Friday, December 21, 2012

Laugh and the Whole World Laughs with You!

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

    It seems that laughing can be contagious.  Have you ever found yourself laughing after you see someone else laughing?  You don’t know why you are laughing but just seeing someone laugh can cause you to do the same.  Wouldn’t you rather catch a laugh then a cold or the flu? 
    Our children certainly know how to laugh.  We can learn much from them. They seem to spend a lot more time laughing than we adults do!  Babies smile naturally too.  Remember your baby’s first smile? 
We have all heard the age old saying “laughter is the best medicine.”   Have we experienced this ourselves?  
Laughing results in the exercise of your diaphragm and the movement of your facial muscles.  Have you ever laughed so hard that your side hurts?   
    There is a lot of research into the physical benefits of laughter.  When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.  Laughter activates and relieves your stress response by lowering your adrenaline level, resulting in a good, relaxed feeling.  Laughter can also soothe tension by stimulating the circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. 
    Laughter has some positive long term effects too.  It improves your immune system. Negative thoughts result in chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.  Laughter may also ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers, such as endorphins.  Laughter can also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders such as fibromyalgia.  Finally, laughter increases personal satisfaction by making it easier to cope with difficult situations and in helping you connect with other people. 
    So, yes it’s true!  Laughing is really healthy by promoting good physical health and mental well being.  It’s good for our hearts and our heads.   This is wonderful news for us all.  We are not wasting time laughing we are exercising our bodies and elevating our moods.  No drugs needed! 
Happy people seem to make others happier too.  Most of us would rather talk with a happy person than with a grumpy one-right? 
    So if laughing is good for us, why aren’t we doing more of it?  In today’s post 9/11 world we are much more stressed and on guard than ever before.  Tragedy seems to be everywhere and with instant media you can follow it for days if not weeks.  I am not suggesting that we not empathize or be engaged with happenings in the world, but we should keep it all in perspective and not let current events put us in a state of constant depression and immobilization. 
    Wouldn’t we be more able, mentally and physically, to respond to a crisis if we were in good health?  If your doctor prescribed laughter in a pill form, would you take it? 
What about our children.   Do they feel this angst?  Do they feel more stressed today, than we did growing up?  What would your guess be?  The answer is obvious.  They feel your mood. 
To summarize, there is now clear evidence that laughter is good for mental as well as physical health.  If you are healthier you are more likely to be patient and energetic.  Wouldn’t that be good for your family and children?  Again, an obvious “Yes!” 
Here are some of my favorite tips to make you and your family healthier and happier: 
  • Go to a funny movie together
  • Find jokes to share with your kids
  • Tickle your kids and let them tickle you
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does!
  • Have a backwards day at your house where you have dinner in the morning and breakfast at night.
  • Have your family make funny faces and take photos
  • Read a funny story with your kids.  The “Last Night I Had a Laughmare” book was created for exactly this purpose. 
Wouldn’t our lives be so much better with a little more laughter in the world?  You can be the change that your family and your community needs. 

Judy Egett Laufer BA, author of the new release, “Last Night I Had a Laughmare-Bedtime Adventures in Gigglyville” (, is a certified early childhood educator/consultant and has taught Kindergarten for over a decade. She wrote this to help families bring laughter and joy to their children’s bedtime routine. Her strategy for diffusing difficult situations with children is to infuse a little humor and silliness.  Laufer wanted to give children and their parents a fun way to approach bedtime. Laufer attended Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.  She is married and she currently lives with her husband and son in the Southwest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cover Shoot with Kym Johnson

Behind the scenes photos of our cover shoot with Dancing with the Star's Kym Johnson. Be sure to check out our January/February issue to see more!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Travel Around the World Without Ever Leaving L.A.

Keeping up with the Olympic spirit, one of team USA fiercest competitors is China. As the two teams learn the others strengths and weaknesses in their battle for the gold, this week we will learn about the flavors in the cuisine and the vivacity of the culture in China.

Many of you are tired of the quick and easy Panda Express, Pick up Sticks and even P.F. Changs. I know I am. So here is a place I have been going to with my family for years and though it is a little bit out of the way, the food is well worth the drive. Silver Panda in Chatsworth is a small family owned restaurant that never fails to serve what I believe to be the best Chinese food in the Valley. From their spicy hot and sour soup to their freshly made rice and crunchy sesame chicken, anyone can find a dish to their liking here. They serve the dishes we are all familiar with- orange chicken, beef and broccoli, imperial shrimp and sweet and sour pork- but with a twist that is exclusive to Silver Panda. Aside from the mouthwatering meals, the hospitality there is truly warm. The waiters always have a bright smile on their faces and whenever you see them; you can’t help but smile yourself. This is a fantastic place to go with the family because the atmosphere of the restaurant makes you feel as if you are in your own home. This cozy feeling is what truly puts this family owned business over the top.

Aside from food, China is well known for its rich and colorful traditions and customs, many of which are exhibited and continued in America. Here are just a few of the cultural events you can be a part of in L.A.:

The Chinese American Museum is the perfect place to go to learn everything about China’s vast history, from the ancient times to modern day. There is currently a wonderful exhibition about Chinese architecture and how it has evolved over the centuries and how it impacts modern day architectural styles. In addition, the museum is connected to Chinatown and is working on a project called “Constructing Chinatown,” which brings local artists together to make new statement art. It strives to change the assumptions many have about Chinatown and re-invent a new and more genuine perspective for many.

Speaking of Chinatown, this is the best place to visit to experience all aspects of China- food, culture and entertainment. There is a weekly farmers market where you can buy authentic Chinese ingredients, from soy sauce to bok choy, and numerous delicacies. In addition, you can browse through art galleries displaying traditional Chinese art and shop among the hundreds of boutiques. Chinatown has many annual festivals and shows, one of the most famous being the Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-autumn festival, which occurs in September. Though this is still a ways off, the people are already starting to prepare for this grand occasion.

Lastly, in our own L.A. zoo, there is now an “Elephants of Asia” exhibit and show. There is a new elephant plaza where statues of the majestic animal decorate beautiful Chinese botanical gardens, which pave the way to a beautiful deep-water pool. This new exhibit not only brings more attention to the need for preservation of this endangered species but also, highlights the artistic and cultural aspects of China.

