I Heart Gwyneth

I know, the Gwyneth love/hate fest is so old news.  But I’m going to go ahead and profess my love.  I am a fan.  I get the newsletter.  I have the latest cookbook.  I follow her advice if I can afford it.  I like her. Mostly because she knows how to enjoy life.  She indulges… but then works out like a maniac and eats clean to make up for it.  I’ll never work out like she does but, we DO share the moderation mantra.

She says she gives great advice to her girlfriends:
“I think that women, especially women in my job, come to me because they know I’m very loving and nonjudgmental and I’m not competitive, and I’ve been through a lot. And so they come round to talk about their stuff. I’m a bit of a mother hen. Everyone wants a home-cooked meal and to come over and talk about where they are in their life,” she says.

That said, I would love to come round for a chit char over a couple of martinis like Kyle and Jackie O got to do.  It would start out pretty standard…

What roles are you drawn to?

What’s your typical day like when you’re regularly in London, L.A.,  NYC, and Amagansett?

Should I reeeeallly make Luna’s babyfood?  Is it more trouble than it’s worth?  Isn’t Plum Organics good enough?  I don’t have a nanny, btw.

Do you want to invent something with me?  Tracy could help, too.  I mean, if she wants and isn’t busy.

Let’s see if Beyonce wants to go out next week.  The boys could watch the kids.

Speaking of Beyonce, do you think I could rock the blonde hair like she does?  We have pretty much the same skin tone but I would love to get your opinion.

Do you have a guilt-free/detox/clean recipe (or substitute) for sea salt caramel, monkey bread, and lasagna?

In an emergency, 911-sort of situation, what would you serve to guests from a can or box?

Can I work at GOOP?

Could I mayyyybeeee borrow your kitchen on Friday night?

Does Chris leave his clothes on the floor after he takes them off?

Does Chris fall asleep on the sofa 5 out of 7 nights week and crawl into bed at 3am?

I kinda have a feeling Ernie and Chris is a bromance waiting to happen.

Notice the progression of quality in my questions.  The vodka is working.

Here are some favorite bits from the world’s most beautiful woman:

“[I]f [Chris Martin] isn’t at home, I turn on the hip-hop—I’m like a bad mutha rapping along to every word as I cook.”

“I am who I am.  I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year.”

“I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.”

“Some days I feel like everyone in my world has plugged themselves into my kidneys. I’m so tired.”

“We have great dinner parties at which everyone sits around talking about politics, history, art, and literature — all this peppered with really funny jokes. But back in America, I was at a party and a girl looked at me and said, ‘Oh, my God! Are those Juicy jeans that you’re wearing?’ and I thought, I can’t stay here. I have to get back to Europe.”

“Murray’s cheese shop. That store is my heaven. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. I go every time I’m in New York. They’re like, ‘Where’s the stinkiest cheese we have? She’s here!'”

“It’s hard being married. You go through great times, you go through terrible times. We’re the same as any couple . . . I asked my dad once, ‘How did you and mom stay married for 33 years?’ And he said, ‘Well, we never wanted to get divorced at the same time’. And I think that’s what happens. . . .When two people throw in the towel at the same time, then you break up, but if one person’s saying, ‘come on, we can do this,’ you carry on.”

“I think it’s a mix,” she says honestly. “You know, I use organic products, but I get lasers. It’s what makes life interesting, finding the balance between cigarettes and tofu.”

“I don’t hold on to fear as much as I used to, because I’ve learned a lot about genuinely not caring what strangers think about me,” she says. “It’s very liberating. It’s very empowering, and I’ve learned a lot of that from Jay—Shawn Carter—Z, because his approach to life is very internal. It’s a very good lesson to learn.”

‘We all think “Urgh, I don;t want to go back to diapers,”‘ she admitted. ‘But my best friend’s mom once said “don’t do your planning around the pain in the a** of infancy, because it’s so finite. Plan it around how many people you want at Thanksgiving.”

