Archive | January, 2013

Sin City Secrets: 10 Tips to Partying Like a Rockstar in Las Vegas

29 Jan
Marquee Nightclub

Marquee Nightclub

One of the best things about living in Los Angeles is how close it is to the city that never sleeps, LAS VEGAS! My girlfriends and I L-O-V-E Vegas and find any excuse to make weekend trips to this infamous adult playground. It’s just a 4-hour sing-a-long drive while blasting our favorite girl power tunes and when we feel like traveling in style, a 45-minute plane ride sitting next to douchebags decked out in sparkly Ed Hardy shirts and traveling strippers—or even one time, a 5-hour disaster bus ride with 50 other girls being shuttled over by Steve Wynn’s staff to appear at Surrender Night Club’s opening weekend. Gotta love it.

Ever since my cousins introduced me to this place on my 21st birthday, partying has never been the same. Once you party in Vegas, you can’t party anywhere else. So, why write about it? Because everyone who sees our “Whatever Happens in Vegas Ends Up on Facebook” photo album asks how the hell are we partying like rockstars?! I make a decent living being a bartender but let’s get real—I can’t afford to be sippin’ on $1,500 bottles of Ace of Spades champagne. The answer: IT’S VEGAS, BABY! This is the one place you can party and play like VIPs without actually being that important haha!

Encore Beach Dayclub

Encore Beach Dayclub

My girlfriends and I put together a collaborative list of our best kept Sin City secrets that you and yours need to remember on your next escape to the big city.

1. The most important Vegas rule of them all: Go with friends you really trust. So many unexpected things can go down (we’ve all seen The Hangover) and when you’re heavily intoxicated, you want to be around girls you know have your back. Plus, for a less severe and more common reason, spending the weekend with women you know and trust means NO DRAMA.

2. Dress it up! Go all out with your Vegas ensemble. It’s like Halloween everyday there in the sense that it’s the only place you can wear close to nothing and not be called a whore. Don’t get me wrong, don’t be embarrassing and have your butt cheeks hanging out… but let your inner sexy girl out and put on that a-little-too-tight or a-whole-lotta-cleavage little black dress you’ve always wished you had the guts to wear. Those fierce new pumps and that hot red lipstick—slap those on, too! You’re young! Enjoy it while you can. Getting ready for the day clubs and nightclubs is half the fun. We swap dresses, mix our own cocktails, help put on each other’s faux eyelashes and dance around in our undies to our favorite new Swedish House Mafia beat—oh wait, that’s usually just me in my undies…

XS Nightclub

XS Nightclub

3. Come with a budget & know you will lose it. Don’t worry, girls, the part about getting hooked up at a VIP table and getting free champagne showers all night is coming next– BUT Las Vegas is expensive. Women normally don’t have to pay for things at the day beaches or nightclubs but it’s a girls’ weekend and a perfect opportunity to treat yourself. So splurge on the high-end retailers at Caesar’s Palace or put $50 on red at the roulette table—you’re a baller for the weekend, remember? If you’re on a tight budget, stay away from Vegas.

4. Make nice with the staff. Day beaches and nightclubs are where the parties are at! No one in their 20s and 30s goes to Vegas for the gambling and shows. So the best way to be treated like VIPs is to become friends with the people who make it happen. TAO and XS are a couple of our favorite places and the most popular spots in the city, and we are lucky enough to have actual friends of ours working there. Part of their jobs as hosts, managers and bouncers are to get fun girls into their clubs. So come looking good, be friendly, and shmooze your way in.

Liquid Dayclub

Liquid Dayclub

5. ALL-GIRL CREW IS KEY. Waiting in lines is only for the guys who don’t buy bottle service and the girls who were lame enough to take their boyfriends to the club. Sounds obnoxious, I know. But who wants to wait in a 2-hour line and pay $50 to get in? I don’t! And you don’t have to either. Don’t be those people who wait outside forever to make the club look exclusive and busy. If you’re all girls (I mean, not even ONE guy)  go up to the guys in the nice suits, and tell them nicely it’s just you and your 4 girlfriends tonight. They’ll take a few seconds to talk in their little secret headphones and gesture you to the front. A host will normally ask your group if you’d like to join a table of guys for drinks and usually it’s fun and harmless! You make small talk, pop bottles, toast glasses, and dance the night away.

