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Music

PHOTOS: Top 6 Things You Missed If You Didn’t Attend KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas

December 14, 2016

It’s still technically fall, but it felt every bit winter over the weekend at KROQ‘s annual Almost Acoustic Christmas.

The two-day event brought out newer artists The Head and the Heart, Bishop Briggs, X Ambassadors and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, along with classic acts Weezer, Green Day, Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World, among many others (M83, Kings of Leon, BastillePhantogram).

In case you weren’t at The Forum in Inglewood to experience the high-energy event yourself, skyelyfe was on hand to take you behind the scenes—from the concert seats to the food-filled VIP area packed with musicians.

Below are six fun things you missed out on if you didn’t attend!

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1. A Legitimate Winter Wonderland

Going back to what I said above, the event epitomized wintertime, decked from head-to-toe in festive lights, Christmas trees, cotton ball-designed “snow” and plenty of holiday season photo opps. The only thing missing was rain, but the chilly weather outside plenty sufficed!

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2. The Ultimate Ice Cream and Dessert Station

If you were lucky enough to make it down to the VIP Forum Club lounge, you were treated to an endless array of toppings to perfectly suit one of three flavors (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate) of ice cream. In case this still didn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, there were also two cakes fully decked out in KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas logo. And if sweets were totally not your thing altogether, a few steps away was an area devoted to breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, ok, you get the idea…).

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3. Speciality Vodka Cocktails

A specialty version of a Moscow Mule was just one of three different cocktails whipped up all throughout the venue with the event’s official vodka sponsor, Reyka.

4. Up Close and Personal Moments With Show Performers

The Forum Club lounge also hosted the event’s performers after taking the main stage. VIP guests were treated to intimate photo opps and brief conversation before the bands respectively grabbed a mic and headphones for a post-performance radio interview.

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5. An Insane Visual Performance by Weezer

From dripping ice cream cones, to a wild ride through all of Los Angeles, Weezer gave the crowd quite the eye-full throughout their entire six or seven-song set.

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6. Some Very Young Crowd Participation with Green Day

Green Day proved age ain’t nothing but a number. The band brought some very young fans on stage at various points in their headlining performance. One girl knew the lyrics better than perhaps Billie Joe Armstrong, himself (no, not really, but she was damn with it!) and another started from being super shy to suddenly crowdsurfing, per Armstrong’s advisory. I’m not even a GD fan, but I was definitely taken by the energy of the overall performance.

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Until next year….!

Food Angelenos

PHOTOS: Gwyneth Paltrow Helped Svedka Launch Cucumber Lime Vodka with Mansion Party in L.A.

June 16, 2016
Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Svedka is keeping you “cool for the summer,” with its refreshing new cucumber lime-flavored vodka.

The spirits brand made its latest addition official on Tuesday night, among hundreds of guests, including Gwyneth Paltrow.

All eyes were on the svelte starlet at the Svedka Country Club, held at a beautiful estate in a gated community in L.A.’s Hancock Park, where guests sipped from vodka-filled water jugs and cocktails from several bars until late in the evening.

Partygoers also played miniature golf, noshed on tray-passed hors d’oeuvres and took advantage of the incredible spacious outside area, while taking in the versatile selection of amazing tunes by the DJ, who was placed way up high above the event (party pics below!).

Create the vodka brand’s signature Waterfeller cocktail on your own:

Ingredients:

1 ½ parts SVEDKA Cucumber Lime

1 part watermelon juice

¾ part fresh lemon juice

¾ part simple syrup

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender, adding ½ cup of ice last. Blend until smooth and pour into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and slice of watermelon.

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Michael Simon/ StartTraksPhoto.com

Food

3 Cocktails (and Accompanying Bites) You Must Try in L.A. This Summer

July 22, 2015

I usually stray from specialty cocktails and opt for wine or vodka-soda because of the headache-causing overload of syrup and sugar in many drinks. But, at three incredible L.A. restaurants, I recently had the pleasure of trying several different beverages that were refreshing and flavorful, without weighing me down.

