Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally

Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally

Nicole's Big Idea

Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally is a Filipina living in New York. She is the owner of, an online language learning website which connects tutors to students all over the world. She has a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of the Philippines and a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Latest by Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally

  • Fashion Model Review — Victor Vargas

    Victor at New York Fashion Week (Victor Vargas)

    During my stint as a fashion show event organizer for a make-up artist based in Toronto, I came across people that I’ve never thought would have a significant impact in my simple life. I met ramp models, seasoned chefs, amazing DJs, hip-hop dancers and a skilled photographer. They all had their own unique talents and skills, but when they all collaborated, the result was harmonious and beautiful. I was lucky enough to get to know all of them.
    I remember, during a photo shoot that was organized by Gabriel Johnson at LeVue … as part of the fashion show, I was able to talk to model Victor Vargas about his life and how he got to where he is now. Honestly,

  • Fashion Model Review — Sabrina Pellunat

    Sabrina Pellunat's Photoshoot (Sabrina Olivia)

    Another fashion model I’ve met during the Step Up — Modeling for a Cause fashion event was Sabrina Olivia Pellunat. I couldn’t believe how dedicated she was in making the event happen even though it was a charity event. I remember meeting her for the first time at Lexington Hotel with her adorable mom. She was patiently waiting for me, and I had no idea it was her. I just kept staring at her, and I said to myself, this girl is so cute (LOL).  Just like fashion model Anna Vega, Sabrina is also an epitome of a very approachable and down to earth model. Aside from modeling, Sabrina has been very active in musical plays and commercials. She …

  • Fashion Model Review — Anna Vega

    Anna Vega's Photoshoot in Manhattan (Royal Couture)

    It’s very rare to meet fashion models who are down to earth (at least in my opinion). During the making of the Step Up — Modeling for a Cause fashion event in May 2014, I was very fortunate to get to know Anna Vega up close and personal.  Anna recently moved to New York from Utah to kick-start her modeling career. She has a gorgeous 4 year old daughter named Skyla. Skyla has been Anna’s inspiration ever since. I am really touched by their closeness and it’s making me wonder if there are any other models out there who is as unique and real as Anna. 

    Nicole: How did you start modeling?

    Anna: I have always wanted to model as …

  • Chef Karr, Chef Ortiz, Chef Truong and DJ Chef Battle on Culinary Fight Night in NYC

    Chef Nicole Karr at Culinary Fight Night (Nicole Karr)

    Culinary Fight Night (CFN) is a cooking competition wherein two teams of chefs battle in a Vegas style boxing ring. Each team is required to prepare a 3 course meal for all guests and a celebrity judging panel. The team leader with the most points will win a customized “CFN Championship Belt”, the title of “Culinary Fight Night Champion” and a cash donation for their charity of choice. CFN is planning a national competition tour this summer to search for a regional CFN champion in NYC, Miami, Los Angeles and Seattle. The semi finalists will face off in Las Vegas for the Championship Battle. The winning chef will be awarded and his/her charity will receive $25,000 each!

    Chef Nicole Karr …

  • The Scoop on Fashion Model Dimos

    Model: Dimos (Mercenary Works)

    Most people believe that fashion models are snobs because of their appearances. Far from what other people believe, models are regular people too who work and strive to be good at their craft. I was fortunate enough to come across Dimos, who not only is down to earth, but also is an intelligent person. 

    Dimos was born in India on May 1990.  His parents brought him to the US when he was 13, and they went back to India when he was 15. He has been living alone since. Dimos attended NYU School of Engineering and pursued his bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering (talk about being smart). Dimos’ friends encouraged him to get into modeling as they saw …

  • Meet Step Up — Modeling for a Cause Model: Tommy Sterling

    Tommy Sterling's Step Up Photoshoot (Gabriel Johnson/LeVue Photography)

    NEW YORK — The Step Up — Modeling for a Cause event was a huge success, thanks to all the volunteers who helped out and showed support. As I was searching for volunteers for the charity fashion show event, I had no idea what to expect, who would volunteer or if the volunteers would show up. I was very fortunate that all of them came and exerted all their efforts in making this possible. I was ecstatic to have been given a chance to work with amazing people. 

    One of the volunteer models, Tommy Sterling, has been modeling for quite awhile now. Tommy is also in the process of obtaining a Phd in Biomedical Sciences and currently works as a …

  • The New Breed — Edward The Stylist

    Edward "The Stylistyt" Harvery (Nicole Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    It’s been months since I started organizing a charity fashion show event for the children of SOS Children’s Villages. I’ve encountered so many volunteers from fashion models, chefs, performers, photographers and fashion designers. I had initially dealt with fashion designer Carlous Palmer, one of the six nominiees of Fashion Awards MD. Due to another opportunity in the East Coast, he had referred me to another talented fashion designer/hair stylist,  Edward Harvey. I was really impressed with his cool, youthful and funky clothing designs and his hair styling techiques. I really felt lucky to have been given a chance to work with Edward. 

