The Family Sports Cars by Audi

While moms and dads dream of ditching the family car for a more exciting ride, that two-seater hot-rod just won’t cut it in the drop-off line, but parents don’t have to put the breaks on a sexy sedan or convertible that fits the whole family, thanks to two hot-off-the-lien offerings from Audi.

The 2015 Audi S3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro S tronic, developed just for the US market, and 2015 A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FWD S tronic are two beautiful cars that feature seating for four along with Audi’s legendary German engineering and new exciting design lines that make the cars appear in motion, even when parked.

At a recent event at the exquisite luxury retreat Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Sante
Fe, California, the car manufacturer gave a special preview of the vehicles to a rapt audience of lifestyle media writers who also got a turn at driving the cars to and from the resort from Los Angeles.


The S3 ($$41,100) was a pure pleasure to drive, with responsive handling that can be set to the driver’s preference, whether it is dynamic, comfort, or automatically adaptive according to the current driving conditions or custom-tuned to the individual’s style of driving.  The A3 ($35,600) cabriolet was equally thrilling, with the addition of going topless in Southern California’s sunshine, a true indulgence for anyone who loves to drive.

Both cars features the progressive power steering that adapts to type of driving and speed, so that it is as effortless to turn the wheels sharply into a parking spot as it is to change lanes at 65 miles per hour.  Both vehicles also sport Audi’s 6-speed tronic transmission that can be shifted into manual operation for open-road driving — a delight, once you get out of LA traffic.


The Bluetooth programmable navigation/entertainment/media system is loaded with features, including the ability to post to Facebook and tweet through voice command via the car’s built-in SD card reader and Wi-Fi hotspot on AT&T’s 4G network, offered free for six months then at $9 per month. The GPS features Google satellite images, so the driver can zoom in and get a visual on their destination, down to the house number on the front door; and maps can be loaded rom a laptop and saved on the system via a My Audi account.  The cutting-edge technology also features a touch pad incorporated into the dial selector of the navigation system so that a driver can “write” directions using a fingertip as a stylus.


While the Audi is built for speed, these models also abound in comfort features, such as heated seats that hug the passengers and recline and adjust with a myriad of lumbar positions. The cabriolet interior sports fine leather with a special reflective shield that keeps the seat surfaces cool even while driving under the sun.  The convertible top is insulated with an inch-and-a-half thick sound-proofing material making for a quiet rid;, and even while traveling at 30 miles per hour the top can fold away in under 18 seconds into a sleek one-piece molded cover.

While the peppiness of the A3 170 hp and the S3 292 hp engine appeals to Audi lovers who value the race car ride, these cars were also designed for beauty on and off the road.  The designer created a strong, bulked-up rear quarter inspired by the muscular haunches of a wild animal that drives the illusion of movement forward, even when the car is sitting still.


Safety features include round-the-body air bags from the knees up, rearview camera, and automatic functions to close windows and the sunroof and tighten seat belts and move seats into crash positon in the event of an impact.

The Audi reps were enthusiastic about these new cars exceeding expectations of loyal Audi fans attracting many new Audi owners.

At the end of the weekend, the reps headed off in their Audis to the next stop, an 850-mile two-day trek from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to LA on an “efficiency ride” to illustrate how far the A3TDI cars can go on a single tank of gas.  It is hard to believe that a car with such performance is also so incredibly fuel efficient. Go Audi.



Beverly Hills Celebrates Anniversary with Spotlight on Centennial Art Mosaic and Local Artists

Upcoming Beverly Hills artSHOW features 250 Artists, Family Activities, Food, Libations and More featured on October 18 -19

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The Beverly Hills artSHOW is proud to announce its theme and the names of local artists participating in the show on Saturday, October 18, and Sunday, October 19, 2014. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Beverly Hills, the free weekend event will feature a “Time Spent in Dreamland” theme along with local and nationally acclaimed artists highlighted on four blocks of Beverly Gardens.

