Happy Thanksgiving!  After our neighborhood was spared from fire and evacuations in the Woolsey fires two weeks ago, being Thankful is an understatement! 

That Saturday, as an annual tradition, my friend Nicola and I were scheduled to go to the Ojai Holiday Home Tour. Since Ojai is one of my favorite places, and legally peeping into peoples homes thrills me, we look forward to this event hard core. But by Friday afternoon the freeway entrance by our house, which heads north towards Ojai, was closed and the fires were only one neighborhood away. 

The event ticket was good for either Saturday or Sunday. We decided not to go on Saturday. It was hard to dwell in disappointment, (even though we were), as families and animals were being displaced and losing her homes.  Another girlfriend texted me at 2AM Friday night that they had to evacuate, really scary.  Saturday night I was glued to the news, seriously I slept with my laptop. Could we possibly go on Sunday? Could I live with the Jewish guilt of touring beautiful homes while others were literally burning to the ground? What if the wind changed and I abandoned my husband to evacuate with our 4 fur babies? On the other hand this was a charity event and what if after all their hard work no one showed up, they even sent an e mail with alternate routes to Ojai. After all they had their own share of fires and heartache last year. I couldn't sleep. 

Sunday morning I did what I always do when making a decision, I go deep and go with my gut. We were going. It usually takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get to Ojai from our house. It took us three hours. We drove through smoke, we got lost, the GSP was worthless and kept trying to get us back to roads that were closed.  We drove through a town called Filmore which led us to a mountain pass that looked like Mars, sand was blowing at us and the car was being pelted with tumble weeds! We later found out it was a rock quary. We had no cell service.  Fortunately I grabbed crackers, water and bananas on the way out the door.  It was both hilarious and scary. But we made it!  None the worse for wear. Here we are on the most magnificent property.  Notice my new do? (Left 7 inches on the cutting room floor.)

I wish I could show you the pictures from inside the homes, but for obvious privacy reasons no photos allowed, however I can share the photos they had on the event website since those are public. Prepare to droll!
Starting with my favorite, Patina Farm, which 5 years ago was just a vacant lot! This gorgeous masterpiece is the result of one couples vision, the husband is an architect and the wife is a designer, what a combination, every detail was just gorgeous. Building a house is like any other art form, you have to conceive it in your mind and then take it step by step. This house was truly a work of art.
This next one was surrounded by the gorgeous Topatopa Mountain Range.
I was super excited when I saw that this house below was going to be on the tour because it had been on the Ojai Garden Tour in 2017 and I loved this outdoor dining room, you can't see it from this picture but there is a pizza oven on the left. Getting to see the chefs kitchen was a real treat. The owner is a cook book author.
These are a few pictures I took outside at Patina Farm, nothing private, but just the cutest little farm with goats and chickens and veggies plus I'm a sucker for a good greenhouse.
And of course, a trip to Ojai is not complete without Papa Lennon's amazing garlic fries!!!

This is the first ever Thanksgiving my daughter and I are apart and it's for a wonderful reason. So although I miss her terribly I'm so happy that she is off living her dreams as an actress filming on the other side of the world! So much to be thankful for!

From our table to yours, 
Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Motivation Monday November! So many things to love about this month. Pumpkins, family gatherings, changing leaves, crisp air, roasting marshmallows on the fire. If only in our dreams here in 90 degree Los Angeles. But we pretend, we start wearing our sweaters and boots while cranking up the a/c.

With November being the kick off to the holidays season it's a great month to decide what you want to accomplish for the rest of 2018 and to acknowledge yourself, with gratitude, for what you have accomplished so far this year. There's an art to manifesting your goals and dreams and I think this chart spells it out brilliantly. Follow the steps and let the magic happen!
I'm thankful for you!


I'm just coming back down to earth after a heavenly weekend of some major self care. And it wasn't even this past weekend, it was the weekend before! And I'm still feeling the benefits. On Saturday I was part of a virtual retreat held seasonally by Kimberly Wilson, who I adore,  called Softening Into Fall.  Even the title led me to a great big cozy sigh.  It was three hours of me time at home but with a live feed to Kimberly, in her beautiful pink palace in Washington DC, with about 10 women guests and the rest of us from around the country and around the world, able to communicate with Kimberly and each other via chat box.  The three hours consisted of  Mindfulness, Intention Setting, Yoga, Creative play, Art Journaling and beautiful bits of wisdom and support.  We participated along via a beautiful Play Book Kimberly creates which we all received in advance and of course we had our art journaling tools, for me that meant markers, stickers, magazines and Pinterest pics.

