Friday, December 21, 2012

A Fabulous Find - VODA Magazine and the "Secret Menu"

Photo courtesy of VODA Magazine
A new, luxury lifestyle magazine has arrived, VODA, and I am honored to be a contributor.  My editor threw me a curve ball with an assignment on In-N-Out Burger.  He said I "knocked it out of the park."  Thanks, Xan, and thank you to my dining companion for ordering the good stuff and things from the "Secret Menu."  Read all about it here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fabulousness Found in Memphis, TN

Normally, I wouldn't have thought to take a trip to Memphis, TN, but my copilot (the excellent navigator that he is) suggested a northern route instead of my southern suggestion, taking us through Tennessee instead of Alabama, on a move from California to Raleigh.  I really didn't know what to expect of Memphis, it was not a place high on my list to visit, but seemed like a fun and logical stop on the road trip.  Here I'll give you a photo tour of our less than 18 hours in this city known for its bbq and blues.

This is where the fun began, i.e. trouble:)  Notice the sign that says "Street Bar," yeah, you can walk around with beverages a la New Orleans' style.

That's me double fisting, not really, but I might as well have been as those vodka drinks went down smoothly waiting in line ...

For some of the best BBQ, ever!!!
The line is long, but it's worth it

Inside Blues City Cafe
It's bustling
The open BBQ pit kitchen
Come hungry or you'll hurt yourself, we shared, but this will def happen!
Another place I want to eat when I go back. Oysters, yum at Silky O'Sullivan's.  I just love the name!

A great hotel recommendation, The Peabody.  You have to go there to see the ducks.  Or so I was told, but I didn't see them, another reason to go back.

We chose to stay at the Westin. It was solid and across the street from the FedExForum.
And how can you go to Memphis and not pay homage to the King? Yes, Ben, it's in Memphis!

We're going to Graceland!

Thank you, Memphis, for being #FabuloUS!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Fabulous Hair Find and My Latest Obsession

My latest obsession is dry shampoo and Pinterest, okay it takes me a little while to catch on.  About this dry shampoo, first I would like to say I have found an eco-freiendly version at my beloved Whole Foods Market, which I promise to pick up next. in the case that they still make damaging aerosols?   Do they still make ozone-eating aerosols, are all aerosols ozone damaging?  Please excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject, just wasn't one to buy things that spray out of a can until I bought Pssssst! dry shampoo.  Secondly, I have a feeling all of you ladies out there with gorgeous, flowing hair have caught on to this a long time ago and chose to keep this little beauty secret to yourselves.  That's alright, I'm here to get the rest of you on board.  I had a friend with those gorgeous locks and while she didn't shampoo everyday either (or use dry shampoo) her trick was to "don't finger your roots." I can still hear those words ring through my ears.  Sounds gross, but that was her trick to not spread the oils around making your hair look greasier that it has to.  This is also the trick to dry shampoo, you do work your fingers through your roots after you spray it on and wait a few minutes for it to settle.  The directions say to brush it through, but this causes too much of the powder to fall out.  I love this product for not only saving time and money on product, it also conserves water, something I have been more conscious  about since living in Southern California.  There you have my latest fabulous find to keep you looking none other than fabulous!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Fabulous Night Out and It's Beaujolais Nouveau

Tomorrow night you won't be fibbing when you say you have to go to the library because you'll actually want to be there!  The world renowned  Santa Monica Farmers Market Library Panel is hosting their, Have a "DIY Holiday" This Year tomorrow, Thursday, November 15 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM, more event details can be found below.  Tomorrow is also the third Thursday of November and that marks a celebration you should all be familiar with by now (since I write about it every year).  If you forget or if you're a new reader (yay, and thank you for reading) you can learn more here and here. That's all for now and if you're a resident of SoCal, I hope to see you at the library and at the very least sipping on a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau, both are sure to fabulous!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Where's the Burrata?

Photo by Flickr user Muy Yum

That my friends, pictured above, is one of my latest fabulous finds and one of the newest food trends.  It's called burrata, which really isn't anything new, but has been popping on menus seemingly, everywhere.  According to the Wikipedia definition, burrata is an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream and translates to buttered in Italian.  I know, I know, not the best recipe for my figure or complexion, but trust me it's so good and well worth it.  I first had this delicious, savory concoction at a fabulous restaurant on the west side of Los Angeles called The Upper West.  The photo above is Chef Nick Shipp's rendition and with it he combines green apple-blackberry panzanella, baby heirloom tomato, black chai salt, basil and finishes it with a dill-mustard vinaigrette.  I've also seen it served like a traditional caprese salad simply prepared with tomato, basil, cheese and a generous drizzle of fine-quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  I had it this way at one of my other favorite west-side stomps, La Vecchia.  Order it here as a starter and indulge in the Lasagna, it is homemade by the chef's mom daily.  Have you seen burrata on the menu in your neck of the woods, or is this an LA food trend?  Your comments, on this fabulous find, are welcomed below.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fabulous Finds in Downtown Denver - Bike Share and More

Last week's travels found me in Colorado, the Frisco and Breckenridge areas to be exact, for a breathtakingly beautiful wedding.  By the way, there is a complimentary gondola ride in Breckenridge that has stunning views.  On the way back to the airport and two flight delays later, a night spent in downtown Denver was in order.  While there, I did what I always do and took a jog through the city in the morning.  I discovered that they have a fabulous bike sharing program called the Denver B-cycle.  Check out these stylish red bikes with handy baskets.

More and more cities are adopting these fabulous ways to get around the city and here's how it works:
In other news, we stayed at the Magnolia Hotel Denver, a boutique hotel chain that we recognized from their sister property in Dallas.  Normally, I don't report on not so fabulous finds, but this was one of them.  It wasn't all bad, just nothing to write home about, a bit worn and suffering from an identity crisis.  It's wanting to be a boutique property, but looks more like a rundown, converted Holiday Inn with hit and miss (mostly miss) service. On a more positive note, we wandered into the Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton Hotel, which exuded a true boutique feel.  Their restaurant, Panzano, is not to be missed.  We sampled the Brussels sprouts - which were to die for - and we were thoroughly impressed by their Italian wine selection.  The pasta is homemade right in front of you and service was professional and relaxed.  There you have it, fabulous finds Denver edition!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Fabulous Find Tres Hermosas - Sacramento

My travels found me in Sacramento, Ca.  These days you never know where life will take me and who I may come into contact with along the way.  This week it was someone who tipped me off on to Tres Hermanas in the midtown neighborhood of the city, touting it as the city's best Mexican.  Tuesday happened to mark National Tequila Day, so I thought I do my part in the celebrating with a stop at Tres Hermanas.  I always said you can tell right off the bat if a Mexican restaurant is good by their margaritas and chips and salsa and so that's exactly what I ordered.

My humble photos don't do this place justice.  It's not fancy, but it is fabulous.  Another hidden gem is Nikki behind the bar.  She is precious and truly knows hospitality.  If you are lucky enough to be in her company, then you are lucky! So there you have it another fabulous find on my ever evolving adventures!  Stay tuned for more ...

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Fabulous Find - Casa Madrona in Sausalito

Photo Courtesy of Casa Madrona

Bybass the hustle and bustle of the city and check into the Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa in Sausalito with sweeping bay views.  It’s located just a quick ferry ride away from the city of San Francisco.  If spontaneity and timing are on your side, do you yourself a favor and check rates on Hotel Tonight before booking they often have discounted rates, but you have to wait until 12 noon the day of booking.  It's prime location is in the heart of quaint shops and restaurants.  Some of the things I liked most about the property were the double sinks, chaise lounge at the foot of the bed and the spa bath products in enviro-friendly refillable large bottles, which did wonders on my skin and hair.  While there be sure to check out Bacchus and Venus, a fab little retail store and tasting room with a gem of a hostess, Michelle, the shop's manager.  We also loved Copita a couple doors down.  I can personally vouch for their margaritas shaken and poured tableside, guacamole and ceviche (don't get fancy, just go for the original ceviche, trust me).  There's also a a bar with live jazz nightly called No Name (there's no website either).  It's cash only and a place where the locals come to hang.  There you have it, some fab finds until next time.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Venturing Into Venice to the Newly Opened Café Gratitude

Photo Credit Nicole Carbon
Yesterday I hopped on my bike and ventured over to Rose Avenue in Venice Beach to check out one of its newest additions, Café Gratitude, an organic, vegan restaurant with locations in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Rose Avenue is fast becoming the "new" Abbot Kinney with shops and restaurants popping up seemingly every week.  I like this little stretch for its hidden gems such as Venice Beach Wines, a cozy and comfortable wine bar, and Cerveteca, who serves the best breakfast salad ever!  I also like it because it is the street that leads me to my beloved Whole Foods Market. Café Gratitude was packed yesterday afternoon and I grabbed a seat at the marble-topped counter.  I was offered a taste of the I Am Strong smoothie made with Protein Maca malt with bananas, hempseeds, chia, dates, vanilla and coconut milk. It was like dessert, so delicious!  I ordered the I AM HEALTHY juice made of Kale, celery, cucumber and lemon juice. I felt cleansed and well, healthy after drinking it.  The service was exceptional and the light and airy atmosphere a ten.  The gentlemen next to me actually dined (see full menu here) and said he went to the LA location before and remembered how good it was. I'll definitely be back to "fully commit" to a full meal, this place is fabulous!