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Harnessing the Energy of 2018: Year of the High Priestess

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl  // Graphic Design by Alex Rice

As 2018 continues to unfold, a literal new day is dawning before us. Over the course of human history, most civilizations and wisdom traditions developed ways to measure the fluctuating cycles of time and the unique energy held within each year, giving people tools and insights to best utilize those energies to help them on their own path. Most forms of astrology break up eras according to the twelve signs of the zodiac and their corresponding cosmic constellations. The Chinese Zodiac divides years according to twelve animals along with a corresponding element (fire, wood, water, metal, earth). Numerology assigns every year a number from 1-9, each with its own universal energetic property, derived by adding together the numbers in the year until it reduces down to a single digit. Tarot utilizes the roman numerical Major Arcana cards to distinguish the universal stages of the hero’s journey held within each new year.

So, why is any of this important? Because we can harness these annual inherent energies for our greatest good, like going with the current of water. Think of it like swimming in a river. The water is there all around us, carrying us along its path whether we are aware of it or not. If you do nothing, the river will still keep heading in its natural direction. But if you know which way the current is running, you can use its momentum to carry you even further ahead with far greater ease if you consciously swim with the flow instead of against it. And if we take into account what ALL of these wisdom traditions are predicting for 2018, it looks like we’re in for one helluva year…

Before we can plan where we’re going though, it’s important to look back at where we’ve just been. We’re coming off of a “1 Year” in numerology (2+0+1+7 = 10 = 1) and a “Magician/ I” year in the Tarot. Which means 2017 was all about starting over on an entirely new nine-year-long cycle, right back at step one. For many people, this materialized as a year of endings, completions, letting go and new beginnings. It was a year of innovation, new ideas, new paths and lots of experimentation. It was all about DOING—trying lots of new things, following new interests, taking action and drawing upon our innate internal masculine “yang” energy to figure out what resources we had at our disposal to create these new dreams and realities with. It was a year of individuation—claiming your own self, your own path, your own desires based on who you are NOW (not whoever you were before) and venturing out boldly in new directions accordingly. As a Chinese Fire Rooster year, it was also about setting ‘boundaries! boundaries! boundaries!’, allowing your heart to guide you in considering new long-term goals for yourself in relation to the greater good as you started out onto your latest nine-year-long journey.

2018 can be considered a “2 Year” (2+0+1+8 = 11 = 2). However, because the number 11 is a Master Number (double digits of the same number), it takes a higher priority as an “11 Year”. So the energies of both “2” and “11” are applicable this year. Luckily, these energies are very complimentary, with 11 beautifully amplifying the innate energies of the 2. After a year of intense activity, the “2 Year” asks you to slow down a bit and get more Purpose-full in your actions. Check in with yourself to see where your true priorities lie now. Which seeds do you want to continue to water and cultivate to bring into blossoming fruition? Which crops do you need to let go of for the time being? Prioritizing is key this year, getting clear on what you want to be investing your time, energy and precious self into. Which of your goals are in full alignment with the real truth of who you are and what you want for your life?

The “11 Year” aspect will help you find these answers because an 11 year is all about MASTERY. Self-Mastery to be exact. Building on your newfound individuation while you learn to consult, trust and rely on your own intuition and inner voice as your guide, your personal North Star pointing you in the right direction. You are asked to be courageous with your talents this year—bravely sharing your most authentic self and your gifts with the world. It is a time of deep transformation and healing, integrating and balancing your light and dark aspects, shedding all that no longer serves you while beginning to embody the highest vision of your self and your life.

Relationships will also be key this year, as both 2 and 11 (double 1’s side-by-side) are about partnership. The lessons here are about HEALTHY partnership though. Partnership in balance, where all those involved are coming together whole and complete in themselves, standing on their own secure footing instead of collapsing onto each other in co-dependent entanglement. Instead of, “I NEED to be with you to feel happy/ give my life meaning/ make me feel loved and wanted”, healthy partnership says, “I am perfectly happy and secure in myself and my own life. I love myself unconditionally. And I CHOOSE to be with you because you add more of these wonderful experiences and ways of being to my already full life. We give and receive freely, honoring both our individual and collective goals in equal measure.” Khalil Gibran said it beautifully, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

