H Mart – Cary, NC – Review

H Mart isn’t something new, but it is to this area. This H Mart was established just recently and is the new Hot&Popular shopping/grocery spot to people dwelling in/around the area.

Address: 1961 High House Road, Cary, NC 27519
Phone: (919) 535-5900
Web: http://nj.hmart.com
Hours:
– Mon-Sun: 
9:00AM~9:00PM
Bike Parking: Yes
Accepts Android/Apple Pay: No

The front exterior of the newly established H Mart is quite a view to see. I personally love the style of it. It give a warm-homey, yet stylish feel.

When you enter the entrance, you will be faced with the produce area with the food court to the right and cosmetics to the left.

The cosmetics section is [as expected] very organized, bright, and white themed to give a clean/fresh look. It also gives the products the chance to pop and shine. For the most part, the most noticable products displayed has to be the ones from the brand Tony Moly.

Tonymoly-logo

Tony Moly is a well known brand, not only to the asian community, but also the international community. The brand is known for their adorably packaged products that works well as well as look incredibly cute.

Adjacent from the cosmetics section is the food court. It is hidden by a brick wall, but you will be able to tell because of the restaurant signs along the wall. The brown, brick interior really brings the warm and rustic elements to life. The color and flooring choices are clever because it looks clean and hides any missed mess.

The produce area is well organized and fully stocked fresh fruits and vegetables of various diversity. The quality of the produces I picked up were all fresh and good shape. As for the rest of the neighboring produces, they all seemed to be just as good.

They have a dedicated Kimchi Section packed with various types of kimchi. I personally am a kimchi eater [with a obsession] so this section definitely caught my eye. And I think any other kimchi eater would appreciate the dedication and the noticeable sign to boot.

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While browsing through a market, you cannot leave out the food sample booths set up all over the place. These booths are heavily concentrated near/towards the seafood section, which is on the opposite side of the kimchi section.

The seafood section is another sight to see with bustling groups of people sampling and lining up to get their fresh seafood tidied up by the friendly staff. I snapped a pic of the fresh shrimp displayed. They have separate pile for headless-shrimp & regular shrimp. I think that is a very good idea because as someone who loves cooking, I find it nice that they have two different preparation for different uses depending what you are planning on making.

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As expected, each aisle is very well organized in a very efficient and cleanly manner. I found it very clever how they hung tools needed to use the ingredients on top.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m going to cover their amazing bakery: Tous le Jours. This bakery is very well known franchise, that has established itself as one of the rising stars in the bakery business alongside Paris Baguette. Every H Mart is known for having a Tous le Jours bakery inside, so this was no surprise, but the interior and the decor was pretty on pointe!

I purchased some bread from here and I have to say, “Pretty Good~!” It’s hard to find korean bakery around here so it was nice to get a taste, but I do wish they had more variety than they had; however, I do understand the limited space issue so it was fine.

Overall, my experience and impression of the hot&new H Mart located in Cary, NC was great and have a lot of high hopes for it in the future. I do recommend paying a visit if you are in the area and are in need of asian food or just want a to grab a bite to eat.

I give this H Mart a 5/5 stars.

iPhone 7 – Review

Right here and now, I’m going to be judging my phone. I’m not going to bash on it. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I’m just going to tell you what my experience has been with iPhone 7.

Apple has been hitting the tops with every launch of their iPhone series. It’s amazing to see how far Apple has taken the original iPhone to a level of technology and performance they are standing right now with their iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

I don’t think I’m the only one when I say the original iPhone looks rather “cute” compared to the latest model.

—————— Enough Reminiscing , Let’s get down to business —————

I previously had iPhone 6 and switched over to iPhone 7 when it launched in the Fall of 2016. I did not get the Plus because I found out that I dropped objects that are way too large for my tiny hands, so I chose to go with the smaller option.

The iPhone 7 line up spurred the interest of many people with their two new colors: Jet Black & Matte Black

I can still recall seeing my friends try to get their hands on the new black iPhone 7, which was sold out in an instant.

