Sunday, February 19, 2017

SM Observer Article: A Tale of Two Cities: Where to Go with Cannabis Tourism in Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Happy President Day Weekend ES-ers!!!  Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer entitled A Tale of Two Cities: Where to Go with Cannabis Tourism in Los Angeles and Las Vegas where she interviewed Duke Rodriguez of Ultra Health (the lead sponsor of the Las Vegas Cannabis Cup), Krista Whitley of Social Media Unicorn, and Brannon Zimbelman of the Travel Joint. 

Check it our below!

A Tale of Two Cities: Where to Go with Cannabis Tourism in Los Angeles and Las Vegas

As California legalizes recreational marijuana, everyone from LA's Mayor on down dreams of Pot Tourist $'s

--In November of 2016, both Prop 64 and Prop 2 passed legalizing recreational marijuana in the states of California and Nevada.

--By the end of 2016 Los Angeles welcomed 47.3 million visitors to its sunny locale while Las Vegas had 42.9 million flock to Las Vegas.

A two months ago on January 1st, 2107, a man in black tactical-style gear and tarpaulins (one with a peace sign, one with a heart) altered the iconic Hollywood sign to read HollyWEED. One would think cities that welcome more tourists per year than the population of Canada would be chomping at the bit to become one of the country's cannabis destination.
But marijuana tourism infrastructure for the sixth largest economy in the world and Sin City takes much longer to implement than hanging a tarp over a sign.

As SoCal-Nevada tenderly enters the world of recreational marijuana we decided to interview a few cannabis experts on how two of the largest tourist cities in the United States can implement a strong visitor strategy.

Duke Rodriguez is the CEO and President of Ultra Health, which focuses on turnkey solutions provider for the specialty medical cannabis industry. Ultra Health currently has seven dispensary locations and one cultivation site in New Mexico, and is establishing more locations in Nevada. In Las Vegas, Ultra Health is partnering with HIGH TIMES for the U.S. Las Vegas Cannabis Cup on March 4 and 5 hosted at the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The event, will kick off HIGH TIMES' 2017 Live & Legal Cannabis Experience Tour and will feature a live cannabis grow room, live trimming, a cannabis chef cooking competition, edibles seminars, product launches, musical acts and industry speakers.

Krista Whitley is the CEO of Social Media Unicorn is a cannabis brand exclusive full service marketing and sale agency that creates effective consumer experiences. With unicorns on the ground in Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Phoenix her company encompasses all aspects of marijuana branding, public relations, influence marketing, celebrity appearances, digital marketing, social media. Whitley's clients include Merry Jane, a cannabis media organization created by Snoop Dogg to share cannabis culture, Indus Holding Co, California's leading cannabis producer and distributor, and Tahoe Hydroponics, Nevada's award-winning cannabis cultivator located on the shore of Lake Tahoe.

Brannon Zimbelman is the CEO of The Travel Joint, the world's only cannabis travel and leisure site with 420-rentals, hotels, flights, dispensaries, tours, and events. The Travel Joint has become the Airbnb of the cannabis managing over 30 properties in states such as Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon along with crafting higher-end experiences such as a marijuana friendly cowboy ranch and roller skating disco parties in Las Vegas.

These are their thoughts on the future of cannabis as we enter the world of social use tourism...

Brannon Zimbelman of The Travel Joint: We think that California will be one of the largest Cannabis Tourism markets second only to Las Vegas.

Duke Rodriguez of Ultra Health: I generally like to avoid the reference of recreational use because it gives it a flippant kind of careless activity. There is no recreational alcohol. I do believe there is social use, which plays into the World Health Organization's definition of health as physical, mental and social wellbeing. If cannabis helps people of adult age perform better and gives them social competence, then that is great for them and their communities.
The cannabis adult use culture experience really started its path in Colorado and was eventually passed on to the state of Washington. Ultimately, it will be passed on to California where it will become the standard bearer of how cannabis will be treated in the country.