2018 has a very strong innate feminine aspect at its core, with influence from both the “High Priestess (II)” and “Justice (XI)” cards in the tarot. While last year was all about the masculine “doing” energy within each of us, this year we are each asked to tap into our “being” energy, our feminine “yin” aspect of receptivity. This is what the High Priestess element has to teach us. Practically speaking, it means filtering everything through the lens of your intuition and inner wisdom. Going inward and consulting your own inner compass before taking action or making decisions. This will help to guide you in that very important prioritization process. Your heart and soul already know what they want for you. All you need to do is START ASKING. With Justice as the overseeing element, you need to make sure that you are operating from your highest integrity with all of your choices, behavior and actions. In this year, you literally reap what you sow, with the scales of Justice measuring your motivations and true intentions. So be sure to sow consciously.

Integrity is also the main theme for 2018’s Year of the Wood Dog, according to Chinese astrology. Honoring your word, doing what you said you would do, operating from your core values and cultivating loyalty and unconditional love are key elements. In a Year of the Dog, you work hard on purposeful focused goals but you also need to remember to play. Home and family become a major focus point this year: how have you set up your Home? Do you feel at Home with your family, friends, in your own company? What is the love that you currently bring to your Homestead? How can you cultivate more love in the relationships that matter most to you, including the one with yourself?

To help you drop into the flow of this year, take a moment to either journal or meditate on these seven questions~

  1. What are my true priorities this year? Make a list or bring to mind the things you have been telling yourself to focus on for 2018. Sit with each one and see how it FEELS in your body when you think of it. Does it feel like a “Hell yes!”, a “not so much” or a “Hell no!”. Write down your list of “Hell yes” goals and focus on those for the rest of the year. That’s where your soul wants you to go.
  2. What shadow aspects of myself have been showing up in my life lately? (Your shadow materializes as negative, destructive or addictive patterns of thinking, behaving or believing that block you in the important areas of your life.) How can I give the shadow parts of myself the care and attention they are asking for? How can I help integrate, heal and come into balance with my light and dark aspects this year? What are 3 real actions I can take to do this, beginning this week?
  3. What are my unique gifts that I am being asked to share with the world? How do I feel about letting myself be fully seen and visible? What is the positive impact that my gifts can bring to those around me? What are ways to share my gifts that feel exciting and inspiring to me?
  4. Are there any places where I am out of integrity in my life right now? How can I bring my words and actions into better alignment this year?
  5. What are my core values? What do I want to stand for in life? Am I operating in alignment with my core values?
  6. What do I want my “Home” to feel like? How can I cultivate more love in my closest relationships and at Home inside myself?
  7. From my Deep Heart and from my Deep Soul, what do I most want to CREATE for myself and my life this year? How do I want to feel, what do I want to experience, who do I want to become by the end of 2018?

Dive on into the beautiful energies of 2018 and let the river carry you to the life of your wildest dreams!


HAPPY DREAMING & CREATING!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels

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© 2018 Sirens and Scoundrels

Sacred Art of Self Love

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Christina Huntington

To kick off the Season of Love at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re bringing back our most requested subject: The Sacred Art of Self Love. Before we can ever be available to truly love anyone or anything else, we must first learn to love ourselves. When we know how to love ourselves as a daily practice, we enter into our relationships whole, balanced and complete, able to joyfully give and receive with ease instead of just take take take take taking without ever feeling fulfilled. The following super simple and practical tools will help you start transforming your entire relationship to yourself today. Dive in, be gentle and enjoy the LOVE!!

The Sacred Art of Self Love ~

As we deep dive into all things L-O-V-E this month, we come face-to-face with the most crucial form of love to master: self love. It’s easy to look at seemingly endless social media feeds overflowing with infinite selfies and moment-to-moment replays of every minuscule activity as if everyone is engaged in broadcasting their own 24/7 reality series and think that self love is maybe the last thing we need to be worried about right now. But self promotion and even self confidence are very different from self love. As “look-at-me” culture skyrockets, studies show that our collective self worth seems to be plummeting to an all-time low, proving true the old adage that comparison is the thief of joy. In my work as a meditation teacher and spiritual counselor, self love is Issue Zero…the singular point of origin of all our issues, disappointments and challenges. Of course a healthy relationship to self love is something we all want. And if it were easy, we would all have it. But like reaching out for shooting stars we can never get close enough to, no amount of trying, efforting or chasing seems to allow that love to finally drop in our laps. Which is why we then fall back on those easy quick-fixes for the little hits of confidence that never seem to last, creating an endless cycle of needing more attention from external sources to continue to prop ourselves up on. Frankly, it’s exhausting. I’m tired just from writing that. So…what can we do?

