April 30, 2012

Two ways: leopard print dress

leopard dress
Polyvore set here

Over Winter break I went a little crazy when I was at Zara in Spain and bought a leopard print dress that I have absolutely no idea what to do with now (the dress is not unlike the one featured here, except that it has long sleeves and an elasticized waist). I wore it for TBG banquet yesterday (picture here; ignore Jeff), but I need ways to wear it on regular days without people mistaking me for a wild cat.

For Sunday Brunch
I chose to go classy-- so no heels, no red, no crazy patterns. Kept everything extremely subdued in black (I love the Coach bag and the J Crew flats featured here; I'm actually very very close to purchasing those same flats because they are obscenely comfortable) leather. The pearl earrings featured here are vintage Chanel (a girl can dream), but many high street stores sell variations.
Make-up wise, I'm thinking a bright red lip, hair in a fishtail braid, and some black Rayban Wayfarers.

For Casual Friday at Work
I am obsessed with these shoes and wanted to work the mustard tones into the outfit. I anchored the floaty/ overly patterned dress with a somewhat structured boyfriend blazer and a gorgeous chocolate brown bag from Chloe -- I wanted something that had significant weight but would also play off the dark browns in the dress. Accessorizes with a chunky bracelet-watch in dark brown with some tribal/ wooden bead detailing.
Neutral makeup with lots of mascara and hair half-up-half-down.

I am a big fan of leopard print in small doses (flats, scarf), but I think the way to make leopard print work as a full piece is to be conscious of never veering into "party" territory. I ultimately bought the dress because:
- It fit so beautifully with a classic cut
- It had long sleeves and a knee-length skirt
- The print was brown/ black enough that it could be conceivably passed off as fairly neutral.

I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone here! But it's a little exciting; thinking about my internship is making me more conscious about what I wear and what kinds of clothes I purchase-- I bought my first pair of heels (in a very, very long time) on Saturday. They're these perfect taupe, patent leather Ferragamo kitten heels with an ankle strap. Just a great Spring/ Summer shoe, and I'm super excited to wear them out!!

April 27, 2012

Friday Favourites: April 27th

I am so thankful that it's Friday- you don't even know. This week has been pretty rough, but I'm done with school! Can't believe I'm only going to be a junior for 2 more weeks. I barely even got used to saying that and now when I return I'll be a SENIOR? Whattt?

Some things I've enjoyed looking at this week:

1. Jewelry from Saught

I find their social mission so inspiring. I think that being a B-Corp or a mission-driven organization is one of the most challenging things you can ever do in business, and I have immense respect for everyone who attempts it. And to find that this comes out of Singapore ! Learn more about their mission here.

2. Junkaholique's camping trip! (via Black*Eiffel)

Driving around on a road trip in a little green Volkswagen bus is definitely on my bucket list!! I love all the little homey details in the bus as well: the Christmas lights, bunting, that ice cream cone. And that last image with the rolling hills and the sea-- divine.

3. Jakob Nylund's soothing apartment (via A Merry Mishap)

I think that black and white can sometimes be too stark a colour palette for the home, but I think Jakob Nylund does a phenomenal job of making it look clean and inviting instead. Plus I love how the home is so tastefully masculine without resorting to canned/ stereotypical masculine furniture. And that single, hanging bulb!! In love.

I really need to get my study on this weekend and get a schedule all planned out. I've been such a mess this week, you can't even imagine. Clutching at my organizer like a buoy while I flounder on in a sea of endless appointments and deadlines. Yesterday my body just gave up and said NO; I came home for a short nap and ended sleeping through 5 alarms and 2 meetings... it was awful. BUT. It's over. 3 more finals and 1 more giant presentation to go before the summer!

April 25, 2012

An Adventurous Day

I honestly still feel a little dazed after spending the past 7 hours with the same group of people (my OB team). They are super fun, but we basically stayed in a tiny library study room and edited our project-paper to the tiniest details. It was kinda ridiculous.

In happier times (Monday), Dan and I randomly decided to go on an Adventurous Date Around San Francisco (with the possibility of winning $10,000 and a lifetime membership to Adobe CS6.) (We didn't win. Dan is still heartbroken about this.) Pictures!

