Saturday, September 28, 2013

Snapshots from a day in my Life - Summer 2013, Cardiff by the Sea

I love how the sun lights up my living room in the afternoon.
Candle making in progress

Summer planting session.
Begging for some outside time with mommy.
My amazing neighbor dropping off a fresh fruit bowl.  So lucky!

Cleaning windows with a smile.
Quick dip in the pool.
Our beach. Sunset.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Well-Rounded Sensory Experience

Photo courtesy of Foda Studio
My husband and I took an impromptu trip to Austin last month to explore, listen to music and eat (of course).  We were delighted to find a multitude of  excellent dining establishments offering much more than the traditional tex-mex and barbecue fare synonymous with Austin. One such excellent place is  Elizabeth Street Cafe; a French Vietnamese restaurant and boulangerie.  

We arrived around 6p and the place was packed so we opted for seats at the bar which gave us a birds eye view of the bar, kitchen, dining room and patio.    I love to take everything in and the visuals did not disappoint.  The restaurant decor is delightful with a cheerful color pallet, french details and asian undertones. The food is a bit on the pricey side, but the ingredients are quality and everything is fresh from a scratch kitchen. We ordered the fresh spring rolls, bun (a noodle dish) and the coffee gelato profiteroles.

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn

Photo courtesy of Casey Dunn

Photo courtesy of Foda Studio

Elizabeth Street Cafe is owned by the McGuire Moorman Hospitality group which owns top restaurants in Austin, including Lambert's, Perla's and Fresa's. The branding was done by Austin design firm Foda Studio.

Elizabeth Street Cafe
1501 S. First Street
Austin, Texas

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I believe that Valentine's Day is about all types love (not just romantic love) and is meant to be celebrated regardless of your relationship status.  The celebration of love doesn't mean you need to participate in the commercialization of Valentine's Day, but serves as a reminder for all of us to love more fully and deeply in our lives.

Love of the SELF is the most important love of all.  It doesn't mean you are selfish or narcissistic.  In fact, it is said that we are not able to fully love anything until we can fully love ourselves - quirks and all. 

Experiencing the simple acts of self-nurturing on a daily basis can help you to reconnect with YOU in a loving way.  The following is a list of ideas you can do this Valentine's Day or any day of the year...

  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Share a hug with a loved one
  • Move slowly and give yourself enough time to get where you need to go
  • Reflect on your positive qualities
  • Practice deep, intentional breathing
  • Be gentle with yourself
  • Take your power back by forgiving yourself and others
  • Let go of the past and engage in the present
  • Laugh with friends
  • Practice gratitude
  • Write your thoughts and feelings in a personal journal  
  • Make a list of all the things you want to experience in life and start checking them off the list NOW! 
  • Sing (even if you're out of tune)
  • Learn a new skill  
  • Get plenty of rest and make time to take naps 
  • Take a walk
  • Make yourself a nutritious meal, eat it slowly and in silence 
  • Tell yourself "I love you" every morning and every night
  • Find your inspiration
  • Engage in meditation to tune into your own intuition and the deep well of wisdom you have within
  • Count your blessings
  • Play like a child 
  • Tell yourself the loving words you want to hear from others
  • Take yourself on a vacation  
  • Practice positive affirmations or create your own mantra
  • Spend quality, loving time with an animal and experience unconditional love 
  • Reflect on your successes
  • Set boundries and start saying "no" without feeling guilty
  • Keep fresh flowers in your home
  • Read positive, motivational literature and turn off the drama
  • Get to know yourself and what makes you happy and feel loved
  • Create your own unique list of self nurturing activities
  • Schedule your self-care appointments in advance so you don't pass them over

Happy Valentine's Day!



Thursday, January 5, 2012


Tangerine Tango is a sophisticated, dramatic, high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy. It invokes an adrenaline rush that provides motivation to move forward.

Tangerine Tango is especially appealing in fashion. Many designers are incorporating this orange into their spring collections and it will surely carry through to fall fashion as well.


Tangerine Tango adds a fresh punch of color to lips, cheeks and nails.

 Interior spaces are energized with pops of Tangerine Tango. Incorporate pillows, bedspreads and tabletop accessories in this high-impact hue to spice up any room. For an inexpensive way to perk up your home, paint a wall or cabinetry shelving in Tangerine Tango.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Kris Carr,

I'm in the middle of a 3 week "Reset" cleanse led by the magnificent Heather Fleming of Conscious Nutrition.  We met several years ago when she contacted me to design her logo and business collateral.  I thought I was nutrition savvy until I read her book.  She knows her stuff! 

