Humor

Tastemade

I found this new app called Tastemade through Kristie Hang who I follow on Twitter. She’s a food blogger in the 626 area and has given me great tips when I went to go check out Newport Tan Cang. She’s definitely a valuable resource when it comes to food and social media. So when she tweeted about Tastemade, I knew I had to check it out!

(This is why I love the power of social media! You just learn new things!)

I quickly downloaded the app and fell in love with it immediately! It’s basically video blogging about the restaurant you’re checking out. What sets Tastemade apart from other social media outlets is that you get a better feel of what the restaurant is like through video rather than just looking at one or two pictures. Sometimes, pictures don’t do justice of how hipster the ambiance of the restaurant is like or even the what the food itself is like. Tastemade enhances your visual sense of the whole food experience.

What’s even more awesome about Tastemade is that they made it easy for users to create a fun video. The app has lot of templates with cute fonts and theme songs to choose from.

You first check in at the restaurant, then pick the template you want to use. The app will then direct you to the next step of the Tastemade process which is to do a 10 second introduction about yourself, the restaurant, or whatever you would like to say. Afterwards, you create various shots of the restaurant. Then, for 15 seconds you talk about the meal.

You shoot another footage of the food and of your friends eating. The last part is the wrap up! And wah-lah! You are done making a Tastemade video! How awesome is that?

I’ve had this app for a little more than a month and I’ve produced 15 videos so far! My first video was pretty rough but I’d like to think that my creativity in Tastemaking has improved! Check out all of my videos here.

I love this app for several reasons that may sound cheesy. One. Like I mentioned earlier, it shows the experience of the restaurant in a different perspective. Two. It challenges me to be creative and to improve my public speaking skills! Three. From this app, I’m able to find new restaurants to check out! So don’t worry, you don’t have to post videos if you don’t want to record yourself. It’s still fun to follow Tastemakers. Four. It’s simply fun! Having my friends be part of the videos and be goofballs makes it so much more fun! The food and the app itself really brings me and my friends together! I’m always looking forward to make more videos.

I hope you download it soon so we can follow each other! Make sure to find me on Tastemade @TinaTalksToday!

Fun Friday!

I recently injured my neck pretty badly to the point where I couldn’t get out of my bed and had to call in sick. So I told my friend, Phil, about my neck situation and his response was that I have TNS aka Taco Neck Syndrome. As weird as it may sound, TNS is real, my friend. It’s so real that there’s a commercial about it and therapy for it! But what is TNS? Yeah, that’s what I asked myself when I first heard of it from Phil. Here’s what it is:

Wasn’t that hilarious? I’ve watched it several times by now but it somehow cracks me up every time.

Ok, TNS isn’t that real but I did strain my neck somehow and felt like I had TNS. Luckily, I’m doing a lot better now compared to earlier this week so I’m ready for the weekend!

I hope this commercial starts your weekend off with a good laugh. Have a fun filled weekend and treat yourself to a Big Beef Burrito from Taco Bell!

San Diego Adventure

Five of my friends and I drove down to San Diego for the weekend just to relax and enjoy each other’s company! We were supposed to leave in the morning to do the Potato Chip Hike in Poway but it ended up being an epic fail. One friend didn’t wake up on time and another lost their car keys. It was a rough start in the morning!

It was a little bittersweet to not have done the Potato Chip hike because I wanted to take an epic picture on that thin cliff like the one below:

On the other hand, it worked out that we didn’t hike because I’ve heard from others that it’s the most painful hike ever. It’s so painful that there is no way of making it fun because of the nasty uphill.

Since we didn’t hike, we all met up at Phil’s BBQ. I felt a little guilty eating there because I wish I could have rewarded myself with it after a good long hike. There’s always next time to genuinely reward myself for that.

So don’t hate me for what I’m about to say. I’m actually not a huge fan of Phil’s BBQ because I think it’s a little overrated. They have great food and service, but it’s not worth the one to two hour wait. Luckily, our wait was less than 30 minutes but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there. There’s nothing too memorable about the food where I have a go to entree that I always order. It all tastes the same as Lucille’s and Wood Ranch. There’s no special sauce that strikes me and makes me want more of. One thing that might set this place apart from Lucille’s and Wood Ranch is that it’s cheaper. It’s more on the casual side where they give you a buzzer for your order and they have bibs!

After eating, we went over to the beach house that we rented out from Air BnB. We hung out at the house and then headed over to the beach to play some volleyball. We somehow couldn’t find any volleyball courts at the beach. I think it was meant to be for us to not do any physical activity for the weekend. We were forced to relax as God was not giving us the opportunity to work out. So we came to a point where we hung out by the water and enjoyed the breeze while the waves were crashing.

