Woman of the Week: Carla Bruni

Wife of ex French president, singer, and one of Europe’s top models in the 80s and 90s, Carla Bruni played many roles in her life. Her romantic relationships with several high profile men has had always been under the spotlight, but she lives a great life spending significant time working on her music. There simply cannot be a post about her without her famous song Quelqu’un m’a dit first:

The first time my ears were blessed with Carla Bruni’s raspy milky voice was a song my boyfriend sent me as an attempt to cure my insomnia. I began to do some research and the next thing you know I was on Pinterest and Tumblr looking up old 80s and 90s modeling pictures of her. I have definitely come across many pictures of her I just had no idea she is the same woman who sang Quelqu’un m’a dit as well! Many notices the uncanny resemblance she shared with Bella Hadid and some even think they are long lost sisters?

Early Years:

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Nowadays Bruni either getting pap shots of her on vacation with her family or her holding a guitar. She really inspired me to follow my heart especially when it comes to love. Despite how much the French press has torn her personal love life apart after she started seeing the French president, she still lives with ease and radiates whimsical spirit. That’s something I am still trying to learn in my 20s (to ease up and not take life so seriously!). I thought I would start this post with a song and end it with a collection of her songs. After all, it only seems fitting for a sophisticated woman who looks likes her and SINGS like her.

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Woman of the week: Laetitia Casta

French supermodel who became a GUESS girl in 1993 gained recognition from walking in Victoria’s Secret Fashion show from 1998 to 2000. She has appeared in numerous fashion magazines, campaigns, and editorials. She also dabbled in acting as well. Her latest work is the French film “A Faithful Man” directed by Louis Garrel.

Early Years:

I think the cool thing about Laetitia is that she can be both super feminine and super edgy at the same time. She served softer looks in her earlier modeling career, but was able to transitioned perfectly into furious and glam for Editorials. Her signature stare definitely paved the way for the next generation models (Bella Hadid, hello?) to follow her footstep.

Over the years, her modeling career has elevated and as you can tell from her postures and movements, she replaced the flexible flimsy poses with strong statement gazes with powerful body language. I especially enjoy how unapologetically she is (as a superpower every French woman seems to have) with aging and how she redefined her identity through her work.

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She loves to rock variations of black dresses on the red carpet (I don’t blame her. She looks DAMN GUUUD in black). And her event clothes are just so well-put together yet effortless. A true French woman.

Style Notes:

  • Don’t over-do your hair. When in doubt, go out with damp hair.
  • You can never wear enough black dresses. So bring it on!
  • If the dress is a lot then go easy on the makeup, if the makeup popped then wear something simple.
  • Instead of a big smile, stare right into the camera with a smoldering look and pretend you are seducing your enemy.
  • Be the best French girl that you can be. After all, it pays off.

Woman of the week: Monica Bellucci

I decided to start this Series of posts called “Women of the Week” to honor one woman I find stylish and iconic in the history (or present time). This is the first week so I am starting it off strong with Monica Bellucci – the ageless Italian model/actress. Being a 90s baby (1995 to be exact) born in the US, I wasn’t too familiar with her name until one day I watched the 2000 movie Malèna and I immediately looked her up. There are so many pictures of her on Tumblr (I mean, of all places) and I was hooked by the effortlessly sexy energy she radiates in every photograph ever taken of her. I like the unapologetic and confident her images are. I’m drawn to how simple yet incredibly seductive her style is. By the way, does this woman ever aged?

Early years:

Monica Bellucci, Italian Actress & Model Bettina Rheims / H&K Paris, Hotel Le Meurice Indoor Make-up: Christophe Danchaud Hair: Roberto Pagnini Stylist: Claire Emilie Sibylle Color
20030201: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Born in 30 September 1964 in the Italian village Umbria. Monica Bellucci originally pursued a career in the legal profession while she modeled to earn money for school. Although enjoying great success as a model, she made her acting debut on TV in 1990 and in 1992 on American movie Dracula by Bram Stocker. PHOTO: BRADLEY PATRICK/HEADPRESS/CITY FILES

Style Notes:

  • Her style is simple and bold. Whatever you’ve got show it! And in this case, opt for a simple formfitting busty one-piece spaghetti dress and put on red lipstick (find the color tone that suits you!).
  • The hair doesn’t have to be styled all the time, but having some volume is always nice.
  • Manicured hands. ALWAYS.
  • Finally, be confident with who you are and pose accordingly.

10 Christmas Movies to binge-watch this holiday

We are getting closer to Christmas week (and the end of 2018, how crazy?!) Here are some of my all-time favorite Christmas movies you can binge-watch on whether on the journey traveling back home or simply just craving some good old quality snuggle with the fluffiest pillow, hot chocolate (or any drink of your choice at this point, no judging) in hand and eyes on the screen. I tried to stay away from the cliche and picked out movies that in my opinion are highly comical, romantic, AND stylish. I hope you enjoy this little list! Let me know under the comment section if you have more suggestions for movies I should definitely watch this Christmas!

Featured image: Southern Curls & Pearls

  1. Home Alone

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2. The Chronicles of Narnia

3. The Man Who Invented Christmas

The Man Who Invented Christmas

4. Four Christmases

Four Christmases

5. The Holiday

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6. The Family Stone

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7. A Christmas Tale (un conte de noel) 2008

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8.Metropolitan (1990)

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9. A Christmas in New York

A Christmas in New York

10. Ghost of Girlfriends Past (2009)

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BONUS*: the Harry Potter Series! I know it’s one of those movies you can watch anytime throughout the year but still. HP movies will definitely bring out the magical winter wonderland feels in you. Major winter vibeeeee.

Merry Christmas lovelies!

XO J simple

Life Lessons Gossip Girl has Taught Me.

When it comes to inappropriate and scandalous teen drama/chick flicks, gossip girl often is enlisted as one of the “classics” (especially since it is been on Netflix since FOREVER). It has definitely made its mark and stood out from all the other young adult tv series. Not gonna lie I’ve been watching the show since the tender age of 13 years old. Too early? You might say, but it’s not difficult to find out that majority of people who grew up watching the series when it first aired were around 13 to 25 years old (sometimes even “real” adults enjoyed it).
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When I first discovered the show as a “fresh” teen, I was immediately drawn to the impeccable prep-school fashion, the glitz and glamour, the lavish yet carelessly lifestyle, and most importantly, the relationships between all the characters (including struggling ones with the parents). If there is one show that in my opinion glorified New York City as a place to be, gossip girl is it. A 13 years aspiring fashion designer and self-proclaimed art hoe, I found myself fascinated by how effortlessly (as it appeared) the show incorporated fashion into building the foundations of the show’s characters. Who is Blair without her headband and colorful stockings? And who would even recognize Serena van der Woodsen without her golden voluminous champagne blond hair and risqué outfits (I mean for 16 years old)? Their ridiculously mean demeanor and cruel adult-queue conversations were in the most part so unrelatable and shocking for most middle-class suburban teenagers that it’s so cringy and ADDICTING to watch! In a major way, gossip girl has shaped my teenage years. You constantly feel like you are not “cool” enough to know these characters in real life, yet every episode you find yourself relating to them more and more. My love for gossip girl is a far more personal one, and let me explain why.

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Blake Lively on location for 'Gossip Girl' in Midtown Manhattan

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I did grow up differently compare to majority of the teens I went to high school with (click on this link if you want to find out more), being a teen was already hard. At times I felt that under my circumstances it’s even more difficult to find a sense of place in and comfort. I felt that no one understood me, including my parents and siblings back in Taiwan. For the most part, I worried that I couldn’t meet their expectations, and eventually failed them if I were to completely infuse myself with the American culture. I feared for not getting acceptance from my peers at school and feared that if I did become one of them, my parents would be ashamed and disappointed because I didn’t become their ideal prodigy. The culture differences was already a gap that I struggled for years to cross, left along adding living without parental guidance in a “foreign” country that I was told I belonged. The show that made me feel better was gossip girl. It opened my eyes to endless possibilities, ways to live as a teen in America, and most importantly, I feel that my life at the time was a big assortment of all the characters and their various life struggles/circumstances combined. In season 1, Serena’s parents sent her away from home to boarding school, Blair’s mom often verbally abused her into dieting and eventually turned her into a bulimic, Nate’s parents looked picture perfect on the surface but they were rotten inside, and overall they were all pretending to be more grown-up than they actually were, just like me traveling internationally by myself every year to be with my family, and managing my own life (for the most part). In a funny way, I was relating more to the crazier “unrealistic” parts of the show because of how unconventional my own life was as a teenager, and it was comforting to know that there were teens sharing the same (if not more) problems that were bigger than us.
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The truth is Gossip Girl has received a fair amount of criticism over the years. Some said it’s injecting inappropriate ideas and served as a bad influence on teens. Some even straight up think the show is trash with its melodramatic plotlines and everchanging character personalities. But I think one might even argue that it has exactly achieved its purpose of existence. When I revisited the episodes as an adult in my 20s, I somehow ALWAYS get something new out of it, things I simply didn’t have the capacity to pick up on when I was younger. Gossip Girl is one of those shows that no matter how many times you rewatch it, it never gets old. The fashion still looked fresh af, they used social media and are addictive to their phones like nobody’s business. Somehow the show shaped and predicted the millennial culture in the incoming years. The accurate portrayal of a narcissistic generation is ON POINT. These characters have a group of solid squad members that are constantly falling out yet in a various fucked-up way always ended up working together and repair their seemly broken friendships. Not to mention the idea that apparently our parents are as flawed as us, they are just better at hiding it.
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My recommendation for people who’s been a fan and want to rewatch some episodes but don’t like the commitment, start off with the first two episodes of each season (Summer madness shall I say?), then proceed to the Thanksgiving episode from each season and then finally the winter episodes are absolutely a MUST. They are not only dramatic, but the scenery and aesthetic are immaculate. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to serve yourself a glass of white wine/champagne with strawberries or your favorite dessert. IT IS A VIBE.
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Bonus: the Paris Episodes (Season 4 Episode 1 & 2)* soooooo good.
Gossip Girl is hands down my favorite television series because:
1. The fashion
2. The crazy plot lines
3. Aesthetics
4. Rewatchability
5. I grew up with it!
Let me know your favorite episode(s) and whether you think it’s as genius as I praised it to be in this post!

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XO J simple

How I Grew Up

Today I want to briefly talk about my not so ordinary way of growing up.

Due to globalization, more and more teenagers are leaving home and studying abroad, not just your one semester or one year abroad, some teens study far away from their parents and home for a long extended period of time (we are talking five-plus years). And I am one of the later cases. Asia is known for its strong emphasis on schooling and the competitive education atmosphere (or excelling in exams, if I may). It’s been a trend during the past decades for Asian parents to send their children as young as 10 years old to the Western world to study under the belief that the education system in the West is simply “better”, and will give their children better opportunities and career choices in the future. Depending on the parents, some only feel confident to send their kids off to American/Western university at a legal appropriate age (18 years old) and some parents worried that their kids will fall behind so they sent their kids abroad right before they hit puberty. This most likely explained why my parents decided to send me away from home to Denver, Colorado at the age of 12 years old to live with a family I’ve never met before for the sole purpose of education.

I remembered crying nonstop on the way to the airport, on the plane, when we landed, and even when standing by the carousel, my tears just wouldn’t stop filling eyes and rolling down my cheeks. My mom chaperoned me the first time around and yet I was threatened to death. Looking back, I had no idea why I was crying so much, perhaps it was the fear of the unknown world, the strong nauseating fact that I wouldn’t see my parents for another six months.

Prior to moving to America by myself, I’ve always been super attached to my parents as a child and I would always made a scene when I get dropped off for summer camp or at the babysitter’s place. I MADE SURE people knew how much I dislike new surrounding, new things, and new faces. So the fact that my parents now wanted to send me super far away to a foreign country for a long extended period of time was just unacceptable. It was too much for my 12-year-old mind to understand, and I was crying out of anger and frustration. After all this decision was made mutually. My parents did have multiple discussions with me before making the decision of sending me away. My mom visited the Middle School and High school I will be entering a couple of summers ago to make sure (needless to say she loved it). I was thrown into an environment which was completely unfamiliar to me. The language barrier was brutal, but puberty was perhaps even worse. The first semester in an American middle school I gained a solid 10kg just from eating American lunch food by myself because I didn’t know how to speak to the other kids. I went from head to toe pink outfits with classic thick Asian bangs to a punk rock 2009 Avril Lavigne inspired princess. When I went back to Taiwan two summers later, my parents were in shock with the heavy smokey eyeliners and a transformative all-black wardrobe. But they let it slipped because she is American now and they do things differently there. And from that point on, my life is changed forever.

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After a good four years of studying in the States, I’ve made multiple friends, my English definitely improved and I was able to gain more insight into what is it like to be a proper American teen. However, the feeling of insecurity and not having a sense of belonging was starting to eat me alive. I started to constantly disagree with my parents on a fundamental basis, I refused to oblige to the cultural expectations they tried to impose on me when I was back home for break. It was becoming a lot more difficult to live with my own family members in Taiwan because I am not used to all the house rules and how they functioned as a household. I was gradually feeling distant from my own family because they all knew the ins-and-outs, where things are but I was utterly clueless. The hardest part was they assumed I know EVERYTHING because I am biologically related to them, but I genuinely question if I belonged at all. When I finally adjusted myself to adapt to my own family, it’s time to say goodbye again – on to living with the family friends who I spent more time with during my teenage years than my own family members.

