A FAREWELL TO 2013 / A review of the past year and well wishes for 2014.

Happy New Year's Eve!  I thought with today being the last day of 2013 it would be the best day to reflect on the past year.  What were some of your ups and downs of 2013?  Is there a particular moment that stood out during the year?  And are you making any new year's resolutions? I am fortunate to say that I don't recall any major cons of 2013 however I can recount so many pros with one of the biggest being my first Eurotrip.

To summarize 2013 on the blog, I made a collage with 105 (!!) outfits from the year and my favorite 12 outfits front and center.  Clicking on any of the 12 outfits will take you to the original blog entry.  This was a blast to make because with each and every outfit a unique memory was brought forth and that is what makes blogging so special to me - it creates intimate moments that wouldn't have been possible without the blog.

Thank you for joining me on this blogging adventure in 2013!  It wouldn't be half the fun, and I probably wouldn't have made it through the year, without your love, support, and our connection and I am so grateful that 2013 was such a great year.  Blogging has definitely helped make the year zoom on by.  CHEERS to another year of good times with everlasting memories, new friends and great company, crazy fashion experiments, exploring new trends, and conjuring up outfits!



ONE OF THE LASTS / Animal print statement coat and black leather pants

cheetah animal print jacket coat how to wear
Did you have a very merry Christmas?  And eat a lot?  I got a good chuckle out of this meme that I've been seeing all over Instagram and Facebook and it rings true.  I ate so much this past week and I don't regret it one bit.  Had delicious lobster on Christmas and we saved the sauce to toss with spaghetti for lunch/dinner after the holidays, just delightful!  And with Christmas over and me writing this in the wee hours of the 29th, I realized that this is probably one of my last entries for 2013.  Unbelievable!  Time really does fly when you're having fun.

I wanted to continue with the holiday theme but this time lose the red and green and go towards the metallics.  This coat was perfect for just that.  It was hard to capture in pictures but this coat has a metallic sheen to it which was the right amount of shine for a casual outing (but also works for something more dressy).  Wearing it with black leather added an edge to the outfit.


MERRY CHRISTMAS! / A holiday greeting in a red dress and green accessories

Hello, hello, hello!  It's Christmas today!  If you celebrate Christmas then from my family to your's we are wishing you a very Merry Christmas.  And if you don't, we wish you the most prosperous and joyous holiday season.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones; one that is full of wonderful food, warm spirits, and everlasting memories.  Thank you always and forever for entertaining me on this blogging adventure, here's to another great year ahead of us!
tight red dress christmas dinner outfit


NAPA HOLIDAY / Olive sweater, red bag, striped sweater dress and lots of holiday spirit

striped dress outfit layering sweater idea
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  With Christmas just a few days away and me being totally in the holiday spirit due to the week of holiday parties at work, it was hard not to incorporate some red and green in my outfit over the weekend.  Shane and I headed to Napa on Saturday so he could pick up some meat for Wednesday and then we made a pitstop to our favorite winery, had a picnic, and enjoyed a bottle of Moscato.  I had layered up real good so I could stay warm but it was actually not necessary (and I ended up removing a layer!) because the sun was shining bright and there was not a cloud in sight.  It seemed the east coast people got to enjoy some sun this weekend as well since there was a few shocked but happy posts from friends showing the forecast over there.


SWEATER WEATHER / Draped sweater cardigan and blue patterned dress

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Hi! I will surely pay for staying up so late when I get up in a few hours, roll around in bed, snooze a couple times, and am still tired.  I can't help it though, there's just so much to do in so little time.  This sweater is so cozy (it was my blanket on the plane!) that this season it has been the one item I grab when I need an extra layer.  The draping gives dimension, the knit adds texture, and the material packs warmth.  To be honest it is so comfy that I am surprised I haven't slept with it on, haha.


COAT CHECK / Classic bootcut denim, toggle coat. and bright Celine

bootcut jeans idea winter coat
TGIF all!!  There is no denying that I love my little Rufus to death so it should come as no surprise that a couple nights ago I spent a good amount of time browsing JRT pictures on the web and pinning them onto their very own Pinterest board.  Just a little something to pick up my spirits when I'm feeling down, this one is especially true of Rufus.  And I am sure all dog lovers have heard of this site already but if you haven't be ready to get some good chuckles out of dogshaming.  That is probably one of my top 10 sites to visit when I need a laugh.


