Saturday, February 28, 2009

Steal: DVF wrap dress at the Intermix Warehouse Sale

Savings, shmavings. I couldn't stay away from the Intermix Warehouse Sale. I had some time to spare yesterday between leaving work and meeting some girlfriends for dinner so I stopped by the Metropolitan Pavillion and popped my DVF wrapdress cherry by buying this cutie:

This wrap dress is from Diane Von Furstenberg's superhero-inspired cruise collection. It's called the wonder woman wrap dress, and if you look closely you'll see stars and flourishes that'll remind you of the superhero. This dress retails at $385 but I was able to get for—are you ready for this—just $79!!! I was so thrilled. I was not-so-thrilled that I fit into a size 2 perfectly (gasp!) but whatever. (Edit: I just realized, thanks to the Anonymous comment, that this sentence was a douche-y thing to say. Let me clarify that I only feel that a size 2 is not a good size for me because I am very, very, very short girl with small bones. Size 2 is perfect on all non-munchkins not named Celine.) Next week, I resolve to start taking bikram classes to resolve the chunkiness matter. But today, I am just super happy I got this awesome bargain!

Spotted at the Intermix Warehouse Sale: a small boned Asian chick the same size as me walking off with an Hervé Léger. Grrrrr ... I had crazy shopping envy. I only saw one on the rack that looked like a tangle of bandages for about $800 so I guess if I'd seen the dress first I wouldn't have bought it ... or would I? Arrrrrgh. Next Intermix Warehouse Sale, I am so lining up on the first day to get mine!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Want to Drown in Missoni

Of course I can't pile it on like they do since I am a munchkin and not a model. But if I could just have one of those beautiful little dresses and a fabulously long fringed scarf, I would be a very happy little girl indeed.

Chicken Joy

If it seems like all I've been doing lately is eat, that's cos that is all I've been doing. I'm kidding. Of course I do a few other necessary things like working, shopping, drinking ... but I have been indulging my appetite and stretching the limits of my Earnest Sewn jeans' waistband quite a bit. Last night, our pool league team dinner was at Boka, a Korean restaurant in St. Mark's Place (By the way, I use the words "our pool league team" loosely. I am more of a mascot than a team member.). We come here solely for the love of Bon Chon fried chicken—wings and drumsticks with skin cooked to an incredible crisp and flavored to be eye-wateringly spicy. I must admit that I am no Bon Chon expert and NYC may well be peppered with better Bon Chon spots, but Boka's version is pretty darn tasty and the location is really convenient since I always get hit with late night hunger pangs in that area. We also tried some bibimbap, bulgogi, and a tuna-avocado tartare, which were all pretty good. But the chicken was the highlight of the meal. I would recommend the wings over the drumsticks, as they're a lot more flavorful. And when the heat gets to be too much, there's a side dish of pickled radish that's pleasantly sweet and helps in calming down your raging tastebuds.

The main problem with this place, though, is the service. We've been here twice and both times the service was excruciatingly slow (I managed to go all the way from 86th Street to St. Mark's and I still made it to the table before the Bon Chon). And it's quite amazing really because it seems that servers and waiters are running up and down all the time, but they're just not getting much done. Hmm. Our friend Linda said last night, "If service was faster, we'd go here a lot more." I hope they shape up soon.

To end on a good note though, Boka offers a pretty sweet deal on the Happy Hour Front. From 4:30-7:30PM, you can get a pitcher of draft beer plus 6 Bon Chon wings for the price of $8. Not bad at all! But at the slooooow rate they churn out the wings, you might wanna order those wings ahead to make sure you get to eat more than 6 wings before Happy Hour ends!

Where: 9 Saint Marks Place, New York, NY

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Top Ramen

At 10PM last night, Mika and I plus 3 Japanese friends walked out of Amsterdam Billiard Club absolutely starving. Instead of our usual sushi dinner at Shima, we decided that it was time, once and for all, to try the ramen at Ippudo just a block away. Mika and I have tried several times to come here for dinner, but every time we went we were told that the wait would be at least 45 minutes. Today we were told it would be 15 to 20 minutes (although it did end up being 45) so we patiently waited over mugs of Kirin draft.

When we finally sat, we were ready to eat the waiter's arm, we were so hungry. For starters we ordered crispy chicken karaage, crispy rock shrimp and an avocado-tofu tartare. The rock shrimp was fantastic. The shrimps were plump and juicy, and the batter crunchy and addictive. The avocado-tofu tartare was pleasantly sweet and refreshing. The karaage was good, I'm sure, but I was distracted because I tasted it just as a huge bowl of piping hot ramen was placed in front of me as I was chewing the deep fried chicken.

We ordered one bowl of the Shiomaru Moto Classic ramen and another of the Akamaru Modern just to compare tastes. Our Japanese friends all ordered the Akamaru Modern, and as soon as I took a slurp of soup, I understood why. The broth is deliciously creamy and thoroughly infused with the smoky flavor of Berkshire pork. The soup is laden with scallions, tender pork slices, al dente ramen, and sliced mushrooms. The classic version of the ramen was good, but our preference was for the stronger tasting broth.

Our server also brought a grinder filled with toasted sesame seeds, some sliced ginger, and some cloves of garlic with a garlic press. As our Japanese friends proceeded to liberally season their bowls with these spices, Mika whispered, "I think we're better off doing everything they do." So we did, and we were rewarded with ramen packed with a multitude of wonderful flavors.

Our friend Toyota opined that while Ippudo does serve very good, authentic ramen, it's expensive for what it is. I don't blame a Japanese guy who's used to slurping up delicious and oftentimes very inexpensive ramen at 3AM in Tokyo. For us New Yorkers who don't have the good fortune of making regular trips to Japan, however, I think $13 is a very reasonable price to pay for what is arguably the best ramen in the city.

Where: 65 Fourth Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets

Posh has Pull

Really Posh? Just like that, your line is all sold out and Net-a-porter's telling us to wait for fall? Damn, woman. You're good. I'm quite impressed.

Intermix Warehouse Sale!

Bleh, I can't go because I went off in the Barney's Warehouse Sale yesterday (I only bought myself a Rag & Bone cape, but got the BF Hogan sneakers, a cashmere shirt and a John Varvatos tee! Men's is so much better than women's *sigh*). But I've heard wonderful tales of Chloe bags and DVF dresses being unearthed at wonderful prices so I hope y'all enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Baby Talk

Babies, babies, babies. Everyone around me is popping with babies. So I've had to go looking for baby shower gifts several times in the past year. One of my favorite finds that's super cute but easy on the pocket is a set of socks by Trumpette. I've tried looking for these in Bloomie's store but only found plain versions so I'd recommend buying these off Bloomingdale's website. How cute are these?

If you want to get all designer-ish, cute stuff from Juicy Couture and Burberry. I super like the Burberry tights. Perfect for a little preppy princess.

I swear, my biggest incentive to have some little ones is the idea of dressing them up! But, no, not quite yet, everyone please chill out ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Half-Price Yakitori Tuesdays

If there's one thing I can subsist on, it's yakitori. I am often struck with a craving for it, but my favorite yakitori spot, Yakitori Taisho, is all the way in St. Mark's Place. Until I get my downtown dream apartment, I have to content myself with yakitori alternatives in Midtown and the Upper East.

Today I had one of those severe yakitori cravings so I stopped by East Japanese Restaurant. Nothing fancy or extra special here, but it's close to the UN and serves yakitori. It was my lucky day: Tuesday is East's half-price yakitori day! I ordered a grilled rice ball, 2 pork skewers, and 1 short rib skewer and was floored when I received my bill and saw that my meal cost less than $6! Everything was literally half the size of what Yakitori Taisho would serve but at those prices, I won't complain. I loved the tasty short rib skewer—which isn't on the Taisho menu—so that's a plus. I would definitely come here regularly on Tuesdays, now that I've discovered half-price yakitori day, because it's a real steal!

I Want You, Givenchy

Saw this shirt on Bryanboy and I am coveting it baaaaaad. It's a limited edition collab between Givenchy and Luisa Via Roma. This oversized tee will set me back €351! Argh. I can't do it. The pain of being cheap.

Tilda, Tilda, Tilda

I didn't actually watch the Oscars, which is why I was in complete ignorance of how amazing Tilda Swinton looked. I really love this lady. She rocked that Lanvin. Most adventurous and inspirational look of the night, in my opinion.

Quirky Pendants

I'm on the lookout for a cute and quirky necklace. Or two. Or three. I love the look of delicate necklaces layered on top of each other, but I don't want to just grab any old necklace off a Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters rack. I want something more special, more unique ...

The French Factory necklaces are super cute and clever, but a tad too kitschy for me. I think a 27-year-old international civil servant should not be seen with mini cassette tapes hanging off her neck. I might wear these though, if I wasn't so stingy about paying for international shipping

I am seriously considering getting a necklace from Emily Elizabeth Jewelry, though. She has some really fun pendants, and I like that it's in gold so it's quirky but subtly so. Plus, if you're a Daily Candy subscriber, you can get a 30% discount off your order. There's a popular fortune cookie pendant that's currently out of stock but so cute.

