Thursday, July 31, 2014

nykeiko shops (sorta): Of-a-Kind HQ One day- Edition Substraction Sale[July 2014 NYC]

Of a Kind has opened the doors to their headquarter today from 1-9 pm for a one-of-a-kind 'Of-a-Kind' sale. Everything is 50-70% off past editions. I am a fan and have purchased many items from the site since their humble beginnings (Like this Erica Weiner bracelet, a pair of Mociun earrings, a Rachel Nasvik bag, Dusen Dusen cutout pillows and a Wren sequined pocket tee.) I manage to always purchase items when there is a sale but it is always around 15%-30% off and never 50%-70%. So, this is an awesome sale to check out if you are seeking limited edition,made-with-love, quality goods!

Since this is a one-day sale only, I won't review the sale but just give a peek at what was offered. Lots of jewelry for sure and cute bags too. I want to thank my husband who went (he works on the same block) and took all these pictures for me since I was so curious at the offerings. Nothing really stood out for me except for the cute Morus backpack by Skinny Vinny but I don't need more bags for sure, for sure (for sure?)

And then, lots of shiners to oblige people to look at your ear lobes...

My #TBT= #ThrowbackTravels #18: Kauai, Hawaii

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy one!

We busted out Dave's old school Polaroid. The films are pretty old so the photo isn't that great!
So... we have been married for over a year now! We can now say that because we made it passed the one year mark (this past weekend) and it was breeze! For our special day (other than ditching the husband to do this), we made reservations for afternoon tea at the Palm Court at the Plaza hotel. This is where we went with our closest friends and family after our ceremony in Central Park last year. This weekend was actually the Palm Court's last weekend before they close for renovations so we got lucky. I'm curious to see if they will keep the classic look or modernize the Palm Court. After tea, we had plans to row a boat on The Lake but due to a long wait and a crowded lake, we opt to just veg by the Bow Bridge and do some people-watching. We giggled when boats bumped together or when people were rowing the wrong way; like the stern facing the front instead of the bow (I had to Google some boat terms to write this sentence.) It was a bit pathetic that some people didn't realize why it was ten times harder to row their boat while others seem to be leisurely rowing along without breaking a sweat. I mean, one couple looked like they were really struggling. Maybe they just wanted the challenge and work out their arms, possibly, who knows. Good workout though.

It was a simple yet really relaxing afternoon. It was pretty perfect to me. We would have stayed longer in the park but dinner reservations at The Red Rooster awaited us.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Still shaking my booty.....[VIP Vixen Workout "the concert" NYC]

Josie, Janet, Julie and Melissa of the Vixen Workout
It was me and Dave's one year wedding anniversary this past Saturday and what did I do? I ditched my husband to go dancing in a nightclub (Highline Ballroom) midday with a bunch of vixens for the first ever Vixen Workout "The concert" event in New York city #VixenArmy. I was looking forward to the event the moment I RSVP'ed for free.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #17: Niagara Falls, Canada

Since I grew up in Montreal, a trip to Niagara Falls was never too far. Maid of the Myst was always a fun boat tour to do especially on a hot summer day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In pictures: All I see is green...prepping for Iceland! [Hudson Valley hike]

We are planning a trip for our honeymoon anniversary and the destination is Iceland (Já!) Why honeymoon anniversary? When we set our dates for our trip and booked the plane tickets for the end of August, we realized that we are going to fly out on the same date we flew out for our honeymoon to Hawaii last year. Total coincidence. Anyway, we will be celebrating our one year wedding anniversary here in the city (July 26!) and Iceland is one of our dream destinations.

Dave recovered a Google chat conversation from back in 2009. He asked me if I would eat whale meat and out of nowhere he said: "Let's go to Iceland!" At the time, we were just friends and half way across the world. But now, 5 years later, we're together, married and going to Iceland! Will I eat whale? Will I ?!?

In Iceland, we are planning to do a few hikes and because we really haven't hiked since last year (on Kalalau trail), we really needed to step up our game and put our hiking shoes back on. So this past weekend, we decided to borrow the parent's car and drive to the Hudson Valley for a moderate 2.6 mile hike up North-Point. It was also a chance for us to test out our new fancy backpacks before our trip. It is so fancy we even drove by REI to have mine fitted to make sure it's the right size.

The hike was short and sweet. The view from North Point supposedly overlooked all 5 states surrounding New York state. We also saw the Hudson river and the North-South lakes. We were not even sore the next day so we think we can challenge ourselves a little more with a harder hike before our trip. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

nykeiko eats: Thai-Isan cuisine at Somtum Der [East Village, NYC]

Dave and I have been keeping up with episodes of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown. If you are kind of a foodie or a world traveler that likes to immerse yourself in the culture (usually by consuming large amount of food) then you should definitely watch this show.

A couple of weeks ago, after watching this episode about Thailand and drooling a bucket by the end of it, it was coincidentally dinner time and I absolutely needed some thai food in my watering mouth. In this particular episode, Mr. Bourdain met up with chef Andy Ricker in Chiang Mai and they just kept eating non-stop and it was painful great to watch. My craving for thai food was palatable. I wanted thai food and I wanted it now!

I started Googling and found a few top thai restaurant lists for New York city. I crossed out the places we have been to before and researched the menus whenever they were available. I didn't want the run-of-the-mill pad thai or tom yum soup but the gritty, greasy, intensely spicy dishes that make you sweat. We have already tried Andy Ricker's Pok Pok (reviewed here) in Brooklyn which would have been the perfect place to go to to satisfy my craving but to be honest, Pok Pok was a bit inconvenient for us to get to now that we live in upper Manhattan. Queens has a bunch of thai restaurants where we have already tried a couple like SriPraPhai.  But insisting on staying on Manhattan, I finally found Somtum Der- which opened last year and got a few good positive reviews. The menu caught my attention (prawn sashimi with chili sauce, spicy papaya salad with salted eggs, larbs with chopped duck, meat skewers, hot chicken soups...yes,yes,yes,yes) and oh, the fact that Somtum Der can also be found in Bangkok sealed the deal.

I called and made reservations although it wasn't needed. When we got there, I even ordered a cold Singha beer to modestly replicate Bourdain's drinking habits on the show. The food was spicy and awesome. The only thing I thought we could have not ordered was the Pad Thai Mun Poo (ha,ha poo). I should have also maybe tuned down on the spice level so that I could enjoy the food without having to wipe my forehead of sweat every 5 minute or so. Also, I wish that we were a group of people so that we could have sampled more dishes but the 5 dishes we shared amongst the two of us is no easy feat. I really wanted to try that prawn sashimi dish...oh well, next time for sure!

Here is what we consumed...

Tum Thai Kai Kem : Thai Spicy Papaya Salad with salted egg

Friday, July 18, 2014

nykeiko shops: Calypso St-Barth sample sale [July 2014 NYC Sample Sale]

The Calypso St. Barth sample sale started early this week and ends this weekend. Here's my review on Racked! I snatched up a cashmere cardigan and linen printed shorts for $19.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My #TBT=#ThrowbackTravels #16: Los Angeles, California

From my 38 hours in Hollywood. Click here.

nykeiko shops: Handbags at the Proenza Schouler Sample Sale [July 2014 NYC sample sale]

Everyone is always looking for bags, bags, bags at the Proenza Schouler sample sale and finally, they are here and in mass quantity (well, compared to previous sales which had almost none at all).

Pictures were not allowed (signs were everywhere) but I was able to snap a few anyway to show you what I am talking about. PS1 bags, totes and clutches. They were all there and in different seasonal colors. All priced between $69-$399. See Sample Sally's review for more details about the pricing and other offerings. When I left, there was still a few large carry-all PS1 satchel bags in saddle, white and lemon.

