All posts by Shirley

5 Things to Try This Month – January 2018

January is the beginning of a new year. There are plenty of things to experiment with (i.e. adding a new skincare routine or reading a new book to refresh your statistics knowledge). Below are the five things I’d like to do in January.


Replace Gel Nail Color for Fun

I go to the nail salon to replace my gel nails every four weeks. I usually get my nails done in red and change the designs and decorations (i.e. pearls and crystals) each month. For this month, I wanted to try a different color. I chose hot pink color with silver glitters, crystals, and pearls.


Experimenting with a New Skincare Device

It’s the beginning of a new year, and it never hurts to try a new skincare routine. I’ve being hearing about some benefits of the microneedling process on skin. This process involves penetrating the skin with tiny needles (by a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician) to induce the collagen built-up and improve the skin complexion. But the treatment is pricy (about $500 or more per session). The potential benefits of microneedling is enticing, but I am not sure if I want to spend quite a bit of money for a session just yet. For starters, I’d like to try an at-home microneedling device to see if the professional microneedling treatment is worthy to invest.
GlowPro Microneedling Regenration Tool


Watch the New TV Show Versace

In December I saw a commercial for the new TV series, The Assasination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”, and I was intrigued by the story. The series is based on an actual event. And it’s released in January.


Read a Book to Refresh Knowledge

When I read any article that includes any statistical information, I try to keep an open mind on how likely the numbers actually represent reality. I know there could be some bias with the author’s intention to persuade the readers to agree with their point of view. Recently, I came across a book, “How to Lie With Statistics”. The book is light reading and helps to remind me how there can be bias in statistics information.


Shop For Sales

January is a good shopping month. A lot of stores (especially e-stores) are offering additional sales, up to 70 percent off of the original price. Some of my favorite sites include MyTherasa.com, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, and etc.


Kenzo Embroidered Tiger Sweatshirt

Clothing with bold animal designs has become very popular in recent years. It’s hard not to notice the increasing number of clothes items, handbags, and accessories designed with animal prints like cats, tigers, dogs and insects.

I am a big feline lover. And for years, I really like Kenzo’s embroidered tiger sweatshirts. The sweatshirt has a big embroidered tiger head pattern on the center of the chest. I think the design of the sweatshirt is bold, but not too exaggerated. And the most important thing is that the sweatshirt is really comfortable. You can upgrade your casual sweatshirt look by pairing it with a pair of black jeans or a short skirt.
Kenzo Embroidered Cotton Sweatshirt

Each season Kenzo offers its iconic embroidered tiger sweatshirt in different colors. Each sweatshirt is based on the same tiger pattern, but the color of the embroidery varies on each design. For example, a Kenzo’s embroidered tiger sweatshirts in a neutral black color could have the tiger outlined in pink thread and centered with an orange “Kenzo” logo, but another Kenzo’s neutral black sweatshirt might have the tiger outlined in light green thread and centered with a white “Kenzo” logo. These embroidery changes make each Kenzo’s embroidered tiger sweatshirt a unique piece.

If you like Kenzo’s tiger design, but prefer something thinner than sweatshirts, you could consider Kenzo’s printed cotton T-shirt. The t-shirt doesn’t have embroidered material, but the color and pattern look the same as on the sweatshirts.
Kenzo Printed Cotton T-shirt

When a fashion piece I like comes in multiple colors, I can’t resist the desire of getting multiple versions. I currently have the Kenzo’s embroidered tiger sweatshirts in hues such as orange, maroon, fuchsia, and black. If I ever spot another Kenzo’s embroidered tiger sweatshirt in the color combination I like in the future seasons, I wouldn’t hesitate to get it.

New Year’s Eve in Barcelona, Spain

My family and I just returned from our Christmas holiday trip to Las Vegas. We are now planning for the New Year’s Eve. As I look back on what I did for last year’s holidays, I can’t help but think about my last year’s trip to Spain. It was my first time going to Spain and celebrating the New Year’s holiday in Europe. It was a great trip.

