Monday, March 29, 2010

Noodle Soup with Kim-chi (kim-chi kal guk-su)

Please don't forget to enter the Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron giveaway (click here to enter). It ends 4/4/10 at 11:59 PST.

I haven't posted a recipe in awhile.  I have some laying around but decided to post something I made for the first time couple of weeks ago... hehe~

If you need some guidance with the ingredients, you can check my Korean Cooking 101. ;)

dried anchovies
dried seaweed/kelp
dried shiitake mushroom
chopped garlic
kim-chi into small pieces
kim-chi juice
1 spoonful of red pepper paste
black pepper
garlic powder
chopped green onion

Step 1:
The first thing you want to do is make broth.  In a pot, I add dried anchovies (I put it in the metal container), dried seaweed, and dried shiitake mushroom (not in the picture).  I boil, cool towards the end, for about 15 minutes.  By the way, this isn't the pot I used for cooking this.  It's an old picture that I'll keep using to show how to make broth... hehe~
Towards the end of making the broth, I added the clams.  Usually you will need a lot but my dad isn't too keen on clams... hehe~  The clams add a flavor to the soup.  I take out the dried anchovies, mushrooms, and dried seaweed.  You can get rid of the dried anchovies and/or dried seaweed.  I usually cut the dried seaweed and put it back into the soup.  It is up to you. :)

Step 2:
Turn the soup back up and add chopped garlic and cut up kim-chi.  Use old kim-chi rather than the new ones.  They taste better in soup than the fresh ones... hehe~ You also add couple of spoonful of the kim-chi juice.  Then add one spoonful of red pepper paste.
Then I added chopped onion, and would have added squash but I didn't have any at home at the time... hehe~ :X  I didn't take a picture of the noodle but any thin noodle will be fine.  After 5 minutes, I added the noodle.  The noodle shouldn't take that long to cook.  It takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the noodle.
Towards the end of cooking, add black pepper, garlic powder, and salt if it needs any. If the taste is good, then you can add the chopped green onions and the dried seaweed you used to make the broth.
Now you can eat... wheee~ :)

I know it's kind of late, but I always say it's better now than never... hehe~  I'm going to talk about this eyeshadow palette I bought from Target end of last year. Unfortunately, they don't sell this anymore and for that reason there isn't a point of doing a review... hehe~ :X
I bought the Pixi Softly Smoky Eyes palette for $9.99.  I thought it was a good deal with 12 small eyeshadows... hehe~ :)  In the back it says,
"This is all you need!  An eye palette designed to give you all the definition of a classic smoky eye but with a softer more subtle result.  A deep rich smoky eye will never go out of style but there are times when you want that look with less intensity - this is the kit for you!"
Here's how the colors look from the palette.  When you take it out of the package, you need to put something heavy on top to be able to close the palette *ahem someone I know didn't do this until I mentioned it*... hehe~ :D
Here are the swatches of the colors on my arm from left to right.

Now I'm going to end this post with three looks I came up with from this palette... hehe~  There are many you can come up but that will be an endless post... eek~

Look #1:
I only used colors from the palette.  I realized it's very shiny! :X  I believe I only used two colors, but I could be wrong... hehe~

Look #2:
The second look is a re-post.  I posted this on my Sephora haul (click here to see the post).  I learned my lesson from the first look to mix colors with other eyeshadows or else it'll look very shiny... hehe~  I used the same lid color from look #1 and mixed it with other eyeshadows brands.

Look #3:
I used two colors from the palette and mixed it with another eyeshadow brand.  It's suppose to be more orange-like then look #1 and #2, but in this picture it doesn't show... oi vey~ :/

If you guys want to know what exact colors I used or a tutorial, feel free to ask. Otherwise, I won't say anything... hehe~

Disclaimer:  The products mentioned in this post are bought with my own money.  I am not affiliated with any company nor getting paid to advertise any products.  This post is written with my honest opinion.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lancome Primordiale Cell Defense Perfecting Serum

Please don't forget to enter the Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron giveaway (click here to enter). It ends 4/4/10 at 11:59 PST.

When I went to the outlet in September (yeah last year... lol~), I bought two sample size of Lancome Primordiale Cell Defense.  I'm on my second at the moment and I think it's about time I review it... hehe~

Product Review: Lancome Primordiale Cell Defense Skin Perfecting Serum

Where can you purchase this: Lancome or their website at
Price: I can't remember, but I think it was 2 for $5... hehe~ :X

Made in U.S.A.

Direction on the back:  All skin types.  For optimal results, use daily A.M. and P.M. under your Lancome moisturizer.

