Monday, July 14, 2014

Mommy Make-over: Ombre Hair

As the weeks have gone by and you are in the "home-stretch" of pregnancy, you continue to cope with the changes happening in your life and to your body.  So in order to do so, I made a vow to myself to do one nice thing for myself for every week that I make it to the 39 weeks!  One of the nice things that I was most excited about was my hair cut/hair dye.

According to the stylist extraordinaire, Ms. Tamy, I have "virgin hair," meaning I have never dyed it before. The last time I was preggie, I got a long bob-cut, which I enjoyed, but I began to miss my long locks.  I mulled over it for a month about what I wanted to do.  Of course, I took to Pinterest to help me decide, and the hair style that I most gravitated to was ombre hair.  The new trend, which I like even better is sombre hair (subtle ombre).  I don't really care for the ombre hair that when styled straight, you can see blocks of color, or lines breaking up the colors.  So I was a bit nervous going into Mondi Salon, but Tamy said, "Don't worry."  So I didn't, particularly since she seemed super confident, showed me pics of past work, and I was referred to her by a friend that I trusted!


I have always loved my jet black hair and didn't feel the desire to dye it, but I wanted something different as I am going into this new phase in my life =)

I have to say that Tamy is the best stylist that I have ever seen!  I usually walk out of the salon feeling disappointed at how the haircut turned out.  She listened and actually followed through with what I wanted (keeping my hair long, the sombre colors, and styling it the way I wanted it).  The makings of a great stylist is not just their talent (which is a large percentage), but can you talk with them for the hours that you are there.  The answer is YES!  You can talk to her about anything--ethnic culture, pop culture, etc.  It's also nice that she had old school Hip Hop/R&B/Pop radio going on in the background!  She is just so friendly.  Plus, she works on Sundays!  Her attention to detail is impeccable, no rushing here!


And shameless selfies to promote Tamy's work!  If you are interested in making an appointment, let me know =)  I know I was very happy after this wonderful hair make-over!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Little Fashionista

The majority of things that come in mini sizes are adorable.  Most of my daughter's clothes have been hand-me-downs, allowing us to mix and match a variety of pieces.  Sometimes, she gets special treats for presents.  There is nothing like when you are a young'in playing dress up.

This orange wonder is from GAP, which was very affordable because GAP was running a promotion: Additional 50% off of sale items.  Since it is long in length on her, she will be able to enjoy it for sometime.  This is the perfect summer dress, particularly when you are sweating 24/7.

Here, she was "driving" the fire truck and accessorized the outfit with a kiddie fire hat.  She chose to pair her hot pink Hello Kitty slippers with the dress.

The dress was even great for when she was riding the pony...

 And for when she was goofing around...

This was her Fourth of July outfit.  Of course, she had to have princess hair with the Red and White, in addition to her flip flops.

Those 1969 Gap mini-skinny jeans doe...

This dress was also a brand-new, hand-me down.  The mint toggle sweater was a gift from our friend.  Since she was running around all day, she wore princess sneakers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What NOT to do with your boots: RIP my leather friends!

We have had many good club nights together and shopping trips.  I know that you are material goods, but nonetheless, we have been together many years, more years that my daughter is old right now.  Okay so this is a bit dramatic so I will go back to reality now...

Today, I went to the cobbler/shoe repair to finally fix a pair of pumps (cobalt mary janes that I wrote about) and two pairs of boots.  It was an expensive quote (over $100) but I'm hoping heel repair, re-soling, and protective covers are worth it.  The most expensive pair that I brought was determined to be "un-fixable," according to the cobbler.  Why?  Well take a look...

The soles look pretty bad, but that's now what deemed them DONE.  

This heel was the final factor, as there is not even a metal piece to it left.

Apparently, if I kept walking on these, the heels would eventually snap.  So I guess these boots were NOT made for walking and dancing.  

It is such a shame because I was looking forward to adding them back to my shoe collection.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Dream Closet Come True!!

