Lavender loves, part deux: Lather skin care

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Here’s the thing about Lather: It was founded by Emilie Hoyt, who knows a thing or two about that buzz word, aromatherapy. Ten years ago, Hoyt got the idea to start the botanical skin care brand after she discovered lavender soap helped to relieve her intense migraine headaches.
She would even put the soap under her pillow to relax at bedtime.
So lavender abounds at Lather, which means we had so many options from which to choose. Some favs:

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Lavender loves: Lush soaps and bubble bars

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We are on a serious lavender kick here in the newsroom. After reading about lavender’s soothing properties, we now have a community lavender lotion bottle and lavender room spray to diffuse tense situations. (And even if the scent doesn’t actually make meeting our deadlines any easier, at least we smell good doing it.)
For handmade cosmetics and bath products — in any scent — Lush is where it’s at. Here’s what we recommend:

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BabyCakes, BabyCakes … bake me a cake as fast as you can

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If these photos don’t make you drool, you’re seriously lacking a sweet tooth (or even a sweet taste bud, for heaven’s sake!)
Erin McKenna, founder of BabyCakes NYC, has brought her brand of healthy baking to a new storefront in downtown Los Angeles.
That conspicuous H-word is not a misprint: BabyCakes products are all-natural confections that can fit deliciously into even the most persnickety of diets. Check the menu and take note: There are gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, casein-free, egg-free and refined-sugar-free goodies. Vegan and kosher items, too!
Virtually everyone can eat here, except for those who don’t like cupcakes. And we honestly can’t confirm the existence of such people.
Mon., day-old stock, all 50 percent off, noon-6 p.m. or until sold old; Tues.-Weds., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 130 E. 6th St., between S. Main Street and S. Los Angeles Street, 213-623-5555,

More images over which to salivate after the jump.

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Behind the scenes: Rose Magazine cover shoot


For our February issue on health and wellness (with a pinch of Valentine’s Day), we worked with staff photographer Watchara Phomicinda to create this blissful cover look.

Lots more photos after the jump.

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Rooted in love: Valentine’s Day at The Folk Tree


The Folk Tree has the art of romance boiled down to a science — or is it the other way around?

Its 23rd annual Hearts & Flowers Exhibition runs through Feb. 20, with love and all its requisite — and some unexpected — symbols the focus of the show.

Expect a variety of mediums, including jewelry, as 50 local artists display their works. Small-scale decorative works and whimsical objects are balanced against emotionally-charged pieces reflecting the ups and downs of love.

An array of related Mexican folk art is also on view, including ceramic figures, repousse hearts cut from tin, and paper and cornhusk flowers.

Lots more amazing photos after the jump.

217 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Mon.-Wed., 11-6; Thurs.-Sat., 10-6; Sun., 12-5. (626) 795-8733,

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Role-playing at JPL: Send your name to Mars and build your own space mission without leaving home


As part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, you can now send your name on a microchip to Mars. That’s right: This is your (probably only) chance to go to Mars, even if only in name.
The Mars Science Laboratory rover, which will be exploring the red planet to determine if its environment is habitable, heads to Mars in 2011. Your name could be there, or be … not on Mars.
Less real, but with even more interactive fun for you and the kidlets: Build your own space mission on the JPL Web site.
You get to:
  • Design your Mii-like scientist/engineer
  • Equip your laboratory with data-capturing devices
  • Choose an orbiter or rover as your spacecraft
  • Outfit it with more information-gathering instruments
  • Select a destination like Mars, Saturn, its moon Titan or Earth
  • Launch your rocket — with a countdown and everything
  • Study your destination and collect data and samples to send back to Earth
And, at the end of it all, NASA always requests that you build a new mission! How’s that for positive reinforcement? (And, no, I have not played it three times already today.)
That’s me, below, in my casual-Friday look. I actually use two of those three instruments in my real-life job.
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Health and wellness: Rose Magazine February issue hits the streets today with Valentine’s goodies

The February issue of Rose Magazine, which focuses on health and wellness, is out today!
Inside — among our regular departments and guides to the best events, shopping and dining in Pasadena — you’ll find:
  • Crucial things to know before taking your first step in the Pasadena Marathon
  • A community clinic that’s turning the notion of free-clinics-as-last-resort on its head
  • A primer on loose-leaf teas, with teapots that are truly works of serviceware art
  • The best Valentine’s Day cards ever, crafted by local Anemone Letterpress
  • Our regular Shop the Block feature, this time showcasing boutiques in Sierra Madre
  • Healthy cupcakes — and you won’t have to travel the world over to get them
  • A riveting and revealing column by our resident mommy blogger on the pain of postpartum depression
Pasadena Star-News subscribers receive the magazine automatically with their newspaper.
If you’re not a subscriber, you can pick up a copy at Vroman’s or select spots around town, like the Convention Center and the Star-News office, 911 E. Colorado Blvd. Contact us and we’ll make sure you get a copy!
To get future issues delivered direct to your home or office, subscribe to Rose Magazine.
You can also peruse the entire February health and wellness issue below:

Festival of Brides: The Upscale Bridal Show


The Festival of Brides, Upscale Bridal Show made its tenth appearance at The Langham, Huntington in Pasadena this last Sunday — and it was an afternoon to remember.

Being a fairly new bride-to-be, I’ve only been to one other bridal show, but as I entered the Huntington Ballroom at the Langham on Sunday, I could easily see why there was such a steep entrance fee ($35).

These beautiful displays by Luna Party Rentals provided some of the decorative and lighting displays in the foyer entrance to the ballroom.


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Cheesing it up for the Super Bowl

It’s almost time for the Super Bowl, and that means it’s also time for … cheese, obviously.
At Bristol Farms in South Pasadena, experience the exciting world of cheese sculptures created by Sarah “The Cheese Lady” Kaufmann, a nationally recognized cheese sculptor. (They do exist.)

Taste champion Wisconsin cheeses, and watch The Cheese Lady create a stampede of crashing helmets for this year’s big game rivals, the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, out of super-sized cheeses.

The lineup of mammoth Wisconsin cheeses includes 22-pound to 150-pound Cheddar “linemen” and Sartori Raspberry Belavitano as the “taste-backer.”

Let the cheese-sculpting begin, today, Feb. 5, and Saturday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at  Bristol Farms Supermarket, 606 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena.