At Home with Monsters- The Guillermo del Toro Exhibit!

How is it the end of October already?? I haven't dressed up for Halloween since probably college but I do still like to do "Halloween-y" activities during this month. I actually really enjoy the month of October just because of the transition into fall..like the colors, the weather, the sweaters and boots and dark colored nail polish! 

So what better way to get into the Halloween spirit than to check out Guillermo del Toro's exhibit at LACMA?! For those who aren't familiar with him, he is a film director who is known for creating horror, monster and mythical movies. The exhibit displays storyboards from his movies, concept art and the actual props! If you have seen Crimson Peak, Hellboy, or Pacific Rim, you'll get to see some of the props in person here! It was a very neat exhibit because most of the props you'll see here, you probably have seen in movies that you didn't even know was directed by Guillermo del Toro! Walking through the exhibit was pretty spooky just because the props were so real life and detailed that you felt like you were in a horror movie. This exhibit came at the most perfect time. 

If you plan on visiting, they are running the exhibit until November 27th. Tickets are $25 and parking is another $15. I definitely recommend getting tickets online because the line does get pretty long at LACMA, especially on the weekends. 

You can't really come to LACMA and not play with the "pasta". I honestly do not even know what this is called, but it looks like pasta, therefore I will call it pasta. But wash your hands after because I bet it is filled with germs because little kids and everyone just touches it.

"At Home with Monsters"

"At Home with Monsters"

Angel of Death in Hellboy II.

Angel of Death in Hellboy II.

Pale Man.

Pale Man.

Bride of Frankenstein.

Bride of Frankenstein.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

Hi there! It is Sunday and I am dreading going back into work tomorrow. Wah! But you have to adult when you have to adult. So last weekend was Labor Day weekend and whenever we have the chance for a mini trip, we always try to visit our best friends, Beca and Daniel in the Bay! Usually Kyle and I will just drive up but this time we flew and seriously, I don’t ever want to drive to the bay ever again. Flying takes about 45 minutes from LAX and saves SO much time. Well, obviously.

Whenever I tell people or my coworkers that I am going to San Francisco, they think we’re going to be doing a bunch of touristy things. But for us, we go just to visit our friends and spend quality time with them. So it was nice to be able to just relax and just hang out with them even if it is just being at home and lounging around. So if you know me and Beca, there is no complete trip without GOOD FOOD. So keep reading to see what we were up to all weekend!

Daniel picked us up from SFO and headed straight to Beca’s for some bomb ass pizza! Every single time we visit, we always get Cheeseboard. This pizza place is located in Berkeley and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this in my previous SF blog post earlier this year. If you’re in the area, please go try it because your life won’t be complete without it. They also have gluten free options if you’re allergic like Kyle!

Saturday morning, we got up pretty early to get coffee and brunch with Daniel before he had to go into work. So Daniel and Kyle are complete coffee snobs. They like that high end $10 for a cup of coffee kind of places. Lol, I’m just kidding. But they are snobs and Daniel swears by Blue Bottle. You can’t go a day without him talking about Blue Bottle. So we headed there for a quick cup of coffee! 

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Gluten Free carrot cake bread!

Gluten Free carrot cake bread!

Headed over to La Note for brunch. This place is a French style restaurant and it has a very “home-y vibe” to it. I got the two egg breakfast with chicken apple sausage. Sometimes, I just love a simple and hearty breakfast. 

Stopped by Artis Coffee and Daniel picked up juice for us. Look how pretty and colorful they are! It was so refreshing!

So there is pretty teahouse out in Berkeley called, Asha Tea House. They specialize in all sorts of teas and boba. I love their boba because it’s so chewy and fresh!

