Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

As the end of each year encroaches, I often get the feeling that time flew and not much has happened (life and outfits-wise). When thinking about writing this reflection post, I remembered all the exciting moments and adventures!

Heart & soul:
Reached out for support from my classmates, shared my Mom's story
Felt truly happy about my life and escaped the cycle of self-deprecation
Found my niche with my swole ladies - wine-ing, dining, cooking, squatting
Norcal trip with my family

The best way to learn is to be curious:
Research/internship with Pediatric Plastic Surgery
Taught anatomy to art students, learned to sketch the human body from them
Read 14 books
40% on the way to MD

Experience allllll the things:
New York Fashion Week
Skydiving with JJ
Ran my first 5k and started lifting weights and rock climbing
A cappella performance of Disney medley
Lollapalooza, Dayglow, first real concert (Bruno Mars x Ellie Goulding), countless adventures in Pittsburgh

The Great Outdoors:
Class V white water rafting and camping x 2
Ski trip (where I learned how to ski)
Hikes: Hocking Hills x 2, Potato Chip Rock in San Diego

Between all the snow and early nightfall, scrubs/white coat/workout days, and general laziness, the actual outfit compilation would look a lot like my knee-length parka, jeans, and snow boots on repeat. In fact, it might be a fun project to take a picture every single day of what I'm really wearing in 2014 for a little shocker :)

This picture sums up one of my main focuses of 2014: do it now, because later turns into never. I hope tonight as you're reflecting on 2013 and celebrating NYE with friends or family, you take a moment to be proud of how much you have grown in 365 days. We don't need a new year to reset our motivation to chase after our dreams and desires - adventure is out there, put on a good pair of shoes and run after it!

P.S. Did I make my 2013 Resolutions happen? Revisit them with me for a fun comparison.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chambray + Leather + Polka Dots | North Market

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H&M chambray denim shirt // H&M polka dot shirt //
H&M faux leather pants // Forever 21 cat eye glasses //
Target suede black ankle booties // Black leather purse (gifted) //

Photography: JJ

Throwing back some more to last fall (9/22/12), when JJ and I explored one of my local Columbus favourites: North Market. It's an indoors farmers market that features diverse eats from around the world like Vietnamese pho noodles, Belgian waffles, a hot sauce corner, and Ohio based Jeni's gourmet ice cream. Cut sunflowers next to farm fresh veggies and next to things as eccentric as bison and pheasant give the place a rustic feel. I knotted my chambray top over a bold polka dot top for contrast, and threw on my chilly weather staple: leather pants. These babies keep my legs toasty for sunny-yet-frigid days and post-exam night festivities. Lastly, donned these huge cat eye frames for extra hipster effect. JJ and I unintentionally coordinated with an inverse outfit of leather jacket and denim jeans.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Class to Work: Forest Green Blazer + DIY Inkblot Top

forest green blazer class and work outfit transition inkblots and shadow roses how to style a green blazer for work
Thrifted forest green blazer with bold lapels // DIY inkblot top (Whit & Mal's tutorial) // 
H&M nude cami tank (underneath) //
Forever 21 skinny jeans // H&M black bow flats //
Chicwish gold spike chain necklace //

Thrifted forest green blazer with bold lapels // DIY inkblot top //
Forever 21 grey and black roses pencil skirt // Payless black pumps //
Chicwish gold spike chain necklace //

Photography: Cassandra

Throwback time (8/13/12): I remember this was one of the first professional dress outfits I wore for medical school last year. The day was hot, the lecture room was cold, and I needed to switch from morning casuals for lecture to something dressier for afternoon clinical class. By swapping my skinnies for a pencil skirt and tucking in my top, this was a simple class-to-work transition. There's something about the sharp lapels on this blazer thrifted in San Fran that remind me of Romulan starships. Unfortunately, pencil skirts inevitably get shorter on my legs after walking anywhere so truly knee-length pieces are on my thrift list.

Looking back, I am grateful my hair is no longer that fried and this makes me miss summer badly - yesterday morning I trekked through a light layer of snow to get to my 8 AM clinical exam. Frigid winter is already upon us - hide yo wife, hide yo kids, hide yo fingers inside gloves!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pieces of Fall

miss maple living in a bubble for pumpkin juice in goblets itty bitty pumpkin munchkins
A few snapshots to capture my favourite season, despite the shortening days and darker afternoons. Mini pumpkins, farmers' markets, clear umbrellas, and best of all the blanket of gold and ruby transforming the mundane underfoot into a regal runway wherever you go. Endocrine/reproduction finals this week - see you on the other side !

