"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Yum!: Sweet Rose Creamery

On my recent field trip to the Brentwood Country Mart I stopped in at the Sweet Rose Creamery to try for myself what the Los Angeles Times calls, "A taste of heaven".

As many of you know, most of my calcium intake is directly linked to ice cream consumption -which obviously puts ice cream into the health food category. I think the folks at Sweet Rose Creamery agree.

Created on site in small batches, Sweet Rose ice cream is made from locally sourced organic milk and cream, as well as organic eggs and sugar.

All of the toppings and sauces are made fresh in the store daily -and as you can see from the photo above, whipped cream topping is mixed up fresh before your eyes....mmmmmm. If you're gonna go for it, go for it.

Owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, who also own Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, as well as the scrumptious Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe in Los Angeles brought in friend and  fellow Tartine alum Shiho Yoshikawa from San Francisco to be the Ice Cream Chef. Brilliant plan. Shiho rocks it.

Classic flavors include:old fashioned vanilla, salted carmel, fresh mint with homemade chocolate chips, verve coffee and chocolate.

For December, Sweet Rose is featuring: eggnog, rum raisin, malted chocolate with hazlenut praline, quince, roasted beet (maybe you have to try this one to fully appreciate it?), cranberry compote with salty pistachio, orange sherbet, pomegranate frozen yogurt, yuzu-lemon sorbet, and pear-ginger granite

In addition to sophisticated scoops, the shop also offers sundaes, milkshakes, frozen novelties, ice cream pies and most recently, sliders: made with vanilla ice cream, cinnamon sauce and crispy bacon and sandwiched between fresh Milo and Olive brioche buns.

A brand new take on the ice cream sandwich!
Who's in? 

Slider photo courtesy of Sweet Rose Creamery.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shopping Celebrity Style: Brentwood Country Mart

A cross between L.A.'s  Original Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax and a pricey, upscale shopping center, the Brentwood Country Mart offers the kind of down home style one might find at Ralph Lauren's ranch in Colorado or Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill "farm"-which is to say, this is country done Hollywood style.

Sure, the whole shebang is housed within a big red barn, but we are definitely not in Kansas anymore. This is not necessarily a negative -I happen to prefer the idealized, fantasy of "country life" to the real thing. Let's just say it's more of a warning to wayward farmers who may be tempted to show up with Wranglers, roping boots and a can of chew. This here is celeb country. Hang up the reins and take the Porsche, or hybrid as the case may be...

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were spotted shopping here just last week, and one Yelp reviewer says she has never visited the Country Mart without running into an A,B or C-lister. On my visit, however, since I require business cards, signed headshots and flashing arrows to spot celebrities, I didn't even attempt to go paparazzi. 

Instead, I played to my strengths, namely food and shopping.

We got there early and by doing so were able to score a parking spot in the itty-bitty lot. YeeHaw!

Floral shop, Botany, and independent bookstore Diesel Books were two of my fave finds!

The Country Mart's al fresco food court features local legends, Reddi Chick, Barney's Burgers, Caffe Luxxe, and Frida Taqueria. It's a no-frills, picnic table and umbrella space with a fire pit and plastic trays. 

 Sugar Paper is an absolutely wonderful stationary store chock-full of clever paper goods and decor. I spent a few minutes browsing a book on Emily Posts manners for teens...before making a gaffe of my own.

 Turns out, my large tote bag wasn't a good idea in a small shop decked out with darling little table displays....let's just say they were very gracious about the whole thing and assured me I can come back any time...

Toy Crazy was another stellar shop with a plethora of playthings to keep kids of all ages browsing happily. While I was there, one little guy was absolutely desperate for a very large, garbage truck complete with cool lights and working parts. I for one, hope Santa heard him!

The Country Mart had a truly local vibe and is clearly the kind of neighborhood hang out everyone wishes they had in their own neck of the woods. Complete with a barber shop, shoe repair, ice cream store, post office, clothing boutiques, eateries and gifts galore, the small quaint center is a throwback to Main Streets of days gone by. A place to cross off several errands at once and run into friends as well.

For the rest of us, the Country Mart offers a great little field trip and presents a fun spot for lunch, shopping and people watching. Wear dark glasses, and you may want to rethink the tote bag...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Shop: Fab

You've got to love a company with the slogan:
 "Smile, you're designed to".

Launched in 2011 as an online flash-sale site, Fab sells home decor, apparel, art, furnishings, gifts, bedding, and accessories that range in style from fun, fashionable and tasteful to cute, quirky and downright questionable.

Case in point: The Slanket? (A blanket with sleeves. Duh.); T-shirts by DPCTED that read: I would cuddle you so hard; and a cheeky flask from Liquid Courage that encourages: Drink like a honey badger
  What makes this site especially entertaining (and admittedly addicting) is the fact there is serious style amidst the silly -which makes browsing the site both fun and fulfilling.

Better still, you don't have to throw down in the parking lot for the last compact space, and there's no waiting in line. Happy shopping.

  Teddy bear lamp by SUCK UK, and fish-shaped pitchers by Gurgle Pots designed to gurgle while you pour.

Albert II Table in rustic oak by Elegant Home. 

Bowl art by Retro Roadside; and parisian-inspired photography from fellow blogger and inspiration, Nichole Robertson. Check out her blog, Little Brown Pen, it simply rocks.

Below, the 50's Chair Suzani in silk pink and the Vera Chair Suzani in dark gray. Silhouette tree wall decal by Lot 26 Studio. 

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