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Music Food

Mean Girls Is Coming to West Hollywood!

June 26, 2015

MeanGirlsIf you’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of your beloved cult classics as part of an outdoor movie screening series, then you know how much fun it is to laugh under the stars to your favorite lines with hundreds of other filmgoers.

Well in case you haven’t already experienced Street Food Cinema, July 25th’s Mean Girls showing at Poinsettia Park should get you into the whole experience. An added bonus? A little birdie tells me a certain someone from the cast will be making a surprise appearance!

Each Saturday from now through Halloween, some of the most universally memorable movies (ie. Cruel IntentionsHeathersClueless, Sixteen CandlesHocus PocusFast Times at Ridgemont High, etc…) will be showing at open-air locations all over the city. From Westchester Park in Playa Vista, to Exposition Park in DTLA, each screening in the series also incorporates a musical act and a slew of food trucks (Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Frach’s Fried Ice Cream, Street Kitchen LA., Joe’s Pizza and The Grilled Cheese Truck – just to name a few!).

Uncategorized

Now That I’ve Finally Recovered from L.A. Pride (Yes, It Took a Week!), Here Are the Highlights in Photos!

June 22, 2015
Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Unless you’ve done a full weekend of L.A. Pride, you likely don’t realize how much it can take out of you. It’s like the West Hollywood Coachella (ok, with way less music and people, but still….it is a highly anticipated full weekend of non-stop activity and you see so many people you know). So, yeah, I’ve come a long way since last Monday when I was in major Pride recovery mode. I think I’m back to normal now?

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

I say this every year (this was my 6th Pride), but each time really does get better and better. I had almost every single one of my closest friends by my side at some point during the 3-day venture, I got to see my favorite pop star Kesha perform all of her hits (Fifth Harmony, Eden XO, Tinashe and Wilson Phillips were also among the weekend’s musical acts), and I had run-ins with many-a-weho-character (which is always my favorite part of these outings).

Photo credit: Jon Viscott

Photo credit: Jon Viscott

As usual, The Abbey was bustling with bodies and tended to be where my friends and I spent the majority of the time if we weren’t inside the festival itself. I also came to discover Bar10, a spacious new spot on the Boulevard that plays legit hip-hop music and loungey house. It has a totally different vibe than let’s say Flaming Saddles, for example (ok, well, that’s a given, but seriously, it’s different from anywhere else out that way and the crowd is way more laid-back). I hosted a brunch for my friends on Saturday at my apt, which was the perfect kick-off to our Kesha-filled day. And the Palihouse rooftop was once again the place to be on Sunday afternoon!

Oh, Pride, how I hate to see my favorite weekend of the year go by so fast. But at least there are these photos to commemorate the momentous occasion.

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Photo credit: Jon Viscott

Photo credit: Jon Viscott

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

Photo credit: Jeffrey Bertollini

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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

Wine-Loving Angelenos on a Budget, Here’s Why the Andaz West Hollywood May Become Your Favorite Hotel!

May 28, 2015

wine_skyelyfeIt’s nice enough when hotels host complimentary social hours for their guests, but Andaz West Hollywood takes things a step further and not only hosts monthly wine tastings for its patrons, but also, local residents like myself are more than welcome to take in an early evening of full-sized wine pours and appetizers galore.

I went to my first Andaz wine tasting earlier this month and it was no joke. A few of my girlfriends and I enjoyed a leisurely two hours of sipping and sitting around in the upscale lounge area of the hotel catching up, while also learning about an array of different wines. Oh, and did I mention an episode of Love & Hip Hop was filming simultaneously? Now if that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.Andaz

In addition, the chic boutique hotel – located on Sunset, right near The Mondrian, Sunset Tower and other trendy spots in my favorite part of Los Angeles – also hosts complimentary cultural events (which also involve – you guessed it – wine). On June 3, for example, Andaz will kick off its photography exhibition showcasing the works of young artist James Marcus Haney. From 7pm-9pm that night, guests can nosh on appetizers, sip on those boozy, grape-based beverages and take in tunes from a live DJ.

