Monday, December 29, 2008

back from europe!

My last stint exploring Europe in 2003 as a starving student must have left a mark on my psyche because this time around, I felt compelled to make up for lost time by eating and drinking up a storm. Some unfortunate victims of my voracious appetite include:

1. An unwitting wild boar from the sweeping hills of Chianti that ended up entangled in my pappardelle

2. Rudolph and perhaps Prancer, when I gorged on reindeer twice while in Helsinki

3. An elk served up in the style of an opulent Russian feast at a restaurant in Helsinki

4. Rainbow trout roe that for a moment made me feel like the evil fish that ate Nemo's siblings ... but once I bit into the scrumptious concoction of toast, smetana, caviar and onions, I lost all sympathy. No decent picture of this dish, unfortunately, but the explosive taste is etched in my mind and will cause countless cravings for months to come.

More musings of Europe to follow. For now I've to buckle down and finish up this website I'm working on as I am starting 2009 with a fresh new job at another division! Later bellas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Signing off for now ...

On my European trip now and it's a little too complicated to upload pics and post so I am on a blogging hiatus until December 28, when my sad little self will have to fly back to New York and go back to the saltmines. Until then, I will gorge on sumptuous Italian food and wine here in Firenze (and I guess some wild salmon, vodka and um, reindeer, in Helsinki) and I'll dish all about it when I get back. Happy holidays to all! Ciao bellas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Waxing Poetic

Before I begin, if any of my guy friends who click on the blog when they're bored are reading this post, I suggest you stop reading now. NOT content that you would enjoy.

And so I begin. This is an ode my Romanian waxer, Elizabeth. I hadn't gone to her since my days of studenying at FIT. When I moved to the Upper East, the W. 39th Street location of Elite Day Spa became geographically undesirable. For the last year, I suffered through painful (on the pocket) waxes at Maria Bonita in Nolita and at-times-excruciating (literally) sessions at random places surrounding my apartment. But because I'm running out of time to do my errands before I leave for Europe tomorrow, I had to think of a way to pencil in a wax today during my lunch break (gotta be prepared for those Finnish saunas, y'know). It dawned on me that Elite Day Spa is just about a 15 minute walk from where I work! By the time Elizabeth was done, I was left thinking, "How could I have left my bikini line in anyone else's hands?" Elizabeth is phenomenal—super fast and clean. It only hurt (and not even that much) when she pulled, but by the time I walked out of the door I felt no stinging and tenderness. Plus, you get a great Brazilian for just $34.50! So worth it. I'm never entrusting my bootie to anyone else!

Where: Elite Day Spa is located at 24 W. 39th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues, New York, NY (It's around the corner from Lord & Taylor). Phone (212) 730-2100 for an appointment.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Too good to be true ...

It had so much promise, but unfortunately this is one bra I need to get off my chest. I excitedly ripped into my package today and rushed to try my Maidenform backless bra only to end up wallowing in utter disappointment. It totally didn't work for me. It's probably a sizing issue but I picked the smallest bra so there's nothing else I can do really. Oh so sad ... it's back to the drawing board for me ...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cozy up in my dreams ...

Saks is having a cold weather sale with designer coats, scarves, gloves and hats at up to 50% off. A few drool-worthy pieces (that I still can't afford) at drastically reduced prices:

I love this twill cape trenchcoat by Brian Reyes, which is down to $1197 from its retail price of $1995. It is just so chic and the styling possibilities are numerous with this coat. *Drool*

And instead of those fuzzy Mongolian wool vests, how about this luscious mink vest by Elie Tahari? Ok I know it's not quite as affordable but the price has been slashed from $4500 to $1349.95. Yeah that's still rent money for me, but a girl can dream (or go into credit card debt) right?

how to ... avoid subsisting on top ramen

Image from

With our Euro trip just 4 days away (!!!) and the economy in shambles, I've been doing a lot of cooking and eating in the past couple of weeks. I've developed what I hope is a healthy addiction to aglio olio, which sounds, looks and tastes impressive but just might be the Italians' answer to the Top Ramen diet. Everytime I spend on something over my budget, I say, "I guess I'll have to subsist on Top Ramen for a few months!" But dear god, have you eaten that stuff? I bought one of those huge packs 5 months ago and have only had 2 servings. Aglio olio is so much easier to swallow and all you need are pretty basic ingredients: pasta, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and some freshly grated parmesan and chopped up parsley to garnish. Stuff you'd most likely already have at home—but if you need to buy anything, it's not likely to set you back more than $10. Another quick and easy fave is cacio e pepe, except I don't want to bother buying pecorino romano. Anyway, for those looking for easy and uber cheap ways to get them through the financial crisis inflected holidays, here are recipes that's cost little but taste TONS better than your top ramen:

