Monthly Archives: December 2015

[LA Life] Kick Start 2016 Off Right With a First Day Hike!

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525, 600 minutes ago, yet I can still taste the moment that I was marinating in: blustery, salted ocean air coating my hair as we adventured down into Crissy Field and over the Golden Gate Bridge where I did my best to forgo my fear of heights.  Somewhere, in between two nights of Pretty Lights, my audiophilic tendencies were reinvigorated and my love for the world blossomed exponentially.  I’m a sucker for the bright lights, bold vibes and vibrant personalities of city life.  There’s an energy that resides in the city, a resilient energy that grows stronger as the night grows darker while glowing technicolor.

It’s not that I don’t find an equal but opposite view of the stars and nature, it’s just for almost 31 years that my dancing feet have led me directly into the heart of the city. Yet, after 31 years I’m finally searching for that something new, something natural, something free  – an oasis in the midst of a barren desert, a secret garden in a concrete jungle. Time and time again, I’ve found myself enthralled by the melody as the bass becomes me, but more and more I’ve simply pulled out of my city kitty tendencies and found myself into the great tonic of wilderness, clean air and a clear conscience.

The New Years offers up a wonderful, albeit temporal, period of solid resolution and personal resolve.  Whether it lasts the whole year or not sounds like more of a personal problem but those who have a will, always always tend to have a way.  But, I’ve found that writing down my personal wants, needs and goals for the year helps me not just keep track of them but I also hold myself increasingly more accountable of them.

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Last year, when I made my 31 Before 31 Resolutions –  I made it a point to visit a new local Botanical Garden or State Park every month and I’ll tell you right now that beyond going to the multitudes of festivals and events – it’s one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever had.  Betwixt the travel and writing, work and kitties, music festival after music festival across the West Coast – I’m so grateful that we had the opportunity to visit so many wonderful places steeped in grandiose history and utter beauty.

 

With exercise as one of the most common New Years Resolutions, it might just behoove you to get up, get out, get over that hangover and get healthy – or at least just get some fresh 2016 air.  Around the nation, thousands of people will be hitting the trails, mountains and rivers as part of the National ‘First Day Hike‘ movement – and there’s plenty of fun to go around on each and every corner of the United States.  Just in California, there’s over 50 different hikes to join in over 40 different parks across the state, not to mention paddle boat rides, geology walks, seal tours and some vehicle rides off the beaten path.

Locations include:

Where will you be spending the first day of 2016?

 

For more details on First Day Hikes around California, head over to the State’s Parks Website. For a birds eye view of all the natural, National goodness  – use the hashtag #FirstDayHikes to dive into pictures and locations on Twitter and Instagram.

 

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For a trip down memory lane, try out these adventures from the past year!

December: The Los Angeles Arboretum | Big Bear | Crissy Park

January: UC Botanical Garden

February: Glenoaks Canyon

August: Multnomah Falls, Oregon

October: Big Sur, California

November: Stanford Arboretum + Arizona Cactus Garden

December: LA Zoo Nights

[The Audiofiles] Countdown to 2016 with Insomniac’s Twelve.31

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Now that the slow crawl of the holidays has clamored back to a regular roar around Los Angeles, New Years Eve is approaching at lightning speed and I’ve had the itch to come out of my annual post-festival season hibernation and paint the town all sorts of technicolor. In a city equally basked by sunlight and spotlights, New Years Eve has become a choose your own adventure extravaganza, and Insomniac Events most certainly takes the lead in this respect with events in each and every corner of Southern California.

It’s hard to believe that almost a decade ago I was celebrating a decade of Electric Daisy Carnival, but in June 2006 that’s precisely where I was – diving headfirst down the rabbit hole at the good ol’ NOS Center in San Bernadino.  Twirling under an electric sky with strangers that manifested into friends, I felt myself unfolding into self like a flower that blooms, blooms and blooms again in what’s become a semi-permanent state of self-evolution.  Slowly but surely, I’ve drifted away from the large scale massives and events over the last few years and into the realm of boutique and transformational festivals; believe me when I say that my love for the former them hasn’t waned – it’s simply that I’ve been on a personal, perpetual hunt for something new, something different.  Maybe it’s some new age form of chasing the evolved dragon, but I’m on the prowl for that perfect ‘je ne sais quoi’ of the musical experience – a special combination of musicianship, creativity, production value and community that sits delightfully smack dab in the center of their Venn Diagram, and this year – it’s called Twelve.31.

Tomorrow night, Insomniac Events is pulling out all the underground stops at the legendary Hollywood Palladium as Minimal, Tech and Deep House legends grace the decks for one unforgettable evening of dancing and decadence in the city of angels.

