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DIY Gifts Life

DIY Personalize Christmas Orniments

January 8, 2017

A little late to be posting Christmas gift ideas, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for Wes. For our first Christmas as a married couple, we decided to make each other Christmas gifts. This isn’t an original idea, but I made personalized Christmas orniments. Sadly, we don’t have room for a Christmas tree, but I made these for our future Christmas tree. fullsizerender-3I looked up a bunch of DIY clay recipes, but after rummaging through my supply closet I found this Crayola Model Magic. I had this for years, but never knew what to make out of it. It pays to be a pack rat sometimes.
fullsizerender-1I rolled out the clay using a glass jar and used Christmas cookie cutters I had to make different shapes. I used a chopstick to poke a hole to lace the twine through. I bought small letter rubber stamps to customize each orniment. I highly recommend this Crayola clay. It rolls out very easy and holds it’s shape nicely. It’s also easy to roll back up if you make a mistake. I placed the orniments onto parchment paper to dry overnight, but I’d wait 72 hours to make sure it’s completely harden. fullsizerender-4

I added little touches onces it completely hardened. I wrote the date on the back of the orniments and painted a few designs onto some. I’m really happy with the way these turned out. It’s a fun, personalized gift that’s easy to make. Even though this was Christmas themed, you could probably make clay tags for anytime of the year using different cookie cutters. I can’t wait have a real Christmas tree to put these on!

Life Reviews Travel

My #NYCWFF Review

October 18, 2016

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend this year’s New York City Wine and Food Festival. My uncle won tickets and my mom and I were the lucky ones to reap the benefits. 

The festival started at noon, but we had fast pass tickets and were able to get on the expediated line to beat the rush. It was held at Pier 94. I’ve never been there, but it was a huge space. There were 2 stages where guest chefs gave demostrations and the rest of the space was filled with various food and wine vendors. There were so many different vendors offering free food and drinks that I never had to wait on line more than 10 minutes for anything. fullsizerender-4

There a were plenty of food and wine to go around! I ate everything from meatballs, porkbelly, chicken drumsticks, baked clams to cheesecakes, cookies and ice cream. They did not skimp on the portions too. Most samples were so big that it was able to satisfy both me and my mom. I was surprised by how many alcohol vendors were there. They had a seperate section for wines whiskey, gin, vodka, etc. Not to mention the cocktails were amazing! Some of the vendors included Shop Rite, David Burkes Kitchen, Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, Blue Moon, and Cupcake Vineyards.fullsizerender-1 img_7426 fullsizerender-3fullsizerender-2I was also excited to see some Food Network chefs. Whenever we needed a break from eating, we headed to a demo. We saw Moriomoto, Rachel Ray, Tiffany Thiessen, Emeril Lagasse and Valerie Bertinelli. The morning demos had less people and we were actually able to get a seat, but the afternoon demos were packed and ended up standing or sitting on the floor. Morimoto was by far my favorite chef that I saw. He’s a really funny guy in real life. fullsizerender-5fullsizerender-2The best part was the amount of loot I was able to collect by the end of the day. They were giving out everything from samples of avocado oil to lady finger cookies to full size bottles of Kikkoman products. fullsizerender-8Would I go back again? It was definitely an amazing experience and to be able to go for free was even better. Tickets are around $200, but most of the proceeds go to the No Kid Hungry and New York City’s Food Bank. I think it’s worth the price for the amount of food, alcohol and entertainment that you get for 6

Life Travel

The Nifty Noodle Goes to San Francisco- What to Eat

September 23, 2016

All our friends who have been to San Francisco speak so highly of the food there. Especially, the Mexican food.

During our first night there we decided to try the top two Mexican restaurants that just so happened to be a block away from each other: La Taqueria and El Farolito. The difficult question was what we should eat at both places. We decied to try the tacos at La Taqueria and the burrito at El Farolito.

We started off at La Taqueria a variety of 4 tacos- pork, chicken, carne asada and Chorizo. However, the server messed up our order and we ended up with two carne asada tacos and no Chorizo. To my surprise, chicken was definitely my favorite. What made the taco was their hot sauce. I wish they bottled it so I could take it home with me. Even though their carne asada was their most popular, I found it a little dry.

fullsizerender-2We were full by the time we got to El Farolio. I guess you could say we were a tad overeager. We decided to split the “extreme” burrito. It basically came with the works. We were presented with a huge burrito. It was almost impossible to get a bit of everything in every bite. The burrito was delicious, but the hot sauce was disappointing. It’s difficult to say which place was better as comparing tacos to burritos is like comparing apples to oranges. 
img_7148Philz Coffee

It would be a crime to not go to San Francisco and not try some Philz Coffee. Everyone seems to absolutely love this place. I ordered their iconic Mint Mojito despite not being a huge mint fan. The coffee alone was amazing, but I could probably do away with the mint next time. img_7140Roli Roti

I stumbled upon Roli Roti when I was walking around the Ferry Building. This place has over 1000 reviews on Yelp. I had to see what the rave was all about. The line didn’t look so bad, but I ended up waiting almost 45 minutes for my pochetta sandwich. I was so hangry that I decided to get a side of roasted potatoes. Maybe I was just really hungry, but this was delicious! The meat was juicy and the potatoes were roasted using the fat. What wasn’t there to love about this combination? 

