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

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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

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 

I Like Laika – FREE interactive exhibit outside SDCC

While most of the San Diego Comic Con was up and runnin’ on Wednesday (SDCC Preview Night), I was among the first guests to enter the Laika Live Experience – a FREE exhibit in the Gaslamp District.

Laika Exhibit

Upon waiting in line my friends and I were handed a fan with a character as well as a headband with the characters iconic headdress (I choose the helmet for Kubo) and we were seated to watch a short video regarding the movies. For my readers unfamiliar with the Laika, they’re known for handcrafted stop-motion animation and stunning visual effects. They swap out heads to mimic different expressions, but at the end of the day it takes hours to create a scene that lasts a couple of minutes. Whew!

Hot on set!

They also recreated a few life-size versions of certain scenes, but don’t let this comfy lookin’ couch fool you, it’s as hard as a rock. So deceptive! And my hinny was in great pain, but anything for the shot! lol

Figurines from the exhibit

I can’t say that I know the franchise all that well, but I am confidently impressed by the patience and care to detail these artists put in creating these features. During the exhibit the artist who worked on the movie showed us techniques and told us how they recorded people doing certain tasks and would emulate those actions with the characters. One artist informed us that his running style was used for one of the mother characters.

My friends who attended last year said that this was even bigger and better than last – who will check this exhibit out in 2019?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Dragon Ball Z at SDCC – 3rd Anniversary Mobile Game Debut + Movie Promotion!

San Diego Comic Con is MASSIVE and I felt that I didn’t do the mecca nerd gathering justice by spending just a couple days.  So, this year I allocated more time to dwell in the summer nerd capitol and tried to do as many of the outside convention stuff. (See Conan Taping LIVE here.)

Dragon Ball Z life-size and miniature figurines

On Wednesday my friends and I ventured behind the convention to checkout the Dragon Ball Z area and considering it was Preview Night I was surprised at how many people were already waiting in lines! But those lines were no match for the My Hero Academia panel line (check out post here). Nevertheless, the setup was most impressive and there was a ton to do and see for the ultimate Dragon Ball fan! * Note * this area was within the sectioned SDCC Badge area.

Line to play the mobile game!

The main line was for dedicated to fans who wanted a Dragon Ball Z backpack and lanyard, among other goodies, whereas the side lines were for fans who wanted to try and win freebies such as a t-shirt or hat. There were also photo opportunities as well as figurine replicas re-enacting scenes from the series all to promote the third anniversary mobile game “Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle” – I tried it and it’s super hard, but practice makes perfect right? Lol

Photo opts!

Dragon Ball Z will also be premiering a movie later this year. No word on which theaters, but I hope it’s “Over 9000” haha… If you can have a private viewing of an upcoming movie, what movie would you want to see?

XOXO,

Rockstar

Unicorn spotted at Candytopia in Santa Monica, CA

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!

Candytopia Rooms

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:)

Candy made sculptures and oversized playground 

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 them here. Limit 12 tickets per person.

 

What candy creation would you be most excited to see?

XOXO,
Rockstar

Tasting Fusion Taiwanese Cuisine at Tru Grits in Anaheim, CA

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

Minced Pork Rice

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.

Hainan Chicken and Tycoon Short Rib

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!

Bread Pudding with Ice Cream 

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?

XOXO,

Rockstar

Me, Myself and Irene – 2017 in Review

When I was first thinking about this post I thought to myself – man… I totally bombed the “will write a blog post every-week” goal, I “should” be making more money, I “should” be blah blah blah..  but as I looked through my rolo-dex of photos I realized that I had so many cool moments and while I didn’t meet all the goals I set out – I did achieve quite a bit and “should” remember those! This was definitely the year of “Me, Myself, and Irene” from my “Diary of a Beauty Queen’s Food and Travel Adventures (Instagram)” to opening up to my readers with my alias as @TheGeekyGuide (Instagram) to launching my College Consulting By Yu Youtube channel (website), I’m three people in one!

@yurockstar 2017 highlights

As @yurockstar I finished my term as Miss Taiwanese World Queen and passed the torch (blog entry), and visited so many cool restaurants – the Exchange Restaurant being my favorite this year! (blog entry) – and festivals as media including the LA Food and Wine Festival (blog entry 1; blog entry 2; blog entry 3) where I got to meet Tyler Florence and Brian Malarky. I also got to be a guest on Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word” and critiqued the competitors dishes.  2017 was also the year when I got to visit San Diego Comic Con (blog entry) for the first time and hear Disney Legend Alan Menkin perform his classic hits at D23 (blog entry)! I also bought an annual pass to Six Flags Magic Mountain (blog entry) and convinced four of my friends to go on roller coasters with me. On a totally random note – I also won a mattress from an Instagram contest through yelp, woot!

@thegeekyguide 2017 highlights

To be honest, I was kind of a closet cosplayer and nervous about cosplaying one of my childhood idols. The live action Wonder Woman movie debuted earlier this year and I felt very conscientious about wearing a corset, let alone portray such an iconic character. I was selected as one of Game Spot’s Best DC Cosplay at SDCC  and WonderCon, and featured on the LA Time’s “Why Cosplay as Wonder Woman” video. But more importantly, I loved when kids came up to me to ask for a photo opt – just to see them smile made me feel that that 2 hours it took to do my hair and make-up all the worthwhile.

I also debuted Chun Li this year and was invited to join a Street Fighter group! Everyone does such a great job in portraying their character, and they inspired me to revisit and brush-up on my martial arts and dance techniques. I also upgraded some of my Sailor Mars uniform and had a blast with various photoshoots with the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask! I’ve made so many awesome friends through cosplay and it’s always awesome to see familiar faces portraying different heros and villians.

@Yucollege/ College Consulting By Yu Video Thumbnails

And yes, if you can believe it this was also the year that I decided to share my counseling knowledge through youtube. It’s been on my heart for a while so I finally bit the bullet and launched the channel:  College Consulting Youtube Channel (Instagram). I created 10 videos ranging from Survive a School Shooting to the Common App Tutorial, and boy you can definitely see improvements from video 1-10. There’s still much work to be done, and my goal next year is to do 40 more! Won’t you come and watch? (youtube link) 😉

I’ve learned that no matter what goal you’ve set yourself up for that if you didn’t meet it today, tomorrow is always a new day. My Resolution is to make each day count. What’s yours?

XOXO,
Rockstar