My thoughts: I've been really into serum since last year.  I would love to try Asian brands, but I cannot get any hold of them that easily... hehe~  For that reason, I keep on buying American brands.  I thought this will be good since it's sample sizes.  If I don't like them, then I don't have to use them.  If I like them, I can buy full sizes next time... hehe~  In the beginning, I love how it felt on my skin.  It felt very smooth and nice on my skin.  As time went on, I didn't see any results.  I didn't see my skin improving but then again I was very lucky I didn't break out.  I read on Makeupalley (click here for the review on this product) that some people broke out.  By the way, this only got 48% that would buy this product again. :/  I didn't think it was that bad, but I wanted to see improvements on my face... hehe~  Maybe it didn't work for me that well because I didn't follow it with a Lancome moisturizer... heh~ 

* It's from a high end department, Lancome, usually they produce good products.
* It's a sample size to try.
* Made my skin soft and smooth.
* I didn't break out.
* It smelled okay.
* It felt cool.

* It's from a high end department, Lancome, which is costly.
* I didn't see any result on my skin.
* Didn't use Lancome moisturizer after this product.

Would I buy this again? No. :X
Rating:  2/5 Tobey's Paws

Just in case, people do want to buy the full size and have no clue how it looks like.  Here it is... hehe~
Lancome Primordiale Cell Defense Skin Perfecting Serum 30ml/1.0oz

Last week, I went to Victoria's Secret to see if I wanted the free tank top with purchase.  I decided to pass on it and visited the store right across, Forever 21.  It was the biggest mistake!... hehe~ :X
I've been wanting this since I saw it on the Forever 21 website.  I was lucky enough to see it at the store by my house... wheee~  I couldn't pass on this.
While looking around, I saw this butterfly hair pin laying around.  I fell in love with it at first sight... hehe~  I was thinking if I should get it or not.  I decided it's best for me to get it since it was the last one there. :X
Thinking that was the last thing I'll get, I saw this.  I thought it wasn't that cute and then decided to try it out... hehe~  Oh mi gosh it's so cute on the head!... lol~ :X  No more buying hair accessories.  I need to go on a ban!... hehe~ :X

This week they're having a BOGOF (buy one get one free) on any EcoTOOLS at Rite Aid.  I've been wanting to get puffs.
Each pack of puffs are $1.99 or at least that's what it said at Rite Aid... hehe~  So I was thinking I was going to get both pack of puffs for $1.99.  It came out to $0.98. Each pack of puffs was $0.49.  I don't know if that was a mistake or what, but I consider myself lucky... hehe~ :D  Therefore, each puff is less than $0.25!... wheee~ What a good deal!!!

I'm going to end this post with a cute pictures of Tobey... hehe~
The ribbon from the packaging of Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron (click here for the post) I tied it around Tobey.  It's not animal abuse... hehe~ :P  He's just a gift for me... lol~ :D

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post are bought with my own money. I am not affiliated with any company nor getting paid to advertise any products. This post is written with my honest opinion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Misikko Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron Giveaway

I was approached by the PR of Misikko to review Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron. This gave me a good chance to replace my old flat iron I bought from Costco long time ago. I needed a good one! :)
When I received my packaged, I was really impressed how cute the packaging was!
When you open the box, you see ribbons and plastic flowers. The flowers are so cute I have it in my room. The red one is in a glass vase with another flower, its made with one candy and cloth, and the white ones are next to it as a decoration. I love simple things like this... hehe~ :)
This is what was inside the box. I was overwhelmed with so many products. I had fun going through it and playing with my new toy!... wheee~ :)
In the black tin container (on top), holds the flat iron and its case (on the bottom). I love how it comes with a tin container! It protects the flat iron in all possible way especially if you want to take it with you for traveling; probably not for the plane. The flat iron case is also great! It has a divider inside the case to separate the iron from the cord. This case will be great for traveling on the plane! On the right, they gave me two mats. The mats are greats to put your heated flat iron on. It will not burn the surface while straightening or curling your hair. I love how you can just put your heated iron on the mats and not have to worry about burning something... hehe~ :X
They also gave me Hana Shine Shield, strawberry hand sanitizer (perfect timing just finished my old one), nail files with their site name, and L.A. Colors liquid eyeliner.

Now for my review on the flat iron...
Misikko who carries Professional Flat Irons sponsored me to review their Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron, best flat iron. They carry the best Chi Flat Irons and Chi Hair Straightener that has been featured in magazines like Marie Claire (my favorite beauty magazine).

