Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Little White Summer Dress - Mother's Day Outfit Ideas


Besides a pair of white denim, a white summer dress was also on my summer wishlist. There's nothing that screams summer more than a little white dress. I picked this one up last week and am so in love with it. I own a few pieces from White House Black Market and can always guarantee that a 00 regular will fit me without alterations...and it does! This dress is also available in petite sizes. A white dress is one of a summer must have pieces. You can dress it up with a pair of minimal black sandals for a night out or dress it down with a denim jacket and a pair of slip on sneakers for daytime. The dress is 100% lined and the eyelet details are very lovely (an added bonus is that it has pockets). Measurements for a size 00 regular: waist = 12" and overall length = 36" (tag info). Mother's Day is less than 2 weeks away. Light and airy, this dress makes a perfect candidate for a Mother's Day brunch =)


What I am wearing:
Dress: White House Black Market (on sale)! - size 00R
Denim jacket: H&M
Sandals: Express *old* (this year's version)
Slip-on sneakers: Target (the most comfortable sneakers!)
Purse: Chanel (exact same one here and here)
Sunglasses: ZeroUV

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fitting Room Review: Milly for Kohls

I am not really a huge fan of designer collaborations in general. I think it's mostly hype! However, when I heard about the Milly collaboration with Kohl's, I was intrigued. I decided to stop by my local Kohl's to check out the collection. Below are a few pieces that I tried on:


Fit & Flare scuba dress (size 2): I am wearing a size 2 here and the fit was decent. There's extra fabric in the bust area but doable. The material is scuba like and very comfy to wear. I love the vibrant print and the silhouette.


Empire maxi dress (size XS): Available in B&W combo, navy combo and red combo: This maxi dress is perfect to throw on with a pair of flat sandals for the warm weather. Again, I love the vibrant print. This dress fits my frame the best out of everything I tried on that day (even the length!). The material drapes well and is very comfortable to wear. The dress is not lined but not see-through either.

Friday, April 24, 2015

My 15K and 5 tips for beginning runners

I did it! I ran my very first 15K two weeks ago! That's a 9.3 miles...

When I first started running about 1.5 years ago, I had to stop every quarter mile to breath because I thought I was going to die. I still couldn't believe I completed 9.3 miles without stopping. This was my longest distance to date. Not going to lie, it wasn't easy. After mile # 6, it is really a mind game. I kept telling myself that the finish line was so close and I can do this. The last 3 miles seemed to drag on forever. Many deep thoughts went though my head but I did cross the finish line in 1:51. It took me longer to finish than I expected (1:45) but I didn't care about my pace. I had only one goal for my race and that was to cross the finish line!

{All outfits provided by Kyodan clothing}

With temperatures warming up and if you're thinking about running, I hope you find these tips helpful:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The quest for the perfect white denim

A pair of white denim is on my spring/summer wishlist this year. I purchased these GAP always skinny jeans years ago (as seen here and here). While they are not perfect, they have served me well over the years. After 3 years, I knew it's time to find a replacement as they're starting to wear down. What I look for in my new pair of white jeans: quality thick material (not the typical jeggings fabric), skinny cut, mid-rise, preferably under $100 and the most important factor besides the material is the length. I promise myself I won't be cuffing my jeans anymore.

{Old Navy Mid-rise Rockstar Skinny Jeans - 40% off - ends tonight}

I've had good luck with Old Navy jeans in the past so thought I'd start there. They didn't have a size 0 in a short length available so I tried on a 2R. They were just big overall and as expected, the regular length is too long on me.

{Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Cropped Jeans - 40% off - ends tonight}

Then I tried on the same size in "cropped" length and hoped it might work as a regular length on me. Nope, the length hits at an awkward spot.

{WHBM Saint Honore Skimmer Jeans}

Next up is these skimmer jeans from White House Black Market. I own a few items from their petite line but have never tried on their jeans. The material feels nice and seems durable. However, the sizing was way off on me (a 2 was too big and a 0 was too tight). I didn't care for the ankle zippers either.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Closet Essentials: Black & White Striped Dress


I wholeheartedly believe that every girl needs a B&W striped dress in her wardrobe. It's comfy, easy to style and can be worn all year round. You can find a B&W striped dress just about anywhere. What I look for in a dress is the cut. I wanted something that is fitted and skim along my curves without feeling skin tight. 3/4 sleeves make it a versatile option for any season. Below are 5 different ways to wear a striped dress. You can also layer a button down shirt underneath or pair the dress with a turtleneck sweater during the cold months for extra warmth, the possibilities are truly endless. Need more styling ideas? Previous "closet essentials" posts can be found here.


Outfit details: 
Dress (c/o) *sized up to a M - material is thick) | Sunglasses | Sandals | Watch


Outfit details:


Outfit details:
Dress | Shoes | Jacket *old* (similar options here) | Sunglasses | Chanel bag


Outfit details:
Dress | Shirt *old* (similar options here) | Sneakers | Sunglasses


Outfit details:
Dress | Skirt *50% off* | Sandals *old* (this year's version) | Sunglasses

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekend sales: Sephora, Saks and Kate Spade

There are a few noteworthy sales are happening this weekend so I thought I'd mention. First up is the Sephora VIB sale. From 04/26 - 04/21, take 15% off all purchases online (with code VIBLOVE) and in stores. I recently switched all my makeup products from mid-end to drugstore but below are a few tried and true products that I highly recommend if you're interested. I bought this Clarisonic Mia 4 years ago and it has honestly changed my skin. I use the sensitive skin brush head twice a week and never once had a problem. Another product that I swear by is the Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum, I think this is my 5th bottle and am still seeing improvements in my skin. This serum gives skin an instant radiance while brightening spots over time. If you are looking for a statement lipstick, I highly recommend the Stila stay-all-day lipstick in beso (see it on me). My favorite nude/natural everyday lipstick is the Too Faced Melted in nude. I recently picked up the Urban Decay naked on the run and have been enjoying the kit. It's not something groundbreaking but is suitable and convenient for everyday use.


Saks is also having their F&F sale from 04/20 - 04/27. Take 30% off select apparel/shoes/accessories and 20% off jewelry with code FRNFAM2. Sadly, the exclusion list is quite long. My Karen Walker sunglasses and my Michael Kors runway watch do qualify for the discount. Even though Burberry, Valentino, Prada and Hunter are all excluded from the sale, you can earn double points when using your Saks charge.


Burberry puffer jacket (full review here)
Michael Kors runway watch
Karen Walker sunglasses
Valentino shoes
Prada wallet
Hunter boots
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Another sale that worth mentioning is the Kate Spade F&F sale. From now til 04/19, enjoy 25% off your entire purchase with code DEAREST. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up some Mother's Day gifts. Some of my picks are below. Happy shopping and have a wonderful weekend!

5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Friday, April 17, 2015

Relaxing at home with my favorite face masks


Today, I wanted to share something that I am obsessing over lately - face masks. Taking care of my skin on a daily basis becomes very important as I get older. I bought the variety pack in order to try all the different types and so far, I love them all. My absolute favorite is the teatree ones. In general, face masks won't move mountains overnight. However, after consistently using them for over a month, I do notice some improvements to my skin (I use it once a week). Life can be hectic at times with 2 kids and a full time job, putting on a face mask is a great way to relax, unwind and rejuvenate my skin. I also use the Glamglow youth mud twice a month in conjunction with the face masks to help minimize my pores.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shopping in Paris/Rome and my VAT refund experience

**Update** I had my refund back to my credit card 6 weeks later
As promised – today, I am going to briefly talk about my shopping adventure in Europe as well as getting my tax refund at FCO airport. A couple of months prior to the trip, I sold my Chanel jumbo flap because it wasn't a good fit for me. My plan was to get a medium size as a replacement and loved the idea of getting one at Rue Cambon. 3 weeks prior to the trip, I contacted the Rue Cambon boutique as well as the Avenue Montaigne boutique but had no luck. Due to the rumors about Chanel price increase, classic flaps sell out very quickly. Rumors turned out to be true. Chanel boy flaps, classic flaps and Chanel WOC's have gone up 20% across Europe as of 04/08. I checked back with both boutiques regularly and still had no luck. I then settled for a pre-owned one and couldn't be more thrilled. BTW, I have the contact email of both boutiques and am happy to share them with anyone interested.