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Start the night off right as the duo Divine Minds in Time grace the decks from 8 to 9pm.  Recently transplanted to Downtown Los Angeles from upstate New York, the pair have already made quite the name for themselves playing popular local events around the city such as Clinic Wednesday and Sounds Like.  Keep your eyes on them next year as they’ll be releasing their debut EP on their very own record imprint – Akashic Records.

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Then from 9 to 10:30, Washington DC transplant turned West Coast House phenom Jon Charnis takes the stage. Throughout the years, Charnis has produced under many different monikers but now that he’s found his true calling within the darker, deeper production – there’s no going back from this one; plus, since it’s his birthname he’s basically stuck with it – so why not rock it?!  If you’re a tried and true Angelino, you’ve probably seen him at All Day I Dream or Capsulem.

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Say one final goodbye to 2015 the Dirtybird way as Shiba San’s  French House flair and grooving tunes countdown the last drops of the year from 10:30 to Midnight.  After a year of what felt like chasing him around from Lightning in a Bottle to Focus, to Shambhala – I’m excited to finally see him in LA – and I know a whole hell of a lot of other people are too.

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Kick 2016 off in an official capacity with London production duo Dusky as they hit the stage from midnight til 1:30AM.  The pair recently released their latest work – a three track EP  titled ‘Lydia’ – on the label 17 Steps this past November

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From 1:30 to 3am, bear witness to the epic back-to-back set from Canadian DJs Tiga and Kenny Glasgow and prepare to lose yourself to dance.  Though Glasgow is best known for his influence in the sphere of dance music as half of the duo Art Department, this past spring the two split ways to further develop personal projects, including his latest ‘In Too Deep’

Tiga: Facebook | Website |  Soundcloud

Kenny Glasgow: Facebook  | Twitter | Soundcloud

End the night right with a proper dance party as Kidnap Kid closes out the bash from 4-5am.

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Who will we be seeing on the dance floor?!

Purchase Tickets Here

For more on Twelve.31, head to the event’s social media pages –

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Keep tabs on Insomniac Events for the best in dance music events –

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[Top Shelf] My Favorite Winter Skin Solutions

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The air has resolved into a crisp, blustery whisper, the coldness of the night has slowly crept its way into the nooks and crannies of my apartment and between the cracks, some days it becomes increasingly more difficult to decipher whether my skin more resembles a leaf or vice versa.  Ah, yes – Winter in Los Angeles; it’s not for the faint of heart, nor for those who aren’t as versed with skin care remedies.  Between the sun, the smog and the cold, your skin needs to be prepared to combat all the elements – so I think it’s about time you were covered, both literally and figuratively.

Though there are definitely products that In life, there are a whole lot of things that I don’t mind in knock off form, but unless it’s a great deal or a stellar sale – skincare and hair care are two of the few corners in life that I refuse to cut.  Abraham Lincoln once joked ‘If I was two faced, would he really be wearing this one?’ Well the truth of it is, we really do only have one face and unless you’re in the business of Botox or more extreme treatments, you better be taking care of yourself.  As the largest organ that your body has, your skin deserves to have you treat yo’self.  And even though you can go all high end, your local CVS and Walgreens also have a whole host of products that are simply great for you, like Cetaphil, Clearasil, Dove and Vasoline brand. Balling on a budget, definitely;  feeling good and looking great in my natural skin – bitch, I might be.

For the Face

As a little pre-moisturizer ritual, I give my face, neck and chest a little dose of Murad’s Intensive Vitamin C Face Mask.   You leave it on for ten minutes and let the glycolic acid do the work – exfoliating your skin while leaving it feeling fresh and smooth.

Murad: $55

Also available through Sephora for the same price

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For the best 24 hour moisturizer, I turn to Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturising and Brightening Cream.  For the better part of the last decade, it’s been part of my morning ritual and I can’t for the life of me see myself deviating from that anytime soon.

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Since the time I was just a wee little girl my mother always told me the only face cleaning product I ever really needed was Cetaphil.  And now, almost 30 years later – I want to let you know: lady was right. Great for a simple face cleansing, and works effectively to take off makeup – not to mention, you can find it at your local drug store.  Win.

Cetaphil: $7.99

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For the Lips

When I found out that my favorite line of chapstick was discontinued, I sunk into a pseudo depression.  Trust me, though I wasn’t full on sad the idea that I’d no longer be able to find a Pink Lemonade or Mango flavored Bonne Bel was more than I could handle for a period of time.  Yes, you read that right – 2015 was a monumental year….a year where Twinkies came back and Lip Smackers were discontinued. But thanks to the Evolution of Smooth (EOS), I’ve been having a ball with my lips and have barely looked back. Snag them at any of your local drugstores, or just load up online – my favorite flavors are Summer Fruit and Strawberry Sorbet.