And just in case you were wondering about the next wine tasting, it’s on June 10, from 5pm-7pm. I look forward to clinking glasses with you then (and on the 3rd)!

Music Featured

Indie-Pop Artist Bean Releases Lyric Video for Empowering New Single “Wildfire” and Talks to Skyelyfe About Life As an Inner-Hippie Living in the Heart of Hollywood

May 20, 2015
bean-skyelyfe-second

Photo credit: Chase Johnson

Fresh from a smashing recent Wango Tango  Village pre-show performance and yesterday’s release of catchy new empowering single “Wildfire” (be sure to scroll to the bottom for its lyric video), indie-pop artist Noelle Bean – whose stage name is simply just Bean – is floating on a sound cloud, but she didn’t envision musical stardom in her cards growing up.

Unlike so many other artists who dropped everything to pursue a career in music at a young age, the 23-year-old – who didn’t even pick up a guitar until she was almost 19 – was your average teenage girl, living in the south and going to church.

“I wasn’t planning on any of this happening.” the West Hollywood resident told skyelyfe of her current reality. “I wasn’t meaning to move out to L.A. and have this kind of life or anything, but I fell in love with music and it led me here, you know? It’s awesome.”

Bean-skyelyfe-main

Photo credit: Chase Johnson

After learning how to play different chords, “I eventually started putting all these poems that I had in a big compilation of journals and I was like, maybe I can make songs out of these,” she explained. “And so that’s what I did. I put the words with the chords and I put a melody over it. I put it up on YouTube and I’m signed to an indie label out here in L.A. now.”

Last week I met up with Bean for the first time to discuss the release of her new single, among other things. She greeted me with a big hug and the most engaging “hi!” I knew right away, this would be like catching up with an old friend.

The first thing I noticed were her uniquely manicured gels, popping with this incredible purple shade, adorned with these tiny gold triangles at the cuticles (take a peek at them on my Instagram). She informed me they were done at Tomoka Nails in West Hollywood. After discussing her expert Yelping skills that led her to this gem of a salon, we got to the reaction to that Wango Tango pre-show performance.

“It was amazing!” she said of L.A.’s KIIS-FM radio concert experience. “It’s been one of the biggest performances I’ve done. It was interesting for my set because everybody else was playing a track and was super poppy and then I get up there with my guitar player and my drummer and we did a little acoustic set kind of thing. The response was so much better than I thought it was going to be.”

As Bean pointed out, her vibe doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of most of the concert’s other participants, which included Justin Bieber, David Guetta, Meghan Trainor, Kanye West, Fifth Harmony and Ne-Yo, who were main stage performers.

“As far as my whole take on mainstream music and what’s popular on top 40 radio goes, it’s undeniable that yeah, I jam out to Taylor Swift tunes every now and again,” she said. “But my go-to music is super alternative, like The 1975 meets Foster the People. I listen to a ton of Ed Sheeran – just really alternative, indie band kind of stuff.”

Her true persona and musical influences shine through in “Wildfire,” a song she called “an anthem for all the other crazy, randoms out there.”

The track is a much-welcome change for the pop star-on-the-rise, who laughably rolled her eyes at the thought of last year’s single “Rollercoaster.”

She said excitedly, ” ‘Wildfire’ is really different and I’m so glad about that because ‘Rollercoaster’ was so poppy and I’m just like, thank god I’m past that stage!”

bean-skyelyfe-third

Photo credit: Chase Johnson

Bean describes her new release as “a compilation of all these different people and their opinions of me. It’s everybody in the music business basically saying, like, ‘Are you sure that you know who you are as an artist and do you know what genre you are? And you keep changing your look every week. You’re wearing red lipstick one day, the next day you’re wearing a flower crown and Free People clothes.’ “

Referring to herself as “a wildfire,” Bean goes on to say, “I’m random, spontaneous and I love everything about the 1970s – just the hippie lifestyle movement.”

