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Melissa’s Story

A DIFFERENT TYPE OF BLOG POST

Teresa and I decided that along with our social events and get together with friends, we would add some personal stories to our blog. It’s easy to assume from our writing about galas, birthday parties, fundraisers, and other social gatherings there is a superficial air about us all. There isn’t.  We don’t take what we are blessed with lightly. We don’t take our family and friends for granted. When we are out we actually discuss sensitive topics that are heartfelt and painful.

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Starting Again

It’s been awhile since words were put to this blog.  Is it because it’s the busy season here in Palm Springs for charity events, parties, social get togethers? Or is it because things become overwhelming even during wonderful moments, cherished memories, and beautiful sunsets?

Some might feel that you only need a break when times are tough, but there’s nothing wrong with stepping back to take a good long look at what you see in front of you while life is pretty damn good.

So first, let’s take a quick walk through some of the events that happened during the “break”.

There were birthdays to celebrate, Oscar parties to attend, fabulous dinners to enjoy, Drag Brunches to be a part of, and, charity meetings to organize.

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Teresa, Sabastian, and Melissa at 849 Restaurant

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Tim, Melissa, Walton, Greg, Frank, Teresa, Marc at 849

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At the beautiful home of Lori Weiner who has a wonderful charity for rescuing dogs

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Parties tends to continue at Walton’s awesome home

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Charity event at Venus de Fido for the Parkinson’s Resource Organization

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Teresa and Tristan at an Oscar’s Party

 

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Melissa’s mom, Diane speaking at an event where she was one of the honorees. Blackhawk Culinary created the dinner event along with other chefs to raise money for the American Cancer Society

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Meeting of the minds for the Desert Spirit Gala

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Final ACS Desert Spirit meeting before the big event!

 

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Melissa with the Rick Springfield group at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida

 

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Melissa hanging with the RS girls in Nashville

 

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Dinner with Radio host Bill Feingold at Pirch

Every one of the events, dinners,  and meetings we attend gives us tremendous moments to remember filled with adored friends and fabulously new people to meet.

There were two huge fundraisers we were a part for many months where our cups  had runneth over! However, giving back and working to help others is really what is top priority.

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Auctioneers John Callahan and Johnny Bench

The  28th American Cancer Society Desert Spirit Gala was the first to fill the cup. It was held at the beautiful Heckmann Estate in Rancho Mirage, California where 13 restaurants served delicious cuisine.  Over 450 people enjoyed the theme of Palms to Pineapples with hula dancers, enticing drinks, and lively music. Bobbie Eakes began the program with her stunning voice along with the band New Sensations. Led by our always supportive emcee, news reporter Karen Devine, the evening embraced the inspirational honoree Erin Burnham along with the Spirit of the Mission honorees Dr. Khanna and Dr. Ihde. Money was raised for local services thanks to the hilarious duo Johnny Bench and John Callahan.  Pictures below by photographers Marc Glassman, Kelly Emmer, and Luis Gavela.

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Emcee Karen Devine

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Bobbie Eakes

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Honoree Erin Burnham and husband Timothy Burnham

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Rebecca, Teresa, Brenda, Walton, and Frank

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Spa Girl owner on right, Karen Haines with Lori Nelson

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Most of the ACS Desert Spirit committee

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The beautiful Heckmann Girls

Another tremendous event held, once again, at the Heckmann Estate ( yes, they are very giving people!) was the Ball Goes PRO evening for the Parkinson’s Resource Organization. The evening was filled with arcade games, photo booth, shopping, yummy food,  signature drinks, and comedy by Sean Kanan and Jackie Flynn.  The live auction was abundant with exciting items that triggered bid wars as a video drone flew overhead to capture it all.

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Host and Leader Dan Ball, Wendy and Dick Heckmann

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Tristan and Teresa

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Melissa and sister Shannon

 

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Kenn, Bunny Jo, and Fynn Gray

 

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Dan Ball, PRO President Jo Rosen, Wendy and Dick Heckmann

 

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Opening comedy act Sean Kanan

Some of this may seem superficial to many, but for us it’s about giving back when you can, spending times with family and friends to create moments to place in our treasure chest of memories, and meeting new people who enrich our lives and tell us inspiring stories.