Over the years, I’ve stayed with so many families to a point where I’ve lost count. I’ve gone to a Greek Orthodox church, had multiple Russian dinners, attended graduation parties and fashion shows, tried Australian cuisine and of course, cheered on football games, all the while being the only Asian person in the room. I did it all before the age of 17 years old. Some people looked at my upbringing confused, and I just saw it as a form of training. I want to believe that there is a bigger picture in this journey: that ultimately my parents wanted to train me to become an independent, well-rounded, worldly woman who can handle herself in any situation. Although I don’t think I exactly turned out to be the person they wanted me to become, pretty confident to say that I have grown up to become a person with a global view.

Studying away from home has definitely broadened my worldview and expanded my capacity to absorb and adapt to new culture regardless of where I go in the world. I am currently studying in Europe (this is probably going to be yet another post I will write about in the future) and I did find myself more at ease the second time around. Nothing comes easy when you first go to a foreign country and live there. But we shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown, instead, we should embrace our fear and make the most out of it.

 

 

xo, J

 

Life update: finding purpose & some thoughts

I haven’t posted anything in almost 4 months….a lot had happened and my mind was/is just a constant mess. I didn’t want to vomit all my thoughts on this blog considered that it just wasn’t my intention when I first started this blog, yet here I am, trying to articulate proper descriptions of what I’ve been feeling and still feeling today.

Long story short, I’ve lost someone significant in my life.  Perhaps it’s too early to talk about this because the loss still feels fairly recent and that we are all still hurting as a family. Sometimes life is fucked-up in various ways, and my family have been through hell and back the past couple of years. Every single incidence was life threatening and definitely unexpected. We’ve always believed that what you’ve given out to the universe is what you will receive in return, thus my family have always been about trying to do good, help others, and never complain. But it just somehow didn’t work out. Bad things were still happening. There were constant unavoidable dramas taking place despite the best attempt to avoid them. To be honest, I still don’t know how my family is going to survive this one. I assumed it will take multiple group therapy sessions in the future to sort out everyone’s emotions and properly heal. Maybe we will never completely heal and the void will be inside us eating us alive.

The hardest part of the aftermath of the death of a family member is that everyone demands and expects you to go back to normal life, the “old” life from before. But the truth is it will never be the same without that person. I am still trying to get used this fact and it hasn’t been easy. I sincerely hope somehow I gain some profound wisdom from this or I understand the world better compare to where I was before. But honest to god, I haven’t felt this empty inside in a very long time. We can carry on and live as fulfilled as we possibly could, but in the back of my mind, I still think that our tragedy just served as another warning or fictionary tale to other families and friends, to help them make an adjustment or change their attitudes about their loved ones because life is too short and my god you really have to cherish every moment! 

Why as humans we never truly learned until something drastic happened around you? The history shouldn’t repeat itself yet it has been in every aspect of the existence of mankind. I did some research and read up the five stages of grief. And needless to say, I diagnosed EVERYONE in my family. But like I said, it is still too early to tell which direction our family is heading towards, and I won’t be sharing more insight on this until I know more.

I’ve also found it difficult to focus and concentrate on my daily task. Everything just seems less interesting and every perception changed forever. I hope to find fuel again, and get more motivations to get my life back on track. Maybe working on this blog again is my way of coping with heartache and finding a sense of purpose again. I’ve been stimulating myself with constant creative inspiration and social media distractions to get out of being sad or angry or depressed. So bear with me, my readers. I hope to stay consistent with my content even during the busier months.

XO J simple

Last Minute NYE Looks (2017-2018)

One thing that many people aren’t aware of is that final comes after winter break for me, hence doing the absolute bare minimum (leisure activities wise) and lots of hitting books. Needless to say, it really didn’t hit me until this morning that tomorrow will be the last day of 2017. Where DID THE TIME FUDGING AGO?!!! Well, while I procrastinated planning for NYE, this post (which I’ve gathered from various fashion bloggers/brands/internet) is for all my procrastinating angels out there who are still struggling to make a last minute decision. IF there is a place to be and nothing to wear, I hope this serves as somewhat an inspiration to celebrate the beginning of yet another year, in the most stylish manner possible, of course!

 

For my boho goddesses:

 

 

 

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For my edgy city troopers in heels:

 

 

 

 

 

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The thriving baddies:

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Karla’s Closet

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Fashion Nova

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Which look will you be rocking this NYE? Let me know!

In the meantime, let’s enjoy these last precious moments of 2017…

 

xo, J

 

 

Holiday Vibes in BCN

Morning:

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Night:

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Spent one wonderful and relaxing weekend in Barcelona, taking a quick short break from school and the hectic schedule. Who like me is not a big fan of choppy breaks? I mean I know I should be thankful I get ANY holidays at all but still, something just doesn’t sit right with me when I had to constantly readjust myself from vacay-Joyce to uni-Joyce (trust me, there is a difference). I absolutely adored Barcelona in the winter. It is not your typical white Christmas from its Northern European neighbors, with snowflakes falling down the windows, and bundled up in front of a fireplace, but the cold Mediterranian wind can still add to the chilly-effect. I personally love when the temperature drops a good 4-5 degrees at night, and the wind swiftly pierced from one stone wall to the other as pedestrians cuddled closer to each other, searching for warmth and comfort. I think winter in Barcelona adds a touch of an enigma to the city compare to the warmer months when the city is flooded with tourists and young hooligans. Winter in Barcelona is like the more reserved and serious side of this city, in other words, mysterious and discreet. My favorite activities include: indulging sweets (Chok donuts, for example), visiting Christmas Market, walk around the city to take in all the festive decors on every street, and enjoying one or two…too many cocktails in a hidden bar in a basement somewhere with dim light and impeccable atmosphere. Can’t think of any other way to spend a Saturday night, to be honest.

 

XO, J.

 

 

ERDEM x H&M

Every year H&M does a collaboration with a hand-picked high-end designer brand, and this year is no exception. Not going to lie, this could be the first time I’ve ever heard of Erdem, perhaps due to my lack of fashion knowledge, but I wasn’t too aware of the brand. On one regular school night as I was getting distracted by this thing called “the internet”, I accidentally stumble upon this ad, and needless to say, I was instantly SOLD.

