Category Archives: Fashion

New York Fashion Week Recap

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This past New York Fashion Week, I had the chance to model for CHRISHABANA fashion jewelry line, Spring/Summer 2014 Collection — “TecTonic.” Each of us models had to hold a strong stance on a raised platform for the entirety of the event, displaying the jewelry beautifully to all the guests and look good for the countless photos taken. Half the models were painted in silver and the other half, including me were painted in rose gold glitter on our arms, legs, combed through slicked back hair and forehead, with rouge on our cheeks. It was a chic futuristic alien-esque look and my particular look consisted of a silver arrow-like jewelry piece glued between my eyebrows, sparkling silver earrings and a gorgeous glittering silver and pale purple necklace that the crowd ooh’d and aww’d over, proclaiming it the favorite piece of the night.

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This TecTonic CHRISHABANA jewelry collection “drew inspiration from linear seismic readings, geomorphic shifting plates and joy’s division’s unknown pleasures album, presenting a sophisticated jewelry collection evoking primitive futurism.”

Some highlights from my favorite New York Fashion Week shows:

Marchesa

The Theme: Sparkling, feminine gorgeousness bordering on princess-like

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Full of bohemian embellishments: lace butterflies, hand-painted flower appliques and dip-dyed feather plumes; shimmering embroidered lace; sensual silk; colorful floral embroidery; cascading trains…

Alice + Olivia

The Theme: “Prep meets pretty.”

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Neutral palette; playing with proportion; mix of flirty minis worn with button downs; sweaters and shrunken jackets; full ball gown skirts paired with casual crop tops; tailored blazers and skinny pleated trousers; feminine lace shorts and crystal-encrusted bustier…

Phillip Lim

The Theme: “Pairing down to the basics,” “Modern career girl”

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Color palette of pearly whites, deep blues and earthly tans; geometric, abstract prints on knee-length skirts; breezy blouses with sheer panels; kimono-style moto jackets…

Donna Karan

The Theme: “Travels & Worldviews”

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Earth tone paired with solid color palette, dresses and sarong skirts, airy shirts, luxurious outerwear…

J. Crew

The Theme: Bright & fun preppy chic style.

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Rainbow color palette and prints; neon-bright sportswear; tailored classics…

J. Mendel

The Theme: “Gamine chic” — Just short of girly

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Range of pastels; sweet, upbeat leggy dresses and shorts; feminine prints…

Ralph Lauren

The Theme: The Mod ’60s with a British sense of cool

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Monochromatic color palette of a range of fluorescents; A-line double-face knit dresses; graphic separates; slick trouser suits…

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Shops & Eats in New Delhi, India

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I had the amazing opportunity to travel to New Delhi, India for the past few days. It was generally quite rainy, somewhat dirty, overrun with dogs, but also lively and wonderful in its own way. While I didn’t get a chance to truly explore the area, I was able to get a taste of India at least. We ate at some lovely restaurants: Alfa Spice, A2B Vegetarian, a Vegetarian Gourmet spot at Karol Bagh, Asia’s largest open market shopping area.

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I did quite a bit of shopping at Karol Bagh and the exchange rate was magnificently in my favor. I bought a gorgeous hot pink Indian-style dress. $35.

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A pair of sharp high heel black boots, with grey and brown detailing on the side. $20.

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Beautiful, elegant, classy silver bracelets at half off. $5

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Some wonderfully pretty Indian Rakhi good luck charm/bracelets. $2 (Yes, for all 8)

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I found some awesome makeup: Shimmery glitter eyeshadow in all colors (purple, pink, gold, white, blue, etc), lip gloss palette of pinks, reds, browns; a magical clear lip balm that turns bright pink after brushing over lips; nail polishes: Clear glitter with hearts, greenish teal blue, hot pink with glitter. $10.

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I also picked up some traditional Indian snacks: Chips, dried sweet + sour mango, powder mix to make lassi drink, mouth freshener… $15.
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Later, at the gloriously spacious and beautiful Indira Gandhi International Airport, with statues of elephants, deities; Taj Mahal structure; gorgeous shops, especially Delhi Duty Free which had incredible deals. I purchased a bunch of Luxurious Ayurveda brand items of gorgeously scented butter soaps: Rose & Cardamom, Bengal Tuberose, Neem Basil Honey, Lime Ginger; Essentials for Her set of Delicate Facial Cleanser (Mashobra Honey, Lemon & Rosewater), Sunscreen Lotion (Aloe Vera & Sandalwood), Facial Scrub (Walnut Gel), potted Lip Balm (Sweet Narangi Juice– A delicious, delicate orange scent); Tranquil Sleep spray.

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I also bought a variety of food items: Special Indian chocolates, with the following flavors… Whole almonds, raisins & buttery cashew, Indian coffee, fresh cardamom, cinnamon and chai masala. As well as Besan Caddu, a popular ball shaped South Asian sweet. I even picked up Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Korma sauces, as well as instant ready to eat “Moong Dal Halwa” (North Indian dessert of lentils cooked in clarified butter and sugar).

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Of course I also picked out a variety of lovely souvenirs: Glitter adorned pens and mini notebooks, silvery colorful magnets with photos of Taj Mahal and India landmarks on them, sticks with cute little dolls on top and the word INDIA painted on.

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I had such a great experience and time in India and look forward to going back so I can actually explore and do the sight seeing I yearn for, particularly to visit the Taj Mahal.

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Weekend with Friends in NJ

My mother actually came to visit from California for Mother’s Day and we headed to Lawrenceville, NJ to visit with some dear friends that we haven’t seen for quite some time. We stayed at my childhood friends’ parents’ house, which brought back some wonderful memories.

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We had some tea and homemade pastries, then walked around the backyard garden which was filled with pink, red, white, purple azaleas and a dozen other beautiful plants and flowers. It was truly an idyllic scene, especially with the sunlight streaming in.

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After touring the outer loveliness of the house, we went back in for raw vegetable appetizers, then shared a meal of pasta, pork, and salad.

We headed to downtown Princeton next and enjoyed some ice cream from Thomas’ Sweets. I had maple walnut and peanut butter fudge flavors in a sugar cone, and the ice cream tasted divine. The maple walnut was sweet but in subtle way and the peanut butter fudge was rich, creamy, delicious. The flavors blended well together.

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We then strolled around Princeton University for a bit, checking out the Museum, library, chapel, different halls, and enjoying the beauty of the prestigious ivy league campus.

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SATURDAY, May 11
My mom and I headed to another friends’ home for lunch. It was lovely to see them and catch up after so many years. We had quiche, salad, grapes and yummy cookies.

Back at our other friends’ place, my childhood friend had come for the day and brought her two adorable children that I got to meet for the first time. Stella (3 years old) was shy at first, but so pretty, talkative and smart! And I loved holding little Lukas (7 months), who has such a pleasant sweet disposition and the cutest little features!

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 When the kids went down for a nap, my friend took my mom and me to downtown Princeton where we shopped at Talbots (had $160 gift card from “Katie Couric Show”), as part of my mom’s Mother’s Day gift. She ended up picking a pale pink sweater button down and I picked out a hot pink sweater button down. I tried on a hot pink dress that I did enjoy but the $100+ price tag deterred me from getting it because I wanted my mom to have the rest of the money on the gift card.

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We also got free samples at Origins (Zero Oil Cleanser & Modern Friction Scrub) and award-winning mini cupcakes from House of Cupcakes- They won the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars!” They were absolutely little bites of heaven… Perfectly moist and sweet.

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We went back to the house after that and hung out outside while we grilled some chicken and sausage, which made for a very tasty dinner.

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SUNDAY, May 12
It was beautiful out today, so we could finally go to the gardens. I got to ride on the back of a Harley on the way there, which was a ton of fun. We then walked through the fair that was near the gardens. I found a gorgeous silver necklace that spelled out LOVE in cursive with a glittering heart dangling from the words. I also got some kettle corn to share with everyone. Of course it was delicious and oh so very addicting!

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The gardens were lovely as we walked along paths, bodies of water, bridges, and came across flowers, trees, plants, greenery.

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After the trip to the gardens we headed out to a place across the Delaware River, called Dilly’s Corner that has burgers, french fries, soft serve ice cream. There was a long line when we got there and the food was mediocre. Though the curly fries were quite delicious. I just wish I could’ve tried a shake or some of that soft serve ice cream.

All in all, a wonderful time spent with great friends. The only downside was that the weekend went by way too quickly!
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FIT Museum: Shoe Obsession

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I thoroughly enjoyed the FIT Museum’s Shoe Obsession Exhibit the other week. How could I not? What woman doesn’t have an obsession with shoes? Also, Shoe is my namesake (My last name is pronounced “Shoe”).

Shoe Obsession features over 150 examples of the most extraordinary shoe styles of the twenty-first century, highlighting the new concepts, constructions, materials, and types of embellishment that have positioned shoes at the height of fashion.” The exhibit showcased many big-name brands, such as Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior (ladylike, delicate, feminine), Alexander McQueen (imaginative, extreme), Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Tom Ford (revitalized the sexy seductive stiletto heel), Chanel (classic), Versace (sexy, bold) and Prada (effortlessly cool).

The below hot pink, blue + yellow heels, as well as the sparkly gold/colorful heel were two of my favorites from the exhibit.

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Some of my other favorites were shoes was a gorgeous red number by Tom Ford– Unusually shaped heels with velvet red straps that tie in a bow in the back.

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Alberto Guardiani’s “Flutterby,” a chic, stylish perfect-for-spring shoe with a classic suede pump, with a bit of surprise whimsy — a black and white butterfly for a heel. And these Alberto Guardiani heels apparently comes in different hues: Turquoise, blue, and pink! I am smitten…

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Another shoe that caught my eye: Manolo Blahnik’s classically ladylike satin pump in cobalt blue, with a crystal encrusted square sparkle on the pointed toe.

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Roger Vivier was another designer that I enjoyed quite a bit: Rose n’ Roll, Nouvelle Vague, Feather Rose, Eyelash Heel. One of my favorites was a pretty, girly light pale pink number (with hot pink interior) with a sweet curvy cut and little brown flowers with yellow, turqouise, white centers + little confetti shaped multi-colored square/rectangles all around.

FIT shoe-obsession6Another Roger Vivier that I liked was Nouvelle Vague, from the Rendez-Vous limited-edition collection is a nude pump with seductive lines and a single rose made of feathers by Lemarié.

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Now for another Roger Vivier, something with a little wilder aesthetic, with a beautiful cut and peacock-esque showiness at the back of the heel. Design named Eyelash Heel.

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There was even a Cinderella-style glass shoe on display…

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Of the shoes selected for the exhibit, Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at FIT says, “Nothing ordinary. Everything extraordinary. Some of them are works of art which you couldn’t hardly imagine wearing, but others are works of art that you really would imagine wearing to all sorts of important occasions in your life.” I couldn’t agree more… If you’re a lover of shoes, beauty & style make sure to check out this FIT Museum exhibit before April 13th to experience these artistic wonders firsthand!

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Spring 2013 Styles

It’s the first day of spring– the Spring Equinox today! Though you’d never guess it by the chilly, windy weather we’ve been having in NYC, especially by the mini-snowstorm we had Monday evening. So, here’s hoping that the weather will get warmer soon, that the flowers were begin to bloom, and that true spring will arrive. In the meantime, here’s a look at some styles and trends for Spring 2013!

Colored jeans. I already have hot pink (Rockstar – Old Navy) and turquoise (Pretty Girl) colors. Both under $20.

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Pastels are huge- They are fun, colorful, girly and flirty. One of my favorite pastel items of clothing is a Forever 21 pastel sea foam green lace skirt. Lace is another favorite trend of mine… So perfectly soft and romantic. I have a H&M short sleeve burgundy lace top that I cannot wait to show off!

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Pretty and girly a-line skirts. Pencil skirts, a little more professional though still can be sexy, are also in. I love my dark blue pencil skirt with button detail down the front.

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Sexy, sophisticated shift dresses.

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Blazers are wonderful and can be used to dress up any look, whether it be a classic black blazer, or something of the more colorful variety.