The Bank Nightclub

The Bank Nightclub

6. For all my independent women, buy your OWN bottle service! Vegas isn’t fun without it! When we’re celebrating one of our birthdays or if we simply don’t feel like talking to guys, my girls and I buy our own table… but be ready to spend a pretty penny—one bottle of your favorite vodka and a private table in a Vegas nightclub is usually around $600-$900 PER BOTTLE. I’m not saying this is a SMART purchase in any way. It’s the epitome of a splurge and if you’re a hardworking group of gals, sometimes you do it just because you can. Boom.

Our glorious spread at The Bank Nightclub

Our glorious spread at The Bank Nightclub

7. DO NOT SLEEP WITH ANYONE IN VEGAS. Some people think this is actually the perfect place to sleep with randoms because “what happens here stays here”. Nothing makes me want to barf more than the thought of having a one-night stand with a complete stranger. People come to Vegas from everywhere in the world and you have no idea what kind of people they’ve slept with. I’m all about flirty fun when I’m single but I go back to my hotel room with my girlfriends and no one else—Every. Single. Time. I know most men have a different definition of a good Vegas trip but my version isn’t having a possibly STD-infested dude between the sheets. Vomit.

8. Stay away from the Las Vegas strip on Labor Day, New Year’s Eve, or any other big holidays. It’s not any more fun than other weekends, it’s annoyingly crowded and prices for hotels, club admission, and bottle service skyrocket.

Encore Beach Dayclub

Encore Beach Dayclub

9. LET LOOSE! Las Vegas is all about creating memories you’ll never forget—even if you almost want to forget them. Life is too short to not let your hair down and get wild sometimes.

10. This is NOT where you try and find a boyfriend. Guys in Vegas only have one thing on their minds—and it’s not gambling.

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Dating Under the Influence

21 Jan

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We all have that one friend who seems blinded by love. She’s the girl who swears she has finally found a good guy but there’s just something about him everyone seems to notice but her—Cheater? Opportunist? Plain ol’ jerk? He’s like her drug and it’ll take a serious intervention to snap her back to reality.

No matter how much you and your girlfriends try to hint to her that he’s no good, she just can’t see the light. This is called dating under the influence, another dangerous form of “DUI”. My ethics professor explained a set of hormones that releases when we are infatuated with someone or in love. It is so powerful that it does not allow you to process any criticism about them and has you deviating from what is right and ethical.

I was inspired to write about this because we’ve all been there—stayed with someone we knew everyone was right about but didn’t want to listen. I’m here to say, WAKE UP. Take your love struck head out of your a** and hear what your loved ones are telling you.

If every person in your life has the same negative opinion about your current love interest, everyone can’t be wrong.

BLOG_friends

*WARNING* If you are the friend of the naïve girl we’re talking about…. BREEEEATHE.  I know it is one of the most frustrating things to hear her same problems and offer the same advice over and over again just to do it all over next week! Remember that ADVICE IS ADVICE. You cannot fault someone for not handling a situation as you would or not seeing it as clearly since they’re not on the outside looking in. Stay stern, be delicate with your words, and aware of her emotions.

That’s why it’s important to make sure the people you surround yourself with are true friends who have your best interest at heart. That way, when they offer their honest opinion, there’s no need to question their intentions or agenda.

More importantly, you normally always know deep down inside when a guy is a bad influence, if he’s taking advantage of you, using you, lying to you, is disrespectful towards you and others, etc. If you have to ask yourself if you’re in a bad situation, you probably are. Be your own best friend and get yourself out of a toxic relationship. I realize this all sounds more easily said than done. I understand there’s so much more to it than getting up and leaving. You may have been with him for 10 years or even share children with him…. but the ONE thing that would be worse than having shared so much time with him is wasting one more day not putting yourself first.

