Category Archives: LA fun

Giveaway: $60 FREE food at Your Favorite NORMS


NORMS is turning 60 this year!

And to celebrate, they’re giving away $60 worth of food to one lucky My LA Blog reader.

That’s a whole lotta late night grub!!

I mean where else can you get a steak dinner (plus two sides), a salad, soup AND a dessert for $9.99 in LA???

When I first moved here to LA, I used to eat at NORMS with my co-workers almost weekly (and don’t tell anyone, but I still prefer NORMS over Dennys).  I loved knowing that I could eat some decent, grubbing food for a good price.  And there’s always something to tempt you on the menu.  In fact, I just had a veggie burger there the other night on the way to the Girls in Tech event.

So here’s the deal…stop by the NORMS of your choice between now and Friday, November 27th (the day after Thanksgiving) and take a photo (or video) of yourself, your friends, your family, your food, your waitress, your receipt, you name it…just let us see that it’s at NORMS and leave me the link to your photo here in the comments and you’re entered. No purchase necessary.

UPDATE: if that all sounds like too much work and you just don’t have the time to swing by NORMS any time soon (I know just how crazy pre-holiday season can be), just leave a comment tell me why you enjoy NORMS or what your favorite thing to order might be.  We’re easy like that.  NO PURCHASE IS EVEN NECESsARY.

After Thanksgiving, I will use everyone’s favorite, handy dandy integer generator and pick a winner.  That lucky winner will win $60 worth of free food at the NORMS of their choice.

And if you tweet about this contest or post it on your Facebook page or become a NORMS fan on Facebook, I’ll even throw in an extra chance to win.  Just be sure to send me a screen cap or link to the tweet – each extra counts as one extra chance, so be sure to post them all individually in separate comments.

Best of luck!!!

Disclosure Policy

I’m Beginning to Think I Might Be a Little Too Old For This

I’m far too exhausted to sit down and do a recap worth anything.  Instead, here’s a little audio clip with some thoughts.

Am I Getting Too Old For This?

(I haven’t yet gotten the MP3 player to work, so feel fee to click the link and go directly to the page to listen…it’s only a couple of minutes long).


It’s Just a Concert…Right?

We’ll be heading out to the Rosebowl for the U2 360º show shortly and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve stressed out (or possibly feared) a concert as much as this one.

You see, there will be roughly 96,000 people (yes, I said ninety-six THOUSAND) at this show.  They’re anticipating MAJOR traffic jams up and down the 210.  Knowing how crazy the Rosebowl traffic can be just for a USC game where there’s usually only 30,000 or so people in attendance, you can imagine what a traffic nightmare this could be.  They know that there won’t be enough parking, so of course they’re suggesting mass transit (how we’ll be getting in) and car pooling.

They’re also suggesting that folks get there 3-4 hours before the show even starts…to either sit in traffic, walk in from where you parked, or tailgate in the parking lot.  Of course, I’m still trying to figure out how if I didn’t drive, and I can’t bring a hibachi and alcohol into the Rosebowl, how can I expect to actually tailgate..without an actual tailgate??  No worries, we know people (ha!) and will hopefully be spending a little time at one of the hospitality tents enjoying martinis.  If all goes well, that is.

On top of all that, I can’t help but wonder what to wear.  I mean right now it’s 75 or so.  Later tonight though, for the walk back to the Metro, it will probably be in the low 60’s.  So I’m thinking a t-shirt for now with a sweater in the backpack.  I’m also bringing along extra sunscreen and a baseball hat.  I mean, we’ll be standing in the sun for at least 2-3 hours.  I figure once the sun goes down, I have about 60,000 of my closest friends nearby to help keep me warm.

I can’t recall the last time I put such an effort into attending a show.  Maybe back when I saw the Police doing their big Synchronicity tour back in ’83.  And well, let’s face it…I was a LOT younger then – a wee 14 and living for the moment.

That said, it’s time to  finish getting ready and to head on out.  I’ve set up my Cinch account for audio updates on my twitter feed (if you care to hear what’s going on).  And I’ll post photos some time tomorrow or so.

If you’re at the Bowl, feel free to send me a Tweet and maybe we can enjoy a frosty beverage or two while we scream along with the band.

Don’t forget, even if you’re not at the show, you can watch the concert live tonight on YouTube starting at 8:30 Pacific…

Giveaway: FREE microZone Treatment at Dermologica in Santa Monica (closed)

Win a FREE microZone® treatment at Dermalogica on Montana in Santa Monica!

Bothersome breakout?
Tired eyes?
Dull skin?

