Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Coat-Derek Lam
Scarf-United Colors of Benetton
Leather (faux) pants-H&M
Shoes-Pour La Victoire
Sunglasses-Stella McCartney

Happy Wednesday everyone! The weather has been wacky lately where it was below freezing temperatures all last week and just yesterday the temperatures hit the 60s. What a weirdo. 

I bundled up in my new coat I bought over the holidays during the winter chill we had on the east coast a couple of days ago--the beautiful bold color is the perfect way to lift my spirits from the dismal weather we've been having lately. While my sister and I were shopping at Bergdorf Goodman over the holidays in NYC, she first spotted this coat for me and knew I would love it. She was right. I immediately fell in love with the color, the leather trimming, the whimsical cut of the coat, and the red slash marks on the price tag. Sold.

There are days when I feel lazy with outfits and would rather have my coat do the talking. This would be one of those days.

Have a great rest of the week. Xo.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I...

1. Got a call from my sister who told me there's an Alexis Bittar sale with jewelry priced at extra 50% off. This is one of my favorite jewelry designers (and apparently Michelle Obama's too!) so I was ecstatic to find out that the ring I've been eyeing for months has been further reduced. It's been sold out in-stores at Neiman Marcus and Saks so I thought there was no chance in getting that ring but the actual store had it in stock! Sometimes, it's worth it to be patient.

2. Went to the drug store to pick up some last minute travel essentials in preparation for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica. I'm leaving next weekend and couldn't be more happier to escape this freezing cold weather the East coast has been having and bask in 80 degree temperatures instead. Vacation countdown has officially begun.

3. Went to go eat xiao long bao (soup dumplings)at a recently discovered and opened Shanghai restaurant in Maryland. For the longest time, Maryland/DC didn't have a place that make delicious soup dumplings and I couldn't be more happier then to discover Shanghai Taste located in Rockville, MD. It's no Din Tai Fung but for now, this will satisfy my xiao long bao cravings. Warning: the menu is all in Chinese.

4. Sent out several thank you cards in the mail for friends who attended my housewarming party last weekend. All came bearing gifts and I just wanted to write them a personal note of thanks for coming. I love receiving snail mail and feel like it's a lost form of etiquette these days due to the electronic route. It definitely took some time to write all those cards but all worth it in the end.

5. Cooked dinner (Baked Ziti) using a recipe from America's Test Kitchen and invited my friend Mel and her husband over for dinner. She's been watching my dog, Mandu for the past couple of days since my parents have been on vacation and my work schedule consisted of long hours last week so I wanted to treat them both to a home cooked meal. Sunday nights are made for home cooked meals and sharing that with friends is a bonus.

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 25, 2013

NomNom: Fish Tacos

I absolutely love fish tacos. The combination of fresh fish wrapped in a warm tortilla all nestled in between buttery avocado, fresh vegetables, and drizzled with a creamy sauce? It's so darn good.

The only problem I've faced living in the Washington, DC area is actually finding a place that makes great ones. I did find a fantastic little hole in the wall place called Pica Taco on U street last year that make mean fish tacos, but I figured it's about due time I just make it myself so I can eat it whenever I have a craving for it (which is quite often).

After perusing the web for recipes I decided to give Martha Stewart's a try. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the recipe, the way she cooked her fish, the red cabbage slaw that adorns the fish, and the lime juice/sour cream dressing. The glorious list goes on and on.

I initially made these fish tacos about a month ago and since then, I've made it three times. I fell in love with it at first bite and can boldly challenge you to find me a better tasting AND more simple recipe than Ms. Stewart's.

The slaw adds a fresh crunch and has the most perfect spicy kick from the jalapeno peppers (I left the seeds in) much so that I found myself eating it on it's own. A salad if you will. Next time I have left overs, I'm gonna try adding this in my sandwiches. Oh yes. 

