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Insights into your neighborhood.

Editor/Creative Director Mark Castellino T: 310 869 7532 Contributing Editors Andrew Waldman Jenna Atchison Feature Writers Cody Brooks Thomas Callaway Mona Cohen Danielle Cuccio Michelle Gillette David Horvitz Darren C. Pollock Paul Parminter Focus (ISSN 2328-1359) is published monthly and distributed free to homes in Brentwood CA 90049. Please try not to reproduce any of the content without asking us first.

Welcome to the final issue of the year. And what a year it has been. We introduced you to a new kind of magazine for Brentwood, and we hope you enjoyed reading about your community and exploring your neighborhood as much as we did. This issue, in keeping with the upcoming holidays and in anticipation of the new year, contains the linked themes of Gifts, Food and Health. Give thanks, indulge, and if you have over-indulged, prepare yourself for 2014 with a few tips on getting healthy. All of us at Brentwood Focus wish you the best and we thank you for supporting us in our first year. We will be back in January 2014. Happy Holidays! FACEBOOK brentwoodfocus INSTAGRAM brentwoodfocus

Cover image: Rob Daly


If you want the opportunity to promote your business to every home in Brentwood, (and who doesn’t?), our affordable rates start at $175. Please email us at or view the media kit at

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CONTACT US Write to us and send gifts to: 149 South Barrington Place #178, Los Angeles CA 90049 Email inquiries, news stories, promotions, suggestions, photos and compliments to:



A Happy Place

The sensory wonderland of gifts and accessories that is Haven & Co.


Blown Away

Just a blowout. Nothing more. Alli Webb talks about the success of Drybar.



Bette Midler as ‘superagent’ Sue Mengers in a new show at Geffen Playhouse.

Cover Feature

Hanging out with actress Nicole Cannon, on a tour of her family home. PAGE 18


Food + Art

The Bel Air Bar + Grill is a neighborhood hangout with a heady splash of taste and color.



A Healthier You 5 easy tips to a healthier lifestyle in 2014 from Danielle Cuccio.

24 Free

Lots of free things to do including a screening of The Truman Show.

A HAPPY PLACE | 12/2013 / Cindy Williams

A Happy Place

What was your inspiration for opening the store and what’s the significance of the name? Funny you ask about the name, it’s an old family name from my husband’s side. They owned one of the largest silk mills on the east coast at the turn of the century. The name just seemed to fit, considering all the classic things we carry. The inspiration for the store came from my mother. She raised me to appreciate fine things and I guess it stuck. What items do you stock and how do you source them? Being a lifestyle store, we carry a wide range of all the top lines of luxury accessories for self and home. You could come in and spoil yourself with a gorgeous pearl necklace and also pick up a hostess gift for that night’s dinner party. Some of our most popular lines are Juliska, Michaeal Aram, William Yeoward, and Vietri. Now that we have increased the store by picking up an additional thousand square feet of space, we are going to add more table top, furniture, and bedding. I think we are really going to blow our clients away with that section. As for sourcing, that is probably the most mind-

Owner, Cindy Williams, guides us through the magical, sensory overload that makes Haven & Co. the happiest place on Earth. racking part of my job. Here I have to strike a balance between the classics and cutting edge. When I bring in a new line, I’m always nervous about its reception. “Will they like it as much as I do?” What are your favorite things in the store right now? That is a really hard question. It is like choosing a favorite child or pet. I love everything in the store; we have tried really hard to have


HAVEN & Co | 12/2013

something for everybody, whether it is the hottest new candle or a very chic lamp you just noticed in a hotel you just visited. Our store is in constant evolution. Sure you will always find the classics, but we are always changing – as my husband reminds me, “Your store is like a good bottle of red, it’s always evolving, it’s alive.”


is quite a rarity these days. I think that is one of the many draws to our store. The ability to just pull into our driveway and park yourself in our huge open parking lot behind our store is so convenient for everybody and if your arms are already full, no worries, our staff will happily carry out your packages and place them in the car for you. As for favorite places in the neighborhood, there are so many. San Vicente has really become the heart of Brentwood. I am up and down the street all week long, the other stores and dining have become so good, there is really no reason to go anywhere else.

Do you feature new as well as established designers? Yes, that is one thing we are not shy about; if we see something new and daring we will bring it in. Usually not in large quantity at first, but enough that you can get a feel for it. It’s that balancing thing again. Our clients love the classics, but it is so rewarding to see them find something new, whether it is a new place setting or something as simple as an indulgent bathrobe. Do you offer design services too? Absolutely! We are already booked to decorate six residences this holiday season. It’s really fun to watch our clients come in and see our displays. That’s one thing we really take pride in. I love all the different seasons. It gets my creative side flowing. Why open a store in Brentwood, and what are your favorite places or things to do in the neighborhood? Opening a store in Brentwood was a natural for me. I was born and raised here. We are so fortunate to live in this very special place. To be able to park your car in one place and do all your shopping

Haven & Co. 11965 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 Phone: (310) 476-3060 7

Style&Gifts Love Around the Neck

és by Shery Shabani


ESSICA SACKS-DAVIMOS has supplied Los Angeles’ top stylists, actresses, television executives, friends and acquaintances with amazing and unique handbags, as well as beautiful and fun jewelry for over 15 years. Jessica’s great eye for fashion coupled with her innate gift of making everyone feel special, has led to the long overdue and much anticipated launch of her website, Love Around the Neck. LATN will keep you up to date with the latest jewelry trends – everything from handcrafted jewelry, semi-precious stones and sterling silver pieces from talented and current designers such as Jessica Elliot, Only Tatiana, Safia Day, J Fisher – and newest to the scene – Blue Candy Jewelry! Plus some beautiful vintage pieces, hand crafted with a modern day twist. You will also find yummy and functional leather handbags from designers like Carla Mancini, Eyes of Ruth and Laggo. LATN has been supplying the entertainment industry for over 15 years. From TV shows like Friends, Will and Grace, Melrose Place & 90210 to more recent shows as Entourage, Heroes, CSI and American Idol. Celebrities such as Paula Abdul, Jennie Garth, Brittney Spears and Vanna White have all purchased from the designers at Love Around The Neck. All of which has helped launch the beginning of a business and turned Jessica’s pastime into a career. 8 FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013

SHERY SHABANI premiered her new line és by Shery Shabani to much fanfare last week. The daughter of a diamond manufacturer, Shery’s early exposure to precious stones gave her a pivotal edge in the jewelry market. Her keen knowledge of gems, along with a gifted eye for stylish design prompted her to start the successful jewelry line, Tease in 2003. Her newest collection of elegant pieces effortlessly add class to any outfit. Shery’s pieces are favorites among the Hollywood elite, gracing the necks and wrists of A-list celebrities like Vanessa Williams and Heidi Klum. Her designs have also been consistently featured in numerous fashion publications such as Vogue, ELLE, and Lucky. Although Shery has a large celebrity following, she feels strongly about catering to a diverse clientele. Her collection includes fashionable onyx bracelets for the young working girl, as well as stunning cognac diamond chain link necklaces fit for royalty. Based in LA, Shery continues to look for inspiration by watching stylish women from LA to London. és by Shery Shabani Showroom 550 South Hill Street, Suite 767, Los Angeles, CA



Santa Sock Monkey Ornament (other styles available) $15

Duck Egg Blue Lacquer Frame Available in: 4x6 - $90 5x7 - $95 8x10 - $160

Traditional with a Twist:

Colorful Holiday Décor and Gifts from Grace Home Furnishings Turquoise Ice Bucket with Tongs $125 (also available in orange)

Decorating the Grace Home Furnishings showroom isn’t limited to hues of red and green during the holiday season. Instead, shades of deep plum, vibrant turquoise and bright gold are used to create a beautiful display of holiday spirit. Beginning mid-November, Grace Home Furnishings decks out their showroom with beautiful ornaments, holiday décor, and gift items. From the musician to the equestrian, their ornaments include designs to please just about everyone, with prices starting at just $15 each. Don’t celebrate Christmas? They also have beautiful Hanukkah themed decorations and gifts. Popular gift items include cozy throws, classic picture frames and colorful barware. Whether you want to decorate your home, your tree or buy the perfect gift, Grace Home Furnishings is the perfect place to shop this holiday season. Open daily Monday through Saturday from 10am-6pm. Grace Home Furnishings 11632 Barrington Ct, CA 90049 T: (310) 476-7176

Stuffed Knit Dog $55 (other styles available)

Greek Key Nickel & Mirror Tray $320 9



Best known for playing the unconventional hero and fan favorite ‘Edgar Stiles’ in Fox’s Emmy Award winning show ‘24’ and FBI Agent ‘Skip Lipari’ in the highly acclaimed HBO series ‘The Sopranos,’ Louis Lombardi is going back to his Italian roots and is launching his own gourmet Italian food line, Lombardi’s, consisting of pastas, sauces, olive oils and olives imported directly from Italy.