This quick skin fix gets you in, gets skin repaired and gets you out the door in a snap!

Expert skin therapists and amazing products will provide the solution on the spot in just 20 minutes with treatments like flash exfoliation (great for shaping up before events), extractions and even eye revitalization (perfect after long travels). That means no changing out of your clothes, no fuss and big results! They’ll even show you step-by-step how to identify your concerns and treat them effectively at home to maintain results.

through the window

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment below telling me why you could use a free microZone Treatment (or any spa treatment for that matter) and you’ll be entered.  I’ll even double your entry if you tweet or blog about this giveaway (just leave a comment with the link to your tweet or blog post). The contest ends Friday, November 6th at noon (and is only open to local SoCal folks).

If you don’t happen to win, you can stop by Dermalogica on Montana (Santa Monica) any time for a FREE Face Mapping®, which includes diagnosis, treatment, recovery and prevention. A licensed Dermalogica skin therapist analyzes your skin from forehead to collarbone, identifying potential problems, unique needs, and how to treat them professionally.

Spread the Word!!

AS A SIDE NOTE: I love Dermalogica’s Soothing Eye Make-Up Remover (best ever at getting the eye gook off and doesn’t sting or burn), Multivitamin Thermafoliant (love how it exfoliates, then heats up when you get it wet) and the Daily Microfoliant (no, I don’t use it daily, but it’s still a great exfoliant).  That said, I wasn’t such a fan of their Exfoliating Body Scrub – it just didn’t seem to do much for my bumpy arms and scaley elbows.

Disclosure Policy



Screen shot 2009-11-07 at 6.43.54 PM

Local LA Pumpkin Patches Go All ‘Ice Age 3’


Everyone knows that Halloween isn’t worth it’s weight in candy if your little ones don’t get to visit a pumpkin patch.

This weekend, two local LA pumpkin patches will be taken over by the crew at Ice Age to help to get the season off right.  As part of a nationwide initiative, Fox will be hosting Family Fun Days this Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25, at two pumpkin patches in our community with professional pumpkin carving artists, movie giveaways and other festive activities that create the perfect fall outing for the entire family.

You will have the chance to win prizes including DVD copies of the first two installments of the Ice Age trilogy, and branded Ice Age glow sticks to keep Halloween night fun and safe.

If you get the chance, stop by Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch in Culver City or Lopez Pumpkin Patch on West 3rd (across from the Grove) this coming weekend to take part in the festivities.

Times like this, I wish we weren’t D.I.N.K.s (dual income, no kids).  So please, have some fun for me!!  I’ll enjoy a pumpkin spice latte instead.

Photo: JMT Images

What’s Better Than a Free Mani/Pedi?


I can think of two things…1) knowing that because it was free, I was able to make a donation to the Susan G Komen organization and 2) having a free mani/pedi that actually lasts longer than usual (by my mani-standards anyway).

The other day I received a fun little email from my teaching assistant.  Turns out the local Aveda Institute (who knew we even had one in LA – they’re just a year old now) was giving away free services for a mere donation to the Susan G Komen organization.  So never one to turn down a freebie, I jumped at the offer.  Then again, I love all the cool products that hit the shelves each October in support of breast cancer awareness and will pretty much buy anything if it supports the cause.

Overall, it was an surprisingly pleasant experience.  The place was crazy crowded (it is a school after all) and I think they had an all hands on deck policy for the day.  So it was loud.  Louder than I expected.  But it was still the Aveda experience we’ve all come to know and love: hand massages, back massages and their yummy tea. And that made up for it.

So what if an express mani/pedi took two hours.

Yes, you read that right.  My file, buff and polish (the express part) manicure and pedicure took TWO hours.  It would have taken longer still, but I had her skip the top coat on my toes.  This in turn turned out to be a great thing since I nearly forgot that I had booked a client call that was scheduled to start in 10 minutes!

I learned a couple things from my reaction to this experience (and possible life lesson):

  • I was pleasantly surprised by just how patient and understanding I could be.  This was something new for me, as in the past, I would have been going crazy and fidgeting up a storm (if not getting a bit snappish).  But this time, I was able to just sit back and enjoy the experience for what it was – even though it wasn’t in the most Zen-like setting.
  • This was indeed a school and the students are really just learning and getting their much needed experience.  My gal assured me before we even began that she’s great on her own nails and has polished friends in the past, but um…and she left it there.  Meaning, she either hasn’t done this in quite some time or she’s still in the beginning of her training. And it showed.  But she actually did a great job. Sshe also worked as slowly as she possibly could to cut down on any mistakes.  For the most part, the only mistake was when she knocked down my brand new, first time being used, bottle of polish and it spilled everywhere.  It’s okay, I’ve done worse and have made both bigger and more expensive messes. It happens.
  • I was able to quickly and easily adapt to the fact that I wouldn’t be at the number I said I’d be at for my meeting that was scheduled.  Again, this is a pretty big deal for me.  Instead of freaking out (and messing up my nails), I simply called the client to let her know that I wouldn’t be at the office, but would be on my cell instead.  Since she wanted to do a conference with her partner, we just postponed for the 30 minutes it took me to get home and settle in.  No stress.  No worries.

