April Favorites

A kid once said to me, “miss, you have cool stuff”. Why yes kid, I’m a materialistic girl that tries not to be. But yeah, I have stuff that I like a lot. Here is a short list of the cool stuff I’ve liked so far this past month.

Favorite things: A couple months ago B and I splurged during a moment of weakness at Costco and picked up the Sonos Soundbar to replace our old speaker system that B bought who knows how long ago. We have a pretty tech-y house, and had been playing music off of our Amazon Echo which doesn’t have very good sound quality. I also prefer to buy my music so I have a pretty massive collection tied to my desktop at home which I wanted to be more accessible through out the rest of the house.  Costco has a pretty good deal on Sonos speakers, so we jumped in and got the big one.  A few weeks later, I loved the sound so much, I got us two more – the smaller Sonos Play 1 speakers. I wanted to have one in the kitchen for when I cook and one in the bathroom so that I can sing and dance in the shower.  Now we can play the same music upstairs and downstairs simultaneously and control it all through the app or through the Echo, and I can airplay from my desktop through the Apple TV to all the speakers. B will never escape BTS and other k-pop now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Speaking of BTS, I recently caved and bought myself a set of AirPods.  I already regret the purchase, as they are really uncomfortable in my ears.  If I wear them for more than 30 minutes, my ears start aching and hurting. It’s especially acute in my left ear, where I have a small hoop through my tragus. The AirPods are not a favorite, but the case I bought for the case is. I know – a case for the case seems like a dumb purchase, especially since it’s a purely aesthetic purchase. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a person that is super into kawaii stuff, but I have my moments. The case is one of those moments, and is a testament to how K-pop and BTS in particular are so savvy at spreading their brand. The case is from Line Friends, which has collaborated with BTS to create a line of characters called BT21 (think Hello Kitty crossed with Ugly Dolls), one for each band member. Obviously I had to get Cooky, the one created by my favorite member, Jungkook. It matches the phone ring I already have on my phone 😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I swear I’m not normally a super kawaii type person, but this next favorite is exactly that. Gudetama.  If you’ve never heard of Gudetama, watch these short clips featuring my favorite Sanrio character, the lazy egg with a butt crack. When B and I went to Japan last summer I went a little crazy at the Sanrio store stocking up on all things Gudetama. I now have a coffee thermos, a shirt, some pens, chopsticks, stickers, and a onigiri maker. My favorite of them all though, is a squishy stress thing that is actually B’s! I stole it from him after our friends gave him two of them for his birthday at the end of March. It has the most satisfying squish, and it has that distinct Sanrio smell that lands somewhere between bubble gum, fake strawberry, and teenage girl perfume. When you squish it, the scent lingers on your hands. I brought the squishy to school, and it now lives on my desk. The kids like to grab it occasionally, and I like to tease them by telling them to smell its butt when they ask, “miss…what is this?” Inevitably, they all smell the butt crack and it’s so fun to the surprise on their faces when they take that first whiff.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Activity Favorite: Just to prove that I’m not a totally materialistic person, I have an activity favorite – it’s baseball season!  I was never super into baseball, and I’m still just a fair weather fan.  I have more than a handful of Giants stuff, and even a Rockies shirt, but the thing I like about baseball is going to the games.  Often times I have no idea what is going on or what the names of the player are. I do know that each player picks their own “walk up song”, and what a strike vs ball means. Mostly I just like the hang out time I get out in the sunshine with friends in the cheap seats with giant ball park beers. This season my friend Melissa and I got a 10 pack of tickets to the Rockies. We’ve already been to 2 games and I’m looking forward to the rest this summer.

Student favorites: AP Bio. This year’s cohort of AP Bio kids have been killing it. The questions they ask, the discussions they have, the level of critical thinking they do in class blows me away every class. We have talked about things like the evolution of monogamy in humans, whether or not athletes like Caster Semnya should be allowed to compete as a woman, and if we are shaping technology or is technology shaping us a a species. These kids make my soul happy and give me hope that the future just might not turn into a worse version of Wall-E.

