Who doesn't love a good ramen?...and I don't mean Maruchan's ramen in a bag...although I
practically survived on those back in my college days.  Right now, Slurping Turtle is my favorite ramen joint in Chicago.  I've tried a handful of them, and many are overpriced or just not that great.

The restaurant was opened by Chef Takashi who is a native of Mito, Japan and serves what he calls Japanese comfort food.  It was awarded with a Michelin Bib Gourmand rating and is located in River North right off of Hubbard.  They only take reservations for parties of 6 or greater, so if you have less than that, it is best to go early.  Every time I eat at Slurping Turtle it is packed!  Also, be prepared to dine to relatively loud electronic music while anime plays on the televisions.

On to the good stuff - the food.  I have tried several dishes and haven't been disappointed yet.  I love the Duck Fat Fried Chicken and Fried Brussel Sprouts.  The brussel sprouts are topped with fried scallions and umami soy and are super flavorful.  I could literally eat the whole thing on my own.  I almost always go with the Tonkotsu, but I have also tried the Tan Tan Men Ramen and a couple of the ramen specials.  The Tan Tan Men is on the spicy side, so if you don't like spicy food, I would not recommend that dish.  The Tonkotsu has never let me down yet.  The broth is amazing and their homemade noodles aren't bad either.  If you're not in the mood for noodles, they serve an outstanding Spicy Salmon Donburi which is salmon served tartare style over rice and an overall beautiful presentation.  Unfortunately, I have never tried their sushi, but I am betting that it is good.  All of the times I have dined at Slurping Turtle, I am craving ramen, so sushi is really the last thing on my mind.

Overall, if you like Japanese food, I would definitely recommend checking out Slurping Turtle.  After writing this post, I may have to go there myself...like tomorrow!

Click to browse Slurping Turtle food photos

Slurping Turtle
116 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 464-0466
Great skin starts with a good skincare routine.  I am a firm believer that taking care of your skin is ultra important.  You can cover your face in a half pound of make-up for a "flawless" look, but that will never look as nice as beautiful skin.  While I am the first to admit that I have been blessed with great genes, I also know that my skincare routine plays a large role in it all.

As a Korean woman, skincare has been ingrained in me since I was a youth.  I believe I was just 14 years old when my mom gave me my first wrinkle cream.  It sounds crazy, but it's called wrinkle prevention, not correction.  You can only prevent something before it occurs.  I don't believe in cosmetic surgery, so it is necessary for me to do what I can with what I can.

I don't think there has ever been a time where anyone has guessed remotely close to the age that I am.  I almost always get 10-15 years younger than my actual age.  Because of this, I have a lot of faith in Asian skincare products, which you will begin to notice for yourselves.

One aspect of my routine that may be somewhat odd is that I alternate products frequently.  I don't use just one cleanser.  It really depends on the day of the week and what is going on with my skin.  I have this weird theory that our bodies are smart enough to adapt to the products that we use and if we use the same thing over and over again it will no longer be as effective.  For this reason, I have multiple types of masks, exfoliates, moisturizers, toners, softeners, etc.  Although I am no skincare expert, I can say that I should be a trusted source considering I have gotten maaaaaaybe 5 pimples in my lifetime and other than my freckles, my skin is in tip-top shape.

So, the point of this whole rant is to give you insight into the skincare products I use.  Prepare to be blown away by my skincare insanity.  I figured that I would separate the product types into different posts or else this one post would be about 27 pages long. 

Today, I start with step one: skin cleansers.

PS - I would also love to hear what works for you!

1.   Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam - $35.00

Very gentle and not heavily scented. It is supposed to help clear up any dark spots, such as freckles. I do feel like it makes my skin more radiant, but nothing insanely drastic. A little goes a long way. It is creamy and lathers very well. I use this on my neck as well.

Also gentle, very thick and creamy, and not heavily scented. Benefiance is Shiseido's mature line so it focuses on anti-aging. I like that this does not dry out my skin at all. It does have small beads of Bio-Hyaluronic Acid to help skin stay moist. Again, a little goes a long way. I have been using this for over 10 years now.  

This is for people with more oily or blemish prone skin. It kind of tingles a little and makes your skin feel cool. It little beads that exfoliate and help to clear pores. It's a very rich cream so you only need a tiny bit for your entire face and neck. I only use this 1-2 times per week. This makes my skin feel very fresh.

4.  Lancome Creme Radiance - $26.00

I'm noticing a trend that I didn't realize about myself. I really love my cream-to-foam cleansers. This is another very rich cream cleanser that only needs the smallest bit to create an effective foam. It recently won an aware from Allure as the best cleanser for dry skin.

5.  Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil - $30.00

Gentle and effective at removing make-up...especially the hard-to-remove waterproof eye make-up that we all love to use. I usually massage this onto my face before I get in the shower to help remove my make-up. I wash my face again afterwards in the shower, but this really helps smooth your skin with a ton of natural ingredients packed in for various benefits.

6.  Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal - $15.00

I live for this sponge! It cleanses and exfoliates and can be used with any cleanser. It definitely helps give me smoother, softer skin instantly. I use it for my face and neck. Boscia makes different kinds, but I have tried all of them and the bamboo charcoal is my favorite. The charcoal is supposed to help absorb toxins and impurities to make your skin stronger and healthier. I don't know how well it does that, but it definitely works wonders for me!

Finally, a different formula type! This is a gel that is supposed to aid in maintaining a clear complexion. I don't have acne or blemishes, but that's not something I'm waiting to show up before I act. That said, I guess I don't really know how effective it is, but I can say that the reviews on it from people with blemishes are great. The gel formula is kind of thinner, so I tend to use a lot and go through this pretty quickly.

8. Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser - $28.00

I am guessing that you are getting the notion that I like Boscia products. That I do! They are all 100% preservative free and they use botanical ingredients that have great skin benefits. Aside from that, all of their products are super affordable and they actually work. This is another gel cleanser that is supposed to deep clean. I use it with my bamboo charcoal sponge and it warms the skin. It works to dissolve the impurities that clog pores and they say that with regular use it minimizes the look of pores.

That took an unbearably long time for me to put together!  I am always trying new products, so I will definitely do product reviews as I buy and try.  There are a ton of different cleansers I have already tried that aren't above, but these are the ones that I like most and always come back to.  I have been thinking about getting one of those Clarisonic face brushes, but they just seem so harsh...has anyone tried it and what did you think?

Hopefully you were able to get some good recommendations from this post!

As all Barça fans know, there are countless great videos of our team in action, but I think I may have just found one of my favorites from recent times.  The creator who goes by the handle, INMESSIONANTE, did an absolute amazing job editing this to capture all the greatest moments.  I love the introduction with Messi and some of the behind the scenes moments that were included.  This is a must-see for all my fellow Barça fans!

Click to check out more videos from INMESSIONANTE

Cute and affordable! J.Crew's d'Orsay pumps are crafted from calf hair in a zebra print and black leather. The best part is the tassels on the ends of the ankle ties that are vibrant blue and olive green. Did I ever tell you how much I love tassels? Seriously. I don't know what it is about them, but I semi-obsess over tassels. Anyhow, back to topic...the splash of color is perfect with the animal print. Because of the design, I think that these are best suited with dresses or skirts. The heel is about 4.5 inches.

Priced at $370.

Click to purchase J.Crew Zebra-Print Calf Hair and Leather Pumps

There's nothing extremely unique that stands out about these sandals, but that's why I love them. They are simple, black suede sandals that can be paired with just about anything. From dresses to skirts to pants, these shoes can really top off any outfit. I love the width of the band going across the toes. I see so many designers make this band thin and I hate that! The heel is about 4 inches and finished off with Tom Ford's signature padlock charm.

Priced at $1,290.

Click to purchase Tom Ford Sue Suede Sandals

If I was to select a favorite shoe designer, Jimmy Choo, would definitely be high on the list.  He has a great selection of classic looks that are timeless as well as unique, more artistic looks made with exotic materials.

These sandals, in particular, would fall into the latter category.  They are made from a sand-colored suede which is embellished with hot fix crystals and finished off with a tassel made from ostrich feathers.  The heel is about 4.3 inches. 

Since the shoes do enough speaking on their own, I think they are best paired with a more minimalist look.  I could see them looking great with a white dress or even some white cigarette ankle pants or culottes.

Priced at $1,875.

Click to purchase Jimmy Choo Viola 110

I bet you thought this blog entry was going to be a woman's rant about what men should be doing for women or something of the like.  Well, you are completely wrong.  On the contrary, this is a woman's rant to help you as a man.