EOS: $3.29

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For the Body

I have loads of tips and tricks up my sleeve when it comes to buying beauty products (like I said, balling on a budget) – but one of the best is that you don’t need a fancy lotion to lavish over, what you need is tried and true.  And that means you go with Vaseline brand.  With my skin as succeptable as it is to the dull, dry months – I always go with the Intensive Care Total Moisture – and the Cocoa butter smell definitely helps!

Vaseline with Cocoa Butter: $4.19

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For the Hands

Last, but most definitely not least – those ten little digits that rub on all that lotion could use a bit of love themselves.  Enter Bliss’ High Intensity Hand Cream.  With it’s tantalizing mix of macadamia oil and grapeseed extract, the lotion sinks deep into the skin – nourishing it from the base to the top, providing extra comfort in the dead of winter to dry, brittle skin.

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[LA Life] Squad Out for LA’s Free Museum Day on 1/30 + 1/31

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Though the holidays are considered one of the most magical times of the year, the end of January holds a special treat for anyone in the Southern California region.   On the last Saturday in January, some of the best museums from around the county will be opening their doors and waiving the fees and I guarantee you’ll find a museum in each nook of the city that tickle’s your fancy, as well as your brain.

If you’re into Contemporary Art head over to the MOCA or the latest museum – The Broad in downtown Los Angeles, for photography – the Annenberg Space for Photography has you covered,  get a close up with a dinosaur at the California Academy of Sciences or the La Brea Tar Pits, marvel over Greco-Roman art and architecture at the Getty Villa in Malibu or the beauty of botanicals at the Descanso Gardens in Pasadena. 

Even with the eight years that I’ve lived in the city of angels, I haven’t had the opportunity to frequent the museums as much as I would like. So far, I can cross only a handful off of the list but believe me when I say these are all on my bucket list.   As of now, I’ve visited each Getty location and was lucky enough to see Tim Burton’s exhibit at the LACMA a few years back, plus the California Science Museum, the Descanso Gardens and the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Available Day Adventures

The museums below are all available for free admission on January 30th – so round up the troops, call up the squad and get the gang together; this is one Winter treat you won’t want to miss out on!

Now, be warned – all of Los Angeles is going to be out and about that weekend, and the museums are bound to get a little packed.  So if you’re a stickler on a time crunch or a tad claustrophobic, never fear – there are plenty of museums and local gardens that offer up a free day a month!

The ArboretumFree the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month

Descanso Gardens Free the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month

The Huntington Botanical Gardens The First Thursday of Every Month

Getty Villa – Admission is always free, Parking is on a Pay Basis

For a glance at the Free Museum and Garden days with more detail – the So Cal Museum’s website set up this handy grid:

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For more details, visit the official website for So Cal’s Free Museum Day!

Which venue strikes your fancy? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

[Oh, Snap] Chasing Sunset at Malibu’s Point Dume

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Last Sunday, we bid adieu to the succulent last seconds of Autumn in one of the most blissful fashions. As I’m sure you’re well aware, Los Angeles either has the absence of seasons or a mass inundation of each throughout a single 24 hour stretch.  With strong Winter storms coming in from the North West on Saturday night, we almost changed our Sunday plans – discussing the merits of cloud coverage in romantic photography and the like, but we decided to throw caution to the literal wind and get our booties out to Malibu to enjoy the last weekend of the season with some of our favorite people, creating magic and celebrating true love.

Love.  It’s a simple four letter word with a complex, vast and almost unfathomable meaning.  Love takes you by the arm securely and leads you to safety, while encouraging you to blast out of your own comfort zone and reach for the stars.  Love isn’t only giving, it’s forgiving; the last piece of the puzzle of a beautiful picture, a picture that was once so inconceivably incomplete.  Love fills your life in time with your heart, warming each and every nook and corner; clearing out the cobwebs of the ego, unchaining your pride and letting your soul shine free.  Love is natural, like the sun, wind, water and Earth; yet love is extraordinary, like the existence of the universe, like the rose that grew from concrete, like the existence of you, or I – or the simple fact that between you and I, there’s a we that is coveted more than the deepest secrets and oldest friendships.  Love is a bridge from nowhere to everywhere, a door that opens infinitely and a dream that’s never deferred.  But the most beautiful thing of all is that love is.

Though photography is a passion of mine, it certainly isn’t a profession – I’ve left that to the fiance.  He’s been building a bustling portfolio in the three years we’ve been together and I’m so thrilled that I’ve had a first hand view at how he’s grown as a creative, as an artist, as a working professional.  Though he’s done his fair share of concerts, shows, festivals, plays and musicals – he’s itching to get his feet wet in other arenas, including headshots, portfolios, high fashion and engagement shoots – and I’m thrilled, because this means I get to learn, too!  So after a quick breakfast and conversation, we were off to the beaches to capture the effortlessness of true love in a fantastic couple.  Now, I don’t have any spoilers – because, well, they’re not my pictures.  But I did get to spend a good amount of time chasing one last Fall Sunset at Malibu’s Point Dume, and let me tell you – so worth it. And a perfect full circle from last year, where we spent the first day of Winter in Big Bear.