So, what’s life like as a self-proclaimed inner-hippie living in the heart of Tinseltown? There’s something for everyone out here, she believes, noting that in particular, she’s a huge fan of (first and foremost) her nail salon (see above), Pita Bar and Grill on Fairfax, Fox You boutique and none other than the Starbucks on Robertson and Beverly Blvd.

Check out the lyric video to Bean’s new single “Wildfire” below and download the track FREE on iTunes ALL WEEK LONG!:

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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

From Soccer Pro to Sexy, Soulful Pop Sensation On-the-Rise, Meet Devin K

February 26, 2015
Photo credit: Alex Owen aka Zandy Photo

Photo credit: Alex Owen aka Zandy Photo

Soccer and music aren’t known to go hand-in-hand, so when it came down to choosing between his two passions, Devin K (born Devin Kirtz) knew the “transition was inevitable” to move solely in the direction of becoming an artist.

“Everybody would be out partying and stuff after our games and I was just kind of in my hotel room, writing at all times,” the former New York Red Bulls soccer pro tells skyelyfe. “I had to put 100 percent into one or the other, and music wins every time. It’s not even a question.”

So now, with four years of living in Los Angeles under his belt (he originally hails from nearby Long Beach, Calif.), the multitalented musician is ready to make a name for himself in the sound space – and he’s starting to make waves with his latest single “Move” (more on that at the bottom).

The 26-year-old – who already has some minor tracks from years past on his discography – spills on everything from his dating status and musical influences, to his cooking skills and his full sleeve of tattoos!

Photo credit: Darin Rios

Photo credit: Darin Rios

SL: What was the influence behind “Move?”

DK: I was on much more of a poppy path when I first moved to L.A. It was definitely an eye-opener. I didn’t really know what to expect. It was kind of everybody directing me in where they thought I should go as an artist, but I thought what better way to show my [own] style than to just ask people if I make them want to move.

SL: Who are some of your artist influences?

DK: I’d say huge, huge influences of mine aside from all oldies are Robin Thicke and Lauryn Hill.

SL: What’s your plan with releasing new music?

DK: I actually have way too many tracks and we’re just trying to decide what’s going to be next. I think I’m going to start off with an EP, as well probably four or five other tracks. We haven’t decided yet.

SL: Are you going to stay with the sound of “Move?” What can we expect?

DK: I want everybody to expect soul-pop mixed with a hip-hop influence. Almost soul-pop R&B with lyrical meaning. As I release more songs, you’ll see the lyrical context get deeper.

SL: Being from Long Beach, which isn’t far from L.A., but yet still so different, what was the move and adjustment like? 

DK: Everyone out here seems to be from somewhere else. I feel like I’m the exception being from Southern California. But it’s crazy how it’s 45 minutes away and it’s a whole new world. It’s been a crazy transition, but I definitely have not looked back. I love it. I love downtown and the beach. Growing up in Long Beach, I’m always, always at the beach.

SL: Can you talk a little about the inspiration behind your tattoos? Have you always been a tattoo guy?

DK: I got my first tattoo in a garage when I was 15 in Long Beach. My friend did it with a safety pin and India Ink. It was so sketchy [laughs]. I grew up very religious. My first tattoo was of a cross and then after that, the same guy legitimized himself and got his first tattoo machine. Then when I was 17, I got a soccer ball with an Argentina flag. My mom’s from Argentina. And then there are three songs I ended up turning into my whole sleeve. My three favorite songs: “Yesterday” by The Beatles, “Man In the Middle” by Michael [Jackson] and then Stevie Wonder.

SL: A sexy guy like you – single? Taken? What’s the status?

DK: I’m not in a relationship. Music is my girlfriend, wife, everything at the moment.

5 FUN FACTS

Last time I couldn’t stop laughing: “Ok, people didn’t think this movie was funny, but maybe I just watched it at the right time or whatever, but The Interview was so funny. I was dying watching it.”

