Archive for the ‘outside activities’ Category


This year’s 2nd annual entrepreneur’s conference, ‘Bacon Donuts: Practical Planning for Brilliantly Risky Ideas”  is dedicated to a subject that speaks to the hearts and minds of all successful entrepreneurs – thinking creatively and acting pragmatically.

On the panel 1: Money Morning is our CEO Kalika Yap with Sasha Strauss, Managing Director of Innovation Protocol and Marty Metro, Founder of Moderated by Jean C. del Rosario, VP/Sr. Portfolio Managment Office, Consumer and Business Lending, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.




Marty Metro, Jean C. del Rosario, Kalika Yap and Sasha Strauss

Right after the conference held the annual NAWBO-LA Awards Luncheon, celebrating it’s 27th year of giving tribute to top achievers among womenleaders who have established a legacy of entrepreneurial excellence and contributed significantly to Southern California.

This year’s conference and luncheon was held at the J.W. Marriott at LA. Live last Friday, April 26, 2013.


CEO Kalika Yap with the Citrus girls


Pooneh Mohajer, COO and Co-Founder of Tokidoki



Barbara Lazaroff, ASID, President, Imaginings Design, Inc./ Founder, Spago, Chinois & WP Fine Dining, Catering & Worldwide


 LL Cool J introducing his wife Simone for the Rising Star award


Congratulations to the 2013 honorees!

Leadership Award: Jessica Iclisoy, Founder & President, California Baby

Legacy Award: Barbara Lazaroff, ASID, President, Imaginings Design, Inc./ Founder, Spago, Chinois & WP Fine Dining, Catering & Worldwide

Trailblazer of the Year Award: Pooneh Mohajer, Co-Founder & COO, tokidoki

Rising Star of the Year Award: Simone I. Smith, Designer & Co-Owner, Simone I. Smith

Innovator of the Year Award: Gwynne Shotwell, President, SpaceX

Hall of Fame Inductee: Jeri Harman, Founder & Partner, Avante Mezzanine Partners

Man of the Year Award: Noel Massie, UPS District President, UPS

Citrus exploring other sides of creativity!

Erika with her citrusy cake !

Erika with her citrusy cake !

Maria and her colorful cupcakes

Maria and her colorful cupcakes

Below is a cheat sheet of what was in the bill that passed, info on reforming the filibuster and the Inauguration.
Fiscal Cliff Cheat Sheet:
Tax rates: The bill permanently extends all of the Bush tax cuts for incomes below $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families, while reinstating the Clinton-era 39.6 percent tax rate for income above those thresholds.
Capital gains and dividends: Taxes on investment income will be permanently set to 20 percent for income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families. The rate will stay at 15 percent for everyone else.
Stimulus tax credits: Three middle class tax credits that were expanded as part of the stimulus will be extended for five years. The America’s Opportunity Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Earned Income Tax Credit collectively benefit nearly 20 million Americans each year.
Unemployment insurance: The federal unemployment insurance program will be extended for one year. Without an extension, more than 2 million would lose benefits at the beginning of 2013, while another million would lose them in the early part of the year.
Estate tax: The estate tax was set to revert to its Clinton-era levels, where it was taxed at 55 percent after a $1 million exemption. This deal would set the exemption at $5 million and tax at a 40 percent rate after that — at a cost of $375 billion over 10 years compared to the Clinton level.
Limits on tax exemption and deductions: Limits were reimposed on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans. The Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) will be set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) starts at $300,000.
Alternative Minimum Tax: The deal would also include a permanent fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax; which would have hit 30 million additional Americans, many in the middle class.
Business tax extenders: A whole host of business tax extenders; including wind tax credit extended for a year.
Doc Fix. A one-year “doc fix,” which would prevent cuts in provider payments through Medicare. It also extends certain corporate tax provisions for another year.
Sequester: The sequester will be delayed for two months. The delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense (half) and by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (other half).
Payroll tax cut: The payroll tax cut expired. Republicans have opposed extending the payroll tax cut in the past; many Democrats opposed its extension over fears that it would undermine Social Security, which it helps fund.
Debt Ceiling: The debt ceiling was not addressed in this package.
Reforming the Filibuster
Since 2010, Voices for Progress has been working with Senators Merkely, Tom Udall, and Harkin, Lautenburg and Franken and with a coalition of organizations to reform the filibuster. On January 3rd or 4th, the Senate is expected to vote on a package of reforms. If the changes are made at the beginning of a new Congress, the “Constitutional Option” can be invoked so that changes require only a majority vote.The reforms we are supporting would not solve the problem, but they would make a big difference. While we cannot be sure, we believe that, if Senator Reid strongly supports them, there will enough votes to pass these reforms. Unfortunately, on Friday, Senators Levin, Schumer, Cardin and Pryor announced, along with John McCain and three other Republicans, that they would support a bipartisan proposal that will have very little impact. While Senator Levin is immoveable on this point, we are hopeful that Schumer, Cardin and Pryor may still be willing to support a stronger package if they are convinced it can pass.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Send an e-mail to Senator Reid, saying that you’re grateful for his leadership on filibuster reform, especially his support of the “talking filibuster” requirements (see below), and limiting post-cloture debate on all nominations, and that you hope he will fight to see that these reforms are adopted. Send these via whoever is your best contact to Senator Reid or via his site – .

