Archive | Cool Places RSS feed for this section

Sweet Dreams Dessert Lounge – Whittier, Calif.

16 May

When you join:

Cute and Yummy Cupcakes

sweet dreams dessert lounge cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes

w/in a Chic and Stylish Lounge

sweet dreams uptown whittier

City Lounge

You get:

Sweet Dreams Dessert Lounge

What the muhkkk? Who devised this strategic plan to drive cool gals like me that are addicted to extreme sweetness?!

Obviously somebody had a vision and this neat location opened up in the charming area of Uptown Whittier. If you haven’t been yet, Uptown Whittier offers this seemingly calm environment where independant vendors showcase unique items that aren’t found elsewhere in the area. Sweet Dreams Dessert Lounge is kinda hidden behind Uptown and is a great retreat for someone that wants to have their cake and eat it, too.

cheesecake cupcake


When you first walk in, you are mesmerized with their cupcake collection and all of a sudden you look afar and notice a rather chic lounge area that looks fitting for a bachelorette pad of some sort. It is the perfect backdrop to a variety of girly events like birthday gatherings, brunch, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette gatherings, shoot even a makeup party. But the fact of the matter is that it’s a dessert lounge – eating a cupcake never felt so COOL.

sweet dreams dessert lounge

Girly Accents

Not so cool were the prices of the cupcakes ($3.50 or $50.00, I don’t quite remember but I remember paying what felt like a lot). I treated myself to a red velvet cupcake which was good but I had my eye on that cherry cheesecake one that I’ll definitely have to go back to try. And perhaps take with me my fave gals cuz this is the exact place we were meant to be while treating ourselves to a yummy cupcake. What better way to vent or gossip right?




The Last Bookstore – Downtown Los Angeles

3 May

The one thing I hate about going to school is getting bombarded with HW. 2nd of all, my eating routine gets all whack! (craving Twix and cornuts at 9am, anyone? but most of all, is the fact that I don’t get to read the things that I, Nancy Mora, would like to read. Maybe the 200 pages you have assigned to me teacher are really beneficial for my future, but come on, The Hunger Games are out on Amazon and everybody’s reading them except me. (crying)

Well, since Borders decided to lock up their stores and go on a permanent vacation, my nearest bookstore happens to be a SUPER, DUPER cool one! It’s a bookstore, it’s a coffee shop and it’s a mini venue. I love it!Used and new books are sold, as well as your non-mass magazine selections and even some paper zines that people create on their own. This is hip city to its finest folks and walking into this gem of a bookstore is an experience on its own. Dwell on this:

the last bookstore downtown

Let me introduce you to my party people

the last bookstore downtown

what do you feel like reading today?

vinyl selection

vinyl selection

coffe shop bookstore downtown la

hidden coffee bar towards the back

the last bookstore downtown

do you fancy reading?

the last bookstore

relax and feed your brain

the last bookstore downtown

what a bargain!

Random Reviews – Guadalajara, Tonala Edition

27 Mar

I’m back from my Mexican vacation and did nothing out of the ordinary. With such a hectic past quarter at school it was great to do absolutely nothing. Well except catch up on some reading and eat some homemade food.

Regardless of the mosquito attacks every night, I survived and managed to capture a few favorite things from my four-day trip:

Some of the landscape (let’s be honest, it’s Mexico and some areas are very poor but some are just beautiful)

driving to dad's house from the airport

my favorite pueblo to visit: Chapala

nothing but blue skies

TACOS! heller! it’s the holy land of the almighty Mexican delicacy! All accompanied with freshly made tortillas!

taco man preparing my late-night feast

tacos de birria de borrego

it's a smorgasbord!

The beer – you can drink it anywhere, anytime. But unlike Vegas, there aren’t people puking over the side of the road because of over-indulgence.

