NYC + A Blogging Break

by - Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This is my last post of the year because... I'm finally taking a vacation! In 36 hours, I'll be on my way to Japan, Taiwan, then finally the Philippines. I'll be without any means of communication, so I'll catch up with y'all once I'm back. If you have any must-sees/dos/eats, feel free to drop me a message.

In the meantime, here are some random thoughts and pictures from a last-minute weekend trip to NYC a few weeks ago. Good times, good food, and good company (not necessarily in that order). Can't ask for more than that :)

- I've been to NYC a handful of times in my life but this was my first time visiting Chinatown. Both Manhattan's and Flushing's are worlds apart from DC's, which is essentially a block around the Friendship Arch. I was surprised that pretty much every conversation I overheard was in Chinese, both among the young and the old. It was like being teleported back to Asia. I'll take that as a sign that I've been living in the suburbs too long.

(Holiday) Party Like a Rockstar

by - Sunday, December 11, 2011
My company doesn't always hold a holiday party. This year is one of those off years. Instead, I went to my brother's as his +1. Last year they had a food buffet, heated outdoors tent with a firepit for s'mores, roll your own cigar, and a casino setup with fake money?! Umm... the holiday party alone would be enough to convince me to switch jobs. Kidding... or am I? In return for him having to deal with his socially awkward sister, I was the designated driver. A win-win for us both.

Like a typical girl, I mentally went through my closet and freaked out like a drama queen over having nothing to wear. In the end, I decided on my tried-and-true Ann Taylor lace dress and piled on the accessories. The busy dress really doesn't need a whole lot of accessorizing, but what the heck, it's the holidays!

My brother felt last year's was more fun because fake casinos and rolling cigars were replaced this year with a food-centric theme (7 different buffet rooms!) In between bites and roaming from room to room, I had a grand time people watching. I've never seen so many Chanel flaps in one place in my life. I counted at least 15 of various sizes and colors, vintage and classic styles. What eye candy! Unfortunately, shoes were harder to check out without being obvious. All in all, it was a fun night.
necklaces: Forever 21 jersey & chain (similar; similar);
blazer: H&M boyfriend (similar)
necklace as bracelet: Forever 21 pearlescent beads & flowers (similar; similar)
bag: BCBG bow via Sunshine's giveaway (similar)

Black Suede Booties

by - Thursday, December 08, 2011
Black suede booties have been on my wants list for awhile now (yes, apparently brown ones aren't enough). I first saw Adrienne Vittadini Adam booties on Cher and Jean well after it had long sold out. I've been keeping my eyes on similar silhouettes this season and stumbled upon these MICHAEL Michael Kors Adena booties, but the retail price and extreme front dip gave me pause.

Weeks later, I just happened to see the Adam pop up on a flash sale site and couldn't believe my luck. Shortly after receiving my package, I saw Annie's review on the Adena and loved it on her. The front dip I wasn't sure about looked much better on a foot in real life than by itself in stock photos. Not wanting any regrets, I decided it would be best to have both pairs in my hands for a better comparison (before the return window for the Adam closed). Surprisingly I had a hard time locating an Adena in my size, so by the time I found one, all thoughts of paying retail price went out the window. It's funny when low supply vs high demand forced me to rethink my willingness-to-pay-scale ("ehh I don't want to pay that" vs "alright I give in")

I'm glad I had a chance to compare both at the same time because I would've been kicking myself with the "what if?" game otherwise. I took my usual size 6 in both pairs but neither were a perfect fit. The Adam were a bit tight in the toebox initially, but now I think my foot has shrunk with the cooler temperatures, because fit isn't an issue anymore. The Adena was loose in the ankles and would probably need a heel grip to potentially solve that problem.

Thank you to everyone on Twitter who helped me make a decision within such a short time-frame. All your opinions were much appreciated ♥ And now... the ones I kept were the Adam (which are hardly noticeable in this outfit. Hopefully a future outfit will showcase them better).
necklace: Forever 21 layered gypsy (similar; similar)
turtleneck: H&M basic jersey (recent; similar; similar)
vest: Zara Girl fur waistcoat (sold here; similar; similar)
necklace as belt: Forever 21 jersey & chain (similar; similar)
scarf ring as ring: Talbots - gift from Elle (similar)
tights: American Eagle classic (this season's sold here)
shoes: Adrienne Vittadini Adam (similar)

Preppy in Pink

by - Tuesday, December 06, 2011
The weather was ridiculously nice last week, so I wore a "summer" outfit complete with eye-blinding colors. Neon shirts with a bright colored belt? You bet.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!
tee: American Eagle deep v-neck (similar)
belt: Old Navy tie (similar)
jeans: Hollister boot destroyed (sold here; similar)

So This is Christmas...

by - Sunday, December 04, 2011
*** See outfit photos with the trench ***

I fibbed. A pipe dream wish became a reality when I caved during sale season and bought this Burberry Marystow Trench Coat in trench, size 2 (sold at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman). I probably spent more time thinking about this purchase than I did before buying all the bags I own combined. I told myself that I'd have no problem make a return if it wasn't completely perfect. The devil on my shoulder rolled her eyes and said, "Now doesn't this story sound familiar... who're you trying to fool, fool?!"

Once I finally placed my order (thank you Elle for all your Burberry knowledge and help!), I had to wait a few weeks before the package actually shipped. I'm assuming Bloomingdale's didn't have this trench in stock and had to place a special order. No biggie because the time delay was clearly stated on their website.

A few weeks later and whatddya know... the devil is always right :D It was love at first sight. I couldn't stop touching and staring, with the enabler voice in me screaming "keep keep keep!" without regards to fit. A few days after the initial euphoria died down, I tried on the trench again with a clearer mind looking for flaws. I think in general the trench fits me awfully well off the rack. I like the overall length, the sleeve length (personal preference of longer sleeves), and the belt placement on me. If I had to nitpick, the trench could probably fit slimmer in the body and arms, but that's after staring really hard at comparison pictures. I can also cinch the belt tighter around the waist, but that may cause the bottom to flare out too much.

I'm seriously considering keeping the trench as a Christmas present to myself this year without any alterations. Do you have any opinions for or against it?
coat: Burberry Marystow trench (sold here)
dress: J.Crew cotton-silk shimmy (sold here; similar; similar)
necklace as sash: Forever 21 jersey & chain (similar)
ring: Forever 21 delicate etchings (similar
socks: Abercrombie & Fitch slouchy boot (other colors)

Five Minutes With...

by - Friday, December 02, 2011
me, as interviewed by Lisa @ respect the shoes in a fun 20 questions & answers format. Check it out here.

Blouse with Turtleneck

by - Thursday, December 01, 2011
Today's outfit is all about experimentation. I typically roll up my sleeves to elbow length, but left it down today for a more ladylike look. Pictures don't lie and this is proof that I should stick to regular sizing in Ann Taylor blouses.

The blouse is also sheer, so I always wear it over a tank of sorts. Today's choice is a black turtleneck. My initial thought was just to stay warm, but the look is growing on me. The same color palette helps the high neckline blend in with the overall look instead of being a distraction.

Hope you're having a great Thursday!
turtleneck: H&M basic jersey (recent; similar; similar)
blouse: Ann Taylor cascading ruffle blouse - gift from Elle (similar)
belt: H&M skinny belt (similar)
pants: XOXO flared (similar)

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