By BY DEBORAH SULLIVAN BRENNAN ;Photo by Eduardo Contreras | midnight Feb. 6, 2016 | Updated, 8:07 a.m.


Photo by Eduardo Contreras

For busy brides and grooms-to-be, the wedding planning process can be a dizzying trip to caterers, florists and photo- graphers. Pamela Noxon tries to streamline that process by bringing all the wedding pros under one tent at her Wedding Party EXPO in San Diego.

There, engaged couples can sample cake, sip cocktails and meet some 75 experts who can help them celebrate their marriage in style. The next one is on Valentine’s Day. For all the attention to detail, however, Noxon believes that engaged couples should focus on their unique relationship and create a ceremony that reflects their family history and future life.

Noxon, 53, of South Carlsbad, became involved in the wedding business through her work as an officiator, presiding over unique weddings ranging from multicultural and mixed religious ceremonies to same-sex marriages.

From there, she branched out to throwing expos that pull together the many elements needed for the big day, and blogging about the process on her website In a culture focused on “me,” she views weddings as one of the few rites of passage that join two individuals as “we.”

Q: Please tell us about the Wedding Party Expo.

A: There is a process to effectively planning a wedding. You have to find and hire a wide range of wedding professionals and you have to interview them to make sure they are the right people to have actually creating and attending one of the biggest, most personal days of your life with your entire family and world. Personalities play a big role in hiring wedding pros. You need a really good fit. If you are the laid-back, chill beachy couple, you may not want a very rigid event coordinator at your event directing things, and if you are a very structured, corporate go-getter you will not do well with the super relaxed “hang back and grab some artsy photos” photographer. Like the beginning of any relationship, you need to feel the person out to see if you (and your family and group) will mesh well with them. I found that San Diego desperately needed a wedding planning event that brought all the amazing people and things people wanted together in one gorgeous, stylish and fun day.

Q: What are some of the unique weddings you have officiated?

A: One wedding I did brought together a large family comprised of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Clearly a challenge to create a ceremony that would be sacred, yet respect everyone. Not being affiliated with any religion, I always worked to show that we are all the same and love is all that matters. I used to say that I spoke many languages, all of them “love.” I created a ceremony for that couple that they felt really spoke to everyone present.

Q: How do you see the role of the wedding as a rite of passage in our culture?

A: In our Western culture, we live for a very long time as individuals. We celebrate the individual deeply and have amazing opportunities for becoming empowered persons in our own right. But marriage is a completely different way of operating compared to functioning as an individual. To marry is to partner with another human being – you live differently, you decide things differently, you end up using your brain differently because you change from “I” thinking to “We” thinking and that is a huge transition to make emotionally and psychically. A wedding is a ritual that takes your whole world into account and celebrates the transformation of two individuals becoming one partnership. Of course, in our culture many people partner without marrying. But there’s something deep and in our DNA that makes a wedding a little more.

Q: What are some of the trends you see in wedding styles, customs or ceremonies?

A: Organic catering and locally sourced foods for receptions. Philanthropic catering by companies like Kitchens for Good. Much less DIY (do it yourself) than a few years ago; people are hiring experts to create a wedding day, not spray-painting mason jars for vases like during the recessions! More luxurious “Bohemian Luxe” style. Color, color, color. Elaborate cakes and dessert bars. Antique and vintage lounge furniture. Signature cocktails and unique libations. A lot of things that speak to the guests and keep them entertained. And authentic ceremonies that are very personal.

Q: What are any benefits or fundraisers you participate in?

A: I like to incorporate philanthropy into everything I do. will donate to a local charity with every ad sold: everything from animal shelters to Rebuilding Together homes and foster kids.

Q: What are your tips for brides and grooms planning a wedding?

A: Stay calm and focus on the bigger picture. Don’t get too bogged down in stuff. Focus on adding elements to your wedding that will generate emotion or connectedness. I actually feel like the planning process, which may sound grueling, is an important step in the transition. A wedding honors the tradition of your and your people’s past, while it reflects the couple as individuals. A wedding inspires people who attend to remember why they love, and it transforms the whole group into something more connected than they were when they arrived; it creates a new tribe or family. That matters.

Q: What’s the best advice

you ever received?

A: “Fill your own cup up to the brim with love and joy, then when you have enough it will overflow to others.”

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

A: I am one-sixteenth Native American.

Q: Please describe your ideal San Diego weekend.

A: Eating a nice lunch at one of the many great local restaurants with my friends or my mom, reading, relaxing, and going for a drive in the mountains.

