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Consciously Creating Your 2023

Written by: Christina Huntington

If the Holidays came and went and you never got time to “recharge” amidst all the busy-ness of the season, if the New Year rolled around and you still haven’t had a chance to reflect upon the year that was or contemplate what you want to create for your year ahead, if you find that you are entering 2023 feeling a little more exhausted than inspired and need a moment to catch your breath…fret not. We’ve got you covered.


In the Old Model of approaching the New Year, we were told to roar out into the first few weeks of the year “crushing” and “dominating” our goals like MMA fighters. This unsustainable strategy leaves most people burnt out, overwhelmed and giving up before the end of January—creating a cycle of frustration, shame and self-judgment that has long-term effects on our overall confidence and self esteem.


We would like to offer you a New Model. In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter began barely a month ago on December 21st. Following Mother Nature’s lead, Winter is the season to slow down and turn inward for restoration and renewal. These shorter colder days encourage us to curl up, cuddle up, rest, recharge and make space for stillness and silence—where we can finally hear the whispers of our own hearts. It’s the perfect time to take stock and gentle inventory of our lives as we contemplate where we have been, where we are now and where we want to be going…at a slow, steady, ease-y pace. Doesn’t it feel so much better, just reading that?


If you just breathed a big sigh of relief, then let us ease your soul even further. 2023 is a “7 Universal Year” in Numerology—a year of turning our attention inward for contemplation and reflection as we each self-define our own spirituality, beliefs and core values. We discover our personal philosophies and connect to something greater than ourselves to dedicate our time, talents and lives to for our highest individual and collective growth.


In beautiful compliment, this energy is echoed by the Lunar New Year “Year of the Yin Water Rabbit”, which dawns on January 22nd, 2023. According to Chinese Astrology, the Year of the Rabbit is a fortuitous and soothing season symbolizing peace, calm, harmony, hope, longevity, prosperity, birth, rebirth and creation. Yin is restorative, flowing, “BE-ing” energy (as opposed to Yang “doing” energy). Water is the realm of our emotions, feelings and intuition. So 2023 is a year for us to gently flow with life as we reflect upon what truly matters to us, feel what lies deep in our hearts and follow our soul’s wisdom to guide our way forward and inspire what we want to create with our time here.


If you would like some support on this journey, we have a helpful resource for you. For the past decade, I have been leading New Year Meditation Workshops designed to help consciously create your year ahead from a heart-and-soul based perspective. This year, I was inspired to make this process available to everyone so you can receive all the benefits of being guided through this work while doing it from your own home.

I’ve created a Home Workshop for you to release 2022 with love and connect to your Highest Vision for 2023. It includes a 38-page Workbook with personal reflection prompts, energetic insights and my Soul Goals Audio Meditation to help you discover your 1-Year Future Vision + Action Plan. You can do this alone or with loved ones at home at your own pace and keep revisiting your workbook throughout the year. Let it be a touchstone, compass and map to guide you on your own unique path to creating a meaningful and fulfilling 2023.

For more info on the “2022 Release + 2023 Vision” Home Workshop, you can click here.

We hope this “7 Year of Introspection” and “Year of the Yin Water Rabbit” brings many gifts to you, your loved ones and your life. Wishing you a happy 2023!


Christina & Sarah || Sirens & Scoundrels

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more health & wellness offerings, L.A. happenings and delicious experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels 

Words by Christina Huntington 

Photography by Sarah Prikryl

Additional Photography by Christina Huntington

Location: Harmony Vista at Joshua Desert Retreats

© 2023 Sirens and Scoundrels

Comfort Cooking at Home ~ Delicious, Easy, Healthy Recipes

During this Universal Pause while we are all tucked away in our homes in one gigantic act of loving kindness and solidarity for our fellow man, we want to extend our love to you in the best way we know how~ through heart-and-soul-warming food. We wish to brighten your hearth and home with some of our favorite comfort food recipes, all gathered together here in one place for your home cooking pleasure. These are our “greatest hits” recipes that we constantly get requests for over the years. They also happen to be very simple, easy-to-make recipes with just a few ingredients that pack a huge flavorful punch. We hope our healthy comfort food recipes help to bring some joy to your table. Stay safe, healthy and vibrant! We are sending you all of our love!

xoxo, Christina & Sarah || Sirens & Scoundrels

Comfort Mains & Sides


Spaghetti Squash Pasta  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free (w/ Vegetarian Option)


Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Detox Salad  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Gluten-Free Pasta Salad  ~  Vegetarian + Gluten-Free (w/ Vegan Option)


Crash Mixed Potatoes  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Vegan Roasted Vegetable Stew  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Check out our Pizza & Poetry Article for: Antipasto Salad & Grilled Pears à la Mode  ~  Gluten-Free (w/ Vegetarian + Vegan Options)


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




Chia Pudding  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Vegan Gluten-Free Apple Oat Cookies  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Tuscan White Bean Dip  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Mama Gina’s Greek Hummus  ~  Vegan + Gluten-Free


Check out more of our Recipes by clicking our Recipes Tab.

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more awesome L.A. happenings and delicious experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels 

Words by Christina Huntington // Recipes by Sarah Prikryl & Christina Huntington

Photography by Sarah Prikryl

Additional Photography by Christina Huntington

© 2020 Sirens and Scoundrels




Yoga-urt: Meet Your New Obsession

While other parts of the country are breaking out their new fall sweaters and snuggling up to pumpkin chai lattes in fuzzy mittens, our late-arrival summer is only just kicking into full swing here in LA. In honor of these last blazing days of summer, we present you with our current obsession and our absolute favorite way to beat the heat. Allow us to introduce you to Yoga-urt, the best soft serve frozen yogurt in town. It also happens to be organic, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and uses no artificial ingredients of any kind. How can the creamiest, richest, smoothest, most delicious soft serve in existence be vegan, you ask? Come take a stroll with us…

Yoga-urt first popped up in Glendale’s adorably quaint Kenneth Village in 2015. We’re always huge fans of any tiny frozen-in-time hidden gem neighborhood tucked away right here inside our bustling city (hello, Montrose!), but Kenneth Village might be the sweetest and tiniest of them all. The one-block strip of Kenneth Road just west of Grandview is as Bedford Falls as we could ever hope to find in LA and well worth a trip out to wander. Dotted with little restaurants, a French patisserie and a cute on-trend clothing boutique, walking along Kenneth Village feels like taking a sudden unexpected vacation. And we all know there’s nothing better to do on vacation than enjoy a delicious, soul-satisfying ice cream cone while taking in the scenery.

This brings us to Yoga-urt at the heart of Kenneth Village—a happy haven of healthy yumminess where all are welcome, including your dogs, babies, dog babies or all of the above. Colorful hand-painted hearts cheerfully display affirmations like “abundance”, “serenity” and “bliss” as you enter, letting you know what joy awaits just on the other side of the door. Speaking of bliss, have you ever seen a grown man do a happy dance and sing to himself in his chair privately as his first response to taking a bite of ice cream? Have you witnessed multiple grown adults with histories of food allergies sob with awe, delight and eternal gratitude that delicious soft serve can now be a reality for them again? Like, actual real streaming tears? We have. Right here. When we say Yoga-urt brings joy, we mean it on the deepest level. It’s not something that can even be described. You have to just taste it to know it.

So what makes this place and this “yogurt” so special? We’ll let the experts speak for themselves a moment:

“Our flavors are made from scratch each day, starting with hand-squeezed almond milk with all organic and dairy-free ingredients, then blending in cashews and healthy probiotics. All of the Yoga-urt soft serve is unbelievably rich and creamy and contains four strains of live probiotics added for digestive and immune health. Yoga-urt offers over 25 nut-based handcrafted rotating flavors of organic, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free soft serve; a toppings bar with mostly organic and all vegan options; organic smoothies including healthy green and paleo options; kombucha floats; banana splits; shakes; pints to go and more.

For those who like their Yoga-urt in a cone, these too are handcrafted from scratch, vegan and gluten-free. And our cookies for our ice cream sammies and our pie crust for our pie slices are made from the leftover almond pulp/flour from our soft serve! We serve coffee from LA’s popular sustainable purveyor Groundwork and tea from The Art of Tea. Plus we are eco-friendly with all compostable paper goods!”