Last concert I attended: “I just attended the best show I’ve ever seen. It was the day before the Grammy’s. I saw Big Sean at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. On one stage, he brought out Chris Brown, [Justin] Bieber, Meek Mill, Tyga, J. Cole, Kanye West. It was everybody on one stage and I was like, ‘What is going on?’ ”

Last thing I cooked: “I cooked chicken parmesan on Valentine’s Day. The boy can cook! I’m telling you, it turned out really well!”

Last time I was injured: “I just ruined my foot playing flag football. It was because of my manager. I’m running straight at him and he kind of ducked the other way and my foot went right into his shoulder.”

Last present I bought for someone: “My mom and I hike a lot. So I got her some hiking shoes for Christmas.”

Check out the sensual, desert-themed video for Devin’s latest single Move, directed by Rob Witt and Alex Delgado:

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Beauty Music Angelenos

How I Learned Some of Britney’s Most Memorable Choreography in Just One Hour!

February 19, 2015

britney-dance-11“Toxic?” Check. “Work Bitch?” Check. “…Baby One More Time?” Check.

Yep, I somehow managed to learn some of Britney Spears‘ most notable dance moves, thanks to instructor Hillary McGranahan of Spotlight Dance Parties, along with fitness blogger (and my former E! colleague) Whitney English of To Live & Diet In LA.

Whitney invited a selection of her friends and fellow blogging buddies to take part in a night she called Britney, Booty Shaking + Bubbly, which was pegged to Valentine’s Day and celebrating love for one’s self. Approximately 20 ladies gathered inside West Hollywood‘s Best U Studio, where we learned select choreography to three of Ms. Spears’ top music videos. And while it was pretty fast-paced, most of us managed to catch on quick, leading us to perform to a megamix at the very end.

Following our sweat sesh (trust me, it was a lot harder than it sounds!), we gathered in the lobby of the studio, where we mingled, sipped wine and champagne and noshed on some of Whitney’s healthy, home-cooked delights. We were also sent off with a girly gift bag, that included Lorna Jane tanks, a trio of Marquis O3 organic sugar-free energy drinks, SpaRitual nail lacquer, workout class gift cards and brownie brittle.

birtney-and-bubbly-ldla-party1

britney-bubbly-food

britney-bubbly-wine

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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Music Angelenos

The h.wood Group Opens West Hollywood’s Classiest Karaoke Spot

January 21, 2015
Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Forget everything you associate with karaoke joints, because West Hollywood‘s brand new Blind Dragon isn’t your typical amateur singer’s establishment.

I attended the star-studded soft opening of the sexy, Asian-influenced lounge last week, and it is a far cry from the divey – albeit fun – spots in Koreatown, for example.

Opened by the guys of The h.wood Group (Henry’s, Shore Bar, The Nice Guy), the dim-lit hangout, which took over the Chi Lin space on Sunset Blvd. right behind Bootsy Bellows, features several rooms for groups to rent for singing their hearts out in the privacy of pals. There is also a general area with a full bar and tables.

The venue – which hosted everyone from Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne, to Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger on its VIP night – also serves up a tasty menu of pizza and dim sum options prepared by neighboring RivaBella chefs Luigi Fineo and Michael Lefnes.

Open from Wed. – Sun, 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., this is the perfect spot to stumble on over to, straight from the club!

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Photo credit: Brian Lindensmith / All Access Photos

Angelenos

Audi Kicks Off Golden Globes Weekend with Annual Star-Studded Soiree in West Hollywood

January 9, 2015

AUDIdrinkmenuAudi‘s annual pre-Golden Globes bash is the first event of awards season that gets everyone under one roof. From celebrities, to publicists, agents, journalists and various tastemakers, the top-tier shindig,which hosts hundreds of guests, is literally a who’s-who of Hollywood (and some of New York). It’s Tinseltown’s one last night to relax before the madness of awards season kicks in, beginning on Sunday.

