Author Archives: LA Blogger Gal

Casting Call: Are You a Thrifty Bargainista?

Is your family the thriftiest in America? Do you refuse to pay full price? Are you always on the lookout for the best deals?

Calling all coupon experts, yard sale fanatics, thrift store wizards, swap meet junkies and super savers for a brand new show on a major network! We are looking for teams of two or more – couples, siblings, best friends etc. This show will be the chance to put your bargain hunting skills to the test in a fun competition and win a big prize!

If you live in Southern California and will do anything to save a buck. Please email your story and a photo to Ellen Rakieten Entertainment.

Interested parties are also welcome to contact her directly.

Emily Sweet
Casting Producer
Ellen Rakieten Entertainment
Office (323) 860-8623

FREE: Green Living Workshop

A friend of mine is leading a Green Living Workshop in Tarzana this Saturday.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it as I’ll be teaching, but I know it’s going to be full of great information….and it’s FREE!!

It’s a 3-hour workshop that will cover learning how to save money, reduce waste and help make Tarzana your neighborhood environmentally safer and healthier (you don’t need to be a Tarzana local to attend).

They’ll even be offering raffle prizes and handouts AND a free continental breakfast during registration.  And almost unheard of in this part of town…free parking is available both on site and in the parking structure.

Check it out!!

You can register for this FREE class here via Eventbrite.

Oprah Network Casting: L.A. Family

OWN has asked to get this out to local L.A. people/families, in case you or someone you know would be a good fit:

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is now casting families for an amazing new transformational TV Show!

A neighborhood support project – It takes a village

Seeking families in the Greater Los Angeles Area who are struggling with their kids:

Families must have at least 1 child age 6 to 17 who lives at home.

* Teen problems – all kinds!
* Kids being bullied – or worried parents of bullies!
* Single parents raising kids and working
* Parents struggling with their children’s behavior
* Military families struggling with active duty parents
* Families dealing with sudden change –  birth, death, divorce, illness

To Apply:
Please write a brief description of your family’s situation, or tell us about the family you’d like to help.
Please send ASAP – deadline at end of week!

Please include:
— Names and ages of everyone living in household
— City, and type of home (house, condo, apartment)
— 1-2 current photos
— Your contact info –  name, email and phone number

Please reference family last name and city in subject line.
Click this link to email your submission

A Birthday Gift for My Entreprenurial Friends

I am all about finding great resources and building your success toolbox. And more often than not, I’m also all about sharing those resources with you guys.

Usually I do this over on the Success for Solopreneurs Facebook page (link) or directly on my business blog (link). I figured that since today is my birthday, that I’d share the gift that I offered up to my friends, fans and followers.

It might not e the sort of thing you’re into – you know, not being an entrepreneur and all – but if that is you’re thing, I do hope you enjoy it. And if you know anyone that could benefit from this great list of resources, feel free to pass it along and share the wealth.

My Gift to You: Solopreneur Resources-Palooza


Priscilla Ahn and Seattle’s Best

Last night my husband and I were invited to attend Priscilla Ahn’s record release party at the Village Recorder. It was a fun night and as one would expect, Priscilla put on a great show.

Looking through the photo albums while waiting in reception was pretty cool. You see, the Village is famous for recordings by Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Stones, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins, Chili Peppers, Nelly, Gwen Stefani, BB King, John Mayer and many more known (and not quite so commonly known) acts.

Walking from reception to the party location upstairs was fascinating. Gold and platinum albums are every where you turn. I didn’t realize how common (?) it was for albums to go multi-platinum. Nor did I realize quite how long the Village has been there.

The small room (I guess it would be called a “theater” considering there was a stage) where Priscilla performed was awesome. Very high ceilings. Gorgeous art deco lighting and a balcony we’d all love to have access to in our own homes.

Priscilla’s new stuff sounds great. I’m not so sure they’ll be much radio play, but I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot of her new stuff in movies and on TV (and maybe while you’re out and about shopping).

You can tell she was having fun last night. Lots of giggles and laughter mixed in with the music. Then again, that could have had something to do with with the yummy Seattle’s Best cocktails.

Not so sure what the connection might be between Seattle’s Best and Priscilla Ahn (or the Village Recorder), but I loved that they were there sampling their new level system coffee blends.

They were using Level 3 for hot samples as well as in their cocktails. I think I found my new favorite coffee. So mellow, smooth and well-balanced. Nothing like that bitter stuff you often find around town (which is the reason why I rarely drink drip coffee at local coffee shops).

I tired tracking down the recipes from their coffee cocktails, but no such luck. I liked the Wink and a Nod which I think was coffee, vodka and sweetened condensed milk…yum! Not sure what was in the Shake, Shake, Shake, but that was fine as I wasn’t a fan.

Overall, it was a fun night out. Especially since we’re mid-way through birth-a-versary week. 😉

7 Years: We Will Not Grow Old

Happy Anniversary to my Sweetie

Thank you Lenka for the reminder that though we might have a long way still to go…we will get there!