I also really like this saltine pendant. So simple but fun!
A wishbone for good luck:

I think I'm going to get this set of three with pendants that say "Yes", "No" and "OK." Only $90 for all three, which is a total bargain if you factor in the discount.

Maxed Out

I'm convinced that I'm really 5'7. In my mind, I'm this semi-tall, skinny chick with uber long legs. This idea of mine is often disproved though when I try to wear particular fashion items, such as maxi dresses. I love the idea of maxi dresses, but well, they don't really love me. A few feet of fabric collects in a puddle around my ankles everytime I try them on, and I look like a 10-year old playing dress up.

So it does me no good that Shopbop is giving shoppers 20% off their maxi dresses until this Thursday, February 26 (Just enter TOTHEMAX at checkout). But to all you real tall people, enjoy.

I love the boho chic look of this dress by Issa:

I'm also a fan of this festive dress by Milly.

How cool is this convertible dress by Elizabeth & James? Always great to get multiple uses out of one dress. I quite like the heathered gray version.

This Jill Stuart dress has a very English rose feel. Made for attending a casual garden wedding.

Why, dear god, why was I not born just a wee bit taller? You could've taken an inch off each Victoria's Secret angel and just given them to me. They wouldn't miss it, seriously.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Faves

I fell in love with Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, so I'm thrilled that she won an Oscar. And I gotta love her a little extra for gracing the red carpet in an exquisite vintage Balmain haute couture gown. Penelope always does awards nights right.

And Marisa Tomei in that gorgeous Versace! Do you love it, or do you LOVE IT???

Anne Hathaway was stunning in Armani Prive, don't you think?

Finally, I loved Kate Winslet in her Yves Saint Laurent not because the look was extraordinary but because of the attitude she took towards getting dressed for the Oscars. On Oprah today, she said that she did not ask for several designers to make something for her and then pick from the selection because she thought that was not the right thing to do in these tough economic times. When YSL offered to make something for her, she accepted and wore what was subsequently created. What a classy lady.

Friday, February 20, 2009

get it cheaper : teabag rest

Since I stopped drinking coffee, I have been a faithful green tea imbiber. Mika got this bag of fantastic green tea in Japan and I have been slowly depleting our stock. While I love this wonderful tea, I'd always been befuddled with what to do with the tea bag (I'm Asian, I wouldn't throw it out after steeping just one cup!). So I was charmed like crazy when I saw this cutie on the Crate and Barrel website:

I wasn't offended by the $2.95 pricetag ... UNTIL! Last night I was doing some shopping at Kam Man Food Products in Chinatown, and I wandered into the basement area that's crammed with ceramics. What did I find but replicas of this tea bag rest in slightly pearlescent white, black, yellow and green for ONE DOLLAR. I know, it's a $1.95 difference, but that means it's practically 1/3 of the price at Crate and Barrel! For tea fanatics, it would definitely be worth the trip as Kam Man's basement is also fully stocked with a large assortment of tea, including those lovely flowering ones.

Must Read on Today's NY Times

I loooooooooved reading this article on today's New York Times. I have been the victim of evil salespeople many times—oh and this was while I was interning at Cartier, mind you, so they were actually sort of co-workers at the time. I've just always known that the people on Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue need major attitude adjustments, and I guess it took the fall of the investment banking industry to stick it to them.

Read "Economy Adjusts Store Relations on Madison Avenue" by Eric Wilson. I officially love this writer.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered

After a shiteous day at work, I had a pretty awesome Thursday night. I had a "date" with my friend Kathryn for dinner and drinks in Chinatown. We were craving some soup dumplings, and I was dying to try a bar tucked away in Chinatown's bowels so we had a pretty solid evening planned out.

I had some time to kill before dinner so I raided a grocery store in Chinatown for Filipino kitchen essentials like Datu Puti vinegar. I scored the jackpot when I discovered salted duck eggs, which I've been craving for the last 2 1/2 years that I've been in New York. Sounds strange, but have it with tomatoes cut into cubes ... YUM.

At 7:30, we sat down for dinner at Joe's Shanghai and devoured the delicious soup dumplings. Heavenly, just heavenly.

After dinner, we walked round the corner to Doyers Street and under the only clean awning that deceptively says "Gold Flower Restaurant" to discover our new favorite cocktail lounge: Apotheke. This former opium den is tucked into one of old Chinatown's deadliest, gang-infested streets. Obviously, it's a lot safer these days. To me, it's just a great place to continue on after having a great dinner at Joe's Shanghai. A lot of people are throwing fits over how this has ruined one of the last "authentically" New York neighborhoods, but give me a break. Can we please stop taking ourselves so freakin seriously?

