Archive for 2014

Happy Holidays

December 22, 2014
Holiday Greeting

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope this time will be one of much joy, warmth and merriment for you all whether you celebrate Christmas or not. Be safe and be happy my friends! This year has really flown by and I'm so grateful for the time you've spent with me here. I'm going to be signing off for abit but let's connect again in the new year.

We have a winner in the Old Factory candle gift set giveaway! Congratulations Victoria!

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for GQ

December 19, 2014
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook GQ, Ji Chang Wook Healer, The Healer,  지창욱

Ji Chang Wook tops off his year of looking impeccable in editorials with an appearance in GQ Korea's Men of the Year issue where he models a range of Citizen watches in fine style. The talented actor has had quite a busy year. Following a run in the musical production of The Days, he is now back on television in the thriller The Healer as the titular character who is a badass "errand boy" for hire. Chang Wook might actually be channeling the mysterious "healer" in this pictorial minus the leaping across rooftops. I'm currently four episodes into this drama and it's off to quite a promising start. There is a decent mix of action and humor and a compelling secret has already been established. It's also great to see Yoo Ji Tae onscreen again. Park Min Young was good in Sungkyunkwan Scandal and she makes for a credible female lead in The Healer. 

Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook GQ, Ji Chang Wook Healer, The Healer,  지창욱


December 17, 2014
Personalized Christmas Stocking

Waiting... for Christmas! Just 8 days away now!
Reading... Crazy Rich Asians. I will finish this book one of these days.
Watching... Korean drama The Healer with Ji Chang Wook.
Listening... to Royal Pirates awesome rock cover of Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Eating... savory oatmeal sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for lunch.
Drinking... loads of tea and boricha.
Cooking... spicy stews. A favorite when it's cold.
Obsessed... with my new iPhone 6 (an early Xmas present from my husband). I was using a flip phone last year.
Wearing... a baseball tee and jeans.
Coveting... this lens.
Planning... to visit a few museums during the holiday break.
Admiring... all the pretty holiday decor around the city.
Bookmarking... a few things I might want to pick up in the after Christmas sales.
Hoping... for a mild winter.

We were a little late putting up our Christmas decorations this year. We don't really do it up but it's nice to have a few holiday touches around the house. Here is my Christmas tree. Yes it's pink.

Don't miss out on this fun candle gift set giveaway!

What's up with you?

Old Factory Candle Gift Set Giveaway

December 15, 2014
Old Factory Candle Gift Set, Old Factory Candles, Old Factory Candle Review, Old Factory Candle Giveaway

Old Factory Candles are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self trimming cotton wicks and premium fragrance oils. Each candle is supposed to burn clean and even for 20 hours. They come in gift sets of three which are each themed around a group of related fragrances.

Old Factory Candle Gift Set, Old Factory Candles, Old Factory Candle Review, Old Factory Candle Giveaway

I chose to review the Winter Wonderland set. The candles come packaged in a cardboard carton with a design that has a vintage industrial type feel. There was a card inside with a link to their site where you could download a free e-book about Aromatherapy for Everyday Use. My set included these three scents: Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut and First Snow. The candles are encased in minimalistic glass jars with black screw on tops and measure about 2" wide by 2" high. Despite their small size, these candles are strong enough to subtly fill an entire room. What I liked most is that the fragrances quite naturally mimic their names. The Hot Chocolate and Roasted Chestnut both had a slightly sweet and comforting smell. It was a wonder I didn't have a craving for either while they were going. The scents in each set are meant to complement each other so I did try burning these two together which created quite a cozy mood. I would say that First Snow had a clean and fresh feel to it which was rather pleasant. This was the lightest of the three in terms of fragrance but also the most refreshing. The candles do burn clean per the claims. I can't speak to the 20 hour burn time because I haven't used them for that long yet.