Krista Whitley of Social Media Unicorn: California is an interesting market to watch because they are the largest unregulated medical marijuana market in the United States. I think the greatest opportunity is for them to implement some of the best practices of established regulated medical marijuana markets as quickly as possible, so that they can build on those as they roll out regulated adult use throughout the state.
As the world's sixth largest economy it is not an easy challenge to implement the regulations that will keep all cannabis consumers safe while maintaining the authentic cannabis culture that California is known for. I see that by 2019 California will be a thriving cannabis economy, with the same innovative products cannabis consumers have come to love and additional safeguards that will ensure a healthy cannabis experience for everyone.

Brannon Zimbelman: We have extensive 420 rental properties around the country. When cannabis became recreationally legal in California we began focusing our travel destination energy in Los Angeles and Napa Valley. In the coming months we're launching two properties in Napa with 24 hour concierge service.

Duke Rodriguez: The California model will result in how the country will approach cannabis not only from a medical standpoint but from a social standpoint. California will probably be the first state to more progressively look at the open consumption of cannabis and will have more definitive standards in areas we have not defined well previously.
Packaging, for example. California will have to make sure it will not advocate for packaging that encourages underage individuals from buying cannabis and seeing it. Colorado started with the gummy bears, and it was cute but they started to realize it had complications. We don't need cannabis containers looking like PEZ dispensers to have a successful social program. California also has the opportunity to set up a model for the rest of the country to emulate because the state can learn from missteps Colorado has made in the past. Because of California's extensive industry, it will bring out more sophisticated and elegant packaging, designs, and products.

Duke Rodriguez: Outside of California, Nevada is likely to be the only state to really challenge the cannabis tourism category. This is especially true with the introduction of the U.S. Las Vegas 

Cannabis Cup, being the first ever adult use Cannabis Cup as well as the first to be hosted by a Tribal Nation. Las Vegas has clearly established itself as an entertainment center, moving beyond adult entertainment to full family entertainment. I feel that the largest "California dispensary" is likely to be located in Las Vegas, and a good number of Californians will be securing their cannabis tourism experience in Las Vegas. In many ways due to proximity, Nevada and particularly Las Vegas will be an extension of the California cannabis tourism experience.

Krista Whitley: Nevada is home for me, so I know that I'm biased. Nevada has done an excellent job putting an effective regulated medical marijuana program in place that seeks to serve its' patients. Of course, the recent MJ Freeway technology roadblock was a setback, but overall the state leadership, industry leadership, and patient advocates have worked incredibly hard to meet the needs of all medical marijuana patients. I anticipate that adult use recreational marijuana will be launched to dispensaries in Nevada by the end of summer 2017, serving the over 42 million visitors each year and residents that include the medical marijuana patients that continue to grow.

Brannon Zimbelman: When we started the Travel Joint 4 years ago we were going to setup our offices in Colorado, but we ultimately decided on Las Vegas because we knew when recreational use broke in Nevada our city was going to be the ultimate cannabis destination location.

Duke Rodriguez: With Las Vegas' 43 million visitors each year, it is expected and will definitely meet the call of becoming a tourism capital of cannabis. Nevada also has the advantage of being geographically closer to states without adult use or any cannabis legislation at all. This will give the state and especially the city of Las Vegas the upper hand in attracting consumers from Utah, Idaho, Arizona and even New Mexico. California is already land locked by other states with cannabis legislation.

Krista Whitley: Specialty cannabis products will thrive in the recreational marijuana market in Nevada for the same reasons that unique products have always thrived in Las Vegas: tourists love splurging on something new that they can't get anywhere else. It doesn't matter if it's a $10,000 table at a fancy nightclub with bottle service or the $5000 Fleur Burger at Fleur Las Vegas, visitors in Las Vegas are looking for once in a lifetime opportunities to splurge and premium cannabis products will find their opportunity in this fabulous market.

Duke Rodriguez: The title of the "Cannabis Capital" will be determined within the next 12 and 24 months as the industry rapidly expands.