Just like we have taken traditional Chinese dishes and blended and “Americanized” them, both nations come together to celebrate the competitiveness, honor and friendship that the Olympics arouse. Keep watching to see who will come out on top this year and enjoy the games!

Love, Life & Literature

Coming Home

Danielle Alakija, Westlake local, can now call herself an Olympian. Just two days ago on August 3, she competed in round one of the Women’s 400m, finishing sixth for the Fiji track and field team with a time of 56.77. Though she did not qualify for the next round, Danielle can certainly feel proud of herself for competing at the Olympics, a place so many athletes work towards but rarely reach. Her achievement is especially remarkable considering she is only sixteen years old and among the very youngest competitors at the Games. You may be wondering what a young lady currently living in Westlake Village is doing running for Fiji, a country thousands of miles away. Before making the move to SoCal, Danielle and her family lived in Fiji for fourteen years! And in what seems like a story line that could only come from fiction, Ms. Alakija was actually born in the same city in which she just made her Olympic debut, London. It’s as if Danielle’s destiny came full circle as she returned to the place she first entered into this world to give her very first performance in the Olympic Games. Congrats, Danielle, and we certainly anticipate your return to the track in 2016!

--Bailee Ahern

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Watch out Lululemon there's a new sheriff in town. Australian workout clothing store, Lorna Jane, has moved into Westlake's local hotspot The Promenade. Loren Jane Clarkson is the founder of the stylish lifestyle clothing line. She started off as a dentist's assistant teaching aerobics classes on the weekends. It was always important to her to look stylish and fabulous while she worked out and was never satisfied with exercise clothing. To fix the issue she took an old swim suit fabric and created her own outfits. Women at the gym stared in awe of her fashion forward clothing and wanted some in their own closets. She started making more and more, eventually opening her first store in 1993. The clothes consist of bright colored sports bras, patterned leggings and motivational graphic tees. Some that read: "love the skin you're in" or "strength, confidence, courage." Knowing all you Westlake women out there who care about your health and are taking kickboxing, yoga, p 90x etc. These new designs are fashionable, comfortable and versatile. Not only can you go workout in them you can go grocery shopping, to coffee with friends or just running errands around town. Go stop in and check out the new store!!



Monday, July 30, 2012

Love, Life & Literature

Life Imitating Literature 

Last night watching the USA Olympic men’s gymnastics team compete in London like so many homes around the world, I was especially struck by the story of USA team member, John Orozoco. As the camera panned back and fourth between his anxious mother and this nineteen-year-old gymnast about to mount the pommel horse, the NBC commentator told Orozoco’s emotional and inspiring story toward Olympic superstardom. Hearing of his family’s struggle to support his passion financially and his rise from injury two years ago, my mind immediately went back to Carol Karm’s review of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback to Success by Rick Newman in the latest issue of Westlake Magazine, the Summer Youth & Sports Issue, which features future and former Olympic athletes. Rick Newman’s new book tells the rags-to-riches, failure-to-feat life stories of some of America’s most notable successes, whether it be in business, the arts, politics or sports. In Rebounders, Newman identifies and explains the nine traits key to creating your own achievement after experiencing disappointment. Now realizing his Olympic dream, John Orozoco certainly took disappointment as a motivation toward success, just as Newman teaches. 

-Bailee Ahern

Food and Travel: London Olympic Edition

With the 2012 summer Olympics underway, it seems fitting that we devote this week of our travels to London, the home of this year’s Olympic games. From Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to Wimbledon and traditional British pubs, London is a city immersed in history and extravagance. However, for those of us who do not have a passport to London, there is plenty of ways to feel as though you are actually in Olympic Park without ever having to drive to LAX.

A key aspect of any trip, especially to such an iconic destination, is the food. Don’t worry; if you are like me and are not packing your suitcase for London, here are some great restaurants that embody the British spirit.

The White Harte pub in Woodland Hills embraces the jolly spirit that the British blokes are known for and the familiar dishes that would be found in an English mum’s kitchen. The best part about this pub is that during the day, it is entirely kid friendly and so, you can bring the whole family out for a meal of fish and chips and bangers and mash. At night however, the restaurant takes on a true pub-like atmosphere for all those over 21 years of age. Enjoy a hearty meal with your friends over a refreshing “jar” and cheer on team USA. When you know its time for munch mate, the White Harte is the place to go!              

Aside from its numerous pubs, London is also known for its royalty and cultured socialites. What can represent a proper, high-end British event more than a perfect cup of English tea? The High Tea Cottage in Woodland Hills brings both the traditional flavors and the authentic environment of a true tea party right in our own backyard. Customers may choose from a variety of packages the tea cottage offers, all of which result in an unforgettable experience. You can select the “Royal High Tea” five-course plan, the “Traditional Teatime” three-course meal, the “English Afternoon Tea” course or any of the other dozens of specialized options. Each comes equipped with petite tea sandwiches, custards and other British desserts and of course, a wide assortment of traditional herbal teas. Ladies don’t forget to wear your most extravagant hats to this luncheon. Kate Middleton is not the only one who can sport such a sophisticated and refined look. Cheers!

To make the most of your Olympic experience at home, invite your friends and celebrate in true London fashion. Whether you are hosting a large viewing party or having a more intimate get together, do not be afraid to let your national spirit shine through bold decorations and accessories. Gather tonight either at home, at a public event or even at a British pub as the Olympic torch is lit and the games begin!

P.S. Make sure to check out the Olympians featured in the latest issue of Westlake Magazine to learn about their personal stories and aspirations before watching them perform on the big screen, representing the red, white and blue.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Leather Makes Everything Better 

I remember last fall sitting with my family in Galletto, devouring the mouth watering mushroom risotto when I looked up. This woman standing at the bar was wearing these amazing leather pants with a simple blouse and blazer. She looked sexy and sophisticated yet effortless and I think that represents every Westlake woman. For the last few seasons Leather has escaped the generalization of being used for only jackets, handbags and boots. For this upcoming fall you will be seeing even more of it! Throw on a pleated leather skirt with a peter pan collared blouse. The contrast of the leather and romantic blouse will complement each other perfectly. Designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Nanette Lepore, Alexander Wang and Vince are all showing leather dresses for this fall in all different silhouettes. I know it sounds a little scary to some of you but If you want to be daring slip into a pair of leather pants to give your look some edge. Local store, Madison, located in the Westlake Promenade is already getting ready for fall, receiving shipments of leather skirts, pants and blouses. Go stop in and try on some leather pieces to spice up your wardrobe for fall!


