Thursday, March 31

I'm not OCD.

Although you wouldn't know by looking at this picture. But don't worry, there's a story.


So, my friend got a waffle maker as a Christmas present. And then we made waffles. I brought berries, someone else brought chocolate and utensils... we feasted.


That doesn't explain my organization? 

Never said it would.

Tuesday, March 29

Hard Shampoo is ... soft.

This was one of my few Lush purchases that I was disappointed with. The reason being? It was a spur of the moment purchase. 

I brought this over the summer, in London. The fact that I'm still not done with it says something, no? Hard Shampoo is used in areas with Hard water. It's supposed to help the water and make it work with your hair. It sounded so good and amazing. But, I don't really see it working... at all. No wonder they discontinued it.
via Amazon
The shampoo bar lathers when you run it over your wet hair. This part is quite cool. A few swipes and it bubbles up like crazy. But then you have to put the shampoo bar somewhere dry. It melts otherwise. And after the shower? Don't forget to literally dry it off. I made the mistake of leaving it in a steamy bathroom and it got soft and mushy on me. I asked some Lushies what was going on and they replied that this happens to a lot of shampoo bars. I had to leave this out in the air for two weeks before it went back to normal. After two uses in the shower, it got mushy again. 

After I finish this, I'm probably not going to pick up a shampoo bar ever again. 

In other news, over the weekend, I went to the Arizona Blogger Meetup. I'll save that for a different post though, since I'm still trying to compile a list or follow all the people that I met and was introduced to. 

Saturday, March 26

Snow... in Arizona?


What? I didn't say I had pretty hands. I actually don't like the way they look. 

Arizona's been having bipolar weather lately. For a week or so, it would be 90 degrees. Then it will go back down to sixty. Fed up with indecision, I decided to paint this. No matter how cold it gets, Phoenix won't snow, so I made snowflakes on my fingers. This picture was taken before I cleaned it, sorry! 

I used a really old no-name brand of blue and my white striper. To make the snowflake, I started with an asterisk and then made little arrows pointing in on each line of the asterisk. Making a snowflake wasn't incredibly difficult, but it's not a super easy task either. Overall, I think it looks alright, but fingers like my index look more... blob like. 

I also realized something scary... I've been trying to apply for an internship, right? I realize that if I do get one (which I'm desperately hoping for)  I won't be able to paint my nails like this again. No more nail art! I probably won't be able to use the blues, teals and greens in my collections. Summer reds are too flashy; blacks are too unprofessional; I don't look old enough (nor am I old enough) for dark vampy reds. Of course, it'll all depend on where I work... but either way, no more crazy designs. All is not lost though-- I'll probably focus more on what I wear.

Thursday, March 24

I AM A TIGER MOTHER.

via weheartit
I realize this baby looks a like a plastic alien.

How do I even begin to explain this? I assume you've heard of Amy Chua, her controversial article in the Wall Street Journal, her book--Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and her back tracking. Needless to say, she's garnered a lot of attention. I first heard about her from my little brother, of all people. My mother had shown him a Chinese translation of Ms. Chua's article on a Chinese "news" site and he posted it to Facebook. Then a friend messaged me with the WSJ article. 

Then I started to see her on all sorts of blogs, gossips blogs, Asian interest blogs... I'm sure if I read parenting blogs, I'd see her on those too. 

The thing is, I agree with her. At the very least, I understand where she's coming from. She's a first generation Asian American, raised in America, married to an American, with Asian-American-American children. That sounds a lot like my history and my future. Her strict "Chinese" way of raising children? That sounds ideal to me as well. She's clinging to her Chinese culture and heritage, raising her children the way she was raised (or perhaps even more extremely). I've accepted the fact that my children won't understand the Chinese language or the Chinese culture. But I think that Ms. Chua remembers how her childhood was and is trying to emulate that.

The question everyone is asking is if this way of parenting is right. 

This semester, I'm in a developmental psychology class and we have a virtual child project. It's exactly as it sounds. We sign up for a computer program, then a virtual baby is born! I plan on raising this child following the "Chinese" way. Perhaps with a little less terror, though. 

When I decided this, I called my parents to ask them what to name my new baby girl.

Mom: "Ethan. ...Wait, is that a girl's name or a boy's name?"
Me: "Boy."
Mom: "What about Easter?"
Me: "Easter is a holiday, not a name."

Yup, we're off to a good start.

Tuesday, March 22

Flagstaff!

As I briefly mentioned in this post, I went to Flagstaff over the weekend. To reiterate, Flagstaff is about three hours North and it's a forest-y area. The trip was interesting...

So, we left at about eleven am (with my inner control freak wondering why we didn't leave at nine am, and if we are leaving at eleven, why not after lunch?). But, with donut holes in tow, we drive... for about an hour. That's when I spot this outlet mall in Anthem. I stop and meander in Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J Crew, Gap for an hour. I walked out with a top from Ann Taylor and my friend with a pair of green converse from Famous Footwear (or somewhere similar, I forget).

After this brief excursion, it's already about two, so we drive fast. When we get to Flagstaff, we grab a quick lunch  and ... this is where the issues start. The trail we wanted to hike is located on Mormon Lake. And we head out of town. We drive twenty miles south ,five miles west...  and find that the trail is closed. Quickly, we attempt to check other trails but we notice the majority of them aren't open in the winter either. The area is usually snowy, but due to the unusually warm weather last weekend, it was a nice seventy degrees. 

And we attempt to leave a different way--to find a different trail. We get lost. SO LOST IN THE WILDERNESS. It's terrifying. There's nothing in sight... just trees. And the sun's going down. After driving for almost another hour, we decide to backtrack. Before we do though, we stop to take a few pictures. Then we head back. So, a total of six hours of driving amounted to about half an hour of hiking. A little frustrating... but I got some gorgeous pictures. 

So, a prelude before I show them to you. I'm not naturally photogenic. I don't know what happened with these pictures... Perhaps I had an amazing photographer, a good hair day, a good background... but you guys know what I usually look like and this is not it. 
  Cardigan: Old Navy (Unknown)
Dress: Vintage (from my mom's closet, not stolen, given this time)
Belt: Forever 21 (Came with another shirt)
Shoes: Alex Marie (Old)

Kind of gratuitous, I understand, but I'm a little vain when I get good shots. It happens so rarely!

Oh, and I hear that my photographer might sneak a peek at this blog post. If anyone out there has comments/compliments/criticism, please leave 'em.

Saturday, March 19

More awards?

I can't believe it! I got a Stylish Blogger Award from Lady Cardigan. 



But it seems like the rules have changed. 


To accept the award, you must follow these rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person that awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award
 
Let's see, seven more things about myself eh?  


1. I have one brother.
2. I have two parents.
3. The tripod that my dad gave me has three legs. I was borrowing a shaky tripod from a friend until I realized that a few of my friends asked their parents for a tripod and they had them. Although I had doubts about my parents, my friend said, "They're Asian parents, they have to have a tripod." And... Mine did.
4. Although I was born in Michigan, the only grade I attended there was the fourth grade. I moved around a lot when I was young. 
5. Specifically, I've moved five times. Once to China for a few years, once back to the US, once to New York, once back to Michigan, and the last one was when I was in the fifth grade, when I moved to Arizona. I've been here since. 
6. One of my good friends from high school has a dad... who has six toes. 
7. On my blog, 7% Solution, I post Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays... sometime during 9 am.


If you remember, I first posted about this award here. I'd like to pass it on to 


Cryskay
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt 
SewPetiteGal
Babydoll Vanity Box 
Roofresh 
sparklefarkle
think{pretty}thoughts
a pretty penny
Confessions of a Cal Center Gal
Respect the Shoes
lorispeak
Monochroma.Chic
lovefemme
MizzSandyChau
JezMACmania




In addition to the Stylish Blogger Award, I got the Versatile Blog Award from Jennifer. 


A few rules accompany this one too. Seriously, choosing 15 bloggers? That's what makes my posts so late!
  • Thank the person who gave you back the award and link back to them in your post.
  • Tell us seven things about yourself
  • Award fifteen recently discovered new bloggers
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know they've received their award (:
Okay, seven more things, let's go.


1. I like making lists a little, but this is getting ridiculous.
2. I have to go to class and I wonder if I'm going to be late.
3. I suppose I could stop writing, but I'm stubborn like that.
4. We had a test in my accounting class last time.
5. I wonder how I did. I don't have test anxiety, but I have grade-checking anxiety.
6. OMFG. I got an A. This is the first time I've received an A on an accounting exam since three years ago.
7. This reminds me that I also got a good mark on my psychology paper. I live alone... so I will stick that to my fridge. Why not, right?


I pick the following people for the Versatile Blogger Award.
Chloe's Beauty Corner
En Bouton
Girl of a Thousand Faces
keepcalm.carryon.
Pop Champagne
Simply Cindi
A Vigilant Muse
that much further west.
Rainy Days and Lattes
mookxi
The CP
Glam Kitten's Litter Box
Twisted Thoughts
Adorably Delicious LP 
Pretty Things Blog

Thursday, March 17

A New Jacket, Part 4

I still haven't found anything. I think I want a leather jacket though. I've been watching some television these days. Have you ever heard of the show Castle? It stars Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame. I started watching the show one day (because I know some friends follow it rather religiously) and I liked it. It filled the gap that Bones left in my heart. If you must know, Bones is one of the few shows that I follow and try to watch every week. One or two episodes of Castle turned into a season and now I'm on the second season.

