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Recent Favorites #001

Tuesday, June 30, 2015



One of my favorite blog topics to read are monthly favorites and I have tried numerous times to do one myself but for some reason I always end up not getting around to posting it. Before I know it, I am mid way through the new month and I end up deleting my half written blog post. So instead of rounding up my monthly favorites at the end of each month, I thought I would just do a recent favorites post instead that I can post anytime I want.

So here it goes! These are a few things I have been loving recently (broken down into categories)! 

Social Media

Snapchat

Who would have thought I would end up liking this app or evening using it on a daily basis? Definitely not me! I already have a bunch of social media apps and I didn't feel the need to add a another one. However, a close friend of mine pushed me to make an account and I am glad I did because it let me connect with some old friend who live abroad and it has been a great way to check out what they've been up to! I know I'm years behind on joining this scene but it's never too late right? If any of you have Snapchat and want to add me my username is whimsicalfawn :)


Book

Think Like a Freak by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt 

This book was recommended by a friend of mine who said it was awesome so I decided to give it a read. I don't know why this book took me six months to read cause it isn't a difficult book to read at all (I'm such a slow read & I ended up binge watch six TV shows the past 4 months). It's actually quite fascinating and makes you think outside the box. It's written by two economists who explore the idea of what it takes to think like a freak. Some of the stuff they discuss and the stories they tell you is seriously mind blowing! My favorite chapter was the last chapter where they talk about the upside of quitting and learning to let go. Two things I know I constantly battle with and their perspective about quitting and letting go was really inspirational. I am definitely going to read their first two book now because I really enjoy these types of book that make you think and self reflect. 

Television

Reign

I am OBSESSED with this show!! If you want a show that is intriguing, sexy and dramatic this is your show! The costumes are amazing and the location/ set design is gorgeous. Not to mention the story line will just get you hooked if you have any interest in this time period. I will say that if you are true history fanatic then it might bother you that this show is not historically accurate. However, if you are looking for a new show that reminds you of Gossip Girl then this might fill in that gap in your heart. All I can say is that I cannot wait for season 3!

Makeup

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara (in black waterproof)

This mascara is amazing! I don't think I ever felt that way over a mascara ever... This mascara really separates my lashes and also adds some lengths! I am so amazed by how great my lashes look :) Recently, I have tried about 6 different mascaras in the time span of 4 months. Everything from drug store to high end and this is the winner!


Thanks for reading through my what I've been loving recently! Let me know if you have a similar post on your blog or if you have any recent favorites you want to share with me :)







Traditional Afternoon Tea at The Living Room

Wednesday, May 27, 2015











This past weekend I took my two favorite ladies (my mom & my mom's friend) out for a traditional afternoon tea at the Living Room located inside the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. I've had afternoon tea here once before when I took my friend out for her birthday. However, my mom and her friend have never been here so I thought it would be a good place to take them to celebrate a belated Mother's Day.

I've been to a lot of afternoon tea places because I truly enjoy it. There is nothing more relaxing & enjoyable then a good cup of tea and some delicious food to go with it.  In comparison to the other places I've been to the menu here is pretty great. It is a lot more expensive than most places so be ready to splurge a bit. I get pretty picky when I go to these tea places because I start comparing them to all the places I've previously tried. So here's the scoop on this place! The Living Room is located inside the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills just past the main entrance. It is a small open space with lounge type seating and the occasional small table setup. It really does own up to it's name "The Living Room." The ambiance here is elegant and refined with the live harp music and beautiful china. The food portions are adequate and the flavor of everything served is on point. Did I mention how beautiful the presentation of the food is? My favorite sandwich other than my usual favorite with is the smoked salmon, I did enjoy the Camembert strawberry pesto sandwich. My favorite dessert was the tropical fruit tart with banana cream and the blueberry macaroon. The tea was absolutely delicious! I went with their house blend called the Belvedere which went perfectly well with milk and sugar.

Here some things that did not impress me and overall made me feel a bit disappointed. When we sat down I noticed there were some residue left on the container with the milk. It didn't gross me out completely but attention to detail at a place like this should be expected....meaning they should really double check to see if everything is clean before putting it out on the table. My tea was served cold a few times to the point I had to request to have them fill  it up with hot water and take back my tea cup. Writing this, I realize maybe I was a bit high maintenance but you sort of expect good service from a higher end tea place and it's just annoying when they continue to serve you tea that has been left out for 45 minutes. They did have those tea cozy's covering the tea but obviously that didn't do the trick. I was also disappointed they didn't do anything special for my mom and her friend (I was celebrating a belated Mother's Day) even though when I called to make my reservation they told me they would bring out a complimentary cake. I even called the day before to remind them and they assured me they would make a note but nothing came on the day of! I even asked the waitress when my mom and her friend stepped away to use the ladies room and she said she would go back and check but the waitress never came back!

So with all that said, I would say if you are into a posh atmosphere's and you have the money to splurge this may be your place. Also, some of you may not be bothered with all the things I was so if that's the case this place might be great for you. Despite the few disappointments I had, my mom and her friend had a fantastic time and they were both impressed and had a fantastic time!

I'm always looking for new tea places to try in the Southern California area so if you have any must try places, please let me know in the comments!







Mother's Day Brunch at Descanso Gardens

Thursday, May 14, 2015

















Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate because I love spending time with my mom and treating her out for the day! In the years past, I have a tradition with my mom where I take her to have afternoon at a place we both never tried before. Last year, I invited my mom's close friend to Mother's Day tea because she doesn't have a daughter of her own but treats me like one. I wanted to show my appreciation for all the things she does for me year round and since we were visiting her in San Diego I thought why not include her to our tradition? So this year, I am doing my annual Mother's Day tea at the end of the month when she is in town. Since, I couldn't do my usual tradition on Mother's Day I decided to take a look into what type of brunch options there were and found that Descanso Gardens coordinates a really cool Mother's Day brunch!

My mother and I have never visited the gardens before so it was a real treat for us. We were so happy that the weather had cleared up and it was really a gorgeous day to walk around the grounds and take pictures wherever we went. Brunch was set up in a buffet style and they offered a couple of different food stations. I thought their salads was delicious as well as the eggs, danishes and sausage. There were three different table seating times and we decided to the middle option which started at 11:30 AM. I must say, I was surprised by the amount of people and if you're not into big crowds this may not be for you because there is a lot of hustle and bustle. I don't know if I would go again next year because I didn't really think the service was up to par and the food got cold fast because it was served buffet style. However, I did enjoy the overall experience and I am glad I gave it a try. Best of all, my mother had a wonderful day and she enjoyed every bit of it which is more than what I could ever hope for. 

This year I sort of went all out in terms of gift giving for Mother's Day! I started my job this past year and I finally felt like I could afford to give nicer gifts to the women in my life that mean the world to me. My mom, grandma and aunt seemed to love what I got them so that made me happy and made all the planning worthwhile. I am so happy that this year I got to spend the weekend with all the women in my life that mean a lot to me and as I get older I realize that I cherish these moments more and more. 







50 States | State #2: Portland, Oregon | Day #3

Friday, May 1, 2015

















Back in February I went on a mini trip with friends to Seattle, Washington. While we were there we decided to do a bit of road trip to Portland, Oregon for one day. We started off the day early and left when it was still dark out. Originally, we wanted to go eat at a place called Mother's because we heard great things about it. Unfortunately, they were closed the day we were going to Portland so we opted to try a place called Waffle Window which literally was a window selling waffles! After breakfast we headed off to Multnomah Falls which is this huge waterfall located near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It was absolutely breathtaking to see up close and since we got there quite early we decided to do the entire hike up to the very top of the waterfall. The hike is something I definitely would recommend but just make sure you get there early because it does get crowded.

After lunch we ate biscuits at a place called Pine State Biscuits. They had a bunch of different kind of savory biscuits on their menu. My favorite one was the Reggie (the one in the photograph) which had fried chicken, bacon, cheese and gravy! YUMMY! After lunch we hit the road again to the coast of Oregon to see the sunset at Haystack Rock. I've seen many beautiful photographs of Haystack Rock from other travel blogs and I've always wanted to visit it. I am so glad I finally got to visit it because the view was just remarkable and the sunset was probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen to date. I felt so sad having to leave once the sun had set because I felt so relaxed just being there. I hope I can visit this place again soon and next time I probably would stay at the coast for a couple of nights!

Have any of you guys visited the coast of Oregon? If you have any tips on where to stay on the coast I would love recommendations for the next time I visit there.

I have one more blog post to share with you all from my trip and I look forward to doing so soon!

