My first blog giveaway!

Hello, my lovely readers! To commemorate my happiness about the weather, I have decided to host my first giveaway! I have decided on giving one lucky winner an amazing printed body-con dress from Nasty Gal which is worth $48.

Giveaway

Hopefuls can gain entries by tweeting, following me on twitter or commenting on this blog post. Each prompt will gain you a certain amount of entry points. The more you do it, the more you gain points. This contest starts today and ends on May 22 at 12AM. Click the link below to join!

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They killed Kyle!

Days later, I still can’t get over the fact that NBC killed Kyle in Smash. Just when I was slowly falling in love with his character, they decided that he should emulate Jonathan Larson, the composer/playwright who died right before Rent’s first preview. It was sudden and unexpected just like Larson’s death. I felt like they didn’t show enough of Kyle’s character until the end which is a big shame. However, while it saddens me that he’s not part of the show anymore, I do understand why they did it.

Smash - Season 2

I just wish they also developed Tom and Kyle’s relationship before the accident happened. The last episode, “The Phenomenon”, showed clips on their relationship and it was endearing.


(Tom serenading Kyle with Billy Joel’s Vienna.)

On a side note, Derek and Karen tried to get it on but failed. Maybe there just isn’t enough spark. Also.. I would love for them to kill Jimmy because his character irritates me to no end.

The Invasion of Meggings

Apparently, this year, meggings (or uncomfortably tight leggings for men) are all the rage in the fashion world. While I don’t mind seeing incredibly amazing asses (especially on Ryan Lochte), this trend is better off thrown into a time traveling machine to the Middle Ages ’cause it just screams bum bandit to me. Well, unless you’re gay of course.. In which case, go ahead and wear it. We girls do need some innocent once overs.

Meggings

The Art Institute of Chicago

My weekend has been crazy busy. My sister came over from New York and of course, I had to make sure everything about her Chicago trip was perfect. That meant, cleaning the apartment, organizing my room and planning the places we were going to visit. Since my sister has always appreciated art, The Art Institute (which is my favorite museum in the entire city) was first on the itinerary.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The iconic Greek columns are indicative of European influences in the architecture. You will notice the continuation of this when walking up the grand staircase.

The Art Institute of Chicago

One of the things that I admire about this museum is their wide collection of impressionist paintings. If you can see in the photo below, they have a whole wing dedicated to the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Seurat and others.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Probably one of my most favorite paintings besides Van Gogh’s Starry Night, is At the Moulin Rouge by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. One amazing fact about this painting is that May Milton, an English singer seen as the disturbing green lady on the right, was originally cut off from the canvas since it made the painting harder to sell. Seen in the photo below are a couple of people trying to discern where the cut is located.

Chicago Spring Ate's Visit 2013 - 9

Another favorite part of the museum is the Modern Wing, designed as a bright open space with clean lines.

The Art Institute of Chicago

This is where Jeff Koon’s sculpture called Woman in Tub can be found. This is a memorable piece of art, not only because of its strong missive but also as a result of the vibrant comic-like composition. What I found most interesting is the abrupt sliced head which left only the woman’s open mouth delivering a message of shocked violation.

Jeff Koons

Jackson Pollock

Of course, we cannot forget Jackson Pollock, one of the pioneers of Abstract art. The one I’m standing next to is his work, Greyed Rainbow, which shows a distinct technique he introduced during the 1940s called Abstract Expressionism. An interesting fact to note is that Pollock rarely used brushes instead he veers toward unconventional tools such as sticks or palette knives.

If you are interested in seeing these art works in person and exploring the museum (which you should), look at the information provided below. Hope to see you there soon!

Contact Information:
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
+1 (312) 443-3600
artic.edu

Gelato Nostro

Gelato Nostro

More than just ice cream, Gelato Nostro offers unique flavors from fruits, chocolates and alcohol drinks such as Dulce de Leche, Nutella and Coconut. They even experiment with different tastes like The Godfather, an amaretto and whiskey inspired concoction. The quality of the ice cream is superb for it is prepared fresh daily. Besides their amazing gelato selection, gourmet teas and coffee, they also serve pastries such as empanadas and quiches.

