Archive for May 2016

Dine Out : Fonda

May 30, 2016
Fonda Chelsea, Fonda Restaurant, Fonda Chelsea Review, Fonda Review, Fonda Restaurant Review, Fonda New York

I think after Asian food, my favorite cuisines would be Mexican and Italian and the order varies depending on my mood. We're fortunate to have an ample number of both Mexican and Italian eateries in NYC that we like to explore. We recently visited Fonda, a two level eatery in Chelsea with a casual vibe. Guacamole is the de facto starter for us at any Mexican restaurant. It was made to order and arrived quickly at our table in a molcajete (a traditional Mexican version of a pestle and mortar) with hand pressed tortillas, chips and pasilla de Oaxaca salsa. The guacamole which wasn't fully mashed with chunks of avocado throughout (just how I like it!) was fresh, tasty and flavorful. Our entrées of Enchiladas Suizas and Carne Asada con Hongos were both good though a tad over seasoned and generously portioned. Though I suspect that is a matter of perspective because the people at the next table seemed to think their servings were small. Anyway we couldn't even finish our dishes. I don't usually like savory and sweet combinations but I quite enjoyed the Plátanos Fritos (sweet plantains) with cream and queso fresco. Hubby preferred the plantains straight up. We were seated upstairs and the service was a little slow because it seemed like there was only one server. I won't fault him because he was pleasant and really tried his best. The food was satisfactory but not particularly special or stand out in any way especially for what they charge. We dined there on a Gilt City voucher and this isn't a place that I'd be down to pay full price. Fonda also has locations in the East Village and Park Slope.

Are you a fan of Mexican food? What's you favorite dish?

Don't miss out on my latest giveaway! The prize is an assortment of Ciaté London, Julep, essie, Zoya, OPI & Lauren B. Beauty nail polishes and a nail art kit valued at $85! Enter here!

189 Ninth Avenue (21st & 22nd)
New York City

Fonda Chelsea, Fonda Restaurant, Fonda Chelsea Review, Fonda Review, Fonda Restaurant Review, Fonda New York

Eye Candy : Song Joong Ki For Marie Claire

May 27, 2016
Song Joong Ki, Song Joong Ki Marie Claire, Song Joong Ki Marie Claire 2016, Descendants of the Sun, 송중기, SongSong Couple, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, 태양의후예

There has been no shortage of Song Joong Ki editorials lately but this one for Marie Claire has to be my favorite because it plays so perfectly to his signature boy next door image. The concept finds the adorable actor chilling at home, cuddling a cute doggy and checking out the contents of his refrigerator amongst other activities. The casual cool styling featuring the Kolon Sport brand for which he is the spokesperson is also spot on. I can't say that I was the biggest Joong Ki fan prior to Descendants of the Sun but his charismatic performance won me over and he seems to be a truly good guy in real life as well. I know that for some people, it doesn't matter if the celebrities they're fans of are actually awful people but I personally don't care to follow anyone who's a jerk. Joong Ki was recently criticized when he chose to appear on Hurry Up Brother instead of Running Man (the former is the Chinese version of the latter). In fact he did it out of loyalty to previous Running PD Im Hyung Taek who is now helming Hurry Up Brother and his appearance fees were donated to charity. His agency also announced that all the proceeds from his Asian Fan Tour would be donated to charity. As a SongSong shipper I've been keeping tabs on his fan meets and he showed off some personal photos from his phone at his Beijing fan meet that revealed a very close relationship to both Song Hye Kyo and Yoo Ah In but somehow it felt like Yoo Ah In was there as a smokescreen haha. In Korea it's quite uncommon for female/male co-stars to continue to hang out regularly after a project has ended. Just saying. Joong Ki and Hye Kyo have both been nominated for lead acting awards in the television category for Descendants of the Sun at the upcoming Baeksang Arts Awards. I'm really hoping that they will both attend and maybe even walk the red carpet together. I'm sure other DOTS fans would like to see a Yoo Shi Jin and Kang Mo Yeon reunion as well.

Have you joined my latest giveaway? The prize includes an assortment of beautiful nail polishes from Ciaté London, Julep, essie, Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments, OPI & Lauren B. Beauty valued at $85! Enter here!