Hannah Kleinick

1.  T By Alexander Wang A-Line Leather Skirt
2.  Alice + Olivia Leather Pants
3.  Rag & Bone Rowan Top- with leather straps

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY: Olympic Edition


The Olympics is an exciting time of year in which the entire world joins together to share excitement over the competition between the battling countries. Summer is a time to enjoy yourself and be relaxed, so why not invite friends and family over for a celebration for the opening ceremonies? Below are a few ideas to help spice up and decorate your Olympic themed party! 

Cupcake Toppers
A fun addition to a yummy cupcake treat is an Olympic-inspired cupcake topper! It’s fun, easy and can be created out of everyday household items. First step is to whip up a batch of cupcakes in the flavor of your choice. Frost the cupcakes with a vanilla icing and dust the surface with red and blue sprinkles to show some USA spirit. Once the cupcakes are prepared, set them aside and log onto your computer. Look for the Olympic rings or any other cute Olympic pictures and print them out to be about 4”x4”. Once the pictures are printed, take a pair of scissors and cut the pictures into circles. Grab a popsicle stick and use glue to attach the stick to the paper circle. Once the toppers are all created stick them in the top of your cupcakes and enjoy your sugary and festive dessert!

Everyone’s a Winner
Everyone should have a souvenir to remember the 2012 Olympics! This project helps draw your guests in and allows them to immerse themselves in the festivities. To get started, roll out a piece of modeling clay. Use the top of a cup as a stencil to create the perfect round medal. After the medal shape has been cut out, use a dulled sharpened pencil to create the symbolic Olympic rings. Make sure to press lightly so that the drawing does not create a hole in the clay allowing you to see through it. Below the rings, write London 2012. Create a hole at the top of the circle that is big enough for you to string ribbon through. Take your own personal spin on the artistic element to this project and add your own touches. Once your artwork is complete, follow the instructions on the package for your clay on how to bake it. After the clay is hardened use gold metallic paint to cover the surface. String through red, white and blue ribbon through the hole and your medal is ready to be worn! 

Enjoy these fun and festive Olympic ideas for your party! Go USA!



Monday, July 23, 2012

Love, Life & Literature

Westlake Magazine’s latest release, the July/August summer youth & sports issue, features this moment’s young sporting elite; Olympic veteran, Lenny Krayzelburg; and a hopeful to compete in the Games next year, boxer Stefanie Taylor. All of this sporting excitement is in anticipation to the 2012 Summer Olympics, which will be held in London, England. The lighting of the Olympic Torch will signal the beginning of the world’s best athletes competing in their respective fields. NBC Sports airs this official start to the Games on July 27th and will continue to cover all the action until the last medal has been presented on August 12th. Personally, the Olympics breed a certain fond excitement in me, as it has always been a time for my dad and myself to bond over watching the triumphs and tribulations of these exceptional competitors. Our chosen favorite sports to watch are women’s gymnastics and swimming! With over 30 sports to choose, find a few that the entire family enjoy, and take the journey with the athletes to Olympic success and stardom. Remember, go USA! 

-Bailee Ahern

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Travel Around the World Without Ever Leaving L.A.

Land of the Free

With all the exotic locations around the world, we often forget the unique culinary cuisine that is special to our country. That is why this week we are going straight to the heart of America to reconnect with all of our favorite comfort and specialty foods and the fabulous entertainment that is native to the states.

As highlighted in the latest issue of Westlake Magazine, Wood Ranch in Agoura Hills is the ideal spot  to embrace a major aspect of American life, family. And what better way to enjoy quality family time than over a flawless meal that captures the heart and excellence of American food. Wood Ranch specializes in barbeque. Just one bite of prime top sirloin or baby back ribs will leave you craving for more and what really sets these dishes over the top is the one of a kind sauce. This sweet and tangy sauce along with the unforgettable garlic bread rolls puts Wood Ranch on the top of my list for authentic American food and you should definitely make this a priority stop, as it truly captures the image of a family environment and delicious food.

 More and more now, Americans are looking for both a tasty meal but more importantly, a healthy dish. Here in L.A. especially, this has become a staple of the American way of life. This is why Urth Cafe in Santa Monica is the perfect place to go for a gourmet meal that is both “delicious and nutritious.” This café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner but what makes it truly unique is that all of the ingredients are fresh and organic. From the freshly squeezed orange juice and organic teas and coffee to the freshly made sandwiches and salads, Urth Caffe is the ideal restaurant to embrace both quality American favorites while receiving necessary nutrients and maintaining the perfect beach body. Enjoy the sea breeze as you dine on a divine meal and with so many options on the menu, you are bound to want to come beck after just one bite.

Americans are known for their notorious shopping habits and sense of fashion. Here are a few of the most popular and unique places to shop while in Los Angeles. Third Street in Santa Monica is a beautiful outdoor shopping mall where you can find an eclectic mix of classy ensembles, casual everyday wear and quirky pieces that can only be found in true L.A. style. In addition, the Venice boardwalk is one of the most unique shopping experiences you will find here. From one of a kind art pieces and knick-knacks to authentic beach wear, this boardwalk, directly on the beach, is perfect for a summer’s day of sun, fun and shopping. If you are looking for a more urban atmosphere, the Universal city walk is the perfect place to go. Filled with many delicious eateries, clothing stores and live entertainment, the city walk is a great place to go to with friends for the day. Finally, the Promenade in Westlake is the epitome of a grand shopping mall. It is the perfect place to go to with the family on the weekend, as everyone is sure to find a store and restaurant that fits to their liking. Shopping has become an important aspect of American life and as many natives would say, shop till you drop!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sports and Gaming

Let the Games Begin

After several months of anticipation, the long-awaited Olympics are less than two weeks away. Several athletes from the Westlake area such as Lenny Krayzelburg are preparing to compete in this year’s Olympics.

