Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Miss America Problems.


Who would have ever thought that there would be a big "scandalous" issue causing uproar in the public because of Miss America? NOT ME. Frankly not because of this issue I'm about to address - RACISM.


Come on people, really?

So, it seems that an Indian American was crowned Miss America and she is receiving so much criticism from people calling her names, comparing her to Miss Kansas, making fun of her, etc. She is being bullied, basically.

Now, isn't bullying something that people aren't that fond of? Yet... it seems pretty easy for people to do that.

I haven't been using Facebook TOO often - more so for keeping in contact with people - but I must say that I couldn't NOT say anything about this issue...

Copied and pasted from my Facebook-

"An Indian-American won Miss America. So what? If she deserved it, then she deserved it. Should she not have won solely because she's an Indian American? I don't see a rule or law stating that a woman of Caucasian descent can only become Miss America. I didn't see the competition but I'm sure Miss Kansas had her perks and other reasons to be Miss America but just because she went to the army, has tattoos, and likes hunting DOES NOT make her an American and that should DEFINITELY not be the only reason why you should be selected for Miss America.

Last time I checked, the definition of an American in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) is "Originally: a native or inhabitant of America, esp. of the British colonies in North America, of European descent (now hist.). Now chiefly: A NATIVE OR CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES." Are we living in the past? Nope... We aren't. We're living in the present and Miss Nina Davuluri seems to be a citizen, hence she was able to compete for Miss America, and it also means that she's an American! 

You know, this whole Miss America thing is making me think. For lack of a better example, if I became Miss America, will people start making North Korean jokes at me for being a Korean-American? Will they start saying that I'm a communist? I'm shocked but glad at the same time that this issue has arisen, because it just comes to show that there is a lot more room for change in our society.

Why are people making such ignorant comments about this girl? I really don't understand what the big deal is. America would NOT be America without people from various backgrounds. Sure, Caucasians had a big role in shaping America, but that surely does not mean that an American is defined by a Caucasian. Immigrants had an equally big role in shaping "American culture" and the children of those immigrants are citizens of the United States. Those children are American."

Food in London 4 - Camino: Cruz del Rey

Camino is a restaurant that I've been meaning to write about but I was only able to come across writing about it now.

It's a restaurant that I found in a booklet about good restaurants and stuff, and since I've always wanted to try Spanish food, and it had some pretty good reviews, I decided to try it out! And thank goodness I did! :)

Here's the restaurant's site: 

My friend and I have visited this restaurant twice and we really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place! The first time we went, it was for lunch and the place wasn't crowded but it wasn't completely empty either. It can be somewhat easily missed because it's not out there to be easily viewed, but luckily, we found it - Regent Quarter! It's a Tapas Restaurant so most, if not all, of the meals aren't too big!

The first thing Shammara said was, "Ooh, it smells good!" And it sure did.

For lunch we ordered:

Alegrias (Fiery roasted peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, chapata bread) for starters:
There are only a few chapata breads given with this starter, but you can ask for more! It was a fairly simple dish, just seasoned spicy peppers, but the slow occurring spiciness - slowly but surely it made your tongue hot -  was so good!!! There's something about spicy food that makes it so addicting!!

Shammara and I both ordered the same meal - Gambas al ajillo (Tiger prawns, chilli, garlic, olive oil, white wine):

This was really good but at the same time, really salty. When we went back for a second time though, Shammara ordered the same thing and she said that the saltiness might be a "one time thing." Which is reassuring because it was fairly salty but nonetheless, tasty. The chilli is also not the chilli stew many people may think about - it's the chilli pepper that is in the meal.

Because I was curious and hungry to try more things - that day I ordered two more dishes:

(1) Ensalada de Cangrejo (Potted cornish crab and chabata bread)
 This was pretty good too but not as good as the Alegrias. It was just an average taste - nothing too particularly special about it. It was cornish crab with, I THINK, some cheese.