We Will Not Grow Old

You and me will be lying side by side…
Forever, forever…
Underneath this adolescent sky…
Together, together…
And you will hold my heart inside your hand…
And you’ll be the one, the one to tell me…

Oh, we’ve got a long, long way to go…
To get there, we’ll get there…
But oh, if there’s one thing that we know…
It’s that we will not grow old…

I made you swear that our hearts will never die…
No never, no never…
Cause no one seems to believe that we can fly…
Forget them, forget them…
Oh, you told me…

Oh, we’ve got a long, long way to go…
To get there, yeah we’ll get there…
But oh, if there’s one thing that we know…
It’s that we will not grow old…

We’ve got a long, long way to go…
To get there, we’ll get there…
But oh, if there’s one thing that we know…
It’s that we will not grow old…

Oh, how could we know that day, it came with age…
That oh, the feeling would fade…

Oh, we’ve got a long, long way to go…
To get there, we’ll get there…
But, oh, if there’s one thing that we know…
It’s that we will not grow old…

Oh, we’ve got a long, long way to go…
To get there, yeah we’ll get there…
But, oh, if there’s one thing that we know…
It’s that we will not grow old…

No, we will not grow old…
We won’t grow old…
No, no, we will not grow old…
No, we will not grow old…
We will not grow old…

Copyright © 2009 Sony Music Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

I Hate Fleas!

They say that it only takes 10,000 hours before you are an “expert” at something…anything.  Well, I’m beginning to think that I may be well on the road to becoming a flea expert.  And not by choice!

For the past three months or so, we’ve been dealing with fleas.  We really didn’t think it was all that much of a “problem” since they weren’t bothering us or the cat.  Basically, it was just one or two on the dog.  For three months.

So first we decided to go natural and picked up some Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray.  This stuff basically uses clove and peppermint oils to kill the fleas.  And it works great.  At killing the fleas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tackle the eggs or the rest of the n0t-quite-fleas-yet buggers.  And sadly for my little guy, it’s pretty potent stuff for his tender belly and it leaves him rashy (but their Hot Spot spray helps with that).  Really, I can’t recommend this stuff enough, but unfortunately in our house, it wasn’t enough.

From there we moved onto the Frontline Plus.  But for some odd reason, that didn’t seem to work as well as it had in the past.  We were actually starting to wonder if we maybe got a bad batch.

About this time, we were considering bombing the house.  But in order to do that, we all would have to leave…including the cat.  So we were calling around to see if anyone did daycare boarding.  We then called the vet to find out if his shots were updated so we could board.  It was at this time that they told us that because we didn’t treat the cat with Frontline at the same time as the dob, the fleas still had someone to feed off.  So off we go to the vet to get some Frontline for the fuzzy one.

So now we have both boys covered with Frontline, and we’re regularly spraying the dog and the room with the Vet’s Best spray.  Still, we’re not really seeing and end in sight.  Until a couple people start mentioning getting Diatomaceous Earth powder to sprinkle around the house.

We took the powder and sprinkled it behind the couch (in the dog’s favorite lounging place), in the dog bed, and on his pillow in the office.  We also sprinkled him directly a time or two.  We still want to sprinkle the couch, but we’re going for baby steps as this stuff isn’t safe to be inhaled directly (and wearing one of those mask thingies is kinda freaky in a claustrophobia sort of way).

I must say, we’re finally seeing an end in sight.  I know the vet said we’d still be dealing with fleas over the next three months as the fleas in their various lifespan become adults.  But it’s better than it was a few weeks ago.

And now, when we find a flea on us, or the dog, we pluck that sucker up and drop it in a cup of peppermint and clove oil water.  Instant death!

Artisinal LA: A Fun Way to Shop

Artisanal LA Spring Show 2011 at Santa Monica Place

This past weekend was the Artisinal LA show in Santa Monica.  I wasn’t lucky enough to attend their previous events (sometimes I feel like I live under a rock).  This year the event was held at the Santa Monica Place.

This was my first time at the recently remodeled Santa Monica Place and I have to say, I was impressed.  I loved the open air, beach breezes quality (completely different feel and vibe than the Century City mall).  And of course, the views were amazing.  Now if we could just do something about that traffic and the parking situation all would be good.

The event itself was awesome.  I went late on Saturday so the place was pretty empty (and crazy hot).  It was easy to move around and taste all the great foods and drinks.  Looking over the photos in the Artisinal LA Flickr pool, I obviously missed out on quite a few vendors.  That might have explained some of the empty booth spaces or I could have just made a wrong turn and missed out on something awesome.  It happens.

