OC Summer Events 2013

As temperatures rise and ice-cold beer cans snap open, this question may cross your mind – what fun summer events are happening in June this summer in Orange County?  No need to look any further. We’ve compiled a list, sorted by select cities, of exciting events happening around you that will be great for some fun in the sun!

Buena Park

Concerts in the Park
Location: Boisseranc Park

Free concerts with unlimited food and fun for the entire family!
June 12: 7p.m. – 9p.m.  – Sinatra Tribute Band
June 19: 7p.m. – 9p.m.  – Wiseguys Big Band Machine, 18 pc big band
June 26: 7p.m. – 9p.m.  – Neon Nation, 80s tribute band


Costa Mesa

Concerts in the Park
Location: Fairview Park Costa Mesa

Free family fun including gourmet food trucks, wine and beer garden and plenty of activities for the kids!

Tuesday Evenings at 5:30, music begins at 6:15 p.m.
Free Movie Mondays
Location: Segerstrom Center Costa Mesa

The name says it all! Catch a free movie with the family on Mondays! Be sure to bring your beach chairs or other portable seating.
Monday Evenings – Set-up begins at 5:30 and movie starting at dusk (approximately at 8 p.m.)



irishAnnual Irish Fair and Music Festival
Location: Oak Canyon Park, Orange

Celebrate the Irish as you enjoy the largest festival of its kind in the Western United States! With 16 entertainment areas including the very best in all things Irish such as music, song, dance, sport of the Irish and over 100 Irish, Scottish and English import shops, you are sure to have a fun time! Even watch the sheepherding shows, Irish horse shows, Irish dog shows and enjoy the tunes of one of the largest Irish Step Dancing competitions in California!



San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Summer Nights
Location: San Juan Capistrano’s Historic Town Center Park, El Camino Real

Live music, dancing and children’s activity area for kids to hang out while adults enjoy a cold beverage from the beer and wine wagon.

Wednesdays 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.




Relay for Life
Location: SJC Sports Park, San Juan Capistrano

This inspirational event brings together a community in order to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. It is the largest Cancer-fighting event in the nation and raised nearly hundreds of millions of dollars last year!

June 29 – 10 a.m.


Santa Ana

Annual Ride The Coast
Locations: Start – Santa Ana Auto Mall (1500 Auto Mall Drive, Santa Ana, CA 92705).   End – Original Mikes (100 S. Main Street, Santa Ana).

Benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana, Ride the Coast is a non-competitive, police escorted open ride event. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m.



ConcertsintheParkConcerts in the Park
Location: Peppertree Park

Enjoy free, live music with your family as you enjoy a picnic or purchase food and snacks from community groups!

Wednesdays 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


The Shaffer Cottages are all Dolled-Up!

The South Shaffer Cottages, located in Old Towne Orange, weren’t always such a hotspot with couples and singles seeking their next home. In fact, these cottages were so out of shape and in such shoddy condition that nobody had seemed to want them!


Everything was a mess until owner Hugh Siler purchased the property in May 2011 when the units were barely habitable. “For instance, in one of the bathrooms, the floor was so rotted that it’s a wonder a person didn’t fall through it,” Siler said. Aside from the rotted flooring, the maintenance required to bring these stylish ‘20s cottages back to life was more than just a few strokes of paint.

Equal parts vision and persistence are what pulled these homes together and created the stunning living spaces there today. Working with the City of Orange’s Historic Preservation Planner, Siler and his team were able to restore the building to better than original condition. After using redwood shiplap to replace the siding, restoring hardwood floors, installing subway tiles and finding period-correct vintage porch lights, all that was left was the matching historic paint colors in order to bring the cottages roaring back to life.

0022Some may find it difficult to locate a property such as this, especially if one wants to fix it up the way Siler has. However when it came time to make a decision about purchasing these homes, Siler took no hesitation and knew he wanted to take over. “Old Towne Orange is one of the most unique areas of Orange County, let alone Southern California,” Siler said. “I’ve been visiting this great city for decades and when the opportunity presented itself to try and do something that would a) make a neighborhood better, b) improve a city c) challenge my crew and d) make the city and entire community proud of what we accomplished, I jumped at the opportunity.”