Duke Rodriguez: Denver, Colorado, is the first city in the nation to pass legislation on open consumption. These concepts that seemed radical in the past will become the common theme. I would advise most of these communities that they need to be open to trying some of these new festivals and environments for cannabis to be experienced. By restricting communities and not being open to the possibilities, these events will go to providers who can do it under positive conditions including Tribal Nations.
Public officials and members of the public should take the time to go to the U.S. Las Vegas Cannabis Cup or other cannabis centric events to experience the environment and find out how safe and secure it really is. It's not going to turn into a drug laden, Woodstock kind of experience. There won't be mad hysteria in the streets or Reefer Madness. There are people with education and sophistication at these events, and most newcomers will learn it is a very professionally safe, musical event of education, discovery and social interaction.

Krista Whitley: California has such a unique cannabis culture that embraces cannabis collectives, homemade cannabis products, and cultivators who have been working in the shadows for decades. I love the authenticity and passion, but there is a great opportunity for the California regulators to connect with these entrepreneurs to ensure that regulation protects the consumer without squashing the innovation that has thrived in the cannabis community.

Duke Rodriguez: I have been to some county and state fairs that felt more unsafe than what a Cannabis Cup normally feels like. Cannabis events are very peaceful where people are simply chilling. People are more likely to be seen napping than getting into a drunken fist fight or someone spilling a beer on your favorite jacket

Duke Rodriguez: Other states have select areas of tourism, and that translates to cannabis too. For example, Colorado's tourism is heavily based around skiing. Washington's is based on outdoor activities. California is all of that plus more. It will have cannabis tourism along the coastal areas, in wine country, around major metropolitans like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

Krista Whitley: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada all offer several established precedents for California regulators to follow. From Nevada's seed to sale zero loss regulations that follow cannabis from cultivation to dispensary to Washington's recreational shops, California faces a unique opportunity to learn from what has worked in each of these markets to ensure the safety of all cannabis consumers.

Brannon Zimbelman: We manage a cannabis cowboy ranch in Colorado. At that property, we work with local dispensaries to bring in five star chefs who cook with marijuana. It's about enhancing your travel experience, not eclipsing it. When you got on a trip to Napa you don't spend the whole time drunk. It's the same thing with cannabis.

Duke Rodriguez: Tourism is so big in California it is near impossible not to expect adult use cannabis to have a major impact in the state. Cannabis, if it is properly introduced, doesn't have to be viewed as a counter to the wine, alcohol or theme park industries. It's a clean industry that can coexist and enhance the experience of those activities.
Colorado, being the first state to adopt broad legalization, seriously confirmed the existence and emergence of the green rush. California and Nevada's opportunities are more broad than other states because they will be competing with each other – more competition breeds more innovation. California and Nevada have very high populations as well. These states are likely to take that proven green rush, and turn it into a statewide, regional green stampede of tourism.

Duke Rodriguez: There is no question that Los Angeles is positioned to be the single largest cannabis market in the United States, if not the world. The city has every entertainment option known to consumers today. Now, it will expand that offering with adult use cannabis tourism. The only advice I would give Los Angeles is to put no bounds on the discovery of new and innovative cannabis uses in its communities and with its visitors is at this early stage.
Los Angeles has the opportunity to embrace and welcome cannabis and build off its already strong foothold in the entertainment industry. I look forward to having events like the U.S. Las Vegas Cannabis Cup, even some the size of Coachella, on Tribal lands in California also. Non Tribal entities will need to be willing to provide an atmosphere as receptive and experience of positive as the Tribes are offering.

Duke Rodriguez: Las Vegas manages to continually raise the standards for entertainment. The Wynn Hotel just announced a project which will include a major outdoor waterpark. The city has just acquired a new hockey team, and it is highly probable the Oakland Raiders will become the Las Vegas Raiders. And next month Las Vegas is hosting the first ever adult use Cannabis Cup hosted on Native land.
I would recommend Las Vegas to double the pace and accelerate their adoption to compete with their neighboring state, and to keep the ball rolling with these adult use events to edge out the competition in Los Angeles and other cities.
Another example is in Las Vegas, open consumption of alcohol is allowed on The Strip and the downtown areas. Now these communities have to answer the question will we allow the open consumption of Cannabis? I think the public is ready for it but the regulators have to accept it.