The next few posts will be about those who have touched our hearts, opened our eyes wider, and who have brought substance to our outlook on life.

So, we hope you stay with us and follow the stories.  Perhaps one of them will be like a hand you needed to hold or a hug to let you know you aren’t alone.

 

AndrewNeiderman

Good Ghostwriters Are Possessed

Good Ghostwriters Are Possessed
By Andrew Neiderman

There is a growing phenomenon in the publishing industry: continuing the works of dead authors, but for me it’s not very new. I’ve been writing V.C. Andrews for over 30 years now and continue with books scheduled for publication into and beyond 2019. Recently, the producer I work with in Hollywood, Dan Angel of Everywhere Studios and I, after years and years of pounding the beat, saw five earlier V.C. Andrews novels produced and aired on Lifetime with a sixth now in the works. Please remember. This is a book franchise in its 37th year, consistently published with two or three titles every year since the publication of Flowers in the Attic.

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LEARNING TO FLY AT SIXTY

By Michele Mahoney

This title may imply that I am becoming a pilot in my sixties.  Not true.  What I am becoming in my sixties is a Yoga arm balance junkie.   In fact, my goal is to learn a minimum of one new arm balance a year until I drop dead or become incapacitated in some other manner.  I would like to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest woman alive with the ability to balance on her arms.

True Friends Feed The Soul

The Cambridge Dictionary states the meaning of a friend as: person you know well and like a lot, but who is usually not a member of your family

That seems so vague to me, plus there are family members that I DO consider my friends. So Blah on that definition. 

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The Webster Dictionary States the meaning of a friend is: one attached to another by affection or esteem;one that is not hostile

Hmm, again too generic for me plus not sure about the word esteem being used to describe a friend.  I know it means a higher form of respect, which is a must in my friendships, but for me it conjures up a vision of someone being better than another. 

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The Urban Dictionary definition of a true friend : A true friend is someone who has touched your heart and will stay there. Someone you care for, who cares for you. Someone you can do the stupidest things around and always be forgiven. Someone you’ll instantly remember in ten years because they are in your heart and not just your mind. They have the ability to change you, even if they don’t. They will be etched in your memories forever.

I like this one more, but let’s add honesty, sincerety, loyalty and encouragement (not just with the stupid things). 

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But what constitutes a friend in your eyes? What constitutes a true friend?

Aristotle described a true friend as a “single soul dwelling in two bodies”.  It’s like having “another self” according to him. HMMMM…sounds so narcissistic.

For me the definition of friendship has changed from my teens/twenties to now my fifties.  Perhaps it’s because I don’t have the patience anymore for the cliques, for the phoniness, for the “what can I get out of you” friends.

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I have learned in my mature age that I shouldn’t expect much from the people in my life. That’s not fair to them.  I shouldn’t expect someone else to be responsible for my own happiness and well-being. That’s not their job.

First, I must be a friend to myself. I have to respect myself, be honest with myself, and honor my own words with my actions.  Once I can do that, then I have the right to ask the same of those who I call friends.

These are the following attributes I see a true friend possessing.   I am not saying what I believe is the absolute meaning, but I think I am pretty close to sharing the same beliefs (and hopes) for what constitutes a true friend for most people.

  •  A  real friend has common interests, but supports you in the ones you don’t have in common:  The fake friend will make fun of you or discourage you from pursuing activities they don’t care to partake in. A real friend will encourage you to go for it! They give you permission to be yourself and love you for it.
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  • A real friend will have your back: They will support you and stand by you no matter what, but will be honest with you when they see you going down the wrong path or making an unwise decision. They will defend you around others speaking negatively about you and tell you to your face when you are being a bitch.  I have a friend I have known since the eighth grade who I have the utmost trust in. She was never shy about telling me an outfit looked bad on me (or slutty), always told me when it looked good, and said to my face what others might have said behind my back.