Although the hunt for my replacement was over, I still wanted to visit the Chanel flagship boutique just for the experience. On the other hand, my sister in law was interested in getting her first Chanel bag and has asked me to look for one. We went to the Rue Cambon boutique and there wasn't a classic bag in sight (only seasonal styles/colors were available). I waited 15 minutes for a sales associate. She showed me a few bags but they were not even close to what my sister was looking for. We left the store empty-handed. We then walked around the area and stumbled upon another Chanel boutique on Rue Royal which isn't very far from the 1st one. This one is significant smaller than the original boutique. I caught a glimpse of a black bag out of the corner of my eye and decided to go in. I quickly realized that this bag is pretty close to what my sister was looking for. A sales associate greeted us and started gushing over the bag. She said this is a cross between a classic flap and a boy flap and suitable for a petite. Perfect! I took a few pictures and sent them to my sister. However, after 3 tries, they didn't go through and I finally gave up. My husband and I had a brief discussion and decided to purchase the bag anyway. We both love it so much and were confident that she would love it too. As soon as we got back to the hotel, I tried again and finally got a text from her saying that she loves the bag (style code A90810). Whew! You can buy the bigger size here in red. The bag is available in black/beige/gray and made out of calfskin. As you can tell from the side by side comparison, these two sizes are incredibly similar. The bag is truly perfect on her. Mission accomplished if you ask me =)

Monday, April 13, 2015

When in Rome...


After 3 nights in Paris, we woke up the next morning to catch our 9:00 am flight to Rome. The 2-hour flight from Paris to Rome was painless. We arrived at FCO airport right before noon. Instead of spending time to figure out the train system, we decided to take a cab back into the city. A quick travel tip: If you travel with a party of more than 4 people, your best bet is to take a cab. We traveled with my parents and the oldest daughter and paid a flat fee of €55 which includes 5 of us and all bags. A train ticket would cost €8 per person. The fare turned out to be almost the same but convenience-wise, cab wins hands down.

{Wearing: Skirt | Tee | Denim jacket | Sunglasses | Camera}

After we checked into our hotel, we turned around and headed to the Vatican immediately. We booked a group tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. I thought the guide was quite good and have enjoyed it. It was roughly a two and a half hour tour (including the Sistine chapel). We had a group of 25 people. Our tour guide was excellent, spoke very good English and provided us with headphones. Although she did a great job of keeping everyone together, the overall crowds in the museum were a little too much for my daughter and my parents. If you like in-depth information, a private tour probably is the best way to go. I highly recommend you pay for a tour. This will not only save you at least 2 hours of waiting in line but will also help you understand everything you are looking at. The Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel both are breathtakingly beautiful. There is so much to see so you will need a half day to walk round.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Boyfriend jeans and mint green sweater


Taking a break from vacation posts to show you an outfit I wore last weekend. My love for all things mint continues with this adorable sweater. Mint is just a pretty shade and so easy to wear. I plan to pair this light weight sweater with my white denim shorts to go grab some ice cream in the summer =) A bit of history of my new-to-me Chanel bag: As mentioned in this post, my jumbo flap just wasn't a good fit for me. I'll be darned if I let it sits in my closet unworn. After much debate, I found a new home for it. I also found this bag as a new replacement. This bag comes as no surprise (same type of leather/same hardware/same color as my jumbo - the only difference is the size). The medium fits my frame so so much better. It's truly perfect and I couldn't be happier. OK, can we take a moment and talk about these slip-on sneakers? I wore them for the entire week traveling around Europe and never once had any problems. I walked all day everyday in these (no blisters, no rubbing) and they're under $25. I highly recommend them and am going to get the black version for myself as well. Love the look of a Chanel flap but not the price? Check out some affordable (and adorable) versions here


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

When in Paris...