What I love about South Carlsbad …

It’s so quiet and friendly – I have great neighbors. I love having a yard that backs up to a wild area so I can pretend I am in the country.




“The Romance Show” Themed Show Includes Couture Fashion Shows and a
Huge Selection of Top Local Wedding Services, Stylists and Professionals and More

(SAN DIEGO) — The upcoming Sunday, February 14 specially-themed “Romance Show” Wedding Party Bridal Show, Southern California’s largest elegant bridal show, is full to the brim with lots of wedding party fun including incredible couture fashion shows, a special engagement photo shootout contest, and tons of the finest wedding services. The setting for San Diego’s 37th Wedding Party Bridal Show is the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Resort, 1441 Quivira Road San Diego CA 92109, from 11 am to 3 pm.

There will be ongoing designer bridal gown fashion shows, from 1 to 3, and a special VIP only fashion show at 11:30 am featuring high-end gowns from renowned bridal gown designer Sarah Janks. A second fashion show in the Fashion Show Lounge will feature the latest fashions from Vow to Be Chic [the fabulous bridesmaids dress option seen on Shark Tank!].

The February 14, 2016 Valentine’s Day ‘Romance’ theme show will have a special San Diego Engagement Photo Shoot Prize featuring some of the areas top photographers capturing the love in a FREE engagement session right at the show.

Four lucky couples will get an engagement shoot right at the show. Each couple gets paired with a top area wedding photographer like the incredible Tim Otto Photography. Your photographic artist will spend a little time with you at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Resort get to know you a little and to see your unique beauty in person and then do a FREE engagement shoot in gorgeous pre-staged areas designed by Lauren Sharon Vintage Rentals.

Each of the 4 winning couples gets all retouched engagement photos from the shoot plus an 11” x 14” print of their fave photo from the shoot and all images on flash drive — total value $500.

Enter the contest on show website:

And the fan favorite Chocolate University at the show will feature Swiss-trained executive pastry Chef Urs Huwler, of Euro Pastry, who will bring eight flavors of chocolate and over 20 dipping items, four different brownies, six types of chocolate Mousse, flourless cake, and chocolate covered strawberries for tastings. Attendees can top it all off with the latest trending wedding must have by hand crafted beverages from the San Diego mixologists at Snake Oil Cocktail Co.

To get two free General Admission tickets to the February 14 Show [a $40 value!], ‘like the Wedding Party EXPO Facebook page and watch for posts. [look for the signup button at top]

A Wedding Party Bridal Show VIP ticket option that offers front row access to the runway, a $150 swag bag and valet parking is available for $50 [$50 in advance] at

Each Wedding Party Bridal Show brings together engaged couples, coordinators, and professionals to one beautiful location for an amazing bridal show experience totally unlike large, impersonal bridal expos. Creative, stylish and fun, each show is held at one of San Diego’s most beautiful wedding locations. It allows engaged couples and event planners to enjoy cocktails, tasty hors d’ouevres, chocolates and cakes, a couture fashion show, mini-make overs in the Beauty Lounge, wedding design tips by a huge selection of local experts and resources like Classic Blooms Studio Studio: Floral Design, Classy Event Group, The Dress Theory, Classic Blooms Florals, San Diego Style Weddings Magazine, Tim Otto Photography, JennyWenny Cakes, Cakes to Celebrate, Nicole Miller, Rancho Bernardo Inn, RSVP Weddings, Cory Cakes, Lauren Sharon Vintage Rentals, Dahlia Bridal Salon and more.

This special Show will also feature a huge hand-picked selection of the area’s finest wedding services and products including: top designer gowns and vintage gowns, tuxedos, gift registry, fashion accessories, photographers, videographers, honeymoon destinations, musicians, florists, officiants, caterers, coordinators, jewelers, makeup and hair stylists, the absolute finest local ceremony and reception venues and more.

The Wedding Party Bridal Show’s behind-the-scenes show production continues its tradition of going green with an online show program, emailing event tickets, offering brides reusable bags and encouraging attendees to carpool. To register for discounted advance tickets, visit . Tickets are $20 each at the door. All tickets include hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting, fashion shows, contests and more. Children under 5 are free, 5-12 are half price day-of only. VIP tickets available online with a champagne greeting, VIP swag bag worth over $150 and front row on the runway.

