Best of California (A Rain Prayer)

In early April, my husband and I planned a hike high in the Angeles National Forest to escape unseasonably and unpleasantly hot weather in LA. It was a fine enough diversion but I looked at the meager patches of snow and thought hard about what should be. When we reached the summit of Mt. Islip, I struck an odd pseudo-yoga pose. “It’s my rain prayer,” I explained. “After this I am going to do my rain dance.…You think I’m kidding?” I wasn’t. What inevitably followed has been the longest, hottest,... Read The Rest →


I’ve been hovering on the brink of social media for a couple of years now, awaiting some impetus to dive in. Well, I found it, and from the most unexpected of sources: my high school reunion in Atlanta, GA. It’s not the most professional or arty picture but it is special—what an amazingly astonishing group of fascinating and successful people, some of which are my best friends in this world; others I haven’t glimpsed in 20 years but would have to liked to have spent a week versus a weekend... Read The Rest →

If I had a Twitter feed

I am indeed making my way through the 2015 Project List…And thus proffer a photo from last weekend, almost at the top of Mt. Baldy…huff, puff.

I Bake Therefore I Am

An ode to my mother on Mother’s Day (although to her credit, my mother hates Mother’s Day) It occurs to me that I’ve been baking for nearly as long as I’ve been designing…but without the same 10-hour-a-day fervor. And though I’d rather be recognized as a Cristina, The Really Good All-Round Cook, I think I’m more known amongst my friends as a dessert-maker. Above: The latest from my test kitchen, strawberry semifreddo It could be the lack of competition. No one tends to take a day to bake when they... Read The Rest →

A 2015 Project list

I’m long since past making a singular New Year’s resolution. These grand proclamations are usually decided in an artificially powerful mindset (champagne) on New Year’s Eve. Nowadays I set a modest list of goals and projects to, well, at least consider all year that don’t involve absolute denial of vice or unsustainable fitness regimes. And then I wait two weeks into the new year to actually list them: 1. Upgrade my work-at-home wardrobe to be respectable enough to answer the door for UPS. 2. Pickle something. Radishes maybe. 3. Officially... Read The Rest →

How you live changes your brain: Iceland

Milton Glaser is truly my hero. Not only is he a genius designer but an extremely intelligent, articulate and outspoken communicator with a wry sense of humor. I won’t compare myself to him. I just wish I were him. In 2001, I read a speech he gave which has since become my bible (more on that later). One of his lessons for aspiring designers (and no matter what your age or experience, you are still aspiring): How you live changes your brain. A fair interpretation of that might be, You’re... Read The Rest →

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