What started off as Siren Christina’s secret private obsession for treats on her way back from art class has now spread to the entire Sirens & Scoundrels pack, becoming a full-blown group addiction where meet-ups are regularly scheduled to taste the new flavors at each location as they roll out during the week. Our personal favorites are Ganesha’s Sweet Greens (naturally sweetened with no added sugar), Orange Dreamsicle, Cherry Amaretto, Tantric Tart and the classic Chocolate Bliss. But believe us, EVERY FLAVOR is incredible and will fill you with PURE DELIGHT!

PRO TIP: You can order side-by-sides of flavors in any size cup or cone, including a mini (they even have mini cones!!). If two flavors are swirling, it counts as one flavor. So if you order a side-by-side that includes a swirl, you’re actually getting three flavors of deliciousness to light up your taste buds and your heart.

This summer, Yoga-urt opened a second location in Echo Park on Sunset Blvd just West of Mohawk Bend—great news for all you East Siders with a vegan soft serve urge that needs to be filled. But how do you decide which store to visit? It’s not as simple as closest proximity. If you follow Yoga-urt on Instagram, you’ll discover that different flavors are rolled out between the two locations during the same week. So if Lavender Blossom is on your hit list and it’s only at Echo Park, you know which direction to head in. If Salted Caramel Zen is swirling with Coffee Karma in Glendale and that’s what is giving you life, then hoof it over to the base of the Verdugo Mountains to get your frozen joy fix on. If you do make it out to Kenneth Village (and you really should), take your happiness-in-a-cone up the street and enjoy the sprawling grounds of Brand Park and the gorgeous Brand Library, complete with a Japanese tea house, to really make you feel like you have traveled far far away—perhaps to a different time entirely—without ever leaving your hometown.

Enjoy these last smoldering days of summer! And we’ll see you soon with some FALL FUN updates for all your sweater weather dreams coming true!

Happy Eating!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels

Yoga-urt info can be found: HERE.

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more awesome L.A. happenings and delicious experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl

Additional Photography by Gina Cholick

Cone Insert Photography via Yoga-urt Instagram

© 2019 Sirens and Scoundrels


End of Summer Playlist

To help you fully soak in these delicious last languid days of Summer, we’ve put together a sun-drenched playlist full of old and new favorites for your listening and partying pleasure! Throw it on, lay back and chill out as you celebrate Labor Day Weekend with your gang! Take a moment to feel the sun on your face, dip your toes in the water & simply enjoy this great gift of being alive. Sending big love for your sunshine days!

xoxo Sirens & Scoundrels


Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for off-the-beaten-path L.A. happenings and epic experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels

Words & Playlist by Christina Huntington // Photography by Christina Huntington & Sarah Prikryl

© 2019 Sirens and Scoundrels


As artists and freelance creatives, we know it is not always easy to self-motivate, show up for your art and produce the work that has been calling out from deep within. So we’re gonna let you in on the little secret that has helped us each catapult our creative goals forward over the past two years. Allow us to formally introduce you to Art of Freelance—a bi-annual 10-week workshop that provides the structure, accountability and community to take your dream projects and make them a reality. Officially billed as “an accelerator for creatives who want to push themselves to the next level”, Art of Freelance encourages you to make the work you want to get hired for—by becoming your own ideal client first. We have benefited so immensely from doing this work that we didn’t want to just keep it to ourselves. We want to share it now with you, our awesome reader, in case you’ve had a dream drumming in your heart or a creative vision simmering away on the back burner and you are finally ready to bring those goals into fruition…with a little help from a friendly community of fellow artists birthing their dreams into life right alongside you.


Enrollment for the Fall session is now open and ends Thursday, August 29th. The workshop runs from September 3rd-November 19th and cohort showcases are November 21st-23rd. The course takes place online, so it can be done from anywhere in the world. Once enrolled, you will “meet” with your individual creative cohort through an online classroom for 1-hour each week. The first three weeks consist of assignments to help you define your long-term goals and decide on your project. You do not need to know what your project is before enrolling, the course helps you discover what you want to focus on. The next six weeks are dedicated to creating your project with the support, encouragement and accountability of your weekly cohort. In the final week, you present your finished work during your final showcase.


“Art of Freelance sparked a renewed fire inside of me, gave me an accountability squad of respected fellow artists and helped me to achieve my personal creative goals that had been accumulating on the back-burner. I keep coming back each session because the incredible feeling of accomplishing your dreams in just ten weeks is beyond addicting, in the most life-affirming way. It honestly astounds even me how much I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. But I could not have done it without the AOF team cheering me on to go after it all. I would love for you to have the same benefit of this amazing community full of inspired and inspiring artists to help bring your dreams to life so you can answer the calls of your own heart and soul!”

–Christina Huntington

In 2 years of participating in AOF, I:

  • Claimed my desire to become a director & actualized that desire
  • Wrote, produced & directed my first *solo* narrative short film “Consensual Nonconsent”
  • Directed & shot four individual subjects for my intimate women’s video portrait series “Reclaiming Sexy”
  • Wrote my first *solo* feature screenplay “In Need of Repair” and submitted my initial rough draft to the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, where it placed in the official Top 10%
  • Co-wrote & co-directed the short film “The Applicant”, which was selected for the HBO Women in Comedy Festival 2018
  • Went back to school to study cinematography & graduated from my program at the top of my class
  • Enrolled in photography and photoshop classes, developed my own unique vision and created an experimental Cosmic Love photography series that sold prints
  • Started shooting projects for myself and other people professionally, getting my first paid jobs as a director, cinematographer & camera operator
  • Recorded and released my first full-length meditation album “Christina Huntington Meditation: Peace of Mind”. Available for download HERE:
  • Recorded audio and video meditations that are featured on the Simple Habit App and Unplug Meditation App, expanding my meditation teaching to a global audience


“I have so much gratitude for Art of Freelance as a course and as a community. Each session repeatedly invites me to commit to myself, in a space of accountability with others, and it has completely changed the way I go about my process as an artist and freelancer. For me, the biggest and most life-changing gift that the course has taught me is how to foster an attuned relationship with myself. By cultivating my own personal clarity, I now have awareness of where I’m channeling my energy. It continually helps me to curate creations that are in alignment with the highest vision of both my personal and creative life.

Over 6 sessions, I’ve met so many incredible, inspiring humans that are drawn to AOF that run the gamut from wanting to establish a new career, take their current career to the next level, commit to a side passion project or just want to spend the 10 weeks in community committing to a routine for themselves for the first time. I can’t wait to see who shows up for this round and what everyone will create within this Fall session, including myself. I am always surprised and delighted by what can be accomplished in 10 weeks when you have support, structure, accountability and community.”

— Sarah Prikryl

Over the span of 6 AOF sessions, I:

  • Segued careers and overhauled my website
  • Finished post-production on the award-winning documentary “Family: A Love Story” that is being used to raise awareness for the Foster Care System. (Winner of three “Best of Fest” awards.)
  • Completed post-production on the narrative short film “Lily”
  • Created my director’s reel
  • Collaborated to create three dance films (“Immersion”, “Ritual” & “Christina’s World”. “Christina’s World” is being used to raise awareness for Charcot Marie Tooth Disorder by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation.
  • Created a series of three spec ads integrating my dance film background into the commercial world
  • Explored developing a multi-screen video dance art installation
  • Explored developing a stop-motion music video concept for Liz Beebe’s song: “Papercuts”



Some of our close friends who have joined the Art of Freelance community over the years have produced podcasts, albums, fine art photo series, body-positive boudoir photography, original card games, brand redesigns & relaunches, new product lines and on and on. Really whatever is in your heart, you can create! We just think you’re great, we believe in you and we want to see you make all your dreams come true! BIG BONUS: Scholarships are available by application process HERE, so you really have zero excuse not to show up for yourself, your heart & your art! Go get it!!

HAPPY CREATING!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels

Art of Freelance enrollment ends Aug 29th & Fall session starts Sept 3rd. Get more info: HERE.

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more awesome L.A. happenings and epic experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels

Words by Christina Huntington & Sarah Prikryl

Christina’s Project Photography by Christina HuntingtonDominic Lopez & Andrea Osojnik

Christina’s Behind-the-Scenes Photography by Becca Murray, Kelsey Gunn, Sydney Camille & Sarah Prikryl

Sarah’s Project Photography by Sarah Prikryl, Senda Bonnet, Gina Cholick & Elizabeth Messina

Sarah’s Behind-the-Scenes Photography by Josh Yeo & Gina Cholick

“Papercuts” Video by Sarah Prikryl

Art of Freelance Video by Art of Freelance 

Art of Freelance Event Photography by Sarah Ford, Wray Sinclair & Julia Lofstrand

© 2019 Sirens and Scoundrels

Summer Desert Retreat ~ Harmony Vista

Every year when summer hits the city, we start hearing the call of the desert. It might not seem like the obvious destination when the thermostat reaches 90° but for us here at Sirens & Scoundrels, summer and the deep desert have become our favorite pairing for a soul-filling and soul-fueling retreat with friends. We pack up all the fresh organic summer fruit we can find, plenty of iced beverages, pool floaties and board games and head out into the hot desert days to relax and unplug at our most beloved California summering spot—Joshua Tree.

