Bye, Bye Buggie

Monday, December 13, 2010

My dog Lady died. 

She loved attention, yet loved to be alone, loved to be loved, and loved to rule the house.  Bug was a brilliant girl; I knew the moment I met her 9 years ago.

I visited my parents when I was a freshman in college, and came home to this wonderful, medium sized, black, scary dog named “Lady.”  The nickname “Ladybug” was adopted rather quickly, and soon after was shortened further to just “Bug.” 

She was the cutest thing ever, but was so nervous around people because she had been treated badly in the past.  Bug was around 4 or 5 years old (we’re not exactly sure how old she was), and shuddered from being touched.  It was really sad, but we were patient and soon gained her trust.

Once Ladybug figured out her “inner circle," she opened up to us and gave us this emotional connection with a dog that almost seemed impossible. 

I will miss Ladybug terribly, but our family will always know that we saved her life, covered her with love, and yet, will always know that she gave us so much more. 

Bug changed our lives forever and didn’t cost a dime.  There are very special dogs out there trying to survive in a shelter or worse, and if you can, you should look into adopting an animal.

What Gift to Give the Most Difficult Person in Your Life

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We all have them.  They’re impossible to avoid.  They can be a family member, friend, co-worker....

They are the gift giving nightmare.

With an attempt to prevent any headaches, I want to share one possible gift idea that may calm your nerves.

One gift may not suffice.  If this person doesn’t like what you got them, then that’s it.  You’re done.  You tried. 

The best way to go about this gift is to put together as many mini gifts as possible.  Statistically, you will have a much greater chance at surviving this gift giving season.

We all see the pre-wrapped gift baskets at wine stores, bakeries, nail salons, and yet we forget sometimes that we too have the capability to wrap our handpicked gift items up all together in a beautiful way as well.

So this year, you may want to customize a gift basket.

Now you should think this one through.  What do they like? What are their hobbies? What is their fashion sense? What are their weekly and monthly needs (waxing, nails, haircuts, car wash)?

Once you have these written down, begin to prioritize.  Gift certificates? Favorite products?

Some recommendations:

Gift Basket Kit – World - $4.99

For Girlfriends, Wives, Sisters, etc....
NARS Nail polish collection - $16 each – Sephora (The colors in the collection are gorgeous!)

Bumble and Bumble Styling Cr̬me - $24 Р (Works for curly or straight hair!)

Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat – (It's pretty much a magical product)

Perfume Mini Gift Set – Chloe – Sephora $35 (My favorite scent!)

Your Mother Was Right (All the Great Advice You Tried to Forget) book - - $14

Voluspa Mini Tin Candle - - $6.50

Music lovers?

Blank CDs

ITunes gift card

Ipod Shuffle: $49

T-shirt – “Rock On” Tee - $25

The Quotable Musician book - - $17

The Unofficial Guide to Glee - - $15

Sports fans? 

.....Anything with their team logo

Jets Stocking: $20 -

Lakers Hat - $29.99 - NBA website store

Mix and match their hobbies, interests, wants and needs! You are bound to find at least one lucky item that satisfies their gift giving woes. 

No matter what, you’re sure to get some appreciation for your effort and creativity! Happy hunting!

Starving for Sex and the City?

Friday, December 3, 2010

If you, your friends or loved ones are similarly suffering from Sex and the City withdrawal, (temporarily) cry no more.

The Carrie Diaries is such a fantastic extension of the Sex and the City world we all know and love.  You can own it, read it as often as you'd like, and the hardcover copy makes a great addition to your nightstand.

I received this book from my sister for my birthday, and burrowed away for three nights to read of the Carrie Bradshaw world prior to NYC, Manolos, cosmopolitans, Mr. Big, and the girls.  

Time passed so quickly, that I did not even notice missing a night of True Blood (which is nearly impossible). 

I would suggest this as a gift to any SATC fan, and absolutely recommend this book for a plane ride. 

You will arrive at your destination before you can say, “Abso-f*cking-lutely.”

Getting a Spa Treatment in Los Angeles?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Visiting a spa in LA is definitely an experience you will never forget.  Not only do you feel the warm, Zen-like feeling when you enter each sanctuary, but the weather and palm trees really do help give you the full, 360 degree experience.

You will find that most of the products are organic; Angelenos are huge on everything being ‘natural’ (which is very ironic actually).

Since this is a popular gift and a New Yorker recently asked me about this, I decided to blog about it.  So for any visitors, residents, or friends looking to wrap themselves in relaxation or give an awesome present for the holidays, here are my personal recommendations.

My first spa visited: Spa 415 in Beverly Hills

A friend suggested this spa to me in December 2006, two months after I arrived in LA.  When I walked in for the first time, I was courted by the lovely owner, Liza.  She is warm, personable, down to earth, and unbelievably knowledgeable about the spa world. 

We actually got along so great, that each time I came in we would not only discuss new products, but she gave me wonderful advice on life.  I felt like Elle from Legally Blonde, who befriended her nail salon lady when she moved to Boston from LA. 

So from the start, clearly I was sold.

However, I kept going back because of the undeniably perfect service.  Each eyebrow wax was the best I’ve ever gotten, the massage made me relax for the entire month following, and the facial did wonders to my skin. 

Their services expand beyond the typical day spa too; they offer nutrition and health,  weightloss and more.

I absolutely recommend this spa to anyone who wants to clear your mind and take a mini vacation each time you walk through the door.

Second spa visited: Lulur Day Spa on Robertson

I tried Lulur this past spring when my very good friend gave me a gift certificate.

At first, I honestly could not find the location of Lulur.  I was walking up and down Robertson, confused and feeling so stupid, when I finally called the spa for directions. 

As it turns out, this spa is not directly on Robertson; it is tucked away in the most precious nook, in a tranquil and floral abyss.  I felt so far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, before I even stepped foot in the spa.

The serene setting continued as I walked through the doors of Lulur.  It is smaller and much simpler than Spa 415, but the facial was out of this world.  I was in a trance the entire time.

I pirouetted my way out, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and loving my glowing skin.

Spa Product: Kate Somerville in West Hollywood

I have yet to visit this spa, but I recently received her Intensive Exfoliating Treatment in a gift bag from an event.

It is awesome! My skin felt amazing and my complexion looked polish.  I felt like I had a facial (just minus the tranquility). 

The spa received mostly 5 stars from about 30 reviews on Yelp (my saving grace since I moved), so I will definitely be trying her services soon.

Budget-friendly spa experience: Raya Spa in West Hollywood

Raya Spa definitely promotes themselves quite well and absolutely secured a niche market of followers.  They offer an extensive amount of services for a much cheaper price when compared to most of the spas in LA.

I went twice, and have a mediocre feeling towards this spa.

I had an appointment and they still made me wait for over 45 minutes.  It is a spa factory.  There is nothing personable, warm or friendly, and I had to wait for my frustration to subside to enjoy the minimal calmness that the facial offered me.  They want you in and out. 

I definitely didn’t hate the facial, but the overall experience was lacking. If you’re not looking for the true spa experience and simply want a facial for under $70, then definitely try it.  However, if you’re like me and are looking to leave relaxed and revitalized, then you may want to look elsewhere.   

Spas that have been recommended to me that I have not had the opportunity to try:
Bliss in the Westwood W Hotel:
Le Spa at Sofitel: