Nate's Escape

July 21-30, 2009

Despite our 9 year age gap, my brother Nate and I are fairly close. He comes out to Southern California to visit me and our family in Orange County. Typically, he comes to visit 2-3 times a year. Because of other family obligations, he hadn't come out to visit in over a year. As such, there was A LOT of things he wanted to do and see once he made it out here.

There was a lot of shopping... although Nate did most of the buying. We discovered that shopping at mid-day, midweek in L.A. is the way to go. In four hours, we were all over town.

Map of the places we visited

On the first day, we went to Undefeated, Union, Supreme, Stussy, Hundreds, Diamond Supply, Huf, Active, and Neo39. In other words, we went to the hottest sneaker shops in L.A.

On his 2nd day in town, we went the Agenda Tradeshow.







Of course, we spent lots of time with family. After the tradeshow, we went to visit Jasmine and Baby K-lynn (Nate's nickname for Brooklyn)



Nate spent the rest of the weekend with our family in Orange County. I had some quality time with Rob.

I picked up Nate from our relatives' house in O.C. We ended up having a all-night gabfest, my aunt and uncle included. Once we got back to L.A., we did a little more last minute shopping. Again, Nate did most of the buying.




We had a family dinner at one of Nate's favorite places. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.


Janine & her boyfriend Joe

Nate & Jasmine

Jovan & Bella

Rob models his "Sunset" - half fruit punch, half lemonade

Once it was all said and done, I need a vacation from my lil' bro's vacation. Although, I didn't mind. When I'm in VA again, I plan to order Nate around;)

We scream for Ice Cream!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The past week was a scorcher. The weather has been un-Southern California like with temps in the 90s with humidity! We typically don't see these temps until about mid August and humidity is unheard of. Like the rest of the locals, we turned on the air conditioning and hid out for the duration. When the heat subsided, I suggest we get some ice cream. The summer heat gives me an instant hankering for a sugar cone. I suggested good ole' Baskin Robbins. Rob offered to take me to a local Ice Cream Parlor in Alhambra - Fosselman's. I love to try new places. So, we headed to the San Gabriel Valley.

Fosselman's Ice Cream
1824 W. Main St.
Alhambra, CA 91801

Apparently, we weren't the only ones who thought of ice cream.
They have quite a selection of flavors. All of which they make in house.


Rob holds my ice cream while he waits for his ice cream sundae.

Rob holds up my Dulce de Leche Ice cream for a close-up

The verdict? Delicious. I would definitely head back there again. Although, I'll pass on the Dulce de Leche in lieu of one of their more exotic flavors like Lychee.

More Mariachis

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rob and I were invited by a friend to attend what she called an outdoor Mariachi Show in Long Beach.

Turns out it, it was a CD release party at the Museum of Latin American Art.
Unfortunately, I was a tad under-dressed. I really hate when that happens. I had on a maxi dress with high-heeled sandals. The other women in attendance? Cocktail dresses. Our companion? Chic black outfit. To make matters worse, they were only serving beer and cheap liquor. It was bad times. The only positive, it was a gorgeous night at a beautiful venue.
We only saw the first 10 minutes of the performance. The mariachi performer's new CD was his "breakout" CD of Spanish love ballads. Our companion was not pleased. So, we exited almost as quickly as we appeared. I wasn't complaining.
While waiting for the valet to bring us our car, Rob decided to strike a pose with one of the statues.
It was still early (9PM). So, I suggested we continue with the mariachi theme. Both Rob and our companion have raved about La Fonda Restaurant, but I have never been there. So, we headed to MacArthur Park.

{photo from La Fonda website}
2501 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Phone: 213.380.5053

While en route, our companion made a reservation and inadvertently spoke to the Executive Chef. She flirted and sweet-talked our way into a great table close to the action.

I immediately ordered a margarita. Not so surprisingly, the night took a turn for the better.
{Please excuse the bad iPhone photo}

Because of our companion, we received stellar service.

I had the Chef Special - A White Fish Dish served with Shrimp. It was superb.

Rob had a Mignon en la Huitlacoche-
We ordered my favorite, flan, for dessert.

The performances were awesome. My Spanish is limited, but I understood enough to have a good time. Here's a preview of the show.

Mariachi Encore at La Fonda Restaurant from Anne K. on Vimeo.

What started off as a bad time turned into a good time. If you want to see a good mariachi performance in L.A., head to La Fonda.

Such a tease!

July 22, 2009

I am a fan of Burlesque. This is not to be confused with your run-of-the-mill strip shows at seedy bars. I am not interested in any of that. I enjoy the elaborate sets and costumes that are involved in a good Burlesque show. I especially like how the emphasis is more on the tease rather than the strip part of the show.

Because of my fondness for this genre of performance, I am a fan of Dita Von Teese. I follow her on Twitter. She announced on Twitter that she was having a L.A. show. I jumped at the chance to see one of her shows. As always, I sent out the perfunctory email inviting whomever was interested to join me. Because it was a weeknight, I didn't have any takers except Pamela {who is quickly becoming my L.A. partner-in-crime} and a few of Pamela's friends. I bought two tickets "just in case" anyone else could make it. Inevitably, Amber joined us despite just having her wisdom teeth removed. {I guess a good show is worth suffering for;}

We had a great spot close to the stage, but it came at a price. We were standing right beside one of the security guys. Because there was "no photography allowed" and I'm not terribly clever, this post has no photos .

Dita did not disappoint. Seeing her perform was worth the price of admission. Her costumes and sets were phenomenal. However, as a a whole, the show was only okay. I was disappointed with many of the other acts. They either lacked polish, gusto or moxie. I won't complain too loudly. The tickets were only $30.

For those who want a peek at the show, here's a promo video.

***Warning this video contains some partial nudity. **
It's tasteful, but nudity nonetheless. Consider yourself warned.


A Girly Weekend

July 17-18, 2009

I have said repeatedly that I am not a girly girl, but I am constantly being put in situations that challenge this belief. This weekend was one such situation.
Janine & Bella
Bella and Janine

This weekend was my niece Bella's 11th Birthday Party and I offered to help my cousin Janine (Bella's mom) with the party. This year's celebration was little more extensive than most. It was Bella's Golden Birthday. {Sidenote: A golden birthday is when you turn 30 on the 30th or 20 on the 20th, etc. } In Bella's case, she turned 11 on the 11th. By the time her party had rolled around, Bella had already spent the day at Disneyland with her mom Janine.
Shirts I designed for Janine and Bella

The party was at their neighborhood beach club. No, they don't live at the beach. Their neighborhood has a lagoon style pool with a man made beach.


Janine had rented a party room.
Guest Sign-in Board that Janine made


I brought a fruit from Porto's Bakery in Glendale. Bella's become a big fan of this tart. {Muhahahaha, this is my eviilllll influence.}

Bella's guests consisted of a few friends from school and some family friends
Don't even think about having some of my cake. ~Bella

One of my other contributions to the party was a photobooth. My friend Pamela and I wanted to experiment with some ideas we had. I thought the party was a perfect place to try them out.

I picked up some fabric in the Fabric District, created a custom banner, and printed pictures on the fly. Here are a few of the pics.
I also gave Bella a DIY stuffed animal kit, which I purchased from Super Buzzy. Bella has been learning how to sew.

I am fairly certain that next year's party will be a lot more low-key. We finished the night by having an slumber party with me, Janine, Jasmine and Bella.

The next day, I visited Brooklyn, my cousin Jasmine's daughter. I had great timing because Brooklyn was awake. I was able to take a few photographs with her eyes open.
It was a long and exhausting couple of days, but I had great time and was reminded how much I enjoy spending time with the women in my family.