Micheladas, Rusas, Pina Coladas - you pick!

just one of the gazillion stands offering a refreshing alcoholic drink

Indio beer - your alternative to the Corona (honoring music genres)

Mexico is full of street vendors offering tasty treats. From steamed veggies sprinkled with lemon, salt and chili powder to mini pancakes made fresh, it’s easy to forget about calories while indulging in these goodies.

nieve de garafa (homemade ice cream made with real ingredients) walnut and mango here

grilled corn smothered with preferred ingredients (choose loose kernels in a cup or eat it straight on the cob)

best chips ----- EVER!

not a soda drinker, but this apple soda...gulp, gulp!

sweet pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) pt.1

sweet pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) pt.2

I did a LOT of reading my four days there and no magazine addict can go without catching up on hottest fashion/beauty trends.

I purchased a Mexican Glamour and it came in a plastic package full of free goodies and pamphlets.

While American Glamour focuses on celebrity trends and diet, this one was full-on designer fashion!

Glamour magazine Mexico

Must. Buy. Yearly. Subscription.

And what would Mexico be without music. Everywhere you went, there was a talented musician singing, playing an instrument or both.

Entertaining the crowd in Chapala

Serenading the taco eaters

musician family

The family that plays together, stays together.

There is definitely a lot more to do, eat and see in Guadalajara.

The next time, however, I must remember to be prepared with insect repellant because I do not look very sexy with mosquito bites on my forehead.

no to mosquitos

*image taken from Google*

Hotcakes Bakes – Los Angeles, Calif.

11 Mar
hotcake bakes tres leches cupcake

Joy to the ME!

How is it that this little tower of sugar can make me feel SUPER happy! I mean SUPER happy that a car almost crashed into me after getting this and I just smiled and said it’s ok. Cuz it was NOT ok but this could have been my LAST food to eat and I guess I would have died happy.

But I didn’t die. And in fact, I was able to make a SECOND trip to this bakery on the same day!!!

I had spotted Hotcakes Bakes and booked an appointment to visit in my planner. So the day came and I made my way in and oh boy. The place was small but it was full of cupcakes and it was Heaven. My first pick is always the red velvet, of course. Again with that cream cheese high or just food high for that matter.

So I walk in and see three different areas:

hotcakes bakes

Sample and Cookie Section

hotcakes bakes mini cupcakes

Mini Cupcake Extravaganza

hotcakes bakes cupcakes

Regular-Sized Cupcake Heaven

It was quite hard to decide what I wanted because I wanted it ALL…and I thought about how much I would spend and I thought how it would be ok and I thought about who I would eat this with and I thought about how I just wanted to eat them alone and I thought about how much sugar I would consume and I thought about how crazy I was for thinking all that I was thinking about.

I walk over to the regular-sized cupcake heaven section and I notice this prized area:


tres leches cupcake

Tres Leches Spicy Mango Cupcake with Horchata Icing

Ok first of all, this has all the fixings a Mexican place would offer.

Tres leches is a popular cake in the Hispanic community, most times soggy

because of all the cream in there. Horchata is our famed white, rice drink and come on! a mango with chili powder on top! Give me one of those right now! Well they did and I ate in about two bites – world record for me, two bites, one cupcake!

Ok well enough about me, Hotcakes Bakes was featured on Cupcake Wars and they WON! So of course this delectable treat would be a may-jer party in my mouth! It’s a winner in my book and more!

Anywhos. So good. I mean so good! Well different for the gal that always chooses the red velvet cupcake, know what I’m sayin’.

hotcakes bakes red velvet cupcake

Icing Much?

But regardless of how much that Tres Leches cupcake was, I still managed to get me-self a red velvet cupcake because, well, why wouldn’t I?

Snookie’s Cookies – Glendale, Calif.

8 Mar

So I’m pulling out of a driveway after an interview and what do I see? A purple building that is screaming attention and then it reads Snookie’s Cookies! Are you kidding me!

snookies coookies glendale

from a distance

You know I just HAD to make my way over there and take a peek. I was kinda giggling the whole 5 seconds there. I mean Snookie’s cookies? That’s pretty funny, no? So I pull into the parking lot and I go inside to find nothing out of the ordinary just more purple, balloons and an assortment of just your regular ol’ cookies.

Before there was Jersey Shore’s Snookie, Hollywood had already been enamored with Snookie, the cookie lady, who began her company in 1983. The web site notes that their stardom rose from sending a batch to Rick Deez and the rest is history. They are now the leading cookie company for all major Hollywood production caterings.

snookies cookies glendale

I was first expecting to find offbeat cookie flavors or gourmet ingredients but they were simple, common cookies: oatmeal, chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, snookie doodles, etc. I ordered a chocolate chip, white chocolate chip and a snookie doodle, which I planned to save for the BF but I happened to eat them all. They are not hard and they are not soft – they are right in the middle with enough density that made this thee perfect dunk-in-your-milk cookie.

snookies cookies glendale

I also noticed that they were now offering ice cream sandwiches that you can create yourself! What a treat for those summer days approaching. The place was not packed at all and while the purple taking over the location creates a fun vibe, it is rather quite simple and normal. When I was driving back home munching on the chocolate chip cookie, I was still giggling at the thought of eating a snookie cookie. And that was the best experience for me. Who would’ve known! Snookie’s Cookies, hee-hee!

snookies cookies van glendale

offering cookie bouquet deliveries and catering

Viento y Agua Coffeehouse & Gallery

6 Mar

This my friends, is just ONE of the reasons I have fallen in love with this place. This is a sundried tomato bagel with cream cheese, sliced cucumbers, spinach, sundried tomatoes, balsamic dressing and fresh basil. All of these ingredients are organic and the taste is un-bee-leave-able!

Viento y Agua Coffeehouse and Gallery is a Long Beach local coffee house that offers an organic menu of brewed specialties, sweet pastries and veggie snacks.

The ambiance is extremely chill, hippie-crowd and art work is planted all over the walls.

The BF ordered a regular house coffee and I went for their Mexican Mocha drink (hot), which was so good! I don’t drink coffee on a regular basis, or on any basis actually. But dang! I drank this to the last drop! But that bagel sandwich! Who knew you could add veggies to a cream cheese and bagel item and make it taste superb!

We were lucky enough to get a table because there were folks coming in non-stop! The ambiance is super chill, like I mentioned. They were playing some reggae beats very low but loud enough to hear, there was a mini stage with a vintage piano and they had a “community library” – shelves with books and magazines for customers to look through. I also learned they regularly host live music, poetry nights and art gallery events.

I am hoping to make this place a Sunday morning ritual, or at least until I am over that bagel sandwich. In the meantime, the BF headed out to the market to buy some similar ingredients in hopes to indulge in this replicated snack at home.

"Community Library"

a few pieces of artwork they have on their walls

coffee house long beach

a local-hangout spot




babycakes NYC – Downtown Los Angeles

4 Mar babycakes nyc logo

Yesterday as I was walking in downtown with some classmates looking for fragrance oils, I spotted this little bakery that I’ve had on my checklist for a while. So on our way back, we made a pit stop for a sweet break. Babycakes NYC is a vegan bakery hidden on 6th street. I’ve never had a vegan treat before so it was quite a different experience. But I don’t want to keep blabbing away…i’ll let the pictures do the talking:

babycakes nyc downtown los angeles

a delectable selection

babycakes nyc downtown los angeles red velvet

Red Velvet Cupcake

babycakes downtown los angeles donut

Chocolate Sprinkles Doughnut

babycakes downtown los angeles mini donuts

baby donuts!

babycakes donut

Cookie Crumble Doughnut

babycakes los angeles doughnut

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut

Overall, I would like to think that I engorged in a sweet feast that was good for me. After checking out their web site, I found out that these babies were: gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free and casein-free, which explained the different texture and taste when I first tried the red velvet cupcake.

babycakes doughnut

this one was my FAVE 🙂