(2) Arzua Ulloa (Soft cow's cheese, fig & almond cake, chabata bread)
This was seriously so delicious!!!! It was more like a dessert than another side dish because of the sweetness of the fig and almond cake. The cheese and the cake really paired well because the cheese wasn't really that salty - it was really smooth and creamy, somewhat reminding me of Brie. I thought that it would've tasted even better with wine. This is a picture of it from the second time I had gone because the first time, I forgot to take a picture because it was just so delicious!!!

The second time that I had gone, I got the Arzua Ulloa as stated above, Agua de Valencia (Santa Teresa Rhum Orange, fresh orange juice, topped with brut cava), and Huevo con calabaza (Roasted butternut squash, sauteed potato, free-range egg, sage, truffle butter, Manchego):

The drink was nice and refreshing. What more can I say? Haha. Now, onto the "meal" - it was written on the menu that this was for sharing but when I asked the waitress if it's okay to order for just one person and she said that it was completely fine - which it was, but wow there were a lot of potatoes. Haha. I actually expected there to be more butternut squash than the potatoes. It wasn't salty and the it was really good. There are also three various topping choices: Chorizo, Jamon Teruel, or Manchego - and Manchego was recommended by the waitress and it was a great pair with the dish. It was a pretty good dish, but warning - lots of potatoes. Maybe if I ever decide on getting it again, I'll ask for more butternut squash instead of potatoes...

Overall, this place was really delicious and the vibe of the place is really cool. At night, which is when we went for the second time, it was packed!!!! They also have a bar, which was left of the restaurant, and it was PACKED - it was written in the booklet where I found this place, that they also occasionally have bands playing but when we were there were no bands but the music was nice. The whole atmosphere seemed really nice - lots of groups of friends; this place seems to be a place befitting for both family and friends, but with children, I think lunch time would be better - and really different compared to when we went during lunch; they have a sun roof so it's really bright but at night, the place is really dim!

I definitely recommend this place and I would totally go again.  

Pearce Fionda SS 2014 - London Fashion Week


I love love loveeeeeeeeeed Pearce Fionda's SS 2014 Collection! Up until the day I had gone to their show, I had not heard of Pearce Fionda but now, I don't think I can forget them.

After much contemplation and asking my friend if I looked alright, again and again, my outfit to the show:

Dress: Isabel Lu

Clutch: Primark

Shoes: Office Shoes

I just let my hair down and that twas it...

Held at the Freemason's Hall in London, Pearce Fionda left me smiling at the end of their show. I fell in love with their SS 2014 Collection, a ready to wear collection filled with beautiful evening dresses and two pieces. I have 2 words to say : BEAUTIFUL SILHOUETTES!


The dresses, as well as two pieces, had their own characteristics but they all summed up to be sexy, chic, elegant, and most definitely glamorous. The femininity of this collection had was absolutely amazing. There was some masculine characteristics to the two pieces, but the flow and design of the outfits just made it look more like an extreme business casual with an edgy twist - loved the use of the peblums.

Purple, black, and white seemed to be the main three color choices that they chose for the collection, with the occasional yellow/mustard color popping up here and there. There was a lot of satin, lace, mesh and tulle, intricate embroideries, velvet, and sequins - each seemed to take on a big role in the individual pieces. The length of the outfits ranged from really long, up to the knees, or down to the ankle. Without the flow of the dresses, I don't think this collection would have looked as great or would have been as graceful as it did. The continuous A lot of the two-pieces were very strong, feminine, and edgy but the masculinity of the outfit was really downplayed by the lace, cuts, and as said before, design.

The makeup was really interesting. The focus was on the eyes with thick eyeliner and bold eyebrows - from afar, it seemed the models had on two different types of thick eyeliner  but from close up photos (posted the link below), it can be seen that the they seem like stickers. It sort of reminded me of the eyeliner tattoo and lip tattoos but these seem to be a little different from those but have similar concepts - UPDATE: TURNS OUT THEY'RE PAPER LINERS. The makeup really gave a nice color contrast to the outfits and it gave it a completely different feel from the "typical" glamorous look if the make up tone was more neutral.

Vogue has the complete collection ready for view here:

Also, totally saw this really cute lady with a bright pop of pink -  Anyone know who she is?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Flaunt your style!

Today, I went to Carnaby Street - A street FILLED with shops from side to side!
It really reminded me of SOHO (which there is in London as well!)


It was in association with GQ Magazine and there were a lot of stores having a 20% off sale! There were DJs, bartenders, in-store events, etc. Something I found really interesting was that people were actually buying things unlike Fashion's Night Out in New York. When I went last year (New York), a lot of people I saw were just enjoying the theme of Fashion's Night Out and not really shopping - a reason why it was cancelled this year. 

It was really cool, new yet familiar, and definitely fun.

There were various shops and the prices ranged from low to high! It really depended on the store you went into!

The people I saw were amazing! So many people yet you could clearly see each other their style personalities. Some were dark but edgy, and others bright and bubbly! It was really nice seeing how people can just wear what they want in confidence and flaunt their stuff! It's really nice and refreshing to see people in an outfit that they can wear and just make it look FABULOUS! Some people may deem certain people's styles "not normal" but then again, WHAT IS NORMAL!?

FLAUNT YOUR STYLE. BE CONFIDENT! Guys and girls both love people that are confident in themselves! Don't think about what people will think of you too much because they aren't going to be the ones making you happy. You're going to make yourself happy!!!

Everyone has their own style - be it more concentrated on the hair, make up, colors, etc. FLAUNT IT!

The Amazing Journey Thus Far

In about a week or so, my friend and I will be going to PARIS FOR PARIS FASHION WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How awesome is that!!!!!!!???? First, London Fashion Week and now PARIS FASHION WEEK!? 

You've got to be kidding me! I was so excited about Pearce Fionda's Fashion Show and my goodness it was totally amazing. I will be writing another post just about their show, so look forward to that!

Just a few moments ago, Shammara and I were talking and we just couldn't believe our lives. She was even more excited because this is surely her gateway and her foundation to the never ending fashion industry but for the both of us, this is completely new and it's just an amazing adventure. One step at a time, I am learning more about myself... I can definitely say that I sometimes find myself relating to my mom and seeing how similar we actually are! But at the same time, I found that I am capable of doing things on my own, and that I can't always try to do things that will make me comfortable.

We really need to step out of our comfort zone. You'll be amazed to see what you can do and what you learn.

Last night, walking home by myself, I thought about how distant I am with my family right now. And this distance is both good and bad. First of all, the homesickness is there but at the same time, this is giving me a completely different outlook on life. Slowly but surely, I feel love for life. More love than I've ever felt before. Maybe it's because everything here is new and all seems like a new treasure, but I've got to say that there's definitely happiness there.

We are our own responsibility! There is no one else but us. There is definitely less stress and less pressure since I'm working at my own pace, but I just have to make sure that I don't fall behind on work and end up procrastinating and......................................... then the black hole of never ending regret. Really trying hard not to make that happen!!!!

Life here just seems slower than it is in New York, but somehow, in a day, it'll be precisely a month since we've been here. I feel like I just arrived to my dorm from the airport. So much has happened in so little time!!! Although I'm not sure what the future has in store for me, I'm looking forward to the challenges.

Everything seems to happen for a reason. What we need to do is go with the flow, take control of our lives, be positive, have positive energy, and look forward to what we'll discover about life. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



It's only been a few days but I feel like I've been here since forever! And I say that because I've already learned and experienced so many things!

As the title says, you just never know what can happen to you, your family, or your friends. You just never know what can happen with life, but I do feel like things happen for a reason. We can all blame the negativities on someone or something else, but what we need to focus on is how to make things better ourselves. We can't always rely on other people. We can wish and pray, but until we put the first foot forward, we can't always expect changes to occur.

