Nailed It at Home! Lara Jean’s Hat Box & Love Letters from “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

Food, Musings

Do you know what it’s like to like a movie so much you can’t stand it and know that they’ll never feel the same way?💌

Just like Lara Jean, I’m writing a love letter (or in this case, a loving blog post) because I have a crush so intense that I don’t know what else to do.😆 With the last installment of TATBILB releasing on Netflix earlier this month, I couldn’t help but mark the occasion and try out the Nailed It! at Home Experience. We also love watching Nailed It, so when I heard they had a special edition TATBILB kit, I was sold!

Baking is definitely not one of my strengths, so I was also intrigued to see how all of this would actually turn out.😂 But the kit provides almost everything you would need and gives easy to follow step by step instructions. Pretty much all the ingredients that are provided in the kit are premeasured, so all I had to do was dump the right ingredients into a bowl and mix it up. Plus, the instructions provide a few extra handy tips for the chocolate master himself, Jacques!

The kit is shipped to you a few days before the virtual event and advises bakers to complete the first two steps a couple hours beforehand. However, I didn’t realize the virtual event was also going to be a timed 40 minute challenge just like in the show!🙈 I really felt like I was actually on the show frantically trying to figure out what to do next and trying my best to multitask. So looking back, I would’ve completed more of the steps before the show. But for someone who is not a baker, and after taking a few extra hours to complete everything, I think faired pretty well overall!😆

Aside from the tasty hat box cake and love letter cookies I got to enjoy the following week, I loved that the event itself was super cute and fun! Jacques actually chatted with contestants about troubleshooting their baking mishaps, Anna Cathcart was a charismatic host, AND our two surprise guests were Jenny Han and Lana Condor, who were baking along with us!

TATBILB Locks PJ set: Target, Flannel: Cakeworthy, Earrings: Mejuri

It’s bittersweet to see the TATBILB movies come to an end. But one of the things I appreciated the most was how it slowly included more POCs into the franchise. One of my pet peeves about the first movie was that all of Lara Jean’s crushes were non-POC. But by the third movie, we actually get to see the Song girls travel to Korea to reconnect with their culture and late mother. The scene where the Song girls find their mother’s lock at Namsan Tower and attach their own to hers was so heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. Being able to reconnect with their culture and knowing at the same time their mother wouldn’t be there to do it with them? Just leave me the tissue box please.😭

What’s your favorite part about the TATBILB franchise? Are you going to miss it? Anyone else want a movie about how LJ and Peter manage a long distance relationship?😆

ABW

A Day At Pixar Studios!

Musings, Travel

screen-shot-2017-07-31-at-11-37-40-pm.pngAaahhhhhhhhh!  Where to even begin?!  For many Disney fans, Pixar Studios is a supplemental, but oh so necessary part of the Disney company and experience.  It’s like adding avocado to your BLT.  Pixar just makes Disney THAT. MUCH. BETTER.  Omg, Pixar is an avocado. No wonder everyone loves it!😆  So when I got the chance to visit the Pixar campus with some friends, I was ecstatic.

DSC07228We visited on a Sunday, which was actually really nice because it was completely empty and quiet.  We could take a million photos with no one in the background! 🤗  An added bonus was the warm weather!  If you ever visited or lived in the Bay Area during the summer, then you know that warm days during the “summer” months are like Pixar easter eggs — you only get them once in a while.😉  Cloudless skies meant I could wear a blue dress for my Guido disneybound without hesitation.  I would’ve worn the dress anyways since Chelsea and I planned on being twinsies together, but great weather just made it that much better.  P.S. Loved Cars 3!  See it if you can!

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Luigi and Guido disneybouds!

Aside from the multiple Pixar statues that greet you at the entrance, there’s also a trophy case filled with all the awards Pixar has won.  Oscar…oscar…beaten up Woody?  In the far corner, a well-loved Woody, all dirty and missing his boot, was set next to a letter from Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  The cast member explained how a 6 year old boy was given a new Woody doll and rather than throw the old one away, the boy left it at the park’s City Hall so his old Woody could have a great new home and “spend infinity and beyond with Buzz Lightyear.”  I’m sorry, I would go on but it seems I’m on the verge of crying.😩

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Of course, there was tons of concept art throughout the building. When we visited, most of the art was for Finding Dory and Cars 3.  We saw everything from pencil sketches to clay models.  Unfortunately, all of this amazing concept art was in a “no photo” zone, so I don’t have any pictures. Sorry!😭 But trust me when I say, it was so cool to see all the different stages of the animation process.  And I guess Pixar made up for it with huge posters and statues that scream “instagram photo op.”😏

And Pixar being Pixar, they also scattered lots of magic throughout the rest of the property.  Halfway through our visit, I headed for the bathroom.  And when I reached the door, instead of the usual female silhouette logo, I spotted a familiar curvy, mom-bob, above-the-knee boot wearing superhero!  She was incredible.😉  But my favorite surprises were the characters that were embedded into the floors!  So while walking around, you could randomly run into some of your favorite characters!

And of course, the pièce de résistance…Luxo Jr. and the Luxo ball!  Erika slayed it and actually disneybounded as the Luxo ball, but by complete accident, we all ended up wearing similar style dresses all in yellow and blue.😳  And guess what, our separate disneybounds then became a singular one.  We. Were. The Luxo ball.  If that isn’t the definition of serendipty, then I don’t know what else is!

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We are Luxo ball.

