Tuesday, December 24

Monday, December 23

Melting Snowman red velvet cookies!

My gripe with adorable Christmas cookies is that they never taste good!  So I sought to make adorable snowmen that were actually delicious!

INGREDIENTS:
1 Box red velvet cupcake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
cream cheese frosting (homemade recipe on blog, or buy pre-made)
black and red icing
Marshmallows
Rollos or reeces bells for hats (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine one  the box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix, eggs and and vegetable oil. Whisk.
  • Form teaspoon size balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or baking pan about one inch apart. Slightly pat down the top of each ball with the backside of a spoon or spatula.
  • Cook for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool completely
  • frost with cream cheese frosting and stick a marshmallow into the frosting.  Decorate with colored icing to create a scarf, buttons, arms, eyes and nose. 
  • frost the top of the marshmallow and add the rolo or reeces bell (if desired)

  • I only did a few with the hats -- mostly because I was really going for delicious on this one and I thought the hat was candy overkill.  But it's a matter of preference - if your guests have the sweetest of tooths put the hats on!

    I also made some smiling or some sad they were melting...

    but they were all scrrrrrrumptious!

    Thursday, December 19

    Red Velvet Christmas Woopie Pie Cookies!

    It's so easy, I'm almost embarrassed to post this - BUT they are such a hit, that I feel compelled.

    Directions:
    1. Prepare the DUNCAN RED VELVET CUPCAKE MIX as directed for cookies
    2. Cook, Let Cool, then Frost!
    3. Sprinkle coconut flakes between cookies and pat down on frosting.

    They travel easy, look so festive, and taste delicious!

    ****BONUS****  I have also made these with pumpkin cupcake mix (nix the coconut flakes).  Similarly delightful. :)

    Tuesday, December 10

    Mock On Stage Pageant Questions for the Bitter-hearted Runner Ups

    Considering I'm quite bitterly boycotting my identity as a 'pageant girl' ever since I aged out and didn't get one chance to compete in Miss America and Miss USA unfairly chose the prettier, smarter, taller candidate over me...  I've decided to make a new list of pageant questions for my loyal pageant fans to practice.

    (But wait - I don't want to lose you forever pageantinas!  Scroll back a few months to get pages upon pages of real pageant questions, essay samples, walking tips and pageant diet do's and dont's)


    On Stage Q&A.  All answers are.. well of course.. world peace.



    Do you believe that all vegetables should be treated equally regardless of their color?

    Do cabbage patch kids promote childhood obesity? 

    Explain quantum physics using only facial expressions. 

    How does eating Smart Food Popcorn contribute to a higher IQ?

    Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

    What would you say to someone who doesn't believe in World peace?

    Why are fried chicken pieces referred to as chicken fingers?

    Please recite your favorite Popsicle joke. 

    How long would it take a 5 foot snowman to melt in 63 degree weather?

    If you were a painting, would you want to be hung landscape or portrait?

    Do you feel that subbing butter for margerine is unamerican?

    do you think the government should ban red velvet cupcakes for their addictive qualities? 

    Do you think it's unethical for baby carrots to be taken away from their parents and bagged for sale at such a young age?

    Monday, December 9

    One Day in LA - as a local!


    Greetings from the Entertainment Capitol of the World!  Los Angeles is known for celebrity sitings, swaying palm trees, studio lot tram rides and activity laden piers.  And while I agree that a trip to So Cal would be incomplete without a healthy exploration of the tourist traps, there is much more to Los Angeles than what fits in your travel pamphlet.

    For the purpose of this insiders guide to exploring LA as an angeleno, I will assume you have already taken your hop-on-hop-off tour and checked off 'standing on the Elvis star' and 'noshing on a hotdog from Pink's'.   Let me further surmise you have strolled Venice beach to buy some hemp jewelry and embarked on the VIP tour of Paramount studios.  Excellent.  Now return your convertible mustang, put away your celeb hungry cameras, trade in your 'I Love LA' tshirt for some vintage threads on Melrose and let's see what this city of Angels is really all about, shall we?

    We will wake up early, stop for bobas at Urth Cafe and take off down the Pacific Coast Highway for Zuma Beach.  After a healthy dose of wave catching, it is a quick stop at Reel-In for the freshest fish

    Saturday, November 16

    Winter in LA

    (APPEARS IN FALL 2013 PUBLICATION OF FGM MAGAZINE)
    At The Grove Tree Lighting



    While the majority of the country is bundled up and hunkered down in hibernation through the winter months, Los Angeles will drop to long sleeves and heat lamp weather.  Nonetheless, winter should be embraced for all its scarf wearing and hot chocolate drinking glory.   And this is how:

    In my mind, nothing beats a New England snowy wonderland, but the holidays in Southern California can still be magical if you do your research. Nearly every night from Thanksgiving to the New Year marks a different public celebration.  My holiday activity checklist includes at least one tree lighting, a stroll down Rodeo Drive at night, The Marina del Rey boat parade, ice skating and maybe even a trip to one of the theme parks.  For tree lightings, The Grove and The Americana both put on impressive shows with 100 foot trees, special guest performances and even

    Healthy Pumpkin Soup!

    (AS POSTED FOR CARE-PILOT 11/2013)

    Healthy Pumpkin Soup

    Let's talk pumpkin, shall we?  This fall favorite packs a significant source of vitamin A and is high in fiber.  A serving of pumpkin contains over 3 grams of iron, which keeps our immune systems running properly and helps us stay cold-free.  Furthermore, the nutrients that give the vegetable it's beautiful orange hue have been suggested to protect us from developing lung cancer, prevent heart disease, and reduce inflammation.  Pumpkin packs a punch!

    With temperatures dropping, I thought what better way to incorporate more pumpkin into my diet than with a delicious and nutritious pumpkin soup!  Now I used a crockpot, but the recipe can be made just the same in a stovetop pan under medium-low heat!


    Hope you enjoy this recipe, I know your body will!

    Chelsea's Healthy Pumpkin Soup

    What you'll need:

    -2 pie pumpkins, or 2 cans of pumpkin puree
    -1 cup apple cider or apple juice

    Monday, November 11

    Beat the Holiday Stress!

    BEAT THE HOLIDAY STRESS! (PUBLISHED AT CAREPILOT.COM NOVEMBER 2013)

     From watching a loved one open a thoughtful present to decorating every corner of my home, the holidays still awash me with a magical joy.  While this feeling does brings me back to my childhood, the merriment isn't quite the same.  And no, it is not because I discovered Santa's secret.  It is because the holidays are now clouded with a heavy stress.

    Will I be able to buy everyone presents?  Are my presents good enough? How can I find the time to throw this holiday party?  Will my kids be disappointed?  How come I can't just stop after one cookie?

