Restaurants: El Ray De Las Fretas

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time for another restaurant review and here we go!

El Ray De Las Freitas in Miami, FL

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinion of the lead writer of this blog, alongside her taste buds! Please respect her thoughts about the place she is talking about and hope you guys visit even during a convention!

It’s been a few years since I’ve done any restaurant reviews. I did write about Peach Valley Café and this time is another location in Miami. I had to go back down there for another eye doctor appointment to see about my eye condition and so far it’s still stable but will be doing a vision field test next time since I thought I had issues with that. Will have to see about that next time.

After the appointment, my dad and I went out for dinner and it was a place that Andrew Zimmerman, the one who is famous for the show Bizarre Foods, visited Miami for some places. I think this is on his American Tour show since he does features on places in America like how Guy Fierry does on Diners Drive Ins & Dives which the last time I was in Miami was for Sakya Kitchen which was delicious. This time it was a place that my dad wanted to try and it’s called El Ray De Las Freitas which is almost like a diner style place but with a Cuban twist and it’s located on Calle Ocho or 8th Street in English. For anyone who hasn’t been to Miami, even for some of the conventions, 8th Street in Miami is the main street for anything Cuban Cuisine and this is where we go to whenever in town especially for pastries, in case if you’re there early enough, check out Rosa Bakery which they have the best eclairs and custard horns in town! If you haven’t had a Cuban style custard pastry, the custard is not thick, it’s nice a creamy and not overbearingly sweet like most pastries we find in Orlando. And yes, one other place if you want to get anything savory to take home, Palacio de Jugo, or Juice Palace, is the best place for cheese and chorizo for anything you want to make.

Back to this restaurant, when we walked in, it had a counter where you can sit at or booths of to the side like an old style diner. If you have someone that speaks Spanish fluently, make sure they are with you at all times because I can’t speak Spanish despite my Hispanic background (I’m part Puerto Rican and part German) and trust me everyone asks and I say, “I tried in school!” Anyways, what got my dad to come here is for their burgers! I find it surprising since my dad normally eats the leftover rice and whatever my mom makes and my aunt as well but this did caught me off guard a little until he told me earlier in the day what they do is add little potato sticks to whatever burger you want. This had me curious because I rarely heard a place like this since here in Orlando and Miami a lot of the Cuban places tend to serve a lot of the traditional Cuban dinner plates like roasted pork, rice with black beans, and sandwiches like the traditional Cuban sandwich or Media Noche. This place was way different and it was delicious!

The Food: The food here and drinks were reasonably priced unlike most places where you pay more for your usual stuff. My dad did tell me some of the prices like the burger without cheese is $4.00 and it was twenty-five cents more with cheese and that is not bad for what you’re getting either! I admit I had a hard time eating the burgers since I had two of them, which is not normal for me but these burgers were reasonably the size of a Mc Chicken from McDonald’s or slightly bigger, because the potato sticks fall out like crazy! They stuff that thing with tons of those and they were not soggy! They were crispy! You would probably think they would not be crispy but no they are crispy as a potato chip. Whenever I had stick fall out I restuffed my burger with them and eat any remaining ones on my plate because they were so good! The bread if you’re wondering, it is a burger bun and it’s toasted! I think the buns are baked by them because it tasted like homemade Cuban bread and it held the burger pretty well. The only one that didn’t hold well with the bun is the second one I had and it was with egg and bacon. I know you’re thinking, why an egg and bacon? Well, my dad described one of them having this and you see back in my love for Japan days I heard that McDonald’s in Japan has one of their burgers with eggs in it and I thought it would be gross since you would find it weird and as time went on, I would never thought I would try it out until today. Well, yesterday to be exact and I had to try it for myself since Japan did it at McDonald’s I wondered how a place like this would do it. How did it taste? You hardly taste the egg at all because the flavors from the bacon, the burger meat, and the potato sticks disguise it. The bun did have an uneven bit where I did have that moment where one part of the burger was looming over the edge of the bun and should’ve eaten that part first but this kitty wanted to try it so bad that I didn’t care.

Another thing we did try were the shakes! At this place they do different flavors of shakes even fruit ones which I was glad to try one out. I have had shakes at other Cuban places in Miami and it was vanilla but this flavor I tried was mango! Normally, I would go for strawberry but mango? How did it go? It was like a creamier smoothie because of how light the mango is but you get the taste of the cream and other ingredients they put in. My dad had a fruit one called mame which tasted a bit strong but I do love my mango one and if I go back I would love to try it banana since I remembered trying out banana shakes from Checkers.

Rating: 5 Star Paw Prints Out of 5! This place was delicious! It is a small diner like place on 8th Street that you would never think of when it comes to burgers. Thank you Andrew Zimmerman for mentioning this place on your show because it gives us a new spin on where to go in Miami. Plus it is reasonably priced and you must try the burgers with egg because you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t unless you’re not a fan of eggs. Also, bring someone who can translate for you, I suggest it since you may be a little lost like I was and tried asking my dad for a translation but nope at many times. So, I was a bit lost. Unless they had someone who could translate but wasn’t working yesterday? Who knows? Anyways, if you’re coming for a convention in Miami, I also highly recommend due to the prices not being so expensive and they do come out fresh and in a timely manner on top of it. If you want a sweet treat, the shakes are also a must!

Well, that’s it for this review! I definitely want to do more restaurant reviews since it does give me a new perspective when it comes to my taste buds as a blind person. And what’s next for Nerdy Shique Universe? Another trip with Soundscape and how well it worked in Miami. Stay tuned!

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Haul: First Oriental Super Market and Sun Pearl Bakery Plus Review On Food!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is time for a haul and a review! It’s been a long time since I’ve done any haul especially from an Asian Market since I do still go to them time to time to try new foods and snacks and this time it is from a market that StellarNan took us to! Let’s see what I got and what I think about it!

First Oriental Super Market!

So the store we went to is called First Oriental Super Market and it’s located on West Colonial Drive near the Fairgrounds. This place is a very big place and even bigger than my and Gondras’ fave spot Donga Corps. On E. Colonial & Mills. Not only that they carry a lot more than just food and also have cheaper prices! Normally on Donga I spend around $30+ on snacks and tea alone but here I spent $10 on cookies, some candy items, a bowl, and a pack of chopsticks, not kidding there is stuff more than food here! There is even an aisle dedicated to cookware alone if you needed it! Besides that you also have your meat and seafood counters and a small bakery area on top of it but will get to a different bakery later. Let’s see what I got!

Hi-Chew in Acai Berry, Kiwi, and Cherry: To start is my favorite candy from Japan and that is Hi-Chew! I lost my Pokémon container that contained my orange flavor and triple berry flavored ones and not sure where I lost it and have not gotten any new ones since. I should’ve bought some from the Japanese Snacks Guy at Omni but completely didn’t realize it until after the con. I was glad that this place had more flavors than Donga and a bit less than Japanese Snacks Guy since he has a bigger display when he is at cons, I have to make sure at the next one I get more Hi-Chew. Anyways, I did remember enjoying the cherry flavor which is one of the flavors they had. I tend to not like cherry flavored things especially with cough syrup but these Hi-Chews make it taste like real cherries! They also had banana flavor, strawberry, green apple, and even had kiwi which I never tried before and decided to get it. What caught me by surprise was the Acai flavored Hi-Chew! I know there are accent marks with the berry name but it may be complicated to do. I didn’t notice this flavor before since there was the triple berry I got once and the strawberry ones being a common flavor, I have a feeling it’s new since Japan does make new flavors over time and decided why not try these out and how I feel. I’m glad to get these again because there are times when I need something to chew on and don’t chew gum and this is a good replacement because you can chew and swallow it. According to history of Japan, taking out gum from your mouth is gross and unpleasant so making these were to replace that and yes they do have gum in Japan. Another interesting fact, the creator of Fruits Basket in an interview talked about how she is a major gum chewer even while creating her manga panels. I would be too or I was when I was younger but then got off of it and decided these are my replacement when needed and I did start using my Easter Egg containers from Lip Smackers to contain a pack of these things.

Chocolate Mint Hard Candies: Sorry for the long tangent above, next item is these mint candies that contain chocolate chew bits in the middle. The funny thing was that while being in the snacks and candy aisle I gravitated towards something out of nowhere and it was a bag of these candies and StellarNan noticed and was surprised that I took a guess out of nowhere that they were mint candies since I love carrying mints in my bag and love other mint things. I did try these out this morning and besides being minty they also had chocolate and that made it even better! I love chocolate and mint together, especially dark chocolate and mint. The candies started out with the mint coating and then when you bite into it you have a chocolatey chew in the middle. It dissolves as you chew and if you bite into it if it still has a little bit of mint left over then you have both flavors. I guess I picked up a really good item based on assumption.

Lemon Cream Wafer Cookies: Next are some wafer cookies. I did love these when I got them at Donga and when me, Stellar, Tobi, and Vivi went to this place for our first time last year I found the same wafer cookies and they were cheaper but also more flavors to choose from. Last year I got the sesame cream and the taro cream which they tasted very light. As in, they weren’t a-punch-to-your-face taste like most things. Well, the cappuccino ones I tried first had that idea and had to dip it in hot cocoa to make them taste better and it worked better. I did try the strawberry ones but they were too light to me while sesame they had more of a roasted taste since sesame seeds tend to do that and the cream tasted interesting with the wafers while the taro you barely tasted it since it has such a light flavor. The lemon cream ones, which I got this time, tasted very light too but it was there. It does have the cream taste but the lemon had a bit more of a zest flavor rather than the overpowering flavor you tend to taste in cake. The wafers added the slight airiness to the taste and I think I love these the most because I had another one due to how good they are. I will be buying more of these whenever we return since they’re delicious!

White Chocolate & Strawberry Yogurt Wafer Cookies: These were interesting to say the least. I wanted to find regular cookies but these were one other wafer cookie the store carried. These had more of a yogurt base with either white chocolate or regular chocolate but what caught my ears were the ones with white chocolate and strawberry and decided to try them out to see how they were. OMG! I was glad I did! These were individually wrapped and they were more of a square cookie and the yogurt was covering the wafer with a creamy consistency and the cream was solid. When I bit into it, you barely notice the white chocolate but the strawberry flavor is so real! Even more real than a pop tart! I highly recommend these!

Jelly Drink Pouches: Remember in anime where you see characters drinking something from a pouch that kind of make you want to find it? Well, that is how I felt about those! Ever since I got into Fooly Cooly in my high school days, I noticed how Naota and this one other girl in episode three which was the Puss & Boots episode and Naota brought them the drink pouches to have after dinner. I wondered, “I wonder if I could find those in real life?” I tried finding them at a lot of the Asian markets and couldn’t find them and figured you can only get them in Japan while the closest you can find to those were little jelly cups which were good but not what I was looking for. I did eventually found these pouches at this Asian market and happy that I could get them in real life! They are just like they are in Fooly Cooly and many other anime that featured these! I tried one today and it is pretty good! Not only you have the jelly but you also have fruit bits in it which makes it even more awesome! I am not sure if it is supposed to be grape jelly or something but it does taste very good for a jelly pouch! I know if I go back I may get another pack or two of these again and they don’t cost much either, just around $4 and you get around six or eight from what I felt in the packaging.

Instant Miso Soup Packet: Besides the snacks and the jelly drink, I did manage to get something more savory. I was hoping to find mocha since it has been a long time having that but did have something I hadn’t had in a major long time and that is instant miso soup. I had the one from Publix that comes in the cups they sell next to the sushi display and it was not that great in my opinion because if how much it was diluted after making it. This one, on the other hand, is the real stuff! Yes, you can dilute it if you wanted, but it basically asks for 2/3 cups of boiling water and that’s it! While having this despite how strong it tasted due to the amount of water it asked for, I felt like I was back at any of the restaurants I’ve been to enjoying miso soup! I was glad to get this and at the same time I wish I had gotten more of because they were around $2 each a packet. You get the usual seasonings, the stock, and everything else and you just pour the water on top and there you have it! I know there are other soups you can get and knowing your basic ramen, I may have to get more of these if I were to come back.

Mini Cat Bowl: I know, “Mari! You love cats too much!” I can’t help it! The thing is like I said above that this place has an entire aisle, or an entire aisles dedicated to cookery and serving plates and even utensils for traditional Asian families. In the cookery aisle, you have your serving plates, your tea sets, and of course your soy sauce trays for when you have sushi. One thing that got me to buying something was that there were little items with cats on it! You know me, I do love my kitties and good example are my little cats in bananas plush from Hot Topic. I got the bowl only to keep myself in control and plus I can come back if they still sell any of the cat items. One thing that got me wanting to come back is the tea kettle and matching cups! That has to wait a little bit. The bowl does hold pretty well for its size since I did go with the smaller size. A head’s up if you were to buy anything from the cookery aisle, make sure there are no cracks or any other blemishes on the bowls or glasses because it can’t be returned. Nice little friendly tip.

Chopsticks: One other thing that got me excited about this place was of course getting more chopsticks! Last year, I wasn’t able to get a pack since this place sells them in pretty awesome packs of a nice amount of them. Most of the time you tend to get chopsticks by the pair rather than a pack unless if you look further in dealer rooms at conventions. These were really good for a really good price and also I tested a pair and they are pretty sturdy too. It’s been a while since I picked up any chopsticks and this is a good place to get them at since you get more than one pair and of course they do have smaller ones if need be if you have smaller hands or starting to learn how to use them. And they do come in a variety of colors.

Sun Pearl Bakery: After shopping for snacks and other things, we did drop by the Sun Pearl Bakery since StellarNan told us about it and we do enjoy this place. This place has many desserts and some savory things on top of it, last year I had a very delicious pork bun and almost got it again but got three other items instead. At first I was hoping to get another taro Boston cream pie slice but they didn’t have it. Figured that it was closer to closing time, yeah we decided to meet up later than usual to get some rest especially Tobi with his long night shifts and me with waking up super early to catch my rides for Customer Service Training. I did get to enjoy three other things that the bakery had to offer and they were the bag of cream puffs in chocolate, the Princess Custard Bun, and the Taro Bun! These were all delicious! The cream puffs were like Oreos where the outer parts were more cookie and they were soft baked, the cream was a small dollop but they still melt in your mouth in one smooth taste. I may have to get more bags of these in the future because they taste better than the cream puffs you get at Barnes & Noble in my opinion and these are smaller and the cream is not so heavy. The Princess Custard one was a pretty big bun that had a bit of décor on top to match the “princess” parts but the custard was really creamy! You have to be careful in the end of eating this thing because the custard can end up on your hand which can be a huge mess. Wishing they had huge napkins or something to help with clean up even with kids since they can be messier than a blind person eating these things. The taro buns, yes there were more than one, were easier to eat because they were more a bread rather than a cream filled bun. I did have the taro cream one last year and that was also good but this I think I prefer a little bit more because you don’t have a cream coming out, you do have bits of taro baked in throughout it and the bread is baked to perfection! One other thing I wished to have was the Boba tea which has been a major fave ever since I went to some of the Boba places in town. My fave places for this tea are Chewy Boba in Oviedo and Chibi Boba near where Gondras works. They did open a Chibi Boba in Florida Mall, which I want to test Soundscape in but will have to test it in a different mall for a review first. Anyways, they were out of Boba and I was sad about that, there is always next time though!

Well, that is it for this snacks review and the haul! I definitely want to try and find some mocha in the store, I almost got these Fig Newton looking cakes at first but the flavors were a little meh and now looking back on it I may have to try them out next time I go. I definitely want to get more of those jelly drink pouches because I was really happy to find them in real life! I highly recommend anything jelly related that comes from Japan because they don’t taste as artificial as most jellies here in the States. I also recommend trying out the Blueberry & Black Current Preserves and the Lemon Curd Preserves from England because they’re also very natural! I’m glad to find more flavors of Hi-Chew since I missed those things for many months since we did go to Star Wars and had to put my Hi-Chew in Gondras’ car, not sure if it got lost in there or something! Anyways, glad to get these again and try new flavors. I will also be getting more of the miso soup and the lemon wafers because they are so delicious! All-in-all it was a pretty good haul and day!

What is next? Hoping to get more of the Omni Fandom Expo stuff up since we are still behind on that, we also had an interview with J. Michael Tatum and Brandon McInnis over Skype and we need to get the audio edited into a video so stay tuned for that, yes that was the special treat for you all, long story short it was to make up for not interviewing them during Holiday Matsuri so will see how that goes in the editing. And yes I will be trying out Soundscape in a mall, which is an app developed by Microsoft for IPhone users to find out where they are heading on foot or on bus and can’t wait to do that review! So stay tuned for more posts on here! Until next time!

Restaurants: Peach Valley Cafe Review

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Before I do my Omni Expo stuff, I would like to do a food review!

Place: Peach Valley Café
Location: Orlando, FL

Well, it’s been years since I have done a restaurant review since I haven’t tried any unique places as of late. Well, I did try Bakery Plus and Smash Burger except this was around the time when Irma hit! Today, I’m bringing you a place I finally tried and that is Peach Valley Café. I didn’t know about this place until the National Federation of the Blind here in Orlando talked about how they held their Christmas party there for years. I couldn’t go to their Christmas Party due to Holiday Matsuri taking place the same weekend, especially last year, so I finally got to go today because of the 35th anniversary Orlando’s Chapter was having and celebrated at this café.

When I arrived with my dad, it was a pretty big place in a shopping center. I didn’t know it was close to where Gondras lives which he could’ve been at this thing to meet everyone and know what the NFB is about after knowing that I always go to their meetings and have been for years. There is the Greater Orlando Council of the Blind’s fundraising event this Wednesday so he will get his chance then.