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rocker Chic | Origami Skort + Denim Vest + Black Lace

errday is leg day zara dupe origami skirt in black black lace cardigan, denim vest, origami skort, ankle booties kat von d
Black lace cardigan // Black tank top (underneath) //
Thrifted from Goodwill denim vest // Zara dupe black origami skort (bought from Threadflip) // 
Target suede black ankle booties // Wet n Wild lipstick in Wine Room //

Photography: self; tripod and remote

Believe it or not, I found the inspiration for this outfit from a character on The Big Bang Theory - in one episode, Sheldon's assistant Alex was wearing a lace top underneath a denim vest. While sometimes denim vests can look tweenish, the way she paired this unexpected combination made it look feminine and fresh. I wore this to chill in German Village with my friend Marie, where we tried to study at our favourite French patisserie Pistacia Vera (they have the best sweet potato tart - tastes like a mini pumpkin pie!), exploring the Book Loft, finishing with some rainy day coffeeshop productivity (9/29).

Threadflip has been a successful way to sell my clothes and window-shop others' closets too, and since I had $50 of credit from inviting friends, I tried out the buying experiencing with this Zara look-alike origami skort that everyone in the blogosphere was sporting this past spring and summer. It is an asymmetrical skirt from the front that creates an interesting geometric "origami fold" shape on the legs, and a sensible pair of shorts in the back. This pair pays homage to the glorified times as a 90s kid dabbling in fashion, since skorts were THE thing to rock when I was in the 4th grade. This rocker look reminds me slightly of Kat Von D, the black lace standing in for her tattoo sleeves.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day to Night: Double Cobalt + Chevron Cape

chevron tweed cape, cobalt skirt, camel bag wine red lips and nails cobalt blue and chevron tweed for fall double cobalt and camel looper belt
H&M cobalt blue lace detail top // Thrifted cobalt blue skirt //
BB Dakota chevon cape (c/o Jupe Boutique) // H&M leather camel skinny belt //
Black opaque tights // Target suede black ankle booties //
Thrifted Melie Bianco camel leather satchel // Pure Ice vampy red nail polish in Kissing Cupid //
Revlon lip butter in Lollipop //

Photography: self; tripod & remote

Day: this was the blue-on-blue lace top + pencil skirt ensemble I wore under my white coat Monday for a patient panel in the morning and afternoon clinical case presentations (10/28). We had a panel of speakers from different community resources for victims of domestic violence and a woman who came forward and shared her graphic experience. The auditorium of white coated students were riveted, shocked that someone can suffer so much for such a long time. It is something that we should all be educated on, even if it's difficult to grasp that this is a reality for up to 1 in 4 women in her lifetime.

Night: threw on a cape from BB Dakota and grabbed my favourite satchel for a friend's birthday dinner at Till's a couple weeks ago. It may be an odd thing to enjoy, but their lightly vinaigrette'd brussel sprouts were impeccably cooked. I had a lamb burger and though expensive, it was juicy and not gamey at all. The hour-long wait after we were seated was a little ridiculous even though we had a large party.

Yesterday, with the help of a light blonde wig, pair of scissors to give the wig a haircut, paler foundation, brown eyeliner for shading, and a determination to not crack up smiling, I transformed into one of our infamous faculty much to the delight of my classmates. There's nothing better than a costume that adds entertainment value for everyone around you. With that we bid Halloween adieu and find ourselves in denial that it's already November. Happy birthday, Mom.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Harry Potter Halloween

real chocolate frog salazar wizard card harry potter halloween decorations pumpkin 9 and 3/4
Every 90s kid probably remembers badly wanting to transfer from Muggle school into Hogwarts. You can imagine how pumped I was when our campus gym hosted a series of Harry Potter fitness events on Halloween. That entailed me getting up at 6 AM to attend a spinning (stationary bike) class that turned out to be full before it started! My friends and I did our cardio + squat/bench routine anyway and even had time to spare for a nice breakfast before class. One participant was kind enough to give me her magical chocolate frog box, which contained a massive hunk of milk chocolate and a holographic wizard card of Salazar Slytherin! To my surprise, when it finally split open with a knife, I discovered it was solid milk chocolate (don't know why I expected rice crispy material). At least when I'm surrounded by dementors I won't be in short supply ;)