Krista Whitley: Coming from Las Vegas I have seen what Sin City does better than anywhere else in the world: create themed experiences. Not everyone is a Bellagio person, but if that isn't a fit there is New York New York or MGM down the street. Embracing the different experiences that a cannabis consumer would want to have with thoughtful regulation will build a foundation for a thriving cannabis tourism experience. Supporting the small businesses and cannabis community leaders as they create businesses and organizations who will be providing these unique cannabis consumer experiences will be key to success.

Duke Rodriguez: Every state in the country is engaged in tourism, but no two states are engaged at the level of California and Nevada. Whatever these states choose to do will affect cities like Santa Monica all the way to Detroit and even Miami.
Jumping to immediate declaration of activities that won't be allowed may prohibit the emergence of interest and drive consumers to other locations. For instance, if Los Angeles becomes overly restrictive, and Las Vegas becomes less restrictive, consumers will drive demand to Las Vegas. For any of these communities to be successful, there's going to be some trial and error as well as communication with authorities.

Brannon Zimbelman: A lot of stuff is going to change. We plan to just grow at the industry grows. We want to do everything right with what we can. We take every single customer from start to finish and make sure they have a fantastic travel experience. As we expand we want to be the best travel site, not the best cannabis travel site.
Duke Rodriguez: In regards to the U.S. Las Vegas Cannabis Cup, it has required a little bit of dialogue with the state agencies as to what the existing licensees will be allowed to do. There will need to be openness to find out how we go into these areas that have not previously had a need to be defined.
The U.S. Las Vegas Cannabis Cup is a hugely important stepping stone in elevating all adult use cannabis tourism, but has a special impact on the city of Las Vegas. While the next few years play out, we will begin to see both Las Vegas and Los Angeles in particular grab this consumer-driven cannabis market by the horns and provide the already existing population of social cannabis users a sense of wellness and entertainment that has yet to be discovered here in the United States.

Kat Thomas is the CEO of This Way Adventures, a creative media group. You can check out more of her adventures at

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SM Observer Article: Will You Be My Valentine? Perfect Gifts for Your Honey, Your Sweetie, Or Just 'Cause You're You!

Happy early Valentine's Day ES-ers!!!  Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer entitled Will You Be My Valentine?  Perfect Gifts for Your Honey, Your Sweetie, Or Just 'Cause You're You!

Check it our below!

Will You Be My Valentine? Perfect Gifts for your Honey, Sweetie, or Just 'Cause You're You!

In case you missed all the decorations that showed up the day after Christmas, Valentine's Day is on Tuesday! And it's time to celebrate with that special someone whether it be a spouse, significant other, or yourself! So here's some ways to indulge yourself right this holiday with healthy sweets, do-gooder treats, and furry moments of being discreet!

For the Sweet Tooth Lovin' Do-Gooder – Carmel Honey Company
Sweet as can Bee! Carmel Honey Company grew out a passion for bees and good grades: starting out as a 5th grade "real world" assignment, Jake Reisdorf not only got an A, but he became an entrepreneur! Carmel Honey Company offers only all-natural pure, raw, premium honey straight from the hive with varietals such as Sage, Wildflower, Orange Blossom and Meadowfoam. When in season Honeycomb is 8oz rounds and full frame are available (though most are scooped up by chefs in the Carmel Monterey area). Through the company's "Jake Gives Back" Program CHC makes a donation every year to a honey or bee research organization. In addition to individual jars of honey, Carmel Honey Company offers three special package perfect for you and your honey! $6.00-$45.00

For the Animal Lovin' Grace Kelly - Velvet 59's Rose Metals Palette
With a tagline of "bringing vintage glamour to the modern world." Velvet 59 looks to conquer the do-gooder makeup industry! Their cosmetics are Vegan, Gluten Free, Paraben Free, and Cruelty Free so you can have your luxurious beauty and feel good about it! Our favorite go-to beauty item of the moment is their Rose Metals Palette. This hybrid makeup palette includes options for eyeshadow, blush, and face highlighter with a result that's totes luxe! With highly pigmented metal shades such as Persian Pink, 22K Gold, and Moon Landing it's the perfect piece for adding highlight, contour, and shimmer to any Whole Foods Lovin' Beauty! $45.00 https://velvet59.

