Tuesday, April 30, 2013

American Apparel and Revlon

Now for a review about lip products! Today it will be American Apparel Lip Gloss and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain.

I got this American Apparel Lip Gloss for free when American Apparel was having one of their "free" promos in the Fall. It was one where you just had to bring in the ad and you could get a free lip gloss, no purchase necessary :D They also had a promo where you could get free nail polishes so I got African Violet and Mannequin. My point is, remember to watch out for these promos because it seems like they have them every year.

This lip gloss line comes in 9 shades and I decided to get it in Café Crème. I think I was debating in between this and Intimate since they look pretty similar, but I am content with my decision. It's a very nice brown/pink shade and looks natural on my lips. I don't know, I'm just not one for bold lips so I tend to enjoy the ones that basically enhance my natural lip colour. It has this sort of "makeup smell" to it but it's not that strong so it isn't too big of an issue. It glides on well and is not too shiny, but is one of those sticky glosses :( I usually layer it over a lip balm since I don't think that this really has moisturizing properties. It lasts for a good few hours or so and like most lip products, it does not accentuate dry flakey lips! These glosses come in 7 ml tubes and costs $12 which is kind of expensive I think (I don't actually buy lip glosses) but it is a really nice colour so maybe I'll buy it when it runs out.

Another lip product I've tried is the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey. I decided to try it after reading reviews that it was actually pretty moisturizing and provided good colouring. This is another one that is a sort of brown shade but is slightly more bold than the AA lip gloss. It is a twist up balm, like other lip balms. It is really easy to apply; almost feels like you are drawing on your lips with a crayon. Something unique about it is that it has a light peppermint smell! It's noticeable if you randomly smell the balm, but it can't really be smelt after you apply it. This claims to be a 'balm stain' and it really does do the job! Colour stays on for a while plus it is moisturizing (not as moisturizing as regular lip balms though). My main issue is that I'm not really into the colour selection so it's probably not the balm stain for me. I bought this at Wal-mart for $6.95 so it is decently priced and a good value since it is like two products in one!


Here is the swatch: Revlon on the left American Apparel on the right

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Oscar Blandi, KMS, and Macadamia Natural Oil review + swatch

These are some of the hair care products that I use on a regular basis: Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo, Macadamia Natural Oil No Tangle, and KMS California Free Shape quick blow dry. Two of these are for styling while one is just a dry shampoo as it says in the name :P

The Free Shape quick blow dry is a spray that helps to speed up blow drying while providing light conditioning. The natural ingredients/scents are rhodiola watermint. I'm not really sure how to describe this smell, but it's really nice. The only problem is that it gets a bit strong at first so I have to spray it in a room different from where I blow dry my hair so I don't inhale too much of it. It claims to dry hair in half the time and I it actually does! I just shake it up to mix up the ingredients and then spray it into my damp hair before blow drying. Since it only has light conditioning, it doesn't really leave hair super soft or anything, but it's main purpose is to speed up hair drying time anyway. At one point I was using this in conjunction with the Free Shape Shampoo and Conditioner and I remember that it somehow made it so that I barely had to use the round comb to style my hair while blow drying! This 6.8 oz./200 mL bottle was on sale for $9.99 at TBBS but I believe regular price is $14.99. It lasts really long because I've been using it every other day for about 7 months or so and there is still about 1/4 of the bottle left! Since I bought the No Tangle spray, I stopped using this but will probably use it again when my hair gets shorter and is in less need of detangling.

I decided to buy the Macadamia Natural Oil No Tangle (now called No Tangle Pre-Styler) since my hair was getting long and really tangled. Unlike Free Shape, it was really expensive since it was 8.5 oz./250 mL for $23 at Trade Secrets :( I couldn't find it at any other place for cheaper, sigh. It is another product that I spray in my hair right before blow drying. This sprays on as a sort of cream so you just have to use your fingers to spread it through your hair. This is what it looks like:

The bottle claims that it can "reduce breakage" but I have been noticing split ends in my hair lately, and I haven't seen those in a few years :S I have also switched from KMS to Paul Mitchell shampoo, and grew my hair really long so that may be another factor in my split ends. One good thing is that it does help make my hair feel soft and be less tangled. I've been using this every other day for 3 months or so and the bottle seems to be about 1/3 finished so it does not seem as worth it as the Free Shape spray. Similar to the other spray, it has a pleasant smell (sort of like any other shampoo) and the scent is a lot lighter so I don't have to leave the room to spray it :P I will not buy No Tangle again but since it smells nice and does have good moisturizing properties, I may try the Macadamia Natural Oil Nourishing Leave-In Creme.

Now this is the product that I've been looking for years for. The Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo! This is good for in between showers because really, who has the time to wash their hair everyday? It's not even good for hair. Like my face, my scalp produces a lot of oil so going a day without washing will give me that oily hair look -_- With this dry shampoo, it helps to absorb the oils and add a bit more volume to hair. It is a fine white powder and since I have dark hair, I usually rub this into my hair at night and put a bit more in the morning in the front areas of my hair to absorb any residual oil. To rub it in, I either sprinkle some powder into my palm or lightly sprinkle it on my roots. I never squeeze it from the bottle because it ends up letting out a big puff of powder so just lightly shaking it gives enough product. I think the smell is slightly floral like but not too strong. I started off buying the 1 oz. travel size for $13 from Sephora but liked it so much that I got the 2.5 oz. full size for $25 (and from the states so it was a bit cheaper). Oh I also think this was my first Sephora purchase ever, so it was sort of a milestone to me :P I have not tried any other dry shampoos but will be sticking with this one for a while.

Friday, April 26, 2013

the lip scrub by sara happ review

I decided to get this product to see if it would help those few times a year when my lips get really swollen and stingy feeling for like 2 weeks or so. I purchased this online from the site for $30 (even) for 30g / 1 oz. since it is hard to find in Canada. If you email them, they will send you the list of retailers nearby but it sells there for about $30 + tax so buying it from Sara Happ seems to be the cheapest option. It still seems pretty expensive but it is a lot of product and will last you a really long time! I purchased this in early October and have been using mine whenever my lips get super chapped so it tends to be bi-weekly or weekly, and I still have at least 90% left.

On the website, it shows that their packaging comes with a nice little ribbon to tie it but I don't really recall mine having one :( Then again, I did buy it months ago so maybe I just forgot. You can probably just make your own scrub using olive oil and brown sugar but I really liked that this had flavours so I'm still glad I bought it. The other flavours available: creme brulee, brown sugar, red velvet, blood orange, and vanilla.