Gift Guide : Beauty

December 12, 2014
Gift Guide, Beauty Gift Guide

I'm rather partial to giving beauty gifts as I think most ladies can appreciate a little something to primp and pamper themselves with. And they're also my favorite type of gifts to receive as well. What are your favorite types of gifts to give and receive?

1. Victoria Beckham X Nails Inc. Limited Edition Nail Polishes in Judo Red & Bamboo White  $25 each
{A must for fashionistas!}
2. Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Classic Set  $45
{Lovely feminine scents housed in pretty vintage style bottles}
3. Paul & Joe Beaute Limited Edition Pressed Powder T  $43
{A beautiful compact for touching up in style}
4. Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette  $54
{The perfect palette to take on the go}
5. Anna Sui Limited Edition Body Powder Puff  $35
{A charming way to add a touch radiance and shimmer}
6. Fresh Sugar Cravings Kissing Trio  $28
{A festive limited edition set to please any lip balm lover}
7. Bioxidea Miracle 24 Face Masks  $59
{Indulgent facial treatmenta for tired and dry skin}
8. Tony Moly Fruit Hand Creams  $8 each
{Cutely packaged hand creams that actually work make great stocking stuffers}
9. Sephora Gold Star Dual Brush Set  $25
{A luxurious looking duo of hair essentials}
10. Olivine Love + Roses Beauty Mist  $14
{A sweet smelling natural skin and hair refresher} 
11. Library of Flowers Field Kit  $38
{Transforms any bath into a lush garden retreat}

Gift Guide : Under $30

December 10, 2014
Gift Guide, Under $30 Gift Guide, Gifts Under $30

What makes a good gift? I don't think it has anything to do with how much money you spend but rather the thought that goes into it. It should also either be purposeful or delight the recipient in some way. What constitutes a good gift to you?

1. La Maison du Chocolate Assorted Chocolates  $29.95
{Who doesn't love receiving delicious chocolates, especially in such an elegant box}
2. Kate Spade NY One in a Million Initial Business Card Holder  $30
{Stylish, practical, with a touch of personalization}
3. BaubleBar Crystal Mason Ring  $28
{A chic and simple statement ring}
4. Kusmi Tea Paris Tin  $29.95
{An assortment of Kusmi's most popular tea blends packed in a lovely container}
5. Crystal Crush Bobbi Set  $25
{A dazzling way to add a little bling to your hairstyle}
6. Nügg Winter Skin Saver 4 Pack  $11.95
{These high performance face masks formulated with natural oils deliver spa quality results in just 5 minutes}
7. Arrange of Scenery Vase Set  $23.99
{A pretty vase set to dress up any room}
8. Cool, Calm and Collected Bento Box  $9.99
{Such a cute way to carry lunch on the go}
9. Kate Spade NY Illustrative Journal $24
{A beautiful place to gather one's thoughts}
10. Garance Doré Bonjour iPhone Case $25
{An iPhone case with a dash of whimsical chic}
11. Futai Clear Bubble Umbrella  $19.99
{For stepping out in style when it rains}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Brandbacker and contains affiliate links. All words and opinions are my own.

An Audiobooks Gift Guide & An Amazon Giveaway

December 8, 2014
Being able to enjoy a good book is one of life's little pleasures so if you're in need of a good gift idea, you might want to consider audiobooks. They make a fantastic gift for just about anyone for the holidays or any occasion. They're appropriate for all ages from children who can't get enough of their favorite stories to teens who are usually plugged in anyway, busy adults who like a good book but just can't find the time to read and older adults as a pleasant way to pass the time. Unlike regular books, audio books can be enjoyed while you're doing other things like traveling, working out or even doing chores. My husband likes to listen to them on his commute to/from work. Gift subscriptions to can be purchased online and are available for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. If your recipient already has an Amazon account, signing up is as easy as signing in. offers a wide selection of over 150,000 popular book titles including bestsellers and new releases in a variety of genres. The books are delivered via an app so they can be played on a phone, tablet or computer anywhere, anytime.

