Short Term 12 is “Raw & Honest”

“Remember you are not their parent, you are not their therapist, you are here to provide a safe environment and that’s it.” -Grace (Short Term 12)

Short Term 12 tells to story of Grace,  a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers.

This film sparked my interest because I was placed in foster care from about age 9 until I was adopted at age 16. I lived in a family home setting as opposed to the group home setting featured in the film. Hearing Grace say the quote above captured my attention. Those words are a reality for too many foster youth.

I thought, “This trailer just got real”. More often than not, foster youth are removed from what they know as home, for reasons beyond their control. To think that they are then placed in an environment where the staff are instructed to only provide a “safe” environment is horrible. How can youth reach their full potential? Without nurturing, love and support, the system is setup to produce few successful adults. I digress.

Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12 writer and director) presents a raw and honest depiction of life for staff and foster youth in facilities similar to Short Term 12. The relationship between the staff and youth warm your heart. Be prepared for the whirlwind of emotions you will experience.

At the end of the film, reflect on the beginning. Unfortunately, that reality is a continuous cycle for some.

Check out Short Term 12 now playing in select theaters.

Natural/Curly Hair Salons

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Quite a few people have asked me for natural hair salon referrals, so I’ve compiled this list. It will be permanently placed under the ‘Curl Talk’ tab as ‘Salons & Stylists’. Additions will be added as discovered.

So far, I have not been to any of the listed salons, but I’ve met a few stylists at events. I typically do my own hair. Feel free to ask questions.

Keep it kinky! xoxo

Mahogany Hair Revolution
9911 W. Pico Blvd., Suite 200W Studio 14
Los Angeles, CA 90035
310.286.9909
www.mahoganyrevolution.com

Capella Salon
12930 Ventura Blvd #216
Studio City, CA 91364
818.506.1450
www.capellasalon.com

REHAB Salon
1515 N. Cahenga Blvd.
Hollywood, Ca 90028
323.461.1777
www.rehabsalon.com

I Love Lulu 
733 S. La Brea Ave. 
Los Angeles, Ca 90036 
323.934.5727 
www.iloveluluhairspa.com

Leos Curls
11900 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, Ca 91604
818.783.7734
www.leoscurls.com

Devachan Salon 
9355 Culver Blvd 
Culver City, CA 90232 
310.904.0161 
www.devacurl.com 

Salon of Curls 
701B Venice Blvd  
Venice, CA 90291 
310.701.9218 
www.salonofcurls.com 

Oh My Nappy Hair  
814 S. La Brea Ave.  
Los Angeles, CA 90036  
323.939.3999  
www.ohmynappyhair.com 

Operation Gratitude

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Operation Gratitude sends 100,000+ care packages each year to U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, their children left behind, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors and their care givers.  Packages are individually addressed and filled with snacks,letters of appreciation, personal and entertainment items.

Packages are  assembled at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California for safety and security. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 915,000 packages.

In February, Be A Light volunteers spent the morning assisting Operation Gratitude with “Prep” and “Assembly Day” tasks.

Prep” work includes sorting donated items, folding shirts, screening letters, and otherwise preparing the products for Assembly Days. In addition, if time allows,  instructions and materials are provided  for making Paracord Survival Bracelets.

Assembly Day” work includes production of the care packages, labeling, taping, letter reading and writing, running packages, re-stocking the lines and breaking down cartons.

Check us out in action below.

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Farewell, Grand Lux Cafe

Grand Lux Cafe, Los Angeles opened its doors to customers for the last time on March 19.  A couple good peeps and I visited on March 15 to say our final farewell.

My first visit in 2004/2005 with a party of about 20 people is a blur, but I remember tasting three dishes that all seemed very bland. Honestly, the only reason I went on March 15  is because my friend suggested it. This was my second visit. I ordered the Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon, i’m still not sold on the food. On the other hand, I would go back just for the fresh baked box of cookies.

The price of our entrees ranged from $19-$23 and the servings were pretty big. All in all, the experience was favorable and our server was great.

Have you dined at Grand Lux? If so, what is your experience?

Below are pictures of our food and drinks followed by details.

IMG_0577(clockwise) Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya, Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon, Chicken Royale

IMG_0579Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon

IMG_0581A Box of Warm Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Caramel Apple Martini
Ketel One Vodka and Apple Liqueur Shaken and Chilled

Crispy Thai Shrimp & Chicken Spring Rolls (not pictured above)
Served with Thai Sweet-Hot Chili Sauce

Cajun Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya
Sauteed with Peppers, Onions and Tasso in a Delicious Spicy Sauce.
Served with White Rice

Cedar Planked B.B.Q. Salmon
Roasted on a Cedar Plank and Glazed with Sweet and Spicy B.B.Q. Sauce. Served with Mashed Potatoes, Corn Succatash and Crispy Onion Rings

Chicken Royale
Lightly Breaded Sauteed Chicken Breasts Served Over a White Wine Butter Sauce with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Herbed Carrots

A Box of Warm Homemade Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
A Freshly Baked Dozen. Take the Rest Home!

Pitfire: Reasonably Priced Gourmet Pizza & Pasta

On a budget but you don’t want to sacrifice quality? Consider taking a trip over to Pitfire Pizza. I visited the Westwood location, the address is below.

I can’t speak on the entire menu but these dishes right here are  G – double O – D, good!

If you are not in California, you are out of luck, sorry.

IMG_8833Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs (spaghetti, tomato sauce & grana) – $9.25

IMG_8835The Burrata Pie (burrata cheese, tomato sauce, wild arugula, onion, hazelnut & pesto drizzle) – $9.95

IMG_8837 *Brussel Sprout & Bacon Pizza (brussel leaves, panna, bacon, garlic & fresh mozzarella) – $11

*Seasonal Special

Pitfire Pizza
2018 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
310.481.9860

Unofficial Birthday Dinner

Today is my birthday, yay!!! Ask me how old I am and I will say 21… that is my story and I am sticking with it.

The photos below are of last night’s dinner at  Little Next Door (not to be confused with Little Door), which is literally next door.

Pictured are the Top Sirloin Cap Steak (Café de Paris butter, vegetable medley with pommes frites, $22), Coque au Vin (Braised Mary’s chicken in red wine sauce with bacon, pearl onions and mushrooms with fettucine, $20), and the creamy deliciousness that is called crème brûlée (my favorite dessert, $6).

Nom, nom, nom! Did I say nom?

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LITTLE NEXT DOOR

Tel: 323.951.1010
Fax: 323.951.0700

Brasserie Hours:
Monday ~ ThursdayFriday ~ Sunday
11 AM – 11 PM9 AM – 11 PM

Address:
8142 West 3rd Street, LA CA 90048
(next door to The Little Door)

Friday Night Girl Talk at RED O Restaurantf

Like clock work, one night each month my friend Vee and I explore Los Angeles in search of a place to enjoy yummy food while dishing on our latest headlines. The tradition started to catch up post college. This month we dined at RED O Restaurant, which boasts its Mexican Cuisine by renowned chef Rick Bayless. 

Before visiting a restaurant, I usually take a peak at it online. I prefer to know what i’m walking into, it gives me more time to chat and minimizes the chances that i’ll end up at a place that I wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy. After browsing RED O’s gallery and menu I decided that it had potential and made reservations via Open Table.

Once I arrived I parked valet ($8), street parking was non-existent. We were seated almost immediately. The seating was really comfy but our unleveled table rocked. The rocking got little annoying, so I unsuccessfully attempted to remedy the problem by stacking sugar packets under the table leg.

 Moving on… You know how hosts/servers volunterily recommend dishes or specials? That usually annoys me, so it didn’t bother me when it didn’t happen.  I ordered Grilled Mary’s Chicken Enchiladas Suizas (creamy tomatillo sauce, melted Sonoma jack, black beans, frisee, watercress, $20). 
Vee opted for the Classic Tortilla Soup (grilled Mary’s chicken, crispy tortillas, Sonoma Jack cheese, avocado, thick crema, toasted pasilla negro chile, $10) and Lamb in Chile Colorado Tacos (grill-seared, braised Sonoma lamb with black beans & red chile, $17).
My enchiladas were average. Am I wrong to expect them to be delicious because RED O specializes in Mexican cuisine? Vee said that her meal was good but she had higher expectations as well. We agree that the presentation surpassed taste (Don’t judge a book by its cover). 
Would I visit again? Yes, I’m no stranger to second chances and  i’m interested in tasting a couple desserts and a cocktail including the Strawberry-Mango Shortcake, Coconut Tres Leches Cake and La Dama. 
    
 
RED O Restaurant
8155 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles CA 90046
Tel: (323) 655-5009
Fax (323) 655-5010