Top Lists

My Top 10 Beach Bag Essentials

My Top 10 Beach Bag Essentials

Summer is here, which means longer days for having fun and basking in the sun. You have your swimsuit, but what should you pack in your beach bag so you don't end up getting burned by poor planning? Here are my top 10 beach bag essentials to ensure you have it made in the shade.
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Late-Night, All-Night Happy Hour

Late-Night, All-Night Happy Hour

Happy Hour. Two little words that bring such joy to so many. But who can get out of the office at four-frickin-thirty in the afternoon? Thankfully, restaurants and bars are figuring out that if they really want to entice all of us they're gonna have to come up with something beyond the typical happy hour window.
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LA’s Best Independent Bookstores

LA’s Best Independent Bookstores

Read any good books lately? Even if you've forsaken the good old-fashioned paperback in favor of the iPad or Kindle, you have to admit there's something special about turning the page, feeling the paper and reading the print in an actual book. So in the name of helping the noble scribe, encouraging everyone to read and supporting local businesses, here's a list of 20+ indie LA bookshops that are worth checking out.
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2014 Tax Day Deals in Los Angeles

2014 Tax Day Deals in Los Angeles

IRS, IOU, OMG! Tax Day is that dreaded time of year when everyone's least avuncular Uncle Sam comes to cash in at our expense. Or, if you're one of the fortunate few, it's the one day when you get a little cash back to help ease the sting of all those taxes being taken from your paycheck the rest of the year. Either way, we could all use a good deal right about this time. And even better, a freebie. Here's a quick hit list of discounts around SoCal...
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Out & About: City of Claremont

Out & About: City of Claremont

Have you been to the cute little town of Claremont??? It seems so far away ... and it IS if you get stuck in traffic ... but you really must make some time to walk along the tree-lined streets filled with independently owned shops, charming sidewalk cafes and historic buildings, not to mention the Claremont Colleges. No wonder it's called "The City of Trees and PhDs."
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Weekend Getaway: Del Marcos Hotel

Weekend Getaway: Del Marcos Hotel

PS, I love you. Your beautiful palm trees, your peaceful mountains, your fabulous retro charm. It's no wonder I head out to this desert getaway as often as I can. Most recently, my friend was getting married in Palm Springs, so it was the perfect reason to go back. But where to stay? Well ... let's just say I found the cutest little mid-century modern gem just one block from historic downtown Palm Springs. And its name is the Del Marcos Hotel.
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Super Bowl Sunday in LA

Super Bowl Sunday in LA

Football's biggest game of the year is here. And you know what that means: Party time! Forget staying at home with a bag of chips and a six pack of beer. There are dozens of places all over LA to watch the Super Bowl on February 2. Whether you want a tropical hangout with cheap drinks, a hidden bar by the beach or vegan-style action, check out this list of where to watch the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. (And for you homebodies, there are a couple of take-out options, too.)
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5 Easy Winter Accessories You’ll Love

5 Easy Winter Accessories You’ll Love

Accessories are necessities. After all, an outfit isn't complete without at least one. But rather than loading up on all sorts of trendy pieces that'll lose their luster by next fall and winter, focus on a handful of key accessories that will last you well beyond a season or two. I promise you'll look fab and you won't have to spend a fortune.
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Cheesepocalypse: Top 5 Cheese Snack Recipes

Cheesepocalypse: Top 5 Cheese Snack Recipes

Never mind the real life crises of the world. It seems the biggest threat to humanity right now is that of an impending Velveeta shortage. At least that's what the folks at Kraft are hoping you believe. So you better hurry up and stock up on the "velvety" processed cheese block, right? Wrong. Consider this your chance to find better alternatives that will ensure you survive the Cheesepocalypse ...
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Get Quacking: Peking Duck in LA

Get Quacking: Peking Duck in LA

It's the year of the horse according to the Chinese zodiac, but the bird is the word at Chinese restaurants across the country including here in Los Angeles. That's because Peking duck--that crunchy, crispy, crackly creation originally from Beijing--has become a star attraction on menus. Read on for some of the best places to quack up your tastebuds in LA.
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LA Guide to Downton Abbey

