Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 31st, 2013

Tarte Cosmetics - 30% Off Online Sale

Starting today through August 4th, you can get Tarte Cosmetics for 30% off on their online store, woohoo!  Just use the code "TARTEFF" at checkout.

Some of my favorite products from this brand are:

- Amazonian clay 12-hour blush
- Amazonian clay mineral bronzer
- multiplEYE lash enhancing primer

I would definitely recommend checking out their sale if you're in the market for some new makeup!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 30th, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Neapolitan Cupcake

Yay for a new flavor! This Neapolitan cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake was offered as a free secret flavor recently and I more or less ran over to get my hands on it, haha.

This cupcake is a Classic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cupcake with “twisted” chocolate buttercream and strawberry buttercream with a pink fondant flower

The colors remind me of the bizarre astronaut ice cream that I used to buy at museums as a kid, but trust me it's much much better than freeze-dried ice cream haha.  The strawberry and chocolate frosting twisted together was fantastic!! I also love the color combination of the three flavors, very pretty! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 29th, 2013

Shake Shack F Street Concretes

One of the main reasons why I was excited for the F Street DC Shake Shack  is that each location has their own concrete flavors - so of course I had to try them out right away! 

My friend M and I met up for dinner, and it didn't take much to convince her to get one too so we could try two in one trip, haha. 

Doughnuts are Forever: Vanilla custard, Astro Doughnuts coconut doughnut, strawberry jam and rainbow sprinkles.  

If you know me at all you will know why I had to have someone else buy and eat most of this one, haha.

Beltway Blonde: Vanilla custard, cheesecake blondie, salted caramel sauce and banana

And here we have both of the concretes sitting pretty on my tray.  For obvious (COCONUT) reasons, the Beltway Blonde was my favorite of the two, with big chunks of blondie mixed in, and the salted caramel was a delicious touch as well.  However, the Doughnuts are Forever concrete is an awesome idea, and I love that they utilize a local restaurant's doughnuts for the custard.  Maybe one day they will switch to a different doughnut flavor....?

We went for dinner on opening day, which meant a nice bonus of free samples being passed around.  I tried the Buttery Caramel Cocoa Nib, the featured custard flavor of that day, and I really liked the rich caramel with the little tiny cocoa nibs mixed liberally throughout.  We also tried some of their beverages as samples as well. I'm so happy to have another Shake Shack in DC!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 26th, 2013

Daikaya Izakaya - Dinner #2

A while back, C, O, and I met up for dinner at Daikaya. Back in May I tried a few dishes and really liked them, so I was excited to check out a few new plates this time around.  I enjoyed all of the dishes, but I especially liked the aji fry and the crab croquettes.  The aji fry was on the daily specials menu, so I hope that it comes back again sometime when I am back.  It was a fun night catching up with friends and enjoying lots of delicious food!  

Aji fry with ichimi aioli

Chicken thigh skewer

Edamame with chili oil and garlic

Ruibe - Hokkaido-style frozen salmon sashimi with fresh wasabi, grated ginger, Sekigahara tamari

Crab croquettes with Old Bay, corn, tonkatsu sauce, nori salt

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 25th, 2013

Dim Sum Card

Why yes, I did crack up for about 5 minutes straight after seeing this card in Paper Source.

And please tell me I'm not the only one that read the card to the tune of "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"...???

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 24th, 2013

Shake Shack - Honey Roasted Peanut Custard

I love when Shake Shack puts a spin on a classic flavor, such as this Honey Roasted Peanut custard above.  My initial thoughts were that this would taste like a) regular peanut butter or b) Honey Nut Cheerios, haha.  Turns out it's a little of both, and then some!

This custard had all of the richness I expected from a peanut butter custard, but with an extra hit of sweetness from the "honey roasted" portion.  It definitely had more depth than a regular peanut butter flavor, so of course this was a winner in my book! Add some marshmallow sauce to this and it would've been a delicious honey fluffernutter in a cup :o) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 23rd, 2013

bkr Water Bottle

The minute I saw the bkr bottle sale on One Kings Lane, I fell in love with the minimalist design and the variety of colors that the bottles came in.  I immediately gravitated towards this Crush color, and in the end I'm really glad I got this one.  It's such a bright and fun color, it can make even water exciting, haha.  The bottle itself is made of glass so it's super durable without being too heavy for regular use.  Check these out if you're looking for a stylish and travel-friendly bottle for your beverages :o) 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 22nd, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - American Birthday Cupcake

This is patriotism at its most delicious, hahah.  

The cupcake above was the free secret flavor at Georgetown Cupcake on July 4th, consisting of vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, and a gigantic fondant star on top.  I always love how Georgetown Cupcake gets creative with the secret flavors when they fall on holidays! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 19th, 2013

Japan Visit - Kobe Plaisir Restaurant

While we were in Japan, my mom and I took a quick trip over to Kobe and Tokushima, which was a relatively short but fun visit.  One of the highlights was lunch at the Kobe Plaisir restaurant.  My mom had read about it online and I was really excited to try it out.  We had a reservation in the Teppanyaki room and sat down for a decadent and leisurely lunch.

Our lunch consisted of the following:
- Apertif/vinegar drink
- Amuse
- Seasonal soup
- Steak
- Fresh salad
- Grilled seasonal vegetables
- Steamed rice and miso soup
- Dessert
- Coffee/tea

The restaurant takes a lot of pride in using only local and seasonal ingredients, and the servers all took the time to explain each dish's components to us for each course.  We had a personal teppanyaki chef for our meal, and it was great to hear about the ingredients from him as well.  

The meal came with white local short grain rice, or garlic fried rice with little bits of the Kobe beef mixed in - it took about .000010 seconds for me to ask for the fried rice haha.  It was SO GOOD.

After our meal, we were escorted to a "library" which is a separate room with a few couches for people to come to specifically for dessert.  Along with our cappuccinos, we received a pretty plate with matcha green tea ice cream and a coconut-based panna cotta.  What a lovely way to end a meal! 

As you can see it was an amazing and memorable meal in Kobe - it was absolutely delicious, fresh, with fantastic service as well.  I would love to go back and try their other dishes sometime! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 18th, 2013

Japan Visit - Pierre Herme Macarons

During my visit, I realized that the Aoyama Pierre Herme wasn't too far from my oldest brother's home, so the first free time we had I persuaded my mom to go with me, haha.  The space was small but packed with beautiful macarons and other desserts.  The white, glossy display cases and interior really made all of the pretty colors of the desserts stand out.  The boutique felt a little intimidating to walk into at first, but the store employees were really nice and helpful, even offering samples of some hazelnut cookies while we were looking around.


We got a box of the following macaron flavors:
 - Macaron Infiniment Jasmin
- Macaron Infiniment Rose
- Macaron Celeste
- Macaron Chocolate Amer
- Infiniment Vanille
- Infiniment Caramel
- Macaron Envie

These macarons were clearly beautiful to look at, but they were DELICIOUS as well!  Each one had a strong flavor without tasting artificial or too sweet, and they really nailed each of the different flavors.  I wish I could've made more than one visit and I definitely want to go back, especially with all of the desserts and the cafe there! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 17th, 2013

Japan Visit - Tokyo Skytree

Early on during my visit to Japan, my mom and I headed out to see the Tokyo Skytree Tower and Solamachi (Village) - it opened just over a year ago, so it was extra new and exciting to see.

We arrived just before lunchtime, so we didn't have to wait for a table at one of the restaurants at the top of the tower - we got a table right by the windows for a great view while we ate our lunch (below).  I love how a lot of traditional Japanese restaurants still serve this sort of varied bento box-style food.

Here's what part of the tower looks like - it's a little difficult to get it all into one photo, especially with so many other people there too, haha.

The lower levels of the shopping village had a number of food stands all around - I obviously loved this Macaron Skytree, so fun! 

Even after spending a few hours here, I felt like there was so much more to check out - I would definitely recommend it for anyone visiting the area! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 16th, 2013

Japan Visit - Rilakkuma Stores

OF COURSE I had to find at least one Rilakkuma store while I was in Japan - luckily I wound up going to two!

The first Rilakkuma store we went to was in the Tokyo Skytree village, and it was a small but super cute store with LOTS of fun items for sale.

Yes, of course I love the gigantic Rilakkuma statues that are in front of each of the stores, haha.

There were TONS of cell phone cases - ALL for the iPhone 5, which I don't currently have - sad times indeed.

A few of the items I got include a card case (which I've been using for my metro pass), chopsticks, and a few pens, as well as a new headphone jack mascot for my iPhone - and yes, this was really more to try to make up for the fact that I couldn't buy a phone case, haha. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 15th, 2013

Japan Visit - Mister Donut

During my visit to Japan in late May, one of my "go-to" places was Mister Donut.  They're all over Japan, but never really close enough to anywhere that I have been before during past visits.  Luckily, this time around, I was able to go to TWO locations, woohoo!

The first Mister Donut was right by the Tokyo Skytree, and it was one of the cutest places I've ever seen.  You would think this was something out of Disney World, not just a doughnut/coffee shop, haha.


So many delicious doughnuts on display!

Seriously, so cute. This is Pon de Lion, the official (?) mascot of Mister Donut.  He is a lion, with the signature Pon de Ring doughnut in place of a mane.   And yes, the whole store was filled with cute murals and themed chairs.

I got an iced coffee, but I like how they offer free refills for the hot coffee - such a nice way to relax with a doughnut and tasty coffee!  The Pon de Lion doughnut was their Pon de Ring doughnut with an extra filled doughnut hole in the middle, and topped with a chocolate disk.  This doughnut was SO SO SO good.  It was chewier, like it had some mochi in it or something, and really delicious. 

At the second Mister Donut that I went to, the decor wasn't as crazy themed but they had a nice variety of doughnuts as well.  Of course the Hello Kitty themed one (center left) caught my eye, haha.

As you can see, the Hello Kitty doughnut is a regular round doughnut with a strategically placed chocolate bow fitting right in with the plastic wrapping.  The apple-flavored frosting was better than I expected - not too sweet and reminded me of the taste of fresh apple juices that are popular in Japan. Also, in the back you can see the brown sugar Pon de Ring - so so so good.  I will definitely be there to try out more doughnuts the next time I am in Japan! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wedding Weekend

I'm off to upstate NY this weekend for my fabulous friend M's wedding! I can't wait for a fun weekend filled with lots of celebrating!! Have a great weekend everyone :o)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 11th, 2013

Kate Spade Tote

I got this Kate Spade tote bag a while back during one of their online sales - it's always so hard to resist when they have a good sale!  This tote can fit my iPad and everything else I want to cram in, with 3 wide sections dividing up the bag, as well as pockets on both the front and back inside panels.  My favorite part though has to be the bow details on both sides of the tote bag.  I love this bag for work, travel, and for every day in between!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 10th, 2013

Target Gift Bags

I recently stopped in Target for something (there's always "something" to get there, haha), and came across LOTS of super cute gift bags that are very reasonably priced.  Most of them were $1 or maybe a little bit more, which is a great price for gift bags! They come in a variety of patterns and sizes, so I got a bunch of them to have on hand for gift-giving needs.  I love how bright and fun they all are! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 9th, 2013

Retro MTV Brunch - Laguna Beach + The Hills

Well, it looks like I know what I'll be doing at 8am for the next couple of weeks...

Starting today, MTV will be showing ALL of Laguna Beach and The Hills seasons as part of "RetroMTV Brunch", yessssssssssssssssssssssssss.  From 8am - 12pm Monday through Friday, we can all get our fix of two of the best shows EVER.  I have never wanted to work from home more in my life, hahaha.

And yes, I am fully aware that I can watch these episodes whenever I want since I own the DVDs, but that still won't stop me from watching them on tv, of course.  Be sure to tune in if you're also a fan of these shows!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 8th, 2013

Dunkin' Donuts - Maryland Mug

I was at my usual weekend Dunkin' Donuts (yes, I have separate weekday and weekend DD's, lucky me) and was waiting in line like usual, when I came across the elusive city mugs!!  I had seen photos of these floating around Twitter here and there but I hadn't actually seen them in any stores until now.

I love my Maryland mug, it's a perfect addition to my vast mug collection/obsession.  In addition to the lovely Maryland mug, I also used a recent coupon for this summer's $0.99 iced coffee/tea refill cup.  And wow, this cup is HUGE. I'd guess it's at least twice the size of last summer's, haha! I am excited to have two new items to fuel my DD love! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! This year I get both the 4th and 5th off of work so I'll be taking a long weekend on the blog as well.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 3rd, 2013

Georgetown Cupcake - Oreo Cheesecake Cupcake

There's just something about adding Oreos to something that makes it extra delicious for me - and this free Oreo Cheesecake cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake was no exception! 

This was similar in structure to their other cheesecake cupcakes, like this blueberry cheesecake cupcake that I've had previously.  Although obviously I liked the Oreos much more than the blueberries, haha.  This was a creamy and rich cheesecake base with lots of Oreo crumbles mixed throughout - I love this one and I hope it comes back again soon! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 2nd, 2013

Shake Shack - July Custard Menu

Looks like another great month of Shake Shack custard flavors in July!

- Monday: Blackberry Buttermilk
- Tuesday: S'mores
- Wednesday: Strawberry Blonde
- Thursday: Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Friday: Caramelized Peach
- Saturday: Marshmallow Peanut Butter Swirl
- Sunday: Blueberry Coffee Cake

I've definitely got my eye on Saturday's flavor, it sounds delicious!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lunchtime Links for July 1st, 2013

The Drybar Scavenger Hunt

This past Sunday, I was one of the lucky winners of a Drybar blowout gift card and umbrella!  Their Twitter/Instagram account posted clues to a few different spots in downtown Bethesda throughout the day, and I was able to find the one inside Barnes & Noble. The umbrella is a fun, bright yellow and says "rain blows" on it, haha. I am excited to try out Drybar with my gift card soon!