    ...and, unfortunately, the list goes on.  Even for a deck-the-halls diehard like myself, the holiday stress can be suffocating.  But not this year.  I've devised a fool proof plan to keep our merriment high and our stress levels low this season!



    1. Gift Giving.  Contrary to what the department stores want us to believe, the emphasis does not have to be on buying the most lavish presents for your loved ones.  Start with a budget, and then stick to it.

    Wednesday, October 30

    The BEST Healthy Apple Crisp

    (PUBLISHED ON CAREPILOT.COM, NOVEMBER 2013)

    The age old saying "An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away" holds quite a bit of truth.  Not only are apples rich with antioxidants, they also provide an impressive amount of fiber.  This perfect handheld snack carries Vitamin C, b complex vitamins that keep the nervous system functioning properly, and phytonutrients to help protect the body from the effects of free radicals.  As if that wasn't enough, apples are also rich in calcium, potassium and phosphorus!

    Apples are a great snack year round, but is there is nothing more quintessential for fall than apple picking.  I thoroughly enjoy dragging in an overflowing bag of hand picked apples, but there are only so many apples I can snack on each day before my prized fruit starts to go bad.   Most will turn to

    Wednesday, October 16

    Healthy Chicken Piccata

    Chicken is a staple for dieters looking to trim down and tone up.  But there is only so many nights we can grill chicken and serve it with steamed vegetables before we turn to pizza and pasta out of boredom.

    So this week I took one of my favorite chicken dishes, chicken piccata and tweeked it into the most healthy version I could.

    Chicken piccata is simple. A lemon and caper sauce over pan fried chicken.  And what better way to jazz up chicken then with lemon.   Lemons aid in keeping your immune system in top shape, help cleanse the liver, and are packed with vitamin C, citric acid and magnesium!

    So throw on the apron, pull out the fancy plates and get ready to impress with my quick, easy, and healthy chicken piccata recipe.

    What you will need:

    INGREDIENTS
    -chicken breasts (1 breast per person)
    -whole wheat flour

    Wednesday, October 9

    XIV

    Summer weekends in Los Angeles aren't a flip flop affair for the young and restless Hollywood dwellers.  They are a full blown rave.  From the rooftop hotel lounges to the mansion pool parties - you will find girls in bikinis with stilettos and guys still afraid to let go of their fedoras.

    ...and then comes the 5 o'clock wind down of a pool party on Sunday.

    After a weekend of drugs, tanning and the same edm song playing on repeat, one would imagine the hollywoodians would crawl back into their apartments to prepare for the workweek.   But not these fist pumping diehards. 

    Come 5pm the doors of XIV open up and the neon crowd storms in to spray champagne, and well, get even more blackout wasted than they did on Friday and Saturday combined. 

    Now, you may be wondering how a sweet, adorable, level minded girl like myself is so well informed about this 'XIV' hooligan hangout.  I'd say curiosity killed the cat, but I have gone once every year.  I'd say it's tradition that I go once a year, but after each time I vow never to return.  I'm just going to blame it on my roommate begging (mentioning she might go once via text) and me not being able to pass up a fist-pumping, champagne-spraying, ludicrous-in-every-sense-of-the-word, time.




    So here are my warnings to anyone who has the same neon bright idea as me when they reopen next Summer:

    1.  It's called FOURTEEN.  That's XIV in Roman Numerals.  XVI is sixteen.  Stop ruining Hollywoods reputation for intelligent and motivated residents (look I made a funny) and stop #hashtagging if you can't get the damn name right.

    2. You must mentally prepare for what is going to happen to you.  There will be a theme.  And it will be scary at times when you find yourself sans friends in line for the bathroom.  There will be drugs.  Dont drink anybody's "happy water". It's not the same idiot who wrote #xvi mistaking smart water.  It's drugs. And if you drink it the theme will become a bit more overwhelming. 

    3. But YAY there will be a theme!  Have fun and dress up!  Or bring 50 dollars to spend on a 4 dollar neon crop top tank top at the door.  Either way, hooray!

    4. Girls.  Your hair will get soaked.  in champagne.  bring elastics accordingly.  

    5.  Really, people buy shitty champagne and spray it everywhere.  There's even a slogan - "Save water, spray champagne" And it doesn't end.  They even sell umbrellas!!  From 5-10 there's a constant 'shower' that is completely unavoidable.

    6. At some point, a hot girl will walk up to you and slap a wrist band on you that says 'and we're still going'.  You think aww fun, a momento of the great time I had here.  No.  Get this.  All of these people... GO TO A CLUB from here, and DRINK MORE.  I told you it was ludicrous.  This wristband is your entry into the club.  And, I know, now I'm just talking crazy, there are after parties AFTER the club. Let.  That.  Sink.  In. 


    So did I have fun?  Well.  I put my number in two peoples phones and they came up "chelsea xiv" and "blonde xiv".  Two different people.  This makes me worry a bit.  I missed the gym Monday morning, had the shakes for two days, ruined a tank top, and saw some questionable things that have forever desensitized me in Hollywood. 

    But F yeah it was fun.  A slogan, 'Save water, spray champagne' ?!  And a legitimate open air Sunday day club only open in the summer and only accessible to girls, promoters or dudes with absurd amounts of money?  Let me just say it is an experience.  And one I wouldn't want to have more than once a year.






    Sunday, October 6

    Another one bites the dust. Audition 1, Chelsea 0

    Actor life is getting a bit ...how shall I say it... it is getting to be a bit of a struggle.  


    I just left an audition at this beautiful theatre within walking distance to my apartment.  And when I pushed open the heavy mahogany doors I knew in my heart's heart that I would land this part. 

    Problem was, I wasn't quite sure which part I was reading for.  

    So I pull instead of push the door until someone helps me and clumsily stumble inside.  The casting assistant asks which role I'm reading for.  Well, funny story, I'm not really even quite sure - a friend who was working at the theatre just happen to extend an invitation to a casting and I thought well, no opportunity is a bad one unless you miss it! 

    hm.

    There were four other women (let me reiterate women.  because I keep booking 19-20) all dressed, head to toe, in Marilyn Monroe outfits.  


    So I reply, "I'm reading for Marilyn!"  I'm wearing black leggings, little booties, a white tank top and an oversized zebra sweater (stop judging me. it was cold out). 

    "Great have a seat".

    As I start reading over the Marilyn sides my nervousness subsides and I feel elated with confidence.  I AM Marilyn, I WILL get this part.  I'm perfect for it.  I rehearse how I'll say each word, how I'll command the stage, how I'll pile on the sex appeal.  Well, I rehearse this all in my head anyways.

    I can faintly hear the audition before me, and I hear a bunch of applause.  How many casting people are in there I wonder?  Oh well.  All the more people to impress.  

