• Lifestyle,  Travel

    5 Insta-Worthy Places To Wine & Dine in San Francisco

    Welcome back to my Haus!

    I Left my heart in 5 restaurants in San Francisco, and I’m here to give you deets!

    It was my first time in San Fransisco, and I had NO CLUE what to expect when it came to drinks and food. The best way to find out where to go is to ask a local. I was happy with the direction they gave me. 

    1) Plain Jane

    1000 Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 654-5270

    This is a new hot and upcoming brunch spot in the historical mission district. This brunch-focused restaurant is a new establishment by Sang Hyuk Lee, who also owns Mymy. Plain Jane is anything but plain as it displays an array of breakfast favorites that is filled with flavor and authenticity. The menu has a friendly reminder that menu medications are “politely declined.”I loved their attention to detail and food presentation. Enjoy traditional brunch food with a twist, and beverages such as bloody Mary’s, Mimosas (grapefruit, orange, mango), coffee, espresso, beer, and matcha drinks.

    I enjoyed the “Chorizo & Juicy Tomato Scramble”. It was packed with garlic chorizo, eggs, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, cilantro, onions, corn tortilla, chipotle aioli, and avocado. I devoured it quite quickly it was so yummy!

    Plain Jane San Francisco

    For those who love spice and everything nice, there’s an added touch with a roasted jalepeno on the side. My sweet dish was called ” Cannoli French Toast Roll Up.” It was filled with rich ricotta chocolate filling, berries with maple syrup on the side. It had a perfect crips to it, and just the right texture.

    Plain Jane San Francisco

    Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 2:30 pm

    2) Cocktails at Top of the Mark

    19th Floor, 999 California St., San Francisco, CA 94108, (415) 392-3434

    If you want to live the fancy life and see 360 degree views of the city, I recommend you come to this iconic high-end cocktail bar & sky lounge located on top of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. I thought I took a time machine back to the 1930s as I walked through the door. Looking up there was a beautiful design of large chandeliers. It brought an art deco dreamy aesthetic.

    This has always been the place to go to in San Franscisco since it opened its doors in 1939. From World War II servicemen, celebrities and dignitaries, Top of the Mark has kept its tower standing out from the crowd for decades. There is also a mini museum on the 1st floor to learn more about the hotel.  Truly a hidden gem with rich history. Come out for a night cap, or come during sundown to enjoy a wide selection of cocktails and live entertainment (a few nights a week). They only take reservations for Sunday brunch. 

    Hours of Operation:

    Sunday

    • Brunch 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    • Cocktails:  4:30 pm – 10:00 pm
    • Small Bites:  5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

    Monday – Thursday

    • Cocktails:  4:30 pm – 11:30 pm
    • Small Bites:  5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

    Friday – Saturday

    • Cocktails:  4:30 pm – 12:30 am
    • Small Bites:  5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

    3) Whiskey at Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen

    401 Taylor St. San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 775-7979

    Jaspers is part of Hotel Spero, and they serve breakfast lunch and dinner. The bartender recommended a single barrel bourbon whiskey I cannot find in other bars! It’s called Blanton. It’s only made in Kentucky A.K.A. “The Bourbon capital in the world.” It has a great taste with a smooth finish. 

    Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 6:30 am – 12:00 am | Friday-Saturday 6:30 am – 1:00 pm.

    4) Smitten Ice Cream Mission Location

    904 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 590-3144

    Have you seen ice cream in its purest form? You’ll fall in love with Robyn Sue Fisher’s prototype Brrrmachine! It churns ice cream made freshly just for you! I was staring at this store from the outside for a while as I loved the playfulness and vibe it was sending to the Mission neighborhood. This is the new age for ice cream with this invented machine. At this location you will find their original Brrr machine, Radio Flyer wagon, and the original Brrr battery pack buried into the floor (you’ll have to see it to believe it!).

     I got to taste a variety of samples and  I savored every bite of it. I decided to go with my classic fav: chocolate withe sprinkles! They have seasonal flavors and only a few locations, so make sure you go every single time you visit San Franscisco  (and its other locations in Oakland, San Jose, El Segundo, Hayes Valley and Pacific Heights of San Francisco).