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  • A true friend will be there when you fail and remind you of who you are and bring you up by tapping into your inner strength and beauty. They will rekindle your confidence. A true friend will SINCERELY celebrate when you succeed; screaming to the world how proud they are of you. 636038072493527809-2040273140_dear-friend-you-keep-on-going-even-when-the-going-is-tough-and-painful-and-truly-hard-im-proud-of-you-and-im-in-your-corner-cheering-you-on-ba888
  • True friends laugh with you and sometimes even at you.  It’s great having friends you can be obnoxious to just for the sake of being silly, having innocent fun, or, for some, it’s their way of being affectionate. You just have to know the difference between mean, jealous insults and silly teasing.  Go with your gut on this one.  It’s their way of keeping us humble! 11407173_855608074523729_3403646365806545116_n a7d0e4c3aa8a4f6721a07d76945e93c8
  • Real friends also cry with you. Those who won’t leave you when things get dark and painful are true friends. They are there when their love and support is all that can get you through rough times.“If one day you feel like crying… call me I don’t promise that I will make you laugh but I can cry with you. If one day you want to run away Don’t be afraid to call me. I don’t promise to ask you to stop, but I can run with you. If one day you don’t want to listen to anyone call me I promise to be there for you but I also promise to remain quiet but… If one day you call and there is no answer… come fast to see me.. Perhaps I need you.” ~ Robert J. Lavery
  • True friends don’t have an ulterior motive for being in your life. This one has become a HUGE one for me as an adult. This is a tricky one in the beginning to notice, so go with your instinct. Are they your friend because you are popular or know famous people? Take note of what they talk about when they are with you and that might give you a clue. Are they your friend because you have more money than they do? Again, take notice of when they want to hang with you and what they talk about. Are you just a convenience: giving them rides when needed; advancing their business endeavors because of your popularity; only call when they need something? Do they give back to you? Unfortunately, I have had enough experience with this that I feel as if I am becoming a professional at detecting phoniness.  Hopefully, you are just good friends and the “benefits” happen naturally!

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The following ones below might not be that big of a deal to you, but for me they can give  a clear insight of who a person truly is inside: 

  •   A true friend knows better than to post an unflattering picture of you online. When in doubt they ask first before posting! This might sound superficial, but think about it.  A person who throws a fit about a bad picture of them being posted online, yet doesn’t think twice about posting an awkward photo of you, is someone who is either self-absorbed, jealous of you, or doesn’t think about others’ feelings.  You might not put this one on your list, but for me it’s about the actions, not just the words. when-its-an-ugly-pic-of-u-but-ur-friend-2141644
  • There is no “keeping track” of who paid for what when, who did what for whom or who asked the other to do something last time. This goes back to:  are they friends for ulterior motives or does it all just come naturally?

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  • Your real friends are secure enough to allow you to be friends with others; to spend one on one time with other friends; and to make new friends.
  • The smallest gestures show you how much they care: Making sure you get home safely; waiting with you as you tie your shoes for the upteenth time; going with you to the bathroom for the hundreth time; helping to clean up your house after a party; they drop everything to come over and hang with you when you are having a bad day. I could go on, but I think you get it.

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Reading all this makes it seem like quite a task to be a true friend, but really it isn’t if it’s meant to be a real friendship.  Making the time, putting in the energy, laughing, crying, talking about bathroom issues, supporting each other, embracing each other’s quirks, forgiving easily, being comfortable with dressing like a slob around each other, not caring if the house is a mess when they arrive, and just basically wanting to make each other better people.

I have had two people in the past couple years say to me that they are too old to make anymore friends.  That seems so final and sad. If I were to follow that I would never have met some of the truest friends I have today. This once VERY shy person now thrives on meeting new personalities and learning from their experiences.

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I am blessed to have TRUE friends who have all of these qualities. Some I haven’t seen in a while, but I know they are there for me at the a drop of a hat and I for them.  Some I am lucky to see often.  But mostly, I am grateful for when they call me their real friend. I don’t take these people for granted. I cherish them and embrace how they have contributed to making me a better person and my life a more enriched one.

