Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Style File: Special Occasion


There's really something special about having something made just for you (like my dress by Vania, here). The next best thing is buying something that feels totally made just for you. 

We spent the weekend in Carmel celebrating our dear friends Terry and Justin's wedding weekend. It was such a perfect celebration - gorgeous couple, lovely ceremony (our first experience at a Jewish wedding!), the reception was filled with stunning DIY details, and the food was just too good (chicken wing bar, s'mores by the fire!). With the craziness of the home improvements, work, traveling, and life, I'm thankful I had this dress to turn to in my closet (packed away in one of a million boxes, to be precise). I typically shop for special occasion or wedding guest attire throughout the year - picking up unique or bargain finds throughout my travels or at designer discount sales. There's nothing worse than figuring out what to wear in the last minute - the thought stresses me out. I was lucky enough to score this blush (a fave "neutral")  dress on sale during my trip to Manila earlier this year for my best friend's wedding. Harlan + Holden is my favorite RTW local brand. Their styles are effortless, modern, and relaxed. Just my style. I'm always on the lookout for pieces I'm comfortable in, something timeless, and most importantly something flexible. This one comes with a sheer inner camisole, which I decided not to wear to create that edgier look. The roomier fit and camisole option means I can possibly wear this in case I am ever pregnant again.

If you haven't noticed, I rarely show much skin. I've always been more comfortable in styles that are a little bit more covered up.  There are times I make a tiny exception. Because of the long length, the 3/4 sleeves, and the fact I am not blessed with DD's, the plunging V did not feel vulgar. I felt amazing - excuse the Angelina Jolie leg pop. 

Full disclosure: my fashion tape was a dud, and I suffered an allergic reaction to it. My advice is to give your entire look a test run at home, fashion tape and all. Despite this minor disaster and having to wear my hubby's coat 50% of the time, I loved being in this dress and I'm glad we had my phone to document the good 30 minutes the tape held up!


Thanks for dropping by!

DRESS:  HARLAN+HOLDEN   |   HEELS:  ZARA (almost 3 years old, such a great buy)  |   
PURSE Available at SHOP CRAFT AND COUTURE  |   

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Featured: Preview Magazine


So thrilled to be featured in the August issue of Preview Magazine as a "Blogger To Follow Now"! For those of you that haven't heard of it, Preview is the Philippine's local version of the fashion style bible. It's a complete honor and I'm so humbled to be mentioned. A couple of months ago, Preview editor Lyca Puno got in touch with me and sent over some questions for a possible feature. I had assumed it would be a tiny write-up alongside other fashionistas. This totally caught me off guard, seeing a full on article just on Craft and Couture!

This blog is a hobby I really enjoy. It's something I'm truly passionate about and has been such a great creative outlet. I can't lie, most of the time I am working on a post, I think "does anyone read this?". Hmm, probably not. But that's ok! This blog is more for me than anything else. It's a way for me to mentally escape from chores, to-do lists, and everyday life. It's kept me busy and inspired and I think we all need some form of that in our lives. 

I don't post that often. I could actually be the worst in terms of posting frequency, but I post not out of necessity. I post when I can, and if I have something to share. It feels great knowing that despite the sporadic posting and my paired down style, I've been recognized as worthy of following!

There's a lot of work that goes into this. Lots of late nights on top of my day job, family duties, and life in general. It warms my heart knowing that it's appreciated and considered a good place to find inspiration. I just want to thank you so much for dropping by, all the support and kind words throughout the years! 


Download a digital copy of this issue via Summit Media.

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Our Home: Bedroom Makeover


Our second floor is currently undergoing some work (replacing carpets with hardwood, closet reconfigurations, painting, etc). All minor home improvements, but a huge and much needed change around here. I've been working on pulling our bedroom's look together and thought I'd share what I have so far. Of course, this is going to be a neutral retreat and we want to keep things as clean and simple as possible. I want to create something both my husband and I are comfortable in, so we're mixing in some strong masculine pieces with soft and chic touches to balance it all off. 

So far what we've got are the bed and bedding, chest of drawers (a vintage mid century piece scored at a consignment store a few years ago), and rug. I'm having a tough time rounding up nightstands because they have to be the perfect height and width. Considering doing an entire post on just bedside tables. For now, these nesting tables are the top choice.

Since I work for Williams-Sonoma Inc. as a stylist, I like to shop within the family. West Elm and Pottery Barn are always my first stops for great quality, well designed and reasonably priced products. Over the next couple of months I will surely be adding a handful of thrifted, vintage and bargain finds into this mix. I think that layering the new, the found, and the handcrafted creates a level of sophistication and gives a space some soul. 

I'm so excited to pull everything together! Going to try to squeeze in some blogging time to post updates on our bedroom progress. Thank you so much for dropping by!

1. Wingback bed. We're finally upgrading to a king! I searched high and low for my dream bed. This is timeless, sleek, cozy, and chic.
2. Marble pillar table lamp.
3. Burke nesting tables. Clean simple lines.
4. Oswald tufted chair. Loving the industrial, vintage modern look and how light it looks on its feet. On sale for a limited time!
5. Linen Cotton bedding. Classic and luxe with a relaxed feel. The linen also gets softer and more beautiful over time.
6. Kisanii pillow
7. Cotton wool rug.
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Style File: Backpack


New in! Having one of those moments - feeling 10 years younger and like a much chicer, way cooler version of my college self. 

MANSUR GAVRIEL x BARNEYS backpack




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Monday, July 14, 2014

Style File: LBD


It's been about 7 years since I last purchased an all-around LBD. I know, shocking since you would think my closet would be filled with at least a dozen, given my monochromatic ensembles. However, separates are my main choice for everyday staples. I've only recently ventured into more feminine dresses and skirts because thankfully, the style these days is minimalist, sleek and fuss-free. 

I've been keeping an eye out for a shift that I can dress up or down and most importantly be comfortable in. This one by COS is perfect. It has a relaxed fit and timeless simple details like the subtle wrap effect and convenient pockets. Here I've paired it with heels (recent bargain find) for date night, but it can easily be dressed down with a pair of sneakers or (gasp) Birkenstocks for easy day wear.


Thanks for dropping by!

DRESS:  COS   |   PURSE:  PHILLIP LIM |   HEELS ALDO (such a steal)  |   NECKLACE: JENNIFER MEYER |  
 LIPS: CHANEL (PASSION)

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

In The Kitchen: Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie


I've been on a huge smoothie kick lately. Our bills for juice shops and smoothie stops are a bit ridiculous. To feed my addiction, improve our healthy meal options at home, and save some time and money- we jumped on the bandwagon and purchased a good blender. After comparing a handful of different brands and models, we decided on the Nutri Ninja from Target (used their convenient online order and in-store pick-up feature!). It beat the others hands down in terms of the 5 C's:

1. Compact - Small footprint and vessels. We didn't need a party size mixer.
2. Convenient - We love how we can blend and go without having to transfer the smoothie to another container. The travel lids are perfect. There aren't any clunky knobs or fancy settings. 
3. Construction - Blades and motor are top notch. Crushes ice and frozen fruit together like a dream.
4. Cleanability - No big bulky things to wash, minimal parts that can get lost! All dishwasher safe.
5. Cost - At only $89.99, it's a great bargain. We were considering a $600 blender, but after asking lots of friends and reading a million reviews, felt it was unnecessary.

We haven't had the blender that long, but I've already discovered a few family favorites. First up is my own: Chocolate Peanut Butter (vegan and guilt free!). Okay, so this isn't the most nutrient packed. But it is loaded with a chock full of fiber and protein, has very little added sugar and curbs my sweet tooth cravings. It is sooo yummy!



GUILT FREE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE
Makes 1 serving

1 banana, sliced and frozen
1/2 C crushed ice
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TBSP peanut butter
1 TSP chia seeds (optional)
1/2 C vanilla flavored coconut milk
1 TSP organic raw coconut sugar (optional)
A pinch of freshly ground sea salt

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend till you reach the desired consistency. I prefer thicker smoothies, so I increase the ice and add the coconut milk until it's perfect.

Tips: 
All the ingredients are available at Trader Joe's (our fave!) 

You can experiment and add your own boosts (fiber, protein, maybe even some spinach or kale, etc)

Cut, slice and freeze your bananas when they are ripe. If you're  not a fan of bananas, do not worry - you don't taste them! Its pure chocolate peanut butter goodness.

You can swap out the coconut milk for greek yogurt but I prefer the milk since I'm not a fan of the tart taste the yogurt gives off with the chocolate and peanut butter. Another good alternative is almond milk.

You can eliminate the coco sugar or adjust to your preference. I prefer this over any other sweetener, and it's a healthier alternative to white sugar. I'm not an anti-sugar mom - a little bit here and there is perfectly fine.

I prepare and freeze all the fruit beforehand and store them in individual servings in small ziplock bags.


Do you have any delicious smoothie recipes to share? Thanks so much for dropping by!




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Monday, June 16, 2014

Style File: Stripes



Enjoyed a fun San Francisco Bay cruise with the hubby for his company's work event a few days ago! This is typical summer in SF - bright and beautiful but still quite chilly! I'm not one to complain since I get more use out of my winter investment pieces. 

I always feel my best when I'm dressed comfortably chic in closet classics that withstand the test of time. Sneakers, capris, and stripes - the formula for the perfect summer ensemble! A bright red lip adds the perfect pop of color to this neutral look.

Thank you for dropping by! I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week.

SHIRT:  COS   |   PANTS:  J CREW (Minnie pants, mine are 4 years old!)  |   PURSE CELINE  |   SNEAKERS: CONVERSE (new fave all white leather)  |  COAT: HM (Currently on sale)   |   WATCH:  LARSSON AND JENNINGS  |   SUNGLASSES: CELINE   |  LIPS: COVER GIRL (new fave, Hot Passion)

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