I’m heading to a design-related event shortly in support of Mike Monteiro’s new book Ruined by Design. As I’ve been thinking about it today, it occurs to me that the FX television series The Americans reflects a bit of his thesis about designers taking control of their portion of their work.

In some sense Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, the two Russian spies living undercover as Americans, are very much like designers who have been blindly taking their orders from corporations on high and literally executing those orders (and people) without much regard to life going on around them. As the show progresses, they seem to take an arc much like one that Monteiro might suggest as they begin to question the morality and effects of those orders to not only better live their own lives, but to improve the lives of those around them and even across the world.

RSVPed Unable to Attend Innovate Pasadena: Amara's Secret Sauce to Stay Inspired & Passionate in Business

Fri, May 24, 2019, 8:15 AM

Hi! My name is Amara Barroeta and I’m the owner of Amara Chocolate & Coffee in Old Town Pasadena. I’m not a restaurant business guru or a famous chef, so when I was invited to be a speaker at Friday Coffee Meet Up I was very honored and excited, and without hesitation I said: ‘yes I’d love to!’ And when I started developing today’s talk I got really scared and said: what can I offer these people, some of them entrepreneurs, maybe they have been in business longer than myself, or belong to different industries? And after digging for a while and inserting the crying emoji in my keyboard several times, the answer was plain and clear: the best I can share with them is my personal story, a story of Chocolate: with lots of bitter and sweet moments, but full of satisfactions. The story of transforming my life from what it was 10 years ago back in Venezuela where I worked in media and entertainment as a journalist while finishing my degree as a chemical engineer, to owning Amara Chocolate in Pasadena’s very competitive dining environment.

Amara’s have become a destination for locals, visitors and foodies alike; we have been featured in top publications and TV shows, and have been awarded as Best dessert, Best South American Food and Best Independent Coffee House for the last 7 years by Pasadena Weekly to name a few. Thus, looking back at my journey and seeing all the challenges that I have overcome being an immigrant and starting my own business has allowed me to stay passionate for what I do, developing a clear path to continue growing, and finding spaces to give back to my community.

So, is there a secret sauce for that? Let’s find out!

Bio:
Amara Barroeta is the owner of Amara Chocolate & Coffee Cafe in Pasadena, California. Originally from Venezuela, Amara emigrated to the United States to get her MBA at UCLA in 2010. Prior to leaving Venezuela, she was crowned first runner-up in the Miss Venezuela pageant in 2002. And not long after that, she graduated from university with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a specialization in food processing. Somewhat surprisingly though, it was her experience as a beauty queen that opened up a world of opportunities, including a chance to travel the world (and most often, to Hollywood) as a television newscaster.

Amara traveled to stay in the US when she began her studies at UCLA. She didn’t know then that Los Angeles would become her new home. But increasing political unrest and corruption in her home country, as well as a deep appreciation and love for America led Amara to decide to stay permanently in the United States, where she opened and successfully runs Amara Chocolate & Coffee Cafe.

Utilizing her background in chemical engineering, her MBA, and her the bright, friendly personality that served her well in her beauty queen days, Amara spends her days happily serving coffee, food, and chocolate to her steadfast customers and getting involved with local organizations helping the Venezuelan community in SoCal and abroad. In 2017 she spoke about her experience as an immigrant on the TEDxPasadena stage. In 2018 she was invited as the host/moderator of The Refugee Forum of Los Angeles.

Instagram: @amarachocolate
Speaker email: amarabarroeta@gmail.com
#amarachocolate #amaracafe

Watched Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons' from ABC
Directed by James Burrows. With Marisa Tomei, Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Ellie Kemper. A one-night-only sitcom special hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear featuring live performances of two of Lear's most popular shows, 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'.

The timing on The Jeffersons was way better than Bunker. Great to see them both come back though. 

📺 Stephen Downes: Conversation with Ben Werdmuller | YouTube

Watched Conversation with Ben Werdmüller by Stephen DownesStephen Downes from YouTube

E-Learning 3.0 week 3 event with Ben Werdmuller. founder of Elgg, founder of Known, currently with Matter, on linked data, Indieweb, and related topics.

A great little overview of IndieWeb for the education crowd.

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Three weeks ago, I decided to go dark on social media. No convoluted account deletion process; no backups. I just logged out everywhere, and deleted all my apps. It's one of the best things I've ever done. I thought I'd check in with a quick breakdown: what worked, and what didn't. Here we go.   Wh...

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For a host of reasons, I've decided to go dark on social media for the remainder of 2018. If my experiment is successful beyond that time, I'll just keep it going. Originally, I'd intended to do this just for the month of December, but as I sat around the Thanksgiving dinner table yesteryday, surrou...

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Years ago, someone broke into my home and stole my laptops while I lay in bed upstairs. I had left them out on the dining table, and the burglar broke their way into my back garden and smashed through one of my rear windows with a brick. This was Oxford in the winter, and I had a hard plastic sheet ...