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
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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.


HEAT WAVE / Warm weather uniform wearing chambray and ripped denim shorts

chambray and white outfit combo fall trend
It's officially Fall and has been for two weeks now but instead of the crisp air and the slight breeze that comes this time of year we got hit with a heat wave this past weekend.  And it seems that it is continuing on throughout the week.  I'm not complaining though because I love warm summer days so the more the merrier.
summer uniform outfit destroyed cutoff shorts
louis vuitton lv neverfull mm monogram tote bag handbag
I think next to searingly bright color combinations, like this yellow outfit or this watermelon combo,  I've relied heavily on the classic combo of blue and white, such as this white dress with denim jacket or this denim on denim outfit.  There is just something so refreshing about stark white and classic blue denim and it's probably the fact that white reflects light and denim is cotton one of the more breathable fabrics.  Ah, I knew it wasn't just in my head ;)
james perse chambray shirt top
DL1961 shorts jean denim reviews quality
denim cutoff destroyed white shorts
James Perse chambray shirt (last worn here; this sleeveless version would have been great yesterday!) / 
DL1961 white cutoff shorts (on sale for under $40 here! Also love this pair and these too for under $30.) / 
Talbots belt (similar style belts here the real deal (in reference to skin, not price) here) /
Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM / Talbots sandals (similar beautiful splurge, similar here for 15% off, and this pair is under $30!)

It can't be too hard but enjoy your Tuesday! I'll be putting off that pumpkin spiced latte for another week and enjoying my thin mint frappucino. Take care!


VINTAGE SUMMER / Sheer off-the-shoulder top and high waist denim cutoffs

vintage clothing off shoulder top blouse
boho bohemian free people outfit trend summer
lv louis vuitton favorite pm canvas damier monogram
beach beachy hippie high waist shorts
gladiator leather sandal flats trend summer
vintage outfit style trend high waist cutoff shortssheer vintage sexy off shoulder embroidered
Vintage shirt from momma's closet (under $25 alternative here or similar options in blue or pink) / 
Joe's Jeans high rise cutoff shorts (now 50% off in most sizes! or under $30 options here and here) /
Louis Vuitton damier canvas Favorite PM / Momma's earrings, Forever21 leaf cuff (similar) /
Skechers gladiator flats (similar alternatives here, here, and here


SUMMER COTTON CANDY / Star-print silk, bright pink skirt, and neon green sandals

neon heels bright pink skirt
louis vuitton miroir bag lockit monogram silver accessory
equipment star print silk signature blouse top
neon green heels sandals shoes summer
summer date outfit fun flirty girly bright
summer brights pink neon green outfit trend idea
French Connection Sunshine Walk skirt (more sizes on sale here and here) /
Alex and Ani Endless knot bracelet from dear Maggie, Rolex datejust watch (this Michael Kors one is similar) /
Louis Vuitton miroir lockit / Prabal Gurung for Target neon sandals (last worn here) /
Prabal Gurung for Target sandals (similar pair here)


MINIMALISTIC / Simple black shorts and white hi-low top with a pop of red

black white red outfit classic essential
red celine trio price regular small large bag
white and black outfit pop of red
high low hi lo hem shirt blouse top
studded heels sandals trend valentino sigerson morrison
flowy silk blouse white top button up classic
"A" New York hi-low silk blouse (layered in this post; old but similar here and these two under $60 here and here) /
Alexander McQueen for Target McQ shorts (old, similar shorts here, here, and here) /
Sigerson Morrison 'Keiko' studded heels (if you're a 9.5-10, it's under $85 here, hurry!)


DENIM COMBO / Pinstripe cropped jacket and summer blues and tans

white denim tan color pairing spring summer
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denim navy blazer short sleeve cropped
cropped summer jacket outfit trend
lv louis vuitton empreinte speedy bag
gucci caged sandal heels booties fall summer
classic levis jeans skinnies skinny denim
Paige pinstripe cropped jacket (old; similar options here, here, and here) / Forever21 tank
Levi's 535 white denim leggings / Louis Vuitton empreinte speedy 25 in inifini /
Gucci 'Isabel' cutout cage booties (old; sandal version here and this season's version here)


SUMMER WHITE / Keyhole back white lace dress with jean jacket and monogram bag

white dress rehearsal dinner option floral lace
Hi all!  Did you have a nice weekend?  As always I stuffed myself silly this weekend and had Korean BBQ all-you-can-eat with my friend Shahab.  We sat, chatted, and ate for 3 hours.  That is what weekends should be all about =).  Hope you had a great weekend as well!

Going back about a month or two back, even before Shane and I have settled on anything, I found my dress for the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner!  This was one of the contenders but after some thinking it fell out of the running because I felt it was a touch too casual.  The soft details of this dress such as the crochet trim on the sleeves and hem and the keyhole back makes this more suitable as a crisp summer white dress and pairs perfectly with a denim jacket.
tiffany & co key heart pendants chanel necklace
summer white dress lace crochet trim
keyhole open back dress spring summer
louis vuitton lv neverfull mm bag tote handbag
jean denim jacket with dress trend casual
embossed nude wedges espadrilles summer sandals
white lace dress wedding rehearsal
Laundry by Shelli Segal lace dress (beautiful coral color over 40% off! And stunning sleeveless version!) /
DKNY Jeans denim jacket (super old but a travel essential for Italy in Milan and Verona; similar wash avail. here) / 
Necklaces from top to bottom - Chanel, Tiffany & Co. Notes heart pendant, Tiffany & Co. crown key pendant /
Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM / Talbots wedges (splurge-worthy alternative here or under $130 options here and here)

Hope you have a great week ahead!  Take care!