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Sunday’s At Four

Everyone has a cook book but none like Fay Mancuso’s “Sundays at Four”. Carrying on the Italian family tradition she knew as a little girl, Fay’s family, husband Frank, children, grandchildren and their friends have all enjoyed for years the same experience she had of gathering together for great food and conversation. Fay prepares various recipes she learned from her mother and grandmother as only she can. From this tradition she was encouraged to write here cook book so it could be passed on as her legacy to her children and friends.

Here are 2 of Faye’s exquisite Italian dishes made with love…


[gmc_recipe 2707]



[gmc_recipe 2724]

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Whole Foods Market Palm Desert Store

Whole Foods Comes to the Desert!

In case you live under a rock or have not seen the signs, long lines and other indicators, a Whole Foods Market has opened in our desert valley. True to its tagline, “America’s Healthiest Store,” Whole Foods hunts down organic foods of the finest quality to sell to consumers in store and online. They also support sustainable agriculture, which is a definite hit among eco-loving health buffs. Our very own Whole Foods Market can be found at 44-459 Town Center Way, Palm Desert, CA 92260. It is open from 7:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening, seven days a week.

What is the Big Deal?

If you have been to a Whole Foods Market before and you then you get it and there is no explanation needed; but if you haven’t then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

The store offers a wide variety of organic goods, such as meat, seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, deli meats, organic honey, and cheeses. There are even all-natural and organic beer and wine selections.

Aside from food items, Whole Foods Market carries body care products that contain all natural ingredients, many are paraben and sulfate free. Whole Foods Market’s interpretation of beauty products is free from chemicals that may cause more harm than good in the long run.

The Prepared Foods Departments provide an assortment of delicious goods for those who want to slip healthy eating into their busy lifestyles. Selections may include a pizza station, a sushi or seafood bar, an ethnic restaurant, a raw foods bar, a salad bar, a sandwich bar, and a lot more. All of these are prepared using the most natural and organic ingredients, devoid of preservatives, artificial flavors, and all other chemicals that may be found in most fast food.

For those who are into the juicing craze, the Palm Desert Store has a fresh juicing bar where you can have your choice of fruits and veggies juiced on the spot while you wait. They also have a great assortment of freshly juiced combinations ready to go which include, flavored waters, and fruit and vegetable juice combinations.

You can grab a coffee or tea in hot and cold variants at the in-store coffee bar and for those with a sweet tooth, the fresh pastry and gelato stations offer healthy, delicious options to fulfill your dessert desires.

Don’t think they forgot about our four legged friends. Whole Foods Market even has healthy organic options for pet owners who want only natural goodies for their pets.

In-Store Brew

Each WFM is different and offers a variety of dining options. The Palm Desert Store has a bar called the Tap-In Room. They have 24 local and national beers on tap, an awesome selection of vino, a full bar menu, daily specials and happy hour from 4pm – 6pm.

Why We Love the Whole Foods Palm Desert Store

There is more to Whole Foods than just healthy goods. The store puts emphasis on giving back to the community and preserving the environment. They support local causes passionately with projects such as food donations to shelters and food banks, and community giving days called the “5% Days.” Several times a year, Whole Foods donates 5% of their day’s sales to local educational and nonprofit organizations. Even their team members take time off to volunteer for these organizations. Some of the local charities supported by our Whole Foods Market are the Humane Society of the Desert, the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Desert Aids Foundation, and the Living Desert.

As part of their goal to support sustainable farming, Whole Foods Market has a Local Producer Loan program, where they provide low-interest loans to small farmers and food artisans. Whole Foods Market’s loan program has a budget of about $25M. Aside from these loans, Whole Foods Market supports only local farmers who are concerned with animal welfare and organic farming.

Shopping at Whole Foods on a Budget

Some people refer to WFM as “Whole Paycheck Market” because let’s face it – there is a hefty price tag for all this organic whole food greatness. But there are some tips and tricks to shopping at WFM on a budget.

  • Coupons! Check the Whole Deal value guide in stores or print coupons from their website before coming to the store.  They also honor manufacturers’ coupons.
  • Reach for the 365 Everyday Value® brand. WFM offers over 600 organic 365 Everyday Value® products at great prices.
  • Look for sale signs. There are more than 1000 items on sale at any time – Many of the items are organic, including meat, grocery products and fresh seasonal produce.
  • Subscribe to the WFM newsletter and receive the latest news and sale alerts.
  • Look for sure deals in each issue of The Whole Deal value guide, as these are products that bring you the best quality and the best value every day.

Events at Whole Foods

To make healthy eating even more exciting, the Whole Foods Market holds weekly events and in-store tours. They even give their valued customers a chance to meet local merchants. Some of the recently concluded events in our Whole Foods Market are the Kids’ Club Kickoff Lunch, The Tap Takeover, and the Annual Pancake Breakfast. Their Facebook page is constantly updated with new events and activities that make Whole Foods an excellent hangout for the family.

