To be more specific, MY birthday. I still make a fuss of it and I expect everyone else to as well, which is a bit of a tall order. Every July 7 I wake up with the naive and childish expectation that something out of the ordinary is going to happen: it never does, other than the realization that Ringo Starr, Marc Chagall and I were born on this day so the world gotta be a better place just because of that.
I started the day at the beach – the weather was just too perfect not to. The waves were high so I knew I was in for a surfing treat. Going to a surfing beach affords multiple benefits: as you can’t dip your toes in the water unless you are on a board, there are no children or tourists. Nobody but surfers and a few crusty old ladies with their books. I looked up from Claire Messud’s “The woman upstairs” now and then and enjoyed the black clad bodies bobbing up and down along the surf, riding the waves or crashing to shore. And I was reminded of the beauty of living in Southern Cal.
Even now that it’s getting hot, I have a hard time letting go of oatmeal. With poached eggs a close second, it’s my all time favorite breakfast. I always make enough for two and end up eating the whole thing – and why not? It’s healthy and it keeps me filled until my usually late lunch. This morning I cooked 3/4 C of rolled oats in 1 1/2 C of water and, when ready, I added 1 T of unsweetened cocoa powder, some fresh strawberries and cherries, a couple of T of Kefir and some maple syrup. Accompanied by a large cup of strong black coffee it can’t be beaten.
All these many years later, there is still something about Ikea that is downright thrilling. Not the Swedish meatballs, nor the feeling of haze and confusion that sets in on hour three of wandering around their obstacle course, but the sense of accomplishment in finding exactly what you are looking for, at the right price and with a degree of unexpected cuteness is utterly satisfying. This time around, while helping my stepdaughter pick furniture for her new apartment, I particularly fell in love with this lacquered bookcase that comes in many colors and can be accessorized with doors, canisters etc. If you possess the DIY streak, check out Ikea Hackers for ideas on how to embellish the plainest Ikea pieces (if you have ever owned a Billi bookcase, you know what I am talking about).
At the risk of sounding like a 60s’ throwback, I will admit having a penchant for kaftans. There is nothing more practical and suitable for all occasions as a kaftan in Summer – pair it with a pair of sandals or flats, and voila, from beach to evening.
Here is a plain gray one I recently wore with flat golden mules. And next to it is a vintage Marucelli from 1968 I wouldn’t mind owning.
Back in the days when I had an expense account, I was thrilled every time I had the opportunity of enjoying some sushi at Nobu Matsuhisa. Now that the bill is footed by yours truly, my visits are much rarer but it has become a tradition of sort to celebrate my birthday at the Nobu outpost in Malibu. Recently relocated right over the water, it has become a bit too much of a scene for my taste, filled with celebrities and people out to spot celebrities. But the hostesses handle everyone with the same aplomb, every patron gets star treatment and the menu, that hasn’t changed in 20 years, is still exquisite. And those mango passion fruit martinis, a study in the art of balancing sweet and tart, go down very smoothly. A bit too smoothly.
Image of Nobu from their own website; Image of Marucelli kaftan courtesy of Vogue; Image of Kallax from Ikea’s website. All the rest copyright of C&S