The iPhone 7 also stuck hard on some hardcore Apple iPhone fans with a new challenge: No headphone jack.

Yes, the iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack. So you’re sort of basically forced to use a bluetooth operated headphones to listen to your tunes on the go.

Personally, this wasn’t a problem for me because I preferred bluetooth anyway, so I wasn’t a complainer on that part.

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When you order the iPhone 7, it does come with a set of EarPods with the lightning cable as the plug-in so you can use that as well.

I got the rose gold rather than my usual gold, because…”why not?” <no particular reason>

Camera: I am a little bummed about the difference in the camera in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. I would’ve love to have the camera that’s in iPhone 7 Plus to be in iPhone 7 as well, but… I guess it is what it is. Regardless, the iPhone 7 still takes magnificent photos with great quality.

All these photos were taken using my iPhone 7. My favorite feature has to be the auto-focus & auto-blur. I love how it focuses on the subject I want it to and blurs out the rest.

Negative Experience: has to be those random screen freezes. I don’t know the exact reason, but sometimes my phone won’t work. I can’t turn the screen off, I can’t do anything. It just freezes on you. The only option is to leave it alone until it decides to start working again. This is very frustrating when you’re in a situation, where you need to use your phone asap. Once I was navigating myself to a destination I wasn’t familiar with and the phone just freezes on me… and that is just not cool.

Home Button Problems?: I haven’t have any home button problems with any of my Apple products with home buttons (iPhone + iPad Mini). I guess I’m lucky?

Do I use Siri?: Yes. I actually utilize Siri pretty frequently. It’s mostly for fun or when I have my hands full, but I still make use of it.

Do I use 3D Touch?: No… I tried it out when I got my phone, but other than that I don’t use it. In fact, I forgot all about 3D Touch until pretty recently. I understand it’s a unique and useful feature for some, but for me…it’s not really doing much.

Speaker: The speaker on this iPhone is much louder than the previous generation. I compared it with my mom’s iPhone 6 Plus and my iPhone 7 was louder. It has better quality of sound and volume than my iPad Mini 4 as well. So I have to saw I like it. As long as I can hear my music from radius, I’m happy as a clam.

Overall, I am pleased with my current phone. I do get frustrated with it’s occasional gimmicks, but it’s not overbearing.

I would give the iPhone 7 a 4/5 stars.

Pilot G2 Rollerball Retractable Gel Pen – Review

I have an obsession with stationery. Yes, I talking about notebooks, sticky notes, pens, pencils, erasers, and so on.

Because I love collecting stationery and comparing how different brands and collections work, I have a sensitivity towards them. So I thought I would give my two cents to what I think about Pilot’s G2 Rollerball Retractable Gel Pens.

I have recently started using these pens for 5 months now.

Why I got these: Cuz they’re everywhere!

Literally, these G2 pens can be found anywhere. It’s every easily accessible and seems have good reviews from other people around the globe, so I thought I would give these a try.

This pen is definitely not a fine point pen. It writes more like a medium point pen.

I wrote on a typical sticky note and a notebook to show how it writes. I personally like how it’s a good, solid black and not some bluish-black ink that some pens are known for. It glides across the surface very smoothly. It is very pleasant to write with.

As you can see, this pen does bleed; however, it’s not terrible. The bleeding on the notebook paper is much more noticeable. You should take this into consideration if you are thinking of using this pen for taking notes because if it bleeds, it may take up more paper than pens that don’t bleed.

Good Experience Duration: This pen lasts a pretty nice period, before it starts it’s blotting period. After you use up about half of the ink that it came with, the pen starts to leave blotches of ink as you write. This is something I wasn’t expecting, but it seems to be a consistent occurrence whenever I switch over to a new one. So keep an eye out for that.

Is this pen good for taking notes in class?: I personally would not take notes with this pen. Although it does write nicely, the way it starts to leave blotches of ink and accidentally smearing the ink while writing is an issue I consider inconvenient for note-taking.

Where do you recommend this pen?: I think this type of pen is best for office spaces where you just need a good pen to jot down memos and quick reminders–maybe occasional small notes, but not long ones.

Overall, I think this is a good pen to have around, especially if you like a bold writing pen.

I would rate this pen as 4/5 stars, considering the bleeding/smearing/blotching.

Still No Fix?

As many people may be able clearly see this world developing more and more into a technological world, there has been something that’s been bothering me for awhile.

I’ve been an Apple fan and user ever since grade 2 and am currently age 20. That’s a long time. In fact, Apple’s been my go-to/comfort technology for more than half of my life.

Apple has been very successful and has clearly situated itself among the top of the technology realm. Even though there are a lot of competitors, there’s still extremely high number of consumers in each of their product category. They do a very good job advertising, designing, producing, and developing their products. Seeing how much Apple has come since their first iPhone, they’ve definitely/undoubtedly made so much progress. However, I still have a question to a certain piece that seems to have been neglected by Apple producers and developers when upgrading their iPhones every year.

 

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That problem is: The WEAK Home Button.

iPhones have been having this problem for several years now. Just googling it will give you hundreds of articles on complains of weak/broken home buttons and ways to have a “virtual home button” with assistive touch.

I find it very amusing how Apple is able to develop very interesting/new programs and technology such as 3D Touch, but can’t seem to fix their home button problem. You would think it would be fixed by now right? There are still people with home buttons problems.

I was initially surprised to find that so many people were having home button problems. To be honest, I never had a home button problem before. It never broke or stopped working. I believe it might be a product defect, but judging by how many people complain about this is enough to raise the eyebrow at Apple, especially when it’s been couple years since the problem rose to the surface.

Maybe Apple can develop a sturdier home button to add to their next iPhone line up?

Why focus on the home button problem? How do you usually get back to your home screen from wherever you are on your phone/app? Most people press the home button. In iPhone case, there’s ONLY the home button, so you sort of have no choice…unless, you want to tap the upper left corner to backtrack. In this fast-pace society we live in, there’s no way people will wait to back-track each step to get back to their home screen. So home button is needed. You can also it’s a necessity .

I have a feeling that Apple can go 2 ways about this:

  1. Make a better/sturdier home button
  2. Remove home button entirely (like the headphone jack)

Which direction Apple decides to take is entirely up to them, but don’t you think they should do something about it already?

This problem seems to have been rising since iPhone 4. We’re currently in iPhone 7 season. So that’s been quite a long time.

This was my take on this issue. What do you think about this? Please comment below about what you think about this.

Vietnamese Restaurant – Review

Today, I found myself in a pickle trying to decide where to go exploring. Then I found a Vietnamese restaurant not too far off. It was sort of attracted to it because their very candid choice of name: Vietnamese Restaurant!

Address: 5352 Yadkin Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone
: (910) 867-1108
Delivery
: No
Wifi
: No

Hours
:
Tue-Thur:
11am-10pm
Fri-Sat:
11am-10pm
Sun:
11am-9pm

When I walked in, I was welcomed by two staff members. They must’ve noticed I was korean, because the korean lady came to serve me. She spoke to me in korean in a polite manner. She first reset the table so it was for one-person and offer me anything to drink. I just got my usual go-to: water :).

She gave me plenty of time to look through the menu and came to me when I was ready.

I ordered:
– 1 Home Special Fried Rice
– 1 Combination Fried Rice (to-go)

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted, but it caught my eye that they actually labeled this as the “home special” dish. So I figured I would give it a try.


The dish came out fairly quickly in a simple white plate with red, decorative design around the edges. I’ve tried plenty of fried rice dishes from various Vietnamese restaurants back home in California. I sort of expected this one to be on the salty side, but it wasn’t. I had to scold myself for being so quick to judge. The rice was flavored just enough not to overpower the other ingredients. The rice and the various meats (shrimp, pork, chicken) went well together. Good balance indeed.

This dish didn’t seem to be made with MSG… because if I eat anything with MSG, I tend to drink a lot of water throughout the meal; however, I didn’t reach for my glass of water until I was done with my meal. I only took 2 sips and that was it.


