Sunday, December 30, 2012

Some post-Christmas shopping...

Anthropologie haul -

I went to do some post-Christmas shopping this weekend and guess what, I bought NO clothes! Crayzay.

On Sunday, I had a couple of stores in mind. I went to Soho's Aritzia, Maje, Madewell, Uniqlo, Bloomingdale's bathroom and Anthropologie. I wanted to check out Opening Ceremony (70% off) amongst other stores but the coldness and hunger impeded my spree. I think the real discounts is when stores hit over 70% off but most stores I visited only had 30-50% off. I tend to go a little crazy when the sale section at Anthropologie goes on sale i.e. extra 30% off sale items post Christmas. Sometimes they do 50% extra off sale items but you're left with the undesired bunch. I bought over 13 items almost all under $7-10. It is a great place to stock up on small gifts or get something for yourself. The candles on sale usually smell weird but this year, the holiday candles were surprisingly pleasant and I got a few. The only candle I got and was not sure about is the 'Frosted Maple' one. It was only $7 so I decided to give it a try and think of sugar shacks in Quebec when I burn it! The other two candles were also under $10 and scented: Oakmoss +Sandalwood, Earthy musk + Sparkling citrus. Both hand-poured soy candles! I usually pay lots more for these. I got some recipe cards which I think I will give along with Birthday cards or something to share some of my favorite recipes. That's a good idea right?! I got charms to make keychains or necklaces and other knick knacks for gift stuffers like these cute Arctic push pins and memopad. I got a big bottle of hand made bath salts for $10 (orig. $32) which I cannot wait to use when it gets warmer. All natural with no harsh chemicals so I can soak for as long as I want! Earlier this year, I broke this huge bottle of bath mineral powder from Sabon and was kind of bummed about it because I had only used 4 scoops from the $24 bottle. I didn't buy a new one since.

My favorite purchase at Anthropologie is this solid perfume made by creators of Le Labo in collaboration with Anthropologie. Le Labo is a New York based company which hand manufactures their perfumes using high quality fragrances. The scent is called 'Bouquet Blanc' and smells just like roses. Once I am done with the perfume, I can use the heavy metal container to put delicate jewelries or other keepsakes. Love it! I like to carry around solid perfumes to travel because it won't leak and there is no risk of confiscation if I have it in my carry-on!
It was on sale for $6.96 (orig. $28).

Grasse Le Labo New York + Anthropologie -

Gold plated charms Anthropologie -

Anthropologie Hand poured soy candles capri blue

Recipe cards Anthropologie

Barr Co. Handmade bath salts numbered and signed

And last, I also passed by Bloomies to use the bathroom but then ended up looking around the cosmetic section and got the only thing that was on sale which was this Laura Mercier bath and body Fresh fig set at 40% off. It was $36 after discount. The set is valued at approximately $87.  The body wash alone is $36. I have always wanted to try Laura Mercier's highly-reviewed body cream soufflé and body scrubs but the full size 12 oz. bottles are $55 for the soufflé and $46 for the scrub so I never went for it. The body cream and scrub in the gift set are half sizes so it's not a full commitment if I get sick of the scent which is a little on the sweet side. Right now, with the Winter dryness, my body is absorbing anything I can give it and I'm using double the amount of cream than normal.

Laura Mercier Body and Bath Fresh Fig set

NYE tomorrow!!!

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Holiday snapshots 2012 [Digital Polaroids]

If it wasn't for coworkers, friends and especially boyfriend, I wouldn't be celebrating Christmas at all! But because I'm blessed by my surroundings, I give and get lots of love every Holiday season...

Housewarmming holiday party at my boss' new condo

Dave likes Snoopy

Happy birthday Dave!

Santa Dave brought gifts to his little cousins on Xmas day!

Burying Dave's grandma under a ton of gifts!
A gift for those who does not expect anything is the best gift of them all!

Holiday party -Feuerzangenbowle!

Japanese kids know how to be extra cute!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2013 is one "very quick" week's time away! Yay! Lucky number 13!

Luo Yang Longmen grottoes, China, UNESCO site, March 2012 -

We're quickly approaching 2013 as all of you know already! This year, I have been generally in the happy blissful zone and avoided any type of drama..kinda. It has been mostly ups and little downs. In fact, nothing to complain about really. I was having difficulty jotting down my thoughts and reflection of this past year so I will make a list instead. Did you notice how much I love making lists?!

Here are my 2012 highlights in blogging reviews :) Oof what a fun year it was!

