Thursday, April 30, 2015

Renting Dresses

As I've been scouring the internet for that perfect bridesmaid dress for Allison's wedding, I may have found the answer in my bridesmaid dress for Katie's wedding. Katie generously took care of the dresses for us by renting them for us off For $50 per dress (plus shipping), the dresses are a really good deal. The fabric quality isn't inferior to my $200+ J. Crew bridesmaid dresses and the dresses come in a wide array of colors and styles. Katieeven ordered a few extra styles in each  size so we would each have more than one dress to choose from. I haven't decided yet but I'll probably wear one of these:

If I wear the first dress, I'll need to figure out the right undergarment so my straps don't peek through all night. The second dress is a true wrap dress, so I'll need to make sure the bow is tied tight or the whole thing comes apart! I think I just convinced myself into the first dress, as I really don't want to spend the whole day nervous and fidgety with the bow. Luckily, they're both pretty and flattering!

I'm trying to decide if I should do the same for Allison's wedding. While $50 isn't a negligible cost, it's still cheaper than the dresses I'm finding now for Allison's wedding, which I'll realistically never wear again...unless I find that perfect, versatile, rewearable dress in the perfect shade of light pink! Ha..fat chance? 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Quick Night Tour of SF

After our early dinner at Delfina, we took Jack and Anna on a quick night tour of SF. It was a typical spring night in SF - meaning it was freezing! No matter how much I warn them to dress warmly for the evenings, New Yorkers always seem surprised at how chilly it gets in California at night. Especially in San Francisco!

We made a quick drive over to the Painted Ladies of Full House fame. While my fuzzy iPhone picture does it no justice, it was actually a beautiful view as the sun was setting.

We also made a stop by City Hall, which is beautifully lit up at night. There's currently a Fancy Animal Carnival exhibit right in the Civic Center Plaza, which we would have taken more time to explore if we hadn't been so cold!

Our last stop of the night was Treasure Island, so that Jack and Anna could experience the Bay Bridge up close and get this gorgeous view of SF at night.

Cold nights aside, it was a lot of fun to catch up with old friends and share the city we love with them over laughter and exciting news of things to come. If only we could convince more friends from NY to move here. Unfortunately, the high housing prices are scaring them all away! Luckily, we have a few trips to NY planned for this year so I'll be seeing them soon. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Our friends Jack and Anna were visiting from NY so we took them to Delfina to experience one of SF's most popular restaurants. Luckily, they were up for eating early so it wasn't hard to snag a 5:30 reservation online. There was a line of people waiting when we arrived though, so I'm not sure how long the wait would have been without the reservation. Hopefully, I never have to find out!

We had some decent, if not boring appetizers so I'll skip those and dive straight into the more photogenic foods.

Delicious tender steak with frites that resemble In N Out fries 
(not my personal preference but I know others that love the fresh potato cut taste)

Delfina's famous spaghetti - one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had outside of Italy, rivaled only by Scarpetta's rendition of this dish

I love Delfina's different renditions of panna cotta! Buttermilk is probably my favorite but the jasmine panna cotta is a pretty close second. Light and delicious with just the right hint of jasmine.

Even though we were already stuffed after dinner and it was getting rather chilly, we still made our way across the street to Bi-Rite Creamery for a second dessert. I couldn't let them come all the way to San Francisco, be within a block of Bi-Rite and not try a scoop of their famed ice cream! The ice cream wasn't particularly photogenic so I didn't snap any pictures - but I definitely recommend the creme brulee flavor.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Quitting the Gym...?

I'm probably the last person to have discovered yoga and pilates workouts on YouTube by Tara Stiles and Cassey Ho. Now that I've tried them, I'm totally hooked! I love that I actually feel sore after each workout. I haven't felt sore like this in awhile even though I go to the gym 3-4 times per week, which makes me realize how little I've been working out my muscles. I love that they have 5-10 minute workouts arranged by fitness goals or target areas that you can mix and match for your ideal workout. My body is pear-shaped so I definitely appreciate being able to do more workouts for my butt, hips, and thighs. While the classes at my gym are great, every instructor seems to focus on core only.