After a couple minutes of googling, I’ve learned that the mastermind behind Erdem is the brilliant Erdem Moralioglu, a Canadian born, England raised designer. This collab is his first attempt to branch out from women’s wear to men’s wear. There are still quite a sweet elegant touches of Erdem on the men’s wear pieces. In fact, I am far more impressed with the men’s pieces since they could easily be unisex items and regardless of where you are on the gender spectrum, there is something for you in this collection.

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Here are some of the items I am just dying to get my hands on from this collection:

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Would you purchase from this H&M designer collab? Leave in the comments below!

 

XO, J.

 

November Inspiration.

Autumn editorial & street styles from the past and present that really inspired me… I find that no matter how hard I tried, I can’t seem to stray from beige/nude color palate. Basically anything anyone decided to put on their faces as makeup, I want the exact replica of colors except in clothes. Should I be concerned with how I obsessed I’ve been with these neutral colors? Think it will stay for now.

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The perfect staycation spent village hopping around Girona, Catalonia. The autumn atmosphere is definitely in the air and I am loving every single second of it. We visited Gala and Salvador Dali’s castle in Pubol (he gifted her the castle) and of course Peratallada – arguably the most beautiful Catalan town – my all time favorite especially during the fall months.

“Autumn that year painted the countryside in vivid shades of scarlet, saffron, and russet, and the days were clear and crisp under harvest skies.” -Sharon Kay Penman

XO, J

Start of Autumn…

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Dear Viewers….

First of all I hope this summer was all kinds of wonderful and chic. For those of you who’s followed my Instagram, you are probably more aware of my whereabouts. Back to school season has gotten to the best of me, and I’ve officially started my 4th year dentistry course. It’s been super hectic and the frustration level was surprisingly high. It took me awhile to finally sit down and think about what’s next for my blog. Thinking a couple months ahead, school will only get busier and work will begin to pile up. However, I am going to really challenge myself to post at least once a week, whether that is inspiration posts or content I’ve created, I hope you guys bear with me! Thank you so so much for following this blog, let me know if there’s anything you want to suggest and comment down below! Happy Autumn lovlies.

 

XO, J

1 Shirt 2 Looks.

Nothing Feels better than rolling out out of bed on a lazy Tuesday morning (yes, you read it right. T U E S D A Y) on a hot summer day and doing the bare minimum. Of course the definition of “minimum” varied. For me personally, not having to put on a bra is a leisure activity I partake during the summer months. Of course as the days gone by, the desire to do is less and less (or desire to NOT do haha). One day I woke up thought to myself “wouldn’t it be so nice if I don’t have to change in the morning?” And so it begins. The pajama style ensued… Why not roll out of bed and style what you already got on anyway? This time I came up with two looks to dress up the pajama shirt. One causal (think Starbucks run and Mimosa by the sea) and one dressier option (garden party or if you are bold enough, perhaps a wedding?). You welcome and enjoy!
Look #1
Pj shirt look series #1

 


Dolce Gabbana floral shirt
36230 TWD – net-a-porter.com

3×1 denim shorts
6985 TWD – farfetch.com

Dr. Martens dr martens shoes
3685 TWD – revolve.com

Dolce Gabbana pink purse
29030 TWD – flannels.com

J.Crew circular sunglasses
5845 TWD – jcrew.com

Full Tilt eyeglass
305 TWD – tillys.com

Rimmel cheek bronzer
235 TWD – very.co.uk

Pottery Barn home wall decor
4820 TWD – potterybarn.com
Look #2
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Dolce Gabbana multicolor shirt
36230 TWD – net-a-porter.com

Dolce&Gabbana floral print wide leg pants
44815 TWD – net-a-porter.com

Gummy shoes
1515 TWD – hm.com

Gucci gold colored jewelry
23185 TWD – net-a-porter.com

Thierry lasry sunglasses
17585 TWD – barneys.com

Chloé eau de toilette perfume
1950 TWD – very.co.uk

Tossa del Mar.

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Beautiful day spent driving along the curves of dreamy Catalonia coastal highway to a quiet hidden beach (required some hike and an adventurous spirit). And I was instantly in love with absolutely everything. The stunning view and tranquility of the surroundings away from busy Barcelona center full of tourists. Needless to say I will be back very soon.

Check out this MAP that shows you all the good beaches to go (I recommend a nice day trip with car) and maybe you will find me there…in my salty hair and glowing flashing skin form that is 🙂

xo, J

 

Millennial pink – summer vacay

Millennial pink - summer vacay

 

This “millennial pink” trend really hits me right on the spot. I absolutely adored the palate ranging from nude, beige, salmon to bubble gum pink. Basically any color that is socially acceptable to put on the face as makeup. Perhaps my inner little ballerina is jumping up and down from joy, or you can also blame it on me being a Taurus and love me some warm colors… I actually had to look up what exactly shade of pink it is, and also stumbled upon this article, which is a very nice read. This look has three of my current favorites millennial pink, trouser, and espadrilles.  I would rock this look from day drinking (keep the mimosas coming!) to a night out downing tequila shots at a beach club. All about being comfortable and staying chic! Afterall, it’s never too late to be too millennial 😉

Pink shirt
rawglitter.com

Alice + Olivia high-waisted pants
€230 – net-a-porter.com

Rag & bone canvas shoes
€390 – forwardbyelysewalker.com

Cult Gaia hand bag
€110 – another20.com

Casetify apple iphone case
€35 – casetify.com

Reflection Time.

Since coming to Spain and having to live here (due to my studies), I’ve lost a few people along the way, the so called “friends” that would always hit me up randomly to check up on me or to simply to lurk. It’s interesting to learned that as soon as people found out I was no longer pursuing fashion or art (for now) they gradually disappeared out of my life. It fact, what I do no longer interest them. All of the sudden it isn’t “cool” enough and I’ve lost the value to what they deemed was important or interesting about me. This really showed me who the real ones are and who gon’ be there through thick and thins. That being said, I need to acknowledge that it can be confusing for some people (sometimes including myself) because there was a time in my life that part of me really shined (I was voted the most likely to be in Vogue by the entire senior class in High School). I was creative, I had pink ombre mermaid hair and various other colors. I wore spiky high heels to school 4/5 days, and it all seemed like just the beginning of a fashion career that is going to take me far and take me to where I wanted to be (at least the people who voted for me believed in this too).

However, despite being artsy in high school, I also entered science competitions and participated in various science clubs throughout the four years, which I think was something that even myself often overlooked. Ultimately what I’m studying now and the career path I chose as the bread winning tool had little to do with a high fashion magazine, I’m still very proud of my decision of becoming a dentist. I think some people often undermine the fact that jobs in the medical field usually required extensive studies, dedication and hard work. Sometimes you failed miserably and sometimes sleep is not even an option. I’ve grown a new found respect for people who dedicated their lives to relentlessly studied medicine and literally saving lives by enriching, extending, and updating their medical knowledge. Not going to lie I have days where I struggled hardcore and questioned myself WHY DID I chose this life for me, but it is from those grappling and clenching movements where we improved the most and continue to strive to become the better version of ourselves.