Back to the Peach Valley Café, I was led to a room that is meant for group events and it was decently sized as well. There were three groups of tables from my hearing and the waiters and waitresses were very accommodating. Good thing is that we got the event menu beforehand and it was small from their usual menu. I went for the cheeseburger since that is my go to item at restaurants that serve them if it is a new environment. It is the easiest thing to pick for me and don’t have to worry about forks and knives just eating the burger and putting ketchup on my fries. I didn’t know they had sweet potato fries until someone mentioned them and at least I didn’t crack up with that) If you have seen my interview with Bryce Papenbrook then you would know that story!) But the fries were as good. I wish they were extra crispy since I love my fries that way, wishing I asked for them like that but there is always next time since I want to come back on a normal day. I’ve heard the chicken salad is also good and their breakfast items are even tasty which makes me curious about that due to seeing that one of the items to choose was an omelet and that is my favorite egg dish. I almost thought about dessert which their only thing was peach cobbler. I do like cobbler, wishing there was more variety, especially something with chocolate. I mean you can combine peaches and white chocolate or regular chocolate with peaches, I mean Brookside tested that very well with their stuff. I may have to try the cobbler next time since it was close to closing time too on a Saturday which is 3 PM.

Final Thoughts: Even though this is my first time, I would say it was a really good first try. I’m open to new places if I have heard a lot of good things about them and Peach Valley was one of them. I have to try the chicken salad sandwich next since that is one thing I have loved for many years. I also have learned to ask for my fries extra crispy on my part even though they were really tasty. Also, the staff was very friendly and if they get something wrong they fix it automatically. When I got my second cup of split tea, which is half of sweet and half of unsweet and have done it ever since drinking the McDonald’s sweet tea, I noticed it was unsweet and asked for it to be fixed and they did it right away. They should have a bit more variety with desserts since you know me with chocolate, I do want to try out the cobbler next time.

Rating: 5 Out of 5 Star Paw Prints! If you’re in the mood for breakfast or lunch, Peach Valley is the place for you! It is a place with a friendly atmosphere and they are very accommodating too. If you’re in town and have extra time to stop for a fairly priced bite to eat, Peach Valley is for you!

That is it for this review! I will include a link to their website in case if you want to check them out and take your friends to. I highly recommend! Next post will be my Omni Expo review and I will also have Peach Valley Cafe Official Websitea book review lined up! Until next time!

Shopping: Holiday Gift Guide 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is November and we are getting closer to Christmas and you know what that means! It is time for a gift guide here. I have done gift giving advice here and back on Myspace when it was a thing and now it is time for a gift guide in case if you need some ideas!

MakeUp Sets: First is makeup sets! We all know the beauty lovers in our lives and getting that perfect makeup gift would help. We do have the beginners and experts that we know when it comes to makeup and Holiday time is when the brands come out with their own makeup set. I have gotten some in the past and even purchased a few for myself this year and they are worth it. Some of the makeup sets that are big this year include Tarte’s Holiday sets which you can find at Ulta and Sephora depending on who has what, Kat Von D’s Saint & Sinner pallet which would be a big one to ask on any list, but if you want to go for drugstore E. L. F. has released a lot of sets from brushes to highlighters and even stocking stuffer gifts. If you want a better list of sets, I would suggest watching Kat and Hayleigh (sorry if I butchered the spelling) on Beauty News since they talk a lot about new releases even for holiday and Jen Luv’s Reviews for new holiday releases every week on What’s Up In MakeUp and I suggest joining the Facebook group since everyone helps in suggesting products so asking for what gift to ask for or get for someone special they are willing to help. Heck, they helped me with selfie advice.

When it comes to some sets I would suggest, I would suggest the Ulta sets in Be Gorgeous, Beauty Treasures, and Love MakeUp because not only you get a lot of makeup but it does come in nice cases that you can keep. If you have someone that loves jewelry boxes, I would suggest the Beauty Treasures because you can remove the face and eye pallets for convenience since they are not in the signature plastic casing like the Be Gorgeous one. Plus you can go through the drawers very easily for what you need for instance, one drawer is for the concealers and eye primers, another one is for the brow powders, gel liners, cream shadows, and eye topcoats, and the last drawer has the lip items, the brow mascara, and a blush brush and dual ended eye brush. You would pay a bit more for this and good thing is the eye pallet has a lot of warm and cool shades to play with. If you have someone that loves train cases more for convention travel or vacations, then the Be Gorgeous and Love MakeUp sets are for them. I just got the Love MakeUp on sale and these two sets do have your usual eye shadow pallet which the Be Gorgeous comes with 42 shades while Love Makeup comes with 36 and you can create a lot of looks with these and you do have your essentials like your bronzers, gel liners, brow powders, but interesting thing is that the Love MakeUp does not come with the primers. I would suggest using your usual eye primers with the Be Gorgeous and Beauty Treasures sets because I find the Ulta primers in these sets too drying. Also, with Love MakeUp you do get lip liners. I would say for either of these sets to see which one would be worth more to give and again to see if the person loves train cases or jewelry boxes. These sets do retail for $29 which is Beauty Treasures and $24 for the other two but they do have specials on the train case sets.

Nerd Memorabilia: Here at Nerdy Shique Universe, we do include nerds when it comes to giving gifts and many stores do carry a lot of merch based on Doctor Who, Harry Potter, even Dungeons & Dragons. Your best places to find these things are Barnes & Noble, especially the ones with music and movies being sold, Best Buy where they sell Marvel themed thumb drives and other pop culture related things mixed with tech, F. Y. E. for a lot of your merch and tees, Hot Topic being the biggest, and two more stores to mention that we do have here in Orlando and they are Pop Cult where there are way more pop culture items like Hello Kitty, Pokemon, and more, and Box Lunch which has more of the classic pop culture stuff like Miyazaki films and 90’s themed stuff. Gondras did get me a Gigi from Kiki’s Delivery Service as a coin bank last year for Christmas from Box Lunch by the way. Nice thing about that place, they do put your purchases in a lunchbox like carton since it does match the name. I know I will be hitting the Hot Topic website for Gondras this year! Lol

Bath & Body Sets: I know a lot of us love to pamper ourselves after a stressful week at work, heck even a stressful weekend at a convention, so having a a set of bath or skin care or body products to help soothe that aching foot or to calm the skin from stress is a way to go. Many brands have been coming out with sheet masks to help with the skin, even on a plane which I hear people use sheet masks to help with the dry air on a plane, and you know the holidays are HUGE for travel! You can get some of these sets from Sephora where they have skin care sets from Glam Glow, Tachia, Boshia, and much more. Emily Noelle even talked about some masks she got with holiday scents recently like pumpkin spice and sugar cookie and I think those are Ulta and you do have other brands at Ulta like Tony Moley, their in house brand of bath sets that you can get Buy One Get One 50% Off at the moment. I do hear the scents from Ulta do smell good. And of course, Bath & Body Works, my kryptonite with their Christmas scents! And of course, can’t forget Lush because they do have awesome gift sets with bath bombs, bubble bars, and they do come with mini shower gels in there too and good thing about getting these sets from Ulta, or Bath & Body Works, and Lush is that if the person never tried them before this is how you can try them. That is how I got into Lush by the way, Mommy Gondras did work for them seasonally back in 2007 and I got a gift box from their Christmas line and I was addicted, even to Snow Fairy. So, every year is Snow Fairy right after Christmas! So yes, sets are a good way to go!

Luxury Brand Sets: I can’t forget about this because there are times where we know someone that loves that luxury skin care brand or makeup brand and there are times where the singles are a bit pricey. A lot of the luxury brands do come out with their own holiday sets and if you have saved up a lot over time then getting a set like this would give the luxury lover a ton to try. One good set definitely to recommend are the mud mask sets from Glam Glow because you get to sample some of their more popular masks in one single set rather than trying to buy it for $50 (just guessing) and around this time there is the Sephora sale depending on your membership level you get 15% as a Bauty Insider and 20% for VIB and VIB Rouge which does help even when it comes to early gift shopping.

Train Cases: I feel like bringing these up as a possible gift item especially when I mentioned the Ulta sets before and that is train cases. If you don’t want to get the Ulta sets, there are the usual train cases that we love to travel with, heck I am going to be using my pink caboodle for Holiday Matsuri since that is what I use for my convention makeup stuff. These last you for a long time and they do come in many sizes and price ranges. I have a six tray one and it was $24 if I remembered and I got it from WalMart two years ago. Trust me, I have a lot of stuff to put in, lol! Anyways, besides WalMart selling these, you can find at Target, Ulta, and I believe Sephora too and of course Amazon and EBay does carry some of the older ones you may not be able to find in store anymore.

MakeUp Bags: Besides train cases, you can also get a loved one a makeup bag because a lot of us do travel and having that makeup bag is very handy! They come in all shapes and sizes and even in nerd memorabilia, heck I have a Pikachu and an Artemis one from Hot Topic since you know me, plus they do come as sets depending on the brand. For instance, Too Faced has a set where you get three mini shadow pallets, their Better Than Sex Mascara, and other items in a makeup bag. Even MAC has some such as their mini lip glass trio, which you can use the little makeup bag afterwards for lip stuff, bobby pins, and other things when you are on the go. Also, Sephora has really big ones every holiday and they come oujt with new designs for every holiday so you can get what you like. And in case if you are at a department store browsing makeup counters, some of the brands do include makeup bags as gifts with purchase, I do admit I take my mom’s Lancome ones due to how spatious they are. Lol! Speaking of gift sets…

Perfume and Cologne Sets: Besides beauty and clothing, there are the loved ones that love to smell good! I usually ask for perfume but due to how many bottles I have I have slowed down incredibly! Anyways, sets are a good thing to go with because there are times when a brand wants to treat the customer or their loved ones by selling the set together and they do come with pretty sweet stuff like a shower gel and lotion and sometimes even a bag to go with. For instance, my Nicole Richey perfume set came with a carrying bag. A good set that people suggest is the one from Sephora because they include a coupon to get the full-size perfume or cologne that is included in the set of minis of your choice.