As for the to-go Combination Fried Rice, it was packaged inside a typical to-go container and then wrapped within a smiley-face plastic bag–I thought that was cute. I ate it for dinner later on and it was just as good.


One thing I especially loved about this restaurant is that it wasn’t smelly. My usual worry about going to Vietnamese is of getting the strong smell of the food on my clothes (like pho)… but it was completely different. The restaurant was very clean and the smell of the food from other party was unable to be detected. My clothes didn’t stink after leaving the restaurant either. The entire place seemed to be well-ventilated so that was additional plus!

The staff was overall polite, nice, and very helpful except this one lady with glasses. She showed up towards when I was about to leave. She had a rude way of communicating. I figured it was the whole rude-asian thing. (In asian culture, showing respect to those older than you are big. So if some people find out that they are older than you, they sort of be rude to you because either way they know you would show respect to them). She only became slightly nicer after I she swiped my card lol. Can you believe that? She had that slight grin and I was half amused and half dumbfounded.

Overall, the food seems to be good. The service isn’t bad either. The environment in which you will be dining in is clean and well-ventilated. Don’t worry about getting too smelly unless you order something that has a strong scent.

I would give this place 4/5 stars.

Umami – Fayetteville, NC – Review 

This place seriously ring out “home” to me. I love the overall chill, neat, yet comforting vibe of this place. 
Today I came to get me some rolls and something to-go.
I had a Spider Roll + Crunchy Shrimp Tempura Roll


The Spider Roll had a unique appearance. The fried crab created the image of a spider indeed. The color contrast of the yellow-ish tempura and brown from the eel sauce balanced out well. The tempura crab had a good crunch and soft inner content. The roll was delicious and paired incredibly well with the eel sauce.


Crunchy Shrimp Tempura Roll is my go-to roll wherever. Like the Spider Roll, this was delectable as well. The Tempura shrimp had outer crunch and inner chewy/soft texture. However, it felt quite fresh. Unlike all the other Tempura shrimps I had prior that had dry, instant feeling, this one had freshness to it. It was better than any other Tempura Shrimp I had so far. The presentation was simple, yet refined.


I ordered a Matcha Milk Tea w/ Boba as well. Despite being a sushi bar, the boba here was very good. In fact, the texture of the boba pearls were better than the ones I had at a nearly boba joint. I get an impression that they have an attention for detail and precision. That’s something you don’t usually get from typical restaurants. This is my 3rd time visiting and they never disappoint.

I had Chicken Teriyaki Bowl to-go for dinner. It was just as delicious as the rest of their food. Everything from texture to flavor to presentation had good balance.
The service is good here. The waiter and waitress at this shop along with the kitchen crew are friendly and polite.

Overall, the shop is great when it comes to good and service. The interior is calming and calls out in modern-Japanese feel. I definitely recommend this place if you want a clean, casual, Japanese restaurant with good food.

Best Solution for Chap Lips

Are you currently suffering from chap lips? Have you ever suffered from it?

I consider lip care to be one of the most important one.

I’ve gone through different brands; however, I found one that works the best in any occasion.

#5 : Maybelline’s Babylips

Maybelline’s Babylips is another lip care/styling product people enjoy. For me personally, this product works on and off. Sometimes it makes my lips chapped rather than helping it. This should be used as more of a lip tint than a moisturizing lip care solution.

#4 : EOS Lip Balm

EOS lip balms are very cute and has a very unique design that sets itself from apart from it’s competitors. However, the first waxiness from the initial use after removing the packaging. So it has repelled a lot of people because of that.

#2 : Burt’s Bees Chap Stick

Burt’s Bees is another lip care product a lot of people look towards. There are various variations out on the shelves; however, the original works best.

#1 : Carmex Chapstick

From all of my years of using lip care products, this one has been the best and most helpful. It kept my lips from ripping and bleeding throughout my time in the military as well. It may not have the best taste, fragrance, and packaging, but the outcome and effects of the product is the real deal.

