I Heart Consumerism (Wal Mart haul/7-Eleven visit/Shopkins unboxing)

My headphones died today. They were already undead and surgeried back to life with a pair of pliers, so it was no shock or big loss. They were awesome, comfy, cushiony white headphones but they were nothing special (I prefer headphones to earbuds because NEVER STICK ANYTHING SMALLER THAN YOUR ELBOW IN YOUR EAR OH MY GOD) except for making me look kind of like a DJ or a track bro. So I went to the local Wal Mart in search of fancy wireless headphones that were also puffy! The wireless ones were too expensive and I ended up buying Gumy earbuds. And some other fun stuff. And some normal but useful stuff. Stick with me and see!

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I was so excited when I walked in and saw these swim bottoms on sale for a dollar, but then I realized they were all either boring or culturally appropriative or both and I was a little sad.

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Where were all these awesome medical dolls when I was a kid? I am also bitter about Monster High, for the record!

I can waste so much time shopping, especially in stores that carry like everything. I spent an excessive amount of minutes in the toy section, ogling playsets and minifigs. I love little figurines and charms, so I ended up taking home a Shopkins Season 5 surprise pack. I’ve wanted to get some Shopkins forever because holy crap was there ever a toy line more designed for a slavering consumer like me? Also, they remind me of Kawaii Not and those plastic charms from the 80s.

#Walmart #haul

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Here’s what I got:

  • 3-pack of binders! Okay, sports bras, but I’m pretty flat to begin with so they work.
  • a ton of brightly colored hair bobbles for lifting, and to wear to my new yoga class!
  • boring ol’ socks for ladies because my feet are moderately sized
  • Legend of the Gnome Gemulets was half off, and I don’t own many video games, and I just really want to spend more time with these characters. So I’m going to overlook the fact that it has 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. I tend to like “bad” games anyway.
  • a wireless selfie shutter, which I could maybe write off on my taxes if I earned a steady income
  • a 3-pack of styli for me and my parents because my adorable Daiso 2-in-1 pen tore on the rubber tip
  • said Shopkins
  • a Garden Notes notebook for my mom; I pretty much fell in love with it so it was a HUGE SACRIFICE to give it to her, but she actually is an intelligent and methodical gardener and can use it, unlike me who is more a Johnny Appleseed type
  • the aformentioned earbuds; I’ll probably review them if there’s anything significant about them

#shopkins #unboxing I got Walter Watering Can and Mike Rophone! Gonna turn them into jewelry.

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The paintjob isn’t the best, but they’re cheap and tiny so who cares? I’m going to keep pills in the little cases. Lifehack!

On the way home I went to 7-Eleven. I don’t know if all 7-Elevens have such amazing things in them, but this one had:

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What aesthetic is this?

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The handwritten sign does not fill me with trustiness.

Do you buy blind boxes of toys or figurines? Have you tried the alleged birthday cake Slurpee? Would you eat those donuts? Answer in the comments!

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I Mostly Love Hayward

#architecture #building #corner

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You probably don’t know what or where Hayward is, so I’ll tell you. It’s a little town in the California East Bay, south of Oakland and east of San Francisco. I’ve lived there for a long time, and ever before then I’ve visited since I was a baby. It used to depress me, because I felt like it was a city frozen in time, populated mostly by the elderly and the fiberglass mascots of car dealerships. As I got older, I realized that Hayward is not frozen. Frozen would be a bat in resin, a taxidermy cat. Hayward may not be thriving, but it’s active, like a deer skeleton overgrown with flowers and spiderwebs. In the shadow of the big cities we scuttle through tunnels of endlessly packed double-wides and bungalows, dollar stores and gas stations with their signs painted over layers and layers of old ads.

#chairs #junk #found #roadside

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The area I live in has a particular beauty. My mom says we live on the ugliest street. I like the broken pavement and dead yards and discarded TVs. My phone is full of photos of urban detritus. Once I considered entering a poem-about-Hayward contest, but I worried that my heartfelt thoughts would be taken as insulting. I decided to spend my Saturday walking Mission, the South end of which is notorious for its thrift stores and antique shops and probably also crime rate, but let’s ignore that. I had seen listings for some yard sales in the area too, so I was prepared to do some serious secondhand shopping.