Back to the cleanse...I am starting to feel some positive shifts away from my usual sugar and caffeine cravings AND I woke up before 6am this morning feeling rested for the first time without an alarm in many years. Who knew that sugar cravings mean you need more protein and good fats in your diet?  Also, that innocent cup of coffee in the morning does sabotage your sleep (15 hours after you drank it).  It hasn't been easy (endless grocery shopping, food prep, some headaches, cravings) and I have had some grumpy moments, but I think I've passed the threshold.  It's all about retraining habits and making new choices. I've cut out most starches, wheat/gluten, dairy, refined sugar, alcohol and a few other items leaving me with fresh vegetables, some fruit, lean meats (minimal) and 3 Metagenics UltraClear Renew shakes a day (tip: mix with Almond Milk and a spoonful of Almond Butter. It tastes delicious!) and lots of water. 

In need of some more inspiration, I came across these important healthy diet and lifestyle tips from best-selling author and wellness warrior, Kris Carr.

Top 15 Crazy Sexy Diet & Lifestyle Tips
1. Get back to nature and back to the garden – preferably the organic garden – when affordable – when not, try to choose fruits and veggies that are less sprayed. You can find a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides at There are over 80,000 chemicals in our world today, eating them and putting them on our bodies is a dangerous proposition.

2. Create an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. Learn about pH, the acid/alkaline balance, and say goodbye to the SAD, acidic diet in favor of alkaline raw organic veggies, sprouts, green drinks, green smoothies, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, love and oxygen.

3. Make juice not war. Green smoothies are great too. My favorite juicer is the Breville Ikon, and the best blender is the Vitamix. Instead of your morning cup of Joe, (or nightly cup of booze) try filling your day with fresh vegetable juice.

4. Drink lots of clean, purified water.

5. Decrease the amount of animal products you consume (especially dairy products) and move towards more of a plant-based diet.

6. Refined sugars and processed starches are the devil – dump them. If it’s made in a lab it takes a lab to digest. If it has a shelf life longer than you, don’t eat it. Choose low glycemic foods as much as possible.

7. Shake your booty. Your lymph system, which carries away waste, needs you! Unlike your heart, it doesn’t have a pump. Aerobics is the pump. Brisk walking is the pump. Yoga is the pump.

8. Give your colon a regular spring-cleaning. That’s right, flood your body with alkalinity and flush it of toxins. As the good stuff goes in the bad stuff should come out – on a regular basis.

9. Use natural skincare products. Your skin is your largest organ and what you put on it you literally drink in. Everything you consume either gets assimilated or eliminated. Chemical creams and perfumes tax your body big time.

10. Stress also creates acidity, so turn down the volume on chaos and turn up the joy factor up. Find and regularly commit to activities that help you bring it down a notch. Some ideas: meditation, gratitude journaling, guided relaxation or visualization CD’s, nature.

11. Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. Optimal hours: 11-7am.

12. Chew. Your stomach does not have teeth.

13. And stop eating late so that when you snooze, your body can focus on repair instead of digestion.

14. Set boundaries so that you have the physical and emotional time to take care of yourself – it’s not selfish, it’s self-preserving.

15. Make time for fun, for love, for laughter!

For more about Kris Carr, visit

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weekend Retreat at Esalen - August 2011

Esalen Institute is a retreat community located in Big Sur, California. It was founded in the early 60's and has a rich history of attracting artists, musicians, writers, psychologists, philosophers and alternative healers.  I've been wanting to go for about 15 years and finally got around to booking a weekend retreat this past summer with Buddhist priest, entrepreneur and executive coach, Marc Lesser, titled, "Accomplishing More By Doing Less." Workshops are experiential and didactic.

For a more complete experience I highly recommend booking a shared cabin, going solo and bringing an open mind. For more information, visit

Below are images from my stay...  
Clothing optional bath house and massage area.  


Meditation nooks are everywhere.

The grounds are gorgeous.  No cell phone coverage, TVs, radio or Skype allowed, so you can truly escape distractions and immerse yourself in the experience.   

Greenhouse, organic garden and chickens!
Love this sign in the greenhouse.

There is a working Sweat Lodge on site.  If you're lucky, they might have one going on during your stay.

This area was once inhabited by the Essalen Indians, hence the name.

My dream house

Big House is where my workshop was held.
We had a roaring fire in the huge fireplace on the last evening. Felt like summer camp. 

View outside our workshop space.

Main Office and space for group activities like Kirtan, Yoga, Movement Classes.

Dining Hall in foreground.  There's a silent table for those who wish to eat in silence.