Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cashmere is nice!

Brrrr! It sure has been chilly these days, even in sunny Calif. These are the times I love to soak in nice long baths, and since December is my birthday month, I usually get gifted with things that keep me warm. This year my dear friends teamed up and presented me with a beautiful ivory cashmere robe and I can't tell you how much I've been cherishing this. Surprisingly, it's as warm as fleece without the bulkiness. Yes, it's a splurge but if you're thinking of making someone smile this Christmas, I bet it's an item that's sure to be cherished. Restoration Hardware is having a sale and they carry many colors to meet your taste; be sure to check it out and stay warm (or make someone warm)!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Saving tips on Christmas Gifts

With the bleak economy these days, aren't you sick of reading depressing stories in the media? But these stories do make you stop and think -- shouldn't I be saving more for my piggy bank? But yikes, 'tis the season to be shopping and the hoidays are right around the corner!! Doesn't look like Santa's been tuning into the news and Rudolph's already on his way out the gate.

Don't fret just yet, I think there are unique ways to cut corners this year and "something different" than the conventional shopping mall gift might make you look creative, and yet not really stingy. I think giving something pricier in a category where one might not spend as much for themselves is the trick. Like a really nice party platter at Crate & Barrel for $50 goes a long way than a $50 gift basket of olive oils, salami and crackers. Here's a really cute food idea from Dean & Deluca if you're looking for a hostess gift or a casual gift. The fine grocery purveyor from NYC really does a nice job in sourcing their stuff and I love their "Let it Snow Cookies" (regular price: $58 --> now for $29.50) or "Santa's Sugar Cookie Work Shop" (regular price: $68 --> now for $34) More ideas to come!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Smooth and Silky!

Surprisingly, '08 has been a year of "change" for me from the get-go. Even before our president-elect became president-elect. But my "change" has been more in the cosmetics category. Rare for me as I tend to stick to a particular brand for years. My recent favorite at the Neiman's counter is the Guerlain Parure Aqua liquid foundation. Comprised of elements like "ocean spring water" this foundation is the lightest I've ever encountered, yet still does the job of a nice "cover up" minus any thickness. It's amazing stuff and I'm pretty speechless. It seems to have mineral ingredients as well, which is probably why it's so nice for your skin. I usually use Bare Escentuals Mineral Powder for daily use and love the stuff, but with parties around the corner and the need to be "covered up" a tad more, the Guerlain Parure Aqua is a gem. I was in a PR meeting today and the PR agency founder mentioned our messaging "needs to be in a concise package that tells the compelling truth"; well put! I feel the Guerlain Parure Aqua really delivers on its promise and is exactly the representation of the quote above. Something many marketers like us fail to deliver, so refreshing!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fashion Changes, Style Remains

Okay, so the truth about my lapse in blogging is surely not due to "writers block" but merely a recent career switch in joining a busy start up company. Believe me, I'm far from a "writers block" and in fact, have been pounding away on massive volumes of marketing/brand messaging initiatives at work with no brain power left to sustain my blog. Excuses, excuses! Oh, and did I forget to mention I pulled off a huge trade show in NY on my second week at the new job? No, no, no more excuses!!!

Well now at work, we're seriously paving way with plans for a total website overhaul for '09, and yup, everyone is shouting "we need a blog!" Yeah, yeah, I hear ya' However, I'm reluctant to just slap one on our current site as we'll need to scope out an editorial calendar and really commit to this initiative; afterall, this ain't no diary, it's a company blog... And then I realized I hadn't blogged in a looooong time, my bad, so here we go, back to "writing" about things I'm personally passionate about.

While I've a boat load of "to-do's" at the office, lately I find myself in the city (San Francisco) a lot for off-site meetings and industry events/parties. When I was in NY, the mobile CHANEL exhibit was "visiting" Central Park, but unfortunately, the line was too long and I passed on the opportunity. But now at the De Young Museum in SF, they're showing an exhibit for Yves Saint Laurent and I betcha there's lots of elegance going on there - 125 outfits on display with sketches, photos and videos shows. Don't worry, you still have time. The exhibit is from 11.01.08 - 04.05.09. The city has been all about biz and I haven't had the chance to go yet, but am definitely looking forward to a visit soon. Be dazzled! De Young claims "Fashion Changes, Style Remains," big nod.

** The image is the cover of Vogue magazine when YSL was first featured as an aspiring designer. I wonder if Phllip Lim or Thakoon will one day make it to this level....

