Inspiration Archive

  • BBQ Inspiration

    Lauren and I are perfecting our BBQ repertoire

    New Baby, New Life

    The best Christmas present ever


    Mochi … a child’s best friend

    Cooking with Maya Angelou

    Inspirational cooking with Maya Angelou

    Character Counts

    Getting to know The Josephson Institute

    Finding My Roots

    My families’ interesting migration from Spain

    Mixing Up Thanksgiving

    I like to change things up. Often.

    The BBQ Whisperers

    These guys are smoking gurus

    Coach John Wooden

    I met an old friend for lunch last week and he took me to a favorite restaurant of his in Encino, California. As we walked in, the host waved us to my friend’s favorite table. Of course. My friend is, and always has been a huge UCLA basketball fan and hence a fan of John […]

    Museum Thursday

    About a year ago my girlfriend and I decided to do a monthly museum day that we named Museum Thursday. The premise was that Los Angeles and its environs has many interesting museums that we Angelenos never take the time to visit unless we have out of town guests that we want to entertain. These […]


    One of my favorite holidays has always been Halloween. It’s the only day of the year where you’re meant to dress up, be crazy and eat a bunch of candy. What’s not to like? I must confess that this year I was going to quietly sneak through Halloween. No decorations, no special food, no candy. […]

    Weekend in Lone Pine

    I spent the weekend at our little yellow house in Lone Pine. While my husband was doing his entrepreneurial thing in town, (it was the annual Lone Pine film festival this weekend), I spent my time doing household chores and gardening. As I looked out of each of our windows in the house, I was […]


    I am inspired by cookbooks. I collect them. I study them. I borrow them. And I buy them. As I admitted in a previous post, I own around 300 cookbooks (after the ones I’ve given away). So, I try to control my collection habit in a creative way: I go to the library and borrow […]


    Whenever I feel I need a dose of inspiration and I have extra time on my hands, I will tune into TED and listen to or watch one of their short audio or video sessions of an expert talking about some world problem and their solution for it or someone presenting a theory about a […]

    The Barefoot Contessa, My Mentor

    Growing up, I never learned to cook. Anything. I remember once trying to bake a cake (from a box) as a surprise. And I yanked it out of the oven early to save the surprise and tried to frost it (from a can) while steaming hot. It was nothing but a hot mess. Fast forward […]

    Why I Love My Book Club

    I was recently invited to join a book club. I am not sure why I have never been a part of one before, because I love to read but I am so happy that I said yes. It is a small group of women who also love to read and seem to all have eclectic […]


    I don’t really watch a lot of television. If anything, I watch culinary programs while I work out to pass time. But I admit that I do like some of the programming on OWN, or the Oprah Winfrey Network. Some of the shows I find downright inspiring. One show that I have watched only a […]

    Fear Factor

    I believe facing your fears makes you a stronger person by building up your self esteem and helping you overcome dealing with the fear of a lack of control. For us control oriented people that is a big one. That is how I became a scuba diver even though water was an element I never […]


    I recently read a book that so moved me, I felt compelled to share. “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed left me awestruck in the COURAGEOUSNESS of a young adult woman struggling through her issues (as we all do) and getting REAL on the Pacific Coast Trail with Monster (her 50+ pound backpack) ALONE. As I read […]

    My Foodspirations

    I’ll admit it, I am a chef groupie. I love reading about chefs who have worked themselves up the ranks and made it big either through successful restaurants, publishing, TV and radio exposure or are just known in the food world to be creative and outstanding. Whenever I see a chef I admire, I always […]


    One of my favorite activities, that I do both home and away, is hiking. For me, hiking is like a peaceful meditation. My mind can wander or clear itself with the beautiful view and the sounds of nature. When I’m home in Los Angeles, I like to hike in the Santa Monica mountains. The hike […]

    Lone Pine Here We Come

    My life is beginning to feel like a Green Acres sitcom.  About 6 months ago, we were thinking of buying another condo in Mammoth to take Grandkids skiing. While looking for properties, my husband came upon a couple of commercial properties in Lone Pine which is about 2 hours south of Mammoth. We went up […]

    The Library

    There is a place that I spend a fair amount of time. I have had a love of this place, in it’s various forms since childhood. It’s always been a safe place. And a source of inspiration. And luckily I’ve rediscovered it in recent years. The library. Home of books. Of quiet inspiration. Of endless […]

    My Cooking Journey

    I learned to cook at my Aunt Grace’s direction. She was not a gourmand but a pretty good home cook. She loved to bake and she would let me bake my own pies. I remember eating very hearty meals for dinner like pot roast and fried chicken. When I was first married and had children, […]

    Japanese Culture

    I recently traveled to Japan for the first time. I have never been to Asia and Japan seemed like the right place to start as I am 50% Japanese. It was also important to me to make sure that all of my kids had at least an exposure to their Japanese heritage, though I had […]

    Where I Find Inspiration

      Every week Lauren and I share writing the posts for each category of our blog.  The Well Being and Inspiration categories seem to be the hardest for both of us to come up with each week.  The theme of Well Being is the things that go into having a good life.  Whatever that means […]

    Operation Gratitude

    There is an organization in our community that we as a family became involved with about ten years ago. Operation Gratitude is a non-political organization that sends care packages to the US Military around the world. The packages are filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation. Their mission is […]

    Counting Our Blessings

    I recently came across this post on the internet that I found very inspiring. It really made me stop and appreciate the wonderful life I have and be thankful for my beautiful family and all of my blessings. Most of us are so busy trying to dodge life bullets, we forget to stop and appreciate […]

    Our Mother’s Day Tradition

    For the past 10 years, it has been our family’s Mother’s Day Tradition to participate in the Revlon Walk for Breast Cancer in Los Angeles. All of us together in 2005. The walk is held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day every year. Our tradition started when my family asked me what I wanted to […]

    A Miraculous Journey

    A very good friend of mine, Barbara Carole, recently wrote and published a book titled Twelve Stones: Notes on A Miraculous Journey  – A Memoir.  It is an inspiring account of her life and spiritual journey to becoming a Christian.  Now that in itself is not that remarkable, however Barbara was born a Jew.  She details […]


    Is there something that, in the back of your mind, you’ve aspired to do for some time? Though it just seems a little too big, a little too overwhelming, a little too something … to actually make it happen? For me, that itch was running a marathon. Was it because I had always loved running? […]

    Doing it Pro Bono

    After I retired from the corporate world, I tried to find something interesting to do that utilized my business skills and gave me an opportunity to give back.  I volunteered at various non-profit organizations with missions I believed in.  But invariably my volunteer role was relegated to answering phones, stuffing envelopes and general grunt work […]

    Reinventing Ourselves

    Passion Quest
    Reinventing Ourselves Posted in Passion Quest on 11/12/12

    Anne Smith Interview, CEO Oregon Bark

    Anne Smith is CEO of Oregon Bark in Portland, Oregon What made you decide to open a cooking school?  Well, it’s kind of a complicated story which I could spend way too much time on.  To try to make it a little simple, it’s like this:  All my summer jobs in high school and college […]

    Family Night

    Two of my kids who live close to me are in their 30’s and very busy working and living the dream. As a result we rarely see each other. Recently I came up with an idea to have a family dinner once a month so we could all see each other, break bread and catch […]

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