the view from here     treasures     loving     musings     beauty     craving     spotlight     kai conversations                         


tokyo a go-go

i have a few friends who are addicted to all things japan. from anime to kid robot and everything in between including the harajuku girls made famous by the song of the same name. japan is definitely on my bucket list. in the meantime i'll live vicariously through marcy. 

i recently took a whirlwind trip to tokyo, japan for a long weekend packed full of sightseeing, food, and shopping. a city with a population of more than thirteen million, tokyo is an unrivaled destination that has managed to keep a charming dose of its rich history blended with impressive urban development. it's a city that truly has something for everyone! here's a look at some of my personal favorites for dining, destinations, and souvenirs. 楽しんで! (enjoy!)
what to eat:
of course you can’t go to japan without having a little sushi! i won’t lie, i indulged more than a couple of times in my favorite food here…but let me tell you, it's well worth traveling half way around the world for! i quickly learned that there’s no such thing as california rolls here – it’s prepared strictly traditional with only the highest quality fish, vegetables, seaweed, and the best sticky rice around.

i also tried a few dishes that are worthy of an honorable mention, but not recommended for the faint of heart. although i wouldn't order a bento box again, it was certainly worth the experience of the guessing game that was my breakfast. on a more mainstream note, for lunch i enjoyed a bowl of handmade udon and prawn tempura. a local favorite that's both affordable and delicious, this combo is a must when dining in japan. 
if you're aching for a bit of glamour in the urban jungle, pay a visit to the dining level in the mitsukoshi department store. i can safely say that i've never seen such a beautiful display of pastries, fruit baskets, and prepared foods all in one place. frequented by tokyo's elite, generous gifters, and tourists alike, this food hall is nothing short of extravagant.
where to visit:
daikanyama: aptly nicknamed “the brooklyn of toyko,” this hipster neighborhood is dense with coffee shops, high-fashion boutiques, unique houseware stores, and trendy cafes. lesser-known among tourists, the daikanyama area is quiet and refined – perfect for unwinding after a busy day of sightseeing. 
kamakura: about an hour outside the heart of tokyo by train, this beach city is famous for its “great buddha” – a bronze statue nestled among lush coastal jungle. towering over forty feet tall, the 121-ton hollow buddha allows for tourists to climb inside and peep out the top for a birds-eye-view of the temple grounds.

another jewel of kamakura is the hokokuji temple. dating back to the twelfth century, the beautifully maintained grounds of this zen temple are unlike anything found back in the city. however, the real attraction here is the bamboo forest. walk along the stone pathway, gaze upwards, and get lost in sky-high bamboo –  you’ll forget you’re just minutes from one of the busiest cities in the world. 
what to bring home:
japan is a major destination for all things beauty – kai included! here you'll find kai products in several locations around the city, so your favorite products will never be out of reach. i brought along some travel size shampoo and conditioner on my travels to keep my hair in check while immersed in the summertime humidity. 

don't forget to pick up some of fun facial sheet masks too. aside from being entertaining (oh the mystery! will you be a dog or a cat?) japan is known for its advanced skincare and potent sheet masks that make for a baby-soft and glowing complexion. slip on a traditional japanese happi coat and you'll be as good as a day spent at the spa. 
happy travels!


summer must-haves

well, we've passed the july 4th holiday and summer is in full swing but that doesn't mean you don't have time to enjoy a few of my new favorite warm weather finds.

my husband recently discovered these outdoor "sofas" from the brilliant design (they wrap into themselves once you've finished your lounge) make for easy transport to use at the beach, park, and just maybe as an extra bed for smaller guests in a pinch. i took mine to the beach for independence day and though i'm sure i got some strange looks (my bright contraption is seriously eye catching) i was seriously comfortable and couldn't have cared less. it took this insomniac/non nap taker 10 minutes tops to be off to dreamland.
getting it filled with air is a bit of a trick till you get the hang of it which entails a bit of thrashing your body about as you trap air inside your portable sofa. it's easy once you've sorted it the first time and well worth the effort!
i found this hat in cambria, ca. on a road trip we took down the coast in early june and i'm completely obsessed! it's got a wide brim all the way round so it meets your dermatologist's sun safe requirements as well as your casual style requirements. made from recycled tarps used on brazilian cargo trucks, the company says these hats have had quite the traveled life as the heart and soul of them, the tarps, most probably made the trip from the amazon to sao paulo and back again many times. the story behind the scenes is fascinating but i think the best part of these hats is that they're indestructible, trust me, i can break just about anything. i love that i can lay down or sit in a high back beach chair without the whole hat going sideways on my little noggin. fold the back down while the rest keeps you sun free, cool and protected. hand crafted by brazilian artisans make real deal hats truly one of a kind.
this one i actually played extensively, more like obsessed over, when visiting my brother and his family a couple of years ago but only recently bought it when i spied it at a malibu toy store. in a world where everyone is on a device instead of engaging in life it's a blast to see both kids and adults playing tiki toss. people stand in line to play this simple game and i've heard rumor of drinking games being made up on the fly, encouraging raucous competition. either which way, family time or party game, tiki toss is a hit with everyone.



