Category Archives: LA fun

Quintessential Things to Do in LA

Well, it’s almost that time.

Seems in less than a month, I’ll be back at school and teaching technology to my middle schoolers. I can’t say I’m exactly ready. But then again, I still have a whole month to soak in the LA summer (all while avoiding the crazy Valley summer temps).

Margaritas and Cheap Trick from the cheap seats with my baby #mamatoldmeyesshetoldme #LALifeWhile I have had the chance to read plenty of books this summer (I think I’m at 22 or 23 at this point), and I’ve attended some fun outdoor events, there’s still so much I want to do before heading back.

This post came to my attention earlier today and it reminded me that I’m not an LA local. And while I may have been here for 13ish years now, there’s still so much I haven’t seen or done.

So I figured it would be fun to maybe make a list of what I’d like to do around LA before Labor Day.

So here you go, In no particular order:

    • Getty Museum + take one of the guided tours
  • Getty Villa – I’ve yet go visit since they opened it a few  years back
  • Evening cocktails on a rooftop – not the night clubbing kind, more the mellow kind
  • Something yummy from Grand Central Market – I hear Egg Slut is amazing
  • Photo the Chandelier Tree
  • Photo from to top of City Hall
  • Friday night at LA Live (think we’re doing that next weekend)
  • Visit Griffith Observatory – haven’t been since it opened
  • Overnight trip to Santa Barbara
  • Iconic photo of downtown with the park bench – been waiting for a smog-free day for this one
  • Get my swim on – I feel weird if I don’t get to a pool at least once each summer
  • Visit Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens
  • Visit the Lake Shrine Temple
  • California Science Center
  • Hammer Museum – I’ve been for concerts (same with the Science Center), but not for the actual museum
  • Rooftop Japanese garden at the Kyoto Grand
  • Japanese Garden in Van Nuys
  • The Bradbury Building
  • Summer night event at Grand Park downtown


I guess I’ll keep adding to the list as I think of more things. And I’ll be sure to cross off the stuff I finally get around to doing.

A few of these DTLA things I had put aside for my 2-week Federal jury duty time. But it turns out I never actually got called in for that. Oh well.

And yes, I realize that most of what I want to do is museum related. And logically, it makes more sense to wait until school starts back up again. And pretty much, the ones that aren’t, are mostly photo ops for me. But it’s my list. So I get to decide what goes on it and what gets done.

What’s on your summer list – something you’ve already done or something you’d still like to do?

Where to Find Good Iced Coffee in Los Angeles

Iced Coffee: a Haiku

summer heat swelter
coffee iced sweetened cream splash
total refreshment

I’m just going to come right out and say it…I love iced coffee!

I mean the good stuff.

coffeegeek's iced coffeeNot just hot coffee poured over ice. The mild, cold brewed stuff.  Now that’s my jam.

These days, I find if I’m not drinking a hot latte, then I’m drinking an iced coffee. I’ve even taking to perfecting the home-brew recipe so I can have coffee-on-tap – so to speak – all year long.*

And now that school is out for the summer, I can indulge in the even stronger – yet still mild – cà phê đá or Vietnamese iced coffee. Now that’s some heaven in a glass right there.

The other day, I was reading an Eater post about the best coffee shops in LA. Which of course got me thinking that most of those shops are known for their fancy drinks, their speciality roasting or beans, or even their accouterments and snacks.

But none were even mentioning their cold brew options or their gluten free options. And well, since I’m on summer break, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

So over the next few weeks and months, I’m going to visiting some of my favorite local coffee shops and/or gluten free bakery shops and share my thoughts.  Most will primarily be focused on the Valley (well, it is local, right?) since that’s where I spend most of my time. But in the end, I’ll be sure to share my not-so-local places as well as I travel around.

And if there’s a place you think I should check out, feel free to drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out.


* PS: Don’t waste your money trying the International Delight pre-packed iced coffee from the dairy section. That stuff is horrible (I actually returned it for a refund and I’ve never done that before).  Though both Illy and Starbucks bottles are quite good.

Photo: Flickr



Imperfect 365: How I See the World

If you’ve followed me (here on this blog, or elsewhere in the social world) for any amount of time, you know that I love taking pictures. Mind you, not enough to actually pick up my husband’s Nikon Dwhatever and actually learn how to use it. But my iPhone has been keeping me quite happy.