About The Wedding Party Bridal Show:
Founded by Pamela Ann Noxon, a local wedding professional since 1996, and The Wedding Party Bridal Show were created in 1998 as a fresh new resource for helping brides and grooms plan their San Diego wedding event. From her experience in helping behind-the-scenes with more than 500 weddings, Ms. Noxon saw firsthand how vastly different wedding services and products were in terms of their integrity, style and professionalism. and The Wedding Party Bridal Show introduces couples to the right wedding services, products and vendors for their wedding. For more information on and The Wedding Party Bridal Show, consult the website at: or call 760-635-1120. ##

Arthritis Foundation Receives Donation from Pay it Forward’s “Every Swipe Benefits Charity”

(SAN DIEGO) (JANUARY 2016) – At the recent Pay it Forward Processing (PFP) Christmas party held at the Rancho Bernardo Winery, the Arthritis Foundation, San Diego office, was presented with a check for $3,226 from “Every Swipe Benefits Charity “ (ESBC) unique give-back program. On hand for the check presentation were: (L to R) David and Renee VanHeel, CFO and president, respectively, and founders of Pay it Forward Processing; Tina Lorimer, CFO of the Arthritis Foundation; and Debbie Mendoza, senior account manager for San Diego PFP.

The ESBC is an innovative give-back program that allows businesses with an opportunity to benefit their business, customers and community. Through PFP, a national credit card processing company, net proceeds are donated from each business account to a charitable organization, at no cost to the business.

Since ESBC’s inception two years ago, the program has generated more than $100,000 in donations to a carefully vetted group of more than 25 local and national charities.

About “Every Swipe Benefits Charity”
Every Swipe Benefits Charity came to be from the ashes of Witch Creek Fires in San Diego in 2007. Renee VanHeel, founder and president of Pay it Forward Processing, had her home destroyed during this disaster. As a result, she, along with a number of other fire survivors, formed Fired Up Sisters, and took on the task of raising $5 million in goods, services and money to help fellow fire survivors. Five years later, VanHeel founded ESBC based on the notion that if so much good could come as a result of tragedy, so much more could be done in good times. Today, hundreds of businesses across the country participate in Pay it Forward Processing’s “Every Swipe Benefits Charity” unique give-back program. To date, the two-year old charity has given more than $100,000 to 25+ carefully vetted charities. For more information on ESBC visit or call 858-771-0076. ###

Pay it Forward’s “Every Swipe Benefits Charity” Is a Win-Win for Business Owners

(SAN DIEGO) (DECEMBER 14, 2015) – The “Every Swipe Benefits Charity “ (ESBC) is an innovative give-back program that allows business owners an opportunity to benefit their business, customers and community. Through Pay it Forward Processing (PFP), a national credit card processing company, net proceeds are donated from each business account to a charitable organization, at no cost to the business.

“Many business owners want to help the greater good but don’t have the resources to make monetary donations,” explains Renee VanHeel, founder and president of PFP. “By choosing Pay it Forward Processing as your merchant services provider, the business and its customers will be supporting a charitable cause with the “Every Swipe Benefits Charity” program.”

Here is how the program works: Each business chooses from a list of carefully vetted “Every Swipe Benefits Charity” (ESBC is a separate non-profit 501c3 corporation) board-approved nonprofit organizations. The charities fall into categories such as animals, military, natural disasters, health issues or local community. PFP then donates the net proceeds to ESBC from the business’ account each year—at no cost to the business. ESBC then sends the funds to the business’ chosen charity. As an alternate, the business can nominate a favorite charity to be vetted and become a beneficiary.

“It’s a win-win situation—nonprofits gain valuable support and the business enhances its status as a socially responsible company,” says VanHeel. “As a business owner who wants to make a difference in the world, just ask yourself –why wouldn’t you participate in the ‘Every Swipe Benefits Charity’ program?”

PFP came to be from the ashes of Witch Creek Fires in San Diego in 2007 during which VanHeel’s home was destroyed. She, along with a number of other fire survivors, formed Fired Up Sisters which raised $5 million in goods, services and money to help fellow fire survivors. “I was struck by the thought that if so much good could come as a result of tragedy, what could be done in good times?” said VanHeel. “We believe there is no better definition of success than truly loving what you do, serving a purpose and filling a need in the world. If this resonates with a business owner, we invite them to join the PFP family.”

Partnering with PFP is simple and easy: every business is assigned a personal account manager who customizes a program to fit their needs. There is no contract, no minimum usage fees and PFP matches or reduces a business’ current credit card fees. Funding and deposits are made within 24 hours including American Express. PFP sends each business a comprehensive monthly report with a breakdown of fees and cost for services.

PFP works with a variety of businesses including those in auto repair, hotel/motel, retail, veterinary and banking, among others. The “Every Swipe Benefits Charity” program supports more than 25 local, regional and national non-profit organizations including Boys and Girls Clubs, American Institute for Cancer Research, Shelter to Solider, and the Arthritis Foundation.

PFP also helps each of its business partners stay connected to their customers by using their own social media outlets such a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote their business. For more information on PFP visit or call 858-771-0076.

About Pay It Forward Processing
Headquartered in San Diego, Pay it Forward Processing (PFP) is a nationwide merchant service provider that supplies state-of-the-art payment solutions to businesses by providing a full line of products that are Class A certified on their processing platform. PFP custom tailors its services for each business and offers 24/7 live technical and customer service support. For more information on PFP visit or call 858-771-0076. ###

Postal Connections Opens in Time to Pack and Ship for Holidays; Business Service Center Adds Convenience to Hazel Dell Area

(Vancouver, WA) (December 14, 2015) – Now open, the new, custom built Vancouver Postal Connections of America (PCA) brings easy and convenient access to packaging and shipping services for the holidays, along with an array of business services to 7720 NE Highway 99, Suite D. The PCA store offers convenient parking and personalized service and is the newest location in the nationwide franchise network.

Owned and operated by Tom and Cherie McNabb along with daughter Adrienne and son-in-law Seth Boynton, the PCA Vancouver store is offering holiday specials thru December 31 that include: 20 percent off all mailbox rentals for new customers, holiday gift wrapping, a Santa letter dropbox and free popcorn. In addition, the PCA store provides expert packaging and shipping — domestic and international—high quality printing, in-store or online, mailbox service, freight, copies, scanning and storage, notary and fax. Shipping services include all of the major carriers and USPS products.

“The scope of services we offer to the Vancouver, Hazel Dell North and South communities can only be found under one roof at our new Postal Connections store,” said Cherie McNabb. “We are excited to become part of the community and look forward to delivering exceptional customer service to the area’s small businesses and households. Plus, we offer a safe and convenient way for holiday packages to be delivered.”

“The McNabbs and Boyntons are a welcome addition to our family of franchisees,” said Fred Morache, PCA franchisor and owner. “This family team has worked hard to make this store a showcase and they are each accomplished business people with a clear eye for what excellent customer service is. Their Postal Connections is more than a pack and ship store – it is a place that allows people to save time and make their lives easier by providing a host of business service solutions at one location,” Morache said.

Tom is a cabinet maker and remodeler who spent considerable time and talent constructing the store with special flooring, lighting and wood paneling around the mailbox unit. Adrienne, parent to one-year-old identical twin sons, and Tom will run the day-to-day store operations. Cherie is a manufacturer’s rep for a high quality flooring company who also used her interior design background to add nuances to the store.

On Thursday, January 7 the community will be invited to a grand opening celebration for the new PCA store. The PCA store’s website is: Email: [email protected] Telephone: 360-546-2310. Store hours are: Monday – Friday 9 am – 6 pm, Saturday 9 am – 2 pm.

About Postal Connections
Founded in 1995, Postal Connections is reinventing the post office through their commitment to outstanding customer service with 41 stores in 15 states. A growing franchise chain of postal, shipping and business service stores, Postal Connections offers an attractive franchise opportunity with a proven business model for those looking for an affordable opportunity to own their own business.

To learn more about Postal Connection’s services, visit or call (619) 294-7550. For more information on Postal Connection franchise opportunities, visit or call 1-800-POSTALS (767-8257).###

Celebrating California’s Diverse Flavors, Lajollacooks4u Chef Jodi Releases New, Colorful “California Cuisine” Cookbook

(San Diego, CA)(November 19, 2015) – Lajollacooks4u is pleased to announce the arrival of its amazing, unique, and easy-to-follow cookbook, California Cuisine: Fresh, Simple and Delicious. The newly released cookbook is a testament to Lajollacooks4u founder, Chef Jodi Abel’s, ambitious nature and her company’s incredible success.
With stunning food photography and nearly 100 mouthwatering recipes, Abel’s cookbook offers a taste of the signature Lajollacooks4u dishes offered exclusively at San Diego’s finest gourmet cooking school. Each of the book’s recipes draws inspiration from the international flavors and vibrant cultures that permeate throughout California. Dishes range in Mediterranean, Asian and Latin influence, offering creative and delectable experimentations privy to the Southern California region.

Adhering to Chef Jodi’s motto, “fresh, simple and delicious”, “California Cuisine” features gourmet farm-to-table cuisine that appeals to home-cooks, gourmets and foodies alike. Her motto promotes that anyone can produce 5-star quality food without having to acquire years of professional training. As readers experiment with the creative and delicious ingredients Chef Jodi has offered up, they will find themselves embracing Lajollacooks4u’s organic farm-to-table mantra in every recipe.