kai conversations... with kate somerville

i think what impresses and inspires me the most, or one of the things, about kate somerville is a quote she writes on her site: "i believe everybody deserves beautiful skin and it's my promise to get you there." i love that, and more so i believe she makes good on her promises!

kate owns one of the most sought-after, cutting edge skin clinics in l.a. and i'm sure she has devotees who fly in for her light touch, brilliant products and best of all, results! kate will see them and you will too!

i'd be amiss to not mention the wonderful woman and dear friend, evan hosie, who made this all come together through her tireless efforts on my behalf. she's my best unpaid employee! lastly, thank you kate for taking your time to answer our questions. you are too generous!

buy kate's product line, i promise you won't regret it!

how do you embody kai’s “breath *  life * flow” lifestyle?
living a life of consistency in taking care of myself by through my skin (with treatments and/or products), eating clean, staying active and feeding my soul with things i love (for me, i love spending time outdoors with my family). that inner glow comes from within and happiness definitely contributes to a radiant glow.

do you have a mantra you live by?
take time for yourself! i love being a wife and a mother and a business woman, but with so much going on i need to take time for myself to able to give my best to everything and everyone else. i like to take time in the morning to reflect and meditate or spend time soaking in the tub. disconnecting from technology and being out with my family in nature is another way i stay centered and happy.

what color nail polish are you wearing right now?
i love a clean, nude nail. i’m wearing just clear polish currently.

what’s your beauty secret? or must have beauty product?
exfoliation! i exfoliate at night three times a week. exfoliating is crucial for a glowing complexion, as it removes dead, dry skin and allows the products you apply afterward to penetrate deeper for maximum results. i recommend using an exfoliator that is both physical and chemical, like my exfolikate intensive exfoliating treatment. look for a product with smooth beads to help lift dead, dry skin cells – that’s the physical exfoliation. fruit enzymes (like pineapple, pumpkin or papaya) or alpha hydroxy acids (like lactic or glycolic acid) are all examples of chemical exfoliators that work to dissolve dead skin to reveal a healthy, beautiful glow.

what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to?
i live in carpinteria (just south of santa barbara) and i think it’s the most beautiful place! you have the beach and the mountains. it’s just spectacular! everything is so clean and cared for, and i love the architecture. living here inspires me to be outdoors more, and to be active. i’m never inside, i constantly want to be outside and moving, enjoying the scenery and what santa barbara has to offer.
describe your perfect day.
i would spend it wearing no makeup and hanging out with my family at our house. then, i would take my cruiser down to the beach and go hiking with my dog on the gibraltar trail. i also love motorcycle rides. we take gibraltar up to cold springs tavern for lunch and on sunday we go to carp beach or santa claus and just hang out with the family. sunday night, delgado’s (mexican) for dinner.

ultimate getaway?
hawaii, maui specifically, is my favorite place to travel.

favorite food?

guilty pleasure?
bean and cheese burrito, chips and salsa and a margarita.

kai obsession?
the kai perfume oil. i don’t like to wear heavy scents. kai is such a beautiful, light scent that i can wear daily. the perfume oil is perfect for all the traveling i do. i keep it in my purse and can easily reapply throughout the day.

ideal way to relax/unwind?
a bath! it’s one of the only times i get to spend alone. i turn off my phone, light a candle and put music on.  i love using my kai body wash and bubble bath in the bath. the scent is so soothing and fresh and helps me relax.

thank you so much, kate! xo.