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Food Angelenos Featured

5 L.A. Gems a Tourist Wouldn’t Know

February 21, 2017

I love a good Nordstrom browse at The Grove, a trek up Runyon Canyon (yes, I am one of the few who actually considers it a legitimate “trek”) or a night of sipping unjustifiably overpriced cocktails at SLS–but one of the best parts about L.A. is the endless potential to find under-the-radar establishments.

Whether it’s a metaphysical shop in Highland Park or a renowned Mexican restaurant in Boyle Heights, there’s always more to be uncovered in the City of Angels.

Pop TV’s This Just In star Elizabeth Stanton is an L.A. native (Hollywood proper, to be exact), and she’s providing my readers with a list of some of her favorite lesser-known spots in town. And as someone who has lived in L.A. for 10 years, I can personally say she came up with some excellent out-of-the-box places to go (in fact, she even had me stumped on a couple).

“It’s been fun growing up here because I’ve felt like I’m always in the center of everything,” the 21-year-old—who was recently listed as one of Popstar! magazine’s top 10 actresses of the year—tells skyelyfe. “Now that I’m older, I basically live in the same area, and everything’s around me—all the new, happening spots. I feel like Hollywood is a happening area to be in right now. I can’t imagine living anywhere else but L.A. I especially love the weather [laughs]. Even if people don’t want to be around the main parts of Hollywood, there are always the beach areas and smaller communities people don’t really know about.”

And with that, I dug into five L.A. gems Liz insists you must encounter if you haven’t already:

1. For the Late-Night-Nosher: Crispy Pork Gang

Open until 4:00 a.m., this Thai Town eatery’s selling point may not be its overpacked strip mall parking lot, but it does give its visitors a mouthful (a good one, that is). And like the name suggests, the standout item here is indeed crispy pork. As Jonathan Gold pointed out back in 2011, there is no shortage of its usage on the menu.

A classic soup dish at Crispy Pork Gang in Thai Town

Photo Credit: @einna_sirisack

2. For the Gamer Who Likes to Drink: EightyTwo

Umm, hello childhood! This DTLA spot is a little throwback to the days of arcade games. And pinball lovers in particular, prepare to empty out your piggy banks, because your quarters are about to go to use! But rest assured this joint has you covered in the beverage department as well. With a full bar featuring craft cocktails and 10 draft beers, there will be no dry mouths in the building.

The classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game at EightyTwo in DTLA

Photo Credit: @eightytwola

3. For the Outdoorsy Individual Who Wants to Avoid the ‘Scene’: L.A. Abandoned Zoo

Love to hike, but without the Runyon-esque mayhem? Los Feliz’ former home to wild animals is loaded with beautiful visuals and photo opps aplenty.

a group poses at the L.A. Abandoned Zoo

Photo Credit: @hoey_jeinen

4. For the Foodie Who Came Seriously Just for the Food: Papilles

There’s no fancy-schmancy shebang here. Chef Jordan Rosas brings the casual Paris-inspired bistronomique movement to a Hollywood strip mall. With a set course menu that changes daily (check their website for each day’s offerings), there’s no messing around at this spot.

A perfectly arranged dish from Papilles French restaurant in Hollywood

Photo Credit: @papillesbistro

5. For the Artsy, Avid Reader: The Last Bookstore

This DTLA dwelling has come a long way since launching in a loft in 2005. It is now the largest new and used bookstore in all of California. They also sell a slew of vintage records, they host various events and even get celebs (hi, BJ Novak) to come in to speak (or read).

couple poses at The Last Bookstore in DTLA

Photo Credit: @dom_gy

Angelenos

No Vacancy Hosts Gatsby-Themed Extravaganza In Honor of Z: The Beginning of Everything Premiere

February 6, 2017

No Vacancy and Amazon Prime Video invited the public out to party!

In anticipation of Z: The Beginning of Everything‘s recent premiere, the Hollywood hotspot and streaming network hosted a prohibition-themed open bar celebration to anyone who wanted to partake in honoring the new Great Gatsby-centric series.

From the hours of 8:00 – 11:00 p.m., guests endured what was called the #Ztakeover, having the opportunity to party like F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s famed character, himself, in a space transformed into the “Amazon Speakeasy.” Prohibition-era cocktails, branded barware, ’20s jazz bands, bartenders in classic ’20s attire and many other signature early 20th-century additions were all part of the fete.