Marie Claire Korea June 2016 // Photographer: Kim Young Joon // Editor: Choi Park Min
Hair: Lee Hye Young // Makeup: Kim Ji Hyun // Prop Styling: Choi Seo Yun

Play! By Sephora

May 25, 2016
Play by Sephora May 2016, Play by Sephora, Sephora Play, Sephora, Sephora Beauty Box, Sephora Play Review

Did you know that Sephora has it's own monthly subscription beauty box program? It's called Play! by Sephora. Service rolled out to select areas in the States awhile back and they've been slowly expanding around the country. I signed up for the wait list a few months ago. I just received my first beauty box and I'm sharing my initial impressions here.

Play! by Sephora is a beauty box curated by Sephora. It comes in a collectible bag and includes 5 deluxe samples plus a fragrance, a Play! Book with information, tips, and helpful advice and a Play! Pass that can be redeemed in-store for a free beauty tutorial and 50 bonus Beauty Insider points with any product purchase. The monthly cost is $10. This covers shipping but not tax and purchase of the box does qualify towards your Beauty Insider points.  

Pretty Nails Giveaway

May 23, 2016
Giveaway, Blog Giveaway, Nail Polish Giveaway

After a cleanup and decluttering of my beauty stash, I was left with just a handful of nail polishes and for me that's actually more than enough since I rarely do my nails. It's just not a priority since I work with my hands as a photographer and I also cook daily and do housework. My husband is fine with that because he's not a particular fan of nail polish either. I didn't want these brand new nail polishes that were recently gifted to me go to waste so I'm doing a giveaway for you all. The total retail value of this prize pack is $85 and it includes the following products:

Ciaté Feather Manicure Kit, All A Flutter ($25 value)
Peachy-nude shade Ivory Queen is the perfect foundation to showcase the beautiful, bright feathers within this kit. Includes Includes: 0.17 oz. Ivory Queen Nail Polish, 0.46 oz. Speed Coat Pro, Scissors, Nail File Block, Genuine Feathers.

Julep Color Treat, Janet It Girl ($14 value)
A pale peach soft focus semi-matte shade in a 5 free, vegan-friendly formula that includes strengthening Hexanal and antioxidant green coffee extract. Breakthrough oxygen technology powers this fast-drying, long-lasting nail polish to get nails healthy and more beautiful at the same time.

Ciaté Mini Nail Polish, Pepperminty ($9 value)
A fresh mint shade in an intensely pigmented 3 free nail polish that provides long-lasting colour and a chip-resistant glossy gel wear finish.

Essie Nail Polish, Leggy Legend ($8.50)
A burnished gold foil metallic shade with an exclusive award-winning 3 free formula that provides flawless coverage along with outstanding durability and a chip-resistant finish.

Zoya Nail Polish, Blair ($10)
A vampy shade that can be described as a blackened red wine with a satiny smooth metallic shimmer and mesmerizing depth. Ultra long wearing, non-toxic 5 free formula.

OPI Nail Lacquer, Spare Me A French Quarter ($10)
This raspberry creme shade is one in a collection that celebrates the spirit of New Orleans. It features a super rich, heavily pigmented, long-lasting and chip-resistant 3 free formula.

Lauren B Beauty Luxury Nail Polish, Rose Bowl ($18)
A vibrant, purple-tinged pink shade with a hint of delicate silver shimmer that gives it a cool, unexpected depth. This advanced, quick-drying 4 free eco/vegan friendly nail enamel delivers a chip-resistant, long-lasting, mirror-like finish.

This is an international giveaway that starts May 23, 2016 and ends on June 1, 2016. Entries will be verified for eligibility. One winner will be randomly selected. You can enter through this link or the Rafflecopter widget below. The widget can be a little temperamental so if it doesn't load on this page, just CLICK THROUGH HERE FOR IT Good luck! Be sure to check back because I will also be adding a few extra ways to enter.

