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COVERL 109

COVERR 112

Accessories

Instant Button®: si...

InstantButton_bronzeSomething we love... The Instant Button® A simple movable button keeps your waist comfortable & keeps you looking your best and works for blouses and shirts, too. Isn't it a great feeling to find that shirt or those pants or jeans that fit just right and feel so great? And isn't it frustrating to put that fabulous garment on and find that the waist is too tight or lose and it just doesn't look or feel right? Until I met Dana Hanh Contey, I'd pass on wearing those pants/jeans/skirts when the waistband felt too tight, or would spend the day hiking up my stretch jeans when Read more

Beauty

Heathy Natural Make-...

natural-eye-makeup Makeup You Can Live With, Natural Makeup by Deborah Shadovitz  Makeup. We women don't want to go without — at least not on special occasions. But what are we doing to ourselves??? The stuff that is in most makeup is shocking!! Read more

COVERL

Amazing indoor TV an...

My 44" TV. Can you spot the antenna.Get TV over the Air — for Free! For Real! Free HDTV over the Air — even in Los Angeles... by Deborah Shadovitz July 2011 As I start writing this I am watching CBS’s Boston Pops 4th of July Celebration. The beautiful, colorful Independence celebration is quite appropriate, given that I’m writing to share the greatest tip on how to become free of cable and satellite TV companies. A celebration of freedom and fireworks lighting the air as I watch it over the air for free. How perfect. If you think about it, getting TV reception has been a challenge for as long as there’s been TV. Those of Read more

Best Burgers at LA's...

GoldenStateBurgerSPFriesFabulous Burgers and more great food On Fairfax, by Melrose in Los Angeles by Deborah Shadovitz If you love a great burger you'll love discovering The Golden State. They serve perhaps one of the best burgers in California, the Golden State. There’s more than just a top quality burger on their menu, though. And you’ll notice that everything they serve is real food, sourced from healthful, sustainable, caring companies.   #LAAL Read more

COVERR

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Destinations & A...

Redondo Beach: harbo...

RB-Muni-Pier-from-bike_(0055)Head to Redondo Beach! Ah! The beach. Getting out on or in the water... A part of Los Angeles, a day at the beach & in the water... by Deborah Shadovitz & Lisa Landis On any day when you’ve had enough of the Los Angeles heat, of endless pavement, cars, and homes, take a moment to remember that we in Los Angeles actually have an ocean and accessible beaches waiting to be enjoyed. Then give yourself a break and go enjoy the ocean air, the infinite view — and perhaps the different feeling of being in or on the water. One of the nicest, Read more

Kernville & Lake Isa...

kern-KernvilleInn_mainroomThis is page 3 of our article about rafting on the Kern River. The Kern River is close enough that from the Los Angeles area, you can leave home in the morning, enjoy a day or two on the river (camping overnight), and return home. One of my friends did just that. I wanted more relaxation so my other companion Lorrie and I stayed in Kernville before and after our two-day rafting holiday. For our first night, I wanted to experience the town, so I selected the Kernville Inn, which sits beside the river and is right on the main street. After Read more

Family games posts

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Games

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

Blokus

BlokusBoxLike puzzles? Blokus The idea is simple. The result is fun! Take a simple plastic board of 400 squares. Pass out 84 various-shaped pieces in four colors amongst four people. Instruct them to fill the board, matching corners. Then enjoy the game as each person outsmarts and becomes outsmarted. Mattel's Blokus elicited cries of "I love Blokus!" when brought to our testers.   It's as much for adults as children. Rated for ages 5 and up, our family almost-5-year-old enjoyed it with some help when we first got it and now at 5½ she's been playing on her own. I've played with her and Read more

Games for Families

Games for Families

Games for Families All of the games here are good for families. They are simple, clean fun. This page is actually a collection of separate posts. If any of these games catch your eye, click the More link at the end of the summary to see more details. Read more

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

Games posts

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Golf

Golf in Santa Clarit...

RobinsonRanch-hole1_702 Golf at Robinson Ranch A public course with the markings of a private club by Gary B. Hudson Everything about Robinson Ranch — from the friendly Khaki-dressed attendants who take your bag, assist your check-in, and escort you to the first hole, to the charm of the luxurious clubhouse — has the markings of a private club. But Robinson Ranch isn’t private. The public is welcome at this Santa Clarita course nestled at the base of the Angeles National Forest. In fact, this course, designed by and named for Ted Robinson Sr. and Jr. realized one of their dreams when they created this award-winning Read more

Pelican Hill Resort ...

PelicanHillPanoramaGreat Golf, Scenery, and Luxury — at Pelican Hill on the Newport Coast About an hour’s drive south of downtown LA lies the Newport Coast... by Gary B. Hudson  One visit to the Pelican Hill Resort’s website and I was enticed to check it out. Could those spectacular photos and the two ocean-view golf courses live up to the experience it suggested? I made arrangements for my visit and looked forward to it. My brother Milton, one of my four weekly golf partners, accompanied me for the game. My sister in-law Stacy and our friend Sarita joined us because the beaconing resort proved Read more

Home Improvement

Home Energy Audits

Green Homes Ameicals blower door looking like from inside a home.Home Performance: California’s Hot Cool Home Makeover Trend A Realistic, Actually Helpful Home Energy Audit for the LA Area by Muna Deriane (1999) Open plan interiors. Granite countertops. Whirlpool tubs. Professional stoves. Wine cellars. Recessed lighting. The media room. Chances are, your house bears the mark of one of theses renovation trends. But, that’s all soooo 2009. Read more

10+ Tips for a Coole...