Friday, October 31, 2008

L'Occitane - stocking stuffers for kids and all

As Sophia of L'Occitane commented on my last blog entry for the yummy hand cream, L'Occitane is certainly jingling along to Santa Clause lane with tons of great gift ideas for candy cane season. I always struggle for stocking stuffer ideas for kids as you've gotta be careful with finicky parents. This year L'Occitane has solved my problem as I've found a very cute Animal Soap Set for $8!! The limited edition contains 3 animal soaps and is sure to delight young children. Good bait to keep your kids clean too ;-) Enriched with Shea Butter, these pure vegetable soaps softly cleanse and protect children’s precious and delicate skin and are hypoallergenic.

For adults, don't forget to check out the Hand Cream Bouquet Sophia mentioned. The set is a great deal and includes all of the below for just $45:
• Verbena Hand Cream 1 fl. oz.
• Rose Hand Cream 1 fl. oz.
• Honey & Lemon Hand Cream 1 fl. oz.

• Shea Hand Cream 1 fl. oz.
• Cherry Blossom Hand Cream 1 fl. oz.
• Lavender Hand Cream 1 fl. oz.

You can also request a free sample with your purchase here.
L'Occitane rocks!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Alright "limited version" fans! Here's some more stuff I recommend.

My dear colleague gave me a truly kind gift the other day. A mini-set of new travel sized L'Occitane goodies! I LOVE L'Occitane and there was a time when my BF almost bought the whole line of the Lavender series for me when he couldn't think of anything else for V day, sweet ;-) So when I received this thoughtful gift, I was so excited. It's totally perfect for my upcoming biz trip to NY. She said that the limited edition Honey & Lemon Hand Cream was supposed to be superb, and OH MY! I almost licked it off my hand, LOL. It smells absolutely yummy! Such a great gift as honey and lemon are my two favorite flavors and the hand cream is very rich with shea butter. According to L'Occitane, the honey is imported from Provence, ahhh, another French luxury! Other goodies were the "RIZ (Rice)" series and the foaming rice cleanser - it even comes in a pump-style fitting. Such an amazingly convenient design for a travel sized bottle, I can't wait to use these soon :-) Make sure to snatch some up if you're hitting the road!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Intelligence at it's best!

Sephora cosmetic stores are addictive. Once I set foot in Sephora, why do I always end up spending so much time?

The answer is simple, good solid marketing. They know how to dazzle. New products have prominent placing and the store is easy to navigate. I love how you can compare similar products side-by-side without having to tour different cosmetic counters like a department store.

My friend and I spent a good 30 min. in Sephora this weekend, and of course I ended up with another product to add to my makeup bag.

Bare Minerals' "Mineral Veil On-The-Go", winner of "The Best of Sephora." This product is donned with a "Limited Edition Sephora 10 Year Anniversary" copy on the package and any limited edition is sure worth exploring. It's basically a small powder brush (retractable) filled with Mineral Veil powder that flows through the brush when you powder your face. It provides the ultimate translucent finishing touch to makeup, infusing skin with softness and light for airbrushed perfection. It gently absorbs oil and minimizes the appearance of lines and pores. I found it to be amazingly light and it really keeps my face fresh all day long! For a mere $28, this is a steal and now I don't have to carry a bulky brush and compact together :-) Intelligent design at it's best!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Ambition

Sorry, sorry, sorry... for the lapse in posting since my last feature. I had a wonderful relaxing week in Santa Fe minus my laptop. True bliss and liberating for sure! The only frustrating thing was that I usually carry a pen in my purse, but for some reason I forgot to throw one in and ended up borrowing a friend's pen when an important call came in. For a very long time, my sleek silver Tifany pen has been my fave, but now the particular model I like is discontinued :-( I haven't really met a perfect pen since. but I guess the wait was worth it!

Faber-Castell has finally figured out how to combine style (color) with fine instrument and the new colors for the "Ambition" pens by Faber-Castell will have you rolling your pen in a breeze! The shape is similar to the Tiffany pen but this is framed by high-gloss front and end pieces plated in a truly shiny chrome. It's sleek enough to fit in your purse or organizer and comes in subtle pastel colors like pink, mink and lavender. I do a lot of international traveling and always feel good when I fill in my customs paper with a nice smooth pen. Believe me, this one's worth the investment!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Viva Coco Chanel!

