Thursday, June 27, 2013

nykeiko wears: Sample sale buys...

I think I should start a blog segment about my sample sale buys. I always talk about the sample sales I attend but rarely show off my purchases. I also haven't done an outfit post for a while so here goes...

Here is an outfit I wore last weekend.

Bracelet by Lulu Frost ($115 sample)/Dress by Equipment (bought for $50/retails $258!)/ Tristyn Sandals by Boss Orange (bought for $30/retails $315+)/ Sunglass by The Row x Linda Farrow ($75/retail $377). Outfit total is about $270. Approximate retail value: $1,685. Pretty good huh!

Now do you see why it is so hard for me to shop retail anymore??

Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

nykeiko: Bride to be....Sketch our wedding

I've written up so many lists of to-dos, purchases, ideas all to prep for the wedding but what I really needed was to sketch out my ideas instead. It's much better to see your ideas in pictures/drawings and see everything sort of come together... (We need a pen for the guestbook!)

Here, we have most of the things now almost coming to fruition. Just a few more projects to finalize it all...

instagram pic @nykeiko
Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The last of New Amsterdam market ??...

New Amsterdam Market in South Street Seaport
Last year, the New Amsterdam Market was held weekly at South Street Seaport. This year, they only had a one-day-only event and it was held this past Sunday. We were lucky to not have missed it because coincidentally, we made an appointment to meet White Pike Whiskey's brand manager Steven for a tasting at the market. White Pike was the only distillery company there and was really popular. They sold out within the first couple of hours.

We got to taste plenty of great locally-made treats. From fresh sourdough breads to homemade hand pies, ceviche tacos, maple syrup, dried grapes, fresh cherries, handmade beef jerkies, freshly churned yogourt and lots more..this market had over 70 vendors for this one-day only event and everything was fresh. Many vendors sold out of stuff quickly not anticipating the popularity of this market! If you missed out, it's okay. This is the first event to kick off a monthly series of food events happening at this South Street Seaport spot under the FDR right with the Brooklyn Bridge as a backdrop. I am sure some of the same vendors will make an appearance once more. Some are also present weekly at the ever popular Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.

During our stroll and getting to know all the interesting vendors, we spotted this cute Shiba Inu staring intensively for a very long time at a grill cooking delicious hamburgers. Waiting for something to be dropped I'm sure. We stared and laughed at him for the longest time as well. We're definitely dog people but can't commit to having our own....yet!

Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!

Monday, June 24, 2013

White Pike Whiskey Wedding!

This is our whiskey brand of choice for our wedding day! We're hauling a case of White Pike Whiskey and McLure's pickle brine to our wedding reception for some pickleback shot action! I actually tried White Pike whiskey AND pickleback shots for the very first time on the same day at this Of A kind event in Chelsea. It is when you take a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle brine! It's great! It originated from Williamsburg, Brooklyn and not sure if it is served outside Manhattan yet but most bars have pickle brine so if you ask nicely, you can get!

This whiskey is produced in upstate New York and we're all for supporting our local businesses. Our guests can have Jameson whiskey any time, any where but not White Pike. This whiskey has a slightly sweet and wheat taste which I thought was unique. After drowning it down with pickle brine though, it doesn't really matter that much. Hopefully we'll be able to finish all 12 bottles but if not, these are good for mixing with citrusy juices such as grapefruit or lime!


Smells like a breeze running through a ripe cornfield
at dusk.


Hints of fresh buttered toast, rich in the middle and smooth as soft leather.


Very clean, integrated.


Easy drinking and adaptable – shoot it, sip it, or mix it. Pickle brine or pomegranate. Lemon or lime.

Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

There was a bachelorette party part 1 of 3...

Can you guess what we did?

Yep, one person was in art major...

A nude model drawing bachelorette party!

Although my sister came up with this brilliant idea all on her own, it is not as unique as we had thought. A few Google search results show that several companies out there organize nude model drawing for bachelorette parties. My sister wanted my bachelorette to stay classy and tasteful but still include some type of male nudity. She gets full props for thinking of this idea all on her own and approaching an art center in Montreal with the idea. I personally never heard anyone do this before!