In addition to the 2012 London Olympics, the Junior Olympics have already passed for many young athletes. Taylor Foley, an Oaks Christian sophomore who played the opposite position, recently competed in the Junior Olympics (or JO’s) with her club, LAVA (Los Angeles Volleyball Academy) South. Taylor competed with her 15-1 Brad (players aged 15 and below) teammates this year in Columbus, Ohio, and finished in the top 25 within the 15-American division. Her team won 7 matches over the course of 4 days in Columbus, while providing valuable experience for her and her teammates as they prepare to move to the “16’s” level next year.

These Junior Olympics have a characteristic that is unlike the regular Olympics, as they are played every single year during the first week of July. Taylor was only one of many athletes that come from the Westlake area to compete in the Junior Olympics, as she was joined by her fellow Oaks Christian teammates, Veronica Sams and Madison Kousi.

On a final note, these Junior Olympics force individuals who may see themselves as opponents when they play for their schools, be it Westlake or Oaks Christian, to put aside their differences and play together as a team. In a sense, that is truly what the Olympics should be about, making new connections while competing with integrity and honor to better instead of trying to impress others who may have been an opponent in the past. Truly, Taylor and other Junior Olympians have shown that this is how a sport should be played and exhibit characteristics of what it takes to be an Olympic athlete.


Distressed Denim Blues

Summer is definitely a time to choose comfortable shorts and tank tops to bare the climate that we all endure in the lovely yet ridiculously hot San Fernando Valley. Every summer I become obsessed with one pair of shorts that I choose to wear several days of the week. After half the summer has gone by and I have become so familiar with the appearance of the same shorts I have been wearing so often, I get extremely bored of them. A fun way to spice up your favorite pair of shorts to give them some fun summer flair is to distress the denim. Below are the directions to distress your favorite pair of jean shorts!

What You Need:
A pair of jeans or jean shorts (make sure the fabric is stiff)
A pencil
A piece of cardstock paper
Scotch tape
A razor blade (Exacto Knifes are perfect)

How to Create:

First step is to lay the denim on a flat surface where there is good lighting. Decide which places on the denim that you would like to have distressed. With a pencil draw two horizontal lines. Keep in mind that these lines will be the markers that will indicate the top and bottom of the distressed area. Pick several areas on the shorts or jeans to place the lines in preparation for the distressing. Once your lines are established, fold the cardstock piece of paper in half and tape the edges so it does not come unfolded. Take the folded piece of cardstock paper and place it under an area you would like to distress by sliding it from the top of the shorts or jeans down through the pant leg. Once you are sure your cardstock is secured inside the shorts take your razor blade and find the center between the two horizontal lines that are establishing the area that you are distressing. Hold the jeans tight so that the fabric is completely stiff and make a horizontal slash in the center of the lines. The slash should be a clean, neat line. You won’t see the slightest bit of distressed jean until the process is completed! Make several slashes ¼ inch apart within the designated area. Repeat this process until you have completed each of the areas. Once the denim is fully prepared, throw them in the washing machine at the same setting that is normal for the piece. After the jean is washed, put it in the dryer until they are fully dry. Repeat this washer and dryer cycle twice. After the second cycle the jeans are finished and ready to be worn!

This is a really fun summer activity that could be done in one afternoon! Try finding jeans at a local thrift shop for a more authentic feel. Enjoy your revamped style to your favorite pair of shorts!

Some thrift shops to search in:

Salvation Army Thrift Store

2400 West Hillcrest Drive

Newbury Park

(805) 375-6980

Mad Attic

(805) 497-1990

226 N Skyline Dr, #A,

Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Eco Fashionista

Hey Westlake readers! You might remember my post a few weeks ago about being fashionable without burning your wallet. I touched on the point of going to consignment and vintage stores in order to fulfill this seemingly impossible dream. But Westlake Magazine has found the answer: Eco Fashionista. A great local store located on Thousand Oaks Blvd. The store not only carries vintage and consigned clothes but new ones too! Owner Cholique Escobar-Miller studied fashion, ventured into the real estate business, then ended up following her passion by opening up Eco Fashionista in November 2011. She intended for her store to be a place for fashionistas of all ages, sizes and styles to be able to shop at while saving the planet! Not only are eight-year-old girls going in to grab a new mini skirt but their bringing their ninety-year-old grandmothers to browse the impressive selection as well. If you're looking for a place to find unique, fashionable items Eco Fashionista is the place for you!



Eco Fashionista is advertised in the new July/August Issue of Westlake Magazine! Remember to pick up your copy!!

Eco Fashionista
1610 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. # J
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Follow them on Facebook!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Love, Life & Literature

Life Done Well 

In the new July/August summer youth & the sports issue, Dr. Christopher Fulton reveals in his article “Living Healthy in the Summertime” the steps for developing a healthy lifestyle for your family—particularly your children. With childhood obesity on the rise, instilling responsible lifestyle choices in your children is crucial. As Dr. Fulton noted, parents who exemplify a healthy lifestyle are more apt to have children who choose to do the same. There are plenty of fun ways to spend time together as a family while being active this summer. Scale the walls at Boulderdash Climbing in Westlake Village or hit a local gym together! Eating habits are certainly another factor to be conscious of in your quest to cultivate a healthful life for your family. Be aware of portion size, and avoid junk food. It’s summer; take advantage of the fresh produce at one of Westlake’s neighborhood grocery stores like Sprout’s Farmers Market! For more tips, pick up Westlake Magazine’s July/August issue, and begin your family’s journey toward a life done well. 

Happy Summer!

-Bailee Ahern

Sprout’s Westlake Village
1012 S. Westlake Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
Westlake Blvd. & Agoura Rd.

Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing
880 Hampshire Road, Suite A
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361

Friday, July 13, 2012

Travel Around the World Without Ever Leaving L.A.

For week three, we are leaving the European shores behind and traveling to the Middle East. With exotic flavors, rich colors and beautiful sites to see, this is definitely a breathtaking place filled with history, culture and amazing food that appeals to every palate.

