Friday, December 19, 2014

NomNom: Molasses Cookies

I hope I'm not the only one that is feeling all sorts of alarmed that Christmas is less than a week away. How did that even happen?! I love the holidays around this time but for some reason I feel like Christmas this year creeped up way faster than usual which has me doing the last minute holiday scramble which includes baking holiday cookies!

I've been on a spice kick lately which has transcended to my dessert cravings, so allow me to introduce to you today's most soft, chewy, and perfectly spiced molasses cookies. If these don't scream holiday cookies to you then…we can't be friends. Heart you.

There's a wonderful harmony of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar that blend so well together in these cookies that it's hard to eat just one. The lack of self control I have at times had me inhale three cookies in a row after impatiently watching them cool. Classy, I know.

I'd like to think that the flavors in these cookies are an homage to this holiday season and since Christmas is right around the corner it only makes sense to bake them today. Or this weekend. Basically, soon.

These molasses cookies. Glass of milk/hot chocolate. Watching cheesy, holiday movies (my favorites are Elf and The Holiday) in your PJs.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from All Recipes) Yields: 30 cookies
3/4 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the softened butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll them in the white sugar. Flatten gently with your palm or smooth bottom of glass cup. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 7-9 minutes in the oven, until tops are cracked (recommend 7-8 min for soft and chewy texture). Cool on wire racks. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Brights

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Fur stole-vintage
Fold over Clutch-Clare V. (use code SHOP25 for 25% off, ends today)
Leather (faux) pants-BlankNYC
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

Happy Wednesday! The weather the past couple of days have been rainy and cold but the sun finally decided to peek through the clouds today so I decided to inject some of my favorite bright color pairings into my outfit today to go along with that winter sunshine;)

Have a great week. Xo.

Friday, December 12, 2014

NomNom: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

One of the things that brings me joy is sharing recipes and having food related conversations amongst friends. The simple enjoyment and shared curiosity of eating good food together are one of the many things that brings my friends and I together.

When a couple of girlfriends and I were planning one of our good friend's bachelorette party several years ago, we asked the bride to be how she wanted to celebrate and she told us that she wanted to go to NYC for the weekend to simply eat at all the restaurants that was on her list. A trip based solely on eating good food with your gal pals? Done and done. While planning her party, my friends and I literally made a google map of all the food places she wanted to try so that we could optimize our time in the city. Because that's just how we roll when it comes to food, though I'm pretty sure we came back home 5 lbs heavier. Whatever.

Today's soup recipe loosely comes from a potluck my friend Mel hosted a month ago which was based around a Fall theme. Another friend, another food story;) She made this exceptionally awesome butternut squash soup which I basically fell in love with that night and after she shared the recipe and tweaking it a bit in my kitchen to make it exactly how I would imagine the best butternut squash soup to taste like, I give you today's perfect winter soup. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and spices after the addition of spice measurements I included to the recipe. Oh, and please don't skip the step with roasting the garlic head because...roasted garlic in olive oil. Enough said.

The simplicity of this recipe and the earthiness it yields is so worth making. A perfect way to nourish and warm the body during these cold winter days.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Yields: 6 servings)
2 lb butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 garlic head, halved crosswise
2 Tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable)
2 small bay leaves
freshly ground pepper, salt
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Rub cut garlic surfaces with olive oil and put halves back together to reassemble garlic head. Wrap tightly in foil, bake for 40 minutes (bake this with the squash).

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40-45 minutes, 400 F. 

3. Meanwhile, in dutch oven or stockpot, melt butter. Add onion and cook until soft but not browned for about 10-13 minutes.

4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the peel. Cut the squash into large pieces and add to dutch oven along with sliced apples, broth, 2 tablespoons of sage, bay leaves, salt, pepper, curry powder, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.

5. Meanwhile, unwrap garlic from foil. Squeeze from skin into bowl and discard skin. Mash in bowl with fork and stir into soup.

