Streaming: January Top Picks

With the new year at hand, that means it is a new month of streaming releases. Check out these January releases across all major streaming platforms. From the highly anticipated Wandavision to a classic like Godfellas, you will be sure to stay entertained this month. 

WandaVision

Where to Watch: Disney+ 

This is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) — two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives — begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. 

Headspace: Guide to Meditation

Where to Watch: Netflix 

Take a deep breath and start off 2021 by being kind to your mind. Over the course of eight animated episodes, Andy Puddicombe — former Buddhist monk and co-founder of the globally beloved Headspace meditation app — takes viewers through the benefits and science behind meditation.  

Goodfellas

Where to Watch: Netflix

The dramatized version of Henry Hill’s exploits with the mafia has become one of the most revered mob films ever made.

 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!

Where to Watch: Disney+ 

Based on the beloved children’s book, an elephant becomes a reluctant hero when he discovers the microscopic city of Who-ville and embarks on an adventure to save the tiny town from the dangers of the jungle. (Disney +) 

Things to Do: Staying at Home

Things to Do: Staying at Home 

Below you will find a list of fun things that you can try at home with your family as we continue to hunker down during the pandemic. 

Read a New Book 

Many people are confused when they are told to consider reading as a family activity, but there is an easy to read a book together with your family, and that is to listen to an audiobook. But not many book lovers like the concept of an audiobook and they want to read the book by themselves. You can also take turns reading a hard copy of a book, and leaves notes for the next person who reads it after you. Then, once everyone has finished the book, you can have a family discussion about it, sort of like a book club!

Make Homemade Greeting Cards

Personalized greeting cards are a great way to tell your relatives that you have been thinking about them. And what’s better than bringing your entire family together when crafting a card for your loved ones? The supplies that you need for creating a card are easily available at an arts and crafts shop. Take a trip to a nearby shop and choose the products that you think will be perfect for your cards. After that, dedicate a weekend to this activity, and make personalized cards for your family members and friends.

Create a scrapbook

Scrapbooks are a way of arranging and presenting personal and family history. Creating a scrapbook as a family activity is a good way to help children learn about their family members. With family photos of everyone from their great grandparents to their third cousin, a scrapbook can be used to preserve every small detail of a family.

Make a Family Video

Family videos are a great way to relive the exciting moments that you shared with your family members. And with today’s advanced technology, making a video is as simple as turning on your smartphone. No matter what you are doing, turn your phone to video mode and make some memories.

Home Tips: Level Up Your Holiday Door Decor

Holiday door decor is not necessarily at the top of your list of things to decorate during the holidays.  However, a well put together door speaks volumes to those who pass it by. There is some sort of energy influence that a well-decorated doorway has over those who acknowledge it.  Using decorations like wreaths, garlands, lights and decorative window art will have your whole neighborhood in awe. There’s no better way to welcome family and friends to your home this season.

Frost The Glass

Visitors will be in awe of these instant etchings – vines and fauna. As intricate as it looks, this artwork is easy to create! Start by printing out a template of choice, which comes in sections, onto paper. Trace onto the back of white vinyl using transfer paper, cut out designs with scissors, and align to form the larger design. Static holds the pieces in place on a glass or mirrored surface without the need for adhesive, so you can reuse this snowy silhouette for years to come. Talk about eco-friendly.

Dazzle with Evergreen Stars

Think of the front exterior of your home as a blank canvas. Pictured here, these eight-point stars are staggered, making the front door its focal point. Evergreens are formed on simple bases made from wooden strips; using varieties like rosemary, juniper, cedar, boxwood or white spruce. (Tip: When choosing cuttings, opt for cedar, which can withstand wintry weather). You can also gather trimmings from your backyard.

Keep it Pretty and Practical

Even the smallest front porch and its door can be an efficient use of space. On this front porch are the most important items: sturdy boots, firewood, extra pinecones, and moss for the weekend projects. The lush wreath requires no complicated tools for assembly – just floral shears and wire.

Upcycle Your Treasures

Among all the holiday guests who come flocking to your door, none are as charming as the feathered ones who already inhabit your backyard. An idea that caters to them is easy: Prop a weather-worn basket onto the door with a bundle of greenery and perhaps a pinecone or two coated with peanut butter as a special treat for the birds? Sit back with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the show from your window.

Add Greenery and Shine

Wreaths are considered the darling of any front door, but why not exaggerate its grandeur with a trailing greenery of laurel branches and silver baubles. For a cohesive look, you can enliven an urn or potted planter that’s empty for the winter with any leftovers of laurel and a gazing ball.

Invite Familiar Characters

Charm and tradition go hand in hand for the holiday season. At this holiday open house in Wilmington, North Carolina, the front door is decked out in merry red and green colors. On either side: ribbon-tied topiaries with poinsettias, glass lanterns and a larger-than-life Nutcracker standing at attention.

Craft a Whole New World

The most well-decorated front door offers your house guests a few telling clues about what awaits them inside. Outside, a welcoming sight of mushrooms, woodland gnomes and bottlebrush animals greet those who approach to enter.

Get the Party Started

If you’re playing hostess to a crowd, here’s a sweet idea to greet your guests: roll out a bar with your signature cocktail and a few decorative elements. At this whimsical holiday party, a life-size Nutcracker stands nearby, offering a fun photo-opp as people enter the party. And if you didn’t the transformative power of paint, just check out that cotton-candy pink hue.

***Most of these projects have an added advantage: the structural underpinnings can be saved and reused. After the holidays, you can dismantle the displays, discard the faded greenery and save the base decoration. Next year, when winter returns once more, you can unpack your creations and dress up your doorway for the holiday season. Ideas sourced from Martha Stewart.

Los Angeles Weekend Events Feb 14-16

Los Angeles and the Westside 

Whether it’s the curtain going down on Sting’s musical stint in LA or the spotlight rising on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s ode to German Expressionism, there’s a jam for you this weekend (including, it turns out, Tyrese’s love jam at The Forum). And if you’re not in the mood for music? There’s something for you, too. Here’s our rundown of what’s happening in Los Angeles and the Westside.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Hulu’s High Fidelity Record Store Takeover

LOCATION: Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

Before it moves to its new location, Hollywood’s Amoeba Music is being taken over by the new Hulu series High Fidelity, based on the 2000 John Cusack comedy about a record store owner and his top five breakups. Among the original cast: Lisa Bonet, the mother of Zoe Kravitz, who stars in the new series. Expect custom branding, interactive experiences and free giveaways. Mixtapes are optional. For more information, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15,  2020

Pan African Film and Arts Festival

LOCATION: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Los Angeles

The country’s largest black film festival throws the spotlight on more than 150 films from the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and Canada. In addition to the movies, look for fashion, forums, panel discussions and poetry. For details, go HERE.

The Last Ship

LOCATION: Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Sting is shipping out. This weekend is the last chance to see the rock icon in his acclaimed musical about a man who returns home after 17 years at sea to the shipbuilding community he grew up in. The Grammy winner provided the original music and lyrics for the show, which also features his songs, Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance. For details, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16,  2020

Valentine’s Love Jam

LOCATION: The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood

Singer, songwriter and actor Tyrese takes a detour between Fast and Furious sequels, performing at The Forum alongside Joe, Ginuwine, Avant, Dru Hill and Brownstone. Tickets range from $59 to $129. For details, go HERE.

Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen

LOCATION: Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012

Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen collaborates with director Simon McBurney and his brother composer/dramaturge Gerard McBurney for Weimar Nightfall: The Seven Deadly Sins, set during the heyday of German Expressionism. Expect something vibrant and cynical. For more information go HERE.

Valley Eats: Barbeque

Not so long ago, the thinking was: Los Angeles and the Valley do barbeque like Texas does kale smoothies. But lately SoCal has smoked out praise from the unlikeliest places, including the Lone Star state, that spiritual home of the sauce-slathered, all-American cook-out. With that in mind, here are our local picks if you’re hankering for some brisket, pulled pork or short ribs.

Conejo Valley

Thousand Oaks Meat Locker

2684 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks

You can’t talk about barbeque in the Los Angeles area without mentioning the Thousand Oaks Meat Locker, established in 1957. Back then, it was a custom butcher shop. Nowadays, the menu has items with names that sound from a bygone era. The Manly Man Combination, for example, and the Manly Man a la Carte. If you’re coming with (a lot of) hungry friends, there is the Round-Up, as well, which feeds more than 20 and consists of five pounds of tri-top, 10 chicken breasts, 10 chicken hinds, plus your choice of two sides.

Tavern 101 Grill & Tap House

28434 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills

Located in Agoura Hills, this bar and eatery prides itself on American food and smoked barbeque. Menu items include a variety of sandwiches (even a veggie), burgers (including a turkey and chili cheeseburger) and steaks. Still, the emphasis is on the smoked flavors of their signature pulled pork, prime rib, Angus tri-tip and barbeque pulled chicken.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

The Village at Westfield Topanga, 6220 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. Building E, Suite 1480, Woodland Hills

The baby back ribs are the specialty at this family restaurant and bar, but the menu also includes a build-your-own-combo. Choice of hickory-smoked meats includes half-rack of baby back ribs, half-rack of St. Louis ribs, beef ribs, brisket burnt ends, sliced brisket, smoked turkey, barbeque chicken, pulled pork, tri tip, rib tips, spicy sausage link, and bacon and cheddar.

San Fernando Valley

Dr. Hogly Wogly’s Tyler Texas BBQ

8136 Sepulveda Boulevard, Van Nuys

A longtime staple of the greater Valley barbeque scene dating back to 1969, Dr. Hogly Wogly offers a menu of ribs, links, chicken and brisket, with all the Texas-style trappings. The secret to the “fall off the bone” barbeque? According to the doctor, it’s the secret house-made marinade.

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

116 S San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank

Just because it’s barbeque doesn’t mean it has to be American. Or that it can’t come with sake. Gyu-Kaku specializes in authentic Japanese Yakiniku in which customers share meats over a flaming grill. Their menu includes harami skirt steak in miso marinade and certified Angus kalbi short rib in tare soy marinade. Gyu-Kaku, by the way, translates to “horn of the bull.”

Boneyard Bistro

13539 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

The meats here are prepared Santa Maria-style, meaning grilled over coals of native coast live oak, also called red wood. While any of the barbeque options should satisfy the heartiest, hungriest BBQ lover, the Bistro also offers plenty of other food options, including some vegan dishes. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their wide range of craft beer.

Santa Clarita

Smokehouse on Main

24255 Main Street, Santa Clarita

This Santa Clarita restaurant promises a “gourmet twist” on traditional barbeque offerings: Southern-style spices, southern sides, slow-smoked meats and 30 craft beer on tap. But if you’re in the mood for a burger, try the Wall (a single grind brisket patty, pepper jack cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, Ortega chili) or the Colossal (two single grind brisket patties, onion jam, spring mix lettuce, Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, sharp cheddar, five cheese blend sauce, all topped off with a fried egg).

Rattler’s Bar B Que

26495 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita

For casual diners and families in Santa Clarita, Rattler’s Bar B Que mesquite barbeque is part of the local dining lexicon. They cook their meats for as much as 24 hours before introducing their signature sauce over a live mesquite fire. For those looking for more than barbeque, Rattler’s offers salads as well as such non-BBQ sandwiches as the Santa Fe chicken and the French dip.

Stonefire Grill

23300 Cinema Drive, Santa Clarita

With a focus on freshly and simply prepared meals, the grilled menu at this casual dining restaurant includes boneless chicken, baby back ribs and tri tip, all served with your choice of mesquite barbeque, lemon garlic or pepper garlic, and all topped with Gorgonzola butter.

LA Eats: Barbeque

Not so long ago, the thinking was: Los Angeles and the Valley do barbeque like Texas does kale smoothies. But lately SoCal has smoked out praise from the unlikeliest places, including the Lone Star state, that spiritual home of the sauce-slathered, all-American cook-out. With that in mind, here are our local picks if you’re hankering for some brisket, pulled pork or short ribs.

Los Angeles and Westside

Maple Block Meat Company

3973 Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles

Located in Culver City, Maple Block is a breakout among barbeque fans in Los Angeles and abroad – most notably, Texas Monthly magazine. The obvious care they put into their meats shouldn’t come as a surprise then – and it’s apparent from their mouth-watering brisket and smoked sausage to their pork spare ribs and free-range chicken. The menu doesn’t distract from the meats either, offering the basics: two sides, pickles and either regular or spicy sauce.

Max City BBQ

4729 N Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los Angeles

This Eagle Rock eatery specializes in barbeque, Southern-style, with meats like ribs and pork smoked as slow as a drawl. Along with such barbeque-friendly side dishes as baked beans and cornbread, they also draw from local ingredients for their coleslaw and collard greens.

Slab BBQ

8136 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles

Burt Bakman became an Instagram sensation from his backyard as the man running the L.A.-based smoked-meat sensation, Trudy’s Underground. Now he’s at Slab, cooking up brisket, pulled pork, ribs and smoked chicken. For sides, choose from collard greens, mac n’ cheese and corn on the cob, among others.

Ugly Drum

Smorgasburg LA, 777 S Alameda Street, Los Angeles

Don’t discount deli food when prepared under the watchful eye of a master smoker. Located in downtown’s open-air Smorgasburg market, Ugly Drum dishes up some of the most delicious, mouth-watering pastrami you will ever encounter. Get a tall stack of it or in a sandwich, with coleslaw on the side. And while there’s the requisite mustard, you don’t really need it.

Morfia’s

4077 Lincoln Boulevard, Marina Del Rey

From this cozy Marina Del Rey location, the folks at Morfia’s dish up pit-smoked meats, including what they describe as the only true genuine Texas-style dry-rub mesquite pit-smoked barbeque around. But even though you’ll obviously be pre-occupied with what’s for dinner, including the authentic southern sides, be sure to leave room for dessert, whether it’s the Baklava cheesecake or the homemade pie.

Baby Blue’s BBQ – Venice

444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice

Memphis ribs, Texas-style beef brisket and pulled pork simmered in Guinness beer – and a down-home atmosphere. Before you get to the mains, though, start out with the “Suicide King” (two slices of cornbread topped with your choice of meat, cotija cheese, remoulade and sauce) or smoked, dry-rubbed wings. And after dinner, while they offer both a key lime pie and a chocolate pie, seek out their specialty, the banana pudding.

Valley Weekend Events Feb 14-16

San Fernando Valley 

One of the youngest headliners in the country brings her comedy to Burbank, the Bard rocks out and organizers of LAWineFest branch out. Whether you’re up for an epic musical production or an intimate one-woman show, there’s plenty going on this weekend in the San Fernando Valley.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Taylor Tomlinson

LOCATION: Flappers Comedy Club Burbank – Main Room – 102 East Magnolia, Burbank

One of the youngest touring headliners in the U.S. right now, Taylor Tomlinson started performing stand-up when she was 16. A decade later, she has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Conan as well as being recently named a Top 10 Comic to Watch at Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival. For more details about her club show, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

LAWineFest Celebrates 15 Years

LOCATION: Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N Verdugo Road, Glendale

After more than 20 events, LAWineFest organizers are staging the inaugural LAWineFest at East Valley. In addition to the chance to taste award-winning wines and beers from around the world, this event promises opportunities for ticket holders to mingle with winemakers, sommeliers and craft brew-masters. For more information, go HERE.

Hamlet the Rock Musical

LOCATION: El Portal Theatre, Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood

Opening this weekend, this musical re-imagines the 1976 Broadway production for the 2020s. Directed by Bill Castellino, whose award-winning credits include Tommy, this sung-through story based on Shakespeare’s classic, boasts 35 original songs and self-described “rock-and-roll swagger.” Composer and lyricist Cliff Jones delivers the original score while Craig Fair provides additional music, lyrics and orchestrations. For details, go HERE. 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2020

Intro to Stand-Up Comedy

LOCATION: Glendale Arts, 116 W California Avenue, Glendale

So you think you’re funny, huh? This class aims to teach aspiring comics the basics of stand-up comedy as well help professionals hone their skillset. The class includes lessons on joke structure, joke writing and basic performance techniques as well as the do’s and don’ts of the craft. Registration is required and seating is limited. For details, go HERE.

Wake Up Little Susy

LOCATION: Whitefire Theatre,13500 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

This one-woman show, which follows a bubbly woman named Susy over the course of more than 50 years, features 28 characters, music and even a puppet. Porter writes and performs while Jessica Lynn Johnson directs this hour-long comedy. For details, go HERE.

Conejo Valley

A music legend feels the Earth move (without the earthquake), bird-spotters flock to Malibu State Park and Isabella Rossellini takes the stage alongside her dog. Expect all this and more as we run down what’s happening this weekend in the Conejo Valley.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

LOCATION: Civic Arts Plaza Theatres, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks

This Tony-and-Grammy-winning musical charts the rise and creative rebirth of Carole King, the music legend whose personal and professional life was marked with heartache and glory. Expect all of King’s classic songs – from I Feel the Earth Move and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman to You’ve Got A Friend and the title song, Beautiful. For more details go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

Malibu Film Festival

 LOCATION: 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu

This showcase of independent U.S. and international films bows this year with Johnny Strange: Born to Fly, a documentary about the Malibu-born extreme adventurer and wingsuit BASE jumper, who gained notoriety as a teenager by ascending the tallest mountain in each continent. A Q&A will follow the screening. For information all the films on tap at the festival, go HERE.

Link Link Circus by Isabella Rossellini

LOCATION: Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Isabella Rossellini transforms herself into various historical figures including Aristotle for this “theatricalized lecture” about the connections between humans and animals. Her own dog Pan plays a role, assisted by puppeteer and handler Schuyler Beeman. For details, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2020

San Fernando Valley Audubon Bird Walk at Malibu Creek State Park

LOCATION: Malibu Creek State Park, 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas

Break out the binoculars. Hopeful bird spotters can expect to glimpse as many as 50 bird species during this walk along Malibu Creek, the most common being the Oak Titmouse, the California Quail and the Acorn Woodpecker. The walk kicks off at 8 a.m. on the third Sunday of every month. For details about where to connect with the group, go HERE.

Dave Marotta and Friends

LOCATION: Bogie’s, 32001 Agoura Road, Westlake Village

Longtime LA studio bassist Dave Marotta – who has toured with such artists as Gino Vanelli and Kenny Loggins, among others – brings along Rick Cowling and vocalist Mollie Weaver for this show. Cowling currently works with Loggins while Weaver, who has collaborated with the Dave Matthews Band, is a back-up singer on The Voice. For details, go HERE.

Santa Clarita

The silent film era is celebrated with a showcase of screenings and memorabilia, the English Beat just can’t stop touring and a classic myth gets a modern update. And if you’re feeling like spending your Sunday on a hike, how about joining some four-legged rescues as they go exploring? It’s all happening this weekend in Santa Clarita.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Newhallywood Silent Film Festival

LOCATION: 24151 Newhall Avenue, Santa Clarita

The inaugural Newhallywood Silent Film Festival will be screening more than a dozen silent films, including The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks, Little Annie Rooney with Mary Pickford and the horror classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. In addition to the films, the festival has gathered a rare collection of props, costumes and other memorabilia. For details, go HERE.

 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

The English Beat

LOCATION: The Canyon – Santa Clarita, 24201 Valencia Boulevard, No. 1351, Santa Clarita

Dave Wakeling is making sure the beat goes on. The leader of The English Beat, recognized as founding members of the British two-tone ska movement alongside The Specials and The Selecter, continues to tour four decades after the group’s 1980 debut album, Just Can’t Stop It. For ticket information and details, go HERE.

Eurydice

LOCATION: The MAIN, 24266 Main Street, Santa Clarita

This new production from playwright Sarah Ruhl aims to modernize the classical myth by presenting the events from the heroine’s point-of-view. When a young woman is killed on her wedding day, she discovers her father in the underworld and ultimately must choose to either stay with him or return to the world of the living and her grieving groom. For details, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16,, 2020

A Dustland Fairytale: The Killers tribute

LOCATION: The Canyon – Santa Clarita, 24201 Valencia Boulevard, No. 1351, Santa Clarita

Like the name suggests, A Dustland Fairytale is a tribute to Las Vegas’s The Killers. Expect all the hits, ranging from Mr. Brightside to When You Were Young. For details, go HERE.

Wagging Tails on the Trails

LOCATION: Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita

Join the volunteers of The Brittany Foundation as they take their adoptables on their monthly hike away from the rescue. The foundation is a non-profit focused on the care and placement of dogs who are otherwise deemed hard-to-adopt. The February hike gets underway at Central Park in Santa Clarita. To volunteer and meet some new four-legged friends, go HERE.

Tech News: Prosthetic Hand Controlled With Your Mind

An AI-controlled hand has been created, which purely uses your brainpower and muscle signals to move. All that awaits its dispatch into the world is for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant its approval.

How does this prosthetic hand learn to move?

With over two million amputees in the U.S. alone, the need for prosthetics is there. Up until now, amputees relied on metal hooks for hands or robotic prosthetics that rely on physical buttons. All of which have limited mobility. BrainCo’s prosthetic arm and hand is much more mobile and does not require a heavy kit with buttons galore.

BrainCo uses a software platform where the user trains its future prosthetic using electrical signals. These allow the prosthetic to perform a range of motions and movements, enabling the user to do particular gestures such as playing the piano and writing detailed calligraphy.

Newlon explained that this allows amputees to no longer have to rely on a limited number of preprogrammed movements, they can customize the prosthetic to their own body.

If all of the above information wasn’t enough to impress you, then perhaps the cost will.

It only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to program six gestures, Newlon said. The more you use the hand, the better and more lifelike it becomes, he added.

Typically, prosthetics cost anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000. BrainCo’s, on the other hand, will cost between $10,000 and $15,000. That’s a huge amount of money saved and for a better product.

The company plans on launching their prosthetic later this year in the U.S. and will also be creating smaller prosthetics for children.

Home Tips: Hosting a Housewarming Party

Hosting a housewarming party is a great way to bring your friends and family together for a few hours of laughing, eating, and drinking while showing them your new digs. Below are a few tips and tricks to set you up for success in hosting a housewarming extravaganza.

Figure out how much you want to spend

Before you make any decisions about your housewarming party, you need to know how much money you have to work with. Don’t feel any sort of obligation to spend big—a great housewarming party can be a totally casual affair. Most important is knowing what you’re comfortable spending, be it $50 or $500. From there, you can dive into all of the other details.

Set a reasonable date

Many people wait a few months in-between moving into their new home and throwing a housewarming party. Planning a housewarming party on a budget is all about working within parameters that you’re comfortable with. That applies to timing as much as money. Figure out a date that will give you enough time to recover financially from the move, letting go of the pressure to do it within the first month or two of settling in.

Be realistic

Party planning usually starts out with grand ideas that gradually get edited into something more reasonable. That’s totally okay! Nobody is going to come in expecting a Pinterest-worthy soiree or something out of the pages of Martha Stewart Living. Set realistic goals for your housewarming party and don’t worry about meeting some sort of idealistic, unnecessary standard.

