Boy it’s been a long time since I’ve lasted blogged. Life gave me some lemons, but I also had some wonderful adventures. My most recent one was super sweet! I was invited by Trip Skyscanner to check out a pop-up shop up in Santa Monica called Candytopia and I definitely give it a 10!
If you love bright colors and handmade creations this interactive art exhibit is a dream come true. Rooms have fabulous sugary themes and so many wonderful photo opts. I had a blast prancing around letting my imagination run wild and each room came fully stocked with various packaged candy to keep your sugar rush high. My favorite was the full size dark chocolate crunch bar – which I devoured – no regrets O:)
I felt like a kid in a candy shop and I’m so glad that I got to experience it. Be sure to check it out for yourself if you haven’t done so already – their last day is July 22! Tickets are $30 for adults and $23 for children age 4-12. You can purchase themhere. Limit 12 tickets per person.
What candy creation would you be most excited to see?
When I think of Anaheim I think of Mickey Mouse and tourists galore. Rarely, do I think about it being a destination for authentic ethnic food – let alone solid Taiwanese food. Yet, Celebrity Chef Theresa Lin recently debuted some of her signature dishes at Tru Grits so I obviously wanted to taste her creations. Good Taiwanese food outside of Taiwan is hard to come by so I was excitedly try some authentic dishes so close to home
Located inside the Sheraton Hotel, many guests wouldn’t think twice about a hotel offering tasty ethnic food; however, this branch deviates from that notion and dare I say the flavors are very comparable to a restaurant in Taiwan. The Taiwanese Minced Pork Rice dish ($9) was so simple, but packed with immense flavor and the Free-Range Hainan Quarter chicken ($13) with savory rice and pickled vegetables was so moist and tender. However, the signature tycoon beef short rib ($23) was easily the highlight of the night. When I cut into the meat, it just fell right off the bone and paired with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus made it a complete meal. The value on this particular dish is very reasonable, without compromising the taste.
We ended our meal with some traditional American faire and the bread pudding with ice cream is a must. I’m on a low carb diet for 2018, but this dish is definitely a decadent and wonderful treat. The presentation is wonderful as it’s delivered in a small cask-iron pan, and the taste is equally impressive. Get this and you will not be sorry!
Orange County isn’t typically known as an authentic Asian cuisine location. I typically drive up to the 626 area for that; however, I’m happy to welcome a great local option that’s just footsteps away from “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Cheers!
Bread pudding is one of my guilty pleasures. What’s yours?
I’ve been to a number of tastings, but never have I gone to them back-to-back let alone for multiple days! So when @foodiejudge (of Instagram) and I were invited to cover the LA Food and Wine festival I was beyond excited. This epic FOUR-DAY tasting featured culinary legends and new dishes at each venue (yes there are multiple), and I had the opportunity to check out Thursday’s Ultimate Bites of LA event and Saturday afternoon’s Lexus Grand Tasting. Both events were fabulous in their own rights; however, Saturday evening’s LIVE on Grand had a live hip hop performance by Wyclef Jean- you probably know him from Shakira’s hit song “Hips Don’t Lie.” Ah yeah…
While the entertainment headline was certainly a star-studded one, the restaurant line-up was certainly no joke. Celebrated chefs from across the nation including chefs from Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hill (Los Angeles), Hudson Valley Foie Gras (New York), Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami Beach), and Sydney Street Cafe ( St. Louis) plated the evening affair and I loved all the vibrant and tasty dishes. One of my favorite dishes was Tyler Florence’s “Bacon and Egg” concept where the breakfast duo was artistically presented inside the egg-shell – brilliant!
Yet excellent food paired with a bomb venue heightens the experience 10 folds. With the downtown cityscape and Walt Disney Concert Hall serving as the backdrop it doesn’t’ get more glamorous that this!
I thought the night couldn’t get any better until I saw and took a selfie with Celebrity Chef and Food Network Star Tyler Florence, as seen on Tyler’s Ultimate and The Great Food Truck Race. *Gush* but in all seriousness if you’re a foodie/wineo this is definitely an event you should add on your bucket list! I mean who wouldn’t want to wine and dine with the country’s best culinary personalities?
If you could have a meal with any celebrity chef who would it be?
One year ago, I entered in beauty pageant and while I felt that I didn’t fit the pageant girl mold, I decided to go for it and take it as a learning opportunity. Hey if I could take these free classes to improve public speaking, grace and etiquette, why wouldn’t I take advantage of it? And so the journey began…
As a Taiwan ambassador I took part in many community engagements, holiday parades, and networked with local council members in the greater Los Angeles area. Some events were more glamorous than others, and while I likely will retire from this world it did teach me quite a bit, but not in ways I’d expect.
I am who I am… by this I mean I’ve grown to accept that I am a multi-layered individual who is always going to challenge the status quo. I’ve never fit in anywhere and always stuck out – most of the times unintentionally. In some ways participating in a pageant, helped me understand that I was born to stand out, not blend in. I embrace my quirks and imperfections, and while I still have a long way to go in becoming who I’m suppose to be I think I’m heading the right direction
To all the current and future titleholders… Take advantage of every moment to shine, You are worthy and never let anyone tell you otherwise. I can’t wait to see where the new year will take you and how much you will grow along the way.
Minnie Mouse is known for her iconic red dress with white polka dots (pink depending on which version), but for special occasions she debuts some bold fashion choices. At the bi-annual D23 Expo (Disney Convention) in collaboration with Honda the expo showcased some of her flirty fashion choices throughout the years.
Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary 2012 – This bell-sleeved pink-and-purple ombre dress is decorated with a night motif of stars and crescent moons.
Disneyland Resort 60th Anniversary 2015 – In Spring 2015, Minnie Mouse wore her traditional red dress silhouette with rhinestones and crystals to celebrate the Diamond Celebration.
Shanghai Disney Resort Grand Opening 2016 – With a Grand Opening, it’s expected for the host to debut a stunning number. Minnie Mouse certainly didn’t disappoint with her Asian inspired ensemble. With soft pinks and gold embroidery this piece is inexcusably royal
Minnie’s dress is unmatched by her iconic oversized bow. I feel that this feminine accessory really makes any outside complete and of course Honda wouldn’t be doing Minnie justice without it.
In this photo I’m wearing my recently purchased clip-on bow from D23. They had designs inspired by all the Disney Princesses as well as some multi-colored one. Mine is the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and this design will be available at the parks at the end of the year!
Disneyland Paris Fashion Parade 2013 (Designed by Alber Elbaz of Lanvin Paris) – Minnie wouldn’t be a household name without taking some fashion risks and at Fashion capitol of the world, Minnie debuted an incredibly presidential attire. She adorned a form-fitting royal blue with symmetrically patterned jewels.
Rock the Dots 2015 (Designed by Christian Siriano) – Project Runway Winner and “Fierce” Haute Couture Designer created a one of a kind ensemble for this “Fierce” one of a kind mouse. He drew inspiration from her bubbly, but girly personality and added bows and rhinestones to show off her playful nature.
Rock the Dots 2017 (Designed by Olumpia Le-Tan) – This custom dyed blue dress was created with 53 custom appliquéd polka dots and paired with a signature monogram leather belt buckle of Olumpia Le-Tan. This little sequin dress is both flirty and fierce.
Hong Kong Disneyland 10th Anniversary 2015 – Wow! If you’re ready to party, this dress will definitely turn heads. This brightly colored and festive ensemble was designed by the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and designed to dance the night away.
Fashion Los Angeles Awards 2017 (Designed by Stacy Bendet of Alice + Olivia) – I definitely see nods to Jackie Kennedy here. This hight-low gown is covered with 14,000 hand-applied jet black crystals and accessorized with oversized glasses. The look is complete with red patent pumps – a staple in every girls closet.
Mink and Roses Russian Vogue 2008 (Designed by Oleg Ovsiyoy) – When Minnie took a vacation away from her sunny Southern California home, she certainly dressed to impress. WIth her faux mink fur and accented with sequins, this warm, fuzzy look is functional and stylish.
I loved Minnie’s daring Disneyland Paris Fashion Parade ensemble. Which outfit was your favorite?
I confess I didn’t give up anything for Lent this year, but if meat was your item of choice visiting Veggie Grill may help make the 40 day period more tolerable. A group of foodies met to provide insight on menu items and we were given the opportunity to sample 6 items ranging from appetizers to dessert. We began our tasting with the chill out wings.
I’ll admit I really detest fake meat. The spongy texture just cannot do the meal thing justice. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty and convincing these wings were. It was very tender and flavorful. 5 Stars! The next item we tried was the buffalo chicken. The base item was the same as the chill out wings, but the sauce is the star in this item.
We then moved on to their entrees and sampled their quinoa and kale salad. This was an extremely healthy offering and very light, perfect for those days when you feel fat and bloated. The Harvest Bowl on the other-hand was dense and rich. This may be a seasonal item limited to the fall as it makes the consumer feel warm and fuzzy inside. The last entrée we sampled was the Bombay Bowl, a curry over quinoa. The flavor was solid; however, the whole almonds added a crunch that I was not use to.
We then finished up our meal with their carrot-cake. I usually never make it to dessert, but I would for theirs! Overall, it was a pleasant tasting event and among the offerings the chill out wings takes the cake. If you’re a first time visitor, try their “fish” tacos, they’re amazing!
It’s no secret that I love Stonefire Grill (Yelp Review) because of their fresh ingredients and expansive menu selection. But it’s also a destination that bargain hunters swarm to as they prepare large portions of food for a very reasonably price. I love taking large groups because the food is served family style and we’re able to sample many dishes with a low per person average cost. They also have a large seating area that makes it a popular spot after a team victory meal or office outing.
However, there are times when I just don’t feel like sharing and just want to indulge in a dish all to myself. My all time favorite dish there is the BBQ tri-tip chopped salad and it is amazing! The salad is topped with freshly chopped tomatos, roasted corn, carrots, black beans, red cabbage, cilantro and jack cheese then tossed with tortilla strips and Buttermilk Ranch. Mmm… makes me hungry just thinking about it!
And going during lunch for their lunch special is just twice as nice since this petite entree also includes a delicious garlic bread stick. For about $7, this healthy entree does double duty as a tasty value-worthy meal that’s good for you pocket-book and belly. There are several branches in the southern California region and if you haven’t paid them a visit, you’re definitely missing out!