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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

40 Ways to Simplify Thanksgiving! (Or How to Score A Turkey and Eat It Too!)

Whether you want to introduce new traditions or perfect old ones, make this Thanksgiving the happiest and easiest yet...
3 Weeks Before

Decide which recipes you want to make, keeping in mind that there’s only so much one person — and one kitchen — can do. Get rid of any "dead weight" around the house, like a spouse or "significant other" that does more harm than good anyway ... Start creating your menu ... If you really do need 10 side dishes, start thinking about why you don't have a life and cut that nonsense menu down to a few items! Make sure they all cook together, just like the guests you'll be inviting to your little gathering...

After you narrow down your menu, reread the recipes that remain. Most can be thrown in the trash right now if you have a lick of sense. For the absolutely necessary ones, look at the steps that you can do ahead of time. Now make a list of what you want to get done and give it to that "good for nothing" sister-in law that is always preaching about how she can do everything better than anyone else anyway!! That should keep at least one loud mouth quiet for a few days leading up to Thanksgiving...If you give her enough time, she'll get it done and you'll be totally relaxed on the big day!
2 Weeks Before

Figure out what size turkey you need and call up your ex-husband or ex-wife or any other creepazoid that had the audacity to use up the best years of your life ... start crying, berating them and accusing them of ruining your life to the point that you can't even afford a ?!?!? turkey...let them know what size you need and when they should deliver it to your house. Make sure it's not a frozen one when they drop it on your doorstep, ring your bell and run... if it is, call them back and tell them what scum buckets they were for not getting you a fresh one. We'll talk about thawing the bird later...right now it's time for a few kudos and a martini. You've scored! Oh, don't forget to bathe the dog!! You don't want him more fragrant than the bird on the table.

The Weekend Before

Make a detailed shopping list and check it — twice. But don’t expect to get all your shopping done in one trip. Call two or three of the deadbeat relatives who will be guzzling your booze and eating up your food budget for three weeks and divide your list into parts: items you’ll need in advance (wine, vodka, gin, bourbon) and items you’ll need the final day or two before the meal (celery, get the picture.) Keeping these morons on separate trips, a few days apart, not only keeps your refrigerator from groaning but also relieves you of having to deal with all of them any longer than necessary and God forbid at the same time. Make sure your shopping lists suggest they grab a few bottles of something to serve with the meal (since there won't be much of the early deliveries left by Thanksgiving.)

Make everything that will be served chilled, like cranberry sauce and Martinis. Cover the dishes, place them in the refrigerator, and forget about them. Pour yourself a tall one and watch reruns of Desperate Housewives on TIVO.


Take inventory before calling your Bozo relatives to make their second trip to the store and make sure you haven't used all the beverages. AND don’t forget to check on the turkey. Have the nudnick from down the street who is going to stop by for free food anyway on Thanksgiving Day (always does) chop the onions and the celery, wash the herbs, and trim the rest of the vegetables. Pat him on the behind and send him home. Assemble the stuffing, transfer to a baking dish, and refrigerate. Prepare the dessert (put the ice cream in the freezer when the meathead gets back from the store.) Practice with the "bird" assuming it's been delivered!!

Thanksgiving Day

If, like most people, you think of one last thing you need from the store on Thanksgiving morning, call a trusted guest and ask if he or she could do you a favor (like buy a darned turkey!) All you’ll have left, is the final assembly.

While the Turkey Roasts…get cooked while thinking about side dishes.

While the Turkey Rests…you rest too and give that turkey a good smack on the bottom to help the juices emerge. Make the gravy (open the can and read the directions) search the refrigerator for left overs from the last time you cooked anything and serve as sides.

During Dinner… berate the guests for not bringing enough Holiday wine ... after all, you don't want them driving home sauced!? Best leave the hooch for you to enjoy after they are done cleaning up the kitchen.

And so you have it...another Thanksgiving Dinner "in the can" as they say in the studios...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Glad to be of service ! Charlie & Team South Bay

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Team South Bay's Last Seminar for 2008!

We are so excited! This month we are bringing you the last seminar of the year for 2008. We will be presenting Senior Lead Officer Joe Buscaino from the Los Angeles Police Department, San Pedro! He will be giving a presentation on Holiday Safety and Crime Prevention. You will learn how to keep your home and family safe this Holiday Season, Halloween through New Years and beyond! Officer Joe is our local crime fighting expert. Joe's expertise and tips will be our special gifts for your family this year.

Joe's pictured here with Leonardo, a loyal San Pedro Service Dog!

Join us for a great presentation by one of San Pedro's BEST! Meet your hosts, the folks from TEAM SOUTH BAY and enjoy some munchies with your community neighbors. It will fun and informative. Bring your neighbors, friends and relatives too!