LA Guide to Downton Abbey

It is a happy new year indeed now that the fourth season of Downton Abbey is here. But did you know you can have your own Downton experience right here in LA? Yes, darling. You can take a stroll through English rose gardens finished with a spot of tea or go for a wee bit of shopping at one of the best British clothiers right here in the City of Angels, for starters. Read on for a quick guide on how you can live it up Crawley-style around Los Angeles. Pinkies up!
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Spiced Cocktails in LA

Spiced Cocktails in LA

Variety is the spice of life. But a cocktail with spice? Well, that's extra nice ... especially now that shorter days and cooler evenings are here. Spiced cocktails are a perfect way to change things up thanks to their intense aromas and warm, exotic flavors. Whether you feel like a mouth-tingling cayenne concoction or a nutmeg-and-cinnamon sensation, check out these must-try spots for a tasty spiced cocktail in Los Angeles.
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My Top Classic LA Movies

My Top Classic LA Movies

One of my Facebook friends recently asked people to help her name the quintessential LA movie and it inspired me to create my own list of favorite LA movies. It also made me realize that there could never be just one film to fully sum up the Los Angeles experience. But maybe a few handfuls could get you close. So here are my top 15 movies, in chronological order, that each have their own way of showcasing the many sides of LA.
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5 Fall Fashion Must-Haves

5 Fall Fashion Must-Haves

Ah, fall. I love this time of year when things get a little cozier and sweater weather is in full swing. You can pore through all the fashion magazines telling you to buy dozens of different products ranging from insanely expensive fur coats to some hideous lug sole boots, but ultimately it's going to be about getting what YOU want and choosing what's right for your own lifestyle. That said, there are some wardrobe staples you should consider adding to your closet that will keep you warm and looking good all season long.
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Top 5 Ways to Get Glowing Skin

Top 5 Ways to Get Glowing Skin

Tired of looking tired? Done with being dull? (Skinned, that is.) Yeah, so am I. Unlike my fiance and every other man I know who follows no beauty regimen whatsoever yet somehow has flawless skin, I was not born with a perfect complexion. (Thank goodness for the overexposure options on Instagram!) But clear glowing skin can be achieved. I asked some well-qualified experts for their top tips on getting gorgeous glowing skin ... no airbrushing required.
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8 Ways to Beat Your Meat Habit

8 Ways to Beat Your Meat Habit

October is National Vegetarian Month, but adding meat-free options to your diet is a good idea any time of year. So why not do your body, the planet and all those adorable animals a favor by indulging in some meat-free nourishment? Even if you're the bloodiest of carnivores, you can beat your meat habit with these tasty vittles at some of my favorite LA area restaurants.
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Drink to Your Health: 18 Good-For-You Cocktails

Drink to Your Health: 18 Good-For-You Cocktails

Salud! It’s not just something you say while clink-clinking your way to buzzdom anymore. Now you really can drink to your health thanks to the growing trend of healthy cocktails that contain everything from immune-boosting herbs to liver-cleansing veggies. Ironic? Lest we forget, alcohol itself was originally a form of medicine. So go ahead and raise a glass… or two. Just don’t tell your doctor I told you so.
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Out & About: Rose Avenue

Out & About: Rose Avenue

They say to stop and smell the roses. Well, I say stop and shop along Rose Avenue. This once sketchy stretch in Venice between 5th and 7th Avenues has really come along with the recent influx of restaurants and shops. In fact, it's already kind of blown up with a full-on residential and retail complex. Yep, the area has cleaned up nicely with nary a lingering waft of Venice grit. Welcome to the neighborhood...
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What Food is Better Than Sex?

What Food is Better Than Sex?

Foodgasm, oral gratification, gastrophoria. Call it what you want. The bottom line is that every now and again, you bite into something so delicious, so incredibly multisensory, it convinces you it’s better than sex. White truffles? (Wolfgang Puck seems to think so.) Bacon? (Take it from an Iron Chef.) Pancakes? (Who knew!) I asked some top chefs and restaurateurs to describe which foods really hit the spot.
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Bark If You Love Bingo!

Bark If You Love Bingo!

