I did a mini Sephora haul for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and got 2 bottles of Formula X nail polish! I tried out this pretty raspberry color named A+ first.
It’s a bit redder than a true magenta and a really pretty color that I think can work for any season.
I also liked the consistency of the polish, not too thick and not too thin. It applied evenly and 2 coats gave a perfectly opaque finish. This one was a true A+ in my book!
Finally have a bit of a lull in D2 year! I have a lot to catch up on on the blog. First I’d like to a quick food summary for the later half of the summer.
Yufei and I went here for dinner after I took my boards! They were running a prime rib dinner special at the time, where for $39 you get a soup and salad, a 10 oz. prime rib, and a side. Really great deal and excellent food!
We also chose to get desert, which was great as well.
2. Hakkasan SF
Yufei wanted to come back here for his birthday dinner and I happyily obliged. We tried their Pipa duck which was really good, but I wished that the serving was larger.
I also got their selection of house made macarons for dessert. It came with 7 different ones! Enough for dessert and breakfast the next day (don’t judge me for eating macarons for breakfast).
We were in Japantown and came across this place when looking for a place to eat dinner. It was just okay in terms of food and service. For shabu shabu I still prefer Nabe, which luckily is 2 blocks from where we live.
Technically it’s in San Bruno, but it’s the first Filipino restaurant I’ve been to (and won’t be the last!). Food was really good with generous serving sizes.
We were really full already but had to get a halo halo for dessert!
Been wanting to go to this Outer Sunset brunch spot for a while now, and we finally dropped by after a morning run to the beach. As expected, there was quite a long wait. But the food was on-point and I really liked the decor of the place.
Yufei’s dish… some kind of egg dish with rice and pork:
Savory Dutch pancake:
They ran out of the eggs-in-jail by the time we were seated, so I’d have to go back and try that!
D2 has taken over my life and I apologize for not posting for the last month and a half… And there’s so much I need to catch up on. But that will have to wait for another day. So for now, just a quick post of my newest mani! I did this for my 25th birthday so I wanted something fun and sparkly.
For this look, I did 2 coats of e.l.f.’s Golden Goddess, which is a clear polish with gold sparkles that I usually use on top of other colors. Then I painted the tips of my nails with the gold glitter color in my Art Club striper kit. This created a kind of gold gradient that reminds me of fireworks or champagne. Very festive!
I’ve been baking a lot this summer since my schedule was so flexible with studying for boards and research, so I wanted to share some of my sweet creations as well as their recipes here on the blog. Get ready to drool!
1. Hot chocolate cookies
I found this recipe when I searched for something that had marshmallows as an ingredient because I still had a lot left over from the last time I made fondant. These cookies used mini marshmallows and hot chocolate packages! I also used a mixture of regular and white chocolate chips. These turned out amazing, and they’re best eaten when fresh out of the oven, when the marshmallows are still gooey! Recipe here.
2. Salted Nutella peanut butter thumbprint cookies
Made these for 4th of July with red, white (sea salt), and blue sprinkles. They were really ricj and creamy tasting! Recipe here.
3. Nutella marshmallow fruit toast
I invented this super easy and delicious snack when I was studying for boards. Makes a great nutritious snack or even breakfast! I simply spread Nutella on a slice of toast, topped it with strawberries and banana slices, sprinkled some mini marshmallows on top, and put it in the oven under the broiler for like 30 seconds until the marshmallows are golden and melty. So good!
4. Devil’s food cupcakes with Nutella filling and toasted marshmallow frosting
Starting to see a theme in the ingredients? Yeah… I had a lot of marshmallows and Nutella to get rid of. For the cupcakes I just used a cake mix, and then I filled them with Nutella, and the recipe for the frosting you can find here. I made these for Yufei’s birthday and he took some to work and they were a hit!
5 & 6. Egg yolk sugar cookies and chocolate coconut macaroons
I wanted to make my coconut macaroons (i posted the recipe here a while ago) but they only called for egg whites, so I had to find another recipe that used the yolks. These cookies are what I found! The recipe is here. I didn’t have cream of tartar so I substituted 1 tsp baking powder and some lemon juice instead. They turned out really well; slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with just a touch of lemon flavor.