To celebrate the New Year’s Eve, my friend and I went to the New Year’s Eve party in the lounge at the W Hotel in Barcelona, where we stayed for the Barcelona trip. There were several memorable things from the celebration party: drinking tons of Cava, eating twelve grapes at midnight, and watching the fireworks from our hotel.

Drinking Cava
Cava is the Spanish sparkling wine made in the traditional method of the French sparkling wine Champagne. I don’t usually drink Champagne in the States because it’s too bubbly for me, but during my Spain trip (Barcelona, Majorca, Madrid, and Toledo), I drank a lot of cava just for fun. Since the Spain trip, I’ve become more used to drinking Champagne.

Eating Twelve Grapes
Eating a grape at each bell strike (total of 12) by midnight of the New Year’s Eve is a Spanish tradition since 1909. During the New Year’s Eve party at the W Hotel in Barcelona, each guest received a bag of twelve grapes. We were supposed to eat and swallow all twelve grapes by the midnight for good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. Based on my personal experience, eating all twelve grapes within twelve seconds is a very difficult task. Our local friends told us that for the little kids, they usually gave them chocolates instead of grapes, so they can finish them on time.

Watching the Fireworks
One of the perks of staying and parting at the W Hotel in Barcelona is the close up view of the fireworks. While we were busy counting down and swallowing grapes, we had no problem finding a perfect spot at the balcony for the fireworks. I have to say welcoming the New Year in a foreign country was definitely a fun experience!

This year, instead of traveling oversea during the New Year’s Eve, I am spending the time with my family and my two nieces in Irvine, California. It won’t be as crowded as last year, but it will be just as memorable as any other New Year’s Eve!

The Five Best Shoes for Holiday and Evening for 2017

Each year around the holiday season I like to pick five shoes that I think are perfect for the evening. If you are into glitters, I have three that I highly recommend. If you prefer non-glitters, there are still plenty to choose from.

See below for my suggestions.


Jimmy Choo Hanover Bootie

Glitter boot is in for the Fall and Winter. If you haven’t had the chance to update your wardrobe with an eye-catching boot, try Jimmy Choo’s Hanover Bootie. It’s elegant and stylish. Pairing the Hanover bootie with a miniskirt or short dress will elongate your figure and show off your legs.
Jimmy Choo Hanover Bootie


Jimmy Choo Romy Pointy Toe Pump

If you are looking for a pair of stilettos in glitters, I highly recommend Jimmy Choo’s Romy in ombré glitter. For me, Jimmy Choo’s Romy pumps are very comfortable to wear for hours and the glitters are perfect for the season! Try the Romy pump in pink and black glitters (my current favorite pair)! The shoes will go well with dresses in pink and black.
Jimmy Choo Rommy Glitter Pumps


Miu Miu Studded Glitter Pump

If you are into silver glitter stilettos, try Miu Miu’s Studded Glitter pump. This point-toe pair of Miu Miu shoes is covered in silver glitters and embellished with sparkling studs. I have a pair of Miu Miu Mary Janes in a similar design and with crystal rhinestones. The shoes go well with almost any outfit. In my opinion, if you are traveling for this holiday and can only bring one pair of stilettos with you, this Miu Miu’s Studded Glitter pump will be it for you!
Miu Miu Studded Glitter Pumps
Miu Miu’s Studded Glitter Pump


Gucci Gucci Elaisa Embellished Bow Pump

If you are not into glitter shoes, there are still many options when it comes to the holiday and evening wear. For example, Gucci has the Elaisa Embellished Bow High Heel Pump, which has a removable elastic bow made up of pearl embellishments. You can wear the pump by itself or place the pearl embellishment bow on the shoes (or ankle) to upgrade your look instantly.

Gucci Elaisa Embellished Bow High Heel Pump


Roger Viver Red Ballerina

Red is a must-have for the holiday season. When you need a short break from wearing the stilettos for the evening, try a pair of the ballerina flats. I highly recommend something like Roger Vivier’s Embellished Satin Ballerina shoes in red. This point-toe shoes has crystal-embellished buckles. THe design of the ballerina flat will give you the comfort you need without losing your sparkling charm. I suggest you to pair it with a black dress like The Kooples Floral Lace Dress.
Roger Vivier Embellished Satin Ballerinas
Roger Vivier Embellished Satin Ballerina


Your Under $29 Holiday Gift Guide for 2017

One of the holiday parties I will be going to this month requires each guest to bring a gift under $29 for the white elephant game. While I was looking for gift ideas, I came across some products that I think I could bring. See below for the suggestions.


Fun Wine Glasses

Looking for a gift for cat lovers? Consider giving them some wine glasses decorated with fun statements related to cats.

If Your Cat's Home Wine Glass
‘If Your Cat’s Home’ Stemless Wine Glass, $12 each, or $24 for Two.


Bath Salts

After a long holiday shopping trip, nothing serves you better than a long rejuvenating bath. Try the sea salt blended with chamomile flowers, rose petals, and lavender.
Bath Salts
Bath Salts, $26.


Beauty product

Lip balms are essential for the Winter season. Instead of the normal pink color of lip treatments, what can be more fun than trying the clear flower balms? The flower comes in three flower colors (yellow, green, and pink).
Flower Balm
Flower Balms, $14 each, or $28 for two.


Makeup Kit

When it comes to makeup kits, we can never have too many makeup brushes. For this holiday season, try the MAC’s Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit. Included in the kit are a power brush, foundation brush, shadow bush, smudge liner brush, and brow groomer brush.
Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit
MAC’s Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit, $29.


Skin Ointment

Last month I tried various body lotions to see what works best for me during Fall and Winter. I came across the Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. I massaged it into my hands, legs, and knees. And I was surprised how great the product works on my skin and protects it from drying out!
Lucas Papaw Onintment

5 Things to Try This Month – December 2017

We are now finally in December. Needless to say, most of the things I’d like to do in December involve some sort of holiday celebration. See below for my list.


Nespresso Holiday Coffee

Each holiday season Nespresso releases its holiday limited-edition coffee and espresso. For 2017, they offer three flavors for the Vertuo line and three flavors for the Original line. My favorite pick for the Vertuo line is the Peppermint and for the Original line is the Liquorice. You’d be surprised on how great the Liquorice flavor tastes with the steamed eggnog.


Luxury Hair Treatment

I don’t usually do much when it comes to styling my hair. The most I do is to put Moroccan oil on my hair after I wash it. A friend recently suggested to me to try the hair brush by Mason Pearson. Since I have long and thick hair, I bought a Mason Pearson’s Junior Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush. After brushing, my hair instantly became shiny and fluffy. I love the way my hair looks.
Mason Pearson Junior Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush


Invest a Velvet Jacket

Velvet is one of the big fashion trends for this season. Since it’s the holiday season, it is the perfect time to invest in a velvet jacket that you can wear to special events or holiday parties. The two most versatile colors of the velvet jackets are black and red. But you can always add some sophistication to your outfit by wearing a bordeaux velvet jacket.
Stella McCartney Velvet Blazer


Christmas Brunch by the Fountain

I’ve been to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve before and had a great time. This year I will be joining my family in Las Vegas for Christmas. It will be my three-year old niece’s first time to Las Vegas, and I think it would be fun for her to eat brunch by the Fountain of Bellagio. I know just the right spot for the gorgeous fountain view and it’s one of my favorite restaurants in the Bellagio hotel, Lago by Julian Serrano.
Lago by Julian Serrano


Holiday Celebration in the Theme Park

Last year’s New Year’s Eve I visited Spain and watched the fireworks from our W Hotel in Barcelona. This year, I will be in Orange County, California, visiting my brother’s family. And I plan to watch the fireworks from one of these theme parks in California.
Disneyland Holiday 2017


Personalize The Iconic Louis Vuitton Leather Goods

When you buy a fashion accessory, nothing is more thrilling than being able to personalize your item to suit your style and make it a unique piece.