If you're a Chanel fan be sure to set your TiVo to channel Lifetime's movie, "Coco Chanel" from 8- 11 pm EDT tomorrow (Sat. 9/13.) Shirley MacLaine stars in this movie and it opens up with scenes in Paris in 1954, when Chanel held her first show after a 15 year hiatus. While her new line tanked as critics thought nothing was really new, she eventually bounces back in the 50's with a second show that has models dripping with pearls and gold-chains over the signature Chanel suits.

What inspired the "little black dress" and why do Chanel suits have tiny chains sewn inside the bottom of the jacket?
The movie promises to deliver answers and so much more! I'm particularly keen on learning what drove this little girl in an orphanage to establish such a successful fashion house and become an icon. Viva Chanel!

Some favorite Chanel quotes:

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”

There have been several Duchesses of Westminster but there is only one Chanel!”

Well stated!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gifts for your guy - Hermès

What's a perfect gift for the perfect gentleman?? Of all the gifts I've given, I think this Hermès silver money clip was a home run since it was so practical and handsomely sleek. Yeah, my guy was totally excited, especially cuz he got tons of compliments each time he was paying for something. With Hermès, how can anyone go wrong? The money clip in silver currently comes in three varieties, but the dotted silver H money clip is my fave. Looking for a $290 - 300 gift for your guy? Look no further, I assure you this Hermès will dazzle him!

I'm in a Hermès phase today and blogged about the gorgeous Hermès dog collar and leash on my
doggielicious site. Check it out if you have a dog!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

License 2 Bling!

Get in line with the A-lister celebs and order your Swarovski Crystal License Plate Frames today! Code: US15 gets you a 10% discount and they start from $39.99 & up. Nice! You can order them online at (Licence2Bling dot com) and dazzle!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Updated (9/11) Sweet Escape

Here we go Stefani fans, this is Gwen's Harajuku Lovers fragrance collection and the super cute bottles are all replicas of her actual backup dancers and herself! The line-up consist of five different fragrances: Love, Lil Angel, G, Music and Baby, verrrry Gwen! After spritzing a few samples at Bloomingdales today, I fell in love with Music and Baby and got both :-) Two sizes are available (1 oz, 0.33 oz) and range in prices between $25 - $45 at Sephora or Bloomingdales. I like the smaller size since it fits in my travel bag and I can take it with me. Gwen even has a dedicated site for her fragrance she's a great marketer! How about sporting a different scent a day? As Gwen states, "fatal attraction to cuteness" indeed :-)

Detailed description of each scent:

Love: Floral with top notes of sparkling bergamot, pink pomelo, peach and bamboo leaf mist.
Lil' Angel: Fruity floral with notes of raspberry, cranberry, blackberry and pineapple.
Music: Top notes of clementine and sparkling pear.
Baby: Top notes of freesia, bergamot and white rose.
G (named after Gwen): Top notes of crisp mandarin, fresh coconut and apple skin.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Absolute tranquility!

Wow, never in my dreams did I imagine the Marriott could turn itself around and be better than the Four Seasons. Well, Aloha from the Marriott Wailea Maui, where I'm in total r&r mode in this fully renovated heaven. I've stayed in most of the major hotels in Maui, but am genuinely impressed by the wonderfully renovated Marriott Wailea. The three year renovation has totally transformed this place into a hotel that can compete with its neighbors like the Four Seasons and the Grand Wailea. I feel their design is similar to a W hotel, but with nicer contemporary touches that include the use of warm dark wood in their interior. However, the most impressive part of the hotel is the beautiful pool. They have multiple pools on the property, but the infinity pool is insanely beautiful and you feel like you're connected to the ocean!! The pictures here tell it all!! No wonder I ended up lounging for seven hours here today, but you really have to see it to believe it. The famous Mandara Spa is also in-house, and our hotel promotion includes a full buffet breakfast in the ocean view restaurant. The only downside is the $14 Internet connection fee, but I'm not complaining as other elements of this hotel complements for all. It's right next to the Shops at Wailea (a mall that houses Louis V, Gucci, restaurants, etc.) So convenient and so dangerous for the wallet! Ahhh, one more day to go, I'll miss this place for sure :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bare Essentials

Out of occupational habit, I'm always sniffing around for Christmas gifts in the Summer. Why? Well in the world of printed media, deadlines for holiday magazine product features are around Aug. If your HOT product isn't ready as a prototype in Aug., you're doomed and you can forget being included in the "Holiday Gift Guide" for publications like Vogue, In-Style, MAXIM's, etc.

