Category Archives: CHOW

The Luxury Wine Gift You Need To Send This Holiday Season

September 15, 2017


The 2017 HALL & WALT Holiday Gift Guide

From Napa and Sonoma Counties

Listen. There are two things I only ever want as gifts. Ok, three. Massages, candles and wine.

It’s just around the corner. Gift season peeps. And get used to it cuz it aint going away until Jan. 1, 2018. Before you know it you’ll be figuring out what wine goes to whom for Thanksgiving and so on. If you’re a parent, then I’ll meet you at the kitchen island with your besites, scarfing candy corn and washing it down with Pinot just before you hustle out to go trick-or-treating.

Enter HALL & WALT.

This Napa/Sonoma county sourced Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir Holiday Gift Sets are inspired by a pursuit of classic varietal flavors. And we at GLA are all about the pure classic note.

For HALL, known for producing big, bold Cabernets, the sets are all about quintessential Napa Valley Cabernet.

The WALT Pinot Noir brand focuses on wines of a place, with fruit sourced from up and down the California Coast. WALT Single Vineyard Pinot Noir wines allow pinotfiles to be introduced to vineyards that span 1,000 miles as far South as Santa Barbara, all the way up to Willamete Valley in Oregon.

(Road trip anyone? Wine tasting? Whatdaya say? I’m in!)

Check out the stunningly curated gifting options, send them directly to lucky lovers, friends, bosses and co-workers and for the love of the wine gods, order some for yourself. The boxes are stunning (fyi!).

Also, by all means – this wonderful company will work with you to curate and personalize a gift.

Becoming a member will knock down prices too, of course.

Above is a myriad of gift sets perfect for the novice wine drinker to the ultimate Cabernet and Pinot collector.

One stand-out set includes flagship wines from both HALL & WALT in the Heritage Set.

The 2014 Kathryn Hall Cabernet exudes warmth and allure with enticing aromas of sweet dark plum, cocoa powder, and dusty earth. This wine is paired with 2015 Bob’s Ranch Pinot Noir for the set, a single vineyard Pinot Noir that showcases Wild blueberry nuances, crushed rock, and hints of truffle to create this firm, spicy oak structure and focused palate. 

I think I just fainted!

Sets will be available for purchase at both ( ( next month.

Book this page and you are good until 2018!

Simples Tonics and Apothecary

August 28, 2017


Simples are concentrated plant tonics, made with nourishing herbs that are brewed over a period of hours to extract the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and constituents.

“Simples” means using a single herb or plant in a medicinal way. When beginning to explore the world of plant medicine, traditional herbalism holds that it is best to start with them one at a time to fully experience the taste, the essence, and the benefit of a single plant.

In the shop, they hand brew eight of these Simples to support and encourage this exploration.

Our eight Simples represent a broad spectrum of traditional herbal remedies, each selected for their high nutritional profiles, their tonic effect, and their wide use and proven safety.

What are nourishing herbs?

Nourishing herbs are a category of plants made up primarily of weeds, or common wild plants that are deeply nourishing as they are full of bio- available nutrients which our bodies can easily assimilate. They all contain abundant amounts of vitamins, minerals and healing compounds, and are the primary source of medicine in folk herbalism. Nourishing herbs are time tested, widely used and completely safe.

When someone consumes these nourishing plants, prepared as Simples, over time incredible healing takes place. The body soaks in the abundant nourishment and a sense of vitality, health and wellbeing is restored and supported.

What is a weed?

Weeds are hardy plants, fast growing and naturally strong competitors. They can thrive in even the harshest conditions and contain an unsurpassed powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.  They are a readily available, sustainable food source for the planet. At Simples we love to work with these plants for this very reason, they build strength and resilience in those who consume them and since they are such an abundant and concentrated food source, utilizing them leaves very little environmental footprint.

What kind of herbalists are you?

Behind Simples are herbalists whose work is rooted in traditional folk medicine practices, cultivating a deep relationship with the plants.  Everyone who works at Simples either brewing, bottling or helping you choose a tonic or an apothecary item has several years of study and experience.

What is a tonic?