    And now it's my turn.  So I waltz in with my zebra grandma sweater and I take front and center stage on the most beautiful and regal stage I have ever stepped foot on.  There is even a balcony!

    I pucker my lips, sashay my hips and get ready to deliver my lines with conviction. 

    "Alright dear can you just do your song first then we'll get to the lines"

    "what? a song? was I supposed to prepare something?!"

    "no no.  anything will do.  just give your normal audition song.  You're a singer right?"

    "yes, I can sing"

    "whats your range"

    "um well. I sing low.  like baritone"  (i cringe immediately.  baritone is the guys range).

    "alright well just sing happy birthday for us"

    here it goes.  I walk up to the microphone and I caress it, and slide down singing my sexiest "Missstah pressssident" and when it's all through I wait for my applause. 

    someone shuffles their feet.  

    "hah. hah.  that was like a show tune version."  the casting directors exchange looks "alright well go ahead with your lines"


    And so I performed.  I paced back and forth, I delivered each line, didn't miss a beat.  But the Marilyn had faded.  The character was gone.  She died in the Happy Birthday song, and now it was just some too thin blonde shuffling her feet in the middle of this grand stage. 

    It ended.  There was still no applause.  

    So I gathered my things and breathed a sigh of release.  Lesson learned, now pack up your humility and hightail it home for a glass (or 3) of wine.  

    "Hey, can you do a french accent?"

    "of course!" 

    They like me! they like me!

    "Good.  go read the sides for Lila, we'll call you back in after a few minutes"

    Hooray! I knew my performance was good. I brought so much life to the character.  I just didnt get it because I'm too young!! 

    I take the new sides in my hand and read them (in my head) with my best French accent.  The only basis I have is Sebastian the crab from Little Mermaid, but I feel like I've still got a pretty good grip on this.  Instead of stripper I'll say streepah.  Instead of mister, meestah.   Piece of cake. I search "french for dummies" and look up a few more vowel tricks.  Down pact.  I knew I was always great at accents!  Hah! the way everyone will be so impressed when I nail this! And then I can put it on my resume!  No one will ever even know I was born here! I'll book every french role there is!

    "Alright we're ready for you"

    Back on stage.  Another pucker of the lips.

    And I deliver my lines. In a perfect French accent.  beautiful even. 

    but.. there's still no applause.  At this point I've hear applause from every other audition.  And there's likely been a dozen. 

    "well thank for trying"

    And with that.  I left.  And picked up another bottle of wine on my way home, in case 3 glasses wouldn't cut it.

    So what is the lesson learned?  

    Be prepared.  Know your strengths ...AND your weaknesses. Dress the part.  And when all else fails, keep a full wine bar stocked.

    "I don't mind making jokes.  But I don't want to look like one"- Marilyn Monroe

    Monday, September 9

    Back to School

    I don't necessarily miss college, but I do miss the act of going back to school.

    The return to school marks a new beginning.  A fresh start.  Almost like New Years, but even better.  Armed with new summer experiences and memories - you enter each school year a changed person.  Maybe those summer months matured you a bit, leaving you more confident and poised.

    New classes, new living situations, new professors.  It is all gloriously refreshing but a bit daunting. Alas, you set your goals, open up your notebooks to a fresh page and sharpen your no. 2 pencils to dive right into the unknown without hesitation.

    This September nothing is changing for me.  After going back to my parents house for two weeks, I have kind of lost momentum.  Instead of feeling rejuvenated, I feel a bit out of control of my destiny.  So this fall, I am fixin' to change that.

    I will refocus all of my energies on landing a hosting or acting gig that pays the bills. Stick to my diet and stop snacking.    Write the rest of my screenplay.   Network more.   Keep up with my blog.   I will let go of pessimism and clouded thoughts and wake up every single day feeling at peace with myself and the universe I inhabit.


    wish me luck.  

    Sunday, September 1

    Fallin' for Autumn in LA

    AS SEEN IN FGMAGAZINE UNDER THE COLUMN 'THE BUBBLY' (fall 2013):

      Sure the leaves don't change colors and float to the ground in Los Angeles, nor does the air fill with an undeniably clean crispness, but nonetheless fall is still my favorite season.  Can't take the Boston out of the girl I suppose.

      Luckily for Los Angelenos, we are a creative bunch with fantastic imaginations and our fashion and fall activities still reflect the spirit of the season. 

      Fall Fashion is delightful in LA, as you can actually dress simply for the trends, not just for protection from the cooling weather.  This season I am going to dust off my combat boots for another year, check all my favorite tights for holes and hang up my prized scarves.  For new additions, my eyes are peeled for the 2013 falls trends: houndstooth, emerald green, winter white, and perhaps a military inspired jacket.  I love layering, animal prints, soft furs (faux of course), leather pieces and stylish boots.  There is something so refreshing about packing up your flip flops and beach cover ups to make way for boyfriend shoes (I die for Dries Van Noten inspired!) and fierce over the knee heeled boots.  Oh and don't forget a gorgeous winter hat to compliment your houndstooth blazer!

      Albeit the weather can often still classify as 'beach temps', come September we will be migrating back into cozy lounges and clubs.  We will bid farewell for now to the pool parties and bbqs of summer and focus our energies on discovering new hidden gem restaurants and posh watering holes.  Cozy into a dark table at Bar Marmont or journey downtown to experience the views at WP24  or to order a prohibition inspired libation at Edison.  If you are more into bottle service, heart pounding bass, and live djs - well this is your season as well!  Check out who is performing at Sound, Create, Greystone and Emerson, and raise your champagne flutes to "I get a good feeling" without the trampling of tourists or the sweltering heat. 

      With tourist season behind us, we can start to do a bit of site seeing ourselves without being overrun by never ending traffic and lines.  Take a trip to the Getty Museum or even Disney.  Mark off your calendars for Oktoberfest at Alpine Village and Dia de los Muertes at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Around Halloween make sure to check out the Haunted Hayride at the Hollywood Bowl and, if you are brave, grace the streets of West Hollywood on Oct 13st for one heck of a costume party.

      Of course, it is always sad to see another summer slip away, but with just a slight change of perception, the coming of fall can feel like a blessing. Our calendars are no longer brimming over with bbqs, cookouts, weddings, beach outings, fourth of July festivities, and cramming in every single last drop of summer fun.  We now have room to do a weekend getaway to Palm Springs, Santa Barbara or Pebble Beach.  We can release the stress of maintaining our bikini body and relish in a home cooked pumpkin bread or the magic of layering scarves and jackets. And while we are grateful for the tourist revenue, we can retake the city that we love and truly enjoy it with other like minded locals. At least for now. :)  

    Cheers to embracing fall, and doing it gracefully.  I'll be enjoying espresso martinis in a leopard sweater dress until winter if anyone needs me. 

    Chels

    Tuesday, August 20

    The Magic Castle

    The Magic Castle maintains a regal hiding spot perched atop a hill overlooking Hollywood. And rightfully so.  This establishment is an exclusive members only experience.  It has been for decades.  And will be for decades to come.

    Unfazed by social media and the quickly evolving world outside the castle walls, the magicians who grace the dark and hazy halls are a special breed.  All with their vastly unique specialties, the members have this old world stoic respect for the art of magic and illusion. 

    There are artifacts around every corner, mysterious bars in each den.  You can have a full sit down dinner on the main floor, or cozy into an old mahogany bar stool for a whiskey and lighter fare on the upper level.   There are a handful of different stages - some as intimate to only hold a dozen guests, others with a stage and elevated seating for 200. The magicians only perform one or two weeks a year, to always keep the material fresh and draw dropping. I could spend hours trying to find the right descriptive words to describe a visit, but I think I'll just briefly recount my new favorite place in Los Angeles, through my eyes.

    Dress coats & ties are a must.  When you pay for valet you are given a secret code to say aloud at a bookcase, which opens you into the castle.  I could have left after this and felt satisfied with the experience. 

    The halls are draped with dark red curtains, the owner (who is in his 90s) will always be sipping down a drink and engaging a patron somewhere amongst the bars scattered on the two floors.  The first bar is for beginners.  The amateurs who are practicing their first sleight of hand.  These hopefuls are sporadically visited by one of the great veteran magicians to bestow a piece of invaluable knowledge.  We cozied up to the bar for a glass of wine before dropping in to see a dear friend Adam Trent's magic show.  The room held no more than 30 people, his act was was sidesplitting funny, and the magic awe-worthy. After the half hour show we were back out to enjoy some quick tricks by passerbys at the bar before catching the final 11:30 show at the biggest stage.  

    The first act was the magician that played the hand on the Adams Family.  He was eerily quiet and utterly mesmerizing to watch, his tricks classic sleight of hand with a level of superior sophistication.  The second act was akin to a comedy central standup where the comedian takes props from a giant chest. He was hilarious, pulling material from the audience.

    The Magic Castle is just that.  Magic.  A hidden gem that takes you back a half a century to a time where we would appreciate a trick or illusion without googling how it was done.  A time where we respected a stage with a single performer and a castle with a password. 








    Wednesday, August 14

    Staying On Track during ... COOKOUT SEASON!


    PUBLISHED FOR CAREPILOT.COM BLOG (AUGUST 2013)

    Greetings from day 10 at my family’s home in Plymouth, MA! While I love visiting my favorite little speck on the map more than anything, the trip really tests my willpower and inevitably expands my waistline in the most undesirable ways.
    Each morning, I wake up to chocolate chip pancakes, eggs benedict, bacon and cheese danishes I grew up begging for. Lunch and dinners are heavy meals of lasagnas, meatloaves and steaks, followed by an irresistible homemade dessert. I am sure you all can sympathize in one-way or another. It is August, and cookouts, family reunions and weddings are rampant.
    Here are some tips to stay sane and only gain a pound or two when you are up against visiting family, a wedding weekend, a long vacation, or just wrapped up in the enjoyment of cookout season.
    1. Wake up with good intentions. Start your morning routine with a cup of coffee or tea and assess your will power. Don’t focus on guilt trips from the feast you enjoyed the night before. But rather, reflect on the enjoyable, but heavy, meal and make a conscious effort to be mindful of what you will consume today.
    2. Fill up with a sustainable breakfast. Doing so will help keep you full and away from the cookies and sweets until lunchtime. It is okay to indulge a little, but try not to overdo it. One pancake and a slice of bacon is enough. Have a sliced banana with a little bit of peanut butter with your meal and you are bound to feel more satisfied and less likely to reach for a second cinnamon bun.
    3. Try to only indulge in the things you cannot get everyday. The grocery store cupcakes are always going to taste the same. And so is the pub cheese and the hot dogs. Choose to fill up on your great aunt’s famous apple crisp or your sister’s first attempt at a fancy potato salad.
    4. Really eyeball the food options before digging in. This is one of my favorite calorie saving rules! Don’t just choose the foods you normally deny yourself of because you think this is your one free day to be a glutton. Fill one plate with the dishes you think you will most enjoy. This rule is especially important with the desserts. You do not need a separate plate to try each dessert. Chose one or two that look undeniably delicious and pick a small piece to enjoy.
    5. The 50:50 Ratio. When making my plate, I like to give myself at least a 50:50 ratio of healthy to unhealthy foods. That means half my plate will be vegetable dishes, less fattening dips (such as hummus, guacamole, salsa or yogurt based dips), lean meats and salads.
    6. Be conscious of alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol can lower our inhibitions and leave us less will power to stay away from the buffalo chicken dip. Plus, a full day of drinking can quickly triple our daily calorie, carb and sugar intake! For mixed cocktails, I try to stick to wine coolers or sangrias made with soda water and fresh fruit. Rum punches and margaritas will spike your sugar and tack on a few hundred calories per serving. Wine, champagne, beers and unflavored liquor mixed with soda water or tonic is your safest bet if you are planning on having a few cocktails over the course of the party.
    7. Get some exercise! Play croquet or horseshoes with the family, get up on the dance floor at the wedding, go for a walk around the block, or hop in the pool with the kids! There are always plenty of chances to burn a few calories and step away from the buffet line.
    All of these suggestions are useful tactics for sticking to our diet goals, but they are just that: suggestions, NOT rules!
    The only rule I have is to live joyfully in the moment. If I am going to have another piece of my mom’s homemade lasagna that brings me back to my childhood, then I am going to savor every single delicious bite. Our social lives revolve around enjoying meals in good company. Dieting does not mean giving up this social life, it just means being conscious and fully aware of our eating habits and actions.
    Do not feel guilty for a day (or in my case 10 days!) of veering off track. We are in this together, and with a little extra motivation at the gym on Monday, we will be back on the road to fit and healthy in no time.
    Enjoy your time with family and friends!
    -Chelsea

    Friday, August 2

    Friday Rants

    I want to formally apologize for beings so obnoxiously preachy and optimistic lately.  All this recent booking success is getting to my head and clouding my cynical edge.   Long gone are the posts fueled by misery as a theatrical agent I suppose.

    Nonetheless, I know there's still a bit of wit somewhere in me, and I felt it creeping up on the set of Tosh.O yesterday.  Here's a guy whose cynicism is the groundworks of his fame!

