Panera Bread – Skibo, Fayetteville, NC – Review

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Panera Bread has clearly established itself as one of the most favored shops. I’m pretty I’m not the only who would always crash at a nearby Panera Bread to do my homework and write my long papers.

Panera is known for their healthy and delicious food. They have also developed their customer service to reach out to those who are unable to come to the shop by offering delivering services. Drive-thrus have become a common sidekick to recent Panera shops-attracting busy, on-the-go consumers as well.

I personally love the nice, calm, and soothing environment of Panera Bread. The interior has always had wood and their trademark shade of green to illustrate a natural, relaxing, homing place for people of various needs to come together. Every Panera I have been to has always been clean and cared by friendly staff. And somehow, its the style that never gets old. It’s a timeless design for sure!

One of my concerns when I go to a cafe or study spot is security of my belongings. I worry about leaving my belongings at the table to get my order sometimes if the current environment isn’t very ideally safe. So the fact that Panera brings your order to you is definitely a plus!

Today, I visited a nearby Panera in 11 months!! It’s been forever! I seriously missed my favorite study/munch spot so it was nice to stop by.

ADDRESS: 1933 Skibo Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28314
HOURS:
MON-SAT: 6AM-10PM
SUN: 7AM-10PM

I got 3 items:
– Green Passion Smoothie
– Pecan Braid
– Spinach & Bacon Souffle

My never-fail, go-to is their Green Passion Smoothie. It is just soooo good!! When I took a sip of it and tasted the exact same taste I’ve had back home…it was nostalgic. It felt like I was home once again. Just sitting in my neighborhood’s nearby Panera, enjoying my usual smoothie. I’ve never been away from home period and it’s been almost a whole year. Being able to taste and feel at home in a place located across the whole country in North Carolina was amazing. It helped re-energize me to keep going.

I’ve always liked anything with pecans, so I decided to give their Pecan Braid a try. Surely, it was good. It had a firm, but soft texture with good balance of sweetness and nuttiness. Definitely a great choice for a little dessert!

Before enjoying my sweet dessert, I filled my tummy up with a little souffle. This is my first time trying their souffle at all. Their Ham and Cheese one sold out before I reached the cashier, so I went with their Spinach and Bacon option. It was delicious! The souffle had a light, fluffy exterior with a slight crisp. When you sink your teeth into it, you come into contact with the soft, moist interior filled with warm cheese and spinach filling. It just hits the spot with the little bacon that’s resting on top to add a little boost. I thoroughly enjoyed taking each and every bite of my souffle and would definitely come back for more!

My overall experience with this Panera was up to expectations and left very satisfied! I’m happy that it’s within close distance and would love to visit when I can.

I give this Panera 5/5.

 

 

Language: Key to the Soul

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I am bilingual. I was born an asian, but raised in the land of freedom and unbelievable abundance of opportunity. Thus, I was grew up to speak, think, and comprehend two languages fluently. However, it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was anything from easy.

I grew up seeing, hearing, and facing many different forms of judgement from just being able to speak a different language. I was judged for being different, for having a skill that they didn’t have.

A language isn’t something you can just pick up and adapt so easily. It takes tremendous effort and dedication to make it even stay on your tongue for a couple seconds. There may be people in the world, who can scoop up languages here and there as if it was nothing, but that’s not everyone’s ability is it? Majority need to take steady steps to build a sturdy foundation through education and experience.

It wasn’t any different for me. I came to the U.S. when I was 6. I was barely mumbling basic Hangul (Korean language) at that time. Then I was thrown into school surrounded by unfamiliar faces, culture, and language: English.

I was made fun of, laughed at for my effort in learning their culture and language. Through trials of humiliation and hundreds of stumbling, I was able to reach fluency, which people around me today can’t really tell if I wasn’t born in the States or not.

Got a question for you: Why should a person be judged for something they earned through years of hard work and dedication? They invested time and effort to acquire a skill, a language, something that can open more doors for them. 

A language is not merely a skill or a new collection of sounds you can utilize to communicate with others. In fact, a language has the power to open and unlock doors to the souls of others.

Have you noticed how people, who can speak the same language become closer and befriend much faster than people, who cannot communicate because of a language barrier? This isn’t 100% always the case; however, there are many cases like these.

For someone touring around in a country, where the native language of the land isn’t familiar to their ears and communication is difficult, there is nothing more inviting and pleasant than meeting someone, who can speak their language. This precisely one of the reason why having one or two foreign languages in your sleeve gives you a boost in the employment/hiring department. It surely makes you more competitive.

I’ve been in many positions where I was able to lend a helping hand to those wandering around aimlessly. It was easier for me to approach them speaking their home language.