The directions are to "Massage a generous amount onto lips using a firm, circular motion. Wipe away with a tissue. Wonder how you ever lived without it." I used to just rinse it away with water since there tends to be a lot of sugar left around your mouth area but lately I've just been wiping away some of it with the dry tissue and then eating whatever's left, hehe. The scrub has a pretty good texture and the sucrose grains are not too coarse or fine so it is not irritating to the lips. It really does get rid of your dead, dry skin and leaves your lips feeling super soft. It is best to follow up with a lip treatment right after so I use my fresh sugar lip treatment or my SkinFood Rose Essence Lip Balm #1. When I was deciding on this, I debated between Sara Happ and the fresh sugar lip polish, but in the end, this was cheaper. Whenever this runs out, I'll probably just try to make my own scrub but if I prefer this, I may get the red velvet flavour next time.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Palladio Rice Paper and Powder review

Today's review is all about stuff that helps control oil on your face. These two items are: Palladio Rice Paper Powdered Blotting Sheets in Translucent and Palladio Natural Rice Powder in Translucent. Palladio products can be bought at Sally's Beauty Supply stores, online, and other random stores but it seems to be the cheapest at Sally's.

The Palladio Rice Paper costs $5.99 or $5.29 with the Beauty Club card. The club card costs $5 but you get a $5 credit to use for the next month, so it is potentially a free membership (if you go back in time).

The Palladio Rice Paper is like a thinner version of writing paper with one side covered in powder and another side that is plain. I got translucent but it is also available in Natural and Warm Beige. The description says you can use the non-powder side to blot but I really don't see it making a difference so I always use the powder side. It does well in blotting but the powder tends to come off as flakey. The flakiness could probably be brushed away with a powder brush or some tissue. It takes away makeup a bit so I need to retouch my foundation after using it.  Not my favourite for blotting, so I think I will just stick with blotting films.

The Palladio Rice Powder is also oil-absorbing but in the form of blot powder and can also be used as a finishing powder. It is available in the same shades as the paper but I got translucent again. It retails for about $6.99 or $6.39 with the club card. It is okay in terms of oil-absorbing (I doubt anything will ever keep my face completely matte) but great as a finishing powder! Definitely helps set my foundation and keep it from fading. The smell is a bit like baby powder though, which is a slight turnoff but that is probably the "fragrance" in it. It also comes with this little styrofoam like "puff" for application but it seems more like a blocker to stop the powder spilling out while you travel. The packaging is a plastic box that comes with a slide off lids, so it is not entirely secure. I discovered though that it fits perfectly into my MAC Studio Fix compact box and is easy to remove from the box, so I will be using that whenever I need to transport my powder! I have yet to try expensive setting powders but I'm pretty sure I will be sticking with the Palladio one for a while :)

P.S. In case anyone is concerned, their products are not tested on animals! :D

NARS Super Orgasm Mini review + swatch

This product is so awesome I think it deserves a review all on its own! The NARS Super Orgasm Mini Blush cost $12 at Sephora on Boxing Day but was also offered as a promo on the NARS website at one point. After my trip to Sephora, I also discovered that they are selling it now for $15! So it's there if anyone wants it :P I never had a NARS blush before (or any blush for that matter) so this was a nice size for me to try the colour/the wear of their blushes.

First off, I love the packaging! It's really sleek and has a um silicony feel to it? It seem about half the size of the regular blushes but I'm not entirely sure. Like the regular size, this has a mirror on the flip lid, but that doesn't really matter much because it's about the size of a teaspoon.

Now for the colour...it kind of made me sad that this wasn't the famous 'Orgasm' blush but it is very similar. Super Orgasm was just as 'peachy pink' as Orgasm but it has glitter as opposed to shimmer. Because of this, it ends up being more shiny on your face. The glitter sometimes moved around on my face but that's probably because I touch my face a lot....because of this, I don't really like this shade too much. Aside from the glitter, the colour is really nice and looks very natural on my face. Pigmentation is great so you don't need to use a lot of product. It does last really long though and I've tried Orgasm on my face many times so as soon as I use this up, I'll be getting it :D I think I'll start wearing this everyday for work in the Fall and if the glitter is too much, then I'll just get Orgasm blush then hehe.

Here is the hand swatch that shows the amount of glitter better.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hello Kitty Apple Cheeks and Charmmy Eyeshadow stick review + swatch

Today I will be reviewing Hello Kitty makeup products: Apple Cheeks in Peachy and Charmmy Eyeshadow Stick in Birthday Cake.

First up is Apple Cheeks which is a cream blush in a roll up stick format. I got this for $9 on Boxing Day however I think it was old since it had some weird white buildup on the stick o_O I just scraped it off and it looked good as new...This is one of the blushes I don't use often and that's because it does not have good staying power at all. No matter what I use (i.e. fixing spray, primer), it is never on my face at the end of the night. I'm not sure how many hours it typically lasts, but I'm sure it's at least 2 - 3. The peachy shade is a good match for me though, and it is very creamy which makes it very easy to blend. For me, it works best when I just put the stick on my face (so what if it's not hygienic?) and this seems like the fasted way to apply it. I'm sure there is a way to use a brush but I'm fine with blending with my fingers. The good thing about it is this is that since it's a stick, it's really easy to touch-up with it without having the mess of brushes or powder. This product is either discontinued or just never in stock anymore but even if it was still being sold, I would not buy another.

Second is the Charmmy Eyeshadow Stick. The shade Birthday Cake was on sale for $7 and I just checked the Sephora site though and all but 1 of the shades are now $7 so get them while they last :P This is another creamy stick so yet again, very easy to apply! It's a nice bronze colour in a metallic shade with a bit of shimmer. It goes on your lid a lot lighter than it is in the stick so it makes a good neutral colour, but is also a good base. The wear is an hour or so longer than Apple Cheeks so it also does not last all day. Since it was cheaper than apple cheeks and I don't have any similar looking eyeshadows, I think I would buy this again. It doesn't seem like they sell Birthday Suit anymore but there are a few other bronze shades that I would consider buying.

Here is a swatch of the eyeshadow and blush.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TV Show Reviews - Part 2

Hello there. As a continuation from my previous post, the next new show favourite is Once Upon A Time. Unlike the other shows, this one I waited until after the first season finished to start watching it. This show is about fairy tale characters from the enchanted land being cursed and getting transported to the real world. In this world, they all live in Storybrooke where no one can leave and no one can come in. Because of the curse, no one remembers who they are except for the mayor Regina/the Evil Queen. One day, a stranger comes to town (the first one ever) and the town clock starts to work, even though it has never ticked since they came to Storybrooke. This ends up being the biological mother of Regina's son. I was about to type 'Regina George' and I just came to the realization that they are equal in terms of evilness and bitchiness :P Anyway so this stranger is Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and she also ends up being the biological daughter to one of the fairy tale characters! Throughout each episode, you get to see the characters in Storybrooke but also see flashbacks of them as their real characters in the enchanted land. In my opinion, this makes the show way more interesting and also gives a chance to show off their nice costumes! So far the main fairy tale characters of the show have been: Snow White, Prince Charming, Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, the Seven Dwarves, Little Red Riding Hood, Jiminy Cricket, and many others. It's on the 3rd season now (I think) and I don't want to spoil it, but it is definitely getting interesting! And since it has fairy tale characters, it's a nice way to remind me of fairytales from childhood (a.k.a. Disney). This show streamable on the CTV website but also shows on TV on Sundays.

