Tag: Review

Fresh Brothers, Irvine, CA – Review

April 16, 2018 (Monday)

How I Found Out?: My old church friend told me about it. He was bragging about how fresh pizza from here is. 

Address: 13258 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602
Phone: (714) 598-2828
Hours:

              Mon-Thurs & Sunday: 11:00am-9:00pm
              Fri & Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm

The exterior of the restaurant looks like this. It is located by the Tustin Market Place and its confusing at first due to shadow that glooms over the signs. However, the environment and the feel of the place is very nice and soothing. Lots of greenery from the plants both on the ground and high up from palm trees. There’s a water fountain display and lots of tables outside with bright yellow parasols for those who enjoy dining outside in the sun. 

The interior is done with the color theme of neutral black, white, and wooden textures to give a clean feel. The countertops are stainless steel. Pops of color for point and hunger-sensation is red and yellow. There are multiple TVs displaying various movies, news, tv shows to cater towards various age groups. The new is neatly organized, but I think it would’ve been better if the two clear menus on the either end would be either white or red, because it was hard to see. 

They have on the wall and off the wall, hand menu as well. I will recommend using the hand menu because there’s pictures to refer to, which helps a lot. So I’d say the menu on the wall is for the formality. 

There’s many options for drinks. Either you chose the bottled options or fountain drink option. I’d say fountain cuz you get more options. There’s iced teas, both sweet or unsweetened, if you’re feeling the crave for some tea. I personally like the clear caps provided for concealing the fountain drink cups, because it allows you to see what you’re drink. (That’s just my thing). It seems like they maintain the place very well because the area with condiments and utensils was very clean. 

After placing your order, you are given a table number to place on your table (only if you are ordering for “here”). Each table comes with its own napkin dispenser, parmesan cheese, and (I believe) Italian seasoning.

What I Got: Personal size Da Works with added pineapple toppings. (Yes, I’m part of the pineapple crew).

It’s the perfect size for one person who can’t eat a whole lot. Even if it is on a small plate, the amount of toppings made for it.

This little dude of a pizza was literally
over an inch thick despite it being a
thin crust pizza. 

I am a vegetable muncher, basically a human bunny. I eat my vegetables raw with no dressing and enjoy the taste and texture of the vegetable itself. So that being said, the vegetables on this pizza was very fresh. Freshly cut and freshly made. I have to say the pineapple bits made things all the more better. 

I have to mention that they were very generous with the toppings. I was thoroughly surprised. 

I got full after my 2nd slice and then was done by my 3rd slice. Overall, my experience at this pizza place was good. 

One thing I didn’t particularly like was how overly cooked my cheese and pepperoni was on top of my pizza. They were all just melted together and I didn’t get the whole cheese stretch experience or got to each my pizza without the difficulty of the whole top of the pizza sliding off. 

Rating: I would give this place a 4/5 stars. 

Temptations at Your Fingertips

Ever since I was little and had control over my little thoughts, I had this abnormal attraction to stationary. I love collecting pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, pencil cases, and equivalent even though I have so much at home already. I always must try out the new set of pens that just came out or something. The world defines people with these symptoms as being a Stationery Maniac. And yes, I definitely am one.

There is a particular store I’ve always gone to since when I was little because this place has been around for so long. I do like buying hipolymer erasers and G2 0.5 pens at local Target; however, I have to say asian stationary has their own magic.

Recently, I felt the need to get 1 additional pencil to my pencil case. So I set my car in the direction of my favorite stationery store: Morning Glory.

The front entryway is very simple with lowercased store name in pinkish-red up top greeted by couple giant, stuffed plushies by the window. (They honestly tug at my heartstrings). Once you look in from the doorway, this is the view you’ll see.

From cute gift-wrapping essentials to pencil cases, cups, keychains, phone/car accessories, dolls, and pens, they have the whole-sha-bam!

If your friend or lover has love for cute asian stuff or unique drink ware, there you go. Variety of selections like panda to penguin to Rilakkuma.

Don’t like the pencil cases they sell at Target? What about these cute character ones. There’s even bus-themed ones. What about the dolls? Any special occasions coming up?

These planners and notebooks are just candy to my eyes. Why are they so cute!!! Makes me want to scream and buy everything! (if I had all the money in the world lol).

My favorite part has to be this section with all the mechanical pencils and pens. You are able to test them out and go with it. Prices vary so make sure to check out the prices posted on each little shelf. But I love the pens because they work and they don’t typically bleed though my pages, which takes a lot of worry off my shoulders. 🙂

Are you in search for new stationery? Not satisfied with your current pencil? I definitely recommend this place. It has been my favorite stationery place since elementary days and still is.

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Have you ever gone into the store to buy only one thing but you come out with more than what you originally intended to buy? That’s exactly what I happened. I got a black bow mechanical pencil and two double-sided pens (blue & red). Can’t wait to start using these and take notes with them.

Thank you for listening to my rant. That’s just how passionate I am about them.

LOL Bubble Tea & Coffee – Fayetteville, NC – Review

This is my 3rd time visiting this place and every time, they don’t disappoint. I think their shop name is pretty funny.

How I Found Out?: My friend told me about by bragging how he got bubble tea through snapchat. Then I looked it up on Yelp.

