Archive for 2017

Happy New Year

December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017! Hello 2018! 

2017 was all about focusing on personal wellness and improving our quality of life and that will definitely continue.  I'll talk more about that on here soon. We spent the last days of the year resetting, reflecting and setting new goals.

With each incoming year comes a fresh start with so many possibilities...  Wishing you all a 2018 filled with infinite happiness, good health and luck, lots of laughter, fun adventures and delicious treats!

Image via Kate Spade

On 2017 & A Holiday Wish

December 22, 2017
Happy Holidays

Just as 2017 arrived in a flash, it's about to end...   Now is as good a time as any to be reminded that it's important to be grateful and cherish every day because once it's over, it's gone.  Maybe it's just me but somehow at times 2017 felt like it dragged on as much as it flew by.  Personally this past year was all about choosing quality over quantity and that meant making better choices. I'm happy to say that this was a goal that I managed to see through and will continue as it has been fulfilling and led to a better quality of life. Yes it possible to live better with less and saving money is a major benefit that goes along with it!  Self care continued to be a priority and it has been a necessity in dealing with some personal issues as well as just coping with everything happening in the US and the world these days. Highlights included celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary, paying off our mortgage early (yay to being totally debt-free!) and of course my husband's big promotion.

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who's stopped by here! I'm ever so grateful for each and every one of you and for your continuing support.  Happy Holidays! May this be a time of resounding joy for you and your loved ones no matter what you're celebrating. Have fun and be safe!

This will be my last post for 2017 but you can keep up with me on Instagram and I'll still be sharing tidbits of interest on Twitter. And let's connect again here on the other side of the new year!

Winter Skincare Tips You Can't Ignore

December 21, 2017

Happy winter skin is not always easy to achieve. The dry air that develops from low humidity levels and cold weather results in moisture being stripped away from the skin, every second of the day. If you don’t care for your skin effectively, extremely dry skin can lead to bleeding and cracking, and the harsh weather and winds in the winter months will only make the problem even worse. So, how do you care for your skin in the winter? Let’s take a look…

Instytutum High Performance Skincare

December 18, 2017
Instytutum Skincare, Instytutum Review, Instytutum Triple Effect Peel, Instytutum Oyster Renewal Serum, Instytutum Day Cream, Instytutum High Performance Skincare

In the fast moving world of beauty,  it can be hard for brands to stand out.  Instytutum is an innovative luxury Swiss skincare brand built on a passion for scientific and dermatological advancements and a belief in the restorative power of nature. Based on the work and research of Dr. Natalia Derkach,  Instytutum products are infused with a specially curated water that has been purified through a five-step filtration process and formulated using only the most exceptional of ingredients. The brands believe in a holistic approach to skin care and their products which contain a a combination of cosmeceutical ingredients, patented stem cells and biomimetic textures have been clinically tested to ensure scientifically-proven efficacy and  are designed to support a healthy lifestyle. Instytutum strives to make an impact on the world as well as your skin. The company funds fund a clean water initiative in partnership with Waves For Water to provides clean water filters to impoverished communities all over the world.

Eye Candy : Lee Seung Gi for Star1

December 15, 2017
Lee Seung Gi, Lee Seung Gi Star1, Lee Seung Gi 2017, 이승기, Lee Seung Gi Hwayugi

Fresh off his discharge from military service, Lee Seung Gi brings his signature adorable boy next door charm and good looks to the pages of Star1 magazine. Technically he was discharged on October 31 but I may have been too busy gushing over the SongSong couple's wedding to give Seung Gi a proper welcome back.  I really missed him during his 18 month absence but I did keep tabs on how he was doing in the army. Seung Gi was a member of the special forces and of course an exemplary soldier.  It's no surprise the Korean Army was using him as the face of their organization on their promotional materials since he always maintains a positive image as a model citizen who will never embarrass any organization he represents.

For his K-drama comeback, the multi-talented 30 year old will be reuniting with the writing team of the Hong Sisters who wrote My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho and Cha Seung Won his You're All Surrounded co-star. The drama entitled Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey) is loosely based on the 16th-century Chinese novel  Journey to the West. Seung Gi takes on the role of the mischievous Monkey King along with Cha Seung Won as the Bull Demon King, Oh Yeon Seo as the Monk and Lee Hong Ki channeling the Pig God.  These characters come together in the modern human world and fight to bring peace to mankind.The teasers make this show look like a fun mythical fantasy with touches of comedy. I really hope it will be lighter rather than drama laden because there's enough misery in the real world now that I don't need to watch it onscreen. Hwayugi will premiere on TVN on Dec. 23. And if that's not enough to keep him busy, Seung Gi will also be a regular on the upcoming SBS variety show  Jipsabu (All the Butlers) which has male celebrities visiting famous figures at home and spending the night while  learning about their lifestyles and achievements. Other regulars include Lee Sang Yoon, Yook Sung Jae and Yang Se Hyung. It sounds fun and a little like a more civilized1N2D which is where Seung Gi really came into his own. I became a big fan after watching him on that show because of how he always conducted himself with such humility, impeccable manners and respect for others. Good Boys > bad boys always! Now all we need is for Seung Gi to work on some new music... You can watch Hwayugi exclusively on Viki.

Lee Seung Gi, Lee Seung Gi Star1, Lee Seung Gi 2017, 이승기, Lee Seung Gi Hwayugi

Dine Out : JaJaJa

December 13, 2017
Jajaja, Jajaja New York, Jajaja Mexican, Jajaja Review

JaJaJa pronounced "hahaha" is a vegan Mexican eatery on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side. It has received a fair amount of buzz for it's unexpected pairing of these two popular cuisines. It actually makes sense since the history of Mexican food is largely plant based. Occupying a corner space adjacent to the F train, the restaurant exudes an inviting vibe that is both laidback and peppy at the same time with it's original mosaic tiled floors, light wood decor punctuated by mint green seating.  The menu features a variety of Mexican favorites. Of course we had to try the nachos with the guacamole add on.