Now for another Sunday show (except on CityTV), Revenge. This one is about exactly what it sounds like, revenge. The setting is the Hamptons which means that it's all rich people and features a lot of high-class gatherings. The main character, Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) who is seeking revenge against the people that have wronged her and her father. Her father is David Clarke and many rich people worked together to frame him for wiring money to terrorists. He gets killed there but for the entire time he was in prison, Emily thought that he actually did help the terrorists and she hated him/never visited. She also acted out a lot throughout these years and got sent to juvie so she finally got released at age 18 and that is when computer genius and billionaire, Nolan Ross gives her a box that proves her father's innocence. From then on, she plans to get revenge for her father's death and works with Nolan to take down everyone that helped frame David Clarke. This is somewhat similar to Gossip Girl in that there is an all-knowing being and rich people just screw each other over. However, this is a lot more serious when they screw each other over, some people are hurt physically and do not just lose their social status (as it is in Gossip Girl). I really enjoy that the main protagonist is a female because we definitely need more shows like that! Acting is great and it's always nice to see all of Emily's revenge schemes :)

Lastly, another new show that I really enjoy is Nashville. It's all about country music stars and starts off featuring Reina James, who used to be big in the industry but is now less successful and in financial need. She tries to rebuild her career and by the middle of the show, she is back to touring and having a large fan base. Her main competition in this is Juliette Barnes (Hayden Pennitiere) who is more of a teeny bop country star. I don't really know why I watch this since it is country music and well...it's country music, but it's actually pretty entertaining and the songs aren't too bad. Hayden Pennitiere actually sings well too and I'm surprised that she can pull off the Nashville accent since I was so used to her not having accents in any other movies/shows (ex. Heroes and Raising Helen). There are a lot of actors that I don't know, but I'm sure that majority of them are from other popular shows. I'm not sure how else to describe this show, but yeah it does focus a lot on Raina vs. Juliette and how screwed up Juliette is. It also focuses on the experiences of Scarlett, Gunner, and Avery (far left) as they try to make it big in Nashville. Just watch and I think you'll be able to see what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TV Show Reviews - Part 1

Since first year, I've started to become a TV junkie...like way more than I was even in high school. Now I'm actually dedicated to my shows and will watch them every week without fail (thank you 200+ GB of internet). My list is so long actually that I have to keep a list to keep track of the days and when shows are returning. My bookmark list is a little shorter since not all these shows are on at the same time :P I think out of the list, my favourite would have to be Supernatural. I started watching it when it was in it's 3rd season and am still watching it years later and in its 8th season :) It's about two brothers that hunt down supernatural creatures that keep killing random citizens. Unlike other shows, I don't feel like they're dragging this on and they always introduce great new characters and plots lines! Plus, who wouldn't want to watch these boys every week?

Anyway so in addition to this, there have been other shows that I've been watching since they started last year so I decided to review the ones I like most. This list includes: The Carrie Diaries, Elementary, Once Upon A Time, Revenge, and Nashville.

The Carrie Diaries is the prequel to Sex and the City and is based on the novel by Candace Bushell. Before this, I had already watched Sex and the City 1 and 2 then started watching the show (lol at my backwards watching). This started in January this year on CW but can be streamed on Rogers TV in Canada.The season 1 finale was last week, which made me go through Carrie Diaries withdrawal and sparked my interest to review it. The noteable stars of this show include Anna Sophia Robb, Austin Butler, Ellen Wong, Stefania Owen, Matt Letsher, and several others. To Coco: I think you would really like this show because it's all about fashion! Carrie always has really bold fashion choices, just like she does in Sex and the City. I especially love her pouffy dresses, they're always really pretty :D

The show centers around Carrie Bradshaw's beginnings and features her writing in her diary at the end of every episode, like how she writes in her lap top in SATC. The main plot is her living in Castlebury, Connecticut with her sister (Dorit) and father (Tom), 3 best friends (Mags, Mouse, and Walt), and boyfriend Sebastian Kydd, yet she constantly wants to be a city girl and always be in New York City. She ends up getting an internship at a lot firm there so gets to go once a week. That is when she meets Larissa, a fashion editor, and it just kinda goes from there. I think my main annoyances with this show are the on-and-off relationship with Sebastian (seriously a lot of their breakups were really lame) and the two characters Mags and Donna LaDonna (wow her name). Mags just has a really annoying face (featured in the left of the picture) and is a horrible person. Donna is Carrie's enemy and has the usual "bitchy popular girl" behaviour, but as with Mags, her face annoys me. Aside from these annoyances, it is actually a really great show, with ok acting, and interesting plot lines :) And of course, similar to Sex and the City, it features a lot of fashion and the trends from New York.

The next new favourite show is Elementary!!! It stars Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. This premiered in November on Global so it was one of the shows I was able to actually watch on a TV, which made it a more enjoyable experience :P It's always my go-to show whenever I have a break and will check for it every week. After this started, I found out that there was a BBC TV series from 2010 called Sherlock. I never read any of the books so I have nothing to compare it too, but I've heard that it is pretty accurate and close to the books. The format is 3 episodes that are all 1.5 hours long and 3 episodes in each season. There are only 2 seasons right now but the 3rd one is supposed to come this year. It features Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock  and Martin Freeman as Watson. So back to Elementary...after having watched Sherlock, I prefer this more! It might be because I'm not too into foreign shows, movies, or music but this one is just more easier to fall along to. They both feature the extremely complex deductive reasoning of Sherlock and them training Watson to be sidekicks. I know that people complained about Elementary changing Watson to a girl, but I really don't think it matters. Watson starts out as his sober companion in this show and then later helps him solve mysteries. The acting is great and I think this is the first time I've seen Johnny Lee Miller since his role in Hackers :P The crimes change every episode, so it always stays interesting and entertaining! I also love that Sherlock pretty much has no boundaries and will say anything haha.

