Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry christmas!

Merry Christmas! How was yours?

We had such a fun night at Christmas Eve dinner with my family! This year instead of buying presents for everyone in our rapidly growing clan, we decided to do Secret Santa plus an intentional White Elephant. The White Elephant had us in tears with laughter when ridiculous gifts like boobs stress balls and a poo log were unwrapped. It was even more hysterical to see that how many family members actually wanted that poo log! I made out with chocolate covered potato chips from the White Elephant (what some find disgusting, I find delicious!) and got just what I wanted from my Secret Santa (watch out for that post at 30 Before 30). Lots of laughter, bourbon-spiked eggnog, turkey, beef Wellington, wine and loads of love made for one of the best Christmases ever.

I fell in love with the Christmas cupcakes brought by my brother's family. Trophy Cupcakes is apparently number one in Seattle and I can see why.   
Cute cupcakes are easy to find, but these are pretty delicious as well. The cake is moist and the buttercream frosting just yummy. We Manhattanites think our cupcakes are unbeatable, but we've got to watch out for Seattle!

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

sample sale alert: rouge pr

Have you done Christmas shopping for your girl friends yet? Rouge PR is having a sample sale today and tomorrow (December 10-11) from 10am to 5pm. Get great deals on jewelry brands from Italy, Hong Kong and Turkey, plus Italian handbags. Stop by 636 Broadway, 5th Floor, Suite 512 (at Broadway) to get samples on the cheap from Aonie, Anthracite, Arkaik, Dafdesign, Halaby and Marielle Byworth. Happy shopping!

Friday, December 03, 2010

cookie cutter variety

I love Christmas but sometimes all that incessant cheer can get annoying. Which is why I love these unconventional gingerbread man cookie cutters. It would totally make my day to get gingerbread men that look like these! You might wanna keep away the third kind from the kiddies. Those are also definitely NSFW.
Happy Friday!


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

today's sexy deals

So many sexy deals online today!
I've just been salivating over all the beautiful lacy things at Rue-la-la's La Perla boutique. The prettiest bras are just $79 with matching bottoms for about $39. And I'm a little sad that I missed out on a gorgeous mink capelet for $399 that sold out in a flash at the La Fiorentina boutique! There are still quite a lot of plush cashmere, rabbit and fox fur-trimmed little luxuries left, like rabbit ear muffs that are just $20. Click here to join Rue-la-la if you haven't already!

On Groupon you can get a 10-class card for Burlesque Bikini Bootcamp! Each one hour class begins with an aerobic workout, followed by 25 minutes learning a burlesque routine and ending with toning exercises. The class incorporates burlesque, ballet and yoga moves for a sexy class that gets the blood pumping. If you haven't joined Groupon yet, what on earth are you waiting for?! Click here now!

Monday, November 29, 2010

today i'm loving: club monaco's sparkle

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am officially giving myself over to unrelenting holiday cheer. Nothing says "Happy Holidays" like drizzling your clothes with sparkle, as far as I'm concerned. And I just love, love, love the sequins and shine coming from Club Monaco this season.
I wonder if Santa Claus has any slouchy sequined navy blue blazers in his workshop for good little girls?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

let's talk, steve jobs

Is there something you've been wanting to say to Mr. Jobs? Say, "It's nice that I can buy Beatles on iTunes but I wouldn't call that life-changing." Or, "Why would you tease us with a video cam on one version of Nano and then take it away on the next?" And, "Why in god's name can't I get an iPhone insured against loss? Don't you make enough money off all of us buying the damn thing already? Can't you at least help protect us against thieves?!" Ok maybe that last one's just me.

My point is, there's a website now where Appleheads can gather their thoughts on what they want from Apple's products. is a forum for avid users to express what they want to see in the next iPhone, iPad, MacBook and other Apple products. It was created in the hope that if users band together and collectively raise their ideas, Mr. Jobs will hear them. So if you've got some brilliant thoughts brewing in your mind, visit the website and add your voice to the mob. Added bonus: submitting a request automatically enters you in a contest to get a shiny new 6th Gen iPod Nano! The wonderful toy goes to the brilliant request that gets 1,000 hits and an average rating of 3.5. Click here for more info.

And in case my eloquent post still leaves you unclear on what this website is all about, check out their cool ad below:

harajuku girl goes to santacon

Last year at Santacon, I was floored by a) how hundreds of pub crawlers willingly get to pubs before noon fully decked out in Santa and holiday-themed outfits, and b) the creativity some people can muster up on top of all that to make their outfits stand out. As I stared slack-jawed at the amazing array of Santas on display in Washington Square Park, I swore that I would not come in a half-baked costume when Santacon 2010 rolled around. Last year, I saw a NASCAR Santa, Elvis Santa, Tiger (Woods) Santa and a rather traumatizing Tranny Santa. So I thought this creative Santacon outfit would be a good fit for me: Santa's Harajuku Helper.
You can see how the two looks intersect right? Petticoats, high socks, fur, bright colors, headgear ... I'm thinking get a standard sl*tty Santa outfit then jazz it up with a bright wig, striped socks and Chucks, and I'm good to go! Now if only I could find the time and energy to shop for all of the components ... 

On another note, it's slightly disturbing how many truly kinky holiday outfits are out there. Have you ever tried to do a search on Amazon for "Santa outfits for women" or "Santa's helper costumes." It's fascinating to see what you'll find. I just wanna know, who wears these things?! And honest question: Are strip clubs open on Christmas Eve, and if they are, do dancers get decked out for the holidays? I can't imagine who else would like her bells to be jingled.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

today i'm loving: tory burch jelly driving flats

Aren't these citrus-hued jelly driver's shoes from Tory Burch just adorable? Jelly shoes like these are perfect for rainy days during spring and summer, when rubber rain boots are just way too stuffy to put on. In a walking city like New York, jelly flats will keep your feet from swimming in murky rain water. These cute flats are just $59 at RueLaLa today, and I had to restrain myself from getting a pair. If you'd like to check out the other Tory Burch merch in the RueLaLa sale but have yet to sign up, click here. Happy shopping!

living the spa life

Over the summer, I got to relive my beauty editor days to do a spa feature for Lifestyle Asia Travel. Oh those were the days, when workday "appointments" meant sampling this spa's four-hand massage and that brand's luxurious facials. Working on this article made me briefly rethink my decision to give up that pampered life to take on Manhattan ... but at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade the independence and never-ending surprises that come with my current life in New York for anything.

That said, it was pretty sweet to try out The Carlyle Sense Spa's $500 signature treatment, which comes with a luxurious facial using Sisley products and a soothing hand and foot massage.
The Surrey's Mala Mayi treatment ($300) was also a glorious treat for my then running-weary body.
If you're in the Philippines, this article and numerous other blissful reads appear in Lifestyle Asia Travel's October/November 2010 Spa & Resort issue. Grab a copy while they're still on the newsstands!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

it's christmas on fifth avenue

Feels like it was just yesterday that I was watching the New Year's Eve fireworks over the Statue of Liberty. Tonight, as I walked down Fifth Avenue after dinner, I had to concede that 2010 is really almost over. The grand Christmas displays at Bergdorfs are already up.
The Christmas lights festooned with Fendi's signature buckle are up and twinkling.
And Cartier is all wrapped up with its signature red bow!
My ticket to Seattle's been purchased for Christmas and I can't wait to spend some quality time with my family. The year went by in a flash, but it's been one of the best years of my life and for that I'm truly grateful. Looking forward to a happy holiday season!

Friday, November 19, 2010

lanvin ♥ h&m

I hope you've dusted off your boxing gloves because it is sure to be UTTER MADNESS tomorrow when H&M releases it's highly anticipated collaboration with Lanvin. I'm glad I'm on a shopping hiatus because I like my eyes in their sockets, thankyouverymuch, and I'm not willing to risk decapitation for one of those beautiful one-shoulder dresses.

I was trying my best to ignore the whole thing because I do so love Lanvin, and the fact that Alber decided to throw us a bone and do a collab with H&M does tug at my heartstrings. But with six more months and numerous trips and adventures to embark on for 30 Before 30, I just don't have money to spare. This morning though, Metro NY (yes, I am cheap and therefore only read free "newspapers") flung a full page Lanvin ♥ H&M ad in my face so I gave in to curiosity and finally checked out the collection.
If money (and holding on to my eyeballs) wasn't an issue, I would splurge on these gorgeous dresses. They don't exactly come cheap at $199. While the design is fiercely Lanvin, I somehow doubt that the quality would be so amazing as to warrant that pricetag. I could be wrong though. It's up to you, H&M to put some dresses in my hand to prove me wrong. Just saying.
The only things from this collection that I may allow myself to have should they miraculously be available when I wander into H&M one of these days are the shirt and skirt below ($49 and $59 respectively). That skirt is so beautiful and is something one could get more use of than a highly memorable dress.
What are you gunning for? To see the full lookbook with prices, click here.

can i close out my tab? that'll be $460,000 ma'am

When Zoe asked me if I wanted to come along to watch people bid on some "really really old whisky" at Sotheby's, little did I know that we would witness a record-breaking auction. Last Monday, we went to Sotheby's where an open bar flowed and a crowd gathered around this treasure: a Lalique carafe, intricately crafted using the lost wax method, encasing 1.5 liters of the finest and rarest 64-year-old single malt whisky produced by Scottish distillery Macallan. We witnessed the exhilarating bidding that started at a humble $10,000 and initially involved members of the chi chi crowd gathered at Sotheby's on York and East 71st. But soon it became clear that the big players were not even in the room. As bids skyrocketed, it was as if we were in a tennis match. Heads swung from the left side to the right side of the room where Sotheby's staff members were burning the phone lines and transmitting bids from all over the world. It was quite a sight to see.

In the end, the lot went to an unidentified female bidder who bid $460,000 for the whisky and the carafe. I'm still stunned by the amount. I wonder if they'll ever even drink that whisky. Maybe every child who comes of age in her family moving forward gets a sip.

All of this was for a good cause (*cough* tax deduction *cough*), of course. charity: water is dedicated to providing clean water to communities in developing nations. They've managed to create a business model where the organization itself is funded through sponsorships so that 100% of donations go towards providing sources of clean water. I can only imagine what impact this event will have on the communities supported by charity: water.

At the very least, the evening had a great impact on Zoe and I. We had a great time! There was a river of cocktails generously infused with Macallan flowing from the bar. I really liked the Blood & Sand, which incorporated 10-year-old fine oak Macallan with cherry heering (a Danish cherry liquor), Carpano Antica (a red vermouth) and good ol' OJ.
The bartenders had a verrry heavy hand with the whisky in the Rob Roys. We gave up on those drinks two thirds of the way since our stomachs were only very slightly insulated from hors d'oeuvres and bite-size burgers.
We had a quick chat with the evenings DJs, AndrewAndrew, who had a pretty clever little schtick. Can you spot the DJs?
No you can't because they're not at the DJ booth! Where, pray tell, are they? Why spinning music on their iPads while milling about in the crowd, of course.
Clever sons-of-a-gun. Way to write off iPads as a business expense. PS: They are, in fact, both named Andrew. I presume they have other matching sports jackets, as well.

So in all, it was a good night. Thank you Zoe, for letting me tag along on yet another a phenomenal New York adventure!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

may's place

One of the reasons why The Chiconomist has been so neglected these past few months is quite simple: the purse strings have been really tight! The 30 Before 30 Project is fun and all but it is pretty costly, so aside from putting in ridiculous amounts of overtime work, I've totally held back on shopping and try to keep pricey dinners to a minimum. Which is why I really appreciated being introduced to this great deal of a sushi place in St. Mark's Place.

My friends Coco and JM turned me on to May's Place, a little spot that sells sushi at 50% with a $15 minimum. Since I am not a huge fan of crazy complicated rolls, I ordered the chirashi—an assortment of sashimi over rice plus a side order of miso soup for $19.95. 
Chirashi is one of my favorite things to order because I like having my sashimi as unadorned as possible, and I like being able to control how much rice I have my fish with. The problem is that chirashi is often pricey because of all the fish you get. Also, the restaurant should serve high quality fish because otherwise you end up with a crappy meal. I was extremely pleased with the chirashi I was served at May's Place. The fish was extremely fresh—the hamachi, in particular, was so tender and flavorful. At half price, this came to just about $10, which is an amazing deal.