“The Beverly Hills artSHOW is one of Southern California’s most popular outdoor art events. It features a diverse mix of local talent alongside other popular artists and artisans from around the world,” said Karen McLean, Beverly Hills artSHOW Manager. “The artSHOW is a great opportunity for community members and visitors to see, shop, collect and celebrate an art-filled weekend in Beverly Hills.”

Four returning Beverly Hills artists will participate in the October artSHOW including: Nancy Clavin, locally known for her painting of shoe collections and confections; Sima Furman, a figurative sculptor who works in stainless steel; and Marlene Zimmerman, a local artist who has participated in the show since its start in the fall of 1973. All local artists can be found on the 100 block of Rodeo Drive.

A special Beverly Hills Centennial Art piece will also make its debut to commemorate the City’s 100th anniversary. Using more than 5,200 photos of Beverly Hills people and places, local new media photographer Zale Richard Rubins and his wife Barbara Rubins collected and arranged photos in mosaic tiles for the six-by-six foot composition.  The Centennial Art Mosaic will appear in booth #359A, located near the wine garden.

More than 250 nationally acclaimed artists, a wine and beer garden, gourmet food trucks, live entertainment and family-friendly activities will line the curving pathways of Beverly Gardens for the Beverly Hills artSHOW. Ranging from large-scale painters and printmakers to glass artists and jewelers, artists will be on site to sell and talk with visitors and patrons about their work.

On Sunday, October 19, artSHOW category awards like “Best of Show” and “Most Original Work” will be announced in an afternoon ceremony in front of the iconic Beverly Hills Lily Pond. All artSHOW activities occur at the historic Beverly Gardens and admission to both days is free. Beverly Gardens is located along Santa Monica Blvd., from Rodeo Drive to Rexford Drive. Convenient, inexpensive parking is available during the artSHOW directly across from the show grounds.

The October 2014 artSHOW’s major sponsors include: Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, Infiniti of Beverly Hills, Sotheby’s Real Estate, David Frank Design luxury swings, and AT&T U-Verse.  Media and arts partners include: the Paley Center for Media, the Los Angeles Art Association, Fabrik Magazine, The Whole 9, Yelp, the LA Weekly, KPCC, and the Beverly Hills Conference and Visitor’s Bureau.  Food and beverage partners include: Whole Foods Market, Beck’s Beer, and Premiere Events.  The show’s charitable partner is Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and its sister organization, Healing Art with Kids.

For general information about the 2014 Beverly Hills artSHOW, visit

LA Museum Season Kicks Off to Attract More Museum Visitors to the City

Guest post by Stephanie Houfek

Book two hotel nights from Oct. 6 – Nov. 14 and receive up to 15% off select hotels and get free admission to L.A. museums


This fall, just prior to the start of the city’s famed red carpet Award Season, Los Angeles puts the spotlight on its cultural offerings with the return of “L.A. Museum Season.”  From Oct. 6 – Nov. 14, visitors who book two hotel nights or more for stays during this time period receive two free admissions and museum store discounts at more than 20 premier Los Angeles cultural institutions. For more information visit

“As home to more museums than any other U.S. city, Los Angeles offers permanent and temporary exhibitions for every taste and temperament,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism). “From Picassos to pop hits, dinosaurs to diamonds, cowboys to classical sculpture, L.A.’s museum collections span the gamut.”

Institutions participating in the free admission offer include:  Autry National Center; Craft & Folk Art Museum; GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE; Hollywood Museum; Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens; Kidspace Children’s Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Latin American Art; Museum of Tolerance; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; Norton Simon Museum; Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits; Paley Center for Media; Pasadena Museum of California Art; Skirball Cultural Center; and USS Battleship Iowa.