Recently, I went shopping for a new backup duvet cover.  Generally, I mind my own business when I shop, but this time I just couldn't help myself.  So, here comes a 30-something to 40-something year old man (I'm horrible at guessing the age of men), looking awkwardly nervous, completely confused, and seemingly in search of new sheets without having the knowledge to know what he should buy.  Somehow, this scenario intrigued me and instead of looking for what I came to buy, I caught myself observing what he would do next.  A large part of me knew that he was clueless and I wanted to help.  Each time he picked up a sheet set, he looked around as if he didn't want to be caught dead picking it up.  I saw his mouth moving and realized he was talking to himself, but was too far to know what he was saying.  Still intrigued, I continued to watch, but moved closer.  The next thing I know, he picks out a sheet set and I knew at that moment there was no way he knew what he was doing.  Instead of letting him walk away and spend his money how he wanted, I corrected the injustice that was about to occur and gave him a life-long lesson that I am sure he never thought he would get on that day.

So, what exactly was the injustice surrounding some bed sheets is what I am sure you are wondering.  Well the set he selected was 100% polyester.  Yes, you read that right, 100% polyester.  Now some of you may not think that's a big deal, but it is.  No one in their right mind should have polyester sheets.  I once had to give my brother a lesson on this, so now I will share with all of mankind.  There is nothing good about polyester sheets...or polyester anything for that matter.  It's a synthetic fiber that doesn't breathe...you may as well just drown yourself in acrylic and call it a day.  The only polyester I'm buying are soccer jerseys and that's because I only like ones that are authentic so I don't have a choice.

The moral of the story is when it comes to sheets stick to 100% cotton.  Specifically, Egyptian or pima.  Most people are aware of Egyptian, but pima is also a certified long-staple cotton.  A high thread count isn't always a sign of a high-quality sheet, and a low thread count doesn't mean a low-quality sheet, so don't go crazy about getting the highest thread count in the world.  Personally, I have found that a thread count of 400 to 600 and a combed cotton weave is what has felt the best.

If you're low on funds, go with a 200 to 300 thread count from a well-known brand because they have higher standards.  However, if you are buying Jordans and other various shoes and new clothes every other day, I have to question your priorities.  I would take nice sheets over Jordans any day.  Everyone should have a comfortable and nice environment in which to lay their head to rest everyday.

Go ahead and throw out those polyester sheets and thank me later.
When you take a glance at these shoes from the front, you would never guess what was coming in the back. 

The details on these heels literally make them a work of art.  From the romance with the roses, to the sparkle with the crystals and beads, these are truly something else.  Even if you don't like the shoes, you have to appreciate the artistic approach from the designer.

Priced at $1,395.

Click to purchase Dolce & Gabbana Satin Embellished Heels

Who is worse...men and their sneakers or women and their heels?  Tough choice.  Only God may know the answer to that question. 

I'm really not a huge fan of the Jordan's I see so many guys wearing.  They just have a juvenile look to them that is not fitting for an adult male.  I really don't see what people love about them so much.  There are so many other sneakers out there that are so much nicer.

I love these sneakers from Common Projects.  They have a simplistic elegance about them that I am totally digging.  The design is simple, but the suede elevates the overall look.  Did you know that I love a suede sneaker?  Almost all of the sneakers I own are suede.  They come in black as well, but I'm impartial to this off-white sandy color.  When I first saw them, what attracted me most was the color.  It is so versatile and it looks great against the pure white sole.

For just $420 they are decently priced too!

Purchase Common Projects Tournament High-Top Sneakers.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a HUGE fan of fútbol.  Hell, even people that don't know me well know that.  While I am a fan of jogo bonito overall, I am an insane Barça fanatic and with that comes a little magician known as Lionel Messi.  

Every morning I wake up just a little earlier than necessary to fit in my "Messi time."  This would be a ritual that is more of a tradition for me in which I watch videos of La Pulga at his finest on YouTube.  My day just isn't the same if I skip it.  There's something so special about Messi that only those that watch him can understand.  He is a living legend that I can only feel blessed to have the opportunity to watch first hand.  

Below are 2 of my favorite videos.  Some people dislike Ray Hudson, but personally, I am a huge fan of his commentary.  His analogies are the root of spontaneous creativity.  He makes the experience that much better for me when I watch these highlights.

Check them out.  If you have any favorite videos, please share!

As with most women, I am a sucker for a good shoe.  Winter always reminds me that I barely have any closed-toe heels (rarely ever like them), and with Spring around the corner, my feet couldn't be happier to get out in the sandal-bearing weather.

Of course, Dsquared2 doesn't fail us in the shoe department.  These beauties feature a 4.72" heel with a small, internal platform, a back-zip closure, and just enough Swarovski crystals to dress it up without being overly glitzy.  The strappy, knotted details give the shoe a good twist, literally, so it's not just a plain black shoe.  Priced at $2,140.

Click to purchase Dsquared2 Swarovski Rope & Suede Sandals.
Recently, I ended up purchasing the Touch in Sol Browza Super Proof Gel Brown Pencil from Sephora.  I usually use brow products from Tarte, but decided it was time to try something new.

I should probably disclose that I am not one of those women that uses a ton of makeup.  I don't wear any face makeup (ie: foundation, concealer, powder, etc), and I definitely don't like the whole let's-wear- 3lbs-of-makeup-and-post-"face beat"-photos-on-Instagram look.  I'm not looking for eyebrows that are visibly drawn on and look like evil eyebrows.  Moderation is key.

Now that I got that out of the way, the product is $19.00 and comes in 3 different shades.  I ended up getting it in Mink Wink which they say is for dark brunettes and is the darkest of the 3 shades.  The color is perfect for me, not too light, and not too dark.  This is the first brow pencil I have ever purchased or used.  I have only used Tarte's Amazonian Clay Mousse, so this was a different experience for me.  The pencil is easy to use and has a built-in spoolie for blending.  I like that the end with the spoolie is capped, because I am a clean freak.  The bristles on the spoolie are much softer than my Tarte brush, but they are sufficient and the product blends easily.  I didn't experience any fading or smudging throughout the day or night so the staying power is good in my book.  Lastly, the pencil is automatic so it doesn't require any sharpening.

Overall, I have been very pleased with this product.  It gives a soft, natural finish and lasts all day.  I would definitely buy this again and highly recommend others to try it as well.

Click to purchase Touch in Sol Browza Super Proof Gel Brow Pencil.
Often times, as we age, we look back and reflect on the people we once were.  While so much has changed for me in the 3 years since my last post, somehow I always end up coming back to this blog.  It's like a magnet that somehow loses its force but ends up regaining that power at some point in time.  With all the up's and down's all of us experience in life, this blog has been an outlet for me through it all.  I have really never said much or given real insight to my personal life on any internet platform, but my blog has been my distraction.  The one activity, aside from Call of Duty, that helps me to relieve my personal and professional stresses and forget everything for just a short time.

Given my reflections, I came to realize how much my past content barely reflects the person I am today.  I literally looked at some of my oldest posts and said out loud to myself, "Ew!  What was I thinking!?"  Like I said, a lot has changed over the past 3 years, and my interests and tastes definitely near top that list.  In my exhausted, half-asleep mind, I re-designed my blog and changed the entire format.  It is still a work in progress, but I hope to change that soon.  Although my completely random content with no true focus will remain fixed, because that is just my madness at its best, I have every intention of updating my blog to reveal more of what I have become.

 With that said, I re-introduce to you, my audience or possibly lack thereof, looty, my compilation of interests and thoughts.

CUSP is the newest fashion forward brainchild birthed by Neiman Marcus.  Carefully curated, the contemporary selection offers options for work, play, and everything in between.  From apparel and accessories to shoes and beauty, CUSP is just what anyone who lives, breathes, and devours fashion could ever ask for.

The selection is very decently priced and offers a wide range of designers, giving everyone the opportunity to show off their fashion tastes in style.
Click the link below and let the shopping begin!

Below are some of my personalized picks from CUSP.

Charlotte Olympia Isadora Suede & Mesh Sandals - $965

Strappy, sunny yellow with some shine on top!

        ...loot it or boot it?

B Brian Atwood Mirante Studded Stretch Cage Sandal - $495

The peach color of this shoe gives the caged structure a more delicate flair.

        ...loot it or boot it?

Alexander Wang Nadia Cutout Leather Sandals - $545

Love the various cut outs and unique peep toe shaping.

        ...loot it or boot it?

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