We got the chance to watch the sun set! Oh man, it was beautiful! It was crazy how subtly yet quickly the sun went down.

For dinner that night we went to Cotixan Mexican & Seafood. I suggest that you don’t go there. The food was cheap and a-ok. They definitely give you a lot there but it doesn’t give you that feeling of “Oh-em-gee. I need to come back here again next time.” Apparently it’s the Mexican version of McDonald’s because there are so many chains of it.

That night after dinner, we all ended up being grannies. Josephine commented, “It looks like we’re at a retirement home!” After she said that, we looked at each other in the living room and noticed that we all had blankets on our lap and we were literally watching Betty White’s: Off The Rockers. It was pretty funny how ridiculous we were that night for not doing much on our weekend vacation. I think we were all pooped out from just a long day of being out and about.

The next day, we hung outside in the backyard and soaked in the sun. The guys were taking charge of the kitchen. They made us some good guacamole dip for our afternoon snack. Then they stepped up even more for our late lunch! They grilled vegetables and made chili to go with our smoke apple sausage hotdogs! Well done, boys. Well done! We were all definitely stuffed after lunch!

Later, we had a jam session. The guys brought a keyboard and guitar from home! We had some talented artists in the house. Derek was on the guitar, Jerry on the keyboard, and the lead singer was Cindy. Josephine and Phil were the backup singers. I was the manager and producer of the group, making sure that everyone was doing their thing.

At night, we went out to Classics Malt Shop for some ice cream. It’s a cute little mom and pop kind of shop. Then we headed out to Gas Lamp. We checked out a restaurant known for their Ryan Gosling restroom. Say what? Mhm…that’s what I said. There is one stall in the woman’s restroom where the walls are covered in Ryan Gosling’s face! Josephine, Cindy and I were in the Ryan Gosling stall for quite some time SnapChatting our experience there.

Rather than showing you pictures, I thought I would try something new and make a video. Here’s a clip from the trip:

In general, there’s not much to do in Gas Lamp but to walk around and check out some bars and restaurants. Though Gas Lamp wasn’t that exciting, it was still fun because of the people I was with! Thanks Cindy, Derek, Jerry, Josephine, and Phil for making our weekend trip short and sweet!

Fun Friday!

Happy Friday, my friends! I’m really excited about this 3-day weekend. I’m going to a wedding and it’ll be a reunion with some old friends as we celebrate the marriage of our dear friends, Hannah and Andrew!

In honor of celebrating a new marriage and today being Friday, here’s an entertaining video that I found online awhile ago of a groom and his groomsmen doing a dance to Baby by Justin Bieber.

The bride was definitely surprised! Pretty cute, huh? I can’t wait to show you pictures from the wedding! Hope everyone has a happy 3-day weekend with friends and family!

Jean Paul’s Goodies

I heard about Jean Paul’s Goodies from Sammie & Harold who heard about it from Ed. They said that Jean Paul’s Goodies has the best cappuccino ever! When I heard that, I knew I had to check it out prompto!

Prior to going, they told me and Elaine how there was an old grumpy grandpa running the store. The grandpa was so grumpy that you were able to tell by looking at him that he was not in a good mood. Apparently that’s just how he is general. Sounds like a character from some kind of movie, huh?

In general, there’s no menu in the shop so you have to know what you want or else he might just get grumpier. I guess Harold had asked before for the menu but the grandpa responded along the lines of, “You should know what you want.” Crazy, huh? Oddly enough, I think for Harold and Sammie, experiencing bad customer service was worth the cappuccino.

Since Elaine and I love coffee we decided to check out Jean Paul’s Goodies with Sammie & Harold. When the four of us got there, I was slowly starting to get nervous to meet the grumpy grandpa. He was pretty intimidating to look at even from afar. The ambiance at the shop was eery as we walked in. It was dead quiet. I’m sure customers knew not to talk while standing in line. You will know what I’m talking about once you walk in.

Luckily, Harold was able to order for the 4 of us so I wasn’t inside for long. The grandpa made the cappuccino himself using his cappuccino machine and poured milk. It was nothing fancy at all in the way he made it but once I had a sip of it, it tasted fancy! The texture was so smooth and nothing was too bitter. It was perfect. It was one good cappuccino!

Unfortunately, I have no pictures to show you other than the one in front of the store. I wanted to take more pictures but ended up getting too scared. Check out Yelp if you’re curious about the grumpy grandpa or other people’s reviews about the place. Even though it only has 3.5 stars with only 33 reviews, it’s definitely a hole in the wall place  to check out in Laguna Beach.

