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so, i went a whole week last week without refined sugars, meat, dairy, or flour. i did a lot of juicing, simple salads, and this soup. drinking all the juice made me crave salt not sugar. usually, i am the opposite. i am assuming it had to do with  all the natural sugars i was still intaking from the fruits and carrots.

by mid week i wanted to start incorporating something other than juice.  juicing has probably been the easiest “diet” i have ever tried. probably because i actually enjoy the juice.  the hardest part, was not being able to watch my cooking shows for fear of cravings taking over me! i did however, watch one of laura calder’s shows, french food at home: french diet food. she made this really simple soup from all veggies and vegetable stock. i took a small twist and added herbs, garlic, and lots and lots of lemon before serving. her recipe calls for artichoke hearts and turnips…which i actually didn’t use because i didn’t have any.

here is what i made:

2 potatos

2 celery stalks

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1 leek

2 tomatos

1 vegetable bouillon

4 cups of water

3 garlic cloves

bundle of rosemary, sage, and thyme

salt and pepper

lots of lemon at the end

cut all the veggies and place in a pot with water, bouillon, garlic, salt and pepper, and herbs. bring to a boil until everything is tender. in a blender or using an emulsion blender, blend everything together until consistency is thick. add lots and lots of lemon to your liking!

this was super yummy and it filled me up!

if you are a design blog junkie like me, then you have probably seen the paint dipped craze taking over the DIY scene.  in my defense of being late on this, i did this DIY like two months ago. ( i clearly prefer to be a leader, not a follower…it’s the aries in me). i just had to do that last shot to secure the post, and it just sat on my list of things to do, for two months.

since i put the effort in, i thought i would still share the post.  i had some wood spoons left over from my friend donna’s party back in could also use plastic spoons or even silverware to add a trendy touch to your cutlery.  i took a little spin and double dipped the spoons.

you need:

2 paint colors

possible bowls for paint

spoons/cutlery/or anything else you can think of to dip paint

egg carton/paper/paper towel for drying and cleaning

i think this needs clearly little instruction. except if you want more of  a swirl look to dip the gold while the white is still wet. for the drip, set the spoon upright to dry, like i did in the egg carton.

use the spoons for parties… or to eat your pudding!

i have lived in LA for almost ten years and i have never driven north of san luis obispo, and never north of santa clarita on the 5. now, that’s just crazy.

 for the drive home,i was researching if i should take the 1-5 or route-99 . people online claimed the 5 was a boring drive…but clearly these people have never driven on 1-65 in indiana in the middle of winter! i found the 5 to be quite lovely. sure, it is flat and a bit mundane, but that was sort of a relief after driving through curvy mountain freeways.  i am a bit of a grandma on curvy roads, especially when it is raining. pretty much everyone passed me that shared the freeway with me.

the drive north i did in two days only stopping in sacramento for the night. luckily my hotel was right by the historic district, so wylie and i went for a little walk.  i was totally thrown back by the old west aesthetic. unfortunately, all i could think of was disneyland.  sacramento was not what i expected, nor was the middle of california. i expected something brown and desert like, and it was actually much lovelier than i thought.

so, now let us fast forward to after the oregon part of the trip.  i spent the night in mt shasta,california. mt shasta is the second highest volcano in the continental US.  this photo below is from the drive north when it was gloomy and rainy. to be honest i am not even sure this is actually mt shasta. i think it might be another mountain close to mt shasta, because when i was driving south, and it was sunny, i saw another huge mountain. pretty sure that was mt shasta…but it looked a lot like this, just bigger!

