Tag Archives: live and love in la

Baby, It’s Warm Outside!

23 Dec


Happy Holidays, Live & Love in LA readers!

I have taken quite a long break from posting while redesigning my blog and making it through nursing school, so bear with me! For now, enjoy this hilarious video from last week’s Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Jimmy Fallon. My girlfriends and I were laughing out loud watching this at our big-girl sleepover this past weekend.


I hope you and your special someone have a warm, snuggly holiday! Xoxo -J


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9 Cheap Date Nights in Los Angeles

13 Sep

What girl doesn’t love date nights in LA? This city has so much to offer but many young couples run out of the funds AND ideas for a night out with their special someone in “la la land”.

Well, you’re in luck! I’m borderline obsessed with coming up with new places to see, cuisines to try, and amazing little gems to visit and take “selfies” at. I just don’t want to miss a thing! So many of my readers find my blog by searching date nights ideas in Los Angeles so I figured this will be a great piece! I’ve compiled several of my favorite things to do when my boyfriend and I have been going on one too many dates in the month and want to keep it a little low-key. Please excuse the word “cheap” in the title… I prefer the term frugal.



1. Game Night

Board games are super underrated especially when you’re old enough to drink while playing. My dear friends, Seth and Amanda, invited us over for a big group date night at their house to play trivia and chow down on a potluck dinner. The night was FULL of laugh-out-loud knee-slappin’ fun! Potlucks are huge money-savers and it costs very little to whip up a semi-homemade chocolate cake or caprese salad to contribute as your dish. If you want to up the ante and get a little more rowdy, buy the exhilarating dice game called Left, Right, Center for like $6 at Party City or Target. It costs every player only $3 per game and you can end up winning the whole pot or losing just $3. The game is so exciting that my family has made it a tradition at every holiday to get tipsy and try to take each other’s money playing LRC.

An intense game of Left, Right, Center.

An intense game of Left, Right, Center.

2. Happy Hour

Countless bars and restaurants have fantastic happy hour prices for brews and appetizers so long as you are willing to make it an earlier night out than usual. My favorite spots for delicious discounted bites are Public School 612 in the heart of downtown LA and Dog Haus Biergarten in Old Town Pasadena. I love catching happy hours because you can still enjoy getting dolled up and dining out without the heavy bill at the end. Go to www.publicschool612.com and www.doghausdogs.com for hours and menus.


3. Night at the Museum

Almost all of our local museums in Los Angeles have one day out of the month when they waive their entrance fee. It’s just a matter of simply visiting their websites or giving them a call to find out when. Take advantage of this and get a little culture in for Free 99. LACMA is one of the most stunning museums I have visited in Los Angeles and they offer free general admission every second Tuesday of the month AND every single day after 3pm with proof of LA County residency. Bet you didn’t know that! Visit www.lacma.org for more details.

The famous lights of LACMA.

The famous lights of LACMA.

4. Date Night at Home

This does not mean sitting in front of the couch and watching TV like you do every day. Create a romantic atmosphere unlike any other night. Yes, get cheesy and light those candles if you have to! My boyfriend and I have been taking advantage of these warm summer nights and have been picking up sandwiches at our local Italian deli and taking a dip in our spa instead of our usual dinner and a movie. Dinner is normally $50+ and a movie these days for two is $40. That’s nearly a $100 night out!

Sandwiches and a $9 bottle of Lambrusco for dinner with our dogs at our feet. Can't beat that!

Sandwiches and a $9 bottle of Lambrusco for dinner with our dogs at our feet. Can’t beat that!

5. Downtown LA Art Walk

On the second Thursday of every month, over 50 art galleries between Spring and Main in downtown open their doors to the public for late-night self-guided tours throughout Gallery Row. The Art Walk has become a must-see for Los Angelenos and it is a perfect place to take a date to swoon over incredible pieces and seem just a little more refined. Visit www.dowtownartwalk.org for FAQ.


6. First Fridays at Abbot Kinney Blvd.

In the heart of Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd, local merchants, artist and musicians come together on the first Friday of every month and throw one huge block party for the community. Entrance fee is $0 and you can come just to grab cheap eats at the food trucks, listen to great tunes, window shop and people watch… sometimes celebrity watch. Affordable and fun! Click on www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com for more info.


7. Eat Cheap

Explore the city’s historical food-lover landmarks like Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood and Philippe’s French-Dipped Sandwiches in Chinatown. Best places to fill up on a tight budget!

I asked the frequently asked and very mysterious question of what the correct pronunciation is, fi-leeps or fi-leep-ays. They said both!

