Thursday, February 28, 2013

250 Follower Giveaway-Closed

Playing: Yellow-Coldplay
Reading: Harper's Bazaar March 2013
Hello readers! I'm pleased to let you know that I reached 150 followers (153 to be exact), so I thought it was time to hold a little giveaway to thank all of my followers. There are two prizes. The first includes a floral pouch, mamegoma erasers, mamegoma stationary, and a Rilakkuma key chain, while the second includes a polka dot pouch and two glittery nail polishes.

You must be a public follower of this blog. To follow this blog, just click on the bar on the right that says "Join this Site" under "MY SECRET LOVERS." This will get you one entry.

To enter leave a comment to this post with the following:
1.) Your name:
2.) Your email:
3.) Which prize you would prefer or let me know that you would like either one.

To get a second entry, blog about my giveaway or link it and leave a comment on this post with a link to your post.

This giveaway ends two weeks from now on March 14th and is open to anyone in the world. There are two winners and the winners will be announced on my blog and emailed. If the winners don't reply within a week, I will choose another winner. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

RED Valentino Opening Party

Playing: Rich Girls-The Virgins
Reading: Vogue March 2013
Yesterday, RED Valentino hosted a grand opening party at their location at South Coast Plaza. Luckily, I got an invitation thanks to the lovely salesperson, Kaylin, and I brought along my friends Tina, Jessy, and Michael, who just created a new blog that you should definitely check out. It was so nice to just get a chance to check out all of the new collection and to catch up with my Fashion Friends.
Afterwards, we got drinks and pastries at Champagne and waited for Michael to come join us, since he had to come late due to driving lessons. Be warned, the Fashion Friends are on the road. I don't know if you can tell, but I got my makeup done by Chanel earlier on in the morning at a Neiman Marcus event. It's only my second time having my makeup done by someone who's not my mum, so I was amazed at how smooth they made my skin look. I ended up buying some products from them, which I will share later on.
Since the party was for RED Valentino, my friends and I did the cheesy approach by all wearing red. Sometimes we match a little too well hence the blazers, polka dots, and Converse. Jessy says it's like we came out of an editorial. I'm wearing a Vince Camuto blazer, an Ann Taylor LOFT camisole, Bullhead jeans, a Burberry purse, and Play Comme des Garcons Converse.
Michael had to leave early to go to Disneyland with some friends, so Jessy, Tina, and I wondered around the mall, looking at different stores. Tina, being the hardcore shopaholic of the group, had to stop off at Forever 21 to unload all her money on accessories, while I had to look at Barney's Co-Op. That place is just like heaven.
At RED Valentino, they gave out the cutest snacks, little candied apples wrapped up with a sweet bow. I really like how girly and cute they made the snacks to match the brand's image. Marni was also giving out samples of their new perfume. They had the coolest perfume display with four seemingly empty cups. Three of the cups had the different notes of the perfume-the spices, floral, and fruity-and the last one had all three mixed together to create the perfume. Also, I just got 250 followers, so I'm going shopping today for a giveaway. Please stay tuned for that!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Playing: Waiting By Your Side-Polaris at Noon
Reading: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (For the third time!)
Over the weekend, I went to Fashion Island on the hunt for this camera bag from Rebecca Minkoff, since I had enough gift cards for Nordstrom that I would've gotten it for only $50 and I thought it would be perfect for my Paris trip. For lunch I ate at Pain du Monde and tried their delicious pastries. I really like their take on a croissant, stuffing it with almond custard and strawberries. Although the sandwich I got their was only ok, their pastries will definitely bring me back.
After lunch, I stopped by Neiman Marcus to test out new perfumes and I just loved this display. For Neiman Marcus' personal perfume, A Dozen Roses, they had fabric rose petals out for perfume samples. Such a pretty display idea and so much nicer than those sheets of paper. If you put one of those scented pieces of paper in your purse, it keeps your purse smelling wonderful for two months at least in my experience.
I also loved the ceiling fixture they had in Neiman Marcus. Hundreds of little plastic discs were suspended in the air and swayed with the breeze. While they were swaying, light would be reflected everywhere and it was really quite dazzling even though my blurry photo makes it look like confetti.
Unfortunately, I didn't end up getting the Rebecca Minkoff purse I wanted for two reasons. First of all, they didn't have it at the store and second of all, I ended up using one of my gift cards to buy these Converse from Play Comme des Garcons at American Rag Cie. I've been wanting a pair of these for around six years now and since I was going to get a pair of high tops anyways, I figured why not the ones I've been wanting for so long? I can't wait to wear these around.
The day after, I went to the Bowers Museum for their display, Cut! Costume and and the Cinema. Although it was a small exhibit, I really enjoyed it. The costumes were amazing to look at, especially the ones from Phantom of the Opera and The Duchess. All the costumes from The Duchess reaffirmed my opinion that Keira Knightley has the best job ever. Who wouldn't want to get paid for getting dressed up beautifully? In a way, I kind of like how people used to get so dressed up. Sure, I love my Converse and jeans, but it would be fun to wear opulent ball gowns around and corsets, especially those Dolce and Gabbana corsets.

