Author Archives: LA Blogger Gal

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!

35+ Year Old’s Guide to Attending Music Festivals

Summer is officially the music festival season.  There are the big ones: Bonaroo, Lalapalooza, Outside Lands, etc.  And then there are the smaller, more local festivals (we have quite a few here in the LA area – Pasadena, Echo Park, Sunset Junction, Eagle Rock – and those are just the ones that I’ve been lucky enough to attend).

Believe it or not, three years ago I attended my very first music festival.  And while knowing how much I enjoy going to concerts, that might come as a shock to you, trust me when I say, if I had my way, I could have gone on happily never having been to a music festival.

My husband, on the other hand, loves music festivals of all shapes and sizes and has attended many. In fact, it’s not uncommon for him to attend a handful during any given year.

Which of course means, eventually I was going to have to attend one.  There was just no getting out of it.

Lucky for me, my first festival – Austin City Limits – was a great experience (you can read more about it here).  And since then, I’ve gone on to attend – and even enjoy – a few others.  In fact, this past spring, I headed out to Stagecoach.  Which I promptly decided that I would never do again…the heat, the dirt, the heat, the hike, the dirt, and yes, the triple-digit heat. It was WAY too much.

Next month, I’ll be heading back to Austin to for another round of Austin City Limits.  This time around, I expect the experience to be even better.  One: I’m interested in more of the bands that will be playing.  Two: I know how things work since I’ve done it before.  And three: I’ll be better prepared as I’ve since been to a few music festivals now.

Here’s my suggestion on what to bring if you’re attending a music festival…be it small or large.

  • A backpack – it makes the whole experience so much easier since you’ll have everything at your fingertips.
  • Comfortable shoes – this is the time to worry about being fashionable.  Comfort matters.  And take it from my personal experience (something I learned long, long ago), nothing ruins your day like blisters, bruises or painful feet.
  • Sunscreen – slather it on. Then slather it on a couple more times throughout the day.  You will sweat and you will douse yourself in water to cool off, so I suggest going with the “sport” versions.  And those sprays make for super simple application.
  • A hat – hipster, cowboy, baseball, garden, hiking…I don’t care what kind of hat.  Just wear something that will cover your eyes from the glaring sun.  The larger the brim, the better.
  • A refillable water bottle – most festivals won’t let you in with a full bottle or even a sealed bottle these days.  But they will let you bring in your empty or your refillable bottles.  And if they’re good at what they do and they care about their people, they’ll encourage you to bring in those bottles and have plenty of filling stations available (I’m looking at you Stagecoach – no idea why you didn’t tell people to bring bottles and why you didn’t have more filling stations…especially in that heat).
  • A towel – I’d actually go so far as to suggest TWO towels…one for sitting on (during Stagecoach it protected us from the itchy hay bales and during ACL it reserved our space for the final shows each night) and one for wiping down or dousing in water and wearing around your neck.  Trust me, things get hot out there.
  • Toilet paper or tissue – you will be using porta-potties.  Making sure you have your own paper on hand makes the experience a bit more tolerable.
  • Hand sanitizer – you’re going to be there for hours.  You’re going to be using porta-potties (see above). You’re going to be sitting on the ground or wiping off your sweat. You’re going to be eating.  You’ll be glad you brought a small tube with you.
  • Lip balm – though this might just be me. But it gets hot out there.  And sunscreen on the lips isn’t a look that works for me.  Then again, I’m a bit addicted, so I always make sure to have some handy.
  • A lightweight jacket or sweater – you’ll have been in the sun, sweating, dancing, baking for hours.  Once that sun goes down, things get quite cool.  Having a little something that you can put on helps.
  • A flashlight – most of these music festivals are in big parks.  And once the shows are over, and you’ve left the stage area, it’s dark. And the walk back to you car (or bike, or the bus line) is even darker.  Having even a small flashlight helps.
  • Phone charger – or back up power.  Most festivals have charging stations, some require that you have your own cord.  Others, have the hookups there for you.  Either way, it’s worth having handy.
  • Bandaids – you never know when you might get that blister or scrape.  Can’t hurt to have some on hand, right?

If you’re a female, I’d also suggest that you wear dresses or skirts.  Those porta-potties are much easier to use (and to balance) when you can hold your close up and away instead of having to pull things down and away.  Just a thought.

If you’re part of a group, you might also want to have something that sets you apart from the rest of the hundreds of thousands of people.  Think tall flags, things with lights, etc.  It really does make it easier to find your people…especially if drinking has been involved.

This list is by no means perfect.  But it should get you through in comfort…until you can create a supply list that works better for your needs.

If you see me at ACL – merrily reliving my youth along with Depeche and the Cure, feel free to say Hi.


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.


ZenaMoon: Candles With Intention

I know it’s been a while….a long, long while, since I’ve written anything here.  To be honest, not all that much has been going on.