LOMBARDI’S | 12/2013


The Bel Air Bar + Grill is the perfect combination of a neighborhood hangout, with its comfy bar area, and a destination restaurant for the delicious comfort food. Susan Disney-Lord has introduced to the restaurant a heady mix of food and art, since her family literally founded CalArts. The rotating art collection on the walls is all art students’ work, and is for sale. You can’t miss the place. The floor to ceiling exterior windows are etched with a vivid red bougainvillea pattern which lights up the night sky like a welcoming sign at the end of a long journey.

Born in the Bronx, NY, Louis learned how to cook by growing up surrounded by a strong household of Italian women including his mother, grandmother, and aunts. For Louis and his family, cooking is not just about eating food, it’s about passion. Through his Italian upbringing and love of cooking, he believes that the strength of food is in the camaraderie, sitting around the dinner table, and sharing stories about your day. As a father to a young daughter, he wanted to continue that tradition of bringing families back to the dinner table which influenced his decision to share his family’s recipes and Italian cooking secrets with his new gourmet food line. Lombardi’s emphasizes quality ingredients, easy preparation, and a means of reconnecting families at the dinner table, as opposed to the quick drive-thru’s that have become a staple of feeding America’s busy families today. In addition to Lombardi’s, Louis can be seen this Fall in RUNNER RUNNER, alongside Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake as ‘Archie’ the owner of the Sports Book and also joins the cast of TNT’s Frank Darabont Drama ‘Mob City’ this fall with Milo Ventimiglia and Ed Burns as ‘Stucky’ one of Mickey’s (Jeremy Luke) men.


T: 310 440 5544 Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Hours: 8am - 10pm California Institute of the Arts

BEL AIR BAR + GRILL | 12/2013 11

PAM REIMS | 12/2013 / by Michelle Gillette

Pam Reims By Michelle Gillette


that slender, 5 foot body is a powerhouse of energy, culinary experience, innovative ideas and a passion for cooking. And you can taste it in her cuisine too – each bite delivers a punch of flavor. Even a simple ingredient like cauliflower can be transformed into a shockingly yummy family favorite. Coming from this mother of two, that is indeed heroic and deserving of a red cape. Pam Reims is a Private Chef and cooking instructor classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu. She’s best known amongst Los Angelenos as the go-to gal for clean, modern, California cuisine. She does not consider herself a ‘health food chef ’, per se, but because of Southern California’s bountiful produce and her clients’ desire for clean and wholesome food, she has developed an amazing talent for taking everyone’s favorite comfort foods and making them fresher, more nourishing, and always delicious. As a result, many of her clients end up feeling and looking healthier. She shares her passion for using high quality ingredients and teaches her clients to use them efficiently while bringing out the most flavor. Her chef concierge services include: • One-on-one cooking classes in the home of the client • Cooking classes for small private groups • Catering for small, intimate dinner parties (2-16 people) • On site chef services for studios & businesses I was fortunate enough to sit down with Pam recently and within minutes I learned tips on how to: • shop more efficiently • plan menus more conveniently • better organize a kitchen and pantry with the most efficient tools and products


Like me, Pam is a busy mom, so her time-saving methods were a blessing. Next, she got busy sharing her best cooking techniques: her tips, tricks and shortcuts for preparing delicious meals without compromising quality or flavor. She also gave some advice on how to cook multi-course meals using fewer pots and pans – which means minimal clean up. The most useful information, however, came when she shared her favorite methods for cooking steak, chicken and fish. Once mastered, these basic techniques can be played with and adjusted, able to be used in a myriad of ways. On top of that, she divulged three easy recipes for different sauces that can be employed interchangeably with that same fish, chicken or steak. And finally, she relayed simple instructions for making three different grains that would perfectly complement any of the main courses. I’m not great at math, but by my calculations, I just learned the foundation for making 27 different delicious dinners – without spending a lot of time or creating unnecessary mess or stress. Wonder Woman, indeed. Searching ebay for her red cape as I type…

For more information on the many talents of Pam Reims, please see her website:

FOODY DIRECT | 12/2013 / by Cody Brooks


Taste That Travels We’re constantly searching for a new taste experience. Imagine an online road trip with Foody Direct as your road map to the country’s finest eateries. Except, you don’t actually make the trip – and they deliver it all to your door. Slow smoked ribs from Memphis; Shenandoah apple cake from Virginia; Gaspe smoked salmon from New York – at your door, tomorrow, ordered as easily as Amazon. Whether you are hungry for quality, looking for a delicious gift, or miss a taste of home, with Foody Direct the boutique fare of the country is only a website away. Foody Direct curates award-winning and otherwise noteworthy regional restaurants from around the US and ships their choice dishes anywhere within the contiguous states. The site covers the American bases: southern barbecue, northeastern deli meats, midwestern baking, and west coast speciality foods. A wide range of food is available beyond that, like caviar from New York City or world-contest-winning pizza from Detroit. The website is laid out clear and big. Tabs navigate you to regions, restaurants, choices of the season, customer favorites, events, (such as birthdays, Hanukkah, or even romantic dinners), and gift options. Pictures of every dish are on their respective pages and handy information about how to manage the food is detailed clearly under the headings Order Cut-Off Time, Storage & Care, and Preparation. Servings per person are shown on every item. The Foody Direct team works with the local restaurants to choose dishes that can be shipped without a loss of taste. To accomplish this Foody Direct has simplified its shipping process: within a certain area around the restaurant, usually the surrounding states, it is a flat $9.95 for 1-day shipping. Everywhere outside of that zone is 1 to 2-day air for either $19.95 or $29.95, depending on the items being shipped. The most helpful feature is that shipment time is determined by desired delivery date: use their calendar to pick out a day you need it by and that is when it will get to you, up to thirty days in advance. Most dishes can only be ordered in large portions, and because Foody Direct is working with boutique restaurants, the dishes are of a boutique cost. The proof of quality, however, is in the website’s pudding. Go to to see what they have on offer; CEO, Ken Koenig, suggests the rich selection of barbecue – their most popular choice. 13