Gift Cards: If you have a hard time choosing what you want to get someone, gift cards are a way to go! In my gift advice, I say pay attention to where your loved ones shop or ask where they like to go. If you can’t get an answer, you can get them a Visa gift card so they can spend it anywhere. Another good idea is if the person loves to play games on their devices or game systems, you can get them either a Google Play card, an ITunes card, or even the systems’ cards to use in their stores such as the PSN card in case if they want to get a classic game or pay for their membership at the end of the month.

Food Sets: Finally, there are times when we want to give a person a little something extra especially in their stocking and that is either something sweet like candy or a box of cocoa packets. Heck, my mom gave me a can of blueberry tea bags one year as her stocking stuffer gift because I love blueberries especially as a tea. Not only that, if you have a party to go to or your friend loves savory foods, Hickory Farms always, always, ALWAYS have stands every year! If you have not tried Hickory Farms, I suggest trying their turkey summer sausage. Anyways, this place is a good idea for any party platter or as a gift even the day after Christmas has a good sale with them which is buy one get one 50% off and that includes their food sets that come with pretty good mustard spreads to tell you the truth.

Etsy: Finally! Finally! If Didn’t mention this earlier, Etsy is also a good place for gifts! This has a lot of craft items made by people, think of it a craft version of EBay. Not only that, this is where most of the people I meet at Artists Alley sell here as well such as Black Flame Creations, Aunt Matilda’s, and a bunch more. You can find a lot of great jewelry, some people even sell kitchen items, even candles if you can’t walk into a Yankee Candle. Plus, a lot of stuff is really well priced and they do ship as soon as possible even in time for holiday time! For instance, I got Vivi a wolf necklace for her since I was her Secret Santa last year and I did remember how she loved wolves and found it when looking for steam punk jewelry and it did arrive on time. So, I would say look around Etsy and also sign up for their newsletters because they will give you some items as ideas and some of the stuff does get discounted depending on the seller.

That is it for this post! Hoping you got some inspiration from this post! Christmas is my fave time of year not only just for gifts and sales but also Holiday Matsuri and the Doctor Who special that comes around every year. So, good luck on your gift hunt! What is next? A new cosmetic controversy that may want you to think carefully of swatching a tester on yourself! Until next time!

Updated: Best Convention Snacks!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I was going to do this as a video but due to how busy I have been, I decided to do it as a post instead on Word Press. What is it? It is my Convention Survival Snacks! I wanted to do it as a video before Omni when the convention just started for us here in Central Florida but you know my sad computer story and couldn’t do it. If you guys still want a video later, probably before any fall/winter conventions, I could do it but right now with MegaCon fastly upon us dfr Memoria Day Weekend in one week…yeah! What snacks do I suggest, keep reading!

1. Protein Bars: Starting my list is protein bars! Reason why is that these can be tasty but they do help with filling in your appetite as the day goes on. The ones I did carry during Omni were the Cliff bars in Chocolate Mint which is basically a protein bar version of a Thin Mint. Yes, they do have that weird taste but they can be very handy when surviving three or in Mega’s case four days of convention going, it is good to carry one just in case!
2. Granola bars: Since I mentioned protein bars, granola bars are another great thing to carry in your backpack or messenger bag like me! Also for any of your hotel roomies to carry too. These are not that expensive and they do provide energy and protein too alongside fiber in case if anyone needs it. The bars I recommend the best are Quaker bars if you are into chewy bars like I do and have a nice crunch along with it and of course I do love my chocolate chips, S’mores, and of course I used to get the Thin Mint ones last year but a Variety Pack can last you and any roomies that may want a bar or two. If you don’t want them to be a squishy mess, there is the Nature Valley classic bars which are very crunchy and solid and you get two per pack.
3. Cracker packs: I am mentioning these because I started carrying these with me last year as a nice added snack in case if I felt my stomach rumble a lot more and they are those little Thomas or Captain Wafer cracker packs. When I was little and was in the second grade, I had these with my lunch and for snacktime during the day and these were filling and still are. Great thing that these come in different flavors and variety packs if you want more than one flavor and be surprised by eating them. My fave is always the cream cheese and chives because it gives a nice herbal flavor with the wheat crackers. Also, the peanut butter ones with the honey cracker are also good too! You can get them for a good price at WalMart, Publix, Dollar Gneral, and one place here in my area known as Ollie’s.
4. PopTarts: I know they aren’t the healthiest thing on the planet but knowing as a college student and a convention goer and you know you are late, PopTarts are your best friend! You don’t have to toast them, they are already ready for you to eat. Plus, you already have the frosting on top on a lot of them which with Toaster Streudel you have to put it on. Plus, nice accessory for that school girl cosplay to run out of your hotel room with a PopTart in your mouth. (I know, nerd!)
5. Nuts: If you want to keep the healthy part going and need extra protein, nuts are usually your best friend unless you’re not allergic to them. I remembered always carrying cashews and almonds but it was hard for me to finish them off in the end but I did something pretty cool which I will mention next…
6. Brownie brittle: If anyone knows about this then it is handy, if not I will esplain for any new people to the concept. Brownie brittle is basically the thin, baked parts of a brownie, basically the almost burnt bits of the brownie but in cookie form. THey have many flavors and the cool thing I did is I crumbled it up and mixed it with whatever nuts I carried and make it as a mini trail mix. Plus, it is low calorie for bronie brittle!
7. Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches: One of my all time fave things about being a nerd is peanut butter and jelly, especially in the same jar! If you guys remembered Goober Grape from the 1990s like me, then high five! Good thing is that you don’t harefrigerate peanut butter and jelly but you can do it with the sandwich itself after it’s made. I will be doing this since the pb does offer the protein and the j gives you the sweetness! Great for hotel snacking in between panels if you go back to your room and need a snack. Also, helps any of your roomies that may need it and it is also inexpensive when you gather your snacks for the con. I am doing this this time since during Omni until Sunday I didn’t eat breakfast which the good thing is that this is any time food too!
8. Chex Mix: Another thing I love to carry during conventions is basically snack mix especially the beloved Chex Mix! Great thing about these is that you can carry it in small snack bags or you can get a freezer bag like I do and carry ate entire bag in it and it pretty much keeps you eating all weekend. Great to share with others too who love this stuff! What I also like is that there are different flavors to choose from which I do love the Traditional and Turtle ones the most. I want to try Muddy Buddy but got Traditional this time around since the Target I went to didn’t have Muddy Buddy. Anyways, Hershey’s did make their own which I haven’t found in my area yet but may do someday since I love having snack mix and it does keep you snacking even during panels. Heck, I think I had a lot of mix during Ranger Stop with the Cheddar flavor.
9. Japanese snacks: For that Wheeaboo inside of us, there are times when we want something to snack other things and there are times when we find vendors selling Japanese snacks! I always love finding Mr. Japanese Snacks whenever I go to the conventions, especially with Omni and Holiday Matsuri, he tends to carry a lot of new items and the classics that I love and the ones I tend to pick up the most since they last a good while is Hi Chew! They are like Starburst but a lot chewier and they have more flavors like apple, strawberry, and I even found cherry flavored at an Asian market in town. Speaking of which, there are also looking around in Asian markets if you have the time to do so since getting snacks can be time consuiing while packing. Also, you can get a great box of pocky for Scott McNeill.
10. M&M’s: I know candy is not the greatest thing but if you are craving for it then by all means but M&M’s are the best thing to go since they are really good movie snacks and panel snacks. Plus, there are the usual chocolate lovers that tend to carry these and also the old prhrse, “Melt in your moth, not your hand!” Also, if you find the M&M’s World during Omni, then a good idea to get some or a tin!
11. Chips: Potato chips in any style, whether your standard Lay’s, Cape Cod’s, and so much more, can be that perfect snack if you’re craving for them! They can be an excellent snack to share with your roomies or to go into the snack bar at your hotel or into a WaWa need be. The best chip for a backpack would be Pringles since they come in a cardboard tube and they don’t cgetcrushed as easily and you do have the travel size versions which I used to have in my university days. Plus, they are pretty cheap to purchase when you only have a dollar on you.
12. Combos: My finally snack of this list is of course Combos! I know, in case if you haven’t heard, these were re-called a year ago due to finding peanut elements in them and now they have been showing up in stores again, well depending where you live. WalMart bring them back in town. Anyways, these are our fave snack during conventions because they are easy to carry in a freezer bag and we all enjoy them the same. As in me, Gondras, and Nerdy Shirts. They come in pizza flavor, heddar, nacho cheese, and you can choose between the basic cracker and the pretzel. I prefer the pretzel slightly more because I am a pretzel addict! Now youc an see why I ove Chex Mix! Anyways, this is one good snack to carry and you can eat it easily during panels or while sitting down for a break.
Update! Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I am adding a few updates to this post because I have something to announce at the end and I do have a few more snacks to add that I have forgotten!

