Thursday, August 2, 2018

Vortices Away! An Overnight Getaway to the Spiritual Smalltown of Ojai, California

Vortices Away!  An Overnight Getaway to the Spiritual Smalltown of Ojai, California
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief, Edible Skinny
 

A few weeks ago, Edible Skinny was lucky enough to do an overnight getaway to the ultimate spiritual smalltown of Ojai, California (pronounced Oh-Hi!).  Situated deep in Ventura Valley just 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, this tiny town is home to 7,500 residents who embrace the Woo-Woo side of life! ;-)
Ojai Valley’s original spiritual gangsters were the Chumash Indians before becoming one of many Spanish land grants along the California coast.  The local tribe named the area “Valley of the Moon” for its surrounding breathtaking mountain valley views.  Later, it became the home base for Indian sage, philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and his followers.

The Ojai space has long been a spiritual refuge for those who believe in its energy and mystic powers.  If you chat it up with any of the locals they’ll tell you of the town’s “magnetic pull” (created from the Topatopa Mountains) or how the area is situated on a vortex of energy that has medicinal healing qualities.

Last year the town was spared during the horrendous Thomas Fire, surrounded on all sides by a ring of fire.  The residents say the vortices saved the town, but the karma of the Ojai housing and feeding the firefighters for free didn’t hurt either!  But whatever the reason the Gods chose to save this little hamlet, Edible Skinny gave gratitude in our ability to embrace all that Ojai had to offer for 24 hours!

From mid-century retro boho hotels to the country’s largest outdoor bookstore to local organic wine tasting flights, read on!  Here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and all your travels involving magnetic pulls from energy vortices! ;-)

The Capri Hotel
The perfect writers retreat!   Our accomodations for the night were at the mid-century modern The Capri Hotel.  With a funky architecture, a hip bohemian design, and a FAB price point, the hotel is the perfect place to work on that screenplay for a couple of days...

With mint green Googie rooms and a GREAT pool, this classic 1960s getaway motel is a retro-hip favorite of baby boomers, pet lovers, young urbanites, and witches alike.  Plus, the hotel offers one of the the best views in town overlooking the Topa Topa Mountains. It’s the perfect refuge to craft the next Citizen Kane! ;-)
http://www.hotelojai.com/

Bart’s Books
Books, books, and more books!!!  Bart’s Books the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A.

In 1964 Bart’s Books was little more than a sparkle in the eye of Richard Bartinsdale whose collection of books had gotten so overwhelming that he constructed a series of bookcases along the sidewalk so that passersby could peruse the titles.  In lieu of a cash register, “Bart” left coffee cans atop the bookcase shelves.  People would then select a title or two and leave payment in the cans, giving birth to Bart’s world famous tradition of selling books via the honor system.

Bart’s Books has become host to nearly one million books ranging from the thirty-five cent specials which line the outside walls and are still for sale on the honor system, to rare, out of print first editions, and art books valued in the thousands of dollars.  While there Kelly was able to grab The Sea by John Banville for half what she was planning to buy it on Amazon.  It seemed the energy vortices were alive in manifestation as two people had recommended the exact book to her in the week leading up to her trip to Ojai!
www.bartsbooksojai.com

Casa Barranca Organic Winery & Tasting Room
Drinking, organically.  There’s nothing more spiritual than a good glass of wine, and Casa Barranca Certified Organic Winery fit the bill!

Casa Barranca building, originally known as The Pratt House, was designed in 1909 by the nationally renowned and revered architects, Greene & Greene, and is a National Historic Landmark. Purchased in 1994 by Bill Moses, and restored over the ensuing four years to its current grandeur, the Pratt House is now more commonly known in the wine world as Casa Barranca.

Casa Barranca is the first certified organic winery in the Santa Barbara region.  With a tip of the hat to the Indian concept of Seven Generations, all the grapes used in winemaking are farmed without the use of pesticides or herbicides.  All the water used on the estate is drawn from an artesian spring and their power is solar. 

While there we enjoyed their sumptuous summer tasting flight ($15 per person, but waived with a 2 bottle purchase).  Our favorite was their 2016 Bungalow Red a Rhone blend consisting of Syrah and Grenache from two vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley.  The taste was bright with notes of crushed raspberry, cherry aromas, and white pepper.   Cheers to living the pesticide free life!
https://www.casabarranca.com/

The Wallace Neff Heritage Bar at Ojai Valley Inn
We finished our night with nibbles and drinks at The Wallace Neff Heritage Bar at the Ojai Valley Inn.  This luxurious five-diamond, award-winning resort features hotel accomodations, an award winning on-site spa, tennis courts, four pools, multiple dining venues, and a historic championship golf course.

The newly restored Wallace Neff Heritage Bar bonds the history of Ojai, California with a renewed spirit in a timeless setting.  Wallace Neff was an architect based in Southern California and was largely responsible for developing the region's distinct architectural style known as "California" style. 


With noshes from the award winning Olivella we knew were in good hands.  The space’s food philosophy is to embrace the seasonal whims of the region, focusing on the bounty of year-round produce provided by the California Central Coast.  While there we dined of some Spicy Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with local avocadio, micro cilantro, scallion, and crispy papadum, Crispy Calamari with spicy tomato sauce, and FAB truffle fries.  TrĂ©s Yummm (with 3 Ms!)!
https://www.ojaivalleyinn.com

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Thursday, July 26, 2018

From to Cash to Caffeine - Converted Banks Make the Perfect Coffee Shops Across the Country!


From to Cash to Caffeine - Converted Banks Make the Perfect Coffee Shops Across the Country!
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief, Edible Skinny

Edible Skinny has been traveling across the country (by our count we’ve been to 8 states so far...) and we’ve noticed an interesting pattern: converting older bank buildings to coffee shops.  From cash to caffeine, seems to be quite the trend!