This year, I decided to participate in an Imperfect 365, photo-a-day challenge. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it. I think I’ve missed only two days in the 6 months we’ve been doing it. Though not that the school year is nearly over, I’m not certain how easy it will be get my daily shots in. I mean, I might actually have to leave my apartment (egads!!)

I wanted to share a couple of my favorites that I’ve taken this year. And if you want to follow along on Instagram or check me out on Flickr, you’re more than welcome to.

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

Shop for Success: A Pop Up Store

Nothing quite like shopping for a good cause, right?

Shop for SuccessLA  LogoAnd no one does shopping for a good cause, quite like Dress for Success.

This coming weekend (starting tomorrow), Dress for Success Worldwide ­ West is providing the most fashionable women with a head start on their holiday shopping with Shop for Success, the third annual, four-day pop-up shop on December 4-7, 2013.

If designer duds are you thing, you’ll definitely want to check this out.  They’ll be offering deals on merchandise from more than 100 brands like Cynthia Rowley, Catherine Malandrino, David Meister, Henri Bendel, LAMB and Stuart Weitzman.

This event is free and open to the public.  

Thursday-Friday, December 5-6th: 10 a.m. ­ 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 7th: 10 a.m. ­ 6 pm

For more details, visit Shop For Success LA 

Pinup Girl Yard Sale

PUG-YardsaleWill you be heading to the annual Pinup Girl Clothing Yardsale in Burbank, this weekend? I hear they draw quite the crowd.  And they carry everything from sizes XS – 4X.

November 9th

10am – 4pm

ATB Studios 157 W. Providencia Ave, Burbank, CA 91502

Clothes , Shoes ,Swimwear, Accessories,

Sizes XS-4X Priced from $5 – $60

Food Trucks, Music, and FREE PARKING!

Cash and Credit Cards accepted!

*NO strollers, large bags, carts of any kind.

Believe it or not, it was my husband that brought this to my attention.  Not because he has a thing for pinup girls (LOL – though who doesn’t, really?). Nope, he just wants a bahn mi from the Mandoline Grill.

Free Carl’s Jr Sausage Biscuit Day across Los Angeles!

Hey L.A., Why Not Make Friday the 13th Your Lucky Day?

SausageBiscuit_051412What: Friday the 13th is going to be a lucky day in L.A., for anyone who wants a free breakfast. That’s because Friday, Sept. 13, is Free Sausage Biscuit Day at Carl’s Jr. restaurants across the greater Los Angeles area. From 6 to 10:30 a.m. that day, everyone is invited to visit any participating Carl’s Jr. and get a free Sausage Biscuit.

Here’s how it works: Walk in or drive thru, ask for your free biscuit and get a Sausage Biscuit, free. Boom! That easy.

The Free Sausage Biscuit Day offer is good during breakfast hours only. No purchase is necessary; one per guest, who must be present, while supplies last.

When: 6 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

Where: All participating Carl’s Jr. restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

Sadly, these made from scratch biscuits came out AFTER I discovered that I have a pretty severe sensitivity to gluten, so I’ve never tasted them (but boy howdy do I miss biscuits – especially since I’ve left Georgia).  Far be it from me to hold anyone else back from enjoying a free sausage biscuit though.  Enjoy!

Have You Been to an Outdoor Movie Viewing Yet?

Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve lived in Los Angeles now and this summer was my first ever outdoor movie? I know, it blows my mind too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve done plenty of the SoCal summer outdoorsy stuff.  I’ve done Shakespeare in the Park down in San Pedro, nearly every summer.  We’ve been to many an outdoor concert – downtown, at the Santa Monica Pier, Pasadena, you name it.

But this was my first outdoor movie.  And not a bad choice….Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in Pasadena.  It was part of the Eat | See | Hear traveling show.  Each Saturday, it’s a different movie at a different location.  You bring a chair, pillow or blankets, check out the live music, enjoy the collection of food trucks.  You can even bring your dog with you. And then when the sun goes down, the movie starts.

I had photos to share, but for some reason, they’re all coming up wonky and pixelated.  No bother, I can still talk about things without photos, right?

This week, Eat | See | Hear is showing Boogie Nights – you know that classic LA love story – at LA Trade Tech.  And the coolest part, they’re making it a drive in!!  But you need to get your tickets in advance.  You can get all the scoop and their summer schedule here.