If you have never done collaging or art journaling I highly recommend it for your soul.  In fact Kimberly started off by reading a poem by Derek Walcott that I have always loved and I pulled out one of my art journals from 2007 (below) and there it was ~ "Sit and feast on your life".  Just love that.  Her next virtual retreat will be for spring and I highly recommend it! Also she has some amazing travel retreats too that you can find on her web site. I always feel completely grounded and relaxed after one of these and also focused with renewed energy.  And as an added bonus all my fur babies fully cooperated, even the Stella Monster.
The next day, Sunday, I went to the yoga studio my bestie goes to called Harmoney Yoga, (in the South Bay for my fellow Californians), for another 3 hour retreat.  This one focused on Chakra's and yoga for healing and opening all seven Chakra's.  It included singing bowls and if you have never heard crystal singing bowls let me just say WOW, it's very beautiful. I had seen bronze bowls, one time in person at a yoga conference, but mostly on YouTube.  I've never seen them made out of crystals, some people call them healing bowls and when you hear them you'll know why.  My picture doesn't do them justice.
I didn't expect the class to be three hours of yoga as well. That's three straight hours, no break.  At first I thought I was out of my league, but turned out, I wasn't!  I did good and the three hours felt like one hour, it literally flew by.  I even did plow and a shoulder stand neither of which I've done in ages.  The most fun was that for each of the seven Chakra's there was an asana, (yoga posture), an essential oil, that someone came around with and dripped on our hands, the meaning of the oil in relation to that particular Chakra, a mudra (hand position), and a chant.  Also, each Chakra has a color.  And all accompanied by singing bowls.  Pretty awesome.  And the woman who played the bowls came around at the beginning of class and touched our feet with a tuning fork, yes a tuning fork. Sound weird?  Maybe, but it's supposed to open your Chakra's and let me just say that when she did it to me my body tingled from the bottom of my foot that she touched with the tuning fork to the top of my head!

I really want to share all of this with you so if you are new to Chakra healing or this aspect of yoga, here's my crib notes;

We have seven Chakra's in our body, these are our energy channels, when they're balanced, you feel good, when a Chakra's out of balance you don't feel good and each Chakra can be related to symptoms, pain, stress, illness, etc.  I like this chart (posted on insta gram by meg-weatherly) because it gives you the name of the Chakra, it's color and the Sanskrit chant, also called mantras.

If you are interested in learning more, here is a great Complete Guide To The 7 Chakras for Beginners.  And if you're new to all this, here is my favorite Chakra balancing meditation, super easy and beautiful to zen out in front of and it's only 15 minutes.  All Chakra Tuning, Mediation and Balancing.

There are also crystals that represent each Chakra.  Crystals were not included in this particular workshop, (except for the bowls), but I did bring my seven Chakra crystals with me and put them on my yoga mat.  I love the balancing energy of crystals, I think they are extremely powerful.  The row down the middle in this picture are my 7 Chakra crystals, under the clear quartz crystal, which some people use for the crown Chakra, I use amethyst but I always like to place the quartz above them all. There are many stones that can be used for each Chakra, the important thing when is comes to Chakra's is the color.  Most stores that sell crystals sell Chakra sets. And you can get them on line too.  They are inexpensive, my set was only $3, rough stones cost a little more than polished.
Mudra's are hand gestures that help open up your Chakra's, your energy channels in your body.  Here is a good guide from the Chopra Center a guide to learn the different mudras.  And here's a good list of the essential oils to balance each Chakra.

Take your ME time, you deserve it!  And whatever you love to do that feeds your soul, do more of it!!!
In the window at Harmony isn't she gorgeous!



Hellooooo and happy October! We recently spent some time in the forest among the giant Sequoias.  Kings Canyon National Forest to be exact.  That's us, pretty teeny tiny, in front of this magnificent tree. I saw this quote on Instgram, I don't know the author but I thought it sums up life so perfectly. Letting things go that no longer serve us, although sometimes painful, can be a beautiful experience. As you watch the trees shed their leaves this fall think of what you can shed. From the small things like clutter to the big things like people that drain you.  

These trees are considered to be fire proof, they burn but they don't burn down. With all the forest fires in CA they've survived thousands of years because they need to be burned to re-generate. How inspiring when we compare this to our lives don't you think? We get burned plenty but it helps us regenerate. Regrowth in the spring could never occur without the shedding of leaves in the fall. 

Happy Monday!