Fresh vegetable juices on wooden table, on green background

Remember when juice was just a choice between orange and apple? Before juicing became a verb, the decisions were pretty basic — and anything ‘fresh-squeezed’ was considered fancy + healthy. Wow! times have changed! In my experience, current juice-lovers fall into two categories:

• Buyers: Those who pick up bottles at all the fabulous pressed juice shops that have popped up everywhere over the last few years. Love them! At the beginning, I even ordered Fed Ex delivery from LA before the stores arrived in the Bay Area. I would stock the fridge with bottles and bottles. (kept my recycling bin brimming over) When the first shops opened in Northern California I would cross bridges, drive through tunnels, and even get parking tickets while getting my juice! Now quality bottled juices are available at grocery stores, corner markets and even Costco.

• Makers: This refers to the “do it at home” type of juice lover. These people are hitting Farmer’s Markets for huge bundles of kale, dark red beets, locally-sourced citrus…carrying it all home in recyclable bags, making a HUGE mess in the kitchen, and extracting a single cup of juice (I’m talking about my husband here!).

I am actually BOTH! I am a buyer-maker, and vacillate between both methods to get my juice fix. I am super excited about the latest addition to the juicing scene: Juicero, a company that promises to “leave chopping, cleaning, and other juicing hassles behind, and drink fresh raw juice on demand”. I love their farm-to-glass philosophy, and the thought of making fresh, organic cold-pressed juice by pushing a button on a compact countertop machine (that looks like an Apple product) in my own kitchen…well, that sounds amazing. The Juicero packs include flavors like sweet greens and carrot beet, delivered weekly to my door, and I will have zero excuse to not eat my fruits and veggies! Juicero is available in most of California now, and plans to expand nationwide…check it out here

Opening Night of the Bouquets to Art exhibit at the de Young was wonderful! This famed event has been blooming in the halls of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for 32 years and it’s so worth a visit, even if you aren’t a Bay Area local. I slipped on my frou frou, floral Oscar dress – (I wish it was really that simple to transform!) and headed to Golden Gate Park with my friend Kim.

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We were thrilled to be greeted by all things floral and fabulous, including some costumes created entirely with flowers and leaves. Sipping cocktails and nibbling on the delicious sweets and savories before disappearing into the floral exhibitions — this is my idea of a magical evening. Every year I marvel at the talent with which each artist interprets or relates to their chosen piece of art through floral design. There were innovative arrangements and imaginative installations.

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Bouquets to Art is a renowned event, but what is particularly (and personally) special to me is that my mother was one of the original exhibitors for the first 17 years! My mom is an amazing artist, and for as long as I can remember she has been creating and sharing her art with the world. Whether decoupage, terrarium gardens, patchwork dresses, (hello 1970s) floral designs- and for the last 15 years quilting – she’s always been able to creatively express herself. In a time when women’s work was traditionally in the home, she found her voice through art. Watching her commit time, enthusiasm, and energy to her passion has been inspiring to me (although I didn’t call it ‘inspiration’ as a teenager), and I realize how influential her creativity has been to my own SEEK-ing. At 87, my mom continues to devote so much time to her art, and I love that she creates purely for the sake of creating. Always a storyteller through her art, I continue to love watching the ways she is inspired by color, fabric, shapes, and beautiful live flowers.

While walking through the de Young galleries that evening, I was flooded with wonderful memories of the art, spirit, and beauty I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by. It seems like a creative spirit has been calling me for the last few years, and I am answering it with SEEK, my own version of being “artistic.” Though I’ve always found creative outlets through the years, from garden and home, to family and fundraising events, this blog feels like the opportunity I’ve been inching toward. A canvas to create with words and images, to curate beautiful things that speak to me of lifestyle and soul. Influenced and inspired by – and dedicated to – my mom, Marolyn Stanley.
Something for you to consider this week: what is your art? What do you create, just for the sake of creating? What are you wanting to bloom?

I know I am maybe a little late to the party here, but I am thinking about creating a succulent garden- or at least updating a section of my garden space. So although this idea may be really 2015, I am on a learning mission and want to bring succulents into my life in a bigger way. These plants can be low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and high-style, bringing both drama and practicality to my garden.

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Along with the artful array of shapes, sizes, and colors that make a stunning garden, succulents also bring practical benefits — Aloe is a succulent containing healing powers, and I’d love to soothe a burn with a plant I’ve grown. I always love receiving a fresh piece of Aloe for skin irritations from a friend- I want my own! And did you know this: the high moisture content in succulents can cause the plants to act as a fire barrier, protecting my home. Plants with beauty and brains, coming soon to my garden. And the good news for you — I can use the plant cuttings to grow more succulents, and share the harmony and healing of my latest obsession with friends!

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(This photo was taken at my friends Jason and Nelly’s garden in Los Angeles)

A few fabulous local resources for succulents:

http://www.cactusjungle.com/

http://www.sunshineandsucculents.com/

http://www.thesucculence.com/

http://www.floragrubb.com/

I was moved, motivated, and inspired this week by the grassroots environmental heroes who received the Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco on Monday evening. Such amazing stories of courageous people on a mission to make our earth a better place. You can read about them and their brave journey’s  here

Destiny Watford, Curtis Bay Area, Baltimore, MD

Destiny Watford, Curtis Bay Area, Baltimore, MD

Pizza. Matador. Local SF East Bay friends, this is artisan pizza delivered to your door. Organic, seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients on a partially-baked thin crust pizza (think wild mushrooms, roasted garlic & truffle oil, or chorizo, spanish olives, red bell peppers, romesco & manchego) — and did you hear me the first time? Delivered. To. Your. Door. I literally think the delivery guy was parked around the corner. He was here in six (yes six) minutes. Oven was preheated and ready. And love their minimalist packaging. No pizza box, just brown paper compostable wrapping and cardboard. That’s refreshing too. Go order a pizza. You can thank me later. http://www.pizzamatador.com/