Rest in Peace Leonard Cohen

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“Listen to the hummingbird
Whose wings you cannot see
Listen to the hummingbird
Don’t listen to me.

Listen to the butterfly
Whose days but number three
Listen to the butterfly
Don’t listen to me.

Listen to the mind of God
Which doesn’t need to be
Listen to the mind of God
Don’t listen to me.”

                                                                                   -Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

Hummingbird Watercolor by Olechka Design 

 

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Wanted to share something positive today, as it has been somewhat of a somber week. Music is the great uniter, and I know the right tune can make my mood do a quick 180. This playlist was made in Bali, adding as our adventure went along. The vibe is surf-y, mellow, mid tempo songs, with worldwide influence. Please enjoy …and remember to spread the positive vibes❤

Alina Baraz-Fantasy

Bonobo-Antenna

Shamanic Dub-Ayahuasca

Birdy-Skinny Love

Crayon-Give You Up (Darius Remix)

Prince Lincoln-Bell Rock

Kungs-Don’t You Know

Dune-Blue Window

Fania All Stars-Peanuts

Overjoy-Like a Wave

Stick Figure-Fire On the Horizon

Los Cafres-Barrilete

Listen Here

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Havasupai Falls, Arizona

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A little piece of paradise smack dab in the middle of the desert, Havasu Falls on the Supai Indian reservation was our most recent adventure…and adventure doesn’t even begin to describe it! The beauty of this place is absolutely breathtaking. If you live in the Southwest, Havasupai is basically in your backyard and is a must see/hike/swim trip. The hike roundtrip is about 20 miles, 8 to the check in point, and 2 to the campgrounds. All of the falls are a couple miles from camp depending on which you decide to see. We went to basically all of them except Beaver Falls which was rumored to be 8 miles from camp (more than is advertised on signs at the reservation, and one that requires  descent on many vertical ladders). I recommend seeing all of the falls possible, because each one has such a unique personality and structure. There are three main modes of transport into camp: hike, horse, or helicopter. All are awesome options with their own perks. We were definitely not glamping on this one, and was pretty much the definition of roughing it. Backpacking in all of our stuff forced us strip our gear down to the bare minimum. With two sleeping bags, two pads, one tent, one small camp stove, and one dog, (and of course as much water as we could physically manage to carry because there are no water sources at any point on the trail) there wasn’t much room for anything else. This meant, no pillows, one hiking outfit, one bathing suit, and one pair of shoes. We opted for mostly dehydrated food (Oatmeal is a great choice), nuts, two avocados, two apples, and one can of Amy’s Veggie Chili. The one thing I wished I had brought was a pair of water shoes…with blisters from hiking (in sneakers, not hiking boots…also don’t recommend this) and the jagged rocks they would have been a huge relief. They do allow dogs on the reservation and we were traveling with ours so we were happy to bring our pup Speedo (he’s 11!!), and was a hit at camp. We decided after two days of hiking (and a ton of blisters, in addition to a pretty tired pup) to inquire about taking horses for the return trip, and ended up doing so. Besides the fact that I had Bonita, the “crazy” horse (I did volunteer to take her), the ride back was so much fun. A sweet Supai couple that raises horses on the reservation and their son took us up and out of the canyon, with scenic view of wild horses, and of course the falls and cliffs all the way back up. I can honestly say hands down the funniest thing I’ve ever seen was Rio on horseback, trotting, whipping his horse with one hand, and holding Speedo for dear life with the other. I was crying from laughing so hard, and still cant believe we pulled this one off!

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Mesh Crop Top-Varley | Printed Jersey Bra-The Upside | Leopard Dri-FIT Bra-Nike | Cutout Leggings-Varley | Agave Lip Mask-Bite Beauty | Media Player Armband-Adidas by Stella McCartney | Divine Lines Water Bottle-Zazzle | Oil Slick Headphones-Frends | Quilted Patent Tote-MZ Wallace | Free 5.0 Mesh Sneakers-Nike | Quilted Microfiber Yoga Mat-No Ka’oi

Ever notice that when you look good you feel good? Conversely, The same is true. When you feel good, you look good. It’s a healthy cycle that feels amazing when you’re in a good rhythm, but that’s easier said than done.  I’m always more motivated to get in the gym/run outside/do yoga (and such public exercises) when I’ve got gear that fits well, and looks cool. Naturally, I choose mostly black, because when investing in more expensive workout clothes, I like to think that the more basic, the more versatile they will be. Black leggings will go with everything, and are obviously more flattering. A neutral bra with a cute print is the same. I’m averse to the neon/reflective and totally nauseating workout clothes making a comeback, because the last thing I want to do is stick out like a traffic sign in the middle of the gym. If you’ve ever made the long walk from the cardio room through the weights to the locker room, you know your tight-ass pants can leave you feeling like, for lack of a better term, a piece of meat. I’m not trying to call attention to myself at the gym in LA, where that walk feels more like the last judgement…I’m keeping things on the DL. My last tip is that it’s important to purchase pieces that that translate from gym to everyday outings, and ones that can be used for other activities besides sports. In So-Cal, its completely appropriate to wear a cute pair of cut out leggings (shown above), with a nicer comfy tee and cute bralette, outside of the gym. Add an oversized tote that doubles as a grocery bag and you’re set. It’s comfy-chic, and looks effortless…because it was. 

