Month: May 2015

SNAPSHOTS: Flying to Guangzhou

IMG_0299Hey guys!

We officially made it to Guangzhou, China after almost 24 full hours of travel. The flight to Tokyo was almost 12 hours + 3 hour layover in Tokyo + 4 hour flight from Tokyo — Guangzhou + 1 hr drive from the airport to our hotel = 20 hours! Close enough.

Flying United was awesome. We were delirious from the start but watched a ton of movies and ate so much food I can’t even tell you. The eating officially began as soon as we stepped on the plane.


There’s a lot of snackage going on here. And yes, it’s a weird tradition of mine to always bring cherry tomatoes on board. The dry air always makes me crave veggies.

Our first selfie of the trip. I need to buy a selfie stick stat.

This seemed like a great idea at the time.


Starting it off with some bubbles!

Fun not so fun story. Employee at the LAX airport does not get a gold star by making fully sexist remark to Clo and I as we were checking in.

Sucky male employee: So where are you headed to?

Me: Tokyo, Japan and then to Guangzhou.

Sucky male employee: Oh, you two girls must be headed there to go shopping for rich husbands! (winks grossly)

Moment of silence for that.

Chloe: Yeah, why else would two Asian girls ever travel to Asia right?

Sucky male employee gives confused look.

I’m glad that some people really have open minds to the world.

Here’s our reaction to above story.


IMG_0217I tried to organize my little compartments (above)….but by the end they looked like picture (below) which was very reminiscent of back when Chloe and I had an apartment together. Girls have a lot of stuff.


Touch down. Landed in Tokyo, Japan!!!!! This is me taking pictures in the bathroom. I was pretty excited about everything as soon as we landed including the public restrooms. Is that weird?
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThis moment happened almost immediately out of the gate and I freaked out. I think I accidentally pushed some sweet looking Japanese girls out of the way just to capture this. Sumimasen!


I was super fascinated and about to cry because EVERYTHING in the airport was my size!!! Even this mannequin was the same height as me which means…..I am officially sample size in Japan. Does that finally make me a model?




Yes I will take a dozen boxes of mochi.

Everything here has a face on it. This now explains my obsession with small things with eyes. It’s just in my blood.IMG_0229

Pictured above is my first OFFICIAL meal in Asia ever! The United Club in the Tokyo Airport was awesome with unlimited bowls of soba, sushi and edamame. We completely outdid ourselves by having about 8 bowls of soba collectively. Great job Clo, we really worked as a team there.
IMG_0231More to come spoon.

Spores= Soba Filled Pores,


Ally Banner2

I’m Going To Asia with My Girl Chloe Bennet!!!

You guys!!!!

Taken by Melly Lee

Taken by Melly Lee


So darn tootin’ excited to share with you all that I’m going to be in Asia for the next TWO WEEKS! My girl and former roomie Chloe Bennet, who you probably know as Skye from “Agents of Shield”, officially used her earthquake powers on me a couple weeks ago when she shattered my world by asking if I wanted to go to China with her. I promptly freaked the f out and said YES. DUH YES!!!! We decided to extend our trip and hit up Tokyo after since I am Japanese and have sadly never been to explore my roots. I have actually never been to Asia period. It works out perfect that we both get to see our cultures (Chloe’s half Chinese). It’s going to be crazyyyy.

This will be us for sure. Courtesy of

This will be us for sure. Courtesy of


Throughout the next two weeks, I am going to be posting on here our little adventures through Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Tokyo so check back often. I’ll be posting pictures of WonderCon (which Chloe will be at so come meet her!), our idiot like tendencies as our characters Mel and Gina (if you don’t know yet, get ready). and of course LOTS AND LOTS OF FOOOOOOOD. We plan on getting really plump off of ramen and sushi while we’re there so hopefully you recognize me when you get back. It’s not likely. I may have to adopt the nickname MSG-Maki.

Alright guys, I gotta go pack a life’s worth of clothes and shoes into one mid sized luggage, so wish me luck. I am really…really bad at packing. Really.

Peace and see you guys in ASIA!!!!!

It’s Bout to Get Real,



Miami is a must go back to kind of place. I had such a blast experiencing the beautiful beaches with fabulous new friends and of course, Trav and Colt.  What a great way to ring in the New Year.

IMG_6921 IMG_6934 IMG_6932 IMG_6923 IMG_6973 IMG_6963 IMG_6952 IMG_6938

IMG_6937 IMG_6995 IMG_6990 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_6975 IMG_7087 IMG_7059 IMG_7052 IMG_7044 IMG_7020 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset  IMG_7107IMG_7112Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Until next time…

Will Smith Said It Best,


What I Learned Today From a Model


Today I sat next to a model in hot yoga. She walked in with her perfect top knot, BPA free water bottle and the most gorgeously wonderful Bambi legs in existence and every girl’s face instantly froze like,

“Bitch, please please pleaseee don’t sit next to me. Please. PLEASE!!”

Then they look up to the heavens and apologize for the bagel they had for breakfast. No more carbs after today. Tomorrow’s the day. Officially. I always start diets on Mondays.

Of course the model (let’s call her Top Knot Tammy) lays out her mat right next to mine. All the girls relax. I die inside.

Even her damn mat is skinnier than mine. My mat curdles in shame. Slowly I morph into the downest of dogs (so cheesy, but really this is what I thought. You try being me.)

Excuse me Top Knot-T, hunny, Ms. Independent? GO AWAY. I come here to help my anxiety not give me an additional Bambi leg complex. Trust me, I’ve already got complexes on complexes. I came her to learn the facets of deep breathing, not deep loathing.

Tammy girl, has the Taylor Swift body mixed with the exoticness of one of those brunette VS models. She was Beyonce booty with the effortlessness of Kendall Jenner walking through Coachella in that long jean shorts and vest look. She just sorta waltzes by.


Let me compare it in another way.

I’m 5’1.

She’s 5’11.

She has Bambi legs.

I have Bambi’s sadness.

She’s a model.

I am not (do selfies count?).

Today after yoga, I went and got the biggest, fattiest, chocolate muffin I’ve ever bought in my life. Like I literally thought of the idea in Chavasana (buying a big and fatty chocolate muffin) and then I did it ($3.50 at Whole Foods). I didn’t give a fuuuuu.

Because sometimes you just have to indulge and not give a crap that there’s a supermodel next to you. You gotta face the facts that there are supermodels in life and they are there to tear you down. Pastry companies actually build them and send them out into the world just so muffin prices will rise. But YOU gotta rise up girl, you gotta RISE UP LIKE PASTRY DOUGH.


You gotta realize that Bambi probably never eats chocolate muffins after yoga, but then again she probably does. Because only DNA mixed with model girl genes could possibly shape her legs like that.

So watch out Bambi legs, because yes, I am jealous of you and yes you are enough to make me go I kissed a girl and I liked it, and yes you probably live that jet setting Saudi Princes buying you gold watches, exotic puppies, love, affection, 10 ft. yachts and wait….what was I talking about?

Make me a Meowdel,


[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]We can all learn a thing or two from models! – A. Maki[/pullquote]


A List of Things I Bought When I Was 14!


Today I saw a girl at the crosswalk with a few of her Lorde type friends. (Is it weird to be in your mid 20s sitting at the crosswalk daydreaming about being part of their teenage crew?) They would’ve been any sort of ordinary teenage girls if I hadn’t noticed one simple little detail. They were carrying multiple shopping bags from Lululemon.

It all seems innocent enough, but it got me to thinking. Tweens these days are fancy as hell. To this day I go into Lululemon acting like I’m going to buy a variety of items and then after turning the price tag on a pair of $120 stretchy pants I instantly fake an important phone call and get the hell out of dodge before I see the disgusted look on the shopgirl’s face. “Ah, darnit sorry they just don’t have the size I need in the style I want, but I’m definitely going to order it online.”