We’re finally back into the swing of things. I wanted to get vacation recap posts up before I become lazy and/or forget about things. The trip was amazing but tiring to say the least. We left home at noon and arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport around 8:00 the next morning. At that point, we were up for almost 24 hours and still needed to find our way into the city. We somehow managed to figure out the Paris train system. 2 train rides and 2 hours later, we made it to our hotel. On top of that, I unfortunately caught a bug on the way there and felt miserable the entire time. I crashed as soon as we checked into our room. As I was lying in bed, I kept thinking to myself – I am in Paris, why am I lying here? I forced myself to get up and do what I do best – shopping (lol – don’t judge!). We made our way to the original Chanel boutique (located at 30 Rue Gembon). I was expecting the wait but luckily, that was not the case. We got in right away and only had to wait 15 minutes to be helped by a SA. I will do a separate post about my shopping experiences in Paris/Rome as well as my VAT refund experience. We spent the rest of the day exploring the area, got back to our room and called it a night.


Woke up the next morning feeling like a new person and ready to explore the city. The first stop, of course was the Eiffel Tower. It’s pretty impressive to say the least. We spent some time admiring the incredible structure. The queue going up in the tower was very long so we decided to skip it. We spent almost 2 hours at the tower, took a gazillion photos and loved every moment of it. You need to be fully aware of all the scammers, pick pockets and vendors that abound in the area. We then strolled along the Seine river, saw the Arc de Triomphe in the distance, passed by Musée d'Orsay and made our way to the chic neighborhood of Saint-Germain



We stopped by Bistrot Saint-André (36 Rue Saint André des Arts, 75006) for a quick lunch. Service was great but food was just overall average. After lunch, we headed to Saint-Germain City Pharma to pick up some skincare products for my Mom. The place was absolutely crazy and packed to the rim. A lot of French skincare brands like Caudalie, Vichy, Bioderma are cheaper in France. They’re even cheaper in City Pharma. If you're planning a trip to Paris, make sure you visit this place. It’s always helpful to bring a list with you. I ended up getting 2 of the Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum for the price of one (£35 vs. $79 at Sephora)

{Wearing: Trench | Shoes | Skirt | Sunglasses | Scarf | Camera}


We then made our way to the Pont des Arts bridge (the Lover’s bridge). It was really cool to see thousands of padlocks on the bridge, each engraved with a message of love. Last stop of the day was Notre Dame. Words can't express how beautiful it is! We were just in awe of the stunning architecture and beautiful inside and out from all angles. Being one of Paris’s free attractions, this amazing cathedral is well worth a visit. We then made our way back to the hotel, had dinner and ended our second day. 

NotreDame2 NotreDame1

Last day in Paris - We woke up early and headed to the Louvre Museum. We made so many stops on the way there and didn't get to the museum until 11:00 a.m. We had to wait almost 2 hours just to get in. Luckily, it wasn't raining. The museum is massive and filled with over 35,000 works of art. It is one of the world's largest museums and you can undoubtedly spend your entire day there. We went straight to the main attraction which is the famous Mona Lisa painting. There were literally hundreds of people in front of the painting taking pictures. The little one and I did wiggle through the crowd and saw the painting up close and personal. We ended up spending 4 hours at the Louvre, grabbed a late lunch at L'Impérial Brasserie (food and service were both wonderful) and headed back to the hotel for our dinner cruise.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Dressing: ASOS Mint Petite Skater Dress

This post is brought to you by ASOS


Mint has always been one of my favorite colors for Spring. Hence, this dress immediately caught my attention while browsing the ASOS petite collection. It's just one of those easy throw-on dresses and the color is simply perfect for Spring. This dress is exclusive to the ASOS petite collection and is made from an easy care fabric. I am wearing a size US 0 here and it fits true to size. Please note that this dress has little to no give across the bust area. For big-busted ladies, this dress might not work for you. I love the racer back style. It shows off just the right amount of skin. You can dress it up with heels for a night out or tone it down with a pair of wedges for the weekends. As mentioned in my previous post, I packed this dress for my trip. The scuba-style material makes it ideal for travelling (absolutely wrinkle-free out of the suitcase).


What I am wearing:
Dress: ASOS skater dress - size 0
Jacket: *old* (many options available here)
Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana