Archive for November 2016

Holiday Gift Guide : For Her

November 30, 2016
Gift Guide, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Ladies, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

Today's gift guide includes a selection chosen just for the ladies even those that might be hard to please. And maybe you might even find a few of these making it onto your Christmas Wish List. Personally I'm hoping for that sweater and body care trio. I can speak from experience that the Aveda set is lovely.

1. Michael Kors X FujiFilm Instax Camera
The Instax camera goes glam in gold.
2. Kate Spade NY Scallop Hinge Bangle Tracker
Probably the prettiest fitness tracker out there!
3. Rebecca Minkoff Power Tassel Bag Charm
Give your bag a touch of flair while charging your phone.
4. Grown Alchemist Body Trio
A set to pamper and treat the skin.
5. Aveda Feeling Balanced Is A Gift 
Give the gift of wellness with this set of pure essential oils to balance and heal the body and mind.
6. Slip Silk Pillowcase
A pillowcase crafted of the highest grade mulberry silk that helps you sleep your way to softer skin and smoother hair.
7. Ted Baker Hawleth Slipper
Pink, furry and fabulous!
8. TopShop Teddy Hooded Chevron Robe
Soft, comfy and perfect for lounging.
9. West Emory Two Sided Gold Vanity Mirror
Instant chic for a vanity or bathroom.
10. 'Sometimes All You Need Is A Billion Dollars' Ceramic Tray
A thought we've probably al had at one time or another.
13. Baublebar Oval Signet Ring
Signet rings are always classic and the personalization makes it more special.
12. H&M Fine Knit Cashmere Sweater
A ruffle detail makes this sweater anything but basic.
13. J. Crew Ribbed Hat with Pom Pom
Anything with a pom pom is just automatically more fun.
14. Kate Spade NY Ooh La La Makeup Crossbody Bag
The trompe l'oeil makeup effect is so fun and whimsical!

Holiday Gift Guide : Beauty

November 28, 2016
 Beauty Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

Beauty gifts are among some of my favorite types both to give and receive. They're ideal because there are so many categories from makeup brushes to high tech gadgets that range in price from the affordable to the luxe. There may be a few picks here that would be on my personal wish list as well.

1. Bobbi Brown Bellini Lip & Eye Palette
A gorgeous neutral eye and lip palette that is sure to be a hit.
2. Beauty Counter Color Sweep Blush Duo
A clean beauty duo that is just so pretty.
3. Labitotte Chateau Labiotte Wine Tint 
I've heard great things about these long lasting lip tints and the wine bottle theme/packaging is really fun and whimsical!
4. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
A total game changer when it comes to drying your hair! This was my one purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale and I'm already in love with it. Review to come.
5. La Mer Mini Miracles Duo
A lovely way to gift a little bit of luxe.
6. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
A personal favorite both for the luminous glow it imparts as well as the attractive bottle it comes in.
7. Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask
Clinically proven light therapy once only available in a dermatologist office is now offered in this in-home treatment mask.
8. Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream
A multi-benefit skin regeneration cream that harnesses the power of snail mucin which is one of the hottest K-beauty ingredients. This is a cruelty-free product.
9. Foreo Luna Play
A miniature and even more travel friendly version of the popular waterproof facial silicone cleansing device that channels T-Sonic pulsations for deep and gentle cleansing. I have a regular one which I switch out regularly with my Clarisonic.
10. Lano Lips Hands All Over
A 100% natural and cruelty free ointment made with pure Lanolin that mimics your skin's natural oils. These fruity strawberry and peach-flavored tubes intensely hydrate and soothe everything from chapped lips and broken cuticles to eczema and psoriasis.
11. Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Sheet Mask
Treat your face to ultra hydration and nutrition for instantly glowing, clear skin. This innovative mask is created with 100% real sea kelp, one of the most nutrient & mineral dense marine botanicals in the world.
12. Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish
A wonderful skin indulgence that leaves skin soft and hydrated with a light scent of coconut and rose petals.
13. Sonia Kashuk Cosmetic Brush Set
These would make a practical and graphic addition to any beauty too arsenal.
14. Laneige Multiberry Yogurt Repairing Mask
This mask smoothes and moisturizes and it smells like strawberry yogurt! Check out my full review!

Just a few days left on my 3B Box beauty giveaway! Enter here!

