Friday, April 30, 2010

~ Feature Friday: Art of Amy ~

It's Friday! The weather is beautiful and I am ready for a fun filled weekend. But first, let me show you the amazing Art of Amy. Amy has a lot of wonderful artwork of ladies that focus on the flow of the dress and the hair. I love her work! She paints a lot of my favorite fairy tale characters like Cinderella's fairy god mother.

Amy's Etsy shop is pretty new, but she has a good variety of artwork and cards already.

Amy has been upcycling some card stocks and magazine recipes and turning them into beautiful cards. Her cards are $3.5 each which is a decent price.

According to her shop announcement, the next two people to buy an art print gets another one for free! So that's like getting 2 prints for $10! What a great deal! Everyone is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland right now and she has 6 prints inspired by it.

Amy also has a blog that showcases her art. It shows pieces that are not in her Etsy shop, so be sure to check it out too. Look what I found on her blog...a girl in a yellow dress! That's so me!

I wonder if she does custom orders. It would be fun to see what she would come up with if I ask her to draw me. Maybe a girl with a yellow dress with lots of crystals? Or would it be lots of food? What do you think she would draw for you? I hope you like her art as much as I do! Be sure to check out her shop and heart her shop/items to encourage this new artist on Etsy!

~ Do you want to be featured? Leave a comment here and I will take a look at your shop. I will pick one to be featured every Friday! ~

Thursday, April 29, 2010

~ Hot Coke with Ginger for Cough and Colds ~

I have been coughing for a few days. No other symptoms except general fatigue. And it gets bad in the morning and at night. So bad that when I wake up, I cough till I want to puke. So, last night, my step mom called and during the first 5 minutes of the conversation, I coughed out every other word. So, she told me to heat up some coke with ginger. Sounds weird, but familiar so I got some coke and ginger today to try it.

It's so weird to boil coke. I just pore it in the pot and threw in the ginger. I don't think I put enough ginger though. Going to try it again tomorrow with more ginger. After it started to fully boil, I turned down the heat to medium and left it for about 10 minutes.

It tasted like sugar water with ginger. It wasn't the best thing in the world but it was good. And guess what. I talked on the phone for like 2 hours today with my mom after I drank this and I barely coughed! I think it's working!

There's actually an article in Times China blog about this drink! According to it, it's a Chinese drink and people used to use brown sugar and water instead of coke. It's supposed to be a remedy for colds. There's another version that adds lemon as well and there's an eHow article about that. Lemon sounds good, but I don't have any lemons. Oh well. Bad side affect? I am still wide awake and it's late!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

~ Sakagura: the Hidden Jewel of NYC ~

This past weekend, I was up in NYC again taking "engagement pictures". I saw the pictures, but wasn't allow to take any home so I have nothing to show yet. Anyways, on Saturday, we had a special dinner at Sakagura. It was highly recommended by a friend and has 4.5 stars on Yelp. I was pretty excited to go. When I made the reservation, the lady said "You'll have the table from 7-9 and we will only hold your table for 15 minutes." What? Really? Do we get kicked out if we stay past 9? So strict! We got there around 7:30, but we called ahead to change our reservation.

The restaurant is beautiful. It is a little strange because it's in the basement of this office building. The coolest part was the bathroom. You wouldn't even know it's a bathroom until someone opens the door for you. Like Ninja, they have those high tech butt cleansing toilets too.

I can talk about the food right after I talk about the toilets right? The menu looks like a tapaz menu with many small portioned dishes. The waitress recommended to order 3-5 dishes per person. This picture shows (from left to right): Kamo Roast (duck), Tori Tsukune (Chicken Meat Balls with Teriyaki Sauce), and Gindara Yuan Yaki (Grilled Cod Fish). The duck was excellent. Meat ball was ok. Cod fish was excellent too.

Here we have a beef dish and rice balls. The rice balls weren't spectacular, but I wanted some rice. I forgot what that beef dish is but the Gyu Miso Nikomi was definitely awesome. It is shredded beef back ribs stewed in Miso topped with grated dikon radish. Another note worthy dish was the Tori Karaage which is basically really good fried chicken.

This was a fun specialty dish on the front page. It was $20. It's served raw with the really hot stone to cook the beef. It was really good with the sauce and salt. And it's always fun to have something sizzle at the table.

We also had one of the famous sakes. I forgot the name. Something 515. It was a good sake. I don't usually like sake, but this one was ok to me and delicious to my friends. It was about $40 for a half bottle. Sakagura is actually famous for the sakes. Some are $70 for half a bottle!

Overall, everything was good at the restaurant. It felt very authentic. Our waitress and hostess spoke with Japanese accent and just oozed Japanese culture from the way they acted. And there were Japanese people eating there. The place looks very Japanese. Can't get any more authentic than that. The only downside? The price is a little bit steep. You order a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Before you know it, your bill is a couple hundred dollars. But, good food is worth the money right? For this much money though, I think Ninja is more fun.

Monday, April 26, 2010

~ Please Support My Friend at OneSight ~

My awesome friend Raechelle is going to China for an OneSight event. OneSight is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving vision for those in need in North America and in developing countries around the world. Since 1988, OneSight has helped more than seven million people on five continents and in hundreds of communities across North America see clearly.

Raechelle is an optometrist. Lens Crafters is sponsoring her to go to China to provide vision checks and glasses. She already went to Thailand once for an event and she helped hundreds of people see clearly! I think it's so awesome that she's using her professional skills to help people in such a fundamental way. She was so excited when she came back from Thailand and told me about all the people she found glasses for. I remember she talked about these twins who had similar prescriptions. It's hard to find 2 pair of donated glasses that are that close in prescription, but she found them so both of the kids can see clearly now!

I am nearly blind without my glasses and I can't even imagine living without them. But, millions of people live without eye care in the world. Raechelle and OneSight are doing what they can so people can see and feel better about themselves and live a better life. She's trying to raise $500 in addition to volunteering her time. I hope you would support her by donating any amount of money you can to OneSight by clicking here.

Got old glasses lying around? You can donate them! Donate yours today at any: LensCrafters, ILORI, Optical Shop of Aspen, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical or participating local practitioner. You can find a location near you on the OneSight website.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

~ Pearls, Worms and Immortality ~

I follow a lot of blogs and I spend my lunch time reading them everyday. That's about 200 articles a day! Every week, I am wowed and inspired by many of these articles and I just want to share :)

Drink water out of a box! on BitsRebel I really do hate bottled water, but it's somewhat of a necessary evil. I carry one around with me whenever I go out in the summer. I do try to use the bottle a couple of times though, but, after a few times, they go to the recycle bin. These boxed water looks promising! Though it is not as easy to hold and not as safe for the purse. But, I think these will be great for picnics and such.

The only animal that can live forever...on BitsRebel Did you know that a species of Jellyfish can go from adult to baby to adult as many times as they want? So, technically, they can live forever!

Hand carved acrylic jewelry by kyoko hashimoto on ScoutieGirl Wow! What a great find! I can't believe this is handcarved!

Grow worms in your backyard! I learned about red wrangler worms from the Modish Blog this week. They are great for composting your food wastes! This post shows an easy way to make a compost bin so the bag of salad you swear you were gonna eat 2 weeks ago won't be going to waste anymore. Just feed it to your worms! Did you know that... "Food waste is the third largest waste stream after paper and yard waste, which means we pay for the food to go bad, then pay for it again to be taken to the landfill. . . then it pollutes the ever-livin' worm poop outta this here earth. " I hate worms, but I hate wasting food even more. Besides, there are worms in my yard anyway. More won't hurt.

Pearl from Beading Gem wrote about Conch Pearls. What? There are conch pearls?? I didn't know that! Conch are such cool creations! Ever since I went to Turks and Caicos and saw them, I have fallen in love with their soft pink and peach shells. And now, Pearl tells me that they produce pearls too? They are just such awesome creations. Another reason I loved this article is because it has some science and earth friendly results too. Check it out :)

Which one of these is your favorite article?