Why Posting About it so Late?: I was being a turtle these days…

Address: 5044 Yadkin Rd, Ste 101, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: (910) 758-9439
Hours:
    Tue-Sun: 11am – 9pm

Bubble Tea (Drink): I’ve tried their Strawberry Slush, Caramel Milk Frost, Green Milk Tea. All 3 of the drinks were all up to standards. I like how they don’t overly sweeten their drinks.

Pudding: The pudding is an optional addition to your drinks. I’ve tried milk & custard so far. Their custard pudding was really good. It had good consistency and flavor, without overpowering the drink’s flavor. Milk pudding had the same consistency as the custard one, except it had a very powdery favor, which was a downer. If you’re trying out pudding, I would recommend going with custard.

Bubble Tea/Boba Pearls: Referred to as bubble tea or boba, this is probably the main reason you go to a bubble tea shop. Their boba pearls were chewy, but slightly more leaning towards the cooked side.

It’s essential to control the temperature and the duration when cooking boba pearls. Overcooking it would loose the chewy texture, but undercooking it would make it too hard and allow it to freeze when it’s inside cold drinks. So finding the very balance and ratio is the key to happy customers. 

Egg Waffle: There are a lot of flavor options to choose from. I chose milk chocolate. It’s very good. The edges are crunchy/soft. The egg part is fluffy and soft. Just a good balance. I actually saved leftovers to eat later in the day and when I tried it hours later, it was still good despite a slight decrease in the crispiness.

Popcorn Chicken: There are spiciness level options to choose from for this one. I went for the spicy option [as always]. I found the little pieces of I think it’s spinach? adorable. The green color creates a nice contrast with the saturated orange tones. Each piece of the popcorn chicken had a crispy exterior and a chewy interior. The spiciness made each bite more enjoyable. I think the cute, hot pink cup it comes in also does a great job of igniting the appetite within you.

Overall, my experience at this bubble tea joint was nothing but excellent. The staff are bubbly, bright, and friendly.

I would give LOL Bubble Tea & Coffee 5/5 stars!

Grilled Ginger – Fayetteville, NC – Review

Eye spy with my little eye, a very popular and delicious Vietnamese Restaurant! This restaurant is located in a plaza with buildings colored in hues of white and sky blue. I’ve read very good reviews about this place, but have yet to try till recently.

Address: 5052 Yadkin Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: (910) 867-6226
Website: http://www.grilledginger.com
Hours:
   Mon-Tue, Thur-Sat: 11am – 8:30pm
   Wed, Sun: Closed 

I went on a Friday evening with my friend, Tasha.

Occasion: It just happened to be right across from the bubble tea shop we were planning to go. And since both of us did not eat dinner yet, it was just a perfect opportunity.

First Impression: Taking my first couple steps into the restaurant through their door, my impression was, “Wow… very crowded. As expected for a popular spot.”

One of the waitresses led us to our seats. She kept on apologizing for having to clean the booth up for us. I know it’s the asian culture, so as a fellow asian, I reassured that she was doing a fine job and no need for apologies.

There were lots of long tables for larger groups in the middle and booths for smaller parties along the walls. The overall interior design and color choices was reflection of the Vietnamese culture. It was very elegant and bright.

I like how they chose warm colors like muted pink and red. Red is a very good choice for a restaurant because it is a color that evokes appetites.

For appetizer we got their A4. Egg Rolls. The presentation of the 2 nicely fried egg rolls were very cute.

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It reminded me of a hammock. Absolutely love the mixture of wood, aluminum and ceramics. It surprisingly makes a good combination. It’s also very clever to have the egg rolls sit on top of pile of finely sliced carrots and lettuce to balance out the color scheme too.

For the main meal, I ordered their B3. Hot Chili Pork Spare Ribs.

They have 3 level of spiciness for this, I went for the medium level. I love the little pot the ribs came in, especially the wooden basket to support it and help carry the hot content. I think this is a very good idea because pots such as the one shown in the picture above become very hot and to have wooden basket at the bottom will make carrying it around much safer for the servers and customers as well. I was impressed by how well the ribs were cooked. It was very easy to slide the meat off the bones. The flavor was sweet & spicy, which is what I go head over heels for!

Pay: You can pay up at the counter. If you want to take some leftovers to-go, then just go up front to ask for a food container. This is because it’s usually crowded and the servers are preoccupied most of the time. It’s must faster for you to take the initiative to go up to the front desk to ask for the things you need.

Service: The service was good. All of the waitresses were polite and helpful. It was sort of funny to find out that there were 3 waitresses, but each of them had a specific role. So if I asked a waitress in charge of bringing drinks about our food, she would call for the waitress in charge of that specific role to come instead of just addressing the situation herself. But it didn’t really bother me at all. I just found it a little amusing.

Overall, my experience to Grilled Ginger was a good one. If you are looking for a good Vietnamese restaurant, I definitely recommend this one. Tbh, I personally like this one over the other restaurant a little ways over.

I would give Grilled Ginger 5/5 stars.IMG_0965.33270804

Panera Bread – Skibo, Fayetteville, NC – Review

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.

 

 

Skilcraft Permanent Impression Marker – Review

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

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

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.