Milk and Eggs – Food Art Installation Event

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Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a food and art installation/exhibition event in Los Angeles’ Art District hosted by Milk and Eggs. What’s Milk and Eggs? If I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know either until this event came along. Milk and Eggs is a grocery delivery service that values fresh and locally sourced food. Customers can place one time orders or subscribe to certain products to be delivered on a regular schedule. It’s a useful platform to find healthy options, allergy-friendly alternatives and unique snacks! As I was browsing through their site (very user-friendly btw and great food pics. I appreciate them lol), I found items that aren’t typically found at your local grocery store (Well, mine at least). What I also find great is that their delivery system is centered on producing a minimal carbon foot print. I actually really love that idea. Not many people are aware of how much the country’s traditional food production and delivery systems contribute to greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere.ย  So good on you Milk and Eggs!

The event was fun! It took place at The Container Yard in Los Angeles, which was a uniquely beautiful backdrop to this foodie event. Upon entering, you were greeted with a cute little gift bag containing:

  • $50 gift card to Milk & Eggs
  • A sample of Unisoy Vegan Jerky
  • A coupon for Navitas Naturals Superfood+ Bar
  • A coupon for Harmless Harvest’s Harmless Coconut Water (my fave!)
  • Milk & Eggs branded goodies: mini chip clip & fridge magnet grocery list

Just past the entrance, was a bar making a number of complimentary specialty cocktails, courtesy ofย Barlingual and sponsored by Ventura Spirits. It was pretty interesting to see a hot drink option, complete with marshmallow garnish!

I apologize for the minimal food photos…my brother and I purposefully didn’t eat lunch in preparation for this event. So, my brain skipped over taking foodie pics and went straight for shoveling everything down.

Food and drink were provided by a number of vendors including:

  • Abbots Butcher
  • Boxed Water
  • TheBu Kombucha
  • Domenico’s Pasta
  • Forager
  • Harmless Coconut Water
  • Kite Hill
  • Barely Bread
  • Laura Ann’s Jams
  • Petit Pot
  • Unisory Vegan Jerky
  • Stumpton Coffee

I attended the event with my brother and my two co-workers, so I didn’t get a chance to try absolutely everything in between the mingling and photo-ops. But, from what I did try, my favorite was the ravioli from Domenico’s Pasta. I liked it so much, I had multiple servings ๐Ÿ˜› I also tried tofu chorizo tacos and fried adobo-inspired chicken which were both pretty good. I wasn’t able to get to the toast bar that featured multiple spreads and jams. But, lucky for me, all of the items showcased at the event are available for purchase on the Milk & Eggs website. I definitely plan to take advantage of that with my $50 gift card.

All-in-all, it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Arts District. It’s already a win when you can park somewhere obscure in LA and not come back to a ticket or worse…your car gone lol. Thanks for having me Milk & Eggs, hopefully I get to go again next year! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sincerely,

Melissa Beee

‘Tis the Season for a Tea Party

mckennas tea cottage

Happy Holidays! I hope your December has been as festive as can be and much less of a struggle as mine has been so far. As I’m writing this, I’ll be wrapping up on day 4 of being horribly ill in bed with a fever. It’ll also mark a week since getting into a pretty bad car accident on the freeway. This past week I missed two days of work due to the car accident, left work early on Wednesday because I wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t go in on Thursday because I was battling relentless fever. Needless to say, it has been an awfully tough week for me. The universe wasn’t gonna let me off easy. I have to earn my way to 2018! But on a more positive note, I am in once piece and my fever has finally broke. Just in time for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m glad to be well enough to finally write this post about my time at McKenna’s Tea Cottageย and exploring Old Town Seal Beach, CA.

Birthday Tea

Whenever we can, the girl cousins in my family try to organize what we call a “Girls Day” to put some time aside to spend with each other. With our family, it’s rare that we get exclusive girl time, so it’s always a treat on “Girls Day.”

