Archive for 2016

Happy Holidays

December 23, 2016
Holiday Cheer

Happy Holidays everyone! No matter what you celebrate, may this be a time of much joy and merriment for you. Have fun, stay warm and be safe! It really feels like every year goes by quicker than the last and this one has really flown by. Like any other year there were ups and some downs that were downright jarring. We shall see what the new year will bring.

I just want to take a moment to thank you for coming by and for sharing your thoughts with me! I'm ever so grateful for each and every one of you, for your presence here and for your comments. This will be my last post for 2016 but you can keep up with me on Instagram and I'll still be sharing tidbits of interest on Twitter. And let's connect again here on the other side of the new year!

Dine Out : The Clocktower

December 21, 2016
The Clocktower, The Clocktower Review, The Clocktower Restaurant Week

When I first read about The Clocktower, I was admittedly intrigued by it's location within Ian Schrager's Edition Hotel which just happens to be in the iconic Met Life Tower building. Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton is behind the menu of seasonal contemporary British style cuisine in the stately David Rockwell designed space which is apparently a close replication of Berners Tavern, a popular establishment inside London's Edition Hotel.  You have to go through the lobby of the hotel and up a spiral staircase to access the restaurant which has a decidedly traditional and clubby sensibility both in decor and atmosphere. The walls of the dining rooms as well as the bar and billiards room are all lined with classic framed photographs of various creative luminaries which create quite a point of visual interest while you're dining or waiting for your table.

Recent Loves

December 19, 2016
Beauty Review, Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme, Kicho Camellia Sleeping Pack, Beautycounter for Target Color Story Set,  DHC Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-On, Mirai Clinical Purifying & Deodorizing Body Wash

This is where I talk about some of the products I've been loving lately...

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

December 16, 2016
Kang So-Ra, Kang So-Ra Allure, Kang So-Ra 2016, Kang Sora

I honestly had a hard time narrowing down selections for this roundup because there have just been so many good editorials lately. Lots of pretty here... starting with this absolutely breathtaking image of Kang So-Ra who is virtually unrecognizeable with a floral headpiece that is TTDF! Everything is just so artful it is almost like looking at a painting at first glance. I bookended this post with another photo from the same pictorial which is just as beautiful in it's own right. So-Ra is probably best known for her work in the K-drama Misaeng and the film Sunny. Both were ensemble pieces which she managed to stand out which is saying something. These are two Korean productions I always recommend because of their quality. The award winning Sunny is getting apparently getting a US remake but given the hot mess track records of these types of remakes, just watch the original instead. It's an incredibly well made and heartwarming tale of friendship that takes place in two time periods. Sunny can be streamed here on Viki.com.

Daniel Henney, Daniel Henney JLOOK October 2016, Daniel Henney 2016

Making Eyes With Lancome

December 14, 2016
Lancome, Lancome Review,  Lancome Influenster, Lancome Visionnaire Yeux Advanced Multi-Correcting Eye Balm,  Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover, Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara, Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil,  #LookMeInMyLashes

I was recently selected by Influenster to receive the Lancôme VoxBox. It came packed with a selection of some of Lancôme's best selling eye care and makeup products including the Visionnaire Yeux Advanced Multi-Correcting Eye BalmBi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover, Définicils High Definition Mascara, two Drama Liqui-Pencils along with a Le Sharpener.

Yadah Natural Cosmetics

December 12, 2016
Yadah Review, Yadah Oh My Sun Slush, Yadah All Day Cushion, Yadah Anti Trouble, Yadah Anti Trouble Bubble Cleanser, Yadah Anti-T Red Zero Spot Cream

I've often talked about how much I enjoy discovering new beauty brands. BB Cosmetic who turned me onto MakeRemake recently introduced me to Yadah and they sent along a few of the Korean beauty brand's latest product launches which can be conveniently purchased from Amazon and Amazon Prime at that. Pretty cool. The accessibility of K-beauty products has sure come a long way.


Yadah is a Hebrew word which means wisdom. Yadah is also the name of the impish little girl depicted on their packaging. The brand which was launched in 2009 offers a range of natural skincare and makeup products formulated with ECOCERT certified organic plant extracts; essential oils, floral water, barks and traditional herbs that work in perfect harmony with the skin. Their gentle yet effective formulas are hypoallergenic and 100% free from artificial coloring, parabens, preservatives, mineral oil, sulfates and animal extracts of any kind.  They use natural ingredients like native Korean organic eastern prickly pear (opuntia humifusa) which has anti-inflammatory benefits that soothe skin from stress. Other select natural ingredients include organic lemon and orange water, sage and rosemary. 

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for JLOOK

December 9, 2016
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook Lotte Duty Free,, Ji Chang Wook 2016, 지창욱, Ji Chang Wook Seven First Kisses

Even though this JLOOK editorial only consists of three photos, it may just be my favorite one featuring Ji Chang Wook this year. I just love how every image projects a different mood from pensive to dapper to playful. Both the styling and grooming are totally on point. Chang Wook recently signed on to be a celebrity spokesperson for Lotte Duty Free and the Asian duty free chain wasted no time in putting him on the cover of their K-Style Magazine. What a gorgeous cover model he makes! It's no secret that he is a big bias of mine and I have to live it up now since he is expected to enlist for his mandatory Korean military service some time next year. The handsome actor is currently appearing in the Lotte Duty Free mini web drama 7 First Kisses as a sexy secret agent. This star studded production also features other members of the Lotte family including Lee Jun Ki, Lee Jong Suk, Lee Min Ho, Park Hae Jin, Kai (EXO) and Taecyeon (2PM). The series will consist of 8 ten minute episodes which will be broadcast on Navercast. The fantasy drama tells the story of a young woman (Lee Cho Hee) who has never had a boyfriend. Thanks to a meeting with an angel (Choi Ji Woo) she gets to choose between seven handsome guys for her first kiss. The English subbed trailer is below. I couldn't care less about the rest of the cast but I will be tuning in for Chang Wook's episode.

