All posts by Charlene Westgate

Free Gardening Presentations

Attend a Free Gardening Workshop Presented by Charlene Westgate of Westgate Garden Design


Watercolor cactus, wildflowers and hummingbirdCheck out this Fall’s presentation schedule!

All presentations will again be held at:
Desert Bloom Botanical Center
69 W. Esperanza Blvd.
(Next to El Rodeo Restaurant)
Green Valley, Arizona 85614


No registration required but seating is limited so plan to arrive early.
Questions? Call Charlene at (520) 829-0399.


5 Tips for Successful Desert Gardening

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 – 2:00–2:45pm

New to Arizona and frustrated with desert gardening? Or, an experienced desert gardener wanting new ideas? Learn how working with Nature helps the environment while making your gardening easier, less expensive and more beautiful.


Integrated Pest Management

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – 2:00–2:45pm

Puzzled by how to deal with those pesky pests without resorting to pesticides that can harm wildlife? In this presentation, you’ll learn how to avoid attracting those unwanted guests in the first place, and how to manage those that do show up.


How to Prune Desert Plants: The Lazy Person’s Guide

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 – 2:00–2:45pm

Whether you do your own pruning or hire someone to do it for you, understanding proper pruning techniques and pruning schedules will make your life easier and your plants more beautiful.


5 Tips for Successful Desert Gardening

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 – 2:00–2:45pm

New to Arizona and frustrated with desert gardening? Or, an experienced desert gardener wanting new ideas? Learn how working with Nature helps the environment while making your gardening easier, less expensive and more beautiful.


Gardening to Attract Birds

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 – 2:00–2:45pm

Learn about the Audubon Society’s Habitat at Home program, including how to:

  • Attract colorful birds and local wildlife.
  • Create an oasis of lush native plants while reducing water use.
  • Create shade that cools the yard and reduces air conditioning costs.
  • And much more!

What You Should Know About the Real Estate Inspection Period

What You Should Know About the Real Estate Inspection Period

By Stu Samovitz, Realtor, HomeSmart Pros Real Estate

Real Estate Inspection
Real Estate Inspection

The Inspection period is one of the three major hurdles when purchasing a home. First of course, is the negotiation of the contract to purchase, and the third is the appraisal.

The buyer has an inspection period, usually 10 days to do any and all inspections, and other due diligence. Generally, there’s a full house inspection and a wood destroying organism (termite) inspection. During this period, the Buyer signs a form called the BINSR (Buyers Inspection Notice and Sellers Response). When the Buyer signs the BINSR, that ends the Buyers Inspection period.

The buyer has three choices on this form. Buyer can either Accept the property in its current condition, reject the property and receive any earnest monies back, or give the seller an opportunity to repair anything the buyer asks for.

The Seller has five days to respond. The Seller can accept the buyers request, Deny the request, or do a part of what Buyer asked for. Now the Buyer has five days to accept the sellers response or cancel the contract, and get their earnest monies refunded.

This is not as complicated as it seems, and I will be there to help, advise, and act in your behalf. Please call with any questions about anything concerning the Real Estate Business.

Stu Samovitz, Green Valley realtor
Stu Samovitz

Stu Samovitz, Home Smart Pros Real Estate
“Your No Nonsense Realtor”

Welcome New Member

VBN Welcomes Heather Fox of Calluna Travel

Heather Fox, Calluna Travel
Heather Fox, Calluna Travel

After her induction, we caught up with Heather and here is what she had  to say about herself and her travel business.

My name is Heather Fox and I own Calluna Travel, a home-based full-service travel agency. While I specialize in escorted tours to the United Kingdom and Ireland, I’m capable of booking any kind of vacation you might desire to any destination around the globe. I’m affiliated with one of the largest travel consortiums in the United States, so I have the resources needed to make your travel dreams a reality. My guiding philosophy is that my client and I are a team. I’ll be with you from our first consultation, through your travel, and until you walk back in through your own front door. I’m only a phone call away if you need me and I’ll be working hard, start to finish, to make sure your vacation is a stress-free and memorable experience.


