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Our recommendation for the holiday procrastinator

It’s not too late!

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December has been such a busy month you may not have had a moment to do all your holiday shopping. Los Angeles Blade’s Susan Hornik put together some of her annual gift suggestions guide that you can refer to, all year long!

For The Drinker

Gérard Bertrand is an incredible biodynamic winemaker from France’s Languedoc region. His latest wine is Art de Vivre, which pays homage to the joie de vivre of the Mediterranean. I truly like the ceramic bottle, it is a beautiful keepsake one can enjoy long after the holidays are over.

Besserat de Bellefon Champagne’s Bleu Brut Cuvée is lovely. The warmth of its presence surrounds your meal like velours. Both Art de Vivre by Gérard Bertrand + Bleu Brut by Besserat de Bellefon can be bought at Mission Wines & Spirits.

Caribbean Rums’ Ten To One, a new range of white and dark rums, is lovely, created by Starbucks’ former youngest VP. The white rum is a versatile, mixological game-changer, thanks to its higher proof and pronounced ester content.

California’s Bertoux Brandy is blended by a top bartender Jeff Bell (PDT and Legacy Records) and an acclaimed sommelier Thomas Pastuszak (The NoMad). A Solera-style blend of pot-distilled California fine brandies aged 3 to 7 years in French and American oak, the brandy shines in classic cocktails and modern creations.

For the cocktail lover, iichiko Saiten, the first-ever higher proof shochu from Japan, is elegantly rich in flavor and umami character. The country’s leading barley shochu brand, is the perfect foundation to genuinely innovative cocktails.

Make sure you try BACARDÍ Rum’s limited edition, Coquito! No Caribbean holiday celebration is complete without a few bottles of coquito, and no coquito recipe is complete without a bottle!

For The Foodie

DJ Caroline D’Amore, owner and executive chef of Los Angeles-based family restaurant, D’Amore’s Pizza, recently launched Pizza Girl™ a certified organic, locally-sourced and ethically-bottled Marinara, Puttanesca, and Vodka sauces. If you are serving pasta, this is the perfect sauce to use!

For more than a century, the experts at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas have crafted high-quality pure vanilla and flavor extracts to help home bakers create taste that delights. This bundle is bursting with the season’s most popular flavors, including Pure Almond Extract, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Peppermint Extract.

Chef’s Cut offers turkey, steak, chicken, and bacon jerky—all of which are gluten-free and slow-smoked. Made from turkey breast, this healthy jerky is tender and meaty. You can taste a subtle “smoke” flavor. Each 1-ounce serving has 6 g each of carbohydrates and sugar, 12 g of protein, and 80 calories.

Feel Good Foods offers crave-worthy flavors that are ready within minutes and built to share. Chef-inspired snacks made with worry-free, fresh ingredients best enjoyed on your terms.

Do you know Sprinkles Bakery delivers? For New Years Eve, they have a special champagne cupcake filled with pop rocks and topped with champagne buttercream frosting and gold sugar! Delicious!

Mary’s Gone Crackers is the largest organic and gluten free cracker company in the United States. Since its inception, the company has grown at a rapid pace, expanding its offerings while staying true to its promise to use only whole, plant-based ingredients free from wheat, nuts, eggs, and dairy.

The unique coastal region of Croatia is the inspiration for Dalmatia, well-known for its climate and beauty. These Mediterranean fruits and vegetables such as figs, olives, almonds, cherries, tangerines, quince are known to be small to medium in size but concentrated in flavor. Their delicious sweet and savory spreads are made from the best local and regional ingredients.

Water is so important to drink each day, why not try Perfect Hydration, a 9.5+ pH alkaline water, purified to its cleanest form by a 9-stage filtration process. Much less acidic than most bottled water, you can enjoy a light and refreshing taste while helps to restore and rebalance the body’s optimum balance.

Visit Chingon Kitchen at San Manuel Rockin’ Casino 777 San Manuel Blvd 2nd Floor, Highland, CA 92346 CHINGON KITCHEN HOURS Sunday – Thursday 10am – 12am Friday – Saturday 10am – 2am

Chingon Kitchen is the restaurant founded and owned by actor and comedian George Lopez, specializing in authentic, flavorful, high-quality Mexican food that is both exceptionally tasty and reasonably priced. They are now selling Lopez’s brand-new line of gourmet salsas, featuring two flavors: Roja and Habanero Pineapple Mango. Packing bold, fresh, authentic Mexican flavors on the level of Chingon itself, these salsas are a smash hit at gatherings.

For The Happy Homemaker

With solar energy the most accessible source we have on this planet, now more than ever, it’s a great time to gift solar panels to your favorite green friendly home owner. John Simmons is a fantastic veteran solar expert, with decades of experience—hire him to harness this abundant, clean energy! 8187498396

Matt Deifer‘s art combines fine art bodypainting with photography and often becomes and even more complex mixed media art form with additional paint added to the final printed canvas. He also runs a location agency and opened a new film studio/warehouse complex called CTC Studios. Check out his art online at www.deifer.com and book your next film or event at his studio, www.CTCstudios.LA!

Pillowpia owner Pia Rappaport took her fine and commercial art education, coupled with her background in building archives for major fashion designers, to create a beautiful line, which unites textiles, found objects and table decor. Beautiful pillows for your apartment!

If you are looking for an unbelievably amazing night of sleep, check out chiliPAD and OOLER Sleep Systems from Kyro Inc. These Hydro-powered mattress pads with thermal regulating cubes and remotes are perfect for one or two sleepers. Heat or cool your bed from 55 – 115 degrees. Say goodbye to restless nights and hello to longer, deeper, restorative sleep!

Tobi Tobin Luxury Collection consists of candles, chocolates and fragrances. Tobin started as an interior designer, with numerous a list clientele. Her candles are bought repeatedly by Taylor Swift, Leonardo DiCaprio, Britney Spears and Reese Witherspoon.

I love the high end retail site, Favor—it’s tasteful one stop shopping. Founder, Anne England hand picked all the products you see in the site, like the Large Oval Serving Bowl from Silvia K Ceramics, which is handbuilt in the UK. Its intentionally incomplete glaze provides a peek at the red terracotta that lies beneath its polished, shiny exterior.

Also available on Favor’s site is The Jingle Cats, from Portuguese brand Severina Kids. Made from organic and reused materials, these cats’ felt eyes are recycled from plastic bottles and their polyester filling is recycled as well. The hand-crocheted merino wool cats have a jingle bell attached to their leather.

In addition, The USIKU Storage Baskets are woven by hand in Southwestern Kenya by The Basket Room. They are crafted by women who benefit from fair pay and flexible workloads. These craftswomen utilize a traditional twining method on an intricate weave.

For The Beauty Addict

RéGén De Peau II is a simple, natural, multi-cultural and complete product that provides benefits of eight different products packaged into one! Not only does it moisturize and rejuvenates it also reduces wrinkles and effects of aging while increasing firmness, luminosity and collagen production.

Winter skin can be a challenge, which is why it was great to find the celebrity-favorite skincare line from Dr. Trevor Cates, author of “Clean Skin from Within.” The book offers guidelines and recipes to transform your skin from the inside out. Her two week program will help you clear your mind and energize your body naturally.

The Better Skin Co. curated five unique skincare gift sets ($32-$78) housed in a playful sequin bag. Most noted for their award-winning hero products Mirakle Cream, Lava Magik and Zit No More, the company focuses on clean, multi-tasking formulations that mix natural and organic ingredients boosted with a bit of science.

The FRANZ Microcurrent Mask System and Everyday Essence combination, is the essential skincare staple, no matter what your skin care goals! With their patented Tissue X™ technology, this microcurrent sheet mask system and healing serum duo will nourish and repair your skin from the inside out.

Winter is coming, and with it, comes the doldrums of days with dry, damaged and overly frizzy hair. JOICO offers several quality products to enhance and restore the strength and shine of hair during the festive season. Whether you are dealing with dryness and static from wool hats, shedding from split ends and temperature changes, or something else, JOICO has a solution especially for you.

No matter who you are, no one enjoys dealing with hair loss. Whether as a result of natural balding, stress or other factors, thinning or losing hair can be a very traumatic experience. Luckily, SH-RD, a unique Taiwanese haircare brand, has created a complete scalp-revitalizing kit to help combat hair loss emergencies.

Strengthen and regrow your hair! The Resolve Scalp Essence normalizes and revitalizes the scalp condition, the Refresh Scalp Essene strengthens the hair shaft while adding shine and anti-microbial protection, and the Revive Scalp Essence promotes strong stimulation of hair follicle metabolism and growth.

Skincare can be tricky. Everyone has different skin, and, for some of us, our shades can be difficult to find, blended, or patchwork and most skin care companies have never done a good job of catering to those people with difficult skin. That is all about to change with the launch of the Synchro Skin line from longtime skincare giant Shiseido, a collection of foundations, concealers and powder finishes that caters to all skin, everywhere.

Inspired by the SHISEIDO camellia flower (“hanatsubaki” in Japanese), this uniquely designed brush features four distinct petal sections that contour the face to maintain optimal skin contact. The design buffs skin into a smooth and polished finish and makes for a fantastic holiday gift! With Shiseido’s patented “Hidden Core” technology, this brush is designed to control pressure upon application for a seamless makeup finish, while simultaneously being both ultra-portable and incredibly soft.

For many people, the worst skin problem they face in the winter months is extreme dryness. The hands, the body, the face – every part of us is screaming for hydration in the wintertime. And staying moisturized can be a constant ordeal. Thankfully, there are organic, USDA-approved, vegan-friendly, ultra-hydrating skincare products from Organic Skincare brand Mizz Bloom for those of us who seem unable to retain a drop of moisture.

For the CBD Lover

I love the new, ultra-luxe CBD Holiday Champagne Collection that launched just in time to celebrate and ring in the new year from Kush Queen. Celebrity fans love the set, which includes a 100mg CBD Champagne Bath Bomb, a 150mg Nano CBD Champagne Bubble Bath and 1,000mg Full Spectrum CBD Champagne Tincture. The special edition collection features opulent gold flakes (edible mica) and is lightly scented with champagne fragrance and makes for the perfect holiday gift!

Tinley Beverage Co. has lovely elixirs and tonics that are low in sugar and calories and taste lovely. With a 5mg micro-dose of premium Pineapple Jack sativa THC per serving, Tinley beverages provide fast-onset social and euphoric effects.

Fruit Slabs is a fantastic, organic, vegan, cannabis-infused fruit strips. Paying homage to the Fruit Roll-Ups of childhood with tropical flavors and chewy texture, This is a fun treat for the grown up cannabis consumer.

The 22Red product line includes eighth jars of cannabis flower, single pre-rolls, vape cartridges, and disposable vape pens in both THC and hemp-derived CBD options. 22Red uses premium, lab tested cannabis and hemp-derived CBD in each respective product line.

Shanti Wellness has lovely wellness products, like Soothe body balm and Balance tincture, in addition to Calm, Relief and Tranquil soft gel capsules. Each product is named after the stress-relieving properties they deliver.

Mindset Organics – Decadent colitas are the epitome of a sophisticated cannabis experience. Mindset Organics offers meticulously crafted and made with only the highest quality ingredients. They source premium Belgian chocolate and center it with three irresistible flavors- dosed for a truly delicious and euphoric experience from the moment they touch your tongue.

Sweeten your cannabis experience with Platinum’s Chocolate Bars and Gummy Coins. Offering a colorful array of scrumptious and lightly-infused edibles, Platinum goodies are the perfect treat to elevate any occasion.

 

Sweet Reason is the healthiest CBD-infused sparkling water brand that has become a market leader in North America. The brand was founded by Hilary McCain, whose passion for food, health and wellness led her to create a high quality, great tasting CBD beverage that has disrupted the category.

Winged is the first CBD product line formulated exclusively for women. The brand addresses the most common issues facing today’s woman such as stress, mood support, sleep improvement and hormonal balance.

For The Health Nut

Body Complete Rx is a proprietary blend of vegan, non-GMO, natural plant-based ingredients clinically proven to curb appetite, increase energy and boost metabolism without harsh side effects or yo-yo weight loss results. The perfect gift to help you meet your fitness goals for the New Year.

If you have a biker in your life, I know the best present ever for them! Alisun Franson, founder of the cute Venice shop, Amiga Wild, takes beautiful vintage fabrics and turns them into gorgeous handlebar bags and matching seat covers. She also specializes in jewelry and accessories made from repurposed bicycle parts, Seriously, like nothing you have ever seen!

For She/Her

From cashmere sweaters seen on Charlize Theron & Cara Santana, to cool 90’s inspired basics loved by Kendall Jenner and Katherine Schwarzenegger, celebrity coveted brand Splendid offers the most sought after comfy and on trend pieces that fit anyone’s style. Offering a wide range of styles and price points, it’s a one stop shop!

For the more laid-back woman with a witty sense of humor, LULUSIMONSTUDIO is the perfect fit. Pet parents, caffeine queens, & boss babes will love the array of tees offered, just like country singer and actress Jana Kramer! The best part? Everything is under $60!

Luxury lovers rejoice! Socially and environmentally conscious brand Garnett Hill uses elevated materials and organic cotton to create their plush and cozy garments ranging from sweaters, wraps, shirts, coats, and more. Selma Blair and Eva Amurri Martino were recently spotted wrapped up in their favorite Garnett Hill pieces!

