This remix of “Lost in Japan” by Shawn Mendes and Zedd just makes me so giddy and happy. I actually already adored the original already but I really love the additional texture from Zedd.
Still kept the Halloween decor at la Maison L wholesome for the munchkin. The fresh mums in pots were from Walmart since I like how reasonably priced they were and lasted up until Thanksgiving. The rest of the decorations were actually a combination of Dollar Tree and 99 cents store items. As for the kitchen island vignette, the tall red candle holders and mini houses candle holders were for Pier 1 imports while the Boo, wicked signs, and black little owl were from 99 cents store as well. The munchkin was happy with how it all turned out as he was asking me to decorate since the beginning of October.
Have a spooktacular Halloween everyone!
To the one I didn’t “settle down” with but the remarkable person who I “persevere growth” with everyday, Happy Birthday dearest Dada! The munchkin and I love you more than our hearts can hold. You are the continuously superlative grace we are most definitely thankful for. ❤️❤️❤️ #happybirthdaymonamour
Jean Grey is one of the most complex characters from the X-men world. Her power is so pervasive that it is immensely dangerous for her to realize that. Another strong woman lead, the future is indeed female.
BTS came to the United Nations to help launch the United Nations' Generation Unlimited, an education and employment program for young people, K-pop super group BTS gave a speech about empowerment and love. RM, the appointed leader of the chart topping group, was their spokesperson. Amazing to see these boys using their following and clout for a worthwhile cause. Kudos BTS!
There was a young boy with the most melancholic eyes who accidentally fell into a raging river. He was too frail to fight the currents so he took it as life’s way of asking him to surrender. Life was abandoning him, like the very people who brought him out to the world, he thought. Against all odds, the boy inexplicably survived and no one exactly knew who saved him. He always wondered why he was saved though as he was growing up. He decided that it was life’s way of asking him to fight, rise above the adversity, so he did. On the day he eloped and married the love of his life, he said “Ah, this is why I lived”. On the day his firstborn son let out his first wail, he said, “unbelievably another reason why”. When he first set his eyes on who was going to be his only daughter, smitten, he said “I’m grateful for another reason why”. On the most unexpected time, he welcomed his youngest son, he said “Wow, another reason why”. And those saddest eyes of his, they became a pair of elation ready to meet his every “reason” why...until it was time to finally close. You always said that you finally understood God’s plan to let you live that fateful day as each of us came into your life as your family. We all know the truth though, you’ve had it backwards all this time, it’s because you were born today, is why we got to live. Happy Birthday dearest Daddy, evermore, you are my most important why. Your girl still misses you and those bright eyes, everyday of my life. #4reasonswhy #happybirthdaydearestdaddy #godsplan
New York Fashion week has recently concluded. London and Milan followed. Paris Fashion week is gearing up for its turn. Here’s a list of what I’m loving so far:
I have limited exposure and knowledge about Captain Marvel. I am glad though that Hollywood has taken liberty (for good cause this time) to go with the female iteration of (Brie Larson) Captain Marvel. The original Captain Marvel was a male superhero in the comics. The trailer looks awesomely action packed. Is she the savior we desparately needed to go against the bejeweled Thanos? Can’t wait to see.
Since I discovered Starbucks for Nespresso pods last year, I just get excited when I see other companies follow suit. I got the set from Fauchon, Paris a couple of months ago. Peet’s also got into the Nespresso compatible pods. It means more variety for Nespresso drinkers like me. Please note that these are for the original model only and not for the Vertuo line.
Part of our travels really is acquiring books. It’s mostly desserts , pastry or bread recipe books for the hubby for obvious reasons. While I also like recipe books, I lean more towards savory recipes also souvenir books from Museums. The munchkin love boos about transportation special to each city. The downside though is that it can get heavy for the luggage so you have to be mindful in making allowances. While we know we can get some of these books in electronic format, nothing still beats the feel of an actual hardback, and we also usually try to get a signed copy whenever possible.
Here are the recent acquisitions from recent travels
Fortnum & Mason The Cookbook by Parker Bowles. You read the last name right, he is the son of the current Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla.
Le Pain De La Terre A La Table by Christophe Vasseur- The hubby really felt compelled to buy this from Du Pain et Des Idées
Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi- See my post on Ottolenghi here
Dominique Ansel Los Angeles was on a fruit tart frenzy when we visited recently. They had a their own version of Summer Marché farmers market full of 12 different fresh fruit tarts for Labor Day weekend. Everything looked so amazing in detail. We chose the Mango Champagne tart, and the Strawberry tart. We could not pass up on the cronut for the month of August: Strawberry Basil, filled with ripe strawberry jam and a creamy basil ganache. We also tried the cute, fluffy and perfect for summer, Pop Fleur. Always a delight to come by Dominique Ansel :).
Walter and Margarita Manzke, a husband and wife team, has been rocking the LA food scene for the past few years. We went to try 2 of the 3 restaurants they have in LA: Republique and Sari Sari Store.
We were pressed for time so we only got to try the pastry side of Republique. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their offerings. We had creme brulee bombolonis, kouign amann and chocolate croissant and loved all of it.
