Happy Belated Birthday Mom

Dear Mommy,

Happy belated birthday! I’m a couple days late but I know that you have been with me lately. It’s as if I can feel your presence around me, it almost gives me butterflies constantly.

We had a Preview Day on Sunday for Ninong’s! We wanted it to be our Grand Opening, but we still have things to do before everything at the new place is just right. The dream I had of you in our new location keeps replaying in my mind. You were sitting at a table, sitting up straight and looking around with a smile. I hope you approve and we make you proud when we officially open here. I’m doing my best, and though some times that may not be good enough I hope I am some how able to do you justice. Make you proud. I know you would’ve handled this with more poise and grace than I ever could.

After the Preview Day we had a friends and family dinner at the new place, the night before your birthday. It was more of a birthday party for you, you would have been 67 years old. We all miss you so much. I can’t believe that exactly 3 weeks after your day of birth we will be remembering you on the day that you passed. 

Happy birthday Mom! I love you and miss you every day, I wish you were here but I know that you’re with the Lord smiling from Heaven.


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We’re Going to be on TV!

Holy moly! If you saw my post on Instagram a few weeks back I was interviewed by Tina Malave of ABC7. She does a segment called Eye on LA and thanks to some supportive fans she chose to feature us! What the?! Someone pinch me, am I dreaming?!


A photo posted by Carissa Ortega (@justkissa) on

It was so much fun and an absolute pleasure having Tina and her team come and get to know us a little better. To have the honor of sharing our creativity, our story, and our family with Southern California is extremely humbling.

We have come a long, long way from the first days of opening in 2008. With hard work, dedication, and God’s grace we have had so many wonderful opportunities.

So catch me and the rest of the Ninong’s family on ABC7’s Eye on LA Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. AHHH! 😀

P.S. Once I have a streaming video of the segment I’ll update this post.



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Ninong’s Seating Project – Stuff We Make

Omg. Let me tell you. These last couple weeks – I think I was about to explode! I’ve been really tired and feeling really burnt out with work. But things are slowly starting to get better and even out.

It all started with this seating project with Ninong’s. This blasted seating project lol! Every year since I’ve started working at Ninong’s full time, we use New Year’s Day to make some major improvements on our store. This past January, we did a big makeover – painting our storefront. We wanted to do the seating project too but we knew it would have been way too much for us to do in just a couple days. We’ve been thinking about this seating project since the holidays last year and we finally had an opportunity to do it.

If you follow along on my personal Instagram then you’d know we spent over 12 hours putting it together, by the 10th hour I was exhausted and ready to go home. But we did it, I couldn’t believe it. It went from this mess…

To this (sorry for the noise in the background)…

It used Ikea benches that we primed and painted to match our current decor and new furniture that we bought a couple weeks prior. From there we bought some piping and extra wood that we cut, primed, and painted in the same color. We created some backings on the benches and drilled in the piping. Phew!

If there’s any advice that I could give if you want to attempt an Ikea hack like this it would be to make a prototype. Buy the supplies for 1 so that you can buy the right hardware, use the right tools, etc. Once we got the first one done it was a piece of cake! 🙂

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