Wandering Tales | Smorgasburg ... Part 3

2:05:00 AM mandy 4 Comments

Oops...I accidentally published this draft early.
Oh well! Guess I'll have to finish it then!


I didn't think I would be able to visit Smorgasburg until it got warm again. But apparently they have moved indoors for the winter. They run every weekend (I think) along with the Brooklyn Flea in a warehouse-like building in Williamsburg. It is easy to miss, but thankfully the organizers had many signs and people to point you in the right direction.

Smorgasburg - Brooklyn Flea Market
80 North 5th Street (at Wythe Avenue)

Since Bestie S was finally free on a weekend, Bestie C and I decided to take the opportunity to bring her to Smorgasburg. (Bestie A unfortunately couldn't make it this time around. Next time!)

I think it is best to go with others, that way you could share and get to try more things. But if sharing is not your cup of tea, that's all right too!

Ramen Burger
Shredded Beef Ramen Burger $10 ...... Original Ramen Burger $8
The line was pretty short for the Ramen Burgers when we arrived, so we figured Bestie S had to try it at least once. I was surprised to see that they offered a different burger. We were going to try it but found out it was Sold-Out as we reached the front of the line. Although I have personally had enough tries of the original Ramen Burger, I wouldn't mind trying the other one at least once. But it better have tons of juicy sauce! (Because without it the burger just isn't anything too special to sing praises about.)

Outer Borough
Beef Roll $8
Bestie C had one of these while Bestie S and I were waiting for the Ramen Burger. Her's looked really good + she said it was pretty tasty, so we had to try it for ourselves. At the end of the day, the both of us agreed that this was our favorites of everything that we had. The pancake was really toasty, crunchy, and flaky. We also liked the addition of a bit of sriracha inside. I thought the filling could have had a little more meat compared to the cucumbers though. (Just personal preference.) It was well worth the $8!

Bolivian Llama Party
Bolivian Rose Petal Lemonade Soda $4
Maracuya Lemonade Soda (Bolivian Passion Fruit & Lemonade Soda) $4
Mora Basil Soda (Andean Blackberry Basil Lemonade) $4
Of the 3 sodas that we got, I liked the Maracuya Lemonade Soda the most. It tasted a lot like fizzy pineapple juice. But these aren't something that I would buy again, or really recommend. They lose their fizzies really quickly.

Red Hook Lobster
New England Clam Chowder - $7
I have never had clam chowder before, but Bestie S has (from her school cafeteria). Unsurprisingly, she said that this tasted way better in comparison. I, on the other hand, thought this was really good! Definitely great for a cold and chilly day. Maybe I need to go on a "Best clam chowder" search? Any recommendations for places in NYC?

Rice & Miso Everyday
Grass-fed Beef Grilled Rice Ball - $5 (or was it $6...forgot :X)
At this point all three of us were pretty stuff, even after we made a round through the flea market section of the warehouse. When we came back to the food area, the smell from this stall was just too attracting. Perhaps it was the sesame oil they used to grill the rice balls with? Plus, their lines were pretty consistently long. So we gave it a try. We all thought that this wasn't anything really special. Just brown rice with a little bit of beef. Scents are so deceiving! Another miss that day. They did offer rice with curry, which seemed interesting...but we were way too full to have rice + curry.

The Bruffin
Spanish Bruffin - Chorizo & Manchego Cheese - $5
Bestie C had this on her list before we even bought anything, so I thought I should give it a try too. I ended up buying one of these to try at the very end of our trip to devour during the walk to the subway station. The Bruffin is suppose to be a mix between a muffin & brioche. I'm pretty sure I've never had brioche, but this bruffin's textures (buttery and flaky) are reminiscent of a croissant. It was very very cheesy, which I love! Not complaining about that. However, I am not sure if the middle was just very cheesy or a bit undercooked...the center was a little too mushy and soft for my liking. Plus, the very bottom of the bruffin was pretty charred and stuck to the paper wrapping.


I was hoping to eat some lumpia again from the Lumpia Shack but unfortunately they weren't offerred at this location. (I think it has to do with a No-Frying-Allowed rule.) Instead there was an Adobo Shack, which I am assuming is from the same people as the Lumpia Shack. Their rice bowls looked really delicious, but the 3 of us agreed that it probably isn't the smartest choice to pick when there are soo many other stalls to try. Maybe next time! I definitely want to try more Filipino food.