Locals might think of it as a total tourist trap with not a lot of parking, but I think the scenery is stunning, the views up and down the Pacific Coast are  breathtaking and there’s a whole host of marine life for you to take in. – from cranes to seals, and even a dolphin (or shark!) if you’re there on a good one.   There’s plenty of rocks for rock climbing, and tons of ocean to relax the mind and body.





For more on Point Dume, check out their State Park website and social media channels.

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[The Audiofiles] Countdown to 2016 around Los Angeles with Insomniac Events

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Throughout my years in Los Angeles, I’ve watched as Insomniac Events raised the bar to raising your glass at New Years Eve. Whether it’s House legends Sasha and Digweed throwing down an awe inspiring back to back set, an epic nine hour Armin Van Buuren expose, or blasting off with bass heavy sets from NERO and Major Lazer – Insomniac is always perfectly poised with an expertly curated lineup, incredible production value and decorations to the nines. This year in LA will be no different – except for the sheer volume of events to choose your own adventure from!

If you’re down to go big and you’re privy to high octane energy, whimsical wobbles, and euphoric bassdrops – Insomniac’s Countdown NYE in San Bernadino has you covered with Sleepy Tom, What So Not, Alison Wonderland, Kaskade, TJR and more!

More Details on Countdown NYE Here!

If you’re not in the mood to trek it out to San Bernadino, or are looking for a more intimate club experience – you can take your pick of Insomniac influenced and Night Owl approved nightclubs, each with a uniquely stacked lineup.

Sound Nightclub
Bring on the Bass – that Night Bass! AC Slater hosts an extra special edition of NYE Night Bass at Sound with Jack Beats, BOT and friends

More Details Here

Create Nightclub
Get ready to dance your way into 2016 as Create brings Oliver Heldens to Los Angeles!

Tickets

Avalon Nightclub
Gear up for a 3 Hour set from Morgan Page, not to mention Gabriel & Dresden and Randy Seidman!
More Details Here

Exchange Nightclub
Techno? TechYES! Rave into 2016 as John Digweed headlines LA Loves Techno New Years Eve.
Details

But if you really want to know where my soul wants to roam for New Years, it’s deep into the underground as Insomniac pulls out all the stops at the Hollywood Palladium for Twelve.31

Prepare your ears for a four to the floor feast, a house fueled, 9 hour groove-a-thon featuring Dusky, Kidnap Kid, Jon Charnis, Tiga Vs Kenny Glasgow and my absolute personal festival favorite from this past year – Shiba San

Purchase Tickets Here

For more on Twelve.31, head to the event’s social media pages –

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Keep tabs on Insomniac Events for the best in dance music events –

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[The Audiofiles] Get Your Rocks Off at Gem and Jam’s 10 Year Anniversary

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A shining beacon of the Electronic Music Scene in Tucson, the Gem and Jam Festival returns for their 10 year anniversary to celebrate both the symbiosis of music and art within the conscious festival community as well as the love of precious minerals and gems featured at Arizona’s fabled Gem Show.

Thrown in collaboration with Infinite Music Productions, New Earth MUZiQ, Euphonic Conceptions & Challenger, the Gem and Jam Festival constantly evolves the perception of dance music with a livetronica take – almost every act you’ll find at the festival includes live elements within their performance. This year, headliners for the event include Beats Antique, The Polish Ambassador, Lettuce, Minnesota, Ott and so many more – plus a plethora of unreal live painters. Last year hosted the likes of Alex + Allyson Grey, The Welch Brothers, Benedigital, Ngene and Jef Logan; this years lot is slated to be just as magical. And let’s not forget, the magical, mystical and magnificent minerals and gems on dazzling display – best believe you’ll leave with at least a few of them!

For those that hit up the event last year, you’re in luck – four more hours of music have been added to each day!

Details
Dates: February 12-14
1102 W Grant Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705
Doors open at 12pm each night
Music goes from 12pm – 1am nightly

If you’re itching to get your rocks off early, head to San Francisco or Los Angeles for one of the official Gem and Jam Pre-parties with Shpongle, Ott and Alex + Allyson Grey!

San Francisco @ 1015 Folsom on 1/14
RSVP // Tickets

Los Angeles @ The Belasco on 1/15
RSVP // Tickets

For a look into last year’s magic, take a look at the official aftermovie –

Life at Gem & Jam 2015 (Official After Movie) from The Art of Bohl on Vimeo.

For more on the Gem and Jam Festival, head to their socials –

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