Our last day in San Diego! We checked out of our hotel and left our bags with them before heading to the San Diego Zoo. We got there right at opening time to beat the crowds. We headed straight to the panda exhibit since one of the biggest reasons I wanted to visit San Diego was to see the panda cub Xiao Liwu. Unfortunately, the little guy was all curled up high in a tree, sleeping. So all we saw of him was this little black and white fur ball between the branches.
But his mommy Bai Yun was right up front and was super cute and cuddly while she chewed on bamboo.
Then my camera’s battery died halfway through our day since I forgot to bring my charger, so I had limited photos from the zoo. Oh well.
Has anyone ever actually seen a koala who’s awake?! They’re always sleeping whenever I see them at zoos!
The orangutans were really entertaining to watch!
After the zoo we picked up our bags from the hotel and took the bus to the airport and ended our trip in San Diego. We had a lot of fun during our short time there! We’re slowly but surely working our way through different places in California :)
Day 2 of our San Diego trip started with us getting a quick bite of breakfast at 7-11, and then it was onto the bus to take us to SeaWorld! We did most of the rides (except for the really kiddie ones).
The Skytower offered great views of the whole park and the surrounding areas:
We also saw almost all of the animal exhibits, like this cute beluga whale:
And this walrus:
And this turtle:
There was this cute duck couple walking around while we had lunch. The male was following the female the whole time. So adorable.
As for shows, we saw Blue Horizons:
And Sea Lions Live:
The sea lions were so cute and funny!
And of course One Ocean with Shamu! (Fun fact: I play Shamu during a skit in English class in grade 12. I cannot recall what the skit was about and why Shamu was in it.)
We stayed pretty much until the park closed and took a bus back to our hotel. By then it was getting pretty late and I was starving. Good thing Yufei booked a dinner reservation at Salvatore’s that night, since it happens to be our 4 and a half year anniversary.
Salvatore’s is a very nice Italian restaurant. We were seated next to the piano player and we really enjoyed the music throughout our meal. We were also given 2 glasses of complimentary Prosecco after we were seated! Such a nice surprise. Their bread was also nice and warm and crusty.
We shared an appetizer of tomato, avocado, and mozzarella cheese, which they actually put onto 2 separate plates for each of us (a nice touch):
For my main dish I ordered a linguini pasta with crab:
It was hearty and spicy and really yummy. Yufei got veal:
We were too full at that point for dessert, so our meal ended there. It was a wonderful dinner – great food, service, and ambiance!
The weather is going to be beautiful and springy this week in SF! I chose to do paint my nails in this pretty pastel purple – it’s perfect for spring!
The color is e.l.f.’s Lilac. This is the first time I’ve used a full-sized e.l.f. polish, since before I’ve been using their mini bottles I bought in their Christmas collection. I have to say that the formula and brush are a lot better in the full-sized version! I might just add a few more bottles next time I do an e.l.f. haul.
Yufei and I took a quick 3 day, 2 night trip to San Diego a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to go since the baby panda was born at the San Diego Zoo, whom I had been watching on Pandacam since the very beginning. So on the second week of April, we finally flew down to San Diego for a little vacation.
After we arrived, we took a bus to our hotel, dropped off our bags, and headed out. We had a quick lunch and then walked over to Balboa Park. We took the day pretty easy and just walked around the park, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful scenery.
We thought about visiting one of the many museums in the park, but it was rather late in the afternoon at that point and we didn’t want to pay for admission then have to rush through the museum. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t do the museums and just relaxed.
In the late afternoon we took a bus back to our hotel (the walk was pretty long on the way there) and checked into our room. We stayed at the Keating Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. The location of the hotel was pretty convenient, close to bus stops and has lots of restaurants and nightlife around the area. Our room was pretty barebones, what I would describe as industrial chic. They had all the necessary amenities though and served its purpose for a short trip.
After we rested a bit in our hotel, we headed out to get some dinner. I was in the mood for Mexican food, and we went to Fred’s Mexican Cafe, which was within walking distance to the hotel. The decor was interesting, very tropical and resort-y.
We had to wait for a booth, so we sat at the bar and ordered some blended margaritas. They were okay, a little weak and watered down. We got a booth a little while later. They brought some warm tortilla chips with salsa and they were delicious. Yufei ordered a carnitas burrito for his dinner:
And I got the baja fish tacos:
Both were pretty good and satisfied my Mexican craving for then (I’m kind of obsessed with fish tacos right now). After dinner we walked back to our hotel and rested for the night to get ready for day 2 of our San Diego adventure!
A couple of weeks ago, I received a free sample of imPRESS Press-On Manicure from Broadway Nails with an online order of clothes. They’re basically fake nails that already comes with the glue, so you just peel off the backing and press them on like stickers. I thought the concept was interesting and decided to try them for our upcoming trip to San Diego (will blog about that soon!) so I didn’t have to worry about chipping my nails on vacation.
It’s really easy and quick to apply the nails. All you have to do is find the sizes that match your nails (the package comes with 24 nails), clean your nails with the enclosed cleaning pad, and peel and stick. The whole thing probably took me 5-10 minutes. Here they are right after I put them on.
They were way too long for my liking, but luckily you can cut and file them after 30 minutes. So I waited for a while and did just that.
Now they’re about the same length as my natural nails and they look great! So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these nails.
- Really simple applications.
- I loved the way they looked. The color (Tweetheart, a classic red) was beautiful and they never lost that shine during the time I wore them. And the nails were pretty thin and flexible and they look very natural, unlike some fake nails.
- They last a long time! The package says that they last up to a week, and mine lasted… 10 days! And the only reason I had to take them off was that my nails were growing out too much, leaving a gap that’s a little too big. When I took them off they were still stuck on there pretty well. I think one of the reasons why they lasted so long on me is that I did cut them down so that they were not catching on anything.
- They’re simple to remove. I had no trouble just peeling them off from my nails.
- I had to spend some extra time cutting and filing them to the length I liked. But if you like your nails long, you don’t have to worry about that.
- They were still a little long than my natural nails when I applied them, so a little bit of the glue/sticky stuff was showing on the underside. Fibers and dirt got stuck to it and it was a little annoying to pull them off all the time. But if they were the exact same length as my nails this would not be a problem.
So the verdict? I loved them! I mean, they’re not going to replace my regular nail polish or anything, but for special occasions when you don’t want to worry about your nails, they’re a great option. They sell for around $7, which I think it’s a pretty good deal. Some people have complained that they think this is too expensive, but think about it, a salon manicure costs at least twice that much and there’s no promise of chip-free shine for a week even then. I will definite consider these again in the future, maybe for our next vacation in Mexico? I’m not sure how well they will fare in water, but if I do use them for the beach and pool I will find out!
Since getting our own apartment and not having to deal with school after graduating from college, I’ve been cooking and baking more than ever before. Even then though, I’m kind of a lazy cook. If the recipe requires too many complicated steps or asks me to buy too many ingredients that I would never use again, I probably won’t make it. Despite these limitations, I’ve tried and succeeded at a lot of new dishes over the past few months. If you’re like me and enjoy simple, delicious, and wholesome recipes, then you’re in luck! I’m going to share a few of my favorite things to make and eat lately (in no particular order).
These are so delicious and baking is a great alternative to deep frying. I don’t have all the spices specified in the recipe, but you can season these fries however you want!
I got this recipe from my friend Jin, and I’ve made it a couple of times already. Yufei really likes this dish too. They’re a little labour intensive to make, but I find it fun to make these cute little cabbage packages.
And they taste so good! Very homey and perfect for a cold day.
I LOVE peanut butter. Kraft is my favorite brand but they only have them in Canada for some reason. Wahh. Sad face. Anyway, the recipe of course works with any kind of peanut butter. They get kind of crispy on the outside when baked, so good.
All foods are cuter when they’re tiny, right? These mini apple pies baked in muffin tins are no different. They’re actually kind of time consuming to make (especially if you want to make them all pretty like I do), but they’re so worth it! Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
I would make these way more often if portobello mushrooms weren’t so darn expensive. I don’t know why I have a fascination with pizza dough alternatives (see my previous post on this subject), maybe because I love pizza but am trying to eat healthier? Anyway, these portobello “pizzas” are so delicious. I skipped the leek in the original recipe and added some Italian sausage, but you can use whatever topping you like.
I baked cupcakes (ok so I cheated and made them from cake mix – but they were on sale!) and wanted to make a simple frosting without using powdered sugar, which I didn’t have. I found this recipe that uses regular granulated sugar, flour, butter (I replaced it with margarine), milk, and vanilla. It was easy to make and tasted pretty good! I think it tasted even better the next day for some reason. The texture and flavor were just better.
I also don’t have a piping bag so I did the old ziplock back with a corner cut out trip. Turned out pretty good, right?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these recipes! Let me know if you try any of these! They’re all tested by me for their simplicity and deliciousness. If you want more recipes like these, follow my recipe board on Pinterest! I only pin stuff that I would actually consider making, so anything on my board passes my criteria for lazy yet health-conscious chefs. Happy cooking!
Spring weather has been kind of all over the place in SF so far, but there have seen some gorgeous sunny days for sure. Yufei and I picked 2 of these days to visit the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers, both located in Golden Gate Park.
The botanical garden is free for SF residents, which is awesome. Check out these pretty flower we saw when we were there.
There’s a little lake in the middle, and we spent some time enjoying the sun on a bench and watching the ducks.
It was also magnolia season when we visited.
I can imagine myself coming here with a blanket and a good book and just spend all afternoon lying on the grass reading. I will definitely be back in the future!
And here is the beautiful Conservatory of Flowers! The building itself is really gorgeous, and there is lots of lawns space outside for lazing around.
It costs money to go inside, but again there is a discount for residents which is great. There are a lot of really cool plants inside, including many species of pitcher plants.
The flowerbeds outside make for a beautiful backdrop for photos!