Thursday, December 24, 2015

Cozy Christmas

What do you do when you can't read anymore Kate Chopin before finals?

Play dress up. Duh.

Eugh. I know. What an example of eurocentrism. I'm not even Christian but here I am, decking my house out in colored lights, plastic trees, and big red socks.

Ratchet Side Table- My Brother's Storage Boxes from College
Hand Lotion I'm Furiously Sniffing- & Other Stories (Scent: Couture Carnival)

Is it wrong? I don't know. For all of my childhood, I had excitedly celebrated Christmas within my atheist, immigrant, Asian family. Regardless of political correctness, seeing other people excitedly participate in traditions that may or may not have any meaning to them still brings everyone joy... So you know what? Let's just let that happen.

Hat: Walmart? 
Giant Cozy Sweater: Some brand called Segue(?) but I got it at Goodwill
Socks: Gifted but I think Forever 21 
Sick Mug: Target (Thanks AL)

I used to think wearing short dresses and long boots/socks was counter intuitive and pretty stupid because if it was cold enough, why not just wear pants? Then I grew up and realized a sliver of thigh was chic and that giant sweaters on petite people don't look cute unless they're balanced with tights or bare legs on the bottom. 

This sweater is neither red, green, or explicitly of the "ugly holiday" variety, but somehow it seems fitting for Christmas and a chic way to game this farcicality known as a groutfit.  

One thing that's really important to me during the holiday season is the theme of homecoming. The idea was that this light-up wall art would feel inviting every time fam came through the door: 

I don't know how reasonable it is for me to put up an alias on this blog anymore since most of our readers know me personally. If it wasn't obvious, my last name is Chan. I made each letter by wrapping the string of lights around a thumb tack, then I hung a stocking for each family member under each letter. 

Happy Holidays. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

K Takes New York

Finally! Back to blogging! I've finally reached a lull in my hectic summer schedule where I can catch up on posts.

Last month I went to a two week entrepreneurship camp where I developed a start up idea and pitched it to a board of investors at the Athena Center at Barnard College. Never have I been immersed in such an empowering, positive environment. Check out my video to see more of the people I met and the things I did!

Here's one outfit from that trip:

I was surprised! The sweater and skirt was bought in NYC on sale and ! I love that these two pieces are the perfect transition into fall outfits too (out of season much?) and I can imagine a million other pairings to go with this too. I'm loving the white sweater and shoes that tie the whole outfit together and the necklace that adds some weight and interest against the blank background.

Honestly this outfit was more fit for an autumn day rather than a sweaty humid summer eve in New York but it was cute and worth the perspiration. The suede skirt with the playful laser cut outs instantly caught my eye in the store and they were only $15! I feel like its quirky juxtaposition of material and pattern makes it the perfect piece to transition my closet into something more sophisticated.

You also would not believe how much controversy there was over buying those $20 pair of Birkenstock dupes. Some of my friends questioned our friendships. Nevertheless, I identify as pro Birks (long live the mom sandal) but I'm also not about to pay $180 for something I know is going out of style sometime in the near future.

Right next to Chinatown we went to this hip cafe called Two Hands with my friend Cleo.

 The interior had 'grammable ambiance with the crafted clouds, strung lights, exposed brick, and hand written menu on the wall! It set me up for high expectations of idiosyncratic food...

 I got the blat sandwhich which was $9.00 but it was disappointingly small. It featured Sriracha, spinach, tomato, bacon and avocado. The bacon and guac gave the sandwich depth while the Sriracha have it an awesome kick. The salad was too boring and plain as it only featured some spinach leaves, some olive oil, and some red chili peppers. Disappointing. 

 Cleo got a cappuccino for $3.50 which she thought was average. She also commented that the $9.00 chewy granola was very blueberry based but sweet. It featured hemp and chia seeds, blue berries, granola, coconut, and raspberries. 
 As you can see there was not much mass in the blat sandwich. While I can understand everything is expensive in New York City, I feel like I could have found something that was more worth the price. 
 Cleo and her adorable cup of coffee. The store did have great merchandise ranging from mugs to shirts with whimsical designs on them. I think the aesthetic of the cafe is what brings in the customers not necessarily the quality of their food. 
I will say that the mocha was pretty good but it was less rich than the Mocha Tesora at Philz. (I can't find it on the menu but I believe it was around $4.00). 