And hey, the good news…my nails still have polish on with very few chips.  This is a first considering in the past nail polish has been known to start chipping the very next day. Then again, I’m also showering with gloves on so the manicure will last longer.  Goofy, I know, but my nails look so pretty…I can’t help it if I want it to last a bit longer.

So all in all, it was totally worth the time and I’d do it again (even if it wasn’t free for a donation).  If you’re local, check out the school. I think you’ll be pleased with both the prices and the experience.  Just be sure to allow yourself more than enough time between your appointment and anything else.  And you can get two hours of free parking at the lot on Broxton.

Only in LA: It’s Prop-a-Palooza

There are some cool, if not interesting things that go along with living in LA: you get to see movie and television stars doing totally normal things where you least expect it; anywhere you turn, they’re filming something or some place on TV looks like it was filmed up the street from your home (and it usually was); and even on the coldest of cold days, it’s quite warm and comfortable.

Basically, there’s something cool going on at any corner.

On Friday I experienced my first prop sale. Basically, it’s a movie and film prop house (think rentals for the industry) having a warehouse clearance sale. I mean an everything must go sale.

I went just to see what it was like. I had no intention to buy anything (and I didn’t). But that didn’t mean I wasn’t excited by a few things. For the most part though, there wasn’t much that I could get behind…mid-century furniture, sci-fi paraphernalia, night club furniture, lights, lights and more lights, and well, your basic round and heart-shaped beds.

Check it out…all things a girl can’t live without…

A jumbo popsicle?  Sure!

A jumbo popsicle? Sure!

What's that mom? Oh sweetie, it's what we used before computers.

What's that mom? Oh sweetie, it's what we used before computers.

Greek Gods anyone? I swear I've seen the one of the left in a movie not too long ago.

Greek Gods anyone? I swear I've seen the one of the left in a movie not too long ago.

Remember when you actually called people from a pay phone and not something you pulled out of your purse?

Remember when you actually called people from a pay phone and not something you pulled out of your purse?

Halloween is coming, can I interest you in an alter for your virgin sacrifice?

Halloween is coming, can I interest you in an alter for your virgin sacrifice?

Everyone needs a giant, 6-foot leaping tiger, right?

Everyone needs a giant, 6-foot leaping tiger, right?

For those of you gals hoping to open your own beauty parlor

For those of you gals hoping to open your own beauty parlor

LA Mommy Bloggers Sure Can Cook

Or would that be they sure can no-cook?

Today at my nearby Pavillions grocery store, local Mommy Bloggers (just writing that makes me cringe a little, but hey, it’s a niche, and I can respect that) got together for a no-cook cook-off.  Basically,  they had ten minute to shop, $25 to spend on groceries and then 25 minutes to cook.  I was there to show support for my favorite LA mommy blogger, Mar Vista Mom/Sarah Auerswald.

I have to say, Pavillions really had it together.  They added a few colorful touches at our normally, well organized and quite clean store, washed the ladies’ shopping carts down (or so my favorite express checker told me) and otherwise, put their best foot forward.  They had big wigs in from the main Safeway home office as well as from our nearby Vons home office.

They set the ladies up outside and thankfully, it was a gorgeous day out today.  Tara, the “lifestyle expert” (sorry, I didn’t catch more than that) they got to emcee the cook off was awesome.  She really kept up the banter during the 25 minutes of cooking time.  I love how in the end, while the judges were tasting everything and scoring the meals, all the ladies were passing around what they made and tasting their own meals.  No competition there 😉

All in all, it was great fun.

Check it out some of the photos…


Let the Shopping Begin!


Why Yes, There Was A Lot of Rotisserie Chicken Being Used


Peel That Onion Sarah, Then Chop, Chop, Chop!


Don't Those BBQ Sliders Look Yummy?


Bloggers On iPhones...Imagine That?!?! Tweet Tweet!


They're All Winners (though @eshachory in the middle won the big prize!)