(this is part of my driving series of photos. total clark griswald moments, if you know what i mean!)

i stayed at the best western plus tree house. i choose this place, let’s be honest, because of the wood panelling. i love a good wood panel.  the hotel was just fine. a bit dated, but that was part of the charm.  ordered room service with the pup, hard to go out to eat anywhere because you can’t leave the dogs in the room alone…and wylie is a whiner! the dinner was decent, but the free breakfast was horrible. hence, the word “free”.

the next morning i woke up early with anticipation for the 10 hour drive ahead of us. before getting on the freeway i did some early morning detours. my favorite part of mt shasta was all the crystal and gem stores(to be bad they were closed), and especially this one  which was clearly a gas station converted into a store. the pumps were removed and replaced with benches and painted concrete. i also did a little drive by of another motel i really wanted to stay at, cave springs motel. it looked adorable. they have cabins as well as a motel.

south of mt shasta is mt shasta lake. man, this place is beautiful!!!! it totally sneaks up on you on the freeway. you are driving through flat land and then all of a sudden, boom!!! there is this gorgeous lake with water like an opal! i couldn’t find a good stop off to get the view from up high. when you are on the freeway you are above the lake, so you get these breathtaking views of the curvy shoreline. you have to see it to even understand it!

then, it was onto the agriculture part of cali!  but not before a stop off at the olive pit in corning, california. my sister-in-law, addie, grew up in orland, california. she loves her olives! i was starving after the horrible breakfast at the best western, and thought something other than fast food would be oooh, so nice. so, in honor of addie i made a pit stop. i bought a can of olives, a breakfast sandwich on olive bread, and last but not least, a lemon olive oil milkshake. yes, it was 10 in the morning, but how often are you presented with a lemon olive oil milkshake? i had to do it, plus i knew i was going to start juicing again the second i got home (and i did)! this shake was soooooo good. lots of inspiration for olive oil flavored sweets! the breakfast sandwich was pretty damn good too!!

from here on out, my focus was HOME! wylie too. poor guy. he kept looking at me like, really? three days in the car…really?

we stopped at rest stops for wylie to roam, but that was it besides my stop at a farm outside of the LA vicinity where i bought some blood oranges and raw almonds.  the landscape was so just lovely, to me. i loved seeing all the orange, lemon, and olive farms along the freeway. could have done without that stock yard though.  yikes! here are a few driving shots from the iPhone. no-time-to-stop.

the last shot was driving into the mountains outside of LA.

and of course, here is one of wylie making himself at home in the backseat.

i have to admit that i sometimes forget i live in california. as a kid, that was all i wanted to do. i remember we had this current event class in 5th grade and every little newspaper we got seemed to say that everything was happening in california. i wanted to be part of that. hard to believe that i have been living that dream for 10 years this august.  LA can be a bit of a bubble sometimes,and i admit it felt good to drive out of the city. driving through the rest of the state kind of made me feel like LA wasn’t even part of california.

 the trip through cali made me happy that i have lived here as long as i have…that i made one of my dreams come true, for 10 years!

Forest Park, Portland

i have waayyy to many photos to share about this trip. so, i am dividng them up a bit! i just couldn’t decide what to not share. get ready for a damn long post, though!

when i left olympia, i did a little drive around in portland. i have been there a few times, so this was just a little refresher and its always easier to get a sense of a city when you drive in it. for me anyway. i stopped at my favorite pie shop, random order coffee shop. i got the chicken pot pie and chocolate cream pie to go. clearly, my diet at this point went out the window! but hey, i was traveling!  i checked out the different neighborhoods doing a loop from mississippi street to alberta to hawthorne and over the west side taking a car stroll through forest park and down 23rd street.

see, i have been contemplating moving to oregon for  a long time. my hobbies are a lifestyle there and my brother is only 2 hours away, but then there is the gloom. oh, the gloom. it actually gets gloomy here in LA quite a bit, in fact it is right now. i just can’t seem to take the plunge at this time. it’s something i am slowly figuring out. needless to say, i do think it would be amazing to live in this city!

i didn’t get a ton of shots as i spent most of the time in the car and it was raining. i found the houses super charming, especially this blue one!

i left portland and drove west to lincoln city, oregon. on my way there i stopped at some thrift stores and found some awesome little gems along the side of the road. i just couldn’t get enough of the rustic simplicity.

upon arrival in lincoln city, it was raining. but wylie and i took yet another driving tour of the little town and had a lovely walk on the beach.