Calluna Travel
Calluna Travel

You might be asking yourself what does it mean to work with a home-based agent? It means that I come to you! Instead of finding the time in your busy schedule to come to my office, you would contact me by phone, e-mail, or social media. In turn, I ask how you would like to conduct our business. Would you prefer to handle everything via e-mail? Or are you more comfortable chatting over the phone? Maybe you would like a face to face meeting? For this, I arrange to meet you in the location of your choosing; a coffee-shop, conference room, or even your home. And with the options now available on the internet, we can even choose to communicate by video-chat if that’s more convenient. I understand your time is valuable. The researching and booking of your vacation can be time-consuming and over-whelming. Choosing to work with a travel professional will give you back that valuable time. Communicating when it’s convenient for YOU is just the first service that I’m able to offer as your travel agent.

A travel agent can save you time, money, and can help find you the perfect vacation. I’m your advocate if things don’t go to plan, and I make sure that you know everything you need to know. A travel professional can make sure that you receive the maximum value for the dollars that you spend. It’s not about holding your hand, it’s about providing you with the customer service you need to make planning and booking your travel as enjoyable as the vacation itself. Give me a call here at Calluna Travel and tell me how I can help you take the trip of a lifetime.

To learn more, you can reach Heather at:

Heather Fox, Owner
Calluna Travel
HC 70 Box 4205
Sahuarita AZ 85629
520-394-5995 phone

Join Us for the End Alzheimer’s Event

Green Valley/Sahuarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s Kick Off Event

Green Valley/Sahuarita Walk to End Alzheimer's Kick Off Event
Green Valley/Sahuarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s Kick Off Event

What: Green Valley/Sahuarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s Kick Off Event
When: Thursday, September 13th 2018 from 4:00-7:00 PM
Where: Sahuarita Town Hall Council Chambers

Stop by and get some information on the Green Valley/Sahuarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s. You can talk to several sponsors, grab a snack, and maybe even win a door prize. Hope to see you there!

Need more information? Contact:
Andrea Smith
Community Outreach Coordinator
Homewatch Caregivers
[email protected]

Steps to Luxurious, Healthy Hair

Steps to Luxurious, Healthy Hair

By Kimberly Molthan, Monat

Today, I spoke to the Vally Business Networkers about what Monat products do for hair. I used a visual demonstration with a piece of yarn as a representation of your hair. The hair you were born with. The strong, healthy hair of your childhood. But as we grow and do things to our hair… changes. We play outside and our hair soaks up the UVA and UVB rays. We swim like fish in chlorine. We color, highlight, and bleach our hair. We curl and flat iron it with hot, hot heat tools. And what we can be left with after all of this is not so good. It is frizzy, oily, and sometimes breaking and/or falling out. I demonstrated this with the yarn by twisting and fraying the yarn as I talked.

So, what do we do? We make a run for the drugstore for some products. Maybe even to the salon for salon quality products. And lo and behold, you might start to look good again. And therefore think that these products have healed your hair. Sadly, this is incorrect. These products are filled with parabens and silicones that sit on top of the hair and create a layer of buildup that is masking your real problems. I demonstrated this by putting pieces of painter’s tape over both sides of the damaged yarn. To further evidence my point, I show how, with the tape present, it is now more difficult to curl your hair. To do so you need to obtain hair dryers, curling and flat irons that go up to extreme temperatures. Like 400-450 degrees! The hair strand is so suffocated by the buildup that it just won’t budge until you heat it way up!

Hair styling tools
Turn Down the Heat on your Styling Tools to 285–300 degrees

Once Monat comes into your life, all of this begins to change. Our fabulous products with no harsh chemicals, parabens, sulfates, or silicones EVER begin to remove this buildup layer. It smells great. It softens your hair. It begins to feel amazing!

Quick disclaimer….. EVERYONE is different. How you earned your buildup and damage is different for every person. So, we all will transition differently and at different rates.

As Monat works, it is exposing your real hair little by little. I demonstrated this by peeling away the painter’s tape. As I did, little bits at a time until its all gone. Here is where people are tempted to throw in the towel. Often around the 3-5 month mark, your hair quality suddenly deteriorates. It might be breaking, frizzy, oily, and just not feel great.