2. E-mail or call the following Senators to say that the Levin-McCain proposal falls far short of the necessary reform of the filibuster, and that you hope they will support using the Constitutional Option to adopt stronger rules changes that include:

  • Making applicable to all nominations, not just those for the district court and sub-cabinet, the 2-hour limit on further delay once 60 Senators have voted for cloture.
  • Requiring Senators who want to filibuster to stay on the floor and talk continuously.
  • Shifting the burden by requiring those filibustering to produce 41 votes to sustain the filibuster, instead of requiring the majority to produce 60 votes to end.
Please email or call these Senators:Senate Democratic Leadership:

Sen. Schumer via Chief of Staff Michael Lynch:;
Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Director Katie Bierne:; and
Senate Rules Committee Staff Director Jean Bordewich:

Sen. Murray via Chief of Staff Mike Spahn:

Sen. Durbin via Chief of Staff Pat Souders:

Senators on the Fence:

Sen. Cardin via Chief of Staff Christopher Lynch:;

Sen. Baucus via Chief of Staff Paul Wilkins:;

Sen. Boxer via Chief of Staff Laura Schiller:;

Sen. Feinstein via Chief of Staff Chris Thompson:;

Sen. Leahy via Chief of Staff John Dowd:;

Sen. Pryor via Chief of Staff Andy York:;

Sen. Reed via Chief of Staff Neil Campbell:

Citrus loves to give back! On November 8, 20112, the Citrus team volunteered at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. After a quick tour of their warehouse, the team sorted frozen frozen meats, vegetables for distribution to 1,000 charitable agency sites throughout Los Angeles.
So far this year, the Food Bank has had 2,100 people volunteer their at the Food Bank.

The mission of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is to mobilize resources to fight hunger in our community.


1) Source and acquire food and other products and distribute to needy people through charitable agencies or directly through programs;

2) Energize the community to get involved and support hunger relief;

3) Conduct hunger education and awareness campaigns and advocate for public policies that alleviate hunger.

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank vision is that no one goes hungry in Los Angeles County.

To learn more about becoming a Food Bank volunteer, contact their volunteer coordinator at (323) 234-3030, extension 144 or email


Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day not just a day to appreciate the soldiers that fight for our country, although that is very important, it is also a day to BBQ and hang out with good friends in nice weather! With that said, here are 5 delicious recipes for a great Memorial Day party:

1.    Fish Tacos:

2 pounds tilapia fillets

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

Cooking spray

1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

16 (5 inch) corn tortillas

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 tomato, chopped

1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and sliced

1/2 cup salsa

2 green onions, chopped


1. Rub tilapia fillets with 2 tablespoons lime juice and season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Spray both sides of each fillet with cooking spray.

2. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.

3. Combine yogurt, 2 tablespoons lime juice, cilantro, and chipotle pepper in a blender; pulse until sauce is well blended. Set aside.

