Monthly Archives: January 2013

Neiman Marcus Consolidation February 1-5

The last sale in NM before all items go to LastCall stores! I will check a nearby participating store and share information (pictures, price and item numbers) here. 

Happy shopping!

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Raw Manuka honey (active 16+) : for your health and cosmetics



In a post from last year (here), I introduced bee venom face mask. The mask was good, making my skin moisturized and pumped; howeve it caused breakouts sometime (for your reference, I have combination skin with oily T-zone). Eventually, my mom took it over and loved it. When I discussed the technology behind the mask with my friends, one lady suggested me to try active raw Manuka honey instead. Raw honey, itself, can make your skin glow without triggering breakouts. Instead, it even helps disinfect and heal minor wounds without forming a scar (more information available in this article). In addition, the active formula (bee venom) is thought to help correct fine lines and pump up your skin.

Wedderspoon sources some of the world’s finest, raw, organic, mono flora honeys from the pristine pastures and rugged mountains of New Zealand south island. The unique south island climate produces many remarkable honeys exclusive only to New Zealand and Wedderspoon… Raw honey is important, as this ensures that the natural bee enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and activity present in raw honey remains unaltered, intact and are not destroyed during packaging. All our honeys are tested to ensure they never contain chemical residues and antibiotics.

I picked 100% raw Manuka honey – active 16+ (here), based on the originity of the product, online research and nearby 300 positive reviews. Share you my experience and couple thoughts:

1. I had a cold couple days ago, and my lips got dry, tight, crack and bleeding even with lot of lip balm. I decided to try honey therapy. Put a thick layer of honey on lips and let it stay for 5 minutes. Then, I washed out the residuel (I could not help swallowing some in) with warm water, using soft wash cloth. After two applications, my lips went back to normal.

2. Use as face mask. Put a layer of honey all over the clean face before shower, and let it stay for 10 minutes. I feel the raw honey works similarly as my bee venom mask. Skin feels soft and gets moisturized (like a layer of wax on the top…).

3. Eat as health supplement … (healthy stomach, antioxidant, vitamins and minerals…).

4. People report anthritis pain relief from topical application of it (check reviews).

Thank you for your reading~

Fun weekend & review J.Crew Collection luxury cashmere ISLE sweater

DVF fox fur vest (great style available here)
Theory motorcycle leather jacket
Club Monaco Julie sweater
Theory suede pants
YSL muse bag

Hi all, I hope you had a great weekend and wish you a good start of the new week! We watched a hockey game Saturday night, which was our first experience. The game was so exciting and fast-paced that we forgot taking pictures at all~ My little boy and his friend enjoyed the game a lot!


Another way of wearing leather jackets (previous pairing here) in winter days is adding a fur vest on the top. Compared to the Vince fox fur vest (see here), I like pairing a leather jacket with a cropped vest better. Unless the sleeves (of the leather jacket) are super skinny– which are not the case in my closet, adding a long vest makes the entire look bulky. 

J Crew collection cashmere ISLE turtleneck 
This Fair Isle turtleneck sweater seems to be the top of JCrew collection line, $650 originally. After waiting for a whole season, the price eventually dropped. I paid $118 (SA matched the online price $279.99, plus an extra 50% off sale and 15% of university ID). The handknit construction not only gives this sweater a pronounced texture, but also decreases the level of cold weather penetration. I did not feel that cold by wearing it alone outside for ~5 minutes, 38F. It only requires hand wash. This is the last one left in my local store, so I did not get a chance to compare the fit between different sizes. The one I bought is size M, which fits me well except the sleeves (I folded them in the pictures). My guess is that it runs one size small. 

Thank you for your reading!



Madeleines

The origin of the madeleine, the shell-shaped sponge cake eaten as a cookie, is disputed, although most food scholars believe it originated in the Lorraine city of Commercy. It traveled first to the court of Louis XV at Versailles and then on to Paris, gaining converts at each stop. Today, the pâtissiers of Commercy are still considered Frances premier makers of madeleines, and boxes of madeleines de Commercy are sold throughout the country. 
Tool:
Madeleine pan (here for sale @ $13.25). I bought mine (16 madeleines) from Williams-Sonoma (here).

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 85g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest (or orange juicy)
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Using a pastry brush, heavily brush softened butter over each of the 12 molds in a madeleine pan, carefully buttering every ridge. Dust the molds with flour, tilting the pan to coat the surfaces evenly. Turn the pan upside down and tap it gently to dislodge the excess flour (Figure 1).

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar and salt. Using a wire whisk or a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat vigorously until pale, thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes (Figure 2). Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Sprinkle the sifted flour over the egg mixture and stir or beat on low speed to incorporate (Figure 3).

