Check out Indulge LA Chocolate & Pastry Show!

Indulge LA

It’s no secret that I love chocolate. It’s a daily struggle to not eat at-least a pound of it, or have it in some form, like hot cocoa, ice cream, or my newest trick: in my protein shake so it can maybe seem a bit more healthy ;)

This is why I am so excited to be covering The Indulge LA Chocolate & Pastry Show, coming once again to Los Angeles December 27th. What better way to enjoy the post-Christmas weekend than indulging like mad with desserts created by such world renowned Chefs like The Food Network’s Annette Starbuck, & Beverly Hills darling, Kriss Harvey?! The list goes on, check out who else HERE. 

And, check out some more of the highlights to enjoy:

  • An all-inclusive Chocolate Festival and Pastry Show featuring sweet and savory culinary creations from best chocolate and pastry chefs. Unlimited champagne, wines, beers and spirits are served (Reason enough to say YES).
  • Event is open to all ages.
  • Event is on December 27, 2015 beginning at 1:00 PM for VIP and 2:00 PM for GA.
  • Fund raising event with part of proceeds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
  • Entertainment with a DJ!


Indulge LA will be coming to The Olympic Collection on December 27th. Get your tickets fast as they will sell out, so click HERE & I will see you there! xo

(*Disclosure: I will be covering this event on behalf of the blog. All opinions are my own.)

NBC TVEverywhere: Watch TV Without the TV!

Something that I love about managing my Social Media Managing business from home, is, that, I have no co-workers around me telling me to keep it down while I work. I absolutely love to have a show going while I am getting work done for clients, or, drafting my posts. Luckily, with 2 monitors for our desktop, I can easily have all the brand spankin’ new episodes of my favorite NBC shows easily accessible to watch & listen to while I work.

My current favorite? The Voice!

The Voice has returned with easily its strongest vocalists from across the country invited to compete in the blockbuster vocal competition show’s ninth season. Internationally acclaimed artist Gwen Stefani returns to join megastars Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as celebrity musician coaches, while Carson Daly continues to serve as host.

The show’s innovative format features five stages of competition: the first begins with the Blind Auditions, then the Battle Rounds, the Knockouts, the Live Playoff’s and finally, the Live Performance Shows.

The Voice

My favorite part of the show is easily Blind Auditions, the decisions from the musician coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don’t get to see them — thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. At this point, the coach’s chair will swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected. If more than one coach pushes his/her button, the power then shifts to the artists to choose which coach they want to work with. If no coach pushes his/her button, the artist is eliminated from the competition.

Once the teams are set, the battle is on! Coaches will dedicate themselves to developing their team of artists, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success, along with help from their celebrity advisers. During the Battle Rounds, the coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. More exciting drama follows, which leads up to the climax: the end of the battle.

At the end of the battles, only the strongest members of each coach’s roster remain and proceed to the Knockout Rounds. Here, the artists will be paired against a teammate once more, but this time they will select their own songs to perform individually, while their direct competitor watches and waits. But, the coaches alone will choose the winner and the artist not selected will be available to be stolen by another coach. Each coach has one steal available during the Knockout Rounds.

In the final live performance phase of the competition, the top 12 artists will compete each week against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience will vote to save their favorite artists. Then, America will have the opportunity to save their favorite performer by tweeting out #VoiceSave along with the artist’s name. The two singers with the lowest number of votes will be sent home each week. In the end, one will be named “The Voice” and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.

Chicago PD

To think, I actually was not a fan of The Voice til I discovered I could binge watch this awesome show full of music & talent, for FREE, on-line.

NBC is in full swing this Fall with new seasons of all our favorites, like The Blacklist, Chicago PD and, rejoice Heroes fan, as the classic series is back! So, follow my suit, won’t you? & start enjoying watching TV, without the TV! ;)


Exciting Presale for LA Weekly’s The Essentials Event!


Another event from L.A. Weekly is coming in early 2016! LA Weekly is excited to present The Essentials at the California Market Center in Downtown LA. Join them Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. for LA Weekly’s signature food and wine extravaganza.

Curated by their award-winning food writers, the event showcases signature bites from restaurants featured in our 99 Essentials restaurant issue that hits stands the same week.

