Spotlight: Keiki Collection

Musings, Spotlight

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Earlier this month, I hopped over to Hawaii to spend some quality time (read: eating time) with my sister and mom.  Over the weekend, we decided to eat at Scratch Kitchen and Meatery.  Before talking about the Keiki Collection, you have to know something.  If you’re ever in the area, you HAVE to try at least one of  the “Pimp My Grits” dishes from Scratch Kitchen.  Just…ugh…so good.  A quick pic and then we’ll move on:IMG_2848

To walk off this amazing, but super heavy grits, we decided to shop around South Shore Market.  Picked up a copy of Alexa Chung’s It and a pair of delicate rose gold heart earrings, but the best pleasant surprise was running into a small pop-up shop from Keiki Collection.  Keiki Collection is a community of kids that learn how to sell their handmade goods.  But we should honestly call them mini #Girlbosses.💁🏿💁🏾💁🏽💁🏻💁🏼  Sidenote: There are young boys in the group too, but none were there that day.

IMG_2852I remember when I was younger, my mom and I would do the same thing.  We’d figure out what kind of crafts we could make to then sell at school holiday craft fairs.  I loved working away making tons of colorful lanyards and decorating hair claws with Christmas tinsel.  It was so fun to be creative and I felt so “official” when we sold them.  And we probably barely broke even each time because everything was pretty much under $5.  But I love that these girls are creating something that they’re proud of and then learning business skills to sell them.  Things you don’t necessarily learn in school these days.

IMG_2865I was most impressed by one girl that made large macrame hanging pot holders.  They were just so impeccably made!  I was so impressed that I ended up buying one even though I don’t really have a place to put it.😅  But it’s a small price to pay to support a young mini girlboss though, right?🤗

We tried our best to buy a little something from each person.  These girls are learning the basics of business and entrepreneurship and that’s just something we had to support.  And Hawaii in general has a pretty diverse population, but can we take a second to recognize that this was also an ethnically diverse group of girls!!  I mean, COME ON!  It’s just so amazing to see young girls of color learning to be entrepreneurs, creatives, and supportive of one another.  It warms my soouuull.💕

IMG_2863If you can, give Keiki Collection a follow on instagram.  They have occasional pop-ups like this one around the island.  Let them know what they’re doing is impressive and important — not only as a young female, but also as a person of color.

ABW

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Disneyland Spring Lookbook

Disney Style, Style
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A Disney food adventure. 😉

So as I mentioned in my previous post, my family and I took a quick weekend trip to Disneyland back in early March.  Other than getting the chance to wear all of my Disney clothes, it was also a trip filled with FOOD. DISNEY food.

My sister, specifically, was on a gastronomic mission.  And I wasn’t about to turn down a good Disneyland Resort food crawl.  And it wasn’t just any old park food.  We were on a quest to find the best Disneyland and California Adventure eats.  She was working on a snapchat story for Tastemade, so everything had to be top notch.  My sister being the foodie took these drool-worthy photos. 😛

Top right: Poutine from Red Rose Tavern, Top left: The Grey Stuff from Red Rose Tavern, Bottom: Lobster Nachos from Cove Bar

Now day 1 of our food crawl, I did not make the smart decision and ended up wearing fitted mom jeans that have No. Stretch.  Talk about a food crawl fail.  But I’ve been dying to wear my Zara Mickey pants to the parks.  Definitely had to burp it out a few times during dinner. 😅  Anyways, I paired my Zara jeans with a churro shirt from Lucky Rabbit Supply Co.  And can I say, Mike and Gillian were amazing!  Not only are they based in San Jose (Norcal represent!), but they were kind enough to ensure that I received my shirt in time for this trip.  And they made sure to pack up my purchase and mail it out weeks before their wedding!  They’re just so great.DSC06542

DSC06544Shirt: Lucky Rabbit Supply Co., Jeans: Zara, Mickey Bag (Yes, it’s a bag!): Christopher Raeburn, Shoes: Nike, Sunglasses: Quay 

So day 2, I learned my lesson and wore something loose.  This Lazy Oaf denim dress is pretty much like wearing a huge denim sack.  Complete body freedom, but you still get to look cute. 💁🏻  But I actually had the waist taken in slightly.  I think if my chest was slightly smaller it would’ve hung better as is, but since I’ve got a unique body, I gotta tailor it to what best suits me.  Probably a sentiment that can be applied to life in general, dontcha think? 😊  And there’s your dose of positive life validation for the day! Don’t even think that’s a real term, but let’s just go with it.