Yes, I’ve been traveling.  Yes, I’ve been seeing tons of concerts and shows (including traveling to concerts and shows).  Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to attend some cool events. And yes, I have recently gone gluten free and have been learning my ins and out around that.  But nothing big enough, or exciting enough has gone down that I felt compelled enough to open this puppy up and get writing again.

Until today.  Yep, today I finally felt like it was time to pick things up again.

What’s that magic THING you ask?

Why it’s ZenaMoon and Carla’s amazing candles, of course.  And talk about magical…each candle is handmade with love and intention with a special blend of scents and gemstones.

Now I wouldn’t say these candles are something you buy because it matches your decor or your favorite scent.  No, these candles have a purpose. For my upcoming summer of focus and producivity (after what feels like one of my most wasted and unproductive years in quite some time), I opted for the a candle for writing and coming out of hiding.  And Carla included a fun little giftie self-nurture candle (which I’m burning as I write this).

The orange and cranberry swirled a candle for writing candle is scented with mango and orange and has carnelian gemstone mixed in.  Carnelian is said to protect from bad vibrations, guard against poverty, strengthen courage, vitality, confidence and action. And according to one source, “in ancient times it was used in battle to impart courage to warriors and in public speaking to bestow the gift of eloquence.”  The gift of eloquence will certainly be helpful when writing, no?

The beautiful, purpley-green swirly coming out of hiding candle is scented with freesia and mint (yum!).  And has aventurine which is said to have properties to increase perception and creative insight.  And bring on the luck.  Works for me.

I can’t wait to light them up and get busy!!

You can find out more about Carla and ZenaMoon by visiting her website.

Gardening Woes

2012-08-15 09.22.32

Damn Squash Bugs!

Back in the late summer, I had a mess going on in my garden.  I had a squash bug infestation that took over my zucchini  my squash and my cucumbers.  I eventually had to call it a day and just rip them out.

2012-09-11 15.46.03

Damn Bagrada Bugs!

Then my garden (and every other garden in our community garden), got a nasty case of the bagrada bug.  Which basically will eat anything in sight.  And while I was slow to get them eating my veggies, it turns out at the end of my garden, hidden under my  nasturtium I was hosting a bagrada bug mating factory.

Which of course means, once they made it to my kale, it was high time to rip E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. out.  So sad.

So after not stepping foot in my garden for over a month, today I stopped by the local nursery to pick up some seedlings so I could get things growing again.

But what the hell?!?  I stopped at two different nurseries (Sunset Nursery – one of my all time faves) and OSH (one of my local hardware stores) and neither of them had much of anything.

And I mean nothing.  Some lettuce and some herbs.  And plenty of flowers. But not much else.

New Plants for the Winter Garden

I was able to pick up a new kale seedling and some purple cauliflower.  And a couple six-packs of flowers.  But that’s it.  No broccoli, no peas or beans.  Nada.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the crazy hot temperatures we’ve got going on these days.

Oh well, I guess in the end it’s better to test with fewer items to see if those damn bagrada bugs are still around.

Wish me luck!


How To Cook Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time

Not too long ago, I was sitting with a couple of my teacher friends and we were talking about Pinterest.  Those of us that are on it (you can find me here) were explaining how we use it and why or why not others might want to get on board.

Somehow, the conversation turned to talk of making perfect hard boiled eggs.  Now I will admit, for years and I do mean YEARS, I had no idea how to hard boil my eggs. I’d over cook them.  I’d under cook them.  Nothing worked.

Then one day, I was watching Rachel Ray and she shared her secret.  Since then, I’ve never had a bad batch of boiled eggs.  Which means, we’ve also been enjoying egg salad (with lots of dill…yum!).

So here’s what I learned from Rachel.  It’s so simple you’re going to wonder how everyone doesn’t know about this.

  1. Put your eggs in the smallest pot they can all comfortably fit into, cover them with water (no lid) and turn the heat on high (meaning, the flame heats the bottom of the pot, not the bottom and half-way up the sides).
  2. Let the water get to a rolling boil.  It should look something like this *
  3. Turn off the heat and cover the pot (I use a silicone lid, but you can use whatever works).
  4. Leave them for about 15 minutes, covered, without heat (you can even remove them from the stove – I usually don’t).  I’ve actually left them on the stovetop for hours and they were still fine.
  5. Now you can do whatever you want with them: paint them for Easter baskets, peel them to eat or to cut, make deviled eggs, make egg salad, the choice is yours.

In the time it took me to write this, my eggs are now ready for me to turn into egg salad…yum!

* photos to come

On Being Creative For the Sake of Being Creative

Lately, I’ve noticed two things…1) I’ve barely been taking the time to write here, in this blog.  And 2) that I’ve been really focusing a lot of time and energy around being creative. You know, doing art for the sake of art.

Funny how when you think about it, both are so closely related.  I mean, writing is clearly a form of expressing ones self creatively. Yet for some reason, while I’ve managed to write a weekly newsletter and weekly blog posts over on my business side of things, as well as create two books over the summer break, I’ve not carved out time to write over here.

