Distressed shorts + Tweed blazer

distressedshorts

Living in San Francisco, I rarely get the chance to wear shorts. I had friends who came to visit from the hot and humid East Coast recently, and lamented over the fact they forgot to bring their jackets. It’s California, so isn’t it sunny all the time? Nope. Not in San Francisco. Even in the summer, we frequently need a second layer (travel tip if you ever visit my foggy city!).

So when the weather finally reached the 70s, I eagerly pulled out my new pair of LOFT distressed shorts. There’s something about being in my 30s and feeling more age-appropriate in a longer hemline. When Mr. Wonderful and I did our great purging recently, I realized I hadn’t touched my shorts with a 3” inseam in several years. When I do wear shorts nowadays, I favor Bermuda styles and capris. My shorter shorts were some of the few things Mr. Wonderful did not want me to get rid of!

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Panama Hat + Striped Top + Maxi Skirt

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I have a love-hate relationship with hats. I love trying them on, and I love the idea that a hat can instantly add some effortless style to your whole outfit.

But wearing a hat also adds to my insecurity. Does it fit right? Is it angled right? Am I pulling this off? In high school, I once wore my mom’s gray felt hat to class. I thought I looked great, until one of my closest friends pulled me aside and asked if I was ok. I was confused. Why wouldn’t I be ok?

“Well, you look ill. Like maybe you have a terminal disease.”

I kept the hat on for the rest of the day (I figured hat hair was worse), but I never borrowed it from my mom again. [Read more…]

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How to spend 1 day in Disneyland/California Adventure (with the new Diamond Anniversary events)

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I have a soft spot for Disneyland. It’s one of the few places where I feel everyone is just a little happier, a little kinder, and a little more relaxed. It’s like Christmas. You just have to pay for it.

Mr. Wonderful and I get our fix about once every 2-3 years, and with the Diamond Anniversary celebration that just started a few weeks ago (translation: brand new World of Color water show, brand new fireworks show and brand new electrical parade) we just had to go.

Many Disneyland fans will argue that trying to do Disneyland Park and California Adventure in one day is a bad idea – you feel rushed, you don’t enjoy the magic, and it’s hard to soak up the atmosphere of each “land” if you’re constantly walking from one thing to another. I get that. But I’m the type of person where if I’m visiting Paris for the first time, and I only get one day, I’m going to cram the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Louis Vuitton store and my Laduree macaroons in one day. I’m not going to sit at a café all afternoon even though, yes, that would be the local Parisian experience. In my opinion, one should check out the highlights on the first visit, and then soak up the atmosphere another time. But if that’s not you, then both Disney Tourist Blog and DIS Unplugged have a good 1-day plan for just Disneyland Park.

Otherwise, this would be my suggested 1 Day itinerary (including my favorite rides and eats!) for both parks (note this plan would not be ideal for pregnant women and young children as it does involve a lot of roller coasters): [Read more…]

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H&M Tropical Dress and Fitting Room Review

HM-3 I hate shopping at H&M. The store is usually a mess, and the quality of most of their items is so cheap that it’s better to spend a little bit more on a sale item elsewhere.

But every so often, I pop back in against my will. The European brands thankfully have not given in to vanity sizing, so it’s one of the few non-designer places where the size 2 fits better on me than the 00 from J.Crew. And sometimes I’m rewarded with a rare find, like this striped skirt I discovered last time. [Read more…]

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7 Decluttering Tips for Your Home

SimplifyLast week, I wrote about how Mr. Wonderful and I got rid of 400 sq ft worth of stuff. It was definitely not an overnight process. There are plenty of websites that suggest “5-Minute Decluttering Tips” and “Fill a Trash Bag with Items to Donate” but in all honesty, I can fill up a garbage bag simply by opening a few cupboards. A real purge takes a true commitment, and you won’t achieve it by “only” spending 5 minutes a day.

Trying to set aside an entire weekend never happened for us (who wants to clean when the sun is taunting?), so we committed to decluttering a few weekday nights a week. This meant turning down double dates and fun events so we could clean. It meant “working” after a long day at work. Not fun. But commitment is the first step, and the ultimate goal of having a more simplified home kept us going. It took us about a month, but we did it!

Here are our tips:

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How We Got Rid of 400-Square-Foot Worth of Stuff

Thanks to my Mom, I always considered myself a fairly minimal person – regularly donating things to Goodwill, purging what I haven’t used in awhile, and only buying something new if I got rid of something else first. As a subscriber to Real Simple magazine, I knew all the tips to making life simpler. Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, likes to keep everything on hand for a “what if” situation. When we first got married and were packing up his bachelor pad, I found a 1-inch piece of Velcro in a box.

“You can’t be serious,” I said, dangling the white strip in his face.

“You never know when you might need it,” he insisted. I rolled my eyes. Heaving a sigh, he tossed it in the garbage.

Next, I eyed a dusty box of mints. “We’ve been dating for over two years and I’ve never seen you eat these.”

mints [Read more…]

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Banana Republic Has My New Favorite Pair of Jeans

BRdenim

I once wrote about mourning the loss of my favorite jeans, the Ava straight leg by Citizens of Humanity. They still carry it, but the new versions are a little wider around my calf and ankles, making it look more bootcut than straight. The extra ½ inch circumference does make a difference.

I became every sales associate’s nightmare, trying on seven, eight, ten pairs of jeans and not buying a single pair. I get it. I used to work in retail. But I’m not going to shell out a lot of money for jeans that aren’t, well, almost perfect.

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3 Days in Amsterdam

AmsterdamW

Even when I first started my round-the-world trip, I was looking forward towards the end of my travels, when I would pay a visit to Amsterdam. As someone who appreciates art and fashion, I was long attracted to one of Europe’s most design-oriented cities. In addition, it has the highest museum density in the world! From the Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum to the Museum of Bags & Purses, I could have spent a month just hitting up museums alone.

If you love flowers, April through mid-May is the best time to visit Amsterdam as you will catch the renowned tulips in bloom. And don’t forget to be there on a Wednesday to catch a free lunchtime show at Concertgebouw concert hall, which is ranked as having one of the best acoustics in the world.

Below would be my suggested timeline for someone who wants to see the highlights of Amsterdam and its countryside, fit in a few museums and unique shopping, as well as dine at a Michelin star restaurant. This particular itinerary assumes you are visiting Monday-Wednesday during the Spring…if you are not, then adjust accordingly.

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Clare Vivier & Other Stories Perforated Bucket Bag

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Whenever I’m in Europe, I make it a point to stop by one of my favorite stores, & other Stories. Though it shares the same parent company as H&M, their quality is better and I prefer their clean, urban aesthetic as opposed to the more trendy designs found at its sister’s store.

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