Young ChefAs a parent I am BURNED out on party planning. My son turns 8 this year & I have finally decided to do something low key for once. In the past years I’ve planned everything from a carnival themed party to a safari themed party. I am over spending too much money, creating party favors that will get thrown away & invitations that get tossed in the trash!

I was recently hired to cater/create an EGG BAR (made to order) themed menu for a baby shower. A couple of little girls asked me if they could crack the eggs & help me out. As they were helping me one of the little girls asked me if I would do her birthday party. She wanted to invite her friends over & have them cook with me…I thought it was the cutest thing ever!

So I decided to launch a website catered to LITTLE CHEF PARTIES for kids! I created a couple menu/cooking themed packages to teach little chefs, quick & fun recipes they can practice/make at home with their parents. What better way to express my creative outlet & love for kids. As a certified chef for over 10 years, I love teaching people tricks of the trade. Why not start them young?

Please note the menus can be altered for allergic and/or dietary needs (additional costs may apply). If you have a theme, I can create a menu/cooking theme accordingly. I also offer personalized party favors and/or invitations, I am your one stop shop! As a parent I totally understand staying within a budget & not wanting to over spend.

For additional information on the packages go to


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Goes To Trial On November 3rd!

In my opinion he should just be sentenced to death without a trial…but hey I am not the judicial system!

Boston (AP) reports — BOSTON (AP) – A federal judge on Wednesday set a November trial date for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev over the objections of defense attorneys who said that will not give them enough time to prepare.

Judge George O’Toole Jr. said he believes a Nov. 3 trial is realistic and fair. Tsarnaev’s lawyers had asked for a trial date no earlier than September 2015. Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty for Tsarnaev, want the trial this fall.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal counts in the April 15 bombings that killed three people and injured 260 others. Several of those injured in the bombings were in court on Wednesday, but Tsarnaev was not.

Prosecutors allege that the 20-year-old Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, planted two homemade pressure cooker bombs near the marathon’s finish line. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a shootout with police a few days later. Defense attorney Judy Clarke said federal prosecutors have been “sluggish” in responding to requests to turn over evidence and there are a “tremendous amount of logistical hurdles” for the defense to be ready for trial in November.

AUDIO: Greek “Apollo Kids”

AUDIO: BeastBoyLoco F/K/A Kash Banks

This young aspiring artist has a new EP he is currently working on entitled “Codename: Beastly”, check out his soundcloud! Follow his journey & make sure to follow him on Twitter @savagegangbeast

Fashion Alert: HAALA denim…MADE in the USA

OK! So I know I am NOT the only one, that has issues finding that perfect fitting jean. I know for me it’s a challenge because of my curvy shape, usually the waist is too big (bunches in the back), the cut is just all wrong or the wash just makes the pants feel like a brillo pad! Up until now I figured this was just an issue for woman, but to my surprise men also have this issue. Who would have thought, men have the same struggle with jeans. I will admit their issues seem to be a bit more bothersome than ours, since their packaging is a tad different, LOL!

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A couple months ago, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Darrin Haala, co-founder of HAALA denim (“HAALA”), launched in 2010 by him & his brother, Dustin. I was extremely impressed by the quality & fit of Darrin’s jeans that I felt compelled to share it with my viewers. Their jeans are premium quality denim & 100% American made. You can tell that a lot of thought, creativity, & love goes into the production of their jeans. They feel absolutely amazing & look great on, they have a distinct fit & seem to be extremely comfortable. I know one thing for sure is that Darrin definitely takes pride in their line & captivates you when he explains HAALA.

I had the pleasure of asking Darrin some questions about HAALA, to give my viewers some more insight on what they are all about. You can purchase their jeans online at & also make sure to follow them on Instagram at @haala_denim

1. What inspired you guys, to come up with the idea to start HAALA denim?

We wanted to start a business that we could see ourselves pouring creativity and passion into.  Denim is an evolving fabric that can reinvent itself and take on so many forms. We liked the fact that we can provide iconic American style, or today’s newest unique trends.  Not to mention, we have been wearing premium denim since we were young teenagers.

Today, jeans can be worn with a t-shirt or a tie…the diversity within our line can accomplish both. We began doing custom washes on raw jeans and our creations started turning heads from the model crowd in NYC and LA.  As our excitement and vision grew for denim, so did our will to make jeans in the USA and dedicate ourselves to using only the best fabrics, sewing, and wash services that Los Angeles can provide. We wanted to be hands-on and guide our product along the way.  Denim jeans tell a story for all of us, it’s our goal to make HAALA denim not only our story, but the customer’s as well.  