I blame part of it on Facebook.  Before we had social media, the main way that bloggers shared our thoughts with the world was to blog about them.  And well, that took some time to do…you had to write it out, find photos (because they kept telling us that we need photos or our posts won’t ever get read), format it, pretty it up, and post it.  Then you had to wait for folks to find it and fingers-crossed, read it and leave a comment.

Then we had Facebook (which I’ll admit, I was way slow in getting into), where we could share whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted with our friends and we had instantaneous feedback in the form of comments or likes (or back in the good ol’ days, even dislikes).  And on Twitter, we had an even bigger audience to share anything and everything (as long as it was 140 characters) with the entire world.  Much like with our blogs, anyone could follow along.  Things went by so quickly on Twitter that it really didn’t matter if folks commented or retweeted or whatever, as long as you had those followers, you were golden.

Which is really just my way of saying that I kind of left the more personal side of blogging, for my social networks.  In particular, for Facebook.  You know where I could share any photo, story, article, or random thought.*  It’s so easy. Oh, how I love me some Facebook *sigh*

As for that “creativity” thing…this is something that I’ve actually been leaning into for the past couple years. I’ve read books. I’ve taken a couple classes.  I’ve picked up art supplies to play with.  I’ve taken my camera everywhere (and now I’m rarely without one thanks to my iPhone). I’ve written, drawn, stamped, colored, painted, taped, glued, and sparkled.

Yet, I still find that I struggle with this concept a bit.

Lately, I’ve gotten more comfortable with the fact that while I might never call myself an artist (let along an artiste!), as an entrepreneur and a writer, I AM creative.  When you think about it, one can’t create a business if they’re not creative.  The mere process of running your business, setting up the systems, creating the products and services…that’s all a creative, artistic process.

I don’t think I really understood that fully until I read Tara Gentile’s The Art of Earning.  She goes into a lot of explanation how the very process of earning income, is an artistic process.  Essentially going on to say that when you get down to it, living life is a creative process.

And this makes sense to me.

As a teacher, I think it’s really important to get our children comfortable with creativity.  Not just art and music.  But the outside of the box thinking that is necessary to succeed in life and business.  The sports, the dance, the story telling, the critical thinking.  All of it. It’s all part of embracing your creativity.

If you’d like to dig a little deeper and learn more about your creative side, I’d recommend you pick up Tara’s book (it’s only $3 for the digital copy – less than a latte at Starbucks).  I think it might get you looking at your daily experiences a little differently.


* if you’d like to follow along my FB journey of randomness, feel free. I don’t friends folks I don’t know, but you’re more than welcome to “subscribe” (and I do share things regularly that my subscribers can access).

Don’t Cover it Up

Back when I was in grad school, I did my final project on domestic violence.  At the time, I had recently worked as an intern at a local facility for court appointed, domestic violence offenders (the abusers) doing intake.

It was a difficult job.  You’d meet these men (during my time, there was only one woman), that we charming and funny and sometimes even good looking, and you’d hear their stories.  During all my intakes, I never got the bitter guy that said “she deserved it”.  No, I always got the charming ones.

So of course, there was also this teeny, tiny part of me that kinda believed that it was an accident.  I mean, the logical part of the brain knew that they were just telling a story.  But the naive, young woman in me sometimes thought that maybe this one was telling the truth.

Which, I must say, make it difficult for this single gal to trust the men she was dating…Were they telling me the truth? were they making up stories? Were they lying through their teeth?

That is, until the day my former boss came in for his intake.

Just to clear the air, he wasn’t my direct boss, but he was the owner of the salon I was working for.  So when I answered the phone, so I recognized his name.  I scheduled his intake and told my boss that I knew him so someone else would need to take the meeting.

When he showed up, he said that he was fine with my doing the interview (clue one he’s convinced he did nothing wrong).  During the whole interview, he went on and on about how it was an accident.  How his wife called the police but it was just to “get back at him” during an argument.  Et cetera, et cetera.

Thing is, I knew him.  Personally.  I was there, both inside his salon as an employee and outside his salon when I worked across the way.  I’d seen the short tempers.  I’d heard the yelling.  I’d seen the rampages.

I didn’t believe a word he said.  I knew better.

That day I decided that I could no longer work with this population of individuals (or substance abusers – domestic violence and substance abuse tend to go hand in hand) and quit.

My heart goes out to anyone that has suffered any sort of abuse…physical, sexual, financial or emotional.  I know they must feel trapped and they don’t realize that there is a way out.  And just as importantly, that they’re not alone and there is support out there.

Which is why when a friend shared this video from YouTube sensation, make-up artist, Lauren Luke I had to share it.  I later realized that it’s a fictionalized account, but it looks so real (especially the fear in her eyes at the end).

It’s a short one (under two minutes)…watch it.

And if it moves you, do whatever you feel you can do to help the cause and support other women in similar situations.  And if you need help, please, know you’re not alone and help is only a phone call away (800-799-SAFE).

This particular campaign is with – if you’re in the US and need help you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE)