LUSH Bath Bombs

Hello everybody! I want to tell you about my recent LUSH purchases.
LUSH comes out with a line of special edition collection every holiday season, with the winter holiday collection being their biggest (compared to Valentine's day, Halloween, etc.). This year, LUSH launched about 30 or so holiday products, some repeated from the previous year(s) and others new. I have never bought from their holiday collection, so this year I decided to try it out, and surprisingly I loved it!

Sparkle and Fade | A Personal Take on Holiday Styling

Happy Christmas Eve dearest readers. I have been caught up with work recently, plus I caught a cold from going out shopping way too much (guilty as charged!). All the congregation at shopping centers definitely increases passing germs and getting sick during the holiday seasons. Hopefully everyone else is alright, or if not- then recovering from those horrible bacteria/viruses.

Tomorrow is Christmas, and I know I have not been good with making holiday styling posts, so I thought I would post a casual outfit. Not much going on, but I'll try to post another outfit soon.

Nothing is ever as festive as embellished tops during the winter holidays, especially when it is adorned and sprinkled across this simple and chic striped top. To keep me warm, I wore a short navy trench jacket with cinch-ing across the waistline to give a shape to our appearance.

If you noticed, I did pull the sleeve through the coat to create contrast. Normally it makes you look a little fisherman-like, but in this case the white sleeve helps balance the dark color of the jacket. And of course, the little hood on the top makes it look rainy-day resistant, so I could also wear this out on a cold day with some rain boots and perhaps a circle scarf.
It is a simple look, but you could accessorize it up and down with bracelets, bright red lip stick and what not since there isn't much attention grabbing pieces in the outfit to begin with.

I hope everyone has been enjoying their week so far. I'll take a guess that everyone's been shopping- hopefully not too violently. And I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the evening tonight.

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Bouclé or Tweed | A Personal Take on Holiday Styling

Lately, I have been very obsessed with jackets that reminisce Chanel's, mainly created from a blend of tweed & bouclé and mingled with multiple shades or colours.
I found a woven sweater the other day. One of it's features that drew me to it, was it's beautiful neckline shape. The beautiful cotton and wool blend feels absolutely warm and cozy enough to keep a lady warm whilst shopping or any other outing. But the fabric isn't too thick, so it does not restrict your choice of top under the jacket. With two different threads and four colors: black, white, light grey, and dark grey, the weave mimics a bouclé like pattern. But because of the lack of bouclé's 'loose threads', the fabric also reminisces of tweed. Either way, I like it.


I coordinated this look with a cranberry red lace top, detailed with scalloped sleeves and bottom, plus a keyhole back joined with ribbons (unpictured) at the back top. I thought that cranberry red is a perfect colour that is suitable on any piece of clothing, accessory, or bag near the winter holiday season and or Christmas time. The top is also casual enough to wear during the day, but enough to be able to pull off a semi-formal look when needed to.
I then caped the jacket over, slipped on a pair of black flats, adorned with obnoxious jewels and bells, and grabbed my vintage Dior shoulder bag which I use as a clutch.

Overall, I think this is a great holiday look for casual lunch-outings, or shopping trips.

Jacket | Loft
Top | Loft
Bodycon skirt | no brand
Flats | Jessica Simpson
Bag | Dior Vintage

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Marché Modern | for the Francophile in me

My aunt and uncle decided to have lunch with my family and me at Marché Modern today. Marché Modern is a french bistro on the penthouse floor of South Coast Plaza that changes up their menu throughout the year. Being the francophile I am, I was very excited to hear that we would have our lunch at the french restaurant I always wished to visit (since I'm always shopping post lunch).

This isn't a big deal, but I was very engrossed with how thin our water glasses were. Weirdly, I enjoyed them very much, since it gave a much more delicate take on 'water drinking'. heh.

Most everyone ordered from their spontané menu, featuring three courses. The salad was very delicate, and had a slice of prosciuto sitting atop the beautiful green hill.

For second course, there was pork tenderloin, or shrimp (second photo).
The tenderloin was lightly breaded and roasted, accompanied by haricot vert. The borderlaise jus below the beans and meat was slightly sweet but mostly salty. Borderlaise jus is a wine sauce.

