Author: Sirens And Scoundrels

Banana Fritters ~ (Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free)

I can’t think of anything better than being surrounded by nature and eating around a campfire. Some people pack granola bars in their backpacks when they go camping and call it a day.  But when my crew makes their way out into the wilderness, the cars are loaded down with everything you could possibly need to make a feast under the stars. Half the fun of setting up a camp for a few days is impressing your fellow campers with a gourmet meal by firelight or waking up in your cozy sleeping bag to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and the sound of bacon sizzling in unison with the river rapids in the distance. It is not a secret how much I love California. We have every magical adventure you can think of at our fingertips within a car ride’s distance. I have camped out under the astounding constellations overhead in the Sequioa National Forest on many occasions. So when I got an invite from my crew of besties to celebrate our gorgeous Hayley’s birthday in the mountains, …

Free Live Music ~ Amoeba Hollywood

For music lovers, LA is a musical paradise. We are so lucky to have plenty of great live music here any night of the week. But for those times when you get tired of ticketing agencies doubling the price of your ticket, it’s nice to know that you can always find some awesome free music right outside your door. One of our favorite places to catch a free live show is Amoeba Music in Hollywood. With a great mix of bands and DJ’s coming through, including some pretty big heavy-hitters, it’s worth bookmarking their schedule and keeping it in your concert-going rotation. We recently caught a live set from Band of Horses, one of our favorite live bands. We’ve seen BOH play all over Southern California—The Masonic Lodge, The Majestic Ventura Theater, The Observatory—and they have never ceased to blow us away with their pure heart, soul and grace on stage. So when the chance came to see them up close and personal right at home, we jumped on it. There are a couple ways …

Your Weekend Hit List ~ 4th of July 2016!

Celebrating the 4th of July is all about The 4 F’s: food, friends, family & fireworks! Lucky for us, LA has plenty to offer for some good old-fashioned 4th of July fun! Here’s our run-down on the best ways to celebrate ‘Merica in LA this weekend… Thursday, June 30th~ For all our indie music heads out there, resident scoundrel & filmmaker James R. Petix will be screening his documentary on the Detroit music scene, It Came From Detroit, at Outer Space in Downtown LA. Outer Space: 605 East 4th Street, Los Angeles, California 90013. 8pm doors, 9pm film. It Came From Detroit is the ultimate inside look at the Motor City’s internationally renowned “garage rock” scene. Nearly a decade in the making, this feature documentary chronicles the action both before and after the White Stripes rose to fame and brought an international spotlight on the scene. Beginning with the hugely influential 1980s trio The Gories (and stretching back to a legacy that includes The Stooges and The MC5), the bands of the Detroit garage rock music …

My Tokyo Denim Tour ~ Tokyo, Japan

Words & Photography by James R. Petix   I’ve always had a magical love for Japan. Ever since I was a kid, all my favorite things seemed to come from there—Transformers, Godzilla, Nintendo. I was lucky enough to take two years of Japanese in high school when they first offered it. I was even president of the Japanese Club! My first trip was to visit a friend there in 1998. I went back two years later to film my senior film thesis—a 22 minute short about the underground indie rock scene called Tokyo Below. I went again to see the Sakura cherry blossoms bloom in 2012. This Spring, I returned for the Sakura but I had something else I wanted to explore while I was there…Japanese Denim. You may have heard before that Japanese go nuts for American blue jeans. This is kinda true and there are amazingly curated vintage stores all over Tokyo that do sell old Levi’s. But the real story is that, like a lot of other borrowed culture, the Japanese have …