To help you with your holiday shopping, is currently offering 50% off their 3 month subscriptions which are regularly $45. Using this link, you can purchase a 3 month subscription for yourself or someone else for just $7.49/month. 

And if that's not cool enough, I've also teamed up with a lovely group of bloggers for an amazing $200 Amazon gift card giveaway. This is open to US residents only and ends this Friday 12/12/14. Please follow the instructions and enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Are you a fan of audiobooks? What's on your reading list?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Audible and All words and opinions expressed are 100% my own. Thank you supporting the brands that support this site.

Emma Stone's Perfect Street Style

December 5, 2014
Emma Stone, Emma Stone Look for Less

If there's any celebrity whose style I truly admire, it would be Emma Stone. I also happen to love her hair as well and think she'd probably be really fun to hang out with. Her red carpet style is pretty much flawless (and modest in a good way!) but even when casually dressed, she always manages to look perfectly chic and well put together. This fall outfit she was spotted wearing in NYC wearing recently is a prime example. She is dressed practically for the cool weather and comfortably to walk around but the outfit also has plenty of personality. Fortunately for the rest of us, this effortlessly fashionable look is fairly easy to recreate starting with this graphic striped heart sweater, add a pair of skinny jeans, top with a classic double-breasted wool coat and finish with a cabled beanie, some cool sunglasses, flat suede booties and a slouchy hobo bag. Would you wear this outfit? What do you think of Emma Stone's style?

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone for your incredibly sweet and wonderful comments on my blog anniversary post earlier this week. I'm beyond touched and overwhelmed by your kindness and feel so lucky to have the best blogger friends.
Copy Emma Stone's Style

One Step to Defined Brows

December 3, 2014

Easy Way to Get Thicker Looking Brows

I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'll never have enviable full eyebrows like Cara Delevingne since I learned the hard way that if you overpluck your brows, all those hairs might not always grow back. I've tried growth serums on them which work to an extent but I definitely still need to fill in my brows to create the fuller look I covet. I've been using a pencil since I found brow powder too tedious but it definitely takes time to fill them in and make them look natural. My ideal brow product would fill, shape and define them all in one step. And that's what I was hoping for with Lashem Color Strokes Brow Tint Lift.

About the Brand: The Lashem brand was developed to help the everyday woman keep her youthful glow. The brand  offers a range of anti-aging products including luxury eye makeup and skincare that are made with high quality natural ingredients in the United States.

Formula Facts: Paraben-free, Prostaglandin-free, Fragrance-free, Hypoallergenic, Non-acnegenic, Dermatologist-tested, Ophthalmologist-tested, PETA certified cruelty-free

Product Claims: Color Strokes Brow Tint & Lift with lash enhancing serum works as an eyebrow shaping product and helps with eyebrow growth. It's powerful peptide rich formula may provide effective protection against breakage and naturally support more voluminous brows. It is available in three shades: Blonde, Brunette and Raven.

Packaging: This product is packaged in a tube like mascara with a mascara type spooley applicator wand. 

Price: $20 for a 0.6 ounce tube

Easy Way to Get Thicker Looking Brows

A Blog Anniversary

December 1, 2014

I seem to have a bit of a blindspot when it comes to remembering this blog's anniversary for some reason. This year I'm about two month's late and since it is the third one, I did want to acknowledge it as I'm happy to still be here. I realize I can be a little all over the place with my post topics but that is a reflection my interests. I tend not to get too personal cause I have no intention to use this space as my diary and my everyday life would probably be quite boring to read about. I'm thankful for this blog as it has been a creative outlet which has allowed me to express, learn and connect with so many incredible fellow bloggers and readers. I went back into my archives and pulled up some of my earlier favorite posts and I hope that you'll visit one that catches your interest and come back to let me know your thoughts on it. One of the best things about this blog is having you all share your perspectives with me.

