11 Entertaining

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Last Minute Theater Tickets

If you need to find last-minute tickets to Broadway shows in NYC, and I mean tickets for shows the same day, it all depends on how much you are willing to pay, how much you are willing to wait and how much risk you are willing to take. If everything goes your way, you might even luck into discounted Broadway tickets, first-class seating or hit shows that you would never have been able to get into earlier.
The secret is to show up 10 minutes before the show starts. There are often prime seating available because theaters save VIP seating, in case a VIP guest shows up. And if they don’t, you could have those seats and at a heavily discounted price.

Another popular, proven option is to procure Standing Room Only tickets. Depending on the theater, SRO entails buying discounted tickets from the theater’s box office either when it opens the morning of the performance, or just before the show begins. While the number of SRO tickets varies from performance to performance, and are never guaranteed, if you’re among the first in line, your wallet will reap the benefits: these tickets can go for as little as $20-$30.

Resource: timeout.com/newyork/

Cleaning Up and Saying Good Night


Whether or not to accept a guest’s offer to help with the dishes depends on the company and the occasion. It’s fine to allow friends at an informal gathering to lend a hand cleaning up. However, the clean-up following a more formal event should not begin until after the last guest has left.

And what if the party goes on too long? Typically, guests aren’t expected to stay longer than three hours at a dinner. If they do, the best way to hint that it’s time to leave is to start cleaning up! If that doesn’t work, you should feel free to say directly that it was lovely to see them but now you are exhausted and ready to go to bed. As you walk them to the door, you can thank them for coming and add that you hope to spend time together again soon.

-excerpt from LOLA, page 153

Get Knitting!


Disclaimer: We loved DesignSponge’s How To Knit post so much we just had to copy/paste it all here. Please visit their amazing site for so much more! Who wouldn’t want to pick up a needle and some yarn after checking out these super easy illustrations?!

Illustrations by Caitlin Keegan. Photo by Maxwell Tielman.

If you haven’t attempted knitting, it can seem pretty terrifying. You might have watched friends or family members do it — their pointy needles swinging at lightning speed through a tangled mass of yarn — and worried deeply for their eyes and internal organs. You might be a crafting commitment-phobe, horrified at the idea of a task taking over a day (or a week! or a month!) to complete. You might also be generally inept when it comes to most craft projects and fear that, if let anywhere near a ball of yarn, you might just end up with a knotted, disfigured mess. I need to tell you — that was me when I first decided, at the age of 15, to knit. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it, but there was something so charming and quaint about the craft that I was absolutely determined to master it.

While I still haven’t quite mastered the art of knitting in its entirety, I can say with some sense of self-assurance that I can knit. And it’s really not that bad! In fact, it’s a wonderful way to spend a chilly January day, much like the ones we’re experiencing right now. Whenever I’m watching TV or on a long road trip, I pull out my needles and yarn and let my mind wander while my hands move. Much like yoga or meditation, knitting allows me to clear my head and calm my body. I also end up with something to wear that’s both adorable and entirely handmade!

January, with its post-holidays chill, has always seemed the perfect time to start a knitting project. Because of this, we’ve decided to kick off a month of weekly knitting features starting with the bare-bones basics of knitting (aka, “how to knit a scarf”). While the following guide by no means encompasses everything there is to know about knitting (that could fill an entire book!), these simple steps will help you get off the ground. — Max

More on the basics of knitting after the jump . . .

Once you’ve purchased your yarn and the needle size that matches it, the absolute first step of any knitting project is making a slipknot.

1. To make a slipknot, pull a length of yarn from your ball and twist it so it makes a loop. Then, pull a another loop of yarn from the open end of your strand through your first loop. The result should look like the image above.

2. Insert one of your knitting needles through the loop of your knot and pull the strands of yarn on either side to tighten. Make sure there is about one foot of yarn on the end that isn’t attached to your ball. You’ll use this length of yarn to cast on your stitches.

Casting on is the next step in setting up your knitting project. The amount of stitches you cast on for your project will determine its overall starting width. When making a scarf, for example, I usually cast on about 20 stitches.

1. With your knitting needle in your right hand, wrap a loop of yarn from your open strand around your left thumb as pictured above.

2. Insert your knitting needle under the loop on your left thumb.

3. Pull a piece of the strand from the side attached to your ball of yarn over the top of your knitting needle as shown above.

4. With your left hand, lift the loop made by your left thumb over the piece of yarn you just placed over it.

5. Pull your left-hand strand to tighten it. That’s it! Repeat the last five steps for each stitch you want to cast on. When you’re done, there will be a little bit of yarn hanging off the end of your needle. That’s fine. You’ll be able to weave it through your design or cut it off at the end of your project.

The knit stitch is the most basic stitch of the knitting process. Stitching is essentially the process by which you turn a ball of yarn into a length of knitted fabric.

