Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eats: Lobster Ramen & Gangnam Chicken

I'm a sucker for a gimmick.  Lobster ramen?  I'm there.  Korean style fried chicken?  SO there.

Owned by the same people from the famed Ramen Dojo in San Mateo, Ramen Parlor offers classic broths like miso, pork, and soy with add-ins like lobster oil and soft shell crab.  I should note here that the broth bases are all prepared with a bit of chili and thus all start out as "mild."

Pork Flavor with Garlic Lobster Oil
Good flavor and good noodles with a very subtle lobster nuance.  The broth could use a little more depth, but was overall tasty.

Spicy Crab Miso
The spicy miso is at about a medium spice level.  The soft shell crab was actually my favorite part - perfectly crisp and savory.  The broth flavor was a little overpowered by the spice, but the elements were all there.

Next we got a popcorn chicken snack from Gangnam Chicken.  I will admit that I was first intrigued by the name and then became even more intrigued by the concept of Korean style fried chicken.
Soy & Garlic Fried Chicken
Per Yelp, we decided to try the Soy & Garlic version.  All of the elements seemed to be good - chicken without tendons / stringy bits, lightly coated with crisp batter, tossed in sauce evenly - but I'll have to admit the flavor of the sauce itself wasn't my favorite.  It seemed too sweet and ginger-y for being "soy and garlic."  This is all probably an expectation thing.  If I had ordered "ginger," I'd have been quite pleased with it.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wrap Maxi Dress / Coverup Vacation DIY

I had leftover fabric from my Criss-Cross Top DIY and decided to make a simple wrap dress to serve as an airy maxi or as a swimsuit cover-up.  I'm planning on packing lightly so will be using a primarily black palette with little bits of color here and there.  Makes it easier to mix and match!

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate

Time: ~2-3 hours

Pattern:  McCall M6024 A (minus the ruffles), elongated skirt to maxi length, used a rolled hem on all raw edges

Materials: ~1.5-2 yards of fabric - I used a lightweight knit from Fabrics R Us in San Jose

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheap Eats & Biking Golden Gate Bridge

I say this a lot, but I LOVE SF.  Last week, we took a day off and spent it in the city for some cycling and cheap eats.

At D&A Cafe:

Fresh Watermelon Juice ($1.70)
Hong Kong Milk Tea w/ Tapioca ($2.50)
Their drinks were SO GOOD!  Fresh squeezed watermelon juice and the first place to offer tapioca with Hong Kong Milk Tea (that I've encountered).

Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings ($4.80)
A tea time special, we got a plate of giant, tasty chicken wings for less than $5.

Beef Macaroni ($1.80)
Popular in Hong Kong, this is a macaroni dish set in broth with meat and light veggies.  Depending on the broth used, this is one of my favorite comfort dishes.  I can't say this was a favorite, but it was pretty decent and D & A has a ridiculously cheap price point for this during afternoon tea.

 And because we spent a good chunk of the day cycling, we treated ourselves to a yummy crepe from Genki Crepes:
Lychee, Nutella, & Almond Crepe
Loved that they offered a lychee option for crepes here - delicious!

Finally, we rented a couple of comfort bikes and rode from the Presidio to Sausalito, ferried our way back to the Ferry Building, and then rode back to the Presidio.  Such a gorgeous day!
Beautiful views biking on Golden Gate Bridge
Bike rental $13 for 3 hours from Sports Basement (Presidio).  Compare this to the $20/hr rentals I saw in Sausalito.

Happy Hump Day!  It's almost the weekend :)  Have a great rest of the week!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Criss-cross Top Vacation DIY

We're nearing our vacation to Hawaii (have wanted to go for ages, but am not the best flyer, so hooray for CA proximity!) and I decided to make some lightweight, comfortable, and warm-weather friendly garments.  In my delusions of grandeur, I told myself I was making my own "resort collection" :P

Difficulty: Very Easy

Time: ~1 hour

Pattern:  McCall M6751 A (minus the pocket), slimmed sides slightly, used a rolled hem on all raw edges

Materials: 1 yard of fabric - I used a lightweight knit from Fabrics R Us in San Jose

Likely, I will be wearing this top with a pair of shorts or a maxi skirt:

I also have a wrap maxi dress / coverup in the works for a future post :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Old Navy Fitting Room Reviews

Spurred by Jean's blazer find at Old Navy, I stopped by and saw some cute offerings.

Quilted Jacket, XS, here (in store price = $30)
Available in olive and navy, this is a really cute, warm jacket.  The XS fit perfectly and I loved the cinching option at the waist, detachable hood, and ample pockets.  The hem hits at the high hip.
Verdict: Came thisclose to buying, but ultimately knew that I did not need another olive jacket.  I may regret this, especially at the $30 price point.

Anchor Printed Crepe Top, XS, here
A great dupe for the J. Crew version a few seasons ago, Old Navy offers this in both white and navy.  The sizing seems to run a little big - shoulders sit low, collar is boat neck-esque, and torso is roomy.  I love the print and tab sleeves.
Verdict: No.  Was feeling cheap, but would purchase on further sale

Striped Color-Block Dress, XS, here
Um yeah, I couldn't resist the stripe combination and was actually pleased with this dress.  The material is a thick jersey - maybe ponte (I should have checked).  I liked that this curved in slightly at the waist to give a body skimming appearance.  The side view shows that it is also tummy / big lunch friendly - always a plus!
Verdict: No.  If I didn't have a stripe overload in my closet, I would have definitely purchased this.

Floral Printed Crew Sweatshirt, XS, here
This was one of those items that looked adorable on the mannequin, but kind of silly on me.  The XS fits fine, the style just wasn't "me."
Verdict: No for me, but is TTS

I didn't wind up buying anything for myself, but did get some great clearance items for my husband and E ($9.99 checked dress shirt, $3.50 basic tee, and $1.50 fleece booties).  I'm in closet pare-down mode so am pickier than normal.  If you have any interest in my primarily new with tags items, please visit my blog sale here.  Thanks! :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Transitioning Florals - Skirt DIY

With all the magazines focused on spring fashions, my mind automatically drifts towards florals and light colors.  I fell in love with the watercolor-esque strokes in this print and thought it would perfect for a skirt.  In the spring, I'll wear this with short sleeved tops and bare legs, but for now a sweater and tights will work :)

Floral Pleated Skirt DIY

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2 hours

Pattern:  2 Rectangles 24 x 32"

  • 1 yard floral fabric from Joann's
  • 9" invisible zipper
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reversible Shell w/ Removable Peplum DIY Tutorial

If I could multi-purpose every DIY, I would and feel pleased as punch about it.  :)  Today's shell is reversible - cobalt on one side and charcoal on the other.  I also put together a removable cobalt peplum  for more versatility.

Left: Peplum Look
Center: Cobalt Shell (side 1)
Right: Charcoal Shell (side 2)

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2-3 hours

Pattern:  Make your own from an existing sleeveless top

  • Existing sleeveless shell to pattern your top
  • 1 yard of fabric for side 1 and 1 yard of fabric for side 2.  Ideally, the same fabric type.  I used 2 stretchy knits - 1 in cobalt and 1 in charcoal.
  • ~3/4 yard fabric for 1 peplum
1. Create a basic top using an existing shirt (tutorial here).  Make 2 identical basic tanks.
2. Place one tank inside the other one where the right sides of each are touching.  Notch the collar (cutting through both) by making a triangular cut (a little over 1" on each side) at one side.

2. Sew the 2 tops together similar to how you would line a top (tutorial here)
3. Optional - Create the removable peplum (tutorial here, see part 2 towards the bottom of the post).  You can close your peplum several ways:
  • use a brooch
  • add a hook and eye
  • use a button and buttonhole

Happy sewing and have a great week!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Giant Closet Sale - Most NWT

Ok, so I'm ridiculously embarrassed that upon cleaning my closet, I found a good deal of never worn clothing with the tags still attached.  In an effort to pare down, I thought I'd try a blog sale.

Domestic shipping is free and all items will be mailed within 2 business days of payment.

Blog Sale Items (collage created w/

Items include:
  • Blazers & Jackets - J. Crew BCBG, Banana Republic, Talbots
  • Sweaters - LOFT, Gap, etc.
  • Shirts - J. Crew, Old Navy, The Limited, etc.


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