There seemed to also be a lot more stands that sold sandwiches this time around. & Big sandwiches at that. Even though it is probably well worth the money, sandwiches are too filling for people/groups, like us, who go to Smorgasburg just to try food. That being said, they did look tasty though! I think I need to see if they have physical restaurants or trucks that I could go visit..


I also bought a pack of Black N' White S'mores to take home to my little brother (which we haven't eaten yet), along with 2 bottles of dressing from Momo Dressing. I'll try to update this post with photos of the S'mores later on today!

Has anyone else visited Smorgasburg's winter location yet?


Giveaway Package from rolala loves

11:26:00 PM mandy 2 Comments

I still can't believe my luck when it comes to giveaways.
& What timing too! Just as my finals were coming to an end, I saw rolala love's congratulatory tweet.

I'm a sucker for things wrapped in bows. I almost didn't want to open it!
But knowing something pretty was inside shooed that thought away.

Blue Nile Branch Necklace in Sterling Silver ($40)
Even though it is suppose to be a branch, I kept thinking they were antlers when I first saw it in person. Am I the only one? I wore it a couple of times in the last few days and really like the length of it. Not too short, not too long. It's a bit difficult for me to find the right necklace length. I think I lucked out on this one! I have never heard of Blue Nile before, but the necklaces & jewelry on their site all look really pretty. A bit on the pricier side, but there is a pretty wide selection of designs and prices to choose from. Hmm, must remember this site for any future gift ideas!


Gold & Navy Nails

4:32:00 PM mandy 0 Comments

My first attempt at the whole nail stamping thing. Definitely not perfect & all about trial and error!
The pinky and ring finger were redone a couple of times since I started off from left to right.
I was about to give up because things just weren't turning out well. But then I finally got the hang of it. (I think...)
After I've used these a few more times, I will share all my tips in a later post. Don't want to be too hasty with my opinions yet.

L to R:
Seche Clear (1 layer)
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Petrol (1 layer)
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - 110 Wedding Glitters (2 thin layers)
Revlon Extra Life No Chip Top Coat (2 layers)

Shany Cosmetics Stamping Nail Art Image Plate - 25 piece set
Plate: SH211

I can't wait to use the stamping kit for holiday-ish nails!
Going to get right to that after my last final on Monday.

Have you tried nail stamping designs before? Any tips & tricks?


Recent Beauty Buys

11:16:00 PM mandy 4 Comments

Oh what coupons and shipping minimums can do to a person...
These are definitely things that I don't need to have, but they have been on my (vey long) wishlist.

L to R: Shany Stamping Nail Art Plates - 25 set,
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, Konad Double Side Stamp Set

I received a $10 coupon for Origins a while back. Since I really do not need anymore full sized skincare items at the moment, I picked this travel-sized mask instead. I have read some good reviews for this mask. Hopefully it works well for my pores!

I was always so envious of NOTD photos that had really pretty designs. Come to find out many of them used these kind of stamping thinger-ma-bobers. I remember these were really popular a couple years back, are they still? I tried it immediately after taking photos and really love it!

Have you tried any of these items before?


Light Teal & Black

12:02:00 AM mandy 8 Comments

It is really bad of me to be typing this right now. (I have two papers due tomorrow night...) But after trying on an AE dress that arrived in the mail today and not liking it, I got distracted with ideas on how I could pair the skirt that I bought recently from Forever 21. I was so excited that I ended up taking some photos instead. Plus if I don't type this now, it will probably stay in Draft mode until next month/year, yikes!

Being productive for the blog & procrastinating school work. What great time management I have huh?
Fear not! Those assignments shall be done overnight; that is just how I operate...crunch time!!


I haven't worn skirts or dresses much since I was in the single digits. But I have been more willing to try them lately. I think the last time I wore a skirt was for my middle school graduation ceremony. The last time I dressed up was for high school prom and graduation. Time is really flying, as cliche as that is, my first semester as a college Junior is already close to an end!

I really liked the fit and style of this particular skirt but only found it in black at the store.
I only have this one pair of tights, that are also black.
& I got the black booties a while back for when(ever) I decided to wear dresses/skirts.
Since everything on the bottom half is such a dark color, pairing a lighter top makes a lot of sense.

