Thursday, March 14, 2013

I have been negligent

Of my blog for way too long!!! This makes my post, the first of 2013! Much of the things I need to blog about are long overdue. Let's get started and go back a few months...

First and foremost, HAPPY NEW YEAR! The world didn't end on Dec. 21 and another wonderful year has been tucked away under the belt. I'm striving for great and amazing things in 2013!

Second, I just celebrated my 22nd birthday. Being twenty-two just sounds so old... but saying that I'm twenty-one just makes me feel like I'm underage. Nonetheless, I'm still going to say I'm 21 and milk it for the next 20 years.

2012 overall was an amazing year, but also on the other hand, it was somewhat rocky. I still am truly blessed for all the great things that happened to me. I celebrated a Secret Santa Christmas gathering with friends. Our gathering consisted of dinner, Secret Santa and of course drinking games. I gifted an orange world series tshirt, baseball ornament and a lottery scratcher to Josh and I got my Bare Minerals kit that I wanted from Ray!

For Christmas, I spent my weekend with babe and family. It was nice having a relaxing weekend and I watched Titanic in its entirety! I gifted babe's mom a GAP sweater, Hello Kitty plush toy, and Cocoa Bella chocolates, her boyfriend a GAP sweater as well, babe a superdry jacket and a massage chair topper, Ray an express argyle sweater and Mimi the MAC crushed pigments. I received the Too Faced bon bon palette, Benefit coralista, adidas jacket and a cold from babe.

It was New Years Eve and I was still feeling a bit under the weather and I had nearly no sense of taste but babe made reservations to Espetus, a Brazilian steakhouse to ring in the new year. He made reservations for 7:30pm and when we arrived, we were told that we would be seated as soon as they had a table. Needless to say, the restaurant was extremely busy. Luckily they had a bar, where we saw a couple of friends. My boyfriend and I ordered some drinks with the friendly bartenders and chatted. A little later, we were offered a plate of appetizers by a server. The appetizer plate consisted of deep fried banana, mini popovers, and steak fries.

About 10 minutes later, we were seated and awaited our server. Our server came around and told us that we were to go to the buffet line and help ourselves while keeping in mind that they are sides. When we come back to the table with our plates and our little wheel trinket was set to "Sim, Por Favor" would we be served meats. The only menus for the night would be the wine list and the dessert menu.

Our server told us that there were 15 different meats to try as well as pineapple. However, I don't think we got to try all 15 different meats.

Filet Mignon
Chicken hearts
Lamb shoulder
Grilled pineapple
Bacon wrapped steak
Bacon wrapped chicken
Lamb shank

Garlic Steak
Filet Mignon
Chicken hearts
Pork tenderloin
Lamb Shoulder
Beef ribs
Grilled pineapple
Bacon wrapped steak
Bacon wrapped chicken
Lamb shank

The best part of my meal was the exquisite sirloin. It was juicy on the flavorful on the inside and charred to a crisp on the outside. My boyfriend really liked the lamb shoulder. We both enjoyed the delicious grilled pineapple. It was like cutting into butter and it burst of sweet, sweet pineapple. For dessert, we shared a delicious creme brulee.
SF restaurants participate in a program, bi-annually where restaurants have a prix fixed menu for lunch and dinner, called Dine About Town.

Babe and I went to Alfred's Steakhouse, however Alfred's Steakhouse should just be Alfred's because steak is clearly not their forte. I ordered oysters, the Caesar salad, boneless ribeye, and bread pudding while my boyfriend had the leek soup, New York steak and chocolate cake.

The oysters were good, just like any oysters you can eat anywhere else. We both waited at least 20 minutes for a simple Caesar salad and leek soup. 20 minutes! It's not like there was even a little garnish for presentation on my boyfriend's soup! An additional 20 minutes later, our main steak entrees came out. Both our cuts of meat were charred black with no flavor whatsoever. This is probably why they give you a gravy cup full of sauces of your choosing. Finally it was time for dessert, and boy was the bread pudding heavenly. The chocolate cake needed more work.

- Upon arrival to Alfred's, the host seemed a bit discombobulated and unorganized with reservations.
- Our server never came to check on us and ask how our food was.
- There's a ridiculously whopping 17% service charge added to the bill. Supposedly everyone that works there gets a portion of that charge.
- 20 minute wait for soup and salad.
- Ambiance is like Maltese Falcon and Prohibition era speakeasy.
- Steak was terrible.
- Dessert was delicious.

I also had a delightful girls night out on the last day of DAT at Chez Papa Bistrot. The restaurant had indoor and outdoor seating available. The seating indoor is small and a bit cramped. The whole restaurant was also very noisy.

For dinner, I chose the mussels, the lamb and the apple dessert. The mussels appetizers were delicious and had a lot of flavor. I didn't experience any shell residue inside the meat when I bit down and it was cooked in a delicious soupy broth. I have to say though, that the portion was quite large and one could definitely get full off the mussels. The lamb entree was also very flavorful and tangy, however it was slightly salty. The apple dessert was petite and refreshing. My friends and I also paired our food with two bottles of wine. The wine was the right amount of sweet and dry.

Creme brulee!
I like lighting fixtures :)
Aphrodisiacs ;)
Boring leek soup!

Delicious bread pudding
So so chocolate cake
Babe's escargot
Funny escargot contraption
Salad wasn't very good.
Duck wellington
Dessert! Pretty good
Creme brulee

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Clinique Chubby Stick vs. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

Hello lovelies! Can you believe its almost the end of 2012?! I can't... I remember yesterday was just January! Hope you all had an amazing year and an amazing holiday season. A lot has happened this year but I'll save that for another post.

Not too long ago, I was going crazy over lippies. Bold fall colors, bold loud colors, nude colors, pink colors. I was all over them! I was after the gift with purchase for Clinique so I went too the counter and bought the chubby stick and a lip liner. After that, I thought the Revlon balm stains were also a good idea so I bought three.

When I bought the chubby stick I was in love with the color. A nice bright purple-pink hue. When I tried it on at home I liked it but not as much as I had hoped. The color payoff on my lips wasn't great. It was very sheer and more of a tinted balm. The chubby sticks are a bit expensive for just a tinted balm. The chubby sticks don't have any menthol in it to plump the lips.

The balm stain from Revlon on the other hand had a huge color payoff. I swiped the balm on my lips once and it was already very pigmented, so you don't need much. I think I like the balm stain more than the chubby stick. And for the price, the balm stain is much more worth it. I think the balm stains have a bit of menthol in them to plump up the lips.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain
Clinique Chubby Stick
Revlon has more product???
Revlon Balm Stain has more color while Clinique Chubby Stick is more of a glossy balm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Viva La August Day 6

Our very last day in Sin City and of course neither of us wanted to leave. We decided to put our Planet Hollywood coupon booklet to good use before we left and used up most of them.

We got ourselves some Earl of Sandwich, then went up the Paris Eiffel Tower ride and went to Serendipity to enjoy lunch. Earl of Sandwich was of course amazing, and if you haven't tried it yet, make sure you get a sandwich (or two) the next time you visit Las Vegas. The wait can get long and seats are limited so go at a time where you don't think it'll be busy. I personally really enjoyed the Earl's Club.

Babe and I used the coupon for the Paris Eiffel Tower ride. Before you hop on the elevator to the observation ledge, two pictures are taken by the employees at the Eiffel Tower bridge. The ride going up on the elevator was a little nerve racking just because I've been increasingly afraid of heights. I was most scared when we got onto the observation ledge and walked around to see the ground. The scenery itself was very nice however. Another thing you must experience in Las Vegas. You can see all of the exquisite casino/hotels and even the Bellagio fountain show!

Afterwards, we headed over to the M&M store and Coca Cola store. The M&M store didn't have much for us, while we got to try the Around The World at the Coca Cola store. If you haven't tried it, go try it. The flavor I least enjoyed from the tray was I think "Beverly", it had a weird spice taste to it.

The last day of Sin City and I must say we did a good job to tucking a bunch of sight seeing firsts under our belt. After our final look around, we left for the airport.

As they say, until next time.
Earl's Sammitch early in the morning
All aboard!
Sneaking a peek
Frrrozen hot chocolate
Skirt steak
All around the world

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ladies, it is October which means its also breast cancer awareness month. And I am publishing this post to inform everyone young and old.

**Very emotional post, please close window if you're heartless. Insensitive comments need not post.**

Circa summer 2008, someone dear to me was diagnosed with breast cancer just a couple months post-partum. She took all necessary precautions to rid her body of the evil cancerous cells and even detected it early. My reaction upon discovering the news was pure shock, the kind of shock where you're frozen in your body and don't know how to react anymore.

After the diagnosis, whenever I saw her, she was happy and full of joy, as it should be, forgetting her worries and enjoying her life. I remember we even watched "The Dark Knight" together. She had the support of her friends and family, and I would often get updates of her health. She decided to undergo chemotherapy and from then on her health deteriorated. The cancer cells were beginning to metastasize and began to infiltrate other parts of her body, the brain, the lymph nodes as well as the breast all had cancer cells. Though the news of this sounded like a death sentence, she was strong and full of hope to regain her clean bill of health. I have never seen someone with that much willpower to want to live, to enjoy their lives and spend whatever time she had left with the ones in the places that meant the most.

