The September Issue

With August halfway over you know what that means…the coveted September issues are upon us. It’s the most exciting time of the year for fashion magazines. Here some of my favorite covers for September 2014!

Photo by Michael Thompson

I love these chunky Chanel lock necklaces! Photo by Michael Thompson

Photo by Guy Aroch

Blake Lively always looks super fab! Photo by Guy Aroch

Photo by Victor Demarchelier

I am pretty sure this dress has BATS all over it and for that I am in love!! I am also a sucker for a bold, red lip. Photo by Victor Demarchelier

Photo by Alexei Hay

Leave it to the Latinas to always look sexy! This dress is smoking hot! Photo by Alexei Hay

Photo by Max Abadian

This patchwork lace is just plain crazy and I am intrigued. Photo by Max Abadian

Photo by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot

Rihanna is always a show stopper! Photo by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot

Photo by Dan Martensen

Always a fan of Lucky, this dress is as interesting as the fact that Dakota Fanning has grown up! I just read this interview with her and she seems so cool and down to earth. Photo by Dan Martensen

Photo by Randall Slavin

I was thrilled to see a woman over 50 gracing the cover of a magazine other then AARP! Looking good Donna Karan, looking good. Photo by Randall Slavin

Photo by Mario Testino

I love the Bridget Bardot feel of this shot! Photo by Mario Testino

Photo by Nino Muñoz

This dress is absolutely gorgeous. Photo by Nino Muñoz

Photos by Emma Summerton

I love when a magazine offers several covers of the same issue. It is always so fun to see which one you are going to get! Photos by Emma Summerton

A Night Out with Reflekt Mag

I recently spent a Saturday night in Echo Park hanging out with the cool kids from Reflekt Magazine and designer Virginia Dan at the Echo Chamber, a pop-up creative co-op. It was so fun and refreshing to meet people so passionate about art and fashion that were actually making things. I was totally inspired, recharged and ready to create something by the end of the night!

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Zines and craftiness are alive and well at The Echo Chamber in Echo Park. Center mural by Addyroth. What to do with your old skate board decks and cassette tapes?!

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Me, the models and designer Virginia Dan.

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I LOVED these 2 dresses and would wear them in a heartbeat. The yellow one was actually dyed with Turmeric!

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The models, designer and Janet and Camay of Reflekt Magazine.

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One to watch… Virginia Dan wearing one of her own designs. I loved the webbing!

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Some of my purchases from the Echo Chamber creative shop/workspace: A copy of Reflekt Mag, a bat print for Keri, some cool note cards by Heart On, and this AH-MAZING plastic clutch by Glamchop with fringe that reminds me of the streamers on my childhood bike!

Throw a Candy Cocktail Party

Photo by Wade Hammond

Photo by Wade Hammond

Specialty candy boutiques have been all the rage for quite some time now. Places like Sugarfina, The Sugar Factory and Dylan’s Candy Bar have actually become destinations in places like LA, NY and Las Vegas. Hopefully they are selling this new book Candy Cocktails because you could really do some damage shopping for a candy themed cocktail party! The authors Katherine Good and Flannery Good are 2 bloggers who co-write a blog called Fashionably Bombed about mixing fashion with yummy cocktails. Publishing this book was a dream come true! They have a chapter on frozen candy cocktails, holiday candy cocktails, candy shots, how to throw that perfect party and more all in 160 colorful pages! One of my favorites is the Pop Shot that I turned into a martini (pictured above) with Pop Rocks on the rim!

Ingredients:
Lime juice for the rim (I used honey)
Pop Rocks
1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup

Put it in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain! Delicious! Cheers! Happy Friday!

DIY Beauty Treatments

Remember when I posted about the face mask making machine  back in 2011? Well, here are some great summer beauty recipes you can make from home with no fancy mask machine required, just a blender and some fresh ingredients!

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My cat Tigger loves oatmeal and honey masks. He won’t stop trying to lick my face!

All of these wonderful recipes were created by Nina Curtis at Blendtec. I happen to own a Blendtec and absolutely love it! If you don’t have a high powered blender like this try these recipes in whatever you’ve got. They might just end up a little chunkier.

Organic Oatmeal Cleansing Exfoliator (Tigger’s favorite)
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Gentle exfoliation is a great to remove built up dead skin cells and stimulate circulation which will leave your skin smooth and vibrant.

