Greed and Karma

There was an invite for a project celebration. It contained tea, coffee and chocolates. I thought it was a cheap celebration and not worth my while so I didn’t go.

They gave out $50 Myer gift cards.

Totally. In. My. Face.

That’s what I get for being greedy! Nothing. 🙂

Okay

Advertisements

Expected review: Ippudo Sydney

Ippudo Sydney
Ippudo Sydney at Westfield Level 5

Famous global ramen place that I had previously not heard of, Ippudo Sydney, landed in Westfield’s food court last week.

I’m a loyal Ichiban Boshi customer and often go for their $13 ramen or cold noodles. I wouldn’t call their ramen authentic, but it’s certainly very tasty in its own way.

Gumshara I’ve only been twice. And it’s authentic ramen alright. I sort of like that place too, sort of because I was really impressed with it first go, but not so much second. So 50/50? It’s also at a ridiculous price of $14.

And then Ippudo, at an average $17 per bowl. Big double u tee eff.

Ippudo Sydney ramen
Shiromaru Motoaji and Akamaru Shinaji

So here it is, the picture on top is the Shiromaru Motoaji, their most simplistic and classic version with no added extra for $15. The soup. The soup was awesome. The noodles were too soft. And the two pieces of pork were shit. At $15, all three should have been awesome, not one. But alas, the soup, so tasty that I went back for more next day, but take away because its two bucks cheaper. I can live with $13, but not $15 with shit pork. So I’m paying purely for the soup. What has the world come to.
Also, I asked for hard noodles, which I found better but not by a lot. And they gave me one piece of rough and hard pork for takeaway too. I assume if you pay $4 extra for pork belly that the pork might actually be good. But hey, $4.

The second picture that most of my friends ordered is the Akamaru Shinaji ($18 with an egg), I had a taste and found it to be more salty so didn’t like for me.

If you’re wondering about size, they’re pretty small bowls. But it will fill you up or otherwise you should be satisfied because any more and you may get sick of that super flavoursome soup. A bit at a time.

Ippudo Sydney
Pork Buns and fresh garlic

Pork buns were nice at $4 each. I wouldn’t mind having another one, but no takeaway at this point, so guess I won’t be having that in forever.

I think they called their ramen modern, authentic but modern. I’m not sure what’s so modern about it, maybe the cabbage? That weird cabbage.

And so, despite all the negativity that seems to be sprouting all over this post, I’m addicted to the soup. And what’s more? I think I’ll say goodbye to Gumshara because I prefer Ippudo as the authentic ramen place. I still love you Ichiban Boshi, you’re different.

Ippudo Sydney
Shiromaru Motoaji takeaway

And correct me if I’m wrong, but Motoaji means the taste before (classic)?? Pretty neat.

Ippudo on Urbanspoon

Review: Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food

Best hand cream for super dry hands, hands down. I first came across it on feelunique where quite a few celebrities endorsed it as one of their must-haves or favorites.
It says at the back

It’s for dry and rough skin such as hands, feet and allows.

I didn’t buy this for me but for my mom, who has super duper dry hands. Sand-paper hands that would crack and bleed regularly. Not exaggerating at all. We tried all sorts of creams including the loccitane, Crabtree, Clarins, all other drugstore brands. Everything. Nothing worked. If anything, the best product out of all those was Vaseline. But even then, they were all short term effects.

This Weleda cream? Is amazing. She’s been using it for about a month now and her hands have transformed from crazy dry to normal. I asked her today about it and she only uses it at night. Wtf? Although I tell her it would be better to use it at least twice a day, she didn’t listen. But the result is apparent. I’m so impressed, I never thought anything would work for her.

Best of all, it’s not crazily priced, I think I got it for around $13 from iHerb.com, and now that there’s another 15% off at feelunique (code TREAT15), I may have to go and buy another one, which was requested earlier today from mom. Glad she likes it. 😉

Really liking the Weleda brand, I’m still using their Almond Soothing Facial Cream! And I’ll probably switch to Skin Food for my hands during winter too.

