Archive for August 2013

Eye Candy : Kim So Yeon for Elle

August 30, 2013

I really like the sweet simplicity of this pretty Elle Korea editorial featuring Kim So Yeon. The actress who is currently appearing as a prosecutor in Two Weeks went back to a shorter coif for the drama. The cropped length was so striking the first time she cut it to play a North Korean spy in IRIS as well. I actually took a picture of that hairstyle to my stylist because I loved it so much. She's a fantastic actress who brings a great deal of emotional depth to her roles and having watched her on a few variety shows, she seems genuinely humble and down to earth in real life which is always refreshing. And she has such good taste as well since she revealed that she would choose T.O.P from Big Bang as her partner if she were to appear on the fake marriage show We Got Married. I'd personally love to see her make an appearance on Running Man.

Rena's Fab Bag & A Blog Makeover

August 28, 2013

Rena has a pretty amazing wardrobe. That's why she gets her own fashion posts. I mean she even has her own version of an Herm├Ęs Ostrich Birkin bag. Isn't it totally fabulous? Considering it's just 2 inches long, the detailing is quite impressive. This bag was part of the Re-Ment Department Store series and came with a comb and mirror, an umbrella, a gift box and shopping bag. I paid $20 for it on eBay which sounds like a lot but given that this is one of the harder to find sets and I've seen it selling for upwards of $40 these days, I'm glad I picked it up when I did. And it still costs tens of thousands less than the real thing. I'll try to do a full post on this entire outfit soon. The Chanel inspired suit Rena is wearing here is one of my favorites.

Speaking of fabulous bags, my friend, the wonderfully talented  Mary Jo Matsumoto is having a 40% off flash sale now through Friday on a selection of her bags, accessories and nail polishes. This is a rare treat so do check it out! And she ships internationally.

The blog went through a little makeover. I just wanted to refresh and streamline the look abit. I actually sketched out the design changes awhile ago and finally just got around to implementing them. Rena & Ian now have their own page in case you've missed any of their posts and I made a page for my Etsy Shop. I also finally have a proper About page.

Dine Out : Umami Burger

August 26, 2013

West Coast favorite Umami Burger recently opened their first NYC location in the West Village and we were there on the first day. I didn't exactly plan it that way but we happened to have some business in the area and decided to drop by for lunch. Hubster might like burgers or something. There was already a small line when we arrived just before noon and we waited over 20 minutes to get in even though the place was pretty much empty. This was part of some sort of PR move for hype building, I guess. I opted for the signature Umami Burger which is topped with shitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, a parmesan crisp and special umami ketchup. It was nice to have the option get it bun-less which I did. Hubster ordered the Manly Burger that's made with beer cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion strings and bacon lardon. My burger tasted pretty good even though it fell apart into ground meat bits by the second bite. I don't normally care for ketchup but the umami (Japanese word meaning pleasant savory taste) was to my liking. Hubster's burger might've been decent if it hadn't become inedibly salty before he was even halfway through it. Fortunately our sides of cheesy tots and sweet potato fries were better. The service was friendly enough but scattered which was puzzling since the dining room was nowhere near full and they were quite adequately staffed. My burger came out on a bun even though I ordered it without and they weren't exactly apologetic about it either and then someone came and set the other side of the table next to us while we were eating and returned to remove it a few minutes later. Our waitress was borderline pushy with the up-selling which was annoying. Both the food and experience were a disappointment and considering our tab was almost $50 with tip, we expected better. Needless to say, we don't buy the hype and have no plans to return. Shake Shack really is so much better and costs way less too. I recently tried their new fresh cut fries and they're fantastic! I hope they'll make their way downtown soon.

Umami Burger
432 Sixth Avenue (9th &10th)
New York City
212.677.8626
$ - $$

Eye Candy : Choi Jin Hyuk for Marie Claire

August 23, 2013

Choi Jin Hyuk is having a really good year. The actor, who's been enjoying a huge surge in popularity lately thanks to his strong performance as Lee Seung Gi's gumiho father in the drama Gu Family Book, recently signed with Jung Woo Sung's agency. He also won a role in his new boss's upcoming film, God's Trick and will be appearing in the highly anticipated drama Heirs alongside Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye. And then there are his various magazine pictorial appearances. My favorite of these is the most recent in Marie Claire Korea in which he is cast as "The Romance Man" in a special wedding feature photographed by Jono Lee and styled by Kim Hye Jung. He models tuxedos by Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Gucci and Michael Bastian. What's not to like about a dashing man in formal wear rocking a bow tie? 

Shoe Crush : Stuart Weitzman Cindy

August 21, 2013

These clear Stuart Weitzman Cindy pumps with sparkly crystal embellished toes and lucite heels are so very pretty. One could totally be a real life Cinderella in these modern day glass slippers!

Given my ankle issues, I won't be wearing heels anytime soon. Thank you so much to everyone who offered their support about this on my last post! The prognosis was pretty much what I expected. I was quite relieved when I saw my new brace. It's soft and can fit into most of my shoes. My doctor told me it's what he gives to most of his pro-athlete patients. It does feels like ankle jail compared to the last one but keeps everything supported and in place which is the point. I have to wear it for at least 6 weeks and I'll start physical therapy in 2 weeks.

Fashion : Liu Wen for J. Crew Fall 2013

August 19, 2013

I happen to love summer so I don't want to to think about the fact that fall is just around the corner but the J. Crew Fall 2013 look book starring Liu Wen has me excited about fall fashion. I'm a big fan of the brand's trademark modern classic aesthetic which features vivid colors, bold prints and fun textures and embellishments. I already purchased the mixed stitch Tippi sweater in the 4th photo and it will make it's way into my sweater lineup when the weather chills. It looks like some of these photos were taken in NYC's Chinatown. I distinctly recognize Pell Street in the 1st photo with the hair salon I go to in the background and Doyers Street in the last photo. Do you like J. Crew? Are you excited about fall fashions?

On a personal note, I'm going to see an ankle specialist this afternoon. The ankle injury I sustained earlier this year just keeps getting re-aggravated and hasn't healed properly. It's probably weakened since I've sprained it a few times in the past. I went for an MRI last week which revealed that all the ligaments are sprained and I also have a tendon tear. I've already been told I'm going to have to wear a protective brace and go for physical therapy but I hope the prognosis won't be much worse than that. I'm just glad I'm not dealing with the vertigo anymore. By comparison this isn't as bad at all.

Eye Candy : Shin Min Ah for Allure

August 16, 2013

Allure Korea marks it's 10th anniversary with 3 special covers featuring Shin Min Ah photographed by Hong Jang Hyun. I was utterly astounded and not in a good way when I learned that the Arang and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho actress is actually only the first Korean cover model in the Asian publication's history. Like really??!! I guess it saves them money to recycle US covers. Min Ah looks gorgeous with bold magenta lips which is not all that easy to pull off. This has to be one of the prettiest beauty editorials I've seen in awhile and she rocks all 3 concepts channelling sweet, playful and sultry with equal charm. Which is your favorite look? Mine is the one right below this jump.

Fashion : KSNY x Darcel

August 14, 2013


Cute collab alert! Kate Spade New York is in a New York state of mind for this playful limited edition collection that features the colorful graphics and whimsical icons of NYC artist Craig Redman. Check this &amp A with the artist to learn more about his inspirations and NY favorites. The fun cheeriness of these pieces really speaks to me and I would love to add the apple printed sneakers and New York ring to my closet. What do you think of this collection? Any items catching your eye?

Through My Lens : Recently

August 12, 2013

Some snaps of life recently. We had ourselves a little NYC staycation last week. We chilled out, went to the movies, shopped abit and ate our way around town. Our restaurant week lunch at The Dutch was included on this food tour along with Umami Burger which we went to on opening day. I'll be posting a review on that soon. Above is hubster and his Chuck Taylor's at Anthropologie in the meatpacking district after we had lunch at Old Homestead. Isn't that patterned floor fabulous?

Eye Candy : Lee Seung Gi for Esquire

August 9, 2013

Lee Seung Gi sheds his usual sweet boy next door image for a dose of masculine intensity in this Esquire Korea editorial appearing in the August 2013 issue. The singer/actor/MC possesses talent, looks and smarts but what has endeared him to me most are his sparkling manners and personality. Humility and kindness are very attractive qualities and so is dorkiness as far as I'm concerned. If you ever watched him in 1 Night 2 Days, you'd know what I was taking about. He flew to picturesque Waikiki, Hawaii for this photo shoot after wrapping up filming on Gu Family Book which I have not watched. He models fall fashions by Ferragamo like a pro though one would imagine it had to be rather hot under there in the Hawaiian heat. It's a really nice pictorial though I miss seeing his charming smile in it. I hope he'll work on another album this year. Return is still one of the most played songs on my iPod since it's release last November. And he actually sounds the same singing it live. That's attractive too.


Dine Out : The Dutch

August 7, 2013
 The Dutch Review, The Dutch Restaurant Review

We recently took advantage of Summer Restaurant Week in NYC with lunch at The Dutch. This buzzy Soho hotspot known for the comfort food options on their regional American menu is also run by chef Andrew Carmellini whose Locanda Verde, we really enjoyed earlier this year. The decor features white brick walls paired with dark wood and has a bistro meets tavern style feel. We were seated in the back dining room which is definitely the less noisy of the two with a view onto Prince Street. We were able to choose three dishes each from their regular menu. This is a plus since a number of restaurants tend to offer up non-representative prix-fixe RW menus. The portions were more than ample and the food was well seasoned and tasty. Beets and avocado are really wonderful together and the fries that came with hubster's burger had great flavor and nice crunch We enjoyed everything except for the cherry crisp dessert because it was too sour. The chocolate semifreddo which was rocky road flavored and paired with a marshmallow sauce made up for it though. The one downer was the air conditioning that was blowing up the banquette side seating. It was so arctic like that it was hard to enjoy our meal due to shivering. The service was friendly and adequate. We'll probably go back to try the fried chicken for which they're famous but I'll wait until it's cold so we don't have to deal with that A/C again.

131 Sullivan Street (Prince)
New York City
212.677.6200

Cook : Taiwanese Style Cucumber Salad Recipe

August 5, 2013

This is one of my absolute favorite summertime dishes because it's refreshingly delicious, healthy and super easy to make! It's great as a side dish or starter. I like it as an accompaniment to cold sesame noodles or kimbap. I adapted this recipe based on instructions from my MIL. It works best with Taiwanese cucumbers which are usually available in Asian markets during the summer months. I've also seen them marked as Japanese cucumbers. You can use Persian or kirby cucumbers if you can't find them. The key is to smash the cucumbers instead of cutting them cleanly because the uneven edges absorb the flavor much better.

Rena & Ian : Hello

August 2, 2013
On Ian: Ken hoodie // On Rena: Blythe sweatshirt

Rena and Ian just wanted to pop by and say hello cause it's been awhile. 
They've been taking it easy and enjoying their summer. 
They hope to be back appearing in some new posts soon. 
Until then here are some of their favorite posts in case you haven't seen them before.

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