OUTFIT DETAILS:

Club Monaco Varsity Sweater (Similar here)
Urban Outfitters Mock-Neck Mini Dress
ASOS Midi Front Split Black Pencil Skirt
Thrifted Gold Tipped Leather Handbag
Zara Heels

Shop similar looks down below!


I guess the post should have been called four ways with the mock-neck dress. Oh wells..

Let me tell you, when I say this outfit can be worn 4 ways with the same items– it’s possible.

I started out wearing a mock-neck mini dress as a top piece that gave me a lot of upper coverage paired with a pencil skirt over for a more business appropriate place. A light varsity sweater to cover up the shoulders and take away from the fitted look, as well as go for the casual-relaxed look. Keeping in tune with this dark ensemble, I tossed on some minimal black heels.

From here and on… my outfit gets a wee bit outside my comfort zone, since I don’t normally like to prance around the public wearing skin tight clothing while baring my arms and legs. Surprisingly, not once did I go into a secluded area to change either. So call me bold..since I really just went for it and simply slipped off my pencil skirt in public. Something youthful and hilarious about doing that. From there I was ready to go out, with my sweater for coverage of course. I saved both the exposed arms and legs for for the rest of the later evening. Good for a busy Friday right? (I actually kept the skirt and sweater on eventually since the night cooled down and on top I went out for some good o’ Bang Bang Ice Cream) 

Versatility is something I really look at in a piece before buying. Can it be worn day and night? Every season? Every year? How about if I were to put it on top of this current item I already have? You get the gist of it. I’m all about finding items to build outfits on. Hope you get smart with buying your clothes too. Good luck!

Photos by: Arnold Lan


Ever worn a dress as a top underneath? Tell me about it below! x


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OUTFIT DETAILS

Club Monaco Elizabina Silk Top 
Urban Outfitters BDG Slim Boyfriend Jeans
Forever21 Pinstriped Open-Front Blazer
White Leather Snake Embossed Crossbody (Similar here) c/o Therese
Yves Saint Laurent Wrap Strap Wide Heels in Icy (Similar here) via The RealReal


As many of you may have noticed I’m usually caught wearing either semi-formal and conservative pieces. If I’m wearing jeans, they’re often form-fitting and don’t look that worn out.

For me— it was quite the challenge to find a decent pair of boyfriend jeans, let alone a pair with what seems to be the right amount of rips and tears. Took me a couple years really. I found myself going through the GAP, J. Crew, even the thrift stores… contemplating if I should make my own pair. But most of which I found at thrift stores were either too large in length or width. I wanted to find a pair that wasn’t so expensive and that would fit nicely on my petite frame.

I’ve been frequently shopping at Urban Outfitters and saw that they carried a whole bunch of jeans, including boyfriend jeans and distressed ones as well. To own a wear of boyfriend jeans— I guess sacrifices have to made in terms of the unflattering fit around the rear aka no bum look… also known as border-line mom jeans. Right? But here I am today, finally a proud owner of a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans from UO.

On to how I wore out mine…

To maintain out my ultra femme and clean style, I paired my DBJ (distressed boyfriend jeans) with a flowy, white silk top from Club Monaco (in love with the lace up collar) and nude wide heel sandals that have wrap-around straps from Yves Saint Laurent via The RealReal for ONLY $115 which were retail for about $700. New in a box, with tags and dust bag. (SCORE!) I’m a huge fan of wide heels for good support and distant walks. My girlfriend and talented photographer, Therese also allowed me to borrow her adorable snake skin embossed cross body which she got from Asia to continue the light look I got going on. To tie the look altogether and contrast the light palette outfit, I wore my pinstripe navy blazer for a hint of dapper chic.

x

We all have different body shapes, so finding the right pieces to compliment and enhance our bodies is important. There’s no rush in fitting in the latest trends. I felt the same pressure when Zara and GAP started releasing a whole bunch of boyfriend jeans for a hefty $60-80 about one or two years ago. But I was able to hold back for a while and wait until I found a decent pair that as equally flattering and comfortable to wear. x

Speaking of The RealReal… I’d highly suggest anyone who’s interested in finding cost-friendly designer goods to go there. It’s an online consignment platform for all luxurious goods, from handbags, shoes, coats to works of art. Some things are second hand, vintage or even brand new. First timers even get an additional $25 off their first purchase!