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#psychic #outside #building

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One thing that is not awesome about Hayward is the level of street harassment people experience here. If you are feminine-presenting and walking alone, it is generally assumed that you are sexually available if not a working prostitute (note: don’t harass sex workers either!). I’m not a woman, but I was born female and I don’t pass very well. When I lived in a more suburban area, the worst I would generally encounter was men telling me that I looked good or asking me out on a date out of the blue. Here, it isn’t unusual for men to try and coerce me into their cars or shout gendered slurs at me. I know that I’m fairly privileged and most people in urban areas experience far worse, but still, this sort of thing takes its toll. I was catcalled from separate cars three times on my walk and it made me feel self conscious.

#Barbie #weird #found

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As I walked toward A Street, I passed boarded up houses and abandoned stores, family-run nail salons set up in residential homes where the kids played on the porch while their parent(s) tended to the customers, corner liquor stores where you can get a pan dulce or a bottle of water when you’re out and hot and tired and lost in a maze of pink stucco houses with corrugated roofs, stray cats sunning, psychics, little delis that all carry their own special chips, and our very own local tortilla factory where I buy fresh taco ingredients. I was getting a bit dehydrated, so I went into a gas station to buy some water and drink it on the curb like I usually do.

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The Unlikely Health Food Store (as in it is unlikely that it would still be in business but here we are)!

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As I was leaving and looking for some shade to set down in, a police officer on a bicycle approached me. I would like to preface these next statements with the disclaimer that I don’t hold anything against him or think he was being hostile; I know he was just doing his job. However, he made me feel uncomfortable. He asked me how old I was and what I was doing, and I explained and apologized, asking if I wasn’t allowed to be there. He didn’t answer me, and asked if I was homeless (no), if I’d ever been arrested (no), if I was on probation (no)… I said I was looking for a place to drink my water, and that people had previously been shouting at me from their cars, making me uneasy (hence why I was in a semi-secluded area). Then he asked me if I was on medication and if I had ever been to the local mental hospital. I answered honestly. Then he asked me to leave and go to a nearby park. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but pretty soon afterward I went into a restaurant and called someone to pick me up. Not everyone has that luxury, and I’m happy to have a good support system.

I’m sure this wouldn’t have affected me so much if I weren’t actually mentally ill and on medication. I came away feeling… profiled? Like he knew something I didn’t? I wondered if everyone who looks at me is able to tell I have a mental illness, that I’ve been hospitalized. I feel like the police in this town aren’t on my side anymore.

I didn’t get to go thrifting, but I’m going to try again today. In a car this time.

Blogging While Bipolar + Reviews

Hello to whoever is still reading this blog, or to any new readers who found me in the slush of the internet. I think I am maybe not cut out to be a professional blogger, although that wasn’t really my goal, so I’m not too broken up about it. I took a long, unannounced hiatus when my dad got sick and it just kind of extended as we dealt with my mom’s health problems and my own. But hey! This isn’t your aunt’s Christmas letter. This is a lifestyle blog. And lately my lifestyle has consisted of stable-but-boring-and-depressing things, and I would have had to write posts like “How To Scrub Away The Zits You Got Sleeping On A Filthy Mattress With No Pants”. But recently I took a thorough shower in an attempt to wash away the mental gunk, and yesterday I went out with my friend to the San Leandro Marina, so I feel like things are getting more back on track and less a particularly banal xojane article.

The marina had a park wrapping around it with play and exercise equipment and tons of weeping willows, which are one of my favorite trees. There’s not much of a beach, more like a rocky shore. I climbed down into the detritus to look for bones. I didn’t find any, but I found myself!

Me: I just realized who I am. Like in the Zodiac.

Friend: Who?

Me: Mabel from Gravity Falls.

Friend: Yeah, I can see that.

And also lots of tiny crab corpses.

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ALSO ALSO: My friend gave/loaned me his 3DS! I only have a PS2 so this is a big deal for me. He also gave me Animal Crossing and some adorable stickers made by feverworm! I’m really excited because I’ve never played a real AC game before, just mobile knockoffs.

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Those vintage Doc Martens were like the worst shoes I could have worn for walking but at least I looked good.

I put on a full face of makeup for the first time in forever again, another indication that I’m feeling better. Some of the things I used are in the following selection; you’ll recognize them from my outfit. Lately I’ve been really into minimal, masculine/boyish looks for myself, which is somewhat unlike me, but I still put on eyeshadow sometimes.

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This Orange Lipstick Lighter I Got At A Vape Shop: I got this like a month ago at a store called Vape World or Vape City or Vape Culture or something. Why would a vape shop sell lighters? Isn’t that a little hpyoctricitical? Regardless, it does, and they’re adorable. When I first bought it I tried it out and it didn’t work. Then it did and the guy behind the desk gave me a dirty look. But then! I took it home and it works like maybe 1/3rd of the time. One out of three stars for functionality! Also it does not look like a convincingly real lipstick but it’s cool anyway so four out of five stars for looks. As for personality? A full ten.

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Breakaway Lanyard: My old lanyard, which was silicone, cute, and pink and matched my Little Twin Stars phone case, recently snapped, but I was still using it for like two weeks tied in a slipknot. This one is better because it has a puffy police car charm on it (I wish it were an ambulance, but we can’t have everything) and also a space for EVEN MORE CHARMs, but best of all it has a safety catch. Now if someone steals my phone, they won’t strangle me!

Rainbow Detangler Comb: I had my doubts about this comb/brush/combrush, and the first few times I used it it got stuck in my hair. Then I figured out you have to kind of whack your hair with it and draw back quick like you’re punching a snake, and it was great. I used this to brush out my hair on the back patio before taking an outdoor shower. Summer! It makes my wavy/curly hair super fluffy and voluminous. I guess some people wouldn’t like that, but I do because I’m a mad scientist.

Organix Guava and Passionfruit Conditioner and Shampoo: More estate soaps! I love the scent of this “flavor”. It smells harshly and accurately of fruit, mainly guava, and I should know because I have a guava tree in my back yard. Most of the Organix products are heavily perfumed and I LOVE IT. Probably the only soap I love more that I got from this lady is the Goth Rosary all-purpose liquids. But that’s another post. Although I think I’ve mentioned their graveyard/dirt scented one before.

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Santee Eyeshadow and Glitter Kit: I got this last time I went to Daiso along with another palette that I haven’t tried out yet. I didn’t have high hopes because my only other experience with glitter gel was this little compact I bought at a drug store in Monterey that I’m pretty sure was for kids and made my eyelids burn, but shit, this is amazing. HEAVILY pigmented although the red tends a lot more towards pink than I want. I already have a pink in this palette! I need candy apple red to make my eyes sickly! But anyway, the little glitter pots are great for outlining or just slapping a full plane of sparkle onto your eyeskin. Dries to semi-tacky.

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Santee Big Smokey Eye: This is from my second to last Daiso trip. So many Daiso trips unblogged. I hadn’t tried it until today. I have mixed feelings about it. It’s not super soft so it skips a bit on the eyelid but it’s hella sparkly and opaque and convenient for smudgey stuff and lines. Feels good and light on the skin. It remains sticky and oily after application though, so watch out. It also gathered in my eye creases after a long time of wearing it, but that may have been due to the glitter gel I applied over it. Further experimentation is needed. It wasn’t noticeable, anyway, and I only saw it on close inspection.

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One swipe, two swipes, three swipes.

Starry 3xxx Volume Color Lash: The good news is that this mascara has great opacity and color. It is exactly metallic red. However, it clumps like hell and the wand looks like a jagged screw, and it made my eyelashes itchy. I bought this at the independent dollar store on the corner of my street. Shame on me.

A Pack of White Hanes V-Necks: The best purchase you can make as a young man. Wear them until they get stained and beat up, and then draw on them with sharpies or spray paint to make a punk statement tee. Not included in the picture because I already gutted the package and distributed the shirts throughout my floordrobe.

Now I have to go because I am embarking on an epic thrifting journey that I will hopefully write about. Do you buy clothes in bulk ever? What’s the worst mascara you ever used? Do you like gel eyeshadow? Answer in the comments!

Discount Grocery Hauls!