Tips for a Cooler Home in Southern California How to stay more comfortable for less money in the Los Angeles summer heat It’s officially summer and after several false starts this year, it’s likely to get very hot for us in the Los Angeles area — so we offer these ways to keep your house cooler and lower your air-conditioning bills. We begin with ideas from Mike Rogers, Senior Vice President of GreenHomes America because GreenHomes was so great helping us with our Home Energy Audit feature. Rogers explains that some of these steps can be performed by any or condo or homeowner, Read more

Hotels in the LA Are...

Petit Ermitage Hotel...

Petit Ermitage Hotel West HollywoodPetit Ermitage — unique hotel in West Hollywood Between Santa Monica Blvd and Sunset Blvd, by Sunset Plaza & Beverly Hills by Deborah Shadovitz The Petit Ermitage describes itself as Bohemian. However, I don't feel that captures it's elegance. Petit Ermitage is worldly — or rather reflective of the greater world in which we live. A little bit old European, a bit of Morocco, a splash of modern at the saltwater pool — and all around perfect in feeling and comfort. Petit Ermitage is a four-story building that you can easily miss as it's on a quiet residential street, although if you look closely Read more

Redondo Beach Crowne...

RB-Crowne-Plaza-hotel-frontThe Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach On the Pacific Ocean, a part of Los Angeles apart from Los Angeles If you're looking for a beach or ocean getaway, consider a night at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach. To stay so close to water is a treat, even when we in Los Angeles can pretty readily drive to the Pacific. Editors Note: This was written in 2010, prior to the recent refurbishing. We have not been back since then, so some of this experience has changed but only for the better, we believe.  Read more

Inns, B&B, Resor...

Pelican Hill Resort ...

PelicanHillPanoramaGreat Golf, Scenery, and Luxury — at Pelican Hill on the Newport Coast About an hour’s drive south of downtown LA lies the Newport Coast... by Gary B. Hudson  One visit to the Pelican Hill Resort’s website and I was enticed to check it out. Could those spectacular photos and the two ocean-view golf courses live up to the experience it suggested? I made arrangements for my visit and looked forward to it. My brother Milton, one of my four weekly golf partners, accompanied me for the game. My sister in-law Stacy and our friend Sarita joined us because the beaconing resort proved Read more

Three Napa Valley Do...

NapaRiverInn_guestphotoThree Napa Valley Dog-Friendly Stays For wine-lovers and those who love beautiful countryside... Dog’s Wine for Napa Valley Inns by Kristina N. Lotz (Sept 2010) For wine-lovers and those who love beautiful countryside... Few things in life are better than sitting on a deck at a Californian vineyard, tasting their sweet wine. Unless, of course, you are sitting on a deck at a Californian vineyard, tasting their sweet wine — and your best canine friend is lounging on the deck next to you, eating wine-flavored dog biscuits. Just about 6½ hours from downtown Los Angeles, the Napa Valley has long been one of hottest vacation destinations Read more

LA Galaxy Soccer

LA Galaxy vs NY Redb...

xxLA Galaxy Soccer! LA Galaxy vs NY Redbulls at The Home Depot Center - Carson, CA 5/7/11 Photos and Captions by Rudy Sanchez In the second home match of the 2011 Soccer season, the LA Galaxy Soccer team met the NY Redbulls. The game featured Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Landon Donovan and David Beckham — four of soccer's greats. Goals by Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) and Thierry Henry (Redbulls). The challenge ended in a 1-1 tie.            Want more info about the LA Galaxy Soccer team? The official site of the LA Galaxy. The season schedule and scores. Rudy Sanchez' own photography website. Read more

LA Galaxy vs New Eng...

LA Galaxy Team Captain Landon Donovan, maneuvering around 2 N.E. PlayersLA Galaxy Soccer! LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution play 1-1 tie game 3/20/11 at The Home Depot Center - Carson, CA Photos and Captions by Rudy Sanchez In the first home match of the 2011 Soccer season, the LA Galaxy Soccer team met New England Revolution. In this very rainy challenge this game ended in a 1-1 tie.   Team Captain Landon Donovan, maneuvering around 2 N.E. Players LA Galaxy's Todd Dunivants is taken for a ride   Landon Donovan header for goal, blocked by N.E. Goal Keeper Midfielder, David Beckham Want more info? The official site of the LA Galaxy. The season schedule and scores. Rudy Sanchez' own photography website. Read more

LA History

Disney Animation Bui...

