Guest List for a Kamayan Dinner

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Photo: http://www.pampalasa.com

FROM THE DESK OF:   Aiza

Kamayan Dinner– Filipino style eating using bare hands instead of utensils.

I am on a serious Filipino food momentum these days. [Our family Thanksgiving lunch definitely helped satisfy my craving issues]. Part of this momentum is likely triggered by all these exciting articles on popular Filipino food trends, up and coming chefs, etc. I also noticed more and more kamayan style dinners popping up all over LA which had me thinking.  If I had the chance to host a dinner with five guests, who would I invite?

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Road Trippin’: Central Valley (CA Hwy 99 Edition)

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I’m always searching for farm fresh food when visiting the Central Valley.

FROM THE DESK OF:   Aiza

I hold a special place in my heart for Central California (in particular, the city of Visalia). From LA, I love the drive through the Angeles Mountains, the views of grape vines, the nut trees, the dairies and more. A trip up to Central Valley, California and any other agriculture regions in the state always reminds me of the hard, grinding work of farmworkers. I truly value the contributions farmworkers make to put food on my table.

What else do I love about the area? The food. First, the food grown and harvested in the area provides an incredible economic source to the state.Per House Committee On Natural Resources: “California’s Central Valley is the state’s agriculture hub, producing over 360   products.”

Beyond the financial impact, throughout the area you will find some of the freshest, tastiest fruits, vegetables and meats. For a self-proclaimed foodie like myself, the Central California area is pleasant, affordable surprise.

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A More Perfect Union.

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Photo Credit: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times

FROM THE DESK OF:   Aiza

Let me start by saying, this week has been hard for me. My world feels upside down and I feel as though I’m walking in a daze through clouds of confusion, hurt, anxiety, fear. I’m still trying to articulate my thoughts and research the current state of affairs around me. With the election, I found out half of this country doesn’t agree with my politics. With this election, I confirmed that half of this country has a different definition of a great America than me.

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Discover Newport Beach: McDonald’s (?)

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McDonald’s located on PCH, Newport Beach

FROM THE DESK OF:  Aiza

A few storefronts down from the Newport Beach Ferrari dealership on Pacific Coast Highway, one can find a surprisingly tasty and affordable food establishment. This particular restaurant serves breakfast (24 hours even), lunch and dinner. Children love going here. Adults likely secretly love it only because this fast food chain is not exactly known for a healthy menu. What is this magical Newport place I speak of? McDonald’s.

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TinyDeskWriters’ Guide To Selling Your Clothes in L.A.

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Vintage Stores Galore in the LA Area

FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

A few weeks ago, I organized and purged my closet using the Mari Kondo method. I divided my clothes that no longer “brought me joy” into two piles: 1) for donation and 2) attempt to sell. I spent so much money on pairs of jeans 10 years ago, I swore that I could somehow today capitalize on the whole vintage/retro/throwback trend. Through my closet cleanse, I notice how I still held on to NYC and Japanese brands from back in the day. Remember Triple 5 Soul? C’mon millennials, these brands were urban before urban became such a thing! Over the years I collected everything from jackets, t-shirts and shoes that I bought at NYC Sample Sales back to current stuff that just didn’t fit right any longer. Surely, one of the LA thrift/vintage store buyers would also appreciate my Hudson Jeans circa 2006.

Continue reading “TinyDeskWriters’ Guide To Selling Your Clothes in L.A.”

Game On: Let’s Go Cubs!

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FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

After 108 years, the Chicago Cubs are finally in the World Series. More a basketball die-hard, I acknowledge I’m just a casual fan of baseball. I definitely do not have patience to watch baseball on TV (during the regular season) or worse listen to AM baseball radio. I do like attending an actual game though but specifically for the hot dogs, soda and an ice cream sundae stuffed in a mini baseball hat. What I lack in baseball knowledge, I surely make up in enthusiasm related to anything Chicago. Doesn’t matter how many years passed since my family moved to California, I remain a Chicago girl at heart. This Cubs’ World Series moment is huge for Chicago and as a Chicagoan, I’m feeling the excitement.

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Day Trippin’: Claremont, California

FROM THE DESK OF:  Aiza

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Claremont Village.

The city of Claremont is located about 32 miles east of Downtown, Los Angeles. Personally, I always categorized Claremont as a semi- Inland Empire town, which basically means I never really gave it much credit. Let’s be real, the I.E. isn’t a top destination trip for LA folks. [For the record, I’m allowed to make such a snotty comment because my formative high school and college years were out in Riverside. Yo. I’m still reppin’ the “909”] After visiting this small city a couple times over the last weeks, I now can say that Claremont is actually a pleasant surprise!

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Confession: I Tried To Buy A Pair of Yeezys

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A Yeezy Boost is a pricey Adidas sneaker designed by Kanye West.

FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

I am not a huge fan of Kanye West. Generally, I like his music however I lack any interest at all for his over-the-top personality and self-absorption. I don’t care for his excessive lifestyle or his floating concert stage or anything else connected to the Kanye brand. While I may not be a Kanye believer, I do strongly believe in turning profits and positive returns on investments. Thus this weekend, I entered the crazy world of Kanye hype to secure a pair of Yeezys.

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Farewell My (So-Called) NYC Edge

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How NYC has changed over the years. National September 11 Memorial.

FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

Ten years ago I moved home to LA after living in New York City for almost six years. Transitioning to a life here in California was difficult. I didn’t want to give up my hard-earned skill sets which New Yorkers posses such as riding public transportation, walking (all the time), hailing a taxi, the hustle, bar/night life and even the sample sale battle moves. Admittedly, over these past years I have repeatedly been that annoying former New Yorker who always made somewhat obnoxious comparisons arguing New York City was far superior than LA. I was that annoying person who desperately wanted to ride LA city buses and subways to get around just to prove I didn’t need a car. I was that annoying person who complained about last call at 1:30am where in New York City, I could party to the sun came up. Continue reading “Farewell My (So-Called) NYC Edge”

Magic Art of Closet De-clutter

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Magical closet cleaning?

FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

For the last few months I set out to achieve one major OCD seasonal goal: clean out my closet. Over many many weeks, I slowly read (or more accurately skimmed with intention), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In summary, Kondo suggests during the act of ‘tidying up,’ ask yourself whether it be a book or a piece of clothing “Does this spark joy?”

Initially, I didn’t buy the whole ‘joy’ idea with I looked at my H&M tank top from two years ago. Seriously, would folding clothes spark a joy inside me? Using the Kondo method, I identified what sparks my joy and ultimately, I practiced an exercise of self-discovery.

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