Sunday, August 31, 2014

End of summer 2014

This is my friend's dog picture above. But that's exactly how I feel about this past summer coming to a close. I'm honestly sad to see this summer go! I'm going to miss hanging out with friends and visiting places. It always seems that in retrospect, the summer seemed too short no matter how long it actually was. (4 months.)

Something I noticed with college summers are that May is spent being absolutely lazy. You're home, eating, catching up on TV shows, and NOT unpacking. You're also slowly waiting for all your friends to make their way back from home. Then June/July is spent working, interning, and volunteering. Everyone gets caught up in something else whether it's family related or their juggling different schedules. August then rolls around and everyone panics and starts to hangout. Then before you know it, everyone's setting off for Fall.

So I guess, here's to another year at school!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Exploring central park

I was in need of an adventure. So Mark and I decided to take on the streets of New York City, yet again. But the city has yet to dull with each trip. We set off first to SoHo. We went in the little shops and walked around for a bit. Easily arguing over when to cross the streets in our attempt at becoming skilled and natural New Yorkers.

I was treated to a lovely lunch at macbar which is absolute heaven if you're a mac'n'cheese fan. They offer an assortment of mac'n'cheese in different flavors. It's the best place to get your favorite kind of comfort food. But if you plan on eating here, make sure you call in and get your order in early! Otherwise you might have to wait 15-20+ minutes.

After getting food, we headed to the upper east side where we visited this cute little bakery right after Park Ave called Bel Ami. I googled this bakery because I'm always craving macaroons as a small dessert when walking in the city. I got Jasmine, Green Tea, and Lavender&Honey flavors and the green tea was my favorite! Macaroons are so good.

We walked a couple blocks to Central Park where we visited the Central Park Zoo for the first time! I was kind of impressed by this little monkey I have pictured below haha. We grabbed from yummy dippin dots and enjoyed the rest of our stay from there. A lot of the zoo was still under construction which kind of made the zoo a little smaller than it is usually.

Boy, do I love the city.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

End of summer street fairs

I love street fairs and sort of public festivals that include free admission, food vendors, and small independent retailers that you can negotiate prices with. It's a great way to discover and support small businesses that are trying to get their name out.

This weekend I decided to visit a local street fair with a couple of friends. We found a really good local Italian ice place that had over 80 flavors of ice and we also spotted some cute vendors. One was a business that sold preservative-free doggie treats that look like real human food like empanadas, personal pizza pies, and tacos. At another vendor, my friend was able to find a pocket watch with the mockingjay symbol on it which true Hunger Games fans will find very symbolic.

It was a cloudy morning but a beautiful sunny afternoon. Afterwards, we spent some time outside enjoying each other's company.

With perfect weather and good company, who doesn't love a good street fair?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The importance of seeking adventure

I'm usually not one to step out of my comfort zone. But when it comes to finding cool local eateries and finding new parks - I'm your girl. I respect the self-proclaimed hermit as much as the next person. But I don't think it would hurt to explore a new little area time to time. Here's why:

  • GETS CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING // Now there's no exact scientific reference that I can cite right now that can prove me right. But I do believe that placing yourself in a place you have never seen before can get your creative juices flowing. Seeing new cafes, street art, and simple house architecture can inspire you. It can give you an idea of what you like and what you don't like. You can see for yourself what makes that city or town you're visiting unique from any other town. You can find local shops that sell things only characteristic of that town whether it be local foods or handcrafted jewelry.
  • BUILD AWESOME CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS // Placing yourself in a new town can be daunting to people because of the obvious fear of getting lost. So you're hungry; where is the best place to eat? So you need to get from point A to be point B; what is the best mode of transportation: foot, train, or car? I admit it can get a little dangerous. But the more often you place yourself in this kind of situation the more quickly and cunning you will get at adapting to a new place. You'll suddenly remember where the last bus stop was on your walk down the street and you'll realize that getting around in a new place isn't that bad. 
  • FINDING AMAZING FOOD SPOTS // The only way of finding the best local eateries is by trying them. Googling the best places to eat will only get you so far. The best place to eat anywhere is that small shack on the corner of the street in a semi-hidden part of town. Then after you find the spot, you can Instagram and show-off to your loyal followers how awesome the food is. (This also helps support local businesses. Yay!)
  • MAKING MEMORIES WITH FRIENDS // Adventures are ALWAYS more fun if you're with your friends. And if you're with someone else, exploring a new place won't be as scary anymore. Exploring can be a great weekend activity with a group of friends and it can easily make it into your Facebook summer picture album. 
  • MAKES YOU MORE CULTURAL // Even though your adventure of choice might mean exploring the next town over from where you live, that still can make you a little more cultural than you were before. Cultures can vary town to town and even within towns - especially in cities. The slang might change, the population changes, and the weather might be different. Either way, experiencing a new place with new people can be added to your cultural repertoire which is always a good thing. It makes you more open minded and more relatable. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Beach Day Essentials 2014

Last weekend, I traveled to the beach with my family. I don't go to the beach often, but when I do it's mostly for relaxation and family time. I realized my blog suddenly became strictly a photo blog and so I decided to change it up a bit and share some tips!

  1. SOMETHING TO READ // I always try to bring something to read whether it's my kindle, an actual paperback, or some magazines I can flip through. I'm more of a tanner/lounger when I'm at the beach and even though it's pretty scenic and you can people watch, I like to have something in front of me when I need a distraction from looking at peoples' incredibly red skin. In the pictures above I'm reading Eleanor and Park which is a pretty cute story and an easy read which was perfect for reading at the beach.
  2. SUN PROTECTION // As if media and health professionals don't stress enough, we all need sunscreen. No matter what skin color or how high our "sun tolerance" is. I like to use Coppertone spray on sport and I use a face specific sunscreen to apply on my face. It's important to apply it at least every hour when constantly exposed to the sun. Something I like to do is when I'm tanning and I see that my skin is getting red, I sit in the shade for a bit before I set out in the sun again. I noticed that this prevents my skin from getting too much sun at a time. I also like to bring a hat with me so that the sun doesn't beam down on my face constantly. Eyes are also important so make sure you wear your sunnies! But be wary of that sunglasses tan!
  3. FOOD & WATER // My mom usually takes care of this part but it's important to bring healthy food! But I'll admit that I do bring junk food... Some friendly beach snacks are sliced fruit and granola bars! Chia bars are my favorite! And don't forget your water!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Caffe Bene

Last weekend I spent some time trying out a new cafe with a friend called Caffe Bene. I'd say their strawberry waffle was really yummy, especially their chocolate syrup. It was delectable with every bite. I didn't personally try any thing else on their menu yet except for this waffle. But the cafe had a good assortment of different kinds of coffees, smoothies, bubble tea, desserts, and Korean desserts. The atmosphere of the cafe was great and made me feel like I walked onto the set of a Korean drama.

Catching up with a good friend always rejuvenates me in a way. It reminds me that sometimes I can easily forget how blessed I am to have what I have when I get caught up in the things I don't have. I think it's important to have valuable friends that you know are worth keeping. The ones that keep you grounded and that you know you'll never get tired of.

S/O to you Alex because I know you'll be reading this. You're the best. :)

During this tete-a-tete, I realized there's something great about the act of spontaneity. Sometimes the most random of acts are worth doing especially if it means it'll make someone's night.

Always Tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hello August!

I've made a couple posts before on my Asian snack hauls and here's another one. These are some really popular snacks that I've seen a couple people buy and decided to try some for myself. The panda cookies are a little too sweet for my liking but then again I don't exactly have a sweet tooth. I did like the matcha flavored Pocky. But then who doesn't love Pocky?! 

This past week, I was able to attend a free Moroccan food festival where I tried Moroccan food for the first time! I wish I took a picture of the things I tried but it was absolutely delicious! They had some really yummy drinks too which included this mint green tea that was really refreshing before it quickly got that watered down flavor when the ice melted. I also got into the Moroccan spirit as picture above haha. 

Right now there's this huge trend where Birkenstocks are becoming the "IT" sandal of the summer. I do like the visual concept of the Birkenstocks but not so much the actual shoe. They're too wide and although they may be quite the comfortable shoe, I think it can easily make a dressy outfit look too casual. So I opted for these brand new sandals I happened upon at a local Nordstrom Rack. I got it for the unbeatable price of $24.95 when they're still being sold at Nordstrom! They're around $44 I believe but they're discounted to around $30 because of the Anniversary Sale that they currently have going on. I like these sandals a lot more than the Birkenstock because these still have those thick straps but it's a dressier variation which I think suits my style.