I tried to solve the ongoing mystery of what the correct pronunciation is, fi-leeps or fi-leep-ays. They said both!

8. Host Sushi-Making Night

Obviously, I love group dates. After all, it is important to surround yourself with loving, happy couples to contribute to the health of your own relationship. Another way to stay home and save while still keeping it fresh is hosting an interactive make-your-own-dinner soiree. It takes a bit of effort but if everyone brings one ingredient, it lessens the expense and labor of hosting a normal dinner party. You will be surprised how much fun it is to do and it’ll have your friends talking about it for weeks. Don’t forget the sake!

My boyfriend's business associate threw a fabulous make your own pizza party.

My boyfriend’s business associate threw a fabulous make your own pizza party.

What a way to impress your friends by making them homemade pasta right in your kitchen! It's simple, too!

What a way to impress your friends by making them homemade pasta right in your kitchen! It’s simple, too!

9. Invite Yourself Over Your Friend’s Awesome Pad.

Bring a bottle of wine, of course. There’s nothing worse than friends who invite themselves over empty-handed! But ask your friends who have great entertaining houses if you can come over for a little backyard BBQ. Most people are more than willing to have you over but just never get around to planning something. Last minute, spontaneous get-togethers are the most fun.

The view of my boyfriend's business associate's gorgeous home in Newport Beach.

The view of my boyfriend’s business associate’s gorgeous home in Huntington Harbor.

A boat ride around our friends' front yard (Huntington Harbor). One of our most memorable date nights.

A boat ride around our friend’s front yard (Huntington Harbor). One of our most memorable date nights.

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The Last Love

9 Jul

I saw this video on Facebook this morning and wanted to share it with you readers! Albeit super cheesy, it gives us hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how many failed romances you’ve been through, you will find someone to be your last love– the one that really counts.

Snooping Through His Cell

13 Jun


It starts with a genuine curiosity or a slight inclination of dishonesty. The temptation to snoop through your guy’s cell phone is undeniably overwhelming when he leaves for work and forgets it on the kitchen counter or for some brave souls, just the few short minutes he’s on the porcelain throne.

It seems as though every that-asshole-cheated-on-me story starts with, “So, I was going through his _____.” Text messages, e-mail accounts, Facebook pages—none are off limits to a woman on a mission to find dirt on a guy. Then and only then do women give each other the subtle nod of understanding that silently admits I’ve been there. Snooping is this dirty little not-so-secret of ours that we know is morally wrong and totally embarrassing to admit to. However, the behavior is reinforced when we indeed find incriminating evidence justifying the detective work.

But before you go play Secret Agent (insert your name here), consider these reasons why going through your boyfriend’s cell phone is NOT such a good idea after all.

Respect Privacy. Having anyone go through your cell phone is a dreadful thought; it makes you feel naked and exposed. No matter how many years you’ve been together, everyone needs a bit of privacy.

If you feel guilty, it’s wrong. I’m a big believer while you are in a relationship, you shouldn’t do things you wouldn’t do in front of your partner. Going through your guy’s phone involves extensive planning on where to do it, how much time you have until he gets back, backtracking when you’re done to make it look untouched… One word: ANXIETY. If you feel uneasy, sneaky and ironically dishonest snooping, you probably should not be doing it.


Your perception becomes your reality. Text messages, in particular, are too often misconstrued; those darn winky faces are so vague! While playing detective, you’re already in the mindset that there is something to find so you are bound to take things out of context and think up an elaborate story as to why it is definitely cheating when it can be a truly harmless conversation you did not fully read or understand. After he explains that Samantha, the winky face sender, is his 12-year-old sister, you’ll feel this small *as I squint my eye through the tiny slit between my thumb and index finger*

It weakens your foundation. Trust is a major factor in a healthy, happy relationship. Duh. But while you think going through his phone to make sure you can trust him is the right move, you are setting the tone for the type of relationship you will have with him—untrusting. He will most likely find out, get mad, go through your phone, hide his, etc. Snooping is just the beginning of a serious downward spiral to the demise of your relationship. If you can’t take his word for it, you’ve got some reevaluating–not FBI work– to do.

You will get caught or tell on yourself by confronting him—either way, it’s not cute. No matter how hot you are, getting caught with your man’s iPhone in hand is not a good look. All men and women have insecurities but for some reason, seeing it on your partner is a major turn-off. No one can pull off the psycho girlfriend look very well.


