Wandering Tales | Lower East Side

I have never heard of Smorgasbar until Bestie C mentioned it to me last week. She went and suggested we go together to finally try out lobster rolls. Of course, whenever our plans are made revolving eating it never ends up being just from one place. But neither of us thought we'd end up eating soo much! What the heck right? We were out and about anyways! With all the walking we did, I like to think we walked off at least one of our meals.

Our first stop off the subway landed us somewhere close to Doughnut Plant. This was an add-on to our day's itinerary because I had never had Doughnut Plant doughnut before and Bestie C said they were good!
Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street, between Essex and Norfolk
Hours: Every day 6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Coconut Lime & Lavender Flower Yeast Doughnuts
After sharing 2 flavors between the two of us, I knew immediately that I wanted to go back. I even joked to Bestie that if I lived in the area I'd probably go there as often as I could or at least enough to have tried all the flavors once. Of the two doughnuts we had, we both agreed that we liked the coconut lime version more. I didn't enjoy the lavender flower doughnut as much because it smelled a little too much like candles for my liking. But that means it had tons of it's namesake flavors, which is a good thing!

An elementary school's community garden
I wish more schools who have the space available did something like this!

Red Hook Lobster Pound @ Smorgasbar, South Street Seaport
Left: Connecticut Style ...... Right: Maine Style
I've seen Red Hook Lobster at Madison Square Eats many times, but never had the money to spend on the lobster rolls. We made the trip specifically for these and I must say...I felt it was worth it. Lobster is expensive in general and you do get a lot of lobster in each. The Connecticut style was a warm version. I think the sign said the lobster claws are poached in butter. Versus the Maine style roll is more like a cold lobster salad with mayo. Neither is very healthy but we also don't have the chance to eat this very often. So it's alright!! :P

We spent a while sitting on a bench by the water just enjoying the sun. Good thing it was a nice day out! NYC had a strange sudden cold & windy day just the day before. I even got a bit sunburned from our outing.

Left: Melt Bakery Lily Koi Ice Cream Sandwich (Vanilla Shortbread Cookie + Passion Fruit Ice Cream)
The stop to MELT Bakery was Bestie C's pick. We have both been obsessed with their ice cream sandwiches since we had our first ones way back in the Fall at Madison Square Eats. We wanted to try their Zen Ice Cream Sandwich (with green tea ice cream), but they didn't make that the day we went. Apparently, they make their sandwiches fresh. So I guess we'll just have to keep visiting until we get our hands on it!

Right: babycakes (vegan bakery)
Going to babycakes was my choice. This was more of an impulse decision when I realized how close we were to it. One of my high school teacher's favorite bakery was babycakes and I had been wanting to try it out for a few years now. I don't know what was stopping me because it is SOO close to Chinatown. I ended up buying their day old/2 for 1 cupcakes because I wanted to be greedy and try multiple flavors & bring home some for my little brother. The cupcakes were bashed around a bit on my way home so I didn't get a chance to take a photo of them. Perhaps I'll get a shot the next time I purchase from them! Their vegan cupcakes weren't bad at all. It wasn't as sweet as non-vegan cupcakes I have had (including the icing), which is great! However, the icing was a lot oilier when left out at room temperature. I wonder if that is normal?

We ended up making a full circle. Doughnut Plant, Melt Bakery, and babycakes are actually pretty close to each other. Just keep that in mind if anyone wants to visit any while spending their time more efficiently!

Have you had any good eats recently? I'd love to add it to my "To try" list, no matter where it's located!

To Buy or Not To Buy | Rx Tinted Glasses

I was SO excited when I woke up to a tweet from rolala loves that said I had won a $20 E-Gift Card to use at firmoo.com. There had been so many rave reviews for the company for their prices. Plus I have been wanting another pair of glasses for a while now. But as I browsed their site I had the hankering to order myself a pair of prescribed sunglasses (I am not a contacts person and am too scared to try).

The prescription I needed turned out to be too high for prescribed sunglasses. But the Firmoo suggestion boxes said that I could opt to purchase prescribed tinted glasses instead. Which I don't think should be too different. Right? After picking the options that I wanted, my total turned out to be pretty hefty. Although, definitely not as much as if I were to get any kind of prescribed [sun]glasses from the optical store.

The giveaway that rolala loves had was specifically for the Classic series of frames at Firmoo, with frames ranging from $16-$39. The pair that I ended up liking the most was priced in the middle at $26. (Well to be more honest, I restrained myself from choosing the $39 frames and I didn't like the $16 frames very much.) Which isn't as great of a price as I had seen from other Firmoo reviews, but still on the cheaper end when compared to the optical store. I wish I could have chosen from the less expensive frames in their whole collection but I guess I can't complain too much since these are brandless frames.

Total + $20 "E-Gift Card"
I added all the extras that I wanted:
Super Thin lenses ...... $35.95
My current thick frames glasses are a similar size to these and the lenses are way too heavy, which makes my frames sit/touch my cheeks so they aren't that comfortable
Anti-Reflective/Anti-Radition ...... $2.95
Not too expensive, why not!
UV Coating ...... $4.95
A must since I intend to use these as sunglasses
Tinted ...... $9.95
No-brainer here, Tinted Glasses :D
Total = $79.80 (sans ship)

 I went on towards finalizing my Checkout.
Added on the FREESHIP code first because I noticed that I could qualified with my order total.