Visit the link here!

Photos (Film and Digital) by: Artiese Studios


I want to give a shoutout and huge congratulations to my best buddy and talented photographer Arnold Lan for winning the Jubilee Project Fellowship in L.A and the Dreamjob Photojounalist competition to Norway. You have such a bright future ahead you. Way to go bestie! xo


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OUTFIT DETAILS:

GAP Gingham Navy and White Button-Down Shirt
American Eagle Denim Chambray Button-down Shirt
Zara Aztec Skirt (See similar here)
Zara Aztec Ankle Strap Wide Heels
J Crew Wild Flower Necklace

See below for similar options!


Twenty-three and still counting. I’m just floored to say that out loud while coming to terms that I’m twenty-three now. But then again, what’s the difference? We’re all growing older every day in all sorts of ways (lol I just rhymed that)… physically, mentally and in the grand scheme of things..our overall experience as well!

Anywhooo, glad to know that those around me and I are still alive and kicking. I still got my plenty of youthful years ahead of me before I build this so-called life of mine and a huge empire that generates enough capital to survive this life, and contribute to this economy and people’s lives. I’m not selling myself in the best kind of way am I? But this is reality in a nutshell and ‘you only live once’ so you might as well make use of that and do all of your favourite things before you regret it!

On the brighter side—  2015 is looking good, more that enough days to take risks, indulge in even more amazing and new foods, the weather is warming up and I got a few big things to look forward to that I won’t spill out just yet…just in case you know…I don’t jinx anything.

I’ve got these crazy mixed feelings while I’m reflecting and writing this post. Feels like just a year floated by but it also feels like the year flew by extremely quick— now I’m busting out these intense emotions towards things that seemed so small to me before but now I feel like I want to reach out and hold them close to me. Family, good friends, old talents, even my mom’s cooking taste even so much better than before… (could also be because she’s just such an awesome home cook… home cooked meals > restaurants.) Ready for some warm cheesiness? I’m pretty much really blessed to have all the things and relationships that I have and are about to receive too. Can’t stress enough how much one can forget to appreciate the little things while working mindlessly throughout their week.

Now is definitely a great time to think less about myself in terms of birthday festivities but to celebrate the people who brought you into this world, the people who continue to constantly raise you and the people who shape you into be the best person ever. In addition to that, I’d like to make note to say thanks to each and every one of you. (Including the haters too! Hehe)

Time to not take myself seriously but also really seriously..

Photos by: Arnold Lan


I thought I would throw on something super easy, comfy and but extremely playful (taking advantage of the few days that were gorgeous and warm of course). I’m mixing up three busy prints but within the same monochromatic palette making them appear as if they were blending together and breaking them up the difference with a denim shirt, which I’m sure many of us have in our closet. This outfit has the illusion of a casual dress, but it’s really not! I didn’t want to take away from the fun combination of the prints, so I put on a clear and jewel statement necklace which added a bit of bling but also elevated the outfit a bit more since the Gingham shirt and the denim chambray button down on the top portion of the outfit are made of two very casual shirts that are often worn out a lot. I also decided to continue the awesome aztec print from my skirt and paired it with some wide heels with the similar print. For petite women who decide to wear pencil or midi skirts, I strongly suggest wearing thin-ankle strap heels. These heels are the most flattery as they expose the majority of your feet, therefore creating the illusion of elongated legs! Now… who doesn’t want long legs? I doo! 😀


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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Ann Taylor Crepe Colourblock Topper Coat
J. Crew Men’s Stripe Dress Shirt (similar here)
J. Crew Colourblock Cotton Wool Blazer
Banana Republic Sloan Fit Five Pocket Pants
ASOS Gold Arrow necklace (similar here)
Zara Black Pointed Toe Heels (similar here and here)
Danier Leather Black Handbag (similar here)


Ever felt the slightest bit of envy when you’re introduced to one of your new friend’s long time best crew? I’m talking about those who are in their late 20s, 30s, or even 50s and have been the best of buddies as a group since practically grade 2 and counting. Friendships that have grown longer than my own age— now that’s something amazing.

Living in the big city like Toronto, I found myself growing apart from those who I truly wanted to keep in touch with. Despite the ‘No excuse’ cliche which still holds tremendous amounts of truth, I still find myself struggling to try to find ways to rekindle or keep connected. I figured— friendships formulate from two sides. My side and your side. Seems easy right? Both sides should be understanding, accepting and should show some sort of amount of investing effort.

A couple days ago I met up with my one girlfriends who held the status of being my oldest best friend— the thing was I only saw her bi-annually and that did not share the same group of friends. We only lived 50 minutes away from one another as well. Could you say it’s our busy lives? ‘No Excuse.’ I only realized the severe lack of getting together until we met at the same restaurant which we visited from last summer. (Cafe Nervosa on Yorkville Ave) We both share the same love for eating a lot of carbs as a way to catch up… #loveitalianfood.

With all this being said I decided to make new goals to revamp my friendship and family skills:

1.) Make a list of people you haven’t kept touch with but would like to. New or old.

2.) Make a list of the cutest cafes, brunch or dining spots you wish to explore and hold your festive reunion at. Either in your city or theirs. Maybe just pick up a box of donuts and coffee?

If they happen to reciprocate, great. They are probably the kind where you can easily speak to and pick up where you left off. No change in feelings, but just pure excitement. If not, harsh but true— it’s time to move on. No harm in trying right?

3.) Get it together and toss them a text, call or Facebook message. Ask for their availability. 

You can gather from here whether or not it’s worth a shot to keep your friendship going or growing. Being almost 23 years old, I have already found myself weeding out people from my life—something I never found myself doing since I used to want to be everyone’s friend. But eventually you learn you keep the ones who care about you, your health, your sanity, your work, and who’s supportive of your wishes. 

**PS. I dedicate this post to my hometown girls.**

Photos by: Arnold Lan

No matter how far apart your friends or family might be, there are always ways to stay connected. Still count the brief yet great moments you share. That being said, I’m blessed to have the many strong friendships I have today and only want have them further grow and deepen them.

x

Apologies for the MIA. As it was my dad’s birthday this past week and wrap up in projects.
Happy belated Birthday to my dad. x


What are some cute ideas or ways you spend with your old pals?
I’d love to hear. Share them below! If you like for me to share more food posts with details.

Let me know! And PS. Have a good long weekend! xx


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Q. Why was the girl staring at the carton of orange juice?
A. It said concentrate.


OUTFIT DETAILS:

Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Fuzzy Duster Robe Coat in White
Forever21 Essential Utility Shirt Dress via The Kind Exchange
Winners Oversized Big Cable Knit Cardigan
Pink Tartan White Suiting Trousers
Zara Black Pointed Toe Heels
Alpha Wool Scarf from Peru
Rayban Polarized Green Aviator Sunglasses
Danier Leather Passport Holder (Used as Clutch)


If you’ve been up to date with my Instagram, you’ve probably seen my recent posts from one of my all time favourite cafes in Toronto–called ‘La Merceria‘ on Adelaide St. West and Portland. It’s not the first time I’ve written a post about them. I wrote a post a few years back on my old blog, Steel Oneself. A cute coffee shop that has never let me down for almost 5 years now. I’ve taken both guy friends and girlfriends there. I decided to take girlfriend, Therese of Artiese Studios there for Nutella Lattes, light eating (their torta pascualina that looks like a pizza) and run some test shots with her new lens for her Mamiya film camera.

My hidden gems are usually comprised of small and cozy restaurants or cafes in Toronto. These are what I consider one of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Toronto. About 4 years ago, I barely touched coffee. Only socially. But now I have a new found appreciation and addiction to it. It’s almost a part of my routine everyday before work– making my mornings easier and feel like I’ve started on the right foot.

Recently, I’ve learnt to give myself an extra good 30 to 40 minutes before work in order walk at a casual pace to pick up some coffee. I think it’s a healthy way to wake up compared to running around like a headless chicken with 5 minutes to spare. I start off feeling relaxed, enjoying my surroundings and gathering my thoughts for the day. Then eventually I’ll feel a gradual transition to becoming alive, sharp and focused for work. Makes sense right?

Photos by: Artiese Studios & Max Kandler
x

LA MERCERIA / 506 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1T5

 


What’s your favourite hidden gem in your city?
I’d love to see photos or links in the comments below too!


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