Our favorite source for the perfect desert hacienda is  Joshua Desert Retreats. With nine properties spread across the east desert, we have been slowly meandering our way through each one over the years. JDR properties are much like staying at the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo where each room has its own unique theme and eventually you just want to try them all. The same goes for JDR, except here each entire house has its own theme. We have written about the Mad Men in the desert 1960’s vibe of Jackalope, the wood-paneled 1970’s vintage bohemian Wiki Up, the sweet 1940’s rambling ranch house Godwin and the adorably tiny New Mexico-style cabin Adobe. For our latest summer friend retreat, we stayed at Harmony Vista.

Most JDR properties have a vintage vibe that make you feel as if you have somehow traveled back in time and Harmony Vista is no exception. This property feels like stepping into an elevated desert version of the cult classic film “Dazed & Confused”–as if school’s out for summer in 1976 and the only thing to do is go visit your friend who just happens to have the best party house in town and his parents are conveniently away for the weekend. Waiting your turn at the billiards table on the leather stools looking out onto the hot tub, you can almost feel Matthew McConaughey smiling happily to himself right beside you, “Alright, alright, alriiiight…”

The sprawling Asian-décor themed Harmony Vista wraps around to a large game room area complete with a pool table, ping-pong table and indoor jacuzzi, making it the perfect spot for a large group of friends looking to unwind and rustle up some desert fun together. What better way to bond than by beating each other at your own personal Garage Games Olympics? The outdoor patio is stocked full of all the fixings–bbq, grill, outdoor fire pit and large farm table for family-style meals al fresco, where you can cool off or heat up between rounds, depending on how you’re playing.

Perhaps our favorite part of any desert trip is the opportunity for stillness and self-reflection even when traveling with a group, guaranteeing both quality friend time and quality you time. With computers left at home and cell phones silently tucked away, it feels like stepping back in time but also like time just stops completely. As if you are suddenly operating in some alternate time and space where nothing else exists but the quiet languid stillness and the desert’s warm embrace. Take some time for reflection and meditation. Read a book, write that story that’s been running through your head, allow yourself to dream up your next big creative endeavor or life adventure. After all, it’s only in stillness that you can hear the requests of your own heart and soul. So take some time to tune in and listen.

Desert sunsets are a living meditation unto themselves. Taking time to become present with the awe-inspiring beauty of Nature and her ever-evolving evening paintings in the sky quenches a thirst inside the soul that perhaps you weren’t even aware of—providing instant nourishment, grounding and healing to the deepest parts of you. Something inside reawakens, remembering: “Ah yes, THIS is who I am! THIS is what Life is meant to be…”

The hot desert days give way to deliciously warm desert nights—the perfect conditions for stargazing or UFO hunting into the wee hours of the dawn. With almost no light pollution, the infinite sea of billions of stars shines brightly in all its celestial glory. During the month of August, the annual Perseid meteor shower makes its big show in the night sky with 100+ meteors an hour. They move at lightning speed, so be sure to bring your binoculars or telescopes for best viewing. But the Perseids are also known for producing giant green fireballs that streak across the sky seemingly just overhead and can be seen clearly with the naked eye. The peak of the Perseid shower is taking place this week while Venus is at her brightest point in the sky for the year, so go see them while you can! BONUS: JDR has a 50% off promotion during weekdays for the duration of summer, so there has never been a better time to go. Grab your gang and head out for your own soul retreat to relish these final weeks of summer and reset yourself for the rest of the year ahead. Your heart, body, mind, soul and EVERYTHING will thank you for it!

Click PLAY on video below for a sneak peek at the meteor showers in Joshua Tree:

Stay tuned for more of our Fave Summer Fun Picks delivered straight to you from us, with love!

Happy Summering!! xoxo  Sirens & Scoundrels


Joshua Desert Retreats in Joshua Tree, CA. 50% off weekdays in summer. Book your stay: HERE.

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more awesome L.A. happenings and epic experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl

Additional Photography by Christina Huntington

Video by Christina Huntington

© 2019 Sirens and Scoundrels

Sirens & Scoundrels Summer Faves~ Live Music with Kensington Presents

SURPRISE….we’re back!! The Sirens of Sirens & Scoundrels have been off on other adventures recently, but since two of our favorite things in the world are Los Angeles + Summer, we’re popping back up to let you in on all our best-of-Summer-fun faves to make sure you don’t miss a thing! We cannot wait to share our latest hot finds and delicious discoveries to help make your days brighter and your nights even cooler.

When it comes to cool nights, look no further than Kensington Presents, an event collective that consistently delivers the best-of-the-best live music in unusual locations. Known for their epic secret concerts at the Viaduct downtown, the fellas of Kensington have broadened their reach in recent years. What started as a tiny porch concert series at their home in Highland Park now includes intimate shows at York Manor, Resident & Hot Shot Muffler, along with larger curated events throughout the city. This summer, Kensington is busy brewing up tons of live music magic for your ultimate listening pleasure.

FUTURE SOUNDS at The Viaduct

Saturday August 3rd, Kensington will be throwing their first one-day festival FUTURE SOUNDS at the incomparably cool Viaduct—our favorite music destination in the city. FUTURE SOUNDS is a full evening of live music and immersive experiences, including food vendors, craft bars, performance art, improv poetry, projection mapping and activations by Wild Riot. The festival line-up is sure to stir your soul with performances by “pop rocket Jesse Jo Stark, sultry R&B vocalist Raquel Rodriguez, neo-soul phenom Stan Taylor, disco duo CAPYAC, electro-soul artist syd B and jazz-funk virtuoso Floyd Fuji.

For an inside scoop on what to expect, here’s what we’ve had to say about our past experiences at the Viaduct~

“Stepping into The Viaduct feels like unlocking the door to The Secret Garden—if that garden was a tiny park and entertainment venue hidden under Downtown’s Buena Vista Bridge beside the LA River with the MTA line zooming like a silver bullet overhead. Located deep in the far end of Los Angeles State Historic Park with the sweeping cityscape twinkling in the background, it really doesn’t get much cooler than this…Filled with genuine music lovers gathered together to celebrate live music, dance and 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.”

Get your tickets to FUTURE SOUNDS HERE

FUTURE SOUNDS at The Viaduct. Saturday Aug 3rd, 2019, 4:00pm-Midnight. Event is 21+. Tickets are currently $25. After 7/31, they go up to $30. $45 VIP tickets get you two drink tickets, VIP entrance & a Future Sounds tote bag by Made Daze. A portion of all proceeds go to support music education nonprofit In The Band.


Concerts on The BLOC

The third Thursday of every month of Summer, the new open-air retail plaza The Bloc in DTLA hosts Concerts on The Bloc, a free live-music event curated by Kensington. KCRW’s DJ Novena Carmel hosts the night, with new musicians showcased each month. Grab a drink and a snack from the pop-up wine bar, take a seat on one of the comfy lawn chairs spread across the private “lawn”, cozy up under their soft fuzzy blankets and enjoy a thoroughly civilized, intimate evening of great music under our city stars. When we went, we had the supreme pleasure of lounging front-row with Hamish Anderson’s soulful and rollicking modern blues. Upcoming acts include India Carney & Raelee Nikole. This is the perfect spot to kick off a romantic date night or a mellow hang with friends before heading out on the town.

RSVP for your FREE tickets HERE~

Concerts on The Bloc. Final show Thursday August 15th, 6:30pm. Event is 21+. Beer & wine available for purchase. Improv poetry by Ars Poetica. Tickets are FREE, but you must RSVP in advance via the Eventbrite link above.


