Tag Archives: sex

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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Snooping Through His Cell

13 Jun

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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10 Steps to Healthy Fighting in a Relationship

6 Mar

Nathan and I love to hang out with our married friends, Seth and Amanda. They’re such a fun, positive couple that we look up to and we make it a point to surround ourselves with their good vibes as much as we can. During our weekly date night dinners, Seth often asks me what my blog topic of the week will be and he suggested doing a piece on “healthy fighting”.

All couples fight. Let’s just get that out there. Fighting is not a sign of weakness in a relationship but the way you go about it can be. When you put two people together in any relationship- romantic or not- there are bound to be differing opinions. However, there are constructive ways to get to the bottom of the problem, figure out a solution, and move on.

I loved the idea of sharing some advice on ways to avoid long-term damage when arguing with your significant other. Now, I’m no marriage & family therapist but I’ve been in enough relationships to know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to fighting. As a boxing referee would say, let’s keep this a good, clean fight!

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1. No hitting below the belt. Anything that could be considered a “low blow” needs to be avoided at all times (e.g. your partner’s insecurities, family, and past is off limits). People can say the nastiest things just to get their partner to hurt as much as they are hurting. This isn’t justified. Cut it out.

2. Don’t bring up old stuff. Couples have a tendency to talk about past fights they’ve had if it’s related to the current argument. All this does is open up old wounds and add fuel to the fire. Try to keep focus on the problem at hand and keep a DO NOT RESUSCITATE on old topics.

3. Don’t add bells and whistles. Overdramatizing the problem will only do damage. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Sticking to the facts and staying rational will help get your point across more effectively.

4. Constructive words only. If there’s nothing you can say at the moment to make the situation better, don’t say anything at all. Don’t confront your partner until you’re in the mindset to resolve the problem with words that aren’t hurtful.

5. Think up a game plan. We’ve all been in those never-ending arguments that go on for so long that we forget what the original argument was even about. Cut the fat. After both parties’ feelings are heard, skip the back-and-forth and set up a plan of action to avoid this fight in the future. Without coming to an agreement, you’re bound to repeat the past.

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6. Less talking, more listening. I think most people should do more of this in every relationship in their lives. We’re all so quick to defend ourselves and have our feelings be heard. However, you’ll be surprised how much you really learn about people when you actively listen.

7. If you have to, walk away. If you have a hot temper and can’t imagine actually doing #1-6, then walk away and use this as #1. Not all arguments need to be settled right then and there. In fact, cooling off for a few minutes is probably the smartest thing to do. Confrontation isn’t good when emotions are running high.

8. Say sorry—and mean it. Knowing when to apologize and admitting fault is like an art form, difficult to master and admired when accomplished. Letting down your pride and saying sorry can be just the thing that’s needed to end an argument. Nobody’s perfect and nobody should be expected to be. Important note: Like fighting, apologizing is NOT a sign of weakness. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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9. Accept an apology. Don’t beat a dead horse. If your partner is showing remorse and you know they are genuinely sorry, be able to forgive them. As hard as it is to forgive someone who has hurt you, it is necessary in living a happy life.

10. Let go and let love. Holding on to hurt feelings is such a burden on a relationship. In past relationships, I’ve held on to my exes mistakes in fear of it happening again. It’s almost as if I held on to keep my guard up so when it happened again I could say, “I knew it all along.” Although when you truly love someone, I believe vulnerability is unavoidable. In order to feel true love is to surrender to its fears and come to the realization that when you’ve found the right one, there’s nothing to fear.

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