NYFW: J.Crew FW17

Feb 20, 2017

If you are thinking about adding more color or pattern to your look, then the J.Crew FW17 presentation is a great place to start collecting inspiration. Blues, greens and variations on camel are my favorite colors, so it goes without saying that I loved seeing this palette throughout the presentation. It is always admirable how J.Crew possesses this innate, effortless and classy ability to mix patterns and textures. Stripes, camouflage, neon shapes, leopard, silky textures...you name it, they mixed it- and true to form, it worked perfectly. I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the collection so that I can pick up a pair of colorful shoes and also those fantastic green, wide-legged pants (3rd image down)!

NYFW, Club Monaco SS17

Feb 16, 2017

This is the first of a few New York Fashion Week posts to come. I aspire to churn them out in a somewhat timely manner so that you can view the collections not too long after NYFW week (especially since some designers adapted the See Now, Buy Now model).

I attended the Club Monaco SS17 presentation a few days ago and was in awe of all of the floral prints paired with the elaborate floral decorations in the space. The presentation reminded me of a modern version of the Dutch Masters' works. Viewing the collection against a beautiful live floral backdrop and amongst extravagant bouquets surely made it an elegant and refined presentation.

This Afternoon's Accessories: Romance-Inspired

Feb 14, 2017

As a tribute to this romantic time of year, I thought it would be fun create a series featuring some romance-inspired accessories. Have a most lovely Valentine's Day!

Items featured: Cuff by Eddie Borgo, Earrings by Kate Spade, Mirror by Menu, Lipstick by Bobbi Brown, Fragrance by Prada, Cream Shadow by Givenchy, Nail Polish by Marc Jacobs, Silk Tank by J.Crew (similar and on sale!), Leather Clutch by Everlane

Pink & Green

Feb 5, 2017

Slowly and steadily, I have been cleansing my closet of items I've outgrown or just don't wear anymore. In doing this, I realized that, somewhere, somehow, I had fallen into a habit of purchasing only black and white clothing. Of course there is nothing wrong with this; but I'd personally like to have less of a monochromatic wardrobe, and have thus been inspired to add a bit of color to my collection.

Green has always been a favorite color of mine and I find that I'm particularly fond of the color when paired with a pale pink. Of all the bomber jackets out there, this one from the Everlane E2 collection caught my eye. The color is unique: bright, but not too bright, rich but not too dark, green but not an army green. The slight shine to the material also adds a bit of a sleek edge to the piece. Its slight padding makes it a great fall or spring jacket, but it is also thin enough to wear under a winter jacket as part of an indoor outfit. Pairing it with this supple pink pouch (also from Everlane) adds the perfect rosy hint of femininity and grace.

Additional credits: Boots by Vince, Jeans by Ports 1961 (similar option, and a sale option)
Photographed at The Contemporary Austin

Hotel San Jose - An Austin Oasis

Feb 1, 2017

Located in Austin's hip South Congress area, Hotel San Jose is a friendly and relaxing oasis. Not only is it a lovely place to stay if you are visiting the area, it is also a nice place to have a cocktail and snacks outdoors, take a swim, sit in the courtyard and read a book, or to sip a coffee at its outdoor coffee shop

Months ago, my two best girlfriends and I planned a warm January weekend getaway to Austin, a city I had never visited. I found Hotel San Jose, via Mr & Mrs Smith, which turned out to be a perfect find for our trip. We stayed in the Petit Suite, which had a common area, where we could sit and gab, a day bed for one and a larger bed for two. Since we hadn't seen each other in a while, we really enjoyed sitting in the common space and catching up. 

It's hotels like these, which make it hard to leave the property. We took a long leisurely breakfast and coffee at Jo's, wandered around the property, sat on our outside terrace, enjoyed yet another coffee at Jo's and spent a long night of chatting outdoors over drinks at the lounge. When we did leave the property, the South Congress area was fun to explore as well as East Austin. However, I will dedicate the next post on where to eat and shop in those areas!

A special thanks to Mr & Mrs Smith for making our stay at Hotel San Jose possible. 