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Another fashion staple this season are bold stripes (also evidenced above). One of my favorite dresses is vertically striped dark navy blue and white, while another one is diagonally and horizontally striped black and metallicy silver.

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It should come as no surprise that embellishment details  (glittery sequins, beading, lace, etc) are something I love on clothing, whether it be tops, dresses, jackets, blazers, skirts… It’s a great way to dress up any outfit! A couple of my favorite shirts have embellishments: One has a scattering of large and small silver crystals (purchased in Shanghai) and another has horizontally striped silver sequins on black (Michael Kors).

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Leather. I love my new Levi’s Leather Jacket – Black, front zipper details, fur collar, and quite a steal at $60 (Original Price was $250+)

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Cap toe shoes are elegant, glamorous and super cute.

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Beauty Head Shots

Recently, I did a beauty head shots photo shoot at a studio in Midtown. I got my makeup done at MAC Columbus Ave and the MUA did a lovely job. She used multiple shades of blue, and a purple as well as eyeliner and fake lashes.

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We started off with a basic grey background and the navy blue 3/4th sleeve shirt I already had on. This was one of the first shots.

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Next I switched into a H&M burgundy lace top and changed the background to a pale reddish with darker streaks and a scattering of flowers in some areas. Side shot and front view shots, below.

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After that I put on a layered, ruched white top and shot with a pretty light blue-grey background.

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Close Up:

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Last change was a sweet blue button down with frills down the middle. This we shot on a sky blue background.

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Crossroads Trading Company

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My favorite gently used clothing store is a California-based one, called Crossroads Trading Company, so imagine my surprise and delight when I heard that one opened in NYC in the Flatiron District. I also found out that there is one in Brooklyn, which in the back of my head I knew but never really frequented.

Crossroads carries some of the hottest brands, such as:

  • Gucci
  • Alice + Olivia
  • Zac Posen
  • Elizabeth and James
  • Helmut Lang
  • J Brand
  • All Saints
  • Zara

During my first visit to the NYC store, I picked out some real gems. The first was a Worthington shiny-nude colored long skirt, with an overlay of pale peachy pink-gold colored lace in filmy material. This skirt was a steal at $8.50.

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I also snagged a Zara blue striped wrap shirt and a Pleione white chiffon button down with a black sequin collar (from Nordstrom Rack). They were $13.50 and $12.50 respectively.

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I also tried on a super cute white and grey fur sleeveless jacket with tan trim and button details, but ended up not buying it for practicality’s sake.

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Take a shopping trip to Crossroads Trading Company, or bring in your fashionable spring-wardrobe items that you want to get rid of, and see if you can make some money. I promise, you will not be disappointed!

 

Location: 24 W. 26th St

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Oscars Magical Moments

I’m a huge fan of the Academy Awards and this year, I had a prime viewing spot at a place in Hell’s Kitchen. Most of my predictions were spot on! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s edition and thought that host Seth Macfarlane looked cute and was charming, though at times a little inappropriate.  Here are some of my favorite moments:

Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron’s Opening Dance

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Channing Tatum, my favorite actor and named The Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine last year, certainly looked the part in his well fitted suit and made me swoon as he made the dance look effortless. Charlize dazzled in her flowing floating pale pink chiffon dress. It was so perfectly lovely when Channing literally swept Charlize off her feet, twirling and ending with them gazing into each others’ eyes. It was all just so romantic and made me yearn to be in Charlize’s place.

Jennifer Hudson’s Dreamgirls Tribute

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Jennifer Hudson absolutely killed it, singing “And I Am Telling You that I’m Not Going.” She looked and sounded amazing, and performed at ease giving it all her real soul and heart.

Les Miserables Performance

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This medley of the songs “Suddenly, “One Day More” and “I Dreamed a Dream” was absolutely wonderful to hear and see. Such depth, such emotion, such beauty. I loved both Amanda Seyfried’s (scarlet and floating), Anne Hathaway’s  (tiered and sparkly) and Samatha Barks’s (deep blue and elegant) dresses. And Hugh Jackman, his handsome and wonderful self with that rich tenor. Then of course Eddie Redmayne (Marius, the love interest) and Aaron Tveit both looked so dreamy hot.

Glitz & Glamour: Best Dressed List

Amanda Seyfried in a custom Alexander McQueen lilac organa gown with silver dragonfly embroidery. Sparkling, glamorous and gorgeous.

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Jessica Chastain‘s Armani Prive rose-gold colored gown with strapless sweetheart neck, glittered in the light and showed off her figure beautifully. Beautiful Old-Hollywood glamour.

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Sandra Bullock looked stunning in a glittering sheer black and silver Elie Saab Haute Couture gown, diamond earrings and bejeweled barrette. This gown had the most intricate, elaborate and beautifully elegant lace-sequin design.

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Kerry Washington in a beaded coral Miu Miu dress with  a gorgeous glittering iridescent white and pale pink bodice. I love that she took a risk and rocked it. Definitely a fresh and sweet look amid all the pale nude, white and black color palette of the night.

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Quvenzhane Wallis looked perfectly lovely in an Armani navy blue dress with black tulle and sparkly rhinestone accents. And that little dog purse she held onto so tightly was just so precious!

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Michelle Obama’s Oscar Appearance

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Yes, it was a surprise and yes there is backlash (from the Conservatives) but I love that she announced the Best Picture winner via satellite from the White House (with military aides)! And the introduction itself was beautiful and inspiring: “”[These films] taught us that love can beat all odds. They reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage within ourselves.” Also, “It is through cinema our children learn to open their imagination and dream just a little bigger and to strive every day to reach those dreams.”

Heartfelt Speeches

I had predicted that Anne Hathaway would win Best Supporting Actress, and was not disappointed with her emotional speech. I especially loved the incredibly romantic quote about her husband, “By far and away the greatest moment of my life was the one when you walked into it.”

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Even though I still haven’t seen Lincoln, I knew that Daniel Day-Lewis would win Best Actor for his amazing portrayal of Lincoln. He was so charming and witty, as well as appreciative, stating “I really don’t know how any of this happened, I do know that I have received so much more than my fair share of good fortune in my life.” Daniel, congratulations on your third win in the Best Actor category… You so richly deserve it!

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I was glad that Ang Lee won Best Director, and believe he deserved it. His speech was sincere and humble. He really made it clear that he couldn’t have done it without the 3,000 that worked to make Life of Pi possible, including the writer, everyone at Fox, the cast, crew, cities they shot in and much more. I also appreciated that he ended with “Xie Xie” (Thank You in Chinese) and Namaste.

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I also was beyond ecstatic to learn that my first choice (and favorite movie of 2012), ARGO won for Best Picture.  Ben Affleck‘s speech was passionate, wonderful and real. I loved that he thanked his wife, Jennifer Garner for, “working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.” And thought it was absolutely ridiculous when the immediate reaction by the public was that their marriage was in trouble. There is no relationship that doesn’t require work, and in his Ben’s own words (post-Academy Awards), “All relationships, to a certain extent, require your work. We work on it together, we try our best, nobody’s perfect.” I love Ben for keeping it real.

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And below is a photo compilation of the best moments from this year’s Academy Awards Show!

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Lunar New Year Parade at Atlantic City

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Atlantic City with Asian in NY to walk in the Atlantic City Lunar New Year Parade! We took a bus early in the morning from Chinatown, which took us to Showboat where we had breakfast of packaged Chinese breakfast items like roast pork bun and sesame bun with red bean filling.

After eating, we headed to the huge back room to put on costumes, which were colorful, gorgeous, and wonderful! Although the first costume I was given was not to my liking, as it wasn’t feminine enough for me… So after complaining about it a bit too much, a friend of mine led me back to the costume table and told me to pick another one. I picked a beautiful blue high-necked gown with a pretty design and golden hat that made me feel like royalty.

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There was also the dragon; Korean drummers; dinosaur-like creatures; royal bride and grooms from different Asian cultures and time periods; and much more. I got to meet some awesome characters in Chinese culture, like the Monkey King and the Monkey King’s Master.

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My favorite bride and groom pair wore a gorgeous satiny royal blue color with military-esque design, gold buttons, and tassels, as well as tulle, lace and sparkles on the bride’s dress.

