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Cricut Explore One: First Look

All the accessories I got in addition. Will list in post!

All the accessories I got in addition. Will list in post!

Just received my Cricut that I ordered on Amazon Lightning Deals. It’s now over but you can still nab it here. I got mine for $140USD, but right now it’s back at the retail of $200. Instead of getting the more expensive Air version, I opted for the $35 on the Bluetooth adapter you can plug in on the side of the One.

Cricut Bluetooth Adapter

Cricut Bluetooth Adapter

The rest of the accessories you see I picked up from the Cricut website. (They just had the best bundle at the time, but you can get these items individually on Amazon also.)

Complete Starter Set, $70USD (Sale)

Complete Starter Set, $70USD (Sale)

The Cricut came packaged neatly like a Russian doll set. Inside the box for the Cricut machine was one medium sticky mat and a silver grey vinyl sheet to do a sample project. The instructions were pretty easy to follow, and my favorite part of the machine was that it had slots and spaces for all of its own accessories. A pen cup built right in, a place to store extra blades, and even a space for my accessories to fit in the closing panel.

I did have some issues trying to connect the machine to the http://www.cricut.com/setup browser system, but I was able to bypass it by using the Design Space to just start a project. When it was sending it via Bluetooth to the Cricut, it automatically prompted its own installer, then it seemed everything worked just peachy. I cut computer paper on the medium sticky mat, which was a mistake, should have used the light sticky or purple one… So if you’re in a pickle to decide if you need the extra mat sticky options, my professional opinion is yes. You’re going to ruin projects with the wrong tools. And don’t forget to position the dial appropriately or you’re going to cut into your (expensive) mat.

I understand there are a few hacks you can do with the Cricut and other paper cutter machines, like the pen situation isn’t truly limited by the proprietary Cricut brand pens, with some finagling you can use Crayola markers and others with some helper tools. Check Pinterest for ideas!

This is going to be a really handy machine for the kind of work I plan on doing. I’m pretty stoked to embark on such a fun project field. I don’t see any immediate concerns or issues on this First Look, other than making sure there isn’t any user error in settings and tool choices. The imagination is truly your only limitation.

Btw, the Cricut proprietary Design Studio is not the only Cricut based community to find ideas and patterns. You’re definitely not limited to their (somewhat) limited selection. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I personally don’t find their subscription package to be all that appealing, but it is definitely diverse and you get a free 14 days to make some of their projects. Buying this machine also gets you images from their Studio to keep. You can also just upload anything of your own for free but if you feel so inclined you can also purchase cartridges of images to use. :)

2016 Chinese New Year @ South Coast Plaza

iOS? Link to photos here.

When Your Tax Refund Is Not Enough…

Actually this title is misleading, because I don’t actually have any solutions right now. I’m slowly trying to find new ways to save money or stop spending it on things I don’t need. Goodbye, Spotify Premium, Adieu. 

I know this will be a blessing in disguise and in 6 months, maybe I’ll be laughing about it (or crying more), but learning to live within a much smaller budget than before is simply a fact of life many times. People lose their jobs or have temporarily no income at all, so that’s why I call it a blessing still, just in disguise. Despite whittling down spending, the real solution can sometimes just be making more money. There is some kind of Chinese fortune telling face reading that says if you are born with a big mouth, that means you will “eat” all the money. Someone once told me the solution to this fortune is to make more money. I realize now though that if you are destined to “eat” all the money, no amount of money will “satiate” you. The solution is still just to buckle down and suck it up. (Hard words for this big mouth to eat.)

I don’t know what the solution is, I just know this needs to be attacked from all fronts. Save money and make more money. We’re gonna get through this and figure it out. And then I’ll blog about it. But until then, hang in there.

Since Jazz Cat Sucked…

我和媽媽在家裡做自己的火鍋。

我和媽媽在家裡做自己的火鍋。

麻辣火鍋 - 這個牌子真的很好吃的!

麻辣火鍋 – 這個牌子真的很好吃的!