A couple of months ago, I would have never expected to be where I am now. I planned studying abroad, but, I wasn't sure if it was actually going to happen but I really tried hard and made things happen.

The fact that I'm here in London is just amazing, but something even more CRAZY, and I can't believe that it's happening, is that I WILL BE GOING TO LONDON FASHION WEEK!!!!

I always admired New York's Fashion Week and I would occasionally watch the Live streams on Youtube but... I never imagined I would be going to London's Fashion Week.

My roommate, who is also the author of the blog Fashion Pop Queen, is already breaking her way through the fashion industry one step at a time and even provided me with an amazing opportunity - to attend a show!

Is this even real life?!


Maybe it's because I'm away from family and a lot of the people that are close to me, but I've learned that sometimes, you need to step out of your box. You can't always be comfortable and you won't always be happy, but what we need to strive for is living our life to the fullest, doing things that make us happy, and also having a positive outlook on life. That doesn't mean do whatever, wherever and whenever. We also need to know control and understand that the choices we make are our responsibility, but since we have the power to make certain choices, we can change our lives.

When I look back on my old self, even if good opportunities came to my footstep, I would walk away from it because I was scared of what could happen. I kept thinking that I wouldn't be able to do certain things. But if I knew then what I know now, I would have never walked away. Whenever there is an obstacle, we need to face it with some nice eyeliner, lipstick, killer heels, and break through!!!!

The idea of attending London's Fashion Week is really scary, mainly because there are going to be people who KNOW and LIVE in the fashion industry. The cameras, the models, the audience are all frightening, but you know what, when will I ever get this sort of opportunity ever again? Sure maybe in the future if I have connections, but I DONT KNOW THE FUTURE. NOW IS ALL I KNOW. And yeah, I'm scared of being out place but I can't let this sort of opportunity pass me by. It'll a COMPLETELY new experience and I'm sure I'll learn something.


Thanks Shammara - YOU ARE THE GAME CHANGER. haha <3

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Food in London 3 - Itsu Review

Itsu, as defined by their website, was created by the early pioneers of Pret A Manger. Their restaurant strives to provide their customers with healthy, fresh, and simple meals - a "eat beautiful" motto! It's also located in the UK only.

I had not heard of Itsu until my friend and I suddenly came across it while searching for a place to eat!

It looked nice and there seemed to be a lot of people coming in and out of the store - the menu looked pretty good too and the prices were decent.

I was hungry, and since it was Japanese food, I was looking forward to it! The food looked fresh and quite tasteful actually, but as an avid fan of sushi and miso soup, the sushi turned out to be pretty good but as far as the miso soup goes... I must say "Woah there."

What I saw in the restaurant was definitely fresh, simple, and GREEN! It looked really good. I don't have any photos of the restaurant itself, but I surely have the pictures of the food I ate!

I had a spicy tuna roll (top right), a spicy salmon roll(bottom right), and miso soup (left) - surprisingly, for my taste buds, the spicy salmon was better than the spicy tuna.

Of course, before you read anything else, I must stress this in the beginning: This is solely my opinion. Your experience at Itsu could have been completely different from mine (or might/will be different from mine)!!! I am not writing this sort of review to attack Itsu or to prevent people from going to Itsu - NO THAT IS NOT THE CASE - I am simply stating my opinion on what I tasted. You may or may not have the same opinion as I do.

Although not written in the ingredients list, the spicy tuna roll has flakes of chives on the outside of the rice. It's an interesting combination because the bitter taste and the scent of the chives with the spicy tuna wasn't particularly horrible, but for my taste buds, it wasn't' the best combo either. Also, having the pickled ginger in the sushi wasn't the best either. I felt like the pickled ginger's taste overpowered the taste of the spicy tuna. Another thing that I would like to add is that the tuna seemed a little too stringy. It might have been the particular container I grabbed, but regarding the one I had, the spicy tuna roll could have been much better.

