Tag Archives: relationships

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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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.

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 Ex Collection

16 May

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Whenever I visit my old room at my parents’ house I rummage through my bedroom drawers to take more and more clothes over to my new home with my boyfriend, Nathan. This afternoon, I came across my bottom drawer which I like to call “the ex boyfriend drawer”. I think a lot of girls have the same weird private collection of old memories from past relationships including pictures, birthday cards, concert tickets and movie stubs. Why do I keep all these things to remind myself of failure and heartbreak? I have no idea. But it’s just there… and has been for years.

I believe a part of me wanted to hold on to these things to remind myself of the good times with my exes. After a constant pattern of break-ups, I thought my dating life would always be tumultuous and unpredictable so why not hold on to the happy moments I once shared with these guys? It wasn’t until I met my current boyfriend that I felt I found someone worth throwing my past away– literally and figuratively.  Well, except the jewelry.

My "Ex Collection" of jewelry from Tiffany & Co.

My “Ex Collection” of jewelry from Tiffany & Co.

I still don’t know what to do with these nice rings/bracelets/necklaces as I would never wear them again—Can you imagine how my boyfriend would feel about me sporting a diamond promise ring from an ex?! But they do hold value and it would be foolish to just toss it out! I’m torn between keeping it for my future daughters to play with and selling them online on http://www.ExBoyfriendJewelry.com. I got a big kick out of watching a news segment on ABC’s Nightline which featured online websites dedicated for girls to sell jewelry from their exes. Genius idea!

The place that makes heartbreak a little less painful.

The place that makes heartbreak a little less painful.

It took me having to find someone I couldn’t even dream up to let go of my past. I can’t even say Nate is the man of my dreams because after years of dating in Los Angeles, I couldn’t imagine that guys like him (honest, loyal AND kind) even existed. Our relationship is not perfect by any means but I am able to speak so highly of him in my blog because of what being with him has taught me; that I deserve the best. Not only being treated the best by a man but treating myself with high regard. He inspired me to confront the fears and insecurities that resulted from failed relationships in order to be emancipated from the burden of always expecting the worst from men. Before I made the decision to let it all go, I was a prisoner of my past.

My only regret is that I did not realize this sooner and on my own. I allowed myself to not only hold on to physical things but the emotional pain from my past. Although I’m glad it finally happened, I wish it didn’t take me having to find a great guy to realize my worth. My hope for my readers, single and taken, is that this post gives you the courage to throw it all away, the emotional and physical baggage in your ex boyfriend drawer— except the jewelry! 😉

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The Wedding Date

15 Apr

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I had the privilege of being a “plus one” to an intimate Los Angeles ranch wedding last night. The early evening lighting was picture perfect, the deep love of a beautiful bride & groom in the air, and the drinks were flowing with a handsome man by my side— how much better can a date night get?

I was inspired to write this post because I’ve attended many weddings in this city as the wedding date. Being asked by your guy to accompany him to a friend or family member’s wedding is kind of a big deal. Most bachelors who are casually dating without a special someone would rather go stag and scope out the cute bridesmaids. The commitment-phobia guys are the number one offenders of dateless weddings. They like to avoid taking girls to weddings because all single girls—yes, all—are inevitably fantasizing of their own dream wedding to come. There’s nothing scarier to a label-fearing guy than the girl he’s sleeping with suddenly struck with wedding fever!

So, here are a few wedding etiquette tips to help you get ready to attend as your man’s special lady and +1.

 

DO show enthusiasm and appreciation for the invitation from your guy in a newer relationship. Inviting someone to a wedding during the early stages of a relationship takes a bit of courage.

DON’T leave him hanging. A wedding is an event with a required RSVP for a reason, not just for him but for the marrying couple. Being a no-show to a price-per-plate dinner is tacky.

DO help him pick out the wedding gift. Most guys need a little direction when navigating through Crate & Barrel’s gift registry. And yes, always shop specific to the registry.

DO have fun getting ready together. Weddings are like proms for adults. It’s just so much fun to get your hair done, finally wear the special occasion dress hanging in your closet, and maybe put together a subtle match of colors with your date.

My wedding date and I decided to make a fun day of getting ready! First, I had to take him to one of my favorite stylists to tame his mane.

My wedding date and I decided to make a fun day of getting ready! First, I had to take him to one of my favorite stylists to tame his mane.

Then we had a nice, quiet lunch at the delicious Italian eatery, Mi Piace in Pasadena. We even caught a magic show on the sidewalk afterwards!

Then we had a nice, quiet lunch at the delicious Italian eatery, Mi Piace in Pasadena. We even caught a magic show on the sidewalk afterwards!

...And we're off!

…And we’re off!

DON’T wear a white dress. This one’s a no-brainer. I hesitate to even wear beige. White is for the bride ONLY.

DO wear waterproof mascara. Watching couples exchange nuptials gets me every time.

DON’T overdo it. Dress for a wedding as if you were having dinner with Oprah. You don’t want his friends whispering about your cleavage—think flowy and sweet. Modest dress + statement necklace= golden.

DO come prepared to answer the “Are you guys next?” question. When you get to a certain age and have been together for enough time, people are naturally curious when you’ll take the next step. Keep your responses brief, optimistic, and light-hearted. Now is not the time to pour your heart out and tell guests how long you’ve been waiting for him to pop the damn question already!

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DO bring cash to tip the bartender! Many weddings have an open bar with complimentary drinks but make sure you’re carrying enough change to take care of your server.

DON’T get wasted if you’re the plus one and you’re not too familiar with his group of friends yet. Save yourself and your date the embarrassment.

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DO become familiar with formal place settings prior to the wedding. The trick to all those utensils? Work from the outside inward. And your bread plate is always to your left. Also, holding your fancy glass from the stem is considered the proper way to drink.

DO mingle with strangers at your assigned dinner table. You want your date to be confident in choosing a social, friendly gal as his date.

DON’T worry about that weird superstition where it’s bad luck to say, “Best wishes” to the groom and “Congratulations” to the bride. Showing happiness and well wishes is always appreciated– no matter how it’s said.

CHEESE!

CHEESE!

DO take lots of photos. I grew up in a family where home videos and family photos are cherished. Life is not only too short but too beautiful to not capture.

DO enjoy being in the presence of true love.

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THANK YOU READERS FOR HELPING LIVE AND LOVE IN L.A. REACH OVER 5,300 VIEWS! I’M SO HAPPY TO KNOW YOU LOVE “LOVE” AS MUCH AS I DO! KEEP THE REQUESTS COMING!

LOVE, JOYCE