My recent find is the KORRES shower gel, a great gift for anyone and very uni-sex. At $12 a bottle with a choice of twelve fragrances like Cedar, Jasmine, Basil Lemon, you can mix-n'-match in a gift basket, or just pick one up for that holiday party. KORRES is a Greek company with a historical foot print as Athens' first homeopathic pharmacy. Natural, organic, safe and affordable! Who can ask for more??? My fave is the Jasmine scent and is perfect for the winter when I miss the Jasmine in my garden.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Curb Your Appetite!

Isn't there be a diet where the Fairy God Mother just sprinkles some magic powder on your food and you're good?
Well, it looks like your dream is coming true!
SlimShots™is a revolutionary appetite controller that helps people to moderate their eating habits, reduce portion size and resist the temptation to graze or snack between meals. According to their site, published clinical studies show that SlimShots™ can:
- Reduce caloric intake by nearly 30%
- Reduce hunger for up to 8 hours
- Be effective form the very first day
Really?? I bet it tastes awful! But I dug more and they seem to have used artificial vanilla flavor and sweetener for taste, and the ingredient of this magic potion is just natural oat and palm oil.

Dare to try?? Go to their site and check it out! They're having a free 30 day trial promotion for $9.99 for just S&H.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not So Green

For the past week I've been on a cleaning spree, trying to re-organize my closets, recycle clothing and finally getting to the biggest nightmare of all... my files!! In the days of digital, I'm always amazed at the amount of paper I tend to keep and I am so not GREEN!! To my dismay, I've recently outgrown my current filing storage in my study.

Hence, a trip to IKEA to check out their filing cabinet line-up, I ended up getting this three-tier model called: ERIK for $99.99 in white. Not realizing this 60 lb. baby was going to take 3 hours to assemble, I finally finished close to midnight and crashed without having the energy to hang a single hanging folder. I was too frustrated to appreciate this economical investment, but filing away tonight as I shred so many outdated documents, I realized that this is a pretty neat cabinet that definitely holds a ton of files. The drawers are very smooth too so it's not a bad deal if you have the patience to assemble and you're totally out of space like me!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Rock & Roll Tasting

This is a Part 2 feature from my Thu. feature of the Hip Tastes wine tasting event. So Friday nite we trekked to the Mission and checked out the "Rock and Roll tasting" hosted by Courtney Cochran of Hip Tastes. The vino was flowing, Rock n' Roll spinning and the sushi rolls were quite tasty! She had a nice selection of lighter wines and here's the list:

- Hughes Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet, Langeudoc, France

- Elsa Torrontes, Mendoza, Argentina

- Tangent Winery "Ecclestone," Central Coast

- Raymond Vineyards Small Lot White Wine, Napa Valley

- Cali 251 Rosé, Napa Valley

- Raymond Vineyards Rosé of Merlot, Napa Valley

- Chateau Lassègue Pink Criquet, Bordeaux, France

It was a great way to get acquainted with rosé's and I particulary liked the Raymond Vineyard wines. Nice way to kick off the gorgeous weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are you hip?

Hiptastes is an uber stylish wine event hosted in the S.F. Bay area by Courtney Cochran, wine sommelier and consultant. She is also the author of Hip Tastes - The French Guide to Wine, a great book that covers tastings, wine storage to BYOB & restaurant etiquette. Coincidentally, I recently found out that she's a buddy and classmate of my dear friend Ms. L, wow lucky me! Courtney's wine event is very different from your local neighborhood tasting room events. They all have a unique theme with intriguing names: The Salty and Sweet Tasting, Young Guns (featuring winemakers under age 35), The Green Tasting (enviro-friendly vino), and I hear her wine recommendations are eclectic, spanning from all over the globe and not just Napa or France. Tomorrow (8/15) she is hosting the Rock & Roll Tasting at the Mission’s vintage cool venue, Pink. I'm attending her event for the first time and she promises remixes of the likes of Poison, AC/DC, Van Halen, Def Leppard (as in Pour Some Sugar On Me, woop!) and more. Her wines and sushi rolls are sure to fly and flow with some fun dancing starting at 10 pm. Sorry, this event is sold out but be sure to bookmark her site for the next one - she promises one more this fall! A report on the wines from the event to come later, stay tuned :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Therapist Select™ Shiatsu+ Massaging Cushion with Heat

I'm telling you, this is the next best thing to an expensive massage at the Four Seasons! In fact, it's cheaper than one session there. I've sat on many massage chairs courtesy of friends and Sharper Image demos, but this Homedics Shiatsu massage cushion is the best for a minimal investment (msrp $129.99.) You can choose between Shiatsu and Rolling movements, areas of massage and get a warmer massage by turning the heat on. I'm sitting on this as I type away and it is mucho heavenly!! If you have a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond, this is what you need to get! No tip required :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Leggings - for babies!