Z dives into the untold story of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda (Christina Ricci), flapper and icon of the roaring ’20s. Starting the moment she met Fitzgerald, Z pulls back the curtain on one of the most renown love stories of their time period.

The biographical drama is currently streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Angelenos

9 Struggles You’ll Only Relate to If You Live in the Hills

November 21, 2016

Being a hills resident is a total breath of fresh air.

We come home to indescribable views every day, we’re saved from transients trolling the local CVS and we avoid the glorious sounds of fire engines racing through main streets during every hour of the night—but let’s face it: No living situation is perfect, and the beautiful hills are no exception.

hills-view

So to those who have ever lived up these windy roads, take a moment and relate to these nine struggles:

1. Two words: House Centipedes

They luckily disappeared after the first week I moved to the hills, but what are technically called House Centipedes circled my bedroom ceilings at night for the first week or so. Surprisingly according to online research, they are actually more helpful than harmful—But that said, I don’t think anyone wants insects of any sort lingering above where they sleep!

hills-house-centipede

2. There’s no such thing as “casually” dropping off your car

If you’re coming from work or somewhere else and want to drop off your car before going out for the night, you better factor in at least 30 minutes. You’ve got to go up the hill, park your car, order your car service (I prefer Lyft), wait the 8-10 minutes it takes for your service to arrive and then head back down the hill. No simple (or cheap) process!

3. Either the person driving ahead of you is so incredibly slow and won’t pull over to let you pass (despite many brights-flashes and even honks) or they pull over to let you pass when it’s really not necessary and you feel obligated to drive faster than you planned

This one coincides with No. 4 below. Basically, any time there’s someone else on the road with you, you’re damned.

4. When there’s a really fast vehicle driving behind you and there really isn’t anywhere to pull over, you are stuck feeling obligated to zoom so that the other driver doesn’t honk

Nothing is worse than having a Porsche tailing behind you and you have nowhere to go! Help! Now you suddenly feel like you need to drive 15 mph faster than your safety allows—otherwise you’re going to be that annoying person on the road!

5. Friends love your pad, but they don’t love the windy distance to visit you up the hill

Consider the pre-party at anyone’s place but yours! And there’s no such thing as picking you up on the way to something, because no one is on the way to or from you. And on a rainy day? Don’t even think about getting visitors.

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6. Your Lyft drivers always comment on how they don’t get service in your area and “boy, this is far” (it’s the hills—don’t they know what they signed up for?!)

Lyft drivers, as nice as they are, feel compelled to express their agony about that glowing ride up to get you. I get their frustration, but come on! If they took a look at their Lyft map, they’d see that, yes, this is a few minutes up a hill. I’m sorry you don’t have reception, but a few minutes down and we’ll be back on track!

7. Your credit card bill racks up more Seamless charges each month than pretty much anything else

From the expensive Lyfts to the Seamless food delivery charges, you’ve pretty much summed up your entire credit card statement from month to month. It’s not like you can walk anywhere in the hills, so delivery is your best option. I mean, after a long day’s work, the last thing you want to do is stop at Trader Joe’s, pick up groceries and hop in the kitchen.

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8. You’ve gained at least five pounds since making the move

With nowhere to walk and your gym so. far. away, chances are if you’re anything like me, you’ve slacked a bit in your personal upkeep. Who needs to hit the gym/shop for groceries/live a civilized existence when you can nestle yourself far up the hill, have everyone deliver to you and call it a day?

9. You have at least three near-death experiences per week

It’s hard to say what people in nice cars gain from zooming down the hill, jeopardizing not only their life, but also putting their showy vehicles at risk. But yes, there’s never a dull moment when it comes to cars and hills. You just never know when something is going to jet out your way!

Food Angelenos

Top L.A. Bartenders Battle It Out at 4th Annual All-Star Mixology Competition at Roosevelt Hotel

October 19, 2016

It was a battle of the bartenders recently at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel—but all in good fun (and for a good cause).

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Top L.A. and Las Vegas mixologists from spots including Culver City’s The Corner Door and DTLA’s The Varnish came out with their finest handcrafted cocktails, all for the sake of raising money for the Covenant House of California, an organization that keeps homeless and trafficked youth off the streets.

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Guests purchased tickets to try a wide variety of (very strong) cocktails, while noshing on burgers and mac ‘n’ cheese. Ultimately, it was Zach Patterson of Melrose Umbrella Co. who won the coveted honor of top mixologist, thanks to his Casa Noble Tequila with ginger creation. Being the anti-tequila drinker I am, I can’t say I indulged in this winning concoction (but I’m sure it was plenty divine!).