Since you guys know that I have done my Convention Spotlight on Holiday Matsuri 2017 and this would be perfect to update this post since we are planning to have a room this year and after going through Irma, I did notice some foods would be great to take during convention and here we go!

Beef Jerky: I forgot to mention this food since Vivi did bring this up after having a huge bag from Sam’s Club during MetroCon 2014! As we all know that Beef jerky has been an important part of a lot of diets and heck it is a great food for a zombie apocalypse due to how it can switstand the environment but it does go old so better eat it as fresh as it is. Great thing is that it is tough and ready to eat and you can get a small bag for easy travel or a huge one for the entire weekend and friends at hotels. And the best flavor to me is teriyaki!
Trail Mix: Since I mentioned Chex Mix, I want to mention this snack and that is Trail Mix. This year for Holiday Matsuri I am planning to make my own but without the raisins. I hate raisins if anyone knows and loves me, no raisins anywhere! I admit I loved them as a kid but I did read that I can make my own Trail Mix even though there are different variations sold. So, why not make my own with stuff I love? It is an easy thing to make and all you need are nuts, seeds, dried fruit which there is a big list of and going to get one other dried fuit after my older brother leaving some dried mango and it is delicious! Plus, you can add other things like popcorn, pretzels, with mine I will be having brownie brittle which I used to do that with almonds and it will be fun. And you do have some seasonings with one recipe I did read. And you can put it in a jar or Ziploc bag and into a lunch box with said bag. If you don’t want to make your own, you can find the pre-made stuff in your local grocery store, heck Nature Valley makes their own Trail Mix bars so you can have for breakfast!
Bagels & Cream Cheese: I bet you are wondering, “Say what now!?” While I was without power during Irma, I had to eat a bagel without toasting it and with cream cheese which shows I can survive on that. If you have a fridge available or cooler, you can keep your cream cheese in there and have a bag of Thomas bagels which you can find at your local supermarket! If you have extra cash, there is always your local bagel shop or Panera, I would suggest Bagel King if you are in Casselberry since they have really good bagels but if you want to spend less, Thomas has good ones and they are not as strong as most places which you can use the sweeter cream cheeses on the blueberry and cinnamon flavored gbgels, heck I use the Philadelphia cumpkin Spice cream cheese on the Thomas Pumpkin Spice bagels and it feels like you are eating pumpkin cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory! If you want them toasted, there is something cool you can do according to Hack My Life and it deals with the coffee maker in your hotel room where you can switch it on and toast your bagel face down for a little bit. Not sure if it works but that would be interesting to do if you need to toast it unless you spring for a suite with a kitchen that has a toaster like the Extended Stay near the Convention Center in town.
Ritz Bits: I got this idea from Nerdy Shirts and not sure if I had mentioned it but these have existed since I was a kid and best to carry them.
Dried fruit: If you aren’t into trail Mixes, there is always carrying dried fruit if you want your daily fiber intake which is important. Plus, you can refrigerate it or not and eat it straight out of the bag and they don’t go as bad as regular fruit since that can go bad pretty easily depending on what you bring. Even banana and apple chips are very popular for people when it comes to anything fruity. Also, if you have a fridge/freezer in your room or staying at home if it is close to the convention site, which we knew people who did, there are the Dole Banana Dippers.
Flavored Bread: As in banana bread, blueberry bread, etc. Remembered when I mentioned Thomas? They do have good breads that you can eat cold or toasted if you have toast. I wonder if that coffee maker toaster hack will work with this? Anyways, also WalMart’s bakery section does make their own too from what I remembered.
Deli Meats And Cheeses: Since I mentioned peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, if you are allergic to PB, you can always have deli meats and cheeses for sandwiches too. Since some rooms do come with refrigerators, that can help them keep them cool…or….
Lunchables: How can we not forget these!? I remembered carrying one each day when I started going to MegaCon with Gondras back in 2007 and these were handy too! Just carry a huge lunchbox and have one in there and there you go!

Well, that is it for this post again with added snacks! As a convention goer, these do help with survival and help you keep going before your next meal, especially with dinner.

Okay guys, time for seriousness! I am keeping the Patreon link down below but I am letting you guys know that with Holiday Matsuri that me, Gondras, and Nerdy Shirts will be sharing a room with some friends so it will be easier to stay at the World Center rather than driving back and forth in Orlando and gives us a weekend away from home too. So, I need help with my part to pay for the room which I am going to leave the link to Go Fund Me since that is supposed to be for our travels and haven’t gotten any donations. I need about $69.30 to pay for my part and if you guys want to donate more you can in case of gas or something but that’s all I need on my end since I am not sure about my funds situation until December. So, to donate to our Go Fund Me, it is at this link:

https://www.gofundme.com/nerdy-shique-universe-travel

Like I said in the description for this thing, conventions have gotten more expensive during the four years that we have been doing press and this our third year at Holiday Matsuri and it is an awesome opportunity and we can’t get our footage, photos, and interviews out to the net without all you guys so please donate if you can! Also, check out our Patreon down below since it feels like YouTube doesn’t allow you to mention them much anymore so please donate and help us and spread the word!

By the way guys, we have a Patreon now! Since we don’t have any donations on Go Fund Me, which you should donate to that to so we can have our convention experiences in and out of town to bring you awesome content to our YouTube, so we also have Patreon to continue it! Here is our link to donate:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=6153140

Faves: July and August 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is that time again and that is for my July and August favorites! I tend to do my top ten songs but it is getting hard for me to know what to put into my list so I am doing every three months rather than every month because it gives me time to listen to a lot more music! It doesn’t mean I can’t still mention fave music at the moment so let’s see what I have this month!

Not So Faves:

Essence Brow Gel: So, lately I have been experiementing with a newer brow product and see about a cheaper alternative if I can’t get my NYX Control Freak brow gel. I am trying out the Essence Brow and Lash Gel and well…it is not that bad but I feel like it is not there. Whenever I wear my lash and brow gel from E. L. F. I know it’s there on my brows when I use the brow side but this one I don’t feel it on my brows at the end of the day. I don’t get why it disappears after application. I do have it to use up and if it improves by the end of it then I will go back to the NYX one.

Slim Fast Meal Replacement Shake Powder: I bet you are wondering, “Mari, did you start a new diet?this?” No, I was sampling it because of Pinch Me. Pinch Me is a free sample service where you sign up, take a survey, you don’t pay anything and you get free samples depending on what they have. This box that came recently…well…it had something I hadn’t had in years and that is from Slim Fast. I know everyone is thinking you aren’t fat and I agree I am curvy but I won’t be left alone without trying it. I did and it was gross! It did not dissolve, I think I wasn’t supposed to put in the entire packet but it made the milk taste worse. I think I would rather drink almond milk over this stuff which I do prefer my almond milk thank you very much. I hope I never get a Slim Fast product again because I used to drink it as a teen to get skinnier but never worked and I tasted can! No offense anyone on this diet but I didn’t like it from my first try and never going back again!

Faves:

Ice Cream: Truffle Kerfuffle from Ben & Jerry’s: Starting with a food item and that is an ice cream by Ben & Jerry’s and it is a flavor known as Truffle Kerfuffle! I know it is a tongue twister and I admit I can’t say it either! This ice cream is basically vanilla with pieces of salted truffles and pecans! I tend to have pecans with sweets and this added a great balance of salt to the truffles and I already love sea salt chocolate truffles since I tried the Godiva ones and I am glad they made this one!

New Chocolate: Hershey’s Cookie Minis in Vanilla Cookie: I know, “Say what now!?” Well, for a while Hershey’s has been making these special cookie versions where they put cookie pieces in the bar and they make them look like the nuggets but as segments of three! They have them in caramel, mint, and the ones I have tried recently and loving are the vanilla ones! These are so creamy and you hardly notice the vanilla because it blends so perfectly into the chocolate. So, basically you have a twisted ice cream cone but in chocolate form with cookies. I have to keep my paws off because you know me, I do love my chocolate. What sucks htough, they only come with nine per bag and wishing they added more due to how much space is there in the bag for more. I know Ghiradelli has a ton of room for ten or slightly more squares. Still like them though!

Hair Product: Marc Anthony Hair Growth Leave In Spray! I think I haven’t mentioned this product but it is the Marc Anhthony Caffeine and Ginseng Leave In Spray which is what it does it helps hair grow. Well, helps it to be stronger so it would grow. GOndras wanted me to grow my hair out and I am doing my best and I had so much damage and split ends as time went on. Yes, I do have the R&B tbut it does so much to keep my hair from frizzing up but this spray helps tame those split ends and damage since there are some areas where there is some damage that exists. I am not sure if it is from straightening my hair even though I don’t do it as much or from when I had highlights but this is helping out a lot! I rarely don’t feel so much damage on the right side of my head which was the most of it was going on ever since I have been using this product. I did have to order another and lord and behold Ulta sends me another 20% off coupon and I used that to get another bottle along with the Oil of Morocco spray I love a lot from them along with two other items. Thank you Ulta for that and just in time for getting a new bottle and I did get double points due to still being August!