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Oh, and of course, this!

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Sparkles, Fun, and Yum!

We LOVE Palm Springs as you can see, but it’s the people and the businesses that truly put that sparkle in our social tiaras!

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On this Jewels portion of our blog, we will do shout outs to these places, products, and people that bring us joy, fun times, and cherished moments.

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So come and take a peek into our Jewels and perhaps you will join us in the passion we have for them!

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RM Inspired Designs

One of our dear friends and talented jewelry artist has a fantastic line for both women and men.

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Renae Madore’s creative influence comes from the sophisticated lifestyle, majestic landscapes, and the legendary glamour of Palm Springs.  Many of her ideas are inspired by the trend-setting style of the Southern California fashion scene.

 

Popular Chain Necklace created with Swarovski Crystals

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Renae is very passionate about her jewelry. She states that the imaginative and intricate effort needed to create each piece is very therapeutic and a wonderful way to express herself.

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Renae mostly uses semi-precious stones to design her pieces, but can customize just about anything to the customer’s liking.  In fact, she has had the opportunity to customize pieces for Sharon Stone, Cindy Crawford, Linda Gray, Bebe Neuwirth, and Lanie Kazan.

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With Cindy Crawford

RM Inspired Designs is not only loved by the Palm Springs Princesses, but many popular personalities and beloved community members in our valley.

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Actress and Singer Bobbie Eakes wearing a gray shell with crack-marble stone beaded RM Design necklace

 

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Bold and the Beautiful actress Kimberlin Brown in a photo shoot wearing the popular RM Inspired Design chain necklace

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Actress Judith Chapman at the Daytime Emmys wearing the RM Design Swarovski necklace and earrings

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Actress Kinsey Packard modeling an RM Inspired Design

Her men’s line has become a hot commodity! Check out some of these pieces below:

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Actor Tristan Rogers ( and hubby of PS Princess Teresa) showing off his lava beads with silver stretch bracelet.

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Men’s Buddha bracelet sitting happily on artist’s Mike Emory’s wrist!

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Local personality Dan Ball showcasing a RM Inspired Design Men’s bracelet.

Renae’s designs are classic, glamorous, sophisticated, whimsical, and timeless.  Check out more designs here and by contacting Renae:

Contact info:
Instagram: @RMInspiredDesigns
Facebook: RM Inspired Designs
Etsy:  www.etsy.com/shop/rminspireddesigns
Email: renaemadore@aol.com

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We think RM Inspired Designs is a Princess Jewel! Hope you will, too!

 

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Renae’s trunk show to fundraise for charity

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Smokin’ Burgers

10985914_953594491339815_4900490173151525822_nThere are many incredible restaurants in the Palm Springs area to enjoy, but one of our very favorites is Smokin’ Burgers.

Located in the Smoke Tree Village on the corner of East Palm Canyon Drive and Sunrise you will find Smokin’ Burgers & Lounge.  The cozy and casual ambience of the restaurant makes it a local favorite to go to any day of the week. The owners Erin and Huey Burnham are two of the most giving and caring people in the community. They are a part of a number of non-profit charities and have held multiple fundraisers in their establishment.

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The menu offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, tacos, chicken wings, and, obviously, fabulously handcrafted burgers.  The burgers are made from 100% Angus beef that is never frozen. If you aren’t into beef, they have chicken, turkey, or veggie patties to replace the angus burger.

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Teresa and Melissa at Smokin’ Burgers

Now we have eaten here more times than we can count at this point, so we will write about our go to meals.

First, we ALWAYS begin with drinks and the potato chips. Melissa loves the chips with the blue cheese dip, but it comes with ranch and ketchup. If you are a barbeque lover, you can ask for that type of sauce dip. We usually end up ordering a second one since they are so yummy and devoured quickly!

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The day one of our potato chips came out in the shape of a heart. They know how much we love this place!

Teresa enjoys the chicken wings that are tossed with spicy buffalo habanero-marmalade glaze with a side of carrots and celery along side blue cheese dressing.  Her husband Tristan tends to order the calamari that is served with chili dipping sauce.

