Here in another installment of the Bay Area Eats series two restaurants are featured:
14486 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Sipan Peruvian restaurant is upscale in pricing but family style and humbled in service and atmosphere. We ordered ceviche mixto with sweet potatoes. As my mom says Peruvians do ceviche and chicken the best in our opinion. They add variations of corn and red onion to the ceviche with calamari, fish, octopus, shrimp, and muscles.
I also had the corn soup of the day as an appetizer. The corn flavors reminded me of Panama and stirred nostalgic feelings. We ordered seafood paella and aji de gallina (chicken in chili sauce with cheese and pecans). What makes Peruvian interpretations of the Spanish paella different is the softer consistency of the rice. The service is top of the line because I went there to celebrate something and our waitress insisted on dessert on the house and packed us some to go. I will definitely come back to the restaurant and I recommend them.
The sourdough bread bowls from SF Boudin always make for a pleasant meal at the end of a long day. SF Boudin is a well known bakery chain founded in 1849 originating in San Francisco. The breads, and famously the sourdough bread, is made fresh and tastes great warmed with some butter. We ordered the tomato bread bowl, clam chowder, and two pumpkin breads. As a disclaimer, I don’t think the bread bowls from here are unique. However, both the bread and the soup are always made perfectly and to standard.
The soup tastes like slightly more elevated Panera Bread. The combination of hot bread and soup on a cold autumnal day is expectedly satisfying. I first ordered from the Santa Clara location but that one is temporarily closed now so most recently we went to the San Jose location and the food quality tasted equal at both establishments.
Vital Proteins Beauty Collagen in Strawberry Lemon flavor tastes delicious and it makes my hair and skin softer. The price is $25 and the container lasted me a month and a half. The directions state to use two spoons and mix in water but I typically only added one generous spoon and a half of spoon more. I did not take it every day, more like 2-3 times a week, and I made two servings each time to share with my mom.
I love mixing it with some filtered water store bought ice and drinking it in the morning after a cup of hot water with lemon. It tastes refreshing and somewhat sweet. There is no vitamin, cardboard-like taste nor is it overly sweet, it simply makes water taste slightly fruity. I once added it to a smoothie and I do not recommend drinking it this way because the fruit and veggie flavors clashed and tasted unpleasant. Its best as directed in fresh water for a light drink with a collagen boost!
This collagen powder is solid online at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Sephora, and more. Now that I’ve tested the waters I will surely buy more to continue drinking it throughout the late fall and winter.
*Pictured above wearing SPF eyeshadow not Fenty, wearing Fenty mascara and setting powder
I purchased a box of Fenty goodies in October. I got Pro Filtr Instant Retouch Setting Powder in the shade chestnut, Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl mascara in Cuz I’m Black, Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Beach Bum, the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow palette, and Total Cleans’r Remove-it-all face wash.
To start off with the setting powder I love that it easily blends into my skin. My face suddenly got too dark for my foundation from the sun so I wanted this to make my face match my current complexion with this powder. I like that the powder looks natural on and I can still see my skin underneath. It also is light enough in coverage to achieve the glass skin, dewy face look.
The Total Cleans’r Remove-it-all face wash is non-drying and fragrance free. I like to use it with other products for a double cleanse. Not much to say about it besides the fact that it is in line with Fenty’s universal one-for-all brand in that it does not irritate my skin and effectively washes my face and makeup off.
The Shimmer Skinstick in Beach Bum is orangey and peachy in color. The pigment is buildable and shimmery.
As for the Moroccan Spice palette, the eyeshadow is sheer. Its an everyday light coverage palette with subtle buildable pigment. The perk this palette has is its range of colors, it truly is a one-stop-shop for day to night looks.
This is awesome given that I got it on sale for only $29. Though I expected stronger pigment from the colors on par to Pat McGrath, I actually now appreciate this palette for daily use. I especially appreciate that Fenty included solid plain colors without glitter because many others from popular brands like Pat or Tom Ford in my experience only offer glitter shadows in palettes.
Pictured below is a day and night eye look only using Fenty. I am not good at makeup so I usually prefer more pigment to use one color all over my eyes. I also prefer little fall out because I frequently make mistakes and struggle to blend as my nervous Gemini energy really jumps out while doing makeup. I did experience some fall out but it is was not extreme.
The mascara is just the same as the palette light but buildable. See mascara close and eye shadow close up below. In short, all of the makeup products I tried are light and buildable and excellent for natural everyday looks.
I visited a small spa in Los Gatos, CA called The Skin Cottage. I highly recommend this spa because the owner Donna uses Eminence products for her facials. The spa is open now with the protocol of signing a health form beforehand and she offers online booking. I love that her spa is a small single room space with an entrance lobby and restroom because it makes the facial experience more relaxing.
I dislike day spas with full hair salons and other services because they tend to be louder by nature of the other activities happening at the same time. Her small space ensures privacy and cleanliness. The spa room has a heated bed and small storage space for your belongings. She does extractions and only offers one basic facial as of this post.
Eminence is a brand I’ve used since I was a teenager and I think this brand is special because of their emphasis on using natural plant ingredients and fruits in their products. In addition, the vast range of products they carry is also an asset.
Anything you need, you can get from Eminence from heated body lotion for cellulite to face mist, from sour cherry masks to face lotion like the one reviewed here made with yogurt! The pricing is also a bonus because though the brand is luxurious prices are not exuberant.
Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer is cooling. Only a pea size amount is needed for application and it can be mixed with water. A key ingredient is cucumber water for hydration. I like this product because my forehead tends to breakout easily from hair products and daily stress and this helps prevent regular irritation. It is a great buy for hormonal, acne prone, or teenaged skin.
Affordable Spa Shower / Bath Guide
Have you taken a spa shower and bath at home yet? I highly recommend you do because it can promote relaxation. The smallest thing you do for yourself in the week and can have a major impact. One great tip to have a spa shower is to use essential oils. Adding about three-to-five-drops of lavender oil to the sides of your shower creates an aromatic experience.
Another great thing to use in your bathroom during a shower or bath is eucalyptus oil. Inhaling eucalyptus promotes respiratory health and relaxation, try mixing some water and eucalyptus oil to burn on an oil burner.
A bath bomb I like using is the Dove lavender ones that can be purchased from most supermarkets or drugstores in the US. It makes a great addition to a bubble bath liquid of your choice. Additionally, as previously recommended St. Ives has great affordable body washes for under $4. The most recent one I purchased is sea salt and kelp, this wash has gentle exfoliation.
I got more rose water from Nandi Care since I love using it on my face and in my hair to refresh. This business was kind enough to send me a new body soap bar sample before its released and I ADORE it because it has the perfect amount exfoliation. I used the bar on my shoulders during a bath and it clarified my skin perfectly and is not too rough or too soft.
Additionally, though the bar is brown it did not leave a stain behind in my shower after use. I really hope this store releases this product soon because I want to purchase two more.
One last spa bath tip is to always finish off with some lip balm. I recently picked up Vaseline Rosy Lips and I love how hydrated my lips feel with use. What do you do for yourself to relax during the week? ❤
I made my first blog playlist devoted to upbeat self-care music. There’s a strong retro wave happening in music right now from American pop to k-pop. I thought an 80s style beauty playlist would perfectly compliment fall leather jacket weather and hydrating skincare recommendations.
Here is my Cannabliss Revitalizing Face Serum review:
The organic skincare line Cannabliss is awesome because they use organic ingredients. This face serum specifically produces actual results in one bottle purchase from my experience. Some products only work with continual use and may not even kick in until after two purchases but this serum is on par with Honeymoon Glow in that the results show in the first week.
Starting with the bottle itself, it has an airless pump to keep bacteria out and promote a longer shelf-life. This is an excellent feature for those who like to use minimal skincare and prefer to stretch the use of pricey products.
Secondly, the ingredient list is top notch and free of synthetic fragrance, dyes, and parabens. The serum is clear and lightweight. It absorbs into my skin rather than just sit on top of it. After using this serum for three days pigmentation disappeared from the side of my face and my cheeks became plumper.
My skin also feels smoother. I wanted this product to recoup after breakouts and skin sensitivity and it helped my skin bounce back. I no longer have texture from the breakouts or skin sensitivity. I think this is a solid product to use for a skin “bounce-back” after any issues. ❤
Never Salty Hair Scrub is a product from a hair care line created by actress and entrepreneur Taraji B. Henson. I wanted to try this ever since I saw her use it during her Vogue ‘Beauty Secrets’ Get-Unready-with-Me episode. I’m unsure where to start because I adore this product so much. Firstly, the peppermint oil stimulates your scalp and hair growth.
Also, the peppermint and sugar mixture smells divine. Thirdly, the applicator makes it easy to apply to sectioned hair and massage the scalp. Surprisingly, it is not that messy to use. The mixture is chunky enough that it does not leak down my neck.
This hair scrub is free of mineral oil. It has coconut oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and squalane oils to promote a healthy scalp. The apple cider vinegar helps break down build-up and clarify the scalp for increased hair softness.