Best Store Birthday Gift: NYX Birthday Pallet! I know that with everyone’s birthdays we do get gifts and this year was a full pallet from NYX and that is called the Birthday pallet! I thought at first it was going to be from Lancome since they were doing that, I am thinking it was only Platinum members got Lancome and regular people got the NYX pallet which to tell you the truth I am not a big Lancome fan. The face makeup made my skin itch which is kind of sad. So, the NYX pallet is a ten shadow pallet of neutrals and they are pretty pigmented and easy to apply! I hope they keep on having birthday pallets like this, even with other brands, because I think this is better than the sample size gift from Sephora, which I went with the Tarte blush and lquid lipstick which I do like the lipstick by the way and the blush. Even though I do like Tarte blushes already. So yes, hoping another brand does this next year.

Collection Complete: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Pallets! I know! I know! “What!? You never got the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar?” Well, the truth was back during last Christmas, I was choosing between the Semi-Sweet and BonBons and I liked BonBons more which I do still like that pallet out of the three. I am glad I finally finished it to get Semi-Sweet and I saw why some people did start liking it a little more than the original since it did have more unizue colors besides the same old pinks we are seeing from Too Faced pallets. I do like the idea of pink shades but not everywhere! This one did have a good balance and same with BonBons and I did do a small series where I did looks that involved one from each pallet and then shades from all three and liked how it came out! I think my fave shade would be Puddin’ which is a taupe grey shade and it reminds me of my fave character Harley Quin when she says it. And yes, in case people are wondering, I am excited about the new Batman and Harley film! So, since I got this completed, that would mean no more Too Faced unless if I need to get another Chocolate Bar if I hit pan.

Fave Shadow Primer: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly! I know…I know it took me a while to finally try it out and that is the Mac Paint Pots! I heard so many good things about these and how well they keep eye shadow on and I was able to sample it first with Painterly and Soft Ocre to tell between the two and they do keep my shadows on like crazy! I got Painterly first since I do like the idea of a white base to my shadows but will get Soft Ocre after I am done to give a bit of variety to the use of these and it is so satisfying to see my shadow on my cotton pad because I know it works!

New Mascara: Lash Paradise by L’Oreal! Next is a new mascara I got into and that is Lash Paradise. I wanted to try this ever since I saw people try it out on YouTube and they were right that it is a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex and even better than than that one actually because…Too Faced flakes on me like no other mascara! It makes my lashes too normal and it doesn’t work like for most people and when I heard about Lash Paradise I knew I had to get it. I got it on my birthday at Ulta and the girl who was checking me out said, “You will love this mascara!” She was right! I do! Yes I did experience a tiny clot in my lashes but they made my lashes curl like crazy! I felt like I had the good spider lashes rather than the bad. If you hadn’t tried this one, I suggest to do so because it is affordable and it doesn’t flake like crazy like Better Than Sex did and L’Oreal knows how to make mascara work. I mean, look what the Miss Manga does to my lashes everytime I cosplay for example!

New Eyeliner Toool: Wing Stencils! So, I decided to mention a tool since I rarely do it and the tool is a set of ten eyeliner stencils for wings. When I first did my Link cosplay, I tried doing winged liner freehanded and I had a hard time doing it and decided to go hunting on the interwebs for the stencils and I found a set from EBay that was $1 and got them in the mail by July and these aren’t ones to stick, you just put them against your eyes and do the wings like normal. These are so handy and easy to use and I can use them with gel liner which I got a pot of the Essence one and that glided pretty well, pencil which is easy to do, I haven’t tried liquid yet but I will someday but these will be handy when I do Link again which I am planning for Holiday Matsuri if we do press again.

New Lipstick: The Midnight Mermaid Mettalic Cat Suits from Wet ‘N Wild! I know this a bit of a cheat but…I had to mention these! They are the new Metallic Liquid Cat Suits that Wet ‘N Wild released for fall for the Midnight Mermaid Collection! I have been wearing Harbor a Crush and man they do stay put like their original counterparts! All I have to say is WNW is beating it out of the water since they have improved greatly as a brand over the years and happy that these liquid lipsticks are here to add to the collection but for the limited time! I would say hurry and get these as they last especially in store, knowing people would run for these like on Ulta’s website and WNw’s site.

Fave Accesory: Sailor Moon Luna and Artemis Wallet! So, on my birthday Gondras and I went into Hot Topic and I was hoping to get new t-shirts since I was getting bored with what I have been wearing especially in the music department but they didn’t have that many at the location we went to. I do go online and had to go to the Florida Mall location for the second shirt but the item that I did love that I picked up was a wallet of the cats from Sailor Moon. Ever since meeting Linda Ballumtyne and Katie Griffin, hi ladies, I think I went a little crazy for Sailor Moon and when Gondras shown me the wallet…I got it! You know me and cats and these two are no exception! Heck, I am waiting on an Artemis makeup bag to come in the mail!

Fave Album: Wolves from Rise Against! Oh yes, had to mention this and that is the new Rise Against album, Wolves. This album has been out since June and I did get it with some of my birthday money and happy I did! I had to listen to it and now I can see where the notes were talking about because this album was written after the last election. Even though the song, “The Violence,” is something that describes what we face day to day. It does have a good message to it like a lot of their music and I do like “The VIolence,” of course, also the songs “B. S.,” “House on Fire,” and the title track, “Wolves.” I even have the album t-shirt since I couldn’t get the “Time + Tragedy” shirt which made me mad. Anyways, I think this album was shorter than the last even though some of their albums have up to ten songs while others do have thirteen or fourteen unless you get the special edition which there wasn’t any. I would say well cone to Rise Against and hoping to hear more albums in the future since they are known for songs with a message.

Fave Book Series: Accidentally [Yours] by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff! So, covered food, makeup, music, and now onto books! This time it is a series from Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and that is her Accidentally [Yours] series which is one of her more early books which is a paranormal book series hat has gods, vampires, and an incubus…oh my? We first meet Emma who has been hearing a voice in her head and that voice belongs to the god of War and Death, Guy who has been trapped in a zenote for many years. She goes on an adventure to find him and once he is freed her life changes and so many others such as Helena who meets her vampire lover, Niccolo, and many other women who fall for either a vampire or a god according to the fate of Samille, which she has a secret to why all this is taking place. This series was cute and funny despite all the hapenings. Yes, I went into it blindly, tee hee, but it was something new and interesting. I do like the characters and how they got together and the book that I really liked was Vampires Need Not [Apply] which deals with the goddess of suicide, Exstab. I think I was laughing the most because her character was quirky for someone who wanted to hide herself behind a veil and I liked how she shown up at self-help groups to find her true nature and to make her feel better about her talent. It was even funnier when the guy that she fell for…forgot his name…met her at the zenote and had to beg for her forgiveness, it was under the style of Samille’s list of getting it, which I forget to mention, Samille was the best part of everything because she was so ilarious! Yeah…she ight have caused things…but her character was the best and it made it even more entertaining. I do have the first book of the Immortal Matchmakers series which is the sequel on my phone but this is a good start and if you are around my age and into paranormal romantic comedies with some action, this is one series you want to look at!

Fave Release: MY SECOND BOOK! LOVE FOUND IN CINDERS: A BACKWARDS FIARY TALE! ::Final Fantasy Fan Fare Plays:: Thank you! Thank you! And thank you! Yes, your lead writer here has now have a second book out and it is known as Love Found In Cinders. This is the first in a new series I am going to be writing known as A Backwards Fairy Tale where the gener roles of our fave fairy tale stories get switched. Int his one, you meet Sidney, a kindhearted boy, who meets his princess all thanks to a garden tea party and the princess doesn’t like her fiancé as much so she hatches a plan to meet Sidney again in a different way and get back to the ball in time. I did start with Sleeping Beauty but that story…well…that has to go through a re-write but later! I am currently doing a new book but that will come later since I am trying to finish up a fan fic at the moment and my schedule has been busy trying to get around to get back into volunteering again, getting into school for my grad certificate, and many other things. So, yeah I am busy! So, in the meantime, please support my work! You can also get The Blind Perspective: Convention Stories From the Dark on Amazon as well for Kindle. I will have more stuff to release in fiction so keep an eye out! Here are the links again:

The Blind Perspective: https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Perspective-Convention-Stories-Dark-ebook/dp/B01M16V8IO/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1503884736&sr=8-8&keywords=The+Blind+Perspective

Love Found In Cinders: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Found-Cinders-Backwards-Fairy-ebook/dp/B074PYZRV5/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1503884818&sr=1-1&keywords=love+found+in+cinders

That is it for now! I know it was a huge list but hey, a lot of things to talk about! So, next itme I am doing a response to something that was talked about on YouTube. You will see next! Also, follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique, and check out the YouTube channel, and buy my books while you are at it!