Joshua Tree Escape ~ Godwin Ranch

Last week, we spotlighted our trip out to Pioneertown to see Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires perform live at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace—two of our favorite things colliding in one magical place! There is something about Joshua Tree that just inevitably brings about these kinds of other-worldly experiences—and not in the Burning Man kind of way. We’re talking real-deal straight-to-your-core magic that comes from just being still with the people you love and hearing your own soul speak to you of all its dreams and longings. One thing is guaranteed: when you make that drive out to the desert…you always get your Question answered. Even if you didn’t know you have one. After experiencing The Screaming Eagle of Soul in all his soul-shakedown love-revolution glory, we packed it in for a weekend friend retreat in Joshua Tree. Whenever we head out to the desert, we love to stay with Joshua Desert Retreats. Their thirteen quaint and charming desert properties range in occupancy from 2-14 guests and are surprisingly very affordable. We love that they …

Pappy & Harriet’s presents Charles Bradley ~ Pioneertown, CA

If you’re looking for the hands-down coolest adult playground this side of the Sierra Nevadas, then today’s your lucky day. There are some places on this Earth that are so special, they literally warm your whole heart just thinking about them. There are some people you encounter who are such gorgeous souls, they practically bring tears to your eyes just talking about them. Recently, we were lucky enough to experience both of these things together over one incredible weekend…and our hearts almost exploded with joy. So gather in real close now, because we’re about to let you in on some of the absolute nearest and dearest of all our local hidden gems. Just promise to keep it between us, okay? Tucked just beyond the main highway in Yucca Valley on the way out to Joshua Tree, Pioneertown is everything your adventure-seeking heart could desire…and more. Winding through the rocky mountain pillars on Pioneertown Road feels a lot like you’ve hitched a ride onto Big Thunder Mountain, suddenly finding yourself on “the wildest ride in the …

Nectarine Crisp ~ (Gluten Free & Vegan Option)

When I first moved to LA thirteen years ago, one of my first jobs was manning a stall at four different farmer’s markets selling raw cheddar. It was a fairytale of a summer. On Sunday mornings, I was flanked between the fig/berry stand and the peach farmer directly across from a live bluegrass band. As we sat back and listened to some toe-tapping tunes, we snacked on fresh fruit and chatted about life. Now my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning is jumping out of bed, lacing up my Converse and heading down the block to my neighborhood farmer’s market. I head straight to the organic white tent to see what is in season at the moment. As the days turn longer, I know that peaches, nectarines & plums will be aplenty. Leading into summer, my favorite harvest is stone fruit season. Although eating a RAW, ripe, organic sweet nectarine is so decadent and delicious, when I bake, I love to cook fruit into my desserts. I find that fresh organic fruit is so naturally sweet …

Crystal Sound Bath ~ The Integratron

When summer rolls around, it means one thing: time to head to the desert. We have a long-standing tradition with our friends to pile up and make a pilgrimage out to Joshua Tree each June. Something about being in the desert around the Summer Solstice just sets your soul at ease and acts like a spiritual reset button for the rest of the year ahead. There’s no better way to gain clarity and focus than to unplug and get quiet for a bit. Our first stop is always to The Integratron for a pop-up crystal sound bath. What’s that, you ask? Read on to find out how you, too, can experience a chakra-balancing musical meditation in an alien-crafted perfect acoustic sound dome… Go get your Summer Soul Adventure on! Happy Summering!! ~love, Sirens & Scoundrels Do you feel like your life is really missing an alien-designed-cell-regenerating-perfect-acoustic-chamber-and-possible-time-machine-in-the-middle-of-the-desert? If so, we’ve got you covered. The Integratron—that afore-mentioned chamber—is kinda unlike any other experience you’ll have on Planet Earth. People throw around words like “magical” and “mystical”. We’d …

Paru’s Indian Restaurant ~ East Hollywood, CA

A few years ago, we went to India for our friends’ wedding in Panna National Park. On our way there, we stopped off in Udaipur and spent a week eating our way across the gorgeous city. Known as “the Venice of the East”, Udaipur is a lake city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan—India’s historic palace region. The stark white Lake Palace literally floats on its own in the middle of Lake Pichola, while the sprawling ornate City Palace complex lines the lakeshore. Every day we toured the temples and palaces in total awe of their ancient beauty…and then we ate and ate some more. The food in India is quite different from the Indian food we had experienced in the U.S. The spices were more flavorful, the sauces smokier and richer…and yet it left us feeling light and energized instead of bogged down and sluggish. A big fan of veggies, I loved that every menu was always vegetarian as the norm. It’s amazing what thousands of years of perfecting vegetable-based recipes can do. In …

Your Weekend Hit List ~ Memorial Day Weekend 2016!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, LA!! Since we’re all adults, we assume you know how to find your way to the beach or your friend’s BBQ this weekend. For those still looking for fun stuff to do, we’ve got you covered! Check out your Weekend Hit List below! WEEKEND FESTIVALS Go Greek at the Valley Greek Festival in Northridge—the once-a-year all-weekend festival filled with the best Greek food, booze and pastries you can find in LA! Be prepared to eat your way across the fest. There’s Greek music and dancing too for those who like to hold hands with strangers while making a happy fool of yourself. HOT TIP: the sourdough Greek doughnuts made fresh in front of you, drizzled in honey and cinnamon, will have your soul moaning for more! May 28-30. $3.00 entrance fee. http://www.valleygreekfestival.com Join the New Orleans revival at the Cajun & Blues Music Festival in Simi Valley. Live Cajun, Zydeco, Creole and Blues musicians perform on multiple stages over two days. Shake your caboose and chow down on jambalaya and crawfish …

Roasted Potato Salad ~ (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As we all gather together to celebrate this weekend with bar-b-ques, picnics and potlucks, I am brought back to memories of my childhood. Driving to Granger, TX. Fresh dill growing like wildflowers flanking the steps to my grandparents’ back porch screen door. The intoxicating smell of fresh dill and laundry came wafting through as I ran up the steps and into my grandparents’ kitchen to see my grandma mixing her creamy half-mashed potato salad for supper. She would set the beautiful ceramic dish on the table with sausages and sauerkraut. My boisterous entrance was always followed by big hugs and a blessing as we gathered around the table. My dad was in the military and in my childhood innocence, I associated Memorial Day with family, fun and food. But as an adult, I also think of Memorial Day as a wonderful day to take a moment to honor my Dad, along with all of the men and women and their families who have sacrificed for our country. So in honor of Memorial …

Fantastic Negrito ~ Kensington Presents at The Viaduct

In a town built on over-hyping while under-delivering, it makes sense that when you write an article declaring an event “The Best Secret Party” in all of Los Angeles, folks might assume you’re exaggerating. “Really? The best though…?” you can practically hear them thinking. Here at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re sworn never to lie to you and to bring you only the best of the best of LA. So we were beyond stoked when, rolling twenty friends deep to the most recent live concert event at the Viaduct, Kensington opened up their can of coolest-party-ever-whoop-ass on the very grateful crowd, proving us right once again as they delivered everything promised…and more. In a far corner of Los Angeles State Historic Park’s seemingly abandoned neighborhood, large art sculptures made of reclaimed materials dot the path to a nondescript opening in an iron fence with only one glowing neon “VIADUCT” sign to light the way. It certainly feels like you’ve followed the cement-brick road to some strange urban Oz. Luckily, the gatekeepers here are friendly and let …

Eastern Sierras, CA

When we met up with Daniel Mansfield of The Adventure Project for our San Bernardino National Forest mountain hike last month, we arrived with one burning question in mind. Our common mission is to get people out and exploring all the amazingness the West has to offer. But Daniel’s mission is, more specifically, to get people out into the mountains. So the one thing we needed to know was…if he could choose just one place in all of California to take someone to experience the Best of the West, where would it be? Without missing a beat, his answer: The Eastern Sierras. We were a bit surprised by this, having never heard particularly much about them ourselves. Everyone knows and loves the Sequoias, Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Bear—all our resident beauties. But “Eastern Sierras” wasn’t readily rolling off the tongues of our hike-loving friends. We had to know: what was it about THESE mountains that made them stand out so far above the rest? There was only one way to answer that question. Road trip. Three weeks later, …