I think the package has a good amount of product. I’ve used it twice and it still feels full.
At first I wondered if the majority positive reviews online truly reflected this product’s value but now I know there is not need to wonder. Never Salty is sold in Target stores for about $13. ❤
Lollia Wish Perfume – I got more Jo Malone pomegranate lotion blogged about previously and thought I’d spice things up and skip Jo Malone perfume or my signature scent to try Wish perfume from Anthropologie for $48. The scent is described as vanilla bean, jasmine, and sugarcane.
At first, when I sprayed it on I felt the smell was unpleasant and almost hairspray-like but one minute later it smelled so divine and mostly like vanilla. I love how this scent settles into my skin and transforms. The scent is light yet present and sweet. The spicy vanilla fragrance works perfectly for early fall.
UMA Anti-Aging Body Oil – My dry hands miracle, anti-aging oil, best thing that exists for night-time body care, the love of my life, UMA body oil is amazing! These days my hands get so dry from the hand washing and hand sanitizer that they physically hurt. I’ve been cutting my fingers while building furniture or doing daily tasks due to excessive dryness.
Regular lotion does not always do the trick and when I wash my hands, they’re dry once again. However this body oil makes my skin softer than traditional lotion. This oil quickly absorbs into my skin, it makes my skin feel silky rather than oily. The glass bottle is easy to recycle once I’m finished. I purchase mine from Revolve for $90.
Slip Silk Night Hair Cap – A running inside joke between my mom and I involves our old night hair caps. Before this, I never have purchased an expensive hair cap. I always got them under $8 dollars from Sally’s. My old one used for years, now my puppy’s toy, was literally coming apart. The joke is our caps were not even real satin, they are sa-teen, double e. So after giving my puppy her new toy I looked into luxury night caps to get myself and my mom. I picked out the Slip caps pictured above from Anthropologie.
I love that the turban is not headache inducing yet sung enough to stay put on my head. It also may not fall off for me because my hair is big and it fills out the cap. The hair cap has a tag to hang the cap on a robe hook, which is a nice touch. The fabric feels soft. The turban shape is natural hair friendly for a pineapple hair bun or afro because there is extra fabric at the top. These hair caps cost $85. ❤
I purchased a few products mainly from Amazon to prepare for my puppy’s homecoming in late August. I’ve found these products absolutely helpful so I thought I’d share.
I brush my puppy’s teeth daily and she loves herbeef flavored puppy toothpaste from Paws and Pals. Since she’s teething she practically brushes her own teeth, the toothbrush looks human-like so she has so much fun chewing on it and massaging her gums with the bristles.
Another loved and practical item is her Furry Baby blanket. The fleece texture is safe for her to chew on as she falls asleep. The blanket is super warm as well.
Her puppy blanket set in elephant print size small are adorable and useful. She plays tug-of-war with them and the blankets hold strong. I’ve washed her blankets and beds several times and they’ve held up perfectly.
I started her off with a puppy teething toy set and eventually we went to Petco together and she picked out three more Halloween toys. She especially likes the sheep toy from Petco because of its soft texture. From the teething set her favorites are the rainbow bone, the banana with paper texture, the baby bottle, the donut, and the ropes.
Her Snuggle Puppy came in handy during her first days home. The stuffed animal has a heat pack and battery-powered heart that beats. The heat pack essentially has one use because it is activated by the air and lasts 24 hours. It can last longer if it is put in a zip-lock bag before 24-hours are up. The heartbeat heart has batteries included and it runs for 8 hours when turned on. She likes to play with her snuggle puppy rather than sleep with it but I do think it helps calm her down.
I got her two beds one is somewhat of a let-down, the extra-small pink bed. The extra-small is extremely small. She still fits but after eating she is almost too big for the bed and she’s only 2lbs. She does like to play with the bed and it holds up when she bites into it. When I repurchase I will get a size small instead. She gravitates towards this bed during day naps. She does like to hop into this bed to relax so it does serve its purpose. It is also very cute and comes in several colors.
Her other beige bed is preferred for sleeping at night. There is enough room to tuck some treats and toys on the side to help her settle down to sleep.
Play Pen – I love that this play pen is hard plastic and it is adaptable. It can work as a fence too to fence off areas like the front door. I spent hours picking this out because there are so many horror stories of puppies dying trying to escape from a cage or crate or getting stuck on the door. I chose a play pen without a door because of those stories. Eventually once she’s a little older I will just leave it partially open so she can go and come into it as she pleases.