Agio Olio care of the Food Network and Cacio e Pepe via Epicurious

Friday, December 05, 2008

Topshop vs. Balmain

I wonder if the economic downturn has anything to do with the delay in the opening of Topshop's store in Soho. I hate waiting! In the meantime, thank god the Topshop US website has been up for some months now. It makes the wait a little less excruciating. I was trolling the site today and found pieces quite reminiscent of Balmain's Spring '09 collection for a fraction of the price.

Being an 80s kid, I never thought I'd say the words "love" and "acid wash" in the same sentence again but here goes: I love Topshop's acid wash skinnies ($85)! I love the devil-may-care attitude they evoke, plus they would look so amazing distressed. I am also crushing on this plaid motorcyle jacket for just $90 with lines similar to that of Balmain's gorgeous leather jacket. A D.I.P. knot dress for $100 coupled with an intricately beaded Gothic collar (a whopping $120) will also evoke a Balmain-esque vibe without being a straightforward rip-off.

And yes, I had a bit too much time on my hands today to make a collage.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Smoke Out

I am love-love-LOVING the blacked out eyes seen on the Roberto Cavalli Spring '09. So sexy. gives a step-by-step tutorial on achieving the look the Pat McGrath way, which involves layers of black eyeliner, black cream shadow, black shadow and lots of black volumizing mascara, of course. I'd feel compelled to try it had I not spied a cheat sheet on one of my favorite blogs, That's Chic. Raych's version involves black liner and lip balm, which ups my chances of succeeding considerably. We'll see how it goes ...

Need to get your drink on?

This is definitely high on my list of favorite websites now: Coovents shows you what happy hours are ongoing in New York at any given time.

One cool discovery via Coovents: $10 manicure + martini at Beauty Bar from 6-11pm, Monday to Friday. Judging from photos on the website, the place isn't super swank. But neither is my manicure place round the corner, and they don't spring for water much less free alchie. Must try this one!

PS: There are also Beauty Bars in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Get the deets on their website.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Secret's Out

Eating a huge bowl of spaghetti bolognese before watching the Victoria's Secret show on CBS was not the smartest decision I've made all day. The whole wheat pasta grew heavier in my belly with every lean and ridiculously curvaceous glamazon that walked down the runway. Why did I quit my gym membership again? Oh, cos no amount of cardio and pushups can give me Miranda Kerr's boobage.

In any case, the show was fun to watch as always. I can imagine this is the most fun show to do for models because they get to stomp down the runway like rockstars. My favorite look was the ender for the Pink segment, worn by Flavia de Oliveira. So fun! I'd wear most of these items, though probably separately!

Bringing Sexy Back

I've lately been appreciating the sheer sexiness of a backless dress. I bought one on impulse last Sunday at Forever 21 (photo coming soon) and today I am smitten with this Silence & Noise tunic from Urban Outfitters:

I am more into the idea because I believe I may have found the elusive perfect backless bra. The idea was conceived on ABC's show American Inventor, and manufactured for the masses by Maidenform. I ordered mine on their website yesterday. Will keep you updated on how it works!

Death to the It Bag

I don't know why I now find the LV monogram bags so offensive. Maybe it has to do with the fact that because I live on the fringe of the Upper East close to Midtown, I tend to see at least 5 LV Speedys every single day. I am so over the damn logos. When I saw this new LV cruise collection bag called the Galliera Riviera, however, I actually thought, "Oh cute" for a second. And then I saw the price tag: $1,940. For a freakin canvas bag. Are you kidding me? I don't care if it took 15 separate applications of color to make this design. It's still a print and it's still on canvas. I am utterly offended by the price tag.

To anyone even considering forking over an amount equating to decent NY rent money for a canvas bag, please read this tidbit on the New York magazine website. Please.

