Monday, January 26, 2015

Food Adventures: Asian, Mexican, and Ice Cream!


Just like most people, I love food. I love trying new food whether it be the latest hip-happenin' spot or a hole-in-the-wall. I just love food and I'll eat almost anything! If it's not a bug or moving, I will try it at least once! :)

I decided to start a little mini series of my food adventures. I'm one of those that post food pics on Instagram and look up food pics. I love food so much that I even enjoy staring at it. I do love food posts and decided to share my own adventure. 

Here are some of the yummies I've come across in the last few weeks:

BELLY & SNOUT (Koreatown, Los Angeles)
A fusion of east meets west, combining American favorites with Filpino favorites.

Pork Adobo Grilled Cheese
I encouraged Ben to NOT get this, but of course, men don't listen. The first few bites were okay, but the cheese was just way too creamy that, after a a few bites, it was a bit too much. Creamy cheese should be a good thing, I know...but the creamy in this sandwich was not working for me. A little disappointing as grilled cheese is one of my faves!

Sisig Hot Dog (most popular item on the menu)
This was pretty good...until I ate half. There's just some weird creamy texture that makes it no longer enjoyable and this texture disrupts the palette. 

How can I describe it? Have you ever had so much sushi that there's something about the texture and flavor that makes it challenging to go on? And then you need to eat a piece of ginger to refresh your palette? That's how I would describe the two items above. 

Would I go again? YES. Even though I don't give the two above 5 stars, I would like to try their Sisig tater tots or fries. 

I am very proud to see Filipino food up and coming. It's totally underrated and overlooked. I will definitely be supporting this fusion Filipino food restaurant! Thanks, Belly N Snout! :)

HOME RESTAURANT (Los Feliz *Hipster town*, Los Angeles)
Traditional American with dishes from across the borders

I've mentioned this before in a previous post, chilaquiles is one of my most favorite Mexican dishes. Nothing beats a homecooked chilaquiles meal, but there are some out there that are pretty good and this is one of them.

THE ORIGINAL RAMEN BURGER (Koreatown, Los Angeles)
A burger patty sandwiched between two ramen stacks with a secret shoyu sauce

Ramen burger with spicy sriracha macha
Very delicious. A little too saucy. Not spicy at all. It was actually sweet, reminiscent of teriyaki sauce. Inside is the patty, arugula, secret shoyu glaze, and sriracha macha (not sure what macha is). Totally a must try! I would go again and again and again! :)

CARMELA ICE CREAM AND SORBET (Beverly Grove/Miracle Mile, Los Angeles)
Garden-inspired flavors such as herbs and spice, flowers and seasonal fruit (description retrieved from their website). Won awards as best ice cream in Los Angeles in years past

Fresh mint with cacao nibs
I'm usually not a mint person unless when it comes to ice cream!! It was really good, but as I kept eating, the minty flavor subsided. It was still delicious and I would get it again. 

Other flavors I tried:
- Lavender honey (tasted like flowers!! and then a sweet kick of honey at the end)
- Champagne pear sorbet (taste like a cold, icey pear puree)
- Nutmeg (so that's what nutmeg tastes like!)

Hope you enjoyed my first installment of my Food Adventures :)

Are you hungry? I sure am!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Nails of the Week: Jack Skellington

Ever since I started practicing nail art designs, monochromatic nails became a thing of the past for me. Just like my peerkaboo-colored hair, my nails need more than one color.

When I first saw my nails when they were done, they reminded me of Jack Skellington. I love them :)

This is a simple, but elegant style using black and silver. I took shots in two different lighting. 

I hope you like it :)


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday: Stress Day!

I love reading Anna Saccone's "What I Ate Wednesday" posts. I love food. I love looking at food. And I love seeing what other foods people eat. 

I have done one of these posts before. I must say, it's difficult for me to keep up because I forget to take pictures! Whoops!

Today was a bit of a stressful day at work so I had a tendency to stress eat. I controlled myself a bit as I'm trying to lose some of the holiday weight (my work pants are tighter!). 

Here's how today went:

I usually only drink smoothies during summer, but I've eaten so much since Thanksgiving, that I felt I had to bring the green smoothies back to cleanse my body. I put in water, bananas, strawberries, and as many leafy greens I can fit in. I usually use whatever fruit is on hand.

I bought these fiber cakes a Trader Joes after a fellow digestive problem friend told me these help him. It tasted like sweet cardboard. It was also really grainy. At the end of the day, I need my fiber. I gotta do what I gotta do.

My breakfast :) Green smoothie plus a fiber mini cake.

