Archive | March, 2011

Better the second time around.

28 Mar

In the film Annie Hall, there’s a scene where Woody Allen says to Diane Keaton’s character, “Love is too weak a word for what I feel. I luuurve you…”  This is how we feel about vintage. We luuuurve it.  Nicole and I have said before, and I’m sure we’ll say it again, the excitement of a cool vintage find gives us a “lady boner.”

Going vintage and second hand not only helps the planet by reducing waste, it’s a way to add soul and originality to your home and wardrobe.  Scared of a little mid-century modern molded fiberglass or acrylic?  Come on!  Something 50 years old doesn’t “off gas” people!  Here in LA there are some unbelievably expensive vintage clothing stores because celebrities know the value of showing up in something that no one else will be wearing!  However, these vintage finds, be they clothing or home furnishings, don’t need to break your bank account.  This week Nic and I donned some thrift-worthy duds and headed to one of our favorite vintage furniture shops “453 Modern Vintage” on south Fairfax.

Nic wore a pair of second-hand denims, and we both sported some vintage 1980’s blazers. (Tres “MiamiVice.” Nic was Crockett I was Tubbs)

Staci Cain, the shops fabulous and chic owner, sells fantastic vintage furniture and tchotchkies (pronounced “CHACH-kees”) at prices that won’t make your pits sweat when you ask “How much?”  Staci’s shop also does amazing affordable re-upholstering, which is how I came to love her.  She recovered two vintage chairs I had found for a mere 25 dollars each, and when her work was done they looked like pricey designer wingbacks.

One of Staci’s frequent shoppers is interior stylist Emily Henderson who regularly shopped at Modern Vintage for the first season of her HGTV show “Secrets from a Stylist.” I am now officially OBSESSED with Emily Henderson! Look up her blog, it’s definitely worth subscribing too.(AFTER you subscribe to Society Finch of course!)

Maybe it’s because I am approaching 40 (Mercy!) but I am becoming more comfortable and compatible with things that have a little age and sophistication to them. What’s better than a sofa with a story? A table with a tale? A chair with a criminal record?  Gang let’s dress in something fun, and hit the second hand shops this weekend! You might find an old piece that brings new life to your home.  Nothing wrong with being old, nothing at all!

*Check out more photos from our trip to 453 Modern Vintage on our Flickr page.

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Fabulous at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

21 Mar

This week, Jenn, her daughter Lola, my dear friend Karen and her daughter Camryn, all joined me at the Santa Monica Farmer’s market for a ladies day out!  The sun was shining, the produce was fresh, and we were wearing maxi dresses!  What could go wrong?

The beauty of the farmers market is you are buying local. Local usually means your food has come from less than 100 miles away. And that means your food hasn’t traveled on planes, trains, and Mac Trucks to get to your table. Think of how “un-fresh” you feel after a long plane trip. You wanna eat that?

And being outdoors means you’re not subjected to the unflattering light of the supermarket. Everyone just looks prettier at a farmers market!

We have been planning a market excursion ever since I got a killer light denim maxi dress, from H&M for a mere $14.99!  I accessorized with a vintage floral scarf and mint green jewelry.

Jenn sporting a  $40 sleeveless maxi (which is why she almost looks nude in some of these photos) from Runway a vintage and new clothing store in The Miracle Mile LA. Marc by Marc Jacobs sunnies.

Something about the purchase of a maxi dress made me fantasize about strolling among local fresh fare, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin while soft ocean breezes gracefully add movement to my flowing locks and perfectly draped garment. “Mr. Darcy” may have been a part of this fantasy but I digress.  The maxi dress is easy and romantic. The experiment for the day was could we go to the farmers market, kids in tow, on a budget, and still look great?

YES …mostly!

Looking easy and breezy at 11am we were off! We walked from my house, bit of a longish walk, a choice that we would all later regret, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. With strollers packed and a whopping $10 in my wallet, we entered the market.  There were so many fruits, vegetables, nuts and cheeses to see and sample!

If you’re like me, a human being who eats food, there’s nothing not to love about a farmers market! It makes you suddenly feel European! Like you could bust out some French, or drive a Vespa!  Having the kids with us forced/encouraged us to take our time, and really enjoy every moment to it’s fullest.   To delight in the flavor of a farm fresh apple warmed by the sun, or eat fat juicy local blueberries (biggest blueberries I’ve ever seen people!). We watched  the children smile as they looked at the fresh flowers and attempted to squish them.  Because when you’re little, that’s what you do when you love something, you try to squish it!

Once the line of booths came to an end, treats in hand, we headed to the green space across the street over looking the ocean to soak in the sun. We all indulged in fresh squeezed blood orange juice and pink lemonade. The little girls ate fruit and pre-packed lunch while the grown ups fantasized about the taco truck a block away.

In this perfect moment I was so grateful to live in Santa Monica and to experience such a beautiful day…..

Then Jenn notice her shoulders were burning in the sun, and the kids way overdue for their naps,  started having serious meltdowns. We had to pack up quickly and drag ourselves all the way back home in the searing sun. We were starving, the kids were fussy, and Camryn lost a shoe.

Even though the magic of the day had lifted and we were left sweaty and dehydrated,  miraculously those maxi dresses still looked fabulous!


Treat yourself like a baby.

16 Mar

My baby Lola’s life is pretty awesome. She eats amazing organic food, takes two naps a day, and gets outside at least once a day to enjoy the sunshine and look at flowers. Which brings me to yesterday, when I was feeding “said baby” her breakfast. Lola was enjoying warm oatmeal with crushed apples and black berries, followed by spinach and apple puffs. And me, the mother/caregiver/tall person, was drinking an extra large coffee eating a Zone Bar. So here was my baby eating a rainbow of colors, all organic, taking her time to savor (and occasionally spit out) every bite. And there’s me eating all things brown. Brown coffee and a brown protein bar, which half of the ingredients have come from a lab. And I am shoving it in my mouth with the desperation of a dog who was lost in the woods…for weeks.

 

That’s when I started to think why is it so easy to make sure the ones we love are eating right and being taken care of, but when it comes to us we sometimes treat ourselves like someone who is not worth the effort? Why do we regularly eat food that we know is poison for our bodies? Why do we spend our free time in front of a computer or TV or both when there is a miraculous world out there waiting to be discovered? (With the exception of reading this blog every week, obviously!)Why do we stay up late when we know we’d feel so much better if we had a nice bath, wrapped ourselves in a fluffy towel, applied some lotion on our skin and put ourselves to bed?

WHY?

This week I challenge all of us to treat ourselves like babies. Take yourself to a park (or museum or gallery if the weather sucks), walk around and really look at things. Feed yourself 3 colorful square meals a day, and take the time to chew and swallow!  If you’re upset about something don’t hold it in. Let it out and let it go! Babies don’t know how to hold grudges!  If someone walking by makes eye contact and smiles (as long as they’re wearing pants) smile back and wave.  Dance a little bit. Doesn’t have to be ballet or The Robot, just stand and bounce your bum up and down a few times. It’s not complicated.  Most importantly let your loved ones know how much you care with lots of squeals and kisses!

Next to bronzer, I can’t survive without coconut.

7 Mar

 

Officially. Addicted.

It’s an eco-friendly addiction.  There’s no waste in a love affair with coconuts.  I adore the water, the oil, devour the meat (Yes, it’s actually referred to as meat. Google it.) And when it’s all said and done, the shells provide the perfect amount of “lift and separate” I’m needing these days.

Experts used to think that coconuts were unhealthy due to their high levels of saturated fat.  Mind you, so-called “experts” also used to think smoking relaxed the throat. So here’s the latest bulletin: coconuts good, cigarettes bad.

The fat that coconuts are laden with is actually good for us!  Not to get all sciency on you, but coconuts are chock full of MCFAs (medium-chain-fatty acids), which our body uses as quick energy, rather than storing it as fat.  Unlike LCFAs (long-chain-fatty acids) that we find in our milk, eggs, and animal products, MCFAs have no negative effect on cholesterol and are also known to help lower the risk of heart disease, aid in digestion, and boost the immune system.  Western medicine really hasn’t given this fruit/nut enough credit, while traditional medicine has been healing the masses with our friend the coconut for centuries.

As a gluten and dairy free humanoid there are few things I’m willing to sacrifice, despite the fact that my body is a fragile ecosystem incapable of digesting certain (delicious) foods.  Therefore, alternatives must be found, and somehow I’ve found most of them inside of a coconut!  Need cream for your coffee?  Done.  Jenn introduced me to this one: SO Delicious has a coconut creamer that puts soy creamers to shame.  AND you won’t grow an extra uterus due to the excessive hormones delivered via soy!  Craving rich and fluffy baked goods?  No need for cow’s milk, and butter.  When it comes to GF/DF baking, a can of light coconut milk is the way to go.  With it’s smooth, subtle flavor it manages to keep things light, fluffy and moist to the last bite!  Here in lies the inspiration for my Coconut Waffles!

Rich Coconut Waffles.

Preheat your waffle iron to a mid-range setting.  (I set mine to 5.5 out of 10)

1c rice flour

1/2c sweet sorghum flour

1/2c tapioca flour/starch

1 1/2tsp xanthan gum

2tsp baking powder

2tbs evaporated cane sugar

1tsp salt

2c light coconut milk

2 eggs

2tbs coconut oil

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2c (heaping!) shredded coconut*

*Shredded coconut is optional.  If texture is not your friend, don’t force the friendship.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and combine with coconut milk, oil and vanilla extract.  Add and combine the wet ingredients with the dry, being careful not to over mix the batter. (Small lumps are ok!)  Because of the nature of GF/DF batter, it will be thicker and slightly sticky.  If using the shredded coconut, fold in to the combined batter.  Use a spatula to spread the batter onto the surface of your waffle iron.  Again, because of the viscosity, the batter won’t spread to the corners like a glutinous one so you may need to give it a little help.

I like to make a double batch and keep the extras in the freezer for a quick breakfast or ready-made dessert!  Just toss them in the toaster so they crisp up, and drizzle with maple syrup, honey, or my favorite, almond butter!

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