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad (with Vegan Option)

If you’re looking for the fastest, easiest, most delicious on-the-go dish to bring to your next summer picnic or potluck, you’re in luck! This is your new go-to recipe! I started making this Gluten-Free Pasta Salad a few years ago and it became an instant hit amongst our friends. Now whenever summer rolls around and a gathering is afoot, this salad is always requested. Light, tasty, healthy and extremely satisfying all at once, this salad can be tossed together in a few minutes and holds at room temperature. Bring it to your next Summer Outdoor Movie Night (for your LA List, click HERE) for a dish guaranteed to put a smile on your friends’ faces and have them coming back for seconds—and thirds! Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 8-12 mins Total: 20 mins Serves: 8-12 people, depending on portions INGREDIENTS~ 1 bag of gluten-free pasta (I use Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pasta) 1 bag of organic arugula 1 can of organic garbanzo beans 1 box of organic cherry tomatoes 1 log of chevre or 1 box of …

Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide ~ Summer 2016

Welcome to summer, LA! As the sun shines brighter, the days grow longer and our nights keep getting warmer and warmer, the city springs alive with its favorite summer pastime: outdoor movie screenings. Nothing is more LA than sitting out under our hot desert stars, picnicking on some yummy nosh over a chilled glass of your favorite sumthin sumthin with your nearest and dearest and reveling in our hometown’s crowning glory: FILM. From the Westside to the Eastside, LA has exploded with summer movie screenings recently, guaranteeing that there’s a little something for everyone on any given weekend. But with so many places to choose from now, it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening when and where. So as our little summer gift to you, may we present…your Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide 2016. Bookmark this page to come back to throughout the summer. We’ll keep updating it as more screenings are announced. For your convenience, we’ve noted our fave screenings of interest in bold and have left off any films that are already …

High Tea Cottage ~ Woodland Hills, CA

If you’re still trying to figure out something special to do for the ladies in your life this Mother’s Day, you’re in luck! High Tea Cottage in Woodland Hills will have her feeling like she’s stepped right into Mrs. Patmore’s Bed & Breakfast from Downton Abbey…with all the delicious treats to boot! Tucked away off Topanga Canyon just south of Ventura, you might blink and miss it if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. The tiny white building with green awning and crawling ivy houses a little treasure trove just beyond its door. The three cozy dining areas inside feel like an English Grandma’s living room, kitschy and charming in the sweetest possible way. High Tea is a long-standing English tradition based around the afternoon consumption of tea and bready treats served on fine china while engaging in the art of conversation. It’s hard not to feel fancy with a tiny porcelain teacup dangling from your fingertips. But make no mistake—men love a good high tea just as much as their female counterparts. This is …

Your Weekend Hit List ~ May 6th~8th

In LA, the first week of May also means it’s the unofficial first week of Summer. In a city that was BORN TO SUMMER!!!, we’re about to experience a total explosion of All Things Fun from now ’til September. So rev up your engines ’cause the Summer Party Train is taking off this weekend…and we’ve got your first stops right here. All aboard!! FRIDAY MAY 6th~ A holdover from the Winter Concert Season, the second-to-last First Fridays at the Natural History Museum is happening this Friday. An awesomely unique night out, this KCRW-sponsored evening includes a behind-the-scenes tour of special collections, a moderated science talk, cocktails, food trucks, dj’s and live bands set amongst towering dinosaur bones. This Friday promises an epic line-up with Escondido headlining after Paul Bergmann and Korey Dane. But the big draw is Mr. Neil Young himself hosting a listening party of his upcoming new album, EARTH: Against the backdrop of the Museum’s blossoming outdoor Nature Gardens, musician and icon Neil Young will present the first public playback of his upcoming …

