Heros and Villians Compete at the U.A. Sports Festival in Huntington Beach, CA

I’m aware that conventions attract the biggest comic geeks such as Los Angeles Comic Con (Day 1, Day 2) etc, but the fandom for My Hero Academia is on a whole other level. At Anime Expo & SDCC  fans waited hours to see the show’s creator. Suffice to say there will be a Season 4 and I’m sure many more seasons after that. There’s an arc in the earlier seasons where the first year students competed in various competitions  called the U.A. Sports Festival and Cosplayers Undercovercottonswab and Libbubblescosplay hosted a similar competition at Huntington Beach!

U.A. Medals; U.A, Teachers and Sports Festival Hosts

It was a beautiful sunny day and this casual event was hosted right on the beach. Fans of the anime came from far and wide, some in cosplay and some in beach-gear to experience the U.A. Tournament. There were various mini competitions such as the limbo, and jump rope, but everyone was eagerly anticipating the relay-style race to the finish and the contenders were wait for it… heros versus villians!

Hero Cosplayers

I had a great time meeting others who also love this anime series and was proud of myself for styling my characters wig (2 hours and a whole can of hairspray later… lol). The things we do for characters we love.

Do you watch/read My Hero Academia? Who’s your favorite character? Momo Yaoyorozu’s mine

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

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Roasting and Toasting at the LA Times The Taste Costa Mesa (Sunday)

The Los Angeles Times always puts on a fantastic Tasting Event and the last day in Costa Mesa was no different.  The three day inaugural festival closed out on Sunday and the feel was casual and light-hearted compared to Saturday’s peak attendance (Day 2).

Photos from Sunday’s Taste Event

With the event starting mid-day, I was able to better appreciate the presentation and beauty of all the offerings. I noticed more details of the decor outside of the food tents especially the fruit platter near the OC Fairgrounds Table. There was also a booth that was hand pouring candles and other vendors giving out swag that I missed on Saturday (gardening gloves, t-shirts, hats etc) – so I definitely loaded up! I guess you don’t know what you missed if you didn’t see it! lol

More photos from Sundays Taste Event

One of the highlights of the day was getting to talk to one of the Fashion Editors and discuss current and upcoming trends. Apparently, velvet is really in as is the color ultra violet. He also mentioned that they may do a LA Times Fashion and Food event in the future – how cool would that be?!

What’s your favorite section to read in the news? Food? Fashion? Local? Comment below.

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

X-men take over Los Angeles Comic Con (Saturday)

I always have a blast at LA Comic Con and Saturday’s event was particularly special because I got to debut a new cosplay and join my first Marvel group – The X-men! Woo-hoo! I spent most of my Friday (LACC 2018) exploring the floor, and making purchases, so Saturday was dedicated to photo and videoshoots! and let me tell  you the cosplays on Saturday were really on point! It’s like seeing characters from the TV show and movies pop right off the screen! and I definitely commend all the dedicated cosplayers who painted their entire body blue (props to you Mystique, Nightcrawler, and Beast!)!!

X-men Class Photo; Double Psylockes

During the morning our X-men group met with photographers to take individual and group shots including class photos, all girls, all guys, 90s animated, all telepaths etc. There were quite a few cosplayers who did genderbend versions of their characters and color me impressed- they pulled it off really well!

More photos at LACC (Saturday)

We reconvened at the official Marvel shoot outside the convention and I was surprised that we got to be a part of a unveiling of a new wheelchair! The Magic Wheelchair, an non-profit organization that transformed wheelchairs to amazing functional costumed vehicles, debuted a Venom inspired one. Seeing the kid’s face light up was the cherry on top and everyone in the Marvel shoot cheered for our newest hero.

In the early evening, my friends and I returned to the conventions Main Stage to support cosplay friends competing for cash prizes. Everyone did a great job and while I was beyond exhausted at the end of the day, I was so glad that I got to spend time with my geeky pals and make great memories with my cosfam.

Did you watch Xmen growing up? Who was your favorite character?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Chun Li kicks it at Los Angeles Comic Con (Day 1)

Convention season has slowed down greatly; however, the Los Angeles Comic Con is one that I always look forward to in the Fall. Perhaps it’s in part because it’s so close to Halloween and the cosplay scene is always impressive (LACC 2017). I took the day off work on Friday to check-out the floor as Chun Li and I’m sure glad I did because there were so many vendors!

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Some cosplays from LACC Day 1

I rolled in around 3pm to pick up my weekend badge and was able to explore the floor in no time. Took me roughly 3 hours to see every aisle. There were prints from Artist’s Alley, stuffed animals from Bellzi, along with comics, toys, and other misc merchandise. There’s something for everyone although if you were interested in purchasing one of the LACC exclusive pops it looked like it was at least an hour wait or more to purchase. Yet, I was incredibly impressed with the cosplay scene and many guests had what I figured were pro level cosplays. I mean just look at the details!

More LACC Day 1 Photos

Later in the evening Jack Black came on the Main Stage to do a Q/A about his career and projects. He took audience questions and the guests enjoyed a 15 minute inspiration video.

Will you be dressing up for Halloween? If yes, who will you be?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Chowing down at Los Angeles Times the Taste Costa Mesa’s Debut Event at The Met

For the past 3 year I’ve been fortunate to attend the Los Angeles Times The Taste at the Paramount Studios. The venue layout is really fun and I always have a blast (Summer 2018, Summer 2017,  Summer 2016). When they announced starting a second location in Orange County I could not be more ecstatic!!

Nom Noms from The Taste Costa Mesa

The three day event was held at The Met, a courtyard just outside of South Coast Plaza. I had other obligations on Friday’s launch date and was eager to see what the Costa Mesa location had to offer. When I first arrived, I saw a roasted pig turning at the center of the plaza along with rows of fresh coconuts. I attended a media event for Habana in the past so I loved that they brought some Cuban flair to this inaugural event.

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More photos from The Taste Costa Mesa

I also loved Hai Di Lao‘s offering as they assembled a mini hot pot bowl for guests to enjoy. There were also freshly shucked oysters from Water Grill and other vendors gave out extremely generous portions of their dishes. I’ve been to quite a few food festivals and as it’s first year festival I was incredibly impressed by the vendors. I loved the care and hospitality and can’t wait to come back next year – especially since it’s so close by!

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

Celebrating the centennial season of LA Phil 100 at the Bowl with special guests Katy Perry, Herbie Hancock and more!

California has an incredibly rich history in the arts and recently the LA Philharmonic celebrated 100 years with a grand event. They partnered with CicLAvia to encompass both healthy and cultured program. During the day pedestrians were encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit to one of the six hubs (read about it here). Later in the evening individuals were given tickets by a lottery system to attend the Centennial Performance at the Bowl. My friend was lucky to score two tickets and invited to me come along.

Shots before the show!

The evening program started with a dual collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and was led by the current Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. The performance was seamless and I could see the smiles beaming off on the aspiring musicians as they played alongside some of Los Angeles’s most talented artists. The young took a bow and the the LA Philharmonic continued with another piece, followed by performances from Kali Uchis, Herbie Hancock, and Katy Perry. 

The Bowl

Katy’s performed three pieces – her version of “I want to ride my Bicycle” (by Queen), Roar, and Firework (with a dazzling display in the background.) While we anticipated a closing song from Katy Perry, but we was pleasantly surprised when Gustavo Dudamel invited former Artistic Director John Williams to conduct the Star Wars theme song. The nerd inside me wanted so badly to bust out my light sabor to “A New Hope.”

Performers at the Bowl

Who would you want to watch perform live with the LA Philharmonic?

XOXO,

Rockstar

Enjoying Savor Santa Ana and Viva la Vida in Downtown Santa Ana

Downtown Santa Ana (DTSA) is a historic area with great diversity in traditional and fusion cuisine. Last year I was lucky to partner with Savor Santa Ana (2017 post) and was invited again to cover the event. It’s grown tremendously this year with 40 restaurant participants (!!!) and the neighborhood has so much character and charm. Similar to last year, guests purchase sheets of tickets in exchange to sample bite size bites ($10 for 5- what a steal) and would walk or take a trolley to visit participating restaurants

Savor Santa Ana and Viva La Vida Photos

Concurrently, Santa Ana’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival “Viva La Vida” celebrated their 3rd annual event making the streets lively with performances, decorations and memorials to remember loved ones. It reminds me of scenes from Disney’s movie Coco and I loved seeing other cultures tradition.

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More photos from the event

Unlike most food festivals, Savor Santa Ana is spread out and it’s really fun to see all the restaurants in their natural space. My favorites for the night were the green tea ice cream from Mr. Matcha as well as an authentic ceviche tostada from Taquerias Guadalajara. I made a reservation for The Playground, a prominent staple in DTSA that draws inspiration from all cultures, and can’t wait to try all their creations.

Do you prefer authentic or fusion food?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

 

Living on Cloud 9 at the annual Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival is a luxury staple in Orange County. This annual event highlights great talents and features world renowned chef celebrities like Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu Restaurant), Chef Jet Tula (The Charleston) and so many more! It’s one of my favorite regional festivals and I was thankful to cover the event again as one of @foodiejudge‘s plus one.

Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival tastes and sips!

In previous years this festival focused primarily on the edible guilty pleasures and this year moved to highlight other activities. Wine and other libations made up 1/2 of the festival and vendors specializing in pampering experiences such as a braid bar, silly photo booth stations, and luxury furnishings had a large presence. There were also several large art displays for guests to enjoy.

More noms!

My favorite sample at the event had to be the seared-diver scallops with quinoa served by Pelican Grill. The chef continuously laid large plump pieces on the portable grill, seared them perfectly, and served them fresh to the guests. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I had three servings because it was so so good. *Drool*

More Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival photos!

Personally I enjoy eating more so than drinking, but there were so many different libations to choose from. Guests could enjoy a cider from Stella, Macallan a prominent whiskey brand, and so much more.

What would you enjoy first? Noms or sips?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Walk, Bike, and Roll at the CicLAvia in Los Angeles

When you think of LA you don’t typically think of people using public transportation, but for one day major LA destinations temporarily closed streets to car traffic and encouraged Los Angelenos to walk, bike, skate and roll through this amazing city. Lead by CicLAvia this nonprofit organization alongside with their sponsors promoted exercise with many free events and live performances.

Photos from CicLAvia

Inspired by Bogotá’s weekly ciclovía, CicLAvia advocated for greater community building by celebrating LA’s diverse neighborhoods. They selected 5 prominent LA areas and designated them as official hubs, each of which had a different commemorative and freshly printed handkerchief designed by local artists. I was able to secure the Melrose one, and was tempted to try to collect them all, but spent my time listening to the live performances and wandering the streets. There were also many interactive booths giving away various swag, food trucks, and crafts for all to enjoy. Target had a very large presence and gave away a lot of really great freebies. 

More photos from CicLAvia

CicLAvia will return for another community day event on  Sunday December 2, 2018 from 9am to 3pm, so if you’re looking for a free family friendly activity to enjoy during the holidays this would be a great option!

Aside from driving – whats your mode of transportation?

XOXO

Rockstar 

Finding healthy alternatives at the California Vegetarian Food Festival in Los Angeles, CA

It’s no secret that I love to eat meat, but finding alternatives to red meats is definitely something I try to incorporate more of into my daily diet. So when I was invited to cover the California Vegetarian Food Festival at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, CA, I was curious to learn about the various options. Suffice to say this intimate event brought some distinguished vendors with different organic, Non GMO, and gluten free options.  

While there were samples at a few of the booths a number of them were selling full servings of their products. A most memorable item was the Mushroom Jerky from Pan’s Mushroom Jerky. The shitake mushroom has a very meaty texture and there were several different flavors including Applewood BBQ and Zesty Thai, though I really enjoyed the original!

The two day festival also had live music, vendors showcasing sustainable products and some non-profits advocating for animals rights. The vendors were very eager to talk to patrons about their products so if you’re newer to the healthy lifestyle movement these vendors definitely will spend time to walk you through.

What’s your favorite health tip?

Xoxo

Irene