Why Buying a Ranchito in New Mexico Made Sense.


It's funny, I've been looking for a place to hang my hat for most of my life. 

Where is HOME?

I was a military kid, yanked from school to school every single year.  I suppose you could say I came by it honest.  I began a hunt the minute I graduated high school and it wasn't until now...what feels like 1000 years later that I've found a spot that feels like I could stay a spell.

It's a remote area in the Northern New Mexico badlands that has literally stolen my heart.  Just north of Santa Fe, this property we bought backs up against 12,000 acres of BLM land - nothing but a dog and horse paradise for mile and miles.  That was the primary reason for wanting a respite from our floating home in Marina Del Rey.  Which we still have and love...but it cannot compare to a leash free life for our pups.  The joy they have daily running trails, chasing critters, visiting neighbors with horses, racing down dirt roads and just living a life of leisure is not to be trifled with.  Checking the mail is the daily event that usually involves an early cocktail, a racing heart rabbit hunt, and a phenomenal sky.  Just kickin' up dust.

This area is also a pitstop for so many pals driving cross country to various TV and movie shoots they get booked on, so we get to host buds from all over the country all the time.  We even have an old cabin from the 1800's set up as the guest quarters.  Of course, there are plans to expand it into a really luxe little retreat, but all in time.  Country time.

Summer is explosive with blasts of sunshine, rich green grasses, icy cold Rose and simple days examining native plants and flowers.  We've set up a library that blows my mind daily - there are so many books to read and guess what...if we call it a day early, there is no urban guilt to compete with the Joneses...it's just simply...hell yah, I'm opening a bottle of something frosty and tucking into a good book near the fire - inside and outside alike.

The Farmers Market in Santa Fe is a wonderland - one of the best I have ever been to...and year round - and the quality of the restaurants is mind-bending.  Winter is very, very minimal.  It snowed maybe 5 times this past winter and was all melted by the next day.  Al fresco dining is a daily thing, as usually are margaritas...and I feel closer to Mexico than I ever did in LA, even though the Baja border is just a few hours away from LA.  Maybe it's the dirt roads, the endless vistas, the easy pace of the locals...and the plan is to move my sailboat down to Baja and the Sea of Cortez so we have that constant escape as needed. We will now just take a different route to get there, skipping Tijuana all together.

We have a small orchard on our 6 acres.  Apples, plums, pears, nectarines - they all grow with very little effort - maybe cause we have underground water rights that keep this little valley bursting with color almost year round.  Plants pop up out of nowhere and are suddenly 10 feet tall almost overnight.

The neighbors are brilliant.  Poets, scientists, professors, hemp growers...a randy bunch - and smart AF.  All just trying to live a simple country life full of curious days and early, star-filled nights.  And, we can drive to LA in a day if we need to scoot back for work.  Can fly there in 1.5 hours if a meeting is needed.  Easy peasy.

I think I'll stay awhile.  For now, my hunt is over.







Back in Mexico - Sea of Cortez Love


Scooted down to Baja for a quick sailboat relocation assessment. 

Good news.  I am in.  There is no body of water that you can drive to with your dogs that looks and feels like the Sea of Cortez.  None.  It's a jaunt across the border and a days drive down the peninsula. 

Time to move the boat from MRD, truly.  This is an epic year full of change, so why not go back to the beginning in a way.  I learned to sail here alone.  And, it always snatches my breath away every single time - 16 years later...so it really only makes sense.  MDR does not do that for me anymore - life is just too short...

Paying Bills, Organizing Life & Daydreaming of Mexico


So much time passes in between my posts, but the minute I log back into my Toothie account, it's like the whole world opens up again.  I jump from here to there in no time flat.  One second in a Jersey City coffee shop tackling my life and whoosh...the next second, I am down in Todos Santos, Baja, sippin' on a margarita ready to kick it with my dogs at Cerritos Beach.

That's what this little blog does for me.  Helps me escape the moment in time that I am in and takes me back (or forward) to the moment in time I want to be in. 