Held at West Hollywood’s trendy Cecconi’s eatery last night, the hotly anticipated event (which also takes place right before the Emmys months prior) served guests endless pours of wine and signature cocktails, along with tray-passed bites, including the restaurants specialty pizzas.

Jessica Chastain, Liev Schreiber (attached at the hip to his other half Naomi Watts), Kate Walsh and Matt McGorry were just a few of the many celebrities who made their way to the star-studded soiree – which transported big name guests to and from in A8 L TDI vehicles, Audi’s fuel-efficient flagship sedan.

AUDIJessicaNaomi

Photo credit: Audi/Wireimage

AUDILievNaomi

Photo credit: Audi/Wireimage

AUDIKateWalsh

Photo credit: Audi/Wireimage

It’s always a blast catching up with old friends and colleagues at this party. I was one of the first people to arrive and one of the last to leave. With incredible tunes spun by regular event DJ Michelle Pesce, I couldn’t bring myself to exit the shindig until security cleared my guest and me out (in the most polite manner possible, of course)!

AUDIAdam

 

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Beauty

Rise Nation: Home to L.A.’s Newest 30-Minute Workout – & Skyelyfe Tried It First!

January 6, 2015
Photo courtesy of Rise Nation

Photo courtesy of Rise Nation

Why is it that no matter what healthy groove we are in right before November, those delightful habits really do fall out the door as soon as the holidays creep up? I think I speak for everyone I know when I say we are anxiously eager to get back into our workout routines and relatively sensible ways of eating.

I admit, I think my last real workout was at least 12 days ago (I swear I’ll get back into the swing of things this week!), but the nifty part is it was a closed trial session at Rise Nation, a specialty studio that didn’t open its doors to the public until this month, just in time to help people conquer their new year’s resolutions!

Started with the vision of training and movement expert Jason Walsh, Rise Nation hosts 30-minute cardio climb classes, the first of its kind in L.A.

Sure, when the opportunity to try a new workout arose, I was a little hesitant. I’m not the best at changing up my routine (even if just for one day). But after completing my half-hour class, I was pleased to find that not only was this a super brief sweat session, but it’s something anyone can do, regardless of fitness experience or frequency.

So, just what is the cardio climb movement? It’s the action of using your arms and legs to move up and down a tall climbing device – but to the beat of music (basically dancing on a machine). So, a song with more beats per minute will require a lot more movement. As Walsh refers to the workout on its website, it is an “experience,” not a class.  The experience is set up in a dark room where you’ve pre-booked your machine (a la Flywheel, etc.), and by the end of the workout, I was sweating and my legs were nap-ready. It was nice because the room is located upstairs, connected to a rooftop patio with a table and chairs, so guests can decompress in the fresh air, post-session.

Located on Melrose and La Cienega, this brand new facility provides a free experience to first-time users. There are 1-4 sessions offered each day, except for Sundays when the spot is closed.

Happy climbing!

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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

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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Beauty Featured

PRIV: LA’s Premier Pampering App Brings Services to Your Doorstep

September 17, 2014

Remember the good ol’ days when showing up in a Town Car somewhere made you feel really, really important? Well, then Uber came along and gave that VIP feeling to anyone with a credit card.

Similarly, I remember attending one of my first ever gifting suites and receiving a gift card for a (gasp) complimentary at-home spray tan from Sevin Nyne. I mean, only celebs received such glamorous at-home services, right? Well, now, like as in the case with Uber, just a simple cell phone app tap and valid credit card will have you receiving star-like perks.

As of Sept. 18, L.A.’s first full-service on-demand beauty and wellness application was made available to the masses. Everything from vetted personal trainers to masseuses, hairstylists, manicurists and spray-tanning specialists can show up at your doorstep with the click of a button on PRIV, an app (short for PRIVileged) founded by Joseph Terzi and Morris Sutton. Like with Uber, available service providers pop up on a screen with their current rating out of five stars, along with how many minutes should be expected until their arrival.

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I was on hand last week to help celebrate the launch of this innovative product at the ultra chic Petit Ermitage hotel in West Hollywood. Before I got to the event, my close friend (and hairstylist) Erick Orellana gave me a glamorous updo from his apartment, and then I was off to the party. Once I arrived, I met up with a bunch of friends and I was fed with an array of healthy bites catered by the hotel. Guests at the fete were also treated to complimentary manis and Priv-logoed nic-nacs, including fans (it was unbelievably hot outside) and iPhone cases. In between trips to the open bar, people crowded the massive candy station, which was purple-themed to match the shade of the brand’s logo. M&Ms, saltwater taffy and lollipops were available in great quantities for guests to scoop into baggies.

Upon exiting the event, partygoers were given gift bags with additional logoed memorabilia, along with a gift card for $20 off a Priv service. Sans the overbearing heat, this was a night nicely done.

Will you try out this app?

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Beauty Angelenos

A Gem of a Night: Jewelry Browsing Under the Moonlight

August 7, 2014

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the jewels were on full display at Relevant Relations‘ and WeLikeYouLove‘s third Full Moon Bazaar event at Skybar at the Mondrian hotel in West Hollywood mid-July.

While it’s hard to complain about any nighttime pool party in general, it was an added bonus that there was a sponsored vodka bar and I was able to support some of my favorite people’s own lines and clients. My pals at Rapparound PR were there with Samilynn jewelry, which was out with some of the most beautiful – yet still simple – necklaces I have seen in a while. Many of the pieces were made of energy stones, which is always an instant sell for me.

I was also stoked to check out the latest collection of my good friend Heather BettsHaute Betts line. It amazes me how she produces her line so quickly, but with such quality and detail. She gifted me with her brand new cupcake bracelet that night, and I have barely taken it off since!

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Angelenos

Pride, Not Prejudice! : WeHo’s Biggest Weekend

July 24, 2014
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Sunday’s Pride parade … view from my apartment

Most of the people I know spend 362 days of the year counting down to Coachella, but for me, LA Pride is my favorite weekend. This June was my fifth year taking part in the festivities, which celebrate equality, and I can honestly say, each year that goes by, the more people you know and the more fun it becomes.

A big group of friends and I kicked off the merriment at the festival on Friday night at West Hollywood Park, where I caught an unexpected performance by Monogem, a new act I have liked since they kicked off their career. Then on Saturday, I indulged in a hearty, mimosa-filled brunch with a friend at Marco‘s in West Hollywood, before making my way back to the festival with the same group of friends as the night prior. We had VIP wristbands, so aside from getting into the festival, we also got to take advantage of the roller rink, which is never a good call for me, a pure klutz. In between skating around, we caught a lively performance by Azealia Banks and then I did some wandering around by myself. The crowd inside the actual festival comes from all over the place, so it’s definitely not a group I am necessarily used to seeing during a typical night out in West Hollywood. But it was fun just roaming around and meeting random people and stopping at various booths. I ended up charging my phone at the Frontiers magazine booth, so I spent most of my time over there.

If I had to pick one out of the three days of Pride, I’d say Sunday was the most fun. The same group of people and I started off the afternoon with a little day party at two of our friends’ apartment and then went from bar to bar. Pump, which is Lisa Vanderpump‘s newest venue, has been a regular hangout for me since its recent opening, and the final day of pride was no exception. My friends and I saw the chic and demure lounge turn into a loud, bottle-poppin’ party spot. There were so many people at Pump, and the private little room in the very back was wild, with girls dancing around topless and who knows what else! Despite some tension on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, former cast mate Carlton Gebbia made a little cameo at her former costar’s hot spot. We chatted her up for a bit, and I must say she was delightful.

The night concluded at The Abbey, an obvious staple in Weho and for the weekend. It was there that I saw a ton of familiar faces. Music was blaring until the wee hours of the morning and we stayed until pretty much closing. It was really hard to see another Pride weekend come to an end.

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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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