After going into research lab and analyzing data for a few hours, I returned for Zumba, which started out with a hilarious Harry Potter theme + dubstep remix and continued in an hour-long, sweat-drenched session of dancing, jump squatting, salsa, hip hop cardio. The souvenir for this activity was a massive wand with a hole at the end for my phoenix feather placement, I suppose. We dabbled in trivia, sipped butterbeer (cream soda + root beer + vanilla ice cream), and I even grabbed a tiny pumpkin that I named "Pumpkin 9 and 3/4" after the famous platform. Trick or treating this year would have been a fun last hoorah but Ohio weather decided to dump rain all over Halloween ... classic. Instead of being soaked to the bone and miserable, I opted for a cozier approach to the evening: blogging, watching Ghostbusters, and drinking a chai soymilk latte while studying the thyroid. Happy Halloween!

Readers - how did you celebrate Halloween this year?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Liquid Gold | NYFW Cosmic Kickback

show a little leg got my gold dress on tonight old hollywood glamour elegant gold gown open back pandaphilia at cosmic kickback nyfw
Forever 21 gold lamé dress // Express nude and black pointy cap toe T-strap stilettos //
BCBG silver metallic foldover clutch // CLAWS Jewelry black stone necklace //
Forever 21 gold spike bracelet // Erin Wasson Low Luv aztec shield ring // 
Lancome red lipstick in Baroque Rouge //

Photography: Jae L, Jess Y, photo at event: Alexis

My friend Jess graciously hosted me in New York during Fashion Week and we went to Jenn Im's Cosmic Kickback party, hosted by Threadsence and Sugar & Fluff at the Lali Lali Gallery (9/7). There were fans and big-time bloggers everywhere, outer space ambience/lighting, and professional masseuses who worked their magic on my tense back. I was beyond flattered when I met my long-time supporter Toni and another gal I met outside Lincoln Center the day before. Toni is a darling girl who is studying pre-med at NYU and we chatted about how school was going for her and how to boldly use all her passions to help her realize her dream. What a small, wonderful world! By the end of the party I couldn't feel my toes at all, so we went next door to Urban Outfitters, where I picked up the burgundy patent leather oxfords from yesterday's post and ran around town. We had dinner and cocktails at Oficina Latina - they have absolutely amazing mango peppercorn caiparinas - and finished off the night celebrating with one of our WashU friends turned successful restaurant owner at his new swanky flat in Brooklyn. Then shuttle it to La Guardia at 3 AM and hopped on a plane back to Columbus!

This gold floor-length gown was a stunner I saw on display at Forever 21 and knew that it was something extraordinary. While shopping we frequently think, "I don't have anywhere to wear this to," but my philosophy is to seek out occasions that fit the dress, not the other way around. Though it is made of stretchy material and quite unforgiving of food babies, this was the time and the place to go "balls to the wall," as Jenn Im says. This dress features a sexy leg slit on the side to show off your shoes and a keyhole back that heightens the drama even more. Thanks to Jess and her roommates for giving me a whirlwind weekend experience of a lifetime in the Big Apple (and doing my hair!). It was wonderful to catch up and swap stories - how our passions for art and science curiously played out in our post-college lives. Left my heart there in that city and I can't wait to be back.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wear to Work: Speckles + Double Burgundy

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H&M speckled dotted cropped cardigan // H&M yellow lace cami //
H&M eggplant purple origami pleat skirt // Forever 21 burgundy tights //
Urban Outfitters patent leather oxblood oxfords (on sale) // Jewelmint Calypso necklace (c/o) //

Photography: self; tripod and remote

Last weekend, autumn came out to play much to my bare legs' dismay. Thus before heading out into the brisk cooler morning, I threw on my pair of trusty thicker burgundy tights from last season and matched them with my new oxfords in the same shade. This lengthens the legs modestly since they're flats, but are a twist to the classic black-on-black trick. The eggplant shade on this skirt is an elegant jewel tone for the colder months, and the origami pleat in the front adds a subtle detail that makes it less "ho-hum pencil skirt." Pairing it with the ever-popular burgundy/oxblood makes for a fall-appropriate palette while further extending the illusion of longer legs. By the way, scored the skirt and dotted cardigan for $5 each during an H&M sale a few months ago - thrifty work wardrobe win!