Which lip care product do you enjoy using on a day to day basis?

Why Fitbit?

One of the healthy, technology trends on the market are wearable fitness technology. There are various different styles and brands out there trying to make big bucks. One of the most well known fitness technology producer is Fitbit.

line-up

Fitbit has been producing for years since taking off in San Francisco, California.

These are the product line up:

  • Fitbit One
  • Fitbit Zip
  • Fitbit Flex 2
  • Fitbit Alta 2
  • Fitbit Charge 2
  • Fitbit Surge
  • Fitbit Blaze 2

These are activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices. Their capabilities include:

  • Tracking number of steps walked
  • Monitoring heart rate
  • Tracking quality of sleep
  • Counting steps climbed

Countless people favor and enjoy wearing these stylish, yet essential fitness watches on a daily basis. Whether you have the old version or the latest in stock, these devices were made for one purpose, to help track our fitness/health goals.

Marathon runners, Florence

These are very well developed and initiated goals. Fitbit has built so much fandom and respect from over millions of users over the world. However, there is one thing Fitbit really needs to step up.

As much as these products are stylish and efficient, they are not waterproof yet.

It’s sort of funny how a product made and developed for years for the purpose for working out and being a fitness partner, is still limited to just dust-and-water-resistance.

What’s more funny is that imitations of Fitbit products that are way less expensive and uglier than the original is waterproof.

Apple’s 2nd generation of apple watches came out with waterproof capability. Before Fitbit.

Technically, there is only one Fitbit product that is waterproof–Fitbit Flex 2. However, one negative aspect of the Fitbit Flex 2 is that it doesn’t tell time. It’s a unique product that is versatile in various ways you can wear it, but it’s sad how that’s the only Fitbit product that is waterproof as of right now.

My question is “Why not already?”

What is Fitbit waiting for?

I love Fitbit products and I would love to invest my money on one of them, but before that happens I would like to see waterproof versions emerge sometime in the near future.

How cool would it be to be able to swim and shower with your Fitbit Charge or Fitbit Blaze?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one anticipating this new feature in the next line of Fitbit products. I really hope they do it soon.

 

I’m excited, Are you?

Pocket-able Lifesaver!

As the world is advancing rapidly, the need for our phones to stay alive is crucial. Even little elementary kids these days go around their school campus with a smartphone of their own.

Have you noticed how everyone is waiting in line with their eyes glued to their phone? Or seen a little kid focused on a smartphone or any technology device as if their life depends on it?

This is how much technology has been integrated into our lives.

How do I keep my phone alive throughout the day without any worry?

The solution is simple : Portable charger

Portable chargers are products that enables us to charge our phones or any electric device without being locked down to a wall plug. These started coming out in very simple design like the ones above.

Nowadays, these come in very adorable and cute design. Some are very creative and some even ridiculous.

These are very cute indeed. Now these have become some-what of a fashion statement as well.

I personally carry my portable charger around in my bag and charge my phone whenever needed.

Advices

mAh stands for “milliamp Hour” and is a unit for measuring electric power over time. The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last. Likewise, it is important to check the mAh capacity of the portable charger and your phone before making your purchase.

Your goal is to purchase a portable charger that has more mAh than your phone.

Here are some mAh information for the latest phones out on the market:
iPhone 7 : 1,960 mAh
iPhone 7 Plus : 2,900 mAh
iPhone 6s : 1,715 mAh
iPhone 6 Plus : 2,750 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge : 3,600 mAh
Google Nexus 6P : 3,450 mAh
Google Nexus 5X : 2,700 mAh
LG G3 : 3,000 mAh

Chargers that look long and skinny like this typically have mAh around 3350.

Chargers that are bigger and typically looks like this typically have about 10000+ mAh.

I personally have a charger with 10000mAh. It can charge my phone throughout the week with no problem. After fully charging it, it can last forever. From all the portable chargers I’ve used, chargers will high mAh (10000+) work the best!

I recommend in investing in a portable charger. It will definitely save you!