THIS WEEKEND OUTSIDE THE CLOSET;

Fall is always the best time of year for fabulous fashion.  A time when toes take cover in gorgeous tall boots and necks cozy up with soft scarves, oh wait...I live in Los Angeles where it was a record breaking 111 degrees this week!  But even as I melt I have visions of new fall fashions dancing in my deliriously hot head.  But today I want to write about the importance of finding your style from the inside out.  After all, even the most fabulous wardrobe is useless if you're not up to your best health, mind, body and spirit.

This month my Mom celebrated a BIG birthday, I'm not saying how old because apparently I blabbed it all over Ojai already.  My sister flew in from NY and we took a girls trip to Ojai. For those of you not familiar with this little artsy town in the high desert about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, I'll just say it's magical.  

Bordered on one end by Meditation Mount, a place where you feel God actually hangs out, and The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa on the other end, the ultimate Spa experience. 


In between is one of my favorite places for girly getaways-The Lavender Inn - a historic bed and breakfast.  My Mom and sister had never been and I knew they'd just love it. The Lavender Inn is so full of the loveliest details that even one night here is a feast for the senses.  The gorgeous garden is filled with nooks and crannies for cozy contemplation and every hanging basket is brimming with a mix of bold colored flowers. And of course the smell of lavender.
Every room at the Inn is decorated differently. My sis and I stayed in the Garden View Room with a great porch and of coures a garden view. It has beautiful French black and white linens and deep red walls.  After a day of great food, shopping and meandering we got back just in time for complimentary wine and cheese and other goodies and then cozied up in bed with tea, magazines and laughs.


The breakfast served at the Inn from their beautiful yellow and blue Country French Kitchen was so delicious I had two of everything. From their rosemary potatoes, (which I have already unsuccessfully tried to recreate), to their quiche with a polenta crust, too yummy for words! All spread out on a Country French serving table by the lovely inn keepers. They also have culinary classes in that fantastic kitchen (going on my to do list).



On Sat we were off to The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa  Mom was getting a massage and we were a bit concerned,  (she's petite and fragile, could be great or disasterous).  I'm happy to report that it was wonderful and she even came out pain free!


Gotta love the no make-up robe look and we had our rubber mud thingy protectors underneath because while Mom was in her massage, us two adventure girls were about to enter the Kuyam. It's pronounced the way it's spelled Koo-Yahm, although I successfully managed to mispronounce it all weekend.  It's a Chumash word for "a place to rest together". We were lucky because the Kuyam holds up to eight at a time but today it was just us the two of us. The Kuyam at the Spa is the only treatment of this type in the United States! The treatment combines therapeutic cleansing desert clay, dry heat, inhalation therapy and a traditional Chumash guided meditation.

As we walked through the gorgeous wrought iron and frosted glass doors we were immediately hit by the almost oppressive dry heat eased slightly by the lovely smell of lemon grass. The room was octagon shaped with a low ceiling and stained glass windows and every inch was completely covered in beautiful Moroccan tiles.  I would have loved to have had my camera in there but I think it would have melted!

We each had a big sea shell filled with three kinds of mud. The first was gray and was for respiratory health, (yay, my cough was about to be annihilated!).  We put it on our chest. The second mud was red clay and was for joint pain and we put it on our elbows, wrists, knees and ankles and the third mud was purple and was for everywhere that wasn't covered in mud yet. Now we were a colorful muddy mess. The therapist instructed us to listen to the guided meditation and if the heat got to be too much to go to the door that lead to the shower and open it, and the cold air would rush in .


She came in several times bringing us ice water, cold herbal cloths, which she placed on our faces and at the mid point in the meditation she came in and misted us. We were to be in the Kuyam 30 minutes. I completely lost all track of the time. Turned out I made it for 25 minutes at which point the heat was too much for me and my inner voice yelled GET OUT, which I did (good inner voice). I opened the door and hit the cool air - ahhhh. Then we walked though a big mister and into private showers that had lots of jets to get every inch of where that mud went and believe me it went everywhere. Then outside the shower the therapist met us with the most scrumptious peppermint ice tea, (Ojai is tea nirvana!), and escorted us to a private deck with high white walls, pink bougainvilleas, lounge chairs adorned with lavender, a serene fountain complete with mountain views. Can you say Heaven!?! 


The experience in the Kuyam got me thinking about the fine line between taking on a challenge and risking your well being. The only way to know the difference is to trust our inner voice to avoid putting ourselves in harms way. When your inner voice says run, RUN. Honor your body. When my inner voice says (in yoga) "DO NOT FLIP YOUR DOG" I'm not flippin.


So with mind, body and spirit ready, can someone please take the blow torch off CA and bring on my fall wardrobe!
this frittata was so yummy!

lots of nooks and carnnies

Laurie and Julie

yumm again

Mom with the best brownie ever made. And it was vegan!

happy __th  birthday Mom!


high bed, we had to take a running leap!

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