Louis Vuitton Volez Voguez Voyagez

December 11, 2017
Louis Vuitton, Volez Voguez Voyagez, Louis Vuitton New York

Volez Voguez Voyagez (Fly, Sail, Travel)  is a visual journey through the history of the House of Louis Vuitton from 1854 to the present. Curated by Olivier Saillard and designed by Robert Carson, the immersive exhibition is currently on view at the American Stock Exchange building at 86 Trinity Place in New York City.

Gift Guide : For Foodies

December 8, 2017
Holiday Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting, Gifts for Foodies, Food & Cooking Gifts

When it comes to gifts for foodies, edible presents are obviously quite appropriate. You also can't really go wrong with anything in the entertaining category and helpful gadgets/equipment are usually appreciated as well.

1. Wild and Wolf x Ted Baker London Lunch Stack Box
Bringing your own lunch has never been so stylish with this three compartment lunch box that includes utensils.

2. Vitamix Ascent A2300 Blender
I thought my Kitchenaid was a good blender until I upgraded to this Vitamix recently. It's super powerful and quiet which is good combination when it comes to blenders.

3. Crate and Barrel Copper Wine Rack
This wine rack crafted of slim iron rods will lend a contemporary artful presence to any countertop, wine cabinet or bar.

4. Sugarfina Dark Chocolate Champagne Bears
Anyone is sure to be delighted with these effervescent gummies dipped in luxurious 64% Parisian dark chocolate.

5. Kate Spade Two of a Kind Mask Bottle Opener
This chic bottle opener shaped like a harlequin mask is both functional and sure to be a real conversation piece.

6. Love is Love Mugs
A mug set with heart along with a heartfelt message. The sale of each set benefits The Human Rights Campaign.

7. Primula Flowering Tea and Tea Pot Gift Set
A tea experience that includes a hand-blown borosilicate glass tea pot, a glass tea infuser with glass lid, 6 flowering green tea bulbs and 3 packets of loose tea should be enjoyable for both tea connoisseurs and novices alike.

8. Thirstystone Appetizer Plate Set
These chic appetizer plates are sure to dress up any table/occasion.

9. Agate Platter with Gold Plated Rim
A versatile platter fabricated of natural Brazilian agate that can be used as a cheese board, serving piece or even as a display.

10. Madewell x Milk Bar® Blue(berry) Jeans Cookie Mix
Milk Bar is en extremely popular dessert spot in NYC and this collab makes it possible for those who can't visit to try their treats.

11. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
This immersion circulator makes it possible to get restaurant quality sous vide results at home. that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. I would love to get one of these! The sous vide method always looks so cool on cooking shows and it's healthy since your food is being slow cooked in a water bath.

12. Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker
Give the gift of fizzy drinks anytime with the Drinkmate which is the only carbonated beverage maker that allows the user to carbonate any liquid from juices to wines and cocktails.

13. AeroGarden Harvest Elite
An innovative indoor gardening system that grows garden-fresh herbs, vegetables, salad greens and more all year round. Completely soil free, AeroGarden harnesses the power of more than 100 high-performance LED lights to provide optimal growing conditions in your home. I need to make room for one of these.

14. Macaron Making Set
This kit is perfect for any macaron lover who wants to make their own macarons at home whenever they wish to.

This post contains affiliate links.

Gift Guide : For Her

December 6, 2017
Holiday Gift Guide, Ladies Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting, Holiday Gifts for Her, Gifts for Ladies

This gift guide includes a selection chosen just for the ladies with luxuries that range from big to small. This is another one of my favorite gift guides to put together. In the past I've been told by some ladies that they'd like to just pass this one on to their SO's to shop from. I continue to be of the belief that you can't go wrong with gifts that are meaningful and also useful. I tried to include some gifts that give back and there may be a few items I'm eyeing for myself along with some personal faves like the Dyson hair dryer. This year my husband is getting me an iPhone X and this ring and I actually may be more excited over the latter since I adore personalized jewelry.

1. Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum
This highly covetable award winning, corrective  serum is formulated with nutrient-dense botanicals and organic oils that work synergistically for healthy, radiant, youthful skin. Totally on my wish list!

2. Hey Gorgeous Beanie
A pretty little toque that is both warm and chic.

3.  H&M Pajamas
Chic and cozy pajamas to lounge and sleep in fine style. I have these and they are so comfortable that I could just live in them!

4. Kate Spade Scallop Sticker Pocket
This stylish stick-on adds a pocket to the back of your phone to make toting your ID, credit card or transit card super convenient.

5. Dyson Blown-A-Ouai Set
Whoever receives this set will be in for many good hair days. The Dyson hair dryer is worth all the hype and the mini editions of Ouai's best-selling products deliver nourishment for soft, shiny coifs. I've had my Dyson dryer for over a year now and I'm still convinced it's one of my best beauty purchases ever for how quickly it dry and tames my thick unruly hair. My husband loves it as well.

6. Everlane Day Heel
These elegant ballet-inspired pumps with a walkable block heel are the perfect combination of chic and comfortable.

7. Aromatherapy Associates Miniature Bath & Shower Oil Collection
Turn any bath into a spa experience with minis of all of the bath and shower oils in Aromatherapy Associates award-winning collection. Made with naturally derived aromas and plant-based extracts, the oils help soothe muscle tension, alleviate stress and lift your spirits.

