Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A wedding was had...

and I am still in the decompressing phase... Thank goodness I took some days off. I will return shortly.

My dad has been taking photography classes (at the age of 70!) and he was able to capture some pre-wedding preparation shots in my hotel room. I loved my bouquet...and they look sooo much better in pictures!!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

@Brooklyn flea...two celeb spottings!

We passed by Brooklyn Flea this past Sunday so Dave could find a nice vintage cufflink for the wedding. We got there just when vendors finished setting up for the day and people start trickling in. As I admired a nice flow-y sundress, I noticed Melissa McCarthy shopping inside the tent and I got super excited. I took a paparazzi shot of her because I didn't want to bug her peaceful shopping...at first.

I contemplated on this dress for a while whilst stalking McCarthy...it was $70

When I finally got the gut to offer her an iced cold drink, I couldn't find her anymore in the growing crowd or she might have left. Soon after I gave up looking for her, we spot Kim Schifino from Matt & Kim. This time, I didn't want the chance to slip by and I immediately went up to her to chat. She was with her parents and I apologized for bugging them but they seemed chill and her mom even offered to take a picture for us. Dave is a big fan of Matt&Kim so he was super excited ...can you tell from this picture?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

nykeiko eats: Bride to be....Dieting, the DKA and ice cream smores!

A recent snapshot of us..

Back in April, I got myself a brand new scale. My goal was simply to lose 5 lbs to look less plump for our wedding pictures. The scale was just to give me a clue about my weight. I weighed about 125 lbs, I think. I should have recorded my weight because I have no clue now. I wasn't really motivated to lose anything at that point. And then, in May, I tried on some rental dresses (for the reception) and there was one evening gown I liked but was too tight on me...so, that was my second goal. To fit into that rental dress because I refused to buy a new one. I was somehow still not losing much weight since I was eating chocolates, chips and all carbs. Came end of June, I tried the dress again and was the same. Too tight. That's when I got serious and started to cut unhealthy snacks and sweets out of my life and most importantly, portion control. With that alone, I was able to shed a couple of pounds. Lately, I have been able to shed more pounds and now down to 118 lbs. I'm very much not starving myself and still not exercising regularly so I probably want to thank the heat outside and sweating profusely when I step out. Since I'm doing so well, my goal is now to go back to the same weight I was when I was in my early 20s before I hit 30 in a couple of months. 115 lbs.

Now, my wedding diet...I have no advice for diets here.

I do have many "cheat" days...actually, I can't really say cheat days when I'm not really on a strict diet. My parents are visiting and I practically ate out for a whole week last week! We ate them all... Korean, Italian, Chinese, Japanese food...all carbs galore.
This morning, I treated myself to these two creations from Dominique Ansel's bakery for breakfast. The 'Dominique's Kaign Amann' and his latest creation, the Frozen S'more. Yikes! I actually got a tummy ache!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

nykeiko: Bride to be.... countdown

My wedding bling
I have been incredibly mum about all our wedding preparations recently but it's not by choice. I think Dave wants to keep preparations under wraps to keep the element of surprise for our guests alive (as if they read my blog :).

I always have the urge to share everything so I promise, post-wedding, I'll talk about every thing. Especially about how my wedding look came entirely from sample sale purchases saving me thousands of dollars :) I already mentioned my Jimmy Choos shoes were $75 right?

Here's what I can tell you about what we have been doing lately. We have been stalking the weather forecasts daily (even up to 2-3 times a day) to find out what the weather will be like for our ceremony. Our ceremony will be held outdoors with no plan B. So far, we're expecting 80 deg F (27 deg C) temp with 30% chance of thunderstorms. Even with possible rain, I am just happy that the 100 deg F + temperatures will not be greeting me or my guests on that day.

Many people have asked me if I'm excited! All I can say is..I'm excited to get this day over with however, it sounds like I am not looking forward to it. But most brides will understand that after all these months of preparations, you just want the day to come quickly and see the fruit of our labor come to life. Also, having all our close friends and family in one place. Priceless.


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dutch Kills - Speakeasy bar - Long Island City

Dutch Kills bar with a kitchen

A little bit of drinking before our wedding next week isn't such a bad idea.

We checked out a well-established bar in Long Island City the other day called 'Dutch Kills'. Like any Speakeasy bar, it is inconspicuous and the only indication that there was a bar behind those doors was a neon "Bar" light. It was quite busy on a Saturday night and we sat by the bar and our bartender's name was Brandon. We both ordered the "Bartender's choice" since by experience, the drinks always taste superb. Dave wanted something spicy (traditional spicy) with whiskey while I told my bartender that I like gimlet (gin, sugar and lime juice) and to play off that. My drink was called 'Debutante'. I just remember he mentioned 5 different ingredients including grenadine and it was delicious. Dave's drink was super spicy and different. We both enjoyed our drinks but as an almost 30 year old, the place was too loud for me and I wanted to go home right after. We did not stay for another drink which is lame I know.

Dutch Kills takes pride in using the finest spirits, ingredients and even mentions the superior caliber of ice they use. We noticed the crystal clear ice right way and making clear ice is actually a science and not easily achieved.

This would be my first Speakeasy bar in New York.

Our Bartender's choice drinks

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Monday, July 15, 2013

How do I stay fit or active in the city...for less?

My new swim cap I got at the 92YMCA

Well, for most people in the city, it is going to the gym or training for maratons (Whatsup with all these marathoners?). For me, it is whatever classes that look interested and most importantly, FREE (or cheap!).

My first year in the city, I decided to sign up for the gym...reluctantly. I wanted to take up yoga again at Pure Yoga like I did back in Taiwan but the monthly membership was over $120 so it was a nay. I then decided that going to the gym (New York Sports Club) was the next best thing and Dave who was already a member, would be my motivator. Boy was I wrong. Every time I entered the gym, I want to clock out as soon as possible. I didn't love it. Taking spin classes helped me stay interested because it was something new and an instructor pushed me however, I was constantly bored if I didn't attend a class. Access to a swimming pool at certain locations was a bonus but they were not convenient locations and so we did not go as often as I would have liked.

When we were going on a 3 week vacation to Taiwan and paused our membership, I never bothered reactivating it. At last, I was free from the gym but found myself doing zero physical activity. Since then, I found things to do here and there. A Livingsocial deal brought me to take a couple of pole dancing classes. It was fun and I was so motivated that a trip to Harlem after work didn't bug me at all and even bought extra classes. Unfortunately, before I could finish the 5 classes I purchased,  the studio closed down and actually took our money with it. They actually said they were closing for renovations, then they had moved and then moved again..and finally, they stopped offering any classes whatsoever.

Other free or cheap classes I have taken:

I took community yoga right by apartment building at Sapere Studios every Sunday. I donated $5 per class. They stopped offering them for a while now.

I took free women's self defense classes with cardio and kickboxing workouts. I stopped doing that because the instructor talked too much and we didn't get too kick some butt too often. This was offered every Tuesday night at Chka martial arts school in the East village.

I now try to attend the free yoga class offered at my work every Tuesday.

Currently, I get limited free swimming and workout sessions at the 92 street YMCA on the Upper East Side using a coworker's work ID. Ozone cleaned pools are sooo much better!

Then, from time to time, we do our own thing like hiking but the major part of my physical activities is roaming the city! Walking hours on end is definitely a great workout (but stopping at a cupcake shop is totally counteractive)!

Some people suggest I can work out at home or what not but ...I need constant motivation. Looking good and feeling better is not enough it seems. I need everything to be fun to work for me.

What are your favorite way to workout for cheap or free? Do you follow exercise videos online? Do you work out at home? A jogger perhaps?

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

A little press cannot hurt .... nykeiko on Instyle.com

I was on InStyle.com and I couldn't be more happy for the exposure to my little blog!

I wrote a post about this outfit last month!

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Friday, July 12, 2013


Tacori engagement band
My engagement ring just got buffed yesterday and it will safely be stowed away in its little blue box somewhere until wedding picture day! All the scratches are gone and it looks brand spankin' new. Did I tell you that I scratched it pretty badly within 4 days of getting engaged? Dave was sooooo not happy about that. We went hiking at Breakneck Ridge the same week we got engaged and we didn't know the first part of the hike involved an hour of climbing up boulders. I was too scared to keep it in my pocket and so I tried hard not to use my ring finger to climb. It didn't work. I still did a number on the ring..the scratches were so bad it felt rough and sharp...oops. Dave expected my ring to be scratched up but not within the first week and not that roughly! Rock and platinum is not a good combo guys. Anyway, it is all gone now and there is no evidence of my mistreatment!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

nykeiko: Bride to be...Yesterday at City Hall...

Sixteen days before our wedding ceremony,we finally got our marriage license. It cost exactly $35 and took less than 10 minutes to process if you don't count the wait in line.

"It's like the DMV but with more smiles" said someone on Foursquare about the Office of the City Clerk. There were definitely lots of smiling and general happiness in this place. Couples were getting married and some were even joined by family members for a memorable wedding in the City Hall chapel.

I saw a high percentage of same-sex couples which made me happy. There will be lots of faaaabulous gay couple in New York city this year haha. A gay couple who were getting married that day had matching outfits, it was such a cute touch!! I wanted to get married then and there!

