So Cal Lady Bloggers at the Nail Garden Valencia

There is nothing quite like a Girls Night Out and that is what some of the SoCal Lady Bloggers did on Sunday night at the Nail Garden salon in Valencia, California. The Nail Garden was kind enough to offer us all complimentary manicures and Velvet Cupcakes provided the treats for the evening.

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The Nail Garden opened it’s first salon in 2008 at the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square and has since grown to 5 locations and 2 franchises throughout the Los Angeles area, with more being added. The staff are some of the nicest and most qualified technicians I have come across in all my years of getting manis and pedis. The salon does natural nails, gel nails and acrylic nails and can handle all the drama and bling you want. They do an amazing gel manicure and their matte nails are gorgeous. Make sure you go early and spend some time looking through their vast collection of polishes.

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It was almost impossible to decide. In the end, we all chose completely different colors and styles.

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We were also fortunate to have Velvet Cupcakes, a neighbor of the Nail Garden, provide us with their delectable cupcakes.

Velvet Cupcakes #socallovesnails

 

Each day they bake different flavors so make sure to visit their website to learn what flavors they are selling the day you go.

Cupcakes at Velvet Cupcakes #socallovesnails

 

The inside of the store is just as gorgeous as the cupcakes.

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From November 25 – December 18, the Nail Garden is holding their 3rd Annual Holiday Toy Drive benefitting Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. If you donate a new, unwrapped toy, book, game or DVD (ages 3 months to 18 years) to any of the Nail Garden locations, you will receive 15% off any service as a thank you for your donation.

And as a thank you to our readers and members, Nail Garden is offering us a 15% OFF discount through the end of 2013. Just mention SOCAL LADY BLOGGERS at ANY of the Nail Garden salons throughout Los Angeles to receive the discount. (Can’t be combined with the Toy Drive discount.) Please feel free to share the discount with YOUR readers as well.

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SCLBloggers Learn to Bake at Le Pain Quotidien

On Friday, September 13th a group of our members visited Le Pain Quotidien at Fashion Island in Newport Beach for an evening of comraderie with a little bread baking thrown in.

The class was taught by the affable Scott, the restaurant’s assistant baker. He taught the group the basics of bread from mixing to kneading to baking and everything in between!

With Scott’s assistance the ladies learned to bake the official Le Pain Quotidien baguette as well as hazelnut raisin bread and rolls filled with butter and chocolate. Ingredient tasting was highly encouraged!

Not only did the ladies learn the basics of bread baking but they also learned how to make their bread beautiful. In the picture above they are learning to make the Pain d’Epi – a baguette shaped like a wheat stalk.

While taking the detailed 3 hour class the ladies all had the chance to catch up and share fun stories of bread, family, and, of course, blogging.

At the end of the class every student was offered a bevvy of bread to take home. Each lady received 4 baguettes, 2 hazelnut raisin loaves, 8 rolls, a batch of dough, and a goodie bag.  The overall consensus was that the class was wonderful and the bread was delicious.

Thank you Le Pain Quotidien for hosting this fun evening! If you are interested in taking a class you can find the schedule here.

Meeting for Pie and Then Some

Disclaimer: Marie Callender’s paid for our dinners so we could try out the new menu. No other compensation was given.

 

One by one they grabbed their dinners and went to a nearby table. Not being driven away from something, but flocking toward something- better lighting. Giggles from the other ladies at the table as we watched them and took pictures, documenting the other side of the experience, the same side the other restaurant patrons were seeing.foodies
This is the way bloggers eat dinner.

 

Some SoCal Lady Bloggers had a chance last weekend to try out the new Marie Callender’s Pie and Pasta Amore menu. We trickled in from all four different counties to try out the menu and have a chance to sit with other bloggers. Some were focused on the food, some were glad of a chance to do an event, all enjoyed the mix of woman and blogger talk. Other patrons watched the table with different levels of entertainment, curiosity and disdain as food was discussed and photographed and waitstaff posed with plates.

 

For the record, the Marie Callender’s in Riverside had some excellent staff- thank you for allowing us to take over our section for a couple of hours. And when dessert came around, instead of being ushered to the right people they were sent to the nearby ‘photo studio’ and were photographed before being passed out to their eager recipients.

 

And ooh’d and aah’d and finally devoured.

 

Bloggers are a special breed, documenting everything from the rare to the mundane, treating every pie slice like its own little celebrity and recording the entire meal for posterity. And not every group of people can have such a wide range of interests and still come together, work with each other, learn from each other and appreciate each other’s strengths and differences.
Meetups are so important- to strengthen friendships already created through social media and to help create working relationships as well.
Thank you Marie Callender’s for allowing us the chance to have some great food and a chance to get together with fellow bloggers!
- Megan

SCLB Rocks the Lifestyle Bloggers Conference

#lallblog13If you’ve been living under a rock, you might have missed the Lifestyle Bloggers Conference that took place this past weekend. If you did… you will most likely come to regret it… and then stalk our blog for the big date and location announcement for the 2014 Conference. Oh yes… there will be more.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend this year, you might be wondering what makes this conference different from all the others. In a word: diversity. What started out as the “Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Conference” has become the “Lifestyle Bloggers Conference” for the simple reason that the conference has opened it’s arms to women (and men) of color… all colors… black, brown, beige, tan, chocolate, peach, white… if you are human, you are welcome.

Our VIP Cocktail Party was held at the L.A. Brewing Company in downtown Los Angeles where we were fortunate to be the first ones to try out Delicia, the new dessert wines from E&J Gallo.

We also taste tested Joia drinks, all natural sodas that combine fruits, herbs & spices to create an amazing and refreshing beverage.

And while we were snacking on the amazing appetizers, we were treated to Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, the author of “The Dirty Girls Social Club” who shared with us her journey from writing her best-selling book ten years ago to her plans to turn it into a movie.

It was an incredible evening, but it was only the beginning.

From our Opening Keynote Speaker, Angela Dean, to our Closing Keynote Speaker, Davina Ferrara, 100 bloggers learned how to brand themselves, how to write better posts, how to approach brands, how to fine-tune their photography skills, and how to better collaborate with each other to succeed beyond their imagination.

Our speakers were prepared, enthusiastic and inspiring. They made this event a true success. Huge thanks to Vicky Ayala, Gabriela Hernandez, Jeremy Pepper, Martha Gil de Montes, Ricky Garay, Mi Tu Network, Francis Bertrand, Cesar Rolon, Sarah Grear, Chris Lam, Stephanie O’Dea, Lee Reyes-Fournier, A.J. Feuerman, Jose Resendez, Lisa Roche and the fabulous Marie Denee.

And many thanks over go to our sponsors -

Lunches Provided by:
Fresh Brothers
Juan’s Restaurant

A few more thanks to…

Ana Lydia Monaco (Latina Lifestyle Bloggers), who believed in me and the SoCal Lady Bloggers to let us be a part of this incredible event.

Ashley Pena, who worked her magic all the way from Chicago and took care of logistics and contracts and emails and all the detail-oriented stuff.

Alex Manriquez, who was the Social Media Maven of the conference and tracked all of our tweets, impressions and hashtags.

Wendy Chen & Allen Taylor, for photographing the entire conference and sharing their beautiful pictures with us.

David West, for videotaping all of our sessions and for being a super-supportive husband.

And the biggest thanks goes to all of our attendees. YOU made this dream a reality. We hope you learned something, met someone, shared a piece of your own knowledge and had fun. That’s what this crazy world of blogging is all about.

Carolyn

 

For every single person who believed in us to attend this conference… THANK YOU! We are already talking about plans for 2014 and we’ll be back bigger and better…. because that’s just how we roll.

 

Holiday Meet-Up

This past Sunday, the SoCal Lady Bloggers met up at El Portal Restaurant in Pasadena. There were familiar faces and some new ones as well. It is always a joy for me to get everyone together and network, socialize and make some new friends.

This has been a rough year for many and the tragedy in Connecticut has caused us all to treasure our friends and family a little more. As the year comes to a close, I want to let you all know that this group has completely changed my life – the friends, the contacts, the knowledge I’ve received over the past year makes my heart sing.

While we are navigating the growing pains (we currently have 279 Facebook members), we are hoping that 2013 will bring more of us together. We’re working on an Orange County meet-up and we’re working with the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers in preparing for the Lifestyle Bloggers Conference & Junket coming up in April.

As always, we welcome your ideas and help in planning events.

We want to know what you are working on and the projects you are involved with. Please feel free to share in the Facebook group.

If you know of anyone who blogs and is located in Southern California, please feel free to tell them about us. We believe that ever member has something to teach. None of us knows it all and whether you are a new blogger or a very experienced one, we can ALL learn something from each other.

Thank you to El Portal Restaurant for the use of the beautiful room and the delicious appetizers. If you haven’t been to El Portal, do yourself a favor and spend an evening in Pasadena.

Big thanks to Fresh Brothers for contributing coupons to our swag bags. Fresh Brothers has become a family favorite and we’re hoping to have a SCLB event there soon.

And we’re excited that Poetry Salon has offered us 20% off any custom poem. If you haven’t seen these yet they are simply amazing.

A huge thank you to Jamie Gall for all the photographs.

In Memory of Sidney Patrick
You will always be in our hearts.