As we all know, all-star weekend took place in Los Angeles, CA this past weekend. This is the biggest event for the NBA organization and I was elated to participate in some of the festivities. My first all-star experience happened to be in New York and I thought to myself, now what’s going to be able to top when I met Paul George. There were a number of events going on that weekend so you had to make yourself an itinerary and stick with it; discipline is key people. Trust me on this 😊
To kick off the all-star weekend, I went to see Black Panther. Although this has nothing to do with the actual all-star event whatsoever, the fact that it was released during this weekend meant I had to go and see this. I mean, I think everyone put this on their agenda for opening weekend. Now back to the NBA. I had the pleasure of meeting both Andre Drummond and Lou Will at the Kia Loft space. Their setup was cool as you could take on a match of NBA 2K, try to beat the escape room within the 10 minutes allotted or post to your social using their hashtag and get an instant Polaroid printout of that picture. Pretty cool stuff, right? I also was able to check out the American Express event in partnership with Shaquille O’Neal. It was cool to see the converted bank safe that stored a few of the Lakers prized possessions including and autographed Shaq’s jersey, a replica of the championship trophy and the king’s chair with the crown made perfect photo ops. Not to forget the infamous slam dunk gif that I had way too much fun with.
Of course, there were events like the rookie game, the dunk contest and celebrity basketball match-ups. I was able to catch the celebrity game at the convention center which was cool to see people with other talents showcasing their basketball skills or lack thereof lol. Overall still something cool to catch to be a part of the festivities. In addition to that, I was also able to stop by an event sponsored by Spalding that showcased customized basketballs and featured Demar Derozan and my favorite, Damian Lillard aka Dame Dolla, in a 2K match.
As if the sporting events weren’t enough, there were also a ton of exclusive releases happening as well. From the Dame 4 Bapes that dropped at the Adidas 747 St Warehouse, to Russell Westbrook’s pop-up featuring his new fashion collection ‘Inner City’, to the Kobe Protos made available at Nike’s own ‘Makers of the Game’ and even a pop-up from the NYC-flagship store, Kith; soon to have a home in LA as well. If you’re a fan of the NBA, all-star is definitely something you would want to experience at least just once. Checkout some of the shots I was able to capture during this LA All-Star weekend.
I made a commitment to myself to be more consistent with my blog and dish out as much content as I can for you guys. The blogging community is huge in LA and I’ve been more active in terms of finding social events centered around blogging. I’m so happy to have discovered Bloggers Who Brunch. I mean it’s the best of both worlds. Nearly everyone has a blog, has a favorite blog they follow or nearing to create one in the future and EVERYONE loves brunch. So, this concept in itself is dope and will bring together a lot of like-minded individuals.
I had the pleasure of attending this event in collaboration with Bumble Bizz at the Grove in Los Angeles. Bumble Bizz is also focused on creating a space for creators and networking. Upon entry, you received 2 drink tickets which already was a good sign to me. Convos go so much better over a glass of prosecco or a cocktail right? They also had various set-ups for cute photo ops and many giveaways including a swag bag, t-shirt, mini notebooks and stickers. Oh not to mention they passed around mini chicken sandwiches and mini lobster roll hors d’oeurves. Another win for the event.
There were no formal introductions of the creators of Bloggers Who Brunch or panels with the other influencers in the blogging community so it was all up to you to get out of your comfort zone and actually talk to people; I did like that aspect. I met some cool people including those that were starting to blog as well, creators of new YouTube pages, up and coming photographers and a brand consultant/stylist. All of whom I never would have met or spoken with if it weren’t for this event. I will definitely be staying up to date with this group and upcoming events for the future.
If you were able to catch my last post, I talked about completing a fast which basically boiled down to eating only fruits and veggies for 3 weeks. Since I’m a foodie at heart, I love looking for new restaurants to try so I just had to incorporate finding vegan/vegetarian options during this time. I learned that this community is huge and LA offers a ton of restaurants catered to both vegans and vegetarians. I often opted for places that had dishes like a Tex-mex bowl with rice, beans, sautéed vegetables, pico de gallo and guac. Anything with guacamole and I’m sold 😊. This was the simplest route to take food wise and easy to find everywhere. However, I did venture out a few times and stumbled upon some wonderful places. One being Gracias Madre, offering 100% organic, plant based Mexican cuisine.
