Shop Lisa’s Closet

Shop Lisa's Closet.jpgI have been planning to do a “Shop Lisa’s Closet” post for a while now. A lot of friends have asked me what I do with my clothes when I’m done with them and typically I give them to Good Will or to Helping Hands, a local organization that helps survivors of domestic violence. I have a passion for sponsoring children around the world and I vowed that the next time I cleaned out my closet, I would sell some of the clothes from my fashion posts and use the proceeds to help support sponsored children through Compassion International. It took me a while to figure out how to make it work, but finally it’s [here], just in time for the season of giving! You can feel good that the money from your purchases will be going toward helping children in need this Christmas. I will add items to it periodically and you can always find them by clicking on the “shop” button in the toolbar at the top of the page.  I hope you enjoy shopping my closet!

Cookie Gifts

IMG_5253Baking cookies is a joy for me and I usually take the time to bake for all my friends at work plus my church family and neighbors each Christmas.  This year, I was short on time but needed to put together 40 gifts for our leaders at Church.  I decided to make them cookie gifts but I took a shortcut and bought the pre-made Nestle cookie dough to bake with.  It saved me a lot of time and I think the cookies taste better than when I bake them from scratch!

Cookie Gift

Wilshire Restaurant

WilshireMy cardiologist, Steve Levine, is somewhat of a Renaissance man.  In addition to being an amazing Doctor, he plays the guitar and happens to also own the award winning Los Angeles restaurant, Wilshire.  I go there sometimes because it’s a great lunch spot for California cuisine.  The atmosphere is casual but cool and the food is great.  They’re known for their specialty lemonades.  I happened to take clients there last week and had the Cucumber Lemonade which was so refreshing and the place was nicely decorated for Christmas which when added to the good company, made it an enjoyable time.

Wilshire restaurantWilshireWilshire

Cookie Good

Cookie GoodMy cookie obsession has been well documented on this blog especially Clementine chocolate chip, as seen here. Yesterday I happened upon a new cookie shop on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica called Cookie Good. They have a wide variety of emotion evoking cookie flavors that changes daily, like the Frosted Flakes Cookie and the S’mores Cookie. They even offer flavored milk to go along with the cookies, like Gingerbread.  I purchased a sampling of their Holly Jolly (a cake batter flavored cookie- yum!), Caramel Pretzel, Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Brownie Chunk.  The Caramel Pretzel was the clear winner with the perfect intersection of salty and sweet.  If you’re looking for a great holiday gift idea, Cookie Good sells customized baskets of their sweet treats and you can order online!  Happy cookie tasting!

Cookie Good Menu

 

{The daily menu of Cookie Good flavor options}

Chocolate Chip Pretzel

Storefront

Christmastime in San Francisco

SF Christmas 2014I had meetings in San Francisco yesterday so I came up Sunday night and the whole city seemed to have come to life since the last time I was here. I love being in New York City when it gets all dressed up for the holidays but I’ve never been to San Francisco during Christmastime. It is a lovely sight to see and the weather was just perfect for walking around and taking it all in.

SF Christmas 2014 {The magic of Macy’s}

SF Christmas 2014{This working train was on display in the lobby of the Westin St. Francis}

SF Christmas 2014 SF Christmas 2014 {The Cal Band played Christmas tunes in Union square}

Christmas Tradition

Candy Cane LaneOne of our favorite family traditions for the Christmas season is to take a drive down Candy Cane Lane to see all the pretty houses.  We finally got around to getting our tree and putting up our own lights this weekend so a visit to Candy Cane Lane was the perfect ending to a busy day.

Candy Cane Lane

Mohawk Helmet

Mohawk helmetWhen I was growing up we rode our bikes in the middle of the street until the street lights came on and if helmets were invented, we never heard of them. As of 1994, California has a mandatory helmet law for riders under 18.  Luke outgrew his helmet (and has also outgrown his bike as you can see from these photos) so he gave it away.  Last week Luke took a spill on his bike and skinned his knees pretty good. The next day, Mema took him to Target and let him pick out a new cool Mohawk helmet and protective pads. A new bike is on his Christmas list.

Mohawk Helmet

Surf Lesson

Surf LessonWe woke up early on Black Friday and headed to Zuma Beach in Malibu. Jeff finally got his long-awaited chance to teach Luke how to surf. Luke was surprisingly brave. He suited up and jumped right into the waves on his boogie board as a warm up, then switched to the surfboard and tried catching three waves. He almost stood up on the second one but fell right at the last second. It was a joy for me to watch from the sand. Here are a few glimpses through my lens.

Boogie board

Ride to the shore

Scoping it out

Charge

surf

Father Son Surfers

Malibu Morning

Our Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving 2014Our Thanksgiving table was overflowing with food and surrounded by family. Jeff’s Mom and his daughters joined us along with his youngest daughter’s fiancé and my brother. We went around the table and each one of us shared what we were most thankful for.  Luke started by saying he was thankful for everyone at the table, which I thought was extra sweet.  I was most thankful for Jeff’s restored health.  It had been a long season of sickness finally he is back to surfing and in the shape of his life.  The menu was extensive this year.  Mema brought her famous gravy and spinach artichoke dip. Erin brought homemade gluten free stuffing.  Jeff made his signature herb-roasted turkey but this year he glazed it with truffle oil and he made Tofurkey as a vegan alternative.  For appetizers I made shaved brussel sprout & parmesan crostini with truffle oil (recipe here) along with carrot ginger soup.  For sides we had steamed green beans & arugula salad with cranberries and pistachios.  I also made mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes but it was a vegan version and nothing mashed is good without butter.. but that left room for the apple and pumpkin pie.  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!