Beauty Shout Out – August 2016

Unfortunately nowhere near close to empty territory with any of the products I’ve been using, but here’s a few faves.

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Infusium 23 Repair + Renew Leave-In Treatment – I had used this a few years ago and eventually came back to it since other leave-ins that I’ve tried have been discontinued. The large bottle will last me a while since it can refill the spray bottle I use it in up to 4-5 times. And it costs under $10, so that I consider a steal.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash – I had received a sample of this back when I tried out their Seaweed Skincare line last year. Finally got around to it a few months ago and immediately loved how my skin felt. It was squeaky clean, but not tight feeling. This combined with Lush’s Grease Lightning has helped my face stay pretty clear. I bought the bottle during my trip to San Diego last month, which was totally convenient because I (of course) forgot to bring face wash with me.

Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray – OK, this last product has nothing at all to do with beauty. But the beauty of this is that it helps lessen the odors that come along with going #2 in the bathroom. From someone who’s tried a few types of toilet deodorizers (which are dropped onto the water’s surface before proceeding with your biz), this by far is the most effective and best smelling. In fact, it comes in a variety of scents and can be found at Target, Ulta, and Bed Bath and Beyond stores. Their website has the whole lineup, along with gift sets and apparel. They take their sh*t seriously, folks!

Hopefully next month will bring about more beloved products and finally an empty or two. Thanks for reading!

Japan Crate Mini, Volume 14

August’s Mini crate is freakin’ sweet! No really, all 5 items in the box were sweet. Fine by me. Let’s check it out.

 

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What’s inside:

Moguchuu Chewing Candy, Strawberry – According to the pamphlet’s description, it’s difficult to find trash bins around Japan. And since disposing of chewing gum is frowned upon, that’s the reason why large varieties of chewy candy are sold. Chewing on this gives the impression that one is chewing gum. Basically, this is another version of the Hi-Chew candy we most often find here in the US. Good flavor, however, the texture isn’t as soft as those.

Natsukashi Ramune – The bottle containing this quick dissolving candy is reminiscent of those that store the popular Ramune soda. The candy itself tastes like it too.

 

Puchi Konpeito – This is the Japanese version of rock candy. The star-shaped pieces come in a variety of colors and flavors. Purple = grape, blue = cider, yellow = pineapple, and sadly the orange didn’t have a flavor. It tasted like the white one, which was plain/unflavored sugar.

Sittori Matcha – I’ve tried the chocolate version of this from a past box and loved it. Didn’t think any less of this one. This crunchy puffed snack was covered in a matcha glaze. Very easy to have finished this in one go, but I managed to savor it.

Usuyaki CookieUsuyaki is Japanese for “thin”. Thin, crispy biscuits sandwich a chocolate cream filling. It only came in a pack of 2, but I could have easily have gone through a bunch more. I really have no shame when it comes to cookies or chocolate!

 

 

This box had a nice variety of sweet goodies. I’m hoping that they’ll include at least one savory one in Volume 15. I got love for both!

New Instagram Account

Just wanted to let my readers/followers know that I’ve started a separate Instagram account for my food posts. I have a few on my current account(@lehea1212), but they tend to get lost in the feed after a while. I figured this would be a better way to keep track of the pheNOMenal finds I’ve come across. Please feel free to follow it!

RCubed Eats: SDCC and Afterward

I’m a bit sad that my gastronomic adventure through SD last month wasn’t as great compared to last year. Again, I blame it on the constant moving. But I did manage to discover a few new places and check off a few from my to-eat list.

After picking up our Conan tickets on Thursday, some of my group was in need of sustenance. From Spreckels Theatre, we headed to Werewolf to grab breakfast. Although it’s mainly a bar, they have a pretty good breakfast menu which is available until 1 pm daily. My eyes immediately locked in on their Pork Belly Benedict, which included poached eggs and thick slices of maple glazed pork belly atop house made potato cakes. I’ve had a good amount of eggs Benedict, but this one by far has been the most indulgent.

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The Monday after SDCC weekend, a friend and I had lunch at Lucha Libre. I’ve gone here quite a few times and have yet to be disappointed. My favorites include their Surfin’ California burrito (featured on the show Man vs. Food) and their Champion’s fries. I would have kicked myself if I didn’t get carne asada fries at least once during my trip. The craving for them doesn’t really occur for me unless I’m in the area. I’ve tried a few versions of it up here in the Bay Area, but seriously, no contest.