There will be plenty of balls flying around tonight in West Hollywood ... wait, let me specify: Bingo balls! That's because it's Legendary Bingo night at Hamburger Mary's with special guest Cesar Millan. The leader of the pack himself will be the celebrity ball caller during the“Bark If You Love Bingo” fundraising event...
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Father’s Day in Los Angeles

Father’s Day in Los Angeles

Dad, Pops, Papa, Pa. Whatever you call the man responsible for your existence, it's time to celebrate him this Father's Day. But before you default to the same old shirt and tie routine, consider taking him out for a fun (and unusual) day out. From a brewtastic brunch to a totally badass day of music, here's a quick hit list of some places that might show Dad a good time this Father's Day.
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The Great Gatsby Guide to LA

The Great Gatsby Guide to LA

Even though I haven't read "The Great Gatsby" since it was mandatory reading in high school and have no intention of going to see what looks like one hot mess of a movie (which is really sad 'cause I'm an otherwise big fan of Baz Luhrmann), I have to admit I'm still kinda loving this media-induced frenzy for all things Gatsby...
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Hats Off: Kentucky Derby Hits LA

Hats Off: Kentucky Derby Hits LA

Hold your horses! Never mind the races. The most entertaining part of the Kentucky Derby is the absurdity taking place off the track. While most people will be celebrating the weekend with Cinco de Mayo tacos and margaritas, if you'd rather opt for a mint julep and an oversized hat that's not a sombrero, here are a few places celebrating the Kentucky Derby here in Los Angeles.
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Out & About: Boyle Heights

Out & About: Boyle Heights

There aren't any hot new restaurants or trendy shops cropping up along East First Street in Boyle Heights at the moment, and as far as gentrification ... ¿que es eso? But that's exactly the sort of no-fuss, authentic vibe that makes this stretch east of Downtown LA so appealing. Here are some of my favorite spots along this historic street.
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7 Must-Try Food Trucks

7 Must-Try Food Trucks

We might not yet be a food truck nation, but Los Angeles for one is a city obsessed with meals on wheels. And being that I’m Mexican I can’t help but feel connected to this mobile food movement that dates back more than a century ago to LA's horse-drawn tamale carts. I love the current food truck movement and the many different flavors it brings. And although I’ve yet to find the perfect taco truck, here are seven trucks in LA that I'm really digging right now.
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Celebrate Easter in Los Angeles

Celebrate Easter in Los Angeles

Easter arrives earlier than usual this year on Sunday, March 31, but that just means we get to celebrate sooner for this special holiday. Whether you want to get your church on at the Hollywood Bowl (without waking up before sunrise!), feel like a fab brunch with friends, or want to enjoy family time in the great outdoors, there's a whole lot going on this Easter weekend around LA and OC.
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Shop Local: 5 LA Fashion Designers

Shop Local: 5 LA Fashion Designers

We all know about the importance of eating local. Not only does the food invariably taste better, but you're helping the environment and supporting local farmers and purveyors. The same goes for fashion. Some of the coolest clothes are being made right here in Los Angeles. Here are some of my favorite LA fashion brands.
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Best Oscar Moments 2013

Best Oscar Moments 2013

The 85th Annual Academy Awards have come to an end and overall Seth MacFarlane did a pretty good job, don't you think? Per usual, the show was a bit too long and most speeches were boring recitations of people's names, but there were some memorable moments worth mentioning. Here are my top 5 favorite moments from the 2013 Oscars that kept me watching.
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Oscar Parties For Regular People

Oscar Parties For Regular People

Didn't get the invite to all those fancy Oscar parties going on around town? So what. Just because you haven't made the A-list (yet) doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little glitz and glam on Hollywood's biggest night. Whether you want to toast the Oscars with a bunch of hobbits or feel like living out your own A-list fantasy by strutting the red carpet, check out these fun Academy Awards celebrations for all the little people.
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Valentine’s Day in LA

Valentine’s Day in LA

Single, searching, shacked up or shackled down. Whatever the case may be, Valentine's Day is here and so, like the dutiful commercial-holiday adherent you are, you're looking for a romantic spot to have a nice meal and perhaps enjoy a little entertainment. Or maybe you want a fun romance-free night out. Or maybe you just want to stay in, watch a Lifetime movie and treat yourself to some yummy sweets. No matter what you have in mind, you're bound to find something on this list. Just be aware that most of it doesn't come cheap. Whoever said love don't cost a thing lied.
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Perfect Tease: Get Blown in LA