For the Animal Rights Lovin' Statement Maker (Because They're Two Different Types of Gals!) - Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic's Lip Tar
As any Vegan worth of hill of beans knows, 95% of lipsticks out there are not Veg friendly (they use fish by products). And then most of the natural makeup on the market is full of bland taupe, beige, and other boring colors. Enter Obsessive Complusive Cosmetic's Lip Tar! Created in 2009, this lipstick is known for its unrivaled pigment intensity, mixability and wear-time! Our person Fav? Lip Tar in Red Dragon with a brilliant ruby red color that will make jaws drop! Only the smallest drop of product applied with the newly-included doe-foot wand is needed for full coverage and a natural satin-matte finish. Made with Hemp Oil and Vitamin E for a moisturizing finish that feels as good as it looks! Other colors include Technopagan, a blackened purple with blue metallic pearl, Workin Girl, bright candy pink with gold pearl, and Traffic, true primary yellow. $17.00
For the Naughty Inner Child - the Teddy Love
Just in time for the release of Fifty Shades of Darker! The perfect adult toy for those who want to experience the Red Room of Pain with something a bit cuddlier than a tormented billionaire... Teddy Love is a unique, discreet, teddy bear sexual toy that provides hours of pleasure through its dual, vibrating mechanism. Teddy Love has soft fur, twinkly eyes and is ohhhh... so cuddly. Perfect for furries or anyone who's ever thought about a Care Bear in a slightly naughty way! Available in Teddy, Teddy in a Tux, and BDSM Teddy. $39.95

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jams of Whimsy with Gables Delight

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to spend our New Year’s breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove!

While dining there we discovered the scrumptious jams of Gables Delight, a local Coral Gables based jam company.   With flavor delights from Strawberry Jasmine to Guava Habanero to Blueberry Lavender it was quite the whimsical New Year jam discovery. 

Gables Delight is all natural, made with no artificial flavors or colors.  Founder Almudena Gudiel grew up in France where she learned to make jams at a young age.  Almudena later received a culinary degree in Florida and proceeded to work in top restaurants in Miami before starting her jam business.  And she's delightfully good at her job, as each of the flavors is mischievous movement in your mouth!  

So if you’re looking for Floridian whimsy in a jar make sure to wish for a pot of Gables Delight jam!

Here’s to life being delicious and all your jams be those of whimsy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SM Observer Article: NSFW - The Best Adult Toys from this year's Oscars of Porn

Happy 2017 ES-ers!!!  Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer entitled NSFW - The Best Adult Toys from this year's Oscars of Porn.

Check it our below!

Saturday wrapped up the last day at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at the AVN Awards aka the "Oscars of Porn"! You've heard it before: Sex Sells... in a BIG way!
The adult entertainment business is estimated to bring in around $13.3 billion annually in the United States. 25% of all search engine requests are adult entertainment related, in case you were wondering this translates into 68 million requests a day!

The awards run tangent with the AVN Novelty Expo which is the adult industry's premiere B2B event. The AVN Novelty Expo brings together the latest and greatest items from a wide range of cutting edge companies such as toys, lingerie, lotions, sex furniture and other novelty items.

At the AVN Novelty Expo there something for everyone... And for that reason here are some of the Best Adult Toys of 2017!

