Archive for January 2015

Eye Candy : Shin Min Ah for Harper's Bazaar

January 30, 2015
Shin Min Ah, Shin Min Ah Harper's Bazaar, Valentino Spring 2015 RTW

Shin Min Ah was invited to the celebration opening of Valentino's Fifth Avenue flagship in New York which included a special viewing of the brand's SALA BIANCA 945 collection back in December. The lovely actress also collaborated with Harper's Bazaar Korea on this gorgeous editorial set in an airy Manhattan loft where she models a selection of looks from Valentino's Spring 2015 RTW collection. Min Ah's elegant demeanor perfectly complements the Roman inspired collection and she looks beautiful in this stunning sequined starfish embellished organza gown as well as other pieces featuring bold decorative eyelets, baroque inspired  prints and exquisite embroidery. She is so wonderfully expressive on camera that it came as a surprise to see how shy she actually is in real life when she appeared on Running Man with Jo Jung Seok to promote their film My Love My Bride. I re-watched a few episodes of My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho recently and I honestly couldn't imagine anyone else besides Shin Min Ah and Lee Seung Gi as Gumiho and Dae Woong. They were both so cute in that drama.

Shin Min Ah, Shin Min Ah Harper's Bazaar, Valentino Spring 2015 RTW

January 29, 2015

rolala, rolalaloves, is now I've been meaning to switch over to a custom domain for awhile now and when Google recently announced Google Domains, it just prompted me to get it done. Since it's integrated with Blogger, updating my new address was as easy as typing it into the Publishing section in Blogger. The only bit which is a drag is that my blogspot address comes up as a redirect instead of just automatically rolling over to to the new domain but just say yes and it'll bring you right here.

If you follow rolala loves on GFC, Bloglovin'Feedly, or any other RSS reader, I already updated my feed so you'll still receive updates as new posts go up as usual. And since I update Facebook, Twitter and Google+ myself, nothing has changed with new posts appearing on these channels. If you visit through your browser, please update your bookmark. This concludes my little housekeeping message.

Through My Lens : A Snow Day In NYC

January 28, 2015
NYC Winter, City Hall New York, Blizzard of 2015

So on Monday night, New York City like most of the Northeast braced itself for the winter storm known as Juno or snowpocalypse 2015 as some people were calling it. Well no records were broken with the snowfall totals as we got just less than 10 inches which is fine by me. Much of the city remained shut down early on the next day as the sanitation dept. worked to clear up the streets and the transit dept. slowly restored our mass transportation systems. I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood to see how it fared and I brought my camera with me. I'm rather fond of days like this in the city because there's such a tranquil beauty to it that almost makes me feel like I have the place all to myself. Yes those are the court buildings and steps that you may have seen in many television and film productions that are set in NYC. As I've mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship with the white stuff. 

Does it snow where you live? How do you feel about it?

NYC Winter, Foley Square, Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse at 40 Centre Street, Blizzard of 2015

Dine Out : Arcade Bakery

January 26, 2015
Arcade Bakery NYC

Arcade Bakery is probably known for their fine selection of baked goods as much as their unique semi-hidden location inside the lobby of the Merchant's Square Building on 220 Church Street in Tribeca. I used to walk by that building quite often on my way to Whole Foods before I had learned that an excellent French bakery laid just beyond it's doors. On my first visit, the lady ahead of me on line ordered a turkey sandwich and remarked that she had been dreaming about it all week . I've since tried that turkey sandwich which consists of turkey, mozzarella, roasted pepper, arugula and olives tucked into a tasty slab of focaccia that is ever so slightly crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside and totally understand where she was coming from. Their ham and cheese sandwich served on a baguette with salted butter is also really good. And their personal pizzas ($9) which are baked to order between the hours of 11:45am-3:15pm are another standout option for lunch. The pizzas are served margherita style with a choice of additional toppings like garlic, onion, arugula and pepperoni for an extra $1.00. The slices are delectably thin and flavorful and the crust is one I actually want to eat and I'm usually not much for crusts when it comes to pizza. I've also tried their croissants (plain, chocolate and almond) and these light, flaky, buttery wonders rival ones I've had in France. I haven't tried the babka yet but the people at the next table the last time I was there were singing it's praises. Owner and head baker Roger Gural was a music and television producer prior to honing his baking skills as an apprentice at Au Duc de la Chapelle in Paris and further perfecting them at Thomas Keller's prestigious Bouchon Bakery as well as Bouley Bakery and Almondine before opening Arcade Bakery. His previous experience has definitely paid off and we're quite lucky to have our own version of a French patisserie in downtown Manhattan.

Most people opt for take-out orders but you can also choose to dine in using the pocket seating ledges in between the mahogany tables which fold down from the alcove walls while you take in the view of the impressive vaulted ceilings and marble floors inside the arcade hallway of an elegantly designed building which is over 100 years old. An added bonus is the pleasant aroma of baked goods wafting through the air. It's actually a pretty cool experience. Personally I like the seats with a view of the open bakery itself. Since they're inside an office building, Arcade Bakery keeps office hours as well and serves up their freshly baked goods only on Mondays - Fridays from 8am-4pm. I'd definitely recommend stopping by if you have a chance or happen to be in the area. Fair warning that the lines can get long around lunchtime. And if you do, let me know how you like it!

