Archive for March 2016

Dine Out : The Mercer Kitchen

March 30, 2016
Mercer Kitchen Review, The Mercer Kitchen New York

I dined at The Mercer Kitchen a number of years ago and it was a restaurant that I had always wanted to return to and I finally got around to it earlier this year. Located at the Mercer Hotel in Soho, this Jean-Georges Vongerichten establishment was quite the buzzy celebrity hotspot when it first opened in 1998 and for a number of years following. The swanky bi-level space designed by Christian Liaigre, features exposed brick walls, long banquettes, communal tables and a partially open kitchen which gives it a contemporary industrial feel. The market driven menu makes use of seasonal ingredients in dishes that range in style from American to French to Asian fusion. The last time I ate here we had the most amazing tuna with crispy sushi rice. I was disappointed that it wasn't on the menu anymore but they did have a version that was sashimi salmon with crispy sushi rice. This probably would've been delicious on it's own but the chipotle mayo really enhanced the flavors. We got the pizza with tender leeks, three cheese, prosciutto and black truffle and yukon potato soup with sweet onions, brussels sprouts and crisp chestnuts. The pizza was tasty but nothing special and there was barely a hint of black truffle. The soup had a nice mix of textures and flavors going on. For our entrées, we chose the buttermilk chicken milanese with endiive salad, honey mustard and crisp bacon and the crunchy roast skate with glazed mushrooms, green chili and mint. The chicken was definitely better seasoned and tastier than the skate which was crispy but bland. Since we were there during restaurant week, dessert was included in our meal but I honestly don't remember much or ate much of it since we were pretty stuffed by the time they arrived at our table. We got the almond cake with citrus sorbet and warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate cake was in the style of molten chocolate cakes. I've said this before but dessert is never a priority for me since I don't really eat sugar so it has to be something special to tempt me. Our service was somewhat friendly and mostly inattentive. There was a huge lapse in time between when they finally cleared our entrée plates to when dessert came out and this wasn't even acknowledged by the waitstaff. At most fine dining establishments, they would at least apologize for the wait. We also had to wait almost 10 minutes to be seated and caught an attitude from the hostess when we didn't want to sit in the dark corner in the recesses of the dining room. Not cool and not really impressed with the subpar service and underwhelming food.

The Mercer Kitchen

99 Prince Street
New York City
212.966.5454
$$- $$$ 

10 Reasons to Watch Descendants Of The Sun

March 28, 2016
Reasons to Watch Descendants Of The Sun, Descendants Of The Sun Korean Drama, Descendants Of The Sun Poster, Where to watch Descendants of the Sun

Those of you who know me, know that I'm a big fan of Korean dramas. It's been awhile since I've really found a show that has really captivated me and I'm currently totally reveling in Descendants of the Sun 태양의후예. And I'm not the only one since this show become a blockbuster success and total global sensation, breaking records for viewership in Korea and already reaching over 1.1 billion views on the Chinese cable service iQiyi. The drama which reportedly cost 11 million dollars to produce has already broke even with broadcast rights sold to China and Japan for $250,000 and $100,000 per episode, respectively. The 16 episode series is also being being exported to 25 other countries including the US, England, France, Italy, Germany, Romania, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia, Austria, Finland, Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore. Descendants of the Sun is certainly establishing a precedence with it's astronomical popularity for Korean dramas worldwide. The BBC has even picked up on the phenomenon.

10 REASONS TO WATCH DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN


Descendants Of The Sun Korean Drama, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki, Reasons to Watch Descendants Of The Sun
Descendants Of The Sun Korean Drama, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki, Reasons to Watch Descendants Of The Sun

1. THE STORY
Descendants of the Sun centers around the love story between a volunteer surgical doctor and an elite special forces officer. There is an underlying theme that highlights humanity in the wake of peril woven throughout and the drama is a compelling mix of genres that balances drama, action, romance and comedy. It also refreshingly deviates from most of the standard K-drama tropes. I love my Korean dramas but they can be fairly formulaic. There are no love triangles, chaebols (wealthy heirs), birth secrets or convoluted revenge schemes and you actually see people at work. Kim Eun Sook who also wrote Secret Garden and Gentlemen's Dignity which I didn't care for and Heirs which I found unwatchable was one of the co-writers of this drama and I give her major props. There have been some really pleasant surprises and I'm never quite sure where the story is going to go from week to week. I will say that City Hall which she also wrote is one of my favorite dramas ever.