O Christmas Tree

O CHRISTMAS TREE / by Tom Callaway

shadows of heroes compared to my Santa imaginations. It didn’t hurt that the fella who played Santa at the local department store was a damn good actor, who happened to have a damn good Santa outfit, along with ERE COME THE HOLIDAYS and all the excitement and a chuckling, rumbling voice, which sold me hook, line, and sinker. pressure of everything they have come to represent. I only Anyway, after my Grandfather and “Santa” had created a one night, need to hear the word “Christmas” and, (no longer being perfect tree, (after all eight kids were asleep), there wasn’t time for much of a religious type), I immediately conjure up my life perfect decorating. After he had the lights straightened and perfectly long intimate relationship with the Christmas Tree. What once was attached, Grand dad’s attention span had vanished, and the tinsel was the ultimate anticipation of a magical transformation of some shaggy, tossed, the ornaments were askew, and the angel on top looked like a green-needled, outdoor bush into a glowing indoor masterpiece of tipsy female drunk leaving the corner tavern in a white silk slip. After twinkling wonderment, has, somewhere along the line of over 60 downing a case of Adler Brau Beer, the local brew, he would collapse Christmas mornings, turned into a dull throbbing in my skull of the into a stupor that allowed his four rambunctious boys to wake up to hours of labor, worry, and exhaustion to come my way in the very near BB guns and tomahawks. In no time, the tree became target practice, future. What once had been my supreme expression of pride-filled with many a glass ball bursting into shards while the four girls screamed artistic powers has evolved into a numbing and dreaded chore that and ran for cover. The perfect tree, needing a miraculous makeover, defies description as November leans toward December. Without ever was soon in my Mother’s capable hands. She replaced every light, seeing it coming, I guess I’ve turned from “The Little Drummer Boy” every ball, and straightened every strand of tinsel icicles, one piece at a into “The Grinch”. time. Around four PM, Grandpa would rouse from his post all-nighter As many of you may know, the historical roots of decorating a slumber to descend the steps from his upstairs bedroom. There before live tree with nuts, berries, apples and the like, around his eyes stood the perfect tree. He, Santa, and my “He would purchase three Mom had performed their ritual of magic and Renaissance Germany, and other examples of similar trees to create his ultimate holiday art. ceremonies even earlier in the history of mankind, has evolved through time and place (particularly Bavaria ONE and thus began a life By the time I came along, the BB guns were and Victorian England) to become the center piece of gone. Grandpa’s tree went up a couple of days long process...” most homes during the annual winter holidays in the before Christmas so that we grand kids could western world. Fruit and nuts turned into glass balls and garlands. visit for our presents after church on Christmas Eve. I was the youngest Evergreen trees covered in lighted candles in jolly old England burned grandchild, so the entire family of grandparents, aunts and uncles and many a merry making house to the older cousins all focused their joy of Christmas toward my wide and ground. Electric strings of colored lights believing eyes. After ten whole years of this adoration as my parent’s followed, usually pulled from the catch only child, three other kids were born into our brood, and now I was all attic in jumbled, knotted strands to the keeper of the Yuletide flame…the “born to decorate” tree expert. the consternation of every adult male While my poor, exhausted Dad would perform the (three into one) tree asked to untangle them. alteration each year, my Mom and I would tie up every drilled branch It was such a moment in the history and hang every ornament. We’d shop for every present, and wrap them of man, that I entered this wintry scene all night long before the other little one’s would wake to find the magic at age three or four, (in post World War they came to expect under our ever-perfect tree. I had seen the process Two America), in a small town in the my entire life, and I had become the chosen one. It wasn’t long before I snowy north of upper Wisconsin. My was the bundled up tree picker on those frozen tree lots, and the swearing mother was one of the older children in carpenter reshaping our masterpiece. I put on the lights, hung almost a Wisconsin German/American family every ball, and became the maestro of hanging garland and glass beads. of eight kids. Her father was an electrical When it came time for my own household, my own wife and child, genius, having left formal education in I couldn’t wait to dazzle them with the array of tree wizardry I had at the 5th grade, to eventually become the my disposal. For 35 Christmases I wove my spell…the most amazing City Electrician…a revered post during Christmas Tree they could imagine came to life in our home each the Depression Era, similar in stature December. I was so driven to keep the flame in my hands that neither and costume to the fire chief, with navy blue uniformed cap and a coat my wife or son were allowed to really participate, except to watch and covered in two rows of brass buttons. Attaining the perfect Christmas listen to me struggle, curse, and complain, asking the holiday gods how tree was his particular obsession. He passed this fanaticism on to my in the world was I burdened with this unforgiving task? How was I mother, who closely watched his process of tree creation, and she in the only one who could make a perfect tree? Just like my father before turn maneuvered it into my poor father’s domain. My Dad had the me, how did the thought of the holidays coming make my head start to poor judgment to be an exceptional master craftsman in woodworking, pound, and the pressure start to build? so, of course, the duties of tree creation fell firmly into his lap, with my Maybe perfect isn’t so perfect. Christmas glee passed away with the perfectionist, German bred mother there to coax him to the highest passing of my father and my wife a year or so ago. My son has grown into attainable heights in the art of Christmas Tree articulation. a wonderful young man. But I didn’t pass the “perfect tree” gene on to My Grandfather’s system began with a meticulous search from him. Maybe better to let it fade away. Then again… if a grandchild should frozen tree lot to tree lot for the perfect top, middle, and bottom of someday come my way, maybe Santa and I will join forces once more to Balsom evergreen magnificence. He would purchase three trees to make some Christmas Eve magic before a cocktail or two sends me into create his ultimate ONE and thus began a life long process of sawing, deep winter slumber, only to wake to the glow of another perfect tree. drilling, dowelling, gluing, branch placing and thread tying that has been passed along, to be ultimately laid at my feet, as the last of the perfect tree creators. In my Grandparents Christmas tradition, the About the author: tree did not arrive in advance, but was miraculously brought AND Tom Callaway is an interior designer and decorated by Santa at each and every house on his Christmas Eve trip architect, living in Brentwood. around the world. What a guy, this Santa. Talk about magic, Santa held the ultimate super powers in my childish head. Only Jesus could


by Tom Callaway

have bested him if put to the test. Super Man and the like were mere 14 FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013


Blown Away


Photo: courtesy of Kimberly Genevieve

Alli Webb invented the destination blowout at Drybar in Brentwood, and now spearheads the experience across the nation in 8 cities, and counting...

Tell us about your background and what you did before Drybar.

I have been a professional stylist for almost 17 years. Doing hair has always been my biggest passion. I had a brief stint in public relations in New York working with clients such as Faith Hill, Paul McCartney and Keith Urban and dabbled in the fashion world before making the decision to go to beauty school. After cosmetology school, I attended many continuing education classes with Toni & Guy in Dallas and spent several years working under the late, great John Sahag in NYC, which was a really fantastic, once in a lifetime experience. In 2008 I began a mobile blowout business, Straight-at-Home, which provided in home blow-outs, strictly on a referral basis in L.A. My little business and popularity quickly outgrew my one-woman show, so I decided to expand and start Drybar. There was never anything like this, right? What was the initial reaction to your idea?

Like most women, I struggled to find a place where I could get a great blowout at an affordable price in a fun, beautiful environment. I felt Drybar was desperately needed and didn’t exist so I partnered with my brother and Drybar CEO, Michael and husband, Cameron (Drybar Creative Director), to open our first shop in Brentwood, CA. Initially, we all thought the Brentwood shop would be my only

shop, but the responses was absolutely overwhelming! We knew the very first day we opened, that we were on to something very special. I would have never guessed four years later, we would have 32 locations across the county, employ over 2000 people and have a thriving product line. I feel incredibly lucky and humbled by the last few years and couldn’t be prouder of what we have created. OK, so what is Drybar – for people who don’t know?

Drybar was created around a very simple idea: No cuts. No color. Just blowouts for only $40. I believe that almost everyone (even us pros), prefers having a professional stylist blow out their hair. Why do you think it has been so successful?

I think our success is a combination of providing amazing blowouts and fantastic customer service. We’re not just selling blowouts, it’s much more about the happiness and confidence that woman get from a stellar blowout. Since you just blow dry hair, are all your staff really good at it?

You bet, we spend a ton of time on training for both new and existing stylists. Do you have plans to do something else within the Drybar concept?

We feel so strongly about sticking to one thing and being the best at it. for us that’s

blowouts. It take a lot of time and energy to keep the consistency of our blowouts and customer experience at a very high level, so there is really no time to focus on anything else! Talking to your clients, what are the different reasons for them coming in?

I believe the biggest reason woman come in is to look great, but more importantly feel great - the power of a fantastic blowout is pretty powerful. Where else are there Drybars and what are your plans for the future?

We have shops from coast to coast. We are in New York, Southern and Northern California, Boston, DC, Maryland, Arizona, and Atlanta and we are about to open our first shop in Chicago. It’s been a really amazing, humbling journey so far, and I couldn’t be prouder. Why start in Brentwood?

Brentwood just felt right! I already had clients from Brentwood and the surrounding areas (Santa Monica & Pacific Palisades) from my mobile blowout business (which I was operating solo until we opened Drybar in 2010). It felt very central and accessible and is an easy spot for woman to get to, park and has great co-tenancy. Drybar 11677 San Vicente Blvd, CA 90049 T:(310) 442-6084 15


A HEALTHIER YOU IN 2014 / by Danielle Cuccio

A Healthier You in 2014

by Danielle Cuccio

5 Easy Habits to add into your daily life to make you healthy in 2014

1 2 We all want to be healthier. We often make an effort to “act healthy” but then find ourselves counteracting it with something unhealthy. We have a green juice and then have chocolate cake later that day. It happens! We want a quick fix to health and beauty but the truth is, there is no quick fix. Being healthy is a daily commitment but it can be easy. As a yoga teacher, it is important for me to stay healthy, fit and feeling good. The five core teachings of yoga are proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, diet and positive thinking. Health and beauty can’t come from just one, they all work together to give you glowing radiant skin, a healthy lean body – and that good feeling physically and emotionally we all crave! If you told your Doctor you get 7-8 hours of sleep and practice yoga daily, but eat a McDonalds Quarter Pounder with Cheese at least twice a week…your health may be in trouble! It is important to take all components of health into consideration and to balance those on a daily basis. The best part, it doesn’t have to be difficult! Try these 5 Easy Healthy Additions on how to make your 2014 a much healthier, balanced and happier year!

DIET: Add greens to your diet. Some green superfoods include: Kale, Arugula, Spinach and Spirulina. Good news, you can also indulge! Brentwood’s own, Sweet Rose Creamery, is one of my favorite weekly treats! Treat yourself for your healthy habits.

3 4 5

YOGA : Practice yoga or some kind of movement 4-5 times a week. Improve circulation and release endorphins. Start making movement a priority almost every day. Yes, walking counts!

SLEEP: Aim for 7-8 hours a night. Our bodies recharge, regenerate and heal when we sleep. Your mind and body will thank you.

BREATHE/MEDITATE: This is one is the hardest. We must take at least 5 minutes a day to sit quietly. Close your eyes, check-in and see what’s going on inside your mind and body. If we don’t, we risk living our lives without really living. That’s a big risk to take!