1. With your cast-on needle in your left hand, insert your other knitting needle’s point under the first stitch at the top of your cast-on needle.

2. Bring the strand from your ball over your right-hand needle as shown above.

3. With your right-hand needle, bring your strand underneath and throughthe top stitch. With this new loop of yarn secured on your needle, lift the top stitch off your left needle.

4. Pull the strand of your working yarn tight to secure the stitch. Repeat until each stitch from your left-hand needle has been brought to your right-hand needle. Continue this process until your fabric has reached your desired length.

Casting off is the final step needed to complete your knitting project. It binds off all your stitches and prevents your project from unraveling.

1. Knit two stitches onto your right-hand needle.

2. Push your left-hand needle’s point under the second stitch from your right-hand needle’s point as shown above.

3. With your left-hand needle, pull the second stitch on your right side overthe first stitch.

4. Pull the second stitch off the needle and tighten your working yarn. You’ve now cast off one of your stitches. Repeat steps 1–4 of this section until all your stitches are cast off. Cut your project from your ball of yarn and knot the remaining strand through your final stitch to secure it. Cut off the excess strands from either side of your project or weave them through a few rows of stitches on your project. Ta-da! That’s it! Knitting 101 completed!

Setting the Table


To learn more about how to entertain guests, keep scrolling down or Chapter 11 in LOLA Lots of Love Always has some great tips!

Outdoor Movie
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I love this improvised movie cinema that was set up in Madagascar for the kids! It looks so magical.
There is something so special about watching a movie outdoors on a warm summer evening… It’s not too late to find an outdoor movie playing near you.
Or, if you are inspired to host a movie screening at home, here are some great tips on how to do just that: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/throw-a-fabulous-outdoor-movie-118642

Mini Vases


Yogurt jars make wonderful mini flower vases! Group them together for a bigger effect and add one flower head per vase such as daisies, ranunculus, anemones, gerbera daisies, or spicy scented nasturtiums like the ones in the images. If sitting down for a meal, scatter them around the table for a colorful effect.



This blockbuster exhibition is the first to examine Frida Kahlo’s keen appreciation for the beauty and variety of the natural world, as evidenced by her home and garden as well as the complex use of plant imagery in her artwork. Featuring a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and works on paper, this limited six-month engagement also reimagines the iconic artist’s famed garden and studio at the Casa Azul, her lifelong home in Mexico City.



See at the New York Botanical Garden till November 1, 2015.

Corita Kent at the Pasadena Museum of Art


If you happen to live in Southern California or are planning on visiting before November 1st, 2015, stop by the Pasadena Museum of Art and see the show:

Someday is now: The Art of Corita Kent
Corita Kent is one of Los Angeles’s most popular artists of the last century. She was a prolific artist and erstwhile nun, who produced more than 50 of her sought after Pop art prints in a couple of weeks. From 1938 to 1968, Kent lived and worked at the Immaculate Heart College, and under her leadership, the art department became a hotbed of the counterculture. Kent’s lectures were often proceeded by films, including those by Francois Truffaut. Field trips were taken to the office of Mid-century designers Ray and Charles Eames.
Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 E. Union St., Pasadena, Ca

Game On!


Know what’s cool again? Games like cards, backgammon, scrabble and chess. Playing games stimulates your mind and builds closer bonds between all participants.


Why not host a regular card night? Make it a potluck meal as well, and all the guests bring a dish to share
Game on!

Pot Luck Dinner


Three Tips to plan a perfect potluck event with friends:

1-Choose a theme
Without a question, I have found guests rally and truly bring their A-game when a potluck has a theme. Whether it’s international cuisine or region (“Mediterranean”, “India”) or plant based dishes, having a cohesive theme creates a unified meal.
2-Ask guests to rsvp
This way, even if a theme has been carved out, you’ll avoid overlap and repetition. Everyone loves hummus, but a Mediterranean-themed potluck composed of nothing but the beloved bean dip makes for a one-note meal.
3-Have a back-up plan
Inevitably, someone will leave their dish at home or not have time to cook. As the host, be sure to have some extra cheese and crackers, or even an entire dish of your contribution, to the meal on hand. 
Tips by Ashley English from her book Handmade Gatherings, and featured in Mother Earth Living/September/October 2014

Holiday Decorations

A natural resource and lovely colorful table decoration for the holidays can be found at your local grocery store!


Just use acrylic paints, to first paint a base coat on the tangerine. Let it dry and then paint another color over it. Use a sharpie pen to draw the finer designs.