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Champion’s Fries with steak

 

2 food cravings were fulfilled on my last full day in SD. In the morning, I checked out the new location of Breakfast Republic at Liberty Station. I initially wanted to try something new, but couldn’t resist ordering their breakfast mac n cheese again with their Jurassic Pork bacon. The latter is a thicker cut and lightly glazed bacon, which I highly recommend adding to any of their dishes that has it as an upgrade or as a side. This kept me full throughout most of the day. Another friend ordered their Steak ‘N’ Eggs. The skirt steak was perfectly cooked, and the chimichurri sauce on top of it was amazing. I would definitely consider ordering that next time if I’m hungry enough to stomach it (I just had a bite). If you’re ever here, it’s located right next to the Liberty Public Market, so you can give yourself an excuse to walk off that meal.

 

 

I had a pretty late dinner that night, but it was totally worth it. The poke hype has been increasing in San Diego within the past few months. With new establishments popping up every so often, I needed try at least one of them out. I heard about Pokirrito through word of mouth and a post that a friend had made about it. The website doesn’t do justice with their menu. In fact, the Mauna Lani burrito that I ordered isn’t even on it. From what I can recall, this one had fresh salmon, avocado, tamago, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, lotus chips (which added a nice crunch), and crab. They also offer a few sauces you can get on the side to dip your burrito in or top it with. I chose their Golden Ratio Pokirrito sauce. Fancy! I was only able to get through half of it (I finished the rest the following morning), but trust me when I say it was pheNOMenal.

 

 

One of my SD friends has gotten heavily into cold brew coffee. Last time I was in town, he had me try the Colada from Holsem and I was immediately hooked. This has cream of coconut, cane sugar, and is topped with toasted coconut. Who would have thought coffee would ever take me to paradise? They have a few other versions of flavored cold brew on the menu that I hope to try on a future visit.

 

 

My Summer food adventure in SD was a nice way to tune out the stress that I had during SDCC. It was surely comforting, and I look forward to trying out more good eats down here.

Play! by Sephora – The Minimalists

Throwing it back to June’s Play! box, which was the last that I received from this subscription.

What’s inside:

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bareMinerals BareSkin Bronzer – This liquid bronzer can be used on the face or body. Very easy to blend on its own or mixed in with foundation or body lotion. It was still a bit wet and wasn’t blended in entirely on the swatch, but the color looks promising. I have yet to actually use it on my face.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter – The fact that it contains shimmer makes me a tad hesitant to actually use it. Might not be too bad if it’s a small amount. According to the product description in the box’s insert, this adds a “soft-focus filter” which blurs imperfections and add a luminous glow.

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Swatches of bareSkin Bronzer and Backlight Priming Filter.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara – I’ve received samples of this a few times in the past and used it occasionally. The formula is a bit wet compared to other mascaras I’ve tried. This one however gets a bit smudgy on me after a few hours. I’ll be passing this along to my mom.

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It – This leave-in cream supposedly adds volume to fine-to-medium hair. Just apply to towel dried hair and let air dry. The smell of this is awesome, but I didn’t see a very significant result once my hair fully dried.

Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion – My favorite product from this box! There’s always a year-round need for SPF, plus the mini size is perfect to take on trips. I’ve tested it out prior to one I’m going on next month. No irritation and the texture is light.

Tocca Beauty Florence – Upon first smelling this, I had assumed it had jasmine in it. Nope. It’s actually a blend of bergamot, violet petals, and blonde wood. I found myself sniffing my wrist numerous times during the day. I’m not always a fan of floral fragrances, but this is pretty subtle if I don’t over apply and won’t give me a headache.

I decided to discontinue this subscription mainly because I would rather purchase full sized items that I’d actually need rather than receive small bunches of deluxe samples and most likely not use everything I get. The price for the subscription, however, is great ($10 USD with free shipping to select states), and it includes products from brands I’m more familiar with since I shop at Sephora often. Visit the Play! site here to check out what they’ve included in past boxes, and to sign up for their wait list if you’re interested in subscribing.

My SDCC 2016 Experience – Part 2

Check out my Part 1 post here.