    5) Bancarella in Union Square

    You can find yourself parched walking around and sightseeing, especially during a sunny day. I decided to stop here for macarons and a glass of wine. I found it to be my oasis. I thought I saw a mirage when I noticed you can have wine out in the open courtyard. For some reason I thought there would be rules of staying near the bakery with alcohol. I found this to be a great place to people watch and visit artist vendors in the middle of the courtyard.

    Hours of Operation: Daily 7am-7pm

    Out of these 5, which one will you be trying first?

  • Events,  Fashion

    Private Press Release for Shabeeg Fashion

    “Clothes should not define a person. It should accentuate  their personality.”

    – Mary Sukiasyan

     
     
     
    Bold. Chic. Geometric. Philosophical. Enriching.
     
     

    These are only a few words that describe Shabeeg, a fashion brand founded by Mary Sukiasyan.

     
     
     
    The story behind this fashion line lies deep within Armenian culture.
     
     
     
    LA vlog fashion event
     
     
    I had the honor to attend an exclusive viewing of Shabeeg at the LA Fashion District, and I spoke with the brand’s designer and founder.
     
     
     
    This Armenian female designer is making headlines. Mary is passionate about her culture as each clothing garment is left with an imprint of rich Armenian history. She not only spreads awareness about her culture, but she also empowers others with making their own fashion choices. It is more than just clothing. Each piece brings forth enriching stories and history that speaks across generations. Wearing Shabeeg appeals across genders and ages.
     
    This vision of wearing something beyond a fashion statement is something Mary wants others to take with them as they wear Shabeeg apparel.
     
    It was a pleasure meeting with Mary. She is such a light, demonstrating love and empowerment from within and taking it outward for all to behold. Thank you for sharing your vision and beautiful Armenian culture.
     
     
     

     
     
    To see more of Mary’s work and clothing line, visit Shabeeg official and website shabeeg.com
     
    *Top pics taken from official Shabeeg sites*
     
  • photoshoot grad 2019 csulb fashion blog long beach
    Fashion

    Unconventional Grad Photos

    Hey there, LALA here,

    Just going over some feels about graduation. I wasn’t in the mood for the stereotypical grad photos everyone tends to do. Truth is I couldn’t hire anyone, and I did the shoot all on my own. I was not in the mood to drive to school, set up, and pray for it to all go well. I did a quick set up at the castle.

    Here are a few features of that day. The lighting worked, despite it being a cloudy moody day. I tried on my favorite style: lace & a mask for fun! Just call me your little prop lady! My house is filled with masks. I may show it sometime if you’re down for it!mask photoshoot graduation long beach csulb 2019

    photoshoot grad 2019 csulb fashion blog long beach

  • graduation csulb haus of lala fashion and lifestyle blog
    Lifestyle,  Love + Relationships,  Words of Wisdom

    5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Entering Graduate School. Ron Burgundy Style.

    You live and you learn! Just take it from me and watch Ron Burgundy’s slip ups before you decide to enter a graduate school program.

    Otherwise, you’ll enter a war you never wanted to sign up for.

    1) You will have no sense of rest and be filled with emotions:  

    Your brain will run a mile a minute. “Do this! Do that! Go to school! Finish this paper! Don’t forget that group presentation! Did you eat yet? Don’t forget your friends and family!” So many demands  that create a critical you for not being on top of everything. Give yourself space and compassion. Take it day by day, week by week. Pace yourself and try to be in the moment. This sucked for me because I worked from 26-40/week with a highly assaultive and emotionally draining population, then full time school in a Counseling MFT program, homework, and interning. Balance is the main thing, and please have a plan for your work and social life!

    2) You will be tempted to quit your job, or get fired for trying:  

    This is at least true for a counseling program. I remember back in the day when I was looking into this program 10 years ago, it fit for ‘working professionals.’ When I finally became one and decided to go back to school, I was encouraged to leave my job and live off of student loans. Thank God I stayed at my job part-time! It really helped financially. I was tempted to quit, but I stuck with it. When I graduated I did not have to worry about finding paid work in the clinical field. I strategically used my education and sick time wisely in order to get through the program.

    3) You will be tested among cohort members:

    Hey it can happen to anyone! I actually got ‘picked on’ during graduate school. Not to take a victim stance, I had to learn and see the system at hand. This reflection only happened after the fact. Others can and will have a different point of view of my personal experience, and that is okay. It is important to speak up about it for others to better prepare themselves when entering a new program, or even a new job.  Instead of others coming to me about concerns of my well-being, it was passed on to the teacher.  Not sure what to call it. All I know is that I felt as if we were in preschool. These secret exchanges created booby traps for disconnection and distance. I got paranoid of who said what. This skewed my focus a bit during one point of the program and had to recenter myself. Here is the main takeaway: Always approach face to face before bringing in others to speak up and intervene. Confront in that moment.  The best way to plant seeds of contention is to take control and intervene on the behalf of someone that did not need saving in the first place. Playing God does not make you eternally angelic. Despite it being painful, it was an important experience to navigate.

    4) There will be times you doubt your place in the program and it may not work for you:  

    There were times where I was unmotivated to finish the program. I even questioned the research presented to us, and wondered if it still applies today. It’s important to question what is being said to you or else you will be trained to become someone you’re not. I knew I was not going to be a certain type of therapist they were training me to become, and I found it hard to find someone who thought the way I did. Thankfully we had a creative art therapist who made the program more inclusive. It’s nice to see different therapy techniques.

    You have to keep going and remember your ‘why’ of coming into the program.. The real issue for me was the ‘why’ becoming not good enough for me to enjoy the entire process. My ‘why’ could have been answered in other ways (e.g., look into earning a business degree to get away from clinical work as it’s too familiar to me, finish the theatre program I originally wanted to do in my undergrad, learn about image consulting and fashion, etc.). I think with my personality, I needed to go through the program to affirm my true calling. It was not going to come easy for me. I needed to explore to determine my next life direction. I encourage you to question and develop a strong reason to pursue your degree. Think about the people who are subconsciously influencing you to pursue it. Are you doing it for the approval of someone? Because it looks good on paper? Is the reason tied into your identity rather than your values? A title will not provide enough satisfaction to sustain your quality of life. Sometimes we mistake movement for achievement and think achievement will fulfill our inner needs. Listen to both your inner and outer needs. List out the ‘whys’ of earning your degree.

    5) Your relationships will be non-existent:

    Okay, this is me being dramatic but there will be a lot of people you will not see as much. It was hard to have enough energy for everyone. I had to stop attending a church I loved going to because it was too far away. I got vertigo and dizzy every time I drove the distance. Listen to your body and follow it. Do not fight against it. Your true friends and intimate relationships will take it seriously, and endure the changes with you. If they are unable to understand or have empathy, direct your energy to a schoolmate. After all, you’re both in the trenches of this war called graduate school.

  • Lifestyle

    Why Care About Mental Health?

    mental health awareness month 2019

    Why care about mental health?

    You may have seen it more and more these days, especially during special times like May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but is it something to consider in your every day life?

    Whether you are aware or not, your mind and body is influenced by your every day stress.

    Our brain is a physical part of our body; it’s all connected. Medical health care and mental health care should not be seen differently. Let’s open a discussion and break the stigma! We need to take both very seriously! Are you aware that we can rewire our brain? Science is revealing more and more that we have the power to heal, get better, and do better.

    Here are some key takeaways, and great reasons to begin thinking about how to enhance mental health care:

    • Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.
    • A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions.
    • For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both the physical and mental health concerns can be daunting – but critically important in achieving overall wellness.
    • Humor, spirituality, recreation, animal companionship, and work-life balance are important for everyone, but may be of special importance to people also living with chronic health conditions and those who care for them.
    • Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy.4mind4body mental health awareness month 2019
    • The company of animals – whether as pets or service animals – can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to recover from illnesses. A pet can be a source of comfort and can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
    • Sometimes life is far from funny but finding humor in a situation can lift moods with laughter and help people to better deal with and overcome difficult experiences.
    • Whether you go to church, meditate daily, or simply find time to enjoy that cup of tea each morning while checking in with yourself – it can be important to connect with your spiritual side in order to find that mind- body connection.
    • Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.
    • Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both #4Mind4Body.

