets’ history, which demonstrates your plan’s ability to withstand the unexpected.

4. Make adjustments along the way.
Your plan is a living document that should be consistently updated to ensure its effectiveness over time. Unexpected changes can influence financial situations and decisions. These include changes in the tax code, a sudden rise in inflation, an inheritance or unforeseen illness, all of which require a review of your master wealth plan and adjustment of your control factors.

Don’t let the volatile financial market or life’s events catch you by surprise. By having a master wealth plan, you ensure that your goals, which you’ve worked hard to achieve, will occur as planned.

Kelly Trevethan CIMA is a Managing Director at United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, a private wealth counseling firm with more than 80 offices around the country. He can be reached at (415) 418-2101 or at kelly.trevethan@unitedcp.com.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal, and investors should carefully consider their own investment objectives and never rely on any single chart, graph or marketing piece to make decisions. The information contained in this piece is intended for information only, is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be considered investment advice.

8 Holiday Beauty Tips That Will Make Heads Turn!

Eight nights of gorgeousness and on trend looks to astonish your friends and family. No more “I don’t know how to do my make-up.” Here’s a whole season worth of head-turning, heart-stopping and just flat-out fantastic ideas for nailing your look every single day or night this holiday season.

1. Modern Sleek
Vibrant red lipsticks always enhance a holiday chic look, but this year try a matte burgundy for that retro-modern swagger look. There is a wide range of burgundy lip colors out this year, even a maroon is interesting, so try a few to find your favorite shade for your very own contemporary festive vibe.

2. Hollywood Glam
Push the holiday fashion envelope by accentuating the eyes with a thick black eye liner, sweeping it up in the corner. This gives the eyes a serious, modern intensity, while looking totally chic and freshly up-to-date.

3. Holiday Lip Liner Stains
Get more mileage out of your lip color this holiday season by using a lip liner with a stain! Match your lip color with a lip liner stain to make your lips look fuller and sexier than ever! So brilliant! What will they think of next?!

4. Perfect Holiday Cheeks
Your trusty blush won’t do this holiday season if it is in pink tones. You want to punch it up to a burgundy undertone with a slight shimmer to give your skin that spot-on evening cocktail-hour glow.

5. Smoother Fuller Brows
Add some definition to your brows for drama this season with a *New* gel brow balm. A good gel brow balm will appear so natural and will look like your own brow hairs, while keeping true to your brow’s shape. Best new product!

6. 70’s On-Trend Beauty
Tap into the 70s trend by applying a soft shimmery bronze eye color on the lid, then add a champagne eye shimmer all over, follow with a bold cat eyeliner. Take a minimalist semi-sheer burgundy lip-gloss, to create an understated holiday statement. This level of unfussy mixing will earn compliments and everyone will say what a master make-up artist you are.

7. Holiday Family Brunch
To look cute but not too dressy for a brunch, marry dark, bold navy eyeliner with a winter-white eye color. Master at leisure and still look put together by teaming a sumptuous highlighter on the cheeks and a low-key rosy blush for a natural but awesome glow. Add a maroon lip-gloss for oomph!

8. Holiday Rush Hour Beauty
Blue isn’t a hue you usually reach for in winter, but it brings dreary, holiday rush-hour eyes to life. Apply a soft matte, peach eye color on the lid, follow with a gray-taupe in the crease, and top it off with a shimmer-beige color under the brow. Add an elegant plum liner on the top lid, followed by scrumptious, dark-shimmer, navy-blue eyeliner under the eye for accent. Spice up the holiday cocktail hour with a matte burgundy lip color to provide an effectively super-luxe finish that will make heads turn!

He Said/She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear HSSS,
My husband has a rather big personality and has always spoken his mind, but lately he’s gone overboard. He has an opinion on everything and doesn’t hesitate to make it known. A family member mentioned that she was bothered by a comment my husband made at a recent family gathering. How can I get him to zip his lip? ~ Laura in Pleasanton

Stop the Noise
He Said: Chances are your husband doesn’t even have a clue that he’s offended someone or that he rubs people the wrong way with his commentary. Most people that like to hear the sound of their own voice mistakenly think that everyone else likes it too. I would simply mention to him that you’ve been told by several people that he crosses the line from time to time. Don’t make too big of a deal out of it, but just kindly let him know that most people can’t handle his off-color remarks and that he should do a better job of reading the room the next time he decides to tell people how he really feels. And reassure him that you love him for who he is, because what’s worse than a big personality? No personality at all.

She Said: Ah yes, the infamous KIA (Know-It-All). We’ve all known or been married to one of those—and the older they get, the more holes in the filter! They don’t know they’re doing it, so here’s what you do: in a quiet moment, when things are going smoothly, let him know that as much as you adore his effervescence, it can be a bit much sometimes. You know it’s not intentional, so when you notice it’s going a bit far, you will let him know by placing your hand on his arm and pressing gently, as your own personal secret code that he may want to dial it back a bit. My friend does this with her husband and it works like a charm, especially when she rewards his good behavior after everyone’s gone home!