 

Melbourne trip! and how awesome my bf is

20121112-180226.jpg

It’s been over a month since having my 4 days off in Melbourne. Man, I’d love to tell you the typical things like what we did, where we visited, where we stayed and how cool and so on and so forth.
But all I can think of is the delicious food we ate and glimpses of the beautiful Great Ocean Road while I slumped back in the passenger seat 98% dead, sick with food poisoning or some gastric virus.

The food

We went to two places worth mentioning.

Shou Sumiyaki http://www.shousumiyaki.com.au

A picture paints a thousand words right!
20121112-180552.jpg

This awesome restaurant’s focus is wagyu beef. Or rather, Om Nom Nom Wagyu beef, but we enjoyed every dish.
We ordered the premium blade, tenderloin and premium Wagyu ox tongue.
The top right is Wagyu beef tataki, crab paste stick and seared tuna. Bf loved it so much that he paused, gave me that worried look and said “oh no, whenever I want to eat this we have to come back to Melbourne!”. Well, something along those lines… it was the sake, pretty sure of it. No worries honey! I think I found something very similar in Sydney~ let’s just hope it’s as good or better.

20121112-180600.jpg

And some dessert place in Chinatown, where they served Hong Kong and Taiwan style desserts. I… don’t think we have any decent HK dessert places here in Sydney. This place was pretty damn packed, so Sydney… hurry up.

20121112-180614.jpg

For our little xth month anniversary, we went to the famous Movida Bar de Tapas – http://movida.com.au/movida

20121122-221513.jpg
I must say, I expected it to be very expensive but it came out to be very decently priced and I really enjoyed the food too. I think my eyeballs rolled back at one stage. I guess you can say… it was pretty amazeballs. Yeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! (though fyi, I didn’t like the bottom two dishes in the image above)
20121122-221525.jpg

The Great Drive Ocean Road

Rented a car and off we went, a few hours to le Great Ocean Road, my first time. There were lots and lots and lots of twists and turns, S’es everywhere. Everywhere. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I’d show you the video, but let’s just pretend I don’t know how to upload it.

20121122-221702.jpg

12 Apostles. Pretty foggy at the time, it was pretty though. Wanted to see it during sunset but c’mon, we needed to eat. Perhaps we should have opted for the more romantic version of seeing the sunset instead of shoving ourselves with what we thought was pretty yummy food for a bloody far off, deserted town. Maybe, maybe then the trip would have ended with a happy exploration of the forest and happy snappity snaps of things while driving back to Avalon Airport, or somethin’.

On the 4th day, things weren’t going very well for me. I woke up with the pukes and it wouldn’t stop until we decided something wasn’t right and off to the Emergency we went. Very, very lucky that it was close by to where we stayed. I’m blaming it on the oysters, but it could have very well been some virus. Either way, I was having the worst time of my life. I’m pretty experienced with tummy issues, but this was something new. Of course, being the last day, we also had a flight to catch that was also a few hours drive away. Well, crap. Completely dehydrated, weak all over and experiencing severe tummy pains, I was pretty sure I wanted someone to knock me out. I’m so so very grateful that bf had been there beside me every second, I really wouldn’t have known what to do and would have felt a hundred folds more miserable. He kept trying to comfort me and told me it will be okay, and I believed every word. In my emotional state, I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him… but unfortunately all that came out were muffles of “ugh” and *puke*.

Some fluid and meds later, and feeling slightly less crap, we made it back to Sydney. Home sweet home.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales

Well, I imagine most of you are busily online shopping right now. Both In my shoes and Shopparama have posted some links for what’s on.

I’m sort of on a shopping ban until I actually go to the USA so the only things I’m interested are freebies. In which case I’m referring to mobile and tablet apps.

Lifehacker has a list of apps that are now either reduced or free for today. Check it out! I’ve downloaded a couple of them already 🙂

And BeautyBay.com also has 20% off everything.