With that in mind we thought we would note a few of these from money to mocha spaces!  Here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and your moments ALWAYS including mountains of cash AND caffeine! ;-)

Beale Street Brews in Kingman, AZ
In 2016 Beale St. Brews moved into a long forgotten and vacant bank built in 1965.  
Since then, Beale Street Brews has become a Kingman downtown icon for coffee connoisseurs, hipsters, business professionals, travelers and everyone looking for that small, home town feeling.  With art deco/ flair, the space cleverly blends post modern and industrial styles to create a comfortable spot that welcomes.  The menu is 1970s style cork board and marker drawn drink items.  The space offers free WI-FI, but make sure to come with your electronics fully charged and a good book because back in the day when this brick, steel enforced bank was built there were no computers or cell phones so the limited power was re-routed to accommodate modern machinery and most the outlets have been abandoned.  Try their Shot In The Dark, coffee with a shot of espresso housed inside. 

The Artistic Bean in Fort Smith, AR
Established in 2016, Artistic Bean in an organic coffee shop with an in house roastery.  The Artistic Bean takes green coffee beans from Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala to a higher level with on site roasting and an early 1900s-style Italian espresso machine from Victoria Arduino.  The massive railroad style space includes gobs of local artist’s work and a bookcase open for taking once you donate a $1 to their local library.  All of their lattes come with a double-shot of espresso, with a keen interest on showcasing the rich flavors and aromas of their special blend, which is two-thirds Sumatran coffee.  Try their Mountain Man Mocha and their Coconut Cream Pie Lattes.

Crop Bar and Bistro in Cleveland, OH
One of Ohio’s hottest restaurant (named one Cleveland’s best by Thrillist), Crop is housed in what was a massive Beaux Arts 1925 bank, complete with marble columns, huge arches, and 17,000 ft. of floor space.  The open dining room has been beautifully restored to its original glory.  The ornate coffered ceiling soars 35-feet, a wall of tall, arched windows bestow angelic light on the space, and a mural depicting an ancient market harkens back to its trading days.   Grab a coffee during their Sunday $39 buffet, featuring lobster omelettes, KIng Crab legs, and brisket.

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Pool Party Summer Product Review: PART TWO - Come In The Water’s Fine!




 The Pool Party Summer Product Review: PART TWO - Come In The Water’s Fine!
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief, Edible Skinny

There’s something about being next to a swimming pool with a cold drink or joint in hand that makes everything feel right in the world.  Being Poolside is an artform.  The art of being absolute cool, with not a care in the world.   

From the earliest depiction of pool life (which date back to The Great Bath in modern day Pakistan estimated to have been built in the 3rd Millennium B.C.) to our modern day depictions in movies (Pretty much every Esther Williams movie, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, The Garden State, and Sexy Beast) and advertisements (sexy model in a bikini plus product = hip, trendy brand).   

So as we enter the height of summer here’s a few suggestions to make your poolside adventure worthy of a Million Dollar Mermaid. 

HONEYWELLS EVAPORATIVE COOLER  ($397.29)
This product is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!  In case you don’t know (and we didn’t till this article), an evaporative cooler (aka a swamp cooler, desert cooler, and wet air cooler) is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water.  An evaporative cooler differs from a typical air conditioning system (which uses absorption refrigeration cycles) by utilizing the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor (aka evaporation).  If we lost you on that technical jargon, the bottom line is Honeywells Evaporative Cooler can cool air using on 220 Watts of electricity, which is much less energy than an air conditioner (READ the same amount of cool for A LOT LESS money).  Honeywells Evaporative Cooler can drop the temperature in your house or pool, since you can use it both indoors and outdoors, by 20 DEGREES.  Plus in extremely dry climates (like Los Angeles and Las Vegas), evaporative cooling of air has the added benefit of conditioning the air with more moisture for the comfort of building occupants.  And with a 15.8 gallon water tank capacity, you can fill the cooler up before bedtime for cool moist air throughout the night.  So stay cool morning, noon, and night!!!

BOTANICAL RUSH ($25-$79)
Keep your skin hydrated right!  As we inch closer to full on federal cannabis legalization CBD has become the hottest thing in the beauty world!  Botanical Rush is one of the first skin lines to offer a beauty line based on non-psychoactive, cannabinoid-rich full-spectrum hemp extract.  “CBD, which is loaded with antioxidants, helps nourish the skin while providing super free-radical defense and helping to reduce inflammation," noted founder Myra Michelle.  Our favorites include: Midnight Beauty, an anti-aging cream infused with hibiscus, green tea, helichrysum and 50mg organic cannabinoid rich compounds and terpenes; Beautiful Eye Cream, infused with 25 mg of organic cannabinoid-rich compounds; and Crow Be Gone Serum,a potent eye treatment delivering proven peptides, stem cells, and F extracts to smooth fine lines and crow’s feet.  

CAMERONS PIZZA GRILLING PAN ($14.99)
This is for the Grill Master (or Mistress) of your house! Camerons Pizza Grilling Pan has a perforated cooking surface to ensure even cooking and works great with pizza, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables.  You can even cook deep dish pizza (hence the name Pizza Grilling Pan…!).  100% non-stick grilling surface make sure you food doesn’t stick and extra-high side walls prevents food from falling off.  Once you're finished, the wooden handle folds in for compact, easy storage.  The pan is dishwasher safe, so clean up is easy peasy nice and breezy! 

MATRIX DECOR SCREEN ($259.79)
Decorate your poolside in style!  Matrix Decor Screens versatile screens are the perfect addition to your boring backyard concrete walls.  The versatility and style of these screens allows for installation both indoors and outdoors, in formal and informal settings.  With playful designs like Jungle (arresting leaf design), Sahara (inspired by North African patterning), and Rainforest (dense foliage pattern) it’s a simple way to make a big difference around your pool.  Made from 100% recycled plastic, these large scale screens are suited from all climatic conditions and will never rot, rust, splinter, or leach out their color.  So flare it up with Matrix!

