Suited for Snow

snow in tokyo

My recent solo trip to Tokyo coincided with the heaviest snow storms in the last 50 years. Thankfully my Espirit wool trench coat kept me warm (and my head too in my new hat), and these Ralph Lauren boots were comfortable and reliable despite the snow-covered streets and sidewalks.

Incidentally, the last time I emptied out a major city with a natural disaster (read: NYC & Hurricane Sandy), I was wearing an older pair of Ralph Lauren boots, and a water-resistant DKNY trench coat instead. Same purse this time, same gloves, but I alternated between the chunky infinity scarf with a $5 ‘Heat Tech’ scarf I picked up at Uniqlo.

I miss it all already.


Sock Connoiseur

On New Year’s Day, I cleared out my closet, purging and reorganizing. I sadly noticed that though a lot of my socks are fairly new, the elastics have already worn out, bunching uncomfortably around the ankles inside of boots.

So in anticipation of being in Japan, where tatami rooms = show your socks frequently, I knew I had to get some replacements for all those I threw out.

I went looking for them today, and was surprised to find that the elastics, even on brands like Cole Haan and Ralph Lauren, were pretty weak. Ironically, the $1 clearance pairs I found a year ago at Target are lasting the longest, and have the coolest patterns. No cool socks were found at Target today at my preferred price point (read: clearance), but I did find these at Marshall’s:


Two pairs of Timberland wool socks for $4! The elastics on these were tight, though only constituting a shorter portion than I would like; and well, they aren’t cute.

But they would certainly keep my toesies warm in winter!

Black Jeans: 2nd pair EVER

I’m headed to Japan soon, and it’s likely to be rather cold. I plan to bring two pairs of jeans for the 12-day trip, one of which are these Levi’s Women’s Leggings in “Deep Night”. The other pair is $7.80 from Forever 21, which I absolutely do not trust while traveling: the buttons are janky, the zipper poor, and the stitching threatens to unravel at anytime. Why did I buy them? Well, I just wanted try out the whole ‘skinny jeans’ thing on me before committing.

Naturally, I needed second pair of skinnies that would fit into my jeans (like this). I went back to the Levi’s on so I didn’t have to go shopping and try jeans on. “Deep Night” was sold out at the time of my order: I went with Black. The last time I had black jeans was 1998, and I wore them till they were absolutely grubby and decidedly un-black anymore.


I wasn’t too thrilled about paying $40 for jeans, since my daily staple are some $16 bootcut Levi’s I get from Costco – I also bought a ‘fancier’, apparently slimming pair for $24 a few months ago – but at least they weren’t exorbitant:


They arrived overnight (Zappos’ VIP 1-day shipping is AMAZING), they make my butt look good. They do seem a tad long, but I guess jeans/jeggings tend to shrink a little? My current pair, worn in New York, also bunched a little.

I’ve started putting aside my clothes for the trip, and all I can say is…. TURTLENECK is the theme!

the ribbon of happiness

I’ve always wanted to get a nice sling bag. You know, that one bag which you can carry to parties, midnight movies, brunch, events, wedding dinners, etc. And so I began my journey hunting for that perfect sling bag. I had originally set my eyes on the Chanel mini flap bag, but after countless attempts to beat the crazy queues (yes, we queue for everything in Singapore) to get into the Chanel store; and the multiple futile visits to duty-free stores at various airports, I decided that we’re just not fated to be. That said, I still wasn’t prepared to give up hopes on getting that one sling bag.

So one Friday evening, after dinner with the Atas sister, we decided to pop into my favourite (and trusty) ferragamo outlet at Paragon (after the fruitless attempt to queue at Chanel). To my pleasant surprise, that perfect sling bag, a new collection nonetheless, was sitting in the shop, waiting patiently for me.

And so…. presenting the leetle ribbon of happiness….

I went home a happy girl having paid 1/3 the price that I had originally budgeted for this sling of joy.

I went home a happy girl having paid 1/3 the price that I had originally budgeted for this sling of joy.

