A weekend in Los Angeles

Daniel and I had to work in Los Angeles over the weekend.  We we’re busy most of the time, but had a few hours off during the evening for surfing in Malibu, exploring restaurants and a meet up with my cousin Emily and her main man Ben in Venice. It was a nice change of pace – a fun little get away.  Here are our pictures from our weekend away.
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^^^Malibu Farm has been on my bucket list for quite sometime. I heard great things about it…fresh food, healthy, great location right on the beach where Dan wanted to surf. We found $5 parking in a lot right next to the restaurant and spent the evening surfing and grabbing a bite to eat at the Malibu Farm Cafe on the end of the pier.
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Fresh kale Caesar salad with watermelon radishes, apple spinach juice and a Steven Tyler on the side!
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It’s beginning to look like fall! Look…not feel (like fall). It was 102F in the city today. Super Uggggh nasty.
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On our way to work work work…
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We picked The Butcher’s Daughter as our meet-up restaurant with my cousin – it happened to be the same night of the Abbot Kinney festival. Lots of vendors selling homemade goodies and vintage finds. Great people watching!
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What a gorgeous place! The decor was A+! Fantastic vegetarian dishes, drinks and coffee.
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^^^The Queens Tea – earl grey infused Lillet Blanc, pressed lemon and egg white
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^^^Rosemary’s Cup – Contratto Rosso, rosemary, pressed ginger, cucumber, strawberry & mint
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Interview with Ecohabitude

I’ve been working with the wonderful people at Ecohabitude for the past month as a guest pinner for their eco-friendly weddings board on Pinterest. Anna and Tatyana interviewed me for a little meet and greet for their website and blog. Head over to their website to find green, eco-friendly and socially responsible brands and products. They’re pretty awesome! Here is a copy of our fun interview and some links to my  curating project highlighting a few of their fabulous products.

How did you get into blogging and how do you pick your topics?

I first started blogging as a way to share bits and pieces of my life, travel, projects and recipes – basically a journal of sorts where I could savor and celebrate all the good stuff that makes me smile.

When it comes to picking topics, I usually write about things that we (my husband Daniel and I) are up to, where we recently traveled or a recipe that I wanted to share. Every once in a while I will post DIY projects for our home or a topic relevant to the time of year. I just let the topics come naturally…

What tips do you have for someone who is trying to make lifestyle changes so that they are more socially conscious and eco-friendly?

A few ideas you can start with are conserving water, driving less and walking more, turning off the lights when you leave the room, buying recycled products, eating locally grown produce, creating less waste, planting more trees, using less toxic chemicals etc. Live with a greater awareness of the resources that you use in your daily life. Shop for socially conscious products (here on Ecohabitude) and brands that are eco-friendly. Ultimately, when you are mindful about the way you live, everything will benefit from it.

Just like “Everybody Wang Chung tonight!” what action would your name be if it were a verb?

Ha-ha. I love that song by the way…

Hmmmm, it’s a bit difficult to describe myself as a verb, but I’ll take a crack at it. The verb “Create” is pretty accurate to who I am and what I love doing. Whether it’s creating memories, relationships, recipes or projects, I like to make things. The process of creating is beautiful to me. It’s my chance to leave a mark on this world when I create something.

What’s currently at the top of your lust list and why? 

Ooooh a lust list! I have so many! Can I share a few?

Beech Backpack A British Association for Fair Trade shop, handmade, recycled leather (factory offcut) backpack that supplies 60 Indian families with jobs.  All tailors are paid a fair commission and work from home. Compensation for their machinery, tools and electricity is provided. This company does not use any child, elderly or forced labor. ← I love knowing that the items I buy come from a company that treats their employees fairly and supports a community of craftsmen. This looks like the perfect backpack for more adventuring! Love those pockets!

Solid Shea Butter bars are so silky and moisturizing. I have dry skin so it’s important to keep moisturized. I like natural lotions and butters. “Whatever sits on your skin, gets in” so natural products are best.

Eno Hammock I’ve been drooling over this hammock for quite awhile. Light and compact enough for backpacking, it’s the ultimate access-pass to relaxation and has plenty of room for 2 and a tree-friendly hammock suspension system. I’d love to take this with me on our next camping trip.

Black Pepper Essential Oil spicy, warm and soothing! Black pepper essential oil also has a high concentration of minerals and vitamins (fabulous for cooking too).