Battle of the Soup Dumplings

The golden standard: Joe's Shanghai crab and soup dumplings

Buddakan's General Tso's Dumplings

If I could subsist on one dish, it could quite possibly be Joe's Shanghai's crab and pork soup dumplings. There is nothing more satisfying than slurping up the piping hot savory soup seasoned with a splash of soy sauce and ginger, then biting into the juicy crab and pork filling. Heaven.

So I've long been curious about how Buddakan's very own soup dumplings measure up. I never considered that the haute version would dethrone my favorite, but was curious nonetheless about how elite chefs would interpret the Chinatown gem. As most would guess, the haute interpretation is smaller and more expensive. At Joe's Shanghai, you get 8 fat dumplings for the price of $6.65. At Buddakan, you get 5 sad looking ones for $11. That's understandable since Buddakan obviously has a much, much, much higher overhead with its opulent interiors and top notch service--versus Joe's Shanghai's economical seating where 4 couples share one round table, and servers slam dishes down in front of you in haphazard fashion. As far as taste goes, Buddakan thankfully did not try to mimic the taste of Joe's Shanghai's dumplings. Their General Tso's Dumplings uses chicken seasoned with garlic and ginger as its filling. The soup is rather tart--something like what the broth at Joe's Shanghai might taste like after being heavily seasoned with the soy sauce concoction. Sonu and I agreed that we prefer being able to control the seasoning in our dumpling as this was a tad too cloying. I also thought that Buddakan should consider giving their customers spoons when they order soup dumplings. I am an expert soup dumpling eater so I knew to ask for spoons to catch the soup dripping from the dumplings, but I cringe to think how other patrons would fare with just chopsticks and forks. Final verdict: Buddakan makes a decent soup dumpling, but I will not be craving for them anytime in this lifetime.

Dessert, however, is another matter. Buddakan's Crying Chocolate totally trumps Joe's Shanghai's free orange slices. The chocolate cake breaks to reveal thick chocolate ganache that is simply to die for. One bite of the scumptious chocolate topped with a swipe of coffee ice cream, Buddakan just may inch out Joe's Shanghai a wee bit in your foodie dreams.

Suggested itinerary: start the evening at Joe's Shanghai for a hearty and extremely easy on the pocket dinner (save the money for alchie, I always say). Then, go for a nightcap at Buddakan and enjoy their yummy prosecco cocktails and to-die-for desserts. Tough times call for judicious spending!

Where: Joe's Shanghai is located at Pell Street between Doyers and Bowery, as well as at West 56th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Buddakan is located at 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Gossip Girls were out tonight

Why must Serena's chichis be completely out there in every freakin episode? A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ludette and I were talking about how Serena is dressed way too provocatively this season. She's running around in slips, wearing too short skirts during Thanksgiving, and just letting the girls hang out all the freakin time. The memorable Herve Leger dress looked slamming on her but I was shocked to see that Jenna Jameson wore the same dress in a classier manner by keeping it at a chic knee-length. Note to stylists: when Jenna Jameson looks classier than your charge, you've got a problem.

PS: Did anyone notice that it was Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin chatting up Chuck at the ball? You know, the one Blair shooed away. I didn't realize it til I looked at the pics on the CW site. Odd cameo.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Also known as: a few good deals

AKA New York had somehow escaped my radar in the last 4 years, despite the not-exactly-low-pro women behind it: former ELLE Editors Abigale Levinson, Karen Reinitz and Ana Maria Pimentel. Personally, I'm a fan of Ana Maria Pimentel, who's currently the accessories director for Harper's Bazaar. I always love her picks and the accessories pages make my heart leap every time!

Which leads me to my approval of their collective choices in the line. Incidentally (or not, since this blog is called The Chiconomist), some gorgeous AKA New York pieces are currently on sale at Net-a-porter. I love these two pieces below because they somehow achieve the feel of vintage whilst still being very of-the-moment. I love the delicate detailing: the crochet collar, the jaunty bow. And I love how the details are imposed on colors and finishes that feel modern.

Crochet collar dress ($192 from $320), liquid lamé blouse ($210 from $350)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's that wonderful time of the year

My great glove-hunt brought me to Fifth Avenue today, straight to my favorite holiday windows: Bergdorf Goodman. Last year was a lush display of Eastern opulance with plenty of gilding and rich jewel tones. This year, I feel that Bergdorf's windows are a tad more subdued, maybe as a reaction to the economic uncertainty enveloping the globe. The breathtaking level of detail and sheer imagination that I've come to expect out of Bergdorf's is still here in spades, but without the unbridled exuberance of past years. I think it's appropriate and done in good taste.

