Crafting a home, like crafting a life, is an evolutionary process. For me — and this is true of my life as well — it’s a matter of starting with something that’s perhaps to studied, and finding my way towards something that captures the mix of glamour/order and relaxed bohemianism that is my true core.
I am half wild child, half citizen of the structured, orderly world. It’s a vantage point that allows me to innovate while ensuring that my innovations stay connected to the existing world. I believe in imagining the wild possibilities, and then crafting a bridge to get there from here. It’s funny that decorating my home has me thinking of these things. It’s easy, after all, to think of a beautiful home as just a backdrop for other things, but I find that the way we live in our homes can, and at its best does, connect us to how we live “out there,” in the world. I like to live my life “out there” as though it’s okay for me to grow and evolve, and as if all the disparate pieces might be woven together to form a coherent tapestry.
This is what we are doing when we craft strong personal brands or when, as entities, we craft strong corporate or non-profit brands that connect powerfully with other people based on who we really are.
Designing a home and designing a life are really all about letting the authenticity shine through, and given it some definite structure that we can inhabit when we meet the world. It’s an act of translation most of all, a way of saying, in a clear and coherent way, this is who I am.
Tags: Home Decor, Master Bedroom, Vision Board
My fully realized life is set in a beautiful environment and the most beautiful environment of all should be, in my opinion, the home. Mine is a work in progress (I don’t know about yours), but the journey is (almost) as good as the destination, so I’m trying to enjoy the process of gradually making my home the sanctuary it’s meant to be.
I start all my home decor projects with vision boards. I’ve found it helps me weed out bad ideas with minimal investment of time and zero investment of resources.
Tags: Home Decor, Vision Board
I’m a Southerner by birth and upbringing, and even though I left the South a long time ago, my approach to food is still heavily influenced by my time in the South. For whatever reason, we didn’t do a lot of Soul Food cooking in my house (my heart and my arteries say thank you for that), but we did do a lot of what I think of us Good Down Home Cookin’, and the heart of Good Down Home Cookin’ is good, farmer’s market ingredients, though when I was growing up, it wasn’t as fancy as all of that. We would just stop whenever we saw a food stand on the side of the road and buy whatever yumminess they had: corn, sweet red tomatoes, pecans, which some folks pronounce pea-cans, as in pea-can pie. I am still a sucker for farm fresh ingredients. In the summer, I can make a whole meal of them. I was a vegetarian for ten years, so I don’t even have to have meat on the side to feel satisfied, though if I’ve got a hankering for meat, I can always put some on the grill. Summer and summer cooking is all about making life easy-peasy. It’s about lounging and relaxing and turning food prep into a moving meditation.
One of my favorite summer recipes is Zucchini Mint Salad. You can make it a lot of ways, using whatever you have. The recipe I’m going to share uses mint, parsley, pecorino and green olives, but you can make it with parmesan, goat cheese or feta if you have those on hand, and you can totally substitute black olives for green ones. I don’t remember where I found this recipe, but it’s one of my all time favorites. I hope you enjoy making it and eating it as much as I do.
8 young zucchini
handful of parsley leaves, torn by hand
handful of mint leaves, torn by hand
1/2 c pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
good quality pecorino cheese
extra virgin olive oil
Tags: Recipes, Salad, Summer, Zucchini
I have been a fan of Malibu Farm ever since I read a description of it in C Magazine, that evoked such a magical sense of place, I knew that a dinner there — and a chance, one should hope, to meet its sublimely visionary creatrix Helene Henderson — lay in my future. Alison Clare Steingold, writing for C Magazine, described it thus:
[o]ne pig, two dogs, two goats, 23 chickens, 10 raised beds, 50 fruit trees, 300 raspberry bushes, 400 grapevines and some peacocks. Add a beehive for raw honey, Viognier from down the way, zesty Bloody Marys courtesy of a brand-new local mixer and golden olive oil from a nearby Point Dume grove.
What more do you need to know?
There is, of course, the view to take in, and the simple, elegant, “why didn’t I think of that” lifestyle concept to contemplate, but the only real information you need is of the “how the heck can I eat there” kind. With last week’s opening of the Malibu Farm Pop-Up at Malibu Pier, there are now two options:
Tags: Food, Helene Henderson, Locavore, Malibu Farm, Malibu Farm Pop-Up, Malibu Pier, Restaurants, Sustainability
It’s been an emotional week. As I read the angry comments — at liberal places like NYTimes.com — from Paula Deen supporters who feel she’s been given the shaft, I watched the Supreme Court of the United States strike down an important section of the Voting Rights Act (which, imperfect though it was, was the only protection against voter disenfranchisement that we had), and then, as I celebrated the end of DOMA, and the upholding of marriage equality in my own state of California — and as I watched my new feminist hero Wendy Davis take a stand for women’s reproductive rights (as one of my Facebook friends put it, “she did the damn thing.”), I roiled with emotion, moving from sorrow, to joy and back again.
The human family is a house divided. We’re divided by hate, by fear, and by our inability to recognize that the other is also the self. It pains me to bear witness to our simple inability to love. It should be the easiest thing, but we are twisted by rage, and broken in ways we’ve yet to take full measure of. And yet, even still, we are still walking forward, towards that beautiful day when we will recognize ourselves as members of a single human family.
The U.S. Founding Father’s envisioned it, even if they didn’t always live it. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others laid down their lives for it. They leave us their legacy and they leave us the staggering task of winning this war, not at the level of laws (or not there only), but at the level of the human spirit. It is a battle we will win in the annals of love. And so, it was with joy that I ran across the We Are The 15% Tumblr — a response to the Cheerios ad backlash — which in the simple act of sharing pictures of interracial couples and families takes a stand for love in all its forms. #LetLoveRule
Tags: Cheerios Ad, Cheerios Ad Controversy, Family, Interracial Families, We Are The 15%