JANE HUDSON JENNINGS SWING DRESS ($98.00)
For the last few weeks we’ve been living in this dress!   From the stadium to the street, Jane Hudson creates clothing that embody a lifestyle filled with adventures and spirit.  J/H’s elevated take on a swing dress, is the textbook example of perfect throw on dress for a Dodgers game attending, errand running, or grilling veggies by the pool.  The Jennings Swing Dress is designed with a viscose-spandex blend and deep pockets, this dress is as versatile as it gets! So swing into high gear with this swing dress!

PARA’KITO MOSQUITO REPELLENT ($13.00)
Buggers begone!  Make it harder for mosquitoes to find you with PARA’KITO a natural mosquito protection that utilizes natural essential oils to help mask the scent of your breath and body.  Housed in a comfortable, refillable, waterproof wristband PARA’KITO utilizes an innovative diffusion technology that releases essential oils (citronella, rosemary, geranium, mint, and clove) for all-day protection in any climate.  Easy-to-use band features an adjustable fastener that lets you wear it comfortably on your wrist or ankle.  Proprietary formula is free of DEET, GMOs, gluten, paraben, phthalates and animal testing.  So say goodbye to bugs bugging you!

I'D RATHER GO COMMANDO HEMP BASED SOAP  ($10)
The perfect solution to clean up all your Bumps and Grimes!  A co-creation between the vintage variety show Pin-Ups on Tour and the CBD based company This Stuff Is Good For You, this line of hemp soaps help support PUOT’s FREE SHOWS inside VA Hospitals and Veterans Homes across the country.   This FAB soap is infused with fresh rosemary, lemon, thyme, and coriander.  So lather up and just wait for those SAILOR BOY stares! ;-)

MATADOR NANODRY TOWEL ($34.99)
Jump out of the pool and into the best towel ever!   Matador’s NanoDry Towel is ultralight, super absorbent and quick drying, which makes it perfect for the 3 second towel dry.  At this point we all know about microfiber travel towels, but what about nanofiber?  Nanofiber is significantly lighter in weight than microfiber AND absorbs 2.3 times its own weight in water.  Plus the NanoDry Towel is much larger than most microfiber towels (many of them couldn’t even cover our nether regions).  Contrast this with the NanoDry Towel that is almost the size of a standard shower towel.  The NanoDry Towel comes with a silicone case with carabiner for the ultimate in portability; clip to or toss it into any bag and hit the pool, trail, or gym.  Oh, and it’s machine washable.  Drop the mic… towel.

5.11 Aerial Shirt ($49.99)
This is the perfect poolside shirt for that man in your life.  5.11’s Short Sleeve Aerial Shirt is designed to keep even the hottest guy cool and alert.  The Aerial Shirt is super duper light (seriously, it’s like wearing air), highly breathable, and comprised of moisture wicking fabric allowing for easy ventilation and superior airflow.  Plus it has snaps, which allows your man to indulge in that hidden dream of being a male stripper at a moment’s notice… at least it does with my boyfriend every time he wears it! ;-)  

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com








Thursday, June 28, 2018

From Portland to Phoenix, The Thomas Sisters Are Bringing Vintage On Demand Typewritten Poetry Nationwide with The Zelda Fitzgeralds

From Portland to Phoenix, The Thomas Sisters Are Bringing Vintage On Demand Typewritten Poetry Nationwide with The Zelda Fitzgeralds
By Matt Bourquardez, Edible Skinny

“She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that’s one of the reasons why they did.”
--Zelda Fitzgerald

Zelda Fitzgerald was an American socialite, novelist, painter, and wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald; she was noted for her beauty and high spirits, and was dubbed by her husband as "the first American Flapper.  She had one published novel (Save Me The Waltz), and many more of her writings found their way into F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels (she once wrote in the New York Tribune of her husband that he “seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.”).  So it it would seem only fitting that a vintage inspired On Demand Typewriting Poetry brand would chose to honor her through naming themselves The Zelda Fitzgeralds.

“Zelda Fitzgerald was a whirlwind and wonder of a woman.  It is said, F. Scott Fitzgerald used to read her journal and steal snippets of her writing,” notes The Zelda Fitzgeralds Co-Creator Kelly Grace Thomas.  “My sister and I were saddened by how long her talent was hidden from the world.  For this reason, we created The Zelda Fitzgeralds to give Zelda, and really all poets out there, a voice, and a paycheck.  To put their talent in the forefront.   We hope to bring Zelda’s essence and charisma to every client we write for.”
In the last five years typewritten poetry has become quite “The Thing.”  From the release of the typewriter documentary California Typewriter to the emergence of typewriting poetry groups like the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, silent writers the Bumbys, and the in your face-ness Haiku Guys.  Tom Hanks is a collector of typewriters, famed to own over two hundred and fifty typing machines.   And in the midst of this “typewriting poetry revolution,” that the sister team of Kelly Grace Thomas and Kat Thomas created The Zelda Fitzgeralds.

The two gals have creativity in their DNA.  “Kelly’s a nationally ranked poet (though she doesn’t like me to call her that),” boasts The Zelda Fitzgerald Co-Creator (and the elder of the two) Kat Thomas.  “She’s the winner of the 2017 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Best of the Net nominee; that’s pretty impressive!”  Kat’s “Day Job” was specializing in vintage entertainment as Director of Development at Do Right Industries.  “I’ve produced and performed in events for the last six years, in 29 states across the country.  I definitely know how to entertain people!”     
And so, the sisters took the best of both their worlds to create The Zelda Fitzgeralds.  “Kelly and I were looking to go into business together.  We figured let’s take what I know of vintage events and what Kelly knows of the poetry world, to create something magical” notes Kat.  “We bought our first Royal Epoch Portable Manual Typewriters on Amazon (yes you can buy typewriters on Amazon), and the rest is history!”  