8. Warby Parker Tilley Sunglasses
These elegant sunglasses are all about classic meets old school glamour. Warby Parker partners with VisionSpring for a Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.

9. Gorjana Power Gemstone Bracelet For Calming
Jewelry that goes beyond ornamentation. Genuine gemstone and golden hammered 18k bar accent this stackable adjustable bracelet made with howlite which is used to calm and help to develop patience, tolerance and a positive outlook on life.

10. aHead Wireless Headphones
These streamlined headphones marry style with high performance and Bluetooth 4.0 technology.

11. Toms Drizzle Grey Wool Tassel Women's Ivy Slippers
These wool slippers with contrast tassels and topstitching will deliver on the warm fuzzies. And for every pair purchased, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.

12. Everlane The Human Woman Cotton Muscle Tank
Equal rights have never been more important. For every limited-edition tank sold, Everlane will donate $5 to Equality Now which has been fighting to promote equal rights for women around the world since 1992. #HumanTogether

13. Byredo Rose Hand Wash
Elevate the act of hand washing with Byredo's Rose Hand Wash which features a divine rose scent accented with pink pepper, raspberry, rose petals, magnolia, exotic patchouli and white musk.

14. Umbra Tesora Jewelry Box
Made of concrete and copper plated zinc, this jewelry box will look artful on a vanity or countertop while providing two compartments to store jewelry and small trinkets.

This post contains affiliate links.

Gift Guide : For Him

December 4, 2017
Holiday Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting, Gifts for Guys, Gifts for Men, Gifts for Him

I always have fun putting this gift guide together.  Even more so because I always get my husband's input on it. Depending on who you ask or who you're shopping for, coming up with gifts for guys can be an easy or difficult task. Sure bets are always useful things that they wouldn't think to get for themselves. Tech and personal care are good as well.  Fortunately my husband has always been easy. He already trusts me with all of his wardrobe selections and he likes his home comforts. Usually I just ask him what he wants. And his request for this year is on this list. Some people think that detracts from the whole gifting experience but for us it just means that we get what we want and everyone is happy.

1. J. Crew Flannel Pajama Set
A good pair of pajamas is great for lounging as well as sleeping in. This pair happens to look pretty stylish and is also super soft making it extra comfortable. It can also be personalized with a monogram. I picked this set up for my husband on sale and he lives in it at home.

2. Goodfellow & Co Fedora
A fedora is such an easy way to dress up any look and there's something so dapper about them. My husband has one very similar to this that he always gets compliments on whenever he wears it.

3. Everlane Cashmere Sweater
Elevate his sweater game with  a cashmere crewneck. This is a timeless style with a touch of luxe thanks to the soft and lightweight warmth of cashmere. Btw cashmere is much easier to care for than most people think.

4. Tempurpedic Slippers
Classic slippers upgraded with a plush cloud memory foam footbed and a warm fleece lining for a gift of cozy.

5. Star Wars Darkside Socks
Everyone needs socks and fun socks are a great way to add a little fun to any work outfit. What could be cooler than Darth Vader socks cause darkside > light.

6. 8GB Flash Drive Money Clip
Sleek brushed steel forms a tech-centric money clip that doubles as a functional 8GB USB flash drive.

7. Harry's Winston Set
Harry's Winston razor combines form and function. The precision head bends to glide over curves and contours and the German engineered blade provides a close and comfortable shave. My husband and I are both fans. This set has all the essentials and is reasonably priced. And the best part is replacement blades only cost $2.

8. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Electric Toothbrush
The DiamondClean Smart is a complete oral care solution delivering the best plaque removal, gum health and whitening performance. We use this and it has made such a difference.

9. Mophie Power Reserve
A portable power bank is great to have on hand for emergencies. Both compact and reliable, this one delivers two full charges using 2.1A output and smart adaptive charging technology to identify the connected device for the quickest and most efficient charging.

10. Morning Handsome Stoneware Mug 
Start his day off with a positive affirmation...

11. Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is always covetable and the series 3 comes with an array of upgraded features to take it to the next level. This is what my husband wants. He just needs to decide on which one.

12. Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset
VR is the next frontier and it adds an entirely new perspective to gaming. We tried this out at the Google store and were just blown away by the experience.

13. Samsung Gear Real 360° 4K VR Camera
A 360° camera that fits in your pocket and captures life at every angle in stunning 4K video and 15MP photos.

14. Jonathan Adler "Mr." Needlepoint Throw Pillow
This traditional meets contemporary pillow will add a touch of whimsy and style to any decor.

This post contains affiliate links.

The lucky winner of my blog anniversary giveaway is Jenny! Congratulations!

Gift Guide : Wellness

December 1, 2017
Holiday Gift Guide, Wellness Gifts, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

Wellness has been proclaimed the new luxury but personally I believe it should be a priority since feeling good and being healthy should take precedence over anything else. I mean what's the point of looking good when you feel like crap. Beauty purchases have definitely taken a backseat to self care purchases in our house this year which has vastly improved our quality of life. Our Black Friday/Cyber Monday purchases included a Dyson Humidifier and a Vitamix. And both of these have made a a difference already.

1. Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter
This BPA-free plastic pitcher uses a sustainable plant-based, coconut-shell carbon filter that helps reduce everything from chlorine and mercury to copper and zinc in regular tap water. It's good for you as well as the planet.

2. Himalayan Salt Lamp
Himalayan salt lamps generate negative salt ions that can have health benefits like increased blood flow, improved sleep, increased levels of serotonin in the brain, and soothing allergy or asthma symptoms. They're kind of nice to look at as well.