Beauty Favorite: I’m pretty into skincare stuff, and a few years ago I started in on using essences daily and haven’t gone without since. Essences have been around for ages, SKII being the most famous of them. With the surge in popularity of Japanese and Korean beauty, we now have a lot more to choose from. My favorite of all is the Maycoop Raw Sauce Essence – lightly hydrates, viscous without being sticky, affordable, and most of all smells amazing. The scent reminds me of a drugstore perfume I used to have when I was 10, one that I don’t remember the name of and have been searching for ever since. Double cleansing and using an essence is key in my skin care routine, so it’s nice to have found an affordable (and better) alternative to the classic SKII essence.

Hope you all are enjoying these new posts! I’m trying to get into a routine with regular posting and new series like monthly favorites. Wish me luck!

Favorite Things – March

I have a secret . . .  I’m somewhat really obsessed with watching makeup and style YouTube videos in the evenings before I fall asleep. It’s my guilty pleasure. Some people watch the Bachelor, some watch 16 and Pregnant, and then there are others who watch Primitive Technology (I’m looking at you, B). I watch people put makeup on and talk about skin care products they like. One feature I really enjoy is watching Monthly Favorites type videos where people talk about what they really enjoyed in the last month. I’m stealing the idea, because I’m tired of just writing about school, and there are some really cool things I want to share!

First:

Girl’s night out to Hop Alley here in Denver. I love this place, mainly because it is actually a really good Chinese American restaurant. Bonus points, they mix up drinks to share, Scorpion Bowl style! My mom is one of the best chefs ever, and I grew up in California – the mecca of good Chinese (and all other Asian) food in the states. Needless to say, the bar is set pretty high for me in terms of Asian cuisine, and I can be extremely critical. Just ask B – he HATES going to Asian “themed” or “inspired” restaurants with me because all I will do is criticize their terrible food, their cultural appropriation, and casually racist drink names. Take note, Cholon Denver.

THLT hop alley denver

Second:

Toronto!  My BFF Abraham and I went to visit our friend Edgar in Toronto over Spring Break. Edgar used to teach with us here in Denver, but moved up to Canada last fall. We missed him, and what better excuse to do some quick traveling? My favorite bits included taking a day trip to Niagara Falls, getting drinks at the Lockhart (the best Harry Potter themed bar ever, complete with magic tricks!), and breaking my shopping ban at COS.

 

THLT toronto

THLT the distillery district toronto

THLT the Lockhart toronto

THLT niagara falls2

THLT niagara falls3

Third:

B and I are ramping up with the gardening thing. We have been spending every weekend working in the garden. We built new garden beds in the front yard, planted a new grafted 4-fruit tree, and sowed a bunch of seeds in the vegetable garden. Waiting patiently for the summer harvest and for the peonies I planted to bloom!  Check out some of our work on B’s blog, beau.blog, and my Instagram (mostly stories though).

Fourth:

Our new lemon tree. Impulse purchase at the garden center – but it smells absolutely AMAZING. I will happily sit by this little mini tree and stick my nose in the flowers all afternoon. I really hope it does well in our living room, I love it so much!

Side note: more often than not, when I look at this little plant, I am transported back to 1996 when I spent the summer in Taipei, Taiwan, and the song craze of the summer was called Lemon Tree.  It’s amazing, check it out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fifth: Material Things

I bought this NARS blush palette near the end of 2016, and I’ve been using it every single day since. I love Nars blushes, and I already own a few singles as well as the Danmari blush palette. The shades are very pigmented, and the colors very bold and strong. Even for a blush lover like me, anything more than a tiny tap of the brush verges into painted clown territory. Blended out well, these blush shades are perfect for my medium skin tone and can look very natural. It can make my cheeks look as if I just ran down the hall to the copier and back during 1st period with my fingers crossed I don’t come back to a hot mess.

Aesop…so darn “artisanal”, but so darn heavenly, I can’t even resist. I went on a ridiculous Aesop splurge whilst in Melbourne this past summer (cheaper due to the exchange rate, and country of origin!), and I’m still savoring these two: Resolute Hydrating Body Balm and Marrakech Intense Perfume. B isn’t a fan of the smell of the perfume, but I don’t care, I love it. Both scents are unconventional, intoxicating, more spicy than sweet, and slightly hippy-ish (a term I wouldn’t usually use to describe myself).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA