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!