    So here's my Friday Rant list.  Because why not spend Friday sulking about the idiocracy of the week instead of posting "TGIF bitches!!" posts all over twitter.. even though you know damn well that you are probably going to work through your weekend, get too drunk and make bad decisions, or waste it overeating on your couch.


    1. The over bearing hairdresser. Right, you think cutting my hair is the only way to make it grow longer because you'll be cutting off split ends.  Well genius if you cut off the split ends, the hair is just going to split even higher up, causing you to cut shorter and shorter.

    2. I get it, you're Jewish.  But I'm not.  And I don't know how to respond when you say Mazel tov.

    3. I'm so happy you uplodaded two photos per minute the entire week you were on vacation! You should have just stayed home and googled your destination, since all you did was experience it through your cell phone camera and uploading clever comments on instagram ...then waiting to see how many likes you get.

    4. Laser hair removal doesn't work.  I don't care what anybody else says.  I suffered through 6 painful sessions, and there is still hair.

    5. Granola and yogurt parfaits are not a healthy morning choice. They are a dessert.  But.. no.  A dessert.

    6. Oh I have the eating disorder? I munch on fruits, veggies, hummus, and lean meats all day and take multivitamins. You starve yourself then eat 3 pieces of pizza with soda. But I'm the one with the disorder because I prefer salad for dinner instead of starving myself and binge eating junk with you. Makes sense.

    7. When I walk into the plastic surgeons office to inquire about a nose job and the secretary assumes breast augmentation. Well, you bitch, I wasn't planning on getting my boobs done until now.

    8. Trail mix. Show me one person who can eat just one serving.

    9. Sticky lipgloss. Which manufacturer thought adding glue to lipgloss made sense. And why did everyone follow suit.

    10. That makeup artist who poked me in they eye with the mascara wand and I had to drive the half hour home with one contact on.  I hate you.

    11. The casting director who decided the wardrobe should be a bathing suit and heels. I hate you so much more.

    12. When the nail girl clips your cuticles until they bleed. Then acts pissy when you only tip 3 dollars.  Sorry, I wanted a light pink color, not red.

    13. Girls who drag their heels because they cant walk in them. Or the girls who stomp their feet like dinosaurs for the same reason.  Or the ones who manage to do both, against all odds.

    14. Crop tops.  Who decided these are in style?  Like really?  what asshole dude is the mastermind behind this? What happen to good old tunics and moo moos.  when can they come into style?


    Sunday, July 28

    Parents.

    There are so many times i wish I could shoot home to do my laundry, or ask advice while helping weed the garden, or raid my parents cabinets for the zebra cakes they still buy for me even though I have told them for the last 8 years I am watching my figure.

    I miss them so much.  And while technology helps us communicate daily, it's just not the same.  Sometimes you need a hug from your dad over a bud light and rummy, a shopping trip with your mom, or a good heart pounding run through the cranberry bogs with your dogs.

    It is a cruel reality that our parents are so much older than us, that they don't get to experience our entire lives right along with us.  Maybe I'll come to terms with the passing of the torch and the circle of life, but for now it just seems unfathomable.  I truly cannot imagine a single day without chatting on the phone with Papa, or calling my mom excited about a new audition.

    Blame it on only child syndrome (like I do everything else), but my parents and my mom's twin sister are more than just a mom, a dad and an aunt, they honestly are my very best friends.

    They will never stumble upon this blog, but it feels good knowing that my gratitude and love for them is out there in the universe.

    Never forget where you came from, but more importantly, don't forget those who helped you get to where you are. 

    Label GMOS!



    Before yesterday, I had always advocated for choosing organic if the option is available.  But as we all know, organic can be scarce in restaurants and our local grocers, and when it is available, organic is usually synonymous with expensive. 

    At the Awareness Film Festival in Santa Monica, I sat in on the documentary "Genetic Roulette."   The films purpose is to educate viewers on the dangers of ingesting chemically altered foods, and highlights all of the research that links GMO ingestion with the rise in children's food allergies, cancer, sickly and irritable livestock, infertility, and even the rise in autism.  With all research, nothing should be taken without a grain of (organic) salt.  The research does not prove that eating GMO foods causes any medical problems, but it does show that the two correlate.  The statistics with livestock fed GMO diets versus livestock eating non GMO feed is astounding.  And many health problems in children through adults have been cleared up from simply switching to non GMO diets. The funding for research against genetically modified foods and the publication advocating for their abolishment is scarce.  I could write another article on the corruption of Monsanto Company, but here is not the place nor the time.  Just know that there is quite a bit of money working to punish and suppress anyone who stands up against GMO foods.  

    Whether or not genetically modified foods cause cancers, infertility, and all of the other claims, I believe the lesson here is much simpler.  Know what you are putting into your body, and the bodies of your family.  I urge you to search for and pay the extra for organic, to read labels carefully, to push for labeling of GMO foods.  Reach for raw fruits, nuts and vegetables, unprocessed meats and fresh fish.  I promise to provide you with plentiful healthy recipes that taste delicious and use no processed or packaged ingredient that are so far from their derivatives they don't even bare a resemblance.  

    When your skin starts to glow, your hair shines, you are less irritable and you feel more energized, you'll thank me!  Until then, do a little research and spread the word.  Let's Label GMO! 

    Monday, July 22

    Happy.

    This might be the longest I've gone without posting.. but it is for good reason.

    I have been really busy!!! I booked the travel channel pilot! I've been working on a webseries called "Filmin' in Noho"! I filmed something for "Veria Healthy Living Network"! Worked as a model for "SWYT Culture Shoes" and got called back to work another day because I killed it!  Booked a medical detective role on "Angel City"!  working as a film scout for Ostrow and Company!  Blogging for $$ for a social media company! And the list, and the exclamation points, goes on!

    I feel blessed.  Stressed and blessed. I'm so hectic and feel a little out of control, but it's this amazing - the world is at your feet - out of control.  I'm trying so hard to actualize my dreams, and every day I feel a bit closer.

    I am overwhelmed with happiness.  A joy so refreshing and new.. that it feels almost foreign.  I know with certainty that I am on the right path, and even if I veer slightly off, at least it will be in the right direction.

    Cannot wait to find the time to share everything with you. To reflect on all the absurdities on set, my first time at the magic castle, new trx routines, auditioning nightmares, a recipe for kale chips.. just everything.

    This is the choppiest & least cohesive post I have ever written, but I feel obliged to spit something out while I am in my euphoria.

    So, I leave you with this:

      Find something or someone that makes you smile so big your cheeks hurt.  Laugh until you're worried you'll pee your pants.  Dream bigger than you think feasible.  Jog the extra mile.  Sing karaoke.  Hug everyone you love.  Find your purpose.  Feel the music.  Step out of your comfort zone.  And be true to you.

