Archive for May 2015


May 29, 2015

Thinking about... trading in my a-line bob for an undercut a la Scarlett Johansson.

eading... How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are. Borrowed this one from the library and hate to say that it's really more style than substance.

Watching... Ex-Girlfriends Club, The Producers and Masked Prosecutor. I didn't watch K-dramas for awhile but now we're rotating between these 3. I'm not loving one in particular but these are all amusing in their own way.

Listening... to The Smiths Louder Than Bombs. Feeling those old school tunes.

Eating... Chinese vegetables that are in season now like water spinach, red spinach, AA choy. My favorite way to cook them is simply sautéed with garlic.

Drinking... kale and apple smoothies. A good dose of greens and fruit in one. 

Obsessed... with browsing stylish interior designs on Homepolish.

Wearing... short sleeves and skirts.

Shopping for... a new air conditioner since our old one conked out.

Planning... to visit the new Whitney museum and the China Through The Looking Glass exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art soon.

Enjoying... all the pretty flowers in the garden downstairs like the one pictured above. Is that a rose of some kind? I'm just terrible at identifying flowers.

Looking forward to... more photoshoots with Rena and Ian. Thanks for all the lovely comments on their last photo story. Here is a behind the scenes shot with my favorite model poser. He's also my doll surgeon but that's a story for another day.

Rena & Ian's Spring Date

May 27, 2015
Pullip Doll Couple, Pullip Rida, Taeyang Sebastian

It's been awhile since Rena and Ian have made an appearance here. With the weather getting nicer these two are looking to get out more. They recently went on an outing in the garden downstairs and had a nice picnic with their favorite bubble tea and some sandwiches. It was a little breezy and Rena was worried about her hair getting messed up but Ian assured her that it was in place and looked pretty too.

Pullip Doll Couple, Pullip Rida, Taeyang Sebastian

Closet Cleaning Flow Chart

May 25, 2015
Closet Organizing, Closet Cleaning Tips

I clean out my closet twice a year and with this particular spring cleaning I've been a little more discriminating than usual as there have been a number of items I've held onto for awhile. Some pieces are like rediscovered treasures which I'm happily wearing again but there are also some things I probably won't due to fit or style. I've sold designer pieces and things in good or like new condition through Thredup and I also donated two bags to Goodwill. It feels liberating to purge and free up some room. I've also determined that I'll be shopping my own closet from now on and if I add anything, it will probably be something classic that I can still wear in the future. Some of my favorite pieces now are like 6 - 8 years old.

The title of this flowchart is a little explicit but the the advice is practical and useful. When's the last time you cleaned out your closet?

Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the US today. Let us be thankful as we honor and remember those who bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and for those who still serve.

Graphic via Bobella

Eye Candy : Falling For Innocence

May 22, 2015
Falling For Innocence, Falling For Soon Jung

I liked this Elle Korea editorial with Kim So Yeon, Jung Kyung Ho and Yoon Hyun Min when I first saw it but had no context for featuring it then. But that was before we started watching the Korean drama Falling For Innocence in which these three star. And I'm looking forward to it's ending this weekend. The plot isn't all that original as far as Asian dramas go but somehow we got sucked in. Jung Kyung Ho plays ruthless businessman Kang Min Ho who discovers his humanity and love after he gets a second chance at life through a heart transplant. He starts to change as he experiences cellular memory syndrome which can pass on certain characteristics, habits and memories of an organ donor to a recipient. Kim So Yeon is the woman his heart loves and Yoon Hyun Min is his business and romantic rival. I've been a fan of Kim So Yeon since All About Eve. She is consistently excellent in everything I've seen her in and this is no exception. She even manages to still look fresh and pretty throughout the live shooting process when others start showing signs of wear. I wasn't really familiar with Jung Kyung Ho or Yoon Hyun Min's work though I did read that they're actually good friends in real life who've acted together a few times before most notably in Heartless City. Jung Kyung Ho has been impressive in his portrayal of the progression of his character. I like that they didn't have him turn into a completely different person instead he finds another side of himself. I hated the way Min Ho was so rough with Kim Soon Jung in the beginning but at least he realizes this and tries to make up for it later which is quite endearing. The way they styled him in this pictorial is very similar to his character especially in the photos where he has a denim jacket layered under a velvet blazer and his hair looks the same at the start of the show. I wish they kept it that way cause this style works well on him. The first pic of So Yeon and Kyung Ho really rocks and her Sandro lace top is fabulous! If you're interested in Falling For Soon Jung, you can watch it online on Dramafever or Viki.