How Retinol Can Transform Your Skin

December 7, 2016
How Retinol Can Transform Your Skin, Retinol for Better Skin, What is Retinol, The Power of Retinol, Using Retinol To Improve Skin, KarynG Retinol Renewing Serum Review, KarrynG

When transitioning my skincare for the cooler months, one type of product I always make sure to add is a retinol of some sort. I tend to cease usage during the summer because of the correlation between retinol and increased photosensitivity. While this is something that can be offset by attentive sunscreen application, I'd just rather not take any chances but I can think of no better addition to my routine to revitalize my skin at summer's end.

HA7X Multi-Molecular Hydrator Serum Review & Giveaway

December 5, 2016

HA7X Multi-Molecular Hydrator Serum, Reviv Serums HA7X Multi-Molecular Hydrator Serum, HA7X Multi-Molecular Hydrator Serum Review,  Dupe of SkinMedica HA 5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

I was first introduced to Reviv Serums when I reviewed their RevivLash Lash and Brow Stimulating Serum earlier this year. When I first tried the product I didn't see any real results after two weeks but after about a month, my lashes were noticeably thicker and longer. I was so pleased that when my tube ran out, I bought a second one which I'm using now. This positive experience definitely gave me a good impression of the brand so I was excited to try out their new HA7X Multi-Molecular Hydrator Serum.

Non-Laser Cosmetic Treatments To Consider

December 4, 2016

Those seeking to address certain signs of aging may lead to a quest for the most pain free and non-invasive options available. Most people including those who may have sensitive skin or low pain tolerance in particular may seek non-surgical methods and skin cream applications before looking into options requiring medical professionals and needles. While many achieve superior results with professional dermatologists using cosmetic laser equipment, there are a number of options that require fewer treatments and result in less discomfort as well.  Here we'll outline some of the laser treatments used by dermatologists along with available alternatives.

Holiday Gift Guide : For Him

December 2, 2016
Gift Guide, Gifts for Him, Gifts for Men, Gifts for Guys, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

When it comes to holiday gifts for guys, I like to keep it on the practical side with things that they will actually use instead of items that might just languish away in a closet.  Guys can be picky but sometimes they also don't know what they want or need. Tech is always a good bet or you can take this as an opportunity to get them something they wouldn't get themselves or nudge them to try something new. Just sayin'

1B&O PLAY A1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 
A sleek and portable speaker that also delivers on sound.
2. Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II
Style meets function in these chic headphones.
A elegant dock that would look great on any desk.
This offers a great way to try out a mix of different hair holds and finishes.
A USB chargeable shaver that is travel friendly and perfect to take on the go.
This 2 in 1 moisturizer is perfect for men who just can't be bothered with that extra step of eye cream.
Just a really good looking candle.
A decadent candy collection featuring dark chocolate, bacon and booze.
Hat always make good gifts.
Subtle pinstripes give this sweatshirt an air of refinement. I purchased this for my husband and it's super soft.
Socks are such an easy way for guys to have a little fun with their wardrobes.
Most guys could always use a smart looking shirt with a stylish print.
So practical and totally looks like Prada but at a fraction of the cost.
14. TOMS Shoes Full Grain Leather Men's Brogues
A fresh take on traditional oxfords. This gift also gives back since TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need with each purchase.

The lucky winner of the 3B Box giveaway is Mili! Congratulations!

Holiday Gift Guide : For Her

November 30, 2016
Gift Guide, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Ladies, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

Today's gift guide includes a selection chosen just for the ladies even those that might be hard to please. And maybe you might even find a few of these making it onto your Christmas Wish List. Personally I'm hoping for that sweater and body care trio. I can speak from experience that the Aveda set is lovely.

1. Michael Kors X FujiFilm Instax Camera
The Instax camera goes glam in gold.
2. Kate Spade NY Scallop Hinge Bangle Tracker
Probably the prettiest fitness tracker out there!
3. Rebecca Minkoff Power Tassel Bag Charm
Give your bag a touch of flair while charging your phone.
4. Grown Alchemist Body Trio
A set to pamper and treat the skin.
5. Aveda Feeling Balanced Is A Gift 
Give the gift of wellness with this set of pure essential oils to balance and heal the body and mind.
6. Slip Silk Pillowcase
A pillowcase crafted of the highest grade mulberry silk that helps you sleep your way to softer skin and smoother hair.
7. Ted Baker Hawleth Slipper
Pink, furry and fabulous!
8. TopShop Teddy Hooded Chevron Robe
Soft, comfy and perfect for lounging.
9. West Emory Two Sided Gold Vanity Mirror
Instant chic for a vanity or bathroom.
10. 'Sometimes All You Need Is A Billion Dollars' Ceramic Tray
A thought we've probably al had at one time or another.
13. Baublebar Oval Signet Ring
Signet rings are always classic and the personalization makes it more special.
12. H&M Fine Knit Cashmere Sweater
A ruffle detail makes this sweater anything but basic.
13. J. Crew Ribbed Hat with Pom Pom
Anything with a pom pom is just automatically more fun.
14. Kate Spade NY Ooh La La Makeup Crossbody Bag
The trompe l'oeil makeup effect is so fun and whimsical!

Holiday Gift Guide : Beauty

November 28, 2016
 Beauty Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

Beauty gifts are among some of my favorite types both to give and receive. They're ideal because there are so many categories from makeup brushes to high tech gadgets that range in price from the affordable to the luxe. There may be a few picks here that would be on my personal wish list as well.

1. Bobbi Brown Bellini Lip & Eye Palette
A gorgeous neutral eye and lip palette that is sure to be a hit.
2. Beauty Counter Color Sweep Blush Duo
A clean beauty duo that is just so pretty.
3. Labitotte Chateau Labiotte Wine Tint 
I've heard great things about these long lasting lip tints and the wine bottle theme/packaging is really fun and whimsical!
4. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
A total game changer when it comes to drying your hair! This was my one purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale and I'm already in love with it. Review to come.
5. La Mer Mini Miracles Duo
A lovely way to gift a little bit of luxe.
6. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
A personal favorite both for the luminous glow it imparts as well as the attractive bottle it comes in.
7. Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask
Clinically proven light therapy once only available in a dermatologist office is now offered in this in-home treatment mask.
8. Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream
A multi-benefit skin regeneration cream that harnesses the power of snail mucin which is one of the hottest K-beauty ingredients. This is a cruelty-free product.
9. Foreo Luna Play
A miniature and even more travel friendly version of the popular waterproof facial silicone cleansing device that channels T-Sonic pulsations for deep and gentle cleansing. I have a regular one which I switch out regularly with my Clarisonic.
10. Lano Lips Hands All Over
A 100% natural and cruelty free ointment made with pure Lanolin that mimics your skin's natural oils. These fruity strawberry and peach-flavored tubes intensely hydrate and soothe everything from chapped lips and broken cuticles to eczema and psoriasis.
11. Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Sheet Mask
Treat your face to ultra hydration and nutrition for instantly glowing, clear skin. This innovative mask is created with 100% real sea kelp, one of the most nutrient & mineral dense marine botanicals in the world.
12. Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish
A wonderful skin indulgence that leaves skin soft and hydrated with a light scent of coconut and rose petals.
13. Sonia Kashuk Cosmetic Brush Set
These would make a practical and graphic addition to any beauty too arsenal.
14. Laneige Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask
This mask smoothes and moisturizes and it smells like strawberry yogurt! Check out my full review!

Just a few days left on my 3B Box beauty giveaway! Enter here!



Holiday Gift Guide : Under $30

November 25, 2016
Under $30 Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

The holiday gifting season is almost upon us and I'm kicking off my holiday gift guide series with some luxe for less picks that prove that you don't have to spend a small fortune for a nice present because after all it's the thought that counts.

1. Dana's Bakery Variety Macaron Box
Who wouldn't want a colorful box of yummy macarons
2. Merona Polka Dot Zip Wallet
Such a fun design
3. Umbra Anigram Bunny Ring Holder
This bunny is both cute and functional
4. H&M Scented Candle
This candle looks like it costs much more not to mention it would look cute anywhere
5. kate spade new york Patio Floral Blush Acrylic Glasses
Some of the prettiest glasses I've seen in awhile
6. Matthew Williamson Fashion, Print & Coloring Book
One seriously stylish coloring book
7. The Laundress Fabric Fresh
Practical and luxe at the same time
8. CB2 Potted Succulent with Copper Pot
A soothing plant in a chic container
9. Knit Pom Pom Blanket
An adorable addition to any home
10. The Soap & Paper Factory Bouquet Shea Butter Hand Cream
Hand cream is something anyone could use and this comes in a gorgeous package too
11. H&M Tinted Carafe
A lovely way to dispense water or other beverages

Don't miss out on my 3B Box beauty giveaway! Enter here!

There Is Always Something To Be Thankful For

November 23, 2016

Well the unfathomable somehow happened and I think like most people in America, I'm still trying to wrap my head around what transpired during the election a few weeks ago as well as what the future holds.  Beyond my personal feelings, a wave of uncertainty, anxiety and fear is currently traversing our nation… What I say to that is that we shouldn't necessarily feel defeated and instead we need to be strong, to educate and inform ourselves, know our rights and continue standing up for what we believe in. Moving to Canada isn't the answer. You might make more of a difference by moving to a swing state instead. And consider signing this petition to end the Electoral College and adopt the National Popular Vote because if that were the case life would be quite different right now since Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote by over 2 million votes.

And now more than ever it's important to remember everything that's good in our lives and to be thankful for them.

Don't miss out on my 3B Box beauty giveaway! Enter here!

3B Beauty Box Giveaway & Unboxing

November 21, 2016
Beauty Giveaway, The 3B Box, 3B Beauty Box, 3B Beauty, Beauty Beyond Borders, Asian Beauty Box, Korean Beauty, Korean Skincare, Korean Beauty Box

The 3B Box has made some changes since my last unboxing post. The service has unveiled an online shop where people can now purchase full size versions of the samples in their monthly 3B Box along with a selection of limited edition boxes. They also made some price changes as of last month. The monthly price has gone up from $12 to $15 for new members. There are now 6 and 12 month subscription plans at $84 ($14/month) and $144 ($12/month) respectively. All subscription boxes will continue to ship for free. The old pricing has been grandfathered in for existing subscription members and the company has made a guarantee not to make any plan or service changes for two years.

3B which stands for Beauty Beyond Borders is a monthly beauty subscription box that curates some of the best skincare products from Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Each box contains 4 - 5 deluxe samples. I would say that 3B is like an Asian beauty version of Birchbox or Ipsy. 3B is currently a US based subscription service. This box is ideal for anyone interested in trying out Asian beauty products or can't access them easily.  As of right now, they only ship to the US. Learn more about the 3B Box subscription.