Lots going on in the MST life - bought a 6-acre horse farm/homestead just north of Santa Fe, so spent a few months there getting it all sorted this past spring.  Now in NYC working on a new TV show for a super great pal of mine and literally drinking and eating my way thru this city in the downtime.  Plotting (once again) where to move my sailboat cause you see, I didn't realize I would love New Mexico so much...and now LA just seems like an afterthought.  Don't get me wrong, I love FLO (my floating home) and all, but I think the older I get the more space I need.  Well, the dogs just need to be free and that is the main reason I stay on the move - curating life as I go.  I think that is all one can really do, just take what comes your way and adjust accordingly.

Where to move the boat?  Baja?  La Cruz?  The Pacific seems wild.   I need blue blue blue.  Sea of Cortez?  Time to find some Turkish food and ponder.

Big Fish Texas - Series Premiere on National Geographic Channel

IMG_0018Been a long time but that's cause I've literally been around the world and back.  More on that later, but the BREAKING NEWS is that a TV show that me and my gang at Fatcake Productions created and Executive Produced with the good folks at Asylum Entertainment is premiering on National Geographic Channel Feb 3 at 9/8c.  It's an 8-episode run and it's all about an awesome commercial fishing family in Galveston, TX working their butts off to save the world's oceans one stressful day at a time.  It's an amazing show that I'm super proud of.  Check it out and here's the teaser and press release and where to follow along real time with info!

Check out the preview:

Here's the press release:

Big Fish Texas Promo

You can send some good vibes to me, Misty Tosh and my Lisa Colangelo and the Big Fish Texas family on Twitter at @mst1 @lisacolangelo1 and @Fatcake2016 @natgeochannel @katiesseafood @gulfwild



Snapshots from the 3rd Floor of The Flo


Just cause I live on a boat, don't mean I can't have grass. 

When I got home from Istanbul, let me put it this way...it was like I came home to paradise.  The Flo was super clean (thanks to Nando & Bessie - the dream team), the sailboat looked all shiny and beautiful (again Nando's handy work).  The dinghy was all ready to be outfitted with a super cool electric engine (Michael, my dad and Kuba took on that one) and life just looked and felt like a dang postcard.

Then, the heatwave came this past week - which I am pretty much over - bring on Fall and Apple Crisps and Stews and Cornbread and Boots.  With the heat, came my parents - they showed up on a surprise trip from TN with their 2 doggies (what a ball?!).  Who drives cross country as a surprise?  But, I cooked, we ate.  We drank all day long.  They pilfered my storage.  We ate some more.  They introduced me to the wonders of Advil PM (omg, finally a solid night of sleep).   I got back into my boxing classes, which I love.  Contracts we've been waiting to get done are finally lining up right so we can sell some more TV.  My girl, Minka, bestowed her grace and charm on me and made me remember what it's like to be adored 100%.  I got a new desk, a new outdoor table and a new bookshelf - which all made me feel immensely happy.  I shipped my gal, Lisa, off to Abu Dhabi to take over for me on the Arabic show for Discovery International.  I was just ready to be home....and it feels really awesome.

Oh, and I sold our 23' Airstream to a Toothie fan - perfect - it means I can upgrade pronto just in time for the winter season, which I want to spend in Baja, Borrego Springs and maybe some parts of deep Southwest USA.  If there are new, cool, interesting shows out there to build concepts around, I shall find them.  As well as explore some deep ley lines of creativity.

Now, I just gotta do my taxes tomorrow - then for real, life can begin again!



The Power of the Camera

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Is Like No Other.

Out of all the projects and developments we've got happening over in Indo at 4th World Love, one that shakes my soul all the time is the gift of teaching.  Learning a new trade, skill, habit, idea - all these things are so often discarded in my own life - it's like - who has time to learn?!  I'm trying to keep up with the dang day to day...but that is something that I have to really work on or things just get super stale.

My good friend over in Lombok, Hasan, is the mega learner.  He sent me these pictures recently because he wanted to see if his composition was any good (we play with photos a lot).  I have given him and the CDC several cameras and any time I'm there, he is my go to guy for hauling all my gear, taking camera notes, helping with shot lists, making sure all the batteries are charged and taking point on all off site photo shoots.  Over time, he has become a super duper photographer and peeps now ask him to shoot their weddings, to document their lives.  What a wonderful treasure to have done (teach him some photography skills) and to continue to see flourish.  He is so very proud of having taken a passion and really trying to work on it every day.  I'm so proud of him, too. 



