Teddi Mellencamp & Family Attend the Care Bears & CREAM Kick-off Event

Teddi Mellencamp & Family Attend the Care Bears & CREAM Kick-off Event

CREAM joins the Care Bears’ Colors of Caring celebration by creating ice cream sandwiches covered in Good Luck Bear clovers and filled with scoops of super-premium ice cream.

As part of their 2018 “Colors of Caring” campaign, the Care Bears partnered with the celebrated ice cream sandwich franchise CREAM (“Cookies Rule Everything Around Me”) for two exlusive ice cream sandwiches that launched on March 5th, available exlusively for this month only at select CREAM locations across the country.

To celebrate, CREAM’s North Holywood location hosted a kick-off event with games, giveaways, and celebrity appearance from Teddi Mellencamp from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” on BRAVO along with her family.

Make sure to visit CREAM’s website Here for additional information on locations and follow them on Instagram: @cream_nation

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

It’s probably one of the corniest holidays in existence, because without fail, February becomes a month filled with heart-shaped balloons and candy, endless amounts of chocolate boxes and bouquets, and stereotypical nods to cheesy eroticism through red silk boxers paired with bow-ties. Seriously, give it a rest. Now, I’m not trying to be completely cynical, but when I think about Valentine’s Day and how commercially warped it is, I quickly lose interest. I want to celebrate Love everyday of the year, but if I’m going to dedicate a specific day to demonstrate it, then I’m going to do it in a very special way.

Typically, Valentine’s Day gifts are more novelty in nature: We’re talking teddy bears, rose bouquets, themed underwear, and dinner at either a too fancy or too crowded restaurant. I think it’s time we step it up and not only think smarter about these gifts but also add the element of an experience that you and your special someone can share together. (Sidebar*, Love doesn’t have to only be celebrated romantically. Your friends and family can share this day with you too.) Here’s a list of 20 experiential Valentine’s Day gifts that will help create memorable moments rather than forgettable, novelty riff-raff.

In no particular order:

1. Atlas Coffee Club

      

Atlas Coffee Club, is a travel-themed coffee club that explores the world of coffee and culture!  From Papua New Guinea to Peru, Burundi to Brazil, each month they highlight a new country! (Retail: Gift Subscriptions starting at $60)


2. Nostalgia Electronics Waterfall

       

The Nostalgia Electrics Chocolate Waterfall creates a steady fountain of edible chocolate. Perfect to dip cakes, fruit and marshmallows. A great addition to your dessert spread for your and your valentine to enjoy together. (Retail: $49.99)


3. LATHER Sweet As Honey Kit & Road Warrior Men’s Survival Kit

      

Indulge in a collection of face, bath, body and gourmet treats, made with nature’s candy – honey – an excellent source of nourishing antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. And for the guys, Lather created a survival kit for men on the go, with travel sizes of their favorite face, body, and hair care essentials. (Retail $48-$58)


4. Feast Laguna

            

Flowers and jewelry are always romantic gestures but what’s more fun, entertaining, and memorable than spending a delightful afternoon or evening with your significant other, enjoying delicious food and being immersed in stunning works of art and beach culture? Feast Laguna is a culinary/food tour operator based in the beautiful beach community of Laguna Beach, CA. They offer tasty and entertaining food tours that are expertly led by knowledgeable and friendly Laguna local guides. (Retail: $75-$79)


5. LOVE Gem Water Bottle by Vitajuwel

For the crystal lover in your life, Vitajuwel has updated their original Love Gem Water Bottle to include garnet and clear quartz. If you’re a deeply romantic soul looking to inspire love, and deepen devotion, this latest incarnation of the Love gem-water blend awaits… (Retail: $98)


6. Basic Outfitters’ Create-a-Drawer

      

As seen on season 8 of Shark Tank – Basic Outfitters‘ Create-a-Drawer allows guys to ditch their worn out attire and replenish their wardrobe with up to 17 pieces of high-quality basics in under two minutes with a collection of high quality and fashionable socks, underwear, tees, and joggers delivered right to their door for only $60 (a $120 value).


7. ISlide

           

ISlides are the only fully customizable, sought-after slide sandal sweeping the world on the feet of athletes and celebrities like Madonna, Dwyane Wade, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, and many more. Maker of DJ Khaled‘s famous “Bless Up” and “Another One” slide sandals, ISlide fuses fashion with athletics and has partnered with Neiman Marcus, the NBA, and a number of other teams, brands, and organizations for custom designs. ISlides can be designed to match anyone’s personality with pictures, phrases, emojis and more – or choose from hundreds of pre-designed collections from French Montana, Nickelodeon, NCAA colleges and more. (Retail: $49.99)


8. PediPocket

      

As seen on Good Morning America, PediPocket is 6 feet of super soft microfiber fleece that has a clever foot pocket to keep your toes toasty. Use it at home, at the office or take it while traveling. Plus, it’s machine washable and dryer friendly. Perfect for cold winter days spent snuggling up on the couch with your Valentine. (Retail: $39.99)


9.  Tell It Well Cards

      

Among all the texts and tweets, send your Valentine a meaningful handwritten message with the original line of modern photo greeting cards from Tell It Well Cards! Each card is 4 x 4 square (Polaroid size) and is printed on sustainably sourced and recycled paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 10% of sales go to provide small business microloans to women in poverty in the US and around the world for the Whole Planet Foundation. (Retail: $4 – $20)


10. Gratitude Glass “Love” Jar

Show your friends and family how much you care with the Gratitude Glass Love Jar. Fill the jar up with love notes that can be enjoyed all year long! Named “the gift that keeps on giving” by Oprah and featured among the 102 gifts of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2017 List, the Gratitude Jar from Gratitude Glass Jars has driven a movement – inspiring others to love themselves and the people around them. (Retail: $45)


11. HelloFresh Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak

      

During Valentine’s Day week (Feb. 10-16) we’ll be offering a special Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Blood Orange Sauce. The recipe takes only 35 minutes to make and fool-proof for even the most novice home cooks. As one of HelloFresh‘s Premium recipes, this dinner is undeniably special. With strip steak, brown sugar mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts, this dish has tenderness, sweetness, and warmth—just like any solid relationship. It’s topped off with cranberries and a sauce based on blood orange—two fruits that have a romantic red hue. (Retail: $59+ for a 3 meal box for 2 people)


12. BOXFOX

      

Do Valentine’s Day differently this year with BOXFOX and their limited edition 2018 collection of pre-curated themed boxes. Available online until Feb. 18, each box is a thoughtful assortment of gifts that allows you to show you care on the most romantic holiday of the year. If you want to really show your creativity, you can curate your own custom BOXFOX with their BUILD A BOXFOX platform and and select whichever items your heart desires. (Retail: $30 – $200)


13. SouFeel

      

Customized gifts are always a great idea. Soufeel Jewelry’s personalized pieces are your easy solution. For once, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without having to sacrifice meaning or thought! (Retail: $19.95 – $49.95)


14. The Mondrian Staycation

Being in love never felt so good. Celebrate your romance with this package that includes an in-room couple’s massage and dinner at the Doheny Room ($150 sbe gift card provided). Followed by a nightcap for two at Skybar. Then end it all with a turndown service including champagne and rose petals. Price point for the hotel stay plus the package is ($800)


BONUS:  Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose

           

Think Pink this year for Valentine’s Day with Barefoot Wine’s Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose selections. Everything is better with wine, and Barefoot is trusted and true for this occasion. This is one of SoCal Mag’s favorites!

Vegetable’s Homegrown Menu

Vegetable’s Homegrown Menu

The rise of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles have garnered an influx of restaurants that cater to the health-conscious and plant-based eaters all across Southern California. It’s no longer just a trend, but rather a way of life that’s altering the diet regimens of thousands of people across the world. The thing about plant-based diets though, is that they’re immediately perceived as being very limited in options; however, the steady increase of vegan & vegetarian chefs are specializing in new ways to cook food that’s not only good for you, but also extremely delicious.

      

Chef Jerry Yu had a concept in mind when creating his restaurant Vegetable. He thought that if the ingredients in his recipes were all home-grown and always fresh, than he’d be able to guarantee great, flavorful cuisine. Sure enough, he put that concept to fruition and created the beautifully designed and operated, Vegetable in Studio City, CA. This gem really makes an exquisite dining experience by its concept, “built from the ground-up as a showcase of the restaurant’s namesake: Vegetable.” More importantly, Vegetable is completely organic and there are NO meat-substitutes on the menu; no easy “go-to” soy-protein or reworked versions of meat-centric dishes.

      

I experienced a wonderful dining session at Vegetable and was thoroughly impressed with the way Chef Yu constructs his deliciously crafted meals. From the Charred Brussels Sprout to the Sweet Potato Pie with Peanut Butter Ice Cream, everything was delightful and well prepared. My favorite dish was the Butternut Squash Toast, which is made with roasted garlic & butternut squash butter, heirloom tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction all on top of grilled rustic ciabatta. The entire menu offering really makes for a meal that is consciously satisfying.

      

Everything was truly a chef’s masterpiece. To learn more about Vegetable, visit www.vegetablela.com and follow them on Instagram at @vegetable.la

 

Dine At Osteria Bigoli and Feel Like Chef Claudio Marchesan Is Cooking Just For You

Dine At Osteria Bigoli and Feel Like Chef Claudio Marchesan Is Cooking Just For You

Looking for a more traditional meal that packs a lot of flavor without having to fly to Italy? Look no further than Chef Claudio Marchesan’s Osteria Bigoli on Montana Ave in Santa Monica.

While we’re still dreaming about the tender veal loin chop paired perfectly with the house red, what has me looking forward to my next visit is how Chef Claudio makes sure to greet each guest like family. During our dinner at the cozy restaurant, Chef not only came out and spoke with each party but often knew at least one guest by name and is just opener to the northeast Italian specialities that await you within the menu.

Chef Claudio in his element. Photo Credit: @osteriabigoli

Chef Claudio has been serving Osteria Bigoli “old world new” favorites at such as veal loin chop, chicken parm, and other classic Italian favorites since 2016 and has quickly become the go-to place for a delicious meal in a cozy atmosphere that really does feel you stepped right into Chef’s home.

With option including paleo, roasted meats, sustainable fish, grass-fed Angus Flat Iron steak and marinated vegetables, Chef Claudio’s favorite indigents shine. Veal and pork meatballs are prepared  “old school” with a rich Pomodoro sauce and fresh parmesan. Well worth a drive over to the westside for a proper supper!

More information about the must-try restaurant’s Valentine’s Day offerings, live cooking demonstration classes and more curated by Chef Claudio and loyal 20 year business partner Mark Arreola coming soon.

Osteria Bigoli is located at 714 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA and is open Tue – Sat, 5:30 pm – 10 pm; Sun, 5 pm – 9:30 pm. Visit www.bigoliosteria.com for more information. 

Ely Anne Vedar

Food & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills. She is also a regular Editor for SoCal Magazine and other digital publications.

‘Tis The Season To Be…Single? 5 Ways To Find Your Next Date This Holiday Season

‘Tis The Season To Be…Single? 5 Ways To Find Your Next Date This Holiday Season

In the midst of the holiday season, we can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be single in Southern California and participate in the dating scene. It’s probably stressful and overwhelming, but we wanted to hear some expert advice on ways to navigate finding a good date during this festive time of year. We asked matchmaking expert, Erica Arrechea, co-founder of Cinqe Matchmaking, to give us her top 5 tips on how to find a date during the holidays.

 

The holidays are always recognized as a time when we get together with family and friends, reminisce about the year, and wonder about what is to come. If you’re single, this jolly season could also be a time for you to meet that special someone. After all, we all want what we see on the Hallmark Christmas movies, right? Check out my 5 tips on where and how to meet your mistletoe buddy this season.

1. Work-Out Activities

Don’t let the weather outside fool you; participating in exercise activities such as community volleyball, soccer, soul cycle, or even CrossFit classes could lead you into accidentally bumping into that cute stranger. A few of my close friends have met their significant other at a CrossFit class, so the odds are in your favor.

2. Farmer’s Market

Especially in SoCal, Farmer’s Markets are a non-stop social spot that is full of people all day, every day. Instant romance may not be what you think of when you go to pick up strawberries, though the opportunity of running into an old college friend or locking eyes with that hot guy picking up some avocados does sound promising. *Tip: Don’t wear sunglasses when you’re out and about. It makes it easier to make eye contact with people and to show off your beautiful smile. Works EVERY time.*

3. Reach Out To Your Old Facebook Friends

Singles do not do this enough; reaching out to old Facebook friends that you haven’t spoken to in years is a great way to build up relationships again. Life gets in the way, we get busy, however, there’s always the chance of reconnecting. And who knows? That quick FB message to your high school acquaintance could lead to a few drinks or a nice dinner.

4. Go To The Driving Range

Ladies, this one’s for you. There are ALWAYS guys at the driving range. No matter what time of day, year, anything, it is inevitable that there will be a bunch of men hanging out and enjoying themselves at a driving range. So, why not add yourself to the equation and get to know a few of them?

5. Be Your Own Event Coordinator

What do you do when you first move to a new area and haven’t met anyone? You seek out what the best hot-spots are and you go out and try to mingle with new people. Finding a date is very, very similar. Organize a small event (let’s say inviting a group of your friends to that delicious brunch spot), and ask everyone to bring at least one friend who the group hasn’t met. Something as simple as that could lead to new connections, and an overall good time.

Finding a sweet, fun holiday date can be a lot easier than we expect. Implement some of these tips into your dating life and be open to new people and experiences. If you’re really serious about finding love in the upcoming year, but don’t have the extra funds to commit to a Matchmaker, know that Cinqe is always looking to add more singles to oufree online network. Join our growing database of successful, attractive singles at Cinqe.com

Happy Holidays!
ABOUT ERICA:  I grew up in a suburb outside of San Francisco, went to college in San Diego to study marketing, settled in the heart of Los Angeles in 2008. Early in my career, I began reading and following the teachings of Pat Allen, Brené Brown and John Gottman. I was inspired to start building a company with an innate desire for connecting people, whether for business partnerships, great friendships, or something more.
Connecting others enlightens me. Witnessing lasting and meaningful connections is an experience that’s unmatched. It’s been a humbling journey, with the special pleasure of being able to work alongside Patti Stanger, the Queen of my industry.
Safe Screen

Safe Screen

Take Your Pick

Two lab results by the same doctor on the same day, reveal two completely different results.

           “Breast cancer should be the #1 issue for any woman.

             They should all be saying “enough of this bullshit”.”

By Niki Smart * Photographed by Jared Rubin

This is a personal story for me because I’ve suffered with dense, fibrocystic breasts since forever. I was 15 when I had my first scare due to severe lumps, resulting in a breast aspiration. My lumps have gone on and on, and I know that caffeine exacerbates lumps, ergo I’ve always been careful with my caffeine intake.
Be that as it may, I’ve had several more cysts aspirated; I’ve had lumps surgically removed; I’ve had 2 biopsies, and it’s just no fun whatsoever. Each time a new mass appears, I worry that I have cancer, and dread the procedure that I’m about to face. Since I’m quite small-framed and don’t have much breast tissue, mammograms are fairly painful (I believe they’re painful even if you have ample breast tissue). I’ve grown to loathe mammograms, not only because they’re painful but because they’re 100% guaranteed to be inconclusive for my breast type, which means an ultrasound will soon follow. That too, is usually inconclusive, and then the surgeon will start digging about in my breast – which is scary, painful and expensive on top of everything else.
To add to my confusion/frustration, I once received two different results (they arrived on the same day).from a mammogram done at Kaiser Permanente
One letter said – you are in the clear, no follow up needed.
The other said – you urgently need a biopsy.
Both letters were signed on the same day, by the same doctor. Not very reassuring is it?
Another thing of note was that every lump that required attention was always in my right breast. You’d think that would have been a clue for any doctor right? Apparently not.
Finally, after years of scares and strange lumps, the biggest mass of all showed up on my mammogram results.
“That’s a 50% chance of being cancer,” the department head nurse at Kaiser Permanente told me when I refused to have a “core” biopsy.
I was sick and tired of people cutting and digging into my breast and I just couldn’t bear to have another biopsy. Plus, I’ve heard that if you do have cancer, a biopsy can sometimes actually spread the cancer cells. Whether or not that’s true, I can’t say, but it certainly puts me off. So I went on a mission to find out what alternative non-invasive tests were out there to determine breast health.
I went for Thermography – an infrared heat reading that can pinpoint cancer. I went for Suretouch – similar to an ultrasound experience but it detects differences in hardness under the layers of soft tissue, and professes to be able to catch cancer 5 years ahead of a mammogram.
Both the Thermography and the Suretouch are painless and radiation free, but they couldn’t completely put my mind at ease. They both registered a large mass in my right breast, and both results said it didn’t seem likely to be cancer, but they couldn’t 100% guarantee this.
A friend told me about Dr. Kelly and his SonoCiné ultrasound – she didn’t just tell me about him, she sang his praises, so I made an appointment with Dr. Kelly.

Okay – so what is this technique? The SonoCiné is an automated whole breast ultrasound – a simple procedure similar to a regular ultrasound, but more thorough.
First of all, you have to wear a mesh vest – a proprietary camisole developed for the SonoCiné that fits like a sports bra. This helps to hold your breasts in place (which is especially helpful for women with larger breasts), and prevents the technologist from going over the same area twice. Next, you have a hydrogel nipple pad placed over your areola to flatten it, which prevents any shadows from causing a false reading. (Dr. Kelly has a patent on this nipple pad).
You lie on your back as your technician scans your upper areas with a hand held roller device capturing rows sequentially from below the collarbone to the lower margin of the breast. Then the SonoCiné machine relays the images to film.

Dr. Kelly stresses that it’s important to train the technologist to make enough images – 3mm apart at the most, so when watching the film, one can spot cancer small enough to stop it becoming a problem.
Once I was done being scanned, Dr. Kelly watched my film with me at his side. He pointed out everything he was
seeing, and assured me that my large mass was definitely NOT cancer. Well, I just wanted to kiss him for that alone, but then he asked me a question that no other health professional in 30+ years has ever asked me.
“What do you do on the right side of your body that is different form the left? Do you carry your handbag on your right shoulder?”
I had to think for a moment – then it came to me.
“I play guitar and the body of the guitar hits me exactly on my right breast.”
“That’s it” Dr. Kelly smiled. “The vibration from your guitar has altered the tissue in your right breast.”
He further explained that violin players can get this same tissue distortion in their necks from the vibration of their violins. Well, now I wanted to kiss and hug and squeeze Dr. Kelly, not only because he is adorable and the sweetest man, but because he had solved a life-long issue for me. Thank you a million times, Dr. Kelly.

INTERVIEW WITH DR. KELLY

I was so impressed with Dr. Kelly that I had to go back and interview the good doctor – because this man deserves attention – as do your breasts.

How long have you been in the “breast” business?
I’ve been a radiologist since 1975, and solely a breast radiologist since 1982. I realized that I could improve on the current ultrasound technology and by 1998 I’d come up with SonoCiné. Two years later (in 2000) I had a test run on 500 women. On one woman, the SonoCiné detected a cancer in each breast – her right and left – neither mammogram, nor ultrasound had picked up these cancers. This is when I knew I was definitely right – up until then my ideas had been theoretic.

Why is the SonoCiné better for dense breasts?
A mammogram stacks images and cancer is like a bear in the forest – fatty, or dense breasts have many leaves – meaning, mammograms aren’t great for dense breasts. Plus a mammogram has the extra risk of radiation and SonoCiné avoids the radiation. The SonoCiné can catch cancer at 10mm or less. 40-50% of cancers are felt before they are seen on a mammogram. By this time their size is 17mm-25mm.

Can you tell me more about your text and drive theory?
The human brain can’t successfully text and drive at the same time. You may think you can, but your brain physically can’t focus completely on both tasks at the same time – they require the same part of the brain to do. Same thing with a regular ultrasound. The technician is reading the monitor at the same time as focusing on sliding the roller across your chest. If you separate the two actions, there is less room for error and if you improve the gathering of information by having the images closer together – then the readings will be easier. With the SonoCiné reading, you give the film your entire attention in a distraction-free environment. This method of review has been shown to increase the detection of cancers as small as 5mm – 10mm in size.

What about MRIs as a way to screen for cancer of the breast?
People may think an MRI is the way to be sure – but MRI injects heavy metal into your system. In a tight spot, an MRI is okay, but you can’t use it once a year as a screening procedure. That would be reckless as the gadolinium stays with you and ends up in brain and your bones.

How many SonoCiné machines are there?
There are now 50 SonoCiné machines worldwide.

How many women do you see in a month on average?
About 100.

Do you think there are a lot of unnecessary biopsies/removals?
Ultrasound is more definitive – but understanding is variable in this country.
In UK, Europe and Canada – they are better at understanding the images.

What do you recommend for women at this point?
Do both – in the interim.

Do you think we keep doing mammograms because it’s cheaper for the medical field? Insurance companies? Is it expensive to replace the machinery?
Oh yes. This is a game changer. Disruptive technology means someone loses.

Talking of money, where do you get your funding?
The Bank of Kelly. I’ve put everything into this. I’ve even mortgaged my house, which didn’t make my wife too happy, I can tell you. But I know that about 3000 women die every month from breast cancer in America alone. The rate is higher in China, with 1 woman per minute. There are approximately 190,000 new cases of breast cancer annually. And about 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer. Breast cancer should be the #1 issue for any woman. They should all be saying “enough of this bullshit”.

Here at SoCal magazine, we couldn’t agree more.

For more information on Dr. Kelly’s SoneCine click here

 

Other Screenings without Radiation
SureTouch: The SureTouch Breast Exam is painless, radiation free and delivers immediate results. Breasts are examined quickly and comfortably without compression. The patented, hand-held, SureTouch sensor glides easily over the entire breast and underarm area and detects differences in hardness under the layers of soft tissue. Its 192 sensing elements capture and document the shape, location, size and hardness of breast lesions.  Any breast lesions are displayed on the SureTouch console screen in multi-dimensional full-color images. Because images are digitally stored for future reference, results can be tracked and compared for changes over time. http://suretouch.us

Thermography:
Digital Infrared Imaging detects the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. A thermography session can detect thermal signs that may suggest a pre-cancerous state of the breast, or signs of cancer at an extremely early stage. However, Digital Infrared Imaging does not have the ability to detect 100% of all cancers. Consequently, Digital Infrared Imaging’s role is in addition (to mammography and physical examination, not in lieu of. www.breastthermography.com

 

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