The Hummus Bar and Grill- in Tarzana has the perfect balance of a family environment and a sports bar. Whether you decide to sit at one of the booths or at the bar, the authentic Middle Eastern food served at this restaurant is one that is not easily forgotten. With meat as the primary ingredient in most Middle Eastern delicacies, the chefs here bake, grill, and barbeque the wide assortment of meat daily to provide hungry customers with the best tasting dishes. As the name suggests, the Hummus Bar and Grill also specializes in fresh, homemade hummus. From mushroom hummus to hummus with beef, you can never get enough of this flavorful dip, especially with the never-ending supply of freshly baked Laffa to accommodate the generous portion of hummus. As you travel through the beautiful Middle East, this is definitely a destination worth stopping at to replenish your appetite and get you in the spirit.

The Middle East is also known for its unique and exquisitely crafted and tasteful desserts. You can find remnants of these wonderful ingredients in local bakeries that specialize in a wide array of desserts. Sweet Arleen’s Bakery in Westlake features cupcakes that possess Middle Eastern ingredients that are incorporated into an Americanized dessert. Nuts are a large part of Middle Eastern desserts and Sweet Arleen’s is not afraid to mix in this rich ingredient into multiple cupcakes on the menu. From the carrot walnut to the pistachio and praline toppings, this community-oriented bakery takes a prime ingredient from traditional dishes, such as baklava, and integrates them into an American classic. To satisfy any sweet tooth, visit Sweet Arleen’s and make sure to look in the July/August issue of Westlake Magazine for more mouthwatering details about this one of a kind bakery.

Los Angeles is a place full of surprises and hidden nooks and crannies filled with hidden treasures. St. Vincent’s Court in downtown L.A. is no exception. This small Middle Eastern/Persian town is nestled away amidst the chaos of downtown Los Angeles. Located in the jewelry district of the city, St. Vincent’s Court truly is a hidden gem perfect for a Middle Eastern getaway. You can find delectable treats, specialty jewelry and beautiful souvenirs to take home from your vacation.

- Julia Shapiro

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sports & Gaming

Diablo III

Summer time (May-August) for the gamers of Westlake and surrounding areas usually marks a period in gaming that can best be described as a lull. A period when developers are preparing for game launches in the fall and winter “boom” periods for gaming. This summer has been no different for most console gamers, who already received their blockbuster game title in “Max Payne 3” in May, but for PC gamers, a game was released in May that perhaps can steal away an entire summer’s worth of gaming.

May 15th feels like an eternity ago to most people, but to PC gamers playing Blizzard’s new game, “Diablo III”, it feels like yesterday. “Diablo III” launched with various bugs that nearly crippled the seemingly endless fervor that had been building up in the fan base for the past 11 years since “Diablo II: Lord of Destruction” had been released. Blizzard eventually righted the ship as the summer went on by fixing various reported bugs and releasing the auction house for players to bid on and sell items within the game. As of right now, “Diablo III” has sold over 3.5 million copies since its release, setting the record for fastest selling PC game all-time, and it seems like there is no shortage of stopping anytime soon.

However, the game seems to stir up a range of opinions from two anonymous gamers in the Westlake area: “it is hard as hell, but I feel accomplished after I complete every dungeon and get my loot.” On the contrary, on gamer stated, “I feel like I wasted my money playing this game. I’d rather be playing Diablo II, at least that game gave me a challenge”

Diablo III can be purchased at Gamestop in North Ranch Mall, 3955 E Thousand Oaks Blvd in Westlake Village or it can be purchased online at

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Denim Spree

I know it is hard to believe but fall is on its way which means highlights will grow dark and it will soon be too chilly to throw on a sundress and flip-flops. However, the thought that gets me giddy about going back to school and saying goodbye to the sun is the new wardrobe I get to put together for the new season! I cannot begin to tell you how much I love cozy sweaters and good pair of boots.

As runway shows have begun it is obvious that many new trends will be sweeping the fashion world in the fall; however, an essential item for every woman has been revamped: denim. The blue jean is a classic piece every woman should have. They have a certain sex appeal, simplicity and comfort that can go a long way. To be able to throw on a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt is effortless but still so chic. However this year’s denim will be brought to a completely new level. Here are four trends you cannot miss for fall!

1.  Colored 

Like spring, colored denim will be all the rage for this upcoming season. In particular deeper jewel tones rather then bright neon colors. Pair a jewel-tone jean with a neutral sweater or blazer to give the look a sophisticated feel.

2.  Print 

I know, the idea of wearing pattern on your legs is absolutely horrifying but it is also a great way to make you stand out in a crowd. Favorites such as Current//Elliott, Rag and Bone, and J Brand gave us a taste of this last season. Popular patterns for the fall will be Polk-a-dots, animal print, floral and plaid! To avoid blinding people as you walk down the street throw on a solid separate to balance the look.

3.  Coated 

Here is a look you cannot pass up! Be daring and slip on pair of these bad boys. The leather like style gives any look a bit of an edge but pair it with a lady like tweed jacket and get a great contrast!

4.  Cropped 

Skinny, cropped jeans are a fresh take on the regular skinny jean. Throw on blazer and some pumps and you’ll be ready to go. You could also throw on a pair of cropped boyfriend jeans with a sweater and flats for a more laid back look. Buy them now and wear them during summer with sandals and a simple t-shirt.



Monday, July 9, 2012

Love, Life & Literature

Wickedly Good Read

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Janet Evanovich, is currently enjoying the success of "Wicked Business," the second book in the Wicked series. Janet first experienced popularity with the Plum series, 23 fiction novels following the heroine Stephanie Plum in her journey to juggle her work life and personal life as a bounty hunter, daughter and girlfriend. The first novel in the series, "One for the Money," was adapted into a film, which was released in 2012 and featured actress Katherine Heigl as Ms. Plum. Keeping her stake in the romance game yet delving deeper into the world of mystery, Evanovich makes a departure from Stephanie and the Plum series with the sequel. "Wicked Business," her most recent novel, centers on a new protagonist named Lizzy Tucker who in a twist of fate goes from pastry chef to full-time relic hunter alongside her romantic interest, Gilbert Reedy. The job gets rough as she must persevere through mysterious chaos and outwit fellow treasure hunters to find the elusive Luxuria Stone. Evanovich’s new story is clearly being well received as only last week it was number one on the New York Times hardcover fiction list and continues to stay at the top. Fortunately there’s no need to peril through a cryptic search for this novel; you can buy Wicked Business online from Barnes & Noble or in store at the Westlake Promenade or Calabasas Commons. 