POSITIVE THINKING: I love giving my students and readers positive quotes. Sometimes it’s exactly what they need to hear to get them through a difficult time. I make sure to blog quotes once a week. I love going on Pinterest to browse quotes that speak to me at the right moment.

One step at a time, incorporate these into your life. Watch yourself feel and look better. Namaste

About the author: Danielle Cuccio offers private yoga sessions, customized to your individual needs. Stay up to date with Danielle’s healthy tips & healthy Brentwood spots in our next issue! T: (323) 863-5041


JUICY CLEAN | 12/2013 / by Erin Castellino

Juicy Clean 3 Day Cleanse Vitamin Guru Invigorate your body and mind with massive amounts of vitamins and minerals coming from over 20 lbs of fresh organic produce geared to energize, replenish and flush your system. Perfect as a repeat cleanse and step-up cleanse. 8 Bottles per day including: Greenest #3 Cleanse Guru #12 Greener #2 Rootier #6 Cleaner #10 Alkaline Tonic #13 Almond Nut Milk #15 + Aloe-Vera H2O ( Complimentary)

By Erin Castellino


ecently, I was challenged to take the 3 day juice cleanse. I thought it would be simple, as I had done a 7 day cleanse once before. I walked into Juice Crafters on a lovely Sunday morning to grab my 24 bottles of juice – Cleanse #2, Vitamin Guru. As I walked through the doors it sunk in… what did I get myself into? I love food. I let that thought quickly pass though, since half the battle with any cleanse is mind over matter. My first juice of the day was green. Now I don’t mind green juice at all. However, the last cleanse I was on, (mentioning no names), did not taste very good at all and there were 3 of them every day. It was not fun. In fact, it turned me off of green juice for a long time. As I went about my day, every 2 hours I would have another juice and was always pleasantly surprised how great they tasted. It dawned on me how much time we all spend thinking about food. We plan for grocery shopping, go to the store and shop, come home and unload, prepare meals and then we finally eat. There is a lot of thought and time that goes into eating. Whether we are single, married, with kids, without kids, old, young and everything in-between – we all think about food. All the time. So here I am, going into Day 3, and I don’t have to think about anything. I just open a bottle every 2 hours and what do you know, I am completely satisfied. In the three days, I never felt hungry or tired. I feel free to think, now that I had this newly found space in my mind not to worry about food. I have a ton of energy. I am not sure if that is because my body is not working hard to digest the combination of foods that I normally eat, or if it is this new combination of vegetables and fruit which are the source of my drive. Maybe it’s a combo of both. What I do know is that I feel good, and really, that is what matters. I will say that I have always loved fresh juice. My parents were very healthy eaters, and when I was a kid what a treat it was to have fresh juice or a smoothie. I suppose I have grown up enjoying fresh fruit and vegetables even though I don’t eat as many as I should. However, now I can. Juice Crafters, thank you! You have made it pretty easy to get the sources of nutrients I need when I am on the go, and don’t have the time to prepare food. As an added bonus all of the juices tasted amazing. And to the person that challenged me… Right back at ya! Juice Crafters 11682 San Vicente Blvd, CA 90049 T:(424) 442-0555 17

A Tour de Force Actress Nicole Cannon gives Michelle Gillette a tour of her Brentwood home, where she lives with her director husband, Danny Cannon, and two kids.

Photo by: Rob Daly Make-up & Hair: Phoebe Dawson using MAC Interior Design: Samantha Harris and Julie Berchtold Berchtold Harris Design & Build



pretty that when she’s talking, her lips are moving and sounds are coming out but you have no idea what she’s saying because you’re too busy wondering if there are miniature elves behind her bright eyes, illuminating them from behind with flashlights. Or you start fixating on the impossible clarity of her make-up free complexion, wondering if she bathes in unicorn milk. That was my experience when I first met actress Nicole Cannon at a Mommy-and-Me toddler class in 2005. A blond and pregnant Nicole sauntered in to the pre-school yard, looking like a young, Bohemian Michelle Pfeiffer. Nicole’s cherubic daughter Celeste was at her side and I immediately thought we’d been transported to the set of a 70’s mother-daughter Breck commercial. “Hi, I’m Nicole,” she said (probably, but who was listening?).


She extended her hand and I shook it, resisting the urge to squeeze it super-hard to make sure she was actually human. She’s probably about as shallow as a crepe, I thought to myself, sure that I could find a flaw if I tried really hard. But no such luck. It only took a few minutes of conversation to realize that this spiritual, ethereal but grounded beauty is as genuine and deep as the Pacific Ocean. And what’s even nicer, she’s much warmer. (I would also add that she’s also “less seaweedy” but Nicole does love her sushi.) While the rest of us at Mommy-and-me were in a circle complaining about our husbands for not properly twisting the diaper-genie lid “just so” in order to create those perfect little diaper sausages, Nicole was sitting there quietly listening. She looked up and said softly, “I don’t know you guys. They’re just diapers. Maybe you can look past it.” Her husband, British director Danny

Cannon, had been out of the country on location shooting a movie for a month already. She was missing him and eager for him to come home. “Wow,” I thought. “Here’s a sleepdeprived pregnant woman who looks amazing, actually likes her husband, and she even knows how to forgive diapersausage-ineptitude. I can really learn something from this girl!” Her honesty, vulnerability and fresh perspective won me over that day, and we have remained friends ever since.



Nicole lives in Brentwood with her talented husband, and their two adorable daughters, now aged eight and ten. I am happy to report that I did eventually find some flaws in Nicole, but they are the annoyingly acceptable and lovable kind like, “she cooks too much food for her guests”, “she apologizes too quickly”, or “she missed her belt loop that one day in March.” Mostly what

I’ve witnessed over the past eight years is a woman who is crazy in love with her family, an engaged actress dedicated to her craft, a consummate learner, a spiritual seeker, a loyal friend, and a girl who loves nature, laughter, philosophical conversations, great shoes, and life itself. Not necessarily in that order. But what strikes me the most about Nicole is her dichotomous nature. As mentioned, she is, at once, both grounded and ethereal. Deeply profound yet playful. Beautiful but humble. Intimidating but friendly. Ambitious but “in the moment.” The Cannon’s Brentwood home is a reflection of these same contradictory but balanced characteristics. Their backyard is both elegant and playful. It showcases a pool and patio that is perfect for entertaining, but also has a custommade treehouse and a zip-line sturdy enough for adult adventure. The home design is traditional in its architecture, but hip in its sensual and current décor. It

reflects elements of the earth and nature in their use of different woods, stones and crystals—yet it also pays tribute to the sea with their collection of oceanfaring octopi art and sculptures. The rooms feel sturdy, rich and masculine, yet also whimsical, feminine and deeply passionate in their color schemes. The end result is a home that feels casual and welcoming, yet at the same time -luxurious. It’s a home where you can put your feet up and laugh, yet the sumptuous materials and artistic flair make it feel special, like you’ve wandered into someone’s lush and luxuriant salon painting from a bygone era. When I asked Nicole how she was able to achieve this apropos and fitting balance, so perfectly suited for her family, she shared that the home design was a collaborative effort between her visionary husband Danny, herself and designers Julie Berchtold and Samantha Harris of " Berchtold Harris Design. 19

A TOUR DE FORCE / by Michelle Gillette

/IN CONVERSATION Nicole Cannon | Michelle Gillette Nicole Cannon Danny is very visual.

He has an amazing, artistic eye and our designers were great at interpreting and implementing exactly what we wanted. In our home I think Danny’s influence is seen in the broad strokes. My touches are the fine strokes; like adding a flapper fringe on the sofas or using black pearls to accent the chandeliers.

Michelle Gillette What’s your favorite aspect of the house overall? NC I like that the whole house is

balanced between masculine and feminine. It’s very Libra. The library is my favorite room. It’s very funky and has a little bit of a 20’s vibe.

MG What areas do you congregate in the most? NC We love entertaining, so the kitchen

and dining room are constantly in use. Be it an intimate dinner party or a barbecue with many friends, we’ll usually end up playing some sort of game like touch football, Balderdash or running charades. That’s always fun. The house has a nice flow and I think people feel at home here.

MG What made you choose to move from Beverly Hills to Brentwood? NC I was looking for a friendly

neighborhood with lots of kids where my girls could ride their bikes to school. Growing up all the kids in the neighborhood would come to our house after school and play a game of kickball or softball in the front yard. I was hoping to recreate some of that for my children. I wanted our house to be a modern version of the “Kool-Aide” house…full of friends and fun times. I also liked the idea of being on the Westside because we are huge nature lovers. I like that we can go for an adventure up Temescal Canyon or hit the beach to explore the tide pools.