Gelato Nostro

I would definitely come back to Miami just to “Come, Taste, Enjoy” their ice cream!

Contact Information:
1111 SW 1st Ave. Miami, FL 33130
(+1) 305-677-8808
Mondays to Saturdays – 8AM to Midnight
Sundays – 12NN to Midnight
gelatonostro.com

TV’s Best Bromance Relationships

1. Howard and Raj

Howard and Raj

This Jewish and Indian codependent relationship never fails to make us laugh in the TV series, Big Bang Theory, especially on the episode where they test out a french kissing stimulator.

2. Ted, Marshall and Barney

Ted Marshall Barney

Rather than the usual duo, we have these three musketeers. From slap bets, engagements, mystery tales of pineapple, you know their love for each other is real and strong.

3. Ryan and Esposito

Ryan and Esposito

Detective Ryan and Detective Esposito are more than just partners, they’re brothers. It has been tested by death defying cases, women and secrets yet their relationship still remains strongly intact.

4. House and Wilson

House Wilson

A subtle ripoff from the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, House and Wilson still remains my favorite among all the “bromances” in TV. Though the series always portray them with a serious dilemma, they also have their fair share of mischief which adds a fun element to their dynamic. I remember a scruffy looking Wilson and House on motorcycles in the TV show finale. Wilson asked what they will do once the cancer gets bad. House shrugs it off saying, “cancer is boring” perfectly describing their sometimes rocky yet oddly secure bromance.

Tapas Xperience

The most amazing thing about going on Spring break is spending a nice afternoon eating out with friends. Tapas Xperience was another discovery through Yelp. True to their meaning, Tapas Xperience offers a variety of small plates prepared by Spanish chef Ibai Torres.

Tapas Xperience (Me, Annie and Frank)

Tapas Xperience (Who’s hungry? Clarence, Justine or Gavin?)

They started us off with a free glass of Sangria. Looking around, I noticed that they also offer wine dispensaries. Wine dispensaries are like vending machines. You buy a card, fill it with credit and use it to get wine usually for tasting purposes. Most wine dispensaries offer 1/4, 1/2 or a full glass. Tapas Xperience is known for their selection of Spanish wines.

Tapas

Our appetizers were Patatas Bravas, Croquetas and Chorizo. This was served with their garlic and potato dip, which was amazing. We couldn’t get enough of it.

TapasXperience2

TapasXperience4

Then we decided to try their Seafood Paella and Shrimp Ceviche. I think everyone loved these dishes because we ordered a second round. And because we can never leave a restaurant without having beef, we also ordered their Filet Mignon.

TapasXperience5

Another great food experience in Downtown Miami! Xperience it too! Pun intended.

Contact Information:
900 South Miami Ave. Suite 180
(+1) 786-391-1450
Mondays to Wednesdays – 12NN to 11PM
Thursdays to Saturdays – 12NN to 1AM
Sundays – 1PM – 10PM
tapasxperience.com

The Science of Harry Potter: Hermione’s Time Turner

Hermione Time Turner

One of the most amazing concepts, even if it’s not the most original, in Harry Potter is time traveling with the use of a time turner. In Roger Highfield’s book, The Science of Harry Potter, he delves into the likelihood of this phenomenon with theories on how it can happen in real life.

Use of Wormholes?

One explanation on how Hermione’s time turner works is the possibility of using wormholes. In theory, a wormhole functions by allowing a link between two different places in space or periods in time. While this concept does not disapprove space-time travel, Stephen Hawking (a well-renowned physicist) states that though wormholes may be created, it is likely to destabilize as soon as any particle is inserted into it thus making it the least favorable way of space-time travel.

Travel to the future but not to the past?

It is said that time travel apparatuses can only be used by going to the future. It is not possible to go back in time before the apparatus was created. This does make sense and limits the possibility of paradoxes.

Time Paradox?