When I got there before noon, there was no line to get inside the sale but it took a bit of time to checkout. The handbag stocks were definitely depleting by the minute though...Everyone seemed to check out with at least one handbag in their arms. At $399 a pop, can't blame them.

More pics after the jump...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Honeymoon travelogue part 3: 7 days 6 nights on the Big Island Sept 7-13 2013 [Hawaii mini travel guide]

I have put off writing this post about Hawaii's Big Island long enough. Now that we are planning for our next adventure (!!!), I should really finish all my travelogues including our trip to Argentina from back in 2012! My post about Torres Del Paine in Chile is getting a lot of views so I'm thinking people do appreciate these type of posts sooo I'll do the rest of our trip as soon as I can! (I am such a slacker.)

The Big Island is the third leg of our 15-day honeymoon trip to Hawaii. We spent 4 days in Oahu (click here), 6 days in Kauai (click here) and 7 days on the Big Island including the transition days between islands.

Big Island was memorable and offered us something the other two islands did not. This is what is great about Hawaii. Each island offered something you cannot find elsewhere and that is why we're grateful we got to visit 3 of them. Asking us which one is our favorite is like asking us to pick our favorite child (if we had children). (Kauai is our favorite child.)

Here is a list of all the places we visited on the Big Island. (Excluding Wal-Mart. WalMart is great for stocking up on necessities. But remember to support the local mom and pop shops too ;P ) My other posts are not as extensive as this one but I didn't spend a whole day writing them neither. Memories are not fresh in my mind anymore as it has already been 10 months since our trip. Thank goodness for pictures and pictures are worth a bazillion words!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Your feet will thank you....[Fishion Herb Center]

I just wanted to tell you guys about this little place in Manhattan that can offer you what your feet may need. Forget the name, just remember the address. (Fishion Herb Center sounds fishy.) This place is not fancy or anything as you can see from my pictures but if you like a nice strong foot massage for a decent price- come here and ask for Tony, he can give you what you need.

I love foot massages. When a hand starts rolling down my foot pad, my eyes start rolling back. I've had Tony push on my feet so hard one time, it bruised for days. I like it when it hurts. Although I am grimacing and my palms become sweaty for the duration of the massage, I still endure it knowing that my feet will feel great- like walking on air. The $25 price tag for a 40-minute foot reflexology is definitely a great deal for New York city.  I have never tried the other massage services offered here but with the amount of people walking in this place every hour, I have a feeling they have a lot of satisfied customers.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

nykeiko plays: Our July 4th staycation in the city ... [NYC]

Here are just a few snapshots from our Manhattan staycation over the holiday weekend. Some of these you might have already seen on my Instagram. It was such a good idea to book a hotel in the city (Thanks to CitizenM!) for two nights and enjoy the city like tourists but without the stress of time factor and the unknown. We ate, we drank and I elegantly coughed up flem while recovering from a cold (which I'm still recovering from). My runny nose and coughing didn't stop me from enjoying our staycation- it only prevented me from getting drunk like I had planned. We were faced with lots of rain due to hurricane Arthur but it was perfect for us to just stay in, canoodle in bed and watch TV for hours. 

On our first night, we did get caught in the middle of a downpour but our hunger drove us to run through it so we could try the new Totto Ramen shop on 51st street in Hell's Kitchen. The rain helped us get seats without a wait and although soaked, we warmed up quickly with our bowls of ramen. We got back to the hotel and watched the thunderstorm from the rooftop bar while eating complimentary red velvet whoopie pies, nutty snacks and chocolate-dipped bacon plus a warm cup of tea (for me). 

My picks on CitizenMag!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

In pictures: "Jeff Koons:A Retrospective" at the Whitney Museum of American Art NYC

Balloon Venus - Jeff Koons

During our July 4th staycation in the city, we decided to check out the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art which was just perfect on a rainy afternoon. Thanks to Dave's company, we get to visit a few museums in town for free including the Whitney. We need to find more time to take advantage of that I think!

