Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills 90210

The famous cupcake shop in Beverly Hills

I love saying the zip code “nine-oh-two-one-oh” because I grew up watching “Beverly Hills 90210″ Though it was only recently that I’ve learned that the numbers are actually the zip code of the place, I know that this neighborhood is home to the world’s first cupcake bakery and cupcake ATM, Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Thank you to our friends who were kind to take us there and get us a box of cupcakes to try.

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10 things wannabe Dubai expats need know about Dubai

And you might miss out on things you NEED to know as a wannabe Dubai expat

A news bit on how Filipino maids are not prepared for the expat life in the UAE (If you click through and read the article, please get past the racist undertones of the article – as commonly found in most UAE publications – and let’s focus on the main message: Filipinos – or insert nationality of choice or just expats – are not prepared for the expat life in Dubai.) shared by fellow blogger and friend Sandier Pastures struck a chord in me. It actually has bothered me for the past couple of days. Thinking about it woke up me at 5AM. It was that bothersome.

I know there will always be surprises in the expat life, BUT it doesn’t hurt to prepare, to know the good, the bad and the ugly. So that you jump in fully aware, eyes wide open of the expat life ahead.

Anyways, here are some of the key things I’ve learned by way of experience and reading about being an expat in Dubai:

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Visiting Los Angeles’ Staples Center

Home of the LA Lakers and LA Clippers

The Husband is a collector. One of the things he collects, apart from Starbucks City Mugs and McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, is photos of himself in different NBA stadiums here in the US. And I was, of course, glad to support him in his NBA stadium collection. He was blessed to receive love from my relatives, who were more than willing to take us around and spend $10 for public parking (Oh yes, parking is pretty expensive around the area…at least for us who would move mountains to avoid spending for paid parking).

Good thing walking around the stadium is FREE.

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Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in the USA!

Oh hello there Shakey’s Pizza!

There are some food items from home that I don’t crave. I don’t long for the day when I would get to inhale the distinct aroma of delicious grease from a Jollibee (i.e. number one fastfood chain in the Philippines) and scarf down an order of two-piece burger steak with rice drowning in brown gravy. I don’t long to be able to stuff my mouth with cheesy, buttery pillowy ensaimadas (i.e. Filipino style brioche buns smeared with butter, sprinkled with sugar and cheese) or mamon (i.e.Filipino style butter sponge cake). I don’t long to dive into a bowl of unctuous pancit palabok (i.e. vermicelli rice noodles with a complex annato colored, fish and pork sauce topped with shrimp, smoked fish, pork cracklings, boiled egg and spring onions). Not yet. Those things can wait until the time we visit home.

But there are some food items from home that I realized I miss only when I get to see it. I guess the out of sight, out of mind rule applies here. So when I saw Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on Yelp, while searching for places to eat here in sunny California, the craving for greasy, salty, crispy fried chicken and mojos (i.e. Shakey’s signature deep fried battered potato discs) kicked in really hard. And so The Husband and I drove off into the night with hopes that the Shakey’s here would be a replica of the ones we’ve had in the Philippines.

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How to enjoy the public library

Squeeeeee by the book lover in me!

I’ve never had the privilege of access to a decent public library, but the idea of it always sent a nice tingle down my spine. But when living in a country where taxes don’t exactly go to the right places, I’ve given up all hope on having decent public libraries in the Philippines. In Dubai, I’ve chucked the idea out of the window knowing that there is only only decent bookstore in the entire country. Imagine that! So the public library is just a pipe dream to me. Maybe books aren’t just priorities of governments nowadays.

Until one day, a highschool batchmate of mine prodded me to visit our city’s public library. I brushed off her suggestion thinking that the books in the public library would be dated. And so I moved on with my reading life, searching for the best deals for books I wanted to read on Amazon, Half-Price Books and eBay (I have no qualms on buying pre-loved books).

But somehow, there was a little birdie who told me to check out the public library’s collection. And so I did…and was floored! I restrained myself from jumping, dancing and cartwheeling in our wee apartment’s living area. How can you enjoy the perks of the public library? Here’s how…

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The day I realized how race mattered

So does your race really matter?

I’ve always gotten jobs that I wanted. I never even needed to do the actual job hunt because I had a position waiting for me even before I even graduated from university. I’ve worked with international companies, managing blue chip multi-million dollar accounts, and put in more than 10,000 hours to come to my level of expertise and skill. I’ve reread and rehashed my resume a gazillion times, but it’s been 8 long months of searching and applying without any positive leads for a job in Dubai.

It was until I received an email from a multi-national company famous for selling succulent sweet fruits, but more famous for their pineapples, all over the world.

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The Tradegy of the Laguna Burger

What might have been

I woke up bright and early with a loving memory of Albuquerque’s food: carne adovada and Mexican menudo from Mary & Tito’s Cafe and Mexican champurrado from the neighborhood supermarket. With a few hours left, I wanted to end the Albuquerque stopover with a big bang: a big fat, greasy, spicy, beefy and creamy green chili cheeseburger for breakfast. And so we loaded our bags onto our rental, checked out of Sandia Inn Peak Motel and searched the ole reliable Internet (It has never failed us…so far!) for the best green chili cheeseburger in Albuquerque.

The Laguna Burger from 66 Pit Stop topped the green chili cheeseburger list. And so I keyed in the address spewed out by the Internet on the GPS and we were on our way to green chili cheeseburger heaven!

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