Friday, November 5, 2010

Coco-Luxe: San Francisco's Artisan Confection Boutique

My recent trip to San Francisco had me targeting the much raved about Coco-Luxe Confections for some artisan chocolate and salted caramels. I fought the Pre-Giants World Series game 3 traffic and eventually arrived at the Haight Ashbury boutique to find an even more difficult challenge....what to choose.
I ended up with quite a selection of retro design chocolates, salted caramels, salted chocolate covered graham crackers and a whimsical "Good Fortune" chocolate bar. Yes it is apparent that Coco-Luxe's founder Stephanie Marcon is fabulously talented(get the Peanut Butter truffle and the Mexican Chocolate truffle) however her Praline Caramels(local cream, rich milk chocolate, Alaea Hawaiian salt) and Shoo Fly Pie Caramels(blackstrap molasses, dark chocolate and Salish Smoked salt) are simply glorious.
Creative, decadent and addicting, my only regret is that I didn't buy more.
Note: Not only are they available online but their Palo Alto boutique just opened!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bon Appetit Mag's Cover Sandwich at Joan's on 3rd...

is really insane. Ultimate deliciousness.

My sister and I went to Joan's on 3rd ( for our standby Chinese Chicken Salad but saw the large sign for the Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwich while standing in line...and come on, we've been holding out long enough, how could we resist?!

The sourdough bread was perfectly buttery and grilled crisp, the short rib was super tender, juicy and full of flavor, the cheese was precise (never thought I'd use that word to describe cheese but I don't like too much or too little in a grilled cheese!) and the caramelized onions, well you can't go wrong there.

The line wasn't very long and the place actually wasn't overly crowded like it usually is during lunchtime so I got back in line for some caramel and chocolate caramel covered marshmallows (plain caramel is way better) and a pumpkin cupcake to go. (The orange sugar on top of the pumpkin cupcake was unnecessary so next time I'll get my fav, coconut)

Scheduling a serious workout was in order. I immediately made us a reservation for the evening GST workout class.
Note to self: When in doubt, trust the large Bon Appetit poster.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GST Workout: Revolutionary New Exercise Program, move over yoga and pilates

I woke up this morning not feeling quite like myself for a few reasons...
1. I am sore in a weird way, muscles that I didn't know existed
2. My back pain is still gone
After 2 private sessions and 3 group classes of GST ( with the super charismatic creator Anna Rahe, I am still shocked that I am not waking up with the constant lower back pain that I've become accustom to. It's been about three years of pain and thousands upon thousands of dollars of pain specialists, physical therapy, rolfing, massage, personal trainers, yoga, pilates, chiro, pain meds, an MRI and a couple epidurals...but who's counting?!

GST is based on the body's 5 movement systems, the spine, breath, muscles, bones and fascia aka connective tissue and reactivating them for length, strength and alignment. All I know is that my back pain is gone and I'm seriously liking the other results I'm seeing. ;-) And after only 5 total sessions, I am nothing but grateful...well, and sore... in a good way. (studios in LA, NY and Long Beach)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hot on Yelp: 50% off Spa and Salon Services!

Who doesn't love a deal?! Participating Yelp ( businesses in Los Angeles are offering half off spa and salon services from November 1- November 7th. That's a serious discount!

From Le Spa at the Sofitel ( to Piele Skin Boutique in Beverly Hills ( there's enough beauty services to keep me busy for the entire week. ;-) Better book in advance and be sure to mention Hot on Yelp when booking.
Note to self: Clear schedule November 1st-7th!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Impressive International Vacation Rentals, AirBNB

When I was making travel plans to Paris this year I thought, well since I've already stayed at the decadent Louis the XVI inspired Plaza Athenee, I'd do something different and rent an apartment. After extensive research and much frustration with losing two apartments due to companies which I will not name who completely dropped the ball, AirBNB ( not only had some fantastic properties but also had a quick response. Reasonably priced and super easy to use they service 8121 cities in 166 countries so you know there's lots to chose from!
Note to self: Book more trips!

The top photo is in Nairobi, Kenya with a resident herd of giraffe!
Next is a loft in Hong Kong.

Above is a villa in Cape Town, South Africa.

Apartment in Paris.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Raven Spa Los Angeles

Not the average Los Angeles Thai massage, The Raven Spa ( is traditional yet has so much charm. (I lived in Bangkok so I have a lot of thai massage experience!) I didn't hear people talking loudly or cel phones ringing. Instead I heard a tranquil waterfall and meditation-inspiring music. I didn't get bruised and beat up. Instead I left the rustic spa feeling rejuvenated, glad I came and happy I wasn't at a different Thai spa in the middle of no-where.
Note to self: Massages are not a luxury they're a necessity.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To Do: Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon and Tasting!

What could be better? The 4th Annual LA Chocolate Salon ( is this Sunday October 10th from 11am-5pm at the Pasadena Convention Center ( There's some really incredible chocolatiers and confectioners participating this year so I think I might have to get there early. ;-) Unique chocolate creations, toffee and caramels....Hmmm I think I see a sugar overdose in the near future. Oh, and there's also wine. Uh Oh.
Note to self: Get brunch at Elements Cafe first. It's less than half mile away...

(Photos from LA Chocolate Salon)