Hair Shaft
What Makes Monat Different? It penetrates the hair shaft to nourish your hair from the inside out.

What is Monat doing to your hair, right?! Well, CONGRATULATIONS! You have exposed your real hair. You’ve gotten all the build up off. All the junk. Your hair can now breathe again. It is no longer suffocating. This is the time you DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!

Now, you can get in and really nourish, heal, and repair that hair. Our Rejuveniqe Oil that is infused in all our shampoos, conditioners, and most styling products will penetrate all 3 layers of the hair strand and feed nutrients down to the bulb!


You can reach Kimberly Molthan at:

10 Tips for Successful Business Networking

10 Tips for Successful Business Networking

by Stephanie Speisman, Feb 28, 2018

Want to make your business networking more effective? Here are 10 networking tips to keep in mind.

Effective business networking is the linking together of individuals who, through trust and relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.

  1. Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
  2. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
  3. Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.
  4. Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.
  5. Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
  6. Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.
  7. Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.
  8. Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.
  9. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.
  10. Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.

This education moment was presented by Julia Cummings of Crafted 4 You. Julia can be reached at (520) 365-7000 or [email protected]

How To Advertise Your Small Business When A Business Card Is All You Have

How To Advertise Your Small Business When A Business Card Is All You Have

Re-posted from Tom Egelhoff of SmallTownMarketing.Com

Example of a Business Card. From http://www.DryIcons.Com
Example of a Business Card. From DryIcons.Com

If I were forced to name the most valuable tool in business it would have to be the business card. It may even be more valuable than the computer. . . depending on the type of business you have.

Your small business card performs a multitude of tasks. It’s projects your business image, it leaves a reminder long after you and the recipient have parted company. It is passed from one person to another and is a valuable referral tool. It works great to scrape crumbs off a tablecloth. Well maybe the last one isn’t a true business use.

The point is that if you are a new business or a home based business you must have business cards to be considered a real business by those you meet. Real businesses have real business cards. So even if you are new to business make sure you have plenty of business cards on hand. We’ll discuss the correctly way to use them in a moment but first let’s talk about the correct way to design a business card.

Business Card Design: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

A standard business card, in case you didn’t know, is three and one half inches (89cm) across the top and two inches (51cm) down the side. You have seven square inches (4539 sq. cm) to tell your company story. Fourteen square inches (9078 sq cm) if you count the back.

Are there specific things a person must know before laying out a business card? The answer is of course yes or this would be a really short article. Let me point of some of the more important ones.

Your logo or no logo: Many people want to know, “Just how important is a logo on a business card?” A better question to ask is what is the image you want the business to project.

For example, some insurance agents represent a company and the company name is the image. For others, the agent is the image and the company name stays in the background the logo is an after thought.If you feel people are going to eventually know you for your company logo like Coke or McDonald’s then by all means get a good logo made by a professional designer. Don’t just design a logo for your business card: As your business grows, you will want to use your logo in a variety of media. TV, newspapers, magazines, flyers, brochures. Your logo may look great in the small size of a business card but lose it’s personality in a larger size for a news ad or brochure. Always look at your logo in a variety of sizes to make sure your image looks consistent.

Start with the most important information first and work your way down: List all the items you feel should be on your card. Here are some possible suggestions in no particular order: Company Name, Your Name, Address, Phone, Email, Fax, Cell Phone, Home Phone, Pager, Company Logo, Business Slogan or Motto and Brand Names to name just a few. Start filling up the card with the information. The more important items should be bigger the lessor smaller. The one exception might be the phone number. This is my pet peeve in yellow pages too. Don’t waste valuable advertising space with a giant phone number that takes up the whole ad.

Customers look for features and benefits on your card and your ads. If they are a valid customer they will locate the phone number. (See: “Why Customers Buy.”) What image are you projecting?: If you’ve ever gotten a business card from an attorney you will notice that in most cases they are very formal looking. They rarely have a logo. Usually just the firm’s name, the attorneys name along with the address and phone information. On the other hand if you’ve gotten a card from a realtor it probably has the agents picture on it in full color lots of phone numbers and real estate association logos. Both groups are professional in the work they do. The difference is in the way they project that professionalism. Nothing wrong with your picture on your card if you are a realtor but it’s in poor taste for a lawyer.