After some rounds of chemotherapy, she said she felt lifeless, fatigued, lethargic and of course the hair on her head became more and more sparse until there was no more. But I only ever saw her with her fabulous wig, never a bald head with nothing more than a couple hairs atop her head that confirmed all suspicions that she had cancer. She then ceased chemotherapy treatment. It wasn't about being vain, it was about her overall well being. Because there wasn't an alternative effective mainstream treatment, some of us didn't agree with her discontinuing the chemotherapy, ultimately it was her choice. She ended up researching a treatment that would hopefully cure her. It was a holistic approach that consisted of a strict diet.

I remember the day we all went to the hospital to visit her. It was the first time I saw her without a wig and of course I cried, everyone cried. How else can one feel when someone dear to you is lying helpless in a hospital bed. Words could no longer soothe her, only selfless support of her decisions for her own health.

For a couple of months her health fluctuated, better to stable to worse until she passed on just a few months shy of a year since the diagnosis and on the wedding anniversary of her and her husband's. Again, getting wind of the news was pure shock. I didn't cry until I uttered the words to myself that she had passed on. She left a loving husband and a new born child. There was nothing more that I wanted than her to be a survivor, to see her husband and her new born child grow up.

Since her passing, I've been a bit more attentive to things that may cause harm to my health. 

Personally, products containing parabens are deal breakers and I try to stay away from them as much as I can. However, sometimes they can't be evaded.

Take an active role in your health!

Purchase products that are paraben free. Parabens are added to products such as makeup and lotions to prolong their shelf life. I don't like parabens because when it enters the body, it can mimic the hormone estrogen. For young girls, it can also cause early puberty. The four parabens that are prevalent in products are: Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. Parabens are usually found near the end of the ingredients list. Yes, it means that there is very little concentration of it in the products, but have you thought of how many products you use daily that may contain parabens in it? Getting exposed to it daily can increase your risk.

Try to purchase nail polishes that are formaldehyde, DBP and toluene free. These three chemicals are known carcinogens. Years ago I went to a natural makeup event that let people sample nail polishes that were free of the carcinogenic trio and the best part was that there was no smell whatsoever. I was also told that the nail polishes were available for purchase at the local health stores in my area. Do your research and see if you can purchase them online. The organic nail polishes can get a bit pricey. The small bottle I sampled years ago cost about $13.

Don't dye your hair or dye it less. I know some people love their hair dye but it can cause health problems. My mom frequently shows me articles about girls that dye their hair and a chemical in the dye causes a horrible allergic reaction and is potentially fatal. Why do you think pregnant women don't want to dye their hair? If you can't stay away from dying your hair, try to stay as far away as you can from the roots. Try to purchase organic hair dye.

Eat your veggies! There are many vegetables that are anticarginogenic such as mint, basil and lemongrass. Eating too much meat can cause gout and other diseases. Furthermore, I've never heard of people eating a plant based diet contract mad cow disease. Furthermore, with so many genetically modified foods it is important to eat healthy.

Drink out of a stainless steel canteen. Not a plastic water bottle. It's eco-friendly, you're diminishing your carbon foot print while diminishing the intake of BPA in your system that is found in water bottles. Stainless steel canteens can be purchased anywhere.

For those that have been recently diagnosed with cancer, never lose hope that you will see another day. Do not let cancer win and put up a good fight.

For those that received news that a family member or friend has been diagnosed with cancer, please give them your 110% support. They need you to be their backbone during this difficult time and being supportive is extremely valuable.

Cancer is not a death sentence when detected early, please spread the word to everyone you love to get their scans. Cancer is not only limited to people of 45 years of age and older but has become more and more prevalent among younger groups of people.

Stay healthy and be vigilant of your own health.

Wear your pink ribbon, donate to legitimate organizations that are trying to find a cure for breast cancer and purchase goodies that also donate to breast cancer foundations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Viva La August Day 5

Our last full day and night together in Sin City and we didn't do much actually. In retrospect it was a waste of a beautiful day. Ended up going to the Venetian to gamble a bit after we made a trip to Earl's of Sandwich (I think). We were at the Venetian quite a while and then just waited for dinner time to arrive.

We went to the buffet at The Mirage this time, which wasn't very good at all... If I had to rate them in order it would be:
1. The Wynn Buffet
2. Wicked Spoon Buffet
3. Spice Market Buffet
4. Bellagio Buffet
5. The Mirage Buffet
6. The Aria Buffet
The Mirage Buffet by far was the least enticing in terms of presentation and there wasn't much to choose from. I can quickly recall that the chow mein from the Mirage were pretty good in comparison to everything else.

After dinner we decided to watch the Mirage volcano show which was ever so convenient. Too bad we just missed the show and had to wait another hour for the next one. The show itself was okay the weather was pretty humid already and the addition of the spewing fire torches made it feel like I was melting.