Tuesday, January 29

Culinary Dropout: Fox Restaurant Review

This is another Fox restaurant that I've wanted to go to forever. It's located on the Scottsdale waterfront, right between the adorable (and sometimes rowdy) Oldtown Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Fashion Square. 

The theme of this restaurant is "alternative".  Instead of priding itself on being a culinary genius, its pride is the fact that it is unconventional. The inside decor of the place is pretty weird. There's a lot of photos of rock bands on a stage (so I'm also guessing they have live music sometimes). There's also a giant purple wall and chandeliers; most of the restaurant is taken up by a large bar that extends to the patio. All the tables have cushy couch chairs as seats.  

We started out with the amazing appetizer that I try to get every time... pretzels with fondue cheese. Seriously delicious. 

I had a large ahi tuna salad with a ginger based vinaigrette. I always think salads are such light foods but whenever I eat a salad at a restaurant, I'm always overwhelmed by their size. I first tried to make sure I had even bites of tuna, avocado and lettuce, but I soon found myself just picking out the good stuff. There were so many different textures in this salad! From the creamy avocado to the crunchy wasabi peas, I'm salivating just thinking about it. 

My partner got something a little more traditional: fried chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits. The chicken was really really crunchy on the outside, something that I really enjoyed. Mashed potatoes were pretty good but I felt like the biscuits could have been more delicious with some butter or honey. ...or maybe I'm just thinking of a KFC meal.

Overall, I thought the place was nice but not so nice that I'm dying to go back. If I do, I'd definitely want it to be during a live music night. 

Monday, January 28

Coffee Talk: A Cup for Keeping Clean

1. Do you drink the milk after eating cereal or do you dump it out? 
I always finish off the milk. What I actually always try to do is pour my cereal in first then pour in my milk just so it covers my cereal. That way, I'm not left with too much milk at the end. 

2. Do you share drinks/food? 
Sharing is caring, am I right? I always love to try foods so I coordinate my restaurant orders with who ever I'm dining with and we switch and swap. It's always been the custom in my family too.  This stemmed from having communal Chinese dishes, but we translated it to American food as well. I've seen people stare you down for simply asking for a fry... and I can't understand that.

3. How often do you replace your toothbrush? 
Erm. I do replace it, if you must know. Somewhere between at least every year and not often enough. 

4. How often do you wash your hair?
Every other day or every two days, depending on exercise and how hot it is outside. 

5. Do you use a dishwasher or do you hand wash your dishes?
Hand wash! It was the way I grew up though we always had a dishwasher. It's funny to consider how my parents (and myself, I guess) think that if you just stick the dishes in the dishwasher, they won't really get clean. I've heard of my friends saying just the opposite. If you hand wash them, how can you expect them to be clean? 

Saturday, January 26

2012 in Review

I wasn't going to write a recap post, but I realized that I did one last year. In that tradition, I guess, here goes!
via weheartit

In January, I wrote about what it was like to be Young, Educated, and Unemployed.
In February, I got completely caught up in the Jason Wu for Target release and tried on a bunch of clothes right in the morning, when Target opened. 
In March, Mugdha and I babbled about all the movies we wanted to watch
In April, I shared pictures of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was amazing. You should definitely go. 
In May, I went to China and then brought of pair of shoes that looked like hooves
In June (and July), I wrote a three part guide on Scenting Your Home with Tarts. Here's Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
In July, I showed you what my hometown in Beijing, China looks like
In August, I had a massively messy baking party with some friends. 
In September, I started using polyvore!
In October, I made a funny post about What Makeup to Wear During the Zombie Apocalypse
In November, I purchased a beautiful white lace dress.
In December, I got a haircut and finally changed my hair style. A little. ...Well, I see a difference.  

Thursday, January 24

Featuring... Polka Dotted Sweater

Remember my big, ol' sweater post? Or my last outfit, with an oversized sweater? It's safe to say that I'm in a sweater kind of mood. They're cozy, simple, match with skirts, shorts and pants... and come in every variety. Polka dot sweaters can be really cute, whimsical, or simple and classic. For this outfit, I went with a simple and classic feel. 
Featuring...Polka Dotted Sweaters

I know I am not unique in liking the winter, there's something about being warm in a cold place that's very pleasant and dear to my heart. You can even think about it as a metaphor for life: It's the good times buried in the bad that really stands out.

Saturday, January 19

Friend me on MyFitnessPal!

Guys, I've been really scared to do anything like this. And I've been scared for a long time.

When I started this blog, I could have said that I'd give up soda. Or candy. Or exercise three times a week. But I didn't. 

Last year in October, I could have made my struggle with food more public on my blog. But I didn't. 
via weheartit

It's a shame, because it's not even that big of a deal. (But I always make a huge deal of signing up for new accounts.) But you guys give me courage. I've realized how much motivation I can get from others... that's the point of this post. You know that really cool app I shared a while back? My Fitness Pal? Part of this app is to log your calories and your exercise. The other part that I didn't mention in my original review is a network of support. 

I would absolutely love it if you guys could join my network of support. My username is (unsurprisingly) seven_percent. 

Thursday, January 17

My New Wallet from Nordstrom Rack

My last wallet was falling apart. The coin purse had a tear and I was losing quarters in my bags all the time. The wallet was also just dirty... and dusty. How does that happen? I don't know. So, I knew I wanted a nice, mature wallet and after being into cognac bags, I decided to get a leather cognac wallet. 

It has a plain and simple design. I'm super happy with it!

The thick part of it has my cards and cash. The zipper part of it holds my coins. 

Here, you can see how I organize my cards. I usually have my driver's license where you see the  visible panel, but no one needs to see how I looked on a bad hair day when I was 17. I have my credit cards visible for easy access as well as insurance cards and some frequent shopper cards. 

I stick everything else I own into these three vertical parts. This wallet doesn't have as much space for organizing as my previous one did, but I think I carry around an abnormal amount of  rewards cards, stamp cards, and the such. 

I'm really enjoying the wallet a lot. It's more classic, grown up and I think I'm going to end up using it for a long time. 

Tuesday, January 15

Crepe Bar: A Review

Who doesn't love crepes? When I first heard that the crepe bar opened, I wanted to go right away! I didn't get to, but when I finally did, Crepe Bar did not disappoint. You can also visit their adorable website for more information.

I really went all out and tried a bit of everything on the menu. Here's a plain coffee with an iced chai tea latte. The coffee was pretty good (not just your usual Starbucks) and the iced chai tea lattee was amazing. 

These are some delicious and amazing cookies and milk shots that they brought out for free. Food is seriously the way to my heart. Nothing warms me up more than small business owners appreciating their customers. 

We tried to get a small sample of everything. This one of their simple sweet crepes. It's just a simple frosted snack. I thought this crepe was average since it was so simple, but it only encourages me to go back and have a proper dessert crepe. However, because there weren't that many distractions on the crepe, I could really tell that the crepe itself was delicious. Drooling, thinking about it again. 


This, I believe, is the breakfast burrito. Really yummy and super filling. Chipotle crepe, egg and bacon, avocado salsa.

Not sure why it's called this, but this is the Papa K. It includes some ham, pepperjack and baby spinach. 

Overall, love the atmosphere. The food was good, but not amazing. The drinks were spectacular and the sweets? Well, I'll go back to check on that. Just from the cookies though, I think they have great potential. 

Saturday, January 12

Looking forward to these 2013 Movies!

Most of you know how much I love movies now. Like in times past, I'm compiling a list of all the awesome movies that are coming out. 
via weheartit

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters - Because of Jeremy Renner. This film has gotten its fair share of criticism (and I'm not saying it's undeserved) but I don't exactly go for critically acclaimed films anyways.

Warm Bodies -  Funny zombie movie. I'm all about the funny zombie movie genre. Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead are two of my favorite movies. This is a post apocalyptic rom com. It just can't go wrong. 

Jack the Giant Slayer - Right, what did I just finish saying above? Nicholas Hoult (X-Men) stars and Bryan Singer (X-Men) directs. Also, Ewan McGregor is in this film.

A Good Day to Die Hard - I actually haven't really seen the ones previous to this, but after watching Expendables and Looper, I've kind of become of fan of the senseless violence that is "Die Hard" and related. I probably won't see this in theaters, but it's on the list. 

Oz: The Great And Powerful - I'm a pretty big fan of the Wicked idea but when I first heard about this movie a few years back, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a huge fan of James Franco back then, though, so I was excited. Now, I'm a big fan of Mila Kunis, so here's to hoping that this movie turns out okay!

Iron Man 3 - The fact that I want to watch this film shouldn't be a surprise to anyone since I love superhero movies. 

The Great Gatsby - I really loved this book when I read it in high school. I brought into the expensive life that Jay Gatsby tried to make for himself and found his love tragic. 

Star Trek Into Darkness - AHHHH. AHHHH. I went to the Hobbit premiere to see the first nine minutes of this. It looks like it's going to be such a fantastic movie. 

Man of Steel - I'm not sure what to expect from this movie, but it does seem interesting! And it has a superhero. No surprises here. 

World War Z - I am not sure if this will be too scary, but I am a big fan of zombies!

Kick-Ass 2 - Superheros, but done in a grittier, more realistic (yet not?) kind of light. I really enjoyed the first one and I think I'll like this one too. 

The Wolverine - X-Men was one of the first superhero movies that I saw... and it still has a special place in my heart. The movies in this series have ranged from average to not-so-good, but it reminds me of a good time in my life.

Thor: The Dark Worlds - I recently read the plot of this movie and I'm very excited for it. Loki will be featured, once again. More importantly, he's taking more of a hero role than a villian role! WHAT? 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - I really hope that this will be my favorite of all the hobbit movies. I just can't wait for Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Thursday, January 10

My New Iphone Cases from Etsy!

Sometimes, I feel like I brought an IPhone because there were so many case options. The IPhone is my first real smartphone and I'm so glad I got it. It's become an integral part of my life. 

... so girl's gotta look good, right? I purchased two Customized IPhone Cases from Etsy and I've been loving them. They're in white rubber; one has an image of space and the other has an image of lace. The rubber is pliable and the back is hard. Overall, they seem like really high quality cases. 

All of the right cut outs are in all the right places for charging, clicking sound buttons and using headphones. 


Are you as excited as I am about customizing your phone? 
If you've posted about it, please link and I'll check it out. 

Tuesday, January 8

Coffee Talk: A Cup for the New Year

So, I was introduced to an awesome link up called Coffee Talk. I decided I had to do it after seeing so many awesome posts from Cindii at PurrinCup.

1. It's 2013! What will be the first thing you do that is memorable? 
I really can't think of anything. This will be the year that I graduate from my master's program and start my job though, so I'm looking forward to that. 

2. It's also income tax season... what do you plan on doing with all of that $$$?
Haha, since I'm not working this semester, I need to save that money because it'll be my living expenses. 

3. What are your 2012 pros/cons? 
Pros include graduating with my bachelor's degrees, traveling to China, my summer internship and visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

4. What are you looking forward to this year?
Looking forward to being done with school. I hope to have one last enjoyable summer. 

5. What was your favorite movie, CD album, book of 2012? 
Movie: The Avengers
CD Album: Those are still things? Just kidding. I love Taylor Swift's Red. 
Book: Dracula by Bram Stroker

Monday, January 7

My Life is Average Mondays: Pet Names

I don't usually write about loooove and relationships, but this has been on my mind lately. 

Pet names. 

There are some pet names that I hate (hubby, the boyfriend, the boy) but I've recently found out about how fun pet names can be. 


via weheartit

Specifically, you can add bear to ANYTHING and form a pet name. Take the first letter of your significant other's name (J Bear). Or use their entire name (Jenny Bear). Or draw inspiration from cuteness and cartoons (Honey Bear, Pooh Bear). You can even go further and add "Bear" to regular pet names (Sweetie Bear, Cutie Bear, Baby Bear). It's just all so adorable! 


Do you use pet names or are they all annoying to you? 

Sunday, January 6

Links à la Mode: Happy New Year!!

I'm a new member of IFB, which I'm sure you've heard of as the Independent Fashion Bloggers. I recently submitted one of my links to their weekly round up and was accepted. Below, you can see everyone else's links. Make sure to check them out!

Below is edited by: Victoria of vmac+cheese 

Twenty Thirteen. Can you believe it’s actually here? I, for one, adore this time of year. The holidays are special for sure, but the new year has its own kind of magic — one filled with positivity, hope, dreams, passion, and the chance to make this year even better than the last. What could be more beautiful than that? As we start a new year of blogging, I always like to take a little time to reflect on what should evolve on my site and what should stay the same. And there’s nothing like seeing how other bloggers approach their sites to give you plenty of inspiration!


LINKS À LA MODE: THE IFB WEEKLY ROUND UP: JANUARY 3RD


 SPONSOR: Shopbop Bikinis: The Row, Suecomma Bonnie, Aperlai, YSL, Sleep n Round, Ferragamo Shoes, Wang Sandals, APC, Little Bra Co., Versace If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE where you see “Links a la mode next week’s date (official)The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode widget on the right side of the blog, and will be published later today. ~ Jennine

Saturday, January 5

Lush Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bar Review

I haven't done a Lush review in so long! In fact, the last time I posted about Lush was when I reviewed my Christmas haul... in May! Anyways, I was sorely in need of some kind of lotion so I thought I'd go out and get this... it's been on my list for a while.

I think this massage bar (which starts out solid but melts at skin contact) smells SO GOOD. It's a quintessential lush smell. The scent is very strong, but that's the way I like it. You'd expect it to smell like strawberry with the name and the shape, but it doesn't smell like that to me. The smell is sweet and artificial. I would describe it as a mature bubblegum scent. It's very moisturizing and I like the scent so much I work with it near me. 

If you like the scent, get this. It really does the job! In the winter (and even sometimes in the summer) my skin gets disgustingly dry. However, if I apply this right out of the shower, my skin is silky smooth for days to come. I don't think my skin has ever been this nice!

Thursday, January 3

The Habit

I really like burgers. I've reviewed so many local burger joints around here. Check out what I thought about SmashBurger, Zinburger, and 5 Guys. In addition to these, I also have Deluxe and In N Out on my to-review list. 

Anyways, the spotlight here is on the Habit. 



The price point here is comparable to 5 Guys, perhaps even a bit cheaper. A dinner for two cost less than 14 dollars.
Their burgers were good. Definitely good for the price! One of the stand out features of this restaurant was a condiments bar where we could grab the usual ketchup and mustard but also jalapenos! All in all, a good place. However, since there's no location super close to me, I don't see myself visiting often.

Tuesday, January 1

Best Iphone Apps and Games of 2012

What better way to start off the new year than to have a little chat about something that's become so important to us these past years? Technology and smartphones have changed the way we interact with each other and the world around us. 

Here's a list of all the apps that I use! I just wanted to share them in case you're looking for something to make your life a bit more easy, fun, or productive. I've separated them into different categories!
via weheartit

Productivity
Mobile RSS - I use google reader on my computer, but when I'm on the go, this little device allows me to read all your blog posts. I like that it has settings that allow me to star your posts for later as well as connections to social media. One feature that I especially like is that I can control when it downloads pictures and when it's just text. If I'm not in a wifi environment, I don't want to spend a few minutes just wait for my phone to download pictures. It help saves my battery too.

Evernote - This is an amazing program. It links your phone with your home computer with the internet. What you save at any of these places, you can access in any other. Save links, articles, notes, pictures and voice memos. I can't love this enough. 

Social Media
Twitter - Not going to spend too much time on this one. It's twitter, tweets and all. You probably already have this on your phone. 

Blogger - This actually isn't a great app. I think its ease and efficiency leave more to be desired, but basically allows you to take blogging on the go.

Photography
PhotoWonder - You probably want to skip this one if you use instragram or are attached to any other photo editing software. This is a Chinese app that allows you to do some simple editing (color, croping, rotating) It also has some vanity features such as thinify, which allows you to push your bits and pieces in, enlarge eyes, which is pretty self explanatory, and skin whiten, which lightens the color of your skin. I think Asian girls in Asia use these features more often, but if it interests you, it's worth a look. Photowonder even allows you to add eyeliner and blush. I can't use any of these features without looking like an alien clown, so I'll just leave that to the pros. 

GifBoom - This allows you to take a short video or some pictures and turn it into a gif. I like using this to post to twitter once in a while instead of just posting plain pictures. 

Cinemagram - This concept is similar to GifBoom, however, this allows you to take a video and just animate a portion of video. You've probably seen these cinemagraphs around. Most of the graphic is a still picture, however, a part of it (perhaps smoke or rising bubbles) is moving. 

Micellaneous
Pandora - You may choose to play your music on Spotify or something similar, but my music player of choice is still Pandora. It has ads, but it just works for me!

Run Pee - I like to watch movies.... but I always, always have to pee during them. Run Pee is a service that tells you when you should go pee during a movie. It has a database of all the new movies in theater as well as many more. You only use it every time you see a film in theaters, but for a gal like me, it's invaluable. 

MakeupAlley - You probably use this site already. Makeup Alley offers reviews... lots and lots of reviews for a lot of different types of beauty products. While I generally try to know what I'm going out to buy before I go out, this helps me out when I see an unexpected sale. I don't have to pass it by and I don't have to blindly grab anything. I can check many reviews of a product I'm interested in, easily and quickly. 

UrbanSpoon - I'm horribly indecisive when it comes to choosing a place to eat. In fact, I'm near infamous. However, this app shows me what's in the area for a quick meal. If I'm feeling like a certain type of type of food, I can search by that criteria too. Lastly, I can also find the price of the restaurant on this app, which is also really useful. 

HappyHours - Over the summer, I got a slight obsession with happy hours. Not sure how or why this happened. Either way, this app helps you locate which locations closest to you have happy hours and what they offer. It's great if you feel like drinking or want to find a nice place for a few cheap appetizers. 

My Fitness Pal - This app has been my life lately. It's not complicated: it helps you keep track of what you eat and what exercises you do. This has a ton of restaurant information in it, as well as an impressive database of barcodes. You can add in calories yourself too. Over the past few weeks, it's really made me cognizant of exactly how much I eat. 

Games
I'm not a game or app reviewer, so I really stink at describing these! Look them up in your app store too! All the links are below. 

Ninja Fishing - This is a mix between a fishing game (your fishing hook vertically goes though the water. You want to catch as many fish as possible) and fruit ninja (slicing up the fish). The deeper underwater you go, the more kinds of fish there are, even rare fish too! There are different locations and since I last played it, the game creators even added collectible trash. 

Zookeeper Battle- This fun puzzle game has you switching animal tiles to match 3 or more in a row. There are special tiles that can get rid of all of one tile... or the fun part, mess with your opponent. If this were a solely one player game, it would be boring. But since you battle with someone, it's awesome! Battling gives you that sense of urgency! The game offers you little prizes to decorate your character with if you in a certain number of battles. 

Zombie Dice - I first heard of this game on Geek and Sundry's show Tabletop. It's based off a board game where you try to eat the most brains before getting shot. This part strategy, part luck game isn't as fun with a computer controlled character as with other people, but still enjoyable if you're bored. 

Tiny Tower - This is a Sim-esque economy game. You control a tower with different types of businesses and apartments in it. The "Bitizens" who live in the apartment work there too and you go around, staffing stores and stocking them. This is life consumingly addictive for the first week you play it.