I’m a huge flip flopper, guys. I used to hate and fear Big Lots the way some people would never set foot in a Wal-Mart. I had never actually been inside, but comedy websites at the time liked to make fun of their dusty circus peanuts and weird frozen food. I don’t know why I was biased against it for having strange and possibly inedible products; normally I love shit like that. But now there is a Big Lots (or Big Lots! if you want to be super accurate) within walking distance of my house. Like Donald Trump, I have changed my mind (unlike Donald Trump, my hands are possibly disproportionately large for my stature). It turns out that Big Lots is the perfect place to save on health foods and snack alternatives, not to mention cosmetics. It’s like if a Whole Foods truck crashed into a label factory and the resulting debris landed on some metal shelves. In a good way.

Note: A lot of the groceries aren’t pictured because it got eaten or put away before I took the photos, but I tried to remember it.

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  • Heat n Eat Dal Tadka
  • Island Teriyaki Pork Jerky
  • Hungry Jack Scalloped Potatoes – Don’t judge me, I love test tube potatoes as a low-effort side dish.
  • Coconut Oil – I’ve never bought this before because of the price, except once with a friend to make a vegan chocolate cake. Apparently it has a thousand or so uses (I may be exaggerating) including cooking and hair care.
  • Meatless Chili – I used this as a cheap taco filling.
  • Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup – An excellent slow cooker fluid.
  • Chicken Broth – You can use this as a substitute for oil when sautéing.
  • Clam Chowder
  • Coconut Milk – Essential for curry!
  • Pudding
Not pictured:
  • Boom Chicka Pop (Dark Chocolate Sea Salt) – One of my favorite snacks/desserts. Healthier and less perishable than cake, although nothing can truly replace cake.
  • Sweet BBQ Pop Crinkles – These are like potato chips except a little thicker and mealier. My mom cannot stand artificial barbecue flavor; she says it smells like cat food.
  • Garlic Salt – So we actually need onion powder and I accidentally bought this. It was so cheap that I can’t really work up the motivation to return it.
  • Pumpkin Spice Pop-Tarts: I’ve mentioned before that discount stores are great for off-season limited edition stuff.

I am so lucky to live in California, in an area where cheap, fresh produce is readily available. Even my local 99 Cent Store has tons of it! It’s gotten to the point where I always check the dollar store for my produce essentials before going to Lucky’s or Safeway.

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  • Sweet Yams – I like to roast these in the oven with sea salt or pop them in the microwave in my Potato Express bag.
  • Mini Potatoes
  • White Onions
  • Avocado – This huge avocado is enough to divide between my family.
  • Canned Potatoes – Slice these up and fry them for quick potato coins!
  • Pore Cleansing Strips – I’ve never tried this brand before.
  • Kiwis
Not pictured:
  • Blackberries
  • Mushrooms – A good source of something. Idk. Probably. I’m a bad biologist. I like mushrooms like 17% more after reading that Junji Ito manga about the maternity ward. You can use them to bulk up stuff like meatloaves and burgers!
  • Grapes – Believe me when I say this bag of grapes is big. It’s like, grocery store sized. This is not a baby bag of grapes.
  • Chipotle and Serrano Peppers (canned): These also went on the tacos. Whole. Probably not a great idea but I stand by the risks I took.

What do you get at discount stores?

Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum Review

I am probably the last qualified person to review beauty products. I don’t even know what my skin type is. Combination? Oily? Snake? But what you need to understand about me is that I’m a very vain prince. I do mostly everything I can to stave off aging, ridiculous as my fears are, including wearing sunscreen everywhere and eating meals of antioxidant-rich berries. Some of my decisions don’t really make sense, as I drink tremendous amounts of coffee and smoke slightly less tremendous amounts of cannabis. Also, due to circumstance and general thriftiness, my regime is usually limited to items from discount stores and dead people. But! I finally have a fancy product of my own! Thanks to Valentia Skin Care, who sent me their skin serum free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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The Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum came packaged in bubble wrap. it’s an amber bottle with a pump that has a good weight to it. This is a seriously nice bottle and I’m probably going to re-use it for my own concoctions once it’s empty. It came with a card for their website, which I explored. Apparently they’re all about mythology and science, which are two things I love. Their products are cruelty and paraben free. Looking thorough the ingredients list, I saw hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, rosehip oil, Argan oil, basically all the trendy moisturizing ingredients you could want. I have to admit that I’m biased towards long lists of organic ingredients; it makes me feel like an alchemist.

