Wednesday, August 27, 2014

JULY FAVORITES ♥

Hope you all are having a fantastic summer so far!  With just these last few days of August left, we need to soak up as much of the sunshine and free time that we can get.  Many more memories are yet to be made!

I apologize that this post is so ridiculously late (again), but here we go with another round of Monthly Favorites!

I’m going to start off with something a little different: a favorite activity.  And that would be thrifting.  Since the beginning of July I’ve gone pretty much every weekend.  I’ve scored all sorts of items; loads of clothing, gifts for friends, coffee mugs, books, etc.  Every trip is a new adventure with new discoveries.  I haven’t gone shopping anywhere save Salvation Army, Goodwill, and St. Vincent de Paul’s in a long while.  Honestly, I don’t think I ever will unless of course I’m looking for something specific, because I have a pretty solid wardrobe now, I think.  Hahaha!  This way I’ll have extra money for video games and…stuff.

Favorite songs for July are all under the category of Chinese ballads.  Ya’ll already know that I’m obsessively into Asian music: k-pop, j-pop, c-pop…hahaha.  They’re not very original or specific with their music genres.  While the all that pop is fun and catchy, my musical heart truly resides wherever there are ethereal vocals and harmonic sound.  Compared and contrasted to Korean and Japanese, the Chinese language is fascinating.  Pronunciation is somewhat phonetic, but the articulation of each individual word is quite precise and it goes without saying that I find it really interesting! I often get mesmerized listening to Chinese people speak, let alone sing.

Have a listen to Zhang Li Yin’s Agape, and Wu Yi Fan (former EXO member Kris)’s Time Boils the Rain.





Beautiful, right?  I would love to learn both of these pieces on the piano...if only I was that talented.

Sigh. X'D

Finally, my food pick is chicken.  I know, I know—I’m being really general this time around. X’) Especially the chicken-strip-basket-from-Dairy-Queen kind of chicken.  I’ve eaten so much chicken in the past month prepared in a variety of different ways.   Fried, broiled, grilled, marinated in yummy Filipino adobo sauce…I’m getting hungry just thinking about all this food! Chicken is certainly a delicious canvas for many beautiful flavors.

And that's it for this month! I'll be back in a week or two with my August Favorites, hehe! 'Til then~~~

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MAY/JUNE FAVORITES ♥

My goodness!  It’s July ALREADY? (*cough* the end of July… *cough*)  The merry month of May flew right by.  But now that I look back, it was quite a busy month indeed.  My mum’s birthday, Mother’s Day, May Crowning, First Communions, end of the school year for me as a teacher, many babysitting jobs—I’ve certainly been a busy bee. 

Aaaand, the allergies.  They came, they saw, and they conquered.  One of the reasons why this post is so ridiculously late.

June went by just as quickly.  With Father’s Day, my birthday, girls’ camp, and my Cali trip, the days have just been flying by!  I can’t keep up, but I’ve been having so much fun that I really can’t complain. *^_^*


Alright, enough idle chitchat!  FAVORITES~

Let’s change things up a bit and start this monthly favorites post off with food.  During May I was a bit obsessed with Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos.  These are…amazing.  I love all kinds of spicy food, but I have an issue with the regular Flamin’ Hot Cheetos because those are just spicy and have no flavor other than spicy.  The jalapeño versions are delicious!  I craved sushi for most of June.  Specifically, the yummy crab tempura rolls from Sushi Island here in Eugene.  Yum.

As for drinks, I’ve been very into milk tea!  It’s sweet and refreshing—perfect for summer.  Seldom has a day gone by when I didn’t fix myself up a glass.  There are many different methods and recipes for making this popular Asian treat, so I’ve done a bit of experimenting until I found one that I liked.  As of right now, this is the one! 



MILK TEA

Ingredients
a pot of strong brewed tea
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
a can of evaporated milk, chilled

Directions
1.  Brew your tea according to package instructions.  Make it on the strong side.  Cool to room temperature.  You can use any kind of tea you want!  My favorites are Builder’s and matcha.
2.  Make simple syrup: Stir together sugar and water in a small pot and bring to boiling.   Boil for 5 minutes while stirring and then remove from heat.  Let cool to room temperature.  Syrup will thicken slightly.
3.  For one glass of milk tea: Measure about 2 tablespoons (more or less to suit your taste) of simple syrup into a tall glass.  Add 1 cup of the cooled tea.  Add desired amount of chilled milk.
4.  Enjoy~! ^^

Tips
Add strawberry, raspberry, vanilla, or any other drink/coffee syrup in place of the simple syrup to make flavored milk tea.  You can also add tapioca pearls (you can find these at any Asian grocery) to make bubble tea.


