Created from images of pressed seaweed collages by Santa Cruz nature artist, Beth Shady. Ten percent of profits donated to ocean conservation.
My husband Bill told me he wanted to meet a woman who could go on blue water sailing adventures, dirt camping surf trips by boat and who loves warm water salt and spray in her face. So I bought him this. It’s a nautical figurehead, a carved figure typically mounted on a ship’s bow. In the early days of seafaring, when wooden ships sailed the seas, carved figureheads depicting women were also known as “Neptune’s wooden angels.” Early use of these figureheads were varied among the early seafaring civilizations. Vikings used their figureheads to intimidate their opponents and ward off evil spirits, while the ancient Phoenicians used horses to represent speed. Eventually, figureheads came to represent a way for a non-literate person to identify the ship and to show off the wealth and prosperity of the ship’s owner. Their popularity continued to grow until the invention of the steam ship, which no longer included a bowsprit, which is where figureheads were traditionally mounted. They are hard to find. I was lucky to salvage this one in a boat yard at the Santa Cruz Harbor.
Our “sea goddess” now holds a special place of honor mounted above our outdoor fireplace and fits in exceptionally well with our home’s nautical themed decor.
From palate to palette, one of my favorite restaurants is The Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing, not only because it serves the finest menu of authentic Mexican food on the Central Coast, it also boasts an exquisite collection of local art, luscious gardens and uniquely original indoor and al fresco atmosphere. It is indeed a feast for all of your senses.
I first discovered this hidden treasure when a girlfriend of mine suggested we meet there for lunch. I said, “You mean the Whole Enchilada?” Tucked away on a side street off Highway One behind the Whole Enchilada, I had never heard of the place. Now I can’t stop talking about it and it has become the halfway meeting point for me and my friends who live in Monterey and Carmel.
A few Saturdays ago, my husband Bill and I took a leisurely drive down the coast and stopped in for yet another fabulous meal. We started our meal with a trio of house made soups because why not? If you can’t decide, have all three! The selection included chicken tortilla, roasted chile poblano bisque and the soup of the day, which happened to be grilled artichoke. The flavors were balanced and enticing and whet our appetites for more. Since all good things come in threes, we followed our soup sampling with a petite tamal trio of chicken with mole, pork with salsa verde and artichoke & cheese with fire roasted red salsa. All served on a bed of roasted white corn, black bean, cactus salad, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro. These are just a few choices from a broad menu showcasing sustainable and organic local ingredients.
We took a break between courses (wine in hand) to visit the art gallery behind the restaurant to soak in the visual delights of local artists that includes a diverse array of Mayan weavings, hand-blown glass, carved walking sticks and the majestic mixed media “Pre-Columbian” style of art of featured resident artist Luis Solano. (Psst… My SeaweedArt cards are also on sale.)
We topped off our meal with a shared dessert of jericalla, which is a cross between crème brûlée and flan topped with amerena cherries and whipped cream. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. Light, fluffy and a sweet contrasting finish to a very satisfying savory meal.
Sated, we were ready for the ride home. As we got up to leave, we noticed the restaurant proprietress Kim Solano and her husband, Luis, seated at a table nearby. Kim always remembers me by name and asks for my girls. When my daughters were both still at home, I would often take them there for lunch and Kim would stop by our table to say hello. That special touch is just as warm as her Mexican hot chocolate.
If you have never visited the Haute Enchilada I highly recommend it. Take your time and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes. You won’t be disappointed. Also, if you are looking for a unique venue to host an event, you might want to consider their social club. Check their Facebook page for upcoming musical performances and be sure to stop in for Open Studios tour October 1 & 2, 11-5. 7902 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 831-633-5843.
If you have a favorite local hot spot on the Central Coast or Bay Area and would like me to review it, please contact me.