3. Full Moon Dust Sachet Box
Moon Dusts are custom blends of adaptogenic super-herbs and super-mushrooms plus additional ingredients with proven benefits that help to combat the effects of stress to nourish body, beauty and consciousness from the inside out.  This Sachet Box includes 12 Moon Dust Sachets in Spirit, Beauty, Power, Brain, Dream & Sex.

4. Awair Glow Air Quality Monitor
This is the gadget to have if you're concerned about the air quality in your home. It tracks and monitors toxins, chemicals, CO2, humidity and temperature, providing actionable insights and personalized tips. It can also turn on your appliances the moment your air quality deteriorates.

5. Well Kept Screen Cleansing Towelettes
These are a handy solution to keeping personal tech devices clean and smudge-free. Keeping your devices germ-free devices is not only better for your health but also for your skin health.

6. Pursoma Digital Detox Bath
Made with purifying French green clay and hand-harvested grey sea salt, this deeply revitalizing bath treatment nourishes, hydrates and soothes. It's unique formula features single-origin montmorollite clay to absorb toxic buildup while sea salt stimulates circulation and blood flow. The healing power of a good bath should never be underestimated.

7. this works Sleep Tight 
This is like a mini first aid kit for sleep that features the three mini sprays/aids that work naturally to improve sleep quality and restore normal slumber patterns. Mist bed linens with Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Sleep Plus Pillow Spray to restore better sleep and normal sleeping pattern, and inhale Stress Check Breathe In to relax the mind and relieve daily stress. The Sleep Plus Pillow Spray is a personal favorite for more restful and longer sleep.

8. Dry Skin Body Brush
This brush is designed to gently exfoliate, support circulation, condition skin, and boost the lymphatic system. Dry brushing is wonderful for detoxing as well as smoothing skin. I do it at least twice a week.

9. TriggerPoint Performance Foam Roller
This portable, handheld massage roller provides targeted relief to channel blood and oxygen directly to tissues to aid in recovery after workouts. Usage can also help to improve flexibility and range of motion. We got on last month and I totally swears by it.

10. S’well White Marble Traveler Bottle
Disposable plastic bottles are terrible for you and who needs them when you can stylishly tote your H2O in this stainless steel water bottle with an elegant, marble-inspired design. I think I may need to get one for myself.

11. Chalait Top Grade Ceremonial Matcha
Give the gift of matcha which has so many health benefits with this giftable tin. Chalait's Top Grade Matcha is perfect for special occasions or for matcha connoisseurs who want to treat themselves to the delightful flavor profile of a premium ceremonial grade matcha. We are lucky to have Chalait cafes in NYC and they know their things when it comes to matcha!

12. HappyLight Light Therapy Energy Lamp
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is real since our brain chemistry and body clock are affected by light. Bright light exposure early in the day stimulates our body's production of serotonin which improves mood and happiness and regulates melatonin in the evening which promotes sleep. HappyLight works to stimulate the production of these important hormones naturally.

13. Eat Beautiful
Part cookbook, part beauty guide, international beauty expert Wendy Rowe creates a simple and holistic approach for laying out a healthy skin diet that feeds your body and skin from the inside out. The book contains over 70 recipes for radiant skin with general discussions about beauty and food and how it all comes together through mindful eating, moving around and cutting down on stress. I love this book and use it all the time. Check out my full review!

14. Vitruvi Essential Oil Diffuser
Made of high quality hand milled ceramic porcelain, this artfully shaped diffuser has a capacity of over 500 feet and can run for up to 7.5 hours. A perfect example of when form meets function. I have one of these on my wish list.

This post contains affiliate links.

Gift Guide : Beauty

November 29, 2017
Holiday Gift Guide, Beauty Gifts, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Holiday Gifting

Beauty gifts are among some of my favorite types both to give and receive. They offer so many possibilities since there are so many categories from skincare to makeup to high tech gadgets that range in price from the affordable to the luxe. I'm including some picks here which are personal favorites as well as a few that happen to be on my wish list as well.

1. ZIIP Beauty Nano Current Skincare Device
This device uses nano-currents measuring one billionth of one ampere to stimulate the skin and promote collagen and elastin as well as lymphatic drainage circulation.  I own one and I need to write a review post but I will say that my skin is always noticeably firmer and plumper whenever I use it on my face and neck. I also swear by it to eliminate breakouts.

2. Peach & Lily 3 Pc. Sheet Mask Set
This gift-able set includes three mask treatments designed to target specific skincare needs. The Chubby Cheeks is my favorite for how it effectively lifts, plumps and hydrates.

3. Huxley Hydration Trio
Dry skin doesn't stand a chance against this three step hydrating and soothing skin care regimen that includes a full-sized toner, refreshing serum and a gel-cream moisturizer. The alcohol and water-free formulations contain organic Sahara prickly pear cactus seed extract and other botanicals that provide hydration and antioxidant nutrition. The toner is ideal for use in the 7 Skin Method.

4. Belif First Aid 360 Eye Care Mask
An eye mask can really come in handy when our eye area requires a little extra TLC. This intensively moisturizing leave-on mask cools and relieves puffy and fatigued eyes.

5. French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish
I use this product daily to nourish and renew my lips. It's really wonderful and has an invigorating rose and peppermint scent.

6. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
This sleeping mask is formulated with ultra-soothing watermelon extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and gentle AHAs that work overnight to hydrate, smooth, and tone skin. I sampled it at Sephora and it has a luscious bouncy texture and the loveliest scent. The only thing that kept me from buying it is all the sleeping masks that I need to finish up first.