Afterwards, we headed towards 4th street to walk around before heading to dinner. For dinner, we had Noodles Fresh and it’s a Chinese cuisine restaurant. I absolutely love noodles. Noodles over rice any day. What is so awesome about this place is that they have gluten free options! It is really difficult for Kyle to find good gluten free Chinese food. Especially the authentic kind. Everything about this place is so good!! I loved all the dishes we got. Highly recommend the Hainan chicken and the beef stir-fry noodle dish. Ugh, I would be so happy if this place opened in SoCal! 

For dessert, we headed to Uji Time Dessert. If you’ve been to Kansha in Torrance, they serve a similar dessert like the Matcha Parfait. But instead of ice cream, it is soft serve. Picture below is the black sesame soft serve on a waffle cone.

Sunday! Our last full day here. So sad. This time, we headed out to Walnut Creek. First stop was Coffee Shop! This place serves a coconut-orange latte and okay, I don’t EVER consume anything with oranges in it. EVER. But I tried Beca’s orange-coconut latte, and okay, it was really good. LOL. I didn’t taste any oranges at all. It was sweet and perfect for a hot day. Anyway, try it if you’re in Walnut Creek.  After, we went over to Main Street Kitchen for brunch. 

After brunch, we made our way to Broadway Plaza for some shopping! It’s a nice outdoor mall! Reminds me of The Grove or The Americana. It was surprisingly really warm out towards that way. 

Picked up juice to hydrate!

Picked up juice to hydrate!

Snickerdoodle cookies with toasted almond ice cream! 

Snickerdoodle cookies with toasted almond ice cream! 

For dinner, we went to Gogi Time for some KBBQ!!! This place reminds me of Gen. Pretty good! I would have posted a picture but I was literally too hungry. Sorrrrry! (KBBQ pictures aren't really pretty anyway!) 

So our flight was super early Monday morning. Daniel took us to Four Barrel Coffee before we headed home since it was close and on the way. This was our first time trying Four Barrel and the atmosphere of this coffee shop is dark and dim. The worker didn’t seem very happy- but then again, we came around 7AM. If I had to choose between this place or Blue Bottle, I'd say Blue Bottle. 

Menu

Menu

Kyle and I arrived back in LA around 9:15 am and oh my gosh. We were so tired! You always need a vacation after your vacation, I swear. My little sister’s birthday this year landed on Labor Day. So we ran our errands and prepared for work the next day pretty quickly so we can make it in time for her birthday dinner. I’m not sure why, but every time after an eventful weekend, I always feel like I need greens in my body. Like a good green smoothie and the perfect place for it is Whole Foods. I am obsessed with their smoothies! 

For my sister’s birthday dinner, we went to Pacific Fish Center and Restaurant at the Redondo Beach Pier. We ordered a few pounds of shrimp, a medium platter of sashimi, this Korean soup and octopus.  It’s a good place if you really just want to eat  wholesome seafood. 

This weekend just flew by!! But like they say, time flies when you’re having fun.  But that is what life is all about, making the most out of the time we have. Can’t wait for the next three-day weekend! 

Quarter Century Festivities!

Helllloooo guys! So I finally hit the big 2-5! Halfway to 50 ya’ll. This is SUPER delayed (my bad) but I just had to get some pictures up of all the fun and AWESOME food that I ate during the two week birthday festivities! 

SO. Birthday weekend, Kyle and I headed to Gaslamp District in San Diego for the weekend! Highly recommend if anyone needs a quick getaway. There are so many activities you can do out there and definitely, SO many foodie places to go to. 

First stop, North Park for some coffee before checking into our hotel. Kyle found a cute hipster coffee shop called, “Communal Coffee”. Their slogan (I guess you could say), says, “Coffee + Flowers”. Literally, they sell coffee … and flowers. It’s super cute. 

lavender honey, standard latte, and vanilla bean latte.

lavender honey, standard latte, and vanilla bean latte.

Mango black tea and the octopus pin Kyle picked up for me as a souvenir! 

Quick little sushi dinner at Taka Sushi. Everything was fresh and delicious. We sat at the bar and got to chat with the sushi chef for a bit which was really fun! 