Global Angel is a lovely philanthropic brand that Amber Shopay started after the Malibu’s Woolsey fire last year. For every purchase, you can choose a charity like Best Friends Animal Society, American Cancer Society, etc. where the proceeds will go, and can purchase extra “angel wings” to add to your donation. Check out their Global Angel hoodie!

QVC Fashion designer Renee Greenstein makes fantastic stretch denim pants that are comfortable and sexy to wear. The shape-enhancing tummy control waistband gives you a smoothing, flawless look, perfect for any party you are going to!

For the Traveler

If you are headed out to Palm Springs, check out Chakra Khan’s amazing yoga class, Namastoned at The O Spa! You can relax even deeper into your meditation and feel strong and revitalized after just one class! Getnamastoned.com

 

The holiday season is the perfect time to give the gift of travel with CityPASS. This fun and easy approach to vacation planning offers unparalleled savings and convenience, making it the ultimate holiday gift for travelers, families and anyone who would love a weekend getaway. The gift of travel is timeless!

Go everywhere – With its deep-discount ticket booklets, savings up to 50 percent in most cities and 97% rating of recommendation of customers, CityPASS delivers savings on admissions and line skipping perks to top attractions in 14 North American destinations including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

The Moon Ultralight is a portable lighting gadget controlled by touch offering users the ability to say goodbye to “bad lighting” as this device is designed to brighten and enhance photos/videos. Now capturing images/videos from events like that special holiday dinner at Grandma’s where you introduced your boyfriend to the family or that yearly “Friendsgiving” potluck you started are now that much easier with this simple, user-friendly attachable gadget.

Gamblers will love San Manuel Casino Gift Cards, which can be used to buy Food & Beverages, at any San Manuel food outlet, and Merchandise, at all San Manuel retail outlets! Best of all – you can use your earned rewards! San Manuel Casino Gift Cards are available at 1891 Boutique, Puuhia’t Gift Shop, Big Mo Cafe and The Pines Modern Steakhouse.

Speck Travel products are designed to be the perfect core essentials, designed with the business leisure traveler in mind. There are 3 sizes in different colors: a 22-inch carry on, the 26-inch checked upright and a 29-inch for extended trips, along with two different backpacks. Prices range from $100 for a backpack, $200 for a 22-inch carry-on to $250 for the 29-inch checked bag. The suitcases are made of a durable polycarbonate shell, have dividers with 3 pocket organization, are super lightweight, and have 360 degree shock dampening double spin wheels.

Giving Back

I love Worldvision, an amazing humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities, helping them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. By purchasing some of these fair trade, handcrafted gifts in the gift catalog, you provide resources to World Vision’s “Where Most Needed” fund, which helps impoverished children and families in countries around the world. As a thank you, you can choose one of these beautiful handcrafted items that matches the level of your donation to keep or give away!

Votive: A handmade, gold-colored votive candle holder to keep your home warmly lit and smelling great ($75).

The Opportunity Collection: The Opportunity Collection, designed by Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle’s Patricia Heaton, which includes acacia wood serving spoons ($85), a hand-carved mango wood bowl ($150) and decorative, modern coasters that can help protect your tables from the dangers of coffee mug rings ($75).

The Grace Collection: The Grace Collection, also designed by Patricia Heaton, which includes a gold-tone clover and tassel necklace ($75), a 9-inch stretch charm bracelet featuring turquoise glass beads ($85), and a viscose scarf with a leather strap and nickel-free silver-tone buckle ($100).

For the Pet Lover

Bundle up your pup this season with the Onesie from Gold Paw series. Made from the company’s signature buttery-soft fleece using recycled content fabrics by bluesign certified mills, it features 7% spandex for a 4-way stretch. The new Onesie is lightweight, which makes a single layer of it just right for a cool walk or perfect for winter pajamas. [Images]

The new Bearnola Bites from Charlee Bear are everything they’re baked up to be, and perfectly sized for training or just for fun. They’re crafted with real oats, honey and vanilla right here in the USA. Made without soy, corn, artificial flavors or preservatives, each crunchy cluster is bursting with irresistible aroma and taste. Available in 8-ounce packages and four delightful flavors, including Blueberry Pie, Cranberry Cobbler, P.B. & Honey and Pumpkin Spice. [Image]

Introducing Hound & Gatos natural dry food for dogs and cats. Featuring real poultry, meat or fish as the #1 ingredient, these recipes are packed with a spectrum of healthy superfoods, like blueberries, cranberries and dandelion greens. The result is a great tasting, limited ingredient diet that’s made in the USA and pea, chickpea, lentil and white potato free. Three grain free and two ancient grain varieties are available for dogs, as well as three grain free options for cats. [Images]

Say hello to a new generation of gloves for professional and at-home grooming. With improved flexibility, HandsOn Gloves are easier to groom, bathe and de-shed with. The scrubbing nodules on the fingers and palms of the new generation match the color of the glove itself – black, purple or green – differing from the previous collection’s two-toned design. Whether used wet or dry, HandsOn Gloves are perfect for gently cleaning matted or muddy fur. [Image]

Treatibles offers a complete line of organic full spectrum hemp formulas for dogs, cats and horses that provide a variety of benefits. Their new Topical Cream is formulated with penetrating ingredients for maximum absorption and is ideal for managing joint inflammation, burns, scratches and other minor skin conditions. [Image]

For the Astrology Lover

When it comes to friendship, family, and romance, we all want the same things: to love and be loved, to communicate, to fight fair, and to feel okay in our own skin. Astrology for Real Relationships is a modern, practical guide to life’s least practical matters–relationships of all kinds and matters of the heart–that will help you understand your blind spots, blocks, and fears so you can make choices that leave you happy and fulfilled. Full of real talk about attraction, dating, sex, frenemies, self-love, and how to deal with family, this book will help you build and maintain strong connections–with your crushes, your spouse, your boss, or your mom–and uncover and get what you really want in relationships, not what you think you should want.

In these ever changing worlds, it is so nice to get some astrology assistance to guide one’s way. That’s why I love getting Jonathan Cainer’s astrology charts, and recordings. You can sign up for his special 5 star service, which gives you insightful advice that is so accurate! Their year ahead chart is a great gift for anyone!

For Him

Franz Homme Care Beard 2 Mask System: Specially created for men with facial hair, this one-of-a-kind microcurrent face mask adheres tightly to your face, allowing for a deeper absorption of the key ingredients- 8 types of Hyaluronic Acids, 4 types of Peptides, and Sebum Control Complex into the inner skin.

The brainchild of well-known Los Angeles socialite and poker player Dan Bilzerian for active lifestyles and adventurous spirits, Alister is a men’s grooming line designed to get you clean and smelling more than pretty. Alister ingredients are vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and paraben-free, and are also imbued with Pheroboost™, specially formulated to boost your confidence.

