Fantastic Art Auction at Lyme Away Fundraiser

Copy of Nicole for flyer

March 19th 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – save the date. Lyme Away: Help Nicole Saari Win the Fight Against Late Stage Lyme Disease

The beautiful art you see throughout this article are just some of the incredible pieces donated by artists for this event. 

Fundraiser Kristine Augustyn Heavenly Bodies $250

LA area residents, we invite you to a free art party/birthday celebration and most importantly of all, fundraiser, at The Neutra Museum Gallery at 2379 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake. There will also be delicious home-made Mexican food, store-bought cake :), cocktails, wine, and beer.

Fundraiser Susan Lizotte Mercury $900

The goal: to help raise funds for young mom and songwriter Nicole Saari’s treatment for Late Stage Lyme Disease — Nicole is the daughter of this ezine’s publisher, Genie Davis.

Fundraiser Robyrn Allatore Inverted Nipple $900 start $150
The event will feature an incredible collection of local artists, along with food, drink, music, silent auction items, and plenty of fun. Neutra curator Dulce Stein’s birthday is the 18th, and Genie’s is the 20th – and in lieu of gifts or lunches, we want YOU to come check out the fun, buy some art or a silent auction item, have a few drinks and dinner! 

Fundraiser Tracey Weiss

We have some absolutely incredible art donated by a wide range of wonderful artists – each of whom will be featured here in upcoming weeks. But of course, if you have art to donate, we would love, love, love to include your work, too.

Fundraiser Bibi Davidson Don't Tell Anyone $450

Please come and enjoy the evening, and if you’re not in LA but want something awesome to hang on your walls, please reach out – online purchases can be made, and careful shipping accomplished.

Fundraiser Aline Mare Darker Matters value $500 start at $150

Donations can also be made at

Fundraiser Diane Cockerwill Stairway to heaven $200 bid $125

In Nicole’s own words: “I have a dangerous combination of tick-borne infections that have become chronic and incredibly difficult to treat – severely weakening my immune system and affecting every part of my body. Without knowing it at the time, a tick bite on a backpacking trip six years ago caused me to become infected with Lyme disease and the co-infections Babesia (a parasite) and Bartonella (a bacteria). For some people, typical presentation does not immediately occur and these illnesses can slowly wreak havoc destroying health over the course of years, as was the case for me. Due to my now compromised immune system, I also have a deeply rooted chronic staph infection called MARCONS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci), a digestive bacterial imbalance called SIBO, multiple types of mold (yes, mold) colonization within my body, Candida enteritis – a chronic fungal infection in my digestive system and other areas (which also tested positive for an unusual resistance to most typical therapies), as well as severe allergies which now require me to carry an Epi-Pen. Although I still look OK, these illnesses have at this point left me disabled in a plethora of ways, as I continue to lose strength and the ability to power through my day as time goes on. I can no longer hike, surf, dance, take long walks, or do many of the things I love best. Even playing my instruments for too long results in painful hand cramps. The scariest part is that it will only continue to get worse if left without prompt and proper treatment.

Fundrasier Dani Dodge Shared Grace 300 bid 75

Chronic Lyme patients can develop fatal cardiac infections, brain damage, increased risk for cancers and more. Symptoms change and spike in severity giving me some good days where though I don’t feel well I can push myself hard to do things and other days where I can’t get out of bed at all.To give you an idea of what this is like, just a few of the symptoms I battle with include: insomnia that prevents me from sleeping more than a few hours without interruption (even with medication), severe bone and joint pain, crippling fatigue, speech problems that come and go, nerve pain, difficultly breathing at times (which has forced me to carry an inhaler), painful rashesand itching (especially in sensitive areas,) memory loss, feeling “foggy” all the time, low white blood cell count, digestive hormonal imbalance, depression, anxiety, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, hypothyroidism, menstrual pain and abnormal cycles, muscle twitches and cramps, inability to heal fully from injury, severe and longer lasting infections from other ordinary illnesses, and more.My health is quickly getting worse and it is imperative that I start treatment as soon as possible. Considering the complexity of the situation, I’m seeing a leading specialist on tick-based infections who will craft a custom treatment plan to tackle everything in the best way possible, step by step. Unfortunately, this condition is not yet recognized by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and as such, we’ve been told that little to none of the treatments are likely to be covered by insurance.

Fundraiser Robert Costantza untitled

While we plan to pursue every resource and assistance program at our disposal, the treatments and medications could cost more than $1,000 a week upfront, and the doctors have told us it will take at least two years to beat this. Due to the difficulty of diagnosing this particular set of illnesses, we’ve exhausted our limited savings just getting to this point, so we are hoping and praying for your support. You truly can help save my life – every donation helps, no matter how small, as does sharing this page with your family, friends, and colleagues.Thank you so much for your time, your love, and all your support and generosity. Any help whatsoever that you can provide is truly a miracle and a blessing to our family!”