“We feel the best poetry is in person,” notes Kelly with a smile.  “Our Zeldas spend a few minutes getting to know each guest’s story: what brought them to the event, what brings them joy, what are their dreams.....”  From that in a fast five minutes, the Zeldas craft a one-of-a-kind original poem written just for them.  Since starting two years ago the Zeldas have been featured at events across the country from Portland to Phoenix, from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.  Clients have included posh weddings, cannabis speakeasies, and more corporate events then The Zelda Fitzgeralds can count.  
To both sisters, being able to give professional poets an outlet to do their craft and get paid was really exciting.  Poetry isn’t a high income, or really any income, career choice.   But with The Zelda Fitzgeralds in the game, poets now have the opportunity to make money at something love.  “I absolutely adore hiring creative people,” notes Kat. “We have some incredibly talented roster of writers: Poet Laureates, Neil Postman Award for Metaphor Winners, and Fellows for the Kenyon Review, just to name drop a few.”

The Zelda Fitzgerald’s overall mission is to give poetry to the masses of people who don’t normally get to experience it.  The Zeldas call them Muggles (the word for the Non-Magical beings from Harry Potter series), people who might not have encountered a poem since fourth grade.   “When our poets find out what these people love, and then write an individual poem for them in under ten minutes, the guests are floored.” 

We recently had our poets at a private event at The Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix.  The mansion is a landmark building constructed in 1931 by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.  “There were over a thousand guests at this Great Gatsby themed event, with tons of entertainment to delight them.  And we closed the party down,” notes Kat.  

These poems leave a lasting impression with the Zeldas guests.  They are taken home and hung on refrigerators doors and cork boards for days, months, even years to come.  A tidbit of information that has been fully recognized by the Zeldas’ corporate clients looking to promote their logo with some branded typewriting paper.  “Poetry is a window to the soul, and when we open that window, people allow themselves to embrace their emotional vulnerability,” states Kelly.  “I’ve seen people cry, I’ve seen people laugh.  Almost everyone ends up hugging our poets.”  

“We have always been fascinated by the way Zelda Fitzgerald drank in every ounce of life,” explains Kelly.  “She carried so many storms and celebrations inside her.”  And so dressed in Derby Hats, beaded dresses, and strings of pearls, The Zeldas Fitzgeralds bestow poems one click, clack, and ding at a time.  We think Miss Fitzgerald would celebrate by downing a glass champagne, smashing the glass, and dancing the Charleston in delight! 

Matt Bourquardez is a Writer for Edible Skinny. He has traveled the globe and rarely sees his house.
















Thursday, June 21, 2018

Surf’s Up Summer Product Review: PART ONE - Let’s Hit the Beach!


Surf’s Up Summer Product Review: PART ONE - Let’s Hit the Beach! 
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief,  Edible Skinny

“Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in you veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in.”
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

June 21st is Officially... THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER.

The First Day of beach trips full of lifeguards, longboards, and life preservers.
The First Day of late nights sipping wine by the the pool and dancing till sunrise.  
The First Day of days that go on forever and ever!

So in honor of THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER we present Surf’s Up - Let’s Hit the Beach, our first of two Summer Product Reviews (Part Two focuses on Poolside Adventures!)  So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and raising glass to lip and titling summer in! ;-)

Pinkly Perfect Avalon Sweatshirt ($48.00)
We’re a sucker for anything from our home state of New Jersey (Jersey Strong Baby!!!), and Pinkly Perfect’s Avalon Flamingo Sweatshirt (named for the seaside town of Avalon, NJ) fits like the piece of salt water taffy! Pinkly Perfect is a brand dedicated to living the beachlife, from their bags, to tanks, to sweatshirts, to accessories everything focuses on the toes in the sand lifestyle. The grey triblend wide neck Avalon sweatshirt is donned with a pair of pink flamingos and is perfect for throwing over you bikini when the ocean breezes pick up in the afternoon! 

Initials Inc - Bottom’s Up Lobster Tote Bag ($48.00)
For anyone who’s into LOBSTER LOVE (and there’s plenty of use that LOVE these mollusks!), the Bottom’s Up is “shore” to become your favorite beach tote!  This microfiber “Open Tote” features six open exterior pockets (as roomy as skyscraper), a top zipper closure, 14” handle drop, and an innovative reinforced mesh bottom that helps to leave the sand on the beach!  SCORE!!!  And because you’re grabbing the tote from Initials Inc, personalization is FREE!  Everyone clap those claws in applause!!!
https://initials-inc.com/

The Handloom - Hare Turkish Towel ($39.00)
We’ve tried A LOT of towels in anticipation of summer, but this was our favorite!  Made of 100% Turkish Cotton, the Hare Towel is a lightweight, ultra-absorbent towel.  Full of versatility, the Hare Turkish Towel is part beach towel, part chic sarong.  Hand-loomed in Turkey, the intricate design recalls exotic nights in Istanbul.   

nICE Coolers Tumbler with Straw ($9.99)
In the summer (and in the winter according to Jimmy Buffet) we need Boat Drinks, and we especially need COLD Boat Drinks.  Enter nICE Coolers Tumbler and with Metal Straws.  With a slogan of “official sponsor of having a good time,” they know what’s up! ;-)  Their Double Walled, Stainless Steel, Durable and Vacuum Sealed Tumblers allow you to keep drinks cool in style while enjoying time on the boat or the sand.  And we’re in LOVE with their metal straws, reusable they lessen our carbon footprint while allowing our Boat Drinks to stay as cool as possible before they hit our lips.  With the Tumbler by our side, we’re down to fly to “Saint Somewhere,” to quote JB! 