My big iPad Mini Review

My last two posts have largely been about the iPad Mini, the good and the bad, so of course it makes sense to conclude this trilogy right!

So I caved in as soon as I played with it at the Apple Store. Reading about it online initially made me think I didn’t want one because of the crazy price and what it might be lacking. Wrong. I love my iPad Mini.

Hardware

iPad Mini and iPad 2

At 7.9″ it means it’s wider than your average 7″ Nexus or Kindle and is literally a scaled down version of the bigger iPad 2. When I first played with the Nexus 7, I felt a bit claustrophobic and I can see why now. That extra width means a lot more to me due to the various different apps that I use. It’s perfect.

The weight, to everyone’s delight, is mega light being the lightest 7+” tablet in the market. I can comfortably hold the iPad with one hand around the edges on one side with no issues.

And the screen, oh, the screen, everyone talks about the screen. It’s not Retina display, oh no. And it really is oh-no if you’re used to it. I thought I would be affected because of the iPhone 4S retina screen but nope, after several days now and hours staring at it, I’m pretty okay with my screen at the price I paid. Any more however and I would be complaining for a retina version.

The battery, as per usual, is Apple-standard. Advertised at 10 hours usage, it’s been tested to last up to 12. A few days worth of usage before charging for me!

I chose the Apple REDelicious Smart Cover. It serves its purpose to protect the screen but I find it doesn’t snap quite as accurately as the bigger version and thought it didn’t sit correctly on my screen when I saw it stick up in the middle, but turns out all you need to do is make sure you snap and slide to the right. [UPDATE] Oh, I see it now, it really does not snap to the screen very well when it’s sideways in my bag. It’s practically coming off. That really is no good 😦

4G LTE? Not rich enough to spend an extra $40 per month for 1GB of data, nope. I will tether my iPad to my iPhone which works perfectly okay, besides it killing my iPhone battery and also my data. I found I can download most of it at home anyway before heading out so that saves me a load, like SMH.

Did I mention it looking really pretty? Its design is really a hybrid iPhone 5 + latest iPod Touch, rather than the iPad and it looks fantastic – the black one. In summary, it feels and looks great.

Apps and choosing the right size – important

I looked at my iPhone and my mom’s iPad 2 data usage and thought a 16GB version would be more than enough to last a year before upgrading (also because the 32GB is a stupid $110 extra). An iPhone will typically be used to store your camera photos and videos, music and your apps. The first three would most likely take up most of your space and why most people opt for a 32GB version, because they like to go snappity snap with a phone camera. For an iPad, I thought my usage wouldn’t include snappity snap so of course the 16GB was perfect, right? Wrong. They really shouldn’t have been classed together like that. What you do on your iPhone isn’t the same as on your iPad. Let’s have a look at why, after a few days only, that I only have 9GB left on my new iPad Mini.

I bought Wine Simplified after seeing it on Gizmodo because I am a complete newb with wine and it looked like an informative, fun and interesting interactive read. $11. 380MB

Reading manga woo!

I’m an avid manga reader so I bought Manga Storm for $4.50. This allows me to stream or download manga to read on the go from various sites including the popular mangafox and mangareader. The iPad Mini was made for this, I’m certain of it. It’s a thousand times better than reading it on my laptop or PC. That extra width I mentioned? Looks bloody great on it and is super easy to use. Love it. I downloaded around 90 chapters of Billy Bat and that was 400MB already. You can see how this could easily take up loads of space.

iTunes U! Free university courses! Yay, if that’s your thing. I subscribed to Stanford’s iOS App Development course, downloaded the notes and ONE lecture video. 800MB. That’s 700MB per lecture so if I’m ready to download the entire course, that will cost me the rest of my 9GB I’m afraid.

I also like playing games so I downloaded Bejeweled and some Zombie game. A few hundred MBs. That’s only 2 games. Two.

Then there’s Apple’s NewsStand. Provided I’m cheap for magazines so only found SMH and Emporium Myer as free subscriptions, that’s probably a few MBs too. Mind you, they look greaaaaat.

So there you have it. I haven’t even added my music yet. And maybe some movies to watch on the go when I travel? Some books? :[ Now it just means I actually have to be aware of my data and delete when necessary, something I don’t have to bother with on my 32GB iPhone. I hadn’t realised I could do so much more with a portable iPad and I only just started. I thought I would be ‘trying’ to look for things to do but now I have too much to do.

iOS6

Yes, I still hate Apple Maps. It still sucks and it still gives me crap directions compared to Google Maps. I hate it and pray that Google quickly release their own version soon.   Other than that, I don’t really notice it being too different from iOS5. I do however appreciate that we can FINALLY download and update apps from the App Store without leaving the damn App Store.

Tips and Tricks

The thing with Apple products, and this is inclusive of iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, is that you’ll always find new tips and tricks and be wowed. I’ll write a new post around what I know but here’s a trick that I didn’t know about and has apparently been there forever for iPads.

Swipe both your thumbs from inwards to out and the keyboard splits in half! So as to allow for ease of typing. HUH. But. It was pretty amazeballs to me.

A new advertised feature for the iPad Mini is when your iPad recognizes that you’re ‘resting your thumb on the screen rather than using it’ trick. This was much needed because the iPad Mini has a surprisingly thin bezel on the sides which means you will end up placing your thumb on the screen sometimes. I end up avoiding it but I find it works in some apps and not some other apps, like Manga Storm.

Overall

I’m loving my expensive new toy. I find myself going for it instead of my MacBook Air at home sometimes which is pretty crazy, and love using it on my train trips. I never wanted an iPad, mainly because of the size and weight. This, this is good. If you’re deciding on choosing a tablet, I say check them out in store! Because this time round, it’s largely to do with how good it feels in your hands.

UPDATE

Apple’s 14 day return policy! I am going to swap it for a 32GB version, if they’re in stock.

Further Update

I successfully swapped my 16GB with a 32GB and already, I only have 15.3GB left. Ta daaaaaaaaaaaa.

Random Update and I want an iPad Mini

I’ve been super quiet lately because I went to Melbourne for a short 4 day holiday! But unfortunately got food poisoning or some gastric virus on the last day and pretty much died for the rest of the week. It was horrible.

Now that I’m back from the dead but still tired-as, I’ll post about my lil Melbourne trip!… a bit later.

In other news, I went and saw the iPad Mini today. It’s… really light. After playing for a few mins I went and picked up the big bro iPad. What. A. Total. Brick. The difference is well beyond that of the iPhone 5 vs the iPhone 4S weight test.

So… I want one, despite complaining about price and Apple Maps. Goddamn Apple. Such a nice sleek device. Switching between the two I didn’t really feel the iPad Mini screen was small at all. I could do everything I wanted easily and it just felt really nice. In terms of looks, it functions like the iPad but it actually looks more similar to the new iPod Touches than the iPads. And of course, even if I want one, it’s going to be a hard to get my hands on one – friggin sold out bs. Meh.

 

 

Apple’s latest – iPad Minis and Stuff

I don’t really know what to make of the Apple news today. For once, I forgot all about it until I opened up Gizmodo – gee, I wonder what that says.  In case you haven’t stepped out of your shell, they’ve announced some new Apple things.

A smaller iPad – iPad Mini

My excitement for Apple products is slowly dying, or maybe it’s already dead. They really do suck balls at keep secrets now, it’s no longer fun to predict, it’s just there in your face. Anyway, this smaller iPad thingo eh? Everyone’s reaction or question seems to be “What is it for?” And if I remember correctly, it’s the same question asked when the first iPad was released. “What’s it for when we have laptops?” OH herp derp. Think of it however you will, whether it’s Apple realising there’s actually a market for it (Nexus 7, Kindle) or they want to give you more options.