Holiday Gift Guide : Under $30

November 25, 2016
Under $30 Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

The holiday gifting season is almost upon us and I'm kicking off my holiday gift guide series with some luxe for less picks that prove that you don't have to spend a small fortune for a nice present because after all it's the thought that counts.

1. Dana's Bakery Variety Macaron Box
Who wouldn't want a colorful box of yummy macarons
2. Merona Polka Dot Zip Wallet
Such a fun design
3. Umbra Anigram Bunny Ring Holder
This bunny is both cute and functional
4. H&M Scented Candle
This candle looks like it costs much more not to mention it would look cute anywhere
5. kate spade new york Patio Floral Blush Acrylic Glasses
Some of the prettiest glasses I've seen in awhile
6. Matthew Williamson Fashion, Print & Coloring Book
One seriously stylish coloring book
7. The Laundress Fabric Fresh
Practical and luxe at the same time
8. CB2 Potted Succulent with Copper Pot
A soothing plant in a chic container
9. Knit Pom Pom Blanket
An adorable addition to any home
10. The Soap & Paper Factory Bouquet Shea Butter Hand Cream
Hand cream is something anyone could use and this comes in a gorgeous package too
11. H&M Tinted Carafe
A lovely way to dispense water or other beverages

Don't miss out on my 3B Box beauty giveaway! Enter here!

There Is Always Something To Be Thankful For

November 23, 2016

Well the unfathomable somehow happened and I think like most people in America, I'm still trying to wrap my head around what transpired during the election a few weeks ago as well as what the future holds.  Beyond my personal feelings, a wave of uncertainty, anxiety and fear is currently traversing our nation… What I say to that is that we shouldn't necessarily feel defeated and instead we need to be strong, to educate and inform ourselves, know our rights and continue standing up for what we believe in. Moving to Canada isn't the answer. You might make more of a difference by moving to a swing state instead. And consider signing this petition to end the Electoral College and adopt the National Popular Vote because if that were the case life would be quite different right now since Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote by over 2 million votes.

And now more than ever it's important to remember everything that's good in our lives and to be thankful for them.

Don't miss out on my 3B Box beauty giveaway! Enter here!

3B Beauty Box Giveaway & Unboxing

November 21, 2016
Beauty Giveaway, The 3B Box, 3B Beauty Box, 3B Beauty, Beauty Beyond Borders, Asian Beauty Box, Korean Beauty, Korean Skincare, Korean Beauty Box

The 3B Box has made some changes since my last unboxing post. The service has unveiled an online shop where people can now purchase full size versions of the samples in their monthly 3B Box along with a selection of limited edition boxes. They also made some price changes as of last month. The monthly price has gone up from $12 to $15 for new members. There are now 6 and 12 month subscription plans at $84 ($14/month) and $144 ($12/month) respectively. All subscription boxes will continue to ship for free. The old pricing has been grandfathered in for existing subscription members and the company has made a guarantee not to make any plan or service changes for two years.

3B which stands for Beauty Beyond Borders is a monthly beauty subscription box that curates some of the best skincare products from Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Each box contains 4 - 5 deluxe samples. I would say that 3B is like an Asian beauty version of Birchbox or Ipsy. 3B is currently a US based subscription service. This box is ideal for anyone interested in trying out Asian beauty products or can't access them easily.  As of right now, they only ship to the US. Learn more about the 3B Box subscription.

Dine Out : Din Tai Fung

November 18, 2016
Din Tai Fung Seattle, Din Tai Fung, Din Tai Fung Review, Din Tai Fung Restaurant,, Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao, 鼎泰豐

Confession: almost as soon as we booked our Seattle vacation, we started a list of places we wanted to dine at and Din Tai Fung was at the top. This Taiwan based chain is known for their 小笼包 xiaolongbao (steamed soup filled dumplings).  I should mention that xiaolongbao did not originate from Taiwan but from Shanghai, China. That's neither here nor there for the purposes of this review. Just putting it out there as a statement of fact.