After much thought, here are the three cocktails (paired with equally delicious bites) that I insist you must try this summer:

TheSpringsCocktail1. The Strawberry Sake-Tini at The Springs in downtown L.A. is one of the most refreshing beverages I have had in a while. Made from natural ingredients, this sake cocktail tastes everything like the most delicious vodka-based libation. If you recall, I first tried the wellness oasis’ sake cocktails back in April – and with the change of season, they are still nailing their concoctions.  The vegan restaurant just launched its new summer menu, courtesy of Executive Chef Michael Falso. And my beverage of choice went delightfully alongside the samosas, which tasted straight out of my favorite Indian restaurant, sans the grease and heavy taste. Other highlights from the summer menu include, squash blossoms, “cheese” plate and beet tartare.

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The Springs

608 Mateo St.

Los Angeles, CA 90021

213.223.6226

DistrictCocktail2. The Hot Asian at The District by Hannah An has the perfect kick of spice and dash of sweetness without being overbearing on either end. This satisfying sip is made from lemongrass-infused Loft and Bear vodka, organic Vietnamese chili agave and fresh squeezed lime juice, garnished with lime zest and Vietnamese chili. I enjoyed my beverage with a chicken satay starter (the accompanying peanut sauce is out of this world!), a side of flavorful Chinese broccoli and a main course of District Wok Lobster. The upscale Vietnamese eatery serves portions that are every bit as filling as they are delicious!

The District by Hannah An

8722 W. 3rd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

310.278.2345

Esterel_Cocktail_Skyelyfe3. The Myrtille Smash at Sofitel Los Angeles hotel’s Esterel is my favorite beverage to sip on outside in the beautiful garden terrace of the newly renovated restaurant. Made with Bulleit Rye whiskey, blueberry jam, lemon, simple syrup and black walnut bitters, this unique concoction by mixologist Ferrari Watts pairs wonderfully with the menu’s highly touted zucchini beignets, grass-fed ribeye with summer vegetable succotash and Anson Mills grits.

Esterel at Sofitel L.A.

8555 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

310.358.3979

Beauty Music

Ciroc Vodka & Dance Music Artist Erika Jayne Help Skyelyfe Readers Get Their NYE Pre-Party in Full Swing!

November 30, 2014

champagneSometimes the getting ready process for a night on the town is more fun than the actual outing itself, and New Year’s Eve is no exception!

Whether it’s hosting a few pals for an intimate gathering the night before the ball drops – or playing dress-up with friends hours before the year officially comes to a close, NYE always calls for some pre-party action.

Luckily, with the help of Billboard dance chart-topper Erika Jayne, along with Ciroc vodka, skyelyfe has a foolproof plan to making the prelude to the biggest night of the year go off without a hitch!

What’s more welcoming to an NYE pre-party than sexy custom cocktails waiting when guests arrive? Below are two recipes (including one that boasts the ultra premium vodka line’s newest flavor, pineapple) that are sure to make mouths water (but as always, drink responsibly. There’s a long night ahead!)

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But crafting these classy beverages is no fun without a little music in the background, so pop open your Spotify and get listening to this fun party mix Ms. Jayne created exclusively for skyelyfe, which includes her recent hit “Painkillr.” Equal parts rap and dance (old-school and new), this 10-song mix is sure to have you bouncing away in your kitchen (try not to spill!).

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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.

yellowtail

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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Angelenos

Poolside Samba in Beverly Hills

August 6, 2014

For the second year in a row, I attended Svedka‘s June pool party in Beverly Hills. This year’s fete, held at a private home, was called their summer samba, appropriately named to coincide with the introduction of the vodka line’s newest flavors: mango pineapple and strawberry lemonade.

Ring toss, anyone?

By far one of the most packed parties of the year, guests mingled to the sounds of Rumer Willis, who was DJ, in between a full-on samba performance with authentic dancers and sound. It’s events like this one that you can pretty much attend by yourself because you are guaranteed to run into (almost) literally every person you know.

Vanessa Hudgens, Dianna Agron and Jamie Chung were also in attendance at the festive affair, which had people in line at the bar through the late evening. Once the sun set, the air got pretty chilly, which didn’t quite make for a summer feel physically, but nevertheless, the vibe of the upcoming months was definitely in full effect.

quite the elaborate house party

Jen Betts, Lisa Jammal, Jen Abel and Chris Smith were all on hand to help Svedka launch their latest vodka flavor. Always fun running into friends :)

Beauty Music Food Angelenos Featured

From Lolla to the Taste LA: Reliving 5 Summer Highlights as We Say Sayonara to the Sunniest Season!