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I did the same thing with my super good pal, Lalo, down at Casa de Mita.  He is already a wonderful photographer, but every time I go, I spend a little time with him - just sippin' a marg and discussing all things photography - taking pix, assessing them, exhanging lenses.  I don't know that much about picture taking besides what I taught myself, but what I do know is that whipping out the camera and documenting the tiny things that I come across makes me happy - and clearly it does other folks too.

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That very thing is one of the reasons we started 4WL.   To be a conduit to hope and inspiration for those less fortunate.  We try to accomplish that every day - even in the TV shows we make; and on this wanderlust blog,as well.   Will this TV show or toothie post entertain, make a difference, change someones life/day, be remembered, make someone wanna have a good meal or some fine drink? If not, man...why bother?

That is the thing I wanna keep striving for every day, every photo, every moment, hell - every decision in the day.  Because if I don't do it for me, who will?  Ain't nobody snappin' my pic - I gotta get out there and document it for me.  And, if I stick to what the me in this wacky ass world loves, well - I will always be proud and happy to share a tidbit of goodness.  Picture that:)

Eastern Exposure, Daily Flo Shakedowns & Corazon de Tierra


The amount of things that shake down daily on this floating home is just insane. 

I try to keep up with it all - and make good food, drink good spirits, and create good things all around.  Sadly though - this blog is the last thing on my mind as I try to get through the day.  Not that I don't think about posting daily - I do.  It's just that finding the time is becoming harder and harder. I gotta change that though - and it's gonna start right now!  Because I use this site as a tool to help me remember where I was at what point in life...PLUS, it's an amazing foodie reference for me when I want to revisit, or share, or link someone up with lots of intel from my fave places around the globe.

First off - a MST update.  I've been working my bootie off on a handful of new shows that we (Fatcake) are developing.  We have driven to TX and back doing shoots for our fishing family show; we've got 5 more deals on top of that one that just literally got done making their way through legal - and I love each and every one of these shows like mad.  It's just FREAKY how long it all takes, though.  From idea, to devo, to shoot, to pitch, to contract to actual deal done - like a freakin YEAR!  On each and every show.  We're staying super positive though and just knowing that doing what we really dig, with peeps we super believe it - well it's going to pay off.  And, I suppose through all of this, my ultimate goal is simply freedom. 

Freedom to work on what I want, to develop what I love, to conspire with folks I laugh with, and to really be a part of the worlds bigger picture through creative endeavors.  Pretty simple, eh?

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That all said - Baja. 

As we've been planning on taking the airstream down this winter and the aftermath of Odile keeps getting shared - it seems less likely we will make our way down for any extended amount of time.  I told Kuba yesterday that it would a damn shame if we didn't at least get a few weeks down in Southern Baja before the holidays, so we might try to make that happen.  The Dept. of Tourism in TJ released a statement that said 'if you go to Baja right now, you are doing a disservice to the residents.'  There is very little water, food, and fuel up and down the peninsula so just stand by a minute and let things marinate a bit for the locals.  I can honor that, as much as I want to be in the truck rolling down come Nov. 1.  I'm going to just keep my eyes peeled on the super helpful Baja forums (Baja Nomad), the national news (which is so stale and out-of-date it's sad), and my peeps on the ground there to see what our real plan can become in the next 6 weeks or so.

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Meanwhile - enjoy the pix from breakfast and dinner at one of my fave Baja wine country restaurants - Corazon de Tierra.  Now that is still an escapade that's easily doable since it's just about 3.5 hrs from my front door.  When I have a restaurant (and mark my words, I will someday) - it will be all about lighting and early AM Eastern Exposure and then the stunning evening Western Exposure.  Just like on the Flo (we have North, South, East and West exposure) - it makes every room in the house usuable all the time and full of light and sunbeams. 

Next up (for me solo) is a trip to the Philippines this week, a place to which I've never been.  I just wanna yoga, eat green, get a billion massages and really just grab a fresh sheet of paper and start anew for all the ideas that need to get done for the early 2015 roll out. 