If you’re looking for other summer night movie options, be sure to check out the LAist with their complete list. And who knows, I just might see you there…or at Shakespeare by the Sea…or Downtown at one of the music events.


Cooks Menu Pop-Up: Breast Cancer Connections Benefit Dinner

Here in LA we’ve got everything from fine dining, to amazing food trucks to pop-up and underground dinners.  If you like a good meal, LA’s got you covered.

Late one night, two cooks were hanging out at a local bar after their hard night working the dinner shift.  They got to thinking that if they could bring together many of the rising young cooks and showcase their talents, that they’d not only give the people a memorable dining experience, but they could also give back to the community.

…and Cooks Menu was born.

According to one of the coordinators and participating chefs, Howard Ko, “it’s about creating a collaborative effort not by head chefs, but by sous chefs, meat cooks, fish cooks, entremets, garde manger, pastry cooks and the front of the house.”

Chefs, mixologists and staff from renowned LA hotspots such as Mélisse Restaurant, Church and State, Il Grano, Joe’s Restaurant, Katsuya and Bottega Louie will be cooking things up in the kitchen to benefit Breast Cancer Connections.  The featured wines will be sponsored by Palimina and Brewer-Clifton Wines.

If you want to be part of this talk of the town event, be sure to act quickly as they only have 60 seats open.  And as would be expected, they’re going quickly.

Here’s everything you need to know about this sure to be fantastic dinner*:

When: Sunday, November 6th – 7:00PM – 11:00PM
Where: Il Grano — 11363 Santa Monica Blvd
Price: $75 per person, all inclusive, 6 course family style meal including featured wine and cocktails

Dinner Brought To You By:

Howard Ko, Fish Cook – Mélisse Restaurant
Brian Maynard, Meat Cook – Mélisse Restaurant
Charlie Skidmore, Sous Chef – Church and State
Sal Marino, Chef/Owner – Il Grano
en Gell, Meat Cook – Joe’s Restaurant
Dawn McElhare, Mixologist – Katsuya
Eulogio Rios and Ethan Stiffelman, Pastry Cooks – Melisse Restaurant

* sadly, I won’t be able to attend as I have a previous engagement that night.

Calling All You Sassy City Chicks!

Click to Make Larger

One of my favorite fashion events is the Sassy City Chicks event.  And lucky for us, there’s another one coming up on November 3rd.  There’s shopping, there’s cocktails, there’s even spa treatments and goody bags!  It’s a fun night with your girlfriends.

And you can WIN FREE TICKETS: the first 25 fashionistas who enter LAGAL at checkout will win a Sassy Tote Ticket!

*Ticket includes: admission – swag bag – cocktails – spa treatments

And I’ve yet to leave empty handed.  So definitely check it out!

WHO: Sassy City Chicks

WHAT: Los Angeles Fall Fashion Bash

WHERE: 6060 Wilshire Blvd. (@ Fairfax)

WHEN: Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 from 5 – 10PM

Major discounts on Fall apparel & accessories- just in time for the holidays! Featuring deep discounts on major labels like Free People, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Elie Tahari, Denimocracy, Members Only, and LNA. Complimentary cocktails will be served, courtesy of Pinnacle Vodka and Qream Liqueur. Guests can also enjoy FREE mini spa services from a selection of LA’s hottest salons.

It’s Officially Fall!!

Harvest Charlie

And no, I don’t mean autumn.

We don’t have many, full on seasons here in LA.  We’re pretty much either hot with cooler nights, or cooler with cold nights.  And not all too much of anything else.

But what we do have is a rainy fall.  And I love everything about that.

For someone reason, no one (but gardeners) seem to be aware that we rain on and off through most of October.  They might recall that it often rains on Halloween, but not much else.  Yet I remember each year and each year I get so excited when those 90 degree days drop down to the low 70’s.

Today was that first day.

The sky was grey as drove to work.  The air was crisp.  You could feel the humidity in the air.

Then as I was packing up for the day to head home I hear over the PA system “all teachers: rainy day plans are in effect.”  Woohoo!

Mind you, it didn’t even rain long enough to rinse all the crud off my car.  But it was enough to make things uncomfortable as I walked the block to my car.  And now I hear that we’re 100% set for rain tomorrow and I’m thrilled.

Next up, I’ll be putting some soups, chile and stews on.  And I can’t wait.

‘Cause tomorrow’s another day
and I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain.