It’s My Birthday!

Today is the Sixth Day of the Sixth Month of the Year in 2016 & it’s my BIRTHDAY! Today i’m 35 years old & I still feel like I’m 28. I wasn’t able to celebrate with my friends & family because I (like always) am Last Minute Lucy so no one was available. I did however, receive a plethora of love from family & friends via Insta, FB, Phone calls, & text so that felt great.  My Mom& Dad both gave me Apple gift cards because they know I want to purchase a MACBook.  My mother-in-law bought me a beautiful birthday charm for my Pandora bracelet.  My hubby gave a birthday card! Which he never does, but this was my first birthday as “wifey” so I can really get used to the “Wife Life” I ordered my birthday cake from Portos Bakery  it was an eight inch Strawberry Shortcake. Delish!

Yesterday, I went back to Burke Williams simply massage…ahh! Need I say more? I decided yesterday it was my motherly & wifely duty to become a BW member so I can rejuvenitate once a month in order to give my family the best me possible.

Saturday, I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Barton G with my always & forever. We had the most amazing time! I purchased a sexy new black dress from BEBE that blew my hubby’s mind. That dress was for his eyes only. Just Kidding, I just forgot to take a picture. Smh.

Barton G, in my opinion, is a boutique restaurant with a really sexy ambiance. It’s located on La Cienega in Los Angeles (right next to Nobu, where we plan to go next).  Each item on the menu is served as an intriguing presentation. We had the Mouse Trap Mac & Cheese to start & it was THE best Mac & Cheese I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant…hands down. I can literally go just to eat this & be happy about it. Ha! See the mouse trap!

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For my celebration cocktail I chose the Cotton Candy Martini. It’s not on the menu but our waiter suggested it and it was a real treat. You’d think it would be super sweet but it wasn’t. With the added nitrogen & sexiness of the cocktails, the Hubby opted for a manly top shelf tequila shot. Boo!!! Eventually, I would like to try all their other fancy cocktails. I’m just saying.

You can check out my Nitro Cotton Candy Martini on Instagram

Our dinner presentation…the super large fork & the Lured Salmon…cute!

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The bread donuts were very different but tasty. I enjoyed the cheese bread/donut more than the Mushroom & Basil.

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For dinner I had the Lured by Salmon…oh! The crunch on the top layer was delicious! It was served with Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, & Chimichurri.  I warmed it up the next day. Shouldn’t have covered the entire piece in foil because it got mushy. Next time, I’ll put in the foil uncovered to keep the crunch.

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Hubby had the Rib Eye.  Even though he ordered it well done, it was very juicy & sliced like butter. It was served with a Bone Marrow butter for dipping and he lost his mind. & Those truffle fries! Oooh weee!

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Sorry, he took this picture while his fork & knife photo-bombed.

All-in-all “The Damage” wasn’t too bad.  It was well worth the price & I definitely look forward to going again.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

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Review: Burke Williams – Simply Massage

Photo Credit: NWR

Burke Williams simply massage

Address: 13400 W. Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey, CA

Have you ever needed JUST a massage without all the spa hype?  Usually, when you think of getting a massage, you think of “spa day” with the girls, or couple’s massage with the Mr. because going to the spa alone is definitely a faux pas.  Then there’s an entire day catered to sauna’s, mud bath’s, and cucumber water, when you only require a deep tissue massage to help you unwind from a hectic week.  Please don’t misread this – I love a day at the spa!  There’s no better escape from the world of calendar’s and kiddies than a day of facials, reflexology, & hydrotherapy.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being one of the first to experience Burke Williams’ simply massage location in Marina del Rey.  The idea behind the simply massage locations is that, like me, with a hectic lifestyle, being a full-time Secretary (Senior Secretary III to be exact), Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Cousin, BFF, you name it, I can never find time to make an all-day trip to a spa.  However, what I do have is an hour – hour 1/2 to stop by Burke Williams simply massage for a quick unwind to help me be a better all-of-the-above.  Let me just say, I went shopping at Costco (across the street) before going to my session. Ha!

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Photo Credit: The Ace Agency

The ambience in the location was very relaxing.  The smell was delightful, the paint was a beautiful light turquoise with different hues of blue to bring in the closeness of the ocean.  There are also Burke Williams products for purchase if you’re into their skin care line.  My typical routine is Neutrogena (bar soap) & Ponds Dry Skin Cream so…I will not go in depth on their products right now.  hmmm…maybe I should try them out?