Using organic steel cut oatmeal, blend ½ cup of the oatmeal in the Blendtec Twister Vessel until it becomes flourlike. Combine equal parts water to create a thick paste or use the guide below to customize the appropriate recipe for your specific skin condition.
Customize: with approximately equal parts to make a thick paste.

Normal Skin~ mix with water or rose, chamomile or peppermint tea infusion
Oily Skin~ mix with goat milk yogurt and a ¼ teaspoon organic lemon juice
Dry Skin~ mix with raw, organic honey
Sensitive Skin~ mix with a ripe banana

Massage this oatmeal paste gently onto your skin, using upward and outward motions. Leave for five to ten minutes, rinse with tepid water, pat gently and apply moisturizer.

Pineapple Papaya Skin Smoother for the Face, Body and Feet
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1 ripe papaya
1 teaspoon papaya seeds
1 cup pineapple
1 tablespoon raw organic honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Put all of the ingredients into the Blendtec Twister Vessel and blend until smooth. It takes a powerful blender like Blendtec to pulverize the papaya seeds into powder like particles that gently yet thoroughly exfoliate the skin. This skin smoother contains enzymes and physical particles for maximum exfoliation, to smooth, brighten and even out skin tone. If your skin is easily sensitized or sensitive use the Organic Oatmeal Cleansing Exfoliator.

This is an ideal skin smoother for the face, body and feet.

Apply to dampened facial skin and gently massage all over the face for about 30 seconds, paying special attention to the t-zone area of the face. Leave on the skin for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse. Apply your favorite moisturizer.

For the body, step into your shower and apply all over the body paying special attention to areas where the skin is dryer and or thicker, like the elbows and knees. Vigorously massage the thighs, buttocks and back of the arms to exfoliate thoroughly and stimulate blood circulation. Finish with your favorite body cream.

For the feet, apply onto feet and wrap with saran wrap and cover each foot with a hand towel for 10- 15 minutes. Remove saran wrap, massage feet well and rinse off. Complete with your favorite foot cream.

The Hand Smoother
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Ever notice how people ask your age and then look at your hands? Well you don’t have to
give it away. During fall and winter our overall skin condition can look and feel drier and our
hands tend to suffer the most. Gentle hand exfoliation is great to do on a regular basis to improve skin texture, tone and smoothness. Follow with your favorite hand cream.

Ingredients:
4oz. ground almonds or almond meal
4 tsp almond oil
4tsp lemon juice
1 ½-2 oz organic goat milk yogurt

Put all of the ingredients into the Blendtec Twister Vessel and blend until smooth, to a thick consistency. Use about the size of a walnut and rub over both hands as if you were using soap, for one to two minutes, rinse off and apply hand cream….Voila!

Store remaining product in a glass container, label and keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Use daily or two to three times a week depending on skin condition.

Skin ‘Glow’ Smoothie (bonus!)
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Yield: approximately 4 cups
2 cups young Thai coconut water
1 handful organic spinach
3 stalks (single ribs) celery
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 ripe organic pear, cored and chopped
1 ripe organic frozen banana
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of Pink Himalayan salt, re-mineralizes the body with minerals and trace elements essential to our health and wellbeing.

Add liquid first into the Blendtec Wildside vessel, then combine all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Place any remaining smoothie in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. The Blendtec ‘Twister’ Vessel is ideal for making all kinds of skincare products and it’s just the right size. All ingredients should be organic as much as possible. Glowing skin begins from the inside out…enjoy this smoothie three times a week.

Do you have any awesome DIY beauty recipes/tips?

Foodie Road Trip With Chef Todd Gray

This summer Chef Todd Gray embarked on an adventure that is on my bucket list…a culinary RV trip along the CA coast! One day I will be able to experience this but in the meantime I will just have to live vicariously through him. Upon his return he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his magical journey!

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From the seasonally-inspired dishes he creates every day in his award-winning restaurant to his ongoing support for sustainable farming and fishing practices, Chef Todd Gray’s impact on Washington, D.C.’s culinary scene has been immeasurable. A five time nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Award he is as widely known for his exquisite cuisine as his effervescent personality and dedication to working with and promoting local and regional purveyors. Together with his wife/business partner Ellen Kassoff Gray, Todd owns and operates one of the East Coast’s premier dining destinations, Equinox Restaurant. Just last month the DC power couple decided to embark on a West Coast culinary adventure. Here is an excerpt of Ellen and Todd talking about their experience:

2014 has been a landmark year for us in more ways than one. In addition to celebrating milestone birthdays (50 for both of us), we also celebrated the 15th anniversary of our beloved Washington DC restaurant, Equinox.

