DIANI Living


Monthly Archives: May 2012

Smelling the Summer

As summer approaches and I start to bring out my bikinis, all the wonderful memories of my trip to Kenya last Christmas come flooding back. AS some of you know, I was born in Kenya and it’s a very special place to me. Here is a little window into my trip to the Kenyan coast and the “Beach Essentials” I always pack.


Smelling the Summer
Some images by Jeffrey Doornbos.
Posted in Traveling Tagged , , , , , , , |

What I’m Wearing Today – Memorial Day BBQ

Fluxus Top – $105.00
Rag & Bone Jeans – $190.00
n.d.c Gold Sandals
Posted in Wearing Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Stella and her Groove


I’ve always admired the way Stella McCartney lives her life and how she juggles a career and family life. I was so inspired and fell hard for her mansion in the English Countryside when I saw it featured in Vogue a couple of years ago. Here is a little of what Vogue wrote to describe the gem of an Estate that her and her husband found:

 “En route to a charming Wiltshire farmstead Stella and her then boyfriend discovered a house of solid if unromantic aspect fashioned for landed gentry during the endless reign of Mad King George (although an earlier wing dates to 1629). Later Victorian incumbents had planted some funereal fir trees, and into the twentieth century the vegetable garden was still so abundant that local villagers told Stella they remembered market stands set up at the gates for the surplus. Beyond this there had been little attempt at beautification inside or out, and latterly the fearsome major had retrenched to one room in the house, bricking up the kitchen’s vast inglenook fireplace and renting out bedsits upstairs. But despite the house’s desolate air, Stella was drawn to its handsome Georgian proportions and to the infinite possibilities of the land around it. And she and Alasdhair realized that it had the potential to be “a peaceful family home: It was very powerful.”“We planted a million trees here,” she adds. “We’ve made another Eden.” The couple, who were married in 2003, were helped in this mission by their wedding guests, who were bidden to give trees in lieu of more conventional presents. From these they created a heart-shaped copse. Gwyneth Paltrow gave copper beeches. American relatives gave redwoods. Valentino and Tom Ford each grandly sent allées of linden trees from Germany. This arboretum has since been much embellished, guided by head gardener Anthony Tyler (who had previously worked on the estates of Lords Weinstock and Lichfield).”















Posted in Inspo Tagged , , , , , |

What I’m Wearing Today – Floral and Jungle Fever

Jacket – Hanii Y
Jeans – Goldsign
Booties – Sergio Rossi
Clutch – Anya Hindmarch
Cuffs – Linea Pelle. Call to place order: 1877 342 6474.
Posted in Wearing Tagged , , , , , |

It’s All in the Details – A Baby Shower

It's All in the Details - A Baby Shower (1)

The moment right after I volunteered to host my assistant Victoria’s Baby Shower over the weekend, excitement started rushing headlong toward “I’ve never thrown a baby shower, what do I do!?!”  Her little boy, Dylan will be appearing at the beginning of July, and I wanted this baby shower to be something special.  All that had been discussed was keeping it in the vein of my native England, so, I knew cucumber finger sandwiches were a must, but what next?  I reached out to the incomparable Kim, of Toast, a local event planner, and she immediately eased my fears.  With some simple additions — cotton ball letters spelling out the name Dylan, a few teenie weenie white onesies flapping in the breeze (which were then gifted to Victoria), and some giant marshmallows — a kind of bare-foot elegance was brought to this, “White Garden Party Brunch”.  Add some Bellinis, cupcakes from Enjoy, quiche (from Renaud’s), homemade Peach Crumble (see yesterday’s post), and lots of chocolate, and this celebration in anticipation of Dylan’s arrival was a success!

It's All in the Details - A Baby Shower (2)


It's All in the Details - A Baby Shower (3)

It's All in the Details - A Baby Shower

It's All in the Details - A Baby Shower (5)

Make sure to check out Toast, Enjoy Cupcakes and Renaud’s Bakery!

Posted in Blog, Entertaining Tagged , , , , |

Baby Shower Brunch Dishes – All Vegan!