2. Is it hard to find the perfect fitting jean, do men even have this issue?

Men can have issues finding the perfect fitting jean, just as women do.  However, for us it was more about combining all aspects…FIT, FABRIC, & FINISH. Many brands claim to fame is one or 2 of these 3.  Being able to put them all together in perfect harmony is what we classify as Premium.  Our goal for our fits is to provide a modern, sleek silhouette that forgives just enough on the front rise, and sticks to the waist on the back, preventing gaping, pulling, or bunching.  We do a lot of pattern work in the upper region of the jean to insure comfort, but the legs and overall look of our jean projects a youthful, tailored look.

3. What’s so different about HAALA denim? What sets it apart from all the others?

HAALA denim sets itself apart from many brands by simply using better fabrics, designing better washes, and crafting an overall jean that is built to last longer. All of our fabric comes from Cone Mills, NC.  Cone denim is a world-renowned fabric supplier and we have carefully chosen the best fabrics, including 2 shades of selvedge denim from their White Oak facility.  They are one of the oldest facilities and have a proven track record of fabrics that are woven, dyed, and constructed to the highest standard.

We use doubled layered belt loops (I fell in LOVE with this idea), doubled & fused waistbands, double needle sewing throughout the entire jean, lined back pockets and fly’s, 100% leather patches, customized buttons and rivets, and more.  Simply holding a pair of HAALA denim and comparing it to many of the jeans in department stores can show the difference of fabric integrity. I personally felt a pair & to be honest describing them does no justice! (it’s the little intricate details, that sets HAALA apart in my opinion)

We are also different because we design each jean for a purpose.  Each jean is made for a particular reason.  The fit, fabric, wash, all work together to make the jean special. Many big name brands are providing predictable washes that go from dark, medium, and light because it’s the safe way to go.  HAALA denim washes have more special characteristics and detailing within them to portray more of an exclusive look.

Lastly, we are different because of the diversity within our line.  Many other brands claim their niche to be one particular thing, whereas HAALA denim’s strong suite is being able to design any type of jean imaginable. Our variety within the line gives more of a ‘designed’ feel rather than just a pair of jeans in a few different washes.  We can accommodate denim nerds with our 13.5 oz. clean selvedge or we can keep up with the trends with our new acid washes, waxed denim, etc.  The variety of choice that will continue with HAALA denim is what will keep our brand fresh and intriguing.  We will never become stagnant.  We also make our jeans by hand in small batches, which gives us the best quality control possible.  

4. What sizes do you carry ?

We currently carry:

Waist sizes: 30,31,32,33,34,36,38

Lengths: 30,32,34

We plan to add waist size 29 on the next productions.  We accomodate in between waist sizes as you can see, which makes for more perfect fitting jean than just skipping from 32 to 34 waist. or 30 to 32. We promote towards a guy who leads an active, healthy lifestyle and wants to look his best in HAALA denim.  Our jeans have received many compliments on the ability to flatter a range of demographics.  

5. Do you carry women’s jeans? Do you carry plus sizes?

We have a women’s line in development.  Samples have been made and they are turning out excellent.  Look for 2014 and 2015 to introduce an entire women’s line.  We currently have a mid-rise skinny in dark and light washes and a legging in black and colors.  We will not carry plus sizes, however, some styles of our women’s jeans will have a quality stretch blend, which will allow forgiveness in waist size.

We are also looking forward to developing women’s styles with some heavier, 100% cotton fabric.  These days, we have only been seeing thin, stretch fabrics in the world of women’s jeans, which we understand and will also be included in most of our women’s line, but being able to provide hardy, heavier fabrics for women again is something at the top of our list.

6. Are their jackets, shirts, shorts, etc. in future production being made?

YES! Our plan is to develop other product categories.  In the near future, look for leather jackets, denim jackets, graphic t-shirts, pocket t-shirts, cotton twill pants, and women’s shorts. Some of the categories, such as leather jackets will be part of our higher price point selection.

