Thursday, June 30

Wet n Wild French White Creme

I got this because I needed a white to do some nail art with. It's really an incredibly useful color. With Wet n Wild's sale about a month ago, I picked this up for 69 cents! 

I really wish I opened the cap before I brought it, because the brush has one stray hair. It's very annoying. Be sure to look at the brush before you buy polish! I sure will next time. The white is very much a creme and it's quite nice. The only problem I have with it is its opacity. It's a white, so I don't expect it to be a one-coater, but it seems like it needs four to five coats because the formula is so runny. 

I'm becoming a little bit disenchanted with this Wet n Wild brand.

Tuesday, June 28

A balanced meal.

Alright, not as much balanced in diet as ... I balanced it on a plate. But look, I balanced it on a plate!

So let's go over what's here. 

The Soup.This was a from the can soup. Only, it was from a carton. After reading several blog posts on butternut squash, I really wanted to try it in soup form. I got something from Trader Joe's and I tried it. Unfortunately, not a fan. I put tortilla chips in it to make it tastier though. After more sodium... it was good.
The Steak.I was proud of this one. I used a pre-prepared sauce and marinated it for half an hour. I think when we put it on the heat, we cooked it for a tad too long and it was a little dry. Ultimately though, it was well-done and yummy.
The Tortellini. This was store-brought as well. I just wanted sides for my steak meal. Dropped this in water and boiled it. I'd never had tortellini before this meal.

Monday, June 27

New Feature: My Life is Average Mondays

Partly because of how busy I've been and party because of the fact that the six month honey moon period with my blog is over, I wanted a little change. 

To be honest, I've been wanting to do a weekly feature forever. But I couldn't think of one. Some seemed like too much work and I knew that I couldn't keep up. Others...seemed kind of lame. Plus, I didn't want to take anyone else's ideas. I wanted to find something to call my own. 

So, I'd like to proudly present my new feature. It's called My Life Is Average Mondays. The feature is inspired by MLIAM is basically one, or more events that happened to recently. It's an attempt at making this personal blog slightly more personal. 

So to start off...

After I posted about never having seen Lord of the Rings, everyone rushed to tell me that  I should watch it. I did.

One of my favorite scenes was this one:

And my favorite character was Samwise!

A few of his quotes were just... amazing.

"I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you."

"Mr. Frodo, wake up... Don't leave me here alone. Don't go where I can't follow..."

I liked these movies and I'm pretty excited for the Hobbit! Benedict Cumberbatch is going to voice Smaug, the dragon!

Saturday, June 25

Tiger Mother: Now with a video clip!

This is the third post in a series based on Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and my developmental psychology project. See this post for the introduction and this post for the first update to six years old. Before I get into my project, I want to share a video clip I saw on the Frisky. Read the next paragraph after you watch the clip. It's pretty interesting.

I have to say that this is completely unheard of. I don't know of one Chinese parent who speaks to their child in English. In addition, I really despise the television station that does this. They rely on "gotcha" moments (to take a phrase from Sarah Palin) and shock to make for entertaining television rather than a realistic study. In my opinion, it's no better than reality television.

But in terms of my project, let's pick up from when Marilyn's 8 years old! The first thing that I'm told is that my partner and I are arguing more frequently. Honestly, I'm upset. From my point of view, I don't remember falling in love with the guy or "what I ever saw in him", literally. I kind of want to divorce him and get it over with. However, I recognize that this is an extremely selfish point of view. Children are such a big responsibility. Is there any greater endeavor than to support and raise a child? This point reinforced the view that I will not have children until I know I can take care of one. Not until I can put someone's needs above my own. 

Marilyn's a pretty good kid. She usually finishes her homework and chores, and only occasionally forgets. I don't blame her too much. When I was a kid (and to a degree, even in my teens), I was never under any pressure to do housework. I was expected to maintain a clean bedroom, but I never had to cook, or take out the trash, or do dishes, or clean other rooms. This fits in with the traditional idea that a student's responsibility is to study, but I don't know if it's the right decision overall. At times, it made me feel like I was entitled, being served. For some reason, now that I live alone, I can do all of these things. ...But I still feel like it's a pretty big risk, sending a kid into dorm life without these essential skills. 

One of the important things that the program focuses on is health and exercise. During my childhood, this was never a focus. My daughter,  Marilyn, enjoys tennis and volleyball, which is much more than I have enjoyed. She's actually a bit of a tomboy. While I hung out with boys, I spent time with boys who were not into sports. I still hang out with that kind of boy.