김아빠의 의례

김아빠의 의례

Jazz Cat Company

阿姨 & 姨丈

阿姨 & 姨丈

James & Tiffany

James & Tiffany

Jazz Cat (Downhill From Here)

Golden Fish Balls (Appetizer)

Golden Fish Balls (Appetizer)

Taiwanese Spicy Satay w/Beef (T-Rex)

Taiwanese Spicy Satay w/Beef (T-Rex)

This place is definitely on its way down. I should have taken a picture of my vegetable plate, which was 85% cabbage and 15% other stuff like one imitation crab, one corn, one sliver of pumpkin, vermicelli… And I think that was literally it. All for $13.95USD.

Not coming back anytime soon.

UCI Homecoming 2016

Hot Link Dog w/Patsy (Barley Forge)

Hot Link Dog w/Patsy (Barley Forge)

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!

Hello, Peter.

Hello, Peter.

KBBQ @ (형제) Brothers BBQ

No longer using gas.

No longer using gas.

Food abolished.

Food abolished.

Out with Sean and we drove around for about an hour before deciding on dinner! We ended up at Brothers Korean BBQ in Lakewood. The street sign is in Korean, it reads 형제 or hyeongje, but after you drive onto the street it has it there with Korean BBQ, can’t miss it.

It’s a pretty small little hut of a place, combining the inside with a small covered patio outside. The bathrooms, one for each gender, are located outside by use of a key, like the gas stations. At first you may be put off by this, but this is seriously one of the dankest places I know for food. This is like a real hole in the wall. Hole in the ground. But the food here is delicious.

And considering the exorbitant prices you pay to eat here, one plate of galbi (갈비 – just two pieces essentially) is a whopping $36USD, the food at a fancier looking place must really be the price of a human organ. But even for this price, we received great service, and the tables were the traditional round stump with stools around it to eat. It reminded me of other places in K-town. I loved it, really.

There’s no heating though, besides your warm food fire, so just be ware when you come! Parking lot is small, but so is the place, so it kinda works out. Our bill came out to be about $52/person.

Shabu-Shabu @ Sakura

Lamb with Spicy Miso

Lamb with Spicy Miso

Udon Soup

Udon Soup

Sauces with the minced garlic, onions, and green onions!

Sauces with the minced garlic, onions, and green onions!

This new shabu place opened up to replace the only shabu shabu in the area. Though I found it to be pretty good since this is the case, it was rather expensive, with the Downtown Fullerton tax. Typically lunch specials are $10USD/pot, but this one landed us $16+ per pot, for just 5 pieces of meat in some cases. Pricey~

I would say the spicy miso broth most reminded me of Paper Pot Shabu in Diamond Bar, but definitely much more expensive. I enjoyed the intimate setting and bar seating throughout the restaurant, so someone can always be there to help you with your induction heat or give you more to drink. It was a trendy place to be, even for lunch, but definitely not worth the hefty price tag.

I think this place will survive if they lower their prices. I know this won’t be able to happen long term since they are in a high-rent area, but I would suggest maybe a “happy hour” or something like that. Week day lunch specials, even. Just something to bring down the price so other people with lower budgets can enjoy it. It’s definitely not bad in terms of the food that you’re getting here.

Parking is as horrendous as can be in downtown Fullerton. We always look for the back streets. If you’re really craving shabu shabu in this area and you don’t want to drive very far, it’s a safe bet, but if definitely going to be dropping a few shiny pennies no matter what time you go.

Grilled Chicken @ Smashburger

So-Cal Burger w/Grilled Chicken

So-Cal Burger w/Grilled Chicken

Smashburger238 reviews powered by Yelp

My reign of the free year of Smashburger is soon coming to a close. I’m happy that everyone around me was able to try it, and I’m happy that I was able to try basically everything on the menu! This time I had the So-Cal burger with grilled chicken. I’ll definitely say I enjoy the fried chicken much more, but in the name of health!

Their avocado was small, though, I had to open up the sandwich to find it. :(