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Sweet as Sugar…Y’all


Years ago Texas-born Vanessa Dionne ventured West in pursuit of an acting career, but eventually wound up working behind the scenes doing make-up and hair. I had the pleasure of working with Vanessa on some big musicals in L.A. and that’s when I learned Vanessa’s hobby was baking. Who knew one day Vanessa would turn that hobby into a career?

Inspiration sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. When her sister was expecting, Vanessa hosted a baby shower and asked her former third-grade teacher, who ran a cookie company, to bake cookies as party favors. Vanessa was so impressed by the creative cookie design—a baby sitting in a pea pod—she was inspired to turn her love of baking into her own cookie-making business. So, off she went to a cookie bootcamp to learn all about cookie-decorating techniques. Vanessa quickly discovered applying frosting wasn’t so different from applying make-up—and it was a lot of fun. Thus, Cookie Love LA was created.

Nobody has been as surprised as Vanessa at how quickly her business venture has taken off. And her cookies not only look good, they taste utterly delicious, too! Cookie Love LA cookies come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. And—in true LA fashion—Vanessa offers gluten free and kosher options.

Order your cookies from and check out Vanessa’s Facebook page at Cookie Love LA.

Cuba with a Mojito dancing the night away

Pollo El Criollo-2 Screen shot 2014-03-19 at 4-3.45.42 PM

I’m a girl who loves to eat and I’m not shy about it. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I eat everything and anything. From the taco truck parked outside of Cha Cha Lounge to the more upscale fare at Mastro’s Steak House, it doesn’t matter. I love it all.

Having grown up in a multi-cultural household I was exposed to the cuisine of many cultures. As soon as I could eat solid food my parents fed me empanadas, anticuchos, ceviche, pupusas, and meat and fish of every variety. You name it, I ate it. As a result, I grew to appreciate the different aromas, flavors, and spices of ethnic cooking And this is why I love El Criollo. William and Niurca Sera emigrated from Cuba to the United States in the 1960’s. They met in California, fell in love, and got married. In 1982, they finally fulfilled their life long dream by opening El Criollo Cuban Restaurant in Van Nuys. Niurca lovingly prepared the food while William played host and waiter. The restaurant was a success from the get go, and what began as a small mom and pop operation that only seated thirty people, eventually grew beyond their wildest expectations.

In 2008, with the help of their son, Albert, who is also part owner, they relocated to a larger space in order to modernize and accommodate their growing business. In 2013, they opened a second location, El Criollo Cuban Bar and Grill in Burbank. Which makes me so happy because I live so close to Burbank!

At both locations, you will find the same amazing quality of the most delicious food. A popular dish is the rabo encendido, an oxtail stewed in a criollo wine sauce with traditional Cuban herbs and spices. My personal favorite is the Bistec de Palomilla, a sirloin steak sliced very thin and blanketed by grilled yellow onions and a light salt seasoning. The steak melts in your mouth like butter. And this dish is even better when accompanied by a mojito!

But what I really love is that everything tastes homemade. You can feel the love in every bite. Best of all, the food and drinks are reasonably priced, from $4.95 to $17.95, and they don’t skimp on the serving size, either. You gotta love that. El Criollo Cuban Bar and Grill in Burbank offers a full bar with specialty drinks and happy hour all week long. On Fridays, there’s live music, and on Saturdays, you can get your salsa groove on. They even offer a salsa dance class for $10 so you can learn how to spice it up before the band comes on. This is a must do for anyone who enjoys dancing in a real party atmosphere as much as I do! (My parents aren’t just responsible for my love of food, but also for my love of parties and dancing. I think it must run in our family’s genes!)

So, for those of you who are always looking to try something new, grab your honey bunny and head over to El Criollo for some authentic Cuban cuisine and live entertainment. You won’t be sorry! Tell them Jessika sent you!!!

If you want to check out their menu and their monthly entertainment calendar, please visit their website:

Keep Calm, Drink On & Save On……. Alkaline H20


Water is the essence of life.  Did you know that the quality of the water you drink can make you feel better and prevent dis-ease?  The power of alkaline water can assist the body in flushing out and preventing wastes from accumulating in our cells.  We all could use a little flush once in a while.  LOL

Water is the most crucial factor in establishing and maintaining proper acid-alkaline balance in the body.  Does anyone know why?  That’s right because we lovely human beings are made up of 70% water. That’s right we are mostly water and should replenish our bodies with the best water on the market today.

Save Money purchase an Alkaline Water Filtration System. Make Unlimited Quantities and Say GOOD-Bye to Bottled water.

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