Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a little gift to myself.

Ordered this last week. Arrived today :)

nice touch:

Banana Republic tank
NYX Orange Soda l/s

Yea those are horrendous bags under my eyes. I don't use concealer. I'm overworked, tired, stressed, having trouble sleeping, and I just want to punch *somebody* real hard and then have a stiff one. Is it really only Wednesday? The weekend looks promising.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

hidden oasis in san francisco

If you know where to look, you can find areas in SF that are warm almost all year round. China Basin is one of them. Growing up, this area was no man's land. It was mostly undeveloped and full of scary warehouses. We joked that there were dead bodies in 'em. But these days it's trendy in SF to gentrify these type of neighborhoods, and China Basin is in the midst of just such a gentrification process. The neighborhood is now dotted with new, très expensive condo developments and a UCSF campus.

Anyways.. there's a nightclub in China Basin called Kelly's Mission Rock ( that's been around for years (at least since my high school days) that serves brunch Wednesday-Sunday, and that's where we went today. They serve the
BEST brunch in town. You get to sit outside on a dock under the warm sunshine, listen to seagulls, and watch huge cargo ships float by. Plenty of free street parking. And today, while 85% of SF was shrouded in clouds and fog, I was slathering sunblock onto my face and arms so as not to get burnt by the glorious sun. I'm glad it's under the radar on yelp b/c then the masses would turn this restaurant into some ridiculous "wait in line for 2 hours" type of deal. Fudge that. I don't do lines. Anyways, I haven't spent much time in this neighborhood, but it's my new hidden gem. I felt like I was transported somewhere warm and tranquil. Nothing but blue skies, gentle waves, and seagull cries. Seriously the best morning I've had all year.

All pics taken with the bf's new iphone.

crossing the 3rd St bridge

Cool ship portal doors

Fresh fruit, yogurt + granola

BEST French toast in SF (forget about Mama's...)
I really don't like sweets, and normally I can only stomach 1 bite of French toast b/c it's so sugary. But this French toast.. I tell you it blew my mind. I couldn't get enough of it. They saute bananas, caramel and cream to make the sauce...

Blackwood bacon eggs benedict w/pommes Elaine.
The pommes Elaine will blow your mind too... hot, crisp, garlicky potato that will leave you begging for more...

View from our table
View from inside

Facing east bay

big Matson ship

I leave you with one final pic ~

Aston Martin DB9
Holy moley. I parked next to this car earlier in the week when I was grocery shopping. Upon realizing what kind of car it was I went bat shit crazy and made my bf take pics (came out crappy b/c it was nighttime). Growing up, I watched all the James Bond movies b/c my dad is a fan. Ingrained in me are the following~ "vodka martini, shaken, not stirred", cheesy inuendos, Omega watches, and Aston Martins. So in my mind, Aston Martin is the epitome of cool. I'm so not into cars, but I do appreciate luxury sports cars. When we pulled up next to this beauty, I knew immediately that I had to check it out because I didn't recognize the insignia on the back. My first thought was Bentley because of the wings, but the telltale "B" was missing, so my curiosity was piqued. Upon closer inspection, we could make out in small letters "Aston Martin". And what a coincidence to see the exact same car again this morning on the way to brunch. It's a sign or something right? ... that I will one day end up with this car? ^_~

Sunday, July 18, 2010

i learned how to curl my hair :)

Haha post titles don't get more straightforward than that do they? ^_~

So I finally attempted to curl my hair with my Sedu flat iron. I tried it once, many years ago, and it was a disaster. And, I've never been a fan of curling my hair. I like the curls that you achieve with rollers, but being the low maintenance, lazy girl that I am I would never go to the trouble of using them!

So I was watching youtube videos by some of my fav gurus, and I got inspired to give my flat iron another go. Did it right before jumping in the shower when my hair is oiliest haha. I like that with a flat iron you can vary the size of the curls by pulling faster/slower, or angling the iron.

This tee is also my new fav for weekend wear. $7.95 from H&M.

And here's me in the W Hotel bathroom with my everyday straight hair. I thought the carved side of the mirror was cool.

Didn't realize until looking at this pic how much my hair has lightened since dyeing it with the Palty. It's growing on me. I also love how much the dye has dried out my roots, and given them more volume and texture. My natural hair is sooooo incredibly oily it's disgusting, and makes my roots plaster to my scalp. I've tried everything from CO washing, to shampooing every other day, shampoo with sulfates, shampoo w/o sulfates... dyeing my hair is really the best and lowest maintenance way to battle the oiliness.