I’m almost (if it wasn’t for my love affair with fish) vegan now and sometimes get stumped on some hearty, protein filled summer salads. However, I recently found this recipe with lima beans, and now I’m hooked!

Vegan Succotash



1 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (10 oz) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed (or 2 cups fresh shelled, if you dare!)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp white or red balsamic vinegar


Heat the butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion begins to brown. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the lima beans, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the corn and tomatoes, and sauté 1 minute longer or until just heated through. You don’t want the tomatoes to collapse and release their juices. Remove from the heat, and stir in the parsley, basil, and vinegar.

Serve warm or chilled. Good all on it’s own, or with white jasmine rice topped with toasted sunflower seeds. For a complete meal, serve with some steamed bok choy or watercress.

Vegan Brunch Recipes

PEACH CRUMBLE – Vegan and delicious!

I’m loving this recipe for summer as it’s so light and so easy to make. I just made it this weekend for my assistant’s baby shower.


2.5 – 3 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 cup organic blueberries
1.75 cups apple juice
2 tablespoons kuzu
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt


3 cups rolled oats
2 cups brown rice flour
.25 teaspoon fine sea salt
.25 teaspoon ground cinnamon
.75 cup safflower oil
.75 cup brown rice syrup
.25 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the peaches and blueberries in a 9″ square baking pan.

Reserve .25 cup of the apple juice in a small bowl, and heat the remaining 1.5 cups in a small saucepan. Place the kuzu in a small bowl, and add in the reserved apple juice. Let the kuzu mixture sit for about 10 seconds so that the kuzu can dissolve into the liquid. Stir with a fork, and immediately whisk the kuzu mixture and the lemon juice into the hot apple juice, stirring continually to prevent any lumps from forming. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the vanilla extract and the salt. Pour over the peaches and blueberries in the pan.

Peach Crumble

To make the topping, dry roast the oats, flour, salt and cinnamon in a skillet over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Heat the oil and syrups together in a separate pan, then pour over the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts.

Crumble the topping over the fruit, then cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for 15 – 25 minutes longer or until the topping is golden and the fruit filling bubbles a little. Cool crumble for about 30 minutes before serving.

peach and mint iced tea


This is such a refreshing drink and so perfect for a garden gathering like the baby shower I just hosted.



4-6 green tea bags
4 ripe peaches, pitted and cut in quarter inch pieces
1 small bunch fresh mint
Maple syrup to taste (I actually didn’t end up using any, it was sweet enough)



Bring water to a boil in a kettle, and place the teabags in a heatproof pitcher. Add 8 cups of boiling water to the pitcher, and steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the teabags, and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
When cooled, add the peaches and the mint to the tea. Sweeten with maple syrup to taste, if desired, and chill until ready to serve.

All recipes from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.

Posted in Blog, Entertaining Tagged , , , , , , |

Trending – Florals

Trending- Florals
Alkemie Double Flower Bangle – $145.00. Call to place order.
Alkemie Daisy Ring – $135.00. Call to place order.
Porridge Floral Print Round Scarf – $65.00. Call to place order.


All available at DIANI Boutique.


Photo credit: Olivia Palermo
Posted in Blog, Wearing Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Cirque du Papier Ball

I was honored to be invited to be a judge at the 3rd Annual Paper Ball – Cirque du Papier – benefitting the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara’s Accessible To All Program, to help those with financial difficulties.  Part Cirque du Soleil, part Alice In Wonderland, this event was a hand-made extravaganza, fitting of Waldorf’s unique educational curriculum.


Evolving out of the devastation of World War 1, and with 900 schools in 83 countries (over 250 in the U.S.A.), the Waldorf Education system, is the largest and fastest growing independent, non-denominational school system in the world.


Cirque du Papier Ball

Actress Finola Hughes and me.

Cirque du Papier Ball

Their goal is to aid in the development of free, self-aware human beings, capable of creating peaceful and ennobling lives for themselves and for humanity. By conveying knowledge experimentally as well as academically, learning becomes an engaging voyage of discovery of the world, and of oneself.