I guess my point is, we shouldn’t put people in boxes and categorize them based on one singular characteristic about them. I used to put myself in a box and told myself that “I’m this person, therefore ____ is not for me”. But the truth is we are all multi-dimensional and we all have the potential within us to explore the different parts of us and become better at fields that we choose to craft. We shouldn’t limit ourselves and others, in fact we should encourage each other to step outside of the comfort zone and try out something new, even as risky as a career for the rest of our lives. Hence why I decided to commit myself to this blog. It is a platform where I let my artistic/fashion creativity flows, a space where I get to document my life and travels, and last but not the least, it serves as a living proof to myself and others that just because I chose dentistry, doesn’t mean I gave up on art/fashion IN LIFE. I still love it and is deeply passionate about it as I’ve always been. I do realized this is more lengthy than my usual visual-heavy posts, I hope it is not too tiresome to read and digest.

 

Let me know if your thoughts and comments, or if you are/were in a similar situation!

 

Love, J

Barcelona Summer ootd…

As some of you know, I currently live in Spain due to my studies. And usually when I tell my friends or people I’ve encountered from North America this fact about me, the usual questions ensued:

“Why? Do you like it? What is your favorite city in Spain? etc. Although I usually answered with patience and preparation (mainly for the lack of knowledge about this country). I always and probably will forever answer the question with Barcelona.

The first time I visited the city with my sister was during a short winter break. It was one of those mandatory trips just because we studied in Spain, and it turned out to be the best decision we’ve ever made and the best time. I think what really made it special was the energy, the vibe of the city, and most importantly, the people. I mean compare to the rest of Spain, Barcelona is probably not known to be the most laid-back destination, but in comparing with other major cities around the world, it is definitely considered one of the best chill-out city to visit. Two years later, I am well and living in this amazing city. While there are a plethora of blog posts on travel blogs about Barcelona, I think it’s time we acknowledge the more underrated topic – the street style of Barna.

A typical Barcelona girl is unlike any girl that we’ve met. They have the year round perfect tan (not the kind that makes you looked orange), long hair that looks like they’ve always got sea salt spray on the stand-by (but they actually don’t need it), and a quirky yet laid-back way of mixing designer brands and your local designer finds. Talking about espadrilles flatforms, fedoras, a flowy tasseled skirt, some bohemian print item, a cigarette in hand, and you’ve got yourself the girl. They don’t want to stand out too much (because that is too much work comfort is key) but when they do, it is irresistible and trendy. Talk about taking Boho chic all day everyday!

I think the perfect representation of what I just described would be fashion blogger Gala Gonzalez from AMLUL and Instagram influencer Nina Urgell Cloquell. Gala Gonzalez is I would say one of the ogs of fashion blogging (same time as Amiee from Song of Style and Chiara from The Blonde Salad). Hence I’ve followed her for a couple years without even knowing that she is from Spain until I moved here lol. Nina is of a younger generation BUT hey, they both are influential Catalan bloggers here in Barcelona (and worldwide) and they both DJs. Fabulouso much?

Here are some of their street styles I’ve gathered to show you what I mean by being a Barcelona girl. Keep scrolling down!

 

»» Gala’s Summer looks:

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»» Nina’s Summer Looks:

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What do you think of this effortless bohemian Barcelona style? Let me know what you are rocking this summer! xx.

 

With love, J.

 

 

 

 

White Jumpsuit.

It’s official that June has been around the corner, which means the start of summer vacation and beginning of various activities under the hot summer sun. Ever since the CFDA 2017 award, my obsession for white (especially during the summer months) is officially confirmed. There were so many interpretations of white gowns and off white pulls on the red carpet everything is practically TO DIE FOR (cue Gigi Hadid*). Every summer I find myself purchasing at least one jumpsuit (or two, guilty). And this year I thought why not incorporating my two favorite summer essentials and find me some white jumpsuits. As always, I tend to find some inspirations online before making a big purchase. Here are wide range of white jumpsuits style to observe and learn from:

 

  1. City Cool

 

I probably would’ve never thought to wear completely white while strolling on the city street because 1. you would you pop out from the crowd (I guess that’s the point) and 2. non-stop stares from strangers 3. at risk for stains/ruin the clothing (but come on, we gotta be rebels somehow). However I love how these bloggers instantly transformed these looks from causal vacay to super sleek white by pairing some sunnies and black heels/dope-ass handbag with the look. With this style I would say, simplicity is KEY.

 

2. Office Chic

 

Again, another city look to take notes from (in this case, Kendall Jenner). White or off white blazer/coats are a working woman’s best friend. I could totally see a girl boss rocking this feminine yet professional look to the office, a business meeting, or even a lunch date. This looks is super versatile and definitely is a confidence boost.

 

3.  V-neck

 

I guess this V-neck loosen silhouette is a classic statement piece that’s been around forever now. I love this jumpsuit interpretation of it. Adding a flare with a bow-tie on the waist to distinguish and accentuate the form of the women. This look is super effortless and holiday appropriate. And you can either wear it with some sneakers or a cool pair of off-white/cream high heels and ready to kill it.

 

4. Vacation Mode: ON

 

This is the wide-leg-don’t-care-because-Im-on-vacation look. Simple, classic, comfortable and effortlessly stylish. Need I say more? I think in this case, accessories is important. Whether it’s play if safe and go with similar white tone, or go completely crazy with the purse/bag. The beauty of this look is that there are no rules! Your outfit is practically a blank canvas for you to get creative.

Hope you enjoy these 4 styles! What are some of you summer favorites? If you have any comments or questions please drop it on the comment section below!

 

Cheers!

xo, J.

 

6 Books Every Fashion Bloggers Should Own.

There is just something so magical about fashion books…they not only serve as a source of inspiration, they also make quite the elegant display on your coffee table or the perfect accessory to your latest Instagram flat-lay. All jokes aside, here are the 6 books I own that brings lots of joys and inventive stimulation when I go through a creativity dry-spell.

  1. It – Alexa Chung

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This is an oldie but goodie. Lots of random thoughts, doodles, and realizations from the “It” girl who’s till this day still taking a permanent “gap life”. She lives the life many girls (including me) desires. This is definitely my go to book when I have brain farts and needed something to get my creativity flow going. How I do it? Flip to a random page and study it like nobody’s business.

You can get this book Here and Here.

 

2. #Girl Boss –  Sophia Amoruso

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Founder of Nasty Gal, and a TV series inspired by her after. I think this is a must read for every girl who wishes to make fashion a career. This book helps me get motivated during the rougher times of my life. My favorite quote from Sophia “Good things come to those who hustle.” Indeed.