Until next time!







50 States | State #1: Seattle, WA | Day #2

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Today, I wanted to share what I did during my second day while in Seattle. If you missed what I did on day number one check that out here. On our second day we decided to have breakfast at Toulouse Petit because it had amazing reviews and we thought we should try it out. The restaurant had a very eclectic design to it with balloons all over the ceiling and it was exciting because it had a mardi gras fun feel to it.




We decided to do what we always do which is other what each of us wants to try and share. So we decided to order the following...


Toulouse Beignets
Duck Confit Hash
Bayou Fisherman's Breakfast
Toulouse Eggs Benedict with Dungeness Crab with Fine Herbe
What we ordered:
French Press Coffee
Toulouse Beignets-powdered sugar and chicory cafe anglaise (small order $5)
Duck Confit Hash-parsnip, arugula, yukon gold potato, apple with fine herbs $15
Bayou Fisherman's Breakfast-shrimp, pacific fish, crawfish, tasso ham, creole sauce $20
Toulouse Eggs Benedict with Dungeness Crab with Fine Herbes $19

I think my favorite out all the things we ordered was the beignets and the sauce it came with was something I never tried before. I wasn't so sure about the flavor at first because it was a bit bitter but it grows on you and it goes surprisingly well with the beignets. The French Press coffee is also something I would recommend if if you are coffee drinker! It was soooo good I drink that thing all day any day! The duck confit hash was not what I expected it to be at all but it was featured on the Food Network's Fall Season premier of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, so I had to give it a try. The potatoes in has were delicious and the apples were a nice touch. The Bayou Fisherman's breakfast was so rich in flavor that it was a bit overwhelming for me. My friend really enjoyed it though so I think if you like seafood with a bold flavor you will definitely love this item. The eggs benedict were good as well and I think we were all pleasantly surprised with the amount of crab. I would definitely suggest it if you like benedicts and crab because it's probably one of the best I've had in a while.

After breakfast we walked over to the Chihuly Garden and Glass which was probably one of the favorite things I did in Seattle.




The exhibit was breathtaking and it was glass sculptures created by Dale Chihuly and his team of artists were amazing.
















After the exhibit we visited the Space Needle (make sure if you go to both the exhibit and the space needle you buy the tickets together because it is cheaper).







When you're up at the Space Needle observatory there is a panel where you can add where you are visiting from. Of course we added ourselves into the system and picked #emcmeetsworld as our name! It was cool to see it tell us that we travel 944 miles to visit the Space Needle!




After we were done with the Space Needle we were in the mood to get some good Seattle coffee so we stopped by this coffee house called Street Bean Expresso. It was such a nice place that we decided to sit down in one of their comfy chairs to relax while we sipped on our caramel lattes.




Then we walked over to the Olympic Structure Park that was nearby. It was really a nice sized park and I really like the modern design it had. They had places to sit so we sat on on the red chairs that faced the water so we sunbathed for a bit and just relaxed. 

After we were done with the park we walked over to The Lost Pelican for happy hour. I got my usual drink (which is the Shirley Temple) and we shared two small dishes that were on the happy hour menu. After much debate we ended up ordering the Oysters Rockefeller and the Crawfish Pasta which were both delicious!


Oysters Rockefeller & Crawfish Pasta
After happy hour at the Lost Pelican we walked over to Shiro's Sushi. We heard a lot about it wanted to see what the hype was all about. If you've seen the popular sushi documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi you might know about this restaurant that was opened by one of his apprentices. Shiro no longer works at this restaurant but his technique learned by the master sushi chef Jiro is still implemented.  We got there an hour before it opened (which I highly recommend you do if you want to sit at the counter). I did the omakase at the counter which is something I haven't done since my visit to Japan. Honestly, if you like sushi as much as I do and you are the type that is willing to just experience something even if it's a bit pricey I would recommend you give this a try.



sleeping while waiting in line








We ended the day by going to a couple of arcade bars to play pinball and we got some dessert at the Pie Bar. If you like pie and alcohol you will love this place! They have fun cocktails and delicious pies in a cozy atmosphere.

It's taken me a while to write these blog posts but it's great for me to write them cause it allows me to reflect about my trip and remember all the wonderful things I got to do. Hopefully, I can get through the rest of the trip soon because I would love to share the rest of my trip!

Until next time :)







 
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