PS I had the best Valentine's Day this year. I got a presale code for Killers tickets, so I ditched Pre-Calc and went to the school computers to buy some tickets for Rebecca and me. At first, I was so upset that the school blocked ticketmaster, so then I got on my iPhone and ticketmaster kept on telling me that all the tickets had sold out, so I called my mum and luckily, she was able to get two tickets.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"She Thinks I'm Much Too Thin, She Asks Me if I'm Sick"

Playing: Blackdown-Patrick Wolf
Reading: A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire
It seems like I get sick way too often, especially this school year. I've missed so many days at school that I'm starting to run out of ways to spend my sick days. Truthfully, sick days aren't fun like they were in elementary school, since I have to constantly worry about what I'm missing at school and have to work on school work, while I'm trying to get better now. I just thought I'd share with you some stuff I did on the weekend, when my cold started. I finally used my Barnes and Nobles gift cards to purchase the last two books in the Wicked Years and two books on Coco Chanel, while the JD Salinger books are late Christmas presents from Tina.
After my book trip, I went to Open Sesame for the best fried potatoes I've ever had. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these potatoes are great for any time. Although it's a bit sour from the lemon juice, I really enjoy the fresh flavors from the chili flakes, olive oil, and cilantro. I order this as a starter every time I go to Open Sesame along with a tamarind drink.
For my entree, I ordered their special, the Molokhia, which is shredded chicken and garden mallow leaves simmered in lemon juice, garlic, and chili flakes served on top of basmati rice. I know I said the potatoes are one of the best things I've ever had, but this seriously is too. As you know, I normally don't eat vegetables, but the mallow leaves were so flavorful and tender. All the flavors were fresh and unexpected yet very comforting. This is how you know I'm sick; it took me four meals to finish this. Whenever I'm sick, I don't eat very much and end up losing weight, which means I can go eat fattening foods later on to put the weight back on. (What a bonus, am I right?)
The area around Open Sesame, Belmont Shore, is so cute and dare I say it, one of the best ways to waste away a lazy afternoon. It's super family friendly and has all sorts of quirky shops. It has literally everything you would imagine California having such as: surf shops, Starbucks, independent stores, music stores, etc. It's not one of those must see attractions, but it's definitely a nice way to spend your afternoon. Unfortunately, I had to leave quickly since my cold was making me very tired. For more info on Belmont Shore, click here and here.

PS I got tickets to go see Andrew McMahon for the sixth time! I'm so close to reaching the double digits; it's great!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Year of the Snake

Playing: Nothing Left-One Night Only
Reading: Kappa by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Left to Right: Michael, me, Jessy, and Tina
Last Thursday, South Coast Plaza hosted a private party for Chinese New Years, so my fashionable group of friends and I took my parents' place at the party. Michael, Jessy, Tina, and I were trying to coordinate our outfits, but we kind of gave up on it. Somehow without talking to each other, we all showed up in jewel tones though! The party was held in Jewel Court right outside of Macy's. It was surprisingly large and they had some stereotypical Chinese New Years entertainment like lions and musical performances.
Appetizers and dim sum were catered by Capital Seafood, I think. Even though there were servers passing out shumai and sushi, it was easier just to wait in the long lines for food. Most of the food was actually pretty good and from my surprisingly long history of pretending to be more in touch with my Chinese ancestry than I am, I thought it tasted pretty legit. The cha sio bao was a bit sweeter than normal and the dan ta (not pictured) had a cookie shell instead of a pastry shell, but it still tasted good.
After the party, they even handed out red envelopes with dollar bills and valet parking vouchers. Amazingly enough, this is the most generous offering I've gotten so far for Chinese New Years. Even though I'm primarily Chinese, I really have never collected huge amounts of cash for Chinese New Years unlike my friends. One of them got a new laptop and another one got over a thousand dollars. How did they do that?
Once we were completely done with exploring the mall, we walked around the parking structure, taking photos and joking around. I really like how these parking lot photos turned out, even though this photo is so obviously posed. It was such a joy to be able to hang out with the three of them again, since we hadn't seen each other since Michael's birthday. Hopefully, we'll see each other soon for another party.
One more thing, here's my outfit from the day. I wore an Ann Taylor LOFT sweater, Zara shorts, Gap tights, Marc by Marc Jacobs earrings, a Bally purse, and a pair of Barney's Co-Op heels. How was your Chinese New Years? How did you celebrate?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