These are exciting times and a good cup of coffee in the morning, with my dog resting in a ray of soft light, and the masts clanking in the light breeze are all that's needed to get the day going up in here.

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A Super Simple Veggie Cobbler

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Is all I really need to whip up to take me right back to Thanksgiving.   You can pretty much toss any cooked veggies in (fennel, sweet potato, carrot, celery, onion are in this one), make the creamy sauce, and whisk up some drop biscuits topped with fresh rosemary and you've got a real deal feast. 

Now the freakishly enormous celery that is hoppin' out of my farmbox is so dang intimidating, I had to turn to the cookbook, Tender.   He takes celery and poaches it with onion and bay leaf, then tops it all with a butter sauce and homemae breadcrumbs...and let me put it this way, what pops out of the over is damn near to-die-for.  Just such a great way to prepare boatloads of celery. 

But, the doozie are these cookies.  Oatmeal, dried cherries, cardamom, shaved coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and an egg.   Add a little flour and baking powder.  Bake for about 12 minutes and while they are filling the house with some heavenly scents, toss some almond milk in the freezer.   Once done, put on jams and call it a day.

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Back When Flo Was Being Ripped Apart...


I knew I was going to create something wonderful to live in, someplace to call home for a good, long spell.  And, I did.  With the help of many, it all came together into a wee oasis that I still can't believe is mine.  But the time has come for change again. 

Time to curate even more.  Across all levels of life.  Things I own, places I go, how my time is spent.  Projects I choose to work on, how I choose to move my body, what I put in it.  Good new vibes are in the air and summer is on the way. 

Every day I just want to discover something new, eat something fresh, laugh something fierce and learn even more.

All these old bones, much like good ole girl Flo's, are about to get re-checked for a whole new way of living.

Unexpected Baja, for the Curious Kind


Unexpected Baja, for the Curious Kind...

Here is the link for a Baja Bound that I forgot to post...and since we're on Baja :)

Intrepid wanderers have flocked to Baja for centuries and who can blame them? Dirt roads that meander off to stellar oceanside fish shacks; seaside palapas for less than $10; simple folks found living off-grid existences with multi-million dollar views; and unspoiled Steinbeckian adventures around most corners are just a couple of the reasons why. I discover something miraculous each and very trip I take – no matter if it’s just a north, south or mid-peninsula jaunt - and I always get a fresh blast of Baja energy from the folks (and restaurants) I manage to happen across in my adventures.

The common thread that weaves me up and down Highway 1 usually has to do with my tummy but sometimes it can be a unique film shoot, a wondrous whale watching excursion, or simply, nothing more than a fierce margarita jones. If you get in your wheels and head south right now, here are some things you might happen across. And, if you trail blaze far enough, you will probably trump these! Trust me, its all out there if you roam far enough.

Finca Altozano steak

1. Food by Fire
Set deep in the country, Finca Altozano is worth the somewhat bumpy trek it takes to get there – even if it’s just for a convivial dinnerand then a scram back home to the USA. It’s simply put one of the best meals you will ever have in your life. Part wine tasting room, part outdoor dining room, it’s all a piece of something called char-grilled perfection. They’ve expanded since last season – and all for the better. Menus are now offered in English, they’ve created a long wine bottle flanked path to the pigpen and organic garden, and there is now a tiny indoor bar. It’s just a brilliant take on fine dining in a rural environment – vibrant flavors mixed with earthy wines with a hit of rock and roll on the stereo. The open kitchen has a fire roaring at all times, and the scent of juicy steak and crisped octopus wafting through the sleepy valley is enough to drive one mad. Dogs are allowed off leash (big bonus for me and Minka) and the price is always right (2 bottles of wine and half the menu for 3 people about $125). Though is might seem silly, please do order the pasta. It’s a frighteningly delicious veggie option on the meat heavy menu, and just so good, we had to order another one. I’ve never felt more content with my crazy eating excursions than after a meal here.

LESSON LEARNED: Fire is God’s gift to the taste buds.