The One-Eleven Shopping Center has recently been revived with the opening of Nordstrom Rack, Home Goods, and Whole Foods Palm Desert Store. More stores are expected to open in the plaza, giving desert dwellers more shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With the rush of consumers expected to come to these establishments, the owner is currently trying to address parking and crowd issues.

Whole Foods Market joins a list of other health conscious establishments in the desert such as Bristol Farms, Clarks Nutrition and Trader Joes. We welcome these stores and appreciate their efforts to help make healthy eating more convenient and accessible to valley residents.



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There is something for everyone in La Quinta CA

There’s something for everyone in La Quinta CA. We have beautiful desert weather, the finest golf courses anywhere, real estate values that are much more accessible than the coastal regions to our west. The architecture of the region is uniquely modern and Southwestern. You can have private seclusion or an active social community, according to your personal desires. Crowds of music lovers swarm to our world-famous Coachella Music Festival every spring, promoting our region to the world.

A new generation has discovered the Coachella Valley, with some of today’s most well known celebrities taking the lead. We have a happy balance between the empty desert to our east and the crowded sprawling urban conurbation to our west, with majestic mountains to frame the boundaries on either side. The lifestyle choices here are many and varied. As more people are exposed to the climate, lifestyle and market of the Coachella Valley, they bring the promise of a healthy and happy continuation of our way of life.

Stars and Festivals Lead The Coachella Valley New Wave

The stars of television and film have always been in the forefront of California real estate. Hollywood discovered Palm Springs decades ago and big names have always led the growth. In the 1950s stars such as Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Liberace and Kirk Douglas made their homes in Palm Springs, to name a few. Now a new generation, led by Leonardo DiCaprio, who recently purchased Dinah Shore’s home, are taking up residence, as the grand estates and mansions of the region become available.We have seen growth in the luxury end of the market. Homes over $700,000 are selling more rapidly than the lower price ranges. These are still reasonable prices for the Southwest and visitors are discovering our lifestyle as well as Mid Century Modern architecture, and Southwestern aesthetic values.  The communities surrounding La Quinta particularly represents the region’s halcyon lifestyle.


The Coachella Music Festival brings in a new generation of visitors and spreads the name of our region across the globe. For what will now be two consecutive weekends in April, a huge crowd will descend on the Empire Club each spring. This is right outside of La Quinta, in the neighboring city of Indio. With potentially 100,000 people each weekend attending the event.

The Festival continues to be a huge success and a powerful promotion tool to a new generation of home buyers and visitors to the region. The festival continues to become more popular each year and it has a disproportionate impact on the brand name of the region, as well as our economy.The two weekends each had the same lineup of bands in 2014. If that becomes the norm then you can expect separate sets of tourist and visitors, who are unfamiliar with the area, wandering around each weekend. The festival is held right next door to La Quinta, and yet the great thing about our communities is that you can withdraw into them until the fuss is over. Or, if you choose, you can join in, without having to worry about accommodation and travel, at a time when the region is at its most beautiful and scenic. The Festival brings fun and excitement if you want it but it’s not that difficult to avoid if you don’t.

Boom Fears Do Not Mean Boom Prices

The Coachella festival helps our economy and brings in many new visitors, who might not otherwise come here. It serves to promote our real estate market to a new and affluent generation. It never hurts to have that kind of blessing these days! In the last decade, the real estate market across the United States has been nothing if not dramatic. The Coachella Valley region and La Quinta have been immune to all of this in some ways and typical in others. Prices went up and then they went down and now they are returning to historic norms. The difference is that, allowing for the wonderful lifestyle we enjoy, home prices are still much more reasonable than the more crowded and hectic parts of California.The last few years have seen prices that are below the regional historic trend. Even though property values have risen recently, prices are still very reasonable and in the normal range. They have a long way to go before they get back up to the high point of the boom. The most rapid growth in sales have been in the luxury end of the market. Don’t let that put you off, it is still very affordable! You get much more for your money than out on the coast.Although there has been a recovery in the financial markets, the jobs market has yet to come back to previous levels. With the trend toward global outsourcing it is unlikely to do so any time soon. But that is part of a bigger, long-term global trend, not a symptom of a regional or national boom-and-bust cycle. The other possible concern is from China, not toward our jobs but the possible collapse of their real estate market and the banking system that supports it. The way that markets and economies are entangled these days, such a collapse could have a negative impact here at home.

It Is Always The Right Time Somewhere

We have so much here in La Quinta and the Coachella Valley that is good. We have the climate, the lifestyle and the culture. The return of the stars helped to fuel the growth in 2013 but there is plenty of room to expand further. We also have affordability in all price ranges and much to attract new residents. Our communities provide connection and seclusion in equal portions, according to what you may choose. When is the right time to buy or sell real estate in La Quinta and The Coachella Valley? It all comes down to when you decide it is the right time for you and your family.