Actually, we need to start by taking self love off the table completely. It’s a great idea but being a “concept”, it’s really hard to put into practice. How do you just suddenly start loving yourself if you’ve never been given the tools to do that, have a litany of stories and experiences in your head to prove otherwise and you don’t even know what it actually means? The simple secret is this: self love boils down to SELF CARE. If you want to learn how to love yourself, you have to learn how to care for yourself first. Like a parent put in charge of a newborn baby, at a certain point in adulthood you finally realize that your life (and heart) is now in your own hands. You are responsible for your own sense of comfort, safety, nurturing, protection, well-being and security in the world. So the first step to self care is learning to self-soothe, self-parent and fill our own needs. This doesn’t mean forcing ourselves to try to be happy and put on a smiling face whenever things get tough in an effort to just “make things okay”. It means meeting ourselves exactly where we really are and being okay with whatever that is. Allowing feelings like sorrow, loneliness, frustration and anger to be there if that’s what we are feeling. The important part is that we feel safe enough in our own company to build a trusted line of open communication—being able to both SPEAK our truth to ourselves and HEAR our truth from ourselves without judgment. Simply being able to listen to exactly what is happening inside of us and say, “Okay. I hear you. And I’ve got you. What do you need right now?” Then giving ourselves the things we need.


In my meditation classes, I teach a few very simple exercises that can instantly transform your relationship to self love. The first one is literally just learning how to fill your own needs. It doesn’t require years of therapy or personal growth, just the ability to ask yourself three questions each day. Every morning when you wake up, take a moment to close your eyes and focus your attention on your heart (the energy center right in the middle of your chest). Then ask yourself these three questions…

In order to feel peaceful, nourished & cared for today…

  • What do I NEED?
  • What do I WANT?
  • What do I DESIRE?

Just write down a one or two word answer for each in a small journal. Then your only assignment is to give yourself at least ONE of those things each day.

There are subtle differences between phrasing here. “NEED” is just about our baseline survival—what do I absolutely HAVE to have in order to feel at peace today? “WANT” is something that is a preference that we would like and enjoy if it happened. “DESIRE” is something that feels really yummy, like a special treat for the soul. Don’t try to control the answers. Create a space of silent listening instead and wait for the answers to come through and show themselves to you. Maybe one day you NEED to get a good night’s sleep. Maybe the next day you really WANT to see friends and share some laughs. Another day you might DESIRE turning down the lights and slipping into a hot bubble bath with your favorite mood music. Be open to whatever you might hear from your own heart and soul and know that the answers will be different each day because YOU are different each day.

In emergency situations, this exercise can be distilled down even further. When you feel yourself experiencing an uncomfortable emotion or heading into the internal danger zone, simply put all of your focus on the center of your chest (you can even put your hands here if you wish, as a gentle physical reminder that you are present and listening with yourself) and ask: “What do I need right now to feel cared for and at peace?” Just this exercise alone will transform your entire relationship to yourself if you practice it regularly.


This exercise is not only easy, it’s really fun and fills your life with delicious doses of daily sweetness. Sit down and make a list of 50 things that make you happy for no reason. (They are not going to further your career or skyrocket you to success.) These are little simple tangible experiences that you enjoy just because. Preferably inexpensive or free and easily accessible on a daily basis. Perhaps you like the feeling of grass beneath your bare feet. Eating fresh organic berries from the farmer’s market. The way the light comes in the window of your apartment in the late afternoon and your pet watches the tree shadows dancing on the floor. Gazing at the stars when everyone else is asleep. A hot jacuzzi. Scented candles. 60’s soul records. Okay…maybe those are all things I love, but you get the picture. The point is to create a list of things you love that you can give yourself EVERY DAY. And then that’s the next step: just commit to giving yourself ONE of these experiences every single day. Actively seek out these little ways to bring more simple joy into your life.