Right now I'm in Valencia, CA for an arts camp called CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts). I'll update you guys more on that in a later post. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Adventures into San Francisco

Adventures of K and S actually went on an adventure this time! Well really K and A, but S was missed and there in spirit <3 To see more beautiful pictures visit A's travel blog by clicking here: By the Breeze Blog

A took me around the city for my birthday and we visited so many gems within the city! Our first, and my favorite, stop was at the Front St. Cafe, which ironically is not on Front Street. The cafe was nestled in the Mission Bay area and had an industrial theme going on with the exposed pipes, beakers, and test tubes. It is the poster child for the Urban-San-Franciscan-Coffee-Addict aesthetic. Check out A's blog to see the rest of our adventure :)

Walking around the misty city in the morning was refreshing but also very chilly so layers were my best friend. Given the gusting wind, a wide-brimmed hat may not have been a good choice but my fashion muses all have this kind of hat and A got me one for my birthday :) I can now actually call myself a fashion blogger! I love the elegant waves the hat makes on its brim and how the camel color is so versatile. 

Taken in front of adorable painted ladies at Duboce. 

My lovely friends gave me necklaces for my birthday so of course they're making it on the blog. Thank you EM, LP, and LH! 

Taken in the adorable patio seating area of Nopalito, a hip Mexican restaurant near UCSF. The dewy vertical garden complimented the light green theme of the restaurant, contributing to a comfortable ambiance when paired with twinkly string lights. The overused flannel makes another cameo!

Layers being taken off at Duboce—all the walking around midday was starting to warm me up!

The hat just made me so dang excited, also thanking CH for the romper :) 

On K: 
Hat: Cary Lane (An adorable boutique near UCSF)
Sunglasses: Gas Station
Necklaces: UO, F21, Gifted 
Romper: Francesca's
Flannel: Thrifted 
Coat: Target
Tights: Target??
Boots: Stuart Weitzman

I feel so blessed to have friends that would take me around the city! She has amazing photography skills AND style. 

Yes, we have matching hats. We're THOSE friends. 

Hat: Cary Lane 
Sunglasses: Ray Ban 
Blouse: H&M
Coat: H&M
Jeans: Topshop 
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Shoes: Converse

Thanks for adventuring with us! 
- K and A 

Monday, April 27, 2015

5 Recipes for Hot Summer Days

Long time no blog! Thankfully this unforeseen four-day weekend has allotted me time to study for my APs, blog, *and* make tasty food.

BRUNCH: Omelette on Crumpet

 Little known fact: I love cooking. I woke up around 10:30 and decided to procrastinate studying for APUSH by making myself a bomb ass brunch. I layered a toasted crumpet with an omelette that contained sautéed onions, spinach and tomatoes. To top it off I added cubed avocado, sour cream, chives, basil, parsley, parmesan cheese and some pepper. WOW. I would never make this on a school day.

Here is a cross section of my crazy omelette-crumpet concoction. 

Makes enough for one—15-20 minutes
1/3 tomato diced
Handful of baby spinach 
1/8 cup of diced sweet onion
1/2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 egg + a splash of milk
1/4 avocado diced
dollop of sour cream 
various herbs to top 
pinch of salt 

1. In a small to medium size non-stick pan on medium high heat melt the butter
2. Turn the heat down to medium, add the onions and when they begin to brown add the tomatoes and then the spinach you could add some garlic here too if you'd like
3. Sautée for 2-3 minutes then set it aside
4. In the same pan add a bit more butter and let it melt  
5. As the butter melts, in a small bowl whisk the egg and milk together.
6. Pour the mixture in the pan and wait 2-4 minutes or until it seems to be cooking through to the top. If you want the omelette to be thinner, add more milk and use a bigger pan. If you want it to be thicker add less milk and use a smaller pan. 
7. Add in the sautéed vegetables to one half of the pan and fold the other half of the omelette over it. When you feel confident enough about the firmness of the omelette and in your ability to flip it, flip it.
8. If you totally botched it, just mash it together and call it fancy scrambled eggs instead, but if you were successful place it on top of a toasted crumpet. 
9. Top with herbs, avocado, sour cream, pepper, and shredded parmesan cheese to your liking. 