MG Any favorite local spots? NC We love to go for family bike rides in

the neighborhood. I enjoy morning hikes up the Kenter or Crestwood fire roads with friends after drop-off. The views are stunning and the air is clean. There is a gorgeous old oak tree perched on a hill on one of my favorite hikes that is so serene.


MG What favorite places do you frequent in ‘town?’ NC We like to pop in for family dinner at

the sushi bar at Katsuya. Devour a pizza or two at the Toscana bar. Go to Sweet Crush for a treat and then of course Soulcycle or Burn 60 the next morning.

MG What are you and Danny working on these days? NC Danny is currently Executive

Producer on the CW show he directed ‘The Tomorrow People’ as well as developing several other projects for Warner Brothers including ‘The Lottery’ for Lifetime and a 30’s period drama, also for the CW. I’m currently co-producing a new play along with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody titled ‘Good Grief’ written by Lorien Haynes, due for a spring opening. In our free time Danny and I have been acting together in a comedy web series with some friends based on my pre-midlife crisis called ‘Adult Hood’. Danny’s funny. I foresee a second career for him.

MG What would be your dream acting gig? NC Anything with Terrence Malick. He

is such a beautifully poetic storyteller. I would love to be in a female version of ‘Into the Wild’. What would it be called? Hmmm... ‘A Womb With a View’ maybe?

MG You have a comedic side too. I could see you in something by Judd Apatow. Can you share your Ninjafish-transporter story?

NC You mean the time when I almost got kicked out of Brentwood? When we first moved here, my children went on a nature walk down the street with our beloved housekeeper, and they found a small pond with fish in it. When they came home with a new ‘pet’ (fish), they swore up and down it was an abandoned pond and definitely not on someone’s property. The next day when I went with them on their walk, I was mortified to discover that it was actually the water feature in the median on a ‘Private Road’. The following morning, I went back to the ‘pond’ wearing a disguise and dodging security cameras so I could release the little fella back to his home.

MG I can imagine you sneaking through the bushes. Meanwhile, that poor fish… he thought he was going to get to swim in your pool, but then you were like ‘back in the Ziploc, Fins.’ NC Exactly! Then...cue the Ralph Lauren

family walking down the street eyeing me suspiciously and the Ziploc getting sucked into the filtration system as I was trying to act ‘normal’ until they passed. I saw an explosion of freshly cut grass in my rearview mirror when I ran over a bag of lawn clippings as I peeled out of there. I’m sure a Neighborhood Watch flyer made it into everyone’s mail that day. “Be on the look out for ‘The Brentwood Hillbillies’. ” MG But it was very noble of you. You are like Abraham Lincoln that time he walked all that way just to return one penny. But you have better hair. About the author: Michelle Gillette is a mom, freelance writer, humorist, Certified Martha Beck life-coach and former Hedge Fund exec.



Kaela Yanez @kaelarey


Ashley Dillahunty & Brandi Glanville @ashleydillahunty


Cristian David @cristianrealtor

Share your Instagrams of Brentwood with us and follow your neighbors too. We will publish a selection of pics, along with your name, in our next issue. use #ilovebrentwood #brentwoodfocus


@ Matthew Calkins & Luella June Walsh

Emily and Liz @eshsinger



Elicia Castaldi @mrskokotheblog


Isla McFadyen @@rachelmcfadcnn


Rocky and Summer @rockythepiginla


Marisa Bella and Darci Bawdon @marisabella


Morgan Hamilton and Ryan Dunlap @ryansdunlap


Nicole Behnam @nicccb

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Current Exhibitions TILL 5 JANUARY 2014

At the Window: The Photographer’s View

The exhibition, drawn primarily from the Getty Museum’s collection (including several new acquisitions), highlights the ways photographers have explored their medium by turning to the window as a framing device or conceptual tool. Arranged thematically, it presents a span of works dating from some of the earliest examples of the medium to contemporary photographs. This example of the artist Gregory Crewdson’s large-scale, staged photographs evokes the mysteries of the subconscious. Twilight is the time of day when something clearly visible becomes increasingly less visible, when the ordinary – such as a woman looking out a window – becomes less so. Here the light comes not from the window but from the plastic wrapped lamp at the center of the photograph, which distorts the sense of scale and space in the room. Time is suspended in an image of perpetual anticipation.


From the series Twilight, 2002, Gregory Crewdson.

TILL 2 MARCH, 2014

Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie Journey through a threedimensional landscape of striking architecture in this career-spanning exhibition of Moshe Safdie’s work. Global Citizen: The Architecture of Moshe Safdie surveys the renowned architect’s career from his formative period in the 1960s and early 1970s to his recent projects around the world, exploring his aesthetic language of transcendent light, powerful geometry, and iconic forms. Using sketches, models, photographs, and films of twenty-five projects, the exhibition portrays Safdie’s architecture not only as visual art but as a medium for advancing social, political, and cultural goals.

Skirball Cultural Center Los Angeles, 2013


Photo: Timothy Hursley



Music & Theater COMEDY + THEATER 13-22 DECEMBER

Impro Theatre’s Jane Austen Unscripted

THEATER TILL 22 DECEMBER Bette Midler in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers The Geffen Playhouse brings the Broadway production to Los Angeles. Tony and Grammy Award-winning superstar Bette Midler plays the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers (1932-2011) in this new play, her first appearance on Broadway in nearly 40 years. The playwright, John Logan, won a Tony Award for Red and wrote the screenplay for the last James Bond movie, Skyfall. “The most lusciously entertaining performance of the Broadway season ... Bette Midler cradles a spellbound audience in the palm of her hand!” - The New York Times Geffen Playhouse. 10886 Le Conte Avenue CA 90024

Corsets won’t constrain you from cracking a rib, laughing at the Impro Theatre’s popular and hilarious Jane Austen Unscripted. A local favorite, this company has won critical acclaim for their full-length, fully-improvised plays in the styles of the world’s greatest playwrights and authors. Now, this ingenious troupe combines verbal wit and robust physicality to re-create Austen’s world of love-struck girls, brooding noblemen and charming cads. Hearts will be broken. Chests will heave. Aisles will be rolled in. “One of the funniest evenings in town... an amazing comedy troupe spins an entire play into comedy gold right before your eyes” (Los Angeles Times Magazine). It’s a holiday favorite not to be missed. 8pm Tickets: $40. The Broad Stage. 1310 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401.


Woody Allen and His New Orleans Jazz Band

For more than thirty-five years, Woody Allen and His New Orleans Jazz Band have been delighting audiences with a hot mix of New Orleans inspired music. Their repertoire consists of over 1200 songs and comprises a diverse collection of early 20th century popular tunes, hymns, spirituals, marches, blues and rags. In keeping with the spontaneous nature of the music every performance is an energetic collection of improvisations—there is no play list, nor do the musicians know what song Allen, in collaboration with band director Eddy Davis, will call out next. Tickets: $112 / $82 / $52 Royce Hall 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Don McLean

Don McLean is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his classic hits “American Pie” and “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)”. Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna’s No. 1 recording of “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s version of “The Grave” in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War. Opening set by Michel-Ann Azouli. Doors 6pm. Show 9:00pm $100.00 / $60.00 / $50.00 / $35.00 + applicable fees The Canyon 28912 Roadside Dr, Agoura, CA 91301 T:(818) 879-5016 23


Kids 8 DECEMBER: 11am

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Ages: 6+ Cost: FREE Co-presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. This rollicking and endearing take on Dickens’ Christmas classic is enlivened by the antics of all your favorite Muppets, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear, plus Michael Caine as the hard-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge. (1992, Dir. B. Henson, 35mm, color, 87 min.). Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Blvd CA 90024

30 NOVEMBER: 3pm - 7pm

Santa and Snow on Rodeo

Ages: All ages Cost: FREE Santa Claus visits the Wilshire Fountain at Two Rodeo for free (you take your own picture!) throughout the holiday season. Each time Santa makes his visit, snow will fall from the rooftops. Strolling musicians play live music, the tree is lit, and there is joy in the hills! Two Rodeo, N. Rodeo Drive & Dayton Way, Beverly Hills.