Get noticed for all the right reasons this holiday season! These feel-good men’s body, skin and hair care products help get you looking, feeling and smelling your best, with a little help from nature. Alister products are infused with Pheroboost™, a bold blend of seductive pheromone boosters designed to adjust to your body’s chemistry to enhance the production of natural pheromones, helping you increase your power of physical attraction and step-up your confidence. It’s the perfect product for a “new year, new you” vibe!

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Mother’s Day gift guide

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Mother’s Day comes once a year, but if you have as wonderful a mom as I had, you would want to give her gifts all year long! Check off all those amazing mom’s on your list with these fantastic gifts for her.

For the mom or mother figure who accepts you exactly as you are and is the absolute center of your universe, check out this Nova Binary ring from Brilliant Carbon. This distinct ring will serve as a constant reminder of your love and affection. Two stars rotate around each other, growing closer in their orbits, rising and setting together. Celebrating partnership, friendship and bonds that can’t be broken, these two brilliant lab-grown diamonds illuminate each other, making it also a wonderful gift for your mother-in-law, your bestie or your life partner!

The two spectacular stones weigh more than two carats, exploding with brilliance like a supernova on your finger. Every day, it serves as a beautiful reminder that you are never alone. Lab grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds, but they are always affordable, certified, and conflict free … always brilliant. $4,999 https://www.brilliantcarbon.com/collections/mothers-day-gift-guide/products/nova-binary-ring-in-white-gold

To Keep Mom Happy on Mother’s Day 

There’s nothing quite like sharing a delicious glass of French red wine with your mom. This Mother’s Day, wine PR Director Sarah Moreau recommends opening a bottle of sustainable Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly 2019 while serving red meats, lightly-spiced sausages or traditional coq au vin.  https://winechateau.com/products/chateau-thivin-cote-de-brouilly-2019/

Flowers 2019 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, $50 – the only “flowers” mom really wants for Mother’s Day. Flowers Vineyards & Winery has been producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the extreme, rugged Sonoma coastline for 30 years. This wine has bright citrus notes, white flower, nuances of dried apricot and hints of flint.

Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse created the Hampton Water Rose brand together and we think it would make an ideal gift for your mom! At under $25 a bottle it’s perfect for the taste of summer. The wine is founded on the concept of spending time with family and friends, and aims to seamlessly blend the relaxed lifestyles of the Hamptons and the South of France. https://hamptonwaterwine.com

Greige.co hand makes  a range of stylishly grown-up one-hitter pipes they call, “The World’s Most Beautiful Smoking Experience”. They improved the function and aesthetics, which make these pipes ideal for anyone interested in design or controlled dosage. Customize pipes with sterling silver or cut stone embellishments. https://greige.co

Introduce Mom to KÖE, the only kombucha that’s fruit-forward, USDA Organic and packed with probiotics. It was created for people who want a healthy beverage that’s flavorful and enjoyable, without the vinegar taste. All five KÖE flavors are vegan, gluten-free, certified Kosher and made with black tea, natural fruit flavors, no artificial ingredients, and a touch of 100% organic cane sugar. Each can contains billions of live probiotic cultures and 15mg of caffeine. KÖE Kombucha is currently offered in mass, grocery, convenience, and online channels across the US. https://drinkkoe.com/

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LA’s comeback, a lesbian community leader has a starring role

There’s a sense of relief and excitement as LA starts to reopen

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Madonna Cacciatore, (driving) and spouse Robin McWilliams in the new Discover LA advert

LOS ANGELES – Nearly thirteen long months have passed since the coronavirus pandemic first gripped the greater Los Angeles region as well as the rest of the Golden State.

However, now with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reporting that its Health Metrics data continues to reflect reduced transmission of COVID-19 in the County and test positivity remains at the lowest levels of the pandemic- coupled with 53% of the population getting vaccinated, there’s a sense of relief and excitement as LA starts to reopen.

Having a role in that reopening literally is Madonna Cacciatore and her spouse Robin McWilliams who are part of an ensemble cast in the recently released Discover Los Angeles dot com television commercial celebrating the sights, sounds, places, and destinations in LA.

Cacciatore, a transplant from the Lone Star State of Texas, in addition to being an actor is also Vice President of the Board of Directors at L-Project Los Angeles, the former Executive Director at Christopher Street West/LA Pride, and the former Director of Special Events at Los Angeles LGBT Center.

McWilliams is the owner and CEO of MadCatch Entertainment, a management company representing some of the most amazing theatrically trained actors, singers and writers in the Los Angeles, and NY area.

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A little spice just feels so nice

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Whether you’re spending your time alone or with your honey, you might be looking for ways to spice up hanky panky time in the bedroom. It’s no wonder then, why sex toys are more in demand than ever beforesometimes you need that extra va va va voom!

This has been great news for Tracy’s Dog, one of the most fast-growing companies in the adult toy industry, with an impressive one million sensual-themed items being sold last year. 

“We have been so excited to see that our hot-selling product, the Craybit, a clitoral sucking vibrator, has quadrupled in sales since the pandemic started!” said Sam Lee, Tracy’s Dog’s product director. 

“If you have an active imagination, sex toys are fun to play with, since there are no limitations to whatever you are fantasizing about,” he enthused.  

 Lee said that the ultra-intense Craybit is just the product you need to make 2020 much more bearable. 

“This rechargeable orgasmic vibrator has three motors–two for the shaft and one for the clit attachment, which makes sure all your sensitive spots are getting strong and steady stimulation with 15 different vibration patterns and intensity levels!” he enthused.

Lee is proud of the fact that Tracy’s Dog prides themselves on being inclusive.

“We really value and set out to achieve all-around inclusivity in the design of our toys. We make toys for those who identify as men, women, and non binary people, for all body sizes and all ages. Our products are designed for everyone so that they can use it in their own way to pursue their pleasure.”

Tracy’s Dog also has a brand new product that may end up being your new best friend.

Pecker is a rechargeable G Spot Vibrator ( amzn.to/2Am6zZV), a finger- shaped with sleek silicone texture, to precisely target those sweet spots. 

With 2 motors for sensual sensations, the Pecker has a choice of five different pulsating modes and 10 vibration modes in the waist for extra fun, all combined to create a impressive 50 settings.

Tracy’s Dog has been receiving positive Amazon, Facebook and Twitter reviews.  

Said Dominique on Amazon: “I absolutely love this vibe! It’s quiet, and is just the sensation (and intensity) I like inside and out. Great way to explore my own body and build up to a great orgasm. Also, on an aesthetic level, the design is so elegant and the color makes me like it even more. Would recommend!”