It was a really gorgeous day in SF, and we basically had to make 6 pit stops around the city to grab these giant puzzle pieces that would form the logo of the new CS6 suite. This is mildly embarrassing, but I actually had a really good time because Dan would make these ridiculously competitive statements like, "run is fun! walk is dog! must win!!"

...which clearly don't make sense, because the winners were completely chosen at random (there were 3 final puzzle pieces that were specially marked as the winning pieces).

And then we went to get FOOD at Pacific Catch:

Ohhhh so good. The neighborhood that this was in was also super cute, and we just spent time wandering around and discovering new cute stores. It was totally random because we just decided to Go To San Francisco on a Monday and Have Fun, but so worth it!! Also because I spent 6h in front of my laptop just EMAILING NONSTOP when I got home. Which caused me to have a mini stress breakdown. This feeling of panic and drowning in neverending work has not worn off; I just have learnt to cope with it by making lists and lists on post-it notes and frantically ticking them off. I think it's just that time of the semester, and the only way through is to just get through it. Onward to more reading!

p/s Please excuse our dorky glasses; I couldn't wear contacts because of an eye exam I had scheduled today (to get a prescription for new glasses! Whoo!) I have no excuses for Dan. ;)

April 24, 2012

Thank you cards

I think that showing gratitude is one of the kindest, nicest responses that someone can give, and something that I don't do as much as I should. The best way to do it, I think, is with a handwritten note: I don't think my family bought a single card (birthday, holiday, or thank you) when I was growing up because my mother had a card making production factory going on in our home (the single employee: me). And I really miss doing that now!!

Some cards that I think are perfect for that "end of semester" thanking:

[1] Homestead Thank You notes from Paper Source
[2] Frances Thank You card from Rifle Paper Co.
[3] Banner Thank You notes from Paper Source
[4] Thank You rubber stamp from Scout's Honor Co.

Side story: I saw the Paper Source cards yesterday when Dan and I went out on an Adventurous Date in San Francisco and spent half an hour in Paper Source. Aren't they adorable?? The one with the little flags is like yelling out GRATITUDE and I find it hilarious.

If you want to go paperless, I think that Paperless Post has a really great selection of ecards and evites, all of which are free!! My favourites are the Snapshot card (photo and wording editable, and I've already sent 2 of those out to my family), Sweden in the Summer, and Smart Cookie (perfect for graduation!!)

I WILL make an effort to write all my supervisors and professors a thank you card this semester because they really have been overwhelmingly accommodating this semester. Maybe even make them by hand? Art project for the weekend :) Happy Tuesday-- it's been a long day for me but these pretty paper products are getting me excited again!

April 23, 2012

Easy salad recipes

Wow, has it been a week since I last posted? In that week: Cal Day, Adobe adventures in San Francisco, a 5h trek to Boiling Crab, class/ meetings/ work/ emails. Also, lots and lots of food. Well I am really striving to eat better and I found this really nice slideshow from Bon Appetit magazine with some salads large enough to be a main:

[1] Roast chicken and mango salad with yogurt
[2] Roasted brussels sprouts and apple salad- been dying to try cooking with brussels sprouts! They have such an adorable little cabbage-ball feel.
[3] Lemony crab with baby greens

I've been really gravitating to salads lately which is weird because I've never even liked salads much, but it's the perfect no-fuss meal to make on my own (literally the most work is the gathering of the ingredients), especially when I'm not that hungry but know I should eat something anyway-- I had the chicken salad at Free House the other night, and it was so delicious! Roasted chicken, pear slices, crumbled cheese. Truly feel like I'm becoming a Grown Up!!

All images from the Bon Appetit website, more salads here.

April 17, 2012

Earth Week

In celebration of Earth Week, I've been (more diligently than usual, and I'm already a total electricity Nazi thanks to my mother) a lot more careful about turning lights off in my apartment, recycling/ composting, turning off the taps properly, etc. But I also love these illustrations by talented Singaporean illustrator Linette Cheong from her series Saving Blue:
You can get them on t-shirts, canvas tote bags, iPhone covers, and pins as well. And I know technically this is about the seas i.e. the diametric opposite of earth (land), but seas are important too! Plus, look at how disappointed other earth-bound animals would be if you didn't think about their sea-bound compatriots as well. Hehe.

Learn more about Linette from her interview on ObscuRed
All images from her website

April 16, 2012

Books this month: May 2012

I've been reading A LOT this month for some reason, and I've discovered HOLDS at the Berkeley Public Library (where I can log in online and request to "hold" a book when it becomes available- then I'll receive a little email and I'll trot down to the library to get my book without all of that anguished hand-wringing because I can never find the books I want!)

1. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely
I was really quite offended when I first started reading this! The basic plot premise is that a guy sets out to trick legions of readers into believing that he's the voice of a generation when really he's just playing on a few tropes of "good literature"- "lyrical" language, convoluted plot with characters of varying races (to appeal to the broadest audience), and vague metaphysical wonderings underpinning the entire endeavour.
Which is a little insulting to an English major, since I have basically spent my entire college career READING those novels and then ANALYSING them based on those very characteristics.

But he is very very funny/ snarky and there is a lot of truth to that, and ultimately the sanctity of writing and literature is preserved. So hurrah.

2. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's about anorexia, and the death of a friend, and absolutely chilling and beautiful and terrifying. I've always enjoyed reading Anderson's books (I think I borrowed SPEAK 15 times from the library in secondary school), but her other books can seem a little disjointed and awkward in terms of the prose (in a way that detracts from the fluidity of the story). Not the case for this book.

3. The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault
Foucault is a genius, and he is such a good and compelling writer that reading this isn't work at all. His ideas about sexuality/ power/ knowledge have really underpinned a lot of contemporary writing, and my (one of many) AH-HA moments came when he asserted that sexuality has, in recent years, become less about the act itself (of intercourse/ perversion) but has become an IDENTITY. In that sense it has become even more condemning because then judgement on acts of sexual perversion aren't just cast on the acts itself, but on the PERSON who committed it (e.g. why homosexuality is so condemned, because the person is a "homosexual" and not only because "sodomy is bad")

I just think this is a really great book (Jorel agrees I'm sure), and I think it's really important to read especially in this era of "slut-shaming" or "virgin-shaming"-- to understand the deeper structures of power that cause us to think this way.

OKAY. Enough provocative words that will cause my blog to become R21. I need to run off for ballet but have a great Monday, and let me know if you read any of these books and what you think!

April 15, 2012

Spring Break 3: New York

The last part of our Spring Break adventures! I'll be honest- we basically went to New York to eat. We had a list of things we wanted to do in New York, and ALL of them revolved around food. And basketball, to some extent.

I bracketed all our food pictures with our semi-cultural activities! 

Semi-cultural activities:
  • Knicks game at Madison Square Garden (where Jeremy Lin did not play, boo)
  • I watched the Whitacre-Lauridsen concert with Yongfeng at Carnegie Hall: Lauridsen is ADORABLE. And he teaches at USC. I am totally going to stalk him the next time we're in SoCal
  • Dan watched Chicago

  • Ippudo with Belle and Kory
  • Shake Shack's Shack Stack ($8.60 for a burger... really.... In and Out has completely spoilt me)
  • Clinton Street Baking Company (meh. Plus their coffee sucks.)
  • Laduree macarons
  • Korean fried chicken with the NYU kids at Bon Chon- so good
  • A ridiculously yummy Japanese udon place that Brynna brought us to- I think it was Onya
  • An adorable brunch place in Hell's Kitchen with the best house coffee ever- for the life of me I can't find the listing on Yelp now. I'll update when I do but it was really yummy and in a really adorably tree-strewn neighbourhood. Edit thanks to Dan: it was Cafe Forant

Food in New York is really good but SO much more expensive than the Bay Area! Eating brunch out made me so grateful for Berkeley's La Note, Venus, Ann's Kitchen, and San Francisco's Tartine Bakery which are just heaps more affordable and so much more value-for-money for the kind of quality you get. I love brunch and it just makes me sad that brunch in New York is so overpriced.

