Bring On Spring

A dozen ways to kick off the season in high style and spirits.

 

Bottle It

Create an ode to spring. This colorful display was created with vintage glass bottles collected over the years at flea markets. Get different sizes, shapes and colors. Use simple yard cuttings (both flowering and non-flowering) to make a meadow.

 

Get Hazmat Cool

Snag a Yeti Hopper 20 portable cooler. The leakproof, soft-sided cooler can keep ice cold for days. Built with indestructible materials to withstand even the roughest of camping trips (or tailgate parties!) $299, yeticoolers.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Your World

There is nothing like a splash of color to freshen decor. This spring Sherman Oaks-based interior designer Kate Nolan suggests two shades by Benjamin Moore.

Herb Bouquet feels like a neutral; it is clean and fresh and acts as a chameleon, picking up on greys, greens or blues. Brilliant for bathrooms. On walls it imbues serenity akin to a spa or glossy cabinetry—a sophisticated departure from plain woods or boring whites. Stunning set against pale stone, dark wood or black tile floors accessorized with natural materials (rattan baskets) and polished nickel fixtures.” Complementary colors: Ashland Slate and Sweet Spring.

Bourbon Street is a warm and embracing color, but with its grey undertones it feels current and fresh. I see this in a family room. It works especially well with mid-century furnishings, and as an art wall framed family photographs stand out nicely. Great with pale cabinetry and floors, creamy soft accents like a pale Moroccan area rug, upholstery in pale blues, warm wood accent tables and hints of antique brass hardware.” Complementary colors: Wales Gray and Silver Fox.

 

Feast on Flowers

Visit Carlsbad Ranch. Each spring from March until early May, 50 acres of this North San Diego County sprawl transform into a spectacular and coordinated display of natural color and beauty, thanks to Giant Tecolote Ranunculus blossoms. theflowerfields.com

 

Gaze at Grace

See the Appalachian Spring exhibit, which showcases vintage photographs of the 70-year-old Martha Graham Dance Company. Barbara Morgan captures the artistic innovation by the legendary choreographer with her beautiful photographs. The exhibit at Valley Performing Art Center’s art gallery runs through May 15. valleyperformingartscenter.org

 

Play Ball

Hit a Dodgers game. After last year’s trip to the playoffs, Big Blue returns to Chavez Ravine with its roster of pricey players. Season runs through October. Tickets start at $28.

 

Get Buff

Get in shape the old-fashioned way. At the new Novo Body Fitness studio, Miguel Novo—who just moved his hub from Brentwood to Encino (to be closer to home)—eschews “trends and fads” for a back-to-basics approach that embraces weights, barbells, bumper plates and seated benches.

“I’m about educating and teaching clients how to effectively build lean muscle, lose fat and increase strength,” says the personal trainer. After six classes or private sessions, the thoughtful, soft-spoken, self-described “fitness freak” promises results. Looking at him, we’re inclined to become believers. novobodyfitness.com

 

Pucker Up

Gather all the lemons off your trees. It is healthier for the tree to remove them now rather than leaving on or letting drop. Make something you can enjoy for months like lemon curd or salt-preserved lemons (a game-changer when cooking with tangines).

Lemon Curd
  • ¾ stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and yolks. Mix in lemon juice and zest. Cook in saucepan on low, stirring until smooth. Increase heat to medium, stirring until thickened. Do not let boil. Pour into container. Chill or freeze.

 

Eat Better

Immerse your palate in the bounty of fresh fruit and veggies of the season. Can’t make it to the market? Order fresh organic produce delivered to your doorstep and devise your daily menu from what is ripe and ready. For a list of local farms go to localharvest.org.

 

Create Casablanca

Dot your patio with colorful, environmentally friendly, eye-catching lanterns that have patterns and geometric shapes etched into solid steel. They come in three styles, four sizes and a dozen different colors. Available at Pacific Patio Furniture in Agoura Hills. pacpatio.com

 

Sip a Cold One

When it comes to sipping a cold one, opt for craft beers that are a bit lighter in alcohol content to ensure the flavors do not overwhelm the taste of BBQ and smoked savories.  At Blue Dog in Sherman Oaks, they’re particularly keen on Bell’s Oberon Ale, which has returned to the tavern for the warm-weather months.

Another option: Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier—a full-bodied, sweet, fruity style of beer.  Hefeweizens are typically made with Bavarian yeast and offer fun notes of banana and citrus. 

Tip: Pair grilled meats with a Rauchbier—that’s German for “smoked beer.” This variety is brewed with grain cured over smoldering wood chips. bluedogbeertavern.com

 

Get Groomed

Ward off the heat with a sleek cut and a smooth shave. Make it ridiculously convenient and hire the Luxury Mobile Barbershop, In a tricked-out Mercedes van, they will come straight to your door. Cut/shave combos; prices start at $200. luxurymobilebarbershop.com

 

 

 

 

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