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It’s Friday and it’s time to end the week by unwinding and letting loose, all while still having enough money in your account to pay your bills at the end of the month.

The perfect solution is Michael Mina’s Terrace at XIV on Sunset. Just go at 6 pm and get $6-$8 cocktails (like the grapefruit cosmo pictured above), $6 menu items, and $6 valet parking (only good from 6-7 pm, it becomes $10 from 7 pm to closing). The good news for vegetarians (and meat eaters who want a break from eating beast) is that there are 35 items on the regular menu for them; vegans have 25 options.


The Happy Hour menu has unusual appetizers, like black truffle butter popcorn, hamachi and ahi tartare poppers (pictured above), tempura prawns, Caesar salad with a white anchovy,and some American inventions, like lobster corn dogs. The drinks include cane mojitos, a raspberry “lemonade”, and glasses of bubbles or wine all at the Sunset Terrace $6 price.

Enjoy your TGIF drinks, food and parking, all for about $20 at one of the best terraces on Sunset; who says you can’t have fun and save money at the same time? Not me.

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It’s Friday and it’s time to end the week by unwinding and letting loose, all while still having enough money in your account to pay your bills at the end of the month.

The perfect solution is Michael Mina’s Terrace at XIV on Sunset. Just go at 6 pm and get $6 cocktails, $6 menu items, and $6 valet parking (only good from 6-7 pm, it becomes $10 from 7 pm to closing). The good news for vegetarians is that there are 35 items on the regular menu for them (and meat eaters who want a break from eating beast); vegans have 25 options.

The Happy Hour menu has unusual appetizers, like black truffle popcorn, hamachi and ahi tartare poppers, tempura prawns, and some American inventions, like lobster corn dogs. The drinks include cane mojitos, a raspberry “lemonade”, and glasses of bubbles or wine all at the Sunset Terrace 6 price.

Enjoy your TGIF drinks, food and parking, all for about $20 at one of the best terraces on Sunset; who says you can’t have fun and save money at the same time? Not me.

>In these days when going on vacation at any price is considered a luxury (even though it should not be), hotels around the globe are doing their best to entice you with rooms and rates that are so good that it would be a crime not to go.

Like all tourist destinations, New Orleans is struggling to recover tourist dollars; but they also have the added burden of rebuilding their reputation after the images everyone saw of the devastated areas. You can help by going and staying at Loft 523. It is as the name implies, a hotel of lofts which are approximately 600 square feet each with huge floor to ceiling windows, just 2 blocks to the French Quarter, and best of all with rates starting at just $109 a night. If you like modern minimalist decor with limestone and marble touches, this is the place for you. They even have a completely indulgent Milk bath package that includes an Archipelago Oat Milk Bath with a delivery of Krispy Kreme doughnuts! (My only suggestion would be to substitute beignets for the doughnuts).

For an adventure a little further from home, Jamaica’s Treasure Beach has 31 secluded cottages and 29 rooms in shades of the sea and sky. The imaginative decor is fun and funky; it will bring a smile to your face and lighten your mood. Just the names of the cottages (like Octopussy and Jellyfish) will give you an idea of the whimsical creativity of this place that rents it’s rooms for only $95 a night.

If you always wanted to go to Barcelona to see the fabulous Gaudi architecture, eat authentic seafood paella, and look over the shops in Les Rambles/Las Ramblas, check out Hotel Balmes. It is walking distance to both Les Rambles and Passeig de Gracia, and it has a beautiful pool and outdoor garden terrace that will soothe you after a day out and about on the streets. All this with rates starting at $105 a night is a steal.

In these days when going on vacation at any price is considered a luxury (even though it should not be), hotels around the globe are doing their best to entice you with rooms and rates that are so good that it would be a crime not to go.

Like all tourist destinations, New Orleans is struggling to recover tourist dollars; but they also have the added burden of rebuilding their reputation after the images everyone saw of the devastated areas. You can help by going and staying at Loft 523. It is as the name implies, a hotel of lofts which are approximately 600 square feet each with huge floor to ceiling windows, just 2 blocks to the French Quarter, and best of all with rates starting at just $109 a night. If you like modern minimalist decor with limestone and marble touches, this is the place for you. They even have a completely indulgent Milk bath package that includes an Archipelago Oat Milk Bath with a delivery of Krispy Kreme doughnuts! (My only suggestion would be to substitute beignets for the doughnuts).

For an adventure a little further from home, Jamaica’s Treasure Beach has 31 secluded cottages and 29 rooms in shades of the sea and sky. The imaginative decor is fun and funky; it will bring a smile to your face and lighten your mood. Just the names of the cottages (like Octopussy and Jellyfish) will give you an idea of the whimsical creativity of this place that rents it’s rooms for only $95 a night.

If you always wanted to go to Barcelona to see the fabulous Gaudi architecture, eat authentic seafood paella, and look over the shops in Les Rambles/Las Ramblas, check out Hotel Balmes. It is walking distance to both Les Rambles and Passeig de Gracia, and it has a beautiful pool and outdoor garden terrace that will soothe you after a day out and about on the streets. All this with rates starting at $105 a night is a steal.

>If you like to ride bikes, but are not willing to train like Lance Armstrong to navigate miles or hills, the new electric bike E-Road may be perfect for you. Just like any other bicycle, you don’t need any gas, any license, insurance or registration, and because it is an electric bike, there are no CO emissions either.

If you want a bike you can pedal, this bike works with pedal power or electric, so you can get a workout if you want one, or just cruise up to 25 miles per hour on the battery power. It comes in eight colors ranging from classic black to pink, blue and red, and at $899, it is reasonably priced for a mode of transport that does nothing bad to the environment. It also comes with a 30 day bumper to bumper warranty (but you can buy a 90 day warranty) and the batteries are all covered for 6 months. If you don’t happen to live in Los Angeles and want one, they will ship to all the contiguous 48 states for only $95 (and they will ship to AK, HI & Canada for an additional amount).

Finally, a fun way to ride out the traffic in Los Angeles!

If you like to ride bikes, but are not willing to train like Lance Armstrong to navigate miles or hills, the new electric bike E-Road may be perfect for you. Just like any other bicycle, you don’t need any gas, any license, insurance or registration, and because it is an electric bike, there are no CO emissions either.

If you want a bike you can pedal, this bike works with pedal power or electric, so you can get a workout if you want one, or just cruise up to 25 miles per hour on the battery power. It comes in eight colors ranging from classic black to pink, blue and red, and at $899, it is reasonably priced for a mode of transport that does nothing bad to the environment. It also comes with a 30 day bumper to bumper warranty (but you can buy a 90 day warranty) and the batteries are all covered for 6 months. If you don’t happen to live in Los Angeles and want one, they will ship to all the contiguous 48 states for only $95 (and they will ship to AK, HI & Canada for an additional amount).

Finally, a fun way to ride out the traffic in Los Angeles!

>I remember when there was only ONE Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills; I used to go with friends and just eat cheesecake for dinner (back in the days when we could do that and not gain 10 lbs overnight). It’s nice to see how well they have done in expanding both their menu and their locations across the country.

Since July 30th is National Cheesecake Day, this Thursday you can go to any one of their 146 locations and get any slice of cheesecake for half the price! They are introducing their newest creation, Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake™ with four layers of original, with cream cheese and white chocolate. If this isn’t to your taste, then maybe the tiramisu, caramel pecan turtle, or key lime cheesecake will tempt your taste buds. For those who insist on low carb they have that option (but why bother?).

The only real restriction (if you can call it that) is that this offer is to dine in only. And to add to your incentive to eat cheesecake, Cheesecake Factory will donate 25¢ to Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, for every slice they sell this year.

Go eat your cheesecake (and then go work out!).

I remember when there was only ONE Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills; I used to go with friends and just eat cheesecake for dinner (back in the days when we could do that and not gain 10 lbs overnight). It’s nice to see how well they have done in expanding both their menu and their locations across the country.

Since July 30th is National Cheesecake Day, this Thursday you can go to any one of their 146 locations and get any slice of cheesecake for half the price! They are introducing their newest creation, Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake™ with four layers of original, with cream cheese and white chocolate. If this isn’t to your taste, then maybe the tiramisu, caramel pecan turtle, or key lime cheesecake will tempt your taste buds. For those who insist on low carb they have that option (but why bother?).

The only real restriction (if you can call it that) is that this offer is to dine in only. And to add to your incentive to eat cheesecake, Cheesecake Factory will donate 25¢ to Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, for every slice they sell this year.

Go eat your cheesecake (and then go work out!).

>When I travel to foreign places, one of the things I love the most is getting to know the natives and getting a taste of living like a local. Making friends who live in the places where you travel is a great way to educate yourself and to learn how we are all connected by the simple common experiences of everyday life, whether it is laughter, good food, or a beautiful vista.

Couch Surfing is dedicated to cultural exchanges and education through the simple act of getting locals to show visitors their city. The best way to get to know a place is to stay with local inhabitants and couch surfing is like a huge community bulletin board which offers visitors to a city everything from a simple coffee or drink with a native, to a couch to sleep on for a few days. Although all this is all free, it is NOT meant to be a freeloader or extended stay offer; if you are looking for free crash pads, this is NOT the site for you.

Think of Couch Surfing as an adult foreign exchange program; you should respect the host and the host should respect the guests. Hosts are welcoming strangers into their homes (the host decides whether or not to accept a request); this is meant to be a way to build relationships and understanding. People are vouched for by others who have actually met them and references are taken very seriously (this applies to both hosts and guests). People who do not adhere to the principles and ethics of this type of exchange are black listed.

Most places are in the US, but several languages and countries are represented and there are “ambassadors” for several cities. The FAQ section covers various practical tips for women traveling alone, vegans, physically challenged travelers, and people traveling with children.

I found this to be a great idea and if you keep in mind all the common sense rules for travel (like checking references and profiles carefully before selecting a potential guest or host), this could be a wonderful way to travel to new places and make new friends all at the same time!

When I travel to foreign places, one of the things I love the most is getting to know the natives and getting a taste of living like a local. Making friends who live in the places where you travel is a great way to educate yourself and to learn how we are all connected by the simple common experiences of everyday life, whether it is laughter, good food, or a beautiful vista.

Couch Surfing is dedicated to cultural exchanges and education through the simple act of getting locals to show visitors their city. The best way to get to know a place is to stay with local inhabitants and couch surfing is like a huge community bulletin board which offers visitors to a city everything from a simple coffee or drink with a native, to a couch to sleep on for a few days. Although all this is all free, it is NOT meant to be a freeloader or extended stay offer; if you are looking for free crash pads, this is NOT the site for you.

Think of Couch Surfing as an adult foreign exchange program; you should respect the host and the host should respect the guests. Hosts are welcoming strangers into their homes (the host decides whether or not to accept a request); this is meant to be a way to build relationships and understanding. People are vouched for by others who have actually met them and references are taken very seriously (this applies to both hosts and guests). People who do not adhere to the principles and ethics of this type of exchange are black listed.

Most places are in the US, but several languages and countries are represented and there are “ambassadors” for several cities. The FAQ section covers various practical tips for women traveling alone, vegans, physically challenged travelers, and people traveling with children.

I found this to be a great idea and if you keep in mind all the common sense rules for travel (like checking references and profiles carefully before selecting a potential guest or host), this could be a wonderful way to travel to new places and make new friends all at the same time!

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