6. Using immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot until smooth. 

7. Garnish with pepper and remaining sage leaves, serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Chambray shirt-H&M (old, similar here)
Hat-H&M (old, similar here)
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

Say hello to this new addition to my outwear family! I had my eyes on this Zara jacket when I first saw it in store about a month ago but walked away empty handed because my coat collection is already quite...abundant. A couple of weeks later I stopped by the store again to return a purchase and saw that the jacket got marked down! I basically took that as a sign, considering my size was also in stock (can you tell I was finding reasons to justify this purchase?) Anyway, it's one of my new favorite pieces I've been wearing consistently especially since it can instantly lift a plain outfit into something else. As Jenna Lyons states, " far as I'm concerned, leopard is a neutral."

Have a great week. Xo.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cropped Leather

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Leather jacket-Helmut Lang (similar version here)
Shoes- Enzo Angiolini (similar option here)

Happy Friday everyone! The weather's a bit gloomy over here in the DMV area but at least the weekend is finally here. So looking forward to catching up with friends, trying out a new restaurant, baking holiday goodies, and getting the last of the holiday decorations up around the place.

Have a wonderful weekend. Xo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toggle Coat

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Coat-Uniqlo (smilar here and here)
Scarf-Zara (from last year, similar option here)
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

One of my favorite places to shop when in NYC is Uniqlo--word on the streets is that they are opening a store in Virginia!! The quality of their clothes and price point can't be beat (highly recommend their warm ultra thin down coats for the winter) so when I was visiting my sister in the city a month ago, I had to stop by. While browsing through the store, I immediately gravitated towards this coat because of the vibrant color red color and the toggle buttons. Pairing the red coat with my favorite tartan print scarf puts me in the holiday mood and excited for what December has to offer:)

Have a great week. Xo.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kick It

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Coat-Kate Spade New York (this years version here)
Turtleneck-Ann Taylor (use code SHOPANN for 40% off)
Pants-H&M (old similar style here)
Sneakers-Nike (bought it in Japan but similar style here)

Hi everyone! The east coast was experiencing some unusually warm temperatures the past couple of days (with the exception of today's snow day!!) which didn't require heavy coats so I used that as an opportunity to wear my light weight leopard jacket instead. It is one of my favorite coats in my closets for obvious reasons, so any chance I can get to wear this leopard print makes me happy;)

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Eat well, safe travels (if you are), and hope you get the chance to spend time with your loved ones. Xo.

Friday, November 21, 2014

NomNom: Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall evokes many things for me. It's a season of change where the chill in the air is more noticeable and you know that winter is creeping right around the corner. I have an aversion to freezing temperatures so hibernation mode has been on this week since mother nature apparently wanted us to experience a glimpse of winter already. However, I love that I can finally take out my warm sweaters, coats, and cozy scarves and know that my favorite holidays will also be coming up soon.

In terms of food, I'm not a huge pumpkin person. I know people get giddy as soon as Starbucks puts their pumpkin spice latte on the menu but I just can't get on board with that excitement. That drink just tastes awful to me. Same goes for pumpkin pie. Not only do I think that it's just way too much pumpkin flavor for me but I dislike the texture of it so it's always been a pass for me whenever I see it on the menu/table. Not even a second glance.

Pumpkin bread has always been the exception and a favorite for me, but it's also one of those tricky desserts where it has to have the perfect balance of spices and sweetness to evoke just the right amount of pumpkin spice taste. When I came across this pumpkin cake recipe, I was fully interested in making it since the ingredients needed were similar to my go to pumpkin bread recipe, only with slight differences.

So let's talk about the cream cheese frosting. I don't even like frosting but cream cheese frosting is special. It gets me. There is nothing new about cream cheese frosting but the combination of pumpkin cake with cream cheese together is really something. A relationship that makes absolute sense, similar to carrot cake and cream cheese. Trust me when I say that this is the perfect pumpkin cake with equal parts sweetness and spices that is decadently moist <---KEY. I mean I'll just put it this way--my newfound problem with portion control I never knew I had suddenly had became an issue when eating this cake.