But Palazzo Resort and Casino‘s Wendy Verdel-Hodges won me over with her unique Warhol cocktail (2.5 oz. Black Moth vodka, 1 oz. tomato basil shrub, 1 drop truffle oil).

Either way, regardless of guests’ sips of choice, everyone left a winner, walking out with a fancy Tumi mini-travel kit from event sponsor Delta.

Cheers!

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Photo Credit: Luka Olex

Food Angelenos

PHOTOS: Tabanero and Fireball Host Hottest (Really!) Party in Hollywood!

January 27, 2016
Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

It was National Hot Sauce Day, and not a taste bud was left untouched among the guests at Tabanero and Fireball‘s spicy Hollywood soirée at Le Jardin to honor the occasion!

Fire dancers twirled their flamed hoops, guests took Fireball shots out of ice sculptures in between noshing on some of the hottest peppers and sauces in existence (you had to sign a waiver to try them – that’s how spicy they were!), and Burger Lounge served up their finest jalapeño-accompanied beef bites.

Following the bash, VIP guests walked out with the ultimate gift bag full of Tabanero sauces, Fireball shots and glasses, Poke Bar and Burger Lounge gift cards and flaming popcorn and chocolate bars.

There will be no lack of spice in my 2016 – that’s for sure!

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Beauty Food

Dirty Secrets Will Fly at Hollywood’s New Confession Lounge

June 4, 2015

Confession_skyelyfe_3I try to keep my Hollywood ventures to a minimum, but I must say, after attending the soft opening of the city’s new lounge Confession, I will most likely be heading that direction more frequently.

The multitiered space, designed to resemble an illuminated cathedral, is owned by prominent L.A. promoter Robert Kennedy (Greystone Manor, AV and 1Oak LA), along with Sunset Entertainment Group‘s Chris Breed and Alan Hajjar (White Lotus, Green Door, the Sunset Room).Confession_skyelyfe_2

Boasting delectable cocktails (with equally adorable names – hi, Frolic and Ginny!), a full meal menu (which includes everything from truffle mac-n-cheese, to bacon-wrapped shrimp served over spaghetti) – and even an actual confession booth, the spot is expected to bring Hollywood some class, with a lot of sass.

Confession_skyelyfe_1The venue just opened its doors to the (privileged) public on June 5th, and I was there to help celebrate. I look forward to making more confess-worthy memories at this sexy hotspot.

Confession

1666 McCadden Pl.

Hollywood, CA 90028

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Beauty

‘Los Angeles Passport’: Your Guide to the City’s Bar Scene & Exclusive Deals All Summer Long!

June 3, 2015

LAPassportPromoAngelenos typically tend to stay stuck in their little L.A. bubbles when they go out – Afterall, getting anywhere around here is a schlep and Uber is always surge pricing – But with the help of a pocket-sized flip book called Los Angeles Passport, we not only have a guide to some of the coolest spots all over the city, but we have exclusive discounts at them.

“We really wanted an excuse to explore our local bar culture,” Casey Berry, the co-founder of the national program, tells skyelyfe. “There are so many awesome and creative places (both new and old), but it’s hard to navigate. So we created this little black book that not only serves as a field guide, but also has incentives with discounted beverages to give you that money-saving nudge to explore. We wanted a program that would get people checking out new venues that also benefits the bars so that the bartenders and drinks were fantastic, too. And they are!”

I scooped up my very own ‘Passport,’ and have excitedly been browsing through the list of more than 80 spots mostly in the areas of DTLA, West Hollywood, Hollywood and Silverlake. From the more common places like The Belmont, The Pikey and Spare Room – to venues I have yet to try, like The Golden Gopher, The Holloway and Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar – there is no shortage of options to explore and $$ to be saved (hallelujah!). LAPassportVenue

“Our rule is simple, we only invite venues that we would take a friend to,” Berry explains. “[And the way it works] is super straight forward. Get a passport, pick a venue, flash your passport, receive an awesome, discounted beverage, the bartender stamps [your passport]. Repeat at the next location.”

The program celebrated its 2015 kickoff with a party just before Memorial Day at Now Boarding, one of its West Hollywood venues. The idea is to explore as many spots as possible throughout the summer, so your book is only valid through Labor Day.