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Foodie Fridays: (Very) Special Occasion Spots

12 Jan

Are you ever stumped thinking about where to celebrate your birthday or an anniversary dinner in Los Angeles? This big, beautiful city is filled with some of California’s finest cuisine and most elegant venues. Here are a few of my favorite “fancy shmancy” restaurants that’ll have you booking your reservation by the end of this post!

 Bon appétit, ladies!

1. Providence

5955 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA. 90038

323.460.4170

Dinner for two w/ drinks: $300

Okay, I know your heart skipped a beat reading that estimated bill for a dinner for two! Yes, Providence comes with a hefty price tag but it is truly worth every penny. I call it a “bucket list” restaurant”—everyone talks about wanting to try it at least once in their lifetime, but you have to sell your first-born to afford it. This 2-Michelin Star rated American/Asian fusion cuisine by Michael Cimarusti is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. My boyfriend, Nate, took me here for my last birthday and we were treated like VIPs all night; from their “Mr. Simmons” greeting at the door and “Happy Birthday, Joyce” message printed on our menus to the maitre d enthusiastically explaining every plate’s delicate details. Providence’s staff loves what they do and it shines through in every exquisite bite of roasted bone marrow and every sip of your La Vie En Rose champagne cocktail. I felt like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” minus the whole hooker thing—I got cleaned up, wined & dined, and was constantly worried I’d have a flying escargot moment in front of all the rich people.

Amuse Bouche at Providence Restaurant

Amuse Bouche at Providence Restaurant

Providence Restaurant

Lobster at Providence Restaurant

New York Cut at Providence Restaurant

New York Cut with table-side preparation at Providence Restaurant

Sunflower Dessert at Providence Restaurant

Sunflower Dessert at Providence Restaurant

Figs & Chocolate Dessert at Providence Restaurant

Figs & Chocolate Dessert at Providence Restaurant

House Desserts at Providence Restaurant

House Desserts at Providence Restaurant

Personalized Menu at Providence Restaurant

Personalized Menu at Providence Restaurant

2. The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel

465 S. La Cienega Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA. 90048

310.246.5567

Dinner for two w/ drinks: $200

Known as the trendiest L.A. hangout and the best place to see and be seen, The Bazaar, is just that—bizarre! Their wild molecular gastronomy techniques and hand-crafted cocktails will have you thinking Tim Burton is the creator of this delicious tapas menu. However, world reknown chef, Jose Andres, is the visionary behind this whimsical world of Cotton Candy Foie Gras and Magic Mojitos. Every plate and martini holds an element of surprise; from the burst-in-your-mouth liquid mozzarella in the “Not Your Every Day Caprese” to the magic salt air ticking your nose with every swallow of your margarita. The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel holds everything you’d want and expect in a Los Angeles dining experience—gorgeous staff, divine cuisine, to-die-for drinks and funky décor. It’s SO L.A.

Menu at The Bazaar

Menu at The Bazaar

Not Your Everyday Caprese at The Bazaar

Not Your Everyday Caprese at The Bazaar

The "air bread" Philly Cheesesteak at The Bazaar

The “air bread” Philly Cheesesteak at The Bazaar

3. Villa Blanca

9601 Brighton Way

Beverly Hills, CA. 90210

310.859.7600

Dinner for two w/ drinks: $150+

This one’s for you, Real Housewives fans! Lisa Vanderpump’s immaculately decorated chic eatery is located in the most desired zip code in America, 90210. There’s only one word to describe Villa Blanca: GORGEOUS. I would even go so far as to say this is the one place on my “favorites” list where the ambience trumps the food. My boyfriend treated me and six of our closest friends here for my 23rd birthday and we couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more as we laughed and toasted the night away with Villa Blanca Rose in hand. There’s something special about going to dinner in Beverly Hills… and even more special when dining at the “As Seen on TV” Villa Blanca with your hot date.