For Your Loved One Who Wants to Be Punished - Leather By Danny's Split Thumper - Leather By Danny was started in the 1990s with the purpose of sharing Danny's love of bondage and BDSM leather goods handcrafted by artisans. One of their most popular items is LBD's Split Thumper, a leather striking toy that is designed to give more thud than sting. One of the coolest things about this thumper is that on the inside of the handles there are two strong magnets that hold the handles together while being used as a striking toy but can be separated to be used as a come-along (a device used to pull your playmate into the bedroom with you. Thank you Sir (or Mistress), May I have another? $110

For Your Speed Racer – Motorbunny –This device goes all the way to 11! Motorbunny is a straddle-style personal pleasure machine designed to deliver orgasms, with or without a partner. You plug it in, chose an attachment, and hop on! The Bluetooth capable Motorbunny twirls, buzzes, and vibrates mimicking cowgirl-style sex. And there's no reason guys should save its powerful motor for the ladies. The Motorbunny Jiggle Butt is the industry's first saddle vibrator attachment for men. Hop on to see for yourself! $899

For Your Game of Thrones Lover - Bad Dragon – What's your fantasy?!? Bad Dragon sells a variety of sex toys, dildos, masturbators, and adult accessories based on fantastical creatures! Founded in 2008 out of a desire and love for all things fantasy these toys offer magic like elements such as stalagmite shapes, sea monster tentacles, and a rainbows of colors. Bad Dragon also offers suction cups which will keep you sticking around for a long time to come. This feature allows you to mount their products on almost any surface such as chairs, tables, walls, and floors. Something might be coming other than winter... $55-$240

At the AVN Novelty Expo there something for everyone
For Your Inner Fifty Shades - Adam and Eve's Fifty Shades of Darker Clitoral Vibrator – Approved by Fifty Shades author EL James this clitoral vibrator will tickle your bits with 12 tingling vibration modes. Made from smooth and body safe silicone the Fifty Shades of Darker Clitoral Vibrator is great for foreplay with a partner or solo fun. The small massager fits easily in your hand, making it easy to hide at home or carry in your luggage on a trip. And even if someone does find it, the massager looks nothing you're your typical sex toy. Oh and it's also waterproof for wet and wild fun as well as easy cleaning. ). Mister Grey will see you now! $69.99

For Your Inner Child: Teddy Love – Absolutely the cutest and function sex toy you'll ever get for your honey! ;-) Teddy Love keeps you warm and satisfied on those long lonely nights. Teddy Love is a unique, discreet, teddy bear sexual toy that provides hours of pleasure through its dual, vibrating mechanism. Teddy Love has soft fur, twinkly eyes and is ohhhh... so cuddly. Available in Teddy, Teddy in a Tux, and BDSM Teddy. Let playtime begin! $39.95

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SM Observer Article: Hack 2017 With These Adult Toys!

Happy 2017 ES-ers!!!  We can't wait to make every day of this year full of moments that are postcard worthy!

Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer entitled Hack 2017 With These Adult Toys!  

Check it out below!

Hack 2017 With These Adult Toys!

As we finish out 2016, a great way to forget all of the hatred we're expounding about this year on social media is to invest from some toys to hack 2017! As every parent knows the perfect toy can distract even the crankiest of kids. So here's a couple of items to help you forget and look forward to a life changingly awesome year ahead that was nothing like this year (no pressure 2017...)!

Deck of Scarlet
A sister company of Scentbird, the makeup subscription service Deck of Scarlet launched its first makeup palette just in time for the holiday season! Deck of Scarlet delivers a different makeup palette to your door every other month that was crafted in collaboration with a popular YouTuber. Each cruelty free, paraben free palette comes with eight or nine makeup products and YouTube tutorials to see each palette's range! ($29.95)
Nest 'Smart Learning' 3rd Generation Thermostat
As we enter 2017 every thrifty Silicon Beachy techie should have a smart thermostat! Hooked up to Wi-Fi and Alexa, Nest will learn your comfort patterns and keep your temperature efficient and your bills low. You can turn it on and off via its app so you'll always come home to a warm or cool house depending on which spouse is in charge of the app! ;-) ($250)