This is the video I used to learn how to curl with flat iron: . It's by Sedu, only 1:54, and she shows how to create various curls (like holding the iron horizontal will create a tighter curl versus pulling the iron downward to create more beachlike curl). Nothing beats an under 2 minute video tutorial!

Monday, July 12, 2010

korean food (it's not all BBQ)

Hello! I wanted to share a very very healthy, simple, inexpensive vegan Korean meal...

I mentioned in my last food post that I like cheap, healthy food. I also like to eat vegetables b/c I like to eat a lot, and eating veggies let's me eat more quantity.

This here is called "kongnamul bap" 콩나물
"Kong" is the name of the bean sprout, "namul" means any seasoned veggie dish, and "bap" means rice (you may now "bibimbap")

Most people think Korean food is just bbq ribs and beef. Very understandable. But, that's like thinking Russians only eat piroshkis, or Thai people only eat pad thai.

Recently my coworker asked me if Korean food is very greasy, and if it's mostly meat. I was astounded at first, as my mom's (she's Korean) Korean meals are vegetarian 99% of the time and far from greasy! We don't call it vegetarian, but that's just how they come out. But, given the fact that 80% of Korean restaurants feature tableside cooked meat, I totally understand why she asked me that. So, I wanted to share a very delicious, but not so well known dish that I always ask my mom to cook.

This meal I want to share with you is so simple. It's just steamed soy bean sprouts, and sauce. You must make sure to get soybean sprouts, and not regular sprouts.

Can you see the difference? On the top is soy bean sprouts, which have the yellow oval bean at the ends. They have more nutrition and flavor than the sprouts on the bottom.

Cooking instructions:

1) Wash sprouts, and pick off the tail end (personal preference). As for amount of sprouts ~ I am huge on veggies, so I would cook an entire pot full and eat all of it.

2) Cook 1 cup of rice. I consider 1 cup of uncooked rice 2 servings.

3) Bring water to a boil and cook sprouts for 5 minutes. Drain water, and

4) Throw a pinch of salt and black pepper on the sprouts and mix with chopsticks

5) Make seasoning ~ soy sauce, chopped green onion, sesame seed, sesame oil, Korean red chili powder if you have it (gochugaru Add in amounts to your liking.. some people prefer more or less sesame oil, etc.... I would not put more than 1 tblsp of sesame oil per person though..

If you are on a low sodium diet, you can eat this without the soy sauce, or use low sodium soy sauce, or just use it very sparingly. I love soy sauce and use it quite liberally, and it has no affect on my weight. I'd rather have a well seasoned meal versus a very fatty and rich meal.

For some healthy vegetable side dishes to go with your meal, please refer to Maanchi's recipes:

My mom usually has "kimchi muchim" (seasoned radish) and seasoned spinach:

Cooked sprouts:
Mixed sprouts, seasoning + rice:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

a spontaneous evening, and a forever 21 mini haul

*scroll down to skip to the pics*

Wednesday, July 7, 2010.
The only plan we had for the evening was Vietnamese dinner in Chinatown, at our favorite restaurant. I got the usual vermicelli noodle salad with lemongrass beef, and the bf got vegetarian chow fun ( I insisted.. I like to make whoever I'm with order something I like so that I can enjoy 2 dishes). After dinner, I walked up a couple storefronts to get some produce. We saw dragonfruit for the first time, and kindly turned the shop lady down as she persistently tried to make us buy it. Then, up the block we went, when some jewelry in the window display caught my eye. Well, of course I had to step in and see! Turns out, the gorgeous necklace was made with citrine and was a whopping $500.... not an amount I can easily part with on a whim (heck, who am I kidding... I can't spend $50 on a whim!). But, there was some pearl necklaces that caught my eye. I tried several on, and they were $250, plus 30% off as a 4th of July sale. I kindly turned the lady down, until she finally said, "Okay okay, since you're the last customer, I give you 50% off. That's $125!" But I held my ground, and although I felt guilty for having taken up her time (you ladies know what I mean right? They spend 15 minutes talking to you and helping you try stuff on, so you
have to buy something right?). 3 more times she tried to push it on me, when finally, my bf walked over and said, "How about $100 cash"? She thought about it, then agreed :) But not before muttering (loud enough for me to hear crystal clear) "no profit!". HAHAHA. I think it's kind of crass to say such things out loud in front of a customer, but my bf and I concluded that it's all part of the game and they say that to make the customer feel like they got a great deal. Trust me ~ we weren't robbing the people. In fact, I consulted one of my wholesale jewelry books when I got home to check the price of fresh water pearls. Anyways back to the necklace. I was elated! My first pearl necklace :) The necklace has crystal rondelles too, and when I put it on I instantly felt chic. Have you seen the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic", where she puts on the expensive green scarf and says something like it makes her hair look nicer? Well, when I put the pearl necklace on I felt nicer, and, well, to be quite honest, I thought it made me look expensive ^_~ Bwahahaha.

*I will be doing a DIY pearl necklace tutorial soon, but using Swarovski crystal pearls, and not the real thing.

Kindly ignore the drool spots. It happens, mmkay? teehee

And, the evening didn't end there! As we walked home, we passed my faavorite French restaurant, Ducroix. I walked right by, but the bf pulled me to a stop, and suggested we get wine and dessert.
OKAY! So in we go, and we were warmly greeted by the 2 owners, who are also the chefs. There were 2 desserts ~ creme brulee and some chocolate concoction. As we perused the wine list, the chef said, "We can make you some crepes if you like." Schweeet! How awesome is that, that they can just whip up some crepes for us in the pan! So, of course we went with that, and he made us 3 crepes ~ one with nutella, one with sugar, and one with a buttery lemon sauce. Oh wait, I forgot to mention the wine! I got a glas of Malbec, but the bf prefers the sweet wines, so he asked if they had any dessert wines. They did not, but, the chef had a personal bottle of a Kendall Jackson late harvest chardonnay that he offered to us. It was a very nice dessert wine indeed! I'm a huge fan of late harvest (grapes become more like raisins, and tres sweet). Trust me guys, service like this is rare in San Francisco. Can I just say that this evening was divine? I was on Cloud 9.

And, what better way to end the night than to come home to a package from Forever 21!! Hahaha, is that sad? Out of 4 items, 2 were hits and 2 were misses. Not a bad batting average eh? For such a junky store, I'll take 50/50!

Hit #1: I saw this on look4less blog, and the expensive version is from J. Crew for ~$80?
The F21 version is soft, comfy, lightweight, fits nicely without being too loose or too tight.
Will pair with skinny pants, or tuck into skirt.
size small
Hit #2:
Same tee as #1 above, but in blue
Miss #1: Looked small online, so I figured it would be nice and loose on me, which I love! I love baggy clothes! Alas, it was TIGHT. Like suck in your tummy all night kind of tight. UGH.
Heritage line
size small

Well, hmm.. I guess it's not
that bad...
Yea, it's kinda cute.... maybe I'll keep it....

gasp! who is that scandalous hoe bag wearing the skin tight dress! No no no!! Give her a jacket for goodness sake!
You see, I am practically assless my ass is so tiny. Well, not in this dress. Perhaps this is better suited for a skinny chick :\ Alas, there goes my hopes of having a cute and casual lil summer dress.

Who knew that tie dye could be skankified?
Miss #2: Well, the pendulum must swing the other way right? As if to make up for the dress, this shirt was super wide and baggy. Def a preggers woman shirt. I could hide some triplets in here! Orrr, this could be my new buffet shirt ^_~
size small/P

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

h&m bf jackets in size 2

I didn't buy them, but thought I'd share pics of how they fit in case anyone is on the hunt for more petite-friendly, inexpensive bf jacket.

What I like ~
*fits at shoulder
*nips in at waist
*lined inside, and has inside pocket!
*feels, and looks, pretty well made
*since sleeve can be rolled up (also cute to show inner lining), no need to hem

They ranged from $59.99-79.99. Pictured below are all size 2.

This one was a shiny cream material.
Dark grey
LOVE how it's so fitted at the waist and nips in. Much better fit compared to some other jackets I've tried on.
I didn't purchase b/c I would probably only wear once or twice. I adore the bf jacket look, but just not on me. I find it hard to pull off masculine outfits with my face and body type. And it looks "mature", which I hate on myself. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining or looking for sympathy. I'm okay with not wearing it, and I accept that it looks better on other people. I actually really like to see certain styles on other people and browsing lookbooks and stuff.

