Category Archives: Holidays

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

The Five Best Holiday Shoes for 2016

We are in the 2016-2017 holiday season, which means there are probably plenty of  dinners and parties lined up in this month for you. Have you figured out what shoes you want to wear for each occasion?

Below are my top five favorite shoes for this holiday season. Hope this will give you some ideas on what to wear for your New Year’s Eve parties.

Christian Louboutin – So Kate Patent Leather Point-Toe Pumps

A pair of red stilettos  for the holiday season is a must-have. Nothing can ever go wrong when you spice up your outfit with the holiday color, especially when you wear this sexy red So Kate pump by Christian Louboutin.

Christian Louboutin So Kate Patent Leather Point-toe Pumps

Giuseppe Zanotti – Crystal-Embellished Suede Slingbacks

If you plan to wear a red dress for this holiday season, I’d recommend this pair of slingback sandals with crystal-embellished suede by Giuseppe Zanotti. The color of this sandal will complement the red dress silhouette and the crystals will catch everyone’s attention with every step you take.

Giuseppe Zanotti Crystal-Embellished Suede Slingbacks

Jimmy Choo – Romy Glitter Degrade Point-Toe Pumps

Jimmy Choo has many beautiful stilettos. One of my favorites is their glitter pumps. If you are looking for a pair of eye-catching shoes to complete your day to night outfit, try Jimmy Choo’s Romy Glitter Degrade Point-Toe Pumps. (Jimmy Choo’s Romy stilettos replaces its classic “Abel” pumps. I have several pairs of the “Abel” pumps that I used to wear back in my old clubbing days. They were surprisingly comfortable on the dance floor!)

Jimmy Choo Romy Glitter Degrade Point-toe Pumps

Roger Vivier – Ballerine Chips Satin D’orsay Flats

If you are considering ditching the high heels and going for comfortable flats for the holidays, try one of Roger Vivier’s Ballerine Chips Satin D’orsay Flats. They come in many colors (red, black, navy, metallic silver, etc.). My personal favorite is Roger Vivier’s Ballerine Chips Satin D’orsay flats in red. I have had my red pair of this Roger Viver’s flats for over a year, now, and I still love them!

Roger Vivier Ballerinec Chips Satin C'Orsay Flats

Saint Laurent – Paris Skinny Sequined Metallic Pointy Toe Pumps

These Saint Laurent’s Paris Sequined Metallic Point-toe pumps are my new favorite for this holiday season. Saint Laurent makes many nice sparking stilettos. When I saw this pair, I knew I got to have them. When I received the shoes in mail, I was glad to find out that the actual shoes looks even more stunning than the pictures. I plan to wear them with a black dress for my next dinner event.

Saint Laurent – Paris Skinny Sequin Pointy Toe Pump

First Time Making the Wreath

A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Jennie, invited me to join her and her friends to make wreath for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. I’ve never made any wreath before, but I love the idea of doing things that involves children. So I said “yes”, even though it required me to get up earlier than I usually do on any Saturday.

The day before our scheduled date for making the wreath, my friends notified me about needing to get gloves and gardening tools. This made me start to worry about the logistics of making the wreath. I couldn’t help imagine the pictures of me on the field for cutting branches and plants for the wreath’ draw materials.

Luckily, on the day of our scheduled appointment, we showed up and learned that all of the materials are already been cut and ready for use. I was surprised, in a very good way, that people had already put in effort for the project.

Now is the time to make a wreath. Luckily, they showed us how to make a wreath from scratch.

I was freaking out, because I wasn’t sure that I could do it. My friend, Jennie and I decided to work together.

It turned out, our wreath came up pretty good, even thought it took us a long time.

The wreath were to be sold for $40 each the following week, but I decided to buy the wreath we made. So I did.

The Five Best Holiday Beauty Products for 2016

I love sparkling and shimmering beauty products, especially around the holiday seasons. Many brands offer special editions of makeup, and perfume during this special season, and they’re usually hard for me to resist!

If you are still looking for gift ideas or need some suggestions to expand your beauty collection, below are my top five favorite beauty products for this holiday season.