LAPassportDrinks“Every year the Passport Program grows,” Berry says of the concept, which also exists in Santa Barbara, SeattleBrooklyn, Washington, D.C., Columbia, MO, and various parts of Colorado. “More cities and more passports have sold out each time, which enables us to come in to new cities with exciting local bar cultures.”

For just $20, you can let your fun summer explorations begin. We can compare notes (and stamps) at the end!

Beauty Featured

Don’t Sweat Your Bank Account – Here Are Some of the Best Fitness Deals in L.A. Right Now!

April 3, 2015

britney-dance-11Just a week away from Coachella (a.k.a. the most important annual weekend – or two – in the life of an Angeleno), there’s still time to pack a few more solid workouts in before hitting the road to body-baring desert festivities.

But whether you’re festival bound or simply rooftop pool party bound, there’s one commonality you share with everyone: the inability to escape summer (which has already felt present in L.A. for at least a month).

That said, after some serious investigating, I’ve compiled a list of the best fitness deals all over town so that you can sweat the toxins, but not the bank account in time for bikini season.

Before you scroll, just note that if you feel overwhelmed with workout options, there’s always ClassPass, a $99-a-month membership that gives you unlimited access to participating fitness studios limited to three classes a month per location, allowing you to basically try before you buy!

Photo courtesy of Orange Theory

Photo courtesy of Orange Theory

MIRACLE MILE/DOWNTOWN

  • MODO YOGA – This hot yoga studio offers classes that stretch, strengthen and tone the muscles while helping to detoxify the body and calm the mind.  

INTRO PACKAGE: UNLIMITED MONTH = $40!

340 S. La Brea Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

323.938.5000

  • PURE BARRE DOWNTOWN – In the same family as Cardio Barre, Pure Barre’s brand new DTLA location is partnering with Real Simple magazine to host a Beauty & Balance weekend April 18-19. Four specialized classes will be offered and swag, giveaways and prizes will be given all weekend long.

FREE CLASS FOR NEWBIES THE ABOVE WEEKEND ONLY (use REALSIMPLE code at checkout)!

740 South Olive St. Ste. 106

Los Angeles, CA 90014

323.305.7025

Photo courtesy of Rise Nation

Photo courtesy of Rise Nation

HOLLYWOOD/WEST HOLLYWOOD 

  • PINK IRON – Ladies-only boutique studio offering variations of crossfit, boot camp, yoga and lifting classes.

FIRST CLASS FREE!

1106 N. La Cienega Ste. 203

West Hollywood, CA 90069

310.360.PINK

  • RISE NATION – Studio offering 30-minute cardio-climb experiences in which guests use their arms and legs to move up and down a tall climbing device to the beat of music.

FIRST CLASS FREE!

8906 Melrose Ave.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

424.245.4052

  • CARDIO BARRE HOLLYWOOD – Studio providing hour-long, high-energy/no impact classes that combine barre work and light weights with continual fat-burning motion.

INTRO PACKAGE: 10 CLASSES = $49

6464 Sunset Blvd. Ste. 150

Hollywood, CA 90028

323.462.6464

zico5

SANTA MONICA/VENICE

  • ORANGE THEORY – Offers high-intensity heart rate-focused interval training (30 mins cardio, 30 mins strength-training); different workout each day.

FIRST CLASS FREE!

1431 2nd St.

Santa Monica, CA 90401

310.730.1399

  • BRYAN KEST’S POWER YOGA – Owned by longtime yoga veteran Bryan Kest (who teaches some of the classes), this studio offers yoga for all levels and beginner-level meditation classes.

INTRO PACKAGE: ONE WEEK OF UNLIMITED CLASSES FREE!

1410 2nd St., Fl. #1

Santa Monica, CA 90401

  • CYCLE (BEACH) HOUSE – This brand new Cycle House location offers spin classes and boasts “the most intense cardio workout in LA,” noting that anywhere from 500-1000 calories can be burned from just one session.

FOR EVERY PERSON YOU REFER, YOU GET TWO FREE CLASSES (APRIL ONLY)!

1541 Ocean Ave., Ste. 105

Santa Monica, CA 90401

310.394.4800

ADDITIONAL WELLNESS BONUS DEALS

Keep the bettering of mind-body-spirit going with some post-workout meditation (at very little cost):

  • UNPLUG MEDITATION – A guided-meditation studio that offers 30 and 45-minute drop-in classes in a clean, modern and calming atmosphere.

INTRO PACKAGE: UNLIMITED MONTH = $40!

12401 Wilshire Blvd, Ste. 101

Los Angeles, CA 90025

310.826.8899

  •  THE OAKWOOD HOUSE – Offers varying forms of individual and group yoga (hatha, nidra, prenatal, yin and therapeutic), reiki and intimate, powerful shaktipat meditation led by Uma Devi, who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Reiki and yoga sessions are ongoing and by appt. Group meditation is offered Monday nights at 8:30 p.m.

MEDITATION IS DONATION ONLY!

**located in Venice – call or email for specific location

TheOakwoodHouse@gmail.com

310.801.6261

Music Angelenos

Grammys 2015: Inside the Parties and the Backstage Official Gift Lounge

February 9, 2015

The MusiCares and Clive Davis pre-Grammy parties are annually the events most bustling with stars leading up to music’s biggest night – but that doesn’t mean they are the only fun happenings.

From hearing live performances by The Weeknd and Childish Gambino, to catching a DJ set by HAIM, there was plenty to see, do (and hear) this weekend, before everyone said cheers to last night’s big winner Sam Smith with specialty cocktails by Ciroc, the official toast of the Grammys!

My festivities kicked off on Thursday at the El Rey Theatre in L.A., where Rolling Stone and Google Play joined forces to put on a primarily hip-hop filled night with a killer DJ set by Samantha Ronson (who spun mostly throwback classics, ranging from Aaliyah and Mya, to Nelly and Jermaine Dupri), followed by live performances by The Weeknd and Childish Gambino. As guests – including Emma Roberts, French Montana and Leona Lewis – sipped on cocktails and munched on tray-passed finger foods, they could view some of the magazine’s most iconic covers, which continuously scrolled on the upper walls (including my favorite, which featured Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry and Jason Priestley).

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Google

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Google

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Google

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Google

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Google

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Google

Friday was an evening to remember at downtown L.A.’s picturesque Spanish Mediterranean Hotel Figueroa, where guests, including Calvin Harris, Madeon, Yacht, Local Natives and Twin Shadow hung poolside, taking in the sounds of a live performance by Niia, a DJ set by Alana and Este Haim and a DJ set by Childish Gambino for Opening Ceremony and The dFm‘s pre-Grammy celebration. From the very beginning to the end, the party was packed with some of the city’s most stylish music lovers and industry elite.

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

DFMGrammyView

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

Photo credit: Joel Marasagan

On Saturday, up-and-coming rapper Bryce Vine used his charismatic stage presence, upbeat music style and adorable boyish looks to win over the intimate crowd at Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood during a private show. Guests at the event, which featured additional on-the-rise musical talents, sipped on hosted cocktails made with new soda beverage Caffeinated Club, a mixer with zero calories, no sugars and no artificial sweeteners.

After Sunday’s show, I started off at Create nightclub in Hollywood, where the King of Crunk himself, Lil Jon, took over the turntables for an approximate 90-minute DJ set, playing everything from his own hits to Eminem‘s “Lose Yourself.” Attendess at the party, hosted by Pandora radio and T-Mobile, munched on an endless supply of tray-passed bites, including lobster ceviche and pork belly tacos.

Following that event, I made my way downtown to the Continental Club, a chic loungey spot that featured a lengthy live performance by best R&B album nominee Bernhoft, who hails from Norway. I wasn’t really familiar with his music before, but his sexy soul-pop vibe has me newly smitten. The event, which also celebrated the launch of Keurig 2.0, provided all kinds of coffee-mixed specialty cocktails, a slew of various deserts (donuts and cake pops galore) and lite bites.

Photo credit: Chris Weeks

Photo credit: Chris Weeks

Photo credit: Chris Weeks

Photo credit: Chris Weeks

Photo credit: Chris Weeks

Photo credit: Chris Weeks

Throughout the weekend, in between show rehearsals and other various things going on at Staples Center, where the big event took place, celebrities (including Usher, Common, LL Cool JBastille and Maddie Ziegler) made their way backstage to the official Grammy gift lounge presented by MTG. They snagged all kinds of goodies, ranging from New Era caps and Gibson guitars, to robotic toys by WowWee, crystal pendants from SIS by Simone I. Smith and a plethora of other gadgets and fine items.

Photo credit: Lily Lawrence/WireImage

Photo credit: Lily Lawrence/WireImage

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - GRAMMY Gift Lounge - Day 1

Photo credit: Lily Lawrence/WireImage

The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - GRAMMY Gift Lounge - Day 1

Photo credit: Lily Lawrence/WireImage

Photo credit: Lily Lawrence/WireImage

Photo credit: Lily Lawrence/WireImage

What was your favorite Grammy event this weekend? And what did you think of the show itself? Shoutout in the comments below!

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Beauty Angelenos

West Hollywood Made Latest Stylish Statement with Grand Opening of Nasty Gal, Wildfox and More

November 25, 2014

From Melrose to Sunset, the streets of West Hollywood were bustling with many of the town’s top trendsetters on Thurs., Oct 20. With Kelly Osbourne at Alice + Olivia‘s La Cienega store opening dinner celebration and Charlize Theron and Dylan Penn at the grand opening of Nasty Gal‘s flagship retail store on Melrose, there was no shortage of excitement during this otherwise relatively quiet time of year in L.A.

I was on hand for some of the activity, which kicked off with a stop at Nasty Gal, where the popular online retailer feted the launch of its first real store, a bright-lit, spacious, 2,500-square foot boutique on Melrose, right by Red O. Guests sipped champagne while browsing through the shop’s array of pricey new and vintage clothing and accessories.

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Next, it was off to the Wildfox flagship store at Sunset Plaza, where the vintage-inspired feminine retailer, which just opened its doors, held its #BarbieLovesWildfox soiree. The multitiered boutique was an all-pink paradise for the Barbie Girl in each of its guests, including Kendall Jenner. Champagne was served upstairs as partygoers received manicures with funky decals and browsed the slew of girlie knitwear, pajamas and other cute pieces that are part of the line’s Resort 2014 collaboration.

The stairs at the shop led to an adorable outdoor area, complete with a DJ, festive pink balloons, a bar and – yes – even a sparkly fashion truck where guests could pick out an accessory, ranging from flowered to light-up headbands and retro-style sunglasses (I opted for a pair of the shades).

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The night needed a little kick of European culture, so before heading to the next event, my friend and I took a little (or should I say big) dinner break at Petit Trois, where we pretty much gave all of the items on the decadent French menu a try (what can I say? We were hungry!). After stuffing ourselves, we headed slightly east to the Hollywood Athletic Club, where fashion took on a different form from where I’d been earlier in the night. The venue hosted The Schlitz Bouts, an event that incorporated boxing, style and entertainment, with a 1920s theme. Cigar-rolling, boxing card stamping, classic jazz and oysters were all parts of the evening, as guests sported their snazziest ensembles of decades past.

The Schlitz Bouts - A Night Of Heritage Boxing, Style & Entertainment

Photo Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images

The Schlitz Bouts - A Night Of Heritage Boxing, Style & Entertainment

Photo Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images

The Schlitz Bouts - A Night Of Heritage Boxing, Style & Entertainment

Photo Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images

The Schlitz Bouts - A Night Of Heritage Boxing, Style & Entertainment

Photo Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images

Beauty Food Angelenos

Southern California Life Magazine Launches Debut Issue with Hollywood Celebration

November 20, 2014



socallifemag3I spy a familiar face!

Oh, the joys of spotting none other than Kelly Taylor Jennie Garth on the cover of Southern California Life magazine’s debut issue! This is just one of the many things that excited me about the brand new publication’s kick-off.

The mag launched its website a couple of months ago – in fact, I wrote a story for it in October about new Beverly Hills eatery Ocean Prime – and I’ve been loving how it overlaps in many ways with the theme of skyelyfe.

To see the whole thing come together in print was great, as its first issue covers many topics of personal interest (aside from just Jennie’s new lease on life). In particular, I enjoyed reading about Sunset Marquis‘ facelift and winter beauty essentials.

Last week, the glossy – which was co-created by my former People colleague and personal friend Michele Stuevencelebrated its launch with an early-evening gathering that went well into the night at Aventine trattoria in Hollywood. At the fete, which took over the entire bar section, guests noshed on pizza slices, risotto balls and beef skewers, while sipping on an endless supply of red wine provided by Alpha Omega Winery. It was also nice catching up with one of my other former co-workers Monica Rizzo, as well as some publicists I hadn’t seen in a bit.

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Cheers to you, Michele! And folks, be sure to swoop up the mag’s next issue for my feature on The Taste‘s Chef Ludo.

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Music Uncategorized Featured

Electronic Duo Cazzette Dishes to Skyelyfe on the ‘Problem’ with ‘EDM,’ Who They Think Will Be the Next Big Thing in Music and Why They Miss the Old Stuff!