Perfect Tease: Get Blown in LA

Looking for a little blow? It's okay. Seems like a lot of people are these days. And it's ready for the taking on practically every street corner. That's because blow dry bars are all the rage right now. It's a growing trend around the country, but LA--trendsetting city that it is--is really where things have been heating up for the past couple of years. If you need a good blowout job but don't have a fortune to fork over, here are some fab spots to get your hair did for $35 or less.
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Gluten-Free Spots in LA & OC

Gluten-Free Spots in LA & OC

In case you hadn't noticed, gluten-free dining is on the rise. Hardly a food fad, a gluten-free diet is a lifestyle that, if not managed, can result in serious health consequences. That's because gluten is a substance present in many foods and cereal grains like wheat, and a growing number of people are realizing that they have an allergy to it. So what's a gluten-free gourmand to do? Surrender to a life of boring steamed vegetables and a few pieces of fruit? Not even close.
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Boardwalk Empire in Los Angeles

Boardwalk Empire in Los Angeles

Even though I'm still in utter disbelief that my beloved Jimmy was offed from the show, I can't get enough of HBO’s "Boardwalk Empire." Naturally, the crooked politicians and bootlegging crime bosses of Prohibition-era Atlantic City are always in full force, but what I really love is all the glitz and glamour. If you want to live it up in true Boardwalk Empire style, take a look at this list of places inspired by the days of backdoor speakeasies, snazzy-jazzy tunes and burlesque babes.
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Hostess With the Mostess: Twinkies in LA

Hostess With the Mostess: Twinkies in LA

Holy Wonder Bread! In case you hadn't heard, Hostess is closing up shop. Evidently, the (in)famous baker and maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Hostess cupcakes, Ho-Hos and Wonder Bread is in bad health with more debt than they can chew. So what's a commercial-grade, highly processed food-loving fiend with a yen for nostalgia supposed to do? Here are a handful of places in LA where you can still get your Twinkie and Hostess cupcake fix. At least for now.
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Thanksgiving Dining in LA

Thanksgiving Dining in LA

Why cook when you can make reservations? It makes perfect sense that on the official day of thanks, you should be having fun and not slaving away in the kitchen. Whether you’re looking to splurge or save, celebrate with friends, family or on your own, check out our list for restaurants, caterers and a few events around Los Angeles that are ready to serve you on Thanksgiving Day.
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Porkopalypse Now: Survival Guide

Porkopalypse Now: Survival Guide

Baconopalypse. Parmageddon. Call it what you want, but the recent announcement about a world shortage of pork has had folks freaking out all over the place. (And piggies and vegans rejoicing.) But before all you porkophiles get your bacon bits in a bunch, relax. The world isn't about to turn into some ham-free hamlet. The shortage simply means that the price of pork will be going up next year. So until that time comes, here are seven places where you can sip, spoon and fork your pork without worrying that it's your last time for a taste.
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Q&A: Future Foods Farm

Q&A: Future Foods Farm

Never mind Old McDonald. Future Foods Farm is truly the future of farming. It was created by chef/farmer Adam Navidi, who is using organic aquaponic farming, a food production system where the fish feed the plants, the plants clean the water and then the water is recirculated back to the fish. It's incredibly sustainable, efficient (it uses very little water), uses no chemicals or synthetics, and can be done anywhere--on a rooftop, in the middle of a desert, a city .. or in this case, an oil field in Brea!
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Tasty Tequila Cocktails

Tasty Tequila Cocktails

Whether you take it in the form of a shot, a sip or swirled in a cocktail, tequila is one drink that can be enjoyed in many forms. And there are plenty of places around Los Angeles that are doing it right. From a deliciously fragrant cucumber lavender margarita at the newly opened Tortilla Republic to a full-on Tequila University at Ortega 120, here's a quick hit list of where you can get tasty tequila cocktails around LA and OC.
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Outdoor Movie Nights in LA & OC

Outdoor Movie Nights in LA & OC

If there are two things that Angelenos love it's enjoying our fabulous weather and watching a good movie. So it's no wonder that outdoor movie-watching has become a summer tradition here in Los Angeles. And the list for these al fresco film nights seems to grow every year, most of them free of charge. So whether you're looking for a cinematic experience in the cemetery (only in LA, right?) or want to kick it old-school at a real drive-in theatre (remember those?), here's a quick hit list for some of this season’s can't-miss outdoor movie experiences.
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