Day 3

First line of business for Saturday was to get a wristband at the Tokidoki booth for a signing with creator Simone Legno in the afternoon. I’ve managed to do this several years straight, minus one year when I didn’t get to the booth in time. He signed a small figure and did a sketch of Bastardino (aka Cactus Dog). It’s one of very few signings during the convention that I feel isn’t much of a hassle to get into.

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Prior to the signing, my friend and I roamed the exhibit hall. We checked out a few booths that we had missed and also ran into some familiar faces.

Although I barely took any photos of attendees in cosplay (I decided not to wear one of my costumes due to the weather being too warm/muggy), I was happy to see a few from my current favorite video game, Overwatch. And there were a bunch Pokemon trainers each day because of Pokemon Go, obviously.

 

The afternoon was spent checking out the off site events behind the Convention Center. Some of these included FX, Adult Swim On the Green, and the yacht from Fear The Walking Dead. The weather was too warm to hop into any lines, so we continued to wander until we were back at the Marriott Marquis and hung out again at the Con Suite. After about an hour, we headed back over to the Convention Center and got on the shuttle. My pending Saturday night plan was to try and check out at least one off site event on my list. But because the shuttle got caught up in traffic and we couldn’t find a place for dinner right away (most restaurants outside of downtown were nearing closing or were closed by 10.), I asked to be dropped off at the Gaslamp area. One thing to make note of when attending SDCC is to not expect everything to go as planned. Always have a Plan B (or C, D, etc.) so as to not disappoint yourself. I managed to meet up with other friends who were in the area and eventually had a late dinner.

 

Day 4

Had to make the most of my last day at SDCC, so I was ready to head out a bit after 9. I managed to dress up after all, sort of. I put together a casual getup as Tadashi Hamada of Big Hero 6, complete with Baymax. A friend and I headed to Nerd HQ. This was the only time I was able to check the place out. Last year I had gone to their dance party on Saturday night, which I had hoped to do the previous evening, but to no avail. One thing I did do differently this year was check out their gaming area. Got to try out Titanfall 2 and it was pretty fun. I also visited the Krave Kafeteria, which served visitors bowls of Krave cereal throughout the day. NOM. They even gave out full size boxes for free, but I skipped on taking one since I didn’t want to have to carry it around with me all day.

We crossed over to Marriott Marquis to pass through the Nintendo Gaming Lounge. This by far marks the most times I’ve been to this hotel during any SDCC year. Our timing was perfect because at the photo-op area was Pikachu. I haven’t had a pic taken with him in a few years, so you bet I was excited! Checked back there after a few minutes because Mario also made an appearance. The lounge had their usual game demos and a tournament for Super Smash Bros. They also had the upcoming NES Classic Edition console on display. It’s less than half the size of the original NES, plus it’s pre-loaded with 30 popular games. Do I want this? Heck yes.

Finally made our way back to the Convention Center to walk around the exhibit hall, and then to the parking lot at the Hilton where my friend parked to chill out and play Pokemon Go. The game had a panel in the afternoon with rumors swirling around via social media that the creators of the game planned to drop a legendary Pokemon. Sure enough, it was too good to be true. Not a total loss since I was able to level up a few of my collection and catch some new ones. Great way to define adulting, eh?! Afterwards, my friend had to start their drive back up to the Bay Area, so I headed back to the Convention Center to meet up with other friends. We were out of there before the PA system made their closing announcements.

My traditional plan of going to Altitude for happy hour and to see the post-Con was a no go since everyone else in my group was out and about. However, I got to go to Bub’s at the Ballpark again for their awesome tater tots. Couldn’t stay out too late since I still had to drop by the condo to move out my stuff…again. I would have surely been able to do more this year if I didn’t have to relocate so many times. It really seemed like an OK plan at first since it saved me some money on lodging, but man, so tiring. I had 2 days remaining of my trip and used them to decompress. I did some additional hotel hopping, but it wasn’t as bad since I didn’t have to be anywhere downtown. A local friend was nice enough to treat me to a post-Con massage. So happy I finally got around do doing that after a few years of considering one. I also shipped my SDCC purchases home, and they arrived the next day after I flew back.

And that concludes my time at SDCC 2016. Each year will always differ from the last, whether it be good or bad. My main focus for next year is to make improvements with my planning on all parts. I finished putting together my Project Life pages from the event last night, so look out for a post on that soon.