Description on their website: Of the hundreds of flat irons available in the market you can categorize them down to Titanium (or other metals), Metal Alloy Coated in Ceramic, 100% Ceramic. 100% Ceramic is the only material that will generate results better than Titanium while also providing the highest level of hair damage protection.

The Hana Elite Flat Iron is 100% true, solid ceramic. This means it will never peel or chip to expose hair to damaging metal - it also means Hana can include large ceramic heaters that cover the entire plates for the best possible heat distribution and retention. As the pros know, the secret to ceramic hair straightening is in the ceramic technology itself - and Hana focuses on bringing you the best flat iron money can buy.

Hana Elite Features:
* 100% Solid Ceramic Plates Never Peel or Degrade
* Tourmaline infused into the heating elements for maximum thermal protection
* Large Integrated Ceramic Heaters with Full Plate Coverate for the Most Consistent, Conditioning Far Infrared Heat Possible
* Ceramic is naturally hygienic, protects color & retards fading
* Unique black ceramic plates won't discolor with use of products or hair dyes
* Adjustable Temperature Dial - 5 Settings from 140-450° F for All Hair Types
* Flash Heats in Seconds with Instant Compensation for Heat Loss
* Safe to use on Damp to Dry Hair
* Beveled Edges mean Easy Curled, Flipped, Spiked or Straight Styles
* Ergonomic Handle Design with No-Slip Grip
* Smooth Grooves Keep Hair Strands Separate and Snag-Free
* Sleek luxury matte finish
* Tangle-Free Salon Quality Cord Swivels 360°; Convenient Hanging Loop
* Energy Efficient at 38 Watts
* Independent On/Off Switch
* Includes Luxe Heat Proof Storage Pouch, Heat Proof Silicone Mat, & Special Edition Tin Case
* Made in Korea
* Two Year Warranty

Where can you purchase this: Misikko website at
Price: Sale $229.99 (Original $359.99 - save 36%)

Made in Korea

My thoughts: The typical Asian I am the first thing I did was look to see where it was made... lol~ :X Not to be biased but I was amazed it was made in Korea... woo hoo~ Go Korea *dancing*!!! Even my father said Korea makes the best flat irons. I was blessed with straight hair and didn't have to worry about straightening it. Beginning of this month, March, I chopped my hair which I regret with a passion... lol~ :X That's another story which I won't go into... hehe~ For some odd reason, my hair wasn't flat as it use to be. This flat iron flatten it and made it look more smoother. I love the end results!!!... wheee~ :)

Description from the website: Hana ShineShield is the latest product in a line committed to safe, effective heat styling. ShineShield is a thermal serum that can be used as a leave-in conditioner - lightweight and never greasy, it protects and strengthens hair whether you use it with a flat iron, hair dryer or alone. ShineShield contains the natural magic of Jojoba oil for its superb qualities of deep moisturization, fast absorption into hair follicles and scalp, and unparalleled shimmer & shine.

Hana ShineShield Features:
* Lightweight leave-in conditioning therapy
* Designed to protect and restore both hair and scalp from environmental and styling stress
* Jojoba absorbs quickly without a greasy feel for thorough deep conditioning
*Jojoba naturally dissolves soil, removing build-up from other styling products to leave hair clean & supple
* Jojoba naturally excels at thickening keratin layers, bringing out your hair's natural color overtones, highlights and brilliance
* Periodic use over time is proven to advance the quality of your hair & the health of your scalp

Price: Sale $29.99 (Original $49.99 - save 40%)

Made in Korea

My thoughts: You use a small amount to spread all over your hair. It made my hair shinier, smoother, and it felt silky soft... woo hoo~ I couldn't ask for anything more! :) It even helped the flyaway hairs.

Now for pictures of how my hair looked...

If you can tell, my hair isn't straight anymore... wahhh~ It also looks kind of dull.

After using the flat iron, as well as, the Hana Shine Shield; my hair looks amazing and shinier!.... woo hoo~

I did this really fast that's why it doesn't look that great, but it came out nice. The curls lasted the whole day... woo hoo~

Not only did Misikko send a Hana Elite 1" Flat Iron for me to review, but they are giving one to one of my lucky readers... woo hoo~ How nice of them! :)

How to win:
1. You must be a follower of my blog.
2. Open to US and Canada residents.
3. You must be 18 years or older. If you're younger than 18, please get your parent's permission.
4. You must comment in this post for me to consider your entry.
5. You must agree to leave your name, e-mail, and mailing address with Misikko.
6. The giveaway will end in two weeks, 4/4/2010 11:59 PST (pacific time).
7. The winner will be drawn with a random number generator. You have 48 hours to contact me [aly_4realz (at) hotmail (dot) com] or else a new winner be chosen.