Conventions: Convention Survival Snacks!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I was going to do this as a video but due to how busy I have been, I decided to do it as a post instead on Word Press. What is it? It is my Convention Survival Snacks! I wanted to do it as a video before Omni when the convention just started for us here in Central Florida but you know my sad computer story and couldn’t do it. If you guys still want a video later, probably before any fall/winter conventions, I could do it but right now with MegaCon fastly upon us dfr Memoria Day Weekend in one week…yeah! What snacks do I suggest, keep reading!

1. Protein Bars: Starting my list is protein bars! Reason why is that these can be tasty but they do help with filling in your appetite as the day goes on. The ones I did carry during Omni were the Cliff bars in Chocolate Mint which is basically a protein bar version of a Thin Mint. Yes, they do have that weird taste but they can be very handy when surviving three or in Mega’s case four days of convention going, it is good to carry one just in case!
2. Granola bars: Since I mentioned protein bars, granola bars are another great thing to carry in your backpack or messenger bag like me! Also for any of your hotel roomies to carry too. These are not that expensive and they do provide energy and protein too alongside fiber in case if anyone needs it. The bars I recommend the best are Quaker bars if you are into chewy bars like I do and have a nice crunch along with it and of course I do love my chocolate chips, S’mores, and of course I used to get the Thin Mint ones last year but a Variety Pack can last you and any roomies that may want a bar or two. If you don’t want them to be a squishy mess, there is the Nature Valley classic bars which are very crunchy and solid and you get two per pack.
3. Cracker packs: I am mentioning these because I started carrying these with me last year as a nice added snack in case if I felt my stomach rumble a lot more and they are those little Thomas or Captain Wafer cracker packs. When I was little and was in the second grade, I had these with my lunch and for snacktime during the day and these were filling and still are. Great thing that these come in different flavors and variety packs if you want more than one flavor and be surprised by eating them. My fave is always the cream cheese and chives because it gives a nice herbal flavor with the wheat crackers. Also, the peanut butter ones with the honey cracker are also good too! You can get them for a good price at WalMart, Publix, Dollar Gneral, and one place here in my area known as Ollie’s.
4. PopTarts: I know they aren’t the healthiest thing on the planet but knowing as a college student and a convention goer and you know you are late, PopTarts are your best friend! You don’t have to toast them, they are already ready for you to eat. Plus, you already have the frosting on top on a lot of them which with Toaster Streudel you have to put it on. Plus, nice accessory for that school girl cosplay to run out of your hotel room with a PopTart in your mouth. (I know, nerd!)
5. Nuts: If you want to keep the healthy part going and need extra protein, nuts are usually your best friend unless you’re not allergic to them. I remembered always carrying cashews and almonds but it was hard for me to finish them off in the end but I did something pretty cool which I will mention next…
6. Brownie brittle: If anyone knows about this then it is handy, if not I will esplain for any new people to the concept. Brownie brittle is basically the thin, baked parts of a brownie, basically the almost burnt bits of the brownie but in cookie form. THey have many flavors and the cool thing I did is I crumbled it up and mixed it with whatever nuts I carried and make it as a mini trail mix. Plus, it is low calorie for bronie brittle!
7. Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches: One of my all time fave things about being a nerd is peanut butter and jelly, especially in the same jar! If you guys remembered Goober Grape from the 1990s like me, then high five! Good thing is that you don’t harefrigerate peanut butter and jelly but you can do it with the sandwich itself after it’s made. I will be doing this since the pb does offer the protein and the j gives you the sweetness! Great for hotel snacking in between panels if you go back to your room and need a snack. Also, helps any of your roomies that may need it and it is also inexpensive when you gather your snacks for the con. I am doing this this time since during Omni until Sunday I didn’t eat breakfast which the good thing is that this is any time food too!
8. Chex Mix: Another thing I love to carry during conventions is basically snack mix especially the beloved Chex Mix! Great thing about these is that you can carry it in small snack bags or you can get a freezer bag like I do and carry ate entire bag in it and it pretty much keeps you eating all weekend. Great to share with others too who love this stuff! What I also like is that there are different flavors to choose from which I do love the Traditional and Turtle ones the most. I want to try Muddy Buddy but got Traditional this time around since the Target I went to didn’t have Muddy Buddy. Anyways, Hershey’s did make their own which I haven’t found in my area yet but may do someday since I love having snack mix and it does keep you snacking even during panels. Heck, I think I had a lot of mix during Ranger Stop with the Cheddar flavor.
9. Japanese snacks: For that Wheeaboo inside of us, there are times when we want something to snack other things and there are times when we find vendors selling Japanese snacks! I always love finding Mr. Japanese Snacks whenever I go to the conventions, especially with Omni and Holiday Matsuri, he tends to carry a lot of new items and the classics that I love and the ones I tend to pick up the most since they last a good while is Hi Chew! They are like Starburst but a lot chewier and they have more flavors like apple, strawberry, and I even found cherry flavored at an Asian market in town. Speaking of which, there are also looking around in Asian markets if you have the time to do so since getting snacks can be time consuiing while packing. Also, you can get a great box of pocky for Scott McNeill.
10. M&M’s: I know candy is not the greatest thing but if you are craving for it then by all means but M&M’s are the best thing to go since they are really good movie snacks and panel snacks. Plus, there are the usual chocolate lovers that tend to carry these and also the old prhrse, “Melt in your moth, not your hand!” Also, if you find the M&M’s World during Omni, then a good idea to get some or a tin!
11. Chips: Potato chips in any style, whether your standard Lay’s, Cape Cod’s, and so much more, can be that perfect snack if you’re craving for them! They can be an excellent snack to share with your roomies or to go into the snack bar at your hotel or into a WaWa need be. The best chip for a backpack would be Pringles since they come in a cardboard tube and they don’t cgetcrushed as easily and you do have the travel size versions which I used to have in my university days. Plus, they are pretty cheap to purchase when you only have a dollar on you.
12. Combos: My finally snack of this list is of course Combos! I know, in case if you haven’t heard, these were re-called a year ago due to finding peanut elements in them and now they have been showing up in stores again, well depending where you live. WalMart bring them back in town. Anyways, these are our fave snack during conventions because they are easy to carry in a freezer bag and we all enjoy them the same. As in me, Gondras, and Nerdy Shirts. They come in pizza flavor, heddar, nacho cheese, and you can choose between the basic cracker and the pretzel. I prefer the pretzel slightly more because I am a pretzel addict! Now youc an see why I ove Chex Mix! Anyways, this is one good snack to carry and you can eat it easily during panels or while sitting down for a break.
That is it for this post! If you guys want to see this in video format whenever I go to the next con then I can do it for you! So, enjoy your convention adventures which we will try with ours!

By the way guys, we have a Patreon now! Since we don’t have any donations on Go Fund Me, which you should donate to that to so we can have our convention experiences in and out of town to bring you awesome content to our YouTube, so we also have Patreon to continue it! Here is our link to donate:

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=6153140

That is it for now! Stay tuned for our convention coverage from MegaCon!

Ten Ungoth Confessions!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I felt like doing something a little different and thought it would be fun and that is my Ten Ungoth Confessions! I am not that much of a goth but trying to explore it a bit more, heck even when I was in Daytona a few years back a girl did ask me if I was a goth due to my taking a class on vampires, zombies, and mummies as the subject and knowing my Halloween history when she was on team for trivia. I am somewhat goth and some people would have a little bit inside of them but here is my confession list!