After reading people's review on this recipe, the only changes I made was adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract, increasing the ground ginger amount, and decreasing the sugar in the frosting. This recipe is 1000 percent going into my recipe archives and will debut again for Thanksgiving per the request of loved ones and for the purpose of having leftovers. Because cake for breakfast is always a good idea. In bed. Crumbs optional.

Have a great weekend. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from
2 cups of sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pumpkin puree or cooked mashed pumpkin

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Combine sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

2. Sift dry ingredients in separate bowl; stir into oil mixture, beating well. Stir in pumpkin puree.

3. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Turn onto racks to cool. Frost pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Makes enough for 2-layer cake or 1 large round cake.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Put a Pin On It

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Blazer-Elie Tahari
Coated jeans-AG Jeans
Belt-Ann Taylor (old, similar HERE)
Shirt-Old Navy

Whenever I go on trips and end up buying a special piece from the country I traveled to, it makes that item a bit more special. I have been wanting to buy a Chanel brooch for awhile now but held off on purchasing one because the size of the brooches I kept seeing were too small (my Chanel SA informed me that only the vintage pieces were larger in size). While I was in Hong Kong, my sis and I were window shopping to kill some time before meeting with my friend K.L. for afternoon tea and somehow found ourselves inside the Chanel store;) I asked to see the brooches they had in stock and basically fell in love with the brooch I am wearing today. It was apparently a new style that just came out (half pearls/half crystals) and the size was perfect. The pin wasn't too small where it looked disproportionate when worn on tops/blazers or too big where it just looked obnoxious. This is one of those classic pieces I see myself wearing for years to come and will also hold as a special reminder from my fun trip to Hong Kong.

Have a great week. Xo. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I….

1. Added this new Alexis Bittar necklace to my accessory drawer, after stalking it ninja style, waiting for it to drop in price. Today is the last day for Bloomingdales friends and family sale for extra 20% using code HOLIDAY. Thanks to my sis for the heads up.

2. Watched another documentary from Netflix called Blackfish. I've mentioned several months ago I've been on this documentary kick and it hasn't changed…if anything my interest for documentaries have intensified. It sounds nerdy but I find them fascinating. Anyway, the most recent ones I've seen so far are Fat, Dead and Nearly Dying, Spinning Plates, and Blackfish. I highly recommend watching all of them, especially the first two if you are interested in food. Blackfish, however has nothing to do with food but focuses on a killer whale at SeaWorld who ends up killing his trainer and interviews former SeaWorld trainers who tells you what goes behind the scenes with training these whales. It was horrific and saddening to watch the emotional/physical abuse that occurs (have tissues ready) and it's only deepened my major dislike of places like SeaWorld and Ringling Bros. Please watch.

3. Received the last of my Sephora stash from their friends and family sale that occurred last week. Most of the products I ordered are things I needed to restock on but I'm especially happy to have bought a new perfume I've been eyeing--Carven. I'm not a huge perfume person (only own Chanel Chance) because I just don't care for perfumes and a bit particular with scents; however when I first smelled this at Saks Fifth Avenue a couple months ago I was hooked. It's light and sweet with soft notes of floral. Love.

4. Finally checked out Compass Rose Bar, located in Washington, DC. The menu of this gastropub is a collection of international dishes from various countries the chef has traveled to. Loved the cocktails and low key atmosphere of this place and it was fun trying out different dishes that didn't focus entirely on one type of food. Unfortunately they don't take reservations so prepare to wait.

5. Took another pilates class this weekend. I started trying pilates (with the reformer machines) and it's...hard. My thighs and arms burn after class but I suppose that's a good sign. The past couple weeks I have been trying out different studios via classpass (cycling, pilates, purebarre) and I will do a collective review on all the studios because not all studios are created equal.

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 14, 2014


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Dress-Ann Taylor (on sale use code FRIENDS40)
Shirt-Old Navy
Leather bracelet-Hermes
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

Happy Friday! I've been wearing both this button down shirt and dress over and over again and I actually have another outfit post coming soon wearing this shirt again. What can I say? I like to maximize the wear on my clothing purchases;) Oh and I took this photo when the weather was a tad warmer (which explains the bare legs) compared to today's cold front and what's in store for us this weekend so black tights are now necessary. Sad.

Stay warm and have a great weekend. Xo.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Shirt-Ann Taylor
Faux leather jogger pants-F21(similar style here)

Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've done an outfit post which has partly been because I've been feeling uninspired and a bit burnt out with blogging. I wanted to detach myself from blogging to focus more on my personal life with out having to feel the pressure of trying to have posts ready for the week. The mini break is just what I needed to feel refreshed to blog again (with new ideas) and am looking forward to sharing regular outfit and food posts again with you. 

Have a great week. Xo.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I…

1. Went to a small potluck that Melanie hosted at her place. The theme was Autumn dishes so I made pumpkin cheesecake squares for dessert while she made butternut squash tortellini and butternut squash soup, which I think was the star of the meal. Another friend brought cheesy sweet potato fries and by the time we stuffed ourselves, we managed to have dessert and drinks along followed by a gab session that lasted until 2am. Good times.

2. Checked out the Arlington Farmers Market (vendors are there only on Saturdays) for the first time and was pleased with the abundance of fresh produce that was available. I picked up some apples and sweet potatoes that ended up being roasted in the oven. So simple, so good, so Fall.

3. Dined at America Eats Tavern which relocated to the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner. We ordered the braised short beef and vermicelli mac n' cheese (not pictured) and it was one of those meals where it wasn't bad but it wasn't exceptional either. The short ribs were cooked well and were tender but flavor wise, it was average. I'd be willing to try this place again but it's not a restaurant I would highly recommend either. Sorry Jose Andres.

4. Baked the most delicious and moist pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. I'm very particular when it comes to pumpkin flavored things (I hate pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pies) but I do enjoy pumpkin cake/bread if it has just the amount of pumpkin flavor/spices to it and this cake has it. I baked this for my friends since I was hosting a small potluck and also because I wanted to test this recipe before Thanksgiving and I'm 100% baking this again during the holidays. Time to hoard the pumpkin puree cans at the grocery store! Will share the recipe soon.

5. I finally wore my new Chanel brooch I bought from my recent trip to Hong Kong. It was one of those unplanned purchases that kind of happened and the fact there wasn't tax definitely made this purchase more favorable;)

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 31, 2014

As of Late

Took a silks class for the first time which made me realize how weak my upper body is but was fun, nonetheless.

Finally dined at Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn. This restaurant has been on my restaurant bucket list forever and I finally made it out to this Michelin rated steakhouse. The steak definitely lives up to the hype but I still think the best steak I ever had was in Argentina and Japan (Peter Luger comes next). I found it hilarious and awesome that they had bacon as an appetizer…just pure, unadulterated slabs of glorious bacon. Naturally, I had to order it. After cleaning our plates like the true gluttons we are (waiter was impressed), I noticed that several people were ordering dessert. At this point my jean buttons were about to pop but I ordered one anyway and let me tell you about this whipped cream that came out with the key lime pie. It was the BEST WHIPPED CREAM I EVER HAD. I don't even like whipped cream but I couldn't stop eating this by the spoonful and when I asked the waiter what was in it, he said it was a secret and that they had a designated person in charge of making it!! WHAT?! I asked twice for the recipe and was denied both times. Persistence didn't work that night. Oh and we saw Kate Upton and her bf dining a couple tables away from us that night!

Trying the lox and cream cheese on an everything bagel at Ess-A-Bagel. There really isn't anything I can say bad about this dreamy sandwich--a generous spread of cream cheese and velvety slices of lox in between a perfectly chewy, soft bagel with a slightly crispy coating. Next time I'm in the city I want to try the famous bagels from Russ and Daughters. I also couldn't leave with out a stop by Levain Bakery who makes the best oatmeal raisin cookies. Ever. Some people swear by their famous chocolate chip walnut cookie but I personally think their oatmeal raisin cookie tops it. I also got lucky and picked up the last sticky bun they had for the weekend (they're only made on the weekends) for my sister since she likes morning buns. She seemed to enjoy it although I felt indifferent about them. I'm not impressed with them as I am with their cookies. Ugh so good.
Temperatures are dropping which means sweater weather and wearing warm accessories such as cozy, blanket scarves. Both are recent (within a month) purchases from Zara.