New York City highlights:
-My first real NY Fashion week runway fashion shows - Sachika Fall/Winter 2012 and Zhang Toi Spring 2013
-My 4th of July where I fainted on a boat
-Restaurant Week (Mercer Kitchen and Park Avenue Summer)
-Sartorialist and Garance Dore book signing
-My second Fashion Night Out event
-The Lowline

-Taiwan (I did not realize I didn't post anything about my trip to Taiwan in March except for this video discovering a delicious fun dessert!)
-China (Cities visited: Zhen Zhou, Kai Feng, Song Shan, Luo Yang, Ling Bao, San Men Xia, Xi An). Picture above taken in Luo Yang). Didn't realize I didn't post anything about China neither!
-Boston and Maine (lobsters!)
-Montreal (twice!) for two weddings!
-Chile and Argentina (updates coming soooon)

Foodism highlights:
-Bostons' Fore Street
-Montreal's Club Chasse et Peche
-My first real Philly cheesesteak
-First annual Googa Mooga eating event
-Momofuku Ssam bar
-Molecular gastronomy WD~50
-Delicious authentic Thai cuisine at Pok Pok NY

Outdoorsy activities:
-Camping in Little Pond Catskills
-Breakneck Ridge
-Watchung Reservation, NJ
-Bear Mountains and Appalachian trail

The arts:
-Visiting the The Cloisters
-Met Opera Il Travatore and Don Giovanni
-Broadway show 'Evita'
-Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations at the Metropolitain Museum of Art
-The Little Black Jacket - Chanel
-Afropunk festival
-Twin Shadow at Music Hall of Williamsburg
-Open House New York City
-Yayoi Kusama 'Fireflies on Water' at the Whitney Museum
-Ann Hamilton 'The Event of a Thread' exhibit

Sample sales:
-Comptoir des Cotonnier
-A.P.C. and All Saints
-Diane Von Furstenberg
-Rag and Bone
-Bird Warehouse sale
-Kiki de Montparnasse
-Proenza Schouler
-The Row
-Hugo Boss
-David Yurman
-Yves Saint Laurent
-Vera Wang
-Elizabeth and James

ONE of the craziest thing I did in 2012. A picture is worth a thousand words. Axes. Thrown. Around me.

and of engagement to the most compassionate, loyal, funny, loving, trusting partner I could ever ask for.


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Monday, December 24, 2012

Floral, silver and gold ...Elizabeth and James haul

Elizabeth and James floral Neoprene pencil skirt-

For me...for Spring?
Elizabeth and James floral Neoprene pencil skirt $40-

For me and sister and....

Elizabeth and James 0.925 silver + 24K gold jewelry Top, left, right $38, $30, $53 -
I got something furry but did not take a picture...

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Merry Christmas HO HO HO A call from Santa!

This morning, I got this hilarious call from "Santa" set up by my boyfriend using Google's Santa tracker.
It really made me laugh out loud and made my day!

"Santa needs to pick Mrs Claus from Pilates class" and "Remember to leave me French Fries".

You basically pick some words for Santa to say in the call and it's unexpected and hilarious. Try it on someone you want to wish a Merry Xmas but don't exactly want to call to say it yourself haha. It is easier to have common names that is easily pronounced so I skipped my friends who do not have common names. In fact, Santa couldn't even say my name right.

Ho Ho Ho!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shameless display of my 2012 holiday wishlist [luxe version]


I don't get too excited about Christmas except for the great holiday deals on stuff I don't really need. Also seeing people being generally happier because of shorter work hours, holiday parties filled with booze and food and receiving lots of gifts or little or none (like me!) makes me happy too.

Since many bloggers shamelessly compile a holiday wish list for all their readers (and family and friends?) to read, so will I! I have no hopes of receiving anything from this list because I made sure it was generally unaffordable and even my best of friends would not want to buy for me.

Here's my holiday wishlist from 2010.  I didn't really get anything from that list except a new winter parka and Dave got the ipad2 which I don't really play with it proving that I didn't really want it in the first place. I am still generally happy without those things except missing my parents from time to time. I thought I also wrote a list for 2011 but I can't find it so I guess not.

Here goes my 2012  holiday wishlist!

1- A gift certificate for a spa day at the Mandarin hotel in NY. My boss got one once as a birthday gift from the department and I thought it was so girly but a man can indulge right? I checked the website to see what my $10 was contributing to and at up to $950 USD for some spa treatments, it looks like going there can change your life! What I really want is a 2 hour massage followed by a facial while simultaneously getting a deep foot massage. Oooh yes baby! I'd like this to be a couples' massage so I won't feel too guilty swimming in indulgence by myself.

2-Delicious, long burning, naturally scented candles from Diptyque, Jo Malone, Voluspa, ...Yes I already have some luxe candles but they eventually burn out...after 60 hours! Oh, what about this $600 candle?
Diptyque Baies candles

3-Now that I'm engaged, I have to start thinking about this thing called wedding. So what I wish for is a wedding planner with excellent, sophisticated taste that will find me my venue, my flowers, my decors, my emcee, my DJ, even my dress and dealing with relatives? teehee.