-Bailee Ahern

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Travel Around the World Without Ever Leaving L.A.

Continuing with the European flair, say ciao to the beautiful peninsula of Italy. The first thing everyone thinks of when they hear Italy is, of course, the food! From pizza to gelato, Italian is always on everyone’s top restaurant choices. Now, here are a few local places that embody the spirit of Italian cuisine and the air of true italiano. 

Rosti in Calabasas exudes the theme of casual Italian. Customers have the choice of dining on the outdoor patio or inside where the Tuscan theme is portrayed through wall décor and beautiful flower arrangements that bring each table to life. Rosti is known for its delicious Tuscan chicken but also has delectable courses such as the Milanese Caprese Sandwich and Rigatoni with Sweet Sausage & Peppers, along with dozens of other paninis, pastas, pizzas and entrees. This is the perfect place to go to with the whole family to enjoy the bold and mouthwatering flavors Italy has to offer. 

Toscanova also in Calabasas is a high-end Italian restaurant situated in the cozy confines of the Commons. This extremely classy restaurant is the ideal spot to go to with the family for lunch and to go to with your sweetheart for a romantic dinner. The dimly lit candles and the soothing Italian music will create an ambiance that is muy romantico. This amorous mood is carried to the outdoor seating where tables are aligned near a large fire-pit that not only brings warmth but also sparks the mood. After dinner, guests can take closer seats on the couch near the fire and enjoy cocktails and good conversation. Toscanova is not only delizioso but also will truly transport you to the shores of Italy.

The Gondola Getaway in Long Beach. Truly transport yourself to Venice, the city on water, with a romantic, moonlit gondola ride on the enchanting canals and waterways of Naples Island. The Gondola’s appear just as they would in Venice, equipped with authentic oars and a cushioned love seat. The gondoliers, wearing the authentic striped shirt and Venetian straw hat, row the gondola leisurely through the water. If you ask, they may even sing you a classic Italian tune! At night, the moonlight paves the way of your cruise and you can row to a breathtaking location in the Naples Island where fountains spew out of the canal and twinkling lights line the edges of the water, illuminating the splashing water. This definitely is a night to remember under the stars! 


Money For A Rainey Day 

Lets be honest, we cant all afford a $900 pair of designer pumps or the latest pieces Marc Jacobs puts on the runway for fashion week, but that does not mean you cant look great in the latest trends. Especially because fashion is not constant, it’s hard to keep spending on items that will be out of style in six months. As Coco Chanel said, “fashion fades, only style remains the same.” It doesn’t matter how much you spend if you look great. So, I thought I could give you some tips on how to be fashionable without going bankrupt! 

1.  Invest in timeless pieces. 

- There are a lot of basics every girl needs in her wardrobe such as a little black dress, a good pair of jeans, a classic blazer and a leather jacket. Don’t spend money on trendy things you’ll only wear once and never look at after Elle says it’s out of style.

2.  Have clothing exchange parties with friends. 

- A great way to get new clothes is to have a party where 10 of your friends bring their clothes and you can swap and by the end of the night have a whole new wardrobe!

3.  Consign clothes you don’t wear anymore and use the money to buy new clothes! Some local consignment stores are Eco-Fashionista & The Closet! 

4.  Shop at thrift stores or flea markets. 
- For me going to thrift stores is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a great way to find cheap, unique treasures for your closet that no one else will have! 


Late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen even claims that “It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It's all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.” As a girl who lives and breathes fashion it’s hard not to want to splurge every time you see something “to die for.” I have learned to pick my battles and spend the most money on pieces I will have for years and wear over and over again. The next time your heart sinks when you glance over the price tag, just remember to avoid impulse purchases!



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DIY - (Do it Yourself)

Summer is full of freedom, laughter and care-free days. When I recollect on all my summertime memories I think of sipping ice-cold lemonade by the pool, day camp, and the melting of mint chocolate chip ice cream thanks to the strong rays of the harsh afternoon sun. In addition to these fond memories, I think back to all the fun summer evenings I spent in my backyard spending time with my friends and laughing about absolutely nothing. Enjoying the company of friends and family in the backyard is a common summer activity among many. It is important to create a fun, cheerful environment for your guests to enjoy their summer nights surrounded by. Here is an easy DIY project that is sure to add some color and cheer to your backyard! 

What You Need: 
1.  Any size or shape glass candle holder 

2.  A candle that will fit inside the shape and size or the holder you choose 

3.  Various colors of yarn (bright colors are best for summer!) 

4.  Tacky glue 

5.  Scissors

How to Create: 

The process to create these fun and colorful decorations is extremely simple! First step is to put a small dot of tacky glue at the top of the glass candle holder. After applying the glue, take the edge of a piece of yarn and start wrapping the yarn around the glass. Make sure that there are no spaces in between the different wraps of yarn- there should be no sight of the candle inside once you have finished! After a few wraps around with one color of yarn, cut the yarn and add a dab of glue to secure the end of the yarn. Pick your next color and continue wrapping. Once the entire glass is covered, slide the candle back inside and your project is complete! 

Try out different sizes and shapes of the candles and place them around your yard for some vibrant summer decorations! This project is also the perfect gift for the host of the next summer barbeque! Enjoy and have fun with it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Love, Life & Literature

Family Time on the 4th

With the Fourth of July just a few days away and the anticipation of beautiful fireworks and intimate time spent with family and friends building, there is an array of options for a Fourth well spent in the community. When you’re not in the backyard grilling food and sipping lemonade under the fabulous summer heat, consider going to a festive parade! Westlake Village, Ventura, downtown Ojai, Santa Barbara and Newbury Park are all throwing a parade to celebrate our country’s birthday; grab your friends, decorate a Radio Flyer wagon with the kids and get down to one of these parades. Fireworks will be booming in just about every city in the area including Calabasas, Thousand Oaks and Camarillo... just to name a few. Personally, I most look forward to sitting around the fire pit with my family, roasting marshmallows and watching fireworks in T.O. peek over the mountains at my home nestled in Westlake. Happy Birthday, America and Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

-Bailee Ahern

Go to receive a comprehensive list of anything and everything happening this July 4th.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Travel Around the World Without Ever Leaving L.A.

