Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jinya Ramen - Studio City

Thanks to Universal Studios Annual pass, I found this little ramen gem!! We were in line for the studio tour and I was just yelping for dinner ideas. It was a strange chilly day last saturday and I really wanted something warm. So I yelped Ramen. The first restaurant was Jinya Ramen. It's 4 stars with over 700 reviews. The pictures and reviews looked good, so my adventurous tummy was all in.

We got there around 6pm and there was a few parties on the waiting list ahead of us. I'd say we waited a total of 15 minutes? I religiously studied the menu boards while I waited. There's basically two types of ramen - pork based soup with/out miso or spicy and chicken based soup with/out spicy. Then they have a list of sushi rolls and appetizers - a little fusion I think. I stuck with the basics - original pork ramen and an order of takoyaki. It's always fair and safe to keep it simple at a new restaurant. In my opinion, takoyaki's are a great way to grade authenticity too. He got the spicy pork ramen at the spiciest level? Hot? High? 

Drum rolls for takoyaki - 7 pieces for $4.80 - piled high with bonito flakes and green onions. OMG. These were fantastic !!! They have taken Tamaya's numero uno spot. Golf ball sized, cripsy on the outside, mushy on the inside with two big pieces of octopus. 

Pork Ramen - I think the real name is Tonkotsu ramen, can't remember now. I chose thin noodles - think shin-sen-gumi but very al dente. Next time I'll try thick noodles. Soup - excellent, so rich and almost creamy because of the collagen. Oily, but not the slather your lips with butter kinda oily. Caution - if you take it home and put it in the fridge, the amount of hardened lard may be a bit alarming. 

I won't really comment on the spicy one. But I was told - spiciest / hot / level 10 gave a spicy kick on first taste, but dies down. Spiciness is hard to judge though... I think the only thing we ever agreed on was Crybaby pizza that used ghost chili. 

* Don't forget to ask for fresh garlic.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lorac Pro Palette

I've never noticed the Lorac Pro palette until recently... but I'm glad I did because I really really needed another palette! Actually, I almost got the Smashbox palette but after reading reviews and comparisons, I settled for the Lorac.

Honestly, I've never really been a big fan of Lorac. The only Lorac product I have is the trio baked eyeshadow thingy... which I got for my birthday a long while back. I think it was called starry lights or nights? I used to use it religiously because the colors were black, silver, and bronze... but the panda eye thing didn't work out too long. 

But this palette is different! I swear! It has 16 shadows inside a sleek black palette with magnetic closure. I think beauty companies are starting to think like cellphones; the thinner, the sleeker. Now I'm more tempted to travel with Lorac Pro then the Naked 2 or the boxy Clarins Essential. Smart, Lorac. 

Overall, a very versatile palette, there's several neutral matte browns, a few light pink/champagne highlighters, and a matte black, shimmery purple and slate. I think my favorite is the gold shadow. These shadows can be used wet or dry. I have noticed fallouts even after I've tapped my brush to get rid of any excess. Plus, I don't like how it gets the palette messy with little bits of shadow. I guess these are a bit chalky and probably best used with a damp brush. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Universal Studios Hollywood, Minion Mayhem Pre-ride show

The Minion Mayhem ride is debuting at Universal Studios, Hollywood soon in April! They've started offering preview rides for annual pass holders this weekend. So, today, I got to try out the ride and was able to get the film they show before we got on the ride. No film/photos allowed during the ride.
We were the last in our row, so I had to film from afar...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Benefit Show Stoppin Steal, steal at Ulta

Was at Ulta benefit brow bar when I eyed this 3 piece kit by Benefit. It includes one lipstick in Lady's choice, lipgloss in Wild Child, and eyeshadow in Dandy Brandy. All three are full-size (?) and only... $18! A steal or what, right? Usually each individual product costs $18. So, this is like buy one get two!? The colors are all usable and pretty.

The lipstick - Lady's Choice is a nice nude pink color that won't make you look sick! I've never owned a Benefit's lipstick before, but this is a creamy formula that won't make your lips feel dry or heavy.

The lipgloss - Wild Child is a shiny pink-violet gloss - goes on like lavender, but it's a bit sticky but quite long lasting, that is of course if you don't eat or drink. No hair stuck to my lips yet, but obviously it's never that windy in LA.

The eyeshadow - Dandy Brandy - a typical bronzy medium brown color. Very much like Snakebite in UDNP2, #9 in Clarin's The Essential Palette, and the medium brown in Chanel's Romantic Destination Palette. This is a velvety shadow that glides on smoothly. Color payoff much better than Chanel's (sheer) but not as intense as Snakebite. It's a lighter day time, less sparkly, in your face, brown shadow.

I purchased this last Wednesday, so it's almost been a week. Still available online at Ulta and probably in stores.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nano Titanium by BaByliss Pro - Ionic Dryer and ConiCurl

During my last trip to Vegas, we stayed at the Mirage Hotel and they had the Nano Titanium Hair Dryer by Babyliss in the bathroom. The first time I used the dryer, I thought it was amazing! It took less time to dry and hair is much smoother and straighter without even using a brush.

So, on my recent trip t oTJ Maxx, I found this Babyliss Pro gift set on clearance! It was $49.99 and includes the ionic dryer and a conicurl. It was such a good deal that I couldn't pass up. I only wish it was a plain black. I like leopard print but it's a bit too much on a hair dryer. Plus, it makes it difficult to see the power setting buttons. There's a cool button, a low, med, high heat button, and a low, med, high speed button. Overall, I'm really pleased with the dryer, it's light weight but sadly, the cord is not retractable! For a lazy person like me, that's kind of a must... Too bad, I'll have to take the extra time to coil the cord. 

As for the conicurl, I think it works well. The buttons are hard to see because they are so small and blend in to the leopard print. I also wish they provided a glove. I'm not so good with curling wands. 

This set is available on amazon still, for around $79.99

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beauty Bargaining! Tarte Haul

So I've been wanting to get some products from Tarte. Specifically the Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation and the Amazonian clay waterproof brow mousse. I've tested them out at Sephora to find the correct shade. I was going to purchase them in store, but seriously the one I went to, I was pretty much ignored by all the sales associates. So, I went home, went through my Chase rewards mall and got extra 2% for my purchases at Sephora! (I swear I got 5% back for my last purchase...) I also have a 20% off code from So, I decided to browse around on both sites.
In the end, this is what I bought - from Sephora, I got the brow mousse and coral crush (Tarte's eye and cheek palette), and from, I ordered the fair-light honey foundation and the buffer (airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush). Online shopping is great, especially if there's free shipping and samples!!

They actually have a bamboo kabuki brush paired with the powder foundation, but I chose the buffer because it's more versatile and I can use it for other foundations. The brow mousse comes with a brush/spoolie, so that's nice!

Tarte offers free shipping at $40 and it's pretty quick, I got mine within 4 days of ordering by Fedex.
Sephora ships through UPS and VIB gets the 3 day shipping, so Sephora's arrived first.

I love the packaging of the coral crush palette. I picked this over the new palette because it has blush, highlighter, and bronzer, plus 6 eyeshadows. The palette in store has 8 shadows and one blush?

My first tarte product was actually the eyelash curler. I never really tried their product, but I got really curious after seeing Essiebutton's review on the whole brand. Plus, I've been wanting a foundation that doesn't require me using my fingers/hands. I'm that lazy, yes. This mineral like powder is perfect, I just dab my brush in and blend it over my face. No squeezing a tube or spilling foundation and no messy fingers! It will feel like you are not putting anything on your face and you might need to use more if you want more coverage, but I think as it settles and mixes the oils/primers on your face, it smooths itself out and it just looks like skin.

The buffer brush is nice and soft, nothing much to complain about as it holds the powder well and blends well.
The brow mousse is nice too, even though I have to use a brush and open the pot. I've tried pencils but just don't work with my brows. I use medium brown and it gives a subtle fill without making me look crazy.

The coral crush palette is adorable! There's a gold starfish on the cover and the colors are great. The blush and bronzer are really pigmented. I don't really like the shadows textures, it's not very fine and the sparkling ones get everywhere. The eye shadows are alright, you get three neutral colors (one being matte brown - which can probably be used on the brows) and one lilac and one light pink highlighter. The light colors look lovely on the palette but are really light and don't transfer well onto my skin. I really don't think I need another palette, but I thought if the colors work out, I'll use this as a traveling palette, I'm always lugging around a naked2, blush, bronzer, highlighter and they take up a lot of space. So if one stone can kill four separate products, sure why not... I'm sure I'll still end up bringing some other blush/eyeshadow. Ha.

Speaking of eyeshadows, I've been eyeing the Smashbox Full Exposure palette, it's sooo pretty! Definitely on my wish list.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gloomy Sunday Brunch at Twin Palms, Old Town Pasadena

Originally wanted to have brunch at Green St Tavern, but after parking, we walked by Twin Palms Restaurant and Lounge and decided to try their sunday brunch buffet instead. It's a contemporary restaurant with giant sails covering the outdoor seating area. The restaurant is very spacious, clean, and well organized with heat lamps in case it gets cold. What I don't get is the older man singing and playing the guitar with the TinTin movie on a screen in the background.