You can get this book Here and Here.

 

3. Love x Style x Life – Garance Doré

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This book is like you made a très chic French girl friend whom you can invite to any occasion in life and it would be a great time. From styling advice, to hilarious observation about Americans vs French, this book give just the right dosage of entertainment and fashion. Sometimes I would just read this book and convinced myself that me and Garance Doré are the bestest friends.

You can find this book Here and Here.

 

4.  How to be Parisian – Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas

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Not that we are not happy with our own nationalities (whoever you are/where you are from), but come on, let’s face it – there has to be a reason why being a French women in this world is particularly hyped up and fantasized upon. This book gives you insights into of how French women operates from their day to day life. Whether it’s food, language, vacation, to how to wittily deal with men, every page is so lovable and genuinely hilarious. I think the French spirit is still very much apparent in the fashion industry and no one is complaining to be honest.

Find the book HERE.

 

5. The Coveteur – Stephanie Mark

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I’ve been a loyal reader/subscriber to The Coveteur website for years now, and there is just something so glamorous and fun about the photography. I particularly enjoyed the detailed accounts to their interviews with famous celebrities/fashion people…almost too relatable as if the readers were there to experience it as well. That’s why when I found out they were releasing a book, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. It’s the perfect coffee table book that will serve as closet inspirations for life.

Find the book HERE.

 

6. Capture Your Style – Aimee Song

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If I were to name a few Asian faces that have prominent status in the fashion industry, she definitely will be the first ones to pop in my head. Aimee of Song of Style has inspired so many people with her killer #ootd and impeccable Instagram feed.  Most importantly, she has inspired so many young Asian Americans like me to pursue fashion and chasing the dream that seems impossible. In this book you will learn all the tricks to an ootd (outfit of the day) and all that Amiee’s got up her sleeves (literally). The beautiful destination and fashion shows/travels she has done over the years really serves as an motivation for me.

Get the book HERE and HERE.

 

Hope these books inspired you all the fashion lovers out there!

 

XO, J

 

Relax boho chillin’ vibe.

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Relax boho chillin' vibe.
Every summer around this time of the year (late May early June) I go through this “phase” that I identified as the Will Davison-photography-come-to-life phase. Everything from bohemian, earthy/nude tone, to being semi-naked and rocking the classic “sea-salt” wet hair, I AM ALL IN. I created this look in honor of the aesthetic…also to satisfy my cravings for buying everything flowy fabrics to Moroccan prints to anything with embroidered flower on it. It’s my soul is subconsciously making a statement for me screaming “I AM a free spirit! Believe me!”
So here you go. I hope these pictures inspired you to chase your own boho dream…

WithChic long blouse
€27 – withchic.com

Alice Olivia high waisted wide leg trousers
€345 – net-a-porter.com

Hollister Co. small heel shoes
€64 – hollisterco.com

Victorian brooch
€1.760 – 1stdibs.com
XO, J.

El Palace – Afternoon Tea.

There is not a better timing to taking some tea on a lazy afternoon during a spring shower, or at least that was my excuse when me and bf marched down the luxurious El Palace hotel for a sweet treat. Located 5-7 minutes walk from the lively Passeig de Gràcia avenue (a main shopping /site-seeing destination for many tourists and locals), El Palace holds its own refinery style with its extravagant interior decor. We were first greeted by the doormen who’s dressed in the most charming uniform and greeted us with big smile, foreshadowing a spectacular view ahead. The first moment entering the lobby, we were stunned by the magnificent decor and details in front of our eyes. It was everything I’ve expected if not more. All of the sudden I was reliving my own Barcelona version of Gossip Girl dream. 

We got seated and menus were presented to us:

The tea is traditional English style (sandwiches, biscuits, cakes) with a hint of French influence (the pastel colors, flower arrangements, etc)

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jams

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There is a wide range of selection for tea on the menu to choose from, and you can also order champagne if the mood is right. The service is really attentive, the servers always came around to see if we need any help. I asked them to heat up my tea and they actually just ended up giving me a refill, which was extremely nice.

Out of the 3 layers, we were least impressed with the biscuits but they were still exceptionally delicious. The pastries were such a nice ending to this unforgettable afternoon. To learn more about the menu click link down below:

High Tea Menu

 

If you would like to enjoy a luxurious afternoon in Barcelona and treating your taste bud to an unforgettable symphony of finger foods, definitely make a reservation ahead of time at the El Palace webite!

Cheers!

 

xo, J

 

See you at ‘chella

See you at 'chella

 


This is what I will be wearing post or pre-Coachella.

Equipment striped top
€335 – net-a-porter.com

Alexander Wang distressed jeans
€325 – farfetch.com

Alexander Wang block heel sandals
€460 – barneys.com

H M short necklace
€5,56 – hm.com

Floral garland
€9,28 – amazon.com

Off White tech accessory
€54 – farfetch.com

Oliver Gal Artist Co red wall art
€335 – nordstrom.com

Andalusia holiday

Andalusia holiday

 


Inspired by the this past East holiday trip I took with my family, the Andalucia region at the south of Spain is definitely considered the MOST Spanish part of Spain to the Spaniards. The bull-fighters, the renowned Flamenco dancers, and various mosaic and beautiful tile prints. Everything screams red and passion. Thus the red top is inspired by this, pair with jeans and tone it down with Alexander Wang strap sandals in white. Not to play with the cliche but a Spanish holiday is certainly not complete without a pair of golden Dolce Gabbana earrings.

Red off the shoulder top
€19 – zaful.com

3×1 zipper jeans
€285 – intermixonline.com

Alexander Wang strap sandals
€420 – alexanderwang.com

Dolce Gabbana blue handbag
€2.230 – runwaycatalog.com

Dolce Gabbana charm jewelry
€470 – harrods.com

Mountain wall art
€46 – art.com

Desert gal.

Desert gal.

 

This outfit is probably the closest thingy I will ever get for Coachella. It’s not the most practical look for the real desert life, but chic enough to please the photographers present at the festivals.

Halter top
€275 – bleuclothing.com

Elina Linardaki platform sandals
€260 – forwardbyelysewalker.com

Tommy Hilfiger crossbody bag
€82 – macys.com

GUESS ring
€23 – guess.com

Urban Outfitters inspirational quotes wall art
€18 – urbanoutfitters.com

Typography wall art
€45 – etsy.com

Spring Passion

Spring Passion

 

This spring is all about COMFORT. This is why it is essential and perhaps smart to make sure that you regular pair of jeans aren’t so regular anymore to conveniently add a visual point to the overall outfit.  In this look I paired up the Alice + Olivia embroidered jeans with a stripe top and a pair of green pointed toe flats. I would imagine a messy hair French girl in this look marching down the local pharmacy to restock some skin care products or supermarket for some red wine. It can’t get better than this tbh.