Falling For Innocence, Falling For Soon Jung

Dine Out : Maman

May 20, 2015
Maman New York, Maman Review

Maman is a charming café/bakery on Centre Street that I've been frequenting quite often especially lately. The rustic and eclectic space with whitewashed brick walls and distressed wood floors is quaintly decorated with bunny figurines, vintage photos and mix and match ceramics. The back dining room has the comfort of sitting in someone''s chic French country style home which is apt since "maman" means mother in French. With Michelin starred French chef Armand Arnal in charge, the food is solid as well. The menu features a revolving selection of family inspired French and American home cooking recipes. Savory options include quiches, salads, sandwiches, soups and seasonal specials like ratatouille, lasagna and shepherd's pie. Everything I've tried (see below for pics) has been fresh and delicious. I've noticed that a number of their daily offerings are usually vegetarian friendly as well. The bakery serves up an assortment of breads and pastries throughout the day and they're well known for a most delicious chocolate chip cookie. I can't attest to it since I don't really eat cookies but my friends who've tried it say it's pretty darn good. I have broken my ban on sweets for their Nutella madeleines and it's worth it! They serve Toby's Estate Coffee and Sloane Tea and these beverages come in the prettiest printed cups. I'm a fan of their matcha almond lattes and I'm looking forward to trying it cold as the weather warms up. The staff is usually friendly though there can be some frenzy during the lunch rush. You can dine in or take out so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, I'd recommend stopping by.

239 Centre Street (Grand &Broome)
New York City

Chanel N°5 In A New Light

May 18, 2015
Chanel No. 5, Chanel Exhibition, #n5ny

The last Chanel exhibit I viewed in New York was a celebration of The Little Black Jacket and if you follow me on Instagram, you might know that this past weekend we checked out No. 5 in a New Light, a pop-up exhibition in Chelsea dedicated to the impressive 94 year heritage of Chanel's classic fragrance. This is an innovative, interactive journey guided by the senses through the processes of creation, cultivation, composition, abstraction and revelation that reveals the iconic scent in a completely new light.

Chanel No. 5, Chanel Exhibition, #n5ny

Even though it was a free event, an online timed ticket reservation system was set up for entry. We were greeted by well groomed men in suits as soon as we approached the entrance on 14th and Tenth who quickly found our reservations and checked us in on their iPads. Inside another suited attendant welcomed us with a quick overview before sending us on our tour. As we made our way through, we listened to the wisdom of Gabrielle Coco Chanel, waved our hands over virtual pools of jasmine and rose petals to learn about how the flowers were picked, interacted with light discs to produce musical notes that conveyed fragrance notes and peered through a 3D sculpture of a No. 5 bottle. We were then encouraged to create custom postcards with rubber stamps that would be sent to family and friends. I made three. At the end there was an introduction to Chanel No. 5 Eau Première which is a modern interpretation of the original No. 5 that is lighter, fresher and more delicate. It was a really cool experience which I'll be sharing with you here. I apologize in advance for the image overload but this is the tightest edit I could get to that properly translates the spirit of the exhibition.

Chanel No. 5, Chanel Exhibition, #n5ny

Eye Candy : Zhao Wei for T Magazine

May 15, 2015
Vicki Zhao Wei T Magazine, Zhao Wei by Chen Man

Vicki Zhao Wei looks like a gorgeous and beguiling woodland fairy in this enchanting T Magazine editorial photographed by Chen Man and styled by Lucia Liu. The acclaimed Chinese actress who recently made an appearance at this year's Met Gala will soon be back on Asian television screens in the series Tiger Mom opposite Tong Dawei. She is also an award winning director. Her 2013 debut film So Young was both a critical and box office success in China. That's actually a movie I've been meaning to watch. I was shocked to find out that she recently turned 39 because she still looks just like her famous Xiaoyanzi character in the series Princess Returning Pearl (Huan Zhu Ge Ge) which came out in 1998. I've never posted a pictorial featuring Vicki even though she's one of my favorites because the Chinese magazines go overboard with the retouching sometimes. Thankfully this isn't one of them. With this kind of beauty, she definitely doesn't need it.

Vicki Zhao Wei T Magazine, Zhao Wei by Chen Man

Radha Beauty Clearing Serum

May 13, 2015
Radha Beauty Clearing Serum Review, Natural Skin Serum

Inspired by popular Korean skincare routines, I adopted a multi-step skincare regimen awhile ago. Since it involves layering a number of products. It can be time intensive but I think it's worth it for the results. One crucial step both in the morning and evening for me is a serum. Serums are meant to be applied after cleaning and toning the face and they typically contain key ingredients to address specific skin concerns like dark spots, wrinkles, etc. I switch between a few depending on the season and what my skin happens to needs Radha Beauty Clearing Serum claims to reverse the signs of aging while improving blemished skin and hyper pigmentation.

About the Brand: Radha Beauty is a 100% pure natural oils line and a natural skincare line. They combine high performance with natural and healthy ingredients and partner with earth-loving, women-empowering organizations. Their products use high quality and organic ingredients, are cruelty-free and use eco-friendly packaging.

Product Claims: This multi-tasking serum has sulfur which penetrates and creates elasticity while Niacinamide takes the red out and prevents inflammation that underlies all troubled skin issues. Vitamin C repairs micro scarring, reverses sun damage, provides significant natural sun protection and rapidly creates smooth supple glowing skin. Stealthy superior retinol and salicylic acid unclog pores, speed cellular turn over, and undo the signs of aging skin.

Key Ingredients: A powerful combination of active ingredients including 20% Vitamin C, 2.5% Retinol, 5% Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, 2% Salicylic Acid, 3.5% Niacinamide, Rosehip Seed, Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil.

Packaging: A sturdy encased plastic bottle that dispenses the product via a secure metal pump. The bottle is rather big considering it only contains 1 fl. oz. of product.

Price: $21.89 for 1 fl. oz.

Radha Beauty Clearing Serum Review, Natural Skin Serum

Currently Coveting

May 11, 2015

A few items currently on my wish list.
What are you coveting lately?
So I did purchase these two items from last month's wish list

1. Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist
{This sunscreen mist with an SPF of 50 works as a make setting spray and is perfect for taking on the go for reapplying sun protection throughout the day as needed.}

2. Reflecta Sun and Rain Compact Umbrella
{I've been using a UV umbrella for the past two summers and want another one to switch it up with.}

3. Threshold Taped Solid Toss Pillow
{It's time to swap out the wool pillows on our couch for something lighter.}

4. Levi's Trucker Jacket
{It recently occurred to me that I don't have a classic denim jacket in my closet and what's more classic than a Levi's trucker jacket.}

5. Zojirushi Rice Cooker and Warmer
{Our 5 cup rice cooker seems a tad big considering I hardly ever cook more than 2 - 3 cups so I've been thinking about downsizing to a 3 cup cooker to save some room. We need one cause my husband likes his rice and it's also great for cooking steel cut oatmeal.}

Flashback Friday

May 8, 2015

Sometimes it's fun to take a look back at our childhood photos. My mom says I was around 5 when we visited the Niagara Falls. I really have no recollection of it though. I'm quite mortified that my dress looks short enough to be a top even though it's cute. She said it was the style back then and that I was wearing bloomers underneath. That said, it's probably okay if you're under the age of 10 but I would not be caught dead in anything that short now. Hubster lived in Sri Lanka for a period of a few years when he was young because of his father's business. He was such an active child and so cute. He still has the best legs haha.

Check out my last Flashback Friday! Do you ever look back at your old photos?

Chinese Celebrities at the Met Gala 2015

May 6, 2015

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala 2015 on May 4, celebrated the opening of China: Through The Looking Glass so it was only fitting that a number of notable Chinese celebrities were in attendance. Esteemed actress Gong Li who was one of the co-chairs of the event was resplendent in a sumptuous burgundy velvet Roberto Cavalli gown adorned with lace sleeves. The cheongsam/qipao inspired silhouette and ornate fan embroidered back paid tribute to the theme of the night in an elegant way and also proves that you don't have to bare skin to look sexy. Zhang Ziyi who was dressed by Carolina Herrera also captured the theme tastefully in her white mandarin collared gown that featured Chinese style knotted buttons and delicate floral embellishments. In my opinion there were really no missteps from any of these stars and thankfully none of them looked like they forgot to put their clothes on. If you're going to opt out of interpreting the theme, classy is the way to go.  Ni Ni was like a ray of sunshine in her yellow Ralph Lauren gown, Tang Wei looked exquisite in her shimmery crystal bedecked Burberry dress and Zhou Xun was ethereal in Chanel. I also have to mention how handsome Chen Kun was in his Burberry tuxedo. He cut his hair and it looks phenomenal again! Yes I know Fan Bingbing is missing and it was deliberate as I don't tend to feature people I don't care for.

The exhibition which is a collaboration between the Costume Institute and Department of Asian Art takes a look at the impact of the Chinese influence on Western fashion. It will be on view from May 7 through August 16 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The artistic director of the show is influential filmmaker Wong Kar Wai and I'm very much looking forward to seeing his creative vision come alive.

What do you think of these looks? Is there one that stands out to you?

Gong Li in Roberto Cavalli

Through My Lens : On Instagram

May 4, 2015

Since joining Instagram, I find that I've been taking more photos and using my phone camera more often. Being a bit of a photo purist, I haven't really been too interested in using filters or changing my photography style. This is just a small selection of photos I've posted recently. I don't like to overload my posts with images cause I personally feel inundated after about 10 or so and just lose interest. To see more, please visit me on Instagram. You can find me at @rolalaloves. I've been really appreciating the view uptown from my building lately. The Empire State Building was lit in blue and white pinstripes and blue and orange in honor of the Yankees vs. Mets Subway Series. They would dedicate the lights to the winner after each game. This is how it looked after the first game. Let's say this Yankee fan was happy.

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for L'Officiel Hommes

May 1, 2015
 Ji Chang Wook

Ji Chang Wook never seems to stay away from the pages of magazines for long and he returns as the charming cover boy of the May issue of L'Officiel Hommes Korea. The accompanying editorial photographed by Do Kim Won titled The Healer of All features the dashing actor modeling urban chic looks by Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Ermenegildo Zegna and Paul Smith. I'm not a particular fan of the cigarettes. He definitely doesn't need to smoke to look smokin' hot but it does create a certain mood that is rather attractive. Chang Wook's career has been on an upward trajectory since his transformative performance as the titular character in The Healer. He hasn't chosen another K-drama project yet but he has been quite busy and recently made an appearance on the Chinese variety show Happy Camp.

The clock is ticking on the derma e giveaway! One lucky reader can win a set of natural and organic beauty products worth over $100.

 Ji Chang Wook

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