The whole space is quite instagrammable.
624 South La Brea Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Open Daily 8:00am - 3:00pm
Coffee, Pastries, Bread only from 3:00-4:00pm
Breakfast/Lunch: Walk-ins only.
Thurs- Sat; 5:30pm-11:00pm
Bar Opens at 5:30pm daily for drinks & hors d'oeuvres
Sari Sari Store
I’ve been telling the munchkin about how our family had a “Sari-Sari Store” when I was a kid in the Philippines. It’s like a minuscule local entrepreneurial 7-11-ish convenience store which is usually part of the house (to save money on rent, lol). There’s usually a good number of these stores within the neighborhood. I had the best childhood memories there while my grandpa and grandma manned it. It’s just so cool that I am able to give him now a complete visual reference 🤓 with it as the facade for the restaurant. My mom went nuts on their version of buco pie which is not a simple feat because we came from the town that specializes on these pies.
Grand Central Market,
317 South Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Mon – Thu: 11am – 8pm
Fri: 11am – 9pm
Sat: 10am – 9pm
Sun: 10am – 8pm
Truth be told, I am not yet ready for the holiday season,. I think I need about 2 more months to for my mind to get caught up with the whole calendar. But because I do not have Thanos’ time stone (geek alert), I just have to deal. The holidays usually means redecorating our home and looking at new themes. Lately, I’ve found myself being into the modern geometric designs in gold. I’m not sure if it’s because that’s the aesthetic du jour for most of the new restaurants we’ve seen from our travels recently. I think I will be going with the modern vibe for the family room that will make its way to the kitchen by Christmas. Slowly but surely, I’ve been amassing pieces that could potentially work cohesively through my go-to home décor store, Pier 1 Imports.
Here’s what I have found so far:
I find that the lanterns can be multi-purpose. For example, instead of using the tall ones for candles, I’ve put in miniature Eiffel towers in them for now. I may still use the hexagon as lanterns for the holidays but I may use it as a vase for silk flowers as well.
I love these gold cups. It’s simple but has character. It’s pragmatic too as it’s like those Moscow mules that keeps cold drinks cold. It’s also unbreakable so it’s ideal for my 8 y.o. It matched my dinnerware too! I’m now on the lookout for a modern and gold utensils set to complete the look (recommendations are welcome).
C’est La Vie- what’s not to love?
Small geometric candle holders- here’s another tip for you. You can mix and match tall candle holders with short ones. The shapes and colors just has to make sense. You don’t have to buy the big candles all the time. I do mix and matching all the time because sometimes what you want is simply not out there. I put these votive holders with a geometric house on top of the tall candle holder to make it more dramatic.
I’m just going to have to put in a holiday twist for all of these in the next couple of months.
I’ve had a thing for Patrick Dempsey long before he was McDreamy. Granted this Architectural Digest feature in not exactly new, still makes me smile though. What do you know, turns out we both like Frank Gehry.
Glendale is one of the cities next to Los Angeles that I frequented when I used to live in West Hollywood. I used to take my grandma there too and we would hang out together over the weekends. It has seen so much developments with the rise of Americana at Brand coupled with Glendale Galleria’s renovations. They likewise have our trio’s essentials: Shake Shack, Barnes & Nobles and now Laduree.
Here’s our roundup:
Din Tai Fung
This is actually where we first tried this Taiwanese dim sum franchise and there was no looking back. Thankfully, we got there by around 10:45 am right before the massive rush so the usual 2 hours we usually wait in Santa Clara was cut down to only 40 minutes. They never take reservations hence the long wait, Their Xiao Long Baos are worth waiting for though.
The Laduree within Americana is smaller than its Beverly Hills and The Grove counterparts. They also do not have the full menu but they have their signature pastries and macarons. The seating area is part of the community outdoor space.
The Earl Grey pie is simply delish! Sorry I don’t have a better picture but take my word for it, it’s good!
The rest of the Americana at the Brand
Here are some pics this time and my previous post here:
Here’s their complete list of shops and dining options
We chose to stay in Downtown LA this time because a good number of things/places we wanted to try was there. Here’s the round up:
Grand Central Market
This is one of the crowd pleasers for Downtown as it offers a wide variety of artisanal products. There are seating areas inside and outside but it gets packed easily so some people take their food to go. It’s not as extensive as Borough Market in London but have good choices nevertheless. We hit up Eggslut and Villa Moreleina.
A short history:
Since the trip up and down is relatively short, the charge is relatively cheap as well. You can then walk up to MOCA or The Broad.
The Original Philippe
This is the local favorite deli. Family and friends throughout the years have made it tradition to eat there on days the Dodgers are playing. They have maintained their decor so it’s like stepping back in time. The munchkin the side by side telephone booths amusing. The queue gets long too. We got there just a little over 10 am and there were lines already. The munchkin loves his turkey sandwich and the hubby enjoyed his pastrami. This is truly one beloved establishments by Angelenos.
Right across the Grand Central Market is Blue Bottle Coffee. I’m so glad they have a branch there. The store is spacious, bright and airy. The coffee, of course is excellent as usual.
Since it’s still between Summer and Fall, I went for Café feel for our kitchen island. I make the décor of corner or our kitchen island is seasonal and thematic as it’s fun for the munchkin and also signals major holiday celebrations. The metal chalkboard was also from Pier 1 Imports. I spray painted the frame though to match the gold running theme since late last year. I found the crystal Eiffel from Marshalls about 3 years ago. The mini houses and candles were from Pier 1 as well. The teapot that I turned into a vase was a souvenir from a friend’s party that I spray painted too (home decorating tip: spray paint is your friend, you can change colors per your theme of the moment, saves you $$ too by keeping the cost minimal). I get really inspired to cook and redecorate after very travel so Bistro/Café vibes it is for us for the kitchen and the casual dining area. I’ll probably stay with the theme towards Fall and the Holiday Season.
While the hubby and I do not really seek out beach vacations because we are more cosmopolitan people than anything, we do enjoy reveling at the marina or city views via different modes of water transportation. The recent Labor day weekend allowed us to enjoy and relax just being in the water through my Uncle who is a huge coastal affecionado.
We started off of at Seal Beach in the early afternoon, it’s been developed to attract more visitors and I can say that they are doing well. We then proceeded to Long Beach. Watching the sunset from the boat was amazing. There was serenity In the collective beauty of the moment including experiencing it with the my family. For a person who is constantly on the move like me, the thoughtful pause was most welcome. The munchkin was just over the moon as we passed by Queen Mary a few times. It was nice to see that there have been so much change in Long Beach too, the have a shopping outlet, a wider array of dining options and things to do for families. From Long Beach, we made our way back to Seal Beach and enjoyed the fresh breeze from an already warm day.
On the first day, with the hubby in tow, we went to an evening showing of the movie, Crazy Rich Asians. This was an exciting moment as I had been waiting for this movie from the moment I finished the 1st book of the trilogy. It was such a privilege to meet the New York Times bestselling author, Kevin Kwan, last year in San Francisco (click here). He shared that a huge part of the interest on making the book into major motion picture by a major production company was because of Wendy Murdoch’s seal of approval.
The all-Asian cast was not fully announced yet except for leads, Henry Golding and Constance Wu at that time. He made it clear though that there was a conscious effort to make that the Asian community was going to be well represented. Having the talented actor and Fil-am, Nico Santos, bagging the role of cousin Oliver was huge. We thoroughly enjoyed his scenes especially with Akwafina (playing Peik Lin), they were comedic gold. What a time to shine! There were rumblings that Philippine icon and Multi-media Queen, Kris Aquino, may be featured and I didn’t hesitate to tell Kevin last year that I was rooting for her. I added that Kris is not in the business of letting her country down in terms of representation. She’s made a career out of putting her best foot forward and does not speak mediocre-nese. I was elated when her participation was finally confirmed later on. She was luminous in the movie (flawless skin and all) and the gown by International Fashion Designer and fellow Filipino, Michael Cinco was intricately gorgeous. Nico, Kris and the hardworking teams behind them made me immensely proud. This is what it’s been all about for me, that when their opportunity (that they actually pursued themselves by the way) came to be called on to this worldwide platform, they were gracious to give the acknowledgment back to the Philippines. Class acts in my book.
More than Philippines representation in itself, the Director, Jon Chu, and each cast member is part of the colorful spectrum that is the Asian community. Getting this collective at this stage in the Hollywood game is clearly a movement that needs to be sustained in its momentum. To see major fashion designers like Phillip Lim (yes, I brought the Pashli when we watched on opening day as gratitude for his support for the movie from the get go) be very vocal about the projected inclusion trajectory of the community towards the global consciousness was touching. With all these mutual community support, we can only go onwards and upwards.
The movie was a visual treat, an Asian take on Gatsby glitz and glamour. Henry Golding plays the debonair and insanely rich, Nick Young. For someone who does not have any acting experience on his resume, the screen loves him. I had to apologize to my hubby for “OMG”-ing a bit louder than one should in a movie theater when he came out of Tyersall doors to meet his lady love in his white suit splendor. His accent is just insanely sexy and was perfectly cast as Nick Young. He will quickly join an elite circle of Hollywood leading men. Constance Wu is the female lead, Rachel Chu, an Economics professor and Nick’s girlfriend who was thrown into this Cinderella-ish moment when she went to Singapore with him to attend a wedding. Her discovery and navigation of the fact that he may have downplayed his economical status Kumon is key to the story. Constance is known for the TV show, Fresh off the Boat. She brought her comedic timing with her and made her character’s internal struggles relatable. Akwafina as Peik Lin was hilarious and easily became one of our fave supporting characters. Singapore as the background of all the pizazz and craziness was on point. And the fashion! Of course the fashion! It was honestly part of my excitement when I read the book. What a fabulous world Kevin Kwan has weaved.
It is a love story at the very core that also touched on complex Asian family dynamics (oh believe me it can get really complex) wrapped in shiny trappings. You don’t have to be a Crazy Rich Asian to appreciate the movie, and being the #1 movie for the past three weeks has proven just that. Congratulations Crazy Rich Asians!