CIRCUITS OF FEVER

Photolog 2020: Day 21 of 366

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020
"The Pope"

"The Priest"

Went to The Burger's Priest for dinner and got The Pope (for Ronsee) and The Priest (for me). Because sometimes, you just need a (double) cheeseburger with a giant deep-fried, cheese-filled portobello mushroom.

Or you're craving Shake Shack but you live in Canada.

Photolog 2020: Day 20 of 366

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Monday, January 20, 2020
Peking-style roast duck

Stir-fried prawns with chilis and cashews

Signature handmade glass noodle soup

Had an end-of-year dinner with my dad tonight at Dayali. This was my second time eating here, and my opinion hasn't changed: the service sucks and the food is overpriced, but at least the decor is nice and the Peking duck is good. Every other dish just pales in comparison, especially for the portions and the prices.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 610

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This week's Monday Poll:
  1. What's something you say a lot? "Legit," "like," "true," "I'm dead," and "I'm screaming." This may be the most Millennial thing about me. 😂

  2. How tall are you? About 163cm or  5' 4".

  3. What are you marathoning right now? Glam & Gore videos and Ondo vlogs.

  4. Which would you rather live without — mascara or eyeliner? I'd rather live without eyeliner. Honestly, the only makeup I've worn in the last month is mascara.

  5. What makes you happy? BTS, always and forever. But currently, I would also say waking up without an alarm clock, STōK Cold Brew Coffee, macarons, making origami flowers, and shopping at Oomomo.

Photolog 2020: Day 19 of 366

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Sunday, January 19, 2020
What, you thought I was going to go to Daan Go Cafe and not get some macarons next door at Daan Go Cake Lab?

Daan Go Cake Lab 9-Piece Macaron Box

Top: Hazelnut Chocolate, Banana Chocolate, Passionfruit
Middle: Hong Kong Milk Tea, Pistachio, Vietnamese Coffee
Bottom: Salted Caramel, Black Sesame Mochi, Roasted Milk Tea

Top: Hazelnut Chocolate, Banana Chocolate, Passionfruit
Middle: Hong Kong Milk Tea, Pistachio, Vietnamese Coffee
Bottom: Salted Caramel, Black Sesame Mochi, Roasted Milk Tea

This might be controversial, but frankly, I find these to be the same quality in flavour, texture, and consistency as some of the most famous macaron houses around (ahem, Ladurée) in both the meringue shells and the fillings. Plus, these are infinitely cuter and come in better and more interesting flavours. Just putting that out there.

Photolog 2020: Day 18 of 366

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Saturday, January 18, 2020
Went to Daan Go Cafe with Cynthia to try out their brunch (more like a really early dinner) but they had stopped serving their food menu by the time we got there at 4:30 PM, so we did what any rational person would do and ordered dessert instead. 

"Diamond"

"Lucky Duck"

We wanted to try two different desserts with entirely different flavour profiles, so we ended up picking their signature "Diamond" cake (dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut flavours, passionfruit chiffon, topped with a diamond-shaped white chocolate) and the "Lucky Duck" (lemon curd, pistachio cream, almond sponge, white chocolate foam, and an adorable rubber duck-shaped lemon-filled white chocolate), which was almost too cute to eat. (He was delicious.) Both were excellent, with the perfect combinations of textures and flavours. I mean, you can't go wrong with chocolate and hazelnut, of course, but the tartness of the lemon with the nuttiness of pistachio and almond was phenomenal.

Original HK Milk Tea

We finished off with two of their award-winning Original Hong Kong Milk Tea, the perfect ending to our dessert outing. Despite having been to Daan Go Cake Lab for years for their character macarons, I've never tried their cakes (I don't know why, but I never just order cake to eat at home) so I love that they opened up the cafe next door so you can try any of their creations in a sit-in dining environment.  (Listen, each cake looks so fucking delicious, I'm going to make it my mission to keep visiting until I've tried them all.) Their cakes are so good, they almost made up for missing out on their brunch.

Photolog 2020: Day 17 of 366

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Friday, January 17, 2020

On a whim, my friend Cynthia and I went to try DM Chicken for dinner. We'd never been there before so we weren't sure what to expect. We originally thought it was Korean fried chicken, and while they do have chicken wings, they're actually known for their stir-fried chicken platters! We decided on the platter for two, which includes their chicken (we got original sauce, which is kind of a sweet soy sauce glaze) that's stir-fried with onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and rice cakes. It also comes with a vat of cheese for dipping (!!!) plus sides of fries and salad (to keep it healthy, obviously), as well as bowls of rice. The platter comes served on a heating board so your food stays hot throughout. I've never actually encountered a restaurant that serves something like this before, where everything is neatly displayed on a heating platter for the whole table to share (in a way that's different from hot pot or BBQ). Everything was quite tasty, but frankly, it's pretty pricey for what you get, so I'd just come here for the novelty alone.

Friday Five: Master of Your Domain

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This week's Friday Five:
  1. What are the areas of your expertise? Makeup, eating, smoking cigarettes, and BTS.

  2. What are you territorial about? My BTS and BT21 merch. I'm particular about where I buy my stuff from, what to include in my collections, how each thing is unboxed and displayed... Like, don't even think about coming near them.

  3. What's a bit of specific wisdom from your field that could apply to life in general? If you look good, you feel good.

  4. How big or small is your personal space bubble? Like, medium? For example, I can't do big crowds. I used to be able to deal with it, given how many rock concerts I went to that were general admission (and like, mosh pits), but not anymore. I mean, I'll still do general admission for concerts, but I gotta stand at the edge of the crowd. I'm short, so I feel suffocated easily. I can't even stand the thought of walking through a mall on Boxing Day, or taking the subway during rush hour. I am also not a hugger. If I give you a hug, then I consider you an important person in my life. (Obviously, if you hug me, I'm not gonna be awkward about it. But still, I don't initiate hugging.) I am not touchy-feely, despite having touched people's faces for a living for the past decade.

  5. What are your current emotional and mental states? You know, it's just good vibes all around today. "Black Swan" was released this morning and it's just playing been on repeat (I swear, it gets even better every single time I listen to it, and I am just full-on jammin' to it), and I'm going out to eat with my friend Cynthia, who I haven't seen in over a year. I also got notification of a job interview for next week, so I'm relieved about that.

BTS — Black Swan

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It is around 4:30 AM right now and BTS just released their first single from Map of the Soul: 7, "Black Swan." There is no official MV for this song, but rather an "Art Film" by MN Dance Company, featuring a powerful ballet that tells a poignant story of feeling trapped and struggling for freedom. The version of the song in the Art Film is slowed down, dramatic, and orchestral to work for the ballet performance, whereas the original recording (as found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, etc.) uses stronger beats and synthetic instrumentals — but both have a sound that we haven't heard from BTS before. It has a mix of R&B with some slow jam pop (the entire rap line sings in this one), but has a sort of fantastical element in it with help from what sounds like a synthetic harp. I suppose it doesn't matter, anyway, as BTS are as multi-genre as it gets. But what I can say is that it's thought-provoking, self-reflective, melancholic, and hauntingly beautiful. And along with "Interlude: Shadow," it does seems that Map of the Soul: 7 will be their darkest album yet.


The title of the song was actually leaked yesterday on Spotify (big oopsie), but after watching this video, we now know why they named this song after the movie of the same name: "Black Swan can be interpreted as a metaphor for achieving artistic perfection, with all of the psychological and physical challenges one might encounter... 'the film can be perceived as a poetic metaphor for the birth of an artist, that is, as a visual representation of [the main character's] psychic odyssey toward achieving artistic perfection and of the price to be paid for it.'"

This brings it back to what BTS is exploring with this Map of the Soul series, which is entirely centred around Carl Jung's Theory of the Unconscious — more specifically, the persona, ego, and shadow archetypes. Black Swan is a very dark, horrific exploration of these these archetypes, shown in a very surreal, psychotic, nightmarish way. While BTS are not using such a disturbing approach, they are using these archetypes to discover themselves through their music, and in turn, trying to get people to think and analyze more deeply, to connect and share ideas, and to create conversation. These are the marks of a true artist — and are exactly why BTS are continually proving that they should be taken seriously as such.

Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
What's my thing?
What's my thing, tell me now
Tell me now
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The heart no longer races
When hearing the music play
Trying to pull up
Seems like time has stopped
Oh, that would be my first death
I been always afraid of
If this can no longer resonate
No longer make my heart vibrate
Then like this may be how I die my first death
But what if that moment's right now, right now

Heartbeat pulsing slow in my ears
Bump, bump, bump
Try to flee but back into the maw
Jump, jump, jump
No song affects me anymore
Crying out a silent cry
Ocean with all light silenced shut
Yeah, yeah, yeah
My wandering feet held in a rut
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Every noise and sound has been cut
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Killin' me now
Killin' me now
Do you hear me, yeah

Sinking slowly like in a trance
Nah, nah, nah
Struggle but it's all ocean floor
Nah, nah
Every moment becomes eternity
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Film it now
Film it now
Do you hear me, yeah

Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
What's my thing?
What's my thing, tell me now
Tell me now
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Deeper
Yeah, I think I'm going deeper
I keep losing focus
No, just let go of me
Let my own feet carry me
I'll go in myself
In the deepest depths
I saw myself
Slowly, I open my eyes
I'm in my workroom, it's my studio
The waves go darkly by in a throe
But I'll never get dragged away again
Inside, I saw myself, myself

Heartbeat racing in my ears
Bump, bump, bump
Eyes wide open into my forest
Jump, jump, jump
Nothing can devour me
I shout out with ferocity

Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
What's my thing?
What's my thing, tell me now
Tell me now
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Ocean with all light silenced shut
Yeah, yeah, yeah
My wandering feet held in a rut
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Every noise and sound has been cut
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Killin' me now
Killin' me now
Do you hear me, yeah

Sinking slowly like in a trance
Nah, nah, nah
Struggle but it's all ocean floor
Nah, nah
Every moment becomes eternity
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Film it now
Film it now
Do you hear me, yeah

Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
Do your thing
Do your thing with me now
What's my thing?
What's my thing, tell me now
Tell me now
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Photolog 2020: Day 16 of 366

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Thursday, January 16, 2020
Chelsea and I went to Araya Sushi for a late lunch this afternoon 'cause we were hardcore craving sushi. They just opened up a few months ago and we're always excited to try out new sushi places in this area, so this has been on our must-try list for a little while now. We got there at 3:30 PM, which is just a bit too late for lunch and way too early for dinner — so basically, it's the most perfect time to go when you want the most efficient, attentive service, and ultra-fresh, carefully prepared food.

Sashimi Dinner

Thriller Roll

Angry Roll

We decided to share the Sashimi Dinner, plus the Thriller Roll (pickled radish, cucumber, avocado, and crabmeat topped with seared tuna and green onion) and the Angry Roll (spicy salmon, avocado, crabmeat, and cucumber topped with pickled jalapeño and tobiko). The Sashimi Dinner featured an assortment of gorgeous, fresh, plush fish, from salmon to tuna to butterfish (that's seared!), and comes with a bowl of rice. (The reason we got the Sashimi Dinner instead of a sashimi combo or à la carte is really just because it was the cheapest option for the amount we wanted.) Both maki were excellent; the seared tuna lends a fantastic smokiness to the Thriller Roll, and the jalapeño adds a great spicy-tart crunch to the Angry Roll. Great portions for the price, too. (Seriously, they're gigantic.)

Homemade gyoza

Our server was amazing as well — not only did she give us both miso soups and edamame to start with (one miso soup came with the Sashimi Dinner, but she gave us a second one anyway since there were two of us), but she also presented us with a plate of freshly fried homemade gyoza on the house. And I kid you not, it was some of the best gyoza I've ever had. Most casual sushi restaurants serve frozen gyoza, so the meat filling inside is hard with a muted flavour, the wrapper is tough, and they're not evenly fried. It's why I almost never order them. But these gyoza had a soft, tender, flavourful meat filling, and the wrappers were thin and pliant with the most perfect, crispy, golden texture. I think they lightly coat it with panko and deep-fry them instead of just lazily pan-frying them? Whatever the case, it gives them the most exquisite crunch, and I still managed to eat three even though I was already stuffed to the brim.

