COLORFUL LATTERNS / Simple chambray and white denim in whimsical Hoi An, Vietnam

gray grey chambray shirt white shorts
After a delightful week in Taiwan with the warmest hospitality from my family, especially my cousin, mom and I were off to Vietnam!  We flew into Saigon but unfortunately was only there for a day before taking off to the charming town of Hoi An.  I can see why this quaint town was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage list and really appreciate the preservation of the history and culture that Hoi An has to offer.  As I was exploring old town, memories of Venice flooded back and the town, especially the riverside and the narrow alleys, reminded me a lot of Venice.  It rains a lot in Central Vietnam and the time we were there was no exception but we didn't let a little (ok at times there was a lot) rain stop us, we continued exploring until we finished our 4th meal of the day.
humid weather asia outfit
white destroyed shorts humid vietnam outfit
simple summer casual outfit shorts
flip flops vietnam footwear travels
outfit ideas travels asia vietnam country
Bella Dahl chambray top (on sale!) / 
DL1961 destroyed cutoff shorts (a steal at under $25!!) / 

Like Venice, Hoi An is bursting with colors both day and night and it was such a sight to see.  I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures that I took in Hoi An but pictures don't do the town justice, you have to see it for yourself.  Regardless, enjoy :)


OFF WE WENT / Packing tips for a 21 day vacation to Asia (Taiwan and Vietnam)

I have been bit by the travel bug and bit hard!  It seems that all I have been wanting to do ever since my first international trip in over 10 years last November is travel, travel, travel some more and see the world.  After looking back at Italy pictures from the trip with Shane (we went to Rome with day trips to Vatican CityOstia Antica, and Florence) and the one with my sister (10 days to explore VeronaVeniceBologna, the streets of Florence and Florence sightsRome's tourist attractions and our favorite spots of the beautiful city, all starting and ending in Milan) I have made it a goal to see and take in at least 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites by the time I turn 30 not counting the China places that I saw when I was too young to appreciate them.
holidays pajamas flannel set leopard PJs
Initially I was going to explore Taiwan (and visit my favorite colleague who is attending NTU) and Hong Kong by myself but after I somehow convinced my boss to let me take off 3 weeks, I nixed Hong Kong for Vietnam so I can go with my mom who had been wanting to go to Vietnam.  This was a special mother-daughter trip since it was the first time my mom has gone back to her motherland since they [my parents] left 35 years ago and it was a chance for her to show me a piece of her life before me and my sister.  My cousin Jonathan said it best when he said it is my version of The Joy Luck Club.
electronics international travel packing tips
Last time I shared what I usually wear for long plane rides and this time I wanted to share some packing tips that have worked for me for these past few trips:
  • There is no such thing as being too organized.  I bag everything except outerwear.  I keep all my small electronics in one bag, clothes in another bag, undergarments/swimwear in a third, and shoes are in clear plastic bags.  I also bring a few extra bags - some for dirty laundry and extras in case I need to repack and lighten my load for domestic travels.
  • And then for each bag I make a list [of the contents] and check it twice (ha ha ha).  Lists are good when you're repacking everything and heading home so you know that nothing is missing. I also have an electronic version of the list so this way when I am unpacking my check-ins I know if anything went missing during flight.
  • Pack light.  I cannot stress this enough especially if you will be doing a lot of domestic travelling on planes/trains.  Check the weather of your destination(s) and pack accordingly and if the weather varies then layer!  Keep in mind that most places will have laundry service available so you can have your clothes washed and ready when you finish exploring for the day.  After getting endless bruises from lugging my luggage up/down trains in Italy, I have dwindled my packing to 1 carry-on for 7 days travel, 1 check-in for 10-14 days travel, and both for 20+ days.  Nothing more than that!
  • Bring an extra set of clothes and your essentials with you in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost.  This hasn't happened to me yet *knocks on wood* but I like to be prepared for the worse so I have a set of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, set of undergarments, and eyeliner and mascara with me on the plane.
What are some of your tried-and-true packing tips?  As I travel more I will definitely streamline my packing procedure but I think these four will be things I always do.
packing tips asia europe travel plane carry on luggage
CLOTHES / Victoria's Secret leopard flannel pajamas, Vince leather scuba jacket (40% off!), French Connection skirt (on super sale!)
LUGGAGES / Samsonite LiftTwo Spinner Luggage, Missoni for Target packing bags (though I wish I had these packing cubes!)
ELECTRONICS / Targus world power travel adapters, Samsonite luggage scale, Joby magnetic flexible tripod

Mom and I are back home already so over the next few days I will recap our trip through blog entries :).  Any vacation plans for the upcoming holidays or after that?  Wishing you guys a happy holidays!


FALL START / Light layering by converting a dress to a jacket and closet oldies

distressed shorts layered with jacket fall trends
wrapped tube top layered fall outfit
trench layering with shorts jacket light layers
gucci python tote handbag bag california
fall layers how to trends
neutral color outfits layering layers fall trends
Marc by Marc Jacobs dress worn as a jacket (old; similar options here and here) /
Marc by Marc Jacobs wrapped tube top (another oldie; similar alternatives here and here) /
7 for all Mankind shorts (last worn in this entry, similar destroyed shorts here and here) /
Gucci python running tote (closer look in this entry; love the shape of this one and this is a similar shape but diff color) /
Prada snake-print sandals (similar options here, here, and here)


SOFT FLORAL, WARM MEMORIES / Silk printed maxi dress and remembering Dad...

maxi dress floral
Aloha!  While I am not in Hawaii (unfortunately) this dress reminds me of the bright colors and beautiful tropical flowers of the islands so it feels like I have been transported to a hawaiian vacation (which I so desperately need right now).  It is one of those dresses that require very minimal accessorizing to feel like a million bucks and is quite versatile; the right accessories can transform this from a dress to wear to a friend's summer wedding to a dinner for grandma's birthday to a lovely date night in the city and I've worn it for all of those.
chanel authentic necklace charm camellia flower
maxi dress high slit
chanel classic flap pink fuchsia bright
what to wear to summer outdoor wedding dress idea trend
strappy neon sandals target prabal gurung blue
silk maxi dress floral print summer spring trend
Amanda Uprichard silk maxi dress (beautiful yellow print over 65% off here!) /
Chanel camellia charm necklace (casually layered in this entry) / 
Chanel chocolate bar east/west flap (more pics in this entry and  this outfit)
Prabal Gurung for Target ankle strap sandals (similar pair here)

Today is three yet it still feels like yesterday.  So much good things have happened in the past year that I wish I could share with you and so many difficult situations have arise where I wish I could get your advice.  I would have loved your insight on the BABA IPO and I imagine that we would have started a new routine discussing how the market did when I come home from work.  I know you would tell me to ignore the annoyances from work and just go on doing my own thing; you were always so good at listening and calming me down.  My phone could not hold a charge and I finally had to upgrade it this year but I am still keeping it because it came the morning of three years ago - it will always remind me of that day and how we could have played with it together had it just come a few hours earlier; I thought the same thing when this phone came, you would love the big screen on this one!  It is going to be incredible hard next year when I walk down that aisle without you next to me but don't you fret, I already know of a million ways for you to be there, your presence will be felt.  Miss you like crazy Dad.