Monday, March 28

blog; ROK Sushi Kitchen

For my best friend's boyfriend's birthday, we ate out at:
ROK Sushi Kitchen in Hermosa Beach

1200 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach
RSVP/Takeout #310-798-4ROK
Delivery #310-441-2483

ROK Sushi Kitchen in in Hermosa Beach is a sushi-restaurant-slash-bar with dim lighting, Asiatic decor, and huge flat-screen televisions that were showing either a sports channel or clips from famous wuxia -- there's a huge emphasis on Bruce Lee in this place, which I found odd since Bruce Lee is very much a Chinese star and sushi is very much a Japanese food...well, whatever. The restaurant vibe is calm, the staff are generally friendly, and the food was decent; however, since the five of us are college students (not to mention my lack of employment), we found the prices a bit steep. Personally, I wouldn't put ROK on my list of "places to revisit for dinner." The menu leans heavily towards Japanese food, with lots of tempura for appetizers, a gratuitous amount of seafood for the entrees, a few chicken dishes scattered around, and sushi. Lots of sushi.

For appetizers, the five of us split a large serving of edamame, priced at $7USD per order. That bowl used to be piled high until my friend Tracy and I went at it like the soybean gluttons that we were. The guys -- for we were the only ladies in the group of five -- were a little more reluctant. I think it was perhaps due to the fact that they'd never really eaten edamame before, or if they have, it had been a while.

Left: chicken teriyaki roll; chicken, avocado, cucumber, teriyaki sauce [$10USD]
Right: Philly roll; salmon, cream cheese, smelt eggs, avocado, tempura style topped with spicy mayo [$14USD]
My friend Master Chief (that's what we're going to call him around these parts) had the chicken teriyaki roll, and I took the Philly. I have a love for cream cheese, so I couldn't help it. He seemed to enjoy his food, and I liked mine well enough, but was it worth $15USD delicious? Unfortunately, I didn't think so.

Left: Efren roll; baked crab, asparagus, tuna, avocado, eel sauce [$16.50USD]
Right: chicken teriyaki (entree); served with rice and tempura vegetables [$14USD]
My best friend Tracy had the Efren roll. Now, I have no idea why it's called the "Efren" roll, and I didn't bother to ask, but damn if it doesn't look like the classic dragon roll's cooler cousin. She didn't seem wowed by it, but it was one of the few non-spicy rolls on the menu so that's why she chose it. Her boyfriend Derek and last member of the group Marco both ordered the chicken teriyaki entree, because Marco is kind of a sushi wuss and refuses to eat raw fish. Boo. I nabbed Derek's squash/pumpkin tempura, which was awkward since he was supposed to give that to Tracy, but then Marco gave Tracy his squash/pumpkin tempura, and we pigged out. I love tempura; I have nothing bad to say about it ever. I didn't hear anyone exclaiming in pleasure as they ate, though, so I think we all came to a silent consensus that while the food was good, it wasn't "spend a ton of money we could use towards students loans" good.

At the end, our server (whose name I never bothered to get, fml) was kind enough to even give Derek a birthday present: an order of banana tempura over vanilla ice cream, and a candle on top. Derek, who by the way is painfully introverted, was mildly horrified from his expression, but he was a very good sport about it and even blew out the candle. Note: Our awesome server didn't charge us for dessert. I can't tell you how it tasted since I had to back out on that -- I'm mildly allergic to cinnamon. Ingesting it causes a mild inflammation of my throat -- think a sore throat, but without the hacking cough -- and makes me scratch at my neck until it's red. Not fun, and not worth it.

ROK was a nice experience, but "nice" doesn't really cut it at their prices. I was really expecting better of the food. On the other hand, the interior and the really nice servers (who were always very prompt!) almost makes me want to go back.

Monday, March 21

video; Klaire's lashes.

I've finally managed to procure all the necessary ingredients (some substitutions) to try and make/use this homemade lash growth gel. Here's hoping! :)

Thanks to Klaire of Klaredelysart on YouTube for this video!

Thursday, March 17

photos; Spring in the air.

I think I have a greater fondness for pink eyeshadow than I'd actually admit. Then again, it's such a nice color and fits the spring season nicely, so I suppose that it's not really my fault I used it today. (Even though it's St. Patrick's Day, I didn't even think of the color green. That might have to do with the fact that I don't actually like green very much.)

I used a warm yellow on the inner half of the lid and then pink on the outer half, blending the two where the colors met and adding a hint of orange at that section. This is really just a variation of a summertime look I did last year (see it here) but without the green liner on the bottom. Come to think about it, though, this look is more fit for the summer while the older variation is more fit for the, self.

Products Used:
Wet 'n Wild Ultimate Sheer SPF15 tinted moisturizer in Sun-Kissed
E.L.F. Studio Line under-eye liquid concealer in Medium
MAC MSF in Medium
New York Color LE Blushable Creme Stick in Pink Flash
Wet 'n Wild Coloricon eye pencil in Taupe
Wet 'n Wild MegaLiner liquid eyeliner in 868 Brown
E.L.F. Mineral eyeshadow primer
E.L.F. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette
L'Oreal Voluminous WP mascara in Black

I'm an NC35 in MAC, which is generally a medium skintone.

Amazing how a change in lighting can affect the outcome of a photo.

Hope you all had a happy Paddy's day. I'm ready for the first day of spring already (it's happening this Sunday)!

Saturday, March 12

video; Japan relief.

Asahi, also known as manwomanfilm on YouTube, is one of my favorite YouTube makeup artists and posted up a video not just to personally ask for help, but to try and make sure everyone donates to an authentic organization. She knows that people may create fraudulent charities to try and get others' money during times like these and has put up information on the information bar of this video (just click to go straight to the video page) to make sure nobody is conned. She's covered a lot of charities from a lot of different places.

Even in distress, she's also thinking about people who want to help and hoping they don't get gypped if they do try to donate. I really, seriously adore her. I hope her friend contacts her soon.

Monday, March 7

blog; Her name is Maya,

and I hate her.

I am allowed to hate her because she is my digital personal trainer, the host of the Wii game My Fitness Coach (which seems to have disappeared off the shelves because I can't find it anywhere anymore), and doesn't care that I haven't played the game in a solid seven months. She won't stop to let me take a breather; no, this woman will tell me to do my squats and remain effortlessly effervescent while I struggle along.

I'm insanely out of shape if I can't even last fifteen minutes without my knees going all rickety.

Saturday, March 5

photos; ELF haul (again!) and current color.

President's Day ELF haul! (There was a free shipping coupon!)

I heard about this deal from Becky ("Everyday Makeup") who made a post here, and I couldn't resist it; ELF has always been inexpensive, but I hated ordering stuff because of the killer shipping. The President's Day deal was free shipping for orders of $15 and up, though, so I had to buy. I got the Studio Line Kabuki Face Brush, Studio Line Blushes in "Peachy Keen" & "Pink Passion," their Shimmering Facial Whip in "Pink Lemonade" & "Golden Peach" (which I think is a new color?) and finally, their Mineral Eyeshadow Primer. I was really just after the kabuki and the primer, but since I needed to reach at least $15USD...well. :)

I haven't tried any of the blushers or facial whips, but I opened the primer straightaway. I use Urban Decay's Primer Potion right now, but right now I'm wearing the mineral primer to see if it keeps shadows from creasing. It's just a little experiment... (Meanwhile, I marvel over the kabuki brush. It's quite dense, but not as soft as I was expecting from reviews.)

While we're here, I also painted my nails for the first time in months!

