Wednesday, September 26, 2012


vampy nails

I'm a vampy nail polish kind of girl, and Estee Lauder's Beyond Black collection is definitely right up my alley. I'm seriously craving the two colors singled out,  Blue Blood and Viper.  At $20 a bottle, they're a definite splurge, but I've heard that the colors are amazing and that the formula wears like iron.  

A new fall manicure is sometimes all the retail therapy you need.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

sweater weather

From top to bottom: J. Crew Tippi sweater in burgundy and purple, J. Crew classic merino long cardigan in forest green, Tippi sweater in blue, kelly green, gray, and black, Gap Studio sweater in white, ASOS "Bonjour" sweater in cream/black, J. Crew Factory "heart me" sweater in acorn/black

 I could not be any happier that the weather is finally getting cooler. Case in point, my sweater collection has grown exponentially these past two weeks, and particularly this weekend. The boyfriend and I strolled down Michigan Avenue and enjoyed a great fall weekend of good eats, good wine, and good shopping.

Enjoy the cooler weather!


Monday, September 24, 2012

four years

If you had told me that a reserved, uptight Asian girl from Chicago by way of the Philippines would meet an easy-going, fun-loving blue-eyed boy from Cambridge, Massachusetts in college, fall in love with him, and live out that romance for four years and going, I would have told you that that only happens in fairy tales.

Well, fairy tales do come true. I feel truly blessed to have James in my life. He makes me laugh, often understands me more than I understand myself, and is hands-down my best friend. To be able to kiss your best friend goodnight every night is the best gift in the world. 

Here's to four years, baby, and many more.

I love you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


potchi 'kendi'

I left the Philippines when I was 6, and I've gone back every 3-4 years in the almost 18 years since. There's something about eating this candy that brings me back to a time when I didn't know America existed and couldn't have imagined how my life would change the moment my plane landed in Los Angeles that June day. It's funny, really, since I don't remember eating this candy when I was still a local. I ate White Rabbit candies back then, because my uncle would slip them to me all the time, so much so that I had a huge cavity on my center right front tooth by the time I was 4. But they've stopped making White Rabbit candies soft and chewy (they're now rock hard, like Werther's hard caramel instead of the soft version), and I've moved on to potchi. I think in my effort to try to recapture my childhood beyond just vague images or dreams that rarely come, I was drawn to the individual sachet packaging of this candy, because it's exactly like the rows and rows of individual candy pieces you can buy at any corner store all over the Philippines for a peso or two. I like to think that I did go to those sari-saris often when I was younger with friends whose names and faces I can't recall.

 I eat this candy as much for nostalgia as taste, with the overwhelming sweetness balancing out the wistfulness for a time I barely remember and the homesickness for a place I haven't called home since.

 cavity, documented

my uncle, Arnold, of the White Rabbit/cavity infamy and me, circa 1992

Sunday, September 16, 2012

weekend snapshots

plaid + neon

 lazy Sunday: mani + manicure (I'm on an essie and butter LONDON kick)
 September = fall

 loving all shades of green this season

this kate spade note card I received in my package was so pretty, I had to stick it on my vanity mirror!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

girl crush (caroline issa)

 via J. Crew

I've mentioned Caroline Issa's style countless times on this blog before, but her recent ad campaign for J.Crew requires that I mention it again. Her unique features and knack for making memorably unique yet classic outfits make her my ultimate girl crush.

J.Crew 2013 S/S

J. Crew's new collection has me wanting badly. Some of my favorite looks:

All images via

Images #1, 3, 6, 8, and 10 are at the very top of my list. I love the great colors yet very clean, classic lines that somehow feel new all over again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012



It's 86 degrees today in Chicago, and while normally this would make me groan about another hot day in this summer of hot days, I'm relishing one last breath of summer before the weather cools down to the low seventies tomorrow and lower over the next few months.

And, as the new season begins, I'm going to start writing down goals that I have for the end of this year and the next:

1. lose 20 lbs. by Thanksgiving
2. work out 4-5 times a week
3. eat better
4. set a budget and stick to it
5. pay down debt by 25% by January

Here's to fall and the start of something new.

Friday, September 7, 2012

art deco

I braved Fashion's Night Out on Michigan Avenue last night to make some returns: the Gap oxblood jacket, the BR burgundy panama hat,the Zara flats, and the red biennial satchel, painter tee, and peach cabochon necklace all from J. Crew, all seen in this post. The jacket was too broad in the shoulders, and I realized that I wouldn't wear the hat enough to justify the cost, no matter how much I got it on sale. The Zara flats were half a size too big, not-yet-in-stores (I bought them online), and just didn't seem worth the price. The biennial satchel was a lovely red color, but it was too big, even with my love for big bags. I felt like I should be going on an overnight trip every time I carried it. Plus, it came out of the box smelling foul, as though the leather coloring process had gone awry. The painter tee was a boatneck, and predictably made me look even bustier than I already am. I know boatnecks will do this for me, but I have to try (and fail) and try (and fail) anyway. The peach cabochon necklace wasn't exactly a return - the boyfriend had bought it for me as an early anniversary gift, but then it went on sale for an extra 30% off online the day after we bought it in store, so I returned the in-store one and am awaiting my package in the mail. 

And while I was mostly good last night with returning and not purchasing, I succumbed to temptation at J.Crew, as is often the case. I saw this necklace on the display and had to try it on. I did, had them ring it up, and wore it out of the store. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

recent purchases (Labor Day weekend)

polyvore set here

one: J. Crew Sydney sandal  // two: Gap striped cardigan
three: J. Crew cabochon fan necklace in peach
four: BR Jenna pump // five: J. Crew painter boatneck striped tee  // six: J. Crew cafe capri 
seven: Gap academy blazer // eight: Cole Haan Victoria tote 
nine: Zara cowboy ballerinas // ten: BR Jocelyn wedge 
eleven: J. Crew factory shorts // twelve: J. Crew factory heart sweater
thirteen: J. Crew biennial satchel // fourteen: Shoemint sandal  // fifteen: BR panama hat 
sixteen: Garance Dore for Kate Spade iPhone case

I went a little crazy this Labor Day weekend. On the downside, my wallet is a lot lighter. On the upside, my closet is ready for fall, and then some. All items listed above were purchased for a minimum of 30% off the regular price, except for the Zara flats. Oftentimes, discounts were combined whenever possible. I'll probably return some items (a pair or two of shoes, one of the bags, maybe the hat) after I really assess what I need, but all the above was less than $750. I'd like to get that number down to $500.00. (I'm not counting the necklace and the Shoemint shoes since they were gifts from the boyfriend.)

I don't usually spend this much money, but fall is always when I add the most to my closet, and aside from the $120 spent in August, I really haven't gotten shopping since back in March, and I don't anticipate that I'll want or need to go shopping again until the holidays. 

What are recent additions in your closet?

Monday, September 3, 2012

the last Monday of summer (happy labor day)

The boyfriend and I are back from a quick trip to Wisconsin with my sister and her boyfriend. Needless to say, I came back with plenty of bags. ;). 

Wishing all of you a wonderful day off this Labor Day!