Along with great food, guests will enjoy wine from top-shelf wineries, cocktail samples from our liquor partners, as well as non-alcoholic sips and shopping in our vendor village. Guests can expect more of LA’s hottest chefs, wineries and homegrown Los Angeles vendors, all in the newly expanded California Market Center Penthouse. Take in 360° views of stunning DTLA as you enjoy samples of the best food and drink Los Angeles  has to offer.

Confirmed restaurants include:

Animal, a.o.c, Baroo, Bestia, Beverly Soon Tofu, Broken Spanish, Cassia, Chengdu Taste, Chichen Itza, Coni’Seafood, Crossroads, Guelaguetza, Guerrilla Tacos, ink, Jitlada Southern Thai, Jon & Vinny’s, Kiriko Sushi, Kogi BBQ, La Casita Mexicana, Le Comptoir, Lucques, Luv2eat Thai Bistro, Mariscos Jalisco, Mélisse, Night + Market, Park’s BBQ, Philippe the Original, Pot, Providence, Racion, RedBird, Republique, RiceBar, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, Sotto, Spago, Sqirl, Szechuan Impression, Terrine, The Hungry Cat and Wexler’s Deli with more to come!

Tickets are now available via their presale  and on sale to the general public on Monday, November 23rd at 10 a.m. Grab yours NOW HERE & use my special just-for-you code: THE99MARY to unlock ticket types. This event will sell out, so purchase now & I’ll see you there! xo

(*Disclosure: I work on occasion with LA Weekly, & will be covering this event.)


101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up Giveaway Ends 11-24!

Love the drawings when you open the book up.

Love the drawings when you open the book up.

While many of my passions have developed over the years for me, something that has ALWAYS been in my life is my love for movies & film. We had countless videos in my house growing up. My Grandma was the Queen of the Columbia House Club (anyone remember that?!) & I was exposed to such a wonderful array of spectacles, classics & even westerns, as a wee one.

While Mike & I cannot wait to pass on the movie love to a little one someday, something we didn’t have growing up was a book like Suzette Valle’s new 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up. Each movie Valle highlights has a section for a child to check off if they have seen it, rate it & leave notes. How wonderful would it be if we all had a diary like this to look back on to that first time we watched The Wizard of Oz? Or Back to the Future? Or, how could we forget, Star Wars?!

101 Movies

Many of the most beloved films are mentioned in this book, which is out now & just in time for the holidays. I was especially pleased to see that the original Parent Trap is included, as well as Miracle on 34th Street.

Like with any ‘Best Of’ list, there will be omissions, & while there are indeed many movies Mike & I felt were overlooked (Pollyanna, The Empire Strikes Back) & some I felt could have been omitted (The Pirates of the Caribbean, Holes), this is am awesome, tight list of 101 movies to see before you grow up….or, if you are like me, you haven’t grown up ;)


With the holidays coming, this is the perfect chance to begin the never-ending journey of introducing your kiddos to some great films. And, because I love you & any opportunity to reward my readers, Suzette has gladly arranged for a copy to be given away to one of my readers! Simply use the form below to enter by November 24th, & don’t forget to check out my Sweepstakes tab! :)

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.)


What to See in Southern Oregon!

In this ongoing series sharing with you all that I possibly can on my recent trip to Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon with The International Food, Writers & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), I am today sharing with you some recommendations surrounding Medford, Oregon & nearby Central Point. Read on & I hope you enjoy! xo

STAY/EAT (& coffee, too)

While some may feel The Inn at the Commons is a great local, simple hotel in Medford, do NOT let it fool you as some of my favorite meals were at this very location. While guests can enjoy an ample buffet breakfast each morning (eggs, bacon, bagels, fruit, oatmeal, coffee, juice, tea, & it goes on), everyone visiting the gorgeous Rogue Valley can enjoy the treats to be had at Larks Restaurant. I had a phenomenal brunch at Larks, with my entrée being a Smoked Salmon Hash Scramble. Yes, that is as great as it sounds. Larks is open for lunch & dinner, as well as happy hours & that brunch I cannot stop talking about. (Wait til you try their French pressed coffee from Good Bean Coffee. Some of the best java I have experienced, & this is based on drinking for nearly 20 years!)

Lily Belle


Lilly Belle Chocolates

Lillie Belle Chocolates


In nearby Central Point, a small “mini mart” so to speak of treasures is to be seen out on North Front Street off Highway 99. Lets start off with the historic Rogue Valley Creamery Shop. Thriving since the 1930’s, this creamery also has their dairy farm nearby & boast some of the best blue cheeses you will find. Just looking at the countless awards placed throughout their store, it is easy to tell that you are in great hands at The Rogue Valley Creamery.

Next door you will find the chocolate store I now recommend as one of the best I have seen. And, you’re talking to a gal who has been to some amazing candy factories & shops from California to New York. Lillie Belle  Farms Artisan Chocolates was started as a fun little hobby, a whim, by Jeff Shepard. A guitarist at heart, who has toured with such legends as The Grateful Dead, asked his daughter, Lillie, & his wife, Belle, if he could name some homemade truffles after them & try his hand at selling them at the local framers market. Fast forward 10 years later, & you have one of the best chocolatiers in Oregon with his very own store front.  Producing such wild truffles as tequila infused & raspberry marzipan, this shop is both eclectic & making some fabulous creations. A stop for all!

The awesome-ness inside Lilly Belle.

The awesome-ness inside Lillie Belle.

Rogue Valley Creamery

Rogue Valley Creamery


Along with chocolate & cheese, you will also find a wonderful wine tasting room in the complex. Ledger David Cellars have been producing some of the best Chenin Blanc, Malvasia Bianca, Sangiovese & Tempranillo varietals in Southern Oregon since 2007, I absolutely loved the Sangiovese, which has a special “punch” to it thanks to the tannins. Notes of strawberries made this a great, bright red. All of the whites were outstanding, yet their Chardonnay, with a subtle oak, was just perfect to me. Notes of citrus, pineapple, I appreciated its mild sweetness.

Ledger David Cellars' Tasting Room

Ledger David Cellars’ Tasting Room

Have you been to Southern Oregon? What were your highlights? :)



Holiday Food & Wine Pairing at San Antonio Winery!


Remember awhile back when I introduced you to my new favorite place, San Antonio Winery? Well, this past weekend I was invited to return to this beautiful, one of a kind landmark in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. This time around, I was not mixing measuring cups & cylinders to create the very own, custom “Along Comes Mary” blend (It exists! Being opened this Christmas), but, I was having a remarkable 7 course (YES, 7 courses, including dessert) meal with each plate being paired with what San Antonio does best: wine. And, how perfect that this was a Holiday engagement to get us in the merry spirit.

With the same special concept of my “Make Your Own Wine” event, San Antonio’s Holiday Pairing Class pulled out all of their stops, with renaissance man & winery manager, Dominic Menton, leading this fun-filled luncheon while we enjoyed the final selections from what Menton & winery Chef Greg stated began with nearly SEVENTY different dishes in mind!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

From The African Blacked Eyed Pea Salad paired with the chameleon Italian Pinot Grigio from Fontana Gina, to such exotic dishes like The Chinese inspired roasted duck, with a plum sauce & Maddalena Merlot straight from Paso Robles, this 4 hour afternoon was as much exotic, as it was diverse.

Wanting to create plates that were not just the traditional turkey & cranberry sauce, Menton & Greg worked weeks in advance to get these bold, urban recipes just right with the wines we would be served. Whether you’re interested in trying something new this Thanksgiving like Italian Braised Short Rib Ravioli, or are hosting relatives who love Chinese Style Roasted Duck, one thing is for certain: Either of these dishes would require a great, & possibly completely opposite, kinds of wine.

A before & after of the African Black Eye Salad.

A before & after of the African Black Eye Salad.

I call Fontana Gina’s Pinot Grigio a “chameleon” as my palette took on a complete new taste after taking a bite of the African Black Eye Pea Salad. When it was first poured, it was definitely a light, floral, white wine. A little too sweet for my liking. Enter our 1st course, & after a sampling, which had onions & cucumber in with the peas, & this wine became one of the highlights of the day for me. Much more smooth, subtle, not the overwhelmingly peach notes that I got at first.

And, did you think one of these 7 dishes would not be turkey?! They not only included, but went all out with the house made mashed potatoes & cranberry sauce. Much like the fruity, gorgeous San Simeon Viognier (Paso Robles), this sauce brought to mind a great, full-bodied RED as a special ingredient was cayenne pepper. Thus, giving it a great pepper-y spice to the staple side dish.

San Antonio Winery Manager, Dominic Menton.

San Antonio Winery Manager, Dominic Menton.

When our next treat arrived, a “Lahmajoon” lamb pizza, some were a bit confused at being informed their first of the red wines to try was a Maddalena Zinfandel (Paso Robles). Zinfandel is, truly, a red wine, & due to the amount of tannins, is just behind Pinot Noir for its bold-ness, explained Dominic.

When it was time for some Short Rib Ravioli, our host got especially excited. Paired with this unique pasta was The San Simeon Petite Syrah. Pumping us all up for it, Menton compared it to mimicking a cough syrup for its ability to coat your throat. It lingers. It burns. It does everything to your palette an incredible, bold. red should do. I am quick to add, that, when the bottle went by my seat, I did not hesitate for another sip!

Like the rest of those who love San Antonio, we all have one thing in common: their Bodega Sangria is also perfection. And, it was a great send off for us before we moved into dessert. Paired with chicken tamales, rice & beans, this plate almost felt like a bit  of an homage to San Antonio’s incredible history & their heritage attached to Downtown Los Angeles. While I usually would not be pleased for mini-sized tamales, thank heavens they were, given how much we had enjoyed.

Its a jolly holiday season at San Antonio!

Its a jolly holiday season at San Antonio!

Dessert found us having a sweet teat with Filipino history. Have you ever heard of, or had, a banana lumpia? Basically a fried banana, these decadent bites were such a perfect send off, along with the newest flavor in the Stella Rosa line, Platinum, with notes of green apple, vanilla, and elderflower. Having never had a wine with such strong notes of green apples, it was absolutely divine, & such another wonderful, lavish day at San Antonio Winery! Check them out HERE & make sure to consider one of their exciting events! xo


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“Let’s Go” to Yalla in Burbank.


With quick dining options becoming more diverse, it is refreshing to see that many are ensuring to not only be fast, but also healthy. “Non GMO”, DF, GF, VG & the rest of those abbreviations that look like that of a personal ad, are actually taking over menus to alert its customers just what is inside their food. I, for one, am a happy camper when I see ‘GF’ as it should mean ‘Gluten Free”.

The newest restaurant to jump on the band wagon? Yalla. When an invite appeared for me to attend their grand opening of their first SoCal location in Burbank, I was intrigued. Yalla, simply put, is much like Chipotle or PizzaRev as you build your own Mediterranean dish. If you didn’t think you would ever become a fan of a Chipotle style dining with Mediterranean food, don’t worry, I didn’t, either!

Courtesy of Yalla facebook

Courtesy of Yalla Facebook

Dating Mike, who is half Syrian, he knows his Middle Eastern cooking, & scoffs at my love for conventional-in-a-tub-grab-n-go hummus & dolmas in a can (Yes, that exists). Luckily, I think Yalla is food we can both agree on.

With the traditional offerings like lamb kabob, yogurt dips & hummus, I was thrilled to discover they offer falafel that is gluten-free, Greek potato salad & power-boasting salads like The Beet & Kale, I opted for the Yalla plate; adding $2 to my order, I get to select 3 of their sides to go with my salmon skewer. Other options with no additional charge are pita wraps & salads. With my plate, I was interested to try out that potato salad; not one to usually like this dish, I was intrigued that it simply looked like roasted potatoes. In addition, their recipe also calls for red wine vinegar, scallions & some olive oil. I thought it was great & am convinced it was the red wine ;)

Courtesy of Yalla Facebook

Courtesy of Yalla Facebook

Already popular in the San Francisco Bay Area, Yalla (which means “Let’s Go” in Greek), just opened its Burbank location, & next up they will be in Culver City. Check them out HERE to learn more!

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Gluten Free at Disneyland’s Blue Bayou!


So, I recently had one of the best weeks of my life. Added bonus? It just so happened to be my Birthday week. Is that what made it so epic? Perhaps. But, wouldn’t you consider it a pretty awesome week if you got called down to Contestant’s Row on Price is Right, saw Madonna in concert, went to a fabulous play AND went to Disneyland, all in the same week?! Thought so ;)

It’s no secret that I love Disneyland & am a proud pass holder. There’s only been a slight bit of lag time here & there when I have actually NOT had a pass of some kind since moving down to LA in 2009. Any chance I get to try one of their restaurants, whether it be The Bengal Hut (one of my favorites) or Club 33 (yes, I’ve been there!), I am all over it. The newest dining experience to check off my Disneyland bucket list? The Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square!

Nestled in the heart of Tiana’s hometown, & home to The Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as your gateway to Adventure land & Critter Country, Blue Bayou opened its doors in March of 1967, on the same day The Pirates ride had its grand opening. The draw to dining at this new sit down, fancy dining restaurant? Play your cards right, & you could easily have a seat greeting Pirate ride goers as they make their way to The Caribbean!

Pork Chop Special

Pork Chop Special

With a southern flare (including their world-famous Jambalaya),  to their cuisine, I was so excited to try out some more gluten-free options at the Happiest Place on Earth. Much like my wonderful, magical experience at Ariel’s Grotto last month, you can rest easy, my friends, that  YES, Blue Bayou also brings you out gluten-free, warm rolls upon request ;)

Upon checking in, our lovely hostess confirmed Mike’s instructions he gave when placing the lunch reservation that there’s a Gluten Free diner in the party, & he added in I am also Pescatarian, & that its my birthday. When we were seated (a little before our time, even), all of these instructions were placed on our table for our server to clearly take note of. As someone with anxiety, especially regarding my diet, this was very nice to see first thing, & even more so, that our Waiter quickly confirmed his notes & we were good to go.

I decided on The Cajun Blackened Salmon, while Mike opted for the Halloween Special: pork chops.

Cajun Blackened Salmon

Cajun Blackened Salmon

While the atmosphere & staff could not have been nicer, I, unfortunately cannot speak too highly of my meal. My filet of fish was not in any way spicy (hello, Cajun??) & cooked to a medium pink, not blackened. While it tasted fine, I expected to think a bit more than “fine” for my Blue Bayou birthday dinner. My side portion of mashed potatoes were up to par, though, & tasted very fresh.

Another kind gesture, was my unexpected bowl of kiwi sorbet with a birthday candle for dessert! Never having had kiwi flavored anything, this was a very intriguing flavor of sorbet. Have you ever come across kiwi sorbet?!

If you decide to check out Blue Bayou, be warned that reservations are needed to enjoy. It is rare to get a table without prior notice, & book in advance to be on the safe side if you know the day you plan to dine!  xo

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The Tragic True Story Behind Kansas City Choir Boy


In acclaimed artist Todd Almond’s newest theatrical piece, Kansas City Choir Boy, all eyes are definitely on his leading lady, Courtney Love. Yet, dig a little deeper & you will discover that this hour-long rock story told in song, combines music usually found inside a rave on a Saturday night &  Greek mythology inspirations,  has a tragic, true story behind it which is that of an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

With not much to draw from visually, the theatregoers enter the venue at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City to see, simply, 2 chairs, a keyboard & some other mundane, small props within this very intimate theatre. The show begins & we see Almond, playing our Kansas City Boy. An old ‘Boob tube” TV blasts, & as our leading man works on his music, he is struck as he sees his old flame, Althea (Courtney Love), has been found dead in New York.

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Recollections flood his mind, as he begins having flashbacks of this mysterious, small city girl who felt her destiny was anywhere but Kansas City, & that the big lights of Manhattan were calling her name.

Prior to the start of this cryptic, compact & clever play, I was extremely interested that this piece is based on a true story.

Todd Almond was having thoughts of Sarah Fox, one of his talented classmates from his days at Julliard. While he was not much acquainted with Sarah, she was a dynamic force in the Theatre Arts Department, & had a promising theatrical career ahead of her. This was all cut much too short when in May of 2004, Sarah was found murdered a day after telling her room-mate she was off for one of her jogs. She would never be seen alive again.