Flight 001's "I Sleep With Strangers" Eye Mask
Flight 001's exclusive "I Sleep With Strangers" printed eye mask ensures plenty of in-air shut-eye while still keeping a sense of humor. The light eliminating insert provides extra coverage across your nose bridge while wide elastic straps and velvety lining ensure crease-free comfort! ($24)

Yohola Cork Yoga Mat
Yes, this was also featured in our Holiday gift giving guide but we can't get enough of this cork based yoga mat! This mat increases grip the more your sweat so sliding all over the Vinyasa floor is a thing of the past! Plus Yohola's yoga mats are eco-friendly as they contains no PVCs, harmful chemicals, and all of their mats are 100% recyclable. Our favorite is the brand's Native Cork Yoga Mat, lightweight and comfortable, this mat is great for the yogi-on-the-go. The Native's innovative, durable design features a thick layer of cork backed by a non-toxic, Green Label compliant foam. ($119)


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SM Observer Article: 'Tis the Season for Non-Stop Shopping! Holiday Gift Guide for World Domination

Happy Holidays ES-ers!!!  Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer entitled 'Tis the Season for Non-Stop Shopping!  Holiday Gift Guide for World Domination!

Check it our below!

'Tis the Season for Non-Stop Shopping! Holiday Gift Guide for World Domination

Love it or hate it the Holidays are here!

It's time to lighten your wallets as you spread Christmas cheer!

Here are some of the Observer's favorites for under the tree!

They're the perfect gifts for those deserving of smiles, magic, and jubilee!

For the Santa Monica Yogi: Yohola Cork Yoga Mat
Once you go cork you never deal with torque! (On the yoga mat that is!) Yohola are the originators of the cork yoga mat, which increases grip the more you sweat (unlike your typical PVC mats)! So say goodbye to slipping and sliding all over the Vinyasa floor!

The result of cork based yoga is a more confident practice every time you step onto the mat! Plus Yohola's yoga mats are eco-friendly as they contains no PVCs, harmful chemicals, and all of their mats are 100% recyclable. As an added bonus to you (and your family) Yohola's states its cork surface is "anti-microbial, naturally killing bacteria, mold, and bad smells."

Our favorite is the brand's Native Cork Yoga Mat, lightweight and comfortable, this mat is great for the yogi-on-the-go. The Native's innovative, durable design features a thick layer of cork backed by a non-toxic, Green Label compliant foam. The cork is sourced from sustainable farms in Portugal and is hand-crafted responsibly in the USA. The Native Cork Yoga Mat is $119 and can be found at

For The Millennial Mover and Shaker: Scentbird Subscription
Millennials LOVE subscription box services! Enter Scentbird a simple and fun way to try new fragrances every month! Born out of frustration with the "perfume graveyard" (expensive bottles of designer fragrances collecting dust on your dresser or cabinet) Scentbird was created for the pickiest girl (or boy), allowing you the chance to "date" luxury fragrances before "marrying" them. With Scentbird, you get access to a 30-day supply of over 450 top designer fragrances delivered right to your door for just $14.95/month!

It's a super simple! Pick your scent from their collection of 450+ designer and niche fragrances. Get a generous supply of fragrance (0.27oz/ 8ml) in a travel-friendly spray. Every month, their birdies will deliver your fragrance right to your door.

Scentbird offers gift boxes that include 3 perfume fragrances and a one month subscription to Scentbird free! Our favorite was Miss Pretty, designed for the gal whose motto is, "Excuse me while I politely take over the world." Perfumes include: Lalique's L'Amour, Salvatore Ferragamo's Emozione, and NEST Fragrances' Midnight Fleur. The Miss Pretty set is the perfect complement to the grace and style you put forth! The 3 piece set is $59.95 and can be found at

For the Kitchen Cook Who Hates Doing Dishes: T-Fal Performapro Cookware
We LOVE to cook but cleanup is always the pits! Enter T-Fal's Techno Release technology, a textured interior that creates soft contact zones for easier food release and clean up. We've been using their frypan for the last month for everything from frying to searing to browning, and our cleanup has never been easier!