That being said, on our way back from D.C. to New York on April Fool's Day, Dan got his internship offer over the phone. And on our flight back from New York to California I got my call with my internship offer. Therefore- a highly, highly successful East Coast Spring Break adventure! I hope you're having a good weekend; I have a ton of reading to get done and it's so dreary out right now so I'm just going to spend the entire day snuggled in my bed. Yay.

April 14, 2012

Happy things this week

This week has really flown by! Aided in part by the 12h nap I took last night I'm sure (I slept through 3 alarms- that must be a record). Some happy things this week:

1. Egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco
Dan and I went on a dimsum date this morning (at Great Eastern, in SF Chinatown- sooo good!!) and we stopped by this bakery on the way home. I bought 6 at 2pm. This was all that remained at 6pm.

2. I figured out that I could make s'mores in my microwave!!
S'mores = honey graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. I used my Ghiradelli baking semi-sweet chips this time but I usually use a block of Hershey's. Our oven is finnicky and I've never mastered the art of using it, but in freshman summer we made s'mores almost everyday and with summer fast approaching I was really craving some s'more goodness. I popped these babies in the microwave for 1 minute and the marshmallow literally exploded. It was gooey goodness, and even though the crackers don't get nice and toasted the way they do in the oven, this is still pretty much perfection in my mouth.

3. I bought this dress when I went shopping with Joan a couple of weeks ago at Cotton On
It has a flirty skirt, peter pan collar, and polka dots. Hands down my favourite dress right now and I finally could wear it again today because it was sunny out!

4. The gorgeous necklace I got at the Eastern Market in Washington D.C.
Funny story: I spotted this immediately when we entered the market, but it was $29, so I decided to play "wait and see" while I wandered around the rest of the market just to put some distance between us so I could think rationally. We walk nearly to the end and I'm like I NEED TO HAVE THAT NECKLACE. Dan and I SPRINT back to the store and RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY AGHAST EYES, this other lady picks it up and PURCHASES IT IMMEDIATELY.

That silence was the sound of my heart breaking. I quiveringly ask the seller, "do you have another piece?" Of course he doesn't. So I walk off, all sad-like and annoyed-like because I had totally seen that necklace first!! BUT. As we walk, all disappointed and sad, to the end of the market to get food, I see another stall at another, separate part of the market selling THE EXACT SAME GOODS. My hands are shaking, I am so excited, and then I see this necklace! Again! In all its full orange-purple crazy glory! And I don't even stop, not for a moment, and it never leaves my hands again until I'm back in the car, still clutching my necklace (and I also bought a pair of earrings to calm my erratically-beating heart).

So that is the dramatic story of this necklace, and why I love it so dearly. I wore it out last Wednesday and I got a ton of compliments-- now it sits slung on my notice board at my desk and every time I look at it, I get just a tiny bit happier with my day. Heh.

5. The biggest news of all-- I'm moving to New York this summer!!!!
I accepted a buying internship with Barneys New York early this week- hence the happy tweets and excited Facebook posts. There were SO many things against me getting this job (you have no idea how down I was after my interview because I really thought I had screwed it up), but God and karma totally conspired and I am so thrilled to be moving across the country in a month. I still can't believe it, because everything fell into place so effortlessly:

  • I got someone to sublet my apartment (she just confirmed!)
  • I was afraid I would be alone- and when I posted on Facebook that I would be interning in New York this summer, everyone started telling me that they were too! So I'm living with Kim, one of my good intern friends from last summer at the Esplanade, and there are tons of Singaporeans interning there too. This was my (and my mom's) biggest fear, and God totally provided!
  • I needed to find an apartment in New York that was fairly affordable- and Kim and I have a whole range of (safe, clean) options to choose from, we just need to wait for everyone to confirm with us
The only snag is that it's unpaid (there's a tiny stipend), and I have no idea how I'm going to live in the city without some income over the summer. But I reached out to a ton of people and I'll be checking on Craigslist, and I truly believe that God wants me in New York this summer and that He will provide!!!! This is really my dream internship, and I feel so incredibly blessed that everyone has been so supportive of me living my dream in the city.