I've encountered many restaurants that coat the fish in batter to deep fry it for their tacos but I actually prefer eating the fish with somewhat of a freshness still in tact and this recipe does that job well.

I'm telling you, this fish taco recipe is legit. Gosh, that Martha Stewart knows what's up.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from Yields: 4
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, one half minced (I left the seeds in for a spicy kick)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tilapia fillets (or other firm white fish), cut into 16 equal strips
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss cabbage, scallions, and minced jalapeno with remaining sour-cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and remaining jalapeno half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches (starting with larger pieces), cook fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard jalapeno.

3. Meanwhile, warm tortillas according to package instructions.

4. To make tacos, fill tortillas with slaw, fish, and fresh cilantro leaves. Drizzle with reserved sour-cream mixture. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Blouse, blazer-J.Crew
Purse-Chanel WOC
Shoes-Vera Wang Lavender Label

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you're staying warm--the East coast got slapped majorly with a cold chill yesterday and today. When I got into my car this morning, the temperature read 15 degrees. Crazy. 

I wore this outfit before the chill so on an extra cold day like today, I'd probably wear a sweater on top of the striped blouse for the added warmth. Since I like to layer clothes in the winter time, I took out my old Theory turtleneck to wear underneath the blouse and finished the look with this wool mint blazer from J.Crew. It's hard to find a nice, thicker material blazer that's flattering on you with out it looking too bulky and I think this one fits the bill.

Hope you guys are staying warm in this weather. Xo.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I....

1. Went out to eat with my family at Maggianos (my parent's love that place) because it's been awhile since we've all got together. My sister was in town this weekend from NYC which made it all the more sense.

2. Picked up some flowers for my housewarming. I couldn't decide on what kind to get and ended up with these beautiful tulips. I added a black/white polka dot ribbon around the vase to finish the look.

3. Finally hosted my housewarming. The party's been over due but nonetheless celebrated the occasion with a bunch of my good friends. The food turned out wonderfully (from what I hear) and everyone seemed to have a great time. There were lots of beer and plenty of wine that was served and the last set of guests didn't end up leaving until midnight. I'd say it was a success;)

4. Had a mini candy corner at the housewarming and one of the items I made was chocolate covered bacon. It was only a matter of time this was gonna happen in my kitchen and this weekend was that time. A definite hit at the party.

5. Was so tired after hosting the housewarming and was relieved that date night was planned the day after because I was in no mood to cook after the party. I decided to wear my new chevron and sequin top I bought from J.Crew a month ago to dine at Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi in Washington, DC. Though it was our first time there, we were so impressed by the food, service and decor of the place. After reading food reviews on the place, people highly suggested ordering the Ahi tuna carpaccio as an appetizer, and order away we did. Oh man, it was melt in your mouth delicious...I mean, I'm still thinking about it today. Our entree consisted of a warm and creamy Parpadelle of Polenta (wild boar bolognese) and a beautifully plated and heavenly tasting Tortelloni of Duck Confit. I'll end my quick review like this: Fiola has now been nominated as my new favorite Italian restaurant in Washington, DC. Major nom.

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 18, 2013

NomNom: Filipino Chicken Adobo

I'm always curious when it comes to native food from other cultures. Whenever I travel to a foreign country, I make it a point to look up food establishments prior to the trip so that I can fully embrace their culture and cuisine and not just "wing it." Although I admit, some of the best food memories I have from my travels have come from recommendations made by local shop owners. Trust me, they know the hidden gems.

I have yet to visit the Philippines and will admit, I am not too familiar in their cuisine; however, I do know "adobo" style of cooking is their thing. It's a style of cooking that either involves meat or seafood which is marinated in a sauce with lots of garlic and vinegar.

I've made this dish several times and it's one of those easy recipes that matches chicken and rice together perfectly. The recipe yields enough sauce where the chicken can absorb the flavors and be drizzled on your rice. Don't you just love that?