Song Hye Kyo for Marie Claire

November 28, 2014
Song Hye Kyo, 송혜교, Song Hye Kyo Marie Claire

I guess it's only appropriate for Song Hye Kyo to grace the cover and pages of Marie Claire China since the stunning South Korean actress is making quite a splash in the Chinese film market lately with not just one but two highly anticipated movies. She stars alongside Huang Xiaoming, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Masami Nagasawa, Zhang Ziyi and Tong Dawei as a wealthy heiress who loses her husband in a tragic ship accident in John Woo's The Crossing. The first part of the historical epic which has been described as an Asian Titanic opens in China next week. And she is also part of the ensemble cast of the urban romantic comedy The Queens, the directorial debut of Annie Yi. Taiwanese actor Joseph Cheng had reportedly declined a role in the movie and only changed his mind upon learning that Hye Kyo had been cast. With her astounding beauty, it's really not surprising that she has quite a list of admirers within her industry. She looks rather different here than in this Vogue Korea editorial with Kang Dong Won in Paris. Her eye makeup is seriously gorgeous in both though.

On Gratitude

November 26, 2014
Gratitude Quote, Quote on Gratitude

I feel that learning to embrace gratitude has really opened me up more to happiness. Appreciating and being thankful for everything in your life just puts the focus on the good. I'm grateful for everyone and everything in my life whether it is wonderful or a lesson learned. If you're celebrating tomorrow, have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! I hope your day is filled with loved ones and all the things that make you happy. Thank you for stopping by, reading, commenting and sharing this space here with me! I'm so grateful for you all!

Would you agree with this? What are you grateful for?

Image via At Home in Love

Through My Lens : Recently

November 24, 2014
World Trade Center, New YorkA view of downtown Manhattan from Chelsea before the sunset. The new World Trade Center is a rather majestic presence in the skyline. I look forward to seeing it when walking south on my way home now.
Sky Reflector Net Fulton Center
The Sky Reflector Net design of the roof of the newly opened Fulton Center transit hub looks so modern and cool.It was also designed with a real practical purpose in mind.

Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive : A Natural Multi-Tasker

November 21, 2014
Multi-Tasking Beauty Oil, Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive Review, Natural Beauty Oil, Beauty Oil

I'm very big on using oil in my beauty routine these days. I use oil to wash my face as well as to moisturize my face and body. I also use it on my hair as a conditioner and styling treatment. I recently had the chance to try out Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive which is an all natural multi-use beauty oil with a formulation that mimics the body's own natural oils to visibly replenish and repair hair and skin. 

About the Brand:  Monat Global is an innovative age prevention company that strives to understand and recreate what nature has always been capable of. Through extensive clinical research, they have combined ultra progressive active botanical ingredients with state of the art scientific technologies to produce safe, high quality, naturally based age prevention products.

Key Ingredients: The exclusive ingredient in this natural oil product is Abyssinian Oil which has a unique molecular structure that isn't found in any other naturally occurring oil and has been shown to significantly improve the appearance of skin and luster of hair. Rejuveniqe blends 10 other potent botanical oils: Meadowfoam Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Camellia Oil, Buriti Oil, Baobab Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tomato Seed Oil, Moringa Oil, Pequi Oil and Monoi Oil to enhance the effectiveness of the Abyssinian Oil. These botanicals also provide additional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, nutrients and amino acids. 

Packaging: A luxe, modern looking silver bottle. The product is dispensed via a dropper making it easy to control how much you use.
Price: $99 for 30 ml/1.0 fl. oz.

Usage: Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive is so pure and versatile that it can be used in multiple ways to improve the skin and hair. It can be used on hair as a pre-shampoo treatment, an intensive hydrating treatment, a leave in finishing treatment or an anti-frizz treatment. On the skin, it can be used as a moisturizer on the face or body. It can also be used to treat areas with dryness like cuticles, nails, elbows, knees and heels.