TILL 20 DECEMBER: 9am- 6pm

Christmas on The Farm Ages: All ages Cost: $6

Christmas is coming to Underwood Family Farms. Fresh cut northwest trees are arriving on the farm as well as mistletoe, wreaths & all the fixings. Don’t miss vintage tractor-drawn wagon rides & visits with Santa Claus for 2 weekends only - November 30 & December 1, 7 & 8 from 11:00 am- 4:00 pm. Wagon rides are included with paid admission. Underwood Family Farms 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark, CA 93021


“Yes, Virginia There Is A Santa Claus”

Ages: 3+ Cost: $12 - $20 A holiday classic that is sure to put a smile on even the Scrooges of the season! Based on actual events, this one hour mini-musical follows eight year old Virginia O’Hanlon on a journey to discover if Santa Claus is real. She decides to write a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun to find out the truth. The response printed in the Sun by newsman, Francis Church, is one of hope, generosity and the spirit of childhood. His simple reply changes his life as much as Virginia’s and becomes one of the most famous editorial responses in history. This is an interactive-cinematic-theatrical-musical experience, where kids are encouraged to cheer for the hero’s, boo for the villains, sing, dance and clap along. And in the spirit of the holidays, every kiddo gets a free toy music maker upon entering. Have your child bring their letter to Santa to drop off in the “North Pole Direct” access bag to prove they are a believer and get a special holiday sticker… The Miles Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica


6 DECEMBER: 5pm-9pm

Walking On A Montana Ave Wonderland

Ages: All ages Costs: FREE Kick the Holiday season off with a Santa Monica stroll on Montana Avenue’s annual Holiday Walk. The whole family can find perfect holiday gifts walking down twinkling streets filled with live music and festive fun. And of course, Santa will make an appearance too… And when the kiddos get chilly, there are plenty of places to duck in for a warm drink and a yummy snack. Montana Ave., Santa Monica.

7, 8, 14 DECEMBER: 2pm

Disney’s Beauty And The Beast Jr

Ages: 4+ Costs: $15-$20 Step into the enchanted world of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. Featuring songs from the AcademyAward winning animated feature, this stage version includes music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. Be transported to the heart of provincial life in a lovely French town. When Maurice becomes lost in the woods on the way to the fair, he seeks shelter in an old castle, but the master of the castle is a horrible beast that takes him captive. Maurice’s daughter, Belle, must then give up her freedom to save his life. Belle’s taming of the unfortunate Beast and his ultimate transformation back into a handsome prince is a beloved fairy tale about very different people finding strength in one another and learning how to love. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica

6 & 20 DECEMBER: 10.30am

Yoga For Kids, with Maxi

Ages: 18 months - 4yrs Costs: FREE Free yoga classes at the library designed specially for parents/ caregivers and their little ones! We’ll crawl, play and stretch while doing lots of partner poses to introduce your toddler to yoga.

Donald Bruce Kaufman Brentwood Library 11820 San Vicente Blvd.



Nearly one in five children under age 8 uses a mobile device every day. That’s one-third the number of children reading books on a daily basis. The only activity competing for the popularity of books among children under 8 is watching TV, which 58% do on a daily basis. Zoe Fox –

ELEVATR’S APP HELPS YOU BUILD YOUR START UP IDEA. Most of us don’t act on our “ingenious” business ideas

simply because it’s freaking hard. While Elevatr initially positioned its app as something akin to a business brainstorming helper, it stumbled into a potentially lucrative business model of its own: connecting you with people who can design your business’ website, app, and strategy. “The push back we got originally was that we would be getting ‘Joe Schmoe’ ideas, but as it turns out it’s real entrepreneurs using Elevatr to launch their ideas,” Elevatr founder and chief executive, David Spiro, said. He attributes the company’s success so far, which includes more than 80,000 users and 120,000 ideas, to a combination of the methods its used to reach users as well as a general wave of entrepreneurship that’s pushing people to act on their ideas.

Devindra Hardawar –


teachers and entrepreneurs have developed a connected soft toy called ‘Ubooly’. The toy becomes “smart” when you insert a smartphone or iPad mini in the top of its head, and zip it closed. The mobile device functions as a brain of sorts, so the Ubooly can converse with a child, tell stories, teach math, demonstrate teeth brushing, suggest healthy eating options, and more. Using advanced speech recognition technology, it can have a conversation in over five languages, and immediately recognizes your child’s name. The toy is ideal for kids ages 4 to 7 and costs just under $30. Christina Farr –

BUT DOES IT FIT? We’ve all been there. You find something

you love on an e-commerce site, and it arrives in a different shade than expected, or the fit runs two sizes too small. Luckily, ModCloth has come up with the perfect solution: They’re asking you how it fits first. Fit For Me, a new app by ModCloth, helps shoppers to find the perfect garment by crowdsourcing those who have already purchased the item. Here’s how it works: You enter your measurements – height, bra, waist and hips – and then the app delivers a slew of specific ModCloth items that suit your body type and size based on thousands of real customer reviews. Fit For Me is unique in that it comes straight from a retailer that’s willing to admit that some of its garments aren’t exactly the right fit for everyone.

Talking About Apps

with Jedd Gold, founder of Artkive. Artkive is an app that allows you to capture your kid’s artwork, with dates and notes, and print them out to a book. Now you don’t have to feel (too) guilty about not keeping every single painting or ‘sculpture’ they create.

When was the app launched? Around late August/early September 2012. What was the inspiration that led you to create it? I was watching my wife photograph our kids’ art one day. She then uploaded it to her computer and uploaded it from there to a photo site. She never actually made the book she had hoped because the pictures were all out of order and she didn’t have the time to spend sorting it all out and making a book. I thought I could make her life, and the lives of other parents in the same boat, easier by creating an app that would do almost all the work for her. How many downloads do you have to date and what has the feedback been? The feedback has been amazing. Artkive is featured by Apple as one of their best apps for parents. It was chosen as a Cool Mom Tech Pick of the Year, A Daily Candy Favorite Find of 2012, won a Family Choice Award, a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award, was recently featured on The Today Show as an essential tool for back to school and more. More than 200,000 parents have downloaded Artkive to date. Do you have plans to reproduce the art in any other form apart from books? Yes, next year we’ll be offering other items such as mugs, iPhone/ iPad cases and more... Anything else we should know? You can use Artkive to document more than just your kids’ art. Many parents are using it to document important events in their children’s lives – from first days of school to after school activities, sports, and more. It’s a great and easy way to keep a chronological record of your kid’s days. Now that we have you reaching for your phone, just install the app – and when you’re ready to make your first book, type the word FOCUS in the ‘Group Code’ box in the ‘Account’ section at artkiveapp. com to get a $10 credit towards the purchase of your first book. (Not valid in conjunction with any other offers or credits. Valid through 12/31/13.) 25

Talk Back Tuesdays

The best things in life are

Enjoy complimentary Peet’s Coffee & Tea before the show and dig deeper into plot, characters and themes with Geffen artists post-performance. It’s interactive, intellectual and thoughtprovoking. Geffen Playhouse10886 Le Conte Avenue. T: 310 208-5454


Here are some things you can do around your neighborhood this month, that won’t break the bank.


3 December, 1.30pm – The Palm Beach Story


3 December, 7.30pm – Hammer Readings Some Favorite Writers: Dana Spiotta

Dana Spiotta is the author of Stone Arabia, a National Book Critics Award Finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of 2011. It was named a best book of 2011 by the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and Salon. She is also author of the acclaimed novels Lightning Field and Eat the Document. Spiotta lives in central New York and teaches in the Syracuse University MFA program. Hammer Museum.10899 Wilshire Blvd, 90024.

5 December, 7.30pm – Hammer Conversations Diana Nyad & Catherine Opie

In 2013, on her fifth attempt and at age 64, Diana Nyad became the first person confirmed to swim 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the protection of a shark cage. She is a prominent sports broadcaster, filing reports for National Public Radio, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports, and the New York Times and is the subject of the documentary film The Other Shore. Catherine Opie is one of the leading photographers of her generation and a documentarian of the American landscape and people. Selected solo exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; St. Louis Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and a


midcareer survey at the Guggenheim Museum, New York. She is a professor in the UCLA Department of Art. Hammer Museum.10899 Wilshire Blvd, 90024.

W Los Angeles – A Taste Of Switzerland With Après

W Los Angeles – Westwood kicks off the 2013 winter season in style with Après, the new annual fête with winter chalet décor, fire pits, s’mores and fondue stations. The poolside will be transformed into a Veuve Clicquot Après Ski Chalet, featuring specialty Veuve champagne cocktails for the season. Après is inspired by the opening of W Verbier, the first W Alpine Hotel and Residences set to open in Switzerland in December 2013. Après will be taking place until late January 2013. W Los Angeles - Westwood, 930 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Tom (Joel McCrea) and Gerry (Claudette Colbert) are a married couple who’ve fallen upon hard times. When they decide to split up, they both head to Palm Beach. En route, both meet wealthy businessmen who decide to contribute to Tom’s fantastical plan to build an airport suspended over a city. Directed by Preston Sturges. (1942, 88 min. No MPAA rating.)