Chinatown Summer Nights

Set right in the heart of Chinatown, one of our absolute favorite summer festivities is Chinatown Summer Nights. KCRW & LA Weekly have partnered to create a vibrant and electric all-ages celebration unlike any other. Giant rainbow confetti poppers explode overhead while your favorite KCRW DJs spin the night away under Central Plaza’s Chinese lanterns and neon lights for an unforgettably soul-lifting dance party. Across the street on the LA Weekly stage, live bands curated by Kensington play against a glittering city-at-night backdrop. With food trucks, outdoor movies and art exhibits to be discovered as you wind your way between stages, this is a Summer event not to be missed. If you’re into pure JOY and unadulterated DELIGHT, grab your gang and head out for the final night of the season on Saturday August 10th. Did we mention it’s totally free?

Chinatown Summer Nights. Saturday August 10th, 5pm-midnight. All ages. FREE, no RSVP required. Event schedule HERE.

JOY! DELIGHT! Click on the video below for a sneak peek at Chinatown Summer Nights:

Stay tuned for more of our Fave Summer Fun Picks delivered straight to you from us, with love!

Happy Summering!! xoxo  Sirens & Scoundrels

Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for more awesome L.A. happenings and epic experiences! Enter your email address on our home page & hit “SUBSCRIBE”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels.

Read more about Kensington Presents at the Viaduct: HERE.

Sign up for Kensington’s email invite list:

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography & Video by Sarah Prikryl

Additional Video by Dominic Lopez

Promo Imagery for “Future Sounds” artists and “The Bloc” subject to copyright

© 2019 Sirens and Scoundrels




Pizza & Poetry

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Video by  Sarah Prikryl & Christina Huntington

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” –Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

As these gorgeous Spring days turn into warm Summer nights, it’s time to gather your loved ones around a long outdoor table to celebrate all the magic and wonder of being alive with the one thing everybody loves: pizza. Gluten-free, gluten-full, dairy-free, piled up with cheese–whichever way suits your fancy, build-your-own pizzas are always a wonderful way to create delicious art that you can eat. For our recent Sirens & Scoundrels “Pizza & Poetry” gathering, we brought together all the things we love most: friends, food, music, dancing and poetry. We set a long table with our favorite summer linens, flickering candles, fresh boughs of greens and mini stacks of vintage books. The invite called for guests to bring their favorite poems and a hearty appetite.

On the gorgeous terrace of Domain WeHo, Scoundrel drink master Richard Swan of The Grand Bevy was on hand mixing up champagne cocktails as the sun set over the Los Angeles skyline. Scoundrel Eme baked our build-your-own pizzas to perfection straight on the outdoor BBQ, paired with a crisp and delicious chopped antipasto salad. Siren Sarah grilled fresh pear halves face-down and served them up piping hot with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled cinnamon pecan honey for dessert.

Classic records accompanied after-dinner dancing and sunset gazing as the first stars of summer shone out in the night sky. Finally, it was time for the main event. Gathered around with hot cups of tea, our guests took turns reading their favorite poems, revelling in the quiet simple pleasure of beautiful words shared aloud. It was that rarest kind of magical recipe~a night to satisfy heart, body, mind and soul!

Experience our night of delicious peaceful revelry HERE~

If you’re looking for a fun and unusual way to bring people together this summer, throw your own Pizza & Poetry night with our recipes below. Invite your friends to bring out their inner poets and feed their souls!



Serves 8


2 heads of Romaine Lettuce

1  cup chopped Radicchio

1 bunch of Organic Basil

1 can Chickpeas

8 oz. of Cherry Tomatoes

8 oz. of Mozzarella Balls in water (Ciliegine & optional Marinated Mozz balls)

1 package of Dried Italian Meat (salami or prosciutto)

8 oz. of sliced Pepperoncinis

8 oz. of Castelvetrano Olives (pitted)

8 oz. of Artichoke Hearts

2/3 cup Olive Oil

1 Lemon

1/4 cup Vinegar (balsamic or apple cider to your preference)

Salt & Pepper


Course chop lettuce and radicchio. De-stem and chop basil leaves. Rinse and cut tomatoes in half. Strain and rinse chickpeas. Strain and chop artichokes, olives and pepperoncinis. Dice the salami. Strain and cut small mozzarella balls in half. Add all ingredients into a salad bowl.

Dressing: in a jar, shake olive oil, vinegar and juice and zest from one lemon with salt and pepper (to taste). Toss all ingredients with dressing immediately before serving.


Serves 4


2 Ripe Pears

1 tsp Coconut Oil

1 Tbs Honey

Dash of cinnamon & nutmeg

Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)


Cut pears in half length-wise from stem to butt. Rub with coconut oil. If using a grill, cook pear halves flat-side down for 3-5 minutes until softened. Alternatives: you can use a heated skillet on the stovetop or cook pears on a baking sheet in the oven 400° for 10-12 minutes.Plate each half pear. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle with honey to your preference. Add a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Happy Gathering!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels 

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Recipes: Food by Sarah Prikryl  

© 2018 Sirens and Scoundrels

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

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

Our favorite Winter Wonderland is back! 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”! 

Follow us on Instagram: @sirensandscoundrels

© 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….


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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

The Great American Solar Eclipse ~ 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.

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

Sunset Swim~ The Annenberg Community Beach House

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl

Our favorite summer swim nights are back at The Annenberg Community Beach House! Don’t miss the first of three adult swim parties beginning in August! 

If you ever wished you could’ve been alive in the days when you drove your woodie down to the beach for a surfin’ safari and a little beach blanket bingo, then your time has finally come. The Annenberg Community Beach House is a throwback to the days when cool guys and gals gathered on the shores to enjoy some California fun in the sun.

Open daily to the public during the summer months, the Annenberg Community Beach House is still somehow one of LA’s best-kept secrets. A gorgeous pool. On the beach. Right in the heart of Santa Monica. Open to everyone. It’s almost too good to be true.

It has a rich history, too. The Beach House is actually on the old Marion Davies Estate, the beachside love pad built by William Randolph Hearst for his silent film starlet mistress back in the Golden Age of Hollywood. The pool is the estate’s original, all marble and tile refurbished by hand. Marion’s lavish guest house still stands and you can tour it during the day. But beware—we’ve heard the mistress of the house still likes to appear to handsome young gentlemen sometimes.

On a normal day during the summer season, the beach house is open to the public of all ages on a first-come, first-served basis. It costs $10 to get in and you can stay as long as you want. You can take advantage of the pool, the beach volleyball courts right outside, take a dip in the ocean and use their updated pool house to shower off when you’re ready to go home. They even offer classes including swimming, beach volleyball and Esther Williams-style water ballet to make all your MGM musical synchronized swimming dreams come true!

But it gets even better. Just three times a season, they throw their Sunset Swim party, opening up the pool for an adults-only night swim. This year, Sunset Swim 2017 is happening on Fridays August 11th, September 8th & October 13th from 7pm-10pm. It costs $10 to get in and includes s’mores, frozen fruit bars, big pool floaties for relaxing in and poolside games like ping pong and giant connect four. Basically, a big kid’s paradise.

Always huge fans of a secret party, we brought our Sirens & Scoundrels gang to check out last summer’s Sunset Swim and had the time of our lives. There is no alcohol permitted on the grounds, but you can BYO snacks and beverages in non-glass containers. We brought a big group and set up shop in one of the poolside cabanas, then headed straight to the shining star—the pool. It’s huge, gorgeous and deep. Luckily, there were plenty of golden swans for lounging on, bringing that old world musical flair to life.

It’s a rare thing in LA to get to enjoy a night out that also feels like going back to a much more innocent time. Our inner kids came out to play as we splashed around in the setting sun, watched the stars come out overhead, roasted endless s’mores of different flavor combinations and just enjoyed each other’s company. It felt like stepping into a Beach Boys ballad and seeing it come alive all around us…slowed-down, beautiful, full of innocent nostalgia and pure joy for the good stuff in life.

If you wanna travel back in time yourself, be sure to swing by the Annenberg with your gang for some good old-fashioned American fun in the sun. Or in this case, fun in the sunset!

Sunset Swim at The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. Fridays August 11th, September 8th, October 13th, 2017. 7pm-10pm. $10 entry, adults only, no RSVP required. For more information, visit the Annenberg website:

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Happy Ours Ranch ~ Utah

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

Halfway between Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park lies a little secret gem tucked away amongst the rolling green fields of Glendale, UT. Winding your way off the main highway onto a sprawling expanse of ranch land, a small dirt trail slowly circles the grounds to finally reveal the sweetest home-away-from-home a cabin lover could ever dream of. Beautifully hand-built by the family who own and run the property, Happy Ours Ranch makes all your tiny cabin fantasies come true the moment you lay eyes upon it. Quaint and cozy, this wood and tin delight has enough charm to tempt you away from ever leaving the property…even with the astonishing draw of Zion and Bryce just a short car ride away.