How does this relate? Kate Beckett, the female lead in Castle is a tough, crime fighting cop. Let me remedy that. She's a tough, stylish, crime fighting cop. She's slender and dresses in a very sophisticated fashion. Let me share how...
 


She's one woman, but the number of awesome leather jackets she owns is crazy. Naturally, I had my eye on this jacket from Arden B.
 
Also, happy St. Patrick's day!

Tuesday, March 15

It's Spring Break!

I don't have any plans. I tried to make plans to go to Vulcan, Canada as well as Riverside, Iowa. (who gets it?) I considered going to LA with my family. I thought about visiting friends... But everything is so expensive and time consuming. I did go to to Flagstaff (an area about 3 hours north of where I live yesterday, but we just got lost. I'll make a separate post about that later. It was a boring adventure.)

Otherwise, I'm just planning on some R&R this break then. Truth be told, I've never gone on a traditional college break full of Mexican beach parties and boozing it up. I don't think I ever will. 

via weheartit
But, what do I do during the break? I know I want to study, get caught up on school and apply for jobs, but... I also want to read. I honestly don't remember the last book I read. I think it was Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. This post is going to end up asking for book recommendations, but let me tell you a bit about the books I like first. I have a shrine to JFK. The shrine is filled with books that I've just skimmed for pictures. I'd read those, but I own them and I feel like I can read them anytime. I have ever single Sherlock Holmes story. I've read most of them, but again, I feel like if I own it, I can read it anytime. 

I want to read something new and current, so I can join in on discussions on other blogs. I adore mystery stories. I used to like fantasy books, but I haven't read one in a while. I may have gotten past that phase (except for, you know, I read Twilight and the Mortal Instruments). I love classics; they make me feel cultured. My favorite type of literature is short stories. I feel like I can pick these up and put these down easily.

I'm likely not to finish all the books I have planned, but just give me a few ideas. I promise I'll post about whatever I read so you know I didn't just sleep through break. 

I'm currently reading the Devil and Sherlock Holmes. i was obsessed with this book ever since it came out and I love the real life mystery stories! I have, tentatively, on my list so far:
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Sounds like a mystery!
2. Water for Elephants - I've been told it's a good book and there's a movie based on it coming out soon.
3. Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher is awesome at anytime. I've also recently started watching the Indiana Jones series and being interested in Harrison Ford, who she talks about.
4. Letters to Jackie - Just feeding the JFK obsession.
5. Dr. Zhivago- I think this is a romantic story... which I've been looking for.


So, any suggestions?


Saturday, March 12

Innovation!

This outfit is from Thanksgiving. I know. I know. 





 Hairbow: from China (.30)
"Dress": Unknown (Old)
Sweater: Sonoma Lifestyle (Old)
Belt: Forever21 (came with another shirt)

Essentially, for this outfit, I made a long skirt into a short strapless dress. Since it was a bit revealing, I threw a sweater over it. I thought the gold made it really appropriate for a party occasion. My hair's a bit messy, but I guess that's static electricity for ya.


Do you ever change the recommended use for your clothes?

Thursday, March 10

Puff Paratha - For when you don't have rice!

Did I fulfill a horrible stereotype in my post title... or did I fulfill a horrible stereotype in my title? Please don't be offended. 

So, as a college student, dinners are sometimes more often than not scraped together. Nine times out of ten, I have rice to eat with whatever dish I made. The time that I don't, I eat this. 



It's a kind of Indian flatbread that literally takes a minute to make...after your stove top is hot. If you count the minute it takes for my stove top to heat, it takes two minutes to make. It's a frozen food and it comes in sheets, so you put down a little olive oil, plop this down, and a few minutes later, you're eating! 

I've eaten this as a late night snack, as an entire meal... pretty much anything goes. I found it in my local Asian supermarket.  

In more personal news, my neighbors have been doing repairs. Repairs that woke me up... at nine am last Saturday. And these aren't just a tad distracting, these repairs make the ground shake, they are so loud that I can't hear myself speak... I can't even blast music. Ridiculous. 

Tuesday, March 8

Iced Wine, Snowcake, Angel's Delight and more!




A friend got this Shower Jelly from Lush for my birthday (yes, in December.)

This tub of jelly is huge. I had to return it because I knew there was NO WAY I'd be able to finish it. It smells very fruity--but the scent is a tad too fake for me to love.  

So, I took the Iced Wine back to the store and sniffed for another product. 

I'm punny. 

I smelled many things from their Christmas collection, but I found two winners and got HUGE hunks of both. 


Note the flower detail.
The first item  I got was Snowcake. I've heard about this before on Lush Forums. People hoard this stuff like crazy! I've heard some people say that Snowcake is plasticity, but I didn't get any of that.  It smells like almonds--something that I adore. The soap itself is very white and pretty too. This is one of those sweet soaps, but much more subtle than a lot of the stuff out there. Snowcake was a limited edition soap for Christmas, but it's been brought back, so I hope Lush has it next year too. (Yes, I'm already thinking about next year.)
via article

I also got Angel's  Delight. This is also a limited edition soap that's out for Christmas. It smells so wonderful! It's orangey and tangeriney and very very fruity. This isn't a sweet smell, per say, but I can imagine someone thinking that it's too much. There's so many colors on this soap! I had a friend (male!) describe it as unicorn puke. It's yellow, purple, blue.... if you're lucky, you can even get a piece with the moon face on it.  

Speaking of something else beautiful, the weather in Arizona is great. Even a self-proclaimed summer-hater like me is dressing in shorts and tanks. Spring break is coming up next week... and I have no plans, other than to do a bit of studying. Any suggestions for something cheap and fun?  

Saturday, March 5

Asian Hairstyles: No wonder we all look the same.

I've noticed a few trends sweeping over all Asian girls. Asian girls may have once been known for straight black hair, but now... it seems like they're (we're) all born with brown curly hair. 

I've recently been looking for haircut and hairstyle inspirations... I think I've been looking at the same haircut again and again, on different girls.
  • The Bangs.
 This one really really annoys me because there's a couple of ways of styling your bangs that I really like. I wish I could pull off the sideswept flowy look! But my forehead is tiny and I need something that requires minimal maintenance. No matter where you look, you'd be hard-pressed to find a hairstyle without bangs. 
source
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  • The Color.
You already notice this in the previous pictures. Weren't Asians supposed to have black hair? Nope. Not really. Not anymore. Finding an Asian girl with black hair is almost as hard as finding an Asian girl not wearing circle lens. Not that this is a dig on either. I own circle lens. 
source


  • The Curls.
This is pretty funny. Asian girls (myself included) have this mentality about curling their hair. On a regular day, if you're not into much preparation, you may leave it natural. This might mean slight waves, slight poofy-ness, but generally straight. On a day when you have time in the morning, you may opt to straighten it. This creates straightener-straight hair. I thought this was awesome in middle school. For a fancy occasion, such as prom or a night out, you curl your hair. Without fail, you curl your hair. I realized this at prom when all the Asian girls with normally straight hair decided to curl. Evidence? My prom picture. Check yours. 
I've been trying to do waves and casual loose curls. ...I'll get back to you on that. 
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  • The spikes.  
 This type of hair is gravity defying and very different from all the previous pictures.  I feel like this type of hair takes a lot more time and well, it's an art form in itself. Check out this video!


So, I'm pretty much done with looking at pictures of other people's hair. After a while, the blank stares get to you! I still have straight black hair with no bangs and I know there are a ton of people with this hairstyle out there. So keep rocking whatever mop you got on top of your head!

Any suggestions for how I should cut my hair? Here's a photo reference.

Thursday, March 3

Shorts + Tights

I really really really wanted to like this combination. ...But it doesn't work with jean-shorts and it doesn't work with bermuda shorts.

That takes out a lot of the shorts that I own. I only found one combo that I like...




Blazer: from China (about 20$)
Cami: Charlotte Russe (unknown)
Necklace: from China (unknown)
Tights: Forever 21 (unknown)
Shorts: Love Culture (about 12$)

I love the slimming effect that wearing tights give! It feels so high fashion!

Does anyone else rock this combination?

Tuesday, March 1

Belated Valentine's Day Post: Nails + Cupcakes

I don't know when exactly I turned into that girl who got excited for Valentine's Day, but this year, I was definitely that girl. I loved everything pink around and was in a generally cheery mood. It's not like  had a Valentine this year compared to previous years, so I'm not sure what was different. 




A few days before Valentine's Day, I did my nails with little hearts. You can see from the shape of the hearts that I'm no artist. And yes, these pictures are all of my left hand as the hearts on my right hand looked... more blob like. I prefer to call them anatomically correct.

The pearly white is Purely Pearl from Petites. The black is ELF Black (the only ELF nail polish that hasn't dried up). The pink is Sinful Colors Vacation Time. The red is Sinful Colors Mercury Rising.

The Sunday before Valentine's Day, I dragged my friend to Sprinkles, a local cupcake store. Sprinkles specializes in overpriced cupcakes... what? It's true! 


They have a ton of different cupcakes!

Don't they look amazing? If you follow their Twitter, they give codes for free cupcakes. And so I brought a cupcake and got a cupcake for free. Now the price is worth it!

Milk Chocolate on the left, Lemon on the Right
The cupcakes were so rich! Going to Sprinkles is an experience. A once in a while experience, but an experience none the less. 


On Valentine's Day, I didn't actually... do anything.  But the day afterwards, I got some on sale chocolate and some strawberries! 



Who said you need a date to have fun?