FALL BREAKS / Open-toed shoes with tights in a barrage of Autumn colors

colored stockings tights outfit winter trends
Happy Monday!  I am one to break fashion rules (like wearing brown with black and white after Labor Day) and here's another one to check off the list, wearing open-toed shoes with tights/stockings.  I usually dive in head first with fashion experiments but with this one I was a bit apprehensive because when I pictured it in my head it just didn't work like the others.  However I have opened the flood gates because I love the look and love that I can wear my spring/summer footwear in winter!  I'm going to be more experimental in the future and see what boundaries I can push with this rule, maybe venture into sandals and/or contrast.  If there's any standout open-toed with tights/stockings combinations you've seen please share as I would love to see so I can draw some inspirations =D


FLORENCE MEMORIES / Postcards from Firenze

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday filled with delicious food (turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie, oh my!), good health, and bountiful memories and spent with your friends and family!  Did you try any new recipes for the big meal?  If you have something easy-peasy to share that I can try next year, I would love to hear it.  Can't partake in the turkey recipes just yet, those will have to wait another few years =P

I spent my entire holiday with everyone and everything I am thankful for.  Bright and early Thanksgiving morning my cousins and I went hiking at Joaquin Miller Park, celebrated together over a piping hot bowl of pho, and I ended the day with a hearty meal with Shane and his family.  On Friday I snuck in a little Black Friday shopping with momma before I had to do some stuff at work (a good reminder that I am thankful to have a job...). And Saturday and Sunday I had to nurse myself as I got hit with nausea, cramps, and fatigue.  Feeling much better now and ready to conquer the week!

As I going through pictures from my trip, I came across a few, alright a ton, that I wanted to share.  This first set of pictures are from our day trip to Florence via the Trenitalia train system that took us from Rome to Florence in about 1.5 hours.  Shane was not pleased that I had us up and out by 630am the day after we landed in Rome and even less pleased that our train back to Rome wasn't until 900pm. I say that was my stealthy way to get over the jetlag.  I hope you enjoy the pictures!


STREETS OF ROME / Shopping outfit and some tips on shopping and VAT refunds

luxury brand prices international europe
Hello!  I am writing this post wide awake at 4:30am PST so that could only mean that we are back from our wonderful holiday in Rome.  There is so much history encompassing the city, so many beautiful churches where you get moments of peace and serenity and a place to worship and pray for those who are religious, such delicious meals (and desserts!) prepared by Italians who take immense pride in their cooking,  an abundance of art pieces whether it be paintings, sculptures, or architecture all over the city by renowned artists like Bernini, Michaelangelo, and Caravaggio, and all of that with the kind hospitality of the locals.  Thank you beautiful Roma for an experience that I've only been able to dream of!


ANCIENT GLORY / Exploring the ruins of Ostia Antica in grid pattern and flats

traveling flats outfit in rome
After the stunning beauty of St. Peter's Basilica, Shane and I explored the historical harbor city of ancient Rome, Ostia Antica.  This was one of my favorite sites to see because it wasn't packed with people; there were times where it felt like we were the only two people exploring and this really gave us the chance to imagine how life in Ancient Rome was like.  My most memorable part of Ostia Antica is sitting in The Roman Theatre built in 12BC and through Rick Steves, I learned that it is still used today!


VATICAN CITY / Peplum sweater and olive pants in St. Peter's Square and Basilica

peplum sweater what to wear to church saint peters
Ciao from Vatican City (St. Peter's Square to be exact) where these pictures were taken.  Shane and I are having the most wonderful time in the Eternal City and to say that I am in awe over everything that Rome has to offer would be the understatement of the year.  We are only on day 4 of our trip and already we've got to see some of the most beautiful churches in the world, eat some delizioso Italian food (after only our third big meal in Rome, Shane says he feels he has been lied to his whole life about what Italian food is), and interact with the kindest people.  In a quick summary, we've gone to Florence and back, saw the Vatican Necropolis (highly recommended!), explored St. Peter's Square and Basilica, and unknowingly saw the Crypt of the Nativity at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.  Incredible.


