Monday, December 31, 2007

Serenity Prayer

I'd like to start off 2008 with a beautiful prayer that resonates truth and wisdom that we all need to guide us in our daily lives.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make things all right
If I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Parade of Uglies

To my faithful blog readers (yes, all 3 of you...hahaha), you already know my disdain for Fendi. I'm not that big on handbags to begin with, but to charge an arm and a leg for an atrocity is simply a crime and Fendi one of the worst offenders (Isabella Fiore will probably be the biggest offender but that's another topic for another day). To start off 2008 with a clean slate (and hopefully leave all the ugliness in 2007), I want to end the year with a parade of uglies courtesy of Fendi. Enjoy (and try not to puke on your computer screens)!

I hope Fendi leaves all the ugliness in 2007. Here's to more pretty things to come in 2008! Cheers!

January 2008 Must-Haves

It's best to start off a new year fresh and what's fresher than new clothing! For that fresh start, I picked out gorgeous feminine and flirty white dresses. These dresses have a minimalist appeal but are still fun and sexy.

Now for the shoes, I'm not bold enough to pull off animal print anything but the CL pumps above would be perfect with a simple white dress. The gold pumps above by L.A.M.B. would also look gorgeous with a short white dress. A long dress would make you look like you stepped out of a Greek myth. Hmmm...what to spend my holiday gift cards on...what a conundrum...

Happy New Year!

Here's to hoping
that everyone has a great

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 in Retrospect

2007 will be over in about 27 hours or so. I've been griping about how bad this year has been but truth be told, it wasn't too bad.

I started the year off with a surgery. My third surgery for my left arm. Then it was off to a "vacation" in the Philippines for two weeks. I wouldn't really call it a vacation hence the quotes. Two of the most hectic weeks were spent there shuttling off from one part of the country to another. The best part of that vacation was seeing my family for the first time in about 11 years. I also enjoyed the mini-vacation in Hong Kong.

Back to work, chaos ensued with a new controller at the helm of the accounting department. I ignored it and went on two mini trips, one to San Francisco and another to Las Vegas. Chaos at work continued with people leaving and people getting laid off. Mid-year was tough. The company wasn't doing to hot in a real estate market that was shaky. And then there was the break-up. I can't really say that I'm surprised that it happened. I was just surprised at how fast it happened.

Everything this year happened so fast. It's as if this year went by in a blink of an eye and everything is still a blur. I can't believe in a few hours it'll be a new year. As uneventful and partially disappointing 2007 has been for me, I'm still grateful that I have such great friends and family as my support system.

I'm kinda looking forward to 2008. New beginning, a fresh start. Here's to hoping that 2008 has great things on store for me. ;)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sona Dinner Recap

Last week, we had our company Holiday Party at Sona Restaurant. As seen in the picture, the restaurant is pretty small. We reserved their private room, which according to their website sits up to 25 people. There were about 20 people in our group and we were pretty tight in that room. The room is long so it was pretty much one long table with no room to move.

When I arrived, a few people were already there. I asked for a Grey Goose tonic and to my surprise they didn't have Grey Goose. They only have 4 different vodkas, a Polish vodka, some vodka from Oakland, a potato vodka and an organic vodka. I decided to try the organic vodka when our Chief Counsel's wife started saying, "That's ridiculous. Vodka is a poison to your body and you're gonna call it organic. That's ridiculous." I was so flustered (and surprised) by her outburst that I ordered white wine instead. I also took my stuff and sat on the other end of the table away from her.