Multi-Tasking Beauty Oil, Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive Review, Natural Beauty Oil, Beauty Oil
Multi-Tasking Beauty Oil, Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive Review, Natural Beauty Oil, Beauty Oil

A Peek Inside My Closet

November 19, 2014
Personal Style

So I talked about having a uniform of sorts for the summer and I definitely have some go to pieces for the cooler weather as well. This fall I've been kind of living in sweatshirts/light sweaters and skinny jeans paired with sneakers or boots. These are a few pieces that I recently added to my wardrobe. I was gifted these Vigoss Chelsea Skinny Jeans at an InStyle Holiday event I attended. I'd heard of the brand but this was my first introduction to their jeans and I love the styling and fit of this pair so much that I plan to get another one soon. The embellished sweater is from Metaphor by Sears. Now Sears is not somewhere I usually shop but their newly relaunched Metaphor brand has some really cute pieces and they're so affordable. I really liked this top when I spotted it at the same event and found it on sale for $21.99 a week later. I thought this Banana Republic "Little Black Sweatshirt" was a cool takeoff on the Little Black Dress and it's proven to be a great layering piece. I bought these Bare Traps boots in January of last year but couldn't wear them at all last winter because of my injured ankle so I consider them new now. They couldn't be more comfortable and it's nice to be able to wear footwear with a little bit of a heel again. This style isn't available anymore but this pair and this pair are similar.

What are you currently wearing?

Currently Coveting

November 17, 2014
Nike Air Pegasus 83

A few items currently on my wish list. My favorite color at the moment seems to be grey.
What are you coveting lately?

1. Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Vegas Post Apocalyptic 
{This 5 free formula contains finely ground rose gold glitter and looks like the perfect glammed up neutral}

2. Sunglasses Intarsia Pom Hat 
{I like to have have fun with my accessories when it's cold and these whimsical hearts and sunglasses would make me smile}

3. Beauty Counter Sweep Blush Duo 
{This blush duo is made with Porcelain Flower Extract so it delivers antioxidant and moisturizing benefits along with pretty color}

4. Madewell Otis Boot in Suede 
{This boot has great lines and in grey suede, it looks to be quite versatile as well}

5. Madewell et Sézanne La Superbe Sweatshirt 
{La Superb translates to The Beautiful and this sweatshirt is such an effortlessly cool piece}

6. Nike Air Pegasus 83 Sneaker 
{I have a pair of these that I wear all the time. They're my favorite sneakers and it may be time for another pair}

Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector Review

November 14, 2014
Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector, Equitance Review, Equitance Brightening System, Skin Brightening Serum

A number of brightening products make up my skincare routine at any time since I'm constantly on a quest for a luminous complexion and vanquishing the freckles/dark spots on my face. I'm actually currently using four as we speak so when I had a chance to add the Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector, I couldn't pass it up. This product is part of the Equitance Brightening System and Equitance is a brand which has been on my radar for awhile.

About the Brand: Rooted in Japanese traditions and inspired by beauty in nature, Equitance was founded in Japan 18 years ago on a quest to uncover the mysteries of radiant beauty. Today the company's landmark research has culminated in an exclusive pathway to vital vibrant skin. Representing the best of Eastern and Western research and practices, Equitance Skin Care brings precisely balanced botanicals and clinically proven technology together to continuously brighten the skin.

Key Ingredients: Linoleic Acid is extracted from safflower seed oil, purified and put into an exclusive brightening system to target the appearance of dark spots and improve skin brightening and radiance. Ascorbyl Glucoside is a vitamin C derivative with skin brightening properties. Cherry Blossom Leaf Extract which possesses properties to soothe and soften rough skin is culled from Japanese sakura trees. Shell Ginger Extract which is derived from the Japanese alpinia speciosa leaf has intense moisturizing properties to help brighten skin.

Packaging: An elegant looking rose gold colored stand up tube which you squeeze to dispense the product. I prefer tubes in general since they are hygienic and you can cut them open when you get towards the end so as not to waste any product.