We all know the warning that McGonagall told Hermione about the dangers of altering history. Highfield says that it references to the grandfather paradox in which you go back in time, kill your grandfather and ultimately making sure your mother is never born causing you to be nonexistent and unable to go back in time to actually kill your grandfather. Complicated? Well, thankfully, David Deutsch from Oxford University actually states that there is no grandfather paradox. Instead, there are different branches of reality.

Parallel Universes?

This theory, as first proposed by Erwin Schrödinger, was further developed by Hugh Everett III. He declared that the universe is rooted in an infinitely larger space called the multiverse where parallel universes are relentlessly multiplying causing a numerous amount of possibilities. For example, in another reality, I’ll probably be out doing something more fruitful than writing this blog post (like marrying Ezra Miller). You, in turn, will be equally be doing something more productive than reading what I’m writing.

If we accept this theory, then we might say that Hermione doesn’t actually travel back and forth through time. Instead, she creates a different reality and as Deutsch says, “Make things happen there”. This then allows a “time traveler” to alter the past without producing the grandfather paradox.

With this in mind, we don’t actually time travel. We instead “hop universes” like Doctor Who but not really.

Thoughts, anyone?

Ristorante Fratelli Milano

On our first day in Miami, we gathered around Annie’s laptop, browsing through Yelp for a place to eat in. I came from the airport not long ago so I wasn’t particularly fussy about what restaurant to go to as long as it’s food. “You guys pick. I’ll take a bath.” I said, shutting the bathroom door behind me. An hour later, I found myself sitting outside a small Italian restaurant, two blocks away from our hotel. Yelp is such a wonderful tool, don’t you think so?

Ristorante Fratelli Milano was an excellent choice for our first Spring break dinner. Most Italian restaurants in the world would say that their cuisine is authentic. Nearly everyone dissatisfies but not Fratelli Milano. Besides their affordable wine list, who better to prepare a true Italian dinner consisting of hearty pasta dishes, pizza and other specialties than twin Italian brothers Chef Roberto and Emanuele Bearzi?

So here is our Italian experience in downtown Miami…

Mushroom Risotto

Sometimes, I am guilty of rating a restaurant solely on their risotto. With just their Porcini Mushroom Risotto, I would have probably given them an A+. One bite and its creamy texture plus delicate flavor brought me to the brink of ecstasy. Rarely does a dish excite a picky eater like myself but it was that good!

Pear Taleggio Cheese Pasta

Annie, on the other hand chose Fiocchi di Pera e Taleggio. It is pear and taleggio cheese pasta in a sage and butter sauce. I was not a big fan of this dish because it was too sweet but my friends loved it.

Filet mignon

Maybe it’s his huge appetite but I’ve always wondered why my friend, Clarence, constantly orders steak. Personally, I do not like the texture of beef so I try to avoid it as much as I can. Nonetheless, their Filet Mignon medallions with baked potatoes and sautéed spinach served with gorgonzola sauce was quite wonderful.

Papardelle Milano

Papardelle Milano is their homemade pasta cooked with Chianti wine and truffle oil. It’s   served with tomato sauce, slices of filet mignon and porcini mushrooms topped with bits of goat cheese. Frank was a bit disappointed with his choice and ranked it as the least favorable among our main dishes. Yet, I thought it was probably the most delicious one.

After cleaning our plates and a few glasses of wine, we decided to order desserts for the four of us to share.

Tiramisu

Chocolate Souffle

We ordered the chocolate soufflé with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and tiramisu. Both were average, nothing special unlike their restaurant’s entrees. All of us decided we should have gone to a different place for dessert. Though one should note that we did not try all their desserts.

Overall, this is a wonderful restaurant with attentive service and tasty food which is perfect for dates or relaxed meetings with family and friends (warning on the extremely dim lighting though).

Contact Information:
213 SE First Street, Downtown Miami
(+1) 305-373-2300
ristorantefratellimilano.com
Mondays to Thursdays – 11 AM to 10 PM
Fridays to Saturdays – 11 AM to 11 PM