Black sesame ice cream

To top it all off? She also gave us black sesame ice creams on the house. I don't know if it's because Chelsea had mentioned that I review food on social media, or because she saw me taking so many photos, or because we were the only customers in the restaurant at the time and she was just feeling particularly generous, but she legit gave us appetizers and desserts for free when she totally didn't have to. (We made sure to tip her well.) In conclusion: I think we just found our new favourite sushi spot in Markham.

Photolog 2020: Day 15 of 366

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My copy of Paper Magazine's "BTS Break the Internet" issue finally arrived — two months after I pre-ordered it, over a month after its release on US newsstands, and paying an atrocious $31 USD for shipping. (Quite frankly, I myself cannot believe I paid this much for shipping for a fucking magazine. From New York, no less. I shit you not, shipping from the other side of the world costs less than that for the exact same weight.) But there was literally no other way to get the magazine here because the publication is no longer carried in Canada, at least at any of the major retailers. (You can get it online in Canada, but only through a yearly subscription, which I was definitely not interested in.)


Over the course of November and December, I had emailed Paper Magazine three times: the first time was to find out whether I could add another copy to my order (because Ying wanted one as well, and we could split the shipping cost that way); the second time to ask the exact same thing as the first time because I didn't hear back from them after two weeks; and the third time was to ask when the issue would be shipped because it had already been out on US newsstands for a week by then. I DIDN'T GET A SINGLE FUCKING REPLY. Mid-way through December, people all over the world — from North America to Europe to Asia — were asking the same thing: Did anyone who pre-ordered this issue of Paper Magazine get their copy yet? Did anyone even hear back from Paper Magazine about this issue? The answer, across the board, was a resounding "NO!"


Finally, two days before Christmas, I received a generic copy-and-paste response that everyone else got: "The issue: Breaking the Internet has shipped on 12/13/19. If you ordered multiple issues, each will be shipped separately. Late day to receive your order is: January 10, 2020. All issues are shipped regular mail and there is no tracking." (Never mind their grammatical errors, or using "late day" instead of "last day." They never even got back to me about adding another issue to my order.) It's no wonder Paper Magazine is no longer carried outside of the US. The people who run Paper Magazine are completely unresponsive and totally unprofessional in the way they operate. You'd think that an independent publication like that would want to go above and beyond for their customers. They need to seriously organize their distribution centre and hire more people for their customer service department (if they have one at all?). Like, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.


On the bright side, my copy came in mint condition. It arrived in a thin paper envelope used for documents — no bubble wrap, no protective plastic cover — so it could've been bad. I read hundreds of complaints on Twitter regarding the state in which their magazine arrived. Many people received theirs with torn pages and totally destroyed spines. Some people even got theirs with ripped covers. Most of these people were from the US, so it might also have been caused by the negligence of USPS. (Shipping in the US was only $4 per issue, after all. Really nothing compared to the $31 shipping to Canada.) Still, using a flimsy documents envelope to ship A MAGAZINE? These aren't packed in skids, the way subscriptions or retail orders would be. These are literally single issues of magazines being sent by regular postal service, and they were just being cheap and careless.


My final complaint? The addition of the Lisa Frank illustrations. Listen, they were cute in the late '80s and early '90s for CHILDREN (I would know, because 6-year-old Denise fucking LOVED Lisa Frank), but we are in 2020 and Paper Magazine is geared towards young adults. This was such a bad fucking call by Paper Magazine, who is known for sleek, minimalistic covers that would have worked so well here to showcase BTS' neutral-pastel outfits. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason for adding Lisa Frank's (almost painfully American) illustrations to this issue — one that features a Korean music group (in thousands of dollars worth of Louis Vuitton clothing, no less) and is also their annual "Break the Internet" issue (which would insinuate something that has made a mark in the current pop culture landscape). So, for what purpose do these outdated, nonsensical illustrations serve? They don't go with any of the features inside the magazine, nor the outfits that the boys are wearing on the cover. Is there some sort of resurgence of Lisa Frank that the whole world except for Paper Magazine is unaware of? These illustrations and neon rainbow colour scheme totally take the focus away from BTS, and also makes the issue look overwhelmingly tacky. And not even in a cute way. It looks like a cheap teenybopper magazine from the early '90s. (I would also know, because 10-year-old Denise bought WAY TOO MANY issues of Tiger Beat and Bop.)