The sweater top makes this outfit a bit more casual & probably would be even more so if sans the tights. But it is getting colder here in NYC. Plus, I am self-conscious of wearing skirts in general and this skirt looks better when worn waist-high versus hip-high.

AEO Factory Slouchy Crew Sweater - Ocean View
Forever 21 Love 21 Skirt
Uniqlo Tights
Steve Madden Remingtn Bootie - Black Nubuck

Left           Right
All F21 bracelets & bangles           Bulova watch
          Handmade bracelet
Even though this is a more casual look, it still seems more like a special occasions type of outfit. (Occasions that don't exist for me yet anytime soon.)

Are there ways that I could dress this skirt down even more? Or skirts in general...
Unless I am not being open enough to the possibilities? What do you think?


Black Friday Hauling

1:26:00 PM mandy 6 Comments

Come to think of it I have never posted a clothing haul before, accessories & bags yes, but not clothes.
So here's a (yet another) first!

I don't know how many will read through all of my buying reasonings, but it will be interesting for me to look back on in the future. "Oh...that's why I bought/got that!" kindda moments. I'm a bit forgetful and sentimental like that.

But kudos to those who do read through most/all! :]

Some of these were from a trip to Woodbury Commons Outlet my family and I made last Saturday. But a majority were bought after a trip to Manhattan on Black Friday. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but still pretty bad.

1. Forever 21 - Love 21 - Black Skirt ... $19.80
  • Wasn't on sale but I really liked how it looked on me & I'm picky about skirts. But then again, I need to start wearing the few that I bought recently...heh
2. Coach Legacy Leather Penny Shoulder Purse - Deep Port ... $99 (Orig. $198)
  • Err, the impulse buy. The Coach outlet is just pure madness. Watching everyone stand on a line with bags hanging on both arms, in both hands, and on all fingers can make a person envious!
  • This small bag stood out to me the most. Everything else was either of canvas material with their monograms printed all over or the style seemed impractical or too mature for me at the moment.
3. Fossil Sydney Giftable Bifold Wallet - Bright Pink ... $21 (Orig. $35)
  • This isn't color I would usually consider. But in the end I thought it might stand out more inside my bags. *shrugs* (My strange logic..)
  • Although I love how compact it is, it is hard to put things inside! Maybe I just have to break it in first? But things like business cards and tea shop reward cards do not fit into the card slots at all. Bummer.
  • Despite all that I'm not returning it since it is a great size for me now. I don't have that many cards anyways so this forces me to only keep the necessities and it fits into my small bags.
4. Kate Spade Card Holder/Wallet ... $22.50 (Orig. $45)
  • Another impulse buy. A card holder has been on my wish/need list for a while now and was going to order from eBay. But when I got the the outlets, I honestly felt a bit jealous (again) seeing so many Kate Spade shopping bags around. Oh well! Saves me the effort of ordering and having to wait forever for eBay packages to arrive.
5. Various sports bras from Aerie (50% off original)
  • Ever since the summer, I have been wearing sports bras as often as possible (not for exercising reasons). Ones with skinny straps are great for oversized and wider neck sweaters! I personally like the thicker strapped ones for certain tank styles so I won't feel or look over exposed.
6. AE Knit Jeggings - Crush Berry ... $29.96 (Orig. $39.95)
  • I had a pair that was a similar burgundy color from Uniqlo that I loved...until it ripped by my inner upper thigh area. (Embarrassing!) Luckily I had a long coat on that day. & I was only able to wear it a few times last Fall/Winter too. *Shake my fist* Uniqlo never brought this color back!
  • I've been waiting to get this color for a while and thought I was getting a good deal at the time since it was the AE outlet. But I really wish I waited to buy these during AE's Black Friday deal instead. Could have had 50% off instead of 25%, too bad I had cut off the tags a week earlier.

8. Various undies from Aerie ... 10 for $30
  • Or to be exact the deal I got was 5 for $30 + 5 Free
    • Yup, that is what the signs in store and my receipt say
9. H&M Sweater ... $14.95 (Orig. $29.95)
  • Lured by the special promo price tag. But not a bad find. I wasn't expecting to buy much or anything from H&M since I usually have a hard time finding things there anyways. Their Black Friday sale selection was much smaller than I expected too.