So if you are looking for some erotic fun, check out www.tracysdog.com for all their latest products!

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Sponsored: Skull and Bones celebrates “National Underwear Day”

Popular Underwear Brand offers Customer Discount on Wednesday, August 5

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Skull And Bones NYC FallSpring Editorial

We know of national awareness days of everything from National Siblings Day to National Ice Cream Day but when is the last time you acknowledged and celebrated National Underwear Day, and treated yourself to a new pair of undies?

If you ask any of the Gay men who own a pair of Skull and Bones underwear the one thing you will hear over and over again is how unbelievably comfortable they are. The fabric is amazingly soft. In today’s booming market where companies know that their bread and butter are gay men and our “pink coin”, we can make you or break you so taking the time to make sure that we are comfortable all day long is key.

Skull And Bones was founded in 2014 by my husband, Robert (Matysiewski) and I, with a rebellious spirit and an ambitious objective: to offer luxurious designer men’s undergarments with bold patterns and superior fabrics while offering flattering fits and luxury for the everyday man who demands more,” explained Co-Owner, Vincent Pilato.

Rob and Vincent met in New York and have been together since 1997 and married in 2011. Rob is a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and has been working in the fashion industry for over twenty years as a designer having worked for a number of major brands including Aéropostale, American Eagle, The Gap and more in production and product development and has expertise with everything from knits, fabrics, leather goods and intimate apparel. Vincent is an accomplished career educator with a focus in instructional technology. From the moment Rob began his first internship at Aeropostale, he knew that it was his dream to one day start his own brand.

When you go on the Skull and Bones website it might seem that Gay Christmas has come early. You can choose from what seems like an endless amount of prints. Cotton candy, Pride splatter paint, plaid and hand painted floral designs are just a few popular prints while styles offered not only include the traditional brief, but also jock, trunk, boxer brief and for the daring – the sexy “peek a boo” which gives all the emptiness in the rear area that you need to have a good time without even having to take them off.

As their website mentions, each piece is treated like a “work of art”. For Gay men this is key. What you’re wearing underneath your clothes is often just as important as your clothes themselves and can often speak to one’s personality. Moreover we are a community that is not only brand loyal but boasts trillions of buying power and also tends to be very influential to our straight counterparts. Every Gay man has a female bestie who is constantly looking to us for the best products to purchase for her boyfriend or husband. If a company can nail it and please the Gay male consumer the outcome can have an enormous domino effect.

One might wonder why a skull and bones name and image for the brand name and logo. Definitely power and masculinity come to mind as we all strength. But how did this name come about to be?

One day while out shopping for men’s clothes, Vincent was looking through Ralph Lauren’s preppy men’s rugby line and noticed that they had incorporated skulls. Vincent thought it was really cute yet strong and realized they were being used more and more. They decided then and there that Skull And Bones was going to be the name and face of the brand. The rest is history. The logo is strategically placed on each piece of merchandise which spoke to the strength of the Gay community and quickly becoming a favorite in the community.

The origins of the symbol of the skull and crossbones come from the artistic genre of danse macabre (from the french language), speaking to the late- universality of death. The skulls and crossbones were created to remind people of the fragility of their lives and “no matter one’s station in life, the dance of death unites all.”

Ironic that we are now in a time where this is relevant more than ever. Yet, our community has faced demons head on in the past and our strength in community is always what gets us to the finish line. When we can support the community and patronize LGBTQ+ owned businesses during these tough times of Covid-19, we can all come out on the other end stronger than before.

Celebrate National Underwear Day, tomorrow, August 5, by treating yourself to a pair of underwear that speaks to your personality and strength from Skull and Bones, while you enjoy 20% off – Shop Now –

https://skullandbones.com

 

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Beauty

Shiseido wants you to love yourself and your skin (Sponsored)

Announcing NEW Ultimate Sun Protector SPF 50+ sunscreens

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Shiseido’s new ad campaign celebrates the launch of Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+! The fantastic beauty company, which has a global partnership with the World Surf League, features two surfing influencers who are top 20 professional surfers: Lakey Peterson and Sage Erickson.

“As an athlete who spends most of my time outside, I love knowing @shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion works harder when exposed to water and heat,” enthused Peterson on her Instagram. “Being SPF 50, I can surf for hours and not have to worry about getting burned. It’s really easy for me to use and I trust it.”

As everyone knows, in the summertime, sunscreen is a vital part of your beauty routine! Shiseido Sun Skincare’s new product is Invisible Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen powered by Shiseido’s popular WetForce Technology, with the new addition of HeatForce. Together they create a protective veil that becomes more effective in heat, water, and sweat.

Erickson was equally excited on her Instagram post. “I’m so excited to finally announce my partnership with @shiseido for the launch of their NEW Ultimate Sun Protector SPF 50+ sunscreens! I’ve always admired their dedication to quality and performance in the beauty space. Couldn’t think of a better sunscreen. It was SO fun getting to work with @lakeypeterson on this amazing launch. Stay tuned for more soon!”

This amazing global initiative was shot last December in Australia and is chock full of authentic surf action! The campaign focuses on ocean conservancy and the relationship with the surfing community. The new formula is ocean friendly, free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, and goes on clear on all skin tones.

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Events

Live Large Locally, on Small Business Saturday

Support LGBT Small Businesses

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Size matters — and when it comes to shopping local, small is the preference we can all agree on.

So plan now to rock the mom-and-pop look, by saving some of your Black Friday energy, and bucks, for the day after. That’s when many of West Hollywood’s trove of retailers and restaurants will be offering a slew of treasures. Think discounts, free products, giveaways, gift cards, delicious food samples, and more.

November 24’s Small Business Saturday isn’t just a way to feel good about supporting the neighborhood merchants who rescue us from poorly decorated box stores and cookie cutter corporate brands. It’s a way to check a multitude of boxes off your holiday shopping list, while helping the community you’ve shown up to support spread that love in a very tangible way.

Here’s how that happens: Many of the businesses participating in Small Business Saturday will be giving a portion of their proceeds to a worthy cause, noted Genevieve Morrill, President and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (WHCC). In years past, that amount has passed the 20k mark, benefitting recipients such as the Foundation for The AIDS Monument. This year, donations will be made to the City of West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, which, the Chamber notes, “seeks to effectively address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response,’ by targeting “the problems of homeless LGBTQ youth, as well as homelessness generally.”

Along with the WHCC and the City of West Hollywood, American Express is on board for the Nov. 24 event, having chosen WeHo as a city of focus. So while you might see a variety of logos on signage, what it really means, for you, is celebrity sightings and sweet, sweet swag. Visit wehochamber.com/shopsmall for a full list of participating stores. Here’s a primer to get you started.