A language is not only a means of communication, but also a good representation of the country’s culture and history. As you learn to speak the language and understand the history behind it, you open your horizon towards the culture of that country and of the people. It helps you become more aware and more understanding.

Being able to speak more than one language isn’t strange. It’s a talent, it’s actually something to be proud of and to be praised for. Don’t give strange stares or gossip about the next person you see speaking a language you cannot understand. Instead, why not try to strike a conversation with that person and learn a word or two? Don’t chase an opportunity walking pass you, grab it with an open heart. It will surely help you in the long run.

Skilcraft Permanent Impression Marker – Review

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Skilcraft is a well-known brand that seems to be in business in all sorts of categories. From office supplies to printer cartridges, you name it. They even make clocks!

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Today, I will be unwrapping my impression and experience using Skilcraft’s Permanent Impression Marker.

I really like the name. It’s pretty cute/clever how they named it Permanent Impression because it’s a permanent marker that they want to make a strong/good impression to their consumers.

Now, when we typically think of a permanent marker, this comes to mind:

Sharpie-Fine-Point-Permanent-Marker-Black-Box-of

Yes, Sharpie has pretty much dominated the permanent marker field. There’s even counterfeit sharpies lol.

 

Initiation: I started to use this because it was the only permanent marker available at the office.

How it Writes: It has a nice, thick size line. The ink is very pigmented and vivid. The felt tip has a good balance of sturdy and flexible, which makes writing with it a breeze.

 

Bleeding: It’s a permanent marker… it does bleed. And it does make it’s permanent presence known! 🙂

 

Size Comparison: I took extra steps to compare sizes to give a better idea of it’s size. Since a size of an object can factor into whether you should buy it or not. It’s definitely on the thick portion side. You can see it’s a bigger than the size of a G2 pen, but similar to Hi-Liter.

Overall, this is a very good permanent marker if you’re into trying a different kind than Sharpie. I’m sad it’s being overshadowed by their big competitor, Sharpie. I hope it surfaces to take notice from other people, too.

I would give Skilcraft’s Permanent Impression Marker 5/5 stars.

Pilot Frixion Pens – Review

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Ever wished you could write with pens, but also erase when you make mistakes? Do you just prefer writing with pens than pencils?

I personally love writing with pencils because it can be erased, but a downer is that it’s not very reliably-permanent. If you know what I mean. So I would always write with a pencil and then go back to trace it back with a pen, but to be honest, that’s just way too much work. And who seriously has time to do that nowadays?

What’s the solution for that? – Erasable Pens!

Yes, it’s real and it’s been out for awhile, but it grabbed my attention till recently when I accidentally picked up a pack of Pilot Frixion Pens to replace my Pilot G2s.

Why is it an accident? I didn’t read the “erasable” part written on the package, but it was those good accidents.

How to Operate: First timers will become confused to how to get the pen to “click” and work. The eraser is located at the end of the pen so that clicker is the clear piece on the side. 

Variety: This pen comes in diverse color options. So if you like to write with multiple colors, you’re in set with different package options bundled with assorted colors.

How it Writes: It writes pretty smoothly with a slight murkier ink color. The black isn’t really black. It’s more of a dark grayish color. I believe that is because it is mixed with the erasable material.

I wrote on a piece of sticky note to show you. The picture sort of shows the ink color to be very black, but it’s not. It’s actually slightly more grayish. Compare to Pilot’s G2 Gel Pens, this pen definitely falls behind in the pigment department. However, it’s not too bad.

Frixion makes up for it’s lack of pigmentation with it’s ability to erase, which you cannot do with the G2.

Erase Duration: Rest assure that the eraser lasts longer than the pen ink.

– When erasable pens were first introduced, the main problem was that the eraser died out before the ink ran out. So it was pointless after the eraser died. This pen’s eraser erases well, without losing it’s shape and dying out too quickly.

So you could say it’s a pencil-like pen.

Note Taking?: I can see this pen to be a very good note taking pen. With it’s ability to erase, while still being a pen, I’m sure it will attract a lot of consumers. No more worries about having to cross out mistakes that makes the notes look messy. Instead, just erase and continue on! Also, there are some assignments that require to be done in pen. So you can totally use this without having to toss paper if you make a mistake.

Business?: This is a very good pen to use in this department as well. Because it is correct mistakes, it can be a good addition to the pencil holder collection. Jotting down quick notes and taking notes during meetings with this pen will be ideal. If you’re doing inventory of some sort and you happen to make mistakes, you can just go back and fix it up nicely & neatly.

Overall, this pen is a great pen to have if you are the pen-type and looking for good note taking utensil.

I would give the Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens 5/5 stars.

H Mart – Cary, NC – Review

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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.

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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

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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

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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.