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Last Minute & Unique Ideas for Christmas Gifts

By Justin Bevins | Canyon Lake Business

Are you a last minute shopper?  I think we all have had our share of the rush to get a present at least once or twice in our lifetimes!  So, we’ve compiled a few ideas to help you get the job done…..and fast!  We’ve also added some unique to the area gift ideas in case you are wanting to give that special person a present that is more relevant or personal to their taste(s).

Gift Card Variety Kioskgift card collection

Just outside the Main Gate in Canyon Lake, you can stop by Stater Bros.  They’ve got a huge array of gift card choices that include Disney, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Chili’s, California Pizza Kitchen and if you’re not able to decide; they’ve also got American Express and VISA gift cards in various amounts.

Flowers for the Ladies


While you’re at Stater Bros, they’ve got a floral department like no other grocery store.  There are bouquets of loose flowers, bud vase arrangements and silk floral pieces you can choose from.  You’ll also find some small potted green live plants that are decorative and appealing to the eye.  What makes Stater Bros.’ floral department unique is you’ll also find some home decorations which would make for great Christmas present ideas, too.

Themed for the Holidays

Looking for a themed present for a Christmas Tree decorating party or a themed decoration for a friend’s rooster-inspired kitchen?  Take a short jaunt over to Just 4 Gifts:  Whimsical Gifts in the Canyon Lake Towne Center just outside the Main Gate.  They have a huge collection of gifts for all occasions and they are running a 30-50% Christmas Sale which gives you more money left over for more gift-buying!

A Hole in OneProshop sign

If you’ve got a golfer on the list, then the Canyon Lake Golf Pro Shop may have just the right thing.  Golf wear for men and women of all sizes are available at the Pro Shop, golf caps, golf accessories and sometimes you’ll even find some golf-inspired decorations for the home!  Any golf enthusiast would appreciate any of the choices found at the Canyon Lake Golf Pro Shop.

Foodie Fest

Locally, the Canyon Lake Lighthouse Restaurant offers gift cards that you can present to someone on your list who’s a known foodie or food-aholic.  There’s also Kelly’s Diner and Hana Sushi at the Canyon Hills Shopping Center and they also have gift cards available.  You can’t go wrong presenting these local restaurant treats as a gift because there are times when you’re just not in the mood to drive too far and eating locally makes it so much easier on us “lazy” people PLUS when it’s a free meal, it’s even more of a treat and the food is even more delicious because it was a gift!

wine glassesWinery Membership

Know anyone who likes to dabble in a glass of wine at times?  Temecula Valley Wine Country just down the I-15 has a whole array of wineries to choose from!  Miramonte Winery has a Sangria Club that turns even the most macho wine enthusiasts into sangria-obsessed groupies.  Oak Mountain Winery is known for their award winning flavored champagne and for their first Sunday of the Month Pet Fairs.  You might want to check out their Wine Club for a pet-loving wine dabbler.

Adrenaline Junkie

Ahhh, the joy of doing something wild and crazy is a gift that adrenaline junkie in your life will never forget.  How about a sky diving package?  There’s SkyDive Perris and they’ve got these December Specials available.

  • Fly with Santa Special for $100 ~ Four wind tunnel flights and a DVD of your tunnel flights and a Christmas stocking (can be shared with two people)
  • Holiday Special $234 ~ A tandem jump and a basic video of your tandem jump
  • Then, there’s the Sensory Overload (yikes!) Special for $279 which includes two wind tunnel flights, a tandem jump and a basic video of your tandem jump
  • Santa Deluxe Package for $303 ~ Two wind tunnel flights, DVD of your tunnel flights, a tandem jump, a basic video of your tandem jum and 10% off at the Bombshelter Bar and Grill

Wow, that takes the wind out of me….  Just kidding!  Gift certificates are available at 1-800-SKYDIVE or 951-657-1664.

Alright, another physically enduring gift that’s just down the road is Pole Position Gift Passes.  If you know someone who likes to drive fast and has fantasies of driving NASCAR, then gifting a session or two at Pole Position would be a great gift idea.  What they’ll get is go-cart racing in an indoor racetrack.  You can present someone with a pass for a session(s) or a membership!  Memberships start in the $40 range which might be the way to go.  Check out their packages at their website.  There are locations close by in Murrieta and Corona, too!

So, that about sums it up for last minute and unique gift ideas!  Hope it sparks you to get out and do some shopping!  We’re headed out to finish some of our last minute shopping ourselves right after this post!

Merry Christmas all!

Get What You Need at Joe’s Hardware

By Justin Bevins | Canyon Lake Business

When I built my house in Canyon Lake, one of my biggest frustrations was running to the home improvement warehouse to get that one little thing – a bolt, an electrical nut, sprinkler head, etc.  I would trudge down to Lake Elsinore or Murrieta (sometimes several times a day) and unhappily search the aisles, stand in line and then drive back home killing an hour in the process.

It was a happy day for me when Joe’s Hardware opened up just outside the main gate in the Canyon Hills Shopping Center.  Lose a screw… no problem, go to Joe’s.  Need a key made… no problem, go to Joe’s.  Busted sprinkler head… no problem, go to Joe’s.