Times may be tough, but as long as there is beauty, love and promise in the world, there's always reason to celebrate. Take a look at the gorgeous windows below. I hope they make you as excited about the holidays as I am!






P.S. I froze and shoo-ed numerous tourists to take these pics so please credit and link back to my blog if you swipe any of them. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barney's Private Sale!

Yup, you read that right. Barney's is having an online sale right now with up to 40% off AND free shipping! Some great finds at drastically reduced prices:

Clockwise from top left:
Carter Rocket tote in Honeydew by Marc Jacobs (now $699 from $1395)
Yellow gold flat flex collar by Fallon (now $179 from $298)
Silk charmeuse fan wrap skirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim (now $229 from $375)
Studded patent leather sandals by Lanvin (now $420 from $1045)
Oversize belted coat by Stella McCartney Organic (now $799 from $1595)

Oh Bebe ...

Bebe is getting major points with me for bringing the dropdead sex appeal of Herve Leger to the masses. Check out this dress, inspired no doubt by the knockout dress worn by Blake Lively as Serena on GG.

Not an exact replica but it captures the va-va-voom spirit I think. This one needs to be tried on though because if you look at the other pictures of the same dress on the website, the dress seems to gape on the sides of the chest. This dress' regular price is $119 but with Bebe's current 30% off selected dresses promotion, you can get the violet dress for just $83.30.

I'm actually more taken with this bandage dress—and not just because it's much cheaper at its discounted price of $68.60. I like how it is a tad more descreet, a little less obviously sexy than the first dress. I find that the bandage dress can be overwhelmingly sexy (such a prude!), and I think that the less is more approach would work better—for me at least.

Stocking Stuffers

One last post. I should really get some sleep (or get a life, whatever). I just couldn't go without posting these cute, cute, cuuuuuuuute socks I found on the Anthropologie site. Too. Freakin. Cute. I heart the en point socks especially. Would make great stocking stuffers this Christmas with prices at $10, $16 and $18 from left to right.

Ok buh-bye.

The Un-Gloved One

I'm in such trouble. It's gonna be a high of 39 degrees tomorrow and a low of 28 degrees, possibly some snowflakes, and I can't find a single glove. Nada. Sigh. What else can I do except look at cute gloves online ...

Clockwise from top left:
Brass rose gloves by Anthropologie ($28) -- ADORABLE!!!
Wool and cashmere snap gloves by Tory Burch ($95)
Jeweled driving gloves by 3.1 Phillip Lim ($195)
Leather ruffle glove by Urban Outfitters ($48)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everything but the kitchen sink

Shopbop Sale! Up to 70% off! Free Shipping! And free 2-year subscription to Lucky!

Holy hell, can you smell the desperation in the air? US retailers are throwing everything they can at consumers just so they'll whip out the credit cards, but the shopping apprehension is palpable. I mean seriously, I got a new credit card in the mail today and I haven't used it. Who am I?!? I mean just check out all the awesome stuff on sale at Shopbop:

Clockwise from top left:
Bubble shrug by Elizabeth & James (now $209 from $418)
Pencil skirt by Alexander Wang (now $198 from $396)
Metal Check Groovee Bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs (now $299 from $598)
Leather blazer by Alexander Wang (now $675 from $1,350)
Cuff by Kenneth Jay Lane (now $137.50 from $275)
Faken open-toe T-strap pump by Paul & Joe (now $382 from $764)

I can't believe I haven't snapped and ordered that cool M by MJ purse—I've seen Bryanboy rocking it when he's not carrying his eponymous BB bag by MJ. It's a really cute bag. But I will be good and not defile my shiny new credit card's innocence. For those free to go to town with their cards, write me and tell me all about it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I love it and will never own it, but love it nevertheless: a Paul Smith fisheye camera. It is a limited edition and of course, already out of stock, and retails for about $150. To die!!!