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Copper French Press here

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Who needs an excuse to make margaritas?! I’ve never had any trouble coming up with one, but if you really need a reason, today is Cinco de Mayo! I started making these a few years back and they were a hit with mis amigas, and are SO easy, so I decided to share the love here. They key is gauging the heat level of when infusing the tequila…I like it HOT, so keep all the seeds, and let it sit for about 24 hrs. The fun part of these is the straining method…a French press! The process of French pressing your coffee is super fun and we decided to apply that to another fun beverage…tequila. Enjoy these responsibly and ¡Salud!

 

Ingredients:

-Silver Tequila (we used Espolon)
-7 Cups Grapefruit Juice
-5 Large Jalapeños
-5 Limes (reserve one for garnish)
-1/3 Cup Honey
-1/3 Cup Filtered Water
-Margarita Salt

*Note: This process takes a couple of days…So plan your party accordingly!

 

Instructions:

To infuse the tequila: Wash and slice jalapeños, place half in French press. Pour half of the tequila over the jalapeños and cover with saran wrap, refrigerate remaining jalapeños. Leave mixture in French press on counter for at least 8 hours per batch…just remember the longer you let it set, the hotter it will get! When you are ready to strain tequila, place lid on French press and press down just like you would with coffee. Pour off tequila and place in freezer while you make the 2nd batch (we just used the original tequila bottle for storage).

To make the margaritas: Heat honey with water in a small sauce pot to create a simple syrup. Let cool. In a pitcher combine grapefruit juice, 2 1/2 cups of the tequila, and the juice of four limes. Stir together. Add in simple syrup and ice. Salt the rims of your favorite glasses and serve immediately.

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Giveaway: Mason Cold Brew

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It’s no secret. I LOVE COFFEE (love is an understatement), It’s really difficult for me to put into words my affinity for said caffeinated beverage. I’m excited to announce a giveaway in conjunction with Mason Coffee this week! When I  find something I love I stick with it, and Mason Cold Brew Coffee has become a favorite of mine. This refreshing coffee is the brainchild of Anna and Elijah Senn, born and brewed right here in the city of Angels. Mason Cold Brew is served in it’s namesake jar, making it recyclable and totally reusable.  Whats in it you ask? Only three ingredients; filtered water, light roasted Ethiopian coffee beans, and mint leaves/vanilla bean/or lavender buds, for their subsequent flavored cold brews. The beauty of this individually packaged cold brew? It’s lack of sweetener. I’m super picky about my coffee preferring it with just a hint of sweet, and I find most bottled coffee unplatably sugary, with an egregious amount of additives. Mason is simple, and allows you to customize your own cup (or jar) of coffee, and I appreciate that. Served at the likes of; Ashland and Hill, Make Out Everyday Cafe, Simons Market on Rose and more. Make the switch and taste the difference here. Comment below to win a sample pack of all the Mason flavors delivered right to your doorstep! Three winners will be chosen and notified on May 2nd. Good Luck!

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Natural Products Swap

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       I think that even a small change is a valiant effort in taking control of your own physical health. In this day and age where the emphasis is on easy/fast/cheap, health can often take a backseat to work, kids, social interaction…you name it. I don’t want to preach and by no means think I am a health expert, but most of my life has been spent in cities that  are probably the most health conscious environments in the country. Just by osmosis I feel like I’ve picked up so much information about new, healthier, products and techniques that can make a huge difference in your health and well being.  If a health overhaul seems daunting (and expensive), and you don’t know where to start, pick one thing and stick to it. You can slowly add less toxic products to your routine going forward. For example, three years ago I stopped using conventional, store bought, and completely TOXIC deodorant. I’ve probably tried most of the aisle of natural deodorants in Whole Foods, most of which had little to no effect for me personally, and I’ve heard time and time again from others, that they have felt the same way. After trying and tossing most of the natural deodorant sticks I bought, I tried the crystal. This product apparently has some sort of negative “hippie” stigma.  Every time one of my girl friends saw it in my travel bag, or if a guest saw it in my medicine cabinet, they would give me a strange look and comment on it saying something like “thats for crunchy granola eaters.” Well guess what people…IT WORKS, and I’ve found that in conjunction with a natural spray deodorant (the crystal needs a wetting agent, such as water) this miracle combo lasts all day. My absolute favorite spray deodorant is from Aesop and contains refreshing vetiver, which adds a double dose of protection.

