HeadshotThere’s nothing quite like the feeling of summer, when you breathe in the warm air and feel it relax you from the inside out. This issue of Beyond the Acorn celebrates that luscious state. We found hammocks to snooze in, pool toys to splash around with and refreshing summer martinis to sip while the sun sets.

And while you take a few moments to contemplate that sunset, keep an ear out for the little creatures singing their songs in the evening. We have a lovely feature story on birds, particularly those who grace our backyard gardens. Our story offers tips on how to attract birds to your yard and how to safely befriend them once they’ve come to visit. The story is illustrated by Kerry Perkins’ fabulous photographs. Kerry must be a kind of bird whisperer—how else could he have caught so many great images of creatures that rarely keep still?

The highlight of this issue is our Beyond Makeover Contest. We asked readers to nominate someone they felt deserved some royal treatment and, from those very worthy nominees, we chose a woman who gracefully embodies all things family. Meet Cricket Sjodin and the beauty pros who helped her feel like queen for a day. A very special thank-you to our team of experts who shared their time and their beauty tips and to the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, who offered their hospitality as well as a celebration dinner for our winner at ONYX Restaurant.

Hearing from readers is one of my favorite parts of working on this magazine. For our Fall issue, we’d like to hear about your most treasured and dependable tool for holiday entertaining. What is the thing you can’t live without—at least not happily live without—when the bustle of holiday time is approaching.

I’ll start the conversation by saying my family cookbook is the one thing I depend on each holiday season. Its pages are splattered and worn, which is no surprise given the dozens of times I’ve grabbed for it with hands covered in flour, icing or olive oil. It’s a personal treasure.

So, what’s your go-to when holidays approach? Please send a photo along with your email address, phone number and city. Feel free to jot down the story behind your holiday helper. I look forward to hearing about your secrets for entertaining.

Until then, happy summer,

Leslie Signature






Leslie Gregory Haukoos