Sea New York t shirt
€230 – ifchic.com

Alice + Olivia embroidered jeans
€475 – theoutnet.com

Charlotte Olympia pointed toe shoes
€580 – bloomingdales.com

Chloé handbags shoulder bag
€1.385 – barneys.com

Cartier white gold bangle
€4.680 – vestiairecollective.com

National Tree Company spring home decor
€130 – jcpenney.com

Best mom ever.

Best mom ever.

 

From Running errands to attending parent-teacher conference at your child’s school, I called this the next level mommy look. This combination will last you all day with its comfort and versatility. The patch jeans add an visual interest to make the look different from your typical day to day “soccer mom” attire. Plus, GOD BLESS the sandals/slippers trend this year. You will never have to worry about whether it’s appropriate anymore if you are simply making a fashion statement…and even if you are naturally more aware of how you might be perceived during a social setting, keep in mind that these pants will perfectly hide the fact that you are wearing slippers.

Le Sarte Pettegole long sleeve shirt
€275 – intermixonline.com

Alexander McQueen flare jeans
€815 – stylebop.com

Charles David shoes
€90 – lastcall.com

Alexander McQueen sequin purse
€3.095 – net-a-porter.com

Alexis Bittar drop earrings
€44 – saksoff5th.com

Kate Spade elephant necklace
€54 – saksfifthavenue.com

Mac cosmetic
€16 – belk.com

Diary from Peñíscola.

I have to admit – I am guilty of committing to spontaneous decision for weekend getaways, regardless of going out of Spain to other countries or simply taking a train hour away to another pueblo. What can I say? The wanderlust is REAL. In this particular case, it only took a hour of googling, two hours of convincing, making a check list and some collective packing here and there, a day later I was on my way. I had the opportunity to travel to Peñíscola, a beautiful beach town/province located in the Valencia community. The breathtaking ocean view of Costa del Azahar was what made it feels instantly a Mediterranean holiday. 

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abuelo y mar

post card from peniscola

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sea view buddha

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La Casa de las Conchas – House of Seashells

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peniscola beach

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The beautiful Peniscola beach

dios esta bien terrace view

dios esta bien terrace view 1

Dios Esta Bien hostel.

The hostel we chose for the stay had the coziest terrace space, tastiest breakfast, and quite possibly one of the best coffee I’ve ever had in Spain thus far. Centrally located and walking distance from everything Peniscola has to provide. The international hosts are extremely friendly and helpful with anything we needed. I highly recommend this place if you are ever visiting this town!

 

For a quick fix of cocktail or fruity alcohol beverages, make sure to head down to MUVA Beach for an impeccable view and relax atompshere for a sit & sip.

clear view of ocean from muva ocean

Hope this post inspired you to take a small weekend trip away from the tedious ordinary routine that is life, and find enjoyment within details and a brand new view.

 

xo, J

bon profit! A guide to brunch spots in Valencia, Spain.

Being in Spain for 3 years now, I’ve definitely missed the weekend brunch culture in the US (especially in college town setting). However in recent years I think the concept of brunch has made its way to Europe and particularly Spain. Here I think the closest thing to brunch is called “almuerzo” which can be interpreted as ‘lunch’ or a ‘middle day snack’. One thing for certain is unlike brunch, it does not come with big portions and variety of sweet and savory. Personally I have gone to a few restaurants, cafes, and pastries shops in Spain that serve delicious and VERY photogenic brunch. Here are some of my recommendations and personal favorites that you should put on your brunchin/ list if you are visiting Spain (Valencia and Barcelona, to be more specific)!

  1. Bar & Kitchen

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Located in the Le Seu (old town) district in Valencia tucked away behind the Cathedral and tourist crowds, this adorable restaurant is usually packed with locals and tourists who happen to live nearby. The dishes are a nice mix of modern and traditional Spanish cuisine. The portion of each dish is just perfect for two to share. The patatas bravas is my personal favorite from this place. One of the best I’ve tried in Valencia thus far.

Address:  Plaça d’Ibanyes, 7, 46001 València

Opening Hours:

Sunday

9:00 am – 12:00 am
Monday
9:00 am – 12:00 am
Tuesday
9:00 am – 12:00 am
Wednesday
9:00 am – 12:00 am
Thursday
9:00 am – 12:00 am
Friday
9:00 am – 12:00 am
Saturday
9:00 am – 12:00 am

*hours might differ during the holidays*

2. BASTARD Coffee & Kitchen

Bastard Coffee

Egg benedict+avcado on pancake

This place is usually packed with local Spanish families and university students especially on the weekends. They serve everything from classic egg benedict to burgers and pancakes. I love the variety of egg benedict selection there, which you can find here:

http://www.bastardcoffeekitchen.com/brunch.html

The environment is super cozy and rustic.

The staff are friendly and service is extremely nice (for Spanish standard). They also speak English if there is any difficulty communicating. Keep in mind that week days are less crowded than the weekends and as everything else in life, early birds will usually always have available seats right on the spot!

Address: C/Leandro de Saralegui, nº 1, bajo izda., 46021 Valencia

Opening Hours:

8:00 am – 12:00 am
Monday
8:00 am – 12:00 am
Tuesday
8:00 am – 12:00 am
Wednesday
8:00 am – 12:00 am
Thursday
8:00 am – 12:00 am
Friday
8:00 am – 12:00 am
Saturday
8:00 am – 12:00 am

*hours might differ during the holidays*

3. Bluebell Coffee Co.

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Avocado toasts

My first time entering Blubell Coffee Co. I thought I accidentally intruded someone’s backyard/garden. The interior is the perfect combination of vintage and organic chic. They have various vegetarian and vegan options, also seasonal smoothies and cake. You never know what surprise will be thrown at you on the menu. This place is also very pet and toddler friendly. The back drop is perfect for an afternoon relaxation / chill out after a lovely day wandering around in Ruzafa district.

Address: Carrer de Buenos Aires, 3, 46006 Valencia

Opening Hours:

9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Monday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am – 9:00 pm

*hours might differ during the holidays*

4. Dulce de Leche BOUTIQUE Café Pastelería

dulce de leche bagels

Bagel Salmon Sandwich

Also located in the Ruzafa district, this restaurant is great for their vast selection of delicious and cakes and pastries. Usually the staff will ask you to order around the counter and they will bring the food over to you. You will not be surprise to find crowds of students, hipsters, bloggers, or all of the above gathering here on weekly basis. The coffee is great and satisfying, But the desserts are a must try! The fresh flower decor on each table also makes your food more “gram-able” if you know what I mean.