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In all our amazing costumes and high energy splendor, we walked through Showboat, along the length of the boardwalk… Even the rain couldn’t keep the smiles off our faces as we waved at the adoring crowd. We went through Caesar’s, which was absolutely glorious: All marble, white statues, fountains, high ceilings painted sky blue.

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Then we walked from Caesar’s to Bally’s, where we got to watch the finale of the parade, where there was the amazing dragon dance. First, came dragons of all different colors: Red, green, orange, yellow, hot pink…

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And after that, the yellow dragon started their acrobatic dance of jumping on huge flower pots, on top of high tables– All of which was quite a bit precarious, but they never missed a beat. It was mind boggling to watch their acrobatic skill.

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When the Lunar New Year Parade concluded, we got to eat at one of the buffet places at Bally’s… Mostly Chinese American dishes, such as chow mein, crispy chicken, spring roll, as well as soft serve chocolate & vanilla, chocolate pudding, rice pudding, fortune cookies and snacks such as popcorn and apples.

We also got a free gift that we picked up from Caesar’s Cultural Center… It was a very adorable mug with a spoon and cap cover. I picked one that had the word Happiness on it, as well as a large light pink heart and multiple other color little hearts.

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I really enjoyed my free trip to Atlantic City… Even though we didn’t really get a chance to explore or go shopping, it was worth it to be a part of  the Lunar New Year Parade, and to feel like a Chinese Cinderella Princess in my blue gown costume!

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Birthday in NYC

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Since I was in CA when my birthday hit, I celebrated with New York friends over the weekend, after I came back from holidays in California. I wore my new “Bright By My Side” dress that I ordered online from ModCloth. This flattering and sassy coral red dress is made of crepe fabric with sheer, puffy long sleeves with wrapped bodice and waist sash. I paired the dress with fashions from Shanghai: Coffee colored tights with cute little hearts all over and black high heel glittery boots, that are actually comfortable. And, of course the outfit would not be complete without an exquisitely sparkly and pearl tiara.

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I had my birthday dinner with a bunch of friends at Max Brenner at Union Square, which is a fun place to eat but incredibly crowded on a Saturday night and where we had to wait quite awhile, even with reservations. We were finally seated downstairs, in nice booth seating and I ordered one of the sharing dessert tastings with chocolate fondue. Our orders came fairly quickly and mine included a birthday candle on top an ice cream scoop, which was on a sweet waffle with berries. Everyone sang Happy Birthday, then we dug in!

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The dessert meal was pretty good, and was presented in a way that made it fun and creative to share. We had marshmallows that we could roast on the open fire (we had a little bit too much fun with that), as well as strawberries, bananas, cake, fried plantains, and the waffle. I pretty much dipped everything in the chocolate fondue. Yum! I also got to try some onion rings, waffle fries and black sesame encrusted salmon. If I had to order a non-dessert item, it would definitely be the salmon- Perfectly crispy, good flavor, beautifully presented.

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After eating, we were planning to spend the evening at Polar Lounge, which is located within the Marcel at Gramercy. However, we were informed that Polar was closed, so we waited for others in the lobby at the Marcel, which was actually quite lovely with silver and white accents… A silver couch, an area with a rectangular fireplace, and the main lobby area had a circular sleek black couch surrounding the room. In the center of the room, little white tables were adorned with candles, pretty pink, red and green flower bouquets on top. And the walls had interesting geometric patterns of white, brown and black colors.

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After more folks gathered at the Marcel lobby, we headed onward, in search of a suitable place to party. We passed by a park with this huge, gorgeous ball that changes into all different colors. There were also viewing seats that we could lay back on and watch the magic.

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We decided to go to Vunyc rooftop, which had a breathtaking and very close view of the Empire State Building! We had some drinks, shared great conversation, laughter and all around had a great time together.

The night didn’t end there. We barhopped a bit in the East Village and hit up Gin Palace and Easternbloc, where we did a lot of dancing and got a little crazy! I had a wonderful time with everyone… Even though we couldn’t party at Polar, we found some great places (and unexpected) to hang out at and enjoy each others company!

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