the little mojo house i thought was such a lovely and modern version of all the drive through coffee shops through out oregon and washington. damn, i love these! they served stump town coffee, which i clearly got for breakfast!

we drove to a lake and found some cute little yurts. if i wasn’t a chicken shit to stay in one of these by myself, i would totally stay here! the top left photo is the hotel i stayed in.

i stayed at surftides, which is owned by the same people who own farmers daughter here in LA. it was such a great place to stay for the price, and they allowed pets. i searched for a few hours online  trying to find a boutique hotel that wasn’t full of country decor. i mean, sometimes that is just great, but i wanted to mix it up on the trip! i ordered room service (the food was great! clam chowder included) , started a fire, had a glass of wine, and listened to the waves in my ocean front room.

it was divine!

this hotel reminded me a lot of the hotel i stayed in zagreb. modern, simple, affordable, and just the right amount of charming touches. there is a pool, the ocean, a great restaurant, and fire pits outside in the evening!

early the next morning i took wylie for a walk on the beach. and the little guy just loved it!!!!! i couldn’t stop smiling and laughing at how much he was running around. he had so much fun! it was the cutest!

we left the hotel and started driving south down the 101. and well, this was simply amazing! the pictures i took do not even compare to the beauty that is actually there. so, many places to stop and wonder, gaze, and enjoy. lots of beach towns and antique stores too!

i spent the most time at cape perpetua.  there are several stop offs,like the spouting horn, devil’s churn, and driving to the top of the park there for an incredible view from the CCC shelter.

a few other shots from along the coast. the last one is in the sand dunes area…near florence. and i love how you can see the  thick of clouds moving away from the coast.

from the dunes area i took the backroad 38 over to roseburg. this was beautiful as well. the majority of the road rides along the umqua river. i only got one good shot of this area, in the car.

i drove through a few small towns in southern oregon. one being ashland, which is just the cutest little thing! i wish i had time to hang!

but it was on to mt shasta for the night …that shall be part 2! california!

a few things about oregon:

the trees, clearly

the amount of land that is just breathtaking

the thrift stores

the grittiness

the wine country

 the mean drivers( and that is coming from someone who practically lives in her car in LA)

 very nice people otherwise

drive through coffee



a plethora of casinos

probably as many prius’ as california

the country…there is some country there


and finally: getting use to the fact that you can’t pump your own gas

Portland on Dwellable

 i am dividing up the posts about my trip…and this one is the family one. the reason i even drove up north was to spend time with my bro and his family. my parents were there as well, and we had a lovely time just being around each other.

i love my family, a lot! and let me just clarify, this is only half of them. i also have two sisters, whom are twins, and between them they have 6 kids and one on the way. so, that makes 9 grandkids.

my brother’s baby girl, violet, is just about the sweetest. and ryland, whom i use to be a part-time nanny for has grown up so fast. he loved wylie so much! even violet did, he gave her lots of kisses on the hand! wylie loves my dad…so does violet.

this is a collection of all my favorite images!

…and sorry addie, the only photo i have of you was of you eating breakfast! but totally reminiscent of the bagel sandwich you make me every time i come to visit!

can’t wait for the whole family to be together in june for yet anther destin family vacation!

on friday, i stopped off at the echo park farmers market  and couldn’t resist buying the squash blossoms! (even though i am starting a juice cleanse,but hey they are gluten free!) i love fried squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella, and lazy ox use to have a mean one on their menu with honey. hence, my inspiration for some honey on these babies! i have to say this was a quick make up of a dish with things i had on hand or growing in the backyard!

this recipe is for four squash blossoms

4 squash blossoms

1/4 cup feta cheese

2 tsp thyme and sage

dash of olive oil

one egg

1/2 cup of masa

raw honey for drizzling

fleur de sel for a sprinkle

lemon for a squeeze

wash your squash blossoms and cut the ends to about an inch.

mix the feta, dash of olive oil, and herbs together in a bowl.