As with everything, that only way you’ll know that any of this works is if you try it yourself. So just for this week, your assignment is to take on a Great Self-Care Experiment. Practice asking yourself what you need in the morning and then meeting one of those needs each day. Get curious about what fills you with joy and then actively bring those Happy Things into your daily life. Try this out for seven days straight and see how you feel. I promise you can turn your entire relationship with yourself around in just a week if you really take this on as a spiritual practice. Be willing now to take responsibility for your own happiness, feelings of worth and sense of well-being. Give yourself the thing you have been craving your entire life: to know that you are heard, you are cared for, you are loved.

HAPPY LOVING!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels

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© 2018 Sirens and Scoundrels

Descanso Gardens~ Enchanted: Forest of Light 2017

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by  Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by: Gina Cholick

Our favorite Winter Wonderland is back for 2017! Grab your loved ones, bundle up with a hot cup of cocoa and prepare to be totally Enchanted by light!! 

Two simple white string lights illuminate the long dirt path that leads to the entrance of Descanso Gardens. Despite being sold out tonight, I find myself alone on the path with only the sound of my own footsteps as my companion in the inky dark night. I can see my breath clearer with each step I take, amazed at this simple joy that almost never happens in LA as I practice blowing clouds around me, giggling in delight. A full moon peeks through wisps of mist above, a feeling of magic fills the air—and I’ve barely left the parking lot. My fellow Sirens await at the front, all bundled up for a surprisingly chilly Los Angeles evening. We’ve been drawn here by the promise of light. Enchanting light, to be exact. Never ones to turn down an opportunity for enchantment, we dive in…ready to be immersed in some light magic.

The moment we step foot inside Descanso Gardens’ “Enchanted: Forest of Light”, the world suddenly starts to slow down, get still and fall silent. Even with people milling around, a deep hush permeates the 150-acre botanical garden underneath all the commotion. Perhaps it’s the 4:30pm sunset giving way to an evening sky dark as the dead of night. Perhaps it’s the full moon already directly overhead that makes us feel like we’ve slipped out our bedroom window after midnight for a secret garden rendezvous. Perhaps it’s the fact that none of us have ever walked around a botanical garden at night before. But it all combines to feel like we’ve landed in a secret after-hours party for nature lovers—one that includes a treasure hunt for light.

If you’ve ever wished that Alice in Wonderland and Tron had a baby that lived underneath the Northern Lights…that’s pretty much what Forest of Light feels like. (C’mon…we’ve ALL dreamt about that, right?) Interactive light installations stretch throughout the garden grounds, waiting to be discovered with each new twist and turn in the meandering path. In truth, it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible and allow yourself to be surprised. Because isn’t that the best part of a treasure hunt—the joy of not knowing exactly what you’re looking for until you find it? And there’s A LOT of treasure to be found here, if you have your eyes open.

So while we don’t want to give away too much about the installations themselves, we will offer you some key tips to get the absolute best user experience:

1) Get a map. Or at least double-check to make sure you have discovered all installations before leaving. There is an entire section at the end with several displays that can easily be missed. The illuminated number sign posts at each station can help you keep track.

2) Slow down and take your time. This is not a sprint-through situation. It’s also not a passive situation. Each installation has its own unique interactive experience with light and sound design. Explore each one from different angles. See what it’s like standing or sitting, on one side versus the other. Find different perspectives. Take the time to stop and smell the proverbial illuminated roses.

3) Take photos, but then put your phone away. The exhibit is meant to be a fully immersive experience, so be really present if you want to get the most from it. Let your eyes, ears and body be awash in each new wonder. Immerse yourself in the magic. Connect to your inner child and your inner artist, the part of you that believes in fairy tales. If you do, it’s better than being at The Happiest Place on Earth…plus you get to keep $170 in your pocket where it belongs.

4) Speaking of connecting…this makes a great date spot, so be sure to bring along your sweetheart. Did we mention the late-night magic and wonder? The dark meandering paths for snuggling up in the cold night air? The little pockets of pure joy to laugh and play in? It all adds up to a très romantique destination for those looking to set hearts aflutter. For those currently flying solo, bring your gang with the best sense of fun and let the big kids run wild.