I still can’t believe such an amazing company is just across the bridge from me.  A company that not only seeks out talent and creativity, but also encourages personal storytelling, is just so endearing and heartwarming.  And call me a snooty San Francisco native, but I like to think that Pixar employees are often inspired by the Bay Area and somehow weave that into their stories.  Case in point, Inside Out.  Ultimately, I just love the idea that employees of a huge storytelling company that millions of people know, are creating these stories in an area that is tremendously liberal and diverse.  And I like to think that San Francisco’s liberal values make their way into Pixar’s stories; ultimately passing those values along to millions of people.  But that just might be a snooty San Franciscan’s wishful thinking.  But hey, one can dream!😊

ABW

 

Styling the Beastie: Layers and Boots

Disney Style, Musings, Style

dsc06104The countdown has begun!  Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast will be in theaters in next month and I’m excited to finally see Emma Watson don those iconic Belle outfits.

To celebrate the film’s release, a lot of brands have been producing tons of Beauty and the Beast merch, including Danielle Nicole Handbags.  Early last year, I picked up their Beast clutch, BUT when a friend told me about the Beast backpack they released a couple months ago, all reasoning went out the window.  So yes, now I have 2 Beast bags in my closet.😅

And I’m not gonna lie, a good number of times, I buy these quirky, yet amazing bags and then just set it on a shelf to admire it for days without ever really using it. So this is going to be just like trying to get back to the gym post holiday season😪…I’m going to document different outfits in order to keep myself accountable.😌  Sounds like a solid plan, right?👍🏼  On to the outfit!

dsc06077Beastie: Danielle Nicole, Dress: Free People, Denim jacket: Gap, Top: American Apparel, Boots: souvenir from Stockholm, Sunglasses: Quay, Watch: Michael Kors

The Beastie (oh, that’s my nickname for him btw) is surprisingly roomie. I could fit my camera, fat wallet, 2 phones, and car keys in there and still have room to spare. So when my sister asked me to help her take some photos around Japantown a couple weeks ago, it was the perfect carry-all bag. I wore it with an olive green dress that’s complimentary to Beastie’s tan colors and layered on a denim jacket, which if you look, closely picks up on his blue eyes.👀 It was also a little sprinkly in the city that day, so I wore some tan knee high boots that matched Beastie’s fringe.dsc06088

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Even if I didn’t need to bring my camera with me, this is still a perfect outfit for exploring Japantown. There are SO many places to eat or grab your favorite Asian snacks. One of my childhood favorites are Taiyaki red bean fishes! And there are a couple Asian beauty shops that I love perusing whenever I’m in the area. But most importantly, DAISO!! And look at that, you have a roomy backpack to bring back all those small trinkets and sundries that you didn’t really need, but kinda do at the same time.

Anyways, Japantown will always have a special place in my heart.  The community has pretty much been a part of my life in one way or another growing up. As toddlers, my siblings and I went to preschool there.  When we were tweeners, summer camp. And from the age of 5 to 18, I played in an Asian basketball league that was based out of Japantown’s Buddhist church.  It really felt like we grew up with the community.  I think I will always value and feel connected to the Japantown community.  And, to reiterate, they also have delicious snacks.

ABW

 

 

Dinner & a Movie: Hidden Figures

Dinner & a Movie, Food, Musings, Travel

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When I’m hungry and you tell me we’re going out for dinner…(photo from Soul Culture)

Obviously you know what movie I saw, so we’ll circle back to that in a moment. I promise no spoilers!  First, let’s talk about food.

Last weekend I got to visit my sister for my birthday.  She’s about 2,400 miles away from San Francisco – and traveling that far can make a girl hungry. Yup, we flew to Honolulu, HI.  And whenever my mom and I visit my sister, we usually do a lot of eating and try a good handful of new places.  This time, we ate at Piggy Smalls.
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Opened by the same masterminds behind The Pig & the Lady, I knew Piggy Smalls was going to be fantastic.  Expect unexpected asian fusion combos galore here.  My personal favorite was the hurricane creamed corn.  For those that aren’t familiar with hurricane popcorn, it’s popcorn that has furikake seasoning and japanese rice crackers mixed in.  It’s another name for addictive deliciousness.  So hurricane creamed corn is creamed corn with furikake, rice crackers, and popcorn bits on top.  I’m sure there’s much more cooking involved than just throwing furikake on top, but I’m no chef, so I’m not even going to try to explain to you why this creamed corn was the best creamed corn I ever ate.  Other winners were the Laotian fried chicken and the fish of the day.  And bonus points because the whole place is sprinkled with pig memorabilia.  Please note the small Pua figurine to the far left in the photo below.  Piggy Smalls, it calls me!

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Now on to Hidden Figures.  It was incredible.  I’m sure like many people, I never knew about these amazing WOC.  On the way out, even my sister said, “That’s crazy we never learned about people like that in history classes!”  And she’s right.  We should already know about these incredible women.  But what I love about this movie is that it shows how race, class, gender, and family values play a role in how these women live their lives.  It influences how they approach relationships, navigate the workplace, and ultimately, how they feel about themselves.   In the end, it’s what makes them stronger and smarter.  I also appreciate that the movie wasn’t an outright drama movie.  I’m not a huge fan of watching dramas in theaters since they tend to feel a little tooo heavy.   But Hidden Figures excellently addressed the impact of identity, while still retaining an element of fun and humor.

And with a full pig belly, I still decided to eat some real hurricane popcorn at the theaters.  And reclining seats?!  Yes, please.  I had to celebrate my birthday in style.💁🏻

I think I’d like to make this into a mini-series.  Every month or so, go out for dinner and a movie, then write up my thoughts.  We’ll see how I hold up.  Ok fine, it’s probably an excuse for me to go out for dinner and see a movie once in a while.  Can you blame a girl?! 🙂

ABW

OOTN:dsc05793Dress: Free People, Shirt: Homecoming, Shoes: ZOU XOU, Angry Pig King Logo: Piggy Smalls