No more shopping allowed

Within 2 days of getting my paycheck, I've gotten a couple of big ticket items so no shopping allowed for the rest of the month. I just want to share what I hope is an awesome deal I got on Amazon (I haven't gotten the package yet, so stay tuned). I had been diligently watching the price of the Casio Exilim EXZ9, which I decided I wanted for its slim size, shooting options, and really low price. With Circuit City filing for bankruptcy and Best Buy not in its finest hour, you can imagine that there are price cuts left and right, so it was a laborious process to find the best deal. But I think I found it on Amazon through seller Adorama Camera.

For a grand total of $141.06 with free shipping (taxes not yet included), I'm getting:
- a Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z9 Digital Camera
- 2 GB SD memory card
- mini table top tripod
- carry case & neck strap
- memory card wallet
- screen protecters for LCD screen
- cleaning fluid with cloth

Pretty nifty deal, I think. The camera is sold as low as $109 on some sites but factor in the memory card and tripod plus free shipping, and this deal becomes hard to beat. I admit, I fished out my credit card extra fast when I saw that there were just 2 left! So now there's just 1 left, obviously. But do check out Amazon if you're in the market for a digital camera because there are some pretty good packages to be found there.

Can't wait to get the cam and start taking better pics for the blog!

UPDATE: I got it! Everything advertised was in the box, all in perfect condition. The screen protectors are kinda bleh. Tried attaching one then just gave up (My iPod screen isn't covered either. I need to have the OCD boyfriend around to help me with stuff like that). But the 2GB memory card and tripod are awesome. Yay!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sweat It

Yolina, a girlfriend from my Germany days, suggested I do posts on what-to-wear-to-work for those of us who are not employed by Nylon or American Apparel. Fair enough. Since I got a "Your skirt is too short" warning at the UN, I've made a bigger effort to dress appropriately. I now have a set of pencil skirts and feminine blouses that spell sexy secretary without calling for Disclosure-like situations. But these days when fall temps are making me linger under the covers, I can't be bothered with ironing my secretary ensembles. Enter the reliable sweater dress. I love them. It's the easiest way to get dressed with minimal fuss. I like the selection at Victoria's Secret.

Factoring in the 30% discount, here's the damage:
Cotton rib turtleneck dress ($33.60), merino wool boatneck dress ($55.30), puff-sleeve turtleneck dress ($41.30); cotton rib turtleneck dress ($45.50)

I like how the VS dresses are a tad more detailed that sweater dresses one might find at, say, H&M. The button details, scarf, puckered sleeves and pleating make the dresses that much more refined and make you look like you put a bit more effort, even though you just pulled it on in 2 secs.

To add to the fun, all four dresses are already discounted. AND Victoria's secret is giving an extra 30% off for any single item until Tuesday. AND if you spend $100, shipping is free in the US. Sweet.

Gone Greek ... and Trojan?

I watched Troy for the first time today—how I lived before that, I don't know. Good lord, what a beautiful movie. I've come to two conclusions:

1. Every movie should have Eric Bana and Brad Pitt in it.
2. Every plain dress I have must be embellished in Trojan fashion.

#1 is a given; I didn't rent the movie for the suspenseful plot. The bigger suprise to me was how I would fall for those gorgeous embellished gowns. This was my ultimate favorite:

I love the use of precious stones to anchor an otherwise simple gown. It's inspiring me to run to the fashion district and dig up jewels to sew onto dresses I've tired of. DIY coming soon!

And just cos it would be wrong to mention Brad and Eric without showing their gorgeousness, here are some stills from the movie from Don't let the drool hit your keyboard.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The mink isn't safe in NYC

Just yesterday I was mulling over this fur cape that I found on the Neiman Marcus website. My co-workers weren't quite on the same page as me because they don't and have no desire to wear real fur. Hell I don't wear fur either, but I thought finding a cape in the $600 price range could be an excuse to start. I'm not being very PC, I know, but as long as still I'm devouring steak, lamb chops and foie gras without hesitation, I can't very well start proclaiming I care passionately about saving chinchillas.

I do have the fear of getting doused in paint firmly instilled in me though. I was starting to think that maybe New York is no longer a city where red-paint-throwers-at-fur-wearers congregate. But I learned today that that isn't quite true. As I was passing Bloomie's on my way home, I saw a picket line marching outside. What were the picketers protesting? FUR. "Shame on Escada" "Fur is death" and all that jazz ...

Thus ends my mini fur fixation. I may not be squeamish about wearing a chinchilla around my neck anymore, but I am scared of New Yorkers with red paint.