Amazing ravioli from Trader Joes! A must try!

This was a semi-homemade lunch meal. I added garlic and red chili flakes to Trader Joes' pumpkin soup and let it all simmer for about 20 minutes. I added in the ravioli for another 4 - 5 minutes. I added more chili flakes at the end as I do enjoy spicy food. I was able to yield two servings: lunch for today and tomorrow.

Snacks throughout my workday:
Korean brand tiramisu cup cake

Pumpkin spiced Milano cookie

A bite of kale chips from Trader Joes

Spinach & kale Greek yogurt dip with whole wheat pita bread. AMAZING!!!!!!

A small piece of spicy Asian beef jerky

Cold water with peach blossom green tea

[Not pictured: Candy cane Kiss chocolate]

Yoshinoya dinner
Stressful days call for not-so-good-for-you food. Beef dinner with rice, veggies and dinner. On the bright side, I did get a load of veggies.

Half an unfrosted strawberry poptart. 

I know what I ate today doesn't help with my Operation Lose-the-holiday-weight. A stressful day is not an excuse for poor eating, but it does make it easier! LOL. 

Tomorrow is a new day and I do hope it brings me less stress and better eating options.

Take care and be healthy :) but don't feel bad if you fall off the wagon  day or two this week. It happens :)

I'm thinking of posting my typical weekly food routine, pre- and post- holiday feasting! Stay tuned :)


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Yay or Nay: Colorful Striped Nails

I did this manicure a few months ago and never posted it. I was not sure how I felt about it. Just recently, I was  clearing out pictures from my phone and found these pictures. 

They were inspired by a picture I saw on Instagram. There was more to it, but I just couldn't get the final step so I left a what it shows above.

They remind of me a wallpaper. I do like how my thumbs came out. I'm torn. 

Let me know what you think.

Yay or nay?

Monday, January 5, 2015

MCM and Song of The Moment

I feel really silly for putting this up but I can't help it! Nick Jonas is my first ever "Man Crush Monday" post. I've been digging the gospel version of his recent single "Jealous." It is definitely my song of the moment. I just had to give the guy some love,  

I just want to ask one thing!

When did this little Disney boy bander become a MAN?!  DANG!

He definitely grew up to be quite the head turner! Makes me feel like a cougar! Haha :P 

Enjoy :)

*Giggles like a school girl*


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ulta Haul: Presents To Myself

The season of giving had come and go. I hope that in this past season of giving, you gave some gifts to yourself. You deserve a treat and should take advantage of good deals! I definitely did :)

I give Christmas presents to myself. All are from Ulta, my current and probably longlasting guilty pleasure.

Burberry Brit Sheer, $66
 It's official!! I finally purchased my first ever "big girl" perfume. I've been using Bath & Body Works' Sheer Freesia Body Splash since my early 20s. As much as I love the scent, it's a hassle to buy because it's only sold online. Second, body spray does not last the full day. I drench myself in it and can smell it on my clothes if I sniffed it, but other than that, it's like nothing happened.

I searched far and long for the "perfect" perfume. I wanted something light in fragrance and not overwhelming. This perfume does just that... the only downside is that the scent does not linger too strongly as the day passes. 

I do use it sparingly and on special occasions as it is pricier. I did get a good deal on this as I had $23 worth in Ulta points. Ulta was also having a promo in which you would get a $60 retail valued robe for free with a $40 fragrance purchase. 

PROS: Light, feminine scent; not overwhelming
CONS: Price; scent fades

Would I repurchase? More yes than no. I do want something to last all day. If I hear about a fragrance that does and I like it, I will consider that.

Hot Tools 1" Curling Iron 24K Gold, Original $49.99, sale $29.99
I am so happy with this purchase!!!! When I went to Florida in October, I curled my hair with my friend's Hot Tools Curling Iron...and holy cow. My curls were so voluminous (my hair was much longer back then). Though the curls did fall a bit throughout the day, it held most of its curls. The next day, my hair was still curly!! Usually, my next day curls make my hair look like bent hair. Not cute. 

I used my new wand (in Dark Pink) Tuesday night before bed. I did not use hairspray. I must admit that I was a bit nervous as to how my curls would look the next morning, especially since I was sleeping on them within minutes of doing them.

The next morning, I woke up to fresh bouncy curls. I was amazed. My curls lasted until Thursday and probably would have lasted until Friday when I washed my hair (sounds gross but my hair is really dry). I kept my hair in a funky top bun for most of Thursday and Friday. When I took my hair down Friday before my shower, the curls were still there but tampered with as I had my hair up. 

