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?