Show Me The Waze

We already know I’m a late bloomer. It is 2014 and I just started a blog.  What I’m about to profess my new found love for is not new, but thankfully it’s become a new addition to my life.  I’m talking about Waze.  If you don’t already use the Waze app you are depriving yourself of time.  Here are a few reasons why I love Waze.
– I made it to Bel Air from Santa Monica during rush hour in 32 minutes. It look me down streets I never knew existed.  The only warning was at one point I had to cross Sunset without a light.

– Driving down Lincoln to Washington is no longer something I do. Waze showed me another way and an added benefit was I saw an entirely new neighborhood.

– Before I drive somewhere, I know what I’m getting in to.   If there is traffic and it is going to take awhile, Waze knows.

Waze is more than a navigational service. I know how to get from my house to my office.  However, I still check with Waze every morning and evening before heading out so I know which route will get me there the fastest.

Is there an app you can’t live without? If so, fill me in.  In the meantime I hope your driving experience gets Waze better.

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All Hail To The Queen

It has to be my dad’s fault. He was hairy. I’m talking full on back hair sweater style.  I DETEST my own body hair.  Laser, electrolysis, waxing, planing, you name it, I’ve done it, do, tried it, or want it.  In my quest for hairlessness, I’ve gone to a lot of different places. I’d like to think I’m some what of an authority given my personal experience.  I will tell you, Queen Bee Salon and Spa, is the place to go for your waxing needs.  With Spring around the corner and Summer not far behind bathing suit season is almost upon us.  And lets face it razor burn is gross and au natural is not making a come back anytime soon.

 The owner and Queen Bee herself, Jodi Shays, is one of my favorite people.  Besides her expertise in hair removal, she is funny,  has a great sense of style, stocks fabulous products, and has a great staff.   I’ve contemplated laser but the thought of not having a reason to see Jodi is a deterrent in itself.  In addition to a fabulously charming Culver City location, Jodi has opened a second hive in Brentwood a stones throw from the country mart. This is now my go to location. While it lacks the cute outdoor patio found in the Culver location, I am still overcome with a sense of zen the moment I walk through the door.  

If you need more than my word, check out some of what the beauty experts have to say about the Queen Bee.

Knead Me

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Not to make you barf but every day is Valentine’s Day for me (lol).  However, I did use Valentine’s Day to score a deal at one of my favorite places, The Massage Place.  I love getting massages.  I’m definitely the person who goes in for a cheap manicure/pedicure and comes out with a $100 receipt because I continually say yes when asked if I want 5 minutes more.  The point of telling you this is that I love massages so much I’m willing to even get one when seated in a spa pedicure chair with my right hand contorted across my left because the woman doesn’t have enough room to come to my right side.  If only I could control myself and realize I’d be so much better off if I stuck to the mani/pedi and left the massaging to the experts.

Speaking of experts, I frequent the Massage Place Pacific Palisades location but prior to their opening I’d go to Montana Ave.  I’ve been getting massages at the Massage Place for years now.  It is convenient, affordable, and I’ve never been disappointed.  I like deep tissue/sports massages.  Oswaldo and Ash are my go tos but in all honesty I’ve never had a bad experience. The hours are great – my favorite time to go is Sunday night at 8pm.  There are no spa like frills but if you want a great massage this is the place. I would be shocked if you didn’t find a therapist or too you love.

Regardless of what you feel about Valentine’s Day, heart yourself and take advantage of the special 3 1-hour massages for $126. If that is too scary of a commitment then buy a single massage for $47 (gratuity not included). I promise the ~$65 you spend (massage + tip) will be worth it and much more satisfying then the $1/minute charged by the nail salon.

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Flo Knows

Flo knows that my favorite blue box is actually a blue cooler bag. Flo knows that when I get home from work I’m tired and want something healthy and tasty ready to eat.  Flo knows I’m price conscious and I care about value.  Well to tell you the truth Flo doesn’t know anything about me personally.  I bet you are wondering who is Flo.

I read about Flo a few weeks ago on Jen’s List. I’ve found more than a few great things on Jen’s List over the years. I’m sure I’ll write about those finds over time.

The post read:

Affordable Gourmet Organic Gluten-Free Vegan Meal Delivery

Ever wondered why there isn’t a great meal delivery that’s both Vegan AND Gluten-free? Well, there is, right here in LA and Orange County. Chef Florence brings her skills and recipes as personal chef to the stars right into your home with her meal delivery service, FoodFlo. You’ll save time and feel fantastic with her organic, vegan, gluten-free meals made with local farmer’s market ingredients. 1 week of meals starts at $125 including delivery. A great way to shape up after the holidays!

http://www.foodflo.com/

The menu looked delicious and the price seemed fair. Vegan, gluten free, have I gone off the deep end.  No. I haven’t. I don’t have any known gluten sensitivities (I’ve never been tested for it) and I’m not vegan, but I have to say I feel SO MUCH better when I eat this way.   I know $125 isn’t cheap but I could easily spend that grocery shopping at Whole Foods and then still have to do all the prep and cooking myself (I love Whole Foods by the way).  Also, I’ve seen other meal delivery services and know this is a good deal. I guess it is all about picking your vices.

When my blue bag arrived I was like a kid in the candy store. My biggest problem was everything looked so good and the meals all sounded interesting. I had to do everything in my power not to open each and every container and sample them all at once.

Some of the items in this week's delivery

Some of the items in this week’s delivery

Today I received my second delivery.  I ate the Vegetable Enchiladas with Mole Salsa/Green Beans and Herbs for dinner.  Yum is all I can say.  I’m excited to try the other entrees this week and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to think about packing my lunch or making my dinner.

So if you want to know my favorite blue box, that is it.  Sorry Tiffany you just don’t do it for me.

Tucked in Corners Make Me Claustrophobic

I recently tried Shape House Los Angeles on Broadway @ 10th Street in Santa Monica (there is also a Larchmont location).  The only thing I knew about it was it was an “urban sweat lodge.”  I didn’t do any research and I did not know anyone who had been before. I like to sweat and I like to try new things so I figured I’d give it a try.  I bought a coupon on Yelp thereby getting me the sweat session at a discount.  I didn’t bother to read the reviews.  I booked my appointment and I showed up excited to sweat away stress and toxins.

Upon walking in the door I felt like I entered a “boutique hotel.” I think it was the color scheme – orange and gray.  The relaxation room that I had the option to use after was directly in front of the reception area.  The chairs didn’t look very relaxing and I found it a bit odd that from where I was sitting I was staring directly into the relaxation room.  That being said, the woman I saw in the relaxation room did look very sweaty.

The women who worked at Shape House were nice and the facility very clean.  One showed me where to change into my sweats (I brought my own but  I believe they also had them available for a fee).  Dressed in sweats, socks, and a long sleeve shirt I was shown into my little area.  There was a curtain surrounding a special bed and a private TV mounted on the wall in front of the bed.  I was instructed to get in the bed which had some plastic and metallic like material to wrap around my body.  This is when I began to freak out inside.  I hate sleeping in a bed with a flat sheet firmly tucked in to the corners.  In my own bed I don’t use a flat sheet and the first thing I do at hotels is untuck the sheet. Sleeping bags forget about them – totally out of the question. I need to be able to move freely.  So now I’m laying with my arms by my sides feet firmly enclosed and material on top of me.  It is warm and it proceeds to get warmer.  I’m given headphones and a remote. The TV has ROKU so there is no shortage of things to watch.  Mentally I’m talking myself through my distress and trying to distract myself with the programming on TV.  I decide to watch a documentary on Chipotle – the Mexican fast casual (I learned that phrase) restaurant. It was interesting and motivating in a way.  In my head I was thinking that all this sweating would definitely earn me some Mexican food. (I also learned that Chipotle is an interesting and socially responsible company).   Each time I took my arm out of the bed to drink water (they provide endless supply of alkaline water) I was calmed by the cooler air temperature and reminded that I could leave at any time.  However, there was a part of me that was determined to overcome my phobia and see how long I could stay in a mummy like position.  When I started the woman explained the bed would only get hotter and that she would be by often to check on me and offer me more water.  In the 45 minutes I was in the bed, I drank 3 Liters of water.  I got sweaty, very sweaty.  I never felt relaxed as I was trying to talk myself through the experience.  I didn’t last with my entire body wrapped under all the material. I had to keep my arms out as I was too hot and felt too confined.  You know what it is like when your in a hot tub and so hot that you decide to sit on the edge but still keep your legs in the water, that is what taking my arms out was doing for me.  When the session ended I wasn’t sad.  I went into the relaxation room to cool off and was treated to more water and delicious orange slices.  I kept thinking of the movie Cocoon but I think that is only because I felt like I had been in one for the past 45 minutes.  While I do like to sweat I realize sweating while exercising is my preferred method.  Second would be going to a spa where I can walk in and out of a steam room or sauna at my leisure.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went.  I love to try new things. Shape House LA just isn’t for me. If you go or if you’ve been, I’d love to hear about your experience.

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I’ve Got The Power

corepoweryoga

I swear every New Year I think about how I should do more yoga. I also think about how I want to do pull ups but that hasn’t happened and I think I’m over pull ups.  Anyhow, this year after hearing my friend Carly rave about Corepower I decided to give it a try.  She told me there was a class called yoga sculpt.  Sculpt, YES, I need a lot of sculpting.  I was a bit intimidated so I enlisted the support of a good friend.  My friend was up for trying something different.  She does a lot of yoga but Corepower was new to her  We arrived and managed to squeeze our mats so they were next to one another.  We sat down on our mats and began to take it in our surroundings.  At one point before class started she looked over at me and said, “I feel like I’m in the movie This is 40.” Sadly I’m closer to 40 then I am 30 and I got what she meant.  We were flanked by beautiful young women (this place draws a UCLA crowd) scantily clad in sports bras and short shorts. Although I could say age and having birthed a child were my excuse, truth is I never looked like them. As if they were not enough to distract us, in walks a tall, dark, and very chiseled man shirtless and in what I’ll call hot pants.  At this point I was feeling amused.  Regardless of how the class turned out, I knew I’d have some material and visual candy.

Class started and the teacher, Marxel, cranked up the heat and turned up the music.  We did a series of yoga poses and the pace was fast.  Before I knew it I was dripping with sweat and loving every second of it.  I was no longer concerned with the people around me, I was more concerned with myself. OMG I was getting my butt kicked.  Push ups, mountain climbers, up dog, down dog, chaturanga push up, was there no mercy.  Sweat was coming out of pores I didn’t know I had and I felt winded – sprints winded.   I wasn’t the only one sneaking in an extra child’s pose here and there.  Anyhow, about 3/4 of the way through class we picked up our weights (I stuck with 3lb weights) and incorporated them into the movements.  You’d be surprised how heavy those weights begin to feel.

Although I was glad when we took our final savasana, I felt great.  In fact so great that I decided every weekend when possible I would go to Corepower Yoga Sculpt. I’ve now been 4 times.  I’m hooked. Marxel was out of town one of the weekends and there was a different instructor. She was great in her own way but not as hard.  Rumor has it (according to friends and other people I hear talking after class) Marxel is the hardest teacher.  I’m not telling you this so you’ll be that much more impressed with me or think I’m more insane then you once thought. My point is that each instructor is different so give it a try and see for yourself. If you don’t like to work out and don’t like to sweat then don’t go.  But if you are up for a challenge (and have consulted with a physician and are ok to exercise) give it a try.

And if you ever want someone to go with on a Sunday morning, let me know.