If you’re looking for unique, artisan jewelry with an industrial twist this holiday season, look no further than Los Angeles native Jelena Nik’s collection, Nik Stone. I’ve been racking up compliments with her Nailed It Rings this season (pictured), which layer well for a delicate-yet-dangerous rocker vibe.
The unisex collection of sterling silver pieces are definitely eye-catching, featuring rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces themed around nails, wrenches, hammers and nuts. Embedded within each piece are small signature black diamonds, a symbol of strength.
As the leftover turkey wanes and your waistline waxes, remember this: There’s still hope — and discounted gym memberships — come New Year’s Day. But if you can’t wait until then, consider dipping into your savings and booking a quickie at The Ranch at Live Oak/Malibu‘s Ranch 4.0 (aka R4.0) program. According to the founders, it’s “life-changing.”
A shortened version of the Ranch’s original 7-day program, the R4.0 program is held Thursday through Monday for those who can’t get away from their lives for a full week but still want a “jump start” to their fitness, weight loss and wellness goals. It features up to 10 hours a day of rigorous activity, including four hours of morning mountain hiking, an afternoon of exercise classes, daily group yoga sessions, a daily massage, a diagnostic fitness test and a VO2 metabolic test. (Whew! I got a workout just typing that.)
While it may seem intense, this mind-body retreat/boot camp is far from rustic. Held at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village with the California Health & Longevity Institute (CHLI), it includes a daily 1400-calorie diet of gourmet vegetarian fare, a healthy nutrition class and cooking demo led by a registered dietitian/chef in what they call the “Wellness Kitchen,” plus lodging at the Four Seasons and access to The Spa at Four Seasons.
And, unlike the 7-day program, you can stay plugged in (meaning you can actually get Wi-Fi). The catch? It’s $3,800 per person. (I know, I know … but think of it this way: It’s a steal compared to the 7-day $6,200 price tag!)
We had a chance to interview Ranch founders Alex and Sue Glasscock about the 4.0 concept, and here’s what they had to say: (more…)
I don’t know about you but I seem to have outgrown the candy emporiums of my youth — where color-coded M&Ms graced the walls, waiting to be dispensed into a plastic bag for my movie-snacking pleasure. But what I haven’t outgrown is really good candy. And that’s where gourmet candy curators and founders of Sugarfina, Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick, found their sweet spot.
Recently engaged, Rosie and Josh met on Match.com four years ago and dreamed up the idea for Sugarfina, a gourmet candy haven for grown-ups, after watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on their third date. A combination of marketing savvy (she used to be a marketing director for Barbie) and entrepreneurial success (Josh sold the now-defunct Pandemic Studios, a video-game design firm, to Electronic Arts in a deal valued at $860 million), they had great potential for success.
Sugarfina launched in August 2012 online, and just this weekend, these lovebirds opened the first-ever Sugarfina candy boutique for grown-ups in Beverly Hills. I stopped by during their fourth hour of operation, got a tour from Rosie and sampled as much candy as I could. (Tough job, I know.) Here are the highlights: (more…)
Bird, check. Veggies, check. This year’s “It” pie, check. Wine … Marijke?
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year or being a gracious guest, you may find yourself staring blankly at a wall of wines, trying to decide which (affordable) bottle will be most delicious with a turkey dinner. Well, stare no more. I’ve enlisted my dear friend and sommelier Marijke van Niekerk @lawinegal to provide her top recommendations for Thanksgiving.
The theme is ”classic gourmet” with a deep Southern twist, based on the menu I curated from the growing stack of Bon Appétit magazines under my coffee table and a borderline obsessive recipe-search habit. Marijke has decided on an all-American wine selection because, “Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to explore the United States’ fantastic, world-class wines.” Very well, then! Here’s the lineup:
Is it too early to talk about holiday gifts? My mind is already racing with ideas! It started at a truffle-making class I took recently at Caffe Luxxe, one of the best coffee shops in Los Angeles (well, Santa Monica, to be specific). There, Craig Boreth, founder of Twice the Vice chocolates and author of The Hemingway Cookbook, plied us with his amazing artisan spirited truffles.