To keep myself hydrated as I study, I made myself some flavored water. I have a horrible habit of not drinking enough water if I'm not exercising or seriously thirsty, so adding fresh flavors to it encourages me to drink more of it. 
Makes enough for one—1 min 
1 glass of water 
A couple icecubes 
2-3 blackberries
1 slice of lemon 
2 leaves of basil (rip them up to dispel more flavor)

Between then and dinner I had a couple spoonfuls of Safeway caramel ice cream, but it's not too pretty so I won't show it here. Besides cooking, studying, and watching anime I didn't do much and rarely left the house save my one short walk to the park. If you're looking for a good anime to watch I *highly* recommend Psycho Pass. 

DINNER: Soba Noodles with Warm Brussels Sprout Salad 

Brussels sprouts are horribly underrated in my opinion. They resemble teeny weeny cabbages. That's so cute! How do people not like them?? I followed this recipe: ( 

Soba is a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat and has a darker brown color. You can find it and its dipping sauce at most asian markets. 

Makes enough for one—6 mins 
1 handful of soba noodles
A bowl of cold water
2-4 tablespoon of soba noodle sauce
Shredded dried seaweed to garnish
1 tsp chopped green onion to garnish 

1. Place a pot of water on the stove and get it boiling. 
2. Cook the soba noodles for 3-5 minutes. 
3. Traditionally soba is usually served cold so you can submerge it in cold water but if you don't care and you want to save water because you live in California, you can skip this step. 
4. Plate your soba and add your garnishes and then add your sauce.

If you can't find the sauce you can use soy sauce, mirin, and dried bonito until you achieve your desired taste. 

I was really surprised by these, the flavor had an unprecedented depth and richness even though the ingredients are relatively light. The salad is quite filling while providing incredible nutrition. 

Makes enough for two—10 mins 
1 lb. brussels sprouts
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey 
2 tbsp butter
Handful of crushed walnuts
Handful of dried cranberries
Salt and pepper

1. Wash and cut the stems of the brussels sprouts then slice them in half lengthwise
2. In a pan on medium-high, heat the butter until melted
3. Add the brussels sprouts then salt and pepper and mix to make sure the sprouts are coated 
4. Put a lid over the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until fork-tender. 
5. White the sprouts are cooking, in a separate bowl mix the vinegar and honey together. This gives the brussels sprouts an alluringly sweet flavor. 
6. Take the sprouts out and into a mixing bowl and add the dressing, then walnuts and cranberries.

DESSERT: Blackberry Smoothie Popsicles

My mom had made a smoothie earlier but there was too much so I poured some into these popsicle molds instead. Four hours later, they prove to be perfect for dessert! The molds from Daiso make four small popsicles and have little spouts for you to drink up any melted popsicle you may have left. How thoughtful! 

I have no idea what my mom put in this smoothie. It just tastes like a ton of fruit, which, by the way, are just ripened plant ovaries. (Have fun studying for AP and SAT Bio everyone). If I did make the smoothie I would want something like this: 

Makes enough for smoothie for two and some popsicles—5-10 mins plus 3-4 hrs freezing time
1/2 cup blackberries 
1/2 cup raspberries 
1/3 cup coconut flavored almond milk OR 1/4 cup of actual coconut milk sounds yummy too 
1 banana 
A couple of ice cubes 

1. Blend the ice first 
2. Then add in the fruit and then liquid last 
3. Pour into popsicle mold, and freeze for 3-4 hours 
4. To take them out pour hot water over the mold to easily remove them. 

Let us know if you try any of these out! 

- K

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Forward

Although we lose an hour of sleep this weekend, at least we know later sunsets and warmer days are to come. This weekend in the Bay Area is full of blue days and sunny skies, so K and I have brought out the start of our spring wardrobes for this post. (Of course, we’ll still go spring shopping to replenish and renew our closets for the warmer seasons ;) ) Please check out A’s (our lovely photographer) beautiful travel blog.

K's Outfit

From a young age I have always held fashion with a certain fascination. Fashion is transformative. It has allowed me to redefine who I am with a simple change of clothes. Somedays the preppy pleated skirt must find its way in my outfit and on other days I just want to bust out the obnoxious gold disco pants. Yesterday I could be into streetwear, today I could be into k-fashion, and tomorrow I could be feeling bohemian.

But today my outfit makes me feel some what like Marilyn Monroe. In fact, the skirt I am wearing is a tennis skirt from the 50’s that I found in a thrift store near Berkeley for $15. The pleated circle skirt’s annoyingly flirtatious fabric has given me a fair share of scandalous moments reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s subway grate “mishap”. The red, white, and navy blue colors also make me think this’d be a perfect Fourth of July outfit.

The silhouette of the breezy skirt and the cut-out, bustier type top makes it very appropriate for spring and summer climates. I rolled up the hem of the top to fit with the higher waisted skirt, and can roll it back down to fit with moderately high-waisted jeans. I’m really loving this unique top because of it’s fun pattern that adds a cheerful touch to my wardrobe. Recently I’ve been into exposing a bit of midriff. I haven’t delved far into this trend before so it’s interesting for me to try out. Usually I prefer contacts over my glasses since it’s less of a hassle and looks better but in this outfit I think they add to this look here.  
I ended the look with some oxford flats for a preppy feel. This pair was from F21 and as you can see, have been quite beaten and frayed at the shoelaces. I’ve been meaning to tape them back up but just haven’t gotten around to it. BEWARE these shoes have absolutely no traction. I have landed squarely on my butt many a time while running to class because of these slippery soles.

S's Outfit

Today’s outfit is pretty urban, with a bit of a retro, cutesy twist (hence the mysterious stare towards the right side of the photo). The cropped fishtail jacket is definitely more of a masculine and urban styled piece, but I think it balances well with the floral prints and more feminine details of other pieces of clothing such as the collar on my shirt, my oxfords, and my golden bar necklace.

My collared chiffon blouse is from Urban Outfitters, found at the bottom of a heap clearance clothing for $5.99 - thank goodness for the store’s 50% off Clearance sales. The shirt has a unique, diamond like floral print, and I just can’t get over the peter pan collar. The shirt is pretty sheer, so I always pair it with a bandeau of bralette underneath. The golden bar necklace is from H&M, and while it looks nice, it’s broken on me plenty of times! I still love it regardless, I think it adds the perfect touch to many outfits.


Being the height that I am, finding pants can be quite a nuisance, especially as I’m not one to get clothes tailored. I’d been looking for looser-fitting, breezy pants for awhile, and came across this pair from Nordstrom, by Lush, in about December. These pants are great for warmer days and a great alternative to jeans, because let’s be honest, you’ve gotta give your legs a break from being so restricted all the time.

I’m all for floral prints - and anything that comes in black, so these were an automatic “YES” for me when I saw them. Best part - they were 50% off for $22.99! In all seriousness, not only are they cute and chic, but they are so comfortable as well. They’re so soft, I could sleep in them.

Lastly - my long loved and very worn out oxfords (let’s just call them vintage). I got these almost three years ago, but have never stopped loving them. They are my go-to flats, as my feet aren’t quite suited to the shape of ballet flats. My favorite part of these shoes are the black outlining/detailing, I think it makes the shoes pop and stand out a bit more than they would without it.

On S:
Headband - F21
Necklace - H&M
Cropped Fishtail Jacket - Delia’s
Collared Blouse - Urban Outfitters
Track Pants - Nordstrom (Lush)
Oxfords - DSW (Not Rated)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cali Sundays: Denim Shorts and Dim Sum

What was an obligatory food review for my school's magazine publication became a blogging opportunity. Sunday was idyllic and warm enough that the environment enabled me to wear shorts. Even though the warmth was quickly replaced with a cool chill on Monday, the reprieve from colder temperatures was greatly appreciated. I've always been a shorts-and-tank kind of person because I love the tingling sensation of sunshine on my skin that comes every spring and summer. Please excuse my awkward stance as I found this was the least awkward photo from a plethora of other horrifying options. 