Dine Out : Din Tai Fung

November 18, 2016
Din Tai Fung Seattle, Din Tai Fung, Din Tai Fung Review, Din Tai Fung Restaurant,, Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao, 鼎泰豐

Confession: almost as soon as we booked our Seattle vacation, we started a list of places we wanted to dine at and Din Tai Fung was at the top. This Taiwan based chain is known for their 小笼包 xiaolongbao (steamed soup filled dumplings).  I should mention that xiaolongbao did not originate from Taiwan but from Shanghai, China. That's neither here nor there for the purposes of this review. Just putting it out there as a statement of fact.

There are currently two, soon to be three locations of Din Tai Fung in Seattle. We visited the one in University Village which is an upscale open air shopping center located near the University of Washington campus. We heard about the crowds and the place was already buzzing with people when we arrived at 11:15. This was on a weekday just 15 minutes after they had opened. The restaurant is situated on the 2nd floor in a building just inside the entrance. It is an airy space with a sit down bar area in the front and a window through which you can watch the dumplings deftly being made right by the entrance. The decor is simple and casual with wooden tables and chairs. Bamboo steamer baskets adorn the walls. You're given a sheet to tick off the items you want. Along with dumplings, the menu has a selection of noodles, rice, soups, vegetables, Chinese style desserts and teas.

We opted for the classic juicy pork soup dumplings. At this location, they're also available in pork and crab and truffle and pork varieties. They must have these ready to go because the soup dumplings arrived at our table within minutes of our order being taken. Judging by appearance, they looked beautifully crafted with delicate pleats. We both noted that they weren't steaming hot and cooled down really quickly. After all the hype, the taste was a bit of a letdown. The skin was thick and chewy and though tasty, there was a distinct lack of soup in the dumplings. We've eaten many soup dumplings and it's a unique experience. The basic criteria is a skin that is delicate and thin as possible without breaking, filled with a savory soup that explodes in your mouth when you bite into it and a filling which carries the flavor of the dumpling that is well seasoned, juicy and toothsome. At $10 for 10, these soup dumplings should've wowed and they just didn't do that for us.

Chilhuly Garden and Glass

November 16, 2016
Chihuly Glass House, Chilhuly Garden and Glass Museum, Chilhuly Glass Art, Chilhuly Garden and Glass Seattle, Chilhuly Miuseum

The first Chihuly art piece I ever saw was the Fiori Di Como, an awe inspiring glass sculpture displayed upon the ceiling in Bellagio’s lobby in Las Vegas. This is said to be one of his most famous works. Years later we spotted a few more pieces at Atlantis Paradise resort in the Bahamas which were equally as dazzling.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is a long term exhibition comprised of both indoor and outdoor installations located at the base of the Seattle Space Needle. The exhibition showcases the artist's staggering hand blown glass sculptures while also exploring the inspiration and influences behind his works. Dale Chihuly was first introduced to the glass blowing technique integral to his artistic process when while working at the Venini glass factory in Venice. Chihuly cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in 1971 which led in the development of glass as a fine art.  His work can currently be seen in more than 200 museum collections worldwide.

The exhibition space was smaller than I expected but it was well curated with a progressive flow. The presentation is divided into eleven sections including a theater where you can view a four minute short film about the artist. In viewing his work up close, I can only describe it as beautifully colorful, delicate and intricate at the same time. Particularly impressive were the Glass House,  a 40 foot glass and steel structure with a stunning 100 foot long suspended sculpture and the bold and vibrant Persian Ceiling which was simply mesmerizing.  I even captured my husband taking his own photos in there. Be sure to check out my Seattle Travel Diary to see the rest of our vacation!

Are you familiar with Dale Chihuly's art? What's catching your eye here?

Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style

November 14, 2016
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection Of Style,  Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style Exhibit, Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style at the Seattle Art Museum, Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style SAM

I had mentioned in my Seattle Travel Diary that one of the highlights of our Seattle vacation was the Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection Of Style exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. This exhibit produced in collaboration with the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent features highlights iconic fashion designer's illustrious 44 year career with a number of notable as well as some never before seen creations along with sketches from his stint at Christian Dior.

Yves Saint Laurent, undoubtedly one of the most influential fashion designers of all time is often credited with modernizing fashion for the way he was able to adapt his designs to accommodate the changing times. He landed a job at Christian Dior at age 19 and succeeded Christian Dior as artistic director in just two years. The silhouette inspired by Dior's New Look introduced in his first collection would later come to be known as the "trapeze dress." His latter collections would meet with less success and Saint Laurent was eventually fired in 1960.  He would go on to start his own legendary fashion house with Pierre Bergé where he continued to innovate through his designs until he retired in 2002. Saint Laurent passed away in 2008 but his legacy lives on through his enduring impact on fashion.

I really must thank my wonderful husband for patiently taking in this exhibit with me. We had some pretty good conversations about the styles and craftsmanship. He also made a point of taking lots of photos on his own because he knew I would be sharing the experience here and wanted to make sure I was covered. Yes I did use some of his photos here. Btw the new iPhone 7 does perform better in low light situations than the 6S. The color temperature also runs considerably warmer.

This exhibition is an incredible showcase of Yves Saint Laurent's life and work, detailing his creative process and influence. It was just as fascinating to see the Paper Doll Couture House he made as a teenager to the beautiful pieces from his final runway collection in 2002. Photos simply do not do the artistry of these creations justice so if you're in the area, go see them in person.

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection Of Style is on display at the Seattle Museum of Art through January 8, 2017. It will then travel to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. If you can't get to the exhibit, you can always check out the accompanying book of the same name. It will be going on my holiday wish list!

What do you think of this exhibition?

The lucky winner of my blog anniversary giveaway is Nicole A! Congratulations! Be sure to meet me back here next Monday for another fun beauty giveaway!

Eye Candy : Jin Goo for Cosmopolitan

November 11, 2016
Jin Goo, Jin Goo Cosmopolitan, Jin Goo  2016, 진구, Descendants of the Sun

While Descendants of the Sun may have catapulted Jin Goo into new heights of popularity for his solid performance as Major Seo Dae Young, the 36 year old actor has actually been in the business for 13 years. He made his debut back in 2003 in the Korean drama All In as the younger version of Lee Byung Hyun's character. His DOTS costar Song Hye Kyo was the leading lady of that drama and Han Ji Min portrayed her yoounger couterpart which I didn't quite understand when I watched it considering she and Hye Kyo were the same age and the latter still appeared more youthful even back then. I guess they had to do that to cover the actual 12 year age gap between the main leads. Jin Goo haa some memorable supporting roles in films like A Bittersweet Life and Dirty Carnival but his breakthrough came with Bong Joon Ho's Mother in 2009 which earned him two of Korea's most prestigious acting awards. That was an excellent film and he was definitely deserving. Jin Goo started getting lead roles after that but somehow he's always seemed to fall under the radar until the massive success of Descendants of the Sun. He is set to star in the upcoming MBC drama Night Light alongside Lee Yo Won (yay!) and UEE (blech!) as a chaebol who is caught up in a love triangle amidst a story of a power struggle fueled by greed. Even though I do like two of the leads, that plot is beyond basic and clichéd so it it's a solid pass for me. For now, lets just admire how fine he looks in this editorial for Cosmopolitan.  Just look at that chaming smile and that first outift is so suave! Jin Goo and his wife just welcomed their second son last week. Congratulations!

If you haven't watched Descendants of the Sun which I still highly recommend, you can now catch it on NetflixHulu and Dramafever as well as Viki. And here are 10 reasons why you should watch it.

Last call for my five year blogiversary with a beauty giveaway which ends tonight! Enter here!

Cosmopolitan Korea November 2016  //  Photographer: Choi Seung Kwang  //  Editor: Kim So Hui
Stylist: Kim Eun Jin  //  Makeup: Oh Yun Hui  //  Hair: Go Hun  //  Assistant: Yi So Mi

Seattle Travel Diary

November 9, 2016
Seattle, Seattle Travel Diary, Seattle Travel Guide, Seattle City Guide

Things were a little quiet around here while the hubster and I snuck out to Seattle, WA at the end of October for an extended long weekend. The weather in Seattle is always rainy and that was case during our visit. The rain was intermittent and on the light side and there would be patches of sun so it was all good. We noticed that most of time the locals didn't even bother with umbrellas. A jacket with a hood is definitely recommended if you're visiting. I found mine came quite in handy.  We wore sneakers for the trip and found that was actually a better option than boots since rainfall was spotty.

Seattle is in the Pacific timezone which is three hours behind the Eastern time zone which we were coming from. We had decided that we wouldn't shift our time clocks by much in an effort to combat jet lag and make it easier to adjust all around and it worked. We would go to bed by 10pm every night and get up at 7am, allowing for plenty of sleep which is always a big priority for me. Then we'd get an early start every day. By doing this we managed to avoid crowds wherever we visited and during mealtimes which is always a win.

Dine Out : Speedy Romeo

November 7, 2016
Speedy Romeo Review, Speedy Romeo Pizza, Speedy Romeo New York

The second location of Speedy Romeo was a new addition to the Lower East Side dining scene in the spring of this year. The restaurant's namesake is the prize racehorse of one of the owner's families. Speedy Romeo is known for it's Neapolitan style pizza, made in a hardwood fired Italian pizza oven along with a menu of a handful of restaurant classics. The place has a casual neighborhood vibe with exposed brick walls, bench seating and an open kitchen. We ordered the signature cheeseburger, a half pound Angus beef patty topped with Provel cheese (a blend of cheddar, swiss and provolone) and speedy sauce. The juicy and well cooked burger was complemented by the tasty flavor combination of the cheese and tangy sauce. This place takes a novel approach to pizza with unusual pies like the Paul's Boutique, a tribute to Katz's famous pastrami sandwich in pizza form. We chose The Dangerfield with pork veal meatballs, ricotta, béchamel and garlic chips. The thin crispy crust provided a nice balance to the hearty toppings which there was a good ratio of and it was delicious. A jar of pickled chillies is served alongside the pizza added another dimension of flavor. The service was friendly, laid back and good. There were more menu items that we'd like to return and try at another time.

Do you like pizza? What's your favorite topping?

I'm celebrating my five year blogiversary with a beauty giveaway! Enter here!

Speedy Romeo
63 Clinton Street
New York City
212.529.6300
$ - $$

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for GQ

November 4, 2016
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook 2016, Ji Chang Wook GQ,  지창욱, The K2

I may be biased but I think that Ji Chang Wook is the perfect model for the Calvin Klein Jeans FW 2016 collection featured in this GQ editorial. His boyish good looks match up really well with these sporty denim and outerwear. looks Who knew sportswear could be so smoldering and his hair is on point once again. What's more we get a peek at his abs which are even more sculpted than his gorgeous cheekbones. Chang Wook is the embodiment of a guy who is cute and sexy at the same time. I'm just in love with everything about the first pic... 

Have you heard about my blogiversary giveaway? The prize is a Kevyn Aucoin makeup palette. Enter here!

Current Mood

November 2, 2016


Listening... to Park Hyo Shin's Breath and Beautiful Tomorrow. What a voice.

Reading... Around the House and in the Garden by Dominique Browning. I came upon this book while cleaning and realized that I never finished reading it so I began again. It was given to me by a sales rep at my last job. It's a powerful narrative that draws on the how one's home can be used to heal the spirit.

Watching... This Is Us. We were a little late to jump on but we've been hooked ever since we started watching this NBC family drama. The hype is real! This show has so much heart and humor and the acting is actually good. It chronicles the lives of three people who all share the same birthday in the present day and it also jumps back to show how their childhoods have shaped who they are today.