10 December, 1.30pm – The Truman Show

Sunday Morning Yoga

Every Sunday, complimentary instore yoga at Lululemon from 9:30 -10:30am. Take your yoga mat – and if you don’t have one, you can borrow one for the class.

Thursdays – Run Club

If you like company when you’re running, Lululemon have a great free running club for the Brentwood community on Thursday evenings at 6:15pm. Meet at the store (11920 San Vicente Blvd.) and run around the neighborhood. Lululemon 11920 San Vicente Blvd, T: 310 442-3563 brentwood-store@

Truman (Jim Carrey) is an insurance salesman who lives a rather normal American life until he begins to notice that things may not be as they seem. The Truman Show is an exploration of what can happen when our perception of our own environment is shattered. Also starring Ed Harris and Laura Linney. Directed by Peter Weir. (1998, 103 min. Rated PG.) Skirball. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.


Health & Science “The First Wealth is Health”

About the author: Dr. Paul Parminter, D.D.S. has lectured and published on the topic of implant prsthodontics, and lectured internationally. he currently maintains a full-time private practice limited to implant and reconstructive dentistry located in Brentwood. 11980 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 501, CA 90049 T:(310) 820-9800

There won’t be enough food for everyone by 2050, no matter how equally we distribute it. In order to feed a world of 9.6 billion people (the projected population) 37 years down the line, farmers today would have to make significant changes, devoting less land to biofuels and dramatically boosting crop yields. Growers will probably resort to clearcutting more forests, dealing a big blow to biodiversity and causing CO2 emissions to rise. But there is another path: humans can cut down on the embarrassingly large amount of food waste we produce, and we can slash meat consumption (plant-based diets require less arable land). If we’re lucky, realistic meat replacements and in-vitro meat will grow large enough that they can handle some of the planet’s meat cravings. Ariel Schwartz – Photo: Laurynas Mereckas

I HAVE HEARD IT SAID THAT – “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” Ok it is actually a line from the movie Princess Bride. But I love the movie – Ralph Waldo Emerson and the fact is that it is a true statement. Yet by Paul Parminter it is funny that some of the first things that are delayed or put off indefinitely in times of economic uncertainty are routine dental visits. After all “If it ain’t broke, it can wait ‘til it is.” This is not the best advice, especially in terms of taking care of your mouth or your bank account. Few of us spend much time focusing on one of the most important parts of our body: the mouth. The mouth it is the gateway to the rest of the body. The mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract, but it is also a system in itself. It is also involved in respiration, hydration, communication, expression, pleasure and youth. The system is very complex, vital to life, commonly overlooked and disregarded. It is vital to the quality of one’s life and maintaining one’s health. Few people know that good dental health can be the key to good overall health. Many diseases and conditions of the body have been associated with the health of the mouth. It has been reported that in 2009 dental expenses totaled $102.2 billion which was down slightly from 2008 levels because less people where visiting dentists. The 2010 PEW Center on the States report expects a 58 percent increase in annual spending on dental care expenses over the next 7 years. Annual spending on dental services is less than 4.5 percent of all health care expenditures, but a greater portion of these expenditures come out of the patient’s pockets. This makes us more aware of the cost of such services. Whether rich, poor or in between regular dental visits and care has declined as the out of pocket costs have risen over the last few years. Dental problems, though serious, are generally not life threatening. It is much more likely for dental problems to be ignored and left untreated than are medical problems. This encourages patients to create a false sense security by separating the mouth from the rest of the body. There is a feeling of “that will never happen to me”, much like smoking and lung cancer. Delaying dental visits and treatment doesn’t make the problems go away. Problems tend to get worse. Dental diseases do not cure or heal themselves like other areas of the body. For those who skip regular dental visits or delay addressing problem, the long term costs can be alarming. Dental neglect can end up costing a bundle! Dentistry is unique in its disease prevention achievements and the level of control a patient has about whether, how, and when to treat dental problems. Every dollar spent on prevention of dental disease saves between $4-$50 or more in potential treatment costs. So like the old Fram oil filter commercial says: “You can pay a little bit now, or a lot more later.” You should consider dental care as a long term investment in yourself and your overall health and well being.

There Won’t Be Enough Food in 2050

Make Vitamin-Rich Tea from Pine Needles

Pine needles have a variety of health benefits including quite a bit of vitamin C. You should only use tufts of white pine needles to make this tea unless you’re familiar enough to identify other non-lethal kinds. Not all pine needles are good for you. From there you just need to slice off the ends that hold the needles together, chop them into smaller 1/4” pieces, and boil some water. Remove the boiling water from heat, drop the pine needles in for about 5-10 minutes, and then remove the needles with a colander. Adam Dachis – 27

Social Gypsy

a company for the nomadic soul…


b y l i n d s ay to w l e r i l e y

had to escape. The walls in my cubicle were collapsing inwards and the fluorescent lights were making me spin. Having to work in the stuffy, airless environment of corporate America was a reality I could no longer face. As I whiled away the hours at work, I often found myself staring at an old black and white photograph I had pinned up next to my desk. It was an image of an elderly gypsy woman walking alone down a street in Paris. I wondered about her. Who was this woman, how did she live, what were her dreams? Looking into her nomadic soul, I knew I had to take the leap. We are defying all conventions and have entered a time where we can work from anywhere, communicate from a far away Island in Indonesia and send a tweet from an airplane that will be used as a source for media outlets across the globe. Thereby asking the question we must ask once again... which came first the chicken or the egg? Is life imitating media or is media imitating life? Once I took the leap, it became clear that I no longer needed to sit in an office for a certain number of hours per day to get a job done. I embraced the idea that the more productive you are, the fewer hours need to be wasted staring at a screen. I am now working with full mobility where my office is my car, my coffee shop and my kitchen table. With all of this in mind, Social Gypsy was born and the gypsy was alive. My first client was a friend who asked me for help opening a pop up shop in Brentwood for a global company called Power Plate. Everything from finding the location, to branding it, creating the website, logos, sales materials and a viral marketing campaign. This lead to a Nike campaign and then to an eco clothing line launch… Before I knew it I was as busy as I had ever been and having the time of my life. I had to come up with a name quickly. I wanted something that would communicate my recent discovery; “You can create your own dreams, you can work from anywhere, you can make an impact and you can still manage to travel the globe while doing it.” Social Gypsy was officially born four years ago. I now have around ten clients per month and I love what I do. 28 FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013

Social Gypsy’s niche is brand strategy focused on designing brand identities (websites, logos, marketing materials) and strategic offline and online marketing campaigns. The company focuses on lifestyle culture, hospitality, beauty, fashion, wellness and more. Social Gypsy’s mission is to maintain individualism and a non-corporate aesthetic in a corporate world. Known for growing and maintaining a brand’s cutting edge aspirational essence, Social Gypsy integrates brands with culture by creating emotive and intelligent connections and initiatives, as well as long lasting impressions. The word gypsy represents an individual or brand that wants to defy all conventional norms and create an identity that tells a story or communicates a lifestyle. Jewelry designer, Jacquie Aiche, is an incredible example of this; she is a client, friend and one of the most inspiring artists we work with. She created a jewelry line that represents freedom, a tribe and is a mantra worn. We recently produced and art directed a shoot for her at a rustic house in Topanga Canyon. The laid back 70’s bohemian vibe of the shoot captured the essence of her brand. For the launch of a boutique hotel and restaurant, Granada Hotel and Bistro, Social Gypsy designed every material from the French calling cards to a captivating website. Among some of our other noted clients are designer Jennifer Nicholson who recently launched Pearl Drop a boutique located in the heart of Venice, esthetician extraordinaire Gina Mari’ Skincare and Hale Pilates Studio. It can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind, marching like an obedient soldier to the reverberating drum of corporate America. But by listening to my intuition, I’ve managed to attract a clientele that both appreciates and embodies Social Gypsy’s core values. Together, we turn their unique vision into a lifestyle, a message, a story and a successful business.



Coming Soon...


The Secret Life of WalterMitty

Follows a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his

co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. Stars: Ben Stiller, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine. Director: Ben Stiller.


The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Stars: Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman. Director: Peter Jackson Turn to back page to view trailer



After years of struggling to conceive with her husband, Lizzie (Radha Mitchell) has given up hope of having a baby on her own. But when her best friend Andie (Michelle Monaghan) finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand, an unexpected solution arises: Andie offers to have the baby and give it to Lizzie. The couple agrees to the plan, on one condition: Andie must move in with them for the duration of the pregnancy. But can the women’s friendship survive until birth? Jessie McCormack’s debut is a refreshingly candid comedy about planning ahead for life’s unexpected detours. Stars: Michelle Monaghan, Radha Mitchell, Michael Weston Director: Jessie McCormack

A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) who, along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Stars: Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper. Director: David O Russell


American Hustle 29

7 Year-end To-Do’s for Financial Planning Halloween typically kicks off the end-of-the-year holiday season. Blink once and it’s Thanksgiving; blink twice and it’s Christmas. New Year’s Eve offers the promise of a better next year, resolutions to conceive, and the absolute deadline for important financial planning duties. Here are a few.