When restoring a property such as the South Shaffer Cottages, the value of the property isn’t the only thing that rises. Of course, the neighborhood as a whole and the neighbors’ property value rises as well. When properties look this good, the dollar signs follow shortly behind.

The renovations that have been made to the cottages have not only increased their own value, but have created quite a buzz within the community. “Feedback that we received from over a dozen neighbors has been incredibly favorable, from ‘you guys just made my home more valuable,’ to ‘I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to restore something this neighborhood is very proud of,’” Siler said.

After renovations, this charming collection of four historic cottages is in the best shape it’s ever been. Built in 1923, each unit is approximately 500 sq. feet and is boasting with character. Complete with original ‘20s stoves, claw foot bathtubs, toilets and even a drinking fountain, these cottages are sure to please and have become the prime living destination for couples and singles alike. So prime in fact, that a line began to form when people saw that these homes were up for rent. Even now, Siler keeps a waiting list of interested residents should there be any vacancies.

And how hot of a commodity are the South Shaffer cottages? Just two weeks ago Siler had a vacancy. Within two hours of putting the “for rent” sign in the ground, the cottage was rented.

Learn more about the Shaffer Cottages


Clean and Classic – Historic Subway Tile


Nothing offers a more classic and clean look than solid white tile.  One of the most common, and best looking is to use Historic Subway tile for kitchens and bathrooms. For the very same reasons it was used in the early 1900’s in New York City subways.   Subway tile, as it has become known as today, is both easy to maintain and a durable material choice.  Now this material choice has transitioned from commercial to residential use.

White Subway Kitchen Tile

This look has become more popular in newly built homes but has always been a common material found in historic homes.  The look itself is very transitional.  Classic smooth white subway tiles can be used in almost any style of kitchen or bath.  In some applications, it can create a very sleek, modern and minimal look.  The most common installation of these rectangle tiles is in the classic subway pattern shown here.


Make sure to include correct cap and base trim when considering a full project.  These details are key to giving your room its most deserving restoration.  There are many great sources  for types and dimensions of tile trim.  Integrating tiled trim and built-in accessories (i.e. soap ledges, bathroom tissue holders and recessed shelves) can complete the project.   Adding these elements will not only be functional but will also complete the look by keeping it simple, smooth and uncluttered.  It is always better to plan from the very beginning with these accessories instead of trying to work them into your pattern/layout once you have started.


Also consider subway tile alternatives that offer a fresh take on the classic style.  You can now purchase subway tile in colored glass and even some metals.  This classic white tile can be installed in many different patterns.  Consider a combination of patterns within your space.  Make sure to discuss all your options with your installer and clarify your grout color choice (we suggest a white or soft gray grout) and preferences on just how thick of a grout line will be visible.  With a plan in place, you will be all set to make a timeless material choice for your home.

[Historic Home For Sale] NOT a Craftsman Bungalow

1338 W 9th - Santa Ana, CA | Tudor | Orange County Historic Home

1338 W 9th St – Santa Ana, CA

When you think of historic homes for sale in Orange County, 99% of the population thinks of a Craftsman Bungalow. While these are the most common historic homes located in OC, they aren’t the only kinds. Today we’re featuring a Tudor style home. These homes often have complex, sweeping rooflines, covered entry areas, and bricks!

1338 W 9th - Santa Ana, CA | Tudor | Orange County Historic Home For Sale

Like many of Orange County’s historic homes, this one started off as a two bedroom one bath. At some point, a master suite was added (you can see it in the approximate floorplan to the right). Additions are a bit funny because they can add a lot of utility for modern living, or they can be an eyesore that lowers values. There are really 3 things I look for in additions to decide whether or not they “work:”

  1. Does the addition ruin the curb appeal of the house? [this one is off the back, so it’s invisible from the street]
  2. Does the addition add actual utility to the house? [another bedroom and an ensuite definitely adds utility]
  3. From the interior, does the addition naturally flow with the original floorplan? [located at the end of a hall, it fits in]

So in this case the addition works for the house and adds value rather than takes it away. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you end up with a 70s stucco box tacked on the side that sticks out like a bump on a pickle.