Bonjour and welcome to France, the first stop on our summer world tour!

A desired stop is a little café that is currently franchising across the U.S. and luckily; we have one just a few miles away.

Le Pain Quotidien at the Calabasas Commons (also located in Studio City, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood) is a quaint café known for its specialty, quality homemade bread. This was inspired by the owner of the first franchise, Alain Coumont, who strived to bring a slice of his roots and childhood to the United States by baking hearty bread. The intoxicating smell draws hungry customers through the doors to try one of the dozens of bread selections and delectable pastries. The self-seating arrangement allows strangers to come together over the most prominent cultural phenomena, food! The rustic wooden tables and chairs and French accents will make you believe you are truly sitting at a French bistro off the coast of Sicily. Just as you begin to relax and enjoy your freshly brewed French roast, an assorted bread basket will be brought to your table along with an array of fresh jams and chocolate spreads that are simply mouth watering. Breakfast or lunch, this is the place to go to take a bite out of France. On your way out, don’t forget to stop at the bakery to pick up a Hazelnut Flûte, Seasonal Cannelé, Brioche, or a Croissant for later! The smooth and creamy pastries will leave you in a complete state of amour and you will be dreaming of France for days to come.


For those of you who have a true sweet tooth, Crème de la Crepe is the perfect place for you to satisfy your chocolate desires while experiencing authentic French cuisine. Nestled in a cozy ally in Old Pasadena, this café is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. However, when you do find the spot, you will be welcomed by an amiable host and seated in either the candle-lit indoor room or in the umbrella shaded outdoor patio. As you gaze through the dozens of delicious crepe options on the menu- from sweet to savory- French music will surround you. It will transport you to an outdoor veranda by the shores of the Bay of Biscay where live musicians assemble for the crowds’ enjoyment. Sip on Chardonnay or Pinot Gris and consume ravioli, pasta, and of course, crepes but, make sure to leave room for dessert, the very best part. From fondue au chocolat to the dozens of dessert crepes like suzette, savouruese, and bisous, every member of your party will find the ideal crepe to melt the night away in.
Bon Appetit!
After you enjoy a filling meal in France, it is time for some authentic entertainment.
What better way to soak up French culture than through a French flea market. This market at the Tarzana Community and Cultural Center only comes three times a year, May, July, and November so you are just in time for the second. The beautiful garden venue equipped with cascading fountains and gazebos will transport you to a French Villa, secluded from the hustle and bustle of city life. A gourmet crepe food truck and a flower truck are present at the event, finishing off the French touch. At this market, you can find any item or trinket you desire, allowing you to pick out a perfect souvenir from your visit to France. From antiques and furniture to jewelry and clothing à la mode (in the style), there is something for everyone. While you are browsing, you will feel as though you are wandering the streets of Paris. Say Bon voyage to your everyday life and oui oui to embracing the air of France.
If you are truly a dedicated Frenchman or woman and are just dying to see the Eiffel Tower, don’t worry because there is one much closer than the original 4,777 miles away. Just a few hours of driving and you can reach Paris Paris, a Las Vegas resort, which depicts a replica of the original. You can climb to the very top and enjoy a breathtaking view. Don’t forget to take a photo because this will be a moment worth saving for your summer 2012 scrapbook!
Au revoir!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sports & Gaming

Every summer, an influx of new video games are released in order to pique the interest of the numerous gamers in the Westlake area. However, this summer, it seems that older games are releasing new content in order to shy gamers away from investing in the newest products with an effort to force gamers to renew their interest in their original games.
One example of this phenomenon would be Bethesda releasing downloadable content for their award-winning game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. On June 26th, 2012, Skyrim’s first downloadable content named: Dawnguard will be released for the Xbox 360 for approximately 20 dollars (Playstation 3 and PC versions are coming at a later time in July). Dawnguard pits the player against a group of vampires who desire to “blacken the sun” in order to spread their power throughout the region of Tamriel, but the dawnguard has been specifically created to combat and thwart the vampire’s plans. The player is able to choose between the two factions, with each faction having several distinct differences in the style of play. For example, the player choosing the vampire faction gain the ability to became a “Vampire Lord”, which gives the player several abilities similar to that of the vampire in Bethesda’s previous game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but at this time, details of major differences have not been revealed. The Dawnguard faction gives the player a greater variety of man-made weaponry such as: crossbows and dragon bone weaponry, but also at this time, details are scarce on major additions. All of this, coupled with Bethesda’s stellar track record for releasing compelling content makes Dawnguard the first blockbuster downloadable content of the summer. Just released on Tuesday, June 26th, Dawnguard promises not to disappoint.


Neon Brights for Midsummer Nights
Hey there bloggers! Now that it's summer, my wardrobe has been improved with a somewhat new trend: Neon. Yes, the electric colors from the 80s are back on the shelves, not only in Forever 21 but also shown on the runways of Nanette Lepore, Rag & Bone and Peter Som. When I first discovered that neon would be the popular look for spring and summer my mind automatically traveled back to Frankie Goes to Hollywood. To be perfectly honest, that was definitely the “worst of times” in terms of neon fashion, but I have found that a splash of blinding colors is just what you need to make a sophisticated look, look young and fresh. Now ladies, don’t be timid to try this bold trend. It’s as simple as throwing a vibrant orange satchel over your shoulder or slipping on a pair of highlighter yellow sandals with a simple black maxi dress. If your feeling more daring then try a pair of colored denim shorts or a fun sundress with neon accents. Some of my favorite finds you can pick up right here in Westlake!

Paige Denim Jimmy Jimmy Short- Electric Pink from Sugar
DEZO Palm Tree Zip Pouch- Flame from Madison
Theysken’s Theory- Anen Shoulder Bag from Madison
Sigerson Morrison- Randy T-strap sandal from Madison
Karina Grimaldi- Wilhemina Dress from Madison
Donatienne- Camille Leather Neon clutch from Madison
Steven by Steve Madden Cross body bags from Nordstrom
Melissa Harmonic Sandal Flats- Neon Yellow from Madison
Sugar Boutique in Westlake
982 S. Westlake Blvd. #4
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Follow them on Instagram @sugar_spice
Like them on Facebook: Sugar
Madison Westlake
100 Promenade Way #D
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Follow them on Twitter & Instagram @madisonla
Like them on Facebook: MadisonLosAngeles 

Travel Around the World Without Ever Leaving L.A.