On the hunt for the perfect pied-à-terre to kick up our feet and rest our heads during our Summer Sirens Utah Roadtrip, we knew we hit the jackpot when we stumbled across Happy Ours Ranch on It was everything we could have hoped for and more: a tiny wood cabin (our cabin obsession is real), close to both Zion and Bryce, large enough for a gaggle of gals and our belongings, double bathrooms and showers to accommodate all those ladies in the morning, a full kitchen, a private laundry room to keep our clothes fresh during our weeklong stay, clean, quiet, comfy, cozy, 100% one-of-a-kind unique…and most importantly, it had double queen bunk beds made from logs to really create the girls-gone-summer-camp vibe. Our five girls, one Prius landed straight into a little slice of Utah ranch heaven…complete with nuzzling horses!

The lovely owners, Dave and Karren, have taken great pains to ensure that the bunkhouse is clean, comfortable and stocked with every amenity. They are as available as you want them to be to answer any questions or offer guidance to the local sights. We definitely recommend taking a moment to chat with them about the history of the cabin and the property. Happy Ours felt like such a special hidden treasure, we almost considered keeping it to ourselves. But since it is our sworn duty to always share our favorite discoveries with you, we decided to let you in on the secret. You just gotta promise to keep it in the family!

You can book a stay at Happy Ours through HERE.

Tell them Sirens & Scoundrels sent you! Happy Adventuring! xoxo

Discover Zion’s Heaven on Earth HERE.

Explore Bryce Canyon’s surrealist daydream HERE

The Grand Canyon by: Sarah PrikrylContinue your Wild West road trip with a stop at the Grand Canyon HERE.

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Bryce Canyon ~ Utah

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

Deep in the heart of Utah lies a surrealist dreamland sprung to life. If Salvador Dalí painted the Grand Canyon full of drippy peach candlestick mountains all melting in the desert sun while Indiana Jones hosted an archaeological dig for extraterrestrial life at the center of it all…that pretty much sums up what Bryce Canyon National Park feels like. At once awe-inspiring, mind-blowing and really pretty trippy.

We took a one-day excursion out to Bryce in the middle of our Zion adventure week to take in some new scenery and hit some new trails. An easy 2-hour drive east of Zion, Bryce is definitely the wild child amongst its sleeker Utah and Arizona canyon cousins. If the Grand Canyon is Mozart, Bryce Canyon is Bowie. Nothing to see here but mind-bending intergalactic rock ‘n roll mountainsides incarnate in nature.

Upon arrival, we decided to take in the lay of the land as our first endeavor. The road into Bryce is laid out in a loop where you can pull over and hop out along the way to check out all of its epic views. And the views here are indeed EPIC. The rocks in Bryce have formed amphitheaters full of “hoodoos”—drippy spindly geological formations that gradually change color from orange, peach and white like a giant tie-dyed t-shirt.

After mapping out the domain, we hit the trails of the main event taking the Navajo Loop Trail directly into Bryce Amphitheater. A “moderate hike” that takes you down into electric nectarine slot canyons dotted with neon green fir trees before opening out into the sweeping amphitheater, the Navajo Trail delivers all the best of Bryce in just about two hours. We meandered through walls of tall crumbly hoodoos that made us feel like both a band of ancient archeologists and intergalactic futuristic explorers on an excavation mission all at the same time. We even met the “natives”—friendly chipmunks who love to come visit and have a chat to showcase their local way of life.

The day we went was sweltering. Aside from the slot canyon, most of the Navajo hike is in direct sunlight—so hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and tons of water are an absolute necessity. But the rewards for trudging through the sun here are enormous. You will never see anything like this landscape anywhere else on Planet Earth, guaranteed. Its beauty is overwhelming—it will stun you into silence, fill you with awe and absolutely take your breath away.

The final payoff at the end of the steep incline back up to the top is the lookout point waiting for you above. Take a moment to soak in the great accomplishment of completing your hike and enjoy your reward—an epic vista view of the entire Bryce Amphitheater laid out before you. Standing here on top of it all, you can’t help but marvel at the astounding beauty of Nature. How just when you think you have seen it all, your entire world can get rocked by the new and mysterious Great Unknown. An important reminder that there is so much more to explore, so much more to discover on this beautiful planet of ours if we just stay open, stay curious and remember that life is meant to be an adventure.

Our Utah Road Trip series continues next week with our stay at Happy Ours Ranch! You can check out our Zion adventures HERE! And our Grand Canyon adventures HERE!

Happy Trails! xoxo Sirens & Scoundrels

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

Zion National Park

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

A couple years ago, I came across a photo of a giant bright peach of a mountainside towering over a meandering aqua river adorned with patches of bright green fluffy trees dozing under a hazy golden sunset. It seemed like something out of a dream. Or perhaps a distant memory from some other world where only peace, beauty and tranquility exist. A mythological fantasy planet that someone managed to come back to Earth with visual proof of. I recognized it somehow, though I had never seen it before. This intense feeling immediately rushed up from deep down inside my soul and commanded, “We must go to there!!” I could almost taste the gorgeous landscape on my tongue, hear it whispering in my ear. My eyes searched for the name of this biblical Eden incarnate until they landed on the word “Zion”. Of course…Zion. I had heard the tales many times from others who had made the epic journey before me but this was the first time I was laying eyes on it myself. Like meeting a man that every single one of your closest friends somehow dated and now refer to as “the one that got away”, Zion walked into my life the same way—its legend looming large before we ever officially met. And suddenly, I just knew. I had to go to Zion.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my work as a meditation teacher, it’s that when your soul sends you such a loud and clear message, you answer it. Even if you have no idea where it came from, why, or where it’s leading you. So taking my own advice, I cancelled my annual desert birthday celebration with friends and put out the adventure call to see who wanted to hop in the car and road trip it out to Utah instead. Sirens Sarah, Gina, Kelsey and Pippa immediately volunteered for the mission. So with our backpacks, hiking boots and plenty of snacks in tow, we loaded up five girls in one Prius and hit the open road.

The seven and a half hour drive from Los Angeles, CA to Zion National Park, UT stretched into more like eleven hours after gas, rest stop, lunch and leg stretch breaks. Luckily, we had some awesome playlists to keep us company as we cruised up the 15 through Vegas and even dead-stopped for a while in a parking lot sea of thousands of cars headed to an EDM festival on the desert outskirts. Trapped amongst carloads of young kids dressed in neon as far the eye could see, their cars adorned with flashing lights and glowing signs, I could not help but feel this was all part of the plan. We were most definitely traveling to another world, possibly another galaxy. And this was just the beginning.

It was the dead of night when we finally arrived. We had to drive through the park to get out the other side where our accommodations awaited, beckoning us to come lay our heads down and sleep for awhile. As soon as we crossed the threshold into the park, the paved road turned bright red as if we had just touched down on Mars—our first clue that we definitely were not in normal life anymore. The stars were clear and bright—more stars than we had ever seen in our lifetimes, even with the low-hanging waxing moon. We wound our way through the park in pitch black, giant darkened slabs towering above us on all sides that seemed to stretch up up up forever so that we had to crane our heads to see the starry sky above. Even in total darkness, the enormity of Zion’s mountainscape was breathtaking. It felt huge, ancient and powerful. In that moment, I understood that if I could just stay open and listen for the wisdom, this journey would somehow change my life.

Driving into the park in daylight was a completely different experience, though no less surreal. The hulking darkened slabs from the previous night transformed into sweeping vistas of bright peachy sienna mountains that looked like they had been painted by Van Gogh’s brush, all thick sideways sherbet swirls. It felt like landing on some future Mars, the red planet suddenly bursting to life with trees and flocks of animals resting in the shade under the galactic sun. Surely the Prius had accidentally dropped us into some different star system in the night and we were no longer on Earth but some brand new planet just waiting to be explored.