It’s counterproductive to building good communication. This post isn’t encouraging turning a blind eye to valid suspicions, but initiating an open and honest conversation about the issue is a healthier solution. Having a candid discussion with your partner about something that isn’t sitting well with you or even blatantly stating your temptation to go through his phone will be received much better than telling him after you already did it. Surprisingly, a lot of problems in any relationship are caused by lack of communication. Your guy will appreciate your maturity and may even show you his phone willingly.

Honesty is the best policy. After I had been with my current boyfriend for a few months, I felt I had to disclose to him my past experiences with my last ex being dishonest and sneaky. I told him that cheating and lying are my big deal-breakers and all he did was grab a pen and paper. As he was writing, he told me he never wanted me to feel that way while being with him and handed me the password that accesses every account he has. I looked at him in shock, smiled and did the same for him. Since then, neither of us ever feel the need to snoop knowing we’re both an open book. People will sometimes surprise you when you open up and make yourself a bit vulnerable. You might just find out they want the exact same thing.

The truth always comes out. Rest assured knowing cheaters always get caught without you having to waste time trying to catch them yourself.

This topic takes me back to one of my high school teachers, Mrs. Luce, asking the class (and I don’t even remember in what context), “Is ignorance bliss or is knowledge power?” The question stopped me in my tracks being so complex for my then boys-and-cheerleading-focused brain, and searching for the answer to this question still sticks with me today.

I think it’s fair to say I can’t fully commit to either statement. There are occasions when some things are better left unsaid in a relationship and other times when you have a right to be in the know of what’s going on. Unfortunately for our generation, dating in the social media/digital communication era does not come with a handbook. There is no black-and-white formula that works for every couple. So I’ll leave you in saying I believe ignorance is bliss when you are with someone who willingly gives you the power of knowledge.


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Tipsy Tuesdays: Best Cocktails in Los Angeles

4 Jun


Single girls in Los Angeles can agree that the longest and best relationship we’ve had is our love affair with cocktails. Sad, I know. We have laughed and cried with them, swore them off forever after a rough night, and always end up crawling back to feel it kiss our lips just once more.

With Mixology bars being the cool kids in school right now, Los Angeles hot spots are competing to have the biggest ice cubes, craziest ingredients, and spiciest chili salt rims for their crafted cocktails… and I’m a kid in a candy store trying them all on for size.

What the hell is “Mixology”, you ask? One heck of a fancy word for what’s going on in the head of a bartender who knows their sh*t. No artificial flavors. No pre-packaged mixers. No disgusting AMFs. It’s the art (and to some, a science) of creating a perfectly well-balanced drink with fresh ingredients.  Basically, it’s thinking outside the box while emulating pre-prohibition simplicity.

So, where’s the best place to down some liquid courage on a first date or a late-night rendezvous with your special someone? Here’s a list of my favorite places to enjoy the most luscious libations.


Cheers! Salud! L’Chayyim! –Or whatever you say before you get wasted.



1. Red O Restaurant

8155 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA. 90046


My boyfriend and I took our friend, Mauro, visiting from Italy to our favorite restaurant-- RED O! Favorites: La Dama Cocktail and Mojito Trio

My boyfriend and I took our friend, Mauro, visiting from Italy to our favorite restaurant– RED O! My Favorites: La Dama Cocktail and Mojito Trio



2. Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA

5905 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA. 90036


Favorite: Owl & The Pussycat Cocktail

My Favorite: Owl & The Pussycat Cocktail


Come for the famous cocktails & Stanley Kubrick exhibit, stay for the delicious cuisine. Enjoy the huge slabs of crispy pork belly and a generous portion of the squid ink pasta. You won't regret it.

Come for the famous cocktails & Stanley Kubrick exhibit, stay for the delicious cuisine. Enjoy the huge slabs of crispy pork belly and a generous portion of the squid ink pasta. You won’t regret it.




3. 1886 Bar at the Raymond Restaurant

1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave.

Pasadena, CA. 91105


Favorite: The Bank Heist Cocktail. Tell the master mixologist, Brady Weise, I sent you and he'll carefully craft a little taste of perfection for you.

My Favorite: The Bank Heist Cocktail. Tell the master mixologist, Brady Weise, I sent you and he’ll carefully craft a little taste of perfection for you.




4. Rivera

1050 S. Flower St. Suite 102

Los Angeles, CA. 90015


The famous (and my favorite) Barbacoa cocktail garnished with smoky beef jerky.

The famous (and my favorite) Barbacoa cocktail garnished with smoky beef jerky.

A small glimpse into the innovative cocktail menu at Rivera

A small glimpse into the innovative cocktail menu at Rivera

Because only highlighting their drinks would be sinful. Mussels swimming in amarillo butter.

Because only highlighting their drinks would be sinful. Mussels swimming in amarillo butter.

Stuffed Peppers. Insane.

Stuffed Peppers. Insane.

No caption necessary.

No caption necessary.




5. The Tap Room at the Langham Huntington Hotel

1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave.

Pasadena, CA. 91106


The Langham Huntington Lobby

The Langham Huntington Lobby

The Tap Room

The Tap Room

Best place to get a well done classic cocktail. My favorite: Pimm's Cup.

Best place to get a well done classic cocktail. My favorite: Pimm’s Cup.




6. Public School 310

9411 Culver Blvd.

Culver City, CA. 90232


My favorite: Moscow Mules served in copper mugs. #proper

My favorite: Moscow Mules served in copper mugs. #proper




7. Trattoria Neapolis

336 S. Lake Ave.

Pasadena, CA. 91101


Ken, the bar manager, makes a mean Old Fashioned.

Ken, the bar manager, makes a mean Old Fashioned.

My Favorite: Proper Whiskey Sours shaken with an egg white for a frothy cocktail.

My Favorite: Proper Whiskey Sours shaken with an egg white for a frothy cocktail.

Grab a quick bite with your cocktail. One of the best octopus dishes I've ever had.

Grab a quick bite with your cocktail. One of the best octopus dishes I’ve ever had.


Can’t get enough of Live & Love in LA’s date night suggestions? Stay tuned for more Tipsy Tuesdays and Foodie Fridays features to come! But here’s a great website to hold you over until then…

Giftioni has the ultimate date night discounts for all you lovebirds. If you’re stumped on how to wow your main squeeze for their birthday or what to do for an anniversary, click on www.giftioni.com and browse through tons of unique gift packages that do all the special planning for you. You can surprise your fashionista girlfriend by revamping her wardrobe with her own personal stylist or even rent a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder for your car-fanatic beau and cruise the coast of Malibu for a day. Now that’s no boring dinner-and-a-movie date night! The cherry on top to sweeten the deal? Enter the coupon code “livelovela” at checkout and receive $15 off your gift! Offer expires June 17th.

A blog that answers all your dating dilemmas AND saves you $$$– does it get better than that? 😉

To Sext or Not To Sext

27 Apr

Dating in the digital era requires decoding hidden meanings behind vague text messages, confusing emoticons and pictures… naughty pictures. I knew sexting (sexy texting) was officially going viral when my favorite news show, ABC’s Nightline did a whole segment entitled “Selfie Nation”. Having instant cameras on our smart phones enables us to snap self portraits on any given good hair/feeling skinny/flawless face day. So, what do we do with these pictures? Well, if it’s a bit too much cleavage for your Instagram friends, you do the next best thing. Show it off to your special someone. We all do it because we like to feel sexy and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! But controlling our photos’ circulation, now that’s a big deal.

We’ve all had those cringe worthy moments while showing a friend a picture on our iPhone and they continue swiping away left and right through your album. You try your best to politely snag your phone back before they see any X-rated photos of you or your partner—barely dodging that potentially incredibly embarrassing “Wanna get away?” moment.

Here a few tips to safe and SMART sexy texting.

blog_sexting 3

Know your audience. If you even have to question whether or not the recipient will show someone else, don’t do it.  Sexy photos should not be used as a tool to reel in the new guy you’re interested in. If you don’t know and trust him 100%, step away from the cell phone. My boyfriend and I were watching TV when a group text message came up from his buddy showing all their friends a picture of a girl… and let’s just say, I’m sure she didn’t want it leaked. This shit really happens. #dirtbag

blog_sexting 4

Boyfriends and Husbands Only. I asked my guy friend who is a total ladies man what his thoughts were regarding receiving nude photos from women. I was surprised he agreed with me that it should be reserved for serious relationships. There’s just so much that can go wrong when your photos are in the hands of the wrong guy. He added that he can’t help but instantly categorize those girls in the “just for fun” group and definitely not wifey material. As much as guys love seeing your sexy side later on, they like to get to know the nice girl first. Basically, show them the lady in the streets before the freak in the sheets.

Be aware of the repercussions. As the famous saying goes, “There is a fine line between love and hate.” A change of heart can sometimes breed contempt. Just because you decide to get rid of the jerk doesn’t mean there’s a delete button for your digital footprints. Naked photos are the ultimate blackmail. There are disgusting websites solely dedicated to scorned exes exposing girls’ private photos. Maybe I’ve watched too many Dateline NBC specials but your X-rated “selfies” can literally ruin your life. Yeah, that dramatic!

Right Timing. Besides waiting for the right time in a relationship to send implied pictures, you also want to be cautious of the actual time in the day you send these. Avoid sending during the recipient’s work or social hours. Cell phones are carelessly left around the office or forgotten at the bar during happy hour.

The No Face Rule. If you insist on snapping risqué shots of your hot bod, consider making sure it’s not easily identifiable—neck down.

Mild Sexting is A-OK. There’s a happy medium between prude and vulgar. You can send a sultry eyed snapshot without exposing the goods to keep your new guy wanting more.

The Will & Jada Way. One of my favorite moments on The Oprah Winfrey Show was when Jada Pinkett and Will Smith said the secret to keeping their marriage hot is sending sexy photos to each other. Some married couple are so hush-hush about their sex lives so I loved that a highly admired power couple came out and said that’s what gets their blood flowin’. It’s completely normal to get caught up in daily routines with the house and the kids. But what better way to throw a fun curve ball than sending your hubby a little cell phone surprise?

Must Be 18 & Over. Last but not least, if you are not considered a consenting adult in California, you have no business sexting naked photos. Seriously. As much as you think your 16-year-old boyfriend loves you, he will most definitely share it with his buddies and is capable of doing even worse if or when you break up. My campaign: Kids, just say NO to sexting!

blog_sexting 2

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8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Found Mr. Right

10 Feb


As difficult as it is to find a decent man in Los Angeles, there are many things you can avoid doing in order to dodge the Mr. Wrongs. After years of failed relationships with some of this city’s most eligible bachelors I got to thinking… maybe I’m the problem. I mean, of course, it’s not my fault a lot of L.A. guys are self-absorbed jerks with commitment phobia but there must be SOMETHING I could be doing differently to get different results.

So here are several mistakes I was making that stood in my way of finding a good guy and I think most of you single girls will be able to relate.

1. You have impossible expectations. Mr. Right doesn’t mean Mr. Perfect. Mr. Perfect falls under the same category as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy— they’re all mythical creatures we wish our parents told us the truth about before the age of 7.

2. You keep dating the same guy– literally. Stop dating your ex-boyfriends. I understand that some break-ups were of special circumstances where “the timing was off” and “it’s more serious this time” but most relationships end for good reason. From my experiences, jumping back into the arms of my exes turned out to be a vicious cycle of breaking up to make up to break up again. Break-ups suck the first time around! Why do it all over again?


3. You keep dating the same guy– figuratively. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same steps and expecting a different result. Steer clear of guys who are exactly like your past boyfriends. History can and will repeat itself. For example, if you have a long history of dating married men who never leave their wives for you, stop being a home-wrecker! Or if you continuously date womanizing musicians who never fully commit, stop being a groupie. Get where I’m going with this?

4. You’re looking in all the wrong places. Don’t expect to find the man of your dreams up in the club makin’ it rain. Not to say good guys don’t get their party on but most young men who are still in the nightclub mindset on the weekends usually don’t have “serious girlfriends” on their priorities list.

5. You settle for Mr. Right Now. I found myself occasionally dating guys I knew I couldn’t see myself with in the long run but figured it could just be a fun fling. This mentality is perfectly fine if fun is what you are seeking but for the women ready for something real… remind yourself you aren’t just in it for FUN. If you think a healthy relationship is simply being able to smile through the good times, you are mistaken.

6. You ignore all the red flags. A couple months into a relationship you can more or less tell if your guy’s got some serious deal-breakers in his character! Listen to that gut feeling.

7. You’re guarded. I have a love/hate relationship with the saying “love like you’ve ever been hurt.” How can we just forget about all the awful break-ups we’ve been through? But more importantly, how can we ever have a healthy relationship holding on to that pain? Even though it is much easier said than done, letting go of your past and forgiving the guys that have wronged you is not only beneficial for a new relationship but it is so good for your mental health. Don’t assume all men are the same. The right guy will prove to you that letting down the proverbial walls you’ve built is the best thing you can do for yourself.


8. You’ve given up hope. It’s understandable to just stop caring about finding a great guy because as far as you know, there are none in Los Angeles. I’m here to tell you there are really incredible men out there that are just hard to find. Remember that nothing in life worth having comes easily and you’ll appreciate Mr. Right that much more when he does come along—but you gotta have faith!


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