At 1:00 PM, at Fred Segal Sunset (8500 Sunset Blvd.), “Criminal Minds” star Kirsten Vangsness will be sharing holiday gifting ideas. Segal will gift shoppers with cloth tote bags, beauty samples, coffee, and espressos, Other stores on site will also be providing enticing incentives. Fred Segal CEO Allie Samek gave us the scoop on two items that calmed us down, during a pre-Thanksgiving, “What do I give to the hard-to-shop-for?” tizzy. Priced at $480, the 100 percent cashmere sweater is an exclusive item, from the Hartel (men’s store) label. “This is for your fashionable guy,” Samek said. “It’s not too boxy, and not too short — with a slim fit. It’s the best cashmere sweater you’ve ever seen.”

No need to bother Samek with proof of that claim. Send a picture of your fashionable self or significant other, wearing the sweater, and whatever else (if anything else) they’re modeling, to the publisher and editor of this fine publication: [email protected]. Disclaimer: All photos are fodder for his “tasteful is in the eye of the beholder” holiday card. If you and/or Mr. Masters are all hot and bothered by viewing that cashmere pin-up pix, Samek has the perfect treatment: Refresh with a sip or two of cool, clear, H2O. The Boss Babe Crystal Water Bottle ($160) can be found in the Tesoro gift store. Within its casing are 24-karat gold flakes and citrine stone (whose very proximity to the water, Samek playfully said, “manifests abundance, and will amplify everything you desire.”). And if that claim stops short of manifesting a winning lottery ticket, at least you’ll be properly hydrated.

Elsewhere in WeHo, at NARS (8412 Melrose Ave.), enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne and a Focus Feature demo with a boutique artist, and then walk away with giveaways, including travel-size products and full-size lip products. The Barber Surgeons Guild (805 Larrabee St.) is offering special prices for grooming and clinical services throughout the day. Call 310-975-7094 for details, and to schedule an appointment. Do drop by IV Drip Doctors Vitamin Therapy & Regenerative Center (8489 Sunset Blvd.), but don’t tell them to “just open a vein” — at least when it comes to claiming your energy-boosting booty. That will require prep time to administer. So take away a free, B12 IV gift card and return another day to experience this unique form of vitamin therapy.

 

Food, of course, is always bragging about its status as an iconic, old school energy delivery method. Small Business Saturday swag gives you a good excuse to pay your respects, by stopping by Yogurt Stop (8803 Santa Monica Blvd.), for 10 percent off. At Le Pain Quotidien (8607 Melrose Ave), scoop up free samples of cider and pumpkin muffins; and, at Cafe D’Etoile (8941 ½ Santa Monica Boulevard), you’ll get a complimentary, house-made, individual-size key lime pie. At 4:00 PM, at Tom Tom Restaurant & Bar (8932 Santa Monica Blvd.), Lisa Vanderpump hosts an open house, where mixers and minglers can sip a signature cocktail made just for the event.

In the midst of shopping for others, and feeding yourself, take some time to take care of the body beautiful. Unplug Meditation (8500 Melrose Ave., Suite 201) will give you 20 percent off their $35 introductory offer, which allows you to take an unlimited number of classes, for two weeks. They’re also offering 20 percent off 5, 10, and 20-class packages. LYMBR (603 North West Knoll Drive) makes it easy to shake loose your purse strings, by providing $20 off a stretch session.

From 2017’s Shop Small Saturday: Bruce Vilanch, at Capitol Drugs and Power Zone. This year’s celebrity participants include Lisa Vanderpump and Kirsten Vangsness. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of WHCC)

In addition to salivating over anticipating the above savings and swag, we spoke with the men behind two of Saturday’s participating businesses, to find out what makes their product tick, and why they feel a special connection to West Hollywood.

JustFoodForDogs

Men can be real dogs. But when it comes to the four-legged variety, that’s a high compliment. As such, we want only the best for them: beef, chicken, rice, lamb, venison, and potatoes of the sweet and russet variety — and no gluten or preservatives. Sounds like your own dinner menu? That’s the point, says JustFoodForDogs founder Shawn Buckley.

“Everybody wants to buy local, and it doesn’t get any more local than 20 feet away,” noted Buckley, of the WeHo branch, which houses a kitchen where good stuff for good doggies is dished up daily, every day of the year. “It’s not like a show, where we act like we’re making it,” Buckley said of the kitchen. “We’re open to the public from 10 to 8, but we’re in there from around 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM.”

The WeHo branch is the second of what now numbers over 70. “We are thrilled to be there,” Buckley boasted. “It helped us launch our business, and it’s a hugely successful location for us. There are certain neighborhoods that are just incredibly dog-friendly, and this is one of them. West Hollywood helped us prove the concept.”

The JustFoodForDogs concept is a simple one, based on a new trick Buckley brought to an old industry. “When I found out what was allowed to be in dog food,” he recalled,” I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m feeding my dogs that.’ It’s not just gross, it’s unhealthy.” Typical supermarket chow, no matter how high the quality, he noted, “is from the Midwest. We use a Los Angeles-based company that sells us produce and protein. West Coast Prime Meats sells us chicken, fish, beef, and lamb that’s all human-grade. We’re the only deliver they make that is not a restaurant, theme park, or hotel.” — giving credence to their motto, “It is food for dogs… not dog food!”

Small Business Saturday pet parents can see for themselves on Nov. 24. Right in time for holiday party hosting season, the WeHo location will be offering free cooking lessons, to lean how to make safe, organic, healthy treats for your pets. Emmy-winning NBC4 anchor and reporter Robert Kovacik (Woof!) will also be appearing at the store, at 2:30 PM, to cook up gourmet food recipes with the store’s chef.

Your hyperlocal JustFoodForDogs destination is 7870 Santa Monica Blvd. (corner of Fairfax). Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Sun., 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Call 323-471-4242 or visit justfoodfordogs.com.

Rounderbum

Yes, it’s true: The holidays can leave some of us feeling as if we lack support; that nobody in the world has our back. But what about those of us who go through the whole year feeling as if the whole world can see we have no backside? To the rescue is “Shark Tank” success story Rounderbum — a clever, downright cheeky, line of men’s shapewear that not only understands your pain, it knows how to define it. Or, more accurately, give it appearance-altering lifts and tucks.

Asked about the Rounderbum mission, CEO Jonathan Diersing said he co-founded the company to help those who “can’t gain muscle mass” back there and, as such, “have not butt — and their pants fall down.” Rounderbum’s booty-enhancing magic bullet gives your look something extra that no mere belt is capable of, and something else that comes from within: “Our mission is to enhance your body in the areas you desire most, helping you look and feel amazing before walking out the front door,” Diersing said, adding, “We are not only changing the way people look, we are changing the way people live.”