The people of planet Zion are very friendly, I’m happy to report, and very well organized. They have a hop-on-hop-off shuttle system that runs all day and conveniently takes you to all of the different hikes and sites throughout the park. We parked our car down at the first lot inside from Springdale, the tiny town full of restaurants, markets and sporting goods stores for all your adventuring needs. Our first stop would be Emerald Pools Trail, a moderate mountain hike that leads to—you guessed it—emerald water pools. We stepped off the shuttle, crossed the bridge and collectively gasped at our first real sight of the Virgin River. It literally took our breath away. We stood in awe as we watched the gentle sea foam green water babbling across glittering rocks under the giant peach mountains dotted with bushy side-growing trees. Suddenly, I understood where we were. This wasn’t Mars at all, this must be the land of unicorns and dragons! The mythical planet that provides James Cameron and fellow filmmakers with all their sci fi inspiration. THIS is where the unicorns and dragons live, of course! I swear we saw some giant fire-breathers flapping their majestic wings off the mountaintops in the distance to take to the sun, heard the soft hooves of unicorn families drinking from the nearby stream. And it all felt perfectly normal and right. In fact, taking in this landscape, we realized it would actually be stranger NOT to see dragons and unicorns here. Clearly, this was their natural habitat.

So with our bearings finally gained, we proceeded with our hike deep into mythical creature country. We followed the winding Emerald Pools Trail across walls of giant rusty sandstone, under naturally-occurring hanging gardens and waterfalls until we reached the lower pools and then the upper pools, each stop along the way more jaw-dropping than the next. On planet Zion, time ceases to exist, so there is no pressure to have to get anywhere or do anything quickly. You can take your time—because you have all the time in the world—to just slow down and feel each drop of water fall into your palms, press your cheek to each warm earthen wall, splash your feet in the cool emerald waters. It’s a different kind of photosynthesis that occurs here, where you soak in all the natural surrounding beauty directly through your skin, filling up inside with all of your essential nutrients: peace, tranquility and a deep knowing that all is right in the world.

Day two on planet Zion was time to answer the warrior’s call. Armed with our water boots and walking sticks rented from Zion Adventure Company (and after watching the safety video to make sure we were properly prepared for our exploratory mission), we arrived at The Narrows. Why is a safety video necessary? The Narrows is a water hike where the river IS the path. You literally walk on water the entire way through red rock subway slats jutting up thousands of feet above you. While this creates stunning beauty and an incomparable experience, it can also be very dangerous. Flash floods happen in the area without warning even on a bright hot sunny day. In a slot canyon filled with water, there is nowhere to go when that happens. So when deciding to venture out on a Narrows mission, always be sure to check the park’s daily safety warnings first.

Boots on, sticks in hand, our four tall American Amazons and one little Aussie Fairie waded into the refreshingly cool waters that sloshed up thigh-level, a welcome gift in the afternoon heat. We had been told to go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds that flock here in the summer. But we decided to go mid-day after a leisurely sleep-in and cabin breakfast. Our wager worked in our favor. The morning rush was coming out as we were coming in, so we had lots of room to meander at our own pace. We wound and twisted our way through the russet slot canyon. Placing one wet foot in front of the other, rock by sparkling rock, greeting the new reveal behind each turn in the path became a waking meditation connecting us to a deep and ancient part of ourselves with every step. This must have been what it felt like before language, before words, when there was only feeling. And this feeling was pure wonder.

Our third and final day on planet Zion was all about slowing down and just enjoying the scenery, relishing this new process of nature-synthesis. We picked up treats from Café Soleil Zion in Springdale—a restaurant we found early on in our expedition because, as Siren Gina keenly pointed out, their sign was “definitely our font”. She could not have been more right. With a menu full of healthy, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well as smoothies and lattes, Café Soleil became our go-to purveyor of all things human food while hiking through the park. But on this day, we ordered to-go with one final mission in mind: to picnic by the Virgin River and take in the sunset over The Watchman, Zion’s most famous and picturesque mountain peak.

Armed with our bounty of healthy and delicious provisions, we hiked down to the riverside under the bridge off Hwy 9 and happily discovered several small private sandy beaches just perfect for lounging. We kicked off our shoes, laid out our picnic and munched happily as the afternoon sun began its descent and Leon Bridges’ achingly beautiful “River” played in the background. All the while, The Watchman stood guard, his majestic robes ever-changing from dusty pink sherbet to electric orange nectarine to deep russet rose as the sun dipped ever lower. The air was cool and still, the water warm and inviting. Honoring our pledge to explore all native territory thoroughly, we stripped down to our bikinis and waded into the Virgin River to watch the final blaze of light pass behind the mountains. This is where time truly stopped. Was it an hour, was it three, was it a lifetime in one moment? There was absolutely no way of telling. All I know is that life stretched out indefinitely, infinitely. No life, no death, no other time or place but this. This one moment for all eternity.

As I sat there on my birthday in the Virgin River and just watched the light shift over The Watchman for three hours/three years/three lifetimes, I asked the river to lend me her ancient wisdom—what was it that I needed to know? I was instantly shown an image of us walking through the Narrows with our walking sticks the day before. How much easier it had been to walk back out when we were going with the current versus when we were first walking in against it. How slow and clumsy it felt going against the current, how many more people around us stumbled and injured themselves that way. And I was told, “Life is not just about surrendering to the will of the Universe, it’s about going with the current of your Life. Move with Life in the direction it is flowing and use that momentum to catapult you forward to where you need to be. Do not get bogged down in trying to walk against the current of your life, you will only slow your own progress. It’s not about just surrendering and floating in whatever direction the water happens to take you. Your participation and your deliberate action are required. But walk in the same direction that the water is leading you, feel how it wants to support you from behind and propel you forward. Tune into that force and use it…and you can never go wrong.”

With that, the Great Big Eternal Silence returned as the stars peeked through the evening sky and the moon smiled above the sleepy mountains. After a long while (decades, centuries, millennia), we reluctantly decided it was finally time to go. The dragons had already flown back to their evening nests, the unicorns snuggled down in cozy pairs for the night. All that was left to do was hop back in the Prius and watch the moon illuminate the nighttime mountainsides while Neil Young serenaded, “There’s a full moon risin’, let’s go dancin’ in the light…” with the windows down. See, the beauty of nature-synthesis is that it works whether the sun’s out, moon’s out or none’s out. It ALL gets distilled down through your cells into the essential core of your being, begins to alter your very DNA and gently turns you into something…more. A person made, at least partly, of pure magic.

Our Utah Road Trip series continues next week with our trippy archaeological dig down the rabbit hole at Bryce Canyon HERE! And our stay at a dream log cabin Happy Ours Ranch HERE!

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Summer Road Trip Playlist!

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl 

The dawn of May means one thing: road trip season is officially upon us! Time to make your plans and hop in the car with your nearest and dearest this summer to go explore the big wide wild open! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing highlights from our epic Sirens road trip to Utah’s stunning national parks. We took in the jaw-dropping majesty of Zion and Bryce Canyon and even stayed at the world’s sweetest tiny log-and-tin cabin, Happy Ours Ranch. We’re sharing our on-the-road playlist to set the mood and soothe your soul on all your summer adventures! Car packed, wheels down…go get those tires dirty with our “Dusty Trails” playlist!


And stay tuned for this month’s adventures to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon & the Grand Canyon!

Happy Trails!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels


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Words & Playlist by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl

© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

The 14th Factory

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl 

If you ever wished you could combine a haunted Halloween funhouse with a large-scale multi-media international modern art installation (minus the chainsaws and hulking guys in masks breathing down your neck), your wish has finally come true. Full of thrilling discoveries and suspense around each new darkened corner, The 14th Factory is an art-lover’s moody paradise—combining video, sound design and both static and interactive immersive environments to create an art experience truly unlike any other.

Envisioned by British-born, Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch in collaboration with global artists from China, Hong Kong, the US, the UK and Canada, The 14th Factory asks you to step inside a nondescript seemingly abandoned warehouse located in a forgotten part of Los Angeles and follow the path it leads you down…armed with little more than the promise of experiencing a Hero’s Journey. The black box entrance greets you with a brief introduction written on the walls where you are handed a map and then let loose to discover what secrets await.

Funneling onto the darkened path, your eyes strain to adjust and find your way through the first few stops. In the blackened quiet, you become aware of sounds ringing out from somewhere—knocks and cracks echoing from an unknown faraway chamber. The familiar eerie feeling of the haunted funhouse begins to settle in as you enter into Phase One of the Hero’s Journey, passing by a painting of a man covering his own eyes with an illuminated chain hanging just beyond him. A light beckons further ahead at the end of a long dark tunnel, revealing upon approach a moving mandala made up of men—twisting, turning, contorting into the most exquisite shapes, at once tortuously pained and breathtakingly beautiful. Much like man itself. Mesmerizing, meditative and utterly hypnotic, you could easily stay here all day. But a Hero’s Journey can never stop at the very beginning and there is so much more to see. So onwards you go…

And here we take a pause. As with so many of these immersive art experiences, our honest recommendation is to go in knowing as little as possible so you can allow it all to be a true discovery in the moment. The more unprepared you are, the better. The only things you really need to know are the how-to facts. The exhibit runs Tues-Sun mornings into evenings through the end of May (exact times vary by day). Tickets are around $20 after processing fees and should be purchased in advance. It’s best to get there on the earlier side when there are less people so you can have more of the place to yourself. Neighborhood parking is not great but valet is available for $15. All pertinent info is available HERE.

If you don’t mind visual spoilers, you can scroll through the photos here. But just trust us and go immerse yourself in the full experience. Take time with each stop along the way, especially with the video installations. They have an unexpected way of working on you that require your patience and focused attention. Sit still and soak them in longer than you normally would and notice what begins to open up in you. At the end of the road, who knows? You might just find your own transformation…

If you are interested in joining us for our organized Sirens & Scoundrels field trip to The 14th Factory this month, be sure to email us at: We’ll enjoy an afternoon of soaking up art followed by a delicious meal in DTLA!

 Contributing Photography by Christina Huntington // Video by Katie HilliardChristina Huntington  

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Wildflower Hunt ~ California Superbloom

Words by Christina Huntington  // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photograph by: Adam Grimes

If you live in California, you have no doubt been inundated all spring with photos of your friends and every Instagram model under the sun frolicking in fields of orange poppies alongside the word “Superbloom!” with varying degrees of exclamation points. (PRO DECODER TIP: three “!!!” generally means a 10/10 experience.) While the neon blooms of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve are certainly reminiscent of Dorothy’s intoxicating fields on her way to the merry old land of Oz, we honestly would not recommend this particular destination if you’re looking to get up close and personal with some California blossoms. Officially overrun with way too many visitors who were clearly never taught to “leave no trace”, you have a pretty fat chance of being able to peacefully commune with the beauty of nature at this ever-more-popular spot. But the good news is that due to our record rainfall this past winter, ALL of California is experiencing a Superbloom right now. Just walk outside your front door and you can witness the evidence all around you. But if you are itching for a little wildflower hunting adventure beyond the immediate homefront, we’ve got you covered. Here are our recommendations for experiencing the California Superbloom in all its magnificent floral glory!


Located deep in the heart of the California desert just west of The Salton Sea, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a goldmine for the discerning bloom seeker. Definitely not your typical landscape (although flower fields do dot sections of the arid mountainous state park), Anza-Borrego is really all about prickly, fuzzy, spindly desert plants abloom. Walking the desert terrain with the giant ocotillos towering overhead, their wiry arms and bright red blossoms shooting out in every direction, you can’t help but feel that you are somehow simultaneously underwater—as if you just went for a deep-sea dive and find yourself now on the bottom of the ocean floor still drenched in desert sunshine. If Dr. Seuss wrote a book about plants, it would take place here in Anza-Borrego. Short and spiky, tall and twisty, furry and bloomy…the cacti and desert plants become characters all their own that you could swear almost speak to you. I may or may not have had an actual out-loud conversation with a chubby stubby cactus who reminded me of R2-D2. We are not able to confirm these events, but it MAY have happened. If you would like to find some floral desert friends of your very own, they are all waiting to be discovered at Anza-Borrego.


Continuing on the desert wildflower hunt, Joshua Tree National Park is also experiencing the gorgeous side-effects of the superbloom. Although here, the “superness” is far subtler. You have to keep your eyes peeled as you travel through the park since this bloom will not hit you over the head with obvious huge swaths of bushy flowers. But wildflowers are indeed everywhere. Look down at your feet, look closely, and suddenly you realize there are teeny gorgeous wildflowers of every color and variety spread across the desert floor like an old English fairy garden. Alice could have easily wandered through these whimsical tiny beauties during her adventures in Wonderland. Delicate purple, violet, pink, cream and yellow flowers dance and bob about in the wind, forcing you to become super present as you zero in on each new find…a true treasure hunt where every new discovery brings a little more joy and wonder to the desert flower seeker. With the cacti here adorned in bright red and yellow blooms like gorgeous Spanish dancers and the Joshua trees themselves growing in thick forest formations, there is even more beauty to behold here if you are willing to get beyond the obvious and allow each new step to be its own magnificent discovery.


Both the Yucca and Coachella Valleys are bursting with wildflowers at every turn right now. You don’t even have to travel to an official park to see them. Just hop in the car, start exploring and you are bound to run into countless superbloom explosions of your own discovery. We found tons of beavertail cactus plants busting into bright fuchsia blooms all along 29 Palms Highway in all directions. Just off Highway 62 headed from Palm Springs towards Yucca, the entire landscape is covered in fields of bright yellow flowers, huge bushes creating neon yellow forests. Set against the backdrop of the snow-capped San Jacinto Mountains to the south and Big Bear to the West, you could easily have made a quick daytrip to the Swiss Alps without leaving California. Simply pull over and hop out wherever strikes your fancy…just be mindful of your step and be sure not to trample any flowers as you set about your expeditions.


To the west of the desert superbloom, Lake Elsinore and Diamond Valley Lake are both experiencing wildflower blooms of the more traditional variety. Be aware that these destinations are popular, so you might want to plan for a weekday excursion if you can swing it. The trail that winds around Diamond Valley Lake is covered in sheets of orange poppies interspersed with giant purple bluebonnets—a truly stunning sight to behold against the dark blue waters. It’s also an easy hike for those with older or younger relatives who might want to join in on some wildflower hunting fun. The hills above Lake Elsinore in Walker Canyon are also currently covered in orange poppies and bright yellow bushy flower fields. BONUS: Walker Canyon is dog-friendly, so bring along your pooch and let them stop and smell the superbloom with you!

While you’re out there hunting flowers and enjoying California’s beautiful spring bounty, take a moment to consider:

What do I want to be planting in my life right now? What areas need a little tending to so they can come more fully alive? What are the things that bring me true joy…and how can I experience more of that in my day-to-day life?

Happy Superblooming!!! love, Sirens & Scoundrels xoxo

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Greek Easter ~ Magiritsa Soup

Words by Christina Huntington  // Original Family Recipe by “Mama Gina” Gina Trikonis // Photography by Sarah Prikryl 

In my house, we grew up celebrating Greek Easter. My mom was a Greek New Yorker who believed in keeping our family traditions alive, even as she found herself raising two native Angeleno children in the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley. We went to Greek school, Greek church, learned traditional Greek songs and Greek dances but, most importantly, we inherited the Greek way of life…a deep passion and love for food, family, friends, nature and Life itself. For Greeks, every day on Earth is a gift to be unwrapped and enjoyed, a reason to celebrate! And there is truly no bigger Greek celebration than the Anastasi!

Known to Americans as “Greek Easter” or “Eastern Orthodox Easter”, many Greeks, Armenians and Russians celebrate the Easter holiday in accordance with a different calendar—which is why it often falls on a completely different weekend than when the Easter Bunny comes to visit, much to the confusion of many of my childhood friends. (For the factually curious, Eastern Orthodox churches still abide by the Julian calendar instead of the western Gregorian calendar.) Greeks traditionally celebrate the Resurrection with a midnight candlelight church ceremony, followed by the Anastasi Dinner—the feast to end all feasts, the party to end all parties. Lamb, red dyed eggs and tsoureki (Greek Easter bread) pour out of the kitchens as children and grandparents alike eat, sing and dance until dawn.

Over the years, we adopted our own Anastasi celebration at home, centered around the Greek Easter traditions while gathering our family together to celebrate the gift of life and each other. We eat tsoureki Greek Easter bread, a sweet and fluffy egg bread that is hand-braided into circular loaves with red dyed eggs baked on top. We make these at home, but you can find them at your local Greek or Armenian market, or just buy a good soft loaf of egg bread in a pinch. We also dye our hard-boiled eggs red to symbolize the gift of the Resurrection—of death and rebirth. The red egg dye can be purchased at any Greek, Armenian or Russian market or deli. We play the traditional game where each person picks an egg and you go around the circle, tapping your egg ends against each other until one person is left with at least one side of their egg uncracked. The winner is blessed with good luck for the year.