Dressing for the Big Apple

According to Wikipedia, New York city receives about 47 million tourists every year. Last week, at the end of Spring, I joined the millions of tourists in the Big Apple pounding the streets and soaking up the sights and sounds. The weather was chilly for me even though the sun beat down relentlessly almost daily.

Complementing my existing inventory of cold weather clothes such as gloves, pullovers, thick jeans and snug-fitting pants and tops were new additions from Uniqlo. These were the heat-tech inner wear, tights and a light down jacket that can be easily rolled into its own bag. I also decided to invest in their over-the-knee socks.

Together with my only pair of trekking shoes from New Balance, I fitted right in with fellow tourists at the High Line, Top of the Rocks and Brooklyn Bridge.


Country club chic, perhaps?

Overheard at lunch between two ladies at an upmarket bistro today about country club chic. Yes, that’s right. Good eats welcome people who dress right. On cruises and various holiday spots, we will need the right clothes and accessories.

In fact, the lady said to have the right accessories to look rich.

Here we have the very picture of country club chic from One Who Lunches:


The look:
Chic side braid
Eye-catching chunky bead necklace
Carrie K silver earrings

In-flight Indulgences

I’m still reeling from my 27 hours of travel, but I certainly have many positive things to share about this journey:

I was initially quite dismayed to learn that we had a second stopover, making my journey SIN-ICN / ICN-NRT / NRT-LAX (or, Singapore to Seoul, Seoul to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Los Angeles, if you don’t speak airport code).

However, during our brief stop in Japan where I had about 20 minutes to spare, I chanced upon my new favorite face wash!


They retailed for ¥680 at the airport, or just under US$8, so I snapped up two tubes. I absolutely LOVE the rich, thick, foamy lather, and I imagine it would work splendidly with my Olay Pro-X cleaning brush!

And of course, with Korean Air’s formidable arsenal of in-flight shopping merchandise, I did not leave empty handed. They take in-flight shopping VERY seriously, with stickers for your headrest, lest you miss out!

Despite the protests of my wallet, my vanity succumbed to the allure of SK-II, having used their range of products for a week in NYC with great results, and most recently enjoying a very decadent facial treatment at their boutique spa.

I purchased the Cellumination Essence, and Whitening Spots Specialist, both of which cost $40 less on KoreanAir than if purchased in the US. It’s a huge splurge for me, but they really do seem to work, so I’m going to give it a shot. I can’t say that I will be willing/able to afford the rest of their range, but… oh, the scary slippery slope that is SK-II!

But it’s not all about expensive purchases on the flight. KoreanAir also had these products by Jurlique, and because I absolutely LOVE the fresh scent of lavender, I made many more trips to the bathroom than necessary, just for another spritz of the hydrating mist on my face and for a dab of lotion on my hands.

Flying Trans-Pacific is so much more fun with lovely free toiletries and good deals to be had!

How to pack for a staycation

I’ve never been one to do smart packing whenever I go on vacation. I deliberate for a very long time over the clothes/shoes that I should bring along, often changing my mind at the last minute even though clothes have already been folded into the suitcase. Most times, the toiletries take up the most space and are the heaviest in my entire suitcase, which is ironic when I’d always set out to “travel light”. You’d think that I might have an easier time if it’s just a short trip but alas, the same issues will always surface.With the year-end in sight, the BF and I thought it’d be a good idea to go on a staycation given that it’s so expensive to travel overseas during this period. I try to be efficient this time by packing lightweight outfits – dresses that are easy to pack and won’t crease. These are easier to move around in humid Singapore and paired with my trusty pair of Birkenstocks, I’m all ready to conquer the local attractions.

I find it very useful to pack my stuff into pouches for easy differentiation and packing. Pouches for toiletries, undergarments, clothes, make-up, accessories etc, you get the drift. And needless to say, I’ve once again relied on this trusty packing method for the upcoming staycation. Tip, buy pouches with cheery colours. They look SO much better when you peer into your suitcase/travel bag.