Vyve Capri Splashpants ($64.00)
Part swimwear, part yoga pants Vyve Splashpants, work in water and on land (or even air as they look perfect for skydiving too...).  These Splashpants offer fun and versatility to every activewear wardrobe as Splashpants work both in the water and on land!  They’re the perfect option if you’re not sure if you’ll get wet or not.  Vyve Splashpant works for water aerobics, swim workouts, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, a visit to the water park or pool (as they hold up great in chlorinated water).  Plus, you can wear them commando or over your favorite swimsuit. 

myCharge Adventure Max ($48.00)
The plain and simple is we do EVERYTHING on our phones, so you ALWAYS need to make sure that it’s full of juice. myCharge Adventure Max allows you that luxury while allowing you the ability to embrace your rugged (weekend warrior) lifestyle.  Complete with a carabiner clip, this powerup is the ultimate solution to charging your devices for up to SIX times (for phones, tablets, and other USB charging devices).  And with a rigged rubberized finish it’s splash resistant, drop resistant, and dirt proof.  Just don’t throw it in the pool!
TruSelf Organics - Detoxifying Mask ($19.00)
For your inner Summer Solstice Goddess: a 100% organic, vegan, and cruelty free Detoxifying Mask from TruSelf. Listed on PETA’s directory, this mask pulls out dirt and toxins from deep within your skin.  Prolonged use will minimize the appearance of pore and wrinkles, reduce scars and discoloration, and boosts effectiveness of other skincare products.  Since it comes in powder form it’s got a great shelf life.  To activate you just dilute with warm water and “paint” on your face with their bamboo brush. So bust out your crystals, down some Braggs Vinegar, and get to masking your suntanned summer face!

Hari Mari Lakes Tan & Pink Flip Flops ($75.00)
These are the perfect nude flippers (you know the ones, the ones that go with EVERYTHING!!!). Hari Mari’s clean aesthetic, innovative design, and “ahhh”-inducing feel are driven by a steadfast dedication to simplicity.  Plus they’re sooooooo COMFY!!!  Made with Full Grain Leather their Lakes Flippers pair perfectly with an itsy bitsy bikini or a $300 sundress.  Plus, beyond making a premium flip flop, Hari Mari is a proud committed partner in supporting kids battling pediatric cancer, donating 1% of sales on every flip flop purchased to help pay for hospital costs and medicine for children receiving treatment.  They call it "Flops Fighting Cancer"; we call it AWESOMENESS!!!

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com







Thursday, June 14, 2018

Vista Vegas Views and Craft Cocktails at 16 - A Handcrafted Experience at The M Resort Spa Casino

Vista Vegas Views and Craft Cocktails at 16 - A Handcrafted Experience at The M Resort Spa Casino
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief,  Edible Skinny

A few weeks ago, Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend an opening night celebration for the new restaurant 16 - A Handcrafted Experience.  Perched on the 16th floor of The M Resort SpaCasino, this bar and restaurant’s intimate space offers stunning, floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio. The result: vista views of the Las Vegas skyline paired with a intricate menu of handcrafted cocktails and interactive shared plates.
 
We started out the evening with a round of mid-century modern cocktails made from scratch with fresh juices and herbal-infused elements.  My perfect Prohibition starter drink was their Thyme Drop made of Absolut Citron, Limoncello, Amaretto Disaronno, Fresh Sweet & Sour and sprigs of Thyme.  My dining companion, Matt, opted for The 16, the ultimate handcrafted experience, a libation combining a variety of 16 different flavors to create a not-to-be-missed signature cocktail.


Mies van der Rohe stated, “God in the details,” a truth you can see in the smaller elements of 16.  From the etched Coupe glasses that the Thyme Drop were served in to the Moscow Mule in an intricately detailed copper cup this is where 16 shines. (Sidenote: many barsdon’t even carry copper Mule cups anymore because of the highthievery rate… and with coolness of these cups I feel that rate might double…)


Along with a choice of signature, classic, and mid-century cocktails, 16’s guests have the  opportunity to sample a variety of fine wines and liquors via The M Resort's popular "Wine ATM."  Those who want to try a bit of everything can choose one, three, or five-ounce pours from a rotating selection of 40 options available nightly.


After sampling some vino selections it was onto the food!  We began with some Brazilian Bread, my first time trying such.  This gluten free cheesy bread was donned with sea salt, making it the perfect palate satisfier till we got to the the meatier dishes.  Our inner carnivore was embraced with their Grilled Wagyu Tableside with a hot lava stone mini grill, tongs, grilling salt and pepper and side dishes of peppers and mushrooms.  Many of 16’s food experiences are interactive activations, thus making them the ultimate shareable plate, perfect for date night or an evening out with friends!


The M Resort Spa Casino is a Forbes Four-Star resort located on more than 90 acres on the southeast corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard.  This shelter for Vegas Locals and those not interested in the craziness of the Strip, it is known as an Emerald Oasis! Situated higher in elevation than other resort-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, The M Resort provides optimal views of the world-famous Las Vegas skyline from its guest rooms, suites, conference center, and restaurants.  The resort offers 390 guest rooms and suites, over 92,000 square feet of gaming, seven restaurants, multiple bars, the Forbes Four-Star Spa Mio, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a 100,000 square foot events piazza.


But more of the food and drink because as one of my dining companions stated: “we’re getting classy as Frack!” (with a BattleStar Galactica reference subbed in...).  For our next round of giggle water, I opted for The Paper Plane, a drink as stiff as a Raymond Chandler novel, composed of Bulletin Bourbon, Aperol, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Amaro Nonino.  Matt went Jimmy Buffet tropical shirt fun with the Desert Sunset composed of Cruzan Light rum, fresh sweet and sour, Cartron Grenade Pomegranate Liqueur. It was like a Bob Ross painting in a glass (which is totally a compliment!).