There are currently two, soon to be three locations of Din Tai Fung in Seattle. We visited the one in University Village which is an upscale open air shopping center located near the University of Washington campus. We heard about the crowds and the place was already buzzing with people when we arrived at 11:15. This was on a weekday just 15 minutes after they had opened. The restaurant is situated on the 2nd floor in a building just inside the entrance. It is an airy space with a sit down bar area in the front and a window through which you can watch the dumplings deftly being made right by the entrance. The decor is simple and casual with wooden tables and chairs. Bamboo steamer baskets adorn the walls. You're given a sheet to tick off the items you want. Along with dumplings, the menu has a selection of noodles, rice, soups, vegetables, Chinese style desserts and teas.

We opted for the classic juicy pork soup dumplings. At this location, they're also available in pork and crab and truffle and pork varieties. They must have these ready to go because the soup dumplings arrived at our table within minutes of our order being taken. Judging by appearance, they looked beautifully crafted with delicate pleats. We both noted that they weren't steaming hot and cooled down really quickly. After all the hype, the taste was a bit of a letdown. The skin was thick and chewy and though tasty, there was a distinct lack of soup in the dumplings. We've eaten many soup dumplings and it's a unique experience. The basic criteria is a skin that is delicate and thin as possible without breaking, filled with a savory soup that explodes in your mouth when you bite into it and a filling which carries the flavor of the dumpling that is well seasoned, juicy and toothsome. At $10 for 10, these soup dumplings should've wowed and they just didn't do that for us.

Chilhuly Garden and Glass

November 16, 2016
Chihuly Glass House, Chilhuly Garden and Glass Museum, Chilhuly Glass Art, Chilhuly Garden and Glass Seattle, Chilhuly Miuseum

The first Chihuly art piece I ever saw was the Fiori Di Como, an awe inspiring glass sculpture displayed upon the ceiling in Bellagio’s lobby in Las Vegas. This is said to be one of his most famous works. Years later we spotted a few more pieces at Atlantis Paradise resort in the Bahamas which were equally as dazzling.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is a long term exhibition comprised of both indoor and outdoor installations located at the base of the Seattle Space Needle. The exhibition showcases the artist's staggering hand blown glass sculptures while also exploring the inspiration and influences behind his works. Dale Chihuly was first introduced to the glass blowing technique integral to his artistic process when while working at the Venini glass factory in Venice. Chihuly cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in 1971 which led in the development of glass as a fine art.  His work can currently be seen in more than 200 museum collections worldwide.

The exhibition space was smaller than I expected but it was well curated with a progressive flow. The presentation is divided into eleven sections including a theater where you can view a four minute short film about the artist. In viewing his work up close, I can only describe it as beautifully colorful, delicate and intricate at the same time. Particularly impressive were the Glass House,  a 40 foot glass and steel structure with a stunning 100 foot long suspended sculpture and the bold and vibrant Persian Ceiling which was simply mesmerizing.  I even captured my husband taking his own photos in there. Be sure to check out my Seattle Travel Diary to see the rest of our vacation!

Are you familiar with Dale Chihuly's art? What's catching your eye here?

Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style

November 14, 2016
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection Of Style,  Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style Exhibit, Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style at the Seattle Art Museum, Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection Of Style SAM

I had mentioned in my Seattle Travel Diary that one of the highlights of our Seattle vacation was the Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection Of Style exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. This exhibit produced in collaboration with the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent features highlights iconic fashion designer's illustrious 44 year career with a number of notable as well as some never before seen creations along with sketches from his stint at Christian Dior.

Yves Saint Laurent, undoubtedly one of the most influential fashion designers of all time is often credited with modernizing fashion for the way he was able to adapt his designs to accommodate the changing times. He landed a job at Christian Dior at age 19 and succeeded Christian Dior as artistic director in just two years. The silhouette inspired by Dior's New Look introduced in his first collection would later come to be known as the "trapeze dress." His latter collections would meet with less success and Saint Laurent was eventually fired in 1960.  He would go on to start his own legendary fashion house with Pierre Bergé where he continued to innovate through his designs until he retired in 2002. Saint Laurent passed away in 2008 but his legacy lives on through his enduring impact on fashion.

I really must thank my wonderful husband for patiently taking in this exhibit with me. We had some pretty good conversations about the styles and craftsmanship. He also made a point of taking lots of photos on his own because he knew I would be sharing the experience here and wanted to make sure I was covered. Yes I did use some of his photos here. Btw the new iPhone 7 does perform better in low light situations than the 6S. The color temperature also runs considerably warmer.

This exhibition is an incredible showcase of Yves Saint Laurent's life and work, detailing his creative process and influence. It was just as fascinating to see the Paper Doll Couture House he made as a teenager to the beautiful pieces from his final runway collection in 2002. Photos simply do not do the artistry of these creations justice so if you're in the area, go see them in person.

Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection Of Style is on display at the Seattle Museum of Art through January 8, 2017. It will then travel to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. If you can't get to the exhibit, you can always check out the accompanying book of the same name. It will be going on my holiday wish list!

What do you think of this exhibition?

The lucky winner of my blog anniversary giveaway is Nicole A! Congratulations! Be sure to meet me back here next Monday for another fun beauty giveaway!

Eye Candy : Jin Goo for Cosmopolitan

November 11, 2016
Jin Goo, Jin Goo Cosmopolitan, Jin Goo  2016, 진구, Descendants of the Sun

While Descendants of the Sun may have catapulted Jin Goo into new heights of popularity for his solid performance as Major Seo Dae Young, the 36 year old actor has actually been in the business for 13 years. He made his debut back in 2003 in the Korean drama All In as the younger version of Lee Byung Hyun's character. His DOTS costar Song Hye Kyo was the leading lady of that drama and Han Ji Min portrayed her yoounger couterpart which I didn't quite understand when I watched it considering she and Hye Kyo were the same age and the latter still appeared more youthful even back then. I guess they had to do that to cover the actual 12 year age gap between the main leads. Jin Goo haa some memorable supporting roles in films like A Bittersweet Life and Dirty Carnival but his breakthrough came with Bong Joon Ho's Mother in 2009 which earned him two of Korea's most prestigious acting awards. That was an excellent film and he was definitely deserving. Jin Goo started getting lead roles after that but somehow he's always seemed to fall under the radar until the massive success of Descendants of the Sun. He is set to star in the upcoming MBC drama Night Light alongside Lee Yo Won (yay!) and UEE (blech!) as a chaebol who is caught up in a love triangle amidst a story of a power struggle fueled by greed. Even though I do like two of the leads, that plot is beyond basic and clichéd so it it's a solid pass for me. For now, lets just admire how fine he looks in this editorial for Cosmopolitan.  Just look at that chaming smile and that first outift is so suave! Jin Goo and his wife just welcomed their second son last week. Congratulations!

If you haven't watched Descendants of the Sun which I still highly recommend, you can now catch it on NetflixHulu and Dramafever as well as Viki. And here are 10 reasons why you should watch it.

Last call for my five year blogiversary with a beauty giveaway which ends tonight! Enter here!

Cosmopolitan Korea November 2016  //  Photographer: Choi Seung Kwang  //  Editor: Kim So Hui
Stylist: Kim Eun Jin  //  Makeup: Oh Yun Hui  //  Hair: Go Hun  //  Assistant: Yi So Mi

Seattle Travel Diary

November 9, 2016
Seattle, Seattle Travel Diary, Seattle Travel Guide, Seattle City Guide

Things were a little quiet around here while the hubster and I snuck out to Seattle, WA at the end of October for an extended long weekend. The weather in Seattle is always rainy and that was case during our visit. The rain was intermittent and on the light side and there would be patches of sun so it was all good. We noticed that most of time the locals didn't even bother with umbrellas. A jacket with a hood is definitely recommended if you're visiting. I found mine came quite in handy.  We wore sneakers for the trip and found that was actually a better option than boots since rainfall was spotty.

Seattle is in the Pacific timezone which is three hours behind the Eastern time zone which we were coming from. We had decided that we wouldn't shift our time clocks by much in an effort to combat jet lag and make it easier to adjust all around and it worked. We would go to bed by 10pm every night and get up at 7am, allowing for plenty of sleep which is always a big priority for me. Then we'd get an early start every day. By doing this we managed to avoid crowds wherever we visited and during mealtimes which is always a win.

