Musings of a Little Girl in the Big City

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Top 6 Japanese Takeout in Midtown East

Top 6 Japanese Takeout in Midtown East

I love my Japanese food, and luckily, Midtown East where many businesses are located (including mine) have a great selection of Japanese lunches. Today I share with you my top 6 bento aka Japanese takeout stores in this busy area of New York.  Try pinning […]

10 Reasons to Go to Japan

10 Reasons to Go to Japan

I can’t believe it but I’m going to Japan in a month and a half. It feels surreal. This time I am going with Tak for the first time together so I am super excited for us to experience a place together that is so […]

eos Crystal Lip Balm

eos Crystal Lip Balm

Eye-catching. That’s one word I would use to describe eos’ new Crystal Lip Balm. It’s no easy feat for brands to outdo themselves after coming out with one widely successful product, but to me that’s exactly what eos has done with their new Crystal Lip Balm.

After seeing images of these clear jelly-like lip moisturizers all over the internet, I fell in love. For one, I love the dome shape, but two, the fact that the balm is semi-spherical and completely transparent totally mesmerizes me. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of jelly, which is one of my favorite desserts. Maybe not-so-subconsciously, I just want to eat it. Anyway, at $5.50 a pop at CVS, and armed with a 30% off coupon that came in my inbox last week, I knew this was my time to get my hands on one of these “crystal” babies.

I’m not much of a makeup addict (funny I know, since I work for a makeup company) but I don’t remember the last time I got so excited over buying a beauty product!

eos Crystal Lip Balm

eos Crystal Lip Balm

eos Crystal Lip Balm

The product contains few naturally nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil, avocado oil, and shea butter, to name a few. For me, one swipe of this product is not enough to keep my dry-as-Sahara-dessert lips moisturized so I put multiple layers to keep my lips hydrated. The product itself is not soft or jelly like, it’s hard, but it’s just so pretty to look at. So hats off to eos for a product that has captured mine and many other’s hearts!

eos Crystal Lip Balm
eos crystal lip balm

eos Crystal Lip Balm

From Runway to Reality: Anna Sui Spring 2018 Beauty Look

From Runway to Reality: Anna Sui Spring 2018 Beauty Look

Today, I want to talk about the makeup for the Spring 2018 Fashion Show Anna put on last week. Ever since I started working at my company which produces makeup for Anna Sui, it is a brand that I have fallen head over heels with. […]

Paul & Joe Lipstick Relaunch

Paul & Joe Lipstick Relaunch

For those of you who don’t know me, I work as a marketer for a makeup company and one of the brands I work on is called Paul & Joe. This past month, the brand relaunched its lipsticks and I thought I’ll share with you […]

Crabbing in Captree Park, Long Island

Crabbing in Captree Park, Long Island

A few weekends ago, I visited Dave, a friend from high school. It’s so nice to meet up with him and see how much our lives have changed but still share something common from the past, like having been to the same high school in a small town in Connecticut, which by the way I cannot believe we attended over 10 years ago!.

Speaking of how much our lives has changed, not only did Dave get married and bought a home in Long Island, and renovated it with a really nice kitchen, a few years ago, he and his wife Ting welcomed into the world an adorable young girl named Vivian whom I was dying to meet! (Picture of her later!!)

So Tak and I took another train out to Long Island and I’m happy to say we had way more fun than the first time we tried venturing out into Long Island by ourselves (I touched upon this in my last blog post)

On this particular day we visited, it was cloudy but the party still went on! He invited some of his other friends, parents in law, and we all went to the beach, where we barbecued… Dave had prepped suveed skewers and I’m not kidding y’all, it was the most tender meat on a stick I’ve ever had. They were amazing.

And then the part I have been so excited to do for the longest time: crabbing!

In case you are wondering how exactly you do crabbing (I know I was!), these are the tools you need:

  • rope
  • crab cage (something like this on Amazon for example)
  • any kind of uncooked meat that that can be tied to the cage

So, it’s fairy simple. All you do is tie everything up and throw it in the water want wait for “dinner” to come!

 

Crabbing in Long Island
Crabbing in Long Island

Some rules of crabbing I learned that day: rule 1 if they’re less than 4.5 inches they are not fully grown and you have to throw them back in the water. Rule 2: if they’re pregnant you can’t take those either!

This was my first time seeing a pregnant crab, but you can tell because they’re externally carrying a whole sac of roe on their belly – this was interesting to see, to say the least!

And hey, if all people did was fish all the crabs, there won’t be any left for the future so lets respect the rules for sustainable fishing mmkay!?

Also another thing I learned is there are three types of crabs. Blue crabs, regular crabs, and spider crabs. The first two are edible, and apparently blue legs, which are less common, taste better according to Dave. Spider crabs I learned are not edible –or I should say you do not want to eat them–and they do not look that appetizing to eat at either! This blog article has great information on the Long Island spider crabs if you are interested in seeing what they look like and learning more about them (warning: they are kind of creepy looking!).

Anyways after waiting 5-10 minutes, look what we found in the cage!

Crabbing in Long Island
Blue crabs, which get their names from their blue-colored legs, are apparently the tastiest!

You can see in the picture above but we repeated this for about an hour or two until we got a bucket full of crabs!

 

It was such a fun first time experience. And Dave and his family were such great hosts, for which we were grateful for.

captree park Long Island
View from the boardwalk

 

Crabbing in Long Island
Vivian with Ting
Crabbing in Long Island
In love with little Vivian!

 

Crabbing in Long Island captree park
it was windy, can you tell? lol

We cannot wait to hang out with the Wus next time!

If you’re interested in crabbing you can see it here:

 

Crabbing in Long Island
Where we went: Captree State Park on the tip of Jones Beach, across from Fire Island

Highly recommended if you want to BBQ, go crabbing or just chill at the beach! What are you waiting for?

 

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Best Winery Tour in Long Island

Best Winery Tour in Long Island

You can find the Japanese version of this article here. Can I be brutally honest? Summer in NYC is not that great! it’s just too hot and humid to enjoy any activity you might be doing. This being like my 5th summer in the city, […]

Weekend Guide to Philadelphia

Weekend Guide to Philadelphia

I went to Philadelphia with Takashi over Memorial Day weekend and I’m finally having the chance to sit down and write about it! My friends have asked me why out of all the places we could go to, we chose Philadelphia. Well, living in New […]

Top 9 Destinations on the Pacific Coast Highway

Top 9 Destinations on the Pacific Coast Highway

First off, I apologize for being MIA, I didn’t realize a whole month has flown by since my last post! Over the past month I took two trips, one of which I’m sharing with you today, and last week I celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday and it’s been busy and fun in the greatest way possible! I’ve also been working on this big post which I am really excited to share with you all, finally!

A couple of months ago, my boyfriend brought up the idea of the driving up California’s Pacific Coast Highway (or more commonly known as Route 1 by locals) with his friend on the way to their friend’s wedding in San Francisco. Having grown up on the East Coast almost all of my life, I had next to no idea what it was or where anything was, but it sounded really cool so of course I said yes! As the trip got closer, I began researching to get more familiar with the drive and it didn’t take long for me to get really excited about the trip!

Only there was one problem that my boyfriend brought up two weeks before our trip- the Big Sur National Park where all the pretty waterfalls and trails were located was closed for at least a couple more months due to mudslides and damages from a storm done on the one bridge that goes to Big Sur! And more recently, after we had came back from our trip, I heard that there was another massive landslide that has caused major road blockage on Route 1. If you are looking to travel Big Sur, you can check the status of the park here.

While I was disappointed to say the least since we had booked this trip months in advance, I was glad my boyfriend brought this to our attention because it sent my researching “skills” into overdrive to see what else we can find on our trip.

Luckily, I realized that California has many other natural beauties to offer.

As they say, sometimes, it’s the journey, not the destination. We had 2 full days to make the drive from LA to SF and while it’s definitely doable, I still felt that it was not enough time to see everything we wanted and at times felt a little rushed. While all that time spent in the car was definitely tiring, everything from the dynamic and truly beautiful landscape, kitschy beach towns, and the incredibly down-to-earth Air Bnb hosts we met during our stay made this trip all-so-memorable. Would I do it again? Absolutely!

From Los Angeles to Monterey, here are my 9 highlights from our trip.

  1. Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle, West Los Angeles

We landed around 10PM on a Tuesday and this is where we went right away (they were open till 2AM!). I was introduced to Tsujita 3 years ago and ever since I found out I would be returning to LA, I was itching to get back here! Their noodles are deliciously chewy and curly which I love, and the lime they give you, while definitely not traditional,  really gives the broth an extra depth that is truly delightful. What a great way to start our West Coast Road Trip!

Tsujita Ramen
Tsukemen and beer at Tsujita

2. Malibu Farm Restaurant, Malibu

The next morning, we woke up early and officially started our road trip. I’m not a big coffee drinker-tea, yes, coffee, not so much-but whenever I travel with a group, everyone needs to get coffee in the morning to get their day started and this time was no exception!

I’m a closet fan of the Real Housewives, so I really wanted to check out one of the oceanfront restaurants or cafe in Malibu that has played out numerous drama among the housewives. But honestly, it wasn’t the drama, but the setting itself that drew me to Malibu. It just seemed like a beautiful place to go to.

Luckily, my boyfriend’s friend James was also interested in an oceanfront setting, so once we hit the road we relied on Google Maps to help us find this cute cafe by the water called Malibu Farm Restaurant.

The back patio of this restaurant looked like something out of a Martha Stewart Living. It was gor-GEOUS!

Malibu Farm

Back Patio at Malibu Farm.. swoon!
Back Patio at Malibu Farm.. swoon!

While we didn’t get to eat here, I am so glad we got to stop by and find this little gem. The decor and the view here is to die for and will be back next time to try the food for sure.

3. Santa Barbara

Our next stop on the road was Santa Barbara, a little over an hour north of Malibu. We got breakfast at Sambo’s and checked out the Old Mission Santa Barbara, but driving through the town to get there was actually my favorite part. Seeing streets lined with white Spanish Stucco-style buildings with red roofs through the window of our car made me fall in love with this adorable town. I just wish we had more time to explore!

Sambos
Sambo’s
Brunch at Sambos

Santa Barbara

4. Pismo Beach

After an additonal hour or two of driving, our next stop was Pismo Beach.  We found out the boardwalk was closed once we got there, so instead went to get clam chowder at Splash Cafe even though we were already full from breakfast. Among the three of us, we shared one bowl. Decadent clam chowder here (don’t want to think about the calories!) but the Japanese in me kept thinking I’ve had Japanese food that tastes better. Overall, Pismo Beach was a kitschy, cute town but it probably would have been more exciting for us had the boardwalk been open and if it wasn’t so cloudy!

Splash Cafe at Pismo Beach
Splash Cafe where we got their famous clam chowder

5. Pinnacles National Park

After Pismo Beach, we knew we were going to have to eventually get off Route 1 due to the road being closed by the damages I mentioned in the beginning of the post, so we got off the scenic PCH and took Route 101 inland towards Pinnacles National Park. 101 surprised us in the best way possible. To us East Coast natives we loved seeing all the rolling hills and mountains, pastures, and even herds of cows, and the weather here was so much nicer, which definitely made us all happy.

Route 101
Somewhere on Route 101

Route 101

After an additional 2 hours of driving and $15 entrance fee later, we ventured into Pinnacles National Park, which apparently has become the nation’s newest national park, thanks to the efforts of the previous Administration (Obama, we miss you dearly!). This park has really unique rock formations which are the result of a volcanic eruption from over 20 million years ago. You can easily spend a whole day here exploring the caves and do other scenic hikes, but since we were on a time crunch, we did a 1 mile hike as recommended by the friendly park ranger at the visitor center.  The view was nothing like I have ever seen before. It just felt great to be walking around after all the driving! But sooner or later, we hit the road again to get to our Air Bnb in Carmel Valley.

Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park
Rock formations at Pinnacles National Park

6. Cafe Rustica at Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley first of all is an absolutely beautiful place tucked between valleys in Central California. This place has got some serious VIEWS…

Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley

After we checked into our Airbnb, we went to go eat at Cafe Rustic per the recommendation of our very nice Air Bnb host and we fell in love with this spot. Not going to lie, I was tired from all the driving and stopping, plus with the wine, I don’t remember every details, but I do remember the ambiance, the mountain backdrop, and eating delicious meal and drinking wine under a heat lamp. This place made me feel like I was in Carmel heaven and I cherished every moment of it.

Cafe Rustica Carmel Valley
Cafe Rustica at Carmel Valley

 

succulents
Succulents in front of the restaurant

 

Cafe Rustica Carmel Valley
Wine after the long drive made us all very happy!

Cafe Rustica Carmel Valley

7. 17 Mile-Drive, Monterey

The next day, we chose to do the 17 Mile Drive as an alternative to the Big Sur National Park. Admissions to the drive is $10.25 to get in, but being tourists, I was just like take our money. I’m sure the money goes into good use, like maintaining the grounds (that is what I tell myself, anyway).

17 Mile Drive
17 Mile Drive

17 Mile Drive

The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic, dramatic drive along the coast, through some redwood trees, golf courses, and very expensive homes overlooking the ocean. We even saw a mommy seal nursing a baby seal! While you can spend hours here, somehow we ended up zipping by in an hour,  getting out only a few times to snap some pictures. One of our stops was at the iconic Lone Cypress.

Lone Cypress
The 200-something year old Lone Cypress and me!

At first we weren’t very impressed by this tree but then we found out this tree has withstood storms and the sea and has been standing there, alone (or almost alone), for over 200 years. Maybe it’s the Japanese in me that romanticizes nature, but I find these things fascinating and felt deeply humbled. They now have fortification around the tree in hopes that it lasts for another 100 years and I left feeling a little wistful, hoping that it will keep living and thriving forever. But there was no time to be feeling sentimental for too long, as we quickly got back in the car because we had another big stop on our agenda: getting to, or as close as we can to the Big Sur.

8. Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur

Hopefully by this point I really drove home the fact that the Big Sur State Park is closed, but what I did not know is that the road leading up to it was going to be perhaps the best thing I’ve seen out of our trip. I soon saw why so many people come here to marvel at its beauty. I mean just look at this:

Big Sur
On the way to Big Sur

I also really enjoyed the scenery at Bixby Creek Bridge, not to mention it made for some pretty cool pictures.

Bixby Bridge
Wild life by Bixby Bridge

Bixby Bridge

Wild Succulents by Bixby Creek Bridge

To think that there are even more dramatic scenery beyond the closed gates of the park, made me know in my heart that we will be coming back one day when the park reopens!

9. Rocky Point Restaurant, Monterey

Before heading back into town, we grabbed some quick bites at Rocky Point Restaurant, which was another restaurant recommendation by our awesome Air bnb host. She gave us couple other recommendations which sounded nice but my ears definitely perked up when she said this place has ocean views with floor to ceiling windows and it did not disappoint. You definitely pay for the view, but it is well worth it in my book.

Rocky Point

Big Sur

Rocky Point
Rocky Point

After heading back to the town a bit after, we soon hit the road to San Fransisco for our friends’ wedding, which I will save for another time since I feel like this post is already quite long! I will leave with a Google Maps where I’ve plotted all the spots we hit up so you can see where everything is in relation to one another. For those who have never considered doing this road trip, I really think it should be on everyone’s bucket list. I highly recommend it!

 

 

Top 9 Destinations on Pacific Coast Highway

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

When you are a city dweller during the week, going to the park could literally feel like a mini vacation. That is why the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places to visit locally. It’s a stunning 52 acre flower park with lush greenery […]


My Diary

Hello world!

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog! I am so excited that you are here!

After all this time, I decided to start a blog for a couple of reasons.

First off my hope is that this will become a guide – to city living, makeup, favorite eats, travel tips, or a place to showcase some of my interests and progress (like room décor!) in the hopes that someone will find them useful.

Secondly – full disclosure – I work in marketing and the beauty industry, so I thought a blog would be a good platform to showcase my work and my aesthetics. I am hopeful that if I work at it and with a little bit of luck, it will even help me in my career development. We shall see.

I also have to give credit to my dad who told me to take on activities outside of work. And while starting a blog probably isn’t what he had in mind (I think he specifically said to “study more,” but I was never good at studying!), he always has my best interest in mind so when he said I need to be doing something outside of work to improve myself, I thought why not make something for myself like build a portfolio of a sort to reflect who I am.

All of this isn’t to say I didn’t have any doubts starting my blog. With so many beautiful blogs out there, it can be more than a little intimidating!

But sometimes you have to cast away your doubts and your fears, take a leap of faith. Sometimes someone just needs to nudge you in the right direction. I appreciate my boyfriend and friends for your input and encouragement, and of course my dad for telling me to do more in life.

I am beyond excited to share this journey with you. Thank you so much for reading.

Stay tuned for another post (very) soon!

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