7. Are the design & the business/production management handled by both of you?

Both of us are creatives and we collaborate to design our product, however, my (Darrin’s) strength is doing more of the design and production management, while Dustin is strong suited in business, concept, and overall product performance.  My brother, Dustin, is also our financier and has been the backbone of getting the business started.  We work well together because both of us are able to make creative decision and business decisions alike.  Our relationship is very close, we are best friends. The trust and belief that we have in each other goes along way while pushing to get to the top

We are 100% involved with every step of the process.  There isn’t 1 step from beginning to end that we haven’t put in place ourselves.  We set up the entire product and production from the ground up.  We don’t cut corners and we make the product as best as we possibly can.  We know that this will help us substantially in the long run and our customer will appreciate the American made craftsmanship.

8. Have you guys always been into fashion ?  When did your passion for it come about?

I (Darrin) have.  Living in NYC for 6 years influenced my fashion drive and my curiosity to create my own fashion.  Instead of modeling others creativity, I wanted to be the one making my own creativity come to life. I went to college for graphic design and that also inspired my direction towards fashion design. It also helped with creating all the labels, artwork, photo shoot layout and art direction, photography, that is also involved with our line.

Looking at fashion from the outside in while I was a model gave me a good direction and perspective of now looking at it the other way around.  For me it’s bringing a lifestyle to life and not being afraid of going with your gut.  You have to know whats cool and not second guess. There are many times when my intuition tells me to create a particular style and going with that instinct is going to give HAALA denim brand identity.

My passion for denim also came about when I started doing DIY custom washes on raw denim…the artistic nature of making something with my own two hands, which nobody else had and could re-create was exciting.  From there, I wanted to make my art my craft, and our craft is HAALA denim.

Below are some of their more popular styles:

CROSBY – Straight leg. Curved waistband that forms perfectly on mens hips. Little more room in the thighs for an athletic build. Gives off a straight, modern look, yet known as our most comfortable, forgiving fit.westerlyWESTERLY – Slim.  This is our most popular fit within the urban demographic. Fits close to the body with just enough room for comfort, yet highly fashionable. Made with a phenomenal stretch fabric, it gives you the high fashion look without sacrificing comfort.

varickVARICK – Skinny.  We have developed what we call a true skinny. Not a slim that most other brands call a skinny, and not a slim/skinny….an actual skinny. Skinny for us means on the skin, which is how our skinny works all the way down until it reaches the ankle area, where it leaves just a touch more fabric in the ankle/leg opening, projecting a masculine appeal.  Also uses our stretch fabric.ginoGINO – Straight tapered- Best of both worlds, a mix between a straight and slim.  The top half is a straight leg, that fuses into a slim towards the bottom half of the jean, giving it a nice V silhouette.  This fit uses our selvedge fabric, so the leg opening is more flattering when it is smaller to cuff the bottom and show off the selvedge edge.


North Miami rapper Prez P presents the music video for “Celebration”, the new Ear DrummerZ-produced single from his new album The Ambiance featuring Glocky Davis, Ransom Note, J Nics and Rell Burgandy as well as production from Nuez, The Ear Drummerz, Mr. Maneuvers, DT Spacely, Ronny J, RAH, MVSIC, Sir Flywalker, Kenneth Cartel, Green City, Eccentric Music, Squareboogie and Danny Dee. Prez first emerged onto the underground rap scene in Miami with his group Da Camp in 2011 with their mixtape 7 Day Weekend: Campin Out In Da RV. That record was followed by 7 Day Weekend: Bumpin olDCool Da Campilation and VII Day Vacay, which was voted 2012 Mixtape Of The Year by the Miami blog Miami New Times recently named him one of the Top 10 Miami Rappers On The Comeup (see article). The Ambiance is available for free download now at DatPiff.

It’s been a minute…

Since I’ve been on here let alone blogged on my thoughts. A lot has happened in the past few months. I took a huge leap in faith…decided to leave the corporate world & focus on my catering again.

I graduated from culinary school back in 2004 but have been a fan of the kitchen since I was 8 or 9 years old. Catering to me is my zen, it centers me. Something about cooking in bulk that just has me in AH! It was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made because as a single mother…guaranteed paychecks are always a plus. However, I need to do what makes me happy & if that means I have to work harder in order to play hard…then so be it because at the end of the day, it’s my shit! My time, my schedule & I’m my own boss.

I’ve left all uncertainties at the door that closed in order for me to walk through the door that opened. I haven’t been happier career wise since I stopped catering a few years ago. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great chef from NYC & catered for Saint Laurent, formerly Yves Saint Laurent, this past week.

