Tuesday

5 Date Night Ideas for Under $100 in L.A.

   
     Dating is not cheap, and if you're like me-and never get asked out on dates-I mean, if you're like me, sometimes you have to date on a budget. I as you all know am an L.A. native born and raised, and after my friend asked me where her and her husband could celebrate their anniversary for $100, I came up with these five ideas that I thought I should share with you! Los Angeles is filled with really expensive restaurants, bars, cars, handbags, dogs, shoes and people, but not all of us can spend $200 per week on a date right? Wait, now I'm wondering if a guy has ever spent $200 on a date with me...ummm...Netflix is like $10 a month right? Let's just move on. While there is nothing wrong with a Netflix date my friends, I do strongly suggest you hold off on the Netflix date for the first few weeks. Whether you're an L.A. native, transport or just visiting, why not try these five suggestions for under $100?!

     Date Spot #1) Perch LA: 448 South Hill St. 
     There are so many reasons to fall in love at this place! Both of the pictures in this post were taken by me at this establishment. Not only can you literally dine on the edge of one of downtown's most amazing rooftops (located on the 15th floor of the Hill building), but they also have not one but two bars, with one being located on the first floor of the bar, and the other on the rooftop outside. There is also this mysterious and sexy entrance, yes I typed entrance, that you take just to get up there...one elevator takes you to another elevator that has an actual Silver Bird for the button to press that will guide your elevator to Perch. Very sexy! Did I also mention that they have a live jazz band, an insane Happy Hour (4-6pm), and hello the views are to die for! 

   
     At Perch you and you date will have a 360 degree view of downtown Los Angeles that is just as spectacular by sunset as it is in the morning (hello, brunch date). The menu is fantastic and I am partial to their Grilled Caesar Salad with Chicken. The chicken melts in your mouth and is cooked to tender perfection, and the salad is literally grilled, a half of romaine is grilled and topped with creamy goodness that is such a hearty portion, you could share it with your date. I am a huge dessert aficionado and their White Chocolate Bread Pudding is drenched in a Bourbon glaze and served with fresh fruit. Do I really need to say more? The menu options are fancy (that's an SAT word hahahah) but, like I said one portion can feed two, so it's a win-win for your wallet and your romance meter will be at like, ten thousand percent. Just be prepared to get super romantic, kissy, loving and score huge points with your date! Thank me later.
   

Monday

Social Media Does Not Ruin Relationships...

   

     Social media does not ruin relationships...people do. There are thousands of ways to meet, find, look up, connect, hookup and explore people online. Online dating is a billion dollar business. Twitter has spawned countless hookups, and relationships. Facebook will reunite you with your elementary school crush, high school boyfriend, his cousin, and your prom date all within a few clicks. All of these outlets can bring you the love of your life, or the embarrassment of your life...Catfish anyone? With the influx of social media, texting, Instagram and every other 'Gram' of some sort available, there was bound to be a backlash.

     I have been reading comments from men and women about how social media ruined there relationship. Many of these comments have been directed at or made after someone has been caught cheating. Is it easier to have access to men and women that you would not normally meet while working at Target? Yes. Has social media made it easier for the "Average Joe" to communicate with the "Unattainable Girl"? Yes. Is it easy to fall for someone based on their Instagram pics? Yes. Does your ex really actually go away if you're able to Facebook stalk their every move? No. Here are just a few other questions for you: Does Twitter have a penis? No. Does Instagram have a vagina? No. Does Facebook call you and ask you to go out with it? No. Okay, just checking.

     The last time I checked, making a conscious decision to actively pursue someone, whether it be through texting, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, is a decision a man or woman makes on their own. The shift in our culture to not respect the boundaries of marriage and relationships has definitely exacerbated by social media. How many of us have hit on somebody we see online? You know you have so don't act like this is brand new. We see a celebrity, model, sports figure, or attractive guy/woman on our timeline and our hormones transform into a free for all of lustful comments, DM's, or "like" clicks on all of their Instagram pics.

Thursday

Can I Be Smart and Pretty?



     In the first grade I was the best reader in my class. Actually I was the fastest reader, speller and everything else you like to be in the first grade. In the second grade I really stepped my "smart game" up and began reading chapter books, practicing cursive writing and studying spelling words like they were the Holy Grail. My school wanted to skip me up one grade but my dad said no-to which I am still pissed about, but I digress...yeah dad, I'm still mad at you for that one-so I continued to push myself further and further, studying every single day. My siblings and I went to private school in Redondo Beach, Ca. For my lovely readers unfamiliar with this city, it is obviously a beach city here in L.A. and in the late 80's, let's just say outside of my siblings, there were maybe two other black kids there. My first day of school I literally raised my hand and answered every single question that the teacher asked the class. Literally raising my hand before anyone else...on purpose. I distinctly remember answering a question the teacher asked and a boy next to me saying, and I quote, "Wow...you really are smart!" That was all the fuel I needed to light my "I am smart" fire.

     Soon teachers began questioning every test or assignment I turned in. They'd ask me who I cheated off of, or who helped me. One teacher even made me re-take a test I easily aced, because how on earth did this little black girl come in and win. More fuel thrown on my fire. I craved knowledge, learning about any and everything I could. I took piano and won every recital I was in. I read more books then anyone else and did my first book report on Lucille Ball, my comedy idol I'd grown to love while obsessively watching re-runs of her at home. I sang in the choir and memorized my Easter Sunday speeches so well that they would assign me the biggest and longest speeches purposely. I started acting in plays at school and would memorize not just my role, but the entire play often helping kids with their lines while on stage. I wasn't even out of grade school. I was smart. I was smart. I was smart.

Sunday

Money + Relationships = Trouble...Proceed with Caution

    

     No one likes to talk about money. No one. Let me tell you what people like to talk about: How much they paid for their purse or car. How much their new Jordan's or Gucci sunglasses cost. How much money they spent on the gift they just bought, or dinner, or shots at the club. We can't forget about how people love to show off their money too. How many Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pics have you seen of someone holding a gigantic stack of money? I won't even get into how many "Outfit of the Day" pics there are...everywhere. Oh, and how many Louboutin, sneaker, and diamond watch pics do we view on Instagram every damn day? Here's the thing, no one likes to talk about money, and here is what I mean with my statement: where are all the 401k Facebook updates? How about the Tweets about paying off a credit card, student loan, or car debt? I've never seen anyone post about their retirement savings account or what they're doing to raise there credit score. This is what I am talking about when it comes to money, and the difference between the examples I have given, can make or break your relationship.

     Does money matter in a relationship? YES. If a man asks you out on a date, do you expect him to pay? If you ask a man out is it not fair for him to expect you to pay? Money comes into play in the very beginning stages of your relationship. One of the first questions asked by us of a new love interest is, "What do you do for a living?". Issues over money are the leading cause of divorce. Money is an essential and must be discussed. So, how do we get to a point to where we can openly discuss our financials with our partner? By talking! Seriously, communication. That's it. Do it, do it now...well wait until you finish reading this post first, then do it.

Wednesday

If You Chase Him...He Will Run.




     I love guys. I love the way they smile. I love the way they smell. I love how they put their hand on your neck while kissing you. I love men. When I am interested in a guy I expect it to be all easy and sparkly. I want him to bump into me while I'm at the bookstore, reach for the same book on the shelf, touch my hand, feel my sparkle and fall in love with me. What has been my pattern is finding and chasing the most emotionally unavailable men of the Los Angeles area.

     Here's how it goes down: I meet someone who I am attracted to. He may or may not be attracted to me, which I usually have no clue of, because as usual they never just tell me how they feel, so I set out to "find out" if they do. Hence the emotional unavailability. This is when the chase becomes a game I set out to win. I suddenly become a lion chasing after the gazelle in the wild. Letting someone know you are interested in them is amazing. It's a risk that you take and you literally roll the dice hoping that he/she will pick them up, kiss them, and place them in your hand, along with their heart.

     Sometimes, love sucks. Like when you are so into someone and they are not reciprocating your feelings. I'm way to scared to say what I'm thinking when I do have feelings for someone. In my head it's like, 'Hey you cute guy, I like you, and you should totally like me, let's go hang out at the bookstore, and ride unicorns on sparkly highways for the rest of our lives.' In person, I'm totally awkward, talk a lot, and make random self-deprecating jokes out of nervousness when I'm around someone I like. If I see or feel an inkling of that person maybe, sort kinda, just a tad, almost, kind of a little bit liking me back...the lioness in me roars it's awkward head and he becomes the gazelle that I must chase, capture and keep locked up in my heart.

Sunday

Dear Nice Guys Everywhere, I Was Wrong...

   


     I dated a nice guy once. He was the sweetest guy ever and I dumped him. Let me set the scene...it was fourth grade, the year was 1990, and Billy, my boyfriend at school was not really the guy I liked the best, but he liked me the most. For Halloween he had a trick-or-treat party and his parents said they liked me. Being that I was one of two black girls in the school and there son was white and we were ten...they were pretty cool about it! Billy was very attentive and would always hang out with me during recess, sit next to me in class or stare at me all googly-eyed throughout the day. Then...it ended. He went on a family vacation to Hawaii and brought me back a few gifts; a necklace and a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. That was it. The last straw. I decided Billy was smothering me, and dumped him. I remember sitting in class and he did not sit next to me. He stared at me with a broken heart and puppy dog eyes, and after the resident "bad boy" of our grade named Ryan, that I liked rejected me yet again, I instantly regretted breaking up with Billy.

     Here's the thing about "Nice Guys"...they get a bad rap. They are usually the dorky sidekick in a film or the band geek hiring someone to be their girlfriend in a movie. They almost always are portrayed as bad dressers, glasses wearers, and nasal voice having guys with no chest hair. They are always way into a girl that's "too pretty" or "too cool" to go out with them so they pine after her as they watch her make-out with the "Bad Boy" in town. The "Bad Boy" on the other hand is dope! He has an insane amount of swagger, is typically the best dressed, the most liked, and has mad bass in his voice. The "Bad Boy" is always spurning the advances of girls and women who literally swoon and catch the vapors as he walks by finger pointing and winking his eye at the same time (all Bad Boys must know how to perform this simultaneous action). The "Bad Boy" always smells good, has like ten girlfriends at once, who all fight over him, and never gets pimples. He is desirable because he seems so unattainable. He is raw, sexual and mesmerizing. The "Bad Boy" has that...that...sexy something that makes you want to throw your panties at him every-damn-time-you-see-him. Even when he does the finger point/wink combo!

Monday

When Your Ex Finds Someone New...and You Don't

     
   
     Why does it hurt so bad when we see our ex with someone new? My last boyfriend was not a very nice person. He was not a good person...as a matter of fact, he was one of the most selfish and unkind people I became to know, but I digress. Breaking up with someone is never fun and seeing your ex with someone new is heartbreaking. When my ex and I broke up over four years ago I actually felt relieved. He had cheated and we stayed together. I became a paranoid koo koo bird that drove to the gym, parked outside of it, and checked to see if his car was there. I even did the dreaded...check his phone move. I was younger then I am now of course and I have clearly matured. So, if he was such a douchebag why did it hurt when I saw his lovey-dovey post on Facebook that included a picture of his new girlfriend?

     Maybe I was hurt because he has someone new and I know who he really is. She hasn't met the selfish, cheating, plays the guitar while sitting on the toilet, obsesses over his outfit choices, and owns more moisturizers then me guy. She has yet to meet Mr. I am going to the gym, but not really going there. New girl also doesn't know Mr. I am going to call my mom and tell her all of our relationship business either. Why does 'New Girl' get to meet this new amazing and loving guy while I had to be with the aforementioned a-hole? It's not fair.

Tuesday

Draft Day Film Interview w/Tom Welling: From Superman to Football Hero...


 Tom Welling as Brian Drew in the film Draft Day

     Tom Welling is insanely good looking, has perfect teeth and eyes that you can lose yourself in if you're not careful. As I stroll in fully prepared to be super professional, not lose my cool, and interview him according to my pre-written questions...as soon as we begin to talk, all of that goes out the window. Good looks aside, he is so much more than his perfect teeth and ocean blue eyes...Not only is he genuinely nice, but smart and most of all humble. Dressed in a button-up shirt and jeans, I can't help but notice how much he has matured from the cute young man we came to know as Clark Kent years ago on "Smallville".

     He melted our hearts as Clark Kent/Superman on the hit series, and is now grabbing our attention as Brian Drew in the new film, Draft Day starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Portraying a football star that is proving his worth after fighting his way back from an injury, his future is hanging by a thread on the day of the NFL draft. Tom brings out a vulnerability we as the audience not only root for but want to see more of. I sat down for a quick interview with the star at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills...

Jonesie: Hi Tom congratulations on the film! Your character is very poignant and integral to the story. I was rooting for him!

Tom: Thank you so much that means a lot. I wanted him to make it too...I was watching the film and I was rooting for him!

Jonesie: Although we do not see your character in every scene of the film, your character is with us in every scene. He is spoken of, talked about, and you have such a pivotal role that even when we don't see you we as the viewer are thinking about you. There's also that intense scene you have with Kevin [Costner, who plays Cleveland Browns General Manager Sonny Weaver in the film]...

Tom: Yeah, I had to film that [confrontation] twenty minutes after I just met him! What's different about that scene is that although it is very intense and heated, you can tell that there is something bigger there between them. Brian and Sonny are almost like a father/son or big brother/little brother relationship. Brian Drew is not petulant and there is a connection there.