Good Vibe Crew’s Rugby Wild Releases New Single “Avenue”

Rugby Wild of the independent record label, Good Vibe Crew, is releasing his newest single, “Avenue”, as a nod to hip-hop in the Spring. This mellow, head-nodding track serves as the perfect tune for vibing out no matter what coast you’re on. Rugby Wild says, “Avenue is my idea of a perfect day where it seems like nothing matters.” Coming off the success of his earlier releases like “Scuffs”, “Chevy”, and “Topanga”, Rugby Wild wanted to release a track that would seamlessly carry through the Spring season and have his followers ready for a Summer anthem.

Along with the single’s release is a music video that helps capture the essence of “Avenue” and showcase Rugby Wild’s personal energy through a city backdrop with his friends. Filmed in Newark, NJ, the visual offers a glimpse into Rugby’s life and how he and his friends would typically hang out in the streets of the East Coast.

“Avenue”  releases on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 and can be streamed on all musical platforms including, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Google Play. The video will be available on Rugby Wild’s official VEVO channel on May 1st.

Stream “Avenue” – Rugby Wild today.

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

 

Hayden @ PLATFORM Introduces Golden Hour and its Specialty Wine Program

Hayden @ PLATFORM Introduces Golden Hour and its Specialty Wine Program

Platform LA seems to have it all going on, and for good reason, with one of its highlight restaurants — Hayden. Hayden, a modern Los Angeles restaurant and wine bar, is helmed by chef and partner, Ari Kolender. Aptly named for the creative community of the Hayden Tract, the restaurant will highlight local California ingredients with European influences set in a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere. Hayden will offer a new wine program and Golden Hour, from 5 pm to 7pm, which will offer $1.50 oysters and $8 glasses of wines with special tastings with Beverage Director Anthony Cailan on Saturdays.

In addition, the exquisite restaurant continues to offer its can’t-miss light morning menu, including Chef Kolender’s signature waffles, Vittoria coffee, plus a menu of tartines, salads, and sandwiches throughout the day. During afternoons and evenings, diners can expect oysters, European canned seafood, and an extensive selection of new California wines, which will also be available throughout the day in Hayden’s wine shop.

About Anthony Cailan

Anthony Cailan, Hayden’s Beverage Director, focuses especially on natural California wines in the shop, and is one of the few sommeliers who chill red wine by the glass. With an extensive culinary background in some of the most popular and successful businesses and events across California and the country, Cailan lends his expertise to Hayden to create a rare and unforgettable experience for diners.

About Ari Kolender

Chef Kolender has cooked in some of the best kitchens in Los Angeles, including Providence and Red Medicine. Before opening Hayden, he worked at The Ordinary and Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop in Charleston, where he was nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award.

The design of the restaurant reflects the spirit of Kolender’s cooking.  This focus on simple high-quality materials can be seen in the custom woodwork, handmade ceramic flatware, and an Italian marble bar.  The Hayden team also collaborated with their neighbor, British designer Tom Dixon, on the lighting and furniture in the space.

Kolender summarized the spirit of the project: “Hayden was inspired by the neighborhood.  From gallery owners to music producers to fashion designers, the Hayden Tract is full of entrepreneurs as well as up and coming artists. I want to create a gathering space for all of these people to come together and enjoy a great meal and an incredible bottle of wine any time of day.  The food we cook at Hayden will be inspired by and reflect the diverse and elegant city in which we live.”

Location:
8820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Hours: 12 pm – 9 pm daily
Phone: (310) 593-4777

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.

104 Years Young – Reggie Gooch

104 Years Young – Reggie Gooch

Millie and Reggie – Casper, Wyoming 1942

At age 10, Reggie worked at a grocery store earning 50c per shift, except on Saturdays, when he worked from 7am-7pm and earned $1. This was during the economic decline as America headed towards the Great Depression, so Reggie loved his job because any extra produce was his to take home. He would share his food with his family of 7, plus all his neighbors.
At 15, he worked in a theater parking lot from 6:30PM -1AM and would do his homework on the job. “It didn’t bother me that I didn’t get enough sleep, because it allowed me to take my mother to England on a ship. I saved up for 3 years to do that.”
Indeed, by the time Reggie was 18 he had saved enough money to take his for 3 months to England via a cruise ship. That’s Reggie – a generous spirit.
Reggie tells me that he was married to Millie, and that they never had a fight, not once, in their 77 years together. Millie, who was four years older than Reggie, lived until 103 herself. Together they lived harmoniously in mutual respect and shared a deep love of adventure and travel. Talking about Millie and travel, Reggie’s eyes light up. These are the two things he loved most, and luckily, Millie loved traveling just as much as Reggie did. They traveled extensively, mainly on cargo boats, visiting almost every place on earth.
My favorite story was that at age 97, Millie looked at Reggie and said “there’s a Norwegian boat headed for Buenos Aires in 10 days from now. I think we should be on it.” And they were. They even extended their trip for a month long journey through South America. Reggie laughs, “People asked us, aren’t you worried about running around in those cities – and we said “Why should we worry?”
That’s what I love about this remarkable man: no squabbles with his wife, no reservations when traveling the world (literally and figuratively), no worries, no fears, and another thing, no medications. Reggie claims he has taken zero medications. He’s also never had an auto accident, and though he bought his first car in 1928, he quips that, “no insurance company has ever paid out on me in all those years. Plus, I never had to take any tests because I’d never had an accident.”
Reggie stopped driving at 100 of his own volition.
In keeping with his upbeat nature, as the interview was coming to a close, Reggie said “make sure you come to the lunch for my 105th birthday next year in June”.
You got it, Reggie. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

What do you enjoy most in life? What is your favorite thing to do?
I love traveling. So did my wife. We went on numerous trips over the years, all over the world, but we never made a reservation in our life.

Where have you spent the bulk of your life?
I was born in Canada but moved to Los Angeles at the age of 2. I’ve lived in LA ever since then. That’s 102 years in LA – I love this place. I’ve also traveled all over the world, my favorite place being Bavaria, though I Italy too.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen to Los Angeles?
East LA had an alligator farm and an ostrich farm. There were fun houses and roller coasters, and the Red Street Car. And the thing to do on a Saturday night was go to the movies. They had a huge movie theater with plush chairs that had a wraparound balcony that held 1500 people. This was five hours of entertainment that started with cartoons, the newsreel, a live performance, then intermission and after that, the feature movie. It was 25c to go in, but for 15c extra you could have nicer chairs.
I would save all week to go to the movies.
Plus, I’d walk up Laurel Canyon, except it was a dirt road, and at the top you could see the city, and in 1918, there were 3 properties – all big palace style homes. All the streets were named after the owners of properties. The biggest change is in land prices. After the depression in 1936, we bought 2 lots of land – each cost $350. We put $3.50 down and repaid $3.50 each month. We sold them for about 30k, but they are probably worth over a million now.

What are some of the places that you’ve traveled to?
Thailand, Burma, India, Egypt, Europe, Bali, Alaska, Singapore, Iran, South Africa, all over South America…I got stuck for 30 days in Kenya. I’ve lived on a house boat in Kashmir. I spent Christmas in the heart of Afghanistan. We bought a new car in South America then spent 9 months driving through Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica. We shipped the car to Columbia and drove down through Peru, Chile doing the Pan American highway. And I loved going on the cargo ships. You can go explore while they unload their cargo, and they’re cheaper – especially the Polish ships, but you may be on a ship for 5 – 6 months.

You’ve lived through both World Wars, and the Great Depression. What was the scariest time for you?
On March 20th 1944, I was stationed in Pompeii as part of the air force, when Mount Vesuvius erupted. 138 aircraft were lost. We had to go to Corsica to get new airplanes, but sadly we lost them all as well.

Which was your favorite era?
They were all good. I traveled a great deal, and spent 8 years out of the country. I was drafted into service in 1942 and spent four years in the air force. I wrote to Millie almost every day for four years…and she wrote back. 

(At this point, Reggie brings out two boxes of beautifully preserved letters.
It’s really a touching moment.)

Did you know you were going to live a long time?
My mother lived until 83, but my dad died of heart problems at 55. I never thought about it. I used to be live one year at a time; now I play with one month at a time. (Reggie smiles his winning smile)

We want to know your secret. Do you eat healthy, exercise, smoke, drink?
I’ve never smoked, and hardly drink. I may have a glass of wine at dinner. My meals are perhaps a little beef or chicken, but mainly I eat masses of veggies and fruit. I took care of 142 avocado trees at Wattles, and I was on their board for 33 years. I love vegetables. I still go every Saturday morning to tend the garden, if I can.

If you could tell young people one thing, what would it be?
I’d say don’t worry about anything – life is too short to get in a fight or to argue

   

 LIVING LONGER

The proportion of people reaching 100 is growing over time – it was rare in the 1940s, but today, it doubles roughly every year.

The oldest person ever on record was Jeann Louise Calment who lived until 122.

The oldest known living person in the United States is Delphine Gibson, who is 114.

Oldest person to give birth: Omkari Panwar is the oldest mother in the world, gave birth to twins at age 70.

Country with most longevity: In Monaco people live to be nearly 90 years old (89.5, to be exact), which is four years longer than any other country and almost an entire decade longer than the average American. Monaco also happens to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Next on the list is Okinawa, Japan

Oldest driver on the roads: Fred Hale was issued with a driving license in 1995 at age 104, and drove until it expired on his 108th birthday in 1998.

At 98, Tao Porchon-Lynch, is the oldest yoga teacher in the world and Ernestine Shepherd at 81, is the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world.

Camp Roberts, Paso Robles – 1942

NIKI SMART |  managing editor

Niki Smart is a writer living in Los Angeles.  Her first memoir “Hell Camp” won her 2 x eLit Awards, an invitation to read at the LA Times Festival of Books, was a Top Ten Best Seller at local book stores, and garnered rave reviews from readers. Smart’s second memoir is set for release in early 2018. Smart is currently the Managing Editor for the SoCal Magazine (previously managing editor for the LA Fashion Magazine), and her writings have been published in More Magazine, Laguna Beach IndependentAspen Times, StuNewsThe LA Fashion Magazine, SoCal Magazine, and the Gemeindezeitung.

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