Gracias Madre is tucked away in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave. I’ve probably passed this place a million times and never noticed it before. It kind of resembles a nice house from the street view but when you walk in you are totally taken aback. The décor and ambiance is just so chic. There was a lounge area with comfy chairs and couches adjacent from the bar area. The outside dining area had communal tables with the heated lamps for those cooler days/nights in LA along with cute little tables for smaller parties. From the outside, the space looked so quaint but once inside it was a huge space and very accommodating for the large crowd in attendance that day.
To stick with my go to bowls that I’d been consuming, I went with Bowl Tres as my entrée. This bowl has quinoa, kale, roasted squash, white beans, peppers, onions and pesto cashew crème. Okay let’s start by saying the roasted squash was the best!!! The kale was also very seasoned and added a nice taste to the overall dish. Before I ordered this, the waiter did let me try the pesto cashew crème and I went for it and decided to order this bowl. I will say I did not know the bowl was heavily dressed with that sauce. I think sometimes dishes are overly compensated with a sauce to make sure we get a good amount of flavor and I probably should of asked for it on the side to be safe. That being said, the sauce did compliment the dish well and I was pleased with this entrée. I heard the drinks are pretty good too so I will definitely be back to give those a try as well.
With the new year comes all sorts of dieting, fitness goals and abrupt changes to accomplish being “a better YOU”. I’ve never really been into resolutions for the new year or implementing new life goals for the new year. However, this year my aunt spoke with me about the Daniel Fast and asked me to participate along with her. Since she told me this 2 days beforehand, I agreed to fast but with modifications. I had to mentally prepare for this thing you know since it started on New Years day. I decided to eliminate all meats, bread and sweets for the duration of 21 days and I started this commitment on January 2nd.
Just to give you guys a little background about me, I absolutely love food! It’s kind of my thing being a foodie and all. I jot down restaurants that I see on my drive home, follow other foodies and see their suggestions and pretty much indulge in anything food related. So, to commit to this fast was a big deal for me. The first couple of days were a bit tough because I didn’t realize how much stuff I consumed that had bread as the base and neither did I realize I ate so many sweets. After the harsh first few days, my body became acclimated somewhat quickly. The mornings were simple. My favorites were fruit and smoothies. For lunch and dinner, I normally sautéed veggies and I ate a ton of sweet potatoes and avocados. While on this fast, I learned about various vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the LA area too. I hadn’t paid attention before but there are a lot of options if you’re a part of the vegan community.
On the last day, I called my aunt and told her I made it through the fast. I will be truthful and say I had 2 French fries and 2 alcoholic beverages during the 21 days. I didn’t commit to giving up fried foods or alcohol but those kind of fall in that “don’t eat category” when I thought about this fast so I just gave those up as well. Water became my best friend and now I just go for water more now as my first beverage choice as I should anyways. I haven’t even indulged in coffee since the fast ended on 1/23 and I feel pretty good about that since I normally start my day with a fresh cup of coffee. The fast helped me to see and appreciate a lot of principles that I normally don’t pay attention to. Discipline, faith and commitment are the biggest ones I would like to mention. We often doubt ourselves and say we can’t do or commit to something before we even try. I was so proud of myself throughout this journey because to be frank it was quite tough to go out and order the “healthy food” or all veggies or NOT stop by neither of the 100 donut shops in LA you pass everyday. I can say I feel better energy wise and overall I just feel more connected and in tune with myself. Now I will not say I’m not eating meat again but I will be mindful of the intake of it along with other things that I was so use to consuming before. I’m a continuous work in progress so here’s to a better me!
LA is most known for its warm weather year-round. However, many never mention how cool it gets at night which makes for a perfect time to have ramen. I started having ramen first in New York which makes perfect sense for the weather there. While in LA, ramen seems to be best fitting for a late night when the temperature has dropped to the low 50s or even during lunch on those days when its low 60s. I was on a quest to find the best ramen and so far, I would have to say Kai Ramen has taken 1st place in my books. I ordered Kai’s Red which is salt based and made with skinny noodles, sliced pork belly, a flavored egg, scallions, stripped black mushrooms, dry seaweed and flavored sprouts; also garnished with red onions. If I’m feeling fancy, I make it a combo and have gyoza potstickers, a salad and a drink for an additional $5. For the drink option, please try their homemade lemonade. Just a warning its super sweet but it reminds me a bit of back home when I have it so I always order it with my meal. The flavors they’ve accomplished with this ramen cannot be put into words. The broth is beyond perfect with its hint of spiciness, the tenderness of the pork melts in your mouth and the combination of veggies is so complimenting with the pork and flavor from the broth. I can go on and on about this place. If you’re a ramen lover like me, give this place a try. If you’ve never had ramen and are dying to try it, give this place a try. Kai Ramen does not disappoint. Check out the gallery below.
I love love love the holidays. From the décor to the carols to the butter cookies with egg nog. Count me in! Not to forget the great festive looks you get to create as well during the holiday season. Fuzzy sweaters are always a good idea for a nice, festive look. Pictured here, I have a silver $5 H&M gem I purchased during the Black Friday promos. I mean fuzziness screams “it’s the holidays” and I liked the fact it was a bit over-sized so I could pair it with a fitted jean. I also recently ventured off in search for new denim. I felt as if I needed a fresh start and lucked up at Zara’s.
To my surprise I could fit some of their tapered skinny jeans. The light denim paired well with the silver so I decided to rock these versus a darker denim. I originally pictured me wearing this sweater with black but I’m glad I opted for a lighter denim. Okay, my next obsession is the rose gold Steve Madden pumps I’m wearing here. I fell in love with these when I first saw them at Nordstrom’s and decided then I had to own them. I went online to check out reviews regarding comfort and size comparisons and here we have it. My new prized possession. Silver and gold always compliments each other nicely when I think of interior design or fashion so I thought why not rose gold too. The picture-perfect Christmas tree on Rodeo Drive made for the best festive backdrop, don’t you think? Happy Holidays and enjoy time with your family and friends. Check out more from my festive look.
Sweater- H&M (sold out ☹) Similar sweater here
Shoes- Steve Madden
If you cannot tell by previous posts, I consider myself a seafood lover. Since Moving to the west coast, I think my preference for this type of cuisine has gone up just a bit. Not sure why but I could literally eat seafood of some sort in plastic bag drowned in lemon pepper, garlic and whatever house made specialty sauce the restaurant offers. Sign me up!!!
Once I moved to California, I liked the fact that I had time to venture into different areas. Not the popular go to places that I hear about all the time but really stumbling upon other places that were just as good as the mainstream ones. So here we have the Crawfish Spot, nestled in the West Covina area. I forget exactly how many pounds of each that I had but crab legss and shrimp along with potatoes and corn is a must for a proper seafood boil. I tackled this on my own this particular day and had plenty to spare afterwards. The sauce was undeniably amazing and I tried to finish it all but unfortunately this was a failed attempt. Here’s a peak at some of the best seafood I’ve had so far in California. Spread the word.
Mel’s Diner is considered a huge staple here in Los Angeles so it was only right that I made a visit to indulge in some of the diner’s favorite go to entrees. The décor gives you an Old Hollywood vibe while staying consistent with the ambiance of a true diner. Busy waiters going through the aisles, a semi open kitchen to see the food being made fresh to order and the infamous jukebox in the corner awaiting a customer to drop in a quarter and select an old tune to take you back to a nostalgic time.
I decided to try the French toast and my husband went with the old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes. You cannot go wrong with either choice. Both entrees were great and just what we had wanted in terms of getting that real breakfast fix. So far, I’ve seen 2 Mel’s locations; one a block from Hollywood and another in the Sherman Oaks area but I believe there’s a total of 4. The next time you visit California, I would be sure to make a stop here. It’s open 24 hours and has a welcoming menu of pretty much any craving you may have. Take a look at some of the snapshots I was able to get from Mel’s.
I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual ComplexCon event held at the Long Beach Convention Center this past weekend. This was my first time going to this so I had no idea what to expect. I looked online to see all the brands that were listed to be there, looked at people
listed to be on the different panels, researched the food trucks that were slated to be there, backed by “First We Feast”, and lastly curated a schedule in line with all the things I wanted to do that weekend.
I attended the expo on both days and neither day disappointed. I will admit on Saturday I was a bit overwhelmed. There were over 150+ brands there, a number of panels I wanted to attend but start times overlapped of course to keep the crowds regulated, food trucks near the main and back entrance towards the arena, and a ton of exclusive releases just for this event. The highlight for me on that Saturday was attending the “We in Here: Injecting the Culture into Hollywood” panel with Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler. Both spoke about their individual journey taken in the film industry, how their involvement in the industry has paved the way for other successful projects and key takeaways on following your dreams and creating your own path/way to what is that you want and are passionate about. After this panel, I saw tons of people just walking around like myself and being a part of “the culture”; whatever this means right lol. I mean celebrity sightings went on for days. G-Eazy casually walked through the crowd and stopped occasionally for pics, Andre 3000 relaxed in the center of an art exhibit and hand drew a portrait of a fan, Pharrell strolled through and admired a few art exhibitions, Jaden Smith signaled his entourage to his booth after a great live performance on the Pigeons & Planes stage, Superduper Kyle had a dance off with his dad in his booth, Big Sean walked to Puma to show off a recent sneaker collab, Gary Vee dropped free gems to people seeking advice on their own ventures and Virgil Abloh personally customized an Air Jordan 1 , instantly creating a 1 of 1 on the spot. I mean what more could you ask for.
I just knew Sunday would be more chill and sightings would be few but boy was I wrong. Sunday may have been equally as eventful. The highlight of Sunday in my opinion was the iamOTHER #begreat party hosted by Pharrell. Up and coming artists opened the show and later the audience was surprised with guests such as Kap G, 2chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Uzi Vert and Migos. The schedule did say surprise guests but whoa I didn’t expect anything of this magnitude. I decided Sunday would be catered to picking up a few items since most things were designed and sold only here at this event. PUMA was celebrating their 50th anniversary and released some dope kicks; specifically, a gray suede pair with a floral design. Unfortunately, those weren’t for sale until 2018 and were only being displayed to heighten the anxiety for people like myself. I did snag a tee from Wish Atlanta that I’d been eyeing for 2 consecutive days; the shirt lists all of the zones of Atlanta. Definitely wanted to support the home team. Overall, Complexcon exceeded my expectations. I left inspired and excited to be a part of an event designed to blend people of all over with similar interests and like minds. I will definitely be back next year to partake in these festivities and I can’t wait to see how it evolves over the years. Fantastic job Complex! Checkout my gallery below.
For those who participate in any Halloween festivities, it’s all about the transformation into your favorite character or artist, trying new makeup tricks and showing the world just how creative you can get. Well Fat Sal’s took this Halloween by storm by transforming their Hollywood location restaurant into the one and only, Mc’Dowell’s. Also known as the Home of the Big Mick, the place where Akeem’s hard work earned him the employee of the Month in the all-time classic movie ‘Coming to America’. This movie has to be one of the greatest of all time and to have this concept brought to life for Halloween was a remarkable idea. We often stress over the perfect costume but to change an entire restaurant and offer specialized menu items from the actual movie was simply genius.
The workers of McDowell’s wore the exact uniforms that were shown in the movie. All nice in plaid with the golden M stamped on each vest, matching plaid hats and black pants were worn by every employee. Akeem was showcased as the Employee of the Month with a perfect portrait of himself smiling with complete joy for this accomplishment from a renowned prince. To add to the ambiance, the movie played throughout several screens in the restaurant while you waited to order and staff members were kindly available to snap just as many pics as you like. The menu offered the infamous Big Mick, Zamunda fries and the Sexual Chocolate milkshake. I mean when I say they absolutely nailed this, I mean it! I couldn’t man down both the Big Mick and the shake that came with a slice of chocolate cake on top so I opted to try the sandwich. I was a bit hesitant to try this but it did not disappoint. The Big Mick was made with cheeseburgers, lettuce, onions, pickles, fries and the “special sauce”. The sauce added a nice flavor and the beef was cooked to perfection. This place became so popular, even Drake stopped by to indulge lol. I’m not sure how this could be topped but Fat Sal’s definitely won me over with this concept for Halloween. If you couldn’t make it, live vicariously through me and take a peek at the gallery below.