Wide Legged Trousers


I've always liked big pants. They're good for:
  • Days when you're bloated or having a "fat day"
  • When you go to your friend's family's house for a 9-course Thanksgiving dinner followed by cake and 2 kinds of pie
  • After Indian buffet (mmmm naan and palak paneer)
  • Because I just refuse to let go of the JNCO and REQUEST days c.1996
At any rate, they're back in now - but in the high-waisted and trouser assortment.

At first I was like I don't know. High-waisted doesn't work on me because (1) I'm short and (2) I have no waist.

But look at THIS:

That's real cute, man!

(Also, I have a special place in my heart for
MK + A and their homeless man style.)

I don't know how I feel about tucking in my shirt, but the pants with the belt look nice. I really like the front pleating. But not on boys. Boys, NEVER wear pants with pleats in the front please please please.

Also try them in the seersucker and sailor variety because Colonel Sanders and Popeye are good.

Price: $58 (seersucker); $68 (sailor) *but I scored them for $14.99 each this weekend!*
Vendor: Urban Outfitters

Jose Gonzalez


Jose Gonzalez - Hand on Your Heart

My current song obsession is Jose Gonzalez's cover of Hand on Your Heart, originally by
Kylie Minogue.

I was like
eh the first time I heard it. I'm not particularly fond on folksy music. But after a few more listens, I started liking it more and more. His voice and the lyrics are just so so pretty.

I wasn't crazy about his cover of The Knife's
Heartbeats. The original is just too good. However, dare I say - I like his version of Hand on Your Heart better than Kylie's version? I know! And I LOVE me some Kylie! She's one of my favorite ladies, but her version is a little TOO 80's for me. It scares me kind of.

This song is a single, so it's not on his
Veneer album.

See the video for Hand on Your Heart at www.josegonzalez.com.

Listen to Heartbeats at www.myspace.com/josegonzalez.

Barefoot Coffee


I'm a coffee connoisseur. Self-proclaimed, that is. (Also, I totally spelled "connoisseur" right on the first try and I'm really proud of myself!)

Ok, so I don't really know all that much about the "art" or "science" of coffee, but I do drink coffee on a daily basis and I know what I like and I know what I don't like.

Barefoot Coffee - I like. A lot.

I used to be pro-
Seattle's Best - which, in its own right, is also very good. MUCH MUCH better than Starbucks, which I actually kind of hate. Tastes like burning!

They have lots of specialty coffee drinks that incorporate condensed milk, coconut milk, 5 types of chocolate, and even caramelized sugar where they use a

Barefoot coffee, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.

  • Smooth and rich taste (never burnt, never sour)
  • The in-store roasting
  • The cute pictures they draw in the foam on top of your latte
  • The little almond biscuit they give you when you have a drink in-store
  • The "Cubano"
  • The "Vietnamese Coffee"
  • The "Voo Doo"
  • The superfluous amount of outlets
  • The counter w/ stools (I really like sitting on stools at counters)
  • The condiment station (containers of liquid sugar, molasses, caramel, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, honey)
  • Buy 10 drinks, get 1 free

But best of all - it is truly a GOOD cup of coffee.

Unfortunately, you can only have it if you live in the South Bay.

Location: 5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Website: BarefootCoffeeRoasters.com

Target Presta Wedges


I heart Target.

Why I like these:
  • 4.25-inch heel. My motto - the higher the better.
  • The wedge is skinny. This is important because I have an aversion to platform on shoes (UGH so gross stop wearing them please). The wedge is narrow and curves inward so it doesn't look bulky.
  • Rope + Cork. The combination makes it so much better than if it was cork alone.
  • $24.99! Enough said.

Great cheap shoes to throw on and not care if you mess them up by tripping on nonexistent items on the sidewalk or sideswiping brick walls. (Unfortunately, this really is a concern of mine.)

You can't tell from the picture, but the ankle ties are actually long strings that you wrap multiple times around your ankle (and not a solid cuff as the picture leads you to believe). Esperadille-style. I'm not crazy about this style, but I'm willing to forgive it.

I LOVE the height. They make we feel like I'm walking on my tiptoes, which is fabulous. THE HIGHER THE BETTER. Wear them under those jeans that are just a
tad too long, but not long enough to make hemming them worth it.

Plus - they're comfy!

Price: $24.99
Vendor: Target

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8


I think this will be my first lens purchase. For two reasons:

  1. Faster shutter speed. I was also considering the Canon 17-85/4-5.6 IS. While the Canon has image stabilization, the Tamron is faster, though it lacks IS. While slow lenses with IS can be used at slower shutter speeds than would be possible with a faster lens, those slower shutter speeds aren't always be fast enough to freeze movement.

  2. Smaller depth of field. I love this look! Blurring the background = cool. Here's an example:

Actually, it would be pretty cool to get a
SUPER wide angle lens, but that's probably not very practical. This one would be more everyday-use friendly. I'm not making enough (or ANY) money to be splurging on extravagant, unecessary camera lenses. This one is a good "in-between" lens to waste money on until I can afford $1500 L-lenses!

I should rename this blog "How to Waste Money by Tramanh Phi."

Price: $449
Vendor: Amazon.com

Eggs Benedict

[with asparagus and hollandaise sauce]

Breakfast for dinner! I love eating breakfast, any time of day. Besides dessert, my favorite course is definitely breakfast. I heart eggs.

Preparing this meal was kind of an ordeal because (1) I've never poached an egg before and (2) I've never made hollandaise sauce before. I did a little research online about how to poach an egg and I found several recommended methods, but ended up kind of making up my own procedure that turned out really well! *Patting self on back*

The hollandaise, however, was another story. My sauce was not creamy - it was lumpy and curdled. So gross. Tasted good, though. I haven't given up - I will make the perfect hollandaise!

The whole meal took a lot longer than I expected - well over an hour. Just to make breakfast for 2! There are so many steps to make each part of the meal. I also decided to be ~fancy~ and make clarified butter, which was probably unecessary.

Also, I test-poached a couple of eggs using different methods. Then when the bf came home, he informed me that he HAS an EGG POACHER.

Of course he does.


eggs benedict:
  • 4 Slices of canadian bacon
  • 2 English muffins, cut in half
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. distilled white vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Sprig of parsley, chopped

hollandaise sauce
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 1/2 Cup of butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

  1. Fry the canadian bacon in a frying pan, approximately 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. To make the hollandaise, in a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Place the bowl over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan of a saucepan and continue to whisk until warm and frothy, 4 to 5 minutes. [double boiler]
  3. Whisk in the butter slowly until fully incorporated. Continue to whisk until all the butter has been incorporated and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes total. Stir in the lemon juice and season with a pinch each of salt and cayenne pepper.

  4. In a deep frying pan or big pot, fill about 3-4 inches of water. Add salt and vinegar to the water and bring to a boil.
  5. Take 4 small bowls and spray with cooking spray. Crack an eggs in each bowl. Carefully submerge each bowl in the boiling water, making sure the boiling water fills the bowls. Let the eggs cook until desired runniness. Take each bowl out of the pot and slide each egg out with a slotted spoon.

  6. Toast the english muffins and arrange on a plate. Put a slice of canadian bacon on each slice and a poached egg on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

To poach the eggs, normally you just drop the eggs into boiling water. I found that it made the eggs really non-uniformed shaped and ugly. That's part of the reason why you put vinegar and salt in the water - it's supposed to keep the egg more coagulated so the whites are less "feathery." INTERESTING, HUH.

Some people suggested stirring the water to make a VORTEX and dropping the egg inside. I tested it out (because it involved making a VORTEX) and while it did work a little better, it still wasn't the perfect round shape.

So i tried using the bowls, which another website suggested, but the egg got stuck and I ended up breaking the yolk. THEN I got the idea of using cooking spray. PERFECT!

The bowls I used were sauce bowls. They look like the normal, round rice bowls, but a bit smaller. If you're vietnamese, you could put nuoc mam in them. I was able to poach all 4 eggs at one time in the pot.

To make myself feel less guilty, I bought whole wheat english muffins. They were good! Nice and soft. The only thing I didn't like was that slightly sweet wheat bread taste, but I would totally eat them again.

As a side, I steamed some asparagus because (1) they go well w/ hollandaise, and (2) they are in season and only $1.49/bunch. We've been eating asparagus at least 1-2x a week lately. Out pee smells wonderful.

I also cut a couple of slices of roma tomato.

Zuppa Toscana


Ok this is from the Olive Garden. I LIKE Olive Garden, ok? I'm not ashamed! Sometimes you're just in the mood for
"Italian" Food [with quotations].

I guess it's like how Taco Bell is not really Mexican food, but is still good ... to some people. Not me, though. Taco Bells is barf and I haven't eaten there since 6th grade.