I, myself, had Amelia's Chopped Salad. Extremely refreshing (thanks to the mint and cucumber), light (thanks to the avocados), and still filling. I did request to add some butter sautéed shrimp onto my salad.

My uncle also did not order from the prix fixe menu, so he had coq au vin... "chicken in wine".
He said the dish had a very asian flavor to it. Perhaps the only difference between MM's coq au vin and the asian take on it anise? (MM's did not have star anise).

For dessert, the spontané menu order-ers received a warm valrhona chocolate and truffle cake. I thought the cake could be a tad softer, but it's lovely brown sugar flavor swept me off my feet.

Overall, the restaurant did a good job with presentation and taste. Their portions are more on the small side so they do represent "French cuisine". I didn't think the food played "rich yet light" enough to be compared to the food I had in Paris, but it's still better than most that I've had in California... (NYC is another story...♥). I would come back another day, perhaps with my girlfriends? Or whilst on a shopping date?

Until next time! xox

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Fresh and Floral

Fall finals are finally over, and I'm back home relaxing, shopping and eating a lot.

Today B and I went to The Camp in SoBeCa to get lunch at Native Foods, one of my favorite vegan lunch destinations. I ordered the Aztec salad {avocado, jicama, cucumber salsa, quinoa, romaine, currants, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, and mango lime vinaigrette} /recipe here/, and my personal favorite... lavender lemonade!! Normally I get their mini greens & native chili, but I decided to change it up a bit today.

Since the lighting was so good, and the center was foilage-abundant, I took some photos on my outfit today.
I am wearing a floral peplum top, with a burgundy elbow-patched cardigan, and leggings to contrast the peplum. The leggings are thicker and more pants-like material which is great for colder days, and the material also provides more structure, shape, and durability. I accessorized the look with a pink satchel, and brown knee length boots. And for my continuous Parisian yearning, I've been wearing a bright red lipstick lately- (all the ladies in Paris...okay MOST of the ladies in Paris, I swear 85% of them, were wearing a bright and bold lipstick shade when I was in Paris....will blog about that later!).

Peplum top | BCBGeneration
Cardigan | H&M
Legging pants | Zara
Boots | Cole Haan
Alexa Bag (satchel) | Mulberry

Hope everyone is having a good winter break so far. (or finishing up with fall finals GOODLUCK!) If you're done, what have you guys been doing? Any good eats or good finds? Comment below!

PS. I also made a FaceBook Page for this blog, please "like" on Facebook to keep up with new posts :)

Special thanks to B for helping me take the photos.


(img source: tumblr)

Prairie Rose

Today I wore a pink "Prairie Rose" shredded sweater, along with some dark grey jeans, and brown knee high boots.
The bottom of the sweater is shredded, but I like tucking it in sometimes for a neater look.
If it bothers you, I apologize for the random colouring and haze,  trying out new things here!

Feeling pretty whimsical today.

Special thanks to C for helping me take the first and third photos.

Apple Crumble | A Dessert for the Holidays

listening to: Oh No! | Mindy Gledhill
So, I really enjoy apple crumble as a dessert item, especially in the months of November and December. It is really easy to put together and not that time consuming, PLUS, it smells like 'winter holidays'  when you bake it. So I thought I would share with you the recipe I use to put it together.

I adapted this recipe from allrecipes and adjusted it to my liking.
Assuming that this is not a dessert meal, that this is not the only dessert, plus everyone will have a (approx) 2x2" serving, I estimated that this could easily serve a little more or less than 8 people.

You will need:
•2 mixing bowls, measuring cup and utensils, knife, peeler, and a rectangular baking pan
•7 granny smith apples, skinned, cored, sliced
•2 tbs + 1½ tsp white sugar
•½ tsp ground cinnamon
•1¼ cups brown sugar
•¾ cup+ 3 tbs old fashion oats
•¾ cup + 3 tbs all purpose flour
•1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
•½ cup + 2 tbs cold butter

1) preheat oven to 350° F (175°C).
2) Toss cut & skinned apples AND the first three things in the ingredients (italicized) into the first mixing bowl
3) Next add all the other ingredients into the second mixing bowl and mash the mixture until the butter is evenly spread and mixed.
4) Pour the apples into the baking pan.
5) Pour the second mixing bowl mixture onto and over the apples. Make sure that the mixture is spread evenly over the apples. Pat to even the topping if needed.
6) Pop the baking pan into the oven (middle rack if possible) and then bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Whenever I make this, the entire kitchen smells of a beautiful cinnamon-brown sugar-oat scent and instantly I feel cosy and in the 'holiday mood'. I know this post is a little late for you to try out and bring to Thanksgiving potlucks, but I hope you try this out another time for yourself, or the next holiday gathering. Bon appétit!

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striped turkey | a personal take on holiday styling

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
(I just noticed my hair is slightly red, no I have never dyed my hair, and no I did not edit any of these photos).

I hope everyone is having a very nice turkey day. Either busy at gatherings or just at home with just family. As promised, here is a more toned down holiday outfit. Very simple and easy to put together.
I styled a sweater that had a very Thanksgiving color-scheme with a normal dark blue button up inside. Then, because it is not very chilly here in southern California on this Thanksgiving, I decided to wear a skirt. If it gets chillier later, then I would put on some sheer black tights. Below (not pictured) I just had normal black flats on, that had a little bit of silver rings and bells on them for the holiday look.

This is mainly a Thanksgiving look so I didn't wear any makeup because I don't think that Thanksgiving is the occasion to go all shimmery sparkly and fabulous. (Save it for New Year's and Christmas). Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for the things you have, and to spend it with the ones closets to you. I did not think that attention grabbing make up would be appropriate. But for slight makeup application I would suggest a neutral light bronze shadow such as Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in R.S.V.P or Birthday Suit, a coat or two of mascara, and then eye liner. Of course, a strawberry red lipstick wouldn't hurt either. Nails, could be champagne pink shimmer or a dark cherry red.

Sweater | Madewell
Blue Button Up | Abercrombie & Fitch in Vermont (I don't know if that makes a difference)
Skirt | f21
Black Embellished Flats | Jessica Simpson

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunities and chances I am given, the people who help me become a better person in life, my calc III professor specifically from this quarter, and all of you guys who faithfully come back and read my blog posts.
What are you guys doing this Thanksgiving, and what are you thankful for?

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the Lost Bean | on my love for espresso drinks & occasional tea time

If you know me in person or if you know me more than just as an acquaintance, then you probably know I love my espresso drinks. Ever since Europe 2012, 'cafe au lait/cafe latte' in Paris, and 'latte macchiato' in Italy has changed my coffee life- the way I look at chain store cafes (i.e. Starbucks & Peets & Coffee Bean), how I rate drinks, and the places I buy my espressos from.

geometric | a personal take on holiday styling

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and most of us are probably going to celebrate with family, or with friends, and if not then I'm sure you can still have a blast by yourself jamming to Christmas tunes prematurely or scheming out your black friday strategies. For those going to family/friend holiday gatherings, or even if you aren't doing anything and just want to for fun, I put together a holiday look for holiday events.

I am wearing a medium-length white peplum dress top that has strands of glitter thread running through it and two rows of pearls lining the neckline. I thought the sparkles and pearls go really well with the holiday season as it gives a very winter-esque/snow-esque vibe to the outfit. I style the top with a neutral, leather belt to accentuate my waistline. And because it's going to be cold outside, we can't forget to wear leggings underneath! (Also because the top might be too short.) I chose a cranberry red one.

Because it is the holidays, I caped this white coat deciding that this thick geometric-patterned white coat would best suit the peplum dress.

(Doesn't the coat remind you of something the White Witch (from Narnia) would wear? Or maybe she just wears fur...)

To top the look off, I applied Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine in #61 Bonheur. The shade of the lipstick is actually not as light as seen in the picture, it is actually darker and has a bit of a grape tinge to it in real life and in sunlight/indoor lighting. I sadly did not include any shoes in this style, but I would definitely pair it with chelsea boots, or any low cut ankle boots. A pair of black normal flats or smoking flats would also do as well.
I do apologize for the low iPhone quality photos in this post. But I hope to improve that in the future, or minimize using my iPhone (okay maybe that won't happen as much as I hope it would be, but I do apologize). Anyways, stay tuned for more holiday outfits to come!!
Please comment below for suggestions, or requests on what you would like to see on my future blog posts! Thank you!