I am a long-time fan of Louis Vuitton’s leather goods. For years, the only kind of personalization I have done for my handbags was hot stamping them with my initials. But on my most recent trip to Las Vegas, I did something I’ve never done before; which was to customize a new handbag with colorful patches of my choices.

What do I mean by customizing a handbag with colorful patches? This is actually a new personalization service Louis Vuitton offers recently (Summer 2017), called “My LV World Tour”. This personalization service is available on Louis Vuitton’s iconic Monogram Canvas items and can only be ordered in some designated Louis Vuitton stores.

(Front of My New Monogram Neverfull Noir)

The process of ordering the “My LV World Tour” leather goods is all done electronically in the designated Louis Vuitton stores. The SA (Sales Associate) will bring an electronic pad and ask you to pick a Monogram Canvas item you’d like to get. Then, you can decide on which of the “My LV World Tour” patches you’d like to put on your product.

There are five different patch groups: Cities, LV Heritage, Grand Hotels, Make It Your Own, and LV Pop. Each patch group has twelve patches. (See the patch sample in the bottom of this blog post.)

You can choose up to ten patches to put on your Monogram Canvas product: five patches on the front and five patches on the back. Each patch you choose can only be used once. If you already choose a patch on the front of your product, you can’t use it again on the back.

After you finish designing your personalized “My LV World Tour” leather goods, the SA will show you the markups of your product. Once you finalize the order, it may take up to six weeks for the product to be completed. The finished product will be sent to the Louis Vuitton store you order the item from, and the SA will contact you for pick-up or shipping.

(Back of My New Monogram Neverfull Noir)

For “My LV World Tour” personalization service I chose a Monogram Neverfull Noir. This Monogram Neverfull Noir design is kind of like a hybrid of the Neverfull in the classic Monogram and the Neverfull in the Damier Ebene. The classic Neverfull Monogram comes with natural color leather handles and trim, but the Neverful Damier Ebene comes with brown leather handles and trim. Based on my years of experience using the Neverful Damier Ebene in the past, a brown leather handle and trim is essential.

(Interior of My New Monogram Neverfull Noir)

The only thing I have to do now is to wait for my personalized Monogram Neverfull Noir bag to be done!

My LV World Tour Patches

Cities

LV Heritage

My LV World Tour - LV Heritage Patches

Grand Hotels

My LV World Tour - Grand Hotels Patches

Make It Your Own

My LV World Tour - Make It Your Own Patches

LV Pop

My LV World Tour - LV Pop Patches

5 Things to Try This Month – November 2017

November is the beginning of the holiday season. It’s time to think about what to do for Thanksgiving and where to shop for the Black Friday sales. It’s also a perfect time to update your wardrobe and bundle up for the cold weather.

Below are some of the things I suggest for November.


Update Beauty Product Collections with Glitters

As we are getting closer to the holiday season, beauty product companies are rolling out items with glitters and shimmery. It’s time to get a head start on building your Year 2017 holiday beauty collections. My suggestion is to start with the MAC’s Snow Ball Gold Pigment and Glitter Kit.
MAC Snow Ball Gold Pigment and Glitter Kit


Kick Off the Holiday Season with Nutcracker

Last weekend, my friend invited me to watch Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker show at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. I watched the Nutcracker Ballet a long time ago, but it was in December. Although I wasn’t ready for the holiday season before I watched the show, with the holiday decorations I saw and the music I heard during the Nutcracker Ballet, it all definitely got me into the holiday mode.


Bake Dessert for Friends and Family

The only times I’ve baked desserts have been during the holiday season. In the past year, I’ve mastered my baking skills for a couple of desserts. For this year, I’d like to add a new dessert to my baking list, so I can get ready for the holiday feasts with friends and family. And I am planning to bake a lot of cheesecake from scratch.


Invest in a New Warm Jacket

Last year when I visited Spain in December, I knew I would be sightseeing in various cities on daily basis and I’d need a warm jacket to help me get through the trip. I bought a Canada Goose jacket for the trip and it really served its purpose. A warm jacket like the one I bought was a good investment. For this year, I am looking into getting another down jacket in a different style and color.

(Picture taken at Toledo, Spain.)


Upgrade to New iPhone

My first iPhone was the 3GS, which I purchased in Year 2009. I love using iPhone so much, so I’ve been getting a new iPhone every two years. This year, Apple released two iPhone devices: iPhone 8 or iPhone X. I know I want the iPhone X and can’t wait to get mine!
Apple iPhone X


Fall 2017 Fashion Trends

Red has always been my favorite color when it comes to fashion. I love handbags, shoes, dresses, and coats in red, and I will never get tired of the color. Luckily, red is one of the new neutral colors for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018.

If red accessories are not your preferred color, there are still plenty of other Fall trends you can incorporate into your wardrobe for this season. Below are some of my suggestions.


Velvet

If you are a fan of velvet, this is the perfect season for it. The velvet material can be seen on clothing, shoes, and handbags. Try GG Marmont Medium velvet shoulder bag.
This bag is not only made of velvet in a trending purple color, it is also a statement-making accessory for “love”!
Gucci GG Marmont Medium velvet shoulder bag


Fringe or Feather

If you want to invest in a unique piece for the season, consider something with a fringe or feathers. Something like Alice + Olivia’s Philomena Dress., with just the right amount of the feather element, you can add a twist to the style by pairing it up with some fashion jewelry. You won’t be able to wear it all the time, but it will always be a classic item in your wardrobe.
Alice + Olivia Philomena Dress


Glitter Boots

One of the must-have accessories for this season is glitter boots. We’ve seen it offered by various brands, from Kate Spade to Saint Laurent. The sparkles on the shoes will instantly upgrade your look, no matter what you are wearing. A pair of glitter boots will definitely come in handy as we get closer to the holiday season.
Saint Laurent Niki Crystal Embellished Boot


Classic Plaid

Plaid is a classic Fall fashion element. It is available on stylish suits, jackets, and skirts for this season. One of my favorites items is Chloé’s Plaid Blazer. The combination of the red buttons with the brown plaid hue and the design on the lapel gives this blazer a traditional and stylish appearance.

Chloe Plaid Blazer


Red

Red hue, the color of the season. Any clothing items, shoes, and bags in red will immediately spice up your outfits. If you want to invest in at least one red item for this season, I’d suggest you to try a pair of red leather booties. Not only this is in trend right now, it will also be a special addition to your wardrobe. Try Stuart Weitzman.


Natural Vitamin E Cream by Blackmores

Natural Vitamin E Cream by Blackmores is one of the recent, very popular moisturizing creams in Asia. The Natural Vitamin E Cream is a rich moisturizing cream that helps to protect dry and cracked skin. Blackmores is an Australian company that specializes in making vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements.

I had never used the Blackmores’ Natural Vitamin E Cream before, and I was curious about how effective the cream is in moisturizing skin. So I searched it online and purchased one for experiments.
Blackmores Natural Vitamin E Cream 50g

Upon receiving the Blackmores’ Natural Vitamin Cream, I put a thin layer of the product on the back of my left hand and gently massaged it using a small circular motion. I was surprised how fast the cream was completely absorbed into my skin, and how smooth my skin became. By comparing the back of my left hand (with the cream) and right hand skin (without the cream), I could feel the left hand skin was very smooth and moisturized.

I also applied the Blackmores’ Natural Vitamin Cream to a small area on my face, and it smoothed my skin immediately. I have semi-sensitive skin, and so I was really glad that I didn’t have any negative reaction after applying the cream to my skin.

Based on my personal experience with using the Blackmore’s Nature Vitamin E Cream, I would recommend it for daily skin protection usage. I also like the fact that the cream is fragrance free and non-greasy.