Marilyn's been taking piano lessons and she sings as well. She wants to be a part of the instrumental music program at school and wants to learn another instrument. The options are: violin, clarinet, saxophone, and flute. Guess which one I choose. Just guess. Violin. Duh. I've played the violin myself and while I'm against the idea of forcing my child to play something, I have the philosophy that if you expose your child to a variety of activities, he or she will find their talent and their interests. 

In school, she's fantastic at math and science and does decently in language arts but doesn't do any extra assignments. ...She's starting to sound like my little brother. I've always loved writing. I remember keeping a diary in my middle school years detailing when I woke up, the fact that I played on the computer, accompanied my mother to the grocery store and hung out with friends. ...Yeah. I tweeted long before Twitter was a thing. Does this make me a social media hipster? Anyways, it seems I've derailed. I suggested that Marilyn write a diary to improve her language skills, but it didn't help.

Then at age ten, life events have promoted me to regional director at my job. This means that have less time to spend at home. I'm not sure how to deal with this or how to handle it. I love advancing my career; it's how I measure my success. At the same time, I know that there will have to be a time where I choose my family over my career. I guess... it's a time of personal sacrifice. Whenever I'm ready for it.

Then my husband and I separate. It was a long time coming and although I felt happiness at the time... it just feels petty in hindsight. The children aren't really affected, but Marilyn seems more clingy. 

Marilyn is doing well in math, even in classes above grade level. I get her more books to practice, like my parents did with me.

When Marilyn's 12, my husband and I finally divorce. He still lives in the town and we share custody. I've never been in or seen this kind of relationship so it's a bit strange to me. However, they don't mention it much in the remainder of the program. 

Marilyn still makes me proud in school. She's talented musically, socially and mathematically. However, there's still that writing... She's not great at it. 

Then comes the fun part. She starts experiencing... puberty! Marilyn's moody and sometimes comes home from school and shuts her door. Honestly, I was incredibly stubborn in my teen years and even now. Usually, I'm pretty easy going but if you grate on my nerves, as my mother is prone to do, I ... will leave the situation. Marilyn is also going off about hotties at her school (at age 12!) which I never did. She's also complaining about her weight. I might have been a late bloomer but I did not care about that type of thing then. I was a rather existential 12 year old. 

In addition to this type of physical, hormonal growth, she also grows up intellectually, becoming interested in current events, an interest I strongly encourage. She starts collecting pictures and building her identity. 

Her grades drop in 6th grade. Cue freaking out from the other side of the screen. She gets Bs in English, Social Studies and Spanish. I don't want to be shallow about grades, but I don't really remember anyone who did that badly in middle school. In the big scheme of things, no, it's not bad. In college, I get Bs all the time. Sometimes, I'm thankful to get them. Those grades in middle school though? I was getting worried.

At the end of this period, I am more or less reflecting about how quickly she grew up. One moment, I was worrying about her sleep cycle and the next, I'm worrying about who she's sleeping with. Even though this is an accelerated program... kids sure do grow up fast.

Thursday, June 23

Covergirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner and Maybelline Volum' Express

Remember how I was on an eyeliner search? It continues.

For eyeliner, I got Covergirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner. Which was none of your recommendations. I know. I know. If it excuses me at all, this is actually a backlogged post and I got this eyeliner before my first eyeliner search post went up. I have an eyeliner that I really like right now, so.... stay tuned for that.

I thought this would be a twist up pencil liner, but it was one of those that you sharpened. That was the first thing that I disliked about it. I know a lot of people swear by pencil liners that you sharpen and I absolutely understand why... but this one was a little bit ridiculous.
Once I realized that you had to sharpen this pencil, I stuck it in my pencil sharpener (Ew, I know) and I gave it a twist. Nothing. I tried again and eventually, I had to look up how to sharpen this eyeliner. To my surprise, I was not the only one with questions. A lot of people were having trouble and suggested putting it into the fridge for a few hours. I did that and it was a bit better but the pencil was so soft it didn't survive the sharpening very well. I also couldn't sharpen it very well, so at any time, the eyeliner would have some sharp pencil shards attached to it.

And that HURT. So, after it got down to two or three inches in length, I didn't feel bad tossing it. It went on really smoothly, but this whole sharpening business was more trouble than it was worth.

The second product I got was mascara because my Loreal Voluminous was drying up fast. I purchased the Maybelline Volum' Express and I had a much better experience with this.

This mascara works pretty well in giving me volume and a tad of length. The only thing it doesn't do is help me keep the curl in my lashes, so they still stick straight down after I apply it. To date though, I haven't found anything that keeps my lashes curled.

Tuesday, June 21

We all need a post like this.

One thing you often seen on Asian girl's blogs (other than cutesy face shots) is pictures of sushi. Actually... it doesn't matter what race you are... if you talk about food at all, you gotta have sushi on your blog. Now it's my turn. 

I'm combining random sushi pictures with a restaurant review of sorts. 

So the sushi restaurant is RA, which is a large chain restaurant. There's nothing too out of the ordinary on their menu, and to be honest, their place isn't that exciting. My friend and I went in the middle of the day (when they have their happy hour) and the place was barren. Now, I don't know why I assume service would be faster if we're the only two individuals there... but, it wasn't. The place was dimly lit (and I hate places that are dimly lit. Hollister, I'm talking to you.)

These pictures were artificially lightened. Can you tell how dark the inside is compared to the outside? Crazy. The place was moderately priced but definitely not what I would call cheap and quick sushi.

They did however, have a really great seaweed salad. 

I don't really know why I get spicy tuna anymore. I don't really enjoy it. Sometimes I think artistic flourishes on sushi is a waste of time, but the oats (I'm doing a Chinese to English vegetable translation here. You know that doesn't turn out well for me) were a nice touch.

Salmon, my favvvvorite.

Tuna with some interesting things on top. We took a risk ordering this. My friend didn't like it, but I really enjoyed it. I thought the raw veggies were a unique choice. Anddddd, I don't remember what it's called. Sorrrry. 

Arizona is home to a wide array of sushi places. I go back to RA because I know what to expect. But... I'm really going to expand to try other things. 

Arizonians, recommend me a sushi joint?

Saturday, June 18

Where are you from?

via we heart it

Lately, this question has me confused. Where am I from? I've been ilving in Arizona for ten years, that makes me from here? 

Sometimes I think it depends on who's asking me the question. 

If a Chinese international student asks me this question, I need to answer America. I am American-born, after all. But if a white, black, latino, etc person asks me this question and I answer America, I get a look. I don't look American. Some recover quicker than others  (Where are your parents from?) and others more gracefully (No, like Korean, Japanese, Chinese?) but eventually they get the answer they're looking for. I'm Chinese. 

If I'm asked by a Chinese-American, I need to answer that I was born in Michigan, but I grew up in China for a few years. If I'm talking to a college aquaintence complaining about how hot Arizona is (ie, not Arizonian) I need to say that I lived in the North East for about 10 years too.

So, where are you from?

Thursday, June 16

New Curling Iron

I got my haircut in mid march and I've been wanting something new again. The last time I considered a hair cut, I posted a ton of images. After all that pondering, I only got my hair trimmed an inch. No one could tell. 

Over the last weeks, I've been watching a lot of hair videos online. I wanted a change in my hair, but I wasn't sure what I wanted exactly. The videos were pretty inspiring. All those girls had curling irons of different barrel widths and I knew that that was the change I needed. 

So, after a little bit of research, I shelled out for a curling iron. I think this was about 20 bucks. 

 I definitely think I got my money's worth. This is a ton easier to use than my mother's curling iron. When I first got it, I used it every day. Now, I barely touch it. 

Even though it is fast to use, I usually wake up and go. Most days, I don't even brush my hair--it is straight enough that brushing it doesn't do much. Adding a fifteen to twenty minute hair routine to my fifteen to twenty minute get up, get dressed, put on makeup and get breakfast routine... is just too much. 

Do you guys have any tips and tricks for curlers? 
Any summer hairstyles I should try with a curling iron?

Tuesday, June 14

I'm gonna marry this sauce.

Okay, fine, it doesn't look amazing there (in fact, I realize that it looks kinda gross, but that's just because I had to squeeze it out and there's not a lot left.) But this stuff is great; it's sweet and salty and literally goes with EVERYTHING. I can put it on any type of meat and it's instantly tasty. It provides all the flavor I need for any veggies.

The other day I choose to eat it with asparagus.

The asparagus was just boiled until edible and the sauce was squirted out. I ate this instead of chips. Yeah. That's healthy. I've also boiled some Chinese lettuce (not sure exactly what it is, sorry, I lack vegetable identification skills) and drizzled a combination of this sauce and water on it. Goodness, that was yummy too.

You can find it in your local Asian grocery story and use it to make any dish--especially if you're not feeling like anything fancy.

Saturday, June 11

Four Week Challenge: Blogger Inspiration!

It's the last week of the four week challenge, unfortunately for me, who really enjoyed it. But lucky for you if you didn't like these posts!

In this last week, we'll be getting inspiration from other bloggers.

I choose Kileen from Cute and Little. She's a huge inspiration to me. I love every outfit she has and her sense of style uncannily similar to mine (or at least how I want to dress). I feel like I've been following her ever since she started her blog and it's been amazing to see Cute and Little grow. 

Necklace: Icing (~ $14.00)
Cami: Charlotte Russe (Old)
Cardigan: Ann Taylor (Old)
Skirt: Tahiti (Unknown)
Heels: Dexter by Payless (22.99)
This outfit was made because of her motto, "When it doubt, belt it!" I would have never thought of belting things other than jeans but it's really a quick and fabulous way of making anything chic. It's my new favorite trick to see a bit more groomed.

For all my outfits from the four week challenge, check here.  

Thursday, June 9

ELF isn't all bad.

While I hate ELF polishes, they have some nice cheap brushes for people who are just getting into makeup. I picked up this brush from Target for a dollar.

It's not an amazing brush, but it's actually the first brush I've actually purchased. So, when I use it, it doesn't shed. It leans towards the fluffier side but packs on shadow decently. 

One of the things that confused me about this brush was the label as "defining eye brush". What does that mean exactly and if you owned this, how would you use it?

Tuesday, June 7


How was your weekend, guys? I had the most unproductive and yet, fun weekend I've had in a while. 

Lowlight of Weekend:
  • Trying to do two weeks worth of summer school homework in a few hours. 
Highlights of the Weekend:
  • Eating pho for Lunch and Dinner on Saturday and Sunday. 
  • Watching Hangover 2 (which I did not expect to enjoy, but I did).
  • Building the one described in this cute conversation.
via we heart it
 I've been looking for a new TV show to watch. The shows I follow (Bones, Castle, Big Bang Theory) are all on hold. My summer show, Leverage isn't here yet. I've been looking forward to the SyFy show Alphas, but that premieres in July. What have you all been watching? Any recommendations*?

*Not True Blood, please.

Sunday, June 5

Four Week Challenge: Pink

Remember when I showed you my trip to the Fox Concept Restaurant yesterday? I dressed up to go there and I thought that that outfit would fit the challenge perfectly. The color for Peachy Keen's Four Week Challenge is pink! For my other outfits for the Four Week Challenge, click here.

 Dress: City Triangle (Super Old)
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft (Old)
Shoes: Alex Marie (Very Old As Well)

I'm sorry I don't have the prices for everything, but I only started keeping track about last year and I know that the dress at least is more than four years old. I remember wearing it to graduation my junior year of high school.

What's the average age of your closet?

Saturday, June 4

Fox Concepts!

In my area, Fox Concepts runs a whole string of restaurants. I've always loved the atmosphere of the restaurants, but have never been to one. A friend invited me to go and I jumped at the chance. I invited my camera even though the RSVP had no +1 spot.

When I got there, I took my camera out and started snapping pictures. But there were a lot of people and I didn't want to seem like a tourist... this was the best shot I got.

True Food was a restaurant I wanted to go to because I read about it on Roofresh's blog a long while ago.

Another part of why I wanted to go included their natural refreshments. I forgot exactly which one I got, but it was delicious and overpriced.

We got herb hummus for a starter, which was simple amazing. The pita was soft and the hummus was just so tasty that we cleaned the plate off.

My friend got the wild mushroom pizza, which was one of the best mushroom pizzas that I've had.

I want to say I got the spaghetti puttanesca ... but I'm not quite sure. It wasn't as tasty as the pizza. Being health food, the spaghetti (and especially the meatballs) had an earthy taste. I did not appreciate the earthy taste.

Another one of True Food's interesting features is their open kitchen. We sat outside though so we didn't really get to see or hear the hustle and bustle of the staff. It was an interesting experience overall. At the end of the meal, we decided that it wasn't worth it dining here again. Especially not on a college kid's budget.

Thursday, June 2

My Specialty Dish

This may or may not have been one of the first things I learned how to cook. The only reason I learned how to cook this is because I love it so much. 

What is it?

These (blurry) meatballs! They're hearty, they're healthy, and they come with sauce you can drizzle all over your rice. 

Hold on, I didn't even mention! They're frozen meatballs, so it's really easy too. The kind I get are Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs (frozen section). I cook' em in water and slowly add barbecue sauce. 

...Oh. Maybe you should throw in some broccoli or steamed veggies too.