Even though I really enjoy my gym, I'm starting to wonder if it's time to quit. I can do these YouTube workouts anytime from the comfort of my own home without the hassle of driving to the gym or paying costly monthly membership fees. Plus, my gym recently updated their class schedule so the classes I'm interested in are not as convenient for me to attend. Nowadays, I spend most of my time at the gym on the treadmill, which seems silly as I could just as easily run outside for free.

I am hesitant to quit the gym, just because I've been able to make it such a steady habit for 3 years, despite the inconveniences. I'm thinking that I'll wait a few weeks to see if I get tired of YouTube workouts. And maybe my gym will update their class schedule to something more amenable to my preferences and schedule. In the meantime, here's hoping that these YouTube workouts will help me sculpt my muscles!

I work out so that I can eat...homemade dumplings...hehe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Changing Friendships

I came across this article in the Huffington Post a few weeks ago, which reminded  me of the thoughts I outlined in this post. I don't think I feel as negatively about my past interactions with my former friend as the author does with hers but I like how she ends on a mature and positive note, with genuine wishes of love and happiness for her friend. I'd love to embody that same maturity and positivity in my own life.

"Even though you were one that I was meant to let go of, 
please know that I do care and wish you the best in life -- and I always will."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dream A Little Dream

Nearly four years ago, I had a dream that my brother and sister-in-law found out they were expecting and the due date was May 26. I woke up with a weird feeling, wondering if I should tell them about my dream. On the one hand, I knew that they were hoping to conceive and I didn't want them to think I was pressuring them. On the other hand, it felt weird that my dream was so oddly specific with the date. In the end, I decided to text this tidbit to my brother and left it at that. He didn't respond to my text and I didn't follow up. In fact, he didn't make any reference to the text until over a month later - to announce that they were expecting their first baby on May 16. So I was a little off but I was pretty close!

Pantheon, Rome, June 2011

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

I've recently been hunting for a bridesmaid dress for my dear friend Allison's wedding. This is the first time a bride hasn't dictated the dress for a wedding I've been in so it's been a lot of fun trying on different dresses. I love having an excuse to shop! ;)

She's given the bridesmaids a lot of different colors to choose from (yay!) - blush pink, nude, beige gold, and peach. I'm looking at gold or pink right now, since I think gold would contrast better with my pale-ish Asian complexion but I haven't found a lot of gold options that fit within Allison's guidelines. On the other hand, I'm finding a ton of light pink options as the spring season kicks off. Here are a few I've tried on so far:


I looked ridiculously matronly in this dress - it made me look like a grandma! I guess it didn't help that it was a bit big and long on me.


Jeff loved the way this French connection looked on me. Unfortunately, the slits in the front across the chest were a bit too risque for me. I'd have to find a way to wear a bra that covers up without showing through, which is basically impossible! Also, I worried that it was a little too business-y looking otherwise.


A lot of the blush pink options I came across were lace, which Allison is a big fan of. I thought this one looked just okay on me - it's a little odd that the slip is nude colored underneath, so it makes it seem like I'm just wearing a see-through pink lace dress.


This Adriana Papell lace dress is the top contender thus far (big plus for having a pink slip!). It's gotten rave reviews from everyone I've showed it to so far. I like that it comes with cups sewn in at the bust - super convenient! Even better, the price just went down from $168 to $140 in Nordstrom so I should be able to get a price adjustment. 

I'm still shopping around for a bit just in case, since I still have a few months to go until Allison's wedding. While the sheath lace dress is beautiful, I have to admit that lace is not my personal favorite. It can be a very delicate material and it doesn't seem that versatile. I also hate that sheath dresses can be so unforgiving after a big meal. Hopefully I'll find the perfect fit and flare dress in the perfect gold or blush pink color before August!