1. I consider myself more into steam punk! What do I mean by this? Well, even though it is considered as an excuse for goths to wear brown but I do love the using the common objects as jewelry pieces the most. Mostly I do love gears, compasses, and watches on necklaces and earrings. I am not sure about scissors though but these three items are what I like in jewelry. Plus, I do love the goggles and do have my Harley Quin and Legend of Zelda themed goggles from Black Flame Creations, the fingerless gloves, heck I even have my own top hat. Even me, Vivi, and Stellarnan were talking about doing gender bend FFVII characters and I wanted to be Cid at first since his clothing is considered more steam punkish and I would have fun designing his clothes despite him cussing like a sailor. So yes, I consider myself more steam punk than full on goth!
2. I do not like cloves period! Yes, I can’t stand cloves as in eating them, which you can, the smell of them, and of course the most popular thing among goths is to smoke them as cigarettes. I remembered going to a friend’s concert in the downtown club area where you have to take stairs to get to the club since it was so small! No wonder it was more of a lounge but you were able to smoke and this one girl was sitting right next to me and I smelled something weird and noticed the cigarette she was smoking. I asked her about it and she said it was cloves and I did feel a headache coming on due to that and this was around the time my vision was fizzling out and my senses were enhancing to compensate for it and I told Gondras that I was getting a headache and need fresh air due to the clove smoke. It worked and when we got back she was no longer at our table. Heck, even Mama Gondras gave me a solid perfume from Lush a while back that had cloves as an ingredient and you could smell it prominently and it was horrible! I tossed it since I couldn’t stand it! In case if you are wondering, no I don’t smoke because I am asthmatic even if it’s mostly dormant but I find it gross!
3. I prefer my coffee sweet! I know a lot of goths do love their coffee and tea, I do drink tea on some occasions but mostly I am a coffee drinker especially when it comes to iced coffee which I do like to make on my own. I do like going to Dunkin Doughnuts and McDonald’s time to time but there are times when my order does go wrong or they don’t put enough flavoring. That is why I prefer my coffee to be sweet especially in the cream flavor! My favorite flavors in cream are hazelnut, salted caramel, and if I am in the mood, French vanilla! I did try the fudge brownie one and even had a double squirt because there are times where Dunkin doesn’t put enough.
4. My music taste varies! My music taste is very eclectic especially when I listen to some stuff on YouTube or I Heart Radio. I would listen to the Coheed and Cambria radio one day or listen to Mandy Moore the next. To me, you can’t always stick to one music genre, even if you have those goth elitists saying you’re not goth because of this. I will confess I did try listening to Sisters of Mercy (Vivi, don’t kill me for saying this!) but I found them kind of boring. I think I went to listen to THer For Tomorrow or something. Some of my all time fave bands in case you guys are wondering include New Found Glory, Sevendust, Soul Switch, and Traverser.
5. I love to watch talk shows! My next confession is that I do like watching talk shows on tv especially The Talk! I like how the women on that show put their thoughts on the news stories and I do like to talk about it on their Facebook page because I kind of feel like I can think about things that take place in my life or around me. I also admit I do watch Dr. Phil too because some of the stuff he has on there is interesting and I do watch Ellen time to time but on rare occasions if I feel like it.
6. I am a major lover of sweets! One of my major weaknesses is sweets! Even though my sweet tooth has been dubbing down due to a molar being chipped, I don’t know how that happened, also my teeth became extra sensitive due to some Artisan nuts that Mama Gondras sent me as a Valentine’s gift which was a really bad idea especially when I finished both cans within a week and a half of getting them, I think the pecans were the quickest since that took me two days. Anyways, I am mostly into chocolate and it is a major addiction. My fave kind of chocolate is Ghiradelli and now Cadbury has been carried in the U. S. and I enjoyed the English toffee squares that they made. Gondras did make it up to me since I asked him to get me a bag of Cadbury Royal Darks with mint for Valentine’s due to how that was more reasonable for a guy to get me. I also have been addicted to Hershey’s lately since I have the kisses and the nuggets in my big container lately.
7. When it comes to cats, I prefer rag dolls, calicos, and tabbies! Normally goths are expected to have black cats but when it comes to my love for cats, I do love black cats but I prefer the rag dolls, calicos, and tabbies because they have really pretty patterns and color variations such as the silver tabby or the rag dolls that have the looks of Siamese cats. The cat that me and Gondras consider as our cat is a tabby named Tony and he was a stray that ran around the apartment he used to live at with another little stray kitten. When Gondras and Mama Gondras moved out, they did take Tony and another tabby named Tiger but Tiger was uncomfortable with the new place and took him back to the old complex. Tony does have a major love for me the most because when I stayed after the Soul Switch concert last year and when he was in the media room to separate him from Tiger, he loved purring and nuzzling against me and when I visit or stay the night he does curl up against me, especially when I sleep over. He even gives me the look of “Why did you stop petting?” when I stop petting him. Too cute!
8. Speaking of cute, I do love cute things like a lot of girls! Yes, I got to mention this because like a lot of other girls, I do love my cute things! It doesn’t hurt admitting it even if you’re goth! I love Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Kuromi, heck I eve have a Harley Quin themed Kuromi plush I got made, I even have Happy the cat from Fiary Tail!
9. A good majority of my makeup is mostly neutral, smoky, and a few colorful items! Normally goths are expected to wear nothing but black lipstick but to tell you the truth, I only have one tube of black lipstick and trying to get around to getting more even getting another tube of the Hot Topic one at one point since that one broke on me. The rest of my makeup mostly contains neutral eye shadows, smoky pallets, and a few colorful ones like the NYX Primal collection, the Prismatic shadows by them as well, and of course the Coastal Sense Revealed 3 and the Unicorns Unite pallet by MakeUp Revolution. I do have some bold colors in my collection when it comes to lips like Ion by Kat Von D, Nightly Ritual and Royal by MAC, and a few others from KleanColor.
10. Even though my wardrobe contains a lot of black shirts, I do tend to wear a lot of nerd related shirts! Final confession is that my wardrobe does have a lot of black tees but a good majority of them are nerd related. A lot of companies print on black shirts since it does look better but I do have a few shirts in other colors from some of these companies except a good portion are on black. Some of my shirts include Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who, and some band shirts which a majority happens to be from the band Traverser.
Well that is it for this list of confessions! It was kind of hard bu I did have fun doing it. If anyone says that you’re not goth if you are wearing a shirt with the Avengers logo and still enjoy a up of coffee, just ignore it! Even Toxic Tears did say there is no wrong way of being goth unless that was someone else. Anyways, next time I should have my Top Ten songs of April!

Restaurants: Sakaya Kitchen in Miami, FL

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I know it’s been a while since I posted but I’m back and thought it was time for something different and that’s a restaurant review!

Place: Sakaya Kitchen
Location: Miami, FL

Yesterday I went for my annual eye appointment in Miami and found out about this place called Sakaya Kitchen. How’d I know about it? Well, one night I was watching Diners Drive Ins and Dives with my dad since he has been watching stuff on Travel Channel, Food Network, and many other channels besides CNN and one episode came up and it featured this place which is a fast food restaurant but with a Korean twist and was glad to know it was located in Miami, which Guy Fierary has gone to a few places in Florida and one of them happened to be a little bit outside of Tampa which we wanted to try out three years ago after MetroCon but due to what had happened the night before with the fire alarm mess at our hotel we just left. Anyways, when I found out that it was in Miami I went straight to the internet to do my research in finding this place to try out!

Where to Find It: This place is pretty much in the heart of Downtown Miami off of N. Miami Avenue in the Midtown Market area and it is a huge tourist area. It is set up like Church Street here in the heart of Orlando where you have shops and restaurants in different areas. Best thing to do is just park somewhere, which there are places to pay to park, and walk because it’s hard to find by driving. It was on a street corner and the thing you have to look for is a picture of a pig being cooked with the name on it and there you go.

Atmosphere: What is great about the place is the friendly atmosphere! They did show it in the Triple D episode but looks can be deceiving through tv, it did take on in real life with how friendly the staff was and the good thing is that the woman at the counter did answer all my questions about the menu. They did have it posted on the wall for anyone who wants to see it before ordering, which is a major plus, but hearing it from the staff was easier and what was equally great about this place was the music! The music jumped from alternative to classic rock which is a good thing in my book because most places I’ve eaten at is either pop or R&B but this place was switching from Nine Inch Nails to Queen to Eve 6 and so on. Great to eat to “Bohenian Rhapsody.” I bet Guy was rocking out a bit off camera! Good thing is that when the food is ready they bring it out to you which is a nice plus. One thing I have to complain is that I wish they had more wall outlets to plug my phone in since I was listening to I Heart Radio while in Miami, also on the way there from breakfast and on the way home after stopping for a bathroom break in Cocoa Beach. I should get one of those phone cases to charge my phone even when I upgrade. Still, would be nice to recharge your phone next to you like I had during Ranger Stop at TGIFriday.

Food: Oh man the food was amazing! That is why watching Triple D made me want to go to this place but what was featured in the episode wasn’t what I had and what was featured was their duck sandwich which is a popular thing. I can see why this place is so popular. Even an appetizer that deals with tater tots was featured since that was also popular but due to an upset stomach since earlier that morning, I had to take it easy! Good thing that the thing I had helped my stomach immensely and that is a grilled chicken bowl which featured rice and a salad with a lemon peanut dressing and man it was DELICIOUS! I had my bowl with white rice because I am not much of a fan of brown rice, my dad who was with me on this trip did have it with brown rice and he enjoyed it as much as I did! There was another rice that was an option but was being careful with my stomach and that is their coconut rice which is a rice made with coconut milk, scallions, and a fish sauce. I may have to try that if I end up going back next year for my appointment if my stomach doesn’t harm me. Great thing for the sandwiches, you can also get pork sliders and even tacos. Warning is that the food is a bit pricey but worth the price if you are into Korean curisine which was an interesting try since I seen Eat Your Sushi living in Korea and went to so many places in Korea to try out so many foods. Interesting thing is that one dish is big for holidays, break ups with significant others, and moving in and out of places.

Would I Recommend as a Convention Destination? Yes! If you have the extra cash from hotel expenses, parking fees, and even having your eyes in anime and comic book merch, I would say check this place out if you’re heading into the downtown area since Miami is also a big convention area like Orlando and Tampa. As said above, I would say park and walk because it is deep in the Midtown Market area, heck even there’s a parking garage nearby if you don’t want to walk too far. If you’re adventurous enough, try the duck sandwich, but if you want a nice convenient dish, there are plates you can share with your buddies.

Rating: A Stellar PawPrint of Approval!

Well that is it for this restaurant review! If you guys like this idea, especially knowing where to go if you’re in Orlando, Miami, or any other place and want to see what places I would recommend if I have tried, just comment below!

What is next? I’m waiting for Ipsy and BoxyCharm to arrive in the mail this coming week! Stay tuned til next time!