Address: Calle Pintor Gisbert 2, C. Cuba 46, 46006 Valencia

Opening Hours:

Sunday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Monday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Tuesday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Wednesday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Thursday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Friday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Saturday

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

5. La Más Bonita Patacona

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English Breakfast

Valencia is famous for its beach and party lifestyle. This is why this brunch spot is almost too perfect to miss. Located literally right in front of the beach,  La Mas Bonita Patacona is the place to be whether is a morning brunch before hitting the beach, after a Friday night out or a Sunday catch up sesh with girls. They also make king size fruit smoothies, jugs of sangria, and of course a mean cup of mimosa.

The interior decor is a beach-y mermaid Mediterranean paradise. The spacial breakfast (brunch session) is from Saturday to Sunday 12.30pm – 5:00pm. So make sure don’t miss out on it!

Which place is your favorite? Comment below and I hope one of them makes it onto your bucketlist!

Cheers!

xo, J.

Van Loon.

 

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Spending an amazingly torpid afternoon visiting one of the many museums alongside Amsterdam canal with my travelling buddy. We didn’t go into it with any expectation at all and needless to say, it was worth every penny…incredibly beautiful and tranquil. Everything from the exquisite details of each room to the intricate decor of the comprehensive styles from the Far East during the Golden Age, everything just screamed #InteriorGOALS.

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We even got to play hide and seek with the house cat (quite a sassy one) in the garden.

catcanal bridge

To make a visit to Museum Van Loon, be sure to check out their official website:

http://www.museumvanloon.nl/

If you enjoy getting some visual interior designs inspiration and not getting too overwhelmed with extensive artworks in a larger scale museum, make sure to check out Van Loon. Plus if you get lucky you might even be able to pay a visit to the fluffy spirit of the house.

XO, J

 

 

Fifty Shades of Grey #5

Fifty Shades of Grey #5

 


Vanessa Bruno wool wrap coat
€595 – net-a-porter.com

Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans
€265 – mytheresa.com

Dune flat shoes
€110 – johnlewis.com

Givenchy leather man bag
€1.860 – farfetch.com

Tech accessory
€21 – skinnydiplondon.com

Yves saint laurent sunglasses
€310 – ysl.com

Chloé chloe fragrance
€105 – sephora.com

Fifty Shades of Grey #3

Fifty Shades of Grey #3

 


Caroline Constas ruffle top
€370 – marissacollections.com

Acne Studios jacket
€1.535 – thewebster.us

Michelle Mason suede skirt
€545 – intermixonline.com

Nine west shoes
€83 – ninewest.com

AK Anne Klein post earrings
€9,30 – saksoff5th.com

Sole Society hat
€23 – solesociety.com

Kate Spade tech accessory
€47 – ebags.com

Fifty Shades of Grey #4

Fifty Shades of Grey #4

 


Oversized sweater
€68 – genuine-people.com

MANGO blue jeans
€42 – mango.com

Anine Bing lace lingerie
€92 – orchardmile.com

Chiara Ferragni Pointed Slipper
€370 – revolve.com

Evening clutch
€2.125 – louisvuitton.com

Jennifer Meyer Jewelry gold jewellery
€490 – ylang23.com

Clear glasses
€7,44 – romwe.com

Yves Saint Laurent lipstick
€34 – lordandtaylor.com

Blossom.

 

It spring time again! And every week my urge to go flower shopping is only gradually increasing. Peonies have always been my favorite flowers (next to roses and lavender). So it came as a surprise to me that I had no knowledge whatsoever on it and had to look up peonies’ flower meaning. What is not so surprising is that peony is believed to be named after Paeon, the Greek physician of the gods(that corresponds to my current studies, duh).

In the recent decade, peonies have also been used as a fashion accessory and the perfect transition pic in every fashion girl’s instagram layout. I personally adored peonies fulsome appearance and their ability to instantly upgrade a space when placed in a room.

Here are some of the fun facts I found on the internet which basically proves that peony is me in flower form:

  • As mentioned above, medicine/physician origin
  • Native to China (where my ancestors are from)
  • Lush, rounded, and fulsome appearance
  • It is also called the flower of “riches and honor”, need I say more???

If you are ever interested in planting your own peonies in the backyard/garden, here is a brilliant video that is a step to step instruction on HOW TO PLANT PEONIES.

If you find the real one too high maintenance, here is a DIY on how to make realistic fabric peony flowers:

 

I hope this post inspired you… Happy Spring!

 

XO, J

Catch me inside: RENOIR.

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Fundacion MAPFRE

Porcelain painter – Amongst Women

A look into Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s World

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Dance at the Moulin de la Galette (1876)

 

From modern to classical ideal:

My first time visiting French artist Renoir art show at Fundació Mapfre Barcelona – and it definitely made quite an impression. It is the perfect balance of femininity, intricacy and exquisite details. I am obsessed with the juxtaposition between the soft hue and bright palate in each painting, the feathery, careless brush strokes yet defined features of the female figures. Renoir spent a good amount of time surrounded by women and feminine energy inspired him to create each portrait. Dance at the Moulin de la Galette (1876) is probably one of his most famous work. I’ve never seen the painting so close up before and the amount of details and color combinations really is intriguing. I spent quite awhile just imagining that I was part of this painting inside the trendy neighbor of Montmartre, fine wine in the hand and enjoying a great afternoon dancing with friends.

renoir_pierre_auguste_7

Another painting that really caught my eyes was The Large Bathers (1884-87), focusing on three beautiful fair skin women near the bank of a river. This piece grabbed my attention immediately because it is very uncommon especially during the artist’s time. It’s extraordinary to see how it affects the work of playing between modern Impressionism and traditional artistry. I was also quite impressed with the way Renoir depicted women in his time: sturdy and robust, yet romantic and effortless. Even though this women have the quality of traditional forms of “perfect” women with flawless transparent skin, the way he portrayed them allowed these figures to be more “real” and less god-like, thus more relatable. Again the contrast and balance of mixed elements in his painting is what makes them so enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

Renoir not only did portraits on grown women, he also mastered at painting children with their household pets. He often painted his wife with his son, and his servants and working women who were around him. His style is perfect to illustrate the innocence of child, the love between a mother and son and daily chores that are infused into his inspiration. It’s not difficulty to feel the romanticism of his world through the lens of his artwork.

After seeing the exhibition, I was so inspired and so proud to be embracing femininity figures. I think there is not a narrow concept of femininity. It can be expressed in various ways. And soft and strong can go together hand in hand. Renoir certainly believed in that as this concept was sipping through all of his work repeatedly.

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To learn more about Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s life : HERE.

Some of his famous Art works.

 

xo, J