RoyDisney_memorialPicAn Evening with Disney The Walt Disney Company honors Roy E. Disney By Kristina N. Lotz May 7, 2010 Burbank, California I was lucky enough to be one of the D23 members (an official Disney fan club launched in 2009 by Bob Iger) who witnessed history in the making yesterday, as The Walt Disney Company dedicated the iconic animation building on the Disney Studio lot in Burbank to Roy E. Disney who passed away in December at age 79. Read more

Misc

Amazing indoor TV an...

My 44" TV. Can you spot the antenna.Get TV over the Air — for Free! For Real! Free HDTV over the Air — even in Los Angeles... by Deborah Shadovitz July 2011 As I start writing this I am watching CBS’s Boston Pops 4th of July Celebration. The beautiful, colorful Independence celebration is quite appropriate, given that I’m writing to share the greatest tip on how to become free of cable and satellite TV companies. A celebration of freedom and fireworks lighting the air as I watch it over the air for free. How perfect. If you think about it, getting TV reception has been a challenge for as long as there’s been TV. Those of Read more

Movie rec no parent

Secretariat

SecretariatMoviePoster Not Just Another Film Review: Secretariat By Kristina N. Lotz Growing up, my friend and I knew the story of Secretariat almost better than Cinderella. So, when we got the chance to go see Disney’s Secretariat at the Burbank Studio lot, we jumped on it. Directed by Randal Wallace (We Were Soldiers, Braveheart), Secretariat tells the story of the woman, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) who believed in a fiery red colt when no one else did. John Malchovich plays the racehorse trainer Lucien Laruin, who comes out of retirement to train Secretariat and his usual brilliance provides some great comic relief throughout the film.   It took three years for the Read more

Extraordinary Measur...

There I am!Not Just Another Film Review: Extraordinary Measures By Kristina N. Lotz People who live in Los Angeles frequently forget what it feels like for the rest of the world when a movie production comes to town. I, on the other hand, can you tell you first hand. (I can also recommend the film.) The Experience Last Spring, while still living in my hometown of Portland Oregon, I heard the news I’d longed to hear, a major movie was being filmed…here! Not just any movie, either. One with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. While Portland has had a few scenes from various movies shot discreetly over Read more

Movie Recommendation...

Secretariat

SecretariatMoviePoster Not Just Another Film Review: Secretariat By Kristina N. Lotz Growing up, my friend and I knew the story of Secretariat almost better than Cinderella. So, when we got the chance to go see Disney’s Secretariat at the Burbank Studio lot, we jumped on it. Directed by Randal Wallace (We Were Soldiers, Braveheart), Secretariat tells the story of the woman, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) who believed in a fiery red colt when no one else did. John Malchovich plays the racehorse trainer Lucien Laruin, who comes out of retirement to train Secretariat and his usual brilliance provides some great comic relief throughout the film.   It took three years for the Read more

Extraordinary Measur...

There I am!Not Just Another Film Review: Extraordinary Measures By Kristina N. Lotz People who live in Los Angeles frequently forget what it feels like for the rest of the world when a movie production comes to town. I, on the other hand, can you tell you first hand. (I can also recommend the film.) The Experience Last Spring, while still living in my hometown of Portland Oregon, I heard the news I’d longed to hear, a major movie was being filmed…here! Not just any movie, either. One with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. While Portland has had a few scenes from various movies shot discreetly over Read more

Restaurants

Best Burgers at LA's...

GoldenStateBurgerSPFriesFabulous Burgers and more great food On Fairfax, by Melrose in Los Angeles by Deborah Shadovitz If you love a great burger you'll love discovering The Golden State. They serve perhaps one of the best burgers in California, the Golden State. There’s more than just a top quality burger on their menu, though. And you’ll notice that everything they serve is real food, sourced from healthful, sustainable, caring companies.   #LAAL Read more

Redondo Beach getawa...

RB-Delzanos-Restaurant_(0152)Dining in Redondo Beach Part of a Redondo Beach Getaway by Deborah Shadovitz & Lisa Landis Redondo Beach offers a good variety of dining experiences and cuisines. Here are our recommendations for some great food while you're visiting Redondo Beach. Read more

Restaurants posts

Best Burgers at LA's...

GoldenStateBurgerSPFriesFabulous Burgers and more great food On Fairfax, by Melrose in Los Angeles by Deborah Shadovitz If you love a great burger you'll love discovering The Golden State. They serve perhaps one of the best burgers in California, the Golden State. There’s more than just a top quality burger on their menu, though. And you’ll notice that everything they serve is real food, sourced from healthful, sustainable, caring companies.   #LAAL Read more

Redondo Beach getawa...

RB-Delzanos-Restaurant_(0152)Dining in Redondo Beach Part of a Redondo Beach Getaway by Deborah Shadovitz & Lisa Landis Redondo Beach offers a good variety of dining experiences and cuisines. Here are our recommendations for some great food while you're visiting Redondo Beach. Read more

Tech Stuff

O’BON eco-friendly...

obon-pencils-mineO’BON: Building a Better Pencil These fabulous pencils aren't built in Los Angeles but we can sure benefit from them by Deborah Shadovitz Instead of pencils and paper, how about pencils made out of paper — and paper made from sugarcane. Read more

Two Memorex iPod spe...

