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Archive for February 2020

LIFESTYLE CORNER: Significance of Formal Events

Prom is an exciting time in young people’s lives. There’s the excitement of asking your crush on a date. Renting a limo and purchasing the perfect dress for the evening is a rights of passage in America. For those with limited access to resources, an exuberant moment can quickly digress into dred. Blessed with a Dress seeks to change that. Foothills Christian Church is hosting a dress giveaway event on Sunday, March 14 from 10AM to 1PM. Girls in need of a formal dress for the myriad of dances taking place this season are welcome to attend this exciting event.

Women know how expensive formal wear can be. Hundreds and thousands of dollars is spent on items that you may only wear once. Hours is spent researching and sourcing the right gown, jewelry, clutch, shoes and corsage. The dress and accoutrements are worn for a quarter of an evening then retired to storage. Church officials are seeking donations of gently worn dresses, shoes and accessories. If you have a formal or cocktail dress in good condition, you’re invited to bring it to 365 West Bradley Avenue in El Cajon. It’s okay if the shoes are slightly scuffed on the bottom. The church will appreciate the gesture. While you’re at it, don’t forget the matching clutch. Make a young woman’s evening by gifting her with both stunning and understated jewels to complete the look.

Residents of East San Diego County are fortunate. Compared to many counties in Southern California, we are fortunate. Although there is a sizable percentage of the population that is struggling to make ends meet. Parents want to provide the best of everything for their children but for many, that is not a realistic option. The added cost of a dress, shoes, jewelry, handbag and a limo is out of reach for many. Foothills Christian Church knows this because they work with members of the El Cajon community that are underserved. Blessed with a dress is an opportunity to give back and give your dress a second life.

Drop off your donations from Tuesday through Friday. Church office doors will be open from 9AM to 5PM. The office is located at 350 Cypress Lane, Suite B in El Cajon. We will be covering proms throughout East San Diego County. If you decide to make a donation, keep your eyes peeled because we may feature a photo of a deserving young lady wearing the dress you donated.

The dresses can be worn for Quincinearas, cotillion balls, weddings, awards dinners and more. “This event is an opportunity to obtain free, high-quality, fashionable formal wear for school dances and any other special occasion. We want to make sure that no young ladies are sitting at home without a dress. Help us make dreams come true.”

For more information, contact Elizabeth Church at

Buy a Chicken and Reduce your Stress

“The earth has music for those who will listen.” This quote by Shakespeare is on display in Jennifer Getto’s home. The Corona virus has everyone on edge. We’ve been instructed to social distance and self quarantine to prevent this thing from spreading. While academic institutions, retail stores, theaters and offices have closed their doors until the foreseeable future, now may be time to pick up a new hobby.

People engage in extracurricular activities for many reasons. The primary reason is for personal enjoyment. Doing something you absolutely love brings your mind into the present moment. You are one with the task before you. Stress and anxiety are far away as you deep dive into your bliss. We interviewed Jennifer at her home in East County San Diego. She gave us a tour of her property and introduced us to her brood of chickens.

Jennifer considers herself to be a chicken whisperer. As a professional florist for weddings and corporate events, she often finds that the stress is overwhelming. One day it occurred to her that depositing her love into another living being might be the therapy she needed. While most people adopt dogs, Jennifer found the remedy in chickens. She feels that they understand her and she certainly understands them. Throughout the interview, a rooster sat calmly in her lap as she caressed and gently pacified it. Sir rooster even attempted to answer a few of our questions.

But chickens aren’t the only thing that calms her. Getto is a self proclaimed junker. Different from a hoarder, she actually uses the things she collects. Bathtubs, sinks and old tires are all fair game for planting. Seeking and finding discarded items calms her. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, the man is a woman. You get the point.

Soil has naturally occurring enzymes that make people happy. Scientists have proven that this is one of the many reasons why gardeners find the most peace they’ve ever felt while their hands are steeped in dirt. Jennifer recommends cultivating a garden to remedy stress, anxiety and depression. She’s not alone in her belief. Doctors notice that patients heal faster when they have a view of trees and other greenery from their hospital beds.

You don’t need a huge plot of land to get started. A small herb garden on your balcony or the side of your house is a wonderful introduction into the art of vegetation cultivation. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. Getto suggests getting your feet wet with plants that don’t require much maintenance. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Some seeds may not sprout initially but that’s all a part of the adventure.