For my whole life, like many of us who LOVE fashion, particularly shoes, I have wanted a gorgeous closet.  I was definitely tired of sharing a tiny walk-in with my husband, trying to squash all my clothes on two hanging bars (one time one of the bars came flying down), and both were always sunken in the middle.  For Mother's Day, my husband (assistant to uncle) and uncle completed this beauty for me!  Let me take you through the process.  First, I will show you the full panoramic, and then show you all the hard work it took to get there.

This was a very long process  that began with removing the wood paneling off of the lower half of the walls, including the base boards.  Then hubby and uncle sanded down the wall, placed mud over it, and sanded it down again.  Ideally, new dry wall would be put up, but that is an even bigger project.

My hubby woke up before work to paint and came home after work to paint.  The teal color always seems peaceful.  He replaced the baseboards (from Home Depot) and painted them white.  We put up the chandelier from Ikea.

Then came the structures, which were purchased from the Container Store (Elfa closet solutions). The Container Store representatives were super helpful, as we changed the schematics several times. We also got a quote from Home Depot for $8000 ($1,000 of which was for installation) for free-standing closet solutions.  I'll leave it up to the reader to decipher why I chose the Elfa system. One caveat to the system is the instructions do not specify how far apart to put the two structures. Luckily, uncle is a pro. Usually these structures go on sale in December, but that is a bit far so hubby used coupons and gift cards to receive discounts. 

Then came the fun part!!  Organizing it!! Sneakers, pumps, sandals, boots! Shirts and sweaters!

Dresses!  Jackets! More pumps and boots!

Then I added my "Queen" chair that I purchased from Joss & Main.  I also included a rocking, small ottoman that was given to me by my good friends.  The side table was DIY by my hubby and me (two Ikea Lack tables spray painted and glued together) + nailhead design.  Placed personal touches, including Bazaar Magazines, which always has artistic, beautiful covers, and magazine storage (below). 

A great find was this large mirror from Home Goods!  My close friend and hubby installed this, which provides a great finishing touch.  The mirror was $100--what a steal!  I went to Ross, Home Goods, and Kohl's for finishing touches at great prices as well (e.g., jewelry organizers, pretty storage boxes). 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to dress the baby bump!

Pregnancy has led to me wearing my clothes in a creative way.  It is always a challenge to figure out how I will dress my (baby) bump! The first rule of thumb that I have lived by is to not buy too many new clothes that I will never use post-pregnancy.  My close friend gladly gave me all of her pregnancy clothes once she had her second child so I've been able to get by with a combination of her clothes + my old pregnancy clothes + dresses.  Some women love their clothes to hug their baby bump tightly, but for me, my second rule of thumb is to be comfortable.  As such, I tend to wear more loose fitting clothes.  Here is the development from 4-7 months:

4 months
My saving grace has been jeggings (given to me by my close friend)...they stretch and can accessorize with any dress that I wear.

5 months
This dress was given to me by one of my best friends.  Free-flowing dresses have been very comfortable so as to not to restrict the bump.  Again paired this with jeggings.

6 months
This dress is near and dear to my heart because I have worn it for two pregnancies.  This was from H&M, purchased over 2 years ago for $10!!  It was such a find and it is one of the most comfortable dresses that I own.  The great things about this dress is that you can wear it post-pregnancy because you can adjust the waist-line with the string.

7 months
This was a shirt recently given to me by my close friend.  As you can see, the baby bump is happily growing. 

7 months
There is nothing that I have loved more than wearing this transparent, cobalt shirt (of course with a loose tank underneath).  These stretchy bootleg pants from NY&CO have also been worn through two pregnancies.  They are comfortable for the weekend and at work.  Now that I am in the home stretch, I have to shelve my heels for a few months, but if you can see, I am wearing some sparkly, gold flats (my compromise)

Now let's see where 8 & 9 months will lead me...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Food Review: Gold Mirror Family Italian Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

This Italian restaurant has been around since 1969, and I wonder why it has taken me so long to eat here?!  It is located at 800 Taraval Street, San Francisco, CA.  I went here for lunch at the recommendation of a friend.  I knew exactly what I wanted to try: the lasagna!  It is a bit pricey for lunch and dinner ($14.50 and $17) respectively, but totally worth it!  The decor reflects the aforementioned, looking more like the interior from Hogwart's in Harry Potter.  It is dimly lit--so don't take a date here that you don't want to talk to!!  There is a bar and a small television in the corner.  However, this is not the focal point of the restaurant.  All the servers are dressed in a black tie fashion.  The bread is warm and toasted, a big plus in my book.  There is nothing worse than cold bread, no matter how fancy the bread.

When the lasagna appeared on the table, I was thinking, "This is the most flat lasagna that I have ever seen?  Is there even any meat and cheese in it?"  The answer is Oh yeah!  The cheese and meat melts in your mouth and although it looks flat, it is quite filling.  As you can see, we scarfed it up!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Things to do in Maui, Hawaii

The greatest aspect of Maui is that you can be as active as you want in engaging in activities and/or eating!  I'll first describe some of the activities and end the post with my favorite topic, food!

Dolphin's Point.  This little cove is on private property, but many non-residents come here to snorkel with the giant turtles!  A caution is that getting into the water can be slightly dangerous, as there is a narrow passageway into the water.  Bring your own snorkeling gear, and for those that aren't great swimmers, use a life jacket so you can enjoy the view!  

Napili Beach has got to be one of the cleanest and gorgeous beaches that I have been to thus far.  While, Cayman Islands still reigns as #1 for the most beautiful, this was a close runner up.  Bring a tent if you are planning on napping in the sun, as it can get pretty warm.  It was very peaceful and not overly crowded.

Road to Hana is at least a day-long trip.  It is a windy road that has several stands and sights to stop at on the way to the top.  It is suggested that if you are only going to spend a day going up to Hana, leave very early!  We made a mistake by starting our journey in the afternoon and driving back to the hotel at night.  At many points on the road, it only allows one car to pass, although traffic flows both ways.  Also, it is hard to see anything beyond the curves.  The trip is worth it though, snagging banana bread, ice cream, and seeing waterfall after waterfall!

Haleakala Summit has many areas of exploration, and therefore, you can easily turn this into an all-day activity.  It costs approximately $10 to enter the national park, but the pass lasts for a few days.  Most people travel to the very top for the sunset.  We went in the afternoon.  The best piece of advice that I got from a friend is: Wear a jacket!  It is very windy and cold towards the top!  You can hike so wear comfortable shoes!  If you prefer, you could drive to the top as well.

A foodie at heart, I compare food to the standard of San Francisco food.  Therefore, the Asian/Asian-fusion restaurants that were very popular were OK and didn't wow me (only my opinion =).  What did wow me were the desserts!

Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop probably has the best pie I've ever had.  The pies range from $8-$9 and they are definitely a vacation splurge.  However, every bite is worth it (see  The two purchased were banana cream pie and chocolate mac nut pie.  We ate the savory pies as well, chicken pot and beef pies, which were tasty, but doesn't rival the dessert pies.
Maui Specialty Chocolates has the hot commodity: dark chocolate truffle mochi!  We were naive tourists and casually strolled into the shop on the afternoon expecting to fill our tummies with the mochi.  The owner noted that it is usually sold out by morning.  He stated, "No problem.  Just order it and pick it up tomorrow." I highly recommend pre-ordering to ensure you reserve the delicacy.  We bought one pack for us and one pack to bring home; they can be frozen, but taste the best fresh.
Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice: On a warm day, this melt in your mouth shaved ice is all you need!  Choose any combinations of flavors, including a variety of ice creams.

Bistro Cassanova.  I wanted a change from eating mounds of rice and fried meats.  I stumbled upon Bistro Cassanova and I was so happy that I did!  I got my pasta carbonara craving taken care of!  We also ordered a strawberry crepe.  The carbonara was definitely the highlight.  The server was also very knowledgeable and friendly.  
One disappointment that I will share is that Maui did not have a masubi shop like Oahu.  The best masubis are surprisingly at a Chevron gas station, and the spicy pork one is the most delicious one.  Again, these sell out in the morning and they don't always make the spicy pork one so scoop them up when you can!

Popular spots
Flatbread Pizza Company and Da Kitchen (pictured below)

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