So many things to be thankful about- the list really goes on! But, more than ever, I really believe that the world works out the way it should and that everything's just a matter of holding on and keeping faith.

All images by me, except for the last one, from Arizona Foothills Magazine

April 12, 2012

Thursday music: poetry

Today's Thursday Music is basically one giant song with 5 parts: Eric Whitacre's The City and the Sea. I first heard this live at the Whitacre-Lauridsen concert that I attended in New York over spring break with Yongfeng and I was really quite blown away (even though the choirs weren't very good). e e cummings is one of my favourite poets, and I really enjoyed the way that Whitacre interpreted the text to music.

1. i walked the boulevard

i walked the boulevard

i saw a dirty child
skating on noisy wheels of joy
pathetic dress fluttering

behind her a mothermonster
with red grumbling face
cluttered in pursuit
pleasantly elephantine

while nearby the father
a thick cheerful man
with majestic bulbous lips
and forlorn piggish hands

joked to a girlish whore
with busy rhythmic mouth
and silly purple eyelids
of how she was with child

2. the moon is hiding in her hair

the moon is hiding in
her hair.
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down.

cover her briefness in singing
close her with intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,

upon her
the rain’s
pearls singly-whispering.

3. maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

4. as is the sea marvelous

as is the sea marvelous
from god’s
hands which sent her
forth to sleep upon the world

and the earth withers
the moon crumbles
one by one
stars flutter into dust

but the sea
does not change
and she goes forth out of hands and
she returns into hands
and is with sleep…

the breaking
of your
my lips

5. little man in a hurry

little man
(in a hurry
full of an
important worry)
halt stop forget relax


(little child
who have tried
who have failed
who have cried)
lie bravely down


big rain
big snow
big sun
bug moon
(enter us)

This week has been a little draining (understatement). Being sick in a rainy Berkeley, not being able to eat anything and being stuck in this fog of confusion all the time is a little disconcerting. I haven't been this sick in a long time, and all my usual remedies (manuka honey, strepsils, Clarinase) haven't been working! I blame it on the weather and the stress of end-of-semester projects. But oh well. I really shouldn't complain because I am so incredibly blessed :) More to come, I promise!

April 11, 2012

Rest needed

I was taking some photos of my apartment today for a potential subletter, and I just wanted to share a little peek into my apartment for any friends interested. I think this is one of my favourite pictures of my room (even though you can totally see my messiness and stacks of books!)

Oh rumpled comforter and bright beaming windows, I'm going to miss you when I'm gone. I was going to go to work today (It's my strict spend less earn more policy before the summer), but I just felt incredibly overwhelmed by all the stuff I needed to get done-- it seriously never ends! So I decided to stay home for a leisurely morning of photo taking, emailing, choosing classes, and cleaning.

This morning was really good for me though. I've been really stressing out about the paper due tomorrow and haven't really been able to write. Not needing to go into work today and being able to schlep around in my PJs crossing little things off my to-do list has been awesome. I can't believe I'm actually saying this but-- you need a little break from your schedule once in a while!

April 10, 2012

Spring Break 2: Washington D.C.

We went to D.C. expecting to see explosions of cherry blossoms and to frolick in pink fields under the bright, bright sky... sadly, this vision did not come to pass.

But we did manage to catch a kite flying festival at the Washington Memorial! Look how pretty it is all Instagrammed and with giant kites surrounding it :)

So because our plans were thwarted by NATURE and we'd already been to D.C. once and had trawled the monuments sufficiently, we decided to go to the Eastern Market for lunch and then take a day trip out to George Washington's crib (more appropriately known as the Mount Vernon estate).

1. The Eastern Market doesn't really have any cooked food. There's a couple of food stalls inside the main building and it is surrounded by restaurants and cute cafes, but it's basically a craft/ farmers' market so I had to recalibrate my expectations. I did so by buying a gorgeous new necklace and a pair of new earrings ;)

2. D.C. road signs are ridiculous. Firstly, it is impossible to turn onto 15th street from 14th street (they are parallel) without driving for 15 minutes. Secondly, they are tiny and barely mark major exits. We got lost 5 times on our way to Mount Vernon and I was terrified we would be trapped in the dangerous wilderness of Virginia for the rest of time!!

But we made it. To wit:

His house is pretty big! We also visited his tomb (2nd picture), hung out with his slave and granddaughter (3rd), and chilled in his giant backyard overlooking the Potomac River (4th). Fun fact: the outside of his house isn't actually made from cut stone, but wood cut and painted/ sanded to look like stone! Sneaky.

His beautifully tended gardens- George Washington was apparently a great farmer and loved farming more than anything. He also had a veritable zoo on his grounds, which included hogs, sheep, and these vicious looking bulls.

Also, I am so terribly awkward in front of the camera! I am an abomination to my Asian roots. And that last picture- Daniel's deep thoughts about symmetrical French hedges. Happy Tuesday!

April 9, 2012

Spring Break 1: Philly!

Spring Break: 3 cities, 2 kids, 1 epic adventure!

Our first stop was really New York, but we only blipped in for a day for interviews, me drooling in the Barneys Madison Avenue store, meeting up with Belle and Kory for Ippudo, and the Knicks game. #nbd More later though, when I conglomerate the pictures from the 2 other days we spent in New York! But first: Philadelphia.

Philly is such a fascinating city. They have these amazingly well-preserved historical buildings: we visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where they signed the Declaration of Independence), hung out with Ben Franklin at his grave, met Betsy Ross (the seamstress of the first American flag), and also managed to catch a Rachael Yamagata concert at North Star bar (MINDBLOWING)

Betsy Ross and the first American flag! She was adorable, I loved her. Plus she also showed us how to do some nifty origami to create a 5 pointed star in 3 scissor snips (this is the reason why the stars on the flag have 5 points instead of 6, Washington's original design!)

The graveyard where we hung out with Benjamin Franklin and 4 other signers of the Declaration of Independence, the outside of Betsy Ross' house. Liberty Bell in heavy silhouette and Independence Hall + a cool random building.
Also the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed- way greener than I expected. Also a lot smaller than I thought it would be!

The always-charming Rachael Yamagata, and Dan and I at the Love statue :)

We basically just walked around and walked into any vaguely interesting historical building. We also went to the Reading Terminal Market for lunch- I HIGHLY recommend this. It was SO delicious! Plus it was really interesting interacting with the Pennsylvanian Dutch (Amish). Their world seems so different from ours with such deeply entrenched, different values- I really admire how they've resisted worldliness. 

It was also so great meeting up with Joseph, Yongfeng, and Shu-en and touring Penn (unfortunately I was remiss in capturing pictorial evidence of this meeting!!)- it was just really nice to be around old friends in their new lives.

More to come! Happy Monday!

April 8, 2012

Easter people

There's a lot of hype about Christmas, but to me the truest expression of God's love for us is manifested during the Holy Week. On Good Friday I went to a tenebrae service, and it was so incredibly moving. When all the lights went off to symbolize Jesus' death, emptiness, and aloneness in the tomb, it just shocked me back into a realization of the incredible sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

I don't usually talk about faith on my blog, mainly because I have been very distant from God in my time at college. I know that the fault lies squarely on my shoulders because I have been incredibly lazy and passive about reaching out to a new church group, but even through it all, God has been so very very faithful. When I think of what God has given us with Jesus, I think not just the tangible gift of life after death, but fearlessness in life. It's hope-- blind faith in the impossible that a man can rise from the dead. That our sins can be obliterated through the sacrifice of a willing man. That a person can live life without having the heavy weight of worry on her heart.

This Easter, I really want to embrace that. I read a quote online that really struck me:
"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song" Pope John Paul II
And it is so very true, even though it is so very hard to enact in reality. So for the rest of the semester--I CHOOSE to be an Easter person. I choose joy, peace and thankfulness over bitterness, disappointment, and frustration. Because those are the gifts that God has given us through Jesus, and there's no reason why we should not accept them.