This home has recently been remodeled. Sadly, they did not keep the original wood-framed windows and ended replacing them with the white-framed vinyl in most locations. While this is a bit tragic, there are a number of other improvements to the house and cool features preserved. The home has been completely drywalled, but the ceiling details have been preserved. The kitchen is not historic, but it does fit with the house and the island really a makes a big difference in functionality. I’m very glad to see that the ceiling beams in the living room have remained. These beams really make the living a special place in this house and are a key element of the Tudor style. I’m also very please to see the original front door and door hardware in place.

1338 W 9th - Santa Ana, CA | Tudor | Orange County Historic HomeNormally here we don’t give much attention to the garage space but this one deserves special mention. In addition to the normal garage space, this garage has a room in back as well as a sizable loft and bathroom. Per the listing, this area totals around 1,000 square feet. What makes the space especially cool is the construction method. The garage and extra space are constructed using the post-and-beam method, much like an old barn or most of the old Tudor style buildings in Europe. I love finding cool little details like this and I’m sure there’s an interesting story behind the garage’s construction. It’s unknown whether this space is permitted (and how old it is — permits might not have been required at the time).

Up until now, I haven’t mentioned anything about the neighborhood. This home is located in Santa Ana in an unnamed neighborhood. This isn’t French Park, Floral Park, Park Santiago, or Heninger Park. But don’t let that scare you away. This home is a great value and would easily top $600k, if located in Old Towne Orange. It’s on a nice tree-lined street with homes that are generally well-maintained.

If you would like to tour this home (or information on other Orange County Historic Homes for sale), please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at OCHistoricHomes@MeadeFirst.com, or call (949) 200-7795. This home is not my listing, but we know and love historic homes!


Listed by Lin He, Lin He Broker 



[For Sale] Wraparound Porch Bungalow

317 W 19th St - Santa Ana, CA | Floral Park | Historic Home

317 W 19th St – Santa Ana, CA

This home is another investor flip. Like a lot of these properties, there are some good things and bad things. 

317 W 19th St - Santa Ana, CA | Floorplan

On the good side, this home is truly move-in ready. That’s one of those terms that real estate agents throw around all the time, but doesn’t always have much meaning. This house has refinished floors, it’s freshly painted, and everything is clean and in working order. Does that mean the house is done…no…but it’s a great start (some historic home owners will tell you their homes are never done).

One of the dangers in flip property is finding out that things have been ruined. Fortunately, this home keeps a lot of the details that make a historic home special. The hardwood floors have been refinished, the windows are all original. Only have two sliding glass doors been added to the back. This home alos has wainscoting in the dining room and one of my favorite craftsman bungalow features:
the built-in dining hutch. Also, this house has all of the original interior doors. I’m not sure why…but this is HUGE in retaining the historic charm for me. Also…IT HAS A WRAPAROUND PORCH!!!!

317 W 19th St - Santa Ana, CA | Floral Park | Historic HomeThis home is located in Floral Park, which is arguably the best neighborhood in Santa Ana, and quite possibly the best historic home neighborhood in all of Orange County. This home is down a one way street, a bit on the outskirts, but it’s literally walking distance from some of the most expensive homes in all of Santa Ana. This is a good thing. Not so good is one of the neighbors. The house next door looks great from the street, but there is a monstrosity of an addition that towers over the backyard. I took a picture below. Fortunately, it seems to me like good landscape design could minimize the impact.

This home does have several other letdowns. The bathroom remodels range from builder-boring to mis-materialed. They aren’t horrible but it feels like this house deserves better and I can’t help but feel like the investors ran out of budget when they got to the bathrooms. The kitchen is very presentable, but like the bathrooms, it’s lacking a sense of special-ness that this house deserves. On the home we last featured in Santa Ana, they chose a great carrera marble — a material you don’t see everybody. This home features plain ‘ol granite.