7. Wander Beauty Kiss & Tell
This adorable three piece kit with two full-sized individual Wanderout lipsticks housed in a mini Pucker Up Pouch would make a lovely stocking stuffer! I have this and both lip colors are so pretty and wearable.

8. Clé de Peau Beauté Essential Radiance Set
This limited-edition discovery set is a wonderful way to experience the luxury of the Clé de Peau Beauté brand.

9. RMS Beauty Luminizer Quad
This palette features four high-impact luminizers that are an innovative twist on the brand's cult-classic Living Luminizer which happens to be a favorite of mine for how is adds the perfect amount of natural sheen without ever being OTT.

10. Artis Elite Smoke Oval 7 Brush
The hype is real with Artis brushes. This luxurious and ergonomic brush has the softest and densest bristles that feel heavenly. I only need to use the tiniest bit of foundation for a smooth flawless looking finish. Win one of these in my giveaway!

11. Deborah Lippman Undressed Nude Nail Polish Set
This set has all the shades one would need to create any number of elegant nude nail looks.

12. Atelier Cologne Perfume Wardrobe
This Perfume Wardrobe is a selection of Atelier Cologne’s original perfumes, with eight unisex fragrances. The beautiful keepsake tin doesn't even require wrapping.

13. NARS NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette
The limited-edition palette is a stunning wardrobe of warm and cool, matte and shimmer blushes that offer up a world of possibilities.

14. Pretty Vulgar Lock It In Makeup Setting Spray
This is a fine mist makeup setting spray that locks your makeup into place and keeps it looking radiant. How pretty would that atomizer inspired bottle look on a vanity!

My blog anniversary giveaway closes in a few days. The prize includes some of my favorite beauty products!

This post contains affiliate links.

Gift Guide : Under $30

November 27, 2017
 Under $30 Gift Guide, Gift Guide, Gift Ideas, Stocking Stuffers, 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. I definitely veer towards the practical when it comes to gift giving because I personally prefer to receive things that are actually useful but that doesn't mean they can't be fun and practical at the same time. I really enjoy putting these guides together and I hope they will give you all some good gifting ideas.

1. Sugarfina x Pressed Juicery 7-Day Juice Cleanse Gummy Bears  ($23)
Okay this isn't a real cleanse but a fun idea! These all natural green juice bears made with apple, lemon, ginger, and greens contain 20% of your daily Vitamins C & A. I've tried them and they taste delicious!

2. RSVP White Marble Swivel Top Dual Compartment Salt Box  ($26.99)
This elegant and practical salt box would make a lovely addition to any tabletop as it would be convenient use to in the kitchen.

3. Marbled Mouse Pad  ($11.99)
This might be one of the prettiest mouse pads ever!

4. Cheeky Porcelain Mini Bowls  ($15.99)
Super cute and functional! For every purchase, Cheeky will donate 4 meals to people in need in the U.S. through their partnership with Feeding America.

5. Doughnut Bottle Opener  (($18)
Start a conversation and make a statement at the same time with this adorable bottle opener.

6. Sugarfina Mini Martini Shaker & Olive Set  ($24)
This whimsical gift set includes a mini cocktail shaker and olive-inspired, chocolate-covered almonds.

7. Druzy Tassel USB Keychain  ($14)
This travel-friendly trinket features a lightning USB cable hidden inside the tassel for stylish charging on the go.

8. Printed Sunglass Case  ($6.99)
I tend to misplace my glasses cases so I'm always on the lookout for cute ones.

9. Wireless Rose Gold Speaker  ($25)
Compatible with iPhones, Androids, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, this speaker would make a thoughtful gift.

10. Cinematic Light Box with Letters and LED Light  ($19.99)
A lightbox offers a creative way to decorate and the possibilities are endless.

11. Scratch Off: 99 Ways Happy ($10.85)
This set includes 3 paperback journals entitled ‘DO’, ‘BELIEVE’ and ‘THANK’ filled with quotes, exercises and inspiring ideas as well as interactive scratch-off elements and space for your own thoughts and notes. We could all use a little more happy...

12. Cherry Bombe Cookbook  ($17.99)
This cook book combines a beautiful balance of visual aesthetics with a variety of practical recipes with a global influence that range from healthy to decadent.  Check out my review.

13. Everything Is Gonna Be Ok Thermal Mug  ($14)
For those days when we need a positive affirmation.

14. Boy Smells Petal Scented Candle  ($29)
This candle features a blend of magnolia, night–blooming tuberose, purple geranium, golden amber and exotic musk for a scent which is an intoxicatingly floral and fresh at the same time. I smelled it at a shop last week and I need to go back and get it.

Just a few more days to enter my blog anniversary giveaway! The prize includes some of my favorite beauty products!

This post contains affiliate links.

A Simple Fact

November 22, 2017
On happiness

Not to oversimplify things but this simple fact is true. These are trying times we live in. So while it may feel like a dark cloud is looming over, we have to try to find the light and keep surrounding ourselves with that which makes us happy. While I'm may not be happy with the state of the world and what I see on the news, I'm quite content with everything that I have in my life and want for nothing (except a new president). That's what keeps me going. So let's continually acknowledge all that's good in our lives and be thankful for them.

Join my blog anniversary giveaway! The prize includes some of my favorite beauty products!

The Five Senses Of Fall

November 20, 2017
New York City, Autumn, The Five Senses Of Fall, Autumn, Fall Is my favorite season

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
Stanley Horowitz

Out of all the seasons, Fall is undoubtedly the most visceral because of the way it has of invoking all of our senses. The air becomes crisp and cool as we finally get away from the sweltering heat of Summer and reacquaint ourselves with all things cozy like sweaters, snuggling under blankets while enjoying scented candles and hot drinks. It's a season I always find myself wishing would hang around longer and that's not just because I know that winter is looming. Whenever anyone asks me when they should visit New York City, I always suggest the fall because it's such a great time to savor the city along with the season. Here's to embracing the five senses of fall...

Eye Candy : Daniel Henney for Arena Homme+

November 17, 2017
Daniel Henney, Daniel Henney Arena Homme+, Daniel Henney 2017, Daniel Henney Hamilton Watch

Daniel Henney lounges about at home so effortlessly and stylishly on the cover and pages of Arena Homme+. I'm not even mad that this is just a thinly veiled advertorial for Hamilton watches for which the Korean American actor is a publicity ambassador because he looks damn fine in every single photo and the styling is on point. Third image is my favroite of this shoot! The vibe is just dreamy!

So People Magazine declared Blake Shelton the Sexiest Man Alive earlier this week to considerable backlash. Personally I'm in the camp that disagrees but more so because of his past racist, homophobic and sexist tweets than the fact that he's not even remotely close to the type I find physically attractive. I do think it's a total travesty that Daniel Henney has never even made it onto their radar considering the Michigan born actor has been steadily working in Hollywood since 2009. But then this is a magazine that generally fails to recognize people of color.  I mean how do you pass over Idris Elba for Blake Shelton???  Earlier this year Elba participated in a date lottery to fundraise for W.E. Can Lead, a charity with a mission to educate and empower young girls. That's sexy AF not to mention he smolders! Maybe People felt they met their quota on minorities for the decade with Dwayne Johnson last year.  But somehow it's okay to keep perpetuating the outdated myth of cisgender male sexuality...  Anyway there's absolutely no denying how extremely handsome and sexy Daniel is. And how incredible is his hair! And to my husband, I will admit to having a thing for Idris but not Daniel. Okay maybe a a little after My Lovely Samsoon but it definitely didn't last long.

Don't miss my blog anniversary giveaway! The prize includes some of my favorite beauty products! And be sure to also check out my Instagram giveaway for more beauty goodies!

Currently Coveting

November 15, 2017
Currently Coveting

With the holidays around the corner, I have my mind on festive dressing lately. I'm also thinking about the cooler temperatures which have finally arrived and how to stay warm and stylish at the same time.

1. H&M Lace Blouse
The lace and bowtie add a touch of fancy to this blouse which I think can work for day or evening depending on how it's styled.

2. H&M Ruffled Pants
I saw these on mannequin at H&M but they didn't have them in my size. I've been thinking about them ever since. The cropped length and ruffle detail are so fun.

3. TopShop Pow Bonded Coat
Loving how this coat combines trench and menswear styling for a classic and polished look.

4. J. Crew Cluster Stone Ring
A pretty cocktail ring that will add sparkle to any ensemble.

5. Botkier Chelsea Faux Shearling Lined Boot
Chelsea boots are always in style and this looks like it combines form and function with a cozy lining and sturdy sole.

6. J. Crew Ruffly Tulle Dress
This dress is so dreamy and feminine! It looks party or wedding perfect! I also think it would be fun styled with those Chelsea boots and a moto jacket...

You can always check out my running wish lists in the Shop With Me section on the blog. What are you coveting?

Join my blog anniversary giveaway! The prize includes some of my favorite beauty products! And be sure to also check out my Instagram giveaway for more beauty goodies!

Getting To Know Alana Mitchell Skincare

November 13, 2017
Alana Mitchell Skincare Review, Skincare by Alana, Alana Mitchell Night R1 Retinol Facial Oil, Alana Mitchell Quick Comeback Masque, Alana Mitchell 4-in-1 Cleansing Pod

As much as I enjoy luxury skincare, I've also been making an active effort to discover and support more independent natural beauty brands particularly ones that are owned by women because that's something that's important to me.  A licensed medical esthetician, Alana Mitchell launched Alana Mitchell Skincare with a mission to make safe and effective products that deliver real results. The formulations are a fusion of scientific ingredients and the finest natural and organic ingredients on the market and the  products are free of artificial fragrances and parabens and not tested on animals.

Current Mood

November 9, 2017

Listening...  to Years and Years. I've been a little obsessed since seeing them perform live at the Erdem x H&M event. I can't wait for the song Hypnotised that's featured in "The Secret Life of Flowers” campaign film by Baz Luhrmann to be released. It's so hauntingly beautiful as is the film!

Watching... The Good Doctor. This ABC drama is based on the Korean drama of the same name and we thought it might be fun to watch both at the same time. The K-drama which has already aired is only 20 episodes long while the network drama has done so well that it has already scored a full season. The American drama followed the Korean one closely for the first few episodes and then kind of veered into it's own direction which is cool.

Eating... steel cut oats with kale, mushrooms and egg. I've been doing savory oatmeal for awhile and this is currently my favorite because it's so hearty and wholesome at the same time not to mention delicious.

Using...  this Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask every other night. Check out my mini review!

Obsessed...  with using this TriggerPoint Foam Roller after my workouts. It's great for recovery and working out any muscle issues. My husband swears by it for his tight IT bands.

Hoping...  that the forecasts about winter arriving late and leaving early this year will turn out to be true.

Wearing... these Frame Denim Le Garcon jeans non-stop. They're just so comfortable and flattering and easy to dress up or down.

Ordered... my first pair of Hunter boots. As much as I love my Loeffler Randall rain boots, the knee high length can be a little restrictive. It's nice that Hunter is doing shorter lengths in more refined silhouettes now.

Putting... my shopping list together for the Sephora VIB Sale. It's mostly restocks including this mask which I can't live without. Can you believe that I've spent so little at Sephora this year that I haven't even made the qualification for VIB for next year yet?

