Just Desserts: Arenas Dream Cakes

It started as a side hustle. 13-year-old Joana made a batch of cupcakes from a boxed cake mix – and sold them, unfrosted, throughout the neighborhood for 50 cents a piece. She sold out. She made more, and sold out again. The entrepreneurial seeds were sown. Today, Joana Arenas is grown, married – and still selling cupcakes. Her confections have grown up, too. (Cupcakes are now scratch-made in a variety of flavors, fully frosted, with toppings worthy of winning any Food Network bake-off.) This is the story behind Arenas Dream Cakes, a Westside bakery…

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Fine Art, In Stride: ArtSteps Costa Mesa

Hilary Key has always seen the world through an artistic lens. “My whole life, I drew. I got to take a few art lessons here and there,” she explains. “I remember in junior high, I suffered from some really low self-esteem. I hung onto that thought, knowing, ‘I can draw.’” Hilary believes lots of kids need to draw. “It fills something that won’t be filled any other way,” she says. “So I deeply understand what they are connecting to, when they sketch.” Hilary is the director and owner of ArtSteps, an art studio here in Costa Mesa…

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AmeriEstate: Take On Trust

We are all about celebrating life here in Costa Mesa. But tending to our end-of-life affairs? Um, raincheck! It’s hard enough to wrap our heads around the inevitable, much less our wallets. Making financial decisions now – in preparation for old age and beyond – is an issue we’d rather avoid completely, thank you very much. That’s a common, and very human, response to the topic of wealth after death, says Greg Reese, President & CEO of Costa Mesa-based AmeriEstate Legal Plan…

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Karen Ellis: Costa Mesa’s Pilates Nerd

Karen Ellis knows a lot about Pilates, but she pushes to keep learning more. In fact, she loves it so much you could call her a Pilates nerd. Karen has owned Prana Pilates on East 17th Street for almost 18 years. But her infatuation with Pilates started long before, when she was a dancer captivated by the strength and stability the practice brought her. “The first time I did Pilates, I really fell in love with it,” Karen says. “It was like, ‘where have you been all my life?’” Karen has a musical laugh, and a warm smile that instantly puts you at ease…

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Magic Touch: Skin Transformation by Vanessa

Which is maybe how Vanessa came to open her own business in Costa Mesa. Living on the Westside, she was inspired by all the innovation happening around her. So, about a year ago, she decided it was time to jump into the ring. Vanessa studied cosmetic chemistry at UCLA, and has more than 15 years of experience as an aesthetician. Having worked previously as certified master educator for a skin product line, she has taught, and worked, her way through five-star spas around the world…

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Podcast Season 4: That’s A Wrap!

Can you believe it? Another season of the I Heart Costa Mesa Show podcast in the books! In this wrap-up episode, co-hosts Brandy Young and Erin Huffstutter talk about their personal takeaways from each episode in Season 4. Thank you for listening, Costa Mesa!

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No Place Like Om: Home Yoga

Westside Costa Mesa has always been a dynamic part of town – but these days, it’s changing by the day. A new coffee shop, MoonGoat Coffee, recently opened. Semi Tropics Wines is in the works. Genuine Property Management just renovated a 5,000-square-foot warehouse off Placentia Ave. The hum of activity, and quickening pace of investment, runs like a soundtrack for the ‘West of Harbor’ set. Home Yoga OC – emphasis on ‘om’ – is part of this new life and livelihood infusing Westside Costa Mesa..

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From TMZ to Ag3ngy: Kristin + Trevor Antunez

On this episode of the I Heart Costa Mesa podcast: We first connected with Kristin Carter Antunez – and her husband / business partner, Trevor Antunez – when we dropped a stack of I Heart Costa Mesa stickers at their office. When we discovered the cool things they were doing across all their businesses: digital marketing at AG3NCY, broadcasting via twitch.tv, gaming representation thru BITxBIT, and custom in-ear musician monitors made at One Custom Audio – our curiosity took hold! If you’re into video games, digital media, online communities – or just love listening to how the minds of entrepreneurial people work – check out this creative, Costa Mesa couple!

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Take The Heat: Perspire Sauna Studio

Surely you’ve heard that saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” But what if…you did sweat out the big stuff? Like toxins and stress, for example. As a fan of hot yoga, I’m no stranger to sweat. And I had heard of the benefits of infrared saunas before. But it sounded like something extra fancy that I’d have to go to Beverly Hills to try. Turns out you can turn up the infrared heat right here in town, at Perspire Sauna Studio. While they have grown to offer locations throughout the country, Perspire’s flagship location is right on the corner of 17th and Irvine in Eastside Costa Mesa…

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Grant Broggi: The Strength Co.

On this episode of the I Heart Costa Mesa podcast: U.S. Marine, and former White House Intern, Grant Broggi, wants to whip all Costa Mesans into shape! Broggi is the founder and owner of The Strength Co. – a strength-training gym here, off Newport Blvd., based on the Starting Strength philosophy. We talk about Broggi’s time in the military, the importance of fitness, why strength-training is for everyone, why you definitely need a standing desk – and, of course, our mutual love of Costa Mesa. You’ll feel stronger just *listening* to this episode… check it out!

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SOCO Speakeasy: The Guild Club

There’s a small corner in northeastern Costa Mesa called The Guild Club, where immersive vintage rules the day, and stepping through the door is akin to exiting a time machine. You might think it’s some speakeasy inspired by 1920s Prohibition, but it’s actually earlier than that. Strolling into the Guild Club takes one into a theatrical glimpse of the late 19th century… fine living, as if you were Winston Churchill.

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Marc Perkins: Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets

On this episode of the I Heart Costa Mesa podcast: Marc Perkins, co-founder of the Costa Mesa Alliance for Better Streets, wants to make Costa Mesa’s streets more walkable, bikeable and, basically, as hospitable as possible for car-free use. We talk about the current state of Costa Mesa’s streets, things that are improving – or could be improved – from his cyclist-eye view, and ways that interested Costa Mesans can get involved. If your favorite way to heart Costa Mesa is on foot, via skateboard, or by bike, you won’t want to miss this latest episode. Check it out!

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Urbanism: Fully Furnished

Hands up if you’ve been by the Quonset huts off of 17th, behind Trader Joe’s? While there, you may have caught a glimpse of Urbanism Furniture: a giant warehouse, neighboring the huts, and full of unique, beautiful furniture. The motto at Urbanism is “short hours, sweet prices” and it’s worked well for them – going on 25 years, now…

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Ed Lee + Wing Lam: Wahoo’s Westside Story

Costa Mesa isn’t just a great place to live, work and play – our city has served as an incubator for some of the country’s most recognizable brands. On today’s episode of the I Heart Costa Mesa podcast, we interview brothers Wing Lam and Ed Lee about co-founding Wahoo’s Fish Taco here in Westside Costa Mesa. We talk about what it was like growing up on the Westside… plus surfing, work ethic, tacos, and so much more!

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