    There are resources and opportunities to assist with your mental health. You do NOT have to do this alone! You are not alone! Healing and enhancing your quality of life is a gift for everyone!

    Go to www.mentalhealthamerica.net for more information to join in on the conversation and daily wellness activities (attached here—-> MHM 2019 – CALENDAR POSTER )

    mental health awareness month 2019

  • Lifestyle

    #4Mind4Body Pledge for Mental Health Awareness Month

    Hello there beauties and beaus,

    We are going to have a huge community gathering ONLINE and OFFLINE!

    It is time to discuss the importance of mental health care and wellness. May will mark the 70th year of Mental Health Awareness month, facilitated by Mental Health America. They are doing outstanding work, and this is a call to action.


    This year’s proclamation:

    Mental Health Month 2019 “#4Mind4Body”

    WHEREAS, mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being; and

    WHEREAS, all Americans experience times of difficulty and stress in their lives; and

    WHEREAS, prevention is an effective way to reduce the burden of mental health conditions; and

    WHEREAS, there is a strong research that animal companionship, humor, spirituality, religion, recreation, social connections, and work-life balance can help all Americans protect their health and well-being; and

    WHEREAS, mental health conditions are real and prevalent in our nation; and

    WHEREAS, with effective treatment, those individuals with mental health and other chronic health conditions can recover and lead full, productive lives; and

    WHEREAS, each business, school, government agency, healthcare provider, organization and citizen shares the burden of mental health problems and has a responsibility to promote mental wellness and support prevention efforts.

    THEREFORE, I, LaTianna Amberette Williams, do hereby proclaim May 2019 as Mental Health Month in the state of California, more specifically Los Angeles, and Long Beach. As a Creative Arts Therapist & Artist who has served in mental health for 10 years, I also call upon the citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools within Southern California to recommit our community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps our citizens can take to protect their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.

    We need each other like ever before! Let’s get active on and off social media and work together on #healthandwellnessgoals for our #mentalhealth #mindbodysoulspirit  Take the pledge with me!

    Join us with fun daily tasks for the entire month of May! 

    Post your stories and spread awareness!

  • rent the runway Cleobella handbags pom pom williamsburg bag
    Fashion,  Fashion Styles

    My First 4 Items from Rent the Runway

    After watching a documentary on fast fashion, I am trying to be more mindful of where my clothes come from. The problem is… it is so expensive to get sustainable fashion! I can see why I did not think about this for a while. It will take time to transition to that great length, but I am beginning to open myself to the possibilities of creative ways to wear less fast fashion.

    One thing I can think of is maybe thrift shopping to find vintage clothing, as fast fashion boomed a lot in the 1990s. It would be great to get staple pieces from the past; But for now, I decided to try for one month Rent the Runway, Unlimited subscription. I got a one month subscription due to it being discounted.

    My first 4 items are below via YouTube, followed by how easy it was to pack it back up and send to a nearby UPS store.  I think at the end of the month I will let you know the pros and cons to Rent the Runway.

    Which item did you like the most?

    Would you try it?

    Comment below, check out some shots from the photoshoot, and I’ll see you on the gram.

    ~ xoxo LaLa aka LaTianna

  • Performance Art

    “I was not flirting with you…”

    “I was not flirting with you.”

     

    He says this for the second time.

     

    Honestly, if you were not flirting with me, you wouldn’t have said it… twice. That reveals guilt. And guilty you are, but there is no jury for this kind of trial. This is the court case I find myself in a lot of the times lately. It seems as if all of my cases are dismissed. I do not have enough evidence or grounds to feel the way I feel.

    Yet I will still speak my truth… This time, “I am not guilty!”

    I’m talking about the case of the male-female interactions and the lack of respect I receive as a women of color in her 30s. My only relationship was in my 20s… 11 years ago.

    Society sees me as a loser. But little do they know what’s out there in Los Angeles, California.

    Society has succumbed to men lightly touching my back and holding my hand to then go on and flirt with a close friend of mine to then saying, “I’m not flirting with you.”

    “Just leave it alone, you’re going to make it worse…” my friend said. Even after all of this she still took down his number. I’m glad she did. I don’t believe in competition. You like who you like, and it should stand open. But, don’t lie to me about not flirting with me and then talk to my friend. No one cares if I’ve been disrespected. Or underappreciated. Or treated as a tool. Oh wait, I’m the fool in all of these shenanigans! But the evidence here may never be enough to really see the matter at hand.

    I can’t compete anyways, I don’t have the societal standards of beauty. I have no Kardashian ass. I don’t have much breasts. My Double As aren’t good enough. Perhaps according to society I have nothing physically going for me.

    Being black is hard. Growing up I was classified as “Not Black enough.” Who could dare say such a thing? Where is the love in all of this oppressive nature? We call this advanced society. We are so ‘developed.’ Where dating is within a few seconds of a swipe right, some emojis, and maybe… just maybe you will get a date. Either that or a one night stand.

    Now the male that made the “I’m not flirting with you remark” did not go for the white female you think he would have pursued as I’m writing this. He still chose black beautiful sista. And that is okay, I am happy he can appreciate all colors. I see the positive, and it’s good; yet it brings a sad sort of comfort to think I cannot use her looks to justify why I’m not picked majority of the time.

    It’s like I’m never seen.

    It’s like I’m never adored.

    Here I go back on trial, configuring the possibilities. To make sense of it all. Could it be I don’t always wear my natural hair out like her? Or because I don’t have curves like a typical black girl? I cannot sing like a typical black girl? My voice is too high pitched or is it too nasally? I don’t have the typical favorable video vixen type of body. And surely, I cannot dance as well as her.

    I’m just a mediocre girl. Nothing too special to pick out from a sea of females.

    My name isn’t mediocre, nor do I think I am… but the world treats me as such. I’m like the trash the trash man does not want pick up during trash day.  

    Sure you can say, “Well it’s because you think that way…” When in actuality… I don’t see myself this way. If I did, I would’ve ended my life by now and called it a day. The fact that I’m still alive still proves I find myself worthy enough. Enough to be noticed, treated with honor, and to be loved. But it seems these days love has cursed me, and someone placed a spell on me. No matter how many times I pray and pray it away, it never leaves my life. I can do the work it requires to heal, and get the same results. Each separate event brings the same broken message:

    I do not exist. And if I do it’s only when I’m angry enough to speak my mind. “No, you cannot sit in the back seat with my friend, you flirted with me first… and now you are saying you never did. If you were not flirting with me then don’t touch my body.”

    You don’t deserve the right to dispose of me like that.”

    I spoke my words, and still I am the guilty one.

    How long can someone live through the pain I’ve lived through? I didn’t ask to be born, but here I am. Trying to understand why wasn’t I noticed… again? Why am I in the wrong for speaking up for once and saying my truth?

    My truth has been tuned out. It’s all on sound boards, and it echos off the walls. No one hears it. Silence is golden, but also a killer. Not being heard numbs me. And so I write. I write to maybe see someone else relate to the distance of love I can sometimes feel.

     

  • latianna's world blog post
    Love + Relationships

    If You Can’t Let It Go, It’s Best Not To Keep It.


    Such an important phrase that may shock you to hear. I made this because I do not want you to feel good about it. To be offended or uncomfortable is a great thing, because it requires you to reflect and make changes that will build you, or destroy you.

    I hope this video cuts to the core of you to truly reflect and see what you need to let go in your life and move forward. Only then will you be able to experience true freedom, authentic identity, blessings and fulfill life purpose. Time to believe in yourself. Be inspired by this message. Any thoughts?