Exhaust “Use it or Lose it” Flex Spending Accounts (FSA)


Harvest Capital While most stock investors saw gains in their portfolios in 2013, a few asset classes like bonds, Losses Against commodities and emerging markets declined. By selling those which hold losses, investors can Taxable Gains offset assets sold at a gain, resulting in substantial tax savings. For example, an investor in the highest tax bracket who sells a stock for a gain within one year of having purchased it will owe more than 45% of that gain in taxes, including the Medicare surtax and California state taxes. But by selling an equivalent amount of a losing stock, the investor can eradicate the gain and have a resulting tax bill of $0. If your capital losses exceed your capital gains for the year, you can use up to $3,000 of realized losses to offset ordinary income (or $1,500 if you’re married and file separately).


Accelerate Mortgage Payments and Property Tax Payments

Workplace health benefits frequently offer a tax-advantaged flex spending account whereby employees can use tax-deductible funds to pay for medical costs not covered by insurance, like co-pays on doctor visits and prescription drug medication. However, some plans stipulate that the employee must use all of the funds in the account by December 31 or forfeit them. So, get a teeth cleaning, buy contact lenses solution, or replace those glasses—just don’t leave those precious FSA funds behind.

By paying January’s mortgage in December, you’ll be able to deduct the associated interest in 2013, resulting in a greater mortgage interest deduction and likely a lower tax bill for taxpayers who itemize their deductions. Similarly, by prepaying the second installment of property taxes in December, rather than in February, taxpayers can take the entire year’s-worth of property tax deduction in 2013.


Make Annual Taxpayers are permitted to gift up to $14,000 per donee in 2013. The gift is tax-free to the Gifts to Family recipient, and while not tax-deductible to the donor, the funds reduce the donor’s estate and subsequent estate taxes at death.


Take Your After you reach age 70 ½, you must take required minimum distributions from your traditional Required Minimum IRAs (including rollover and SEP-IRAs) and your 401(k) accounts (in most cases). Failure to take Distribution (RMD) your required minimum distribution by December 31 could subject you to penalties as high as 50% of the undistributed amount.


Make Charitable Most gifts to qualified charities are tax-deductible. Donating before year-end allows the tax payer Gifts to deduct the donated amount in the year of the gift. After reviewing your personal tax situation, determine whether or not to donate by year-end or defer into 2014. Additionally, IRA owners over the age of 70 ½ may donate up to $100,000 directly to a qualified charity to satisfy both their required minimum distribution (RMD) and a charitable deduction.

individuals can take advantage of increased contribution limits by sheltering 7 Open a Solo 401(k) Self-employed income in a qualified retirement plan, like a solo 401(k). Furthermore, spouses who are on the

payroll can contribute to the plan, as well. Including catch-up contributions for participants age 50 and over, a husband-wife team can shelter up to $102,000 between them, provided earned income for each is at least $51,000.

There are a number of other year-end strategies investors can employ that are too numerous to mention here. It is crucial that one consult a qualified financial advisor before employing any of the strategies mentioned herein. Founded in 1985, Cheviot Value Management specializes in the management of customized investment portfolios for individuals, retirement plans, and charitable foundations. 30 FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013

David A. Horvitz, CFP® is skilled in the areas of taxation mitigation, retirement planning, estate planning, and numerous other areas of financial importance. David was named by Los Angeles magazine as one of the city’s best financial planners for 2011 and 2012.

Darren C. Pollock provides investment analysis and portfolio management for the firm. Darren’s views on the financial markets have appeared in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine and Yahoo!Finance.

Real Estate



It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year… To Buy And Sell A Home? With the holiday season upon us prospective buyers and sellers often ask: Are the holidays the best time to buy and sell real estate? Absolutely! In fact the holiday season is the BEST time to buy and sell here are seven reasons why:

Mona Cohen Mona Cohen has brought her 10 plus years of experience as an Independent Broker to Rodeo Realty in Brentwood. Her knowledge of real estate ranges from probate court, to short sales, and of course the traditional standard sale. Mona specializes in luxury real estate from Bel Air to Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades. Raised in Brentwood, Mona’s favorite activity is going to the Brentwood Farmer’s Market on Sunday’s. One of Mona’s passions is growing and tending to the passionfruit trees in her backyard. Her philosophy in life, which she applies to her real estate practices is: Do the best. Be the Best. Being Second is not motivating! T: 310 466-6675 Rodeo Realty Brentwood 11940 San Vicente # 100 Los Angeles, CA 90049

Serious Buyers While there may be less buyers out there, people who look for a home during the holidays are serious they are ready to buy! Less Competition There are fewer homes for buyers to look at during the holidays which mean less competition for you as a seller. After the holidays the supply of listings increases substantially which lowers the demand for your home which means more competition for you as a seller. Time Many buyers have more time to look for property during the holidays as opposed to a normal work week. Relocation Relocation buyers are actively looking. Companies are not concerned about holiday time and if the perspective buyer has kids, they want to get their children into school after the holidays. Tax Benefits Buyers should consider buying before the end of the year because of tax deductions. Home buyers who close before the end of the year could be eligible for tax credits, such as deductions for home mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and PMI premiums. Consult your accountant. Interest Rates Historically interest rates tend to be lower during the holiday, which means favorable mortgage terms as a buyer- making it a great time to buy a home. Staging During the winter months, homes generally show better and are more inviting. Who doesn’t love a tastefully decorated house, with the fireplace roaring, and smell of freshly baked cookies? Remember while decorating show your homes best features and take great pictures and of course a video. Happy Holidays from my family to yours. If you or anyone you know is considering buying or selling a home please give me a call to discuss your needs. Please give me a call at 310-466-6675, or email me at with any questions or comments. 31


Real Estate


Davina O’Donnell

5BD | 4BA OFFERED AT $2,199,000

T: 310 702-3563 Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Have an interactive experience with your magazine. The QR codes on this page are videos which accompany some of the featured articles. To find out more about a story first download the QRReader app to your smartphone, and hold your phone steady in front of the codes, till you link to the videos.

Art and Technology

MOSHE SAFDIE Watch a talk by the architect who designed the Skirball Cultural Center. Page 22

UBOOLY, THE SMART TOY This clever toy educates and entertains kids. Page 25





The film maker plays jazz too! See his New York performance. Page 23

Singing American Pie live. Page 23

Sneak peek trailer of upcoming Hobbit movie. Page 29



Personal chef Pam Reims has a few cooking tips. Page 12

Danielle Cuccio takes you through a yoga warm up. Page 16




Alli Webb of Drybar shows you how to do a Mai Tai. Page 15



David Hockney Joe with David Harte signed color litho, AP VI L 41 in. H 58 in.

2928 Nebraska Avenue Santa Monica, California 90404 Open daily by appointment Call 310 828-1030





Realtor, NRT’s Top 1,000 Sales Associates


Operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.





of Sales Associates Nationwide

“My husband and I are so grateful for Lisa’s… generosity in using her time, effort, and talents to provide us with a home… She truly looked out for our best interests by thoroughly explaining each and every detail and document in what can be a very complicated process…if you want to see your family’s dreams become reality, I would recommend you contact Lisa for what will be a fantastic life-changing experience.” – Katherine C. Guevara


Your Property Taxes are Delinquent if Paid after Dec. 10, 2013. If you have not received a Property Tax Bill from the Tax Assessor’s Office,


DIRECT: 310.481.4313



CELL: 310.993.2303 WHAT’S NEW...!

1342 Waterford St. Asking $ 2,348,000 1 *NEW PRICE!!! $ 2,148,000 333 S. Bundy Dr. Asking $ 1,549,000 11420 Chenault St. Lease $ 5,950/Mo 3636 Sawtelle Ave. Lease $ 3,950/Mo 11331 Homedale St. *In Escrow!!! 16634 Oakview Dr. *In Escrow!!! 11326 Homedale St. *Just Sold!!! 11350 Homedale St. *Just Sold!!! 4812 Sancola Ave. *Just Sold!!! 2101 Hillsboro Ave. *Just Sold!!!

Contact me to hear about my upcoming listings! – Lisa

Focus Magazine December 2013 – Holiday Issue  

Holiday Issue of the community powered magazine for Los Angeles, California. Celebrities, Health, Food.

Focus Magazine December 2013 – Holiday Issue  

Holiday Issue of the community powered magazine for Los Angeles, California. Celebrities, Health, Food.