Thursday, October 28, 2010

Delayed Seattle Photos

Gloom and doom
The Seattle Pier. Photo was enhanced to make the gloominess more apparent, heheh (this was also the trip that led to a deceased SLR, unfortunately before any photos were taken).

This was perhaps our third visit as a couple to Seattle, a city we have considered settling down in numerous of times. It may very well be a place we call home in the future, but for now we are soaking up the rays in California with loved ones surrounding us. However, there may be a time for us to move up there, and I sure hope more people we know will feel the same urge!

Anyway, these photos were taken back in August, while Mike had a business trip and we wanted to pay a visit to our loverly friends who are former Californians. They've been recruiting us to move since. We've been having friends ask us what to do, see, eat at specific cities we venture to, so I figured I might as well start blogging more about our vacations. Some old vacay spots may pop up on this site every once in awhile when I feel like reminiscing...stay tuned!
Make a wish!
My favorite little model.
Blackberries grow like weeds here...I was tempted to pick some off the side of the road.
Queen Anne
Queen Anne- One of my favorite places in the Seattle area. They also have a cute downtown area filled with little bookshops, cafes, boutiques and pastry shops. Sort of reminds me of the East Coast in a charming kind of way. I intend on retiring here one day...
Art Installation
Saw this random bench + floral arrangement that was supposedly part of an art installation.
Sweet Iron Belgian Waffles
Found this little shop while roaming around downtown Seattle. The perfect morning snack that has a bit of a sweet crunch with every bite, topped with bananas flambe and cream.
Fremont Vintage Mall
Fremont Vintage Mall - One of the coolest vintage shops I've seen, found in the Fremont District in Seattle. Sort of like the eclectic, urban part of the city. After entering this store, you feel as though you've been transported into the 60s, my favorite decade. They sell all sorts of knick knacks ranging from houseware/decor to clothing and records. We managed to score a Michael Jackson record for free dollars after our grand total.
Seattle Public Library
Got lost inside the crazy architectural design of the Seattle Public Library, definitely worth going inside.
Raindrops on berries... doesn't the rain just make everything more magical? I know most Californians hate rain (which is why they live there), but I love it. It makes everything look more lush and dewy and not a trace of smog is to be found in Seattle.

More recommendations from past trips:
Maneki Japanese Restaurant - An authentic Japanese hole-in-the-wall that's located in the heart of Japantown in downtown Seattle (yes, there is one). They have everything from your basic sushi/rolls, tempura to the more homestyle small plates (their black cod is amazing). This place has stuck around for over 100 years, and there's a good reason why.

Royal Grinders - Located in downtown Seattle in the Fremont district, this place looks like an ordinary sub sandwich shop, but throws Subway out of the water. They serve their bread hot and toasted with fresh deli meats, veggies of your choice and a side of their house dipping sauce (tastes like sweet marinara sauce). They also sell gelato, and they give you a mini scoop on top of your regular-sized scoop so you can sample another flavor.

Salty's On Alki Beach - Mike took me to this restaurant for my birthday the year we got married. I'd come here specifically for the Blackened Salmon and city view, it's absolutely breathtaking. Grab a table by the window and all you see is the water and city lights of Seattle (if you go for dinner). I believe the last time we went, they used Copper River Salmon, which is only available during certain seasons and originates from Alaska. It is unlike any kind of salmon I've ever tasted. They are considered the fattiest of all, making them rich and tasty, mm...

I think there were more recs, but I can't remember them at the moment. Feel free to message me if you would like me to post a specific city recommendation!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random outfit posts...