Dutch Baby ~ (w/ Gluten-Free & Milk-Free Options)

As an LA native, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have my family here. In a city full of transplants, my friends consider themselves lucky to have inherited my family by proxy. Over the years, my mom has been adopted as the resident mom on duty, lovingly nicknamed “Mama Gina”. Her meals are the stuff of legend. People are always sniffing around, asking what Mama Gina’s got cooking in her kitchen. Never a day goes by where she can’t been seen buzzing away over her stovetop, pots and pans a-bubblin’, delicious scents wafting down the street through the windows so you can actually smell the intoxicating aromas from the kitchen as you pull up. A few months ago, my mom started experimenting with a new recipe that has since become a heavy-rotation favorite at Sunday Family Brunch…the Dutch Baby. If you can imagine a giant soft-yet-crispy popover pancake soufflé baked in an iron skillet, you’ve got yourself a Dutch Baby. Now, if you can imagine that drizzled with butter, a touch of sugar and fresh-squeezed …

Kensington Presents Fantastic Negrito ~ The Viaduct

If you’ve ever dreamt of somehow being invited to the coolest secret party in all of Los Angeles, you’re in luck! Consider this your invitation. After eight long months of waiting, we’re thrilled to share the good news that Kensington is finally returning on May 19th, bringing LA’s best secret concert series back to The Viaduct! We were fortunate enough to go to last year’s summer concert featuring The Dustbowl Revival and our minds were collectively blown. The whole experience feels like you’ve followed the White Rabbit to Party Town, sans any of the annoying things about parties or that huge not-to-be-named music festival that may have just happened in the desert (ahem!). Filled with genuine music lovers gathered together to celebrate live music, dance and just have a great time, Kensington at The Viaduct is a magical night out that just has to be experienced to be fully understood. It’s a feeling. It’s a peak music moment. And you should be there. This year, they’re presenting Fantastic Negrito, last year’s winner of the NPR Tiny Desk Concert contest, …

Thai Curry Vegetable Soup ~ Gluten Free

With the Daylight Savings time change and spring just flying by, I perk my head up each evening and laugh in disbelief that it’s practically May already, y’all!  With all the flurry of fun activity that comes with the lengthening spring sun, it’s usually 8pm before I finally notice the sun has gone down and it’s time for dinner. So quick and easy recipes like last week’s Chia Pudding become a staple or I end up busting out the take-out menu for some instant, warm comfort food. But what’s to be done when you’re craving the entire Thai menu? Or you can’t decide between the Thai curry or grabbing some hot Pho on your way home? This conundrum plunged me deep into some kitchen playtime this week. I thought: what can I make that gives me all my favorite Thai take-out items in one dish, but has no msg and is gluten-free, low-carb and vegetarian for all my veggie friends? And voilá–Thai Curry Vegetable Soup was created! Just the simmering aromas wafting from my stovetop remind …

The Adventure Project

The forecast called for rain. Not just a chance of sprinkles here and there…full-on El Niño rain blasting with possible freezing temps and snow. After a winter of nothing but broken promises, it seemed our elusive stormy friend was finally arriving to unleash its downpour fury on Southern California. When iPhone declares 100% chance of showers every hour, you know it must be true. In LA, people cancel dinner plans just ten minutes away because they’d rather not “deal with the rain.” But now we were asking our friends to drive two hours outside the city in possible El Niño storms to meet a guy we’d never met and go to an undisclosed location to have an unknown experience—only knowing he was “taking us to the mountains.” I’m pretty sure these are all the things our parents warned us never to do. But, hey, we get to make our own rules now. And after all, we said we wanted an Adventure… We meet at a gas station at the base of the mountains on the way …

Free National Park Week!