Fundraiser Dwora Fried Las Mayas $450 Fundraiser Chuka Susan Chensy Blue Marilyn $400, $150 bid Fundraiser Alana Marcelletti Fundraiser Terry Holzman Sailors Delight $75 value $35 start Fundraiser Samuelle Richardson Fundraiser Frederika Beesemeyer Roader Eaton Canyon July Afternoon $250 Fundraiser Glenn Waggner Bad Directions Value $150, bidding $100 Fundraiser Kate Carvellas What Goes Around $300 open $100


Here Comes the Sunrise – Sunrise Springs

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs Medicine wheel fire night

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs grounds

You get off I-25 and you drive down a country road. You reach tall wooden gates, announce yourself through an intercom, the gates peal back, and there you are – in a private, 70-acre oasis of spring fed pond and water pavilion, home to a spa, yoga, meditation, and experiential programs as unusual as they are glorious.

It’s all just 20 minutes from the art and shopping of downtown Santa Fe, but it is its own oasis, a spa for 25 years before the owners of Ojo Caliente Spa an hour away purchased and repurposed it a year ago.

Renew your body, sure thing – but you’ll also be renewing your soul.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs Medicine wheel fire night

There’s a blissful, peaceful, wild aspect to the property itself, which strives, according to marketing director Wendi Gelfound, to bring the outdoors in. Rooms and casitas are simply gorgeous, austere yet welcoming, a neutral palette the perfect backdrop to a private patio with rock garden, burbling fountains, spring fed ponds, and wild flowers. What a pleasure to stroll the grounds, cross a serene wooden bridge, sit in an Adirondak chair overlooking water, watch butterflies, catch the scent of pinion smoke from the fire burning in the center of the Native American Medicine Wheel that forms the heart and soul of the place.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs outdoor soaking tub

Or, take a soak in the new Ojitos Pavilion with private outdoor pools, take part in yoga, meditation, art classes, and therapeutic massages.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs casita bedroom

The 20 casitas and 32 guest rooms are pristine and peaceful, with a serene almost Scandinavian style that fuses with the Southwestern surrounding with a surprising intimacy.  Our casita included a gas fireplace, a writing nook – would love to have a writing residency here, and wet bar; a beautiful private courtyard made a great spot for stargazing.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs tea

Thoughtful touches such as a book of meditation exercises and organic teas were left for us. You could easily stay in this self-contained space and be content to never leave. But that would be a loss with so many wonderful experiences to enjoy.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs spa

We began our stay with the Earth Keepers’ Hot Stone Massage, a blissful and very therapeutic 80 minute experience. Stones are warm, oiled, and meticulously applied to soothe muscles and relieve tension, placed on chakra points. Not your thing? Other massage options abound as do alternatives such as Reiki, skin care facials, nutrition and sleep consultation, and Ayurvedic therapies.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs Blue Heron dining room

At the resort’s Blue Heron restaurant, the meals are well worth attending. None of the anemic spa fare that frequently plagues “renewing” destinations. Rather, here you’ll find elegant lunches and dinner served in a restored, historic building beside a natural spring-fed pond. The food is every bit as good as that served in top drawer LA restaurants, and there is a surprisingly varied menu that invites lingering.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs Salad

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs Divers Scallops starter Santa Fe Sunrise Springs Chocolate decadence Santa Fe Sunrise Springs fruit

Dinner includes choices of starters, entrees, and desserts, featuring courses such as Pan-Seared Diver Scallops, a red kale Caesar salad, a Poblano relleno made with quinoa, sauteed autumn vegetables, and mild red chile sauce, and grilled salmon with vegetable gallet and lemon butter. For lunch there were choices such as the incredibly fresh Ojo Farm Mixed Green Salad with dried apricots, candied walnuts and blue cheese vinaigrette, the Roasted Vegetable Tamale, or the Vegetable Fajitas. Desserts such as the rich Flour-less Chocolate Decadence with crème anglaise are worth every calorie. The menu changes seasonally.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs puppies

After dining, join the exuberant puppies in the All About Assistance Dogs program. These sweet pups are assistance dogs in training, selected for temperment to be of service. The nationally renowned Assistance Dogs of the West runs the program, working with dogs trained to care for individuals with a particular disability such as Diabetes or PTSD. Supervised playful visits help train the dogs, and are rewarding fun.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs chickens

My favorite animal interaction was with the resort’s Silkie chickens. Inside a large chicken coup, guests hold these soft chickens which actually purr when contented, feed them, learn their habits, and collect eggs. A calming reminder of the serenity in other living beings, and a great way to rest one’s own over-active “monkey brain.”