I wore this look under my white coat for clinical class on Monday (10/20) and to meet my Med 1 mentee, who is really sweet and fashionable too. Meanwhile, my nightly read (Dan Brown's Inferno) turned into an engrossing page-turner and I had a roarin' time kicking off Halloween festivities at "Dr. Gatsby's" mansion. This amazing scene was complete with an octagonal open foyer, mini spiral staircase, rope bridge to a fully furnished treehouse, turning bookshelves, fireman's pole, rooftop access, and med students/residents/doctors decked out in 1920's suits and flapper dresses. The eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg presided over the dance floor, and we were all beautiful little fools for a night.

P.S. I love, love, love Ohio's fall foliage. Can't ever get over it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trench Coat for Autumn Rain

how to wear a trench coat for fall clear bubble umbrella rainy day work outfit leaf confetti leaf me be!
Target khaki trench coat // H&M pastel floral peplum top // Forever 21 tan lace pencil skirt //
Predictions for Payless black pumps // H&M croc print faux leather skinny belt //
Lancome red lipstick in Rouge Baroque // Target clear bubble umbrella //

Photography: Cassandra Morecroft King

For this month's Bloggers Do It Better challenge, our task is to showcase our winter coats. While I recently invested in a long North Face puffy-yet-sleek parka for practicality and preservation of fingers and toes, the fleeting fall days are a great transitional time for light jackets like a trench coat. These are surprisingly water repellant to block out the freezing rain.

This outfit was from an entire year ago (10/19/2012), when the foliage in my neighborhood was absolutely striking. The explosion of fiery colours in the canopy above, reflected on wet pavement - one of my favourite images of fall, with natural confetti decorating the ground. Clear bubble umbrellas always seemed like fun raingear to me and make walking around easier when you can see right through them. They even show your outfit better than traditional opaque "rain-pellants." I tied the belt behind the coat to show off my layers underneath and liked the juxtaposition of the soft pastel flowers and peplum that are usually associated with spring against the vibrant shades of red and gold in the glistening leaves on the ground. Pop on a bright red lipstick and voila, fall workday to date night look.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Parkas are for Apple Picking

parka anorak and dress outfit spiked biker lapels newtonian apple she laughs poison apple in hand girly and tomboy style apple ring, baby apple, big apple all dem pockets and zippers
ASOS biker parka jacket in Khaki (c/o) // Forever 21 ivory lace dress // 
H&M faux leather waxed leggings // Target suede black ankle booties //
Chicwish gold spike chain necklace // H&M apple ring //
Lancome red lipstick in Rouge Baroque // 

Photography: Kristin P, tripod & remote

Casual Friday Snow White picking poison apples? Almost. The girls and I went apple picking Friday morning to savour the chilly beginning that signifies true fall, wearing jackets for a total of 2 days before clinging onto our winter coats with our chattering teeth. It was Fuji day and we totally sneaked a few juicy munches in the midst of the orchard (tee hee). Upon entering Trader Joe's to pick up some groceries afterwards, I discovered my sincere addiction for everything pumpkin, and had to run away before I carted every box of pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and macarons I saw.

You can imagine how ecstatic I was when ASOS contacted me for a collaboration! Best thing about this parka is the utilitarian satisfaction of having a zillion pockets with zippers, a hood, and drawstring to cinch in the waistline. I ordered a size UK 4 since that's what the sizing guide recommended, but probably need a UK 2 since it's quite long and boxy on me (see the petite version on Sydney). I paired this boyfriend-fit, tomboyish outerwear piece with a girly lace frock and waxed leggings to keep warm. Even though my package was stolen off my doorstep, the ASOS Facebook support team sorted everything out and had a replacement package sent to me in a week (works better than emailing support if your package ever gets lost en route from the UK).