The only redeeming qualities about this whole thing is that the boys themselves look beautiful (despite the — and I cannot stress this enough — INCREDIBLY TACKY illustrations), and the article itself was informed, well-researched, and well-written. I suppose, at the end of the day, that is what really matters.

Photolog 2020: Day 14 of 366

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020
My BTS/BT21 merch order from Jaewon arrived today!

BTS x KwangJuYo BTS Edition Straight Mug

BTS x KwangJuYo BTS Edition Straight Mug

Last October, BTS had collaborated with KwangJuYo, a renowned Korean traditional ceramics brand, on a series of tableware pieces that was inspired by BTS' album, Map of the Soul: Persona. It features apricot flowers which, "after enduring a long winter, heralds the coming of spring before anyone else, and represents lofty will, great mental strength, and clear mind." They're designed in the same pattern as the album covers, and has the BTS logo on the bottom. Frankly, all the pieces were expensive as hell (seriously, a single plate was like, $80) and I didn't want a whole set of tableware because the style is not really my taste for dining purposes, but I did want a single item of this limited edition collaboration as a novelty piece. The whole collection was sold out within a day of launch on Weply, but I inquired with Jaewon and he said that he could go to the KwangJuYo pop-up store for me. So I decided on the mug because I'm planning on using it as a vase for origami flowers, which I thought would be cute given the design of the piece. I'm just gonna say, bless Jaewon for such dedicated customer service. Dude gets thousands of orders now, and still goes above and beyond for me.

House of BTS: Pop-Up Store Jimin and Jungkook Light Up iPhone 11 Pro Max Cases

House of BTS: Pop-Up Store Jimin and Jungkook Light Up iPhone 11 Pro Max Cases

When I got my iPhone 11 Pro Max last November, I said that I was gonna ditch my Apple case once BTS or BT21 came out with some options (they hadn't had any cases for the iPhone 11 models yet). And now is that time. When I saw that the House of BTS: Pop-Up Store released all these new phone cases featuring the ultra-adorable chibi characters, I was like, "YAS, THESE ARE THE ONES." I thought the light up ones were the cutest (basically if you turn on the "LED Flash for Alerts" function on the iPhone, the patterns on the background light up when someone phones or texts), so I got one each of Jimin and Jungkook (MY BABIES).

Mediheal BTS Edition Teatree Care Solution Essential Mask Set

My favourite Mediheal face sheet masks in a limited edition set with BTS' faces on all of them? Yes, please. Now, the question is, will I be able to bring myself to actually rip them open to use?

BT21 Holiday 2019 Fleece Blanket

BT21 Holiday 2019 Fleece Blanket

BT21 x Royche Baby Character Monitor Figures

BT21 x Royche Baby Character Monitor Figures

I literally use my BT21 2018 holiday blanket every single day, so I bought the 2019 version as well. They're super-soft and super-warm and are, quite frankly, some of the most useful BT21 products I own. On the flip side, I also got the new Royche x BT21 Baby Character Monitor Figures, which aren't particularly useful but ARE SO FUCKING CUTE, I DIE. I already have the original Monitor Figures that came out with in 2018 (which I have used to decorate the dashboard of my car), but like, how could I resist the BABY VERSIONS? As with the original ones, I'm not gonna use these as monitor figures (I have a laptop, not a desktop computer). But as my car dashboard would be too hectic with so many figures on there, I will put these on display with the rest of my toy figures on my shelf unit.

BT21 x Reebok Special Gift

BT21 x Reebok Special Gift

BT21 x Reebok Special Gift

Jaewon had held a contest sometime last summer to win a special prize, and I had won through a totally random draw. (Actually pretty shocking, 'cause I never win anything in contests. I just entered out of loyalty to Jaewon, and his business partner filmed them using a randomizing program to select a winner and my name actually came up.) Frankly, I totally forgot about it until today, but the prize is this insanely cute limited edition BT21 x Reebok gift that was given out when the BT21 x Reebok collection was launched last year. The gift comes in a big heart-shaped box, and includes a nylon drawstring bag and a pouch containing an adorable fleece blanket! Don't know if you could tell from this post, but I LOVE FLEECE BLANKETS. So I opened this shipment thinking I'd be getting one blanket only to receive two. MY DAY IS MADE.

Lemona BTS Edition Vitamin C Powder

Also super random, but BTS are currently the spokesmodels for Lemona, which is Korea's #1 Vitamin C brand. They released the BTS edition of their products a couple months ago, and I had inquired Jaewon about it after he posted about them. I take Vitamin C now, but if I can get BTS-packaged Vitamin C, I WILL SWITCH IN A HEARTBEAT. Anyhow, I didn't end up ordering it because shipping was way too expensive, but Jaewon surprised me by including a pouch of 10 Lemona powder packs in my shipment! (And with Jungkook on them, because he knows he's my bias. Bless him.) At least now I can try the stuff to know if I even like it enough to buy. The great thing about this, though? Lemona announced that they were going to be carried at T&T Supermarkets in Canada, and will start rolling out in the next month! So if they're any good, I can just drive the five minutes to my local T&T to get it instead of paying $30 USD in shipping from Korea. Honestly, they should get BTS to endorse all the health products. I would be the healthiest bitch in town.

Photolog 2020: Day 13 of 366

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Chelsea and I went to Owl of Minerva for tteokbokki and rameyon (with extra kimchi) because we were just craving a lot of spicy carbs. But I swear, back to salad tomorrow.

Makeup and Beauty Blog: Monday Poll, Vol. 609

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This week's Monday Poll:
  1. Right now I'm craving…? Spicy rameyon and tteokbokki.

  2. I can't leave the house without…? My phone, keys, and wallet.

  3. My go-to coffee/tea order is…? It actually depends on where I am. If it's a brunch place, my go-to is a hot latte or an iced Americano. If it's Tim Hortons, it's either a double-double coffee or a steeped tea with one milk and one Splenda. If I'm at a random cafe, I usually just try whatever their signature or most popular drink is, whether it's a matcha latte or a London Fog.

  4. I can't get enough of…? Currently, BTS' "Interlude: Shadow" (aside from streaming the YouTube video at least three times a day, I've also converted the video into an MP3 and loaded it onto my iTunes, so I literally have it on repeat whether I'm cleaning, driving, showering, or washing the dishes), Mediheal Teatree Care Solution Essential Sheet Masksondo온도's vlogs, sleep-inducing ASMR videos, STōK Cold Brew Coffee, and Shreddies Banana Bread Flavour.

  5. The last time I was on a train was… A little over two weeks ago; we took the subway to go to Bloom Cafe for a BTS Taehyung birthday event!

Photolog 2020: Day 12 of 366

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

I picked up a bottle of STōK Cold Brew Coffee on a whim while grocery shopping today. I figured, it's $5.99 for 1.42L of coffee, so it's six cups of coffee at $1 — not a big loss if I end up hating it. Either way, it's the cheapest cold brew coffee that I've seen so far (and way cheaper than ordering one at a coffee shop). I never thought I'd be one of those people who buys bottled cold brew coffee 'cause I always thought, "I can just add ice to hot coffee and it's the same thing." Y'all, IT IS NOT THE SAME THING. I've been too lazy to brew my own coffee these days let alone make iced coffee (which I prefer to hot), so I decided to bite the bullet and just buy a bottle (I got black because the sweetened versions have too much sugar and I can't have it). I added my own Splenda syrup and some cream, and it literally tastes better than anything I could get at Starbucks or Second Cup or whatever other coffee chain. This is smooth, balanced, and has very subtle nutty caramel kind of aftertaste that is addictive as hell, and now I kinda regret not buying a few more bottles. (Actually, I have to be careful not to drink too much 'cause I can't have too much caffeine in a day.) So, yeah, this is my new obsession.

Photolog 2020: Day 11 of 366

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

FIRST PIZZA OF THE YEAR! 🍕🙌🏼