The sharp acidity from the vinegar plays so well with the sweetness from the coconut milk and after the chicken has been braising for a couple of hours, the meat just falls apart oh so wonderfully. It's a simple dish that can be part of your dinner rotation with no fuss and sure to please the family.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
8 bone in chicken thighs, trimmed
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 can coconut milk
3/4 cider vinegar
8 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons pepper
1 scallion, sliced (optional)

1. Toss chicken w/ soy sauce in large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 min and up to 1hr.

2. Remove chicken from soy sauce. Transfer chicken, skin side down to 12 inch nonstick skillet, set aside soy sauce.

3. Place skillet over medium high heat and cook until chicken skin is browned, 7-10 min. While chicken is browning, whisk coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and pepper into soy sauce.

4. Transfer chicken to plate and discard fat in skillet. Return chicken to skin side down, add coconut milk mixture, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Flip chicken skin side up and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and tent
loosely with aluminum foil.

5. Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off surface of sauce. Return skillet to medium high heat and cook until sauce is thickened, 5-7 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with scallion and serve.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Classic Edge

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Jacket-J.Crew (on sale HERE)
Striped shirt-Ann Taylor
Leather (faux) pants-H&M
Bracelets-Hermes, Sequins via Neiman Marcus
Boots-Via Spiga
Sunglasses-Stella McCartney

The weather has been rather dismal and rainy here in the Washington, DC area for the past couple of days which makes me want to add a pop of color to my outfits for a bit of sunshine. I instantly fell in love with the feminine color of this jacket and the bold black stripes that line the edges when I saw it at the store (current in-store promotion is extra 40% off sale items). I wanted to follow that lined theme/color and pair it with a striped shirt and maintain the colors all within black, white, and, pink. Wearing it with leather pants also gives this classic lady jacket an edge, no?;)

Have a great rest of the week! Xo.    

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I....

1. Took my friend to one of my favorite sandwich shops, Fast Gourmet. It's located inside a gas station but it's not what you think. They operate their business inside a gas station but its a legit food establishment and from what I read, they are expanding their business soon to another location in Washington, DC. I ordered their artery clogging yet deliciousness of a sandwich called the Chivito which consists of steak, ham, olives, mozzarella cheese, hard boiled eggs, and bacon. Oh my gosh, and those fries. Perfectly crisp. Oh and ask for their house sauce--it reminds me of a spicy pesto. I use it as a dipping sauce for the fries and to add on my sandwich. It's highly addicting.

2. Dived right into the new February issues of some of my favorite magazines. I've realized that I've sort of become a magazine hoarder.

3. Painted my nails with a new color and somewhat finalized my food list for my housewarming next weekend. Embarrassingly enough, I haven't had an official one yet, even after a year later since I bought my place. But timing and being satisfied with the decor was always the main issue for the party planning and next weekend seemed to be the best time. I also found out that my sister and my friend who lives in Arizona will be visiting next weekend and both of them will be attending! This is my first time hosting a large group at my place, so it should be fun. Note to self: don't stress.

4. I made fish tacos, using Martha Stewart's recipe. I first made this a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with it so I had to make it again. It's so hard to find a good place that makes fish tacos in this area and now I no longer have to search for a place because I'll just make it myself. Recipe coming atcha soon.

5. Bought a couple of DVDs to add to my very sparse collection. I finally bought a blu ray DVD player on Black Friday and actually have been without one since I bought my place. Yea yea, I know. I'm not really one of those type of people that watch movies at home but I figured that since I have a 55 inch flat screen, I should optimize that use. I watched Pitch Perfect over the holidays with my sister and was initially skeptical about the movie, but after watching it, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Great cast and very funny writing. Taken is also a movie I really enjoyed watching from back in the day so that was an obvious purchase.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Sweater (old), jacket (similar but in white)-Theory
Leather (faux) pants-H&M
Bag-Balenciaga (similar style here)
Sunglasses-Stella McCartney
Ankle boots-Via Spiga (old)