What I like about Joe’s (besides the fact that it’s close) is that it’s small so it’s easy to find stuff and there are always employees walking around the store offering to help you find what you’re looking for.  It’s like an old fashioned hardware store with hometown service.  And they really have a great selection of products like:

  • Hardware
  • Rope / Chain
  • Paint
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Tools and Accessories (Bosch, Makita, DeWalt)
  • Lumber
  • Garden Supplies and Pest Control
  • Door Locks and Hardware
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • And over 50,000 other products

I’m always surprised at how many things I find there.  They even cut house and car keys and repair screens and can custom order all kinds of items.  And I’ve found on several occasions that their prices are the same or better than the big stores.

For instance I went in this morning for some packing tape and PVC sprinkler parts.  I walked in and right away one of the employees approaches me and asks “what can I help you find?”.  Five minutes later, I have what I came for and I’m on my way home.

So the next time the garbage disposal breaks or you need a light bulb, save yourself some time and support a local business – check out Joe’s Hardware.  Store hours are Mon-Sat 8am-7pm and Sundays 9am-5pm.  Want to call ahead and see if they have it in stock?  Call them at 951-244-4563 – they actually answer their phone and will track down what you need.

If you’re in Fallbrook, check out their original store that’s been serving that area since 2005.

Castles and Cottages Home Decor Boutique at Corona Crossings

By Justin Bevins | Canyon Lake Business

Castles and Cottages at Corona Crossings (say that ten times) is a boutique filled with beautiful eye candy.  This store packs in an array of home decor and personal necessities that you just can’t live without (or literally wouldn’t want to leave in the store without buying….even if you don’t really really need it!)  When I’m in the Corona area, I’ve got to make sure to make time to visit this lovely store.  It’s a definite MUST!

There are decorations that you won’t find anywhere and depending on what theme you’ve got for your living room, kitchen, etc.; you might just find it here….  Not only will you travel from a Jungle Safari to a Parisian Parlour because of the greatly coordinated pieces, but if there’s an event you’re shopping for; you’ll find the perfect gift here!

There are many Canyon Lakers who are looking for home decorating ideas and I highly recommend this place – if not, at the least; you’ll enjoy browsing and taking in everything your lovely pair of eyes are consuming!

I’ve included some photos from Castles and Cottages’ Facebook page, but I suggest you go there for an actual Look-See.  These pictures do not give the shop full justice.  Let the owner know you found their store on our website – Canyon Lake SoCal!  Actually, she doesn’t even know we’re raving about their square footage of beautiful items!

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Retail Therapy Near Canyon Lake

By Justin Bevins | Canyon Lake Business

Shopping has a calming effect on me….  That is why when I tell my husband I’m going to get some retail therapy, he automatically KNOWS what I mean….and that I’ll probably be gone for quite a while.  Heck, when we first moved to Canyon Lake, the first things I had to plot into my GPS were the nearest shopping centers and malls!

Though we’ve got a ton of shopping choices in the area, I’ve listed my personal “go-to” favorites to make it easier for you area “newbies” to become familiar with what places might give you some of the same therapy I get!

So…  Depending on what type of environment you’re in the mood in, you’ve got the following choices:

Menifee Countryside MarketplaceWhen in the mood to shop but I don’t want to drive too far, I head over to Menifee’s Countryside Marketplace shopping center.  I love that it’s got a Sports Chalet, TJ Maxx, Kohls, Michael’s and Super Target there.  What makes my retail therapy even better is the new Panera Bread for a quick coffee and pastry stop!  Those asiago bagels are my ultimate favorite!

Dos LagosIf I’m in a quiet, calm and easy-going-in-stride shopping mood, I normally head out to to The Shops At Dos Lagos in Corona.  Corona is about a 20 minute drive North of Canyon Lake.  It’s a nice outdoor shopping mall that houses shops like Anthropologie, Z Gallerie, White House Black Market,  Victoria’s Secret and much more….  Shopping at Dos Lagos is nice and relaxing, basically because there’s not much of a crowd to deal with, it’s got great boutiques with unique items you won’t find at any large shopping mall.   When you shop at Dos Lagos, you feel as if you’re the only one shopping there and the stores were put there “just for you”.

The Crossings at CoronaUp the road from Dos Lagos, there’s a large (and I say large) shopping center called The Crossings with stores like Ulta, Best Buy, Cost Plus World Market, Marshall’s, BevMo, Ethan Allen Furniture and Barnes & Noble and many more.   What’s great about this mall is all the stores are huge storefronts so you can definitely get a lot of gift or personal shopping done; and again, it’s never overly crowded.

Temecula PromenadeNow, if I’m in the mood to be out amongst the crowds and enjoy the energy just from seeing people get their retail therapy on, I head down South to the Temecula Promenade.  It’s more of a larger mall compared to Dos Lagos and you’ve got the larger anchor department stores such as Macy’s Mens, Macy’s Women’s, and Sear’s.  What I love about this mall is you’ve got the combo outdoor/indoor mall, so for the warm days where you’d like to get some nice sun; you can still do some outdoor shopping and for those rainy days; you’ve got the option to “stay in” and still get that retail therapy in.  Next to having an Apple store and a Sephora, the mall is also flanked by great eating choices such as The Lazy Dog Cafe, The Yard House, CPK, Shogun, and many others.  Just around the perimeter of the Promenade, you’ve also got Cost Plus World Market, a PetCo and one of my favorites ~ Nordstrom Rack!

Now, there are more stores to spend your money at when visiting each of these shopping areas so make sure to check out their websites for a complete directory listing.

Welcome to the area and I hope you enjoy seeking out more retail therapy than what I’ve mentioned!  After all, therapy can be good for you!