I personally find that bf jackets look best on skinny blondes. It just looks too serious and mature on us brunettes :\

This is how I like the bf jacket to be worn:

With feminine, short lil dress inside

With super skinny bottoms and feminine, deep cut tank

LOVE this. The combo of grey + white, and the sleeves rolled up. Just perfect. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the model is drop dead gorgeous and has a perfect body.

Cheap, simple, low fat + calorie dinner

Most of you already know I'm a cheap bastard when it comes to clothes and makeup :) Well, I'm pretty frugal with my grocery shopping too. Ive found that the best way to keep a low grocery bill is to buy produce that's in season. Luckily, summertime means an abundance of tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, corn... anything that needs hot weather to flourish.

We were walking through Raley's looking for wine and snacks when I spotted a sign for white corn ~ 5 for $1. SCORE! Lately corn has jumped in price and it's pretty typical to see 3 for $2 instead of the usual 4/$1. I've never really cooked corn before so I googled it, and came upon a method by Tyler Florence. He said to heat oven to 350 degrees, put corn in the husk directly on the rack for 30 minutes, and that's it! By baking the corn in the husk, it retains all the juice, and comes out super duper crispy sweet and not rubbery at all.

The other ingredients I needed to buy were salt and limes. Most people already have salt in their cupboard, but I don't have any salt so I went out and bought some. Found some cool flavored salts at the ferry building, such as coconut lime (which I need to get my hands on for next time). I picked the Mexican fiesta salt for the corn.

1. Put corn (in the husk) on the oven rack. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This is how it looks when it's done baking:

2. When corn is done, peel the husk away.
Careful! It's HOT!! Squeeze lime juice all over the corn, then pour salt over the corn and rub it in.

You can make a little bread appetizer to go with your corn too. Nothing fancy here. Just good 'ol EVOO, pesto mix, cherry tomatoes, and put it all on ciabatta and bake:

Now serve it up with some white wine and enjoy!

A note about the Hawley wine.. my dad is a huge fan and he introduced me to it. He took my bf up to the winery too one day and now we have a case of goodies in the kitchen :) John Hawley was a founding winemaker at Clos du Bois and chief winemaker for Kendall Jackson. He runs his own winery now with his kids, and it's a beautiful spot. In fact, one of my coworkers got married at their winery :) I love their wines too.. namely their late harvest zin (OMFG tastes like cherries and is so amazing clicky). This viognier we had here was wonderful too (click), perfect for a light, refreshing summer dinner.

When it comes to diet, I've found that the BEST way for ME to stay healthy is to buy food in it's simplest form and eat as close to raw as possible. I'm not a nutritionist or anything.. heck I don't even exercise! But I think this is pretty foolproof for anyone trying to lose weight or get healthy. I'm not trying to lose weight, but I do enjoy eating healthy. And, I'm well aware that there are plenty of people who can be stick thin and eat massive quantities of junky food (hello my fellow Asians)... so don't bother trying to be all contrary and argue with me. Haha you guys know what I'm talking about right? There's always someone who is like, "Oh but I eat 10 donuts and pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner and I'm sooo skinny screw eating healthy."
Obviously some people don't need to eat healthy to lose weight... Anyways, back to what I was saying. Key thing is to buy fresh ingredients (namely produce... b/c you could buy a ton of shrimp and eat it raw.. but that wouldn't be very healthy), do very little to alter those ingredients, and that's it. By doing this you cut out processed, fatty, sodium filled foods. And save time. I'm lazy. LAZY!! I don't want to spend time making sauces or cooking or adding anything at all to my food. If I can eat an entire raw meal then that's great b/c that means at most I'm only spending 5 minutes to clean the veggies/fruit. I admit, I only eat healthy about half the time hehe. The other half of the time, I'm gorging myself on yummy cheeses and simple carbs... and my guilty pleasure is Hot Pockets.... just ask my sister I'll eat Hot Pockets for breakfast lunch AND dinner (and I'll make you eat it too if you come over ^_~ )!

I probably didn't explain my diet idea too well, but for anyone who is interested, check out Jinah Chae's recent video on her diet. She pretty much sticks to the simple cooking idea as well, and loads her plate with veggies.
I agree with her method 100%.