Onto to the spicy salmon roll! This roll was pretty good. The only con I might add is that there were too many sesame seeds on the roll. I'm a fan of having sesame seeds on rolls but I just thought that there was a too much, making the flavor of the seeds really strong. On my grade scale, 1 being inedible to 10 being THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER, The spicy salmon roll was a 6/10. The spicy tuna roll was a 5/10. Both rolls weren't HORRIBLE but it definitely had it's cons.

Last but not least, the miso soup.

I hadn't had miso soup in a very long time so I was really happy that I would have some but after the miso soup was placed onto my tray, the scent had me a little suspicious. There was the usual salty, miso paste smell but there was something else lying beneath the scent and it was clearly apparent in the taste.

I will go ahead and assume that they put in pickled ginger into the miso soup because I don't know how to explain the miso soup taste. It was really awful. I give it a 2/10. I would give it a 1/10 but it seemed inedible because the woman in front of me was slurping the soup quite well.

Looking forward to the traditional miso soup, the soup that I tasted was completely different. It was a little more thick, and the taste was definitely not miso soup. Miso soup is filled with a light flavor of miso, not with bitterness. While tasting the soup, a part of me thought it tasted like soap. There's no other way to describe the taste of this particular miso soup other than, "it tasted really bad." For those you of who would want to try it, go ahead. Maybe you'll like it, or even love it, unlike me.

At the end of the day, will I ever go back to Itsu? Sure, why not. I can try other things too.
Will it be my first choice? Probably not.
Do I recommend other people to go there? Yes. Just because I didn't have the best experience doesn't mean that the next person is going to have the same experience, especially because everyone's taste buds are different!

Until next time~

May you taste something wonderful! :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Food in London 2 - Vigata

The day that I arrived, my friend and I went to a place called Vigata. When I looked at the menu, I was ecstatic to see a dish that I've wanted to order for a very long time! 

I ordered a pasta dish called Gnocchi which are "various thick, soft dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, flour and egg, flour, egg, and cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, or similar ingredients. - Wikipedia" I had previously tried this back in New York at a restaurant called Nizza (took a bite out of my boyfriend's dish!) and I was surprised at how chewy and full of flavor it was. I really loved the cheesiness of it too. However, with that expectation, what I had gotten from Vigata was disappointing and even though I was hungry, it didn't really taste particularly good - which says something! The tomato sauce tasted a little sour (not in the "I think this is expired" kind of way), tasted a little bland, and there was definitely a lack of cheesiness. There was a clear difference in quality between the two restaurants with this dish.

This picture below is the Gnocchi from Nizza and right underneath it is the Gnocchi I had ordered from Vigata.

Of course there would be a difference especially because I'm in a new country and different chefs have different recipes. All I am stating is what was better and why - please keep in mind this is solely my opinion.

After that sad turn of events, Vigata was given a few more chances because it's so close and the prices aren't high up in the sky.

The second time around, it was in the Cafe at my residency (don't mind the messiness in the background...).

The Caesar Salad (in the center back) was just really poor quality. Some may wonder how can you go wrong with a caesar salad, but I've gotta say... it was totally wrong. The Caesar dressing just tasted really weird. There is no other way for me to describe how it tasted other than saying "THIS IS DEFINITELY AND CANNOT BE CAESAR DRESSING!" After one or two bites, thinking it'll get better, I just couldn't go on any further. It was 4 pounds wasted but at least I learned to never get that... EVER.

The fries (the container on the right) were just fries, or should I say, CHIPS.

Moving on to the Pastaaa (the container on the left). I got two types, tomato cream sauce and white cream sauce with mushrooms. 

The cream pasta with the mushrooms weren't bad but it wasn't the best either. It was a little tooooooo creamy... I felt like it was lingering in my stomach? That sounds weird but I'm not sure how to explain it.

The tomato cream sauce pasta weren't bad either but, like the white cream, it wasn't the best either. It was creamy but there was a tinge of tanginess to it. I think it would've been better if I had a piece of bread with the pasta. 

