Tag Archives: men

Baby, It’s Warm Outside!

23 Dec

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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.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/baby-its-cold-outside/n44614

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Tipsy Tuesdays: Best Cocktails in Los Angeles

4 Jun

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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.

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

 

 

1. Red O Restaurant

8155 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA. 90046

323.655.5009

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

323.857.6180

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

626.441.3136

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

213.749.1460

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

626.568.3900

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

310.558.0414

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

626.792.3000

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? 😉

The Bright Side To Being Single

27 Mar

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Everyone has that friend who doesn’t know the right thing to say when you’re down and out. My favorite panic-mode sympathy line is, “Well, look on the bright side….” Then, they proceed to tell you a bunch of lame reasons you should be happy in a shitty situation.

Well, this blog post is not going to be that. Sure, it’s a look-on-the-bright-side theme but it’s a list of actually awesome reasons why staying single in Los Angeles really IS something to be celebrated.

I turned to two of my best single girlfriends, Chanel and Rachel, for some input on why being a 20-something single girl is flirty and fabulous!

1. You didn’t settle. Be thankful you’re alone rather than being like your girlfriend who’s miserably with her broke, rude or cheating boyfriend who she can’t seem to break up with.

2. YOU TIME. Your weekends aren’t shared with anyone unless you want them to be. You can pick and choose when you want to be around your friends, go on a date, or just take a bubble bath at home on a Friday night. No obligations.

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3. You learn independence. All women, single and taken, need to learn how to fend for themselves.

4. Ladies Night! Being single gives you ample time to spend with the people who understand you the most, your girls. When you have a boyfriend, it’s inevitable to disappear a little in your little cloud of love. As a taken woman, my occasional girls’ nights are such a breath of fresh air. I love my relationship but there’s nothing like a little girl talk over a glass of wine.

5. You don’t have to shave your legs if you don’t feel like it (the best reason, in my opinion—by Rachel).

6. You save money. Having a boyfriend can get expensive on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Being single has you spending only on family, SOME friends, but mostly yourself.

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7. Guilt-free flirting. There’s something about not having anyone to report to. You can go out, talk to as many guys as your little heart desires and give out your number as many times as you want.

8. Nobody is judging you. I’d be lying to say I do whatever I want when I want while being in a relationship. My boyfriend gives me the evil eye when my weekly online shopping packages arrive. Whenever he comes around while I’m browsing the Hautelook iPhone app, I quickly press the button to the homepage and pretend I’m just checking my e-mails. This doesn’t happen when you’re single.

9.  You don’t have a mother-in-law.

10. You can do weird things with no one looking. Come on, girls, we all have strange rituals we like to keep to ourselves.  I purposely watch reruns of Full House while my boyfriend is at work. Shhh! #dontjudgeme

11. Your decision to go to a wild weekend in Vegas with the girls doesn’t start with, “Babe… I was wondering… if maybe… I could possibly…”

12. Giving your heart a break. The ups and down of romance are sometimes just too much to endure. Flying solo= no fights, no bickering, no heartbreak.

13. No one is counting your cocktails. During a night on the town you don’t have the constant whisper, “Is that your third Cosmo?”  You’re single and you’ll get shitfaced if you want to!

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14. It’s more fun to laugh at couples’ dramatic Facebook posts or Tweets when they’re fighting if you’re single. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s pretty entertaining regardless!

15. Finally, the most important upside to being single is learning to love yourself. I’m a firm believer that you can’t fully love someone until you truly love yourself; who you are, what you stand for, what you love to do and how you treat others. Self-love is something no man can ever fulfill.

So, while you wait for your knight in shining BMW, learn to appreciate all that single life has to offer. It’s pretty fun and fabulous!

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Heart Day Hangover: For The Single & Taken Girls

17 Feb

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Valentine’s Day can mean different things to different people. You either love it or hate it, and chances are these feelings are directly proportionate to your positive or negative perception– and NOT your current relationship status, as most would assume.

I am so excited to introduce to you loyal readers someone I consider a dear friend and fellow blogger, Rachel! Words can’t express how positive, confident and resilient she is. Her weekly happy mantras on her health & fitness blog, http://www.TheLoveFitLife.com, keep me going when I’m having a downer of a day. I know you’ll enjoy her healthy eating and workout tips just as much as her SINGLE GIRL perspective on Valentine’s Day.

This week’s post gives you the best of both worlds of being single or taken during this high-pressure, love-obsessed holiday. We hope you can relate to one of us and just know you’re not alone. After all, that is what my blog’s ultimate goal is. Us women need a place to laugh, cry, or simply feel relief that we’re not the only ones going through this roller coaster world of dating in L.A.

So, without further ado, The Heart Day Hangover…..

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JOYCE (the happily taken):

Valentine’s Day is the typical Hallmark holiday that becomes solely about gift-giving and wallet-emptying. But what is the real meaning? Love– all different types of love.

It’s technically a celebration of the early Christian Saint Valentinus who continued to perform weddings even after marriage was forbidden under the Roman Empire. Due to this story and what society has blown it up to be, most people view this day exclusively for romantic couples. However, I see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to remind all the people you hold close to your heart that they are loved. Sure, I hear the bitter remark, “you should show your boyfriend you love him everyday”—and I do! I show him, my friends and my family that I love them all the time but who can really get enough love affirmations? Does anyone ever get tired of hearing how loved they are?