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please call or email Charlie with your RSVP so we can get a "head count" for refreshments. We'll give you the address and directions when you make your reservations! Looking forward to seeing you all...stay safe and please ... don't drink & drive!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The City of Lomita (and taxpayers) finally got around to repairing our streets! Our neighborhood was quite pleased to see the work trucks arrive, the streets being patched and the final chapter ... fresh Slurry Seal!! The workmen were diligent, organized and efficient. They were careful not to destroy anyone's lawns, drip slurry on the curbs or completely destroy the traffic patterns...great job! The roads were only closed for one day (actually about 8 hours.) They alternated streets to cause the least disturbance possible. They directed traffic. They did an excellent job! They performed their duties, put up barriers and left the slurry seal to set.

Then, as unbelievable as this may sound, some folks disregarded the posted signs, the mailed notices, the hand delivered notices and the obvious presence of workmen with their equipment, so noticeable in the neighborhood and drove through the fresh slurry seal. These people opened up barriers and actually drove down the fresh slurried streets before they were set. Too much of an inconvenience for some...a real irritation for those of us who actually appreciate living in a neighborhood where the streets are tended. I don't understand how people could be so inconsiderate. Maybe it's because I'm blonde, but many of my neighbors are equally annoyed. I hope Lomita follows up on these folks and slaps a big fine on them!

There are days when you're the bug and days when you're the windshield...
I'm sure these workmen who had to come back and see the MESS that was made of their highly efficient work were equally dismayed. I watched them try to repair the damage made from tires digging ruts through the fresh slurry. Unfortunately, hours after the damage occurred, the ruts became a permanent fixture. It was pretty obvious who the culprits were. In some cases, the tire tracks came right from their driveway. Of course, they were supposed to have their cars off the street for the work to be performed but no one told them they couldn't drive out of their driveway into the fresh slurry or open up the barricades to drive their cars home. Amazing!

The good news ... it will take these folks a lot of elbow grease to remove the "kicked up" slurry seal from their undersides and bumpers and hopefully, paint jobs. I'll enjoy watching them. I'm sure they will be the first to complain about the mess that the streets made of their car. That will not surprise me. These are the same folks that gripe about everything anyway. It's always ALL about them. Next time we should spend a little more money and hire "slurry police." Maybe a few fines will cause people to be a little more considerate and conscious.

In the meantime, thanks Lomita for helping us keep our neighborhoods safe and clean!! Some of us really do appreciate your effort!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gary Chan's Fireside Chat for Team South Bay Clients in the Pines

April 1st this year was not a day for "fools." Gary Chan who is an expert in the fields of Family Trusts, 1031 Exchanges and tax law held a fireside chat for Team South Bay clients and neighbors of Lomita Pines. His energy was incredible as he addressed multiple issues faced by all of our families, homeowners and investors in today's market. Charlie's Team South Bay client base has a large number of investors and huge following in the Lomita Pines area as well as other South Bay cities such as Torrance, Redondo Beach, Harbor City, Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro. There were clients present from all cities and walks of life at our April 1st event.

Gary, who recently joined McDowell, Dillon and Hunter as a Senior Tax Manager working out of the Redondo Beach office, also has offices in Long Beach and Northridge. Gary works with business and high net worth clients in the areas of estate & wealth planning, business, real estate, trust administration, probate, U.S. taxation and 1031 exchanges.

Gary K. Chan is both an Attorney and Certified Public Accountant. He also received the designation as Personal Financial Specialist from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 2001.

Gary was fabulous as he lead an open forum discussion entirely focused on questions from the audience. The clients were very happy to have the opportunity to get their questions answered by an expert without paying hundreds of dollars per hour. Gary's time was expensed by Charlie's Team to provide added benefits for our Customer Appreciation Program. We hold 4 seminars each year addressing real estate issues experienced by the client base and/or topics requested by our clients or area residents.

Our next seminar will be October 21st. We will have a member of the Los Angeles County Police Department addressing Holiday Safety and Neighborhood Watch Programs. Anyone interested in attending, contact us to RSVP your seat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It's been HOT! and the quicker I can get out of the kitchen on a hot summer night, the happier I am. We do a lot of outdoor grilling, but some things just don't do well on the grill (noodles for example.) I thought I'd pass along a recipe I picked up years ago that we enjoy. It will get you out of the kitchen quickly and satisfy your palate too. A nice salad is all you'll need to accompany this dish and maybe some rice would be nice...try it I think you'll agree! Cooking is a hobby of mine - send me your favorite recipe to share with others. Holidays will be here before you know it!!

Portuguese-Style Scallops


1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/3 cup tawny port or other sweet red wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups hot cooked long-grain rice


Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or heavy skillet over high heat until very hot (about 3 minutes). Add half of scallops; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining scallops. Remove scallops from pan.

Stir in port and lemon juice, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add scallops, 3 tablespoons parsley, and garlic; saute 30 seconds over high heat. Serve scallops over rice. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces scallops and 1/2 cup rice).