Arcade Bakery
220 Church Street (Worth & Thomas)
New York City

Recent Loves

January 23, 2015
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask,  Renpure Coconut Creme Cleansing Conditioner, Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser

A few products that I think are pretty awesome just because they make my life easier.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
I recommended this in my Winter Skincare guide and it's a product that I've been using regularly and love. I usually pat it on my face about a half an hour before going to bed. This mask has a gel-like texture with a cooling feel and a light floral scent. The best part is that I wake up to smooth, hydrated skin. Gotta appreciate the effortlessness of this!

Renpure Coconut Creme Cleansing Conditioner

I'm big into cowashing and was using Wen Cleansing Conditioner for awhile. I actually love it but didn't love the price. This chemical-free and cruelty-free product is the most comparable I've found to Wen in terms of how it works and it's a fraction of the price. The consistency is thinner so you don't have to use as much of it and the coconut scent is lovely. It leaves my hair clean, soft, shiny and manageable so I'm happy. It also comes in Rosemary Mint and Sweet Pomegranate if coconut isn't your thing.

Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser
Cleaning my makeup brushes is a must but it feels like such a chore. I actually don't mind cleaning my brushes every week since I started using this gentle goat milk cleansing balm. I just wet a brush, swirl it around the balm, rinse and repeat until the water runs clean. And to refresh and clean the balm, you just rinse it with hot water and wipe away any residue. Such a simple way to get clean and soft makeup brushes.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your recent loves?

Currently Coveting

January 21, 2015
A few items currently on my wish list.
What are you coveting lately?

1. Wanderlust + Co. Teardrop Loop Ear Cuff
{Loving the cool and slightly edgy vibe of these ear cuffs}

2. Hugo Guiness for J. Crew Dancing Tee
{This tee with a fun statement in gold would look so cute paired with a blazer and jeans.}

3. Kate Spade Saturday Floral Study Pillow Cover
{This colorful pillow cover would perk up my couch quite nicely.)

4. Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment
{I tried a sample of this serum and couldn't believe how supple and radiant it made my skin. I want more!}

5. J. Crew Burbridge Parka
{All my winter outerwear is dark and this blush pink parka would be a lovely change.}

Winter Skincare Tips

January 19, 2015
Winter Skincare Guide, Winter-proof skincare, Song Hye Kyo for Laneige

If there is ever a time to treat our skin with a little extra TLC, it should be during the winter when frigid temperatures, icy winds and plummeting humidity are in full effect. Your skin isn't safe indoors either as the heat which feels nice and toasty on your body can really zap the moisture right out of it. Fortunately there are measures that we can take to soothe and banish dry, itchy and cracked winter skin.

Winter Skincare Guide, Winter-proof skincare, Song Hye Kyo for Laneige

Refresh Your Skin with Evian

January 16, 2015
Evian Facial Spray, Evian Mineral Water

I've been a fan of facial sprays for quite some time and usually have one in my purse so it's a wonder that it's taken me so long to get around to trying the Evian Facial Spray.

About the Brand: Evian Natural Mineral Water's journey starts as rain and snow high atop the French Alps after which it filters for over 15 years through glacial rock and sand to a deep underground catchment just outside the town of Evian-Les-Bains, France. The water contained in the spray is tested 300 times per days to ensure quality and the consistent unique mineral content. Evian Water Spray was originally introduced in France in 1962 at the request of doctors for use on burn patients. It was the first facial water spray in France and was introduced as the first facial spray in the US in 1978.

About the Product: Evian Facial Spray contains a pure, soft mineral water with a totally unique mineral balance and a neutral 7.2pH. Because of these properties, this spray is suitable for all skin types even the most sensitive.

Packaging: Evian Facial Spray is packaged in an attractive looking spray canister which makes it convenient to take on the go. This package is sealed at the source so it is leakproof and cannot be contaminated. The spray is propelled via high pressure by pure nitrogen into micro droplets making it environmentally safe. 

Price: Evian Facial Spray is available in 3 - 4 sizes depending on the retailer. 
1.7 oz. (50ml) travel size for $7.00 or three pack for $19.50
5 oz. (150ml) (the size shown here) for $12.00
10 oz. (300ml) for $17.50

Evian Facial Spray, Evian Mineral Water

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for Ad Hoc

January 14, 2015
Ji Chang Wook,  Ji Chang Wook Healer, The Healer,  지창욱

So my last eye candy post of 2014 featured Ji Chang Wook and he is also kicking off the series for this year as well. This multi-talented cutie is a favorite around here for fun editorials like these but he's totally captivated my attention lately in The Healer. This drama has been a fun watch with an entertaining mix of action, romance and a fast moving plot centered around a compelling intergenerational secret that is slowly being unraveled. Chang Wook's riveting performance as the healer has been impressively layered and nuanced and I especially love when he goes undercover assuming the guise of rookie reporter Park Bong Soo. That persona is endearingly timid and hapless and he also has a killer wardrobe thanks to the actor's role as the spokesperson for Korean clothing brand Ad Hoc. I actually find myself looking forward to seeing what he will wear in every episode. All of these looks he models in the brand's FW 2014 campaign are so stylish that I couldn't even choose one favorite but I'm especially fond of the first six looks. I was under the impression that he had finished with his musical The Days before starting this drama but it turns out he is simultaneously working on both the stage and television productions. I hope he manages to get some sleep cause the live shooting system in Korea seems pretty brutal. In any case, his work ethic is certainly admirable. Here is a behind the scenes video of the handsome star in action and for some more sharply styled menswear, check out the first half of this campaign.

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

New Glasses for a New Year

January 12, 2015
Firmoo, Firmoo Glasses, Firmoo Eyewear, Buying Glasses Online, Inexpensive Eyewear

There was a time when I considered getting lasik eye surgery but I changed my mind after going in for a consultation where they let me sit in to watch an actual procedure. Did you know that they have to clamp your eyes open? I mean I understand why they have to do that but the thought of clamps on my eyes just freaked me out. I have problems just using eyedrops and forget about contacts. 

Firmoo, Firmoo Glasses, Firmoo Eyewear, Buying Glasses Online, Inexpensive Eyewear

Personalized Jewelry For Me

January 9, 2015
Personalized Jewelry, Monogram Jewelry oNecklace,, personalized jewelry, initial jewelry, custom jewelr

I've never been one to wear any type of jewelry that bears my name because I wouldn't want just anyone on the street knowing it when I'm out. I'm kinda paranoid like that okay. But I do still like the idea of personalized jewelry and initials and monograms are totally cool by me. oNecklace recently approached me about reviewing one of their personalized jewelry pieces and this sterling silver cutout monogram ring immediately caught my eye when I was browsing their site. I was attracted to the bold yet minimal style and have been wearing this ring regularly since it arrived in the mail. It is well made and works with most of my outfits. 

If you're in the market for some personalized jewelry, I'd recommend oNecklace. Their collections feature necklaces, bracelets and earrings as well as rings. The selections are fairly extensive and you can also customize your choice of material which include sterling silver, 24k gold plate, 14k gold and 14k white gold. The prices are competitive and all orders are shipped free worldwide within 24 hours which is pretty cool. They even carry a version of the famous "Carrie necklace" from Sex and the City.

Are you a fan of personalized jewelry? Do you own any?

Disclosure: A complimentary product was sent to me for the purposes of this review. There was no other compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.

 Monogram Jewelry oNecklace,, personalized jewelry, initial jewelry, custom jewelr

A Look Back At 2014

January 7, 2015
Blog Review

I'm not usually one to look back but sometimes it can be helpful like when I started filling out my editorial calendar and planning content for the blog this year. I have some new ideas and rewinding to see which posts resonated the most last year has given me a clearer picture of what you all like so that I could fine tune some of the concepts. I plan on continuing with a number of ongoing features including Through My Lens and Eye Candy as some of you have specifically told me that you enjoy these but I would also like to create more informational and wellness post as well as more content about NYC. Is there anything else you'd like to see?

So in case you missed it... this is some of what was popular around here in 2014

8 lucky foods for Chinese New Year as well their significance
How to get a Cronut without waiting on line for it. For the record, the flavor I tried was Peanut Butter Rum Caramel.
On celebrating our twelfth wedding anniversary
A roundup of helpful organizational and cleaning tips to help with your Spring Cleaning
One question I find really insulting and sharing some film work
The importance of Sun Safety and some facts everyone should know
About the time I bought Sprinkles cupcakes out of an ATM... and they were good!
What happened when I tried Double Cleansing and directions for how to do it
I visited the Birchbox store in NYC and built my own custom Birchbox
My backstage view at NYFW and a look at the Cynthia Rowley SS2015 presentation
A photo diary of our Turks & Caicos vacation
Dining out at ABC Kitchen which was one of my favorite meals of the year

Through My Lens : Recently

January 5, 2015
Empire State Building Christmas Lights
The Empire State Building festively lit up for Christmas.

Happy New Year

January 2, 2015

Happy New Year everyone! May 2015 bring you good health, infinite happiness, abundant laughter, plenty of hugs, pleasant surprises and many delicious treats! 2014 was about moving further past a number of health issues for me and I'm happy to say that it was mostly achieved. I will definitely be continuing a path towards wellness this year as well. I hope you all enjoyed the holidays. Unfortunately I tweaked my bad ankle right before Christmas. It was minor but I didn't want to aggravate it so we didn't get out as often as I had hoped. We've been making the most of our time at home catching up on some projects and decluttering. We also watched the Korean drama Misaeng (Incomplete Life). It centers around the daily lives of a group of office workers and is about exciting as you would think it would be but after finishing it, I could understand the popularity and acclaim this drama has received as it portrayed a pretty realistic slice of life that was rather emotionally compelling. The story and the cast led by Lee Sung Min were excellent as well. And we've been getting familiar with our new stove. I gotta say it's really nice to have a working oven again.

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