Friday, November 28, 2014

Laura Byrna, Bird of Paradise. The Holiday Edition.

By Laura Medina

Country singer, Laura Bryna with her two loves, birds & Roberto Cavalli.

It's only lately that country singers, mostly women, who are finally getting acknowledgement...and outfits from trendy fashion designers but Laura Bryna beat them to the chase first.

Laura has three loves: singing, birds, and Roberto Cavalli.

What most people don't know is that Laura Bryna is his muse.

Laura doesn't just talk the talk on the red carpet. Nope, she wears his more contemporary ready-to-wear, everyday leather jackets and boots, just as she loves wearing his haute couture pieces on the carpet.  She's the real deal when it comes to wearing Roberto Cavalli.

That headlining photo, above, encapsulates it all.  Her Roberto Cavalli's "Bird of Paradise" eveningwear symbolizes and merges her loves into one piece, a feathered strapless gown with one of her "parrot" children.  Okay, it represents her wanting to become an exotic bird of paradise, because she also loves her parrots.

The theme of "Birds of Paradise" still runs through her other Roberto Cavalli gowns, such as this sequin number with feather plume trims.

Sure, one has to wear self-adhesive bra cups to secure one's breasts but the draping, the fit, and those feather plume trims, so heavenly.

It may not look like this in this article but both this scribe and Laura had a field day playing "dress up" in her fantasy closet.

She even accompanied Roberto Cavalli on the red carpet at The Met's Costume Gala.  Yes, the one chaired by Anna Wintour.

Laura Bryna, in her everyday Roberto Cavalli with one of her parrot "children."

Other than her love for Roberto Cavalli, is Laura's love for birds.  This is a photograph of her with her bird tree house in her bedroom, with one of her three parrot children.

This scribe notices that a majority of singers have an unusual liking for birds.  This scribe asked Laura "why?"

Laura grew up with birds, admiring their chirps and "singing."  Because of their love of singing and knowledge of notes, tones, and scales, it's natural that singers have an affinity for birds.

Of course, "pet parents" have rooms for their "pet children."  Laura Bryna is no different.

Every morning, she has a her "breakfast nook," a special "bird room" where she sits down, has her breakfast and "chat" with her "parrot children."

With a doubt, there's always a trouble-maker among a group of kids.  One of them is her cockatoo, Snuggles.  Plenty of personality, intelligence, and attitude, Snuggles followed his mom from bedroom to closet to his "bird room" to downstairs, in the kitchen then the foyer.  What a character!  She's writing about children's book on him, Snuggle Goes to Hollywood, literally.

This one of several "Holiday Specials" for this scribe's loyal readers,.. Laura Byrna, Bird of Paradise.

Past, Present, Future, Film Noir...Marisa Romanov

By Laura Medina

Rafael Zubizarreta as one of the lead characters, Leo the Crime Writer.

"Marisa Romanov," an upcoming Sci-Fi/Film Noir will satisfy your mature, stylized Sci-Fi cravings.

 Creator/Director/Showrunner, Miranda Spigener-Sapon

Sprung from the brain of creator/director/showrunner, Miranda Spigener-Sapon, this sophisticated Neo-Noir/Crime-Drama/Fantasy, jumps from the Film Noir of the Forties in Hollywood and Russia to present day.

It all starts when crime writer, Leo, sets it in motion.  When he started writing about his fictional character, super spy Marisa Romanov, he brings her to life then starts off a chain of events that occurs between the Forties to today.

Rafael Zubizarreta plays Leo.

Kate Orsini as the title character, Marisa Romanov.

Kate Orsini plays the title character, Russian spy and the object of Leo's obsession , Marisa Romanov.

Here, Kate wears a black, satin cocktail dress by Girl Talk Clothing by Amber Amanda,  The fashion brand's mission statement, "Fashion Forward Meets Vintage with a Modern Twist," befits the setting and the style of the series and the title character. 

If you're inner "Sci-Fi/Fantasy" fan girl and boy is dying to know more, go to



What a Way to Kick-Off the Xmas Season, A Clean Shave from Movember.

By Laura Medina

Finally, something for the guys!

Have you been a good boy, growing your mustache and beard for Men's Health, "Movember."?

Dying for a shave and pampering while standing in line on Turkey Day for those wide-screen anything?

Go to Westwood Village, located near UCLA’s campus, Barney’s Beanery, and more, on December First and will give you a clean shave, in their Airstream trailer...decked out like a retro-inspired, yet luxurious mobile barbershop.

Visit them between 10 a.m. to– 7 p.m. for a free shave.

Still, because they are going to be there celebrating the end of Movember and it is the holiday season, it would be kind of you to donate towards Movember Foundation.   All tips received will benefit the foundation, and MenEssentials will match every dollar, up to $5,000 in total.

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Princess Bride" Cary Elwes chats about Andre the Giant Breaking Wind & Breaking his toe in Andre's ATV.

By Laura Medina

What's better than Hollywood gossip?  Hollywood anecdotes about real behind-the-scenes on a movie set, say "The Princess Bride."

Cary Elwes chatted about the late, great Andre the Giant letting out this massive fart that shook the whole movie set in England,

Then, he talked about how Andre enticed Cary to ride Andre's ATV and how Cary broke his toe riding it, right before filming a sword scene,

A Thanksgiving treat from Hallmark Channel's "Home and Family" Show.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nancy O' Dell Wants & Approves & The Arriviste Appropriate, Urban Decay for both Blondes & Brunettes.

By Laura Medina

Three months ago, while Nancy O' Dell was promoting RUSK Haircare at an Ulta (Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O' Dell, from being a Charleston crime reporter to being a Rusk Haircare fan girl., she commented to her makeup artist that she wants this scribe's Urban Decay makeover.

Since we're both ambitious, whip-smart Charleston girls, we know good beauty products when we see them.  Second,  having a sharp blonde, like Nancy, saying she wants that same exact Urban Decay look on this olive-toned brunette is a good deal.

Now, this scribe will list the Urban Decay look that both blondes and brunettes can share...

First and foremost, the Ulta artist started on this scribe's dark brown eyes with the rosy-gold Naked 3 Eye Palette.  It's evenly split in half.  Soft, matte pinks, lilac, and mauve that subtly enhance that everyday look for running errands.  Then, the palette runs the gamut to the smoky red-violet with golden specks for that mysterious dusky evening look, rimmed as eyeliner for both blondes and brunettes or smudged over the lower lid for smoldering brunettes.  This eye palette is the "dusk to dawn" sunset look, what film professionals call "that magic hour."

There is a reason why Urban Decay's Naked Line is named "Naked."  It's all about subtly yet universal for all skin tones and all preferences.

Normally, a mauve-y blush would appear muddy a.k.a. "dirty" on a fair blonde, such as Nancy while a lilac pink would appear chalky on an olive-tanned woman, such as this scribe.

Here's a mauve blush palette that both blondes and brunettes can agree on, especially for blondes who yearn for that sultry mauve and brunettes who want that pinch of wholesome peach, here's Urban Decay's Naked Flush in Strip where bronze is a deep shimmer; the highlighter is a golden shimmer and the blush is a deep mauve, not a bold purple.

Despite being allured by mysterious noirish red Vamp or the come-hither bold red, most blondes tend to shy away from such statement lip colors unless they have the edgy confidence to pull them off.  Yet, they're bored to death with the same ole beige-pink.

All-natural Brunettes, on the other hand,  are disappointed flesh-toned pinks melted right into their olive-skinned background.

Urban Decay's fleshed-toned mauve, Beso Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss, meets right in the middle.  Fleshed-tone natural enough to give brunettes well-moisturized puckers in Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™, vitamin E, avocado oil, and shea butter to hydrate and condition lips. Rosehip seed oil provides an extra hit of vitamins, including vitamins A and C. 

Deep mauve-y enough to give blondes that hint of allure that doesn't overwhelm them.

If we can't share skin tones, we can, at least, share the same collage-supportive, protective foundation formula to improve our complexions.

For Nancy, Urban Decay's Naked Skin Illuminating Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 20 gives that illuminating glow for warmth, without the orange-y fake tan or the muddiness of too dark a foundation.

For duskier tones, they can handle the bronze-y Naked Skin Bronzing Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 20 to enhance existing olive complexions.

Other than necessary SPF of 20, anyone can benefit from watermelon-derived Pepha® for protecting skin cells against daily stress.  Plus, watermelon forties collagen.  Vitasource™ and dGlyage®: firm the appearance of skin, support elasticity, and fight wrinkles.  Light-diffusing Spheres provide a professionally retouched look..sans Photoshop.

What's good about Urban Decay, underneath the edgy, rebellious appearance, it's a vegan cosmetic line stock full of healthy skin ingredients.  It's Naked Line proves that being audacious doesn't necessarily mean being artificial or theaterical; nor does being "natural" means being boring and routine.

The Naked Line plays on chiaroscuro, a play on shadow and light, for the sharpen contoured, a "bold natural" works on anyone.  No more Seventies' "Disco Rogue."



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wen Men, Tomboy Chic for Movember

By Laura Medina

Honoring Movember, Men's Health Month (there's more to November than Thanksgiving),  this scribe will mention good stuff for men that are good enough for women to "borrow and steal."

Chaz Dean's Wen Men Amber Woods Hair and Body Cleansing Conditioner will transitions you out of Summer's girly floral scents into the warmer embrace of Fall's and Winter's Amber, Bamboo, Cardamom and Ginger Root fragrances to warm your soul; and they're in the same functional base of Chaz's signature 5-in-1 cleansing conditioner formula of: shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner.

This cleansing conditioner is great to use when it's too cold to take a bath and your skin and hair are dry; or you're being "green" about it, economically and ecologically wise a.k.a. cheap and green on saving water.

Many a wise woman has politely "borrowed" from dad, brother, and son over the decades when it comes to quality watches, blazers, shirts, and overcoats.  Why not a warm, sexy-scented cleansing conditioner to use from head to toe?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Parker Dusseau, Tailored Activewear, Real Activewear for Men. Movember for Men & The Women Like Them.

By Laura Medina

Women, alright, females have a much easier, more flexible, and a more lax permission to fashion, especially when it comes to wearing fashion-forward yoga/activewear to the office and get a way with it.

Men, with decent, hip, and desirable jobs, can't get away with wearing comfortable yogawear to the office.  What a conundrum.

In honor of Movember, Men's Health Month, this scribe wants to prove there's more to November than Turkey Day; that this scribe cares about men; and men need to burn that Turkey Day stuffing efficiently, without changing into two sets of clothes.  As in, giving men the same fashion freedom that women assume as normal, activewear for the office.

The designers behind Parker Dusseau pondered about this too, stylish activewear for how men actually live, an actual lifestyle fashion catering to the real demands and needs when an healthy fitness lifestyle intersects with frugality and ecology meets stylish suits for an stylish job at a stylish office. Simply put, you're a stylish man biking to work in a creative job who doesn't want to change out of his t-shirt and bike tights into his second set of office clothes.  It is this time-consuming dilemma, men, with decent jobs, have to put up with; or they wear their constrictive, unbreathable, office clothes biking to work, only arrive at the office sweaty and uncomfortable.  Better yet, they might rip their expensive suits while biking.

The designers experiences those moments first-hand and aimed to do something about it.  This is how Parker Dusseau came about.

They combined the functionality of tradition biking clothing, the vents to evaporate sweat and reflective trims on traditional suit tailoring in highly improved and tech-revamped fabrics.

Their Men's Commuter Dress Shirt appears decisively normal but remember, it is the details that can make or break anything.

Look closer at the Slim fit, luxurious Turkish stretch cotton blend.  First of all, it's Turkish cotton that stretches and bends with you; and that's a big deal.  What's even cooler, it's quick dry and breathable, so you'll be actually be fresh when you arrive at the office.

What makes Parker Dusseau special is that they incorporate regular biking details into their dress shirts, trousers, and blazer.

Their Commuter Dress Shirt has clever-tailored stretch mesh-lined shoulder vent for ease of movement and better sweat-evaporation.

For safety reason, with these bikers getting run-over and killed or maimed, the Parker Dusseau designers are kind enough to cleverly sew in reflective band then turn them into reflective trim so drivers can spot them.  How kind.

The coolest thing ever, yet, to happen for men...and the tomboys who want to "borrow & steal,"  it's a jacket disguised as a blazer, Commuter Blazer - Navy.

The perfect intersection of form and function, fashion and performance. An unstructured, fully seam bound jacket, we updated the silhouette, shrunk the lapel and added details like Italian snap hardware in functional sleeve plackets and welt pockets secured with performance locking pull tab zippers. 

This sensible scribe loves generous inside pockets and wish more womenwear designers would manufacture more but still has no problem with "borrowing from the boys."  She loves that the outside welt pockets are zippered like clever little purses for girls or really cool wallets for boys.

Since this is an outerwear clothing, the blazer collar has a reflective band sewn into it.

Commuter Chino, revamped and reworked. With our four way stretch Italian cotton / nylon blended fabric, slim fitting cut and technical features, these may be the most comfortable, stylish and useful pair of chinos you'll ever own. Details include a long lasting DWR (durable water repellent) finish, reflective welt rear pocket flaps, performance zippers and a gunmetal tack button. Pair it with the Commuter Blazer for that big client meeting or roll it solo with our Commuter Dress Shirt - whatever the case, this could be the only pair of chinos you'll ever need. 

Again, this scribe loves that they pipe the back rear pocket flaps with reflective trim on the butt where drivers can see you, especially in dawn's early light and dusk's early night. 

Golly gee, with all this "form meets function meets fashion," when will Parker Dusseau start designing for preppy tomboy women who also bike to work? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Local Table, where Downtown Refuels & Recharges after a long, hard day or after a long night of Clubbing.

By Laura Medina

You know that saying, whatever has been so low-down, that it has no way but to go up.  This is what people are saying about Los Angeles' long-morbid birthplace, Downtown Los Angeles.  As locals would say, "DTLA."

Angelenos realized their town is now a city is when they are forced to stop expanding and starting revamping, rebuilding, revitalizing, and recycling long-forgotten neighborhoods then re-do them for the new generation by the new generation, such as Downtown Los Angeles.

As ex-pat New Yorkers exclaimed, with popping eyeballs, the space...the space.  The "revitalizers" behind Downtown LA Renaissance are them, ex-pat New Yorkers gee-gawking over the square footage and the cheap rent that comes along with them and Downtown LA's urban nitty-grittiness that reminds them of home, back East.

Those ex-pat New Yorkers account for only one-third of the revitalizers.  The remaining two-thirds are native, local Angeles who are rediscovering their city's origin and fixing up the abundant space with super-hip night-clubs or the club-restaurant hybrids or art gallery-clubs or club-performance art space whatever.

Downtown LA is also a fertile field for fresh restaurants and top-notch cocktail bars where the celebrities are the cocktails and the slumming celebrities are just fans.  The majority are night owls.  Where should one go if you're up really, really late hitting the art gallery-concert-clubbing circuit or you're a decent DTLA professional yuppie who needs a decent, wholesome, clean-cut place to eat.

Dariush Fakheri knew that the revitalization of DTLA was ripe for the pickings, but he also spotted there is a gap among DTLA's night-time world, for a nourishing breakfast for party-ing night owls (such as this culture vulture scribe) and a straight-up clean, gourmet dinner place for early-to-bed professionals.

He came up with Local Table, in the heart of DTLA's Financial District.  The name, "Local," has two meanings.  First, it is for the locals of DTLA yet it's welcoming and open to anyone, say late-night clubbers starving for fulfilling breakfast that isn't a greasy spoon.  "Local" also stands for the locally-sourced fruit, vegetables, and meat that are grown and raised not too far away from DTLA.

The name "Table" represents the long communal tables and benches that the neighborhood locals quickly fill up.  Again, people from other neighborhoods are welcomed to join in.

Local Shakshukah Pan a.k.a. Baked Eggs in a Skillet Pan

Okay, this scribe will reinforce this...unlike Hollywood where there is nowhere to eat after a long night of clubbing,  DTLA's Local Table recognizes you need to refuel and recharge and detox after clubbing.  This is why they have hearty but healthy breakfast that soaks up the alcohol while it feeds you nutrients, such as this easy to gobble Local Shakshukah Pan.

For the hung-overed,  we shall stick to "Baked Eggs in a Skillet." Don't worry, the wait staff knows what you're eating about.

The Local Shakshukah Pan is a nourishing but easy- to- gobble dish consisting of easy-baked sunny-sided up eggs nestled in a sea of traditional tomato salsa with slices of baguette toasts for you to soak up the sauce of egg yolks and salsa.

Croque Forestier

The Local Shakshukah Pan was the easiest dish to start off your morning.  Let's gradually work our way up during breakfast, the vegan yet decadent Croque Forestier.

Dariush Fakheri always wanted Local Table to be for everyone and anyone.  He knew "healthy and organic" isn't restricted to the "sticks & twigs" stereotype of being organic.  He caters to the vegan and gluten-free.

One never expects "vegan" and "decadent" to be paired together, but they are in the Croque Forestier, the sassy vegan sibling to the traditional Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame.

Think of the Croque Forestier as a fancy grilled cheese sandwich meets Biscuit & Gravy.  Instead of ordinary white bread or biscuit, it's two thick slices of fluffy Brioche Bread hugging a gooey filling of roasted wild mushrooms sauteed in Gruyere Cheese then drizzled generously in Mornay Sauce, a béchamel white cream sauce of Parmesan Cheese and even more Gruyère Cheese.

An ornate yet gooey goodness that comforts your soul and tummy after a long night.  It's a warm hug of a breakfast sandwich, one where fork and knife are required.

Clean and healthy never means boring and plain...or dry.

Steak & Eggs

If you're a fan of a hearty breakfast, especially for hangover, this scribe wouldn't disappoint you.

Next up is the clean but no less fulfilling Steak & Eggs classic.  Yes, Local Table's version is very classy.  Classy enough to double as a light yet nourishing dinner for the Yuppy Worker Bee at night.

You'll get your money's worth in this moist, succulent Hanger Steak.  It's just like Filet Mignon; and it stays that way for dinner too.  Out of the four breakfast dishes, the Steak & Eggs is the most "dinner-like" with the heaping sides of mixed greens, roasted fingerling and sweet potatoes, and the three sunny-side up eggs.

It is the eggs that makes it "breakfast."  If you did what this scribe did (after vacuuming up the Local Shakshukah Pan), slurping up only the eggs, what you got is a really great dinner.

Local Burger

If you're really, really hangover and hungry and you really need that "greasy spoon" feeling to soak up all that previous night alcohol, folks at Local Table don't judge.  They understand.

They'll tell ya' to go ahead and order their newest addition, the juicy Local Burger for the ultimate hangover soak-up.

Because of the Gruyere and blue cheese encrusted, grilled grass-fed beef patty, smothered in Rosemary aioli, fresh peppery arugula, Applewood smoked bacon caramelized onions and smothered even more in their house-made sauce, the Local Burger is like having (this scribe's favorite) a My Father's Office burger for breakfast.  What's really cool, you can actually order the Local Burger for breakfast, fresh off the grill for a soul-satisfying, post-partying breakfast.

Maca Chocolate Shake

Alright, anyone who knows this scribe, they know this scribe has a sweet tooth.

Local  Table goes beyond breakfast and brunch...and lunch.  They can do dinner amazingly well, too.
Their pastries and candies go beyond the expected for a local joint focusing on being clean and healthy.  Their cases display an array of fanciful desserts of mousses, tarts, cheesecakes, Tiramisus, and adorable cakes in a jar.  Their desserts and pastries and candies are so impressive, that this scribe have to return there, just to review the sweets alone for another, separate article. Oh well, let's return to breakfast...

If your stomach isn't awake yet and can't handle a real meal but you really need to wake up, again...Local Table do not judge.

They have "liquid meals" a.k.a. smoothies to soothe your tummy and to fuel your day.  Actually, the locally sourced ingredients are so potent, their smoothies energize and fuel local fitness fanatics at the neighborhood Gold's Gym at the revamped Fig + 7th outdoor mall.

This scribe was quite taken by their Maca Chocolate Shake. 

Under their Superfood Smoothies, the Maca Chocolate packs a powerhouse of Maca, chia seed, cocoa powder, banana, cinnamon, almond milk, vanilla, and raw honey.