    Edward started his styling career after seven years in the business. His experiences culminated his appointment as a …

  • Chef Diana Lotesto’s Sweet Reality Bites

    Chef Diana Lotesto in Action (Nicole Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    In life, we dream of something that always seems impossible to accomplish. But, when you put your heart and soul into it, you can achieve your goal and forget about how excruciating it was to get there. I was lucky to have been given a chance to interview the chef Diana Lotesto — an instructor at Butterlane Bakery in the East Village and a pastry chef at Pure Catering.  

    Chef Lotesto has rheumatoid arthritis, but this didn’t stop her from becoming what she is now – a successful chef and entrepreneur. As a pastry chef (or any chef for that matter), having rheumatoid arthritis can hinder you from doing so many things. Could you imagine mixing a bowl of cake …

  • Rap Artist Gabriel Johnson a.k.a. Giulianni Jones’ New Religion

    Gabriel Johnson a.k.a Giulianni Jones (Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    “Nobody likes me, and that’s okay. Umma do me anyway” — I couldn’t stop singing this line in my head after my friend, Gabriel Johnson also known as Giuliani Jones by other artists, gave me an opportunity to listen to his song for the first time back in 2008. He has come a long way and he has blossomed into a talented song writer/rap artist. He now has a wonderful son and owns a photography business. He recently released his new mixtape called “New Religion“. His mixtape includes original songs written and arranged by Giulianni Jones himself. I feel very fortunate to have been given a chance to interview Jones, and be able to get a snapshot of …

  • Getting Real with Chef Nicole Karr

    Chef Nicole Karr with Chef Anne Burrell (Chef Nicole Karr)

    I’ve been looking high and low for volunteers for a charity fashion show that I’ve been organizing since January. One of the volunteers I needed, are chefs who can provide food samples at the event. I was checking my email, and a chef based in New York volunteered. As I was browsing through the chef’s website, I was so surprised to see that it was Chef Nicole Karr from Food Network’s Chef Wanted! In this episode, Anne Burrell was helping Chef David Burke to find a new executive chef for Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ. Among the candidates was Chef Nicole Karr. I emailed her back to check if it was really her — she responded “Yes” and that just made …

  • Figure Skater Michael Christian Martinez Makes Filipinos Proud

    Michael Christian Martinez waving the Philippine flag at the Sochi Olympics (

    PHILIPPINES – Yet another Filipino athlete made Filipinos proud all over the world at the Olympics.  Figure skater Michael Christian Martinez displayed great determination and showed no fear at the 2014 winter Olympics. As a Filipino myself, I know it is extremely hard to be in this sport. Philippines does not get any snow and Martinez has to go to malls with skating rinks to practice. At a very young age, Martinez became the first figure skater from Southeast Asia and the only athlete to represent the Philippines at Sochi Olympics. Martinez is currently ranked no. 30 and I’m pretty sure that this puts him in a very nerve-racking position. Martinez mentioned at NBC “There is a lot of pressure …

  • Things to Know About Your US Immigrant Visa Application

    Obama discusses the Immigration Reform (John Gurzinski/Getty)

    Many of us immigrants dream of living in the land of the brave, but, only a few are actually allowed to migrate due to the strict immigration laws in the United States. Based on personal experience, my mother waited 23 years since the time my aunt (my mother’s sister) filed a petition for obtaining an immigrant visa. I remember being depressed during my interview when the consul announced that I cannot go with my family because I “aged-out”. It turns out, he overlooked my birth certificate, and thought I was already 21. Thanks to the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), I was able to join my family. Unfortunately, my older brother was left behind because he just turned 22. …

  • Simple “Gourmet Like” Recipes You Can Make All Year Round — Part II

    Scrambled Crab Omelet and Quesadillas (Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    Scrambled Crab Omelet      

    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon half and half
    1 teaspoon salt (or garlic salt)
    ½ teaspoon dried dill
    ½ teaspoon parsley
    ½ pack (about 4 oz) crab meat (you can always use fake crab meat)
    ½ cup onions (cubed)

    In a bowl, mix eggs, half and half, and salt and pepper. On a separate pan, add some oil. When the oil is hot, saute the onions until it’s translucent. Then, add the crab meat and dill. Add the eggs in the pan and let it cook for 15 seconds, then, slowly mix everything until the eggs are cooked. Turn off the heat and add some parsley. Transfer the scrambled eggs on a plate. Set aside half …

  • Simple “Gourmet Like” Recipes You Can Make All Year Round

    Short Ribs and  Cavatappi Pasta with Cream of Spinach (Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    As we countdown to Christmas and New Year, most of us have been extremely busy decorating everything, making our Christmas lists, shopping for gifts, and wrapping presents. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we could just slash the preparation for the holiday feast off of that to do list, and just go to a restaurant or buy food instead? Maybe — but, the holiday feast wouldn’t be that special (well, at least for me). So, I wanted to share with all of you, some recipes that I’ve simplified and tweaked, to make it my own. You can cook these recipes anytime you want and not just on holidays. 

    Short Ribs and Cavatappi Pasta with Cream of Spinach

    Short Ribs

    4 pieces …

  • Straight Talk with Latin Jazz Flute Player Carlos Jimenez

    Carlos Jimenez -- Jazz musician based in Yonkers (Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    NEW YORK — According to Alicia Keys’ hit single  Empire State of Mind “In New York, concrete jungles where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. These streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you”.  I have heard of this song multiple times and it feels so surreal thinking about it. Many of us dream to make it big in New York (in the global entertainment industry in general), but, it is not as easy as you think. I have come across so many people who have been trying to get to the top, but, I am particularly impressed with how Latin Jazz flute player, Carlos Jimenez’s success story played out. I am honored …

  • This Year’s Oblation Run Theme Dedicated to Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda’s Victims

    Annual Oblation run at University of Philippines Manila

    PHILIPPINES — It’s December again, most of us look forward for Christmas and New Year — shopping, gift giving and feasts here and there. But, as most Filipinos know about, December is that time of the year wherein most students patiently waits for Alpha Phi Omega’s (APO) annual oblation run at the University of the Philippines (UP) nationwide.

    Watching the oblation run has become each Filipino college student’s highlight. Although it is only done at the University of the Philippines, students from other universities gather as they await for nude male APO members to run the most controversial event of the year. Oblation run, commonly known as the “Ritual Dance of the Brave”, portrays a statue of a naked man …

  • Filipino-Canadian Fe Oller Gatus — The New Face of Music & Fashion

    Fe Oller Gatus -- word-class fashion guru, artist developer and international freelance makeup artist (Nicole Mordeno-Kenneally/Nicole's Big Idea)

    CANADA —  Fe Oller Gatus, the newest fashion guru in town, has been hitting the Canadian entertainment scene with her new found love — the world of beauty, music and fashion. Gatus migrated to Canada from the Philippines more than five years ago to finally follow her heart’s desire. She previously worked as a career executive officer in a Philippine government financial institution and also owned a fashion boutique at the same time. She currently works as a radio host at Radyo Filipino’s Pinoy Link located in Toronto and she is also an international freelance makeup artist, fashion consultant, artist developer and a voice coach rolled into one.

    It wasn’t an easy decision, but, when her mentor asked her a …

  • Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda’s Official Fatality Count Nearing 6,000

    Tacloban City, Philippines -- Haiyan survivors carrying a dead body (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

    PHILIPPINES — It has been a one painful month, and the official fatality count from super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is nearing 6,000. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the fatality count increased from 5,796 to 5,924. 

    There are 1,779 still missing and 27,022 people have been injured from this disastrous event. Philippine authorities have been trying to validate these figures as it may still vary based on the reports from the local government units. I am hopeful that the fatality count would stop at this point. 

    Moreover, at least 1.1 million houses have been destroyed, with the total number still increasing as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) validate the actual figures. Filipinos are …

  • Holiday Ideas: Maple-Garlic Glazed Fried Chicken (My Version)

    Maple-Garlic Glazed Fried Chicken (Nicole Kenneally/Nicole Kenneally's Big Idea)

    Thanksgiving may be over, but Christmas and New Year are fast approaching. What is the best part during the holidays? You guessed it right — food, gifts and the gatherings! Christmas and New Year are truly festive in the Philippines. There are lanterns and Christmas trees in each and every house you’ll pass by. Most children are roaming around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols and the malls are always filled with people buying gifts for their friends and loved ones.
    It is quite similar here in New York, but because most of my relatives are back home, I think I enjoy the festivities there a tad more. One thing that would never change though, is my appetite for food. Here…

  • The “Real Aftermath” of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

    Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda:Filipino name) left thousands of Filipino families homeless (Herman Lumanog/Dreamstime)

    PHILIPPINES — Back in 1995, Typhoon Rosing’s destructive nature, caused power outages all over the Philippines which lasted almost two months or so. Fast forward — I moved to New York and experienced the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. The damages were devastating, and I thought I would never see anything like it again. Imagine the shock and horror I felt when I heard about Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

    Its aftermath truly left Filipinos helpless but hopeful that help is on its way. I really admire these families for withstanding the storm, but I admire them more for withstanding the “real aftermath”. Thousands of families are now homeless and most of them lost a loved one, but yet, the real aftermath that is …