H&M blazer, Threads 4 Thought pink tee, BR belt, vintage Italian wool skirt, vintage scarf, thrifted cowboy boots
BR trenchcoat from Spring 2009, embellished black top/dress from Morgan in Paris, python belt from Kmart, Guess mini-bell bottoms, zipper pull necklace from Savers
Mossimo for Target plaid blazer and pouf skirt, H&M striped tee, Topshop stockings, Jeffrey Campbell wedges

Been feeling kind of lazy about dressing up these days unless there is a purpose or event...why is that? Of course one should always dress for themselves, but sometimes I feel a lack of motivation when I'm going about my day-to-day activities such as running errands.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Never do something for the sake of becoming famous. -Phillip Lim

What I wore on Saturday: Billabong native-print cardigan, sheer top from Target, H&M shorts, thrifted native beaded necklace, Rough Justice boots

When the weather is gloomy out, it makes me want to do the cliche, such as drinking tea and curling up to a book or magazine. This past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to stop by Coffee by the Books in Pasadena. They're known for the coolest latte art. Unfortunately, while we were living here, we never ended up going! Once we stepped into the cafe, we were pleasantly surprised by a familiar face. Turns out one of our church friends started working here, and made us a beautiful flower:
Latte art from Coffee by the Books
Harney & Sons tea
At the counter, I recognized the "Paris" tea by Harney & Sons I tried when the Hubby saved me a teabag during his conference. I immediately fell in love with this tea company, so imagine my delight when I saw a stack of their pretty tea tins at the counter!! I ended up buying one container to bring home with me for these gloomy days.
On a happy note, I finally found the children's book I've been looking for! I remembered this book being read to our class when I was in 1st grade. The book was one of my faves and the illustrations always stuck with me. Sadly, I could not recollect the title. All I could remember were the images of dresses on paper being taped onto a wall. After some good ole googling last night, I found the name of the book: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.
The story is about a Polish-American girl named Wanda who wears the same faded blue dress everyday to school. The wealthier girls make fun of her and so she tells them she has 100 dresses, all lined up in her closet. The girls continue to poke fun at her, not believing her claim. Wanda ends up leaving the school, due to all the bullying and social violence. In the end, one of her friends discovers that Wanda had entered into a dress design competition and in fact, did have 100 drawings of dresses, all lined up in her closet. Turns out she was telling the truth after all. Unfortunately, it took her leaving for the girls to discover this fact.

Such a simple, yet profound story. The illustrations by Louis Slobodkin, a well-known illustrator during the 40s-60s are also amazing, it makes me want to check out his other books.

And speaking of books...I don't know what it is about children's books, but I've always been more attracted to them than thick novels. Perhaps it's because I have the attention span of a goldfish and I am a visual person. I recall reading children's books up until middle school (fine, judge me). I had siblings who were much younger than me, so I would go with them into the children's section at the library and pick up a few myself. Of course I also enjoyed reading paperback novels, but it just isn't the same.

I remember joining our elementary school's Young Author's Fair competition every year, and given the opportunity to represent my class each time. I really enjoyed writing and illustrating my own stories. Unfortunately, I have stopped writing stories since the age of 11. One of my goals as a child was to become a children's book author and illustrator. When you're a child and you're not thinking about money or what makes sense as a career, you're the most honest with yourself. And these days, I find that I need to go back to that innocence to discover what it is that I'm truly passionate about.

I feel inspired to go to the library and sit in the children's section now : )

Friday, October 15, 2010

Save it for a rainy day.

Some images that have been sitting in a folder...thought it might brighten up the gloomy day (though I love days like this)!
Always had a thing for stripes, and always will...
Gustav Klimt, "The Kiss"- Love how his work always glimmers!
Been wanting a rose-gold coloured watch lately...this one fits within my budget!

Love the patterns + colors.

Doves will always have a special place in my heart. The symbolism, the fact that all my students used to call me Ms. Dove, my nickname in HS, this image in particular reminds me of our wedding invitations.

Onto a different subject, people tend to ask me how we (my Hubby & I) are able to travel so much. We definitely aren't loaded in any sense, though we feel very content with what we've been blessed with. To answer this question, we simply make traveling a priority. Not everyone may feel that way, but it's a common interest we share and we enjoy immersing ourselves into different cultures, trying new foods, meeting new faces and being in new spaces and places. Sure, there have been times when my husband has the opportunity to travel through work, which saves us $ because all we need to do is pay for 1 plane ticket. But the majority of it comes from saving up (remember when you used to put all your extra change into a piggybank to save up for something you really wanted?) and being economical with our expenses. So here is the insider's info:

To be honest, we try to eat and spend like paupers (slight exaggeration) during our day to day living and use what we save for traveling. We dine in pretty much everyday, except for the occasional 1 or 2 meals when going out with friends. Once you get married, each meal is doubled (unless you share, which is what we do often), which adds up when totaling your monthly expenses. And even that isn't usually elaborate. We buy only what's in season, shop at Costco (though that can add up too), use coupons religiously (double coupons when available) and try to buy what's on sale.

We hardly ever watch movies or pay for entertainment, but take advantage of the tube and DVR, or use our annual Disney passes as a form of "pre-paid" entertainment. Call us "ghetto," but we bring our own snacks and teabags into Disneyland in order to avoid buying most of our food at the park (sorry, Disney).

In relation to this blog that revolves around material goods, one might wonder how much I spend on clothing each month. For us, this category includes personal expenses (shoes, accessories, toiletries, make-up, etc.) as well. The grand total that each of us aim towards is under $100. Depending on how one places value on material goods, this can seem plentiful or miniscule. Sure, there are times when we make larger purchases on classic items that will last awhile, but in order to make up for it, we try not to spend in that category for the next month or so. When looking for something of higher quality, I tend to search within thrift stores, flea markets, consignment stores - they are all wallet-friendly and you'll never know what you might find. You're also less likely to be wearing the same outfit as another person on the street.

Oh, and keeping track of all your purchases in an Excel sheet or notebook is very beneficial. We log every receipt and dollar spent. You'd be surprised to see how much you spend on food and material goods each month. There have been times where we ate at cheap hole-in-the-walls under 7 times and went over our budget without realizing it. Money can disappear with the blink of an eye when not handled wisely. So there you have it, our expenses in a nutshell.

If you have a goal in mind, there is always a way to work towards it. However, it does require making some sacrifices in your spending lifestyle. But in the end, it's worth every penny saved.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bonjour, Madame.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
My Parisian-inspired outfit: Striped top by Stephanie B., H&M vest, thrifted sequin mini, Promod leggings, and various accessories (didn't take a full body shot, since they all turned out awkward..should do more posts like these!)

Had some girl friends come over for a French-inspired day. We watched Hors de Prix, my favorite modern-day Breakfast at Tiffany's, ate croque madame with vericot greens and made choco-dipped almond-sprinkled apples (maybe not so French, but definitely Autumn-inspired!). Days like this make me smile, the perfect pick-me-upper in the middle of a not-so-delightful week. And then....went to Disneyland in a suit, in honor of International Suit Up Day (if you don't know, you need to watch "How I Met Your Mother!!")

French-inspired lunch
Croque Madame with vericot greens, pillsbury bisquits, chocolate-dipped honeycrisp apple sprinkled with crushed almonds, mini-pumpkin clusters from the Hubby.
Choco-dipped Apples
Mini choco-dipped apples!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Make that 2 slices of cake, si vous plait.

Our bedroom interior was designed with hers in mind : )
I spy with my little eyes, something that starts with an "m!"
Guess who made shoes in honor of Marie Antoinette (kind of over-the-top in my opinion)?

Love their fans and outfits.

I actually wouldn't mind having wallpaper like this in my home..okay, maybe just one accent wall.

Happy 100th post! Wow, I can't believe I have that many entries. But anyway, I decided on a Marie Antoinette-inspired entry for today, since I saw the movie on TV today. I own the dvd, yet I still watch it on the screen. I am aware that there are plenty of people who dislike this movie and say that it has a weak storyline. I watch movies for various reasons, and in this case, it's for the eye-candy. I think Sophia Coppola does a beautiful job in portraying the pure opulence and sinful indulgence Marie Antoinette drowns herself in. I especially enjoy oogling at the costumes, champagne, macarons, pastries, shoes, accessories, Chateau de Versaille, Marie's cute little cottages and Le Petit's like a daycation overload to France. Makes me miss it even more. Whenever I want to teleport to another era or location, I just pop in a movie. This probably explains my bizarre obsession with films from the 60s, but that's another story.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Taken by Jewel
Wearing a lace top from Loehmanns, GAP skirt, gold DIY belt from the flea market, Faryl Robin heels, Mulberry for Target satchel
Garments group
Some friends and I started a tumblr as a way to challenge each other to wear more of our wardrobe, while having fun with it. We're currently into our second challenge, which is to wear a different theme each day for two weeks. You can check out our tumblr here --> Garments
Silly girls
Clowning around.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Zara: October Lookbook

images: zara

I loove Fall clothing! Currently wishing there was more color in the leaves, here in bi-polar SoCal.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spring 2011 runway favorites and other ramblings.

