Friday, September 19, 2014

Warby Parker | Home Try-On

UPDATE: read my post on my second Warby Parker Home Try-On here.

For months I've been looking to purchase a new pair of eyeglasses, and then I stumbled across WARBY PARKER's line of eyewear after vaguely hearing about their free try-on program in a Spotify ad once. I did some research here and there and discovered some impressive facts about the innovative brand:

◆ for every pair they sell, another pair is given to someone in need ◆ they believe that eyewear should be fun, easy, and inexpensive ◆ the customers, employees, community, and environment are at the heart of the brand's decision-making ◆

Fast forward another couple of months, I got the chance (and time) to order a few pairs from their collection for the home try-on.The home try-on program allows you to choose any five pairs of eyeglasses on their site and you get to keep them for five days to see how you like them. After those five days are up, you simply pack everything up and ship it back to them with a pre-paid shipping label included in the box. Pretty neat idea, right? The best thing is that it's completely free because they pay for the shipping.

With so many of their simple, yet classic designs, I spent the longest time choosing the five pairs that I wanted to try. The fact that I wasn't sure what type of glasses suited me did not help. I'm never certain about what face shape I have. Guessing that I'm somewhere in the round-oval category, I chose glasses with angular frames, hoping that would help add definition to my face.

As for the service I've received so far, I can tell that they truly value their customers in the detail and care they put into every order. They made the process extremely easy. The delivery service was excellent - the box actually arrived a day early - and with all the different options I had for reaching out to them, it made me feel like I could easily contact them for help.

Being the indecisive person that I already am, I made it even more difficult for myself to decide on a pair by picking out ones with similar frames and styles. The one pair that stood out was the first one, Baxter. But it could just be that it's the only pair that is noticeably different from the others.
What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts/comments - the good, the bad - I'm all ears!


Is there a winner among the pairs?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Braces update #3: 12 months mark

Previous update #1#2

It was around this time last year when I was sitting nervously in the orthodontist's chair, waiting to get my braces for the first time. I still remember how weird and uncomfortable the braces felt after the visit. Now 12 months have flown by and I've adjusted very well as I rarely give them another thought.

In terms of my eating habits, I'm still reluctant to biting into one of those humongous burgers and shiny Fuji apples. Or maybe I've gotten used to not putting so much pressure on my gums. Other than that, I've pretty much given in to a lot of the foods that I didn't even want to bother with when I first got my braces, like chips, nuts, and cherry tomatoes. Considering that I was mostly consuming soft foods in the beginning (post here), it's been pretty smooth sailing. The one thing that hasn't changed is that food still gets stuck in the wires and sorts no matter how strategically I try to chew my food. Generally, it's not too troublesome as long as I don't get a piece of food stuck somewhere in the front for everyone to see. But quinoa is something I've learned to stay away from.

Like all my visits to the orthodontist, my mouth always ended up feeling sore right after and today was no exception. But I think I've gotten used to it by now that it hardly bothers me. For my visit today, I got some chains (that's what they called it in the office) wrapped on the wires of my braces on my front teeth, I'm assuming to close a slight gap that formed after shifting my teeth around and elastics to use for the right side of my mouth. They informed me that I will be getting my braces off in roughly 6 months if all goes well, which leads me to ask myself...

...when I get my braces off, should I bite into a big juicy burger first or a crispy Fuji apple?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dinner at Hula's

- | Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room | -
Where: Santa Cruz, CA
Price: $$
Service: Casual

Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room is known for their alcohol, i.e. the long list of cocktails with names like one eyed pyrat and dr. funk. But being that I went with my parents, who are not big on drinking whatsoever, we went right ahead and ordered a few popular plates from the menu. 
The service was very casual and the servers blended right in with the customers, occasionally chatting with old customers and giving friendly nods to new ones. Most times, you would find a male server in a bright hawaiian shirt and jeans heading for a table with a drink or two in hand. Aside from the easygoing atmosphere, the food was delicious and incredibly satisfying. I took some quick snaps of our food before they were all happily devoured:

- cocojoe's chicken plate - 
coconut encrusted chicken, lilikoi sauce, with plantains, black beans, and rice on the side 

One of Hula's favorites from the menu. The lilikoi sauce was sweet and tangy, which balanced out the  coconut-fusioned chicken.