WORD.

I’m Not An Alcoholic

latte

As I was thinking about what to write about next, I realized that my last post makes me sound like an alcoholic.  So, to clarify, I’ve made a list of other beverages I thoroughly and regularly enjoy.  As a side note, I compiled this list at a cozy little cafe located within the Tom’s shoe store on Abbot Kinney.  I love love love this place!  It has a very international travel vibe with plenty of nooks to get comfy in.  Free wi-fi, great people watching and inadvertent outfit ideas (which ultimately distracts me from writing), yummy coffee and a really good muti-grain muffin.  Caveat: It’s near impossible to walk out without a new pair of shoes.

In addition to wine, these liquids are frequently in my body:

Coffee in all varieties — cafe au lait, latte, iced coffee… always in rotation

Root beer — the neatest soda flavor ever (just discovered Zevia’s ginger root beer and it’s pretty darn good for sugarfree soda)

Matcha green tea — the velvety chalkiness of matcha is addictive

PG Tips or Lipton with milk because I grew up drinking tea with milk.  It’s in my blood!

Boba tea — I cannot resist those big balls of tapioca making their journey up a jumbo straw

Freshly squeezed OJ — yes, I drink it without the champagne, too

Overpriced pressed juices in most flavors — gone in under a minute but oh so good

UPDATE!

LeZinque is also a lovely and cozy cafe/restaurant on Abbot Kinney & Washington in Venice.  Wi-fi, nooks, natural light galore, distracting people watching, snacks, caffeine, and happy hour specials (not that I’m concerned with that at all).  One annoying thing is all the tables are elevated so it’s hard to bring Miss Luna unless she’s sleeping in her stroller.

One day I’ll get around to writing up my favorite cozy cafes in L.A., not just in Venice!

Lena Dunham is Cozy

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There is no doubt that “GIRLS” star Lena Dunham is comfy in her own skin.  I just watched this episode (I know I’m behind but at least I’m still watching the show)…and wow.  WOW.  Even if you hate it you almost have to watch it just so you can join the discussion.  I’m not going to dissect the show but, I will say that I have mixed emotions.  I’m not sure how much sex I want to watch her have, or anyone for that matter.  Dunham just might have secret exhibitionist tendencies she gets to play out in the form of Hannah.  Some would say she gets to have her cake and eat it, too.  I could be totally wrong but you can’t help to think about the connection.  Either way, whatever she’s doing is working because people tune in. Sex scenes in general have gotten really out of hand.  I’m no prude and while I appreciate the portrayal of sex and intimacy as art, blah, blah, blah, do I really want to see vampires (“True Blood,” hello) do it in every which way possible?  Nope.  What about the ABC show “Scandal?”  Geez!!!  The president (played by Tony Goldwyn, who I love) and Kerri Washington get way, way, way down.  It’s so gratuitous.  What about a good old-fashioned silhouette? romantic_couple_silhouette_shower_curtainYou’re probably thinking NERD but, seriously, I think I get the point with a long lip lock and maybe a little dry humping.  No need to go much further.  Actually, go further.  Just don’t make it about a condom’s reach from being a soft porn. “Sex & the City” was even tolerable… and entertaining to top it all off.  It didn’t feel like a horror flick where I’m halfway covering my eyes before a stabbing.  That is what “GIRLS” does to me time and again. I’ve really come into some new facial expressions during the sex scenes on this show.  I’d like to know what happened to love scenes like the ones between Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke in “Reality Bites?” Those movies didn’t go the porn route and you still felt the intimacy.  Not the best example, but I’ll use any excuse to bring up “Reality Bites.”  I guess that’s not what “GIRLS” is going for.  They’re 95% into raw, uncomfortable, and awkward sex.  Not beautiful, intimate moments.  Either way, I’m pretty confident they can convey the darkness of relationships, sex, and intimacy without having sex on ping pong tables.

