January 16, 2013

New Flavors at Monsoon’s Sunday & Monday Crab Feasts

Photo credit to Monsoon Restaurants

In the Northwest, cold weather means crab season, and Monsoon is celebrating the shellfish bounty with an expansion of their popular Crab Feast. Available every Sunday and Monday night, at a killer deal, guests can enjoy a whole two-pound Dungeness crab for $30. In addition to the classic Saigon salt and pepper crab, sibling chefs Eric and Sophie Banh will now offer a Singapore-style yellow curry crab, scallion and ginger crab, and crab in tamarind sauce. All of the crab preparations are sautéed in the wok with bright spices and served with mango and papaya salad.

January 15, 2013

An Inside Look at the New Kukai Ramen and Izakaya in Bellevue

The highly anticipated Japanese Ramen Chain opened its first U.S. location in Bellevue’s strip mall which houses the new Walmart Neighborhood Market among other popular establishments such as Szechuan Chef and Tuna House.

Afternoon Sunset in South Seattle

The sunsets in Seattle are some of the best I've seen.

December 31, 2012

Startup SideCar Enters The Mobile Transportation Space

Since February 2012, SideCar has connected people who need rides with people who have extra seats in their car over 75,000 times. Real-time ridesharing has taken over SF and starting to pick up speed in Seattle.

SideCar (www.side.cr) is the game-changer of community-driven urban transportation.  SideCar is the original instant ridesharing revolution and it’s constantly growing. If you like meeting new people and making some extra cash with your car, you should sign up to be a community driver. If you have questions, call us at 415-691-1722

This could be a big threat to the world's largest car sharing and car club service, Zipcar.

Comment below what you think about the service.

November 6, 2012

Munch Sports Grill Launches Wing Wednesdays — Debut of the Diablo Sauce

Munch Sports Grill located in the heart of downtown Bellevue is launching a Celebrity Wing Eating Contest tomorrow.  You can get a screaming deal of $10 Good Head beer buckets and 50 cent wings from 7-9P.  Local celebrities will start competing at 7P.  Oh, and don't forget, no water, no milk, no fear…

How many diablo wings can you eat to join the Wall of Fame?

Directions: 505 Bellevue Square, Bellevue WA 98004

#Instagram Launches New Web Profiles

The popular mobile photo-sharing giant has finally launched a web presence.  Users can now access their individual profiles by going to http://instagram.com/______ (username).   The user interface looks very similar to a social network look and feel like their big brother, Facebook, which recently acquired Instagram for $300 million in cash and nearly 23 million Facebook shares putting them a final price of $740 million.  Users are unable to upload any photos at the moment, but this feature could change in the near future.  The web profiles seem to be built as more of a placeholder and discovery tool for users and retaining the mobile behavior for user generated content. 

Rumor: With the growing success and dominance of Instagram, popular social sharing site Twitter has recently rumored about adding filters to its tweet functionalities. 

See frequently asked questions on the Instagram Blog.

November 5, 2012

Knowledge is Power, Moustache is King — #Movember

Movember is the month where men and women across the globe join together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Men grow and women support a Mo (moustache) for 30 days to become walking, talking billboards, for our men’s health causes for prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.  As women have strong initiatives to fight against breast cancer, men have increasingly started a movement to raise awareness for men's health.  I had a friend who recently fought and won against testicular cancer.

How does it work:
  1. Start by registering at Movember.com and become a Mo Bro. 
  2. On Movember 1st (November) start off with a clean shave.
  3. Then grow and groom your moustache for the rest of the month.
  4. Raise funds.
Facts about Testicular Cancer:
  1. A man’s lifetime riskof developing testicular cancer is approximately 1 in 250
  2. It accounts for 1% of all the cancers in men
  3. It usually affects young men (age 20-39) in their prime of youth
  4. Testicular cancer has the highest cure rates among all cancers (>90%)
  5. Testicular cancer is most common in Caucasians and rare in men of African or Asian descent. (Credit)
Who doesn't like a good moustache.  Start your awareness today and grow a stache.   Help support prostate & testicular cancer initiatives and donate here.

November 4, 2012

One of the Most Remarkable Places in the World — The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon located in Iceland is among the most remarkable place in the world, according to National Geographic magazine.  “The steaming turquoise pools of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, trapped in volcanic rock represent an otherworldly vision,” (National Geographic).  I was fortunate enough to have a 6 hour layover in Reykjavík, Iceland from my flight back from Paris.

For those that are new to the Blue Lagoon, it is a geothermal spa built to help the health, wellness and skin care powered by geothermal energy.  The warm waters heat up to 98-102 degrees and are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur that promote softer skin and can help people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.

My advice is to book your flight schedule accordingly so you have enough time in Iceland to go sightseeing before you make it back to the states.  Even though it's a small island, there are a ton of things you can do from The Golden Circle, Gullfoss Geysir Direct, Fontana Wellness & Pingvellir National Park, Snorkeling, Walk through Ice and Fire, Landmannalaugar & Saga Valley, Horse Riding, Meadows and Mountains, and Hot Springs Tour Reykjadalur to name a few.  Here are more details on each.

Tip: Purchase the Blue Lagoon and Transportation Package from the Reykjavik Excursions.  It's safe, affordable and has wifi on the bus.  You can either board the bus at BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik or at Keflavik Airport.  The drive takes about 50 minutes from Reykjavik and 20 minutes from Keflavik Airport.  You can get tickets, here.  The total cost is 8000 ISK or $63 USD. 

So after landing at the Iceland airport, you can head over to the Reykjavik Excursions shuttle bus located downstairs by the destination and transportation area.  The shuttle bus will leave every 30 to 1 hour so you'll have plenty of flexibility to get to your destination.  

Once you arrive to the Blue Lagoon you'll check-in and have the option to pay around $10 to store all your belongings into private locker.  After a quick rince, you'll be ready to soak up in that warm water. I would also recommend visiting the restaurant located inside the center and try out their sushi buffet.  

Shot from 40,000 feet in the air.

© All Rights Reserved. 

November 3, 2012

One of Northwest's Most Scenic Hikes: Snow Lake

Snow Lake is one of prettiest and most hiked destination in the Northwest.  The hike usually takes about 4-5 hours depending on how many breaks you take and the type of shape you're in.  You can hike this throughout the year but I'd recommend strapping a pair of snowshoes if you're planning on going during the winter.  The scenery is breathtaking as you'll instantly be surrounded by high granite peaks, overshadowing wilderness, and picturesque views of the lake.  If you go during the summer and spring, you'll find wildflowers and huckleberries spotted around the hike.  

The best way to find the hike is to take I-90e and take exit 52.  You'll then head under the freeway and drive towards the Alpental Ski Area.  Keep your eye open as it's easy to miss the turn.  

Location: Snoqualmie Pass, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - North Bend District
Roundtrip: 6.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 1300 ft
Highest Point: 4400 ft
Features: Lakes Waterfalls, Mountain views, Ridges/passes, Established campsites

Driving Directions:
From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 52 (signed for Snoqualmie Pass west). Turn left (north), crossing under the freeway, and continue to the end of the road at the Alpental Ski Area parking lot.

Difficulty Level: 3/5 

© All Rights Reserved. 

November 2, 2012

Review: First Look at the iPad Mini

Today, Apple released its smaller version iPad called the iPad Mini at the Apple store and Best Buy locations.  I was lucky enough to play around with my coworker's new device he picked up today.  After seeing it for the first time, I was quite impressed with the new design!  It's thinner, smaller, lighter and has a beautiful glass inlay back and black bezel similar to the iPhone 5.  It also fits very nicely in your hands.  I am a bit disappointed with the guts of the device though.  Its built with an A5 processor rather than the A6 component that's used in the iPhone 5 and has no retina display.  For now, I will have to wait until the next gen iPad Mini.

Pros: Design, LTE, Size (7.2mm), Battery life, Weight (0.68 pounds).
Cons: Slower processor (A5), No Retina display (1024x768), No LTE for T-Mobile, Cost ($329)

My recommendation: If you currently own an iPad 2, then I'd say it might be worth waiting for the iPad Mini 2nd generation that may be introduced next year.  For those who are new to the iPad, it's definitely a device worth considering amongst other tablets.  Overall, it's a powerful device that can be used for many purposes from personal use to the corporate environment.  I expect iPads to be in more retail and restaurant environments as an alternative POS (point of sales) system that integrates digital receipts and a greener way of processing data.

Fall Love

Sometimes we just have to stop what we're doing and look around.  Fall is one of the prettiest seasons of the year as the leaves transition from green to orange and illuminate the environment.

The Shocking Truth about Candy — It's Time to Get UNREAL!

Now that Halloween is over, we're all probably going to spend the next several months eating the terrible ingredients that are in "candy"... but you may want to rethink your decisions.  But there is one entrepreneur who is trying to change that.  Meet Nicky.  He is changing the junk food culture by providing REAL ingredients that are responsibly sourced, supporting farming communities and preventing destruction of the rain forests.   No corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, GMO's, Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, reduced sugar.  Celebrities are getting behind this campaign and backing this movement.  Look them up here.

Here are the real truths about candy and how it can negativity impact your body and health.
  • Artificial Colors
    • Studies show that it links to hyperactivity or behavioral disorders.
    • Increased hyperactivity in 3-year olds and 8/9 year-old children in the general population.
    • Linked to asthma, allergies, and even cancer. 
    • Found in candies and chips such as M&M's, Skittles, Gummy candies, Smarties, Cheetoh's, Doritos, Blow Pops, Candy Corn. 
  • Artificial Sweeteners
    • May actually promote obesity by tricking the body into thinking that sweet-tasting foods and drinks do not contain as many calories as they really do. 
    • Double your risk for declining kidney disfunction. 
    • Often found in products that say, "no-sugar added, "sugar free," including juices, juice boxes, "low-carb" chewing gum, candies, protein powders, protein bars.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Contributing to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease 
    • Found in milk chocolates, gummy based candies, gelatins, lollipops, most candies, juices, soda pop.
  • Sodium Benzoate 
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
    • There is evidence that certain people cannot metabolize BHA and BHT resulting in health and behavior changes and increasing their risk for cancer. 
    • Ironically, BHT is banned in England.  See more details about this study here.

Event: Girl Power Hour Presents LUNAFEST Short Films

Girl Power Hour invites you to celebrate women locally and nationally this holiday season with the premier of LUNAFEST Seattle. LUNAFEST showcases films for women by women at events across the country. LUNAFEST Seattle will include a Girl-Power-Hour-style cocktail reception and viewing of the films at the Seattle Art Museum on December 4th 2012.

Guests will enjoy nine inspiring short films, by women filmmakers, that will tug at their heartstrings and inspire them to make a difference in their communities. Guests will also experience a red-carpet evening filled with socializing, community building and networking with media, bloggers, influencers and those passionate about making a difference.

The reception, taking place immediately before the films will include astrology readings, henna, appetizers, wine, door prizes, live DJ, photo opportunities and swag bags for everyone. Proceeds from LUNAFEST Seattle will benefit Reel Grrls and The National Breast Cancer Fund. Men are invited to attend this event.

Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | 5:30pm
Venue: Seattle Art Museum
Tickets: $35
Proceeds to: Reel Grrls & The National Breast Cancer Fund
Event Link: http://www.lunafest.org/seattle1204

About Girl Power Hour
Girl Power Hour expands business and social circles for women with networking events, lifestyle blogs, social media marketing, product placement opportunities, event production and other cool resources that create buzz while fostering community and relationship building between consumers, brands and business owners.

For more information about Seattle LUNAFEST, please contact info@girlpowerhour.com or visit www.girlpowerhour.com.

October 31, 2012

Stand in Line for Loeb's NY Deli in DC — It's Worth it!

If you're visiting Washington, DC, make sure to stop by at Loeb's NY Deli. The historic kosher-style deli is located in downtown Washington, D.C. off 1712 I Street NW, which originally opened its doors in 1959 by Walter Loeb. The deli is known for their pastrami sandwiches served on their housemade rolls.

Photo above: Times Square: Pastrami, fried egg, American cheese, slaw of Russian dressing on onion roll $8.69

Dish: Filet of Fish Sub with french fries and coleslaw - $10.79

Dish: Wall Street: pastrami, roast beef, slaw of Russian dressing on lobster roll - $8.69

Have you been to Loeb's NY Deli or have any favorites in the DC area?  Recommend them and comment below.