DSC06586Dress: Lazy Oaf via Poshmark, Sunglasses: Free People, Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell via LF

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So I think I really need to work on getting these posts written up faster.  I’ve already returned from another Disney trip — a Disney cruise!  But if you follow me on the instas then you’re already up to speed.😉  Hoping I can write up a little something to recap that trip.  Looking through my camera roll, I already know it’ll be similar to this post.  “What I wore and what I ate.”😆

ABW

 

Disneyland Outfit: Lazy Oaf x Disney Minnie Shirt Dress

Disney Style, Style

DSC06471In early March, I made a trip down to the most magical place on earth with my family.  Since it was a quick trip, I decided to pack a whole bunch of Disney clothes rather than plan out a disneybound for each day — especially since I scored two NWT Lazy Oafs x Disney collection dresses on Poshmark just a couple weeks prior. Obsessive searching FTW.🙌🏼 Plus the seller priced it lower than the original retail and offfered a discount on bundle purchases…and you know ya girl loves a discount.😏

I was actually a little on the fence with this Minnie dress because I thought the ruffles would look too girly on me.  But to my surprise, I liked this one more than the Mickey denim dress I also picked up.  And surprise again, it’s actually a little short on me.  I couldn’t raise my arms without something peeking out from underneath me!😅  How is it possible for a dress to be short on a girl who is 5’2″?!?

To prevent the whole outfit from looking too girlie, I accessorized with sleeker items.  No fuss cat eye sunnies, easy crossbody, comfy sneakers, and called it a day.  For that extra pizazz, I stacked a few bracelets and sported red lips. Sidenote: I’ve been loving this NYX matte lip creme in Monte Carlo.💄  Only had to touch up a couple times throughout the whole day!  At Disneyland…where there’s a whole bunch of delicious food and the sun is not forgiving.  Think about that.😳

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DSC06428Dress: Lazy Oaf via Poshmark, Bag: Coach, Shoes: Nike, Sunglasses: Quay, Lips: NYX in Monte Carlo

Overall, this is a perfect spring park outfit because it’s easy, cute, and comfy.  Stay tuned to see the other outfits I put together that are great for a spring trip to the parks!  In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of my mom, sister, and me.😁

ABW

Beauty and the Beast: Movie Chat and DisneyBound

Disney Style, Musings, Style

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For months, Disney fans have been anxiously waiting for the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie.  For me, I’ve actually been split on the whole live-action remakes.  Some of them I LOVE, like Maleficent, and others I just don’t feel compelled to see at all. *cough*Cinderella*cough*  Still haven’t seen that one.  Blasphemous for a Disney fan, I know.  But I was somewhat excited for Beauty and the Beast.  Not to the level of Maleficent, but I did tell my boyfriend I was at least going to see it the weekend it came out.  So off we went!  Him, I suspect, somewhat reluctantly.😅

 Denim dress: my sister’s 😆, Shirt: Sears, Beastie: Danielle Nicole, Shoes and socks: LF, Pin: H&M

Before getting into my short movie spiel, let’s take a minute to talk about what I wore to this shindig.  Obviously, you know about the Beastie already.  And the best part about the Beastie is using him for DisneyBounds!  If you’re not familiar, Disneybounding is a way to show your love for Disney using everyday clothes to put together an outfit that resembles a character.  It’s essentially a way to play dress up without wearing a full on costume (or cosplay).  So of course, I had to DisneyBound.  And probably the easiest outfit to put together is Belle’s town outfit.  A denim dress with a white shirt underneath are the core items here.  After that, just add in the right touches of accessories.  I wanted to channel the live-action Belle rather than the animated outfit, so I wore brown booties.  And to tie in her red paisley accents, I wore red patterned socks.  Added a rose pin and to really make it obvious what movie I was going to see that day, brought along the Beastie.

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^Just look at Emma’s face.  That is a face of a woman that loves baguettes. Carbs 5ever!

Now the spiel.  For me, I was most excited to see Emma Watson bring Belle to life.  I like Belle, but she was never one of my favorite princesses.  But once the news broke about Emma, that’s when the excitement started.  Overall, I liked her as Belle.  Could the singing be better?  YES.  But I will say I liked her inflections while she was singing.  Especially during her “Bonjour” reprise.  It just added that extra emotion and sincerity for me.

To make up for Emma’s singing, there’s Gaston and Le Fou.  Luke Evan’s performance was great.  He needs to be the permanent Gaston meet and greet character at all the parks all the time.  Or can he hold some sort of training class for the Gaston actors?  Something?!  And Josh Gad as Le Fou is perfection.  Obviously, Josh Gad knows how to be the comedic relief.  So that’s a given.  But can we give Disney credit for using Le Fou as a vehicle to introduce a small political statement?!  No, it’s not nearly enough.  But it’s a start!  And the fact that Le Fou undergoes a little bit of character development at the end is just icing on an already delicious cake.

Last, the best part about the film by far are the two iconic Beauty and the Beast scenes from the animated film – Belle walking through the town and the ballroom scene.  These two scenes in the live action film are reason enough to go see it in theaters.  I thought the town scene found a good balance of recreating the animated film, yet re-imagining it to be more dynamic and interesting.  And the ballroom scene is just gorgeous.  The grandeur, the beauty, Mrs. Pott’s motherly voice singing about love.  Just…go see it.

Definitely a lot of other things I could talk about, but 1. trying to learn to be more concise in my writing and 2. don’t want to lock you up here forever like an immature boy that’s trapped in a Beast’s body.😜  Have you seen the movie?  Let me know what you thought!

ABW

 

 

Styling the Beastie: Denim on Denim

Disney Style, Style

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So my whole plan to post different outfits with the Beastie leading up to the release of Beauty and the Beast was pretty much a BUST.  Total failure on my part.  I’ve been sitting on the draft for this post for a month now.😑  But that’s how life goes.  Once in a while, things suddenly get crazy or busy and things like this fall to the wayside.  However, I did see the movie when it was released and will write up a separate post about it soon!

Anyways, last month I took advantage of the crisp spring weather and stopped by the Golden Gate bridge.  If you’re ever visiting San Francisco, I would recommend going to Crissy Fields out by Fort Point.  Bring a picnic blanket, pack a basket full of cheese and wine, and then bike out to the fields.  Hopefully, it’s warm enough that you can sit out, people watch, listen to the ocean waves…and if you’re lucky, encounter some playful pups out with their owners!😉

But I love this outfit for just that kind of outing.  And wearing denim on denim means you can be ready for anything.  Relaxed fit jeans lets you roll around in the grass or hop on a bike with ease.  Bring a denim jacket just in case the bay winds pick up.  Or throw it on the grass if you want to lay out to enjoy those few precious minutes of “hot” sunny weather.  Mules are easy to kick off if you have the sudden urge to dip your toes into the freezing bay water.  And of course, the Beastie is room-y enough to carry that extra roll of sourdough bread.🍞

dsc06350Jeans: Canyon River Blues, Jacket, Shirt: Homecoming Honolulu, Shoes: Zou Xou, Bag: Danielle Nicole, Pin: Disney Style

Hope you’re not getting sick of the Beastie because there’s going to be at least one more post with him.  A movie write up on Beauty and the Beast is just around the corner!

 

Why I Blog: The Effects of Internalized Oppression on Style Choices

Musings

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A close friend of mine posted this story on Facebook yesterday, and it’s one of those things that you’ve thought about before, but never really thought about it.  After reading this story, it just reconfirms why I wanted to start this blog in the first place.  I don’t necessarily wear crazy prints and colors like Lauren Stardust, but that just means I haven’t freed myself from the very thing Lauren is talking about.  My own internalized misogyny (which Lauren describes as an “”involuntary internalization by women of the sexist messages that are present in their societies and culture”) is completely intertwined with my internalized prejudice.  In fact, I would say it might even be stronger than my internalized misogyny.

Again, it just validates the whole reason I started this blog.  It’s no mystery who some of the more famous non-white bloggers are, but for years I’ve felt like they never casually talked about how being a POC influenced their lives – and more specifically style choices, the very thing they’re famous for.  And maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe it doesn’t. But for me, being a POC influences so much of my life. Both good and bad of course. Bad: I try to steer clear of flouncy fit and flare dresses to avoid looking too doll-ish.  As a Chinese American female, “doll-ish” is something I’ve actively avoided my whole adult life in order to be taken seriously.  Good: A lot of times people thing I’m innocent because “hey, I’m a small Asian girl and what harm could I do?” Really plays in my favor whenever I want to be a little mischievous.😈

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Being Asian American…love it and hate the internalized oppression.

Other than giving myself the space to create, I also wanted to use this blog as a platform to talk about how internalized misogyny and prejudice really does affect my style choices and influence how I perceive and navigate the world.  And I really applaud Lauren for being able to confront those internalized oppressions head on.  I have yet to get that far.  But maybe, that journey is about to be written right before your eyes.  Now wouldn’t that be something?😏

ABW

Styling the Beastie: Layers and Boots

Disney Style, Musings, Style

dsc06104The countdown has begun!  Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast will be in theaters in next month and I’m excited to finally see Emma Watson don those iconic Belle outfits.

To celebrate the film’s release, a lot of brands have been producing tons of Beauty and the Beast merch, including Danielle Nicole Handbags.  Early last year, I picked up their Beast clutch, BUT when a friend told me about the Beast backpack they released a couple months ago, all reasoning went out the window.  So yes, now I have 2 Beast bags in my closet.😅

And I’m not gonna lie, a good number of times, I buy these quirky, yet amazing bags and then just set it on a shelf to admire it for days without ever really using it. So this is going to be just like trying to get back to the gym post holiday season😪…I’m going to document different outfits in order to keep myself accountable.😌  Sounds like a solid plan, right?👍🏼  On to the outfit!

dsc06077Beastie: Danielle Nicole, Dress: Free People, Denim jacket: Gap, Top: American Apparel, Boots: souvenir from Stockholm, Sunglasses: Quay, Watch: Michael Kors

The Beastie (oh, that’s my nickname for him btw) is surprisingly roomie. I could fit my camera, fat wallet, 2 phones, and car keys in there and still have room to spare. So when my sister asked me to help her take some photos around Japantown a couple weeks ago, it was the perfect carry-all bag. I wore it with an olive green dress that’s complimentary to Beastie’s tan colors and layered on a denim jacket, which if you look, closely picks up on his blue eyes.👀 It was also a little sprinkly in the city that day, so I wore some tan knee high boots that matched Beastie’s fringe.dsc06088

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Even if I didn’t need to bring my camera with me, this is still a perfect outfit for exploring Japantown. There are SO many places to eat or grab your favorite Asian snacks. One of my childhood favorites are Taiyaki red bean fishes! And there are a couple Asian beauty shops that I love perusing whenever I’m in the area. But most importantly, DAISO!! And look at that, you have a roomy backpack to bring back all those small trinkets and sundries that you didn’t really need, but kinda do at the same time.

Anyways, Japantown will always have a special place in my heart.  The community has pretty much been a part of my life in one way or another growing up. As toddlers, my siblings and I went to preschool there.  When we were tweeners, summer camp. And from the age of 5 to 18, I played in an Asian basketball league that was based out of Japantown’s Buddhist church.  It really felt like we grew up with the community.  I think I will always value and feel connected to the Japantown community.  And, to reiterate, they also have delicious snacks.

ABW

 

 

Pastel Pink Outfits for Valentine’s Day

Style
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Will you be my Valentine, Kalbi?

Valentine’s Day isn’t usually my thing, but it’s kind of amazing how much pastel pink stuff I’ve bought recently.  Maybe I’m subconsciously prepping for the occasion?🤔  But since I’ve been in a long distance relationship for almost 10 years now, I try not to put too much pressure on myself to celebrate the holiday since more often then not, I’m in a different city than the SO.  But I can’t have all these pink clothes go to waste now can I?😏

 

dsc06174Sweater: Sears, Shirt: Urban Outfitters, Leggings: Forever 21, Socks: Cotton On, Mug: VooDoo Doughnut

With the inception of Netflix and chill (like actual chill, not “chill”), it’s sociably acceptable now more than ever to spend a cozy night in.  Crowds and expensive fancy food is overrated anyways.  Well, crowds are at least.  And I usually prefer to be surrounded by huge piles of blankets instead of a tall wall of people. Please don’t elbow me in the face accidentally…🤕

Anyways, cozy and cute are not mutually exclusive.  Picked up this light pink knit sweater and it’s the perfect long cardigan to snuggle up in. Pair with stretchy leggings and fuzzy socks and you’re ready to binge watch Friends for the millionth time.  Bonus: You get 2 pigs as friends.🐷🐷

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And let’s say by some miracle, I actually end up going out for Valentine’s Day. Maybe during Valentine’s Day weekend I’ll go to an art gallery or do dinner and a movie with some friends.  Either way, might as well dress it up a smidge to show how special it is to actually have me out and about.😬

While in Hawaii, I picked up this faux leather shift dress from the Zara sale.  I love that even though it’s pink, it still reads a little tough because of the texture. And to not make everything too sweet, decided to pair it with a bomber and booties.  Substituted my warm blanket for a turtle neck and added matching pastel accessories to complete the look.

dsc06239Dress: Zara, Jacket: Members Only via Wasteland, Shoes: Sam Edelman, Short Sleeve Turtleneck: American Apparel, Clutch: Marshalls, Sunglasses:Quay, Bracelet: Kate Spade, Earrings: Old Navy

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I’ll be honest, I felt a little bit like a Pink Lady that day.💁🏻😎

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Go out and fill the world with pastel pink-ness!💕

ABW

Rock the Dots

Disney Style, Food, Style

dsc05877Since January is usually a birthday month in my books😉, I always tend to forget that it’s also a very special month for one of the top fashion icons – Minnie Mouse!  Throughout the month of January, Disney fans everywhere are encouraged to #RockTheDots to show off their own #MinnieStyle and Disney Style.

Rock the dots also purposely coincides with National Polka Dot day.  So a couple weeks ago, I brought out my dots!  I’ve had this American Apparel dot blouse for a few years now and I love it to death.  It always adds the perfect amount of whimsy to any outfit.  But with my round Asian face and short stature, going full on whimsy can tend to make me look a little tooo doll-ish.  And if you haven’t guessed already, I ain’t always a doll.😏

So I paired my shirt with sleeker items like a polished faux suede moto jacket and slick skinny jeans with a distressed knee, which helps give the whole look a little extra edge.  And to really #RockTheDots, I paired my dotted shirt with studded dot ballet flats.  Another great example of something sweet, yet polished with some edge.  And of course, I had to top it all off with my favorite Mickey bag.🐭

dsc05888Shirt: American Apparel, Jacket: Kohl’s LC Lauren Conrad, Jeans: Carmar, Shoes: Sam Edelman, Bag: Disney x Coach, Watch: Micheal Kors, Sunglasses: Quay

And since National Polka Dot day was on a Sunday, we of course had to go out for brunch.  So we stopped by The Palm House.  Got myself the spam and eggs benedict, which was much more filling than I was expecting it to be.  But the brown hash brown looking thing on the bottom…it’s actually a rice “hash brown” if you will.  Genius.  And the eggs… perfectlypoached.  Yolk splits that were food porn worthy.  And the spam wasn’t actual spam. Instead☝️, gourmet braised pork shoulder.  Yes, I may have had to wipe some drool off my face as I write this post.😛

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And aside from the food, the restaurant itself is adorable.  Is city beach house chic a decor term?  Lots of blue with palm green accents.  And if you’re sad about having to eat brunch instead of watching your favorite team play, fret not!  But come on, who actually says no to brunch?!  But if you insist on watching the game, there is a bar area with TVs and you can happily scarf down your jerk chicken tacos or huevos rancheros while watching people professionally tackle each other.  I, personally, prefer to enjoy a hot cup of tea.☕️

ABW

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Je Ne Sais Quoi

Disney Style, Food, Style, Travel

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There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the French expression je ne sais quoi, don’t you think?

Found that gem on google.  Did it make me sound posh and fancy?💁🏻 Unlike the cut off denim shorts I lived in while visiting Honolulu.  And even though many tourists and locals alike can enjoy all the luxurious things the city has to offer, my sister and I usually like to pretend we’re kama’aina.  For us, that means lots of shopping and eating.

To fuel up for our shopping pilgrimage, we stopped by Koko Head Cafe.  Opened by Chef Lee Anne Wong, a finalist on Top Chef, Koko Head Cafe serves up hefty dumplings and brunch-style Asian comfort food.   The cafe also captures that hometown diner feel with surf town decor and Wong’s framed personal photos.  And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Wong’s book Dumplings All Day Wong!  If you ask nicely, you can even leaf through it while you wait for deliciousness to be served.

After stuffing out faces, we needed to walk it all off…before heading to dinner of course.😅 So we stopped by Ward Village South Shore Market.  It actually underwent a huge re-model and I was excited to finally see it.  South Shore Market is comprised of 18 local merchants to showcase and cultivate Hawaii’s creative scene.  Shopping small couldn’t be any easier.  Walking through the stores, I also realized that many of the shop owners are probably POC.  Since Hawaii’s population is almost 40% Asian, it’s also likely that many of these creatives were Asian American.  So not only are you supporting small businesses, but you’re also supporting businesses owned by POC.  So. Much. YES.👏

Do you see that suitcase?  It’s filled with watercolor cards of creatures from Fantastic Beasts.  Yeah, ah-ma-zing!

And speaking of amazing, I also picked up these sparkle heel Zara boots the day before.  They were the last pair left and in my size, so you know…had to get ’em.  Don’t worry, they were on sale.😉  And one of the many apples of my eye, my Disney x Coach red cross body.  The perfect size for your phone and credit cards and comes with the cutest little Mickey hand charm.  It just has a certain je ne sais quoi, non??😏

ABW

dsc05573Shirt: Sincerely Jules, Crossbody: Disney x Coach, Shoes: Zara, Sunglasses: Free People, Shorts: Vintage