I recently got a chance to live stream into the Clinton Foundation's annual "Health Matters" conference in La Quinta, CA and it was very informative and thought provoking. The conference focuses on healthcare and wellness in the USA. I've put together a brief overview of the day's panel discussions to share with you so that you may see where we are at with wellness in America and what direction things are going in.
This shade of purple is full of passion, pop and pizzazz! Orchid is a color rich and bright; it evokes radiance, health and happiness and even adds energy. Its various tones can range from a grayish purple to a purplish-pink to a reddish purple. It works well with the many shades of gray, black, white and ivory. It adds softness to room’s full glass and mirrored pieces. You can add this color to any room. A splash of color with pillows, rugs, throws will let you infuse this tone with out over powering or feeling too heavy. But if you’re feeling a little brave, why not add this color to a feature wall, rugs, bedding or even a chair. Any way you choose to add this color, rest assured you won’t be sorry.
Everything You Need To Know For Your Pet in the NoHo Arts District
As many of us know, NoHo is one of Los Angeles’ most pet-friendly areas. The Arts District specifically caters to our furry friends, as the majority of businesses have outdoor sections to accommodate them. On any given day, you can be guaranteed to see people carrying out their regular business with their dogs on leashes, (or you might even see Beatrice, who walks her cat).
Happy New Years!! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season as much as I did with your loved ones. A few things about the year 2014, according to the Chinese calendar it is the year of the horse which means that (for people like me with birthdays that fall into the year of the Horse) it is a great year filled with opportunities, unexpected adventures, surprising romances, so yes I am beyond excited to find out what 2014 has in store for me and as well as the fashion industry. With that said I have come up with a short list of fashion trends that we should all be thrown to the curb and waved goodbye as of right now! Love it or leave it you decide but the following are some of the best and worst fashion trends of 2013…unfortunately we have all been victims so do not feel bad.
Editor's Note: Amir wrote this post for our blog a couple of years ago, and no doubt, there have been new and memorable occasions since then. We're each spending New Years Eve in different ways. He'll be with his husband and friends in Los Angeles, while I give a toast to 2014 in London. No matter what you do to celebrate, we hope you have a most fantastic New Year!
There’s no better time than now to focus on your health and fitness goals. Follow these 5 steps and you are on your way to the 3 T’s: Tighten, Tone, and Trim.
French design can encompass a number of things. It has toile fabrics in many colors and designs, the iconic fleur de lis pattern, matelasse and chinoiserie. It also has roosters in the kitchen paired with beautiful checked and floral fabrics along side heavy weathered tables anchored with rush-seated chairs. It can mix something very sophisticated in a room full of rustic antiques creating a space that is elegant, charming and relaxed.
There’s a reason why high season in matchmaking starts in September. People anticipate the pending holidays and nobody wants to go through it alone. The stress, expectations, frenetic pace, obligations, retail ruckus…OY! Of course spending the holidays with the one we love is simply delicious but I often wonder if people try too hard to create magic with the wrong person or Mr./ Ms. Right Now. It is a very vulnerable time of year for a lot of people that can foster social anxiety, family dysfunction, excessiveness and bad behavior. It’s also a very beautiful time when traditions and loved ones gather ‘round to make more sweet memories.
The average American gains 7 pounds over the Holiday Season. Don't be a statistic! Here a 7 things you can do starting today to ensure that your waistline doesn't expand into another zip code.
We’re getting into the spirit of the season just like everyone else. In addition to the gingerbread men, peppermint delights, and traditional Christmas cookies, we love to include an adult treat in our Holiday repertoire of goodies. I enjoy eggnog as part of my winter routine. Chrystal, on the other hand, is not the biggest fan of dairy, boozy drinks. Being that many of my in-laws have a Swedish heritage, I thought a glogg recipe would be the perfect alcoholic seasonal beverage to share.
As the holidays approach you could very well wear the same little black dress to every party this season, but what’s the fun in that? Not saying I won’t share a couple of jaw dropping LBD’s but with a calendar full of fetes is the perfect excuse to splurge on some of the best this season has to offer. And with Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomy’s as your number one shopping destination, you can rest assured you’ll dress to impress at every occasion this season. Not to mention I didn’t forget to include budget friendly but great pieces.
Continued from the last article, here is another way to upholster your wall. This a bit more permanent where you’ll attach or adhere batting right on the wall before installing your chosen fabric. This is really not a new idea. Does anyone remember the velvet-flocked wallpaper from the early 70’s? Well, this is an updated version.
It's just around the corner, the day we give thanks by stuffing our faces with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I can almost feel my pant button popping as I write this.
Being a matchmaker has tremendous rewards…and challenges. Everybody has a story and I always feel honored when people share their intimate details and difficulties with me. All I want to do is help and inspire them. Then there are those who seem to have it all figured out. They’re the “I’ve got it covered” clientele. They seem to know a lot about their strengths and very little about their challenges or blind spots. They “don’t need any advice and know how to date”; they just need a little more “access” to the right people according to them. Which is partly true, I’m sure. However the part that amazes me the most is that they’re not interested in modifying anything about themselves or their approach to dating even though they’re striking out left and right. “I’m just fine the way I am – it’s them” essentially is what they’re expressing. This is when I quote Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over (and over!) again and expecting a different result.
Most of us are getting ready for the Holidays, shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, contemplating whether or not to meet the parents, in my case and I speak for all fashionistas out there we cannot wait for probably one of the most anticipated fashion events during this time of the year; Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2013.
Many times over the years, clients wanted to use something other than paint to jazz up a space. Most of the options or alternatives seem a little too permanent for some. But have you ever thought of upholstered walls? I bet not. So lets investigate this viable option.
Keep It Simple Stupid
There were four eggplant just sitting, waiting, to be used. But how? At least three hours of research and thought went into the process of figuring out something fun to do with them. Eggplant parmigiana would’ve been great, but the idea of fried, cheesey eggplant felt too heavy for the occasion. A salad would’ve been nice, but a few ingredients were missing. Eggplant is great as the main star of a stir fry, but for some reason, that didn’t quite measure up either. Sometimes you spend so much time trying to go overboard when simple is all you really need. We’ve found that happen to us many times, and it’s nice to pull back and just let the natural flavors of the star player do their thing. That’s how those four eggplants ended up taking a ride in a food processor for one of the easiest dips you’ll ever make.
Baba Ghanoush may have several spellings, but it’s preparation is pretty much always the same. It’s a blend of softened eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Anything else you add is your special touch. There are usually two points of contention with baba ghanoush. The first revolves around the eggplant. Many people will tell you, even the nice folks at a local Middle Eastern restaurant, will probably tell you that the roasty toasty flavor of the dip comes from the eggplants. You can cook them over a grill for the best flavor, or you can try this broil then bake method. Second, there’s the tahini. Tahini–roasted sesame seed paste–is surely optional, but it does add that seedy, rich umami note that really sings in this dip. Instead of using tahini though, this recipe utilizes sesame oil, in conjunction with olive oil, to bring out those flavors.
You can dress it up as you like, and for this version, smoked paprika adds an aromatic, oakey earthiness to each scoop. Cayenne would be nice too. Baba Ghanoush is great with crackers, bread or vegetables. It also can serve as a perfect spread for sandwiches. The key is to keep it simple. You can’t go wrong.
Baba Ghanoush (Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip) – Serves 4
4 medium Italian eggplants
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 – 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and slide under a preheated oven broiler set to high for 5-7 minutes, turning the eggplants over every minute or so to ensure all four sides are blackened. Remove from the oven and turn off the boiler. Set the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap the garlic cloves in a small piece of aluminum foil and place them on the baking sheet with the eggplants. Put the baking sheet back into the oven and roast the eggplant and garlic for 30-35 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. Once the eggplant and garlic are cool enough to touch, peel the skin off the eggplants and place the meat in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and put them in the food processor as well. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and sesame oil. Secure the lid on the food processor, turn on the machine and drizzle in the first 1/8 cup of olive oil until just combined. Add up to another 1/4 cup of olive oil based on your preference.
4. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl and top with the parsley and a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Pair the dip with your favorite crackers, bread or vegetables. If desired, cover and chill for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to build.
If you just can't seem to get the momentum on your exercise program going, and find a million excuses to skip the gym and eat bad things, it may be time to make yourself a little crazy! Yeah, that’s right - wacky, insane, and wildly weird about exercise and eating well. As adults we may have a tendency to over think things, dwell on the past, beat ourselves up, or worry about the future. To an extent we must do those things to be realistic about where we’re going and what we’re doing in our lives.
One of the oldest fabrics in the world, Denim is not just another cotton fabric. Designers are thinking of many different ways to explore with denim taking it way beyond your basic staple go to piece. From patching, acid treatment, adding leather, wax treatment, even accessories have denim incorporated in them. We all know jeans are ideal anytime of the day whether you’re going out, work or staying in, we can all agree our denim jeans will not let us down.
