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(5) Things we love…#118

Posted in Things We Love

I have come to the conclusion I would be quite happy never having to work for money another day in my life. So – I am grateful it’s the weekend (although I am working most of it and it’s pouring with rain). At least I will be marching with thousands of fellow women while the new President starts rearranging the furniture in the White House. To cheer myself up, here are a couple of wonderful people and some dreamy things. Read More (5) Things we love…#118

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The value of “crazy”

Posted in Life & Love

Most of the waiters and waitresses I work with hope to become actors, singers, screenwriters or any of the ancillary positions swirling around the entertainment industry. They are all pretty, bright-eyed, optimistic and enthusiastic. Most of them come from somewhere other than California and, one day, most of them will wake up to the hard realization that they need to make a living, and that the dream won’t be providing that paycheck after all, let alone fame or fortune. Read More The value of “crazy”

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(5) Things we love…#117

Posted in Things We Love

If January is a month of resolutions (although we are reaching the half-point, about the time to give them up), for me it seems to be the month in which I listen to my conscience a bit more than usual. Three videos but also a little bit of frivolity. I promise to keep it lighthearted from now on and not to look back. I will be frolicking in the desert this weekend – what about you? Read More (5) Things we love…#117

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Training the monkey mind

Posted in Health

The woman with the crisp white coat who showed me into the darkened ultra-sound room was familiar. In fact, I remembered her well, because her name is Claudia, and she is from Brazil. It’s an odd examination, the ultra-sound: you are in a darkened room, in close proximity to a technician who slides a wand up and down your goop-covered abdomen (in my case), and stares at a screen, without uttering a word on what she is seeing. You can’t make aimless chitchat because she is concentrating so you are left with eyes turned towards the ceiling, wondering if she is seeing something you are not going to know about until your doctor calls you. Read More Training the monkey mind

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Chocolate hazelnut crepe cake

Posted in Food & Entertaining

I might not have realized it at the time of my visits, but there have been countries I explored, understood and loved through food. While I don’t have fond memories of Dutch food, some of their sweets became some of my favorites and made me want to go back over and over. Jamaica will always be viewed through its jerk consumed roadside (the very first food trucks!). Los Angeles made me appreciate Mexican food. And France…well, I was never a great fan of the typical French fare until I delved more into the less classical and more peasant regional cuisine but lobster, croissants and crepes always scream Paris to me.
Read More Chocolate hazelnut crepe cake

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The bond between sisters

Posted in Life & Love

The last time my sister and I spent six weeks under the same roof was when I still lived at home and shared a bedroom with her teenage self. My sister is seven years younger than me and, since I left home, and the country, at age 23, we spent a couple of vacations together and she made multiple visits to wherever I happened to be living (and, recently, I visited her in Rome) but those stretches of time amounted to no longer than a week or two. Read More The bond between sisters

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The ultimate comfort food: rice pudding

Posted in Food & Entertaining

A tourist visiting Southern California right now would be forgiven for wondering what happened to the spectacular California weather: we have been under a cloud of relentless cold and rain which, if it’s a godsend for our parched earth, it drives the average Los Angeleno to stay home on the sofa as much as work will allow. On days like today, one craves warm and soothing food. Something like rice pudding, for instance. Read More The ultimate comfort food: rice pudding

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Things I lost to the dogs and the lessons I learnt

Posted in Life & Love

PortiaLooking at Portia now, peacefully napping on her bed, the mischief that is perpetually swirling in her brain is not apparent. Yet, that scoundrel, aided and abetted by her brother, Ottie, have caused their share of havoc. Neither of them has ever chewed shoes or furniture, and long ago I learnt the trick of scattering a couple of cardboard boxes with a small treat inside before leaving the house, to be sure I will return to everything as I (mostly) left it.

Read More Things I lost to the dogs and the lessons I learnt

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Hair and skincare fatigue

Posted in Beauty, and Health

Graffiti by Anastasia Brennab
Graffiti by Anastasia Brennab

A couple of years ago, once I got home after a fundraising lunch, I looked in the goodie bag that had been left under my chair, and found a pair of attractive bottles of shampoo and conditioner. I had read about these products online, in passing – clearly a well orchestrated media campaign, if even I took notice.

Read More Hair and skincare fatigue

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Double chocolate cupcakes for grown-ups

Posted in Food & Entertaining

chocolate cupcakesI have a strong antipathy towards cupcakes, for no other reason that they became so popular and I never quite understood why. A cupcake is just a piece of cake baked in a cup with frosting on top. Like cakes, they come in all sorts of flavors and decorations and colors. And, since the cupcake craze started, ridiculous looking and ridiculous tasting options have proliferated.

Read More Double chocolate cupcakes for grown-ups

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Robert Mapplethorpe – The search for perfection

Posted in Things We Love

Self-portrait 1975
Self-portrait 1975

Los Angeles is currently enveloped in Mapplethorpe mania. Two companion exhibitions are on view at the Getty Center and at LACMA, and a new documentary titled “Look at the Pictures” just opened on HBO. Twenty seven years after his death, it seems it was time to rediscover the work of an ambitious and provocative photographer who started taking pictures by accident.

Read More Robert Mapplethorpe – The search for perfection

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Be not afraid – dealing with anxiety and fear.

Posted in Relationships, and Women's issues

10437609_10153038959378907_433491740597971405_nFear is padding around on little cat feet in the lives of too many people I love.

The first email I opened on Tuesday morning was from camparigirl. We’d had a conversation a few nights before about managing the disquiet we felt about a future that suddenly seemed so unpredictable and malevolent.

“Let’s embrace the possibility of possibility”, we’d agreed.  “Look outward with optimism. Can only help. We’re all going to die at some point anyway – may as well live until then.” Read More Be not afraid – dealing with anxiety and fear.

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(5) Things we (love to eat in NYC)…#67

Posted in Food, and Things We Love

Bright lights, Big City
Bright lights, Big City – the central hall at the new Whitney Museum

This week we are going to tell you about some fabulous food we had during our most excellent vacation in NYC.  We are not going to bother with the restaurants that let us down (yes Shake Shack, we’re referring to you) – because that would be the wrong way to remember our adventure. Instead we are going to tell you about some restaurants or food stalls that will have us remembering them with love, smacked lips and happy discovery.

Read More (5) Things we (love to eat in NYC)…#67

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Dos and don’ts around your friend with cancer

Posted in Health, and Women's issues

banksy-out-of-stock

How many people do you know? Seriously, think about it. Between your friends and family, close acquaintances and all those you keep in touch via phone and social media, how many are there you share tidbits of your life with? Hundreds?

On the same day I received my breast cancer diagnosis, I was struck by a variety of thoughts I never imagined would pop into my mind at such a time.

Read More Dos and don’ts around your friend with cancer

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