With that said, this home does get you into one of Orange County’s premier historic home neighborhoods at a very reasonable price. If you would like to tour this home, please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at OCHistoricHomes@MeadeFirst.com, or call (949) 200-7795. This home is not my listing, but we know and love historic homes!


Listed by Phillip Mills, McConnin and Company Realty 



[For Sale] French Park Bungalow

824 N Garfield - Santa Ana, CA | French Park | Historic Home

824 N Garfield – Santa Ana, CA

Most people aren’t aware, but Santa Ana houses (get it? :) more pre-WWII historic homes than any other city in Orange County. Unlike Old Towne Orange or Old Town Tustin, there are many historic neighborhoods in Santa Ana. The home above is in a neighborhood known as French Park. This area is up-and-coming — that means it’s not quite as nice as the two aforementioned areas, but it also means you get a lot more for you money. It’s located near downtown Santa Ana, an area revitalized with cool restaurants and shops. It’s also located near artist and live-work lofts. 

UPDATE 6/25/2012: The listing agent on this property called us to let us know they have reduced the price $10k.

This home is a flip, which is good and bad. The flipper was obviously sensitive to the history of the house. The bathroom remodel, while budget, uses subway tiles and feels like it belongs in the house. Likewise, the kitchen has some stock cabinetry, but it’s topped with a beautiful and very appropriate carrera marble countertop. Fortunately, this flipper also had the sense to keep the original wood windows. The original wood windows mean so much in a historic home. All over Orange County there are businesses foisting crummy vinyl windows on hapless historic homeowners. 

Perhaps the coolest thing in this house are the original  wood floors. These are wide plank, semi rough floors that really give a sense of history to this house. I’ve included a picture below. With that said, not everything here is great. The street is tree-lined, but it’s also filled with many condo and small apartment buildings that were added throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Additionally, the backyard is a concrete jungle with very little privacy from the neighbors.

Overall, this is a great house for someone who has a sense of urban adventure and a tight budget. Personally, I think the home is a bit overpriced and even with our inventory-limited market, the price needs to come down from the initial $350k list price.

If you would like to tour this home, please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at OCHistoricHomes@MeadeFirst.com, or call (949) 200-7795. This home is not my listing, but me and my team know and love historic homes. We’re passionate about homes with character.


Listed by Antonio Delgado, California Team Realty 



The Muckenthaler Jazz Festival

If you’re a fan of outdoor concerts but don’t fancy the ticket prices or parking shenanigans of the Irvine Amphitheater, the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival is bound to strike a chord with you.

Created by a plethora of jazz pioneers, such as Howard Rumsey, Dr. Glenn Cashman and Eric Fütterer, the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival has been drawing Grammy-Award winning musicians like Llew Matthews and Bill Cunliffe since its inception seven years ago. And throughout the next six weeks, an exceptional line-up of musicians will be making appearances at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1999.

The perfect setting for such an event, the Muck is an 18-room villa on 8.5 acres of Fullerton soil that was donated by Harold Muckenthaler in 1965. Each year, it produces more than 100 performances, gallery exhibits and classes, en route to serving more than 30,000 people.

“We offer extraordinary exhibitions, performances and engaging educational programs to Orange County’s diverse communities and beyond,” their website reveals. “We are a celebration of the human spirit through the arts.”

Sponsored by Fütterer, a celebrity voice teacher, the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival will commence on Thursday, May 24, at 7:30, with the Carl Saunders Quartet. In the weeks that follow, a different group will take the stage every Thursday night until Glenn Cashman and his Southland Big Band, which features Los Angeles’ top jazz and studio performers, close out the series on June 28.

The complete schedule is as follows: May 24, the Carl Saunders Quartet; May 31, Gonzalo Bergara; June 7, Luther Hughes & the Cannonball Coltrane Project; June 14, Tom Ranier Trio with Abe Laborial & Steve Schaffer; June 21, Dale Boatman & the California Jazz Arts Society (CalJAS) Allstars; and June 28, Glenn Cashman and The Southland.