Hey! I’m Julia Shapiro and I am one of the summer interns at Westlake Magazine. I will be a senior at Calabasas High School in the fall and since I write for the Calabasas Courier I jumped at this opportunity to broaden my journalistic skills and knowledge. Westlake Magazine is providing me with both a creative outlet to exert my writing potential and a medium to enhance my skills and learn more about “a day in the life of a journalist.” As a journalist on the rise, the Valley has provided me with numerous sources of inspiration. Writing for my school newspaper and now being involved in Westlake Magazine has brought to my attention the events and places that I otherwise would completely overlook. This has not only broadened my knowledge of the place I live but also has opened my eyes to the little things in life and the different cultures that surround us everyday.
I am very excited to be working on expanding Westlake Magazine’s social media this summer. The section I will be writing on is food and travel. I love discovering new places to eat and what better way to share my findings than through this blog? I truly believe that people come together over food. It is a staple of our culture and we often center our day around a delicious meal. I know I do. As for travel, I constantly find myself flipping through the pages of magazines and admiring the beautiful sandy beaches of the Caribbean and the mysterious jungles of Costa Rica. However, in reality, how many of us really get the opportunity to travel to all of these exotic locations? This is why this summer, I am creating a travel and local foods guide, allowing everyone to travel around the world without every leaving the Valley. Indulge and immerse yourself in dozens of cultures this summer. Just follow my blog every week to see where to travel next.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sports & Gaming

Hello everyone, my name is Aria Guilani and I am a new blogger for Westlake Magazine. I’m currently a senior at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California, and I am a P90X graduate who has lost 90 pounds throughout the past two years. I joined Westlake Magazine because I want to experience the business and editorial aspects of creating a magazine.
I will be posting about video games and sports pertaining to the Westlake and greater Los Angeles areas. I have always had a passion for sports and video games ever since I was young. I hope that through this blog I can help spread my love for sports and video games to the community.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Hello Westlake Readers! My name is Hannah Kleinick and I am a newbie here at Westlake Magazine (AKA an intern). Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I was born and raised here in the comfortable yet fabulous suburb of Westlake Village. I grew up trotting around the lake on my bike and stuffing my face with an old local favorite: Baducco's pizza. But my favorite part about Westlake is no doubt the shopping. I was pure trouble at the age of 5, begging my mom to purchase Hard Tail sweat pants and colorful tutus at M. Frederick Kids. Once I turned double digits all I wanted was Juicy Couture and now seven years later I drool over YSL stilettos and Chanel handbags. My taste has evolved to say the least. Thanks to my chic mother, local boutiques and of course a subscription to Vogue I have formed a love affair with fashion. This summer I will be discussing new trends, great finds in local stores and how to work them into your everyday wardrobe. I cannot wait to share with all of you!

DIY - (Do it Yourself)

Hey everyone! My name is Jessica Smith and this summer I have joined the Westlake Magazine team as a high school intern. Since a very young age I have been obsessed with writing. I would spend hours on end in front of my computer writing anything that came to mind. My wacky topics ranged from short stories about a fictional character I made up named Miss Clarabelle Breadsticks to an enchanted garden made solely out of sugary confections. Last year I began my real journalism career as a staff writer for the Calabasas Courier at Calabasas High. As I grew with both passion and experience over the year I discovered a love for writing for the news section of the paper. Fortunately I was blessed with the opportunity to be the news editor for the Courier next year! As summer approached I searched for something that would help me broaden my writing abilities and learn more about creating a magazine. I am looking forward to all the knowledge I will gain throughout this incredible experience. Each week I will post about a fun DIY (do it yourself) project! Ever since I was little I have been very interested in art and creating my own unique pieces. I will be providing you all with the knowledge to create some cool projects that will add some fun to your summer! There is no “correct” way to make DIY projects so be expressive and have fun with them! Check back each week to get inspired and let your creativity flow!

Love, Life & Literature

Hello, my name is Bailee Ahern. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work as a high school intern this summer at Westlake Magazine. Combing through the glossy pages, I encountered this magazine for the first time like most—outside a local shop. Since that time, I have religiously read each month, hoping one day to contribute to the magazine. Today, after only a couple years since my first sighting of Westlake Magazine, I find myself interning and writing for this blog. The focus of my writing will be books, love and family. Having lived in Westlake Village for my entire life, sixteen years, I hope to incorporate my understanding of Westlake and the surrounding areas into my writing. Mostly I wish to express the tight-knit and cozy character of the community, which I enjoy very much. In addition, the prospect of speaking about these three topics, books, love and family, excites me as I have passionately grown to acquire an insatiable taste for books and a joy that comes from understanding life, which is most often focused on the ups and downs of love and family. Westlake Magazine speaks to the community I love most, and I certainly feel fortunate to contribute my voice, hopefully uplifting the community and expressing my gratitude toward my favorite place in the world, Westlake Village.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Corey West featured at ABRA Gallery: Saturday, June 23rd

Attention bloggers! Have a passion for art? Come enjoy a glass of wine and fine art at the ABRA Gallery in Westlake Village as they feature a one-woman exhibition of artwork by abstract artist Corey West on Saturday, June 23rd from 6-9 pm.

Corey West, who originates from Sonoma, California is presenting her “mixed media abstract paintings” which are composed of layers of acrylic, ink, soft pastel and papers. West comments that, “My work is about pattern, layering, texture and the details within the bigger image. My work is approachable and meant to be touched, which makes it unique.” As a part of her passion for art and motherhood, she incorporates her children in her work by having them help name each piece. Previewed below is one of West's creations entitled, "Apples on My Mind."

With originality that brings each painting to life, this is one exhibit you don’t want to miss! For more information or to RSVP, call 818.889.2000 or visit ABRA Gallery, 30941 Agoura Road, #310, Westlake Village, CA 91361.