Friday, July 24, 2009

The Dawning of a New Era...

I am turning 30 tomorrow.

My 20's were filled with many an interesting experience...

They began at UCLA Theater school,

while producing the Pussycat Dolls at the Viper Room
(before their current incarnation, thank heaven)


and travelling around Italy, France, Portugal and Spain
kissing cute native boys and drinking various regional varietals
(my favorite being Brunello di Montalcino),
while dancing late at night, and taking naps on the beach.

*I lived in Marbella for a while. It didn't suck.

Then on to my career in production,
working the red-carpet at the Golden Globes and other award shows,
rubbing elbows with Hollywood's finest
(and discovering they are really JUST people,
something I didn't expect while growing up in the Midwest cornfields)

and living at Villa Primavera at Harper and Fountain,

*James Dean lived in my unit

while having a wild and brilliant night-life filled tryst with Los Angeles,

before meeting a strapping and brilliant European man at 22
and moving to
to be with him.

*Nice view.

For a while.

25 brought with it a move to a bungalow in Venice,
and Preppy Propaganda,
my short-lived but heart-felt
non-profit political T-shirt line,

*the Future Voter one was my favorite

and my stint as a nanny
(loved that job)

before discovering my passion for Interiors at 26,
(while up to my elbows in hardy-backer and stain,
fixing up a house for resale in the hills,)
and living in Hancock Park,
strolling through
Larchmont Village with a Peet's coffee in hand.

Succulent was born while I was 27,

*this was always my favorite arrangement

and seeing a handsome and lovely (motorcycle driving) lad
who lived in a gorgeous loft at 4th and Main downtown.
(We used to wander the streets late at night,
and eat huge breakfasts at The Pantry)

*they have the best pancakes in the city

This final year of my youthful decade
brought about the closing of Succulent,
the launch of a blog,
my re-entry into my passion for Interiors,
and my move to the sweet cottage on Hudson Ave,

where my 30's will begin.

In the morning.

My 20's were a blast.

But I have to say,
out of all the places I've lived in LA,
of all the jobs I've worked,
of all the men I've dated,
of all the places I've travelled,
of all I've experienced
during that carefree yet challenging decade,

I cant imagine being ANYWHERE else
but RIGHT here,
RIGHT now.

With you.


Monday, July 6, 2009

O! Burger, Where Art Thou?

Ok, I have a new obsession.

Now, I know its the time of year where one should
technically be manning their own BBQ.

(or rather WHY in LA)
would one want to bother,
when there is a place called O! Burger?

This yummy little gem, tucked inconspicuously
along the shops in Boy's Town
offers completely delicious
100% Organic Grass-Fed Beef Burgers,
and perfectly crispy fries
in a clean, modern environment with friendly staff.

And although it isn't the CHEAPEST place in town
(a 'combo' of beef burger, small fries, and ice tea runs $10.99)
I've spent more at Fatburger only to feel like a small
beluga whale soon after consuming.


The 'About Us' page on their website
talks more to the details of their mission:
everything edible they offer is organic,
(right down to the ketchup)
and grass-fed beef
"is rich in Omega 3’s, CLA (a fatty acid that may be a potent cancer fighter),
vitamins A & E, and antioxidants, plus it has fewer calories.
It can be as lean as skinless chicken."

Their hope is to "leave you satisfied without feeling stuffed."

So should I feel SO guilty that
I have eaten 2 of these burgers in
the last 24 hours?
(dinner last night, and somehow I happened to end up there again at lunch)

Honestly, I can truly say I've never felt this good
after pigging out on a burger and fries.

At this rate, I may continue to show up for a meal everyday...

Kinda like Super Size Me, only the organic version.

Where's a camera crew when you need one?


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh, Say, Can you See?

What a great 4th of July.

A very charming, and handsome, young man
took me on his brand new Ducati Monster 1100
out to Malibu,

replete with festive, holiday-appropriate helmut.

*Cute right?

The ride was gorgeous, and I was surprised
that not only did I feel SAFE on this powerful machine,
I actually found myself wanting one.

(I would like to create a NEW genre of female rider-
the Biker CHIC- sans K)

His looked similar to THIS:

*apparently, this is the Governator's manufacturer of choice

And mine, I'm guessing, would look more like this:

*yes Ducati now offers custom colors on their Monster 696 models

Anyway, we drove out north of Geoffrey's,
(which has THE best Cadillac Margarita in the UNIVERSE,
and the views, of course, are the best in LA)

to a friends rental off of PCH.

