Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Las Vegas & Grand Canyon

To wrap up the year, my family ended up in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon park over the holidays. Despite the common conception of what Vegas is about, the well celebrated town ended up being a great touristic experience because of the grandiose strip and the (PG-13) activities it offered. In addition to the numerous retail stores and restaurants each hotel holds, the casinos, theaters, and lounges really offer a one-stop location for guests. Here are some of my highlights of the trip. Enjoy!

Hotel Luxor
The Strip
The Strip at night

Crystals Mall
Glass art inside the Bellagio
En route to Grand Canyon
Pit stop at Hoover Dam
At Grand Canyon National Park

On the way to the top
Hotel Mandalay Bay
Chandelier at The Cosmopolitan
Venetian ceilings
Then I ran into this guy
Inside Caesars Palace
Ceasars Pool
Cirque Du Soleil show - Zarkana
Night on the Strip
Lighted trees at Wynn
Ethnic parasails at the entrance

Monday, December 23, 2013

Casual Holiday Soiree

Although Christmas will be over in the blink of an eye (considering that Christmas Eve is tomorrow), holiday parties will go on until end of  January, based on my experiences. The conventional color that most people gravitate towards is easily, red. I connected with Jalpa from Samosa POP - a Chicago-based fashion blogger that has a unique talent in blending western and eastern trends - to showcase some looks that can be seamlessly transitioned from a brunch date to a casual holiday soiree.

To give a brief overview of my look, I played it down by pairing a loose knit sweater over a red maxi dress to break the intensity of the color as well as the dress' sophistication. I love how the V-neck of the sweater goes in parallel with the gold hardware on the dress, allowing for a unique dimension to the otherwise typical neckline.

H&M Sweater (similar here), Xscape Dress, Kate Spade Bag, Banana Republic Bracelet (love this one too)

Jalpa's look is a very classy, yet comfortable ensemble as the monochromatic print is played down with her minimal jewelry and matching aviators. This is an ideal outfit for date night or intimate holiday gathering that doesn't require all the bells and whistles as a red-tie event. 

Be sure to check out Samosa POP for her curated fashion choices and looks that are trendy!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sweet Cravings

Banana and chocolate chunk muffins
I haven't been actively participating in the kitchen since my first attempt to bake the Brown Sugar Baked Peaches over the past summer. I was hoping I would get into the habit of making small plate snacks here and there, but, much to my (or my mom's) dismay, it hasn't been so. Recently, I was asked to lend a hand in the kitchen to bake banana and chocolate chunk muffins, but little did I know that my absentminded obedience to my mom's step-by-step instructions lead me to bake my first batch of muffins. If I can obliviously bake a muffin that did not end up being burnt or inedible, then I think if I put a little more effort, I would be able to create one these pastries that look too good to eat.

Raspberry Lemonade Slice

Cherry Cheesecake Shooters

Winter Cake

Blueberry Blintzes
Do you have any favorite pastries?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Wearness

Global warming seems to be right on target with this ludicrous weather and, for me, it's getting harder to move with all the triple-layering of sweaters I have going on. With cold weather on my mind, I wanted to collect a selection of looks that could serve as an inspiration for myself and those who may not be that fashion-forward during the winter months. After I compiled them, I noticed a common, apparent item in each outfit. Can you guess what?










(I know it may seem like I am a huge fur-fiend, but I just love the look of it and prefer faux-fur, personally).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pretty Pleasures

Probably had 3 of these Sufganiyots during work
So it's been a while, but the main thing that is worth discussing about is the dramatic weather change that has struck most of the country within the past few weeks. While I was in WI few days ago for some business travel, the state experienced a 0 degree-temperature drop at midday. However, since the wind chill in WI is not as piercing as Chicago's, the 0 degree felt really like 0 and not -15 (which is what happens in Chicago). With frigid weather like this that is already upon us, I'm unsure what the latter half of the winter will have in store. I guess I'll have to continue my art of layering-on leg warmers, gloves, hats, and perhaps even coats - since my cold-tolerence is ridiculously low. To those suffering from the severe cold, stay warm this weekend!

The renovated Oakbrook mall with seasonal decorations

This is as crafty as I got for the Christmas tree decorations

Sadly, this looked a lot better than it tasted

Made a pitstop at Mars Cheese Castle and ran into this guy

Finally on the Naked3 grind; hope this exceeds the hyped marketing