A tonic rejuvenates and restores all systems of the body, promoting overall good health and balance. They fortify and nourish creating resilience, vigor and wellbeing. Tonics are agents that work cumulatively and support long-term health benefits, and with prolonged use encourage graceful aging and longevity.

What is the difference between Simples tonics and herbal tea?

Most of the nutritional components of medicinal herbs and plants come from their different flavonoids, alkaloids, vitamins and minerals. For humans to assimilate this nutrition some parts are water-soluble where some use different menstruums, such as alcohol, vinegars and oil. So while both tea and Simples rely on water extraction, teas are steeped for short periods of time and extract a less potent medicinal dose.  A Simples tonic uses a much higher quantity of plant material, and steeps covered for a long period of time, resulting in a dense and powerful serving of plant nutrition. At Simples our tonics are brewed daily by hand as infusions to extract the maximum amount of nutrition and health benefits.

How are Simples made?

Using the highest quality water that is completely chemical and fluoride free and organic plant material,  each batch is hand brewed daily in prayer with intention. All of this happens in house where the infusions then steep over a period of hours to next be bottled and served fresh to you.

What water do we use?

Understanding that water is a vital part of this process we have searched for the cleanest, best tasting water in which to brew our Simples. We use a PristineHydro water revival filter system. This “produces water that is 100% acid free, chemical free, fluoride free, high alkaline pH, structured and properly mineralized with a high magnesium bicarbonate content”

Where do we source our plants?

We only work with organic plant material that is sourced as locally as possible using ethical farming standards and following the laws of nature. Within this rhythm comes times of limited availability or seasonal restrictions, we use these times as platforms for inspiration to use what is abundant and available.

Do they taste good?

There’s obviously a little bias here. We are head over heels in love with these plants and enjoy each of their unique flavors, as there is a lot of information about the healing properties in their tastes.  Some Simples are slightly sweet or perfumed, some grassy, some are slightly bitter, but the taste and flavor is a critical key and aspect of their healing nature, which is why we suggest exploring them individually. We feel confident that one of our eight will suit your palette and our staff can help educate and direct you towards the best one for that moment. We also offer certain herbal boosters that can enhance the flavor and medicinal benefits of your beverage.

Can you drink too much?

The nourishing plants we have chosen to share with you are exploding with nutrition and by definition safe, mild, and in no way poisonous. These plants work cumulatively so the more the better. Warning. Once you begin to feel the energy and vitality that comes with deep nourishment, you will become addicted. And that’s good for you!

Can I drink if I’m pregnant or nursing? 

In the world of pregnancy it is important that the mother feel confident, supported, and safe. With this in mind always check with your physician first, as none of the information we provide is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. What we can share is what has been learned through study, research and also from personal experience. These plants provide such a powerhouse of nutrition that we believe they are an incredible supplement to feed a growing baby and nurture a tired momma. Our founder relied on Nettle, and Red Raspberry leaf throughout her pregnancy and credits them with a healthy pregnancy and efficient delivery. But again, everyone is different so check with doctor, and make the choice that’s right for you.

How do I have access to these plants if I don’t live in Los Angeles?

Right now prepared Simples are only available at the store in Santa Monica.Simples will ship many plant vinegars, tinctures and herbal medicines from the Simples Apothecary, which is another great way to incorporate these plants into your daily regimen.

Simples is also working on a home brewing kit, so watch for that coming soon.  We also suggest checking  This is a great source of information on making your own tonics and other herbal medicines as well as a great place to purchase high quality, organic plant material.

For more information about Simples Tonics & Apothecary please visit or follow us on FACEBOOK @simplestonics & INSTAGRAM @simplestonics.


The Game Changer

Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, nettle is natures multi-vitamin. Green and rich in earthy flavor, nettle is a great source of vitamins A, B complex, and C, as well as chlorophyll, calcium, iron and zinc. This potent plant is an ideal daily tonic for optimal health and nourishment. Nettle also supports the adrenals and strengthens the body’s response to stress, so it is a perfect restorative to those with busy lives.  Supporting the body through all kinds of stressors, both physical and emotional, nettle is a great choice for athletic recovery, recharging the body and supporting joint health.