PartyCubeCDSoundSystemiPod & iPhone Speaker Recommendations Because the people of Los Angeles deserve good sound by Deborah Shadovitz with Mario Salinas (2010) Much like the CDs reduced people's music collections from major shelves (or multiple milk crates) to shoebox-sized containers and the iPod reduced CD collections to the size of a deck of cards, we've seen home speaker systems shrink greatly as well. However, sound is the result of air being moved. That's much easier with a large speaker in a large speaker cabinet, but a great challenge for today's small speaker system that typically contains an iPod dock. The challenge for speaker manufacturers is Read more

Uncategorized

Entertainment posts

This page will have general LA entertainment info if I keep it. This page is actually a post. Read more

Water

Water Sports in Mali...

Malibu_montageWater Sports at the Malibu Pier — one of the top surfing spots in the world Right along the Pacific Coast Highway up a way from Santa Monica — or over the mountains from the 101, a bit south of Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road — is the Malibu Pier, Surfrider Beach, and the Malibu Surf Shack. The Malibu Surf Shack is pretty much across the street from the Pier. This small, friendly shop is chock full of hanging surf boards and wet suits. Outside are large  stashes of Surfboards, Boogie Boards and Stand Up Paddle Boards awaiting rental. In a truck across Read more

Big Bear in Summer

BigBear_DebBehindBoard14Big Bear Lake: A Perfect Summer Break Cooler air, wakeboarding or touring, and so much more About 2½ hours from Los Angeles... by Deborah Shadovitz with Muna Deriane When the Los Angeles area's summer heat gets to you, or you simply need an easy vacation, consider a trip to Big Bear. The air’s about 20 degrees cooler and it’s only about 2½ hours away. The tree-lined mountains are magnificent scenery and the lake is beautiful. You’ll get to breath deeply and truly relax. You can’t help but feel rejuvenated up there and the variety of activities may surprise you. With 22 miles of shoreline Read more

Wine Recommendations

Grgich Hills Fume Bl...

GHE_logoWine Focus — Grgich Hills Estate, Fume Blanc Consistently reliable, and organically, biodynamically grown by Debbie Chinn   The Grgich Hills Estate winery is located on St. Helena Hwy in Rutherford, CA (about 383 miles from LA’s City Hall).   Grgich Hills' Fume Blanc I always order with confidence when I see a Grgich Hills label but in particular, I have not gone wrong with a Fume Blanc. It’s consistently reliable; easy and refreshing on the palate with aromas of citrus and melon. I don’t care for wines that are over-oaked which makes me partial to the delicacies of this Fume Blanc. I’ll drink this with grilled chicken or Read more

Lambert Bridge Winer...

DebbieChinn(ns)Wine Recommendation Lambert Bridge Winery Only fully mature, perfectly ripe, and hand-selected grapes become Lambert Bridge wines by Debbie Chinn Every now and then, I come across a winery that’s almost too good to be true. Whenever that happens, I keep going back to taste, taste again, re-discover nuances and taste some more. I love when that happens! Read more

Wine Recommendations...

Grgich Hills Fume Bl...

GHE_logoWine Focus — Grgich Hills Estate, Fume Blanc Consistently reliable, and organically, biodynamically grown by Debbie Chinn   The Grgich Hills Estate winery is located on St. Helena Hwy in Rutherford, CA (about 383 miles from LA’s City Hall).   Grgich Hills' Fume Blanc I always order with confidence when I see a Grgich Hills label but in particular, I have not gone wrong with a Fume Blanc. It’s consistently reliable; easy and refreshing on the palate with aromas of citrus and melon. I don’t care for wines that are over-oaked which makes me partial to the delicacies of this Fume Blanc. I’ll drink this with grilled chicken or Read more

Lambert Bridge Winer...

DebbieChinn(ns)Wine Recommendation Lambert Bridge Winery Only fully mature, perfectly ripe, and hand-selected grapes become Lambert Bridge wines by Debbie Chinn Every now and then, I come across a winery that’s almost too good to be true. Whenever that happens, I keep going back to taste, taste again, re-discover nuances and taste some more. I love when that happens! Read more

Word Games

Bookworm

Bookworm for free Bookworm Bookworm has been a favorite word game of mine since I discovered it for the Palm in 2003. Thus, the ad and link to buy it. It's available on several platforms including iPhone, SmartPhones, DS, and online, each priced for that platform. This link will also get you to Bejeweled and other great electronic games. ~ Deborah Shadovitz Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Accessories

Instant Button®: si...

InstantButton_bronzeSomething we love... The Instant Button® A simple movable button keeps your waist comfortable & keeps you looking your best and works for blouses and shirts, too. Isn't it a great feeling to find that shirt or those pants or jeans that fit just right and feel so great? And isn't it frustrating to put that fabulous garment on and find that the waist is too tight or lose and it just doesn't look or feel right? Until I met Dana Hanh Contey, I'd pass on wearing those pants/jeans/skirts when the waistband felt too tight, or would spend the day hiking up my stretch jeans when Read more

Beauty

Heathy Natural Make-...

natural-eye-makeup Makeup You Can Live With, Natural Makeup by Deborah Shadovitz  Makeup. We women don't want to go without — at least not on special occasions. But what are we doing to ourselves??? The stuff that is in most makeup is shocking!! Read more

COVERL

Amazing indoor TV an...