 

Villa Blanca Rose at Villa Blanca

Villa Blanca Rose at Villa Blanca

Celebrating my 23rd birthday with Nathan Simmons at Villa Blanca

Celebrating my 23rd birthday with Nathan Simmons at Villa Blanca

My birthday cake at Villa Blanca

My birthday cake at Villa Blanca

 

Recession-Proof Romance

5 Jan

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In addition to being known as “home of the Mr. Wrongs”, Los Angeles is also known to hold the largest population of struggling actor/singer/model hopefuls who attend Hollywood auditions by day and wait tables in Downtown by night.  These gorgeous guys are just a call-back away from big screen stardom but until then—they’re broke. I mean, PB&J-and-pasta-every-day broke, along with many others in this terrible economy…. BUT let’s face it, ladies, a Bradley Cooper look-a-like who can’t afford to wine and dine you is just too hard to pass up sometimes!

So, even if you’re dating a guy who is ballin’ on a budget, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun! Here are some recession-proof tips to keeping the sexy spark alive if you’ve got Dom Perignon taste on a Pabst Blue Ribbon budget:

  • Groupon & LivingSocial are your friends. Take advantage of these incredible half-off deals to get your grub on at your favorite restaurants without breaking the bank. Subscribe to their daily e-mails and receive offers at popular hangouts near you.
  • Say hello to your other little friends, Redbox & Netflix! Why in the world does it cost an arm and a leg to go to the theaters nowadays?! I really miss heading out to Blockbuster on a Friday night to cruise their New Releases wall, but times are a changin’ and the next best thing is one-day rentals. Redbox machines are conveniently located in front of grocery stores and convenient stores everywhere and cost a little more than a buck to rent. Really?? What does $1 even get you these days?? Nothing! Netflix may even be more convenient since you get your DVDs mailed directly to your house and just send it back in your mailbox—probably the better option if you rely on your 2-foot-mobile.
  • Star in your own Food Network TV show! Featuring your fabulous self and your not-so-fabulously broke boyfriend! Cooking with your partner is an underrated labor of love that is much cheaper than dining out. Fixing a meal together can be fun, flirty and intimate; from showing off your cute little apron to shopping for the ingredients at a local Farmer’s Market. Then, enjoy every savory bite at your candlelit dining table with the smooth sounds of Norah Jones playing in the background. An ultra classy touch to top off the night? Sip on a Two Buck Chuck bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s. *My favorite cooking show for inspiration: Nadia G.’s Bitchin’ Kitchen on the Cooking Channel—so freakin’ awesome!*
  • A couple that sweats together stays together. Now, get your mind out of the gutter! There are many more ways to break a sweat than an afternoon romp in the bedroom. Getting out in nature and exercising together is a great way to bond and not spend a dime doing it! My favorite trails are Eaton Canyon in Pasadena or Runyon Canyon in Hollywood.

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WARNING: This does not mean you should stay with a deadbeat. The inspirational paragraph below pertains to staying with guys who have ambition but have hit a roadblock in their careers—not the waiter who spends his afternoons playing video games wearing those nerdy headsets.

The moral of the story is to make the most of your situation. Of course it’s not ideal to budget your money—responsibility is boring! Although, the reality is that many men and women are not able to find work in this unstable job market and cutting corners on date nights can become a necessity. During this difficult time, your partner needs your support in saving money and the best way to do so is to make light of your circumstances and think of creative ways to work around it! The last thing a man needs when going through financial hardship is a nagging partner reminding him how disappointed she is that she can’t go out as much as she’d like. If you truly love someone, you stand by their side through richer or poorer. Plus, it’s 2013, girlfriend! If you want to go out that badly, make your own $$$ and take him out for a change!

I’ve always loved the saying, “if you can’t love someone at their worst, you don’t deserve them at their best.” 

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