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Hmm, the time that Tristan ate a hamburger instead of the calamari! David Steen showing off his awesome burger!

Melissa loves the wild Alaskan salmon that is flown in from, yup, Alaska! The owners Erin and Huey are from Alaska and bring in the fresh and always delicious fish.  Most of the time she orders it on the Caesar Salad, but once awhile she gets wild and does the salmon tacos! YUMMY!! A secret: you can order the salmon on the spinach salad if  you ask nicely! Right, Huey?

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Melissa’s hubby Tim is the meat eater, so he tends to go for the Prime Rib sliders when they are the special for the day. Otherwise, he usually gets either the grilled chicken sandwich or the fish tacos ( grilled).  Those tacos come in a group of 3 and are on flour tortillas with cabbage, chipotle mayo and pico de gallo. SO YUMMY! Did I say that already? Need another adjective for yummy.

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These are the happy hour tacos: you receive 2.

Okay, now here is the thing.  You MUST order the potato salad. Off the hook good! Don’t ask Huey for the recipe, he won’t tell you.  Just trust me, this potato salad tastes like your grandmother made it.  Well, at least mine. She was an amazing cook.

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Here we are at Smokin’ Burgers with good friends Renae and Shannon after modeling in a fashion show. Nope, we don’t starve ourselves!

I know, you are asking, uhmm, hello, isn’t this a burger place? What about the burgers?  Our friends( who you will see in the video below) ordered the bacon burger special. This wasn’t just a burger with bacon on it. The bacon was ground into the beef and gave it the ultimate flavor.  Other burgers that have received rave reviews are the Awesome Burger with jalapeno cheese blend made from scratch, piled high with crispy onion straws, bacon and BBQ sauce.  My son had the Smokin’ Jalapeno Diablo Burger and he ate the whole thing! So, I knew it must have been yummy( there’s that word again). This burger has ancho chili dressing, crisp lettuce, tomato, red onion, sliced jalapenos, and provolone cheese.

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Sliders!

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If you are a vegetarian, the veggie burger is one of the best I have ever tasted.  Many veggie burgers just have this fake I am good for you taste, but not this one. The fresh ingredients are blended so well and the way it’s grilled gives this burger a satisfying and, yup, yummy taste.

When you arrive at Smokin’ Burgers, hopefully, it will be a night where you will be greeted by the always smiling Jessica. She is a doll who works hard to create a perfect dining experience for you. Another hard-worker and great server is Cory. You can’t go wrong with having them take care of you and your guests.  Hunter, Will, and manager/bartender Joe are all fantastic.

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This is Cory. This is what happens when Cory takes a pic of himself on my phone; it goes on the blog!

Check out Smokin’ Burgers’ TWO Happy Hours from 3pm-6pm and 9pm-Midnight. Food items on the happy hour menu are $5 with $3 beer and $4 wine. In fact, this is the place to go for a late night indulgence.  The restaurant also is the place to be during any of the sports’ seasons. The venue is lined with TVs, including the outside dining area.  Be aware it gets packed during this time, so you want to get there early to secure your seat!

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Whether you live here in Palm Springs or are just visiting, stop by Smokin’ Burgers and enjoy their YUMMY food, fun and casual atmosphere, and friendly staff.  Tell them the PS Princesses sent you!

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Melissa with actress and singer Bobbie Eakes

Teresa with friend and frequent guest of Smokin' Burgers Gayle Keagy

Teresa with friend and frequent guest of Smokin’ Burgers Gayle Keagy

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Actor and Comedian Sean Kanan enjoying the food during one of the many fundraisers Smokin’ Burgers does for the community

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After the Lip Sync Fundraiser for American Cancer Society: Shannon, Teresa, Michele, Melissa, Huey, and Tristan

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Tim, Paul, and David just having another great time at Smokin’ Burgers

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If you are lucky to be there on the special days when Alaskan crab legs are flown in, you can enjoy this!

Check out one of our many visits to Smokin’ Burgers below