4. Grill tilapia on preheated grill until fish is easily flaked with a fork, about 5 minutes on each side.

Heat each corn tortilla in a skillet over medium-low heat until warm, about 1 minute. Divide grilled fish evenly over corn tortillas and serve with cilantro-lime sauce, cabbage, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato, avocado, salsa, and green onions.

2.    Patriotic Parfait:

¼ cup plus 2/3 cup sugar

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 box vegan (or non vegan) vanilla wafers

1 pound vegan (or regular) cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups vegan (or regular) heavy cream, room temperature

2 pints blueberries

2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced


Heat 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Let cool slightly

Toss cookies in the mixture.

Beat the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and light. Add the cream and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and the consistency of whipped cream.

Arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom of 10-12 parfait glasses. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Next, dollop the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread. Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cookies on top of the strawberries, then sprinkle with more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a decorative pattern. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

3.    Cool Slaw:

2 pounds green cabbage

4 carrots

1 medium yellow onion

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

2-4 tablespoons pickle relish (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut cabbage in quarters and remove core. Peel carrots and onion and cut into pieces that would fit through the feed tube of a food processor. Fit food processor with the large-holed grater attachment and push cabbage, carrots, and onions through feed tube to grate. In a large bowl, toss vegetables together.

In another medium bowl, prepare the coleslaw dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and relish. Toss dressing with the cabbage mixture, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

4.    Chips and Dip:

½ cup heavy cream

1 8-ounce container of sour cream

2 tables spoons fresh lemon juice

2 scallions, finely chopped

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Blend the heavy cream in a blender until slightly thickened. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, vegan parmesan, scallions, dill and garlic powder and pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 2 hours.

5.    Orange Splash:


2 ounces Absolute Citron vodka

1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec

1 splash fresh lime juice

1 splash orange juice

Sugar (for garnish)

Orange slice (for garnish)


Pour all ingredients over ice in a shaker or large glass and shake vigorously. Rim a glass with sugar and serve on the rocks. Garnish with an orange slice.

Thanks to the following websites for these fabulous ideas:


Lubov Azria, the owner & designer behind the billion dollar empire of BCBG, received this year’s Leadership Award from NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners.

She hosted a wonderful, exclusive brunch for NAWBO Board and Executive level members at her gorgeous Estate in Holmby Hills.

She also previewed her Spring and Fall runway collections (including Herve Leger), gave a private, behind the scenes tour of her home (which featured a movie screening room, and one of those cool secret doors behind a bookcase).

Her home used to be owned by Academy Award winning author – Sidney Sheldon.

Lubov Azria with Kalika


The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-LA) 26th Annual NAWBO-LA Leadership and Legacy Awards Luncheon was held at the J.W. Marriott at LA. Live last Friday, March 23, 2012.

The NAWBO-LA Awards aim to give deserved tribute to top achievers and advocates in the women’s business community and recognize their contributions to the advancement of women.

Magic Johnson, Max Azria both made special appearances to present their gorgeous, lovely wives awards. Cookie Johnson, received the Rising Star Award (which Kalika received in 2012).

Max Azria and Lubov Azria of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Cookie Johnson the Founder & Co-Owner of CJ by Cookie Johnson

Kalika with EO Online guru, Stephen Jagger

with the NY Times best selling author of Tribal Leadership, Dr. Dave Logan

Congratulations to the 2012 honorees!

Lubov Azria
Chief Creative Officer, BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP

Frieda Rapoport Caplan
Founder & Chairman of the Board, Frieda’s Inc.

Cookie Johnson
Founder & Co-Owner, CJ by Cookie Johnson

Byron Reed
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo

Patricia Watts
President/CEO, FCI Management Consultants

Julie Schoenfeld
CEO, Perfect Market, Inc.

Luisa Acosta-Franco
Head of Specialized Distribution, Farmers Insurance Group


Here’s a Thank you letter from Ari A. Matusiak, Executive Director of the White House Business Council for the participants of Urban Economic Forum.

Friends –

On behalf of all of us in the Administration, I want to send a quick note to thank you for taking the time to participate in the Urban Economic Forum this past Thursday and for making it the program it was.  We heard positive feedback throughout the day and are still receiving emails from attendees, glowingly recapping all they learned.  While they may have our email addresses, you are the ones they are really writing to. 

