Vegan Lemon Lavender Cookies

Lemons abound in California, as does lavender (specifically in my front yard). It would be a sin to let either go to waste; especially since they blend so perfectly well together. I’ve been incorporating a larger portion of vegan dishes into my daily eatings habits, not out of sympathy for the animals or thinking it’s cruel – but due to the environmental havoc certain animal products create (more on that here). Vegan doesn’t mean tasteless; I still see some people sneer at the word. Don’t knock it until you try it, and this recipe will convince you that vegan isn’t just for peta protestors wearing pleather birkenstocks. If you’re a well educated foodie locavore out to minimize your environmental impact, vegan dishes might just become your new favorite.

Ingredients (Makes 20)
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
lemon juice from one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups  whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground up flax seed
1/4 teaspoon ground himalayan sea salt
2 tablespoons dried lavender, slightly crushed
2 tablespoons almond milk or nondairy milk of your choice

Preheat oven to 350°F.
If you have nonstick cookie sheets, rub a bit of coconut oil on them to make sure the cookies slide right off. Otherwise, use some parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil and palm sugar. Stir in all liquids. In a medium bowl, mix whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, flax seed, and salt. Crush the lavender by hand, and stir it in. Mix dry ingredients into the larger bowl with the wet ingredients. Using your hand, make little balls with the dough (about a inch and a half or two in diameter), place them on the cookies sheet, then flatten them. They don’t spread very much, but still be sure to keep them about two inches apart from other cookies. I used a fork to add a little decorative indentation in the center. Bake for 14 minutes, until the edges turn slightly brown. If you want a chewier cookie, bake for 12 minutes. Contain your excitement for a few minutes before digging in, you can’t enjoy their taste with a burnt tongue. Once they’re slightly cooked, enjoy!


7yearanniversary_confettidarling Today Seth and I celebrated our seven year anniversary. It seems a bit surreal to think we’ve been dating so long; it honestly feels like yesterday he was stalking me outside the window of my color theory class, and sneaking me free coffee at his work. We’ve been friends for a decade now, and it’s safe to say I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for all the laughs, high fives, deep conversations, geeking out with me, and giving me a hand to hold while we explore this amazing planet. If you want to stalk him like he did me, do so here!



ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_bar_succulents_plant_wall ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_bar_succulent_garden ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_bar_marble_tablesetting ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_bar_mermaid_vintage_luggage ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_teal_katespate ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_bar_oysters_rockafeller J03A6035_edit1 ironside_sandiego_littleitaly_confettidarling_bar_oysters Seth and I had a date night to celebrate our seven year anniversary the other day, so we decided to try out a new restaurant in Little Italy that has been getting a ton of hype, Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar. It lived up to my expectations, as the service and food were fantastic. What I loved the most was the design details throughout the restaurant. Their interior design made you feel as though you were sitting down at Harrod‘s to get some oysters, with a hipster edge and creative cocktails in tiki cups. The marble and brass accents elevate the decor, while other nautical aspects really made it feel as though you were out to sea. For those looking for great ambiance, drinks, and delicious bowl of clam chowder, look no further.



gypsynewyear_tablesetting_msq gypsynewyear_tablesetting2_msq gypsynewyear_tablesetting3_msq


My friends and I decided to have a Gypsy New Year’s get-together so we can celebrate our friendship, and have a beautiful, relaxing evening to ring in 2014. I always think jewel tones when thinking of anything gypsy, or bohemian. I borrowed a couple of feathers from my moms peacocks (or you can buy some on Amazon, because they have everything), and I tucked them into some napkins with a pocket fold . I went to the local fabric store and bought some tassels, gold zig zag ribbon, and sequins. I sprinkled sequins down the table runner, and made wide napkin holders. If you’e handy with a hot glue gun and velcro tabs, I think you can make it work! (Or if enough of you request a D.I.Y. I might post one!) If you are looking for more bohemian inspiration, feel free to stalk the inspiration board for this party on Pinterest! It was a group board my friends and I loaded up with magical bohemian imagery. The night was filled with indian food, tarot readings, belly dancing, and wonderful memories.



gypsynewyears_tarotden2_msq gypsynewyears_tarotden1_msq gypsynewyears_crystalarium_tarotden_msq As part of our Gypsy New Year, I also set up a Tarot den in my living room. My friends and I took turns reading each other’s tarot cards, and doing palm readings. It was very fun to set up, I hung some Sari fabric I had purchased, borrowed tons of loot from my mother’s bohemian abode, added my sheepskin rug, fresh florals, lit some candles, and the ambiance was set. The last photograph shows my lovely cousin Crystal lounging.