    Thanks for the clicks.  Every time I see my daily hits rise , I feel a bit more connected to you all, and a bit more in sync with humanity.  Love you. xoxo 

    Thursday, July 11

    Bliss

    Can you remember the last time you couldn't stop smiling?  The last time you were so blissfully happy that you had tears in your eyes and you felt completely at one with yourself and the world you inhabit?


    I couldn't either.  Until today.  


    I was leaving a shoot for a health and fitness show for cable, about to make the trek home.  While I was listening to Kenny Chesney and making mental checklists of things I needed to get done, I slipped out a smile.  Today was fun, the shoot went great, and who know? It could lead to even more.  

    Thankfully, I am not unaccustomed to this feeling of contentment, or pride, or accomplishment... or even happiness in general.  I feel truly blessed most mornings and I still have moments of bliss that take my breath away.  I relished in the grin before being snapped back to reality with an email notification. 

    The email was asking me for a background check following a callback I went on.  From the Travel Channel.  Sure it's just a pilot, and yes nothing is set in stone.. but I am so close to my dream life, I can taste it.   

    In this brief instance I was overcome with joy.  An uninhibited bliss I hadn't felt since my childhood. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time.  That the stars were aligned, that my destiny was in my hands.. and that, after getting lost and breaking down a time or two, I was finally on the right path. 

    This might not be my break, but it was the reminder I needed that my dreams are attainable.. and if I hang in there and stay positive, they will come to fruition. 

    I don't always love myself, but I'm trying to learn to.  And with each day that I work to find myself and discover who I am and who I want to become, I feel a little closer to actualizing my dreams.  

     Now that I know this feeling, I want to aspire to find it again, and again until it's a normal indulgence.  I'm going to double count my blessings, hope for the best, put myself out there and reach for the stars ...but hopefully feel completely content if I land somewhere close instead. 

    And I wish the same for all of you. too. :)




    Saturday, June 29

    EDC Las Vegas: what to expect!

    It has taken me a full week to digest EDC Las Vegas... And I'm still not fully sure that I've made sense of the whirlwind adventure.

    Here's a few of my lessons learned. Ill post more soon, but I feel compelled to share the best.. And craziest.. weekend of my life with you.

    1. The festival starts at 6pm. And goes until 6am. I know. Ludicrous. This is something you should seriously mull over. I didn't find out until I was driving up to
    Vegas. Panic ensues.

    2. Talking about driving. Don't. Buy a flight a few months ahead of time. Or better yet flirt your way into a private jet.

    3. I know. You waited too long and all the flights are foolishly expensive. You now have two options. You can drive on thurs or sat am. We left sat at 6am. You cannot leave la at any time on Friday and think you'll get there in any less than 6 hours.

    4. Getting from your hotel to the festival and back home again sucks ...if you're not fabulous. We ranked semi fabulous so we got to take the complimentary artist bus instead of the 80 Dollar wait for 4 hours peasant bus. The only real way to get there is via helicopter though. And anyone whose anyone is traveling via heli. Word is they have a little sponsored bar at the launch pad. Talk about luxury.

    5. A regular wristband gets you into the festival where you can walk to all 6 stages, watch all the parades, go on the rides, eat, drink, and rage your face off with the happiest people on earth (yes more so than kids at Disney). The VIP brings you to a separate elevated area at the back of main stage. There is a full service sit down restaurant and bar here. The artist, Guest wristbands or a marquee wristband admits you to marquees bottle service area and backstage of the other stages. And the coveted guest of Pasquale or Jason Strauss wrist band gets you to an even more exclusive bottle service area.

    6. Dress appropriately. It's hot and dusty and you're going to be dancing for 12 hours. Heels probably aren't your best bet. Closed toe sneaks, neon and crop tops is perfect. Tu tus and furry boots with pasties isn't quite me... But be my guest if this is what you're after. You'll fit right in with the ravers pushing towards the stage.

    7. This is a drug culture. Watch your drink and don't be pressured into take Molly or ecstasy or whatever else everyone is consuming if you don't want to. Believe me, the show is mind altering enough without the enhancement of drugs.

    Embrace this experience. We're living history in the way our parents did at Woodstock. This is the modern hippie festival where everyone has the free love mantra. The stages, lights, headliners and production is out of this world, over the top, amazing. Your senses will be shocked; you'll be dazzled and wowed beyond your wildest fantasies. If you're lucky enough to get one of the passes to the bottle service tables... Well enjoy that too but don't be afraid to walk around and experience the festival for all that it is. You'll feel exhausted and lifeless after three long days, but honestly it is
    worth it. I promise.

    Peace. Love. Unity. 🌻





    Friday, June 28

    the Summer of Hashtags!

    Tis the summer of #HASHTAGS and all things trending!  As July fast approaches and summer swings into full effect I wanted to take a few moments to summarize what is HOT and SIZZLING this summer in Los Angeles!

    For fashion, we're going to see a lot of floral prints, denim accents, knuckle rings, and crop tops.  Maxi dresses are still here for another season, but fedoras have just about made their way out.  For bathing suits, I'm still digging a high waisted bottom, but my own wardrobe is full of cheekys!

    Summer nightlife in LA tends to migrate from the dark hollywood clubs to more airy places.  You can find me posted up at Larchmont Bungalow in Santa Moinca, Aventine in Hollywood, Nineteen12 at the Beverly Hills Hotel or the good ol' Abbey in West Hollywood.

    However, it's the summer days that I most look forward to. I adore the rooftop pools of the SLS Hotel, Roosevelt and the London, a brunch at Geoffreys or Gladstones in Malibu, or some day drinking at The Parlour on Melrose. If you're feeling really adventurous, get your name on the list for XVI at Colony for a Sunday day rave that will leave you with more than a case of the Mondays.

    The majority of my July and August will be spent at these fine establishments sipping down sangrias and mojitos in a crop top and high waisted cut off shorts.  Despite that the weather is fabulous year-long, summer gives us an excuse to embrace the sun and celebrate lazy long days with the rest of the country.  So log off of instagram, let down your hair and meet me for a fruity cocktail and good company! #HappySummer!


    Wednesday, June 26

    A restaurant Review: Duplex

    Atmosphere is perfect.  The porch overlooking third street is romantic with rustic wooden benches and marble top tables.  

    The inside is a bit more trendy and posh, while the upstairs level feels more sophisticated and classy. To hold a high power business meeting you can't beat the bar upstairs, to grab drinks with friends the downstairs bar is great, and for a romantic date night chose the outdoor patio or a back corner of the downstairs dining area. 

    They have an expansive wine menu and drink list.  The food menu is comprised of a bunch of small sharing plates and some main entrees.  

    We opted for a handful of appetizers.  The food wasn't necessarily spectacular, but it was enjoyable and worth trying for a second time. 

    Menu stand outs:
    Crab cakes - mostly crab with little to no filler, just the way my waistline likes it! 
    Beets
    truffle fries
    caramelized brussel sprouts

    Everything else we sampled was tasty aside from the tuna tar tar which lacked flavor and substance. 


    www.duplexonthird.com 





    Blogger Life. 2 years in.



    My blog went from getting a few dozen hits a day (probably mostly by accident) to averaging 1500/day.  Which, to me, is no small feat.  I've poured my heart and soul into some of these posts... revealing secrets and fears, elaborating my faults and shortcomings.  And sure, the majority of my posts are snarky and rude.. poking fun at this or that.  But it's all in good nature.  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm the furthest from malicious; my blog simply provides me with a venue to stretch out my comedic wit.  I sincerely apologize if I have ever offended anyone with my posts, please know that it was never my intention.

    The blog was born on a downtrodden day shortly after I had grudgingly moved back to Boston.  I felt stuck and depressed... like I had been condemned to a life I didn't chose.  Dramatic as it seems, writing out my feelings and publishing them for anyone in the world to see felt comforting.  Like maybe someone somewhere will stumble upon my measly blog and feel something.  Maybe they'll even be able to rescue me from myself, or at least point me in a new, refreshing direction.

    With time the blog developed, as did I.   I opened myself to try cooking, baking, gardening, cycling, and a whole bunch of other things I had always placed on the back burner.  I studied fashion more closely, took detailed notes while traveling, narrowed down my bucket list, and made a mental promise to live fully in the moment so I could recount and reflect upon it later.  The blog changed me.  It helped me find my voice and admit that I want so desperately to be an actress. Something I hadn't even said aloud to my dearest friends.  As the positive feedback and followers grew, my confidence grew and now my goals to finish a book and pilot feel attainable.


      Someone once asked me why I write and I responded that it helps me make sense of life and reminds me to stay focused on my goals.  He responded, cute cookie cutter response.. but I think you're like me.  I think you write for an audience.

    And in a lot of ways, he's right.  If I wanted to simply make sense of my life or recount my travels I'd keep it in a diary under my bed.  What I crave is fame and praise.  I want to be a renowned travel writer, fashion blogger, foodie, satiric storyteller..  whatever it is.. I want to be well read.

    So, right around my blogs 2nd birthday, I'd like to thank you.  For reading.

    besos y amor,

    Chels

    Saturday, June 15

    Jogging through Beverly Hills

    I decided to lace up the ol running sneaks and hit the pavement surrounding the gorgeous BH home I've been staying at.

    Up Beverly Drive and towards Laurel Canyon I went, and since I was jogging at such an exaggeratedly slow pace.. I had plenty of time to really take in my surroundings.  And this is what I saw.


    1.  There are no white people living in the Beverly Hills Mansions!!

    2.  Okay, I'm sure there are.  But I didn't see a single home owner, or home occupant.  What I did see was 8-10 mexican workers per house.

    3. The less visible your house is from the street, the cooler you are.

    4. No mailbox is too big.  In fact, lets just put a dog house out front and write mail on it.

    5. Which brings me back to number 1. They need mailboxes this large because they're never home!!  These 10 million dollar homes go UNUSED. Probably because the owner has a few other million dollar homes in even better locations!  I know.  un. fair.  I couldn't even afford to rent out their oversized mailbox, let alone imagine having multiple estates.

    6. The richest people in Beverly Hills are Persian Jews.  Next tier, all other Jews.  And last tier, Christian women who married Jews then divorced them.

    7. Since we can't see how opulent the best houses are from the street view ....the worth of your house is determined by: how nice the Mexican work cars are, how fortifying your gate appears, and the number of exotic plants that can only grow naturally in plush rain forests you have out front.

    8. Why have one porsche, when you can have five!  Really though, I think there's an induction into the neighborhood where you have to agree to own at least one classic car valued at 100,000+, one Rolls Royce, one Porsche, one Range Rover (for your 16 year old little girl, duh), and one convertible of your choosing. Bugattis don't even get you bonus points amongst this company.



    You know you're BH royalty when... 

    1. your family owns a sports club, but you've never been -- you have an exact replica in your home.

    2. you've lost your family cat before in your house -- and never found it.

    3. You can't remember your address, because, well, you have too many homes to think of.

    4. Plus why would you need to remember it.. you have a driver.

    5. Your parents gave out ipads at your bar (or bat) mitzvah

    6. The only place you go to in the flats is Urth Caffe and shopping on the right side of Melrose. And you spend 3-4 hours there each day.  This is your job.

    7.  You have 6 small dogs.  They all have costumes.

    8. You'd miss your friends funeral before you cancelled your hair appt.  Hello, he flies from Paris just for the appointment.

    9. Youre sure your house has a laundry room, but there's never been any reason for you to stumble upon it.

    10. You started treating premature wrinkles at 17.


    Monday, June 10

    Buccatini Matriciana: At Madeo or Homemade


    BUCCATINI MATRICIANA tops my favorites list for Italian delicacies.  And in my personal opinion, there are only two people that have perfected this scrumptious dish. 
    1. The head chef at Madeo
    2. My boyfriend Matt Breliant 

    For dining out, MADEO in West Hollywood is absolute perfection.  You can never go wrong with their pastas, carpaccios, fresh dover sole.. but if you're looking for a melt in your mouth pasta that will send your taste buds into elation - then you are going to have to go off-menu. Just ask for the Buccatini Matriciana and make sure you do that cute shake of your hand with your fingers pierced together and they are sure to take care of you.  (sidenote: A great menu choice is the salmon and bowtie pasta in vodka cream sauce).



    If you're looking to wow guests who aren't vegan, gluten free, or counting carbs (so if you're looking to entertain a dinner party NOT in Los Angeles), this is the ultimate crowd pleaser. 


    WHAT YOU'LL NEED
    1.  Bucatini - a thicker spaghetti perfect for a flavorful thick sauce. Find them at high end supermarkets or specialty shops. Just a box will do.

    2. Pomi tomato sauce (or any tomato paste, but I like one with some added sugar)

    3. Red cooking wine

    4. Heavy Cream

    5. chopped and cooked Pancetta (can sub prosciutto, but pancetta gives the pasta a nice bacon flavor & crunch)

    6. Olive Oil

    7. Onions

    9. Garlic Cloves

    10. Fresh Herbs (I like oregano and parsley, but really whatever you have)

    11. Pecorino 

    12. Parmesan 

    Optional add ins:  Mushrooms, chopped red peppers, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salsa, brown sugar


    DIRECTIONS: 

    1. If the pancetta is uncooked, grill in skillet with olive oil, chopped garlic, and one chopped onion until meat is cooked and onions are browned 

    2. In a separate pot over medium heat a carton of the tomato paste, half cup of cream, splash of red wine (up to 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup pecorino, 1/4 cup parmesan, herbs, 1/4 cup olive oil

    3. Slowly stir in the cooked pancetta and onions 

    4. In a separate pot cook pasta until firm (a tad more firm then you normally like it, as it will continue to cook in the sauce)

    5. Drain water from pasta and pour half of the sauce mixture into pasta pot. Stir well.

    6. Serve a generous portion of pasta on a plate and top with a spoonful of both cheeses (mixed).  Put the rest of the cheese on the table for guests to help themselves to more.  

    7. Great Sides:  Last time we made this dish we served it with fresh baked baguettes, a fresh lemon and herb dressing salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and avocados over spring greens and corn on the cob. For appetizers: a truffle dip with crackers and mozzarella, tomato and prosciutto.  Dessert was bright macaroons and fresh fruit! 






    BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

    This pasta is AMAZING the next day.  My favorite is to pan fry left overs in a skillet and serve with the extra sauce you saved from the night before. 

    In my perfect world I would crack two fried eggs over this pasta and serve with french bread for a delightful breakfast feast.
    The Next Day - Frying pan delight! 

    Tuesday, June 4

    Unique First Date Ideas in Los Angeles

    It's Spring, and thus love (or rather lust) is in the air!  For any hopeless sap who fails time and again with first date nights, you're in luck for stumbling across my blog.  You won't be torturing your hopeful date at Supperclub or Rock n Reilys this spring.  Nor will you be stuck droning on and on about your botched childhood over a drawn out dinner.

    Not with these entertaining & action packed date night picks. If you fail to secure a second date after wooing and dazzling at any of my date night choices... maybe you should scroll back a few posts to 'dating tips in LA'




    For the big drinker: The Vodka Box at Nics Martini Lounge. You get to put on fur jackets and hats and take shot after shot of vodka in a freezer.  Talk about an ice breaker. har har.

    For the artist: Paint Lab: Wine and paintbrushes? And a keepsake to take home?  swoon.

    For the joker: Laugh Factory. Save the improv shows for the 4th or 5th date and take her somewhere guaranteed to have at least one headliner who can crack a smile.

    For the animal lover: Horseback riding at Griffith Park. Guided stress free horseride up to the Hollywood sign.

    For the cooker: Gyu kaku. Grill your own meats, fish, veggies and smores!

    For the experience dazzler: David Dinkin's Evening of Enchantment.  Because lets face it, Magic Castle is impossible to get into. Wine, apps and magic will keep conversation and giggles going.

     For the foodie dazzler:  The Bazaar.  This meal will cost you, but the presentation and atmosphere is worth it.

    For the romantic: Movie in the Cemetery.  Cheap and adorable. Plus it offers a venue where you can initiate convo, or you can just relax and enjoy the movie.

    For the adventurer: Ifly at Universal Studios. It's skydiving.  For normal people who don't want to jump out of a perfectly good working plane.






    Sunday, June 2

    Best Rooftop Pools in Los Angeles



    Ah, summertime in LA is finally here.  Time to agonize over which bathing suit makes my love handles less prominent, sip down frozen beverage after frozen beverage and post filtered pictures that make me look tanner.

    Los Angeles is great in the summertime.  You're a quick ride to the beach, but for the lazy and more sceney bunch of us, we're an even quicker ride to a fabulous rooftop pool party.  Tis the season of cookouts, mansion pools and swanky hotel parties overrun by hollywood's socialite packrats.

    Here's my top favorite pool parties in Los Angeles, and why.

    1. Roosevelt. Yes, it tends to attract a little trashier crowd these days, but the charms there nonetheless.  This iconic hotel boasts a perfect pool and fabulous libations.

    2. SLS hotel. Dog friendly.  Actually iguana friendly too, I saw someone bring their lizard last time I visited.  Great views, great company, great drinks.

    3. The London. I have yet to grace the London pool, but I've heard nothing but fabulous things.

    4. The Thompson. For a more sophisticated crowd who doesn't want to lay out and relax to the sounds of house music this is your spot.

    5. Mondrian Pool. Can't beat the atmosphere.  I adore this pool and the people who chose to lay by it and sip their perfect bloody marys.

    6. The W Hollywood. A bit more touristy and a smidge more 'edgy' than Roosevelt, to put it nicely.  But great spot regardless.

    7. Mr Cs. Recently renovated, they have a Sunday day party, supposedly with brunch.  No views, not a lot of room, but perfect for d list young celeb watching.  

    Visit any of these pools on a Saturday or Sunday and you'll most likely have to name drop or buy a table to get in.  Another viable option is to snag a room key card.  

    Dress code.  This isn't your backyard shindig.  Get out your heels, throw on some makeup, put on your designer watch and suck in.  This is a full judgement arena where everyone is under each other's scrutinization. 

    Los Angeles Hiking: The Santa Anita Canyon Loop (Arcadia)

    What a perfect hiking spot!

    The drive to Arcadia took an hour and change but the last leg up the winding mountaintop was absolutely breathtaking. The rolling hills and deep ravines reminded me of a forested Grand Canyon.


    PARKING.
    There is absolutely no adequate parking. Ever. But drive to the convenience store and purchase your 5 dollar parking pass then pray for someone to leave. Worst comes to worst begin driving back down and park along the winding road. Don't be overwhelmed by the number of parked cars, the trail is wide enough to accommodate all of these hikers!


    THE TRAIL.
    The trail begins on pavement for nearly the first mile.  You will see a marker to go right towards a dirt path.  Don't be tricked, keep on the pavement towards 'Sturtevant Falls'. This is the 50 foot waterfall you came to see - and the hike will only rack you up 3 miles and change, but there are plenty of add on trails that can bring you closer to a 10 mile hike. The trail will switch off pavement after the initial descent and you'll follow the streaming river to the beautiful waterfall and pool.

    The trek down is fairly easy, but don't forget you have to come back up at some point.  The add on hikes can be much more steep if you need the extra challenge.  While there are plenty of additional trails located near the waterfall, a nice option is to hike back up the paved trail and decide at the top if you would like to add on the dirt path I mentioned earlier.  This trail will bring you down to a small pool perfect for taking a dip or enjoying a picnic and adds on another 2 miles.

    DOG FRIENDLY.  They should be on the leash, but I left the Golden off-leash and no one seemed to mind (aside from when he shook himself dry next to a picnic-ing family)

    CAMPING.  There are cabins doting the trail, which can be rented out for camping.  Seems a little to Blair Witch Project for me, but might be nice for a big group to rent a few adjacent campsites.


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