The star dish at our dinner table is always my mom’s famous magiritsa, the traditional Greek Easter soup. Magiritsa has a tart-tangy-sweet flavor unlike any other soup you will ever eat… and it is instantly addictive. The flavor comes from the lemon and egg broth (avgolemono) that gets added in at the end, as well as a small amount of organic chicken or beef liver that is incorporated into the main soup. Even people who swear they don’t like liver (me included) love this soup. Every single person who has ever tried this dish at our dinner table has gone back for seconds and asked to take some home. I’m literally smiling just thinking about it. It’s that good. And paired with the subtle sweetness of the tsoureki Greek Easter bread, it is a dream come true that makes your body hum and sing with joy from the inside out.

This Magiritsa recipe is our family recipe brought over by my grandmother from her ancestors in Greece and I am so happy to share it with you now. Serve it with a big chunk of Greek Easter bread or good crusty bread, fresh feta cheese and olives on the side. Greek Easter is a time to celebrate life and renewal, but you don’t have to celebrate the traditional holiday to enjoy this delicious soup. Spring is a time full of promise—with so much new life, new energy, growth and expansion at your fingertips. Gather up your family and friends, set a pretty table and celebrate the joy of being alive on this beautiful Earth together! What an incredible gift it is!


Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 8 people


  • 1 lb. organic ground beef or bison (or lamb if you can find it)
  • ½ lb. organic chicken or beef liver
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onion, finely minced (use both the white & green parts)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely minced & well-packed
  • ½ cup fresh dill, finely minced & well-packed
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely minced & well-packed (optional, but we add it to our recipe)
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely minced
  • ¼ cup white basmati rice
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 6 eggs
  • juice of 2-3 lemons (to taste)
  • 1 tsp light olive oil or butter (to grease the pot)


In a large soup pot, heat 1 tsp olive oil or butter to coat the bottom of the pot on medium heat. Sauté onions until they turn translucent. Add ground meat and stir until it browns. If the meat renders any excess fat, spoon the fat out of the pot and dispose of it.

Cut off any tough tissue or fat from the liver. In a Cuisinart or blender, pulse liver until it liquefies.

Add liquefied liver to the meat and continue to heat until the whole mixture browns. Add minced garlic and stir. Add all minced vegetables and herbs (green onion, parsley, dill, basil & celery) and stir into meat.

Add 10 cups of water. Add 1 dried bay leaf. Let simmer on low heat for 1½ -2 hours on low heat.

Add ¼ cup white basmati rice and stir.

Add ½ cup white vinegar.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes, just until the rice softens. Keep an eye on the water levels and make sure it does not reduce down too much. Add a small amount of water if necessary.

Now it’s time to prepare the avgolemono (lemon and egg broth) to be added into the soup.

In a blender, beat 6 eggs until frothy.

With the blender running on low speed, add the juice of 2-3 lemons (to taste) through a strainer. Keep the blender running and slowly ladle in 2 ladles of broth from the soup pot into the egg mixture in the blender, one ladle at a time until everything is incorporated. It’s important to do this slowly so that the eggs do not curdle or separate. Turn blender off.

Slowly pour the egg mixture from the blender into the soup pot a little bit at a time, stirring gently until everything is incorporated.

Salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

HOT TIP: You can make the soup base in advance, but wait to make the avgolemono until right before serving. After it is all made, the soup is fine to keep in the refrigerator and reheat for leftovers. But when first serving to guests, it is best served with the avgolemono freshly prepared.

Celebrate life this weekend! Ask yourself what new life you want to create!~ How do I want to expand? How do I want to grow? What seeds do I wish to cultivate?

Happy Easter and happy eating!! love, Sirens & Scoundrels xoxo

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© 2017 Sirens and Scoundrels

Desert X ~ Coachella Valley

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Megan MacEachern & Christina Huntington

When was the last time you participated in a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? Aside from playing pirates as kids, the answer is probably “never”. Well lucky for you, your day has finally come! Combining three of our absolute favorite things in life—a treasure hunt, art and the wide-open spaces of the California desert—Desert X is the local adventurer’s dream come true! With some of our leading contemporary artists erecting 15 art installations spread throughout the Coachella Valley, discovered only by using coordinates on a map, “X” literally marks the spot in this limited-run exhibition. Grab a map and your most adventurous friends then keep your eyes peeled as you drive across Palm Desert and Palm Springs discovering each new artistic treasure! You can pick up a map, the official program containing all of the artists’ information and memorabilia from the Desert X Hub at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs. Maps can also be accessed on the Desert X website. With only a few more weeks until the exhibition closes on April 30th, make sure you go out and take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience that is truly not to be missed!

We checked it out during the week, which we highly recommend if you can swing it, as the exhibit experiences higher numbers of visitors on the weekends. Also keep in mind that the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is happening on April 14-16 & April 21-23 this year when you are making your travel plans. We recommend packing your car with ample snacks and water, making sure you have your sun protection gear in tow (hats/sunglasses/sunscreen) and make a couple days of it. It can theoretically all be experienced in a day, but two is better if you want to be able to really take the time to explore. And be sure to bring your real camera…Desert X boasts many stunning images and memories that you’ll want to make last.

Here are the highlights and favorites from our art hunting adventures…

Circle of Land & Sky // Phillip K. Smith III

Located in an open stretch of desert off Frank Sinatra Drive & Portola Avenue, Circle of Land and Sky is an all-natural hallucinatory experience that awakens your inner child-like wonder as it manipulates how we view the world around us. Hundreds of reflective poles each set at a 10 degree angle form a circle in the large expanse of desert, endlessly reflecting land, sand, sky and mountains back onto each other and then flipping the perspective as you weave throughout the circle and the sun moves overhead. It’s a mind game of the most delicious variety as reality itself bends, shifts and alters before your very eyes like magic. This one is worth repeat visits to take in the shifting reflections of daylight’s stark bright blues versus the electric pastels that set the reflectors aflame as the sun sets.


Mirage // Doug Aitken

Probably the most photographed of all the exhibits, Doug Aitken’s Mirage truly is a sight to behold, pushing the concept of the desert mirage to a whole other level. Situated on top of a hill at the end of Racquet Club Drive and overlooking the entire Palm Springs desert, Mirage is a house made entirely of mirrors. Though reminiscent of Phillip K. Smith III’s gorgeous Lucid Stead wood-mirror-LED house erected in Joshua Tree in 2013, Mirage takes the mirror house idea one step further by furnishing the entire home in reflective surfaces both inside and out. The now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t design is purposely meant to make your eyes play tricks on you, making it difficult to distinguish reflection from reality. Visitors are invited to walk through the house and around the property to view the exhibit from all angles and meditate on the nature of perception versus illusion. We recommend timing your visit to catch the sunset, when the house turns into a hazy dream wrapped up in all the gauzy colors of the setting sun. Mirage is the only exhibit that remains open until October 31, 2017. But since it is accessed through a guard gate, it has strict and varying operating hours, so be sure to check the website each day before venturing out into your desert daydream.


More Buried Treasures…”X” Marks the Spot!

In all honesty, most of the fun of this art scavenger hunt is to go in knowing as little as possible and with very few expectations so that each new find is a true discovery that unfolds before your own eyes. So just take our word for it and go exploring, mark the “X’s” off your map one by one and experience the thrill of finding buried treasure right here in our own backyard!


Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum plays host to Rob Pruitt’s Flea Market as part of Desert X. But be sure to take some extra time to check out their Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit running through May 28th for a balanced perspective on women’s contribution to the modern art movement.

“This exhibition presents the work of twelve American women artists active in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1940s and 1950s. As part of a circle of painters known as Abstract Expressionists, they helped forge the first fully American modern art movement. Though women actively participated alongside men in the studios, clubs, and exhibitions, textbook accounts of the movement tell the story through the work of a handful of male artists. In fact, the image of the paint-splattered, heroic male artist has come to characterize the movement as a whole.        

This is the first major museum exhibition to address the contribution of women to Abstract Expressionism. Until recently, their involvement has been underreported and their canvases undervalued. Yet their authentic expressions belong front and center in the accounts of Abstract Expressionism.”


Wiki Up // Joshua Desert Retreats

We combined our Desert X treasure hunt with a desert wildflower hunt (stay tuned for more on that next week), so we decided to hole up in Joshua Tree as our home base between art and wildflower chasing excursions. We always love to stay with our fave desert homestead purveyor, Joshua Desert Retreats. With 13 charming properties to choose from, discovering each new property becomes a treasure hunt of its own. This time we stayed at Wiki Up, a 1970’s vintage bohemian desert dream with all the fixings…a pool, jacuzzi, hammock for stargazing, outdoor firepit and even our own private backyard mo