My 44" TV. Can you spot the antenna.Get TV over the Air — for Free! For Real! Free HDTV over the Air — even in Los Angeles... by Deborah Shadovitz July 2011 As I start writing this I am watching CBS’s Boston Pops 4th of July Celebration. The beautiful, colorful Independence celebration is quite appropriate, given that I’m writing to share the greatest tip on how to become free of cable and satellite TV companies. A celebration of freedom and fireworks lighting the air as I watch it over the air for free. How perfect. If you think about it, getting TV reception has been a challenge for as long as there’s been TV. Those of Read more

Best Burgers at LA's...

GoldenStateBurgerSPFriesFabulous Burgers and more great food On Fairfax, by Melrose in Los Angeles by Deborah Shadovitz If you love a great burger you'll love discovering The Golden State. They serve perhaps one of the best burgers in California, the Golden State. There’s more than just a top quality burger on their menu, though. And you’ll notice that everything they serve is real food, sourced from healthful, sustainable, caring companies.   #LAAL Read more

COVERR

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Destinations & A...

Redondo Beach: harbo...

RB-Muni-Pier-from-bike_(0055)Head to Redondo Beach! Ah! The beach. Getting out on or in the water... A part of Los Angeles, a day at the beach & in the water... by Deborah Shadovitz & Lisa Landis On any day when you’ve had enough of the Los Angeles heat, of endless pavement, cars, and homes, take a moment to remember that we in Los Angeles actually have an ocean and accessible beaches waiting to be enjoyed. Then give yourself a break and go enjoy the ocean air, the infinite view — and perhaps the different feeling of being in or on the water. One of the nicest, Read more

Kernville & Lake Isa...

kern-KernvilleInn_mainroomThis is page 3 of our article about rafting on the Kern River. The Kern River is close enough that from the Los Angeles area, you can leave home in the morning, enjoy a day or two on the river (camping overnight), and return home. One of my friends did just that. I wanted more relaxation so my other companion Lorrie and I stayed in Kernville before and after our two-day rafting holiday. For our first night, I wanted to experience the town, so I selected the Kernville Inn, which sits beside the river and is right on the main street. After Read more

Family games posts

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Games

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

Blokus

BlokusBoxLike puzzles? Blokus The idea is simple. The result is fun! Take a simple plastic board of 400 squares. Pass out 84 various-shaped pieces in four colors amongst four people. Instruct them to fill the board, matching corners. Then enjoy the game as each person outsmarts and becomes outsmarted. Mattel's Blokus elicited cries of "I love Blokus!" when brought to our testers.   It's as much for adults as children. Rated for ages 5 and up, our family almost-5-year-old enjoyed it with some help when we first got it and now at 5½ she's been playing on her own. I've played with her and Read more

Games for Families

Games for Families

Games for Families All of the games here are good for families. They are simple, clean fun. This page is actually a collection of separate posts. If any of these games catch your eye, click the More link at the end of the summary to see more details. Read more

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

Games posts

Perpetual Commotion ...

perpetualcommotion_box If you're thinking that every great card game that can be invented has been, but you don't know about Perpetual Commotion, I have good news for you. Perpetual Commotion® The game's website calls it "fast, furious and FUN" — and that's exactly right. The game is a bit like solitaire but oh, so different. How my family plays: Each player uses his own colored deck. Everyone counts out 13 "Feeder" cards, placing them face down, then puts five cards beside that deck, face up. Put the rest down for now. Then the play begins — and the rush is on! When the game begins, any player who Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more

Golf

Golf in Santa Clarit...

RobinsonRanch-hole1_702 Golf at Robinson Ranch A public course with the markings of a private club by Gary B. Hudson Everything about Robinson Ranch — from the friendly Khaki-dressed attendants who take your bag, assist your check-in, and escort you to the first hole, to the charm of the luxurious clubhouse — has the markings of a private club. But Robinson Ranch isn’t private. The public is welcome at this Santa Clarita course nestled at the base of the Angeles National Forest. In fact, this course, designed by and named for Ted Robinson Sr. and Jr. realized one of their dreams when they created this award-winning Read more

Pelican Hill Resort ...

PelicanHillPanoramaGreat Golf, Scenery, and Luxury — at Pelican Hill on the Newport Coast About an hour’s drive south of downtown LA lies the Newport Coast... by Gary B. Hudson  One visit to the Pelican Hill Resort’s website and I was enticed to check it out. Could those spectacular photos and the two ocean-view golf courses live up to the experience it suggested? I made arrangements for my visit and looked forward to it. My brother Milton, one of my four weekly golf partners, accompanied me for the game. My sister in-law Stacy and our friend Sarita joined us because the beaconing resort proved Read more

Home Improvement

Home Energy Audits

Green Homes Ameicals blower door looking like from inside a home.Home Performance: California’s Hot Cool Home Makeover Trend A Realistic, Actually Helpful Home Energy Audit for the LA Area by Muna Deriane (1999) Open plan interiors. Granite countertops. Whirlpool tubs. Professional stoves. Wine cellars. Recessed lighting. The media room. Chances are, your house bears the mark of one of theses renovation trends. But, that’s all soooo 2009. Read more

10+ Tips for a Coole...