Eye Candy : Song Joong Ki for Elle

March 25, 2016
Song Joong Ki, Song Joong Ki Kolonsport, Descendants of the Sun, 송중기

I can't say that Song Joong Ki was ever one of my biases until now that is. He's a good actor who slayed it as aristocratic playboy Gu Yong Ha in Sungkyungkwan Scandal and he also pulled off a compelling performance without many words in A Werewolf Boy. Joong Ki was the pretty one with some fun and adorkable moments on Running Man but he never really stood out. The actor is soaring to new heights with Descendants of the Sun which I'm currently watching. A good deal of the drama's success has been attributed to his> captivating performance as Captain Yoo Shi Jin and there is even an phenomenon known as "Song Joong Ki Syndrome" for people who can't get enough of him. The Chinese government actually issued a warning since there have been serious marriage conflicts and even divorce in China due to jealousy on the husband's part due to their wives' love of Song Joong Ki. Some people have even undergone plastic surgery to look more like the actor. I fear I may have been afflicted as well but I'm not that far gone. I'm really more enamored with Yoo Daenim the character he plays more than the actor himself and my husband is aware of that. Joong Ki appeared in this Elle editorial last fall where he modeled a range of urbane and sporty KolonSport looks while he was in the midst of filming DOTS. At 30, he still looks like every bit like the charming boy next door, one who has a complexion to die for!

3B Beauty Box March Unboxing

March 23, 2016

3B Beauty is currently the only beauty subscription, I'm enrolled in. I got my first box last August and this is box I received for March 2016.

3B which stands for Beauty Beyond Borders is a beauty subscription box that makes Asian beauty products more accessible overseas. This is a monthly service that costs $12. Each box contains 4 -5 deluxe samples from a range of brands and the products are supposed to be "new or popular in Asia but hard to get your hands on". I would say that 3B is like an Asian beauty version of Birchbox or Ipsy. And even though it's delivered in a postal box, the products are actually contained within a mesh pouch. 3B is currently just a US based subscription service. This box is ideal for anyone interested in trying out Asian beauty products or can't access them easily. They have a waiting list for new subscribers which you can sign up for here.

Choix Makes It Easy To Try New Makeup

March 21, 2016
Choix, Choix Elite, Choix Beauty Box, Choix Review

If you've ever wished that you could bring the department store beauty counter home with you, I have the perfect subscription box for you! It's called Choix and they feature a a wide selection beauty products from high end and highly coveted beauty brands such as Chanel, Tom Ford, YSL, Guerlain, Cle de Peau Beaute, Giorgio Armani, etc...

Choix Elite, Choix Beauty Box, Choix Review

Choix (pronounced “shwaa”) means choice in French and this monthly beauty subscription service delivers luxury makeup samples right to your home. The Choix Elite subscription offers your choice of 5 sample products with free shipping for $20/month. You get to select your samples or you can choose to be surprised. The monthly charge includes 250 points, the equivalent of a $5 Choix store credit that can be stacked and accumulated to use towards product purchases. If you don't want to make a commitment, you can sample any and all products at any time in the Choix store for $5 each. Choix will give a $5 credit for each purchase that can be credited towards the purchase of the full–size product so there is no risk to try the service.

Eye Candy : Chun Woo Hee for Laura Mercier Spring 2016

March 18, 2016

Chun Woo Hee turns up the glamour in the Spring 2016 campaign for Laura Mercier's Velour Lovers Lipsticks, then flaunts her fresh faced beauty for the cosmetics line's Candlelight Glow Foundation. I'm not all that familiar with this 28 year old South Korean actress since the only thing I've seen her in was the movie The Beauty Inside where she was one of the many bodies that the main character wakes up in. She did share a nice chemistry with Han Hyo Joo there and the actresses recently reunited on the new film Love, Lies as childhood friends who both become gisaengs who turn into bitter rivals. Woo Hee's luminous skin and delicate features certainly make her the perfect face for these campaigns. As stunning as the lipstick visuals are, I'm awestruck by the main image for the foundation which is pure radiance and that nude lipstick she wears there is the one I'd most want to get my hands on. What do you think of these campaigns?

My Sunglasses Collection

March 16, 2016

I'm usually a less is more kind of girl but I do like having a small collection of certain types of accessories like scarves, mittens and sunglasses. I wear sunglasses pretty much every day I'm out both for sun and anti-aging protection. It's nice to have a few different pairs to coordinate with different types of outfits and degrees of sun intensity. My current collection consist of six pairs of sunglasses. I probably reach for the Ray Ban Jackie Ohh's since their classic styling goes with practically anything and the polarized lenses offer the best protection. The Marc by Marc Jacobs pair also gets alot of wear because I love how the blush color frames look with neutral outfits. Though I usually prefer oversized frames, the Classic Specs cat eye frames are part of my regular rotation. I find I tend to favor the frameless Coach ones the most when I'nm on vacation.

Now tell me about your favorite sunglasses!

Brands I Love : SU:M37

March 14, 2016
SU:M37, SUM37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, SUM37 Whote Award Bubble De Mask

I started using Asian beauty products a number of years ago. I wouldn't say that AB products are necessarily better or maybe I would but they happen to work well for my skin. I definitely do believe that they're more innovative and better address my skin concerns. At the moment, I estimate that about 75% of my current skincare routine consists of AB products and I wanted to start talking about some of them here beginning with the SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick and White Award Bubble De Mask which are two of my absolute favorites.

