travel · Uncategorized

Updated Travel Carry-on

A wheel went missing from the carry-on I got last year. This is my updated long-term travel luggage carry-on.

I purchased a vegan leather travel bag from Sole Society final sale for about $34 bucks. The inside of the bag has three pockets and a stylish black and beige print. The bag has an extended crossbody strap. I love that the vegan leather material is wipeable so I can clean the bag if I have to. https://www.solesociety.com/cassidy.html?color=black-nylon&size=one-size

I’ve been meaning to launch my solo travel series, maybe I can begin it after my work term. I define solo trips as flying to a place by myself. I’m currently planning a winter trip.

I will start up my new Instagram soon. The next blog posts I’ll upload include my Reformation clothing haul, Pat McGrath lip products, clip-in hair extensions review, San Diego road trip, and my spring and summer clothes recap. Next month, I will blog about work clothing/work and study preparation in more detail. ❤

(A few pictures of solo adventures – Copenhagen below wasn’t really solo because two friends decided to join me. ) ❤

food

Bay Area Eats Series (3 price ranges)

This food series reviews restaurants in the Bay Area at three price ranges: low, medium, and high (or high-ish?). At the end of this series, I hope to compile a list of the best places to eat in the Bay Area.

Lower Price Range:

Pho Huynh Hiep 6

Pho Huynh Hiep 6, located in Walnut Creek, has quick food service and fresh ingredients. I ordered a seafood pho and taro bubble tea. The broth tasted light and simple. I recommend this spot for a light lunch.

Napa Taco Truck – La Condesa

La Condesa taco truck is just spot on. It has perfect prices, great customer service, and fresh ingredients. There are also plenty of spots to park in the Napa neighborhood to eat. I ordered carnita and lengua (tongue) tacos, horchata, and ceviche.

Los Gallos Taqueria

Los Gallos Taqueria, located in Redwood City, has the highest rated food for this post in my opinion. Super fresh seafood on the tostadas, which are loaded with octopus and shrimp, and topped off with avocado. The tacos (intestines) tasted perfectly crispy and extra delicious with extra spicy salsa. I highly recommend this spot and specifically the seafood tostadas.

Medium Price Range:

Korean Souel BBQ

The seafood pancake was flavorful and not as oily or doughy as others at this Oakland based Korean restaurant named Korean Souel BBQ. I enjoyed the taste of ample green onion, squid, and imitation crab meat. The wings tasted were served hot but they were a bit too sweet and lacking in spice. I do recommend visiting this restaurant for the haemul pajeon (seafood pancake), though it is not packed with seafood, there’s enough in the dish to taste filling. For only $18, the seafood pancake is a nice shareable light meal. The owner is super kind and talkative as well.

Miramar Beach Restaurant at Half Moon Beach

I ate a super light salad at the oceanfront restaurant Miramar at Half Moon Beach. I highly recommend this restaurant for the view alone. It’s a very relaxing lunch spot. I also recommend trying the Bomba dessert made with white chocolate and tropical flavored sorbets.

The day we ate there it was super warm but generally, it is recommended to bring a sweater just in case the water makes the area a little chilly. I had a jean jacket with me that I put on before walking near the ocean after lunch. There is free valet parking. I’d recommend getting valet if the restaurant appears full. We tried to park ourselves and ended up having to loop back because there were no spaces.

Slanted Tree

Slated Tree in Fairfield always seems packed. This restaurant has excellent bottomless Mimosas. I recommend this place as a quick brunch spot if you’re in the area. I’ve found it is one of the best places to eat in Fairfield.

Higher Price Range:

Bistro Don Giovanni

I can recommend this restaurant for the surrounding wine vineyards alone. The restaurant’s Napa Valley location is beautiful. Even the parking lot is pretty as you can see from the last picture. The pizza was very balanced in cheese, meat, and vegetables. The best part was the crust. It was harmoniously crispy and chewy. I only wished the menu had more variety and a seafood pizza option. ❤

skincare

Aztec Secret Clay Mask

Have you tried this popular clay mask? I finally tried the Aztec Secret clay mask that was favored on Youtube years ago. It is an inexpensive mask made up of equal parts of clay powder and apple cider vinegar. I have liked using it on my face and body to clear up or prevent breakouts this past month. I love this mask because its both affordable and effective at drying down early breakouts. This mask also functions as a shampoo alternative. I’ve used it in my hair and it felt super soft and not stripped or dry afterwards. I plan on purchasing the Korean Exfoliating Bath Mitt Scrub Washcloth for dead skin cells on my body. I think a combination of using the exfoliating mitt and this mask will help make the skin appear softer and clearer. I purchased the Aztec Secret clay and silicon mask brushes from Amazon, and the Apple Cider Vinegar from my local supermarket. ❤

Korean Exfoliating Bath Mitt Scrub Washcloth
travel · Uncategorized

An Ode to California ~ Planning My San Diego Trip

Have you ever moved somewhere and find that you fell in love with the location? I first fell in love with California almost ten years ago. It happened when I flew into Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, at night. My family moved from the East Coast across the country to the West coast with little money and no concrete plan. It was the adventure of a lifetime! From my window seat on the plane, I vividly remember the view of the shimmering Los Angeles skyline. I was enchanted, spellbound by the city’s magic, and incredibly nervous to embark on this new adventure. I associate LA with self-discovery and tasty food. I remember the late-night tacos made with craved meat marinated in pineapple (carne asada con piña es la mejor) for $1.50. Since then I’ve moved to other states, and then back to CA (pictures from the Bay Area featured on this post).

From my general experience, California is most popularly historically related to stories of the Wild West, the Gold Rush, Alcatraz, and the Transcontinental Railroad or ‘Chinese Railroad.’ In a way, I found gold in California when I first traveled here years ago. The location pushed me to find the gold within myself. Today, I remain in awe of the state’s natural beauty, friendly people, and endless delicious food options (the most important detail for me honestly lol). Also, the history is fascinating here too, did you know the city Los Angeles had more racial discrimination in schools in the 1950s than most states in the South? This state always undergoes major shifts and change, pun intended for the earthquakes that happen here too. The bottom line of the story is that I’m grateful for my slice of California.

I’m currently planning a little staycation in San Diego. We embark on the 5-hour drive down to the area soon. Since I need to think of places and beaches to visit I’m using a favorite blog and Youtube channel of mine called California Through My Lens to brainstorm. ❤

https://californiathroughmylens.com/day-trip-ideas

https://californiathroughmylens.com/san-diego-guide

I’m for sure going to Tacos El Gordo (12:57 timestamp in video), my mother has been there and said the tacos are delish!
food

My Top Three Restaurant Recommendations in Dublin

1.) Celtic Nights Traditional Irish Dance Show

The price is a steal, for only $38 you get a three-course meal and a chance to see a traditional Irish dancing show with a live band. This show and food stood out during my stay as a worthwhile Irish cultural experience. The fish main course I picked from the set menu was fresh and flavorful, especially the buttery fingerling potatoes! The vegetable soup appetizer was served hot. The soup had a turnip flavor and tasted well-seasoned. Additional drinks were available for purchase at the event space. I got confused by the time slots online with my ticket purchase. I thought perhaps many shows were scheduled at different times, but there is only one show. The show begins around 9-10 pm and if you pick an early time slot you eat before the show. If you pick a later mealtime your food is served as the show begins. https://tickets.celticnights.com/

2.) Kimchi Hophouse

This restaurant has Korean and Japanese fusion foods and more (spring rolls, croquettes). I loved my hot tofu and beef stew served with rice and beans. My friend and I also ordered fried chicken to share. That dish satisfied my craving for well-done yet, non-oily crispy fried chicken. This is a great spot to eat the famed Korean combination of fried chicken and beer. https://www.facebook.com/kimchihophouse/