Some of my favorite products were (in no particular order):

  • Cookie Good – Wow, these were some amazing handmade cookies.  My favorite was the Peanut Butter Candy Bar cookie (it didn’t make it out of the parking lot before my husband and I devoured it!).  And I must say, I loved chatting with them (and am considering contacting them for an interview on my podcast series…when I get that up and running – LOL).
  • Gotta Have S’more – I’ll admit, I’ve known of Carmen for a while now as we’re both in the Crave LA book.  If you haven’t yet tasted her version of s’mores (and I typically don’t like s’mores at all), you will be in head-over-heels, can’t put it down, love!  They’re that good.
  • Sugar Bird Teas – I love tea.  A lot.  So I was thrilled to be able to sample some new tea blends.  Their Earl Grey with Vanilla sounds divine.  But I was impressed with their English Breakfast, a long time favorite of mine.
  • Brandt Beef – You hear about how much better corn-fed, hormone-free, sustainably farmed meat could be, but I wasn’t ready for just how amazingly good it was.  With how infrequently we eat beef in our home I just might be able to convince my husband that this is the way to go.
  • VeeV Açai Spirit – Vodka is my alcohol of choice, but to be honest, depending on my mood, I’ll pretty much drink any spirit (as long as it’s not beer, I’m good).  This was my first time trying VeeV and it had a very smooth, vodka-like taste to it – so I would basically use it in any sort of cocktail that called for vodka.  The Spa Cooler they were sampling was so very, very good.
  • Global Gardens – These guys had some great olive oils and vinegars on hand.  Their olive oil was nice and fruity, but it was their walnut oil that wowed me.  Made me wish I was a bit more confident in my cooking to play around with quality oils.  Both their fig and their pomegranate vinegars were beyond good.
  • Imaculate Confections’ Liquor Cakes – I mentioned that I’m a fan of liquor, right?  Well, it goes without saying that this gal also loves cake.  So combine the two and I am ALL OVER IT!  No really, I make a mean rum cake!  While I was tempted by all their awesomely, boozy cakes, I figured the hubs needed a treat, so I picked up the Dark Chocolate Stout (Guinness) Cake with Vanilla Tinted Glaze.  Um…I don’t like beer, but I loved this cake. Yes, I could taste the Guinness, but I could also taste the chocolatey goodness.  Plus I served it with sliced strawberries so that helped mellow the stout-ness.

I’ll say that I bought a gift for a friend at one of these booths mentioned above, but since she follows along I don’t want to ruin the surprise.  There were many other yummies to partake of, but these guys were by far my favorites.

The cool thing about all of this…in late May (5/21), many of these artisinal food purveyors will be setting up shop in a more permanent way at the Santa Monica Place’s new Market Place.  And my favorite cooking school, The Gourmandise School will also be setting up shop there.  I can’t wait (bet you can’t guess what’s on my birthday wish list?).

I didn’t think to bring my own camera (and my lemon of an iPhone takes horrible photos and has even more horrible connection capabilities) so I borrowed a few photos to share below.  But I do encourage you to check out the pool of photos on Flickr to see everyone that was there.

The KleanSpa table

I do love my Klean Spa products!!

p.o.p. candy

P.O.P. makes some awesome toffee!

Pork nuts aren't what u think @CastIronGourmet heh @ArtisanalLA

Pork Nuts...not quite what you might be thinking 😉

Photo Credits via Flickr: greenlagirl, marco1019 & Caroline on Crack

Prince: Opening Night at the LA Forum

I should start by admitting that I’m not a huge Prince fan.  Like most folks my age, I’m a fan of his more known hits from the 80’s, but I can’t say I know much beyond Purple Rain.  But I was given the opportunity to join my husband at Prince’s opening night show (show 1 of a 21 day stint).  You can read his review of the night here, over on Soundspike (FB).

A couple things stood out that night:

  • $25 is a damn great ticket price!  Especially to see someone as awesome as Prince.
  • At 50+ Prince is still one damn fine entertainer – plenty of costume changes, lots of dancing, and some funny quips.
  • I had no idea he was such a strong guitar player (he’s the only guitar in his band – kinda wish he played more).
  • Be prepared for the show to start late (but wait it out in your seat so you’re not responsible for it starting even later).
  • Be prepared for the show to run LONG!  Our show was over 3 hours long and had 6 encores!
  • Wait it out until the very, very, very end…no matter how many times the band leaves the stage and the houselights come on.  They will be back.

I’m really glad I went.  Even if I’d have spent $150 for the show I’d have been glad I went.  It really was amazing.

My suggestion…get a hold of one of those $25 tickets (again, he’s doing a 21-day stint, so I don’t imagine he’ll be selling out each night).  Take your nosebleed seats and enjoy the show.  The minute you see people starting to leave after what they think is the encore, start working your way down to the floor.  Before the show is over, I have no doubt that you’ll be up close and personal with the man himself.

Lenka at the Troubador

Tonight Lenka performed to a sold out audience at the Troubadour.  And once again, it was a great show.

I think the Troubadour is one of my favorite LA club venues.  The sound is good, it doesn’t tend to get too crazy packed (even on sold out nights), and it’s got some serious history.

Here’s an “official” (re: Sony) clip from the show for Everything at Once – loved the additional lyrics from the 4th graders.  Such fun!

One of my favorite Lenka songs…The Show.  There’s just something head bopping, sweet and sing-along about this song that I really love.  And of course, who among us can’t relate to sometimes being scared but not wanting to everyone see our fears.

I’m just a little girl lost in the moment
I’m so scared, but I don’t show it
I can’t figure it out, it’s bringing me down
I know I’ve got to let it go and just just enjoy the show