Agent Story: Agents Devin McNichol and Aaron Bernbach Give Back During the Holidays

Devin McNichol and Aaron Bernbach (of the McNichol Bernbach Group of Rodeo Realty), hosted their first annual McNichol Bernbach Group Thanksgiving Food Drive. They hosted the event on Saturday November 23rd, 2019 in front of the Rodeo Realty office based in Pacific Palisades.

For those who brought more than two cans or packages of non-perishable food items to the drive, they qualified for a token. This token was good for a complimentary lunch, catered by Ortiz Kitchen (a Los Angeles based gourmet food truck).  Along with a complimentary lunch, those who donated received a raffle ticket to enter into a drawing for gift cards to local businesses in the Pacific Palisades area.

The first two people who showed up to donate ended up having their complimentary lunch together, realized they were neighbors, and made coffee plans for the following week. Both McNichol and Bernbach were “thrilled to hear about this” as their mission for the event was “all about bringing the community together and giving back” as stated by Bernbach.

The McNichol Bernbach group shared they “had over 100 people donate and collected over 800 pounds of food” – talk about making a difference! All donations were sent to the Westside Food Bank. The Westside Food Bank provides more than five million pounds of food each year for those in need.

On top of hosting a Thanksgiving Food Drive, the McNichol Bernbach group recently delivered 500 pumpkins throughout Pacific Palisades in October. These two are not shy about giving back to the community.

To view their listings, click HERE.

To learn more about the Westside Food Bank, click HERE.

 

LA Eats: Best Coffee Bars in Los Angeles

With the days getting colder you’re probably in the mood to curl up with a good book, and a cup of the best coffee in town in hand. Whether you’re located in downtown Los Angeles, out west in Santa Monica, or in the suburbs of Studio City. We’ve got all the right places for you to sit down and enjoy your cup of joe to warm up on these chilly winter days!

The Daily Dose
Location: 1820 Industrial St., Los Angeles, CA 90021

This little coffee shop, hidden down a brick-lined alley of Industrial Street, serves a variety of coffee and tea beverages, as well as a seasonal food menu with whimsically-named dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Don’t forget to try “The Farmer” one of L.A.’s best sandwiches, described “vegetarian behemoth that weighs a full pound and packs a rainbow’s worth of ingredients between slices of Kalamata olive bread from nearby Bread Lounge”.

Zinc Cafe & Market
Location: 580 Mateo St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Here you’ll find favorites like avocado breakfast toast (smashed avocado, butter, radish salad, chives, lemon zest, various egg dishes, and omelets.  Locals will stop by throughout the day, whether it’s an alfresco lunch of wood-fired pizza beneath olive trees or an after-work cocktail at Bar Mateo.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Location: 806 South Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021

Located just steps from Bestia and Bread Lounge, Stumptown features a retail bar, roastery, training lab, and warehouse. Espresso shots are pulled from in the front bar from a custom La Marzocco Strada MP. Stumptown has been ahead of the game with the latest coffee trend, nitro cold-brew coffee, which is served on tap or available in cans. What’s more? The free coffee tastings at noon on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Groundwork Coffee Arts District
Location: 811 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013

Groundwork Coffee is the latest outpost of L.A.’s homegrown coffee and tea destination, originally founded at Venice Beach in 1990. In addition to its signature organic coffees, Groundwork offers an expanded food menu featuring house-made baked goods, salads, sandwiches and more.

La Colombe
Location: Multiple

The Silver Lake location has a bold, Instagram-friendly mural on the side of the building and many LA-only offerings. In addition to the regular coffeehouse offerings, mango rooibos chili iced tisane and hemp “mylk” for vegan drinks.

Bluestone Lane
Location: 12186 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

Bluestone Lane originated in New York City, where it’s been on the scene since 2013, with other locations around Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. The cute little location just started brewing in Studio City with a flagship expected in West Hollywood soon. With their sights set on taking over Los Angeles, the brand hopes to have six locations soon!

Dinosaur Coffee
Location: 4334 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Laptop lingerers and chatty post-yoga meetups, if these sound enticing then head over to dinosaur coffee, of the best coffee spots in Silver Lake. The sleek space is heightened by a wood sculpture hanging from the ceiling that resembles a skeleton, and you may or may not see origami dinosaurs around the shop.

Bar Nine
Location: 3515 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90232

This space in the Hayden Tract area of Culver City is hidden, minimalist by design with low-slung counters and Modbar espresso systems. The daily coffee (out of three roasted every season) and the latte with house-made hazelnut milk is a must-try! Grab delicious cookies and/or pastries while you’re here!

Civil Coffee
Location: 5629 N. Figueroa St.  Los Angeles, CA 90042

At their stylish Highland Park coffee shop with high ceilings, beautiful Mexican tiled floors, and a walnut-topped bar they feature single-origin beans from Coava, Heart, and others. Try the “The Figueroa” made with espresso, condensed milk and cinnamon the menu also features everything from toasts with myriad toppings, salads, sandwiches, and sweets.

Blue Bottle
Location: Multiple

In 2014, the Oakland-based shop set its sights on Los Angeles and it’s now grown to 12 hyper-chic locations across town, including Venice, Beverly Grove, Culver City, Echo Park, Los Feliz and beyond. All serve blue bottle coffee and espresso drinks made with a rotating selection of blends and single-origin beans. Try the sweet, unique New Orleans-inspired cold brew with chicory, milk, and sugar!

Weekend Events: November 22- November 24

From museums to the grove, to quaint coffee shops and the hustle and bustle of the tourist-packed Hollywood and Vine, the heart of Los Angeles has endless options for you to fill up your weekend.

 

“Julie Mehretu” until May 17, 2020

Los Angeles County Museum of Art – 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

A co-presentation with New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, LACMA takes a first-ever mid-career look at the Ethiopian-American artist’s striking large-scale abstractions, with 35 paintings and 40 works on paper. Active since the mid-’90s, Mehretu uses ink and paint to create captivating and chaotic scenes that capture the – often unforgiving – march of geopolitics and displacement through abstraction, architecture, landscape, movement, and figuration.

 

 

Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano until November 24, 2019

La Brea Tar Pits Museum – 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036

Each summer, a different world-renowned architect constructs a short-lived immersive pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens. Now, for the first time, one of those fleeting structures is headed stateside: SelgasCano’s crisscross of airy rainbow tunnels will welcome visitors who are looking for colorful photo ops and free performances, hosted by coworking space Second Home and the Natural History Museum. You can swing by daily from 11 am to 7 pm (and until 9 pm on Fridays), though timed express entry tickets will be released. While you want to visit when there’s ample sunlight to make the iridescent exterior and its colorful shadows more vibrant, do note that it can get pretty toasty inside under the midday sun.

 

 

Los Angeles Auto Show from November 22, 2019 – December 1, 2019

Los Angeles Convention Center – 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90015

Drift into the Convention Center for the 10-day LA Auto Show with cars that would even make Bond drool. If you’re a car nerd, get behind the wheel to test drive one of the cherry rides, while celebrities meet and greet at the manufacturer exhibits. With the world and North American debuts from BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and more, rev up for the machines of the future.

 

The Great Los Angeles Walk, November 23, 2019

Various locations in LA

Every year on Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Great Los Angeles Walk debunks all of those clichés about walking in LA. Hundreds of walkers start the free urban hike on one side of the city and nine hours and 18 miles later end up at the other. You can hop on or off the walk whenever you’d like, and though no reservations are required, RSVP’s are appreciated. This year’s route starts in Arcadia and makes its way through Pasadena, down along Arroyo and into Downtown LA.

 

 

Artists & Fleas Venice, November 23 – December 21, 2019

Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles 90291

The newest flea market on the block, the Venice outpost of this artisan/craft-focused flea market mini-empire is bringing records, vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and more to the Westminister Avenue Elementary School. A handful of small-batch confectioners provide sweet treats to snack on or take home, while food trucks and nearby restaurants provide heartier bites. Though relatively small in size, owing perhaps to its prime location bookending the neighborhood’s famed Abbot Kinney stretch, vendors hawk a diverse range of hand-made and expertly curated wares that seems to simultaneously fit in and stand out in one of the nation’s most unusual neighborhoods.

 

 

A History of Disneyland & Walt Disney World, November 19 – December 6, 2019

Van Eaton Galleries – 13613 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles 91423

Somehow each Disneyland-inspired auction at Sherman Oaks’ Van Eaton Galleries is seemingly bigger than the last. While that may not be true in terms of floor space this time around – the massive, museum-like That’s From Disneyland! filled a big box in the store in the Valley last year – it certainly is in terms of inventory.