Colors, typefaces and paper: Once again, what kind of image are you trying to project. Try to collect business cards from your competitors. Lay them out on a table and compare them to yours. What do their cards say about their business? What does your card say about yours? What kinds of typefaces did they use? What ink colors? Type of paper?

Ask your printer for some samples of business cards they may have done for businesses similar to yours. Examine what papers and ink colors go well together in those samples. Which do not go well together. Contact businesses like yours and see if they will send you their business card and brochures. They are more likely to do it if you send them a self-addresses stamped envelope. See what’s working for others in your industry.

What’s Your Image Worth?

How much should you spend on business cards? It’s like saying, “How much should I spend on a car?” What image do you want to project to the person seeing the card? Success? Or Cheapskate? If you skimp on your business card what else do you skimp on?

Let’s say you are considering paying $100.00 for a thousand business cards. That would be a pretty nice card. In fact it’s four times the average cost of $25.00 per thousand cards. But when it comes right down to it the cost of each card is a dime. A lousy .10¢. Isn’t your business image worth more than one thin dime?? How many dimes would you give out if 10% became customers? You would be giving dimes to every person you see.This is a ridiculously small expense for such a powerful marketing and advertising tool.

What’s The Right Way To Advertise With A Business Card

Joe Girard is supposedly the world’s greatest salesman. Joe sold cars in Detroit, Michigan for many years. One year he sold over 1,200 new cars. Even if Joe worked every day of the year, which he didn’t of course, that comes to 3 cars a day, each and every day for a year. That’s a lot of cars.

One of Joe’s tricks was to go to Detroit Lions football games and throw handfuls of business cards out of the upper deck onto the expensive seats below each time the team scored. Each card had a per cent off that was good at Joe’s dealership the following day. How many cards a year did Joe go through? No one knows.

What they do know is creative use of his business card paid off for Joe Girard.

Here Are A Few Of My Favorite Advertising Tips For Business Cards

My business card goes in every bill I pay every time I pay it. The electric company gets 12 cards a year. So does the cable company, water company and phone company. My insurance company, all credit card companies and any other bill that comes to my home or office gets a business card.

Why each time? Because businesses have turn over of personnel. People don’t stay at jobs like they once did. What do politicians do when they want to advertise? They canvas neighborhoods. Every house within walking distance of your house should have your business card. People enjoy supporting their neighbors. You are in the same boat they are. They identify with you. Work your neighborhood and it will work for you.

Bulletin and Event Boards: You’ll find these in laundromats, schools, office buildings, and libraries. Just pin your card to these boards on a regular basis. Many people check these boards on a regular basis. Make business cards worth keeping: Many businesses put valuable industry information on the back of the cards. Calendars, measuring tables, or important phone numbers. Something the customer will want to save.

The Last Word On Business Card Advertising

There is no more powerful marketing and advertising tool available at any price than the ordinary business card. Never, I repeat, Never underestimate the value of your business card. Your business card is advertising…deciding who to give the card to is marketing. Giving one card to the right person can make all the difference in your business.


This information was provided for the VBN Education Moment by VBN member, Julia Cummings of Crafted 4 You. For questions about the article or Custom Gifts and Gift Baskets, you can reach Julia at (520) 365-7000.

Credit Scores: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Credit Scores: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

By Kim DeMarco, Licensed Mortage Professional, Sunstreet Mortgage

Credit Score Meter
Credit Score Meter: We All Want a Good Credit Rating

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your statistical likelihood to repay credit that is extended to you.

Sound daunting does it?

Establishing a good credit score is really quite simple—pay your bills on time, don’t over-extend yourself with debt, don’t file bankruptcy, and don’t let your house go into foreclosure.

Sounds easy enough, but we all know that “life” can get in the way. So here a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to your credit:


  • Pay your bills on time—even a 30-day late payment can greatly affect your credit.
  • Establish a credit history.
  • Review your credit report regularly for any possible fraud or identity theft.
  • Use Lifelock or a similar company to assist you in thwarting identity theft.