For the Nov. 24 event, they’re also changing their prices: For in-store purchases of $100 or more, Diersing noted, “We will be giving each customer one free underwear from our all-new sister underwear company, Rounderwear.” To check out those undies, visit rounderwear.com, where they are “#MUGA: Making Underwear Great Again!” Also in-store and online, Black Friday heralds the start of “the best sale we’ve ever had,” Diersing vowed, and “the most percentage off we’ve ever offered — up to 50 percent off and more.”

And those discounts arrive not a moment too soon, for those of us who might have given in to temptation at the Thanksgiving table — and the buffet tables to come, from now until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Compression clothing is also part of the product line. “A popular one around this season,” Diersing said, “is a boxer brief with a waist slimmer band built into it. Let’s say you’re wearing a sweater. Sometimes the love handles stick out. This will smooth it all out for you. And the muscle shirt is good, because it has padding on the shirt, and keeps you warm. Our compression tops acts as a layer. It keeps your body heat inside, and firms up your belly — or whatever you might have, that you want to tighten up a little bit.”

Judging from the photos sent to us, the tastes of LGBT consumers are always on the mind, at Rounderbum. Diersing name-checked “authenticity and acceptance” as qualities the company admires most about its queer customers — and that this desirable demographic appreciates “all forms of expression and creativity… There is so much love in the community, and that love transcends within the very core of our company and values.”

But why West Hollywood? “With Beverly Hills being the cosmetic surgery capital of the world,” Diersing observed, “it only seemed natural for us to be here and offer an affordable alternative to body enhancement. Being in such an influential, iconic city constantly serves as a reminder of where we came from, and how much further we have to go. This city inspires us to want to make a real difference for all people — one booty at a time.”

Rounderbum is located at 802 N. San Vicente Blvd. Hours: Noon to 8:00 PM, daily. Call 424-278-1114 or visit rounderbum.com.

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Shopping

A classic shave on Santa Monica Boulevard gives a whole new outlook

West Hollywood’s Barber Surgeon’s Guild is an old world luxury experience with a decidedly modern twist

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I recently went to Barber’s Surgeon Guild in West Hollywood for Botox, but all I needed was an old-fashioned straight razor shave. More on that in a minute…

It’s been almost 15 years since Bruce Weber shot me for the pages of the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog on the beaches of Santa Barbara.

All of us-Abercrombie & Fitch, Santa Barbara and myself-have endured the weathering of time albeit with some keeping scars.

I can especially relate to the aging of Abercrombie & Fitch, a brand once so idolized by leagues of gay men used some form of its name as their AOL or gay.com screen name to bedeck their photo-less profiles with allusions of youth and hotness.

Let’s be honest, Abercrombie & Fitch, whether the name, its initials, its branded logo or its Woods cologne turned people on; it lit them up. I can admit I used “AFJok22” as my screen name. Why “jok” instead of “jock” you may ask? For a very simple reason, “AFJock22” was already taken.

But with time, AFJock22, AFJok22 and Abercrombie & Fitch began to stop lighting people up. Age can do that. It becomes harder to take someone’s breath away when walking into a room. Or in the case of Abercrombie & Fitch, being worn into a room. People have seen you and begin to forget about your brilliance. Sometimes they even resent you for being there.

Case in point, what does “AF” mean now? It means “as fuck.” No longer does it even mean Abercrombie & Fitch. That’s how quickly the world moves on. Abercrombie & Fitch and my screen name have literally lost their initials’ identity and been replaced by something else.

About this time, the oh-so-pragmatic and wise readers who relish in their existence grounded to the floor start to say, “these problems are so superficial” and “this is the problem with the gay community.”

Just like I have always been more than how I look, Abercrombie & Fitch was more than its branding.

Perhaps its styling lingered a tad too long, but they made a well-made cargo pant, and few can argue with that. The fact that they still make that well-made cargo pant doesn’t mean people care; the store has lost its sparkle.

One of the hottest guys I ever met, who now is approaching the gay-toxic age of 30, recently told me about his identity crisis. He can feel the world moving on. His inability to light up a room is weighing on him because it was something he could count on and may not be able to any longer. I can relate. And I think most people can too.

But wait a minute, so it’s all over? Should Abercrombie & Fitch, my hot friend and I all shy away because our once bright lights have begun to “dim”? The answer is a definitive no.

It took me a dose of reality to understand how amazing I still am.

Our light hasn’t dimmed, and we can’t allow those people who ignore us to fool us into thinking it so. Youth’s influence on our light may have attenuated, and so might the response from those people with circumscribed views on human worth. But, we don’t need their attention because it was never going to last in the first place, with its existence only clouding our ability to see ourselves and those around us clearly.

 

Back to the Botox.

Barber’s Surgeon Guild is this beautiful throwback barber shop on Larrabee St. where Video West, West Hollywood’s once longest running video rental store operated until 2015 (sorry video stores, your light might be out for good).

When you walk into Barber’s Surgeon Guild, you are greeted by the clean smells of aftershave and well-tuned organic grooming products. The shop gives 1920s Brooklyn vibes with its classic barber stations and steel age cabinets. Every detail harmonizes with its vintage design, including the uniforms of the friendly barbers and on-site doctor.

Doctor? Yes, doctor. Barber Surgeon Guild connects the dots between classic grooming and modern cosmetic procedures.

Behind a discrete door (and out-of-site to the vintage barber shop) is a modern medical facility with state-of-the-art equipment able to remove tattoos, replace hair, remove hair and do just about anything someone might need to stay looking younger, including Botox and fillers.

When I made my appointment for Barber’s Surgeon Guild this week, my intention was to get Botox. I’ve never had Botox but after my conversation with my hot friend — 30 — about aging, I thought it might be a small self-esteem boost. Maybe with its help, I could sparkle for those youth-focused gays just a little longer. I mean, it doesn’t hurt for them to see me sparkle as long as I know I don’t need them to think I sparkle. Right?

But first I laid back in a barber chair for a shave.

Adam, a beautifully tattooed master barber, performed a full-on, old-fashioned straight razor shave. The almost hour-long procedure complete with oils, warmed shaving cream, and a series of hot towels gave me some time to think about how beautiful the barber shop is-a place made to look old, a place to relax and a place to be yourself.

 

The values that make that shop so stunning are certainly not aligned with chasing youth and over-stimulation, and if it had, it would not sparkle in its maturity and thoughtful elegance as it does.

With a clearer appreciation for age, I passed on the Botox but left feeling lighter and younger than before. Sometimes, slowing down and delighting in the day with an old-fashioned shave can remind yourself of who you are and how to move forward with ease and inspiration.

I might eventually go back for that Botox or if I lose much more hair consider BSG’s robotic hair replacement, but for now I’m satisfied and that’s a good feeling.

Barber Surgeon’s Guild is located at 805 Larrabee Street, West Hollywood CA 90069, Phone (310) 975-7094. Learn more about their services here.

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Living

When giving, more than just the thought counts

This holiday season, support small LGBT-allied businesses

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Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd’s local Los Angeles empire now includes one of the best dog boutiques in the world, located on the increasingly trendy West 3rd Street near Crescent Heights Boulevard in Beverly-Grove.  It’s a rescue chic boutique for a cause.

In part one of the Los Angeles Blade’s Shopping Favorites, we focus on a mix of our favorite LGBT-owned or friendly merchants (both online and storefront), from  charitable chic to the purely indulgent.

We encourage you to give without expecting to receive.  And we also encourage you to donate money to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Homeless LGBT Youth Program at Highland.

Vanderpump Dogs
The gift that also gives back — Vanderpump Dogs is a chic dog rescue concept dedicated to creating a more humane world for dogs, while keeping them and their companions looking stylishly fabulous.
This glamorous storefront dog rescue and pet boutique is owned by Lisa Vanderpump, the British restaurateur, author, actress, and television personality

Best known for her role on the reality TV show, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Offering grooming services and a gorgeous selection of niche brands, the brick and mortar was inspired by Gigi the Pom, Lisa Vanderpump’s own precious pup. Go in and #shopwithapurpose at LA’s most fabulous rescue center.

Lilly, 15, could not be bathed or cut due to a diabetic related series of infections, but once clear she dashed over to her favorite groomer at Vanderpump and got transformed. (Photo by Cody Masters)

Troy Masters, Los Angeles Blade publisher and former West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister are big fans and both get their dogs groomed there.  “Vanderpump transformed our 15-year-old Lilly back into a puppy again,” said Masters.

If you visit, be prepared to fall in love with the dog of your dreams.

“What we’re trying to do is create more humane treatment for dogs worldwide,” Lisa Vanderpump told the Los Angeles Blade.

The store is located at 8134 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. You can call 323-852-DOGS or visit vanderpumpdogs.com to make an appointment for your pooch’s grooming.

Pals Socks
Pals Socks is a company dedicated to “defeeting” bullies one foot at a time. Using mismatched socks to showcase how difference is cool, the line was created by a young L of LGBTQ living in Philly.

“I wouldn’t say that me being attracted to ladies made me launch this brand in particular. I just am a very empathetic person, and was also a kid who was ‘different,’” Lavon says.

“When I was younger I sometimes stuttered… I was weird, apparently. I want more kids to grow up being comfortable with people not exactly like them…I don’t like seeing all this hate, bigotry, fear of people not exactly like them. I’m just trying to put more positivity into this world and create something that can create positive social change, not just a simple novelty,” Lavon adds.

Pals encourage playful dialogue between two different friends — you don’t need to match to be best Pals. Our hashtag is #defeetthenorm

You can find Pal Socks in L.A. at stores such as: Books and Cookies, the Library Store, Dustmuffin, and Ron Robinson. Or just visit palssocks.com

NiK Kacy’s debut collection consists of five basic traditionally ‘masculine of center’ styles now created in a unisex sizing and proportion for all individuals. (Photo courtesy NiK Kacy)

Nik Kacy Footwear
NiK Kacy Footwear is a brand inspired by the fashion needs of both its founder and the larger LGBTQ community.

NiK Kacy says they designed the first collection to provide a solution to address the divide between shoe designs and the gender binary. Being unable to find shoes that fit their gender expression and their feet.

“I still feel the discomfort and embarrassment of being mis-gendered on a daily basis. Most people I come into contact with mis-gender me. I try to take the time to educate them about what non-binary means and how making assumptions about one’s gender is so archaic (not to mention politically incorrect and offensive),” Kacy says.

Their desire for gender equality extends beyond gender and features styles ranging from masculine, feminine, gender-neutral, to high-heels in a gender-equal size range from 34-47 (US women’s 3.5 to men’s 14). Subsequent releases include a unisex utility holster that is completely adjustable to fit all body spectrums.

Kacy’s hope for the holidays, under the current administration, is that they’re able to find a little piece of their souls and stop taking away the rights of so many deserving Americans.

“I’d like them to reverse most of the horrific decisions/changes they have made in the past 12 months… my Christmas wish this year, is to remove everyone in the administration related to or working for Trump and Pence and bring back BO [Barack Obama] and JB [Joe Biden]. I can wish for a miracle, can’t I,” Kacy says.

NiK Kacy is a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise. Visit the store online at nikkacy.com.

The ideal package is round and firm and it can easily be achieved with a quick visit to the new RounderBum on Santa Monica Boulevard. (Photo courtesy RounderBum)

RounderBum
RounderBum is hoping to change the world one pair of men´s undergarments at a time.

With a growing trend of men who take care of their appearance, RounderBum created a men’s line for those who want to look more attractive and athletic.
In comes RounderBum, offering men’s shapewear. From a patented designed padding to seamless and fusing manufacturing, the company looks to help every man feel more confident, and look more, ahem, masculine.

RounderBum’s signature padded technology uses hidden padding made of flexible polyurethane that conforms to every body shape, with hidden bands that lift and define the muscles with a subtle and discreet effect.

As retailer Andrew Christian, the famous men’s undergarment store, closes shop with plans to relocate to Downtown LA in January, the men of WeHo can rest assured that RounderBum is anxious to help showcase the goods.

No date has been set for the grand opening of the new flagship store at the northeast corner of San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard, located where American Apparel once ruled.

In the meantime, Larry Block’s Block Party is happy to be of service; Block Party carries some choice RounderBum gear.

RounderBum will be located at 802 North San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, and you can visit them online at rounderbum.com.

There’s an almost fetish art to grooming and Barber Surgeons Guild just off Santa Monica Boulevard delivers. Every WeHoan wants a little pampering, with an edge. (Photo courtesy Barber Surgeons Guild)

Barber Surgeons Guild
File this one away under the purely indulgent, but irresistible category.

Barber Surgeons Guild provides high-quality grooming products and services, combining grooming with advanced medical procedures, backed by Dr. Justin Rome, a plastic surgeon who runs and oversees the store.
BSG originates from the history of barber surgeons who were the medical and grooming experts throughout the Middle Ages.

BSG products are formulated by master barbers and an expert medical team; offering shampoos, conditioners, pomades, texture liniment and hair serums, each product is scientifically structured with an active ingredient to ensure hair is healthy, thick, stylish and strong.

In addition to the traditional barbershop experience, BSG also offers advanced hair therapies including hair regeneration.  It’s artisanal grooming and a whole lot more.

Barber Surgeons Guild is located at 805 Larrabee St., West Hollywood. You can make an appointment by calling 310-975-7094. Or visit barbersurgeonsguild.com for more information.

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