And here these girls half my age are with their iPhones and their bags of Lululemons dropping cash for overpriced workout gear like it’s nothing. When I was their age I felt guilty about buying leggings from Forever 21 for $9.95 plus tax.

Here are some other things I bought when I was 14.

♥ Plastic binders with the different pockets to put pictures (that you would have to actually print out at Kinko’s) to make funky collages displaying your coolest of “friends”. “Um, yeah Penelope and I hang out all the TIME. That’s why she’s on the front of my binder, duh.”

♥ Random things from Claire’s. Mittens with only half the finger covered up to the knuckle. So cool. Blingin’ bellybutton rings. Earrings that gave me nasty infections.

♥ $2 lipglosses that tasted like plastic and had names like “peachy plastic” and “tastes like shit but looks glossy as HELL!

♥ Melon gum

♥ Saving stamps up on my Sanrio card to get some sweet Hello Kitty jewelry case

The most expensive thing I think I ever convinced my mom I “needed” was a Sidekick. It didn’t have service, it was only for games and messaging. SWEET. I blinged that shit out myself for four painstaking hours on my bedroom floor with alternating pink and clear rhinestones.

So in short, I understand that these girls are way more fancy than I am now or probably will ever be. It’s just a fact. As much as I wonder if I would be cooler if I grew up in this tech savvy, Instagram infested culture that is defined by “tweens” these days, I don’t know if realistically I would’ve been able to handle it. I liked looking in the mirror everyday as my 14 year old self, with braces and bad wispy bangs and just see me. That was all I knew. What we don’t know won’t kill us right. Cause trust me, I had no clue how bad it was.

giphy (1)


So thank you to the 15 year olds of 2015 who teach me so much! You guys rock.

Whew I’m lame.

I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Jelly,


[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]“My definition of a Lululemon: a teenage girl who makes you lose all dignity and instantly humbles you to your very core!”[/pullquote]

The Sweet Smells of My Dirty Dog


I’ve let JBear get dirty this month. Like SUPERRRR dirty. Just to get some idea on the gravity of the situation here are a few things J’s done this month to be awarded the title of “King Dirty of the Province of Smells.”

Gone diggin’ for bones in the backyard

Salivating after licking a new human friend for 3 minutes straight all over his face. A new record!

Proudly getting peed on by a rather beautiful German shepard at the dog park

Running through the sprinklers. Tracking mud all over mom’s white sheets. Yay!

Throwing up after eating too much grass and then promptly eating it back up.

What a life! You get it though. He’s a dirty boy and I’m a dirty owner for letting him go on so long. So after running away from the sounds of the bathtub for a rousing few minutes, I tracked his butt down and got him into the bath. He’s actually really calm when he’s getting scrubbed down and I rather like to think he secretly enjoys the warm water on his face and licking the water run brown from his own filth.


After the chaos is over and he’s been blowdried and combed and appears fluffier than ever…..I just always wonder one thing.

Is it super weird that I absolutely love the way my dog smells when he’s dirty? OH THE SMELLS. I MISS HIS SMELLS! The combination of where he’s been this month, what he’s gotten into and the people he’s encountered. It’s gross I know but that little spot between his eyes gets this distinctly sweet smell that can only be described as “the puppy smell.” It’s the smell of family. And now that the soap has covered it up, I can honestly say that I am sad.

Does that make me a weirdo or just a normal dog mom?

Diggin’ my Dirty Dog,



//Photo by Pablo Orrego//

Creative Commons

The Happenstance of My Wonder Rescue Dog


This is the story of a four year old four-legged creature who happened upon me this year in the most wonderful way. His name is Jesse, a firecracker of a boy. He’s half Tibetan terrier mixed with Lhasa Apso, two breeds I had never even heard before. Blended together they made my marvelous little piece of wonder bread.

I’ll start from the beginning. I was perusing on Facebook one night going through my feed, when I came across a picture one of my friends had posted with two adorable little puppies. The caption said “Fostering these little guys for a bit.” I was immediately intrigued. My first beautiful dog, Yorkie Coco who I got when I was 17 lived with my mom who Coco was totally obsessed with. I think from the beginning they were soul sisters. Both strong independent women. I remember even from the moment we picked her from a litter of three, my mom had this wonderful love and connection with Coco. They were the strength that I wasn’t yet.

I immediately messaged my friend and got info on the organization he was fostering through called Wags and Walks. The work they were doing was awesome. It pulled on my heartstrings just the right amount; I wanted to be involved in some way.

I wrote them an email that night signing up for their foster program. I thought, what the hell, if I can provide a temporary home for even one dog, potentially saving his/her life I will have done something good for someone other than myself. I was pumped.


And another. I figured maybe they didn’t need anymore help. Maybe they didn’t like the spontaneity of an actress’ schedule.

That following Sunday I planned to have a lazy day. I woke up late, made some coffee and turned the TV on in my sweatpants and 2 day old hair. I checked my email.


“Hi Ally. Got your foster app. Know this is last minute but we are having an adoption event today until 2 can you make it?” -Wags and Walks

Immediately, I thought no freaking way. I’m not driving all the way across town on a Sunday to get there before 2. It’s already 12:30!

Little did I know, an elderly couple across town would be coming to terms with potentially one of the hardest decisions they would have to make in their life. A sweet man would be packing up a box tearfully, his frail wife saying goodbye. A tail wagging with those “lets go somewhere!” eyes.

To this day, I still don’t understand and will probably never know why I decided to throw my pajamas off, throw a baseball cap on and drive to the adoption event. It’s not so crazy a thing I know, but it was definitely out of character for me.

When I got there, everything went pretty quick. I met one of the friendly volunteers for the org and I told her I wasn’t necessarily looking to jump into anything but if there ever was an easier dog (for beginners) I could ease my way into helping out more. She nodded and said that she wanted to introduce me to someone. He had literally been dropped off 45 minutes before I got there.

“This is Jesse.”

I turned to see this shy little grey ball of fur sitting by himself on the sidewalk.


His eyes had a certain sadness about them. They said they needed to find someone to foster him for a few days or he would have to go to a kennel and from there who knows where he would end up. I called his name.


He immediately came over and rubbed his butt against me like a cat (a trait that he is now known for). I laughed. What a funny dude! I took a seat right there in the middle of the sidewalk. He plopped right down next to me and laid his fluffy chin right on my leg. I had never felt more bonded to another living creature before in my life.

The rest is somewhat of a blur, I found myself signing some foster papers to watch him for a week, which turned into two, which turned into the decision to make him a permanent member of the family. From day one, he fit in so perfectly, like he was always meant to be there, like the last puzzle piece.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOn November 20, 2014 Jesse’s adoption was made official. It was an amazing day. We bought him a little American Apparel hoodie to celebrate. I could tell in Jesse’s eyes he knew what was going on and was happy.


About three weeks later, my grandma passed away. The greatest lady and pillar of strength in my life. I still can’t even think about it without losing it. Although she lived a long life of 90 years, death is something no one can ever really be prepared for and deal with normally. I sure couldn’t. In the days before and after her death, Jesse suited up and truly became my therapy dog. We grieved together.

It’s so cool to me to think that four years ago, this little guy was born somewhere out there in this great big world. I think back to where I was in my journey….Who would have ever thought the two of us would’ve ended up together? Life is a funny thing. Every day now I look up to the heavens and can’t help but think my grandma sent him to me. She knew his little fur face and wild spirit would continue to teach me things about myself long after she was gone.

That’s what pets do. They give life and unconditional love;  they teach you things about yourself you never knew.

Thanks Jesse for being my wild boy.


 Wildin’ Out With My Wonder Pup,