Price: $125 for 1.0 fl. oz./30g.

Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector, Equitance Review, Equitance Brightening System, Skin Brightening Serum
Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector, Equitance Review, Equitance Brightening System, Skin Brightening Serum

Dine Out : Snack

November 10, 2014
Snack Restaurant New York, Snack, Snack Soho, Snack New York, Snack Review

If you happen to walk too quickly, you might just pass by Snack without ever noticing it. The tiny cafe that serves rustic style Greek food with a contemporary spin is located just west of West Broadway on Thompson Street in Soho. The quaint space can only be described as cozy as it has very limited seating but rather than confining, it actually feels quite homey. I'm a big fan of their sandwiches and I'm not really a sandwich person. We usually get the lamb and the tuna and I'd have a tough time choosing a favorite between the two. The lamb is braised and served with tomatoes, roasted red onions, roasted tomato aioli and arugula on ciabatta bread. The herb braised yellowfin tuna is served with artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, portobello mushrooms, scallions, shaved kefalotiri cheese in a lemon vinaigrette on ciabatta bread. The lamb is hearty and comforting while the tuna is refreshing and satisfying. Both are bursting with fresh and delicious flavor. Their spanakopita (spinach pie) is quite tasty as well. I've had a consistently positive experience with their service which is friendly and relaxed. This is the perfect spot to stop for a rest if you happen to be shopping in the area and if it's summer make sure you get the mint lemonade. I should mention that Snack has a variety of vegetarian options on their menu and they also serve dinner which I'd love to drop in to try one of these days.

Are you a fan of Greek/Mediterranean cuisine?

105 Thompson Street (Prince amp; Spring)
New York City

Floral Friday : Native Bloom

November 7, 2014
Flower, Aquilegia canadensis, Flower Photography, Floral Friday

The theme of this month's Floral Friday is Native Blooms and it's one that required a little research on my part. You see while I love photographing pretty flowers, I'm quite rubbish at identifying them. So I found this list through an online search for flowers native to New York and cross referenced it for a match in my photo archives and came up with the Wild Columbine which is quite a stunning bloom. The scientific name for it is Aquilegia canadensis. It is an herbaceus perennial typically featuring unique red and yellow flowers. There is no floral scent to them but they do produce a nectar which attracts hummingbirds. Wild Columbine usually grow in the late spring, reaching a height of 1 to 2.5 ft. I chose to present this flower in monochrome to highlight the delicate balance between the stamen, petals and sepals. This photo is also available as a print in my Etsy shop.

Do you know what flowers are native to the area you live in?

Floral Friday is a monthly photography project with different themes each month. This series is about fun and taking time out to smell the flowers. To play along, email Trishie for next month's theme.

Little Black Flats, A Wardrobe Staple

November 5, 2014
Walin & Wolff, Walin & Wolff Shoes, Walin & Wolff Libby, Walin & Wolff Review, Little Black Flats,

A few years ago, I decided that I was done with trendy shoes. Instead I was just going to stick with well made, classic shoe styles. To be honest, I don't get most shoe trends anyway... like knee high boots with cut-out toes. How is that even practical? 

One style of shoe which I never tire of is the little black flat and I own more than a few pairs. They may not be flashy but they are a great style staple to have in your closet as they come in a variety of designs, can be dressed up or down and paired with any number of looks. Alexa Chung has been spotted wearing black flats on more than one occasion and she's a style icon.