5) Hit the coffee stand near the entrance to grab a hot beverage as you start your stroll. It’s a great food-meets-function hand warmer that you will be grateful for. Midway through, stop at the little lakeside pub, take in the beautiful view and grab some wine or beer before launching into the second half of your enchanted journey. For those of you on a first date, it’s the perfect spot for a little “getting to know you better” conversation over drinks.

6) Dress warmly. Descanso Gardens is in the mountain base of La Cañada Flintridge and has a steep temperature drop at night. Hats, scarves, mittens, winter coat—bring them all in the car and feel it out once you get there. It’s colder in the gardens than the parking lot. All the better for cozying up in!

7) Advance timed-entry tickets are required, between 5:30pm-10pm most nights through January 7, 2018, and are available for purchase on Descanso’s site: HERE. We recommend getting one of the earlier time slots so you can make the most of your visit and enjoy it at your own pace.

Make all your winter woodland wonderland fantasies come true with a trip to Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens. Immerse yourself in awe and celebrate the magic of the Holiday Season with the ones you love as it begins to look and–most importantly–FEEL a whole lot like Christmas!

Happy Holidays!!  love, Sirens & Scoundrels  

xo xo xo ho ho ho

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Best of Fall Fun Hitlist

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl

In Southern California, we don’t measure the change of seasons in terms of sun or snow. We measure it in light. Did you catch the subtle shift in sunlight this week—all that bright yellow of Summer fading into the hazy gold of Fall? If so, you may have been filled with a strange urge to stock-pile sweaters and buy everything with a pumpkin on it. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin toothpaste? Sure, throw it all in the cart!

Amidst the first-week-of-Fall flurry, we here at Sirens & Scoundrels have been inundated with requests for our “Best of Fall” adventure recommendations. Lucky for you, we happen to be experts on the matter. So to get you prepped for the cozy months ahead, we present you with our “Best of Fall Fun Hitlist”…all the best of the best for getting out into the world and exploring the many gorgeous, off-the-beaten-path treasures that make Autumn in California feel so magical. So grab your list and check it twice…you won’t want to miss out on any of these Fall treats!


Fall just wouldn’t be complete without a trip out to Oak Glen, CA, for apple picking, apple juice pressing, apple ale drinking, apple butter eating….you get the picture. You come here for the apples. Part pioneer town, part vintage Main Street, part old-timey farming village, the tiny apple orchard town of Oak Glen will have you swearing you took your DeLorean back to 1955 just to pick up Apple Annie’s famous Mile High Apple Pie. And believe us, this pie is worth time-traveling for. For full details on Apple Picking in Oak Glen, read on HERE.


If you’ve ever wanted to experience Heaven on Earth, where angels sing from atop endless trees of glittering gold as far as the eye can see, then be sure to make your plans NOW to head up to Mammoth’s June Lake Loop and take in all the epic majesty of the Sierra Fall Colors. The height of the fall foliage bloom is short, just a few weeks from when the Aspen trees set ablaze in all their bright yellow glory and when those first few winds blow the leaves from the trees. Keep an eye on the Visit Mammoth and Mono County Tourism sites for updates. This is one California adventure absolutely not to be missed! Get our complete Sierra Fall Colors adventure guide HERE.

JOSHUA TREE DESERT RETREATS ~ Art Tours & Music Festival 

Joshua Tree is one of our favorite go-to destinations for a quick adventure any time of year. But in the Fall, all the elements come together for a perfect weekend getaway to soothe the soul. The heat settles down enough to hike without frying as the nights get cool and crisp enough for snuggling by the fire under the stars with the ones you love. With some of our favorite art and music festivals happening in October, there’s never been a better time to head out to the desert.

16th Annual Open Studio Art Tours ~ Oct 14-15, 2017 & Oct 21-22, 2017

The Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours, now in its 16th year, is a one-of-a-kind experience for art lovers and art buyers to create a customized self-guided tour of the 80 plus open studios in the Morongo Basin and to speak directly with the artists about their work and creative endeavors in the intimacy of their private work spaces.” Full info HERE.

Desert Daze 2017 ~ Oct 12-15 

Desert Daze, one of our favorite no-B.S. music festivals, happens out in Joshua Tree each October at the Institute of Mental Physics. This year with Iggy Pop, Spiritualized, Allah-Las, Cigarettes After Sex, Ariel Pink, Unknown Mortal Orchestra & Hope Sandoval playing amongst a slew of other favorites, this is the one festival to put at the top of your to-do list! Full info HERE.