They say Maca Root powder increases libido while it clarifies skin complexion and equalizes the hormonal balance in women.  What more can a girl want?  A rich, thick chocolate smoothie that makes your skin radiant, evens out the hormones, and bumps up your libido.  This scribe nicknamed it, the "Sex and the City" Smoothie.  It's so effective, because of the Maca Root powder, that Local Table recommend taking it once a week.

The Hulk

For a drink that's even more women-friendly, try The Hulk.

Don't let the he-man name put you off.  This ultra-green concoction of cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, pear, lime, and ginger root fortifies skin & bone health and immunity while tackling nausea.

Sounds like a pre- and post-Legree Method Pilates refresher after burning off all these calories while toning your small muscles into a long and lean physique.

Bullet Butter Coffee

This scribe believes it is the tiniest of details, everyday, that can make or break the whole machine.

What most overlook is the coffee.  Local Table's Bullet Butter Coffee is what this scribe calls, the "Toffee Coffee" because of the coconut palm sugar (which is diabetic-friendly), coconut oil, and French Butter.

They said those ingredients make a world of difference.  Unlike the usual coffee, cream and sugar,  the coconut oil and French Butter carries the caffeine more efficiently, sustaining the energy longer in the blood stream, making it ideal for working out.  

For this scribe, the melting combo of coconut palm sugar, French Butter, and cream makes it "Toffee Coffee,"  an amplified dessert coffee.  This scribe is surprised that Starbucks haven't caught up on this.

Demonstrating that they're fair and reasonable and hospitable, Local Table also prides themselves in reusing all of their take out bags and offering customers a reward system for bringing their signature mason jars back to the restaurant to be refilled. 

The restaurant also offers free wi-fi throughout, encouraging guests to stay as long as they please, and delivers to customers in downtown by bicycle and foot.

Local Table is an unique gem, through-out the whole Los Angeles area, especially in Downtown LA.  In a neighborhood soon dominated by late-night mixologist cocktail bars (which this scribe doesn't mind at all) and upscale, hip, night-time only restaurants,  Local Table is a refuge during the first dawn of light. A wholesome cafe-restaurant that can morph morning, noon, and night into a elegant evening restaurant for dinner.

Closed Sunday...sorry...They're open Monday to Friday from 7:30am until 10pm for the financial worker bees then 9am to 9pm for the Downtown culture vultures and clubbers who need a clean, hearty place to recharge, refuel, and revitalize.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Toms for Target where Everybody Gets Fed, along side Jennifer Garner & Jessica Alba.

By Laura Medina

Last night at The Book Bindery event venue in the heart of Culver City, California, Target officially threw a launch party for their holiday collaboration, limited-edition Toms for Target,  the altruistic slip-on shoe and eye wear brand.

Target was always attracted to Toms' goodheartedness.  Toms' philosophy is simple.  For every shoe they sell, they donate a pair of shoes to a needy kid.  Now, that they expanded into another area with equal need, eyewear.  For example, now that they're selling fashionable eyewear.  For every pair of glasses, Toms simply donated a pair of eyeglasses to kid who needs them.  Simple as that.

Toms' simple equation of charity built the foundation for their holiday collection for Target.  For every article of clothing sold, they donate a blanket.  For every homewear sold, they donate a meal.

The clothing collection among the collaboration is as wholesome, cozy, and straight-forward as its mentality.  A pared-down essentials of chambray shirts, ponchos, hoodies, and coffee mugs and of course, can't forget the slip-on sneakers.

Good-hearted celebrities showed their support and good fortunate by modeling the collection, before anyone else, at the launch party.  Each celebrity took the collection then adopted to their own individual style.

Sarah Hyland modeled the entire women's collection, the sweatshirt, the chambray shirt underneath it and the slip-on sneakers.

Jennifer Garner added the TOMS for Target T-Shirt and bracelets to her Hipster Mom outfit of dark denim jeans and navy blazer.

Jessica Alba, another example of Mommy Chic, simply chic toted a Toms for Target clutch.

Ali Fedotowsky  of E!, modeled the poncho that equates one meal for a needy person.

But, let's really get down to what we're want...the yummy party.