I also have a two beauty products to share with ya’ll this month.  The first is a hair product that I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but never got around to purchasing it.  Needless to say, it’s a fantastic product, and I will definitely be repurchasing this one.  Dream Curls Curl-Perfecting Spray by John Frieda.  I’m not a fan of heavy hair products such as creams or mousse, so I was on the market to find something that would enhance my naturally curly hair without weighing it down.  This stuff is perfection.  One of these days I won’t be lazy, and I’ll take some before and after pics to share with you guys. lol

The second product is a hand cream: Vaseline Intensive Care Healthy Hands Essentials Moisturizing Lotion.  Whew, long name.  I had this lying around forever (so long that I’m not even sure if stores still sell it, haha!) and finally decided to start using it about two months ago because I was noticing that my hands were getting quite dry, and my nails were breaking a lot.  I’ve experienced a huge difference with this product.  Because I’m always getting my hands into something and having to wash to them, the lotion hasn’t really helped with my dry hands, but my nails are so much more strong and healthy than they were before.  A product like this is a must-have for people like me who constantly wear nail polish.  Sometimes we forget how much polishes and removers such as acetone strip and expose our nails to damage.  I’ll be buying more of the lotion when I run out!


Song of the month!  Miracles in December [Chinese version] by EXO.  Yes, yes, Christmas in July.  This is a legitimate thing, at least for me.  X’D At this point in the year, I’m already longing for winter and Christmas to be here again.  Don’t mind me.  Hehehe.  Anyway, this gorgeous ballad takes me to the fairy tale land within a snow globe, full of dreams and hopes and memories.

Siiiigh.

But It’s summerrrrrrrr! (obligatory Olaf solo)



Finally, a film favorite for the month of May.  I saw quite a few this time around, so I had to think about it for a second.  Edge of Tomorrow was much better than I expected, and Transformers: Age of Extinction was far worse!  Sorry, Han Geng, your 45 seconds of screen time weren’t enough to redeem such a cheesy, superficial film.

Hands down, my favorite film for May/June is The Amazing Spiderman 2Holy guacamole on a toasted flour tortilla.  AS IF CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 DIDN’T GIVE ME ENOUGH MARVEL UNIVERSE FEELS.  I can’t even with this movie.  Nope.  NOPE.  It was, true to its name, amazing, but I will no doubt go crazy as a result of all these awesome superhero movies. ;__;  I sincerely apologize, but I really can’t say anything else about this without writing a dissertation.  I shall spare you that!



And that’s it for May/June! July Favorites soon to follow, LOL!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

APRIL FAVORITES ♥

Hello, my sweet music notes!  Alleluia to our risen King!  I hope you all have been having a very holy and blessed Easter season.  Mine has been nothing short of beautiful.

I’m going to be honest: I’ve been so distracted lately that I nearly forgot about writing this blog post.  Now that Lent is over and I’m out of school for the summer, I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of things that I can do!  Hahaha.  Sorry this post is a bit later than usual!

Anyway—my favorites for the month of April.  Here we go~!

Let us begin with a film, shall we?  Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Omg you guys.  This movie gave me so many feels.  I can’t even begin to articulate.  I’ll begin by saying that it is a great movie and I really enjoyed it.  So much action!  I was literally on the edge of my seat two or three times.  But I’m just a comic book nerd like that.  If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely GO SEE IT.  LIKE SOON.

I can’t really say much about it without spoilers, but wow, the storyline was quite unexpected.  In a good way, mind you.  I just wasn’t expecting it to be so intense and multi-faceted.

Let’s just say that The Winter Soldier makes me very excited—and curious—about the upcoming Marvel Universe films, particularly Avengers: Age of Ultron.

My music feature for this month goes to three-man Korean band Lunafly, composed of members Sam, Teo, and Yun.  The leader, Sam Carter, is half-Korean, half-British, and has a wonderfully clear voice.  He also plays guitar, as does Yun.  Yun is my bias (favorite member) for this group.  He has a lovely personality, and his voice is so warm and versatile.  He plays keyboards for the group.  Teo is on percussion most of the time.  Most of their stuff is vocal and acoustic, which ya’ll know I really like.



Believe it or not, I didn’t find them from listening to k-pop.  I was actually on YouTube looking for new covers of Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason, which is one of my favorite songs to sing. :-)  All three members of Lunafly speak English (Sam, being British, is fluent; Yun and Teo have pretty good pronunciation for a second language!), and they have many American pop (a-pop? lol) covers on their channel.  Their JGMaR is stunning.  I love it!



I have consumed so much food mostly dessert since Easter!  My food favorites for this month are Japanese candy and snacks, which I have been acquiring in packages from my dear friend, and from my local Asian grocery.  Lots of Almond Crush Pocky!  ♥  But my favorite is a new discovery called Chococones by Japanese snack company Meiji.  So yummy and addicting!  I can easily eat a whole box to myself during a single sitting.

I’m also back to my games!  Been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and I finally made some progress in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD.  I got it as a Christmas gift and have only played it once.  That’s ridiculous.  XD  But my favorite game for the past month is Super Mario 64I bought it on the Wii’s Virtual Console.  This game, like many others on the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube, brings back so many fond memories for me.  Things that were tucked away in my heart and mind—brought back to life through a video game controller. 


Wow, so deep, Ashley.


‘Til next month, peeps.  ^_^