Eating... lots of roasted vegetables. Fall vegetables are the best!

Drinking... La Croix Sparkling Water and totally getting why people are obsessed with this stuff. It's made with flavors derived from the natural fruit essence oils and contains no sugars or artificial flavors. My favorite flavor so far is Peach Pear and I'm slowly trying to work my way through them all.

Wearing... the new jacket that my husband bought me. It's so lightweight and toasty!

Loving... Love and Friendship. I finally watched this latest Jane Austen adaptation starring Kate Beckinsale on Amazon Prime. It was so refreshing and full of wit and humor.

Looking forward to... Chen Kun's return to drama. It was recently confirmed that he would be headlining the espionage thriller, The One Who Escapes 脱身者.

Rooting... for the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series. The Cubs may be the sentimental favorites because it's been so long since they took home a championship but I have no love for their GM or manager. And I would still root for former Yankee Andrew Miller as long as he's not playing against my Yankees. Great pitcher and class act. We couldn't be happier when the Indians knocked out the Toronto Blue Jays. They were the biggest betches in baseball this past season who don't play the game right. I've been watching baseball for many years and have strong opinions. Jose Bautista once followed me on Twitter to try to get me to follow him. I blocked him instead. Histrionics and bat flipping are not cool.

On my way... home from Seattle. We had so much fun there! Caught an amazing YSL exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum and we ate very well. Photos and a trip recap to come. I'll catch up with everyone when I'm back in NYC.

PSA: You can now watch Descendants of the Sun on NetflixHulu and Dramafever as well as Viki. And here are 10 Reasons why you should watch it. Someone recently told me that they wouldn't watch anything that wasn't in English and required reading subtitles. Frankly that's pretty lazy and ethnocentric.

I'm celebrating my five year blogiversary with a beauty giveaway! Enter here!

What's up with you?

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

October 31, 2016

A few highlights of this past month as seen on Instagram which serves as my unofficial food diary and love letter to NYC. I also post quick reviews here and there. As this year is drawing to an end, it seems like the months are going by quicker. We had a brief respite from fall but it's cool now and I just hope that it stays moderate for awhile before the winter weather arrives. I'm seriously not looking forward to it. For more, click on over to Instagram and do follow if you like what you see...

Do you know about my blogiversary giveaway? The prize is a Kevyn Aucoin makeup palette. Enter here!

  • Downtown Manhattan is so vibrant these days.
  • Fun times at the Vogue Magazine party celebrating the new Kit & Ace Oculus World Trade Showroom. You might have caught my Instagram stories on the event that included my OOTD.
  • A wave of Indian summer hit the city two weeks ago and it was glorious.
  • We love hot pot and we do it at home sometimes but it's a pain to set up. It's much easier to go out for it especially when we now have some great places in our neighborhood.
  • My go to fall lip colors. Read my mini review.
  • Kicking off stew season with galbi jjim inspired short rib and potato. I make Asian style stews and my secret is re-using my stew sauce.
  • Hanging out at Stuyvesant Square Park with the pretty light and cool looking ground.
  • The most amazing Niçoise salad from Maple, a delivery only food service.
  • Shopping my own closet and unearthed these shoes that I've only worn once.

A Kevyn Aucoin Palette Giveaway to Celebrate My Blog Anniversary

October 26, 2016

I'm thrilled that rolala loves is celebrating it's 5 year blog anniversary this month. I initially started this space to support my photography business but then it somehow grew into it's own entity and I'm still at it. Reaching this milestone has me feeling nostalgic as I look forward. I thought it was appropriate to refresh the space at this time and I hope you like the new layout as much as I do.  I wanted a design with a clean and modern aesthetic and intuitive navigation that somewhat reflected the spirit of the former look. And I think this may be my favorite version of my logo yet. Thanks to everyone who's already noticed and given me feedback on it!

Recent Loves

October 24, 2016
MD Sun Hydro Recovery Mask,  J.One Jelly Pack,  24/7 Touch Up Skin Perfecting Cream, Aveda Damage Remedy Split End Repair,   Real Techniques Bold Metals 300 Tapered Blush Brush,  RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek Illusive

You may notice things looking a little different around here today. rolala loves has gotten a makeover.  I'll talk more about that and the state of the blog on Wednesday. Also look out for a new giveaway then.

Now this is where I talk about some of the products I've been loving lately...

MD Sun Hydro Recovery Mask*
The rich formulation of this unique plant-derived biocellulose mask includes sodium hyaluronate and panthenol that deliver clinical grade emollients for intense hydration, skin resurfacing and anti-aging benefits. It also speeds skin recovery from facial treatments including laser and microdermabrasion. I used this mask during a time when my skin was acting up and I was pleased with the instant results. My skin was visibly calmed, plump and brightened with just one use. There was actually enough essence left over in the package that I was able to get one more mask out of it and my skin looked even better the second time. In case you're wondering, I didn't actually reuse the mask but I dropped in one of these sheets and sealed up the package and used it the next day.

Currently Coveting

October 21, 2016



Somehow my inclination towards nesting always seems to flip on whenever fall comes around and this month's wish list is all about home decor. What are you coveting lately?

1. Cool Stripe Lumbar Pillow
{This will be a stylish addition to our couch!}

2. Accent Table
{Love the sleek lines of this side table and it's such a bargain too.}

3. Peter Lindbergh: A Different Vision on Fashion Photography
{I collect photography books and Peter Lindbergh just happens to be one of my favorite photographers so this compendium is a must.}

4. Copper Phone
{This retro style phone totally reminds me of my childhood but ours didn't look as chic. Yes we still maintain a landline for emergencies.}

5. Diptyque Figuier Candle
{Been thinking about this luscious scent ever since I smelled it at the Diptyque store. Will have to pick up this candle after we finish our Jasmine one.}

6. Taylor Bud Vase
{Such an artful looking little vase.}

7. Nate Berkus Curved Slipper Chair
{This chair is just so pretty!}



Giorgio Armani Beauty, A Review

October 19, 2016
Armani Beauty Sì Eau de Parfum, Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Manifesto, Armani Beauty, Armani Beauty Review, Lip Manifesto, #SaySi

I was selected to receive a full sized bottle of Sì Eau de Parfum Intense and two Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro lip colors for review in a recent Influenster VoxBox. This was exciting since I happen to like the regular Armani Sì scent. I had also recently picked up a Lip Maestro on a whim and it's been one of my go to lip colors this fall.

ChocZero Is Sugarfree Chocolate That Tastes Good

October 17, 2016
ChocZero Chocolate, ChocZero Review, Sugarfree Chocolate, Low Carb Chocolate

I may not eat sugar or sweets but one occasional indulgence I allow myself is chocolate. While there have been ongoing debates about whether chocolate is actually good for your health, chocolate just tastes good and feels like a decadent treat. The flavonoids in chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels and vascular functions. Dark chocolate contains a higher proportion of flavanoids than milk chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate anyway but the problem is that most of them still contain sugar which has zero benefits so I consume them sparingly. Of course my interest was piqued when ChocZero reached out and asked if I want to try their chocolate.

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for Harper's Bazaar

October 14, 2016
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook 2016, Ji Chang Wook Harpers Bazaar, 지창욱, The K2

Compared to 2015, there seems to be a distinct lack of editorials featuring Ji Chang Wook this year. To make up for that, his smexiness is out in full force in this pictorial for Harper's Bazaar where he makes casually lounging around in a pair of crown emblazoned pajamas and a blazer look mighty fine and very cool at the same time. This one is so on point in terms of photography, styling  and grooming. My favorite outfit might just be that polka dotted pj type suit because of the swagger he is exuding in it. And the hair... his phenomenal head of hair always looks so much better when it's swept up and off that handsome face.

The 29 year old actor is currently lighting up television screens on Friday and Saturday nights as a former soldier turned bodyguard caught up in a web of political intrigue and revenge in the tvN drama The K2. Chang Wook is reportedly receiving over 90 million won (approximately $80,000) per episode which is even more than what Jeon Do Yeon made for The Good Wife, making him the highest paid actor ever in Korean cable history. I would imagine that they're paying for his immense popularity across Asia as well as all the action sequences required of him. I've only seen clips and they look even more intense than what he did in The Healer. The stunts must be taking their toll since he teased that this might be his last action series during the show's press conference. Chang Wook also talked about being raised by single mom in a recent interview. He felt terrible and helpless about how hard she had to work to raise him so his proudest moment came when he was able to pay off the family debt and buy her a house. His filial piety is so sweet. I'm not watching the K2 because neither the genre nor the lead actress Yoona appeal to me. I will probably watch this Harper's Bazaar interview video a few more times... he looks even better in motion and his voice is super swoony. My husband says the same thing about rice that Chang Wook does ha!

Bioderma Micellar Water H2O

October 12, 2016
Bioderma Review, Micellar Water, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Bioderma Hydrabio H2O, Bioderma Sebium H2O, Bioderma Crealine H2O

Micellar waters seem to having their moment in beauty lately and before the micellar water market became saturated there was Bioderma. In fact there was a time when Bioderma Sensibio H2O was the "it" micellar water and it still remains well established both as a innovator and longstanding favorite with one bottle of Sensibio H2O sold around the world every two seconds!

What is Micellar Water?

Micellar (pronounced my-sell-er) water is composed of purified soft water and mild surfactant oils. The suspended molecules form microscopic spheres called micelles, which draw out and dissolve dirt and oil when they come into contact with your skin. To use micellar water, you apply it to a cotton pad or cotton ball and swipe it across your skin to let it do it's thing. The micellar water will leave behind soft, cleansed and hydrated skin.

Korean Beauty Discoveries with YESSTYLE

October 10, 2016
Asian Beauty, K-beauty, Asian Beauty Box,YESSTYLE review Beauty Box Review,

Long before Asian beauty products were easy to get ahold of like they are these days, there was YesStyle. YesStyle.com was one of the first global online retailers to offer fashion, beauty and lifestyle products from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and more at competitive prices.

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

October 7, 2016
Han Chae Young, Han Chae Young Marie Claire, Han Chae Young 2016

It's been awhile since my last eye candy roundup. This edition will feature takes from some recent fall editorials. Han Chae Young is absolutely smoldering for Marie Claire. The gorgeous actress is currently one of the hosts of the beauty talk show Please Take Care of My Vanity. Song Hye Kyo recently reminisced about the 16th anniversary of Autumn In My Heart which is one of the dramas that started the Hallyu wave around the world and I was reminded that Han Chae Young also got her start in that show. She was the grown up version of the other baby who was switched at birth.

Dine Out : Cherche Midi

October 5, 2016
Cherche Midi Review, Cherche Midi NYC, Cherche Midi restaurant, Black Label Burger

Cherche Midi is an upscale eatery located on the corner of Houston and the Bowery that serves up a range of classic French fare. The bistro styled bar and dining room is decorated with an array of globe lights, subway tiles, red leather banquettes and antique mirrors that create a warm lived in and cozy ambiance. We decided to go during Restaurant Week when we saw that their famous Black Label Burger was on the menu. This burger which is supposed to one of the very best in NYC has been on our hit list for awhile. 

