Instant Holiday Cheer

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 8.31.00 PMNothing has the ability to instantly influence our mood quite like music.   With a short season this year, there’s not a moment to waste-so pick a playlist that fits your mood and start those sleigh bells ringing.

To decorate the house, trim the tree or pop the bubbly, try a little Christmas Cheer or if you need a little warm and fuzzy downtime, settle in for a cup of cocoa or hand-crafted cocktail with our Christmas Fireside playlist.

For more great playlists throughout the year, follow LiveWell_by SLD on Spotify

Hit List – The Kitchen Decoded

IMG_3916Logan Levant, owner of famed Buttercake Bakery in Los Angeles, has co-authored the new cookbook The Kitchen Decoded that’s at the top of our Hit List!

Cleverly organized around the appliances and gadgets most likely already in your kitchen, the book seeks to demystify these tools (everything from the ice cream scoop to the KitchenAid mixer) and then put to good use in delicious, simple recipes.

IMG_6726From the basics (such as spice rubs and marinades that require only a container with a lid) to the more complex (Arugula Pesto or famed Black Bean Patties that utilize a food processor) there is something to please each palate and skill level.

Logan and co-author Hilary Hattenbach, co-founder of the blog We Heart Mac and Cheese, share a “trick” with each recipe (such as proteins to substitute in the halibut dish or advance preparation techniques) allowing anyone with so much as a spatula to get cooking with confidence.

For a taste, try Logan’s favorite recipe in the book Buttercake Bakery Lemon Bars and you’ll see why this book is on our HIT LIST for everyone from recent graduates to those looking to sharpen their skills. Time flies so get cooking!


Safely Sparkle

It might be cheeky, with it’s rhinestone case, heart shaped nozzle and names like Hot Mama and Golden Girl, but Blingsting packs a powerful punch. Designed to be carried by women, especially those under 30, Blingsting camouflages a canister of traditional pepper spray, and aims to make self-protection accessible yet fashionable.

IMG_4484Shockingly, one in four women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus, and every two minutes in the US someone is sexually assaulted. While carrying a self-defense product isn’t the only precautions one should take, making the decision to carry Blingsting naturally coincides with an increased awareness of surroundings.

For a milder approach or for the younger set, Blingsting recently debuted a heart-shaped glitter personal “ahh!-larm” which clips easily onto a backpack, keychain or dog leash. Pull the pin and you’ll make an instant scene with the 120 decibel alarm.Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 10.13.16 AM

We love that Andi Atteberry, 34,  founded the company because her dad continued to bring home cans of dismal-looking pepper spray for her and her mom to carry. Sparked by her love of the bedazzled, she turned her dad’s concern for her safety into a successful business of supplying “super sparkly safety stuff” to increase awareness and help women and girls protect themselves.  Another great example of female entrepreneurship making the world a better place.

*Special thanks to LiveWell teammate Lindsay for sharing what’s on her keychain! We’re ordering them for ourselves and all the girls in our lives stat!

Quick Tech 411 – BloomThat

Something amazing is blooming in the Bay Area!
 BloomThat is a fresh tech company with its sites on revolutionizing the flower delivery industry-but think of it as the perfect “on-demand” addition to your gift giving arsenal.  If you want to thank a hostess, cheer up a friend or send an “I’m glad we’re friends” bouquet-download the BloomThat app or jump online, place an order and in 90 minutes you will be spreading a little

Their “simply awesome flowers” start at $35 for locally sourced, seasonal, handcrafted bouquets.  The offerings are simple, only six, but all equally attractive (we are huge fans of the repurposed burlap wrap) and free bicycle delivery is included.  There have been some clever limited edition offerings, such as fresh flower crowns for the Outside Lands music festival, donuts and cold brew coffee, and chips and guacamole for National Guacamole Day. (Yes, there is a National Guacamole Day and we sent the Big Dipper to our amiga KK, pronto!)

Simplicity is the theme and also the secret of BloomThat, and other similar companies, like urbanstems in Washington DC or DailyBlooms for our friends in Australia. By streamlining offerings and the ordering process as well as keeping delivery in house, these companies are able to offering lower prices, faster service and remain eco-friendly.  If you aren’t in a delivery area, look on the sites for a place to enter your zip code to register your interest and hopefully you won’t have to wait long.

For delivery in the Bay Area:IMG_4383

Visit the website or download the app

1. Select the blooms (or treat) you want to send

2. Add the message and information for the lucky recipient

3. Choose the delivery time and pay-you will receive a text message when your flowers are en route and when they have been happily received.