My Favorite Trails In And Around Los Angeles

Living in Los Angeles has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in life, but it wouldn’t be the same without all the great outdoor activities available throughout the city. Who would expect L.A. to be a mecca for hiking? Expected or not, it’s one of the greatest spots for hiking, with hills all around! If you’re willing to travel, you can find even more to do. Here are some of my favorite trails in and around L.A.!

  1. No list of L.A. hiking adventures would be complete without a traditional stop at Runyon Canyon. It’s a great place to spot minor celebrities
    The joke is that going to Runyon for a “hike” is more like driving an hour for a glorified walk, but there are still some steep spots where you can get a decent workout.
  2. Wildwood in Burbank is one of my favorite areas to explore. It’s two miles to the summit tower, where you have the option of turning around for the two mile return trip, or heading down the four mile fire road. If you’re in the mood for a (much) longer hike, you can start in Brand Park, Stough Canyon Park, or La Tuna closer to Tujunga on the other side of the mountain. If you’re up for it, you could hang out here all day.
  3. Another deeply connected set of trails will take you as close to the Hollywood sign as you’re ever likely to get. You’ll find it at Griffith Park, another spot where you could spend all day if you’re in the mood for a bit of exploration. Also in the vicinity are Griffith Observatory and the L.A. Zoo.
  4. My absolute favorite trail in L.A. is Temescal Canyon in Topanga State Park, right near the Pacific Palisades. Again, you can spend all day hiking from one place to another. A far-out spot called “the Hub” is miles past “Skull Rock”, and a number of trails intersect at that spot. Most people turn back there. If you do this hike during the rainy season, you might catch a glimpse of a (very small) waterfall.
  5. If you’re willing to travel outside of Los Angeles, check out the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s about a ten mile out-and-back hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. There isn’t much elevation gain, but you’ll have to cross a rocky creek once or twice or eight times depending on how far off the path you find yourself. It can be strenuous, but it isn’t too bad. At the end of the hike, there is literally a bridge in the middle of nowhere, just above a nice swimming hole. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can bungee jump from the bridge.

How To Prepare For A Los Angeles Earthquake

Living near a faultline can be scary, or at least it is for me. They’re uncommon in many parts of France, but here in Los Angeles, you’ll experience an earthquake sooner or later for sure. Scientific predictions of when the next “big one” might occur never seem to be trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared. Here are a few things I know I’ll be doing “just in case.”

First, I like to know exactly where I’ll go if the worst happens. If an earthquake starts while at home, it’s best to take cover under a strong piece of furniture. Stop what you’re doing, drop to the floor, find cover, and put your arms over the top of your head.

If there is a building collapse and you can’t get out, you should know what to do. Rescuers will be looking for signs of life, so your earthquake preparation kit should include a few. Flashlights, headlamps, and extra batteries are must-have items. If trapped, periodically knock in order to let others know where you are. Be careful not to make the collapse worse.

Speaking of a preparation kit, it should include several obvious items: food, water, extra blankets. Make sure you have enough supplies to last a couple of weeks. Glow-sticks can come in handy. Be careful with candles. Include a first-aid kit, and don’t forget tools. Last but not least, make sure you have a wad of extra cash.

It’s also not a bad idea to learn appropriate first-aid skills. You might not need them for an earthquake, but sooner or later there will come a time when they come in handy. Learn CPR. Find a local Red Cross station. They usually provide classes on a regular basis to show you how to deal with these situations safely.

After an earthquake, search for potential problems with your home. Is the gas leaking? Are there newly exposed wires? Make sure you know how to quickly disconnect the right utilities at the right time. It could save your life.

If It’s Not French What Is It? Part 2

One of my favorite breakfast foods, French Toast is another misnomered foods. The first recipe for French Toast dates all the way back to the 4th or 5th Century, found in a Latin recipe book called the Apicius. But they opted to use honey as maple syrup wasn’t a thing back in Ancient Rome.

The next reference to French Toast wasn’t found until the 14th Century in Germany. Called Arme Ritter or poor knights. And it wasn’t until the 15th Century until recipes for Pain Perdu (what we know as French Toast) began to surface. Pain Perdu translates to Lost Bread because in France it is typically made with bread that has already gone stale. However, in America, we consider French Toast a breakfast item whereas, in France, it’s eaten as dessert or as a snack.