Enough about deodorant. Facial cleansers and scrubs are another crucial part of the everyday routine. The objective for cleaning your face is to remove dirt, grime, pollution…not add to it! Most all grocery store brands have harsh chemicals and parabens that can add to problems like breakouts and damaged skin. I love using  organic brands like Eminence, but these products can add up and break the bank. Simple homemade face scrub can be used with just baking soda and water. This mixture is super alkaline and after using it for even a few days, you will notice a balance in your skin. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in a small mason jar, and add a pour spot top for an easy dispenser. Add a few shakes to wet hands and scrub. Use twice a day for best results. Easy.

Anything you rub, brush, paint, or spray on your body goes INTO your body. I try and think about this beyond just the lotions and cleansers that I use. Fragrance can deliver a potent spritz of chemicals and preservatives which can in turn cause rashes and allergic reactions. I have super sensitive skin and have started using essential oils as fragrance almost exclusively. There are a few exceptions to this, my favorite being Le Labo. This company’s fragrances are completely organic and natural. The “fragrance life” of Le Labo is what may have made this company so popular. The oils in the perfume linger for days, and changes in a lovely way as the hours roll on. They have an awesome program where you can purchase samples that contain a few days worth of fragrance to make sure you love it before you take the plunge. These perfumes are pricey but a bottle will undoubtedly last you a year or longer…and the best part is  you don’t have to feel bad spraying it on your body!

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New Year… New Room

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Black Two Pelt Sheepskin Rug | Gold Dino Planter | Basic Black Bath Towels | Peyote Poem Candle | Cat Grass | Quartz Cluster Box | Bertoia Reproduction Chair | Good Vibes Throw Pillow | Dreaux Metal Stacking Chair | Faux Mongolian Sheepskin Throw | Dennis Hopper Drugstore Camera Hardback

I’m all for a good deep house clean, and in our house this usually comes around twice a year.  Our big spring cleaning was in May when we moved, so it was about time to bite the bullet and start a winter purge. Most times during the deep cleaning process, things seem to get way worse before they get any better. I pull out all furniture, and pull up all rugs, dust, sweep, mop, and finally, rearrange. Rearranging is key, adds a fresh energy to our space, and lets us figure out more efficient ways of storage. This time it was; wire baskets that slide in and out under our entrance way bench that store small accessories perfectly, and a  hook to hang our large wicker laundry basket near the ceiling because its bulky and awkwardly shaped. I purchased a couple of fur throws (one for the bed, one for the metal chair) for a more cozy, and less harsh feel thats ideal for the winter months. Throw pillows are probably the easiest way to instantly spruce up any room. Written mantras like this “Good Vibes” pillow from Urban, perpetuate the words they display.  I love the feel of a minimalistic design, although my tendency is to collect odd and ends, knick knacks, trinkets, coins, shells, flowers (you name it) that end up in the form of multiple “altars” around the house. I have to force myself to throw things out, re-purpose them, or give them away. I’ve vowed to keep one small side table in the house where I can display those items, and keep them contained in one area. I’ve also adopted a “one in one out” policy for clothes. This has worked out rather well for my wardrobe, pairing down my closet and compelling me to buy only staple items that are classic and durable. In the vein of minimalism, my color story (or lack thereof) usually consists of white, black, and pops of metallics, along with hanging plants, or table top succulents. Any earthen items such as crystals as well as hanging plants or tabletop succulents brighten the space and naturally clean the air, while providing an organic and inviting vibe.

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These gooey triple chocolate brownie-like cookies are sure to satisfy any chocolate lovers craving! They have sort of a merengue-like consistency outside, and a creamy chocolate center inside. Containing only seven ingredients total, they are super simple to make, and are healthy too (about as healthy as a cookie can get). These are flourless (so gluten-free), and contain cacao nibs which add an extra chocolate crunch when you bite. The recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, in which I substituted Cacao powder for cocoa, Pink Himalayan Salt for regular, and they came out perfectly. Bake these for your lover for Valentine’s Day and keep them coming back for more…

Ingredients:

-3 cups gluten-free powdered sugar
-¾ cup Cacao Powder
-1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
-2 large egg whites
-1 large egg
-4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
-3 tablespoons cacao nibs

Instructions
Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in egg whites and egg; fold in chocolate and cacao nibs. Spoon batter by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.
Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set just around the edges, 14–16 minutes.
Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool on pan (they’ll firm up).
***Do Ahead:
Cookies can be baked 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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