Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Recap: Debbie Durkin’s Eco-Oscars Event Celebrates the 85th Academy Awards

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Actor David Constabile in LINCOLN and USA’s SUITS (Photo Credit: Paul Best)

Charity, gifting, and James Bond summed up this year’s themes for the sustainable Eco-Oscars event production which occurred both February 22 and 23. Media and talent strolled the backyard of a private home in Beverly Hills listening to live music and sampling Jamaican cuisine, as Jamaica Tourism was a proud sponsor of the event.  Did you know Jamaica is where Ian Fleming wrote all 14 Bond novels?

Guests enjoyed authentic Jamaican food from Coley’s Cuisine from North Hollywood and signature cocktails including Agave Underground’s “Charlie Sheen” and other tequila delights, plus The Tennessee Spirits Company poured their three new brands: Jailers™ Premium Tennessee Whiskey, Breakout™ 8-Year Old American Rye Whiskey, and Forbidden Secret Dark Mocha American Cream. As my boyfriend said, “I’m allergic to alcohol. If I have any, I break out in handcuffs.”  Lifeway Foods featured their frozen dessert bar complete with toppings and gift certificates for free pints of Kefir. For more 25 years, Lifeway Foods has been the nation’s top producer of probiotic foods and beverages such as kefir, a tart & tangy cousin to yogurt.

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Fatima Ptacek – star of Oscar nominated short CURFEW (Photo Credit: Paul Best)

Live Music Artist performances benefited a wonderful Charity partner called WE ROCK GREEN MICS, the eco-performance collective from With Our Words, Inc., a youth development nonprofit from Stockton, Calif.  Their Green Celebrity Writing Prompts Project hopes to inspire literacy and artistry to raise awareness about ecology. At-risk students from Stockton, Calif., transform eco-themed ideas from stars in the entertainment industry into original performance poetry.

Some of my favorite product sponsors were on hand – Huggrz Boot Wraps, which I still think are the best stylish sustainable boot invention. Boots are big business in L.A., so who doesn’t want to change up their boot look? Huggrz allows you to pull the faux fur or knitted wraps right over your boots to get a whole new style. Perfect to dress up a pair of boots or just change your look. I recently bought their knitted orange blended weave pair that I use as leg warmers under my boots with a bit of the colored leg warmer popping out of my boots.

Minky super soft plush Couture Blankets showcased their products, as well as, L’arganium was gifting their pure argan oil for your hair and non-greasy argan lotions with orange blossom and lavender.  Our dog Chloe enjoyed the waterless shampoo and conditioner brush kit by John Paul Pet Grooming Packs, which provides you with the basic essentials for grooming your pet’s coat and skin.  We used it on her as soon as we got home, and she already looked shiny, healthy, and new.  Celebrity Jeweler Michael Greene & Co. showcased their bling and guests took home O.P.I. Skyfall James Bond 007 Nail Polish Lacquer Collections.

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Reginald Hudlin – Best Picture – Producer of DJANGO UNCHAINED (Photo credit: Paul West)

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Malik Bendejelloui – Best Documentary – Director of WAITING FOR SUGAR MAN (Photo Credit: Paul West)

Oscar nominee guests included Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture, Django Unchained); Sam Fell & Chris Butler (Best Animated Film, Paranorman); Malik Bendjelloul (Best Documentary – Searching for Sugar Man; Pes (Short Film Animated – Fresh Guacamole) and Seamus McGarvey (Cinematography – Anna Karenina), as well as folks from the Oscar nominated Lincoln and Curfew among others!

 

 

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Peter Gibson with writer Melissa Curtin (Photo Credit: Paul West)

 

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