Here are just a few pictures I took from the large exhibition which astonishingly occupies 5 floors at the Whitney including the lower level. I personally enjoyed a few of the pieces from the series 'Statuary, Celebration, Equilibrium and Antiquity (especially the Balloon Venus)'. Although some of the art might look fun to bring the kids to see, be warned that some pieces are def R-rated (ahum, avoid 'Made in Heaven'). I might even have blushed a little.

There is still plenty of time to see the exhibit which ends on October 19. This is also the final exhibition at the Whitney on Madison Ave before the museum moves to the Meatpacking district next year.

More pictures after the jump...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

nykeiko eats: Brunch at The Butcher's Daughter [Nolita, LES, NYC]

A girlfriend visiting the city is always a good excuse for me try something new and check things off my to-eat list.  The Butcher's Daughter is a juice bar and café which also serves all three meals a day + weekend brunch, that has been on my list for quite some time. In its rustic but contemporary atmosphere which attracts the hip and healthy eaters of New York, it is the perfect place to catch up with old friends. So I brought my friend Xiang (She is new to blogging and looks very promising: Stylegy) who I knew would enjoy this place as much as I would for some brunching action (For example, the presence of fresh mint leaves in our bottle of water made both of us very excited!). The last time I saw her was almost a year ago at my wedding and preoccupied with being a bride, we had no time for deep chit chatting.

We ordered the drip coffee to start. It was a bit too bitter for our taste but since I was going through a weekend coffee withdrawal, I managed to chug down my cup of Joe despite the bitterness. We stirred in (constantly) some homemade almond milk which made it better. Not really knowing what to pick from their 100% vegetarian menu, Xiang asked our waiter what his favorite dishes were. We picked two out of his three top picks and got ourselves the 'Full English Breakfast' and 'Smashed Avocado Toast Benedict' to share. Everything was of course fresh and delicious. Afterwards, we stopped by the Butcher's Daughter cute little market which was adjacent to the restaurant and took tons of pictures.

It is noteworthy that the Butcher's Daughter menu changes with the seasons. They also advertise new monthly seasonal vegetables and fruits which they incorporate into their juices and food. This insures that the freshest and best ingredients are served daily. For the month of July, it is sweet corn and watermelon! Both very yummy on their own already!

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping around Nolita/Soho but with both of us having secondary plans in the evening, we sadly had to part one another too quick, too soon.

Looking forward to your next visit Xiang!

More pics after the jump...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

That time I painted something...

I finally sat down and got some painting done. I haven't picked up a paint brush in ages ( I'm thinking like circa grade school era.) nor have I painted with acrylics and gel pastes and mediums before. I was really excited to try this. I bought everything separately and months apart without knowing what I would really do with them. Random paint brushes were purchased last year at a yard sale (can't go wrong with $1 for a handful of brushes). Then, I purchased a couple of cotton canvases a few month ago because they were on sale and Dave said he wanted to paint with me too.  I bought the gel mediums+molding pastes on Amazon last month and finally got the acrylic colors when I decided on the colors.

On my instagram, I official christened the piece as "I don't know what the f*ck I am doing" because moments before I blotted the first color on, I had no clue what I was going to paint. I was simply testing out the Golden mediums and paste  I got. I tested about four out of the six in the trial kit (soft gel, regular gel, extra heavy gel and light molding paste). I liked the regular gel and light molding paste best as they were easier to work with and gave me the textures I wanted (or what I thought I wanted).

Going to my first Frieze art fair in May may have something to do with my sudden urge to finally paint something and oh yea, the lack of art pieces in our new apartment also made me want to create something of my own to put up on our empty walls.

Anyway, I have a bigger canvas I am excited to paint on now that I got a better feel for painting!

Thanks for stopping by xx