  • Apply for numerous credit cards, especially within a short period of time.
  • Close your revolving credit cards, even if you are not using them.
  • Allow accounts to go to collections.
  • Settle for less than what you owe.

We all know there are exceptions to the rules, but these are your best bests to maintain good credit.

Your credit score dictates if you can get credit and how much you will pay for the money you are borrowing. Take care of it and it will take care of you!

When trying to repair your credit, beware of those who charge for credit repair services, preying on people with credit issues. Reputable organizations, like Sunstreet Mortgage, offer a credit repair program for clients wanting to purchase a home. Give us a call today for a free consultation.

For more information, contact:
Kim DeMarco

Branch Manager/Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS# 410006
255 W. Esperanza Blvd.
Green Valley, AZ 85614
(520) 625-9493

Stay Safe: Know the Facts about Lightning

Stay Safe Around Lightning

By Mike Bartoletti, Licensed Electrician, CMB Development


Facts About Lightning

All that energy travels along a path about as wide as a thumb!

The streamer can travel up through a building, a tree, or even a person, which can be fatal. Lightning kills about 2,000 people a year, so stay inside during lightning storms.

How hot is a lightning bolt? Only about 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit-roughly five times hotter than the surface of the sun!

The average striking length of a regular lightning is about 2 to 3 miles and carries electricity of nearly I 00 million volts.

Lightning flashes more than 3 million times a day worldwide-that’s about 40 times a second. Not all those flashes hit the ground-some happen between or inside clouds.

Why do you see lightening first and then hear the thunder? Light (670,616,629 mph) travels faster than sound (760 mph) and that’s why lightning strike can be seen first and then the thunder can be heard. It is because of this speed difference between light and sound that it is actually possible to calculate the distance of storm.

If you start counting the instant you see the flash of lightning, every second is equal to approximately .2 of a mile.

Safety and Lightning

Phone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Lightning can travel long distances in both phone and electrical wires, particularly in rural areas.

Do not lie on the concrete floor of a garage as it likely contains a wire mesh. In general, basements are a safe place to go during thunderstorms. However, avoid contact with. concrete walls, which may contain metal reinforcing bars.

Avoid washers and dryers, since they not only have contacts with the plumbing and electrical systems but also contain an electrical path to the outside through the dryer vent.

Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives.

Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry.

Victims of lightning do not retain the charge and are not “electrified.” It is safe to help them. Rubber shoes will not give you any meaningful protection from lightning.

Lightning can, and often does, strike in the same place twice. Tall buildings and monuments are frequently hit by lightning.

A motor car with a metal top can offer you some protection-but keep your hands from the metal sides.

An umbrella can increase your chances of being struck by lightning if it makes you the tallest object in the area.

Always avoid being the highest object or taking shelter near or under the highest object including tall trees. Avoid being near a lightning rod or standing near metal objects such as a fence or underground pipes.

For more information about lightning or anything electrical, contact Mike Bartoletti, CMB Development, at (520) 850-7722.

5 Reasons You Should Have a Business Card

5 Reasons You Should Have a Business Card

By Hank Andrade, O’Reilly Chevrolet Collision Center in Green Valley

Business Card

Here are five reasons why the old school business card is still important and why you should have a pocket full of them at all times.

1.) Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.

Networking is about making genuine connections. Sending contact information via text or email on the spot is convenient but it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging in eye contact and actual conversation is how real relationships begin.

2.) They are the most effective direct marketing tools.

Email marketing, search engine optimization, and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t effective as an in person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange.

3.) A business card is the first impression of your brand.

When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.

4.) Creative business cards get shared—continuing to market for you.

A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them.

5.) Business cards show you are prepared.

If you met two individuals and one was scrambling to find a pen and something to write on and the other person simply pulled out a business card. Who would you want to do business with?? Having business cards on you at all times shows how prepared you. It is a great indicator that you are a professional. Fear not conversations will still end with, “let me give me you my business card.”

So the next time you go to a networking event, be prepared with your business cards!