Dear SSHS,
I am a16-year-old girl whose parents divorced eight years ago. I spend equal time with both of them, but my dad had to move out of our old neighborhood, so when I spend time with him, I feel really removed from my friends and my old life. We can’t afford to get me a car, and I hate to keep asking my dad to drive me around when I’m with him on his weekends. What should I do? ~ Bored in Orinda

She Said: I know there are rules about new drivers not being able to drive their friends around, so I sympathize with your dilemma. Divorce is tough on kids! How about talking to your dad about getting you a driving app, like Uber or Lyft? I use them all the time and am always pleased with the service. As long as you learn how to use them properly (try and refrain from using them at peak times) and don’t abuse the privilege, he might be really grateful to not have to taxi you around.

He Said: I was always taught that if you can’t afford something, then change your situation so that you can afford it. In other words, get a job so you can get that car! And Robin has a great idea with the driving apps like Uber or Lyft, but how about having your friends visit you when you’re with your dad? And there’s nothing wrong with spending some time away from your friends too. With all the technology nowadays, are you really ever that far from any of your friends at any given time? Just remember, your true friends aren’t going anywhere when you’re gone and I’m sure your dad wants to spend some time with you too.

Robin Fahr is a public relations specialist and co-host with Shawn Shizzo on Conversations and He HeSaidSheSaidgraphicSaid/She Said seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at www.trivalleytv.org. You can also catch He Said/She Said on TheTalkPod.com. Send your questions to www.AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.

Quick, Easy and Cheap

I was in line at Safeway the other day and asked the twenty-something clerk, as we do with almost every social interaction, “How are you?” This is a polite gesture and unless posed to a close friend in time of need, requires very little outside of “Fine, how are you?” But she decided to answer, “I am sooooo tired.” I wanted to grab her and explain that we are ALL tired and you will be tired for most of your life. Honestly have you ever had somebody reply, “Very well rested, thank you.”

We are a people on the go and moving at often break neck speeds. The sheer area that we live in require us to be busier than most, simply to stay here. Here is a quick list of why I am personally tired: 1) I started a new company this year. 2) I have a three year old, an eighteen month old and one on the way. 3) I am moving 4) I have two jobs…but I love the station that I am in right now. My life is full. The problem often is, getting my belly to match.

We all know that 2 pm feeling of, “I can’t believe I haven’t eaten more than an Altoid today,” and we start to panic. I need food and I need it now, but I have no time. Unfortunately our programmed minds drift immediately to the Golden Arches or the King, and that is wrong on many levels. So here is what I do in different “need food now” scenarios:


I often work from Peet’s Coffee in Alamo and at that haunting 2 pm hour, nothing pleases me more than getting the Cheese and Fruit Box for $5.95. Three different cheeses, apple slices, sesame crackers and a handful of almonds. Perfect—it keeps me good until dinner.

Trader Joes in Danville has a host of amazing pre-packaged salads for under eight dollars. Oddly, most have chicken so vegetarian is hard to do, but they hit the spot in the time it takes to check out.

Hot and Served

This is a really bizarre lunch option but I find myself doing it more and more often. Costco for lunch, and no not the free sample circuit, although that is wonderful and inexpensive but requires time invested. I don’t even go into the full store part but opt for the enormous slice (or two) of cheese pizza for two dollars a slice. The most time you are going to spend is finding parking.


Jersey Mikes recently opened in Danville and I am excited they did. It is a conveyor belt operation that serves quality sandwiches for under ten dollars. In this town, you can easily spend thirty on two deli sandwiches that are created by Vincent Van Gogh himself and take a month to make. Jersey Mikes builds, wraps and rings, and you are out the door.

Sweet Tooth

Esin Restaurant was created on the dessert prowess of owner/operator Esin. Her dessert menu is second to none and if you know what you want you can call ahead and have it all bagged up, waiting. Sauces are always separated in plastic ramekins and the cost is under seven dollars. This is something I get for my wife on the way home from my Costco Pizza.

Yannis Taverna has, hands down, the best baklava that I have ever had, and larger than most tiny squares, but you are still going to want to get two.

So there you go. Just a couple of quick ideas to get quality food into your empty tanks without creating a “dining out” budget and proof that there is no need to get fries with that or supersize anything.

Radio Days Weren’t So Trivial

One of the very few advantages of being so darned old is that I remember the glorious days of Radio. Yes, before television, families sat around their floor-model radios in the evening and let their imagination do wonderful tricks as we listened to very popular radio shows. So, get your grandparents to help you answer the following:

1. “It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” These were the opening words of what popular show?

2. Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll played all the parts in what radio show, which was the radio sensation of the 1930s?

3. What show featured the noise of our hero opening his closet followed by the sounds of all the contents falling on the floor?

4. What show always began with the playing of the William Tell Overture?

5. Whose show featured the Mean Little Kid and Clem Kadiddlehopper?

6. What bandleader had a quiz show called “That’s Wrong, You’re Right”