Dinner started around 8:30pm. Red and white wines were ordered for the table. I opted for the red (Pinot Noir) since red meats were on the menu. We had a Salmon Bellini with Mint and Yogurt Parfait for an amuse bouche. It was a little bite of heaven and the yogurt parfait tasted like the Persian drink (doogh, sp?). The flavors blended well together. The tartness of the yogurt complented the saltiness of the caviar. We had Hawaiian Poke Tuna with Celery Root Puree as an appetizer. Again, a bite out of heaven. One of our co-workers hasn't eaten yet at this point. She's extremely picky so I knew she was going to have a problem with the food. I ended up eating her appetizer. It was ok since 1.) she wasn't going to eat it and 2.) it was bite-size so no harm, no foul. The next item up was squash soup. It was probably the best-tasting squash soup I've ever had. It was sweet and savory. The only thing I didn't like about it were the squash seeds but I picked those off and finished the soup. The main entree was probably the star of the night. Braised short rib and beef tenderloin duo. The short rib was perfectly braised that it practically melts in you mouth. The beef tenderloin was perfectly cooked, soft and juicy. Desert was some sort of mousse and gelato (sorry, I forgot what it was called).

Overall, the food was awesome. I'd probably go back and order something from the regular menu. The tasting menu was great and the flavors blended perfectly but the portions were TOO small. We're big eaters and a bite and a nibble is not going to satisfy us. I think that was the biggest complaint of the evening. Everyone had a great time, but everyone left still hungry.

Tom Ford 'Margaux' Metal Frame Sunglasses

I was at Nordstrom at the Westfield in Topanga last Saturday shopping for last-minute gifts when these sunnies caught my eye.

This past summer, I was infatuated with the Tom Ford aviators but their shape didn't match my face. They looked great, just not on me. I was sad but I moved on and got Gucci ones instead. This past Saturday, I just couldn't resist when I saw these and I had to try these babies on. They are the exact same shape as my Guccis so I knew they'd fit me well. The squarish shape is perfect to balance my round face. It's also oversized so it does not look like it's swallowed by my face. The lenses are gradient so it's not too dark that you look like your blind.

These sunglasses are available in 3 colors as shown here. My favorite is the one with the smoke-colored lenses. Available at fine retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, these babies are pretty steep at $340. I think they might be worth it if you have a round face like me and have trouble finding the right pair of sunglasses. ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sona Restaurant

Our company holiday party is tonight at 8pm. I'm so excited. Every year I get to plan it and every year I always surprise myself by topping one before. This year I chose Sona Restaurant as our venue. I've heard so many good things about this restaurant and I can't wait to try it for myself. Stay tuned for party updates!

Fendi Sequin and Wool Embellished Tote

Stop the madness! Another monstrosity from Fendi. Why must we be subjected to such ugliness? Why?!? I think JJ did a post on this bag last month as well, but I felt like I needed to post my own entry since it's still being sold (and I'm pretty sure someone is dumb enough to buy it unless they're blind - no offense to blind people). Maybe these are for the Fendi fans. Maybe I just don't get it. Hmmm...what I don't get is why someone would want to pay over $7,000 for such an ugly piece of poo. Are the designers on glue or something? Are they trying to get fired?

If someone knows why something this hideous is being sold and marketed as a luxury item, please oh please let me know. Thanks.

Wish List 2007

Santa Baby,

I've been a good girl but I've had an awful year (relatively speaking). Can you please brighten up my holiday with these? Thanks much!

Mulberry Medium Agyness Bag in Putty

Named after British model, Agyness Deyn, this bag is perfect for me. Not too trendy, not too boring and in the putty color it can be used year round. The medium size is also ideal for petite women like me so we don't look like we're being swallowd by our bags.

Christian Loutboutin Architek 37942 Slingbacks in Nude

This shoe is part of Christian Louboutin's resort collection and is finally available at Saks. I know I've been complaining how Louboutin shoes hurt but I'd still love these even if they did.

Catherine Malandrino Sambala V Neck Dress

I want a Malandrino dress! I've had my eye on this dress since it came out about a couple of months ago. Part of Malandrino's resort collection, this dress screams spring. Feminine but flirty are part of the appeal of Malandrino's dresses. I soooo want one! I'm not one to wear sleeveless frocks (I think my arms are fat), but I'd rock this dress anyway.

Friday, December 14, 2007

December Must-Haves

This is by no means a wish list of any sort (that's to come later). I just wanted to post a few of my picks that makes me feel giddy and to remind us that the holiday season is upon us (not that we need any remind, of course).

There's nothing more comforting than a nice cup of hot chocolate on those cold, cold days of winter. I especially love the really rich ones topped with marshmallows or with a hint of spice. Yum!

I love Christmas tree ornaments and this sassy one from Anthropologie is perfect for the fashionista's tree. Anthropologie has a bunch of other hand-made ornaments that are just as cute as this one. Unfortunately, their stock is running low so hurry to the closest Anthropologie to grab one for you tree. They're currently on sale as well!

The holiday season wouldn't be complete if we don't hear "All I Want for Christmas Is You" on the radio. I actually have the CD and I play it every morning on the drive to work. For some reason, this CD always puts a smile on my face. Now it doesn't work year-round...only in December.

My favorite holiday movie...Love Actually! I've seen this movie tons of times and still everytime I watch it, it manages to tug on my heart strings. Beautifully made with such an awesome cast, this movie is not just for the holiday season (I can watch it anytime of the year) although it certainly is appropriate.

Elf Yourself

After a grim and bleak entry, get ready for some giggles. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Laying in bed tonight, all these thoughts rack my brain. My existentialist tendencies are starting to resurface. Why am I alive? Am I relevant? Is my existence important or am I merely a blip in history? When I die, will it make a difference to someone else? Will my memory live on or will I simply die and be forgotten?

As bleak as that may sound, these thoughts are not new to me. Still they remain unanswered. I am still searching for answers, still searching for truths. What does life have to offer? Is there solace in death? So many unanswered questions are burning in my my heart.

When you really think about it, in the grand scheme of things, what we do is so minute. What we do, what we think, what we have to say...does it really make a difference?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fendi Peacock Evening "To You" Bag

In the tradition of fugly Fendi bags, this one does not cease to disappoint. It's so ridiculous that it's making my eyes bleed just looking at it. Why oh why is Fendi subjecting us to such eyesores? And at a steep price too! You can "proudly" own one of these uglies at $1700. Now isn't that a worthwhile purchase? *GAG*

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Derek Ramsay

Those of you who know me well know that I am not attracted to Asian guys, Filipino guys, or guys who are darker than me (and I'm pretty light-skinned). However, there always seems to be an exception and in this case it's Derek Ramsay.

Derek Ramsay is one of the top models in the Philippines. Half-Filipino and half-British, his good looks took the Philippines by a raging storm when he entered the modeling industry. Fast forward a few years later, Derek has broadened his scope to hosting and acting. He's currently one of the regular hosts on ASAP '07 and a leading man on the primetime soap Ysabella. He seems to be a great host since he has the charisma and the personality but I think he needs to work on his acting skills. It's still not that fluid and can seem rather forced at times.

Apparently Derek is not just eye candy. He also has a degree in Marketing with a minor in Electrical Engineering. Now that's a complete package...good looks, smarts, and a good job. His parents must be so proud. =)

I've never seen him in person, only in print and on TV. I wonder if he looks just as good in real life. Lol.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas 2007 Outfit

The holidays are upon us and there's nothing more exciting than planning what to wear to our annual family party. This year, my outfit was complete even before I planned my birthday. I bought my dress last May and I bought my shoes in September. A little early but I guess it's one less thing I have to stress out about this holiday season.

My dress looks like this except it's more of an ice lavender and not so much fuschia. The cut is similar. I'm thinking of dressing it up with accessories since it's a little plain. I love the jewel tone though; so appropriate for the holiday season.

How I only wish these are the shoes that I'll be wearing with my dress. Sadly, this $800 pair of Miu Mius are not available yet. They can be preordered at Saks but won't arrive until late December to early January. I'll be wearing generic silver shoes. =( It's cool, the Miu Mius are out of my budget anyway. *Sigh*. Where's santa Claus when you need him?

Hmmm, I guess the only thing I need to plan is my outfit to the company Holiday Party.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Friday Sale at Camarillo Outlets

I haven't posted in a while. Partly due to the holidays and partly due to sheer exhaustion from the Black Friday sale that I braved with my mom, aunt and cousins. It seriously has taken me a few days to recuperate from the holiday mayhem and the psychotic Black Friday sale we went to.

My mom and I decided a long time ago that we would try to make it to the post-Thanksgiving sale at the outlets this year. It turns out that my aunt wanted to go too so we all decided to go together. Collectively, this is our first time to the Camarillo outlets for their post-Thanksgiving sale. We all decided to just "tackle" the stores that we wanted to go to and ignore the rest.

Since most stores opened at midnight for the sale, we left LA at 11:00pm thinking that we'll have a head start and find a good parking spot. WRONG! We got there at 11:45pm and parking was already a mess. Banana Republic had a line about two blocks long and that's just to get in the store. It was such chaos! Lines to get into certain stores. Line to check out. I ended up only getting a few items but I finally got my Uggs.

For those of you who know me, you know I've been going back and forth about the Uggs. One, because I can't stand how they look but I know how comfortable they feel. Two, I live in LA. It doesn't get that cold here but I'm always cold and I have to walk my dog in the wee hours of the morning when it's still cold. Three, I just can't make up my mind. Well, standing in line at 5am in the freezing cold for about half an hour made me realize that I didn't get in that line to walk away empty handed. So, I caved and bought a pair. They are SOOO comfortable and so warm that I walked around in my apartment with them on all weekend. Lol.

Back to the sale. Was it worth it? I think so...just so I can tell people that I'm crazy enough to have gone. Were the sales that good? Yes, at certain stores (J. Crew and Banana Republic). Half the stores didn't have anything decent (Betsey Johnson) and the other half were too crowded (Diesel). But it was fun...exhausting but fun. Will I do it again? Hell no. Once is enough. Next year, I think I'll just go to Nordstrom or something.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Project Runway - Season 4

Season 4 of Project Runway starts tonight on Bravo (at 10/9 Central). After a summer hiatus, Heidi Klum and company are back! I can't wait. There's a lot of hype with this season's contestants but that's always the case when a show is returning from a long absence.

I can only hope for a great season. Of the last 3 seasons of Project Runway, I can say that I wasn't a fan of any of the winners. Season 1 winner's (Jay) designs were too out there. Season 2 winner, Chloe, was ok but her NY Fashion Week collection was a little boring. I was actually rooting for Daniel but I agree with the judges in that he needs more industry experience to hone his talent. Same with Season 3's Michael. He needs more experience but he is certainly not lacking in the talent department. Season 3's winner, Jeffrey, was a little rude for my taste. His designs are on the funky side and some work and some don't. His aesthetic is similar to Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. collection. Attitude problem aside, he was a good designer...good, not great.

I guess if this season can up the drama factor from previous seasons and especially up the level of talent, then say no more because I am so there. I hope they have more interesting challenges too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Billion Dollar Babes Sale

Last Friday and Saturday, BDB had their annual multi-line sale at Smashbox Studios. Of course, a BDB sale wouldn't be complete without an appearance from me and JJ. It was a pretty decent sale. Racks and racks of discounted clothing were arranged by designer. Jewelry and shoe vendors lined the perimeter of the main room. A second room was set up as a lounge (serving complimentary cocktails to Platinum and Gold members) and yet another was set up as a makeshift salon. The back was set up for Chloe merchandise and more accessory vendors.

JJ snatched up a couple pairs of Oliver Peoples sunglasses, a dress, a funky vest, and a fur-trimmed jacket (ultimate steal for $80!!!). I left with a Mona & Holly top (retail at $231 and I got them for $90) and Chloe shorts (retail for $495, on sale at Neiman's for $126 and I got them for $80). Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon. JJ and I were so wrapped up in the shopping that we didn't even stop by the salon or grab a few cocktails. Maybe next time...

Retail Merchandising

I've always believed that merchandising plays an important role in enticing consumers to buy. When I used to work at Politix, we always had crazy window displays. The insanity and kookiness of our displays often attracted new customers to venture into our store.

The importance of merchandising (and styling for that matter) is even more evident in the world of e-commerce when the consumer can only rely on the visuals when deciding about a product. I've recently come across a dress from Rebecca Taylor in 4 different websites including the designer's own. If I hadn't seen the one from Shopbop first, I probably wouldn't have even given this dress a second glance. Now tell me, which site would you buy this dress from?



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Busy Week

It's been a busy week for me and I haven't really blogged. This week at work I've had to catch up with some work that I've put aside. My boss was in town, so of course, my work day wouldn't be complete without him interrupting me every 2 minutes. That alone distracts me enough to push back some of the work I need to get done. Our controller (from Hell) comes back to work tomorrow so she's gonna give me work on top of the holiday stuff I need to get done for the office.

School is just as busy. I have two Powerpoint presentations due on Wednesday. My slides are almost done. I just need to work on the actual presentation. I hate speaking in front of people but this class has been forcing me to overcome that fear. I guess it's a learning tool that our professor thinks is necessary.

So, my to do list this week:

  1. Prepare Christmas card and peanuts list for Steve
  2. Finish Avico AMEX reconciliation for September
  3. Start on Highmark filing
  4. Group meeting for Carbohydrates presentation
  1. Work on Meconium Ileus presentation
  2. Start Avico AMEX reconciliation for October
  3. Start Platinum AMEX reconciliation with Avico flights
  4. Order peanuts
  5. Finish reading Chapter 17
  1. Wrap up Meconium Ileus presentation
  2. Wrap up Carbohydrates presentation
  3. Continue working on AMEX reconciliations
  4. Continue working on Highmark filing
  1. Wrap up AMEX reconciliations
  2. Start reading Chapter 18
  3. Wrap up Highmark filing
  4. Work on CLE filing
  5. Inquire for Holiday Party
  1. Finish Chapter 18
  2. Finish Highmark and CLE filing
  3. Tie up any loose ends at work
Damn, seems like another busy week. I'll have an even busier weekend with another exam coming up and all. I'll be happy if I even get 60% of this task list done. Of course, ideally, I'll get it all done. Well, now you all get a glimpse of my work week. I hope I don't get sidetracked. I always get sidetracked.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Extraordinary Desserts

On the way home from Puerto Nuevo, we stopped by San Diego to pick up a balikbayan box* from Jade. Jade wanted to have dessert at Extraordinary Desserts. Granted we just had another cholesterol-laden meal of ribs, we decided to make it a day of good food and drove to the dessert place.

Located in Balboa Park (they have another location in Little Italy), this little cafe looks nondescript from the outside. Little did I know of what was in store for us inside... As I walked in, all I could see were flowers and fruits everywhere. My eyes had to adjust before I could actually discern which part was the cake because there were just too many flowers.

The hard part was deciding which one to get. After going back and forth (and a little bit of a push from CR), I decided on a slice of the Fraisier Triple Berry Torte. It's basically just kirsch-moistened sponge cake layered with slices of strawberry and raspberries, raspberry-boysenberry buttercream, and whipped cream. I also ordered a latte because the cake just looked too rich. CR decided on a Fresh Berry Beignet. Since the portions were pretty big, we all decided to share. There were 7 of us and we got a total of 4 desserts. KRMN ordered a Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding (because bread pudding is her fave) and JG ordered a slice of Gianduia which is rum-soaked chocolate cake layered with hazelnut buttercream, chocolate mousse, and boysenberry preserves. Are you salivating yet? I am.

(L-R Fraisier Triple Berry Torte, Gianduia)

(L-R Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding, Fresh Berry Beignet)

Fighting over the Triple Berry Torte...greedy, greedy

Empty Dishes...

For more info on Extraordinary Desserts, click here.
*balikbayan box is a box filled with goodies that's being sent to relatives in the Philippines.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Puerto Nuevo

I really shouldn't be blogging since I have a ton of stuff to do but I needed to write about my weekend before I get busier.

When I celebrated my birthday, KRMN and RCN mentioned Puerto Nuevo. The last time I was there was New Year's so I told them to let me know when they're going again so I can clear my schedule. Lo and behold, KRMN emailed me a couple days later and told me that they were driving down the following Saturday. Another trip to Puerto Nuevo, another cholesterol-laden meal of lobsters, rice and beans.

For all those who are unfamiliar with Puerto Nuevo, it's a small town about 30 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. It's the self-proclaimed lobster capital of Baja California. This tiny town has a couple dozen restaurants that serves mostly seafood with lobster as the main attraction. Last December we ate at Puerto Nuevo I where the line was about a block long. This time, we ate at Puerto Nuevo II which is owned by the same family but there are virtually no patrons (which I don't really understand).

When we got there, there were no other customers and the staff seemed to be having lunch. We picked a table by the window and proceeded to anticipate the coming meal. Puerto Nuevo II offers a lobster lunch combo that comes with a whole lobster, rice, beans, and a margarita. RCN asked the waiter for the lobster sizes and prices and the waiter only came back with one size for $17.50. The lobster wasn't the biggest so we ordered 6 lobsters for the 5 of us, plus 2 orders to go for KRMN's parents. This is what we got:

We counted and recounted the lobsters because it looked like they gave us too much. There were 18 halves total so we thought they made a mistake and gave us the to go orders plus an extra order all together. We pondered about it momentarily but we ended up eating away since the food looked great and we were starving. When we were done with our meal, the waiter brought our our to go orders. We got even more confused. RCN left a big tip since he thought we got away with extra lobsters. On our way out, I heard the waiter explaining to a few customers that it's $17.50 for 3 halves! Lol. We didn't get extra lobsters after all! It was all good though because $17.50 is still waaayyy cheap for good lobsters.

Happy lobster eaters!

After lunch we drove back to Rosarito for some shopping. We left with a few goodies (check next post) and some Mexican candies (not the ones with lead). RCN wanted to purchase a dog but the little guy looked sick so he decided against it. On the drive back home we had to circle around town for a little bit because of some road closures to get back to the border. The drive back to the border wasn't as bad as some speculated it was going to only took about an hour and the street vendors were very entertaining (I wish I had pictures).

Friday, November 02, 2007

November Handbag Picks

I can't believe it's November already. It seems that summer came and went too quickly for me this year. I don't think I even went to the beach or had a chance to lay out by the pool this summer. Oh pooh! Well, one thing that's great about November is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving...I get two days off of work, I get to eat a lot of food, and best of all there are the post-Thanksgiving sales!

By any means, I'm no handbag expert but there are bags out there that DO catch me eye. Given the vast number of handbags available out there, it was tough to narrow it down. But for this month, I've got my eye on these items:

Tote: (I'll always have a soft spot for the Chloe Paddington but I won't include it in this month's pick since it'll always be a pick for me. And I'm not a fan of the Birkin so you won't see that on my picks either.)

(L-R Foley + Corinna Natural Leather Mini City Tote, YSL Downtown Leather Tote, Dior Lady Dior Medium Tote)


(L-R Gustto Cala Bag, Miu Miu Coffer Bag, Kale Chilton)

Casual Clutch: (I really mean any small bag that can be used casually as some clutches come with a shoulder strap.)

(L-R Seven Jeans Double Split Strap Clutch, Chanel 2.55, Marc by Marc Jacobs Lovely Clutch)

Evening Clutch: (Or any bag suitable for an evening out.)

(L-R Derek Lam Clothilde Metallic Clutch, Erva Flap Clutch, Gucci Crystal Evening Bag)

Exotic: (Exotic lovers should be mindful that python is illegal in California. Also, I'm not a fan of ostrich so no ostrich bags on my picks.)

(L-R B. Romanek Caiman Rockstar Clutch, Zagliani Metallic Python Puffy Bag, Nancy Gonzalez Python Tote)