Recently colored my hair a medium to dark brown shade. No more ombre...for now. But now that my hair has been colored and processed I am paranoid that it's damaged to the point where it will break off. My colorist swears by this nourishing oil by Kerastase and recommended it to me so I've been using it recently and have noticed that it definitely has helped put moisture back to my strands. I've always been a huge fan of Kerastase products...just not the price.
Still trying to organize all my travel photos from my DSLR camera and camera phone. This iPhone picture was taken from The Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong island. My selfie stick would've come in handy while I was up here but I bought it the day after!! This view though...
Recently bought this shift dress from Ann Taylor and it has been a favorite Fall layering piece. I wear it with a button down or a fitted 3/4 sleeve underneath and is a great work appropriate piece or to wear for a night out. Love the faux leather pocket panels and it's currently on sale for an additional 60% off right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Fall Stroll

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Shirt-Old Navy (also bought it in gray)
Jeans-Blank NYC
Blazer-Banana Republic (camel color sold out online but love this color here)
Shoes-Enzo Angiolini (similar style here)

Hi everyone! I just got back from my trip to Hong Kong and Seoul and am trying to get back to the groove of things. The first couple of days are always the toughest after a vacation especially when you're trying to get over jet lag. The absolute worst. 

The trip was so much fun, especially revisiting Seoul, my birthplace. It's been about 12 years since I've been back and I still have several relatives living there and it was so good to see all of them and spend quality time together during the trip. Hong Kong was great in its own ways because it was a new city to explore which had awesome (and cheap!) food and shopping--my two favorite things;) It felt like summer in Hong Kong though with temperatures reaching the mid 80's, so coming back home to this Fall chill was a drastic change. More on the trip on an upcoming post.

I recently purchased this blazer and button down shirt several weeks ago and both items have been on constant repeat since the purchase. The petite sizing on the blazer is the perfect fit (sleeves actually fit in length!) and I just love me a striped button down shirt that can be worn for both office wear and casual pairings (not to mention the hard to beat price at $10!).

Though this is a little off topic, I think it's worth mentioning. Last night I had the opportunity to attend Saks Fifth Avenues Annual "Key to the Cure" kickoff party who has teamed up with the Tigerlily Foundation, a non-profit that raises money for women 15-40 years old for support before, during, and after breast cancer.  The charity shopping weekend begins today until Sunday 10/19 at all Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide and online ( and During that shopping weekend 2% of participating vendor sales will be donated to Tigerlily Foundation and 100% of the proceeds from this years shirts (retails at $35, designed by Rag and Bone) sold at Saks stores and online, will be donated to the foundation. I have to admit that I forget to do at home breast self-exams and this event was a stark reminder to start making it a habit. I hope that you will make it a habit as well.

Wishing you guys a fantastic week/end. Xo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Vibes

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Gingham shirt-J.Crew (old but this years style here)
Jeans-Blank NYC
Shoes-Enzo Angiolini (no longer available online but similar style here)

Hi everyone! My apologizes for the absence of posts the past couple of weeks--it's been due to an accumulation of unusable blurry pics from a hopefully fixable lens, an extremely busy and tiring work schedule, and preparing for my upcoming trip to Hong Kong (crossing fingers the current situation over there dissipates and gets better by the time I visit) and Korea this weekend! It's so crazy how September just flew by and we are already in the month of October. Am I the only person that feels that way??

A couple of outfit posts ago, I first wore this sleeveless trench here and with the fluctuating weather we've been having lately, it has been the perfect layering piece for Fall. Repeat offender over here.

Hope you've been enjoying everything about Fall so far. Have a great week. Xo.