Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Black Hound New York

Black Hound New York is a European-inspired pastry shop featuring a delectable array of cakes, cookies, savory treats and confection. Everything is made from scratch using Belgian chocolate, pure butter and all natural ingredients. Their retail store is located on 170 Second Avenue in NYC. I recently had the pleasure of sampling a few of the cakes at a wedding. What an indulgent treat for the guests! I barely had room for these desserts especially after a traditional ten course Chinese banquet! But fear not, I always have room for sweets.

This is a picture of their dessert table set-up! And also a close-up of the cake stand. Our favorites were the strawberry and creme, and the pear almond cake! But I also love anything with ganache on it. Bring on the chocolate!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Product Review: Salon Ziba Dry Shampoo

I recently received a bottle of Salon Ziba's volumizing dry shampoo called 'Dry Cleaner' at the prettycity event. According to the salon's website, the dry powder renews and revives hair giving "you a fuller and more voluminous hair." So one morning, instead of washing my Day 2 hair, I decided to test out the dry shampoo. I did not know what to expect from the product, except for the worse possible scenario of clumpy white powder on my scalp. Luckily, this was not the case! I sprayed the powder in my hand before applying it on my hair. It looked like an alcohol spray that quickly dryed on my palm. I hesitantly sprayed it a few times on my medium-length hair concentrating on the roots. However there was no significant change in the volume or look of my hair! I was hoping to see some sort of change in my hair's volume. That was a bit disappointing.

Since then, I've noticed commercials on tv for TRESemme's Fresh Start product line designed for refreshing hair between washes. There are four different products depending on your hair's texture: dry shampoo, no-frizz creme, refreshing mist and waterless foam shampoo. I was most interested in the dry shampoo to figure out how it compares to the Salon Ziba's dry shampoo. The biggest difference is the primary ingredient in the TRESemme product which is mineral clay to soak up excess oil and impurities. The dry shampoo also contains citrus extracts to neutralize odor as well. I am looking forward to testing out this product since it sounds like it can be more effective in curing the 'Day 2' hair blues.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Update: Kinder Surprise Egg Toys

I recently blogged about the wonderful combination of egg and toy called the Kinder Surprise Eggs. I was hoping to have consumed more eggs so that I could explore more of the cute plastic toys. But last night, I attended a wedding in which the Kinder Eggs were provided to the kids for entertainment. Of course, the kids were simply happy with breaking the eggs and playing with the toys. However before the kids swiped all the toys, I was able to take some pictures of them! Sorry, I had more pictures of other toys but they picture turned out dark.

Here they are - can plastic get any cuter??

Monday, April 12, 2010

Makup Review: Mario Badescu's Hydro-Moisturizer with Vitamin C

During my last facial at Mario Badescu located in the upper East side in Manhattan, I mentioned to my facialist that my skin always feels very dry after taking a shower. With one quick look at my face under the microscopic lens, she immediately agreed that my face was parched. Eeek! But I could not argue with her since I also felt tightness around my cheeks.

I have on my beauty arsenal several different types of moisturizers ranging in price range but none compares to the product that she used on my face. I loved the lightweight feel of the moisturizer as well as how smooth my skin feels after applying it on my skin. I immediately left that my skin was slowly caressed by silk. Seriously! I am in love with this product and this Vitamin C forumula also restores clarity to the skin and health to tired, dehydrated skin. Best of all, this moisturizer is perfect for those with sensitive skin. My only wish was that this moisturizer contained SPF but Mario Badescu offers other moisturizers with sunscreen protection. So for now, I will be perfectly content with using this moisturizer before bedtime or layered underneath sunscreen in the daytime.

And for those that are in need of additional moisturizing, the Herbal Hydrating Serum is also a wonderful product to use on top of any moisturizer. Formulated with ginkgo extract, ceramides and ginseng extracts, this serum is suitable for all skin types. I have requested samples of this product each time I visit the store and I love the serum. It is simply enough to use 2 to 3 drops of the serum in order to seal in the moisturizer. Talk about efficient use of a product. Yay!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Restaurant Review: Patsy's Pizzeria

Location: Greenwich Village at 67 University
(212) 533-3500

We were a large group of 7 that went to Patsy's on a Friday evening. We originally hoped to eat at Otto's Pizzeria owned by Mario Batali but there would be at least a 90 minute wait. So we were left to find an alternate restaurant that served pizza. Even without reservations at Patsy's, we still received a table within minutes. This was quite surprising considering how many patrons were in the restaurant already at 8:30pm. The number of tables were populated by mostly groups of 4 so we felt lucky to get a table that quickly. However, our luck stopped there.

Among us, there were mixed reviews with the food that we ordered. Since we were so hungry, we ordered 2 large pizzas (one white pizza with mozzarella and one tomato pizza with prosciutto and mushroom), 2 family sized pasta dishes (pappardelle alla toscana and spinach ravioli with pomodoro sauce) and a cesear salad. The food came fairly quickly starting with the cesear salad. The pasta dishes also came next and we were really full from just the pasta dishes. The spinach ravioli would have tasted better a creamy sauce instead of the tomato sauce. But the pappardelle dish was really delicious! I think it was a favorite at the table. Next came the pizzas....the white pizza was the preferred pizza among the two. It was a simple thin crust pizza with a chewy crust. The tomato pizza with prosciutto and mushroom was sadly disappointing. The sauce was overwhelming and soaked the entire pizza that it made it difficult to fold and eat. Personally I am disappointed when I am forced to eat a slice of pizza with a fork and knife. Also the prosciutto was not cured or tasted like pieces of deli ham that were thrown on top of the pizza pie.

Overall, the service was satisfactory and the food came to our table fairly quickly. However, there is only a small chance that we would come back to this restaurant since the food was only average (aka, nothing spectacular and definitely not worth taking pictures for!) So, next time we hang out as a group, I will make reservations at Otto's Pizzeria instead!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kinder Surprise Easter Eggs!

Happy Easter everyone! Tomorrow is the traditional Easter egg hunt, so I figured I would talk about another type of egg hunt. I recently came upon the Kinder Surprise which are are hollow egg chocolates made by Italy's Ferrero Group that contains a surprise toy. Neat-o!

The reason why I've never seen them before is because they are actually illegal in the United States. They were banned in 1997 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that the toys can pose a choking hazard for children under 3. The Food and Drug Administration also prohibited embedding 'non-nutritive' items inside candy. I think this means they think that kids would be confused with eating the toy. Despite the ban, there are still ways to purchase the Kinder Surprise eggs especially on the Internet. Or, you can simply travel across the Canadian border to purchase these eggs!

Here are all the eggs that we were able to purchase in the Canadian grocery store. They cost about $1 Canadian dollar each. We could have brought more eggs but unfortunately we wiped out the entire stock from the store. I guess only Americans are only interested in chocolate eggs.

The foil wrapping uncovered a chocolate egg shell that split open quite easily. It was a little messy to eat the chocolate since it melted really quickly in my hands. However it is interesting to note that it is milk chocolate on the outside and white chocolate on the inside. But onto the surprise which is hidden inside a yellow case. Here's another picture of the revealing process...

Finally, here is a picture of my toy!! First, I carefully pulled out the instructions since I read that keeping the instructions significantly increases the value of the toy. Most toy collectors are looking for all original parts. Next I pulled out 3 separate blue pieces consisting of a flying wheel, a base and a cord - apparently I can decorate the toy with stickers. I'm not sure what to call the toy but I can make the wheel fly into the air by placing it on the base and pulling the cord.

Not shown here is another chocolate egg that contained a collectible figurine. I am looking forward to slowly opening each egg to reveal the surprise toy!!!
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