Opting for Chef’s Choice, bestowed upon us next was the Tuna Sashimi on a block of ice with a kaleidoscope wheel of Bluefin, Bigeye, and Yellowtail.  This was complemented by yet more seafood of the classic mixed Fry Basket variety. Crispy calamari with capers (those little buggers make this dish!), popcorn shrimp, fresh mozzarella, served with spicy sun dried tomato aioli.  It made us feel like New England was right around the corner. And of course we had to try our server’s favorite dish: the Braised “Smokin” Wagyu Short Rib. Tender, smokey, and donned with edible flowers this dish was Mos Def everyone’s favorite at the table!


There was consistently a playful element to 16’s food presentation!  For dessert the Bananas Foster style dish was reinvented as Banana-Chocolate Twigs aka sweet banana flavored egg rolls (once again, totally a compliment!).  And the classic Lava Cake was transformed into an upside chocolate cake that was crowned onto a fishbowl filled with ice cream; once lanced gravity drizzled the chocolate sauce onto the creamy vanilla goodness housed below!


So if you’re looking for that perfect late night tale to tell with stunning views and drinks that would be fit to sip after you’ve discovered the Maltese Falcon, look no further than 16 - A Handcrafted Experience at The M Resort Spa Casino.
Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com


Friday, June 8, 2018

The OG Man In Our Life - A Father's Day Product Review


The OG Man In Our Life - A Father's Day Product Review
By Kat Thomas
 
Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, storyteller, singers of song.”
--Pam Brown

Edible Skinny would like to take this moment to thank Dads (yeah, all Dads) for all they do!
From being our rock to teaching us to rock it out!

From teaching us the rules to teaching us the importance of breaking them.  

We never say it enough, but we are forever grateful for our forever lessons from learning to tie our shoes to the art of negotiating.

And in honor of the original King of the Castle, here are some Father’s Day suggestions for the OG man in our life!


For the Artsy On-The-Go Dad - Capture (V3) Camera Clip ($69.95)
This simple hack is Auh-Mazing for your Canon Rebel toting Dad!  The all-new Capture is the most secure, convenient, accessible way to carry your camera.  Unlike a standard camera strap, Capture keeps your camera rigidly stable while hiking, biking, or moving around the studio.  Unlike a clunky camera bag, Capture keeps your camera instantly accessible with the click of a button. Includes 2 components: a metal clip that clamps to any backpack strap, belt, or bag, and an Arca tripod-compatible plate that screws into the bottom of your camera.  Your camera locks into the clip, where it is held securely. Press the lockable quick-release button to remove. Holds well over 200 lbs., making it strong enough for the heaviest of pro camera/lens combinations. Their Version 3 updates have evolved Capture be way smaller and way lighter, with all-metal build.  So here’s to the perfect gift for the Dad that wants to capture every moment (with Capture of course)!


For the Let’s Go to Yosemite For the Weekend! Dad - Energizer’s PowerKeep Wanderer ($180.00)
For Half Dome Hiker that wants to guarantee the shot when he gets to the top!  Have the ultimate power to charge your phone or tablet, off the grid; Energizer’s PowerKeep Wanderer features lightweight solar panels with a 10,000 mAh power bank which allows consumers to haul their gear and charge their devices.  The durable, flexible, removable lightweight solar panel (not clunky at all) was created by Ascent Solar Technologies. PK10K power bank can be charged from the sun, AC, or any USB charging port. The backpack also features a 2L hydration bladder so you won’t be thirsty when you get to the top.  So whether it’s music, photos, or video, rest assured you’re iPhone 10 will have plenty of juice! ;-)


For The Always Looking For the Next Great Spotify Playlist Dad - Decibulz’s Wireless Headphones ($64.99)
Decibulz’s Bluetooth Wireless earphones were created so you can take your music with you no matter what you’re doing!  Whether it’s running, working out, or relaxing at Urth Caffe, Decibullz allows you to listen to what you love while doing what you love.  After sampling them for a few days, we couldn’t believe it we ever listened to music with corded headphones…. Decibulz’s earphones can be “thermofitted” to the unique shape of your ea.  Similar to moulding a mouth guard you put the earplugs in hot water for 5 minutes, take them out, wait 30 seconds, and then mold the warm and pliable plastic to the exact shape of your ear.  The result? Extreme noise isolating earphones that fit comfortably and won’t ever fall out, whether you’re running or doing backflips. These Bluetooth Wireless earphones are sweat and water resistant.  And if you mess up the molding process, just put the earbuds back in hot water and start over. So help Dad cut those cords in style with Decibulz.


For For the Dad Carrying Some Serious Gear - 5.11 Mission Ready™ 2.0 ($249.99)
Dad’s LOVE gear, they just do!  And they need something to drag all their gear around in… ENTER 5.11’s massive Mission Ready™ 2.0.  The Mission Ready rolling duffle provides reliable, multifunctional storage and transport options designed to excel in a wide range of operational and recreational settings (TOTALLY sounds like something that would come from a company that supports the public safety and first responder community, right?  Well guess what THEY DO!). This bag can fit video camera gear, baseball catcher’s gear, AND a teenage child and everything they require for an overnight. Mission Ready 2.0 has a wealth of travel-friendly features and customizable storage options that keep whatever you chose to house inside safe, organized, and secure.  Plus it’s moisture and weather resistant for those two months of rain we get in LA! ;-)


For the Mixologist Dad - Ketel One Botanicals ($24.99 per 750mL Bottle)
For the Dad always questing for the next cocktail concoction ingredient, enter Ketel One Botanical!  Distilled with real botanicals, infused with natural fruit and botanical essences, and crafted with the care and passion of 11th generation family distillers Carl Nolet Jr. and Bob Nolet.  Lower alcohol-by-volume (ABV) cocktails are becoming the staples at the world’s leading mixology bars, and with 30% ABV these spirits are an exceptionally smooth, fresh-tasting drink with no carbs, no artificial sugars no artificial sweeteners, and only 73 calories (40% fewer calories than a glass of white wine).  Plus, it’s made with 100% non-GMO grain. Available in three varieties in beautifully illustrated botanical-inspired bottles include: Peach & Orange Blossom, for those who enjoy lush, juicy white peaches and bold notes of fragrant orange blossoms; Cucumber & Mint, for those who appreciate crisp cucumbers and light tones of fresh garden mint; and Grapefruit & Rose, for those who seek zest, mouthwatering grapefruit and the refined elegance of rose petals.  So bust out the big ice cubes, splash some tonic, and allow Dad to craft some kickass botanical cocktails.


