Valli Herman

Journalist, Editor

Location icon United States

Veteran editor and writer covering the luxury lifestyle, including food, travel, business, cannabis, fashion, health care and entertainment in print and online. Multi-tasking communications professional also adept in marketing, content creation, and public relations messaging and photography editing.

Weedmaps News
How Much is the Price of an Eighth Where You Live?

The most affordable place to buy an eighth of weed in August 2019 was once again in Canada, where a combination of a strong American dollar and ample, well-regulated supplies evidently are holding prices in check.

Business Journalism
Rooftops are the new backyards

The backyard barbecue is moving upstairs. And so is the garden, dog run and a whole lot more as rooftops evolve into a new urban playground. As denser development fills city lots with multi-family town houses and apartments, architects and builders are utilizing rooftops in place of scarce outdoor space.

The farm-to-table backlash is here

That chicken-is it local? Fans of Portlandia will recall the sketch from the show's first season, where two absurdly earnest diners badger their waitress on the provenance of their dinner. To reassure them of the chicken's humane and organic bona fides, their server delivers a dossier detailing the bird's diet, weight, parents, birthday, and even his name-Colin.

Target aims to start serving alcohol for the first time

Borrowing from the playbook of upscale grocers such as Whole Foods Market and the East Coast's Wegmans, Target is aiming to serve alcohol right in the store. Angie Thompson, a Target spokesperson, confirmed that the Minneapolis-based retailer applied in August for liquor licenses to sell and serve alcohol at a planned store in near Chicago's Navy Pier.

The Spin Master

A treacherous 200-foot driveway, a $750,000 garage and one too many busted rearview mirrors drove John Thomson into major problem-solving mode. Back in 2004, Thomson was a successful bond trader in Los Angeles when he built a lavish combination garage, guest house, wine cellar and media room.

City National Bank Newsroom
Tip Creep: Why You're Paying 30% More For That Cup of Coffee #thewayup

Whether you're buying a cup of coffee, taking a cab ride or having food delivered, you're probably adding a bigger gratuity than you have in years past. Rising expectations, proliferating tip jars and point-of-sale systems that pre-calculate the gratuity now have people paying more for a broader range of products and services than ever before.

Health and Wellness
A guide to well-rounded wellness vacations

Vacations that boost your physical and mental well-being with a novel combination of adventure experiences, fitness training, no-guilt gourmet meals and stress-busting classes are finding favor with travelers who want to return home better than they left. But wellness can be hard to define, and it may combine several elements.

Los Angeles Times
Yoga? Yes! More, please, especially after Bhakti Fest

It was supposed to be a girlfriend getaway, but a weekend trip to a desert yoga festival transformed my mind, body and skepticism about the benefits of the ancient practice, of which I knew virtually nothing. Naive but limber, I joined two yoga teacher college friends at last September's Bhakti Fest, a unique yoga and music festival at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center.
Consumer devices track sleep for a better night's rest

In a recent Royal Philips survey of nearly 8,000 people in 10 countries, 96% said that sleep is valuable to them, and 57% admitted their sleep could be better but they hadn't taken action to improve sleep. "We really don't prioritize sleep the same way we do exercise and diet," said Dr. Jeffrey Durmer, a sleep medicine expert at Atlanta's FusionHealth.
Trying to get a good night's sleep? Here are some tips

Virtually every prescription for good health and mental wellness emphasizes the importance of sleep, the consistent, deep, restful kind. If only, you say. Many of us settle into bed with our smartphones, tablets and laptops - the latest enemies of sleep.
Social spa-ing is the new golf

IT'S Friday night and the techno beats are bouncing around the dimly lighted room. Perfectly groomed men and gaggles of smartly dressed young women are kicking back with wine, hors d'oeuvres and some pretty intense touching. No one is complaining about the very public interactions, especially not Leonard Lanzi.

Los Angeles Times
It's a purifying day in the neighborhood

In Los Angeles' ethnic communities, there are practically as many ways to unwind as there are languages. It wasn't so long ago that aromatherapy was associated with extreme New Age practitioners, and "massage" conjured thoughts of illicit activity and visits from the vice squad.

Los Angeles Times
Spa-music makers seek respect for music that melts away

In countless spa treatment rooms, therapists knead muscles and array rocks on chakras to the sound of tinkling chimes, muffled chants and meandering guitars. The person lying under the sheets likely will emerge from the treatment calm and relaxed, still smelling the scented massage lotions, but with virtually no recollection of the music wafting through the room.

Life Reimagined
The Aerial Entrepreneur

It was a unique and life-defining change: After 11 years in the classroom as a public school teacher in Los Angeles, 50-year-old John Midby became a real estate developer working with The Midby Companies, his father's West Coast firm. At first glance that's hardly an earth-shattering transformation.

Travel Journalism

Orange Coast
How Visiting Costa Rica This Month Means Big Surf and Less Rain

In March, the peak dry season in Costa Rica offers travelers bigger surf, better chances to spot wildlife as trees drop their leaves, and sparse rain-particularly in the more arid province of Guanacaste. The large, northwestern area surrounding the city of Liberia is a rapidly developing destination for active, nature-loving travelers who can hike through rainforests, snorkel in calm bays, and soak in thermal springs.
Want to to get a bigger charge out of that cycling trip? Hop on a e-bike

In June, Mark Werksman and his wife, Leslie, bicycled with their adult children throughout Italy's Tuscany for a week and loved the experience so much they signed up for a Canadian trip three months later. This summer, the Werksman family is set for another trip, this one through Provence in southeastern France.