They have yet to determine who murdered Sarah Fox, & it is over 10 years later.

This is extremely disturbing. I was interested to read more about female murder victims in The USA, & came across this article as well as several eye-opening others.

Almond & Love do a dazzling performance, with our Rock Icon demanding the stage while allowing plenty of space to let her co-stars shine. I hope Sarah’s family finds Kansas City Choir Boy as profound as I did.

(*Disclosure: I received media credentials to this performance. All opinions are my own.)

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Celebrate MACovember at STACKED & Chance to win $50 Gift Card!

Cajun Shrimp Mac 'n Cheese.

Cajun Shrimp Mac ‘n Cheese.

Have you heard of STACKED?! Here are my top 5 reasons I think you should head out to one ASAP:

1) Order WHAT you want, WHEN you want

At STACKED Restaurant, their slogan is “Food Well Built”. Makes perfect sense, as you can either order off their menu of favorites, OR, make your own cravings come to life as you use a handy-dandy iPad right at your table to order drinks, starters & all the rest whenever you’re ready. Looking a bit like a menu you might see on The Jetsons, you use the iPad to search through all of their offerings, toppings, original sauces & everything else, then add whatever you wish to your order & when you’re set, you just hit “Send”, much like an Amazon order.

Along with ordering on your terms, STACKED’s staff never makes you feel forgotten as they check in on you often…which, er, is a good thing if you have an emergency (see #2!).

2) Burgers, Pizza, Mac ‘n Cheese–all GLUTEN FREE friendly!

If food allergens are a concern, not a problem at STACKED. Each item has symbols accompanied next to them so you know what is gluten-free, as well as other common allergies. JUST make sure to check off those options, like when ordering their shrimp macaroni ‘n cheese; I was just so excited that they had a gluten-free pasta option for their macs, yet, you need to select you want that pasta ;) Thats what I meant when I said above its great the staff checks in often!

3) They remember your orders

With their iPad technology, simply join their rewards club & enter your info into the iPad, & your previous orders from past visits will appear (like magic or something!), making it extremely simple to go right back to your most zany, creative creations like that endless toppings pizza or that burger you went ahead & selected every sauce to go on it.

They kinda love bacon at STACKED.

They kinda love bacon at STACKED.

4) Did you say Happy Hour?

STACKED has one of my FAVORITE happy hours, & its Monday through Friday 3pm to 9pm, as well as a late night happy hour Sunday through Thursday 9pm to close. With appetizers starting at just $3, & select cocktails $5, you just cannot beat it….& psst, every cocktail at STACKED is amazing! ;)

5) Celebrate MACovember & win a $50 gift card!

During November, STACKED is having a great Macaroni ‘n Cheese challenge! Share on your  social media your very own STACKED Mac for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Simply create your dream STACKED mac, share on your social media outlets, & tag #STACKEDMac. I will select my favorite creation & STACKED will be providing one gift card to a lucky mac ‘n cheese Chef! ;) Make sure to let me know your handles we can find your pictures at, in my comments below!

Find which STACKED in SoCal is closest to you by clicking HERE & hope to see your MAC creations soon! xo

(*Disclosure: I work occasionally with STACKED. All opinions are my own.)

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My Bridesmaid Essentials! #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife

(This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias)


Its November, my friends! October was incredibly awesome & busy for me, despite I had the typical ailments that come along with the changing of the leaves & yelling “Trick or Treat!” at your neighbors’ door. Guys, I have already dealt with an abundance of colds, sneezing fits, SNIFFLES & feeling run down. Yet, that couldn’t stop me from easily one of the busiest months of the year for me, which included one of my dearest friends, Amanda’s, wedding!

Having never been in a wedding before, I had such a great journey learning just what it is you do when you’re given the honor of being a Bridesmaid (Can I add it to my resume? Because I think I did well, haha!). From going with the Bride-to-be to pick out her gorgeous wedding dress, my friends & me deciding on our dresses, the bridal shower where I got to organize the “What’s in Your Bag?” game, the party bus bachelorette party to…oh, yeah, the WEDDING! it was such a magical experience, & Amanda was such a sweet Bride to her maids, before the big day, she gave us each tote bags with our names on them with goodies like flip-flops & nail polish & I made quick work of every corner of that bag….