10. AE Real Soft Mistletoe Sweater - Black ... $22.47 & AEO Factory Slouchy Crew Sweater - Chrome Green and Ocean View ... $19.98 
  • I bought the 2 slouchy sweaters first. I LOVE how comfortable they are. I really regret not grabbing more at the outlets, especially for that price ... 60% off 'original'! (Although I know that this item is specific to the AE outlets, the quality doesn't seem much different from the regular AE sweater I got.)
  • The mistletoe sweater was bought after realizing I couldn't get my hands on the slouchy sweater in black anymore. ('Slouchy' wasn't listed on the website before Black Friday, but was afterwards...Hate it when this happens!)
  • Mistletoe sweater isn't bad, but I like the style and fit of the slouchy sweater more. (It is looser by the arms.) Materials appears to be the same for both sweaters, so they're both equally soft to the touch.
11. Levi's Cardigan
  • Can never have too any cardigans! & I didn't already have this color either. Unfortunately, I don't remember the price nor have the receipt..I think after discounts and coupons it was ~$20 more or less?
12. *Not pictured* GAP Eversoft Neon Cardigan - Energetic Peach ... $5.98 (Orig. $39.95)
  • Bought Wednesday before Thanksgiving when GAP had 60% off most items & mom received a $10 coupon, hence the great deal.

    I was happier opening these gadgets last night than I probably am on my birthdays. Yes, that happy!

    KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer - Green Apple $299.99
    • My mom actually bought this a week before Black Friday when Macy's sold it for $299.99, the lowest we've ever seen it, at major retailers, in the last couple of years.
    • I We I have been eyeing this mixer since we moved into our new house and always joked about getting one. But the price was always too high. I know my mom always kept an eye out for the prices (even though she never explicitly told me) because she has casually asked "should we get it" multiple times when we saw any version of the KitchenAid mixer at Costco. But those were never the Artisan or in the color that I wanted (Ice Blue, Pistachio, Metallic).
    • For Black Friday, this was on sale at macys.com for $345.99 + 10% off + $50 manufacture's rebate. (But sans the 10% off in-store.) Which makes it a better deal than what we got it for. But considering that:
      • 1) my mom had to lug this thing from Manhattan to Brooklyn via public transport
      • 2) mom's feet/ankles/legs already ache from work
      • 3) we'd have to mail in the rebate and wait for it to come back
      • She decided the 10% savings isn't worth all the trouble.
    • I tested it out today to make cupcakes and I love it so far. Makes things soo much easier!
    KitchenAid Architect Hand Blender - $99.99 (Orig. $139.99)
    • Hand blenders haven't been on the wishlist for very long. But our magic bullet doesn't seem to cut it when it comes to blending smoothies anymore & the better(?) blenders available are very expensive. Few YouTube videos later, I thought a hand blender could do the job & more.
    • Mom originally bought a Cuisinart version for under $20 (because she saw that it was circled in her Macy's booklet. I always just randomly circle things that are "on sale" & normally she doesn't buy what I circle anyways). Later we found out that that version didn't have a detachable shaft so it had to be returned.
    • Fast forward a little over a week later on Black Friday, we noticed that the Kitchenaid version was on sale in-store. All it's many attachments caught my eye! Strangely, my mom was very easily convinced by me to get this now instead of waiting longer for possible further discounts.
      • The night before, I had checked macys.com and saw that this was going for $139.99 + 40% off. Which means that the "sale" price in-store wasn't as good. Of course my phone battery died on me that day so I didn't have proof to show them. BUT I did ask the cashier (who asked the supervisor/manager) and they told me that macys.com is different/separate from the actual store. WHAT?! So there was no price matching...
      • I could have ordered online, but my mom is skeptical of the interwebs and (especially big) package deliveries.
    • I also tested this today to puree/blend sweet potatoes. It was pretty awesome I'd say. Can't wait to try the milk frother attachment. Homemade lattes maybe?! :D

    Sales get me every time...
    I can get a little very carried away if I don't stop and think things over and over again.
    But sometimes rationalizing goes out the window at that moment and I can only take it as a lesson learned. Be smarter next time! Right?