Friday, April 23, 2010

~ Feature Friday: Kitty Kat Kards ~

Thanks for everyone who commented on last week's Feature Friday: Mu Yin Jewelry! According to my Google Analyics, there was 87 direct views on the feature! Out of all you awesome people, I decided to show off Kitty Kat Kards today. Tina makes great origami cards that I love and she's in Maryland just like me! Look at these cute little dresses! If I am feeling sick and someone gave me this card, I would feel better right away :)

Look at this cute set of mini thank you cards! Wouldn't it be great to get a set for your bridesmaids in the colors of their bridesmaid dresses?

She has many other cards like bunnies, puppies, butterflies and flowers. If you are one that likes to prepare for the next year, she has a great selection of clearance cards for the past holidays like Valentine's Day and Easter. Or, if you are only concerned about the upcoming Mother's Day, she has 16 mother's day cards for you to choose from!

I have been stalking Tina's blog this week. Her blog is full of adventures and tips from her card creations. Looks like she's been trying to make a card every day. That's dedication and passion for your craft! She's been under the weather lately too. Please stop by her blog and wish her well!

~ Do you want to be featured? Leave a comment here and I will take a look at your shop. I will pick one to be featured every Friday! ~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

~ Beef and King Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry ~

Have you ever had King Oyster Mushrooms? They are big, about 4 inches tall with small caps. I get them from international grocery stores. These are one of my favorite mushrooms! My dad calls them "chicken leg mushrooms" because I think they can pass for chicken if cooked in a certain way.

These are really easy to make. You buy a pack from the grocery store. 1 package is usually good for 1 meal. The stalk should be firm and white. They keep well in the fridge for about a week or two. Though, by 2 weeks, you may see little white fuzz growing near the bottom of the stalks. Just cut them off. For stir frying, I like to cut them a little slanted to get ovals from the stalks. They are fun to cut because the stalk is like a firm sponge. After you cut them, it may look like a lot, but they will shrink as you cook.

After you cut and rinse them, you can stir fry it with beef slices. You know how to stir fry right? Heat up the wok, add oil, put in some garlic slices if you like garlic, then throw in the beef. When the beef is half cooked, throw in the mushroom. The mushrooms are cooked when it looks translucent and feels more bouncy. Then just add some oyster sauce and sugar and stir and you are done. Add as much oyster sauce as you like. Go easy first, taste test and add more if needed.

All done! That took what....15 minutes? Just 4 ingredients: mushroom, beef, oyster sauce and sugar. How easy is that? And it's so yummy! The texture of the mushroom is firm and bouncy. If you don't see the mushroom caps, you won't even realize it's mushroom! Basically, beef and oyster sauce just go together. Just add whatever veggies you like and stir fry it the same way. Good veggies choices are broccoli, Chinese broccoli, green beans, and pea pods.

~ What's your favorite kind of mushrooms? ~

Monday, April 19, 2010

~ New Lampwork Glass Charms ~

I spent a lot of time taking pictures yesterday! I have been collecting these charms for a while now, but haven't had time to list them in my supplies shop. This is most of it, but I am still not done taking pictures of them. Here are the four "collections".

Owls I love these owls! The blue ones and the red ones are the babies and the topaz ones are the wise ones. Though I wonder if the owl obsession on Etsy is over.

Aquatics Goldfish, puffy tropical fish and a star. The star is very special because it glows in the dark. It's actually pretty bright!

Farm Animals Pigs, chicken, sheeps and their guard dogs. The guard dogs also glow in the dark. I only have 2 though.

Sunshine Yellow Ok, I just lumped a bunch of the yellow ones together. There's the nerdy chick, bumble bee, angel, princess, pineapples and corn. The nerdy chick is so funny. I love the glasses.

Oops...forgot to include these bunnies.

These charms are great for purse charms, phone charms, lamp pull charms, scissor charms and more! I think the glow in the dark ones are perfect for lamp pulls because they glow. I actually have a glow in the dark star hanging on the chain for my ceiling fan in my room. It's super cute in the dark! I have started listing these in my shop. If you see anything here that's not in my shop and you want it now, just let me know.