OFF WE GO / Tips for comfy dressing on long plane rides

outfit ideas airport international flight long plane ride
I am a bubble of excitement as Shane and I are en route to Rome!  Unfortunately there lies about fourteen hours of airtime keeping us from our destination but I'll be using that time to read my guides, listen to some Rick Steves, watch some movies on the plane, and of course do some blogging.


ONE YEAR / A 'Thank You' Message and lots of love

I am over the moon to share that a year ago today I decided to start blogging again! One year of consistent posts, one year of sharing special moments, one year of my little escape from reality. It is cliché of me to say but blogging again is probably one of my best decisions from the last year and then even more cliché to say that I can’t believe it’s been one year. Fast forward 116 entries and we are at where we are now, unbelievable!

To me blogging is more than just conjuring up outfits and sharing them, to me blogging is the opportunity of building new bonds and strengthening old bonds.  Blogging has served as a medium to bring forth discussions of fashion, social media and socializing, photography, and/or writing between friends old and new.  It has created laughter, joyous memories, and special moments that I will always cherish forever.  I don’t see this as an adventure I am partaking on my own but instead one we are going on together.

With that, thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all the love and support you have given me over the past year.  Without your encouragement, kind words, and criticism, this blog wouldn’t be where it is at today.  Thank you all so very, very much!!  Cheers to another year!!


JOYOUS GREYS / Formal maxi dress with tiered layers and floral blockings

holiday wedding prom dress idea

Over the weekend I had the greatest pleasure accompanying my dear friend to his sister's wedding where I got to witness the marriage of two incredibly loving people and afterwards celebrate with their friends and family at the elegant and classic Kohl Mansion.  It was such a beautiful event and I am ever so thankful to my friend and the newlywed for having me there.  In addition to being amongst so much love (evident through the high spirits of all those who attended and the touching and warm speeches given by those close to the couple), it was also a good opportunity to get to know some inspiring people and make some new friends.  CONGRATULATIONS SHAHNAZ & CHIRAG!!!!



CROP FACTOR / Black and gold with (DIY) Crop turtleneck and metallic floral lace skirt

crop top sweaters fall trend turtleneck jumpers
What do you do when you machine-wash a dry clean only sweater?  Tuck it up into itself at the bottom to hide the shrinkage and call it a DIY crop top of course!  Or cover it up with a cardigan like I did the last time I wore this top.  Lesson learned, send dry clean stuff to the dry cleaners, haha.  To balance the "crop" top, I wore it with a longer pencil skirt and more conservative shoes.  I feel that since crop tops cut you off very high and give the illusion of a short torso you want to negate that by elongating the lower half of your body and this way it will draw the eyes downward.
metallic lace floral pencil skirt
chanel vintage classic flap black lambskin bag
winter crop sweaters trend 2013
suede mary jane pumps black and gold shoes heels
crop top and pencil skirt
crop top and pencil skirt
D&G turtleneck (tucked in at bottom for illusion of crop top, old but other alternatives under $50 here, here, and here) / 
RACHEL Rachel Roy metallic floral lace skirt (from last year but very similar here and splurge one here) / 
Vintage Chanel lambskin m/l classic flap / Talbots necklace (similar)  and Guess bangle (similar from MK) / 
Pour la Victoire 'Case' pumps (the Blahniks here, a nice alternative under $150 and loving this two-tone t-strap pair)

Today is a day near and dear to my heart.  It has been two years since Dad is free of the pain and suffering he went through during his last months but that also means it has been two years that we haven't had his physical presence with us and it stings hard every time I think about it.  I am not an open person and I can't believe I even have the courage to finally talk about it but Dad deserves it.  He is my inspiration in life and he will always be the reason I strive to do my best and give everything my all because that is what he did.  Miss you so much Dad...


WHITE-OUT / White cropped trench and denim after Labor Day

white after labor day rule
When momma is away, sister comes out to play.  Well no, mom went out yesterday so my sister kindly offered to take my blog pics.  It was a bit unfair for her because her first time behind the camera we used a new lens and she had to photograph a white outfit, a lot of factors to experiment with for a first timer but I think she did well =D.  It was another busy weekend for us but we got to enjoy some delicious food - Peruvian, Taiwanese, and Japanese in that order.  Spectacular!  Did you all have a good weekend?

Has it really already been 1.5 months since I last wore these white jeans?  Can't believe it's been that long since they were featured on the blog as I felt like I was practically wearing them for every blog post!  However I didn't realize how off-white they are until I wore them with this stark white jacket.  The general idea is there though - there are no rules in fashion so no white after labor day is definitely out of the question.  Christopher Bailey definitely condones breaking that rule seeing as how in addition to black this crop trench is also available in bright white.
burberry white trench coat classic outfit ideas
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peplum trench coat jacket fall ideas
how to tie belt on trench coats
miu miu jeweled flats mary jane shoes glitter
all white outfit fall trends 2013
Burberry 'Shenstone' cropped trench (similar style for 40% off and similar in red, cheaper alternatives here and here) /
Love from YaYa top (old) / Levi's white 535 jeggings (my last b/w outfit with these in the summer) /
Miu Miu jeweled heel Mary Janes (also avail in smoking slippers, suede knee-highs, and MJ pumps)  /
Louis Vuitton mirror lockit (also seen here, here, and here) / Rolex watch (MK version here)

As the weekend quickly zoomed by, we welcome another week.  I hope you have a wonderful week and get to enjoy the lovely weather we've been having despite it being Fall!


BLACK AND NAVY / 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target skirt and leather everywhere

black and navy outfit fall trends leather top
I am a day late but did you guys have a nice weekend?  For a reason unknown to me, I always sleep early on the weekends (around 1am) as oppose to a workday (closer to 3am...) and I usually get to sleep through the morning if I remember to turn my phone to vibrate.  It's a great feeling.  I hope you had an equally relaxing weekend.

As mentioned a few entries ago, my dear friend Kim alerted me throughout the night (thank you so much Kim!!) of the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target release online.  I was too busy clicking away and making sure I snag a handbag (or two... ok, maybe three) and the navy and leopard circle skirt that I completely missed some of the other items in the collection.  The most notable piece that I kept going back to hoping that it would magically pop in stock is the navy/black dress with faux leather.  Unfortunately it never came back in stock but I turned my frown upside down and used it as inspiration for this outfit.  Inspired by that dress it made sense to pair the navy skirt from the collection with leather, leather, and even more leather - leather everywhere!
leather top bodice fall trend all leather blouse
3.1 phillip lim target navy skirt collection
stuart weitzman 5050 leather over-the-knee boots flats
skirt and OTK boots leather outfit
leather trend fall 2013 outfits skirt OTK boots
Theory dress worn as top (from last year and last seen on blog here; 40% off here and this year's version here) / 
3.1 Phillip Lim for Target navy skirt (similar skirts under $100 here and here) /
Salvatore Ferragamo 'Ginny' clutch w/ chain / Rolex watch (MK alternative here) / Gucci belt from Auntie's closet
Stuart Weitzman 50/50 leather OTK boots (also on blog here and here; available here and more sizes here)

I've been searching on Pinterest for all the ways everyone has styled their 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target pieces and some favorites are Kate from The FancyPants Report and her leopard pullover with a beautiful printed blue skirt, Sarah from The Weekend Diary styling the floral blouse with a quilted leather (!!) skirt, and Ciaa from My Curves & Curls looking absolutely fierce in the leopard dress.  I'll be doing more pinning this week but if there's any outfits you've seen that you enjoyed, please share =D.

Off to bed I go as I have to get up a tad bit earlier to add some finishing touches to a presentation I have to give in a few hours.  I hope you have a wonderful day, take care!


FALL READY / Skinny cargo jeans, black leather details, and animal print

fall outfit olive skinnies black leather top
kate spade animal print purse bag
jbrand skinny jeans
christian louboutin CL black patent pumps classic
fall textured outfit jacket cape
Burberry jacket (last worn here; similar contrast-sleeve jackets under $150 here and here) / 
Rachel Rachel Roy tank (worn more playfully with a skirt in this entry) / 
J. Brand 'Brix' cargo skinny jeans (last on blog in this entry; on sale for <$150 here and in grey for $130 here) / 
Kate Spade bag (similar black+animal print options here, here, and this one under $80) / Christian Louboutin 'decolette' pumps