Aside from this glorious pre-summer weather we’re being blessed with in Southern California, all you Mother Nature lovers out there have just been given another reason to strip down and do your sun-worshipping dance! It’s National Park Week—which means you can get into any National Park across the U.S. completely FREE this week! From Saturday April 16th – Sunday April 24th, all parks that normally charge will be waiving their entrance fees. Been wondering about that rare Death Valley superbloom? Go explore for yourself! Been yearning for the epic peaks of Yosemite? Get in the car and go before the summer crowds hit! Longing for the damp moss-covered forests of Muir Woods? Let your inner wood nymph go romp! Big bonus to all you kiddos trekking back from Weekend 1 or out to Weekend 2 of Coachella—you can enjoy free entry into Joshua Tree National Park while you’re out there! Take a break from soaking in the sounds to soak in some beautiful desert stillness. LIFE BONUS: the Lyrid Meteor Shower is also happening this …

Chia Pudding

The first time I saw chia pudding was a few years ago in San Francisco. My friend had ordered it at a brunch and when it arrived, it was as if a work of art had been presented in the middle of our farm table. The black and white chia pudding with apricot compote and rough chopped almonds looked like a mosaic masterpiece. Once I found out how simple it was to make, it’s been a staple in my refrigerator as a quick breakfast, an easy snack or a decadent dessert ever since. Not only is chia pudding gluten-free and can be made vegan & sugar-free, it is packed full of anti-oxidants, fiber, protein and has more Omega-3s than eating salmon. Because this super food is just hitting the mainstream, so far it is a non-GMO, usually organic, whole grain that has calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B1, B2 & B3! I love the versatility of chia. It soaks up the flavor of whatever you add to it. My recipe for chia …

Malibu Farm ~ Malibu, CA

With Spring upon us and Summer close behind, the Southern California beaches are calling! Though it’s not quite warm enough for basking on the sand and splashing in the surf, you can still enjoy a day of seaside fun at the recently renovated Malibu Pier. What was once a run-down ramshackle fishing spot with less-than-stellar dining options has transformed into Malibu’s go-to destination for fresh, farm-to-table eats and treats. Over the past few years, local rancher Helene Henderson bought up the restaurants on either end of the pier, creating Malibu Farm Restaurant and Malibu Farm Pier Café for your dining pleasure. Both establishments specialize in organic fare fresh from local farms. With overlapping menus, the main difference is that you get to choose your own dining style. When you enter onto the pier, Malibu Farm Restaurant is first up. Split onto two sides and decorated in cheery bright beach whites, you can sit at an indoor or outdoor table and be served by their friendly wait staff. If you don’t want to wait to be …

Poppy Hunt ~ Lancaster, CA

Every spring in California, the magic moment happens. We’d heard the legend for years. Fields of neon orange flowers suddenly exploding into full Technicolor glory in every direction as far as the eye can see. Mountains, hills and every surface ablaze with fiery petals. Enough California poppies to make Dorothy forget about heading to Oz. We knew this generally happens in springtime, though we had never experienced it ourselves. With spotty reports from the park service, but a few promising Instagram updates from friends, we decided to set off on our very own poppy hunt to witness Mama Nature’s majestic springtime pageant. We packed a picnic and off we went…visions of poppy fields dancing in our heads. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster was our destination, about an hour and half up off the 5 Fwy N. We threw on some good tunes, passed the wild Martian mountains of Vasquez Rocks Park and enjoyed the wind in our hair, the sun on our skin and that thrill of freedom and adventure that always comes …

The Last Bookstore ~ Downtown LA

Some people collect fancy shoes and designer bags. Some people collect the latest tech toys. Some people collect superhero action figures. I collect vintage books. In a world that has become increasingly digital, virtual and cloud-based as the new normal, I have made it my personal mission to save the world’s beautiful orphaned literature—one book at a time. If you, like me, still love the feeling of holding a REAL BOOK in your hands when you read—smelling the musty paper, feeling the crispness pass through your fingers as you turn each page, folding corners and underlining paragraphs of the passages that sing to you—then you must treat yourself to a visit to LA’s book lover’s paradise, The Last Bookstore. Located Downtown on the corner of 5th & Spring, The Last Bookstore is a giant two-story mecca that feels like an enormous gleeful protest to the rapid disappearance of the art of the paper book. In the midst of the digital revolution, The Last Bookstore is clearly making their final stand. The first floor houses a …