*quite palatial, no?

We grabbed a Corona, changed into our suits,
and jumped in the pool.

(well, ok, technically HE did, I stuck my toe in- BRRRR- and decided
I had risked my life enough for one day)

Hot tub for me.

After some time chatting over basic BBQ conversation:
who does what, with whom, and when,
and the inevitable mention of Iran,
and Michael Jackson,

We changed and hopped back on our sweet ride.

Back in town, we regrouped, and headed up the hill
for the Ghetto Fireworks Extravaganza
at Claire's.

The views were amazing,
and as we watched 'The Rocket Man' and 'American Pride'
regale us with their spark-ed glory,
we laughed as the shrapnel flew,
and the kids screamed in glee (or horror, I wasn't quite certain)
before heading back down the hill to call it a night.

Returning home, I was somewhat worried
about what the dogs would think of our time-honored tradition
to blow things up very, VERY loudly.

Cricket and Pippa were fine,
Benji on the other hand was NOT a fan.

*Poor little bear

(When I let him out to go 'potty' he subsequently ended up UNDER the house.)

Not the kind of 4th of July's I remember from my childhood in the Midwest,
but I must say, the California way has something going for it.

I'll be back.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Miracles in Bloom.

It's a miracle.

The internet is back in the wee cottage on Hudson Ave.

For a couple of weeks, things were a bit prickly around here.

Since I just got things up and running,
and am quite knackered from a fabulous day
(dog walk, Huevos Rancheros, 11am movie,
window shopping, leisurely lunch, good book, nap, hot bath
then dinner with friends,)

I will post more elaborately tomorrow.

BUT I just wanted to share what I woke up to
outside of my bedroom window this morning.

My organ-pipe cactus was in bloom.

These cactus flowers generally open at night for less than 24 hours,
bursting with brilliance out of their harsh, spiny wombs,
briefly sharing with the world their delicious aroma,
before closing up and turning back within.

Their scent is intoxicating:
Sweet, tropical, like Hawaii.

And they beg me to appreciate the small stuff,
the miracles that are in the everyday.

A delicate, fleeting blossom that shares its perfume in the summer evening air.

And high-speed internet.

Its the simple things.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Just Peachy...

I miss you guys so much.

My internet has been down for the last 2 weeks,
which has been nothing short of maddening,
and I am still duking it out with AT&T Broadband to fix the problem.

They assure me they will have things resolved by tomorrow...
So hang in with me, folks.

After being on the phone with them for HOURS,
I am in need of some serious R&R this weekend.

I plan to go to a few gatherings in Malibu,
and then watch the fireworks from a friends boat in the Marina,
with a glass of rosé in hand.

I never come to a party empty-handed,
but this year I actually received requests for my
Mixed Berry-Peach Crisp.

Here is my secret recipe, one which I've spent many summers perfecting,
for this delicious, SUPER EASY July 4th Holiday treat:

You'll need:
A 13x9 baking dish
(I use this one from C&B, its AMAZING and SO affordable!)

A large mixing bowl

A medium mixing bowl
(easy, right?)

For the Fruit Mixture:
2 cups blueberries (2 small packets)
2 cups raspberries (2 small packets)
2 cups sliced strawberries (1 large packet)
2 cups sliced sweet peaches (1 large packet or
around 5 small peaches)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from orange where you
took the zest-just squeezing w/ my hand usually gives me enough)

For the Crisp Topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat)
1 cup granola (without raisins etc)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) UN-salted butter, cut into
small pieces,
PLUS some for greasing baking dish
1 large egg

To Make:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine fruit mixture ingredients (8 cups
fruit, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and orange juice) into a
large mixing bowl.
Pour into a BUTTERED 13" x 9" baking dish.

3) In a separate bowl, Combine flour, granola,
brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and small pieces of butter
WITH HANDS until crumbly.
Add egg last, and finish combining.
Lay across top of fruit mixture.

4) Bake for 40 mins, or until golden brown and bubbly.

5) Let cool slightly, then serve in individual bowls,
with vanilla bean ice cream if desired.

6) Enjoy! Yum!!

*You can refrigerate this after cooled to room temp,
And I've found it is even delicious served cold!

Especially for breakfast. :)