I don’t have all the bloggers names and links that participated, but here are a few of their Twitter accounts: @SAuerswald @eshachory @coupongals @jessicagottlieb  @yvonneinla – you can take it from there.  They all said they’d be posting their recipes at some point, so be sure to follow along or pick up a copy of the Daily LA sometime next week.

Update: here are the bloggers that participated -> Coupon Gal, Yvonne in LA, YumGloss, Sarah Auerswald, Jessica Gottlieb, the LA Examiner article

Los Angeles Deserves Bigger, Better Burgers!

I received the following LA special event in my mailbox today.  While I won’t be attending, there’s no need not to share it.  Hope you can make it and enjoy your bigger, better burger!


By now you’ve probably already seen the commercials for McDonald’s new Angus burgers – smaller, more expensive, and cheap imitations of the Carl’s Jr. burgers they tried to replicate.

We don’t think that’s right.

And neither does J.B. Smoove (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, FOX’s ‘Til Death), who says Angelenos should stand up against McDonald’s and their over-priced and under-whelming products.

So, come out to the Carl’s Jr. at 1111 N La Brea Ave in West Hollywood on Tuesday, September 15 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Try out the McDonald’s Angus burger next door and if you don’t like its taste, come right on over to swap it out for a fresh, Carl’s Jr. burger of your choice for FREE. You’ll even get a chance to meet J.B. Smoove in the flesh.

You deserve a bigger, better burger. And we can give that to you. Hope you can make it or tell your readers about our burger swap.

Back to School, Back to Beauty: Soak Nails


I start back at school in just over a week.  Needless to say, that requires some shopping (yay!) and some basic grooming. Working from home all summer, and honestly not getting it out all that much to socialize outside of with friends, I’ve kind of let things go a bit.

Coincidentally, Spa Week starts next week. And you better believe I’ll be taking full advantage of those $50 treatments…massage one day, a facial the next. Can’t wait.

Officially, I started the grooming process last week. A friend invited me to Soak Nails in Encino. My friend was attracted to this Nail Spa from across the city. She was interested in the fact that they used Spa Ritual Nail Lacquers (they’re vegan polishes that are free of DBP, formaldehyde and toluene from parent company Orly). And who wouldn’t want a much needed, luxurious pedicure. You better believe I went along with it.

It’s located in a strip mall off Ventura with valet parking. In LA, free valet in a covered garage is a pretty good score. There’s even a Coffee Bean if you want to get your caffeine fix before heading in.

Once you enter, you’ll notice that it’s not like any other nail salon. First off, it looks more like a spa than a nail salon – and it smells more like a spa than a nail salon. There’s a front desk where you sign in and check out. From there they take you to the waiting room space where you can relax and check out the glossy magazines. Your tech will pick you up from there and escort you to your chair.


The chair set up is quite amazing. They have gauzy curtains hanging between each station that they pull back if you’re there with a friend, but otherwise, lend an air of privacy. The foot basin is probably the most comfortable set up I’ve experienced. I could actually sit back and relax and not have to sit in any sort of uncomfortable position while the gal worked on me (then again, maybe other people don’t have issues with this).

You don’t sift through bottles and bottles of color. Instead, they have nail swatches (for lack of a better word) at each station and you pick your color by number. The cool thing here, they actually log your number in your account so you can pick the same nail color (or technician) the next time you stop in. I love that personalized touch.

They have the pretty standard, higher-end priced packages (I’ll let you read that yourself) with the difference extras that can be added on. It’s definitely more expensive than your average corner nail salon, but the experience alone makes it worth it (in my case, for my 3 month or so splurge). And much like at a spa, they’ll provide you with lemon water, cappuccinos or a variety of teas while you get pampered.


I only have two complaints with the experience…1) my massage chair didn’t seem to work as well as most other spa chairs – it seemed pretty weak and only lasted about 10 minutes or so and 2) the leg massage my gal provided was a little weak – that could have been my fault since I didn’t speak up (was too engrossed in catching up with my friend).

It’s been a week and my toes still look amazing. I can’t say my flip-flop wearing soles have fared quite as well, but that’s fine. It’s nothing a little pumice file or ped-egg and a good lotion can’t fix. What’s more important to me is that the polish not only lasts, but still looks good, hasn’t worn off and the color is still true with plenty of shine.

The shorter, to the point, Twitterized version…Went to Soak Nails and loved it. They treat you well with great personalized touches. Colors are amazing. Definitely worth the splurge!

PS – I got in a bit of trouble taking these photos and had to talk my way into allowing them to let me keep them. Otherwise, there would be more to really showcase the place.