Upon receiving my massage, my masseuse (male) was very friendly & welcoming.  The room was dimly lit, the bed & covers were heated!  *sigh*  Quietude!  Just me, my warm covers, my masseuse & all my worries at a halt.   I definitely plan to becoming a member of Burke Williams Simply Massage.  I don’t think I can find a better way to spend $59 per month.  It’s cheaper than my $5 a day starbucks habit at $150 a month.  OMG! Was I really paying that much for coffee?  that explains a lot.

 For more details on Burke Williams simply massage & how to become a member, visit their website.

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Event Review: 5th Annual West Coast BBQ Classic at The Queen Mary

Event Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016

Event Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm

Location: The Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA

It was such a carnivorous pleasure for my husband and me to attend the Queen Mary’s 5th Annual West Coast BBQ Classic.  My Husband is such a BBQ fanatic so he appreciates good BBQ.  He was waaaay more excited than I was LOL.  I, on the other hand, love it, but am very critical of BBQ.  The meat must be cooked to perfection (not underdone, tough, or chewy).  It must be well-seasoned and the sauce MUST catapult the intensity of the meat.  If it doesn’t do that for me, it’s a waste of time.   

To top off the day, the weather was wonderful!  It was a little overcast so it wasn’t too hot. 

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Upon arrival I noticed the lot was nicely sized.  It was large enough to really get you excited about the event but it wasn’t over-whelming.  The price was $25 for admission with (5) tasting tickets, $40 for VIP admission with (5) tasting tickets (VIP allowed you take advantage of attending an hour before general admission & a spectacular lounging area).  If you were like me and needed more tasting tickets, they were $10 for (5) tasting tickets.  With each Pitmaster charging 2 tickets for Ribs & 1 for sides, (5) tickets dispersed quickly. 

When we first entered, we did an entire walk-through to get an idea which we wanted to sample first. 

We were a little dejected as many of the places were already out of ribs when we arrived.  The one’s we did try didn’t give us the WOW factor we came for.  We’re not a fan of pulled pork & candied bacon so we ate brisket.  Our first stop “Rooftop BBQ” we shared a brisket sandwich.  It had caramelized onions mixed with the brisket, on a soft bun, and the BBQ sauce was so lip-smacking good.  I was kind of sad we shared but I didn’t want to “appear” greedy – Although, I did come hungry.

There was live music, a DJ, scheduled games & activities for the kids (although I left mine with their granny). There was face-painting, and a bounce house.  That made the event family very friendly.  

We over-sampled & purchased a delicious Peach-Pecan Cobbler from Heavenly Delights.   It was over-priced for the size but it was deliciously worth it.  We took it home and smothered it with Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream…

 Under the shaded VIP lounge there were sofas for those of us who wanted to relax, listen to the band and or DJ, take in this gorgeous view of Downtown Long Beach…

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And drink a Dos Equis 🙂 It was my first one and really good! 

Check out this corn I got from Smokin Hart’s… 

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We used our (2) People’s Choice Award tickets to choose our favorite Pitmaster of the day, which also turned out to be the PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER OF THE DAY! It was none other than *drumroll*…

OUTTA GAS BBQ

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Not because the service was exceptional & they stuffed us with some really good watermelon as we waited line…

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But because EVERYTHING we sampled was beyond enjoyable.   It was borderline sinful!  I undeniably needed an entire plate of their baked beans, mac & cheese, short-rib tacos (oh! the tacos!), and their refreshing apple cobbler something…whatever the name…I was happy about it.  Their ribs were ok. They took home 7th place for their ribs.  Unfortunately, whichever Pitmasters took home 1st – 6th place, I’m sure we didn’t get to try.   

Overall it was a great event.  For anyone thinking they are coming to pig out, think again.  The samples were bite-sized & often left you wanting more.  In the end, with all the tastings, we left full & satisfied.

I give it  ⭐⭐⭐

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Photo Credit: NWR

 

 

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Event Review: Weekend of Fantasea

Event Date: April 8 – 10, 2016  (My review is only for Friday, April 8th)

Location: Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA

This weekend my hubby and I started our weekend off attending the Queen Mary’s Fantasea: Magic Festival “Friday Night of Illusions” show.  Once we got there we thought we were “underdressed” because everyone was dressed in suits and nice dresses.  After we stood in line & enjoyed a complimentary glass of red wine, we realized the line we were in (with the overdressed people) wasn’t for the Fantasea Friday Night of Illusions show – It was a private event. Ha! Thanks for the wine generous folks!