French Toast is made by taking a piece of bread and soaking it in an egg mixture (eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg). Then bread is then pan-fried in butter until brown and cooked through. In America, it is traditionally served with a generous helping of maple syrup on top but it can be served with jam, honey or fruit.

So, based on this research, it seems that French Toast or bread soaked in egg and then fried first originated in Ancient Rome, therefore, making this delicious breakfast or snack item – Italian.


Helpful Tips For Finding A Job In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting cities on the planet. With a population of nearly 4 million people, the city itself covers over 500 square miles. Within that area, there are so many things to see and do that you never have to worry about being bored.

One of the biggest downside to LA, however, is that the cost of living is quite high. If you plan on living in the area, you need a good paying job. Otherwise, you may have a hard time finding a place that you can afford to rent or buy.

Fortunately, there are some ways that you can improve your chances of getting a great job. Check out these helpful tips for finding a job in Los Angeles to get started on your job search today:

1. Decide what it is that you really want to do. Sit down and think about your dream job. What type of company do you want to work for? What days of the week do you want to work? What duties do you want your job to entail? What kind of work would you find emotionally satisfying? Answering these types of questions can help you figure out which positions you want to apply for.

2. Write your resume. Make sure to draw particular attention to any skills that are a good fit for the positions that interest you the most. There are plenty of helpful online guides that will take you step-by-step through the process of putting together a well-written, eye-catching resume.

3. Reach out to your personal network. Talk to all of your friends, family members, and acquaintances to see if they know of any job openings in your desired field. Many of today’s employers rely on referrals rather than advertising jobs to the general public. If you already have a contact at a company, it is a great way to get your foot in the door, improving your chances of getting hired.

4. Fine-tune your interview skills. Even if you have the best resume in the world and are the most qualified candidate, you may not get hired if you don’t perform well during your interview. The best way to ensure that everything goes smoothly is by preparing in advance. Look up common interview questions online and figure out how you would answer them. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to get tripped up during your interview.

Whether you’re in Los Angeles or New York, using these tips for finding a job will help you land the position of your dreams.

Harvey Weinstein’s Impending Legal Battle

As an actress who is trying to make it in the Hollywood industry, I’ve been following this case very closely. I am excited to see that some justice will be served.

Harvey Weinstein, the fallen from grace movie producer turned himself over to authorities on Friday and is being charged with first and third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sex act. Since the beginning, Weinstein has vehemently denied any non-consensual sex and his criminal defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman plans to plead not guilty.

If he plans on pleading not guilty, then why did Harvey Weinstein turn himself in? Many people who know that they are facing criminal charges will surrender themselves rather than deal with the brouhaha of being dragged away from his or her home in handcuffs.

Breaking Down The Charges

First Degree Rape – the rape involves violence by actual force or by threat of death or bodily harm

Third Degree Rape – the rape is performed with lack of consent but without the threat of violence

First Degree Criminal Sex Act – engaging in a anal or oral sex with another person by forcible compulsion

There are over 80 complaints against Weinstein, why is he being charged with crimes for only two of his victims? 

Several agencies including the Southern California police are still investigating and will eventually file charges. He will also face civil lawsuits against his accusers that are separate than the criminal charges filed against him. Also, some of the statutes of limitations might have expired.

What do I hear about the Hollywood Casting Couch defense? 

Weinstein’s lawyer Brafman plans on arguing that many women would want to sleep with the media mogul to advance their career and therefore the sex was consensual.

How long will this take?

Years if not months. As more and more charges get compiled it will slow down the trial processes.

3 Best Spots To Go In A First Date In Los Angeles, California

There is no city like Los Angeles, California. With so much to do, it can be hard to figure out where the best spots to go on a first date in LA are, even for the locals. Don’t worry because we have put together a short list of the top spots for first dates in LA.

1. Drive-In Theater
One of the best spots to go to for a first date is the Electric Dusk Drive-In. This is a great place to go because you have the chance to do a classic date, which is to watch a movie. However, the twist is you can purchase BBQ items while there, as well as an array of snacks, candy, beverages, and gourmet baked goods. If you want to make a great first impression on your date, then make sure you bring them to this drive-in theater, but do check what film/films are playing before you go there. All you have to do is pull your car in and you’re all set for a flashback to the good ‘ol days. Do not get into a hit and run accident.

2. The Venice Canals
If you want to do something unique for your first date, then you can bring them to the Venice Canals and take a romantic walk through them. They are three canal-lined blocks and the scenery is breathtaking. Be prepared to spot things such as charming homes, ducklings in the water and arched bridges you can walk over. If you have a non-motorized vessel, then bring it along and take a tour of the area via the water. The Venice Canals will leave a lasting impression on both you and your first date, which is exactly what you want it to do.

3. The Getty Center
The Getty Center is a place where you can easily spend a few hours and it is one of the best museums in the entire state. There are collections such as European art, post-Renaissance decorative arts and so much more. Make sure to check out the Central Garden while there because it is a sight to behold. If you get hungry, then grab a bite to eat at either the restaurant or cafe at the west end of the plaza. Also, you take a tram ride up to the Getty. This will offer you the chance to take in the surrounding scenery. The Getty Center is definitely a must-do for anyone, especially those who are on a first date.

If you have a first date coming up, then you can’t go wrong with any of the above spots. Feel free to bring your date to any one of them. Each spot has their own unique aspects about them.


Best French Candies

Every country has their own history of sweets. Some are for enjoyment, others are carried on by tradition, and others are expensive cadies. All of which have been around for years and years. Most of the candies on this list can only be found in France. However, in today’s day and age, I’m sure you can have them shipped to you no matter where you are in the world. The taste of good food and wine is cemented in the French culture and we love it.

The Best French Candies

Calissons d’Aix

Calisson d’Aix is on the of the more premium type of candy. The Calissons are said to date back to the 12th century. The candy is made from a mix of ground almond meal, candied melon, and orange peel that is covered in royal icing. The candies are labor-intensive, therefore they are not cheap.

Nougat de Montelimar

The nougat de Montelimar is one of the most traditional candies in French culture. The cadies history reaches back to the later 17th century. Traditionally, they are one of 13 candies that go along with Christmas Eve Dinner. In order to be considered a nougat de Montelimar, the candy must have at least 30% almonds and natural ingredients like sugar, honey, egg whites, and vanilla.

Anis de Flavigny

Anis de Flavigny has ties to the royals, Henry IV in the 16th century and King Louis XIV. These candies are small and hard. They are made of a coat of sugar that covers an anise seed. The candies come in varieties of flavors including licorice, mint, rose, and orange.

French Dragees

French Dragees are another French candy that is buried in the traditions of French culture. If you ever attend a French baptism, communion, or wedding, expect to receive five dragees. Why five? Well, the reason that five dragees are given out is that each symbolizes something different. The five meanings are health, happiness, fertility, longevity, and prosperity. The candies are an almond that is covered in a sweet, sugary coding.

If you are ever at a wedding and you are enjoying alcoholic beverages and French dragees, take a cab ride home. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, it can only lead to problems in your life. That being said, if you are arrested for a DUI, contact the Gwinnett County DUI attorneys today.

Salt Butter Caramels

Like any other caramel chew, these cadies are sweet and a combination of sweet and salty. The town where these candies originally come from is known got their start making high quality salted butter. Henri Le Roux tried and tried for three months to perfect the sweet and savory treat. Finally, he perfected the process and the treat quickly became a national sensation.

If It’s Not French What Is It?

Believe it or not, the history of the french fry is not as simple as it may seem. Despite being labeled as “French” these friend potatoes in strips are not actually French!

In order to understand their origin, we need to first understand the origin of the potato. The potato was actually first brought over to Europe from South America. In the late 1530s, the Spanish army discovered the local cuisine of potatoes and labeled them ‘truffles’.

From there they were brought back to Spain, Italy and throughout Europe. Which brings us back to the French Fry. It wasn’t until the 17th century, where the first historical record of thinly cut fried potato. In Belgium, it was common for the locals to cut fish into tiny thing pieces and fry it up. Due to cold weather, the river that supplied local fish would freeze, leaving nothing but potato to fry.

Around the same time in France, the potatoes were starting to become popular. This is where the facts start to become hazy. Many people believe that the French were indeed making fries whereas others believe it was French soldiers who saw how the Belgians prepared the potatoes who then introduce it to France.

And the French as the ones who introduced this “delicacy” to America hence why they are known as French Fries. Due to the popularity in American fast food chains, in Europe, these fried potatoes are referred to as American Fries.

Best French Films In The Silent Era

A lot of the class and charm of times gone by has been lost on newer generations. There used to be a time where you had to play outside with your friends to have fun. Now we have the option of blasting at each other in crazy violent video games from half a world away. When you can meet in the virtual world, why bother to find someone real? Something similar happened with television. In the past, movie makers had to be more creative. They didn’t have access to color. They didn’t even have access to sound! They needed to do evoke feelings in the viewer a different way, and they did so successfully. These are some of my favorite French films from the era of silent movies.

Film first arrived in in the late nineteenth century, but the science fiction genre didn’t arrive until 1902, when Le voyage dans la lune sent a rocket to the moon long before rockets were invented. That wasn’t good news for the Man in the Moon. The short film runs for only fifteen minutes, but by 1902 standards it was a masterpiece. It was conceived by Georges Méliès, whose storytelling was greatly appreciated. He was creative and thoughtful, and he inspired this new art to go farther and farther.

Today’s American blockbuster hits from Los Angeles and Nassau County, Long Island might be a spectacle all their own, but something has been lost along the way. It’s all about the biggest explosions, the best computer animations, or the most creative ways of killing someone. Sometimes the grainy, archaic silent films of the past helped push creativity even more. Filmmakers had to find ways to tell a story without words–and that’s no easy feat.

Fantômas I: À l’ombre de la guillotine was a great series that followed the criminal exploits of Fantômas. Sometimes you don’t need words to show that something has been stolen or that someone has had an affair. That’s the fun part of interpreting these famous French films–you can’t do it without using words and phrases like “it seems” or “it looks like” to describe each scene. Someone else might see something differently. This series comprised of five films managed to pass the five hour mark. This was the film that inspired the modern crime thriller genre, and many remakes were made later.

Everyone likes a good vampire story, and Les Vampires delivered. It debuted in 1915 while the world was dealing with a grand war, and perhaps that impacted the dark, somber mood that this movie maintains. The series was noteworthy because it glorified criminal activities (critics hated it), and it has continued to inspire writers, filmmakers, and other artists to this day.

French Stereotype: Bad Drivers

It seems like the more the population booms, the more we all think we live somewhere with the worst drivers ever. No matter where you are, it feels like the entire world has become one big school parking lot with new drivers anxious to get home after the last bell rings. Talk about bumper cars! Maybe statistically there’s some factual data behind the phenomenon. Los Angeles has basically the worst traffic in the world, so it wouldn’t be that surprising if there were more accidents there than in a lot of other cities. But some places have endured the stereotype of bad driving skills for a lot longer than others, and France is most definitely one of them. Is it true?

Well, maybe a little bit. According to some pretty irrelevant surveys, French drivers don’t really like to follow the rules. Traffic lights? Nope, we don’t like traffic lights. Cutting someone off? Sure, if it’ll get me to the liquor store (or maybe that audition) a little bit sooner. The poll asked pretty standard questions about stopping at lights or speeding through small towns. Not surprisingly, nearly half of respondents kept going if the light was yellow, and the same number exceed the speed limit on occasion. To be honest, “nearly half” is a lot fewer than I’d have expected.

The survey also revealed a decline in the number of drivers who thought cell phone use while driving was dangerous. While that may seem meaningful, here’s a more meaningful statistic that you can rely on: car accidents that resulted in a fatality are fewer than the world average. For every 100,000 citizens of a particular country, the average death rate worldwide is 17.4 people. For all of Europe, the rate stands at 9.3. In France, the number stands at a measly 5.1! Compare that to the United States, which enjoys more than double the number of deaths as France. I guess we know who the bad drivers really are (not that I’m judging, since I live here). The difference is similar even if you compare the number of deaths with the number of vehicles on the road.

The smaller number of accidents might also be a result of stricter laws. France has a lower legal blood limit for alcohol than other countries in the area, and police have the right to perform random checks to carry out a breathalyzer test. In addition, the French are legally obligated to carry certain safety items in their vehicles just in case they get into an accident or the car breaks down. This might help prevent cars from inadvertently hitting a car stopped at the side of the road.

At the end of the day, the stereotype probably doesn’t have any merit. The French drive just like anyone else. Sometimes they break the rules to get from point A to point B more quickly, but most of the time they don’t.