Walin & Wolff, Walin & Wolff Shoes, Walin & Wolff Libby, Walin & Wolff Review, Little Black Flats,
Walin & Wolff, Walin & Wolff Shoes, Walin & Wolff Libby, Walin & Wolff Review, Little Black Flats,

Shop Tour : & Other Stories

November 3, 2014
& Other Stories New York Store

H&M's sister brand &Other Stories recently debuted it's first US flagship on Broadway in Soho. And this sister can be described as effortlessly cool. The line which was started in Europe over a year ago is known for it's chic co-lab capsule collections, notably with singer Lykke Li, Russian designer Vika Gazinskaya and photographer/illustrator Garance Doré to name a few. The spacious, well lit shop is sectored into four open rooms and extends all the way through to Mercer Street. The goods range from a fashionable mix of clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry to a covetable line of beauty and body products. The styles are minimalist yet modern and trendy. Their pieces are definitely wearable with an emphasis on statement making details and striking prints. This probably isn't where you would go for basics. The prices are slightly higher than H&M's, yet still affordable and the quality is also better. I didn't buy anything the day I visited but a certain coat caught my eye and I'm definitely interested in their wonderfully packaged creams and scrubs. You can even bring in your empty & Other Stories products in to get 10% off your next beauty purchase. No worries if you can't get to New York, the brand has a fantastic online shop.

Have you shopped && Other Stories Other Stories or would you?

&Other Stories
575 Broadway (Houston & Prince)
New York City

Breast Cancer Awareness

October 31, 2014
Breast Cancer Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness Facts

I didn't want to let October close out without mentioning that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You can shop for products that benefit BCA but more importantly, schedule a checkup if you're due or if you have a family history of cancer and make sure you know the facts about this disease and how to reduce your risk. Life is too short and too precious, so make the most of it and take the best care of yourself! 

Infographic via

Kiku At The NY Botanical Garden

October 29, 2014
Kiku At The NY Botanical Garden, NY Botanical Garden, Chrysanthemums

It's been more than a few years since my last visit to the New York Botanical Garden. I'd probably go more if it's Bronx location wasn't such a trek from lower Manhattan. This past weekend we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and ventured to view the magnificent chrysanthemums featured in Kiku: Art of The Japanese Garden. The chrysanthemum (kiku) is the most celebrated of all Japanese fall flowering plants and this installation pays homage to hanami, the custom of enjoying the transitory beauty of flowers through a stunning variety of presentations. It was a visual delight and some of the displays were truly artful. It's such a marvel that many chrysanthemums actually grow out of a single stem and I had no idea there were so many different types. We also tried out the special Japanese pop up restaurant that opened up in conjunction with this exhibit. The service was quite terrible but at least the food was good. I read that this may be the last time the Botanical Garden will present Kiku for awhile so I'm really glad we went. I'm already planning another trip up there next spring for the peony show.

Are there botanical gardens where you live? Have you visited recently?

Kiku At The NY Botanical Garden, NY Botanical Garden, Chrysanthemums

Targeted Skincare with Dr. Brandt Laser Fx

October 27, 2014
Dr. Brandt Laser Fx, Dr. Brandt Laser Fx Bright Serum, Skin Brightening Serum

So I used to have this mole under my right eye. I say used to because when I was 20, my mom took me to have it lasered off. She's fairly superstitious and said that the position of that mole was like a tear on my face and would thus bring me sadness. She was rather insistent so just went with it. The procedure was quick and burning hot but it banished the mole for good. I've been lucky to not to have to really deal with any other moles on my face but I am vexed by dark spots and freckles which are the result of being less vigilant about sun protection when I was younger. It's a constant battle and if laser treatments weren't so pricey, I'd probably just have went that route.

Enter Dr. Fredric Brandt's new line of serums created to mimic the effects of in-office dermatological laser treatments. I learned about these skin fixers at an event hosted by Birchbox Soho last month. Dr. Brandt, a noted celebrity dermatologist and anti-aging authority was on hand to personally introduce his Laser Fx line and explain how they work. These treatments feature a breakthrough smart dual encapsulation system to deliver precise skin targeting, penetration and higher efficacy. There are three products in this series and each is specifically formulated to provide focused results in addressing particular skin concerns.

