Celebratory moving photo- via iPhone
So I did it. I finally moved. I've been dying to move ever since I first came to LA, but decided to wait out my lease until the *perfect* apartment and space came along. I finally found it! And I'm now a happy resident of West LA. :) I'll be sure to give everyone a tour once I'm fully settled in.
On another note, apparently Monday is the annual Mooncake festival. Because I'm a terrible Chinese person, I didn't even know until my friends over at Godiva sent me some special LE Godiva mooncakes! You guys, I love Godiva. It's a real problem. I'm even opted in to their monthly "free bonbon" program that always suckers me in to buying a $8 chocolate strawberry when I'm at the store. But I digress.
Mooncakes are usually eaten during the annual Mid-Autmun festival, which is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar. They're not cake-y in the American sense. They're dense, very rich, and have no frosting or other bells and whistles. They're also really expensive- and you'll see families and business acquaintances giving them to each other as presents. Typically you'll find a dense red bean paste or lotus seed paste inside. Because they're so rich usually one mooncake is shared between many people, and washed down with a bit of hot tea.
One large "moocake" surrounded by many, smaller "mooncakes".
Mandarin Black Tea Mooncake with Dark Chocolate
Goji Berry Black Tea Mooncake with Milk Chocolate
Mango Green Tea Mooncake with White Chocolate
As far as taste, both I and the new roomie agreed the dark chocolate was the best flavor. Our second favorite was the white chocolate, that was pleasantly light and had crunchy nougat bits inside. To be honest they don't remind me of mooncake at all- which makes me happy since I'd rather eat chocolate over mooncake any day. These could be a great twist on the traditional mooncake, and can be purchased over at Godiva stores and online.
I have to say- I'm pretty happy with how these photos turned out. Ever since I changed jobs and started working with some FANTASTICALLY talented bloggers, it's really inspired me to step my photography game up. Part of why I chose my new apartment is because it's flooded with light, thanks to a bevy of floor-to-ceiling windows. It's so much easier to take photos now, look at how wonderfully bright these are :)! Nothing beats "real" light.
Since moving to LA I've also become obsessed with the local farmer's market. Because I figured I needed a bit of greenery in my new space, I started planting herbs along my balcony outside. The first plant I had to buy, fully sprouted. It kind of feels like cheating. Mint is really easy to take care of (it's borderline invasive and needs a pot) but it's hard to get started. After some lengthy Googling I stumbled on to the chocolate mint plant. Yes guys, a real plant that smells/tastes like a chocolate Andes mint. AMAZING. This will probably make the best iced coffee ever. I picked it up for $3.99 at a local nursery.
So the leaves are a bit thicker and darker than a typical spearmint plant, which is the plant that's most commonly sold as "mint". I'm not a fan of how the runners are long and ivy-like so that they droop down, but I'm so excited to see how it tastes and turns out. I hope I don't kill it- I don't have much luck with plants :) or anything for that matter. I think I'll also get a normal spearmint plant since I like the aesthetics a bit better.
In case you're wondering what's on the nails, it's Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel in "B Girl". I had to hunt this sucker down, on a journey that took me from Target, then another Target and finally to CVS. The application was terrible, but it seems to be holding up pretty well and I'll follow up with a review later.
Happy Mid-Autumn festival to everyone celebrating. How do you like mooncake? Let me know! :)
FTC: Mooncakes gifted by Godiva Chocolates, I was not paid to make this post.