Friday Favorites (10)

Happy Friday and happy May!

Today is May Day, which also makes it International Workers’ Day, so I encourage you not to cross the picket line as essential workers strike for better benefits and protection while their employing corporations reap in record profits during this crisis.

May Day is also a festival of spring, so enjoy flowers and spring cakes and little makeshift maypoles if you’d like.

We are also kicking off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month today. I’ll try to find some good reading for next Friday but in the meantime, try to consume something made by an Asian Pacific American this weekend. You don’t have to go watch Crazy Rich Asians but there are a lot of other good options, one of which I mention down below. You can also watch a Youtube video, read a book, read an article even. And of course, continue considering supporting Asian-American-owned businesses.

“Lockdown Productivity: Spaceship You” – CGP Grey

CGP Grey has long been one of my favorite Youtube creators, and this has become one of my favorites of his videos. He reframes our quarantine in a creative way – you are isolated in a spaceship above Earth, and before you can return to Earth, your mission is to return to Earth better than you left. It’s really worth a watch and can be really motivating if you’ve been starting to feel burned out and finding quarantine to be pointless and draining. He focuses on how important it is to maintain your physical and mental health, and the importance of having dedicated physical spaces to do so. Read More »

Friday Favorites (9)

We made it to Friday~

This week felt a bit shorter, to me, or like it went a bit faster. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a relief that I don’t feel like these weeks are a torturous slog but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that my hours and days are just melting into one another. I think a big part of why my week seems to have sped past me is that, instead of finishing work and settling into existential dread for several hours before I fall asleep, I’ve been squeezing in 2 workouts a day during the work week because I am trying to take advantage of the free classes that have been made available to me on top of doing my 14-day challenge. Going from 0 workouts a month to 2 a day has been, uh, HARD, even with me maybe half-effort-ing some of them so that put together I have one whole efforted workout, but I’m glad I’ve survived so far, although I don’t know that I’ll survive any longer.

Without further ado, some of my favorite things from this past week:Read More »

Friday Favorites (8)

Has anyone else been struggling a bit this week? I’ve seen this sentiment on social media that this week in particular has been more difficult for a lot of people, whether in their work lives or their personal lives. Personally, I’ve been feeling it a lot at work, vacillating between period of virtually zero productivity and periods of highly rare focus but getting blocked by something or other.Read More »

Friday Favorites (7?)

Now seems as good a time as any to bring back Friday Favorites. (What a throwback, am I right?)

“Is Anyone Else Barely Functioning Right Now?” – Carolyn L. Todd on SELF

I first read this piece last week while I was completely overwhelmed with quarantine and caring for my husband. While it has been great that people are finding ways to cope and even thrive during shelter-in-place (Instagram Live workouts! sourdough starters! Zoom happy hours!), I was really struggling and doing much less than I ordinarily do with my time at home, even before my husband got sick.

Dalgona Coffee

Even though this whipped coffee beverage has gone beyond viral, just a month ago, as an Internet trend, it was still localized primarily in South Korea. (Dalgona is the name of a Korean street candy that the whipped concoction closely resembles.) However, an artist I follow — Dami Lee — posted this video, and it looked so achievable that I was inspired to immediately try making my own.


“But Starr, you don’t even drink coffee?”, some of you may be wondering.
This is very true. BUT even I had some instant coffee packets that I’ve pocketed from hotel stays abroad, and they came in very handy for this.


Here was my first attempt from literally a day after Dami Lee posted her video. (Oh, by the way, I have a kind of foodstagram on the side that I run with a friend?) It was delicious and, yes, very caffeinated. I have a low tolerance for caffeine so this is a lot for a non-coffee drinker but it’s still really pleasant! I’ve since purchased instant coffee expressly for the purpose of making more whipped coffee but will probably go with decaf in the future.

Rainych’s cover of “Say So”


Indonesian singer Rainych recorded this cover of Doja Cat’s hit song “Say So” in Japanese and, to be honest, I like it better than the original. I regularly vibe to her viral cover, which Doja Cat saw and loved, and hope it opens the doors for cool things in the future!

“Backward Hippo”


Zefrank made a short and silly video that brought me some needed smiles. I thought maybe it could do the same for you.

Headspace × NY

Headspace is a popular meditation app that has guided meditations for different situations, like helping you sleep or managing anxiety. They have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by adding additional resources like their “Weathering the Storm” series and giving healthcare providers free access to their premium app.

New York state is currently the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with my home of New York City having one of the highest confirmed case counts per capita in the world. So, Headspace has put together a page of resources for New Yorkers to take advantage of, with free guided meditations, sleep sounds, and even meditations for kids. This has been a nice reprieve.

Ideal Asian Breakfasts



I was recommended these videos by Party Kitchen, and they are on the same chill frequency as my Calm Foods video playlist, which I love. I love all breakfast food, and Asian breakfasts are especially comforting to me. I hope they bring you some comfort, too, and maybe inspire a breakfast for you to come.

I didn’t mean for this Friday Favorites to be so video-oriented, it’s almost another video playlist. It’s not on the list up there but today Instagram allowed users to access Direct Messages from the web app, which is great because I really have been cherishing the ability to DM people, especially now, but I hate spending so much time sucked into my phone.

Anything fun lined up for the weekend?

3 Northern Virginia Ramen Spots

Ah yes, the cooler months have finally arrived (after a second summer heat wave…), so you know that means I will be all over that noodles in hot broth game. I have been living in Northern Virginia for a little bit, so I thought I’d take some time to talk to you about the ramen options you have in this region. And we’re not talking about ramen the instant noodle, but rather that picturesque big ol’ bowl of noodles, an umami-licious broth, and yummy toppings. (Not knocking the instant variety of ramen!)

MARUMEN // 3250 Old Pickett Rd Fairfax, VA 22031 // (703) 352-6278


Marumen is one of our go-to spots when we are craving ramen. It is not the most expensive option of the ones in the area, the broth is always on point, and they give all the toppings I want in bowl of ramen. Taste-wise and value-wise, this is the spot I most recommend to folks. They also do tsukemen (dipping-style) ramen, with fun names: Astro Boy, Ultraman, and Godzilla. Bonus: Complimentary edamame at the beginning of your meal and free iced/hot black tea.

JINYA // 2911 District Ave Suite 140 Fairfax, VA, 22031 // (703) 992-7705


Jinya is one of the newer ramen joints in the area and is the first DMV location of the trendy California chain. When you walk in, all the servers in their plaid shirts shout… something. (I still don’t know what this is.) I really like the flavors of their ramen bowls here. They have some unique flavors and will give you a jar of garlic cloves and a garlic press – free of charge – if you want to add some freshly-pressed garlic puree to your bowl. I also like their combos, although we’ve had some issues with the appetizer part of the combo coming out before our ramen. They also have an extensive drink menu and are in the poppin’ Mosaic District in Fairfax.

KIZUNA // 8221 Leesburg Pike Vienna, VA 22182 // (703) 442-7888


Kizuna was the most convenient option for us to visit and their happy hour often appealed to us. You can get sushi, a sake tasting, and just a plethora of options, really. There is also a super lovely outdoor seating area when the weather is nice! However, I’ve found their bowls to be very hit-or-miss. My first visit here almost made me not want to come back. We visited several times after, but then one of the last times I went, the ramen simply didn’t taste good. I’m also a little salty that they don’t include the egg with a standard bowl; I don’t think this is an optional topping! Still, you can’t beat their happy hour options.

I haven’t tried all the options in DC yet, but I am making my way through a few of them.

What DMV ramen spots are your favorite that I should try?