Happy Easter :)

April 5, 2012

Pick me up

Since getting back from Spring break (3 days ago!), I've been having days that are just so insanely packed--I've been running around Berkeley and San Francisco rushing from appointment to meeting, and it's controlled madness to some extent. I know I'll burn out if I continue this crazy 9am-9pm schedule, but I've been motivating myself with these handy pick-me-ups:

In the morning before leaving for the day

[1] Getting dressed in my mint pants! Or, let's be honest, just looking at them hanging in my closet already makes me happier. I love the colour, the cut, the myriad of possibilities. I bought mine second hand from Crossroads, but the ones in this picture are from Topshop (another pair I like here)- I would definitely not wear my pants with that belt though, so please ignore that.

[2] Taking a shower with the Sabon Sweet Summer body scrub. This has changed my life. Changed my life, I'm telling you. This is better described as a kiwi mango scent (its alternative name), and I'm in LOVE. I got it when I was in New York, and I literally gasped out loud after I washed it off in the store because my hands felt so smooth and gorgeous! Dan tried the Gentleman scent (my second choice) and he kept grumbling that it was unmanly to have such soft hands. Now you know.

[3] Highlighting my cheeks with the Dior Shimmer Star Amber Diamond. This was one of the giant splurges when I was in Paris- I couldn't resist purchasing it when I was on Avenue des Champs-Élysées because I mean, Dior's French, and what better French souvenir than gorgeous makeup from France? Right? (Yes I know that you can purchase this also in the US at Sephora, but I'm trying to rationalise this purchase and I won't be impeded!!) It is so natural and makes me look like a functioning human being, so I will probably repurchase this for all time because that is how happy it makes me.

At night upon getting home

[4] Is there anything better than softly lit candles? Mine was $3 at Ikea and it has the most lovely apple scent. One day when I am no longer a poor college student (that day seems never to arrive), I will up the stakes with Diptyque or Jo Malone candles but until that happy day I will stick to my cheap scents from Ikea!

[5] Today after my exhausting day I got home and popped two of these babies into my mouth in under 5 minutes. I went a little insane at Ladurée in New York and purchased $40 worth of them, but their rose macarons are ridiculous. No regrets. Only a deep, keening sadness when my box finally runs out.

[6] Reading The Hunger Games, a.k.a. the most talked about books in the last month. I read the entire series over Spring break. Twice. The night before my interview in New York I stayed up until 3am reading the first book because I literally could not tear my eyes off the page. It's the perfect blend of great writing and easy adventure that has made it my loyal companion for the past 3 nights after a long day.

How did Spring break pass by so quickly?? It was such a good break though, I definitely would not have survived these past 12 hour days without those really relaxing couple of days. Only wish it were longer- but then again I know my workaholic self would get bored and freak out if it were.

April 4, 2012

Pastels and Spring

For some reason (maybe because I'm constantly up to date through blog surfing + Twitter), I feel extremely influenced by the trends this season: pastels (MINT PANTS. I am so glad you are mine), pops of neon, coral nails and lipstick. Sometimes I feel so terribly unfashionable because I have this ideal image of what I want my outfit to look like but I never seem to get there because of the pieces in my closet- drives me insane and makes dressing up less fun than it should be. Anyone feel like that? How do you get past that (without shopping)? Before leaving for the east coast I cleaned out my closet and made $68 at Crossroads and $5 at Buffalo Exchange in store credit selling off my stuff so I am so ready to add pieces to my closet that I'll love: a faux fur vest, a polka dotted shirt. Which isn't technically shopping!! I'll put up a post on my selling experience in a bit.

But PASTELS. I have this nagging fear that I don't look as good in them as I hope to (darn pale Asian skin!) but I press on doggedly nonetheless! Ruche's lookbooks have always been a huge source of inspiration for me, but the recent Spring 2012 lookbook completely blew my mind:

The handmade elements! Those KITES and GIANT FLOWERS. Wow. It reminds me of Tim Walker's photography (I am unashamed to say that I bought Vogue's April issue based solely on some images I saw online of his shoot at the Ritz Paris with Kate Moss).

So basically I just wrote an entire blog post to squeal about my love for pastels and Ruche lookbooks. I swear I'm more substantively intellectual in real life (though I fear I might be lying to myself!)

Photography by Elizabeth Messina, images from Ruche via M Loves M