For the Swirling Whirling Wine Dad - Castello del Poggio Moscato ($13.00 per 750mL Bottle)
Hello, to the Sweet Life!  Americans obsession with Italian wines are not ending anytime soon, so let Dad embrace it with style.  A product of “spensieratezza,” the Italian word expressing lighthearted carefreeness, this below fifteen dollar bottle of wine is mildly (and we mean mildly) sweet with hints of honey, musk, and white peaches on the nose.   With colors of deep cornfields and golden sunset reflections, its taste is light on the palate with low minerality recalling hints of white tuberoses and honey. This is the perfect wine to sip after a surf sesh! Pairs perfectly with savory BBQ, spicy dishes, salads, guilt free desserts, and Santa Monica sunsets! Saluti!


Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hello Netherlands!


 


Hello Netherlands!
By Kat Thomas and Matt Bourquardez,  Edible Skinny

In early Spring Edible Skinny was lucky enough to spend 8 days in The Netherlands. And while on our trek of this Dutch wonderland, we discovered this country far and wide.  We saw it all in Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (aka the Kingdom of the Low Countries) from Amsterdam’s fairy tale canals walks where we were trailed by local cats to the clandestine cannabis coffeeshops to Pancakes, Pancakes, and more Pancakes! (the Dutch LOVE their Pancakes!) to the solitude of the North Sea and its citadel windmills that soldier on against 25 mph winds to the salaciousness of the Red Light District

So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and life always giving you Pancakes, Pancakes, and more Pancakes!


Mercure Hotel Amsterdam City
We LOVE LOVE LOVED this hotel!!! Located on the Amstel river, it was the perfect amount of distance from Amsterdam Centrum with easy access to the Metro and bikes available for rental.  From its complementary Sauna, Steam Room, Ice Bath, and Gym (gotta LOVE Europe’s embracement of the art of relaxation) to the STACH in the Lobby (a chain of corner grocery stores that sell gourmet coffees, pastries, wine, and juices), it was perfect spot for  just arriving Americans. The rooms had plenty of USB plugs (great for Americans who only brought a few converters…) and free WiFI that was strong enough to stream Netflix (for those jetlagged 9 hour difference nights)! The Hotel Lobby bar, festooned with hundreds of metal fish schooling around it, invited us to connected with multiple Americans while sharing some local beers.  


The Bulldog
After a quick post flight nap we hopped onto the Metro via our I amsterdam City Cards (which gives you unlimited access to Amsterdam’s GVB public transport system (which includes all buses, trams and Metros in the city) for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours).  We exited at Amsterdam Centrum and headed over to the Bulldog for some legal cannabis. Amsterdam’s first coffee shop, their legacy started in 1974 in a sex-shop located in the cellar of house number 90. What started as a living room for friends where they secretly smoked joints is now an Amsterdam (and Canadian) institution with 4 Cafes, 5 Coffeeshops, 3 Souvenir Shops, and 3 Hotels worldwide.  Our first night in Amsterdam we got a gram of Sativa and 2 Hot Chocolates with Whip Cream (it costs extra… there’s a reason why cheap dates are known as “Going Dutch”) and our complimentary cookie (making up for the Whip Cream) and relaxed into the chillest vibe in town. Open from 7am to 1pm it’s an experience not to be missed!


Burgerland
Sufficiently stoned we headed over to Burgerland, an all night joint located around the corner.  There we consumed two of Amsterdam’s most prevalent offerings: Burgers and French Fries. While we nooshed on these Dutch staples we learned about Irish Beef (a grass fed beef that’s known to be leaner in cut and always comes in pieces versus a burger patty!).  This bovine delight was topped with one of the city’s favorite souvenirs: Old Amsterdam Cheese. Our French Fry sauce (which naturally we had to pay for...) included the requisite mayonnaise! We had begun our Dutch cullinary adventure!


Amsterdam Noord
The next day we hoped a quick (FREE) ferry ride across the River IJ and Amsterdam's harbour, to Amsterdam Noord (North). Created during the Golden Age of Dutch trade, it later became a substantial industrial district. Today's Noord has grown into the much-revered bastion of Amsterdam's alternative culture, the heart of Amsterdam’s indie art scene, having refurbished many old shipping warehouses to host trendy eateries, exhibition, and performance spaces, artist studios.  Noord’s rebirth was accelerated by Amsterdam’s urgent need for unexplored real estate for Amsterdam's growing population. While there we swung on the swings of the area’s multitude of parks, checked out the I amsterdam Sign (they’re strategically placed throughout town and are fantastic IG spots), and dined at the Super Duper FAB SMAAQT! The restaurant’s cozy interior, decorated with warm woods, bricks, and leathers, complimented the best burger we had in Amsterdam (which is saying a lot!) on a black pepper bun!
               
Amstel Boathouse
The next day we dined at the Amstel Boathouse, located right on the Amstel River.  There we experimented with one of the Dutch’s favorite appetizers: Bitterballen. Bitterballen are crispy deep-fried breaded rounds with a tender, savory filling traditionally made with beef.  Think of it as a deep fried meatball that is more mushy in the middle. Neither Matt or mine favorites, we were still glad we were able to experience a classic Dutch dish!