Dr. Brandt Laser Fx, Dr. Brandt Laser Fx Bright Serum, Skin Brightening Serum

Eye Candy : Lee Dong Wook for Arena Homme+

October 24, 2014
Lee Dong Wook, Lee Dong Wook Arena Homme,  Lee Dong Wook for Arena Homme+, 이동욱

I'm not really sure if Lee Dong Wook is one of those actors who started out as a model but he certainly looks model perfect in this Arena Homme+ editorial which was photographed on location in Hawaii. His hair is looking phenomenally good and the styling is spot on. My only complaint about this pictorial is that there are only four photos. How amazing is this first one? Somehow he never gets featured in huge spreads even when he was in Paris. I've had a bit of soft spot for Dong Wook since watching the K-drama My Girl. The hair was a little suspect back then but his characterization of Seol Gong Chan was superbly charming. I can't say the same for his co-star which is probably why I skipped their drama reunion earlier this year in Hotel King. The handsome actor is currently appearing in the drama Blade Man as a man who literally has knives springing out of his body. I passed on this one as well cause the premise is a little out there for me. As if he wasn't busy enough, he is also a cast member on the reality/variety program Roommate which has a group of celebrities and entertainers living together under one roof.

Lee Dong Wook, Lee Dong Wook Arena Homme,  Lee Dong Wook for Arena Homme+, 이동욱

Crispy Tofu, Broccoli and Pepper Stir Fry Recipe

October 22, 2014
Easy Vegetarian Recipe, Asian Vegetarian Recipe, Stir Fry Recipe, Vegetarian Stir Fry, Chinese Stir Fry

I think I may have talked about being a part time vegetarian on here before or maybe I haven't. Anyway it's been a thing in our household for some time now. While I wouldn't want to give up meat completely, I have absolutely no problem with not eating it most days of the week. It's just healthier and actually more economical and better for the environment as well. One dish that I make pretty regularly is this crispy tofu, broccoli and red pepper stir fry which is a meatless adaptation of a favorite dish that I originally made with flank steak in place of the tofu. I cook with broccoli and red bell peppers alot because they're loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and we happen to like the way they taste. Making the tofu crispy adds a different dimension in texture which works quite well with the vegetables and it's really tasty too. I usually serve this with rice, well because my husband really likes his rice.

Crispy Tofu, Broccoli and Pepper Stir Fry Recipe

Through My Lens : Recently

October 20, 2014
Autumn in New York City

I just realized that I didn't do one of these posts last month but since I shared our island vacation photos instead, it was kind of like I did. Anyway, here are are some photos of life recently. It's starting to look like fall in NYC these days and this is one of the most beautiful times of the year in the city.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Review

October 17, 2014
Exfoliating for better skin

I get that exfoliation is a key step in any good skincare routine but since I have sensitive skin that's on the dry side, I tend to take a less is more approach to it. I was also told recently by a skincare expert that over exfoliation can lead to hyperpigmentation and that has only made me only more wary. Still I do recognize that it's necessary so I try to be gentle in my approach. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant was a product that I had been meaning to try so I was more than happy when I received a free sample. 

About the Brand: Dermalogica is a US based professional skincare company that has been around since 1986. Their product line is focused on improving skin health without the use of common irritants and ingredients that could cause breakouts.

Key Ingredients: Rice Bran and Rice Extract gently micro-exfoliate skin surface to facilitate penetration of the Skin Brightening Complex. Papain Enzyme (papaya proteinase) and Salicylic Acid to help dissolve excess surface cells. Skin Brightening Complex of Licorice and Bearberry to brighten and even tone. Green Tea, Gingko and Colloidal Oatmeal to soothe the skin and leave it clear and refreshed. Formulated without artificial ingredients or colors.

Packaging: A clinical looking white plastic bottle that feels light yet substantial. It has a screw off top and the product is dispensed via two small openings.

Price: $52 for a 2.8 oz. Sounds pricey but considering you only have to use 1/2 teaspoon each time, one bottle can last for quite awhile especially if you don't use it daily.

Exfoliating for better skin

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