Sunday, December 28, 2014


A couple weekends ago, my girl friend and I went to the Renegade craft fair in Downtown LA and afterwards we went to brunch in a little pop up place called Dinette in Echo Park. From the owners of Bar Stella, I had heard about it and how they had great brunch dishes so I decided to try it out. 

The food was really yummy! If you're looking for a type of place that you sit, have your order taken and food brought to you, this isn't the place for that. Dinette is a place that is outdoor. You order at the counter and all the tables are outdoor on the sidewalk. They have a menu which you order from, but also pre-made pastries and quiches that they heat up for you. Everything we had that day was delicious, but I definitely need to come back for their Croque Monsieur next time!

This is the little counter you order from. 

Various quiches.

Sweet pastries and Croque Monsieurs. 

Rose soda pop. 

Our yummy brunch. 

Avocado toast here was perfection. 

Breakfast pizza, white sauce, Parmesan cheese, ham, and an egg on top...not that amazing to be honest, I'd go for the breakfast sandwich or Croque Monsieur instead. 

Holiday Time.

Hi all! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I really felt the holiday spirit this year and channeled that into my decorating, baking, and activity. I want to share some ideas and recipes with you all for you to enjoy as well!

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I started out the holidays by decorating our family tree with my family, of course while listening to Holiday jazz music.

Gingerbread House

Then my boyfriend surprised me with a gingerbread house kit so we could make our own cute little gingerbread house! Not only was it the cutest cookie house, but it was also a really fun bonding experience. Let's just say, it was hard, but we overcame our creative differences with our construction.

Our cute little house with a cute little candy family.


Now, Thanksgiving is usually the holiday my family gathers at my house, so I didn't go all out with a formal dinner table for Christmas, but I made small centerpieces using the vases I used for my Thanksgiving centerpieces. I used these for regular dinners I'd have with my parents and brother and will likely use them when we gather at my house for Armenian Christmas on January 6.

I stacked layers of Christmas ornaments of varying sizes and pine cones. I painted some pine cones I found in my backyard with silver paint to match the color scheme of the ornaments. I wrapped the vases in holiday themed bows to finish the look.

"Ugly" Christmas Sweater Party

Okay, so I was invited to an ugly Christmas sweater party, and let's face it, I love a good theme party! I totally went along with it. I don't know if you would necessarily classify this sweater as ugly, but it was definitely a staple in my wardrobe this month.

Home Alone is my favorite movie to watch during the holidays. 

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting in a Jar

The holidays don't stop at home! I just started a new job and don't know my coworkers well enough to get them personal gifts yet, so I decided to give them a gift of my baking talents. I figured just making cupcakes or any dessert was not special enough to give as a gift, so I put a little twist on red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting...I put them in little half pint mason jars and tied recyclable forks to them and attached little gift tags for each of my coworkers.

The recipe I used for the red velvet cupcakes is at the end of this post.

LA Zoo Lights

Next it was onto the LA Zoo Lights event! Every year, I like trekking to neighborhoods that go all out with decorating their homes with lights and other decor. This year, I found the LA Zoo Lights, which turned the zoo into a holiday light fest after hours. All the walkways were lined with holiday lights and fun little light exhibits. They even had alcoholic drinks of every variety. If it wasn't so cold outside, I would have ordered one, but I stuck to my hot chocolate and a churro! This is going on until January 4, so its not too late to see this spectacle for yourself...

So pretty!
These fixtures were made with recycled plastic water bottles.
A twinkling lights tunnel.

Santa's land with paparazzi monkeys. 

Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

I came home from the light show feeling even more in the spirit, so I decided to make my special cranberry walnut oatmeal cookies! I make them every year for the holidays and I get so many compliments on them. Everyone has a secret recipe and this is mine. I would love to share it with you, but then it wouldn't be so special! However, I will gladly share the cookies with you :)

I hope everyone had a happy holiday filled with family and love. May you all have a wonderful New Year!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup room temperature buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  1. Mix all wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla) in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder).
  3. Combine the two bowls and mix well. Place in cupcake tins sprayed with baking spray without cupcake papers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
  4. Place on wire rack to cool. Once cooled, cut each cupcake in half and assemble the bottom half of the cupcake into the mason jar. Fill with cream cheese frosting, then place the upper cupcake half on top of the icing then top off again with more icing. 
For the cream cheese frosting:


  • 1 8 oz. package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 0.5 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.5 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  1. Mix together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Once mixed thoroughly, add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time and mix through.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last Minute Holiday Gifts for the Fellas.

As promised, here is my list of the most awesome holiday gifts for the men in your life. I swear I am like the man gift whisperer...there has not been a gift I have given to my brother, boyfriend, dad, etc. that they haven't loved. Here is my list and I guarantee there is something on here that every guy would like. P.S. if you order some of these from Amazon today, you can get it before the holidays with Amazon Prime! Happy shopping!

1. Beer making kit from Sur La Table.

2. Lego house slippers from Amazon .

3. Owen & Fred "Hey Handsome" Toiletry bag from Nordstrom.

4. Funko Pop Guardians of the Galaxy bobble head collection...there are so many of these characters from different movies and TV shows, you'll definitely find one for every taste. Found at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

5. Atari Flashback 5 from Amazon. Can be found at Toys R Us, Walgreens, Target, etc. 

6. The Sentry 38 Nixon Leather Watch from Nixon.

7. Grand Theft Auto V, of course! Found at Amazon, Target, Toys R Us, Best Buy, etc. 

Buy any one of these and tell me the man you got it for didn't love it...Happy Holidays!

Last Minute Holiday Gifts for the Ladies.

There are a lot of people in this world who are proactive and on top of their Christmas shopping every year, but if you're like're still looking for those last minute gifts for your loved ones! Keeping in tone, this post is also about a couple weeks too late, but I hope that it will find purpose to some of you out there who are still out there looking for gifts. An issue I often run into while shopping is getting too many little things that don't add up to enough of a gift. With these additions, you can complete any gift with style and trend. The best part is that these gifts don't adhere to a specific type of taste, these gifts will be loved by everyone. Here we go!...

1. Frends Taylor headphones from Forever 21.

2. Cashmere burgundy scarf from H&M.

3. NCLA wrap nails in "Fowl Play" from

4. Fujifilm Instamax mini 8 Polaroid camera from Best Buy.

5. TOMS for Target denim shoes from Target.

6. Bucket bag in Cognac from Old Navy

Look out for my boys' Christmas gift list coming shortly!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I love the fall season and one of my favorite parts of it is Thanksgiving. I love everything about it...the food, the family, the Black Friday sales. So this year when Thanksgiving was held at my house, I was so excited and so ready to get into the spirit. 

Usually, my mom makes the entire feast, but this year I offered to make all the side dishes and leave the turkey to her. I hope to one day be able to make a turkey as good as hers, but making the sides was a good start for me. In addition, I went crazy over making the table setting this year and actually prepared for it for weeks in advance. Everyone's Thanksgiving is special and I hope mine can inspire some of you for next year!

So I began preparing the table setting a couple of weeks before the big day...

I made these burlap place settings with burlap ribbon and washable fabric glue. I did it by folding different lengths on a 4 x 22 inch cut of ribbon. See next photo...

On a 22 inch ribbon, fold 2 inches one way, 6 inches the other way, then 5 inches from the side you folded 2 inches from. Glue with washable fabric glue and place a heavy object on it to seal thoroughly.

Then I made the centerpieces using a large cylindrical vase and adding small pumpkins, squash, and walnuts and topping it off with a candle. I wrapped it up in the leftover burlap ribbon from the place settings and a festive bow. 

I wanted keep a rustic undertone to the table so I arranged mason jars as glasses instead of regular cups. And to top off I added paper straws that fit in with the Thanksgiving color scheme. 

The drinks I made for our guests were so yummy. In a pitcher, I just added 4 cups of orange juice to 1 cup of vodka, a few tablespoons of the syrup in maraschino cherry jars, 3 rosemary sprigs, and 2 lemons. 

Appetizers should be kept light so people save room for the Thanksgiving feast! I decided to make a veggie tray shaped like a turkey. Gobble Gobble! 

This was my take on stuffing. To 1.5 pounds of rosemary olive oil bread, I added simmered onions, roasted mushrooms, parsley, sage, thyme, and garlic and I mixed it all with 3 cups of chicken stock and 2 eggs. Baked it at 375 for 30 minutes and voila!

My Brussels Sprouts were a huge hit this year. I halved and  roasted the sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. When they came out of the oven, I mixed them with cranberries and walnuts and finally topped it off with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. The balance of the ingredients can be tailored to your liking! I like the taste of tart cranberries so I added a lot of those. 

Okay guys, this green bean casserole was by far the favorite side dish of the night and I like to attribute it to the fact that I did NOT use canned cream of mushroom soup! Instead I made a Bechamel sauce, which is just 5 tablespoons of melted butter mixed with 4 tablespoons of flour. Add 4 cups of heated milk and season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg. I mixed this sauce with blanched green beans, roasted mushrooms, and French fried onions in a buttered pan. Finally, I topped it with more French fried onions and baked it at 350 for 25 minutes. So delicious!

Sorry (not sorry) that half of these mashed potatoes were eaten before I could get a picture of it, but apparently it was that good. My favorite potatoes to use are red potatoes because the consistency is really thick but still smooth. It's easy to get lumps out with red potatoes, and I like my mashed potatoes without the lumps! You can even leave the skins on, as the skins on red potatoes are actually nutritious and have been said to improve cognitive function. I added 1 cup of warm milk and 4 tablespoons of butter to make it extra soft and creamy.
Not pictured: Cranberry sauce made by adding 1 cup cranberries to 2 cups of boiling water with orange zest in it. The cranberries will burst in the heat to make the sauce!

I finally finished off the meal with a Rose Apple Pie. I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I got it from and it is to die for. It's topped with a bourbon glaze and it's oh so decadent. 

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving this year and that this post served as some inspiration for next year! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Plan Check.

I'm always on the hunt for the next great burger in LA and when I heard about Plan Check, I knew I had to try it immediately. There are three locations, I went to the Downtown LA location and it did not disappoint. And the $6 happy hour old fashions didn't hurt either!

We sat in a half indoor, half outdoor area and overlooked Downtown as we enjoyed our dinner.

Checked in on Yelp for free beer nuts. I don't know what herbs these are roasted with, but it was very tasty.

Plan Check is known for their "ketchup leather". It's a "slice" of ketchup if you looks like a slice of cheese but it's a concentrated ketchup that melts in your mouth when you eat it. It was so amazing...

Yummy ketchup leathery goodness. 

The Korean BBQ burger was also really yummy, but my plan is to eat the Chef's Favorite burger, which has a sunny fried egg and bacon. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trick or Treat.

If you know me, you know that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love to celebrate it. Who says its just a holiday for kids? This year I really got into the spirit and tried out different activities to really celebrate. Because let's face it, nothing says fall like Halloween treats and crafts and getting a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks simply won't cut it!

Decorating Pumpkins

I started out the week decorating pumpkins with my boyfriend. He's more a carver, whereas I like to paint and glue stuff on my pumpkins. To each his own, but all I'm gonna say is that I won a pumpkin carving/decorating contest at work with one of my pumpkins!

Obviously, the check engine light is my boyfriend's and very true to his character. I used washable tempera paint and sticky rhinestones and plastic spiders for my pumpkins. 

Halloween Witch Truffle Treats

Next, I wanted to make a Halloween themed treat for a work potluck and I also wanted to try my hand at making chocolate truffles so this was a great recipe for me to try out. They're little witch truffles!

The decorating needs a little perfecting but what I did was make the truffles by mixing 1.5 cups of bittersweet chocolate with 2/3 cup of cream, let it sit for a couple of hours and roll them into 1 inch balls and stuck a tic tac in it as a nose. I then dipped them in candy coating and topped them with an Oreo + Hershey's kiss hat.


I was lucky enough to attended two costume parties this year. One was on actual Halloween day and one was a week before for my friend's birthday. Naturally, I had two costumes, both put together by me, instead of store bought. At my friend's birthday, I went as Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's. My friends' costumes were so cute as well!

On actual Halloween day, I went to a party and I went all out with my and my boyfriend's costumes. I really like being creative with our costumes rather than typical girls' sexy costumes. Last year we were a sushi chef and a piece of sushi and the year before we were Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. And this year, we went as Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit!

I made Roger's bow tie with felt and hot glue and pretty much bought every piece separately and put it together. It's so much more fun having a creative costume rather than a common store bought costume.

Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns

Finally, I went to The Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns at Descanso Gardens where over 5,000 carved pumpkins were put on display. The pumpkins had carvings of celebrities and popular TV shows and even multiple pumpkins put together to create elaborate works of art. Here are some of my favorite pieces I saw...

Tulips pumpkins. 
The details on this solar system is incredible!

                      Sinatra and Walter. 

Chinese calendar. 
It's very faint but I see the can't escape this family. 

I hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Fashion Trends.

Fall is my favorite season for fashion...if only fall weather in LA would compromise with it! It's finally getting a little more chilly and we can slowly start wearing sweaters and scarves. This season, I noticed some trends that are prevalent by following New York fashion week runways , street style, and new arrivals at stores and I'm excited to share with you all. Here they are!

1. Geometric Plaid: This is a great pattern to include layering pieces like this fun scarf from Target.

2. Ankle Boots: These are perfect for Angelenos. Since its still a bit warm here, booties are a good fall staple that still allows you to keep cool. These bronze Vince Camuto booties are to die for!

3. Liquid Leggings: Skin tight leggings are everything right now, especially when they are skinny slacks. I wear them to work and its a good mix of professional and fashionable. These gray skinny slacks from H&M are perfect.

4. Dark Lipstick-Berry Undertones: When I think fall, I think dark...and the runways this year were not without dark red and berry lips. So adorable and sophisticated. This lipstick, Diva, by MAC is one of my favorite lipsticks of all time.

5. Form Fitting Outerwear: Whether its denim or leather, form fitting jackets are a good layering piece to wear with sweaters and coats. Denim is a huge staple for layering and this H&M jacket is great.

6. Round Sunglasses: Gone are the days of large sunnies that cover your entire face...I'm channeling the 70's with round sunglasses this season. These Elie Tahari glasses are exactly what I'm talking about. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ladies Lunching.

For my best friend Natalie's birthday this year, she decided to throw a cute little lunch for us girls and it was so adorable! No detail was too small for her beautiful day, from the food to our place cards...everything was perfect. 

My place setting.

With the birthday girl. 

Our delicious lunch. 

Fruit and champs. 

The pretty, pretty table. 

Some of the desserts :).

Dessert table with nail polish as our party favors.

Happy Birthday Natalie!

After having our drinks and lunch, we each painted our own pumpkins. Overwhelmed by the cuteness? Yeah so were we!