The Carl Saunders Quartet, which is led by one of the most talked about jazz trumpeters of the 90’s, features bop-based improvisation and “long lines of perfectly placed notes, created in an unpredictable but ultimately logical fashion,” said LA Jazz Scene’s Scott Yanow.

Guitarist Gonzalo Bergara, who blends Blues, Latin and Swing, leads a quartet that’s heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, traditional Jazz and a hint of his native land, Buenos Aires.

Luther Hughes & the Cannonball Coltrane Project, a group that originally formed as an homage to the 1959 Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago, are best known for transporting their audience into the past via arrangements and original compositions inspired by jazz giants Adderley and John Coltrane.

The Tom Ranier Trio, comprised of Ranier on piano, Abe Laborial on bass and Steve Schaffer on drums, will join forces for a collaboration that’s sure to be rich in style and musicianship.

Local vocalist/guitarist Dale Boatman, who’s also the president and founder of The California Jazz Arts Society (CalJAS), will share the stage with the best musicians from the CalJAS, which is a non-profit and charitable corporation that promotes and helps fund music programs for students and the general public.

Glenn Cashman and his Southland Big Band will close out the festival on June 28. Known for his free-wheeling, compositional approach to improvisation, the saxophonist has been inspired mostly by Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and Coltrane.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the concert, and $100 for the entire series.

With the right venue, affordable prices and a wonderfully talented group of musicians, there’s no reason not to check out the Muckenthaler Jazz Festival.

For questions about the event, please contact Info@TheMuck.org or dial 866-411-1212.









If you are interested in buying or selling an Orange County Historical Home, please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at OCHistoricHomes@MeadeFirst.com, or call (949) 200-7795. 

The 2012 Tustin Chili Cook-off Preview!


Ever wonder what goes into preparing enough chili to enter a chili cook-off or how the cook-off works? Well, let me tell you! Last year was our first entry and even though I was 8.5 months pregnant, I still managed to have a good enough time to want to do it again this year. This year, the event is Sunday June 3rd.

Preparation for making the chili this year is going to be easier since I already have SOME experience tucked under my belt, plus we have most of the gear we need. We bought a propane burner and a few huge pots. What we will need to buy is the Tri-tip – LOTS of it! 52 pounds to be exact. Last year, it took two weeks to brine, season and slow cook that much meat at Rancho Meade. After the Tri-tip is cooked, it gets shredded and stored in 8-pound batches. Seasoning gets portioned into packets. This way, each batch of chili is prepared, fully cooked and properly chilled a few days before the event  which gives it time to develop the flavors. Also, doing it this way, I know thE food has been cooked fully and nobody is going to get sick.

Once we’re on site, the chili is brought to the event in ice-packed coolers and heated one batch at a time to be brought up to temperature and served HOT to our customers. Last year, we were sold out in two hours and had a constant line at least five people deep. Make sure you get there early if you want to give ours a try. The opening ceremony commences at 11:00AM. Last year, we were located across the street from Ivy’s Bridge and Beach Pit BBQ (now Tustin Roadhouse) on El Camino Real. This was a great spot because it’s not as crowded, has easy access, and is close to the beer booth. We hope to get the same spot this year. Look for us!

Admission is free and chili costs just one ticket. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $1.00 each. Beer is $5.00 to $6.00 each, which is different from last year because it looks like they are taking cash instead of tickets for beer. Parking can be tricky, but if you live in Tustin, chances are you can easily walk from home. If you’re driving in, the biggest parking area is at Civic Center (300 Centennial Way). We usually get street parking on Sixth street.



To get more detailed information about the event, check out the official website  at www.tustinchilicookoff.com

Santa Ana Artist Village

Over the weekend I had a birthday cake to deliver in Santa Ana. On the way back, the 55 was stopped, so my husband decided to take surface streets back to Tustin bringing us through downtown Santa Ana. I’d been wanting to check out a store nearby for awhile now and thought this was the perfect opportunity. I’ve heard people talk about the Santa Ana Artist Village but even though it’s close by, had never been see what it’s all about. We decided to take the time to do a little exploring.