Dine Out : Speedy Romeo

November 7, 2016
Speedy Romeo Review, Speedy Romeo Pizza, Speedy Romeo New York

The second location of Speedy Romeo was a new addition to the Lower East Side dining scene in the spring of this year. The restaurant's namesake is the prize racehorse of one of the owner's families. Speedy Romeo is known for it's Neapolitan style pizza, made in a hardwood fired Italian pizza oven along with a menu of a handful of restaurant classics. The place has a casual neighborhood vibe with exposed brick walls, bench seating and an open kitchen. We ordered the signature cheeseburger, a half pound Angus beef patty topped with Provel cheese (a blend of cheddar, swiss and provolone) and speedy sauce. The juicy and well cooked burger was complemented by the tasty flavor combination of the cheese and tangy sauce. This place takes a novel approach to pizza with unusual pies like the Paul's Boutique, a tribute to Katz's famous pastrami sandwich in pizza form. We chose The Dangerfield with pork veal meatballs, ricotta, béchamel and garlic chips. The thin crispy crust provided a nice balance to the hearty toppings which there was a good ratio of and it was delicious. A jar of pickled chillies is served alongside the pizza added another dimension of flavor. The service was friendly, laid back and good. There were more menu items that we'd like to return and try at another time.

Do you like pizza? What's your favorite topping?

I'm celebrating my five year blogiversary with a beauty giveaway! Enter here!

Speedy Romeo
63 Clinton Street
New York City
$ - $$

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for GQ

November 4, 2016
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook 2016, Ji Chang Wook GQ,  지창욱, The K2

I may be biased but I think that Ji Chang Wook is the perfect model for the Calvin Klein Jeans FW 2016 collection featured in this GQ editorial. His boyish good looks match up really well with these sporty denim and outerwear. looks Who knew sportswear could be so smoldering and his hair is on point once again. What's more we get a peek at his abs which are even more sculpted than his gorgeous cheekbones. Chang Wook is the embodiment of a guy who is cute and sexy at the same time. I'm just in love with everything about the first pic... 

Have you heard about my blogiversary giveaway? The prize is a Kevyn Aucoin makeup palette. Enter here!

Current Mood

November 2, 2016

Listening... to Park Hyo Shin's Breath and Beautiful Tomorrow. What a voice.

Reading... Around the House and in the Garden by Dominique Browning. I came upon this book while cleaning and realized that I never finished reading it so I began again. It was given to me by a sales rep at my last job. It's a powerful narrative that draws on the how one's home can be used to heal the spirit.

Watching... This Is Us. We were a little late to jump on but we've been hooked ever since we started watching this NBC family drama. The hype is real! This show has so much heart and humor and the acting is actually good. It chronicles the lives of three people who all share the same birthday in the present day and it also jumps back to show how their childhoods have shaped who they are today.

Eating... lots of roasted vegetables. Fall vegetables are the best!

Drinking... La Croix Sparkling Water and totally getting why people are obsessed with this stuff. It's made with flavors derived from the natural fruit essence oils and contains no sugars or artificial flavors. My favorite flavor so far is Peach Pear and I'm slowly trying to work my way through them all.

Wearing... the new jacket that my husband bought me. It's so lightweight and toasty!

Loving... Love and Friendship. I finally watched this latest Jane Austen adaptation starring Kate Beckinsale on Amazon Prime. It was so refreshing and full of wit and humor.

Looking forward to... Chen Kun's return to drama. It was recently confirmed that he would be headlining the espionage thriller, The One Who Escapes 脱身者.

Rooting... for the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series. The Cubs may be the sentimental favorites because it's been so long since they took home a championship but I have no love for their GM or manager. And I would still root for former Yankee Andrew Miller as long as he's not playing against my Yankees. Great pitcher and class act. We couldn't be happier when the Indians knocked out the Toronto Blue Jays. They were the biggest betches in baseball this past season who don't play the game right. I've been watching baseball for many years and have strong opinions. Jose Bautista once followed me on Twitter to try to get me to follow him. I blocked him instead. Histrionics and bat flipping are not cool.

On my way... home from Seattle. We had so much fun there! Caught an amazing YSL exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum and we ate very well. Photos and a trip recap to come. I'll catch up with everyone when I'm back in NYC.

PSA: You can now watch Descendants of the Sun on NetflixHulu and Dramafever as well as Viki. And here are 10 Reasons why you should watch it. Someone recently told me that they wouldn't watch anything that wasn't in English and required reading subtitles. Frankly that's pretty lazy and ethnocentric.

I'm celebrating my five year blogiversary with a beauty giveaway! Enter here!

What's up with you?

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