Before attending the show, I had never been to a magic show so I couldn’t say whether I do or don’t believe in magic.  They say the hands are quicker than the eyes…I must have really slow eyes because I see no way possible for some of those tricks to happen.

This guy…was AMAZING!

Murray Sawchuck (below) was the main magician & illusionist for the show  He made appearances on the History Channels “Pawn Stars” as a magic expert & he has his own show in Las Vegas, NV at Planet Hollywood.  He was funny, talented, & engaged with the audience during the entire performance.   I mean, I was actually asked to participate once.  I had to hold a diamond ring (from someone in the audience) inside a bandana tightly. I promise I held on to that sucker! He snatched the bandana from my hand & the ring was gone!! It ended up on his assistant’s finger!  Can you believe that?

After the show, we were able to enjoy close-up magic tables along the Enchanted Corridor.  The Hubby & I wanted to capture a moment on the way to see Jon Armstrong’s “I Do Card Tricks and I’m Funny” show in the Hocus Pocus Parlour & Pub.

At 9:30pm, we were able to catch the final “Magic Mixology” show in the Cauldron.  I actually thought we would see cocktail mixing with some type of illusion or magic.  In actuality, it was a 30-minute cocktail tasting (with pre-mixed cocktails) they served while giving us a brief history on cocktails.  The information was interesting, but for a late night show, it was kinda too much reading.  I’ll just say that was my least favorite show.   Maybe next time, instead of a tasting, maybe they can show us interesting ways to mix drinks and provide recipes to take home.  I did enjoy this Cold Deck Cocktail.  I’m not a huge fan of cognac, but it had a really smooth finish.


Overall, it was a great night!  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the entire weekend.  If it comes back again next year, I would definitely  try to make the entire event.

XO

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Photo Credit: All photos were captured by me.

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My Crush on Literature

My first crush started in elementary school.  The first day Scholastic came to our school for a “Book Fair” was the day I fell enamored in words.  Walking through the classroom turned book fair was like walking through a candy store.   So many choices…I wanted them all.   At the time, I was hooked on the Sleepover Friends series by Susan Sanders.  I’m sure any 80’s baby could relate.  I read every last book!  That’s when I knew,  I had a thing for reading & books.  That thing, that crush on literature, that love for words, never faltered.

This year, I decided to re-ignite my passion & do something I’ve never done.  I’ve always thought about doing it, but never actually brought it into fruition.  I’m going to do a reading challenge.  I want to challenge myself to read as many books as possible.  I want to read the plethora of books I have at home and never read.  I want to challenge myself to get out of my reading comfort zone and experience other categories of books.  I want to read an Autobiography.  I want to read books on the “banned books” list. With that being said, here is my challenge for 2016:

  1. A Pulitzer Prize Winner – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Banned book – The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. A book I bought and still haven’t read
  4. A movie I like & haven’t read the book
  5. A genre I’ve never read
  6. A book many people have read, except me
  7. A friend’s favorite book
  8. A book published in 2016The Obsession by Nora Roberts {04/27 – 6/09}
  9. A classic from the 21st Century
  10. An Autobiography
  11. A book I haven’t read since high school
  12. A book from my childhood
  13. A NY Times Best Seller
  14. A book becoming a movie this year or turned into a movie last year
  15. A book recommended by a stranger
  16. A Self-Improvement Book
  17. A memoir
  18. A book from Oprah’s Book Club
  19. A book with a protagonist who has my occupation
  20. A murder mystery – So far I’ve read two (both free on iTunes) –  Death by Honeymoon, by Jaden Skye {03/08 – 03/17}  & The Forgotten Girls by Alexa Steele {03/17 – 03/22}
  21. A non-fiction book on something I’ve always wanted to know
  22. Trilogy – The World of Alpha Trilogy: Alpha, {03/22 – 03/31} Beta, {03/31 – 04/19} & Omega {04/19 – 04/26} by Jasinda Wilder.  Just when I thought this was going to a typical millionaire falls in love with broke girl love story…I realized, I was so mistaken.

I will update my progress as I go – BOLD will mean it’s completed.

Quick question – How do you prefer reading books?  electronic or physical book?   Me, I like the physical book.  Although, I’ve accustomed myself to the convenience of buying books on my iPad.

xo

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