Archive | February, 2013

Savoring My Sisters From Another Mother (And Father)

28 Feb

SistersEamsandRache2

SistersEamsandRache

Doesn’t it seem like there certain people in this world who we are destined to meet and then can’t live without? There are people who touch our lives and who add so much meaning and positivity to it that we cant help but feel humbled and appreciative of their kindness and friendship. Today, February 28th, just so happens to be the birthdays of two of those special people who are so so dear to me, Dreams and Rache. Growing up, I always wished I had a sister, and in my life I have been blessed to have girlfriends who have become like the sisters I never had and who I consider part of my family. Coincidentally, two of the most wonderful, beautiful, and fun-loving girls I know were born on the same day, but it can’t be a coincidence that they’re both in my life.

Dreams is the most determined, hard working, considerate and easy going girl I know. She is one of the few persons who would accompany me to concerts without knowing the performers or hearing any of their music. She is also the only person I know who, in spite of her fears, is down to participate in life adventures with me (even if the consequence meant throwing up after each activity). From para-sailing, sky diving, scuba diving with sharks, night diving, and the list goes on, we’ve shared so many experiences together that in themselves are unforgettable, but are more memorable because I was able to do them with one of my most favorite persons in the whole entire world. My life wouldn’t be the same without her.

Rache is the most resilient, sweet, honest, and thoughtful girl any one can ever meet. She knows adversity like no one’s business, but despite what life throws her way, she remains strong and positive. I can always go to her for truthful advice and whether it’s going to a show, eating together, or playing with the babies (doggies), she is a joy to be around.

It isn’t ever day that we meet people that we want to get to know. It’s even more rare when friendships are maintained and worked on, and it’s pretty extraordinary when friendships grow deeper as time passes by. These extraordinary relationships should forever be savored and cherished. I have become a better person because of my sisters from another mother (and father) who are such motivational and inspirational factors in my life and who have brought me so much happiness knowing that our friendships are mutually cared for and appreciated.

To my gorgeous sisters Dreams and Rache, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you both the happiest birthdays ever and anything and everything your hearts desire today and always. I love you girls more than words can say.

Craving Halo-Halo

27 Feb

halohalo

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What is Halo-Halo? Halo-Halo is a Filipino dessert consisting of Coconut Gel, Red Mung Beans, White Beans, Sugar Palm Fruit, Jackfruit, Macapuno (Gelatinous Coconut Strings) mixed with shaved ice, ice cream, and milk. Instead of buying the ingredients separately, there are bottles of Halo-Halo mixtures that can be purchased at a local Asian market (hopefully) along with an ice shaving machine, which is needed for making shaved ice, an other key ingredient. One bottle serves two. Finding this bottle in a market where its workers may not understand what you’re saying is the hard part, making the Halo-Halo is the easy part. First we add the Halo-Halo mix, then the shaved ice, then the ice cream, then milk. If you’re like me, I prefer good ol’ fashioned vanilla ice cream; however, coconut, cantaloupe, mango, and ube flavored ice cream are all other great choices to give this dessert a more tropical taste. Regular, soy, almond or skim milk makes this treat plenty sweet, but adding condensed milk is also an option. While this dessert looks a like a drink, it’s eaten (and usually devoured by cravy individuals) with a spoon. Soooooo gooood!

Raving about Cardio Barre

26 Feb

CardioBarre

Don’t dancers have some of the best looking bodies on the planet? Cardio Barre is a workout studio that offers classes, which integrates ballet movements, cardio, and weights. We don’t have to be dancers or have any formal dance training to participate in class, but we do have to channel our inner ballerinas. The low impact, high energy, and core-focused movements and the exercises with lots of reps and light weights to 8-counts on the beat of music that plays during class helps us sculpt long leans muscles, burn fat, and tone the body to look like a dancer’s. The class starts out with a warm-up, then to other parts: a ballet section, floor section, cardio section, barre section, weights section, then we’re on our mats or towels for abs, inner/out thighs, glutes and the class ends with a cool down. The hour class flies by since we’re constantly moving and every part of the body is worked. Fortunately, the Cardio Barre in Eagle Rock is 5 minutes away from my office and 15 minutes away from my home, making it easy to find a reason to make a class. After several years of taking exercise classes at Cardio Barre, it hasn’t gotten old or boring for me. The best part of the class; however, are the incredible instructors. My favorites are Demian, Byron, and Micki, who are all always motivating and inspire us get stronger and go beyond our comfort zones while still keeping good form. While each instructor is great, Micki’s classes are definitely the most challenging in my opinion and not to mention her body is amazing, not just it’s appearance but what it can do in terms of strength and flexibility.