My everyday comfort wear during the winter usually consists of a big cozy sweater along with a warm and stylish coat. I obviously still haven't had enough of wearing leather in my outfits and will probably continue embracing this trend until the weather warms up;)

Not one to usually wear only dark colors in my oufits, I couldn't resist injecting a little color into the outfit with my beloved red Balenciaga bag.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Color Story

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Tweed jacket, striped top-J.Crew (currently on SALE and extra 30% off)
Shoes-Pour La Victoire

Sometimes it's so easy to get comfortable with one style of denim that I tend to forget about the other jeans I've collected over the years. I originally wore this outfit with skinny jeans but decided to change into my old bootcut jeans that have been forgotten. It's so easy to neglect current items in your closet when certain styles become trendy and I'm going to make a conscious effort not to do so. 

Have a great rest of the week! Xo.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I...

1. Had the food experience of a lifetime by dining at Rogue 24. It's a restaurant that boasts a 16 or 24 course tasting menu executed by Chef R.J.Cooper (we chose the 24 course). Unfortunately no pictures are allowed which was a good thing because it allows you to focus on the beautiful food prepared for you instead of focusing on getting the right angle, lighting, etc for a picture. They provided a printed menu for us at the end of the meal, which was thoughtful and I'll probably write this in the books as one of my favorite dining experiences. Thanks for taking me there Sung--epic night.

2. Explored Eastern Market for the first time. Unfortunately we caught the tail end of the market as many tables were closing shop for the day but we got to explore what the market provided. There were all sorts of tables that were selling things from handmade jewelery to home decor knick knacks. I'll be coming back here when the weather warms up a bit more.

3. Since we were in the Eastern Market neighborhood, I wanted to stop by The Sweet Lobby since a friend mentioned this place to me awhile ago about how their macarons were up there with Lauduree. We couldn't resist waiting until after dinner to eat them so we snuck a couple pieces in. These macarons were probably the best ones I've had in DC so far, but I would've liked more poignant flavors to come through with the Rose and the Green tea. The Hazelnut salted caramel and Earl grey were my favorite out of the bunch. For dinner we were craving something warm and soupy so we went to check out Sakuramen. Since there isn't that many ramen places in DC, I was curious to see how this place would fare compared to Toki Underground. I ordered the spicy miso ramen and pretty much wanted to take the broth home with me. The waiter asked me on a scale of 1-5, how spicy I wanted my ramen and I told him 4. It was the perfect amount of spice in the broth--the kind where it doesn't immediately hit your palate as you taste it but instead has a spicy kick in a couple seconds. My only negative about the ramen was that the noodles could've been cooked longer but the delicious broth overshadowed that mistake so I will be coming back.

4. Went to see C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters on stage. It's originally a novel written by Christian writer C.S. Lewis depicting Screwtape's (the demon) letters to his nephew Wormword on the portrayal of living a Christian faith viewed from the devils point of view. Final performances for this show was this past weekend.

5. Met up and had dinner with a blast from the past childhood friend of mine at Blue Duck Tavern. It was a great night consisting of melt in your mouth food (we ordered the wagyu beef and seared duck breast), a bottle of really smooth Malbec, and a dinner conversation reminiscing about our childhood days and what we've been up to since then. Good times.

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 4, 2013

NomNom: One Pot Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

This past week has been bitter cold here in the east coast and when the weather turns a corner like that and gives us a blast of chilly air, I seek warm, comfort food. Savory broths, soups or hearty dishes are pretty much what I yearn during the winter and this mac n' cheese recipe I'm sharing with you today is pretty much perfect to eat all winter....spring....summer....fall....365 days of the year long. Really.

When I made this baked mac n' cheese dish several months ago, I mentioned that mac n' cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods to eat and though I love to experiment with various ways to cook it all fancy, I still love the good ol' simplistic, cheesy, stove top way of cooking it. The stove top way doesn't require as much steps compared to the baked route and is seriously just as good.

