Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Birthday Gift Guide

As my mom's birthday is approaching in a few days, I wanted to share some of the things I had in mind to gift her. They are simple, yet, handy products that sum up what a mom would take pleasure in the household - water jug, snack trays, floor mats, etc.

1. Ice Bucket, $29.95

2. Table Runner, $54.99

3. Measuring Cups, $42

4. Large Pitcher, $24.95

5. Hip Wine Glass, $6.95 each

6. Bath Rug, $34.95

7. Crave Plates, $19.95

What is your gift guide for moms?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Surreal Destinations

Normandy, France
Traveling has become one of my favorite hobbies and I can't stop from visiting new locations and learning about its culture. In part of that comes embodying myself with the nutrition, nature, fashion, and common activities. At the age of 22, I have had the privilege to visit several countries including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, United Kingdom, Austria, and of course India. Although, my memory can't recall all of these experiences, I hope to revisit some places one day and capture the memories then. Here is a glimpse of where I would take pleasure in visiting sometime in the future.
Aljezur, Portugal

Istanbul, Turkey
Mykonos, Greece
Trabocco Punta Torre, Italy

You can see more of my surreal destinations here! Where are your dream locations?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pretty Pleasures

Adorable canvas art found at Kirkland's
Prior to heading out on our road trip to North Carolina, we visited Kirkland's - an interior decor store filled with endearing pieces and cute knick-knacks for a great price. I'm always thrilled to find decor stores as it feeds into my fantasy of what my ideal house would entail. As the week comes to a wrap, I want to share few pretty things that caught my attention recently. Enjoy the weekend!

I have a tendency to shorten most words like this

This patterned blazer I got from H&M for a steal 
Banana butter nut candle from a store in North Carolina 
Common Indian pastry meant to dip in hot coffee or tea - I prefer it plain

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hair Helper

I have curly hair. Thick, sometimes frizzy, black, curly hair. When I straighten my locks, the length of my hair nearly doubles. Up until few months ago, I solely relied on a good set of shampoo and conditioner to manage my mane. Some say, "Hair changes every 7 years" which made sense since my hair became more rough and rigid since I turned 21. Hence, I resorted to actually using a product to tame my fro - Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream (yes, that is a mouthful). I recall a hairdresser once saying that products don't always do damage to your hair - as I mistakenly believed all my life - they also protect hair from external damage. So, it is with pride I present this product as it has helped control my crazy curls without making it feel crispy. 

What is your hair helper?

Chillin' in Chicago

Downtown Chicago is probably my favorite part of Illinois (naturally). Whether it is their cupcake bakeries or their exclusive night lounges, the windy city hasn't failed my expectation. Having lived in the Gold Coast area for couple years, I was able to test the waters of several hot spots. Even being as adventurous as I was, there are still plethora of places I have yet to visit. Here are some of the popular venues I highly recommend to explore.

From the top:
1. Pierrot Gourmet

2. Argo Tea

3. Tavern On Rush

4. Sprinkles

5. Tavernita

6. The Underground

What are some of your favored locations?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

North Carolina

Morning drive through Indiana
In my absence in blogging, I was able to savor the green-ness of North Carolina. Even though suburbs in Illinois have its fair share of trees and shrubbery, the tall trees and mountains of North Carolina were incomparable. This trip will mark my fourth travel for the year, adding to the ones listed here (that rhymed). Without much ado, here are the highlights of my trip down South.

Backyard of a McDonald's in Ohio
Appalachian Mountains

Farmer's Market in Greensboro
Sweet Tea from Moose Cafe
Fresh flowers
Downtown Greensboro
Strawberry scoop from The Cheesecakes by Alex
Delightful alley 

On the way to the top of the Grandfather Mountain 

Above sea level 

Unexpected fog that seeped in
On top

Bowling Rock uptown

Thai Dye pizza from Mellow Mushroom 
Gem Mining, yup that's real dinosaur poop

Handmade candle and candle-holders. Purchased a Banana Butter Nut candle as it had the best scent

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interior Architecture

I know I mentioned in my first epilogue post here that I will be blogging about interior decor as well. Due to the fact that I don't have a place of my own, I can only fantasize for now and my reality is limited. Here is a collaboration of items I picked from Zgallerie to craft one of my several ideal bedrooms.