November 4, 2014
cazzette

Photo Credit: Alex Wessely

Cazzette has made 2014 their year! The Swedish duo, consisting of Sebastian Furrer and Alexander Björklund, are fresh off the heels of releasing their new melodic dance track “Blind Heart,” and they feel like they’re in a great place.

The lovely lads, who are under Avicii‘s LE7ELS label and are best known for 2012’s “Beam Me Up” and this year’s “Sleepless,” recently sat down with skyelyfe on the picturesque rooftop of Sixty Beverly Hills to talk about being more in control of their sound now than before, why they refuse to be classified as “EDM” artists, how they are “down to earth guys who don’t do crazy stuff” and why Flume is going to take over the music world.

SL: What do you guys think of L.A.?

Sebastian: We love L.A. It’s a very nice city and obviously the weather is very nice. There are very good vibes here. It’s obviously a big city to music and film and we’ve been meeting people here. It’s so easy to meet people in the music industry. Everybody’s here basically, so it’s nice. I wouldn’t move here because I’m still in love with Sweden and I’m a big New York guy more than a West Coast guy, but I love it here for work and for a short amount of time to hang out.

SL: You guys recently performed at Avalon in Hollywood. What was that experience like?

Alex: Avalon is great. It’s a big venue, which is cool. It has that theatre vibe, which we like. And this time was the most fun we’ve ever had playing there because we’ve changed a lot over this past year. I feel like we’re way more honest to ourselves now and with the music that we make and play. It’s more exciting to play now because we’re playing 100 percent what we like. We slightly try to educate the crowd a bit with playing the music that we grew up on even though it doesn’t sound like the typical Top 40 for music. We play tracks from 2004-2007, like old Axwell, all old stuff.

SL: Going off of that, who are some more artists whose old style of music you miss?

Alex: Laidback Luke. I miss his old stuff.

Sebastian: Yeah, he was great before. I mean I haven’t heard his [newer] stuff that much. I just love his older stuff. Everybody has to evolve in a way, so I get it, but his old stuff was incredible. As producers, we were like, “Whoa, what’s this?” It was so interesting at the time.

SL: What’s your take on this whole “EDM” craze?

Alex: I think there’s a problem with that word “EDM.” I mean, sure, it’s electronic dance music, but I’d rather it be “EM,” electronic music. You can’t compare dubstep and house. They are two completely different things.

Sebastian: I think they misuse the word, and that’s the problem. This became a big term in America. It probably will never be a term in Europe. I’ve never heard anyone use it there. I think when people got educated here, they put it on blogs and they were [labeling] a dubstep act with EDM. I’m not saying not saying it’s the blogs or anyone’s fault, I just think it’s been misused. People think everything is EDM and it’s the same stuff. If you compare rock music, it’s very broad. There are tons of stuff within rock music. There’s indie rock and there’s pop rock, but you can’t put them in the [exact] same category. And that’s the same here. Dubstep is completely different from house music. House music is completely different from electro and techno. Of course they have the same elements, but it’s still different vibes.

SL: Do you guys classify yourself in what’s considered “EDM” or in some kind of sub-genre?

Alex: It’s a problem for us because we’re like so many different kinds of genres, but right now I would say house.

SL: Congratulations on “Blind Heart.” Tell me about the inspiration behind that song

Alex: The inspiration was from just listening to the acapella. That’s usually how we work if we receive an acapella. When we hear something, it’s like, what kind of vibe does this track have? How are we going to capture what we fell for in the acapella?

Sebastian: It was a very long process to make because we were changing our minds all the time about arrangement. We were discussing what the chorus is, but then we decided, fuck it, there’s no chorus. Let’s just go with vibe and people can decide what the chorus is. The song is very specially structured. It’s not the typical verse-chorus.

SL: Aside from people you’ve worked with, who do you admire in the music scene in general?

Alex: Kanye West.

Sebastian: Pharrell Williams, Moby, Justin Timberlake, obviously. From the hip-hop and trap stuff, we like Flume. He’s incredible. There’s a guy from Sweden called Skogsrå. He’s a new guy. There are so many people who inspire us in general. We love rock, we love hip-hop. Sometimes we listen to jazz.

SL: Any predictions on who’s going to be the next big music thing in the states?

Sebastian: I think Flume is just going to get bigger. What he does is incredible and he’s just going to keep growing.

SL: What’s something about you guys that your fans don’t already know?

Sebastian: [laughs] We have no dirty secrets at all. We just want our fans to hear our music. Our personal life is kind of irrelevant because at the end of the day, it’s about the music. Of course it helps if you have  a personality. I wouldn’t say we’re boring, but there’s not too much to know. I think we’re very calm. We’re down to earth guys who don’t do crazy stuff. If there’s something people should know, we work a lot. We always spend time in studios. That’s our crazy life [laughs].

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Photo Credit: Alex Wessely

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Beauty Food Angelenos

From Yellowtail Sunset’s Opening, to FabFitFun’s Fall Launch Event, Here Are 5 Hip October Happenings That Didn’t Involve the Lead-Up to Halloween

October 30, 2014

It’s hard to believe Halloween is already here! With everything that goes on leading up to one of (almost) everyone’s favorite holidays, it can be easy to forget that other things do happen during October that don’t involve costumes or pumpkins. That’s why right before the big day, I am taking a moment to acknowledge some entertaining experiences I had the pleasure of taking in part in that weren’t in anticipation of Oct. 31.

Zico Chilled Juices’ Bangin’ Body Bootcamp 

Don’t you want to know how Jessica Alba maintains her stellar physique? Well, with just a little help from her trainer Jennifer “JJ Dancer” Johnson. And if anyone experienced firsthand just how hard JJ works the starlet, I did this month. I had the exciting opportunity to attend an intimate training session on the rooftop of the Montalban in Hollywood, where I was treated to sounds by a live DJ, and I spent an hour sweating and booty-shaking before a relaxing post-workout morning that included Zico-filled shakes and complimentary manis and massages.

Here’s a little sampling of what I got to sip on after my workout (create it yourself!):

ZICO Top of the Morning

1/2 cup Zico chilled coconut water

1 banana, frozen, peeled

2 dates, pits removed

3 Tbs almond butter

1 tsp. cacao

1/4 cup ice

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (opt.)

Combine ingredients in blender on high speed for 45 seconds or until completely smooth

Enjoy!

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FabFitFun’s Fall Launch Party

When I showed up to FabFitFun’s fall launch party at The Library inside of the Redbury hotel, I expected a handful of health and fitness bloggers to be standing around, sipping on juices and discussing their workout routines. To my surprise, the event’s bar was sponsored by Svedka vodka, and inside there was wine provided by Chloe. That in itself already set the tone for a fun outing. The place was filled with table after table of fun vendors with unique health products and snacks – and services, including makeup touch-ups by Blushington and manis by Nail Garden. From Skintimate shaving gel to FitFusion gift cards, there was no shortage of goodies in my VIP product bag that were for the fab, fit, and (obviously) fun.

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Yellowtail Sunset Finally Opened!

I don’t remember most of my experiences in Vegas (I mean, who does?), but one of the few things I recall is the way Yellowtail’s Big Eye Tuna pizza (tuna with truffle oil) from the Bellagio hotel tasted when it touched my taste buds for the first time two years ago. The thought of having executive chef Akira Back’s mouthwatering dish a mere .5 miles away from me at its new West Hollywood location on Sunset Blvd. is just thrilling. I attended the VIP opening of the sexy, dim-lit Japanese eatery last week, and – for lack of eloquent wording – I stuffed my face with sushi and sashimi galore, while sipping on endless glasses of red wine.

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Vegas Meets L.A. with a Night Featuring Sin City Performer Matt Goss

Speaking of Vegas, the Sin City vibe was most definitely in the air this month, as just nights before the Yellowtail opening, I took in an extravagant performance by Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss  (he performed a few of his own hits, along with classics including, “Luck Be a Lady,” “Hotel California” and “Lovely Las Vegas”) at the W Hollywood, where guests were treated to a fashion show and a casino-like experience that benefitted the Both Ends Burning charity. Complete with roulette and shuffleboard tables, the Sinatra-sounding star’s production brought a taste of Vegas to LA for the night.

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Restoration Hardware’s Melrose Gallery Opening

I’m not sure what was more impressive about West Hollywood’s new Restoration Hardware launch: the beautiful, multitiered layout, or the hundreds and hundreds of guests it drew to the location at its grand opening event! This was one of the most packed gatherings I’d been to in a while. I literally almost got lost in the spacious establishment, in between munching on bites from Bouchon and sipping on beverages from the bellini bar. This upscale home furnishings fantasyland is a must-see, regardless of whether for an extravagant event or for just a bit of browsing.

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