Additionally, the following institutions offer a discount off museum store purchases: Annenberg Space for Photography Skylight studios; California Science Center; Fowler Museum at UCLA; Getty Center; Getty Villa; Hammer Museum; USC Pacific Museum


–       Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (A savings of $40 on two or more regular adult admissions) – In commemoration of the start of World War I in the summer of 1914, a centennial Posters of the First World War exhibition in the Library’s West Hall through Nov. 3 illustrates how a global war was waged not just by soldiers on battlefields and politicians in offices, but by civilian populations of men, women, and children on the home fronts of combatant nations including Canada, England, France, and the United States.

–       LACMA (A savings of $30 on two regular adult admissions) – Big Quilts in Small Sizes: Children’s Historical Bedcovers features diminutive quilts chosen from the museum’s collection, all of them made for children and presenting strikingly beautiful decorative designs, reflecting the same meticulous stitching and geometric patterns that have been used to create full-size bedcovers in the United States for centuries.

–       Hollywood Museum (A savings of $30 on two regular adult admissions) – Be among the first to enjoy a new collection of sorcery acquisitions from the Harry Potter film franchise including original wands, Harry Potter’s robe, his ultimate broom, blueprints of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and more.

–       Grammy Museum (a savings of $25.90 on two regular adult admissions) – California Dreamin’: The Sounds of Laurel Canyon, 1965-1977, explores the story of the Los Angeles rock scene during this golden age of music, creativity and culture.  See a broad array of items on display including Jim Morrison’s (The Doors) writing chair; Arthur Lee’s (Love) 6 String Flying V guitar; Cass Elliot’s (The Mamas and the Papas) c.1960s, hand painted chair; and original scrapbooks, handbills, and posters.

For more information on arts and culture or all of the endless entertainment options in Los Angeles, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at, and visit and Twitter @discoverLA.

Beauty Press Hosts Spotlight Day Event at Andaz Hotel

Reported by Beauty, Health and Fitness Correspondent Daniel Carrilho

Today at the Andaz Hotel in Hollywood, beauty editors gathered for a special event to learn about the latest beauty products hosted by BeautyPress, the largest international PR network for the beauty industry.

The skincare industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. So when skincare brands come out with new products, they better be extremely effective, novel and preferably devoid of too many chemicals. That’s where Stemology comes in. Made with both human and plant stem cells, Stemology products are infused with StemCore-3™ technology, which is a collagen and elastin boosting complex made of both human and plant stem cells. But that’s not all- the products are packed with skin goodies such as peptides to support collagen, organic aloe to soothe, probiotics, retinol to increase cell turnover, hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate, caffeine to pep and firm, alpha lipoic acid, CoEnzyme Q10 and so much more. It’s a natural but effective line that contains no parabens, phthalates, or GMOs. It’s also cruelty free and uses organic ingredients. This is the future of skincare. Products that are delivered deeply to repair and protect and help boost the body’s own ability to support more youthful looking skin with clinic results.
The line is complete with cleansers, serums, masks and skin


I’m in love with Cailyn Cosmetics’ new Dezzolv’It makeup melt cleansing balm. It starts out as a balm that turns into a luxury oil as it breaks down stubborn makeup on the eyes, lips and face. Then it turns into a creamy milky lotion by adding a few drops of water. It will take off all makeup and leave the skin refreshed, clean, and hydrated. It also has papaya enzymes to help gently exfoliate the skin. It’s a necessity to use this cleansing balm if you’re going to be wearing Cailyn’s new extreme matte tints, which look like an opaque lipstick but dry matte and stay on all day. Perfect for a date night because you won’t need to worry about getting your lipstick everywhere while you eat, drink and chat. Also perfect for those on-the-go gals who don’t have time to reapply.


Mirabella Cosmetics is launching their new holiday line “Faerie” with- you guessed it- sheen and shine! The mineral formulation of their swirling pearl brilliant mineral highlighter uses a PrismaTech shimmer to add a subtle sheen that is both ethereal and hints at healthy looking skin. They also just came out with their new travel brush set, which includes two face and three eye brushes for perfect application on the go. I love Mirabelle products because they are talc-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free. The high quality pigments are made in Italy and are the perfect holiday accessory.