4-A large PS11 Proenza Schouler bag. The metal hardware with the inverted studs makes this bag a modern but classical item which I like a lot. This bag comes in all sorts of color. I liked it in oxblood or dark blue but black is..well black! I think the PS11 has been my 'it' bag for a while since it made me forget about the PS1 which I find does not suit my age anymore. Yikes! Did I just say that?  It is a simple design and the hardware , not too flashy and seems large enough to fit my everyday supplies. I like.

Photo via Tuula

5-A new faster, thinner, prettier laptop or computer ie. Macbook air or iMac. My Macbook was purchased in 2005 (exchanged in 2007 because of repairs). Shall I say more?

6-An Equipment blouse. Because $200 for a silk blouse, I must think twice about but if it were a gift, I would love one! Actually, the silk blouses from Everlane at $80 are a great alternative although Equipment is equipped with tons of color and pattern choices.  But since I like it clean and simple, Everlane just might do it for me and I would like the one in Navy and Light Grey.

Image via Everlane

7- It is Winter and a good quality soft cashmere sweater is desired. I like the $50 cashmere sweater I got from Uniqlo but it's still slightly itchy making me doubt that it is 100% cashmere. At that price, it's probably low grade cashmere somehow mass-produced in China. What are good cashmere sweaters out there?

Chinti & Parker for Goop
8-Rich luxurious body creams that are thick and leave my body soft without too much chemicals. $5 jar of Nivea?  I wish it was scented with natural essential oils or something. But hey, this is my wish list so why not a $220 jar of La Mer body creme?

9-A thick and heavy but soft throw for our couch. I never really like lying on our couch because there is lack of something soft.  How about this faux fur throw from Restoration Hardware? Not expensive enough? A real fur throw then!

10- I would usually end my list with some type of shoes, watch or jewelry. Like a Louboutin or something. Or I can wish for a timeless watch like a Cartier tank. But this year, I got the one and only thing that's more beautiful and more valuable than any of that. My beautiful engagement ring. Bling. I'm still shy about showing off my ring so I cropped it. I adore the diamond Dave carefully picked (or jeweler picked) which he had beautifully set on an intricate hand-engraved Tacori wedding band. He choose the whole thing allll by himself (proudly saying it). Zooming in makes diamond appear larger than it really is.

You see why I need a good moisturizing cream! Tacori wedding band -

11-Usually stopping at 10 is good enough but I want to ask for more. Well, this is something money can't buy and a true wish. I will ask that for 2013 and forward, people close to me such as my family and friends, lover and myself to stay healthy and happy. Really. I really do wish for health. Without health, you cannot be yourself and you cannot be fully happy. When one person suffers, everyone around him/her suffers too. Therefore this wish is a selfish one because if someone close to me is sick, it affects my happiness too and I don't want that. Eat healthy, sleep well, drink water, exercise and laugh!

From the top of my head, this is my 2012 holiday wish list. Is it too unreasonable? ;) Maybe just the free wedding planner right? But that would be a good one because as of now, I have no desire to plan anything :)

Happy holidays xxx

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

T'was a week before Christmas...

The weekend kicked off on Friday with a holiday work party slash housewarming party at my boss' new condo. What a great Manhattan apartment to-die-for on the 18th floor overlooking Central Park. There were about 40 people and it did not feel too crowded even with all the kids running around. My favorite kid that night ate, napped and ate some more. A king!

Saturday was meant for some holiday gifts shopping. Christmas holiday shopping for me means ...procrastination. I got one secret santa gift out of the way... more or less because I came home and bought it online and hope it will arrive on time. I also ordered this personalized memory game online for my nephew which was guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. Yay. Instead of shopping for gifts, I checked out the Opening Ceremony sample sale on Saturday hoping to score some Proenza Schouler goodies but was disappointed by the sale. It was day 2 and probably all the good stuff was gone but I thought the men's selection was better in terms of casual wear because as usual, Opening Ceremony things for gals are a little too avant-garde for my everyday wear. So, I got myself a cozy men's large sized Opening Ceremony tartan plaid sweater which I love, a men's belt from N. Hoolywood 1/2 Mister Hollywood from Japan and some random $1 Sanrio cell phone charms to give to Dave's little cousins. They don't have cellphones but kids will find good use for them. Then I went to Chinatown to join Dave for some won ton noodles which he has been craving forever and then to REI to find something for my secret Santa giftee who is outdoorsy. Finally on our way back home, we realized that we had forgotten about the 3rd ward holiday craft fair and had an hour before closing to get there. Good thing it was only a 10 minutes walk. We have been attending the fair over the past three years looking for some unique handmade goods but each year, we end up buying nothing. I like seeing all the crafts and talking to the artists and also finding creative gifts so I don't know why I never buy anything. The artists are probably charged a leg to rent a booth and they also need to cloth and feed themselves so I should support them and purchase something next time. Maybe a $49 wood ipad holder? Wait, I do not own an ipad.

Nap time for Ren after stuffing his face at my work holiday party

Tsumori Chisato with raffia Hawaiian palmtree

Opening Ceremony

Rodarte for Opening Ceremony-$150

Sanrio surprise egg toys

3rd ward vending machine! Pocky!

3rd ward holiday craft fair

3 rd ward-

and on Sunday, I did absolutely NOTHING at all and it was great! Oh, except going out to eat with Dave's familia! Something like this was on the table...

Giant oysters with black bean sauce

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Black diamonds are cooler than white diamonds! [Mociun + Of a Kind edition]

Mociun Black Diamond earrings for

Earrings by Mociun for Of a Kind.

I missed out on Mociun's first edition for Of A Kind but I like these ones better! I have been looking for another pair of earrings to wear day and night to adorn my 3 empty ear piercings but that would also compliment my solitaires. The subtle edginess of the black diamonds is not the only thing I about these precious gems. I like the shape, the asymmetry and the quality. Made in NYC with 10-karat gold plus three black diamonds. What more can I say?

Visit Mociun's store in Williamsburg and fall in love with all the home accesories, ceramics, brass jewelry, sculptures and of course her jewelry line. It is rare to find artists working with full gold or silver because it is too expensive but sometimes it is just worth it because gold-filled do not last forever like I once thought. Oh, she makes custom jewelries too so you can order yourself a one-of-a-kind piece.

Mociun Black Diamond earrings for
Mociun mismatched earrings are way cooler than matching ones!
I spotted this cute turquoise and diamonds pair at the store and can't stop thinking about them.
Mociun mismatched earrings

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Monday, December 10, 2012

In pictures: Vera Wang bridal sample sale [December 2012 NYC sample sale]...where my dreams did not come true!

[Update] No line this morning on December 11 2012.

I just came back from the VIP preview sample sale for Vera Wang and I was there to report on my findings but most importantly, possibly find me my dream Vera Wang dress? Well, it's many girls dream dress. Okay, so right off the bat, I didn't find my dream dress (as my wedding dress could be blue or red and not necessarily white) but whenever someone did at the sale, it would be announced and there would be some cheers for the lucky bride to be. I had a budget going in which was $1000 (normally $800. no, $500. no..$200? I don't really know) and at 85% off the gowns, I was hopeful to find something I'd like at a good price. Well, finding a wedding dress under $1000 was difficult but not impossible. I tried on about 5-6 dresses which is a lot more than what I tried at the Marchesa sale last week. You can find many evening gowns or bridesmaid dresses under $1000 though. There were some gorgeous dresses and some that were still there after two years for a reason. The dresses were not organized by size which I thought sucked but forced you to look through every dress on every rack. The prices were written with a Sharpie on the label or directly inside the dress, classy!

The most expensive dresses I saw were at $3500. One of them was this super beautiful lace dress my friend tried on and owned it. It looked like it was made for her. Minimal alterations I'm sure. Unfortunately, she did not get it to the dismay of all the sales people who saw her in the dress [Update: she went back and bought it!]. Another girl can pick it up as her dream dress I guess because it was gorgeous! It retailed at $16,000 we were told so at $3500 it was a bargain! The cheapest dress I saw was $500 which I tried on and did not belong to me. I made the mistake of trying on what I thought was my size, size 4 or 6 but really, I was an 8 in Vera Wang. Go big!

I was told all the dresses were out for the sale. Beware of the stains, rips and holes. No more hiding in the back. Shoes were $40 and hair accessories were $5. There was 8 pairs of shoes and they were mostly all in ivory/white. Some were dirty but I saw two satin ones in bags in size 41. The accessories were long gone. There was a whole rack of veils and they were plentiful and I didn't see anyone try on the veils.

Here are some dresses on the racks and what that stood out for me.

Vera Wang sample sale dresses

Vera Wang sample sale: I like the bottom not the top

Vera Wang sample sale: This one is $1800

This one is $1200

This one is $2500, orig $12,900 as written on tag

She loved it, I loved it, everyone loved this lace piece. $3500

All the samples were out and about

Another shot of the lace dress $3500

Vera Wang sample sale

Vera Wang sample sale

This pink one was interesting

$3000 delicious puff

Hair accessories $5

Here are some filtered shots to somewhat make the dresses more flattering and more "magical" as that was totally absent in the dressing rooms.

Vera Wang sample sale

Vera Wang sample sale

Did not fit in this puffy number $1200

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