2. Mexican Taco Logistics
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I’m a TV producer and recently, we we’re filming some tribal activity down in Santa Caterina. Tribes, you say? I know! Who knew there were still old-school tribes living down in Baja? They might not be wearing the traditional garb (bark skirts and raccoon skin loin cloths), but they are most definitely keeping the traditions alive. Raul Sandoval still carves bow and arrows from native trees, he still knows how to source desert foods from cactus (prickly pear) and he most definitely still knows how to track down desert animals with spears and throwing sticks (rodents and rabbits). Every day after filming him and our hosts doing their tribal thing, we would head back to our hotel in a neighboring village, Valle de la Trinidad, and hunt down some tacos. Now, street food in Baja is always a winner in my book – especially when they have all the accoutrements to go along with the meal. The first time we ordered tacos to go, I asked Horacio (our fixer from Ensenada who works for the Baja conservation organization Terra Peninsular) if they would be able to pack us up a few of the condiments and he just giggled and said, “Of course…it’s Mexican taco logistics!” I gazed on as they charred up batches of carne, whipped up more salsa on the fly, and rapid fire slung together bags full of cukes, crema, cilantro, limes, onions and beans. What a joy to witness one smiling vendor and his posse make tacos fast food style in the middle of the cold desert on a dirt road to nowhere. The crew devoured every single bite of food each night with wild abandon…along with some of that delicious Russian wine from Valle de Guadalupe, Bibayoff. I know! Who knew there were Russians in wine valley in Baja?

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LESSON LEARNED: Never doubt the ingenuity of the Mexican folk.

3. A Legend in his Land Rover
Once upon a time, I was out and about doing a bit of whale watching in a lagoon near San Ignacio (PS - the migration season will be starting up again soon) and I saw, from a distance, a slew of identical trucks on the edge of the water…that all happened to have a tent on the roof. I couldn’t wait to get back to shore and assess the home away from homes. Turns out the owner of one truck was a nice gentleman named Bob and we exchanged emails and such…after he gave me a tour of his truck with a bed on top. Well, when I say Bob, I mean THE Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars(Google it, you will be stunned at the musicians that rave about his next-level guitars). We’ve stayed pals since then and turns out, he and his buddies have been traversing the back roads of Baja for years - all with identical Land Rovers that have been Film Shoot

tricked out with mega tires, extra fuel tanks, tidy pre-fab kitchens in the trunks and sleeping quarters on top. This is so they can off-road down sandy dunes, catching fish as they go and cooking feasts on a nightly basis (and if one breaks down, they all have the same parts and they are easier to fix). In the aftermath of that meeting, Bob invited me down to his HQ near San Diego and whipped me up a pan full of chicken paella off the back of his truck. What sealed the deal of one of the best meals ever was the cooler full of ice-old Dos Equis with lime squirts that went along with each bite. Who knew a friendship could be started all because we both own Land Rovers. I need one of them beds on top and my truck pimped out with a custom made kitchen in the trunk. Amazing what people can dream up.

LESSON LEARNED: Always ask for a tour.

4. A Kick-Ass Margarita
I usually hit up La Fonda for a lobster and some margs when I’m cruising down the highway, but this past trip, I decided to try something different. I simply wanted a FOR REAL margarita without having to tell the bartender to skip the sweet and sour and boy, did I find it. There’s a joint just north of La Fonda called The Lighthouse- same insane view but a world away from the rustic vibe of La Fonda. It’s more of a sports and karaoke bar (not my thing at all), but the margs are some of the best I’ve had in Baja. Sinfully frozen to perfection, the gal behind the bar needed no instruction on how to whip up a proper marg. I was also interested to hear from the owner that they have not only a traditional Mexican menu, they also turn out vegetarian takes on the classics. A whole separate section of the menu highlights veggie options (try the Chiles en Nogado) and if you are on the make for a new life in Mexico, the place is for sale. Now, if you made this seaside haven more like Finca Altazano (keep the margs, of course), you’d have a stone cold goldmine on your hands.

LESSON LEARNED: Stray from the norm and you just might find something better.

Finca Altozano: Turn on the dirt road at Kilometer 83 on Route 3 in the Guadalupe Valley (at the sign for Laja). Continue on this road until you see the archway for the restaurant about a mile down on the right.

The Lighthouse: KM 58, south of Rosarito

Baja Map