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the lemon zest and half of the melted butter just until blended (Figure 4). Fold in the remaining melted butter. (Figure 5)

Divide the batter among the prepared molds, using a heaping tablespoon of batter for each mold. Bake the madeleines until the tops spring back when lightly touched, 8 to 12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a wire rack, then rap it on the rack to release the madeleines. If any should stick, use your fingers to loosen the edges, being careful not to touch the hot pan, and invert and rap again.

Let the madeleines cool on the rack for 10 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the tops with confectioners sugar and serve. Makes 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World Series, Paris, by Marlena Spieler (Oxmoor House, 2004).

Burberry double-breasted down coat and YSL cabas chyc

My favorite riding boots by Salvatore Ferragamo are on sale at Zappos for $343 (here). If you are interested in them, you may want to consider half size down (I wear 7B of this pair, rather than my normal shoe size 7.5B).

Burberry doublebreasted down coat (here)
YSL cabas chyc medium (here)
DL1961 angel ankle jeans (here)
DJP boots

A better way to team up with this figure-flattering coat might be a mini dress and ankle boots. On this chilly Saturday, when kids’ activities are scheduled all day long, I let the winter stand in the way of style. The YSL Cabas Chyc picked by my dear friend Alexa can pretty much mix and match every outfit. It is casual and effortless.

There are two pieces I am interested in: Burberry peplum jacket (Wendy wears here) and Isabel Marant wedge sneakers. How do you like the look below?

Burberry Stanbury jacket (here)
Isabel Marant wedge sneakers (here)


Thank you for your reading!

My cold weather solution II: Theory ima suede pants, Vera Wang boots and fur vest

Vera Wang Eldora boots (buy here, and my review here)
Theory ima stretch suede leggings  (RED here , DARK BROWN here)

Happy Friday everyone! When the cold weather swept the northeast, nothing was more important than an outfit that kept me warm. 



After being spoiled by the Theory ima leather pants (as a previous post here) for continuous three days, I decided to invest another pair, the dark brown stretch suede. You can definitely feel the difference (the penetration of the cold and wind) between leather pants and thick jeans. Price wise, these suede leggings are on sale at $171 in Theory outlet stores now, which is actually similar as full price jeans.

Lamb fur vest from Saks Fifth Avenue fur salon
Maison Boinet belt
Carven sweater
LongChamp tote

I was asked about the size of the leather leggings by Theory. Though SAs / websites suggest size down to get a better fit, I sized up for both pairs. I tried size 00, 0, 2 and 4. To my surprise, I can wear all of these sizes! Size 00 is tight on me like leggings, but still comfy. Size 4 is slightly wide for my thigh and waist, but doesn’t look odd or slipper down. Leather (especially suede) is normally stretched out overtime, I feel size 0 and 2 should be similar on me eventually. Unless you want a pair of body-hugging leggings, you may not want to size down for this particular style. There are 5 choice for this style in the outlet stores: black leather ($417), grey leather ($171), cognac (deep brown-purplish, $171), dark chocolate / brown suede and black suede ($171). The black suede ones are my last choice, which look more like velvet than leather. In addition, black suede or leather pants could be picky for boots in winter days, though they are stylish with pumps with no doubt. If you plan to buy these leather pants, you may want to consider the color and size carefully given they are finale sales.

These suede pants are versatile, in winter and spring… Thank you for your reading!

when spring comes...


My cold weather solution I: leather pants, jacket and down coat!

Down jacket: Theory
Leather jacket: Vince (here)
Leather pants: Theory ima leggings (online sale here)
Boots: Proenza Schouler
Gloves: Saks Fifth Avenue
Fox fur scarf: Adrienne Landau (style for 2012 sale here)

Temperatures in Boston go from extremely cold to extremely colder this week! A small single digit showed up on my thermometer this morning. It says on the weather website that the temperature may reach negative 9F with windchill. My choice for such an extreme weather is wearing the combination of leather and down jacket.
Top = 3 layers
1. Club Monaco wool/cashmere blend Julie turtleneck (sale @ $29 here, and my review here)
2. Vince crewneck leather jacket
3. Theory down jacket
Bottom = leather pants & boots (my review in a previous post)
Accessories = fox fur scarf + leather / cashmere gloves



Layering a leather jacket or fur vest underneath a coat is the best way to keep yourself warm in an extreme cold weather, especilly in windy days. Leather can make an unpenetrable wall to the weather, which is the reason that bikers and motocyclists always wear leather jackets. Since modern leather jackets mostly have slim fit, you can definitely avoid a bulky look even wear several layers. Same principle applies to leather pants, which do a better job to combat the cold weather than jeans.

Share a pair of booties that my girl friend picked (more information of the booties available here).



Salvatore Ferragamo Carlita boots ($283 at SF outlet store, item number 0480760150700)


Thank you for your reading and stay warm!

The look I like…