Purse Must Haves

I did not do my own hair, & am not one to do anything special, ever, to it. Since this was such a special day for all of us, I had a stylist give me a dreamy up ‘do with curls….here I am after she just finished, I felt beautiful.

Before Mary (Pre dress & make-up)

Before Mary (Pre dress & make-up)

While I did my own make-up, I brought basically my entire bathroom drawer…or, better yet, Walmart,  in that handy bag, & see those vitamin bottles below? Those are my good friends, Centrum VitaMints & Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables. If you’re thinking, isn’t Centrum for my Grandparents? Think again! Whenever I hear I am going to be stressed out & crazy busy, I always make sure to have their vitamins in my bag, & Centrum’s are my new favorite for an adult multivitamin with a refreshingly minty taste you can take/enjoy any time of day with or without food or water. No more horse pills! :)


And, who has not noticed Emergen-C Immune+ Chewables in the Pharmacy section at Walmart? These great little bursts of citrus offer healthy immune support day & night. Since I’m the Queen of forgetting to take vitamins, I always try to remember these chewables in my bag, whether I am off to work, or being in a wedding!

Decisions, decisions at Walmart!

Decisions, decisions at Walmart

Doing my own make-up turned out to be incredibly easy & came out pretty good. My biggest dilemma was ensuring my lips stayed hydrated throughout the day; from my early morning hair appointment, to getting my lipstick on. This is where Chapstick Total Hydration comes in. 100% Natural,Advanced nourishing formula with argan oil, avocado butter & rosehip oils, this Chapstick instantly smooths & moisturizes, & mind you, this is coming from someone who is very picky about her lip balms! (And, bonus points: the awesome coconut flavor).

Ready for my close-up, thanks to my bag necessities!

Ready for my close-up, thanks to my bag necessities!

With ensuring that these necessities & the rest of my Bridesmaid gear were on me, I had an absolute wonderful day, from morning til well into the evening, being apart of Amanda’s & her hubby, Marc’s, wedding. No sniffles, no sneezes & no dried out lips meant for no running mascara or chalky lip color!

What are you doing to ensure you keep your immune system strong so you can enjoy precious moments? Check out these products at Walmart & let me know what you think!


Rock Icon, Courtney Love, Returns in Kansas City Choir Boy

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

While it is unfortunate that some out there scoff when the term, “Rock Icon” is used in the same sentence with Courtney Love, I think that title is well deserved for easily one of the most controversial, hot mess, beautiful sirens from the Alternative 1990s scene.

And, I have been lucky enough to see her twice this year. This time around, on behalf of Along Comes Mary.

While many from that golden era of grunge, smeared lipstick & plaid has vanished, Courtney Love is one of the celebrity masters of reinvention. While she has definitely had more than her fair shares of downs with addiction, legal trouble & turmoil, Courtney is that rare star who somehow always manages to come back out on top, & her current go-round seems to be an image that is here to stay.

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Enter: Kansas City Choir Boy.

Fresh off the heels from a tour with self proclaimed “Gangster Nancy Sinatra”, Lana Del Rey, Love wasted no time to dive into her passion away from rock goddess: That of theatrical performer. While she’s a critically acclaimed screen actress with a Golden Globe nomination under her belt, LA audiences are in for a rare treat when they see her in Kansas City Choir Boy. A rock musical written by, as well as co-starring, writer/musician/theatre darling, Todd Almond.


A love song for the computer age and a product of the 24-hour news cycle that feeds on the stories of the anonymous “missing.” A contemporary music-theatre work about love altered by unexpected fate, the show tells the story of two lovers in small town America who separate when one goes in search of her destiny and then disappears. Borrowing themes from ancient myth, the show is also joined by a chorus of sirens, and a string quartet with Musical Direction by David Bloom.

Following a sold-out run in New York, Kansas City Choir Boy is playing at The Kirk Douglas Theatre (with The Center Theatre Group) through November 8th. Tickets are selling out, so get yours now HERE.

(*Disclosure: I am seeing this production on behalf of this blog. All opinions are my own.)

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