Another way to calm and renew is with a dance-oriented yoga class, or a restful meditation; both were morning classes and were followed by breakfast served in the sunny Sages building.

Santa Fe Sunrise Springs breakfast buffet

The program that serves as the heart of everything the resort offers, however, is “Finding Your Place on the Medicine Wheel”  both a discussion group and a spiritual therapy. The wheel is divided into east, west, north, and south quadrants which represent different times, spiritual interests, and stages in each guest’s life. The rings of the wheel correspond to the activities guests would like to invite into their lives, the traits, and the understanding guests wish to invite in. Repeatable daily, the beautifully curated experience lasts about 90 minutes.

Resort marketing manager Wendi Gelfound says the property was a former retreat center for 25 years. The owners of Ojo Caliente Minteral Resort took over Sunrise Springs in 2013, and spent years carefully crafting it into a space which is “visually appealing, with a conscious effort to bring the outdoors indoors, and create a beautiful, holistic space.” According to Gelfound, the beds and lamps in the rooms are designed and created by a Taos-based artist, shampoos, soaps and oils in the rooms and spa use locally harvested herbs and plants. A new spa apothecary line just launched, featuring massage oils and other products for guests to take home.

“The idea here is to hit the pause button. A Japanese study recently noted that five minutes in nature can calm you down,” Gelfound relates. “We are passionate about expanding on that, and on showing people things here that they can incorporate into their lives at home.” She adds that the resort has moved successfully from a “clinical health approach to one of inclusive spiritual health. Our experience leaders are licensed counselors, and have helped us design our program and our physical area.”

Along with overnight, weekend, and longer stays, the resort offers a day program that includes spa services as well. But why would you want to limit yourself?

Here, the wide open New Mexico sky is the perfect accompaniment to the wide range of classes, experiences, and pure pleasure this resort and spa offers. We defy you to not return – we certainly plan to do so!



Red O Offers Dining Aahs

Red O interior

Red O interiort

From the moment diners step inside the sleek and glowing Santa Monica outpost of Red O, the welcoming, stylish dining room and the aromas of freshly made tortillas, sizzling prawns, and street corn are all just about irresistible.

The inventive, seafood-centric cuisine pairs well with the modern setting and Santa Monica pier view; the glamorous bar lighting and spacious tables add to the restaurant’s cool yet comfortable vibe. A good spot for a romantic date, yes, but it’s also family friendly, with kid’s food options available.

The restaurant was originally launched by James Beard award winner Rick Bayless. There’s a branch on Melrose Ave. and one in Newport Beach. Today, flavors of Baja and Central Mexico are elegantly prepared along with craft cocktails. Freshness is the key here, with everything made daily at the restaurant, including sauces.

Red O tamales

The guacamole has a smart, tangy bite from the fresh lime juice and serrano chile. The Fresh Corn & Goat Cheese Tamales feature sweet fresh corn masa, fresh Laura Chenel goat cheese, and tomatillo salsa.

Red O Tortilla soup

The salads, often a weak note at Mexican restaurants, are strong here. The Organic Baby Kale Salad is a well balanced mix of grapefruit, grilled jicama, kale, avocado, cucumber,  pepitas, and nicely zingy orange-habanero dressing. My favorite starters were the soups: the creamy butternut squash,  flavor heightened with Mulato chiles, Marcona almonds, and plump golden raisins; and the impressively smokey richness of the tortilla soup, were both standouts.

red o fish Red O chile rellenos

Main courses included halibat and mahi-mahi, both delicately prepared, sustaining the unique flavor of both fish; and a wonderful chile releno stuffed with prawns, lobster, and a creamy cheese sauce. We also enjoyed the hearty Enchiladas Suizas, vegetable enchiladas juicy with tomatillo sauce, frisee, red rice, beans, and seasonal sauteed veggies.

The sides were exceptional: that fragrant Mexican street corn was every bit as good as it smelled when we walked into the restaurant. If there’s one dish on the menu that’s a must-try, it’s that street corn. The texture, the sauce, Cotija cheese, poblano chilies, cilantro – a truly smart, delicious combination of flavors is what makes this deconstructed dish. Hint: you can taste the corn as a topping in a crisp taco, too.

red o street corn Red O street corn in tacos

For kids, it would be hard to beat the handmade Monterrey Jack Cheese Quesadilla, built with a fresh corn tortilla, jack cheese, rice, black beans, and guacamole. Simple, satisfying, and generously portioned for the small fry.

Red One kids quesa

I’ve grown more and more picky about the craft cocktail scene. Often the word “craft” doesn’t mean all that much. I was delighted to try the cocktail program here, with its top flight ingredients and subtle but unique spicing. Note that Red O would also be a terrific spot to simply enjoy some appetizers and margaritas while the sun sets over the Pacific.

Red O Margarita

We tried the Signature Red O Margarita, light and fragrant with the house-made limonada. Also in the glass: Cabo wabo blanco, o3 orange liqueur. Not a margarita fan? Try the Coco-J Ito, a nice variant on a mojito, made with Cruzan coconut rum, fresh mint, fresh lime, simple syrup, and soda water. It’s less sweet and crisper than your average mojito.

Red O dessert

Finally, don’t skip dessert. Passion Fruit Butter Cake is a house specialty, created with grilled strawberries and passion fruit custard; the Just-Made Churros are a far cry from those you last scarfed down at an amusement park. These are crisp on the outside, soft inside, and served with a  chocolate and cajeta sauce — a slow-cooked, fragrant Mexican caramel sauce that successfully manages to sidestep too-sweet.

From polished service to fresh, fresh, fresh cuisine, the restaurant lives up to its celebrity-chef pedigree. Get ready to say O – and ahh.

Red O is located at 1541 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica.

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Genie Davis, Red O

Rock N’ Roll Vegetarian




The high energy atmosphere of the Hard Rock Cafe outpost at Hollywood and Highland has a lot to recommend it: great drinks, a realistic wax Elton John on loan from Mme. Tussaud’s Wax Museum next door, and a buzzy scene – particularly on Halloween weekend – of birthday celebrants, families, tourists, and hipsters slightly out of their element. Add a friendly, fun staff, and now, a tasty vegetarian menu, and you might just want to rock out here more often.

In October, the chain tested a limited-time veg menu for National Vegetarian Month. In the LA area, the Hollywood Hard Rock is offering a tweaked version of the same menu to stay. In short: you no longer have to dine on just fries and onion rings here if you’re not a carnivore.



Our favorite item was the you-can’t-eat-just-one Cauliflower Wings, fried and fabulous breaded cauliflower that stands in very well indeed for conventional buffalo chicken wings. A close second: Ratatouille Flatbread, a crispy flatbread topped with grilled tomato, onions, zucchini, and eggplant, some romano and mozzarella, and garlic aioli.


Vegans have an option too, an aromatic Fennel, Beet & Orange Salad, with plenty of nice, thick fennel curls, roasted beets, orange, mint, cilantro, and spring greens in a nicely tart lime and cumin vinaigrette. Mint and fennel are a nice match.


The breaded cauliflower burger is a nice variation on a traditional veggie burger. Taking up a juicy position on a Brioche bun, you’ll find the patty itself to be a mix of well spiced cauliflower, egg, goat cheese,and garlic topped with Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aoli. And you can still have those Hard Rock fries as your side.

An additional salad – Pico de Callo Quinoa Arugula Salad features shaved brussel sprouts, spicy pecans, and Feta cheese. A larger portion of the ratatouille veggies that grace the flatbread are present in a Grilled Ratatouille Wrap dressed with Siracha mayo on a tortilla.


All these tasty dishes go quite well indeed with the drinks menu, which is extensive.  For those eschewing alcohol, there’s the Wascally Wabbit, a mix of carrot, apple, and orange juice with ginger and Orgeat. The Very Veggie ‘Tini might please James Bond, a nice blend of cucumber, red onion, mint and lime juice shaken with Greek yogurt and Tito’s Vodka. Our favorites were the fresh-fruit drinks that come in their own collectible Mason jars. You turn in your glass and take a receipt to the gift shop emerging with a boxed excuse to try these drinks at home. Pineapple, mango, and apple versions with a variety of top flight alcohol components from tequila to rye whiskey are available. My personal favorites: the  Blackberry Bramble made with fresh muddled blackberries, gin, peach puree, homemade lemonade and raspberry liqueur.; and the wonderfully fresh pineapple and rum.

And how can you beat the heady din and sense of fun at Hard Rock? We were there Halloween weekend, when costumed mermaids and super heroes sat at adjoining tables and the music was of course, nonstop. Fun to join the party with plenty of tasty veg items to munch and carefully curated craft cocktails to drink.

  • Genie Davis; photos: Jack Burke


So, veg diners, keep on rockin’ in the free world – Hard Rock definitely rocks out with fun, tasty, vegetarian fare.

The menu is currently available in the Los Angeles area at Hard Rock Hollywood, located right on the Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. Park in the Hollywood and Highland complex.