Use washable plates and utensils

It’s always tempting with a party to go the easy route and purchase paper plates and plastic utensils, but ultimately that just ends up being a waste of money. Use your own plates, utensils, glasses, etc. instead, which will cost you in time when you eventually have to do the dishes, but won’t put a hole in your wallet. If you’re planning to have more people than kitchen items, go out and buy special hosting plastic plates and cups instead of paper, since they can be washed a reused – keep the environment in mind.

Play games

If you want to offer a little bit more in terms of entertainment, create your own free housewarming party games, like a scavenger hunt of items in the house, trivia about your town or city, the in-app game: heads up, or a scramble with words related to your new place. You can find game printable online or just make your own.

Congrats on your new home! Hopefully, these tips and tricks help keep you organized during a time a transition!

Weekend Events: January 4th-5th

wineLA presents: Wine Camp – An Introduction to Wine

Saturday, January 4th at 3 PM – 530 Molino St, Los Angeles, CA

People have been making and drinking wine for thousands of years. If wine has been a part of the human experience for so long, why is it so difficult to Learn About Wine? Why does it seem so intimidating?

At wineLA, they know how to demystify this ancient beverage, whether you’re new to wine, or you’re someone who wants to take your wine knowledge to the next level – Wine Camp is the perfect introductory class to give you a comprehensive, solid foundation and the confidence to explore the world of wine.

Redacted Fest 2020

Saturday, January 4th  -2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

From DIY auto garage shows to bowling alleys to warehouses to venues across Los Angeles, redacted’s mission has continued to be to foster a community that celebrates experimental music and DIY ethos. On January 4th Redacted fest celebrate this mission at Bootleg Theater with some of our favorite day one bands as well as new friends and look forward to continue celebrating weird music for years to come.

THE WALL – BRICK BY BRICK

Saturday, January 4th – Scherr Forum Theatre, Thousand Oaks, CA

Celebrating over 50 years of Pink Floyd, Infinite Floyd brings one of the celebrated psychedelic group’s most popular albums to life with this concert rendition of The Wall. This theatrical tribute to one of the greatest rock operas in music history comes alive with massive balloon sculptures, a laser light show and a ten-foot replica wall on stage, just like the famous props used in Pink Floyd’s legendary 1980 tour. Infinite Floyd presents a faithful recreation of Pink Floyd’s famous live show at the Grove Theatre in Upland, complete with pristine sound and a visually stunning stage show.

Lineup:

Beach Bums, Ariel View, Yungatita, The Unending Thread, 100 Onces, Carter Ace, The Cozzmos, Alex Andre, Love Nothing, Max Ox, Good Boy, Phovea, Clit Kat

JAPAN 47 ARTISANS in Los Angeles

Sunday, January 5th – 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles and D&DEPARTMENT PROJECT are proud to present “JAPAN 47 ARTISANS,” an exhibition that explores the diversity of Japanese craft traditions through the eyes of contemporary designers representing each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The exhibition will be on view from October 30 through January 5.

Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures has its own history, ecology, and regional flavor, leading to unique craft heritage across the nation, from the lacquerware of Iwate to the woodworking of Okayama. These artisanal forms evolved over centuries to be beautiful, useful, and sustainable – qualities essential to design practice today.

This eclectic craft heritage is an inspiration to D&DEPARTMENT, a design studio founded by Kenmei Nagaoka that prizes “Long-Life Design” and focuses on presenting the design, products, customs, and identities of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons

Sunday, January 5th 

1111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles Lakers host the Detroit Pistons at STAPLES Center, in Los Angeles, California on January 5, 2020. The exciting events hosted at STAPLES Center often attract large crowds. It is recommended that you plan your trip before you leave home and allow extra time for unanticipated delays due to traffic congestion, road construction, etc. Always follow traffic safety precautions when traveling to and from events. Tickets for STAPLES Center sports and entertainment events are available at the STAPLES Center Box Office located at 1111 S. Figueroa Street.