(Halfway through the meal, I switched my plate with my mom's, which was the cocojoe's chicken plate)

 - south seas fish tacos -
grilled hapu, taco slaw, sundried tomato pesto aioli

While I didn't know what aioli was, I figured I would give the tacos a try after hearing a friend raving about them. Frankly, the fish was the only part that I liked - it was soft and lightly seasoned. The taco slaw was quite dry and with the slightly sour sauce, it tasted a bit strange.

Lastly, there was the new york steak sandwich;
marinated NY steak, grilled maui onions, jack cheese, and habenero aioli

Unfortunately, I was too distracted when my food arrived that I failed to get a good shot of the steak sandwich to post on here.  
According to my dad, the meat was juicy and tender, and he wouldn't have minded if the sandwich came with a few more steak strips. Clearly, it left him wanting more when he finished his food. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First Blogiversary! ...and something more

It was exactly one year ago today that I started The Little Things and More blog, a place that has grown and went through many changes since the first post. Initially, I was convinced that I was going through a baking phase and thought it would be fun to share my many baking attempts on here. (I was mostly excited about getting to put up countless pictures of all the sweet treats I made). I even tried my hand on doing some fashion and beauty posts - actually, my very first post was on the Maybelline's baby lips collection. But as time passed, all the baking I did wasn't exactly a phase as I do very much enjoy making cookies, cupcakes, and such in my free time and somehow, it led me to venture out to do other food-related posts. Then, the occasional beauty and general list posts came into the mix and a blog that is filled is filled with everything food, beauty, and life related adventures was born!
I remember I was so horrible at writing in diaries when I was young, but I think I'm getting a a hang of this blogging thing :)

~ ~ ~ Happy 1st Blogiversary! ~ ~ ~

Moving on to the second part of this special post - it's about the hair! I've been wanting to color my hair for some time now. I orginally wanted to dye my hair a different color, but I didn't want to worry about having the roots grow out, which led me to look into the very popular ombre hair style. After watching a couple of How To videos on Youtube - I especially liked these two: Video #1 and Video #2 -  I went to Target and picked up an ombre hair color kit.

Hair profile: Naturally wavy, dark brown asian hair.

I picked up L'oreal Intense Ombre Kit for Dark Brown to Soft Black Hair. Being that I have thick asian hair, I was worried that the dye would make my hair coppery, so while I was at the store, I also bought L'oreal Ever Pure purple conditioner to use after coloring my hair. 

The whole process took about two hours, including the showering and cleaning up afterwards.
 - Please note that I'm no expert on this and this was my first ombre experience -

What I did:
- SECTIONED HAIR in small parts to create a messy ombre
- BLENDED the mixture well around where the ombre starts
- after 20 minutes, RE-APPLIIED mixture to the tips of the hair
- to prevent dryness, CONDITIONED hair with a purple conditioner again after using the conditioner included in the ombre kit

Quite honestly, I didn't think the ombre came out light enough. But it could have been a lot worse considering this was my first time. Surprisingly, my ends are not as dried out as I expected - props to all the deep conditioning that I did.
As you can see in the pictures below, the ends did not come out blonde like I'd hoped so I'm thinking of lightening the tips a bit more to a more caramel color for a soft ombre effect. I'm debating whether I should re-dye the ends again with a lighter color or try the chemical-free way, which is to mix some honey in my purple conditioner every time I wash my hair. I may not even do anything at all...I shall have an update on this soon! At the moment, it has definitely fulfilled my longing for a new hair change.



While I was at the store, this warm caramel color caught my eye. Debating whether I should go back and get it to use it on the ends of my hair. What do you think, yay or nay?

Taken the next day.
The color appears subtle on camera, but a lot intense in person.

Did I mention I also made a quick video on my first ombre experience?