When I think of Santa Ana, what comes to mind are County services, industrial buildings, bodegas and colorful neighborhoods full of historic homes – not necessarily a place where artists convene. The Artist Village is located in the heart of Santa Ana and is nestled between 1st, 4th, Main and Broadway streets. Orange County High School of the Arts and the Bowers Museum are just down the street. Cal State Fullerton offers its Masters Art degree students studio/loft/gallery space at a very discounted rate, which is probably the main reason why artists have migrated to the area. Street parking is a little tricky, so we chose to park in the parking structure on 3rd street. Luckily, the rates are pretty low with a daily maximum of $7.00.

As the name states, you can find art in the Artist Village – lots of it! There are a ton of galleries, though not many were open on Sunday. We were happy to wander around the gorgeous buildings and press our faces against the windows to see what was on display. What’s cool about these galleries is that they’re located in beautiful historic buildings (many of which built during the Art Deco era), and have the original wood floors and natural lighting from stained glass ceilings.

Our goal was to visit a store called The Road Less Traveled which is owned by Delilah. This store offers anything you may need to make your own crafts – from sewing to cheese making. This is the place to go if you want to learn how to preserve your own foods, or make homemade cheese. The store even offers sewing classes and how to start your own business workshops. This is a haven for creative people! The store is shared by another business called Belly Sprouts which offers breastfeeding support groups, cloth diapers, baby carriers and even cosmetics for mom. They’re located next to both Memphis and The Gypsy Den – popular restaurants with outdoor seating.

On our way back to the car, we passed by another collaborative store – GCS Santa Ana. At first glance, you see that it’s a clothing store with urban prints. What drew us to it was the awesome art in their display. It was our favorite out of all the art we’d seen. It intrigued us, so we looked a little closer and noticed there was an art gallery in the back of the store and decided to go in to look. On the right there are two HUGE cases full of spray paint and paint markers – my favorite! At the end of the store, is a gallery with lots of art in all types of styles from screen print and paint marker to clay sculptures.

Every shop owner I talked to mentioned First Saturdays which is the monthly art walk. Judging by the signs left over from the previous art walk which read “NO ALCOHOL IN ENTIRE BUILDING”, I’d guess it’s a pretty lively event. You can find more information about the art walk at www.santaanaartwalk.com. I’m looking forward to checking this out! More information on the village can be found at www.aplaceforart.com




If you are interested in buying or selling an Orange County Historical Home, please do not hesitate to contact me, email us at OCHistoricHomes@MeadeFirst.com, or call (949) 200-7795. 


Old Town Tustin Home Tour Recap

Old Town Tustin | Orange County Historic Home

Old Town Tustin Historic Home and Garden Tour Recap

WHAT AN AWESOME EVENT!!! The weather was perfect this year and I was able to view all six homes on the tour. It was really great to see so many people interested in Old Town Tustin and historic homes. Many of the homes had lines but the docents kept everything moving and offered historic commentary in each area of the homes. Some of these houses were ones I had never been inside before and it was fascinating to see the different eras and styles.

Old Town Tustin | Orange County Historic HomeOne thing I absolutely love about the historic houses in Old Town Tustin isn’t so much the houses at all but the streets. There’s a certain “lazy summer” feel to the streets of Old Town Tustin that really can’t be experienced anywhere else in Orange County. Large, established  trees give the whole area a sheltered feel and it’s really a unique environment for those who wanted to be near freeways, shopping, and other conveniences but also value the feeling of a slower time.

Something that really amazed me was the amount of attention that homeowners placed on their gardens and outdoor living spaces. There are some cool photos below, among some of the cool things I saw: a driveway with a wine bottle-shaped grass inlay, a treehouse lounge, outdoor dining rooms, and adirondack chair reading nooks under old-growth trees.

While none of this year’s Old Town Tustin Home Tour homes were for sale, there are a number of historic homes for sale throughout Orange County and we maintain a list of active properties. If you’re interested in finding out more about Orange County’s historic homes for sale, don’t hesitate to contact us or send us an email: OCHistoricHomes@meadefirst.com.