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I am a hideous maximalist. I put at least two swipes of lipstick on my lips, lotion takes three squirts minimum, I soak my hair with conditioner, etc. 1-2 pumps are recommended for full coverage and I used 2. I was able to cover my entire face and some of my neck. The pump itself dispenses the exact right amount for me, unlike some other air pumps I’ve seen. The serum smells of ribbon candy and orange blossoms. I love the word “serum” by the way. So Re-Animator.
I used the serum for about seven days. I say “about” because I missed a day. Each application was a struggle for me because I fucking crash at night. But I did find that having a routine I was expected to follow encouraged me to actually perform my hygiene duties every night. I washed with Clean & Clear Advantage Daily Soothing Acne Wash first, and then about half the time applied Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing lotion after. I found that the serum is really soothing on sunburned or irritated skin, although your results may vary. It absorbs quickly which apparently means it’s good stuff. It leaves your skin feeling slightly tacky for a few minutes before disappearing, and your face feels stretchy and soft. Did I see an improvement in my lines? I think so. Although my marionette creases obviously haven’t completely disappeared, they’re shallower and the fine wrinkles inside them are less noticeable. I think a lot of the difference in these photos is due to changes in my mouth position, although I tried to use the same neutral expression in all of them.
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That wound on my face is 90% probably from my cat trying to wake me up.

I didn’t think it would really do anything, to be honest, but looking at these photos, even if they’re not entirely scientific, has made me feel less self conscious. My skin also feels better, both in the tactile and nerve (I guess?) sense. You can buy the Valentia Clear Lift Revitalizing Serum here!
Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. Isn’t that awesome?

Fish n Whiskey Tri-Tip Marinade Recipe

“What’s the cheapest whiskey we have?”

“Bullet*. Why?”
“I need it for a marinade.”
This is how I potentially ruined my entire family’s dinner. I didn’t. But I could have. I had never had whiskey beef before or even whiskey (more on my drinking habits in later posts!). I did not know if whiskey beef is a thing that happens in kitchens, and I didn’t want to google it because I wanted my ideas to stay pure and virginal.
Backing up a bit, tri-tip is the king of meats in my opinion. I’m not even educated on what makes it unique. I just really like the marinade. I know I could use it on other cuts of meat, but… (throws hands in the air, waves them slightly) We used to get a full roast sometimes, precooked, from the hot case at Raley’s. It was always a special occasion. The smell of tri-tip makes me think of summer and independence and childhood innocence since they would set up a grill outside the store in the warmer months.
Now that we’ve got that mental baggage catalogued, it’s time to move on to the recipe. This makes a tangy, strongly flavored steak. You will need:
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  • some tri-tip steaks
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/8 cup of whiskey
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
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This looks like the last photo on a dead person’s phone.

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bag. Maybe set the bag in a bowl to support it. Seal the bag and shake it a little.
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Now put the steaks in the bag and manhandle them. Really knock them around. See if you can shuffle them. No wrong answers! Okay, just sort of massage them through the plastic. Stick them in the fridge for 3-5 hours.
After the time has passed, preheat you oven to 425. Let the steaks sit a bit just to get less cold. Then sear them in an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat and pop them in the oven on the middle rack for 6-8 minutes. That’s all. Your steaks are done! Make sure they’re at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit, obvs. Serve with your favorite sides. I like caramelized pearl onions.
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*I couldn’t actually find the Bullet and ended up using Knob Hill, the second cheapest whiskey.

Union City/Daiso + Gift Haul

So yesterday my biffle and I went to Union City. We’ve been trying to get together for months now! She’s one of the people I feel most comfortable to be myself around and we’ve known each other since second grade. Also, today I introduced her to the slang terms “Santorum” and “creampie”.

I started off my day with a homemade breakfast sandwich! Turkey bacon, egg, avocado, mustard, and my own balsamic blackened onions, which I’ll teach you how to make sometime.

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It smells like a lot like a McDonald’s cheeseburger if you serve it with a dill pickle.

Before I left, I applied the sample of Evalectric hair serum I got at the mall. It’s a clear, viscous liquid with an initial hair salon scent, but after it mixed with the smell of my conditioner it really resembled patchouli.

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I only put it on my ends and middle since I have a lot of hair. Part of me feels it made my hair a little sticky even after it dried, but it did add some shine!

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On my way to the BART station, I stopped by Peet’s Coffee. I normally get an iced black cold brew, but today was a special occasion, so I got the fanciest thing I could think of: an unsweetened almond milk matcha latte. I felt like I should have been stroking my handlebar mustache and adjusting my stocking cap as I ordered it.

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Green coffee! It’s almost actually Herbert West’s reagent.

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Also, I had to mince over this pile of garbage on the walk over.

We met outside the station and hugged. After discussing whether you would want to still take BART sometimes even if you could fly (I say yes because the wind would start to chap your face), we got on our train and exchanged gifts.

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I also got her a cactus candle and an oreo-shaped compact.

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She got me these wonderful gifts. I’ve only skimmed the book but it looks like it’ll fulfill my constant need to be stimulated. The mouthwash is very gentle and tastes exactly like gum; I recommend it for anyone who dislikes alcohol mouthwash.

Then we spent like an hour in Daiso. We’re either a bad or good combination in Daiso because we enable each other to buy things we didn’t know we needed.Like when we both got hats this time. A brilliant idea! We looked like a couple from the 1950s.

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The flower boxes at Daiso are educational.

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My favorite eyeliner! It’s like a big soft pointy crayon and I use it everywhere on my face. The packaging is also very glam-deco-witchy, like a lot of Santee products. Santee is kind of hit and miss for me but this specific eyeliner is a yes. I also have a huge anxiety about hard eye pencils, so.

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Don’t you hate it when your skin is dry and you get arrested for rustling?

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I wanted to get this but I couldn’t justify it as I almost never do tea service.

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Inside the bathroom stall at Marina Grocery.

I looked everywhere for more of that charcoal pore peel to send my aunt, but couldn’t find any. I may have to go back to Telegraph sometime or get it online. If you want to see what I bought, scroll down to the end of the post.

We then went to Sakura Buffet for lunch, because they have a student special. Eating there makes you feel like you’re on a docked cruise ship or in a casino or something, as they have a spacious lobby and huge crystal chandeliers. As we ate, I tried to convince her that we’re like Abbi and Ilana from Broad City (she thinks we’re more like Garfunkel and Oates).

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Thank you, biffle, for tolerating watching me suck the brains and eyeballs out of that prawn.

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Recycling!

We had plans to walk to the Bay Area Wholesale Flower Market, but by the time we were halfway there it was getting late and we had to head back to the station. On the way back, I stopped at Sheng Kee Bakery. If you have an opportunity to visit one of their locations, do it! Most of their pastries are $1.5 and they have a huge array of fillings and flavors, like green tea, taro, and blueberry. It’s self-serve and you get a red tray with white tongs. They even have little cakes shaped like sushi rolls.

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I bought a blueberry puff bun and a wasabi ham roll, both of which were delicious and eaten too quickly by my family and I to get proper pictures. The wasabi roll was actually fairly mild and creamy.

So, are you ready to see my haul?

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I got these printed sponges specifically for washing produce. The heart-shaped sponges are a special melamine abrasive that’s basically a Magic Eraser, but cheaper. I got a portable fork in a case to use with my new lunch box; it says “fairy dog” on it which I’m sure is an aesthetic somewhere on tumblr. My pride and joy is the lap blanket. Look at it!

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Perfect for solving AC disputes in the car.

I normally just buy like a yard of raw-edged micro fleece and use that as a car blanket, but this is super adorable.

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The powder puff is for applying baby powder to my face. Yes, I am an 18th century duke/Andy Warhol.

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I got a slick new credit card case because my old one broke and was being held together with a rubber band. I’ve wanted a pair of cutout socks forever, so futuristic circusy. That rainbow slinky? I actually wear it as a bangle stack. Try it! I told biffle that with my new card case and hat, I’m well on my way to becoming a gentleman.

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Matcha is becoming one of my new favorite flavors, but I’ll always be loyal to coffee until it ulcerates my stomach to nothing.

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Stationery supplies! I plan on using the fabric tape to make a photo album for my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. The patches are something I’ve been scheming to buy for a while, because I need them to cover some stains on a beloved pink velour shirt.

Do you have a Daiso nearby? Do you like buffets?

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Loaded Meatball Bacon Strata Recipe

Okay, guys. I’m kind of winging it here. I’m literally writing this post/recipe as I cook. Remember the rest of that baguette? It went stale. But rather than throw it away or use it as a baton, I decided to make a savory strata out of it! Having recently come into possession of bulk quantities of eggs, turkey bacon, cheese, and meatballs, it seemed the appropriate choice. So! You will need, for this impromptu dish:

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  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/4 cup of butter (optional) plus more to grease the pan
  • 1/8 cup chives
  • 3-5 strips of bacon
  • 13 meatballs or some ground beef (precooked)
  • cheese
  • 2 cups whole mushrooms
  • some hash browns because why not
  • 1 sweet onion
  • and, of course, stale bread
Fry your bacon on medium heat. Meanwhile, chop mushrooms and onions into small, thin pieces. Remove the bacon from the pan and let it cool. Saute the  mushrooms until they’re tender in the bacon fat (and olive oil if needed). Then sauté the onions until they’re translucent. Heat and quarter your meatballs (if you have ground beef just skip this step) and chop up the bread. Depending on how stale it is, this may murder your hands. Chop or grate the cheese. Mix up all the dry chunky ingredients in a big bowl with your hands or a spoon.
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Now get two pans, about 7” x 4” (I used two wonderful vintage glass dishes that I inherited), and coat them with butter. I use a wooden rice paddle to spread the butter so my hands don’t get greasy. If you do get butter on your hands, rub it all over them before washing off the residue. Free moisturizer! The strata won’t be removed from the pan, but the grease makes it easier to serve. Gently pack the dry ingredients into them. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl until blended and light yellow. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Now, you can skip this part or use less butter if you’re health-conscious, but if you want to you can melt 1/4 cup of butter and drizzle it over the strata before baking. It makes the bread golden brown and flavorful.

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Bake the two pans for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When they’re springy, they’re done! Remove from oven and let cool a bit; they’ll keep cooking for a while. Serve warm like a casserole.
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Serve with cherry tomatoes or other high-water, flavorful veg! Or just ketchup if that’s your style. This recipe is dedicated to The Radioactive Woman; our food tastes are a bit different but I think she’d enjoy this one.
Next time maybe I’ll teach you to make a white chocolate bread pudding. Same principles. Until later!

Thrift Center/Wet n Wild and Profusion Swatches and Reviews

In this post I’m going to review four products; three of them were recent purchases and one is something I’ve had for a long time.
Today I got dolled up for no reason in particular and took the bus to Thrift Center. I really like the Thrift Centers in Vallejo and Santa Cruz and have found amazing things there, so imagine my surprise when I found out there’s one in Hayward! Well, South Hayward, which is practically another city. But I was willing to make the trek.
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When I got there, I didn’t actually find much. There was no familiar chainlink area full of cheap vintage clothes. One thing about Thrift Center: The clothes are arranged by color, not size, so it’s easy to find something you like if you’re not picky about how it fits. I didn’t buy any clothes, but I did get this for 39 cents:
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The Better Homes and Gardens Meat Cook Book, as seen here!

I plan to actually cook some stuff from here and/or post a recap of the book, so stay tuned!
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I bought some lipsticks a few months ago at a CVS over the bridge, because they have a different selection of makeup. I was too depressed to really try them out until recently, so read on!
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  • What’s Up, Doc?: I know it’s a Bugs Bunny reference, but I can’t help but think of sexy nurses when I see this color. I wore it all day and even ate a squash pupusa in it and it either stayed on or stained my lips. Well, mostly stayed on. A lot of it came off on the pupusa. It looks more orange than it actually is; it’s really more of a pinky red.
  • A Short Affair: I had high hopes for this lipstick, but like when raising a child, I can’t be angry with it for turning out differently than I expected. I had wanted it to be very opaque and give my lips a pastel color, but it’s more of a frost. It’s more noticeable also when it sets a bit and when light shines on it.
  • Cashmere: This is a lovely color but I think a better name would be “genital bruising”, because that’s a more apt description. I think of cashmere as more of a pale mint green or coral. I love this lipstick because it looks like my lips may actually be this color and/or I got punched in the mouth.
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Before and after. You can tell I took the first picture in the morning it’s blurry.