    Some interesting tidbits & tips I learned:
    • American Eagle outlet store has a combo of both it's AEO Factory & normal AE store items (at least at Woodbury it is).
      • Don't go thinking everything are outlet items and that they are the lowest discounts possible.
      • Sometimes their outlet items make it to their online store, sometimes it does not but it will be at a later time.
    • American Eagle online's special Thanksgiving discount (50% off, I think a new promo this year) isn't the same as their online Black Friday discount (40% off, same as previous years). BUT in-store discount may still be 50% off!
      • Don't freak out if you miss the 'good sale'!
      • I learned the hard way, after getting pissed and stressed earlier Friday morning...*sigh*
    • If you plan to go to a big outlet mall or Woodbury Commons Outlet to be more exact:
      • Print out a map and list of stores & highlight the places you want to go to on the list & map
        • This way you can see where you want to go and can devise a route to efficiently use your time there.
      • Join their free VIP program online & print out their special online VIP coupons
        • Depending on when you go and if you could use coupons or not...the online print-out coupons are better deals than the ones in the VIP coupons booklet available at the Woodbury Outlet Information Center.
    • Macys.com ≠ Macy's in-store ... apparently.
      • I can understand that not everything in-store is online and vice versa.
      • I can understand that discounts might be different from one platform to the other to attract sales to different places.
      • I can also understand that Black Friday deals may be different from Cyber Monday deals.
      • But please explain why the two are regarded as completely different entities from each other and that there is no price matching in-store to the online promo/price?
        • I am not really the type to make a fuss about it in-store. I especially didn't question further because the lines were super long on Black Friday and I didn't want to be "that person" who held everyone up. Also we were in the Cellar (home goods) part of the store and practically everyone was holding big boxes of electronics/pots and pans, etc.
    • I bought a lot less clothing/accessories/bags-wise than I originally planned to at Woodbury. I even walked in and out of the Cosmetic Company Outlet store empty-handed!
    • I seem to really like American Eagle because even at the outlets, most/almost all of the clothes I got were from there.
    • Seems like Woodbury Commons gets a lot of (or enough) Chinese visitors that they also have Mandarin and Cantonese announcements over the loudspeakers. My family and I just thought that was interesting.

    Did everyone else get some good buys recently?
    Do you take part in the holiday sales madness? In-store or online?


    How I | Deep Clean Makeup Brushes

    5:19:00 PM mandy 16 Comments

    I am really bad when it comes to washing my makeup brushes. I always put off doing this chore because the whole process just takes too long and my hands get all wrinkly & dry afterwards. I usually go through all of my brushes before I am practically forced to clean them.

    But the cleaning is inevitable. It is very bad for the skin to always use dirty brushes. So I limit each brush to no more than a week of usage if it is for powder/dry products and at most one use only if it's for cream/liquid/wet products. Typically, with all my brushes, it takes a month or so before another washing is due.

    Since I started using makeup brushes, the process of cleaning has always been to put some shampoo onto the brush, lather & swirl on my palm, rinse, and repeat. This is the long way that everyone else is probably used to. A while back all these 'fancy' things like cleansing mitts and such came out. But they were too pricey and unjustifiable for me to try.

    Then for some reason, a couple of months ago, I decided to try something different.
    I found a plastic cup, put in some  Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap & Daiso Detergent & water into, and made a soapy mixture.
    I am not sure how 'innovative' this is but it was new to me!

    *I really love using Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap for brush cleaning. There are a few other bloggers who really like it too so I thought I would give it a try. It takes most of the makeup off and the foam/soap washes away well. When I used baby shampoo, it would still be soapy after many many rinses. Not sure why, but it was. The Magic Soap comes in many scents like Almond, Mint, Lavender, Scent-Free/Baby, and some others that I can't remember off the top of my head.*

    **The Daiso Detergent for puff and sponge is extremely good for getting off any stubborn stained makeup from the brushes. I don't really like the smell of it and it is pricey to order through eBay (no Daiso in NYC)... so I only use a couple of drops in the mixture.**

    I dip/dunk my dirty makeup brushes in the mixture multiple times...