La Qunita CA

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Renting vs. Buying

Renting vs. Buying – Statistics released by the National Association of Realtors show that, across the country, half of tenants are paying more than 30% of their income as rent. Also, the number of renters paying more than half their income for accommodation has increased dramatically in recent years. If you’re choosing between renting in a luxury Southwestern community and buying, it’s always a very personal decision that’s dependent on many factors. However, once you’ve found a community such as PGA West, The Hideaway, Traditions or The Reserve, which suits your choice of lifestyle, you will most likely find that the high cost of leasing makes buying-in an extremely appealing alternative.

Habituated to The High Cost Habitat

 Owning your own home has traditionally been preferable to renting, as renting accrues all of the investment value to the landlord. During the property and finance bubble of the last decade this basic truth was turned on its head, as housing prices spiked but rents did not keep pace.Even so, in many of the metropolitan areas of the country, tenants accept without question that they have to pay in excess of half of their income as rent. We, as a nation, have become so habituated to this that we often fail to see the alternatives, even when they are readily available.

With the collapse of the market and the rebuilding that has gradually happened over the last few years, the state of affairs has returned to its pre-bubble norm. Having stated that, the time to purchase your own home is always the time when you are ready to do so. The timeframe is unique to everyone. Leasing is a great way to discover a community and remain flexible; there are real short-term benefits. However, in the long-term, home ownership usually proves to be the better option.

If your payments for the home that you occupy are extremely high you want to build some equity. At the high end of the market the benefits of ownership are even more pronounced. Living in the right place and in a style of abundance is a fine end in itself but, with the high cost of renting, you never gain anything to show for it on your personal balance sheet.

If You Can Rent That Coachella Valley Home You Can Buy It

Too many people are paying an excessive share of their income as rent. This is particularly true for California residents, where property values and rents have been sky-high for decades. Not just in the lower income brackets but across the market as a whole. We have developed an acceptance of the high cost of renting, based on what we hear in the media, and become accustomed to the range of properties available at a given price level. It’s natural to aspire to the best possible living circumstances we can afford.

The dictum of location, location, location is deeply ingrained in our collective psyche. It’s the basis of the American Dream in the minds of consumers. Living in a luxurious abode is an achievable dream and one that can be afforded by many. It’s human nature to want to take it to the limit and keep up with the crowd. When we work hard we feel that we’ve earned it. So we cut back on other things to live in the nicer neighborhood and the bigger house with more luxurious amenities.

It seems that many people fail to question that if we can afford to rent in a great location then certainly we can afford to buy a similar home. Dollar for dollar a rental budget in the country club communities around La Quinta will get you a more luxurious home than in the big cities on the Coast. Joining a community that gives you the lifestyle of your dreams is affordable and you can have comparatively more for the same price, plus the equity of ownership.

When homeowners depend on financing, a large part of their payment is devoted to interest, that’s true, but they retain a growing equity share and tax time will often bring further benefits, depending on the circumstances. The simple fact is that the cost of financing for ownership is less than the cost of leasing a home.

Even with the added cost of insurance on a low down payment FHA loan the investment of ownership is still very competitive with the cost of renting. The value of the Coachella Valley region becomes apparent when you compare it with the urban areas of San Diego, Los Angeles and The Bay Area. It’s much more affordable to own here then on the coast. The investment that will get you a typical three bedroom home in Los Angeles has the potential to position your household in the country club luxury lifestyle to which we’re accustomed in La Quinta.

Some Thoughts on Lifestyle Choices 

Home ownership is an integral part of the Coachella Valley lifestyle. Opportunities are abundant and the communities offer a rich array of activities and settings. The market has returned to levels that are comparable to historic norms. Our communities continue to grow and thrive as the secret of desert living spreads across the country and the world. Renters risk higher payments as the market improves, whereas owners gain equity and can keep their costs relatively flat as their home’s market value rises.

A lease on a luxury home in one of the communities around La Quinta, such as PGA West or Hideaway, will give you a splendid opportunity to explore our way of life. But, when you look at the big picture, you will still live far more comfortably when you take ownership of your abode.

Once you’ve decided to stay in the area you should consider how to explore the opportunities available for ownership of some of the finest luxury homes listed as available for purchase. Now that the market is in line with its historic trend it’s a great time to discuss how you can make the most of the Coachella Valley lifestyle.


http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/12/10/us-in-worst-rental-affordability-crisis-ever NAR shows high cost of renting

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/05/real-house-prices-price-to-rent-ratio.html Comparison of renting versus owning in the historic trends. From Calculated Risk Blog