Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Favourite Things - Mix and Match

I've got a pretty consistent style going on now. I have 2 main colour palettes - 
- Nude: mint/seafoam green, cream, brown, gold accents. 
- Black: navy/mulberry, grey, black, silver accents. 

Sometimes I wonder if my taste will change in the future. I'm trying to buy a lot more gold things to match. Here's some of the things I'm using to death at the moment, that goes with everything in my closet:
Coach hobo, Kate Spade wallet
I've had these for 3 years. The Kate Spade gold-plate is worn out. >_< I use the Coach for work. 
Rebecca Taylor leopard print tote
This Rebecca Taylor leopard print tote was from a Japanese magazine. I use it on weekends. It's too cute! Leopard print is usually loud but I find that this isn't too attention grabbing and it's really cute! 
Marc Jacobs shopper
I got this Marc Jacobs shopper from a Japanese magazine. I use it all the time to carry documents for work. 
Giselle Bundchen Ipanema sandals
I wear this pair of sandals almost every weekend. It goes with absolutely everything! It dresses up casual tees and shorts, and matches maxi dresses/flowery dresses well. And it's waterproof (except for the ribbons), which is fantastic when I'm at the beach (easy to rinse off the sand). 
Accessorize straw flip flops
I got these at an Accessorize sale for slightly over $10! Such a steal! They're really pretty and comfortable, the gold just blings things up in a subtle way, the pink adds a pop of colour, and the shells are pretty and give a beachy vibe. Love! I try not to wear them too much because they're rather fragile and the gold paint is already wearing off at parts though I've worn them about 5 times only. 

And here's my favourite colour right now - mint!
Typo mint satchel
This is a satchel I bought from Typo for almost $50 if I don't remember correctly. Quality is pretty poor. I've been working for almost almost 3 years already so I think it's time I stopped using such low-quality faux-leather bags! The faux-leather started wearing off at the strap hooks (I carry some heavy things - my Kate Spade wallet is super heavy) after barely 2 months. I love the colour though! Mint and matte gold is too adorable!
Hairband (not sure which brand), Accessorize bangle, shell necklace from the Philippines
I've been wearing the bangle everywhere and everyone thinks it's real jade. It's a really pretty fake from Accessorize! I wear the shell necklace with maxis or flowery sundresses. 
Uniqlo knit lounge cardigan 
I bought this baby from Uniqlo on sale! It's so soft and furry and cuddly! <3 I will wear this on the plane when I go on another work trip in mid-May.
GG>5 tri-colour tank top
My favourite tank top that I can wear to the office and on weekends! 

I like the way my style has evolved. I used to go with navy and black all the time, but after I started dyeing my hair brown a couple of years ago, I started to work towards a more cream/nude/brown palette which I find more different but still office appropriate. I like muted colours and pops of colour. I love mulberry and navy with black, and seafoam/mint with khaki/cream. 

I'm really happy with all my stuff right now and I'm hoping to eliminate the other random stuff in my closet so that my clothes and accessories are more cohesive. Tomorrow's a public holiday and I'll be going out for some shopping, spa and to look at wardrobes! 

Happy daze. :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Goodbye Stuff

I admit, I am a hoarder. I have things that I bought years ago that I haven't even worn or used yet. The things I love, I wear them to death. It's time to let go and taking photographs makes it a lot easier! When something works, I want to remember how it looks like so that I can look out for similar items. The following items have either been dumped, given to charity or will be soon and I want tor remember them! -heart-
Madden Girl black patent pumps
I bought these Madden Girl round-toe pumps at a TJMaxx at a great price. I love the round toe - it's so hard to find cute round-toe pumps these days. And the short heel is just the right height - so easy and comfortable to walk in. The combination of the cute round toe and the short heel makes it look a little demure and vintage. I would kill to buy another pair but I can't find it anywhere!
Levi's leather strap wedges
I bought these leather wedges from Levi's for $99 after I got paid for an internship 4 years ago. They are so gorgeous, I love the height (I think it's more than 4 inches) and I love the leather. It pairs really well with flowery dresses or maxi dresses. Even though it's a really tall heel, it's very comfy and stable. 