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 241(15% from fat); FAT 3.9g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.1g,poly 0.6g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CALCIUM 52mg; CARBOHYDRATE 25g; SODIUM 456mg; PROTEIN 24.8g; FIBER 0.6g

Cooking Light, JUNE 1999

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All In A Day's Fun!

My neighborhood is a popular place to walk...people with kids, people with dogs, early in the morning, late in the afternoon ... in a hurry getting the necessary exercise or slowly, gazing at the tall pines. My dogs and I are early risers and usually walk around 6:00 a.m. The air is cool and crisp and the streets are empty. You can hear alarm clocks waking up and smell coffee pots bursting with fragrant aromas. Even the dogs are quiet. They sense the "zen" of the moment and respect the tranquility. We walk like soldiers sometimes, single file down the streets caressed with heavy bows, soon to be laden with big brown cones - just in time for Holiday decorating. Lomita Pines is a special place. You can own a wedge of peacefulness here. The price is a smile and an appreciation for the heavenly energy. Oh, you can own a home too, at a really good price right now; but peacefulness is priceless; peacefulness is free. Come and share a morning with us, we'll show you around Lomita Pines, but quietly...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Carol Quan's Seminar on the Propositions & Your Property Taxes

On Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008, TEAM SOUTH BAY was honored to host Ms. Carol Wong Quan, Special Assistant to Mr. Rick Auerbach, Los Angeles County Assessor. In our first seminar of the 2008 Homeowner Seminar Series, Ms. Quan provided our Homeowners with a special presentation about how the propositions affect our property taxes. In an exciting question and answer session with the homeowners, Ms. Quan tackled a number of questions and issues concerning Prop 60/90 (how to transfer your tax base when you're over 55) Prop 8 (reassessment in a downtrend market) Prop 58 (grandparent/grandchild exclusion) Prop 110 (tax base transfer/reassessment for disabled persons) along with a host of questions from our local homeowners concerning everything from Prop 13 adjustments and Supplemental Tax assessment to Disaster Relief and Homeowner Exemptions. Ms. Quan also introduced us to the new "user friendly" and now highly evolved assessor website at We were amazed at all the information that is available and honored to host her!

Check out their new website today and don't forget to visit us at Call Charlie at 310-534-3940 for locations and to save your seat(s) for our next seminar April 1st - Gary Chan - Living Trusts and 1031 Exchanges.

TEAM SOUTH BAY members include RE/MAX Palos Verdes Execs (Charlie Hoffmann), North American Title (Gale Kadota), Peninsula Escrow (Jackie McGee), Pacific First Financial (Sheila Martelaro), Farmers Insurance (Sam Martelaro) and Allstate Termite Busters (Travis Gambino).

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Has the Harbor always fascinated you?
Are you one of those people who love to watch the ships go out to sea and dream about far away adventures? If you are, I have a perfect home for you! Nestled on a hill top overlooking the city is this unusual home for the very discerning buyer. An open floor plan with city and harbor views from most rooms creates an otherworldly appeal. The handcrafted woodworking is reminicent of some of our great sailing vessels. You'll be the Captain in this home for sure, entertaining in its formal dining room with wood burning fireplace and sliding glass doors opening to huge decks and fabulous views. Three bedrooms and two baths can accommodate most families but this home also has a private 400 square foot separate office space for the busy entrepreneur. Upgraded kitchen with newer appliances and many well thought out conveniences are a BIG plus in this home. Extra large garage and additional storage are special added bonuses. Preview this home soon ... don't let it be a missed opportunity for your family.
1117 Sepulveda, San Pedro
Asking: $699,000


Everyone has to start their homesteading somewhere ... how nice it would be to start your journey in this lovely home! Three LARGE bedrooms, hardwood floors, new outside stucco and newer roof make this home particularly good for first time buyers or investors. Move-in condition, lots of room to add-on and plenty of space for hobbyists and RV parking - even room for a pool, are bonuses. Definitely worth a peek. Lots of new programs with low 3% down payment (if your credit is good.) This is a fabulous market to buy your first home. Check out more photos at

14766 Spinning, Gardena

Great neighborhood, walking distance to award winning schools and freeway close.

Call me for loan programs, payments and qualifying for this home.


And if you're thinking about becoming a first time investor ...
I have something special for you too!

2 Bedroom one bath in the front, 1 Bedroom one bath in the rear plus a two car garage, loads of parking - big front yard and an extra large lot (you may even be able to add another unit - check with the City of course.) Great if you want to live in one and rent the other or rent them both! Investor "Bread and Butter" units!! Hard to find.
Call for details on this cutie today - it won't last. Drive-by only (Don't disturb the tenants)

1535 204th Street, Torrance, 90501

This is a great market - don't stand by and watch your
opportunities become history. Seize the moment!