There was a shop that carried souvenirs such as shirts, hats, mugs as well as flowers and boutoniers for sale. We picked up a "i got married in new york city" magnet for the hell of it.

Here I share some iphone clicks...

The wait began for us at 8:10 a.m. with about 40 people in front of us...
A price list! Starting at $1

A small shop with wedding stuff...cake toppers, garters, mugs...

Flowers for sale

Where's the DJ at?

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Sneak peek of part 2 of my bachelorette party pictures .... I still haven't seen all the 400 pictures taken that day but a few were shared with me.

Here's me and my fabulous sister who organized everything. Her and L.B. did some research to think of a concept and look for a photoshoot in the park.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

SSS = Saks Shoe Sale + New Louboutin boutique

Have you guys seen this video of Christian Louboutin promoting Saks' new Louboutin's boutique? I took a peak but did not touch.

This weekend was all about (almost) Dave. He needed a pair of dress shoes, a tie and maybe a vest or some shirts for the wedding....I know, we're 20 days away. It's kind of last minute therefore, it was critical to SHOP (It is rare nowadays to go shopping for something you really really need). We headed to Saks Fifth Avenue first to check out the post July 4th sales. Women's sale items had an additional 50% off while menswear was 60-70% off retail price. So of course, while he shopped, I looked as well. Express elevator to the shoe floor on the 8th floor I went...

My instagram photos revealed two pairs of shoes I tried on in real time. The first pair was a pair of Jimmy Choo. They were more than 60% off retail which made them a little less than sample sale prices however, with taxes, it actually came to about the same. $184 + taxes.  However, unlike sample sales, there were no lines and shoving and general unpleasantness. I didn't get them because they were too narrow. Even after the sales associate went to stretch them out for me, they were still uncomfortable. 

My second find was a pair of Charles Phillip Shanghai. I have never really heard of the brand? I saw many pairs lying around in different patterns but then these tweed ones caught my eye. They were the only one left and was 1/2 size more than my usual size. While other CP shoes were marked down to $50 from $135, these ones were only $27. The sales associate said he can give me soles and to "just buy them for godsakes, they are $20 something dollars". So I did! But of course I didn't blindly just purchase them due to price, they felt very comfortable and light. These would be perfect for work or a light stroll. 

Oh right, shopping for shoes was all for Dave so let's talk about that. Unfortunately, the only pair of black shoes he found and liked was missing its match. Someone else had purchased the same pair of shoes but got mismatched pairs so now, Dave needs to wait and hope that the other customer realizes sooner rather than later and return them. But, let's hope the other dude doesn't need the same size as Dave.  With the possibility of never finding the other pair, he bought backup shoes from Macy's which look almost the same but not of the same quality. So, he left without shoes but did score a nice Hugo Boss shirt for $27 (orig. $135).

Charle Phillip Shanghai tweed flats for $27

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Just doodles...Two birthdays in July

I'm usually really good at picking up a birthday card on time to mail to my friends and family but I was really off my game this year. I didn't even have the time to send anything for my mom for Mother's day yet. This week, two special people in my life had their birthday on the same day. I didn't have the time to pick a funny/thoughtful/silly card to mail on time so I had the bright idea of doodling one. Sharpie pen, PicFx filter and a photo Crop tool, I sent both of them a little doodle I did during my commute and at work.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

nykeiko: Bride to be....Poofy pretty flowers [Bouquet]

More than a week ago, I met with Gilian for a wedding bouquet consultation at a flower shop called Rose, Red and Lavender. One of the reasons I picked this place was because the store is just a couple of blocks from our apartment so it will be convenient for me to pick up the flowers before our ceremony. I'm all about practicality! They were also recently featured in an article on RackedNY about non-conventional indie wedding ideas. An indie/hipster wedding is not what I'm striving for but it can't hurt to be different and set our wedding apart from this cookie cutter wedding world.  We are not first time customers at Rose, Red and Lavender. We have dropped by the store a couple of times before to look at their various array of houseplants, succulents, fruit trees and flowers! I was surprised to see them in the wedding feature. I never would have thought that this little shack-like store can spawn such beautiful bouquets.

When I arrived to my appointment, I had absolutely no clue what I wanted. Gilian showed me a couple of pictures from their facebook's albums and then Googled some images of flowers she thought would be nice for my bouquet. I was inspired. I don't have a bridal party so all I need is just one super fluffly pretty unique bouquet for my special day to have and to hold. Here are the pictures we will inspire from to create my perfect wedding bouquet. Let me tell you, my bouquet won't be thrown into a bunch of single ladies during the wedding reception...hehe...It's just TOO PRETTY and I'm selfish and I want to keep it all to myself for weeks and it's just... too expensive. haha...hmm

And yes, Dave will be getting a matching boutonnier as well..

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