I was very tempted to order the intriguing looking rolls but I am glad I stuck to my guns. My friends loved their rolls but I was complely satisfied with my chirashi. I highly recommend this place for a quick and cheap dinner!
May's Place is located at 121 2nd Avenue between 7th Street and St. Mark's Place, New York, NY 10003

Friday, November 12, 2010

teenage dream

I apologize for having abandoned this blog for some time. Last week, I ticked off a really major item off my 30 Before 30 List—#3: Run a marathon! In between preparing for that, maintaining the other blog, working like mad, and just living life, there hasn't been much time to spare. So I do apologize to those who follow this blog, and I hope that the other blog is providing apt entertainment while my project takes my life over!

As a mini peace offering, can I show you some YouTube vids that just totally made my day? I wasn't a fan of Katy Perry's song "Teenage Dream" before but this week, Glee and my favorite new YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill have changed my mind. I dare you not to smile while watching these videos!

Will try to squeeze in some more substantial posts soon, but for now, hope I gave you some giggles!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

amo-te santini

I'm so sorry for my long absence on this blog! The last four weeks were big ones for the 30 Before 30 Project, what with road trips and European adventures taking me off the Internet in general, and monopolizing my time from this blog in particular. My adventures eventually led me to Lisboa, where I collected some Chiconomist-worthy experiences.

I came to Lisboa armed with research material from Chowhound on food to eat and restaurants to try. But somehow, one of my most transcendent Portugal eating experiences came about by following the crowd into a chic little geladaria off Rua de Carmo in Lisboa's trendy downtown area, Baixa-Chiado.
Gelados Santini has been providing delicious refreshment to Portuguese people from all walks of life, from the royals to the local beachgoers, since 1949 from it's famous outpost in the beach town of Cascais. A vintage cover of Italian Magazine Época showing Princess Maria Beatriz de Saboia digging into  a cupful of Santini's gelado is displayed prominently in the Lisboa shop. 
It's near impossible to walk in Baixa-Chiado without running into someone holding a heaping cone or cup of Santini's gelado. After running into enough gelado-weilding folks, I just had to get in line for one.
There always seems to be a line in the shop, but it's not a big deal waiting because that time is useful for figuring out which of the scrumptious sounding flavors to order. 
€2.50 buys you a cone or a cup with two sabores or flavors. I saw a vintage photograph of Mr. Santini holding a bucket full of fresh raspberries hanging on the wall, so I thought it was a sign to order framboesa. To round out the tartness of the fruit, I ordered some sweet doce de leite.
I was in a bit of a funk during my stay in Lisboa (I chalk it up to residual Ibiza exhaustion + surfing withdrawal) but I could swear that after one taste of this gelado, the skies parted, the sun shone down and birds started singing. I was a very happy girl indeed. The texture was smooth, and velvety. The raspberry gelado was bursting with fruit flavor. The doce de leite taste was perfectly balanced between the caramel's sweetness and the milk's creaminess. Absolutely delicious.

The next day, I had to go back. After returning to the city from an afternoon at Batalha, I stopped by Santini for another cone: this time trying the chocolate chip and strawberry flavors.
Again, swoon-worthy. The strawberry gelado was so rich in flavor it was like digging into a cupful of the actual fruit. And the chocolate chip was just a decadent little treat. Since it was my last night in Lisboa, I surmised after dinner that a second cup of gelado was not just justified but absolutely necessary. The girl at the counter (the same one who served me earlier in the day) gave me a strange look when I came up to the counter. She surely recognized me as I was probably the only tan Asian girl running around in an all-white outfit it Lisboa. I ordered a cup instead of a cone this time, in a vain attempt to save maybe 5 calories. I ordered mango and caramel, a combination that once again hit the ball out of the park. 
For someone who normally eats ice cream maybe once a month, it says a lot that I had three helpings over two days! I thought that Santini's gelado was a bargain too, considering most spots in Portugal and Spain will charge you €2.50 for a packaged Nestle treat. If I'm ever in Lisbon again, you can bet that my first order of business will be getting my fix at Santini's!

The original Gelados Santini is located at Av. Valbom 28, 2750 Cascais, Portugal. In Lisboa, it is located on Rua do Carmo 9 a 11 in Baixa-Chiado.
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