I was incredibly happy to discover an El Salvadorian restaurant in the Bay Area. I highly recommend El Chalateco, the restaurant, and open kitchen are exceptionally clean and up to COVID protocol. They also have outdoor dining. The flavor of the food was fantastic and authentic. I grew up eating El Salvadorian food thanks to my step-dad so I’m picky about flavor. We ordered two pupusas de chicharrón y queso, pupusa de queso, chicken tamales, and tamal de elote (plain sweet corn).
Korean BBQ Truck – BBQ Kalbi Food Truck
305 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051
This is a new BBQ truck run independently by one woman. She makes simple Korean BBQ dishes like pork with rice or kimchi fried rice. Her portions are big enough to share and her prices are incredibly low. She also adds plenty of vegetables like zucchini!
Upscale Korean Dinning – Chungdam Restaurant
My dining experience at Chungdam was whimsical and memorable. We ordered spicy octopus, short ribs with pumpkin, and the pork belly appetizer. The short ribs with pumpkin had roasted chestnuts and veggies it was sweet and fall-off-the-bone. The pumpkin tasted addicting. They offer outdoor dining under umbrella-covered tables and cell phone scanned menus.
Bubble tea, Red Velvet to Tiramisu – Toco Tea
3074 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051
The bubble tea at Toco Tea is next level liquid dessert. I loved the tiramisu boba with cream cheese foam and the red velvet flavored boba. Both were as satisfying as eating a bowl of ice cream.
I picked up these cones on a whim from the supermarket. I had to list them here as a recommendation because they are delicious and dairy-free. I’ve struggled to find dairy-free ice-cream that tastes rich rather than like ice chunks, but this is it. This dairy-free milk ice cream tastes just as velvety as regular ice cream. The bottom of the cone has chocolate too! ❤
Rules & Regulations 1. Thank the person who nominated you, with a link to their blog. 2. Make a Post of the Award with a Statement on Concept of PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT as above. And Tag your post with the #greatachiever. 3. Mention the rules and regulations. 4. Ask 7 questions of your choice. One of the question must include about “PEACE” and one for “SAVE Environment”. 5. Nominate at least 7 fellow bloggers or more to 21 bloggers and notify them. 6. Follow @kamalsbloggingcafe (https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com) to secure certification as a badge to get a chance of collecting badge of GAMBA WORDPRESS SHINING STAR AWARD for PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT. For more details visit https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/award/.
My 7 Questions:
Concept of Peace & Consumerism
1.) Given the interconnectedness of the world do you think all companies in all countries should adopt cruelty-free standards, or is it up to consumers to boycott questionable products?
Part and parcel to global peace are cherishing human life and animal life. I think that though it is an awesome idea for all companies to practice cruelty-free standards it is difficult to enforce strict rules across the board globally. Today we have a wealth of information at our fingertips and it is doable for people with the means to boycott products that test on living animals. However, unfortunately, the abundant information we have access to is sometimes confusing and misleading. What are your thoughts?
Concept of Peace & Community
2.) How can you build a community in your everyday life?
Given the social distancing measures most of the world currently upholds as of August 2020, I think a great way to build community is to practice kindness and etiquette online. The digital space has increased in importance and leaving a kind comment for a friend or stranger can make their day!
3.) Do you have a green thumb?
I do not have a green thumb. I’m dreadfully afraid of planting anything because I don’t want to plant something that will grow moldy and sad. However, I do love to enjoy nature outdoors because I believe it is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.
Concept of Environment
4.) What is one thing you can do to improve the environment this week?
I love to recycle and donate my clothing because I think it can help under-resourced people, especially new or barely used work clothing. Donating clothing also helps create less waste. I also love using reusable straws when I can however due to covid I am sometimes unable to in outdoor restaurants.
5.) Do you like to volunteer? How can I volunteer virtually?
I enjoy volunteering in my private life and I’ve discovered online volunteer opportunities. Volunteering has several mental health benefits that can provide a little optimistic boost in your week. Check out this resource for virtual volunteering: https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering
6.) What kind of sky do you prefer? Bright and blue with white clouds, a sunset/sunrise ranging from fairy-floss colors to vivid, or mysterious grey and stormy?
I love a blue sky with fluffy white clouds! As I’ve written in former blog posts sunsets and sunrises are favorites of mine. I love bright and colorful skies because I love color generally speaking.
7.) When was the last time you saw a waterfall in person?
I have not seen a waterfall in two years. The last time I saw one was in Iceland. Hopefully, this winter I will see one again.
What are your answers to my seven questions? Ponder them and leave a comment reply if you want. Take care