The Uncommons

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I was in NYC recently and I walked right by The Uncommons. It was packed at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon. LOLA featured a story about The Uncommons last March and I’m so happy to have seen it not only in person but that it’s clearly very popular!
Open from 8:30AM to midnight on weekdays and till 1 am on weekends, The Uncommons offers a full menu of food, drinks, and some of the best local espresso and coffee. $5+tax covers unlimited gaming, so you can sample as many games as you want to try. We even have a private “Board Room” available for rent- the perfect place for a birthday party. And we sell games too, with both classics and modern favorites available to take home. Check out our Menu and Game Library, and definitely reach out if you have any requests or suggestions!


Puzzle Time

Depending where you live in the world, it could be cooling off or warming up outside. No matter what the weather is, it’s always a good time to get a puzzle going on a table out of the way, where you and your family or/and friends can put this beautiful puzzle together one piece at a time. It’s a wonderful way to spend quality down time with someone you care about or for some needed alone time.

Trend Alert: Reusing Glass Jars Is In!


Reuse jam jars, vintage bottles, and glass food storage jars as flower vases. Glass jars keep things tidy, look pretty in a group, and won’t damage fabric or wooden surfaces. Group them together for effect or spread them out around your home for extra color!

Entertain -with Board Games


Put down your smartphones and play Monopoly, Dominos or Backgammon! Board games are cool and so much so that sales of the tabletop games have jumped 15 to 20 % in the past 3 years. In New York City, a few business owners are hoping to get gamers to their brick-and-mortar stores where people can play hundreds of games. You can play them at home, or at a casual lunch, on the grass, under the umbrella or in a teepee! Have fun!

One of the participating stores in NYC that offers games as well as coffee is:

The Uncommons: 230 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Launched: October 2013
Library: About 350 games
Details: Kids and adults welcome.
Located in the old Village Chess Shop near NYU. Sells games, coffee, and snacks.

Read all about it and to find more places



Knitting is being embraced by people from all walks of life who benefit from its peaceful, relaxing repetition. What’s really going on when people knit? Why is it so tremendously popular? Knitting has tremendous health benefits and makes people feel good in just about every way.

Read more about it in Katherine Martinko’s piece here.

Don’t miss Fiber Shed in Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Fibershed activities are a living model of how “slow fashion” garment and textile production can function hand-in-hand with global and personal health, principles of sustainability, local economies, and regional agriculture.


Bon Appetit!
When throwing any size lunch or dinner, using mismatched napkins add a dose of fun and character to your set up. As long as they are clean and nicely folded together, you can use any color combinations or patterns that you love.


A great idea! I found and saved this image on how to make your own cake toppers by drawing a picture, then cutting it out. If you want to save the original, photocopy and print it on card stock. Tape or glue the cut out to a wooden skewer. For a bigger impact, use a grouping. Seems so easy, fun and a wonderfully creative way to personalize a birthday cake for someone special.

 Please send an image to LOLA of what you made and we’ll post it here!


How to thrown a stress-free dinner party, get all the useful, tried and tested tips, here.

11 how to throw dinner party

How to Throw A Dinner Party like a Gorgeous French Blogger

To read Mimi Thorisson’s blog, Manger, or scroll through her Instagram feed is to realize that someone stole your fantasy life.

You know, the one where you’re a stunning woman who lives with her beautiful family in a rambling French farmhouse. When not antiquing and visiting winemakers and food artisans, you perfect the classic recipes you grew up eating with your mother’s family in the South of France during your visits from Hong Kong.  Your handsome photographer husband captures each dish in mouthwatering detail on your just-right vintage tableware. You get an American book deal. A French TV show. Everything you do seems so perfect. So…nonchalant.


Well, you can’t be Mimi Thorisson (okay, the six kids and 14—yes, 14—dogs might be a bit much). But you can at least learn to entertain like her. Which is why we visited her in Médoc, the wine region just north of Bordeaux.

For this former journalist and mother of four—six if you count the stepkids—dinner parties aren’t about matching gold-rimmed porcelain and Michelin-worthy food. They’re about everyone having a good time—including her. And that means doing almost everything ahead of time, from setting out the (mismatched) platters to preparing the food. “As my mother put it when I was learning to cook, ‘Spend the least possible time in the kitchen. Otherwise, how can you entertain your guests?’” Thorisson says. “That’s why I always make sure to prepare the dishes in advance, so all I have to do are a few little last-minute arrangements—say, add cheese-topped toasts to crocks of onion soup and put them in the oven for a few minutes until browned and bubbling before bringing them to the table.”

The food she selects for her parties is not only local and seasonal, it’s convivial: After nibbling salty, meaty treats from the legendary Basque charcutier Louis Ospital, whose pork products are served at the best restaurants in Paris, and playing pétanque on the lawn, friends serve themselves from pots and platters of comforting classics that tend toward the decadent.

“It’s about abundance and a sense of being spoiled,” she says. “If people aren’t rolling out our door at the end of the night, the meal wasn’t a success.”


dining table228

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