PROS: the color!, the deal, the heating range, long lasting curls, no hairspray needed
CONS: Length of actual heating section. I do wish it was a little longer, especially for when I grow my hair out

Would I repurchase? I would totally in the future. I keep hair tools for a long time, but I am so pleased with this brand that I would stick to it for future upgrades

Batiste Dry Shampoo Travel Size, $9.99
I do not feel bad about this purchase at all. My current Batiste (full size) is almost done and I needed a new one. I wanted to try other scents and this gives me the opportunity to do so.

I haven't used it yet, but I'm sure I will love it as I do love the full size.

Neutrogena T/Gel Original Formula Shampoo, $9.99
I first tried this out when I slept over at my friend's home. My friend had a mini selection of shampoo but I was drawn to this because it claims to help with dry scalp and dandruff. Previous hairdressers had commented on my scalp being flakey and that I needed a shampoo to target that. This shampoo has an unappealing smell, but thankfully it does not linger in the hair after washed. My hair also felt soft when it dried.

PROS: Targets dandruff-prone hair/scalps
CONS: Smell

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow, $6.99 BOGO 50%

(Bad to the Bronze, Barely Branded, Bold Gold, Inked in Pink)
Old news, yes, but new news to me! I've been eyeing these since they first hit the market but never allowed myself to get them until now! Since it was the holidays, I decided to treat myself :)

I have only used Bold Gold so far just to sweep across my lid as an easy shadow. I loved it! 

I'm sorry these swatches don't do the colors any justice. I'm trying to get better at this picture taking thing. 

I did want to show what it looked like many many hours later.
This picture was taken late at night (maybe 1am) the same day I did the swatches (around 2pm). The shadows were still intact! Granted, my arms do not get oily like my lids do, but I was just amazed by the staying power of this thing. 

I have yet to try it as an eyeshadow base, but I am really excited for the looks that I can come up with.

PROS: easy to use, great pigmentation, long lasting
CONS: none so far?

Did you get yourself anything for the holidays?


Friday, January 2, 2015

Fall 2014 Favorites

This past Fall have been the season for me to fall more in love with makeup. I tried a few products that have got me head over heels over this season's makeup trends, both old and new!

Maybelline Vollum'Express: The Rocket Mascara
I know, I know. This mascara is old news, but it is new news to me! For the past how many years, I've been loyal to Maybelline's Volum'Express: Falsies. This year, I started branching out and trying new mascaras. I decided to give this a try this Fall and I am so happy that I did. I mean, look at my lashes! :) I own false lashes to make my lashes look that way :) Next up on my "To Try" list is Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara. Has anyone tried it?

NYX Matte Setting Spray
I LOVE THIS!!!!! I am currently using my second bottle. I actually think this works even better than the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray. That's a big claim especially since I love the UD spray. The NYX setting spray just really made my makeup last all day. If my blush and bronzer are still on by the end of the day, that's how I know the setting spray has worked. The UD is longlasting, but by the time I get home from work, my blush and bronzer have lightened to little to nothing. With NYX, I look nearly the same as I had left the house :)

Best way to use it: Put your moisturizer on, set, primer, set, setting spray, set, apply makeup.

I have heard the L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Makeup Spray was a great drugstore setting spray.  I do want to try it but it's more costly. 

NYX - 2.3 fl oz at $7.99 - $8.99
L'Oreal - 3.4 fl oz at $13.99 - $16.99
Urban Decay - 4 fl oz at $30.00
Urban Decay - 1 fl oz at $14

Even though L'Oreal has more product in it, it's still pricier per fl oz.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
(Picture from Target website)
There are mixed reviews about this nail polish, but aren't there always? You cannot buy the polish without the top coat. TRUST. For me, the polish wore off just like any other polish would within a few days. The top coat works magic for me. It made my polish last for a week. Together, it does look and feel like you have gel nails on. It's shiny and sturdy. I love it! It's $9.99 each so definitely wait for drugstore promos such as BOGO 50% off. I am currently (and anxiously) awaiting the next BOGO sale from Ulta. Hurry, Ulta, hurry!!

NYX Matte Lipstick in Aria
Vampy is definitely back this Fall. I've never felt bold enough to wear a more vampy lip, but 2014 was my year to unleash the styles I wanted to be no matter how timid I felt. I always stayed safe with natural styles because it was expected of me, but heck! This year, I learned to just be me. Aria is definitely a gorgeous color, both in photos and in person.  It has fuchsia/magenta tones embedded in it so it makes it easier to transition to a vampy look if that's not what you're used to. The color is just so beautiful! I wish I could wear this every single day :)

Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Color in Sugar Plum Fairy
Another vampy look! I know this is similar to NYX's Aria, but this color is darker and less pink. The more you layer, the more plum the color becomes. So beautiful!! 

I cannot wait to see what I fall in love with this Winter :)

What were your Fall faves?


Crazy for Lippies Part 2: Wet N Wild

As mentioned, here is part 2 of my Crazy for Lippies installment. If you're interested, check out Part 1 in which I talk about my most recent NYX purchases. 

This post is about my [kind of recent] Wet N Wild haul. At $1.99/lipstick, how am I not supposed to get as many as I can??

I picked up 5 colors: Don't Blink Pink, Smokin Hot Pink, Stoplight Red, Cherry Picking, Sugar Plum Fairy.

Here are the arm swatches:

I included arm swatches in two different lighting.  

Here are the lip swatches. Just a little disclaimer, I tried to take pictures in different lighting to see how the color would fare. That is why I am lighter in some shots and darker in others. Enjoy :)

Don't Blink Pink
Verdict: Looks great in pictures, but in person, it's just way too bright for me. I'm not sure how I feel about this color quite yet. Maybe I'll feel more confident rocking it when I have a bit color in my complexion Spring/Summer. It was just too Nicki Minaj for me. But unlike Nicki, it was just not working 

Smokin' Hot Pink
Verdict: I do like this color too. Less vibrant than Don't Blink Pink, but still pretty vibrant. It's darker than Don't Blink Pink which makes it less overwhelming. A beautiful, fun color for Spring/Summer

Stoplight Red
Verdict: Before this purchase, I only owned one red lipstick by NYX. It was a red lip pencil (name, can't remember sorry!). I saw swatches of this color on other makeup lovers and dang, it looked so pretty on them! I don't know why there's so much shine on my lips? Maybe it was the light? Maybe I should have blotted it first? I'm not a glossy, shiny lip person. Love it on others, not so much on me. Lastly, I'm not a fan of bright red lipstick on myself. This color is way too bright. I love dark, deep wine reds or brick reds

Cherry Picking
Verdict: I thought it was going to be more purple-y because the sticker on the lipstick looks a little purple/plum to me or am I colorblind? The color is still nice. It's like a pinky red. I do look forward to rocking this later on as the weather warms up

Sugar Plum Fairy
Verdict: Definitely my favorite of all my Wet n Wild purchases. I've been totally digging the vampier purple lip. I love this one! Makes me feel pretty badass ;) I have been rocking this and NYX's Aria all Fall and Winter. And heck, if I still have some by the time Spring and Summer roll around, I'm sure I'll be wearing it then too.

I love lipstick! :)

One of my best friends enabled me by gifting me the Tarte Kiss & Belle Lipsurgence Lip Set. I've tried on all except the lip glosses. I love all the darker colors. Not so much the nude. I'll try to do a lip swatch post for these as well.

(Tarte photos taken from Sephora website)

I am excited to play around with these! :D

If I didn't say it already, HAPPY NEW YEAR. I know totally random placement, but I think I hadn't greeted you yet.

May 2015 come out with more beautiful colors and may I find more control in purchasing them!! haha, maybe?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Last Seasonal Starbucks Meal of 2014

I am one of the biggest gimmicky consumers out there. Slap on "Limited Edition" or "Seasonal" on a product and you know I'm on it.

As much as I detest the cold, Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons because of all the seasonal flavors - pumpkin, chestnut, gingerbread. And then there is the savory like stuffing! OOH STUFFING.

Starbucks is my biggest weakness this time of year! The amount of money I shell out each year on their holiday drinks is pretty embarrassing...though I must admit, half of my purchases were for others. Sharing is caring! :)

This year's holiday favorites included: chestnut praline latte, holiday turkey and stuffing panini, and the frosted snowman cookie.

In late December, Starbucks will stop ordering new shipments of holidays flavors (or so I was told). Whatever you can find in late December and early January are the last stock. I just had to get my last fix before they disappear til Fall 2015.

My Starbucks holiday favorites

I actually had to drive to two different Starbucks to find the frosted snowman cookies. The first one were all out with nothing coming in anymore. Thank goodness for living in a big city like Los Angeles where there are Starbucks everywhere. I found the cookies at a nearby Starbucks. Oh the joy!!!

Trust me when I say I was so close to buying nearly all of them just to stock up! My little nephew loves them. One of my best friends loves them. We would all be in seasonal cookie heaven.

Until next time holiday will be greatly missed and craved.