Performapro Cookware is induction compatible providing even heat distribution and is oven safe up to 500 degrees. Riveted stainless steel handles wrapped in silicone provide a more comfortable secure grip. Made of premium stainless steel, the fry pan is dishwasher safe. The 14 piece cookware set for $99.99 and can be found on

For the Budget Urban Country Girl: BootRoxx Boot Covers
Country girls love their cowboy boots, but not the $600 price tag each time they buy a new pair. Enter BootRoxx. BootRoxx boot covers have the ability to transform your favorite cowboy boots into a lively, sexy new pair. It's as simple as 1-2-3. 1. Get your favorite (or not so favorite) boots. 2. Slip on a pair of BootRoxx. 3. You're ready to go!

For the Kitchen Cook Who Hates Doing Dishes: T-Fal Performapro Cookware
There's a wide variety of choices to jazz up your boots from fringe, to veils for brides and bridesmaids, to rhinestones, rhinestones, and more rhinestones. The Observer's favorite Bootroxx pair is their Sugar Skull boot covers featuring a white rhinestone skull that has red rose flowers for eyes and is decorated with hearts, flowers, with green and pewter winding vines. Placed on smooth black fabric these boot covers have the ability to transform a plain pair of cowboy boots into something perfect to ring in the New Year with that charming cowboy by your side. The Sugar Skull set runs $49.99 and can be found on

For the American Girl (or Guy): I'd Rather Go Commando T-Shirts
Pinups on Tour is committed to providing low or no-cost entertainment for Veterans as part of their Morale Boosting Mission. In addition, proceeds from their shows go to support their work entertaining our nation's veterans inside and outside our nation's VA Hospitals. Along with their shows, Pin-Ups on Tour has a fantastic line of merchandise, so be a little cheeky and show your support with their "I'd Rather Go Commando" t-shirts. Available in Lieutenant Green for the men's sizes and Gunmetal Gray for the ladies. Proudly made in the United States. Pin-Ups on Tour t-shirts are $22 and can be found at

To read the full article check out: 

Friday, December 2, 2016

SM Observer Article: Beachy Casualness: Escaping the Holidays with Hotel MdR

Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer on escaping the Holidays at the Hotel MdR in Marina del Rey!  Check it our below!

Beachy Casualness: Escaping the Holidays with Hotel MdR

By Kat Thomas

It's that time of year! For better or worse, the tidal wave known as the Holidays has crashed onto our shores. But for those looking to escape from the Ho Ho Ho hubbub perhaps a night of beachy casualness at the Hotel MdR is exactly what the Christmas elves ordered.

Equal parts style, comfort, convenience and service, Hotel MdR has set a new standard for Marina del Rey hotels. Peppered with constantly looping surf movies and doggie bowls for men's best friend in the expansive slider filled lobby this DoubleTree by Hilton in Marian de Rey screams beachy contemporary.

The Hotel MdR has 283 newly updated guest rooms and suites worth of relaxation waiting for its Xmas getaway guests featuring brand new plush beds and lighting. The rooms push forward the agenda of casual sophistication with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® brand coffee and tea (and real cream), and a mini-fridge.

The only agenda at Hotel MdR is unwinding. The bed is curated with a Plush Sweet Dreams® mattress by DoubleTree beds and features five jumbo hypo-allergenic pillows. Each room is equipped with a sleek and stylish bathroom, where everywhere you look are smooth flat surfaces. For those looking to exodus with a bubble bath there's a curved shower rod, a hair dryer, and a granite vanity.
Hotel MdR is the perfect gift of fun in a casual setting for anyone wanting to experience the Beach atmosphere without the craziness of Venice or Santa Monica. Hotel MdR is within walking distance of Fisherman's Village, a five minute Uber ride to Venice Beach, and strategically positioned by Loyola Marymount University.

The Hotel MdR is also pet friendly with rooms conveniently located on the first floor, making walks and potty breaks a breeze for man's best friends. Canine comforts include: a welcome treat provided at check-in and a head scratch and paw shake from the general manager.

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