Our bodies allow us to do and experience so many great things, it’s only right that we do things that keep us healthy and fit. If Cardio Barre contributes to doing that, it’s something to rave about it my book.

Craving Ding A Lings

25 Feb

semi sweet

Who can turn down a sweet treat? Not that I’d ever been on a diet, but even if I was on a strict one, I don’t think I could or would turn down Ding A Lings from Semi Sweet Bakery. I was given some of these sweetest of treats from Jax, one of my dearest and most entertaining of friends. My first experience of having them was during a Downtown LA food tour for the bachelorette party of another good friend Di. Semi Sweet Bakery encourages us to follow our noses to their cakes, cookies, and tarts, and after trying their Ding a Lings, we’ll be following our taste buds. I was able to indulge in the 4 different flavors I was given: PB Crunch, Red Velvet, Traditional, and a mystery one with a white-chocolatey-flavored outside and white cake with strawberry-flavored-filling inside that I had never tried before, which is super delicious and probably now my new favorite flavor. Since Jax now lives in downtown LA, whenever I visit, I’ll be within walking distance of this bakery. I was informed that I would also be within walking distance to the Cecil Hotel, which is believed to be haunted and has recently been in the News for all the wrong reasons. In the spirit of Jax’s YOLO (You Only Live Once) motto, she suggested we go into the Cecil Hotel’s elevator, the last place where Canadian tourist, Elisa Lam, was recorded before turning up dead in the roof top water tank (Gross!). Um, no thanks. I will have to turn down that offer. You do only live once, but the Cecil Hotel will be the last place you’ll see me. I’ll be YOLOing at Semi Sweet eating ding a lings, thank you.

Craving and Savoring Dinner With Friends

24 Feb

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Doesn’t it seem that the older we get, the harder it is to make time to spend with friends? Finding the time individually isn’t the hard part, but finding the time as a group when every one is available and/or in town, is. We’re in February and we finally celebrated January birthdays, but the get together was really more of an excuse to finally see our friend Jax’s new chic downtown loft, hang out with every one, and get some good downtown LA eats. We all went to Pete’s Cafe on Main St and had the Roasted Garlic Hummus, Sticky Crispy Calamari, and Tuna Flat Bread to start. All of the appetizers were very tasty! I had the Roasted Beet Salad: weiser farms beets, mache greens, truggle tremor cheese, marcona almond dust with white balsamic vingrette and the Quinoa and Couscous Risotto Entree: 12 hour tomatoes, rainbow chard, cauliflower, parmesan, and cream. Too stuffed for dessert, 13 of us tried to get drinks at a bar that we were told was unusually, and therefore, uncomfortably crowded. That lead us to head to the Artisan House, where there was enough room for us all to chat and enjoy each other’s company. Dinner was great, but the sweetest part of it was the awesome company. Craving and savoring time with the people we love are some of the best things in life, good food is just a bonus feature.

Shoeglie Eyed

23 Feb

Zaraluciteheels

Is it rude to stare? If it’s at our shoes, then it should be ok.. Or is it? I walked into Kate Spade and was repeatedly complimented on my Black Zara Pumps with Lucite Heels. I thanked the friendly sales associate, oh sorry, “brand specialist,” multiple times and continued shopping. My shoes were getting a little antsy and impatient, and I had to ask them what the matter was since we love this store. They said that girl who complimented them was still staring really hard and it was making them uncomfortable. What? I told them it should be taken as a compliment. That’s when they reminded me of how we all feel when a girl or a guy gives us the unwanted come-hither, “Don’t you want me baby” stare or the Creepy McCreeperson “I’m too sexy for my shirt” look.. Yeah, I guess it’s not uncommon to give the person we’re with the conspicuous cue: looking over to where Mr. or Ms. Googlie Eyes is, then immediately to the nearest exit, eyebrows raised, with a slight tilt of the head, silently indicating “Let’s blow this popsicle stand, if know what I mean.” Ok, I got it, the girl is Shoeglie Eyed; but really, did we have to go?

Craving For Hot Fudge Cake At Bob’s Big Boy

22 Feb

bigboys

Don’t significant others contribute to many of our cravings? Spending enough time with some one, we often start developing a taste for and an enjoyment of specific things that our favorite guys or gals crave. Even if we may not love something as much as the other (if at all), we can always be good sports and take one for the team, knowing that if going somewhere or doing something makes our honeys happy, we’re happy too. My boyfriend was craving to go to Bob’s Big Boy, a drive-in burger joint in Burbank, like the ones you see in the Greaser movies with a full service “Car Hop” on Saturday and Sunday nights, where All-American meals get delivered to the cars of patrons. On Friday nights, the parking becomes a classic car show. Since it’s been a little chilly-willy in SoCal lately (well, for SoCal), we opted to eat inside the 50’s style diner and waited a while to sit at the first-come-first-serve counter. Although I don’t and probably won’t ever share in my boyfriend’s craving for the Bob’s Big Boy’s Famous Original Double Deck Hamburger, we did share the Decadent Hot Fudge Cake, which he said I had to have. My bf is originally from the Los Angeles area and growing up his Mom used to take him and his sister to a Bob’s Big Boy, and he decided to take me to the oldest one in America, knowing I’d love their dessert. The Decadent Hot Fudge Cake is delicious vanilla ice cream between two layers of luscious devil’s food cake, smothered with creamy hot fudge and covered with whipped cream and a cherry. Mmmmm Mmmmm. That cake had no chance, it was over before it began.

Favoring The Style Of It Girl Cara Delevingne

21 Feb

caradelevingne

caradelevingne1

How does one possess the “It” quality and is there even a definition for this rather ambiguous term? I have been talking almost daily about how beautiful and stylish Cara Delevingne is; therefore, I thought it only appropriate to post about how much I favor this new “It girl.” Although I’m not the biggest fan of the term since it commonly describes so many other young women in fashion or show biz, I can’t think of any one other than Cara who has lately drawn so much attention and popularity among the young and the fashionable. After first noticing CD while shopping on the ASOS website, she soon became a familiar face in campaigns such as Chanel, Burberry, and Zara, on the runway of Victoria Secret’s fashion show, and when gracing the cover of British Vogue, named the Model of the Year. What I love most about CD is while she can be as glam as the rest of and the best of the supermodels, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and is often seen posing for pics, making silly faces or goofing around. Her spunky street style, charming persona, and of course her attractive features all contribute to her “It” factor, drawing all of us in with her magnetic force.

Little Miss Goodie Two-Shoes

20 Feb

jimmchoocosmic

Have you ever met a person who is too nice, too proper, too optimistic, and a little too “perfect?” I am wearing my nude Jimmy Choo Cosmic pumps today and while sitting with some co-workers at the office, the lunchtime gossip begins about “Leanor,” the girl who they say just “bugs.” It appears that being the goody-goody, self-righteous type is not the most popular quality when making friends at work or just being generally well-liked in the company. Since my pumps are a little naïve when it comes to work environments, they asked why a “do-gooder,” with “good” in her moniker, has such a “bad” rap or a negative connotation. The only explanation I had for them was that we all have flaws, and while we strive to achieve some level of “perfection” or would like to be known as polite and well-mannered, Leonor was excessive about sharing her moral fabric with others to a fault. In this very cynical world, coming off as excessively virtuous comes with a lot of suspicion and perhaps a little envy. As I was attempting to come up with an explanation as to why Leonor may benefit from loosening up a little to be able to relate more to her peers, I hear a polite rebuttal to my statements from my shoes saying, “We actually like Leonor, she sounds a lot like us. We can be high (they are high heels) and mighty (yes, built to last)… We were basically made to perfection by our creator (Jimmy Choo, of course). We always do what is right (yes, even the left), and it does not matter what is said about her, we have to be honest…” Well, if I’m not mistaken my pumps are both Little Miss Goodie Two-Shoes!

Savoring Some Much Needed R & R

19 Feb

pho-siam

What’s great about a three-day weekend? One more day off from work where we can do whatever we want, or nothing at all. This President’s Day weekend, I chose to catch up on some much-needed rest and relaxation. I savored my weekend, which was spent mostly in bed and on the coach with my boyfriend and doggies reading books and blogs and watching movies and sports. On President’s Day, we opted to get Thai massages at Pho-Siam Thai Spa in Los Angeles. For $50.00 per hour, a little lady will knead, massage, and stretch out every muscles that will leave a previously tense body feeling like a noodle. For those who have never experienced a Thai massage, the relaxation usually comes after, and not so much during, the massage. Once we stepped into the quiet room at Pho-Siam and changed into a potato sack pair of shorts with no drawstring, our masseuse gets to work, and so do we… The pieces of fabric that hang from the ceiling of the rooms are not decoration, they are used for the masseuse to grab on to, for maneuvering purposes, while stepping on your back and limbs. The masseuse use their elbows, forearms, hands and feet, and they step, crawl, pull, and push setting the experience apart from other massage techniques that in comparison, make a Swedish massage feel like a gentle rub. After the massage, the stress in my upper back and shoulders felt alleviated and tension in areas that are usually neglected like glutes, inner thighs and hamstrings were stomped away, literally. To May from Pho-Siam Tha Spa I say Kob Koon ka (thank you) again.