This post is getting too long so I'll do Once Upon A Time, Revenge, and Nashville reviews next time!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

San Diego, Day 7

This was it, the last day of my vacation! It started off with the handmade breakfast again. This time I decided to be creative and made a star pancake, and a happy face :)

Today we decided to go to San Diego's Coronado Island. It is a bridge away from Downtown San Diego and apparently has one of the 'world's best beaches'. We walked back to the harbour and took a ferry there. Along the way, we saw more sea lions but sadly no dolphins :( The ferry ride is about 15 minutes or so and it wasn't as cold as the day before so I got to stand outside and feel a nice breeze! The ferry docked on some pier on the beach but there were only a few people there relaxing since it was too cold for suntanning and swimming. My mom and I just walked around a bit and we discovered that there were bicycles to rent so we decided to get one of those carts for two people to ride :D It costs $18 for an hour I think and looked something like this:

The island had a really long pathway (that probably went around the entire thing) but I think we only got through 1/4 of it before we decided to turn back. We had already made a bunch of wrong turns so that took out a bit of the hour :P Oh and I got to steer! It was a pretty cool experience but yeah takes too much concentration for me...After that we decided to eat at this Lil' Piggy's Bar-B-Q which seems like the type to have at rib fests. My mom had a pulled pork sandwich with corn and coleslaw while I had some sort of turkey sandwich with coleslaw. It was pretty good and was served with their 'famous BBQ sauce' :) We did more walking around to burn off the calories and looked at a bunch of the souvenir shops. I ended up getting this little glass bottle with some sand and shells that said 'Coronado Island' and this cool shot glass made in Mexico that had grooves for your fingers, but I ended up losing it after so :'( It was about $7 total, but still I wish I had them...Anyway on the other side of the island, there was this famous old hotel called The Hotel del Coronado. Upon looking at the map it appeared to be really far to walk since we were around 1st street and it was past 10th street, but one of the guys at the visitor's booth told us it was only 15-20 minutes walk so we decided to try it. After we got to 3rd street, we decided to stop because my mom thought it was taking too long/was too old and tired hahaha. We turned back and managed to catch the hourly ferry a few minutes before it left, so yay for that working out!

On the way back to the hostel, we stopped by the Horton Plaza which was guess what...all outdoors! The only weird thing about it is that it was about 5 levels, with half levels in between. And some of the half levels would reconnect to either the next level up or down, so it was a bit confusing to walk this :S There were a few chain stores like Sanrio, Gap, American Eagle, etc. but and a couple stores that were similar to what Forever 21 sold. Our luggage was already bursting by this time but I finally bought some clothes! We found this store called 'Q' which sold a lot of basics for really cheap...even cheaper than Forever 21. The thing that I remember most is that tank tops were only $2!! Too bad I had already stocked up on $4 ones. My mom ended up trying a bunch of things so while I waited, I noticed some stuff that I actually liked. One was this mint green top ($5.99) and the other was a thin black cardigan ($6.99). My mom got two tops and the total cost of all these things including tax was only $25! I love cheap basics :) After a few more stores, we decided to head back to the hostel to pickup luggage and head to the airport.

The airport in San Diego is actually pretty small! It's one of the ones that are small enough that the entrance is also where you collect your luggage. Reminded me of my beloved Winnipeg's airport...So unlike the flight to L.A., this one was much smoother lol, but still pretty long since this one had 3 planes. We first took a flight to Phoenix, with again no snacks :( damn U.S. Airlines. From there it was a flight to Cleavland and on the plane I actually talked to the person next to me! He told me he was heading back home from an interview and that he got the job in Phoenix so congrats to him lol. We talked for like 30 mins or so until it took off and we both fell asleep. I also noticed that a lot of people were actually talking to the people next to them, even though they were strangers, so maybe people from Cleavland are just friendly or something. After this, the next flight was straight to Toronto! Yay finally. This ended up being one of those really small people that suited 16-20 people, so that was a neat experience. This was only about an hour so we finally landed back home around 8 am I think. My dad picked us up and then my mom (being old) had to sleep for a few hours before I could head back to school. So that's about it, I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure in Los Angeles/San Diego :P For the next vacation, whenever it is, I will try to not write so much haha.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

San Diego, Day 6

Now for the San Diego part of my journey! Breakfast today was the pancake breakfast that the hostel provided (it was called USA Hostels btw). Since it was a hostel, we had to make our own pancakes, but that was a cool experience because it gave me experience with a gas stove. Initially I thought that the burners could only be on 'high' or 'off' but learnt the second day that it sort of functioned like a Western? stove and had 'medium' and 'low' settings too, it just didn't have any numbers on the nob. Because of my inexperience with these stoves, I ended up sort of burning my pancakes hehe...I also dropped pancake batter on the floor because I didn't realize it was one of those dispensers that just plopped the batter out of the bottom. Aside from the pancakes, the offered some bread, fruit, jam, butter, orange juice, coffee and maybe a few more things.

After breakfast and a shower, my mom asked the front desk people for some tips and we decided to go whale watching today! We walked for about 15 minutes to the shore area and bought the tickets. Since we had an hour or so to kill, we walked to this shopping area called Seaport Village. It seemed really small when I was there but I just checked the website and there are supposed to be over 50 store! From what I remember, there were a lot of souvenir shops (of course) and some food places. There was also this really cool shop that had handmade, customizable skin care products! They had over 100 oil scents that they could mix to make certain smells. Then they let you choose the product, the size, the smell, and even the colour. It was really nice to try the stuff but it was a bit too expensive. My mom ended up getting us these tiles made in Mexico with our unit number in some design but I don't think they've put them at home yet.

We ate some seafood for lunch since it was the harbour and so close to the sea life, so a lot of places sold seafood. I had fish & chips while my mom had fish tacos, delicious :) I forgot to mention, while walking along the harbour, I saw two stingray! It was probably weird that they were so close to the shore but oh well. There were also some school of fishes! One school was particularly dumb because they kept swimming to a certain point in the seaweed and then turn around, only to come back a few seconds later lol! It was just so stupid that I had to watch it for a few minutes to see how long it would go on for.

Ok now the whale watching! We took the Hornblower Dolphin & Whale Watching Cruise. This was 2.5 hours and I started off in the top deck at the front, but it got too windy and cold so I was a wimp and went back inside. On the way to the whale area, there were some sea lions resting on the buoys and I even saw a dolphin in the distance! Around 30 minutes into the cruise, someone radio-ed in that there was a whale sighting so we headed to that direction and watched for the 'whale spout'. The captain tried to angle the boat so that we would be able to see the whale better without the glare but somehow he ended up getting really close to it when it surfaced, probably about 15-20 metres close! My mom had the camera so the shots aren't that good, but it's okay :P Since we were so close, we had to wait for the whale to swim away a bit before we could go but we basically just kept circling it from a distance and switching spots with the other 3 boats for an hour or so. The whale spouted a lot but it never did the 'tail fluke' which is slapping the water with its tail or something. Because of this whale stocking, we never ended up going to see the school of dolphins that were there in the distance :(

After we went back to the dock, we went to their Union Station and took the trolley towards Old Town. These trolleys are really cool! They all look really new, open on both sides, and have cool buttons that will open the door! None of this weird 'wave hand' nonsense we have here. Old San Diego actually ended up being very interesting since it was yet again filled with tourists shops, which I enjoy :) It was more walking around a bit and then when it came to be dinner time, we found this cool little pub called O'Hungry's. The reason we went there instead of a restaurant was because they had a $5 dinner deal!! There were around 5 different dishes to choose from and I had spaghetti bolognese while my mom had some sort of fish dish. It was really good and such a good value! The atmosphere was also really nice as well because we came at one of the live entertainment times. Some man was performing songs with his guitar and they were ones easy to sing a long to so of course, every one did. There were also a bunch of people that got the 3-yard long beer so everyone in the restaurant encouraged them! It was one girl's birthday and she actually managed to drink the entire thing, I was actually quite impressed lol. I tipped the guy before we left and then we walked around another section of Old Town. This part was filled with Mexican food and shops and since it was sort of cold, they used fire and heaters to keep everyone warm! We walked around a bit and then went back to our area, Gas Lamp Quarters. The street that we lived on was even more alive than it was the night before! I got to walk around it and noticed that there were a ton of night clubs and bars but too bad I was with my mom and couldn't go to any :( So we just went back to the hostel and rested for the night, even though it was only 10:00 lol. T'was another night of smelly sheets, but at least this time my back wasn't hurting as much.

Los Angeles, Day 5

This day started off kind of weird because I woke up with this numbing back pain :S It felt like really horrible cramps but I knew they weren't. This kinda ruined my day but the plan was to go to Hollywood today so I just had to suck it up for the day. It was finally warmer today since the sun decided to grace us with its presence, but too bad this only happened on my last day in L.A.! We ate some sort of breakfast in the morning before checking out then headed to Hollywood via subway. While looking at the map, I noticed that 'Hollywood & Vine' came before the 'Hollywood & Highland' stop so I figured we could get off there and then walk along the Walk of Fame until we got to North Hollywood :) This ended up being a bad idea because my back was paining me so much that I barely wanted to walk, ugh. So we hopped back onto the subway since we had a pass, but at least we got to see the pretty subway station designs! The Hollywood & Vine station was designed with a lot of movie type decorations such as giant film canisters, a large old-fashioned recording sign, and the black boards. 

The North Hollywood stop was only 2 stops away and again I had already been here before so it was just some casual strolling again. We went around yet another outdoor mall thing (seriously why is Heartland the closest thing we have to this?). There wasn't really any special stores so I just went to Sephora to get some samples :D Something that was cool though was that they were preparing for the Oscars!!!!!! They had the red carpet all over and even part of the stage set up! Technically I got to walk on the red carpet :D It just happened to be covered with protective plastic..but you could still see the red through the plastic, and some parts partly uncovered. Since there wasn't much shopping to do, we grabbed some lunch and again I got Mexican food yummm! Sadly by this time, my back was killing me so much that I seriously needed some sort of pain medicatio. Since the Oscars was kind of blocking the street making it difficult to cross, we walked along Hollywood toward CVS Pharmacy. Unlike at Vine, there were a lot of stars from our time along this part of the Walk of Fame! My favourite of course was Johnny Depp so I took another picture even though I suspect I took one years before haha. This part of the Walk was also more fun since there were a lot of those costumed people that you pay to take pictures with :) Among them, there was like 3 Jack Sparrows, 1 Willy Wonka (Tim Burton version), multiple Catwomens, 2 Spidermans, and a bunch more that I forgot. Many of them looked pretty impressive but I wasn't sure how much they charged, so there's another thing I might save for next time!

We also passed by Grauman's Chinese Theatre which is where they hold a lot of movie premiers and also the place where all the stars put their hands and feet in the cement. When it's not being used for premieres, apparently it's just a regular movie cinema. This was an extreme touristy area but since it wasn't super warm, there weren't too many people there. There are usually so many people that you can barely take a picture of celebrity prints without getting someone else's body part in the picture :P After walking around and seeing the new prints (one of which was Twilight, ugh) I got enticed by these people in purple shirts advertising that their entire store was $5! It was just usual tourist items but at $5, it was probably the cheapest you could find at Hollywood. I initially wanted a shirt but no nice ones were left in my size so I got this really nice red Pashmina scarf for just $5! I think it was even the last one so good thing I went in there before we got to CVS :) Finally after those several hours of pain, I got to my beloved CVS and got some of those medicinal pain patches lol. I don't remember the brand but it was the one in a green box with some blue on it. Of course I had to put them on right away and it kind of made the pain better but it didn't entirely help. Since I was in so much pain, we decided to walk for a bit more and then go back to the hotel.

We were heading to San Diego this day and had planned on taking a 4:30 train or something but when we got to Union Station, my mom found out that there was a train leaving in 15 minutes so good thing we went early, or we would have had to wait an extra hour. The track we took was the one considered to be the 'scenic route' but it just looked like regular nature to me. This train ride was about 4 hours I think so we managed to get to San Diego around 7:30 due to time difference. We took a cab to a hostel and discovered that the area we were living in was the sort of bars/night club area! The hostel was even in the middle of this street with a door sandwiched into two other restaurants. Inside, it looked like it was in decent shape and was very colourful, which is why my mom picked it. The best part is that when I walked into the room, I said 'This is an Ikea room!' because everything, even the bedsheets, were from Ikea, our favourite place! Although the room didn't have a smell, the sheets did so that was pretty gross :S Anyway, after dropping off our stuff, we went to get some dinner and discovered that this area was probably the area with all the expensive restaurants. They weren't even that fancy, and most of them had menu items that were $25 - $60 -______- It took us a few minutes but we finally found a place that was a little cheaper but they said it would be a 20 minute wait (even though there were empty tables) so we just kept walking and ended up finding this nice (still expensive) Thai place :) My mom got the pad thai while I got some form of fried noodles. It was so really filled with vegetables but the taste was only okay. It was a nice short walk back to the hostel after dinner so it wasn't long before I got to rest in the bed and rest my poor back :P Too bad it had to be in on some really smelly sheets.

Friday, April 12, 2013

MAC Costmetics and Archie's Girls review + swatch

Today I will be reviewing all my MAC products: Studio Fix Powder Plus in NC 40, Brow Set, and my MAC Archie's Girls collection products.

The first review is for Brow Set in Clear. This is a clear gel that goes on to mold your eyebrows and cause the hairs to all go in the same direction. There is no scent to it nor is it very sticky. It actually has a nice cooling feel when you first put it on your brows. I bought to try to fix the fact that one eyebrow starts off more sparse then the other but that brow is too sparse for this to even move it :( This does help with the rest of the hairs and making them match direction though. I'm not sure if it's just me, but It costs $19 so I would have returned it, had I not lost the receipt and box :/ One main problem with it is that it gets murky easily. It may have been because I sometimes ended up touching skin the wand and I'm not sure you're supposed to :S Now I only use it when I'm at home (as opposed to on the bus) and have time because then I can rinse the wand to prevent it from going super gross. Here is what it is supposed to look and the next picture is how mine looks after about 1 month of on the go use:

The next product is the Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC40. I decided to try this after a few years of using Clinique foundation and I really love it! It seems to stay on my face for longer, and is a way better match. It blends into my skin very well also has a nice coverage. I also like that the sponge is in a separate compartment, which helps keep the mirror cleaner longer! What I don't like is that it is more bulky packaging since it is a circle and is a little "puffed up" looking as opposed to flat. My compact's latch already broke from me dropping it several times, but it still closes without there being any open gaps. This is apparently good for oily skin, but I'm sure it can easily suit other skin types. It still doesn't get rid of shine (I doubt any foundation on its own will), but I like it and will definitely by another one. Not sure if it will become my regular for the next few years, but it's a good candidate.


Now lastly, the part I know you've been waiting for, my Archie's Girls Collection products!!! These three items set me back quite a bit, but it was definitely worth it. The products I bought were: Betty's Lipstick in Oh, Oh, Oh;  Pearlmatte Face Powder in Flatter Me; and Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Swan. I love all these products!! When I went into Nordstrom, I only intended to get the facepowder but then I saw the lipsticks and eyeliner and wow they were so nice!! Turns out that I got all Betty's line products without even intending too :P

The first product for review is the Betty's Lipstick in Oh, Oh, Oh. MAC Cosmetics describes this as a 'Sheer brown plum' and I can't really think of a better description so let's go with that. It has a little bit of shimmer to it but this is not visible on the lips. It also comes out somewhat sheer as described, but I like it because it makes it look really natural. This lipstick also seems moisturizing and is not sticky at all! I'm not sure if all lipsticks are like that, because I've never had one before, but I like it :P It lasts for a good few hours but is not able to last through the test of drinking and eating. The tube is very sleek and portable and has Betty's face on it, so that's always a plus! Would definitely buy this again if it wasn't limited edition :( If I manage to find it not sold out somewhere, I will stock up!

The eyeliner I got was Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Swan. As the name says, it actually glides like a pearl! As in it goes on really easily and effortless. If you even just dab it on your hand, you'll get a nice opaque black circle. It is filled with glitter as well so it's not that good for everyday wear but when I wear it for special occasions, it stays on all night!  The glitter stays well to the eyeliner and does not come off on my face :) The only downside to it would have to be that the pencil is so soft that I've broken it twice already after sharpening so I expect a lot of wasteage. Next time it breaks off I might put it in a separate container and use it as a cream liner instead. The Archie's packaging is a limited edition but the product apparently is not so no need to stock up on this! I will probably try the permanent line in Black Line. It's supposed to be 'black with gold pearl' and also apparently has an olive tinge.

 Archie's Girls Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner

Now for my favourite (ok lies, I love all of them) the Pearlmatte Face Powder in Flatter Me. This is a really nice 'golden peach with coral hearts'. I'm not sure how to actually use this as a face powder so I just use it as a blush. It looks very natural on and is a good way to add just a hint of colour. As for the wear, it lasts really long! I remember putting it on in the morning around and it still being there when I got back in the evening! Similar to the lipstick, it has really sleep packaging and is actually flat, unlike my Studio Fix compact. And like the other two products, this is a special occasion makeup since I'm not sure how long they will be sold for.  I tried to swatch but it didn't end up so well but here it is anyway:

And before I go, here's the sample I got of the MAC Pigment in Kitchmas. This was when I intended to buy the full size but I asked for another sample and the employee accidentally spilled a great chunk of pigment :D I like applying it with water because that avoids the mess of loose pigments and ends up being a nice pale glittery eyeshadow. These last really long and I never have to touch-up when using MAC pigments!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Los Angeles, Day 4

Before I start, here is what I'm listening to while blogging courtesy of mishy: http://8tracks.com/danytargaryen/i-m-a-90-s-bitch

This was the day I was waiting for...Seoul Sausage day :D YAY. Ok so as you know, I first heard of them from watching The Great Food Truck Race. Throughout the entire race, they were consistently on top and seemed to be famous for their 'Kimchi balls' so of course I had to try them! Sad thing is, even though I knew I was going to L.A., I didn't realize they would be there until a week before, woops. I was with my friend at this European bakery place called Vincenzo's and I saw rice balls. They looked so good but then it hit me...Seoul Sausage is in L.A.!! This thought encouraged me to defer rice ball consumption until reading week :P

I forgot to mention in Day 3 but we checked into another hotel in the financial district of L.A. called Westin. It is supposedly a business hotel so it was very nice! My mom got a deal on some last minute travel thingy...name escaping me, so this ended up being cheaper than Miyako. The room itself was pretty small for a business hotel but it had a nice large desk facing the window for people to do their work. Also forgot to mention that before leaving Little Tokyo, we went lette to get more macarons! hehe this time it was: two violets, salted caramel, pistachio, passion fruit, and rose. So in terms of this area, unlike Toronto's financial district, there weren't as many food places and shops to go to :(

Alright now onto the day.. my mom had business to do yet again so I wandered around the hotel and bought myself an 'American breakfast'. We took the bus to Seoul Sausage in the afternoon so that we could catch lunch there and mm it was SO GOOD. We tried the Flaming Ball, Lil' Osaka Ball, and Galbi Sausage. The Flaming Ball was the kimchi ball which is what I remember many people liked in the food truck race, and it was amazing! I never had a rice ball before but it's basically rice rolled in a ball, coated with something, and then deep fried. This one was filled with kimchi and other awesomeness while the Lil' Osaka Ball was more of a curry one that had a bit of beef. The both came with dipping sauces as well, which was probably just different flavours of mayo, but still delicious. The Galbi Sausage was a Korean hot dog and according to their sign it has: kimchi relish and garlic Japanese aioli. It was also awesome as expected! hehe. It was made with pork I think but I set aside my hartred of that just so I could try it. After we finished it, I decided to get another Flaming ball LOL. The girl that took the order was nice enough that when I asked for stickers, she gave me three :D These are the stickers below and they use them to seal the wrapping on the sausages. While I was waiting for my food, she went outside to clean the table and ended up talking to my mom. She found out we was from Canada but that was kind of awkward because she knew I watched the show and one of the guys from the show was from there, but I did not talk to them because I didn't know their name :P I still don't know it actually, because I was just a fan of the food. So in terms of the 'restaurant' design, it's very small and just has a bit of standing area since it seems to mostly do take-out. There was nice artwork on the walls and the washroom had framed pages this article on the Seoul Sausage boys from this Korean magazine. They also sold this thing called 'boxed water' which was just water in a milk carton, but it was a unique idea. This is not my picture but pretty much sums up the experience.


The next stop was Santa Monica Pier! Unlike when I was there years ago, it was actually pretty cold and windy since this was technically winter for them too. This made it a lot emptier but it was still nice to just walk around and take some pictures of the scenery! I really wanted to go on the ferris wheel this time but it costs $5 per person and combined with the wind, it didn't look too appealing. Next time for sure I will try to go! Something else I want to go to next time is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory. It is a seafood restaurant combined with a souvenir shop that sold things that referenced the movie Forrest Gump. Since we had just had Seoul Sausage, it wasn't quite dinner time so no Bubba Gump for me :( After walking around for an hour or so, I bought this little set of turtle salt and pepper shakers that said 'Santa Monica' on them.

The last part of the day was devoted to shopping yet again! Nearby the Pier was the 3rd Street Promenade! It was yet another awesome outdoor mall but this was actually on streets instead of just some area. It was another chance for me to browse the many stores that we do not have but again, I did not buy any clothes. It was really nice too look at everything though and was a good way to test my self-control. We just walked around the shops until it started to get dark and since we lived quite far away. There had been a plan to go to Hollywood that day too but good thing we didn't because there ended up being so much traffic that it took more than an hour to get home! It was definitely worth it though since I finally got to go to my beloved Seoul Sausage :D

Two more things I forgot to mention, I ended up finding that red bag at the wholesale place! But this was actual handbag size instead of the other one that was messenger style. It was also cream coloured instead of white, but it was only $15!! Initially I didn't want it that day but my mom went back to the area today so I got her to get it! And one of these past days I went back to Shiloh and got the turquoise bag. Sigh I don't think it was worth $40 but I can't always use my mom's bags for work. Day 5 coming soon! 

P.S. Omg Seoul Sausage boys met Bobby Flay! Love him!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Los Angeles, Day 3

We started off this day fairly early as well with another "continental breakfast" ugh. After my strong desire to buy those two bags from yesterday, my mom decided to take me to the area where she looks at suppliers because there were a lot of wholesale places there. But first we had to go to the post office to deliver some package which turned out to be a complete fail since the supplier did not give any forms, so we had to repack and send it as a personal package instead :S The post office was kind of far from Little Tokyo but it was near our second hotel so she just checked in early and dropped it off. I got to walk around Walgreens and CVS while I waited and then we headed to the wholesale area. It was around noon so we got some Mexican food to eat first omnom. They had this sampler deal so I got a "naked borrito" and gumbo, delicious. When we got to the stores, first we walked around the children's clothes places first and there I found a place that was called "Kiddy" and had the letters in the same colour order as my parents' 'Kiddy Kidswear' sign did! LOL I told my mom that we could probably sue for defamation but we're not really sure who was the older company so she was just like "eh" and thought I was weird as usual.
After an hour or so of looking at children's clothing, it was time for the bags! That area seriously had so many stores that I lost track of how many I went into. Of course, I was on a hunt for those two bags or at least imitations of them because unlike Shiloh's price of $40, they would have been $10 - $40 for most of the bags at the wholesale stores. As my Accounting prof would say "That is a gooood deal." *in brown accent* This somehow bag hunt somehow lasted for about 3 hours and those 3 hours made me realize that a lot of people in the U.S. seem to like "blinged" bags. It wasn't for me so I ended up finding a random Asian place and got that mint green clutch. It was $26 after we bargained and my mom got this colourful flowery side bag (hard to describe) from there. Before leaving the area, we got a Tornado Potato lol! So good.

The next part of the day was more shopping! Yay. We went to The Grove and this was more of a commercial shopping area so a lot of chain retailers were there. This included Nordstrom, J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Barney's, to name a few. There was also a candy store and of course, I had to go there! I ended up getting some of the candy from the bins and also a Nerds Rope since it was one of the Valentine's sales candy. As for clothes, I did not get any since but I did get to go into MAC and see get my first glimpse of the MAC Archie's Girls collection!! They were all soo cool, but everything was sold out at the store :( But I ended up getting it all at Nordstrom so it all worked out haha. MAC shall be my next makeup review so I will go into more detail there. Another noteable stop was that they had a fresh store! Of course we don't have any so I had to go in and try stuff. I tried the Fresh Sugar Body Polish I believe and wow it made my hands so soft after! It's definetely not worth the $49 though because it's essentially a shit ton of oil and sugar, probably a few butters too.

The Grove area itself was actually really nice too and I liked that it was all outdoors. I'm not sure if Canada has a lot of these outdoor malls, but I like the concept! It makes it feel more relaxed and open. The only downside of the place was that the trolley was out of service :( They usually have a trolley that just goes along the pathway of stores but for some reason it wasn't working. We left sometime after I bought my Archie's and went back to do some last minute shopping in Little Tokyo since we were going to change hotels. My mom was still full (maybe we ate more than Mexican food, I forget) so I just got some takeout meal to eat. Day 4 is next and it was when we went to Seoul Sausage and the Santa Monica Pier :D

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, Mist & Fix, Buxom Lasliner Duo review + swatch

Since I have so little of these brands, I decided to just review both Make Up For Ever and Buxom brands. The first products will be MUFE Mist + Fix  and Aqua Eyes and then Buxom's Lashliner Duo.

The first MUFE product I bought was the Aqua Eyes eyeliner in Matte Black 0L. This was another one of my awesome Sephora Boxing Day deals! It was $12 when I bought it but the regular price is $20.


"An award-winning, waterproof, smudge- and fade-resistant eyeliner that doubles as a vibrant eye shadow."

Although I would never use black as an eye shadow, they do have some nice colours that I would try as an eye shadow. In terms of the product itself, I think it actually does meet the description! It does not give me raccoon eyes, stays on all day, stays matte all day and goes on really well. The application is only okay since it does not glide on too well, but it is really easy to get good colour. If this was on sale again, I would definitely buy it, but for $20 it's a bit too much. Here is a swatch of it, Aqua Eyes is on the top and Buxom Lashliner is below it.

As for the Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix, it supposed to be a setting spray and has generally good reviews but I don't think it's doing much for my super oily skin :( It does appear to keep makeup on a bit longer (maybe an hour or two) but it really doesn't do much for controlling shiny skin so I still have to revert to my blotting papers. The application isn't too bad though since it comes out as a fine mist. There is no smell to it and at first you will look dewy and sort of feel like you have hairspray on your face, but then it dries to be matte and non-sticky. I got the travel size for $11 to try but I ordered the Skindinävia spray so I won't be getting MUFE's full size spray.

"A light and comfortable spray that sets all types of makeup and prolongs hold, even under extreme conditions."

Lastly, the Buxom Lashliner Duo. This was also a $12 Boxing Day deal and came as a pack of the full size Lasliner in Sequins colour, a brush, and a bag for the brush. As you can see in the picture, it gives off as much colour as the Aqua Eyes, it just contains glitter as well. 

Buxom - Lashliner Duo

"Lash addicts beware: Buxom Lashliner is highly habit-forming. This may look like just a liner, but it's also a thickening and conditioning treatment that instantly takes the appearance of your lashes from hardly any to very many. This mineral-rich, paraben-free, whipped gel formula glides on like a liquid liner and dries to a long-wearing smudge proof eyeliner."

This is a gel liner and although I read reviews of it drying out, my pot is still fine. It is a little stiff to work with though so it takes some time. The brush is pretty good too but I think I prefer angled eyeliner brushes just so I can have a bit more control since this brush is too flexible. In terms of wear, it also lasts all day with minimal smudging on the lid. The glitter doesn't even show too much nor does it go onto your face. However when I tried to clean it off my hand, the Buxom Lashliner smudged when I was rubbing it while Aqua Eyes did not. Another problem with this liner is removing it; you end up getting glitter all over your eye area! This is fine when you're about to sleep but if you make a mistake while getting ready, I recommend fixing it with your fingers instead of removing it completely :P When it runs out/dries out, I won't be buying it in Sequins again but may try the other colours.

Los Angeles: Day 2

This day started off a lot better. I was woken up at 7 AM by my mom getting ready but it was still good. My mom started off her day by going somewhere for business purposes but I stayed in bed for another hour or so playing around on my beloved iPod. I went downstairs to get the 'continental breakfast' since it was complimentary but wow it sucked. This 'breakfast' consisted of 2 croissants with butter, orange juice or apple juice, a yogurt cup, and tea or coffee. I know it was free for me but they sell it to others for $5.99 and I would never pay that much for such a bad breakfast.. I did not like the lack of options for substitutions because some people like me are lactose intolerant (I suspected other guests were too since a lot were Japanese) so we cannot eat yogurt and then I also could not substitute the tea or coffee so I just drank the tea with an abundance of sugar added.

After that fail of a breakfast, I looked up some place that were within walking distance and decided to go to Weller Court Shopping Mall and Little Tokyo Mall. My journey started off with me trying to go to Weller Court reading my map wrong and going in the complete opposite direction, but that ended up being closer to Little Tokyo Mall so that worked out a bit haha. Of course it was still around 10 AM by the time I got there so many things were not open. I bummed around until around 11 and then debated between getting Cherry on Top froyo, Beard Papa, or green apple gelato. In the end I decided on Beard Papa but got the froyo like 20 minutes later lol. I like that they had a seperator so that your flavours did not mix and you were able to tell the difference between them :P I think I got watermelon, mango, and something else fruity. It was delicious and of course for toppings, i loaded it with boba! After my awesome sugary snacks, I went to the sort of cheap Japanese store that you can find in Chinatown that basically have everything. I ended up buying 2 sets of Korean spoons and chopsticks (1 for me, 1 for my friend) and they were actually from Korea and only cost $2.99! The utensils are just like the ones you find in Korean restaurants, i.e. chopsticks are somewhat flat and the spoon handle is long. My friend's set had clovers and said Lucky on them while mine had turtles!

I had enough time that I wandered over to Wellers Court. It is mainly filled with restaurants but had one store that sold cheap tshirts ($5.99) and other novelties. Then there was a grocery store that was basically half makeup/clothes and half food. I did not buy anything there but it was really nice to look at all the different Japanese food. It was like a blast from my trip to Japan 2 summers ago! It was also nice to just walk around the area too and I walked by some ramen place that had chairs that looked like ones from that you would find in a palace, soo cool. I headed back to Japanese Village Plaza (where I live). We had planned on eating at this ramen place that always has a line (at least 30 mins wait) and I was smart about it so I signed my name before going back to the hotel :) My mom came back 30 minutes later but we had just missed the call, however they still let us in since there were two seats at the bar. My mom said she liked it, but I'm not too into ramens or their soup bases so it was just okay to me.

After that late lunch, I believe we headed to the farmer's market to walk around. On the way there, I went into this nice little boutique called 'Shiloh' which I know now contains overpriced wholesale goods. I bought a wallet there for $12 which seems okay, however I saw the same thing in San Diego for only $10! and there's 1% less tax! Ugh so angered. This store also had this really nice red and white bag (sort of like colour blocking) and this turquoise bag, both were $40 each and I wanted them, but I decided to wait a bit to think it over. Also on the way to the market, we passed by this museum area and we saw this entire line of food trucks! There were at least 10 which included German food, sea food, fish tacos, and Mexican food. Totally would have eaten there if I had not just ate lunch :( There were also a bunch of gas lamps so I took pictures with those lol There was a lot of food at the farmer's market! My mom bought a "world's best coffee" which ended up not being so good and some dried fruits (including figs your favourite!) but I just saved my stomach for some dinner. This was one of those permanent farmer's markets so there were a bunch of food shops in it too. It all looked so good! and of course Canada didn't have any since we don't have high demand, sigh. After walking around for a few hours, we just went back to the hotel and wandered around Little Tokyo a bit more. I forgot what we ate, but it was probably something very asian lol. Now to remind myself, Day 3 was bag shopping and going to this plaza.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Los Angeles: Day 1

It just occurred to me that I never really told you about my trip. So I shall take a makeup break and blog about it, or at least what I can remember from it. I shall use my pictures to try and figure out my days. Maybe I will do 1 day per post since it seems like these posts will be long.

Day 1 - Flight
This started out horrible because (1) I had to wakeup at 4:30 in order to get to the airport by 5:30. The flight was supposed to be 6:45 am but because of some technical difficulties in New York, however it ended up coming at 8:30!!! Then we had a connecting flight from New York to L.A. and because of the first flight delay, we missed the connection. We went to get another ticket and were booked for the 1:45 one (it was like 12:00 when we got it). My mom and I ate some lunch then went to the gate at 1:00. We waited there for a while and by 1:20 we were like "Why didn't we board yet?" so we waited until someone came to the gate and they finally did at 1:45..turns out, the flight left without us!!!! Ugh they did not even make any proper calls or announcement so yeah we missed our second connecting flight. The next one was scheduled for 3:45 however the dickwad wouldn't put us on standby until literally 5 minutes before the flight. And that was only because my mom asked again after the last call. Thankfully we got onto that flight, however the crew was rearranging people on the plane and somehow someone ended up in my aisle seat!! I ended up being stuck with middle seat (the worst) but I'm pretty sure that I would have had my aisle seat if I got on the plane 5 minutes earlier because the person was just sitting down when I got there.To make it worse, the flight turned out to be almost 6 hours instead of the 4 my told me and since U.S. Airways is so cheap, they only made one drink run and did not offer snacks. By the time I got to L.A. it was about 8 p.m. their time but 11 p.m. EST. After finally arriving 4 hours behind schedule, we took the shuttle bus to union station and then a cab to our hotel. We stayed at Miyako Hotel like I did all those years ago so I was in Little Tokyo again :) We quickly went to go get some dinner in the village and I go my favourite, udon (with mochi which tasted interesting but still don't like the chewiness) and my mom got some mixed seafood rice that had sea urchin. After eating, it is where I discovered lette and the awesome macaroons!! I got: violet, rose, pistachio, passion fruit, raspberry chocolate and earl grey. Violet was my favourite! According to the website, it is filled with fig jam, yum! Lastly, we just walked around the little shops that were filled with pastries and asian cosmetics. Also went to the grocery store to buy water and I don't remember the brand, but unlike Canada, the U.S. seems to promote Fiji water and this other volcano water I tried. My mom liked it, but I didn't really notice a difference, Fiji is still the best to me :P To summarize, the first 16+ hours of the day were horrible but the night was better.

 P.S. I'm in music class and my professor just said another German word almost fluently. I suspect she is either bilingual or just rehearses a lot.
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