Kai Perfume Oil an intoxicating scent of gardenia wrapped in white exotics made with essential oils in a convenient and easy to use roll-on vial.  It’s paraben, sulfate, phthalate, phosphate, gluten and cruelty free! My go-to scent that I currently ran out of! It’s delicious! I get a compliment every time I wear it. Smells like a tropical rain forest in bloom!

If money were no object, what would you be doing with your life?

Traveling the world, as a photo journalist/chef sort of less-foul-mouthed Anthony Bourdain or Globe Trekker. I love learning about the world we live in, people, different cultures, relationships, food, ways of life etc. It all fascinates me! I think we have a lot to learn from each other.

What’s your favorite line from any movie?

OK it’s a bit long, but stay with me…this one is so good.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – Benjamin Button 2008

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Coco Jack

Coco Jack

So I feel like a bad wife…Dan and I talked before Valentine’s day and we decided not to get each other presents this year because of our trip to India (in 4 days!). Totally cool with that. So Valentine’s day comes around and Dan says, “Oh, I got you a present.” Nice D, now I feel like a jerk. “Oh yeah me too…I got you a card that proclaims my undying love for you.” 😉

He’s so sneaky and wonderful.

Any who… he got me this WAY COOL coconut opener called The Coco Jack! I love me some coconuts, but they’re the biggest pain in the a$$ to open so this little invention is a life saver (literally, you can hack your fingers off using that old machete). All you do is place the sharp cylinder on top of the coconut and give it a good smack with a rubber mallet. Then pull up on the handle and pop out the top of the coconut. Simple as that. Here is a video clip if my description has still got you scratching your head. It’s super cool. Go get one!

Here’s the recipe for the yummy smoothie bowl I made:
1 packet sambazon açaí
1 frozen banana
coconut meat from one coconut
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 cup ginger soother
Blend and top with blueberries, raspberries, apples and chocolate covered cacao nibs.


Oh Yeah There Minted.

I have been crushing on Minted for a long time. When they reached out to see if I would be interested in a sponsored post, I jumped at the chance because their company is one of my favorites and their products are just too gorgeous not to share! Minted is a marketplace of independent artists who create and submit designs for all your paper necessities… everything from wedding invitations to limited edition art prints and paper party decor. Minted has it all! Being an art lover myself, I think it’s a fabulous company and a great way to showcase and support artists. The public is welcome to vote and submit for free! <– LOVE this!

It’s easy to lose track of time while exploring their site – they have so many options! I’m especially fond of Minted’s save the date cards. Wedding fever is catching among our friends… every time we open our mailbox it seems that another couple is tying the knot!  I was recently the MOH for my best friend Shan and she decided on these beautiful Minted wedding invitations. They were perfect for her garden wedding! I recommend Minted to any of my bride-to-be friends who are searching for their save-the-dates and wedding invitations. You can’t go wrong!

Yes, Minted is the dream one-stop-shop for all your wedding paper needs, but they are so much bigger than just weddings. I really enjoy Minted’s personalized stationery, day planners and journals – helpful items to get your family organized with the new school year fast approaching. And photo calendars are a beautiful way to display some special moments throughout the year.
Gawwww I love this personal stationery ^
A few more things Minted offers ^^^
P.S. Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas cards? I am falling for these 
***All pictures come from Minted***

Ladies Night Out

Girls Night Out - Packing District
Ladies night out! Ooooh yeah! We decided to go to the Packing House out in Anaheim. Oh man this place it cool. Situated in an old Sunkist packing house (from 1919), it’s been refurbished as a multi level gallery with all kinds of amazing eateries, bars and shops etc. From Indian, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream bars, pork belly roasts, pho and more! I’m not much of a beer drinker, but oh man…the beer here is wild. My friends favorite is the creamy horchata beer from the Iron Press.
There’s so much to choose from. There’s lots of seating, benches and couches to sit and relax as you enjoy your meal and even a couple of oversized swings downstairs. There was a small area in the middle where a band performed nice blues tunes. Ahhh I love this place and love these girls…we definetly need to come back and check out the Blind Rabbit speakeasy!

If in this area, you MUST come check this place out. Come hungry and thirsty.
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^^^Secret entrance to the Blind Rabbit speakeasy. There is a little rabbit handle on the middle row, second barrel in. Do you see it?
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I got some garlic naan and aloo masala rolls with homestyle spicy potatoes, mustard seeds, ginger! We all put our meals on a big table and shared everything.
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And then we shared this ^^^ Ohhhh my gawwwd. Must try Crepe Coop. Fun night girls! Let’s do it again soon!