The recipes in Abel’s cookbook are flexible and accommodating, ensuring that everyone can find something suitable for their individual palettes. Nearly every recipe offers dietary alternatives for vegetarian, vegan, paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets.


• Eggplant Caponata
• Manchego and Mango Quesadillas with Chimichurri Sauce
• Edamame Salad with Blackened Shrimp
• Beef Tenderloin with Mustard Seed Herb Rub
• Roasted Curry Vegetables
• Chocolate Salami

Title: Lajollacooks4u: California Cuisine
Pages: 185
Retail Price: $28
Where to Buy:
Lajollacooks4u videos: Click here for a sneak peek videos.
More about Lajollacooks4u:

About Lajollacooks4u:
Lajollacooks4u, founded in 2008, offers customized cooking classes and provides an ideal setting for corporate team building, couples and any foodie looking for a unique cooking and culinary experience in a magnificent setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Based in La Jolla, a suburb of San Diego, CA, Lajollacooks4u has enjoyed record growth since its inception and has been ranked the number one attraction in La Jolla on the popular travel review site, Trip Advisor. For more information, contact Jodi Abel at [email protected] or phone 1-858-752-4980

Lajollacooks4u customizes all events to meet the desires and needs of the organization. For reservations, contact Jodi Abel, or visit Lajollacooks4u’s website at ###

The Motown Miracles, originally made famous by Smokey Robinson, Perform A Free Concert at Humphreys By The Bay on Friday, Oct 30th FREE to all Local Veterans, Active Military, and Their Families (First Come, First Serve)

San Diegans Can Purchase Concert Tickets to support our Military
For $30 each—100% of the proceeds goes to our Marine Corp League Special Detachment-Tickets Available Now!

(October 2015)(San Diego) —The “Miracles for Heroes” Concert Tour will kick off its only Southern California concert on Friday, October 30th, 2015 at 7 pm at Humphreys Concerts By The Bay on Shelter Island. The concert will feature The Motown Miracles, with lead singer Sydney Justin, who took Smokey Robinson’s place in 1995. Armed with some of the greatest songs ever written, The Motown Miracles are still, after 40 years, attracting enthusiastic audiences around the world. The “Miracles for Heroes” tour will be a night of free entertainment and celebration for local veterans and enlisted men and women of the military. Concert tickets for the military are available on a first-come, first serve basis.

Only 483 concert tickets are available to the public at $30 each. Reserved seats are available at or by calling 800-745-3000. One hundred percent of the ticket sales to the public will go to the Marine Corp League.

“The goal of these free concerts is to provide veterans and military members access to the necessary tools, and various support services, they need to acquire jobs, health care, therapeutic support, volunteer services and overall provisions for their immediate needs,” says Mari Molina, concert promoter from Yendis Entertainment.

Opening act for evening is San Diego-based Sully & “The Blue Eyed Soul Band” — a group of Grammy Award winning and Tony Award nominated musicians who play a unique brand of R & B [Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, Otis Redding] at various So Cal venues.

Serving as master of ceremonies for the night is the leader of Sully & “The Blue-Eyed Soul Band,” Bob “Sully” Sullivan. Sully is a San Diego institution heard for the past 18 years on NEWSRADIO 600 KOGO and frequently on KUSI television. Sully is also the creator/host of the nationally syndicated television programs “THE BIG BIZ SHOW” and “Sully’s Biz Brew.”

To make their mission a reality, Miracles for Heroes partnered with the Veterans Administration (Washington, DC), The Warrior Summit Coalition, the Department of Arizona Marine Corp League, The Wounded Warrior Marine Corp League, Habitat for Humanity, state and local agencies, private organizations and donors for funding the concert tour. In all, free concerts will be held in 20 major cities across the U.S. in 2015 -2016.

To find out more about the “Miracles for Heroes” Concert Tour, visit their website at . Humphreys Concerts By The Bay is located at 2241 Shelter Island, San Diego, Calif. To purchase tickets, visit or call 800-745-3000. Tickets to the general public are $30.00 and 100 percent of all ticket sales go to the Marine Corp League.

The free concert tickets for the military will be available at Marine Corp Air Station Miramar and Navy Region Southwest, Naval Base, Coronado through the Marines; MCCS Programs, Single Marine Program, Spouse Support and Links, plus, Navy’s NWR Tickets Offices. ###