Beautiful Window Displays

Deep in my heart, I have always wanted to visit Bergdorf Goodman when I am in NYC.  Every single time though, by the time I shop my way from the bottom of 5th to up to towards Central Park, I'm already exhausted, and the day has basically come to an end (aka DINNER TIME! need food!!), so it's always been a sad "next time" to Bergdorf.
If you ask me what my favorite department store is, I can safely assure you that I frequent Bloomingdales. I also sadly have never been inside of the Bloomingdales flagship on Lexington (3rd) & 59th , just passed it on my way to Dylan's Candy Bar (heheh) across the street. Bloomingdales and their checkered black white glossy floors, so chic.
ANYWAYS...cutting to my point, three/?four? days ago, I saw via Twitter that Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales were live tweeting their 2013 holiday windows unveiling!

(img source: bergdorf's blog)
Bergdorf's theme this year is "Holidays On Ice" where they had acrobats "catapulted from the store’s fourth floor..." (source) and perform off the building walls.

(img source: bergdorf's blog)

Meanwhile, up two streets at 59th, Bloomingdales kicked off their event with a live performance from Josh Groban, followed by the unveiling of their holiday windows "...featuring seven different vignettes inspired by lyrics from classic holiday tunes included on Harry for the Holidays..." (source).

(all 3 img sources:Racked NY)

Ahh! So beautiful. I have to say Bloomingdale's is my favorite because it's cuter, but Bergdorf's definitely win for being more beautiful and elegant. It definitely is beginning to feel like the holidays! Wish I was in NYC.... Which department store is your favorite?

Pain Au Chocolat | An Easy-Make Pastry Review

So I normally don't review food products, and wasn't planning on it for this blog, but I discovered these amazing croissants, and I just thought I had to share this wonderful goodness with everybody! I have been frequenting Trader Joe's with my roommates recently, and I just happened to see this on one of the trips there, specifically in the freezer aisle. The Trader Joe's 4 Chocolate Croissants in the freezer aisle. My only intention at the time was to grab something that would be a quick make for morning rushes before classes. When I finally decided to make them, I was so surprised to read that they require a 9 hour prep. Wait. 9 HOURS?! It turned out to be not as tedious as I thought it would be...
In a little more than five steps:
1) Figure out what time you want to have breakfast the next day, and count backwards 9 ½ hours
2) At Tconsumption - 9½ hours (night before), take out how many you would like to have in the morning, and let it sit in room temperature on a baking sheet or foil.

3) The next morning you will find that it has miraculously risen over night! (Quite dramatically..)

4) Preheat the oven to 350°F, and then pop the croissants in for 20 minutes
5) Take them out, and let them sit for another 10 minutes (ugh! enough waiting already)
6) Consume!!

Each pain au chocolat has 2 strips of chocolate inside. They are small/medium in size, but I think they are a tad sweet so 1-1½ of a croissant will be plenty for one. And I guarantee, if you do it somewhat correctly, they will be the flakiest, softest little "pre made/easy bake" thing you'll make.
Some compare these to the croissants in Paris, personally I think nothing compares to Parisian croissants in Paris, but... these come pretty damn close.

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Cloudy Blues

It's been a tad chilly lately. A bluish grey palette in the sky when I woke up, generously covered with clouds.

Today I styled a denim cropped jacket on top of a white lace dress, and because the temperature was mid 60's I wore a pair of dark grey skinny pants underneath. And then black chelsea boots to finish the look off.

White Light Wash Striped Jacket | Free People
Daydream Dress | Wasteland
Pants | F21
Chelsea Boots | H&M
What are your chilly fall day go-to outfits?

// If curious: Eye makeup wise (not pictured), I lightly swept a rose-pink shimmer across my eye lids as a base, and then contoured the outer edges of my eye lids lightly with a medium purple shimmer, all from Jill Stuart's Summer Dress Palette in #102 Cocktail Dress. Then lined it off with Clinique's pencil quickliner in Grape.

Special thanks to C for helping me take the two bottom photos, and bike kudos to S.