We started out with the salmon tartare and burrata with heirloom tomatoes. Both dishes were light and well balanced in flavor. The Black Label Burger is made from a special Pat LaFrieda blend of high quality dry aged ribeye, short rib, skirt steak, and brisket. It is simply topped with caramelized onions and served on a lightly toasted brioche bun accompanied with butter lettuce, tomato, pickles and a generous pile of crispy pommes frites on the side. This burger was juicy, succulent and loaded with rich meaty flavor. It was good enough on it's own that my husband and I both felt that the sweetness of the caramelized onions dialed down some of it's delicious umami. I don't see us paying $32 for a burger on the regular but it's definitely worth trying once if you're a fan of burgers at all. And to be included in a $42 three course prix fixe made it more worthwhile. I don't even know how we managed to fit in dessert after that burger but I did manage a few bites of the yogurt panna cotta which was very tangy and refreshing. Panna cotta is one of the few desserts I have a weakness for. The crȇpes suzette were also good. Even though there was a lag between our dinner and dessert courses, the service was extremely accommodating and attentive overall. This is a great date restaurant and the whole experience reminded me alot of the bistros in Le Marais that we were quite fond of the last time we visited Paris. 

Are you a fan of French food? How about burgers?

Cherche Midi
282 Bowery
New York City
212.226.3055
$$$ - $$$$

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

October 3, 2016

A few highlights of this past month as seen on Instagram which serves as my unofficial food diary and love letter to NYC. I also post quick reviews here and there. And just like that it's October! September was a great month. Leading through into the first week of autumn, it still felt like summer which was actually pretty wonderful. The cooler temperatures are settling in now. For more, click on over to Instagram and do follow if you like what you see.
  • New York may be known as an urban jungle but the many pocket parks in the city are perfect for a little respite from the daily hustle and bustle. This is one of my favorites and it just happens to be across the street from our apt.
  • Signs of fall... this vignette of leaves on the ground was just beckoning to be photographed.
  • Ice cream served in a taiyaki fish pastry cone sounds fun but this is a concept that requires flawless execution. I shared our experience at the newly opened Taiyaki NYC and it was not good. Don't believe the hype!
  • I know there's more advertising than editorial but I still enjoy leafing through the pages of the September issues.
  • New York I love you and probably just a little more every year when 9/11 rolls around. Never forget.
  • A few new acquisitions including an adorable pouch, the prettiest cushion compact and a luxe lip oil/balm.
  • The pizza at Marta was delicious!
  • RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile and RMS Living Luminizer are two beauty favorites that I recently repurchased.
  • The Beaux Arts facade of the Surrogate Court Building never fails to catch my eye when I walk by because it's so striking. That's also probably why it's appeared in countless film and television productions.

How Photo Walks Can Improve Your Photography

September 30, 2016
Girl on a Corner, Woman on Street, Street Photography, How To Take Better Photos, How to take a Photowalk, NYC Photography, Olympus Takes You There, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus Camera
“It is amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.”  ~ Louisa May Alcott

This post is sponsored by Olympus®. All thoughts are my own.

If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I enjoy taking photos of New York City. I'm really fortunate to live in such a vibrant city with an energy like no other and I want to share that with everyone. What you might not know is that the majority of those photos are totally spontaneous. I treat my excursions through the city like photo walks. I find it helps to actively engage my sense of observation and as well as fuel my inspiration. I believe that there is always something interesting to capture if you keep your eyes open. With that in mind, I'm going to share a few things that I do when I take my photo walks along with some of my favorite unplanned photos.

Caring For Your Skin Is Something You Should Do Everyday!

September 28, 2016

My daily skincare routine is something that I strive never to neglect. Sometimes I'll be running late or life will intervene with some obstacles, but it's something I always get round to. I love to try out new skin care treatments, so if they're a bargain buy thanks to Kohl's coupons I'll buy them for future use. Sometime I might just open a drawer and see all the skincare products I still haven't managed to use yet!

Sticking to a regular skincare routine is one of the best ways to avoid common skin issues and also delay the natural aging process which is something that all of us care about, even if we claim that we don't. We may not all have time for intensive skincare rituals, so here are a few things you can do everyday day to keep your skin looking healthy and avoid those wrinkles for as long as possible.

Currently Coveting

September 26, 2016
I've got transitional fashion and beauty on the brain with this month's wish list.

What are you coveting lately?

1. H&M Lace Dress
{Totally looks like it could be a Self Portrait dress but at a fraction of the price!}

2. Beautycounter Nourishing Facial Oil
{This popular natural beauty brand's limited edition collab with Target is here and this facial oil is one of the items I want along with this Purifying Charcoal Mask.}

3. House of Intuition Violet Water
{I'm all for expelling negative energy which this water is supposed to do. I think this'll be a nice addition to my weekly detox baths.}

4. Glossier Super Bounce
{This concentrated serum is a skin booster with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 that is supposed to plump and restore elasticity to the skin. Sounds good to me.}

5. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
{I just tried a sample of this cream and loved it. I want to purchase the full size when I finish up my current moisturizer.}

6. J. Crew Silk Pajama Top
{I think pajama style tops are so chic if they're styled right. This one comes in sumptuous burgundy with sky blue piping which is one of my favorite color combinations.}



Summer to Fall Transitional Fashion Trends

September 23, 2016

Buying clothes during this time of the year can be tricky. Designers have started phasing out their summer clothes for autumn and winter styles. And while you can usually find good closeout deals, it can be hard to know which warm weather styles are still worth the investment.

Clothing companies might be ready for the cold, but most of us are still stuck in the sweltering heat for the next month or so. If you're at a loss for what clothes to purchase during this transitional point in the year, take a look at a few of these styles that you can create using some new pieces in addition to those in your existing wardrobe.

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