Burberry – Gold Shimmer Dust

Each year I look for some shimmering powder to add to my holiday collection. When I saw the Burberry’s Gold Shimmer Dust, I knew that’s exactly what I needed for this year. ($29 via Saks Fifth Avenue)

Burberry_Gold Shimmer Dust

Marc Jacobs Beauty – About Last Night Mascara and Eyeliner Collection

This Marc Jacobs’ About Last Night mascara and eyeliner collection is all you need for the evening parties. The O!Mega Lash mascara in this collection helps you to create the volume you desire for your eyelashes. The best part about this collection is the glitters in the Lamé Noir Ultra-Glittering Mascara Top Coat. Layer it on top of the O!Mega Lash will give you the instant holiday ready look.
($36 via Marc Jacobs Beauty)
Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Mascara and Eyeliner

Yves Saint Laurent – Touche Éclat – Strobing Light Highlighter

Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat highlighter is one of my favorite makeup products. I am glad that Yves Saint Laurent is offering the highlighter in gold shimmer version. I like to use it on my cheekbone and Cupid’s bow. I also put it on my eyelids, as the base for applying eyeshadow.

Yves SaintLaurent Touche Eclat

Viktor & Rolf – Flowerbomb Pink Crystal Limited Edition Fragrance

If you are a big fan of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb fragrance, you can’t miss the Flowerbomb Pink Crystal Limited Edition Fragrance. This holiday edition Flowerbomb comes in a sparkling jar with a pink crystallized rose. I think your mood will instantly be uplifted by the very first spray of this flower fragrance!

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Pink Crystal Limited Edition Fragrance

Chanel Blush Harmony Palette

If you are traveling for this holiday season and want a multi-functional beauty product, Chanel’s limited edition Blush Harmony Palette will be perfect for you. You can use this palette for highlighting and contouring your face. And use the red-pink shade on the palette as blush.

Chanel Blush Harmony Palette

I Love the Bellagio Conservatory!

I enjoy going to Las Vegas. The restaurants, the shows, and people watching are the best in the world.


One of my top three properties in Las Vegas is the Bellagio Hotel. I stayed at the Bellagio recently. The Bellagio has several world-famous areas, including the Fountains, the registration ceiling glass sculptures, and the Conservatory.

The Conservatory is amazing. There are flowers and plants and displays that will astound you. The Conservatory does a major change-over about every 10 weeks or so, to correspond to the season (Christmas, Chinese New Year, Spring/Easter, etc.)


When I stayed at the Bellagio, the Conservatory had a sea-theme. I loved the huge jellyfish hanging from the ceiling but my favorite thing was the sea turtle. Vegas — an incredibly amazing place.


The Marc by Marc Jacobs Layered-Effect Plaid-Skirt Dress

I was browsing dresses from Marc by Marc Jacobs and came across a dress hat instantly caught my attention. I absolutely love the combination of the black top with red plaid. At first glance, the dress looks like two separate pieces — a plaid skirt with a black sweater-like top. But, in fact, it’s one dress with two layers.

I love the plaid look for the winter holiday season, especially the black and red color combination. I can see myself wearing this outfit to work, or on a Friday casual outing with friends.

So, I bought the dress!

The material is not too heavy, but it keeps me warm. In other words, it’s a perfect cold weather dress. The back of the top part the dress has a very interesting design. On the back, the top part of the dress is split, with a hook on the top and a nice ribbon. The ribbon can be tied in creative ways, especially when wearing your hair up.

I intend to pair this cool dress with black tights (just like the photo here), and a new pair of Frye’s booties in black. The layer-effect plaid-skirt dress from Marc by Marc Jacobs may not be perfect for everyone, but you should give it a look!

Marc by Marc Jacobs Toto Plaid Crepe Dress – on sale $358.95 (originally $598) via Nordstrom

Marc by Marc Jacobs Toto Plaid Crepe Dress

2014 Winter Holiday Meals

For the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to cook a homemade meal (well, almost entirely homemade). I somewhat cheated on the turkey by buying a pre-cooked turkey breast with stuffing. But I made almost everything else from scratch.

For mashed potatoes, I got a recipe from Williams-Sonoma, online. I bought raw potatoes from the supermarket. The recipe called for sour cream instead of milk, spices, and butter. The mashed potatoes turned out really well; exactly the way I hoped.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Mashed Potatoes

In addition to mashed potatoes, I baked sweet potatoes. I like diced mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar, but this year I aimed for a little bit healthier option.

Cranberry sauce is one of my must-haves for Thanksgiving. I usually buy canned cranberry sauce (but not the jellied type), which I like, but this year I made cranberry sauce from scratch. I used a recipe for “cranberry chutney”, from Williams-Sonoma. I boiled raw cranberries, added sugar and water and orange juice, and a cinnamon stick, with orange and lemon zest. The recipe called for port wine, but I left that out. The result was super good!

Homemade Cranberry Chutney with Lemon & Orange Zest
Homemade Cranberry Chutney with Lemon & Orange Zest

Now, I’m mildly embarrassed to admit that I heated up canned corn and added lots of butter. Canned corn is a guilty pleasure for me, and to be honest, I prefer good canned corn to fresh!

For green vegetables, I did not go with the traditional American green bean casserole. Instead I made a classic asparagus side dish.

All things considered, I think my 2014 Thanksgiving meal was a great success. I intend to follow up with a homemade Christmas meal!

Corn and Asparagus
Corn and Asparagus

The Ten Best Holiday Beauty Gifts for Her

Are you looking for beauty gift ideas for this holiday? Here are my top ten picks.

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick Highlighter– The five shimmer highlight shades can be used together for a natural glow or individually as an eyeshadow. In my opinion it can be used day or night, for no occasion or a special occasion.

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick Highlighter

Chanel Les Deux Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Duo – This Chanel holiday limited-edition lip gloss duo with a lip definer in a Chanel makeup bag is one of my annual favorites. The lip glosses are in Wild Rose and Spark (best seller).

Buy Chanel Les Deux Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Duo

Dior Holiday Diorific Vernis Nail Lacquer– Dior launches several new shades of nail color for this holiday. Each comes in a classic glass bottle with a gold stopper. I like the red (Marilyn) the best; it’s sexy without trying too hard!

Buy Dior Holiday Diorific Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Grand Bal Lip and Eye Palette– Gold color makeup is in for this holiday. This is the perfect combination of gorgeous white and gold eyeshadows with two lip glosses in an elegant gold clutch. You can carry this to holiday parties and refresh your makeup at anytime.

Buy Dior Grand Bal Lip and Eye Palette

Fresh Sugar Passion Princess Gift Set– This gift set includes three beauty products I love from Fresh. The Sugar Lip Polish exfoliates the lips, the Sugar Passion Tinted Lip Treatment nourishes lips, and Soy Face Cleanser removes impurities. Your boyfriend will thank you!

Buy Fresh Sugar Passion Princess Gift Set

Guerlain Holiday Rouge Automatique – Two new limited-edition shades (Lou Ling and Altoum) of Shine Automatique lipstick launched for this holiday. I like both shades because they include golden sparkle that really pop — perfect for the holidays.

Buy Guerlain Holiday Rouge Automatique

Marc Jacobs Fragrance MJ Dot Holiday Gift Set – Marc Jacobs fragrance gift set with Eau de Parfum spray, body lotion, and shower gel. A gift set like this would please any woman who found it on her pillow on Christmas morning. She will find a way to please you too!

Buy Marc Jacobs Fragrance MJ Dot Holiday Gift Set

Valentino Fragrance Valentina Holiday Set– My favorite Valentina fragrance now is available in a gift set – 2.7 fl.Oz. Eau de Parfum spray and 6.8 fl.oz. body lotion. The scent is perfect for a semi-elegant event such as a company party.

Buy Valentino Fragrance Valentina Holiday Set

Yves Saint Laurent Golden Gloss Trio– I am a lip gloss addict. I love YSL lip glosses, especially because they come with sparkling 24-karat gold flecks and nourishing oils. I can’t resist any of these gorgeous colors and he won’t either!

Buy Yves Saint Laurent Golden Gloss Trio

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Trio– The trio includes three chic nail colors that offer a high-shine finish and long-wear protection. I like the Rouge Pop Art shade (middle) the best, because it’s perfect for the holiday season. But the other shades, Rouge Dada (left) and Rouge Pop Art (right), make a bold statement for day time events.

Buy Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Trio