Extra entries:
1. Follow Misikko on Twitter, (+1 entry).
2. Blog about the giveaway on your blog (+1 entry).
3. Join Misikko Newsletter (+3 entries).
4. If you do anything in the extra entries, you must comment in this post. You need to tell me your Twitter ID, give me the link to your blog, and/or the e-mail you enter for the Misikko Newsletter. I will check on this.

Thank you Misikko for sponsoring me, as well as, the contest!!!

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post are sponsored by Misikko. I am not affiliated with this company nor getting paid to advertise this product. This post is written with my honest opinion.

Credit: Misikko

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kate Mascara Finish

I bought this mascara long time ago, last year sometime... lol~ I finally used it, as well as, it's going into the trash (I used it for 3 months). I think it's a good time to review this product. My thing is I don't know if this even exist anymore... lol~ :X
Product Review: Kate Mascara Finish in BK-1 (Kanebo)

Where can you purchase this: I bought this from a Japanese market
I can't remember *sigh*! It was in the clearance bin. :X

Made in Japan

My thoughts: My initial reaction was how excited I was to try this out. I hardly get to try out Asian mascaras, as well as, it must be good for me since its aiming for Asian lashes... hehe~ I was a little bit confused when I first got it... lol~ :X It said mascara FINISH. I didn't understand what it meant by finish... lol~ Yes, I'm not that smart. :P I decided to use it with the mascara only for the month and half. The other month and half I used it after the primer (which is what you're supposed too). I used L'oreal Volume Shocking which I will review in the future. ;) It took some time for me to get use to the comb-like mascara. Once I got used to it, I wished it would hold my curls. It's not that bad but it did make it fall a bit, not much but I did noticed a difference. With the primer, it does hold the curl which I did like. The only thing is the primer was bad... lol~ :X

* It's from Kate (Kanebo).
* Comb-like wand (got used to the last month).
* Holds a curl used with a primer.

* Not an attractive packaging, it's plastic.
* Comb-like wand (wasn't easy in the beginning).
* Doesn't hold a curl if used alone without a primer.

Would I buy this again? No. :X
Rating: 2/5 Tobey's Paws

Here's how the comb-like wand looked.
I wasn't used to it in the beginning, but it's not bad after awhile... hehe~

Now for the pictures of how the mascara looked on me.
I can't remember what eye makeup looked I used. If you want to know, my bad! :X Anyways, back to the mascara. This is how it looked when I first used it. I believe I took this look the first week of using the mascara alone. There isn't any primer. I can tell it weighed down my curled eyelashes here.
In this picture, I don't remember what makeup look I have too... lol~ :X This was taken around beginning of second month of using the mascara alone. No primer in this picture. I gotten better but the mascara still weighed down the lashes.
This eye makeup look is easy to remember... lol~ It's the Maybelline Charcoal Smokes tutorial I did (click here for the post). I used a primer before the mascara. It would have looked better if I used a better primer... lol~ It's not that bad if you use a good primer or at least I think so. :)

I bought couple of things from Forever Love, the accessory store for Forever 21.
I'm still into headbands, but not into ribbons/bows as before... hehe~ I like this simple headband with gold chains. Speaking of ribbons/bows, I think the 80's style of huge ones are back. I noticed that at the Forever Love store.
I also bought this ring. This is such a bad picture, but it's suppose to be a panda. I swear it looks cuter in person... hehe~ I found it on Forever 21 website (click here to see it on their website).

While shopping, I also stopped by Nordstrom to pick up a free full size of Lancome Juicy Tubes.
You can either take the cover of Seventeen magazine or a print out of the homepage of Seventeen (click here for the homepage). I took a print out of the homepage and got some hassle. I think it's best to take the information about the freebie. I can't seem to find it on the Seventeen website. Sorry!
You can choose from four different colors; white, pink, purple, and red. I choose the pink one. It's called Rain Boots. :)
I also picked out a free Too Faced Lash Injection mascara from Sephora inside JCPenny. You cannot do this at the Sephora store. It has to be inside JCPenny. Here's a coupon to print out (click here for the link). Good luck with the freebies! :)

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post are bought with my own money except for the Lancome Juicy Tubes and Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara. I got those for free through coupon offers. I am not affiliated with any company nor getting paid to advertise any products. This post is written with my honest opinion.
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