Tips for a Cooler Home in Southern California How to stay more comfortable for less money in the Los Angeles summer heat It’s officially summer and after several false starts this year, it’s likely to get very hot for us in the Los Angeles area — so we offer these ways to keep your house cooler and lower your air-conditioning bills. We begin with ideas from Mike Rogers, Senior Vice President of GreenHomes America because GreenHomes was so great helping us with our Home Energy Audit feature. Rogers explains that some of these steps can be performed by any or condo or homeowner, Read more

Hotels in the LA Are...

Petit Ermitage Hotel...

Petit Ermitage Hotel West HollywoodPetit Ermitage — unique hotel in West Hollywood Between Santa Monica Blvd and Sunset Blvd, by Sunset Plaza & Beverly Hills by Deborah Shadovitz The Petit Ermitage describes itself as Bohemian. However, I don't feel that captures it's elegance. Petit Ermitage is worldly — or rather reflective of the greater world in which we live. A little bit old European, a bit of Morocco, a splash of modern at the saltwater pool — and all around perfect in feeling and comfort. Petit Ermitage is a four-story building that you can easily miss as it's on a quiet residential street, although if you look closely Read more

Redondo Beach Crowne...

RB-Crowne-Plaza-hotel-frontThe Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach On the Pacific Ocean, a part of Los Angeles apart from Los Angeles If you're looking for a beach or ocean getaway, consider a night at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach. To stay so close to water is a treat, even when we in Los Angeles can pretty readily drive to the Pacific. Editors Note: This was written in 2010, prior to the recent refurbishing. We have not been back since then, so some of this experience has changed but only for the better, we believe.  Read more

Inns, B&B, Resor...

Pelican Hill Resort ...

PelicanHillPanoramaGreat Golf, Scenery, and Luxury — at Pelican Hill on the Newport Coast About an hour’s drive south of downtown LA lies the Newport Coast... by Gary B. Hudson  One visit to the Pelican Hill Resort’s website and I was enticed to check it out. Could those spectacular photos and the two ocean-view golf courses live up to the experience it suggested? I made arrangements for my visit and looked forward to it. My brother Milton, one of my four weekly golf partners, accompanied me for the game. My sister in-law Stacy and our friend Sarita joined us because the beaconing resort proved Read more

Three Napa Valley Do...

NapaRiverInn_guestphotoThree Napa Valley Dog-Friendly Stays For wine-lovers and those who love beautiful countryside... Dog’s Wine for Napa Valley Inns by Kristina N. Lotz (Sept 2010) For wine-lovers and those who love beautiful countryside... Few things in life are better than sitting on a deck at a Californian vineyard, tasting their sweet wine. Unless, of course, you are sitting on a deck at a Californian vineyard, tasting their sweet wine — and your best canine friend is lounging on the deck next to you, eating wine-flavored dog biscuits. Just about 6½ hours from downtown Los Angeles, the Napa Valley has long been one of hottest vacation destinations Read more

LA Galaxy Soccer

LA Galaxy vs NY Redb...

xxLA Galaxy Soccer! LA Galaxy vs NY Redbulls at The Home Depot Center - Carson, CA 5/7/11 Photos and Captions by Rudy Sanchez In the second home match of the 2011 Soccer season, the LA Galaxy Soccer team met the NY Redbulls. The game featured Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Landon Donovan and David Beckham — four of soccer's greats. Goals by Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) and Thierry Henry (Redbulls). The challenge ended in a 1-1 tie.            Want more info about the LA Galaxy Soccer team? The official site of the LA Galaxy. The season schedule and scores. Rudy Sanchez' own photography website. Read more

LA Galaxy vs New Eng...

LA Galaxy Team Captain Landon Donovan, maneuvering around 2 N.E. PlayersLA Galaxy Soccer! LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution play 1-1 tie game 3/20/11 at The Home Depot Center - Carson, CA Photos and Captions by Rudy Sanchez In the first home match of the 2011 Soccer season, the LA Galaxy Soccer team met New England Revolution. In this very rainy challenge this game ended in a 1-1 tie.   Team Captain Landon Donovan, maneuvering around 2 N.E. Players LA Galaxy's Todd Dunivants is taken for a ride   Landon Donovan header for goal, blocked by N.E. Goal Keeper Midfielder, David Beckham Want more info? The official site of the LA Galaxy. The season schedule and scores. Rudy Sanchez' own photography website. Read more

LA History

Disney Animation Bui...