Hotel San Jose, 1316 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Travel Guide: Where to Eat in Hanoi and Hoi An, Vietnam

Jan 24, 2017

As mentioned in my previous post, I am flattered to have received so many emails asking for recommendations on where to stay and where to eat in Vietnam. As a follow up on where to stay in Hoi An, I'd like to recommend a few places to eat in both Hanoi and Hoi An. 

The wonderful thing about eating in Hanoi and Hoi An is that you can pretty much wander into any cafe, restaurant, or even by the street food vendors and eat something delicious. That was at least the case for us; and we ate a lot while we were in Vietnam...a lot! Though we didn't experience one bad, or even mediocre meal during our stay, I have highlighted my absolute favorite spots. All are highly recommended. 

Cha Ca Thang Long: As the name suggests, this restaurant serves up the Vietnamese iconic fish dish of Cha Ca Head to this spot, filled with locals, for a fish dish that is cooked at your table. Great for: dinner

Pho 10: Our favorite spot for Pho; the broth is so delicious and flavorful that we ended up going back twice for breakfast. Ask for the fried dough (not on the menu) to dip into the soup as the locals do. Great for: breakfast

Quan An Ngon: This ourdoor market-style restaurant is worth the walk from the Old Quarter. Though there is table service, one can walk around the perimeter to visit all of the food stalls where the meals are being prepared. Try the stir-fried chayote leaves (Ngon su su xao toi), the rice paper rolls with sauteed beef and vegetables (pho cuon) and the fried tofu with rice noodle (bun dau ran mam tom). Great for: lunch

Cafe Pho Co: This hidden coffee shop is a little sanctuary amongst the bustle of the city. Enter through a silk shop, order coffee on the first floor and then walk up to the third and forth floors to snag a spot on one of the terraces (both have great views of Hanoi). Browse around the several levels of this cafe, which are lined with plants and statues. A great place for an afternoon break. Great for: Vietnamese coffee

Hoi An had a bit less-of-a local feel to the food scene, as the restaurants are primarily targeting tourists; nonetheless, we still experienced some great food and these recommendations are surely worth trying if visiting Hoi An. 

Vy's Market: This was our favorite spot in Hoi An. It was so good that we went once for lunch and then back again for our last meal in Vietnam (where we ordered probably over half of the menu). It has a similar feel to Quan An Ngon in Hanoi: a market-style restaurant with food being prepared in different stalls along the periphery. An enjoyable spot to have a Vietnamese sandwich for lunch or a place to go all out for dinner. Great for: lunch and dinner 

Morning Glory: Another yummy spot we happened upon for lunch. It is the same owner as Vy's Market and also Maison Vy hotel (where we stayed). Great spot for lunch in the center of Hoi An. Be sure to go at an off hour before the crowds start lining up. Great for: lunch and dinner

Cha Ca Thang Long: 31 Duong Thanh Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi

Pho 10: 10 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hanoi

Cafe Pho Co: 11 Hang Gai (4th floor), Hanoi 

Vy's Market: 3 Nguyen Hoang Street, Hoi An

Morning Glory: 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An


Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Hoi An, Vietnam

Jan 4, 2017

Last year, we spent a wonderful week in Vietnam's Hanoi, Bai Tu Long Bay and Hoi An areas admiring the gorgeous landscapes, exploring the cities by dodging motor bikes (on foot!), eating delicious and spicy pho and drinking lots of Vietnamese coffee. Although it has been a year since I visited, the past couple of months I have been getting a lot of emails asking for Vietnam travel recommendations. This has inspired me to do a two part post on where to stay in Hoi An and also where to eat in Hanoi and Hoi An. I am thrilled that people are looking to visit such a beautiful country and that they are entrusting me with travel recommendations. While in Hoi An, we stayed at a boutique hotel not too far from the Hoi An center, Maison Vy. It was one of those hotels that feels like home. Incredibly welcoming, friendly and genuine staff made the stay a pleasant ease. The pool was a wonderful way to cool off during the scorching afternoons and the complimentary breakfast was beyond our expectations. Enjoy freshly made soup noodles, pastries, exotic fruits and of course, strong Vietnamese coffee. Their cafe is open during the day as well and a nice, cool spot to enjoy an afternoon coffee or snack. Maison Vy is truly a little gem of a place and a sure recommendation when traveling through Hoi An. Stay tuned for the next post on where to eat and have coffee in Hanoi and Hoi An...