Joshua Desert Retreats

We can’t make a trip out to the desert without a stay at one of the many charming desert haciendas from Joshua Desert Retreats. With homes to fit every size and budget, they’ve become our most trusted go-to purveyor of comfy homes to lay our heads beneath the desert stars and plot all our desert dreaming. Read our Joshua Desert Retreats adventure guide HERE.


Let’s be honest. As Fall starts to embrace California in its cozy golden glow, we suddenly get the urge to BAKE and EAT THINGS…EAT ALLLLL THE THINGS!!! So to help you do that, we’ve gathered up our favorite Fall Recipes for your yummy pleasure. These recipes are fast, inexpensive, easy and surprisingly healthy (aside from the Baked Pumpkin Fondue). But life was meant for living, which means…eat the cheese. Eat allllll the cheese. Just remember to share it with friends.

Apple Bake

Everything apple under the sun in one convenient place HERE!

Mile High Apple Pie

Our gluten-free take on that famous Mile High Apple Pie from Apple Annie’s in Oak GlenHERE.

Crash Potatoes

The yummiest soft-and-crispy Fall potato recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner: HERE.

Baked Pumpkin Fondue

Delicious and divinely decadent, this is the one total show-stopper dish you need to impress and satisfy guests at any Fall gathering: HERE.

Campfire Cider

At home, in a cabin or around the campfire, this uniquely spiced cider can be cooked up and served virgin or spiked to warm the soul just right: HERE.


Be sure to take our Farm Fresh Folk Playlist with you while you bask in the beauty of Fall in California!

Golden days are here again! Happy Autumn-ing!!

love, Sirens & Scoundrels xoxo

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more local, food & travel adventures delivered straight to you! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Contributing Photography by: Daniel Mansfield  & Christina Huntington

Yacht Rock Spritzer ~ Your Last Days of Summer Playlist!

Words & Playlist by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl & Becca Murray // vintage photos subject to copyright

LA folks know that as September dawns and kids across America begin to break out their sweaters to head back to school…our So Cal Summer is only JUST getting started. With Mother Nature turning up the heat on us from September deep into October and the Pacific Ocean just finally warm enough to swim in, our real California beach days are only now upon us. To accompany our sun-soaked cruise through the final fireworks of Summer while setting our sails towards the cozy days of Fall, we present you with our “Yacht Rock Spritzer” playlist for some soft aural seduction.

For So Cal natives, Yacht Rock is an institution. Memories of the many Dads of LA cranking The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald and Steely Dan while winding over Kanan on the way out to a Malibu beach day or headed down PCH to visit their mustachioed eternal bachelor friend who lived on his boat in the Marina are part of our Collective Unconscious. As much a part of LA as the Hollywood sign.

Over the years, Yacht Rock has become venerated well beyond our Southern California borders. An entire rating system has been devised to determine whether a song can be considered “Yacht Rock” (or if not, “Nyacht Rock”) based on a series of strict parameters. (Were the musicians based in Southern California? Was the song released between 1976-1984? Did the bands come from a jazz background? Find out more about the Yachtsie Scale: HERE.) For our purposes, we’ve widened the scope to bring you some classic tried-and-true Yacht Rock favorites spiked with some tracks that we personally would throw on if we had taken up residence on a boat in Marina del Rey in the 70’s and 80’s. That’s the “Spritzer” part. Lots of Yacht, topped with Dad Band soft rock and sprinkled with some Sweet ‘n Low disco. Just rest assured that it all adds up to one Smooth AF playlist.

So unbutton your Hawaiian shirt to your waist or slip on your pink silk bikini, grab a glass of chilled white wine and let these bubbles float you away into the Summer sunset….


Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for unique local, travel & food adventures delivered straight to you! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017 ~ Los Angeles

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Eclipse photos & vintage stills subject to copyright // Contributing photographs by: Adam GrimesBecca Murray

It’s the Great American Total Solar Eclipse!! Unless you’ve been summer vacaying on another planet, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that we’re having a solar eclipse on Monday. A big one. Big because it’s the first time in a jillion years that America is in the path of totality (which means where the sun will be visible fully eclipsed). The last time the U.S. experienced a total eclipse of the sun from coast to coast was on June 8, 1918. And the last time a total eclipse touched ONLY American soil (like this one) was on June 13, 1257. Just to clarify, that’s the 13th century. So yeah…it’s kind of a big deal.

