As an educator I support all types of college and career pathways, so when the royal court was invited to attend a Taiwan Education Fair I was thrilled about the opportunity. Held at the Culture Center of Los Angeles over the weekend we networked with different universities and also learned about the international education options.
Representatives from twelve universities flew in from Taiwan to educate prospective students and families on the various programs and majors offered by the institutions of higher learning. Each university managed a booth where they provided pamphlets and brochures that highlighted their school’s claim to fame. Representatives charismatically spoke about their undergraduate, graduate, and study abroad programs and it was wonderful to see families learn more their options after high school.
I think students who are interested in doing business or international relations would really benefit from attending a school oversees. Not only will you be completely immersed in another culture which will force you to hone in on your bilingual skills, but it will truly open your eyes on learning about the beautiful Taiwan culture. Bilingual speakers are incredibly valuable and highly sought after, so this is an excellent opportunity for students to experience something new and also build their resume portfolio.
What should students know about life after high school?
My girlfriend started an Alphabet Dinner Club where a group of friends would dine out once a month at a restaurant that starts with that letter. We’re currently near the end of the alphabet and were thinking of some Letter V options. We took a poll via Facebook on where we wanted to eat and decided on Vaca, a Spanish tapas restaurant, near South Coast Plaza. To say the least it was a VERY good choice. We ordered 15 different dishes for 8 to share and it was amazing. Get ready for some major food porn!
Shrimp – Argh… I can’t believe I’m going to start off this review without the proper description, but in essence it was pump juicy shrimp swimming in liquid gold (butter) – it tasted was wonderful.
1 La Bola ($9) – Crispy potato balls with ground beef, aioli, spicy tomato sauce – This dish kind of reminded me of Porto’s famous potato balls, crispy on the outside and soft and savory on the inside
2 Croquetas De Pollo ($10) – Creamy chicken fritters – To be honest I don’t remember much about this dish, but it wasn’t bad
1 Bruselas ($10) – Brussels sprouts, chorizo, sherry gastrique – Roasted brussel sprouts are always good in my book.
1 Maiz ($9) – Charred corn, lime, pimentón, idiazabal – Also good, but nothing out of the ordinary
1 Ensalada De Berro ($11) – Watercress salad, butternut squash, vermouth vinaigrette, manchego, almonds – I ordered this time and it was such a nice refreshing contrast to the other more rich and bold flavors. I loved the acidity of the beets and crunch of the nuts. It was one of our healthier dishes that definitely can stand on its own.
1 Pulpo a La Gallega ($15) – Warm Spanish octopus, fingerling potatoes, pimenton and Spanish olive oil – Fresh Octopus, what can I say 🙂
1 Bikini Sandwich ($13) – Paleta iberica, manchego, truffles, Panini – For a sandwich was I was incredibly impressed considering all the tapas we ordered. It’s kind of strange to match nutty with meat, but it had an incredible taste that was both warm and comforting.
1 Alitas de pollo ($10) – Fried chicken wings, blue cheese, salsa roja, pickled carrots – Solid fried chicken but
2 Erizos Con Huevo ($32): Fresh sea urchin scramble eggs, miso butter toast – This was definitely the star of the show. Everyone at the table LOVED this dish. Next time I would order this all for myself. O:)
1 Bizcoho Tres Leche ($10): Beautiful and tasty, the perfect way to end a meal
2 Calamares Rellenos ($28) – Charcuterie stuffed calamari, squid ink aioli – One of my friends loved this dish, but it was not my favorite
1 Mama Santana Flan ($7) – Wow! This is very decadent. One bite was definitely enough for me
1 Coliflor ($9) – Roasted cauliflower, tahini, raisins, lemon – Cauliflower is usually a very boring vegetable, but the preparation was done well and I loved the char of the plant
1 Beef Rib Steak – ($130.64) – Priced at $55 a lb. Our server informed us that we could hand select our steak and directed us to their display fridge. After carefully looking through all the steaks and taking into account weight and marbling, we selected a beautiful 2 lb 6 oz as our luxury treat. The dry aged ribeye was served medium rare with a crusty exterior and just melted in your mouth. Wow!
(Not Pictured) 1 Hueso Al Horno ($16) – Roasted bone marrow, beef cheek toast, citrus – This was absolutely delicious. We all loved the creamy texture of the bone marrow that we spread over the small crostini, but alas I must have been too delusional because I can’t find the photo of it. *Cries* But it’s definitely worth getting!