It’s been a while since I had an In-N-Out burger and Wes has been dying to get his hands on one, so lucky for us there was one at Fishermen’s Wharf. I’ll be honest, we were disappointed. The burger was alright, just alright. East coast friends, Shake Shack is way better! The biggest let down were the french fries. The fries were bland and the animal style did not make it any better. If you never tried In-N-Out, you’re not missing out. img_7201Good Mong Kok Bakery

Right before heading to the airport to go back home, we decided to pick up some dim sum and egg tarts for the road. It was the day before Labor Day and surprisingly, many shops were closed. We came across Good Mong Kok and at 8:30am, there was a line out the door. It’s always a good sign when people are lining up outside. It was a tiny hole in the wall with no seats. We waited about 20 minutes. We ordered strimp dumplings, Sui Mai, pork buns, basically everything we love back home. There were two main differences about dim sum in SF vs dim sum in NYC. The dim sum in San Francisco were huge, even the pieces of shrimp in the dumplings were abnormally large. The skin on the dumplings and rice noodle rolls were thicker than back home. That didn’t bother me since I enjoy chewier noodles. img_7228img_7229Eastern Bakery

I can’t eat dim sum without having an egg tart at the end. We wanted to try the famour Golden Gate Bakery, but they were opening later and we had a flight to catch. We settled for Eastern Bakery and it did not let down. It’s probably one of the best egg tarts I ever had. The custard was on point! If this was amazing, I wonder what Golden Gate Bakery’s egg tart would have tasted like. Guess I’ll have to save that for another trip. img_7230Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

We all know I have a love for donuts, so I had to try some in San Francisco. Mr. Homes Bakehouse was right by our hotel and a blogger that I follow posted Instagram pics of this place. The donut flavor of the day was Chocolate Stout. WIN! I love the fact that they did not skim on the cream. I also ordered the ham and cheese croissant, but it was not good as their donuts.  img_7150Ghiradelli

Last but not least, we had to go to Ghiradelli. We ordered the ultimate ice cream sundae. The ice cream and chocolate sauce made for the perfect combination. We got the dipped waffle bowl, but unfortunitely, the chocolate made the bowl soggy. Not good. I recommend just getting it in a cup and asking them for a waffle bowl on the side. img_7204

Life Travel

The Nifty Noodle Goes to San Francisco – What We Did

September 7, 2016

We had the opportunity to fly out to San Francisco for a quick Labor Day weekend getaway. Here are some of the highlights from our trip.

Go Car

We originally saw Go Cars when we were in Barcelona, but never had the chance to do it while we were there. My brother rented a Go Car in San Francisco and recommended that we check it out too. It seemed like a good idea since we would be able to see most of San Francisco’s “must see” places. We decided to rent the car for 3 hours in order to maximize time. Our route started at Union Square, followed by the AT&T Park, the Ferry Building, Fishermen’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach and Alamo Square. Even though I was scared for most of the 3 hours, I would recommend this to people. The car comes with a GPS /guide. The guide was pretty entertaining and the GPS was accurate for the most part. The car isn’t very powerful, so it was surprising that we made it up San Francisco’s infamous hills. img_7187

At one point our battery died, but lucky for us there was a spare battery in the back and we were able to quickly get back onto the road. The car’s motor was so loud, so it was difficult to hear the GPS at times. My biggest complaint is that it was difficult to see all the sites and enjoy them in the 3 hours they provide. img_7188

Fishermen’s Wharf

Fishermen’s Wharf is definitely a tourist spot, but they had alot of cool things to offer. We had to visit Ghirardelli Square and get ourself an ice cream sundae. Wes was also able to get his hands on his first In-N-Out burger here. We stumbled upon the San Francisco’s Historic Vessel Museum. Wes had a blast checking out the old ships. img_7260img_7257

Sonoma/Napa Valley

It was the biggest nightmare booking a last minute tour to the wine country, especially during a holiday weekend! But we were determined to make it out there and thanks to Wes we were able to get ourselves on a tour. The wineries on Long Island cannot compare to wine country in California. We were surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful vineyards. I can’t remember the name, but the last vineyard that we visited was the best. The combination of on point wine, aweseome outdoor furniture and amazing weather made for the perfect way to end the day. img_7241img_7242img_7244

Muir Woods

We didn’t get much time to explore the Muir Woods, but it was nice to get out of the city and breathe in some fresh air.

Big trees, little us.

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Life Travel Wedding

The Nifty Noodle Goes to Kuala Lumpur

August 17, 2016

Kuala Lumpur was a layover and the last stop on our Asia Honeymoon. We spent a day and a half in KL and the majority of the time we were either eating or shopping. We were shocked by how huge the malls were. I wish I took photos of how grand their malls were. American malls would look puny in comparison.

Lot 10

My priority was to eat all the Malaysian food I could get my hands on. A friend recommended we go to Lot 10 because of all the varieties of foods they served. There were multiple stalls and we stuffed our faces until we couldn’t eat anymore. For noodle fans out there, you will find yourself in heaven. 
FullSizeRender (4) FullSizeRender (1)Chinatown- Petaling Street

Chinatown is another spot to get cheap, delicious food. Bargain hunters also flock here for cheap souvenirs and knockoffs. We didn’t buy anything, but be sure to haggle if you do. FullSizeRender (5)Petronas Towers

Petronas Twin Towers are the highest towers in Kuala Lumpur. The tour first takes you up to the observation deck that connects the two buildings before heading up to the Sky Deck on the top floor. Tickets sell out early, so try to buy your tickets online beforehand. It was a little underwhelming, but I guess if you happen to be in KL, you should check it out. FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (3)

Of course a trip to Asia would not be complete without visiting a McDonalds. The fried chicken wings were meh, but I’d go back just for their chicken wrap. IMG_6991