We know how busy you all are.  Thank you again for being a part of the day.  We look forward to staying in touch and to the opportunity to work together again some time soon.

I trust this finds all of you well.

Best, Ari

Ari A. Matusiak
Executive Director
White House Business Council
(202) 456-6809 (o)
(202) 503-5542 (m)


Jane Wurwand, Kalika Nacion Yap, and Marty Heebner

Straight off the red-eye from NYC Sunday morning, our founder and CEO of Citrus Studios, Kalika Nacion Yap, headed to the the UCLA Anderson School of Management for the 3rd Annual Women in Entrepreneurship Brunch.  Having been in NYC only a few hours earlier for the NYC Gift Show, where she was showing Luxe Link (her essential contribution to every woman’s handbag), Kalika quickly joined as one of the roundtable hosts!

This event had no shortage of talented and inspiring women in attendance.  The highlight was powerhouse Jane Wurwand’s  (CEO of Dermalogica) keynote speech which was sprinkled with real stories of her first three years in business – from zero to $260M+!

An inside peek at some of Jane’s invaluable advice:
1) Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Stay fierce.
2) Get the safe idea and then move on to the big scary idea that makes you different.
3) Thrive on pressure.
4) Embrace change.
5) Be frugal, spend where it matters.  It’s not about cost, it’s about value.
6) All the data in the world does not equal an original idea.
7) Define your culture.  Develop a clear culture and everyone must be a fit.  You need believers.

Dermalogica’s Core Culture Values:

  • Embrace and drive change.
  • Create fun and a little weirdness.
  • Be adventurous, creative and friendly.
  • Build open and honest relationships by talking.
  • Do more with less.
  • Be enthusiastic and determined.
  • Be authentic and humble.

Most importantly – Seek your higher purpose!

Do you think women entrepreneurs see more value in social media? This article from sure seems to think so! Citrus Studios is always interested in opinions and advancements in Social Media!

“Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, right? On Venus, there’s allegedly a lot more touchy-feely, emotional stuff going on…you know, talking, crying, connecting. Well, according to a study by The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, there’s a lot more of something else going on too: social networking.

Yes, you read it right. The study, in which 1,200 small-business owners across 12 verticals (including financial services, high-tech, hospitality, and real estate) were surveyed, found that female entrepreneurs value social media “at three times the level” of male small-business owners. “[Our] research has previously shown that women entrepreneurs are more customer-focused and more likely to incorporate community into their business plans than male small business owners,” said Patricia Greene, special academic adviser to The Guardian, in a press release. “These findings suggest that women small-business owners are more inclined to embrace new tools like social media to engage with customers and build communities of interest.”

I’ll be frank. When I first read this, I said, “C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding. Men are just as into Facebook as women.” (Yes, I actually said this out loud, to the chagrin of my cat, which, sitting close by, was startled by my exclamation.) But now that I think about it, this might not, in fact, be such a crazy idea–especially when you look at social networking as used by entrepreneurs, and not just by consumers who chat from home when they have a little downtime (or a lot).

And wait…there’s more. The differences in social media use weren’t observed just between men and women. The Guardian Life study discovered a generational gap as well. Specifically, Millennial small-business owners (those younger than 28) are “far more likely to value social media than any of their generational counterparts.” Said counterparts include Gen Xers (ages 29-49), Baby Boomers (ages 50-67), and Silents (ages 68-85).

And here’s the kicker. Despite the social media explosion, there are two other things that small-business owners value more when it comes to running their businesses and winning new customers: business software and websites. On the whole, those two items eclipsed Facebook and its brethren, the study showed.

“Small-business owners are significantly leveraging technology for operational efficiency and customer engagement,” said Mark Wolf, director of The Guardian Life, in the release. “Social media is emerging as an important tool, and there is every reason to expect it will blossom as more small-business owners begin experimenting with it. But for the majority of small-business owners today, the priority remains firmly focused on those types of technology that provide direct, tangible support of the business, such as their websites and core software.”