 

Dogs! A Science Tail until January 5, 2020

Exposition Park – 700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles 90037

Learn about the unique bond between dogs and humans at this exhibition, which explores how pups see, hear and smell the world. “Dogs! A Science Tail” takes a colorful, hands-on approach to its subject and mainly targets kids. Be sure to catch daily live demonstrations of dogs’ rescue, agility, sensory and service skills. The exhibition also includes a selection of dog-featuring works of art, mostly Norman Rockwell paintings and Charles Schulz Peanuts strips, on loan from the upcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

 

 

Neil Simon’s ‘Musical Fools’ until December 1, 2019

Atwater Village Theatre – 3269 Casitas Ave, Los Angeles 90039

In the 1890s, a young tutor arrives in a cursed village where everyone is “as dumb as a bag of rocks.” This world-premiere musical adapts the Neil Simon play Fools, with book and lyrics by Simon, music and lyrics by Phil Swann and Ron West.

 

LA Eats: Best Asian Restaurants

If you’re in the mood for something seriously flavorful, you can’t go wrong with Asian food! Whether it’s Chinese sweet and sour orange chicken, Indian spicy creamy chicken tikka masala or Japanese salty-sweet teriyaki chicken; we’ve got every corner of Asia covered in our list of top 10 Asian restaurants in Los Angeles!

Tasty Noodle House
Location: 8054 W 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90048

The San Gabriel Valley’s Tasty Noodle House has been making a big push westward from West Third on to Lomita. There may be no better place on the westside for the restaurant’s signature made-to-order Shanghai pork bao!

Yang Chow Restaurant
Location: 819 N Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90012

Chinatown classic Yang Chow is a hit with the tourists and anyone needing a nostalgia kick! This place does classic Chinese- American dishes with swift, friendly service—including the iconic and addictive slippery shrimp

Bombay Palace
Location: 8690 Wilshire Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90211

With dishes like tandoori prawns, deeply flavored curries (including the fiery chicken vindaloo and a wonderful plate of bhindi dopiaza)  and fresh okra with onions and tomatoes pack some serious star power. Another star attraction at Bombay Palace is the clay tandoor oven that chef Harman Singh has been using to expertly prepare meats and seafood since day 1!

Avara Thai Cuisine
Location: 6245 W 87th St. Los Angeles, CA 90045

The extensive menu is plenty solid, and its faithful Westchester clientele appreciates an experienced kitchen that’s quick to accommodate various dietary requests. Who can’t love the Thai Iced Tea? We love this drink from the bottom of our hearts, and at only $2 you’ll be asking for seconds and thirds!

Soban Restaurant
Location: 4001 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Soban has an amazing array of banchan to start the meal. The menu features raw crab in one of two forms: a garlicky soy sauce or thick spicy red pepper sauce. This restaurant excels in all things seafood! Ask for the special squid tossed with julienne vegetables if they’re available.

Jun Won Restaurant
Location: 414 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90020

The classic restaurant serving a wide range of Korean food is in a bright new location along Western Avenue. The menu is essentially the same, with possibly the best bossam and spicy braised black cod in town to go along with stellar banchan.

All India Cafe
Location: 316 N Brand Blvd Glendale, CA 91203

After a decade of serving Pasadena residents, All India Café relocated to Brand Boulevard in 2018 and is still serving its tried and true menu of masala dosas, samosas, chapati and tandoori dishes.

Lal Mirch
Location: 11138 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604

This restaurant’s friendly owners and attentive staff bring out flavorful plates of Southern Indian food including naan, korma, biryani, sag paneer, and masala! If the timing is right, freshly made chai tea might be on the menu! If you can’t find at the Studio City restaurant you’re not out of luck because Lal Mirch is also located in Agoura Hills.

Chateau Hanare
Location: 8097 Selma Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046

Traditional Japanese modern, sustainable California flavor at this intimate bungalow on the edge of Chateau Marmont. Restaurateur Reika Alexander shaped her Sunset Strip restaurant into a whimsical, low-lit hideaway. Here you can choose a la carte items such as delicate sashimi, A5 wagyu, and Japanese fried chicken; build your own bento box with items like truffled tofu and miso black cod.

Inn Ann
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Take the elevator all the way up to the top floor of the Hollywood & Highland shopping center just off the Walk of Fame and, wedged into a front corner, you’ll find Inn Ann. The restaurant perches over Hollywood’s sprawl, with long, spanning windows that peer out onto the twinkling lights of Los Angeles.

Top 10 Apps & Software for Realtors

Cold calls, listing appointments, inspections, meetings, escrow, holiday cards, social media. Oh my! As a realtor, you are running your own business and if you’re just starting out, you’re building your brand. This career can quickly become overwhelming. But have no fear, PropTech is here! We created a medley of apps and software for all your gadgets to make your job run more smoothly! Check them out!

Freshchat

Freshchat is an advanced chat software that you can easily plug into your website. If gives your visitors exactly what they want: instant gratification! Get a notification on your phone whenever someone has a question, or better yet, easily program a chatbot to engage them until they’re ready to talk to you!

Focus Booster

Instead of giving yourself a few hours (or even worse) an unlimited amount of time to work, Pomodoro makes you limit your work in just 25 minutes. After that 25 minutes, no matter what you have cooking you will take a five-minute break. When you complete 4 Pomodoro cycles of 25 minutes of work split by 5-minute breaks, you take a real, 10-20-minute break to eat lunch, chat with coworkers, or head out for coffee.

HouseCanary

HouseCanary’s home valuations are based on dozens of data points both public and private and instead of going back a year or two, actually, consider trends from the past few decades when coming up with their valuations. While HouseCanary’s valuations are the most accurate many in the industry have seen, they’re not out to replace agents anytime soon. In fact, they offer affordable valuations that you can use to supplement your own hard work.

Feedly

Since you don’t have to read the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Real Deal, and your local paper every morning, Feedly can help! Enter in a few websites or news categories you want to follow and Feedly sends you a nice curated list of the top stories every day.

Avochato

Avochato gives agents, ISAs, or other team members a fully-featured desktop dashboard to text with many leads and clients at once. You can access easy-to-use message templates, send texts one-to-many, and of course click-to-dial for hot leads or clients that need extra help. They can also give you ten unique phone numbers so you can easily segment leads from online sources, signage, open houses, etc.

 

NodalView

NodalView lets agents use their own smartphone, and a few smart odds and ends like a wide-angle lens attachment to create their own 3d tours to give the other 3D tour companies a run for their money. For a few hundred bucks and a plan starting at $59 per month, you can start making as many 3D tours as you want. With a team plan, you can use up to five devices at once, effectively making 3D tours for large apartment complexes to massive multimillion-dollar mansions!

Expensify

Expensify automatically scans and tags your receipts, so you don’t have to. Ditch the shoebox, manila folder, or whatever you use to keep your receipts! This app will make your life a lot easier!

Trello

This app lets you create and keep track of long-term projects and to-dos with your entire team. It’s also super easy and intuitive to use.

Redx + Storm Dialer

If you’re trying to cold call (you should in this market) without using an autodialer like Storm Dialer, you’re leaving money on the table. First, there is just no way you’re going to keep up with the volume of numbers you need to dial, not to mention with voicemails, hang-ups, or wrong numbers. In addition, stopping to dial your phone every 30 seconds will slow you down to a crawl and kill your momentum. Set yourself up REDx + Storm Dialer.

Buffer

If you’ve already dipped a toe into social media only to get turned off by the constant demand to post, then Buffer is for you. Do you want to reach your Instagram followers at 7:30 am even on days you sleep in? Buffer lets you figure out what times and types of content your leads on each platform respond to, then helps you create a posting calendar loaded with content.

Weekend Events: November 15 – November 17

From tubing on snow in Elysian Park to Ice Skating in Perishing Square to a Wine Walk in Burbank, we have got you covered as far as cold-weather welcoming events go in the city! Take a peek at these events, grab a friend, get outside, and celebrate the coming holiday season!

Friday November 15th, 2019
Snow Day LA Tubing in Los Angeles

 Snow in L.A.? Yes, thanks to Snow Day L.A., a tubing park located in Elysian Park. The wintry pop-up packs acres of festive features, with synthetic snow and snow tubing, and trees decorated with icicles, snowcaps and lights. Just remember: This is still Los Angeles, so expect something that sort of resembles a snowy winter and not quite a full-blown Alpine experience. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy: Snow Day LA)

Time: 6PM – 10PM

Location: Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA

Tickets: HERE

29 Rooms – Expand Your Reality Tour

The Expand Your Reality Tour is the latest 29Rooms experience from Refinery29 – a space where you’re encouraged to step into the art, wear the art, touch the art, and connect with others (and yourself) in the process. Created in collaboration with innovative talent, visionary artists, and your favorite brands, 29Rooms pairs the joy and play of exploration with the pulse of current events and culture.

Time: 1030AM, 130PM, 530PM, 830PM

Location: 4315 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets: HERE

2019 Bai Holiday Ice Rink in Perishing Square

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square offers the quintessential winter activity in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by art, lively activity, and the impressive city skyline, our outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating under the sun and stars.

Time: 1130AM to 930PM

Location: Perishing Square – 532 S Olive Street

Tickets: HERE

Saturday November 16th 2019
Burbank Winter Wine Walk

The Social Event Of The Year is coming back to Downtown Burbank. At 4pm The Wine Walk will get started! You MUST be 21+ to join the wine walk. Your ticket will get you samples from Wineries and Breweries in your favorite Downtown businesses. Each guest will receive a tasting cup and a map of the participating tasting sites in Downtown Burbank. Each tasting site will have a designated area set up for Wine Walk guests to sample the amazing wines or beers! Wine tasting will end at 7:00 pm. As you stroll through Downtown, you will be surrounded by a winter holiday ambiance of live entertainment, beautiful holiday lighting and snowfall from 6:45 pm-8 pm at the Main Stage!

Time: 4PM – 7PM

Location: Downtown Burbank (check-in address given when purchasing ticket)

Tickets: HERE

Explore the Culinary Jewels of Downtown Los Angeles on a Walking Tour

Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Los Angeles on this fun food tour. Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you on a leisurely three-hour walking adventure through this extraordinary downtown area, sharing stories of the city’s early settlers, Hollywood’s heyday, architectural background and the transformation of L.A.’s culture and food scene. Along the way you’ll get to enjoy tastes from unique eateries, including the best bakeries, authentic ethnic restaurants and renowned establishments currently creating a buzz in the foodie universe — six stops in all. By the end of the tour, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the city and its hidden culinary gems.

Time: 11AM

Location: Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles – 5454 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: HERE

Los Angeles Opera – The Magic Flute Opening Night

One of Mozart’s most enchanting operas, this supernatural tale, accompanied by his fine score has enjoyed much success since its premiere in Vienna in 1791. A popular draw since the 2013/14 season, this production, directed by Barrie Kosky in collaboration with British theatre company ‘1927’, is back for 2019 to inspire and delight audiences of all ages with its heady mix of hand-drawn animation and live performance. Get tickets now to immerse yourself in the art that is the opera.

Time: 730PM

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Tickets: HERE

Sunday November 17th, 2019
Water Lantern Festival

Los Angeles Water Lantern Festival is coming up on November 17, 2019! Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY! Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Magical nights in cities across the U.S. include food, games, activities, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns onto the water as we Light The Water together. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. It’s a night that you’ll never forget. Tickets are selling fast.

Time: 4PM – 9PM

Location: Whittier Narrows – 750 S Santa Anita Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733

Tickets: HERE

Autumn Festival

Delve into the arts, cuisines, cultures, and marine environments of Asia during the Aquarium of the Pacific’s eighteenth annual Autumn Festival. Autumn Festival highlights the traditions and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines through a weekend of learning opportunities and family entertainment celebrating the rich diversity of Asian and Asian-American cultures.

Time: 9AM – 5PM

Location: Aquarium of The Pacific – 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Tickets: HERE

“ASSSSCAT” Comedy Improv Performance

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise’s longest-running, most beloved showcase “ASSSCAT” starts when a base cast of the theater’s current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that’s deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who’s there—that’s part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy UCB)

Time: 7:00PM

Location: UCB Theater Sunset – 5419 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90027

Tickets: FREE! First come first served.

 

Home Tips: 10 Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids Seated at The Thanksgiving Table

When you stop and think about it, Thanksgiving is a time for holiday inspiration. It is the holiday that kicks off the rest of the holiday season. As with any day of the year, kids find inspiration in all sorts of arts and crafts. Keep your younger guests happily occupied ahead of the family feast with these challenging, fun, and entertaining arts and crafts.

 

1. Cornhusk Dolls

As harvest-time icons go, we much prefer the simple beauty of corn-husk dolls. They’re understated, easy to make (even for children), and truly ingenious – requiring not much more than some husks, twine, glue, and felt.

2. Leaf Leis

Give “aloha!” an autumnal twist: embellish string necklaces with paper leaves (cut out a big pile with a craft punch) and colorful organic pasta. Cut leaves out of butcher paper with punches. Show kids how to sandwich twine between two leaves with glue, thread twine through pasta, and secure it with knots to create necklaces.

3. Mini Mayflower

Tip your hat to the Pilgrims with a ship constructed using a simple origami boat fold and stocked with tools for decorating the butcher paper “tablecloth” that you set on the kid’s table.

4. Pop-Cornucopias

Kids’ hands and mouths will be occupied until the turkey’s sliced by creating these amazing snack-filled cones from two different colors of butcher paper. Cut two sheets of butcher paper in different colors into fan shapes, one larger than the other. Trim edges with pinking shears. Roll each fan shape into a cone, sealing with a glue stick. Nest long cone inside short cone, bending horn up at the tip. Fill with popcorn and let the kid crafters munch to their heart’s content.

 

5. Coloring Place Mats

The clock is always ticking when kids are expected to sit down for a holiday meal. Eke out a little peace with these clip-art placemats! Trim craft paper to 11 by 17 inches and run the sheets through your printer like regular paper. Set the placemats out on the table with some cups of crayons and encourage the kids to have at it.

6. Acorn Dolls

A little craft project can keep the kids who opt out of helping cook the holiday meal entertained.  This acorn family is fun to decorate and customize – also, just as fun to play with. To make, collect a bunch of acorns in a variety of sizes. You can turn mini acorns into babies and bigger ones into adults. Pop off each cupule “hat” and hot-glue it to a wooden ball. Then, hot-glue the ball to the nut. Have the children use colored pencils or markers to draw on facial features and hair.

7. Kiddie Cups

This year decorate the kids’ table with pilgrim-hat serving cups and Mayflower-sail straws. Start with nine-ounce paper cups in black and gold. For the sails, cut them out and punch holes as indicated. Write a name on each and slide it onto a straw. For the hat, use a craft knife to cut away the bottom of a black cup. To add detail, cut a brim, trace it onto black paper, and cut it out. With glue, attach it to the cup rim. Voila!

8. Paper Turkey Hats

This festive hat features a turkey plume fit for the holiday spirit. Print out a handful of template copies and they’ll be ready to “gobble-gobble” around the house!

9. Colorful Paper Turkey Place Cards

Your kids can help you set the Thanksgiving table with these simple and adorable colorful turkey-shaped place cards. Attached an accordion-folded piece of colored construction paper to a cut-out turkey template. Add your guests’ names on the body of the turkey and arrange them on your table.

 

10. Pilgrim Hats

Easily crafted with a few folds, these paper hats and bonnets get kids into character as Pilgrims. To make the hat, download our template from the internet for the hat front and buckle, and trace them onto drawing paper. Cut out the silhouette of the hat, then fold up the brim. Cut out the headband; rest it inside the fold of the brim, and secure with a dot of glue. Note that cutting the gold buckle can be tricky; it’s best done by an elder of the settlement (aka an adult). Glue buckle onto hat, above brim. Wrap headband around head, and secure with a dot of glue (or tape).

LA Eats: Top 10 Gluten-Free Restaurants

Satisfying your hunger isn’t as easy as going to your local sandwich shop down the street to grab a bite to eat when you’re following a strict gluten-free diet. So, my fellow gluten-free people, we put together a list just for you! With all of the gluten-free eateries we found in Los Angeles, you’ll have difficulty deciding where to get that sandwich sushi or pizza fix! Our list includes gluten-free donuts. Yes, you read that correctly: Gluten-free donuts!

1.Kitchen Mouse

Location: 10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Quinoa salad, rice cakes, and pesto bowls are some of the fan favorites at Kitchen Mouse. This restaurant is located in Highland Park, and there is a play area for the little ones! Mickey’s Chilaquiles are a must-try! This dish consists of corn chips covered in enchilada sauce with black beans, cilantro sauce, pepitas, vegan cheese sauce, serrano slaw, and avocado! Hungry yet? See the menu here

2. Crossroads Kitchen

Location: 8284 Melrose Ave

The upscale Mediterranean restaurant makes it one of the more popular destinations in that area. The trendy spot is run by famed chef Tal Ronnen and is a restaurant where vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores happily dine together. The menu at Crossroads Kitchen is comprised of small plate items perfect for sharing and allows you to try many more dishes. Full plate meals are also offered and consist of assorted soups, salads, pastas, and “comforting classics”. Click here for the menu!

3. 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

Location: 10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

This pizza joint claims that your pizzas are cooked within 60 seconds, sounds like a pretty sweet deal! With classic meatballs, cheese bread, topped with garlic, mozzarella, parmesan, and truffle flavored Boschettos al Tartufo cheese, wood-roasted broccolini with garlic, snappy Calabrian peppers and olive oil you won’t want to miss out on a delicious pizza pie. The most important feature of this pizzeria? The gluten-free crust! See the menu here

4. M Café

Location: 7119 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, CA 90046

This healthy spot in Beverly Hills has a number of gluten-free dishes, including crispy rice avocado toast, grain bowls, sandwiches and salads that can be prepared with gluten-free ingredients. This spot specializes in plant-focused and minimally processed food, staying away from artificial ingredients. Tip: make sure you also grab a free turmeric refresher shot on your way out. Click here for the menu!

5. Flower Child

Location: 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Just steps away from the Santa Monica beach this stellar gluten-free eatery is Instagram photo-worthy every way you turn. In close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the Promenade, this is the perfect pit stop on your Saturday shopping trip in Santa Monica. The menu is loaded with rare gluten-free items you won’t find just anywhere, like gluten-free mac & cheese, pitas, and cookies. Get the menu here

6. Mendocino Farms

Location: multiple

That hearty sandwich fix can’t be found just anywhere when you are on a gluten-free diet. Good news! We found your new sandwich spot! Mendocino Farms has got you covered with gluten free bread for most of their subs. The tasty long list of their vegan banh mi, a steak BLT, the modern tuna “almost a melt” and a caramelized Kurobuta pork belly. These sandwich shops are just about everywhere from Marina Del Rey to Sherman Oaks, so you won’t have to worry about driving too far in the dreaded LA traffic. Click here for the menu

7. Fōnuts

Location: 8104 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

FOMO over Krispy Kreme no more Fōnuts is here! This little west Hollywood donut shop has a full slate of gluten-free options from churro to strawberry buttermilk. All of their donuts are baked and/or steamed and never fried. Tip: don’t wait until the end of the day, donuts start selling out towards the late afternoon. Get the menu here

8. Hugo’s Restaurant

Location: multiple

A mix of comfort food, healthy salads, and hearty sandwiches can be found at Hugo’s. This joint has been in West Hollywood since the ’70s and has expanded with shops in Valley Village and Agoura Hills. Take one look at the menu and you’ll see that almost everything at Hugo’s is free of gluten. Want mac & cheese? You got it!  Click here for the menu!

9. Shojin

Location: multiple

A vegan and gluten-free Nobu, not exactly but close enough! This plant-based and gluten-free sushi joint serves the most creative rolls in a dimly lit setting. Everything on this menu is irresistible, including the dessert menu! Matcha Green Tea Cake is a sweet tooth’s dream come true! Get your gluten-free sushi fix at Shojin’s two locations in Downtown LA and Culver City! Get the menu here

10. Blue Jam Cafe

Location: multiple

The popular Melrose Ave eatery (also in Tarzana) offers several gluten-free menu options that are so tasty that this will become your new go-to brunch spot! Take your pick between numerous unique scrambles, chilaquiles with corn chips, or fresh greens like the strawberry salad. Click here for the menu!

LA Eats: Top 10 Coffee Bars in LA

Now that the days are getting colder, a delicious cup of coffee to warm you up sounds really nice. The ambiance of the coffee shop is just as important as your cup of joe. We selected 10 coffee bars in the Los Angeles area that we feel will not only get you the best coffee in town but also that homey autumn vibe that makes us all feel warm and snug this time of year!

1. Coffee Commissary
Location: 3121 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91505 (& six others)

The Burbank location is the only branch that has a full kitchen, meaning you can find fried chicken sandwiches, breakfast burritos and impressive house-baked goods on a daily basis! The growing chain now keeps studio workers well-caffeinated throughout TV, film, and radio production. It roasts mostly West Coast roasters and serves all cups with foamy panache.

 

2. Eightfold Coffee
Location: 1294 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This coffee bar looks like it is was made to appear on lifestyle blogs. The kind you just want to cozy up in with a book and a cup of joe, especially on these cold autumn days! The airy space, sports white walls (including white brick), a tile-backed marble bar, and wood-bench seating. Baristas brew Heart Coffee in vac spots, with a La Marzocco espresso machine. The cold brews are served in glasses big enough to keep you awake for two days straight!

3. Espresso Cielo
Location: 1431 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Espresso Cielo has two locations, each just a few blocks from the beach. With an antique clock, marble countertops and sky blue styling this will quickly become your new coffee oasis.

4. Intelligentsia
Location: 3922 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

The coffee is roasted in nearby Glassell Park, the quality remains good given the high volume, and the signature Angeleno beverage is as popular as ever, featuring a quadruple shot of espresso shaken with milk, agave, and ice.

5. Rubies & Diamonds
Location: 6115 Sunset Blvd #150, Los Angeles, CA 90028

LAMILL co-founder Jean Shim went solo in 2015, debuting her fashionable coffee bar in Hollywood’s Columbia Square complex, in a space that features blue-grey and red walls lined with art and two elaborate chandeliers, including one crystal and another that resembles spaghetti. This coffee bar promotes BKON vacuum processed RAIN technology for coffee and tea, and they have nitro drinks!

 

6. Verve Coffee Roasters
Location: 8051 W. 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 (& two others)

This Santa Cruz import made a great first impression, with its first LA shop brightening an emerging part of downtown, and others popping around the city. The mid-city outpost on Third Street is the most ambitious to date, with a round copper and marble bar, exposed wood rafters and a Farm-level Bar in the back featuring rare coffees that showcase “ethics & excellence”.

7. Woodcat Coffee Bar
Location: 1532 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Reclaimed wood, box seating, and red walls give life to this neighborhood favorite. It also helps that this place brews expertly roasted beans from San Francisco’s Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters on their sleek Faema espresso machine.

8. Bar Nine
Location: 3515 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90232

The owners of this coffee joint work with Ninety Plus Coffee Agents to source coffee beans from Panama and Ethiopia, and then roasts them in house. Bar Nine’s baristas use the shop’s high-tech Modbar system with Chemex coffeemakers to get the precise cup of joe. It’s all about the little details, too. You can’t help but “aww” at the adorable to-go glass jars with lids. Try the creamy hazelnut milk latte, and don’t forget about breakfast!

9. Paramount Coffee Project
Location: 456 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The concrete and wood space features a multi-roaster lineup that rotates beans from American coffee powers like Heart and George Howell, plus coffee from roasters back home. The food program is more ambitious than most coffee bars, featuring plates like a burrata that’s accompanied by pistachio dukkah, kale, and eggs; and a Superfood Bowl that comes with quinoa, candied beets, lebni, blueberry, and cocoa.

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10. Alfred Coffee & Kitchen
Location: Beverly Grove (& other locations)

Alfred’s iconic sign “but first, coffee” is Instagram post-worthy and reinforces the shop’s core focus: pumping out plenty of espresso drinks and cold-brew coffees, all using Stumptown beans.

Top 12 Halloween Desserts

Halloween is the beginning of the sweet holiday season. Whether you’re having a formal dinner party or a casual get together for this spooky October night, our list of top 12 Halloween desserts has something for everyone!

 

  1. Marshmallow Ghost Brownies

Kids will love piping the friendly marshmallow ghosts on top of these brownies! These adorable brownies will make for a delicious addition to the Halloween dessert table! Get the recipe here

 

2. Spooky Forest Pudding Cups

Chocolate trees and candy pumpkins add Halloween vibes to pudding cups. Get the recipe here

3. Cookie Skulls and Pumpkin Sugar Skulls

Don’t be intimidated by the intricate designs on these cookies—the recipe tells you simple ways to channel your inner artist.  Get the recipe here

 

4. Candy-Covered Apples

Create a bewitching version of this beloved candy-coated treat by dipping small Red Delicious apples in a bright red syrup flavored with red cinnamon candies. Get the recipe here

 

5. Boo-scotti

Get some help from your kids when party prep mode is in full swing to make these boo-tifully decorated recipes. Get the recipe here

6. Frankenshake and Bride of Frankenshake

His and hers Halloween shakes (one mint, one vanilla) are made in a single batch, then dressed up for the holiday in this ultimate trick-or-treat. Get the recipe here

 

7. Spooky Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

These spider cookies are entertaining for the little ones and adults to make together! From pushing chocolate candies into warm cookies to drawing spider legs with chocolate and making silly eyes! There is plenty of fun for everyone! Get the recipe here

8. Candy Corn Pops

You either love or hate candy corn. For those of us who love candy corn, try these adorable candy corn pops.  Get the recipe here

9. Spider Bites

Three ingredients are all you need to make Sandra’s easy spider bites. The chocolate-covered pretzels are just creepy enough for young kids to enjoy. Get the recipe here

10. Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin anything is a must during Halloween season. Sometimes it’s the simple desserts that are the most impressive. The flavor of these cupcakes and their minimal pumpkin décor say everything that needs to be said! Get the recipe here

11. Squirm Jello Shots

This adults-only dessert will make everyone feel like a kid again. Vodka-spiked Jell-O is filled with gummy worms, then chilled until set into one squirmy, squiggly treat! Get the recipe here

12. Spiderweb Cake

Who would think that cake and spiders could be this stylish? It’s as tasty as it is pretty with its dark-cocoa batter and orange-flavored buttercream. Get the recipe here