If you’re reading this, then I’m assuming you didn’t already book your ticket to Portland five years ago to ensure that you would be smack dab in the middle of the path of totality. If you had, you’d know that Pacific Northwesterners will enjoy two full minutes of 100% eclipsed sun and the mind-blowing mayhem that follows when massive crowds of people all discover together that, “It looks JUST LIKE NIGHT except it’s DAAAAAAAAAAY….!!!!” (Cue eye rolls from our fellow world citizens who live through months of Polar Nights each year. But listen, just let us laymen sun dwellers have our two minutes of fun!) By the way, if you suddenly feel the burning desire to make your way up to Portland to experience the total real deal, hotels are booked up and/or are astronomically (no pun intended) expensive now. But Siren Gina let us in on a HOT TIP: the Madras airport in Oregon still has camping spots available on the cheap and accessible. They’re throwing a whole organized festival with food, music and beer gardens. With NASA on site doing a live feed, you know you’re in good hands.

Here’s the bad news for us Angelenos: LA will only be experiencing a partial eclipse. But here’s the good news: our daily sunny cloudless skies guarantee that we will actually be able to see this thing no matter what. The moon will cover about 62% of the sun’s surface starting at 9:05 am, peaking at 10:21 am and ending by 11:44 am. Which means you have to take extra precautions while you are viewing the event since the sun will never be completely hidden. Special glasses are required THE ENTIRE TIME to ensure that you don’t damage your eyes. Cameras, telescopes and binoculars also need special filters so that you don’t damage your equipment. (Regular sunglasses and filters do not meet safety standards. Don’t risk your eyeballs!) The American Astronomical Society created a list of vendors whose products have been safety tested and approved. And if you feel like getting old-school crafty, they also have instructions to make your own safe viewing projections. For an idea of what eclipse percentage you will see according to your zip code, check out this handy tool from VOX:

So now with all our “safety first!” logistics covered, we just need to decide where to view this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon! Rest assured, with LA’s instant access to mountains, city parks, science centers and open stretches of beach and desert, there’s no wrong place to view “The All-American Transcontinental Total Solar Eclipse”! Here’s our low-down on the best Solar Eclipse viewing events in Los Angeles…


Luckily, we have two of the best observatories in the country right in our own backyard and they are each throwing a major cosmic hoedown in celebration. Just be mindful that parking will be a nightmare, Lyft-ing included. (Imagine a city of 4 million people attempting to wind up one single lane of traffic!) Definitely be sure to get there early to beat the crowds. No outside telescopes allowed for these events, professionally manned telescopes will be provided.

Griffith Observatory: 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles.

Mount Wilson: Access to Mt. Wilson is via the Angeles Crest Highway (California Highway 2) from the 210 Freeway at La Cañada Flintridge.


If you’re feeling the call of the wild amongst our urban landscape, our National & State Park Services will be hosting free viewing events open to all ages at several beautiful parks across the county. Park rangers will lead solar eclipse and nature programs at each location.

Los Angeles State Historic Park: 1245 N. Spring St., Downtown LA. Arrive at the park directly or meet at the Gateway to Nature center at El Pueblo Historical Monument (130 Paseo de la Plaza) at 8:30 a.m. and walk over to the park with the rangers. Event held by California State Parks and Western National Parks Association.

King Gillette Ranch26876 Mullholland Highway, Calabasas. Meet park rangers at 9:30am at Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center on the ground of King Gillette Ranch for their solar eclipse program.


If you ever wanted to party down with LA’s scientists, this is your moment! Los Angeles is teeming with state-of-the-art science and technology centers and experts ready to drop some deep solar eclipse knowledge at their viewing events!

California Institute of Technology (Pasadena)South Wilson Avenue between East Del Mar Bloulevard and San Pasqual Street, Pasadena.

California Science Center, Los Angeles700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory representatives will be on hand.

Glendale Community College Planetarium1500 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale. museum/content/solar-eclipse- viewing-0

UCLA617 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles. Meet at the Court of Sciences.


A favorite for children and adult kids of all ages, LA County Libraries mix education, crafts and solar viewing to get you back in touch with your child-like wonder.

County of Los Angeles Public Libraries: Seven LA County Libraries are hosting events which include free viewing glasses.


Want to hit the road to search out a more endless horizon? You live in California…just drive out in any direction and you can make all your beach, desert, mountain viewing dreams come true!

BEACHES:  Basically any beach will give you an open expanse of sky to enjoy the eclipse from. So pick your favorite and make a day of it!

DESERT:  Head out to Joshua Tree for a clear view as far as the eye can see! Our favorite desert retreat purveyors, Joshua Desert Retreats, have a bunch of affordable rental homes if you want to make a trip of it!


Big Bear Lake: 41220 Park Avenue, Big Bear Lake. The Big Bear Valley Astronomical society will be at the eastern parking lot of Big Bear Swim Beach. BONUS: 70% eclipse!

Mammoth Mountain: 1 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes. Eclipse event is held on the mountain’s 11,053 foot summit. Purchase a $23 ticket, which includes a gondola ride and viewing glasses. BONUS: 80% eclipse!


Curious about what this eclipse is bringing us energetically? It’s all about A WHOLE NEW BEGINNING. The life that you are meant to be living is about to emerge, but we must collectively LET GO of any old ways of being that no longer serve us in order to allow the new life in. This is a major releasing time of everything that came before. Our job now is to be willing to walk through the doors that open and trust the doors that close. Know that you are being Divinely guided. Anything that has been hidden will come into the light so you can clearly see the desired path forward. Just remember to choose your best self and your best life when the moments arise.

FULL SOLAR ECLIPSE MEDITATION & JOURNAL PROMPTS: Take a moment to sit and contemplate what you are ready to let go of and what you would like to create moving forward. Write your answers down in a journal or meditate on them.

  1. What thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors am I ready to release now in order to step into the life that I want?
  2. If anything was possible, what would I most want for myself and my life?
  3. How can I step more fully into my innate talents? How can I broaden my reach and my impact?
  4. Who would I have to be and what would I have to do to live the life of my dreams? What does that look like in the real day-to-day living?
  5. What are 5 ACTION STEPS I can take THIS WEEK to begin moving in the new direction I would like to be headed in?


Remember that the world (and you) are made of magic!!! HAPPY ECLIPSING!!!

xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels


Summer Breeze

Words & Original Cocktail Recipe by Richard Swan // Photography by Sarah Prikryl 

Make no mistake, people: Summer is upon us and it’s time we started acting like it.

There seems to be little to argue on the merits of the ‘Spritz’ as the ultimate Summertime drink. It hits all the marks – cold, refreshing, versatile. All importantly: it is a ‘low ABV’* beverage, meaning you can enjoy them at length without needing a midday snooze as the pool party carries on without you…I call it a ‘cruise control’ drink.

The ‘Summer Breeze’ aims to hit these marks while combining two wondrous ingredients: the affable and ubiquitous LaCroix Coconut (the suntan lotion one) and the stunning Cocchi Americano Apertif. Cocchi is yet another Italian import made from grapes and sunshine and everything nice – and it is right at home in this combination.

To say this cocktail is simple to make would be an understatement.



1 can LaCroix Coconut

1.5 oz Cocchi Americano

1 Lemon Peel

1 Lemon Wheel


Combine ingredients over cracked ice and stir thoroughly.

Express the oils of the lemon peel over the drink.

Drop in the lemon wheel.

Embark for Kokomo.


You can even eschew glass (wise for poolside hangs) and build the cocktail directly in the can. Simply pour 2 oz of La Croix out and pour in the Cocchi Americano. Drop the Lemon Peel in and keep the can on ice!

*(low alcohol by volume)

For more delicious summer whistle wetters, check out Richard’s updated twist on the classic Negroni…the Antīc Ferari: HERE. Happy Summering!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels  

Richard is a first generation American, musician, gear head and cat dad. LA serves as his home base while he travels the country designing cocktail programs for events and venues as National Beverage Director for Follow his travels at @formulaswan.

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more local, food & travel adventures delivered straight to you! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels // Cocktail Recipe © 2017 Richard Swan