June 1, 2014

It’s no secret that my favorite season is fall. It makes me unconditionally at ease. So I guess it goes without saying that although there were some surefire highlights of the summer, I am beyond excited for the three-month falliday! But even while basking in the joys of the new season upon us, it would be unfair to discredit some fond memories of the past few months.

Here are five memorable moments from the sunniest season (in no particular order):

1. LOLLAPALOOZA 

Talk about a trip of spontaneity! While talks of heading to the Windy City for Lolla weekend had been going on for some time, the trip wasn’t officially booked until less than a week beforehand. The flight was far from inexpensive at this point, but at least my friend and I had a place to stay when we arrived (thank you for your hospitality, Elizabeth!). A handful of other close friends from L.A. were also in town for the festivities, so it was great to explore Chicago (for the very first time) with some of my favorite people. Oddly enough, after all was said and done, my Lolla group and I only made it to two shows out of the entire festival. But we definitely maximized our experience, making the two shows among the best options. Foster the People never disappoints, and Cut Copy‘s performance was so intimate and just perfect for a number of reasons. CC at Lolla was definitely one of the best live experiences I have ever had. When we weren’t at the festival, frolicking around the city or pre-partying at one of our friend’s amazing condos, we were pretty much stationed at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago for their weekend-long Lolla afterparty, where we caught incredible performances by ASTR and Betty Who (always perfection). The weekend was pretty much flawless, except for how quickly it went by.

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2. GETTING IN THE SPIRIT OF SIPPING SPIRITS

It’s not like you have to twist my arm to try a new flavor of vodka or celebrate a spirit, and this summer was no exception when it came to doing just that. While Svedka kicked off the season in June with a pool party to celebrate the launch of their mango pineapple and strawberry lemonade flavors, VEEV concluded summer with a huge nighttime pool party as well, to spread the word about their new 70 proof VEEV 2.0. Complete with aerial dancers and a beautiful view of Beverly Hills, the #cheatonvodka-themed fete was at capacity in no time. Meanwhile, Grey Goose had a launch of its own this summer. I was on hand at the now-infamous 1oak night club in West Hollywood (thankfully no shootings on this particular outing), where I sipped the brand’s new Le Melon flavor all night, as the crowd toasted Swizz Beatz and Kehinde Wiley. Cheers!

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3. FESTIVAL OF ARTS/PAGEANT OF THE MASTERS

On a mid-July Saturday, I took a little drive just south of L.A. to Orange County with my dad. We attended the Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. The annual event is California’s premier fine arts show and this was my first time attending. The exhibits were seemingly endless and so diverse. After the festival, we grabbed dinner and then it was off to the spectacular display of living art. Yes, two hours are devoted to live people recreating historical pieces of artwork on a stage in front of hundreds of audience members. It’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t seen it in person, but it is really interesting and I recommend checking it out to get a better idea.

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4. CRUSTACEAN’S REDHOUR SUMMER MUSIC SERIES

The summer heat had fully kicked in on this early Thursday evening in June and all I wanted was to be social in an air-conditioned space that provided wine. Well, luckily I managed to find that (and a sampling of an entire food menu) at the RedHour summer music series kick-off at Crustacean restaurant in Beverly Hills. My friend and I received the royal treatment sitting at a VIP table, while schmoozing with the eatery’s owner and some of the night’s lovely performers, who included American Idol alums Jessica Sanchez and Pia Toscano – along with Natasha and Daniel Bedingfield‘s equally talented sister Nikola Rachelle, who was definitely the highlight of my night.

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5. THE TASTE LA

I wanted one final hurrah before kicking off my month of #Sobtember, so before ditching booze and carb-rich foods for 30 days, I went out with a bang at the Los Angeles TimesTaste L.A. event. I don’t really know what else to say here except I could barely fit any of the array of beverages inside of me because I ate so much. The line for Ramen burgers dominated the whole event. I steered clear, but was sure to get my hands on churros, chicken & waffles, huevos rancheros, vegan cheeseburgers and who knows what else! All I know is it was worth every bite and I could barely move after my consumption. Thank you Food Flaunt for bringing me along, even if indeed it was one of the sweatiest days of the year.

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