I'm currently wearing Wet 'n Wild craze nail color in "Rustic/Rustique" on my nails. You can see how it looks with flash and without. I really like it; the color is kind of a chocolate bronze with nice shimmer. And the opacity! I'm wearing two coats and that was all it took. :) I really love these craze varnishes something fierce. I have all of the colors. ♥

Sadly, because of this latest ELF haul (and another little haul I forgot I did back last year during another sale), my makeup box is overloaded. That's a real sign that I need to stop the madness. I'm sticking to my makeup no-buy, I promise; the last thing I bought at a drugstore was a pack of cotton pads on sale at Rite-Aid because I was running out of cotton balls. I'm running low on witch hazel, though, so I'll be back to get another bottle in a few weeks...

Anyway, how's everyone?

Friday, March 4

blog; The whys and wherefores of wanting.

Why do I write? Why do I take time out to do what I do?
I think it might be because writing is my life. I live to write.

I don't think there's anything I enjoy more than the written word. Than language. Than reading and maybe being read. I don't know; it's the one thing I think I'm going to do until the end of my life. I just want to keep on writing.

Thursday, March 3

blog; Swag.

I have a bunch of stuff I bought from my trip to the Philippines, but haven't get gotten around to using them. I have an entire skincare set from mineral FLOWERS but I haven't even finished the DARPHIN Paris skincare I got from my dad as a birthday present, so that's why I haven't written about anything. Currently I've been interested in hair products; I guess this has something to do with the fact that this past year (2010) saw the most changes in my hair, from bleaching to a dye job to various cuts. It's time to take better care of my hair!

I found this deep conditioning treatment on clearance at CVS while I was lamenting my makeup no-buy a couple of days ago. I was drawn by the whole made with natural ingredients claim, but what got me was that it was on clearance. It was original $6-7USD, but clearance gave it to me at $1.74USD. Haven't used it yet, but I'll try it eventually. Right now I'm using the Aussie 3-Minute Deeeep deep conditioner whenever I feel like it, and Aussie Hair Insurance leave-in conditioner for my hair. I constantly smell like coconuts.

The CVS Beauty Clearance sale happened quite a while ago, but I only picked up a couple of things, both from Revlon. I haven't tried the under-eye concealer yet, but I've tried the Colorburst lipstick in "Coral" and it's such a fun, bright color. Definitely a pick-me-up lipstick. I picked up the Milani Liquif'Eye silver eyeliner pencil from CVS too, just to try it out. It's really...something. The nail polish is the new quick-dry nail polish from Wet 'n Wild in the color "Gray's Anatomy"...even though it looks purple with flash. Duo-chrome nail polish, I suppose? Then there's the new Wet 'n Wild megalast retractable eyeliner's pretty creamy, but I haven't tested staying power yet. (I wonder if this can be a Revlon Colorstay retractable pencil dupe...)

Meanwhile, I forge on with the Olay Pro X! My skin's been great so far, but I have a painful spot which signifies the coming of my hell week. I don't mean it academically. Other than the spot, my skin's been feeling great. :) I've never felt very fussed about going barefaced, but nowadays I feel even better about it.

(No, honest, there's a spot on my cheek.)

Wednesday, March 2

photos; From Vietnam.

Okay, so these photos aren't actually from Vietnam. I'll explain as we go along...?

I'm Filipino, so most of the time, I'm eating rice and ulam, like kare-kare or maybe sinigang. My family doesn't really enjoy eating out, since we're all pretty much boring people who like to stay at home, watch movies (and Jeopardy!) and read, so I don't really get to eat much other cuisines. Every once in a while, though, my mum gets a craving for Vietnamese phở and visits the Vietnamese restaurant within walking distance of our house and buys some for everyone. She went out on a trip with a girl friend on Monday and was thoughtful enough to buy me something for dinner. Not that I can't fend for myself in the kitchen, but I have no idea how to make phở or bánh xèo (which is that pancake/omelet-looking thing). Vietnamese food always reminds me of my best friend, who is currently working as an English-language teacher in Japan.

Speaking of my best friend, I finally received the present she sent me for Christmas! It's so cute!

Basically it's a mouse that looks like a penguin from a brand called Panda. I love that it glows.