Leggings were very Vogue earlier this year so why reserve this benefit just for adults? A Canadian online baby gear store called Pinky and Company carries an adorable line of BabyLegs that will go with any wardrobe and keep your baby warm. It can be worn under a skirt, pants, with onsies, etc. and is so stylish! Worn with a diaper, this will definitely make diaper change a much simpler task. If you don't have a baby to dress, mix and match as your next baby shower gift!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Good Hair Day!

Most of the luxury spas I've visited in Asia supply "Ionic Hair Dryers" and I'd been skeptical for a very long time thinking, what the heck it minus-ion??? When I accidentally blew up my hair dryer in Singapore last year on a biz trip (I totally forgot to use the transformer, duh!) I knew it was time to try to venture for an Ionic hair dryer. Minus ions, called negative ions in the West, occur naturally in forests and streams, anywhere the water runs pure and the air is clean. Despite being unsupported by definitive medical evidence, the very presence of minus ions is widely believed to reduce stress and bring about positive feelings of well-being. The particles can be reproduced artificially by passing air over a strong electric current or through the breakdown of crystals like tourmaline, thus the birth of Ionic hair dryers! Ive been using the dryer from Panasonic (sorry, only available in Japan) and this is AMAZING. Your hair dries quicker, but still retains the moisture... I dunno how to explain but it feels like I stuck my head in some expensive hair treatment and this effect from a dryer!! Here in the U.S., Brookstone carries a nice version for $40 and is less than half of what I paid in Japan. If you wanna take care of your locks, try this and you'll thank me!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cover Up!

Over the years, I've been frustrated that the only electrical cord covers I could find were the typical snake-like vinyl tubes that are cut on the side to slide your cords into.

But wait no more! Here's an elegant solution to hiding your lamp cords and bundled cords out of sight! Cord Coverups are made of silk dupioni and come in various colors to blend with your wall, drapes, or lampshades. Used mainly to cover chandelier cords, this is a wrap-around fabric with velcro and snugly attaches around whatever cord you need to hide. For under $30, this Martha Stewart style solution is so easy and no sewing required. Give your home a nice finishing touch!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bottle Shock Uncorked!

Did you see the movie Sideways and venture out to Santa Barbara? Well now you'll have to see Bottle Shock and venture out to Napa!

Nestled in St. Helena (north Napa) there lies a beautiful small winery called Chateau Montelena. After many ownership changes, their chardonnay competed in the '76 French 'Judgment of Paris' blind tasting and was crowned first prize! A true "bottle shock" as wine in Cally was still considered a bit of a joke in the 70's. This sensational incident has now been transformed into a movie and will be uncorked on August 6!!! I'm already smelling hints of humor, tears and joy in this glass. Furthermore, it's PG13 so you don't have to be 18+ to "taste" ;-)

When I went to Chateau Montelena last winter, we got first dibs that they'd just finished shooting the movie there. Knowing that the winery would boom after the release, I immediately joined the charter membership which allows me to secure my estate wines a year ahead and close to wholesale $$. The key is, this winery is owned and operated by Jim and Bo Barrett, and Bo is Heidi Barrett's husband (Heidi is the powerful winemaker for many cult wines, including former Screaming Eagles.) Of course their quality is top notch! While their chardonnay was crowned for the '76 tastings, their estate cab is my favorite. Click here for the movie trailer and get uncorked!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


As I've blogged before, I'm a little bit selective on candles in my home. Some are aromatic and some in the dining room are scent-less. But the universal tool I use to light my candles are the cheap dollar fifty plastic lighters. Well this weekend I came across Firefly, a sleek and beautifully designed stainless steel lighter that stands on its own!! Manufactured by Ambienti Gift & Home (www., this totally belongs in the New York Museum of Modern Art!!! The candle lighter comes in a long 11" version that stands, and a shorter length of 7" (this one doesn't stand.) I bought the taller one and it prominently stands right next to my favorite candle in my living room side table :-) The lighter is simple to refill with butane gas there's a perk! The store that I purchased this at said lifetime refill is guaranteed anytime I take it in and they can do it for me. Now I won't have to buy the plastic lighters in bulk!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Well Aged!