This year, thanks to my cousin Val (pictured below on the left), we found ourselves with our pinkies up, hats in play, making our tea party dreams come true at McKenna’s Tea Cottage! It was a really cute way to celebrate my cousin Emma’s 13th birthday (pictured below in the middle) and I think she had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚

We had our choice of tea and selected a number of yummy pastries/desserts to enjoy as we sipped and chatted.ย It’s such a unique way to celebrate a variety of occasions: birthdays (of all ages), friendmas’, girls day (or boys day), etc.

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Giving serious tea time looks.

Exploring Seal Beach

The tea cottage is located in a quaint part of town, so after our Girls Day/Birthday tea party, we decided to stroll through some of the cute shops in Old Town Seal Beach. If you’re looking for quirky/homemade gifts, there are a number of vintage shops, family owned stores and nurseries to peruse. Definitely worth checking out!

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Gone exploring in a nursery. Looked like someone’s backyard!
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The nursery of course had the cutest Christmas trees!

Well, I’m going to cut it there. Just thought I’d share some quick thoughts on this cute little adventure I went on with my cousins during this Holiday season. By the time you are reading this, it’s Christmas Day (or even after that), so I hope it was something special! Here’s to festive feelings all year round and a goal fulfilling new year!

Sincerely,

Melissa

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Palm Springs, CA // Desert Weekend Getaway

Palm Springs, CA // Desert Weekend Getaway

How is it already Fall?! Summer 2017 flew by with a quickness. Between balancing event planning at work and eventful weekends with family and friends this summer, my poor travel photos and video footage quickly got buried. So, consider this post as my attempt to dig them up and make treasure out of the ones I captured in Palm Springs, CA. There’s definitely more adventure-type posts coming soon. So look forward to those 6 months from now…LOL. Just kidding. Maybe.


ย Check out my little Palm Springs travel video here:


I thought about it, and I want to say that Palm Springs is one of my favorite mini getaway destinations. I’ve been almost a handful to times and there hasn’t been a time when I didn’t enjoy it. Whether it was with my friend’s family or with my friends, there was always something enjoyable about it.

Everyone has a different definition for “staycation,” but for me, anything slightly beyond the outskirts of the county line qualifies as one. It’s approximately 2 hours away, yet it seems like a completely different atmosphere. Maybe it has something to do with Palm Spring’s proximity to LA. It’s comfortably close andย far enough. Isn’t it amazing how you can drive two hours in any direction from LA (…assuming little traffic) and find yourself in completely different terrain? I would say Palm Springs is two things the heart of LA isn’t: serene and spacious.

So what’s the deal about Palm Springs? It used to be known as the wild spring break destination for college students, but what’s so cool about it now? Maybe a better question to ask is: What’s always been so cool about it? ย It may have fallen from the top college spring breaking spot, but I think that’s part of its charm. While everyone else is hopping on planes or driving off to Vegas, Palm Springs sits quietly along the 10 freeway, a sparkling desert oasis in the distance, an underrated destination to sneak away to. If you are into mid-century modern architecture, quirky art, mountainscapes (not sure if that’s a real word), cute brunch spots, poolside chilling and vintage shopping…Palm Springs, CA is definitely for you. By the way, if you plan a visit in the summer…you also have to be okay with melting into the ground in triple digit heat. No joke.

Here are a few “10 outta 10, would recommend” tidbits I came across during my recent trip to this desert oasis:

Food // Drink

The summer heat is no joke, so if you are planning on walking the streets of downtown, be sure to take a pit stop at these places to stay hydrated & fueled up:

  • For Coffee // Koffi – There are three locations to choose from, so whether you are staying in North Palm Springs, South Palm Springs or just outside of town in Rancho Mirage, you’ll have one near by. They carry staple coffee favorites and pastries to pair. From the couple of times I’ve been there, it seems like a spot revered by locals and tourists.
  • For Breakfast & Brunch // Farmย – Southern French-inspired breakfast and brunch. What more can I say? Nothing really. I will mention this though, if you can bear the heat, or if you are visiting during their non-sweltering season, I highly recommend sitting in their patio area. The aesthetic removes you from Palm Springs itself (except for the heat) and creates the illusion of being in a countryside backyard enjoying your French Aunt’s cooking. Okay, that’s all about that.
  • For Ice Cream // Ice Cream & Shop(pe)ย – Attached to Arrive Hotel on Palm Canyon Dr., it’s a quirky gift shop and gourmet ice cream stop all-in-one. Their rotating list of homemade ice creams and sorbets has many flavors to choose from. It’s a great balance between classics (with a twist) and completely unique flavors. We stumbled upon it after having dinner at Reservoir, a restaurant also adjacent to the hotel. Grab dinner, grab a drink, hang out in their pool lounge area, then grab some ice cream before you leave. Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Sites // Activities

Definitely check out a few sites while you are in the area. I’m kind of a closeted interior design/architecture fangirl. So Palm Springs was a fitting place to indulge in tile work, woodwork, coffee tables and more! Here’s where I visited:

  • Parker Palm Springs –ย The photos above are just their lobby area…so that gives you a small peek into how the rest of the hotel’s design standards are. Hotel guests can roam the grounds and lounge around on their hammocks and abundant lawn seating. Their patio brunch restaurant, Norma’s (pictured above in the food & drink section), offers a mid-50s vibe with it’s olive green, orange creamsicle and muted teal color scheme.
  • That Pink Door – Apparently there is an official Palm Springs door tour, which is interesting. It’s an open invitation to stalk people’s houses to admire their eclectic front doors and aesthetically pleasing landscaping. But because of the heat, we ended up just visiting the coveted Pink Door, took pics and ran back inside the air-conditioned car. Definitely an Instagram-friendly spot. I would’ve wanted to do the whole tour if we had the time.
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramwayย – Not pictured, but during a past visit to Palm Springs, I’ve taken this amazing/scary, rotating tram ride up the Chino Canyon mountainside in San Jacinto National Park. No explanation needed other than it’s worth it to witness beautiful, scenic views 8,516 feet above the valley. There are two observation decks, two restaurants, a number of hiking trails and a museum.ย It’s also much cooler up there!

Fun Facts

Did you know that the summer time in Palm Springs is their off-season? I didn’t either until one of our Lyft drivers told us when we were wondering why half of the restaurants we wanted to go to weren’t open and noticed there weren’t many people walking around town. Apparently after festival season (Coachella & Stage Coach), tourist activity winds down as the desert gets even hotter, so a number of business owners find it better to close up shop on a few strategic, slow summer weeks. Who would’ve known? Not me apparently!


Girls Weekend

My recent trip to Palm Springs was one I’ll always remember because it’s the girls weekend that transformed us from childhood best friends into a “bridal gang.” It’s the weekend that Lauren asked us to be her bridesmaids!! โค What an official door-opening into the chapter of young adulthood it was.

My heart is warm knowing that we can still make it a priority to remove ourselves from our busy schedules once in a while to reconnect with one another. I love and appreciate these girls more than they probably know and this trip was was much needed. Check them out below ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyways, cheers to more girls weekends and sharing life’s milestones with one another! xx

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Sincerely,

Melissa Beee.

Cook & Bake with Me(z): Concerning Movies about FOOD

First of all, for anyone that actually reads my blog, ย THANK YOU. Thanks for your patience and for the piece of your being (how ever small or large) that desires to read the stream of consciousness that is this blog. I feared that once the semester began I would fall into a dark hole inhabited by bloggers that have gone on a hiatus…and in fact, it happened. But fortunately, I found a way to climb my way back into the light. (insert scene from The Dark Knight Rises of prisoners attempting to escape The Pit) Hopefully I will be posting more often, but no guarantees due to the insanity that is my current schedule. Anyways, on to the blog post!

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Not-so-recently, my friends and I watched a movie called The Hundred-Foot Journey…and I loved it. There is something “feel good” about movies concerning food. I believe it’s partly to do with the fact that food brings people together in so many different ways. A lot of memories are made over a meal, snack or what have you.

This movie brought back the same feelings I experienced when I watched the Disney Channel Original: Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off. Does anyone else remember that movie? It was about a kid torn between two very different passions: baseball and cooking (classic Disney move). It was one of my favorites growing up.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is similar in that it touches on cooking as an art to be pursued, especially when put into new and unfamiliar surroundings. It’s a story about finding a balance between the old and new. I highly recommend it if you are in the mood for something uplifting and inspirational. It was beautifully written in my opinion. So, go watch it! Right after you finish reading this though ๐Ÿ˜›

After watching the movie, I immediately went home and watched Julie & Julia, another cooking movie. It’s a movie that I had wanted to watch for a while, had the DVD but for whatever reason never got to…until that evening. It’s a story about ย a woman who decides to cook her way through every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook and challenges herself to finish it in one year. She blogs ever moment of it in her blog series called: The Julia Child Project. I thought it was a cute and unique story. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed The Hundred-Foot Journey though, I don’t know why. But regardless, I recommend watching both if you haven’t already, both have inspiring story lines. I linked the trailers for both movies to their respected movie posters, shown below. Check them out!

Click for The Hundred-Foot Journey's Trailer :)Click for Julie&Julia's Trailer :D

ย Channeling my inner bakerย 

To be honest, I forgot if the following was a result of watching The Hundred-Foot Journey and Julie&Julia, or if my subconscious somehow knew the inspiration I would experience from them, but regardless, I decided to take a stab at making apple crisp that same week! I wouldn’t say I am a horrible baker, but I am in no way a professional one either, so it was definitely a fun experience making it from scratch. I followed a recipe I found online that used the following ingredients and supplies:

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ย (Here’s the recipe if you’d like to know the details: Healthier Apple Crisp)

Funny story about those apples. So, if you click the link to the recipe that I used, you will see that it calls for 10 CUPS of sliced and cored apples. But of course, being me, I read that as 10 APPLES. As a result, I cut WAY too many apples in the end. My mom was not too happy with me for wasting her apples. Sorry Mom!

Here’s how it looked after mixing in all the ingredients together…minus the large bowl of extra apple slices:

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After baking for 45 minutes to an hour, here is how it came out! I realize now that it looks pretty much the same as the “before” picture….Oh well:

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Like arts and crafts, cooking and baking can be therapeutic for me. Although, if I’m working under a time crunch, it definitely is NOT a relaxing activity. Luckily, I took over the kitchen at my leisure that evening, so all was good!

I tried to be fancy and plate it before serving it to my family. I decided to pair my apple crisp with good ‘ol fashioned vanilla ice cream, as I feel every apple crisp should. I figure that if the apple crisp turned out to be sub-par, you can’t go wrong with the vanilla ice cream right?

So how’d it taste you ask? In the words of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes:

“Surprisingly, okay.”

I actually thought it turned out pretty well ๐Ÿ™‚ My mom and brother thought it was good as well, but they did offer me some suggestions for the next time I attempt an apple crisp. My mom suggested I bake it for longer and at a lower temperature so the apples turn out softer than they did. I blame our ancient oven for this one. I swear it only has one temperature: BURN. As a result, the topping did crisp faster than it should have, while the apples below didn’t have enough time to soften. As for my brother, he wanted more of the crumbly topping, which I completely agree with. You can’t go wrong with more crisp on an apple crisp!

Your turn. Yeah, you!

I know many people associate apple pie or apple crisp with summer, which is when I baked this. Personally, apple crisp reminds me of fall/winter holidays and ย it’s officially fall here in California…so it’s a perfect time to try this recipe out and enjoy it while watching The Hundred-Foot Journey and Julie&Julia! (or any movie of your choosing…don’t let me run your life!)

Enjoy channeling your inner baker and imagineย the following in Julia Child’s voice: “Bon Appetit!”

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Well, that was the first of many Cook & Bake with Me(z) posts. I like trying my hand at new foods, so look out for more posts like this. If you don’t already, try your hand at cooking or baking, it’s fun.ย Let’s be amateur foodies together!

โค Mez