Black pants - Wynn (no-brand)
I bought this pair of skinny pants in Malaysia for about $30. The material isn't that fantastic but I love that it's  a true skinny fit (so hard to find skinny fit pants that look truly skinny on me because I'm thin and some skinny pants look baggy on me). And I like the design on the waistband, which makes it different from other boring black pants. I'm actually passing this to a seamstress to tailor a new pair with better fabric. Hope it works!
Warehouse tank
This is a tank top I bought from Warehouse. I love the colour - it's a deep mulberry and reminds me of a mulberry-coloured leotard that I used to wear for ballet. It's stretchy jersey material and the flowy draping in front is made of chiffon. It's really lovely and the flowy design at the chest is really flattering for skinny, flat-chested people like me. I'm trying to wear this less so that it lasts longer because I really love it. 
Forever21 black chiffon skirt
I bought this 3 years ago at a Forever21 in the US. I've worn it to death! I match this all the time with the Warehouse tank above. It's a nice, simple and feminine style that I've received lots of compliments on in the office, and it's super easy to match. It's different from the regular work skirts that others wear. I would kill to repurchase this again too! 
Ruffle chiffon dress (no-brand)
I bought this dress at a wholesale place, either in Hong Kong or Shenzhen (I forgot). It's chiffon, a material I love! (Chiffon can be a pain to iron though.) Chiffon is such a great material in Singapore's hot and humid weather, and it's office appropriate but looks softer and is a more interesting/feminine option to regular workwear. 
Agneselle reversible tank, CottonOn lace-print skirt
The Agneselle reversible tank is fantastic for Singapore - it's cooling in the hot weather, and when I'm clumsy and spill things on myself, I just head to the restroom and wear it inside-out! My friends are always amazed by it. :) The Cotton-on lace skirt is really comfortable (though a little translucent in Singapore's bright sunlight) and matches with all my cream/nude tops. 
Forever21 ruffled lace skirt
I bought this ruffled lace skirt for my "Back2School" Dinner and Dance in 2011 (photos here). That period of time was when I dyed my hair brown and I started buying all these nude/cream colours to match. It's a size S but it's a little too big for me so it'll be going in the charity bag! 
GG>5 tri-colour tanks
I bought these GG>5 tri-colour tanks late last year and I love them! Basically I love GG>5 - I would describe it as slightly pricey high-street for more high-flying corporate types. They're pricey and a lot of the materials they use are dry-clean only, which is so annoying, but the designs are really lovely so I forgive them. :) 

These tanks are dry-clean only as well. I actually have a lot of dry-clean only clothes, but I handwash them on weekends using delicate fabric wash. It works ok, but sometimes dry-clean only clothes might wrinkle at the seams. (Looking good is so hard - I waste a lot of my life hand-washing my dry-clean only clothes. BOO.)

The fabric is really pretty though - I took close-up shots because I love the way the fabric has a lovely texture and sheen which gives a very elegant "Asian" look. 
Editor's Market - cream faux-leather bag
I love how this bag looks fat and slightly slouchy at the sides. The gold ring is really nice too and I love the cream (it matches with the cream/nude thing I have going right now). The handles are longer than regular handbags but it looks and feels right! It got dirty easily so I gave it away. I bought it at the Editor's Market for >$30 but I've heard that such bags can be bought in Thailand for as little as $8! -screams-

That's all for now! I actually donated a huge paperbag full of clothes recently (never worn with tags still on, such a waste but I'll never wear them anyway) because my wardrobe was exploding and I had no space to store my winterwear. I'm currently on a mission to replace my wardrobe and to reorganise my clothes. I'm really hoping to pare down my collection and keep things that I truly love and can mix and match well. 

Let's see how it goes! :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beijing: Food and Randoms