This toiletries bag can store a lot. Never regretted buying this from Naraya (Thailand).

This toiletries bag can store a lot. Never regretted buying this from Naraya (Thailand).

Also from Naraya, this one is padded and stores my undergarments.

Also from Naraya, this one is padded and stores my undergarments.

Bag organisers are extremely useful especially if you're the sort who carries huge bags. This organiser comes with 6 side compartments and a giant one in the middle for wallets/sunnies/tissue etc.

Bag organisers are extremely useful especially if you’re the sort who carries huge bags. This organiser comes with 6 side compartments and a giant one in the middle for wallets/sunnies/tissue etc.


Unintentionally chic?


One of my favorite things to travel with is The Buff, a versatile accessory that is essentially a seamless, stretchy piece of fabric I purchased for $19.99 a few years ago for my trip to South America. It can be worn as a beanie, a bandana, a scarf, a muff, a wrist wrap… so many things you can imagine, essentially.

This time, I wore it around my neck so that I may pull it over my nose and mouth when riding in the motorized tricycles here in the Cordillera of northern Philippines, as we would get unceremoniously dusted by passing jeepneys and vehicles of any and all sorts.

Functionality aside, I just realized that it added a little dash of color to my plain quick-dry shirt. Plus one point for traveler fashion?

Top: Quick dry top by REI, $15-ish
Buff: $19.99 from REI
Sunglasses: Armani Exchange, $24

Very Important Scarf

I’m in the highlands of the Philippines right now, and I’m really glad I decided to pack my “hippie scarf”: a green scarf with motifs of Lord Ganesha, Om symbols and Sanskrit words. It does add a dash of pizazz to an otherwise utilitarian travel ensemble. Ditto the cheapo hoop earrings I acquired 10 years ago at Far East Plaza in Singapore.

(And yes, I went to Starbucks. Don’t judge.)

Top: Gap Fit, $24.99
Pants: Columbia, $35?
Shoes: Timberland, $16
Scarf: World Market, $9.99?

Japan travel fashion

Hi guys, sorry for the “radio silence”. Wanted to blog as I travel but as the only chauffeur on the 800km road trip, really didn’t have much time to take my eyes off the road to blog. 🙂

But here it is


Didn’t wear my hat because it was pretty windy and I didn’t wanna lose it to the valleys and didn’t whip those gloves out either. That silver down vest from Uniqlo really came in handy to keep me warm but I could still wear in back in Changi Airport without dying from a heat stroke. It’s so handy to have and takes up so little space in the bag I feel like getting another one!

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Experimented with this new eyeliner which I bought from Korea..

This green eyeliner was actually a pleasant mistake…  I had wanted to get a blue eyeliner and had paid for the product without checking. It was only when I got back to Singapore that I realised that the colour was wrong. But all’s too late! Since then, I procrastinated in opening it. I finally decided to experiment on the colour after about 6 months and was super pleased with the effect 🙂

Eye make-up details: Beige eyeshadow base by Christian Dior, Green eyeliner by CLIO (Korean brand), Metallic Brown eye shadow by Shu Uemura, Virtuose  Precious Cells mascara by Lancome.

Grease is the word


I’m on a 4-week trip at the moment, and because all my worldly possessions are on my back, I’ve packed light in the Beauty department, relying on my favorite SPF-included BB cream + sunblock, and no make-up at all.

However, after wandering the humid streets of Manila, I desperately sought something inexpensive to reduce the awful greasy, sticky feeling on my face. I was so shiny I looked like a greasy fried banana.

Thankfully I found one of the ubiquitous Watson’s outlets and picked up this Maybelline “long lasting oil control” powder (about US$6). A light pat, very sparingly used, helped matte me down a little. Not the best thing out there, but oh well. You use what you can find.

I also bought some Mandom Gatsby powdered blotting sheets as back up. I have really been too spoiled by Southern California’s perfect weather, and, well, recently Manhattan in Fall = no shine, no stickyness, no greasy face.

Ah, travel….