Finally, I went a third time - although this one wasn't planned. My friend said she was going downstairs to get some pasta and so I went along with her thinking she was going to the cafe, but she had stated she wanted it to be "fancy" so we went downstairs to the restaurant itself.

The third time round, I made sure to get some bread. I ordered Penne Pink Sauce - which consisted of penne, tomato sauce, double cream, parmesan cheese, and parsley. 

The pasta turned out to be good but since there was a bit left, I had to get the remainder as take away - the UK form of "to go." The bread was really delicious since it was right out of the oven. Soft and chewy on the inside, nice and crispy on the outside. 

Every time I tried, my experience only got better but at the same time, I think it depends on what you get. Maybe I was lucky with what I tried? But, in any case, the third and final time, at least for now, was the best experience I had with this restaurant.

Vigata - give it a chance if you're ever in the King's Cross area!

Nizza - totally check it out if you're in New York!


Food in London

So far, the best meal I had was BURGER KING's Whopper Meal.
The Whopper tastes pretty much the same, a slightly healthier, but it's the "sides" that come with this Whopper that make it different. 

The fries and soda that come with it are clearly smaller than what we would expect in America when we order a "meal." 

This set portion size seemed like a great regulation to have especially because people in America consume large amounts of fast food without much of a break. The amount that we consume is just unbelievably grand and I think that having this sort of regulation would help with the reoccurring problems with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, just a few of the countless sicknesses we could get from not having a healthy diet and having the right portions - the Large soda cup in this Burger King looked like the Regular size back in the states.

We really need to start changing what we're letting our taste buds taste... Of course I just wrote a post about how the best meal I had was a Whopper meal, I am only stating that out of the very few times I have tried different foods. But, even with the difference in portion size makes a difference. The amount of calories I consumed were definitely less than what I would have originally consumed in America. Also, since the EU (European Union) is against GMO (genetically modified organisms), it is significantly easier for people to gain access to foods with less artificial ingredients and non GMO foods - a total COMPLETE AMAZING plus about being in the UK!

Overall, everyone, including myself, need to start eating more vegetables, fruits, consume less foods filled with artificial junk, lower your sodium and sugar intake, drink more water than soda, exercise little by little (go on Youtube and watch Blogilates - totally inspiring and you won't get bored while working out!!!), and try getting protein from beans, tofu, soybeans (preferably NON GMO), milk and cheese, rather than just red meats - even chicken breasts (preferably grilled than fried). 

I feel like a FOOD REVOLUTION will take place, sooner or later.

Do you think so? Will you be a part of it? Why or why not?

London Times

After years of thinking about how cool it would be to go abroad for school - I AM NOW IN LONDON!

My friend, who is also my roommate, and I have come to this wonderful cosmopolitan city through our school's study abroad program! I've gotta say that the fact that I'm not in New York hasn't really sunk in... Mainly because the language is still English, although the accent adds a new "flavour."

There are a few things that are different - some are just more apparent than others. I've been here for approximately 4-5 days and I can already tell that are going to be some lifestyle changes - healthy, definitely!

London is definitely different, especially with the way the city is designed. I can certainly say that unlike the grid that New York City follows, excluding the West Village, you can easily get lost!!! Always have a map just in case your phone dies or it suddenly doesn't work - don't always trust technology.

The buildings and roads are just beautiful! I haven't experienced the cloudy weather that most media would portray. It's been nice and sunny but at night, the weather turns drastically chilly.

Now, the food -

To be honest, I really didn't expect there to be a big difference in food but I must say - YES! THERE IS!

It would most likely depend on where you go, but since the EU is a supporter of the NON-GMO movement, I feel like some foods taste bland, although that isn't bad. This could be the time where my taste buds adjust to a "healthier" lifestyle. Crisps (chips) are less salty and chocolates seem to be less sweet. Everything just seems healthier - EVEN Burger King. The portions here are smaller so a small soda in America is considered a regular size.

Oh, and for those of you planning to come to London for studying or vacation, BEWARE OF THE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN DOLLARS TO POUNDS.