Rosemary's Baby

graphic design by Q

I finally purchased Rosemary’s Baby on Blu-ray from the Criterion collection; one of my favorite films of all time. Criterion always does a fantastic job restoring older films, and collecting content for added features. Their drive and passion for film matches my own. I’ve been collecting Criterion films since I can remember. If you have yet to see this film don’t hesitate, just purchase it on Blu-Ray. It’s a classic, psychologically disturbing, and enticing. This is a good film to watch hand in hand with Polanski’s other Criterion film, Repulsion. I’ve found that the more I’ve watched Rosemary’s Baby, the more disturbed I become, yet, I can’t look away.


Margot Tennenbaum I’m a huge fan of Wes Anderson‘s The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s tied with Rushmore as being my all time favorite of his. I always gravitated towards Margot‘s character, with all her quirks, the wooden finger, and brutally honest quips. As a teenager, Margot’s angst filled pouts and heavy eyeliner really resonated with me. I was able to find a wig on sale at my local wig shop and they shaped it just for my costume. I bought two large men’s polo’s at a thrift store, they were both blue with stripes, I then stitched them together to make one shirt dress (if you’re crafty you could just download this pattern and make your own). I am by no means a professional seamstress, so my dress is not perfect. To cover it up I bought Margot’s iconic coat off of Ebay. The hair clip was one I already had, simply painted with red nail polish. The “wooden” finger I made by wrapping my finger with toilet paper, and wrapping masking tape around it until it was stiff. I then got my brown acrylics out, and painted it until it looked like wood. The final touch, the cigarette, can be found at any Halloween or prop shop. Not shown in this photo (because I had already carried it all night), a vintage brown handbag. I picked up a brown crocodile one from the 60′s at an estate sale. If you recreate this costume, make sure not to smile, and lightly roll your eyes at anything said that’s not worth your time. Happy Halloween!



Q and Monster

Julian Apples We live an hour away from a old gold mining town called Julian, here in California. Every September through October you can go apple picking, they have over a dozen orchards to chose from. While we’re there, we always stop and get a slice of dutch apple pie at the Julian Pie Company. We don’t get too many trees changing colors in these parts, so if you want fall, you have to go looking for it!



Los Angeles Trip 2013 I had a fabulous trip to Los Angeles with my ladies last weekend. We were famished by the time we got into the city so we headed to one of my favorite restaurants, Son of A Gun; they have phenomenal dishes and drinks. I enjoyed a gorgeous pickled beat, radish, and butter lettuce salad with breadcrumbs and creme fraiche. We stayed at The Standard Downtown, which is my go to anytime I travel to LA. We all bunked in a “Wow” room, it was the perfect size for all of us (four people). We enjoyed the roof top bar, and lounged poolside for a bit. We then made our way to First Friday at Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice; food trucks, art galleries, and boutiques galore. On our second day we walked over to Bottega Louie for brunch; mimosas, bennies, and macarons, we couldn’t be happier. If you’re ever visiting LA on a weekend, I highly suggest you swing by there. We explored LACMA in it’s entirely, I was fortunate enough to see The Stanley Kubrick Retrospective for the second time (he’s my favorite director). From there we explored the neighborhood of Silver Lake, picking up some Raclette from The Cheese Store and getting caffeinated atIntelligentsia. We had made reservations at Little Dom’s, a restaurant I must visit at least once every time I’m in LA. The first time I visited they had the best (and only) alligator meatballs I’ve ever had. We were chit-chatting away when we all fell dead silent with a smile across our faces, Jeff Goldblum walked by, saying“Hello Ladies”, as classy as ever with a smile that melts hearts; we couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the night! We ended the evening at the iconicGriffith Observatory, enjoying a final glimpse of the city, and the stars, before making our drive back to San Diego.


La Jolla California

Living in San Diego, California, I always forget to make a trip out to the beach; It’s easy to ignore when you’ve grown up with it your whole life. I made a conscience effort with my cousin the other day to go enjoy it. We explored La Jolla and it’s treasures as if we were tourists. We also got to enjoy some authentic Mexican street tacos at Puesto, my favorite was the cheese, cactus, and zuchini taco with avocado and salsa. I couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day!