When the thermostat climbs to 92F like today, I definitely prefer a scoop of Wine Cellar Sorbet than a glass of wine. This decadant sorbet contains 5% wine and you'll be surprised at how well the character of the wine is preserved. The manufacturer works with vinters from around the world to source wines that go into this delicious sorbet. Just like real wine, the sorbet is limited quantity that elevates its value. I've only had the Pinot Noir, but the Sangria Rojo and Riesling are definitely catching my eye! $6.99/pint will sure be a better investment than a cheap glass of house wine. It's only available in stores on the East Coast but you can order online and it'll be shipped in dry ice via 2nd day air. Here's a toast to a very well executed sorbet! Oh, and make sure you're over 21 cuz it contains real alcohol!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Non-Hollywood Facelift

This is not another W Hotel... it is a fast-food franchise in Europe and a mega-Americano brand at that, a.k.a. McDonalds!!! News is, they've done so well with this Euro-contemporary-bistro design which was spearheaded by the head of McD in France, it may soon make its way to our continent. I guess Ronald McD realized 99 cent Big Macs were no longer the solution to "beef up" their traffic. Menus like made-to-order pasta in Italy's McD sounds like someone's really doing their homework! It feels like Ronald went to boarding school in Europe and graduated with honors! As far as space design goes, this brand is no longer "made in U.S.A.'!!! Now if only they'll import the French McD smaller sized burgers on ciabatta with the Dijon mustard, I think I may consider setting foot in one of these joints. Nice face lift for a job done outside Hollywood!

Ring Bearer

Do you take your ring off when you do the dishes? If so, this might be the perfect addition to your sink. Casabella, a brand that creates stylish and affordable home cleaning products has cleverly combined a ring holder and a sponge dish called Sink Sider™ Sponge and Ring Caddy.

The all-in-one combo can hold your rings and a sponge or soap. Why didn't anyone think of this before!!! You can get it at Bed, Bath and Beyond or online for a mere $9.99. It's a steal!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Watch Out!

Bummer, bummer, bummer! My Bvlgari watch stopped out of the bloooo and I was sure it was the battery. Well the verdict was "I'm afraid your watch needs a whole movement replacement" and I ended up getting a $590 repair estimate from a over-priced Jewelery shop in the Stanford Mall!!!! Furthermore, they said Bvlgari no longer has parts so $590 is just for a random movement by a no-name!!! Are you kidding? I can buy Louis V sunglasses. I instantly took the watch to Menlo Clock Works and got it done for $370 instead! From all of this, I learned that you have to "watch out" for battery leaks and replace the battery every 12 months. Don't wait till it stops! Leaks usually happen after 12 months of wear with a new battery, and is the most popular reason for wrist watch repair (aside from dropping the watch in water.) I highly recommend we listen to the pros. I learned the hard way and will make sure to spend $30 a year to avoid such situations in the future. Sigh.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Doggie Blog - by Me!

I'm so consumed with investigating various dog supply items and dog-related info, I've decided to launch a new blog dedicated to the process of my dog ownership and call it: Doggielicious.
Here you will find a suite of info I collect as I pursue my quest for my Coton de Tulear.Please pass the URL along to your fellow dog owners and dog fans!! Thank you!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stylish basics Italiano-style!

I'm a sucker for cool designs and my favorite house ware & kitchen line is Italy's ALESSI. Every room in my home has something from ALESSI, be it an alarm clock, coffee spoon, paper towel holder, cat dish, etc., etc. ALESSI contracts famous designers from all over the world and churns out amazing sleek contemporary products of utmost quality and cute designs. The best fact is they're all quite affordable and make nice gifts. For years I've been adding a few items here antd there and my collection is still growing! Lucky me, there's an ALESSI store in San Francisco @ Union Square that showcases mosst of their main and new products. It's a very nice store a.k.a. showroom, worthy of a visit for sure!

Here are two of the many basic items in my kitchen, coincidentally designed by the same designer, Stefano Giovannoni.