So the crazy thing about this recipe is that it requires only ONE POT and NO OVEN IS REQUIRED. You cook the pasta in one pot and then continue the recipe in that same pot with the pasta. It's glorious because washing dishes is one thing I don't particularly enjoy when in the kitchen after prepping/cooking. I usually delegate that task to the guy, naturally.

The holidays haven't fared well for my waistline and I suppose this dish hasn't helped any but whatever. I mean, I had leftover broccoli in the refrigerator so I tossed that in the pot to make myself feel better, ok? Life is too short to worry about that extra pound (go exercise! eat in moderation! make this recipe!).

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Recipe (Adapted from Yields 3-4
2 cups large elbow Macaroni, uncooked (about 1/2 lb)
2 cups low fat Milk (about 16 oz) , or more if needed
If more milk is needed, additional 1/4 cup milk at a time for final cooking. Macaroni pasta varies so much. Have additional milk on hand, or be ready to increase the heat if your macaroni doesn't absorb fast enough.
1 tablespoon Butter, for flavor
1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
1 teaspoon Salt, plus additional for final season later
Generous dash of Nutmeg
1 cup Grated Cheese, any one or combination of  (jack, cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan*, asiago*, pecorino*) *Hard cheeses are best combined with a secondary,  softer, better melting cheese. Cheese varies in flavor and salt level too!
Additional (optional) toppings: bacon bits, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, leftover veggies
Black pepper to taste (optional)

1. Place raw elbow macaroni in colander and quickly rinse under water. Let drain.

2. In medium sauce pan (about 3.5 qt), add milk, raw elbow macaroni, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg.

3. On medium heat, slowly bring milk/macaroni mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently as it comes up to a simmer. This will separate macaroni and keep them from sticking together. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! The milk mixture will come to a boil very quickly and leaving it unattended will leave a big mess on your stove stop.

4. Once mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn down heat to LOW. Macaroni will slowly cook in the milk. Having your heat too high will evaporate the milk too quickly!

5. Continue to stir the mixture frequently so that macaroni will cook evenly and absorb milk evenly. If you don't stir your mixture frequently, you will get a big clump of macaroni in the end! Stir, stir stir!

6. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until milk has been fully absorbed. **If macaroni is not cooked fully, add a little more milk or water  to mixture ( in small amounts) until macaroni is fully cooked. This will take about another 5 minutes.

7. When milk has evaporated, stir in grated cheese of your choice. Stir the  cheese evenly into the macaroni.

8. Turn off heat. Place lid on top of pan and cover for about 5 minutes. This rest period will allow macaroni to plump up and absorb any excess milk.

9. Take a final taste and add additional salt to taste. Before serving, stir one final time to mix everything together. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Laid Back & Reflections

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Leather jacket-Theory
Chambray shirt, beanie-H&M
Jeans-J Brand
Shoes-Sam Edelman 
Necklace-David Yurman

Hi everyone! Now that the holiday season is officially over, life will hopefully slow down a bit for me (and you). I guess you can say this outfit reflects the relaxed attitude I'm feeling right now.

New years day always has me in a retrospective mood but also has me looking forward to the new year in terms of goals and personal growth for myself. There were many highlights in 2012 such as amazing opportunities and unexpected features with my blog, existing friendships that grew stronger, new friends gained, buying my first home/learning the responsibility that comes with home ownership, and going back to church. The lows of last year was definitely the death of my grandmother, coping with the grieving process that comes with the death of a loved one, and the sad realization that some friendships just aren't worth nurturing and are better left in the past. 

I hope that 2012 was a joyful one for you and that my little corner of the web has been somewhat inspirational to you through outfit ideas or encouraged you to get in the kitchen and experiment with recipes. I'm excited to see what 2013 has in store for me and that you'll stick around to find out.

Happy new year and have a great rest of the week. Xo.