UPDATE: Paris isn't safe for fur either! Lindsey got a flour bomb dropped on her fur according to Dlisted. Tormenting fur wearers is apparently en vogue in PETA again.

Like Stealing

I had been obsessed with these MJ-esque lace-up booties (above, left) at Nine West for days. But the thing was, the Cuzza booties did not seem to share my sentiments. They totally made me look like I had cankles! But I kept on obsessing until today I landed in Nine West. While I was waiting for the salesgirl to bring the Cuzzas in my size, my eye landed on the sleek Annah booties (above, right). The display shoe happened to be a size 5 1/2 so I slipped it on. My oh my, why hadn't I noticed these beauties before? Sleek, sexy and for some reason, 10 times more comfy than the Cuzzas!

Instead of buying the shoes in store, I went home and got online. At the store, the Annah booties had a $119 price tag and a 20% discount. Online, the booties were $109 and had a 25% discount. And then I found a promo code on that gives a $10 discount off purchases over $65 (DO NOT buy anything online without checking for promo codes first! There's almost always some discount code on these sites). That brought the total down to $72.49. Did I mention shipping was free too?

It's like stealing, I tell ya ...

Feeling Gray

On a satchel hunt and found some perfectly slouchy, gray leather bags at Anthropologie. Really loving the one on the left, which is actually the cheaper bag at $198. The convertible bag on the right is $228. Here starts the evil cycle of bag-buying though. I keep thinking, well if I'm gonna buy a bag that's about $200 anyway, then why not just shell out a bit more and get the bag that I really want, which is that M by MJ Dr. Q Frasier satchel.

Stop it. Just stop it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Being frugal hurts

I am trying to ignore the fact that from tomorrow to Saturday, two amazing sales are taking place in New York that I would die to be at BUT I have to be frugal. I cannot afford a shopping spree, lest I end up eating nothing but Mickey D's in Europe.

If I could be at the Chloé friends and family sale taking place tomorrow at the Flathotel conference center on the 5th floor at 52nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, I might find a lovely satchel like the Saskia square tote, perhaps severely discounted from the regular $2005 price.

Available at Net-a-porter

If I could come to Mike & Chris' first EVER sample sale on 447 W. 36th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, maybe just maybe I could be the proud Mommy to an Alastair leather jacket, normally priced at $957 but at a more attainable price.

Available at Tobi

But I can't ... if anyone should see these babies, please give them a great home?

Monday, November 10, 2008

A handbag you wanna take a bite out of

My co-workers were talking about falafels all day long, and by the time the clock hit 6 I was craving tahini. I walked over to Third Avenue and stopped by Crisp, which was enthusiastically recommended by aforementioned co-workers.

The menu is blessedly uncomplicated. There are 8 kinds of pita sandwiches, 6 types of hummus bowls, and 5 flavors of gourmet iced teas. The "crisps" are hearty, flavorful and perfectly cooked falafels. Generous helpings of crisps are tucked into the fresh pita bread, which is baked from scratch in the premises. I picked the Parisian handbag sandwich, which is jazzed up with a sundried tomato spread, copious chunks of goat cheese, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, garden greens and red onions. It is not the cheapest sandwich at $9.75, but it was so hearty and satisfying that I felt full halfway through my meal. (I'm still eating the other half as I type, 2 hours later)

The beverage list sent me over the moon. House blended iced teas flavored as such: Gaucho Mint Yerba Mate, Strawberry Magic - Green, Lychee Red - Black, Ginger Peach - White, Passion Fruit - Rooibos. The options for unsweetened, sweetened and semi-sweet sealed the deal. I officially love this place. I chose semi-sweet lychee red black iced tea, and it's fabulous.

Special shout-out to the packaging designers. All packaging used is eco-friendly, and I love the brilliant design of the pita handbag, which keeps the contents of the sandwich neatly inside the pita and away from one's trousers.

It is so amazing to have a Crisp close to work. It's not the cheapest option, but it's both guiltless and satisfying—which is hard to come by whether we're talking cuisine or couture.

Where: 684 Third Avenue between 43rd and 44th St.
When: Open Mondays to Fridays from 11am-9pm, and Saturdays from 11am to 7pm

Sunday, November 09, 2008


What a beautiful jacket by J. Crew. Metallic houndstooth tweed in a classic, Chanel-esque silhouette. This is one of those pieces that, I feel, would totally change my wardrobe. It's priced at $250 right now though so I'll hold out for the sale and see if it can change my life for a little less!

Ok enough blogging. It's a gorgeous day and I should get out. Seriously.

Handling my compulsion

It took all sorts of willpower to order just ONE thing from Forever 21 and not go to town with the justification that I get free shipping with a $75 purchase. I didn't want to pay $5 and change for shipping, but I also didn't want to go crazy buying stuff I would ultimately feel sorry I bought. I figured that the alternative to paying shipping, which was hauling ass to Forever 21 and actually buying the damn thing, was not much cheaper. I'd have to spend $4 on the subway ride. And then seriously, I'd pay $1.50 to not have to search for the damn skirt in 4 floors packed with messy merchandise, shoppers, and long long lines on a Sunday afternoon.

The one thing I HAD to have was a black sequined mini, after seeing this outfit on Karla. With the holidays fast approaching, I needed to secure a New Year's Eve ready mini at a reasonable price (Last year in a panic I shelled out over a hundred for a sequined dress that however fabulous cannot be worn multiple times). If I wasn't being so conscientious about spending, I would've bought all of this:

I'm hurting a little for not ordering the rosette-topped shirt. I didn't see it before placing my order and now I just don't want to pay for shipping uh-gain. I guess I can live without it. The roses would probably look like doodoo after 1 run in the washing mashine. I thought about the faux leather jacket long and hard. I love the silhuette but I will never be truly happy with a faux leather jacket so I thought I'd just put the $35 dollars towards the ruffled coat that I really want from Urban Outfitters and call it a day. The shoes are cute but I shouldn't tempt the gods by ordering shoes priced below $30. They would probably hurt like hell, and if there's something I cannot afford right now, it's shoes that hurt too much to actually wear.

Aaaah I miss the days of thoughtless, impulse buying. Tough times indeed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

So excited!

I am extra excited to watch Gossip Girl on Monday because of two things.

#1: This blouse. I love ruffles.
#2: Cyndi Lauper's cameo. When she talks does it sound like she swallowed helium too? We shall see.

Friday, November 07, 2008

In the market

Images from New York magazine. See NY Mag's full review here.

I'd been planning and plotting to go to Market Table at the West Village, and finally got a chance when Johan stopped by NY last month. I'd had a tough day at work and needed a glass of wine and good food so badly. Market Table did not disappoint.

While perusing the menu, I caught a sumptuous whiff of truffle oil in the air and scoured the menu for the dish emanating that heavenly smell ... our waiter finally put me out of my misery and told me that today's special appetizer was risotto with shaved truffles ... MMM. I got that as my entree (Perfect portion by the way since risotto can be so heavy). We actually pretty much just ordered all the specials. The special entree was snapper so scrumptious that Johan would not quit talking about it. Oh, we started with oysters, by the way, that were so fresh and flavorful that we wiped out the dozen in no time.

The real star of the meal though was dessert. We ordered the intriguingly named polka-dot cheesecake and OHMYGOD was it good. And I don't even like cheesecake. It's polka dotted because it's a combination of cheesecake and chocolate mousse. It should be called a little piece of polka-dotted heaven.

I am not through exploring Market Table's menu. According to reviews, there's a cheeseburger and New York strip steak with my name on it there. I'd also love to explore the restaurant's market, which sells the ingredients used for their spectacular dishes. I'm gonna keep coming back for more, for sure.
Where: 54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014. Tel. 212.255.2100

Online Obsessions

Hipster Musings turned me on to this site called Hel Looks. Me being me, it took 3 full minutes of thinking, "Wow hipsters are really tuning into Finnish fashion. They know Marimekko and IvanaHelsinki and all ... " before I realized that Hel stood for Helsinki. Ding ding ding!

I got a tad obsessed because I'm "preparing" (read: obsessing over what to pack) for a Helsinki trip in December. So I wanted to see what people there wear. I realized they all dress like people from Williamsburg. Got it.

I recently discovered Jak & Jil blog, and since seeing this picture of stylist Caroline Sieber have not been able to navigate away. I want everything she's wearing. So simple but so chic. Giant black hobo, skinny leather pants, tailored blazer.

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