Just slide your paper towel center over the carrot and adjust the bunny against the paper towel. It totally adds a whimsical look to my sleek granite counter top and is easy to clean as it's made out of plastic. I smile every time I tear off my paper towel! You can get it online at

2) Mami Series Pans (right image)
Sure I've splurged on a full-line of All-Clad pots and pans, but of all the pans I've used, the Mami series I stumbled on last year is the king has thef best design and size variety. The ergonomically well-designed handle is round, hollow and easy to hold. The small pan I got for my birthday serves well for omelette's, and I recently bought the wok-style deep pan for my everyday sautéeing. You can purchase separate lids for these pans and will surely not regret this investment!

Do you want a cool kitchen? Just start by collecting these items and you'll be sure to impress your friends. Cooking skills unnecessary!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Affordable Pop Art

Has art and fragrance ever mixed so well?? Nope, I'm not talking about a contemporary aroma exhibit you might find at the MoMA where a painting of a coffee cup might smell like real coffee beans. I'm talkin' Andy Warhol and owning something for $100+!!

Bond No.9 is a fragrance line developed by Laurice Rahme, who decided after 9/11 that NYC was in much dire need to smell better, and deserved to! This is a true story that led her to develop and establish her line of creative fragrance, Bond No.9. Each release is inspired by NYC neighborhoods and has been named: New Harlem, Broadway, Central Park, etc. I personally find the "Andy Warhol Union Square" line to be the cutest and clever artist collaboration ever! Twelve fragrances, under agreement with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, will be released and "Union Square" was named after the location of Andy's original art studio. The fragrance sports the famous Warhol flower artwork and the 1.7 oz. bottle can be yours for $135 at Saks Fifth Ave. For the avid Warhol collectors that have $$$ to stretch, get the 10 bottle portfolio set for $1500! Here's a chance to own a special Warhol.

The seductive scent of lily of the valley combined with blue freesia, golden amber, and animal musk is sure to please any Warhol-fanatic. Cute, classy and well designed, this scores high on my wish list!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flippty Flop

Summer is definitely here! Every weekend I'm pitter-patting all over the place with a few of my favorite flip flops I acquired this year. Since I've been getting soooooo many compliments, here are the flip flops of 2008 that I highly recommend. C'mon these aren't just for the beach or post-pedicures anymore, they're totally qualified for town and will go well with your cute shorts or cool jeans or sweats. Flip flops have now gradutated the beach and are dominating my shoe rack.

I jumped into the Tory Burch NY flagship store in SoHo one afternoon, when a sudden downpour of thunder, lightning and heavy rain spoiled our shopping spree. Soaked in wet feet, I bumped into the last pair of this gorgeous patent leather flip flop, with a camelia flower motif and a gold Tory button in my size. Lucky me, they were on sale too! $175 -> $105. Every time I wear them, EVERYONE loves them and will stop me to ask where I got them. On Tory's online store, they're still on sale in many colors so get yours while they last!!!

I didn't realize those rubber, everyday flip flops was a "branded" item till I read about it on In-Style Magazine. I still can't pronounce the name correctly but it is spelled "Havaianas." Did you bite your tongue??? When Cameron Diaz said these were the only flip flops she cherishes, I was sold! In NY, I came across a solid yellow color on sale for $8!!!! Of course I snatched it and this was the start of my Havaianas collection circa 2008. So recently, when I encountered the Heart motif flip flops, I HAD to have it and got them for a mere $15 on sale! I wear my yellow to go fetch stuff in my mail box, and I wear my hearts in the yard. Yes! My Havaianas each have a specific role just like your kitchen tools. Now to find one for my gym and another for my pedicures....The heart Havaianas are pretty much sold out but you can still get it at It seems to have been featured in Oprah so no wonder these are hard to come by! Lucky me!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Doggie Play Date & Sirus Doggie Training

Today was my debut at a Coton De Tulear Doggie play date! While I still don't own a Coton just yet, the owners who came with their Cotons were very friendly and nice. Here are pics from the 10 am play date at Crissy Fields in San Francisco. The dogs were unleashed and 25+ Cotons romped around in the sand like crazy, and they were sooooooo adorable! Someone was remarking that this is the first breed they've ever seen where the dogs are so friendly with each other and don't bark like crazy. Totally agree!

There are many doggie training classes available, but according to Gloria, the breeder who kindly invited me today, the Sirus method seems to be the best. They have 19 training locations in the bay area and it's taught by Dr. Dunbar who taught the world's very first puppy class, so that his Alaskan Malamute puppy could attend school. In those days, puppies had to be 6 months or older, but in reality, puppies need to be trained much earlier. Sounds like humans! Click here for the Sirus Dog Training site.