The art center did it right by showing my sister some pictures first of a couple of models (without the face) she could pick for my party. Because she was unable to pick her eye-candy of choice, the girls were slightly disappointed that the model was older than expected and not "hot". However, we all agreed that he was an excellent choice. There was no distractions, blushing and he had the perfect body for drawing. With well defined pectorals and good muscle definitions to challenge us. The model is actually a professional and is often hired for art classes. I'd love to show you pictures of our model but we were advised not to post any online for the model's privacy. You can deduce his look a little from all our awesome drawings.

If you're interested in doing this fun amazing party for your next BFF's bachelorette bash, I would seriously recommend it. I was able to find a company in New York who does this for a business and their models are natural eye candies for bachelorette giggles. It is free for brides and comes with champagne and treats! Check out The Artful Bachelorette! I personally preferred our party as it felt more tasteful and there was minimal interaction with the model which was a good thing for me. It felt like a real art class where we used charcoal and several art tools we were taught to use and we were also able to do several types of drawing methods. Some of my friends whom declared themselves as artless souls did so so so well. We were all so surprised and proud of ourselves! My sister also organized a tea/coffee party afterwards to compare and discuss our drawings but we just ended up all eating cupcakes and cookies instead :)

My bachelorette party did not end here... Once I get some more pictures from a photographer yes, a photographer, I'll show you part 2 and 3 of the party my superb sister organized for moi! :)

Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There was a bachelorette party...

Still thinking about my bachelorette party from this past weekend...

Pewok the bachelor looking so cute...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

J Crew sample sale is a bust for me but exciting for others! [June sample sale NYC]

J. Crew embellished necklaces

I have knowledge about the craziness of the J.Crew sample sales and I was quite excited to finally have the chance to check it out this week at the VIP preview. I was underwhelmed. I thought the selection was pretty decent but the pricing was not exciting for me. For example, $90 for a cashmere sweater? $100 for heels? I know I have been able to score better deals during J. Crew/Madewell seasonal sales when there are additional markdowns on sale items. When something grabbed my attention, I was immediately turned off by the price for most of the pieces. Even $15 tank tops were NOT a good deal to me. If I found a piece I liked but it was not in my size, I didn't know if there were more somewhere else or that was the last item so didn't even bother digging.

You'll still be able to find some deals but you have to dig and also have done your research since the original retail prices are not posted and you really don't know how much you're saving. Some dresses were worth the $60 or $300 (collection brand) price tag but some were definitely not. Some of the nicer silk blouses or silk tops were around $90 and I was utterly turned off especially when I found better silk pieces at half the price at the past Equipment/Joie sample sale.

Furthermore, though you were able to find some desirable pieces, there were no fitting rooms at this sale to try them. No biggie. Just dress accordingly. I also took a peak at the shoes selection where prices started at $10 for flip flops and up to $130 for booties which were sparse. I think I found 3 boots in size 7s. I didn't find any seasonal, nubucks or winter boots in my size that were priced at $35 which would have been a steal. Cute heels and flats dominated the shoes section. I had no idea all J Crew shoes were Italy made so they felt very comfy and soft. I thought the best deals and selection were the jewelry ($25 bracelets, $35 necklaces), swimwear ($25 a piece), jeans ($40) and cotton/linen/wool sweaters ($35).

Same as retail price AND someone else's monograms! wth

One item that completely turned me off at the sale was something I had actually wanted to purchase online from J.Crew a while back. It's a passport holder with an option to have a personalized monogram. Well, I saw one at the sale sold at the same price as retail at $45 (actually cheaper online for the citrus color which is on sale). On top of that, someone's initials were already embossed on it. That was obviously an oversight and probably no one will buy that piece. So, do your research before going and check online prices first as you may be able to find better deals there!

Although I didn't have a good time at the sale, my friend did and bought a true sample top, a sweater, matching necklace and bracelet and a headband, all under $200. Other girls at the sale were really excited too and had an armful of pieces to try on in front of the small floor mirror for trying on shoes. So give it a go if your nearby!

J Crew sample sale: Nice Italy made shoes. Most were $65 and $100

J Crew sample sale: All types of styles, colors and textures

Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Bling factor

From left to right: Jewelmint (worn twice), Alexis Bittar, Judith Leiber, Lulu Frost (all never worn YET)...

I have always been attracted to high bling jewelry. Not necessarily diamonds but crystals and glass will do..just not beads! When we were young (and last time we saw each other in Taiwan years ago), my cousin and I were always looking for shiny things to buy during our Taiwan night markets shopping sprees. We were almost having anxiety attacks when we discovered and shopped in a Taiwan jewelry district where actual vendors purchase their bling at wholesale prices! Now, I still like blingy* things but not so much wearing them. I still love them so I end up with many impulse purchases but with full intention of wearing them however, I rarely or never do! I see girls on the street wear their flashy statement pieces easily paired with a simple tees and jeans looking so glam and easy-going. I am inspired to wear it like them but then, most days, I don't feel like being too flashy. Nowadays, the only opportunity for me to dress up is sadly just for weddings. I have attended many weddings since moving to New York (I think my number is now 7?), I usually just end up wearing the same pieces over and over it is really my fault I neglect most of my jewelries at time. This will change. I will make an effort to not be too shy to wear something flashy even if it's just going out to grab a bite.

*how many words can you make up with the word BLING!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wedding band shopping was suppose to be fun....

This post is a long rambling about my search for my perfect wedding band. You have been warned.

via Tacori

As the big day approaches, I am now searching for my wedding band. I had to delete an entire post because I was going on and on about wondering which band I should pick this past weekend. I was determined to finalize a design over the weekend so I went to Michael C Fina where I sent my sale consultant a couple of rings and customization ideas. I came out picking a ring completely opposite to anything I have looked at before.  I cannot wait to see it in person. It was risky for me to pick a ring that I didn't try in person yet right?

We had begun looking for wedding bands the moment we set a date for our wedding months ago and seemed too early to look. I thought I had all the time in the world. Since then, I had visited over 5 jewelers and emailed a couple more to discuss some custom options or simply just picking one from the bunch they have in stores. I had all these ideas for customizing my ring however, none of them came to reality because I was never happy with my own stupid ideas. Putting a lone sapphire stone in an diamond eternity band was weird or putting both Dave's and my birthstone together seemed like a great idea but that did not work out esthetically at all. I was so keen on this birthstone idea that I kind of lost sight of what would look nice. I finally gave it up and pursued the idea of baguette and round diamonds when I first spotted one on Etsy. Turns out, it is not such an unique design. I thought it was a rare handmade Etsy breed. Finally, I tried a couple of those styles on and somehow, it made my hands look 50 years old and I don't even know how to explain that.  So, I gave that and customization up completely and started looking at plain matching eternity bands which I was avoiding since the very beginning. I then stopped stressing about finding a band because I would just fall back on this safe eternity style band if I could not fall in love with anything else. To me, eternity bands are oh so boring but would match my engagement ring oh so perfectly. Why wouldn't I want it?

As I obsessed over wedding band designs, I started wondering why it mattered so much. I realize that although I don't believe in marriage in general and that two people can spend the rest of their lives loving each other with or without writing it on paper, I believed in this one. The one that I will be in. The one where I know who I am choosing to spend the rest of my life with and finally check off that married box in the forms. Dave's my lobster. I need a symbol of our marriage to remind me of our union to foreverland.

I learned last week that most jewelers take two weeks off in July except big brands such as Tiffany's, Cartier, Harry Winston etc. I realized that I was on a bit of a time crunch to get my ring ordered, made and done before my wedding at the end of July.  After visiting many private jewelers to make a quality no-brand custom ring, I decided that I would stick with Tacori to match the quality and craftsmanship of my engagement ring which is a Tacori (just the band).  Tacori is also one of the brands where the jewelers do not go on vacation and will be able to make my ring on time. I also didn't have a budget anymore. My 1-2 K budget was totally out the door! It was now all about 'it's worth it if I love it'. But Dave's pretty lucky that I'm still pretty reasonable...  :)

Now it is Dave's turn to 'put a ring on it'. He is a bit relaxed about the "process" because he thinks his band will be simple and so, it won't take time to make..he is wrong. I also think that he will have a hard time picking a ring because now that he has to commit to it...but nothing is scarier than committing to me I think. I cannot be returned nor refunded though. I don't know how he picked out my engagement ring with such ease...I always have a hard time picking just one. Thus, sometimes, I'll have two of the same thing but in different colors...

My ring should arrive by end of June... I hope I will love it because frankly, I'm tired of ring shopping.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Honeymoon bucket list

Whale shark and models via

I was thinking of registering for a Press pass for this upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 but it will be held between September 5-12 which is about the time we were thinking of taking our honeymoon/vacation/my 30th birthday trip.

Well, Fashion Week comes and goes twice a year in New York but my honeymoon slash vacation slash birthday trip slash anniversary (why not add a couple more things) is once in a lifetime!

So now that that is out of the way. Where should we go?

Hawaii came up as a perfect destination to do all of our favorite things in one place. The beaches, hiking, sea turtles, snorkeling, shopping and ramen. And if I could add swimming with humpback whales then that would cross something off my brand new bucketlist that I'm creating just now..and swimming with the humpback whales would be on the top. Well, the top of my list right now is marrying a generous, funny, sweet, loving, loyal, trusting man. I guess I'll be crossing that off soon! Swoon!



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: J'aime Rodarte, Je déteste Rodarte sample sale [June samplesale NYC 2013]

Rodarte sample sale

I checked out the Rodarte sample sale this morning and was not too impressed by the selection though I don't think Rodarte's too much of my style. I was just interested in the tees and sweaters really. The girls who were shopping at the same time as me were trying on many items of clothes and seemed to be very happy with their finds and purchases! 

I RSVPed to the sale the moment I heard about it and got an email response from Andy one day before the sale. I replied to ask about which room was the sale held at but did not hear back. I got to Ace hotel about 30 minutes before the start of the sale (10 a.m.) and did not know where to go when I arrived. So I went up to the concierge where the girls said they would let people up at 10 a.m. sharp but wouldn't tell me which room it was held. When it was about 5 minutes before 10, I decided to ask the concierge again about the room number so that I could at least start getting in line. For some reason, she told me that they would start letting people up at 10:10 a.m. and for me to wait ...So, I just waited in the lobby with what I thought were other confused shoppers or hotel guests lounging around the lobby. Then, around 5 past 10, a couple of girls that were waiting like me went up to concierge again and then briskly walked towards a back elevator (not generally used by guests) to go up to room 611. I quickly followed them and gave the concierge a dirty look (though she didn't see me). That was annoying she told me 10:10..anyway.... Good thing there were no mob and only 6-7 of us went up first. They let in the first 5 people.  At around 10:30, there were about 15-20 people in line. 

In the small hotel room, there were three racks in total filled with skirts, pants, tops and dresses. One rack had Rodarte's collection (ready to wear or runway pieces), another rack with Rodarte collaborations (mostly with Opening Ceremony and I also saw some pieces with Target) and then the third rack was actually just in a closet with a very small selection rack of men's stuff on the right side when you first walk in.

The goods? Lots of Rodarte x Opening ceremony goods and leftovers from previous sample sales maybe?? Similar shoes from what I can see...

There were the bins of Rodarte + OC exclusive sweatshirts/sweaters ($80) and tees ($60) organized by size and another bin with Rodarte + OC wool sweaters ($50).The rack with collaboration included bikinis and silk lace tops for Target with ORIGINAL price tags of $19.99. I didn't ask how much was the sample sale price but I would imagine 50% off? So the cheapest items would start at $10. Other tops were $50 and elaborate dresses for $100 +. I don't think I'm a Rodarte kinda gal because nothing caught my eye except the sweaters. I didn't even bother looking through the collection stuff since I guessed it would still be unaffordable. There was one handbag from what I can see (see picture).

All shoes at the sale were sitting on a round table and windowsill and were priced at only $50. The about 20 pairs of shoes were all from Rodarte + OC and all in size 7. Cool funky black sweaters adorned with silver chains on the cashier's desk were priced at $1,200. There was also a knee length boot which I don't think was $50. 

Click to see a couple of picture below. No picture were allowed so I didn't take too many!

Rodarte collab rack

These boots were not $50

Rodarte sweaters and tee bin
$50 shoes...blurry pic...oops

Follow me...
Instagram: @nykeiko
and yes, Pinterest too!