Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Fair to Remember

I hit the carni the other day - the L.A. County Fair. I really didn't expect to have as much fun as I did. From the second you enter the fairgrounds you are assaulted by color:

The booths, the prizes, the people...everything and everyone was awash in pinks and yellows and blues.

Jen posed as a pirate...
Dad popped balloons with darts...

P. rolled around in a hermetically sealed bubble over water...

I took pictures of creepy Hansel and Gretel life-sized cutouts.

But the real coup de grace came when I discovered these little colorful beads... which, when submerged in water for four hours, become...

...marble-sized gooey things which act as soil for plants and flowers.
Just one of the many wonders of the L.A. County Fair!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Out of My Head

Just back from a wonderful but brief trip to the Oaks Spa in Ojai. I've been coming here with my mom since I was around fifteen (at that age I couldn't stand the place - the early morning classes, the fat-free food. I once snuck out to buy myself a burrito across the street. My how times have changed!) It is a little over an hour outside of L.A. so it's an easy escape and twice a year they have a mother/daughter special, so it's affordable. If you can't bring your mother, you can bring a friend and still get the discount as I did a few years ago. They offer fabulous exercise classes from morning to night, wildly interesting seminars, a host of treatments and of course delicious, fat-free meals. But the best part of being at the Oaks, I think, is getting out of my head. Samba class, followed by water aerobics and Cardio Funk is such a nice break from long and sedentary days spent in front of the computer. Who has time to think about plot points and grammar issues when you're trying to keep your feet coordinated in step aerobics?

(blurry self-portrait after day of working out)

(Spanish architecture in town.)

(Adorable Ojai library across from the Oaks.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Some Summer Eats

I spent a lot of time in restaurants this summer - not only eating, but taking pictures of food. For my dad's birthday in July we went to The Bazaar, an amaaazing restaurant at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles. Pictured here: the oxygen infused olives (truly an explosive party in your mouth)
...and here are the watermelon/tomato skewers...

For dessert, they usher you into another part of the restaurant and you choose from the myriad of options at the endless candy bar. Willy Wonka would be proud.

And speaking of desserts, for my birthday the other night I went with my parents to The Tasting Kitchen and ordered up this magical sticky toffee concoction for dessert...

It was absolute perfection because it wasn't too sweet, and paired with the Cinnamon gelato? Beyond! (as my friend Daniela likes to say). In fact, the entire meal was beyond.

But the best of the best came on Saturday night when my sister showed up at my place toting this magical cake:

...which she baked, colored, frosted and decorated (with bougainvillea from her garden). When you cut into it you found a rainbow surprise.

Gosh, I have NO IDEA why I've gained 10 pounds. None.