I’m a Junkie

I have addiction to magazines. Always have, always will.  They just plain make me happy.   I am tempted by their colorful covers, glossy pages, and enticing headlines like “10 Trips That Will Change Your Life” and “A New and Affordable Miracle Breakthrough in Hair Removal.”  I am a grocery line flipper. I’ll never spend a dime on USWeekly or Life & Style, but I sure will stand there mesmerized for a good half hour turning page after page until at least 10 people have asked me if I’m in line.  I would love to multiply my subscriptions by 20, but I kind of like having a husband. I do, however, have piles and piles of magazines around the house at all times.  Ernie prefers to live clutter free, while I don’t mind the lived -in look (a strong characteristic of coziness).  They take up space under the coffee table, on the bedside table, and in the bathroom. I also have a stack of Marie Claires on our bookshelf from a two year career with them back when I lived in New York.  Can’t get rid of those, as they contain various pieces I wrote and a handful of cameo appearances in the fashion/beauty columns (all of them favors to editors, I’m no model). Basically, I’m not going to rehab. I’ll eventually make my way through the old issues only to make room for new ones. I’ve also been known to tear out the articles I want to read and discard the rest.  As you can imagine, I also have a growing pile of articles I need to plow through. If anyone has any creative ideas on how to wrangle this issue, please share!  Here are some of my faves when I need a fix:

Afar — LOVE the off-the-beaten path and fresh take on travel journalism.  Spin the Globe is the best: they pick a destination at random and send a writer there with as little notice as possible.

Budget Travel Magazine — my go-to for realistic trip ideas.  Reader tips and real deals are what I read first.

ELLE — packed with vitamins. I flip to the back first to see which dude they’ve chosen to interview for the one-pager Q & A.  Highlights: interviews with interesting women, astrology page, features with new designers, and must-do check list.

ELLE DECOR — a fantasy island in the world of decor magazines, here’s where I get ideas of how I’d decorate my house if I won the lottery. They also give a peek inside fabulous celebrity homes.

Marie Claire — more than just fashion spreads, I love and respect that they delve into serious women’s issues around the world.

Los Angeles Magazine — their neighborhood guides inspire me to day-trip it out to a new part of town.

Anthology — can I please jump into the pages and live here??  Gorgeous photography and loads of ideas for decor, food, lifestyle, etc.

Lonny — another fantastic home decor mag that is filled with inspiration.

Lucky Peach — love this off-the-beaten path and quirky food mag.  Illustrations are so fun.

The WEEK — it’s like a shot of current events when you don’t have time to savor a cocktail. There’s something for everyone, but my faves are the real estate column and the television show suggestions.

Vanity Fair — keeps me up to date on the zeitgeist and can’t live without the Proust Questionnaire.

 

 

Dear Abby,

Dear Abby

Dear Abby (Photo credit: HA! Designs – Artbyheather)

I never knew how cool you were. I grew up reading your column and then stopped for whatever reason and I can’t recall when. Now that you’ve passed, I’m learning so much about you I wished I had known when you were alive.  You and your twin sister didn’t always get along.  Your parents were from Russia.  Your brother-in-law founded Budget-Rent-A-Car.  You chose Abigail from the Bible and Van Buren from the eighth American president.

I never identified your sarcasm and hidden wit as a young teen, but appreciate them so very much in hindsight. I’m impressed at how your opinions evolved with the times while reflecting the common sense you so dryly imposed on your readers. For example:

To the people complaining about the gay couple who’d moved in next door and wanting to know how the quality of the neighborhood could be restored, you replied: “You could move.”

My question about other people’s questions is and has always been (whether they are writing to a local newspaper or to Cosmo): what do they do until they’ve heard back about their question? Do they avoid that person/situation altogether? They probably knew they might not hear back because of the high volume of readers writing in.  Or does that require the same common sense they’re probably lacking in the first place? I doubt I’ll ever know the answer to this conundrum, especially now that Abby is gone.