Exploring the Magic at Rancho La Puerta

Within hours of arriving at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, I was circling the word “exploring” and declaring it my intention for the week. Sitting in a workshop called Setting Your Ranch Intention: Tips for a Magical Week, I was expecting tips like, “Stay hydrated!” or “Try Gyrokenesis!” Instead, Jill, the warm and engaging facilitator, worked us through a series of questions that centered around our reasons for coming to one of the premiere wellness spots in North America, this venerable spa with soul that I had heard about for years. Jill wanted us to identify our goals for the week in terms of … Read more…

Paris in the Spring: Art, History, Walking Tours and Memories

Last spring, my son Colin and I went to Paris– he for the first time; me for the first time in over 25 years. (How did that happen, Life?) We spent five days there, exploring some Parisian classics and some new neighborhoods. I was doing some research for a novel I’ve written set in Paris (Publication date, TBD. But it’s coming out, people, I promise). Colin was finishing up a semester abroad in Greece & Italy and was a willing companion on my book research as long as it didn’t involve getting up too early. Has Paris changed in the last … Read more…

It’s Been Ruff: Year of the Dog 2018

From Pasadena Magazine December 2018 According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2018 is the Year of The Dog and I’m no thought leader in this area, so I can’t tell you exactly what that means and how it impacts your good fortune, but predictions for 2018 called for a period of great kindness and acceptance. (How’s that going, America?) It’s believed in Asian Astrology that you take on the character traits of the animal governing your birth year. Some of you –those born in 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946 and 1934— are lucky Dogs: loyal, loving, positive and eager for … Read more…

Find Your Voice: A Guide for Teens

A few weeks, I gave a speech to an all-girls high school in Pasadena entitled Finding Your Voice. I had never addressed an audience of 350 girls before and I was nervous. So I did what I always do on a project: I outlined the speech; I wrote it out longform; and I rehearsed it for an audience of one: my dog. She gave me some good notes. Many people asked for the highlights of the speech I mentioned on my podcast Satellite Sisters, so here are my five key talking points for Finding Your Voice: Speak Up Start now … Read more…

Fab New Old Stuff: Our Tour of Imperial & Renaissance Rome plus Pompeii

My son Colin and I are back from our European Odyssey  —  a 10-day trip to Rome and Paris. Colin was brimming with confidence and knowledge after a term studying abroad in Greece and Florence. And I was happy to be back in these beautiful cities after 25 years. Traveling with a college kid is different (Early morning start times are not too popular; Pizza in Rome counts as a gourmet meal.) but we found a rhythm and shared interests for a fantastic five days in Rome. We focused our sightseeing on Imperial and Renaissance Rome with a day trip to Pompeii. … Read more…

The Rome List: What I’m Packing, Watching, Reading & Planning for my Trip

I’m off to Rome! (And Paris, but let’s tackle Rome first…) I haven’t been to Rome in almost 30 years, when I was post-college and pre-real job. I had a few things going for me at the time– a pretty good handle on conversational Italian, a previous visit a few years earlier, a degree in Classics and a Blue Guide and fantastic cardio conditioning after a year of skiing and waitressing. But pretty much no money, no game plan and a suitcase full of all the wrong clothes.  This time, I’ll be traveling with my 20 year-old son Colin who … Read more…

Very Pasadena: Where the Not-So-Elite Meet

My Very Pasadena Column From Pasadena Magazine’s Power Issue Where the Not-So-Elite Meet It’s easy to assume that all the power in Pasadena gathers behind the closed doors of select private clubs, socializing with Scotch and doubling down on the value of perpetuity. You know, the ones with the green awnings, chintz couches in the ladies’ room and tasteful California Plein Air paintings on the wall, where the membership eschews informal footwear and the use of cash. Pasadena is dotted with clubs as old as the city itself, basking in tradition and the promise of a beautiful reception venue for your … Read more…

Please Don’t Show Me your Open Wound and Other Medical Etiquette Thoughts

My Very Pasadena column From Pasadena Magazine Top Docs 2017: In honor of the Top Doc issue, I thought I’d weigh in on few pressing medical etiquette issues.  I’m not a doctor, but I did grow up with a mother who lived by the motto, “No elbows on the table,” indicative of a genetic predisposition to manners.  Plus, I once wrote an advice column for O, the Oprah Magazine, so that should qualify me for an advanced degree in something, like “Extreme Emotional Awareness” or “Feeling all the Feelings.”  Here goes: Should you post photos of your rash on Facebook? … Read more…

Famous in Four Zip Codes

  From the Pasadena Magazine 2017 Issue: Power Players  When I moved to Pasadena 24 years ago, a new bride, I knew no one but my husband. I wasn’t a Power Player. I wasn’t even Power Play Adjacent. I toiled away in our back bedroom as a freelance writer with zero co-workers. I referred to the women in my aerobics class as “my friends” even though I knew none of their last names. I got a dog so it wouldn’t be so obvious I was talking to myself most of the day. To learn about the true Hoi Polloi of … Read more…

My Wish List for 2017

Resolutions aren’t my thing, but a girl can wish, can’t she? In honor of the new year and a renewed spirit of faith and hope in personal and community endeavors, I offer up this Wish List for 2017: I wish kale tasted better and ice cream tasted worst. I wish I was taller and my to do list was shorter.    I wish it would rain for the entire month of February. I wish it would snow in Pasadena just once. I wish Goo Be Gone worked on bunions. I wish the Secretary of Customer Service was a cabinet position. I wish … Read more…