The party's theme was down-to-earth and cozy to match the collection.

People and their kids feasted on comforting Mac n' Cheese and the healthier alternative, Saffron Rice Pilaf with raisins and vegetables.

The sleep hit at the party was the Lemonade Bar and the accompanying Hot Cocoa Bar.

The Lemonade Bar and the decadent Hot Cocoa Bar brought out the kid inside of us.  Both little and big kids guzzled down gourmand Rosemary Strawberry Lemonade and Basil Watermelon Lemonade.

But, this sweet-tooth scribe loved the Hot Cocoa Bar where the classic Hot Cocoa is the foundation for the building blocks of Mint-Chocolate Marshmallows and Brownie Marshmallows, Caramel Sauce, and Chocolate Shavings.  Remember, this is Target where even the most basic of pantry staples gets all fancy at reasonable prices.

The one thing that this scribe has failed to get on video and photo...the Candied Apple Bar...yummy.

Okay, they're apple slices on lollipop sticks but what an ingenious concept.  At the Candied Apple Bar, the "bartender" can and did dip your apple slices into either caramel sauce or dark chocolate sauce then he sprinkled whatever coating you want onto your apple: Multi-Colored Sprinkles, Chocolate Chips, chopped nuts, and crushed Graham Crackers.  

What's even better, the Hot Cocoa Bar and the Slice Candied Apple Bar are concepts that anyone can do for their own holiday party without breaking the bank and the supplies are attainable.

The Lemonade Bar is so right for Spring and Summer, keep it basic for the kids and add clear spirits like vodka, gin, and champagne for the big kids.  Again, easy, attainable, and affordable idea for home entertaining.

Actually, what got everybody going was a short concert by The Dawes...

You may be sore for missing out on the launch party but remember, it was a launch party on a Wednesday night.

You can participate in altruism while getting some holiday shopping done when the collection hits most Target stores this Sunday.  For every item bought from the collection, somebody will get a blanket and meal.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Redland, Two Guys Influenced by the Ladies of TLC.

By Laura Medina

On the set, you might assume The Redland are influenced by early Black Eye Peas and A Tribe Called Quest, but you'll be really surprised, pleasantly surprised who influenced them...

TLC's "Waterfalls" and "Unpretty" made an impression on Earvin and Kose, the duo behind The Redland, that good music can have depth.

The three, strong ladies of TLC made quite an impact on these gentlemen.

Obviously, the liberating and late "Left-Eye" Lisa Lopez was the most obvious influence...

Earvin, "Left-Eye tried to prove herself and better herself."  She was the female pioneer in rapping about significant issues.

The less obvious influence for both the boys was Tionne Tenese Watkins a.k.a. "T-Boz."

They cited her as a cool cat who can sing really low, who is also a writer and a producer.

Kose commented Rozonda Ocelean "Chilli" Thomas brings back the sexy.

As now, they're hitting the Atlanta music scene hard. Catch them while you're up there.

PBS's Hitmakers, PBS Getting Hip!

By Laura Medina
Now that PBS' ruling class are the hip Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are on their way to becoming the Establishment, they dictate what's significant in culture, not just of the moment "Pop Culture," but artists who define eras, generations, and what's meaningful in people's lives.

Plus, this scribe has been hitting the music scene intensely for the past couple of years, witnessing young whipper-snappers becoming the new "cultural influencers" for the next emerging generation, Millennials. 

So for those "cultural establishment" who want to chill at home but want to watch something "mentally nutritious," sit back and watch PBS' "Hitmakers" on Friday, November 18th at 9pm.

 In this documentary, it is an up-close look at the music industry’s resilience in the digital age, from the perspective of groundbreaking artists, music label mavericks and game-changing managers. These crucial players have shaped the music business over the past 100 years, changing pop culture in the process. Today’s artists challenge the paradigm further, taking control of their careers and sometimes shucking the system altogether to record and release music on their own. Record labels large and small also have found they must innovate to thrive. Entertaining and thoughtful, HITMAKERS boasts an unforgettable soundtrack. The special features interviews and performances from notable artists such as Melissa Etheridge, The Roots’ Questlove, Sharon Jones, rising DJ/producer Steve Aoki and many more.