Luxury Vacations That Take You Out of the Tourist Bubble

In a globalized world, it can be hard to find a restaurant, coffee shop or even a hotel room that doesn't remind you of back home. For a growing number of travelers, though, the sameness is a bit of a turn off. They crave "authentic" experiences and want a taste of local culture.

Orange Coast
Perfect Getaway: Who knew you could find good, clean fun in Sin City?

Sure, it's the place where all-night parties, gambling, and overindulgence can spark really regrettable behavior. Yet the city that's launched a billion hangovers also is in the cure business. Hotels including the Mandarin Oriental, the Trump Hotel, Vdara, The Signature at MGM Grand, and the Las Vegas Marriott forbid smoking.

Orange Coast Magazine
Perfect Getaway: Where Passion Is Always in Fashion

With February comes the pressure to celebrate-or the freedom to ignore-Valentine's Day. Whether you're blissfully paired, or happily flying solo, journey to the city that celebrates the lives and works of a romantic couple for all-Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Fashion Journalism
Fashioning the couture costumes of 'Phantom Thread'

Costume designer Mark Bridges earned his third Oscar nomination last month for his work on "Phantom Thread," the Paul Thomas Anderson film that explores the strict and intricate dynamics of a 1950s couture fashion house and its inhabitants.
Finally! Now there's premium denim for plus-sized women, thanks to SLINK Jeans

A model wearing a T-shirt that reads "Believe in Yourself"--the "be" and "you" in red letters--embodies just one of new premium denim line SLINK's body-positive messages. As significant, the model is wearing a pair of the new line's fashionable, fitted jeans made especially for plus-size figures.
Get Beautiful in Your Sleep

Not every beauty routine requires conscious effort. Here's how to get the best of your beauty rest.
The Powerful Pull of Cinderella

There may be no better recruitment tool for the costume design field than the fairy tale "Cinderella." It's not uncommon to discover that many would-be costume designers had their first inkling of glamour's power when they see Cinderella transformed by her princess ball gown and glass slippers.

Costume Designers Guild
The Look of "The Knick"

It all began with the white boots. In the first moments of the new Cinemax series, "The Knick," the camera opens on the pale, loosely laced, cap toe boots of a mysterious someone reclining in a hazy, sexy setting-an opium den.

Feature Story

For two young Brits, the sci-fi drama "The Man Who Fell to Earth" offered career-altering firsts. The 1976 film was David Bowie's first dramatic role. It also was May Routh's first position as Costume Designer after some years as an assistant.

Food Journalism

Orange County Register
Breaking the cycle of poverty one meal at a time

A vivid red food truck summoned children from the playground at a Santa Ana after-school program with a loud burst of its distinctive horn: Aah-oooh-gah. A burly, bearded guy with a clean-shaven head steered Betsy, his 1986 truck, into a nearby parking lot where portable tables were set for dinner under pop-up tents.

Grocery of the Future: The Right Food at the Right Moment on Aisle 4

In a toasted, locally baked bun, a braised carrot topped with tamarind chutney slaw, cilantro, and avocado stands in for a conventional hot dog in the prepared foods section of the new grocery store format 365 by Whole Foods. The $6 vegan sandwich ordered via a digital touch screen is a symbol of things to come in the grocery business.
The McDonald's of the future lets you customize your burgers

Except for a small, horizontal, black-and-white sign that reads "Create Your Taste," you wouldn't know that on a fairly bleak corner of downtown Los Angeles, McDonald's has stealthily opened the only L.A. outlet that offers a new, automated program to customize burgers. The Create Your Taste program arrived this spring at the McDonald's at 201 W.

LA Weekly
At The Royce, Langham Huntington's New Restaurant: "Molecular Is Over"

Wander down the hallway of the Langham Huntington, Pasadena, past the thick brocades and the crystal chandeliers and suddenly, you're confronted with the glowing black and glass door frame that is the new entrance to the new restaurant, The Royce. The former Dining Room at the former Pasadena Ritz-Carlton is...

Los Angeles Times
Dweezil makes a brisket

Performing, it seems, is great preparation for cooking under pressure. Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb are the coolest of cooks. Neither is the least bit flummoxed that smoke rises from the roasting asparagus or that the new macaroon recipe creates what Zappa calls "alien macaroons."

Los Angeles Times
You can still schmooze at Chasen's, darling

WALK the aisles of the Bristol Farms That Used to Be Chasen's, and you have to wonder how Albertson's, the new owner of the chain of 11 gourmet markets, is going to understand the place. Albertson's is based in Boise, Idaho, with 2,500 stores and $35 billion in sales.

Lifestyle Journalism
These animal lovers rush to the rescue for unwanted pets

It's drag queen bingo night at Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille, and a sold-out crowd has gathered in the West Hollywood restaurant to have fun while raising money for the evening's designated nonprofit beneficiary, Pug Nation Rescue L.A. Before Porsha, mistress of ceremonies, begins calling out numbers, the pug fans share cellphone photos of their flat-faced dogs.
What 'The Post' gets right about 1970s newsrooms

When you're creating a movie about telling the truth, every element needs to feel exactly right. In "The Post," Steven Spielberg's recounting of the Pentagon Papers leak, the level of period detail, particularly in the sets and costumes, tells yet another story - how journalism got done in 1971.

Author Alan Bradley Wrote His First Bestseller at 71

January, 2015 Known as the creator of Flavia de Luce, a precocious, preteen sleuth with deductive skills beyond her years, mystery writer Alan Bradley has enjoyed a publishing success story that incongruously suggests that wisdom comes with age. Retired in his mid-fifties, the former radio and television engineer set to work reinventing himself as a writer.

Public Relations Projects
Grimmway Farms website

Baby carrots are a Grimmway specialty. I edited and rewrote the entire website.

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