This post is on random food and things that I saw in Beijing. After we checked into our hotel, we immediately took a cab to the city and went to Wang Fu Jing, a famous shopping street. This is the Wang Fu Jing snack street. The food looks really delicious but it doesn't taste that nice. (I tried some of the pan-fried dumplings - kind of tasteless. The meat kebabs taste very gamey.) They sell stuff like meat kebabs, fried scorpions and yoghurt drinks. 
The scorpions were still alive. They will be deep-fried on the spot. They move if you get close to them!
"Pissing beef balls" - it means that they're very juicy. -_-U
We had a roast duck dinner at a famous restaurant called Quan Ju De in Wang Fu Jing, however, it didn't taste very nice. The skin was very fatty and not very crispy. After that we heard from the locals that though famous, Quan Ju De has become too commercialised, like fast food. There are other nicer shops that sell roast duck that is crispy and flavorful, but I can't remember where. Anyway, we ordered half a duck and they actually gave us half the duck's head (below) as well. Very literal!
We had meals at Fucheng hotpot restaurant twice. Fucheng is a huge company that sells beef and anything related to cows. The locals said that the owner started out with only 6 cows, but managed to build his tiny farm into an empire. Impressive. However, the hotpot restaurant was pretty expensive by local standards. There's another Beijing chain, "Hai Di Lau" which is cheaper and provides pretty cool service, such as manicures while you wait. Pity I didn't get to try it. 
In general I think the food in Beijing is a lot oilier and saltier than in Singapore. I went to a Pepper Lunch at the Beijing Raffles City mall and ordered a beef plate. The beef in Beijing had a lot of fat - someone told me it's because the cows are kept in crowded conditions and aren't able to move or exercise. The Fucheng beef was good though. 

I also tried the MacDonald's in Beijing. I would think it's pretty pricey for locals! It's about the same price as in Singapore. (I remember going to MacDonald's in Shenzhen, China - it wasn't so expensive there.) Below is a German special and bubble milk tea. The sausage wasn't very nice and the bubble milk tea was terrible. The only thing I liked was Coco Crunch McFlurry (not pictured) - having it in winter was AWESOME.
I went to a Starbucks at Sanlitun. I was surprised that there was a long queue, because it must be really expensive for Beijingers! (Same price as Singapore.) I ordered an apple tea latte but felt very cheated because it was just English Breakfast Tea (from a tea bag, no less) with apple syrup on top. The funniest thing was, we spotted a guy (nicely style) camwhoring alone at one of the Starbucks counters. He camwhored for a good 15 minutes! He looked a bit embarrassed when he realised we were looking at him though, lol. Then again, there really are a lot of good looking people in Sanlitun. I think young people go there to see and be seen. 
This is Flamme (not a typo), a steakhouse that a client introduced to us. It serves awesome steak. We went there twice and both times I got the cheapest *heh* steak for 98 yuan. Cocktails are cheap (1-for-1) during happy hour, but expensive (same as Singapore) at regular price. You really can't go too wrong with beef in Beijing. We don't really order fish though, because I think Beijing is landlocked, and the fish isn't too fresh. 
The view from Flamme - pretty!
Bread rolls with cream - they're crispy outside with fluffy empty insides, and taste kinda like Beard Papa cream puffs.
Steak with herb butter.
Steak with horseradish hollandaise sauce.
Oh wow my stomach is growling just looking at the photos, the steak was that good! We also had wedges with 1001 island sauce (yummy) and creamed spinach (too creamy). I thought the vegetable casserole was really good (cheesy). It's so good! However, it is probably rather expensive for a regular Beijinger. 
We had hotpot at a small restaurant near our hotel. It came in a cute metal hotpot with coals burning inside! I've never seen one of those before, because in Singapore we all use electric ones. Interesting! However, the ricecakes sucked. They were straight from the package and absolutely disgusting, like tasteless chewy plastic. 
The rice was cool - it came in a clay bowl (that was very hot to the touch). 
We went to a Mongolian restaurant for dinner one night. There were 3 "yurts" outside and each yurt can seat probably 20 people. The lazy susan was automatic and you can adjust the speed and direction. (A lot of Chinese restaurants with huge banquet tables have that!) It was really pretty and a unique experience. However, the food wasn't too impressive. 
We don't just eat lavish meals all the time. Lunch every day is a very simple affair. The food is not very good at the canteen and even meat dishes contain very little meat. For example, when I order scrambled egg, the dish is 70% onions and 30% egg. I guess it's because meat is more expensive. The photo below is of a packed lunch. I thought it looked cute. It tasted a lot better than the canteen food. 
This is the packed lunch menu. The 12-yuan lunch in the middle is named "Ants up a tree". I have no idea what that is. 
This is a customer survey form I found at Pepper Lunch. Under "Other Suggestions", the guy wrote, "Please hire more pretty ladies". LOL.

Yeap that's pretty much all I have for Beijing! It was a great trip. :D I bought a tonne of Pocky and Glico biscuits back home, I will be reviewing all the flavours soon! Nom-nom. 

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