Hung out around Gaslamp District and of course, played some Pokemon Go. Then headed back to our hotel’s rooftop bar for some drinks. Well, just a Moscow Mule for me because I’m a baby when it comes to alcohol.

Next morning, we slept in for a bit and then headed out to our favorite brunch spot in SD, Snooze! We have been coming here everytime we are in San Diego. Mainly, because their gluten free selection is TO DIE FOR. Everything is super filling so you don’t need to order too much. We got the Snooze Spuds Deluxe with chorizo and prosciutto and the pancake flight (pineapple upside down pancakes, sticky toffee pudding French toast and the pancake of the day).

After brunch, we quickly grabbed coffee and then made our way to Balboa Park! This was my first time and holy, it is huge!! You literally can’t do the entire park in one day. We visited the Japanese Friendship Garden first, which was really neat and then walked around the rest of the park and played Pokemon Go. Caught my first Pikachu here! After, we picked up a smoothie to cool off and went back to the room to rest before dinner! 

Kyle took me to Cowboy Star for my birthday dinner and oh my gosh. This place was amazeballs. It was everything and more!! You know it’s a nice restaurant when they coordinate your napkin to the outfit you’re wearing. We started off with mussels and had the 40 oz porterhouse, which was THE most perfect thing I’ve ever had. Birthday dessert was a crème brulee!

Best date ever!

Best date ever!

So Kyle had one little surprise for me before our trip ended! Amy and John (Kyle’s mom and stepdad) and his two brothers got us tickets to go paddleboarding! This was so much fun and relaxing to do in the morning when it’s not too hot or too cold. After, we headed back to the hotel to get our stuff ready to check out and then headed to pick up coffee at Better Buzz Coffee then off to Phil’s BBQ! The ribs lived up to the hype for sure and surprisingly, the wait was not bad at all! Probably 30 minutes at most.

First timer!

First timer!

The celebration continues!!! The following weekend was my birthday dinner with my closest friends. Beca and Dly flew down that weekend to celebrate with me which was seriously, the cherry on top for this birthday celebration.  

Started the weekend off with brunch at Great Maple. If you guys haven’t gone here, you should because it is Instagram worthy and their food is delicious! 

Pear mimosa and watermelon! 

Pear mimosa and watermelon! 

Popbar!

Popbar!

Birthday dinner was at Frida Mexican Cuisine. The restaurant itself is super modern, trendy and super pretty. Also, really great for pictures :P

Thank you guys, for making this birthday so special! 

Next day, slept in a bit and then headed out to LA for some fun!

Of course, I had to take Beca to Alfred Tea. The boys got Alfred coffee which is pretty much across the street. The whole Alfred chain is my favorite. I fell in love with Alfred coffee when I was working in Brentwood. If you guys haven’t gone, you really should. 

My 25th birthday was absolutely so special. So beyond lucky to have the best boyfriend and the best friends in the entire world. Here's to a great 25th! 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend

Hey guys! As I am sitting here writing this, I am wishing how this weekend was a three-day weekend because last week went by way too fast. Not ready for work tomorrow!!

So let me give you guys a recap of what I did last weekend with my family! My cousin, Kien, from Canada is currently living in Fremont, CA for the summer because of his internship with Tesla (how cool right?!) and he decided to come down to SoCal to visit us for the weekend. So get ready for a food-filled post! You'll be surprised at how much we ate each day! Haha! 

SATURDAY

For brunch, my family and I took Kien to get pho at Pho Pasteur in Garden Grove. That place is pretty good and clean. It's my parents' go-to pho place in OC. So if anyone is interested, I highly recommend! On our way to brunch, we were debating back and forth between pho or Baos Hog but we ended up getting both (my dad's splendid idea). 

Kien got the Boss (braised pork belly) and the Bolsa (crispy pork belly) and I got the Duck Bao. So so good. 

Kien got the Boss (braised pork belly) and the Bolsa (crispy pork belly) and I got the Duck Bao. So so good. 

Next stop, The Cauldron! This is my absolute favorite ice cream place. Their flavors are unique and flavorful and the texture of the ice cream is perfection. 

Kien got the Earl Grey Lavender with the puffle, my mom got vanilla bean, my dad got Vietnamese coffee and I of course, got the usual, Rose H2O!

Kien got the Earl Grey Lavender with the puffle, my mom got vanilla bean, my dad got Vietnamese coffee and I of course, got the usual, Rose H2O!

This easily became my parents' favorite as well. I was beyond shocked at how much my dad enjoyed his ice cream because my dad does not like anything. And I mean, anything.

The topic of conversation this weekend besides food was probably, Tesla. So we were making our way home from Costa Mesa and happened to pass by the new Model X and I pointed it out to my family and my mom just fell in love with it! Since my cousin is interning with Tesla, we all just ended up talking about it for a while on our way home and decided last minute to make a trip out to the Tesla store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Kyle (my boyfriend, for those of you who don't know), is a super fan of Tesla and had been wanting some Tesla gear for quite some time. Kien picked up some gear for himself and some for Kyle. We were so excited to surprise him with it! We spent some time out in Fashion Island before heading home, for real this time.

I'm not sure but I think AYCE Korean BBQ is just a big deal mostly in southern California. Where my cousin lives in Canada, there's not too many Korean BBQ places at all, so we thought it would be perfect to take him to Gen! I honestly really like Gen because of the atmosphere and the food is decent too. All that food for $20 a person is a good deal! 

SUNDAY

We all got up around 9:30 and had some coffee before heading out to the Anaheim Packing District. This is the perfect place to take visitors because it is so unique and they have a huge variety of food to choose from and of course, dessert. Our plan was to get there around 12ish but that was delayed because my dad, Kien, and Kyle all got into deep conversation about Tesla. Let me sidetrack for a second, if you know Kyle, you know he is obsessed with Tesla. All day, everyday, he is talking about Tesla. Having my cousin here so he could talk to Kyle about Tesla was a huge relief for me! But anyway, we were stuck waiting around for a few hours because the three of them were just babbling away about Teslas! Anyway, back to the Anaheim Packing District, parking here is an absolute pain. I highly recommend just getting valet because it is so much more time efficient and it is only $3! 

My dad and Kien both got ramen from Orange Tei.

My dad and Kien both got ramen from Orange Tei.

I got a salmon-mango salad from Mix it Up. This place was all right. The salad was pretty average to me. I think if you visit the Anaheim Packing District or don't come here as often, you should probably try the other restaurants. This wasn't anything exciting.

I got a salmon-mango salad from Mix it Up. This place was all right. The salad was pretty average to me. I think if you visit the Anaheim Packing District or don't come here as often, you should probably try the other restaurants. This wasn't anything exciting.

Kyle got Indian food (I forgot the name) and he said it was delicious but the portions are too small for it's price. My mom got fries and poutine from The Kroft (my mom already started eating hers before I could take a picture). 

Well, you can't come to the Anaheim Packing District without stopping at PopBar! I highly, highly recommend getting the waffle cone and kettle corn as your toppings! SO GOOD. (Pictured from left to right: Grapefruit, Mango, and Strawberry)

Well, you can't come to the Anaheim Packing District without stopping at PopBar! I highly, highly recommend getting the waffle cone and kettle corn as your toppings! SO GOOD. (Pictured from left to right: Grapefruit, Mango, and Strawberry)

Did you know there is a trolley that comes to the Anaheim Packing District that you can go on for free and it takes you around downtown Anaheim?! We found this out that day and it was pretty neat! 

After this, we stopped by After's Ice Cream in Long Beach, so Kien could try the Milky Bun. He loved it! 

Jasmine Milk Tea, Cookie Monster with Mochi Milky Bun, and Vietnamese Coffee

Jasmine Milk Tea, Cookie Monster with Mochi Milky Bun, and Vietnamese Coffee

After our lunch, we headed back home for a very much needed nap before dinner. Food coma to the max. My parents skipped dinner, so Kyle, Kien, Taylor (my sister) and I went to Bowl Thai in Gardena for some good authentic Thai food. If you're looking for a Thai restaurant in the Gardena area, give Bowl Thai a try! It's located in the Tozai Plaza. Their food is delicious and the people are friendly and helpful. After dinner, we headed to Ajito in Cerritos for happy hour! Our friend Michael recommended this place to us a while ago and we've been coming back pretty frequently whenever we're in the mood for yakitori or sushi. The yakitori is about $1.50 each and their sushi is 50% off during happy hour! Their drinks are cheap as well. Kyle always ends up getting at least two bottles of Soju, haha. It's a really good place for dinner or just some drinks and little bites. 

This is called the "Carnival Corn". Really tasty!

This is called the "Carnival Corn". Really tasty!

MONDAY

Sadly, Kien had to leave super early Monday morning so we only had about two days to show him around but I think we knocked off a lot from our to-do list this weekend. He was sick of dessert by the end of the trip! Haha!

Kyle didn't get much sleep the past few days so I thought it would be nice for him to catch up on some sleep and since I can never sleep in, I went grocery shopping and made us breakfast! Made some scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage (my favorite!!) with some salsa my mama made the night before. 

For the rest of the day, we just ran errands in El Segundo and picked up some Pinkberry for an afternoon snack! 

My usual is the Pomegranate with mango, kiwi, strawberry and raspberries. 

My usual is the Pomegranate with mango, kiwi, strawberry and raspberries. 

For dinner, we decided on shabu shabu so we headed out to Irvine! Our friends Beca and Daniel took us to this place called, House of Shabu Shabu a while ago, and we've always just been coming back to this location because it is simply the best shabu shabu ever! It's $30 a person for AYCE and you get Kobe beef instead of the regualr angus beef normal restaurants serve you. I highly recommend! Shabu shabu restaurants are super pricey for just one plate so paying $30 a person for AYCE is totally worth it!

I got the sukiyaki broth and Kyle just got the original. 

I got the sukiyaki broth and Kyle just got the original. 

They give you complimentary ice cream at the end! I got black sesame and Kyle got green tea.

They give you complimentary ice cream at the end! I got black sesame and Kyle got green tea.

So that's it! I hope you guys enjoyed it and hopefully this will give you ideas on where to take your friends or families that are visiting SoCal! 

The West Coast Collegiate Meet

 

Hi guys! It has been such a long time since I’ve been able to post on here! Everything has been hectic and crazy these past couple of months for me with work and basically, just life. But I am trying my best to get back on here to post a bit more! So stay tuned for all the updates that I’ve been doing (mostly, just eating!).

So last weekend was the West Coast Collegiate Meet. This meet was started and put together by the UCI Powerlifting Team and I am beyond proud of them for putting in so much time and effort to make this meet happen. It was a total success guys!!! So many people have asked and thought that I graduated from UCI but nope, I graduated from CSUN! I was just at UCI for most of my college career because of my boyfriend and my friends. UCI holds a special place in my heart because it is where my love for powerlifting started (at the Anteater Recreation Center, to be precise)! So anything the UCI powerlifting team decides to do, we will always support! Anyway, so for this meet, Kilo and the UCI powerlifting team decided to collab on a team shirt and guys, this one is killer. I didn’t think it was possible to make an anteater look buff and vicious.  Now I’m not sure which one I like more, the Berkeley or the Irvine one. Hmm, just kidding.    They’re both great!

I spy new stickers!

I spy new stickers!

I am going to be honest, boothing can be so exhausting because there will be moments where there is a huge rush and then it will just be hours of just sitting there. But what makes it all worth it, is the amount of love and support that we receive from people who come to the booth to make a purchase or simply say hi! To hear people say how much they love Kilo makes me so happy because I know how much time and effort Kyle and the rest of our Kilo team has put into it. The powerlifting community is huge and the majority of us met through social media, so when we do these boothing events, it is so fun to be able to meet these people in person that have been following me or I’ve been following them. So to those who came by the booth last weekend, THANK YOU for supporting Kilo and so nice seeing you all! :)

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hashtag outfit of the day

hashtag outfit of the day

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Meet our littest Kilo team member, Lucas! Future powerlifter, bodybuilder and for sure, heartbreaker.

Tastes yummy, huh Lucas? :P

Tastes yummy, huh Lucas? :P

#shareyourears

First off, now until March 14th, Disney will be donating $5 to Make-A-Wish Foundation for every post you make on social media using the hashtag, #shareyourears! Just make sure to have your Mickey or Minnie ears on! If you don’t have any, you can always get creative. 

As many of you know, I AM OBSESSED WITH BB-8! So, of course, right when I heard Disneyland opened up the Star Wars Launch Bay, Disneyland became high priority on my to-do list. Kyle and I decided to go on a Wednesday and, luckily, it was not crowded at all! The longest we waited in line was 45 minutes for Cars (felt like less than 45 minutes though). We got on pretty much all the main rides that we wanted to go on with waiting approximately 15-20 minutes at most for each ride. THE FOOD never disappoints. When I had a Disneyland pass in college, sometimes I would just go for the food. Overall, this trip to Disneyland was so much fun and I accomplished everything I had wanted to do here—get BB-8 everything! Really considering getting a Disneyland pass again! Especially since Star Wars Land is coming this year!! 

 

First time eating at Flo's V8 Cafe and it did not disappoint. The head chef was EXTREMELY helpful and catered to Kyle’s gluten free needs. I got the rotisserie chicken and the meat was juicy and every bite was perfection! Kyle got a roast beef sandwich, which he liked as well.

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I literally had one mission and one mission only—get BB-8 EVERYTHING! The cup was the main thing of course, it is absolutely adorable. Carried him around with me the entire day!  Picked up a rice krispy treat, a pin, and an ornament for Christmas this year! But I'll probably use it all year round.

HAD TO.

Kyle literally made every wish come true for me this trip.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Disneyland and not picked up a cream cheese pretzel. 

Kyle and I needed a quick pick-me-up so we stopped by New Orleans Square for some beignets, coffee and a mint julep. OMG—coffee and beignets. I die. 

The Jedi Order Burger with a hint of the dark side. So at the Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland, they offer Star Wars themed burgers and sandwiches. I was digging the Jedi Order Burger way more but was so obsessed with the black bun so we did some modifications! SO GOOOOD. 

This day was absolutely PERFECT!!!! Can’t wait to be back!





San Francisco Trip!

Whenever we get the chance to take a quick trip somewhere, 95% of the time, it’ll be to San Francisco. Not only do we love The Bay, our best friends are up there! No matter how many times we’ve been to NorCal, there’s always something new to do and a new place to eat! My girl Beca, who happens to be a complete foodie just like me (actually we are just identical), is always prepared with where to take us! You already know she takes me to the best dessert places!! We don’t get to be fatties together like we used to, so we are sure to make the most of it whenever we’re together! I always expect to come home with a few extra pounds. So don’t come here if you plan on competing soon and have to cut! 

            Hands down, Cheeseboard is my favorite pizza place EVER! It’s located in the city of Berkeley. I don’t think we’ve ever gone up north without eating Cheeseboard. So this place isn’t your average pizza joint. They have a different menu everyday and usually always something super creative and somehow they always taste so delicious! Beca is the best and she had this ready for Kyle and I when we arrived! Gluten-free for Kyle, of course.

We are all caffeine junkies so of course, our first day in the city, we had to get our coffee fix!