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Spanish Shabby Chic


It’s been so hot in the last two weeks that I’ve decided to follow my bliss and share another passion: nesting in our new crib. After selling our house at the beach three years ago, it took us almost a year to find our next home. The “right house” meant a fixer-upper with good bones and a great community of like-minded people. Joni Mitchell said it best about L.A. when she sang, “they paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” This sentiment has unfortunately moved into residential properties, so much so, that old houses with tons of character are gutted and synthetically styled to create an upscale lifestyle. The question us, how do you create an authentic atmosphere when bling is king? Our search felt a little like looking for a needle in a haystack. After growing up in Venice, and Toby in west London, we were looking for a laid back community with creative brothers and sisters and a great school. A tall order. Thankfully we found our house. A Fixer-Upper indeed. Check these photos out. The house used to be a Casino. During our first viewing, the owner lead us through rooms with gambling tables, video games, pinball [...]

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Liquid Gold Massage Oil


Ah, food for the skin! I’ve been blending my own aromatherapy oils for years. One of the best ways to preserve your skin is to stay out of the sun, but a little massage oil rubbed on the body every day after a round of dry skin brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic drainage system which ensures that your skin stays soft and supple. The oil also kept me from getting stretch marks (which I am prone to) during my pregnancy. I massaged myself 3 times a day when I was pregnant, and my skin was absolutely singing. People often say, “black don’t crack,” but staying out of the sun and this oil have been my secret weapon for younger skin. Toby and Jake also use the oil as a moisturiser for face and body (for those prone to break outs and oily skin types, use sparingly, on your body only). Massage oil is great for older children, but please consult your doctor before from using aromatherapy oil on babies. The combination of oils may prove too strong for infants. Here’s what to do for a new you:

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Aduki Bean and Squash Soup

Aduki Bean and Acorn Squash Soup

What a blissful morning. Storm clouds have rolled into Laurel Canyon about an hour ago, and raindrops are now dancing on the palm leaves. In our lush back yard, the plants are reaching for the sky, standing at attention, and drinking in the much needed moisture. The boys left early for an indoor car show, so I get to play at home: Cooking, writing, and reading for the next few hours. The soup is simmering on the stove while I tap away on the computer, taking sips from my unconventional cup of Earl Grey: organic soy milk, sweetened with brown rice syrup and a dash of raw honey. Just call me The Nutty Progressive. Today’s recipe is soothing and sweet. If you are unfamiliar with the aduki bean, they are small, red, ovals of protein goodness. Aduki Bean and Squash Soup is perfect for cool weather, and hearty enough to eat on it’s own. If you’ve ever had a Chinese Red Bean Cake pastry, they are made with the same delicious beans. I was immediately hooked the first time I tried these pastries in a tiny shop off Tottenham Court Road in London’s Chinatown. There’s something about the smooth sweetness of Aduki [...]

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My Life in the Sunshine


Hey there! No recipes or recommendations this week, just photos from my life in Laurel Canyon. Feel free to click on the images for a larger view. See you next Sunday! Afternoon delight Birds in paradise A room with a view Our local restaurant Pace (Pace means “peace” in Italian) Happy trails Peace palms Best coffee in town Fab ‘n Funky  Canyon hipster Laurel Canyon Community group photo  From the guy in the yellow shirt, count 5 people up, then make a right to find Jake, Toby, and I (I’m wearing a panama hat). Take it easy!

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Go Greens Juice

Let’s face it, this is not the sexiest juice in the world. Can anyone really be prepared for a drink that looks like the perfect shade of camouflage? I hear ya, I hear ya. The good news is that the benefits to those who are brave enough to get down with the green stuff are huge. It’s like lightening in a glass. Quite simply, green juice kicks ass. So let’s get into the perks of drinking raw and organic juice: Incredible energy, clear, soft, and supple skin. Check. Lustrous hair, and nails that grow faster. Check. Unlike green smoothies, green juice has less fiber, allowing the body to assimilate antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, oxygen, and protein, faster. Organic produce is fresh and natural, without any pesticides, sugar, or additives, beating synthetic vitamins and supplements hands down In a last ditch effort to soften the blow of drinking this foreign juice, here are a few snaps taken from our last hike around  Laurel Canyon…….   Green is good. Hey, ho, let’s go. Lovely Bones. Vibelicious view Camouflage anyone? What a lemon. Come on, let’s swing! Go Greens Juice 10 medium sized carrots handful of parsley with stems 5-6 leaves of kale half [...]

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Hello Dudes and Dudettes. Sorry to have missed you all this week, but we’ve been moving and setting into our new house. When I hit the the spice rack, I’ll be back with more dishes. While you’re here, have a listen to the track, “Home” by The Talking Heads, and check out my photos of hippy buses in the neighborhood. If you want to watch the performance on bigger screen (for a great performance by David Byrne dancing with a floor lamp) and view the images at the same time, double click on the arrow. See you soon!

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