All the colors are very silky and don’t highlight chapped skin too much. You can buy them all here.
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For eyeshadow, I used my Profusion Perfect ten palette. It seems to have been discontinued or something but you can buy it here. I got this at the dollar store YEARS ago, like most of my standbys. It’s super colorful and sparkly and I used it to do a gobstopper ghoul look on my eyelids. I also used Kleancolor Baby Got Length mascara from Daiso, which isn’t horrible or outstanding but has super cute packaging and works well.
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What’s the oldest cosmetic item you own? Do you still use it?

Life Recap/Tatay Urban Food Lunch Box Review

A few days ago, a guy straightened my entire head (is that how you say it?) at the mall! He also gave me a sample of Evolution hair serum, which I’ll be trying the next time I wash my hair. I’ve never had straight hair before. It feels like I’m petting an animal when I touch it, and it’s so easy to brush.
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I feel like I’m in a 70s horror movie.

There’s this pair of pants I’ve been seeing everywhere, but never in my size. I’ve only seen them in Medium, which is too big even with the drawstring (I think that’s why they’re always on clearance; the sizes are all fucked up). They’re always like $10 and are baggy lightweight material with gathered ankles. I love their military style and want them badly. I’ll check DD’s Discounts for them next, but if I only find them in a size up I may have to tailor them.
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This morning I woke up feeling restless and blah. First I made breakfast.
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Okay, so this was my mom’s breakfast. I had yogurt. Pictured: Mango, turkey bacon, raw ketchup (I was just too lazy to boil tomatoes), sweet potato coins made of yams left over from the night before, sauerkraut, eggs.

Then I decided to walk to a nearby donut shop, the only place open at 5:30 am. But we already had cinnamon buns in the house. So instead I joined a gym. That’s how I make my decisions.
I’ve been taking a weight lifting class for three semesters now, but I want to be able to work out on my own time. Crunch opens at 5 am, right around when I get up and start looking for something to do. I’ve only been a member for a day and I only have basic membership, but so far it seems like a good fit. There’s a comfy turf area near the weight rack that I can plank on, a whole row of treadmills, this complicated monkey bars thing with a bunch of attachments that looks like an adult playground (sexual connotations possibly intended)… My only complaint so far is that the hand weights above 15 pounds are these big red discs, which makes it awkward to do a goblet squat. I’m going to try it with a kettle bell next time.
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They gave me a water bottle and four guest passes, but like the nudist colony David Sedaris visited, you have to bring your own towels.

Today I finally used my new lunch box. I say “finally” because it was a gift from my dad at the beginning of the semester, but I had yet to try it out as the food at the cafeteria is pretty delicious. And they have burritos. But burritos don’t grow on treeritos, except for some of the ingredients which kind of do if you count a plant as a tree. They cost money! Money I could be spending on clothes! So I decided to save some cash and start making my lunch at home again, like when I would make bento boxes every day (I should start doing that again, too).

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The Tatay Urban Food lunch bag comes with four containers. The little round ones have measurements on the side, which is cool but would be more convenient if they also had units. It’s easy to swap out the containers for drinks or food items.
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To make the porridge: Mash 1/4 cup of quinoa with 1/2 ripe banana. Top with raisins. I NEED to use these raisins; Dad bought a massive bag of them.

I packed: a turkey sandwich on white bread (not a wrap; I’m not THAT much of a hipster/yuppie/yipster, although it is “artisan” bread so who knows), quinoa banana porridge with raisins, salt and vinegar kettle chips, a V8 energy drink, and a Fage Total 2% Key Lime yogurt (I love these, they’re super creamy).
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The bag has an adjustable shoulder strap, which was useful on the bus. It also has a small outside pocket that was perfect for putting my phone and Clipper card in. Carrying the bag made me feel like a kid again. It helped that my turkey and swiss sandwich gave me serious memories of elementary school field trips. The containers didn’t leak or spill, and the bag was comfortable to carry. You can buy the lunchbox here!
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On the way home I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on produce. I had big plans for a tri-tip dinner, but I got home around 5 pm and was wiped. I ended up eating chicken salad and a popsicle. Maybe tomorrow night?
Well, goodnight. My mom said no to driving into the alley behind Little Caesar’s and dumpster diving for pizza, so I guess I’ll go to bed.