I wouldn’t mind going back there again for the cappuccino but I think I would want someone to order for me. By the way, this man closes whenever he wants! We got our drinks around 1PM on a Saturday. Once he made our drinks, he was already out the door! Customers tried to come in but he had to shoo them away! Sammie, Harold, Elaine and I concluded that because this grandpa makes good cappuccino, he probably has people coming back a lot! So his business must be really successful for him to leave whenever he wants though Yelp may not show the right numbers.

If you ever go, please let me know what your experience there is like! Don’t forget to know what you want before going there so you don’t get yelled at!

Thanks Harold and Sammie for treating me and Elaine out for some good cappuccino!

Surprise Briana!

Briana, Christian, Mark and I were in a group text to plan a hangout since we were all in town for the holidays. Christian and Briana were able to meet up, but Mark never really responded if he was free. As we were all texting, I started another group text with just Mark and Christian saying that we should surprise Briana for her belated 25th birthday. Mark and Christian were down to surprise her! So last minute Christian bailed on the hang out and Mark continued to remain silent in the group text with Briana.

Christian and I trolling Briana.

Christian and I trolling Briana.

Planning this mini surprise gathering was challenging but exciting. I like to say it was pretty successful though since Briana was a little upset that Mark didn’t respond at all and that Christian bailed. So it worked out that she was expecting to not see them!

We surprised her in downtown Fullerton where we grabbed brunch at Rialto Cafe. The wait was about 30-40 minutes long. We decided to take some hipster pictures while we were waiting since Briana was dressed up all cute and there were a lot of good spots to take pictures. Here are some pictures from our quick photo shoot by the restaurant:

Briana was a natural! I didn’t have to direct her that much!

Once we got seated, Briana suggested what was popular at Rialto Cafe according to Yelp-Rialto Cafe. As she was doing her research on Yelp, I remembered that whenever the four of us came together to hang out, we usually had a set role. Back in the day, Mark was always the driver, Christian was the DJ playing music in the car, Briana would be the one to look through Yelp to find out what to eat at the restaurant, and I would be the one to plan where to meet. It was funny how Briana was on top of her duty of Yelping even though it’s been awhile since the last time the four of us hung out.

For brunch I got one of the popular items which was the smoke salmon with scramble, hash brown, and wheat toast on the side.  I’m not sure why people like this a lot but maybe it’s because of the salmon. It was a little too simple for me but maybe that’s another reason why it was a popular item.
Smoked Salmon Scramble

Another popular item on the menu was the stuffed French toast which Briana got. I would’ve picked this over the smoke salmon because it was sweet! Downside was that there was no meat. I kind of need my meat for my meals.
Stuffed French Toast

It was so nice to catch up with Mark, Christian, and Briana. Our group dynamic hasn’t changed since we’ve all been separated. Hanging out with them brought a lot of memories back. As we were eating, we were talking about cool apps for our iPhones.

Tutorial on Cart Wheel from Mark

By the way, we are kind of a tech savvy group of friends. More so with Christian and Mark. They’re always on top of that and so Briana and I are always in the know thanks to them. Some things we learned from them at brunch was about the Cart Wheel app from Target. It helps you save money for various products at Target by using the app.
Target's Cart Wheel App

Another handy dandy app is Tab where it helps you split the bill from the restaurant if you’re with multiple people. You basically take a picture of the bill and the app will then divi it up. You can even add names to each item on the bill!
Tab App

Thanks to Christian for introducing Tab to us, we were able to easily split up the bill! After Rialto Cafe, Mark had to head out.
Group picture at Rialto Cafe

Briana, Christian, and I went over to Green Bliss literally across the street. It’s a hip vegetarian cafe that serves sandwiches, coffee, and tea. Because it was a warm day, Briana and I both got an iced vanilla latte. The expresso was so strong that we wanted a refund. You could barely taste the sweetness of it. Luckily, the customer service was above and beyond that they were willing to give us a refund. They were willing to make adjustments for us, but we just wanted our money back and get Milk and Honey instead.
Green Bliss

I want to give Green Bliss a second chance next time since the customer service was superb, the ambiance and decor there was quite eccentric in a good way, and it had good reviews on Yelp-Green Bliss! I’ll come back for you Green Bliss! Don’t worry!

After Green Bliss, we headed over to Costa Mesa. We shopped a little at South Coast Plaza and then grabbed a drink at Milk and Honey where we felt at home! Briana and I got our usual Peach Aloe Tea which you can’t go wrong with at all and Christian got shaved ice.
Milk & Honey

We talked and laughed a lot that day. Oh man, it was honestly a fun day hanging out with them. It made me miss our college days when we were young and had so much freedom to play and go on so many adventures! It was nice to know that we were able to just pick up where we left off.
Last Group Picture of 2013
Thanks Christian and Mark for being good actors to surprise Briana! Briana, hope you had as much fun as I did hanging out with them! Happy belated 25th birthday!