RoyDisney_memorialPicAn Evening with Disney The Walt Disney Company honors Roy E. Disney By Kristina N. Lotz May 7, 2010 Burbank, California I was lucky enough to be one of the D23 members (an official Disney fan club launched in 2009 by Bob Iger) who witnessed history in the making yesterday, as The Walt Disney Company dedicated the iconic animation building on the Disney Studio lot in Burbank to Roy E. Disney who passed away in December at age 79. Read more

Misc

Amazing indoor TV an...

My 44" TV. Can you spot the antenna.Get TV over the Air — for Free! For Real! Free HDTV over the Air — even in Los Angeles... by Deborah Shadovitz July 2011 As I start writing this I am watching CBS’s Boston Pops 4th of July Celebration. The beautiful, colorful Independence celebration is quite appropriate, given that I’m writing to share the greatest tip on how to become free of cable and satellite TV companies. A celebration of freedom and fireworks lighting the air as I watch it over the air for free. How perfect. If you think about it, getting TV reception has been a challenge for as long as there’s been TV. Those of Read more

Movie rec no parent

Secretariat

SecretariatMoviePoster Not Just Another Film Review: Secretariat By Kristina N. Lotz Growing up, my friend and I knew the story of Secretariat almost better than Cinderella. So, when we got the chance to go see Disney’s Secretariat at the Burbank Studio lot, we jumped on it. Directed by Randal Wallace (We Were Soldiers, Braveheart), Secretariat tells the story of the woman, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) who believed in a fiery red colt when no one else did. John Malchovich plays the racehorse trainer Lucien Laruin, who comes out of retirement to train Secretariat and his usual brilliance provides some great comic relief throughout the film.   It took three years for the Read more

Extraordinary Measur...

There I am!Not Just Another Film Review: Extraordinary Measures By Kristina N. Lotz People who live in Los Angeles frequently forget what it feels like for the rest of the world when a movie production comes to town. I, on the other hand, can you tell you first hand. (I can also recommend the film.) The Experience Last Spring, while still living in my hometown of Portland Oregon, I heard the news I’d longed to hear, a major movie was being filmed…here! Not just any movie, either. One with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. While Portland has had a few scenes from various movies shot discreetly over Read more

Movie Recommendation...

Secretariat

SecretariatMoviePoster Not Just Another Film Review: Secretariat By Kristina N. Lotz Growing up, my friend and I knew the story of Secretariat almost better than Cinderella. So, when we got the chance to go see Disney’s Secretariat at the Burbank Studio lot, we jumped on it. Directed by Randal Wallace (We Were Soldiers, Braveheart), Secretariat tells the story of the woman, Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) who believed in a fiery red colt when no one else did. John Malchovich plays the racehorse trainer Lucien Laruin, who comes out of retirement to train Secretariat and his usual brilliance provides some great comic relief throughout the film.   It took three years for the Read more

Extraordinary Measur...

There I am!Not Just Another Film Review: Extraordinary Measures By Kristina N. Lotz People who live in Los Angeles frequently forget what it feels like for the rest of the world when a movie production comes to town. I, on the other hand, can you tell you first hand. (I can also recommend the film.) The Experience Last Spring, while still living in my hometown of Portland Oregon, I heard the news I’d longed to hear, a major movie was being filmed…here! Not just any movie, either. One with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. While Portland has had a few scenes from various movies shot discreetly over Read more

Restaurants

Best Burgers at LA's...

GoldenStateBurgerSPFriesFabulous Burgers and more great food On Fairfax, by Melrose in Los Angeles by Deborah Shadovitz If you love a great burger you'll love discovering The Golden State. They serve perhaps one of the best burgers in California, the Golden State. There’s more than just a top quality burger on their menu, though. And you’ll notice that everything they serve is real food, sourced from healthful, sustainable, caring companies.   #LAAL Read more

Redondo Beach getawa...

RB-Delzanos-Restaurant_(0152)Dining in Redondo Beach Part of a Redondo Beach Getaway by Deborah Shadovitz & Lisa Landis Redondo Beach offers a good variety of dining experiences and cuisines. Here are our recommendations for some great food while you're visiting Redondo Beach. Read more

Restaurants posts

Best Burgers at LA's...

GoldenStateBurgerSPFriesFabulous Burgers and more great food On Fairfax, by Melrose in Los Angeles by Deborah Shadovitz If you love a great burger you'll love discovering The Golden State. They serve perhaps one of the best burgers in California, the Golden State. There’s more than just a top quality burger on their menu, though. And you’ll notice that everything they serve is real food, sourced from healthful, sustainable, caring companies.   #LAAL Read more

Redondo Beach getawa...

RB-Delzanos-Restaurant_(0152)Dining in Redondo Beach Part of a Redondo Beach Getaway by Deborah Shadovitz & Lisa Landis Redondo Beach offers a good variety of dining experiences and cuisines. Here are our recommendations for some great food while you're visiting Redondo Beach. Read more

Tech Stuff

O’BON eco-friendly...

obon-pencils-mineO’BON: Building a Better Pencil These fabulous pencils aren't built in Los Angeles but we can sure benefit from them by Deborah Shadovitz Instead of pencils and paper, how about pencils made out of paper — and paper made from sugarcane. Read more

Two Memorex iPod spe...