Happy... that I managed to score a dress from the Erdem x H&M collaboration. I purchased this dress and top at the preview party and then I shopped again when the collection went on sale on 11/2. Used the app and it was breeze. I really wanted this pajama style top to wear as a jacket but the 4 was too big. I also got this dress  which my husband really liked. I liked it as well but I ended up keeping the first one because it's more versatile so I took this photo of the other one for him. I also returned the lace top because it didn't feel special enough. The quality of this collection is really good.

Have you entered my blog anniversary giveaway? I've put together a prize that includes some of my favorite beauty products! Enter here! Also stayed tuned on Instagram for another giveaway!

A Beauty Giveaway to Celebrate My Blog Anniversary

November 6, 2017
giveaway, blog giveaway

rolala loves is celebrating it's 6 year blog anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been that long and I'm just so grateful for everything that this blog has brought into my life including some incredible friendships and opportunities. I really want to take a moment to thank you all for your visits, support and encouragement whether you're a new reader or you've been with me from the start. I'm continually amazed and humbled whenever I meet people or when they reach out to me over email or social media to tell me that they've enjoyed or found something that I wrote to be helpful or interesting. That is the best feeling and the best motivation. I promise I'll never become one of those bloggers who just writes about stuff they got for free because there's nothing compelling or authentic about that.

Song Hye Kyo & Song Joong Ki Are Married

November 3, 2017
Song Hye Kyo & Song Joong Ki Married, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, SongSong Couple, Song Hye Kyo Song Joong Ki Wedding, 태양의후예, 송혜교, 송중기, 송중기

It's official! Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo are married now. The star couple were wed on October 31 in a private ceremony at the Shilla Hotel's Yeong Bin Gwan in Seoul. Both of them were outfitted Dior. Joong Ki was dapper in a made-to-order peak lapel black tuxedo while Hye Kyo stunned in a custom ivory Dior wedding gown featuring a princess cut silhouette and train with delicate lace embellishments around the neckline. Her hair and makeup was both understated and elegant.

Dine Out : Calle Dao

November 1, 2017
Calle Dao Chelsea, Calle Dao Review, Calle Dao Restaurant, Calle Dao New York, Calle Dão

To say New York City is the home to a vibrant dining scene would be an understatement. With so many eateries coming and going,  it can be hard to keep up. Had I not been invited to a special tasting at Calle Dão recently, I don't know how long it would've have taken me to stumble upon this Chelsea eatery that pays homage to Havana’s El Barrio Chino (Chinatown).  Once known as the largest such community in Latin America, El Barrio Chino occupied 44 square blocks of real estate in the late 1870s. A unique fusion of cuisine emerged as Cuban and Chinese cultures melded. Today, El Barrio Chino sits upon a small section of the narrow Calle Cuchillo known as Knife Street from which Calle Dão takes its name. Calle means street in Spanish and dao means knife in Chinese.

Las Vegas Travel Diary

October 30, 2017

I was married in Las Vegas and my husband and I have always talked about going back there at some point to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we decided that this was the year. There is a story there which I will tell one of these days and it's not that we eloped. Of course when we planned our vacation a few months ago, we had no idea that such an enormous tragedy would occur the night before we were set to travel there. We woke up to the startling news as well as a number of texts from family and friends asking what we were going to do. With a few hours to decide after contacting our hotel, we decided that we would go forward with our trip as planned. After all this could have just as easily happened in New York or somewhere else. We didn't see the point in being afraid and security would certainly be at a maximum for the week. I guess others felt the same because our flight was full.

Eye Candy : Song Hye Kyo for Vogue

October 26, 2017
Song Hye Kyo, Song Hye Kyo Vogue, Song Hye Kyo 2017,  SongSong Couple, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, 태양의후예, 송혜교, 송중기, 송중기

When Song Hye Kyo  and Song Joong Ki  traveled to California in September, speculation went wild as to whether it was a work or personal trip for the soon to be married pair. Well apparently it was both. While Joong Ki's Marie Claire cover and editorial were shot in a studio, Hye Kyo ventured to the Ranch Malibu for her Vogue editorial entitled 'Gaia is the Wind' and she also appears on multiple covers for their November 2017 issue. In Greek mythology, Gaia is known as the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess. Sporting extensions with curls and soft, romantic makeup, Hye Kyo looks positively goddess-like modeling a range of languid dresses and tweed separates by Chanel. ICYDK, she often appears in Chanel because she is one of Karl Lagerfeld's muses.

Cherry Bombe The Cookbook

October 24, 2017
Cherry Bombe Cookbook, Cherry Bombe Cookbook Review

A cookbook is quite the perfect segue for Cherry Bombe, considering the biannual indie magazine is all about celebrating game changing women and food. The recently released Cherry Bombe Cookbook features a collection of over 100 recipes from some of the most creative and inspiring women working in food.  Notable chefs, pastry chefs, writers, bakers and food stylists share recipes and stories that inspired a favorite dish in answer to the question a question: “What makes a recipe special and truly worth your time?"

Erdem X H&M

October 20, 2017
Erdem H&M, Erdem H&M Collaboration, Erdem. H&M, H&M Designer Collab, H&M x Erdem

The Erdem x H&M collection will be making it's retail arrival online and in stores on November 2. The Swedish fast fashion chain has had considerable success with previous collabs which have included Marni, Isabel Marant, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Maison Martin Margiela among others. Judging by the images in this look book, the collection perfectly encapsulates the signature romantic aesthetic of designer Erdem Moralioglu in the form of floral prints and lace embellished frocks and silk suits. According to a press release, this capsules aims to "reinterpret the design themes from some of his most celebrated collections." and will include his first foray into menswear.