Isabel Marant - A French designer I've been less familiar with until this year. I'm starting to fall in love with her line of clothing and shoes. It's definitely got a more wearable "right-off-the rack" vibe and less of the haute couture look that only twiggy models can pull off. For Ms. Marant's Spring line, she was inspired by the laid-back, effortless style of... Californians (!!), during a recent trip.

Balmain - Christophe Decarnin has been nailing down the edgy, highly-sought-after cool girl look. From his military jackets last year to a new version of bleached, studded and safety-pinned jackets...they give inspiration to possible DIY projects.

Chloe - I always find myself falling for the flowy, 70s, boho-chic style that Chloe seems to pull off so well. I especially love the idea of mixing leather with pleated chiffon.

Phillip Lim - After hearing him speak at the LACMA last year, I gained a newfound respect for the guy. His passion for clothing ensures that each piece is carefully crafted and well-tailored. The neutral color palette he chose for Spring is enough to add color without being overly sweet.
Alexander Wang - Do you notice something different about Alexander's look for Spring? There isn't an ounce of black to be found (okay maybe except for the models' hair). It's kind of refreshing to see white for a change-- after all, it is Springwear!

Photos taken from

Fashion Forecast for Spring 2011
(my predictions at least)

  • white, white, white!
  • sheer chiffon-y material
  • unexpected cut-out shapes
  • shine, sparkle and sheen
  • blue denim
  • over-sized tops and baggy bottoms
  • drapey clothing
  • neutral colors
  • cadmium orange
  • teal
Call me ridiculous, but I actually enjoy peeking into the future to see what's next when it comes to fashion (or anything in life for the matter). I've always been a futuristic type of person, probably because I tend to get bored easily and long for what's to come.

At this point of my life, I feel as though I am at another crossroad. You would think that in your late 20s you would have moved on from that path, but not for me. Blame it on my ENFP tendencies, but I will have cycled through several different career paths in my lifetime. Since the age of 16, I have had approximately 10 jobs. Filling out past job apps are usually a nightmare, as I always need to narrow it down to the ones that are relevant.

Since education is going down the slopes in America, I am back to the same place I was when I graduated as an undergrad-- unemployed, hopeless and hopeful. I always feel torn between what I want to do or what I should do. The shoulds and wants tend to melt into one, depending on my mood. I've come to the conclusion that there are just too many things I'd like to do that I will never accomplish anything if I keep thinking that way.

Education is a challenge in itself, but is truly rewarding in so many ways...that and I love teaching and building relationships with students. Several of my past jobs have involved teaching and it has been something that comes naturally to me and I enjoy it quite so. The heartbreaking part is not being able to go into this field at this time...but fashion, as superficial as it may be, has been a love of mine since I was able to put on my own clothes. I still remember personalizing my own keds with puffy paint, rainbow shoelaces and glitter. In elementary school, I was made fun of for wearing mis-matched leggings (pictured below) as a tribute to my fashion icon, Claudia from Babysitters Club. When watching movies, the main thing I noticed were the clothes the characters wore. I grew up loving Cher Horiwitz in Clueless, and her desire to make the world a happier place through giving people makeovers.

My inner battle is how can one go into a materialistic industry with a mindset that you're doing it in a way that glorifies the Lord? Is that even possible? I mean, I know there are companies (F21) out there that make it well-known that they're believers, but how can you go beyond that? The fashion world is definitely a dog-eat-dog world, that can be superficial, catty and corrupt. Nevertheless, they still need Christ.

I suppose I am still going through the journey, and maybe there isn't a definite destination here on earth for me.

Me, pictured here at the age of 9 during a trip to Canada.