I grew up in an Italian Catholic family where the rules were strict but the food was amazing. My mother, who was born and raised outside of Venice, Italy always taught me the importance of having traditional values, strong morals, to respect my body and “never chase the boys”. As I got older, I began to think that her viewpoints were a bit antiquated and stale. But now that I’m in the business of matchmaking and working with singles, I realize how incredibly important the implications of her words were.
Ready to Spice It Up - Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
It is perfectly chilly here in Los Angeles. At least it is during the evening. But we are wimps about it. We are wimps about weather in general as Angelenos. During the summer, we’ll tell you it’s blazing hot, the air is dry, and we can barely go outside.
I usually write about a new trend, color or money saving design tips. But this time I wanted to write about the effects reality television has had on the design industry. At first, some shows allowed the average consumer the ability to see some of the ‘behind the scenes’ work we do. From the fabric selections, initial interviews, work room meetings to the final installation day and reveal with the client. While other shows provided great ‘how-to’ tips or unique garage sale finds.
20% of people are ready to take action and make a change in their lives at any given moment. But why does it take a lifetime for some people to make a change, and others simply act on it and swiftly make lifestyle changes?
Some people adore pumpkin. Some of us do not. It is one of Amir’s favorites, but the other half of this Duo has never been that impressed. Until recently. Pumpkin is everywhere right now, which is exciting for many people. Wasn’t it just last year that the canned pumpkin purée shortage wreaked havoc upon the nation’s bakers? It was also last year that we went all out and cooked up an all-pumpkin dinner party. When Trader Joe’s touted the first newsletter announcing the arrival of canned pumpkin this season, we stocked up on a few cans to work with for the months of October and November. We discussed different ways to use the pumpkin and argued about the types of families that serve pumpkin pie and/or sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving. There was no clear winner for the latter. As for the former, how would we use up all this canned pumpkin? And would the uses be enough to change an ambivalent pumpkin eater or a fan? The findings would be a welcome surprise.
During a design project, it seems the ceiling is the last thing anyone thinks about. But in reality, it should be one of the first surfaces dealt with when working on a design plan. It is also the largest open space in a room. Aside from a chandelier, pendent lighting or even recessed lighting, not much else happens there. Now I’m referring to the average room or home, not a multi-million dollar home with tray or coffered ceilings.
Often times we meet super cool women in their 30’s and 40’s who are attractive, have great careers and social lives and love to have fun. They work hard, play hard and are outgoing, spontaneous, adventure-driven women who are always ready for a good time. Men love these kind of women because they’re typically easy going and always up for anything, which means men can call them on a Thursday night at 6pm to see if they want to meet for a drink at 9pm. They’re usually game. I like to call them “GTG’s” (Good time girls). They’re great girls who are out in the dating field, enjoying themselves and squeezing the balls of life. Fearless and flirty, they can usually tie one on with the best of them. GTG’s live in the moment, do what pleases them and make no apologies for who they are. If they want to sleep with a man on a first date, they will easily allow themselves to get swept up into the moment. Because it feels good….until… (drum roll, please)..They. Start. Wanting. More.
Nuts are a healthy snack, chock-full of ingredients to help you stay in shape and lower your risk of heart disease. They do contain fat, but it's the good fat your body needs a certain amount of.
And The Award Goes To - Rosemary Asiago Popcorn
Nothing enhances a film or television viewing experience quite like a warm bowl of popcorn. In honor of this weekend’s Emmy Awards, here is an easy flavored popcorn recipe that will surely steal the show.
Traditional design at times can be a bit formal. Furniture pieces tend to have fully rounded arms, skirted bases, rich and at times heavy fabrics like damask and velvets.
Food portion sizes have gone up drastically in the past few decades. Americans now eat 100 pounds more food per year, per person than we did back then. Our bodies just don’t require that amount of extra stored energy per meal or snack (which ultimately gets turned into fat on your body).
Spending a part of the summer on the Adriatic coast in Italy does wonders for the soul..and little for the ego. These people are GOR-geous! Naturally so. Italians flock to the seaside with reckless abandon. Here, everyone is the same. Sunbathing is a sport with fit legs splayed open, thongs galore and bare breasts and tiny Speedos on display; it’s a caramel smorgasbord of super soft porn. And there’s more.
Congratulations, you made it to the next level to further your education. You celebrated during the summer with bonfires at the beach, attended concerts and went on family vacations. Well it’s time to buckle down and literally put your thinking caps on because it’s that time of the year, back to school.