Kathryn and I fell in love with this place the instant we walked in. It's a lot darker than the picture above, just reeking with sexiness. We could not get a table, but that turned out to be a good thing because we got to know the bartender, Esteban, pretty well.

Forgive me but I can't remember the actual names of the cocktails as I am a little buzzed. The most popular one is definitely this drink incorporating muddled starfruit and champagne, which I must have seen served up over 20 times. Kathryn and I had one each and enjoyed it immensely. Definitely a nice fresh cocktail to start off the night with. We also tried an amazing buttered rum, which you must order if only to see the spectacle of the preparation. Lots of fire and sparkles involved. Totally worth $15.

So that's the downside, by the way. Cocktails are $15 apiece, which is not cheap but hey no one's forcing you to go if you're on a budget right? (In any case, it all balances out if you start the night with an uber cheapo Chinatown dinner) If you can afford it though, the imaginative cocktails are worth it. Milk & Honey still serves up the best cocktails in my book, but since I have no way of obtaining that elusive ever-changing reservation number, I'll take Apotheke. If there's one thing you MUST NOT do, please please pleeeeeease do not go all the way there to order a vodka-cran. It's almost insulting. When I asked the highly skilled bartender if anyone orders vodka-crans, I meant it as a joke. But sure enough, 2 minutes later, someone DID order a vodka cran and I seriously almost spat out my ginger-lemongrass sour in laughter. Come on. It's like going to Katz's Deli and then asking for a grilled cheese sandwich.

Ok I am babbling so I need to end this post. But that's good evidence of how strong a few cocktails in this place are right?

Where: Apotheke is located at 9 Doyers St., New York between Bowery and Pell

Frou Frou

I wanna drown myself in the gorgeous ruffly fluffiness of these Marchesa cocktail dresses from the F/W '09 collection. I'd totally nix that bow on the first dress, though. Totally unnecessary and looks like something I'd throw on a last minute birthday present. Other than that, I love ...

So here's the deal - Balenciaga

If you cough up $1,395 for a beautiful City bag like the one below, or $1,495 for a rocking Part-time Planet bag like the one further down, Balenciaga will throw in a freebie: the Planet purse—that egg-shaped leather contraption hanging off the side of these bags. Worth it? It's not a SUPER attractive offer but I guess if I was gonna use my rent money on a Balenciaga bag, it would ease the pain a little to know that I got a little freebie ...

Summer in the Air

I love these candles by Slatkin & Co. on the Bath & Body Works website. I'm thinking of ordering a few for the apartment. I love lighting candles at home, but hate repeatedly throwing out glass candle holders once the candle is used up. At $16.50 and $19.50, they're not cheap but these candles have sculptural containers that I'd definitely want to hold on to and reuse long after the first candle has burned out.

This conch shell candle has such a summery vibe, and has a scent that conjures up fresh morning breezes on the shore.
This adorable pineapple-shaped container holds a candle scented with tropical fruits spiked with rum, vanilla and musk.

I'm definitely ordering some of these to bring a little bit of summer into my cold and dreary apartment!

Sexy times at Rodarte

This pic from's coverage of Rodarte's F/W '09 show will send me to bed with sweet dreams. Love the look of leather with super chunky knits. And the boots. Lethally sexy.

The look should be easy to replicate with a leather jacket, knitted circle scarf, and chunky knitted skirt. The only big investment to make would be on them sexy boots. That's what I like most about it, I guess.

Good night, y'all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I love me some ruffles

I've always loved ruffles. One of my favorite tops circa '06 had a big giant ruffle in front, and I wore it constantly even if my then boyfriend said I looked like an oyster. Whatever, I loved it. So when I saw this periwinkle ruffled dress on the Wink website, I fell in love. I'm not too crazy about the $330 pricetag though. Hopefully it goes on sale soon.

I also quite like this merino wool cardie with cotton and chiffon ruffles on the neckline by J.Crew. Not an impulse buy at $118 but it looks like one of those pieces that will become a wardrobe workhorse. Perfect for work, it would dress up any basic tee or tank. But still, I'm gonna wait for this one to go on sale. Everything seems to go on sale relatively quickly these days.

I stumbled onto this top on the Urban Outfitters website and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's a piece done in collaboration with Geren Ford. The line is called Hawks by Geren Ford. The top is $78, which is a tad pricey for Urban Outfitters but ...

... it's a lot cheaper compared to this actual Geren Ford top at Shopbop, which retails for $235. Of course the Hawks version is cotton/poly while the Geren Ford blouse is made of silk. But I'd trust myself with the cotton version, since I'm not the best at doing laundry. But again, I'd wait a few weeks to see if it goes on sale.

That's all folks.
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