Many things I want to say about this shawl that I'm wearing: 1) I made it for five dollars using this tutorial and a scarf from H&M  2) It should *not* be called a kimono. Calling this shawl a kimono is actually cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is when someone takes part of another culture and adopts it without recognition of the significance of what they have appropriated. This doesn't sound bad but it can get offensive really quickly. I don't think many people know what cultural appropriation is (at least I didn't until the magazine I write and draw for wrote an article on it)  and how insensitive and inaccurate we are every time we call this article of clothing a "Kimono". A kimono is far more elaborate and holds much more cultural importance than those at Brandy Melville could ever express. I'm not calling for a boycott of these trendy shawls (though lets be real selling flimsy fabric for over $50 is kind of an injustice), but let's just rethink what we call these breezy pieces :) 

This shawl took me about 5 minutes to figure out? It was really easy and I love the colors! 

I found this gold snakeskin print bag in the recesses of my mothers closet. I have no idea where she got it and how often she must have worn this baby in her 20's but I now use it for almost every outing. 

This silver bracelet was actually a gift from a beloved Aunt in China. 谢谢小舅妈!You can't really see it in this photo but the bangle has a star charm and a doll face charm. It goes with so many outfits and every time I wear it I'm reminded of the family I have in China <3
I bought this crop top from Choies and it came out to be a little more cropped and looser than I'd hoped. However, it works out well here with the high waisted shorts so that I'm only exposing a classy bit of midriff. It's a very comfortable, stretchy material but the sleeves also end at a bit of an awkward length, and without staying tight. Overall I really like the items I got from Choies but I wish processing and shipping was a little quicker :/ It was my first time ordering but I thought the VIP membership points were very disorganized and not made lucid to customers. They have very cute clothes and very affordable prices though so I can't really complain.

Shawl- DIY (scarf from H&M) 
Striped 3/4 Sleeve Crop Top- Choies
High-waisted Shorts- F21
Sunglasses- Stanford Bookstore 
Silver Bangle- Gift 
Assorted Leather Bracelets- Choies
Gold Bag- Mom 
Flip Flops- Old Navy (not pictured)

After my lovely photographer, E, helped me with these photos we went to divulge in my favorite food: dim sum. 

Ahhhh yes, obscure asian drinks! I grew up going to dim sum every other sunday lunch with my family in the very cantonese town of Union City. I've never gone without my family so this was exciting for me and I felt like such an adult. We went to Cooking Papa because it was the closest authentic dim sum place around. 
^ My photographer and partner-in-crime besides S.

Hong Kong Milk Tea $2.50- The tea flavor was deeper, richer, and more... burnt? But in a good way. Taiwanese milk teas tend to have more sugar and milk in them than I would like but this is more appropriate for a morning drink than boba.
 Steamed Pork Buns $2.50(I think?)- Cha shu bao, I've missed this so much! The fluffy, sweet and white dough resonated well with the barbeque-honey flavors of the pork. This is one of my childhood favorites.
 Steamed Shrimp Dumplings $4.50(I think?) The wrapping is clear and the bamboo in the shrimp filling offered good texture to the dumplings which I either never noticed or has become a unique variation on dumplings. 
 Siu Mai $4.50?- Another one of my favorites. Steamed pork and shrimp dumplings with fish eggs on top. 
Steamed Turnip Cake $3.50?- I usually like the fried version better but this was flavorful too. 

After dim sum, E and I went to Sno-Zen to have some shaved snow! I'm not sure how the Taiwanese come up with so many amazing snacks but props to them. 
 Not sure of the price but the shaved snow is vanilla with sweetened condensed milk, strawberries, and lychee jelly. The flavors together offered a quintessential asian taste commonly found with shaved snow and pearl milk teas. 

- K