Eye Candy : Song Hye Kyo for Elle

May 20, 2016
Song Hye Kyo, Song Hye Kyo Elle, Song Hye Kyo Elle 2016, Song Hye Kyo Elle China, Descendants of the Sun, SongSong Couple, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo dating, 태양의후예, 송혜교, 송중기, 송중기

Song Hye Kyo is absolutely breathtaking in this Elle China editorial and she is also the cover girl for their June 2016 issue. Photographed by Hong Jang Hyun against the idyllic shores of Jeju Island, South Korea, her look channels glamorous beach babe meets ethereal mermaid and her sultry makeup perfectly complements the sumptuous outfits she is wearing from the Chanel Pre-Fall 2016 collection. I'm not usually fan of Chinese magazine editorials because they have a tendency to go crazy with the Photoshopping so it's quite refreshing that this one looks minimally retouched. Just watch the video and it's pretty obvious this woman doesn't need it. While her Descendants of the Sun costar Song Joong Ki seemed to be all over the place after the drama concluded it's record breaking run, Hye Kyo took some time off as she usually does between projects and it's good to see her back in the the spotlight again. It was recently announced that she will be a new spokesperson for Shilla Duty Free alongside Lee Kwang Soo who happens to be the best friend of Song Joong Ki. I'm sure they would've loved to have signed the SongSongCouple as a pair but Joong Ki is already repping rival Doota Duty Free. 

Also notable is the million dollar Mitsubishi Motors endorsement deal that she recently declined due to the company's involvement in Japanese atrocities in World War II. An 84 year woman who was a victim of forced labor during the war was so moved by Hye Kyo's actions that she wrote her an incredibly touching letter detailing her harrowing experience while praising and thanking the actress for her admirable decision. In this age where people so easily sell out for a quick buck, it's truly remarkable when a celebrity understands the social responsibility their status grants them and behaves accordingly. This makes me so proud to be her longtime fan. Hye Kyo really is beautiful not just in looks but also in heart as Song Joong Ki himself once said in an interview. And she is a woman with sense which is just his type. KiKyo haven't come out and announced that they're dating but I don't need that to believe they already are. 

3B Beauty Box May 2016 Unboxing

May 18, 2016

I'm still getting the 3B Beauty Box  even though I haven't done an unboxing in a few months. This is my May 2016 box which you can see actually comes in a pouch rather than a box. 

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.  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. It looks like there ins't a waiting list anymore and you can just sign up for a 3B Box subscription now.

Currently Coveting

May 16, 2016
Home Decor, Nate Berkus, Threshold Tray, H&M Home, Miffy Lamp

A few items currently on my wish list. Mercury is in retrograde (yes I believe in that!) and according to my horoscope, I should be focusing on my home this month. I'm an Aquarius.  What are you coveting lately?

1. Nate Berkus Gold Mirror
{That is one nice looking mirror.}

2. Threshold Mirrored Tray
{This would make a lovely addition to the top of our dresser that offers both form and function.}

3. H&M Glass Candle
{I adore scented candles but sometime I just want one that doesn't smell.}

4. H&M Picnic Blanket
{We need a new picnic blanket to replace our old one which is getting grody.}

5. H&M Glass Vase
{Kinda geeky, kinda cool how this vase resembles a beaker.}

6. Miffy Night Light
{Miffy the bunny is always cute in any form.}

7. Pillowfort Scallop Accent Table
{Because my love of scallops extends beyond fashion!}

Eye Candy : Jung Woo Sung for Bruno Baffi

May 13, 2016
Jung Woo Sung, Jung Woo Sung Bruno Baffi, Jung Woo Sung Indian, Jung Woo Sung Model

Jung Woo Sung brings his trademark suave sophistication as the face of the Spring 2016 Bruno Baffi campaign. The Italian inspired menswear brand whose name means "brown mustache" is actually based in Seoul and their fashion concept combines fine tailoring and timeless tradition with a modern sensibility. Woo Sung is currently working with fellow handsome actor Jo In Sung for the first time on the crime noir thriller The King. The story is about an ambitious prosecutor who uses his gangster friend to manipulate a powerful senior prosecutor has both men turning to their dark sides. The premise sounds pretty interesting. I have a longstanding appreciation for Jung Woo Sung. Try to watch A Moment to Remember or A Good Rain Knows and resist his charms. Or just take a look at this swoontastic gif of a 23 year old Jung Woo Sung in the film Beat. Song Joong Ki and Ji Chang Wook had absolutely nothing over him when they were that age. He's still quite dashing at 43 and is also good world citizen. Jung Woo Sung was appointed as a National Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2015. He has made personal donations to the organization as well as offered support for the UNHCR’s frontline fundraising and awareness raising work. This collection is definitely sharp and so is the model. The second to last outfit is my favorite. There's something really attractive about ascots. What do you think?