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A culinary couple through and through, we have spent the past few decades immersed in the very best this country’s food industry has to offer. We have had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most talented people and incredible organizations in the world. Todd has had the pleasure of cooking for President Barack Obama and the First Lady as they celebrated Mrs. Obama’s birthday and subsequently worked with Mrs. Obama on her Healthy Kids Initiative. We have traveled to the Virgin Islands to participate in the St. Croix Food & Wine Festival alongside chefs like Sam Choy and Tony Castellucci. We’ve partnered with renowned breweries and wineries like Goose Island to create exquisite dining events and tasting menus. At Equinox we have hosted celebrities, politicians and national power players like Bono, LeBron James, Carrie Underwood, Tom Brokaw and Hillary Clinton. In recent years, we proudly founded Washington DC’s original gourmet vegan brunch at the famous Corcoran Gallery of Art. Todd was named to the Inaugural Norwegian Seafood Council US Culinary Board and we traveled to Norway to learn about the country’s sustainable fishing practices.

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At this point in our careers (and our lives as foodies) we have been lucky enough to dine at the best and most celebrated restaurants in the world. We decided we wanted to “go off the grid.” The concept was relatively simple: rent an RV and spend 10 days driving along the West Coast searching for culinary gems along the way. Bringing our 14-year-old son, Harrison, with us made it a family affair and that much more meaningful.

Our adventure started in Northern California’s wine country. We flew to Napa, CA where Todd had been asked to participate in Bouchaine Vineyard’s Celebrity Chef Demo Dining Series. The alfresco dining event was held on the property’s idyllic garden deck and featured live entertainment and a custom menu with wine pairings from Bouchaine.

Following the event, we headed to Fremont, CA, hopped into the RV we had rented from RV Adventure USA and hit the road! Over the next week and half we literally ate and drank our way through the West Coast, stopping periodically to “glamp” at pre-determined spots along the way. While our days were filled with great experiences from beginning to end one of the most unforgettable (and delicious) was the time we spent catching, cooking and eating salmon at a fish camp along the coast. Located on an Indian reservation in the tiny town of Klamath, CA this third generation fish camp is the real deal. James Bansemer of Gold River Guides helped us catch fresh salmon, clean it and cook it in a variety of ways. We foraged for ingredients like fresh fennel, which we used to season the fish. An on-site smoker, which was built by the fish camp community, smoked salmon for 36 hours – the result was simply mouthwatering! For our son (a true urban teenager) catching a 14-lb. chinook salmon and then watching his father grill for dinner what he had just caught was a memorable experience. There are a lot of firsts in life and this was definitely one for our family.

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1) I have always said that if I won the lottery I would love to “pimp out” an RV and travel the US blogging about fine ding restaurants, dive bars and everything in between. You did the CA coast. After 7 days were you ready to turn in the keys or could you of kept going? We absolutely could have continued and rolled all the way up to Vancouver…maybe on the next trip.

2) I have only traveled by RV once and it was just for 1 night with 3 other people and a dog. It was a lot of fun but it got dirty real fast, was a gas guzzler, and was pretty slow and hard to drive. Had you and your wife traveled by RV before prior to this trip? This was our first time taking an RV “rig” on the road – this type of culinary road trip is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and now we can check if off our bucket list!

3) I have lived in CA for 14 years now and absolutely love everything about the Golden State. Was the CA coast and it’s cuisine everything you had hoped it would be? The food and spirit in Northern California has always had a special place in our heart. We honeymooned there almost 20 years ago and have returned several time since. The approach and delivery of California cooking played a major role in the style of our restaurant, Equinox, over the years.

4) I absolutely love San Francisco and my mouth still waters at the memory of a homemade pasta I had at Flour + Water several years ago. If you had to go back to just one city you visited on your trip and re-eat something where and what would it be? If we return (and we will for sure) we would head straight to Klamath, CA. The river where much of the fishing in the area takes place is absolutely beautiful! Catching wild Chinook salmon and then grilling it, smoking it and curing it right there is something we would love to do again.

A few other culinary highlights from Chef Gray’s trip:

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Boon Fly’s Famous Bacon Bloody Mary in Napa (Russian Vodka, Special Spice Blend, Tomato Juice, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Celery, Salt Rim) It looks a lot like Wade’s version here!

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Dungeness Crab at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

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Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista in San Francisco.

What are some of your favorite culinary road trip memories?