Needless to say everything is coming together slowly but surely & I have never been more certain in my life. I’ve realized that in order to achieve success on all levels, one must not be afraid of failure. For failure is one of life’s greatest lessons, how else would you better yourself if you’ve never failed? There’s no need to strive for perfection because perfection is nonexistent when it comes to humans.

I wish for all that 2014 brings the clarity you need…in order for you to achieve whatever it is that you want too achieve. God bless!!!



PS If you live in the SFV/LA area & need a personal chef, cooking classes and/or an event/dinner to be catered please email

COMING SOON: Swanky Habits (

Hi! *taps mic* My name is Veronica & I am a shop-a-holic. I love to shop, I know, I know what woman doesn’t! NO but seriously if it was a drug, I would have died from an overdose by now. I am head over heels in love with fashion, there are so LEVELS to this shit! Do I know the history of every designer, every cut, fabric or stitch no but I know what works! It’s not cute having a gap between the arch of your back/backside & the pant waistline, or a shirt hugging all the wrong areas, too tight, too big, too short, too long it’s all just a huge cluster faak. I don’t care what size you wear, if you’re short/tall, thin/average, thick/chubby, fat or obese finding what works for your body takes patience.

I was definitely a late bloomer to the more trendier look, I was a hip hop head growing up so Jordan/Nike kicks, sweats & fresh tees was what my wardrobe consisted of. As my body started changing & my curves became curvier I had to lose the baggy clothes & started wearing more “fitting” clothes. It took me a bit to really feel comfortable in my skin & own my look. My style works for me, works for my shape & most importantly I rock my clothes not vice versa.

I like to look good but being a single mother shopping can be a challenge. I hate having that spending guilt, so I like to shop knowing that I am not breaking my pockets. One morning I woke up & three words popped into my head “online clothing boutique”.  A few days later I sent a text to my girlfriend, Jamie, & asked her if she wanted to join me on this venture. She said “Yes!” & from that moment we hit the ground running.

Swanky Habits isn’t just another online boutique, our goal is to provide quality clothing at unbeatable prices. We want to empower the everyday woman to step her sexy up,  feed into their shopping habit without the guilty conscience. We want every costumer to feel like they are getting their money’s worth & feel like a million bucks!

Jamie & I understand having to work within a budget, we totally get it. That’s what sets us a part from the rest. Swanky Habits isn’t about marking up prices 5 to 6 times, we are about making you feel sexy. We want to inspire fashion ideas, give you a little push to step outside of your normality when it comes to fashion. Think of us as your personal stylist, need some outfit suggestions with your purchase, or have something from your closet you want to match with something from our store, no problem send us an email!

If you live within 15 miles of Sherman Oaks, CA & would like to host a party please email us at for more details.

Here is a little sneak peak…we launch next week! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @swankyhabits

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Currently, Manchild Jones is in the process of putting the finishing touches on his forthcoming debut album. The album, entitled “In Due Time”, is due to be released in the summer of 2014, and features the single “Get My Mind Right” which is currently available worldwide through TuneCore.

Manchild Jones was born Daryl Jones II, on December​ 3, 1980 in Los Angeles, CA. Manchild was exposed to music at an early age because his father is a musician. His father is a bassist who has played with such acts as Billy Preston, Lakeside, and Donald Byrd. This was a major influence in Manchild’s life. Aside from his “Pop”, Manchild’s influences range from legends such as Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix, to Big Daddy.

Manchild Jones has been performing on stage since the age of 8, and at the age of 17, he was the first artist to be signed to a recording contract on 45 Pro Records (an independent company formed by Paul Allen, who is currently an executive producer on the reality show “R&B Divas”) During this time, Manchild’s single “One Man Syndicate” was placed in the top 30 hip hop charts of Hits Magazine at #16. The single also had multiple spins on Power 106’s Friday Night Flavor show, and 92.3 the beat’s Soul Assassins show in L.A. Copies of the single sold out of stores such as Fat Beats, Stacks Vinyl, and Hollyhood Hip Hop. Since the company dissolved, Manchild has been recording and performing as a freelance artist. More recently, Manchild’s music has had multiple spins on 88.7 FM KSPC which services the Greater Los Angeles Area. The single “All Alone” charted at #1 on KSPC’s Hip Hop top ten. Check out his website


iLL Vibe Records: Darryl Jones (818) 479-1173

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