Afterwards I tried to add my $20 E-Gift Card / Promo Code, only to find that the FREESHIP discount was cancelled.
Maybe I am being self-fish here but if I will spend enough, shouldn't I be able to get the free shipping? I really strongly dislike One Code Only website checkouts. I can understand that they're trying to prevent the most loss that they can. However, that doesn't stop me from feeling cheated of my $6.95 shipping (if I go through with the order).

Then I remembered that the big selling point for the site was their "First Pair Free" deal. I googled and found that the way to get this would be through another Promo Code. Which of course would not work in my case because I already have a code to use. So technically, I wouldn't be able to get my first frames free...ever if I ordered using the E-Gift Card code...correct? Also, if I choose to get my first pair free instead, I would actually get a better deal since the frames I chose were $26 v the $20 E-Gift Card. So technically, I could browse through the more expensive frames and pick one with ease because I am not constantly thinking of the higher price of the frames.

Total + First Pair Free promo code
I added the FIRMOOFREE code just for the heck of it at around 11PM EST, and was told that the code couldn't apply. It said along the lines of the code I wanted to use could not be applied to the style that I chose. Thinking that was odd to have such a restriction when they market on the first pair being free, I found on their FAQ that perhaps they reached their daily limit for the free frames. So I tried again at 12:30AM just for the heck of it and the code went through! Perhaps they should switch up their error messages because the one I was told had a totally different meaning than reaching their Free Frames cap. It fueled to my dislike towards them even more at that particular moment in time.

Basically, the $20 that I won would cover shipping & a little extra.
But I would get a better deal not using what I 'won' by $6 which would cover the shipping costs. It would essentially be as if I had a $20 discount ... which makes giving away $20 "E-Gift Cards" totally counterintuitive.

Frames I might buy instead if I choose to use my First Pair Free promo
These are NOT a part of their Classic, so I would not be able to use the -$20 anyways
& It would be too pricey at $39 for my liking to use a -$20 for (just a personal preference)

I don't know, this makes any sense at all to anyone else?
Right now I don't have very high & positive feelings towards their marketing ways.
If I didn't notice the Free Shipping for $39+ AND I forgot that they had First Pair Free promotion, I wouldn't get the best deal as I could have.
Although I have to say, I really do love their customization options and obviously (just as everyone else) their cheaper prices.
Maybe I am just making a big deal out of nothing?
Perhaps I should just forgo my $20 "E-Gift Card" and use the First Pair Free promo instead?
But with their return policy and the total price of the frames that I want, it seems too much to take a risk on.
The $20 E-Gift Card is a lot more useful for returning customers. Definitely not as great for a first-timer like myself.

What do you think? Am I overreacting? How would you feel in my situation?

I realized that had it not been for winning the giveaway, I probably wouldn't ever consider purchasing a pair of prescribed glasses or sunglasses any time soon. An extra pair of frames or sunglasses is nice to have, but not a need for me.

Recent Skin Condition & Beyond The Rack Purchase

The acne on my face has gradually gotten worse over the past year. I really wish I knew if it was something I did differently that cause the sudden change or if I am going through hormonal acne again. But unlike my acne from my puberty years, these have been leaving me with different kind of scars...the dreaded ice-pick scars. I know I shouldn't be touching, let alone picking, the pimples but sometimes my hands just do it subconsciously. Other times, it is really hard to resist myself. Hopefully they don't become too noticeable. But for now, I just have to stop myself as best that I can.

I recently went to the dermatologist for first time in years. The consultation wasn't very long so I am not sure how thorough it was. The doctor did ask whether I preferred to ingest or apply treatment. Since I chose the latter, she said that the type of acne I have would benefit from using Retin A. I heard this term now and again on YouTube, but don't really know much about it in detail. But from the dermatologist, I got that it'll make my skin very sensitive and requires me to wear tons of gel sunscreen in particular. (Which I don't know any of, so if anyone has recommendations for one I'd be glad to check it out!) Hopefully, the treatment will work a whole lot better than what I've been using for my skin for now. & I'll try my best to update on how Retin A is.

Prior to my derm visit, I placed an order from Beyond the Rack towards the end of May (I think...). It took a long time to arrive. But I think that's just how shopping at those sort of sites work. The sale event has to end, Beyond the Rack gets the stuff from the company and then they ship it out to the buyer.

First time I've seen such a box filler!
Top: Honey & Oat Cleanser, Charcoal Detox Cleanser, Organic Lemon Toner
Bottom: Acne/Oily Skin Kit
There are so many enticing sale items but I really tried & continue to try not to get sucked into all the deals. Be it clothing, shoes, etc. I think I have done pretty well. This is only my first purchase and I joined the site a year + ago! I haven't heard much about Michael Todd skincare but the description and price of these items convinced me to get it at the time. I only started to use the Charcoal Detox Cleanser for now and it isn't too shabby but not great either. Definitely isn't deep cleansing or treating but cleanses well and is gentle.

Has anyone else tried Retin A before? How was it for your skin?
What about any Michael Todd skincare products?