After Finals

Playing: Dammit-blink-182
Reading: Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
Hello everyone! I just got back from semester break and am ready to blog some more. Luckily, I pulled off top notch scores in all my classes except physics, but then again, science is not my strength. Since I've been hoarding some photos and can't seem to come up with a coherent post, this update will have to do. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Balboa Peninsula with London, since he's new to the area and I'm working on exploring more.
This year I'm also working on trying to be more independent, which includes cooking for myself. Instant noodle isn't really all that healthy, but it's alright for snacks after you mix some Spam, some corn, some peas, and an egg into it. I recently got my drivers license too, so now I can go grocery shopping all by myself. Yay, freedom! But not really. I like going with my parents, since they always encourage me to buy more than I would by myself.
Here's some more proof that it may be possible for me to live on my own, when I go to college. Awhile back, my parents left my older brother and me at home, so I cooked Spaghetti alla Carbonara for us. The recipe I used was vaguely based off of Tyler Florence's recipe, but I made many changes to it, since I was just using whatever was in the fridge. It came out so well and I'm very pleased that I was able to multitask and cook everything separately at the same time without burning a thing.
Even though I've been trying to cut down on my wardrobe, I went off and bought a sheer rag and bone blazer. It's really light and made of a sheer fabric except for the back, which is a loose knit that looks almost like ribs on the back. I wasn't going to buy it, but then I thought to myself, "Oh, I need a summer jacket. I only have two other summer jackets." Did you see that? ONLY TWO? There's something wrong with my logic and I think my teachers agree...I'm thinking of creating an ebay account, so that I can sell all my clothes, but I really don't feel like going through the hassle of figuring out shipping prices.
Just to make sure my blog doesn't seem frivolously food and clothing centric, I thought I'd show you a photo from the day I drove out to the desert. The stormy clouds made for some interesting photos and added a more somber look to the rural areas I was exploring. Sometimes I think I want to live in a rural area and just be surrounded by the beauty that is nature, but I think I'd get lonely. I need to interact with other people otherwise I would either just stop caring about everything (and wear sweats everyday) or I'd withdraw even farther into my eccentricities.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Welcome to the Resistance

Playing: Angels-The xx
Reading: Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
A friend of mine, Naomi, recommended the Playground, an experimental restaurant focused on offering new and exciting food made with the finest ingredients, to me. Everyday they have a new menu, so you can expect something different every time you go. For starters, I shared the Smoked Cod Chowder with my dad, which was amazing. Chunks of bacon, clams, and smoked cod were plentiful and they actually mixed sour cream into the chowder too.Event he cabbage in it tasted good and I normally hate all leafy greens.
One of the things that the Playground is currently doing is a quest for ramen perfection. This is Day 35: Quest for Ramen Perfection, which was served with double pork in the form of crisp pork belly and pork shavings. The pork belly was perfectly crisp and moist, while the broth was almost like a pork au jus. After awhile the broth was a bit salty, but overall I really enjoyed the bites I stole from my mum.
One of their most popular dishes according to the waiter is Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken. Since I'm on the constant search for the best fried chicken, it was a no brainer choosing this. The waiter described the chicken as being really potent like salt and vinegar chips, since it's cooked with so much cinnamon and vinegar. I was actually looking forward to having a very salty and vinegary chicken. However, I found it fairly mild even though the vinegar and cinnamon was clearly there. Unfortunately, I wouldn't say this was the best fried chicken I've ever had, especially since the breast was really dry and stringy.
The main complaint I have with the Playground is the wait time. Just getting a seat took 15 minutes, even with half the restaurant empty and my chicken came out around 20 minutes after the other dishes. My parents were literally done with their meals by the time mine came, so the Playground served us up a complementary Black Mission Fig Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was undoubtedly the best part of the meal, to make up for the wait. The pudding is moist and sticky, while the toffee sauce is freshly made and still bublling as it's brought out to you. It was so good that I actually regret not getting a second one. Overall, I probably will go back to the Playground. Other than the wait time, the service was great and the waiters really knew the menu and were ready to explain everything to you. Be warned however that the prices are very expensive, considering the portion size.