Cirque du Papier Ball

Cirque du Papier Ball

Christianne Taylor, Winner of Best Dress.

For example, the sixth grader who, as part of history class, has acted the part of Cassius or Caesar, has not only absorbed Shakespeare’s immortal language but has learned courage, presence of mind, and what it means to work as a member of a team for a goal greater than the sum of its parts.

Winner of King of the Night.

Cirque du Papier Ball

The judges from left to right. Gordon Seabury, Horny Toad, Gina Tolleson, Santa Barbara Magazine, Caroline Diani, DIANI, Jill Littlewood, Friends of Dard Hunter (association of hand paper makers).

Cirque du Papier Ball

The big finale was the fashion show, in which Waldorf supporters paraded their handmade gowns and tuxes, crafted solely from paper. And given that it was hard to tell if they were wearing Stella McCartney, Chloe, or Trader Joe’s shopping bags, the parents seem to be as creative as their children! The judging was tight, and the competition was fierce, but all who attended deserve congratulations for making this a fabulous event, to support the living origami that is the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara.

Posted in Blog, Entertaining Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

What I’m Wearing – Lunch with the Girls

Shoes – Sergio Rossi
Bag – Gucci
Ivory Colored Bangle – Marni
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A Day in Silver Lake, LA – My Home away from Home

I’ve been hearing that the Los Angeles neighborhood, Silver Lake, has much to offer, so I had to find out for myself.  Although it has become a fairly trendy area in the last few years, it still reveals itself in a shy, understated way.  Just a few miles NW of down town where I often find myself for business, It has become my home away from home.  It has everything I need. Silver Lake Boulevard boasts LAMILL coffee shop, which is the perfect place to sit & work in between meetings, and a tasty place to brunch (keep an eye out for famous faces breezing in and out with typical Silver Lake under-the-radarness).

A Day in Silver Lake, LA - My Home away from Home

In their boutique next door, you’ll find everything from gourmet coffee presses, to fancy nail files from Wooster and Prince.  Buy some biodegradable doggie poo bags, and head up the boulevard toward the reservoir, to the dog park for an afternoon frolic with a tennis ball and your pooch.  Along the way, you’ll pass an array of cute little gifty boutiques, and reminders of a Los Angeles from yesteryear.


A Day in Silver Lake, LA - My Home away from Home
The Hollywood Bowl is a stones throw away.  Whether it’s Coldplay, or the LA Philharmonic, a summer night under the stars with 18,000 of your closest friends, makes this venue an L.A. treat not to be missed.


A Day in Silver Lake, LA - My Home away from Home

On your way back to Silver Lake, end your day at Bar Covell for a late night glass of Pinot.  The perfect compliment to one of their four to-die-for mac ‘n’ cheese dishes!  Dustin Lancaster’s attention to detail, and Matthew Kaner’s expert wine direction, are guaranteed to bring you back for more.  Then wake up the next morning and work off the calories with a run around the Silver Lake Reservoir.  Perfect!

Posted in Traveling Tagged , , , , , |

Oliver Peoples

Oliver Peoples

I love Oliver Peoples, and especially their new website and recently launched short film featuring their stunning Spring 2012 Collection. The film is directed by Lisa Eisner and features actors Dakota Johnson and Thomas McDonell, both of which are delightful to watch.

You can watch the video here.

Collection available at DIANI Boutique. Like diani living on facebook to be the first to know about new arrivals and shopping events!

Posted in Blog

On The Road with…

I love road trips… I love watching my dogs, Plum & Raisin, with their heads out the window, ears flapping in the wind.  I love cocktails with JD.  I love sleeping in soft white sheets and bathing in large, bubbly tubs.  I love decadent breakfasts.  I love the Viceroy Hotel.

This time, we jumped in the car and headed to AZ, via Palm Springs.  And for all the faded beauty of the desert — the palm trees, mountains, dust devils, cactus and hot, hot hot — the Viceroy and it’s old Hollywood charm, is still as vibrant as ever.


Posted in Blog, Traveling
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