These designer collabs are incredible because of how the way they translate luxury ready-to-wear into accessible and affordable fashion for us regular folks. The prices for this collection top out at $299. While not all of these pieces are exactly appropriate for every day wear, the holidays are around the corner and the dresses are certainly party perfect. The chic separates could definitely be worked into daytime looks depending on how they're styled. I'm totally eyeing the first dress which is giving off some serious couture vibes with it's fit and flare silhouette and ribbon edged detailing. The pajama style ensemble also looks impossibly chic and comfortable at the same time.

So as I was writing this, I just happened to receive an invitation to preview and shop this collection at an exclusive event with Baz Lurhmann (who directed this dreamy campaign film) and H&M.  I immediately checked my calendar and sent my RSVP with a yes. Maybe I need to write about winning the lottery now LOL

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Beauty Brands That Give Back

October 18, 2017
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Beauty Brands That Give Back, Shopping for a cause, Products that benefit breast cancer research

According to statistics, one in every eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime making it the second-most-common cancer among women worldwide. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, one of the most recognizable movements in support of breast cancer to raise awareness for the importance of early detection, to raise funds for research for a cure as well as to provide resources and support for those affected. A number of beauty brands have released a range of pink products which benefit breast cancer research efforts. While none of us really need an excuse to shop for beauty products, there's no better time to splurge a little and shop for good.  Keep in mind that not all pink products are created equal. Some products are merely branded pink and don't actually make any type of contribution towards the cause or if they do, it may not be as much as you think. Here are 15 beauty buys that are each dedicated to donating a portion of their proceeds towards breast cancer charities. Some of these would make wonderful gifts.

Current Mood

October 16, 2017

Listening...  to Royal Pirates Hasta La Vista.  So sad this will be their farewell EP and I will miss them.

Reading...  Food Can Fix It by Dr. Oz. If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I attended a party celebrating the launch at Good Housekeeping and got some real life advice from Dr. Oz himself. He also thinks that sugar should be avoided. The whole idea of healing our ailmentst through the food we eat really makes so much sense.

Eye Candy : Song Joong Ki for Marie Claire

October 13, 2017
Song Joong Ki, Song Joong Ki Marie Claire, Song Joong Ki Marie Claire 2017, Descendants of the Sun, 송중기, SongSong Couple, Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo, 태양의후예

Battleship Island star Song Joong Ki covers Marie Claire's special edition spotlighting the Busan Film Festival where he talks about the box office reception of the historical film. The 32 year old actor who looks boyish as ever models a variety of fall fashions some of which look more wearable than others. Turtlenecks and tweed suits yes, funky fuzzy pants no. I was a little disappointed to hear that Joong Ki turned down a lead role in the Netflix original Joseon era zombie K-drama Kingdom but the man is currently preparing for a much more important role with his impending marriage to Song Hye Kyo at the end of this month.

As an avid SongSong shipper since the beginning of Descendants of the Sun, this is an event I am anticipating as well. The pair have been spotted overseas in Los Angeles and more recently in Paris looking as sweet as ever. They're both known to be very low key and private but I hope we'll get a glimpse inside the nuptials and even a wedding pictorial. 

Marie Claire Korea October 2017 BIFF Special Edition  //  Photographer: Kim Young Joon  //  Editor: Choi Park Min
Hair: Lee Hye Young  //  Makeup: Before Advance //  Prop Styling: River Hermit

Currently Coveting

October 11, 2017

Our apartment has been undergoing an ongoing transition for most of 2017. It started at the beginning of the year and ramped up some time after we paid off our mortgage. After a massive declutter, selling off some of our stuff and a reorganization, we are in a mode of updating and upgrading and it may or may not involve some major changes. My husband is in charge of shopping for our new television and we've been making decisions together on other home decor.

1. simplehuman Sensor Mirror Pro
I'm not sure why we need a smart mirror but my husband seems to think that we do.

2. Dyson Hygienic Mist Humidifier
A humidifier is a must for us during the winter months to conquer the dry air but we've become increasingly paranoid about germs and bacteria so we're thinking of upgrading to this one which uses UV light to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and it's supposed to be super quiet to boot.

3. Liv Smoke Glass Carafe
We keep talking about getting a bedside carafe and it's time to make it happen.

4. Audio Pro Addon C5 Grey WiFi/Wireless Speaker
Looking for a new wireless speaker that combines form and function and this one seems to fit the bill.

I like my candles with a touch of whimsy

6. H&M Cutting Board
The cute design of this board makes it perfect for entertaining.

The current front runner to replace our old media center.

You can always check out my running wish lists in the Shop With Me section on the blog. What are you coveting?

Dine Out : Momosan Ramen & Sake

October 9, 2017
 Momosan Ramen, Momosan Ramen & Sake Review, Momosan Review, Momosan New York

Momosan Ramen and Sake in Murray Hill is Masaharu Morimoto's first ramen focused restaurant. The name comes from one of the former Iron Chef's nicknames in the kitchen. Punctuated by whitewashed brick and dark wood details, the modern and relaxed space features an expansive bar area that offers an extensive range of sake brewed from different regions as well as sake based cocktails. The seating options include counter seating by the entryway and booths as well as communal tables in the back. The ramen centric menu puts the focus on four versions of traditional ramen - Tonkotsu, Tokyo Chicken, Tantan and Tsukemen that can be customized with a choice of toppings. A variety of appetizer options are on offer with everything from edamame, sticky ribs and a soft shell crab bao to a crispy pig ear with a Japanese mayo aioli.

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