My boyfriend, Nathan, and I have lived together for several months now and things couldn’t be better. We’re one of those couples that are still in anticipation of the other coming home. I look forward to waking up to him every morning, writing love notes in his lunch bag almost every day, and feeling safe as he is the last thing I see before I fall asleep every night. I know, we’re one of those couples that make people nauseous. Although, as you’ve read in my previous posts… I wasn’t always this lucky. I’ve had to kiss one too many toads to find my prince. So Valentine’s Day is a fine day to tell him how grateful I am to have him but also to remind myself of the journey it took to find him. The importance of pausing from my busy life to do something out-of-the-ordinary for someone who has touched my life the way Nate has is essential and something he very much deserves.

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We so often take for granted when special people come into our lives. After months and years of seeing the same face and getting into a routine, it’s difficult to realize that everything is temporary in this lifetime. It’s also even more amazing to think some people go their entire lives not finding true love. Therefore, it is important that in this precious life, we are reminded not only on this holiday but every day that you can’t say those three little words enough. So, whether it be a sweet note on the bathroom mirror, a bouquet of long-stem roses or putting on extremely uncomfortable lingerie that gives you a constant wedgie (I mean, I’m not speaking from personal experience, of course…hehe), do what you can to make your special someone’s heart skip a beat.

Furthermore, Valentine’s Day wasn’t only a special day for Nathan and I but it was also a fun-filled day for my family and friends. I put together a surprise lunch at my house for my family and my puppy while the boyfriend was at work, I sent out cards to my girlfriends and their kids, then Nate and I went on a dinner date to Ink Restaurant on Melrose Ave. with two of our closest friends and even met the owner/chef Michael Voltaggio (as seen on the reality TV show, Top Chef).

Valentine' Day isn't just romantic love. Here's a peek of a surprise luncheon I put together for my family at my house

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love. Here’s a peek of a surprise luncheon I put together for my family at my house.

Dining at Ink Restaurant in Los Angeles

Dining at Ink Restaurant in Los Angeles

Chef Michael Voltaggio of Ink Restaurant in Los Angeles

Chef Michael Voltaggio of Ink Restaurant in Los Angeles

Post-dinner shot outside of Ink Restaurant in Los Angeles

Post-dinner shot outside of Ink Restaurant in Los Angeles

Whether you’re taken or single, V-Day can simply be an excuse to get out of your daily routine to stop and tell people, “I love you and I appreciate all you do.” Think outside the box—a father is really the main man in a girl’s life, a mentor is someone who would love to be thanked, a co-worker who is stressed out might really need to read in a cheesy card that they are special. Make Valentine’s Day a day of uplifting the people you love most—taken or not.

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RACHEL (the blissfully single):

I find it so fascinating that Valentine’s Day is such a heated subject. It’s one of those abstract days, probably created by some marketing genius that takes over the town and consumes everyone in its path. Even the people doing nothing special on Valentine’s Day will make sure others know that Valentine’s Day is no big deal and it’s just another day. My favorite example of this phenomenon this year was, of course, my ex boyfriend (how fitting) and longtime friend (yes, we’re really still friends) Thomas Teasley’s Facebook check-in at L.A. Fitness that read “Everybody is like it’s valentines day. I’m like it’s arms and cardio day.” Literally laughed out loud…. Thank you, Tommy and proud of you for getting fit when most were going the fat route 🙂

Satisfied

Every year when this stressful week approaches and the infamous day arrives, there seems to be a general consensus that women love it, men hate it, people in relationships must celebrate it and the singles hate life and are jealous of it. Fuck that consensus.

I’m a woman and until last year, I hated it…
I was in a long term relationship and didn’t really celebrate it…
I’m single now, loving life and enjoying Valentine’s Day more than I ever have before!

The Love Shop

So, here we are. My 2nd Valentine’s Day single has been successfully completed and I’ve decided it’s my preference…. for the time being at least. Last year, for my 1st single V-Day, I gave myself everything I wanted, which my ex argued year after year was a sell out and refused to take part in since he “showed me his love everyday” (I always fall for a man that makes me laugh). I ate a wonderful dinner, bought myself roses, put on sexy lingerie that I felt smoking hot in, lit some candles, sipped wine while cuddling up to watch a movie and munch on chocolate. No stress, no sadness, no secretly wishing a man had stepped up and swept me off my feet. It…. was…. FANTASTIC!  This year, for my 2nd single V-Day, I embraced the opportunity that a day like this presents… Celebrating the power of love by loving yourself, loving the people you care about, remembering the incredible love you’ve had in the past and smiling. I sent some nice text messages to past loves who crossed my mind, ate an entire (small) box of Godiva chocolates (of course), went to a great lunch with all my co-workers, hit the town to catch up with some friends and went to bed early thinking about how happy I am to be me – right here, right now.

Not everyone allows Valentine’s Day to be an organic expression of love though. It seems that many make it into a complicated puzzle that’s impossible to solve. I know men often feel like there’s so much pressure to perform, but ultimately, it’s just about showing someone they’re special and loved (and sorry but most people DON’T actually do that on a regular basis, so yea you should probably jump on the bandwagon and use this day to your advantage). Yes, most women want and would LOVE flowers…. even poor cheapskates can buy $7-12 flower bouquets at Trader Joe’s. Yes, most women want to connect in some way…. even if it’s just talking over dinner and being held tightly. Yes, all women and all people in general want to know that others care about them…. period. How you choose to express that doesn’t have to cost a fortune and doesn’t have to be a picture perfect romance scene out of a chick flick movie (although those options are welcome). Be creative, be yourself and never be afraid to say…

I LOVE YOU.

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8 Reasons Why You Haven’t Found Mr. Right

10 Feb

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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?

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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.

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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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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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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenwilcox/2308403045/”>Ken Wilcox.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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