Albert Heijn
One of my favorite things to do in other countries is go supermarket shopping!  Grocery stores are windows into different cultures. While exploring them you get to see what’s favored in different cuisines (in The Netherlands it’s meat and potatoes… Shocker!) along with differences in packaging!  So we entered Albert Heijn, the largest and oldest Dutch supermarket chain founded in 1887, while there we bought wine for 6 Euros, prosciutto for 5 Euros, and Strawberries for 12 Euros!


I amsterdam City Card
While in Amsterdam we rocked our 72 hour I amsterdam City Card.   The I amsterdam City Card is the most convenient and affordable way to experience Amsterdam as along with the aforementioned public transport pass.  Our card procured entrance to over 50 world class museums around the city including Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Rembrandt House Museum, ARTIS Royal Zoo, and Amsterdam Museum.  The I amsterdam City Card also allowed us various boat cruise options through the charming canals that grace the city; we chose the Lovers Cruise. Along with endless forms of entertainment it also allows for over 60 discounted offers around Amsterdam.  


The Rijksmuseum
One of the museum’s we scoped out with our I amsterdam City Cards was the Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam.  The museum is located in Museum Square (where’s there’s another I amsterdam sign for more selfie taking…).  The Rijksmuseum is the largest art museum The Netherlands and is also frequently the most visited museum in all the land.  The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art at any given time (with more than a million in reserve).  It’s most treasured painting is Rembrandt’s Night Watch (with crowds the equivalent of seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre).


Rent A Bike Amsterdam
Amsterdam has more bicycles than people: an estimated 1 million bikes to 800,000 residents. So it seemed fitting that we would have to explore the city on two wheels!  Our rentals came from Rent A Bike Amsterdam (one of the least expensive places in town with a 24 hour rate of 10 Euros plus deposit). Every single day Amsterdammers collectively travel 1.2 million miles on bike, so as we whizzed past the picknickers and boot campers of parks such as Het Vondelpark we felt right at home!  Just watch out for other two wheelers as bike accidents can be quite nasty! Best to invest in that adorable bike bell (that for Kat it said “I LOVE MY BIKE”).


Foodhallen
It took three years to rehabilitate the old tram depot into a food hall that offers more gourmet food than you can ever consume.  Wood-oven pizza? Check! Poke bowls? Check! Spanish Tapas? Check! There’s even a restaurant/nightclub that has a “pool,” and when we mean pool we mean an empty swimming pool with pillows for that perfect IG shot (they’re everywhere…. EVERYWHERE!!!).


Coster Diamonds’ Factory and Diamond Museum
Another free entry through our I amsterdam City Card, we toured Coster Diamonds’ Factory and Diamond Museum.  Coster Diamonds has played a key role in helping Amsterdam become known as “the City of Diamond “ and the sparkle and shine of this location didn’t disappoint!  Annually Coster Diamonds welcomes some 350,000 visitors who come to marvel at the extensive collection of loose and set diamonds, and admire the Dutch capital's largest collection of stones weighing over 1.00 carat.


Lovers Canal Cruise
Everything is Amsterdam is better when viewed from a boat, and a quick one-hour tour is a great way to acquaint yourself with the city!  Our boat cruise was included in our I amsterdam City Card allowing us to experience the city from yet another vantage point (Centraal Station looks completely different (peaceful)  from the water than when running to make a train to the northernmost point in The Netherlands (chaotic)). Our Lovers Canal Cruise included GPS Audio Guide available on board in over 60 languages to educated ourselves on a bit more Dutch culture.  And with Hop-On/Hop-Off ability and departures happening two to four times per hour, there’s no reason not to get to know the beautiful Dutch capital on a charming canal boat!


De Vier Pilaren
Pancakes for breakfast (or lunch or dinner).  You can't spend a day in Amsterdam without sampling the nation's favorite dish!  For in the Netherlands, pancakes are actually considered a main meal, or in the case of poffertjes (small fluffy versions), a sweet snack.  While in Amsterdam we dined at the carousel like De Vier Pilaren. This mobile restaurant used to travel the funfairs of Holland before settling on the waterfront dock “leidsebosje” and becoming a popular tourist destination….  Dutch pancakes are thinner than the US version, and they’re served either savory or sweet with Stroop (molasses) and powdered sugar. So Pancakes, Pancakes, and more Pancakes!

Ijscuypje

Arguable the best ice cream in Amsterdam. What started as one small shop near the Albert Cuypmarkt has quickly expanded to become one of Amsterdam’s most ubiquitous ice cream shops. IJscuypje makes their ice cream on location from fresh, delicious ingredients.  Stand-out flavors include devious Dutch Chocolate, refreshingly Key West Lime Pie, and signature Champagne Ice Cream made with Moet and Chandon (only in the summer). Along with the cold stuff, Ijscuypje makes some mean French Fries (with t-shirts claiming “Fries Over Guys”).  The potatoes come from a local farmer and they then double cook the fries for the perfect amount of crispyness. Sauces choices (for an additional cost, naturally) included Pimente (spicy mayonnaise with peppers), Truffle (truffle and mayonnaise, no explanation needed), and Oorlog (a combination of homemade satay and mayonnaise).  


The Red Light District
XXX is the logo of Amsterdam (though ironically the reason isn’t dirty in the least…) but with Kat’s burlesque background, we had to explore De Walle aka The Red Light District.  De Wallen is the largest and best known red light district in Amsterdam, consisting of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights.  Window prostitution is the most visible and typical kind of red light district sex work in Amsterdam with the "kamers" are a large tourist attraction.  A great book documenting the life and experiences of an Amsterdam prostitute is David Wienir’s Amsterdam Exposed (reviewed a few weeks ago by Kat).


Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at http://www.thiswayadventures.com

Matt Bourquardez is a Writer for Edible Skinny. He has traveled the globe and rarely sees his house.