So, where the heck have I been? Well ... skydiving, paragliding, running my first 5k, white water rafting on class V rapids, classy-venue a cappella gigs, learning to do front flips and pelvic exams. Though second year is busy and challenging, it's still possible to live unapologetically in between the madness :) It was also really nice to meet up with my friend Jenny, whom I haven't seen for a good two years, and chat about the good ole days over bubble tea. JJ was here to visit and we ate our fill of bibimbap, fancy comfort food brunch, and curry burritos, went to a local pumpkin festival (so much pumpkin everything - fudge, sloppy joes, pizza, and a 14-foot diameter pie!?) to cure my newfound addiction once and for all, and watched the original Carrie and other scary movies to celebrate the Halloween mood. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Guest Post: My Top Tips for Dressing to Impress In Your New Career

Today we have a guest post from Victoria M, telling us about how to dress to impress on a new job. Since starting med school, this topic has definitely been on my mind for building a (fun) professional wardrobe!


I’ve just started a job in a really busy office environment and I love it so far. As it’s my first job, I know that I must make an impact with the work that I do, but also how I present myself in the office. People are constantly watching how I behave and react to situations and other colleagues, and all of this information will be fed back to me during my appraisals every three months. I want a really positive report so I’ve been on my best behaviour and been really thoughtful with what I wear.

I would never advocate dressing provocatively at work as this is the wrong type of impression to leave people with; once you get a label at work it is hard to shake it off. Instead, I am a huge fan of dressing professionally yet in a feminine way. Here are my top tips if you’re just starting out too.

Buy matching sets

If you want a fail safe way to dress for the office, head to the work wear department of a shop and have a look at the matching sets. You should be able to find plenty of skirts and jackets, or trousers and jackets if you prefer. All you’ll need to do is put a smart top on underneath and then its most of your outfit sorted. However once you get a little more confident you might start noticing knee-length pencil dresses that would work well with your jacket, or a high waisted skirt that would look excellent with your favourite work shirt.

Remember the ironing

Speaking of shirts, I’d urge you to iron all of them before you wear them. I know that you can buy many “no-iron” shirts these days but they always look much crisper when you do. And it’d be typical if the one time you didn’t, your boss called you in for a meeting! I try and do all of my ironing on a Sunday when I’m watching TV, it makes the job a lot easier and more bearable.

Invest in some great shoes

Once you’ve got the bones of your outfit together, don’t ruin the effect by putting on a grubby pair of shoes. I’ve bought four pairs of beautiful heels solely for office use. One pair is a glossy black, another pair nude, then I also have dark grey and blue. By having a few different shades you’ll be able to match them better with the suit sets you’re wearing.

Hosiery is helpful

As it’s autumn now, I’d suggest buying some dependable hosiery to keep yourself warm. Stay away from cheap pairs that fall down or snag easily as you’ll forever be replacing them. Buy a thicker denier pantyhose and you won’t worry about getting a ladder when you pick something up off the floor in the office.

Accessorize to complete your look

Finally, don’t forget to pick up some sophisticated accessories to wear with your work outfits. My favourite picks include jewellery sets (pearls work well) and neck ties. You might also want to find some leather belts, handbags and some nicer VDU glasses. Job done!

This article is a sponsored post and was written by the sponsor; it has been reviewed by me. I received monetary compensation. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NYFW SS 2014: Wine Red Tulle + Leather Accents

Eshakti (borrowed from Elle) burgundy tulle midi skirt // Urban Outfitters faux leather panel top //
Kristin Perry gold rose cat eye sunglasses // Express T-strap nude captoe stilettos //
Melie Bianco camel satchel bag // Wet n Wild lipstick in Wine Room

Photography: Mangue Banzima (1), Pierre Doumenjou (2,3)

DAY 2 MBFW. Still coming off my New York high - daydreaming about textures, colours, fit. These two handsome gents are my friends Rashad (@thestyleguyy) and Amechi (@bowtiemeach), stylist and tie-craftsman, respectively. Aren't they dapper in their fit-like-a-glove suits? We hung out together on our first experience inside NYFW, checking out shows that came our way, exploring the sponsor booths, and meeting fellow fashion influencers. Even a couple of weeks after, we're still keeping in touch and looking forward to bumping into each other at future events. It felt flattering and unreal to be snapped by streetstyle photographers and I tried chatting with each person afterwards to get a glimpse of his/her life story. For example, Pierre moved from France to NYC recently and used the festivities outside Lincoln Center as a springboard to launch his blog.

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