Made with Callebaut Belgian chocolate, Twice the Vice chocolates are filled with top-shelf liquors such as The Glenlivet 15-year Scotch, crowd-pleasers such as Bombay Sapphire gin and cocktails such as the Woodford Reserve Mint Julep or The Big Lebowski lovers’ favorite, the White Russian. Each piece is packed with 1/8th to 1/10th of a shot, giving you a much richer, more sophisticated flavor than you’d get with those funny little bottle-shaped chocolates. Still, while select boxes are still illegal to ship in many states, the chocolates aren’t overwhelmingly potent — which is a good thing. Of course, if you choose to eat a whole box yourself, I can’t guarantee you won’t get a buzz!
Twice the Vice spirited chocolates are available online and totally worth the price. I highly recommend ordering them this year for the drinking men and women in your life — naughty and nice!
Remember the famous photo of Jackie Kennedy at JFK’s funeral? Or the ones of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Seven Year Itch and The Misfits? Those were taken by Elliot Erwitt, the man responsible for some of the most iconic photographs of our time. Erwitt is the fourth photographer to team up with The Macallan, my favorite Scotch, for their award-winning Masters of Photography series. (Previous collaborations were with Annie Leibovitz last year, Albert Watson in 2010 and Rankin in 2008.) The result? About 2,030 limited-edition sets featuring unique single malt Scotch whiskies paired with Erwitt’s gorgeous autographed photos. (more…)
Halloween is the best holiday ever. Why? It’s the one time where it’s perfectly acceptable for adults to act like 8-year-olds. And I loved being 8. Of course, this year, Halloween is on a Thursday, and some of us are ill-prepared. So here’s a quick roundup of great Halloween makeup looks that can help you pull together something at the last minute, assuming you have all the goods or can get to a store near you. Just channel your inner 8-year-old and you’re all set! (more…)
Your neighbor. I brought wine.
It’s times like these — when I’m completely unprepared to entertain guests — that I appreciate Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough, a frozen gourmet cookie dough that produces cookies with a homemade taste. In this case, they made entertaining my neighbor possible without my having to cancel plans to watch “Breaking Bad” with my husband. (And I didn’t have to palm off leftovers to my coworkers the next day!)
An easy-bake solution for busy foodies, Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough takes about 11–15 minutes to make (counting preheat time), and you can mix and match any of the six available flavors for a delightfully spontaneous snack. While it’s a tad more expensive than say, Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, it eclipses the competition IMHO. Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough is made without artificial colors, flavors, additives or preservatives and it’s available in Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, White Chocolate Wasabi, Oatmeal Toffee, Chocolate Spice and Lemon Drop. What’s better than that?! (more…)
Remember how I had OCC? Well, it’s flaring up again.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) just debuted its Fragmented Alice Colour Collection and it’s now available! For the first time, the cult makeup artist favorite is collaborating with a painter, Chicago native Gail Potocki, whose hauntingly beautiful, twisted series Fragmented Alice paintings present what the brand calls a “uniquely macabre” take on C.S. Lewis’s Alice in Wonderland.
I checked out Gail’s paintings recently at a launch event, where OCC Brand Manager and Director of Makeup Artistry Courtney Tichman demonstrated the limited-edition collection. After gazing at Alice’s often forlorn, oil-painted expression, enhanced by layers and layers of color, I was instantly inspired to go home and play with my makeup. What seemed like unwearable shades at first in the OCC collection turned out to be delightfully sheer, majestic, even psychedelic! (more…)
I’ve been really into citrus lately — and not just because it’s still in season here. When the weather heats up, anything with hints of lemon, orange, grapefruit or lime makes me feel cooler, more refreshed and happy to be alive. This is why I’ve been spritzing Lavanila Laboratories Vanilla Grapefruit fragrance all over the house — and on myself. It’s a very smooth yet perky scent, with an initial blast of grapefruit and lime that dries down to spicy vanilla and sandalwood.
Lavanila, an L.A.-based company, prides itself on using organic sugar cane alcohol, essential oils and botanicals. The result is a scent that isn’t as likely to irritate your skin or your senses. If you love citrus and vanilla — and are attempting to avoid products that contain any or all of the following: parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, or aluminum (whew!) — I recommend keeping a bottle of this in your bathroom.