Celebrating 20 years is an incredible milestone for any organization, and the Chinese Calligraphy & Painting Society celebrated by displaying a curated collection of both traditional and modernized artwork at the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Culture Office (TECO) in El Monte.
This intimate event began with a formal ceremony recognizing key members and ended with photos and cake cutting. It was a simple event, but one where I felt highlighted the artwork – the real stars of the show. Congratulations and thank you for allowing me and the royal court (Mr. and Teen titleholder) join in on the festivity.
How would you celebrate a milestone? Small with family and friends or a huge bash? Comment below!
Some people eat to live, but I certainly am one who eats to live, so when my friend invited me to attend the 1st Annual Eeeeeats Con (yes there are 5 “e’s”) presented by The Infatuation I naturally could not say no.
For my readers who are tilting their heads wondering what “The Infatuation” is don’t worry, I didn’t either. I only learned about the organization AFTER attending the convention. It’s a nut-shell restaurant reviewing app, newsletter, and instagram account that highlights their favorite restaurants and after eight years the business developed their own festival – Eeeeeats Con. But enough history, lets get in on the action!
The festival was a one day Saturday event from 12:00pm to 9:00pm at the Barkar Hangar, a local airport. It was a hot day and after battling some LA traffic from Orange County, we arrived around 4pm. The venue was quite an impressive one as guests walked past private jets before heading to the main building. At the back center of the Hangar, restauranteurs spoke on the stage about their career adventure and gave advice to audience members.
Surrounding the stage were some bright and festive instagram-worthy backdrops for convention-goers to pose and take selfies. I will say that the event planners definitely took their time in designing the layout of the festival and each area had a quirkiness about it that made it fun and lighthearted.
Nested between some of the artwork and backdrops were both high end and hipster Los Angeles restaurants booths. In the lot there were also stands and some trucks that presented their offerings. Afters Ice Cream, The Nomad Truck, Ramen Hood, and Shake Shack were just some of the vendors present. Most items were priced from $8-$20 a plate.
Everything smelled great, and after careful consideration we shared a coffee-rubbed tri tip with cabbage slaw from Chi Spacca, a $$$$ Italian restaurant in Hancock Park. I didn’t want to spread my germs (because I was feeling a bit under the weather), so the vendor was kind enough to split the portion for two people.
I think all in all this festival has a lot of potential. The space, and vendor choices were excellent, and the idea of the convention including active (musicians and panels) and passive entertainment (the cool instagram worthy backdrops) can make it a well-rounded experience. Even the temporary bathrooms were really nice. However, attending was a costly one. Parking was $20, and admission was $40 (Food purchases were additional). I think that if you went in with the expectation that you were attending an upscale food fair and budgeted for the additional costs then you’d be extremely happy.
If you created your own food festival, which restaurants would you want there?
Some of my fondest memories as a child were performing on stage. One moment I was a graceful fish from the Dai Tribe and the next I was the rambunctious Monkey King from the Chinese legend, Journey to the West. Sometimes I played as humans *grins mischievously* like a country girl picking rice or a warrior prepping for battle, but it was always wonderful to depict a character from a different time periods. So when I was invited to attend “Splendor of Taiwan” dance performance at my alma mater, I couldn’t have been more excited.
Scenes from different dance numbers plus me ready to present flowers 🙂
The dance performance from the National Taiwan University of Arts Dance Department in Taiwan was spectacular at the very least. There were dynamic acrobatics as well as cohesive partner-work. I knew that all the dancers trained intensely; however, their movements were so effortless and graceful. My favorite piece was definitely the last number, which featured traditional Taiwanese tribal wear (red outfits).
The event welcomed over 900 guests to the Chapman Auditorium and at the finale, I presented the Artistic Director with a bouquet of flowers. Leaders from the Taiwanese community congratulated the dancers on their excellent performance and we all wished them great success on their upcoming tour for Taiwanese Heritage Week.
When I think of House of Blues, I think of a great spacious venue with amazing rotating entertainment. I’ve gone a handful of times to the Anaheim location (there are 12 located in major cities across the US – click here to see where!), on Friday evenings usually rocking out to some of my favorite 80’s bands – any Berlin fans out there?! 😀 Yet, the House of Blues is also home to the World Famous Gospel Brunch. Hosted every Sunday, guests from near and far go to enjoy comfort food and soulful worship music. Sounded like a winning combination to me, so I went to get the scoop.
In the evening time the space is cleared out for audience to fist pump and dance along to music legends and other performances, but during the day chairs and tables are lined up for patrons to enjoy an all-you-can-eat southern buffet with complimentary orange juice. Mimosa were an additional charge. Nevertheless, the food options seemed endless. I pilled my plate high with a little bit of everything.
The buffet had a smorgasbord of options including a honey baked ham and prime rib carving station, and breakfast staples like bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, etc. They also had a ready to order omelette station, but I often went back to their ready-to-peel shrimp station for some refreshing seafood as well as their southern offerings (ie. biscuits and gravy, collard greens, mac n’ cheese mhmm). There was quite a diversity of options for even the pickiest eater and don’t get me started on the banana bread pudding *drool* What a great dessert!
Once 11am hit, the lights dimmed and the curtains went up. The music performance was incredibly moving and before I knew it I was up on my feet with my arms in the air and singing along with the choir. The singers sang a couple of traditional Christian songs as well as some contemporary songs such as “Lean on Me” and “We are family.”
God is Good – Can I get a amen?
I was really impressed with the live entertainment and would love to go again to be feed physically and spiritually. You can get tickets through ticketmasters or on the House of Blues website. Adults are $45 + fees and $21 for children ages 3-11.
Whether you work at a school or attend college, staying awake and motivated to get through the last few weeks of the school-year can be a challenge. Teachers have mounds of papers to grades, and students have to prepare for multiple finals, and unfortunately, we can’t increase the number of hours in a day to get everything done; however, we can always count on caffeine to give us a hand. There are many Asian coffee and boba shops located in Southern California; however, I love going to 7 Leaves Cafe because 1) there are multiple locations and 2) the beverages are consistently good. I recently had the opportunity to try their new black flavors (Assam Milk Tea and Oolong Milk Tea) at their Costa Mesa location and can attest to the tasty and potent beverages.
If you’re looking for a lighter floral taste the Assam Milk Tea would be a good contender. The Oolong on the other-hand is more robust and creamy. Either way, both drinks are ready for patrons to try! Come check them out!
7 Leaves Cafe, 2800 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Birthdays are one of the best days of the year and with Monterey Park recently celebrating it’s 101st, you know a landmark date like that warrants an enormous celebration. To no surprise, Monterey Park dedicated four “Play Days” to capture the magnitude of this milestone. The royal court was invited to join the Play Day Parade on Day 3 and we couldn’t have been more excited.
Bright and early on Saturday morning the royal court along with local government officials, volunteers, and other parade participants met at the Monterey Park City Hall for a briefing and instructions on the day ahead. Journalists and local media stations also interviewed us to comment on the festivities.
After snacking on healthy breakfast treats provided by the Women’s Club and taking multiple photo shoots we loaded up on the shuttle bus and headed towards the beginning point of the parade.
Many different organizations including several community service organizations, middle and high school bands, as well as after-school programs and local businesses were preparing for the landmark occasion.
There were several vintage vehicles parked along the road and we were lucky to ride on a classic white 1958 Ford decorated with mini American flags. Guests were standing and sitting on both sides of the street taking selfies and videos. My favorite part of the parade seeing the face of small children light up when I waved at them. Some of them blushed while others waved with great zeal. It was adorable.
After we finished our route, we all headed towards Barnes Memorial Park to pose for photos and enjoy carnival games and rides. It was a bright and sunny day making it perfect for everyone to enjoy this beautiful and diverse city.
What do you look forward to seeing most on a parade? High School Bands? Cheerleaders? Floats?
I know it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here!!!! My popular annual Birthday Freebie post is finally complete! This year I was able to redeem over 20 birthday freebies in the month of April, and while this may seem overwhelming many freebies allow the patron to redeem the promotion either the day of, week of, or month of your birthday!
I’ve arranged them alphabetically for your convenience with a hyperlink to the retailer’s site for more information to sign up for their loyalty program. Personally, I created a junk email account for all these retailers to send me their promotions and then I check that email account during my birth month to print out the coupons, and collect all my goodies. Check out to see if your favorite retailer is here!
Baskin Robbins: (Free scoop of ice cream). I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! They’re really picky about printing out the coupons, so be sure to do that!
Black Angus (Free Steak Dinner with purchase of entree): Join the Prime Club and get a free steak dinner with a purchase of an entree of equal or greater value. Yee-ha! Good for the month of your birthday.
Boston Market (Free side): Join their VIP club and get a free dessert or an order of a regular side. I chose a side of creamed spinach. Yum! No purchase necessary. Expires a week after your birthday.
Brueggars Bagels (Free bagel!): Start your day with a free toasted bagel with cream cheese. You will get the email the week before your birthday and it will expire on your birthday.
Buca De Beppo (cake and meal discount): This year Buca De Beppo gave a $15 off with a minimum purchase of $30 and if you make a reservation with 4 or more they will also give you a cake for everyone to enjoy! Be sure to make your reservation through opentable to earn rewards points for your next restaurant gift certificate!
Charming Charlie ($5 gift card): Join the Charm club and earn a $5 gift card to purchase anything in the store! You can get jewelry, accessories, shoes etc
Churned Creamery (Free Scoop): Sign up on the “Five Stars” App on your smartphone and add Churned Creamery to your list. I believe the freebie is good for a week and expires on your birthday.
Corner Bakery: (Free Baked Good): Sign up for their eCafe list to redeem a free pastry treat. I chose a giant M&M cookie to take home. Expires a week after your birthday.
DSW($5 gift card): You can get kicks, heels, or flip flops, but I always get a new pair of cool socks.
Del Taco (Free milkshake): Your choice of strawberry, vanilla, or chocolate! No purchase necessary. Expires a week after your birthday.
Denny’s: I worked till 9pm on my actual birthday, and most places are closed by the time I left the office. Luckily I just flashed my drivers license for a complimentary grand slam (I opted for a “choose your own”). Who else loves breakfast for dinner?
El Pollo Loco (Free meal!): Join the E-Club and enjoy your choice of “Original Chicken Tostada” or “2 piece fire-grilled chicken meal” within the month of your birthday.
Godiva (chocolate covered strawberries): Complimentary $10 gift certificate at the Godiva shop. I decide to purchase a cone of dark chocolate covered strawberries ($12.50) and paid the difference. The freshly dipped treat was a lux indulgence that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Kiehls (Free Lip Balm): Be a Loyalty member and get a free lip balm ($7 value) with a purchase of any item.
Mimi’s Cafe (muffin sundae): If you love the contrast of cold ice cream topped with fudge, strawberries and whip cream over a warm muffin, this offer is for you. Expires one week after your birthday and no purchase necessary.
Red Robin (Free meal!): I think this is the best deal meal deal. A free gourmet beef or chicken burger plus unlimited fries for free, and on my visit they also gave me a free birthday ice cream as well. Just show them your Red Robin’s Rewards Number. This is always one of my favorite places to visit during my birth month.
Sephora (Free Makeup): Love makeup? Be a beauty insider and you can get a deluxe sample of the latest products! No purchase necessary. This year I choose the Caldalie skincare items and so far it’s been very luxurious. Oh la la!
Souplantation: Join Club Veg and you will receive coupon for a free lunch with drink or a to-go combo #2 which includes a salad plate, two small soup containers, and a bakery bag
Starbucks (Free drink – any size!): This year they changed their promotion. You will get an email the day before your birthday and need to redeem it either on that day or on your birthday. Must have a Starbucks account.
Togos (Free Sandwich): Sign up to be part of the Togo Tribe on your phone and get a free birthday sandwich!
Veggie Grill ($5 gift card): This year Veggie Grill gave me a complimentary $5 gift card towards any menu item. I decided on a Grillin’ Chickin’ (fake meat) meal and enjoyed my healthy lunch. It’s a great healthy fast food option for people on the go. Offer good a week before and after your birthday.
Wienerschnitzel (Free Corn Dog): You get a coupon a week before your birthday to redeem an item and this time for me it was a free corn dog. Expires on your birthday.
Whats your favorite birthday freebie to redeem? Are there freebies that I missed? Comment below!
One of the best things about serving as Miss Taiwanese World is the opportunity to connect with people of all backgrounds and learning about their culture and customs. The royal court was invited to the 35th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Monterey Park earlier this month to enjoy this yearly event.
The day was a brisk and chilly one; however, considering the weather conditions and high chance of rain the festival attracted a diverse group of Asian, Hispanic, and Caucasian enthusiasts. Performers sang in Spanish and some audience members got up and danced allow to the melodious beats. It was really beautiful to see how regardless of language, music and the arts can really bring us all together.
As goodwill ambassadors the royal court presented Friendship flags to the event Chairman Jesus Ortiz and Monterey Park Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian to continue relationships and support the City of Monterey Park. Photos were taken and we enjoyed the good company and energetic entertainment for the remainder of the afternoon. In addition to performances they also raffled off some cool prizes which included giftcards to haircuts, restaurants, and other local businesses.