I will be sure to enroll my doggie in this class and look forward to more tips and education from Gloria, she is too nice!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cute overload!

The Savvy Auntie site I recommended was a hit. Not having my own kid leaves me with more free time and a reason to spoil other distant munchkins, but I just got a note from my HOA that the next board mtg. is set for 9/15... which means they may finally approve the permission to own small dogs under 25 lbs.! Whatever dog I adopt will be MY munchkin for sure!

So while I patiently wait for them to give the green light, I'm definitely doing my homework these days. Surfing dog sites, joining Yahoo! dog groups, and connecting with Coton De Tulear breeders and owners. While I was digging around, I almost fell off my chair when I found some sites that sell "puppy announcement" cards. Wow, I would've never guessed! This is too fun!!!! Hey, maybe I can have a puppy shower so that my furry companion will be all ready for his/her home. Do I sound vain?? I know my future fellow dog owner buddies won't think so, or at least I hope.

I've been invited to a Coton Play Date on Sunday at Crissy Fields in the city. It'll be a great chance to check out the breed and mingle with other owners, I am excited!

Don't be surprised if you get one of these cards from me to celebrate the arrival of my furry friend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

After S.A.T.C., P.A.N.K. is in!

Yes, the world still needs another acronym and it's quite clever: P.A.N.K. = Professional Aunt, No Kids. How many of you fit this category? Well, most of my gal pals do and so do I! Thanks to Melanie Notkin who founded SavvyAuntie dot com, we now have a site to turn to for "aunt-ing." It's a parenting site for non-parents, I love the concept! Whether you're looking to spoil your niece rotten and need to find a b'day gift or just wanna mingle with fellow aunties, it seems like should be your destination! Don't you love the cute badge they made?
Here's an excerpt from their feature on Tech Crunch.
"Women account for 80% of the economy. Mothers spend about $1.7 trillion dollars on consumer products each year. But that’s only about 50% of women. What about the other 50%?
SavvyAuntie is a site geared toward the other 50% of women who don’t have kids, but know some. Melanie Notkin, the founder of SavvyAuntie, refers to these women as P.A.N.K.s (Professional Aunt, No Kids). Chances are you know some women who don’t have kids, but are either ABRs (Aunts by Relation) or ABC (Aunts by Choice). These women typically spend money on children in some way or another, but where do they turn to learn what to buy? SavvyAuntie is basically a parenting site for non-parents.

SavvyAuntie is comprised of a social network, and resources like user blogs, expert blogs, activity guides and gift suggestions. Users register and fill in information about their nieces and nephews to get customized gift and activity suggestions, and information about themselves so that they can meet other aunts (and uncles)."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cut the crap!

Once upon a time ten years ago, I had my own lovely office with a door in a famous NYC landmark skyscraper on the 33rd floor of 550 Madison Ave, a.k.a. the Sony Music Bldg. What came with the office was a fab Sony A/V player and I had the leisure of playing music all day long with the free CDs that were supplied monthly, courtesy of Sony Music! Man do I miss New York! Well, lately in my open-air Silicon V-style cube; where even our founders sit in similar cubes; it's nothing but distraction as I have no office door to close and a bunch of sales folks in the next aisle on the phone chit chatting away. Grrrrr! I can't concentrate and neither can my colleagues. The remedy? Noise-cancellation headphones are now a must-have on our team.

So here's the Steal, Splendid and Splurge recommendation for things that work like magic when you just want to shut out the world.

STEAL: Silicone Ear Plugs - if you don't want a headphone, just get this.
I've blogged about this before so check out my post titled "Zzzzzz" in the archive on May 30, 2008.
For ten bucks, this will do a decent job.

SPLENDID: Sharper Image Noise Cancellation Headsets - ON SALE around $49.99
Poor Sharper Image is no longer sharp but bankrupt. The brand will live and products will be carried as a B2B wholesale biz, but since they're closing the retail chains, every Sharper Image store is having a BLOWOUT closing sale. I came across their noise cancellation headsets this weekend and for the price it's going, this is a fantastic product. The online store is closed so get to the store before they sell out!

SPLURGE: BOSE QuietComfort® 2 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones $299
BOSE = Quality... what more can I say? The brand speaks for itself and this compact, well designed piece is the master of all headphones. It's comfy, portable and does the job well! You just have to pay the price ;-) The re-chargable battery will last 25 hrs. so it's definitely the Rolls Royce of all and well worth the investment.

Happy noise-cutting!