The buffet is $20 per person, $40 if you want mimosas. It was a little chilly and gloomy today, so we went for tea and coffee (included in the $20, surprisingly). Food for the buffet: omelette station - servers can order and bring to you, well that's what my server offered us, potatoes with red peppers and onions, sausage, bacon, waffles with strawberry and cream, oatmeal with assorted sides, fruits and muffins. 

Not a lot of choices, but everything's delicious. The waiters and busboys are spot on with service. I think I will be back for lunch sometime, but probably not the brunch buffet. There's only so much breakfast food I can stuff in my face. A La Carte will do for me! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bargain Hunting at Desert Hills Premium Outlet

Took the luxury of a day off and the President's Day sale to do some bargain hunting at the outlets in Cabazon. It's about an hour and a half drive, but who cares because that's the only outlet with an All Saints store! I've been on the hunt for a good leather jacket, because my faux leather one finally ripped, I left it in my car on a hot day and it... melted?

First of all, Desert Hills is doing some major construction work! The East wing that used to have the parking spaces in the center is now gone. They are building more shops there. Not sure why, as I've noticed some shops have closed down. Even All Saints moved to the West wing already... It's important to do your homework or check the store map before you walk around the whole East wing only to find out that your store has moved to the West. I walked past Tory Burch and there was a line to get in. Not sure if they are just short staffed and wanted to control traffic or they are doing it on purpose to lure people in... The usual lines at Coach disappeared, I guess people has finally moved on!

Anyways, back to what I bought. I didn't go in too many stores, just the ones with things I already had in mind of getting - Converse, All Saints, AX, and Armani.
1. Converse - I got some Made for Chucks only socks!!!! These socks are the best and they truly don't show around the ankles. These came in a pack of 6 in blue, grey, and white for $11. So cheap!!! Not sure why the 6 pack of whites costs $2 more??

2. All Saints - Everything in store had an additional 20% off. I got a grey/light grey tshirt dress with one side of the hem shorter, so it creates a drape from the hip. I think it's the left side... Overall, it's a cute drapey top/dress for. I also got a leather jacket! There weren't a lot of choices, especially black ones. So I settled for a dark brown and I'm happy for now. It was at a great price too! I think, in the end, it was about $150. I really like the quality of All Saints clothes and shoes. I have a few pairs of their leather heels and this is my first leather jacket from them. Not really sure why I need a real leather jacket... winter is not even that cold here and it's almost over :P I just found online that they are selling this exact same style in BLACK online. It's the  Belvedere Jacket. I'm more into the biker style... like this one Cargo Leather. I'm still on the look out for one, not one compares to the faux leather one I got from TJ Maxx a few years ago! Even though it wasn't real leather, it was a great fit and style.

3. Popped into Giorgio Armani because I saw online they were having 70% off all shoes. 70% off!! I remember they once had a 90% off shoe sale. That was heaven! This year, I was so lucky to spot a pair of sandal heels on clearance, so that's more than 70% off! It's so pretty in grey suede and leather. Probably 4 inches tall and very comfy for a skinny heel. A total bargain from the original $750 price tag, I got these for ~$90!!! I love buying things that are (way) past season but still look great in your wardrobe!

That's all from this trip. Pretty satisfied, hopefully next time I head out there, the construction will be done.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bargain Hunting = Hunter - Romilly

We are in a drought here in California, why on earth did I just buy a pair of Hunters you may be thinking. Ah ha, these are Hunter flats - Romilly, not the heavy duty rainboots. Still... I know the chance of wearing these plastic flats are close to none. But they were on sale at Nordstrom Rack! 60% off! They were only $30 and in such a pretty coral color (Flame)!!! Oh, how I wish it would just rain now.

I have a pair of Crocs rainboots that I've worn once in the rain and a few times cleaning the shower, so when I saw these shiny jelly flats, I knew that if it was to just drizzle ever so slightly, these would be perfect instead of pulling on some big old black rainboots. 

They have a range of colors - yellow, neon yellow, baby blue, grey, and this orangey "flame". I picked flame because it's like a bright coral color that adds a nice touch with any color jeans. These feel comfy, very flat, but they do make a low squeaky sound when you walk... kinda like air being puffed out of ... something plasticky... you get the idea? It doesn't bother me so much. Plus, these are light to carry for traveling. 

I'm not sure if these are everyday flats or just rain flats. Obviously no one would want to wear flats when it's raining. I'm sure if it were to pour, my feet would be soaked through. Maybe these are beach flats? garden flats? Oh, the possibilities! For now, I'll stick with occasion flats, after-rain flats, and sun-shower flats! See, so many uses, I knew these were a bargain!

My first Hunter... flats.