After a long work week, nothing is more soothing and restorative to me than a relaxing bath with LOTS of bubbles. I first like to soak for a while in calmness and serenity in the warm water filled with Purifying Sea Soak from Arbonne, a unique blend of sea salts, marine botanicals, essentials oils and dried sea water. Then I pour in some body wash, turn on the Jacuzzi jets and watch how high the bubbles will rise. Reminds me of the foaminess of the waves when they crash on shore. It’s my way of bringing the ocean home. Now off to yoga…
I was super excited when I opened the box of raw coconut oil samples from Skinny & Co because I’m a fan of anything coconut and a true believer in it’s health and therapeutic benefits. Before I even tried the products I was pleased by the eco-friendly packaging. All of the products are in recyclable glass containers with metal lids, so no plastic pollution there! Plus the packing peanuts were water-soluble and biodegradable. I was also impressed by the Skinny & Co. story and mission. Founded by two brothers who are committed to living and healthy and holistic lifestyle their raw coconut oil (that’s right, never heated) is wild harvested from the jungles of Vietnam. Read More…
Super excited to try these 100% raw, extra virgin coconut oil products from Skinny & Co. Let’s see what’s in the box. Stay tuned for my review.
The California coastal equivalent of the mudroom is the outdoor shower (besides a hot tub, of course). It’s part of the Santa Cruz surf culture. Rinsing the sea salt and sand off our bodies and wetsuits is a welcome relief after an active day in the brisk Santa Cruz surf. My husband Bill, an avid surfer and beach volley ball player, considers an outdoor shower so necessary that he has installed two at our house. Even when I haven’t been to the beach I still enjoy the liberating freedom of taking a shower outdoors. If I use my imagination I can pretend I’m standing under a waterfall in Hawaii.
Ocean lover that I am, it’s only natural that my favorite bath and body products have marine botanical ingredients . I’m especially fond of Arbonne’s Seasource Detox Spa line. The rescue wash does double duty as body wash and shampoo.The sea algae extracts remove surface impurities and and environmental toxins. The exfoliating properties of the foaming sea salt scrub smoothes my skin and the fortifying hair mask detangles my tresses and protects from sun damage. Once I towel off, I lather my body with renewing body gelee and the 5 in 1 essential massage oil. They soothe my skin and muscles from a long day spent soaking up the sun.
You can purchase these fabulous products here. Sign up to become a preferred client and get 20% off. For more information contact Beth(at)SeaweedArt(dot)com.
I’m a huge fan and lover of anything coconut. It is not only one of my favorite food flavors to taste (I use coconut milk in my tea and smoothies every morning), I also appreciate it’s many healthful benefits, both nutritionally as a food source, and topically in beauty and self care products. In fact, I’m in the process of developing my own recipes for body butters made with coconut oil products. It’s no surprise that I’m super excited that I have been asked by Skinny and Co. to review their line of raw, alkaline, extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil products. The samples are on their way and I should be expecting them soon. In the meantime, watch this for more information.
My sister Julie, a fabulous amateur photographer, introduced me to the work of Jim Perdue, a software developer at App Lab. App Lab iOS photography is all about photography and art created using mobile devices. Jim lives in Monterey, CA near the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so many of his subjects are of ocean related themes. Here are some of my favorites. To see more of his work visit Jim Perdue Flikr page.
Now that our five children are all grown up and living all over the country (and world), my husband Bill and I decided to turn our sprawling Santa Cruz family home into a summer vacation rental. If you are looking for a killer pad to relax and chill, we invite you to visit our Airbnb listing Chez Shady.
Our traditional custom craftman’s bungalow style home was built in 1927. It has since undergone several remodels and expansions without sacrificing any of the home’s original character or charm. Relax and enjoy our luxurious, comfortable and spacious (3000 square foot) home that has everything you want and need to enjoy the Santa Cruz beach and mountain experience. Designed and built for our large family, our home has 4 bed rooms, 3 full baths and outdoor living area. Ideal for retreats and reunions. It’s spacious, cozy and comfortable with lots of amenities: indoor clinker brick fireplace, gourmet kitchen (with granite counters and Viking stove), master bath Jacuzzi, outdoor fireplace/fountain and kitchen, study/library, formal dining room with Mission Style table and ginormous great room with wet bar and 60 inch flat screen TV.
When I moved to Santa Cruz 24 years ago I remember the first time I saw aloe vera, cactus and other succulents growing on the side of the road. It was November, 1992 and I had just left the barren trees and slushy snow of New Jersey when I found myself tranplanted into a year round tropical oasis– a completely alternative landscape from the coniferous and disiduous vegetation I was used to. It didn’t take me long to embrace the California surf culture and Zen-like vibe, which typically involved hot tubs, bamboo and succulents. We have all three in our yard and my husband Bill, handy, creative guy that he is, made these lovely DIY bamboo planters for me and filled them with luscious succulents.