Mother's Day is almost upon us, and I'm looking forward to doing it easy and relaxed this year. It's been non stop go with work and school and sports schedules and I'm looking forward to keeping things simple. Here are a few things that I'm in obsessed with lately, hope you enjoy!
I spotted my good friend Julia wearing these, raving about how comfortable they are. I walk a lot - gotta keep up my 10,000 steps a day! So comfort and style are key and it's often hard to find both. I like that unlike most flats they have a sturdy sole and a solid construction. Plus, they're ethically made in Peru so you can feel good about your purchase. Read more about it here.
I just bought the almond colored ones, and am excited to start breaking them in! I think they'll go perfectly with faded jeans and summer dresses. Get $25 off your purchase here.
I've been wearing this bag on repeat. It's the perfect size, roomy enough to fit your necessities and then some, and small enough to look chic and polished. It's neutral enough to go with everything!
I love tying a scarf on my purse and giving it a little extra flair. It's practical and versatile too, the other day I was caught in some inclement weather and I put the scarf around my neck and it helped to keep me warm. Or, if you don't have a hair tie but need to get your hair out of your face just tie it on like a headband, or loop it around your ponytail.
This straw clutch has been my evening go to. It's smaller size makes it a little dressy, but the material is casually summer. Perfect for LA's relaxed elegance.
Huggies are hugely popular right now. They're called huggies, because they hug the earlobe. They're great because they click into place with a secure lever back and you can kind of forget you even have them on.
Big enough to make an impact but small enough to go with everything, my Samira pearl huggie hoops are the perfect earrings!
Ok, so now you've got your gifts, but where are you going to go? Mother's Day Brunch can be a bit hectic, restaurants are crowded and costly as usually it's a special menu. I say skip it and go to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. I live very close to the Norton Simon and am a member here. I love to go and look at the stellar art collection - Picasso, Degas, Rodin, Matisse, Van Gogh, Goya, Brancusi, Rembrandt, just to name a few.
The grounds of the museum are beautiful with a lily pond fish and ducks sprinkled with reclining sculptures nestled among the garden.
The garden is a beautiful place to just sit and relax. There is a small Patina cafe where you can order a glass of wine or a meal. Sometimes, we come just to sit outside and have a snack. My son likes the cookies, I like the hummus with flatbread and their soups.
Ducks in the garden
Le Penseur (The Thinker ) by Auguste Rodin
My mom is a big Rodin fan, and if you can't make it to Paris to see his home (which is pretty incredible) this is the next best thing. I took her here last Mother's Day as she had never been here before. The Norton Simon has 11 of his bronzes on view! The bulk are on the exterior of the property at the entrance and on Colorado Boulevard.
Honoré de Balzac bronze by Rodin
The Norton Simon is never terribly crowded, and when it is it's typically on the monthly free night, the first Friday of every month. From the viewing galleries remodeled by Frank Gehry, the movie theater by Gensler, and the sculpture garden which was once a public park, the Norton Simon is truly a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Their current exhibition is Matisse /Odalisque, it's short so even the squirmiest of children can get through it quickly! On through June 17.
After seeing all that art, you might be in the mood for a sweet treat. I know I always am after visiting the museum. My favorite recipe as of late, (I've made it twice in the past week!) is White Bean Tahini Blondies by Pamela Salzman. My husband doesn't even like sweets and he loves it. I've been seeing a lot of Tahini baking recipes on Pinterest so I was curious to try one. I was unsure how it would taste as I've never had a bean brownie or blondie before. I have Pamela's cookbook Kitchen Matters, and I've made a few recipes from it and enjoyed all of them. It's gluten free and dairy free adaptable so can accommodate many palettes. I made it for my book club last week and it was a hit!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or 1 (15 oz) can, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup tahini, preferably raw
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon aluminum - free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup DF semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 6 tablespoons chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch square pan with butter or coconut oil and line with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the melted butter, white beans, tahini, eggs, muscovado sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Process until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- In a medium-size bowl, mix together the remixing 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and the shredded coconut and press lightly into the batter.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Leftovers can be refrigerated fr up to 5 days. Even more delicious cold.
I love these because I can satisfy my sweet tooth while still feeling virtuous because they contain protein and healthy fats. The legumes and sesame tahini pureed into the batter, ensures the high protein, healthy fat content. Tahini is an amazing spread made entirely from sesame seeds. Besides being rich in protein and good fat, sesame seeds boast an impressive amount of calcium, about 88 milligrams in only one tablespoon! Beans, the other key ingredient, are incredibly nutrient dense and inexpensive. I listened to a Ted Talk on how beans are the the healthiest food you can eat. I like that this recipe gives me a new take on how to eat beans, beyond beans and rice or other savory options.
These ingredients are easy to find, I got all of them from my local Trader Joes. I substituted sweetened coconut for the unsweetened because that's what I had on hand and I think it adds a little extra oomph. I'm curious to try without next time. I also used regular semi-sweet chocolate chips because I don't have issues with dairy. Another possibility is to turn this into a light and fluffy cake by adding 1 tablespoon of coconut flour. Or if you aren't into Tahini, try substituting creamy almond butter.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Mother's Day, take time to relax and enjoy yourself!