    *Be sure NOT to do this step too vigorously or else the water will pump through the ferrule (metal part) and might loosen it ... LIGHT DUNKING IS KEY!**

    **You could also swirl & swoosh your brushes in the water. It might take a bit longer for makeup to come off. But this action actually works better for smaller makeup brushes.*

    ***I typically dump out the dirty mixture and make a new one if it turns really cloudy and has a dark-ish color.***

    Doing it this way usually takes a lot of the makeup off!
    Afterwards I still swirl the brushes on my palm to make sure everything is clean.
    Then I rinse it under the faucet, squeeze out the water, and brush out the excess water onto a (paper) towel.

    I leave the brushes on a window sill to dry.
    My brushes dry even faster in the colder months because most of the radiators in my house are under the windows. I used to place the makeup brushes onto paper towels to dry but didn't like the fact that it sat on something wet for so long. There are the brush drying trees and DIY brush drying hangers which essentially do the same thing, this just isn't upside down and there aren't any extra costs.

    I found that by cleaning this way it took me a lot less time to wash everything. & I think it might even use less shampoo. I think...But since I never really measured or anything I am not 100% sure on this point. It just seems like less product would be used. Right?

    Do you always dread having to wash your makeup brushes? How do you usually clean them?
    If you try this method, let me know how it goes for you! :]


    Target Hauling

    5:20:00 PM mandy 6 Comments

    Erm. So I was probably a teeny bit too confident in my ability to control my impulsive buying habits. It was all going well until I was lured in by a 25% off Real Techniques brushes on target.com a few weeks ago. *shake my first* You...sales...!

    I think that Ulta sometimes has better deals for these brushes. But I am not familiar with when Ulta has sales and my impatience got the best of me. Here's all the damage I did:

    L to R: Sonia Kashuk Pointed Blending Brush, Sonia Kashuk Duo Fiber Fan Brush, Real Techniques Travel Essentials, Real Techniques Core Collection, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Real Techniques Setting Brush

    These brushes have been on my wishlist for the longest time. What held me back was that I didn't have access to a physical Ulta or Walmart store. Even though in the end I did order from Target online, there is at least a store accessible to me in case returns had to be made. Luckily, everything I got felt nice enough so I do not mind keeping them all. There were also a couple other brushes from the Real Techniques line that I wanted to get but was unfortunately not available or out-of-stock.

    I also bought a 34pc set of Huggable Hangers that I forgot to take a photo of. But that isn't all too exciting to see, right? However, I was a little bummed when I went to Costco the other day and saw that they had a 35pc hangers only set of "No Slip Hangers" for $9.99. While the ones I ordered from Target (the original/brand-name versions) were $17.99. The pricier set also only had 14 hangers plus 10 clips and attachments. What luck I have... *sigh* I can't even return the Huggable Hangers because I already opened and threw away the box it came in.

    Of the ones that I got, I feel like I will get the least uses out of the two foundation brushes. But the next on my "To Get" list are the powder brush, blush brush, and kabuki brush.

    Has anyone else tried any Real Techniques brushes yet? Any favorites/dislikes?

    ----------Complaint about Target.com----------
    This was my first time ordering from the website. But Bestie C ordered from there a lot recently, so I thought that the Free Shipping minimum must not be too bad. Boy did I think wrong. I wasn't aware of their new policies and tactics to gain more cardholders. Basically, if you sign up for their card you will have (I think) Free Ship along with some other perks. BUT if you are not a cardholder, there are only a limited amount of items that they deemed to be eligible for "Free Shipping over $50".

    It took me much so long to decide on what to buy to meet that minimum while also not spending too much overall on the order. Things I saw and thought I would want to keep were not Free Ship Eligible. The ones I saw that were Free Ship Eligible wasn't anything that I wanted or needed. I know it would have been much easier to just pick any random thing and return it but that was really a last resort option.

    One thing that really bothered me most was how the site requires you to input all your personal and card information before estimating your shipping fees. I tried to Google what their typical shipping costs were like but didn't have much luck finding anything. Their Help/FAQ page also doesn't say much about prices either.


    Wandering Tales | Smorgasburg ... Again

    10:06:00 PM mandy 9 Comments

    After the first time I went to Smorgasburg, I said really wanted to go back again. Bestie C and I finally got the chance to squeeze in a visit Saturday. The weather forecast for the day predicted clouds and a bit of precipation. But it was sunny, almost cloudless, and pleasantly windy all day. The perfect weather (minus the sudden gusts of wind) for going to an outdoor food gathering.

    Vermont Maple Lemonade Stand

    Butternut Donut - $1
    We actually got to Williamsburg about half an hour too early. All the vendors were still setting up and we could only sit and wait for them. The two of us were starving! So when we saw a stall with these dollar donuts, we grabbed one for each of us and devoured it. I thought my donut tasted a little bit stale, but it could just be that the donut is a lot denser and more muffin like than what I am use to for a donut. I love that it wasn't overly sweet, just right for me. The sweetness came mostly from the coating so (I think) it balanced well with the butternut donut.

    Ramen Burger - $8
    Since we arrived super early, the line for the ramen burger was still really short. So...we thought why not...!? I know I said I probably wouldn't buy it again but that was because I expected the lines to be always really long. Again, I felt that the burger was alright. I would have preferred it to have sauce on both noodles buns because it makes it taste SO much better IMO, otherwise the no-sauce bites of ramen tasted a bit bland. Throughout the day we overheard others who tried it and there were overall mixed reviews. I guess it's a personal preference kind of thing? It's definitely a novelty idea and worth at least a try.

    Mighty Quinn's

    Big Brisket Sandwich - $9 (the Lil sandwiches are $5)
    The first time we went to Smorgasburg, we noticed the line for Mighty Quinn's was on par with Ramen Burger's line but didn't get to try their stuff. This time around I couldn't give up the chance again. We were going to get the 'lil' sandwich because we had just finished the ramen burger. But then I noticed how tiny and bite-sized the 'lil' sandwich was. That was definitely a one person sandwich. Plus, the price point of that wasn't worth getting two small ones...so one big sandwich it was. Anyways! I really liked the brisket. It was pretty moist and juicy. The only thing negative was I thought the buns (or top bun in particular) was a bit too thick for my liking.

    Pecan Patti

    Pomegrante Sweet Tea - $6

    Fresh Ginger Sweet Tea - $6
    Of all the stands that I remember of that offered non-alcoholic drinks, the teas from this stand probably gives the most value for your money. There was another stand(s) that sold quart-sized drinks but their prices were closer to the double digit range. I liked it so much that I decided to buy the ginger tea to take home for my family to try. I can't pick a favorite though...they all tasted very good to me.

    Lumpia Shack

    Sampler (L to R ... 3 of each: Original, Vegetarian Truffled Adobo Mushroom, Peking Duck) - $9
    I also wanted to try this the last time I went to Smorgasburg but was discouraged by the price. This time I didn't care so much because I really wanted to try lumpia at least once. (I blame itsjudyslife for this craving! :P) I'm glad they offered a Sampler on their menu since I am rather indecisive when it comes to food. This was by far my favorite savory dish of the day. Of course, who wouldn't love a bit of fried food? However...I was kind of expecting them to be bigger or even longer. This seemed more like an appetizer/snack portion. Is this the standard lumpia size? I really have no idea :X

    Butter & Scotch

    Sticky Toffee Trifle - $6
    At this point in the day, I was already pretty full from all the foods and liquids. But I spotted a couple eating this concoction and my sweet tooth was craving it. I've never had a trifle before. Basically this one was a layered dessert with toffee cake baked with some sort of fruit (I think), along with TONS of cream. I think I heard the lady at the stand say there was rum or something alcohol-y in it as well. (I am not sure about this one actually...but judging from their name, Drunk Bakers, I'd say it's safe to assume some is in there.) It was delicious. But of course very indulgent. & I will proudly say I don't regret getting it ^__^

    Momo Dressing

    Sesame Dressing 12oz - $7 ... (8oz - $5)
    I tried Soba noodles over the summer and wanted to try eating it in a different way (other than with spicy soy sauce). The people at the Momo dressing stand recommended the Sesame version for soba. *Cross my fingers* I hope it end up I liking it! I'm actually not a big fan of sesame seeds, but do like sesame flavor. (I know that sounds very contradicting...) Has anyone tried a sesame sauce before with noodles? How is that combo?

    Has anyone else made a visit to Smorgasburg yet? What did you try? What are your recommendations?
    If you haven't and will be in NYC before the end of November, you still have the chance to visit!


    Missha Haul & Korean Cosmetic Bliss

    11:16:00 PM mandy 13 Comments

    I have been fairly good at not making any spontaneous trips to beauty and drugstores. But once I go into a store to get something that I need, all the can't buy won't buy chants leave my mind. My recent trip to this Korean cosmetics pop-up store was exactly this case.

    The reason why I said I needed to go? Ran out of makeup remover.
    The main culprit to why I decided I had to make the trip? Discount & GWP

    I am a sucker for deals. Even though this isn't the best deal that is around, I still got drawn in somehow.
    When I received an e-mail from Missha saying that their brand & a few others were going to be available in a pop-up store in the city, I almost immediately got the shopping itch. It also didn't help that the e-mail included a 30% discount AND a GWP for orders over $30. I was actually waiting for Missha to have a big sale (40 or 50% off) on their website. But impulses got the best of me! Plus, I wanted to see what other brands and products the pop-up store had to offer.

    Various Samples .......... GWP makeup pouch with more samples
    2 Missha M Super-Extreme Waterproof Soft Pencil Eyeliner (Auto) in Brown and Khaki
    Missha M Perfect BB Deep Cleansing Oil

    I did walk out with the items that I wanted. But the trouble is I came out with 2 extra eyeliners in order to meet the $30 GWP point. These definitely aren't needed in my collection but my reasoning at the time was "I finished my favorite brown eyeliner and need a replacement." Does this happen to anyone else?

    It was definitely an interesting visit. The store layout was very spacious. When I visited, I was the only one there so I received close attention from the SA. But she wasn't the pushy type. There were many brands that I was not familiar with (isoi, Mizon, Gosso, and a few others). I did recognize a few like Missha, BRTC, and Dr. G. A majority of the store's selection is of BB Creams with one or two skincare lines from each brand and some sporadic makeup items. Unsurprisingly, most of the items were on the pricier side.

    For anyone else in NYC who is interested in the address of the pop-up store is:
    379 Broome Street
    New York, NY 10012
    It is right off Chinatown and touching a section of Little Italy. This is an area of Manhattan that I don't ever remember going to and I went to Chinatown a lot growing up. Then again, there are still tons of places in NYC that I haven't explored yet. So I shouldn't be one to talk :P

    For any who may be wondering about the 30% off and GWP...I am not sure if it is still available. But I think you could check via Missha USA's website


    Wandering Tales | Croton Point Park

    1:06:00 PM mandy 0 Comments

    I had the opportunity to finally go on my first hike last Friday. Well, it wasn't a challenging hike but definitely very different compared to the usual walking I do on the city streets. Plus...the weather was great! Sunny but cool and breezy. My favorite kind of weather. It was also an opportunity for me to bring my camera along. Although at some points during the trek I did regret bringing the extra weight with me. Those thoughts just seem silly now when I look back at the photos!

    Here's lots of greenery shots for everyone to look at before Fall really starts to set in!
    Actually, I bet the park would look great when the foliage starts to change colors.

    Croton Point is part of upstate New York. The group of us got there by train. Three more firsts for me: going to Grand Central Stationtraveling by the MetroNorthgoing upstate sans parents/family. The travel there from Grand Central was about half an hour shorter than the journey back (1hr to vs. 1.5 hr back). But then again, we left around rush hour so it should be expected.

    I really love this shot, if I do say so myself ^^;;
    And this!

    If I remember correctly, this building used to be a boarding house? then some sort of store? Ahh my memory is bad!

    Another first! Is this common outside of cities? Owl etiquette...
    Yet another first! I have never seen trailers/RVs before in person (at least none that were being used). Apparently you can also pitch a tent and camp at this park, park your RV/trailer and camp, or even rent a cabin and camp. Whatever suites your fancy. Seems like a fun place to be in the summer. I wonder how crowded it gets.

    Even though I went to Croton Point Park as part of a cultural requirement, I actually really liked it. There weren't too many big hills so I enjoyed all the walking that we did. Other than all the tiny pesky bugs and insects around & the bright sun, I surprisingly felt very relaxed. Maybe it's because there were barely anyone else there besides us and everything was so quiet there. I definitely want to go again or go somewhere similar. It is definitely something to think twice about though because the individual round trip train tickets are pretty expensive (at least to me it is). Sometimes I wished I lived in a place where there are more of these kind of parks that were closer by... *hmm but then I think I'd probably really miss the convenience of city life heh*

    Have you been on hikes/nature walks lately? If you're from NYC, do you have any places you recommend?