Catalina In LA

Visiting Los Angeles County through the eyes of a local.

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La Feria De Los Moles: Mole Festival

One of my all time favorite dishes that I would love to learn how to cook from scratch is mole. The ingredient list seems endless with a variety of spices, chiles, chocolate, nuts, dried fruits, and so on. Not all moles are the same- they are several types from Puebla and Oaxaca that use different spices and chiles. Oaxaca is a state where the most variety of moles exist, counting seven main versions of the Republic of Mexico: Negro (black), rojo (red), coloradito (colored), mancha manteles (table cloth staining), verde (green), amarillo (yellow) and chichilo. My favorite type is the mole poblano which orginates from Puebla, Mexico. Although my family has never spent the many hours that it takes to make it, they would often brew up the spicy thick sauce from a jar. (I think I just heard a gasp from across the blogosphere.)

Founder (second to left) with Coordinators of La Feria de Los Moles

Recently, I was invited to a special mole presentation and tasting preview of La Feria De Los Moles. We were served hot steamy mole poblano with chicken, rice, beans, and tortillas. It was so delicious that I had to resist the urge to lick my plate! We also had a chance to taste the Oaxacaño mole which had a dark smoky flavory to it. It was served with a flavorful white rice. I think it’s tasty goodness came from garlic.

This Sunday, October 09 at Olvera Street in Los Angeles, California you can taste various moles at La Feria De Los Moles. It’s an all day event, so bring the family for some good eats and a taste of history! There will be an array of over 13 different Mexican Moles to choose from ranging from sweet and savory to hot and spicy, will provide the opportunity to taste the best of the best in mole between the state of Puebla and Oaxaca.

4th Annual Feria de Los Moles
Sunday, October 09
Olvera Street in Los Angeles, CA
10:00am to 7:oopm
Free Admission
Food wiil be available for purchase



Get your right fit with Skinny Cow

From “A” Cups to Ice Cream Cups!  Skinny Cow Invites You to Find Your Perfect Cup

Saturday & Sunday, August 27 & 28, 2011
10 AM to 6 PM

Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

From “A” Cups to Ice Cream Cups!  Skinny Cow Invites You to Find Your Perfect C

Knowing that 8 out of 10 women aren’t wearing the proper-sized bra, Skinny Cow, the maker of tasty and decadent low fat ice cream, is on a mission to help women find the Perfect Cups − the perfect fitting bra cups and the perfectly-portioned cup of low fat ice cream. That’s something for all the “girls” to love!

This summer, Skinny is hosting Perfect Cup events in 6 cities.

During this year’s Perfect Cup Events, Skinny Cow is proud to partner with Dress for Success®.  Through this partnership, Skinny Cow will support and encourage disadvantaged women across the nation through monetary and product donations, and ultimately helping them find their “perfect fit” in life.

The event welcomes women 21 years +, and pre-registration is required online at  All event attendees must pre-register online prior to the event, and should select an available appointment time for their Perfect Cup professional bra fitting.
*The above press release is unbiased. I have not received monetary compensation to share this information. I posted this because I could relate to wearing the wrong bra cup size. 

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LéaLA: Los Angles’ first Spanish book fair

Finding a large variety of books that are written in Spanish is nearly impossible at most book stores, that’s why I’m very excited about the LéaLA Spanish language book fair that’s being held this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. When my husband and I first learned about this book fair, we couldn’t wait to find out more. It will feature more than 80 renowned authors from different Latin American countries including the U.S.

Over three days LéaLA will bring together one of the most impressive gatherings of highly acclaimed authors from the literary and cultural worlds. The Mexican state of Jalisco is the honored special guest and in recognition of its rich culture will present three literary greats: Juan Rulfo, Agustín Yáñez and Juan José Arreola; the performance of “Los placeres de la lengua” (The pleasures of language) with Ofelia Medina and Rubén Albarrán, as well as the Ballet Folkorico from the University of Guadalajara.  Stars from the education and entertainment worlds will also take part to foster the Spanish language and to recognize the varied cultural spectrum and traditions of Latinos in this country.  LéaLA is an initiative organized by the University of Guadalajara USA Foundation and supported by the Guadalajara International Book Fair, Feria Internacional del Libro, known worldwide as FIL; and the University of Guadalajara in Los Angeles.

LéaLA book fair will include daily seminars and workshops. Celebrities will participate in different literary cultural programs and activities, particularly reading to children in the kids’ zone. Isabel Allende, José José, Elena Poniatowska, Laura Restrepo and Francisco Martin Moreno are among the featured participants. Many activities and programs will be presented simultaneously in English and Spanish.

Admission is free, so you can bring your whole family!

When:  April 29, 30 and May 1st.

Time:  10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where:  Los Angeles Convention Center, Concourse Hall, 1201 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles, 90015.

If you’ll be in town, I hope to find you at LéaLA this weekend!

*LéaLA graphic above is courtesy of LéaLA.

*The above review on this post is unbiased and all thoughts are my own. I have not received monetary compensation to write this review.

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Penelope Cruz gets her star at the heels of her new movie release, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

In anticipation of the release of her new film, “Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides” in theaters May 20, 2011,Penelope Cruz received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, April 1, at 11:30 am. in front of the El Capitan Theatre, 6834 Hollywood Boulevard, joined by “On Stranger Tides” co-star Johnny Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall.  An Academy Award® winner Penelope Cruz has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses by playing a variety of compelling characters, and most recently, becoming the first actress from Spain to be nominated and to win an Oscar®.

First introduced to American audiences in the Spanish films “Jamon, Jamon” and “Belle Epoque,” in 1998 she starred in her first English language film, “The Hi-Lo Country” for director Stephen Frears opposite Woody Harrelson, Patricia Arquetteand Billy Crudup. In 1999, Cruz won the Best Actress award at the 13th Annual Goya Awards given by the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for her role in Fernando Trueba’s “The Girl of Your Dreams.”

Confirming her status as an international actress, Cruz landed a series of coveted roles. She appeared in Billy Bob Thornton’s “All the Pretty Horses,” Fina Torres’ “Woman on Top,” Alejandro Amenabar’s “Open Your Eyes,” and Maria Ripoli’s “Twice Upon a Yesterday”.  Additionally, Cruz co-starred in Pedro Almodovar’s “Live Flesh” and the critically acclaimed “All About My Mother,” which was awarded the Golden Globe® and Oscar® for Best Foreign Film.

Next up for Cruz was a role opposite Johnny Depp in “Blow” for director Ted Demme and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” opposite Nicolas Cage. After that, Cruz starred opposite Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s thriller “Vanilla Sky.” She then tackled “Masked & Anonymous,” “Fan Fan la Tulipe,” which opened the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, and “Don’t Tempt Me.” She received rave reviews for her performance in “Don’t Move” (“Non ti Muovere”) in which she was honored with a David Di DonatelloAward (Italian Oscar) and the European Film Award for Best Actress.

*I was not compensated for posting this media press release. Photos and video are courtesy of the Walt Disney Studios Publicity.

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Pampers unveils community mural in Los Angeles


The Pampers-commissioned mural was created by popular urban artists, Retna and El Mac, as part of the brand’s “Every Little Miracle” Hispanic campaign that celebrates, supports and protects every baby

LOS ANGELES (March 23, 2011) – Pampers®, the diaper brand committed to making a difference for every parent and baby, right from the start, today announced the unveiling of a mural that honors Latino babies with real-life miracle stories as told by their families. The community mural is part of the brand’s “Every Little Miracle” Hispanic campaign that provides Latina moms with ongoing support and resources for their babies’ happy, healthy development.

“At Pampers, we are proud to debut a mural that can help inspire a community to celebrate and join in our belief that every baby is a little miracle,” said Laina Majnovic, marketing Brand Manager, North America Baby Care at Procter & Gamble.  “Our community mural not only depicts the special relationship between a parent and child, but honors the Latino families that shared their special stories and journey with us.”

With the debut of the “Every Little Miracle” campaign last December, many families throughout the U.S. were inspired to share their own miracle stories with the brand through the Pampers Latino Facebook page ( To capture the essence of the miracle stories, Pampers collaborated with the two artists known for their creative and modern artwork, Retna and El Mac, to create a mural that honored these Latino babies and families.

“The inclusion of my daughter in this beautiful community mural that recognizes the importance and joy of having a child, is a special honor,” acknowledged Gabriela Pestanas, mother of an honorary baby. “I hope this mural serves as a reminder to every parent that no matter what the situation may be, a baby is a true blessing.”

Pampers donated the community mural to the MacArthur Park Primary Center, a pre-school and kindergarten center in Los Angeles with a 95 percent Hispanic student population, and also contributed $1,000 to help fund the school’s art program and curriculum.

For more information on Pampers or the “Every Little Miracle” campaign, please visit or


*This is an update media press release. Click here to read more.

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Silver Lake: Eating Healthy with Betty Crocker

Univision’s Dr. Aliza and Betty Crocker Executive Chef Adriana Amione Encourage Healthy Eating Habits for Kids and Parents

Qué Rica Vida Seminar Draws Dozens of Parents To El Centro del Pueblo

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dozens of parents gathered today at the El Centro del Pueblo community service agency in the Silver Lake area to hear two well-known Latina nutrition specialists discuss ways to maintain childhood health and fitness in the Hispanic community. Univision health specialist Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz, M.D., who also publishes, and Adriana Amione, executive chef at the Betty Crocker Kitchens at General Mills in Minneapolis, led the Open Forum. The event, sponsored by General Mills in anticipation of next month’s Mexican Children’s Day on April 30, was part of the Vivir Sano nutritional series of the company’sQué Rica Vida Hispanic initiative.

“Genes should not become an excuse to indulge in bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle”

Among the pointed advice Dr. Aliza offered parents: Know what your child’s proper weight should be, and do everything you can to get them to it. And two, keep away from fad diets.

“Genes should not become an excuse to indulge in bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle,” she said. “Anyone, regardless of family genetics, can learn to eat right and stay active, and as parents, we need to understand that. Not helping our children maintain a healthy weight significantly increases their risk of suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, depression and anxiety later in life.”

Dr. Aliza offered several tips to parents for getting children to eat better and learn healthy habits: Eat together regularly as a family; serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks; set an example by eating healthy yourself; avoid arguing over food issues; and involve children and teens in the meal-preparation process.

Chef Adriana, who demonstrated two fun, easy-to-make, healthy recipes that appeal to kids, said that “in preparing a meal, make sure you always practice portion control.”

“You can prepare the healthiest meal possible for your family, but if the portions aren’t right and you allow them to serve themselves seconds, you’re defeating the entire purpose of cooking healthy,” she said.

The recipes Chef Adriana demonstrated came directly from the Betty Crocker Kitchens, and included a Blueberry Smoothie made with 99% Fat Free creamy vanilla Yoplait® yogurt, and a Crunchy Apple Salad using Honey Nut Cheerios®. Samples of both were distributed to the crowd, all of which raved about the combinations.

* I have not received monetary compensation for posting this media release.

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Pasadena 2011 Tournament of Roses: Float Decoration

Two days ago I had the pleasure of helping decorate one of the floats that will be in the Pasadena 2011 Tournament of Roses parade. It was such a treat to be a part of this huge endeavor that takes place once every year. If you have been living under a rock, it is one of the most famous parades viewed by millions across the world on the first day of the year. Each of the many floats the parade is graced with is covered with roses, various flowers, orchids, grains, beans, tree barks, and many other natural materials.

Got a little hungry for a banana. 😉

As you can imagine, lots of glue is used to help the “ingredients” stick to the many pieces of each float. There are many volunteers who work in various stations pasitng, cutting flower petals, trimming leaves from branches, prepping flower buds and so forth. Residents of cities that have a float usually are able to apply to be one of the many volunteers that are needed to help decorate. The floats are housed in several warehouses near the city of Pasadena.

I was lucky to be at the Fiesta Parade Floats warehouse where renowned float designer, Raul Rodriguez’s floats are being decorated. The day that I was there, Rodriguez was walking and speaking with one of the tour groups that had visited that evening. Sadly, my hands were covered in glue and I couldn’t snap a picture of him.

It was a great pleasure to be part of something I have admired all my life. My family and I have seen the parade live twice. The first time was in 2000. That was an amazing opportunity because so many people were afraid of the Y2K bug and had canceled their plans to sit on the stands that line the parade route. [Remember that *bug*? LOL!!] Lucky me, I was given tickets to take my family by my then employer who had a siting stand in front of their building. The second time was two years ago, my guys and I hoped on a local bus from home to see the floats. We are fortunate enough to live close to the parade route so the ride was quick and easy.

*Thank you Dole and Fiesta Parade Floats for the unique opportunity to help decorate a float.

*The above review on this post is unbiased. I have not received monetary compensation to write this review, although I may have received a party favor that may or may not have been part of this review.