The Chill Pill

Oatstraw brings sweetness of all kinds as it delivers it’s payload of healing nutrition to the human body.  A soothing nervine, loaded with B vitamins and essential minerals, Oatstraw also contains more magnesium than any other plant. This contributes to its ability to balance hormones and soothe frazzled nerves. It not only eases tension in the moment but also overtime has the ability to restore the nervous system, reinstating emotional balance.



The Hug

The most tender of trees, graceful, and calm, Linden is fantastic for opening the heart and soothing the soul.  It’s abundance of phytonutrients and antioxidants support its traditional use as a digestive aid, encouraging proper digestion and eliminating digestive discomfort. But we especially love Linden for it’s calming and slightly sedating action. This tonic is wonderful for anxiety, tension headaches, and sleep disorders. Soft and silky in taste, these nourishing flowers and stems are a delightful way to brighten a cloudy day.



 The Superhero

Fiery and tart, this stimulating berry is nature’s cure all. Going where it is needed, this adoptogen is an overall health tonic, restoring and balancing whatever systems need support.  Schisandra provides a powerful energy and mental clarity boost without the jitters of coffee and is a great choice when mental focus is required. Taken over time its benefits accumulate and physical and mental stamina are increased. But most people know schisandra as a beauty tonic as it tonifies all systems of the body including the skin.



The Fortifier

A familiar neighborhood weed, packing far more than a wishful puff, this healing root reinforces strength from the deep reserves of our body. With an impressive and balanced nutritional profile, including high amounts of iron, protein, Vitamin A, and manganese, it’s no accident this delicate blossom can break through concrete. A wonderful detoxifier and strength builder, dandelion helps us combat the ill effects of a toxic environment and overindulgence in its ability to support the liver and kidneys. Take daily for the strength to break through the concrete blocks in your life.



The Star

Cooling and regenerating, this powerful plant contains a dazzling array of bioavailable nutrition.  Although a wonderful tonic for everyday use, Chickweed’s ability to rebuild makes it a wonderful choice for anyone recovering from injury, illness or weakness of any kind.  This little star also packs a beauty punch, balancing metabolism,  and supporting the thyroid.



The Purifier

Known as a bitter, but with a sweetness of taste, this purifying root works to detoxify the blood and the bowel while delivering a dense supply of iron, magnesium and thiamine. Due to its mucilaginous properties, burdock helps prevent the absorption of toxins in the bowel, creating cleaner blood and beautiful skin. Burdock is a great choice for overall body cleansing and purification. While you feel burdock’s benefit initially, with long term use, the results are fully realized.



 The Elevator

Gentle, and soothing, this precious Bulgarian rose water embodies the essence of thousands of roses. At once uplifting and calming, rose balances our mood and nourishes our soul. As the highest vibrational plant on the planet, the delicate rose intoxicates us with her fabled aroma, power and beauty. As an esteemed, heart opener, mood lifter and aphrodisiac, no wonder the rose is the symbol of love.


2724 Main Street
Santa Monica CA, 90405

Open: 10:30 AM – 5:30PM
Closed Tuesdays


K+ Organics Healthy Sports Drinks For Kids? YEP!

August 23, 2017

Velana Colon got tired of seeing all the sugary drinks get fed to her kids after their sports game and finally had enough.  She and another family with a total of six kids came together to create something different and healthier for their young MVP’s and K+ Organics was born.  


K+ Organics is a new electrolyte sports drink with ONLY 14 grams of sugar per bottle (more than half of other leading brands) and no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors or sweeteners and is certified organic.  

I have to admit, I have occasionally ‘treat’ my kids to the chemical concoctions of crappy, sugar-free versions of sports drinks – ya know the kind, filled with hideous things I am too ashamed to spell out. I was so excited to try these healthy versions out on my kiddos (and my self!). Huge hit. We all loved them. They for sure look, taste and feel like sports drinks – sweet and refreshing in sporty bottles. My son especially luurrrveed them.