Jung Woo Sung, Jung Woo Sung Gif

Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

May 11, 2016
Valentia Review, Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask, Valentia Skincare

I recently admitted to being a sheet mask addict and while sheet masks are terrific for nourishing and hydrating, they're not so great at deep cleaning and detoxifying which is why I still use wash off masks for that purpose. Valentia reached out and asked if I'd like to try their Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask and since I really liked the Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask, I took them up on their offer to see if I'd like this one as well.

About the Brand: Valentia, the Roman Goddess of healing, relied on nature’s gifts to heal the citizens of Umbria. Valentia used berries, herbs, barks and other natural ingredients. Valentia Skin Care also relies on all natural ingredients for their protective, preventative and corrective powers. Valentia Skin Care products have always been formulated with natural and organic cosmetic ingredients that repair and protect the skin. Their vegan and cruelty-free products are also paraben-free and toxin-free.

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

May 9, 2016

Changing things up a bit with this month's post. I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with this format going forward but I wanted to try it out with a tighter edit since I only share select highlights from Instagram anyway. I don't repost every single photo from Instagram on my blog since I try to share unique content across different types of social media. I might get flamed for saying that but that's what I personally like to see. I mean what's the point of following people on different platforms if they just post the same thing over and over. For more, click on over to Instagram and follow along if you like what see.

April was an interesting month. At times it felt like spring and at times it felt as if we were in the midst of winter again in NYC. This erratic shift in temperature really seems to have stifled the full bloom of some trees and flowers by my observation which is a bummer. I was a semi shut-in while Descendants of the Sun was still airing so I was pretty unproductive on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the mornings when I was live streaming the show. I actually scheduled my work and meetings around that.

  • West Broadway is always nice to stroll along especially when the weather is nice.
  • I've been semi-obsessed with yam leaves since trying them at a restaurant awhile back so I've been living up since they've been in season and cooking them a few times a week. They work well with my tried and true method of sauteeing with garlic, sometimes seasoned with fermented tofu. 
  • Pretty tulips spotted in the garden downstairs.
  • Growing up Asian, noodle soup is like the best comfort food next to congee (rice porridge) They do a delicious braised beef noodle soup at Northen Tiger at Hudson Eats even if it is a little pricey.
  • I caught these beautiful blossoms at City Hall Park. I had to hustle quickly after snapping this photo cause that park is like overrun with pigeons which I am both disgusted by and afraid of.
  • My haul from the recent Sephora VIB sale was rather modest. I just didn't really need or want much at the time.
  • Memebox is more my speed in terms of beauty shopping these days. Let me know if you want to see a review on any of these products. The Benton Aloe toner was for my husband and I have a review planned for the Let's Cure Honey Bunny Propolis Ampoule cause my skin seems to love propolis. I'm excited about Beauty Of Joseon Cream but I haven't tried it yet. Get 20% off your first Memebox order!
  • Green grass is such a welcome sight!
  • This corner on Crosby Street is so visually interesting. NYC tip: Walk on Crosby to avoid the crowds on Broadway.

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for Femina

May 6, 2016
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook 2016, Ji Chang Wook Femina, 지창욱

Oh Ji Chang Wook, I most definitely haven't forgotten about you despite my recent fascination with Descendants of the Sun and the SongSong couple. It's just that there hasn't been much news since you've been busy working on back to back acting projects in China. To think that just over a year ago I was spazzing over you in The Healer which was my favorite Korean drama of 2015. Anyway I just found these photos from when you appeared in the Chinese publication Yi Zhou Femina and you are looking incredibly handsome all suited up in Jil Sander with that plate of spaghetti! The entire editorial spread is a little disjointed but your boyish appeal is totally radiating off that cover. I couldn't help but notice a few similarities between this photoshoot and the Harper's Bazaar pictorial with Song Joong Ki specifically the pics in bed and the fact that they're both wearing the same graphic Louis Vuitton jacket. Chang Wook gets the edge for the shots in bed because he looks so alluring first with that gaze and then with that winsome smile. But Joong Ki wins for the Louis Vuitton jacket because I liked his pose and hair more. Note to stylist: hair off face > man bangs. What do you think?