Apparently the spec isn’t that great, but it’s still a premium looking small tablet. Again with the glass and aluminium vs plastic-looking Nexus/Kindle. It’ll run fine. It’s an iDevice and they always run ok. Their batteries are always decent and everything will be as per usual so I think it’s safe to say it’ll be a pretty neat device.

But then what’s up with the ridiculous pricing? It starts at $369AUD for a 16GB Wifi model and goes all the way up to $729. Has Apple been so arrogant as to completely ignore its competitor’s pricing? Or is it because their iPod Touch is $329 and it would be stupid to price the Mini lower than that? Yeah, it would be. Oh you, Apple, why be an douche for~

Alas, it’ll be successful. People will find uses for it, because we all like the feel of using an iDevice, they’re just so smoooth and nice to use. The ‘experience’ and all that kinda shit, it’s true. I’m surprised there aren’t more stats comparisons between iOS and Android usage.

Are you getting one? I’d get it if it didn’t force me to use Apple Maps and it was 100 bucks off. Guess it’s a no. Maybe when I see one physically will I decide if I need or want one for travelling purposes. I find the iPad too big and heavy for that.

The same iPad – iPad 4

Ooohhh how this has pissed soooooooo many people off, them iPad 3 owners! But don’t worry iPad3Owners, it’s only a simple bump in specs, it’s not like it’s outrageously better than the 3rd model. It’s not even good enough for iPad 2 users to upgrade to, pfft. It just makes sense for Apple to release something new before the holidays.

Thin-ass iMac – HOLYBBQ this. 

O M G, This. THIS. THIS IS SEXY. This stood out most for me. I never, ever paid attention to iMacs. They were… just… iMacs. I still use a PC as desktop, but looooooook at it, just look at how thin it is! It’s so pwerdy. So pWerdyyyyyy. I’m going to have to say…. I will eventually get one of these when my PC isn’t good enough for many things – and then install Windows on it . . .

13’inch Macbook Pro Retina – Niiceeee

I have a MacBook Air so it’s preeeeetty much impossible for me to go back to Pros, no matter how thin, they won’t be as thin as an Air. But that doesn’t stop me from oogling at their Retina displays, which I don’t need.

15″ has always been a bit too big for most people, particularly if they need to carry it around, so this is definitely a very nice addition to the family of Pros 🙂 I like.

and something about the MacMini, but anyway…

Phones getting bigger, tablets getting smaller. When will they clash? I guess they’ll eventually be the same thing.

How did you find Apple’s announcements? Are you getting anything?

Oh you, Sunscreens

I think you and I, and everyone know about how good sunscreen is and all that anti-aging and anti-cancer stuff. Yet, none of us bother because we’re all lazy bums, there’s really no other explanation. (Yeah, I’m just pulling everyone down to my level. I’m sure there are those who are good though… amongst us bums)

I remember reading some article ages ago and I believed it, I got alllll motivated and shit and it was advertising the ESP Insivisble Zinc Moisturiser with SPF 30+. It started off well and I used it once in a blue moon but there is seriously something wrong with this cream, man. Take a look at this:

It gets all lumpy and ugly and what you see above is me having tried to rub the damn thing in. Mind you, it’s not like it’s expired or anything. So while on paper it’s great, it’s a little bit of a poo when putting it on. In za bin it goes! It’s also not that cheap either.

It’s almost summer and I’m about to go on my le Melbourne trip so I need a goddamn sunscreen. Go Google, go! Google seems to tell me that one of the more popular options is the Clinique  City Block Sheer SPF 25. Looks gooooooooood but retails for $36 for 40ml. That’s a little pricey for a sunblock, but I still want. There’s just gotta be something else though.

Sheer, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB daily sunscreen. Lightweight formula helps wick away perspiration and absorb excess oil. Perfect alone or as an invisible makeup primer. No chemical sunscreens. Appropriate for eye area and sensitive skins.

Then I came across a comment on Temptalia’s blog by Kelly B who has been diagnosed with skin cancer. She mentioned two products that her dermatologist recommended her.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 30 or SPF 45 ($12-14 Priceline)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30 feels like you have nothing on, but offers broad-spectrum protection to help prevent sun damage. This dermatologist-tested formula uses Avobenzone to provide advanced protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays, along with Dry-Touch technology for an ultra-light, non-shiny finish. Fast-absorbing and waterproof, this non-oily formula is enriched with anti-oxidants to help skin fight the harm caused by environmental damage.

Josie Maran Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40 (A trip to the States or eBay I guess?)

Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ is your skins first defense against premature ageing. This natural formula physically blocks UVA rays that can cause up to 80% of premature ageing. It also blocks the harmful UVB rays we encounter on sunny days or at the beach. Unlike traditional sun blocks, this natural formula is infused with Josie’s signature ingredient, Argan Oil, which repairs and reverses damage caused by the sun, fights sign of ageing and improves skin tone for a radiant, renewed complexion. This sun block is extra mild and fast absorbing. It can also double as a great makeup primer. Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ is lightweight, Paba Free, and for all skin types. 2 fl oz./60 ml.

Anyway, I’m sold on both products but I don’t think I can grab a hold of Josie Maran. Neutrogena? Drugstore brand? Hell yeah! Priceline’s also having a 20% off sale for all makeup and skincare tomorrow and Wednesday so I’m going to take advantage of that.

You’ll hear about it soon enough I think. Which one do you use?

Do you even use sunscreen? Do you? DO YOU? Everyday? 365 days a year? Well you should.

Review: Bobbi Brown Corrector (and Concealer)

Ah super dry under eye and super dark eye circles… my faaaaavourite~ /sarcasm

Finding a hydrating concealer is pretty wtf for me and it’s also the most important makeup item that I need – thanks to panda eyes. I’ve been to a few counters to try their concealers or brighteners to find they’re mostly shit at covering, do nothing and/or way too dry and cakey on me. Dior, YSL’s Touche something, none of them.

Bobbi Brown Corrector (Light Bisque) and Creamy Concealer (Ivory, Pale Yellow)

Bobbi Brown’s corrector ($46) and concealer though… it’s not holy grail, but more holy shit-it-works. I love the corrector and it’s the only thing I use nowadays, you can see I’ve used a lot more of that than the concealer.

The corrector, which is peach or pink based is meant to neutralize the purples and blues and while the concealer, which is yellow-based is meant to conceal. I find the corrector is creamier than the concealer, or because I am so dry, putting on two layers immediately has the flakey effect. Either way, I don’t need it to completely cover my dark circles, I just need it to reduce a lot of it and it does exactly that. I can still see some dryness sometimes, but it’s very minimal compared to everything else. The downside to this is I find it doesn’t really last the whole day.

Here’s my ninja sample I took this morning – right eye wearing Bobbi Brown. Gotta say the iPhone is making it look better than irl though… ho ho ho, but you get the gist.

20121019-152551.jpg
Left eye – Nothing vs Right eye – Bobbi Brown Corrector

I like to put it on using the Bobbi Brown concealer brush and then patting it in with my ring finger after I’ve moisturised my eyes (still using that emu oil eye cream, oh yeah!) and then a bit of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder and I’m good to go. If you don’t have super dry eyes like me, applying the concealer as well will probably be even better but alas I don’t need it unless I really look like I’ve been punched in the eye.

As another comparison, Bareminerals recently released their own correcting concealer and ‘stroke of light’ eye brightener. I used to be a Bareminerals fan so immediately went to try it out, I mean, it’s half the price. But to my disappointment, it was dry and dry. The more brands I try, the more I like my Bobbi Brown, but I can’t stop trying either… I want that HG concealer goddamnit and I’ve now discovered this Ellis Faas concealer that everyone seems to love as well… well then…hmm

This and lip color, and I have the Revlon Kissable! that I will review later, are the only things I tend to wear these days when I can be bothered. I look alive and awake and don’t have people from work telling me to wake up. Ha!

What’s your fave concealer? 🙂