PartyCubeCDSoundSystemiPod & iPhone Speaker Recommendations Because the people of Los Angeles deserve good sound by Deborah Shadovitz with Mario Salinas (2010) Much like the CDs reduced people's music collections from major shelves (or multiple milk crates) to shoebox-sized containers and the iPod reduced CD collections to the size of a deck of cards, we've seen home speaker systems shrink greatly as well. However, sound is the result of air being moved. That's much easier with a large speaker in a large speaker cabinet, but a great challenge for today's small speaker system that typically contains an iPod dock. The challenge for speaker manufacturers is Read more

Uncategorized

Entertainment posts

This page will have general LA entertainment info if I keep it. This page is actually a post. Read more

Water

Water Sports in Mali...

Malibu_montageWater Sports at the Malibu Pier — one of the top surfing spots in the world Right along the Pacific Coast Highway up a way from Santa Monica — or over the mountains from the 101, a bit south of Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road — is the Malibu Pier, Surfrider Beach, and the Malibu Surf Shack. The Malibu Surf Shack is pretty much across the street from the Pier. This small, friendly shop is chock full of hanging surf boards and wet suits. Outside are large  stashes of Surfboards, Boogie Boards and Stand Up Paddle Boards awaiting rental. In a truck across Read more

Big Bear in Summer

BigBear_DebBehindBoard14Big Bear Lake: A Perfect Summer Break Cooler air, wakeboarding or touring, and so much more About 2½ hours from Los Angeles... by Deborah Shadovitz with Muna Deriane When the Los Angeles area's summer heat gets to you, or you simply need an easy vacation, consider a trip to Big Bear. The air’s about 20 degrees cooler and it’s only about 2½ hours away. The tree-lined mountains are magnificent scenery and the lake is beautiful. You’ll get to breath deeply and truly relax. You can’t help but feel rejuvenated up there and the variety of activities may surprise you. With 22 miles of shoreline Read more

Wine Recommendations

Grgich Hills Fume Bl...

GHE_logoWine Focus — Grgich Hills Estate, Fume Blanc Consistently reliable, and organically, biodynamically grown by Debbie Chinn   The Grgich Hills Estate winery is located on St. Helena Hwy in Rutherford, CA (about 383 miles from LA’s City Hall).   Grgich Hills' Fume Blanc I always order with confidence when I see a Grgich Hills label but in particular, I have not gone wrong with a Fume Blanc. It’s consistently reliable; easy and refreshing on the palate with aromas of citrus and melon. I don’t care for wines that are over-oaked which makes me partial to the delicacies of this Fume Blanc. I’ll drink this with grilled chicken or Read more

Lambert Bridge Winer...

DebbieChinn(ns)Wine Recommendation Lambert Bridge Winery Only fully mature, perfectly ripe, and hand-selected grapes become Lambert Bridge wines by Debbie Chinn Every now and then, I come across a winery that’s almost too good to be true. Whenever that happens, I keep going back to taste, taste again, re-discover nuances and taste some more. I love when that happens! Read more

Wine Recommendations...

Grgich Hills Fume Bl...

GHE_logoWine Focus — Grgich Hills Estate, Fume Blanc Consistently reliable, and organically, biodynamically grown by Debbie Chinn   The Grgich Hills Estate winery is located on St. Helena Hwy in Rutherford, CA (about 383 miles from LA’s City Hall).   Grgich Hills' Fume Blanc I always order with confidence when I see a Grgich Hills label but in particular, I have not gone wrong with a Fume Blanc. It’s consistently reliable; easy and refreshing on the palate with aromas of citrus and melon. I don’t care for wines that are over-oaked which makes me partial to the delicacies of this Fume Blanc. I’ll drink this with grilled chicken or Read more

Lambert Bridge Winer...

DebbieChinn(ns)Wine Recommendation Lambert Bridge Winery Only fully mature, perfectly ripe, and hand-selected grapes become Lambert Bridge wines by Debbie Chinn Every now and then, I come across a winery that’s almost too good to be true. Whenever that happens, I keep going back to taste, taste again, re-discover nuances and taste some more. I love when that happens! Read more

Word Games

Bookworm

Bookworm for free Bookworm Bookworm has been a favorite word game of mine since I discovered it for the Palm in 2003. Thus, the ad and link to buy it. It's available on several platforms including iPhone, SmartPhones, DS, and online, each priced for that platform. This link will also get you to Bejeweled and other great electronic games. ~ Deborah Shadovitz Read more

BANANAGRAMS

BANANAGRAMS_logoIf you love Scrabble you should enjoy BANANAGRAMS, and if you don’t enjoy Scrabble you may likely fall in love with this variation of the word puzzle idea. BANANAGRAMS Some folks love Scrabble while others feel it’s too much luck of the draw and dependent on how the person before you plays. This word game provides the fun of the Scrabble crossword style — but leaves you full control of your own word puzzle. The official rules say to Place all 144 tiles face down on the table. (They call this the “bunch.”) However, I like to leave them in the yellow banana, turn my Read more