I shared this video on my Facebook page awhile back but I wanted to share it here as well while I'm on the subject of Chang Wook because he absolutely killed it in this live New Year's eve performance of Fragrance (暗香) alongside Sha Baoliang. This is the theme song of the popular Chinese drama The Story of a Noble Family (金粉世家) and it's so good. I'm still blown away every time I watch this especially when he comes in on the first chorus. Chang Wook has such an amazing voice and to hear him singing in Mandarin just gives me the feels. He will be making his return to the musical production, The Days in Korea later this year and I hope he gets in one more drama or movie before he has to enlist for his mandatory military service.

Dine Out : Egg Shop

May 4, 2016
Egg Shop Review, Egg Shop New York

New York City is full of restaurants that specialize in one thing. You can probably guess from the name Egg Shop, that their menu concept revolves around eggs. Egg Shop serves only organic and locally sourced eggs and this casual eatery is open for lunch and dinner as well as breakfast but whenever you go, prepare for a possible wait. For the record, we got there at noon on a Monday and were immediately seated. The space while bright, cute and airy, is not all that big. Blonde wood furniture with mint accents and chalkboards make up the decor and there is an open kitchen as well as seating at the bar/ counter. Their lunch menu consists of sandwiches, bowls called cruisers and a number of custom egg and cheese combinations. Hubster got a sandwich called The Beast which has pulled pork carnitas, a sunny side up egg, fresh cilantro, pickled onion, chipotle bourbon ketchup on french bread. I opted for the Spandex which consists of miso quinoa, farm greens, avocado, and pickled carrot, topped with a a poached egg. Yes it was healthy but it was also really tasty as was the sandwich which had a really nice mix of flavors. Of course the eggs were perfectly prepared in both. We also ordered a side of hashbrowns which were crispy and flavorful. And they make a nice matcha latte. Egg Shop gets a thumbs up for fresh and delicious food and our service was pretty good considering it was crazy busy there. I don't think it's a place that's worth waiting in line for and I probably wouldn't but it is worth a return visit.

Are you a fan of eggs? What's your favorite way to have them? Mine is poached!

Egg Shop
151 Elizabeth Street (Broome & Kenmare)

Recent Additions To My Closet

May 2, 2016
New Clothes, J. Crew Caspian Plaid Boy Shirt,  J. Crew Billie Demi Boot Crop Jean, J. Crew Pleated Midi Skirt, Veja Esplar Sneakers

I talked about this before but I've really cut back on my clothing shopping since a major closet cleanout last year. I still add new pieces but I try to be deliberate with quality pieces and styles that I can still wear years from now. The last time I added to my wardrobe, it was a few classic black items but I have spring on my mind with these recent additions.

J. Crew Caspian Plaid Boy Shirt 
This is the first plaid shirt I've owned since college. Back then I had one that I got while interning at Ralph Lauren that I wore until it was practically threadbare. I like that this is a pastel plaid. J. Crew boy fit shirts run huge. I had to go down two sizes for a fitted look.

J. Crew Billie Demi Boot Crop Jean
A fun new silhouette with a higher waist and a little kick flare. These jeans are so flattering and comfortable and I've been wearing them a lot lately. Runs true to size.

J. Crew Pleated Midi Skirt
I got the striped version of this skirt last year which I wore it all the time. I think this navy polka skirt will be just as classic and versatile. I love the midi length and it has pockets! This skirt is generously sized so I went down one size.

Veja Esplar Sneakers
I was considering getting a pair of Adidas Stan Smith sneakers until I spotted these silver kicks and fell in love. And I love them even more in person. These sneakers not only look super cool but they're eco-friendly as well. They're going to look so cute with skirts and dresses as well as with more casual looks! These only come in whole sizes and run large.

What do you think of my new additions? Have you bought any clothing/accessories recently?

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