In college, I probably ate at Olive Garden at least 2x a month. I would eat 2 bowls of this soup, salad, breadsticks, followed by my entree (mmm TOUR OF ITALY, remember that?). And then maybe dessert. And man, when "Never-Ending Pasta Bowl" time came around - watch out. I would eat 2 and bring 1 home.

This is also probably why I was 10 lbs heavier in college than I am now.

Zuppa Toscana was one of my favorites. I looked around online and found a "copycat" recipe. Tried it last night and it came out surprisingly well! I changed the recipe a bit and used chunks of portabello mushroom instead of potatoes to make it more carb-friendly. Delish!

  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (or more, according to taste)
  • 2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Kale or Swiss Chard, chopped
  • 2 cans Chicken Broth
  • 1 qt. Water
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

  1. Crumble and sautee sausage in a pan with the red pepper flakes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  2. Sautee potatoes, onions, bacon, and garlic in a pot until onions are almost clear.
  3. Pour in chicken broth, water, and heavy cream. Simmer until potatoes are cooked and the soup thickens.
  4. Add the sausage and kale. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yummy! You can also make this w/ spicy sausage for that extra kick. Put in a tablespoon or so of cornstarch if you like a thicker soup, though the real soup is pretty watery. Remember to mix the cornstarch w/ some broth before pouring it in. If you just put it directly in the pot, you might end up with a special surprise dumpling in your soup. The bf ate the dumpling.

Adam Brody

Wooooo lookin good, Cohen.

sucker for scruffy, skinny boys w/ beautiful floppy hair.

*tee hee*

Green Tea Shortbread


Are these cute or what? I made 2 batches last week - one using confectioner's sugar and one using granulated sugar. The confectioner-batch made for a more buttery, crumbly texture - like REAL shortbread. The granulated-batch came out more cookie-like. The bf liked the cookie texture, while I preferred the shortbread.

I liked these because they weren't sweet, due to the green tea powder. I also managed to get my hands on leaf-shaped cookie cutters and the cookies came out so great! I also decorated the leaves using a sharp knife to make little designs. They looked quite professional, if I do say so myself.

I also made a batch of lemon shortbread, which came out really good too. I mixed in lemon juice, lemon extract, and grated lemon zest. Topped each cookie with a glaze I made with lemon juice, confectioner's sugar, and heavy cream. Yum!


  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 Tablespoons green-tea powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 Pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup confectioners' sugar, or granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sift flour, tea powder, and salt into a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Put butter in the bowl and cream on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar; continue to beat until very light in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes more.
  4. Add flour mixture; combine on low, scraping sides of bowl with a spatula if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on a clean surface and dust with flour. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness; chill in refrigerator or freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Cut chilled dough with 2-inch leaf cutters. Using a wide spatula, transfer to baking sheets. Chill until firm. Gather scraps together, reroll, chill, and cut shapes. Bake until firm and barely starting to color, 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool completely.

The recipe says 15-20 minutes, but it took 11 minutes in my oven. Watch carefully! They don't look nearly as cute if they start getting brown on the edges.

Also, sprinking some granulated sugar on top of the cookies right out of the oven is quite nice.



Not your typical indie band. Entirely instrumental, great beats, a SYNTHESIZER (you know me and synthesizers), with a bit of funk. I confess, I didn't like them at first. Riding on Interpol's coattails and all their songs sounded the same to me. Plus, that RaWrr!! in "Wildcat" made me uncomfortable.

How very wrong I was.

The songs are great driving music, great lounging music, and great studying music. I love bands where the more you hear their songs, the more you like them. keeps gettin better and better!

Choice tunes from the "Classics" Album:
Loud Pipes

And for you hip-hop heads, Ratatat has a couple of albums [Ratatat Mixtape Vol. 1; Ratatat Remixes Vol. 2] where they do mixes with Biggie, Ludacris, Jay-Z, and Kanye.

Burberry Rain Jacket

"Technical Twill Trench"

What's more classic than a Burberry trench? Well, I guess a Burberry scarf is (thanks, babe!).

This actually isn't THE classic trench - this one's an updated fitted raincoat. water repellant w/ a zipper closure, adjustable belts at the sleeves, and lined in mesh. i love stand-up the collar!

also, i love how it doesn't scream BURBERRY!!11~!

Vendor: Burberry
Price: $650