K+ Organics Founder, Velana Colon

K + Organics comes in three fun flavors: Fruit Punch, Orange and Lime and is available at Gelson’s and Bristol Farms in Southern California and can be purchased online at .

And don’t forget, adults can drink it too!!

More information can also be found at K+ Organics .

New Fire Department Coffee Campaign Aims To Raise Funds for Sons of the Flag

July 1, 2017

Anything FIRE DEPARTMENT is major in this house as my son is OBSESSED!!! Anything COFFEE and GIVING BACK as I am obsessed with both.

So, when I heard that Fire Department Coffee created a campaign aiming to raise funds for Sons of the Flag,I perked up. Sons of the Flag is a nonprofit organization committed to aid military, first responders, and civilian burn survivors across the nation.

Beginning today, FDC will donate 20% of all online sales to Sons of the Flag. The campaign will run from July 1 through July 16, 2017.

Please watch the campaign video by clicking the image or via YouTube:

Sons of the Flag needs funding to continue care for burn survivors and fund existing treatments and surgeries. The organization is committed to support burn survivors by providing funding for innovative research, technology, and education.

Consumers can contribute to the campaign by visiting

“We can’t allow those suffering to be forgotten,” said Fire Department Coffee Co-Founder Luke Schneider. “We’re committed to do all that we can to make sure every burn victim gets the care, treatment, and funds needed to recover.”

To learn more about Sons of the Flag, please visit:



The A List hosts N:Philanthropy’s Give Back Garden Party

June 29, 2017

The unstoppable A LIST  threw an inspiring “Give Back” garden party, celebrating brands that are conscious and give back. Why can’t all of Hollywood be like this? 

The theme? Brands that GIVE A DAMN! Leading the gathering hosts, N:PHILANTHROPY , a ridiculously rad clothing line which donates 10 percent of net profits to – oh – let’s say children’s cancer research or ya know, a little thing like animal welfare? Yah, and um, what are you doing? Exactly! Get out there and volunteer at Children’s Hospital LA, which was also representing.

And who was there? A bevy of glowing Hollywood lovelies sporting the socially conscious brands of the day.

Adria Arjona — n:Philanthropy tank / FASHIONABLE bag
Adelaide Kane — n:Philanthropy dress / Soludos / FASHIONABLE clutch
Cat Deeley — n:Philanthropy dress / Vince Camuto purse / FASHIONABLE bag
Camilla Belle — 1.state heels / n:Philanthropy tee / FASHIONABLE bag
Emmy Rossum — n:Philanthropy top & leggings / FASHIONABLE necklace / Jimmy Choo bag and Sergio Rossi shoes
Gal Gadot — n:Philanthropy top / Madewell Jeans / FASHIONABLE necklace
Jamie Lynn Sigler — LEC Sandals
Jamie King — n:Philanthropy skirt and top / Jimmy Choo shoes / FASHIONABLE
Jurnee Smollett-Bell — n:Phil tee, madewell jeans
Katherine Schwarzenegger — n:Philanthropy sweater
Kat McPhee — n:Philanthropy top / FASHIONABLE bag / Citizens of Humanity jeans / Alex Birman shoes
Kristen Bell — FASHIONABLE shoes / n:Philanthropy dress (top)
Lizzy Caplan — Madewell overalls / n:Philanthropy top / FASHIONABLE bag
Minka Kelly — n:Philanthropy top
Sarah Wright Olsen — n:Philanthropy dress / soludos shoes / FASHIONABLE bag
Serayah — n:Philanthropy dress / Diesel jacket

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, Sarah Wright Olsen

Kat McPhee

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, Adria Arjona

Jen Rade, Tara Swennen

Yvonne Niami, Alanah Joseph

Adelaide Kane

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Kristen Bell, Gal Gardot, Lizzy Caplan, Yvonne Niami

Jaime King

Jurnee Smollett, Minka Kelly

Camilla Belle

Cat Deeley

Lizzy Caplan

Kristen Bell

Jamie Lynn Sigler

Emmy Rossum

Next up in the give back/conscious brands was the stunning line…

Nyakio Beauty

Where this Kenyan born beauty learned about skincare at the age of 8, which is about the age of her skin. Whatever she’s using, I’m doing.


This line knocks it out the ballpark. These exquisite goods are made by giving jobs to women in need.

“In my experience, poor people are the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. Every day, they must innovate in order to survive. They remain poor because they do not have the opportunities to turn their creativity into sustainable income.

– MUHAMMAD YUNUS, AUTHOR OF Creating a World Without Poverty


Their Mission:

We believe that the end to generational poverty will come when people are able to provide for themselves.

Charity is critical. Its importance lies in giving relief to those who are in great destitution from what are often unbearable circumstances. However, giving food, medical care, clothing, and other charity to the poor is just the beginning point to solving the issues of poverty. It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty, two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women. This is the gap that FASHIONABLE wants to fill.

To be clear, FASHIONABLE is not a social model of business that gives something away. We believe that the end to generational poverty will come when people are able to provide for themselves. We believe that social businesses whose aim is to alleviate poverty should use their business skills to create job opportunities for the poor, not give them more charity. What we seek to “give” to those living in poverty is opportunity by purchasing goods from them, and helping those businesses grow and employ more.

We believe in doing the manufacturing in the communities we wish to impact, creating jobs along the way.

Our business model is not creating goods in a strong economic country, selling those goods in the West, and then giving charity to developing countries. This still leaves the developing country out of the opportunity for economic growth, and keeps them in a cycle of dependency. We believe in doing the manufacturing in the communities we wish to impact, creating jobs along the way. Although it often creates a unique set of challenges, trade with developing countries is an empowerment model that we are committed to.

Kapulet Beauty

is a subscription based shopping experience where you can buy top of the line cruelty free, high end products at drug store prices. Here you will find every luxury brand at totally affordable prices.

Their Mission:

Kapulet Beauty was founded by a group of animal lovers, beauty gurus, and tech junkies who wanted to offer the world an alternative way to be beautiful. All of our brands are cruelty-free and are chosen because of the positive impact they have provided to the industry. We reward members with accessible pricing to luxury products, invitations to special events, and insider beauty info.

Kapulet works on a membership model, cutting out the middle man and saving you hundreds of dollars. Yearly membership costs only $59.95 and Kapulet confidently offers a thirty day trial period! Additionally, membership grants you access to exclusive beauty tutorials, pop up shops, and more!

When you become a Kapulet, you’re not just joining a beauty club- you’re participating in a beauty revolution.

The Lipstick Lobby

How about this one – EVERY CENT goes to Planned Parenthood. Is there really anything else I need to say? Yah. Didn’t think so.

Their Mission:

Welcome to THE LIPSTICK LOBBY. We are a social justice movement for change, progress and equality. Please join us in a simple way to protest and make a difference: this bold statement lipstick.

Wearing this lipstick is a reminder that small actions can create big waves. It’s a simple way to speak up and speak out against the threats to women’s freedoms and health care posed by the Trump administration. It’s a small thing we can all do right here, right now to create change.

100% of net profits from the sale of our signature shade KISS MY PINK will be donated to Planned Parenthood. And stay tuned…we have new shades and new ways to make a difference in the works.

So pucker up in protest with us. Together we can resist. Together we can make a difference. Together we can #LipstickItToTheMan!


Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. This vital organization serves 2.5 million women and men in the United States who annually visit Planned Parenthood centers for health care services and information. If Trump succeeds with his devastating agenda to repeal the Affordable Care Act, millions of people will lose their health care and Planned Parenthood will lose its federal funding. We refuse to accept this. 

We chowed on Pure Growth Organic snacks which I have been totally mad about, because frankly, half my diet is chowing my kids snacks. Now I can do it and they are actually GOOD! And good for you. Done and done. We sipped Rethink Water (more adorable packaging for kids!) And I stared down the tequila cocktails by Viva XXXII but couldn’t drink because I had to teach a spin class later on. Good news, I took a bottle to go, so, um, hi weekend, are you here yet?



  1. n:Philanthropy
  2. nyakio
  3. Pure Growth Organics
  5. ReThink Water