SUM37, SU:M37, SUM37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick,

SU:M37 is a luxury Korean brand owned by LG. Yes, the consumer electronics giant LG, under the umbrella of the company's personal care division. SU:M represents the Korean word for breath and 37 refers to the temperature of optimal fermentation. The SU:M37 skincare line features naturally fermented products that are free of fragrances, artificial colors and synthetic preservatives. In the fermentation process, microorganisms are used to break down proteins and other substances to increase the benefits and absorption of active ingredients. The fermentation process also produces additional antioxidants and amino acids along with enzymes byproducts which serve to break down the nutrients to smaller particles which can be more readily absorbed into the skin. The brand was once represented by Korean actress Han Hyo Joo and actress Lee Na Young is the current spokesperson.

Current Mood

March 11, 2016
Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki

Loving... the tease of Spring weather we've had in NYC this week. The temps have hit ver 70 degrees that past two days and it's been glorious.

Listening... to Busker Busker's Cherry Blossom Ending. It just feels right this time of year. I was reading that this song has earned an incredible 3.8 million dollars to date. 

Eating... this simple salad of organic avocado, black beans and kale. It's super easy and delicious. Bonus: it also makes my skin look really good.

Drinking... warm lemon water with a touch of turmeric. I drink lemon water every day anyway so I thought I'd try to amp up the benefits and get an extra anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory boost by adding turmeric. It definitely takes a little getting used to.

Watching and Totally Obsessed With... Korean drama Descendants of the Sun. It's a sweeping love story set in a fictional third world country about a volunteer surgical doctor and an elite special forces officer. These characters are brought to life by Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki respectively. They're both killing it with their performances and amazing chemistry and it doesn't hurt that they're impossibly gorgeous as well. I love the mix of action, drama and humor. Ah the feels at the intense way he gazes upon her... Greece serves as the fictional backdrop and the scenery is just breathtaking. Watch the trailer.

Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki
Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki
Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki
Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki

Peeking in on... Spring Training baseball. I know some people think baseball is boring but it's pretty much the only sport I follow and it's been fun to see my team, the Yankees back in action.

Wearing... shoes and sneakers instead of boots. I'm ready to put my boots away.

Washing... some of my cashmere sweaters. I'm feeling confident that it will stay fairly warm and I won't need them again until next winter.


What's up with you?

Ending with one more of Joong Ki just because he's so cute! Happy weekend!


Descendants of the Sun, Song Hye Kyo, Song Joong Ki

Photos: Soompi

Recent Loves

March 9, 2016

Somehow my recent loves posts have become thematic so this one can be considered the eye makeup edition. Either way, these are actual products I've been using that I really like and want to share with you all.

Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir Clinical Dark Circle Correcting Concealer

Currently Coveting

March 7, 2016

A few items currently on my wish list... 


I guess this would be the footwear edition. Comfort has always been a huge factor for me when choosing shoes because I actually do a good deal of walking in NYC and I don't like being hobbled by my footwear. I can't get enough of my sneakers cause nothing feels safer after recovering from a bad ankle injury.

What's your favorite type of shoe? And what are you coveting lately?

1. Shoes of Prey Glitter Bow Flat
{I can never resist a pretty pink shoe with glitter!}

2. Pixie Market Grey Suede Slip On Heels
{The glove heel is such an elegant and classically feminine shoe silhouette.}

3. Seychelles Lucky Penny Booties
{These would look great with jeans/pants or skirts/dresses and I love the weathered look.}

4. Loeffler Randall Callie Wedge Oxfords
{Oxfords are one of the "it" shoes of spring and this platformed heel style looks both modern and chic.}

5. Nike AF-1 Ultra Force Sneakers
{These are some cool looking high tops.}

6. Nike Air Max Thea Running Shoes
{Silver trainers can be so sleek and minimalist.}




Eye Candy : The Photography of Sun Jun

March 4, 2016

Sun Jun (孙郡) is an acclaimed Chinese photographer who is probably best known for his unique aesthetic that fuses modern fashion photography with traditional Chinese landscape painting elements. The results are striking compositions that possess a timeless and dreamy vintage quality. A graduate of the Art Academy of China, Sun Jun actually began learning the art of Chinese painting at the age of 7. His captivating work can be found in numerous fashion editorials and celebrity pictorials. I've compiled some of my favorites from the latter category here. What do you think of this photography style?

NiNi

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

March 2, 2016
Double Cleansing, Skincare

I can't believe it's March already. Like how quickly did February fly by! It definitely felt like winter for a good part of last month with some teases of spring. I decided to hibernate and forgo the NYFW events I was invited to just because I didn't want to be out in the extreme cold. These are just a few highlights from last month. I'm doing more quick reviews now. To see more,click over to my Instagram feed and if you like what you see, please follow along

I swear by double cleansing and this Recipe Rose Petal Cleansing Oil and Cremorlab Gentle Foaming Cleanser are part of my current routine. They're really pretty to look at as well. Check out my mini review of these products and I wrote this primer on double cleansing if you've never tried it before.

And Other Stories Cire Red Blush

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