3. )Michael’s Mount Merrion

Micheal’s blew me out the water, what amazing flavor! I’m no food expert, but I know if something tastes expertly flavored and this restaurant has that standard. The kitchen is partly open and the chefs prepare the seafood in the open section of the kitchen. They were super friendly and welcomed me as I came in. There is excellent customer service here. My waitress was also super sweet. The tuna tar tar was simple and fresh. My fries were perfectly salted and addictive. They were some of the best fries I’ve ever had. The warm bread and cinnamon butter tasted like the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I love warm bread and dislike when restaurants serve it cold. The lobster and shrimp main course tasted divine in the rich seafood sauce. I wish I could swim in a pool of that sauce, so delicious! https://www.michaels.ie/

food · travel

Panama 🇵🇦🇵🇦🇵🇦 Recommendations (En español y ingles)

Que bello es mi Panamá, centro del mundo corazón del universo. ¿Porqué Panamá es especial? Porque esta en el centro del mundo donde lo acompaña el océano Pacifico y el océano Atlántico es el único país del mundo con los dos océanos.

Panamá tiene comidas muy deliciosos como el arroz con pollo, tamales, carimañolas, empanadas, Sopa de Gallina, como muchas otras delicias. Puedes disfrutar de frutas muy deliciosas como el marañón, mamey, guayaba, guanábana (jugo de guanábana), pejibaye, entre muchas mas. Puedes disfrutar de estas frutas en los mercados públicos donde también puedes obtener enyugado, koka. La Koka es hecha con coco, azúcar y jengibre. Cuando quieras disfrutar de una noche de música y una cena exquisita, puedes visitar el casco viejo.

En el Casco Viejo hay un lugar llamado Diablicos donde puedes disfrutar y bailar al son del tambor de la música panameña. Un plato muy sabroso el arroz con coco y la ropa vieja, patacones y jugo de Tamarindo. El chicharrón y yuca frita es una delicia y no olvides el postre dulce de tres leches. Panamá cuanta con la bendición de ser una nación que, a pesar de ser territorialmente pequeña, tiene varias de las playas mas hermosas del continente americano.

San Blas compuestas de 365 islas desaminadas en el archipiélago de San Blas. Puedes rentar una de estas islas donde puedes disfrutas de la privacidad y hermosa hospitalidad.

Isla Bastimentos esta ubicado en el archipiélago de Bocas del Toro, en esta playa puedes disfrutar de diversidad de aves marinas y anfibios.

Isla Grande, una de mis favoritas, esta localizada en la provincia de Colon. Se caracteriza por sus playas de arena blancas y arrecifes coralinos.


Panama and Panamanian food (as well as Colombian) is painfully underrated. The cuisine is ignored just like our soccer teams lol. I think Panamanian food is some of the best in the world and I’m not biased of anything, 😉(just kidding).

Fruits and Foods Recommendations:

Toasted cashews and the fruit of the plant (called marañón – my family toasts the cashews at bonfires), guava, and mamey sapote fruit. Tamarindo drinks are amazing! They taste sour and distinct. Panamanians make tamarindo drinks with lemon, and panela or cane sugar. Pejibaye (pronounced pi-va, its a fruit, typically eaten in Panama boiled with salt. My great-grandmother had several pejibaye trees in her backyard, they remind me of childhood), guanábana ( try out guanábana juice, the fruit is slimy and ugly but it tastes delicious and sweet yet tangy. Panama has a zillion fruit drinks, so explore the world of fruit flavors and fresh fruit smoothies.

Other dishes to try include rice and chicken ( arroz con pollo, Panamanian style ja ja), coconut rice with gandules ( don’t disregard plain looking rice and beans, the dish is likely packed with flavor), carimañolas (yucca stuffed with tasty ground beef and fried, empanadas (Panamanians make zesty flavorful empanadas because the meat is cooked well in sauces like a strew before being encased into the corn), chicken soup made with female chicken or hen (hen tastes sweet in my opinion and the bones are harder), the dish is called Sopa de Gallina. Also, try frituras (fried breakfast foods like corn tortillas with Panamanian coffee called Café Duran). ❤