heat up some ghee in a pan. dip the blossom in the egg and then the masa. fry em up!

drizzle with the honey, lemon, and fleur de sel!

you can play around with the cheese…goat, mozzarella, farmers cheese? the herbs too! and of course, the masa is gluten free, but you can use regular flour or rice flour. whatever floats your boat!

i am back from my road trip! and it was such a pleasure.   now, that i am back…it is back to business. i have so much to do…cleaning, organizing, gardening, juicing, and all sorts of prep work for UNIQUE LA in may! i have so many ideas swimming around, i can hardly stand it.

but first, i want to decorate with all the new gadgets i found while thrifting on my journey. priorities first, my friends.

my dear friend, sarah glass, took me to my first thrift store in high school back in Alabama…and i haven’t stopped since. i get such joy when i find treasures, as though i just won a gold medal.  there is a value village by my brothers house in olympia that i score at every time! i hit a bunch in oregon on the way back to LA. i just couldn’t stop myself. it might be a bit of a problem. i use to sell the vintage stuff i would find on etsy, but i have slowed that down and have been hoarding it for myself. however,  now that i have come home with so many new treasures, it might be time to purge…i have no room left in my house. yikes!!! (it’s not that bad…i just have no storage to hide things)

here are a few photos of the gems i scored!  the first photo is a bunch of branches i found in my brothers backyard and sea rocks i found on the coast in oregon…both awaiting projects! the things i find in nature always trump anything i could have bought! it is pure satisfaction.

ok, maybe i went overboard…but i scored some great baking pieces, an espresso maker, a tea kettle…all things i would want to pay full price for, but didn’t! i think my favorite things are the sears cooker/fryer that i will probably never use and the carpet tapestry everything is sitting on!

more posts to come  about the road trip!

i have been ignoring my blog lately… and that is because i took myself on a post birthday road trip to olympia, washington to visit my brother and his family. wylie (my dog) and i, left LA and drove all the way up the 5. i have lived in LA for almost 10 years and have never driven much farther than wine country north of santa barbara. of course, i have taken an airplane up this way many times, but sometimes a road trip is just so much better! my parents have been here too, a nice little family time!

 tomorrow, i leave to make my way back down to LA. i have lots of interesting stops planned! i won’t spoil it now, but leave it for a surprise later. in the meantime here are a few pictures from a hike yesterday. i love it up here so much. the moss, the green, even the rain.  so vastly different than being surrounded by cactus, succulents, brown, and sun in LA.  but that’s the best part of traveling…the notions and ideas of what home is …or is not.

i have become obsessed with juicing.  i have been juicing for breakfast and often lunch and a light dinner. due to the massive amount of media i have been watching based on diet, i am now questioning my intake of meat and cheese again. i watched forks over knives last night and am ready to throw out all those lovely cheeses in my cheese drawer.

here are a few of my favorite combos so far! just remember to limit the juice to one or two fruits as they are still high in sugar. also, beets and carrots are good for adding sweetness,but they are high in carbs. so, you shouldn’t just juice with fruits and carrots. you need lots of greens in there too!!

fennel. orange. kale. carrot

beet. cabbage(red or green). spinach. apple. ginger

pear. kale. cucumber. mint

cucumber. spinach. pear. cabbage. mint

strawberry. .lime. mint. cabbage. kale

orange. celery. beet. apple. kale

 veggies like cabbage, celery, and cucumber have lots of juice to give. where kale and spinach will produce a small concentrated amount. using things like ginger, mint, basil, lemon or lime can add just a bit of a kick to the juice! play around, i have yet to make a combo i didn’t like!

 now, what do i do with all those cheese, meat and flour posts i have pending? that is the question.

happy juicing!

super excited to announce that sun and glory and bird and feather are teaming up for UNIQUE LA in may and PATCHWORK -Culver City in June! Check out the website and if you are in LA please come stop by!

if you can’t come to the LA shows, check out our websites as well as any possible local craft fairs in your area! support your local artists!