What would your dream room consist of?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer 'Sentials

It is looming 90 degrees here in Chicago and I can't help but assemble a set of summer trends I'm loving right now. They are perfect for comfort, easy style, and most importantly, the heat! Also, the softer tones really help with keeping a cooler temperature.

1. Top Shop, $40

2. Top Shop, $70

3. Steve Madden, $99.95

4. J. Crew, $110

5. Club Monaco, $89.50

6. House of Harlow 1960, $195

7. Diane Von Furstenberg, $311.50

8. Yves Saint Laurent, $310

What are some of your summer essentials?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Remembering Cory

As soon as I returned home from the incredible Bruno Mars Moonshine Jungle concert, I was saddened by the news of Cory Monteith's death. I was immediately going through hundreds of emotions and did not want to believe he was dead at the young age of 31. Not that I was a devoted fan of Glee, but there was something so sincere and comforting about Cory. He was rarely in the news for controversial actions and kept a low-key life - even with his Glee co-star, Lea Michele, as his girlfriend. My prayers go out to his family, friends, cast members, and especially Lea. I can only imagine what she is going through with this tragedy. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ellie Go(u)lding

In the midst of my Bruno Mars excitement, I completely forgot that Ellie Goulding will be performing with him for The Moonshine Jungle Tour - which will be here in Chicago today! Yet, another reason why this show will be mind-blowing. Ever since her first main stream song called, Lights, I have had this notion that she is covered in sparkles and gold - NOT the way Ke$ha is. In honor of her involvement in the tour, I thought I would compile some pieces to embrace her mode of style.

Now off to buying those leather pants I talked about here!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tidy Timeline

I will be the first to admit that I clearly have O.C.D. about the arrangement and cleanliness of my things. I can't leave a room without ensuring the magazines are spaced correctly and that objects are within its border. Needless to say, I feel very peaceful in my tidy surrounding. The one thing I do lack is a recurring cleaning schedule that keeps the household consistently neat - which is why I was instantly drawn to this cleaning logic. It breaks down the tasks for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly rotations. This is perfect for someone like me, who adheres to the idea of having a rigid plan to get things done. Now, if I would only follow this my mom would be far more happy to have me at home.

What are your strategies to a tidier living space?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dare or Spare

Halston Heritage - $545, Asos - $84.85

Just like the mint collection, rompers and jumpsuits have paved its way to our attention in many forms. So, I only found it fitting to present two similar looks at two different costs. Rompers tend to be on the shorter side making it a universal go-to for the summer and jumpsuits have the long pants that allow it to be worn in the winter also. Since I always reconsider the purpose of a clothing to be also work friendly, I opt for the jumpsuit as it can easily be paired with a crisp blazer for a fashionable, yet, professional look. I love the draped fabric on this Halston Heritage jumpsuit and the belt that emphasizes the curves for a more hourglass figure. Whereas, this Asos option can serve as a great alternative as it also crunches in around the waist.

Should I dare to get the Halston or spare some with the Asos?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Mint Collection

I know mint had its pinnacle time when it first came out last year and I also know that it's slowly getting overused. However, when I ventured out to ShopBop today, I came across a mint collection that looked too pretty to ignore. For a color that is not considered a classic rather a trendy one, I'm always careful to not invest too much on a particular item as it can go out of style within a year or two.  Not to say it always will, but history has proven otherwise and, besides, trendy items look better when used minimally. 

1. Alice & Olivia, $440

2. Dolce Vita, $176

3. Rebecca Minkoff, $120

4. Club Monaco, $84

5. J Brand, $176

What mint pieces have you invested in?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Black & White

Ray-Ban Aviators, H&M Top, H&M Shorts, Sperry Top-Sider Flats, Longchamp Bag

Black and white are two colors (or tones) that catch my eye in any garment. Even the dress I wore for my Senior year prom was black and white with floral print. Additionally, it is a classic look that just looks right for any occasion - day or night. In the summer, especially, I'm drawn to wear loose-fitted shirts that are very breathable and comfortable. The last thing we need in the hot temperatures is a sweaty shirt.