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Every spring the time warp begins. Spring catapults us into the year on a freight train to summer. Not only does it always feel like we all turn into busy bees at work, but birthdays, picnics and gatherings are a plenty. People feel the call of spring and come out of hibernation. It’s time to clean house & throw ourselves into work and play. So I thought, “What would be the most comforting, delicious dish to share and is the least time-consuming?” My spinach artichoke dip can literally be made in 10 minutes and tastes like a warm hug. Your friends will think you channeled your inner foodie and spent all day in the kitchen. I have never gotten more audible “MMMMmmmm”s from an appetizer than this quickie dish. I’ve always loved the idea of a good spinach and artichoke dip, but have always felt like there was too much cream and not enough spinach in every bite. Universally, other recipes include cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. The result is a white creamy dip with …

Paramount Ranch ~ Agoura Hills, CA

Tired of hearing the word “Runyon” after your friends invite you on a hike? Can’t handle the crowds of actors posting vaguely inspirational (mis)quotes as an excuse to sneak in another almost-naked photo of themselves hiking the go-to trail? Well, breathe a giant sigh of relief because we’re here to tell you that you never have to step foot on that over-run Tinder trail again. Plus, it’ll be closed April through July for repairs—so what better time to expand your horizons? For genuine hiking enthusiasts, LA offers endless gorgeous trails throughout all of our many mountain ranges. If you’re looking for something truly unique, then hightail it out to Paramount Ranch. Located just off Kanan on the way to Malibu, Paramount Ranch is part of the Santa Monica Mountains and is overseen by the National Park Service. Most importantly, it’s also an Old West ghost town. Or, more specifically, an Old West Tinsel Town ghost town. Built by Paramount Studios back in the 1920’s to shoot their Western “talkies”, the Wild West facade set has …

The Edible Easter Egg ~ All Natural Dyes

One of my favorite childhood memories was on Easter Sunday when I would wake up to the feeling of magic in the air. It was a day for play.  After church, we would pile into the back of our station wagon and take the drive to my grandparents’ farmhouse where boiled eggs and beautiful dyes would be waiting for us. Decorating my grandma’s eggs made them so precious to me, those mini works of art magically became priceless Faberge eggs to be gazed at with admiration. After a late afternoon supper, we would play hide-and-seek among the fig and pecan trees in the back yard, dodging the bobbing lightning bugs at sunset. We would scan the horizon for pops of color of the hidden Easter eggs among the green grass like we were mini bank robbers on a heist. With Easter weekend upon us, we were so excited to be invited to our friend Becca’s picnic & egg dyeing party. Becca wanted to try out some edible dyes and I am always a “yes” to a kitchen experiment …

Just Float ~ Sensory Deprivation Chamber

Our mission at Sirens & Scoundrels is to go find every cool off-the-beaten-path adventure and bring it back to you so you can try it yourself. As a meditation teacher, I’m always especially curious about anything that promotes increased presence and self-awareness. So what do those things have to do with locking your naked self in a pitch-black soundproof weightless saltwater chamber voluntarily? Well, step inside and let us show you… Sensory deprivation tanks originated back in the 1950’s as a means to research the brain’s dependence—or lack thereof—on external stimuli. What they discovered is that controlled sensory deprivation (the removal of all external stimulation) over short periods of time had the same effects as entering a meditative state—moving from beta or alpha brainwaves into theta waves for deep relaxation. Starting in the 1980’s, centers began providing float tanks to the public seeking their restorative and rejuvenating properties. Over the years, we have heard about several float centers in L.A. But we knew the time had come to dive in with the opening of Just …