I also wanted to share a kitchen gadget that’s made my life so much easier as a baker – a cookie scoop! Well, actually it’s a set of 3 scoops in different sizes, and they can be used for so many things. I use them mostly for cookies, they create such nice round even cookies! Here’s when I used it for the egg yolk sugar cookies:
I’ve also used the bigger size for cupcake batter (to distribute it evenly among cups), and the smaller size for meatballs. Of course, they can be used to scoop ice cream too. You can find them in any store that sells kitchen stuff or on Amazon.
Lastly, a bit of reflection on baking. I’ve always liked to bake, but since dental school started I’ve been doing it a lot more. I think it has to do with finding a hobby that you can turn to when you’re stressed out, something you can escape to. My classmates are often surprised that I find time to bake during finals, but really, it’s a form of stress-relief for me. I’m just really happy and energized when I’m creating something sweet and delicious with my hands, something that I can then share with my friends and loved ones. During a stressful time like dental school, it’s more important than ever to have that hobby, just so that you feel like you have a life outside of school. For me it’s been baking; for you it could be something else. I’ve seen classmates and upperclassmen turning to so many cool and creative outliets: soap-making, biking, painting, jewelry design…. the possibilities are endless. So that’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone entering a challenging time in their life: just find something you love doing and keep doing it no matter how crazy life gets, because it’s what helps you stay sane.
Can’t believe my super long summer is almost ending! I’m frantically trying to finish up my summer research project, submit the abstract and finalize my poster… because next Friday Yufei and I are leaving for a week in Iceland! It’ll be my last big summer adventure and I’m so beyond excited for it.
Some other news since last time… I passed boards! I started to get really worried when everyone who took it the same day as me (or even after) started getting results in the mail and I was still waiting, and I called them and found out that it must have gotten lost in the mail. So they had to re-send it and I finally got it 5 weeks after my exam. I felt pretty good about it afterwards so I wasn’t too worried about passing, but the wait was agonizing! It would have been so nice if we got instant results like the DAT (man that was so great). But now that it’s done, I can relax a bit and enjoy my D2 year (supposedly the most chill year at UCSF according to upperclassmen).
We celebrated Yufei’s 24th birthday last month! We had dinner at Hakkasan and then drinks with friends at Local Edition. One of the presents I got him was this scratch map where you scratch off places you’ve travelled to. Since we love traveling together I thought this would be a good way to track where we’ve been together.
Really puts into perspective how much of the world there is left to see!
What else… we went to the annual Twitter picnic last month. It was such a gorgeous day, and since we don’t get many of those in the summer months in SF, I of course didn’t use sunscreen and got burnt.
Afterwards we went to check out the Wave Organ, which was nearby.
There was even this nice little stretch of beach facing the city!
I also got my first haircut since my perm last year. I went back to Betty at Sally’s Salon since I really trust her. She got rid of my dead ends and got some layers in there, and I asked for side swept bangs. My hair now feels much lighter even though it’s still long. I’ve been putting it up in a ponytail more often since it’s not as heavy and the bangs frame my face nicely.
That’s about it for now. Some upcoming posts to look forward to include a summer restaurant summary, my recent baking adventures, and LA trip!
Happy Labor Day everyone! I did this fun mani for the long weekend, which Yufei and I are spending in sunny LA.
I used 2 coats of e.l.f.’s Blush, a lovely rose gold color, then used strips of masking tape to make the pattern, then used 2 coats of Zoya’s Elodie on top.
It’s super simple to do, you can make all kinds of patterns, and it works with lots of different color combinations! Hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend!
Yufei and I had dinner at Firefly back in July. It’s in a neighborhood we don’t go to often, but I needed to pick up the ceramics Jenny and I painted from the studio, so we met up for dinner there.
Complimentary bread with bean spread, very unusual.
Yufei’s appetizer, a sweet a delicious corn chowder.
My appetizer of shrimp and scallop potstickers. They were pretty good, but I still find it strange that western restaurants have Asian dishes for appetizer (spring rolls, etc.).
Fried chicken entree for Yufei. It was a pretty big serving so he only ate half and saved the other half for my lunch the next day.
My entree of sea bass. It was just okay, a bit bland and under-seasoned. I wished it had a more flavorful sauce.
Cute little frosted jar on each table.
Desserts: chocolate crepes and peach tart. They were both really good, a nice note to end the meal.
Overall the food at Firefly was just average, with the soup and the desserts being the highlight. The service was nice though; they had forgotten Yufei’s beer order and comped it after we reminded them. Probably won’t go back unless we’re in the area again.