~ Which one is your favorite? ~

Sunday, April 18, 2010

~ I Look Like ... Joey Yung?? ~

I was reading blogs while eating my breakfast and I found something fun on Lipgossiping. It's a program by MyHeritage that takes your picture and tell you which celebrity you look like. So, of course I had to try it! Here is an old picture of me. I guess I look like Mariah Carey! :) But the downside it that supposedly I also look like Eddie Murphy. I didn't show it here though. I am ashamed hehe.

Just for fun, I tried again. Now, this one is more accurate I think. 72% for Zhang ZiYi. That's more like it! Though 76% for Joey Yung? She's cute now after her plastic surgery so I guess that's ok. Who's Kajol though?

~ Do you think there's a celebrity who looks like you? ~

Saturday, April 17, 2010

~ Amazing Taiwanese Beauty Transformation ~

I have been seeing a lot of YouTube videos about how girls look completely different after they do their makeup. It's pretty funny. It's a section of a Taiwanese talk show I think. It's in Mandarin if you want to take a look. In this video, around 6:42, the girl has a trick to turn single eye lids into double eye lids using eyelash glue and something that looks like a tooth pick. It's pretty amazing.

So these girls go from this:

to this!

I don't want to say that she was ugly before, but wow! That's a big transformation! It's mostly just hair and eyes too.

Here's another video. The host says some pretty mean things, but I guess it's all just supposed to be funny.

This girl goes from plain jane to a super model with just makeup!

She went from not having eyes to huge eyes!

Here are the pictures of them with 1 eye done and 1 eye not done yet.

I think she's wearing the circle lenses in gray. Those are pretty! So sad that I can't wear them because of my bad prescription.

Eyes make such a big difference! No wonder all the Japanese and Hong Kong magazines I see have eye makeup tutorials. So many tricks to learn!

~What's your trick for making your eyes look bigger?~

Friday, April 16, 2010

~ Feature Friday: Mu Yin Jewelry ~

I am going to try something new! Every Friday, I am going to feature an Etsy shop. I am starting with Molly from Mu Yin Jewelry. I met Molly through a mutual Etsy friend and right off the bet, I felt at ease talking to her. She is a full time Etsian making beautiful and elegant gemstone and pearl jewerly.

Molly has a great range of birthstone jewelry that's great for Mother's Day. Yes, it's coming up. Did you get something for your wife and mother yet?

She has some fun items too. I am usually a sparkle kind of girl, but I just love these safety pins that she makes.

Can you believe these are earrings?? So cute!

She just started her own website and she is doing a 10% off sale. For more details, visit her blog. Also on her blog are her other crafting adventures like sewing and photography, and tons of great information for having a great Etsy shop.

Molly is just so talented in many different ways and she's always there to help me with my shop and my jewelry designs. So, please check out her shop and her blog and become her fan on her Facebook fan page.

~ Do you want to be featured? Leave a comment here and I will take a look at your shop. I will pick one to be featured every Friday! ~

Thursday, April 15, 2010

~ Strawberries and Condensed Milk ~

I love condensed milk. I like to add it to hot chocolate and make sandwiches with it. Now, I have discovered another good use for it....dip for strawberries!

I never had a strawberry till I was in college. I used to dislike them. But recently, I am obsessed with them. I don't know why! They do look pretty :)

These are the huge ones. Kinda like a few strawberries lumped into one.

Speaking of huge fruits, look what I found at the grocery store. This is like the biggest orange I have ever seen! It's the size of a grape fruit! I am in a fruit phase right now. I eat some every day. My mom is probably really happy to read this.

Anyway, if you have never tried dipping strawberries into condensed milk, try it. Cut the strawberries into pieces first though. This way, you won't get your hands all sticky from the condensed milk. Also, smaller pieces mean more dipping! And, did you know that there's fat free condensed milk? Now, I can eat as much as I want right? Thanks Jack and Sonia for introducing me to this! :)

Oooo yeah, speaking of strawberries, check out these sweet ones in my supplies shop! I know...shameless plug :)
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